Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   powder brown tang swimming on the bottom only (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/saltwater-fish-diseases/powder-brown-tang-swimming-bottom-only-15201/)

smota 06-03-2008 12:20 AM

powder brown tang swimming on the bottom only
 
I introduced a powder brown tang to my tank yesterday. He only swims on the very bottom of the tank and hardly ever move a couple of inches up. does anyone know why? The only other fish with it is a small clown. The water has been tested and it is okay. Thanks[/img]

jumpman23 06-03-2008 09:52 AM

When this happen something is not right to your water parameter either too salty or it is still trying to familiarize with the territory.

Check your salinity and water parameter PH, KH, NO2, Ammonia etc.

When fish is not moving something bad might happen.

Age of Aquariums 06-03-2008 09:57 AM

That's what my tang did when I first bought him. I was also a little worried, but he's fine now. I learned that if he couldn't see anything moving, he'd start swimming around, but as soon as something moved, he'd almost play dead it seemed until he got a little bigger.

Here's somethings we need to know:
Your test results
Tank size
Filtration type
Tank type (Reef, FOWLER, or Fish-only)

aegis 06-04-2008 01:44 PM

Are any of the problems smota is presenting pressing issues? He's only had the tang for two days, it's probably just adjusting to the new environment. If you pay attention, you'll notice your fish changing their behavior patterns even when you add a new plant or decoration to an already established tank until they're familiar with it. I put a few wags in a freshwater tank a week ago and two of my other fish ate much less for a day or two until they got used to feeding together. The wags were added because I had one in there given to me, and that fish was not swimming very freely because wags enjoy schooling and he was alone, and it took him a few days to integrate with the new school as well.

Just give it time, if the fish is not showing visible signs of physical distress, I think he's just pensive about a new environment with new sights, sounds, smells, and everything.

Pasfur 06-04-2008 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jumpman23
When this happen something is not right to your water parameter either too salty or it is still trying to familiarize with the territory.

Check your salinity and water parameter PH, KH, NO2, Ammonia etc.

When fish is not moving something bad might happen.

Normally i might agree, but given the species of fish i think this is an overreaction. Acanthurus tangs display this behavior when first introduced to an aquarium. It might last for 2 days, 2 weeks, or even longer. This is nothing unusual and unless you have addition red flags, i would not be worried at all.

Out of curiousity, what size tank do you have? This particular fish requires a tremendous amount of swimming space. A bare minimum of 125 gallons today, with a future need of 280+ gallons will be required. If you can not meet this requirement, then i would return the fish.

smota 06-05-2008 12:16 AM

My tank size is 75 gallon. My filtration is a professional eheim wet dry canister and I also have the coralife protein skimmer up to 220 gallons. I have 4 large rocks (forgot how many pounds) and two small fake corals. I now this tank may be small but right night both fish are only about 3 inches long. I have plan to graduate them into a new larger tank in the future. So far I only have a clown, a purple tang and a powder brown tang. The powder brown tang is now acting better, but the purple tang that was introduced yesterday is acting funny. It swims very fast from side to side, it hits the glass, hits the rocks, dives into the sand. I am currently treating this tank with copper for ich, but all the levels seem to be okay - levels of copper (0.15) and levels for ph (8.2), amonia (0), nitrites (0), nitrates (5).
Does anyone know if this is an expected behavior from the purple tang? It seems that he gets really agrivated when I turn on the lights when I get home at night. If the lights of the aquarium are off and I have the TV on and can see a little of the activity in the tank, it seems to swim more calmly.
I am new to this hobby, but honestly I have not had the opportunity to enjoy anything. I am always having to worry about them, today I even had to leave work to come home to check on them b/c recently I found out one of them had ich.
I am doing absolutely everything I am being taught, but something new happens everyday. I don't understand it because if the water condition is perfect, I have a good filtration system, the protein skimmer, treating the fish with copper.... why are my fish stressed? why are they getting ich?
You can tell that I am getting frustrated! I thought this would be a very enjoyable hobby... Not that I am not planning on putting time and effeort into this hobby, but if I am off I spend ALL day dealing with fish. If I am working I have to leave work to deal with fish.... Please tell me what I am doing wrong.

aegis 06-05-2008 08:46 AM

Don't get too frustrated, your fish are behaving weirdly because they're just getting used to a new situation. One of my fish in my small freshwater tank was acting up and losing color recently and nursing him back was stressful, but it's also really satisfying to see him swimming around now. His color isn't all back, I know he's getting better and it makes the twice-daily water changes and medication and supplementation all worth it.

smota 06-05-2008 09:03 PM

Thank you. I will hang in here...

Pasfur 06-05-2008 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smota
My tank size is 75 gallon. My filtration is a professional eheim wet dry canister and I also have the coralife protein skimmer up to 220 gallons. I am currently treating this tank with copper for ich, but all the levels seem to be okay - levels of copper (0.15) and levels for ph (8.2), amonia (0), nitrites (0), nitrates (5).

I don't understand it because if the water condition is perfect... why are my fish stressed? why are they getting ich?

Ok, this may be a long answer, so i apologize ahead of time. Your question is the same type of question that many converted Freshwater hobbyists ask early on in the marine hobby. In Freshwater you are told to do a number of things to keep your tank healthy, but in the real world we skip most of these things. We don't really test for Nitrite and Nitrate. We don't really change 20% of the water EVERY week. And we don't really limit ourselves to the number of fish we are told. We push the limits, and everything works out fine.

Unfortunately this concept can not be applied to the marine hobby in any way. In my opinion, having Freshwater experience makes the marine hobby more difficult, because NOTHING from a Freshwater tank applies in the marine system.

Moving on.... The next problem is the pet shop. They can't scare their customers away from the marine hobby or they will not make money. So, they tell their customers what MIGHT work, rather than what actually DOES work. Protein Skimmers are presented as optional pieces of equipment that can be overcome with more frequent water changes. (not)
The UV Sterilizer is hardly mentioned, despite the incredible benefits and disease prevention. Quarantine tanks are almost never sold, because human nature would never allow a fish to be quarantined for 3 weeks prior to the next fish purchase.

In other words, new marine hobbyists have everything going against them. The information they are given is poor and human nature is not on their side. Simple mistakes are made that are so easy to prevent, but they have no idea they are making a mistake and the pet shop is no help.

For example, you gave a pH reading without an Alkalinity reading. Unfortunately your pH reading can not be interpreted without knowing Alkalinity. It is useless. I suspect pH is a huge part of your problem, based on the description of your fish. I also suspect you are not using any type of buffer, because you don't mention it. You need to purchase a buffer and an alkalinity test kit. I like Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH, but there are many to choose from.

You also listed your filtration choice with pride, but personally i would never consider the option you are using. Why? Because your biological filter is separate from your protein skimmer. The positive benefits of the protein skimmer are negated by the constant biological activity resulting in Nitrate buildup. Your skimmers function is to remove organic acids prior to their being broken down into Nitrate and effectively removing carbonates from your buffer system. The wet dry function is to break down organics into Nitrates, utilizing carbonates in this process. These two filters do not compliment one another. They are opposites. The wet dry needs to go and live rock needs to be used in its place, along with FOUR INCHES (not less) of aragonite sand.

Next, lets talk fish selection. These fish choices are horrible. I really really dislike your pet shop. The Purple Tang is a Zebrasoma genus and will only thrive in a very seasoned aquarium with a lot of algae for grazing. It is extremely aggressive and should be introduced as the last fish to a community and should never be kept with other Tangs in a small tank. Yes, a 75 gallon is small by marine standards. This fish also grows larger than your tank will allow. Tangs grow 75% of their adult size within the first 12 months of their life. You do not have time to "upgrade". The damage will be done very quickly to this fishes development.

The Powder Brown Tang also fits the description listed above, but it is an Acanthurus genus, which means that it grows even larger and needs even more swimming space. It is also one of the most sensitive Tangs sold in the aquarium trade and should only be purchased by very experienced hobbyists. I personally would not buy this fish using your money, much less my hard earned dollar.

As to the water tests. You list Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH as being the standards of water quality. These just happen to be the 4 most common things we test in the aquarium, but they are not by any means the only method of determining an aquariums health. The fact that your fish are behaving in this manner tells me that something is seriously wrong with the water quality. There are endless chemical reactions going on in the marine aquarium. The reason we use live rock, live sand, and a protein skimmer is to help stabilize the environment. The continuous use of a biological filter will contribute to a continuous change in the environment. Here is a link http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/past.php to a great internet based magazine. You will have to scan the past issues, but there is an article which goes into detail on several dozen of these other reactions that effect our aquarium environments, none of which we have adequate tests for in the hobby.

Finally, i have to preach infinite patience. You have to pretend that you are shopping for a used car. Walk away from 90% of the livestock purchases you consider making. There is almost always a reason NOT to buy the animal you are considering. Be extremely picky. Buy only hardy fish that will fit in your aquarium comfortably as an adult. Buy only fish that are feeding well and well acclimated to the dealers tanks. And most importantly, never buy a fish that you have not researched on your own prior to purchase.


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