I'm that guy that needs help with ick

fishguy597

New member
So I bought a purple and a chevron in June. I had them in qt for six weeks with copper. They ate well and displayed no signs of ich .I built a fish holder from egg crate and had them get use to the tank without any stress. Still no ich. Now I have had them in there for four days and the purple, chev, and Atlantic blue all have it. I know that stress brought it on because the purple and ab mix it up. Plus the chev and the tomini mixed it up the first day. Either way those three have it and I need to figure out what to do quick. It's a reef tank that which will be very difficult to get the fish out. Since I just moved these fish over a week ago, will it cause more stress to move them from a reef tank to a quarantine tank with copper or am I better off waiting this out?
The quarantine tank is still set up which is a bonus but the problem is it is only a 30 gallon. I'm going to talk to a friend and I might be able to put a few of my fish into his quarantine tank that he has running with copper. My fish list is as follows: 1 tomini tang, 1 Atlantic blue tang, 1 chevron tang, 1 purple tang, 1 melanarous wrasse, 1 mystery wrasse, 1 potters angel, 2 bar Gobis, 1 blue devil damsel, 1 choc basslet, 1 black clown fish, 1 long spine black urchin. If I need a quarantine (which I think I do), is there anything special I need for anything above?
 

h2so4hurts

New member
Dr. G's food would be a bandaid at best. The only real cure is to get all of the fish out of the DT and quarantine them for 9 weeks. Sorry, it sucks, but it's the only way. Read the stickies on copper treatment. I don't think tank transfer would be a good solution for you with that many fish. You may want to work with the angel separately and use tank transfer though. They're super copper sensitive.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
You need to treat all of the fish in a HT/QT. Your tank has the parasite, not just certain fish. The DT must remain fishless for 9+ weeks, or ich almost certainly will return. There is no reef safe ich cure. I'd read the ich stickies at the top of the disease forum----vital info. Stress can't cause ich unless the ich was already in the tank or the Cu treatment had some lapses. Ich can stay invisible in a tank for a long time; its vital to get all of it before a fish goes into the DT.

The only way a medicated food could cure an ich infestation: ALL fish would have to enough of the food to keep the med at a therapeutic level for at least 9 weeks. This assumes medicated foods are effective in the first p[lace and I've never seen any study that says they are. Even if all of this could be accomplished, the med in the food would have to be 100% effective on all ich in (not on) the fish; very doubtful. IMO, just knowing the ich life-cycle makes a cure via food next to impossible. Like h2so4hurts says above, a band-aid at best.
 
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fishguy597

New member
Alright I guess I will have to get them out this weekend. what should I do about the wrasses? from what I have read they usually don't respond well to qt . I'm limited on space and tanks. I'm planning on using copper for treatment. Hypo sounds like a good way but very demanding. I do not have a light. so I know the ph will be low especially with rodi water.plus the evap rate is high in my house so I'd like to avoid hypo period.
 

fishguy597

New member
Should I fw dip the infected tangs or just put them in qt? my reef is at 1.025 I'm thinking about getting the qt. back up to that then over a few days drop it down to 1.016 w/ copper. from what I have read is that the copper effects their appetite. and the high sg coupled with he copper makes it hard to breath . That's my reasoning for my thinking.
 

Chris27

New member
There is no need to drop the salinity down when using copper, they will be fine with it at or near 1.025-6.

A FW dip prior to QT can be helpful, but if the fish are acting fine and eating, don't bother. FW dips can be very stressful, and there are only a few reasons why I would do it. Given what we know about the lifecycle, the parasites will leave the fish quickly, and they should be back to normal in a day or two.

For the wrasse, you'll want to put a small tupperware of sand in the QT, that way it can bed down at night. With sand in the QT, you'll need to pay close attention to the copper level daily, testing and dosing 2x a day may be required to keep the level in the therapeutic range.
 

eholceker

New member
I disagree that dr. G's is just a bandaid. If the fish eat the food it will work 100%. There is no way ick can feed on a fish that has chloroquine in its tissue or blood. The trick is making sure all the fish eat it. You basically kill the ick on the fish only so it can drop off and reproduce. Obviously if the fish do not eat the food or you do not treat long enough it will not work. It is pretty reef safe and worth a shot before you rip apart your tank.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
There is no need to drop the salinity down when using copper, they will be fine with it at or near 1.025-6.

A FW dip prior to QT can be helpful, but if the fish are acting fine and eating, don't bother. FW dips can be very stressful, and there are only a few reasons why I would do it. Given what we know about the lifecycle, the parasites will leave the fish quickly, and they should be back to normal in a day or two.

For the wrasse, you'll want to put a small tupperware of sand in the QT, that way it can bed down at night. With sand in the QT, you'll need to pay close attention to the copper level daily, testing and dosing 2x a day may be required to keep the level in the therapeutic range.

I agree. Because ich is buried well under the skin, I don't think dips do anything for ich. The whitespot you see isn't the actual parasite. Also, if fish aren't in immediate danger, take a few days to get Cupramine up to .35-40. Get fish eating before adding any copper, if possible. If fish stop eating suddenly; its the first sign of Cu intolerance. You can remove some of the Cu and slowly increase, if needed. I keep this level for 4 weeks. This is different than the label on Cupramine, but it works well and I've discussed this with the SeaChem tech dept. Here's a lot of info on Cupramine, the FAQs are very important:http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Cupramine.html
 

h2so4hurts

New member
Drugged food is a bandaid unless you feed it long term and make sure every fish has a drug load high enough to fight the parasite for 9 weeks. This is unlikely. A much surer cure is to take the fish out and starve the parasite.
 

fishguy597

New member
Forgive my ignorance but I thought that ich is always present in a reef tank and the fishes immune system fights it off. So if I qt. these fish for the two month time frame can it come back?
 

eholceker

New member
Ick has to be introduced to a tank. It will not always be there. If there are no fish in the tank the parasite will starve out and die. Feeding a drugged food is not different than using copper. Would you use copper for 9 weeks? All you are doing with the foods is treating a different cycle of the parasite. Instead of killing the free floating stage you treat the parasite on the fish. Not all ick cycles last 9 weeks. 9 weeks is the safe bet to cover everything but if you are in a situation where you can not remove everything than feeding should be considered an alternative option. I have used it with success. There are also others that have used it as well. I have also used it in the water column with success as well. It 100% works. The problem with treating the water actually has to do with finding chloroquine. Nobody really sells it. Quinine Sulfate can be used as an alternative but is not much safer to fish than cupramine and the tank needs to be kept dark to prevent the breakdown of the medication. If you run into a situation where you are treating sharks, rays, puffers, eels, etc that have ick Quinine or Chloroquine should be used instead.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
Forgive my ignorance but I thought that ich is always present in a reef tank and the fishes immune system fights it off. So if I qt. these fish for the two month time frame can it come back?

This is a common misconception. If a tank goes without fish for 9+ weeks; there will be no ich left. This parasite must find a fish host or die. Some fish can develop temporary immunity to some strains of ich and some fish are naturally resistant (like mandarins). But any fish can catch/carry ich. I believe most long-time hobbyists have ich-free tanks. Its not that difficult. I haven't seen ich in any of my DTs (that's about 1000 gals) for 20+ years. What a coincidence! That's the same amount of time I've using a rigid quarantine routine with all new fish. IMO & IME; believing ich can't be beaten and ignoring quarantine procedures may be the #1 reason for the high turnover rate in our hobby. This forum section has a non-wending parade of threads from folks who didn't take ich seriously. Ich will get to almost any fish eventually. I'd read the ich stickies at the top of this forum section, its vital stuff.
 

Paul B

Premium Member
The problem with treating the water actually has to do with finding chloroquine. Nobody really sells it.
They sell it but it is a prescription medication and hard to come by in the US unless you are a veteranarian. It is used to treat malaria in humans and most Americans don't get malaria.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
Ick has to be introduced to a tank. It will not always be there. If there are no fish in the tank the parasite will starve out and die. Feeding a drugged food is not different than using copper. Would you use copper for 9 weeks? All you are doing with the foods is treating a different cycle of the parasite. Instead of killing the free floating stage you treat the parasite on the fish. Not all ick cycles last 9 weeks. 9 weeks is the safe bet to cover everything but if you are in a situation where you can not remove everything than feeding should be considered an alternative option. I have used it with success. There are also others that have used it as well. I have also used it in the water column with success as well. It 100% works. The problem with treating the water actually has to do with finding chloroquine. Nobody really sells it. Quinine Sulfate can be used as an alternative but is not much safer to fish than cupramine and the tank needs to be kept dark to prevent the breakdown of the medication. If you run into a situation where you are treating sharks, rays, puffers, eels, etc that have ick Quinine or Chloroquine should be used instead.
Medicated food may work. But how do you know when the parasite has been eradicated and its safe to introduce fish, especially ich-prone fish. I have no doubt that the medicated food will help, but getting enough into the every fish seems impossible. IMO, the best the med/food can do is help "manage' the parasite. Eradication means 100% kill. You don't need 9 weeks of Cu, just keep the DT fishless for 9 weeks and use Cu for 4 weeks; and observe for the remaining time. Of course; following a rigid QT regimen from day 1 makes this whole discussion unnecessary.
 

eholceker

New member
there is actually one place that sells it. You can google for it and it will come up. the issue is they only sell it in Kilo's and is a few hundred bucks.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
there is actually one place that sells it. You can google for it and it will come up. the issue is they only sell it in Kilo's and is a few hundred bucks.

I thought any Vet could get it. I got about 1/2 pound from A Vet who also keeps fish. I haven't tried it yet, plan to do so with an ich-infested fish from a LFS.
 

eholceker

New member
A vet could definitly get it. In my case trtying to find a vet to prescribe it to me was almost impossible. One of them actually asked me to bring the fish in. I mean it was not like I was trying to get painkillers or something. lol
 

Chris27

New member
BTW I have been using madrell copper safe

Coppersafe is chelated copper, and therefor doesn't fall under the same dosing guidelines as Cupramine or Copper Sulfate. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle, and test the water with a proper test kit. For chelated, I like using the API kit, as it's one of the only ones that will read high enough. While I haven't used it in a while, I think you may need to dose that stuff up to 1.0 ppt for it to work properly.
 
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