Ich, and how to stop it before it begins

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by mopsinc, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    I just started a 90 gallon aquarium. Got the whole thing set up around December 18th? I got live sand, one piece of live rock (others are bulk rock) got water from my LFS (I believe it was sorta cycled at the time) I let my tank cycle and get established. Happened around the 23rd. Ammonia was 0 pH was 8.0 right in the middle. Temps are currently at 77 F (I keep it a tad higher because it’s cold in the basement so really the tank is about 76 F) I got a few fish and inverts and coral the 24th and a few more the 30th by moving my fish from my 10 gal into the 90 gal. Currently my tank has 2 Clownfish, 1 firefish, 1 yellow clown goby, 2 yellow tangs, 1 purple tang, and a powder blue tang. A few cleaner shrimp. Peppermint shrimp. Brittle star fish. Purple lobster. Some crabs. I have been very careful to watch to make sure my tangs don’t get ich. I have done research on this and know that tangs can get ich. A myth is that they get it from being stressed. Ich has to be present in the aquarium for the fish to get ich. I’m not sure if it was dormant in the sand or on the rock or the coral or the water, but I noticed yesterday night a couple little white spots on each fish. Only a couple, so it hasn’t gone crazy in my tank yet. Only the tangs have it. I’m not sure what to do or how to keep the fish healthy and happy and remove this. So far the fish seem fine. The powder blue is happy and swims up to my face when it sees me. The tangs don’t hide or aren’t afraid of me when I come up to the tank and the fish eat too. A lot actually since they are switching from the LFS food to my own food. (They’ve not been interested in the food for awhile but the last few days they finally decided to eat and they eat a lot) my food has garlic in it too which I’ve heard helps with this.
    This is what I need help with or need to know. I want to stop this before it spreads and I want to keep my fish healthy and happy. They seem fine now but I’m not sure if it will last. I’ve heard fish can become immune to ich. Do I wait it out? Hope the fish can fight the next wave of ich after the ich drops from their body’s and reproduces? I don’t have a big enough QT tank for all the tangs, and I can’t fallow my tank. Because if this I’m not sure what to do. I know ich solution can harm coral and I don’t want to do that, but I could remove the coral from the tank too. I’m not sure what to do. I need an easy safe solution. Not something crazy like destroying my DT and putting all the fish in a QT and waiting it out for 6 weeks. Anyone have any experience with this???
     
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  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    If you can't fallow your tank then getting rid of the Ich is not an option. You will have to practice Ich management in this case. At this point it is likely that every fish in your tank has it.

    Ideally, the fish can be just fine as long as you take proper care of them and they are not stressed. High quality fresh or fresh frozen food will be very helpful. You can use some of the reef safe Ich treatments to try and knock down the parasite populations although they will not clear the ich out of your system. They only give your fish a respite.

    I strongly recommend reading as much as you can from @Paul B who has multiple posts on fish immunity throughout the site. He has a very humorously presented wealth of knowledge on this.

    If you decide you want to take the tank fallow and treat everything, I can help with that.
     
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  3. Big G

    Big G Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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  4. KMench

    KMench Active Member Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

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    Imho ich management will be difficult in this tank. 4 tangs is an awful lot for a 90g tank. Especially if you’re going to have a problem with ich. It’s best to remove them all now and treat them vs fighting a never ending battle against ich.
     
  5. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    They are all small for now. As they grow with size I was planning on moving them and upgrading my system. I unfortunately don’t really have a place to move them to or else I would move them
     
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  6. KMench

    KMench Active Member Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

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    Any chance of picking up a tank from Craigslist or anything to be used as a quarantine tank? Ich is tough on tangs. You can’t treat them in the main tank with your shrimp and inverts, so they have to be pulled to be treated.
     
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  7. KMench

    KMench Active Member Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

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    Have you seen any aggression among the fish? If they’re fighting at all, it’ll make the ich management approach near impossible.
     
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  8. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    The biggest issue to watch for right now is aggression between the purple and yellow tangs. It is a combination I consider too risky for my 187g system. It normally takes a very large, well fed tank to get that combination to work. That aggression will make practicing ich management difficult. However every fish is different and it may work for you.
     
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  9. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    When I first got the fish I was watching for fighting and stress. The tangs were of course a little stressed being in a new tank and all, but there was little aggression. The fish formed a shoal almost. The yellow tangs swam together and followed the larger purple tang around. Nothing near aggressive. If I came into the room they’d hide together too. After adding the powder blue, the purple began to follow the powder blue tang and the yellows would follow behind him. As they have calmed down and gotten comfortable they swim freely occasionally swimming where they please and then going back to the “leader” and following them some more
     
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  10. KMench

    KMench Active Member Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

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    As long as you don’t really see any aggression and are offering high quality foods while providing good water quality. That’s about all you can do unless you decide you want to pull them and treat them. Don’t be surprised if fish come up missing periodically, I had ich for a while in my tank and was losing things randomly until I got tired of that approach and pulled everything. Did a fallow period of 76 days and am ich free now as far as I know ;)
     
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  11. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Since it sounds like they are young you will likely have some time. I would just worry that they will start causing problems as they age. Its just something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks and months.

    And like I said, every fish is different. I know lots of people with smaller tanks than mine who have both a coral beauty and a flame angel. I added both at the same time after QT'ing together and no problems for a week after they went into the DT. Then the flame nearly killed the CB. Some fish just act differently than others.
     
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  12. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    I think I’ll just manage ich in my tank until I can afford a QT tank. However it might be until July or August till I can get one. Hope the fish can hang in there. I’m not sure what size to get once I get one though.
     
  13. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Just concentrate on stability and nutrition for now. It may work for you. Many people successfully run systems with ich in them. Normally it is only a problem when there is a heater failure or a tank move.
     
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  14. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    Yeah people at the fish store said that the tangs can be aggressive with each other, however I’ve seen multitang tanks. I thought adding young ones at the same time might work and so far a couple weeks in they have been fine. If there is going to be an aggression problem i wouldn’t suspect it to come from the older powder blue
     
  15. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    The powder blue is known as aggressive so he could cause problems. The issue with the purple and yellows is that they are all Zebrasoma tangs. The PBT is an Acanthurus tang. It would be very unlikely to get along with other Acan's but should get along ok with the Zebrasoma's.
     
  16. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    Well we will see how things go. I’ll keep everyone posted. Right now my tangs pick off the algae in my tank and I also feed garlic flakes and pellets and also add a phytoplankton oil to the tank (don’t know the exact name) so it adds like nutritional stuff to the tank. I’ll get some better food in the next few days. I just don’t want my fish to become infested with white specks
     
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  17. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I recommend some sheet algae if your tank runs low and either LRS or Rod's frozen foods. Both are top notch imo. I also like PE mysis. I feed the mysis every morning with 1/3 sheet of algae and LRS Fish Frenzy every night.

    You may also want to keep a product like this around "just in case".
    https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/polyplab-catch-ich-early-campaign.379/

    It wont eliminate ich from your system but it can help keep the numbers in check while your fish recover from whatever stressor triggered the outbreak.
     
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  18. mopsinc

    mopsinc Member

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    I actually use the phytoplankton from polyplab. I’ll definitely get some good food for them here soon. Thanks for all the info
     
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  19. chrissu

    chrissu Member

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    delete
     
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  20. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'm about to do some testing with CP. It just came in the mail today. Have you found that it is safe for inverts?
     
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