Certain Death! Is there an organism, if present in our aquariums, that there is no coming back from?

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JayinToronto

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This question came to my mind today when I was thinking about all the discussion around Aquabiomics and the genetic diversity in our aquariums. If we want to increase the genetic diversity in our own systems there are a number of methods we currently use such as adding live rock, mud or sand from either the ocean or an established system. However these methods carry with them their own inherent potential problems such as the introduction of an undesirable micro or macro organism. One of the potential solutions to this is to test the system from which you are getting the rock, sand, etc. My question is is there an organism that you 100% don't want to get in your system as there is basically no way to come back from it. The human example would be something like the Sudan version of the Ebola virus with a death rate >80%.

I hope this also opens up some discussion around some of the undesirable but survivable nasties we see in our aquariums and the methods we have to remove them and their success rate. For example I've had aptasia in my system in the past (probably still do) but it's controlled by my copper banded butterfly fish, so for me the risk of adding something from a system with known aptasia isn't all that concerning to me. Ick? Have had that too. I feel comfortable that the hobby has some solid solutions to that. Dino's? Thanks to the work by @mccarol and others on this forum, no longer a death sentence.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!
 
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ScottB

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Nice idea for a thread.
Hmmm. My paranoia around pests has definitely settled down over the years. I really have to credit this community for that I think. I feel like I can manage around most of the pest issues because, well, I've had to do it. I am fortunate that I can afford the proper tools (examples: a quality UV or a bunch of Berghia nudis) and this forum has a wealth of information that is freely exchanged.

I don't QT fish; I just follow the PaulB philosophy to keep my fish fat. I've had every bug, every worm, aiptasia, vermetids, ich, you name it. I do QT and dip corals though. It can be a lot of work to manage aefw. Believe me.

All my rock was live. I will never attempt a dead rock start again. Once was enough. I'll take my chances with hitch hikers.

This is not to say my philosophy will never change because it has evolved so much over time already.
 

Ippyroy

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Several fish diseases and parasites can wipe out your tank very quickly. One small stress event, power outages, can cause the disease to run rampant through your livestock and wipe everything out. There are ways to fight most pests, but they are not all successful nor viable for every tank. My current tank is too small for a CBB. I would have to remove the rock with the aip as soon as I saw it. Ich can be regulated if not gotten rid of. But what about marine velvet? Flukes and intestinal parasites. Dinos aren't as bad they were at one time, but you can have multiple species at the same time making it extremely complicated to fight.
ispf.com is another great site you can use. They will send you some awesome live sand and some water from their system. Their live mud is amazing. I used it and had very little ugly stage. What I did have was caused by living an artic environment where getting livestock shipped to me is rather hard for several months out of the year. I have learned my lesson and will build a much larger CUC before next winter.
I love using dry rock. It is the only type I will ever use. But I am not afraid to use ispf.com at all either. I have bristle worms that I purposely added to my tank. I believe I have done a decent job of building the biodiversity in my tank in less than a year. You could also buy cheap corals and keep them on a frag rack. This will also increase the good stuff you need and if the coral dies you still made your tank better.
 

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JayinToronto

JayinToronto

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Nice idea for a thread.
Hmmm. My paranoia around pests has definitely settled down over the years. I really have to credit this community for that I think. I feel like I can manage around most of the pest issues because, well, I've had to do it. I am fortunate that I can afford the proper tools (examples: a quality UV or a bunch of Berghia nudis) and this forum has a wealth of information that is freely exchanged.

I don't QT fish; I just follow the PaulB philosophy to keep my fish fat. I've had every bug, every worm, aiptasia, vermetids, ich, you name it. I do QT and dip corals though. It can be a lot of work to manage aefw. Believe me.

All my rock was live. I will never attempt a dead rock start again. Once was enough. I'll take my chances with hitch hikers.

This is not to say my philosophy will never change because it has evolved so much over time already.
Thanks for the comment. This is exactly what I'm talking about. We have gotten so good at so many things. What are we terrible at still?

I follow the same approach as you regarding QT. My experience is that the fish in the small artificial QT tanks only stresses them out further. I'm sure we will get our share of backlash to saying this.

What specifically are you most concerned about with your corals. Is there something from your experiences that there is no coming back from?
 
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JayinToronto

JayinToronto

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Several fish diseases and parasites can wipe out your tank very quickly. One small stress event, power outages, can cause the disease to run rampant through your livestock and wipe everything out. There are ways to fight most pests, but they are not all successful nor viable for every tank. My current tank is too small for a CBB. I would have to remove the rock with the aip as soon as I saw it. Ich can be regulated if not gotten rid of. But what about marine velvet? Flukes and intestinal parasites. Dinos aren't as bad they were at one time, but you can have multiple species at the same time making it extremely complicated to fight.
ispf.com is another great site you can use. They will send you some awesome live sand and some water from their system. Their live mud is amazing. I used it and had very little ugly stage. What I did have was caused by living an artic environment where getting livestock shipped to me is rather hard for several months out of the year. I have learned my lesson and will build a much larger CUC before next winter.
I love using dry rock. It is the only type I will ever use. But I am not afraid to use ispf.com at all either. I have bristle worms that I purposely added to my tank. I believe I have done a decent job of building the biodiversity in my tank in less than a year. You could also buy cheap corals and keep them on a frag rack. This will also increase the good stuff you need and if the coral dies you still made your tank better.
Do you have the name of that company? ispf.com doesn't seem to link to anything.
In the spirit of this thread, do you know if that company has had their mud tested for all the nasties that you mentioned? ie marine velvet, flukes or intestinal parasites? How can you be sure it doesn't contain those things.

Also, are you saying that marine velvet is one of those tear down situations or is there a decent solution for this? I (fingers crossed) have never had to deal with any of the things you mentioned so can't comment on their overall tank lethality. What are your thoughts on those things?
 

Ippyroy

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Do you have the name of that company? ispf.com doesn't seem to link to anything.
In the spirit of this thread, do you know if that company has had their mud tested for all the nasties that you mentioned? ie marine velvet, flukes or intestinal parasites? How can you be sure it doesn't contain those things.

Also, are you saying that marine velvet is one of those tear down situations or is there a decent solution for this? I (fingers crossed) have never had to deal with any of the things you mentioned so can't comment on their overall tank lethality. What are your thoughts on those things?
Sorry. ipsf.com. There site is horrible to navigate but it is so worth it in the long run.
Marine velvet can wipe out an entire system quickly. That is why I believe in observation tanks. I don't know much about it. It might only be on fish. I agree we as a hobby need to grow and look into building biodiversity. Some people are stuck on the idea that live rock is the only way to do it. If you know someone with a nice clean tank, that has been up for a while, throw some rubble rock in a mesh bag and put it in their tank for a few months. When you start to cycle your tank, add the bag of rubble. Next time someone wants to build a tank, give them the bag. just keep passing it around. Do a snapshot from aquabiomics before passing it on. I'd gladly pay 100 bucks for that bag. Just keep it in a mason jar with a tight lid while moving it.
 

Ippyroy

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If I had the room and time I would buy a few 500 gallon rubbermaid troughs. Put a couple of return pumps in each one with a Teed PVC pipe to circulate the water from the bottom to the top and heater. A lid on them would be nice as well, no need to add top off water. Put a live rock from some place like WWC in the bottom. Get a huge load of Marco Reefsaver rock and start breaking it up into smaller pieces. Put the small rubble rock into mesh bags, put them in one of the troughs without the liverock and dose with MB XLM and add ammonia. Do 100% water change every 2 weeks until the rocks stop leaching PO4. Could possibly dose lanthanum chloride to do the same thing. After the PO4 is gone, put the bags in a trough with the live rock from a known clean source and leave alone for a while. Send of samples to aquabiomics. Once the biome is set, put bag in plastic jar with lid and water, mail away. Easy way to cycle a tank. A bag of rubble will turn dry rock into real live rock minus the pests quickly.
 

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If I had the room and time I would buy a few 500 gallon rubbermaid troughs. Put a couple of return pumps in each one with a Teed PVC pipe to circulate the water from the bottom to the top and heater. A lid on them would be nice as well, no need to add top off water. Put a live rock from some place like WWC in the bottom. Get a huge load of Marco Reefsaver rock and start breaking it up into smaller pieces. Put the small rubble rock into mesh bags, put them in one of the troughs without the liverock and dose with MB XLM and add ammonia. Do 100% water change every 2 weeks until the rocks stop leaching PO4. Could possibly dose lanthanum chloride to do the same thing. After the PO4 is gone, put the bags in a trough with the live rock from a known clean source and leave alone for a while. Send of samples to aquabiomics. Once the biome is set, put bag in plastic jar with lid and water, mail away. Easy way to cycle a tank. A bag of rubble will turn dry rock into real live rock minus the pests quickly.
I love this idea and would really like to do something like that myself. You know I wonder would it be better to cycle that kind of system first before adding the live rock?
 
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I have had ich managed in a system that was up over 12 years when I moved it and something triggered a complete fish die off. Took about a month for me to lose all my fish. The hardest was my 14+ with me Kole tang. That one hurt a lot.

I am not sure what did it other than stress. Lots of corals died in that move too.

One other thing I have had in my system is BJD. It is nasty, but if you get the corals out, treat them and keep them out of the system a while it can be cured.

I had an incident that affected only my montis. I had an Alk spike and then over the course of about 4-5 months, montis began dying from what looked like a bacteria infection. Killed all of them. Horrible experience. I did not do montis again.
 

Ippyroy

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I love this idea and would really like to do something like that myself. You know I wonder would it be better to cycle that kind of system first before adding the live rock?
You wouldn't need too if the live rock from a known clean source is kept wet. I would cycle the dry rock first with 100% WCs to help remove the PO4. It might be better to build something like a 100 gallon clownfish haram to feed it. 30 clowns from a breeder as one clutch would be free of ich and other diseases I would think. If you used live rock from a clean source it would be fairly easy to do I would think.
 

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Sorry. ipsf.com. There site is horrible to navigate but it is so worth it in the long run.
Marine velvet can wipe out an entire system quickly. That is why I believe in observation tanks. I don't know much about it. It might only be on fish. I agree we as a hobby need to grow and look into building biodiversity. Some people are stuck on the idea that live rock is the only way to do it. If you know someone with a nice clean tank, that has been up for a while, throw some rubble rock in a mesh bag and put it in their tank for a few months. When you start to cycle your tank, add the bag of rubble. Next time someone wants to build a tank, give them the bag. just keep passing it around. Do a snapshot from aquabiomics before passing it on. I'd gladly pay 100 bucks for that bag. Just keep it in a mason jar with a tight lid while moving it.
But aren't you then just a better vector for infection? I wouldn't want to pass along a bag of live rock to anyone who doesn't fully understand the risks of what they're taking. And until you've battled with some of these issues yourself, it's hard to have develop that perspective.
 

Ippyroy

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But aren't you then just a better vector for infection? I wouldn't want to pass along a bag of live rock to anyone who doesn't fully understand the risks of what they're taking. And until you've battled with some of these issues yourself, it's hard to have develop that perspective.
Hence the aquabiomics test. It costs a 100 bucks to do a snapshot and find out what's in the tank. If it comes back with some nasties, you could either figure out how to fix it, or go back a tank and start over. I'm suggesting to do this for new tanks with dry rock. Dump the bag of rubble into a Brute can with dry rock and start cycling the rock. It would be real live rock in 4 months or so I guess. Send the bag on to the next person.
 
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JayinToronto

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If I had the room and time I would buy a few 500 gallon rubbermaid troughs. Put a couple of return pumps in each one with a Teed PVC pipe to circulate the water from the bottom to the top and heater. A lid on them would be nice as well, no need to add top off water. Put a live rock from some place like WWC in the bottom. Get a huge load of Marco Reefsaver rock and start breaking it up into smaller pieces. Put the small rubble rock into mesh bags, put them in one of the troughs without the liverock and dose with MB XLM and add ammonia. Do 100% water change every 2 weeks until the rocks stop leaching PO4. Could possibly dose lanthanum chloride to do the same thing. After the PO4 is gone, put the bags in a trough with the live rock from a known clean source and leave alone for a while. Send of samples to aquabiomics. Once the biome is set, put bag in plastic jar with lid and water, mail away. Easy way to cycle a tank. A bag of rubble will turn dry rock into real live rock minus the pests quickly.
Love this.
Let's go into business!
I'm sure the guys at Aquabiomics are already starting this...
 
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Ippyroy

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Love this.
Let's go into business!
I'm sure the guys at Aquabiomics are already starting this...
I am sure they are. But one company is too small to do it. This would get rid of MB XLM and all other nitrifying bacs in a bottle. Starting a reef tank would be a lot easier. Instead of fighting new ways, people just need to figure new and better ways. Harvesting rock from the ocean is not a good method. To many pests and other issues. We just need to learn a different way. Imagine if aquabiomics started franchises. You set up the system and have them inspect and test it regularly. You bottle and ship. Easy as can be. People could do it in their basements and garages.
 
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JayinToronto

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I have had ich managed in a system that was up over 12 years when I moved it and something triggered a complete fish die off. Took about a month for me to lose all my fish. The hardest was my 14+ with me Kole tang. That one hurt a lot.

I am not sure what did it other than stress. Lots of corals died in that move too.

One other thing I have had in my system is BJD. It is nasty, but if you get the corals out, treat them and keep them out of the system a while it can be cured.

I had an incident that affected only my montis. I had an Alk spike and then over the course of about 4-5 months, montis began dying from what looked like a bacteria infection. Killed all of them. Horrible experience. I did not do montis again.
I wonder bacteria what that was. Would be nice to know if it's still in your system.
 

ScottB

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Thanks for the comment. This is exactly what I'm talking about. We have gotten so good at so many things. What are we terrible at still?

I follow the same approach as you regarding QT. My experience is that the fish in the small artificial QT tanks only stresses them out further. I'm sure we will get our share of backlash to saying this.

What specifically are you most concerned about with your corals. Is there something from your experiences that there is no coming back from?
Velvet may be one thing that would convulse me, but maybe only because I've never had to solve for it.

As to coral QT, treatment plans for aefw are either:
a) easy and only partially effective
b) hard work, but effective

So my concern is about doing hard, tedious, time consuming work to control them. Most of that work is detaching the corals and dipping them repeatedly which is stressful for them and laborious for me. Spent 2 hours doing just that yesterday.
 
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JayinToronto

JayinToronto

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I am sure they are. But one company is too small to do it. This would get rid of MB XLM and all other nitrifying bacs in a bottle. Starting a reef tank would be a lot easier. Instead of fighting new ways, people just need to figure new and better ways. Harvesting rock from the ocean is not a good method. To many pests and other issues. We just need to learn a different way. Imagine if aquabiomics started franchises. You set up the system and have them inspect and test it regularly. You bottle and ship. Easy as can be. People could do it in their basements and garages.
I agree with you. All the recent bad in a bottle threads along with peoples independent testing such as the work done by @taricha had made me less and less confident in what can be accomplished with a bottle.
The franchise option is brilliant especially for people like me in Canada that have trouble getting anything alive across the border.
 

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Hence the aquabiomics test. It costs a 100 bucks to do a snapshot and find out what's in the tank. If it comes back with some nasties, you could either figure out how to fix it, or go back a tank and start over. I'm suggesting to do this for new tanks with dry rock. Dump the bag of rubble into a Brute can with dry rock and start cycling the rock. It would be real live rock in 4 months or so I guess. Send the bag on to the next person.
Okay, I watched their video, and it seems that their test may be able to isolate pathogens in the water column of an aquarium -- but it certainly wouldn't be able to detect encysted parasites or diseases of individual organisms like coral, and nothing in substrate. And I'd be more interested in finding out how my tanks' biota compares with natural reef environments, and not my peers' builds. Still, interesting!
 
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