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 Red Bugs - Need Help!

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Sam_G
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Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:10 pm

I need some help. Sad I was looking closely at my one of my acros today and noticed red bugs on it. When I examined the others, I saw that most of them have red bugs. Only one of the acros has stopped extending its polyps, but many of them have lost some color. Any advice or help? I've never had red bugs before. I read that Interceptor (a medication for dogs and cats) is the best treatment. Can anyone testify to this? And, does anyone local have some that I could buy?


Also, I'd like to prevent this from happening in the future, so does anyone have recommended preventative measures. I dip all of my corals in Lugol's for 15 minutes before adding them, but apparently that didn't do the trick.

Thanks in advance!

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Iceelover



Join date : 2011-07-14
Posts : 241

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:25 pm

During my husbandry internship I had to write a paper on coral husbandry, propagation, nursuries whatnot. Scanning through articles I could cite, I read something about pests and it mentioned using Interceptor. I didn't think much of and continued searching but when I was in the vet room at the aquarium I saw a box of it. I asked the guy I worked under about it and he testified for it. They hadn't had a use for it at the aquarium, but he used to work in a fish store and they used it there to treat for it.

The article I was reading about it is below (link at bottom). I hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Red Bugs
Red Bugs (Tegastes acroporanus) have become a global pest species in captivity over the last five years. These copepods have quickly spread across the Acropora sp. keeping world as reefers fragment and swap species freely amongst each other. These “bugs” act as an irritant to Acropora (only known genus they live on) coral, much like fleas or ticks on mammals. Since they have direct development, they can spread fairly quickly. They rarely lead to the death of the coral, but impede growth and polyp extension and can lead to mortality in severe infestations. A coral that starts to lose growth tips, coloration and polyp extension should be searched thoroughly for these pests. A magnifying glass is useful to look over the coral with, as the little yellow copepods with a red dot on their abdomen are then easily seen.
Once an infestation of red bugs has been confirmed, a plan of action is now in order. Some have done nothing and their corals continue to survive. Another course of action is trying biological controls. The usual course of small wrasses, pipefish and symbiotic coral crabs (Trapezia sp.) can be tried. If this course of action is tried, be aware that these copepod predators may keep the numbers in check, but will most likely not eliminate all of them. Because of this, the corals should not be traded or swapped with others. The best way of treating Tegastes is using the heartworm drug Interceptor for large dogs (Milbemycin oxide). The most effective treatment is to use 1 tablet of Interceptor for large dogs per 1,436 liters of water (23 mg Milbemycin oxide per 1,436 L or 0.016 mg.L-1), and add to the tank for five to seven hours. The corals can either be treated in the exhibit system or separately. If treating an exhibit, keep in mind that other crustaceans may be lost during the treatment. Try to remove ornamental crabs and shrimps to avoid losses during the treatment. After the treatment is finished, a small water change and carbon can be added to the system.
The number of treatments can vary from a one time treatment to twice per week for three weeks (six treatments). At the Omaha Zoo both display and propagation systems were first treated with a one time treatment. After a few months, the copepods made a return. The systems were then treated once per week for three weeks (three treatments) and again, they were not eliminated. It was then decided to try the twice per week for three weeks treatment. The copepods were eliminated and have not returned.
As stated earlier, the treatment is fairly benign to corals, but it will affect any animal that has a chitin-based shell such as crab, shrimp and various sand fauna. An attempt should be made to remove symbiotic crabs and ornamental shrimp from the tank before treating. After the end of the treatment, it might be necessary to reintroduce some live sand to get the sand fauna population reestablished.

http://www.burgerszoo.eu/media/108782/chapter%205.pdf
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Sam_G
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Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:57 pm

Thank you for the article, Ashley! I am trying to get my hands on some Interceptor...

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:37 am

Got the medication. I'll probably dose tonight...

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:37 pm

Gonna dose in an hour from now. Wish me luck... Neutral

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:19 am

Added the medication last night. This morning (12hrs later) I did a 25% water change, started skimming again, and added carbon.

Just finished the water change. Not a single red bug in sight! Very Happy I'm going to do two more follow-up treatments to be safe, though. fingers-crossed

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:22 am

That was fast!! Really cool!
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Iceelover



Join date : 2011-07-14
Posts : 241

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:07 am

Im glad it worked! thumbs up
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:32 am

Iceelover wrote:
Im glad it worked! thumbs up

Me too! Very Happy I did see one red bug crawling around the other day, so it's a good thing that I am doing follow-up treatments. Most of my acros look better, but unfortunately 2 of them actually look a little worse. Not sure what's up with that... Neutral

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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PostSubject: Re: Red Bugs - Need Help!   Today at 9:28 am

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