ICHY ICH Treatment

Discussion in 'Marine Fish' started by portereef, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    Hey there everyone. The dreaded parasite "ich" somehow managed to show itself in the 180.....I have theories but thats not what we are here to read about! Lets get to the real question, HOW TO KILL Crytocaryon irritans (Marine White Spot Disease) or commonly know as ich. Right off the bat I want to say I understand QT is the best way to avoid this disease, With that being said not many of us use or maintain a QT system because its for one reason or another not feasible. After talking to a friend of mine that is a marine fish veterinarian they offer some great advice and how to handle the issue.
    First off removing all the fish from the reef is a MUST if you want to get rid of the parasite fully.
    Copper treatment is the best method of treatment for fish, I am not saying you can't get the job done using something that is reef safe I just want to stress that it may only put a bandage on the problem.
    I would like to make this thread as knowledgable as I can because I have the sources and would like to help out everyone else so we all can avoid this from happening to a well established reef with fish that might as well be children to some of us.
    The following posts will go through a number of steps on what ich really is and how it lives its life along with how I will be going about treating my fish and progress along the way. I will be using commercially available products so that everyone can replicate this process. I have access to other chemicals and treatments that are laboratory grade and hard to get since I am at a fish health lab but I want to help you as hobbyists as best I can.
     
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  2. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    First off I want to start off by talking about the life cycle of this little parasite. Below is a picture of the life cycle. We all will know about this infestation when its to late, which is when we can see them feeding on our fish producing the "white spots"or the Trophont stage. This parasite only needs the one host to complete its life cycle unlike most parasites that require and intermediate host to complete a full life cycle. Most treatments if not all of the treatments out there go after the Theronts which are free-swimming in the water column and have little protection from medications. The complete life cycle is on average 1 to 2 weeks but is largely dependent on how long the tomont development takes. Studies have shown this stage taking anywhere from 6 days to 11 weeks. With all this being said it's time to setup a QT system for the fish.

    upload_2020-1-24_12-15-51.png
     
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  3. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    I will be using a 55 gallon quarantine tank for the duration of the copper treatment and it will be set up in a different room to provide as much sterility as possible. This 55 gallon tank will have PVC fittings for the fish to hide in along with some dry rock that I can totally fine with soaking in copper if it means the fish will be happier during this very stressful time. This 55 gallon tank will be fitted with a hang on the back filter (HOB) along with 2 air stones to provide adequate oxygen throughout the treatment, I will also of course have a light to simulate regular light cycles and a heater to maintain the water temperature. Saltwater will be made using instant ocean since no corals will be in the QT system. Pictures will follow after I get the system setup. Fish should be moved by Sunday.
     
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  4. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    Great thread! Sorry you're having to go through this but the educational value for our club is great!

    Your QT sounds very similar to mine. The only thing I do different is add a couple of bags of Biomax ceramic media that have been in the DT of my sump for a couple of months(I keep several bags in there at all times). With that I really don't have to worry at all about ammonia or water changes which greatly simplifies copper treatment.
     
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  5. Adam Mulling

    Adam Mulling Blenny

    Very sorry but for sure but great reading
     
  6. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    Alright I got the two tanks I'm going to use for qt setup and now I am waiting for temperature to stabilize before moving anyone to their new home. Let me know if there is any information you want to know I am making sure I post as much as I can. I am using fresh saltwater that's just the classic instant ocean and mixing it to regular 1.025 or regular reef water. This is for the fish to not have any more stress than I am already putting them through. I will slowly bring the salinity down with topoff rodi water. I will also be moving fish this afternoon and will not copper either tank until tomorrow to allow them to settle in because it's already stressful and copper is hard enough on a comfortable fish.
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    Why will you lower the salinity and what will you lower it too?
     
  8. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    Lower salinity is just because fish don't need the full 1.025 marine fish are able to tolerate lower levels I will run the salinity around 1.015 - 1.020. Reason for this is why use more salt if you can run a system perfectly fine with happy fish. Update on the fish though, everyone is doing great and is sitting at 1.5 ppm copper power and still eating like a bunch of pigs like always. They aren't very happy with being in a 55 and a 10 gallon but sometimes you gotta roll with the punches.
     
  9. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    The reason I asked is they don't usually tolerate a rapid rise in salinity too well when it's time to put them back in the DT. It's much like what I have to do when I buy fish from a supplier that runs a low salinity, have to slowly elevate it over several days. Way too much hassle for me for saving a few bucks on salt.
     
  10. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    Thats the benefit to having them in QT while you wait for the 76 days of fowlr you get time to bring the salinity back up. I will say I haven't had to much an issue because the difference from 1.020 to 1.025 is not enough to make me worry. Now I just need to deal with the fish making the water dirty in the QT and having to do a water change and add additional copper to keep the balance. Checked the 180 and the parameters are going good alk is a little low but the nutrients are good and I have been just feeding the corals phyto and Reef-roids at night when they are out feeding.
     
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  11. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    So sorry you are having to deal with this my friend! Hopefully it will have a very happy ending. Do you want to borrow my Hanna copper checker? It sure makes keeping copper levels a lot easier for me!
     
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  12. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    Thank you but I got my own which you are right. It's very very helpful and accurate! Everyone is comfortable in there new studio apartments for the next couple months. Also I bought a UV system for the 180. I will post in my tank thread so I finally get to update posted for everyone.
     
  13. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    ALRIGHT fish are doing good as an update copper was dosed slowly to acclimate. I followed a method that @huntindoc told me about with a combination of what I was told by my fish vet. I let the fish sit for 48 hrs to adjust to the move and then I started to add copper power @ a rate of .89 ml per gallon of real water volume which required some extra math since I put some stuff in the tanks for the fish to hide in and had to calculate the volume of the HOB filters. 0.89 is the dosing rate for 1.5 ppm of copper which is a therapeutic dose for the fish. This means that the fish aren't really going to get better if they are to covered in the parasite. It will mess with the parasite but really 2.5ppm is my target but again you need to SLOWLY raise the copper. I calculated the dose to get to the full 1.5 and spread that out over 4 or 5 days allowing the fish to acclimate with the copper present in the water.
    After this time I took the 1.5 ppm water and started to bring it up to 2.5 ppm after another 4 days of acclimation to 1.5 ppm of copper I have left the fish fat and happy at 2.5ppm for this whole week. (2-9 thru 2-16) On Sunday the 16th I will do a water change that will start to lower the copper levels. I will also keep these fish in qt till the 76 day fowlr period is over then reintroduced to the 180!
     
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  14. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    okay here is an update on the fish! everyone is doing just fine and acting fat just like normal.
     
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  15. portereef

    portereef RRMAS Supporter

    Update fish have been slowly taken off of copper and are doing great will move them over this weekend back to the display. Also I added a UV to the 180 so hopefully I kicked ich in the butt for the last 3 weeks and they are all at least not able to reproduce.
     
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