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  1. #1
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    Question Yellow rabbitfish with fin issues

    Well generally I am kind of a lurker on the forums here, but I have had an ongoing problem with my yellow rabbitfish for a couple months now with little success, so I thought I might get some second opinions.



    The fish is as stated above, a 5" yellow rabbitfish that I have had since April '10. A couple months after I purchased it, I noticed the fins had developed some problem areas and I assumed I was undernourishing the fish since I was only putting seaweed on clips in the tank every few days and filling in the gaps with brine/mysid shrimp. So I got on a strict regimen of putting seaweed clips in the tank every day in addition to sporatic feedings of brine/mysid hoping it would cure the problem. Unfortunately it has not and it is still bugging me. Otherwise the fish appears to be perfectly healthy and happy. He is in a 55g tank with a grouper about his size and a fimbriated moray. The only other inhabitants of the tank are frags of my one tree coral that is overgrowing my 30g reef tank. There is about 60 lbs of live rock in the tank running with a fluval 404 (just for carbon and chemipure, no other media), a Hydor Koralia powerhead, and I use a surface skimmer on the canister filter intake.

    I keep the temperature of the tank around 77 degrees F, specific gravity is around 1.023-1.024, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates are a little high around 20-30 ppm based on one of the API test kits.

    Any suggestions? I have a bottle of melafix, but I tend to resist using chemical additives in my tanks unless absolutely necessary...





  2. #2
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    The pic is terrible, but it looks like Lymphocystis from what I can see. You're right not to try to medicate if it's Lympho as it's caused by a virus. The bad news is that you can't cure it and all of your other fish probably are infected with the virus. The good news is that Lympho is essentially the Herpes of the fish world. It rarely causes any issues apart from the lumps, and just because a fish has the virus doesn't mean it will ever show symptoms. The only treatment I'm aware of is to generally improve the fishes' environment, e.g. water quality and diet. You can remove lumps with a sharp pair of scissors or even your thumbnail, and the fin will usually grow back normally, but on a Rabbitfish I wouldn't take the chance of being stung. Again!



  3. #3
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    Is that a star in the background which seems to appear as growth on the dorsal fin or is it actually cauliflower like growth?

    If it is star in the back ground, am I correct to assume that there may be ongoing deterioration and/or scars (black edge) from prev infection on the lower end of tail and maybe part of anal fin?

    Hold off on any meds for Fowlr/reef/invert tank. If need to med, I would stongly recommend to capture & treat in Q/T

    Melafix is not something I would use on any infections, even on f/w.
    Last edited by Cerianthus; 11-09-2010 at 10:01 AM.



  4. #4
    resident boozehound Sploke's Avatar
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    With regard to the chunks missing out of the tail - they look suspiciously like the missing chunks that came out of my puffer's tail shortly after I added a fimbriatus to my FOWLR. Removed the eel, the tail healed, no more issues since. Fimbriatus are not friendly fish from what I've seen.
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  5. #5
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    I have two fimbriatus in the 6000 gal tank I maintain and I know that if I get bitten it will be one of them and not one of the sharks they share the tank with.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    The pic is terrible, but it looks like Lymphocystis from what I can see. You're right not to try to medicate if it's Lympho as it's caused by a virus. The bad news is that you can't cure it and all of your other fish probably are infected with the virus. The good news is that Lympho is essentially the Herpes of the fish world. It rarely causes any issues apart from the lumps, and just because a fish has the virus doesn't mean it will ever show symptoms. The only treatment I'm aware of is to generally improve the fishes' environment, e.g. water quality and diet. You can remove lumps with a sharp pair of scissors or even your thumbnail, and the fin will usually grow back normally, but on a Rabbitfish I wouldn't take the chance of being stung. Again!
    That is a star in the background. The issue I am concerned with is the deterioration of the fins. Below I updated that photo with the areas of concern encircled in red.

    Being as though the grouper in the same tank shows none of these symptoms, I was considering temporarily switching the rabbitfish into my 30 g tank that is lightly stocked and has nothing larger than a clownfish in it to see if the conditions improve.


    Last edited by rapier469; 11-09-2010 at 4:02 PM.



  7. #7
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    How big is the eel?
    Although possible since eel dont seemed to have good eye sight, I also have my doubt that this is caused by eel as it is only showing on the fins unless there are other visible scars/cuts on the body as well.

    Those teeth (I called them fangs) are extremely sharp as I seen one 6' moray which almost took off my oldman's arm. Nasty and so much blood all over & 911. While he was bleeding heavily, he was more concerned with Moray which ended up on the carpet. Another concern was infection from bacteria living in the mouth which can be lethal unless properly treated. As soon as he recovers, he gets stung by his large lion on the other arm during routine maintenance. He should well immuned by now lol!

    Back to the subject. are there other scars on the body? i dont think it is done by grouper.

    If it was my fish and without knowing what's going on, I would not move to different tank as such can spread possible disease to other tanks.

    If you dont have q/t, I would use bucket as q/t with heater (if needed depending on your location) and course aeration along with all the water from main tank. You can leave it in the q/t w/o any med and observe if fins heal on their own but change the water on daily basis using main tank water.
    If no improvements are noticed or gets worse, then med with porper antibiotic. May need to cut the med proportionately to volume of water in the q/t and daily wc maybe needed as well.

    Good Luck!



  8. #8
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    The eel is only a little over a foot long and you are correct in saying its eyesight is poor. There are no other visible issues on the rabbitfish's body.



  9. #9
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    I dont know your eel's aggressivenes toward food but try keeping it well fed although it may be difficult task as groupers tend to stuff their face.

    If fins get better, no need for any action other than observation.

    If fins deteriorate further, I would def try to isolate and med.



  10. #10
    Contain the Excitement... Amphiprion's Avatar
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    I can't tell from the pic if the damage is acute or sort of like smoothed deterioration. IME (in the case of the latter), the slow, relatively even decline of fin tissue is consistent with early onset of HLLE. Unfortunately, the etiology of the condition is relatively unclear, with numerous potential causes. In any case, an observant, keen eye is necessary.



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