View Full Version : Blue Hippo Rock Flashing, Ich, or Skin Infection?

06/12/2017, 05:10 PM
About a week ago I added ... I just realized all of these posts start with the same sentence.

So about a week ago I added about 50 Astrea snails to a 150 gallon year old tank. My Emperator Angel likes to hunt and eat snails at least 1-2 a day and I like to see my rocks and acrylic naturally cleaned, so I add snails about every 3 months.

Blue Hippo
powder blue
emperator angel
yellow tang
3 chromis
3 firefish gobys
1 diamond back goby
1 xl purple lobster
1 cleaner shrimp
100 snail/hermit crab mix

As you can see from the pictures my diamond goby makes it hard to see anything anymore, but hopefully you can see the spot Im talking about.

1 week (just today) after adding the snails, via half a tank transfer method, I see the blue hippo brushing against rocks and hanging out at the cleaner shrimp all day.

Also I notice one small white spot under the black curly in his mid section that comes and goes and what looks like a large white dot at the bottom back fin, it might be a whole in his fin.

I have always assumed I was parasite free having built the tank from extreme excessive compulsive tank transfer method rotating a fish to a new bucket every day an a half with brand new water for 4 weeks before they get added to the tank. One reason I believed I was sucessful is the amount of stress on these fish has been extensive from various other drama with pumps failing, failed tank seal living in buckets for 2 weeks until a new tank could arrive, changing out Sand, removing most of the rock in an all day hunt to move another fish to permanent quarantine who was trying to kill everyone ("taxi-cab" clown trigger).

I feed them once a day exclusively New Life Spectrum Thera A Regular sized pellets the one with garlic (as if garlic does anything) and they all seem to love it and everynow and then I'll sprinkle some in the evening for a second small feeding.

Check out the attached pictures and let me know if you think this guy needs quarantine or if im just being over protective. If I remove him to treat him my thought is that I need to remove everyone because if that is a virus that water is now infected, and to sanitize and start over performing tank transfer 3 week method in order to get everyone back into the tank with brand new water, only after all the rock and sand have completely dried out.
Is this a Bacteria, Fungus, Skin Infection, or ICH type virus?

In the last picture the spot moves and disapears for at least 20 minutes, and now the Powder Blue is flashing periodically with zero detectable spots or color changes, not even a white speck on his fins.

I know some parents will pick up their kids pacifier off the floor and shove it back into their mouths and those kinds are likely much healthier than another kid who is on antibiotics twice a year for whatever random reason each time to get rid of his/her symptoms.

So im torn, all comments, flames, flamers, opinions, advice are welcome... I need to decide what to do.

35 gallon sump with Skimmer, Algae scrubber, carbon pads, chiller, Fluval canister, Aqueon Canister with built in UV, and two 76 watt 36" long UV sterlizers.

06/13/2017, 08:52 AM
For as I know TTM does not work on inverts or corals. You have some good size and aggressive fish for that size tank. I bet they are now really trying to establish their territory and causing stress throughout the tank. You have the 2 most ich magnet fish in this hobby. Good Luck. I recommend taking all fish out, treating with TTM and letting the DT go fallow for 72 hours.

06/13/2017, 09:03 AM
Scooter thanks for replying,

72 Hours??? only 9 or 10 days? would it matter if I ran the tank for 12 or even 15 days? Meaning after 72 hours does extra time do anything?

with just inverts and without fish

Thats not that too bad. For some reason I was thinking
72 days to starve out the virus.

06/13/2017, 10:17 AM
He means 72 days I would think. I had a recent issue with ich and decided to feed well and let their immune systems do the work. I haven't lost anything and everyone seems fat and happy. My blue hippo flashes from time to time but he's plumper than ever and is doing great. With the fish you have you are bound to get ich at some point, especially if introducing new things from time to time. Some will bash my post but it is what it is. These things are stress induced and in my opinion moving fish that size from a 150 gallon to a 10 gallon HT is ultimate stress, let alone the stress you will impose on chasing everything down to catch them. Just my opinion and it works for me. Fellow reefers I know personally who have been in the hobby for many years do the same, feed well, reduce stress, and let the fish fight it off. I'm sure you will soon here how irresponsible and foolish I am for doing so but like I said, it works for me and my situation.

06/13/2017, 12:13 PM
yeah, 72 days minimum fallow period, many people recommend 90 to be safe.

Your snails likely brought ich in, eggs can live on their shells. Before adding anything wet (corals/inverts) you need to QT them for 72-90 days or risk bringing ich into your system.

also, for your tangs I'd recommend adding nori (green seaweed) to their diet. doesn't have to be fish food, can get sushi wraps too.

You have some large fish in that 150, eventually the hippo and emperator are going to take up a ton of space... they both can get over a foot long... so not sure living with ich will be a solution due to stress/aggression, as swayze suggested. if you removed the angel it probably wouldn't be bad... some hippo tangs people have for years without getting huge, i've also seen a big one that was kept in a 125 gallon and it was not happy... owner had to get rid of it... that one was so big it needed a 225 minimum...

06/13/2017, 12:14 PM
Swayze, you told me what i was looking to hear, just because of the amount of work involved. I can get a 75g up and running with no rock and brand new water and TTM to get them into it and then wait the amount of time to starve the virus from the 150. I really dont think that is irresponsible. I am learning as I get older that the presence of virus and bacteria make us stronger. That being said there is a flip side and that has me hung on the fence.

I believe I was completely virus free, and this batch of snail additions brought a hitch hiker. I purchased from reeftopia who grabs things off the shallow sand in the florida keys and ships them to you. its cheap, like 5-10 center per snail, and I wish I knew a way to properly TTM a snail, but too many crevices that hide water. The process of TTM has worked VERY well for me and is super easy once you get used to the process. The fish come out super strong and defiant eating just about anything once they reach an actual habitat from a 5 gallon bucket.

I crave the idea of doing it again because they would be cleansed, but their life spans and quality of life determine me. I would go ABSOLUTELY insane inside a blue lowes bucket with nothing to see for 2 weeks, and every other day someone takes me out and puts me in a new bucket as my only excitment.

06/13/2017, 12:18 PM
keep in mind TTM is only effective against ich, there are a lot of other parasites it wont work on.

06/13/2017, 12:49 PM
Scooter thanks for replying,

72 Hours??? only 9 or 10 days? would it matter if I ran the tank for 12 or even 15 days? Meaning after 72 hours does extra time do anything?

with just inverts and without fish

Thats not that too bad. For some reason I was thinking
72 days to starve out the virus.

Sorry, meant 72 days. Recently I am starting to see some expert hobbyist suggesting 90 days to be safe.

06/13/2017, 01:48 PM
Mishri, Thank you for your comments. That is another view I didnt take into consideration. I can tell the year long friendships these guys built as kids are strained due to the ich presence, just watching them react to each other tells me they are irritated at something, or woke up on the wrong side.

It sounds like you think this iritation will turn these guys into enemies?

Size wise, I feel good about this setup. Having been in the hobby for very long time, every fish I have owned seems to grow in size to the volume of water you put them in up to their maximum genetic pattern, but you guys may have different results, I once had a 7 year old Yellow tang who was still 4" long when I sold him with the 55g tank he spent his whole life, but my experience is limited. The only other fish I had that long was an 10 year old oscar who ended up 10" long and 5 inches thick in a 125gallon, I belive he would have grown bigger if I moved him into a 200 gallon.

This 6 foot long tank looks fairly empty with a small school of chromis/firefish and three display fish, powder blue gets the middle and runs the race track the length of the tank then all the way back behind the rocks and down the front again, the imperator halfway through his color change just guards the spot the food comes in like a robot and Dori stays on the other end periodically hearding the school of chromis and then wedging herself into her favorite coral spot ever since she was about a half an inch long.

If all three reach 10" that could be a problem, but doesnt seem likely.

I dont want them to become enemies though. If an everlasting irritation is present, will the aggressiveness fade?

06/13/2017, 02:18 PM
The beginning aggression could actually be the cause of the outbreak instead of the outbreak being the cause of aggression. During my issue with ich I removed a niger trigger and a pair of clarki due to tension. Not really agressive but you could sense tension in the tank. They could have very well been the cause of my issue. I also had added a purple tang around the same time and he was not to welcomed at the time but fits right in now. This caused stress and then outbreak. If yours are maturing and are competing for dominance then that may be your source of stress and outbreak. I'm a believer that ich is going to be present, some are just fortunate that it does not manifest. The LFS and online suppliers water is slap full of it and to think you're going to be successful every time in assuring that these microscopic organisms are not going to make it in, well thats a stretch to me.

06/13/2017, 04:39 PM
There are some ways of ensuring ich isn't in your system, as the OP was doing. he just did TTM on inverts which need a 90 day fallow QT was the mistake. - you are right though is it may have been introduced earlier since he hadn't done fallow on his other inverts.

I have been doing combination of CP, TTM, prazipro on all of my livestock, and 90 day fallow on all live rock, inverts corals.

There is no way ich can survive that. you have to be preemptive with ich as fish can gain temporary immunity and strong immune systems can help fight off visible infection while it's still present/reproducing.

I even made a mistake last year.. used equipment to clean 2 of my tanks 1 contained a fish that didn't receive cp/ttm, I introduced ich to my other tank with a powder blue tang which killed it in a few weeks... i had it for a couple of years... so now, no matter which tank they are going in, all fish are getting ich treatment.