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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this in more detail in the reef fish section, but didn't get any answers, so am reposting here....General question is what happens to a fish if it is "stung" by the spines of a foxface rabbitfish, which is venomous? Would/could this be fatal to a fish of about the same size?

Trying to explain the death of a Naso Tang that went from energetic and playfully healthy to dead in under 48 hours with no visible symptoms of any problems, no visual damage, and no issues with any other occupants. Parameters were all in line (fully posted in the Reef Fish forum, but they were all measured). Tank is a 175g mixed reef. Tang was about a month in the tank, eating nori out of my hand, no issues at all, then gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am pretty sure the fish came from another hobbyists tear down so was in their tank between 3-9 months (LFS guy I trust said it came from a tank he tore down...yeah, I know trusting the LFS, but this guy is honest...honestly :) ).
 

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Caribbean Reefer
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I would say it is certainly possible that the Tang got stuck. Ive read other accounts of people claiming the Foxface stung and killed other fish in their tank as well. From my understanding, the venom is the same as that of a bee but in much greater quantity so I assume its possible that if it were to get stung in the throat or gills, the tissue could swell and suffocate the fish if the venom alone were not enough to cause anaphylactic shock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it is the same as a bee, better keep my wife away...she is allergic to bee stings :eek:

I couldn't find any physical signs, but the tips of the spines are pretty small and if it got him in the gills, I'd likely never see it...Know of any discoloration, etc that would take place?
 

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Caribbean Reefer
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Not sure if you would notice any color changes as its not a necrotizing venom (tissue damaging) I would assume that the tang and the foxface were having somewhat of a go as they will do from time to time since they are relatively close cousins and the naso may have gotten stuck. Those that I know of who have been stung liken it to about 100 times more painful than your avg bee sting and can last several hours (ofcourse this varies from individual to individual). Though its venom is not nearly as deadly as say a Volitans Lionfish, a Rabbitfish could certainly cause death to a fish of relatively the same size if it provokes the Rabbit in my opinion. Although this is a rare occurrence since Rabbitfish are not typically aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I know my rabbitfish and purple tang squared off a lot so figured if I would ever have an issue, it would have been that one...the Naso and the rabbitfish never seemed to have any issues, but all it takes is getting startled once. Wonder if that is what it was or if I am missing something....It is the only option left I can really think of as being plausible...Either that or it ate a green zooanthid thinking it was algae :cry:
 
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