Black Ich (turbellarians)

Humblefish

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Black Ich (turbellarians)

What You Need To Know:

* Parasitic flatworm infestation; tangs are most often afflicted.
* Primary symptom is small black dots on the fish. (Not to be confused with Clownfish Hyper-Melanization.)
* Best chemical treatments for this disease are Praziquantel and Formalin. Osmotic shock (Hyposalinity, freshwater dips) is an alternative treatment option.




Additional Information

There are two species of turbellarian flatworms which are known to parasitize marine fish: Paravortex sp. and Piscinquilinus subcutaneus. Paravortex are smaller and appear as grains of black spots rather than lumps. Piscinquilinus are relatively large and lie deep within the dermis. As a result, a pigmented dermis may show once killed, resulting in a black spot, regardless of a living parasite within the skin.

Both species are thought to have a single host life cycle producing several juveniles. This cycle is completed in 10 days although from research by Justine et al. (2009) showed the Piscinquilinus remained on the fish for at least 30 days. Investigations also showed poorly developed reproductive organs indicating maturation once the parasite has left the fish. They then produce a ‘cocoon’ like fibrous structure in the substrate, within which they reproduce and therefore re-infect (Justine et al. 2008).

Treatment Options:
  1. Praziquantel – 2 mg/L single dose for 7 days in a QT. Both Prazipro (2.5 mg/L) and API General Cure (2.0 mg/L) contain sufficient concentrations of praziquantel.
  2. Formalin – 45 to 60 minute bath treatment, followed by transfer into a sterile QT afterwards.
  3. Hyposalinity – Treat at 1.009 SG for at least 10 days. This kills both the infective and free living stages of the life cycle.
  4. Freshwater Dip – 5 minute freshwater dip may only provide temporary relief, and not result in complete eradication.
 
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Humblefish

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Ok thanks can I treat this in the main display tank I don't have a lot of coral's in there
Prazipro is fairly reef safe. It might kill any ornamental feather dusters you have though.
 
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Good info here. I didn't know "black ich" was a thing.
 

melypr1985

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What were the results of this since I will be applying it in the near future
This was more of an informative post that would be used as a reference or a place to ask "black ick" related questions. But I think I can answer your question anyway. After two rounds of Prazipro a week apart, with a water change in between the fish would have been cleared of the worms. The first round of Prazi will kill the adults but not the eggs left behind. The second round kills the newly hatched babies before they can lay more. The water change in between will help dilute any pollution (minimal) caused by all the dying worms.

Prazi is only active in the water for 48 hours and only takes 24 hours to work it's magic. I hope this answers your question, if not please feel free to clarify what you were looking to find out. :)
 
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When I bought my yellow tang, it came with the black spots but I didn't notice then. A person from a fish store told me to buy hermit crabs, as they help with the sand larvae or something related to the black ich so I did. The black spots are gone but now it has some sort of shade on the sides. What could this be? How can I treat it? My tank is new so I don't know much about this. Thanks for the help in advance :)
 

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When I bought my yellow tang, it came with the black spots but I didn't notice then. A person from a fish store told me to buy hermit crabs, as they help with the sand larvae or something related to the black ich so I did. The black spots are gone but now it has some sort of shade on the sides. What could this be? How can I treat it? My tank is new so I don't know much about this. Thanks for the help in advance :)
Welcome to R2R! Hermits aren't going to do anything for larva or black ich just FYI. The shady spots on the side could just be part of his "night time camo" since it looks like it's dark in the tank in that picture. If they are there during the daytime too, then it's possible that it's the start of a bacterial infection. You could feed vitamins in his food and nori to help boost his immune system which would help him fight off the infection on his own. in the mean time just observe and if it gets worse, be ready to treat in QT with antibiotics like kanaplex or furan2
 

Keily

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Welcome to R2R! Hermits aren't going to do anything for larva or black ich just FYI. The shady spots on the side could just be part of his "night time camo" since it looks like it's dark in the tank in that picture. If they are there during the daytime too, then it's possible that it's the start of a bacterial infection. You could feed vitamins in his food and nori to help boost his immune system which would help him fight off the infection on his own. in the mean time just observe and if it gets worse, be ready to treat in QT with antibiotics like kanaplex or furan2

Yeah, they're there all the time now, not just when the lights are off :( what about this prazi thing they're talking about?
I don't see it eating pellets. It just picks on the rocks.
Also, will it spread to other tangs? I also have a sailfin tang and want to get a blue tang.
Thank you veryyyy much ❤
 

melypr1985

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Yeah, they're there all the time now, not just when the lights are off :( what about this prazi thing they're talking about?
I don't see it eating pellets. It just picks on the rocks.
Also, will it spread to other tangs? I also have a sailfin tang and want to get a blue tang.
Thank you veryyyy much ❤
Prazi is how you would treat black ich (which is actually a worm and not related to ich at all). Since you think your tang had it, then it's not a bad idea to treat with prazi anyway. The spots are likely an infection setting in. It's bacterial in nature so yes, it can spread to other fish, but usually it will only be a problem for those that have a poor immune system due to parasites or stress or poor nutrition... ect. You can take him out and treat with antibiotics like kanaplex but that must be done in a QT for the best results.
 
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I'm asking out of general curiosity..
If you ran into a prazi resistant strain, such as with flukes, can hyposalinity be another option before having to try formalin?
Yes; run hypo for about a week to treat prazi resistant worms.
 

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4FDD13E1-DF14-46F2-87CA-D14019FBC67E.jpeg BB940315-D284-445C-91EC-D1B64DA7C340.jpeg This might be black ick on my clownfish but I hear allot of talk about Tangs on this thread. Does this look like black ick above my clownfish eye? It’s a dark color streak and I just saw this on her. Before and after pictures. Thank you for your help.
 

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