Isopod latched onto fish overnight, need lots of help

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JosephM

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Woke up and saw my fire fish wasn’t in his usual hideout and was instead in the middle of the tank lying on the ground. I saw a black spot on his fin and thought maybe he hurt himself. When I got back home he was doing way worse and was bottom up. I took him up in the net and found a massive isopod on him. And of course with my luck when I removed it it got back into the tank. I’m assuming this isopod came from my KPA live rock. Need advice on what to do. I don’t have another fish tank to put him in but he’s in a little Tupperware floating in the tank with holes for flow. He is breathing on his side but not swimming or eating. What Is the best option for my fish and tank
 
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JosephM

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I swear just when I thought my tank was going well and he was just starting to come out more. My first ever saltwater fish just got him 4 days ago and this happens:(
 

Spare time

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I swear just when I thought my tank was going well and he was just starting to come out more. My first ever saltwater fish just got him 4 days ago and this happens:(


You may be able to try manual removal with tweezers. That is what I saw on another thread on here. I have seen this done on shrimps before.
 
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JosephM

JosephM

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You may be able to try manual removal with tweezers. That is what I saw on another thread on here. I have seen this done on shrimps before.
No I did but the isopod got back into the tank. I was worried and frantic and once I removed it I moved the net down too far into the water and it got out and disappeared. It must’ve done a lot of damage to my fish though, it’s looking like he’s not gonna make it
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Has the isopod let go? There are falcultative isopod and copepod parasites that act as micro predators of small fish, tough to kill without taking the fish out as well. The article section here has a recent one I wrote about crustacean parasites, I can’t link to it for you because I’m on my phone.
Jay
 
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Has the isopod let go? There are falcultative isopod and copepod parasites that act as micro predators of small fish, tough to kill without taking the fish out as well. The article section here has a recent one I wrote about crustacean parasites, I can’t link to it for you because I’m on my phone.
Jay
I removed it with tweezers but it got back into the tank. I’ll check out that article. The only other place that I can put him is in my brothers tank but he doesn’t take the best care of it and has some more aggressive fish like a damsel and dottyback so I don’t know how my fire fish will fare and I don’t wanna introduce any bad into his tank either.
 

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No I did but the isopod got back into the tank. I was worried and frantic and once I removed it I moved the net down too far into the water and it got out and disappeared. It must’ve done a lot of damage to my fish though, it’s looking like he’s not gonna make it


Ah I see, my apologies. You could try and put him in a qt (a small 5 or 10 gallon or even a plastic bin) with some antibacterial medications. I know of some reef safe options that are supposed to help aid the fish such as seachem stress guard and brightwell fish recover M but I am thinkning some antibacterial medicines in a qt tank would be best.
 
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JosephM

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Ah I see. You could try and put him in a qt with some antibacterial medications. I know of some reef safe options that are supposed to help aid the fish such as seachem stress guard and brightwell fish recover M but I am thinkning some antibacterial medicines in a qt tank would be best
I have a spare 5 gal tank and crappy spare 10 gal tank I could set up an emergency QT but I’ve never done it before
 

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I have a spare 5 gal tank and crappy spare 10 gal tank I could set up an emergency QT but I’ve never done it before


You could use those. Just something for flow and heat is a good idea. I personally get a bag of biomedia and seed it with come cycling bacteria and trow it in a cheap hang on back heater. I am not sure how the antibacterial medicines would affect that bacteria, but you can always dose seachem prime to make ammonia non toxic for 48 hours if it becomes a problem.


My thought behind the antibacterial meds is that he could have gotten some infection from the parasite injuring him. I was thinking a mix of neoplex with kanaplex or maracyn 2.
 
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TriggerFinger

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There are traps that you can use to catch these isopods; it’s a lengthy process though. I found one in my tank when I set it up and removed that one. I ended up leaving the rock cycling by itself in a 10g tank for nearly 6 months before adding a fish. *knock on wood*, I haven’t seen anymore 2.5 years in.
 
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So I’m thinking my best course of action is just remove them as I see them. Set up a water bottle trap with some food overnight and maybe catch it... hopefully it’s just the one
 

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my son had the same problem, we used a water bottle to make a trap, it works well. We baited the trap every night for a few weeks to make sure we got them all.
 
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