View Full Version : Treating Itch In FOWLR Display?

08/04/2008, 04:54 PM
Hi. I was wondering if you could treat fish with hypo salinity to cure itch in your display in a FOWLR system with no inverts or corals? Any problem in doing this?

08/04/2008, 05:42 PM
I did hyposalinity in my FOWLR when my fish came down with major ICK. This worked well for me; the fish were all well after running hypo for about a month and half.

08/04/2008, 05:52 PM
What is hyposalinity? High salt level?

08/04/2008, 06:21 PM
The opposite. Low salinity which you maintain for 6 weeks as one of the only cures to itch which can kill all of your fish. The only other treatment that I am aware of which works is copper which can be hard on some fish and render your tank permanently unable to house inverts and corals because the copper gets absorbed in everything and then slowly leaches back into the tank. Some people believe feeding your fish garlic can help cure or at least ward off itch and other disease.

08/04/2008, 07:23 PM

I have had a case of "minor ich" in my tank over the past 10 days or so. It started when I added a Harlequin Tusk (this fish is still not eating- I will be surprised if he makes it). I started a thread in the Large Reef Tank forum called "Ich in a large tank". In my case, because of my tank size and large fishes both hyposalinity and hospital tanks are not practical. If I went the hospital tank/copper treatment route, I would need at least 4-5 separate 80 gallon tanks.
I added a neon goby who cleans my fish a lot as well as 4 cleaner shrimp. My biggest expense was the addition of a 2nd 80W high output Emporer Aquatics UV sterilizer.
All my food is soaked in Garlic and Selcon as I always have done.
You will read a lot from people who say that "ich free" tanks are possible if you run your DT without any fish for 6-8 weeks. They may be right. However, this does not explain how people who have ich free tanks for several years only for the fish to get the parasite when a heater or chiller etc fails. I believe we all have it in some form. Healthy feedings, good water quality etc is the way to go in my opinion. Then again, all my fish might be dead in a month........Hopefully not the case!
In spite of this, if your tank is not huge, your best option will be to set up a hospital tank, treat with copper or hypo, wait 6-8 weeks before putting anything back into your DT and quarantine all future fishes. Good luck and keep us posted.

08/04/2008, 08:02 PM
Has anyone ever tried:

Chem-Marin Stop Parasite


Jerry W
08/04/2008, 08:28 PM
There isn't one bottled "cure" that works with enough consistancy to be called reliable. In over ten years, I've tried most of them and have simply flushed money down the drain. I have had good results with hyposalinity on a few different occassions. It is entirely possible to perform this in your DT, and I've done it in my 120. Remove the live rock (or at least most of it). I place it in 30 gallon rubbermaid trash cans with a heater and powerhead. Add a few pieces of three inch dia. pvc pipe for shelter. Drop the salinity over two days (a bit quicker is fine). When the fish have been totally asymptomatic for three weeks, you can slowly raise the salinity back to nsw levels. Do this over a week as fish do not tolerate rapid increasd in salinity. I usually watch for another week and then add the live rock back.

08/04/2008, 10:12 PM
I have a large tank with pretty big fish, so I can't QT very easily. It is always better to have a QT, but if you must treat a display, I have had reasonable success with Paraguard by SeaChem (malachite green and some kind of aldehyde). It's marketed as an alternative to formaldehyde. I left the skimmer and rock in the tank, no carbon, and treated daily at the recommended dose of 5ml per 10 gallons (it adds up in a big tank).

I had some weaker fish, which I was able to net daily to give 5-minute fw dips followed by a 1-hour, more concentrated, Paraguard bath (3 ml/gallon). I lost one fish, but the other six fish survived and have done great since.

I have done this with another large DT, with similar, pretty good results. Though in my case, I believe my fish had velvet, which is quickly fatal, and does not respond well to hypo. With ich, generally, hypo is a good control.

08/04/2008, 10:58 PM
you can do it, just need to take out the rock and can't have a deep sandbed (you can leave a shallow sandbed in there). set up some rubbermaid containers to hold the rock with heaters and a pump while in hypo.

everything will die in hypo except fish.

you can use large pvc as temporary caves to keep the stress levels down for the fish.