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Old 08-25-2009, 10:51 PM   #1
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(another) Bangai Cardinal

I got another Bangai Cardinal fish last Saturday, and I've been keeping him in the refugium since he got here. He's been very active and eating well until today. Now he's at the surface and it looks like he's gasping for air, breathing heavily. The only thing is that the water that goes into that refugium comes from a wet-dry filter, and the DT water is well oxygenated, since I've set up some pretty good ripples on the surface.

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/cardinal_refugium.jpg

What else could be the problem? He isn't eating anything tonight. Yesterday I turned up the temp. to 84 F because I thought I saw some Ich on another fish, but everybody else seems like they're doing great. Water levels are fine, but I haven't tested ammonia, etc. in a couple of days. Should I test again?

Any advice ASAP is appreciated. Thanks a lot.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:01 PM   #2
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Turn the temp down to about 80-82. Higher temps have no affect on ich in sw. The fish need to be removed from the DT and placed into qt with no subtrate and a few pieces of pvc for an easy to clean setup. They will need to go through hypo fand stay in the qt for at least a month after all signs of ich are gone. You will need to vaccum the bottom of the qt every other day to remove fallen off parasites. The DT will need to remain empty of fish for about 8 weeks to break the cycle of the parasite. Also, you will need a refractometer for hypo, others can go into hypo in more detail as I'm still fairly new to sw (I think anyway). HTH.

BTW, check nitrate ammonia and nitrite levels and post EXACT numbers, if you have strips, toss and go grab yourself a liquid test kit.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:20 AM   #3
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Like Thom mentioned... turn the temperature back down. Not only does it NOT do anything for SW ich, it also reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen in a tank. Not sure how much of a difference it makes between 80 and 84, but it does make a difference. The sudden increase in temp could also have stressed the fish - but I'd expect all your fish to be having issues if that was the case.

I'd test for ammonia/nitrite/pH and let us know. I wouldn't assume water levels are fine if you haven't test for everything.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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I turned the temperature down, but this morning the cardinal was dead. I'm going to take more tests tonight but I'm fairly certain that the levels were OK. I'll update when I get home tonight.

I didn't know that raising the temperature didn't help for SW ich. If I had known that I wouldn't have done anything, but everything I've read about ich has never covered any differences between FW and SW. Now I know, I guess...

I'm not 100% sure it's ich, though. I'm going to QT the fish with white spots on it tonight and try to find out what will work to make him better. If I can, I'll get some pictures of him tonight and maybe we can try to figure out what's wrong. Raising the temperature was a preventative measure just in case it was ich.

I thought raising the temp would be safe thing to do, but that seems to be what bothered the cardinal so much. It didn't have any effect on anyone else in the tank, though... it looked like his main issue was breathing, so it makes me thing that being in the refugium caused it. Granted, there's probably no more than 7 gallons in the refugium, and it doesn't have much motion on the surface, but I assumed that wouldn't be a problem since the rest of the tank is being oxygenated just fine and all of that water was cycling through the refugium. I thought refugium water was supposed to be the highest quality of the whole system, which is one of the reasons I put him down there (the other reasons being that it would be dark most of the time, and he wouldn't be bothered by the other fish). Is there something wrong with my assumptions here?
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Well... if the refugium is plumbed into your system, then the same water that's in your main tank is in your refugium. The water there really isn't any better... it's just that this is where the nutrient export happens. Putting a new fish in a refugium (and not a QT) is really no different than putting it in your main tank - except that it won't get harassed by any tankmates. If it comes in diseased, that disease will get into your main tank. Regarding the temperature increase - not sure that was the culprit here, but the main thing with keeping fish happy is to keep things stable. Sudden increases in temp, salinity, pH, etc when the fish is still trying to recover from the whole shock of being moved from place to place, all with different water conditions, just puts additional stress on an already stressed animal.

Personally, I had a problem getting a Bangaii to survive when I was stocking my tank. I'm afraid to say that I had three die on me before the fourth one "took". The first one never really ate and just died after a couple weeks in my QT. The second was mail order and was pretty much DOA - it died within 24 hours. The third one was doing great, eating cylopeeze like a pig. Then after a couple weeks it stopped eating, appeared to belch up a big hunk of something red, and died within hours. (I'd read about this happening to other Bangaiis also.) The fourth one was finally problem free and has been living a happy life in my tank for about 2-1/2 years now.

I'll post some good research links about SW ich when I get back to my home computer. FW and SW ich are totally different beasts.

Sorry about the loss... we've all been in your shoes at one time.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
...

I'll post some good research links about SW ich when I get back to my home computer. FW and SW ich are totally different beasts....
Oops. Kinda forgot about that. Here are the links:

Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part I by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com
Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part II by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com
Reef Frontiers

(That last link, you have to be a member and logged in to read it.)

And my favorite link for hyposalinity treatment:

ATJ's Marine Aquarium Site - Reference - Hyposalinity Treatment
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