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Old 12-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
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Question Ich in a 300 gal with a shark

I've had my 300 gal running for a little over a year now, the inhabitants are a copperband butterfly, an emperror angel, a yellow tang, a hippo tang, dot dash butterfly, undulate triggerfish, ocealris clown fish, 5 assorted damsels, and most importantly a marbled bamboo cat shark. And now it would seem I've got ich! It all started with my hippo tang about a week ago, and it's still a pretty mild case(knock on wood) with only the hippo tang and the emperor angelfish being mostly affected. I'm pretty sure it's stress related as the triggerfish has been relentlessly hounding its tankmates. I've added more ornaments to offer more hiding places and treated with Mocrobe-lift artemiss(milafix essentially). After a few days I noticed the tang wasn't clearing up so I started a 5 day treatment with instant ocean life-guard( a new non-antibiotic agent supposedly effective against marine ich and oodinium). I'll be on day 5 tomorrow, hippo tang is still showing no improvement, the emperor angel(has a few spots on him now too) is scratching on rocks, so is the dot dash butterfly(no ich visible on the surface), and the copperband butterfly is beginning to as well. Of all of them I've been watching my copperband most carefully because they usually are the most susceptible to disease and parasites, and he also happens to have had a large chunk taken out of his tail fin prior to all this happening; however, I have to mention that out of all the fish he is showing almost no symptoms on the surface, no spots or excess slime, just itching every once in a while. I'm hesitant to treat with copper because I've heard it's nearly fatal to sharks. However if all else fails on day 7 after a 25% water change I will proceed with "quick cure", it's never failed me with my freshwater tanks, and almost always gotten rid of the ich(has killed a few fish though, which is what worries me). All in all it appears the damsels(though two of them missing some chunks out of them) the clownfish, and the yellow tang appear unaffected still. And to add one more crucial detail, all my fish are pretty tiny still, the biggest fish in the tank happens to be my copperband butterfly at roughly 5", and my marbled cat shark is only about 6" or so.
I guess what I'm really looking for here is a confirmation that I'm on a right course of action. And any other suggestion would be immensely welcomed. This is my first personal saltwater tank, however, I've worked as a manager for a big chain pet store for many years, so I pretty much know the ropes. Oh, and yes, I plan to expand to a bigger tank, I have a 1200 gal being custom made for me, ready in March.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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The copper will definitely kill the shark. It will also kill any inverts and the LR will absorb the copper and you'll have trouble keeping any inverts in the future(besides the trouble of keeping them with your livestock). Sounds like you're in pretty deep. I'd look into the hyposalinity treatment if you want to treat the whole tank. Otherwise a pretty large QT will need to be setup for all the fish. I believe ich has to be introduced, it wont just appear from stress. However, I would look into removing the fish that is causing the stress and nipping fins.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:44 AM   #3
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Take out the undulated trigger. Those are probably the most aggressive fish available in this hobby and will probably kill everything in your tank. I would also take out the damsels as well because they can get extremely territorial. I think it's all these aggressive fish causing the ich.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:16 AM   #4
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Id agree on removing the fin-nipper. Also, all those fish that are "flashing" (scratching against stuff) have ich...that's one of the first signs. Ich penetrates the gills first before you start to see any spots on the body. And cupramine and hyposalinity are the only proven treatments to KILL the parasite...all else will just suppress it until the fish is stressed again. Most all wild caught fish will come with ich, tangs and butterflyfish are just the most notable ones

Best of luck with the shark And I'd love to see that 1200g when it's done. I have a new goal now lol.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:20 AM   #5
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Given your situation, I would advise against copper and look into hyposalinity. You could treat the whole tank, because if one has it they're all going to have it. It also gives your shark and other sensitive fish a much better chance.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the opinions

Just wanted to thank everyone for replying to my thread. I did start the quick cure today after a 25% water change as the last resort because the yellow tang started showing what seems like pop-eye. I'll continue that for the next 2-3 days depending on signs of improvement. I'll definitely give hyposalinity a try if this fails, I just felt aggressive intervention was necessary at this point. And as far as getting rid of the trigger, I know its just common sense, but he is sort of my favorite(and the only fish not affected, go figure), so I really don't think that's an option. I just hope adding more ornaments and getting a much bigger tank will allow this guy to chill out. On the bright side though, the shark seems to be doing fairly well through all this. He was my newest addition(second to the emperor angel who in retrospect may have been responsible for the outbreak although he was properly quarantined and all) about two weeks ago and I was worried about him the most, but he seems ok. He has an enormous appetite, eating squid like it's going out of style; just picked up his first piece on his own today(I normally hand feed him because that's how he was fed at the store and he wasn't showing much interest in food otherwise, until I switched from freeze dried krill to fresh squid).
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #7
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I don't understand keeping the trigger. Its a good thing he's your favorite because he's probably going to stress everyone in the tank to death. He's obviously the reason behind the outbreak, bite marks in fins and such. If you don't remove him you'll either have to do this all over or you'll start losing fish to ich or as a direct result of him.

I also think with the copper treatment your shark will die, keep a close eye on him.

Best of luck to you moving forward.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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The shark WILL die with copper.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slitherbomb
The shark WILL die with copper.
Yup, and the problem with copper is even if you remove the shark during the treatment, the copper is absorbed by the LR and will slowly be released back into the system. If and when the shark does die, don't replace it with another. You'll likely have "mysterious deaths". Hence the urgency with which I suggested the hypo treatment. I really feel you're setting yourself up for trouble.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:58 AM   #10
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Shark

I've promptly removed the shark and set up my old 55 gal until my new tank is built at which point I guess I'll have to get rid of all my old decor... Boy, all this over a birthday present for my boyfriend, he always wanted a shark he told me...they're a pain in the neck I told him, no he had to have him...
Thank you all so much for the input though, it's all highly appreciated.
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