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Old 09-27-2001, 12:51 PM   #1
platapus
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Best ICH Treatment.....


Well - I knew this would eventually happen to me, but I got a yellow tang in my reef tank that has developed ICH. Im somewhat new to saltwater reef tanks, but have keep fresh water tanks for 15 years. What is the best way to go about treating ICH for a reef tank? I have the equipment to setup a quarantine tank for the sick and needy, but what about the reef tank. How can I keep the ich from returning again and again??

In the fresh water enviorment, Iwould simply shut down the filters and nuke the whole tank with medication, this seemed to work well, but I dobht that is going to be the solution for a 100g reeftank, I have alot of money invested at this point and dont want to start over.....

I have read that a cleaner shrimp will help with the ICH parisites, also Neon Goby will too...../anyone ever hear this before?

I like to hear how others have delt with this problem?

Thanks

- ICH victom
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Old 09-27-2001, 01:14 PM   #2
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Sounds like it may be time to get the quarantine tank out.

For the future, I've read that fish can fight off diseases on their own if the water quality is good and you don't overstock your tank. Some folks use a UV sterilizer but that doesn't sound cheap.
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Old 09-27-2001, 01:51 PM   #3
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I heard soaking food in garlic oil helps, and also think i heard that ich is always present in your system and is usually brought on by some stressor to the fish? so there might be another issue that needs to be addressed. I have not had to deal with ich yet. but some one on the board will probbably give you better advice

HTH good luck.

tony

PS i dont think you want to directly medicate the tank either.
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Old 09-27-2001, 01:52 PM   #4
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I have found and heard that ich is more of a symptom of a bigger problem. Ich will always be in the tank and cleaner shrimp or cleaner gobies can clean the tang, but why is the tang getting ich? Is the fish stressed? what other fish are in the tank with the tang, do you feed the tang nori and how long has the tank been set up? I find that if the tank has been going for a while and fish is being feed well with nori and other good food and there is not much stress in the tank they will not get ich.
HTH
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Old 09-27-2001, 02:05 PM   #5
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the tank has been running for about a month, the only fish I have is the yallow tang, and a red scooter blenny. They have both been in there for a week. Most likely the tang came with the ICH from the LFS.

Im setting up a hospital tank for both of the fishes I have... and all new fishes to come will vacation there for a couple of weekes as well!

How can a stressed fish, generate a parasite? ICH (Cryptocaryon irritans )

That doesnt make sense.....

anyway here is a good article I found on ICH.
http://www.bestfish.com/copper.html
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Old 09-27-2001, 02:28 PM   #6
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Look at it this way, whenever one works to hard for a long period of time and or gets run down on sleep they tend to get sick a lot more often. That is what happens, I believe, with ich.

The tang has a lot of stress from being caught in the ocean to flying to the LFS then going into your tank which is probably not ready for a tang. I would go buy a few cleaner shrimps, feed the tank well, buy some garlic that Horge recomends and soak the food and wait wait and wait before you buy anymore fish. I would hold off on trying to catch the tang and put it in the hospital tank for a few days.
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Old 09-27-2001, 02:31 PM   #7
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As you mentioned, the fish probably came from the LFS with Ich on it. Stress doesn't cause Ich but the stress doesn't allow the fish to fight off the disease by itself like it normally would do in the big blue sea.

HTH

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Old 09-27-2001, 02:38 PM   #8
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Whoah there!


Don't put copper in your tank! Period. You will be putting any inverts that are in your tank in jeopardy as well as any inverts you might ever want to put in there, as copper tends to be absorbed the many things in the tank, then leached back out over time. Just referencing the article that you referenced.

As mentioned by Jon, the Ich parasite is present in all tanks, as is algae, cyanobacter, bacteria etc.
The ich can come in on fish, LR, Live Sand etc.
Ich is not a problem as long as there is not a catalyst involved to weaken the fish's natural defense. The fact that the tank has only been up for a month leads me to believe that it is still cycling. Tangs are notorious for not handling cycling tanks well. I hate to say it, but I would pull him out and put him in your quarentine tank, treat him, then take him back to the LFS.
What size tank is this BTW?
You never can eradicate ich, but you want to find a balance where your fish are not stressed to the point that they can fend off the little buggers.

HTH.
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Old 09-27-2001, 08:41 PM   #9
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platapus-
Your tang is probably suffering from "new tank syndrome". Many people buy a tang as their first fish after the tank cycles. This is not a good idea for the reason that you see now. When your tank is done cycling its best to start slowly with your cleanup crew, maybe a couple of shrimp, a few hardy inverts, etc. The longer you wait to add a fish to the tank, the better. Now, trust me that I'm speaking from experience and from helping others start their tanks, everyone wants to rush out and get a fish. Definately try to get the tang through this rough time.

Another thing...are you still using tap water?? Have you had the water tested? I would again, urge you not to use tap water in your reef tank. This is just asking for trouble.

I would do water changes and get a quarantine tank set-up.

Brooke
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Old 09-27-2001, 10:05 PM   #10
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Looks like I missed a lot during my little vacation

To my mind, the best treatment for ich (Cryptocaryosis) is hyposalinity. This however can be very stressful on the fish even before you actually treat, because you have to chase/catch the sucker and remove it for the hypo. (You can look up lots of online articles on hypo treatments for ich.)

Garlic can provide relief without need to remove the afflicted fish, and long-term treatment can potentially effect an outright cure. However, the effects of long-term treatment on the microfauna of a display tank has not been properly studied.

Informally, sure there's evidence all over the place

Last year, 150-day therapy involving about 1 gram* raw garlic per day (Initial week up to 2.5 grams) for an ich-riddled Paracanthurus hepatus (6 cm SL on initiation) in a 92 USgal. reeftank did not seem to impact on the corals, anemone and general balance of the tank. In the 10 import-free months since therapy was halted, no relapse of ich in any of Grace Barican's fish.

I will always prefer strategies that isolate the afflicted (in the case of ich, all the fishes)... no sense in potentially hammering the non-fish good guys with whatever med/treatment you administer.

If however, extrication/isolation of the afflicted is too difficult or counter-productive, then I would go for garlic, for an EXTENDED duration. Even if garlic fails (as is likely) to kill the parasites outright, denying them recognizable hosts will eventually starve them out.

The best of both worlds might be to treat with isolation/hypo while feeding garlic to dislodge parasites imbedded deep in tissue/mucus (where they are afforded some protection from hypo).


hth,
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Old 09-28-2001, 12:03 AM   #11
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wow! Thanks for all of the input!

My tank is 100g with 103 lbs of LR!

It has finished its ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate spikes, and yesterday reads:

TEMP: 80 f
SALINITY: 1.022
PH: 8.3
AMMONIA: 0.0
NITRITE: 0.0
NITRATE: 10.0
PHOSPHATE: 0.50

I do agree that the tank does need more time to settle/develop before I add any fish, I mainly went for a tang for algae control, along with a cleaning crew, which began to bloom fast right after the spikes - It has since start to slowed down.

I wont be able to remove the tang without destroying the enviorment, and I definetly would never put any medicine into the tank - he actually seems in a very good mood, and contanly eating. I will just keep my eye on him, if he is unable to fight it off, ill have to set a trap of some sort for him!

I have still been using conditioned tap water, but am currntly looking in to a RO setup!

Im also looking at, triing to understand the pros and cons of a UV sterilizer - does anyone use these? Do they work? is there any negative effect from using one?

thanks
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Old 09-28-2001, 01:43 AM   #12
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I just wanted to address a few points since the main themes have been covered pretty well.
Tangs are easily stressed and yellows seem esp so in spite of their popularity.
Ich will always be present in a marine tank invironment just like the rhino virus that causes the common cold is in ours. Stress, impropor diet and a host of other factors can bring it out by lowering the animals natural resistence.
Obviously copper is a no no in any tank destined for inverts and at this point chasing the fish around to put it in yet another newly cycled tank will prolly be counter productive.
All that aside, I feel a good bet is to leave the fish alone, feed it plenty of vegetable amteriel, fortified with Selcon and try the garlic.
Get the RO setup ASAP and start doing water changes and get the nitrate levels down . IMO 10 is high for a reef tank and the algae bloom suggests the levels are even higher but locked up in the plant cells. Definatly not good. UV I doubt would be of much help at this point tho may be of some benefit on a Q tank setup.
Get the water quality up to snuff, add no more fish, and disturb the tank as little as possible at this point. Hopefully the fish will recover, but never introduce a tang in a new tank and preferably as one of the last fish due to terrritorial issues that may arise with later additions, HTH
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Old 12-22-2002, 06:55 PM   #13
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I disagree, Ich is not a virus it is a parasite that must have a bony fish host to complete its life cycle. Similar to a flea which must have a blood meal in order to produce eggs. If all fish are removed from a display tank and quarantined with hyposalinity or copper for 30-60 days they will be parasite free, likewise the display tank will be free of ich due to lack of hosts. The ich will simply die due to reproductive failure. If done properly you can maintain an ich free tank!
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Old 12-22-2002, 09:00 PM   #14
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No, ich is not a virus... but viruses can be considered parasites. It's a good analogy, IMHO.

I vote to try to lessen the stress by leaving the tang there. Do the garlic thing, and hope for the best... trying to catch the tang at this point may push it over the edge - tangs can and do die from stress. Cleaner shrimp may help - and a water change with high-quality water is important to get the nitrates down. (It will also help with your algae bloom.)

You can look for cheap Culligan RO water at Wal-Mart or the grocery store. (Seems like the machines are usually near the produce.)

Good luck,
Danielle
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Old 12-22-2002, 09:43 PM   #15
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Ich


I have been fighting a Ich problem for a month & a half with an achilles tang. As long as I feed it sushi soaked in garlic oil (not the pure garlic) at least 3 times a day, he was holding his own. The spots never went away, but he stayed healthy. The last 2 days he started getting a white film on his eye, the LFS said it was a secondary infection. I fished him out & am now using a sick tank.
One way I have been able to catch fish with a bunch of live rock is to put the net in the tank & leave it alone for 4 or 5 days till the fish get used to it. Then start putting food in the net so they have to swim in to eat. This made it a lot easier to catch. Done this twice, worked both times .
Seems that once they get used to it being in there, they forget it is not natural, & if is not disturbed, will tend to think of it as normal, IMHO.
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