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Old 12-30-2004, 02:09 AM   #1
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Blue Tang: Sick or Scars? A few questions..

Ok, I have a blue tang that I have had for about 2 months. Since Day one and even now, the fish has been great: he swims around all the time, is very playful, eats like a mainiac everytime i feed (eats mysis shrimp and flakes 2x day); to me he seems very happy.

The other day, i noticed him "dive bombing" the sand, where he would scratch or whatnot on one particular side. After watching him do this, i caught a glimpse of where he was scratching and low and behold, there was marks on the fish. The marks do not look like ich whatsoever, but more like a few relativly large scratches.

I freaked out, tried to take some pics of the fish with my camera phone and went up to the lfs. They couldn't tell anything from the pics (low quality), they did test all my water and said that all my testings came out great (ammonina, salinity, nitrites, nitrates, ph, calcium). He told me to watch the fish and if it got any worse QT it.

I went ahead and bought a cleaner shrimp and put him in my main tank, and the tang fell in love with him immediatly, swimming over to him roughly once every hr to let the shrimp hop on and do some cleaning. After watching this, i assumed to go ahead and set up the QT tank.

I set up a 20H tank for QT, used roughly 13 gal of the main tank water in the qt tank with the other 7 new mixed, set up filter (no cartrige),heater, airpump with stones, and a castle decoration for the tang to hide out on/in.

1. What does the illness sound like? like i said, it visably looks like scratches (like if a cat clawed a human on the cheek, thats what my tang looks like in the face); scratches are darker in color (greyish)

2. Am i making the right decision by QTing? how long should i QT for? Is there anything I am missing with the QT tank?

3. also, i bought organi-cure as recommended by lfs, but i see on aa that some users don't prefer it.. what is a good med to use?

4. after reading about treatments on this page, the hyposalinity is brought up alot.. question: what is a refractometer? any links to where you can buy one/what it is? curious

Being that i have been worried for a couple of days, I went ahead tonight and put him in the qt tank. Any comments/suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:16 AM   #2
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If you had him for 2 months and fine till now it's likely not parasitic. These fish scratch here and there even in the wild, when no disease is present. He could have scratched on a rock and caused the marks on him (I have seen this with my hippo as well) and now it may be more itchy since there's a slight injury. I would not qt him, but do some large water changes to minimize any chance of an infection to that area. Try to do several 20-30% changes with mixed (24hrs) and aerated sw (check ph, temp, sg) - do this over the next several days / weeks. If the physical symptoms get worse, let us know. Just keep the water quality extra high and he should heal on his own.
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