Lachri's 83 gallon glass box of stress -Journal

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Lachri

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My mantra these days is "why am I doing this to myself?!?!"
I am not totally new to reef keeping. I kept a tank from '95-2006. January 1st 2019 I went to a LFS to look into getting a planted betta tank going. I left with an already set up/cycled 13.5 gallon Fluval Evo and clownfish...complete with brooklynella instead. That wasn't really a thing back when I kept a reef before. I went fallow and eventually got my current black storm and picasso clowns. I've cared for my little mini reef successfully since then with no issues. I figured HEY! I've got this stuff down! I read articles and threads NON STOP about reef keeping on forums. I'm ready to upgrade! **insert previously mentioned mantra here**

My nano is now my coral/invert quarantine. I'm SO paranoid about parasites at this point so I wanted to make sure to do everything possible to avoid issues there. and I'm far too attached to these darn clownfish.

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Ignore the cup in the tank...I'm trying to catch a firefish.

I got a new Planet aquarium (above) on 4/21/21. My clowns got moved in once it was cycled. The sump holds about 20 gallons of water. It's got a sicce pump and two sicce powerheads. These are all wifi but after about two weeks they wouldn't connect to the wifi/app. I've tried resetting them and they still won't connect. I'm not super impressed on that front. To be fair I've not reached out to sicce yet. They otherwise work well I guess. I have two Kessil tuna blue lights. My protein skimmer is a red starfish...some off-brand because they were out of any other skimmer at the time. It works well though so no complaints yet. I made a DIY screen lid but after using it for a few months I'm making a new/better one. I will post that when I get it done.

I've posted this in separate threads so I apologize for being repetitive, but I want to get everything into one post so I can document my journey. All went well and I ordered some pre-quarantined fish. That too went well until nearly two weeks later when one started breathing heavy and died about 12 hours later. I dismissed it as maybe being the virus that bangaii cardinals get since all the other fish were fine. A few days later and the firefish started flashing. The next day some of the fish appeared to be breathing heavy but all ate well. I removed the carbon, added an air stone, and dosed prazipro. I'm not positive what my water volume is, so I treated the tank for 60 gallons. Probably too little, but within seconds my clowns started shaking their heads like crazy, and tiny white dots came from their gills. All the fish flashed a bit scratching their faces for a few days but otherwise were breathing normally again.

A couple more days go by and one of the firefish developed a white spot. This is when I really started stressing. I immediately dosed the tank with 7.5ml of H202. I repeated this for 3 days every 12 hours. Sometimes one of the firefish would have a few more spots, sometimes none. None of the fish were behaving unusually and all eating well. After 3 days I pulled my cleaner shrimp and put him in my coral quarantine (some have reported losing their cleaners after about a week of h202 so it seemed the safer choice), and upped my dosage to 10ml 3x day. No other fish have developed spots yet (as of writing this we're at 6 days since I noticed the first spot).

6 days after the first prazipro treatment and the fish started breathing heavily again. By day 7 (which was my planned day to retreat) they were really showing symptoms. Spending time at the water surface, the clowns tilting sideways...sort of like a dog with an ear infection (sorry, I used to work at a vet...this is where most of my similes come from). I treated the tank with the second dose and everyone immediately responded. About 4 hours later I realized I forgot to take the polyfilter out of the sump /facepalm. That was Friday, this is now Sunday night that I'm writing this and I am seeing a few fish yawn and a bit more flashing (targeting the face) today than I've seen lately. I've read where someone had success treating their main tank (as I'm doing) with treatments at 72 hours apart.
I have a few hypotheses on the fluke issue:
  1. This could be velvet (I have no idea if I'm dealing with ich or velvet right now) and that is also aggravating the gills in addition to the gill flukes. I occasionally see the royal gramma hang out about a foot in front of the powerhead. Is he swimming towards the flow or just hanging out in that general area? I'm not positive.
  2. The h202 is minimizing the effectiveness of the PraziPro?
  3. The flukes are a bit resistant to the PraziPro? I mean these fish have been through quarantine and treated for this already so that would be possible, but the fish responded immediately when treated so that leads me to #4
  4. The life cycle of these flukes is shorter than we expect (would h202 affect this?).
I'm finally setting up my RODI unit tomorrow (I just go to my LFS for water normally) so I can do more water changes and try treating the prazipro 3 more times at 72 hours apart. I've also got a 25w UV sterilizer coming in hopefully on Tuesday along with a dosing pump to help with the H202 dosing.

Dates of treatments/deaths/etc so far:
7/19/21 bangaii cardinal starts breathing heavy and dies 12 hours later
7/23/21 dosed 25ml prazipro, fish responded well
7/26/21 first noticed white spot on firefish, dosed 7.5ml H2O2 every 12 hours for next 3 days
7/29/21 pm. Notice fish starting to breathe heavily again
7/30/21 25ml prazipro, fish responded well again, upped h202 to 10ml every 8 hours
8/1/21 Fish look like they're being more irritated from the gill flukes again. Yawning/flashing like they were before the last prazi treatment.


As of tonight, everyone is still eating well (most are at the corner of the tank begging for more food).

Non parasite info: Diatoms finally have let up and I seem to be moving onto a GHA stage. I'm not at all surprised there though because I've been overfeeding frozen like crazy since I've been worried about the fish being ill. I've not tested my water since all of this started so no reason to post results from 2 weeks ago. Actually, when I test next maybe I will post those results along with the results from before. I'm curious to see the difference in nitrates and phos with all this feeding.

I'm going to be doing an eDNA test and will update with what that shows. I will also keep updating with dosing of prazi and h202.

Right now I have my original two clowns (picasso female, black storm male), a royal gramma, tail spot blenny, 2 purple firefish that bicker a lot and I'm working on trapping one to move into another tank, a citron clown goby and a green clown goby. I've not lost anyone since the Bangaii cardinal 2 weeks ago.
For coral I have a toadstool leather, multiple frags of zoas, serveral types of mushrooms. The coral so far doesn't seem remotely bothered by anything I've done.


I still ask myself constantly "WHY am I doing this?!?!" I need to learn not to stress so much over this tank if I want to enjoy it more. The one thing that keeps me somewhat positive is if the h202 works for me, this will change everything in how I respond to/stress over some parasites. Right now the gill flukes seem to be the bigger issue.

The one thing I keep reminding myself is that I went through something similar when I got into keeping red eyed tree frogs. I had done about a year of research first and I've kept other frogs. These guys are sort of like a combo of PBTs and moorish idols when it comes to parasites and getting them to eat. When I finally got my frogs I went through several losses from parasites before I finally learned to do fecal tests on them myself and how to treat them. As hard as the first 6 months of caring for them were, I'm now no longer remotely worried about parasites since I know exactly what to do. I was seriously stressed with them for MONTHS while we tried figuring out what was wrong with them. The parasite issues with those frogs are kinda interesting, I should make an off-topic post about them. That is what I'm hoping for with these fish. If I can learn to deal with the two parasites they have now, I'm hoping when I am on the other end I won't be so stressed in the future. Right now I'm still feeling super super guilty for introducing parasites to my clownfish.
Murky - Red eyed tree frog face.jpg

(photo of one of my girls, "Murky")

If anyone has words of encouragement for enjoying your tanks more than stressing I would love to hear them. I don't mind normal maintenance/water testing/etc...it's the parasites that stress me out. Well, that and power outages but I have battery backups and a power generator if needed.
 
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You don't have to ask me twice there! My phone is full of them. I'm a bit obsessed 😂
Plleeeaassseeee post them haha we're very limited in the frogs we can keep here in Aus so I have to live vicariously through others!! haha
 

Pebbleofdoom

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lord knows I did the same thing when I first started reefkeeping. I committed the cardinal sin of not qting a regal tang and adding him into my system where he’s proceeded to spread a ick plague of biblical proportions amongst my other fish. I then tried diseases management with h202 and spent 600 dollars on UV before I finally got frustrated and spent hours pulling everyone out and qting them using ttm between totes and brute trash cans with prazi baths in between each move but it was worth because now everyone’s pest free and happy.
 

Lachri

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I picked up more accessories today 😁
A photo of the tank. All coral is still happy after all the crap I've been putting it through.
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I picked up and installed the 25 watt Aqua Ultraviolet uv sterilizer. I know the sump isn't ideal, but it's what I've got for now.
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Aaaand an RODI flood guard and a dosing pump for the h2o2. The black airline tubing for that came yesterday.
20210805_214419.jpg
 

Lachri

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Updates on the said crap mentioned above. I dosed PraziPro yesterday 8/4/21 for the gill flukes. Technically this is my 3rd dose, but I forgot to remove the polyfilter after the 2nd dose (GENIUS!)...soooo we're starting over. The good news is that when I dosed it yesterday no one reacted shaking their heads like crazy as they did the first two doses. No one is breathing heavily and everyone is eating great. I've not lost any more fish since the bangaii cardinal 2 1/2 weeks ago.

The fish are still flashing and occasionally yawning but I've been told this is normal after treatment for gill flukes by a wise forum owner.

It's been 9 days since I started seeing the tiny spots on the firefish and started dosing the h202 immediately. There will be between one and 4 spots max at any time, but they always change from one day to another so not ich? Velvet then? I don't know. There have been no spots on any other fish and even the firefish haven't had any in a few days. I'm starting to think it's all in my head (the one time I'm going to cross my fingers that the voices are real and the spots were my imagination). Either way, given I've seen no negative results with using the h2o2 I'm continuing with that until I get an eDNA test done.

Because I'm dosing the next 2 doses of PraziPro 72 hours apart (I read somewhere that worked for someone who was having trouble ridding their fish of gill flukes), I am not dosing the h202 on the days I'm dosing prazi. After the prazi has been in the tank for 24 hours I added the carbon back into the tank, turn on the UV sterilizer, and dose h202 on the off days. I don't know if this is the best plan or not, so I will update if anything goes weird.
 
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jlanger

@thatfishcookieguy
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Hey Lisa!
Great choice with the Planet Aquariums tank. I love mine!
Pests are the worst. Glad to hear that you're addressing the issues right away.
And I love the aquascape! There's a great blend of serenity (shelves and caves) and chaos (tangles of branches) that are pleasing to the eye. Hopefully that translates through with the corals as they grow in.
 

Lachri

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Hey Lisa!
Great choice with the Planet Aquariums tank. I love mine!
Pests are the worst. Glad to hear that you're addressing the issues right away.
And I love the aquascape! There's a great blend of serenity (shelves and caves) and chaos (tangles of branches) that are pleasing to the eye. Hopefully that translates through with the corals as they grow in.
JASON!! How are you!?!? How is the painting going?

I would love to take credit for the aquascaping in that tank, but Evie from Fritz did it all lol. I can't even take credit for the tank choice. I would have probably have gone with a 40 gallon all in one if I picked it out myself, but Shawn and George showed up with this. When he announced it was a "planet aquarium", he was probably expecting a bit more of a reaction from me, but I had no idea that they were extra fancy at the time lol. I'm going to have to surprise those two with fancy thank you paintings at aquashella in October!

Given the coral I'm mostly going with I think the scape should hold its shape well. The toadstool leather will be the only sort of large thing in there. Most everything else will be zoas and mushrooms. I'm not a fancy coral person LOL.

Are you coming to the Dallas Aquashella this year?
 

Pebbleofdoom

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I’m fairly certain you have ich, velvet is fast acting. you’ll usually lose all livestock in a short period. Not to mention ich is easy to count while velvet is more numerous
 

jlanger

@thatfishcookieguy
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New Richmond, WI
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JASON!! How are you!?!? How is the painting going?

I would love to take credit for the aquascaping in that tank, but Evie from Fritz did it all lol. I can't even take credit for the tank choice. I would have probably have gone with a 40 gallon all in one if I picked it out myself, but Shawn and George showed up with this. When he announced it was a "planet aquarium", he was probably expecting a bit more of a reaction from me, but I had no idea that they were extra fancy at the time lol. I'm going to have to surprise those two with fancy thank you paintings at aquashella in October!

Given the coral I'm mostly going with I think the scape should hold its shape well. The toadstool leather will be the only sort of large thing in there. Most everything else will be zoas and mushrooms. I'm not a fancy coral person LOL.

Are you coming to the Dallas Aquashella this year?
Hi!
The painting and other artworks are slowly coming along. It's been a very busy year!!! But I'm happy when I can find the time to sit down and pick up a brush, marker or pen; and even the icing bags are back out. There's so many ideas that I'd like to get to but there's just not enough time.
Unfortunately, I will not be attending the Dallas show, but I will be at the Chicago events this year.
 

Lachri

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I’m fairly certain you have ich, velvet is fast acting. you’ll usually lose all livestock in a short period. Not to mention ich is easy to count while velvet is more numerous
That's what I originally thought. I assumed my clowns I've had for the past 2 1/2 years were carriers with no symptoms since all the fish I added recently came from a trusted quarantine vendor. All my coral and inverts have been quarantined by me (minus the snails I got from the same quarantine vendor). I know gill flukes came in with those new fish but it seems unlikely velvet would have too. Then I started doubting the ich possibility since I read that ich will be on the fish for 3 or more days. These are never there more than a day. So the faster lifecycle would be more likely to be velvet I thought (I could be way off), unless the h202 is doing something weird to the ich already. I don't think it's sand stuck to the fish since it's always the exact same size. Fingers crossed I'm wrong and they spend their nights picking out perfectly sized sand to wear lol.

I HATE the not knowing what exactly I'm dealing with. It will be really interesting to see what the eDNA test shows. I just ordered that tonight :D
 

Pebbleofdoom

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That's what I originally thought. I assumed my clowns I've had for the past 2 1/2 years were carriers with no symptoms since all the fish I added recently came from a trusted quarantine vendor. All my coral and inverts have been quarantined by me (minus the snails I got from the same quarantine vendor). I know gill flukes came in with those new fish but it seems unlikely velvet would have too. Then I started doubting the ich possibility since I read that ich will be on the fish for 3 or more days. These are never there more than a day. So the faster lifecycle would be more likely to be velvet I thought (I could be way off), unless the h202 is doing something weird to the ich already. I don't think it's sand stuck to the fish since it's always the exact same size. Fingers crossed I'm wrong and they spend their nights picking out perfectly sized sand to wear lol.

I HATE the not knowing what exactly I'm dealing with. It will be really interesting to see what the eDNA test shows. I just ordered that tonight :D
Hmmm well firefish are known to dig burrows so it could be sand. But at this point im skeptical it’s velvet. because even with h202 you most certainly would have experienced more fish lose
 
I’m fairly certain you have ich, velvet is fast acting. you’ll usually lose all livestock in a short period. Not to mention ich is easy to count while velvet is more numerous
+1 @Lachri Any way you could post some pics of the fish with white dots (under white lights)?

Or check out this thread to see the difference between Ich and Velvet: The difference between ich & velvet
 

Lachri

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+1 @Lachri Any way you could post some pics of the fish with white dots (under white lights)?

Or check out this thread to see the difference between Ich and Velvet: The difference between ich & velvet
Unfortunately they're too small on fish that are too fast combined with someone who can't get good fish photos to save her life. They've not had any spots for several days now. If the spots come back I will attempt it with a macro lens. 😬
 

Lachri

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Or check out this thread to see the difference between Ich and Velvet: The difference between ich & velvet
I've read that post so many times over the past week and I'm still not sure. I initially thought ich but the spots were always gone overnight with a new one (or 4...but usually 1) somewhere else. Ich makes more sense otherwise because my clowns could have been carriers. It seemed unlikely velvet would make it through quarantine too.
Visually, a single spot looks the same to me in either case. I thought the royal gramma might be swimming into the powerhead occasionally but he may just be hanging out in that general area. He's new enough I wasn't sure of his "normal" tank spots yet. No one is hiding from the light either that I can tell.
Plus they definitely have gill flukes so that seems to have some overlapping symptoms.
 
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