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View Full Version : Help! Advice needed re hyposalinity


Team D&E
03/05/2009, 12:15 PM
My blue hippo tang became infested with ick. We proceeded to start hyposalinity treatment for all the fish after removing them to quarantine. We lowered the salinity slowly–too slowly (mistake #1) and 2 weeks later the salinity has been down to 1.009 for two days. Although the other 2 fish still show no signs of ich (and never have), the tang is REALLY covered (as bad as any really bad ick infestation picture I've found on the internet). He's still eating but isn't acting like himself.

My question: How long does it take to start seeing a difference while in hypo? I'm aware that it takes 6-8 weeks to fully kill it off but after reading about the parasites not being able to maintain osmotic pressure and bursting etc etc, I thought we'd see less spots within hours.

We've considered trying a formalin dip but I'm afraid the stress alone of being removed from the QT might kill him. The poor guy needs some relief though!

On a side note: we're at a complete loss as to why we contracted ick to begin with. We quarantine our fish for at least a month and we've had the tang for years. The two fish we bought recently were, as I said, quarantined and have never shown any signs of ick.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any feedback!

biger
03/05/2009, 01:02 PM
A month is not really long enough. I do 6 to 8 weeks in QT and it has worked great. My mistake was going with people that said you don't need to QT mandarins so I didn't and that was when my troubles began but B4 that I never had ich at all.

biger
03/05/2009, 01:47 PM
Why do you say it was a mistake to lower the salinity slowly? It is very stressful on the fish to lower it quickly. You should maintain hypo 4-6 after u last see any sign ich on the fish and raise salinity back up slowly again over at least a week. The reason you still see ich on the fish is because in the attached phase the trophonts bury in the fish skin and form a cyst around themselves where they are protected. (This is the only stage of ich you can see with the naked eye). They will suffer from osmotic shock when they detach from the fish and enter the free swimming stage and when tomonts hatch into tomites and again enter the free swimming stage and search for a host fish.

rcerulli
03/05/2009, 02:01 PM
Using hypo turned my ich into velvet (well not literally, but one problem turned into a worse one). my fish got extremely weakened by the OST and velvet was able to spread killing half my tank.

Team D&E
03/05/2009, 02:18 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14543059#post14543059 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by biger
Why do you say it was a mistake to lower the salinity slowly? It is very stressful on the fish to lower it quickly. You should maintain hypo 4-6 after u last see any sign ich on the fish and raise salinity back up slowly again over at least a week. The reason you still see ich on the fish is because in the attached phase the trophonts bury in the fish skin and form a cyst around themselves where they are protected. (This is the only stage of ich you can see with the naked eye). They will suffer from osmotic shock when they detach from the fish and enter the free swimming stage and when tomonts hatch into tomites and again enter the free swimming stage and search for a host fish.

The reason I said we lowered the salinity too slowly (I agree with what you're saying about it being stressful on the fish) is because I think we should have done it over the course of 1 week, not 2. Doing it so slowly, which was mainly because we've been busy with other things, has only prolonged the amount of time my fish has to deal with the ich.

I see what you're saying about the hypo not affecting the ich until the phase where they detach and become free swimming. I've read a bit but I'm not clear on this one thing: do they all detach at once or does it vary?

Thanks so much for your feedback!

biger
03/05/2009, 02:58 PM
Your welcome D&E, Just trying to help. It does vary as not all the ich will be at the same stage at the same time. That is why you want to continue for 4-6 weeks after all visible signs of ich are gone so it can go thru all stages. Don't forget to monitor Ph as it can go down with hypo.

Rcerulli, velvet kills very fast once you notice it and hypo will not effect it. Only treatment I know of is copper for velvet. Cupramine is good for ich and velvet.

JHemdal
03/06/2009, 01:02 PM
Just to clarify things for folks:

You can lower the specific gravity for a hypo treatment rather quickly - people routinely drop the specific gravity in half in just 24 hours time. This does not overtly stress marine fish. In fact, in cases where there is in active outbreak of Cryptocaryon, if people lower the S.G. too slowly, the disease keeps an upper hand, and the treatment may fail.

Raising the specific gravity at the end of the hypo treatment is where people get into trouble - this needs to be done VERY slowly, I'll take five days or more to go from 1.011 to 1.022.

Also, if you decide to go as low as 1.009 (I don't do that myself) you must be CERTAIN that your hydrometer is accurate and precise at that range. Too many times people go this low, not realizing that their hydrometer reading is off, and they end up with an actual S.G. of 1.008 or something, and fish may die.

Finally, be on the look out for an outbreak of Uronema while running hyposalinity...

Jay

biger
03/07/2009, 10:14 AM
What Jay said above is why I usually just do cupramine.

Freed
03/07/2009, 10:24 AM
Hydrometers are not recommended. Properly calibrated refractometers are much more accurate and reliable out of the box. Just leave your fish in QT with the hypo and they should start getting better soon.

JHemdal
03/07/2009, 10:43 AM
Biger,

I don't use hyposalinity either (grin). I use either coppersafe or ionic copper as my standard Rx, although I've been tinkering round with chloroquine. I haven't used hypo in probably 8 to 10 years.


Freed,

People need to be careful when using refractometers as well. Units without ATC, or those designed for BRIX or other uses can end up being less accurate than a dip and read hydrometer. Another problem is that many people think they can just calibrate these units with RO water, when in order to be accurate at the scale for aquarium use, they need to be calibrated with a standard salt solution.

In my October 2008 TFH article, the two most accurate devices I found were a laboratory hydrometer and a $139 refractometer calibrated for 35 ppt. Both of these units showed a 0 % error. The same refractometer calibrated to pure H2O read 2.1% high. Since the laboratory hydrometer does not require calibration, it was really the best standard.

The dip and read hydrometers were often innacurate, but still precise. This means that if you determine a correction factor for each unit using a more accurate tool, they end up being very accurate and precise.

For a combination of ease of use and precision, an old style full range, rectangular dip and read hydrometer (you can probably guess the brand) was the best in my trials.


Jay

Freed
03/07/2009, 10:46 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14556897#post14556897 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Freed
Properly calibrated refractometers

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14556897#post14556897 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Freed
Hydrometers are not recommended.

Not many people have lab quality/grade hydrometers ;)

biger
03/07/2009, 01:19 PM
Hey Jay, you think coppersafe is better than cupramine? I have always used cupramine in my QT but might try coppersafe in the future.

JHemdal
03/07/2009, 03:14 PM
biger,

Sorry - I don't have any frame of reference for Cupramine compared to Coppersafe, because I haven't used Cupramine before. In fact, I had stopped using Coppersafe about 25 years ago until just recently - when I learned that I could use the API copper test kit and my spectrophotometer to accurately measure the amount of Coppersafe still in a system. This eliminated the problem of not being able to accurately re-dose after a water change...now, after the water change, I test for it and can re-dose accordingly. Since that works well, I haven't had the need to compare it to other chelated copper products....that said, it seems that more home aquarists use Cupramine, and there may be a good reason for that, so use what you are familiar with I'd think.

Jay

biger
03/07/2009, 03:58 PM
Ok, thanks for the info Jay.