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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I am new to posting on this forum but not new to reading it. Thanks to all of you for all the helpful info i have gained from you all.

I have recently purchased a blue hippo tang (maybe 2 inches in length) and a blue spotted jawfish. When at the LFS they were in the same tank together and were laying on top of one another. The store owner found it strange but the fish seemed to get along and actually like each other. Well needless to say i bought to the two fish as a pair and i brought them home to my tank. My tank is relatively new but has been cycling for 4 weeks with aggressive water changes. I have checked my water at 4 different fish stores and they all gave me the green light to put fish in the tank. I have had a group of 6 chromis in the tang during the cycling period and they are all super healthy.

The new hippo tang is an extremely weird fish. I read that they like to lay around the tank playing dead but ours is laying all the time hiding behind rocks. He has only been in there for 2 days but im worried he isnt acclimating well. He is barely eating and all he wants to do is go lay with the blue jaw!

The hippo is literally wrapping its tail fin over the blue jaw like its trying to hug him or something. I have never seen this. The hippo is also rubbing against rocks. I read it was an act of dominance but i also read it could be signs of ICH. I am not seeing any small spots on him but i do see that he has scratched his skin and caused some irritation.

I really would like to save this little guy and im not sure how to proceed if he does indeed have ICH. The Blue Jar seems to be fine. He has made a home and moved most of my sand around the tank already. Any thoughts on this matter? Can anyone help my situation?
 

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Ok...a few things:
1. What size tank is it and what are you using for flow?
2. What test kits are you using?
3. What are you doing for filtration (Live rock, live sand (how much of each), skimmer, cannister, bag, sock, etc) Again, be specific
4. Did the LFS tell you cycle the tank with the chromis in it? I ask because this practice is really frowned upon. Part of the cycle is ammonia in the water. Ammonia burns the gills of the fish and can kill them.
5. Did you track parameters during the cycle? If so, time frame for the different levels of nitrates/nitrites/ammonia?
6. What type of water are you using
7. Currrent parameters: nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate, PH, temp, salinity, Ca, Alk?
8. How did you acclimate the fish? Be specific
9. What are you feeding and how much?
10. Any other occupants? Other fish/corals/crabs, etc?

Hippo tangs can be interesting in their behavior, locking themselves in the LR, sleeping on the sand, sleeping upside down, etc. Biggest concern right now on my end is adding too fast. Part of the tank's maturation process is the growth of different types of bacteria. They will grow to an equilibrium with the current bioload. Adding to fast can cause population swings, which can lead a depletion in O2, which can kill fish. Unless you have a very large tank, you have a lot of fish for only being 4 weeks old. Unfortunately, both the jawfish and especially the tank are sensitive to many things you'll find a in newer tank.

The questions above will give us a better idea of the situation and we can hopefully help from there. Welcome to TRT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. My main concern is mainly whether or not this fish has ICH.
My situation is kinda tricky since I did start the tank with fresh water that i salted then let the tank cycle with two big pieces of live rock and 6 chromis. I let it cycle for 4 weeks had my water tested almost every week. Not sure which method of testing the LFS did but i went to a few shops that all confirmed the same results. My levels read 0 for ammonia and Nitrites but were high in Nitrates. Since then i did two 20% water changes with salt water i bought from the stores and brought my levels down drastically. I am scheduled to do another water change tomorrow to bring the levels down even more. At this point i should have just bought all the water from the shop from the beginning and saved myself the hassle.

1. 75 gal two out heads from filter/pump and one power head.(not sure how strong)
2. LFS test kits
3. wet dry filter with around 20lbs of live rock and 3 bags of the live sand.
4. Tank cycled with both chromis and live rock
5. I tracked them from my tests at local fish store. Currently looking for info slips
6. Started with tap and sea salt 4 weeks then did two 20% water changes with salt water
7. Going to get tested again today after 20% water change. (Tang was added after both water changes)
8. I let them float in the water to adjust to temp for 40 min then put them in one at a time. Did not put LFS water from the bag into the tank
9. I have been feeding the chormis brine shrimp frozen and im feeding the tang sprulina brine shrimp
10. 10 turbo snails, 6 chromis, one blue spotted jawfish and the hippo tang, two big pieces of live rock with some other pieces of normal rock.

The blue jaw is doing just fine. He has built himself a home and is chillin in all day blowing the sand around. I am mainly just worried about the blue hippo. It looks like its itchy lol. Plus it has a very strange relationship with the blue jaw. Its like they are friends.
I cant see any small dots on the tang which would indicate ICH but it does look like its scratching itself up on the rocks.
 

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My main concern is mainly whether or not this fish has ICH.
8. I let them float in the water to adjust to temp for 40 min then put them in one at a time. Did not put LFS water from the bag into the tank
9. I have been feeding the chormis brine shrimp frozen and im feeding the tang sprulina brine shrimp
1. Ich would be the least of my concerns. If you can keep parameters stable, a healthy fish will fight off ich on its own. It is when you can't maintain stability and a stress free environment that ich is a problem. Unfortunately, unless you can fix the stressful environment, there isn't much you can do about ich as the treatments will all be fixing a symptom, not the root cause.
2. Using tap water is often a source of phosphates and potentially other things...I made the same error when I first started, as do most of us. You'll want to use RODI water only for water changes and topping off. If you are getting water from the LFS, it should be RODI. If you want to test them, ask them to test it in front of you with a TDS Meter, or even better, bring your own. A RODI unit doesn't cost too much and is a great investment as it will pay for itself pretty quickly....just hope you don't have to try and hook it up in a 1960's ranch with copper piping and no logical break in the system.... :arg:
3. Your number 9. Brine shrimp is akin to popcorn...tastes great, but little to no nutritional value in most of it. I believe there are some that are "enriched" that are ok, but, in general, you are better off with a combination of mysis shrimp, a good low phosphate pellet or flake, and any other type of carnvore mix. Chromis would be better off with that. The tang will require vegetation at least three times per week, more often when they are first introduced. You can get nori from the LFS and put on a suction cup clip (your LFS should have these). Put about a 3"x3" piece in the clip and let him graze on it.
4. Whichever LFS told yo to cycle with chromis should...should...it is a family site so I won't go there :angry: Let's just say I'd question anything that LFS tells you. Fish should never be used as part of the cycle process. Outdated practice and is considered a big no-no by responsible hobbyists. I am sorry you were given poor advice on that topic. Hopefully, nobody on here blames you for it. (TRT...blame the LFS, not the new guys :agree: )
5. Your point 8 is the one that really concerns me and is why I wouldn't be concerned with ich at the moment. The acclimation you did is good for many freshwater fish, but can be deadly for salt water fish. There are a bunch of different parameters that need to be adjusted for with marine fish. Temp is the easy one.
Salinity needs to be matched and shouldn't change by more .001/hour for sensitive fish. Many fish can be brought up at .002/hour. This means if you keep a reef at 1.026 and the LFS keeps their water at 1.017 for parasite control, it can take up to 9 hours to acclimate this variable properly. 4.5 hours if you hurry the process, which you don't want to do with anything that is sensitive to salinity changes.
This is why many people will have a QT tank and slowly use water changes to change the QT up to the DT while also observing the fish for any other issues. I only buy from an LFS that keeps his fish at 1.024-1.025. I bring my own refractometer to test his water and make sure it is very close to mine to assist in acclimating. Most LFS that keep things at 1.019 or lower I personally wouldn't buy from, but that is me.:D
Salinity is the biggest concern as it is often the largest variable discrepancy and one of the most sensitive to the fish, but all of the parameters I asked about testing for earlier need to be matched during acclimation. Usually, by the time you get the salinity matched, the others should also be in line.
Due to the time it can take and the fact that you want to do this slowly, drip acclimation is how we should acclimate all of our livestock. This includes snails, shrimp, crabs, etc. You can do a search on TRT to find info on how to properly drip acclimate.
There are a bunch of issues that I will lump under the term "aclimation sickness" that can be fatal for our livestock. Usually, the shock will lead to illnesses, susceptibility to disease, parasites, etc. It can lead to death in minutes, hours, days, or even weeks, but these are all related to improper acclimation. Some livestock can adjust, but I would put this down as luck more than anything else. I hope you have luck on your side regarding the new additions. I'd suggest watching them very closely, feeding often and making sure all of the other parameters are as stable as possible. Hopefully, they pull through ok.

Best of luck and I hope the information helps. :read:
 

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My Blue Hippo Tang has been in my tank for about 3 weeks. He has been pretty shy, but seems to be eating a little. I have seaweed in tank and use reef frozen blocks. Yesterday I got home and found him pulled up up on one of the powerheads stuck there. I rescued him but he looks rough. any sugestions whay to feed him to get his strenght back?
 

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Richkor you mention about hooking up a RO unit in an older house with cooper piping. Is this bad. Can the water end up with cooper in it? Or are you just referring to actually just hooking the unit up?
 

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+1 on everything rickhor said. Definitely abandon tap water immediately or it's not a matter of if a crash will come but just when.

Oh, save yourself the messes and pony up on a good float valve for your reservoir when you do this.

Setting a timer has flaws in my experience.
 

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Richkor you mention about hooking up a RO unit in an older house with cooper piping. Is this bad. Can the water end up with cooper in it? Or are you just referring to actually just hooking the unit up?
Hooking it up. The RODI unit will remove any copper that gets in the water from the pipes so no issues there. What comes out the usable end of the RODI unit is good.
 

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How is the tang? All you can do is try and keep stress down, provide food, and keep parameters stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello everyone and thanks for all the info. I unfortunately have bad news as of this morn my blue spotted jawfish passed away. I am not sure what it was bc it didnt look like ICH. It was more like a sore that just got bigger and bigger. After seeing what rough shape the blue jaw was in i rushed to a more dependable lfs other than the one i bought them from. NEVER BUYING FROM THERE AGAIN. My reliable store checked my water and it was all perfect. I am thinking maybe the tang was stressing out the blue jaw by laying on it all the time? There was a small white spot on the blue jaw when i bought him but it didnt look like much. I think under the stress of moving to a new tank it got worse.

Since then i bought a protein skimmer, a cleaner shrimp and some garlic solution to put on the food. My blue tang has what looks like are small ulcers on him. Its very hard to describe so i am going to try and get a good pic. Since the install and the passing of the blue jaw the tang has been swimming more and chasing the cleaner shrimp around the tank.

My hopes were to improve the water quality and enviorment for the fish so they dont get as stressed out. As far as eating habits, the tang is still not rushing up to the top to get food when fed. I have seen him eating up sand and picking at rocks but i doubt he is getting nutrition from that. He also stopped scratching against the rocks.

This all seems like the tang will survive but im still worried about it since im not even sure what got to the blue jaw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Its pretty weird i thought for sure the blue jaw would make it and the tang would die. The blue jaw seemed right at home in my tank. it made a little home and everything. Im thinking they where stressing each other out.
 

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What you are describing is all too familiar to me...I had a blue jaw do the exact same thing you described and I believe it was related to the exact reason. Improper acclimation. Mine seemed fine for awhile then got what appeared to be "sores" that got worse until it died. The fact that the tang is still around, especially after the powerhead incident shocks me...in a good way. I truly hope it pulls through, but I would relate the issues to the lack of proper acclimation.
The "ulcers" that you are describing are not a good sign. They could be similar to the issues with the blue jaw or they could be HLLE or any of a number of other things. So long as it is eating and you are keeping parameters stable, it will have a chance to pull through. Best of luck. I'll be off line for a few days.
 
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