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Old 02-10-2005, 01:17 PM   #1
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Whole Tank Infected with Little White Things!!!! Help!!!!

My tank was fine up until this morning. Two days ago I noticed some white growths on the back wall of my tank. They looked like tiny fat pineapples. So I used my long scraper, and got them off the wall, easy enough. So this morning I wake up and my tank in infested with tiny white little critters. They are all over the glass, in the watter. They are small enough to pass through the filter so they are coming out of there too. I can see them actually moving on the front wall. They are about 1/2 the size of a ball point pen ball, and have little multiple legs. I think now that those things I scraped off were some kind of pods or egg sacks, and me scraping them off caused them to hatch.

My fish are stressed beyond stressed, and covered all over with them. At first I thought it was ick, but then I saw them all over the place. Perhaps they will cause ick. Are they ick? Will they die off? I cant tell if my fish have ick or those things on them or both. But they were not there last night, and now my fish are covered with them.

I need to know what they are, how to get rid of them, what do I need to do TONIGHT!!!; Kick Ick, something Reef Safe???? I cant possibly remove all the inverts and fish from the tank, I only have a 3 gallon hospital tank, there would be significant losses. They are everywhere, I need to treat the whole tank.

What do I do?????????? Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!

50 gallon acrylic reef tank, 55-70 pounds of live rock, live sand, up an running for 2 years. 3 small Angler fish, 8 mushroom covered rocks, several anemones, small coral, small hermit crabs, and 2 large snails. Emperor 400 filtration system, heater 290 watts, jbj compact 292 watts, power head w/ sponge filter.

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Old 02-10-2005, 03:02 PM   #2
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From your description, the things that you scraped off the back glass sound like Qtip sponges. If they were Qtip sponges they were/are harmless. Check this link...


Check the 4th pic from the bottom. I have some in my tank that look just a little different.

As for the critters running amuck in your tank... They might be some sort of pods, although I have never seen any posts of them in such great numbers. Maybe somebody else can chime in and confirm this.

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Old 02-10-2005, 03:10 PM   #3
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I agree it sounds like q-tip sponges. And my first thought was copepods for the little critters except you say they are running all over your fish. I no idea.
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Old 02-10-2005, 05:53 PM   #4
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No, that is not them. Not q-tip sponges, nor copepods. I am going to treat the tank with Kick Ick for the fish. The stuff I scraped of looks like the q-tip sponges but whiter, and imagine at the top of each sponge is a small clear white feather duster

I talked to Petco in Pasadena (flagship saltwater store) they want me to bring in a sample so they can identify it. They tend to think it may be some kind of parasite, but could be something harmless but is aggravating the fish and causing ick to kick in due to stress. I will know more tomorrow when I drop off the sample.
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mwita06
he stuff I scraped of looks like the q-tip sponges but whiter, and imagine at the top of each sponge is a small clear white feather duster
A few possibilities:
Spirorbib worms (harmless)
Foramanifera (harmless)
Small aiptaisa (pest)
Polyp Hydroids (sometimes a pest, most times harmless)

What would the kick ick benefit

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Old 02-10-2005, 10:00 PM   #6
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what about fish lice? cirolanid isopods. I dont know much about them but it sound about right.

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Old 02-11-2005, 12:37 PM   #7
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Went by my local pet store last night. They say it is definitely (I forgot the technical term) Saltwater Lice. They said probably one of the Mushroom rocks I purchased (from them) last month had some lice larva in it. And they managed to hatch and to spread unnoticed. Once I scraped the sacks off of the wall, it caused them all to hatch at once.

I am treating the entire tank with both Kick Ick and Rally. Kick Ick for the fish and Rally for the parasites. The fish have now calmed down a bit, and the Lice on the glass are not moving as much, and have diminished in number. The store said it is important to treat the entire tank because there are probably Lice in the other live rocks now. So far everything is looking good. The inverts seem unaffected by the medication, and the Anglers are almost back to their statuesque poses.

Thanks for the help. I will keep you posted of the progress. I have an enclosed Acrylic tank so no room for a protein skimmer, so I have also decided to purchase a UV Sterilizer to help keep the tank free from parasites in the future.

Thanks Again.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:45 PM   #8
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Sea lice are not white nor are the egg sacks, both are brown in color. I seriously doubt you have sea lice in the tank and Kick ick nor Rally will affect them if you did.

I think your fears are being played upon.

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Old 02-11-2005, 04:06 PM   #9
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I can't believe it. I was about to post about a tiny thumbnail-sized white starfish I saw on my glass last night and here it is in this thread. Q-tip sponge. That's it alright.

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Old 02-12-2005, 02:17 AM   #10
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Found the store where I bought the last live rock (Fumi's fish store in LA, CA). And they have those little white critters all over the glass in the coral tank. Very small micro fine white dots that move in little spurts.

They claim they are not lice, but do not know what they are called. They also claim they are not harmful to fish, and dye off quickly. But they do not have any fish in the coral tank, and are reluctant to help. When I have come there to purchase something, the owner seems very eager to look up and price anything. But when I suggested that they may be parasites, he did not want to continue our conversation any further. That was the last time I will purchase any salt water items from that store.

My problem is this: if they are not lice why did all three of my Angler Fish develop ick spots overnight, all at once, and these things are all over the tank like falling snow. Temp, salinity, nitrate, etc., were ideal.

Also the other pods and critters that live in my live rock, are out all over the place. They are usually only visible at night, or maybe you will see one or two in the daylight. But now they are out in full force eating the small white organisms.

What gives????

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