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Old 12-15-2005, 11:05 AM   #11
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R.I.P. Engineer Goby 12-14-05

I am so upset about this one. Last night, he was eating fine and hanging out in a little rock cave. Then all the sudden I noticed that he was swimming all funky like. After checking him out for a while I noticed he was swimming irratically, he would go to the top like he was looking for a place to jump out...and he was swimming in a twisting fashion. I checked the aerator, thinking he needed air, but that wasnt it. I did a small water change, and checked the salinity and nothing seemed to be helping him...he was slowly getting worst.

His mouth looked the worst I had seen it, where as before there were only white bumps, he now had black on his mouth, like rot almost....and his mouth was really red, like bloody almost. Then when I noticed him swimming around...I could see inside his gills...because he was swimming up side down, and his gills were swollen and really red too.

He didn't make it through the night.

I feel like a really bad fish keeper. All my fish with the exception of one clear blue damsel have perished.... I've only had 3 total...

The LFS I went to told me they don't even have a QT tank when I tried to take the last fish back. I really feel like the livestock I am getting from that particular LFS is not very good...I won't be buying any more fish from them...

But I also feel that it could be something I am doing, but I don't know what!!

Ugh.
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:07 PM   #12
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Very sorry for your loss.

I am a bit confused though, you did not mention this redness before. Was it suddenly there "overnight"?

FWIW, if the fish showed no definable symptoms other than the bumps, there's not much you could have done for it anyway. For it to go downhill in a day or two, more commonly there's no stopping that. I am very concerned though that something is affecting your tank. Bacterial issues if the cause, are not good news.

Can you please describe the history of the other fish losses and any details you can think of to include along with tank specs at the time.

Mabye we can nail this down and prevent future losses.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:51 PM   #13
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Yes, the goby displayed the redness pretty much overnight. It wasn't there one night, just the bumps were. Then when I got home from work the next day, I noticed the redness, and then it got worst as the night progressed.

The other fish were Damsels that I lost. One was a 3 striped damsel, and he was the one that had the long white stringy stuff coming from his anal fin, he also had was looked like a skin problem. His skin was getting really thin around his face.

The Domino damsel had just about the same thing. Thin skin around his face, or eroding skin.

The tankmates are only one coral banded shrimp, one feather duster, one black spiny sea urchin, and one flame scallop. I also have various hermit crabs and snails about 5-10 of each.

I've only had the three damsels (one of which is still alive and the only fish in my tank now) and the engineer goby.

Other than that I have some live rock (about 35 lbs) and a crushed coral/sand bed about 2 inches thick. Side note: have two different types of live rock. Got most of my live rock from LFS#1 and got a little bit from LFS#2. I noticed the stuff from LFS#2 is a better quality rock; it already had stuff growing on it. Can mixing the two types of live rock create problems for my tank??? I rinse the rock before I add to tank. (55 gallon tank)

I haven't noticed anything different about the tank, except those small white "pod like" guys on the glass, which Fluff said were ok and a good sign of a well going tank. I scraped some of those off and they didn't really come back.

Yesterday I noticed some brown sludge looking stuff (algae?) on the back glass and some on the aerator...not sure what this is, but it is fairly new....noticed it yesterday.

I feed frozen brine and some flake, and then DT for the scallop and feather duster.

Water has never been bad or off the scale in anyway since we started. All water testing we have done had come out perfect...zeros across the board, and a good PH level.

Wednesday I added some water due to the evaporation I noticed....but other than that, nothing major has changed in the tank.

On a side note, when I got home yesterday my shrimp had molted for the second time. I left his "carcass" in there bcuz I read it could be good nutrition for the shrimp...

I wish there was more details I could give, but to be honest, we've taken the whole process pretty slow, so I have no idea what could have gone wrong. The only thing I can think of is this:

Bought 3 damsels and one engineer goby from LFS #1

*only one damsel is alive out of the 4

Bought flame scallop, feather duster, snails, hermit crabs and urchin from LFS #2

*all livestock bought from LFS#2 are doing great, they eat well and show no signs of sickness/deterioration.

My only conclusion is that its the stock from the LFS#1, which sucks cuz we are in their "members program" which gives us a discount when we shop there, but I refuse to buy fish from them anymore....

Also, LFS#1 has no advice for me when I tell them that the fish I got from them are always sick and end up dying....

Lastly, shouldn't a LFS have a quarantine tank....my LFS#1 told me they don't have one...

Thanks for the help Steve-S. I appreciate your concern and your comments. Thanks again!!!
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Old 12-17-2005, 02:07 PM   #14
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From what I can tell from the info you've given, there is definately something amiss in the tank. More than likely some type of parasite (worm or protozoan) that is persisting via the "ongoing" fish population. How long was it from fish death to new fish added and has there been any time inbetween without a fish population?

What may actually fix your problem is fallowing the tank for about two months. It's not a guarantee but with most types of parasites, they will die out without a fish host. You will need to QT the existing damsel and I would suggest closely monitoring it for any signs of possible contagions. To suggest a prophylactic treatment at this point would not be prudent due to the fact we as yet have no real idea as to the true cause. I am hoping not a problem like fish TB but with the one damsel that's stuck it out this far, I'm somewhat confidant this may not be the case.

You will need to ensure all future additions (fish or otherwise) are properly quarantined before adding to your display if you want to ensure these problems are kept in check.

I would however suggest using garlic in the foods to help with (if any) internal worms. Did any of the fish appear emaciated no matter how much they ate?

When the fish exibited the skin problem was it red or white, did the scales appear to be standing on end and was there any sign of excess mucus?


On to some of your Q's....

Quote:
Can mixing the two types of live rock create problems for my tank???
Only if the rock itself was not properly cured and added to a tank containing pre existing livestock. The water quality degredation would supress the fish's immune function and allow for opportunistsic bacterial issues, viral and/or certain parasites that may be present. The rock itself can if purchased from tanks containing fish also tranfer pathogens/disease/parasites along with it.

As to mixing different rock types alone, no.
Quote:
Yesterday I noticed some brown sludge looking stuff (algae?) on the back glass and some on the aerator...not sure what this is, but it is fairly new....noticed it yesterday.
This could be an indication water quality is not completely optimum. Check all of your water quality numbers and chemistry to see if anything is amiss. What water source do you use? Foods used can also be a contributor...

Quote:
I feed frozen brine and some flake, and then DT for the scallop and feather duster.
Be wary on the amount of liquid foods used for filter feeders, they are notorious for fouling water quality. You need to stay on top of water changes and employ proper skimming/carbon use. FWIW, DT's phyto won't do much for the scallop.

Brine and flake are very poor choices for most fish species. The species you seem to have a preference for are for the most part omnivors. You should honestly consider a better "all 'round" food choice, preferabley frozen, not dehydrated or freeze dried. They are usually poor in nutritional value and lousy in phosphorus and other algae fueling substances. Either make your own blender mush supplimented with vitamins (which will also help feed the scallop) or buy one. Personally I recommend the Ocean nutrition products, I also like Hikari branded mysis (much smaller than most and easily consumed). Be sure foods contain both meat and vegetable matter.

Quote:
Lastly, shouldn't a LFS have a quarantine tank....my LFS#1 told me they don't have one
Unfortunately most don't. They simpley add copper regents to the tank as a "gunshot" aproach. Copper is very specific in what it will treat effectively and by and large the fish can still carry a wide range of pathogens/disease. The other concern with this style of disease management is the concentrations are usually not monitored correctly. Either too high or too low a dosage being used. Prolonged exposure to copper is also quite dibilitating to the fish immune funtion and internal organs. Often leaving the fish in a much worse state than it could have been.

Cheers
Steve
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