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Regal Tang that seems to have ich
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Joined: 03 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.02(Sat)23:04    Post subject: Regal Tang that seems to have ich Reply with quote

Well it looks like my new Regal Tang now has ICH!

The other fish in my tank look fine(no white spots) and are acting fine. My regal tang is also acting fine he is eating well and dosent seem to scratch. There are some very small white spots that I notice on his side black stripe(two days now). Some LFS have suggested that since the fish seems to be doing fine and that the other fish don't seem to be affected just to make sure the regal is nice and full and the ich will just go away...I'm not sure but it seem a little optimistic....

I do have a 20 gal QT tank setup. Do I need to start treatment now or should I wait to see if this goes away? I know that the regal tang gets ICH at a drop of a needle...Does this mean that there are also degrees of ICH or is it all the same and just gets worse.

In my tank I have:

1 yellow tang
1 regal tang
1 small puffer
1 fox face
1 ocelaris clown
1 lawnmower blenny
1 starfish
1 sea cucumber

My water readings:


Since October 25, 2006 none of these readings have gone over 0. Since this is a relatively new tank I test every three to five days and performe weekly water changes.

Thank you!

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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.12.02(Sat)23:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've nver encountered ich but this is another example of why quarentine matters. regals are noctorious for getting ich. sorry I don't know what you should do hopefully some one else can provide some good advice,

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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2006.12.03(Sun)16:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

See notes from my archives below; most questions have been answered here:

Many have tried various psuedo cures for these pathogens, with various results, usually it subsides for a while only to return with a vengeance worse than before; the parasites reproduce in a cycle of various free-swimming and encysted stages and forms; trophonts, tomonts, tomites, theronts, etc., dropping into the substrate and then re-emerging in higher numbers. This lengthy cycle can take several weeks and confuses a lot of hobbyists, who may think they have solved the problem with a little salinity change or garlic, but the tale of woe is long for this industry-wide problem, and you need copper or starvation to be sure... that's right garlic lovers I said copper.

If you have marine ich in a fish only system and no quarantine tank, you can treat the main tank with copper medication for marine aquarium fish, just follow the directions and make a 20 percent water change in advance. It's better not to treat the main tank if possible, but if you have no q-tank it's better than watching your fish get eaten alive---and believe me---if left unchecked, ich will kill every one of them.

If you have live rock or any invertebrates it gets more tricky; the copper will kill the inverts, so you need to move ALL the fish to a quarantine system and treat them there for 30 days. Even the fish which appear healthy must be removed. Lowering the specific gravity (salinity) to 1.018 will help. This is the preferred method. While you are doing this, the trophonts in the display tank will starve. You can leave hermits, shrimp, stars etc. in the display, but you need a biofilter in the q-tank during treatment and monitor daily for ammonia, and make water changes as required. It is also important to test the QT daily for correct copper levels, a copper test kit is required for this and be sure to follow the directions on the label of the copper you are using to the letter. For some larger fish systems with large fish, moving them all may be impractical, so you will need to plan accordingly and decide whether QT or treating the main fish display is a better COA. If you have too many fish for your QT, then you may need to enlist the help of your LFS, better ones will have a hospital tank running 24/7 and they may allow you to move a few fish in there if you are in a pinch (call and confirm before "showing up" with sick fish). Also, be advised some species (I. e. eels, puffers, moorish idols, etc.) are harmed by copper treatments so research your charges.

Properly administered freshwater dips have been used as a successful treatment of cryptocaryon for years with marine fish. The osmotic shock kills all parasites but will usually not harm the fish. If you have a fish that is seriously covered in ich and showing rapid breathing/distress a freshwater dip may be a good idea and could be required to save its life. In theory, this treatment also prevents the spreading of parasites from one tank to another. Water should be the same pH (use a buffer if required) and temp as the aquarium water.
Adding Methylene Blue is a common practice and will help. A large dip net is used, and a second net is added to cover the fish and keep it from jumping out (very important). Dip time will vary, usually 3-5 minutes depending on the fish and how much stress it shows. Specimens need to be carefully monitored during the process, so turn off the television and do not leave them alone. If the fish appears a little uncomfortable in FW, this is normal, but if the fish shows obvious signs of panic or stress, return it to saltwater immediately. I have seen fish completely covered with ich (which I thought were going to die) respond very well to this; in some cases in less than 24 hours the fish appeared completely healed and showed no signs of parasites whatsoever. Please note; the FW treatments will kill parasites on your fish, but do nothing to halt the thousands which are likely lurking in your infested aquarium! (that's where the starvation or copper come in).

Dealing with ich can be daunting, but it can be defeated. Of course an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, please refer to my extensive writings on quarantine of all new arrivals.

More opinions for you here:
Keepin' marines happy for 25 years
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