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Old 06-05-2005, 09:40 AM   #1
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Possible Ick-like disease...but no additions x 6 weeks..why?

My 40 Gallon Breeder Reef Tank has been up and running since January. I have never had a fish death...and everything has been WONDERFUL with the tank...until this week!!

Tank Parameters:
pH=8 (According to Salifert test....which give too wide a range in my opinion)
Ammonia and Nitrites: 0
Phosphate: 0.5ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm ( a little higher than the 5ppm it has been running)
Ca: 420ppm
Alk: 10.4 dKh
Temp: 81 (with recent heat)
SG: 1.024
Use RO/DI water that test with a TDS Meter at 2ppm.

My Royal Gramma has now started to show some very small whitish/clear bubbles..much smaller than the pictures of Ick I have seen. These dots are mostly on the face and tail. I am guessing perhaps 30-50 little dots on him. He is scratching himself on rocks, and appears distressed...hanging around is different areas than he used to. Eating poorly...and starting to get thin. I have noticed some very small whiteish/clear dots on my Firefish also...but shows no signs of distress. No other fish are showing any signs of problems or distress.

I have not added any fish to the tank in 6 weeks, and had my Gramma since February. I have only added a Ricorda Coral, 2 small Gorgonians, and 2 small orange cucumbers to the tank 4 weeks ago.

All other inhabitants seem to be doing well...except for one of the Gorgonian...the white filter feeders of it have not come out in over a week. Could it be dead?? It seems to look the same except for to no feeding. If is is dead..this could be what is leading to my higher Nitrate readings...perhaps??

Also...2 weeks ago...I changed from Instant Ocean Reef Crystal to Tropic Marin Reef Pro salt for my 10% weekly water changes...problems started about 4-5 days after the first 10% water change. Could it be the salt...I thought Tropic Marin Pro Reef was about the best you could get?

I am willing to try any recommendations!! Thanks for the help!

WC
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90 Gallon Fresh Water Planted w/ CO2:
7 Brilliant Rasbora, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows, 1 Red Tailed Shark, 2 American Flag Fish, 4 Skunk Botia Loaches

40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

3 Gallon Eclipse:
1 Goldfish (won free at a fair...cost $50 in equipment)
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:44 PM   #2
steve-s
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Could you please post a pic of the fish? It could possibley be parasitic but 4 weeks after the last addition of anything seems rather odd.

FWIW, changing saltmixes should be done at a snails pace. Animals will become used to a certain chemsitry and abrupt changes can often cause numerous problems. It is best done very slowly and at ¬Ĺ the normal amount (or less) of changes over 6-8 weeks if not longer depending on species in the tank. It is primarily a concern for sessile/motile inverts but other animals can be equally as sensitive. This kind of change is very stressful on the tank system on the whole.

Have you changed your feeding routine at all (higher nitrate) or was this also detected after the switch in salt?

Are these the only fish? You mention a firefish that is not listed here?
Quote:
Inhabitants: Royal Gramma, Pygmy Angel, 2 Ocellaris Clowns, Yellow Watchman Gobie,
Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-05-2005, 02:03 PM   #3
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If you are topping off with cold water, that can cause a parasite outbreak. (I found out the hard way)
I have a yellow tang that has been in my tank for over a year now and it started getting "white spots". I added a cleaner wrasse and he did his job. Very inexpensive.

I hope you get it worked out.
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75 Gal. Reef Ready Tank.
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Old 06-05-2005, 02:28 PM   #4
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Parasites do not appear from "nowhere", they must be added. Cold water added to a tank will definately cause stress but there in no way it can cause a parasite to appear.

You simpley misdiagnosed the problem.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-05-2005, 02:30 PM   #5
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Royal Gramma, Pygmy Angel, 2 Ocellaris Clowns, Yellow Watchman Gobie, and a Purple Firefish (the latest addition 6 weeks ago) is my fish complement in the tank.

Other inverts are: 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, 3 Purple Urchins, 2 Olive Snails, 2 Small Gorgonians (1 may be dead...pulling him out tonight), 2 yellow spiny Sea Cucumbers, and 20ish Hermits and Snails

Another thought is that 3 weeks ago...I gave away nine 1.5-2 inch Purple urchins that were hitchhikers with my live rock. The tank had too many and I could not keep any Coraline Alage that grew. I am wondering if the nitrate could have increased due to the fact I took 9 of the more important aspects of the cleaning crew away.

I have fed the same amount for several months (about 1/2 of a frozen cube of either Formula 1, Formula 2, Prime Reef, and an occasional small scraping of frozen Cyclopeeze a day)

The water I am topping off with is Room Temp..and I never add more than 1/2 a gallon a day.

I will try to get a picture of the Gramma up.

I thought I was changing the salt slow enough...with 3-4 gallons of new salt a week. I will try to get a small amount of reef crystals (as I am out)...and change over more slowly.

I cannot get a cleaner wrasse...as I am pretty well maxed with fish, and for the reasons that Bob Fenner mentions in his book...although I am sure he would do a good job. The Gramma will not let the Cleaner Shrimps anywhere near him though.

Thanks for the help!!

WC
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90 Gallon Fresh Water Planted w/ CO2:
7 Brilliant Rasbora, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows, 1 Red Tailed Shark, 2 American Flag Fish, 4 Skunk Botia Loaches

40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

3 Gallon Eclipse:
1 Goldfish (won free at a fair...cost $50 in equipment)
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Old 06-06-2005, 12:44 PM   #6
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The Gramma past away this morning. I guess nothing we could have done could have helped him with only hours of life left.

Lets hope for no Parasites...for the rest of the tank's sake!

Thanks for the help!

WC
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90 Gallon Fresh Water Planted w/ CO2:
7 Brilliant Rasbora, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows, 1 Red Tailed Shark, 2 American Flag Fish, 4 Skunk Botia Loaches

40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

3 Gallon Eclipse:
1 Goldfish (won free at a fair...cost $50 in equipment)
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:06 PM   #7
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Sorry for your loss

Unfortunate you where not able to get a pic though. It would have told wether or not it was bacterial or parasitic. The symptoms you describe along with the tank history would suggest more likely bacterial or possible a water contaminant/quality issue. I do not think it's the change in salt if your doing only 3-4 gal/week.

Keep an eye on the rest and post back if anything looks "amiss". I would however suggest using some carbon or polyfilter just to be safe on water contamination. Normally I would also suggest a few extra water changes but it's not really a good idea when switching saltmix's.

Cheers
Steve
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