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Old 12-21-2003, 04:32 PM   #1
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Grieving the loss of my Yellow Tang

I am really hoping someone can help me. I purchased a Yellow Tang from my LFS after watching it there for 10 days. It was swimming great, eating, and seemed healthy in general. I brought it home and acclimated it for a few hours. After a day or so it seemed the picture of health, swimming great, eating algae as well as food, all in all healthy. Then I did a partial water change. This was done because of another issue I cant figure out. All of my water levels are great except for natrate is about 60-70 ppm. Nothing else is high.... hmmmmm???

Anyway a few days after the change it started acting lethargic, and I noticed a strange brown coloration behind her gills, as well as what seemed to be small bumps. This was the worst in the morning when the lights first came on, then seemed to lessen.

Concerned I took photos and went to the LFS where they told me it was normal for Tangs to get the brown color when they were in the dark and not to worry as long as it was eating and I kept lettuce or broccili in the tank at all times.

Needless to say she was dead when I got up 2 days later.

I loved having the Tang in the tank, it added alot, and is one of my favorite fish. I would like to get another but am weary. Do you think the problem was fish related of tank related. I was thinking maybe a Hippo Tang instead?

TIA for all help
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Old 12-21-2003, 07:45 PM   #2
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Concerned I took photos and went to the LFS where they told me it was normal for Tangs to get the brown color when they were in the dark and not to worry as long as it was eating and I kept lettuce or broccili in the tank at all times.
Can you post the pics?

Do you quarantine your fish?

I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 12-21-2003, 11:30 PM   #3
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The Yellow Tangs seem to be very good indicators of poor water conditions by the "brown spots" that they get. We've had our Yellow Tang for 4 months now and he is very fat and happy. He eats everything that goes in the tank and loves his garlic soaked Nori.
I would say that some of you water parameters are way off and that's what did him in. How long have you had your tank set up?

Sorry to hear about your loss........we've been there too!

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Old 12-22-2003, 12:05 PM   #4
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Unfortunately I deleted the pics...

the rest of my fish seem fine
water is

Niitrate 50 ppm
nitrite 0
alkalinity 180 ppm
ph 8.0
ammonia 0

My tank has been up for about 3 months

Other fish include a lunar wrasse, a maroon clown, a seabae anemone, plus various other cleaners ( hermits, starfish, urchin)

Also in addition to my profile I added a Remora skimmer last a few weeks ago

What can i do about my natrate levels....
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Old 12-22-2003, 04:23 PM   #5
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What can i do about my natrate levels....
55 gallon, eheim 2213 canister filter, 30lbs of live rock, ebo jager heater, crushed coral base, coralife power compact light / hood.

Unfortunately, unless you are doing daily 5-10% waterchanges, you are always gonna have nitrate issues with this set up. There is not enough LR for efficient denitrification and the canister filter and the cc bed are nitrate sinks. Switch the cc for a shallow sand bed (with a fine grain sand) add 50-75 lbs more LR or base rock and remove the cannister filter and I think you'll see the nitrates drop off in a couple of months.

As for the tang...it is possible that it succumbed to a bacterial infection or simply stress (maroons often harrass new tank mates), but from they symptoms I'd guess a bacterial infection. Possibly due to the poor water quality, I would do several waterchanges to help get the chemistry better in line and continue with frequent regular water changes to maintain water quality and inprove tank health. With nitrates like that, it won't be too long before the sebae also begins to have water quality issues.
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:46 PM   #6
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I have increased the live rock to approx 60lbs...

Are you suggesting that I get rid of the filter all together? Should I replace it with something else? I was back at the LFS last night and they suggested that 60ppm is no big deal in a tank like mine and not to worry.

BTW I try to do 10% water changes every 2 weeks
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:41 AM   #7
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I am sorry to hear about your lost. Hope you and your family have a great Holidays
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Old 12-27-2003, 04:28 AM   #8
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From everything I understand your nitrates should be as close to 0 as possible. My tank had an explosion in nitrates due to not having time to care for it properly and mine got up to around 40 ppm. I am convinced this is why my yellow tang kicked the bucket, he was perfectly healthy for quite a while before. Learned the water change lesson the hard way. Your first best step is probably to clean up you water. A FW tank can do well with higher nitrates, perhaps your LFS person doesn't realize how much cleaner SW tanks should be. I know I didn't.
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Old 12-28-2003, 09:37 AM   #9
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Hi guys, when you do a 10% water change, how to add clean water? Directly from tap? Or leave the tap water for one night before pouring it into the tank? Or mix sea salt and add salt water? I'm really confuse with this.

Ogden10, sorry to hear about ur yellow tang. I loves yellow tang too, but I want to gather more info before buying it. BTW ogden10, did ur maroon clown keep disturbing any of ur fish? Because I would like to buy a maroon, but i'm afraid it would kill my fish.
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Old 12-28-2003, 01:24 PM   #10
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Hi guys, when you do a 10% water change, how to add clean water? Directly from tap? Or leave the tap water for one night before pouring it into the tank? Or mix sea salt and add salt water? I'm really confuse with this.
The best source for water is RO. Tap water has far to many impurities in it and should be avoided if possible. If you are unable to obtain RO water, then the tap water should at least be treated with a marine water conditioner perferabley without aloe in it. Personally, I would recommend Seachems Prime.

Once the source water is obtained, add the required saltmix in a seperate mixing bucket to bring the new water to the same salinity as the main tank. Let that mix with a PH and add a heater to bring it to the same temp as the main tank. After about 24 hrs, check the ph to ensure it also match's the main tank. Once the new SW is ready, remove an equal amount of old water from the tank to that of what you've prepared and discard it later. You can then safely add the new SW to the tank slowly and preferabely in a high flow area. If you have filter pads, carbon and such; this would also be a good time to rinse those (unless replaced). You can use the removed tank water that will later be discarded. This will allow a majority of the "critters" to survive rather than rinsing with FW which will destroy them.

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