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Will QT fish get reinfected with ich from DT

pixelhustler

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A new blue powder tang that I purchased introduced ich into my reef DT. I moved him and most of the other fish to a large sump I'm using as a hospital tank to treat them with copper. There are a few other fish still living in the DT, as I have no more room in the hospital tank. How likely are the medicated fish to get reinfected with this same strain of ich once I put them back into the DT? At the moment I have no space to remove all the fish from the DT and running fallow for 72 days, but I understand immunity is temporary and not always guaranteed. What are my options?
 
Lazys Coral House

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You need to get all the fish out of the DT and let the tank run fallow, or they'll just keep getting reinfected. You should start up a new hospital tank. Even a big storage tub will work, if it has a heater, pump, something to cycle it (a bit of live rock or filter media), and a lid. Materials that are safe to store food in are also safe to store fish in.

Is the sump entirely separate from everything else? If it's connected by water to anything, the ich can get out.
 
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pixelhustler

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You need to get all the fish out of the DT and let the tank run fallow, or they'll just keep getting reinfected. You should start up a new hospital tank. Even a big storage tub will work, if it has a heater, pump, something to cycle it (a bit of live rock or filter media), and a lid. Materials that are safe to store food in are also safe to store fish in.

Is the sump entirely separate from everything else? If it's connected by water to anything, the ich can get out.
The sump is currently disconnected, just using it for the 39G of volume and separating some fish that need more space.

My main issue here is ammonia is spiking to 1ppm and nitrites are already at .5ppm in just 3 days. I can't produce RODI water at the rate that I'd need to do WC and I can't imagine being able to keep up for 72 days without losing any fish. Is ich management a better option for me at this point? It's only my 2 tangs that are exhibiting cysts. My copperband looks normal and so do my clowns, my foxface had a couple of white dots but was eating foraciously.

I'm panicking right now as my fish are starting to breathe rapidly (plenty of flow and surface distruption so oxygen itself isn't the issue) and I'm not sure I'll be able to manage this. My understanding is that bacteria in live rock will die due to the copper medication and carbon will actually filter out the copper defeating the purpose of the treatment. Anything else I can do? Thank you
 

Jay Hemdal

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The sump is currently disconnected, just using it for the 39G of volume and separating some fish that need more space.

My main issue here is ammonia is spiking to 1ppm and nitrites are already at .5ppm in just 3 days. I can't produce RODI water at the rate that I'd need to do WC and I can't imagine being able to keep up for 72 days without losing any fish. Is ich management a better option for me at this point? It's only my 2 tangs that are exhibiting cysts. My copperband looks normal and so do my clowns, my foxface had a couple of white dots but was eating foraciously.

I'm panicking right now as my fish are starting to breathe rapidly (plenty of flow and surface distruption so oxygen itself isn't the issue) and I'm not sure I'll be able to manage this. My understanding is that bacteria in live rock will die due to the copper medication and carbon will actually filter out the copper defeating the purpose of the treatment. Anything else I can do? Thank you
Nitrite isn’t an issue in marine aquariums, but you need to get that ammonia down below 0.25 ppm. Don’t use Amquel Or Prime, that can make your copper more toxic. Your only real option is huge water changes, or to add bacteria cultures. You don’t need to use RODI to mix seawater for fish, just use tap water.
Jay
 
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Bacteria! Sand and filter media from your main tank that you don't mind throwing out afterward, any live rock you can spare, and/or bottled bacteria. Keep in mind that anything you put into QT will need to be dried out completely if you want to put it back in your tank, so don't do that with any live rock you want to keep live.
 

naterealbig

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All good feedback here. If your fish in the display are eating well and healthy, you've got some time. Ich isn't an instant killer. Add bacteria cultures to the sump, and allow nitrification to stabilize. When it's ready, pull the other fish out of the display, and begin your 76 day fallow period.
 
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pixelhustler

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Nitrite isn’t an issue in marine aquariums, but you need to get that ammonia down below 0.25 ppm. Don’t use Amquel Or Prime, that can make your copper more toxic. Your only real option is huge water changes, or to add bacteria cultures. You don’t need to use RODI to mix seawater for fish, just use tap water.
Jay
Oh no, I just dosed pro-ammonia detox by Kent. It doesn't list ingredients other than "hydrosulfites" so I'm not sure how it compares. I'm doing a 50% water change shortly. I'm usually against dosing any chemicals for water stability but I wa/am pretty worried about that ammonia. I'm learning my lesson the hard way and will set up a permanent QT tank for all future fish
 
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pixelhustler

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All good feedback here. If your fish in the display are eating well and healthy, you've got some time. Ich isn't an instant killer. Add bacteria cultures to the sump, and allow nitrification to stabilize. When it's ready, pull the other fish out of the display, and begin your 76 day fallow period.
All the fish are already in the hospital tank. Would you recommend moving some back? Only my 2 tangs are exhibiting white spots but at this point I'm not sure if it's worth it to move them back or just take my chances and try to manage my ammonia problem
 

ca1ore

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Maybe the powder blue introduced ich, or maybe it was already in your tank and the tang just played the part of the canary. You don’t say what the other tang is, but the powder blue is among the most susceptible of fishes. I practice ich management on my system, and have a bunch of tangs; but it’s not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for novice reefers.
 
Lazys Coral House

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You should start treating the ich as soon as possible, before it can get bad enough to seriously harm them. Remember, it can be internal- lack of externally visible spots doesn't mean there's no ich in the fish.

You don't necessarily need a permanent QT, you just need a way to cycle a QT instantly. Keep a sponge somewhere in your sump that won't collect detritus, and after a couple months, it should be nice and bacteria-rich. Do you have any kind of filter media in the main tank that you could put in the QT? An extra handful of sand? Anything?

If you really can't get the QT cycled at all, being in the display tank with ich is probably better than high ammonia levels. But you should get that QT ready as fast as you possibly can.
 

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Use plastic totes and hob filters from wLmart. 30-50gal are available in clear. Set them on the floor and if you keep your house below 70 throw a heater in from wLmart too. Ive qtd reef fish at 68 degrees Fahrenheit without issue
 
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pixelhustler

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You should start treating the ich as soon as possible, before it can get bad enough to seriously harm them. Remember, it can be internal- lack of externally visible spots doesn't mean there's no ich in the fish.

You don't necessarily need a permanent QT, you just need a way to cycle a QT instantly. Keep a sponge somewhere in your sump that won't collect detritus, and after a couple months, it should be nice and bacteria-rich. Do you have any kind of filter media in the main tank that you could put in the QT? An extra handful of sand? Anything?

If you really can't get the QT cycled at all, being in the display tank with ich is probably better than high ammonia levels. But you should get that QT ready as fast as you possibly can.
I have a good amount of filtering media and some live rock in the hospital tank, along with a wave maker and a pump (it’s a large 3 chamber sump) but somehow just the feeding was enough to spike my ammonia. I can try adding some sand and seeing if it improves. At this point I’ve put my fish through so much stress I’m going to do daily water changes and try to make it through the 72-76 day period. I’m thinking of decreasing the overall water volume in the hospital tank to make dilution more effective with each WC
 

Tired

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I think someone else mentioned that fish don't necessarily need RODI water. You might get some algae from it, but if your tap water quality is decent, it should work fine for the QT. Just do a series of small water changes when switching to it, instead of one giant one, to acclimate the fish. I ran my prior tank as a FOWLER for a bit, and had fish and shrimp successfully in just tap water.
 
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pixelhustler

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I think someone else mentioned that fish don't necessarily need RODI water. You might get some algae from it, but if your tap water quality is decent, it should work fine for the QT. Just do a series of small water changes when switching to it, instead of one giant one, to acclimate the fish. I ran my prior tank as a FOWLER for a bit, and had fish and shrimp successfully in just tap water.
That’s actually a really helpful insight. I’ll have my RODI unit on 24/7 and mix in tap water whenever I’m a bit short
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Oh no, I just dosed pro-ammonia detox by Kent. It doesn't list ingredients other than "hydrosulfites" so I'm not sure how it compares. I'm doing a 50% water change shortly. I'm usually against dosing any chemicals for water stability but I wa/am pretty worried about that ammonia. I'm learning my lesson the hard way and will set up a permanent QT tank for all future fish
I can't tell you specifically about that product, but here is the general issue: some copper products (Cupramine for sure) bond the copper molecules with amines. This makes the copper less toxic. Then, some ammonia removers (Prime and Amquel) reduce the copper/amine bond, freeing up the copper, causing toxicity. In addition, the amin-based coppers also confuse some copper test kits into reading false high readings (but apparently not ammonia alert badges).

Jay
 

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