Help: Raccoon with Marine Velvet


New member
Never experienced this disease before.
Symptoms so far are:
Dusting like covering.
Rapid respiration
some flicking.
The fish is still eating very well'
I think he has had it for about 5 days so far] at first I wasn't sure thought maybe it was just small airation bubbles attached to him.

I read in the desease library that formalin and malchite green are recomended.

I also have read that this desease can kill quickly.

ANy help would be appreciated
I believe copper is the best treatment for velvet. I've never dealt with it myself so hopefully someone else will help.

You had better hope your fish doesn't have velvet (Amylodinium). This will spread rapidly killing all the fish. I need to know if there are any other symptoms. Scratching, fast breathing and a white velvet would indicate an advaned case. If there are other fish they would probably be scratching by now if it was velvet. Spots that are as large as a grain of salt is not velvet. Velvet is very hard to see until too late. I hope you have a cycled quarantine without rock or substrate to treat the fish in. It may be too late but I would use only Cupramine right away. TRansfer the fish without removing it from water. Cupramine is the best copper and the level should be tested twice a day.
Terry B
i posted alonger answer in the Marine breeding, disease section. But I agree w/ Terry on this one...If its amyloodium, treat w/ ich like treatments, if its velvet, this will require something stronger.
Symptoms: Very small white speckles on fish. Resembles a fine powder.
Treatment: There are many commercially available products to cure Velvet. Among them are Maracide by Mardel Laboratories and Super Velvet by Aquatronics.
Information: Velvet, or Oodinium, is a very common disease which resembles Ich. The white pustules are much finer and are located mainly on the body. It is a little easier to cure than Ich, since the life cycle is not so rapid. It commonly follows chilling or stress caused by transportation or poor water quality. In my experience, velvet makes the fish look shiny, and almost like its dusted w/ gold flecks...if its is velvet...2-choices, treat in the tank, or isolate it in a Q tank. If you remove the fish it will stress it even more, so its your call
hope my answers in the other sections help

[This message has been edited by FMarini (edited 09-24-2000).]
Geez Frank,
I am afraid that I have to disagree with most everything that you said on this one. Velvet is the common name for Amylodinium. Only one treatment has shown to have much effect, copper. The results have been dismal at best with the other medications. I donââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢t find velvet to be common in hobbyists tanks (thank God) at all, unlike Cryptocaryon irritans which runs rampant. Velvet is much more difficult to cure and the survival rate is poor. Treated correctly, Crypt (SW ich) is a piece of cake. Velvets life cycle is not slower than Ich and it is usually too late by the time hobbyists notice it. Ich usually takes a couple of weeks to kill, but velvet is fast. I canââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢t recommend treating with copper in a display and all the exposed fish must be treated.
Best wishes,
Terry B
thanks for the replys.

The spots are very fine, much smaller than salt and basically can only be seen on the yellow part of him at an angle. He is basically covered, although somewhat absent from front fins. There is one other fish in the tank, a small wedge trigger he is showing no signs but hard to see as he is staying mostly in the back.

My past understanding was that BF do not take very well to therapeutic treatments.
One side note is that it is a Red Sea specimen not sure if it matters regarding treatment.

I am referencing an article by Thiel.
velvet has three life cycles.
depending on which cycle you are dealing with will depend on which treatment will be needed.

Stage 1: Dinospore , or infective stage,
copper and quinine based meds as well as Metronidazole are suggested. I believe this is the free swimming stage. Already past that.

Stage 2: Parasitic stage(parasite is now visible on the fish)
This is where I believe the fish is at now.
Recommended treatments are the following:
quinacrine hydrochloride, quinine hydrochloride, or chloroquine phosphate.

They mention some name brand meds but none in my catalogue. only thing is Greenex has Quinine Hydrochloride. Need to get some of this by tommorrow.
I have decided not to do anything tonight as I do not want to stress him right now .
If I had the meds and was trasferring him to other tank that would be different.

I basically feel that I did not act quick enough when I noticed the specks.
This fish recently had a bout with whitespot and underwent hypo treatment for 3 weeks.
So I basically couldn't believe that it could be something else. Actually I should have known better because 4 years age I had a Coral Beauty that I beleive had velvet, died in 3 days and almost wiped my tank out.

I also should of had meds to treat this on hand but figured If I needed them I could get them quick enough, well I figured wrong.
If this fish dies it will be a result of my carelessness and lack of planning.
I will have to search a store tommorrow as my lfs is not open on Mondays.

Any other thoughts appreciated.
Sorry about your rotten luck. On a positive note you identified what you did wrong and are willing to take steps to prevent the same mistakes. Always quarantine! Be prepared!
Hyposalinity is not a cure for Amlyoodinium. This parasite has shown to reproduce in slainities ranging from 3 ppt to 45 ppt. It is uncommon but not highly unusual for fish to be infected with Crypt and Amyloodinum at the same time. Reducing the salinity may slow the velvet down but not stop it.
I normally would not suggest combining hyposalinity with copper, but in this case I will make an exception. You must be extremely careful about checking and maintaining the pH and alk when you combine these two treatments. Check them twice a day.
Hyposalinity will not kill velvet, but this parasite can quickly cause fish to lose thier osmotic balance. Reducing the salinity will help by making osmoregulation less costly metabolically (spelling?) speaking. This will free up some energy to help the fish survive. The copper is what actually kills this parasite.
I don't mean to come across as disrespectful of Mr. Theil, but IMO he is not exactly an expert on fish disease. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Do not attempt to treat these fish with one of his alternate methods. If you do we will both be sorry and the odds are going to be tough enough as it is to cure these fish. The late stage of the infection is a huge factor and time in of the essence in a very real way.
There is only one possible alternate treatment that is effective and it is very expensive.Chloroquine Diphosphate is at 40 mg/gal with JUST ONE treatment and the fish left in the treatment tank for at least three weeks. This has not been tested well enough to recommend it. Part of the problem with this parasite is that you should probably leave the display tank fishless for at least two months. Velvet can live quite a while without fish.
Terry B
I will agree w/ you on many points. I correctly or incorrectly spilt this disease.Velvet to me has never been amyloodium. Amyl has alway been ich like and not the kind of dusting I 've seen w/ velvet. Velvet take longer to advance, and by the time it appears clincally the fish is near death. So I have made distiction between the two, maybe incorrectly. Also I have found that copper based meds certainly work on this disease. I also checked the theil webbase (he has bunch of articles there-yes he is NOT a fish disease guru). Regardless, I was (am) very confused on what Naso (trigger on other boards) is describing, and as such I tried to err on the safe side and give both solutions. I am not convinced he is describing velvet, so I went to a few other websites which give there treatments for the respective diseases. I posted those links, and some comments.
My concern is also w/ where to treat said fish, 2 schools of thought-leave in the tank, and treat w/ copper, or remove to a Q tank (More stressful-but more controlled).
I am in full agreement w/ Terry on copperbasd treatments, and the monitoring of copper levels. I will defer to his experience, expertise, and opinions on this.
My apologies for the confusion

[This message has been edited by FMarini (edited 09-25-2000).]

I posted a reply in the disese section then noticed this post. I agree completely with TerryB.

IMO and experience copper has been the only treatment that has proven effective. At the New Orleans aquarium they use a combination of copper and hyposalinity, mainly b/c they get infestations of both crypto and amyloodinium. Hyposalinity does nothing to amyloodinium. Copper can treat both-but I wouldn't use copper unless I had amyloodinium. They use combined treatment with extreme caution-monitoring carefully pH and copper levels.

I wish you and your charge the best. It is disheartening but maybe we can all learn something from your experience.

BEst regards,
First sorry for posting in both places, just wasn't sure if it would have gotten noticed in diseases, but appartently it would have and did.

Tim, thanks for the welcome.

OK, as this is occuring in my current 55 gal q tank I had to go out and get another set up.

SO far no one has recomended any of Thiels quinacrine medications(not sure if I would be able to find them anyway)

I have both copper and formalin on hand. I also got some formaldahyde and malchite green medicine also.

My main concern right now is to try and give the fish some relief and hopefully the dips will do just that.
I will dip them in formalin baths then trasport to the new barebottom q setup. I am going to try and not net them as this will no doubt cause more stress.

Now wondering what I should add to the new tank.
copper or
the formalin/malchite green med.

I am going to get the tank ready now then dip the fish.
Hopfully I can get a consensus opinion soon

Thanks again for the assistance.
Ok, I gave both fish a FW/SW bath in formalin.
I think I had to high a dose with the BF as he was fine then when I came back he was in shock. I quickly put him in the new q setup. He was not looking good very rapid shallow respiration and not moving.

A few hours later he seems like he is recovering moving about a bit and actually picked at some food.
Respiration still rapid but I don't think its as bad as before.

I decided to use the copper treatment in the q tank.
This is what Fenner's book says about it.
"The general(though not only) action of copper is as a proteinaceous precipitant, causing the production of mucus, which covers external parasites and causes them to be sloughed off."

The copper I used Copper-true by Kordon is somewhat old so hopefully it will still be effective.
Theres no exp date on the product , does anyone know what the shelf life may be?

My experience with any dip is to be sure the pH and temps are correct-this is because of the regulation of blood pH in the fish. Since he has been moved this no longer is a problem.

Second I would disagree with Fenner on his assessment that these are the general actions of copper on fish. I have yet to see a definitive action, but I do know that copper directly kills free swimming amyloodinium-not just because of increased sloughing off from the fish. I have seen copper treatments being used to treat wild plankton toes for parasites quite effectively-which suggests further that its action is direct.

I fortunately have not had to deal with copper in some tiem aso am not familar with your particular product. Does it say that it is chelated or non-chelated copper? Is it copper sulfate? Maybe I can log on their website to find this info....

Hey Tim,
The ph and temp were pretty consistent with the original setup they were in. I had to add some buffer to the fresh/salt mix.

I was aware that copper is an effective destroyer of free-swimming parasites BUT was unsure of its effectiveness regarding the parasites that are attached to the fish's body. I was under the impression that it would ONLY be effective with the free swimming ones.

The product is called Copper-Tru, it is 0.12 Solution Copper Ion. one drop per gallon for a concentration of 0.20 mg/L.
I just tested the water for copper level.
It seems to be right around the 0.20 level.

I also tested 2 other water samples just to check the accuracy of the test kit. Fresh tap water read <.05; and my 125 was <.05, thats as low as the kit reads.

Actually just discovered a good background to use to tell read the liquid tests: The computer screen. Try it out.

Checked on fish the Trigger is locked in and the BF is just hanging out under the rocks.
Hopefully the copper will start working and its not to late.
And its not ick as I have dealt with that on many many occasions. Ive seen this about 4 years ago and it wiped out my tank in 8 days.

I appreciate your input.
Back to the game.