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FAQs about Triggerfish Environmental Disease

FAQs on Triggerfish Disease: Trigger Disease 1, Triggerfish Health 2, Triggerfish Health 3,
FAQs on Triggerfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Nutritional, Trauma, Pathogenic (infectious, parasitic), Social, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Triggerfish, Red Sea Triggerfishes

Related FAQs: Triggerfishes, Triggerfish: Identification, Selection, Compatibility, Behavior, Systems, Feeding Reproduction,

Triggerfishes for  Marine
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Dry Sargassum Trigger 1/12/12
Hello again.
Thanks for getting back to me.
I wanted to give a quick update.
Tonight the darkened side scales/skin is all peeling off like a very bad sunburn. I'm very worried about an infection now that there's no slime coat and no scales to protect it.
<Not to worry... the skins of Balistids (& related Monacanthids... "Filefishes") used to be employed as "sand paper"... they're very tough.
Bob Fenner>

Trigger scratching 4/3/08 Hi, <Hello> I recently realized I was testing for nitrates incorrectly (shaking a test tube instead of a bottle). When I did the test right I found that my nitrates were really high. I did two 50% water changes over the space of two weeks to get my nitrates down to 25 ppm. My pH is good, ammonia and nitrites zero. About a week after the last water change my Picasso Trigger started scratching himself on the sand and rocks. Once I saw him shake back and forth and dart around like he's agitated. I can't see any visible spots on him and he still has a healthy appetite. <Good sign> My Maroon Clowns seem to be o.k. Could this be early stages of ich or is it possibly a stress reaction from having the water quality change so drastically so quickly? <Could be either really, but I would guess the water changes are the cause.> I did have an ich breakout a year ago (visible white spots) that I was able to contain and I have seen no signs since. I'm hesitant to jump into a medical treatment because it will probably just stress him out more. <I would not treat at this point.> I will be taking the Trigger back to my LFS in a few weeks because I am upgrading my tank and I will need to cycle it before stocking (I don't want to start off stocking my new tank with aggressive fish). <Good> I don't want to take back a sick fish, do you think I should treat him with copper or something? <I would not unless more specific symptoms occur.> My last question is about cycling the new tank. I plan on keeping my current 55 gal. tank as a quarantine tank and I was planning on cycling the new 125 gal. tank with the live rock and some of the live sand from the 55. Do you think this is wise considering I've had an ich breakout before and a fish that might have ich now? <If you give the tank 4 to 6 weeks to cycle without fish this should take care of any Ich that may be present.> Should I cycle the 125 tank from scratch and clean out the 55 with bleach and cycle it again before use as a quarantine tank? <Could, but seems drastic to me.> Thanks in advance, Brendon <Welcome> <Chris>

Triggerfish pimple? 2/25/08 I have a 3 inch Picasso trigger. He has a small reddish spot on his side that looks like a pimple. Picture does not show but the spot is raised. <Mmm, looks to be an infected area... likely resultant from a mechanical injury...> 125 gallon FOWLR tank with good parameters except PH seems to be 7.9. <... this is actually way low... the "scale" for pH is an inverse of base 10 (logarithm)... If your pay/income were this much reduced, you'd be howling! Fix this and you'll likely save your Trigger. You can read re on WWM. Bob Fenner> Thanks
Lynn Callaghan

Trigger sad, Poor Environment 1/29/08 Hello, <Hi> I searched through a lot of posts here and found similar problems, but not exact. I know it's small but this is in my office at work so I cant' go with a big tank. I have a 20 gallon high with about 20 pounds of live rock and a Picasso trigger a little less than 2 inches. <Doomed in this sized tank.> I run an Aquaclear 200, Red Sea Protein skimmer, Aquaclear 20 powerhead and 80 watts of lighting. The water tests fine and I do frequent changes. <"Fine" is relative, exact numbers next time please.> The tank is blooming with life, Copepods, Arthropods, Inverts of various types, Macro algae (came on the rock) which attests to the quality of the water. Ok that's out of the way. My Trigger was in the tank with to Damsel mates. Two weekends ago, I came in and observed the trigger acting skittish and hiding. The blue Damsel was acting like he took over the tank like the Alpha male. I assume they duked it out and the Trigger lost. <Probably, the damsels are very aggressive.> For a few days I observed his cowardliness and did some research and discovered that they must have had a tick. I placed the damsel in my quarantine tank and the Trigger came out of hiding soon after. The other damsel started to give him a hard time and he did they same thing. I removed the second damsel. <He is not healthy so he is low man in the pecking order.> Now he doesn't eat that I can see (food goes right past his face with no reaction) and doesn't swim around much at all. <Not good.> Mostly he sits in his hole, or wiggles slowly with his nose against the glass like he is sad now. His lack of eating is worrying me now since he was a hardy eater. I just bought a small tank raised Clown to put in there with him for company. <Also can be quite aggressive, are members of the damsel family.> I'm not worried if things don't turn out too good for the Clown. <Bad news for the clown.> What do you think might be his problem, and do you think he will die soon? <Yes, if kept in a 20 gallon tank he will not last long, it is just not a suitable environment for him and you are seeing it begin to take it toll.> Thanks in advance for your help. Keith <Welcome> <Chris>

Sick Clown Trigger, QT, Health 9/14/07 Hi guys i have a clown trigger question <Ok> I purchase my clown trigger from my LFS a week ago. When I brought him he had a white spot on he's fin i treated it with CopperSafe and it went away. <Will probably return without running the tank fallow, your system now has Ich. Appropriate QT procedures will avoid these types of problems.> But Now he hides under my live rock all day! <He is probably still infested with ich and not feeling well, added to this the new environment and tankmates.> He swims around only when i put some flakes out there and he see or smells them floating around then he starts eating them. After he's done he goes right back under the live rock and sits there like he's a hawk fish waiting for food. <Stress behavior, typical safety measure for triggers, which is how they got their name. Also flake food is not a very good staple for this fish.> Also my water temp is Night 88degress Day 92 <Wow, way too high, need to keep this in the low 80s at most and more consistent.> Nitrate a little bit <?> Nitrite 0 Alk 0 Ph 8.3 <Chris>

Sick triggers? need immediate assistance!!!!!! Env. dis. 4/15/07 Hi guys. I've been reading your site for months, and its THE BEST SITE FOR MARINE ENTHUSIASTS!!!! Keep up the great work. I have a quick question for you guys, I have a 125 gallon all fish aquarium. 1 Blue Throat trigger appx 4 in---- 1 niger trigger appx 4 in--- 1 Domino Damsel appx 1 in --- 2 blue damsels appx 1 in---1 damsel (black w/ electric blue stripe, I forgot the name) appx 1 in---1 Squirrel appx 4 in--- <Yikes... going to need more room> 1 silver fish I believe its Mono-something <Monodactylus...> which was originally a fresh water fish but is now a saltwater, it has 2 black stripes across the front and yellow going around the whole exterior of the rear, <Mmm, M. argenteus> appx 4.5 in. I check and maintain my water quality regularly. <Good> However, over the past week or so, I noticed that the fish weren't acting right. They're usually very lively and whenever I approach the tank they're waiting in the front I'm assuming for food. And my Huma trigger appx 3.5 in was acting really weird since he was up on top of the tank by the overflow and it looked like he was stuck but he wasn't. <Mmmm, triggers can be "real jokers"> He was doing that for two days and then he passed away about 4 days ago. Now my Blue throat trigger is doing the same. <Time to be checking water quality, changing water... maybe applying chemical filtration> he's up by the overflow basically stuck on the drainage holes of the overflow, except that he's not stuck because when I tried to move him, he turned himself upright. He's just there all calm and not moving, and it seems as if he's breathing a bit heavy. Oh yeah, and not to mention, my domino damsel was acting very lazy about a month ago not really wanting to go for food, and constantly fades to a whitish color. <Signs of stress....> I thought that he was getting stressed or abused by the other fish which I have not observed) so I separated him in a little area all to himself in the tank. I've had all of these fish for appx. 1 year with no new additions. Looking at the fish, I don't see any spots or signs of diseases. When I lost the Huma trigger, I did a very large water change, about 45 gallons just to bring down my nitrate level which always seems to hover around the 40-80 ppm, Id say its about 50ppm. <Much too high> My ammonia level is consistently 0-.25 ppm, <Needs to be, stay zip> somewhere in between. My nitrite level is always 0 ppm. and my high range ph is always at appx 8.2 . However after the water change, all the readings still remained the same, so I took out some bio balls from the sump, and went out to buy a skimmer just last night. <Moves in the right direction> I purchased a Coralife SuperSkimmer <... Proper nouns are capitalized> (I know you guys recommend an Aqua C however, I drove around all day and no one had them) <Etailers... Marine Depot is their master distributor> and over the course of the night, it took out a ton of waste, but my water levels are still all the same. Please help, I don't want to lose my Blue throat trigger, and he's not doing too well. What could be wrong with him? How can I help him? <Mmm, improve the environment...> Should I give him a freshwater bath? use copper? I'm lost. Is it the water quality that's getting them sick? <Yes> (the water has been the same quality throughout the year) How do I get my levels down? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING MY LENGTHY EMAIL!! Sincerely Andrew <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm Bob Fenner>

SICK Huma Huma Trigger; research, patience 3/1/07 Hello, I really hope that you can help me. <Hello, and so do I. GrahamT with you today.> I purchased an established tank about 2.5 months ago. The tank is a 46 gallon bow front with 10 lbs of live rock. <Far less than useful. A *generalized* "rule of thumb" is 1:1 lbs/gallons. More is better...> The tank had a 2" yellow tang, a 3" yellow tang, a 4" Foxface and two damsels. <Too little room for these species, excepting the damsels.> It has a Penguin 250 filter, a Penguin 350 filter and a SeaClone 100 protein skimmer. <This protein skimmer is regularly touted as one of the frequently regretted purchases among hobbyists...> When we moved the tank we kept about 2/3 of the water. <Very good idea.> After setting up the tank we had the water tested and found out that it was extremely dirty (no detectable nitrite or ammonia, but over 200 ppm nitrate). <Wow! Could have a lot to do with stirring up the substrate, or even lack of water changes on the previous owner's part...> We proceeded to do 6 water changes in about a two week period bringing the nitrate down to 80 ppm. <Still very high, and likely stressing out your inhabitants.> After the last water change the smaller yellow tang died. <Mmm, what is your water source for the water changes?> The next day the larger yellow tang would not eat and was hiding. <Not a good sign...> A day later the large yellow tang died. <Oh, even worse.> The guys at the fish store told us it was probably due to the stress of moving them and all the water changes. <Mmm, would not disagree, but without knowing more about the mix you used for water changes...> I waited two weeks and then purchased a Huma Huma Trigger. <D'oh! Did the nitrates come down below 40ppm? Had the damsels seemed to look better? (I know they may have looked fine the whole time) I hope this purchase was based on better water conditions, and not JUST time gone by.> A week after that I purchased a Flame Angelfish. <I have to say, this sounds like someone wants to "fill" their tank, rather than stock with appropriate selections and care for them as appropriately. Patience and research is key to success in this hobby.> It has been two weeks since I introduced the Huma and now it has also stopped eating and is hiding. <This is very abnormal behaviour. Triggers are notorious for the voracity. Unless this is a very small specimen (under 1.5") then I suspect your water quality has gotten away from you again.> Could this be bacterial? <Anything is possible, but current water test results are necessary in assisting you.> I don't have a QT tank yet, do you have any suggestions on what I can do to save this fish? <Take some water tests. Consider upgrading the filtration and liverock compliment. Also, you didn't mention whether you employ live sand or bare-bottom.> Also, the Flame Angel has a white spot on her lip that has been there since I purchased her. <Hmm... you should NEVER buy a fish that shows symptoms of disease. Put a modest deposit on it and the LFS should be happy to keep it QT'd until it looks better.> The fish store said it was probably Lymphocystis and that it should go away on it's own. <Could, but proper nutrition and water conditions help more than time will.> However after a week it looks like it is just getting worse and she now has a cloudy eye and a frayed tail. <I think you need to get some test results and reflect on your purchases. You have to keep in mind that these animals depend on us and require us to know their needs, or else what is the point in keeping them? I used to work at a retail fish store and we regularly refused business from customers that we knew/suspected were buying fish over and over again only to kill them through ignorance/negligence and laziness. I will quote a phrase I use often: Many folks leave the marine hobby in failure due to their lack of understanding and its subsequent devastating consequences. Fish may be purchased with problems you don't see and aren't responsible for. My intention is not to place blame or to make you feel inadequate or inferior. Most of us have made this mistake, or worse ones. We all (hopefully) learn from our mistakes. I think that most of the crewers here at WWM will agree that they hope to prevent the unfortunate side-effects of improper selection and lack or research that they themselves (myself included) have caused. The information you need to be a successful hobbyist is out there (or here!) and you owe it to you and your fish to use it.> Foxface and damsels are still doing good. HELP PLEASE! <Use the Google search tool here for your Centropyge loriculus's symptoms, and you will be directed to a FAQ list of those symptoms. -GrahamT>
SICK Huma Huma Trigger; research, patience (pt.2) 3/2/07
Graham, <Hello again.> Thank you for your response. <You are welcome! Is what we do...> I really do want to keep these fish alive and I feel horrible that I was probably the cause of their death. <Woah! Don't be so quick to hate yourself here. You don't know what the water conditions were when you purchased the system. You may have practiced some patience, but in the end some of us need to make mistakes to know their consequences.> I did purchase "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" book when I first got the tank (before I added anything or did any water changes) and have read it cover to cover twice. <A good read, no doubt.> In the book it mentioned that there was no real proof that high nitrates caused fish any harm and that most "fish only" systems run at high rates. <This is true, there is no research into the mortality of captive species that are housed in systems with too high Nitrates. We do know, however, that the concentrations at sea are at or near zero and that this is the environment we try hard to reproduce. I would look at 40ppm as a "ceiling" for your FOWLR, with an occasional peak into the 50's or 60's. This doesn't mean that your fish won't be stressed about these levels, just that they might get to that point before a water change. The other end of the spectrum is where we work to keep the bio-load at a point where Nitrates are maintained below 15ppm for FOWLR. It is possible to do with well, regimented feeding and the addition of natural process (Refugium, DSB) that abate these toxins. (All laid out in "TCMA")> After seeing no visible signs of infection on the tangs (i.e., no reddening, color change, etc) after they died I assumed the guys at the fish store were correct by saying that they probably died due to the stress of moving them and all the water changes. <This is possible, but hard to confirm. Either way, I find myself wondering if you have some contaminant in your system. Have you looked over our link on toxic tank syndrome? ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm ) I ask because, though damsels are very very hardy, triggers are pretty tough in their own right.> This was the reason I purchased the Huma and flame <Flame angels are notoriously finicky about water conditions and stress easily. A much more tolerant cousin is the Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa).> (I also did multiple water tests before purchasing these two fish and everything checked out fine, <Relative. Numbers, if you have them, are far more useful to me.> except the nitrates were still high) <D'oh!>. I have since taken the flame back to the fish store because I did not want her to get worse and die. <A tough decision on your part. I think the right one.> They are going to try to rehabilitate her. The Huma has gotten worse, so I purchased a hospital tank (10 gallon) filled it with water from my main tank and put the Huma in that tank to begin treatment for a bacterial infection. <What are his symptoms again? Other than not eating, I don't remember you mentioning any outward signs. > I does not look like he is going to make it. <Have you considered treating with Lifeguard marketed by Instant Ocean? ( http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/details/medicine.php?product_ID=md-aslg016) I mention it because it's a broad spectrum and rather gentle treatment. Unfortunately, it is new enough that I don't have experience with it, and there have been only a few blurbs that I've read lately on it's use. On the good side, it seems very promising!> Two questions: 1. I don't plan on purchasing anymore fish for a VERY long time, but if the Huma lives I need to know if it will be too crowded for him.... My 46 gallon tank now has a Foxface (4") and two damsels (1"). I am planning on upgrading to a 125 galloon tank next year. <If you are sure about the timing of the 125-gallon, then you should be ok. Wait! You never mentioned how big he is! Under 4 inches, he'd be ok for a year or so. > How many fish could I keep HEALTHY in my 46 gallon tank for the next year? <For clarification: You have two damsels and a Foxface? With these inhabitants, and the trigger, you are well (if not over) stocked.> Could I add the Huma back in or should I try to upgrade to the 125 gallon now? <Would wait for a change in behaviour from the trigger. You have moved him around quite a bit in the past few weeks. That reminds me: did you ask whether the trigger was caught or tank-raised?> 2. What can I do to get the nitrates down? <Well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratennr.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/denitrification_erfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/no3probfaqs.htm ...would help you gain an understanding of the various opinions and techniques regarding nitrates and the exportation/conversion.> (I use tap water for water changes and condition it with PRIME and add CYCLE. Salt used is CORAL LIFE) <Mmm... do you test your water before and after mixing? It is possible that you have some unknown metals or other contaminants in your tap water. I would consider trying to eliminate that area of possible contamination by purchasing a small, effective De-ionizer http://www.aquariumguys.com/tapwaterfilter.html . If you can afford the up-front, then you could try an RO, but I like the DI for it's low initial cost and you can set it aside guilt-free if your tap water is actually fine after buffering. As far as Prime and Cycle go, I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve by their use in this instance. Prime is a dechlorinator/ammonia reducer, and useful in cleaning up (to some degree) tapwater before using in a freshwater setup. You may find it makes you feel better about using tapwater, but I think you should invest in a better form of treatment here. Cycle, IMO, is not worth trying, and I'm not sure what you are hoping for in it's use. If you are medicating with anti-bacterials in a QT then you will be killing off your nitrifying population, adding them back is not how you counteract this, but with water changes. Frequent water changes. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestquarfaqs.htm > I have done about 10 - 20% water changes in the past 2 months and they have gone down from 200ppm to between 80 and 60 ppm but have not budged from the high 80-60ppm. <See above.> 3. If the Huma lives how long should I keep him in the hospital tank before moving him back to the main tank? <No less than 4 weeks, but preferably 6-8. You don't even know what he has, so premature introduction to the display system may be, well, premature.> Also, is there something more I can do for him besides treating him? <Keep his environs pristine.> I am currently using a broad spectrum anti-biotic because we have no idea what is wrong with him (no color change, no spots) <See if you can entice him to eat live brine. Maybe he's just too soon from the wild?> Thanks again....I am still learning and I just don't want to be the cause of anymore death. <A worthy cause. I applaud you for trying and for pledging to be a saviour to your buddies. Spend some time reading here on WWM and you may find something that jumps out at you. In the meantime, provide excellent water quality, nutrition, low stress levels and keep testing. -GrahamT>

Failing Undulate Trigger ...No, failed aquarist. - 2/15/2006 Hello. <<Hello Amber.>> I have a four year old Undulate Trigger. He was recently moved (December) into a larger tank (40 gallons). <<This fish reaches a foot in length. He needs a tank at LEAST double this.>> All of his familiar shells/ornamentation was moved with him. About a month went by before the algae started to show ("normal" levels that have never bothered the fish here before); the algae were a mix of the green and the red. Recently, the red algae began to "GROW" into membrane-like coverings throughout the tank. This obviously did not make trigger happy. <<Poor water quality is bugging him more, I m sure.>> Last Thursday I physically removed as much of the algae as I could while I prepared to do the water change/ maintenance (I know I should have changed/cleaned the filter sooner, but was out of carbon). <<Not a compelling reason to skimp on maintenance.>> Between Friday and Saturday, I cleaned as much as I could while I prepared the new water/ treated it with buffer and Prime. I took a water test on Saturday, and the Nitrite/Nitrate were off, everything else was within ideal range. <<What does 'off' mean. Please give numbers. If you were detecting nitrIte, something is very wrong in your tank. You need to move your trigger into larger quarters.>> I had plans to do a 25% water change, clean filtration etc. on Monday. <<Had plans? Did you?>> Alas, Sunday Morning, trigger was not as vigorous as usual. He came out of his shell only once for a quick nip and that was all. <<He is being poisoned by his own waste. Id be ornery too.>> Sunday night, he wouldn't come out to eat, and was 'gasping' and looking generally stressed.. I did a quick 10% water change. <<Not nearly enough to keep toxins down.>> Monday afternoon the Trigger was lying down outside of his shell, breathing rapidly, and otherwise NOT swimming, even when I tried to 'nudge' him. <<Bad idea, will only stress him further.>> I broke down the filtration (a magnum 350 with activated carbon), cleaned the hosing, did the 25% water change, put a bubbler in to give him more Oxygen. Tuesday morning the only change was he is lying on the sand floor on the opposite end of the tank.. He is not breathing as rapidly and does not look as stressed, but his color is darker than normal, and he still will not swim or eat that I can see. <<Doesn't sound any better to me.>> I took water test, showed ammonia ideal, Nitrite .5, Nitrate 40, PH and Alkalinity, showed high. <<These subjective terms ideal, high mean nothing to me. Please give numbers. NirtIte showing is a sign of terrible water quality, and a lack of appropriate cycling bacteria.>> I have new water again to do another 10% water change today (Wednesday) & to remove as much red algae as I can.. Is there anything else I can do for this fish?? <<Yes. Do LARGE (75%+) water changes as many times per day as needed to keep ammonia and nitrIte at 0, while you go buy a larger tank.>> I don't see any white spots or other discoloration, and frankly.. I am out of ideas. <<Its quite obvious what the problems are here.>> Any advice would be helpful at this point. Thank you. Amber A. <<Lisa.>>
Re: Failing Undulate Trigger ...No, failed aquarist. - 2/15/2006
You know, I e-mailed you looking for help and advice.. NOT for mockery and debasement! <<I did not mock you, Amber.>> Obviously we are aware that the Trigger will need larger quarters. <<Was not even mentioned.>> We have a 150 gallon tank that will be his future home; we are currently researching equipment & environmental choices to see which would be the best options. <<Awesome.>> When I say that ammonia is ideal, it is because on the quick-strip test that is the readout option! There are no numbers! <<Ah I see, hence the confusion.>> I realize nitrite and nitrate are bad... if you were reading my e-mail, you would have noticed I took IMMEDIATE steps to rectify those levels!! <<I did read it; I simply feel/felt that larger water changes are in order. Nothing rude in that.>> There was no need to mock my maintenance methods... the scheduled maintenance was not due until the last week of the month... so it is understandable that I did not have carbon on hand. <<I did not mock you, just stated that lack of carbon is not a reason to let water quality slide.>> But gee, thanks for all your great advice! <<Although you are being sarcastic, you're welcome. If you set aside the fact that you think I mocked you, you will see that I suggested larger quarters/water changes, and that these are quite helpful. I am sorry, but there is no other answer to give you.>> Meanwhile this trigger is very lethargic.. probably starving...and I'm doing water changes every day (I only did 25% because the action was stressing the fish more!) <<Even if so, reducing the toxins in his water is the main concern here, and will kill your Trigger if not corrected.>> So I'll continue doing daily water changes, with hopes this fish will pull through, without any helpful information/advice from you. <<Sorry you feel that way, but not true. Lisa.>> Amber A.

Discolored Clown Trigger... poor mix, environment (Marina Looks for Photos..) I have a 4 month old Long 30 gallon tank. heavily filtered. Prizm (H.O.T.) skimmer, old school gulf stream wet dry filter, 8 lbs live rock, phosphate absorbing media, carbon, PolyFilter. Also left in the undergravel filter, (covered by very little gravel) with 2 powerheads to pump the fish waste back up to the skimmer (ideally.) <Mmm, am sure you realize the requirements of substrate with UG filters, their shortcomings/strengths> I have more bio balls on order to increase the nitrifying bacteria for the system. I currently fight the nitrite with heavy skimming and a 1/3 water change weekly. currently levels are 2.5 PPM nitrite and 30 ppm nitrate. everything else is ideal. <... any nitrite is dangerous...> I have 1 Niger trigger 2.5 inches, 1 nano undulating trigger 1 inch, <<A what?>> 1 Royal Gamma 2 inches (lives in barnacles) 4 brave and fast damsels 3 Emerald Crabs (clean up crew) and a 2 inch clown trigger. <... crazy to have this much fish life in an uncycled system> everyone gets along. <Mmm, for now perhaps... apparently> - I know that your recommendations are for huge tanks with triggers, but I live in NYC and the triggers live as we do, in well laid out, small quarters. sleeping places for all and a good circuit to do laps. I do not want to reduce stock or trade in until they grow too big 1+ inch growth. I purchased the clown trigger 3 weeks ago. The clown trigger survived and ich infestation 10 days ago. I treated with a 5 minute fresh water dip, and then treated with copper. When I bought the clown it had some discoloration, but was eating well, and was an excellent price retail at $49.00. I decided to bring it home and with TLC bring it back to fighting strength. After undergoing medication, the clown is eating well, although only brine shrimp or Mysis. Does not seem to have the desire to attack the krill like the Niger. On one side of its body the colors are perfect. The photo attached is of the other side. There are white discolored patches. under close observation, it does not look to be fungus. Although the fins have some white bits forming, perhaps bacteria attacking post ich? <Mmm, no, at least not immediately, directly the problem... the source of troubles here is/are environmental... nitrite, likely transient ammonia, too much stress from unnatural assortment, crowding> Also the pectoral fins appear to be enduring some rot. I am going to the LFS to buy some Maracyn, is this the best course of action, given I am dedicated to not making tank size change or destocking? Also how long should scales take to grow back if scrapped from netting or shipping? <Mmm, no... antibiotics period are not a good idea in main/display systems... this one, Erythromycin is not a good idea period> Thanks for your help, your site is very interesting. - JR <Keep the nitrite down below 1.0 ppm... through huge water changes, careful feeding, add more substrate, get a bigger tank/s. Bob Fenner>
Re: Discolored Clown Trigger
Thanks for your advice. I think I will definitely de-stock the tank. Leave the nano undulating and clown. The Niger is growing very fast and it will get ridiculous soon. Do you know of internet fish exchange site where hobbyists sell/trade/donate livestock to each other? <Mmm, not fishes... likely better to trade locally... through a LFS likely... for credit> I added the antibiotics which I now realize was the wrong move. how should I go about removing them? Just more huge water changes? Thanks again for your insight. Moving to Australia in a year. Will then set up the 100 gallon and collect instead of purchase. looking forward to it. - JR <The water changes and use of activated carbon ought to do it. Bob Fenner>

HELP - Sluggish Picasso Trigger Hello, Over the past few days I have noticed changes with my Pecos Trigger.  Until recently the trigger has been very active, but now he has been spending a lot of time sleeping under the rocks.  I have even noticed him swimming past the power filter inlet and allowing himself to be sucked against the grate. Today when I go home from work I found him upside down lodged behind the overflow.  At first I thought he was dead but when I moved the box he swam away.  I checked my levels and found the following: Nitrates:            20 Nitrites:             0 Ammonia:         0 PH:                   8.8 Obviously I have allowed my PH to get way out of control so I instantly added the first dosing of marine buffer to get it back under control.  I have looked over the trigger and see no signs of other disease.  Would the PH be causing him to act sluggish and reduce the level of activity?  Any advice is appreciated. Stacey Hippen <Hi Stacey, Your pH is *high* at 8.8.  Are you sure it wasn't 7.8? Adding buffer to 8.8 water would raise it far too high. Of concern to me is your nitrate level.  I would perform adequate water changes to get your water to 8.3-8.4 pH and lower your nitrates to start. You might also try looking up your trigger at WetWebMedia.Com in the Google search engine to see if there is something you are missing.  Craig>

Boiled Trigger With A Side Of Veggies! Hello<Hi! MikeD here>, I feel intimidated writing to such all knowing people as yourselves<Wow! I've been called a lot of things, but this is a first>.  I came home yesterday to find my 100g trigger w/LR tank at around 90*F yesterday!<Ouch! Been there, done that!>  My heater seems to have gone crazy because it was still on!<yep, occasionally the contacts fail or something similar...how DARE they not make a PERFECT piece of equipment?>  My red tooth trigger was twitching and really mad.  I was able to bring the temp down to a normal 78*F over the next 5 hours.<Good move.> I had a jbo 200w that the settings never seemed to be right. I am now switching to 2 150w heaters of the same brand.<A wise safeguard. This way if ONE sticks on, it's still not enough to "cook" the tank.> My question is do you think the trigger may have suffered some sort of hyperthermia related brain damage?<No, the temperature rise isn't high enough to do serious damage if it only got to 90 degrees>  He isn't twitching anymore but still seems angry.<Liley because he's angry> (More so then the normal angry trigger syndrome) I really love this fish and don't want to loose him.<Fully understandable. You'll want to watch him very carefully for signs of an Ick outbreak and have a Q/hospital tank set up just in case, as rapid/severe temperature changes often weaken fish to the point that they are susceptible to an infestation of this troublesome parasite> My other question is do you think that skimmate would be good for my garden?<Not unless you're looking to eliminate your garden. Don't forget that this is a SALT WATER tank and that "salting the earth" has been a famous way of making sure NOTHING grows there  since biblical times!>  It smells just like the fish emulsion at plant shops.<Smell can be deceiving and "bad" doesn't always mean good for a garden, as you've just learned, and luckily, not the hard way>  Thanks for your help.<You're welcome>     Nate D

Triggerfishes for  Marine
Diversity, Selection & Care

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