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Old 01-09-2006, 10:38 PM   #1
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Tang needs your help!

I have a scopas tang that is about 5". About a month ago I noticed that on both sides of the tang toward the rear just front side of the 'spurs' the scales got real black. They seemed to form a kind of small circle. I though maybe I was not feeding it proper (Though its been on the same diet for more then a year now) I started putting a 2" x 3" sheet of green and sometimes purple seaweed in its clip every day (instead of 2 - 3 times a weeK). I also started to add some freeze dried krill to its (and all the other fish in the tank) staple diet of flakes. All the other fish were and continue to be fine. The twist...I went on vaca and had a friend feed. All the while the tang seemed to be gaining weight back (Due to cutbacks from nitrate issues, the tang had gotten a little 'pinched', a sign of underfeeding). It was/is never lathargic, always active. The only changes before I went on vacation was those dark spots (black scales) just front side of its spurs. Anyway, when I went on vaca I put 2 clips in the tank of seaweed (green and purple) and I also clipped a good portion of macro algae from my other tank and dropped it in (Chaetomorpha sp, aka Chaeto) as a fail safe. Fast forward 2 weeks after my vaca. I noticed the chaeto was still in the back of the tank where I left it. My buddy did a good job of feeding, no one lost weight. Another week passes and the chaeto disappears. Why do I look? Cause there is this white stringy looking stuff (Like bleached clear chaeto) hanging from the tangs butt. At first I freak thinking its bloat or something, but then I looked and all the cheato is gone. I *assume* the tang went on a binge and consumed it during the week or so and its coming out in, well, not so pleasant a manner. Fish is still fine, swimming, appetite is great. Fast forward to today...I get home and notice the scales seem to have a wide (about 1/2") white verticle line that is white-ish. Not pale white, but kinda like someone rubben baby powder on its body in a vertical line just past the half way mark on its side. The other side looks ok, but I also notice some, for lack of better words, blonding in spots on its fins. The fish is happy, great appetite, not showing aggression or stress, just these strange visual signs. I feed the food dipped in Selcon a couple times (started this a couple months ago) a week so I wouldn't think it to be a vitamine deficiency, however, thats why I am here. I am more a coral reef guy. Fish came with the tank and I do care for them, Im just not as informed about fish as I am with coral. My question...*puff* *puff*...Is it sick? Is it going to be sick? Is it growing or going into 'heat' or something? If you have input, please advise.

Peace.
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Old 01-09-2006, 10:57 PM   #2
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Where to start...

When you say "spurs" do you mean the caudal spikes at the base of the tail just before the tail fin? May be nothing but it has similarities to an infection possibley or got itself ito a scuffle. What other fish, what do the water specs read and how often do you do water changes?

Before the fish starting "passing" the chaeto, was the color of the feces dark or a similar pale color? Also look near the base of the tail as closely as you can and see if there is a red line running front to back... Also you mention the tang gaining weight, is this a newer addition or something that has progressed over time?

As for the white area, hard to say as well. Might be a slight abbrassion, color loss from stress of the onset/scaring of MHLLE.

There's actually a tonne of questions coming to mind but lets start there. Any chance of a pic?

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Old 01-09-2006, 11:11 PM   #3
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Where to start...

When you say "spurs" do you mean the caudal spikes at the base of the tail just before the tail fin? Yes
May be nothing but it has similarities to an infection possibley or got itself ito a scuffle. What other fish, what do the water specs read and how often do you do water changes? Gramma, clown, 2 damsels, 6 line wrasse, cleaner (Skunk) cbs, corals. Water params of last night were a 0, n02 0, no3 ~2.5, po4 0 alk 8 - 8.4. WC about once a month someimes a little more freq at 10G per change.

Before the fish starting "passing" the chaeto, was the color of the feces dark or a similar pale color? Normal last time I sawAlso look near the base of the tail as closely as you can and see if there is a red line running front to back... Also you mention the tang gaining weight, is this a newer addition or something that has progressed over time? No line that I can see. Tang has been with me and its tank mates for over a year.

As for the white area, hard to say as well. Might be a slight abbrassion, color loss from stress of the onset/scaring of MHLLE.

There's actually a tonne of questions coming to mind but lets start there. Any chance of a pic? I did take some but they just aren't clear enough. Dang tang won't pose..I'll try hard to get another

Cheers
Steve
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:37 PM   #4
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Sent you a pic in a message. Out of disk space for posts..
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:48 AM   #5
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From what I can tell a parasite is not immediately evident although not ruled out... How long have you had the gramma and the clown and did either ever require treatment or give you second thoughts on health?
How long ago was the last fish/item added to the tank?
Have you noticed if the tang always beds down in it's usual place or has that changed?
Is the tang always trying to get "cleaned"?

Baring the presence of a parasite, the depigmentation looks stress/diet related otherwise. Please post the exact foods types used, how often each is fed and how you go about using the Selcon. In the interim, I would step up the water changes to every other day for the next week (well aged/aerated) and step up your regular maintenance to weekly after that. This could just be a simple matter of improving the diet and living conditions a bit.

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Steve
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #6
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Oh, here's the pic....
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File Type: jpg scopas_133.jpg (84.9 KB, 43 views)
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:28 PM   #7
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The fish looks fine today. Everything looks like normal. The darker spots still remain, but otherwise, the blonde bloches and white bloches are gone. Maybe it was just a run in with a rock that it misjudged and got scraped. The tang loves to swim on its side through rock work.
As for exact diet I feed the tank Marineflakes everyday. About every 2 or 3 days I use a pinch of 2 little fishes mixed sea veggies. The clown and the tang are the only ones that eat the veggies. I use Selcon about once a week. I pinch some dried flakes/seaveggies and drop into the feeding cup then gather it all to one spot. Then drop the selcon on the pile and let it soak. I add a little bit of aquarium water after to make sure its all soaked. I wait till everything is soaked then pour off as much of the water as I can. Redip into the aquarium and start dropping in a little food at a time. As I mentioned before I also started using Ocean Nutritions seaweed (Green) and Julian Springs seaweed (purple..Tang prefers the Ocean Nutrition..) I clip about a 2" x 3" piece which is normally completely consumed in 24 HRs. I clip the seaweed in about every other day. Again the clown and the tang are the veggie lovers.
All food is given in moderation, Im living proof that overfeeding can bring on some serious bouts of hair algae.
Again, today it looks like nothing ever happened. 24 HR fish flu maybe? No clue. Maybe the fresh Chaeto cleaned him out. Dunno. Sorry the pic stunk, but I was going to get my wife to help take another tonight. He looks fine now though..Clueless..
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:14 PM   #8
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Sounds like it may have been a simple stress event or scrape as you suggest, hopefully so. I would still suggest the water changes just to be on the safe side. At the very least it will help, not hinder. As for the feedings, I am a little hesitant of the food values for most flake foods but I would urge you (even if as a comparison) to try some different foods, preferabley frozen preparations. They are quite often far superior to flake, less polluting and will feed much more than just the fish. They can be purchased in a wide variety of types/flavors in a gel binder mush form and will appeal to most all fish. Although the flake has worked in the past, a healthier immune system may have defeated this where the flake was not "up to par". At any rate, worth considering.

As for the veggies, I would up that do daily if you can even if you cut the portion amount down some to curb pollution. Daily smaller feedings as apposed to larger on/off day feedings for herbavors is a much healthier way to go about it. Again this all goes to strengthening immune response and overall health.

Cheers
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