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Old 05-07-2002, 02:56 PM   #1
reefnewbie
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kole-tang freak-out


last tuesday we acquired a kole tang to add to our 3-month-old 75-gallon tank, which already had two ocellaris clowns, a banggai cardinal, a cleaner shrimp and a couple of corals (pompom xenia, diodogorgia, tubastraea, some mushrooms & green star polyps).

the first couple of days the tang really flourished, with his color deepening & becoming really beautiful. he developed a couple of white spots (ich?), but nothing major, and the cleaner shrimp cleaned him at least once (my husband witnessed it). the other fish didn't seem especially disconcerted by his presence, either.

but over the past couple of days, the clowns have begun confining themselves to a corner (hovering vertically) and eating less. and then, abruptly, the tang's color faded last night pretty dramatically, and he's still pale today. he acts the same as ever, though: picking away at everything like crazy, etc. (one theory: he ran out of diatoms or whatever was deepening his color so beautifully.)

we've seen no additional (ich?) cysts on anyone.

any ideas what's going on with the clowns and with the tang? any idea whether the two phenomena are related?

help!

p.s. this was also posted at reef central. i hope that's not a breach of etiquette! we're just trying to get as many responses as possible ... :}
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Old 05-07-2002, 03:17 PM   #2
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Woops

It sounds to me like you are on the verge of having a major parasite problem.

Do you have anything in place for treatments? Quarantine/hospital tank? Big bucket?

How about your LFS, will they take your fish and treat them for you?

Jerel
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Old 05-07-2002, 06:29 PM   #3
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I concur with Spanky's diagnosis. I purchased a kole almost a year ago that lead to a major outbreak in my tank. It lost color and the other fish in my tank started acting differant, more sluggish, breathing hard. I think you will need to act quickly and treat your fish for ick. Do your fish appear to be breathing more heavily than usual. The parasites will infest the gills befor you will typically see 'white spots'.
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Old 05-07-2002, 06:39 PM   #4
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Is this only a problem if you add a Kole tang to an existing tank or will it cause problems for future fish that are added later as well? What exactly is the problem with Kole tangs? I've seen similair posts in the past talking about both Kole Tangs and Naso Tangs being a problem when it comes to parasites.
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Old 05-07-2002, 09:17 PM   #5
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The big problem I see is that the tank is only 3 months old and has a pretty decent sized bioload. See if you can take the fish back and wait another 2-3 months before you add a new fish. I know..it stinks...but it's the best thing for the tank and the fish. Young tanks just aren't ready to take on a full load.

Keep an eye on your water quality. Do not overfeed right now..even if the fish look hungry. If ammonia or nitrites are detected do a water change.

HTH-
Brooke
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Old 05-07-2002, 09:28 PM   #6
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All tangs react to stress, just in diferent ways, but they are all sensitive to water conditions. I concur with young tank syndrome, and would have Q'd the fish for a month. The problem is a tang needs room and a month in Quarentine is going to wreak havoc unless you use at least a 20 long if the fish is small
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Old 05-08-2002, 01:36 AM   #7
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oy vey iz mir!!


Quote:
Originally posted by Brooke
The big problem I see is that the tank is only 3 months old and has a pretty decent sized bioload. See if you can take the fish back and wait another 2-3 months before you add a new fish. I know..it stinks...but it's the best thing for the tank and the fish. Young tanks just aren't ready to take on a full load.

Keep an eye on your water quality. Do not overfeed right now..even if the fish look hungry. If ammonia or nitrites are detected do a water change.

HTH-
Brooke
oh man! well, i definitely can't take the fish back; this particular lfs has signs all over the place saying NO RETURNS ON LIVESTOCK. and we don't have a quarantine tank. for what it's worth -- fingers crossed -- the kole tang's color seems to be deepening again. he's not as pale as he was earlier today. and my husband thinks i may have overstated the odd behavior of the clownies. he thinks they're just cowed by the tang's boisterousness. (he -- the tang, not my husband! D -- doesn't seem to beat on or attack anyone, but he does make a point of swimming everywhere in the tank, including "their" territory, which seems to shrink daily.)

my husband did say that he *might* have detected ammonia the other day, but we just this second conducted another test that seems (as clearly as any of these tests with their gradations of yellow-green to yellowy-green to yellowish-green to greeny-yellow to green-yellow!) to indicate zero. and nitrate tested zero two days ago.

for what it's worth, the kole's color seems to be deepening again.

you know, i have a potentially very stupid, very basic question. please try not to be horrified that we have risked the lives of four little fishies when we're so ignorant! here goes: my understanding of the nitrogen cycle was that once the tank cycled (after the addition of live rock and before the addition of fish), ammonia should never again be detectable. but my husband is under the impression that it is normal and natural for ammonia to temporarily reappear with every fish addition. (i think he thinks the tank cycles anew with every fish.)

thanks for your help and attention. your husband's (jon's), too! he replied to my other posting, about what the dots on the envelopes mean.
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Old 05-08-2002, 08:08 AM   #8
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We all get very anxious to fill up our tanks after the cycle. Everyone here as done it...so don't feel bad. In a mature tank you shouldn't see an ammonia spike with an addition of a fish. Ammonia and nitrites are toxic to fish and inverts. I will private message you and let you know where I shop locally...only 1 place....and they allow returns and money back on fish that die.

Clowns swim funny sometimes..wouldn't worry too much about them. The kole might be changing colors due to stress. Try to keep hands out of the tank for a few days.

HTH-
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Old 05-08-2002, 12:02 PM   #9
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Reefnewbie,
A tank can undergo a mini-cycle anytime that decaying organic matter exceeds the capacity of the tank to process the Ammonia produced. This is most often seen when a fish dies or sometimes, when additional live rock that is not completely cured is added. This is especially true in a new tank where the DSB isn't fully matured and there aren't enough detrivore critters to consume the organic matter. It's something to be aware of and be prepared to do water changes and run activated carbon if it occurs.

I had no problem with my little Kole and the other fish. He's been in the tank for about 6 months now. I watched him at my LFS for several weeks before getting him. Kole has taken over dominance of the tank, but doesn't bother anybody except the Lawnmower Blenny, whom he seems to see as an arch-competitor for algae on the tank walls!!!

If you can't set up a Q-tank or return the Tang, I would fortify the fishes' food with Selcon and perhaps try some garlic. See this thread from the archives: http://www.thereeftank.com/forum/sho...&threadid=3841
Good luck,
Dick
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Old 05-08-2002, 04:19 PM   #10
OodleyBoodely
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Reefnewbie,

Dispite how my prior post sounds after re-reading it, I did not mean to infer that Koles were more suseptible to ick outbreaks than other tangs or other fish in general. It was just coincidence that I happened to have a Kole that exhibited similar simptoms just prior to a major outbreak. The key symptoms that I keyed in on, color loss/listlessness or agitated behavior, are typical of fish under stress which may be caused by any number of things, including water quality, unfamiliar surroundings, inappropriate tank setup or tankmates, and of course, disease/parasites. Once these symptoms are noticed, it is vital to try to determine the cause as quickly as possible, because if it is parasite or disease related, conditions can change for the worse VERY quickly. I've killed a lot fish by adding healthy looking new fish directly to the reef tank, lots of individuals and 3 major wipeouts. I now quarantine all new fish and treat them for parasites befor adding to my reef. Quarantining may not guarantee 100% that you'll never have disease/parasites again, but, it will certainly improve the odds.
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Old 05-09-2002, 01:48 AM   #11
reefnewbie
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thanks, everybody ...


... for being so helpful.

since we can't take the kole tang back, we're keeping our fingers crossed and trying to fortify his food with garlic, etc.

the clownies may just be acting their little clownie selves, and the cardinal seems to be doing fine. the tang's color has improved somewhat, no one's breathing hard/fast ...

maybe all will be well. think good thoughts for us!
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