Ich and Acanthurus tangs - Years of experience and ich management

Alright folks I wanted to share some pretty shameful realities about my past and dealing with Acanthurus tangs. To anyone that doesn't know,...
  1. Eva Rose

    Eva Rose Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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  2. Eva Rose

    Eva Rose Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    p-80268-Highfin-Perchlet.jpg It looks like a Geometric Perchlet. Some nickname them Geometric Hawkfish but they are not true Hawkfish, just resemble them**.

    See Live Aquarian quote:
    "The Geometric Pygmy Perchlet also known as the Hi Fin Perchlet is a rare find from the rubble zones of Cebu. They are within theAnthiinae subfamily along with many species of Anthias. **However, the Geometric Pygmy Perchlets within the genus Plectranthiasresemble hawkfishes more than Anthias. Their bodies are elongated with a high third dorsal spine followed by a banner-like flap. They are mottled in orange and white, and have very interesting green eyes. They feed upon zooplankton, and are a wonderful addition to a reef aquarium."
     
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  3. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Interesting. My local LFS has these on occasion and I always thought they were hawkish. Anthias isn't all that surprising now that it's mentioned but I wouldn't have guessed it!
     
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  4. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT SPS nut

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    I'm going to respectfully disagree that it is cruel or impossible to keep Achilles tangs alive in the presence of ich. I've kept Achilles and many other tangs alive, growing, thriving, fat and happy for years despite the occasional minor outbreak of ich. I feed a varied diet including live food (which I consider to be important to their immune system) and I keep cleaner shrimp which help when minor outbreaks occur.

    I am of the school of thought that ich is present in the ocean, present in almost all of our tanks, and that a healthy un-stressed fish is able to deal with this threat without being overburdened or suffering.

    I will agree that a NEW fish (which often come emaciated, stressed, and are prone to being bullied) will more than likely succumb to ich if not allowed to fatten up in a QT system (and you mind as well run copper if you are QT'ing anyway).

    just my two cents. I am in no way disagreeing that Ich is bad. If you have the option and are starting a new tank, then please QT and do your best to keep it out of your tank, but if you have a mature tank and removing all fish to QT while the DT runs fallow isn't a viable option, then I am just suggesting that it isn't the end of the world.
     
  5. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    My tanks were very mature and established and it did not work out, and I see what happened in my local clubs and in members tanks.

    The thing people don't understand about the ocean is that fish can continue to move and the dilution effect makes it nothing like captivity.

    Many acanthurus tangs swim miles each day and I hypothesize that this reduces their exposure to parasites so they've not evolved much of a defense from them. It's not a complete theory but they're nothing like other hardier tangs.

    I've had no issues with any tangs since properly treating and quarantining fish. I have also qt'd 3 other Achilles for other hobbyists locally that are thriving due to the lack of ich.

    These same people, like me, could not keep them prior to that unless they were in a fowlr and lived in low amounts of copper to keep it at bay.

    I respect your opinion but I frequent the disease forum and as you read I had lots of experience killing them attempting classic "Ich management" techniques.
     
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  6. Triggreef

    Triggreef Zoa Addict R2R Supporter CTARS Member

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    A little more on that too, our fish in captivity tend to sleep in the same spot each night. Basically never happens in the ocean save maybe a few fish that might live under the same rock their whole life, idk. But definitely not tangs that are swimming miles every day.

    Ich drops off at night, and also tend to hatch at night then onto their hunt. Each parasite turns into hundreds. So think about how easy it is to re infect the same fish when hundreds drop off of each fish multiplied by hundreds again when they hatch, and they only need to make it a few mm away to find their host.
     
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  7. aaron23

    aaron23 Well-Known Member

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    @4FordFamily You owe the fish universe your LIFE!!!!! haha well said from you and humble
     
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  8. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    I am certainly not trying to be ethical. I just want my fish healthy as they have been for decades. You are correct about many tangs, they have a lousy record when it comes to parasites. For some reason they don't get it in my tank. I would like to put a naso tang in my tank to see if it would be immune like the rest of my fish (as they always have in the past) but as I said, I don't find them interesting and they get to big.
    If I do put one in, I would need a way to catch it to give away when it grows. But I don't see that happening.
    Those baby hippo tangs are cute though. I am always tempted to put those in as they are my favorite tang. Just their color I guess.
    I don't have ich problems but in my tank Hippo's get HLLE.
    One more thing on this. We talk about two systems, quarantining and Ich Management. I say there are three systems and I use the third. I run an Ich Immune system. I realize many people will have a problem with that, but it is what it is.

    In about 12 weeks my tank will be 46 years old (I think, I lose count) I discovered the secret to keep my fish immune probably 35 years ago. There has not been a parasite bothering my fish in 35 years. How long will it take to take this system seriously?
    How many people have a quarantined system for 35 years that has never had a fish die of ich? (yes, including tangs) I don't have to prove it and I am not trying to get people to use this system. I am only interested in my tank. I am however trying to convey this Idea because I love this hobby and I hate to see so many fish dying for no reason.
    In 5 years I may take down my tank. Not because of ich, I am getting old and soon will be gone, or at least senile. We may move or downsize. At that time my tank will be fifty years old. I am sure I will still be hearing how my tank is a time bomb and will crash any day. :eek: Does that make any sense?

    People say they feed a varied diet with fresh foods, no stress and their fish still get ich so the system can't work. They should say it don't work for "them". Not that it doesn't work.
    Look up on this and any forum how many tanks crash from disease even though they were quarantined. You will find many. Search how many fish died in quarantine, you will find hundreds. Then Search to see If I ever posted on a disease thread about one of my fish dying from parasites. (not a new fish I added that was already covered in parasites because I do that all the time if I get the fish for free)
    If I tell my friend Humble about that, he will say they didn't quarantine correctly and maybe that is so. Just like I will say, if you thought you got your fish immune and they died, you didn't get them immune correctly. It works both ways.
    It is all about gut bacteria, something we are just now finding out about.
    Anyway, Happy Sunday, don't forget to turn your clocks back and go out and vote tomorrow. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
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  9. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I am glad to see this has been converted into an article, and I have also made it a sticky. :)
     
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  10. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Paul but your situation is the exception and not the rule. For each person that tried to emulate your exemplary husbandry and succeeded, an uncountable number of others fail at the fish's expense. Most of us cannot replicate what you do, myself certainly included. I once loved what you shared because I wanted to believe it and thought it was easier. I wanted to hear it. Unfortunately I couldn't replicate it with these tangs, even though I did well with other fish. I imagine I am not alone.

    As much as I respect and admire your success, I assure you a powder blue, Achilles, powder brown, or goldrim would not make it with your system. I would hate to set up a test situation for the animal's sake. If anyone could do it it would be you but my money is overwhelmingly on it being a flop.

    This is why I couldn't figure out or accept that acanthurus tangs couldn't cope with Ich like most of my other fish had in the past. Many angels cannot cope either.
     
  11. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    Humble, everything you do is sticky. Your just that kind of a guy. :D

    Ford, I am sure you are correct and I get that a lot. :p I think, and what I have been reading, the gut bacteria is what makes the big difference and frozen food by itself just won't do it. As I am sure you know, I feed a little live blackworms every day along with some frozen thing like clams that I also buy live. The vast majority of people in the US and no one outside the US can do that which is unfortunate.
    Now I am having problems getting live worms because of the drought in California. Soon they will have to grow them in orange juice because they have little water.
    I can use live whiteworms and I have a culture of them. They are available everywhere on line and easy to raise. I would assume they would have the same effect but I never relied on them exclusively.
    Now I am in the process of building a larger worm keeper for times like this when blackworms are scarce. I want to raise them so I don't have to rely on California and their rare rains.
    I think, and hope that soon we will have a substitute for the bacteria in live foods such as a Pro Biotic. There are such things now but I doubt that would impart full immunity. We are just not there yet. But we will be soon I am sure. There are just as many fish dying now from parasites as there were when I started and it should not be.
    We used to quarantine people coming into this country until we learned how to inoculate people with weak diseases to make them immune. We no longer get typhoid, polio, Bubonic plague, measles or chicken pox.
    That is due to our immunity. Except for the few of us that eat worms. :eek:
     
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  12. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    For what it's worth I fed blackworms daily for a 4 months and that was the last thing I tried before quitting my attempts to use Ich management with acanthurus tangs. My other fish flourished greater than ever though!

    Now they're a treat, once or twice per month I buy a bag. :)
     
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  13. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    I had another thought.
    Not everyone can quarantine either. It depends on what type of system you are running and I don't mean disease wise.
    I like to run a very natural system. My tank was started with NSW and I still use some. I also collect from the sea amphipods, clams, shrimp, worms, fish, snails and seaweeds and throw them in my tank. I feel that allows the bacteria from the sea to multiply in my tank which "may" help with water parameters, diseases etc. I can't see the bacteria (unless I squint really hard) so I am not sure if they are helping, doing the macarana or having a heart attack as soon as they hit my water, but it seems to work, "for me" anyway.
    It would be nearly impossible for me to quarantine all that stuff and quarantining would defeat the entire style in which my tank operates because it depends on bacteria "and" parasites to remain healthy and immune.
    Again, I am speculating, but my speculating comes from many years of researching this.
    Another aspect of a natural tank (which most people in the US also can't do) is I "think" it will help corals cope with "not as good parameters". I am speculating again but my nitrates are about 160 and my corals seem to be growing just fine. It could be my excellent looks or the lack of RAP music in my house but a nitrate reading that high should preclude SPS corals from growing. I don't want to go off on a tangent but it seems my posts normally do. :rolleyes:
    This is a very old picture of my tank. I don't know how old but you can see local codium seaweeds that I collect in the summer. I think that is so cool and natural looking. But I wouldn't and couldn't quarantine that as it only lives a few months in a tropical tank. Where am I going with this? I have no idea but I had a few minutes to kill :D

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    And I am sure your fish loved you for that. :)
     
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  15. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    They certainly did!
     
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  16. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    :D
    I wish I had the room to try some of those "Ich Magnet" tangs in my tank. You may be correct and I can't keep them, who knows? I am not the God of fish (only undergravel filters :rolleyes:)

    The reason I have any SPS corals is because I used to get into arguments all the time on that Big forum. People said I could never keep SPS corals because my tank was to dirty and my nitrates were to high. Then stupid me bought a few and now they are all over the place. Like tangs and angels, I just don't find SPS corals interesting. I prefer corals with movement like LPS, gorgonians, sponges (I know they are not corals) and those things. I'm weird, I know.
    I mean "Clingfish", like really! :)
     
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  17. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I think we are all a little weird my friend! :D
     
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  18. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    I will certainly agree to that my friend. :D
    But at least we all get along. :p
     
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  19. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    So I was just in my favorite LFS and they had this really beautiful lipstick tang about 2" long. She was looking at me with those pouty lips and I almost bought her. Then I thought, this fish may live for 20 years and get huge. There is no way I could catch her, especially in 20 years when I am in my 80s, senile, probably blind with a weak bladder. Then what am I supposed to do?
    So I got a crab. :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Pretty crab!

    My blonde naso is my only remaining tang in an Ich management tank. She's tough as nails. That's going to change though
     

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