Cirolanid Isopods in my setup- HELP!

Ricky J

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About a week ago I ordered some live rock from TBSaltwater which I must say their customer service is the best I’ve experienced in the industry. Ordered a small amount, shipment came in, I inspected with the naked eye and threw it in the sump. DUN DUN DUNNNN, a couple days go by and I find some some crabs in the sump and one anemone which I’m not concerned about. Until I spotted something new on my powder brown. Without a doubt it’s a Cirolanid isopod. Fortunately the particular isopod on my powder brown disappeared.

The first spotting must’ve been about 4 days and since I’ve seen one on all of my fish except for my black ice clowns and mandarin dragonet.

What I’ve figured out - I can rule out that they prefer a specific color. I had one on my powder brown which I’ll share, a fatty on my orange spotted goby which I removed and now one on my Whitetail Bristletooth and Yellow Tang. My whitetail and yellow I’m hoping to catch today to remove the isopods. Catching an isopod seems to be no easy task. They will only come out at night and I don’t have the availability to stare at my display at midnight lol so trapping/ baiting has to be the answer. Now I’ve been trying the shrimp method, clipping shrimp in the display over night and the bottle trick with shrimp during the day in the sump. Neither of which I’ve noticed has been able to lure any in. It dawned on me today that my filter sock could act as a trap so I checked it but no dice, swapped it out with a clean filter sock anyways.

As of now I’m not seeing much success combatting these suckers and could use some input to better deal with them, any information would be much appreciated!

D6874210-B6DF-42D6-9D4B-3D08BF7A9F79.jpeg
 
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About a week ago I ordered some live rock from TBSaltwater which I must say their customer service is the best I’ve experienced in the industry. Ordered a small amount, shipment came in, I inspected with the naked eye and threw it in the sump. DUN DUN DUNNNN, a couple days go by and I find some some crabs in the sump and one anemone which I’m not concerned about. Until I spotted something new on my powder brown. Without a doubt it’s a Cirolanid isopod. Fortunately the particular isopod on my powder brown disappeared.

The first spotting must’ve been about 4 days and since I’ve seen one on all of my fish except for my black ice clowns and mandarin dragonet.

What I’ve figured out - I can rule out that they prefer a specific color. I had one on my powder brown which I’ll share, a fatty on my orange spotted goby which I removed and now one on my Whitetail Bristletooth and Yellow Tang. My whitetail and yellow I’m hoping to catch today to remove the isopods. Catching an isopod seems to be no easy task. They will only come out at night and I don’t have the availability to stare at my display at midnight lol so trapping/ baiting has to be the answer. Now I’ve been trying the shrimp method, clipping shrimp in the display over night and the bottle trick with shrimp during the day in the sump. Neither of which I’ve noticed has been able to lure any in. It dawned on me today that my filter sock could act as a trap so I checked it but no dice, swapped it out with a clean filter sock anyways.

As of now I’m not seeing much success combatting these suckers and could use some input to better deal with them, any information would be much appreciated!

D6874210-B6DF-42D6-9D4B-3D08BF7A9F79.jpeg
Yikes. A freshwater water dip for 5 minutes the same temperature as your display tank should force them to fall off. If not, you can net fish and SLOWLY work it off with tweezers and also praziquantel should work
 
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Ricky J

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Well I know how to get them off the fish, the issue I’m having is finding a good means of getting the parasitic pods out. You think prazi would kill them?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Well I know how to get them off the fish, the issue I’m having is finding a good means of getting the parasitic pods out. You think prazi would kill them?
Prazi won't harm them. Formalin dips will kill and dislodge them from the skin of fish, but not the tank. I think trapping is the best way to go. Growth inhibiting drugs, or chitin inhibitors work, but only on growing isopods and copepods, once full grown, they are tough to kill.

From some text I wrote up on this:
There are two basic treatment choices; chemicals that kill the parasites outright or specialty insecticidal agents that inhibit the molting process of the growing copepods/isopods - Insect Growth Regulators). Cyromazine and Diflubenzuron (Dimilin) are often used growth regulators for the control of crustacean parasites in fish. Never apply these compounds in aquariums that house invertebrates. Directly toxic chemical baths are more stressful to the fish, but can include formalin (150-167 ppm for 45 minutes), or potassium permanganate (100 ppm for 30 minutes). Previously, Dylox (Trichloron) was promoted as a treatment for anchor worm, but its toxicity to both fish and humans indicate that it should not be used.

Jay
 

LiverockRocks

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About a week ago I ordered some live rock from TBSaltwater which I must say their customer service is the best I’ve experienced in the industry. Ordered a small amount, shipment came in, I inspected with the naked eye and threw it in the sump. DUN DUN DUNNNN, a couple days go by and I find some some crabs in the sump and one anemone which I’m not concerned about. Until I spotted something new on my powder brown. Without a doubt it’s a Cirolanid isopod. Fortunately the particular isopod on my powder brown disappeared.

The first spotting must’ve been about 4 days and since I’ve seen one on all of my fish except for my black ice clowns and mandarin dragonet.

What I’ve figured out - I can rule out that they prefer a specific color. I had one on my powder brown which I’ll share, a fatty on my orange spotted goby which I removed and now one on my Whitetail Bristletooth and Yellow Tang. My whitetail and yellow I’m hoping to catch today to remove the isopods. Catching an isopod seems to be no easy task. They will only come out at night and I don’t have the availability to stare at my display at midnight lol so trapping/ baiting has to be the answer. Now I’ve been trying the shrimp method, clipping shrimp in the display over night and the bottle trick with shrimp during the day in the sump. Neither of which I’ve noticed has been able to lure any in. It dawned on me today that my filter sock could act as a trap so I checked it but no dice, swapped it out with a clean filter sock anyways.

As of now I’m not seeing much success combatting these suckers and could use some input to better deal with them, any information would be much appreciated!

D6874210-B6DF-42D6-9D4B-3D08BF7A9F79.jpeg
Hiya @Ricky J sorry to learn you have encountered cirolanid isopods.

This is what we know from previous customers, chatting with @liverock and our experience:
  • Past customers suggest evening adventures netting or turkey baster removal, setting stinky shrimp traps, adding wrasses, adding cleaner shrimp and most encouraging is that isopods will eventually die off naturally to become a memory.
  • Richard's experience was that these are infrequent hitchhikers. If you see one on a fish, net the fish to remove the isopod and with time they die off. This is a temporary hitchhiker.
  • We have not spied isopods roaming the holding system; however, every report of a negative hitchhiker is taken seriously. Of course, we don't want negative hitchhikers in our customer's tanks. Our angle is to address negative tank guests with their natural predator. Any whelk or gorilla we find are fed to the resident stone crab, Fido. The rare solitary nem in the aiptasia family meets the Florida peppermint. We are actively investigating isopod predators local to the TBS farm.
 
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Ricky J

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Hiya @Ricky J sorry to learn you have encountered cirolanid isopods.

This is what we know from previous customers, chatting with @liverock and our experience:
  • Past customers suggest evening adventures netting or turkey baster removal, setting stinky shrimp traps, adding wrasses, adding cleaner shrimp and most encouraging is that isopods will eventually die off naturally to become a memory.
  • Richard's experience was that these are infrequent hitchhikers. If you see one on a fish, net the fish to remove the isopod and with time they die off. This is a temporary hitchhiker.
  • We have not spied isopods roaming the holding system; however, every report of a negative hitchhiker is taken seriously. Of course, we don't want negative hitchhikers in our customer's tanks. Our angle is to address negative tank guests with their natural predator. Any whelk or gorilla we find are fed to the resident stone crab, Fido. The rare solitary nem in the aiptasia family meets the Florida peppermint. We are actively investigating isopod predators local to the TBS farm.
I appreciate the input, I’ll just have to continue combating these suckers till they’re all gone!
 

TeeJay87

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I battled cirolanid isopods from 100 lbs of TBS live rock and 75 lbs of their live sand. It took me about 5-6 months to get rid of them, and it's not an exaggeration that I captured at least 2,000 (probably 3,000+). The good news is that they never did any real harm to my fish. They would attach to fish overnight, and usually all cirolanids would drop off their hosts by noon. I set traps into the tank after it began to get dark at night. Stinky water wasn't especially helpful for me, I baited my traps with cheap unpeeled frozen shrimp (usually half a piece was enough). I suspect the fact the bait was frozen may have helped waft the scent across the tanks due to the temperature difference between the tank and the bait. The key is you have to collect the trap after 30 mins or an hour or so. If you wait until the morning, almost all will find their way out of the trap. It may have been helpful to set and collect another trap in the morning before sunrise; I didn't have this much commitment.
 

BrittneyC

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I battled cirolanid isopods from 100 lbs of TBS live rock and 75 lbs of their live sand. It took me about 5-6 months to get rid of them, and it's not an exaggeration that I captured at least 2,000 (probably 3,000+). The good news is that they never did any real harm to my fish. They would attach to fish overnight, and usually all cirolanids would drop off their hosts by noon. I set traps into the tank after it began to get dark at night. Stinky water wasn't especially helpful for me, I baited my traps with cheap unpeeled frozen shrimp (usually half a piece was enough). I suspect the fact the bait was frozen may have helped waft the scent across the tanks due to the temperature difference between the tank and the bait. The key is you have to collect the trap after 30 mins or an hour or so. If you wait until the morning, almost all will find their way out of the trap. It may have been helpful to set and collect another trap in the morning before sunrise; I didn't have this much commitment.
I have never had this issue but would like to know what your trap looked like in case the need ever arises. Do you mind sharing a picture?
 
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I used the same technique as TeeJay. No pics but i simple cut the top off of a plastic soda bottle converted it and held it in place with a rubber band for east removal. Worked well, and the pods eventually went away on their own. I probably caught 50-60 in my 80 gal display over 6-8 months.
 

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I used exactly this trap from this article: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/bp/index.php

If you have an active adult breeder, you might increase the size of the hole so the adult can fit. A smaller hole will be better for the baby cirolanids. For any adult sized cirolanids, your best bet may be hunting them with a red light and turkey baster.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 11.06.20 AM.png
 

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I used the same technique as TeeJay. No pics but i simple cut the top off of a plastic soda bottle converted it and held it in place with a rubber band for east removal. Worked well, and the pods eventually went away on their own. I probably caught 50-60 in my 80 gal display over 6-8 months.
Sorry did not catch the typo. Should read inverted not converted.
 

Jeeperz

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I battled cirolanid isopods from 100 lbs of TBS live rock and 75 lbs of their live sand. It took me about 5-6 months to get rid of them, and it's not an exaggeration that I captured at least 2,000 (probably 3,000+). The good news is that they never did any real harm to my fish. They would attach to fish overnight, and usually all cirolanids would drop off their hosts by noon. I set traps into the tank after it began to get dark at night. Stinky water wasn't especially helpful for me, I baited my traps with cheap unpeeled frozen shrimp (usually half a piece was enough). I suspect the fact the bait was frozen may have helped waft the scent across the tanks due to the temperature difference between the tank and the bait. The key is you have to collect the trap after 30 mins or an hour or so. If you wait until the morning, almost all will find their way out of the trap. It may have been helpful to set and collect another trap in the morning before sunrise; I didn't have this much commitment.
Sweet, not what I wanted to hear. I just ordered from TBS to reseed 3 of my tanks. Was planning qt though. Will they die off in a qt tank with zero fish? I purchased both sand and rock. I'll obviously have to ghost feed the qt. Maybe I should have spent more for the vendors of Aussie rock?
 

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Sweet, not what I wanted to hear. I just ordered from TBS to reseed 3 of my tanks. Was planning qt though. Will they die off in a qt tank with zero fish? I purchased both sand and rock. I'll obviously have to ghost feed the qt. Maybe I should have spent more for the vendors of Aussie rock?
The research I did when battling them in my tank pretty much indicated they are able to survive on detritus and other nutrients in the absence of fish. Set up a bottle trap with a small piece of frozen shrimp when you get the rock and you will know very soon if they are present or not in the rock. Good luck, hopefully you do not end up with them, but they can be beat.
 

TeeJay87

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Sweet, not what I wanted to hear. I just ordered from TBS to reseed 3 of my tanks. Was planning qt though. Will they die off in a qt tank with zero fish? I purchased both sand and rock. I'll obviously have to ghost feed the qt. Maybe I should have spent more for the vendors of Aussie rock?
I do have to say that I love my TBS live rock. There are going to be pests on any live rock. You are way ahead of the game that you aware of the isopods. This was my first aquarium of any kind and I had no idea about cirolanids. I actually found some when cleaning out my filter for the first time and assumed they were good copepods and added them back to the tank. Knowing what I now know, I'm sure I would have gotten rid of them before any breeding occurred (I do wish TBS had made me aware of the possibility of this pest like they do with gorilla crabs). Keep an eye out for them and proactively set traps as someone else said, and you'll be fine.
 

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I do have to say that I love my TBS live rock. There are going to be pests on any live rock. You are way ahead of the game that you aware of the isopods. This was my first aquarium of any kind and I had no idea about cirolanids. I actually found some when cleaning out my filter for the first time and assumed they were good copepods and added them back to the tank. Knowing what I now know, I'm sure I would have gotten rid of them before any breeding occurred (I do wish TBS had made me aware of the possibility of this pest like they do with gorilla crabs). Keep an eye out for them and proactively set traps as someone else said, and you'll be fine.
THIS, is what I'm discouraged by. Nowhere on there site do they mention them AND they've admitted they ARE a known problem. Sounds like shady business practices to me. Kinda like modern day politicians
 

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