New member
I woke up this morning to find my purple & hippo tang with white spots on them mainly the purple. To me it looks like ick %&*%(. I have a 180 gallon tank and i am unable to dig out all the fish that i have in their and don't have a large enough qt tank to house all of the fish that I have. I only have a few inverts in the tank (still working on my clean up crew) just snails and crabs, and only a handful of corals some lps and sps. My question is how should I treat this tank, obviously treating them in a smaller qt tank is best but not a practical option. I was reading about doing hyposalinity treatment. I understand that most of my snails and crabs will probably die, worth the sacrifice to me. Treating with chemical would cost a small fortune and still no guarantee. All fish are eating like pigs and I will start soaking all their food in garlic and also raise the temp of the tank to help.


"ship it"
Sorry to hear this! Tangs are prone to ich no slime coat! Best bet in your situation is to just try and keep him feed and stress free! Buying a 20g to set up quickly may be worth it to save ur fish. The problem now is ridding the entire tank of ich. There are a few different methods out there just google it and find which suits your situation. I wish I could be of more help I hope it all clears up!
John from Faois recommended feeding food treated/soaked in metro and selcon for 30 days.

John sells metro flakes and bottles of selcon at his store. I also use mysis soaked with powdered hikari metro+ and selcon. (metro+ and selcon can be bought at dr. fosters)

It has worked for me before. Reef safe. Good luck!

FYI- selcon kills skimmer output for a few hours. Don't be alarmed and don't adjust skimmer during this time.


New member
Don't you need to treat all the fish not just the affected fish. I have close to 24 or more fish, and some of the tangs are large. That's why I said it would be hard to qt them. Also catching them would cause a lot of stress.
Correct all fish need to be treated. Wether you decide to try metro + selcon in the tank or take them all out QT them and leave the main DT fishless.

I'm not an expert, but this is what I have gathered from talking to experts.


Addicted to salt
24 fish and some are large tangs in a 180? are your water params top notch? zero ammo and <10-20 trates? here's a little read on ich;

The white spots that can be seen on the infected hosts are trophonts. This is the feeding and growing stage. Once it has reached maturity the trophont leaves the host. Now it is known as a tomont. The tomont becomes encysted, producing a sticky capsule. This enables it to attach to any substrate that it comes into contact with, from weeds and stones to fishing equipment, such as line and nets. Within its cyst the tomont divides many times, producing up to 3000 tomites. It is this part of the life cycle that makes treatment difficult. Since the trophont has fallen away from the fish, the fish appears to have been cured and the fish keeper stops treatment. But all the while the tomont is quietly dividing within its capsule. The tomites break out of the cyst wall and are now theronts. The theronts are heavily ciliated and actively seek out a host, without which they can survive for 2–4 days with higher temperatures lowering the time period. On finding a host the theront penetrates through the skin and develops into a trophont.
There is no dormant stage in the lifecycle. Ich does not lie in wait for a weakened fish to infect. However, any factor that reduces immunity like changes in water temperature and quality may, in a subclinically infected fish, accelerate an outbreak of Ich. The presence of ammonia, nitrite and high levels of nitrate in water does not in itself cause clinical cases of Ich. However, poor water quality will stress fish, allow an outbreak to spread rapidly and increase mortality rates in infected fish.
It has also been shown that other abiotic factors can increase both fish and tadpole susceptibility to ich. These factors include, decreased temperature, predatory cues and increased levels of UV-B radiation.


New member
Water quality is good. If I treat with medicated food and don't do anything else will this cute my issue?? Or should I treat with medicated food and hypo


Zoa Addict
Prevention -> quarantine new fish prior to introducing to display tank

The fix -> remove all fish from display take and apply medication to the quarantine tank, leave display tank alone for at minimum 6 weeks, I think the lifecycle of ick is 4 weeks but better safe then sorry

Temperary fix -> feed fish food that promote healthy immune system and remove any stress inducing variables, problem is that ick will still be in your tank but your fish will have a stronger immune system to fight off diseases while new fish that are introduced may get ick. This is probably what happened, there was ick present in your tank and new fish (tangs) were introduced so the ick now has a fighting chance at reproducing in your tank. It's possible your new fish is super stressed from the new surroundings.

At any rate, best of luck to whichever route you take, I'm sure someone has a spare tank that you can borrow or sell you.


New member
It depends on your goal I guess. If you want to completely get rid of ich then remove all of the corals and do hypo for the recommended period of time. If you're not going to QT in the future this is kind of a waste of time though since you're just going to introduce it again. If people have had success feeding Metro it's probably worth a shot depending on how bad your fish look.


Addicted to salt
something has caused the the two tangs to have an outbreak, could be water quality, temp change (power outage), or a bullying fish. I would focus on isolating the cause and everything should take care of itself.


New member
My goal would be to get rid of the ick, my 2 main concerns with setting up a qt tank would be the extra stress in catching them and destroying the display secondly would be housing all the fish in a smaller tank, I have a 40 gallon I guess I could use that and get another if I was able to catch them all. Would it be best to treat with medicated food and hypo the display. I would say the outbreak came from adding the new purple tang he had some issues with others but has since settled down.


Addicted to salt
ahh, so the straw that broke the camels back was #24. I would not risk removing any fish since as you said would 1. destroy the display and 2. add more stress to the fish. not sure if (we'll call him #24) is feeding from a clip but if you decide to try removing him and you can place the clip as high as possible, maybe you can corner him with a clear overflow box or equivalent. IMO i feel 24 fish is too many for even a 180.


Just me
Premium Member
My goal would be to get rid of the ick,

Then I would research and understand the life cycle and how to interrupt it.


Ich is a parasite, a living thing. It does not magically appear and unfortunately doesn't magically disappear. Feeding garlic, Selcon, Metro, slight rise or lowering temp etc will not kill the parasite. Some of those ideas will help with immunity but imo are not a long term solution.

Looks like we may be close to one another if you need to borrow a tank I have plenty setting around empty.

Good Luck


Premium Member
There is no bigger debate on Reef Central than that which deals with Ich. Whatever advice you choose to take will rest on one side or the other. The truth is there is no way to eradicate Ich other than removing every, single fish from the display tank for a period of seventy-two days. Once the fish are in a hospital tank the choice of treatment boils down to copper treatments (Cupramine is a favorite), hyposalinity or tank transfer. Of the three, tank transfer and copper are the most often successful. There will always be a camp that espouses garlic and selcon and fish developing an immunity, but think about it. How would a fish develop an immunity to a parasite? So, while you try to decide whose advice to take, do some research. There's excellent information in the fish disease forum and you'll get the straight facts that way and not some wives' tale that persists in spite of evidence to the contrary.