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Old 12-04-2003, 02:22 PM   #1
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Fungal problem - black powder

I have 4 fish in 50gal SW FO tank. My first fish was a clownfish. When I purchased him, I noticed the upper portion of his body, near the top fin, had a bit of discoloration, darker.

I since have added a few more fish including another clownfish. Now, the dark discoloration in my first clownfish has spread like a fine black powder over his body. Not only that, it has spread, a bit, to the second clownfish and my lemon butterflyfish. All the fish are healthy otherwise, eating, swimming, and breathing. No signs of ICH which makes me believe this is a fungal infection. BTW, all my levels are good in the tank, although my PH is at 8, but not sure if that is an American Pharmaceutical test kit problem or I am a bit low. I need to replace my test kit to a more reliable one.

Anyways, does anyone have any suggestions? I don't really want to add a medicine that will kill my biological filtration, if possible. I have read that some are using medicines in the food. Is this possible?

Please help me,
RodneyCK
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:29 PM   #2
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Marine fungal infections are not typically darker in color but rather white or off white. It does not really sound like lympho either if its more like a dusting. Any of the area's resemble a wart of cottony substance?

If it where not for the butterfly fish's color change I would be more inclined to think this was a form of melanism which is common to clowns. What species?

Possible chance of pics?

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Steve
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:30 PM   #3
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Thanks steve-s for responding.

In the lemon butterflyfish, it is barely noticeable and it is more of a dulling of color than a light powder like the clowns. However on the percula clownfish, particularly the one, it is just a fine black covering, like someone sprinkled it with black soot or fine powder. There are no wart or cotton-like substances, so no black ich.

What is melanism?

RodneyCK
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Old 12-04-2003, 07:30 PM   #4
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Melanism is a color morph that clowns take on as they age or when inhabiting a host. Some darken in color slightly while others develope very large blackend patches usually along their existing striped pattern.

A pic would really narrow it down but unless you have seen signs of additional stress or illness I would play wait and see. Watch for surface gulping, rapid breathing, loss of appetite and/or other odd behavour.
Is the color loss in the butterfly constant or only at certain times of the day. Could be from a reaction to environmental stresses such as light changes or fast movements. It could also be an indication of improper diet... What do you feed as a daily food?

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Steve
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Old 12-04-2003, 08:24 PM   #5
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I would have to say Melanism might be the cause. I do not have a camera at this time to take a pic. There are patches of the black, very small, as if someone sprinkled to much in one place.

I feed them a variety of foods, frozen formula 1, dried flakes of Prime Reef by Ocean Nutrition, and frozen brine shrimp for an occasional treat. I feed the lemon butterflyfish lettuce sometimes; he likes it torn and floating about in the water.

The discoloration in the butterflyfish may be something entirely different from the clownfish problem, more of slight discoloration in the back section, near the yellow fin, two spots, just slightly darker in coloration.

As far as their appetite, breathing and behavior, all are doing extremely well. They are voracious eaters and show no signs of stress. I am hoping the problem will clear itself up, but the clownfish has had it since his purchase and the problem seems to be spreading, slowly.

Thanks for your help so far.

RodneyCK
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:58 PM   #6
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Keep tabs on the butterfly and post back if it gets worse. If the butterfly like roughage I would suggest trying nori or another type of dark leafy green vegetable matter. Letuce in generaal is very low in any real nutrition and won't help much. Just be sure it is well washed for possible insecticides or other chemicals.

As far as possible melanism in the clowns case, it can be caused by stress but if the fish seem to do well it is most likely one of those "just is" situations of the species..

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Old 08-08-2004, 12:31 AM   #7
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I got those black spots on my yellow tang once. My lfs said something about "Black Ick"....I did some internet searching and came up empty. He said he knew a guy who'd treated it like regular ick and it worked fine.

I did that and it did indeed seem to at least stop spreading. My wife's cousing recommended a fresh water dip...as apprehensive as I was about it, it worked like a champ.

I decided to dip all of my fish and it seemed to take care of all the black spots. My cleaner shrimp also got quite friendly with my fish afterward, which was nice to see as they'd never done that before.
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