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Old 01-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
djkidkaz
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What to do after fish died from ich?


Had a fish die from ich last night. I had been treating it with an herbal ich medicine for a couple days that was reef safe since I don't have another tank to use as a quarantine tank. The medicine said to remove the carbon from the filter and turn off the protein skimmer. So now that the fish has died, what do I do? Should I leave the skimmer off and carbon removed and keep treating with the medicine? I haven't noticed any white spots on the other fish but the tang has been "scratching" against rocks. Or should I stop with the medicine and start running the filter and skimmer again? I've just been worried about not having any filtration other than the live rock.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:28 AM   #2
tlynn18
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Can you give a little more info? About the tank? Size, amount of live rock, powerheads, what else is in there?
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
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FYI, fish do not die from ich... just as much as a dog can die of fleas. The fish likely died from some other cause, potentially from the dosing inctructions/method or a secondary infection. Healthy fish can "fight off" ich...tangs are not one of the better fish. The condition of the fish during shipping/sale has a lot to do with a fish surviving as well. Ich is in you tank and will be in the tank unless it goes fallow (no fish) for about 8+ weeks. Flashing (scratching against the rocks) can be a whole host of issues ranging from flukes to other parasites.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #4
djkidkaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlynn18 View Post
Can you give a little more info? About the tank? Size, amount of live rock, powerheads, what else is in there?
40 gallon
35lbs of live rock
1 powerhead
1 yellow tang
2 clown fish
1 hermit crab
1 snail
1 long tentacle anemone
1 blood shrimp

The fish that died was a coral beauty angel.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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How old is the tank?
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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First thing to do is find out where the stress is coming from. As mentioned earlier, ich can be fought off by healthy, unstressed fish. In the coral beauty's case, chances are it was being hassled by the yellow tang. A yellow tang is recommended for a 75g minimum tank per Scott Mitchell's "500 Marine Fishes". Granted, I also say to use these as recommended guidelines. This means that an experienced hobbyist may be able to put one in a smaller tank so long as they understand the risks and how to avoid issues. Unfortunately, one thing a smaller tank does with tangs is make them consider "similar specifics" as competition. This can include rabbitfish and angels, including dwarf angels such as the coral beauty.

+1 on how old is the tank. I'd also ask how big is the anemone and are the clowns hosting it? Clowns can be very territorial. If they are hosting the nem, then anything near the anemone is "off limits" to the other fish, leaving less swimming space. Both the tang and coral beauty like room to swim. If they aren't hosting the nem, then where ever they are hanging out is off limits to the other fish and the area around the nem is still off limits, unless they want to be eaten.

I am guessing there isn't enough swimming room for the tang, so you may want to consider trading it in for something sized better for the tank. I think the coral beauty would have been fine without the tang in the tank.

You have ich in the tank and the only way to get rid of it is to let the tank go fishless until it runs its course...this can be up to 10 weeks and you don't have another tank. That being said, healthy, stress free fish can and will fight off ich on their own. This means the right mix, plenty of room, plenty of food, and most importantly, stable water parameters.

I would also say, there is no "proof" of any "reef safe" ich treatment. There are numerous discussions on here outlying the back and forth so I won't hash those out again. I'd just say to read them. Personally, I have never used anything to treat ich and have never had an issue with it, though I am pretty sure it is in my tank, along with just about every other hobbyists tanks....they just don't ever see it if their tanks are healthy and stable. Unfortunately, that also means I can't answer the question on the medication and the protein skimmer...Personally, I would stop the treatments as they are likely are only increasing stress on the tank, and see about keeping things stable. You'll need the protein skimmer running for that. I'd suggest a water change followed by turning the skimmer back on, but watch it...not sure how much of the medication is still in a form where it can cause the skimmer to go nuts.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
djkidkaz
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The tank is two months old. The clowns are not hosting the anemone.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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Tank is extremely young and with bacteria increasing. Turning off the skimmer could cause an hypoxic event, especially with 1 powerhead.

The tank itself is running into some classic problem areas for new set-ups. A two month old tank is not the best at handling bioloads of tang and angel levels. A nem in a young tank is really risky as well. Dosing "herbal" snakeoil is not likely helping the tank either. Remember, if it is "reef-safe" and ich is an ''invertebrate''... what do you think something that is safe for you snails, crabs, nems, and shrimp is really going to be effective against ich? Likely not.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:38 PM   #10
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Sounds like you were given some poor advice when you started. We hate it when that happens...welcome to TRT where you'll get information that will help you be successful in the hobby long term, not advice from someone looking to make a quick buck.
Unfortunately, FutureDoc is 100% spot on. Anemone's should be in tanks that are well established and mature...ideally a year, but that is a guideline...some tanks will be fully mature in 6 months. Anemone's are among the harder organisms to keep and if one dies, it can knock out the entire tank. I already pointed out the issues with the yellow tang in the tank, especially for the coral beauty's health.
As FutureDoc mentioned, your tank is currently exhibiting a lot of the signs we see in newer tanks that are set up too fast, or with the wrong mix of livestock. Too many LFS are into making money at the expense of the hobbyists so don't give good advice. Best thing to do know is try and slow down and see what needs to be done. I'd agree that maybe finding a new temporary or permanent home for the anemone and tang would be a good start. Being a newer small tank with ich present, it is likely a matter of time before the tang starts showing signs. Not a definite, but highly possible. With the "reef safe" additives, this is likely going to have repercussions on the water parameters and on the anemone. This stuff may not do anything the ich, but it will have an affect in some way, likely on the bacteria population, which can take months to stabilize, then has to stabilize with each new addition.
I'd stop the treatments and let the little that is there run its course. Water changes can help remove it from the system. Any time you have ich, it is triggered by a stressor. In this case, it was likely the lack of space for both the tang and dwarf angel combined with the newness of the tank. If we can resolve that issue and get things stabilized, it will go a long ways towards a healthy environment.
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