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Old 01-29-2005, 09:18 PM   #1
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Yellow Tang Appears Sick / Starfish is Injured

. Help Please. I am a new saltwater tank owner x 2-months. I have a 30gallon marine tank with 5 small fish (2 damsels, 1 tang, 1 foxface, 1 clown, & 2 starfish). Recently I've noted two events:
My yellow tang has developed what appear to be red spots on the body near the fins (almost like internal hemorrhages). The tang is acting fine and eating, however, I'm not sure what the diagnosis is or what the treatment is? I had my water checked at the store - all was well except for slightly low pH 7.8. That is being corrected at this time. I started adding UltraCure BX Gel-Tek to the food per my aquarium store.
Has anyone seen this or know how to treat the condition? Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
The second event - one of my starfish seems to have "broken" part of one of its limbs. I don't know how this occurred, however, I imagine it will grow back. Is this common?
Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:30 PM   #2
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First of all, welcome to AA!!!
We will try and give you some help here, but you have some fundamental problems right from the start and these may be the reason for the ailments.
What are the ammonia and nitrate reading. I see the PH is low, 7.8 is low and is at least part of the problem. Need to get that PH slowly raised to the 8.0-8.4 range.
You main problem is that the tank is way overstocked. The tang needs a system at least 2 1/2 times this size for starter. Overcrowding a tank like this will cause a variety of water quality problems and lead to losses. The Tang sounds like it is suffering from environmental stress already. Poor water quality may be the star's problem as well. Inverts are very sensitive to poor water quality and he may be starting to fall apart.
The general rule of thumb is 2" of adult size fish per 10 gallons of water. My advise is to return the tang and one of the other fish. That will help things right off the bat.
Not trying to be harsh, just giving it to you straight. Your LFS should have advised you in the same manner.
I would also get your own water test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH for starters. These are the basics everyone should have. I wouldn't rely just on your LFS to monitor your water quality.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:18 PM   #3
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I believe one of my tangs has the same symptoms (red spots at the base of the fins). I have two tangs in my tank, and it's only one of the tangs that's showing the symptoms. I was away for a couple of days, and when I returned I noticed the spots. I tested my water and everything is fine except for the ammonia which tested at 0.25, but is usually at 0. I assume the ammonia is what is causing the problem since the tangs have been in the tank for over 2 months and none of the other fish have shown any signs of problems. If anyone has any additional insight comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:54 PM   #4
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First, welcome to AA!!
Second, what is your tank size, other animals, filtration method, etc?
This info would be a big help.
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:10 AM   #5
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I've got a 125g with a wet dry filter, protein skimmer, but no live rock(haven't had the money to invest in it). Crushed coral for substrate. I've got 2 yellow tangs, 1 coral beauty, 3 blue damsels, 1 yellow tail damsel. Just realized that I'm missing a 3 striped damsel--probably the reason for my small ammonia spike. No invertebrates. Besides the lack of live rock, do you see any inherent problems?
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:12 AM   #6
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I'm relatively new to all of this, my tank has only been established for about a year. Any suggestions/advice is welcome.
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:38 AM   #7
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What is your PH? What do you feed the tang?
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:36 AM   #8
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As QS said, pH is definitely a factor. 7..8 is way too low. Tangs are sensitive to low pH. These are usually the first fish that show signs of poor water quality, low pH, and poor diet.
One thing that I have learned about Tangs is when you have a sealed top it can also cause pH swings creating the red blotches. If you have a glass top, I would remove it. This will assist you in your troubleshooting.
Do you have lr? Tangs really benefit and thrive when there is lr present. They tend to graze all day in search of food. One thing that might help you at this point is to soak the Tangs food in Selcon or Zoe. Adding vitamins to the Tangs diet will help build his immune system.
Also as QS pointed out, 30g is too small for this specimen. Unfortunately, most lfs wont' tell you what size tanks are appropriate for fish, but we do have a lot of information on this site that will be helpful. Sorry.

Mike
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:13 AM   #9
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My pH is at 8.3. The tangs graze on seaweed in clips in the tank, but also eat flakes and frozen foods.
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:20 AM   #10
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On the topic of liverock--I was told by the lfs that adding live rock to an established tank would cause a spike in ammonia. I didn't have the money to add the liverock when I started the tank, and now that it is established with fish in it, I'm afraid that if I add liverock now I'm going to lose some fish. Is this accurate, or were they just trying to sell me liverock by telling me that I could only add it at the start?
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