View Full Version : Ick 2 - Fish 0

11/20/2000, 08:53 AM
I just lost my second fish in two days to Ick. I was treating with garlic in their food every day and Selcon. I don't know what the original stresser was but my water quality has been excellent with 0 levels on Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite. Alk, Ca and SG are all normal as well. I feel guilty as hell as I've tried to catch both fish for the last few weeks and I was contemplating tearing down the tank to get them during the holidays....apparently I was a few days too late. I guess the only positive I can take from this is the fact that even with the dead fish I didn't see any ammonia spikes and my crabs got a good meal. My corals have never looked better and are growing so I really don't want to tear the tank apart.

I have a dragon wrasse left in my reef and as a species I know they are very resistant to Ick. How long can the Ick parasite survive without a host? Will it do it's best to attack my wrasse? I don't want to introduce any new fish until I'm sure they would be safe. I'd like to think that I've removed all of the stress causing elements from the tank but I'm thinking the fish might have shipped with it already.

Any advice is welcome.


Bummed in Houston aka Fogcutter

11/20/2000, 09:34 AM
hey whats goin on? sorry to hear about your loss......but i was on ur site and i was wondering are draggon wrasses reef safe? i wanted one before.....but i only had a 30gallon...now i have a 125 that i plan on turning into a reef but trying to find some reef safe fish...how is he? alright thx...discented

11/20/2000, 11:57 AM
hey fog

what fish have you lost?

How long can the Ick parasite survive without a host?

approxiamately 21 - 28 days. therefore, you'd want to keep you tank empty for about 60 days, or effectively 2 life cycles.

Will it do it's best to attack my wrasse?

yes. as the last host in the tank, it will do it's best to seek this fish out. essentially, every cyst will be looking for this one fish now.


in genreal dragon wrasses do not make good reef candidates. in a FO tank they are an excellent choice. in a reef they can become destructive as they like to move rocks around all day long. they will dump corals upside down, or even build a mountain of rubble up around them. they can become quite a nuisance. when small, however,t hey can't do to mch damage. i do believe fogcutter has been haing success with his juvenile, but i'd suspect that to change as it got larger.

a 30g is too small for this fish. they do become very large as time goes by...



11/20/2000, 01:53 PM

The fish I lost where a Royal Gramma and a Flame Angel. I'm going to have the same problem with the wrasse as I did with those guys meaning that it's unlikely I'll be able to catch him. I started a Kick Ick (a last resort mind you) treatment yesterday but I was a day too late to save the Angel. I'm going to continue the treatment even though the wrasse doesn't show any signs at all. In fact, he's eating like the little pig he is. ;) I'm still going to wait at least 6 weeks before I get another fish and I realize that even if the dragon doesn't get ill he might become a carrier...just don't know what else to do.

Let me know if you have any other advice on how to keep him alive. The irony of this situation is...my tank and corals have never looked better...I gotta get these organisms on the same sheet of music!!

discented -
Henry's right about that wrasse, dragons are notorius for causing chaos in reefs. Since I knew I was going to be keeping a dragon, I purposely set up my reef to be as dragon proof as possible. My base rock sits on the tank bottom and therefore won't be disturbed by the digging. I have a deep sandbed for him to sleep in and dig and he's content to do that and not bother my corals. I pretty much trained him to eat all the food I serve up and so far he doesn't bother anything else like snails and crabs. I love my dragon...he's by far my favorite and has so much personality but unless you're prepared I would also agree with Henry about keeping him in a large FO tank.



john f
11/20/2000, 03:51 PM
I don't believe Garlic works to cure an Ick outbreak.
Flames are sure to come, but show me objective data and I might change my opinion.

Terry B advocates hyposalinity to treat crypto but in Fogcutters case it would not be feasible as he couldn't catch the fish and hyposalinity can NOT be used in a reef tank system.
I and others have used elevated temps with some good results but this kind of treatment has been dismissed by Terry B and others, while at the same same they glance favorably toward garlic treatment.
I'm not trying to draw Terry into this, but I feel this (parasitic infections) is a VERY important issue for reefers and we have not found a good, reef safe treatment for crypto outbreak, and I am getting tired of Garlic being pushed as one also.


Terry B
11/20/2000, 11:54 PM
Hey John,
If you are not trying to draw me into this thread maybe you shouldn't mention me. I am not a huge advocate of using garlic. This is only because hyposalinity works better and is more consistent. Why are you so down on garlic treatment? Is it based on just your one experience with it? There are lots of things that can cause white spots besides ich (even though ich is by far the most common cause). Could it have been that it wasn't ich at all? I think garlic is proving to be a useful tool. Yes, there are drawbacks, but at least it can be used in a reef.
Terry B

john f
11/21/2000, 04:22 AM
"I think garlic is proving to be a usefull tool"
Proving is a word which I assume you don't use lightly. Proving implies "proof" There are no hard science studies for the use of garlic to treat crypto in reef systems.

As for the other half of your reply "could it have been that it wasn't ich at all?" If you are referring here to cryptocaryon irritans, I don't think so. However, I never had the trophonts examined. I don't think anyone else on this board or in the hobby routinely does this either.
So when someone posts "Garlic cured my fish of Ick in a day!" do you think they have definitive proof of cryptocaryon?

I only used your name because you are big time into this subject and your opinions carry some weight. To not mention your name would be to not give credit to your positions.


11/21/2000, 10:22 AM
In my experiments with garlic I have found it can help in some cases, usually in lightly infected fish that are otherwise in good health. In cases of heavy infection I have found it to be fairly ineffective. Is it a reef safe cure all, obviously not. Can it be a usefull too in some cases, yes.

I understand your desire for a reef safe cure but so far no one has developed one that is allways effective. Even the elevated temps you like don't have a consistent effect, especially has crypt has optimized reproduction at those temps. I have tried this myself and yet to see it work as a crypt cure.

Unfortunatley with the lack of a consistant and reliable cure if one truely wants to cure thier fish of ich (crpyt) it is necessary to remove those fish (and all others in the tank) and treat them with either hyposalinity or copper, while leaving the main tank fishless for 4-6 weeks to allow the crypt in the tank to die off without hosts.

BTW since there are several other people on this board that advocate hyposalinty and other methods you could have made your point without mention of any names. Something you migh want to consider in the future to avoid the appearance of baiting anyone into a debate, whether that is your intent of not.

Terry B
11/21/2000, 11:08 AM
I agree with Bill. Although the evidence is largely anecdotal, garlic seems to have helped a lot of people. Like I said before, I am not an advocate of garlic treatments. I agree with Bill that copper or preferrably hyposalinity should be used instead. However, garlic does seem to at least hold ich at bay in a lot of cases. Do I think garlic is a great treatment, NO. Do I believe that ich often comes back because garlic does not eliminate it, Yes. Do we have a better reef safe treatment than garlic, NO.
You seem to base your opinion on just your one experience, yet you question my opnion that is based on a great deal of others experience. You say that garlic has not been tested the way copper and hyposalinity have, true. Yet you advocate elevated temps as a treatment despite the fact that this flies in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary. At least with garlic science has no offical position, with elivated temps science does take the position that it doesn't work.
Terry B

11/21/2000, 03:46 PM
IMO the best use of garlic is simply to give some relief to the fish as it seems to cause ich to release. Then your copper or other treatment can eliminate it.

john f
11/21/2000, 06:05 PM
I do not advocate high temps as a cure for Ick. I have said it worked very well for me a few times, and then not as well the last time I used it.
The guy who posts as Biosystems did tell me elevated temps HAVE BEEN used with success in marine hatcheries, but he thinks it is a bad idea in reef tanks. I did not find any overly negative effects when I used high temps in my reef.
So to say higher temps have been proven NOT TO work is misleading, but to say they have been proven TO work is not really correct either.

I don't really want to get into a temp discussion as that was not the treads original focus. Fogcutter posted how he lost 2 fish to Ick while treating with garlic. And many on this and other boards have praised garlic as an effective treatment. Many have also praised Iodine, Strontium, Combisan, and Coral vital as effective additives for reef tanks even though much evidence exists they are not needed at all and some have very little valuable content.

Lightly Ick infected fish often get over the outbreak with no treatment whatsoever. To say you have had some lightly infected fish treated with garlic recover means very little.
I have had lots of lightly infected fish get over Ick with zero treatment.

I really just want an honest and scientific treatment for cryptocaryon and anecdotal talk of garlic, melafix, hot peppers, and even high temperature with no proof is not the way to find it.
Maybe we could pool the resources of this board together and run a few controlled studies comparing all REEF SAFE treatments commonly used on some fish with documented cryptocaryon infestations. I have offered my resources and time for this before and if I get some response to this idea maybe we could make it happen.