help my tang is starving to death... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-24-2008, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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help my tang is starving to death...

I have a 55 gal. 3 1/2" to 4" sand base, live rock, fish and invertebrate. My tank recently caught a case of ich, which I am treating. I have the invertebrates in quarantine, and all of my other fish in the main tank being treated with a copper medicine... my fish are as follows:
1- Russell's Lionfish
1- snowflake eel (small about 8-9" long)
1- Yellow Tang
2- Percula Clown Fish
1- Feather Duster
1- Long Tentacle Anemone

The tank was started back in Jun 07, thus far everything was running great... until the ich. The Lionfish, eel, and clowns are doing much much better, they are starting to eat again and are looking quite better than they had a week before. But, my tang is literally dying before my eyes. He eats flake/ brine shrimp and krill food in the night ( when I feed my clowns) and then I have Nori in the tank and some romaine lettuce ( I am desperate for him to eat anything). What can I do to get my tang to eat? If you look at the picture you can see all of his internal organs... it's so sad.

My Levels:
nitrate- 10-20
nitrite- 0
Ammonia- 0
Ph- 8.2- 8.3
salinity- 1.022-1.023
Temp- 77 F

a picture of the tang is below.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-24-2008, 11:09 PM
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What is your calcium level? If calcium is low, that could be affecting the tang.

Are you aware that you did this a little backwards, should have moved the fish to QT instead... now that you've put copper into the main tank, the inverts can't go back in. Copper will leech into the silicone seals in your tank, and your rock... there is no way to make that tank invert safe again. I wouldn't trust it even after emptying it and bleaching it... but that would be the only chance you might have of removing the copper completely.

Have you tried offering formula 1 frozen food to your tang? It's good for all of the fish, and has enough vegetable matter in it to help your tang get healthy. It also has garlic in it, which will help his appetite and overall health. Another food I've had great luck with in sick tangs is frozen mysis shrimp. You may want to try that or even live adult brine. Those seem to be the favorites of the yellow tangs... and any algae sheets you can clip in will go quickly too. Check that calcium, it should be between 400 - 500... too low or too high will cause problems for the animals....
Best of luck to you!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-25-2008, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank-you for the food suggestion, the tang will eat the shrimp and I will definitely take your suggestion for the other types of food. I understand that I may have done it a little backwards... but how would you fit a 7" lionfish, an 8" eel, 2 clowns, and a tang in a 14 gallon quarantine tank and not kill all of the fish (either from being eaten or stress)?
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-25-2008, 09:58 PM
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I understand, but for future reference... when keeping large fish you have to expect to keep a large quarantine tank. 40 gallon breeder (which is wider and shallower than a standard 40) is a good size to use for quarantine, and it should be kept running with sand and sponge filter even when it isn't in use for sick fish. This is one of the hardest things to do when keeping saltwater, but vitally important.
With the situation what it is, now you'll either need a new tank for everything, or the inverts will have to stay in the smaller tank by themselves. My suggestion would be to get a larger tank, as you'll need one soon anyways with those fish. (your lionfish will average 12 - 13 inches full grown, the eel about 3.5 ft <he will likely eat the clowns when he's large enough>, the clowns you can expect one of them about 3 inches the other about 5 - 6, yellow tang about 6 - 7 inches in diameter) For the fish you have now, over 200 gallons will be required as they become full grown, and the lion and eel will likely feed on the clowns at some point. Expect this to happen pretty quickly.... a healthy fish tends to grow fast. To add 3 - 5 inches to their size over the coarse of 6 - 8 months is expected.
Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help...

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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