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Hi, can somebody please help? We bought a new yellow show tang on Saturday and his body has taken on a whitish tint. I haven't seen him eat even though I've been putting in the kelp pellets and emerald entree my LFS advised. I don't want to lose him.

Also, our stars and stripes puffer seems to be going blind. He doesn't see the food we put in for him right away. Sometimes it lands on his head and he still looks around. He doesn't appear to see things that fall right next to him. Eventually he finds them, but with some difficulty.

Also, we have a small yellow box fish in there with black dots. My LFS told me that he will excrete a poison when he dies or is near death that will kill everything in the tank. Is this true?

Thanks,
Michael
 

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What are your para.? Tangs will usually turn to a whitish tint if stressed.
 

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Well, I just did a 50% water change on Friday. I use tap water, but I add a conditioning agent called Aqua Plus tap water conditioner. I had the tap water tested for ammonia and was told it was clean.

We've had the ProClear Pro 150 running during the day time since Saturday and the Fluval 405 running full time. The ProClear Pro makes an unbearable gurgling sound which we can't deal with at night. We are going to try again to get through to the manufacturer today to ask how to stop the sound. The water flowing from one side of the prefilter box into the other and down the spout is making the noise.

Anyhow, there was slight ammonia (.25) and slight nitrate (.10 or so) before the water change, but between the water change and the addition of the ProClear Pro 150 the levels should be okay...
 

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Even though there is no ammonia present in your tap doesn't mean that its still good. It is vary bad to use tap water to do your water changes as you can add more bad things then you are taking out of your tank. Most city tap water contains heavy metals and high phospates. You have the right to contact your water company to get a chart of the stuff that is present in your tap water, do that and you will be amased to find what your dumping into your tank. Does your tang stay whitish all day? When I had mine he would turn whitish with a brown streak going down the sides at night when the lights were off. During the day he was his normal bright yellow. I never understood why he did that. What is your Phosphate and nitrite levels?
 

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Your fish due sound stressed. I also think it is an internal problem. Could one fish be a bully? I also recommend switching to RO/DI whether from the lfs or a home unit, or even bottled water from the supermarket. Get the distilled water, not the spring water. There is a difference. Spring water can contain lots of stuff but distilled water is pure. I'd be suspect that your water has chloramine and not chlorine in it. You need a really good quality conditioner to neutralize it and even that is risking it. Heavy metals like copper (which all tap water will show) are a death sentence for fish and inverts alike.

.25 ammonia is not slight. Any ammonia can wipe out a tank.

Your cowfish can wipe out the tank, yes they do have a poison. A high quality skimmer sucha as a Euroreef or ASM will remove it from the water.


Your gurgling noise is from the standpipes. They need to have acontrolled air supply as the water falls through the pipes. The best way is to make Durso standpipes, also known as stockmans overflows. Internet searches will provide many details. Even external overflow boxes can benefit from this. I made mini ones for my dual extrnal overflows on my freshwater tank.

What are your salinity levels, PH levels, Alk levels? I'm wondering if your PH swings all over the place by stopping the water flow at night?
 

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How big is the tank and was it cycled before adding the fish? How much live rock and decorations are in there? The biggest issue sounds like stress, both from water quality change and from transport. I would also expect stress with a puffer and a yellow tang in the same tank. The puffers are not known for their good eyesight, and anytime the water quality jumps, they tend to get cloudy eyes and sickly very fast. Their appetite is also an issue because they tend to be fussy eaters... what are you attempting to feed it? I've had some that would eat but a single kind of food, and it would take me up to 2 weeks to find the right food. Be patient with the puffer and keep the water quality in good shape. I would advise against doing such large water changes at a time for a number of reasons... it's too much change to water quality, which stresses the animals, temp tends to change, and what is small for us can be drastic for them. Also, are you premixing the saltwater before adding it to the tank? What is your spg? A jump in salinity can also cause the problems you describe. The more info you can give the easier it is to help you.
 

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I seem to be having the same problem... kind of. I have had one of my 2 tangs for about 6 months now, he was the first and I know him quite well. He was gorgeous when I got him but it seems like his fins are "disintegrating" and he has a big light, almost white patch on both his sides. I thought his fins were because of one of my other fish picking on him, but when I got my second tang, my bully fish left him alone. Now my new tang is having the same problem with his fins and I know its not because of my bully fish. Both of their faces are really white too, between their mouth and gills. No nitirites or nitrate, my ammonia was up to .25 but is down now and has only recently been up, I test my tank like every 2 weeks and I think it was up because I did a complete filter change, replacing everything. My salinity level is at .021 and I havent found any test kits that contain phosphates and other tests I can make. I dont live very close to anything and to find anything for saltwater tanks is a real treat. Any ideas?
 

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What other info can you give us? Tank size, how long it's been set up? The other fish in the tank, how many? Temp? This could be a combination of things such as stress, bully fish, and/or parasite or even bacterial issues. Without more info, its too hard to determine.
The more you can tell us, the faster and better we can help.
 

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Its different than stress, I can tell when they are stressed out and my tank has been up for about a year now. I have damsels and one is way bigger than the others (my bully fish). Since I got my second tang, he hasnt chased my 1st one. Im guessing it might be metals in my water, but its really hard to find tests where I live. I have well water but I use alot of stress coat and zyme. Its a 55 gal and I feed them omega one, brine shrimp and emerald entre. I do have lots of live rock too.
 

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I have well water
I know alot of LFS that fill there systems with well water and they do not contain any metals, most LFS will have a well dug so they do not have to use city water and its free.
 

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That wouldn't apply to any LFS around here, everything is on city water. The difficult part of working with well water is that it is different everywhere you go. One person's well water will come up with different minerals and even nutrient levels than anothers. If test kits are a challenge to find locally, then I would highly suggest shopping online. To keep a saltwater tank healthy and stable, the water will need to be tested regularly, however you can find to do it.
Have you tested the pH? Over using stress coat can be more dangerous than none at all. Stress coat is a great product, but when overdosed, it will cause all kinds of shifts in water quality and it is difficult to fix. Some fish will be more prone to showing signs of distress from specific problems. Too much stress coat, especially long term, can bottom out the pH level. The ONLY way to fix it is with SMALL daily water changes, using no stress coat or water conditioners. I think you can then understand why it is difficult to fix without harming fish. If the stress coat isn't causing this problem (which it probably isn't), then please use this as a warning to cut back on your use of it. Don't dose beyond the suggested dosage on the bottle, and use only when putting clean, untreated water into the tank. A few drops when adding new fish is ok, but beyond that, it is considered excessive and dangerous.
As for what IS causing the problem, without water test results to work with, nobody here is going to be able to do much to help you. Even if we find it to be a parasite or other illness, without knowing water params, it is unwise to ever medicate a tank.
Considering it's only the tangs being affected, I am tempted to say it could even be a nutrition issue. What kind of foods are you offering to the fish? (include any foods you put into the tank for any of the fish)
Nutrition is a big issue, especially for saltwater animals, and it is often overlooked because of the number of food products offered to us at LFS's worldwide. Not ALL of the foods offered are healthy, and not all provide for specific nutritional needs of all species of fish. There is also the issue of whether a fish is eating the food we offer.
I can supply a list of healthy foods for these fish, but water stats are still going to come into play here, again. If anything is off in the water quality, that alone will stress a fish enough to cause loss of appetite.
I have just read back in the posts here, and I notice the mention of "slight" ammonia, and it was pointed out that ANY ammonia is toxic. What I didn't see was any mention of that ammonia converting to nitrite, which, in any level, is also highly toxic. This "mini cycle" as it appears to be, could easily cause the problems mentioned, including loss of appetite, the fading of color in the tangs, and the cloudy eyes or loss of sight for the pufferfish.
http://drsfostersmith.com is a good place to begin an online search for test kits. What you will be needing is pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, KH, and calcium. Those are the tests you'll always want to have on hand. If dealing with well water, I would also suggest checking into some of the heavy metals that could cause you issues. Iron will be the biggest, and also possibly copper, which is highly toxic to inverts, but long term can cause problems for fish, too.
Try feeding the puffer by hand or with a feeding stick, and offer a wide variety. Anything it doesn't eat, remove from the tank immediately, so as not to cause any ammonia spikes. Uneaten food will pollute the tank very fast, and cause all of the problems I mentioned above, and then some.
I hope this helps, and I'll keep watching here for water params.
Good Luck!
 

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Mike, I agree, but I also am practical in knowing that the majority of people can't afford to buy/run an RO Unit. For that, I would also always suggest running a UV on a marine tank, but again, reality dictates that most people can't afford equipment like that, or the maintenance this equipment requires.
Between RO and UV, you would eliminate most of the common problems with water quality and illnesses. Parasite and bacterial problems would be a thing of the past, and other than nutrient levels, the water would also be premium. In a perfect world... which, unfortunately, ours is not.
 

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I have been up and down the east coast, so can some one explain why every were I have been that everyone has said the same thing about well water and then about its actually a waste to even buy a RO. I mean Iwould like to know why people have different opinions in different regions of the country and/or world. Since being part of the fish forum family I have noticed stuff like this. : :?
 

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Let me attempt to answer this simply... Different regions, different locations, different water quality. Well water differs from tap water, and both differ from RO water. It can be a matter of what is being kept in the tank... some animals need higher mineral content, which well water would provide and tap or RO may require the addition of chemicals to make up this difference. Then, you also have the risk of undesirable minerals in the well water, again, based on what is being kept in the tank.
For an example, let me use 2 of my tanks. My 15 gallon seahorse tank with no corals is stable and easy to care for using tap water, but my 120 reef tank is strictly RO/DI water, NEVER tap. Why? Mineral content, other conaminants, and the animals in each tank with their special requirements.
Difference in location will bring difference in opinion. Difference in education will bring difference in opinion. Difference in experience will bring difference of opinion.
Does this help?
 

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bettababy said:
Mike, I agree, but I also am practical in knowing that the majority of people can't afford to buy/run an RO Unit. For that, I would also always suggest running a UV on a marine tank, but again, reality dictates that most people can't afford equipment like that, or the maintenance this equipment requires.
Between RO and UV, you would eliminate most of the common problems with water quality and illnesses. Parasite and bacterial problems would be a thing of the past, and other than nutrient levels, the water would also be premium. In a perfect world... which, unfortunately, ours is not.
The hobby is pricey.

"the majority of people can't afford to buy/run an RO Unit. For that, I would also always suggest running a UV on a marine tank,"

But that won't solve the possible high TDS or mineral/metals count coming from the earth he lives over.

I look at it like this, the hobby is pricey. Sucks. The fish and inverts are expensive. Sucks I know. But to keep expensive fish and inverts alive you sometimes have to spend some coin. I own a 6 stage RO/DI unit, cost me $500. I still prefer to buy RO/DI from the lfs at $1 a 5 gallon jug. Why? Because my RO wastes to much water to justify doing it at home. Instead I buy all my make up water (30g a week) and use the RO unit only for doing extras like water changes. If you can't afford an RO unit don't despair, it really is cheaper to just buy purified water than to run an expensive filter. Honestly $500 for a unit and $200 in replacement filters each year or $5-6 a week at the lfs? But if I couldn't make it to one and only had well water I'd surely send off a sample to the local university and ask for reading and or make the necessary adjustments. An RO unit just takes the guess work out of the equation altogether.

USMC you ask why an RO unit in different areas? For the same exact reason Coke and Pepsi triple distill their water used to make colas. The water is different everywhere, mine is purified through limestone that was once the bottom of an ocean, so they triple RO/DI the water and it tastes the same everywhere. That way a MT. Dew bottled in CA tastes the same as it would bottled in NY.
 

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What a price fluctuation in different areas of the country. Here at home we have our own RO/DI unit, but if we were to have to go to the LFS to buy the water, it costs 50 cents/gallon here... meaning that a 5 gallon bucket would cost $2.50. That adds up fast when you're working with a larger tank and/or doing weekly changes. To buy premixed saltwater from the LFS its $1.50/gallon, and in both cases, you must provide your own containers. Also, most of the RO/DI units sold around here average $600 - $800 at a LFS. At work once, we tried to figure out which would be cheaper for someone running a 55 gallon tank, and in the long term, buying the unit was still cheaper.
Then, we also have had customers who use distilled water bought at the grocery store... but by the time they buy the trace elements and other mineral suppliments, they are spending more than if they'd simply buy the RO/DI water from the LFS.
So, now I'm wondering what you'd all tell a 15 yr old who's parents buy them a fish tank and basic setup for saltwater to get them started... buy a $500 - $800 unit to hook up at home, provided the parents allow it, buy water from their local LFS @ $2.50/5 gallons each week, or work with their tap water and less expensive filter medias to remove the impurities from their water? Or, do you tell them that its an expensive hobby, sorry, but if you can't afford the expensive stuff, stick to freshwater... and the supplies your parents purchased won't work for freshwater?
I ask because this is not an uncommon scenario, and I have seen some people do saltwater "cheap" and make it work, so long as they are selective about what they want to keep and how they do it. My saltwater tanks are relatively cheap, including those using tap water.
IMO, saltwater can be done on most any budget, without the "extras" that some people insist are a must have to make it work. It's a matter of knowing your budget, understanding the environment you wish to create, and working within your means.
 

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It was just always mind blowing how things are in different areas, like caferacermike you stated you just buy it from your LFS. But here every LFS you go to will tell you a RO isn't worth, and they just dump straight well water into there tanks. I asked them if it were bad and they said it better then the RO water. But you guys cleared it up a little.
 

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"IMO, saltwater can be done on most any budget, without the "extras" that some people insist are a must have to make it work."

You are misrepresenting me. I've said many times that salt may be had on any budget and I've also said many times that I feel many peoples freshwater tanks are poorly put together, it's just the fish are cheaper and more tolerant. A good freshwater tank isn't necessarily a cheap one either.

What I was saying is only and only if, his well water does in fact contain heavy metals (which is and was the only part of the thread I've been responding to) an RO unit or bought in water might be the best/only solution. But that is only if the water is indeed tainted. Can you siuggest something else if indeed the water tests came back saying he had high traces of heavy metals? Would you still say an RO unit is silly? Would I tell a 15 yo girl that lives 100 miles from the city that has horrible well water that she will probably need a filter? Yes. I mean what else can you do if the source is contaminated? If the source is not contaminated you can do all sorts of other things. Does that mean I'll ever put straight tap water into my reef? Absolutely not, not ever. To many dissolved solids building up in the tank. As to replacing trace minerals in RO water? Why? that's what my salt mix is for. Buy the right mix for your tank and it's all in there. The minerals are replaceed with regular water changes. Sure if the individual never does water changes the added minerals from a tap or well would be beneficial but after many years of reading about how corals absorb minerals from the water supply I now preach water changes to replenish them.

You get back exactly what you out into it.
 
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