The experience documented below was not successful, but there are documented successful experiences with Tropic Marin Stop Parasites. Each tank is different and what works in one doesn’t work in another. There are too many variables at work. Although I wouldn’t recommend this treatment based upon my personal experience, I couldn’t claim that it wouldn’t work under other circumstances.
March 15, 2009, 04:08 PM
I’ve probably had ich in my tank forever, but I’ve always been able to keep it under control through good water params, cleaner shrimp, and garlic. Since I lost my Potter Angel and my tang wasn’t looking so good, I decided I needed to take care of it. Trying to catch all of my fish won’t be easy by a long shot, so treating them in a QT seems like it’s not my first option. I’m trying Chem Marin’s Stop Parasites.
Stop Parasites smells a little funny (a little like A1 steak sauce with a chemical tinge), but they claim that it is safe for all reef inhabitants. You have to remove all chemical filters including carbon and GFO, but you can leave your PS running. You add one teaspoon per 10 gallons of water volume twice a day for five days. It has a lower ph than your DT so it can lower the ph of your system.
I am on my fourth dose. Everything looks okay so far and my tang looks better. There are smaller and fewer spots on him. It’s too soon to tell whether this is the normal cycle of ich or the Stop Parasites is actually doing something. I’ll find out in time.
My ph does drop about .02 per dose, but then recovers fairly quickly. I’m not sure yet whether it recovers fully because my ph is just a tad lower than when I started. I don’t know if this is because of the Stop Parasites or something else. I noticed that the xenia in my fuge didn’t like it after the initial dose, but it’s recovered since then and may have been related to something else. Everything else in my system seems normal except that my galaxea is extending it’s sweepers more and my protein skimmer output has definitely dropped.
Without running carbon and Rowaphos, my concern is that the algae may make a small comeback.
I’ll update this thread as I get further through the treatment. If this doesn’t work, I’ll be considering other treatment methods.
March 15, 2009, 07:39 PM
Does anyone know the details of the ich lifecycle? Do all the ich in the tank go through the same stages at the same time? Should they all disappear at the same time and then reappear? This has seemed to be the case in the past when any spots have shown up for me. They’d be there for a few days then gone for a while, then appear for a few days, etc.
March 15, 2009, 07:56 PM
At least everyone is eating very well and look normal except for the dots. The tang hasn’t been rubbing against the rocks.
March 15, 2009, 09:06 PM
I’ve had ich for years and have always been able to keep it under control naturally. There was a good year or longer that I didn’t see a trace of it. Maybe I had it all the time. Maybe I got rid of it and reintroduced it. Who knows. Either way, it’s so prevalant and hard to treat it to the point of what many people consider true eradication that I’ll be happy if I can get it under control again.
March 16, 2009, 06:41 AM
Personally I believe that ich can be imported with anything you add to your tank. No proof of this but if ich attaches to substate and other surfaces during some phases it seems reasonable that this is possible. Given that there is some evidence that ich can adapt and even copper and hyposalinity don’t always work I have a hard time going down the route of complete eradication. Unless I can set up a QT routine that is guaranteed to keep it out of my DT my concern is that i’ll end up chasing my tail. As long as my fish seem happy and healthy and there are very limited signs of it in my system I’ll be happy
March 16, 2009, 06:49 AM
Update on my dosing. The stuff seems to build up in the system if ph is any indicator. My ph is being depressed but still well within acceptable limits. I was at just over 8.0 after the dose this morning. There does not seem to be an impact on alk. My test this morning showed I was still above 10. Everything still looks okay. My tang wasn’t awake before I left so I didn’t get a look at him. Clowns, corals, and inverts all look normal. Polyp expansion is good but has looked better at times but I’m attributing that at the moment to not running carbon and Rowaphos for going on 3 days.
March 16, 2009, 10:57 AM »
One reason I’m documenting what I’m going through is to help provide additional info. I don’t expect that my experience will put the nail in the coffin, but at least it should help provide more info.
A couple of reasons I’m trying Stop Parasites is because there are known cases where it seems to have worked and documented evidence to suggest that it does not harm anything in the tank. I read a really nice writeup of testing done specifically on impact against Xenia and it caused no lasting harm. Some treatments outright killed the xenia in a day or two of dosing.
Worst come to worst, the stuff won’t do anything except waste $20 of my hard earned money lol.
March 16, 2009, 09:11 PM
I’ve got 3 doses to go, or 1 1/2 days. The tang continues to show signs of ich and if I look really closely, the clowns may have tiny ones as well. This is the longest I remember having the ich show up on the fish, so I don’t know if the stop parasites is having an impact on the actual lifecycle. One eye on the tang is now sligthly cloudy and puffy, so it looks like there might be a bacterial infection going on.
The water in the tank appears to be slightly cloudy. Today my skimmer must have overproduced as the cup was full after being emptied this morning – about twice as much as normal. After the dose earlier this evening, my skimmer stopped producing foam altogether. Been that way for a couple of hours now. That doesn’t appear to be a good sign for a product that claims that part of what it does is attract the ich to floating compounds in the water so that your protein skimmer helps to remove them.
Everything else – clams, corals, inverts – look normal. Colors and polyp expansion is near what I can expect in my tank.
I will continue to monitor and if anything else appears to be negatively affected (with the exception of the xenia in my fuge per the link I’m including below) I may bail on this and move on to plan B. Based upon all that I’ve read, I’m pretty confident that I should be able to make it through the 5 day dosing routine without issue, but I doubt I’ll go any longer than that.
Since my tang is showing more advanced signs and I’m getting close to the end of the dosing schedule, I’m considering my next options for treatment. What are the odds at this point for my tang? Do I need to treat him for bacterial infection?
If the Stop Parasite doesn’t improve the ich infection, my next step is probably to get all of my fish into my QT tank for treatment. Thanks to Ryan, I’m familiar with the hyposalinity treatment. The other option is copper. If I use my QT tank for copper, I know that I can’t ever use it for inverts again, but what else shouldn’t I do with it after that? UV is probably out for now since that would not be inexpensive and it would only knock it down a few notches rather than cure it.
Good article on the impact of various ich supplements on xenia – http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-12/sp/index.php
March 17, 2009, 06:44 AM
This morning before dosing everything looked good. Tank was clear. Skimmer was full. Corals, inverts, clams, and green bubble tip anemone all looked good. Tang looked better but that’s normal in the morning for ich. No spots and eye looked less puffy. Will see how he looks tonight my male clown is definitely Moe heavily infected than prior to starting treatment. My skimmer had a really nice head of foam in it. After dosing tank clouded up slightly and foam in the skimmer disappeared.
This stuff doesn’t seem to negatively affect corals. I’ve got a tricolor acro that was struggling and that looked really good this morning. Another purple acro is looking extremely good and has had visible growth in the past week. Another interesting thing is that my nuisance algae has seemed to stop growing. I was getting some slow brown stringy algae growing off of my glass and frag rack prior to treatment. I haven’t cleaned the rack since starting treatment and it’s still very clean.
Still can’t tell whether this stuff is working for the ich but it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything either and i’ll take the nuisance algae reduction.
March 17, 2009, 09:29 PM
I added the 9th dose tonight and it is definitely clouding the water for several hours after the treatment and it’s still impacting my protein skimmer. My skimmer cup was full of nearly clear liquid. After this dose it was bubbling, but only about halfway up the tower. The stuff doesn’t seem to be working. My tang looks about the same but my male clown is worse than it’s ever been. It’s covered.
After researching a bit on copper treatments, I have decided to go with hyposalinity. The copper sounds pretty nasty. I’m getting my QT set up and will see if I can get all my fish into it by the weekend to start treatment.
I dosed Melafix and Pimafix tonight to try to help with the bacterial infection on the tang.
March 18, 2009, 06:36 AM
My qt tank is all set up and running and it’s feeding day. I’ll be doing a water change with the fresh saltwater in my qt and using the overflow from my DT for the qt so the water parameters match. I didn’t add the final dose of stop parasite since it didn’t look like it was doing anything.
With any luck I’ll be able to get all of the fish into the qt tonight.
My skimmer was basically overflowing this morning probably from the Pimafix. If I can get the tang in the qt tonight I’ll be dosing the Pimafix and Melafix in the qt instead of the DT.
March 18, 2009, 09:44 PM
I got one out of 3 fish into the QT tonight.
March 18, 2009, 10:05 PM »
I got the one by using a specimen container with food. When he swam in I lifted it out. I’ll be trying a fish trap for the next few days unless someone has a better idea.
The tang is gonna be a bear to get out. He doesn’t want anything to do with what I’ve put in the tank and he’ll slide into one of the really tight spots in my rockwork where I don’t have any chance of getting him out.
March 18, 2009, 10:21 PM »
Found some good RC threads on catching fish. Cool stuff.
March 19, 2009, 06:38 AM »
I was able to snag the other clown and tang this morning before they woke up and they are now in my qt. The clown I simply scooped out with a net. The tang is a pretty heavy sleeper. It takes him a while to get going in the morning. He was in one of his tighter spots in the rockwork this morning but his tail was sticking out. I grabbed it with my fragging forceps gave a little pull and swooped in with the net. He was in the specimen container before he realized what was happening lol. I do something similar on some mornings to get my 11 year old out of bed. Grab his legs. Slide him to the edge of the bed with his feet on the floor and stand him up.
I started lowering the sg in the qt. I’m following Ryan’s writeup but will be lowering the sg by .02 each morning and evening until it’s down to 1.019.
Eight weeks to go and counting.
March 19, 2009, 08:03 PM
Instead of adding live rock I threw in some bioballs. Since I’m dosing Melafix and Pimafix, most of the power filter is empty so it was a good spot to keep them. Once I’m done dosing, I’ll probably let them float on the surface.
Everybody looks much better now that they are in the QT with the meds. There’s still some ich on the tang and clown but it looks much less than a few days ago. I guess I’m getting into the next phase of the cycle.
I’m into the third dose of Melafix and Pimafix and the tang’s eyes are looking much clearer. Still has too much of the Marty Feldman look to him though lol.
March 22, 2009, 10:36 PM
I’ve got my sg down to 1.009 in the QT. Had some NH show up so I did a 75% water change and it looks okay again.
The tang recovered from the bacterial infextion and colors and eyes look good, but I’m not sure he’s going to make it. He’s spending most of his time on his side on the bottom. He’s still hanging in there and now that I’m through messing with the sg I’m hoping he makes it. The clowns look good so far.
March 24, 2009, 04:05 PM
Tang looked great last night and is eating well. Not sure why he lays on his side but he’s doing much less now.
As long as I can get past the ammonia spike i’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m set up now to be able to do a couple of 100% water changes if needed so all I can do is cross my fingers.
March 31 at 09:26 PM
A week and no sign of ich but I do have NH in my QT. The fish look great but the tang doesn’t like being in the QT. He always had a quirky personality but it’s showing pretty strong now lol.
How much NH can fish withstand before it’s an issue? I’m running between .5 and .75 most of the time right now.