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    Amyloodinium and Secondary Infections – Part 2, Freshwater Dips and QT

    This post is a continuance from part 1. Freshwater baths are great for velvet treatment and usually provide temporary relief, but they can also leave open wounds susceptible to infection. First up was Chaetodon declivis, a little food at the surface and a hand scoop and I had him collected for the bath. When performing freshwater baths it’s […]

    This post is a continuance from part 1.

    Freshwater baths are great for velvet treatment and usually provide temporary relief, but they can also leave open wounds susceptible to infection. First up was Chaetodon declivis, a little food at the surface and a hand scoop and I had him collected for the bath. When performing freshwater baths it’s important to have the water well aerated. An airstone or powerhead will suffice. 

    chaetodon-declivis

    A healthy and curious C. declivis

    Reminded to me by fellow fish nerd John Coppolino, if you have any suspicion of velvet or flukes have the fresh water aerating well in advance. Some water is surprisingly anoxic and may take many hours to aerate. John is what I consider a quarantine master and I bounced many ideas off of him through this entire ordeal (Thanks bud!). I have dealt with velvet before, but never so late or with such bad secondary infections.

    I placed the Declivis, now covered mouth to tail in a velvet dusting,  into the freshwater bath and things did not go well. Immediately the fish started  bobbing out of the water, spitting water and appearing extremely irritated. I was ready to pull him, until the fish made a 180 and calmed down. By this time the inital stress was done and anything less than a couple minutes would have done nothing.

    After 4 minutes I placed him back into the display tank and he swam to the back and laid on his side, propped against the rockwork; breathing rates rose again and coloration darkened against its vevet opaque fins. I thought the FW bath coupled with the velvet infestation was too much for him. I again cursed under my breath and thought I lost the fish. After this reaction I was unsure if I would continue with the baths. As I waited to see the fate of the Declivis I began working on the QT set up.

    Some keep quarantine tanks up 24/7, but as major city dwellers can attest, that is not always an option. I set up temporary QTs, but I always keep a sponge in the sump (as well as zeolites) for a seeded substrate of nitrifying bacteria.

    My small quarantine tank consists of :

    • 30g aquarium
    • whisper hang on the back power filter (sponge + zeolites)
    • air stone + air pump 
    • small powerhead with sponge filter
    • heater
    • PVC Pipe for a stunning aquascape

    Without a skimmer running, I like to use an air pump. It adds oxygenation and despite the mess it creates with salt spray, provides a gentle current. As mentioned above, I did include zeolites. This is a first time for this, but if there is any substrate that most beneficial bacteria on it…the zeolites will be it. 

    cupramine

    I quickly filled the 30g with saltwater (75F @ 35ppt) to match the display. Additionally 1 vial of prodibio biodigest was added to help with bioload and Cupramine was added @ 0.25 mg/L. By the time the QT was complete I was shocked to see that the Declivis had returned to normal coloration, breathing had slowed and it was swimming around the tank. A new FW bath was prepared from a batch of aerated water. It was time to dip the Roaops Hybrid. 

    (Sidenote:  before dipping and treating these fish they were fed extremely heavy. The increase in caloric intake was to to counter a potential hunger strike from the stress of the dip and then copper treatment.)

    The Roaops handled the bath with ease and did not experience as irritated as the Declivis. After 4 minutes he was added back to a bucket containing water from the display tank and slowly drip acclimated to the QT tank. Like the Declivis, the Hybrid began breathing rapidly, darkened, and propped itself up. Understandable given the severity of the velvet, but still not a pleasant sight.

    roaops-3b-m

    Roaops hybrid prior to disease

    The perpetrators of the disease, C. collare and C. xanthocephalus were dipped and acclimated to the QT as if nothing happened. The only fish left were the anthias, cardinals, and clownfish. With anthias (Pseudanthias cheirospilos)  just over 1″ that love to hangout deep within the live rock, my attempts to catch them were futile. That same day the Threadfin Cardinalfish (Apogon leptacanthus) had spawned with one of the males holding eggs, putting them off limits as well. Meanwhile the Onyx Clowns (Amphiprion percula) showed no signs and continued to think the magnet glass cleaner and silicone seal were their anemone. For safety I dipped the Clownfish pair. By this time it was 4 AM. I decided to add the clowns back to the display tank and left the anthias and cardinals alone. I needed some sleep.

     

    Part 3 to come…

    5 Comments

    1. Ian
      May 28, 2009 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

      Damn Eric, I really hope this all works out for you….

    2. Nicholas Sadaka
      May 29, 2009 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

      I think things sound positive Eric…I think your hard work will pay off and you and your “guys” will be just fine. You’re doing a fantastic job!

    3. Brandon
      May 29, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

      Keep fighting the good fight. You are armed with a good bit of knowledge so I am hopeful.

    4. May 29, 2009 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

      good luck!
      can’t imagine losing such nice fish.
      keep us posted.
      f.

    5. Laurie
      June 1, 2009 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

      I am in the process of dealing with the after math of an extreme case of marine velvet. I too first thought it was ich and originally did nothing. After loosing my Queen angel and my other fish going downhill fast I set up QT (6′ long 110g) and treated my fish with FW dips and cupramine.

      Needless to say the 1st week of treatment was the worst week I ever went through, 80% of my fish died within that 1st week. First off pulling 29 fish (already lost 5 fish at this point) from 2 230g tanks (both tanks plumbed into a 90g sump, so all my fish got infected) is not a fun task, but I did what was necessary to save whoever I could. As much as a PITA it was to QT all the fish, if even one fish was left in the display tanks (even if that fish was showing no signs of velvet) it can be a carrier of velvet and pass it on to the other fish (after treatment) when they are reintroduced to the display.

      It has been almost 6 weeks but I’m not taking any chances and I’m leaving my displays fish free for a full 8 weeks. Basically out of the 34 fish (9 tangs, 6 large angelfish, and the rest smaller fish) Only 9 of my fish survived: Sohal tang, King angel, CBB, lunare & checkerboard wrasses, bursa trigger and 3 chromis.

      I wish you all the best, as I fully understand how horrible velvet can be to deal with.

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    1. […] Part 2 can be found HERE. […]

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