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Old 09-29-2003, 01:53 PM   #1
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sick Harlequin Tuskfish Please help!

I just purchased a Harlequin Tuskfish on friday. Sunday morning I go to check on him and his left eye has become puffy and clouded but his right eye looks normal, and he is laying behind a piece of coral not moving much and breathing heavily. I freaked out and immediately called the pet store and they asked me what the salinity was. I have it at between 1.024-1.025 and he said it was WAY too high so I removed some water and did a freshwater drip until the salinity was 1.022. The tuskfish is the only fish in a 55 gallon with crushed coral substrate and some live rock.
Stats on the tank are:
salinity 1.022
pH - 8.0
ammonia - 0
nitrite - 0
nitrate - 40 ppm (I have had the tank up 2.5 months with 15-20 gallon water changes 1X per week and am now doing them every two days to lower the nitrates)
phosphate - 0
alkalinity ~ 2.2
temp Ė lowered yesterday from 80 to 78 to get more oxygen in the system
I have two pumps going to an undergravel filter, could it be nitrogen supersaturation? I don't know what to do.
I am panicking and don't want to lose this beautiful fish. Please tell me if there is anything I can do.
Thank you
Vivian
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Old 09-29-2003, 02:35 PM   #2
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called the pet store and they asked me what the salinity was. I have it at between 1.024-1.025 and he said it was WAY too high
Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that whatever you told them your salinity was, it would have been "wrong"? I would ask them why they think it is too high, as these fish are imported from the Indo-Pacific, where the average reef temperatures are in the low 80's, and salinity is approx. 1.025 - 1.026.

Take a peek at this article to see what the "real" issue might be:

>>A Gentle Bruiser of a Wrasse, The Harlequin Tuskfish, Choerodon (Lienardella) fasciata <<

Quoted from the above-referenced article:

Quote:
Country of Origin: Choerodon from Australian sources are best (these have bluish bordered red stripes and teeth) with a few other Indo-Pacific localities vying in consistent high-quality. Decidedly inferior are specimens hailing from the Philippines and Indonesia. Whether these are simply starved, otherwise mishandled or outright cyanided, the fact is on average they are relatively much shorter-lived; weeks instead of years. Are these fish better because they're cheaper?
Quote:
On a related note, Time In Captivity may be your best indication of "Origin" as dealers frequently have poor or misleading information concerning where their livestock was collected. Do wait a good two weeks before making a purchase of a new specimen; OR, if you're a dealer, secure a guarantee as to origin COUPLED with a warrantee.
I'm not sure what is specifically happening to your fish, it could be shock/trauma from shipping & transportation. Do you know how long the LFS had it before you purchased it?
What is your pH reading, and how much does it fall at night?

Keep us posted, and best of luck - they truly are a beautiful fish.
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Old 09-29-2003, 03:51 PM   #3
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The fish store I got it from the guy when down to a florida wholesaler to get it and just brought it back with him thursday and I picked it up friday. My ph is 8.0. What do you mean how much does it fall? You mean my temperature? I have a submersible heater with a temperature meter on it and my glass thermometer confirms it says at the temp I set it as which now is 78 .
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:30 PM   #4
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My ph is 8.0. What do you mean how much does it fall? You mean my temperature?
Nope - the pH. Normally, SW tanks will see a fluctuation in pH -- it should be highest right before your lights go out, and lowest at night - right before your lights go on. If you are measuring in the afternoon and getting a 8.0 reading, it is possible that it is dipping quite low at night.

Our pH is typically 7.95 late at night, and 8.35 toward the end of the photoperiod.
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:35 PM   #5
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I just tested again and got 8.0 The light has been out since sunday (yesterday) mornign to try to reduce the stress to the fish.
Do you have any suggestions of something to do for my fish?
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:59 PM   #6
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Do you have any suggestions of something to do for my fish?
I wish I did, but not knowing what is wrong with it, it's difficult to offer generic suggestions. My best guess is that the fish is a victim of stress from poor capture/transport methods - possibly it is cyanide caught. I honestly don't know what to do for fish which are exposed to these circumstances, or if anything can be done. The only advice I could possibly offer (which I believe you are already doing) is to maintain a stress-free environment, and insure that the water parameters are good and stable. Possibly offer it some meaty foods from time to time.

I'll post in the Advisors forum to see if there is a more knowledge *fish* person who can offer other suggestions.
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Old 09-29-2003, 06:18 PM   #7
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The fish is suffering from popeye (name is discriptive), popeye is most commonly caused by bacterial infection, high metal concentration in the water and physical injury.

Without trying to sound to critical, you should never purchase a fish the day after (or the day) the LFS gets the fish, instead put a [refundable or transferable) deposit on the fish and allow them to hold the fish for a week. During this time you should visit your fish often, make sure it is eating n=and has not contracted a disease or parasitic infestation. Next step is acclimation, how did you acclimate your new fish? A drip acclimation of several hours is best.

If this were my fish the first thing I would do is remove it to a QT tank, I would treat the tank with penicillan (one of the best for eyes) and soak all foods in vitamins.
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Old 09-29-2003, 07:49 PM   #8
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I don't want to move to a QT tank because that would just be extra stress on the fish. I'm more worried about the laying listless and breathing heavy than the eye. What kind of vitamins do you recommend soaking the food in.
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Old 09-29-2003, 08:57 PM   #9
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Selcon & Zoe are both reputable marine vitamins.
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Old 09-29-2003, 09:28 PM   #10
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Does anyone know of anything I could add to the water without having to move him to a QT so I don't have to stress him out by moving him?
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