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Old 03/26/2012, 07:13 PM   #1
EddieJ
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One Bad Choice... and now I have to pay the piper

My first 5 years in the hobby have been great, I read and researched till I had a fairly decent base of knowledge to move forward. I started a QT regimen from day 1 in this hobby, and have kept my 90 gallon tank ICH free for 4 and a half years. Now with my 210, things are going real well except for my Percula clown going rogue on and getting violent with my Flame Wrasse. Anyhow, I had been looking for a pair of Blue Throat triggers when they came available from a local reefer. I head over to his place to pick them up. His tank is pretty heavily stocked and the fish look pretty healthy. I notice his Powder Blue looks good and healthy as well. Now the moment of indiscretion strikes. For some unexplained reason, I decide these triggers should be fine to place right in my tank. Now I am not an impatient person, so the decision wasn't driven by that. So I make the fatal error. And of course, about 2 days later I notice what could be Ich on the male trigger. At first I think I am being paranoid and it could be something else I am seeing. Then I see him asking my Coral Banded for a cleaning. Well, my CBS is not in that business at all. About 2 weeks later, I see my Hippo lining up for the cleaning station. At first, I think she is just doing monkey see monkey do as she has never done that before. Well, upon further investigation I see the spots... FML..

So, at this time I have a big ol QT setup in the basement in which I will do a Hypo Salinity treatment on the fish. During this time I will leave my 210 fallow for 10 weeks. Today I captured 4 of my fish with a trap. First one caught? My Flame Wrasse, he is just so trusting.. I also got both the Triggers and a Cromis. That leaves 3 fish in the tank, my Hippo, a cromis, and the one I think will be real tough to get out which is my Yellow Tang. The Yellow tang is very suspicious of anything different in the tank. I hope I can get the 3 out tomorrow. My QT in the basement is a 100 gallon rubbermaid tank. I have it setup with 2 foam filters running of an air pump. I have a PH monitor and a ATO on the tank as well. I will also have carbon running. I have read over all the info I could fine about Hypo and feel confident I can pull it off.

Guess this post is more of a vent, as I am just so mad at myself for making such a stupid error. I know WAY better!!!! I will post some pics of my setup and keep this post updated as a log of how things are going.

Hoping all goes as planned...


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Old 03/26/2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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Well I hope things work out and you successfully come out of this disaster. Good luck.


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Old 03/26/2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully this will encourage others to use caution before introducing new fish. Hope things work out.


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Old 03/26/2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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This totally sucks but it is funny the way you tell it!

Seriously though, I've made the same mistake many times before. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you wind up having to pay the piper, as you said. Good luck!


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Old 03/26/2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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I qt'd (without treatment sometimes) and got ich twice.

Since i'm done with stocking of fish, i didn't bother with treatment the second time. Kept everyone fed and healthy. Now it's been 4-5 months. No deaths.

Now, to tell you the truth, I don't mind knowing I have ich in my tank. I've come to accept that it's part of the hobby the way i chose to practice it.


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Old 03/27/2012, 01:31 AM   #6
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Good luck! Make sure to feed the fish like crazy so they recover faster from the parasites. Since you're doing hypo make sure you're at the right specific gravity (the ATO will definitely help) and take your time raising it after the treatment period.


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Old 03/27/2012, 05:49 AM   #7
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Thanks guys...

The good thing is that only 3 of the fish show any signs/symptoms of ich and none are in bad shape. They have all been eating and breathing fine. Wanted to get this parasite eliminated early as to avoid a serious infestation. I will definitely keep them well feed and watch the water parameters closely. I am going to bake some baking soda and mix with RODI for PH adjustment. Keeping ammonia and PH in check will be the challenge during Hypo from what I have read.

I know my coral banded shrimp is going to love these next 10 weeks, no more of the cleaning business LOL!! The triggers and tang would not leave him alone, relentlessly following him around the tank for a cleaning. I have had him 5 years and the poor guy never worked a day in his life. Maybe his antennae will grow back some now. They used to be very long until the triggers moved in. The male trigger would come up and take a nip at the very end of his antenna, sort of like a taste test.... Now my CBS is a pretty good size so I wasn't concerned about the trigger making him dinner....


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Old 03/27/2012, 06:29 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear about your outbreak, but good to see that you are taking action to save your animals! You may have already, but read about some alternatives to hypo, such as quinine sulfate - this is an interesting thread here that will give other things to think about while you conduct your treatment.


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Old 03/27/2012, 07:05 AM   #9
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Good luck, and keep us posted. I'd get an ammonia alert too. The foam filters should handle ammonia if they were seeded long enough in an established tank. You have a lot of water volume, but (IMO) not enough to adequately dilute the ammonia that will be produced over 10-12 weeks. I'd plan frequent WCs. Hopefully all will go well and your experience will help someone else. I part of the huge group that went through the same thing....never again.


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Old 03/27/2012, 10:22 AM   #10
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I did everything you are doing twice...10 weeks the 1st time, and 12 the second, and added fish slowly back into the tank, all of which were symptom free of any parasite after they were QT'd...I'd go fallow for at least 12 weeks or more if you have the patience. Nothing worse than having to do it twice.


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Old 03/27/2012, 06:55 PM   #11
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Well, this is now going to suck. The 3 remaining fish (Hippo Tang, Yellow Tang, Chromis) are just not going to fall for the fish trap. When I went to feed them today, instead of coming up to the top in the middle eagerly awaiting food from the heavens, they all 3 went to a corner of the tank and huddled together. Seems they remember the other 4 fish disappearing at feeding time in the acrylic box. I really don't want to net them but I am not sure how else to lure then into the fish trap. Maybe I don't feed them tomorrow (hate that cause the Blue is one itchin with the ich) and try the trap on Thursday when they are good and hungry... The box is in the tank in hopes they might get used to it, but that doesn't seem likely now. Man, somebody need to invent a fish knockout drug that is reef safe!! LOL! You add it and your fish goto sleep for a few minutes while you scoop em out.. Pretty sure that would sell like hotcakes!!!

Anyone have a fool proof method that they have used? I did think about the flashlight at night and net them from behind. First I would need to get them out of their caves...


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Old 03/27/2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prop-frags View Post
Sorry to hear about your outbreak, but good to see that you are taking action to save your animals! You may have already, but read about some alternatives to hypo, such as quinine sulfate - this is an interesting thread here that will give other things to think about while you conduct your treatment.
I did read about that during my research. Seemed not as tested or well known as the other methods. I guess it's like everything else in the hobby, always nine ways to accomplish the same thing. I also read a good article on the other benefits of Hypo Salinity therapy on marine fish besides the treatment of ich.

Quote:
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Good luck, and keep us posted. I'd get an ammonia alert too. The foam filters should handle ammonia if they were seeded long enough in an established tank. You have a lot of water volume, but (IMO) not enough to adequately dilute the ammonia that will be produced over 10-12 weeks. I'd plan frequent WCs. Hopefully all will go well and your experience will help someone else. I part of the huge group that went through the same thing....never again.
I have a new Salifert Ammonia test kit I plan on using. I guess it sure wouldn't hurt to have one of those as well. I plan on a WC every 2-3 days to keep things in line. I read that when you reach 1.009 the biological filter is pretty much worthless.

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I did everything you are doing twice...10 weeks the 1st time, and 12 the second, and added fish slowly back into the tank, all of which were symptom free of any parasite after they were QT'd...I'd go fallow for at least 12 weeks or more if you have the patience. Nothing worse than having to do it twice.
So your thought was that the ich parasites survived with no host in your DT for 10 weeks? I was thinking 10 weeks pretty much put you at the 100 percent mark as in total ich kill off.


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Old 03/27/2012, 07:11 PM   #13
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Some people dig all the sand out of a corner and then drain the tank until it forces the fish to retreat into that corner. Afterwards, you just fill your tank back up. This takes a lot of time but not a lot of work per say, as you have pumps/powerheads doing most of the work for you. The alternative, tearing apart your tank to get them out expends both a lot of time and energy.


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Old 03/29/2012, 04:10 PM   #14
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Well, the fish trap is heading back to the store to get my deposit back. The last 3 (Blue Hippo, Yellow tang and Chromis) are not going to fall for the old food in the trap trick. I didn't feed them at yesterday so they would be good and hungry tonight. Didn't make a difference, they want no part of the trap. At least it worked for 4 out of the 7 fish. So I guess that was my fish IQ test LOL! I am going to pick up another net tonight and try the 2 net approach. I have a somewhat open rockscape so I should be able to channel them into a corner and pick em off one at a time. Well at least that is the plan. If not, will have to try the night time attack. If that fails, time to go fishing with the hook. My LFS has some real small barb-less hooks he uses all the time.


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Old 03/30/2012, 04:12 PM   #15
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Well, with some patience and net skills, I was able to catch the Yellow Tang and Hippo Tang. The yellow was easy, she just gave up when I had her in the corner with 2 nets. She just slowly swam into the net and gave up. Now the Hippo, that was a TOTAL different battle.. Good 1 hr battle, she went airborne a couple of times avoiding the net capture in the corner. Finally I was able to trick her into swimming into the black net. I had a white net and black net, theory was they would focus on the white net and forget about the black one. Now the Chromis, WAY to smart and agile.. NO WAY I will be able to net him. So it's time for the ol fly hook on him. And by the way, I really hate netting fish, definitely one of my last resorts...

More to come...


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Old 04/01/2012, 07:01 PM   #16
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Got Him!!

Captured the last Chromis tonight!!! (doing the happy dance). Used 2 nets and had the wife with a good size piece of egg crate scare him into the corner. From there, I was able to trap him in one of the nets. Couldn't find a size 20 barbless hook this weekend so decided to give this one last try tonight. 30 minutes later victory!! Only casualty was my Green candy cane LBS, caught the net and snapped the base. No biggie, some super glue and back it goes.

Salinity in the QT has been dropped to 27ppt (1.021 SG). So far so good. Now a question on temp. I am running the qt at 74-75 degrees figuring at the lower temp the oxygen is better. Also been running the PH at 8-8.1. I figured that would be a good range and the lower the PH the less free (NH3) ammonia is present in the water. I do have a PH drip (sodium carbonate&rodi) to keep it stable in that range. Is my logic sound on PH and temp? Or should I go higher in the temp to quicken the ich life cycle? The risk there is less oxygen...

Thoughts?


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Old 04/01/2012, 09:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Captured the last Chromis tonight!!! (doing the happy dance). Used 2 nets and had the wife with a good size piece of egg crate scare him into the corner. From there, I was able to trap him in one of the nets. Couldn't find a size 20 barbless hook this weekend so decided to give this one last try tonight. 30 minutes later victory!! Only casualty was my Green candy cane LBS, caught the net and snapped the base. No biggie, some super glue and back it goes.

Salinity in the QT has been dropped to 27ppt (1.021 SG). So far so good. Now a question on temp. I am running the qt at 74-75 degrees figuring at the lower temp the oxygen is better. Also been running the PH at 8-8.1. I figured that would be a good range and the lower the PH the less free (NH3) ammonia is present in the water. I do have a PH drip (sodium carbonate&rodi) to keep it stable in that range. Is my logic sound on PH and temp? Or should I go higher in the temp to quicken the ich life cycle? The risk there is less oxygen...

Thoughts?
Good job! I've enjoyed reading your posts as you seem to be handling this whole ordeal with a sense of humor and a positive attitude! Just one suggestion: Have you thought of using an alternative method such as copper or tank transfer? All of the fish you mentioned sound like good candidates for both. I would just suggest researching a little bit more on RC before committing yourself to hypo.


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Old 04/02/2012, 10:34 AM   #18
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Good job! I've enjoyed reading your posts as you seem to be handling this whole ordeal with a sense of humor and a positive attitude! Just one suggestion: Have you thought of using an alternative method such as copper or tank transfer? All of the fish you mentioned sound like good candidates for both. I would just suggest researching a little bit more on RC before committing yourself to hypo.
Yup, I did consider them all. Here was my take:

1) Copper : Didn't want to run chemo on my fish, basically that is what you are doing. poisoning the fish hoping it can outlast the parasite. If I wasn't concerned about the welfare of my fish I would have just "Feed'em heavy and let them battle it off". Once you know ICH is in your system, yes, it's affecting your fish if you see it or not.

2) Tank transfer: This sounds like an excellent option, but not for multiple fish in a 70 gallon QT. I really like this approach for that new fish your are putting thru your QT regimen.

I think I am going to develop a two tank QT regimen using the tank transfer method in a hypo saline environment for new arrivals. Seems to make the most sense. You get the benefits of stress reduction as the fish use much less energy on Osmoregulation and you can also rule out the ICH strains that reportedly can survive in a hypo saline environment. Was thinking something like this:

Introduction / lower environment to hypo saline / tank transfer / slow increase in salinity / Prazi and out...

Seems that would be an excellent regimen.


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Old 04/03/2012, 06:23 PM   #19
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Things are going well thus far, Did a 30 gallon WC tonight and now the salinity is at 20ppt (1.015 SG). Fish are doing excellent, very active, eating well and looking good. My triggers are a blast, when I come home from work and they want fed, they come to the top and shot water at me!! They are such personable fish, along with my Flame Wrasse. Battling a little bit of ammonia, as the SeaChem is showing a little greenish hue. Have some AmGuard coming tomorrow to keep things in control I knew I was a little thin on biological and would be something to keep a close eye on. I am also now keeping the PH closer to 8 as that reduces the free ammonia (NH3) which is the toxic part of the game.


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Old 04/03/2012, 08:01 PM   #20
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Given how much thought you have invested, I assume you have plenty of water circulation, but make sure you have a couple of powerheads in your QT.


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Old 04/04/2012, 06:08 AM   #21
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Yup, plenty of circulation on the QT. Good surface agitation and couple that with the 2 air driven sponge filters there should be plenty of oxygen exchange in the system.


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Old 04/05/2012, 06:54 PM   #22
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Alright, made it down to 1.009 SG tonight. The fish are all active and eating very well.


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Old 04/11/2012, 06:30 PM   #23
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Update

Things are still going real well.. SG is running at 1.008 stable and solid. Able to maintain a PH of 8.02 or so with some ALK dosing. Fish are very active and healthy, eat very well and no signs of the nasty parasite at this time. Ammonia has been a small battle, been changing 25-30 gallons twice a week along with dosing some AmGuard. I have the SeaChem alert along with a seachem multi-test. I also test total ammonia with a Salifert kit, and then from there you can calculate free ammonia (NH3, the nasty stuff) with temp and PH as well. It's been just reading a trace from time to time, around .01 or so. Nothing that will harm the fish, but I don't want to discomfort them as the free ammonia is what burns the gills. The AmGuard locks that free stuff up nice and quickly. My coral banded shrimp is loving life again in the DT as he can grow out his antennae and is not being constantly harassed to be a cleaner shrimp.


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Old 04/21/2012, 07:45 AM   #24
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On day 16 of 42 for the fish treatment in hypo salinity.
On day 20 of 70 of leaving the DT fallow.

Been holding a very steady course so far, SG at 1.008, pH 8, temp 75.

The fish are well adapted to their new temporary home. All are eating very well and are active. The one funny thing I have observed is the strange bed mates in the QT. In the DT, all the fish are pretty much in their own spot at night. But down in the QT one night I see both my tangs sleeping right beside each other, I see my wrasse tucked in with the Blue tang sometimes, the triggers sharing their little cave by the sponge filters with the chromis. They have plenty of spots to choose from as there are lots of PVC fittings of various sizes to choose from, yet they seem to prefer to pair up.


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Old 04/22/2012, 01:35 AM   #25
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Sorry for your misfortune, but thanks for sharing.
I hope your fish make it through.

Quote:
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Man, somebody need to invent a fish knockout drug that is reef safe!! LOL! You add it and your fish goto sleep for a few minutes while you scoop em out.. Pretty sure that would sell like hotcakes!!!
That is hilarious!


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