Powder Blue Tang`s color not good

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Aquarium Advice FINatic
Aug 12, 2009
Cincinnati, OH
Hello, I may be overly paranoid, but I'll post this anyways just in case it's something to be concerned about.

I got two tangs 16 days ago, and they have been in a quarantine since that time. There's a PBT and a yellow tang. Both have been eating well the whole time (and they both still are) and they have been doing their fair share of trying to be the dominant one, though neither of them has really emerged as being dominant yet. I haven't seen any problems up until yesterday, when I did a 25% water change (5 gal out of 20). Later that night I noticed the PBT's color wasn't very good. This morning it was better but still noticeable. Is there anything I should be doing? Here's a picture of the PBT before:


...and here's a few of him taken this morning...




I did a 25% PWC on a different QT with a damsel in it using the same water and he seems to be doing fine, in case that matters. Thanks for your help.
Update: just did a quick set of tests on the water -- here are the params:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0.15 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm

The nonzero nitrite reading surprises me, since this QT has been cycled for a while and I've gotten zero nitrite/ammonia readings before (about a month ago at the earliest)

This particular QT had 5 damsels in it for around 4-5 months, and cycled during that time. When I got the tangs, I put them in this 20G and moved the damsels to two 10G quarantines. The last time I took measurements was shortly after I put the tangs in the QT and I had zero of everything except for nitrates.

...so, I know how to deal with the nitrite reading (frequent PWC's). Could there be anything else going on that I should address?
does with some Prime to take care of the nitrite until the bacteria catches up. PWC PWC PWC..test test test until your QT is done
It is common for tangs to lose color while in qt. As long as you are doing daily water changes (should be 50% daily) I wouldn't be worried about your NO2 readings. Make sure you are siphoning out any waste and uneaten food each water change. At this point in time I hope you are performing hyposalinity or medicating and deworming.
Awesome, thanks for your help. I appreciate it. I'll probably update next weekend at the latest (or sooner if something else bad happens)
Hey James, there another thread where someone was asking what to use for deworming. Might as well post it here.
Thought I posted this last night, but I guess not...

The blue tang looks worse. Here are more pictures:



He's still eating, but not as much as before. The yellow tang was doing a pretty good job of keeping him away from the algae, so I separated them. It's starting to look like there are white spots or something. I haven't started any medication at this point because I didn't see any need. Is there something I should be starting at this point?
Clean the QT,siphon the bottom, remove the PVC parts and clean those too. Keep doing PWC's to keep water pristine. Those tangs are skittsih and will lose color when frightened.
What are you using for biological filtration in the QT?
I'm doing the cleaning daily now, I'll keep up with 25-50% PWCs.

For filtration I'm using an AquaClear 30 on the 20G tank, 2 foams no carbon, inserts were recently replaced. It was cycled in this QT with 5 damsels, and I watched the cycle complete. When I got these tangs, I moved the damsels to other QTs using other filters seeded from this one -- I haven't seen any cycle problems there, though I think the bioload might have increased so maybe that explains the mini-cycle I'm having?

Up until last night I would have believed that he was losing his color due to QT stress only, but now I'm a little more worried. He's still eating, but he's not nearly as active and he's breathing rapidly. I noticed something that looked like ich (well, it looks like freshwater ich looks on freshwater fish -- I've never seen SW ich before), white spots not on his color like in the pictures. That's mainly what has me worried.

...on top of that, depending on the weather, I may not be able to make it home Tuesday night. I can stop by on the way home from work today to try and pick up some medication but at this point I would have no idea what to get.
These fish are know as Ich magnets. Time to start Hyposalinty treatment in the QT.
Do you have a refarctometer? If not, get one (under $50).
Slowly bring the QT tank SG down to 1.009 over the next two days by doing PWC's with RODI water. Leave it at that SG for at least 4 weeks. You will need to do at least one PWC daily. Most important is maintaing the pH while maintaining the SG at 1.009.

Don't medicate other the PraziPro.
I've got a refractometer already. I'll start the hyposalinity treatment tonight and see if I can get a hold of PraziPro and/or Prime. I'll try to get some decent pictures of it tonight to confirm that it's Ich if that's possible. Thanks for your help
Picked up some PraziPro on the way home and added that after the first round of hypo. SG went from 1.023 to 1.018 (I have a refractometer). I think it may take 3 days to get all the way down to 1.009, but it certainly won't be any less than 2 days.

Here's the best picture I could get:


He's doing about the same as this morning, he's breathing pretty fast and he's pretty lethargic. Poor guy.
Not sure what your temps are, but try and keep them 76-78F. If the animal eats Nori you can soak it in garlic and see if that helps as well. Does it look like salt grains on the body or a white velvet sheen at all?
Dont really have any input on this, But it seems like everyone who has a PBT has MAJOR problems with them. Which is too bad because they are great looking fish.
Temperature is usually 78-80, I turned it down a touch. It looks more like salt grains.

He's not eating tonight, and he's mostly resting on the bottom, leaning on the side. It's not looking so good.
Not trying to make you feel bad, but thats what my uncles was like before he went to the big ocean in the sky. Keep nori available 24/7 for him. He needs all the energy he can get.

Dont really have any input on this, But it seems like everyone who has a PBT has MAJOR problems with them. Which is too bad because they are great looking fish.

Ive had mine for over 8 months all fine. Ich every now and again but fine none the less. He has had some bruises and all have healed without issue. Its an easy fish when you don't mess with it too much.
Looks like Ich to me from that photo. Hypo is your friend now. Keep at it and hope for the best. Nori to keep it eating. Soaked in garlic for the preventative and seems to help overall health.

James, enlarge that photo of the PBT and you'll see it.
Hey everyone, sorry for the delay, but as you probably guessed, the PBT didn't make it through that night. Due to the weather and working some overtime I haven't been on the forums, but I'll be starting another thread with what to do about stocking at this point.

A couple of questions so I can at least learn from all of this:

It seemed like he really took a turn for the worse when I added the water for the first round of hyposalinity. This could be a coincidence, but is there a chance I did something wrong here? My suspicions are that I wasn't able to use RO/DI water for this particular W/C; due to the layout of my apartment, the only way I can hook up this RO/DI unit is to a garden hose, which is outside. I live in Ohio so ever since it started to get cold, it hasn't worked. I've looked around the house, and I would need something that hooks up to a sink in order to keep the whole thing inside. Are there any solutions for this, or did it even matter in this case? The yellow tank in the same QT has been doing just fine.

I'm planning to order some Prime this week, but I still don't quite understand what the benefits are over the "vanilla" water conditioner I use.

How exactly do you soak the food in garlic, from a preparation standpoint?
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