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pjbrandon 09-21-2010 12:12 AM

Please help me with my quarantine tank illness..
For a bit of history I'm a 20 year freshwater tank user that just switched over to salt about 6 months ago. I'm trying to do it 'right' by placing all new aquisitions into a hyposaline QT for a month prior to moving them in. The first group a blue tang and maroon clown did fine, but my next group of fish didn't do so well.

The second group was some green chromis and a sailfin tang. They were doing alright until about the 3rd week and it looked like they started getting some fin rot because the fins were looking tattered without and apparent fin nipping by any of the inhabitants. So I hit the tank with Melafix and things seemed to be getting better. I took out the carbon from my filter in the meantime, and the water was getting cloudy. Near the end of the treatment, most of the fish started getting white fluffy spots on various parts of their bodies/fins, even though the fin rot seemed to be getting better. I did a water change and started in with Pimafix for presumptive fungal infection. Still no carbon, so the water was getting cloudier and cloudier, but still tested fine. After a few days of treatment that again seemed to be helping, the fish all seemed to be distressed breathing heavily, and the next morning they were all dead.

Now, I'm on my next 'batch' with a flame hawkfish and an orange finned tang, again right at the 3 week mark. Now the orange tang is showing tattered fins and cottony white spots on the body and fins (just a few). This time I decided to go right for Pimafix, but this time leaving the carbon in. Its been 3 days, and now the fish are starting to breath heavy. I'm going about 50 water change tonight in hopes to save them.

Any suggestions? I'm just trying to stock my 115 gallon aquarium that looks pretty pathetic with just a blue tang and maroon clown, but I can't seem to get my fish to survive quarantine.

Parameters are as follows:
20 gallons
Ammonia and nitrate: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: a little low at 7.6 (just added some buffer to increase it)
Hardness: don't remember the number but it is fine.

I typically do a 20% water change weekly and have a sponge filter and a corner filter with carbon in it. I have a piece of live rock from my main tank in the QT also for additional bio filtration.

Pasfur 09-25-2010 07:03 AM


Originally Posted by pjbrandon (Post 475984)

pH: a little low at 7.6 (just added some buffer to increase it)
Hardness: don't remember the number but it is fine.

You have 20 years experience in freshwater, so you should understand and appreciate where I am coming from on these comments. As I was reading your thread, after the 1st paragraph I already had this problem pinned down. I've seen this so many times over the years that it was obvious to me, having been there done that and had this discussion online a dozen other times.

Your problem is with alkalinity and pH, not with disease. This is a direct result of the hyposalinity treatment, which should only be attempted in conjunction with the careful monitoring and adjusting of alkalinity.

I would normally elaborate quite a bit, but given your level of experience I suspect you are currently banging your head against the wall understanding what went wrong here. I will check back in if you have further questions.

By the way, I personally use the Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH and Kent Marine liquid Calcium Chloride for alkalinity adjustments, which work best when testing and adjusting calcium as well. More detail on that process here:

"Orange Finned Tang".... Tomini Tang? Great fish. You should give another one a shot. Relatively peaceful for a Tang and very sturdy.

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