Reef Aquarium Information – Brett’s Reef Aquarium

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How to treat Ich in the Saltwater Aquarium

Marine Ich is probably the most frequent fish disorder that a reef keeper encounters when keeping a saltwater aquarium.  Ich is a disease caused by the parasites Cryptocaryn or Oodinium.  These parasites embed themselves in the gills and skin of the fish causing irritation, infection and possibly death. 


The usual symptoms of saltwater Ich are usually loss of appetite, rapid breathing and scratching on the sand or live rock.  White or black spots on your fish are the biggest indication that your fish has Ich.


Some people will say that cleaner wrasses, gobies and shrimp will clean a fish of Ich.  This is simply not true, they may seem to pick at the white spots on your fish but they are just cleaning the dead tissue around where the Ich has penetrated the fish.  There are no reports or studies that claim that cleaner wrasses, gobies and shrimp will clean a fish of Ich.  Mainly because when a fish is infected with Ich it is buried under the skin where the fish or shrimp can not go.

Some reef keepers claim that they have had success treating Ich with garlic. Garlic has never conclusively cured fish of Ich. Look here for more information on feeding garlic.

Can stress and water quality cause marine Ich? No stress and bad water quality do not cause marine Ich.  It may impair your saltwater fish’s immune system, but if Ich is not present in the aquarium then your fish will not get Ich.


There are only two proven ways to cure a saltwater of Ich, copper and hyposalinity. Neither treatments can be used in the main display aquarium if there are invertebrates present, so the treatment must be used in a quarantine tank.

Hypo salinity is the preferred treatment among the online reef forums because it is not as dangerous to the fish and it is thought to ease osmotic stress on the fish. Hypo salinity is adjusting the salinity of your aquarium’s water to a specific gravity of 1.010 to treat Ich.  Hypo means under or below, hence lowering your salinity below normal levels.  Hypo salinity should be in a quarantine tank with all your fish in it, lowering the specific gravity by doing water changes every 12-24 hours with less salt. Once the salinity of 1.010 is achieved then the water should be maintained with this specific gravity for 6 weeks.

Copper treatment is toxic to fish and invertebrates every reefer should now that copper and a reef tank do not mix. If you should choose to use copper treatment make sure that you use a quarantine tank and label the tank copper so you do not use the tank in the future for anything other than quarantine.

When using copper make sure you are testing it with a copper test kit that is the same as the copper treatment you are using. As of right now there are two typs of copper treatment that are used they are chelated copper and ionic copper.  Copper binds to any calcium carbonate so it should be used in a bare bottom tank only.

There are other treatments such as Uv lights, Diatom filters and raising temperatures but none are as effective when combating marine Ich as copper and hyposalinity


65 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sunrise // Aug 1, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I wonder that during the period of copper treatment, do I need to do water change?. I heard that Amonia will increase rapidly due to the absence of good bacterias in the QT. It seems that most copper will kill all bacteria in the QT.

    By the way, I want to ask a question. I am a dealer of saltwater fish. So, everyday I receive many wild marine fishes. Thus, it is unavoidable to get infected disease fishes. May you suggest some ways to prevent marine diseases in case of handling hundreds of fish?

    Thank you very much. I am looking for your reply.

    Best regards,

  • 2 admin // Aug 2, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Hi sunrise,

    During copper treatment you should change water as your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates raise. After you do a water change you should test with a test kit how much copper you took out and replace accordingly.
    As far as preventing marine diseases with hundreds of wild cought fish you should ask at They would be able to give you more insight over on there forum.

  • 3 Ray Robert // Sep 9, 2008 at 9:45 am

    If you don’t have a quarantine tank can you do a hyposalinity treatment in the main tank ?

  • 4 admin // Sep 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Ray,
    If your main tank has sand, live rock, any sort of invert such as corals or marine worms. Then No you cant.

  • 5 Ray Robert // Sep 9, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    My tank is a fish only tank. miniatus grouper, clown trigger, niger trigger & a white spotted grouper. Triggers have some ick. groupers do not. Ick has just appeared, no more than a dozen spots right now. All I have is a hydrometer, will this work ? I have some marine buffer & baking soda for ph. question about the miniatus. Is scratching a normal behavior ? Ick just showed up. I think it came in with the niger which was just purchased about 2 weeks ago. I have had the miniatus for a while & it has never showed any sign of ick, but it scratches. It eats great & is very friendly eating right out of my hand, not shy at all. Is this a natural behavoir ? I can tell by my hydrometer that the specific gravity is about 1.012, ph right now is 8.0. fish seem fine what else do I need to do ?

  • 6 admin // Sep 9, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Ray,

    Scratching is normal behavior for ich. plain and simple if your other fish have ich then its just a matter of time beofre your other fish have ich. If you have no other inverts or live rock i would definitly lower the specific gravity as per my article (1.010) for at least six weeks. Do this slow dropping a little bit every day for a week as to not shock or stress your fish any further.
    When you re-raise your specific gravity again make sure you raise it to 1.026.
    You may loose a fish or two depending on how far the parasites have infected the fish. Im sorry but its just the facts of life. Even I have lost a clownfish to ich becouse I didnt take action quick enough. If the ich does not respond to hyposalinity in a few days lower your specific gravity to 1.009. Keep in mind that the Ich parasites life cycle is several months long, you need to be persistant.
    If the fish stops eating then soak our fish food in garlic to enhance the flavor.

  • 7 Ray Robert // Sep 11, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for your advice on hyposalinity. The specific gravity is @ 1.010 & all but just a few spots on the niger trigger are gone. Clown trigger looks great & miniatus grouper has stopped scratching. All fish are still eating great. What are the long term affects of hyposalinity ? If I do not intend on putting any new fish in the tank or inverts, as the fish I have can live a long life, is it essential to bring the specific gravity back up to 1.026. Also I feed the miniatus grouper jumbo table shrimp that I purchase from the grocery store. Is there any other food available that I can feed him or is this good enough ? I’ve also seen him eat brine shrimp that I feed the triggers & he seems to be taking an interest in the flake food that I feed the other fish too.

  • 8 admin // Sep 11, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Wow Ray sounds like your fish are recovering nicely. Im very glad to hear that. Keep in mind that you want to keep the tank in hyposalinity mode for nearly a month, becouse there could still be some ich floating around in various stages of growth.
    It is thought that with hyposalinity that the fish get stressed out a little (not as much as long exposure to copper). So it may not be a good idea to keep your fish in that environment to much longer after treatment. You can just bring the salinity up to 1.023-1.024 if you do not want to bring it up to 1.026. 1.026 salinity is more for the coral reef aquariums.
    The miniatus grouper will more then likely eat any thing meaty that you give him, there natural diet is Crustaceans and smaller fish. Basically any thing that will fit into his mouth he will see as prey. You can try to feed him some frozen krill or even try mysis shrimp if your fish isnt too big.

  • 9 Ray Robert // Sep 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for all your help! Can you tell me a little about activated carbon & phosphate.

  • 10 admin // Sep 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    You can read about activated Carbon here:

    I havent yet written an article specifically about phosphate yet but you can get a feel for it in these two posts:

  • 11 Ray Robert // Sep 11, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks again. I’m going to try chemi-pure elite when the treatment period is up. I’ll probably leave the carbon thats in my fluval canister filter until hyposalinity treatment is done since I just put new carbon in about a week ago. I’ll switch it out & see how the chemi-pure elite does. It is the same as standard chemi-pure but is able to remove nitrate & phosphate too.

  • 12 Ray Robert // Sep 12, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Can you tell me if you have any experiance with chemi-pure or chemi-pure elite ?

  • 13 admin // Sep 12, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I have not yet tried the chemi-pure products but the chemi-pure elite looks pretty good. As of right now I use a phosphate absorbing media and an activated Carbon. I have used diffrent combined media in the past but I find that they are too good to be true. But, you never know until you try.

  • 14 Ray Robert // Sep 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    What kind of carbon & phosphate absorbing media do you use ?

  • 15 Shaz // Oct 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Do UV Sterilizers help with Ich

  • 16 david kocinski // Oct 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    I recently noticed my marine tank has ich (fish only). I am using cupramine. I also tried the freshwater bath. It has been roughly 36 hours and i see no change. How long before i see a change or expect to see one? I take that back the only change i see is my puffers are alot less active. whetre do i go from here?

  • 17 admin // Oct 21, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Hi shaz,

    The common UV lights that are sold for reef aquariums are usually not effective for treating Ich. The problem is that the ich cycts and free floating parasites are not exposed long enough to the Uv light and do not do enough damage to the organism.

  • 18 admin // Oct 21, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Hi david,

    Cupramine for any one that doesnt now and is following this article is a copper treatment. David, you should be testing the copper in your tank with a test kit. Your tank water should have around .30ppm for at least three weeks. Copper can be easily absorbed through fake corals, the silicate that holds aquarium glass together and other things in the tank, especially carbonate material (gravel,sand things of that nature).

    Most fish can survive .8ppm copper in there environment, but not very long so keep an eye on your dosing. Also keep in mind that the cysts can last several months, even in copper treated water. Copper treatment should be added slowly to acclimate the saltwater fish, over a period of days.

    If you added a whole lot of Cupramine in a short amount of time then your fish may be stressed over it. If your fish stop eating start soaking there food in garlic to entice them into feeding. Goodluck and check those copper paremeters.

  • 19 Joe // Oct 27, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I have read you mentioned soaking food in garlic. What kind of garlic?

  • 20 admin // Oct 27, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Joe,

    Most reefers use a product called selcon, it is garlic extract that you soak food in that entices feeding.

    Personally though I use fresh peeled garlic bulbs and I run them through a food processor until there nearly a mush and I add very little to my fish food.

  • 21 Vivien // Nov 8, 2008 at 1:57 am

    2 days ago, I found out that my fishes got white spot on them. I took them out to another tank. The next day the spot went away. I thought I had a scare and put the fishes back to the main tank

    Today, the spot reappear on the same fishes. Is it ick? If it is, should i put them in the quarantine tank? What should i do to treat the main tank? Please help. I am new in this arena. Don’t want to kill my fish first hand. Thank you so much

  • 22 admin // Nov 8, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Hi Vivien,
    Welcome to Brettsreef. I would put the fish in the quarantine tank just to be on the safe side. Then observe the fish for a day or two to see what exactly it is. Most of the time it will be ich, in some rare cases it could just be damage to the fish from other fish or fungus.
    If it is ich (determined by the description in the article) then treat accordingly. The only treatment you should do for your main tank is leaving it completely fishless, nothing else. This will prevent the Ich cysts from completing there life cycles. You will want to leave it fishless for at least a month.
    Vivien if you are convinced that your fish have ich you should reread the treatment part of the above article, hyposalinity is the way to go to treat this.

  • 23 Vivien // Nov 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you very much for your advice. I have the feeling that it is another scare. The fishes are spotless for 2 days now. I believe it is the dust particles which temporarely stuck to the fishes’ skin. I will continue to observe to make sure. I’ve reread the article above. I am less scare now since I know it can be cure the painless way for the fishes.

    I have another question. My tank has phosphate (1.0). Resently, brown algea seem to like my tank because of the phosphate. I bought a phosphate remover (Kent Marine Maximum Power•Phos). It’s in the tank for two weeks now. Doesn’t seem to help. I am wondering how long does it take for the phosphate to reduce. Also, I am wondering if my filter media, Chemi-pure, is the culprit for the phosphate?

    Thank you

  • 24 beth // Nov 12, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I have a porcupine puffer that I just bought a few days ago. He was acting perfect for 2 days and then all the sudden he started acting sick. He has white spots all over him he sits in one spot, and he does not eat very well. Also the other fish have been picking at his fins alot. I was wondering what is wrong with him and what should I do?

  • 25 admin // Nov 16, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Vivien,

    Im glad to hear that it is just dust particles, that does happen on occation with tanks that have a sand bed.
    having a phosphate of 1.o ppm(im gussing) is very high and you will continue to have problems with algae if you dont get it under control.
    I recommend that you read this article:

    And if you just have your kents phosphate remover laying in the tank or the filter then its probably not bieng used to its full potental. A phosphate reactor will help with this:
    Check out this one:

  • 26 admin // Nov 16, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Hello Beth,

    First you should set up a quaranteen tank before your other fish get ich, it sounds like he has ich. Start soaking his food in garlic to entice him into feeding. Keep him in quaranteen and treat with copper or hyposalinity.
    There are several reasons why your other fish might be picking on him, one is that they are terratorial and they do not want the puffer in there area, the other is that they sense that there is something wronge with the puffer, wether it be disease or abnormality it doesnt matter. If the fish are aggressive and terratorial enough they will pick on the new fish.

  • 27 // Dec 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Nice post. Quarantine all new fish is a great way to reduce the rish of disease. I just can’t live without my QT tank!

  • 28 kings // Jan 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

    hello. i have had my marine tank running for 8 weeks now and everything has been fine. i woke up this morning and my regal tang has white spot, how long does it take to start spreading to other fish and what is the best way to treat as i dont have a qt. the shop where i get my fish said put a cleaner wasse in and he does not want to put chemicals in my tank. he said to bring the regal back and he would treat it for me but i stuggle to catch it as it is so fast and can hide in the live rock. please help dont want to lose my fish. i only have a toad stool leather and a feather duster shrimps and crabs. aswell as a few other fish.

  • 29 admin // Jan 2, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Hi Kings,
    The Cleaner wrasse would not do much other then clean the fish of dead tissue where the Ich has penetrated the fish. Treating your tank with chemicals would kill any invertebre that you have (your corals, shrimps, crabs ect…). The only real way to treat your tang is to remove him into a quaranteen tank. Since you do not have one set up then I would suggest that you try to remove your fish and let your Fish stor treat him. You may want to try to lure him out with some food and grab him with a big net. It will take a while but you will eventually get him. You may need to remove some rock but it will be worth it to save your tang and your other fish from getting ich. Keep in mind the life cycle of ich is rather long, so the fish store will have to keep him for a while. Be sure that the fish stores tanks are well suited for him as well, you never know if there system has ich in it which is why its always best to set up a quarenteen tank.

  • 30 kings // Jan 2, 2009 at 4:15 am

    thanks alot. have decided to take the tang to the shop to be treated and will get a quantine tank when i get some money back in the bank. what do i need for a quantine tank and how should i set it up, and what size do i get? a i have taken the tang out now and the ich had only affected her will it spread now she is removed or will my tank be okay? thanks for your help you are brilliant.

  • 31 admin // Jan 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Kings,
    Im glad you decided to take the fish back to the store to get treated. If you have other fish in the tank then it is very probable that they will get ich. I would consider buying a 20gallon Long for a quarantine tank and set it up according to how you are going to treat your fish, weather its copper or or hyposalinity. Either way you will need a heater and test kits. If your going hyposalinity i would suggest running carbon. If you are going to treat with copper then dont use carbon. You will need to do frequent water changes to keep your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate down. Or you could look into getting something like amquel.
    If your other fish dont have any indication of ich then you should have enough time to get your quaranteen tank up and running for them.

  • 32 kings // Jan 4, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Thanks again. spot on with your advice. no signs as yet so fingers crossed they are okay. checked on regal tang in store today and she has recovered very quickly. no sign of white spot on her, going to leave her there just to make sure. once again thank you and best wishes.

  • 33 admin // Jan 4, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Kings,

    Im glad i could help

  • 34 kaylee9880 // Jan 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Hi. We are currently treating our tank with Cupramine. We removed the filter since there it has carbon in it. Are we supposed to go three weeks without a filter?

  • 35 admin // Jan 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Hi kaylee9880,

    Yes, go without carbon for as long as it takes to kill all the Ich. Ich has a rather long lifecycle so it may take more then three weeks. Once you are completely convinced that you have no more ich then do a lot of water changes and resume carbon. Good Luck.


  • 36 kaylee9880 // Jan 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks, we were going to do a 20% water change tonight, since adding the copper our amonia and nitrate levels have gone up. Do you think we should wait until we are sure the Ich is gone? The only fish that seems to Ich is our blue tang. We have two damsels, one clown and a star striped wrasse. We are treating our main tank because the man at the fish store said that since we don’t have any invertebre and to be sure that we kill all the Ich not to put our fish in our quarantine tank. They are still eating good.

  • 37 Randy // Feb 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I have a 60 galon reef tank that has multiple fish and inverts in it, one of the clowns has been getting alot darker in its orange areas but none of the other fish(Emperor angel, Yellow tang, Hippo tang, another Angel, a damsel, and a sand goby) have had any problems, well, the damsel has lost allot of its stripes, however the clown does not show anything on its white strip. This has been going on for some time probably 3 or 4 months well over the ich life cycle. And ideas what could be making him loose his color and go dark?

  • 38 Randy // Feb 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    ALSO FYI, all the fish eat very well and have no problems.

  • 39 EwwwIck // Feb 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    2 weeks ago I setup my saltwater tank, put some damsels in there to cycle it and today one of them has ick. ammonia is 1ppm, as we are only 10-12 days into cycling. should I treat it?
    Thanks much

  • 40 admin // Feb 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Randy,
    What you are describing is common with clownfish as they get older, This is mainly predominant in the oscellaris clownfish but can happen with other clown fish as well.

  • 41 admin // Feb 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Hi EwwIck,
    Firstly the damsel cycling method is currently bieng frowned on at the moment, for a couple of reasons but mainly becouse it stunts the life of the fish and it can end up killing them. Keep in mind that ammonia is poisionous and in higher concentrations can burn your fish’s gills.
    An alternitive for cycling is putting a small piece of shrimp in the tank. This will start the nitrite cycle and the bacteria and organisms in the water will eat at the shrimp until its gone.
    If you plan on having a full blown reef with corals and live rock do not treat it in the tank. if you already have live rock then you will have to treat it outside of that aquarium in another aquarium (quaranteen tank). If you dont have anything else then the damsels you should try to do hyposalinity treatment in the tank (if the tank is small).

  • 42 EwwwIck // Feb 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you for your reply,
    its a fish only 50 gal tank, im doing the hyposalinity now. Are they any precautions I need to take after the Ick has run its course? should i delay in getting other fish for a time? Or just proceed normally once the cycling is done and no other signs of Ick are present?

    Thanks again

  • 43 admin // Feb 24, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I would delay on getting anymore fish until the hyposalinity treatment is over and your tank is done cycling. This all should take about a month, by this time the ich cycle should be done.

  • 44 alex // Mar 22, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I read your wonderful site and took on hyposalinity, everything had cleared up, I had fish in hyposalinity over 3 month now and I am not going to bring it up, will new fish be in shock going from ocean to 1.010?
    and how well do puffer handle hyposalinity?

  • 45 admin // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Alex,
    I wouldn’t suggest keeping the salinity lowered then the required time it takes to treat marine Ich. Prolonged Hyposalinity in a saltwater aquarium can hamper your biological filtration and it may laso cause your aquarium’s Ph to drop. During A marine Ich hyposalinity treatment it is important to monitor your aquarium’s water parameters constantly.

  • 46 Pamela // Mar 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I have a 55 gallon marine tank. I noticed that my scooter blenny has white spots on it. It is eating great, swimming great. There is a UV sterilizer on my tank as well as two different filters.
    Also I have a regal tang that has lost her face color because she is always going in the rocks. Is this normal?

  • 47 admin // Mar 26, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Pamela,

    Your scooter blenny is probably fine, those little dragonettes have natural white spots as part of there coloration. Keep an eye on the regal tang though, if she’s rubbing then she may have marine ick. She just may be searching for food in tough to reach places though.

  • 48 Victor // Mar 27, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I have a fish only with life rock system which I have been in hypo, but I still cannot get rid of ick. Does hypo works with liferocks?
    I am thinking of removing all the sand and life rocks and convert the main tank into a “Quarantine” Tank. After the treatment, I then return them back into the tank. Is this a feasible idea? Looking forward to your opinion.

  • 49 admin // Mar 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Hi Victor,
    I would suggest removing the fish from the system and placing them in a seperate quaranteen tank, then bring up the salinity of your main tank. With marine Ich the fish will need to stay in hypo for at least one month. While your fish are in hypo in a seperate tank then your main reef aquarium is fallow and therefore marine Ich will not be able to find a host and renew its lifecycle.
    The live rock and sand that are already in your main tank will need to stay at a much higher salinity then the hypo treatment allows, to prevent a tank crash.
    Keep in mind that your live rock and sand are thriving with little organisms such as pods and worms as well as beneficial bacteria. Its best not to disturb these creatures as they play a huge role in your tanks biological filtration.

  • 50 Michelle // Apr 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I’ve been battling ich for 4 weeks now just using over the counter meds such as malachite green, and a few other treatments that have obviously not worked. I have a 5 gallon minnow tank that I set up to keep live minnows for my porcupine puffer. Is that too small to use as a QT? I have a powder brown tang, porcupine puffer (both are about 3″), and a 1″ maroon clown. I also have a white anemone w/ purple tips. Could I reduce the salinity in my main tank? Maybe I could put the anemone in the 5 gal and reduce the salinity in my 125 gal main tank? Please advise.

  • 51 admin // Apr 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    Unfortunately the 5 gallon aquarium will be too small for the three fish, all three are somewhat aggressive and are extremely territorial. If you can put the anemone in the five gallon and do the hypo in the bigger tank then you should be fine. Keep in mind that if you are using live rock in the 125gallon then you may just want to purchase a bigger quarantine tank (read the above 2 comments regarding this). In the long run a bigger quarantine tank will pay for itself.

  • 52 Ray Robert // Apr 5, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I recently noticed a lump above right eye on miniatus grouper, no real discoloration, no bruising & no sign of fungus or anything viral, treated w/antibiotics in food for about 10 days not much effect. Past few days looks like lump has gone down. Fish eating fine, no erosions or holes in skin, could this be lateral line or just a tank related injury ?

  • 53 Bill // Apr 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    hi all, my question is how good is that ruby reef KIck -ick med for the fish. i have ick in my mian reef tank , and tried the fresh water bath on one fish, but that didnt work, did a water change and put a chemipure pad in the filter and letting it run through that now. so i can clean up the water more , to try the kick ick stuff.

  • 54 Jan Miller // Apr 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Hi — My name is Jan. My husband and I have a 45 gallon salt water aquarium. We bought a Blue Tang about one month ago and introduced him to our tank. About one week later we noticed he had white spots (Ich). We have been treating our aquarium with Copper and have kept it at 0.25 for about 3 weeks — the Blue Tang does not seem to be getting any better but it has not spread to any of the other fish as of yet. He is acting normal and eating well. We are considering removing him and giving him a freshwater dip and then putting him in a quarantine tank and doing the hyposalinity thing. What do you think ??? Do you think it is odd that our other fish have no symptoms?? How long does it take for the spots to start to go away….it has been about 3 weeks….. Thanks.

  • 55 admin // Apr 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Ray,
    It sounds like a tank related injury, I would just keep your eye on him and make sure that it doesn’t progress. If erosions do start to appear then i would treat for lateral line disease (check for stray voltage if this is the case). Goodluck

  • 56 admin // Apr 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Bill,
    Apparently ruby reef kick is is reef safe, I have used it before and can say it is reef safe only if it is in the reef aquarium for a short amount of time. (a couple of weeks) at its max strength. That being said It did nothing to my Ich. A freshwater dip will only kill the ich that is hanging on the outside of the fish, it will do nothing to the ich that has already penetrated the fish. The above method’s in the article are the only two true ways to get rid of ich…Its unfortunate but it is what it is.

  • 57 admin // Apr 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Jan,
    When you say 0.25 do you mean 1.25? If your blue tang has ich then its only a matter of time before your other fish will get it. I would remove them all and quarantine them, it could take weeks before the other fish show symptoms, some fish may not show it at all. You will need to keep your main reef aquarium without fish for around 6 weeks. this will prevent new ICh cysts from finding a host. In the long run this method is necessary for a healthy aquarium. Goodluck to you, keep me informed.


  • 58 james // Apr 7, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    They have the ich…my fish are in a qt tank, but i left my display tank to fallow for six weeks. In it are two turbo snails….can they carry the “ICH”?

  • 59 Jan Miller // Apr 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    We gave the blue tang a freshwater bath today and he seems a little better — how often can you give those baths — every day ??? I don’t understand why the ich does not go away– we have been treating with copper for over 2-3 weeks ??? Is that normal ?? If our other fish have not contracted ich as of now — are they safe ??? Jan

  • 60 Nick // Apr 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Hi. I have a 100 gal salt w/live rock, fish and soft corals. All my fish are fine but I have tried to introduce a blue tang 3 times and each time they get ich and die. This has transpired over 5 months. None of the other fish show any sign and all seem fine. I am paranoid to introduce another Blue Tang or other fish. Why are my existing fish fine but a new fish, that is a different story? I have a UV Sterilizer and I believe it has helped. I could increase the exposure time in the UV Tube I suppose to increase effectiveness. I also have “Kick Ich” which I have used in the past and it worked. However I don’t want to shut off the Protein Skimmer for a couple weeks like I had to do last time with Kick Ich and turn off carbon. I lost a coral that way last time but saved a Purple Tang. Any Ideas/suggestions would be much appreciated. It is my experience that Blue Tangs can be especially to getting Ich, more so than other Tangs.

  • 61 admin // Apr 19, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Hi James,
    Ich is not known to host on other invertebres. Your turbo snails are safe.

  • 62 admin // Apr 19, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Keep up with the treatment, If you are doing water changes and using copper then your copper level may not be high enough. You should be checking your copper levels with a test kit. If your copper levels are normal then You should be seeing some sort of Improvement by know. Your other fish sound like they are safe, as long as they are active and eating. let me know what happends.


  • 63 admin // Apr 19, 2009 at 10:02 am


    You are not alone in this. I get emails every week with blue tang ich problems. As you said, For some reason they seem like they contract ich easier then other tangs.
    The downright best way is to set up another tank as a quaranteen tank and keep the fish in there for a few weeks for observation when you first purchase them. Throw some PVC tubing in there so the fish can hide. If the Blue tang gets Ich then you can treat it right off the bat without messing with your main tank.

    If you think that the Uv is working then keep running it. Keep in mind that Uv light will destroy your good bacteria as well.


  • 64 Michelle // Apr 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Are you aware of any over the counter meds that are even somewhat effective for treating ich? I’ve installed a UV sterilizer and treated with Malachite green for weeks, and the ich still keeps coming back. I really have no room to set up a QT. I have a 125g w/ live rock, but no inverts. Please advise. I’ve been battling this ich for a while now, but it never got bad enough to result in losing fish.

  • 65 Alex Quesada // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Hey i have a Hippo Blue aTang and something’s wrong with his body its not ich because the lil spots are much to large to be ich. Its causeing open wounds and the spots are about 5 times the size of normal ich. it also leavs a fungasie look behind my lil guy doesnt look so hot.

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