Completely devastated

joerm13

New member
I don't post much on here, but I have been keeping saltwater tanks for about 10 years. I consider myself one of the most conscientious and careful aquarists when it comes to good husbandry practices. This includes selecting healthy and compatible specimens and quarantining all new additions before adding them to the display. I am mostly a fish guy with only a few easy lps corals, gsp and xenia. I have had most of my fish for over three to four years. When I upgraded from my 265 g to my current 365 g I bought 4 new fish. Three pink square anthias and an Atlantic Blue Tang. These fish were quarantined and treated with copper for 3 weeks prior to entry into the DT.

Recently I noticed what I thought was "ick" on several of my fish. Given the fact that I had 18 fish in my 365 and it would be nearly impossible to take them all out and treat them, I decided to let it run its course and try to maintain water quality and nutrition to help fight it. I thought I might lose a couple of the more finicky Anthias, but I figured most of my prized fish would be able to pull through. I was wrong. The "ick" was actually velvet. I have lost 13 fish in the last two days. Tonight I had to euthanize my most favorite and prized fish, my Emperor Angel, which I have had since it was a juvenile 4 years ago. In hindsight, I am kicking myself for being lazy and not figuring out a way to treat the fish when I first noticed they were infected.

I am not looking for advice on what I could have done differently. I am already well aware of the steps I could have taken to save my fish. Sometimes it just helps to share as a coping method and I am in need of some inspiration to stay in the hobby. For those of you who have had bad experiences, how did you bounce back?
 

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MrHarvard

"ship it"
Man I'm sorry to hear about your loss! I think we all from time to time take short cuts and make mistakes! Unfortunately this is part of the hobby and hopefully you will just learn from it an not throw In the towel! Just regroup and don't forget about your love for the hobby!
 

bpcardona

Trying to hard
I have a clown that I have had from the beginning, about 5 years. She is nothing special in the idea of "prized" fish, but see is my buddy. I am preparing for a move to a larger tank, and I have to say: if I loose her for whatever during this move I will be calling in to work the next day........


Sorry for your loss
 

sirrealism

New member
It is amazing to see someone so dedicated to the hobby. I am so sorry for your loss. To understand what was done wrong thats imposible. Everything about this hobby is sugestive. One Idea about how and what should be done is different from aquarinest to the next. "what works for one doesnt work for another" Like you I have been a member for many years and have learnd A lot from RC Not wanting to say a lot because there are more knowledgeable then myself. Dont think you could have done anything different pass along your research and move on to your next adventure. Bigger and better. More then ever thank you. Tell everyone what and how you did it. so we can learn from your experince. Then Try again.
 

joerm13

New member
I have a clown that I have had from the beginning, about 5 years. She is nothing special in the idea of "prized" fish, but see is my buddy. I am preparing for a move to a larger tank, and I have to say: if I loose her for whatever during this move I will be calling in to work the next day........


Sorry for your loss

Thank you Brian. Most people probably wouldn't consider an Emperor Angel to be "prized" either as they are almost as common as clownfish in the hobby. Many of the fish I lost were with me around 4 years (including a male/female pair of clowns) and I was attached to all of them. None of them were super rare or expensive, but they all had their own personalities and value to me. I never thought I would be this upset over losing my fish. Not sure if it is because I lost them all at once or if it is because I keep telling myself I should have done something to treat them. When I first noticed what I thought was "ick" I figured I would only treat if it looked like my fish were going to start dying off. Normally you have time to spare with "ick," but with the velvet, the fish would seem fine in the morning and be dead by afternoon. It was too late for me to do anything by the time I realized it was velvet and not "ick."

Good luck with your upgrade. I am sure your clownfish will be fine.
 

joerm13

New member
It is amazing to see someone so dedicated to the hobby. I am so sorry for your loss. To understand what was done wrong thats imposible. Everything about this hobby is sugestive. One Idea about how and what should be done is different from aquarinest to the next. "what works for one doesnt work for another" Like you I have been a member for many years and have learnd A lot from RC Not wanting to say a lot because there are more knowledgeable then myself. Dont think you could have done anything different pass along your research and move on to your next adventure. Bigger and better. More then ever thank you. Tell everyone what and how you did it. so we can learn from your experince. Then Try again.

Thank you. Here are some observations from this experience. I quarantine and prophylactically treat all incoming fish with copper. Some people do not advise this and only advise treating when it is known that a parasite is present. I always erred on the side of caution, assuming all new fish were infected, preferring to lose a fish in quarantine due to copper poisoning (which never happened) rather than introducing a parasite into the DT. I treated my most recent purchases for 3 weeks. This should have killed any parasites. The only thing I can think of is that the copper concentration fell below therapeutic levels allowing the parasite to survive through quarantine or I had a bad batch of Coppersafe making it ineffective.
 

zachstone13

New member
Ugh... reading this sucks. I feel awful and am so sorry for your losses! It seems the low points in this hobby can stay with you longer than the highs do. A success seems to truly reward for days or weeks while a failure can haunt much longer. That is completely normal though. I have been crushed by the loss of a fish I held dear in the past, but have vowed that in honor of that lost friend I'd do better and be more vigilant in the future.
When the smoke clears, your next Emperor, if you choose to get one, will thrive and live in tribute to his beloved predecessor. People who invest themselves in their aquatic pets the way that you have are part of what makes the hobby great. Don't make any decisions too quickly. You've been dedicated to this too long to do that. Very sorry that you've experienced all this.
Pm me if I can help in any way.
 

MikeTR

New member
Sorry to hear about this man.. but reading this thread has prompted me to start asking some questions about my fish and maybe it'll give some others the kick in the arse they need to get motivated to take action. I too have turned my shoulder to ignore the occasional scratching lately..and I fear I shouldn't. I also have been vigilant about quarantining additions and still seem to have problems. I even went as far as purchasing the majority of my fish on a tear down sale from a local forum member who has had them for years and the tangs ended up having paravortex (black ich). He had one of best looking tanks in the club, totm on some forums.. so either the guy was blind, lying, or the stress of the move finally allowed it to take over. My flame wrasse again has some white stuff on the ends of one of the pectoral fins and scratching. He was treated with API general cure in quarantine and then release into DT two weeks later after no further signs. I think I have beaten the paravortex by treating the tank with API General Cure (praziquantel and metronidazol). This is also the treatment for flukes. So what else in the arsenal of mother natures infections could this be?
 

kcsnook

New member
Man so sorry for your loss, sometimes this hobby can be cruel. I wish you the best and hope to see you make a comeback.
 

joerm13

New member
Sorry to hear about this man.. but reading this thread has prompted me to start asking some questions about my fish and maybe it'll give some others the kick in the arse they need to get motivated to take action. I too have turned my shoulder to ignore the occasional scratching lately..and I fear I shouldn't. I also have been vigilant about quarantining additions and still seem to have problems. I even went as far as purchasing the majority of my fish on a tear down sale from a local forum member who has had them for years and the tangs ended up having paravortex (black ich). He had one of best looking tanks in the club, totm on some forums.. so either the guy was blind, lying, or the stress of the move finally allowed it to take over. My flame wrasse again has some white stuff on the ends of one of the pectoral fins and scratching. He was treated with API general cure in quarantine and then release into DT two weeks later after no further signs. I think I have beaten the paravortex by treating the tank with API General Cure (praziquantel and metronidazol). This is also the treatment for flukes. So what else in the arsenal of mother natures infections could this be?

My guess is you still have ich in your tank. I am not familiar with General Cure. I have always relied on Coppersafe and it has been great up to this point. About 3 and a half years ago, I battled ich over and over. I finally ended up taking all of my fish out of the DT (about 8 fish at that time) and putting them in a hospital tank (i.e. a brute can) for 10 weeks. I treated all the fish with copper for 21 days and let the DT go fallow for the full 10 weeks. All 8 of those fish, including the angel, were still alive up until a few days ago and I was very proud of my success. Ever since then I have quarantined/treated all new additions and never had another outbreak until this one. This is a daunting task, but it is the best recommendation for you to get rid of the ich once and for all. This is what I should have done, but with the number of fish I had, I would be looking at daily 50 gallon water changes to keep ammonia down in the hospital tank. This just did not seem doable, but now I really wish I had figured out a way.
 

Daimyo68

Active member
Hmmm....

--- 2 years ago, Monti eating Nudi's. Lost all 4 monticaps
--- 1.5 years ago, Acro Eating Flatworms, QT and dip every 4 days for 12 weeks. Lost 9 colonies out of 19
--- 1 year ago, saw and removed 1 Zoa Eating Nudi. QT and dip weekly for 10 weeks. No losses.
--- Last summer, lost 4 fish in 4 days to Oodinium, a strain of Velvet, (and there hadn't been any new additions in well over a year) including 3 square spot anthias. Got the remaining 5 fish out and treated for 12 weeks, all looking great and ready to go back to the DT... Midas Blenny jumps in the middle of the night... a day later, the pink spotted watchman jumps during the day while I'm at work...
--- 5 months ago I lose my Powder Blue, and then my Orchid Dottyback a couple weeks later.

It really sucks when things go crazy in your system, and losses start appearing out of nowhere. Even when we are diligent with our husbandry, and we think we have it down to a science, nature gives us a reminder that we never have total control.

You just faced one of the worst strains of Ich. Your history and dedication to your reef will get you past this without a doubt.

Keep your good habits up and keep moving forward.
 

MikeTR

New member
Looks like ich.. signs are showing up finally.
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