» Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Blog, Glenn L, Reef Aquariums, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Parasites, Parasites, Parasites! Part One

If you have spent any time at all in our Aquaculture Facility, you know that we literally dip every day for flatworms, nudibranchs, etc.

We have done a few blogs on different parasites and infections. I want to give a brief overview of some new techniques I have been using to combat some of these issues.

Iodine based dips: A diluted Lugol’s, Tropic Marin Coral, and Coral Dip by Precision Solutions.

We tend to use this for bacterial infections or to prevent infections after fragging. As a dip follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. As a diluted Lugol dip, add drops until the water takes on a light gold color (about 15-20 drops per gallon) leave coral in for 10-20 minutes, rinse in fresh salt water, then return to the tank. I would recommend a dip every day if needed, up to 5 days. Lugol’s in frag water, 5-10 drops per gallon can be used until you are finished fragging.

Melafix: Also used for bacterial infections. I find it very effective on soft corals like sarcos, sinularias, cladiellas and the like. Not so great for SPS as I feel they slime up so much the Melafix does not penetrate and they generally suffer more parasitic maladies than bacterial ones.

Dosage is about 4 caps per gallon. Corals can stay in there up to 20 minutes without effect. This has worked very well for sarcos with black or yellow rot!

Revive, Coral RX (lemon juice citric acid based dips) We tend to use this more than anything else. Great for any external organism whether good or bad! That means commensal trapezious, harmless brittles, etc will die with the bad as well so be careful!

Revive is also pretty deadly to the coral after about 7 minutes in my experience. If you put an acro in a dip and check on it after 20 minutes, you will usually have a nice bleach white piece the next day (do not do this!) Be careful!

Dosage: Now I will go on the record and say, I pretty much double the dosage as I feel the regular will not affect larger flatworms. I think they can tolerate low doses and hang on. Using a turkey baster is a must to help flatworms, nudis, and the like to release from the coral. The eggs still need to be scrubbed off with a toothbrush or hard scraper blade. The dip should be repeated over a few days to ensure all the eggs are gone!

H2O2 Hydrogen Peroxide

This is a fairly new dip we have been using at the Aquaculture Facility and in the store. It works very well on external parasites, and like revive does not discriminate on commensal organisms. We have only used this on Zoas and Palys as it can be dangerous to LPS and SPS. It also works wonders on any algae that is attached to corals or frags. It will turn white and die off!

Dosage: Hydrogen Peroxide works in a four to one ratio (4 parts water, 1 part H2O2) As with everything, I push it and use a higher concentration of 3 to 1, and it works wonders! Just like a wound you will see it bubble, parasites jump off, algaes turn white. I have not pushed past the 5 minute mark yet but we’ll see soon! Josh and Paul T. have helped a lot with these trials. You can also see them with your dosage/treatment questions.

I think that’s a good amount for Part 1. As a side note, even after 20+ years of “playing” with coral, I still see new things. Today, 01/04/2016, I dipped a Galaxea in melafix. It had a bacterial infection from a sting, or so I thought. A flatworm, over 2” fell out, my immediate reaction is WHAT THE HAY! So I move the Galaxea to a revive dip and immediately 8 more flatworms fall off. I’ve now found a giant Galaxea-Eating flatworm! Crazy! Coming in the future, PART 2! Bayer Insecticide, Interceptor, Bifuran, Flatworm Exit, and MORE!IMG_5270

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