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Old 11-17-2002, 01:00 PM   #1
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Help, sick blue damsel?

I'm cycling my first sw tank and added three blue damsels about 2 weeks ago. the first one died pretty quickly and looked like it had been attacked. the second one died about 4 days ago. This one also looked like it had been attacked, because it had lost all blue color in a kinda of vertical oval shape on one side. Thought the remaining damsel had attacked and killed it. Well, now the remaining blue damsel seems to be developing the same sort of vertical oval on it's side. I tried taking a picture, but it really doesn't show much.

On one side of the fish toward the tail fin is a spot that is whitess gray, could have been scraped or rubbed against the rocks. No spots, and presently no gasping or other odd behavior.

Any more experience aquarists have any ideas??
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Old 11-17-2002, 01:03 PM   #2
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given that your cycling your tank with thse guys i suspect they are suffering from ammonia exposure. Have you tested your tank for ammoina?

To tell ya the truth my blue damsel has simular discolorations when its stressed. Its odd that if you watch them 1 min the could have perfect color and then the next they have discolored areas simular to what your seeing.
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Old 11-17-2002, 01:41 PM   #3
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I tested the water the and ammonia was only at 0.2 . nitrate and nitrites were 0.

The most worrisome thing is the other died about 2 days after I noticed similar symptoms. I noticed that when stressed (when I first brought them home) these guys turned a much lighter shade of blue--almost losing all color, but it affected the entire fish, not just one spot.

Any other ideas. My big fear is that the tank is infected and any new fish introduced will simply die after exposure.
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Old 11-17-2002, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clownfish
I tested the water the and ammonia was only at 0.2 . nitrate and nitrites were 0.

The most worrisome thing is the other died about 2 days after I noticed similar symptoms. I noticed that when stressed (when I first brought them home) these guys turned a much lighter shade of blue--almost losing all color, but it affected the entire fish, not just one spot.

Any other ideas. My big fear is that the tank is infected and any new fish introduced will simply die after exposure.
You have described the classic symptoms of stress. When stressed almost all damsels will lose color all over their body, or they will hava a darker mottled coloration. What is causing the stress? IMO, it is the increasing ammonia level in the tank. .2 ppm ammonia is a considerible amount. Especially when you consider that these fish are from the ocean where there is never any ammonia. The fact that damsels are used to cycle tanks shows one thing, they are cheap. Many damsels will survive the cycleing process (most don't), but so will many yellow tangs, or groupers, or eels or lionfish, or probably the toughest fish on the planet triggerfish. Damsels are used because if the ammonia soup you put them in does kill them, your out only 3.99 rather than 20-50 for the nicer tough fish. When cycling with fish, you do run the risk of infecting your tank with parasites, as the stress of the cycle gets to them they weaken and the parasite gains a foothold (just another reason not to use fish to cycle a tank). The fish could have died from a bacterial infection, this is not a problem, cause almost all bacterial infections are secondary to other factors...like stress from increasing ammonia levels. So no matter which way you slice it, the root cause of the fish deaths is the rising ammonia levels.
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Old 11-18-2002, 10:20 AM   #5
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To save the fishes life, try doing some water changes. Believe it or not, it won't slow your cycling down very much at all. We're talking by a couple of days, max.
Just because they're cheap doesn't mean they don't want to live......
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Old 11-18-2002, 11:11 AM   #6
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okay, thanks for replies, I think...

To clear up a few points: I want my damsel to live, that's why posted on this board. I appreciate that those of you with strong opinions love excuses such as mine to get up on soap boxes, but at this point it's really not helping. Seems to me that the rant really belonged on the general board. Maybe I shouldn't use these little guys while cycling; I'm new to the hobby. But I read alot and talked to many that suggested it.

Also, this blue damsel has NOT changed color over his entire body. Only, one small area (as of now). My most recent post said they changed when I first brought them home, but quickly changed back.

Water change idea is a good, and i'll give it a try. Any other helpful thoughts would appreciated...if you want just yell at me send me an email.
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Old 11-18-2002, 11:28 AM   #7
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but at this point it's really not helping
Remove the fish to another tank and/or use amquel to reduce the ammonia in the display tank. Look for redness or red streaks around the white area or the oval area, or any inflamation for that matter, if noticed treat with E-mycin.

Quote:
Seems to me that the rant really belonged on the general board.
Sorry if you felt it was a rant. I was simply supporting fishfreeks position. He offered you an answer to your question, and you said it wasn't it, I illustrated why it probably was.

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if you want just yell at me send me an email.
I don't think anyone was yelling. I know I certainly wasn't, this is a friendly board, but I will not, nor do I want any of the members to sugarcoat their advice. If people are so afraid to offend that they do not give out the info needed, it will result in needless fish/invert loss.

As far as the soapbox is concerned....this hobby has alot of different ways to get to the same destination. This hobby is opinionated, as well as the people that tend to be involved in it. You are gonna get your fair share of soapbox posts, and before it's all over with, you'll probably step up on the soapbox with a few of us, so don't be so hard on us, we just want what's best for your fish, which will save you heartache and money.
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Old 11-18-2002, 11:38 AM   #8
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Another thought I just had...look very closely at the white area, does it look like cotton? It could be a "bacterial fungus". True fungi are rare in S/W, but not unheard of, but there is a bacterial infection that resembles the cottony appearance of a fungus. It typically occurs on the head and gills, but it is a possibility.
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Old 11-18-2002, 11:53 AM   #9
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I am sorry you feel that the advice given was given in a manor that your taking it as. But I have to say that since all three responses have instructed on the same thing.

Water change, Reduce Ammoinia, Stress

That if your looking for someone else to toss an idea into the ring that you like more your gonna be looking rather hard because all the signs lead to stress caused by high ammonia and the only way to really rid your tank of this is to perform a water change.
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Old 11-18-2002, 12:44 PM   #10
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I appreciate all the advice and am doing a water change to reduce ammonia. I understand that stress can lead to a number of aliments and that right now, my tank is a stressfull environment.

I think I'm doing a poor job describing the color change, it looks more like a scrape than anything else -- that's the only reason I seem resistant to the "color change due to stress advice" I'm afraid it's something worse.

I actually hope that stress/ammonia is the answer, since parasite, etc. would be worse IMO.

fishfreek wasn't ignoring or belittling your advice-- just wanted to see if anyone else had additional or different advice as Reefrunner69 said this a group of hobbist and everyone has an opinion.

Reefrunner69 -- I understand your point about the soapbox, that's why I suggested it for the general discussion area. My point was I couldn't go back in time and didn't want to kill my fish. So don't lecture me after the fact. That said, I said was taking your (other) advice and did appreciate that part of your post.

WITH THAT OUT OF THE WAY ---

This morning there does seem to be a cottony growth for want of a better word coming from a small part of the affected area. Fish is still swiming fine with no gasping or other odd behavior. If it is a bacterial fungus what can I do about it??
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