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Urgent help required please?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:53 am
by TrevorA
I have a 600+ litre marine tank with a large lionfish and a large Porcupine Puffer. All been eating fine and happy. At the weekend I added a small piece of Coral from World of Water and ever since the Porcupine has got gradually cloudier eyes. THis morning he is covered in little white spots and it is beginning on the lionfish too. The glass has LOADS of little white dots over it, crawling like little fleas you would get on a cat, with the occasional almost microspoic one being more like a tiny starfish. \These look the same size as the ones on the two fish.
PH is 8-8.5
KH is 11-12
Temp is 25-26
Ammonia is zero
Nitrite is zero
Nitrate is 5
I am runnning a sump with live roxk, loads of live rock in the tank a Nexx 3 chamber canister filter and 75KG of coral sand.
I do have snaials and a cowrie and a hermit crab.

Please advise the best treatment available over the counter in the UK?


Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:35 am
by bertie 83
Can you post a pic? What coral was it? World of water are normally very good.

Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:41 pm
by TrevorA
bertie 83 wrote:Can you post a pic? What coral was it? World of water are normally very good.
I've got pics, but the white spots can't really be seen, just the eyes clouded over badly.

It was a mushroom coral, currently back at another LFS in a QT tank. I've done a first dose of Cupramin as I can't see anything else that works for sure. Within a few hours the white spots are reducing on both the fish, however my poor porcy is breathing worse than he was, not sure if that's the infection or the copper, and I'm waiting for my copper test kit. Plan is to take it to .35 for 3 weeks, rather than .5 for 2 weeks as a less toxic dose for the puffer. Although he doesn't seem to have reacted well to the first dose, I can't tell if that's the treatment or not.

I've spoken to world of water and they are going to get back to me, we got a bi color blenny for my refugium too, that died today so I am pretty sure it's come from there, unless the copper put paid to him too. The Lion Fish has perked up massively since the copper treatment, and his spots seem to have reduced 90%. leaving behind little brown marks.

Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:13 pm
by TrevorA
He died

Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:43 pm
by Welch4
:rip: sorry for your loss. Have the rest of the fish cleared up?

Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:12 pm
by bertie 83
Sorry for your loss

Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:35 am
by TrevorA
no, far from it sadly, the only other fish is my Lion Fish, and he seems reinfested every morning, although I can't be 100% certain that as he's become so lethargic he isn't actually covered in tiny grains of Coral Sand rather than the parasite, so I'm going to have to continue treating with the cupramine for 14-21 days, and he hasn't eaten for 5 already, very concerned he isn't going to make it through but don't know what else to do as if I discontinue treatment and he will get reinfested and I'll have to start again. I've raised the temp to 26 to try and speed up the lifecycle but absolutely gutted so far.

I can certainly see why people give up after this happening. By far my two favourite fish, they're pets not just fish, and I can't seem to do the right thing at all.

Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:58 am
by TrevorA
Posting this here in case anybody has any advice. Pictures at the bottom.

I have a several month old large 75 gallon marine setup with a 20 gallon sump.

I started with a 9" lionfish as my first fish after first establishing with approx 25KG of live rock and 75KG of coral sand topped with 10KG of Caribsea live sand.

Then some snails, a hermit in the refugium and all sorts of bristle worms and so on appeared from the live rock. I added the Lion Fish who didn't eat for a few days but then started taking from a wooden skewer and developed a very healthy appetite. About a month later I added a large 7"ish porcupine puffer, who had been in my LFS for over 8 weeks with no issues, no qt procedure at all though. However he was eating almost immediately and seemed very healthy and a great fish. Then several weeks after that I added a 3" plus foxface, no QT procedure again, boy have I learnt that lesson!, who immediately set to work on my green hair algae and was very happy. About a week later I upgraded the tank to a 125 gallon. All fish were in large plastic heated buckets with canister filter for about 6 hours.

I added more new Coral sand and more caribsea. After I added them back the foxface was never the same, and retired under a cave looking very under the weather and a little blotchy, my wife thought she saw some spots but never certain. A couple of mornings later he was dead.

Then a couple of days later I could see spots on the fins of my puffer, the next day his eyes had started clouding over and by the next morning he was blind, as you can see in the picture, with lots of white spots and started to almost lose colour and go grey, there were also obvious spots on the fins and body of the Lion and his eyes were a little cloudy. I spent hours and hours reading but have no hospital tank and after initial excitement at things like Rid Ich and soon realised copper was my only hope if I was correct about Crypt and decided on Cupramine after speaking to seachem who said it gets absorbed but doesn't bind with calcareous material and could eventually be removed using cuprasorb, but most importantly was less toxic on scaleless fish.

I removed all the inverts I could and put in my first dose, but couldn't get a test kit anywhere, so ordered one for next day delivery. Within hours the remaining inverts were dead and dropped to the sand bed as expected, but also the puffer that was already breathing very hard, retired to a corner and was panting and very short breaths. Over the next few hours his breathing stayed the same rate, hardly any movement but got deeper, so I began to hope a little. During that evening almost all the spots appeared to go on the Lion and his eyes looked better, although this is hard to see properly as the spots look at their worst under the blue LEDS, in between with the white lights on and almost invisible with no lights and normal daylight or incandescent.

The next morning the puffer was dead and the Lion appeared covered again. I went and got my test kit and it showed negligible copper, less than .1, so I added another full dose and got it to .25, then monitored during the day, having to redose, as expected to keep it stable, the lion again seemed to clear itself during the evening and shed its epidermis again and started swimming a little, (it was always a lazy fish during the day anyway) then the next morning it was down to about .15 so I gradually redosed up to about .4 to .45 as directed by Seachem and tested over and over during the day, having to redose about 8pm, but only 5ml to get back to the right dose. I guess that the absorption is slowing down, again as seachem said it would. I also, after reading more and more, decided on a freshwater dip with double dosed Methylene blue, 5 minutes, which he hated and immediately hid in a cave he barely fitted in for several hours, however, by the time we went to bed he was swimming very strongly as he used to at night in the various currents and on his 5th day of not eating still refusing food. However all his dots appeared to be gone just leaving behind little scars, presumably where cysts had dropped from.

Now this morning the tank was down to about .35, so I've added enough to get back to just over .4 ( I am pretty awful at these colour tests though) but he again appears covered in little white specs, and still refusing to eat, but only trying once a day, he is sitting on the sand near a cave, however that isn't unusual for the time of day. But with the dose never dropping below .3+ for over 48 hours, I don't see how he can be infested again. In the water column, especially under the blue lights, there are hundreds of similar sized specs washing about, I assume small coral sand, or dead copepods, is it possible that as the Cupramine increases the slime coat that these are just sticking to him when he stops swimming about? and I am thinking he is being reinfected but he isn't? I plan on continuing this for at least 14 days, however Seachem have suggested extending to 21 as I am not treating at .5, although this will possibly mean he won't have eaten for 23-24 days by then. Should I increase the strength, ( I am making a reference .5 sample up side by side with every test to ensure I get the dose right) or extend the treatment, repeat the freshwater bath or........

Any advice gratefully received, I loved both of these fish and would hate to lose my Lion too, I have loads of freshwater tropicals, Discus and Koi and nothing has bothered me as much as these two getting sick, and my knowledge to look after them is apparently woeful. I have included Seachem support in this email as their team have been incredibly helpful and responsive, so any help from anybody to try and save him would be gratefully received.

Water parameters are;
PH 8.2
Ammonia was zero but showing a trace (But Seachem say Cupramine causes this as a misread)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5 (I have left my skimmer running)
Carbonate Hardness 11-12

I have also spoken to a very helpful exotic pet, but he just reiterated I was doing the right thing and that Crypt was always present in marine tanks and then I found he gets advice from my local LFS when he's stuck, who has also been very helpful so decided not to pursue that route.


Re: Urgent help required please?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:45 pm
by eieio
seems to me that your tank was VERY overstocked and likely to be polluted as a result, causing stress (a great disease-resistance reducer and un-wanted tank-mate breeder)
the chemical treatments also probably did harm as well, and likely played hell with your tanks' cycle (assuming it was ever good - having no proper test kit to monitor puts this in question)
my advice?
salvage what you can & start over
avoid overcrowding
monitor parameters regularly
avoid overcrowding
avoid overcrowding.........................