Posted: 2006.12.05(Tue)11:32 Post subject: advise needed, re white spot outbreak
I am after some help with a outbreak of whitespot.
I have a 5ftx3x3 tank with sump filter 3ftx15inchx15inch.
Deltec skimmer, UV 15w.
The set up is fish only.
I have a 8 inch stars and stripes puffer, a emp Angel aprox 5inchs, a red tooth trigger and a algae blenny and 9 turbo snails.
All was fine untill I bought a puffer I didn't realise how big he was untill he arrived, he settled in fine eating well which is sort off where the problem started he was producing a lot of waste!! So I cut back on the feeding a bit to allow my filters to pick up, The N03 readings went up to 5.0ppm which is the highest I have ever seen them to be honest, all other readings stayed pretty much the same
pH = 8.2 to 8.4
NH3/NH4 = 0 to no quite 0.25 at the highest (when he was first put in)
No2 = 0 to 0.05
But basically these stayed pretty much what they have always been which is 0 on them all except the No3.
My sg did get a bit high 1.025 prior to the white spot appearing, I always try to keep it at 1.022.
I had noticed that green stringy algae had started to grow on the rocks prior to the appearance of the white spot also, this has never happened before either.
My tank is over 2 years old now and I have not added a fish prior to the puffer for over 6 months, and he had been in for 2 months before the white spot appeared.
The white spot has shown on the puffer on his fins but the angel fish looks awefull he is covered in it and looks faded and isnt eating.
I have rasied the temp to 30oC slowly over a few days and left the UV on and have slowly lowered the SG to 1.012.
What I need to know is how long I should leave the SG this low for to kill off the white spot and how quickly I should bring it back to normall.
Also any other advise anybody might have.
I have also added to rowaphos to try and remove any phosphates to stop the algae growth.
I also have carbon in mesh bags and poly pads in the sump.
I hope I have explained all my parameters and set up OK, I havent lost any fish yet due to this and don't want to.
Please feel free to comment on what I have done and if I have done correctly, but most importantly how long I need to leave the SG low for???
Wow, this seems to be hitting a lot of tanks lately. Lowering the specific gravity will help a little but in my experience it will NOT kill all the parasites in your display, nor will the UV. The Emperor Angel will reach 18 inches in the wild, they are easily stressed in small tanks like yours, consider the fact that on the reef a male Imperator Angelfish commands a territory in excess of 10,000 square feet, and you will start to gain a perspective. Your tank is definitely too small for the Angel and the puffer together, until you lighten the load you are destined for more problems. The Angel in particular should be moved to your LFS as soon as possible while you sort this out. The puffer cannot be treated with copper, so perhaps that should go too. As for cryptocaryon, here is my usual response from the archives, most of your questions are answered here, and do read Fenner's link at the bottom:
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 with copper there for 3-4 weeks. 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 (3 weeks minimum, no fish). 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.
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