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Chiefsurfer
12/07/2009, 11:13 AM
Hey guys and gals,

I am starting up my 20 gallon tank, and have been reading the forums and find that most diseases are HARD to get rid of. While I have a lot more time until I get any kind of fish in my tank, I would like to try and read/gather as much info as possible before I introduce my little fishies.

I will have a mixed reef tank, and would like some tips on the BEST ways to prevent diseases. I know to monitor all my params, but is there anything else I can do? Like feed certain diets, doing very slow acclimations, etc?

I will have 40 lbs of LR for biological filtration, and also have an eshopps 75H for protein skimmer. I am looking to get a clown(not sure which right now, leaning to b&w perc, reg perc, or osc), a goby, and maybe a cardinal or 2.

I read the thread above about feeding correctly for the fish, but the linked threads did not work. What might be a good place to read about correct feeding and food prep for these fish?

Thanks a lot for looking, and taking the time for advice.

wooden_reefer
12/07/2009, 03:12 PM
I will have a mixed reef tank, and would like some tips on the BEST ways to prevent diseases. I know to monitor all my params, but is there anything else I can do? Like feed certain diets, doing very slow acclimations, etc?



In terms of mindset of the aquarist, the first step is not to regard water chemical quality as sufficient for disease control. An important mindset is the awareness of the confinement effect, the lack of dilution of the ocean, of the tank. It is re-infestation, reinfection or "superinfection".

In general, the more acute and aggresive spreading a disease, like ich and external bacterial infection, the more the control of it should center on the confinement consideration.

In general, the slow developing diseases, all the internal slow wasting away type diseases, are more dominated by nitrition and water chemcial quality.

silverstool
12/07/2009, 04:31 PM
adding a little garlic to your fish food every day will help boost their immune system. also some people have luck using UV filtration to actually remove diseases from the water. i always have a few cleaner shrimp in my tank as well to help remove ick if it ever breaks out.

Chiefsurfer
12/07/2009, 06:44 PM
are most shrimp cleaner shrimp? I live by the ocean, and I can access TONS of what we call "grass shrimp", I was going to get the smaller ones for live food for the fish, but if they also will clean, I could get some bigger ones as tank-mates.

The garlic is kinda what I was looking for, thank you.


Now by confinement consideration you mean a quarantine tank? Wooden reefer, I appreciate your input, and seems like you know what you're doing, but I am new to this, and really am not understanding. Re-reading your post, are you saying that having my tank as close to ocean conditions as possible will help keep them healthy?

Thanks again guys.

silverstool
12/07/2009, 06:49 PM
i would say they are not the same shrimp.

RBU1
12/07/2009, 06:54 PM
adding a little garlic to your fish food every day will help boost their immune system. also some people have luck using UV filtration to actually remove diseases from the water. i always have a few cleaner shrimp in my tank as well to help remove ick if it ever breaks out.

OK Garlic is not proven to help in anyway with parasites or anything else. It may make the food taste better but there is no scientific evidence of its effectivness...

The only way to keep your system parasite and disease free is to QT all your fish. Treat them in cupramine and observe them for a few weeks before putting them in your main tank.

silverstool
12/07/2009, 07:12 PM
i think you'll find proven or not that many people use garlic to prevent and treat ick.

ScooterGuitar
12/07/2009, 07:47 PM
I've been in this hobby off and on for 20 years (mostly on!) and I have tried every darn thing for ich, which I have lost lots of fish many years ago...I do add garlic for appetite, but not to prevent or really treat. Copper or other meds have been the only things that have worked through the years...and of course hypo, which I have never used.
I am now looking into preventative/treatment dips (see my new thread) for ich. I actually have a fairly new fish showing signs, so I'm beginning treatment tomorrow when I can get the meds.
FWIW, I soak my foods in garlic (real and garlic guard) and Zoe.
Good luck.

silverstool
12/07/2009, 07:55 PM
did you try uv as well?

ScooterGuitar
12/07/2009, 08:04 PM
Yes, I have...long ago...didn't work for me. I believe things like UV, garlic., etc that cannot hurt our fish is ok, but I don't put much faith in cure alls or things that haven't worked.
Catch ich or anything ASAP, treat ASAP...time it takes investigating, buying the "trial" products just causes the fish more stress IMO.
FWIW< I am not a pro and guys like RBU above have so much more knowledge. I've just come to the conclusion that I'm done trying things that don't have extremely good results.

Chiefsurfer
12/07/2009, 08:47 PM
Thanks RBU, and I am not really looking for treatments, just a few measures that I can take to do the absolute best I can in preventing my fish from getting it.

So I am going to have get a QT tank now. Darn! I have spent way too much money on this tank already. What can I do for a QT on the cheap, and how small can I go for the qt tank? I know i am being picky, but I live in a small apartment, that is already cramped with stuff, and really should not spend too much more than I already have.

RBU1
12/08/2009, 03:55 AM
Thanks RBU, and I am not really looking for treatments, just a few measures that I can take to do the absolute best I can in preventing my fish from getting it.

So I am going to have get a QT tank now. Darn! I have spent way too much money on this tank already. What can I do for a QT on the cheap, and how small can I go for the qt tank? I know i am being picky, but I live in a small apartment, that is already cramped with stuff, and really should not spend too much more than I already have.


No problem....I understand. If you want to deal with ich and not saying you cant...Keep your water quality top notch and feed a great viatamin enriched diet. I have 2 tanks a 300 and a 75. The 300 I am now doing everything in my power to try and keep ich out. I treat all fish that go in that tank with copper for 4 weeks. The 75 on the other hand is another story. I know there is ich in that tank I lost a really nice Atlantic Blue tang I had for 5 years and a pair of ocellaris clowns I had for the same time frame. I recently added a small yellow tang to the 75 without treating or doing anything and so far he/she is fine. There was a few visual signs of ich when the fish first went in but its been about 4 weeks now and the fish is looking and eating greaat. So I guess you can say I am really baffled by this parasite. I don't want to tak any chances with the 300 because I tend to like more expensive fish.......

Chiefsurfer
12/08/2009, 07:26 AM
once again, thanks. Is there a vitamin supplement that YOU suggest.

I really have not researched all the food I will need yet, so have not decided what to use. Do you have any reccomendations? And the garlic, can this be like garlic that you and I would eat? Like can I get a jar of minced garlic and dunk it in there? Or is it an aquarium specific garlic? Sorry for all the questions, and thank you.

Jersey Bounce
12/08/2009, 11:07 AM
You've been given a lot of good advice already, and kudos to you for researching ways to prevent your future fish from becoming ill.

I am looking to get a clown(not sure which right now, leaning to b&w perc, reg perc, or osc), a goby, and maybe a cardinal or 2.


If those are the fish you're hoping to keep, you shouldn't have too much trouble acquiring captive-bred specimens of any/all of them. Not only are captive-bred fish less likely to carry pathogens from the wild, but they've also been subjected to less stress than wild caught ones. Stress weakens a fish's immune system and makes them more susceptible to disease. Avoiding stress in any way possible is (IMO) perhaps the best disease prevention tactic. I agree with wooden_reefer that "the first step is not to regard water chemical quality as sufficient for disease control," but inadequate water conditions can stress out a fish, thus making them more susceptible to disease.

So, if I were to 'sum up' disease prevention, I'd say:
1. Quarantine (to avoid introducing pathogens to your aquarium)
2. Acquire captive-bred fish (to avoid stress and introducing pathogens)
3. Avoid stress whenever possible (to help maintain fish's natural disease prevention)

wooden_reefer
12/08/2009, 11:32 AM
After an aquarist becomes aware of the confinement effect of the tank, the lack of dilution of the ocean, with respect to diseases, one should think of ways to control or eradicate the pathogen involved.

The UV is important in drastically reducing waterborne pathogenic bacteria, but not so much ich. With respect to waterborne bacteria, the UV simulates the natural dilution effect of the ocean, before antibodies in fish develop.

For ich, the diatom filter is somewhat effective in filtering out ich and reducing the rate of spread. The diatom filter still has some adjunct uses but ich can be eradicated by treating in QT for long enough, and allowing DT to be fishless for long enough.

The next class are the marco-parasites like fluke.

The last major class are the internal bacterial and fungal diseases. These are the slow wasting away diseases. This class is mostly dictated by water chemical quality and nutrition.

There are also less well-known diseases like the lateral line disease.