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White spot - Copper treatments not working

Xyclade

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I've been battling what I'd suspect as ich for a while now, and lost almost all my fish.

The only 3 survivors are
- Hippo tang (clear white spot signs )
- File Fish (no visual spots)
- Snowflake clown (no visual spots)


I've tried the following treatments consecutive:
Colombo Femsal
20 days hyposalinity
Colombo Cobrasal
Cupramine (currently day 26 at 0.54 +, verified with Hanna checker daily)

However the white spots do not diminish at all on the hippo, and I assume the others are infected as long as the hippo is not clean. Below are some pics of the hippo tang before and after 26 days in Cupramine 0.54+ (with peak values at 0.60, checked daily with a Hanna checker).


As Cupramine is going on for 26 days now without any visual improvements, I'm lost. Am I maybe dealing with something other than Ich, a copper resistant strain, or am I not patient enough?



Picture 06/12
IMG_0536.jpg



Pictures 08/24


IMG_1961.jpg
IMG_1969.jpg
 
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Xyclade

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Hmm, the cupramine bottle states "Although most fish tolerate cupramine to 0.8 mg/l, It is not advisable to exceed 0.6 mg/L copper"

Given I'm at 0.54 on average (fluctuating between 0.52 and 0.58) what would be the target copper level in case of a resilient strain of velvet ?
 
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K7BMG

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I highly suggest you read the attached links provided.
I doubt you will have any questions after this.

Click here
Click here
 
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Xyclade

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I highly suggest you read the attached links provided.
I doubt you will have any questions after this.

Click here
Click here
I've been reading into both of those topics, and my treatment plan with Cupramine and checking with the Hanna checker is based on that. Unfortunately, the mentioned 14 days for treatment have passed, and even the 30 days in the copper treatment thread are approaching while the fish is not at all clear yet, hence the concern here.

In addition Cupramine is the only available Copper treatment I can get my hands on here in the Netherlands, otherwise I'd gone for CopperSafe or Copper Power...
 

K7BMG

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Is the fish doing well other wise?
Swimming and eating?

If so then I would try a fresh water bath to remove the external parasites.
Match temperature of course and go the full 5 minute dip.
The Hippo will look like its gona die. Lay on its side motionless and all, its scary.

Try to use a container that you will be able to see dead parasites in after the dip is over, they should die fall off and be able to be seen.
If nothing is on the bottom of the container than I would have to consider another issue.
 

K7BMG

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I am not an expert on fish disease but Velvet is so bad I feel all your fish would be gone by now.
As I have come to understand Velvet when seen is almost to late, and almost nothing can be done.
Normally will kill within 24 hours or less.
Again I am no expert on Velvet. But have doubts they have it.
 
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Xyclade

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Is the fish doing well other wise?
Swimming and eating?

If so then I would try a fresh water bath to remove the external parasites.
Match temperature of course and go the full 5 minute dip.
The Hippo will look like its gona die. Lay on its side motionless and all, its scary.

Try to use a container that you will be able to see dead parasites in after the dip is over, they should die fall off and be able to be seen.
If nothing is on the bottom of the container than I would have to consider another issue.
Once the disease struck she was hiding all day long, and stopped eating anything but some nori and frozen foods.. After my Zebrasoma (who was also in the QT) died over night without any visual spots (i suspect the copper got to her), the Hippo started swimming around a bit more again, and seems to be accepting some pellets again.

The last 2 pics you saw are from a 5 minutes fresh water dip (With PH and temperature matched). The stress made her dirty the water, so I'm not sure whether below are any parasites. Especially since she's been eating brine shrimp and the white dots could just be leftover brine shrimp eggs?

However, below is a pic of the container.

IMG_1972.jpg
 
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Xyclade

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I am not an expert on fish disease but Velvet is so bad I feel all your fish would be gone by now.
As I have come to understand Velvet when seen is almost to late, and almost nothing can be done.
Normally will kill within 24 hours or less.
Again I am no expert on Velvet. But have doubts they have it.
Sadly enough, most of the fish did perish within 24~48 hours of detecting there was a problem, The most upsetting moment was losing my beloved boxfish Puffy, who in the morning looked like picture 1, and 1 day later passed on me :(

IMG_0358.jpg


IMG_0487.jpg
 

K7BMG

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If it were parasites you would also see less spots on the body after the dip.
Yes its hard to tell in this case.

I think more time is needed in treatment.
 

K7BMG

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Sadly enough, most of the fish did perish within 24~48 hours of detecting there was a problem, The most upsetting moment was losing my beloved boxfish Puffy, who in the morning looked like picture 1, and 1 day later passed on me :(

IMG_0358.jpg


IMG_0487.jpg
Oh my so sad. So sorry for the loss.
The eyes seem cloudy in the last picture was it taken before or after his passing?

Yes I would try to directly message @HotRocks, @4FordFamily, @Humblefish, @Lasse, and the new vet @Jay Hemdal.

I feel I am way off the mark here.
 
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Xyclade

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Oh my so sad. So sorry for the loss.
The eyes seem cloudy in the last picture was it taken before or after his passing?

Yes I would try to directly message Hotrocks, 4FordFamily, Humblefish, Lasse, and the new vet Jay Hemdal.

I feel I am way off the mark here.
The white eyes are after passing ;-( The Hippo has had a cloudy eye with a dot in it for a few times during treatment, which hasn't come back in a while now.

I'll attempt to DM them, tnx :)
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Sorry to hear about your losses. In looking at the images, it does seem to me to be ich. If you have access to a microscope, taking a skin scrape and looking at it with that can confirm. I do not know the "colombo" treatments you mentioned, but you said you did all these treatments consecutively - so this issue has been going on for more close to 2 months then?

I know it sounds lame, but all I can suggest is to stay the course with the copper.

Be careful not to switch brands of copper; they have different therapeutic doses, but when mixed together, you really don't know where you are at.


Side story:
Back 40+ years ago, we would refer to something called "hard ich" as in "hard to cure". At the time, we thought it was a different species, but I don't think so now. I think sometimes the parasite gets so entrenched in a tank, and the fish become so exhausted trying to fight it off, that the disease just lingers. I had one case four years ago - deep reef Caribbean fishes that got ich. I tried copper, couldn't control it, I augmented that with FW dips, no help, I introduced formalin dips, still nothing. I then tried chloroquine at 12 mg/l - still had ich! I finally dosed the chloroquine at 20 mg/l, and got it under control, but I lost about half the fish. Total time was about 6 weeks. Trouble is, you can't get chloroquine now due to Covid.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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I do not know the "colombo" treatments you mentioned, but you said you did all these treatments consecutively - so this issue has been going on for more close to 2 months then?

Correct, the timeline here below:


June 4th, first signs showed up, on first fish, and as the reef was giving me challenges to catch all fish, the LFS adviced starting with Femsal, which is a 'reef safe' formaldehyde / malachite green treatment of 14 days. Unfortunately this didn't have any effect and the fish got worse, so I started getting them into a QT tank.

June 12th, managed to get the final fish out of the display (a sixline wrasse that was panting for air)

In the QT I attempted 21 day hyposalinity, lowering to 1.009 and keeping at that level, but even at that level the fish seemed to be getting worse, and as I read it could be velvet, and hypo doesn't work for that, I changed direction, raising salinity over 7 days, and once salinity hit hit the desired 1.025, Cobrasal. (Copper sulfate 9mg/ml and formaldehyde 14.5 mg/ml, dosing instructions of 2,5ml per 100 L on day 1,2,3,4,6,8, 10 and 12). Unfortunately no improvements.

After switching out all water and relieving the fish with a freshwater dip, the cupramine treatment started. Initially I followed the instructions from the bottle, and didn't have a specific enough copper test see accurate levels, so invested in a Hanna checker, and found the copper to be only 0.32 using the instructions on the bottle. I've raised copper to 0.54 with cupramine in 2 days after that, and kept it there since from 07/31 onwards.

With the cupramine since 07/31, the zebrasoma was swimming and eating like a pig, with no visual signs and just dropped dead overnight on 12/08 with a copper level of 0.55.

I know it sounds lame, but all I can suggest is to stay the course with the copper.

Be careful not to switch brands of copper; they have different therapeutic doses, but when mixed together, you really don't know where you are at.
The main worry I have is that I'm dealing with something other than Ich, but given your comment I'll stick to the cupramine, and keep it in the 0,52~0,6 range.

If you have access to a microscope, taking a skin scrape and looking at it with that can confirm.
I'll be getting one tomorrow, any recommendations on the zoom size?

The only 'positive' thing of the long treatment period is that my DT has almost reached the 76 day fallow period...
 

K7BMG

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Well you are doing everything right IMO.

I hope things work out better for you.

My last suggestion is to go fallow for longer than the 76 days.
If this is some sort of super ICK parasite I feel I would go 120 days maybe 150.
Just double the time. Then QT the new fish.
 

Jay Hemdal

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With the microscope, sart and low power and change objectives. 40x total magnification to start and then go up to 150x perhaps. Watch for movement that indicates a living parasite (though Cryptocaryon won't move much, maybe spin a little). Take the scrape from a fish showing symptoms, preferably a species that has lots of skin mucus. Carefully grasp the fish in hand (not venomous fish like foxface though!). Scrape a scalpel blade or other instrument in one section going head to tail. If material is collected, but it on a slide along with a drop of seawater.

Here is some text from my upcoming disease book:

Skin scrape vs. diagnostic bath
Biopsies, or "skin scrapes," are often performed on live specimens as a similar diagnostic tool to the bath procedure. You can acquire a sample faster by performing a biopsy, but the stress to the animal is greater due to the physical abrasion that occurs. A biopsy, promptly examined, has the benefit over the bath procedure of collecting live parasites—and the motion of a living parasite makes microscopic identification much easier.

On the other hand, one major advantage of the diagnostic dip is that a formalin bath or freshwater dip is oftentimes the prescribed treatment for the very pathogens that the bath is used to identify. This means that should a problem be discovered during the course of the procedure, the diagnostic bath itself will have already had some therapeutic effect.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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Apologies for the delay, something went wrong in the postal service with express delivery.

I followed the instructions, and have made some images and a video. I hope I took the right footage, as I was not completely sure what to look for at first, but I think this is it...



C1.PNG


The video's failed to upload to the forum so I uploaded them to Youtube instead:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Sorry for shaky footage, I'm not an expert with microscopes :confused:
 

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