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Old 03-26-2006, 02:30 PM   #1
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Raccoon Butterfly, help!

I have a raccoon butterfly that just mysteriously made a turn for the worse overnight. I have had it for a few days and haven't noticed any problems, it was swimming around and eating just fine. It had been at the local fish shop for 2 weeks prior to me buying it. It has some mysterious red spots on its body just above its ventral fin (see picture). I have moved it over to a separate hospital tank now. Its not swimming around and is just lying up against things.

My main tank details are 72 gallon, 85lbs Fiji rock, 45lbs live sand, 2 percula clowns, 1 coral beauty angel, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp and several dwarf hermit crabs. Water parameters are Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrate are all 0 or very close, PH was 8.1, SG 1.024. Any ideas???
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Old 03-26-2006, 03:51 PM   #2
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Water parameters are Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrate are all 0 or very close,
Which of the three came out close to but not zero? It's best to post the numbers of the test results.

The fish looks like it has a bacterial infection and being the animal isn't swimming and quite down I highly doubt the animal will survive, but you could try using an antibiotic.

The fish should have been put in a QT right when you brought it home regardless of how long the store had it. Every new fish should be put in a QT for about two weeks before being introduced into the main tank.

How did the coral beauty take to the raccoon upon introduction? Just curious to know if the angel was over curious or showed any signs of aggression toward the butterfly.
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:50 PM   #3
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TCTFish, thanks for your reply,

Ammonia and Nitrite were both 0, Nitrate was around 1.

The coral beauty initially ran it off from its spot in the tank where it usually stays at night once the tank lights go out. After that the butterfly stayed away from that spot and they both would be swimming together without any problems in other areas of the tank.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:00 PM   #4
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I'm wondering if maybe the butterfly may have been injured during any sparring with the angel and became infected. From what you mentioned here, that is a possibility. Injuries could come from knocking into rocks while being chased, biting, scraping from the angel's fins and jabbing from the angel's cheek spines. Not a very warm welcome, huh??? The injuries themselves could be superficial, but it's the infection that makes it bad.

Try the Melafix. Chemical based meds may be too caustic and burn the fish. As mentioned before, I doubt the fish will survive, but it's worth a shot. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:21 PM   #5
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Thank you again, I'll give that a try. Since moving it to the other tank it has moved around a little on its own but like you I am doubtful of a recovery. Thanks again
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:52 AM   #6
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Melafix will amount to as much as doing nothing at all, I would not suggest it for any reason. I do agree the prognosis is not good though.

The two most common problems you will deal with in regards to Bflys is worm infestations and/or Vibrio infections, sometimes velvet. Really depends on what it was housed with at the LFS. In the fish's current condition, most of the recommended remedies would most likely kill it. I would first try to attempt getting the fish responsive again and swimming. Lower the salinity over the next day to 14 ppt, 20% water changes with buffered RO/fresh water. This will greatly improve it's wasted energy reserves normally spent maintaining osmotic balance. It may not amount to anything but it's a good first step.

Do the red areas look like open sores or a rash, are there any scales standing on end? Do you see anything moving on/in the fish?

Has the fish accepted foods at all since you got it? It looks rather thin...

Cheers
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:34 AM   #7
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The melafix can help prevent further infection. A simple and mild step to stablizing a down fish with open sores regardless of what made those sores. It's worked for me and better than nothing when as you said, most remedies would most likely kill the fish. This is a do or die situation. I have found Melafix can be used more effectively as a first aid application than a treatment. Once stablized and if this is perhaps just infected wounds, alone in a pristine reef tank would do it a lot of justice...if we can get the fish that far. Parasites really don't fit because of the fish being in the store for a couple of weeks without breaking down. Though doesn't hurt to look; I doubt that's the case.

BTW bcismmajor, how is the fish doing?
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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While Melafix may help prevent uninfected wounds from becoming infected, it will do nothing to prevent further infection or slow the advance of an already infected area.

RE: Parasites (a rather largely encompassing word), it is most definately a possibility. If the fish was otherwise unstressed, properly cared for/fed, problems will not always quickly manifest. It can take weeks for some, less for others. Quickly diagnosing a "mabye" is not in the fish's best interest.

Cheers
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:17 PM   #9
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Oooh, that's an expensive fish. I hope it pans out for you. It's because of things like this happening once you get fish home that I wish stores provided even a basic insurance incentive for buying pricey fish there.
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