Having ick problems!


New Member
I have a Yellow Tang (3") and a Koran Angel (4"). The Angel has some white spots and the Tang has some black spots. Both a rubbing against rocks quite a bit. I started off by putting all crabs, stars, ect... in a 10 gallon quarentine tank and treating the main tank with Formalite 2. I did not see any improvement after about 2 weeks. The angel has lost a lot of color. I filtered all the medication out of the tank (55 gal) and started hyposalinity. I am in the second day of dropping it. Right now I am at 1.013 and will be dropping to 1.009. Both fish are still eating like nothing is wrong. I have tested my water and it is in excelent shape. Any suggestions would really help a lot. Am I going about this the right way. Getting very frustrated.[*]null
Your fish are suffering from different ailments. I'm not sure if your YT also has ich, but the black spots are indicative of...well, Black Spot Disease. I've had good success clearing this up in YTs with freshwater dips. You'll probably want to search the board for a bit on how to accomplish this. Also, it's allways a better idea to treat in the Quarantine tank. You've got a lot of critters in the Live Rock, sand, etc. that can be hurt by meds. Hyposalinity should clear up both diseases. I'm not a Formalite guy, so I can't advise as to it's efficacy or application.
A few other questions:
-How long has the tank been established? Water params? Poor water can cause the loss of color and exhasurbate parasitic infections.
-How bad is the ich (white spots)? Is it on both fish?
You should also do a search on garlic, as many have had successes treating light infestations with garlic-soaked foods.
Here's a bit of info on ich. Realize that, even if you don't actually see it on your fish, the nasties are probably still in the water for up to a month after you last noticed the infestation.

Cryptocary Life-Cycle (up to 30 days)
A= The trophozoites in the host's skin.
B= Trophont leaving the host.
C= The mature trophont with hundreds of maturing tomites.
D= The realeasing of tomites that penetrate the skin of the host fish
Here's a pic and desription of the life-cycle of the nasties you're dealing with. Feeding the fish garlic might accelerate step B by offending the Trophants so much that they want to get the f**k out of Dodge. Most importantly, garlic may help in the completion of step D, by making the host so unsavory for the Tomites that they avoid infecting a host and starve to death. Remember, garlic treatment is a fairly new procedure and is only recommended for light infestations.
BTW: You know you'll eventually have to get a bigger tank for the Koran... I can't criticize you at the moment, because I have a Med. Majestic temporarily visiting in my 58... Korans get much larger.
[ June 25, 2001: Message edited by: tangs_in_pacifica ]


I know I'm gonna get hit for this one, but oh well. I love Formalin. I used regular 37% on my 125g and it worked great. I even had some inverts and live rock. It says 2 drops per gallon every other day. So for my tank it would be 250 drops. I used 300 drops every day and it got rid of the ick in no time and it didn't kill the snail or crab that was in there. I also used along w/ it a product call quICK cure which also has formalin in it, but I wouldn't suggest using both of them, as an overdose could happen, but it worked great for me. But everyone has different experiences. TJ


New Member
I have had the tank set up for 6 months and the water is in excelent condition (0 amonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, 8.3 ph). I have tested it several times and it comes out perfect every time. I had a nitrate level of about 10 before I started the hyposalinity. The Angel has a few (less than 10) on each side of the body. The Tang has no white spots on his body but is covered with black spots. They started at the rear of the fish but now have migrated to the gills and head. The one thing that I don't understand is that they have had this for about three weeks but still eat and act like nothing is wrong, other than some scratching on rocks. I have live rock in the tank right now, should I take it out. Should I realy consider dipping both fish or just one. Or should I just let the hyposalinity kill the parasites off by itself? I have been feeding both fish garlic for about a week now (in the minced for). I cut it up into the smallest pieces that I can and mix it with thier food (formula 2, flake, brine, assorted algeas, and plankton). I feed it to them every other day. The Tang loves it but the angel won't touch it. If their is anything wrong with my garlic method, I would realy appreciate the comments. Thanks to all who have replied so far, I really would like to help the fish survive. I know the Koran Angel will outgrow the tank very quickly, hopfully by then I can transfer him to a bigger tank. If he grows too quickly I will have to send him back to the LFS. He was just too beutifull to pass on. I have Formalin, If sommeone could give me some tips on a FW dip, that would be great. I have never done one before. I always herd they cause a lot of stress to the fish.


New Member
I went ahead and gave both the Tang and the Angel a dip with Formalin. I noticed the Angel had a lot more white spots on him this morning. The Tang now has no more black spots on him and is doing great. The angel only has a few white spots on him. I was just wondering when I should do another dip, or if another one is required. I also noticed that as he is swimming, there are a few more parasites falling off of him. Will this continue? I dipped each fish for 3 and a half minutes. I also used RO water. Also, today is the last day of dropping the salinity. I have dropped it to 1.009. I was thinking of keeping it at this level for about 3 weeks.


Active Member
If your specific gravity is now at 1.009 and you are sure your hydrometer is correct there is no need to dip anymore. Leave your s/g there for at least 30 days, the longer the better.