Help me! Unidentifiable (to me) parasitic infestation, very persistent and untreatable?? Will not go away

gooey656

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Hello there. Recently, I have experienced a marine velvet outbreak in my '72 Marine display tank. Ever since then, which was about mid-October, I have let the tank run fallow and have kept my darned best to keep my hands and everyone else's hands out of it. That being said, there is a 20 gallon aquarium for quarantine in the same room, at least 6 ft apart from each other. Being that parasites are not airborne, I don't think that is the issue right off the bat but correct me if I'm wrong.
With that, I have been very vigilant about keeping an eye on my fish and have been observing the quarantined new fish I have purchased, of whom seemed to be doing very well for quite a long time. Close to about a month now.
For the longest time, a couple of weeks, there were little tiny specs that kept showing up and disappearing on my coral beauty angelfish. We separated him and treated him, then after the spots were gone replaced him back into the quarantine tank.
Yesterday, I noticed that there were white spots that were fairly large, larger than a grain of sugar, on some of the fish. I could also find some little tiny white specs as well. But, since all the fish seemed to be doing okay aside from the huma huma scratching himself a little, I didn't think much of it because I had seen what velvet had done in the past.
This morning, I have woken up to find my orchid Dottie back had passed away last night who has been alive in there for at least a month, and My bicolor angel of whom is only two or three inches is extremely lethargic and wanting to pass soon I think. I just got him from LFS maybe a week ago and he looked extremely healthy. Very much so that it was not at all alarming and I felt though that he could go straight into quarantine. I guess this is why we quarantine, right? But it's like even when quarantine goes wrong, what do you do then? I'm at a loss with parasitic diseases at this moment, I just need some help and guidance with this situation please. Also, there is currently 10 drops per gallon of methylene blue concentrate (1% I believe) in with all of the fish in the quarantine. If I do treat, what do I do about the current methylene blue in the water? Also, when treating with whatever substance, should the filter be removed or not because copper safe says you don't need to? Very curious.
Here is a list of medications that I have used and or have on hand:

Formaldehyde 37% solution (formalin) with 15% methanol
API general cure
Parasite clear
Methylene blue
Copper safe


I might have one or two others that I cannot think of at the moment. If you all have any better ideas on what I should be using, please feel free to let me know. Thank you. Also, I would post pictures but none of the fish want to stay still and I am a quadriplegic so that would be pretty difficult. Haha thank you all, generous fish community. I look forward to hearing back from you and interacting with all of you. Happy reefing
 

Rocky998

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Most of us keep freshwater systems but I know a few of us are experienced in saltwater... @Donya is sometimes on. Maybe she can help you?
Ive never kept saltwater tanks before so I cant be of much help but hopefully someone responds. Sorry
 

Donya

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I've had a lot of marine tanks but mostly with emphasis on inverts - my fish experience is limited. I've never dealt with marine velvet and ich directly so all of my information for those comes from what I've read rather than experience, which is not ideal for giving advice.

Just to check: is it fish-only or do you have any inverts involved in the QT tank? If only fish, then you have more options; most of the meds you listed will kill inverts although I've read some can survive methylene blue. It sounds like your fish might have marine ich if the white dots are larger this time.

It's not clear to me how many fish are in the 20gal QT tank or what the filtration is on that. If it is overstocked or if the filtration is insufficient, the QT tank can itself become a disease factory due to poor water quality and stress on the fish (some people don't QT certain marine fish specifically because of that risk - not saying you shouldn't QT in marine just that some types of fish generally don't handle it well). In this case, assuming it's ich this time, it sounds to me like you probably got one fish with ich in or some infected water when the parasite wasn't in a visible stage, and then the others in the QT got it, but treating the QT tank with an appropriate med should get rid of it. Offhand I don't know what's best in that list to use for marine ich but copper is often used (although some fish are also sensitive to it as far as I know, so may want to do some searches on that with the species you have).

Also, there is currently 10 drops per gallon of methylene blue concentrate (1% I believe) in with all of the fish in the quarantine. If I do treat, what do I do about the current methylene blue in the water? Also, when treating with whatever substance, should the filter be removed or not because copper safe says you don't need to?
If the disease is existing and propagating in the methylene blue water, probably best to get rid of that before using another med. To remove it, do big WC, like 90%, and then run some activated carbon. I think that will pretty well remove it. Chemical media bags are typically the only things that need to be removed (and thrown out to be replaced with fresh media after treatment). Carbon won't do anything to copper levels in the water, so it can be left in for copper-based treatments. Other meds may be rendered useless by activated carbon or other absorbant media, hence the need for carbon and other chemical media removal. Protein skimmers may also need to be turned off to avoid removing medications from the water.
 
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gooey656

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There are not very many fish in the 20 gallon at all. There is a valentini puffer, a huma huma triggerfish, a coral beauty Angel fish, a gold blotch rabbit fish, a clownfish, and a purple fire fish gobe. All fish are between two and three inches except the rabbit and the beauty, they are three to four inches. As for filtration, I'm using an extremely simple and common 5 to 15 gallon HOB filter. AquaTech I believe is the name of the company that makes it.
And yes, as far as I read copper is the go-to treatment for parasitic diseases, both freshwater and salt. Problem is, do that only if you want to never have crabs or snails again because it will seep into your rock and substrate and then leech back out into the water and you'll never be able to get it out thus killing any and all inverts. That is not the road I would like to take, as I need a clean up crew of some sort and inverts just seem to do exactly that.
Well, this morning another shipment of fish came in of which I had ordered before I realized I still was dealing with a parasite outbreak. I needed a fresh tank to put them in for quarantine so I just started a new tank and put all the fish I already had into it for treatment, sterilized the old one and then set it back up for all the new fish. So, as of around 5:00 p.m., all the fish are in what should be at least around 2.0 PPM copper solution using copper safe (used about 13ml, versus the 12 and 1/2 that the math gave me in the end). No fish have died yet since the transfer so that is relieving. I will continue to treat with copper in a quarantine tank and hope for the best. Thank you
 
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gooey656

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Also, I forgot to mention, I have an API saltwater test kit that I use to test my water at least every other day and add beneficial bacteria to the water to counteract excessive ammonia and nitrites as well as even nitrates. I also do water changes every 2 to 3 days. This prevents any excessive buildup of any kind
 

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