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Old 09-21-2003, 07:48 PM   #1
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Quarantine treatment failed; angel died

Our beautiful emperor angel fish died in his quarantine tank last night. He had what looked like fin rot that has spread to his left flank and head. He had been quarantined for ~ 5 days, getting a treatment with Maracyn 2. The tank parameters had been stable, except that temperature oscillated between 75 & 81 degrees, due to either cheap heater or our inept adjusting. I hope to get some advice on why this was the outcome, to save future fish. I think the most likely causes were:

1. Waited too long, and disease had progressed too far

2. Used wrong antibiotic

3. Temperature oscillations caused too much stress.

Re #1, delay was caused by our inexperience setting up a quarantine tank. We accepted a free batch of CC substrate from LFS for it, and we kept having nitrite spikes. We later learned that quarantine tanks should have no sand, no CC, nothing but glass. Won't make that mistake again.

Re. #2, gram-neg antibiotic was recommended; LFS gave us the Maracyn 2 even though it did not specifically say it was gram-neg. Wrong stuff?

Grateful for any advice.

On the bright side, the surviving six fish in our 40-gal SW tank are thriving.

Bob Peitzke
Pacific Palisades, CA
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:10 PM   #2
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Did the fish ever eat? Fin and Tail rot is often remedied by the fish itself in good water conditions and a good diet, Either a gram + or a gram - antibiotic should have eaily cured a case of fin and tail rot. Unfortunately sometimes the stress of capture shipping and captivity are too much for the fish. BTW, an emporer angel get's entirely too large for a 40g tank, I wouldn't recommend replacing him with another emperor.
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:30 PM   #3
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He'd been eating in main tank but hardly in Q tank

Yes, he had been eating in the main tank, though we thought he had become less aggressive. He barely ate at all in the quarantine tank, not at all the last 2 or 3 days.

Water conditions - we had ph ~ 8.0 in both tanks; SG ~ 1.020 in both. Temp ~ 78, but like I said it oscillated 2 degrees either way in Q tank. Ammonia zero in both. We'd been having small nitrite spikes in the main tank, which I think were caused by bioload from several snails that died while we were on vacation. I'm not sure whether they (turbans) died from not getting righted, or ph & SG too low. Also the filter hadn't been cleaned in > 3 months. I cleaned it yesterday & changed charcoal - but it didn't really look too bad.

I agree on emperor being too big for our tank; I'm lobbying for not getting another fish until we get a bigger tank, but I may not win that one. LFS guy says we can have more fish, and family hears what they want to hear. (sigh)

I suspect we should be keeping our ph and SG a little higher, even if we don't get more snails. Whatcha think?
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Old 09-21-2003, 09:06 PM   #4
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I think your SG should be 1.025 @ 80-82*F. Your ph should be stable at 8.2, 8.3 or 8.4.
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Old 09-22-2003, 11:55 AM   #5
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Temp that high? (80-82)

Hi, Kevin,

>>I think your SG should be 1.025 @ 80-82*F. Your ph should be stable at 8.2, 8.3 or 8.4.<<

You think the temp should be that high? All the fish ranges I see on www.liveaquaria.com are 72-78.

Our SG has been barely 1.020. We're ramping it up toward 1.022 - would 1.025 be better for the fish, and/or for snails?

PH - We use the Tetra test kits, which don't have color bands between 8.0 and 8.4 - we'll have to estimate.

Thanks for your advice.

Cheers,

Bob Peitzke
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Old 09-22-2003, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
You think the temp should be that high? All the fish ranges I see on www.liveaquaria.com are 72-78.
Aside from LiveAquaria being often wrong...What are Natural Reef Salinities and Temperatures--Really--and Does It Matter?

Quote:
Our SG has been barely 1.020. We're ramping it up toward 1.022 - would 1.025 be better for the fish, and/or for snails?
Your snails and any other mobile inverts will be very unhappy at this lowered SG.

Quote:
PH - We use the Tetra test kits, which don't have color bands between 8.0 and 8.4 - we'll have to estimate.
Invest in a better more precise test kit, like salifert, hach, lamotte, etc...
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Old 09-22-2003, 12:47 PM   #7
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Test kits

Hi, Kevin,

>>Invest in a better more precise test kit, like salifert, hach, lamotte, etc... <<

I'll see what I can find. I don't think our LFS has these - may need to buy online.

Thanks for the pointer to that paper by Dr. Shimek.

Regards,

Bob
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Old 09-22-2003, 02:25 PM   #8
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Check www.marinedepot.com they have extremely good prices on their kits.. I use seachem and Salifert as I used to have Red SEa and it was completely off.. Stay away from REd Sea... I think I paid like 25.00 for the seachem Basic set and 15.00ea for both CA and PO4 tests.. Seachem has references in the sets in case you feel as though its reading incorrectly..

HTH,
James
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