Fish dying in QT: Clownfish turning brown/purple, blue tang tail rotting

Lowell Lemon

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Jay,

In all honesty Paul has a different way of aquarium husbandry. I have done the whole prophylactic approach many times and in my own case killed way more fish than other methods. This is a fact for many hobbiests as well. People have jobs that require them to be away from the quarantine specimans for to many hours a day. Without constant round the clock monitoring of the quarantined fish it is easy to kill them through over medication, water quality degradation caused by medication interference with biological filtration and the smaller quarantine tanks qiuck swing in water quality parameters. In personal communication with Humble Fish he could not make a go of a viable business model to bring quarantined fish to the market. There seems to be a problem looking for another solution in the hobby.

Suggestions?
 
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Paul B

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You can disagree, but my data set is huge going back to 2014 when I developed this overall protocol. Have you actually ever tried it?
Good Morning Jay. No, I haven't tried it because my data set is also huge and my overall protocol goes back to 1972 and I also have never had any of those issues. Have you ever tried my method? :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Over 40 years with absolutely no communicable diseases. Not one. But my tank is set up a little differently than most tanks.

You know I believe the fishes immunity will prevent just about everything as long as certain tank parameters and food requirements are set.

But I won't force this on anyone. Many people like to quarantine and medicate and it works in many instances but I posted scientific studies where that severely shortens the lifespan of all creatures.
 

Paul B

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Lowell, Humble was here at my house a few weeks ago. We discussed my method as we watched my fish some of which are over 30 years old. I asked him a few times to look closely at my fish and see if he saw any spots, rotted fins or even one scale out of place. Ask him if he found any. :D

The vast majority of my fish die of old age, are never medicated or quarantined no matter what diseases they seem to have in the store. The rest of them jump out and a few are bullied to death. :confused-face:

The lifespans of fish, and all creatures is controlled by the Telomeres in the genes. Stress shortens them and medication, quarantine or incorrect foods hastens the process. I didn't make that up as I am an electrician and not a fish.

Also, gut bacteria helps create the fishes immunity almost 100% so lack of that (by medication) forces a fish to lose it's immunity. I also didn't make that up. But I am not a fish researcher. Just a bald guy with a fish tank so I won't try to push this method an anyone. It's just a way to enjoy this hobby. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

The original poster here asked why his fish were dying. This is my "opinion" that no one has to agree with.

One more thing. Remember most fish diseases we care about exhibit themselves on the skin of the fish. If we get a rash we can put some kind of ointment on it. But we don't drink it. Any medication we put in a fish tank is also inside the fish because, due to the gills, the water in the tank is actually an extension of the fishes circulatory system. The fishes liver and more important in a fish the kidney are also exposed to those chemicals. Most of the immunity in a fish is made by the kidney and exuded in the slime.

Have a great day. :)
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Jay,

In all honesty Paul has a different way of aquarium husbandry. I have done the whole prophylactic approach many times and in my own case killed way more fish than other methods. This is a fact for many hobbiests as well. People have jobs that require them to be away from the quarantine specimans for to many hours a day. Without constant round the clock monitoring of the quarantined fish it is easy to kill them through over medication, water quality degradation caused by medication interference with biological filtration and the smaller quarantine tanks qiuck swing in water quality parameters. In personal communication with Humble Fish he could not make a go of a viable business model to bring quarantined fish to the market. There seems to be a problem looking for another solution in the hobby.

Suggestions?

Correct, 40 years ago I tried the business model of selling pre-quarantined fish - it failed. Few people were willing to pay the 30% margin I added to the fish. What would happen is this: people would come to my store, ask my advice, then go down the street to a discount store to buy their fish, then come back to me to help with their disease issues (sigh). I did that for a year and shifted my career and got into public aquarium work.

Proper quarantine doesn't take too much extra work compared to the time spent on a typical reef tank. It does take space and money. It does add time to when you can move fish into the DT, and people are basically impatient. Frankly, I never understood the rush though - you get to enjoy the fish while it is in the QT.

I lose fish during quarantine - about 20% overall. I don't lose fish in my displays due to diseases brought in by new fish and that is HUGE.

Jay
 

Paul B

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Jay, I actually don't have a problem with quarantine. I have a problem with quarantine or any procedure where the fish are stressed as in 99% of home quarantine tanks where the fish are in a bare tank with a few PVC elbows in it and sterile (lack of living gut bacteria) food is fed.

I believe more fish will die in that then from disease. I also have a problem with "any" fish medications for the reasons I stated. The medication may help with a skin ailment, but the fish doesn't need those medications in it's organs and bloodstream.

All fish from the sea are fully immune from just about everything in the sea. I feel we just need to cultivate that immunity instead of destroying it as we do in home quarantined or medicated tanks.

As I keep saying but most people keep ignoring is the fact that gut bacteria controls 99% fish immunity.
Why not just allow the fish to keep that immunity which is much more powerful and safe for the fish than medications.

I never lose fish to disease especially new fish because I allow them to stay immune. Of course I lose new fish to bullying, jumping out, or because of my stupidity or arrogance I buy a fish I can't properly feed.

2 weeks ago I ordered 4 pipefish from a friend on Humblefishes forum. 2 bluestripes and 2 dragon faced pipes.
They sell for "more" if they are not quarantined on sites where the owner only sells pre quarantined fish but I will pay extra to get fish straight from the sea with as little time in a dealers tank as possible because I know that that immunity wanes every day that fish is stressed.

Those pipefish are fine and will live for years as all my fish do. But if I would have quarantined them, especially pipefish which need to hunt for pods all day long, their chances would be very low.

I am sure you know that medicated fish often times come down with something else. That of course if because parasites are preyed on by bacteria and viruses so if we kill the bacteria, the parasites can flourish.

The starter of this thread mentioned this: Quote:

"I’ve had all my fish in QT for about 50 days now. They finished 30 days of copper at 2.5ppm and "looked healthy".

I moved them to a new tank with fresh water after copper. Then started 1 round of Prazi + metro + kana.

I was planning a 2nd round of prazi next, but now the fish are only on kana + metro. Not sure why the clownfish is turning purple/brown and the blue "hippo’s tail is rotting". The blue hippo was scratching on a rock constantly last week."
End Quote

His fish were healthy when he got them. Look at what happened to that hippo. Bacteria is destroying what was a normal, healthy fish. Copper does that as besides killing parasites, it also kills gut bacteria. No gut bacteria equals a dead fish. You know that as I do. The fish, after all that medication has absolutely no immunity just like a cancer patient so the fish can't help itself forcing the owner to add more medication that will make the situation worse.

I am not trying to argue with anyone but I have been doing this for over half a century and doing it successfully so I think my "opinion" has some merit.

It isn't just "Don't quarantine" as that will kill your fish. But we have to take the fishes own facilities into consideration and fish have no problems until we give them problems.

If we just cultivate that gut bacteria by feeding something with living bacteria like live worms or clams and eliminating as much stress as possible by allowing the fish "normal, natural" hiding places using "rock" and not stark white plasctic, our fish would have a much better chance of living a long healthy life.

Just look at the disease forums. It's disgusting how many fish we are needlessly killing with kindness.
 

olonmv

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I don’t see these issues as related and I don’t see any relation to copper toxicity (general unthriftyness, pale color, poor appetite). The tail erosion is most likely gram negative, but to be honest, the fish isn’t going to be able to regrow the damaged bone.
I wish I could learn more about the clownfish bruise issue, but that will require sending out samples for histopathology .
Jay
Seen you post about this a few times and almost each time you’ve mentioned that samples should be sent off. And it’s usually mentioned after disposal of specimen.

Is there somewhere Op could sent the specimen to be sampled?
 
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vetteguy53081

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I’m going to try furan-2 + kanaplex. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try maracyn 2 or neoplex. I’ll report the result here.
You likely wont find Furan as it is beyond scarce, and IF you do, please let us know where you found it
 

Jay Hemdal

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Seen you post about this a few times and almost each time you’ve mentioned that samples should be sent off. And it’s usually mentioned after disposal of specimen.

Is there somewhere Op could sent the specimen to be sampled?

So - my background is public aquariums. We have staff veterinarians. Very little of the disease IDs that we do are just from gross visual symptoms. A skin scrape for microscopic analysis is the first step, but our vets often send samples out for histopath. That can cost $400 and up, and the fish needs to be fresh and then preserved in 10% NBF.

The most obvious issue that the results won't help the individual fish since it is already dead. The other drawback is that this process takes months to get results. Not very helpful for home aquarists with a tank of sick fish.

That really isn't something that home aquarists can do. I mention it to point out why we cannot ID many diseases accurately from gross symptoms....

Here is one agency that I've used for this though:

Jay
 

AC1211

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So - my background is public aquariums. We have staff veterinarians. Very little of the disease IDs that we do are just from gross visual symptoms. A skin scrape for microscopic analysis is the first step, but our vets often send samples out for histopath. That can cost $400 and up, and the fish needs to be fresh and then preserved in 10% NBF.

The most obvious issue that the results won't help the individual fish since it is already dead. The other drawback is that this process takes months to get results. Not very helpful for home aquarists with a tank of sick fish.

That really isn't something that home aquarists can do. I mention it to point out why we cannot ID many diseases accurately from gross symptoms....

Here is one agency that I've used for this though:

Jay
I have a tomato Clown now. It had this when I got him but on the body. Similar type color. I also had it with an occelaris a while back only on white. Both fish healed fine for me after moving from qt to main tank and perhaps the shift from feeding just pellets and mysis in qt to getting pellets, mysis, brine shrimp and blood worms might have helped them. It wasn't as bad as the fish shown earlier. I have seen some bad ones... from what I could tell only in captive bred clowns and only from damsel tanks...treat this as an anecdote
 
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Lowell Lemon

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Correct, 40 years ago I tried the business model of selling pre-quarantined fish - it failed. Few people were willing to pay the 30% margin I added to the fish. What would happen is this: people would come to my store, ask my advice, then go down the street to a discount store to buy their fish, then come back to me to help with their disease issues (sigh). I did that for a year and shifted my career and got into public aquarium work.

Proper quarantine doesn't take too much extra work compared to the time spent on a typical reef tank. It does take space and money. It does add time to when you can move fish into the DT, and people are basically impatient. Frankly, I never understood the rush though - you get to enjoy the fish while it is in the QT.

I lose fish during quarantine - about 20% overall. I don't lose fish in my displays due to diseases brought in by new fish and that is HUGE.

Jay
Many of my store system customers had the same result you did. That is why I looked for other methods that were reproduced by multiple stores and various employees. Management of fish is very costly and time consuming in large scale environments like stores and maybe more so in public aquariums (I don't know since I never experienced that). Most of my stores reported 3% or less mortality. Now to be honest they often only had the fish in their care for two weeks or so. That charges the experience as opposed to your experience in both stores and public aquariums.

You may remember Phil Shane at Quality Marine? I spent a lot of time in his facility and on the phone trying to implement some of the practices that I think made Quality Marine so successful during his ownership or management. No current experience in the trade but it is often said the more things change the more they are the same. Seems true with fish care.

I appreciate your experience and knowledge in fish treatment. It just seemed like a hill to high to climb in my experience as a small wholesaler, aquarium fabricator, light system builder, and filtration fabricator. I simply might have tried to wear to many hats and maybe none of them fit well hahaha!

We all have opinions about what works and many hobbiests simply rush the process to fast and stock the displays to heavily in to short a time. I do know from my experience as a laboratory technician that we often create problems for patients. I think the same applies to animals in our care. The term in medicine and denistry is iatrogenic (illness caused by medical examination or treatment). I have seen this very often in the pages and pages of fish treatment in these threads. Often the hobbiests has no clue about normal healthy fish behavior let alone signs and symptoms of disease. This makes the response of a shot gun approach very costly in fish mortality.

We need a better way. I honestly don't have answers to provide a better solution. I do know that no matter where I snorkel I never see pervasive fish disease. Immunity and nutrition must play a role just as it does in human biology. Dilution factor seems like a lame excuse when a milliliter of sea water contains 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, and about 1000 protozoa and algae (Coastal Wiki). Pretty sure our aquariums don't support that variation of organisms. Is that part of the problem? More research for sure on that end. It was not long ago a physician helped cure a form of MERSA with a virus. A Google search may bring up the story. We have so much to learn about the food web let along fish health. Interesting times for sure.
 

Lowell Lemon

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Access to a local veterinarian with aqua culture experience was invaluable to me. Washington State University had one on staff that would do scraping and nepcropsy for about $50.00 at the time. Saved me lots of wasted money on fish loss with a correct diagnosis before treatment. To bad people do not have that kind of access at all our University's.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Many of my store system customers had the same result you did. That is why I looked for other methods that were reproduced by multiple stores and various employees. Management of fish is very costly and time consuming in large scale environments like stores and maybe more so in public aquariums (I don't know since I never experienced that). Most of my stores reported 3% or less mortality. Now to be honest they often only had the fish in their care for two weeks or so. That charges the experience as opposed to your experience in both stores and public aquariums.

You may remember Phil Shane at Quality Marine? I spent a lot of time in his facility and on the phone trying to implement some of the practices that I think made Quality Marine so successful during his ownership or management. No current experience in the trade but it is often said the more things change the more they are the same. Seems true with fish care.

I appreciate your experience and knowledge in fish treatment. It just seemed like a hill to high to climb in my experience as a small wholesaler, aquarium fabricator, light system builder, and filtration fabricator. I simply might have tried to wear to many hats and maybe none of them fit well hahaha!

We all have opinions about what works and many hobbiests simply rush the process to fast and stock the displays to heavily in to short a time. I do know from my experience as a laboratory technician that we often create problems for patients. I think the same applies to animals in our care. The term in medicine and denistry is iatrogenic (illness caused by medical examination or treatment). I have seen this very often in the pages and pages of fish treatment in these threads. Often the hobbiests has no clue about normal healthy fish behavior let alone signs and symptoms of disease. This makes the response of a shot gun approach very costly in fish mortality.

We need a better way. I honestly don't have answers to provide a better solution. I do know that no matter where I snorkel I never see pervasive fish disease. Immunity and nutrition must play a role just as it does in human biology. Dilution factor seems like a lame excuse when a milliliter of sea water contains 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, and about 1000 protozoa and algae (Coastal Wiki). Pretty sure our aquariums don't support that variation of organisms. Is that part of the problem? More research for sure on that end. It was not long ago a physician helped cure a form of MERSA with a virus. A Google search may bring up the story. We have so much to learn about the food web let along fish health. Interesting times for sure.

We just don't see any latrogenesis from my current quarantine protocol, not like I would see 20 years ago when I was relying on ionic copper and formalin. The ~20% loss that we see is caused by "failure to thrive" or other diseases that this method does not cover, like coccidia and nematodes. I've measured losses as high as 50% in 40 days for groups of fish collected with cyanide, but I can usually avoid acquiring those.

I can give you some insight as to why you don't see sick fish out on the reef - it is due to predation. A fish with a damaged eye gets eaten almost immediately. Oddly, sick fish have been noted by divers in the keys during cold snaps - Cryptocaryon mostly. I found an "island of misfit fish" on a cruise I took. In the snorkeling bay, there were more parasitized fish than I had even seen before and all in one site. I had a field day taking underwater photos to illustrate my disease book! The reason? It was mostly enclosed by rocks and no apex predators were present.

Jay
 
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Crown

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OK, many people think that way. I hope they get cured. :)



I firmly disagree with this. But thats just me. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Honestly, I tried your method of not quarantining because I also hope the fish’s immune system could take care of all the diseases. It would save a ton of work. I put all my fish in the tank and tried everything I could to keep the water parameters top notch. Fresh seaweed everyday, bought rods, LFS (both blends), pe mysis, tdo pellets, selcon, kent, and a ton more. Yet my fish still developed ich. Then started dropping one by one.

It might work well for you, but not everyone has a 40 year old tank and not everyone may be as experienced in managing water parameters.

When your fish start dropping one by one and have white specks all over but all the water parameters are pristine, what would you have me do? Pray their immune system is going to kick in eventually?

Of course I dropped them into a tank with medication. Then I saw the ich go away. Yes, I have a few fish with new issues, but at least 90% of them are still alive.

I’m thankful for the help people provide help regarding QT and medication because it irrefutably saved my fish.

Remember, not everyone has your 40 year old tank and not everyone has 40 years of experience to keep conditions perfect. We do what we can to keep them alive. My fish’s life span might be 5 years shorter than your fish’s, but it’s better than then dying next week.
 

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My relatively inexperienced observation is that it is not just about method, but about habitat, diet, water volume, water quality, stability, diversity, biofilter, and species compatibility. There are so many factors that lead to success, or failure.

B-A-L-A-N-C-E is a difficult achievement.
 
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Paul B

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Crown, remember I am not trying to give advice to anyone so it kills your fish and my tank was not always 50 years old. Your fish and many fish, IMO are dying from medication, but I know that is just my opinion.

But with all do respect, you did not follow my method.

I put all my fish in the tank and tried everything I could to keep the water parameters top notch. Fresh seaweed everyday, bought rods, LFS (both blends), pe mysis, tdo pellets, selcon, kent, and a ton more. Yet my fish still developed ich. Then started dropping one by one.
I never said anything about top notch water parameters as I don't think that has a lot to do with fish health. Many of our fish, especially copperband butterflies and Moorish Idols, two types of fish that are considered difficult come from inlets and bays where the water quality is questionable.

I have dove with both species in my 50 years of diving. I myself now for the last 5 years use water right from New York with nothing done to it except filter out debris and my fish are fine. I also never mentioned Rods Food or any types of pellets. As a matter of fact I always say on these forums and in my book to "not" use pellets for a main food as they are sterile.

Selcon or any other "top notch" additive are also not in my method so there is almost nothing you did that resembles my method.

I have said numerous times and even on this thread a few times that a portion of your food must "NOT" come from a LFS and it must have real gut bacteria in it. That is where almost all fish immunity comes from.

You get that from either shellfish that you buy in a Human store and freeze it yourself in a home freezer or live worms. That is the big secret. Store bought food won't do it as it doesn't have any gut bacteria and that fact is the single biggest cause of fish diseases in this hobby.

I know what it says on the package of store bought food about pro biotics and all that. Pro biotics won't increase immunity as that is only good healthy bacteria and will not promote immunity.

Public aquariums such as Jay has experience in as do I (but much less than Jay) has plenty of living bacteria in it weather they quarantine or not just due to the fact that they are big and the fish can hunt. They find worms, crustaceans and eat each others poop. :confounded-face: which is loaded with gut bacteria.

We as home aquarists don't have the diversity in our tanks to rely on that. My method is very simple but if you don't follow it as I say, it won't work and you will always have to rely on medication.

It's the same with cancer patients, they can keep them alive in a terrible state of health using constant medication and their life span is severely shortened and they are not very healthy and feel lousy constantly. That is not what I consider living.

The quest is to get the fish healthy on their own with no medication just relying on their own immunity.

Many old tanks use my method and as I keep saying, there are no old "home" aquariums where the fish are healthy and spawning, only dying of old age if they have been through long quarantine and medication. Think about why that is. :thinking-face:
 
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Crown

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Crown, remember I am not trying to give advice to anyone so it kills your fish and my tank was not always 50 years old. Your fish and many fish, IMO are dying from medication, but I know that is just my opinion.

But with all do respect, you did not follow my method.


I never said anything about top notch water parameters as I don't think that has a lot to do with fish health. Many of our fish, especially copperband butterflies and Moorish Idols, two types of fish that are considered difficult come from inlets and bays where the water quality is questionable.

I have dove with both species in my 50 years of diving. I myself now for the last 5 years use water right from New York with nothing done to it except filter out debris and my fish are fine. I also never mentioned Rods Food or any types of pellets. As a matter of fact I always say on these forums and in my book to "not" use pellets for a main food as they are sterile.

Selcon or any other "top notch" additive are also not in my method so there is almost nothing you did that resembles my method.

I have said numerous times and even on this thread a few times that a portion of your food must "NOT" come from a LFS and it must have real gut bacteria in it. That is where almost all fish immunity comes from.

You get that from either shellfish that you buy in a Human store and freeze it yourself in a home freezer or live worms. That is the big secret. Store bought food won't do it as it doesn't have any gut bacteria and that fact is the single biggest cause of fish diseases in this hobby.

I know what it says on the package of store bought food about pro biotics and all that. Pro biotics won't increase immunity as that is only good healthy bacteria and will not promote immunity.

Public aquariums such as Jay has experience in as do I (but much less than Jay) has plenty of living bacteria in it weather they quarantine or not just due to the fact that they are big and the fish can hunt. They find worms, crustaceans and eat each others poop. :confounded-face: which is loaded with gut bacteria.

We as home aquarists don't have the diversity in our tanks to rely on that. My method is very simple but if you don't follow it as I say, it won't work and you will always have to rely on medication.

It's the same with cancer patients, they can keep them alive in a terrible state of health using constant medication and their life span is severely shortened and they are not very healthy and feel lousy constantly. That is not what I consider living.

The quest is to get the fish healthy on their own with no medication just relying on their own immunity.

Many old tanks use my method and as I keep saying, there are no old "home" aquariums where the fish are healthy and spawning, only dying of old age if they have been through long quarantine and medication. Think about why that is. :thinking-face:

Im replying to your comment that the medication is killing my fish. The medication may be shortening my fish’s lifespan by a few years, but I’ve visibly seen it save 90% of the fish I have remaining. I’d rather have shortened life span by a few years instead of dead fish.

Maybe your gut bacteria theory works, but once the fish have developed a major case of ich or velvet, I’d still count on a QT tank + medication to save them. I will take another look at your gut bacteria method and try to follow it more closely once they’re finished QT. Again, I would love nothing more than for your method to work, as QTing fish is a major hassle.
 

Paul B

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Crown, this is not "My" method. . It is the scientific method that I did not invent. It has been around for decades for Humans and all creatures. All living creatures have immunity even parasites.

Here is part of a scientific paper on this.

Defenses in Fish SkinMaría Ángeles Esteban)
Quote: Immunity associated with the parasites depends on the inhabiting discrete sites in the host. Especially important for this paper are the ectoparasites, those habiting in or on the skin. Until recently there had been little direct evidence of innate immune mechanisms against parasites associated with mucosal epithelium [285]. The active immunological role of skin against parasitic infection has been shown recently [286288], and now mucosal immunity against them start to be elucidated.
Non-parasitic fishes usually die following infection, but animals surviving sublethal parasite exposure become resistant to subsequent challenge. This resistance correlates with the presence of humoral antibodies in the sera and cutaneous mucus of immune fishes.

If we allow our fish to get sick, it's too late. There is no reason to let that happen and by any medication we are on the road to failure as that fish was healthy when they collected it.
 
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Dave1993

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Im replying to your comment that the medication is killing my fish. The medication may be shortening my fish’s lifespan by a few years, but I’ve visibly seen it save 90% of the fish I have remaining. I’d rather have shortened life span by a few years instead of dead fish.

Maybe your gut bacteria theory works, but once the fish have developed a major case of ich or velvet, I’d still count on a QT tank + medication to save them. I will take another look at your gut bacteria method and try to follow it more closely once they’re finished QT. Again, I would love nothing more than for your method to work, as QTing fish is a major hassle.
My purple + powder blue had ich like 7 months ago when i added a new fish i just let it run it course it went away on its own the purple had a few spots the powder blue tang was covered this was 7 month ago they have never had it since my other fish did not get it only the tangs
 

Paul B

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Dave, your fish are now immune as long as they are fed correctly, not medicated and living in a stress free environment as much as possible. :D

If you would have medicated that fish, you would now be on the disease forum with all sorts of problems that the fish didn't have in the first place. I am not sure why so many people can't understand that as it is basic biology.

I put out there for years that anyone can come to my house and throw any fish into my tank with a disease of their choice and see if anything happens. No one applied.

Of course i didn't want a tuna or manta ray but a small fish that I didn't mind having.
A couple of months ago Humblefish came here and we went shopping for a fish or coral. I told him the same thing. Pick a sick fish and put it in my tank. We couldn't find one but I bought a coral from a filthy store where many of the fish were infected. I put that coral right into my tank and it is still there along with 5 or 6 other fish I got in that same store since then.

Immunity is the best thing there is and the more people learn about it, the easier this hobby will be.
 

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