Quarantine 40-50 fish from existing 500 gallon reef

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Jeffdstafford, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Hey everyone,

    Very sorry ahead of time for the long post, please be patient! I've never quarantined before and have several thousand dollars of underwater family members I'll be dealing with, so I want to make sure I put all the details out there and experienced people can tell me if I'm about to do something stupid!

    To get this out in the open, I have not quarantined for the past 1.5 years that the tank has been up and running and recently had an ich outbreak. (I'm an idiot for not quarantining and consider the lesson learned, I'll change my ways, I promise!)

    I've been doing a lot of reading on quarantine procedures, but wanted to get some specific advice from others with experience. I have decided to empty all the fish out and have a large trough container setup in the garage as a QT, and will treat and house the fish out there and leave the display tank fallow for a few months to eradicate ich and start quarantining all new arrivals.

    I've been cycling the QT for the past couple weeks, and when we get back from vacation middle of next week I'm going to start the process. I went ahead and bought a skimmer only to be used on the QT setup since the fish will be in it for several months, have an ATO, and will use a DOS for daily water changes to assist with ammonia buildup.

    **My question is: -Does a 1 month long treatment of Cupramine guarantee total ich eradication from the fish and the QT setup, or does it require multiple treatments?
    -And is Cupramine the best medication for Ich treatment? I can't do TTM due to the number of fish, so this will need to be a tank wide treatment.**


    I plan to treat with Cupramine, and then Prazipro. I bought a Melanurus wrasse recently that I noticed had white, stringy poop, so I'm assuming it has a parasite or worm or something. It was only in the tank for 12 hours before I saw this, but I want to treat everyone proactively. They'll be in there for months I'll have plenty of time, so I plan to very slowly raise the cupramine levels and treat with that, then do the prazipro.

    Here is the rough livestock list:

    I have a 500 gallon reef tank with a ton of fish; I'm guessing 40-50 fish, some I'm forgetting right now but mostly consisting of:

    lots of tangs
    wrasses-red velvet, naoko, red head salon, etc. No dragon wrasses if that matters.
    1 filefish
    gobies
    4 pyramid butterflies
    anthias-blotched, red stripe, bartlett's
    1 hogfish
    1 large spotbreast angelfish

    Thanks so much to anyone still reading!
     
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  2. Joey waid

    Joey waid Well-Known Member

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    Everything I have read is that you have to let your display tank go fallow for 78 days. So that means your fish need to be in quarantine for that long too. Your copper is a one time thing for 30 days once you get it to therapeutic levels.
     
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  3. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Cool, so that 30 days of Cupramine is enough time for all phases of the ich parasite to hatch and be killed by the copper?
     
  4. stunreefer

    stunreefer Reef Hugger R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Coppersafe is likely a better option for you over Cupramine as it seems to be more gentle, especially since this will be your first foray into QTing. I always recommend ramping copper slowly, divide total dose into four parts, added every 24 hours.

    As nice as automated WC's seems in this situation, you would have to predose the "fresh" saltwater in its reservoir with copper prior to hooking up. Otherwise, you'll just dilute copper daily through water changes. Not sure if you want to expose reservoir to copper. Same circumstance once treating with praziquantel.

    While a skimmer will not directly remove copper (although it will remove praziquantel) inevitably some will be removed in the water pulled out. Hard to compensate for that, but possible if testing frequently. I generally recommend large water changes every 2-3 days, then add the correct amount of med to "fresh" saltwater.

    30 days does not absolutely guarantee, but pretty darn close. Closely inspect fishes after treatment prior to returning to display. You'll have time, as you want your display fallow (fishless) for 72+ days.
     
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  5. Joey waid

    Joey waid Well-Known Member

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    Should be. I don't like to it longer because it's so bad for the fish.
     
  6. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Good deal, thank you both for the info. I'll read up on Coppersafe, I didn't come across that in the reading I did, but a more gentle medication sounds much more appealing on my initial adventure into this
     
  7. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I bought the seachem copper test kit, will that also work with Coppersafe?
     
  8. Joey waid

    Joey waid Well-Known Member

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    It's supposed to.
     
  9. Empress

    Empress Well-Known Member

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    Seachem copper kit and Salifert copper kit goes with Cupermine. And API test kit go with Coppersafe. Hope that helps. Or you can check out Humblefish's sticky on How to Quarantine.
     
  10. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Very helpful, thanks everyone
     
  11. Empress

    Empress Well-Known Member

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    You need API for Coppersafe.
     
  12. Joey waid

    Joey waid Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I have both, I guess I looked at the wrong box.
     
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  13. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Wow.. what a tough position to be in!

    No, 1 month of Cupramine does not guarantee total ich eradication. There are some strains that can encyst longer than the treatment window. It would be unusual, but it is possible. No copper product (or any other for that matter) will be 100% effective for every strain of ich for 30 days. This is one main reason Humblefish recommends observation after the treatment. To get around this, I move my fish directly from copper treatment into a clean tank, typically my DT. This removes the fear of longer delaying cysts of ich but does open up other problems. In the future I will move them to another QT, mostly to avoid aggression issues and let the fish recover from the copper treatment before introducing them into the DT.

    Personally, as others have said, I prefer Coppersafe. Odds are you would be fine if you prefer Cupramine. Just make sure you get the right test set and maintain the correct level for the copper product you chose.
    http://www.reef2reef.com/threads/copper-test-kits.257924/
     
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  14. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Yeah it's a doosey, which is why I've put it off for so long. Thanks for your input as well.. It makes my head spin researching the different medications, I'll read a lot and get my mind made up, then read several more articles that make me doubt one choice or the other.. I need some advil!

    I may try coppersafe first, and track down a large glass tank in the mean time to put everyone in to observe after treatment..in the mean time they'll be in a large rubbermaid trough I can't see through but good enough for medicating. Definitely good motivation to maintain proper QT procedures going forward!
     
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  15. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I would look into getting a large Rubbermaid tote (like 100 gallon). Much cheaper than glass. Once your 30 days are up, move the fish into it. Break down your QT, clean it with bleach, and let it dry for 24 hrs. Set it back up and move your fish back into it. Dr Tims bacteria or Biospira are your friend! Observe there for the rest of your time.

    Just a thought.
     
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  16. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Cool, yea I've got them in a large rubbermaid trough currently, I was thinking transferring to a glass tank for observation, but I'll see how well I can observe in the tote first to see if I can get a good enough view of everyone. It's gonna be a long December. (Cue Counting Crows into)
     
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  17. Justin D

    Justin D Well-Known Member

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    Call sea chem support and i will tell you that's why I listen to they are chemists
     
  18. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member Expert Contributor

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    The biggest problem I see with this is with prazi. Prazi needs to be undiluted in the water for a minimum of 24 hours to be effective. I would turn off the DOS for 24 hours when you dose the prazi. There's no need to add prazi to the holding container of saltwater as it doesn't need to be redosed until 5-7 days after the first dose. At that time you would turn the DOS off again and dose the prazi.
    +1 But it's pretty darn close. I've never had a problem, though I know a person or two that ran into strains that encysted for longer than 30 days.
    I also prefer Coppersafe.
     
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  19. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member Expert Contributor

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  20. Jeffdstafford

    Jeffdstafford Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Based on their other products, I definitely feel Seachem knows their stuff, and that's the main reason I was initially leaning toward Cupramine..the trust I have in their products

    -Good to know; I was planning to get a separate container and dose fresh saltwater with copper to maintain levels, glad you told me about this..I'll now leave it off for a day after I dose prazi.

    -I'll make sure to observe closely after the copper period is over to see if any come back since I'll still have about 2 months waiting out the fallow period.

    -I ordered some Coppersafe and the API test kit today, so I'll probably start with that since it sounds a bit more forgiving for a 1st time user

    Pretty close to info overload, but exactly what I was hoping to get..lot's of people chiming in with their experience..this has helped a ton in solidifying my thoughts and what direction to take, as I was still quite uncertain even after reading up for a few days.

    I've got a decent plane ride tomorrow, so that will be a perfect time to read up on that thread you linked to, appreciate the heads up. It's a daunting task once you start searching copper treatment on google..it's opening up Pandora's box!
     
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