You knew you should have declined. But someone in the reef club was selling a huge stack of live rock for a super cheap price. A super good deal. Right when you were already preparing to set up and stock that old empty system. But this time you were going to try starting with dry …
Illness and Disease
There is nothing that scares a marine aquarist more than illness and disease, nor should there be. A single outbreak of the protozoan parasite Cryptocaryon, for example, can wipe out an entire fish collection in a matter of days. Given the incredible diversity of animals we keep in our reef aquaria, there is no way that the average aquarist (or the most advanced aquarist, for that matter) could ever hope to stave every sort of pestilence that appears in the system.
For sure, even a brief description of common aquarium diseases and treatments is far beyond the scope of this synopsis. The main point we hope to emphasize here is this: With so little knowledge of aquarium pathology, and so few effective means of treating these maladies, prevention is of critical importance.
Obviously, prevention spares the keeper a tremendous amount of trouble and heartache. But it doesn’t come cheaply or easily. It requires discipline and takes many forms. Most importantly, it requires constant attention, and so is never really “done.”
Controlling, if not preventing, illness and disease begins with careful acquisition. However difficult it may be when “shopping” for livestock, always prioritize a vendor’s reputation over their prices. Buying captive bred livestock whenever possible dramatically reduces the likelihood of purchasing a diseased specimen. And, just to be on the safe side, all new acquisitions should be quarantined in a separate system for at least a few weeks to prevent spread of any latent pathogens.
Lastly, because an animal’s ability to resist disease depends largely upon its physical condition, factors such as water quality and diet can make that critical difference between sickness and health.
In this section you will learn not just how to treat disease, but also how to prevent it through good husbandry practices.
Aquarium disease sucks. And that’s to say the least, because frustration with recurring maladies is the single biggest reason people leave the hobby. It’s probably been that way for many generations of aquarium enthusiasts. While it creates a tiny market for medications, the impact on the aquarium livestock trade is substantial. Everyone can get hit …