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Old 10-17-2003, 05:29 PM   #1
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Is my tang sick?

We had two clownfish in our tank for two months before we introduced a royal blue tang. The tang had just arrived at the LFS and it was an impulsive decision (one that I now KNOW is a no-no). In any event, the tang could not eat for days (the clowns would literally take and hoard the food and fight over it). The tang has started to eat more and more and more (especially the green marine algae) and is coming out of the coral from time to time, but I noticed spots on its face a week ago. I took a picture to the LFS and they did not know what it was (ruling out ich because the spots are not bright white). I went to another LFS and they said to do 25% water changes twice a week for two weeks. The reason I'm writing to this group is that the spots seem to be getting worse. They are more of a discoloration from the blue colored skin (?) and what was once one spot is now two or three spots in a row, mainly around the top of its eyes, cheeks (?), and mouth area. The spots almost look gray to me, except if I'm looking up from the floor and then they look whitish gray. I will try to upload a photo for you to see what I'm trying to describe. The tang is also scratching itself on the corals and sand and there are small pieces of its top fin missing. I am sorry that I only come here when I have problems, but any assistance will be appreciated.

Ida
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Old 10-17-2003, 06:22 PM   #2
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There is a fish disease that is very similiar to ick it is called Amylodinium. Where Ick makes the fish look like it has been sprinkled with salt, Amylodinium makes the fish appear as if someone dusted the fish with whitish gray colored powder.

Amylodinium has a life cycle of five to eight days. At this stage the parasites reproduce by cell division, the new juveniles number from 100-1000 and they free swim in search of a new host.

Amylodinium also has a velvet look to it, fish also may scratch, swim in the jet stream, and have loss of appetite.

The most effective treatment is copper sulfate. Since copper can be moderately harmful to beneficial bacteria in the gravel, it is best to treat in a quarantine tank.

Hope this helps.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-17-2003, 11:05 PM   #3
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follow up questions

Thank you, triggers, for your response. I have two follow up questions - hope you don't mind. The tang has had a "velvet look" from day one so it's highly likely that it's as you say, Amylodinium. What also rung true is that the clownfishes both appear to have a loss of appetite and one of them (the smaller one) has been in the jet stream alt lately. Do you think that means that all three are sick? Also, I don't have gravel, just sand. Do I still need to treat them in a separate tank? I'm concerned that this has gone on so long now that it's everywhere in the tank, affecting all three fishes. Thanks again for your insight.

Ida
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Old 10-18-2003, 12:45 AM   #4
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There is a very good chance that all of them are sick.

When I wrote gravel, I was really meaning any substrate, whether it is sand, cc, aragonite. Beneficial bacteria live in the substrates and treating your main tank with copper will kill your beneficial bacteria and any invertabrets in it. However if you plan on having a fish only tank you can treat the main tank with copper, just remember anything in the tank at that time can NEVER be used in a reef tank.

If you treat your fish in a quarantine tank for a 2 - 3 weeks, in that time the parasite will not beable to find a host and eventually die.

P.S. while quarantining your fish make sure to do a 20-30% water change in your main tank.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions.
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Old 10-18-2003, 12:13 PM   #5
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If it's Amylodinium then your Clownfish are in extreme danger. The Tang may or may not be able to fight it off but the Clownfish don't have a chance. Copper doesn't work. Myracin (sp?) I believe is the cure in a Q-Tank.
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Old 10-18-2003, 04:12 PM   #6
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Antibiotics will have no affect on parasitic problems except to stave off secondary infection but it can be a good addition to any treatment. Best remedy for oodinium is actually hyposalinity. If treated early enough, it is a very effective treatment. The problem with most copper based treatments is it has limited impact on the trophonts and zero affect on the other stages much like C. irritans. No matter the parasitic problem, hypo will usually take care of it where typical remedies cannot.

The same rules apply however as other parasitic problems. All fish must be treated wether they show signs or not. The main tank must be left fallow for a period of 4-6 weeks to ensure the parasite dies off without the need to treat the main display tank.

You should also be looking into supplimenting the tangs diet with a good variety of spurlina enriched foods as well as soaking the foods in a good marine vitamin. The Regal looks like it also has HLLE.

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