Not all fish perished, now what?

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Ksmmike, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    Hello,

    I have a 2 month old 120 gallon tank where I had 2 cardinals, 2 tangs, 2 clowns die this past weekend. I assume it was ich, though only one clown had one spot last week and all the fish seemed healthy until the day they died. They were all eating and didn't show any signs of distress until the day they all perished, except for 2 fish, which are still alive.

    I have one yellow tang and one leopard wrasse remaining. The yellow tang is showing some signs, but so far is still eating and swimming around. Assuming those 2 fish stay alive, my question is, is the only way to get ich removed is to take out the fish and leave the tank fallow (I do have coral) for 72 day or longer, or can I leave those 2 fish in there and not repopulate for at least 72 days?

    Is it possible to eradicate the ich even though there would still be 2 fish or who knows maybe only the leopard wrasse. I hope the yellow survives. I had him in another tank since he was very tiny. If remaining fish fight off the ich, is it possible the parasites will die off, or will the remaining fish still be carriers and will only infect any new fish even after months of not adding any new fish?

    thanks
    Mike
     

  2. EmdeReef

    EmdeReef Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

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    What symptoms did you notice? Scratching? Swimming into powerheads? Rapid breathing? Any signs or discoloration on the dead fish?

    When did you get your fish and how long after did they start dying?
    It’s unlikely that ich would kill your fish unless it was a very severe outbreak in which case you would have been able to see quite a few spots.

    As far as your questions, the only way to get rid of ich is to run the tank fallow for ~76 days. If it is truly ich, your fish may acquire partial immunity but will remain carriers for a long time. Assuming no new fish gets in or any new strains of parasites through other sources (frags etc), in a few years it is possible the parasite would weaken to the point of not being viable. I don’t know that there is a definitive timeline and would depend on a lot of variables.
     
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  3. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Read, Tinker, Fail, Learn R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    If were all healthy one day and perished the next, that doesnt sound like ich. The clown might have been the case 0 but its thick mucous coat helped it last longer. If have pictures of the passed fish might help, how to treat the 2 surviving fish.

    How were the gills? Often parasites that attach to the gills are invisible to us till the affliction is well on its way.
     
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  4. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    Thanks, the only spot I saw was on the one clown, however the Kole tang went very fast. I noticed his fins were ragged and there was some discoloration
    on his body once I got him out of the tank, but I didn't notice it the day before. None were swimming into the powerhead. After I noticed the spot on the clown, I tried to clean the sandbed every few days and fed them garlic food, ect, ect. The other tang looked and acted perfectly healthy until I woke up and he was dead. It was very odd. I didn't notice anything attatched to any gills and I do inspect my fish at least once a day while they are active like at feeding times. I was really sad and shocked at how fast they went. The cardinals were eating and swimming normally until only a few hours before they perished. I had done a water change the day before, and cleaned the protein skimmer and put in clean socks, but I do that on a regular basis (every 5-8 days depending on how dirty they look) so there wasn't anything that out of the ordinary.

    The only thing I can think of is that I added a few new snails that weren't in qt. All my fish had been in there for at least 30 days and most if not all were in qt before going into the tank. I try to be really diligent. I have a biocube and all my original fish are still alive and doing well in that tank. I had moved my yellow tang (got him very tiny) from my biocube to the 120 about 60 days ago. He was perfectly healthy in the cube for a the couple of weeks he was in there before the new tank was cycled. The 120 was cycled for 6 weeks and all the parameters are very good and very stable. I check them almost daily. So something happened and happened fast. I'm assuming it was ich because of the spot on the clown, and later
    the discoloration on the kole. The kole had been in qt for 6 weeks and was in the tank since almost day 1, so he was healthy as well before seeing the spots.

    Maybe it came in with the snails, maybe the leopard wrasse, but he's the only one who looks 100% healthy and is acting normal. I don't want to tear the tank apart to take out the 2 surviving fish, but if its the only way to be sure, I might have to :(

    thanks
    Mike
     
  5. Humblefish

    Humblefish Moved On Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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  6. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    The clown didn't look anything like that, it was one small dot on the edge of its back fin that went away after a few days.
    I took a hose that I use for water changes and I vacumm the sand bed that way. I doesn't take sand, just stirs it up
    and gets rid of all the crap on top or just under the top.
     
  7. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Read, Tinker, Fail, Learn R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    Are the tangs eyes cloudy, or any of the fish that passed?

    There are no spots on either surviving fish? Fins are the easiest to spot, near the head usually eyes will become cloudy or hemorrhage. Gills are the hardest to spot, usually have to watch to labored breathing and perhaps reddened tissue.
    If have a baking store nearby can also make some makeshift camera filters out of colored cello sheets. Might help see small parasites like velvet.
    Have you tested all of your parameters since the deaths? close attention to alk, ammonia and salinity.

    Or perhaps the sand bed stirring released hydrogen sulfide, the black or grey deposits in a sand bed.

    If cant find a disease cause i would look to water chemistry.

    Perhaps a series of pwc to dilute whatever is in the water.
     
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  8. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    Hi Gareth
    The yellow tang has cloudy eyes and is covered in white spots now. It wasn't that way yesterday but is now. Only the Kole had signs of distress
    before passing along. It has to be ich. The leopard is showing zero signs of any spots, or any distress. He ate like usual a few minutes ago, but
    the tang refused to eat. Normally the tang would eat anything I put in there. Do you think yellow tang can be saved or do you think hes too
    far gone now? I don't have any ich medicine but I guess I could get some and try to capture the tang and put him in a bucket or something right away. I don't want to
    put him in with any other fish in my other tank.

    Since the leopard is the only one left, do you he think he's the one who brought the parasite into the tank? I read where a large percentage
    have parasites, which made me skeptical to buy him, but he was qt'd for a month. I guess that wasn't long enough if it was him.

    My water parameters were tested and are spot on. No ammomia, no nitrates, 2 parts of nitrates, no phosphates, salinity at 1.025,
    calcium is a bit elevated at 500 but not terrible. I do enough water changes and testing to keep the water parameters stable.
    I'm guessing either a snail or the leopard wrasse brought in the ich.

    Now my question is, assuming I cant save the tang (was my first tang, so its sad) and the leopard survives, do I remove the leopard
    and wait the 72 days or longer, or leave him in there and wait the 72 days and take another shot? I know he should come out, but
    any chance the ich would be gone if he stayed in and wasn't the carrier? I'm trying not to set up another qt tank just for him.
    I know you cant use copper on wrasses.

    I don't want to take him back to the store and drop my problem on them. It wouldn't be fair of me.

    thanks
    Mike
     
  9. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    oh and the sand bed isn't old enough to have sulfide, I don't think. its only about 75 days old.
     
  10. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Read, Tinker, Fail, Learn R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    I would get both in a qt if you can.
    And pickup Coppersafe and an API copper kit.
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/copper-treatment.193343/

    For the loss of appetite i would also pick up some nori, bloodworms, and some clams. See if can get them eating again.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/fish-and-treatment-guidelines-with-chart.283450/

    Why i suggested the copper safe.

    If leave him in the tank, even if hes developed immunity, the parasites will still be there sadly so anything you add has a chance of getting sick.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  11. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    thanks, I fed them both nori and bloodworms. The leopard loves the bloodworms. the tang ate them until today. thanks for the advice.
     
  12. ZachR32

    ZachR32 Active Member

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    When did you add the leopard wrasse? I'm thinking it could be velvet if you added him recently and not QTd
     
  13. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    He's been in the tank for about a month, maybe longer. Is it possible that something other than marine velvet or ich killed the others so fast
    and it stressed the yellow not enough to kill him, but to contract ich or velvet? He has a dark spot on his body now that just started within
    the past hour or so.
     
  14. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    I reading about the difference between ich and marine velvet, I believe it was marine velvet that got me. It strikes faster than ich.
    My guess is that it came from the leopard wrasse since its going to be the only survivor in the tank. Its showing no signs at all, so has likely
    built up its immune system towards marine velvet.

    So now my question would be, should I leave him in the tank for the 6 weeks or will he infect the tank once I add more fish later on?

    thanks
    Mike
     
  15. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Wrasses have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to things like velvet.

    Your timeline suggests it, as well - from just a few spots to nothing (parasites drop off, encyst and produce hundreds of free-swimming dinospores) which attack and raise white spots/give cloudy eyes, etc.

    Your best bet, since the wrasse is undoubtedly a carrier, would be to pull him out of the tank for six weeks (fallow period for velvet) or 76 days (fallow period for ich, just to make certain...) and treat with copper.

    ~Bruce
     
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  16. Ksmmike

    Ksmmike Member

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    Thanks Maritimer, Ill take your advice.
    Mike
     
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  17. tank o tang

    tank o tang Active Member

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    You said the tank is only 2 months old, could it be new tank syndrome or some residue of something in the tank? They all went overnight?
     
  18. MCooper

    MCooper MCooper R2R Supporter

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    I had a similar scenario and it was Velvet. 80% of my livestock perished.
    Best of luck!
     
  19. Robin Haselden

    Robin Haselden Turtle R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Sounds just like velvet to me but with no pictures it's hard to be 100% sure. I'm also concerned with the amount of fish in a 2 month old reef. It's not mature enough to handle that bioload, especially two tangs. The leopard wrasse also is a more sensitive fish and needs the stability of a more mature tank.

    I'd remove the wrasse and slowly up coppersafe to 2.0ppm for 30 days. Usually you'd want to up copper fairly quickly for velvet but wrasse are pretty resistant because of their slime coat. Same goes for eels who are almost immune, but still could be carriers.

    After your 30 days in copper, do a 100% water change on the QT tank and leave the display fallow for a total of 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks you can add your wrasse back into the display. Then slowly stock your tank back up adding only one fish a month. Always QT new additions. Dealing with velvet once is bad enough. You don't want it twice.
     
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  20. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    This exactly. Velvet was at play here and can kill a fish with gill damage before you know it is present. Some strains will often not show spots on the fish at all.
     
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