Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Gower 01-09-2009 03:48 PM

Tang cant close mouth and is bloated
My sailfin tang, who is about 4 yrs old, seems like he can't close his mouth, and he also seems a little bloated toward the front below the gills. I think the crease of his side fins may be a tad reddish too. He has had a mild case of hole-in-head which I am trying to correct with better diet, but it does not seem any worse then before and I don't think is related to this recent problem. Otherwise, he is acting pretty normal, except he grabbed a bite of food that just hung out of his mouth until he shook his head since he didn't seem to be able to bite it. Anyone heard of this? Thanks, Laurie

General Info:
1. Size of aquarium : 75 gallons
2. How long the aquarium has been set up? 4 years
3. How long and how did you cycle the tank? 3 weeks, long time ago. I have alot of live rock, and rarely detect any nitrates (but do have algae problems on occasion)
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know)
big sailfin, small blue tang, blenny, 2 clownfish
5. What temperature is the tank water currently? 79
6. What make/model filter are you using? bioballs in sump
7. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? not direct sunlight, but room is bright from windows
8. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? yesterday, 15 gallons
9. How often do you perform water changes? 4 to 6 weeks :oops:
10. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? prime reef flakes daily, algae sheets or Formula 2 pellets (soaked in vitachem) about twice a week, frozen formula 1 for the anemonies (and fish eat some)
11. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? 2 actinic white and 1 blue, turned on for 10 hours a day
12. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? tang acting strange
13. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, GH, KH and salinity level. salinity 30 (haven't tested others since just did water change)
14. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? liquid
15. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? no recent additions,other than snails

onefish2fish 01-09-2009 05:53 PM

welcome to the forum.
hmm. i cant say i know however sailfins if your un-aware grow to a foot and a half. the tank should prob. be a MINIMUM of 125-150 gallons. how big is your sailfin?

another concern is bioballs. these are excellent in freshwater as they provide multiple surfaces for benificial bacteria but in salt they seem to gather detritus and debris raising nitrate levels.
lighting is power compacts? you spec. the type of bulbs but not the lighting fixture itself. what kind of nems?

please possibly post a picture for better aid in this situation.

Kellsindell 01-09-2009 07:56 PM

Welcome to the forum.

What kind of anemone do you have and how long have you had it? The only thing i could say is the anemone stung it and caused the bloating and the redness is a scar or sting mark from it. what other livestock do you have in the tank? Corals other inverst.

Pasfur 01-10-2009 08:15 AM

Have you recently begun to feed Freeze Dried Krill?

Gower 01-10-2009 10:51 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Pasfur- No, I haven't used freeze-dried krill, but I did recently feed the anemonies and the sailfin some frozen Formula One. They have some new gel binder which I think is awful. It is so hard and doesn't seem to break down readily, so I am wondering if that could have something to do with the Tang not being able to chew effectively.

Kellsindlel- I have one orange rock anenomy and 6 bubble tips that keep dividing (no aptasia), and a zenia and alot of rocks covered with mushrooms, and two urchins, and zillions of bristle worms (which I think are good for getting rid of the excess food/debris). But I don't think the fish was stung becuase the pinkish color is right close to the body at the body/fin border. I am not sure if that is real or even a symptom, and I think may be more related to the skin problem (lateral line). I did get some live rock a month ago, and there is a little brown shrimp living in it. I was worried it was a mantis since my other cleaner shrimp was mysteriously killed. But I dont think it looks like a mantis.

Onefish2fish: I wasn't aware the saiilfins get that big, but have been concerned that he may be outgrowing the tank. It is possible he bumped himself on some rocks or something, but the symptoms (to me) don't quite seem related to that kind of injury. He can sort of close his mouth, but doesnt seem to want to chew. He is just sort of sucking in small pieces of food.

The lighting is actinic VHO, with 3 long bulbs strapped to a wooden lid. I agree about the bioballs; the do create a lot of debris. It was what was recommended to me at the time.

My current efforts: Photo attached. The folks in the local marine store thought it might be parasisitc, and sold me some of the Ich-Attack organic treatment. So that is what I am trying now, twice a day for a week. They also suggested using garlic on the Tangs food to help with the lateral line disease. Any thoughts on these treatments?
Thanks for the replies, Laurie

onefish2fish 01-10-2009 12:49 PM

well, first off the fish is too large for the tank. i can tell from the picture. its fins are even open.
second the "brown shrimp" that was found is possibly a pistol shrimp
3rd i would ditch the bio balls and do more research on those meds. Im not familiar with the brand but i do know ich meds can be devastating to a tank. I feel your fish does not have ich from the picture provided unless it is in its dormant stage. The VHOs are not strong enough lighting to sustain anemone life. I would imagine your feeding them often which is a factor of them growing large and prob. splitting.

What is your goal for this tank?

Kellsindell 01-10-2009 03:59 PM

Onefish, you can keep anything under anything. i think the VHO's will be fine. I know a very respectable reefkeepers keeping an anemone species only tank with PC lighting. He just needs enough wattage.

As for parasitic... it doesn't look like ich.

Pasfur 01-11-2009 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by Gower (Post 162359)
The lighting is actinic VHO.

The folks in the local marine store thought it might be parasisitc, and sold me some of the Ich-Attack organic treatment. So that is what I am trying now, twice a day for a week. They also suggested using garlic on the Tangs food to help with the lateral line disease. Any thoughts on these treatments?
Thanks for the replies, Laurie

I think the lighting is fine. I think it is a horrible idea to keep anemones for all of us. They rarely live longer than 5 years in captivity and their natural lifespan is over 200 years.

Garlic and lateral line have nothing to do with each other. Garlic is intended as an appetite stimulus and immunity booster, effective at helping rid parasites.

That being said, I do not have a suggestion yet. I do not think you have ich, but I suppose you could have an internal parasite that has infected the mouth. But it seems highly unlikely. I am not familiar with the medication you have been given.

Gower 01-11-2009 04:04 PM

Regarding the anenomies, they seemingly have fluorished since I have had the same one for the whole 4-5 years, which has multiplied many times (unless dividing is a bad thing). My clownfish would be mighty unhappy without them (they are breeding away happily). If I was going to take an animal rights stance about the anemonies, then I wouldn't think it right to have any of the wild caught fish, which seem to suffer alot more than anemomies.

Regarding the ick-attack. They suggested it as an all around treatment, even though there doesn't appear to be ick. And since they said it won't hurt the soft corals or fish, I figured it would at least be worth it with respect to the lateral line disease (which some people say is parasitic) for both my tangs. So far, after two treatments, it does not seem to be helping the mouth closure aspect.

Pasfur 01-11-2009 04:38 PM

On anemones, it isn't really an opinion issue. For decades the hobby has been unsuccessful in keeping them. Nearly every leading authority in this hobby suggests that they not be kept because they do not live long term. The reason anemones do not thrive is because we have yet to identify their long term care requirements. Congratulations on your current level of success, hopefully your anemones outlive their peers.

The issue with fish is completely different. It is not a lack of knowledge that kills fish. It is the hobbyist who does not care enough to provide the correct environment. I agree with you, it is a shame that wild caught fish suffer in the hands of people who won't take the time to learn how to keep them, despite the fact that this information is widely available.

I have never seen any reference of lateral line being connected to a parasite. Is this something you have been told, or is this something you have read from a reputable source?

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