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View Full Version : anyone do FW dips and can you share your experience?


geaux xman
02/15/2011, 12:24 PM
my LFS store I got the blueface from was telling me they would occasionally do it on their fish. do it every other day for a few days not to stress the fish out too much, 3-5 minutes.


Buffer up the RO/DI and then temperature match... i figure there'll be a time in the future that i might have to do it.

wouldnt doing copper a bit better and more affective?

MrTuskfish
02/15/2011, 01:15 PM
my LFS store I got the blueface from was telling me they would occasionally do it on their fish. do it every other day for a few days not to stress the fish out too much, 3-5 minutes.


Buffer up the RO/DI and then temperature match... i figure there'll be a time in the future that i might have to do it.

wouldnt doing copper a bit better and more affective?

What are you trying to treat/cure?

SDguy
02/15/2011, 01:36 PM
I've used FW dips on fish for a couple reasons, like flukes, as well as general cloudy/milky skin, or sores. I haven't found FW dips to help ich or velvet.

I do temperature adjust the water, but I no longer pH adjust it. Because I use pure DI from my lab at work, the pH basically shoots to whatever the tank water is once a little bit of tank water goes in, with the fish. Pre-pH'ing my water ended up making it sometimes too high, since, especially in a QT tank, pH can be lower than the "8.3" gold standard.

Some fish don't handle FW dips well (some wrasses, some anthias) but I've had excellent success with angels and butterflies. I dip for 10 minutes, though, not just 3-5. Much more effective, IME.

AuroraDrvr
02/15/2011, 03:48 PM
I'm one of the one's who does not do FW dips at all, especially as a prophylactic treatment. I have attempted to treat a couple different butterflies and angels, but all have been severely stressed, bordering on death after 5 minutes.

Simply put, I am not comfortable and not well versed, so I don't do them. I do however try to treat fish quickly with established methods after getting them. 1 or 2 days to settle then treat.

Lo Life Fishing
02/15/2011, 07:02 PM
I live in florida and stock my tank with wild caught species. When i catch angels especially i fill up a 5 gal bucket with r/o the same temp as my tank and leave him in there for 2 mins max then acclimate him into my display. Reason being is they are parasite pickers and are prone 2 having ich and other issues and this method works great. I think adding buffer to your freshwater dip is 2 abbrasive for the species to handle(imo). When I first started catching wildsn I would just acclimate them and my tank crashed so now i do this method and it works everytime, Ialso sell 2 my local lfs and heshared this method with me. Hope that helps.

AuroraDrvr
02/15/2011, 08:39 PM
I live in florida and stock my tank with wild caught species. When i catch angels especially i fill up a 5 gal bucket with r/o the same temp as my tank and leave him in there for 2 mins max then acclimate him into my display. Reason being is they are parasite pickers and are prone 2 having ich and other issues and this method works great. I think adding buffer to your freshwater dip is 2 abbrasive for the species to handle(imo). When I first started catching wildsn I would just acclimate them and my tank crashed so now i do this method and it works everytime, Ialso sell 2 my local lfs and heshared this method with me. Hope that helps.
FW Dips are not effective in terms of treating (or weakening) Marine Ich.



Ialso sell 2 my local lfs and heshared this method with me. Hope that helps.

You really need to be careful with going off spouting about this. I am just assuming here, but chances are you are not properly licensed to commercially collect SW fish/products, specifically lacking a Marine Life Endorsement, which hasn't been for sale in quite a while and I do not know of very many people willing to sell theirs.

If you don't have your MLD along with a SPL & RS, I wouldn't post again about selling to your LFS, hopefully your LFS knows you're illegally collecting, as it can have large repercussions for the both of you, as well as the hobby as a whole (in terms of collecting in Florida).


My apologies for this tangent geaux man, but it is something I felt needed posted.

Orcrone
02/15/2011, 08:41 PM
Tried it once as a prophylactic treatment. Thought I followed the procedure, adjusting ph and temp to match. Killed a perfectly healthy YT. I'll never do it again as a prophylactic treatment.

Lo Life Fishing
02/16/2011, 11:40 AM
I was just sharing a method I use to help the original poster. I collect for myself and trade with people. The reply was about the methods not what I do, in florida u are aloud 2 harvest tropical fish under certain guidelines. I am not a seller of any marine life cause that is illegal without the proper license. Thank you

SDguy
02/16/2011, 05:27 PM
I should clarify, I don't do it prophylactically (is that a word? :) ).

oct2274
02/16/2011, 06:14 PM
I did fresh water dips on every single fish I ever owned. Not only did I do that, i also added Formalin to those dips and never lost a single fish.

I always had a fine bubble stone in with each dip and probably used about a gallon of water that was the exact same temp as the aquarium which in turn was the same temp as the fish bag that floated prior to the dip.

Between doing this and qt'ing my fish for atleast 4 weeks I never had any sort of parasite or fungus issue in my tank.

I don't think I ever went beyond 10-15 minutes and monitored the fish for stress. Some might gotten less than 10 minutes if they looked stressed, but most fish look stressed when you take them out of the bag anyways, especially wrasses it seemed like, but they all made it.

They would go straight from there to the QT which was also temperature matched and set to 1.010 or so.

From my experience this is a great way to be proactive about your fish's long term health.

geaux xman
02/17/2011, 01:47 AM
I did fresh water dips on every single fish I ever owned. Not only did I do that, i also added Formalin to those dips and never lost a single fish.

I always had a fine bubble stone in with each dip and probably used about a gallon of water that was the exact same temp as the aquarium which in turn was the same temp as the fish bag that floated prior to the dip.

Between doing this and qt'ing my fish for atleast 4 weeks I never had any sort of parasite or fungus issue in my tank.

I don't think I ever went beyond 10-15 minutes and monitored the fish for stress. Some might gotten less than 10 minutes if they looked stressed, but most fish look stressed when you take them out of the bag anyways, especially wrasses it seemed like, but they all made it.

They would go straight from there to the QT which was also temperature matched and set to 1.010 or so.

From my experience this is a great way to be proactive about your fish's long term health.

do you buffer the pH of the RO/DI(~7)? also which all fish have you FW dipped?

MrTuskfish
02/17/2011, 07:30 AM
I did fresh water dips on every single fish I ever owned. Not only did I do that, i also added Formalin to those dips and never lost a single fish.

I always had a fine bubble stone in with each dip and probably used about a gallon of water that was the exact same temp as the aquarium which in turn was the same temp as the fish bag that floated prior to the dip.

Between doing this and qt'ing my fish for atleast 4 weeks I never had any sort of parasite or fungus issue in my tank.

I don't think I ever went beyond 10-15 minutes and monitored the fish for stress. Some might gotten less than 10 minutes if they looked stressed, but most fish look stressed when you take them out of the bag anyways, especially wrasses it seemed like, but they all made it.

They would go straight from there to the QT which was also temperature matched and set to 1.010 or so.

From my experience this is a great way to be proactive about your fish's long term health.

I think the QT is more responsible for your success than the dips. Dips will help rid fish of external parasites, like flukes. They won't do anything for ich, and similar parasites, that bury into the fish. I've used copper and a de-wormer (like Prazi-Pro) in QT (as a prophylactic treatment) for years and have never seen a dangerous parasite in any of my DTs. IMO, copper is much easier & safer than most folks realize. Almost all fish are treated with copper along the way from the reef to your tank. Just don't rush into using it, there are important things to know that aren't on the label.

To the O.P.: What are you trying to accomplish with the dips? This thread is so broad, its really impossible to give an opinion on dips without knowing the reason. FW dips have been used for many things.

oct2274
02/17/2011, 09:27 AM
ICH is an external parasite and the freshwater/formalin dips certainly had a large impact on fish infested with ich. I'm one of those people that took in fish that were on their death bed. Some of these fish were pretty infested with ich and after the dip would have substantially fewer spots after treatment, but you could see where the ich was attached.

Don't listen to the guy saying freshwater dips aren't effective against ich, it's certainly not 100%, but will help some ich detach which is a start in the right direction. QT is a must in my opinion to resolve any parasites and other illnesses long term.

There is some more info about effectiveness of fresh water dips for Ich and Marine Velvet, which for some can be hard to discern at the following links - some info about formalin at each link as well I believe.

ICH
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-10/sp/feature/index.php

Marine Velvet
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-07/sp/feature/index.php

also tons of info if you just type fresh water dip into google obviously


For the guy asking what fish I've treated.......off the top of my head:
Various wrasses - carpenters and filamented
Various Tangs - Paracanthurus hepatus, acanthurus japonicus, Ctenochaetus strigosus
Various Dwarf Angels - Centropyge loriculus, Centropyge bispinosa
Blennies
Jawfish
Royal Gramma
Black Cap Basslet
Chromis
Clownfish
Firefish
Foxface
Gobies
possibly others.......

as far as pH buffering, I would try to get it close, but don't go overboard and if you do buffer, make sure you buffer the water well in advance.

SDguy
02/17/2011, 10:20 AM
QT is a must in my opinion to resolve any parasites and other illnesses long term.



Regardless of if one believes FW dips work on ich or not, This ^^^ is the key point to take away from the discussion, IMO.

oct2274
02/17/2011, 10:24 AM
Agreed, I always had a QT tank cycled and ready to go!

I read so many horror stories about breakouts in fully built out reef tanks prior to me getting in the hobby that I made sure I started out the right way and I hope others that read this that are just getting started do the same.

Ya, it costs more money to have a QT tank and takes up space, but when you go full blown reef, the last thing you want to do is rip it apart to get fish out when some sort of infection takes hold.

SDguy
02/17/2011, 10:34 AM
Agreed, I always had a QT tank cycled and ready to go!

I keep mine tucked away in the corner of the kitchen counter, so I'm always going to see it every day :)

MrTuskfish
02/17/2011, 01:15 PM
[QUOTE=oct2274;18356932]ICH is an external parasite and the freshwater/formalin dips certainly had a large impact on fish infested with ich. I'm one of those people that took in fish that were on their death bed. Some of these fish were pretty infested with ich and after the dip would have substantially fewer spots after treatment, but you could see where the ich was attached.

Don't listen to the guy saying freshwater dips aren't effective against ich, it's certainly not 100%, but will help some ich detach which is a start in the right direction. QT is a must in my opinion to resolve any parasites and other illnesses long term.

There is some more info about effectiveness of fresh water dips for Ich and Marine Velvet, which for some can be hard to discern at the following links - some info about formalin at each link as well I believe.

ICH
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-10/sp/feature/index.php[QUOTE]

Here's a paragraph from the link you posted. The author is obviously not a big fan of dips. Notice also the use of the term "embedded trophonts" Ich parasites do not hang from the skin, like flukes. They are embedded in the fish, and, I would assume, not really affected by the FW dips.

"I do not, however, recommend freshwater dips as a cure for Cryptocaryon irritans. In my opinion, the repeated handling and osmotic shock of repeated dips are far too stressful to warrant its usage when other proven, but less aggressive treatments are available such as hyposalinity or daily water changes. Lastly, assuming freshwater dips can kill the embedded trophonts on a fish, once they are returned to the infected aquarium, they are just going to contract this pathogen again. So, I recommend using them and using them once only upon receiving the fish to minimize all possible parasitic infections."
Minimizing infections, sure. A cure, I doubt it.

travis32
02/17/2011, 01:26 PM
I'm curious about the following statement:

"but less aggressive treatments are available such as hyposalinity or daily water changes."

How do daily water changes serve as a cure fore ich?

SDguy
02/17/2011, 02:57 PM
In QT, as part of treating the fish, frequent vacuuming on the barebottom tank with water changes will lower the overall numbers of the parasite. Again, I think he means it as just part of a comprehensive treatment strategy.

AuroraDrvr
02/17/2011, 07:05 PM
Don't listen to the guy saying freshwater dips aren't effective against ich, it's certainly not 100%, but will help some ich detach which is a start in the right direction. QT is a must in my opinion to resolve any parasites and other illnesses long term.

There is some more info about effectiveness of fresh water dips for Ich and Marine Velvet, which for some can be hard to discern at the following links - some info about formalin at each link as well I believe.

ICH
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-10/sp/feature/index.php

Marine Velvet
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-07/sp/feature/index.php
Did you read the Reef Keeping article that you linked, specifically the author's reference to a study done that proved FW dips were ineffective against Marine Ich, even after an 18 hour dip?

Even if it does kill some of the ich, it is still not an effective treatment (keyword here) for Ich. Whether it kills 5 trophonts or 100 trophonts, there are still many on the fish, and in the tank that will reproduce and reinfect the fish, after it's returned to the tank. That was my point.

Also, FW dips can not change or remove the "spots" we see on an infected fish. This stage is when the trophonts are buried in the fish's flesh, under the slime coat.

I wouldn't be surprised if the reduction in spots people see, are actually another parasite infection that stems from the weakened state of the host fish.

AuroraDrvr
02/17/2011, 07:13 PM
In QT, as part of treating the fish, frequent vacuuming on the barebottom tank with water changes will lower the overall numbers of the parasite. Again, I think he means it as just part of a comprehensive treatment strategy.
There is a treatment method where you literally move the fish to a different tank, every day. The tank the fish is moved into is filled with completely new salt water, and is thoroughly cleaned prior to filling it.

It supposed to break the reproduction cycle of the Ich.

SDguy
02/17/2011, 07:52 PM
Sort of the same concept. Lowering parasite numbers physically, not chemically.

MrTuskfish
02/18/2011, 05:10 AM
More drive to add to my post #17 above. You'd think there would be a universally accepted answer to the ich question by now, but there isn't. That's the main reason that I'm so convinced that all the anecdotal accounts don't invol;ve true ich. Some food for thought:

1.) It seems to be well accepted that hypo will cure an ich infestation. The low salinity creates an outward pressure and the free swimming ich explodes.
2.) It also seems to be accepted that hypo kills only the free swimming stage if ich. Thus; the long period (weeks) of time required for hypo to wipe out the parasite in all its stages.
3.) FW dips are just hypo taken to the extreme. no salinity. If dips kill ich that are on the fish (or any phase other than free swimming) as well as the free swimming ich, why doesn't hypo? If a dip kills ich embedded in the fish instantly, hypo certainly would too.
4.) Because the ich parasite is embedded; it is protected by its host fish from the osmotic effect. It is also protected by the white spot you can see on the fish. This is probably a secretion secreted by the parasite to protect itself or scar tissue from the ich embedding itself ---depending on the source. I think its a combination of both. This is the white spot, you cannot see the actual parasite because its too small and/or embedded in the fish.
5) Would ANYONE be willing to take an obviously ich infected fish home, give it a FW dip, then put it their DT. Not me.

blface
02/18/2011, 11:27 AM
I always fresh water dip all of my angels. The main reason is for flukes. It seems all of the angels I have aquired lately have been infested with them.
I also use an airstone during the dip and continue to watch the fish for stress.
My dips have always lasted at least 10 minutes and sometimes as long as 15.
Just like stated above make sure to match the temp & ph. I've never lost any fish during this treatment.

Terra Ferma
02/18/2011, 10:16 PM
FW dips are great, although I would also treat with Prazi Pro if you are looking to get rid of flukes. I usually add 5% salt water to buffer, make sure the water is at least as warm as the tank water the fish comes from and add a small power head (like a Rio 50) to the bucket. Some fish can only take it for a few minutes. Others (like Clarion Angels) can take it for 30 minutes +. Once your fish lays down on its side - time to take him/her out and return to the main tank.

MrTuskfish
02/19/2011, 07:04 AM
This thread has some great points. Its gone two directions, though. Ich & flukes. IMO & IME; dips work well for flukes, not ich.

WuHT
02/19/2011, 07:02 PM
From my experience various butterflies (generally the more newbie friendly ones) pretty much treat the FW dip like normal tank water and are swimming around no problem.

Angels are less active, and the few tangs I have tried pretty much dropped to their sides. Make sure you bring the salinity up super gradually for those fish, don't panic and think its an emergency to instantly raise the salinity back to your DT's level.