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Mandarin Disease FAQs: Infectious 

FAQs on Mandarin Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Parasitic (see also: Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies & Crypt,), Trauma, Treatment

Related FAQs: Mandarin Disease/Health 1, Mandarin Disease 2, Mandarin Disease 3, Mandarin Disease 4,
Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies & Crypt, Psychedelic "Gobies"/Dragonets/Mandarins & their Relatives 1, Mandarins , Mandarins 3, Mandarin Identification, Mandarin Behavior, Mandarin Systems, Mandarin Compatibility, Mandarin Selection, Mandarin Feeding, Mandarin Reproduction,

Related Articles: Psychedelic "Gobies"/Dragonets/Mandarins, real Gobies & their Relatives,


Mandarin health 1/14/07 <Hey Michele, JustinN with you today.> We recently obtained a mandarin from our LFS. <Ok> We have a well established 100 gallon tank reef tank with 100 pounds of live rock and a 15 gallon fuge. The tank has assorted LPS corals, invertebrates, and a pair of sebae clowns and a yellow tang. We read everything on your site about mandarins for several months and felt we were finally ready to attempt one. <Yes, you sound like you have properly planned here.> We watched the mandarin at the fish store for several days and thought she looked healthy so we brought her home. When we got her home, she was much skinnier than we perceived she was in the store tank. She has a very prominent spine and lateral line. The really stupid thing we did, though, was not notice that her tail was missing! She has this little stub where the tail should be. We assumed it was trauma from being in the store tank with more aggressive fish (triggers, wrasses, etc.) Now, two weeks later, her tail is actually getting worse. It keeps eroding away and has almost reached the point of her body. <Is a source of concern... I assume from your descriptions, that you skipped out on a quarantine period?> I'm now worried that perhaps it is an infection instead of or secondary to the trauma. <I would tend to agree here.> We skipped quarantine (shame on us) because of her need for pods to survive and we thought her slime coat made her a fairly resistant fish. <Mmm, a shortened quarantine would have been acceptable, but you could have placed established rock from your display system in the QT system to provide food temporarily, occasionally changing out this rock with others.> Now, I'm concerned about the welfare of our other fish. <Understandably so> The mandarin is very active and hunts constantly. She appears to eat, though I have trouble telling if she actually consumes the pods. <These are good signs.> My question is how concerned should we be about the welfare of our other fish with a compromised new fish in the tank? Should we keep trying with her or is she a lost cause with the profound muscle atrophy and the tail erosion? <Tail erosion, maybe, but if the mandarin is still actively hunting and eating, muscle atrophy may not be much of an issue.> We don't want to give up on her, but I don't' want her to infect the clowns or tang either. Thanks! Michele <This is completely understandable, Michele. At this point, being that I'm not a major expert in pathogenic diseases and problems with marine fishes, all that I can postulate is that some sort of existing water condition is allowing the tail to erode away further. Typically in cases of fin deterioration, water quality is at play. My suggestion is to test your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, calcium) and try to identify an imbalance there, as well as performing regular water changes to the tune of 25%. My opinion is that if the mandarin is still actively hunting and feeding (that you can see) there is a chance for recovery. However, do realize that if the tail erosion is past the caudal, it will likely not regrow. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>
Re: Mandarin health
1/14/07 Thank you for the info and reply! <Anytime, Michele. Is what I'm here for> Sorry I didn't include water parameters on the last post. <Is ok, does help us out.> Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate: 0, SG: 1.025, temperature: 80, pH: 8.1 (too low maybe?? This is a daytime reading so I'm assuming it's dropping lower at night) <pH is fine here, though you are likely right with your assumption that it drops at night.> , Ca: 500 (too high? We just put the calcium reactor in over the holidays). <Mmm, yes. Should be more in the 320-420 range. I wonder where your alkalinity is? This seems like you may be hovering awful close to a precipitous event.. You and your husband should have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm > Husband says salinity and phosphates are "normal" but I don't have numbers. We ("we" being my husband =) ) <Hehe, tank maintenance is much the same around my home, I understand completely.> do 5 to 10% water changes every 5 to 7 days. <Good> Anyway....last night the mandarin stopped her apparent hunting. She just sat in one spot on the sand and did not move even when we fished her out. Her tail had eroded even more. <I'm very sorry to hear this. I had hoped for the best, but somewhat expected the worst.> We humanely (we hope) euthanized her. <After reading further in your letter and noting your veterinary background, I'm sure you did.> I'm now torn between purchasing another mandarin and the guilt that I'm contributing to the collection of a fish that is so often not cared for properly. (I'm a veterinarian...I tend to philosophize/stress about animals and our effect on them!) <I absolutely understand your sentiment here.> So, two questions.....how worried should I be about my other fish (tank and clowns) if she had an infectious process going on with the tail? <I would not be too concerned, likely the infectious process here was secondary to the rough transit/LFS experiences.> Second, I've heard differing opinions on quarantine for a mandarin ranging from not needed to the usual 4 to 6 weeks. What is your thought? Thanks! <I feel a minimal quarantine is necessary for even the most sensitive of fish. I would agree with a shortened quarantine in the case of a mandarin, likely in the range of a week or 2, while keeping an eye on body mass of course. This would be more to harden the specimen from the rigors of shipping than as a preventative measure, and to potentially identify any threatening problems, such as you have encountered here. As you stated, there is very little concern of pathogens from mandarin dragonets due to their excessive slime coat. Two weeks would likely be completely sufficient, and if the body mass appeared to wither, this could always be expedited.> Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Michele <You enjoy the rest of yours as well, Michele! Do feel free to write back if you have any further questions! -JustinN>

Mandarin disease? 12/16/05 Attached is a picture of my mandarin goby. The tank is 7 months old and I've had the mandarin for probably half of that. He appears to be eating actively, but has developed a white patch in the dorsal area rather quickly. Any ideas? <Does appear to be (symptomatically) some sort of infectious (bacterial, fungal) disease... I would first seek to bolster this fish's immune system by soaking its foods in a vitamin et al. supplement (there are a few, covered on WWM), and the S.O.P. of checking, monitoring water quality. Actual "medicines" are generally not efficacious with Callionymids> Haven't introduced any new fish into the tank in at least a month. Thanks, Greg <Good descriptions, info., and pic... Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

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