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Unread 08/13/2010, 04:13 PM   #1
Stuart60611
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New Approach To Control Crypt & Hair Algae In FOWLRs

I appologize in advance for the length of the below, but I felt it necessary to supply substantial background to better set the table for what I hope will be an interesting discussion (if people can bare reading all of this ).

Well, I find myself back, once again, battling the two nemesis of my participation in this hobby -- crypt and hair algae. My overstocked system over the last few months has finally given way to a hair algae bloom (have up to the last few months been able to keep it at bay for nearly 2 years). At this point, I am keeping the hair algae somewhat under control with all of the traditional and new husbandry techniques, such as regular water changes, manual removal, reduced feeding (difficult to do for us fowlr folks), high levels of both liquid and solid carbon dosing (tried both) and/or live bacteria dosing, upgraded skimming, GFO, Rox Carbon, increased flow, refugia, and the like. Otherwise, the system has been doing great, and all fish have remained very healthy, active, and appear other than some minor and only occasional turf scuffles getting along quite well.

I recently got a great deal on baby kole tang (2.5 inches) which I could not resist in light of my algae issue and because I already had my quarantine set up after just completing profolatic prazi pro and cupramine treatment with my trigger. My kole, however, had some trouble adapting to quarantine and did not feed well and was very timid. For a little longer than 3 weeks in quarantine, my kole's behavior remained troublesome spending a lot of hiding time and/or acting otherwise unduly timid with sparse intermitant feeding, but no signs of any disease. Out of fear that I would loose him, I added the kole then to the display without any profolatic treatment or extention of the quarantine period. Bad move. Now I have crypt, yet once again, in my display after successfully riding my display of crypt 1 year or so back by treating my entire display with cupramine.

Faced now with a dual problem of a crypt and hair algae infestation, I found myself pondering what to do. The crypt, obviously, was a far more serious and immediate concern so I focused my attention on how I should best address it. In doing so, I became interested in the quinine based treatments and became particularly interested in chloroquine phosphate which my research seemed to reveal being the best choice of them. In researching chloroquine, I learned some important facts about the treatment:

1) It is very mild on fish who tolerate it extremely well and do not exhibit the same kind of potential adverse reaction sometimes seen with copper.

2) It is a treatment first invented to treat malaria in humans and therefore has gone through all the normal regulatory testing required to get a drug approved in the US, and as such, may be less likely to have any long term negative effects in fish (certainly not conclusive, but perhaps suggestive).

3) It is very effective at killing crypt, particularly if dosed throughout the duration of its lifecycle. It works differently than other crypt treatments in that in addition to killing the crypt while in its free swimming stage, it also kills crypt while imbedded on the fish. The fish drink the chloroquine, and the crypt die injesting the chloroquine while feeding off of the fish. When added to saltwater, the fish absorb most of the chloroquine within the first 24-48 hours after application (which is about how long it typically takes for most of the drug to break down in saltwater), and the chloroquine remains in the fish's body for days thereafter.

4) It not toxic to the biological filter and even has been reported to be tolerated by some inverts. It is toxic to corals, particularly because it is extremely toxic to all algae, both micro and macro, and is an exceptional algaecide.

5) It breaks down rapidly in saltwater and under strong light and can be easily skimmed out and/or removed by both activated carbon and GFO (it is a phosphate). Once removed, it does not remain absorbed in carbonate material like copper.

6) Some large aquariums in wholesale, public, or other similar contexts have employed a husbandry technique where they add a small sub-therapeutic dose of chloroquine to their fowlr displays weekly in perpetuity to keep their displays both crypt and hair algae free and have had success doing so.

Based on the above, I am now contemplating experimenting with employing this husbandry approach at the hobbyiest level. I am in no way at this point committed to going down this road, but I am now only starting this thread as means to openly explore the concept, which I suggest, if successful, could be revolutionary for the hobby in that it potentially promises to provide a means to easily and permanently resolve what I suggest is the two most common reasons (other than personal) why hobbyiests leave the hobby -- crypt and hair algae. If I do decide to take the plunge with this highly experimental approach, I will also use this thread as a means to document my experience and progress. To help you further learn how I came to consider this, and the authority for much of the information cited herein, please review the below two recent threads.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1887840

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1890296
 
 


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Unread 08/13/2010, 07:57 PM   #2
jjk_reef00
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Very interesting, I'm tagging along.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 08:23 PM   #3
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At this point, I am struggling with how best one would dose. To treat normally with chloroquine for crypt, it appears that the recommended protical is 20 ppm/L for one application, and 10 ppm/L for three subsequent applications all spaced one week apart. What I am thinking is a dose of 5 or less ppm/L once per week and then perhaps scaling back further over time, but I am still unsure what would be appropriate. Does anyone know how institutional aquarists dose in this manner?

In terms of the dosing methodology, what I am thinking could work is dosing with skimmer off, all chemical filtration off, and a low or shortened light schedule for the first 24 hours so as to allow the chloriquine to be absorbed by the fish and kill algae. Then, depending on how the skimmer reacts, either put back the carbon and the skimmer back on line simultaneously or if necessary first put the carbon on line for a bit to pull out residue so that the skimmer does not go nuts when put back on line thereafter. This protocal would be repeated weekly. Also, one could, perhaps,in theory, still carbon dose in combination with chloroquine if they wanted but probably not a good idea to carbon dose on the day the skimmer is off when dosing the chloroquine. However, I have not really thought,nor researched that issue all the way through yet. One thing that comes to mind is I am unsure whether there would be reason for concern over oxygen depletion resulting from the interaction of the chloroquine and bacterial proliferation from carbon dosing.



Last edited by Stuart60611; 08/13/2010 at 09:05 PM.
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Unread 08/13/2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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Very interesting. So your considering dosing chloroquine on the regular? Even though its sager then copper, I'd still be woirried of long term effects on the fish and biofiltration. Also, I'd it kills ich,why use it once your display is ich free again? I remember looking into this stuff before, found out that it works extremely fast, which is great for QT and taking on sick fish, but if I remember correctly, it was very pricey? Where did you buy it if you don't mind me asking? Goodluck in your research, hopefully things work out well, I'll be following along.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 08:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Crabber View Post
Very interesting. So your considering dosing chloroquine on the regular? Even though its sager then copper, I'd still be woirried of long term effects on the fish and biofiltration. Also, I'd it kills ich,why use it once your display is ich free again? I remember looking into this stuff before, found out that it works extremely fast, which is great for QT and taking on sick fish, but if I remember correctly, it was very pricey? Where did you buy it if you don't mind me asking? Goodluck in your research, hopefully things work out well, I'll be following along.
Yes, at sub-therepeutic levels. As my original post indicates, as well the supporting threads at the bottom, the biological filter is not badly retarded. The idea would be to irradicate the crypt more slowly than tradiitionally while at the same time use the drug for its algaecidal benefits and to prevent any re-occurence of the parasite. It is somewhat expensive and can be had for $120 US a kilo from Fishman Chemicals which should last most systems for quite a while. As far as its negative effects on fish, very fair and reasonable concern. All I can say on that is it has been proven safe for human consumption for extended periods and is reported as being extremely gentile on fish. The idea here also is to dose at smaller levels as time progresses which should, perhaps, limit long term negative effects. Purportedly, this has been done at some large aquariums for a while. I still looking more into how it is accomplished on the instiutional level which probably will answer many questions.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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Very interesting< i will also be paying attention to this thread, and hopefully we can learn something here. I will say that by it could have been one of four different meds which completely irradicated my display from ich, and I now have two more fish in quarantine, and not knowing which of the four meds it was for sure, I am treating the new fish with all of these meds. individually again. I also will be treating for atleast 6 weeks, and I thought it was interesting that Boomer said to treat for 8 weeks, so I might even up the anti to 8, as I have always thought that 4 weeks in Q/T is just not enough.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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I would also like to add, that if your worried about oxygen depletion get a powerful air pump to implement. I think that if you could find out what large institutions do this/how they do it, it would educate everyone a lot more, and would be the best/first pplan of action in this respect. Also I would ask them how they get their becaus eit must be really expensive on a large system. Their may be a cheaper way.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 09:27 PM   #8
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Very interesting< i will also be paying attention to this thread, and hopefully we can learn something here. I will say that by it could have been one of four different meds which completely irradicated my display from ich, and I now have two more fish in quarantine, and not knowing which of the four meds it was for sure, I am treating the new fish with all of these meds. individually again. I also will be treating for atleast 6 weeks, and I thought it was interesting that Boomer said to treat for 8 weeks, so I might even up the anti to 8, as I have always thought that 4 weeks in Q/T is just not enough.

Ya, Boomer's comment about 8 weeks of treatment is also well taken because it seems that it can sometimes take that long to break the cycle or necessary to deal with any human error during treatment in the form of failing to maintain therepeutic levels during treatment for a period. The idea here would be to address that concern with a very long term sub-therepeutic dose to ensure irradication and avoid re-occurence while at the same time keep all unwanted algae in check.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
I would also like to add, that if your worried about oxygen depletion get a powerful air pump to implement. I think that if you could find out what large institutions do this/how they do it, it would educate everyone a lot more, and would be the best/first pplan of action in this respect. Also I would ask them how they get their becaus eit must be really expensive on a large system. Their may be a cheaper way.
Good idea on the air pump. And totally agree on the rest. Already reaching out to some people here locally who may be able to get me in touch with some people at the Shedd Aquarium here in Chicago to learn what they know about this. Also, anyone else here who is in a position to talk with any instiutional operators about this please feel free to contribute.


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Unread 08/13/2010, 10:26 PM   #10
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It's interesting to me that carbon dosing did not work for you. I have been vodka dosing for a while now and can't get algae to grow in my system.

For the sake of this thread, could you give more info on your tank, equipment and inhabitants?


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Unread 08/13/2010, 10:43 PM   #11
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It's interesting to me that carbon dosing did not work for you. I have been vodka dosing for a while now and can't get algae to grow in my system.

For the sake of this thread, could you give more info on your tank, equipment and inhabitants?

I have a standard 6 foot 125 fowlr with a 55 gallon sump, estimated water volume of 140 gallons, and about 100-125lbs or so of dry weight of base rock. Sump is evenly divided between equipment area and refugium. Refugium currently is unlit, no sandbed, and is about half full of rock but plenty of flow and rock is not jammed in the refugium. For a return, I use a mag 18 split into two lines which feed the display via loclines. Also, in the display, I have two 1500 gph korilia powerheads for additional circulation. For a skimmer, I have an SRO 2000 internal. I dosed vodka daily as much as 60ml per day and biodigest weekly for over 1 year. Currently, solid carbon dose with 1.5 liters of ecobak fluidized in a large 4 inch diameter geo reactor powered by a 620 gph tunze silence pump. I also usually also run 24/7 daisy chained dual phosban reactors for rox carbon and gfo which I currently use less media but change out every 2 weeks. Water change schedule has varied over the years and admittedly slacked during various periods, but optimally tried to change out 30 gallons in one large change per month (but went without water changes for a several months at time during periods).

As far as livestock, I have a large load consisting of a 6 inch dogface puffer, a 5 inch indian trigger, a 5 inch australian tusk, a 5 inch pinkface wrasse, a 3 inch toby puffer, a 5 inch one spot foxface, a 2.5 inch kole tang, a 2 inch flame hawk, a .75 inch yellowtail damsel.

I would comment that my theory on the carbon dosing's inability to handle my load in part has to do with the fact that with such a large load and corresponding feeding requirements there is quite a bit of phosphate being added to the system which carbon dosing is way less effective at targeting when compared to nitrate.



Last edited by Stuart60611; 08/13/2010 at 11:11 PM.
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Unread 08/13/2010, 11:58 PM   #12
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I'm dosing 20 ml of vodka per day, with about 500 gallons of system water. Over the 180 I have a 48" two bulb overdriven T8 fixture, and over the 125 a 36" TEK six bulb T5. There is a 90 gallon tank as a sump filled with a layer of scrubbie material that is rinsed at wc time, chaeto on top, this flows into a filter sock that flows into a 100 gallon Rubbermaid with live rock and a feeble Nautilus skimmer. Return pump is a Reeflo Dart. I feed VERY heavily NLS pellets once a day, and a mixture of raw food once a day. Nitrates are around 30, I'm not trying to get to zero. I try to do a 90 gallon wc once a month, with 50 of those gallons coming from the reef tank. Most of the fish in my sig measure between 4" to 7", with the Queen at 19". I don't test for phosphates anymore, because they are negligible. I don't know if that's because they are being used up, or if they are not being introduced in the first place. In any case, no intention to get OT, this info is just for comparison since I don't have any nuisance algae growing.

What do you have for lighting and what do you feed?


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Unread 08/14/2010, 12:03 AM   #13
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For lighting 3 175 mh 4 month old 20k xm bulbs. Lighting has been reduced to 3-4 hours daylight per day. Feed one large pinch of large and one medium pinch of small NLS pellets and one tablespoon of homemade mixed meat mixture consisting of various chopped marine meats soaked in combination of selecon and vitachem daily.


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Unread 08/14/2010, 01:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stuart60611 View Post
For lighting 3 175 mh 4 month old 20k xm bulbs. Lighting has been reduced to 3-4 hours daylight per day. Feed one large pinch of large and one medium pinch of small NLS pellets and one tablespoon of homemade mixed meat mixture consisting of various chopped marine meats soaked in combination of selecon and vitachem daily.
Lighting seems minimal for algae control and feeding looks awesome. Following along to see what transpires.


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Unread 08/14/2010, 02:52 PM   #15
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Found this link which provides some real good information from Bob Goeman and others on how to properly treat a fowlr for crypt with chloroquine phosphate. In one interesting failed example, the hobbyiest tried to treat a reef display by first removing all of his corals and inverts, but he returned them to the display after treatment too fast and without apparently removing all of the drug. Obviously, a non issue in a fowlr.

http://www.kevintaylor.ws/tag/chloroquine-phosphate/



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Unread 09/12/2010, 07:33 AM   #16
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I am at a loss after reading banter on these boards.

Conflicting information I have found is, whether it affect biological filter. More recent information suggests it does not.

Repeated doses are somewhere between 10 ppm initial dose with further unnecessary to 20/10/10 doses being required.

You really need to read between the lines to determine who is methodology advocates instead of best treatments.


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Unread 09/12/2010, 10:09 AM   #17
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I am at a loss after reading banter on these boards.

Conflicting information I have found is, whether it affect biological filter. More recent information suggests it does not.

Repeated doses are somewhere between 10 ppm initial dose with further unnecessary to 20/10/10 doses being required.

You really need to read between the lines to determine who is methodology advocates instead of best treatments.

You are right. There is some conflicting information about how treat with chloroquine. I think that the reason for this is that the treatment is not widly used at the hobby level, and therefore, not a long track record in terms of dosing protocal. My take is after doing quite a bit of reseach on the topic generally is it appears that Goemann (who recently popularized the treatment in his book) and crew have the most experience at the hobbyiest level treating with chloroquine and therefore would follow their dosing protocal. Moreover, the fact that their protocal provides for dosing througout the entire life cycle of the crypt parasite makes me feel more confident in their 20/10/10 dosing protrocal spaced out 7-10 days apart with water changes in between.

Since I am positng on this pretty unconventional thread I started, I guess I should provide an update. As things turned out, I woke up one day to the kole tang lying dead on the substrate and the rest of my fish covered with crypt with several hiding and breathing hard. At that point, decided I had no time to waste and to, once again, cupramine the system. Three or so weeks later, remaining fish are definitely doing better, but they are still barely eating but active, out and about, and showing no physical signs of the parasite. Cupramine level is holding at a steady .5 at day 12 (started rampng up to .5 at end of last month and figure reached a steady .5 on 1st of month so have about 5 days of extra partial treatment). Not sure how long I will go here. Really want to treat at least 3 weeks, but I am concerned that I need to get them eating a bit better to make it that long. Best part about copper is that my display is completely algae free. I am hopeful that once I end the cupramine treatment, remove the copper, and get my pellets back on line it will stay that way. I found that the pellets before were really doing a pretty good job at slowly controlling the algae so now that it is totally gone I think I will have the advantage. This time around going to employ a weekly 7% water change schedule and dosing live bacteria daily with the pellets so that I stay ahead of nutrient issues.



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Unread 09/12/2010, 11:12 AM   #18
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Double post. Please delete.


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Unread 09/13/2010, 08:35 PM   #19
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Chloriquine has been around a long time in fish medication, though not well known. Aquatronics used to market it as Marex to hobbyists, sadly the company is no more. I've used it on several occasions in large scale treatments in systems with thousands of fish. Best recommendations I've seen are from Noga's book on fish disease, 10mg/L every 10 days. Often only 1 treatment is needed for velvet, though sometimes a second is needed for both velvet and crypt. Every time I've used it, the biofilter has taking a hit and ammonia spiked high enough to require large frequent water changes to control. For the water changes, use make up water that is dosed with the treatment concentration in order to maintain dosage in the treated tank. IMO the use of sub therapeutic doses is dangerous, as chloroquine can have organisms build an immunity to it.

BTW, I've also found it quite effective on some other protozoan infections.


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Unread 09/13/2010, 10:24 PM   #20
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I spoke to an importer who used this for years during quarantine and on broodstock. He spoke highly of it but I don't think its clear sailing. If you can maintain 10ppm it'd be great. I think yo yoing between sub therapeutic and therapeutic values would be bad, just like it is with copper. I think Jay Hemdal commented you could use a UV spectrophotommeter to ensure you kept at a therapeutic level. But unless theres a way for the hobbyist to do this then I'm not so sure you'd succeed.

good luck!


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