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HingleMcCringleberry

Need Help! Cupramine not working?

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HingleMcCringleberry

Hi all.

 

I've really been struggling recently. If you get angry reading this you probably should be. many mistakes were made that WILL NOT be repeated.

 

FOR A DETAILED EXPLANATION READ THE WHOLE POST 

IF YOU HATE READING AND JUST WANT A SYNOPSIS JUST READ THE BOTTOM PARAGRAPH AND CONCLUSION

 

I have been running two tanks, a 20 gallon and a 30 gallon bio cube.

 

First mistake: I didnt quarantine a rabbitfish. Now the 30 gallon has ich and I cant undo it. For now, the infection is under control and my fish are not symptomatic, but I know my tank will have ich until I go FALLOW. I am tentatively content to rest that issue while I deal with a more pressing matter... my 20 gallon disaster.

 

Second mistake: I bought a fish at Petco AND didnt quarantine. That got me MARINE VELVET. I only mention the ich in the 30 gallon because the one benefit it gave me was helping confirm my diagnosis in the 20 gallon tank.

 

So here is the story. I had just arranged to buy a 75 gallon tank to replace my 20 gallon. I got so excited and went out and bought a tiny blue hippo from petco and put him straight in the 20 gallon. I thought it would be fine because the bigger tank transition was just a few days away (new tank came already cycled). But the tang didnt last two days after breaking out in tons of tiny white spots and eventually looking cloudy right before it died. Soon my coral beauty took ill with the same symptoms and i knew i needed to act fast. I did a lot of research and decided it was probably velvet. I ran to the only pet store still open (look at Petco profiting from their booby-trapped fish) and picked up a 20 gallon long, a bubbler, a heater, a power head, a tiny hang off filter, and cupramine and FINALLY set up a quarantine tank. I removed the filter material that came with the filter and added an empty sponge bag to hopefully grow some good bacteria. I used some of that instant cycle stuff to add a little of that good bacteria off the bat. Finally I added some pieces of PVC pipe for the fish to hide in. I did not buy a copper test kit (they didnt have one).

 

I followed the instructions on the cupramine bottle and added the first dose. Then I caught the angelfish (who wasnt too far gone because he put up quite a fight) and added him to the hospital tank. The coral beauty quickly lost its spots over the next few days. I did not remove the rest of my fish because they weren't showing symptoms and I would have to destroy my rockwork and knock over all my corals and nems to even have a chance of catching all of them.

 

Fast forward a week and all the fish in the 20 gallon still appear and behave as if they are completely healthy but the coral beauty has broken out in white dots again! I dosed the copper exactly as instructed on the days it told me to. I added a total of 40 drops over several days which is half what the bottle told me would reach a therapeutic dose. I had been told that the recommendations on the bottle were overkill but clearly, I needed the full dose so I added the other 40 drops to the quarantine tank. That didn't help, and two days later the coral beauty looked even worse.

 

I figured maybe I was wrong to diagnose velvet and perhaps it was not a parasite but a fungus or a bacteria. I had some Ruby Reef "Rally" lying around and so I dosed the quarantine tank with that too. Sure enough, the spots went away again.

 

I knew if it was indeed velvet and I had just botched the treatment then the velvet was still living in the 20 gallon. So when I finally upgraded to the 75 gallon tank I moved all the rock, sand, and inverts, but added all the fish from the 20 gallon to the quarantine tank. Then I started the timer for 6 weeks until the potential velvet starved in the fish free 75 gallon tank.

 

Mistake 3: I bought more new fish.

 

Undeterred from my past mistakes I picked up a new baby hippo tang from a reputable store as well as a dottyback and added them to the quarantine too. I figured as long as the quarantine tank had to be up and running I might as well take the opportunity to add the new fish I needed to quarantine anyways. Well the velvet came back and the dottyback and baby hippo #2 died in 2 days.

 

Mistake 4?: More fish

 

Well its been 2 weeks since the dottyback and 2nd hippo died. that makes 3 weeks of no fish if you add the days that the 20 gallon had no fish and the days since the 75 has been up and running. I have done 8 50% water changes on the quarantine tank in that time. I make sure to add back the copper I remove each time. The copper should now be at 1.5 times the recommended dose. Everything has been looking healthy so two days ago I went to the LFS and bought a small hippo tang.

 

Today it has some tiny white spots.

 

SYNOPSIS:

I didnt quarantine my new fish and introduced marine velvet to my tank. I have seen ich before and this was much smaller and more numerous dots and killed very quickly. I set up a hospital tank and dosed 50% recommended of cupermine. A week later the velvet came back and more fish died so I dosed 100% the recommended dose. The velvet still came back and more fish died again so I upped to 150% dose. I had two weeks without symptoms and I added a new fish and two days later it has velvet. I have been doing proper water changes, I removed all carbon and other filters that arent mechanical, I have no skimmer or UV sterilizer. I am so sure its velvet based on how it looks, how the fish behave, and how quickly it kills.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

What am I doing wrong? Other than the unintended torturing of so many innocent fish. Every time I think I've killed the parasite with cupramine it comes back. I'm at 150% recommended dose for crying out loud. Nothing should be able to survive long enough in the swimming stage to infect a fish. Can anyone tell me what's going on? And why are half my fish totally immune while others die within 48 hours of introduction?

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Lula_Mae

Is it only happening with the new fish you're introducing? I'm wondering if they're more susceptible because of the stress of a new environment. Regardless, stop trying to add new fish for now.  I'm not too familiar with velvet but if it's anything like ich where it needs 6+ weeks fallow to get rid of it, it's probably present on the equipment in your tank or something.  It's also possible that the new fish themselves are carrying in velvet from their respective locations, as even reputable sources can be hit with velvet. One member here lost several fish because of not quarantining after buying Diver's Den fish from LiveAquaria, which theoretically had already been quarantined.  Sorry you've learned the hard way the importance of quarantining every new addition.

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seabass
18 hours ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

I had just arranged to buy a 75 gallon tank to replace my 20 gallon. I got so excited and went out and bought a tiny blue hippo from petco

75 gallons is much too small for a hippo tang.

 

18 hours ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

I did not remove the rest of my fish because they weren't showing symptoms and I would have to destroy my rockwork and knock over all my corals and nems to even have a chance of catching all of them.

Still, that's what you must do.

 

18 hours ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

I had some Ruby Reef "Rally" lying around and so I dosed the quarantine tank with that too.

It's a bad idea to mix meds.

 

18 hours ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

so two days ago I went to the LFS and bought a small hippo tang.

Please stop buying hippos.  They need closer to 175 gallons.

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HingleMcCringleberry
1 hour ago, Lula_Mae said:

Is it only happening with the new fish you're introducing? I'm wondering if they're more susceptible because of the stress of a new environment. Regardless, stop trying to add new fish for now.  I'm not too familiar with velvet but if it's anything like ich where it needs 6+ weeks fallow to get rid of it, it's probably present on the equipment in your tank or something.  It's also possible that the new fish themselves are carrying in velvet from their respective locations, as even reputable sources can be hit with velvet. One member here lost several fish because of not quarantining after buying Diver's Den fish from LiveAquaria, which theoretically had already been quarantined.  Sorry you've learned the hard way the importance of quarantining every new addition.

That’s why I’m so confused. The new fish are stressed for sure. But they’re moving into a tank that had no substrate and is treated with copper. I don’t know how the velvet is surviving. I dipped two of my original fish yesterday in fresh water with a high dose of copper in it. This morning one of them was covered in velvet as well. I don’t understand it!

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HingleMcCringleberry
1 minute ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

That’s why I’m so confused. The new fish are stressed for sure. But they’re moving into a tank that had no substrate and is treated with copper. I don’t know how the velvet is surviving. I dipped two of my original fish yesterday in fresh water with a high dose of copper in it. This morning one of them was covered in velvet as well. I don’t understand it!

To be clear. There are no fish in the display tank. All the fish were moved to the quarantine tank weeks ago and have been in copper the whole time. But they’re still getting sick!

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Tamberav

Instead of buying blue hippo tangs for a 75g THAT IS MUCH TOO SMALL..... Buy a high range hanna copper test kit so you can make sure you are keeping a theraputic dose at all times. This means dosing the new water before adding it to the tank.

 

Don't add new fish. That starts the copper timer over. Copper is toxic to fish and no reason to keep them in there longer than needed. 

 

There are RESISTANT strains of velvet and ich...etc.. to copper because too many people are treating sub therapitic levels and creating super bugs. This means using something even more toxic...

 

But first you need to test that copper. I would think the fish would be dying if copper posioning if it's really 1.5x dose as cupramine isn't exactly gentle bit weirder things have happened.

 

Slow down and make good choices....don't be greedy. These are living animals.

 

 

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HingleMcCringleberry
6 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Instead of buying blue hippo tangs for a 75g THAT IS MUCH TOO SMALL..... Buy a high range hanna copper test kit so you can make sure you are keeping a theraputic dose at all times. This means dosing the new water before adding it to the tank.

 

Don't add new fish. That starts the copper timer over. Copper is toxic to fish and no reason to keep them in there longer than needed. 

 

There are RESISTANT strains of velvet and ich...etc.. to copper because too many people are treating sub therapitic levels and creating super bugs. This means using something even more toxic...

 

But first you need to test that copper. I would think the fish would be dying if copper posioning if it's really 1.5x dose as cupramine isn't exactly gentle bit weirder things have happened.

 

Slow down and make good choices....don't be greedy. These are living animals.

 

 

Yeah. I’m taking it real slow from here out. The blue tang is tiny and the idea is to keep it for a year and then put it in a new home (I already arranged a future home with a friend that has a crazy 4000 gallon setup).  Anyway that’s really helpful. Im definitely committed enough to invest in the Hanna checker you recommended. Don’t get me wrong. I may have made some very bad choices in my excitement about my new tank but I am very committed to giving the fish all the effort they deserve. This is the third forum I’ve been asking and I’ve reached out to every fish store in a hours drive radius to get advice. 

 

This is is probably the most helpful thing I’ve heard so far. Thank you so much. 

 

Also do have a couple more questions. 

I know each fish has to be in quarantine for a set amount of time but if I add a new fish to quarantine does that really reset the timer on all the other fish? I figured I could remove fish in groups as each fishes personal timer was up. I figured any parasites introduced by new fish couldn’t infect the others because the parasites would have to reach a swimming stage to reach the other fish and copper kills any parasite that’s in the swimming stage. Am I dead wrong? And if I am wrong could you explain why? I would love to learn anything I can about the mechanisms of how fish diseases and treatment works. It could help me a lot making better decisions based on that knowledge going forward. 

 

Finally, you mentioned that it could be copper resistant. And that if that were the case I may need something stronger. Could you recommend another medicine that fits that description. My plan would be to do a 100% water change and use the harsher medicine for a shorter time and then do another 100% change to medicine free water and observe for any signs of disease. Then wait the rest of the quarantine time to be sure. 

 

Also (I’m so sorry I’m making you read so much) I recently decided that since copper wasn’t working that I would try an antibacterial/antifungal medicine. My last long shot theory was that maybe it’s a bacteria or fungus that happens to look just like velvet. So yesterday I did 100% water change and used the antifungal/antibacterial meds plus a half dose of copper. I know you’re not supposed to mix meds but I couldn’t specifically find anything saying these two meds had a bad interaction. I know what I’m doing is very hard on the fish. But it’s either kill them or cure them. The disease is guaranteed to get all the fish eventually since they can’t leave the quarantine tank that was filled with copper. And a fish that’s just fighting it off is still infected so it can’t ever leave quarantine either. 

 

This is is such a mess. If you have to, just spell out a plan for me that ignores cost and I’ll follow it to a T.  That goes for anyone else that has advice as well. 

 

Thank you so so much if you read all this. I know you probably hate me for all the mistakes I’ve made and I so appreciate you taking the time to help me save my fish. 

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Tamberav
56 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

Yeah. I’m taking it real slow from here out. The blue tang is tiny and the idea is to keep it for a year and then put it in a new home (I already arranged a future home with a friend that has a crazy 4000 gallon setup).  Anyway that’s really helpful. Im definitely committed enough to invest in the Hanna checker you recommended. Don’t get me wrong. I may have made some very bad choices in my excitement about my new tank but I am very committed to giving the fish all the effort they deserve. This is the third forum I’ve been asking and I’ve reached out to every fish store in a hours drive radius to get advice. 

 

This is is probably the most helpful thing I’ve heard so far. Thank you so much. 

 

Also do have a couple more questions. 

I know each fish has to be in quarantine for a set amount of time but if I add a new fish to quarantine does that really reset the timer on all the other fish? I figured I could remove fish in groups as each fishes personal timer was up. I figured any parasites introduced by new fish couldn’t infect the others because the parasites would have to reach a swimming stage to reach the other fish and copper kills any parasite that’s in the swimming stage. Am I dead wrong? And if I am wrong could you explain why? I would love to learn anything I can about the mechanisms of how fish diseases and treatment works. It could help me a lot making better decisions based on that knowledge going forward. 

 

Finally, you mentioned that it could be copper resistant. And that if that were the case I may need something stronger. Could you recommend another medicine that fits that description. My plan would be to do a 100% water change and use the harsher medicine for a shorter time and then do another 100% change to medicine free water and observe for any signs of disease. Then wait the rest of the quarantine time to be sure. 

 

Also (I’m so sorry I’m making you read so much) I recently decided that since copper wasn’t working that I would try an antibacterial/antifungal medicine. My last long shot theory was that maybe it’s a bacteria or fungus that happens to look just like velvet. So yesterday I did 100% water change and used the antifungal/antibacterial meds plus a half dose of copper. I know you’re not supposed to mix meds but I couldn’t specifically find anything saying these two meds had a bad interaction. I know what I’m doing is very hard on the fish. But it’s either kill them or cure them. The disease is guaranteed to get all the fish eventually since they can’t leave the quarantine tank that was filled with copper. And a fish that’s just fighting it off is still infected so it can’t ever leave quarantine either. 

 

This is is such a mess. If you have to, just spell out a plan for me that ignores cost and I’ll follow it to a T.  That goes for anyone else that has advice as well. 

 

Thank you so so much if you read all this. I know you probably hate me for all the mistakes I’ve made and I so appreciate you taking the time to help me save my fish. 

Re-homing the fish means you need to catch the fish and cause it stress as well as cause all your other fish stress in the process. It may even mean draining the water or removing rock in some cases. Stress leads to illness and disease. 

 

Plenty of pretty blue fish you could add or smaller species of Tangs. I really advise you to rethink the work involved and what is best for the fish. These animals have personalities and it is also easy to get attached by the end of the year. A Kole tang looks great and its yellow eyes pop under blues, can be kept in there, and won't as easily explode with disease. Tomini tangs are really under-appreciated too and look much better in person than photos. 

 

I have rehomed fish but it was for unexpected aggression issues. Sometimes we have to. Keep in mind blue hippos are particularly fragile. 

 

Every time you add something new you risk bringing in a new disease (copper doesn't treat everything) or a new strain of the same disease (like lovely copper resistant strains) and restarting the timer, infecting all fish. You also do not want to put too many fish in a QT if you can help it due to the fact QT's are generally small and this increases stress. Stress kills fish. 

 

Don't cross contaminate, nothing that touches your DT should touch your QT and vise-versa (unless sterilized). This means siphon hoses, water change buckets, ect. 

 

Chloroquine phosphate is an alternate treatment (need to get it prescribed from a vet, the stuff on ebay is questionable) and while most fish handle it well, better than copper, it would kill a blue hippo tang. They would need to be in it for 30 days.

 

I guess the other option then becomes Formalin but this is given as multiple baths and is a carcinogen so you need to protect yourself. 

 

You can mix antiobiotics and copper with LOTS OF AERATION as oxygen becomes the issue. I would run copper at the recommended dose. A half concentration only hides disease and you think the fish is cured then... bam... explodes in your tank with velvet again. 

 

The hanna checker will make your life easier and taking guessing away. 

 

I may have missed something. So @Humblefish

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HingleMcCringleberry
43 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Re-homing the fish means you need to catch the fish and cause it stress as well as cause all your other fish stress in the process. It may even mean draining the water or removing rock in some cases. Stress leads to illness and disease. 

 

Plenty of pretty blue fish you could add or smaller species of Tangs. I really advise you to rethink the work involved and what is best for the fish. These animals have personalities and it is also easy to get attached by the end of the year. A Kole tang looks great and its yellow eyes pop under blues, can be kept in there, and won't as easily explode with disease. Tomini tangs are really under-appreciated too and look much better in person than photos. 

 

I have rehomed fish but it was for unexpected aggression issues. Sometimes we have to. Keep in mind blue hippos are particularly fragile. 

 

Every time you add something new you risk bringing in a new disease (copper doesn't treat everything) or a new strain of the same disease (like lovely copper resistant strains) and restarting the timer, infecting all fish. You also do not want to put too many fish in a QT if you can help it due to the fact QT's are generally small and this increases stress. Stress kills fish. 

 

Don't cross contaminate, nothing that touches your DT should touch your QT and vise-versa (unless sterilized). This means siphon hoses, water change buckets, ect. 

 

Chloroquine phosphate is an alternate treatment (need to get it prescribed from a vet, the stuff on ebay is questionable) and while most fish handle it well, better than copper, it would kill a blue hippo tang. They would need to be in it for 30 days.

 

I guess the other option then becomes Formalin but this is given as multiple baths and is a carcinogen so you need to protect yourself. 

 

You can mix antiobiotics and copper with LOTS OF AERATION as oxygen becomes the issue. I would run copper at the recommended dose. A half concentration only hides disease and you think the fish is cured then... bam... explodes in your tank with velvet again. 

 

The hanna checker will make your life easier and taking guessing away. 

 

I may have missed something. So @Humblefish

You recommended chloroquine phosphate. I’m gonna try and get some but you said it would be too hard on the hippo tang. I can’t rehome a fish that’s known to be exposed to a disease. Do you have any idea what I could do to treat my fish (3 clowns, long nose hawkfish, watchman goby, leopard wrasse, blue hippo)?

 

also, in the interest of getting a complete diagnosis I have noticed something potentially important. I have been putting nori strips in the tank for the tangs because they won’t eat the flake food or pellets when they’re so stressed. So far, the only fish that have died are a coral beauty a dottyback a fairy wrasse, and several tangs. All of them I saw at least nipping at the nori. Could it be that the nori is somehow growing the disease inside of it and infecting the fish that eat it? Or is it just a coincidence and the vegetarians are also the least hardy fish?   All the fish that haven't touched the nori have shown know signs of the disease

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seabass
13 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

Could it be that the nori is somehow growing the disease inside of it and infecting the fish that eat it?

Unlikely.

 

It's a tough situation.  And like you have already admitted, compounded by mistakes made by you.  I'm glad that you are now asking for help and seem willing to accept suggestions.  I wish I knew more about fish diseases and treatments, so I'm of limited value on this particular subject.

 

A confirmation of the disease/parasite would obviously help.  Do you have any pics that show the problem?

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Tamberav
2 hours ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

You recommended chloroquine phosphate. I’m gonna try and get some but you said it would be too hard on the hippo tang. I can’t rehome a fish that’s known to be exposed to a disease. Do you have any idea what I could do to treat my fish (3 clowns, long nose hawkfish, watchman goby, leopard wrasse, blue hippo)?

 

also, in the interest of getting a complete diagnosis I have noticed something potentially important. I have been putting nori strips in the tank for the tangs because they won’t eat the flake food or pellets when they’re so stressed. So far, the only fish that have died are a coral beauty a dottyback a fairy wrasse, and several tangs. All of them I saw at least nipping at the nori. Could it be that the nori is somehow growing the disease inside of it and infecting the fish that eat it? Or is it just a coincidence and the vegetarians are also the least hardy fish?   All the fish that haven't touched the nori have shown know signs of the disease

You have to be careful with nori as it disintrigrates easily and ammonia can become a problem easily. Be sure to be frequently testing ammonia. Fyi do NOT use prime with cupramine.

 

Angels and wrasses and probably tangs are all sensitive to copper overdose. I would suspect that to be the issue or just coincidence as they are more fragile fish.

 

If copper truly isn't working then I would use CP and treat the hippo separately. 

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HingleMcCringleberry
2 hours ago, seabass said:

Unlikely.

 

It's a tough situation.  And like you have already admitted, compounded by mistakes made by you.  I'm glad that you are now asking for help and seem willing to accept suggestions.  I wish I knew more about fish diseases and treatments, so I'm of limited value on this particular subject.

 

A confirmation of the disease/parasite would obviously help.  Do you have any pics that show the problem?

This was the poor powder blue that came with the fish stock when I picked up the 75 gallon. He was the first to go. The uarantine tank had already been running over a week when he was added in. (Also not my choice to get that fish. I was planning to give him to my LFS as he was already quite large for a 75 gallon)

937C69AB-BBF6-4BFF-B45E-740882786958.jpeg

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HingleMcCringleberry

Also the water is clear. That’s just a bad photo 

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HingleMcCringleberry
3 hours ago, seabass said:

Unlikely.

 

It's a tough situation.  And like you have already admitted, compounded by mistakes made by you.  I'm glad that you are now asking for help and seem willing to accept suggestions.  I wish I knew more about fish diseases and treatments, so I'm of limited value on this particular subject.

 

A confirmation of the disease/parasite would obviously help.  Do you have any pics that show the problem?

Does it look like velvet?

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Tamberav

Yes to velvet

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HingleMcCringleberry
On 5/10/2019 at 4:55 PM, Tamberav said:

Yes to velvet

 

On 5/10/2019 at 4:36 PM, seabass said:

 

On 5/10/2019 at 3:00 PM, Tamberav said:

You have to be careful with nori as it disintrigrates easily and ammonia can become a problem easily. Be sure to be frequently testing ammonia. Fyi do NOT use prime with cupramine.

 

Angels and wrasses and probably tangs are all sensitive to copper overdose. I would suspect that to be the issue or just coincidence as they are more fragile fish.

 

If copper truly isn't working then I would use CP and treat the hippo separately. 

Update on the hospital tank. I picked up a copper test and the copper levels in the tank were low! Like half the minimum dose!  I guess my glass and pvc must have been absorbing it?

 

i added the much needed copper to bring it to the proper levels. In the meantime the antibacterial/antifungal seemed to help because the tang had recovered. 

 

So so things may be looking up. But that raises another question. I’ve been struggling with this disease for weeks and it seems very resilient. Even so, the handful of fish left (other than the tang) have never shown any symptoms. I’m guessing they are just hardier/less stressed and so weren’t as susceptible to a full blown infection. Bottom line: if everything looks healthy from here out, how do I know if the disease is gone or if the fish are just healthy enough to fight it off?  When is it potentially safe to introduce the fish to my display again? And how will I know?

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Tamberav
28 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

 

 

Update on the hospital tank. I picked up a copper test and the copper levels in the tank were low! Like half the minimum dose!  I guess my glass and pvc must have been absorbing it?

 

i added the much needed copper to bring it to the proper levels. In the meantime the antibacterial/antifungal seemed to help because the tang had recovered. 

 

So so things may be looking up. But that raises another question. I’ve been struggling with this disease for weeks and it seems very resilient. Even so, the handful of fish left (other than the tang) have never shown any symptoms. I’m guessing they are just hardier/less stressed and so weren’t as susceptible to a full blown infection. Bottom line: if everything looks healthy from here out, how do I know if the disease is gone or if the fish are just healthy enough to fight it off?  When is it potentially safe to introduce the fish to my display again? And how will I know?

Let the tank go fishless for 11 weeks since you had ich as well.

 

Fish need to be treated for 30 days in copper ALWAYS kept at the correct dose. This means if you do a water change you need to dose the new water before doing a change so the level never drops. 

 

Your other option is to treat for 14 days and transfer the fish to a new QT to start observation. Nothing can be re-used from the old QT. So you need a new set of everything. 

 

Test often and if copper drops out of range...the timer starts over.

 

Glass does not absorb copper. Some polyfilter pads will. Also the instructions on most copper bottles are incorrect and don't actually match the amount needed. I believe copper power is the most accurate right off the bottle.

 

By the time your tank is ready the fish will be in observation long enough. 

 

For new fish...if you treat them with correct copper amount I would observe minimum two weeks.

 

For fish not treated and just going into QT for observation...I would watch 4-8 weeks. Eight being much better for ich magnet fish like angels and tangs.

 

Keep in mind copper does not treat things like flukes and internal parasites.

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HingleMcCringleberry
22 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Let the tank go fishless for 11 weeks since you had ich as well.

 

Fish need to be treated for 30 days in copper ALWAYS kept at the correct dose. This means if you do a water change you need to dose the new water before doing a change so the level never drops. 

 

Your other option is to treat for 14 days and transfer the fish to a new QT to start observation. Nothing can be re-used from the old QT. So you need a new set of everything. 

 

Test often and if copper drops out of range...the timer starts over.

 

Glass does not absorb copper. Some polyfilter pads will. Also the instructions on most copper bottles are incorrect and don't actually match the amount needed. I believe copper power is the most accurate right off the bottle.

 

By the time your tank is ready the fish will be in observation long enough. 

 

For new fish...if you treat them with correct copper amount I would observe minimum two weeks.

 

For fish not treated and just going into QT for observation...I would watch 4-8 weeks. Eight being much better for ich magnet fish like angels and tangs.

 

Keep in mind copper does not treat things like flukes and internal parasites.

 

On 5/10/2019 at 4:36 PM, seabass said:

This is somewhat unrelated but my decision is based on my situation with my quarantine tank. The two of you seem really knowledgeable and I can’t find a good answer to this on the web. 

 

I have ave a magnificent foxface rabbitfish in my 30 gallon tank. That’s the tank that has ich living in it. I’m ok with the looking for now because I don’t plan to add new fish and because all the fish in there aren’t showing symptoms and haven’t been for several weeks. The rabbitfish is the main fish that had ich when the breakout happened over a month ago. I added a tiny cleaner shrimp a couple weeks ago when I started panicking about the velvet and the long shot chance that I would accidentally cross contaminate a piece of equipment by accident. 

 

Recently ive seen the cleaner shrimp hop onto the rabbitfish fairly often. He’s the largest fish in the tank so that could be part of it but it seems to happen quite often. I don’t know if the rabbitfish is asking to be cleaned or if the shrimp is just hungry and excited. My concern is that the rabbitfish is signaling that it needs help removing a parasite and is about to break out in ich. While I know small amounts of ich will always live in my 30 gallon tank until I go fallow, I definitely want to avoid another outbreak. 

 

The foxface is getting too large for the tank. And the plan has always been to move him to the 75 I am setting up. Sooo...

 

Is frequent cleaning a sign that the fish actually needs cleaning? The fish has no spots and isn’t scratching on rocks. I’ve observed carefully for almost an hour. But he almost seems to swim slowly past the shrimp and ask for it. Then shake off the shrimp shortly after it starts cleaning. 

 

If the fish is about to break out in ich should I move it to the questionable quarantine tank? The quarantine timer only started a couple days ago when I started monitoring copper levels and fixed the concentration. So I’m not worried about messing that up. But I would be adding some amount of ich to the quarantine tank. And I’m still not sure if the quarantine tank is as safe place to begin with. (Although the tang did lose its spots). 

 

Whats the verdict?

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seabass

You're lucky that your fish in your 30 gallon survived an ich outbreak.  Ich can wipe out an entire tank.  Now they are somewhat resistant to it; however, that doesn't mean that a stressful event couldn't trigger a massive outbreak.

 

You have to treat the fish prior to moving it to a tank that is ich-free (your 75 gallon tank).  I'm worried that your hospital tank is overstocked as is, and I would be reluctant to add more fish.  Since it isn't currently showing obvious signs of the parasite, I might wait until after you move the current fish from the hospital tank to your 75 gallon tank.  Then I'd treat your other fish (leaving that tank fallow).   Afterwards, you can return the ich-free fish to their parasite-free tanks.

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HingleMcCringleberry
4 minutes ago, seabass said:

You're lucky that your fish in your 30 gallon survived an ich outbreak.  Ich can wipe out an entire tank.  Now they are somewhat resistant to it; however, that doesn't mean that a stressful event couldn't trigger a massive outbreak.

 

You have to treat the fish prior to moving it to a tank that is ich-free (your 75 gallon tank).  I'm worried that your hospital tank is overstocked as is, and I would be reluctant to add more fish.  Since it isn't currently showing obvious signs of the parasite, I might wait until after you move the current fish from the hospital tank to your 75 gallon tank.  Then I'd treat your other fish (leaving that tank fallow).   Afterwards, you can return the ich-free fish to their parasite-free tanks.

Awesome. Sounds like a plan. I just started a new discussion asking about this, but while I have you, could you tell me about cleaner shrimp. If they’re cleaning a fish a lot does it mean the fish is getting sick? Even if the fish looks healthy otherwise? Or do healthy fish just like being cleaned?

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seabass

TBH, I'm not sure that it is a definite symptom of something wrong.  Although fish with parasites will accept cleaners more readily.  Ich cannot live without fish, so any tank that has live ich parasites, will have infected fish.  I would rely on their current (although temporary) immunity until your hospital tank is ready for round two.  The cleaner may be providing a valuable service; but it has been my experience that a cleaner shrimp cannot contain a full blown ich outbreak.

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HingleMcCringleberry
16 hours ago, seabass said:

TBH, I'm not sure that it is a definite symptom of something wrong.  Although fish with parasites will accept cleaners more readily.  Ich cannot live without fish, so any tank that has live ich parasites, will have infected fish.  I would rely on their current (although temporary) immunity until your hospital tank is ready for round two.  The cleaner may be providing a valuable service; but it has been my experience that a cleaner shrimp cannot contain a full blown ich outbreak.

Funny how this basically turned into a discussion about how to quarantine. 

 

Another situation i on I noticed is that I believe he hippo tang may have internal parasites sapping the food it eats. It looks kind of lumpy and definitely skinny even though it eats like a pig. I described it to my LFS and they said that although it is young and has a high metabolism they agreed it may have a digestive parasite. They said to keep feeding it lots and eventually it will “poop it out”. I don’t know if that’s true but it sounds like a negligent method. Especially in a stressful quarantine situation. Will copper treat that as well? If not is there something I can add to the water or food that will help. Or will that just stress the fish more than it helps?

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HingleMcCringleberry

Also thanks so much to all of you for the advice. The copper test was a game changer. I think the levels have always been below therapeutic levels and that may have caused all my trouble. 

 

I doubt anyone will agree with this strategy but Idk if something along these lines will help. If I still have trouble with velvet outbreaks in quarantine and the tang dies for example, how can I know if the parasite is gone after that. Since the other fish have proven to be able to fight velvet well enough to show no symptoms. If I have a copper resistant strain, how do I know if I can add the fish to my display? Although it’s a bit morbid, the tang is helpful because I feel it’s like a canary fish that will definitely get sick if it’s still possible. So if it stays healthy for the duration of the quarantine period I can trust that the velvet is gone. But if I lose the tang to stress or another outbreak I’ll have no way of knowing. The rabbit fish from the 30 gal seems susceptible to parasites. And it has to go to the 75 display soon anyway. If the tang goes should I add him to the quarantine tank as a canary. It seems so cruel to use a fish as a test subject bu I can’t think of another way to put my fears to rest. Any ideas? 

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seabass
16 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

Will copper treat that as well? If not is there something I can add to the water or food that will help.

I'm not sure, but I believe internal parasites are treated with medicated food.  A quick search should provide a wealth of information.  Without additional symptoms, it's hard to confirm internal parasites.

 

9 minutes ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

And it has to go to the 75 display soon anyway. If the tang goes should I add him to the quarantine tank as a canary.

The rabbitfish is much more suitable for this tank than a regal tang.  That said, make sure that the rabbitfish receives a full treatment before moving it to your 75 gallon tank.  You'll need to closely observe all of your fish in all of your tanks (even after treatment is complete).

 

Good Luck!

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