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Old 01/31/2008, 10:16 AM   #1
JSM
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Join Date: May 2000
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Cirolanid Isopods

Hi Brian,

I just read your article on ispods and have a few questions. I set up a 300g tank about 3 years ago and soon after thought I saw an isopod on my naso tang. I looked for many nights after that and saw nothing so I assumed maybe I got lucky and he died or got eaten by something. I need to tell you that I feed the 300g tank several hours before the lights come on so I can go to work. These are all big healthy fish who are willing to eat whether the lights are on or not. Tuesday morning after I fed the tank I was looking in and saw that the Chevron tang had something on him, well it was isopods. I have not added anything to this system to have brought new isopods into this tank, have they been there this whole time and not killed anything? Could they be more scavenger than parasitic or do they have an incredibly long domant period and are now breeding? This is not a full blown reef tank, it has 8 very large anemones that I have had for years and a few soft corals that the angels and butterflies won't eat. I have noticed that before feeding there are few if any isopods that I can find on fish but after feeding there are several. I'm assuming the food brings them out. I am willing to try Interceptor to eradicate them, I have talked with several professional aquarists who feel the anemones would probably be ok but I need a little help in converting grams to ppm. What does 0.081g convert to in ppm? He wanted to know ppm before he helped me any further. I just can't believe they have been there this whole time and haven't killed anything. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Janna


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Old 01/31/2008, 07:06 PM   #2
BrianPlankis
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Re: Cirolanid Isopods

Quote:
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11730923#post11730923 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by JSM
[B]Hi Brian,
I set up a 300g tank about 3 years ago and soon after thought I saw an isopod on my naso tang. I looked for many nights after that and saw nothing so I assumed maybe I got lucky and he died or got eaten by something.
Not many things typically found in the aquarium trade eat isopods, so they have probably been there the whole time if you feel you didn't add anything that could have brought in a new source.

Quote:
Could they be more scavenger than parasitic or do they have an incredibly long domant period and are now breeding?
While there are a few experts on isopod biology, I have not spoken with them. Other than those few experts, very little is known about isopod biology, how long between breeding attempts, how much food is required to produce offspring, how much they are parasitic and how much they are scavengers. Clearly the ones I had were capable of scavenging, yours might be anywhere along of continuum of purely parasitic to purely scavenger, not real good way to tell.

Quote:
I'm assuming the food brings them out.
I would say that is a good assumption, my isopods were much more active when food was added to the tank as well. If they are more active, they have a better chance of finding and attaching to a fish.

Quote:
I am willing to try Interceptor to eradicate them, I have talked with several professional aquarists who feel the anemones would probably be ok but I need a little help in converting grams to ppm.
probably be OK? With the ecological harm that comes from harvesting anemones from the wild, personally I would not risk 8 anemones on a "probably". But I understand you are in a bad situation, just feeding the anemones provides a food source for your isopods if they are scavengers and anemones need to eat. Truly a bad situation for you, I'm sorry to hear about it. I'm assuming with large fish and 8 anemones it would not be easy to move the anemones and fish to another tank. You probably could not move the anemones without moving live rock, so you could be moving the problem over anyway.

I would at least try the capture techniques for several months listed in my article before attempting to use a chemical on my system that could upset or kill other creatures. If you really want to, follow the link in my article under mortality testing to the interceptor thread, but I'm not recommending it. My limited testing showed that Interceptor is not a sure fire way to kill these bugs, they appear to handle low doses and long exposure quite well and their resistance to the treatment is probably species specific.

You need to know your water volume of your system to calculate ppm from grams. Not water volume of the tanks, but water volume in your system. If you have a LOT of live rock in your system, your system will hold significantly less water than advertised. This is critical because not knowing the water volume can throw off your concentration significantly.

Quote:
I just can't believe they have been there this whole time and haven't killed anything. Any thoughts? Thanks. Janna
They wouldn't be very good parasites if they killed their hosts now would they? You kill off your food source by eating too much and suddenly, as a parasite, you have no food source and die. It sounds like you also do a lot of feeding, so not as much need for them to use the fish as their only food source. Many fish, if well fed and kept in good conditions, can withstand parasites for a long time. Essentially all fish in the wild have some kind of parasite on them for some or all of their life.

Janna, not trying to be negative, just giving my suggestions about your situation. Trap first and see how well it does at capturing them would be my first and best suggestion.

Brian


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Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon Reef with 29 gal sump and 8 gal Clownfish species tank
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