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Old 08-31-2007, 07:10 AM   #1
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Yellow tang's fin erosion

Hi all,

I am having this horrible problem with my yellow tang, and I hope that I am not too late to get on here to seek for solution.

I got my yellow tang approximately a month ago, and for the first few days, I did realized some black ich on it. Without knowing much about these diseases back then, I thought it was normal and thus didn't do anything about it. The ich was gone shortly after but reappeared a week and a half ago. After doing some research and talked to the LFS, I realized that the reason why they are "gone" is because they have matured. Having that said, I took the steps to do a few fresh water dipping, and the black ich was gone after the first dip, and never came back - yet.

I am not even sure whether this problem I have now is related to that black ich, but I just thought I would give that background info incase it helps.

My real problem, is the back fin of the yellow tang, is slowly getting eaten out - since approximately 2 weeks ago (before the 2nd breakout of the black ich). It started out in a hole in the middle (see pics), then started to eat outward, and inward after. It then started to eat towards the top. The LFS told me that if it were bacteria that was eating it, the fish wouldn't even last for a few days to a week. Having that said, they did again suggested me to do fresh water dip, which shows no help after doing it for 3 days.

For the past few days, I started to see the "bones" on the top of the fin sticking out. Today, I saw some white substances on the "bones", not sure whether they are harmful, or it's healing/protecting it. The fish eats absolutely normal and very active. The other areas of the intacted fins are getting more "transparent".

Here are a few pictures to show how severe it is:

Healthy Look:


Started with the hole:


A week ago:


Just took this today:


The tank parameters are: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, ph ~8.2-8.4, Nitrate 30. The fishes feed on flakes only (I am thinking maybe nutrient problem?). His tank mates are just a pair of clowns. 20 Gallon tank, with approximately 20 lbs of LR.

I am very desperate. I want to do whatever it takes to save him (if it's still not too late). Please share your experience and advices!

Thanks in advance!

Chris
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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What type of flakes are you feeding him, a lack of greens in a Tangs diet can lead to a lot of problems.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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This one here: http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Reef-Fla.../dp/B0002AQHFA
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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Definitely need to be offering dried seaweed at least 3 times per week. Not giving them their veggies can significantly impact their health. But this sounds like fin rot. You need to start treating him immediately if so. Maracyn is good for treating fin rot but needs to be treated outside your aquarium in a quarantine. It can ruin your biological filtration.

Also, do a PWC to get those nitrates down...they should be at 0 or really, really close. Have you been having problems with high nitrates like this?

Most importantly though, why do you have this tang in a 20 gallon? That is WAY too small and probably is what is causing the fin rot. Stress is a big cause of fin rot (overcrowding). You need to get him out of that 20 gallon ASAP.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smn723
Definitely need to be offering dried seaweed at least 3 times per week. Not giving them their veggies can significantly impact their health.

Also, do a PWC to get those nitrates down...they should be at 0 or really, really close. And why do you have this tang in a 20 gallon? That is WAY too small.
Heading out to get some dry seaweed now.

I got it without knowing it needs WAY more space than what I am offering now. Hopefully he can bare with me until my next tank upgrade

Having that said, do you really think this problem was caused by insufficient nutrient? Or does it look like some disease?
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:39 AM   #6
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please re-read my comments...i had to edit them....this is very pertinent
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:46 AM   #7
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There are lots of causes of fin rot:

- high stress
- poor water quality (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates especially)
- aggression
- overcrowding
- poor nutrition


You've actually hit 4 of these 5. Are you doing a lot of partial water changes? Are you using RO/DI water? Do you know someone with a really large tank?
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:53 AM   #8
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I am a big fan of the LFS, but whoever sold you this fish is doing neither the fish nor the hobby justice. I hate to see that a person would take an immediate dollar for a sale instead of simply saying, "Hey, how big is the tank you are going to put this fish in?" Research is the keystone to marine fishkeeping, and when an uninformed consumer comes into a store, they should take every step necessary to educate the person on at least the bare minimum for keeping the fish.

Don't take this as a personal attack cy88. Whoever let you buy this fish and told you neither that a 20 gallon was about a quarter of the tank size you need and that you should feed him SOMETHING green is just a poor excuse for a fishkeeper. I hope you take from this next time to do a bit more research on your own and not to take the immediate advice of a salesperson without something to substantiate it.

Stepping down from my soapbox................................now.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:07 PM   #9
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If I read the posts and disseminated the information correctly, your tank has been set up for about 6 weeks. If you got this tang a month ago, you got it in the middle of a toxic cycling process. That too, would go along way to hurrying its demise. Keep doing water changes until the nitrates are near zero. This fish needs pristine water conditions, good nutrition and a bigger tank to recover.

This may help you with any questions you might have..
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice. At no way I am taking it as personal attack MACATUA, since these are all very useful advice.

Hara, the tank has been setup for approximately 8 weeks so your guess is close enough.

I actually did bring up to the attention of the LFS owner that I have a 20 gallon tank with around 20lb of LR, and he advised me that it would be fine with my 2 clowns in it along with the tang as the tank mate. I also see a small display tank at the front of his store that's been there for years which is also 20 gallon with a yellow tang and 2 other fishes in there, that's why i was convinced.

I don't have any friends that got a big tank, or yet, I am the only one that as a saltwater tank. Therefore having it send off to a bigger tank is not an option.

Having these being said, I guess something I should do right away is to do partial water change often (How often? How much should I change?), get him better nutrient (what should i be feeding him instead?), and of course move to a bigger tank ASAP.

If I do many water changes too often, wouldn't all the beneficial bacteria get clear out?

In terms of setting a new bigger tank up, wouldn't I have to spare at least 4-8 weeks to have it ready before I can put any fishes in?

THanks again for all the advice!

Chris
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