help, yellow tang looks sick

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kpatrick

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Dec 8, 2002
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I came home and noticed my yellow tang was not swimming around and I found him just hanging around a piece of live rock not very active. It has a red line running down its back on both sides. the tank is a 125 FOWLR that its been in for 2 years and the water test out just fine. its in with:

1" niger trigger
coral beauty
flame angel
tomato clown
coral banded shrimp
2 green chromis

any help would be appreciated
 

gcvt

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Mar 15, 2001
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Red splotchy lines on yellow tangs are usually the result of poor water conditions, malnutrition, weakened immune system, bacterial infection, etc.

Here's a few questions for you to help us understand a little more:

What exactly were the results of your last water tests - 'just fine' doesn't tell us much. Is you pH steady, or has it dropped recently?

What have you been feeding him lately? Is he getting plenty of greens?

Do you have a quarantine tank suitable for the tang...or do you have access to one?
 

kpatrick

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Dec 8, 2002
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There hasnt been a change in the pH that I have detected and the amonia and nitrates seem to be in check.I add a few gallons of DI water every couple of weeks to make up for what evaporates. I feed algea flakes plus I hang an algea sheet on the side of the tank every couple weeks just to make sure its getting plenty of food. I am going to have the fish store check my water today but when I called them last night they said it could be the beginning of ick. Non of the other fish look sick or are acting weird.
I have had this guy for 2 years and hate to loose him so hopefully we can find a solution quick.
 

gcvt

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Let us know the results of the water tests that your lfs performs.

Just a few other thoughts:
I'd feed more nori sheets - it's the most important part of their diet. I feed 1/2 sheet per day.
Topping off your tank with many gallons of water every few weeks is likely causing swings in your SG - this can certainly stress your tang and everything else in the tank. I lose about one gallon per day to evaporation and never go more than two days without topping off...gotta keep that SG steady.
Lastly, it doesn't sound like ich to me - sounds more like a bacterial infection. Can you see any ich on the fish?

Good luck!

Oh, do you have a quarantine tank that you could treat the fish in?
 
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Sharyl C

Mola and Me
I am experiencing a little trouble with a yellow tang I am taking care of and I believe its the result of a temperature swing (the tank did not have a heater and the temp dropped to about 66F and when a heater was added it was raised over 3-4 days to 74F - but I guess it was too much stress). The animal began showing signs of ich about a week later.

So that's my suggestion on another possible cause.

Also, because you are using DI water to top off I wonder if your trace elements (calcium, iodine, etc) may be deficient. I don't know if this could be causing a problem with the fish, but I thought I would throw it out there and maybe someon with more expertise could comment.
 
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kpatrick

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Dec 8, 2002
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Thank you all for you input. The lfs said the water was fine but the fish kept getting worse and worse. the lfs I usually go to told me the only other possibility might be some type of voltage in the water. I went to a second fish store and he said the water was fine and he even thought voltage may have something to do with it. I have never heard that before but its weird that they both mentioned it!! So I bought a ground wire just in case but it didnt help. the fish died yesterday.
I love tangs and plan on getting another one soon. Someone mentioned Boyds Vita Chem, have you all heard of it and what exactly is it??
Also, the LFS told me the DI water should be fine to use and that I wouldnt have to worry about calcium and iodine but the more I think about it I have a Coral Banded Shrimp and doesnt he need Iodine to molt? What should I be adding to the DI water I use so I know for sure that everything will be good?? (when I add water I usually add buffer as well) just a side note.

Thanks Again
 

Sharyl C

Mola and Me
The DI water should be fine for using to do water changes because it gets mixed with synthetic sea salt (i.e. Instant Ocean) that contains a well balanced mix of the trace elements an aquarium needs. If you were only using the DI water to top off from evaporation I would guess that many of your trace elements would be absorbed by your LR making them biologically unavailable.

Having said this, I do not believe you were most likely dealing with a systemic infection of some kind. Red streaks popping up on the body are usually a good indication of that. What we will most likely not figure out is what caused the infection and why the tang's natural immune system was not stronge enough to fight it off.
 
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