White spot overnight


7 May 2007
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View attachment 63466 I knew it would only be a matter of time, and naturally I am sooo unprepared ! I woke up this morning to find my Regal and Banner have white spot.. sometimes it looks like microbubbles stuck on the body to me but woah, you can instantly tell this is white spot..

I'm gonna spend the next hour or so reading up on it but if there is any advice out there.. now's the time !


hows your water parameters muz?and have you added any new fish recently?
if the fish are eating , i wudnt worry about it as it'll pass. a cleaner shrimp will help and i think u do have one ....

feeding garlick in their food will also help their immune system to fight off these parasites
Well, i personally find most of the test kits I have a load of rubbish, but my parameters seem OK, not spot on but not way off

Ph 8.1 - 8.2
temp 26 - 27 degrees
KH 100mg/l
Salinity 1.026 - 1.027
Calcium - I know this is very high but it will come down with water changes

My only problem seems to be Nh3 which is always around at 0.2 - 0.3 which could be my problem.

Afsal, I have 2 cleaner shrimps but they are fairly lazy - hunting down a fish is not on their list of things to do ! They just hang out in their fav spot every day !

Look, my 1st priority is to correctly identify that this is indeed an infection with cryptocaryon irritants..

So far all I can see are the white spots, there is no signs of rubbing or scratching, no breathing problems, no increased mucus layer or swimming abnormalities, no cloudy eyes or loss of appetite... yet !
If your fish are eating, all should be fine, try the garlick trick as it helps build the fish's immune system. If your ammonia is slightly raised this would cause stress in the system and it is something that has to be rectified, make sure you have suffecient bio filtration for amount of live stock.
Often the initial cause of an infection occurred two or so weeks before, check if you had anything unusual occur then. Are your shrimps Scarlet Cleaners or Coral Banded Shrimps.
I don't fuss too much over white spot unless its a major outbreak as it occurs naturally on most marines anyway but do find that garlic does seem to have a beneficial effect on the fishes well being.
Thanks for the info.. I can report that they are eating like pigs, but I want to keep it that way. Nobody is mentioning Copper, Formalin, FW dips, ozone or hyposalinity as options.. is this because it is not really a problem yet, I mean how long do i wait until these come into play..

Sorry Steve I am not 100% sure on the shrimps but according to me they are Lysmata amboinensis, I have their common name as Indo-Pacific white striped cleaner shrimp. Does this help.? They def are not Scarlets ( I wish )

Ahhh, my Sailfin is looking poorly. Gonna do a water change tomorrow, i read an artical by Strven Pro saying that daily water changes help..

The idea behind it ( As related by John Walsh - given to the Pittsburgh Marine Aquarium Society inc. ) is that the fish are places in QT and everyday for 2 weeks the tank is completly cleaned and a 50% water change is done !

Apparently this removes the Tomites, Tomonts & Theronts and lessens the chance or reinfection. The fish then remain in QT for a further month for observation and strength building. THe more I read on this method the more sence it makes if you look at the natural cycle and methods or the strategy of attachment used by Tomites.

Anyone agree or disagree with this method, assuming you can catch the bugger in the 1st place.

At IMACSA it was brought up that doing a daily 100% water change for a period of eight days would help break the cycle (going from memory and not necessarily 100% correct), especially combined with freshwater dips of about 5 to 8 mins, reduced salinity is also an option that can sometimes be factored in to accomodate some inverts.
Your cleaner shrimps are the right type!
If you can catch the fish try reduced salinity in a QT for at least 3 weeks. Fish can be put straight into reduced salinity water, but must be brought back gradually to full strength seawater.
if the fish are eating , i wudnt worry about it as it'll pass. a cleaner shrimp will help and i think u do have one ....

feeding garlick in their food will also help their immune system to fight off these parasites

I agree.. Leave them, feed them, dim the lights a bit, lower the stress. Los uit!
Play soft calming music in the background.... For yourself;)

Good luck, vasbyt, losuit!
... Nobody is mentioning Copper, Formalin, FW dips, ozone or hyposalinity as options.. is this because it is not really a problem yet, I mean how long do i wait until these come into play...

Chasing the fish around, trying to catch them every day for fresh-water dips, formalin dips, etc. will do more harm than good, as you will increase their stress levels, and this will make the white spot worse. Using copper is a very harsh treatment, akin to chemo-therapy for humans, and I would not use it to treat white spot. Cryptocarrion irritans is, however, a very contagious disease, and if your tank parameters are not ideal it could be fatal.

One of the problems is that the spots fall off the fish, and one then think that the fish are cured - only to have the spots come back in vastly increased numbers after a few days. This is not always the case, and if your tank contains the right types of C. irritans predators (filter feeders, micro organisms living in a deep sand bed, etc...) the outbreak could just fizzle out, and the fish could fully recover - this has happened to my tank a few times in the past.

IMHO you should assume the worst, and prepare for it now:
  • Start making new salt water to use for partial water changes, if necessary, and for setting up a quarantine tank.
  • Set up a quaranteen tank large enough to house all your fish - if they get worse, you will have to catch them all, and transfer them to the Q-tank.
  • Only half fill the Q-tank at this point in time. If you need to treat the fish, you should move them all to the Q-tank, and then slowly add RO water, thus reducing the salinity of the water. Ensure that the water is well buffered (8-10 dKH).
  • Set up a canister filter, fluidised bed filter, etc. as soon as possible to allow for some maturation before you have to move the fish. If this is not possible, you should do large (30% - 50%) water changes every day or two to keep pollutant levels low.
  • If you feel the fish won't survive without treatment, you should catch them in the evening, move them to the Q-tank, and keep the lights of the Q-tank dimmed during the next few weeks, whilst treating the fish.
  • Hypo-saline treatment alone is quite sufficient to treat for C. irritans - you don't need to use any copper of other medicines. Keep the fish in the reduced salinity water for at least 21 days (28 days would be better...), and SLOWLY increase salinity at the end of the treatment period. The best way to do this is to replace evaporated water with full-strength salt water, instead of RO water, every day until the correct salinity is reached.
  • Check hardness (alkalinity) and pH regularly during the treatment period - this is very important.
Good luck
Brilliant advice Hennie! Once you have followed Hennie's great advice, I believe you should take a closer look at your system, re evaluate husbandry practises, system dinamics and maintenance regime.
White spot (and most parasitic infections on fish) is a sign of a weakened immune system. I believe that parasites are always around, but they require their hosts to have weakened immuno response in order for them to proliferate.

More often brought on by stress, which is caused by factors such as poor water quality, improper handling/transport and inappropriate tank mates.....

With an NH3 reading that high, I would be concerned about the adequacy of your filtration system, feeding regime, etc.

Take things a little slower for a while and get to grips with your tank inhabitants, your system and water parameters.
And get a quarantine tank running for any future additions....
That is great advice and I fully agree.. thank you !

Irie, I am concerned with the NH3 as well.. I have more than enough flow and LR, I have a decent skimmer and a DSB.. what else can I do? I have added another 20kg cooked LR but this is not my problem.

I am in the process of setting up a really rffective QT system because of this outbreak.. I am going to design 3 tanks one on top of the other which will be linked to my main system, it will be a refugium (top ) a QT ( middle ) and a sump, the QT can be isolated from the main system by a ball valve. When it is not a QT it will become a frag tank.. I have also added a 300L barrel so I can collect NSW, heat & buff so I can do daily water changes to the QT.

Although this is a pain, it is also great learning ! I will post pics of the new QT system when up and running.


You know I hate being caught with my pants down...

Well, I have managed to get as far as making the tanks for the QT, I have made the sump and I have bought the pumps, heaters etc.

I just have to convince a buddy of mine to please make me the stand.

All the fish are fine, I have had no deaths but the white spot is still hanging around.

I have been doing some upgrades to the tank and fighting Cyano which I managed to beat in 2 weeks.. yay.

We are busy with house alterations as well which I am under pressure to finish.. so hopefully within the next week or 2 I will be ready to transfer the fishies to their new home for 5 weeks.
jeez dude thats a wile for white spot to hang around for ! is it getting any worse?
remember when using garlic allways use fresh crushed cloves and not the pre crushed stuff from the shops!
if this carrys on id suggest a 3-6 minute fresh water dip
Fresh Water dip.. I doubt that will do anything, as soon as they go back in the tank they will just become reinfected as they become a host again...

For now it is not getting worse and the fish are eating well, as soon as I have the QT system in place I will remove them and get rid of the parasite correctly, I am going to use the 50% daily water change method over about 40 days, it seems the less stressful method and Stephen Pro reports good results with it..
try running a UV sterilizer this will eliminate most of the free swimming noo noos
Yeah.. I suppose I will have to get a UV at some point, I have heard good things about them..

I have just redone my tank so I am in LAZY mode now.. maybe in a month or 2.. yeah in December when I am on leave I will install one, I will have to plumb it externally..
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