Early this morning, before leaving for Easter brunch with Renee’s family, I snuck a look @ the Maroon Clowns. To my dismay, it appeared that the female had spots of ICH (Cryptocaryon irritans) on her now? Seriously? Or maybe this is just spots of Velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatus)? At this point, nothing would surprise me, but then again, I am really ticked off that things are not going BETTER at this point. All three possible parasitic infestations, be it Marine Ich, Marine Velvet, or Brooklynella (Brooklynella hostilis), are all treatable with Formalin. So even if I’ve misdiagnosed this completely, it shouldn’t matter. I’m optimistic with my choice of action to deal with this, but honestly getting impatient.
The tank had become a bit cloudy by morning, largely owing to the death of various invertebrates from the formalin dosing (sadly, bye bye mushrooms that were on the live rock). I dosed the tank with 20 drops of Chloram-X from Reed Mariculture as an ammonia controlling precaution, and left for the brunch.
Upon returning this afternoon, the female looked better and both fish were out and swimming. Still, things needed to be done. Jim Grassinger is a local hobbyist and is the guy who gave my Blue Jaw Triggerfish a home so I had a devoted tank for this project. He is also the proprietor of www.TheFilterGuys.com. A couple days ago Jim had dropped off a massive quantity of miscellaneous used aquarium equipment to go through and do with as I pleased (might use some in the future fishroom, might repurpose or repair other items for a myriad of things, including possible giveaways to our recently revitalized local club, the Lake Superior Marine Aquarium Club).
While riffling through all the stuff Jim dropped off, I had noticed a smaller Seaclone 100 Protein Skimmer. I’d been running it on a 5 gallon bucket since last night to test it out, and it appears to be working. So I threw this skimmer on the 20 gallon QT tank. I know they don’t have good reputations for “maximum performance”, but at hyposaline conditions (SG = 1.010) I don’t expect much skimmate to collect anyway. I’m largely doing this as an easy way to add extra gas exchange to their tank, important especially if these parasite infestations are continuing. But who knows…with all that “death” in the tank, I could indeed collect some foam! Better safe that sorry.
I’m not delaying, the pair has been placed into their second formalin dip as I type this…2 gallons of water, 40 drops of Formalin (2 ml Formalin into 2 gallons tank water) with aeration and an egg crate divider (so they can’t beat each other up during the dip). They’ll stay in the dip for 45 minutes unless they show signs of stress sooner.
I’m already planning up another water change to siphon out any decaying inverts and uneaten food currently in the tank. Will probably do that while they’re in the dip. Being a 5 gallon water change, 5 more drops of formalin will be added along with the new water (which is still at 1.01o).
Overall, they still look in GOOD shape, but I’m not taking chances, and I feel I’m doing everything I can to keep these fish clean. I just really, really need to see them start eating soon here – if fish are eating, they’re hopefully not depleting precious fat reserves. Will try feeding again later this evening.