When to treat and when to leave in the tank?

Discussion in 'Fish Disease' started by FishyReef, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    So my chromis with the increasingly large black spot (looks like its rotting) on his jaw/near the base of his gill is still alive. I'm wondering if I should try pulling him and treating him with copper? I can't believe he is still alive. I know it can be worse to pull them due to the stress, so how do you make the decision of whether to just leave a fish in the tank (and let it most likely die), or pull it and treat it in a hospital tank?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
    FishyReef, Mar 9, 2012
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    Murph

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    Just my personal opinion, but if I thought the fish was going to die, i'd take him out and try to treat. The only way I'd leave a fish be was if I thought he was going to get better on his own.
     
    Murph, Mar 9, 2012
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  3. FishyReef

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Why treat with copper specifically? You should treat w/ meds specifically for whatever is ailing t hem. Is it maybe some kind of infection? If so, copper is not the way to go.



    The problem with that is often times, by the time the fish shows symptoms, it's already in a weakened state. Chasing after them with a net would only stress them more. If you can catch them easily without stressing them, they might do well in qt. Don't forget that it's not just the stress from being netted -- it's stress from the new water. You have to be sure the PH, salinity, and temp match the main tank.
     
    wontonflip, Mar 9, 2012
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  4. FishyReef

    Murph

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    That's great info and stuff that I'd try to make sure to get right, but my point was just a larger one that if it got to the point where I thought the fish was going to die, I'd do something about it. If I thought there was a chance he was going to fight it off I'd let him be, becuase I freakin hate netting fesh for any reason. I just moved my first fish from qt to dt and I'm not sure who it was more stressful for... me or the fish.

    Offtopic Q for you wonton: Your foxface and kole tang get along good? Have a foxface and love him and was thinking a kole might be next... edit: nevermind the q, found your build thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
    Murph, Mar 9, 2012
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  5. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Wow, you both make really good points. I still don't know whether to pull him or not

    Excellent point that I hadn't thought of - becuase I don't know what it is (descriptions of the common diseases that fish get don't fit what I am seeing on this guy), it probably isn't a good idea to treat it if I can't identify it. You're right, it could be bacterial, or even fungal for all I know (my first guess was actually fungal).

    Murph, I'd like to pull him just for your exact point - he's getting worse, not better, and I'm fairly certain he is not going to make it without intervention (of course, there's also no guarantee he'd make it with intervention either).

    If I were to pull him, I would just siphon tank water into an empty 10g and use that as the hospital tank so that I don't have to acclimate him to different water, and then do small regular water changes. I've got new water made up for my DT and could just use the water I pull out when I do the water change. I have a piece of pvc pipe for hiding, an extra heater, and can go pick up a small powerhead at petco if I decide to pull him. My chromis also don't seem terribly afraid of the net - I've been able to put it in the tank to move some stuff around on the bottom that I can't reach and the chromis don't flee from it, so i might be able to net him if I'm quick about it while he's out feeding. But, I really don't know pulling him is the answer, especially since copper may not work.
     
    FishyReef, Mar 9, 2012
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  6. FishyReef

    Nanna Reef Freak

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    I have a few questions/comments for you that may help everyone figure out the problems you've been having with your tank.

    1) Did I read correctly that you first added water to your tank and started your cycle about the beginning of Feb? If so, I believe you may be moving to quickly.

    2) Your tank is at your office, is the heat/ac left on in the building even on the weekends? Does your office temperature fluctuate with your door open or closed? If the heat/ac is not left running all the time in the building you could be having temperature swings.

    Hope it helps some.
     
    Nanna, Mar 9, 2012
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  7. FishyReef

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    If you really want to try and treat him, take some photos of the fish and send them off to Wet Web Media - they should be able to identify the issue, as well as the proper treatment to resolve it for you

    But i would not dose anything in the DT, if you are going to treat him make sure you take him out of the DT and get him into some sort of QT setup - what you described should be fine for that purpose
     
    Northstar24, Mar 9, 2012
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  8. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    I did fill the tank and cycle it at the beginning of february. Before that time I had been curing 25lbs of live rock in a plastic bin at my house for a good month, then moved the live rock to the display tank with around 125+lbs of dead rock. The stuff on the dead rock started the cycle, but it was admittedly a small cycle (I posted here to get opinions on whether to add a shrimp or not, and general consensus was that it the tank was already cycling that it wasn't needed). The tank cycled for a little over 2 weeks before I added my first fish, which were 3 small chromis. Again, I know it is not common to add multiple fish at once, but since these were schooling fish the consensus here again was that it would be okay to do this as my first additions. I intentionally chose small fish so as not to add a huge bioload to the tank (2 were about 1in, the other is aorund 3/4in in size). I bought all three from live aquaria, along with a small cuc of 15 mixed snails (banded trochus, margarita, nassarius, cerith, nerite, astraea conehead), and 2 corals. Since adding the fish my parameters have been consistently good (ammonia 0, trites 0, trates 5-10ppm). The first fish that I lost arrived with a small protrusion on his head that got progressively worse. He was bullied by the other similar sized chromis and I believe stress led him to be unable to recover. I also believe he came to me sick and that it was not something I did. Since all three chromis were shipped in the same bag, it is possible that bullying went on during shipping. It is unclear to me why the other one is now sick, other than to say that the black spot is similar is size and appearance to the first fish, just in a different spot. I have been testing daily and sincerely don't think it is something that I have done or something in my tank - all of my inverts are doing well, as are my corals (I was concerned about one of them earlier this week but think I was over-reacting, it is looking great).

    The temperature question is a good one, but I don't think this is a contributing factor. My office building is pretty consistent - no air conditioning running this time of year and I have individual control of the heat in my office. I've been here late at night and early in the morning, and temp is the same as mid-day. I have a JBJ heater with external controller and probe - over the month and a half that it has been in my tank (and the month that it was in the bucket of curing live rock before that), I've watched it keep my temperature very steady within less than a degree of change over all that time. I also have LED lights, so they do not contribute much if any heat to my tank throughout the day.

    I haven't set up a grounding probe yet (but I do have one) so that is something that I could do, but I would think that if there was something going on with stray voltage or poor water quality that I would see problems iwht my inverts before I would with my fish, and all of my inverts are quite happy, haven't lost any or seen problems with any of them.

    I've been doing small water changes (5-10g 2-3 times a week) to keep nutrients and trates in check since I've been feeding more often with the illness - is it possible I'm doing too many water changes? I don't have a skimmer up and running yet (there is a thread awhile back on my sump problems if you're wondering why!), but many people just use water changes and live rock as their filter without a sump, so I haven't been terribly concerned about that. I've had the normal algae and diatom outbreaks, but nothing too severe or that my cuc hasn't been able to handle (I've since added more snails to help out, and they are doing a good job).

    I wish there was something really clear that I was doing wrong, but from what I can tell everything except my fish are doing great in my tank. It is hard to know what else to conclude other than they came to me with something already going on - and I know for sure one did since he already had signs of it when he was in the shipping bag. Do you have any other ideas?


    North - that's a good idea to submit it to wet web media - maybe I'll go ahead and do so just so that I have more information.
     
    FishyReef, Mar 9, 2012
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  9. FishyReef

    Nanna Reef Freak

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    I'll keep thinking and see if I can come up with anymore off the wall stuff like the office temperature. I agree, it sounds like you got some bad fish. Have you seen any problems developing with the third one? I don't think it's stray voltage either cause you would be losing CUC. I ran my tank 3 - 4 months before I got my fuge. I just had live rock, live sand and a skimmer and my tank did fine also. Since your coral looked bad and then bounced back, that's what made me think about a temperature swing, but you've ruled that out now. Are any of your CUC trying to pick on your sick fish? If they are and they are making the sore worse then I would move him to the hospital tank otherwise I would leave him where he is at. Since all parameters are good, no other issues with coral or CUC I think it's just bad fish and there isn't much you can do about that. Have you notified LA to let them know what has happened? They may issue you a credit unless it's been to long now since you received the shipment.

    Do you not have a lfs? It must be costing a fortune in shipping ordering everything from LA. They have beautiful stuff and I would love to order from them but I can't make myself pay more for shipping than the livestock cost. I'm lucky and have about 5 good lfs within an hours drive from me!

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Edit: I don't think the water changes would be an issue with the size of your tank. If it's driving you crazy hauling water that many times to your office you should be fine doing a larger change once a week. Your choice. If I'm wrong about that someone will jump in and let us know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
    Nanna, Mar 9, 2012
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  10. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Thanks, Nanna! I haven't seen any CUC picking on him, but the crab and cleaner shrimp are new to the tank so I'll keep my eyes open. I was actually hoping he might go up to the cleaner shrimp to help him, but nothing yet.

    I have to say he's acting better today - not listing at much to the side and not as pale, but the wound looks larger. It also looks like its scabbing over and it looks like there are extra scales flaking off around the wound - my hope is that this a sign of healing. The wound on the other one started to look better but he died the next day so hard to know. I'm just glad he's acting healthier and still eating. He keeps the side that the wound is on turned away from the front of the tank most of the time so its hard to get a really good detailed picture of it. I'm inclined to just leave him be and see what happens.

    I did call LA last night and they actually extended my warranty by a week, so I will be covered if he doesn't make it. They've already refunded me for the first one. And yes, so far I've gotten everything from LA - but both orders were large so I qualified for free shipping. There are a few LFS's near me, but none that I've bought from. The closest one and one that has been around the longest has a terrible reputation and always has dead fish in several of their tanks when I go. I don't trust the health of their fish and am certain I would bring along some horrible pest into my tank if I got something from them. They also really jack up the prices on fish and terrible looking coral frags. The other LFS's are over an hour drive and also over priced. One looks pretty good in terms of their coral selection, but frags are over priced. The other had the cleanest tanks I had seen at any stores nearby and I will likely buy fish from them in the future if I can't qualify for free shipping from LA (I'm thinking that my next addtion will be a pair of black/white clowns, and might try to get them from this store). I also have to take gas money into consideration, and given driving time and increasing gas costs, in some ways shipping costs are a wash in the end! I am trying to find local reefers in my area to pick up $10 frags from, but just haven't made many connections yet. It's a bummer that there isn't a local reefing club or anything. Anyhow, I'm okay with slowly adding things to my tank. I've been looking at a lot of online coral sites to try to find the places with good deals on frags. I don't think I'll get the majority of my coral from LA, only the larger/rarer pieces, and I've limited myself to only 1 diver's den purchase a month or less! (I've also taken on a separate job to help pay for all of this ;) )
     
    FishyReef, Mar 9, 2012
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  11. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Oh, and I should add that I haven't seen any signs of illness on the littlest one yet. But I'm admittedly holding my breath, since I didn't see any signs of illness on the other one until after the first one passed away. I'm keeping a very close eye on healthy one!
     
    FishyReef, Mar 9, 2012
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  12. FishyReef

    Nanna Reef Freak

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    That's sad about your lfs. I guess I'm really lucky to have some good ones fairly close by. I love to go to the stores and look at everything before I buy. Plus since I can't work anymore (disabled) it does me good to get out of the house. I'm glad LA is working with you on the credits.
    At one time, someone was working on a list of all the members by location. I don't know what happened with that. Maybe someone will chime in and let us know if it got finished. Maybe that would help you find someone on the site who lives close by you since there isn't a reef club in your area.
    Keep us posted on the fish's progress, hopefully he'll pull through.
     
    Nanna, Mar 9, 2012
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