Is this ich or velvet?

Jay Hemdal

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Jul 31, 2020
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OP says spots present for 6-days now. No way Velvet would take that long to kill. It must be something else, although I agree the spots in the photo appear too small for typical Ich.
Any chance this is some type of water quality irritant and not a parasite at all?
I explored the idea that they could be idiopathic mucus plugs with the OP, as these are pretty common on purple tangs, and are caused by stress (copper?) but I’ve never seen a case this bad before.

People aren’t familiar with late stage Cryptocaryon and often confuse it with Amyloodinium. I’ve seen ich to the point where you couldn’t even see the individual trophonts any longer...



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Aug 11, 2013
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Wisconsin-Florida in a year
Not velvet. Agree on rapid breathing, With ich, you can generally count the dots whereas with velvet, it represents the solar system as in the case of your tang. velvet spots on the fish that are much finer than the spots seen in Ich making it harder to catch until in cases too late to treat.
Some behaviors associated with a fish with velvet are :
- Scratching body against hard objects
- Fish is lethargic
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Rapid, labored breathing
- Fins clamped against the body
- rapid breathing and mucus around the gills

Fish with velvet will typically stay at the surface of the water, or remain in a position where a steady flow of water is present in the aquarium. As the disease progresses outwards from the gills, the cysts then become visible on the fins and body. Although these cysts may appear as tiny white dots the size of a grain of salt, like the first sign of Saltwater Ich or White Spot Disease, what sets Oodinium apart from other types of ich is that at this point the fish have the appearance of being coated with what looks like a whitish or tan to golden colored, velvet-like film, thus the name Velvet Disease.
Jay has mentioned mucus and accelarated ich which implants the trophants into the skin and have matured will release mucus to secure itself into the skin.


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Dec 31, 2020
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Do you mean all the fish at the LFS have these spots??? Known before you purchased the fish or after?

Is the picture Before the fw dip or After?
Yes, every fish. They didn’t have these spots until just this week when It blew up. When I bought the tang, it had 0 symptoms. They believe someone returned an infected fish and put it into the main dt and got everything else exposed.
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