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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I see some diehards still here. I got a Tusk yesterday and set up a qt with filter and water from established tank and heater, etc. the tusk looked good, still does, but has been swimming around poking his head out of the water for the last six or seven hours. are they nocturnal???

edit: he is five or so inches long, from the great barrier reef, was eating live ghost shrimp in the store, was housed with an eel and a skate/ray.

am I worrying over nothing? should I go to bed and relax???
 

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Discussion Starter #2
he didnt show anyinterest in blender mush last night and once in a while will slow down and be still and at a 45 degree angle at tank bottom. hasnt settled down in cave or anything for the night. pic to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
gill movements are probably close to two per second, doesnt seem too fast.
 

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It looks like you have some surface agitation there. Do you have a powerhead in the tank itself?

I don't know if this is normal behavior for a tusk, but I would wait it out. :)
 

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The Bitter Mod
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I remember reading somewhere that it is not uncommon for them to go weeks at a time without eating. Let me see if I can find the link.

Some info from wetweb

Tusk Issues -
Hey there again, <Hey.>
I have a question about a harlequin tusk. I've had it about three weeks and I still haven't viewed it eating. <These fish can go quite a while without eating.> I have all my water parameters up to par and all, plus I always have a mussel, clam or squid in there for it to eat. I also feed Mysis and brine to my other fish but he never seems interested. The tusk swims around a lot and doesn't seem stressed or ill, and it was at the LFS for a month and was eating supposedly squid.
Another part of my question I guess would be should I return it? <For the reasons you list? I wouldn't... the store will likely only give you half the original price, if that.> I'm having a slight ich problem, only one of my fish shows signs once in awhile, like two or three spots, but I'm about to treat with hyposalinity anyway. <In my opinion, hyposalinity in an of itself will cure little to nothing - it needs to be part of a system of treatment, quarantine, copper, etc.> Also the tusk isn't from Australia, which I prefer to have. But I have noticed that one of guys who replies to emails says he has a tusk that isn't from Australia (Ian I believe). <Could also be me, I have a non-Australian tusk.> And I'm wondering why he opted to get a specimen that wasn't if they are supposed to have better coloration and be more hardier? <Not necessarily less hardy, certainly different colorations, but for me it had to do with size. I wanted a smaller tusk to start with [less than four inches] and Australian tusks rarely come in that size. Since that time, I've seen them at the wholesalers, but now that I have the fish, I'm going to keep it. For me they are pets, and I can't just ditch them when they lose their appeal or I see something I'd rather have.>
The reasons I would want to return the tusk is because 1.) he isn't eating 2.) I'm about to have to treat my fish anyway 3.) if the Australians are that much better, i guess the downside to this though would be about $30 extra and having to mail order it but all things considered what should i do? <I can't help you with this. I would keep the fish... you need to make your own decision.>
Thanks once again
Brandon
<Cheers, J -- > - Harlequin Tusk Hunger Strike -
I have a 120 gallon tank with excellent filtration and with a banana wrasse, harlequin tusk, yellow tang, volitans lionfish, orange roughy, maroon clown, large spotted grouper. My fish seemed to be all happy together until I started to notice my banana wrasse chasing my tusk. I have had my harlequin tusk since October and he has been doing extremely well with all my fish but now for some reason he has completely stopped eating.
I have tested my water and it test okay. I have tried to feed the tusk live food and it is not interested at all in anything. My banana wrasse just started to chase my tusk around recently but they seem to leave each other alone for the most part. What is wrong with my tusk? Why is it not eating? I don't understand, the fish does not show any apparent disease or infection. What should I do to get him to eat again.. Please respond soon. Thank you very much for your time.
<It's difficult to say exactly why your tusk has chosen to stop eating, but it is possible the aggression from the other wrasse has something to do with it. The item I've found that tusks find irresistible is whole shell fish - the most convenient is the TMC whole cockle, which are easily opened and dropped in the tank.
The only problem is getting past the other fish and to the tusk directly - especially if the banana wrasse decides he doesn't want the tusk to have that food. Do keep in mind that a tusk fish in good health can go several weeks without eating so you've got some time to work this out. Short of removing this fish to a separate tank where it can keep to itself, you might want to try rearranging the rock work to break up territories. I wish I had a concrete answer for you but unless all the fish you list are all small, your fish are actually socially crowded and it's not easy for these problems to sort themselves out without the loss of a fish or two. On the reef, the tusk would simply swim far enough away to the point where the banana wrasse gives up chase - in your tank, this is not an option. Cheers, J
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yeah i was doing some reading too, i guess so far i dont have any concrete reason to be super worried...I taped some construction paper to the outside of the tank to give him more a feeling of security. Yes I have a powerhead (maxijet 500) in there and the return from the filter creates plenty of surface agitation.
Was actually planning to move him from the 10 gallon to a 20 gallon today (my new water has now been mixing long enough, and wanted to give him more room) but who thinks I should wait a day or two, and who thinks I'd better do it now? I'd hate to stress him by moving him (although it'd be a short move!) but then again, he might be 'less stressed' in a larger tank. please inject your opinions! thanks.
 

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Stinky Slimey FEESH
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I had a tusk for many years and they are peculiar but great fish - - usually very strong but have funny habits and can be quite shy. Hopefully he'll be okay, I'd wait it out another day and see if he gets more comfortable. Good luck!

HHC
 

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ONE VERY BIG FISHY
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usually when a fish pokes its head out of water its trying to get oxygen. I had a royal gramma do that when the power went out, so i had to run to the store and get one of those battery powered air stones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah that was my thought too, but there's no way theres not tons of oxygen in the water considering the amount of surface agitation. plus the gill movements arent rapid which if they were it might indicate it was trying to get more oxygen.

all in all, I think that he is doing okay. he's hiding out in his cave but whenever i peep in there, he is still alert and upright and looking back at me. so far so good. he seems to be resting after his long night exploring neurotically. whew, I was skeered!

he was at the store for a couple weeks and was eating so thats a good sign, I am going to indulge him in his previous diet of live ghost shrimp for the time being, then try to wean him onto blender mush.
 
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