Oh No...ICH?!? Help!

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I've been giving the tank a combo of marine flake, frozen formula one, frozen mysis shrimp, and another frozen food that has a mix of differnt seafoods as well as spirulina in it. I also have a clip with seaweed in the tank. My clowns seen to kinda like it :) Does this sound like a good diet? What type/brand of food could I use to improve it? Also, are there any supplements out there that I could dose that might help make all my fish healthier?
Okay, I'm afraid a couple of my fish might have ich. I was doing a water change today and just noticed some white spots on my little Catalina Goby and my Clown Goby. From my experience in fresh water, it sure looks like ich. :(

Parameters are as follows:

Setup is 75 gallon tank with live rock, sand bed, and protein skimmer.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20pm
pH: 8.3
Temp: 80-82
SG: 1.024

Some other things worth noting:

-I got the Catalina Goby and the CLown Goby from the same tank at the LFS on the same day about 3 weeks ago. So far, they seem to be the only fish affected. They are still acting fine an eating as far as I can tell.
-Both are the smallest fish in the tank, but they really don't get picked on, with the exception of my yellow tail damsel chasing the clown goby every now and then and my yellow headed goby chasing the catalina goby away if it gets too close to his little cave.
-I bought a pearly jawfish about 4 days ago. He dug a burrow in the corner and stayed there until 2 days ago when my boyfriend accidentally scared the heck out of him with a turkey baster. Haven't seen him since. Could he just be scared and in hiding, or could ich perhaps have gotten him too, although I didn't see any spots on him.

So far, my other fish look fine. Is it possible that my other fish might not end up getting it?

Unfortunately, I don't have a Q tank, and it's also a reef, so copper is out of the question. What should I do? I really don't want to lose any of them, especially my pair of occilaris clowns, I've gotten rather attatched to them!

Sorry this was so long, but I figured the more info I gave all of you, the better :) Any suggestions or help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks,

First I would highly recommend a q-tank for new arrivals and a hospital tank for treatment. They don't have to be very big nor expensive to put up. (Mine consist of a 10gal / 20gal for a total cost of about 100.00). I went with no q-tank for my first 6 months and ended up loosing all my fish to oodinium (marine velvet) within a 3 day period- talk about earth shattering. Anyway, If you don't have a separate tank for treatment I would watch your infected inhabitants for a few days and see if the spots diminish. If it looks like it's getting worse and you can reasonably guess it's ich, I have used a product on my reef called 'No-Ich' with great success. It was a 2 week treatment period and I had to religeously follow a treatment regimen but it DID work and I have not had a reoccurance since. It's a bit on the expensive side but well worth it if you intend on treating your main system. I have not noticed any adverse affects on my soft/LPS/and SPS corals from this product nor algae blooms. Once again, I would seriously consider purchasing and maintaining q-tank and hosp tanks before going this route- but if desparation calls- this is one product I took a dare with using and came out ahead with it. After treatment I've since installed a 25W UV filter as an extra insurance policy also. Good Luck :eek:)
"Ich" is most commonly caused by stress. In your case, the gobies are either still recovering from the stress of the trip from the ocean to the LFS to you, or the stress of the aggression from the other fish. Most likely a combination of both. If it is the former, they will most likely get over it, however, the fact that they are getting a hard time from the other fish won't help their case.

In my opinion, you should watch them very closely for now. Look for signs of stress - breathing rapidly, not eating, hiding a lot. If they are not stressed and are eating well, they should recover on their own.

If they don't recover, and their condition appears worse you have a difficult decision to make: leave them there and attempt to treat them with a product such as "No-Ich" or move them to a hospital tank where you can treat with hyposalinity or copper. Moving them will stress them more. If you do decide to move them, I can recommend hyposalinity as an effective method of treatment.


Keep an eye on the infected fish to observe whether (A) the number of visible spots is increasing and (B) whether they are displaying signs of respiratory difficulty. If stress is the only problem they may indeed recover on their own. However, be sure they haven't started a cascade effect whereby the other fish in the tank start displaying spots: an infested tank is a much more difficult and serious problem than an infected fish. If you do decide to treat the tank the product you are looking for is "Kick-Ich". "No-Ich" is a copy-cat product that has a repeating track record of destroying corals, especially leathers (and then Ruby Reef gets the blame and irate phone calls). Please call or email us and we will be happy to advise you on how to address your problem: 301.622.3776 or rubyreef@erols.com. It's also very important to confirm that what you are seeing is ich. If it is what I call "pseudo-ich" (e.g., is there discoloration around the salt grains), which is turning up with small but alarmingly increasing frequency, you have to get those fish out of you tank immediately.

Good luck,
Well, the bad news is that I woke up to another fish with spots this morning. However, the Catalina Goby looked like he had less spots on him than last night. I didn't see the Clown Goby, as he lives in a barnacle and rarely comes out. All the fish seem to be acting fine, they're eating, and they don't seem stressed. I seriously doubt that I could catch these guys to move then to another tank, and I'd rather spare all of then the stress of chasing them around and so on. Hyposalinity isn't an option because of my inverts and corals. So here's what I'm doing:

-I bought Kyolic Garlic today, so they'll get their first garlic meal tonight.
-I'm getting some cleaner shrimp. It might not help, but it can't hurt, and I've been meaning to get shrimp anyways :)
-I've been using Coral Vital, and I tripled the dosage today and will continue to do so.
-If this doesn't go away or if it gets worse within the next week, I'll treat my tank with Kick Ich.

As far as my fish being stressed from the other fish, I don't think that's the cause, as it's only an occasional short chase, and only if the Gobies wander somewhere that happens to belong to another fish. They aren't getting nipped at or anything, just reminded that they wandered into someone else's territory.

Concering "pseudo ich", I don't think it is. It looks like typical Ich-tiny white spots that look like grains of salt. There's no discoloration or anything like that.

Thanks for all the replies everyone :) I'm really hoping I can get this under control quickly!
I think I should jump in here! But I will not go into the Kick Ich/No Ich Deail ;)

Anyway, I think that ATJ hit bulls eye here. The fish are still stressed from the trip to the LFS and the trip to your home. Their immune system has still not addapted to the water in your tank. What you have to aim for here is to strenghten their immune system. What is the use of fighting the problem if you do not fight the cause. IMHO, nutrition is one of the most overlooked factors when dealing with parasites. Sometimes we measure water, see fellow inhabitants without findind any problems but overlook the feeding part of it. Out in the wild, fish have developed strong enough immune system to fight off any parasites.

Anyway, what are you feeding your tank? Try feeding them Spirulina rich food and also vitamin supplements. Aim for lots of vitamin C which helps build up their immune system.

Q-Tank would have been perfect but what is past is past. You have to deal with that now and as someone mentioned before, catching the fish now might be more stressful to the fish and even worse, stressful to the othe fish in your tank.

Keep an eye on the fish. Look for respiratory problems. Givem them highly nutritional food (flake food only does not cut it) and you will see how your fish get better.


Carlos' Great Barrier
Please, take care of the ocean and its inhabitants. They're all we've got!
Lose the Coral Vital and add Selcon to the food. BTW Catalina Gobies are a temperate water fish, native to So Cal coast, they do better at lower temps than most reef tanks

Reef as though your life depended on it, yours might but the sea's does.........Doug ReefTank administrator
visit www.thereeftank.com userfriendly and flame free
Just curious, why do you say to lose the Coral Vital? I've heard good things about it from a lot of people.
You have the diet about right! You might want to soak the food on Kent Marine Zoe and Selcon as a supplement vitamin. I use Kent Zoe everyday and on fridays, I use Selcon. I add a few drops to the frozen food and let it sit for a while. Knock on wood, have not seen ich in a long time nor I have had to used any chemicals to fight it!

I have no experience with Coral Vital. All I know is that is rather expensive and that I really do not need it. My corals and fish are doing fine. If I am not mistaking, all the elements supplied in Coral Vital can be replenished by a simple water change. Also water changes have added bonuses that Coral Vital cannot even get close to provide!


Carlos' Great Barrier
Please, take care of the ocean and its inhabitants. They're all we've got!
Okay, I went out and got some Zoe. I'll start using it today. As far as the Coral Vital goes, I haven't been using it very long, but I'd like to give it a shot, as a lot of people say it's great and if it actually speeds up my corraline growth like it's supposed to, then that would be really good. I'm still doing water changes too though.
Coral Vital and a lot of other products of similar nature are kind of contraversial subjects, though topic of lots of heated debate. Some people use them and swear by it while others have posted less than glowing reports of their experience. You may want ot do a search on this board, and Aqualink reefboard and Reefs.org There is alot of posting on this stuff and other products like it. Look at the list of ingredients. If it doesn't list Calcium, magnesium, and buffering compounds I think any improvement in coralline growth is coincidental with naturally occuring processes ongoing in your tank. If you want coralline growth try a good 2 part Ca/buffer like B-ionic or one of the others.
The Zoe is a good start but I really recommend the Selcon, as it contains alot of needed vitamins and such.
Not wanting to get into a big debate about the CV, I just think its unneeded and your energies and $ could be better spent else where. But then thats just my opinion, if you like it,great but a word of caution all the organics from the "biocatalysts" have been known to lead to higher DOC levels=algae outbreaks, etc

Reef as though your life depended on it, yours might but the sea's does.........Doug ReefTank administrator
visit www.thereeftank.com userfriendly and flame free
Stress is not actually the cause of Ich, Cryptocaryon irritans are. Fish can become badly infected in a low stress environment. This is not to say that stress cannot play a part by reducing resistance to infection. Good water quality, minimal stress and a healthy diet are all things we should strive for. Eliminating stress alone does not equate to eliminating the parasite. Sam makes a good point that you want to be reasonably secure in your diagnosis. Ich is by far the most prevalent of the parasites that hobbyists are likely to encounter. IMO, hyposalinity is the best choice as a cure because you can actually eliminate the presents of this pest. The fish will have to be treated in a separate tank and your display left fishless for 4 to 6 weeks.
The fact that some fish seem to have fewer spots today can be very misleading. It is part of Ichââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s natural life cycle to fall off before reproducing. If Coral Vital seems to help it is merely a coincidence. Stress is not the cause of Ich! Stress contributes to reducing resistance to Ich or any other disease. Removing the stress is great but it can be a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out. Do work on stress and an improved diet, but start using a quarantine and get your fish and the system clear of infection.
What it comes down to is that a good diet and healthy environment can sometimes keep an infection at a low level until something happens to tip the scales. People that control Ich by this means often have problems from time to time. I prefer to eliminate the infection and then taking steps to prevent reintroducing the pest.
Best wishes,
Terry B

Please heed what Terry B has posted. He has offered some very good and factual data about Ich. In case you don't know it Terry B is considered to be very knowledgable about fish disease and especially ICH. JM02.

Well, to be perfectly honest, I was origonally using the Coral Vital to help with corraline growth, and I figured that it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.

Also, yesterday I bought a couple cleaner shrimp, and they went straight to work. Seems like one of my fish has a new best friend too, LOL :)

As far as a good diet goes, I bought a better flake, Prime Reef, and I'll feed that along with the various frozen foods I've been using. I've got Zoe now too, and will probably get Selcon sometime in the near future as well. Hopefully this will give my little guys all the good nutrition they need.

As far as getting all the fish out of the tank and into another in order to fully get rid of the ich.....well, I really don't think I can do that right now, although it does sound like the best way to insure totally getting rid of the ich. Hopefully I'll be able to set up a q tank sometime soon though so that my fish don't have any more problems.

I really appreciate all the advice everyone has been giving me. As of this morning, the spots are totally gone from all the fish except the Catalina goby, and he looks like he has less of them. I know this might just be that the cysts have fallen off and will come back, but I'm keeping my ingers crossed. I've been feeding with the garlic as well (which they seem to LOVE!), and so far they're all acting perfectly fine and eating. So, I'm hoping for the best. :)
Terry, good to hear from you, its been a long time, :) geeflipr

Reef as though your life depended on it, yours might but the sea's does.........Doug ReefTank administrator
visit www.thereeftank.com userfriendly and flame free
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