Disease - Saltwater
The main factors that produce disease in a tank are:
Introduction of disease from new fish. Placing
new fish in a quarantine tank for observation and introducing as little
water as possible from the new fish bag can help with this problem.
Also review the information on Buying Fish. Quarantining is also a good idea as soon as indications of disease are apparent in the tank.
Stress can cause fish to become ill. Factors
promoting this are the result of transportation as well as improper pH,
temperature, salinity, oxygen and ammonia levels
Common Diseases and Treatments
Saltwater ich (Cryptocaryon Irritans) is a common
bacterial disease which covers the fish in tiny white spots. Copper
sulphate (AquariSol and Coppersafe), formaldahyde (Quick Cure) and malachite
green (Quick Cure) are standard remedies. These are added to the tank,
as ich goes through a life cycle and will remain in the substrate unless
treated over several days. See comments below on the use of Copper and
then review our information on
ich for more details on treating a Fish Only saltwater tank.
Velvet (Oodinium or Amyloodinium ocellatum) is
similar to Cryptocaryon Irritans. The fish develops very small
off-white or yellowish spots. The treatment is the same as for
Saltwater Ich (Cryptocaryon Irritans).
Clownfish disease (Brooklynella Hostilis) is a slime
covering the body and can be treated with formalin or malachite green in a quarantine tank for
several days. It affects other species, but is most frequently found
to affect clownfish.
Film on the eyes is a bacterial disease. Treat
the fish in a quarantine tank with a penicillin based drug such kanamycin
sulfate or gentamycin sulfate.
Dropsy is a bacterial infection where the fish
becomes bloated. Treat the fish in a quarantine tank with a penicillin
based drug such as sulfa, gentamycin sulfate or tetracycline.
Head and Lateral Line Erosion is a condition caused
by poor diet. The scales deteriorate along the head and flanks through
a series of lessions.
Copper is continually debated as a treatment in fish
tanks. Copper definitely cannot be used in Reef Tanks or with
invertebrates. It is excellent at killing infections though and may
be used in a Fish Only tank. Remember to remove chemical filtration such
as carbon filters, during the treatment. Improper dosage can easily
kill the fish and contaminate the tank. Copper is absorbed by plants and
then released when they die.
UV Sterilizers are ultraviolet lights that effectively kill
bacteria floating in your tank. Unfortunately, UV lighting is also hard on