View Full Version : Velvet, eels, puffer and treatment
01/26/2006, 07:47 PM
I made a really stupid mistake and brought in a queen angel fish into my pristine disease free aggressive tank. I was very proud of having zero ich for a long time, but I took someone's advice and it blew up on me.
The queen passed away, had nematodes over its eyes, started to go blind. I did some quick fresh water dips, but it went fast.
Right now I have:
Brazillian dragon eel
Guinea fowl puffer
My water is good, Nitrates below 20-40.
All in a 210 with a 60 gallon sump.
The clown and the puffer are showing signs of velvet, the clown worse than the puffer. All fish are breathing heavy.
I fresh water dipped the clown and a lot of that stuff shed off of him.
I am feeding food soaked in garlic, it has worked for me in the past on Ich.
The only spare tank I have is a 10 gallon, which cant house these fish.
Should I do Hypo on the whole tank?
Can I treat the whole tank with Cupramine on low dosage?
My problem is the eels and the puffer, will they be ok with hypo and cupramine?
I guess cupramine is supposed to be easier on them than copper. Its supposed to be safe for sharks and rays.
01/27/2006, 12:03 AM
If you don't have any inverts (including snails, crabs, etc.), live rock, sharks or rayfish then you can use hypo in the display tank. Be sure to use a refractometer and read the salinity at 14ppt and NOT the specific gravity. I hope you know the difference. Check the pH and salinity daily during treatment.
01/27/2006, 05:17 AM
Can I also Cupramine the whole tank? I really would like to eradicate that bug.
01/27/2006, 08:04 AM
First you need to identify what the problem is. Amyloodinium (velvet) and Cryptocaryon (ich) are two very different parasites requiring different actions to treat. Do you see white salt-like spots on the fish? Are the fish scratching a lot and breathing very rapidly? Are they eating?
The only time that you should copper a display tank is absolutely never.
01/27/2006, 08:32 AM
"Absolutely never" is pretty clear:)
I think it is velvet because the spots look more like dust, not solid white spots. The fish are breathing heavy, but not all of them are affected.
The clown trigger is doing better, swimming around and even eating. He has stuff hanging from him, result of the injuries I assume.
I am using a UV, monster flow, lowering salinity and some PolyAqua.
I will lower salinity down to 14ppt as you suggested. Seems to be helping.
I am just focusing on clean water and boosting their immune system.
Any more advice?
01/27/2006, 11:08 AM
Sorry to throw in a monkey wrench, but if the problem is velvet, hypo will be ineffective. Your options will be to set up alternative tank and use copper( I think Terry prefers Cupramine). I've also heard that Chloroquine Diphosphate is effective, though there's two problems: 1) I have no idea how to get it 2) I think you may have to remove live rock and inverts - the silver lining is that I don't know whether it is detrimental to live rock, inverts - however, it is supposed to offer immediate relief and treatment may be faster than with Cupramine.
If you are not sure whether problem is marine ich or velvet, you should medicate with copper (to be conservative) - reasoning being that copper is effective against both and if problem is velvet, you must act immediately.
Finally, regarding freshwater dips -
If possible, i think it is strongly preferred that you replace the freshwater dips with formalin dips using water from your tank. Among the problems with freshwater dips are they are more stressful than foramlin dips and you'll have to carefully monitor the PH of the freshwater. If you DO formalin dips, just make sure the water does not have copper - at least Cupramine. Seachem has yet to produce a product that does not decompose with aldehydes.
01/27/2006, 11:14 AM
And my eels and puffer will be ok with low dosage of Cupramine?
01/27/2006, 11:19 AM
Indeed, using Cupramine is tricky because you have to make sure you have the right dosage - too little, and treatment is ineffective, too much, and you'll kill your fish. personally, i find seachem's test kit ok, but sometimes difficult to measure. thus, if possible, use both Seachem's Copper test and Salifert's copper test.
Regarding dosage, start at 0.25ppm, wait 24 hours, then get it up to 0.4-0.5 ppm. Supposedly, even if you overdose to 0.6 ppm, you'll be ok with Cupramine. Just make sure that you ultimately get to around 0.4-0.5 ppm. I've had cases where fish weere still showing symptoms at low dosages.
01/27/2006, 11:24 AM
"The main drawback to using this method verses copper treatment is that hyposalinity is not effective for treating Amlyoodinium infections. I believe Cryptocaryon infection is a much more common occurrence in home aquariums than Amlyoodinium . However, caution must be extended to be relatively certain of the correct diagnosis before treatment. Lowering the salinity delays, but does not prevent infection with Amlyoodinium (Barbaro and Francescon, 1985). "
I think I will do both cupramine and hyposalinity and play it safe.
01/27/2006, 11:32 AM
Make sure you remove inverts and rock -
One more thing (sorry for throwing in these caveats) - ideally, if you are going to medicate with copper, you should not also do hypo ( i think because hypo has a lower ph and can cause copper to break down more easily in this environment) - however, if problem is Amyloodinium, I think you must respond quickly, so I think you must take your chance and medicate with cupramine. Just make sure you add some buffer and watch and changes in PH. Just some reminders - take out your carbon ( or you'll be shooting yourself in the foot), if possible test daily or twice a day. again, don't try to get to 0.4 at once.
01/27/2006, 12:14 PM
I just called Seachem and they recommended against copper with puffers and eels, even their own cupramine.
Since Amyloodinium is not affected by Hyposalinity, I dont have many choices.
They did recommend target feeding metronidazole.
Any opinions about metronidazole ?
01/27/2006, 01:02 PM
Dunno that much about metro., but even in the most optimistic scenario, I think it will only help fish temporarily - bottom line, the protozoan parasite will still be in your system. i think you may not have a choice.
Perhaps you could try to get away using hypo-transfer method and formalin dips, but that is pretty complicated given that you are dealing with eels. I'd suggest copper - i don't hink you have a choice if it's Amyloodinium.
01/28/2006, 08:09 AM
Has anyone been able to filter out parasites? I heard that diatom earth filters can filter out ich.
Does anyone know what kind of filter can take care of velvet as well? What is the size difference betwee the two organisms?
01/28/2006, 08:43 AM
Hyposalinity may help the fish with amyloodinium but it won't cure it. I can't guarantee anything, but I have used Cupramine with copper sensitive species such as mandarins, lionfish, dwarf angels and puffers with great success. I would never treat the same fish with any other copper. You do need to test the copper level twice a day. RedSea has a test kit that works well enough. Copper should only be used in a bare bottom Qtank without rock. It is not safe to combine copper with hypo as the pH tends to drop in hyposaline water. Copper becomes more toxic as the pH drops.
The drawback to using copper with amyloodinium is that it can make things worse before it makes them better. Copper can cause hyper-production of mucus making respiration difficult. Chloroquine can give some immediate relief as it kills attached parasites. I usually do not recommend freshwater dips, especially for Cryptocaryon (ich), but it does help with amylodinium.
The only other alternative that I can offer is to try the transfer method. This method has not (as of yet) been proven in a scientific study for amyloodinium, but it has been for Cryptocaryon. I have spoken to Dr. Edward Noga at NCSU and Dr. Colorni is Israel about my hypothesis that the transfer method should work with amyloodinium. They are highly regarded internationally as experts in aquatic medicine and fish disease research. They both told me that my idea should work in theory, but to date there hasnâ€™t been a scientific trail to prove it. It consists of moving the fish between two tanks. The fish are moved every third day. After each move, the tank that is now empty is dried. Drying kills amyloodinium. You can also combine the transfer method with hyposalinity, but do not use copper with it. With this method you basically outrun the parasite. The reproductive stage off of the fish is killed before it can re-infect the fish. It is also possible to combine the transfer method with chloroquine for the first three days.
Amyloodinium generally is difficult to see. It appears as a fine beige dusting on the fish. It causes violent scratching, spreads rapidly to all the fish, causes rapid respiration, the fish usually stop eating and it kills quickly. If you give the fish a freshwater dip and find a fine powder at the bottom of the dip then there is a good chance that it is Amyloodinium.
Ich starts out as tiny white spots that get larger, about the size of salt grains. The fish usually continue to eat for a while and all the fish usually do not appear to be infected in the beginning.
01/28/2006, 09:52 AM
Well, thanks Terry, now I think I have more of Ich than Velvet.
It is fine dusting, small spots on their fins, on the fish (only the puffer and the trigger are affected with the trigger being the worst). It is definitely more white than it is beige. Neither fish is trying to scratch it off. Fresh water dips help a lot, it cleans them up completely. Both the puffer and the trigger are still eating well. The trigger's eyes are swollen.
So based on your description, it is more likely Ich, right?
If it is Ich, then Hyposalinity on the whole tank, feeding with garlic, a UV light and very fine filtration should work, right?
They are doing much better, the dusting is almost gone. I know it can come back. No fatalities so far, thankfuly.
I am down to 17ppt today, will go down to 14ppt tomorrow when my RO unit catches up:)
Thanks for your help Terry.
01/29/2006, 09:16 AM
They are using 11ppt (1.008SG).
Any opinion about 14ppt vs. 11ppt?
01/30/2006, 12:50 AM
It is still tough to be sure what the fish have without seeing it myself. If you give the fish a freshwater dip for 3 to 5 minutes and find a fine powder at the bottom of the dip then it could be amyloodinium. Ich usually doesn't look like a fine dusting. Then again I would expect the fish to be scratching a lot with amyloodinium. Brooklynella can look like a coating or a mucus like dust. Parasites in general can cause hyper-production of mucus on the fish. I would not expect them to still be eating with brooklynella or amyloodinium. You should try the FW dip to see if you find a dust like substance on the bottom of the dip. I am not confident that we have a probable diagnosis at this point. It might be a good idea to give the fish a formalin dip as wlee as the other steps.
The internal fluids of marine teleost fish have a salinity of 11-12 ppt. We are learning now that some species can withstand an external salinity that matches or is less than that found in their internal fluids. At this point I would say that it will probably be safe to go to 11ppt, but probably not necessary to go below 14ppt for ich.
You need to act quickly if it is amyloodium or brooklynella because either can kill quickly. If they have amyloodinium and survived the first round then they probably will not survive if the parasite just dropped off so it can reproduce. I would hate to see it come back with a vengence any day now. I wrote an article in the current issue of Advanced Aquarist recommending that marine teleost fish be acclimated in a salinity of 12 to 14ppt salinity to speed recovery from the stress of transport and handling.
01/30/2006, 10:23 AM
Is it true that Brooklynella is predominently seen in clownfish and rare with other fish?
Why do you not recommend freshwater dips with Marine ich? I thought the hypo treatment is effective against ich, so wouldn't a freshwater dip kill the Crypt on the fish?
So do you prefer formalin dips over freshwater? is it because formalin is less stressful and effective against both amyloodinium and cyrpt?
01/30/2006, 01:25 PM
Update, they are now in full Hypo 1.008-1.009, all doing well, no spots on them and eating well.
Clown trigger has a bit of grey coating on his eyes, but thats all.
01/30/2006, 08:47 PM
I am just hoping that it is not amyloodinium. Secondary bacterial infections (i.e. cloudy eyes, etc.) often clear up without antibiotics once the parasite infection is under control. Check the pH daily.
01/30/2006, 09:01 PM
I would not say that brooklynella is rare in species other than clownfish, but it is certainly a common problem with clownfish.
I do not recommend freshwater dips or formalin dips for Cryptocaryon irritans (ich). Freshwater dips are ineffective, IMO, for this parasite and cause a lot of stress. Formalin dips are tricky because if formaldehyde is used improperly it can be lethal to the fish as well as dangerous to humans. Hyposalinity does not kill Cryptocaryon directly on the fish. It kills the tomont (not attached to the fish) or reproductive stage of the parasite before it can release a new generation to re-infect the fish.
I prefer formalin dips to freshwater dips for black ich and some other external parasites such as brooklynella. Despite formaldehyde being a poison, if it is used correctly, I think it is more effective and less stressful than a freshwater dip.
Amyloodinium is one of the few things that I would suggest using a freshwater dip for. FW dips are more effective, IMO, against Amyloodinium than against Cryptocaryon. A FW dip can give some relief to fish with Amyloodinium although it is not a cure.
01/31/2006, 09:44 AM
Is a formalin dips also effective against Amyloodinium? For a formalin bath do you recommend 1ml/gallon and 45 minute duration?
01/31/2006, 10:31 PM
I don't recommend formalin dips for either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium. I do recommend formalin dips for brooklynella and some other external parasites.
In many instances a series of three dips, one every third day, is a good idea for things like brooklynella and black ich. ml/gal or 20 drops per gal for 45 minutes is about right. You have to monitor the fish continually in the dip to watch for signs of distress. It is a good idea to aerate the formalin in a little water before you add it to the dip. This will help remove some of the toxic substance that is used to stablize formalin.
02/01/2006, 09:07 AM
So is there a dip treatment to provide temporary alleviation for fish infected with Crypt? ( I was hoping formalin might be useful as FW dips for Amyloodnium).
02/05/2006, 07:07 PM
Just wanted to post a quick update, the clown trigger and the puffer have been totally clear for days. I am keeping the whole tank at fully hypo for the whole month to get rid of all parasites.
I think I am in the clear:)
02/08/2006, 01:01 AM
I have been battling ich for what seems like years!! I had my 125 down at 1.009 for 3 months with no signs of ich. Fish looked great, so I slowly brought it up to 1.025, and it came back, worse than ever!
I have also tried FW dips but have only had limited success. THe only thing that has ever worked for me was QUARANTINE. Ich, oodinium, parasites are the MOST ANNOYING aspect of this hobby and take lots of effort to eradicate.
02/08/2006, 06:06 AM
What are you using to measure the salinity with? What is the salinity at (NOT the Specific Gravity)? What is the water temperature?
02/08/2006, 11:35 AM
Im using a refractometer, salinity was at 13. Temp between 80-82 F. I raised the salinity backup and it got worse. Im battling it right now. Just added a bigger UV and am doing lots of water changes. I also thinned out the tank. It was too overstocked. I had 8 fish in a 125. I took out a panther grouper, volitans, and reticulated puffer. In that tank a have a blueface angel and a red coris that NEVER get anything on them. My clown trigger, raccoon butterfly and pand puffer have it one them though =( Im hoping its not oodinium!!!!? After reading all the posts on here im think its not but am not sure. The fish have been dealing with it for almost 3 weeks.....so i figured if it was oodinium it would have gotten REALLY bad by now....right? what do u think terry??
02/08/2006, 11:36 AM
Any suggestions NOT involving copper? I used it before on that tank it crashed. I was stupid and didnt know, all my rock died and i killed off all my pods.
02/08/2006, 12:06 PM
If you hypo'ed your tank, you killed all your pods and live rock anyway, no? Inverts can not survive Hypo.
02/08/2006, 03:03 PM
guess ur right about hypo killing the pods and rock
02/08/2006, 09:23 PM
If anyone has any ideas please let me know. I just checked out my fish and they look bad. I dont want to hypo or use copper but i dont know what other choices i have. I dont feel like killing my rock, snails or pods again. Just did a 25% water change.
02/08/2006, 10:47 PM
A frehswater dip may help determine what you are dealing with. Amyloodinium will leave a fine powder-like substance at the bottom of the dip. hyposaline conditions can delay but not kill amyloodinium. This may be the reason that you saw the parasite come back. We really need to get a probable diagnosis. It is possible for the fish to have cryptocaryon and amyloodinium at the same time. Cupramine by Seachem can treat both, but you need a tank without rock or substrate to treat them in. About the only alternative I can offer is the transfer method and it has not yet been sceintificially proven as a treatment for amyloodinium.
You may need to buy a large RUbbermaid container for treatment and make a lot of large water changes. BTW, do you quarantine all fish for 3+ weeks BEFORE they go into your display tank?
02/09/2006, 03:41 AM
i think i will dip tomorrow. will dipping with meds help? formalin, copper, paraguard?
has anyone kept their fish in a rubbermaid container while treating them??? what should i do for filtration in it if i go with that?
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