I think it started as ich...maybe still is?
For history, the tank I have was given to me by someone who neglected it terribly. My wife and I deep cleaned it with wet clothes, razor blades, etc (no soaps or chemicals). I reused the filters, but replaced the media. He had two pieces of live rock (that were basically dead when I got them) I rinsed them off and kept them - and actually they sprouted new smalls polyps.
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I have a 75g salt with mosly fish (6-line wrasse, pyjama cardinals, green chromis, dragon goby and yellow tang) and few pieces of live rock. I have a few hermits and snails, and few inverts came on the rock (aiptasia, small polyps, a clam, few small stars and a couple things that I frankly don't know what they are). There is a little algae build up, but it's not very bad, gives the tang and crabs and stuff some munchies.
I have a skimmer, two emperor 400's, 4 penguin 1130's with sponges for filtration (a total of about 2200 gph). The heat is at 82. Ammonia and nitrites test to be 0, nitrates tested readable, but in the "safe" zone according to the test. I don't have real good lighting (it is coming in the next few weeks), just two flourescent tubes. The substrate is a natural black sand about 1 inch deep.
Our goal is to make it a reef tank with fish, but obviously not until we get the lighting bettered. I have my eyes on a t-5 HO unit.
It has been set up like this for several months.
Here is my problem. My tang obviously started out with ich a week and half ago (I had him for probably 2 weeks) - white spots in the gills and face and started to spread a little. I gave it a fresh water bath and it seemed to go away right away and did not effect any other fish. Two days later it came on even stronger and I gave him another bath, which again seemed to really help. But, again, he is getting worse. He has all the ich symptoms but also has brown spots on his head (I think they are spreading), not eating very much, his eyes look enlarged (but not like pop-eye, it's weird), he is white-ish yellow, he seems real jittery and his skin is lumpy (it's like something is under his skin pushing out). And now my dragon goby is acting effected as well.
In addition to the freshwater baths for the tang, I have raised the temp slightly to about 84. Because of cost and danger of copper I am treating the tank via hyposalinity. Over the course of a few days I now have the tank's specific gravity at 1.009. I removed the snails and hermits as I heard the hyposalinity is hard on them.
The salinity has not be at 1.009 for but a day and of course I see no improvements. Can you think of anything else I should be doing...or perhaps something else entirely? To make things worse, I am going out of town for a week and a half and must leave the tank in the care of my wife (she loves the hobby, but she is brand new to it).
Please offer anything.
Well i am sorry to hear of the trouble you are having. By how you are descibing you fish he sounds very stressed out. I am not sure about the brown spots you are decribing or if it is another disease. If treating ich the natural way you should try to get your fish to eat so they can fight off the disease. You can also try feeding them a garlic additive, you should be able to find it at your lfs. We would soak it in the food. It should be able to coax your fish into eating more. The most important thing is try to get and keep up your fish immune system. And you should raise the temp in your tank to about 85 or 86 degrees that way it will speed up the life cycle of the ich.
Again i am sorry to hear about your fish, and i hope they can be saved.
Thanks, actually, I forgot to include that I have started including garlic - I soak it into the frozen food as is thaws. But I don't know how much to use.
I thought stress would be a majer player here as well, but I am coming up with a blank as to what would cause the stress. I feed small helpings a few times a day...mixed flake and formula one frozen food. (I'm going to get some specific spirulina flake for the tang's diet.) I can find to guilty bully - day or night. Water checks out good for what I've tested (which has only been ammonia, nitrites, nitrates).
I also forgot a behavoral thing in the tang which leads to another question. The tang is gently rearing himself toward the 6-line wrasse and the green chromis as if they were cleaner fish. The wrasse ignores him, but the chromis actually pick some of it off. Are they known for doing that? And should I get some sort of cleaner animal for the tank...a cleaner wrasse or shrimp, etc?
And another thing i forget to add,if you just got your tang i could have got stressed from the move and that brought on the ich. Also, have you been testing your PH you really should, that could be another culperate to the stress. The ph should read 8.2-8.4.
One thing I'm wondering here... you said "a few pieces of live rock"...
This surely sounds like a stress issue over anything else, could it be that there isn't enough territory in that tank? Tangs like to hide, and they need space. Stress from shipping, then stress from moving to your tank, and stress from sharing an almost bare tank with quite a few other fish...
With the "rearing" you mentioned it's doing, take notice if the spine near the caudal fin (tail) stands out when he's doing this. A tang's natural defense is to use that spine to chase away and/or injure other fish.
The first thing that I would do is get a lot more liverock into that tank. A 75 gallon tank needs about 75 - 80 lbs of live rock, especially if you wish to turn it into a reef tank. Also, what are your calcium levels showing? Too much and not enough will both cause health problems, and tangs are especially sensitive to this.
I had the same thing happen to my hippo tang. I took all the fish (3) out of the tank and put them into a QT using the hyposalinity method (1.010). It took a few days for the ich to go away and the fish are doing well not signs of ich. Now I have to let my main tank go fallow - no fish for 6 weeks so the ich will die off. I have inverts in the main tank so I couldn't do the hypo to the main tank.
After the white spots dissappeared on my hippo it seems like there are brown spots or divits on it much like a person who has scratched their chicken pox. It is eating and acting fine. I don't know what to do for the brown spots.
You mentioned that your hippo was a whitish/yellow color. That could be due to lack in nutrition. Are you making sure that it is getting algae. I give my hippo seaweed sheets to eat. They require vegitation to survive and that could be related to its discoloration.
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