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Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

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Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 12:24 pm

I had a Flame Angel and a Cleaner Wrasse in quarantine since Sunday. After going into the QT, the flame perked up, was showing good fin extension and eating fine though I noticed yesterday arvo what looked to me to be spots on his tail. I figured I best get on it pre-emptively so treated with Cuprazin. Two hours later he was dead…

Although I googled extensive before using the Cuprazin and saw nothing negative, now I see pretty much everywhere I look that angels (especially dwarf angels) don't tolerate copper. Funny how you always find this stuff after the event…

From what I've read now it seems that treating with copper-based stuff like Cuprazin is at best risky, at worst suicidal which leaves the question - what do you use to treat marine ich? I also now read that the copper pretty much writes off your tank and equipment where inverts, corals and I assume??? angels etc, short of sterilising everything due to the copper leaching back into the water?

I don't remember having trouble with using Cuprazin last time I had a tank but it was along time ago. Either way its gone in the bin now along with the flame angel :-s

I've done a couple of good sized water changes, put some carbon in the powerhead filter basket and fired the skimmer back up and the cleaner wrasse appears unharmed by the incident. I guess the thing I'm concerned about now is that although I'm not sure it was ich on the flame in the first place, I understand it can stick around for weeks/months, how long would I keep the wrasse on its own in the QT to ensure 100% that I'm not passing anything to the DT?

Any advice?
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby Iain3 » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 3:21 pm

I've had no trouble using cupramine on my emperor angel, is this a different product to cuprazine?

It may not have been the cuprazine that killed the angel. Given that the fish was showing signs of illness/parasites before you treated it, there is a good chance it was on it's way. A lot of marine fish don't show any symptoms until they are too weak to hide them, as looking sick is a sure way to attract predators. Therefore once they look sick they are generally very sick.
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby Iain3 » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 3:30 pm

Also did you test the water quality in the quarantine tank? Ich will appear often as a result of stress, the fish is no longer protecting itself from the parasite, so was something stressing it?

I ran a few quarantine tanks doing small daily water changes and testing for Ammonia daily, only to have the fish look great one day, then dead the next, turns out I had all the bacteria in the QT tank to clear up ammonia giving awesome tests, but I was getting a massive built-up of Nitrate, and was testing less frequently for that thinking ammonia was the big risk. Much bigger (25% daily) water changes and testing nitrates every two days minimum and I have not had any more issues when quarantining.
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 3:30 pm

Iain3 wrote:I've had no trouble using cupramine on my emperor angel, is this a different product to cuprazine?

It may not have been the cuprazine that killed the angel. Given that the fish was showing signs of illness/parasites before you treated it, there is a good chance it was on it's way. A lot of marine fish don't show any symptoms until they are too weak to hide them, as looking sick is a sure way to attract predators. Therefore once they look sick they are generally very sick.


It seems that with the flame angel I've hit the most sensitive fish where copper should be avoided period :wall:

http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/showthread.php?443570-Dwarf-Angels-and-copper

I've read that Cupramine (Seachem) is ok as it is a different type of copper to the other treatments like Cuprazine (WaterLife) but that anything with copper should be avoided with dwarf angels - Sachem state it here http://www.seachem.com/support/forums/showthread.php?t=18.

I hear ya about him going downhill but I don't think so - he had a few marks on his tail but was otherwise ok - feeding etc. I added the Cuprazin and when I went back into the room about 2 hours later he was long gone. I've never seen an apparently healthy-ish fish go out that quickly. Definitely the copper.

Caught this thread (amongst plenty of others) that suggests
Some species do seem to be hypersensitive to it, such as the lemonpeel, flame, japanese (interruptus), multicolor, and a few others
.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=845938

Wish I'd seen it earlier. I really hate losing fish, especially by my own hand.
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 3:33 pm

Iain3 wrote:Also did you test the water quality in the quarantine tank? Ich will appear often as a result of stress, the fish is no longer protecting itself from the parasite, so was something stressing it?

I ran a few quarantine tanks doing small daily water changes and testing for Ammonia daily, only to have the fish look great one day, then dead the next, turns out I had all the bacteria in the QT tank to clear up ammonia giving awesome tests, but I was getting a massive built-up of Nitrate, and was testing less frequently for that thinking ammonia was the big risk. Much bigger (25% daily) water changes and testing nitrates every two days minimum and I have not had any more issues when quarantining.


Yes, all other parameters were fine but there was a small ammonia reading - which (bizarrely) can only have come from freshly mixed Red Sea salt - half the QT was filled from my DT - the rest fresh water - see my other thread here http://www.masa.asn.au/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=264586. The Cleaner Wrasse was fine. I suspect the flame angel wasn't 100% to start with but I'm convinced it was the Cuprazin that did him in.
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby Iain3 » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 4:01 pm

Maybe Cupramine is a better one to use in the future, not heard of Cuprazine but Cupramine is meant to be pretty gentle, and if you are worried about certain fish read up on freshwater dips, and transferring from tank to tank instead. I've never done that, but I think the theory is a freshwater dip will kill any exposed parasites on the fish, then put them in a new tank with ich-free water. Some ich at a cycst stage can survive the dip I think, so you repeat this a few days later to catch any of those that have now progressed to their next life-stage, then repeat, repeat, repeat. Sounds hectic and quite stressful for the fish, but better than introducing a parasite riddled fish to a healthy aquarium.

No doubt someone will pop up and give you a better description of how or why to do this treatment.
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Wed 16 Sep, 2015 4:05 pm

Iain3 wrote:Maybe Cupramine is a better one to use in the future, not heard of Cuprazine but Cupramine is meant to be pretty gentle, and if you are worried about certain fish read up on freshwater dips, and transferring from tank to tank instead. I've never done that, but I think the theory is a freshwater dip will kill any exposed parasites on the fish, then put them in a new tank with ich-free water. Some ich at a cycst stage can survive the dip I think, so you repeat this a few days later to catch any of those that have now progressed to their next life-stage, then repeat, repeat, repeat. Sounds hectic and quite stressful for the fish, but better than introducing a parasite riddled fish to a healthy aquarium.

No doubt someone will pop up and give you a better description of how or why to do this treatment.


Thanks for the help. Think I was just unlucky with the flame angel specifically being a problem with copper - got through to the keeper. I'll keep Cupramine in mind for the future but hopefully I can avoid the problem altogether. I'm fairly solid with quarantining - don't want anything getting loose in the DT if I can avoid it! I have a smaller treatment tank as well as the 75l QT so I could definitely do as you suggest.
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Wed 30 Sep, 2015 10:11 am

How long do you guys leave your fish in the treatment tank when treating with Cupramine?


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“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby Iain3 » Tue 06 Oct, 2015 12:17 pm

For treating ich you need about two weeks to run through the treatment, but if it is a vulnerable fish it will probably just get ich again when you put it back, you need to make sure the fish is strong and healthy and going into a minimum stress environment. Maybe keep it in the quarantine tank for a while after the treatment, feed it up, give it some garlic and stuff, and make sure it is strong and the water quality is as good as you can get before putting it back in the main tank, then it only has the other fish to stress it.

You could treat all your fish and clean your tank of ich, you need to leave the tank empty of fish for about 2 months I think to allow the parasites to go through their natural cycle and all starve due to the lack of fish, but that doesn't guarantee you won't get ich again in the future.

I recently put a Powder Blue Tang in my tank, which I thought was ich free as I did a two month fallow period then quarantined and/or treated everything that went in, but it immediately got ich. I just fed garlic infused nori and let them get on with it, once he had ripped a few other fishes fins and established himself as the big fiah in the tank the ich subsided and disappeared.
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Tue 06 Oct, 2015 12:25 pm

Iain3 wrote:For treating ich you need about two weeks to run through the treatment, but if it is a vulnerable fish it will probably just get ich again when you put it back, you need to make sure the fish is strong and healthy and going into a minimum stress environment. Maybe keep it in the quarantine tank for a while after the treatment, feed it up, give it some garlic and stuff, and make sure it is strong and the water quality is as good as you can get before putting it back in the main tank, then it only has the other fish to stress it.

You could treat all your fish and clean your tank of ich, you need to leave the tank empty of fish for about 2 months I think to allow the parasites to go through their natural cycle and all starve due to the lack of fish, but that doesn't guarantee you won't get ich again in the future.

I recently put a Powder Blue Tang in my tank, which I thought was ich free as I did a two month fallow period then quarantined and/or treated everything that went in, but it immediately got ich. I just fed garlic infused nori and let them get on with it, once he had ripped a few other fishes fins and established himself as the big fiah in the tank the ich subsided and disappeared.


Thanks, all good advice. I figured on leaving him in quarantine for about a month. He's looking good now - all cleared up and eating well and quite happy in there - its a 65l tank so its not like he's got no space. I've been feeding him on the Ocean Nutrition garlic-infused nori since I got him and he loves it. Since he came down with it though I've been adding garlic power and amino acids (Brightwell) to all food for both the QT and DT and will continue with that as its no big drama when I'm feeding frozen foods anyway.

I've also been adding PolypLabs Medic to the DT as a precaution and will continue that for the recommended 2 weeks. Figured it can't hurt and if theres a chance it works or at least reduces the parasite load in the DT it can't be a bad thing. I understand theres no silver bullet however.

The biggest issue I see with the whole quarantine procedure is that ultimately until the tank is fully stocked there's no way to achieve a 100% quarantine without also quarantining all corals, snails, shrimp, the works for 2 months as well as the fish as they can carry the parasite in water either in their shells or rock etc etc. I'll keep quarantining my fish going forward as catching them in the DT is a nightmare but as for the rest, there's not a lot I can do.

When someone finally does develop a true reef-safe 100% effective it treatment, they are going to be very rich indeed…
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby Iain3 » Tue 06 Oct, 2015 12:37 pm

I was discussing the benefit of quarantine with my LFS and they said that even if you cleared all corals, fish, inverts of ich you would probably get the ich parasites back in your tank anyway through water changes, etc. the best advantage of quarantining is making a fish as healthy as possible, getting it used to your presence, and ensuring it is eating well before you put it in the main tank.

I am running a UV steriliser at the moment to keep the number of parasites down a little, but will turn that off soon as the ich has mostly gone and I'm planning to introduce a manadarin, and want some pods to survive the trip from the sump to the tank.
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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby damienbuckley » Tue 06 Oct, 2015 12:41 pm

Iain3 wrote:I was discussing the benefit of quarantine with my LFS and they said that even if you cleared all corals, fish, inverts of ich you would probably get the ich parasites back in your tank anyway through water changes, etc. the best advantage of quarantining is making a fish as healthy as possible, getting it used to your presence, and ensuring it is eating well before you put it in the main tank.

I am running a UV steriliser at the moment to keep the number of parasites down a little, but will turn that off soon as the ich has mostly gone and I'm planning to introduce a manadarin, and want some pods to survive the trip from the sump to the tank.


Yeah, thats the conclusion I've come to as well. I've read and read and read on this and that pretty much sums it up. I doubt as a hobbyist we're ever going to be 'done' with our tanks so there's always going to be something going in - and potentially carrying something with it.

I know others doubt its effectiveness but I remember distinctly from last time I had a tank - 10 years+ - that garlic did seem to 'cure' it although I understand now that its more likely I was simply bolstering my fish's own immune systems to fight it as opposed to 'curing' it but I'll take the end result either way.

How do you find the UV steriliser? I was considering investing in one after I had the fish get sick but I'm not sure to be honest and my cabinet is pretty crowded already…
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

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Re: Cuprazin killed Flame Angel

Postby Iain3 » Tue 06 Oct, 2015 10:45 pm

I found it hard work finding space for the steriliser, I think it has helped a little but I am aware that it is likely to kill anything passing from the refugium to the tank, so planning to switch it off, and only use it if there is a reason, such as An outbreak of something. Thought if I get ich free again I may start using the UV steriliser to do water changes. For added protection against ich.
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