From what I understand, chime in anytime folks, is that for a fish only tank (while not highly recommended) copper treatment is OK. Copper is deadly to "reef" inhabitants. . . if you have (or want) a reef tank (coral, inverts, and such) do NOT use copper. . .
yup, copper will kill all inverts (crabs, shrimps, snails, corals, etc..) for many years to come. i havea tank that was dosed with copper 7 years ago, and it throughly killed my corals and snails within 3 days of putting them in.
a more natural method, imo, is raising tank temp, slowly, to about 82 and feeding fresh garlic.
but you need to get to the root of the problem. ich (the white spots) are caused mostly due to stress. so, what's causing the stress?
what size tank do you have?
what are your water parameters? (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, temp, salinity)
how many fish are in the tank?
what type of fish are in the tank?
how old is the tank?
answers to these questions could quickly find the root of the rpoblem, and save your fish.
I have a 30 gallon tank, received established from friend. I added 30 lbs of new rock 3-4 weeks ago. Parameters are SP-1.0245, amm-.25, nitrite-0, and nitrate-80. Temp-78. right now I have a watchman goby, mandarin, 4 hermit crabs, a sand sifting star, and a blue damsell damsall. I just lost my coral angelfish this morning. I have a venturi type skimmer and a compact filter. I am new to this and have read allot but cant figure out what I am doing wrong this is the third fish that has died on me. He had swollen glossy eyes and had white powder like spots all over his body. I only had him a week, so he could of arrived ill! Any advice would be greatly appreciated from more experienced fish owners. thanks
here are few very likely causes.
1. too many fish too fast.
2. there are still ammonia readings, which is extremely stressful on fish. and stress causes ich.
3. nitrates are WAY too high.
4. MOST fish arrive stressed, due to being captured and shipped to an lfs, then taken from the lfs and put in your tank. that's stressful. imagine being snatched off the street, and stuffed in a box, only to wake up in a prison in a foreign country. same thing.
5. i would highly recommend you return your goby and mandarin. they need highly established sandbeds, in order to feed well. a 30 gallon tank is generally too small of a tnak to adequately support a mandarin. though there are always exceptions to every rule. i'm not saying you HAVE to, but it would be in the fish's and your best interest.
6. do not add any more fish to the tank AT ALL until all your paremeters are good. NO ammonia, NO nitrites, and preferably less than 20ppm on nitrates.
i would raise the temp to over 80, i KEEP my tank at 82. 82-84 would be a good starting point imo.
i would also mix in some fresh diced garlic with thier food. this boosts thier immune system, and also makes them "less tasty" to the parasite. sort of like the garlic pills for dogs/cats, for flea control.
i would NOT use copepr treatment if you even THINK that in the futyre you MIGHT consider a reef tank. if you do, then you'll have to buy all new rock, pumps, tank, sand, etc.. that tank will never support reef etc.. and its very likely, that adding copper treatments will kill your hermit crabs, and star.
you should do some water changes to get your nitrates down, that's a really high number, not only does it couse stress, but extremly high nitrate levels can also burn the fishes fins right off.
keep in mind too, this is just one persons opinion, i woudl wait for more feedback before doing anything. i can opnly relay what has/does work for me. but there are lots of adequate ways to accomplish the same goal.
Use the search feature here and look up hyposalinity. It is safer and more effective than any other treatment and it can be used in a Fish only tank (no inverts, no live rock). While you are at it I suggest that you read up on quarantine.
Hrm... at the very least I'd do a 10-gallon water change with nitrate readings of 80.
If the rock you added wasn't fully cured before you added it to the tank, it might have created another tank cycle which is causing stress to the fish.
You're also correct that the fish may have arrived ill... a lot of fish are still caught using cyanide, which wreaks havoc in their internal organs. A lot of unexplained fish deaths are due to this.
I'm not sure if that's what your problem was, but I just wanted to let you know that it 'could' have been.
Otherwise, the other advice you've received should point you in the right direction for treatment.
WOW ! so much good advice. Thank you Jay, Terry, and Reefer addict for your help. I have done two water changes in a week, but only 5 gallons at a time. I will try 10. I had some problems getting my skimmer to work properly, and I think that may be part of the reason the nitrates are so high. I hoped that the rock was fully cured as the store owner assured me that it was. I will definetely try to bring those parameters down before I introduce any more livestock. It can be very discouraging to see these little critters struggling and you know you may have been the cause and you dont know what to do to help. Do you think two water changes in a week can also cause too much stress? Or do you think It would be okay to do another, only three days since the last?
Thanks for the advice and encouragement to stick with it!
If you've done two 5-gallon changes in the past couple weeks then there's definitely something going on if your nitrate readings are still that high...
Did you happen to test the water before you did any changes? What were the readings before the change?
I usually do a water test right before a change, and a couple of hours after. This usually will tell you if you changed enough water to bring the nitrate levels down significantly. Since you have a fish only tank, it can tolerate a bit higher nitrate level than a reef tank would, but I'd still do whatever it takes to bring those levels down.
Definitely get that skimmer working again... it'll help remove organics before they have a chance to decompose and add to your already high nitrate.
Changing the water twice in a week shouldn't cause much stress in the fish if the new water is at the same temperature and salinity when you add it.
I wouldn't really blame yourself for this problem... chances are you brought a sick fish home from the LFS which contaminated the rest of your tank, or the rock you added may have not been fully cured... I'd put some of the responsibility on the LFS.
These things happen though... it's good to learn right away on how to treat these problems, since there's no guarantee that anything you buy will be entirely healthy.
Hope you're able to get everything in order before anything else perishes.