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.