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Old 10-31-2012, 11:03 PM   #1
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Where to start

Hello everyone, this is my first post here and I am resorting to a forum to try and get some answers (solid) on where to start with the mess I'm in. I started a Fluval Edge 12 gallon marine tank in August, it was a pain to maintain so I purchased a 46 Gal. Bowfront. The Bowfront has been set up now for about a month. I used everything from the Fluval which included live sand and one pound of live rock. I'm pretty sure the Fluval had cycled as I tested and saw a rise and drop in all API Ammonia, Nitrite and then Nitrate. Being I only had a pound of live rock I think I was recycling every time I cleaned the Fluval 306 canister. Had no idea what i was doing and am anal and a bit OCD. Kept cleaning every bit of funk or algae I saw. Bad, I know. Anyway, my setup now is with one Fluval 305 as a mechanical filter with Carbon also. Also, a Fluval 306 as straight BIO filtration. I have about 2" of mixed live sand, aragonite and crushed coral. There's a Tom's skimmer at the top of the tank for one feed and a sock on the other stock Fluval feed. I have one Hydor Koralia Nano powerhead and a 1050 in the mail. Oh, I also built a spraybar out of PVC and connected the two Fluval returns to it. It works great and provides a good amount of surface agitation. Now the problem: I have 2 small clowns, a pearl scale butterfly and a bunch of crabs and snails. Also a ployp colony. There's a black clown goby in a recently built quarantine tank. When I brought the butterfly home a couple weeks ago, it broke out with white spots (ick) and I have been treating it for a little over a week with Voogle and Ick Attack. It's gotten much better, but there are still occasional spots. I have no idea what to do or how long to wait before I can add any fish from quarantine. The internet and every LFS I go to has sorted advice. All it really does is stress me out and cost more money. I just want to know if I should take all the fish in my DT out and put them in quarantine to eliminate the ick from them. Then how do I completely remove the ick from the display tank with coral and live rock and the such. Seems I can not get a solid answer on this. Some say the ick will die without fish, some say use copper, some hypo salinity. Last but not least, some say you can never get rid of the ick. With all that, I feel as though I have destroyed my tank and am ready to give up. What fun is there with a gamble at all times whether or not you get an ick outbreak and have to go without your tank for months as described? I love the hobby and adore my fish, but I have a life and can't afford to spend 8 hours a day maintaining their world. Please if anyone could lead me in the right direction here, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any and all support on this lengthy explanation.

Water all tests fine, have to buffer for 8.2-8.4 PH (Red Sea Coral Pro Salt)
78 Degrees DT and QT
1.021 Salinity DT and QT
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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There are others on here that probably provide more detail (and there are threads on here) but if your DT has no fish for about two months, the Ich basically dies off due to not having a host. For that, you would need to get all your fish out into a quarantine tank, but you have a few fish, so you'd want a decent size QT. Hypo and copper work. All the other meds don't do much. The "it never goes away" probably comes from those that have only used the store bought meds that don't really work.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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Move all your fish to qt and leave the main tank without fish for 8 weeks. No host the ich will die. Treat all fish in qt with either hyposalintity or copper. Those are the only two cures for marine ich .
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Thanks!

Thanks for your replies, I am just so overwhelmed at this point. What is killing me is that this can happen at any given time. So I move all the fish to QT and treat, wait two months with an empty DT while monitoring the QT for the fishes health, place them back in DT and rely on hope that I did not miss one single microscopic parasite. I feel I made a mistake taking this on, it's a full time job that you can lose at any given time. Sorry for the negativity!
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
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Well you have to treat the fish in qt with the 2 proven methods before they go back and you will be ick free. My motto is if it's wet qt it. I even take it a step further and qt my new fish for 4 weeks in hypo kill any parasites . I have been down the same path your on. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes. Ich free tanks are possible it just takes a lot of work . Hang in there you'll get it taken care of.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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Right now I've got a black clown goby, 2 oscellaris clowns in my 10 gallon QT. I tried catching the butterfly earlier but it is near impossible. After work I'm planning on removing the rock and catching the butterfly. The clowns I gave a freshwater dip before placing in QT. I was planning on dipping the butterfly and placing in QT. I'd imagine though that now I will have two ick sick tanks. But one (DT) can be treated to remove ick without killing bio (live rock)or inverts by waiting 2 months. Then I drop the salinity and raise the temp on the QT to kill off the ick and hope nothing dies. Sound about right?
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Skip the fw dip and the temp raise . Increased temps do nothing for marine ich and fw dips aren't a cure just a fast way to give your fish some relief. Just get them all out and administer hypo or copper treatment.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
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Could you please give me your best opinion based on my low level of experience what my best path is; hypo or copper. I am honestly getting tired of dumping money into this trying different suggestions. Hypo, I need to buy a refractometer I'd imagine, another sixty bucks at least. So far I'm at over a grand in this, with the fish being less than a hundred all together. Spending 100's to save a thirty dollar fish is a little absurd. But I do love the little guys. Regardless I have already been using useless meds and wasting time and money the last three weeks with no luck. Too many Chiefs, not enough indians. Copper I'd need the meds and all the testing equipment, right? No idea where to begin... Thanks for your patience!
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Yes for hypo you need a refractometer and with copper you need a copper test kit. I prefer hypo since some fish are intolerant of copper.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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It feels overwhelming now, but if you get the current situation under control and get your DT Ich-free (which it should be after 8 weeks) and get your fish Ich-free, then things should be more enjoyable afterwards. QT future additions and you save your DT from whatever they might have.

It actually does not require a lot of time to maintain a saltwater tank. Reefs are more tricky, but FOWLRs only require water changes and checking you parameters on a regular basis.
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