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Old 02/10/2020, 07:38 PM   #1
SMR45
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Velvet dormant in tank for a year?

Back story:

I unfortunately had Velvet invade my display tank about a year and a half ago. I didn't recognize it at first (thought it was ich) and delayed treatment for about a week. The Velvet came from one of two new angels I had just introduced (no I didn't quarantine but have been keeping saltwater for about nine years and hadn't had issues previously). Once I realized what it was I immediately started dosing copper to my display, which is a 180 gallon fish only tank. I lost about 30% of my fish, including the two new angels, before the copper kicked in. I know I was lucky based on other things I've read about Velvet.

I introduced multiple new fish, including new angels (large and dwarf), after running copper for 30 days (actually did it more like 40 days just to make sure). I invested in a Hanna checker during this time to make sure I kept copper levels in the correct range.

Since adding those new fish over a year ago, I have not added ANYTHING else to my tank. No fish, no inverts, nothing. All of the fish have co-existed peacefully and have been very healthy for the past year. So why am I infected with Velvet again?

It began about two weeks ago when noticing ich like spots on my blue ring angel and my mimic tang wasn't acting just right. I observed for a few days than started ParaGuard which I have used previously for mild ich. On Friday I decided it wasn't ich and started copper - half dose at first but up to full dose now (Monday) (should have gotten to full dose quicker but was trying to ease the fish into it). How can this happen?!?!?! Like I said I have introduced nothing to the tank for over a year. I know ich can lay dormant but I didn't think Velvet could do the same? I have already lost three fish in the past 12 hours (kole tang, lemon peel angel and watanabe angel). I am doubtful my mimic tang will make it through the night and my blue ring looks horrible. My other watanabe angel looks bad as well.

Can Velvet live dormant this long in a tank and then become active again? I didn't suspect it at first since I had no new additions for so long. Could one of my previous survivors been a carrier?

I'm pretty devastated right now since this was some of my favorite group of fish since I've been in the hobby. To see them suffer like this is just horrible for me.

Tank
180 gallon
established tank about nine years
Phosphate .05 ppm
PH 8.0
Nitrate 25 ppm
Salinity 1.023
Weekly 20% water changes


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Old 02/11/2020, 12:41 AM   #2
laverda
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I am not an expert on Velvet, but I think stress could have brought it on. Fish are much more susceptible to desires when stressed. That’s a lot of larger fish for a 180 as they get larger. Also possible temperature swings this time of you may cause stress as well. Other things can cause stress as well.


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Old 02/11/2020, 02:49 AM   #3
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What food did you give your fish? Some things like mussles, oysters and the like could carry cysts just like any other items from the ocean.
Velvet staying dormant for a year is rather unlikely. With a single fish it could be explained by partial immunity, enough to keep the fish symptom free but also allowing the parasite to go through its reproductive cycle. This is however rather unlikely with a larger group of fish. Just one having a little less immunity would be enough for a flare-up that would ultimately take most of the other fish down as well.

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Old 02/11/2020, 06:34 AM   #4
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I feed a mix of frozen: mysis, brine, squid, clam, krill and angel & butterfly mix. Some pellets and seaweed a few times a week as well. Nothing live. Lost three more fish last night. Copper is now up to 2.1 ppm, which I'm worried is a bit too high.


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Old 02/11/2020, 10:40 AM   #5
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Can you think of anything wet you recently added to your tank?? For example, I know someone who recently got velvet from buying (contaminated) SW at a LFS. Are there any other SW aquariums in close proximity?

Also, how are you sure this is velvet? There are other diseases (e.g. viruses such as Lympho) which cause white nodules on the fish which are sometimes mistaken for Ich/velvet trophonts.

2.1 ppm is fine when using Copper Power/Coppersafe.


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Old 02/11/2020, 11:35 AM   #6
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I have my own RODI system and make and mix my own water. The only things I dose are no pox (daily) and Vibrant (weekly). I did purchase a new bottle of Vibrant in the past few weeks (from the manufacturer uwcmn.com). I also put a few drops of selcon and vitachem in their frozen food. I

I donít believe itís lympho. The spots on my fish are all over the fish body and fins.

Lost seven total now and several others look like they are too far gone but I keep hoping. It looks like velvet to me (and got bad so fast) but a friend from my LFS is stopping by this evening to take a look.


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Old 02/11/2020, 11:41 AM   #7
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Have you been running a UV, diatom filter, ozone, oxydator or any other disease management tool? Those can all control parasite populations for an indefinite period of time.

It is just highly unlikely for velvet not to cause symptoms/fatalities and then make a sudden reoccurrence. Ich is another story.


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Old 02/11/2020, 11:47 AM   #8
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I should note that Iíve been dosing the nopox and vibrant for a couple of years now so that isnít anything new to the tank.


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Old 02/11/2020, 12:13 PM   #9
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one Additional thing, this is the only saltwater tank I have.


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Old 02/11/2020, 03:08 PM   #10
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I run a 25 watt UV 24/7 but not the others. I turned the UV off once I started the copper though since Iíve read it changes the chemistry. Should I be leaving the UV off?


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Old 02/11/2020, 07:15 PM   #11
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I run a 25 watt UV 24/7 but not the others. I turned the UV off once I started the copper though since Iíve read it changes the chemistry. Should I be leaving the UV off?
Yes, don't run a UV with copper. But I think we found one possible explanation for why you didn't see velvet for a year. When was the last time you changed the UV lamp?


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Old 02/11/2020, 07:54 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for replying and trying to help.

I upgraded to the 25 watt UV about 4 months ago, so a new bulb was installed at that time. I had a smaller watt unit before that (think it was 9 watt?) that I had been running for the past 9 years or so. I change the bulb once a year. If it should be changed more often I can do that.

If there is anything else you recommend running?

Do you think the parasite was dormant or somehow newly introduced?


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:13 PM   #13
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Thank you for your advice on running copper as well. This is only the second time I've had to use it so I'm definitely not expert.


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:22 PM   #14
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One additional thing if this helps. When I was upgrading from the 9 to 25 watt UV there were about 3-4 weeks with no UV while I was waiting for a friend to help re-do the plumbing for the new unit. My fish showed no signs of distress during that time and it was about 4 months ago. I'm trying to provide any information I can to find root cause and prevent this from happening to anyone else.


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:23 PM   #15
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The only thing I can come up with is the UV(s) have been managing the parasite populations, keeping everything in check. I've seen this happen many times, but when the UV pump breaks (or something) the parasites come roaring back. Why velvet would suddenly reappear while the UV was still running I cannot explain. I think most MFG recommend changing the lamp every 6 months, especially if running 24/7.


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMR45 View Post
One additional thing if this helps. When I was upgrading from the 9 to 25 watt UV there were about 3-4 weeks with no UV while I was waiting for a friend to help re-do the plumbing for the new unit. My fish showed no signs of distress during that time and it was about 4 months ago. I'm trying to provide any information I can to find root cause and prevent this from happening to anyone else.
Was the UV and plumbing all brand new? Didn't come from another tank (that was possibly infected)?

And this might sound ridiculous but... Does your friend have a saltwater aquarium? Any chance he had his hands in his tank before coming over to your house? We don't know how long free swimmers can survive on human skin. This source suggests 24 hours drying time for disinfection: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa164


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:47 PM   #17
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The UV and plumbing were all new. And your question is not ridiculous, my friend services tanks for a living (including giving mine a more thorough cleaning a few times a year). I'm good at cleaning/care/maintenance but not so good at plumbing unfortunately. He uses my brushes and other cleaning materials when cleaning mine though.


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:50 PM   #18
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He hasn't been here is about four months though...


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Old 02/11/2020, 08:56 PM   #19
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He hasn't been here is about four months though...
And the larger UV has been running for 4 months now...

He's probably not the source, but I know back when I did maintenance some days I had to rush around to different clients and didn't always take the time to clean my hands in-between tanks. In my defense, all livestock for every customer only came from me and was quarantined by me. (I didn't do any service calls unless they were under contract.)


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Old 02/11/2020, 09:27 PM   #20
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I read the article and it just reinforces my current practice to wash my hands and dry them carefully before and after I put them in my tank....

I don't think my friend could have been the carrier either - he is very careful. Guess anything is possible though.

I'm blaming myself. Not for it happening (for which the cause may remain in question) but for not realizing what it was sooner. I'm the one observing them everyday and saw the warning signs (retrospectively). I saw it once before in my tank but didn't think it could come back without new additions, so I attributed the symptoms to non lethal ich at first. I should have known better and started the copper sooner to help protect my fish.


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Old 02/12/2020, 12:45 AM   #21
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Sorry for your losses. It has to be aggravating not knowing how it got introduced to your tank again.


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Old 02/12/2020, 07:44 PM   #22
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I wanted to provide a quick update. I haven't had an additional death since my Bluering died on Tuesday, so my loss count is still at 7. Some still don't look good but except for two, started to eat a bit today. Not a lot but at least something.

I'm keeping cooper at 2.0-2.2 - testing 2-3 times a day and dosing copper as necessary to keep levels consistent.

I'm keeping the tank lights off since I know there is a sensitivity to light.

I'll continue to update if you find this useful.


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Old 02/13/2020, 03:02 AM   #23
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Following along. Please keep posting, if you help just one person, it will be worth it.


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Old 02/13/2020, 06:51 PM   #24
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Quick update. So far the remaining fish are still alive. I don't see evidence of the parasite on them and longer, just the damage it did. One of the two not eating still hasn't eaten yet but I think i saw the other one nibble today - can't be sure though. The others ate a little more today and seem a bit more active.

Continuing with keeping the copper in range with continuous testing and dosing as required.


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Old 02/14/2020, 02:30 AM   #25
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I'm kind of doubtful that a 25 W UV lamp can do a lot if anything to suppress parasites like Amyloodinium or Cryptocaryon.

From how rapidly this spread and killed fish I would assume Amyloodinium (Velvet).
Also, the way things go makes it much more likely that this parasite was somehow recently introduced and not having been dormant/masked in the tank for months. Otherwise, I would expect the fish to have more resistance and die slower, rather something like one each week and not several close to each other within a week. That sounds more like the typical avalanche effect you see with Amyloodinium being unleashed on fish without any immunity to it.

Everything points to this being recently introduced.


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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
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Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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