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air561

I did a stupid. Ich?

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So I picked up a Kole tang and a Foxface from Ken's closeout on July 8th. Two days ago, I noticed a couple of small white spots on my Foxface that looks like ich. Today there were many more so I pulled him out and put him in a quarantine tank and began to check parameters. My pH was at 7.4.... Stupid. I started adding formula 2 and brought it back up. Now, my question is, I've never had ich in my tank before and it's been a month since I added the Foxface. Could this be ich? Can it stay dormant that long or is it in the gills of another fish and I just can't see it. I'm going to be treating the quarantine tank with copper and hyposalinity for the next six weeks. All of my fish including the Foxface are acting normal. I really love this fish and I want to do anything I can to save him. Any suggestions appreciated. I haven't been able to get a good picture yet of him yet, but when I do, I'll post them.

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White dots on the fish is most likely ich. Velvet would be the other possibility but it's probably ich if he's not dead. I've heard velvet can hide for a couple weeks, but a month seems like a long time to wait for velvet. I'm absolutely no expert, though.

You don't need to do copper and hypo - just one works, and I've always had great luck with Cupramine. Just remove all of the substrate/rock from the QT (assuming you have other biological filtration handy - like foam pads from main tank etc). The key to Cupramine is keeping it in the effective window, so get a test kit - the Seachem test kit is the one that works with cupramine.

Here's the bad news - assuming it's ich, which I am, it's in your main tank 100%. Every fish now has it - whether or not they are showing symptoms. It's possible no other fish will ever show spots, or they all could. As long as there are fish in the tank, the ich is there. Any new fish will probably come down with it - as they will be more stressed etc.

Many people opt to just ignore it and see how it goes. That's certainly an option that you can go with, as the only way to treat the tank is to go fallow (assuming you have inverts). So to fully cure the tank you'd have to take the fish out and leave it fallow for 74 days. 

That will suck - But - the good side of that is you could then restart the tank 100% ich free and properly QT everything before putting them in the tank. Even if your current fish don't show symptoms, you're going to have it pop up again at some point. So just biting the bullet now is something to consider.

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Thank you so much for the reply. This is my first bout with ich. I didn't quarantine any of my fish, so one of them must have been a carrier. My DT is damaged, so I have a new one sitting here. I think I'm going to raise the salinity in the QT (currently in hypo), dose the cupramine per it's instructions for 3 weeks for my Foxface, then put him back in the DT and hope nothing dies till I do the transfer. Then, when I do the transfer, i'll put all the fish in a 50gal plastic tote with DT water and a new canister filter and dose Cupramine for 3 weeks before putting them into the new DT after 8 weeks fallow. Sound good?

Edited by air561

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hi - sorry, I'm a bit confused.

I'm sure your plan is good. Just remember - the water, rocks, inverts need to be somewhere fallow for 74 days. So if you move fish to the tote and then put everything in the new tank and let it wait - perfect.

Cupramine is effective in 14 days I believe. 

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All fish have ich, it's just a matter of how much stress will bring it out. Water parameters, other fish, or a sudden change in environment can all be triggers.

Garlic is also a good alternative. Slice a garlic clove thin and mix it with the food. Takes weeks to influence anything, so it's a good preventative measure, or if the fish looks like it just needs help to fight the ick.

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Definitely a lot of methods and ideas on how best to handle ich. I spent the past year looking for every possible cure before I finally went fallow. There are a lot of very smart, very helpful people in the world who have spent years working on various ideas to handle ich safely. If you could invent a reef safe cure for ich and dinos you'd be a millionaire! It just doesn't exist. Lots and lots of products claim to work, but if you dig deep into the experiences people have, you'll see that these products are mostly snake oil. 

Garlic helps stimulate hunger, which is great for fish that aren't feeling 100% and thus might not eat. By helping them eat you're giving them more fire power to fight ich, but just for the sake of conversation - the garlic itself doesn't do anything as far as treating or eliminating ich. I absolutely add garlic to food anytime the fish have any issue whatsoever. It definitely can't hurt. The benefit is that a stronger/healthier fish is more likely to suppress ich, and garlic works towards that.

I think there are all sorts of anecdotal cures and preventative techniques and I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from trying whatever they want but for the sake of pushing people to learn more - I'd just caution that garlic isn't an alternative to true treatment options. Not to say it doesn't help...

 

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I was going to say the same about garlic.. great hunger aid but doesn't do squat to cure ich. I have read a great deal about ich and from what I gathered, ich is NOT in every tank.
What I learned the hard way is that ich CAN come into the tank on corals, rock, etc. I suffered an ich outbreak as well after getting a ton of new corals. This was after letting my tank go fallow.
Not the end of the world, just put ALL your fish in the copper tank and keep them there for 74 days...

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Bevo5 did a great outline to cure ich 100%.

If your fox face is coated with ich, then it's gills are probably also filled with ich. You can dip it in 65-75ppm of hydrogen peroxide with tank water for 30min (about 1ml of 3% H2O2 to 1 pint of tank water). This will remove a lot of ich and help it breath easier.

If your tank only shows small signs of ich and not full outbreak, you can wait to see if your fishes can build immunity before it becomes an outbreak. Small signs mean only 1 or 2 fishes have a couple ich spots showing and scratch on sandbed/rocks from time to time. If this is the case and assume water quality is good and no bullying stress, you can try increase moonlight at night so your tank is never completely dark. Ich tends to attach to fish at night when they are "sleeping" in the same spot. With enough light, your fish will swim around all night (still not as active as day time). This in theory will make it harder for ich to attach and less stress for fishes as they are not fighting for sleeping spots. Over time (3+ months), fishes will buildup immunity to ich or not enough ich attach to fish to break the cycle. Again, this will not work if fish is heavily infected or a start of an ich outbreak.


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Great advice ^ I would really look at a freshwater dip or h2o2/freshwater dip if it is covered. In my reading and experience the gills get hammered!! I did a post mortem exam on an antheias that died on me... not a spot on the exterior, its gills looked like it was swimming in styrofoam dust. :( should have posted pics but i was bummed and pissed.

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Great info everyone. As I'm getting back into my hobby it's bouncing around in my mind again to get another QT setup sometime here soon. Right now I'm just runny a 34g Nano (knock on wood). It's always better to be prepared for the worst. Seems like when, not if, when it comes to ich, ugh!

OP, keeps us posted, I've used copper before with great success. Fallow sucks, but it can be best if you can get everyone out safely. Best of luck to you.


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The real suck of it all is that ich can come in on anything - as people have noted. The spores can rest on rocks, corals, gravel, whatever. The only way to truly be safe is to QT/Treat all incoming fish and then keep all new corals etc. in a fallow tank for the full 74 days, which sucks.

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My foxface is still alive in a 5g hospital tank running Cupramine. He's not happy, but he's not breathing fast, he responds to my presence and seems to sleep most of the day by his colloration. He's eating very little, but seems to be healthy. Nothing else in the tank has come down with it since I raised the Ph and KH, but I realized too late that I hadn't seen my dragonette in a while. Then I remembered one small white spot I had seen on her weeks ago. She's probably gone, and the reproduction cycle of ich has probably started. My Anthia is hanging out by my cleaner shrimp though, which is a bad sign. So far, not terrible.

Edited by air561

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Good luck.  I went this through over a year ago not knowing if I had velvet or ich.  Assuming velvet due to the speed at which it was wiping out fish in my tank. 

My best advice is to wait the full fallow period and add a week or so.  I jumped the gun and put them back in the tank at 9 weeks of coppersafe treatment only to have it return a month later and almost kill fish again.  luckily the second round I saw it starting early signs and pulled the all fish.   Second round they were out of the tank for 4 full months and treated with Chloroquine Phosphate which is more effective against velvet than copper but can be used to treat both.  Also if using CP powder pre mix the dosage with water before adding to the QT. 

 

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