Protocol for the antibiotic treatment of S. haddoni carpet anemones

MartinM

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The protocol is as follows: dosing of ciprofloxacin solution to achieve a dosage of .125mg/L (roughly 5mg per 10 gallons) in the system being treated, administered every 12 hours for 5-14 days.

I recommend following this protocol in a quarantine system for all new S. haddoni carpet anemones, but, as you can read below, I have succesfully treated and cured multiple specimens in a display system as well.

As with all antibiotics, you do not want to stop treatment early even if you see improvement before the full course of the treatment is completed. You’ll want to administer for a minimum of five days.

Creating the Ciprofloxacin solution:

@AquaBiomics recommends creating the Ciprofloxacin solution by dissolving a 500mg pill in 50mL of RO/DI water, producing a 10 mg/mL solution, then dosing as needed to achieve a .125mg/L dosage in the system being treated. It’s recommended to store this in a refrigerator in between dosages and to protect it from light, which will denature the antibiotic.

To calculate dosage: (Liters) x (.125) = mg needed per each daily dose. Example 400 liter system: 400(.125)=50mg = 5mL of the aforementioned 10mg/mL solution, dosed twice daily.

Development and testing of this protocol

Thanks to contributors here such as @Eagle_Steve and @OrionN, the use of Ciprofloxacin for the treatment of bacterial infections in H. magnifica anemones is well documented and understood. Less so, however, is the use of Ciprofloxacin in the treatment (both prophylactically and curatively) in S. haddoni carpet anemones. S. haddoni carpet anemones appear to be much more sensitive to antibiotics, and the dosages used to treat H. magnifica, in my experience, have lead to mortality the majority of the time. However, S. Haddoni anemones, in my opinion and experience, are no less in need of antibiotic treatments than H. magnifica anemones. Therefore, I felt a need to derive a protocol that would work for S. haddoni anemones.

It became apparent to me that an S. haddoni-specific pathogen was responsible for the ‘slow demise’ (typically over the course of weeks) of S. haddoni carpet anemones after I purchased a specific from an LFS and introduced it into a display system containing only healthy and prophylactically-treated H. magnifica anemones. Over the ensuing weeks, the S. haddoni began the slow decline that is unfortunately so typical of the species. After a few weeks, I moved the specimen into a dedicated S. haddoni system that contained three other healthy S. haddoni carpet anemones that had been thriving for nearly a year. After a few days, the new specimen perished. However, a few weeks later, all three healthy specimens began to present with the ‘slow decline’ symptoms, and this is when I knew some form of pathogen had been introduced that affected the S. Haddoni but not the H. magnifica anemones, as the latter continue to remain unaffected. All three S. haddoni carpets were large, too large for any quarantine tank I had or could easily set up, and also it would have been impossible to remove from the system without a total tear down. I was concerned this would stress them to the carpet anemones to a point where they would quickly succumb, so I began to research in-tank antibiotic treatment options. Because I previously (and succesfully) treated Goniopora spp. necrotic tissue infections using Ciprofloxacin at 1/4th the dosage typically recommend for H. magnifica anemones (~1mg/L as opposed to OrionN’s protocol of ~5.5mg/L) without harm to the coral, I was lead me to believe that it could be possible to treat the tank without harm to the other inhabitants. After researching here on R2R, I came across AquaBiomic’s thread, and began to follow his protocol of .125mg/L/day.

My in-tank treatment findings​


After 5 days I did notice an improvement to the point that it was apparent the protocol was helping, but I also noticed that all three anemones seemed to stop improving at a certain point, without a noticeable change for over 48 hours. I did not notice any adverse effects to the other invertebrates in the system (Goniopora spp., Tridacna maxima clams, Spondylus spp. oysters, various Zooanthid spp., various sponges, macroalgae, and shrimp) so I decided to increase the dosage to .125mg/L every 12 hours. After two days at this dosage, the anemones appeared to completely recover. I continued treatment at this dosage for another three days (five days in total of of .125mg/L per 12 hours, preceded by five days of .125mg/L/day). The anemones all made a full recovery, and and I noticed no ill effects of any kind on any of the other animals or water chemistry.

Summary​


It has now been nearly four months since the in-tank treatment, and all three anemones in addition to all other inhabitants are continuing to thrive. It appears that a dosage of .125mg/L, administered every 12 hours can effectively treat some bacterial infections in S. haddoni carpet anemones, even in a display system.

In my opinion and experience that AquaBiomic’s recommended dosage of .125mg/L/day is effective, and that display tanks can well tolerate up to .125mg/L per six hours if needed to treat infections in a variety of species, including anemones, LPS, and SPS coral.

Credit​


I’d like to credit @Eagle_Steve , @OrionN, and @AquaBiomics along with everyone that has participated in and contributed their findings! I hope this protocol will become sticky and that it will assist other hobbyists who love S. haddoni carpets as much as I do.

Further Reading​


I highly recommend reading the following posts and ensuing discussions, in which there is a lot of valuable info:

- AquaBiomic’s post on the low-dose antibiotic treatment of display tanks and following thread here. I am very much indebted to this excellent work and post!
- @OrionN’s post on antibiotic protocols for H. magnifica anemones here
 
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Eagle_Steve

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The protocol is as follows: dosing of ciprofloxacin solution to achieve a dosage of .125mg/L (roughly 5mg per 10 gallons) in the system being treated, administered every 12 hours for 7-14 days.

I recommend following this protocol in a quarantine system for all new S. haddoni carpet anemones, but, as you can read below, I have succesfully treated and cured multiple specimens in a display system as well.

As with all antibiotics, you do not want to stop treatment early even if you see improvement before the full course of the treatment is completed. You’ll want to administer for a minimum of five days.

Creating the Ciprofloxacin solution:

@AquaBiomics recommends creating the Ciprofloxacin solution by dissolving a 500mg pill in 50mL of RO/DI water, producing a 10 mg/mL solution, then dosing as needed to achieve a .125mg/L dosage in the system being treated. It’s recommended to store this in a refrigerator in between dosages and to protect it from light, which will denature the antibiotic.

Development and testing of this protocol

Thanks to contributors here such as @Eagle_Steve and @OrionN, the use of Ciprofloxacin for the treatment of bacterial infections in H. magnifica anemones is well documented and understood. Less so, however, is the use of Ciprofloxacin in the treatment (both prophylactically and curatively) in S. haddoni carpet anemones. S. haddoni carpet anemones appear to be much more sensitive to antibiotics, and the dosages used to treat H. magnifica, in my experience, have lead to mortality the majority of the time. However, S. Haddoni anemones, in my opinion and experience, are no less in need of antibiotic treatments than H. magnifica anemones. Therefore, I felt a need to derive a protocol that would work for S. haddoni anemones.

It became apparent to me that an S. haddoni-specific pathogen was responsible for the ‘slow demise’ (typically over the course of weeks) of S. haddoni carpet anemones after I purchased a specific from an LFS and introduced it into a display system containing only healthy and prophylactically-treated H. magnifica anemones. Over the ensuing weeks, the S. haddoni began the slow decline that is unfortunately so typical of the species. After a few weeks, I moved the specimen into a dedicated S. haddoni system that contained three other healthy S. haddoni carpet anemones that had been thriving for nearly a year. After a few days, the new specimen perished. However, a few weeks later, all three healthy specimens began to present with the ‘slow decline’ symptoms, and this is when I knew some form of pathogen had been introduced that affected the S. Haddoni but not the H. magnifica anemones, as the latter continue to remain unaffected. All three S. haddoni carpets were large, too large for any quarantine tank I had or could easily set up, and also it would have been impossible to remove from the system without a total tear down. I was concerned this would stress them to the carpet anemones to a point where they would quickly succumb, so I began to research in-tank antibiotic treatment options. Because I previously (and succesfully) treated Goniopora spp. necrotic tissue infections using Ciprofloxacin at 1/4th the dosage typically recommend for H. magnifica anemones (~1mg/L as opposed to OrionN’s protocol of ~5.5mg/L) without harm to the coral, I was lead me to believe that it could be possible to treat the tank without harm to the other inhabitants. After researching here on R2R, I came across AquaBiomic’s thread, and began to follow his protocol of .125mg/L/day.

My in-tank treatment findings​


After 5 days I did notice an improvement to the point that it was apparent the protocol was helping, but I also noticed that all three anemones seemed to stop improving at a certain point, without a noticeable change for over 48 hours. I did not notice any adverse effects to the other invertebrates in the system (Goniopora spp., Tridacna maxima clams, Spondylus spp. oysters, various Zooanthid spp., various sponges, macroalgae, and shrimp) so I decided to increase the dosage to .125mg/L every 12 hours. After two days at this dosage, the anemones appeared to completely recover. I continued treatment at this dosage for another three days (five days in total of of .125mg/L per 12 hours, preceded by five days of .125mg/L/day). The anemones all made a full recovery, and and I noticed no ill effects of any kind on any of the other animals or water chemistry.

Summary​


It has now been nearly four months since the in-tank treatment, and all three anemones in addition to all other inhabitants are continuing to thrive. It appears that a dosage of .125mg/L, administered every 12 hours can effectively treat some bacterial infections in S. haddoni carpet anemones, even in a display system.

In my opinion and experience that AquaBiomic’s recommended dosage of .125mg/L/day is effective, and that display tanks can well tolerate up to .125mg/L per six hours if needed to treat infections in a variety of species, including anemones, LPS, and SPS coral.

Credit​


I’d like to credit @Eagle_Steve , @OrionN, and @AquaBiomics along with everyone that has participated in and contributed their findings! I hope this protocol will become sticky and that it will assist other hobbyists who love S. haddoni carpets as much as I do.

Further Reading​


I highly recommend reading the following posts and ensuing discussions, in which there is a lot of valuable info:

- AquaBiomic’s post on the low-dose antibiotic treatment of display tanks and following thread here. I am very much indebted to this excellent work and post!
- @OrionN’s post on antibiotic protocols for H. magnifica anemones here
Thanks for the mention. I will say that dosing a DT has never caused any issues for any of my critters. From LPS, softies, NPS, SPS, well basically no issues for anything lol. But in all seriousness, anyone that knows me is aware that I have a very broad range of thriving corals/inverts/fish. Cipro has caused 0 issues in any of my tanks when dosed. Even up to 250mg/L dosing has not caused any ill effects that I could see.

Tanks include a dual 180 setup sharing a sump. Super mixed reefs with just about everything in them and my fish barn setup. The fish barn setup is 2z 7' tanks sharing a 100g sump with one tank being a macro/mangrove/sponge/gorg/nps nems lagoon and the other tank being 80% nems and 20% mixed/frags.

The only thing I do not see mentioned is the removal of carbon from the system. If you did not remove carbon and still saw the nems recover that is awesome and new data. I have logs and logs in my notebook of full dt treatments and all of them involve carbon being removed. The only reason for removal was to ensure that the carbon did not absorb any of the meds. If it can be left in the tank and the meds are still effective, I see benefits to this. Just some food for thought lol.

And last but not least. Thank you for the time to write this up and share your experience with us. Nems are my favorite critter of the sea, so any additional info we can get to keep them healthy and thrive in our glass boxes is a wonderful thing.
 

OrionN

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Our tank depends on the bacterial population to maintain filtration. Antibiotic in the tank wreck this bacterial population, alter it in major ways. Low dose antibiotic in tank select for registrant strain of bacterial, and is a bad idea IMO.
IME, Carpets does not have problem with antibiotic doses as in my protocol. I successfully treated many Gigantea anemones. I don't treated Haddoni very often because they often do not need treatment. They ship well. However, when needed, I always able to treat them without significant problem.

When treat the whole tank with antibiotic, it is not the other ornamental animals that you need to worry about, it is the LONG TERM EFFECT on the bacterial, and the fauna, flora of the tank is what needed to be observe. I always believe in diversity in a tank and in an ecosystem. Antibiotic in the tank will narrow this considerably, plus really select for resistant bacterial.
 

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Our tank depends on the bacterial population to maintain filtration. Antibiotic in the tank wreck this bacterial population, alter it in major ways. Low dose antibiotic in tank select for registrant strain of bacterial, and is a bad idea IMO.
IME, Carpets does not have problem with antibiotic doses as in my protocol. I successfully treated many Gigantea anemones. I don't treated Haddoni very often because they often do not need treatment. They ship well. However, when needed, I always able to treat them without significant problem.

When treat the whole tank with antibiotic, it is not the other ornamental animals that you need to worry about, it is the LONG TERM EFFECT on the bacterial, and the fauna, flora of the tank is what needed to be observe. I always believe in diversity in a tank and in an ecosystem. Antibiotic in the tank will narrow this considerably, plus really select for resistant bacterial.
In the numerous tests that @AquaBiomics did to sample the bacteria in the tank, most of the "good" bacteria (I use that loosely) was unaffected and only certain strains known to cause BJD in euphillia was severely affected as well as some other bacteria that we typically do not see in reef tanks. With that said, there could be some good bacteria that is damaged during this process, but in all of the sampling/culturing/test done with a wide range of tanks as samples, the bacterial diversity appeared to not have been severely affected.

There also research being done now for a paste utilizing certain antibiotics for restoration of corals in FL. These corals are having issues due to infections and in lab testing, they are getting the same results. Only the bacteria strains that are causing the damage are being reduced in large numbers. The "good" bacteria (again using loosely here) are lowered slightly, but rebound quickly after the meds have dissipated. Included in the testing are all other corals that surround the affected corals in the wild. It will take me a bit, as I am traveling today and on my phone, but I will try to dig up the papers on this, as they make for a very good read.
 
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MartinM

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Our tank depends on the bacterial population to maintain filtration. Antibiotic in the tank wreck this bacterial population, alter it in major ways. Low dose antibiotic in tank select for registrant strain of bacterial, and is a bad idea IMO.
IME, Carpets does not have problem with antibiotic doses as in my protocol. I successfully treated many Gigantea anemones. I don't treated Haddoni very often because they often do not need treatment. They ship well. However, when needed, I always able to treat them without significant problem.

When treat the whole tank with antibiotic, it is not the other ornamental animals that you need to worry about, it is the LONG TERM EFFECT on the bacterial, and the fauna, flora of the tank is what needed to be observe. I always believe in diversity in a tank and in an ecosystem. Antibiotic in the tank will narrow this considerably, plus really select for resistant bacterial.

@AquaBiomics goes into this extensively in his thread. It was something he was concerned about, but it ended up being a non-issue. It’s explained, evaluated, and tested extensively there, and he also leans on published research in the space. It’s also not something that adding a fresh piece of live rock wouldn’t solve if one were greatly concerned.

@Eagle_Steve I did remove carbon, good catch.
 
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MartinM

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Everything is growing well, not just the clams and anemones and coral but a variety of life that was on the live rock (sponges, tunicates, spondylus oysters, etc). Key word is growing, sizes have grown exponentially even post treatment.

I’m at my winter home but my housekeeper sent me these today:


Anyone have any idea who I can PM to get this stickied in the hopes of saving some new carpets? :)
 
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MartinM

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Btw @OrionN , lack of treatment in a display tank (if no other option is available) is akin to lack of treating a person for an acute infection in fear of upsetting their gut biome: it’s a priority issue.

Of course, I don’t advocate treating a display if treating in a QT is a viable option, but sometimes, it isn’t. Also, once the pathogen has been introduced into the display system, it may not be eradicated, I/we have no idea if this particular strain is endemic to S. haddoni anemones or not. It may be that removal and treatment in a QT only results in re-infection when the anemone is returned to the display aquarium. Of course, the best thing to do is treat all new specimens prophylactically, which I’ll be doing from now on.

I’d be interested in hearing others experience on this!
 
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Shared this protocol a few times already, including with one person who was dosing at the H. Mag dosage. Let’s save carpets! Maybe someone with more authority can re-post it to get it stickied. No need to credit me even, I just want to help carpets!
 
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I know a guy when Minh first came out with the Cipro treatment (Pete) dosed his display tank directly without moving his gigs. He (let’s say he misunderstood) (or didn’t realize) it was for a quarantine tank. He dosed the display tank 120 gallon with sps and lps and I didn’t see any coral affects, he didn’t either. I thought his tank would crash but it never really skipped a beat. I personally would be hesitant to treat a display, even though I’ve seen it done. For me it’s the top off malfunction / skimmer going crazy when I’m not there that’s the hold back, not killing anything in the tank.
 
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It’s a good idea to turn off skimmer/UV/ozone/peroxide and remove chemical media, yep. And yes, if QT treatment is an option, that is the first choice. If the pathogen isn’t eradicated in the display tank, however, the issue may re-occur. And, as in my case, sometimes it’s not feasible to remove the animals to place in QT.

Actually, I recommend low dose Ciprofloxacin for all carpet anemones when first acquired in a QT system before introducing them to the display.
 

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This is very interesting. I've been reading on people treating acropora for stn/rtn with antibiotics now too.

I'm curious about the lighting on the tank not degrading at least the daytime dosage of antibiotics? If dosing 2 daily doses 12 hours apart.

I run an acropora dominant tank. Currently I have an issue with a new gigantea addition. I've only had it a few days but it has started the daily deflate symptoms. I spent the last hour removing it from the rock and have it in an acclimation box while I set up a quick QT but this has me wondering about my BTA and a small green gigantea that was already in the system. I'm thinking the other gigantea will more than likely end up with issues now and possibly my BTA. Kicking myself for attempting it now but my clowns were putting a beating on the small gig.
 
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MartinM

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Wait and see if it spreads to the other anemones before treating, but I’ve done two in-tank treatments on two systems and both went well, I do think it’s very low risk.
 

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Wait and see if it spreads to the other anemones before treating, but I’ve done two in-tank treatments on two systems and both went well, I do think it’s very low risk.
I decided to pull the nem and do a separate QT for now. I only had enough cipro for that water volume on hand.

seems hard to get now?
 
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Good idea. Medication availability depends on what country you’re in, I think. In some countries like the UK you can get it as a fish medication, in the countries I split my time between it’s fairly easy to get, if you’re in the US, I’m not sure, I’ve heard some say that Chewy has it in the US.

Edit: IMO you’ll definitely want to light the gig. Dose the Cipro after lights out.

Btw, guys like @Eagle_Steve know a lot more about Gigs than I do, I’ve been doing Haddoni’s on and off for almost 20 years, but not gigs :)
 

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Good idea. Medication availability depends on what country you’re in, I think. In some countries like the UK you can get it as a fish medication, in the countries I split my time between it’s fairly easy to get, if you’re in the US, I’m not sure, I’ve heard some say that Chewy has it in the US.

Edit: IMO you’ll definitely want to light the gig. Dose the Cipro after lights out.

Btw, guys like @Eagle_Steve know a lot more about Gigs than I do, I’ve been doing Haddoni’s on and off for almost 20 years, but not gigs :)
Thank you!
Hopefully I started early enough. He’s grabbing into the acclimation box I placed him in last night and still has some stick to it.
It just kept the deflate, mouth gape and last straw was spewing some gunk.
I plan to keep it in the acclimation box for easy water changes. It leaves enough water for the nem to stay wet when I pull it.
Fingers crossed
6B792405-1058-43CC-81A5-5C43B7ED6A0A.jpeg
 

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@Eagle_Steve @MartinM Need help...

I think I need to medicate my tank as stated above. I have a 6 inch green gig that is doing great, but I have a 3 inch Purple Gig that has been deflating for the past 2 weeks. The Purple will have days where it looks great, but will then deflate the next day. The Purple is firmly attached to a rock, is sticky and shows a feeding response when I broadcast feed brine and other meaty food for the tank.

Here is my question. What is the math on the solution of Cipro daily dosage? The Gigs are in a 240 Gallon cube with a 40ish gallon Rubbermaid tub sump. I have 250mg pills of Cipro.

Thanks for your time!
 
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MartinM

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Hello! I’m happy to try to help. It sounds like a good time to treat while it’s still strong. Do you know why the sudden change could have occurred? Was there something that could have introduced new bacteria into the system? If nothing has changed at all, was there any kind of imbalance or parameter swing that might have triggered the stress response?

IME, it’s much more common for something new to introduce new bacteria, but I’ve had a mag require treatment after getting stressed from a huge alk swing.

For dosing, dissolve two 250mg pills into 50mL of RO water to create a 10mg/mL solution (or four pills into 100mL of RO water), then the following formula gets you the amount to add per dose:

Check all my math, but 290 gallons = 1318 liters. 1318 liters X .125 (for a dose of .125mg/L) = 164.75mg per dose, so you’d need ~16.5mL (rounded up to the nearest tenth of a mL) of 10mg/mL solution for one dose.

The good news is as these low dosages, being super accurate isn’t critical, there’s definitely a lot of ‘forgiveness‘ when we’re talking about such low amounts. Make certain to keep the unused solution in a dark place (fridge works best)!

Please keep us updated!
 
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