Hippo Blue Tang had ick

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Hippo Blue Tang had ick

Postby mling » December 23rd, 2008, 9:31 pm

Looks like my Hippo Blue Tang has Ick. I have had it for over a month now. It is behaving normally, eating everything that is can find. It is also very active, which would make it difficult to catch and place in a hospital tank. I understand that ick is usually due to the immune system of a fish being low due to stress, etc. I am sure it is the etc in my case.

I know that Blue Tang are notorious for getting ick. What is the best approach to treating it ? Last time I had ick on a Scopas Tang, it was sick enough for me to catch and put in a hospital tank. There is lowered the SG till almost fresh water, i.e. hypo dip, after a few days that did the trick.

Do I have no choice but to wait for the ick to make this Hippo weak enough for me to catch and treat in a hospital tank ?

Will be be contagious to the other fish ?

Water parameters are all great enough for corals to be thriving.
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Postby Mike612 » December 23rd, 2008, 10:08 pm

If you think the tang's immune system is weak, it's most likely because of the fish's diet. What are you feeding it? It should be eating plenty of spirulina, nori, and other green foods.
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Postby mling » December 23rd, 2008, 10:40 pm

It gets mostly OSI spirulina so don't think it is diet. It is about 4 to 5 inches in size and there are about 5 to 10 white spots today. I am hoping it does not get worse. Hate to put any medication in the tank so I'll probably try to catch it if matters get worse. Catching it in a 156 is not going to be fun.
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Postby jhemdal » December 24th, 2008, 1:43 pm

Actually, juvenile Paracanthurus hepatus (hippo tangs) are mostly zooplantivores. Here is a section on diet from an article that I just finished yesterday:

Unlike many types of tangs and surgeonfish, the palette surgeon is more of a plankton picker than an algae browser. This makes feeding them in captivity a bit easier. The general recommendation is to feed them a variety of thawed frozen seafood items such as mysid shrimp, small krill, and Cyclop-eeze®. While brine shrimp is readily accepted, it is not as nutritional as some other food types. Once the surgeonfish has become accustomed to the aquarium, it will also feed on flake foods and freeze dried planktons. Larger surgeonfish tend to feed a bit more on vegetable matter so if there is not sufficient algae in the aquarium for them to graze on, dried Nori algae should be supplemented.

Here is an excerpt from the health section of the same article:

Palette surgeonfish are well-known for their susceptibility to the protozoan that causes whitespot disease (saltwater ick), Cryptocaryon irritans. Any new fish must be properly quarantined to avoid having them carry this scourge into your main display aquarium. In a quarantine system, an aquarist can administer a number of effective treatments which might include; copper sulfate, hyposalinity, or perhaps even chloroquine. Some aquarists hope that by reducing stress in their fish, they will eliminate problems with this disease. While this is true to a point, acute stress is actually highly overrated as a cause of parasite problems in marine fish. One thing is much more important - the introduction of the parasite into the aquarium itself. All fish experience low level chronic stress by virtue of them being held in an aquarium. Acute stress such as rapid temperature change, bullying, pH shifts, etc. are much less of an issue, unless they are so extreme as to cause morbidity themselves. A proper quarantine method helps prevent the addition of the parasite into the display aquarium in the first place.


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Re: Hippo Blue Tang had ick

Postby vitz » February 10th, 2009, 7:29 am

mling wrote:Looks like my Hippo Blue Tang has Ick. I have had it for over a month now. It is behaving normally, eating everything that is can find. It is also very active, which would make it difficult to catch and place in a hospital tank. I understand that ick is usually due to the immune system of a fish being low due to stress, etc. I am sure it is the etc in my case.

I know that Blue Tang are notorious for getting ick. What is the best approach to treating it ? Last time I had ick on a Scopas Tang, it was sick enough for me to catch and put in a hospital tank. There is lowered the SG till almost fresh water, i.e. hypo dip, after a few days that did the trick.

Do I have no choice but to wait for the ick to make this Hippo weak enough for me to catch and treat in a hospital tank ?

Will be be contagious to the other fish ?


Water parameters are all great enough for corals to be thriving.



first off, be sure it's indeed ich before you panic, and then don't panic...

there's another parasite that will cause very teeny white 'zits'-usually around the forehead area first-they're quite small-the head of the 'zit' looks ALOT like ich-it might be a fluke, i'm not sure-but it responds well to fw dips w/ or w/out an adiitive like praziquantel

leaving any fish to get weak enough to get that sluggish by something as quickly lethel as ich ain't right-you can't move some rocks and deal w/a 2 hr pita to save a hippo from one of the most easily treatable diseases, but would rather let it slowly suffocate? pardon me, but i don't see the benefit in that to anyone, nor can i understand how that can be reconciled with a request for 'best treatment' :?

i've seen and kept (under a very watchful and practiced eye) hippos that developed very mild ich (isolated spots, mebbe 1/2 dozen or less) multiple times a year, for a day or so-other than that they were always phat and sassy

to judge and balance the 'severity' of an ich outbreak, look at the other indicators-fish are telling you how they feel every second you watch them :P

fin deportment-are they closed/clamped down tight, taught/fully extended, or lazily half-open ?

breathing rate-is the fish huffing, gasping, yawning alot, holding one set/side of gills 'flared' open etc etc? if you watch a few tanks at any lfs, you'll see that most fish we keep breath similarly-a very short pause between gill flapping-the gill plate rests closed for just an instant, in rapid breathers, while groupers/lions actually get to full pause-just like us when we're relaxed-we often pause between the end of the exhale and the next inhale

is it eating ? fish will almost eat themselves to bursting, if allowed-appetite decreases as health decreases-just like us :P

if the fish holds its fins clamped/constantly closed, breathes rapidly, and is disinterested in food, you will lose that fish if it's indeed ich, has gotten to that stage by the time you decide to treat it, especially a tang that needs multiple feedings a day to stay healthy, unless you're a very practiced dipper (you may need to do multiple dips, and need to maximize dip time using the fish's relative distress to the dip as the determiner for time of the dip

you can't kill the cysts on the fish's body-any treatment to be 100% eradicative must be done for the entire life cycle time of the parasite,and assumes none in the housing tank to begin with (no such tank on the planet ;) )

hypo is 100% effective in eradicating the parasie on the fish-should be done for a month, and the fish MUST be acclimated back to normal ocean value sg SLOWLY-it's possible to drop a fish to hypo in a matter of hours, at minimal stress levels.

bringing it back up should be done over a period of days

hth
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Postby vitz » February 10th, 2009, 7:43 am

yes, i know it's abit late for some of that info-and i hope your tang is ok-if not, this may help you (or others) next time around

and yes, ich is HIGHLY contagious-there are also variants, iirc at least one has a different (longer) life cycle (requires longer treatment)

i once watched a wall of fish at a very small lfs i managed die in 24 hrs-you could literally watch the ich slowly spread from fish to fish and tank to tank

i'm not sure if it was ich (cryptocaryon) variant or an oodinium variant, but it was almost awe inspiring-later i heard that there was a variant of cryptocaryon from the red sea that's particularly aggressive that was 'making the rounds'-true or not, i don't know
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Postby mling » February 10th, 2009, 7:50 am

Thank for the advise but this was back in Dec. I got a cleaner shrimp which wasted no time cleaning my Hippo. All the ick is now gone.
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Postby seamaiden » February 10th, 2009, 2:50 pm

Cleaner shrimp are so much fun, but it's not always a given that they and the fishes will settle in and do their thang. I think it's great that yours are. :) Tang looks nice and fat and happy, too.
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