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FAQs on Tank Troubleshooting 15

Related Articles: Tank Troubleshooting Pt 1, Part 2, The Three Sets of Factors That Determine Livestock Health/Disease, A Livestock Treatment System,

Related FAQs: Troubleshooting 1, Troubleshooting 2, Troubleshooting 3, Troubleshooting 4, Troubleshooting 5, Troubleshooting 6, Troubleshooting 7, Troubleshooting 8, Troubleshooting 9, Troubleshooting 10, Troubleshooting 11, Troubleshooting 12, Troubleshooting 13, Troubleshooting 14, Troubleshooting 16,

Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK    3/20/20
Looking for some thoughts/options. I have a 65 gallon mixed reef tank. Very stable tank. Weekly water changes/husbandry done.
<Ah, good. Am a huge fan... I spend a couple of hours every Sunday doing them>
Water chem is stable and fine. I have had this tank set up for about 4 years and have never had many losses. All of my fish go though a QT. So over the last few days I lost 2 fish and one is not looking good.
1) lost a one spot fox face that has been in the tank for about 2 years.
2) lost an algae eating blenny - newest fish added, has been in tank for about 2 months.
3) Hoeven wrasse, is alive but constantly laying on sand. Wrasse has been in tank for about 3 1/2 years. Bought mature so could be getting old.
<Mmm... so far this reads as some sort of environmental issue... not pathogenic (involving a disease-causing organism).
To be honest - I did take blenny out of QT after about 10 days of QT. Treated w Cupramine and Prazi. I do usually do a good 2 weeks but there wasn't much algae in qt so I felt like he needed to eat more. (might be the problem but since no visible sign of parasites on other fish it's hard to say)
Fox face was showing some damage to tail fin but seemed consistent with backing into rocks. Other fins were healthy. Always ate well no issues.
I'm primarily writing about the wrasse. He has always been healthy- if it were wrasse alone I might think his time is just up. He has been w me for about 4 years and I bought him mature. However, since I lost 2 fish so I'm not so sure.
I was able to look at wrasses fins closely with magnifying glass. Seems fine, nothing on fins. No white dots. Fins seem very healthy but breathing seems a little laborer. Very tired Don't think it's Ich but maybe in gills where I can't see.
<Again; I don't think this is infectious, parasitic>
The MAIN issue is that he has difficultly getting off of the bottom of the tank. He is able to swim around but it’s a struggle. After swimming for a few minutes he resorts to laying on the sand bed. My though is that it’s swim bladder. I have him in QT and started treating with Maracyn 2, but not sure if that’s the right move???
In addition I have another 8 or so fish- flame, damsel, 2 clowns, jawfish, basset, 3 cardinals. All have been w me a while. As of now all look good.
I have a bunch of mixed corals, all healthy, good growth.
Any thoughts from experienced people would be very much appreciated.
<At this juncture, given your description... if it were me, mine, I'd default to warding off possibilities of poisoning... biological and not. Do read re some other instances here: http://wetwebmedia.com/envdisf13.htm
and the linked FAQs files in this series (in blue, above)
I'd stop all use of supplements and chemical feeds, and use PolyFilter and a granulated activated carbon product (ChemiPure is a fave) in your filter/water circulation pattern. Please do write me/us with your further observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK    3/20/20

Thank you for your reply. Someone else suggested that it could have been hand sanitizer from overly using due to current pandemic.
<Could be... there (appears to be) is no pattern, considering the fishes you list, what you've lost, in order... in terms of indication of the type of poisoning (low oxygen let's say, or high metabolite concentration)>
Although I’m not really sure I did start running activated carbon in my filtration. I have been dosing BRS 2part and vodka for over 2 years without issues. I did start dosing Kent magnesium 1 x a week. Should I stop dosing?
<Yes; as I stated in your last email>
Also, do you think that it could be chem warfare between corals?
<A possibility; but again; other fishes would likely perish first>
I have Zoas, leathers, Monti caps & birds nest that are all getting quite big. Also have some mushrooms that are starting to get out of control. Do you think that this could be poising the fish?
<.... yes>
<W. B>
Re: Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK      3/31/20

Thank you for your reply. Someone else suggested that it could have been hand sanitizer from overly using due to current pandemic.
<Could be... there (appears to be) is no pattern, considering the fishes you list, what you've lost, in order... in terms of indication of the type of poisoning (low oxygen let's say, or high metabolite concentration>
Although I’m not really sure I did start running activated carbon in my filtration. I have been dosing BRS 2part and vodka for over 2 years without issues. I did start dosing Kent magnesium 1 x a week. Should I stop dosing?
<Yes; as I stated in your last email>
Also, do you think that it could be chem warfare between corals?
<A possibility; but again; other fishes would likely perish first>
I have Zoas, leathers, Monti caps & birds nest that are all getting quite big. Also have some mushrooms that are starting to get out of control. Do you think that this could be poising the fish?
<.... yes>
<W. B>

Re: Wrasse Having Difficulty Getting off Bottom of TANK; Now question re something on wrasse snout    3/30/20
Thank you for your reply. Someone else suggested that it could have been hand sanitizer from overly using due to current pandemic.
<Could be... there (appears to be) is no pattern, considering the fishes you list, what you've lost, in order... in terms of indication of the type of poisoning (low oxygen let's say, or high metabolite concentration>
Although I’m not really sure I did start running activated carbon in my filtration. I have been dosing BRS 2part and vodka for over 2 years without issues. I did start dosing Kent magnesium 1 x a week. Should I stop dosing?
<Yes; as I stated in your last email>
Also, do you think that it could be chem warfare between corals?
<A possibility; but again; other fishes would likely perish first>
I have Zoas, leathers, Monti caps & birds nest that are all getting quite big. Also have some mushrooms that are starting to get out of control. Do you think that this could be poisoning the fish?
<.... yes>
<W. B>

So called Mystery Disease?       11/17/20
Good day great folks,
The pic says a thousand words?
<Maybe more. Crypt evidently. DO READ on WWM ASAP; and ACT NOW! I'd be lowering spg to about 1.010 to buy you/these angels time... NOW (assuming other life present can tolerate low salinity). Bob Fenner>
So called Mystery Disease?    /Wil        11/17/20

Good day great folks,
<Good day Evelyn>
The pic says a thousand words?
<Does look like Cryptocaryon Irritans, you need to isolate these angels and treat them with copper and hyposalinity; sorry but I'm not sure if you are still on time, they look pretty bad. Wil.>

Re: So called Mystery Disease?       11/17/20
Crypt? Really?
<Uhh, the only way to tell is sampling... ciliate, two dissimilar nuclei... I hope you're done reading...>
And that’s what I thought but the shape is very irregular.
I read something on your site, about an Emperor—cumulative stress ‘syndrome’.
They are eating and swimming and generally seem fine. This is post Cupramine treatment, after being clean for 1 month in a new, clean tank. There was an incident a couple of days ago where all equipment stopped as it became unplugged, in the morning when I saw them they were in respiratory distress. And now this, almost all of a sudden.
<Mate, your animals are soon to be dead. B>
I thought you would like the pic for reference. They are triangular in shape and on the frenchi, in patches.
Thank you, Evelyn
Re: So called Mystery Disease?    /Wil        11/17/20

Good day Wil,
They are isolated. Look closely, their shape is very irregular, clustered on the frenchi. I have read posts about a ‘mystery’ disease and was hoping anyone there would be able to share some of their knowledge and experience.
<Haven't heard of that>
I know it looks like crypt but is it really? Their behavior suggests otherwise.
<To be 100% sure, only by taking a tissue sample and observe it under a microscope.>
They have just come out of quarantine and placed in a clean observation tank.
I will certainly keep you posted in my findings. I read something about ‘cumulative’ stress. Any thoughts/ experience on that?
<Well, stress is (as in humans) the trigger for almost any disease, that´s why we always advice keeping top water quality and a stress free environment... Prevention is better than cure.>
Many thanks,
<Glad to help. Wil.>

Re: So called Mystery Disease?      1/18/20
"His breathing, swimming, eating seems normal and he isn't scratching against any surfaces. I thought maybe Lymphocystis, or fungus, but wanted your opinion.
<Mmm, the best/most likely "explanation" or root cause here is cumulative stress...> "
<<The above is an excerpt from another person and your response. His Situation was similar to mine. Anyway. I will keep you posted on their progress. Many thanks for the reply.>>
<<Ahh, thank you for this clarification. Am almost sure this is the pathogen mentioned. AND would do as I've suggested; a precipitous drop in salinity (to favor the host, disfavor the Protozoan), and TREAT per what else you have stock wise. AS gone over and over on WWM. DO please write back if a/your path you're choosing isn't clear. Bob Fenner>>
Re: So called Mystery Disease? /Wil      1/18/20

His breathing, swimming, eating seems normal and he isn't scratching against any surfaces.
<Sometimes they seem unaffected, but not indefinitely. I would treat them ASAP, just as Bob suggested.>
thought maybe Lymphocystis, or fungus, but wanted your opinion.
<Lymphocystis "diameter" is bigger and does look like a cauliflower. Wil.>  

Guess what. I have a problem (Reef hlth)      1/13/20
Good day dearest WWM team,
<Good day Evelyn>
As many, a long time reader and fan.
So. I have a 120 gallon reef tank with:
Bubble magus 7 skimmer
<A very nice product>
Carbon reactor
<Do you change this often?>
Phosphate reactor
Bioplastics reactor
<Am not a fan of this, I rely more on DSB>
Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 1.5
Phosphate 0.02, cal. 500, magnesium 1500, KH 8.7 brought down from 11.
Dose: Redsea A and B
The tank has been running for just about 3 years.
Fish: 2 little wrasses, 2 antheas, a little fox , a mandarin, a damsel, all non coral disturbing fish with the exception of the fox I suppose.
The tank is mostly soft corals, the usuals, and a few SPS right at the summit of the rock work.
<What about aquarium lighting, water temperature… have you added new fish or corals recently?>
Huston, here’s the problem: the softies are NOT happy and declining in health. They look shrunken and blasé, some flesh of the prized scoly has deteriorated along the edges. A tree, not a Kenya, just decided to ‘spontaneously’ die after 2 years.
<Mmm, this is certainly not a good sign>
Our meat coral the size of a small dinner plate is now the size of a peony. We had a RTN of a large SPS about 3 months back, it did not spread to any other.
I change my socks every 2 days religiously.
Your thoughts ??
<How often do you change aquarium water and what percentage each time?... salt contains very important elements that get “used up” by marine organisms and need to be replaced. I suggest doing an immediate partial water change, 15 or 20% at least and see if corals show any improvement in the next few days.>
Many thanks,
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>
Re: Guess what. I have a problem      1/13/20

Oh! Very important omitted things, there’s just so much.
The lighting: 2 maxspect razor 420 R 15,000K, places about 11” from the surface of the tank.
Water change 20% once per month.
The carbon is changed every 2 to 3 weeks
<Regularly, carbon gets exhausted and loses adsorption capacity in the first few days, beyond that it will turn into a biological filter.>
Temp is 78f, PH is 8.8
< A bit high, try to maintain it around 8.3>
Another death I did not report was that of a brain, it just randomly stayed closed and very slowly disintegrated.
It’s like, a slow decline in the health of the softies, yet some others appear to be flourishing. It’s been ‘stable’ for so long, no recent additions.
Sometimes I feel that if you screw with tank chasing after numbers it just interferes with the balance.
<You’re right on this, personally I don’t lose sleep thinking about the numbers...good maintenance practices maintain water chemistry balanced.>
I think that I had a better tank when my KH was 7 and my mg was 1350 and my nitrates were 15 and I had hair algae. I think tanks find their own balance with peoples circumstances different city water etc. any thoughts appreciated.
Many thanks,
<I suggest returning the numbers to where they were before the losses, please do keep us posted. Wil.>

Nuked tank  >>RMF comments<<        9/9/19
Hi Guys and good morning from Thailand here,
<Morning Dirk!>
would like to bring the following story with an uncertain outcome and hope you guys can follow me in my process of elimination and see if I took the correct route and what more I should be doing now....Yesterday walking into the my customers place taking care of his 1200Lt fish only (with full resin rock and coral setup) we noticed several fish deaths (Harlequin Tusk, Blue Lined Angel, Valentini Puffer, Large boxfish, Tomato Clown and several regular clowns,..) All other fish seem to look struggling big time hanging to rock and barely swimming around. Only 2 fish not effected seem to be a powder brown and a big eye Soldierfish.... My first thought went out to a longer power-cut and a failing of the installed backup system as it looked like all fish behaving as in an oxygen shortage....checking on all logs from installed Alexa and other electrical appliances in the house it seem like nothing had logged any kind of power outage so I guess that was not it.... My second thought was 2 of the Heteractis >>RMF would have used Entacmaea...<<(added about 3 weeks ago to get some (10) Clowns requested by the customer and to protect them a little from too many predators in the tank) had gone into any kind of nuke mode? Though it seemed that they didn't move at all so sure not ended up in any power head or anything and that could not have caused the death of all clown fish in the aquarium (included the tomato which was housed in one of them) so I guess I could eliminate that as well as a cause..... MY 3rd thought was with adding the 10 clownfish about 5 days ago I have introduced an aggressive form of any kind of disease (Velvet maybe??)
<Maybe. Should have been quarantined>

Though some of the fish showing signs of itching when and if swimming around no visible signs of any parasite was visible...Only fish showing any external signs was an Emperor Angel showing red marks on his body.....So I contacted the supplier but doubt that is this was the case as supplier is a very well maintained breeding farm here locally in Thailand and the supplier who I know very well mentioned he is not aware of any disease or parasites in his closed breeding set ups....but then again can one be ever 100% certain...?? Now I came to the thought of could a boxfish been hit by any of the anemones and got so damaged he released his toxin....As I knew they could be toxin but can they be so toxic wiping out a tank?
<If it released a large enough amount of the toxin, yes.>

Now with discussing this thought with my helper he mentioned that when removing the death boxfish from the aquarium he seem to have been stock between one of the resin rock and the side of the glass and was completely covered in a thick white dust like substance....signs of the toxin maybe?? maybe he got stuck between that rock and the side got in such a panic slowly dying not moving and releasing his toxins in being super stressed...?
<Very likely this is what happened.>
Anyway, I decided to go that route, so did a 50% water change immediately and added a huge bag of activated carbon to the system.....
<Good moves>

Guess I will go check later this morning on how the surviving fish reacted and if they are all a bit more active now? So what you guys think do you think my last thought was the correct one and did I handle appropriately or didn’t I do enough to get rid of the toxin yet and should I do more water changes??? How long is that toxin active for as not a lot (just that they are) is available on the net on boxfish toxin in aquariums
<You did the right thing, though I’d do smaller (20%) water changes until things get back to normal, I also advise you to add a high grade activated carbon to your filter, this will help in eliminating the toxin remains.> >>RMF would have and still would move the surviving livestock to another established system<<
... Thank for your guys thoughts...Dirk
<Cheers. Wil.>>>Note, both Wil and RMF have worked for several years in the aquarium install and maintenance business. These "wipe out" events do occur.<<

Here's a new one - wrasses NOT dying but everything else did     1/21/19
Hello WWM crew,
Great site, read it all the time, have written to you folks many times but I have an odd situation, at least for me. Bear with me. I have a 90 gallon well established reef tank. ( about 17 years in it's present state ) No real problems until about 3 months ago. I added a quarantined fish to the mix, no signs of disease at all. Within 2 weeks some of my larger fish started showing signs of velvet ( gray slime, tiny specks, rapid breathing, no appetite ) and some showed signs of ich. ( larger white specks, scratching and flashing, rapid breathing, lethargy ) Or a virulent bacterial infection???
<Mmm; would need at least to sample, look under a 'scope>
Not good, before I could do anything, I lost 6 fish to, what looked like, 2 different diseases. Less than 48 hours, all affected fish, dead . I have treated for ich, velvet, brook etc... over the years but this... I said it
was odd. But the oddest thing is that none of my wrasses died. None of them. There is a leopard wrasse, yellow wrasse, pink streaked and a Halichoeres zeylanica. That last fish is blind in one eye but doing well.
All of my wrasses are doing well.
Even my magnificent Rabbitfish didn't make it. He was in there 5 years.
The wrasses are all in the tank still, tough to catch them. But I am at a loss. Why did none of my wrasses die but all of the other fish did? And none of the wrasses showed any sign of any disease at all at any time.
Still don't. I am at a loss here.
<Me too>
Could the disease, whatever the disease was, be gone?
<Possibly; or more likely, latent... sub-clinical. I know of no condition or parasite group that would favor Labrids over other fish groups>
Unlikely but I was hoping you guys could help me out with possibilities and how to proceed.
thanks everyone,
<Proceed? Cautiously. I'd quarantine/isolate all new live purchases... add water from the main display to the quarantine in time. Bob Fenner>
Re: Here's a new one - wrasses NOT dying but everything else did     1/21/19

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. Strange situation for sure.
Should I remove the wrasses from the DT?
<For? I myself wouldn't. Even if you/I fear they may be operating as "reservoir hosts"; the rest of the system can/does for months as well>
They are not sick but I fear whatever got my other fish may still be in there. But not affecting the wrasses???? This is so frustrating. Those 4 wrasses have been the only inhabitants for several weeks. I'm afraid to add any new fish, even after quarantine.
<See my MO: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimppt1.htm>
I have spent far too long searching internet for any story similar to mine. None. After 20+ years in this hobby, I thought I'd seen it all. I guess not. I have tested my tank water often - nothing out of ordinary. Had my RO water tested at hardware store and my tap water tested as well. RO water's TDS were 0. I use Kent marine salt. Im searching for answers.
Because any toxins or metals would taken out some of the more delicate wrasses before a Foxface??
Thank you again!
<Welcome. BobF>

Persistent Flashing      11/16/18
Hope all is well. I am having an issue with a few of my fish that are in QT. They are continuously flashing and am not sure why. I have had them for 3 weeks and my QT process is as follows:
<Mmm; flashing can be... "just natural" to extents, due to irritants of a wide array: Water quality and parasites most commonly>
Freshwater Dip to check for flukes
7 Day Metro GC for flukes and worms
14 Days of copper than ttm into display
<Ahh, could be just the copper exposure>
Problem I am having though is my fish show no signs of white spot but are constantly flashing at the gills. Tough to explain but my fang tooth blenny is also spinning in a semi-circle to clean its tail. Not sure what else to do? Is it a reaction to the copper, Healing from Ick or velvet, some copper resistant parasite?
<Could be any of these. I wouldn't be overly concerned. With conditions and health returning, the flashing behavior should subside>
Thanks for taking look.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Persistent Flashing      11/22/18
Thanks Bob. On a separate note one of my new flasher wrasses developed these bump like spots on its one side. It dove into one of my Randall Assessors cave and came out a bit beat up. Do these spots look parasitic or more like a wound injury? If an injury do you think it could be a start if an infection? Photos attached.
<Much more likely the former Eric. Happy T-Day! BobF>

Re: Persistent Flashing      11/22/18
Thanks Bob. Such a bummer since everything has been QT'd.
<Eric; I don't think this is parasitic... sorry for the confusion; should've stated "much more likely the latter". D'oh!>
Tank was fallow for 120 days prior and the fish went through prophylactic copper with a tank transfer. I guess time to break the tank down again. Is this more likely Ick or velvet? What's odd is that you can only see it at certain angles. Looking dead on it blends in perfect.
<Cheers mate. BobF>
Re: Persistent Flashing      11/22/18

Lol. To much pre tryptophan. Enjoy Turkey Day.
<Too Eric; cheers>

Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.     11/12/18
I recently noticed my healthy flame Hawkfish has developed what appears to be a white fuzzy substance on his pectoral fins. Am I looking at a fungal infection?
<Very doubtful... such are rare on marine fishes (unless dead, dying) and cirrhitids are very tough, resistant to such>
How should I approach this. He is behaving perfectly fine. I apologize for the quality of the pics.
<Something either to do w/ getting stung here or being chewed by a tankmate likely. I'd be observing this fish, system carefully. If you write again, do include a list of organisms present please. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.    11/12/18
<Ave John!>
Thank you for the prompt response! Upon further examination it almost has cotton-like quality to it. I can see a “strand” or two hanging off.
<Mmm; could be a few things; best guess simply (body) mucus trailing the irritation>
As for tankmates, he is in with a Melanurus wrasse, Sixline wrasse,
<Most likely bully>
2 Percula clowns, a Blue/Green Chromis, a Bartlett Anthias and a large rose bubble nem.
<And if this is the sole Cnidarian here, the prime candidate for stinging>
I had wondered if what I am seeing was fish squabble related or from a sting but it looks so… strange. He is 2nd in charge of the tank under the Melanurus who pays him no mind whatsoever. Last thoughts?
<Again, not likely biological in origin... I would do nothing treatment wise; just simple optimized stable conditions (water quality, nutrition)... should see this fish improving>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.    11/12/18

Is a parasite possible? It definitely resembles no parasite I’ve experienced.
<... possible? Yes; probable, no. Please READ on WWM re such... need sampling, microscopic examination to af/con-firm. B>

Reason to worry?   Mysterious marine fish losses   5/8/18
<Hi Kelli>
I could use some help. Two months ago I lost an engineer goby to a bacterial infection. I noticed he wasn't working for a day or two (which was weird),wasn't eating great.
<Most fish meds also have side effects (appetite suppression being the most common)>
When he started swimming stiffer and I saw slime I QTed and went to the LFS to get help and they gave me Erythromycin.
<Should be quarantined from the beginning to avoid these situations>
I treated and thought he was getting better. But then he died in 48 hours.
Seemed to be the end of it and all has been normal for 2 or 3 months outside of some fading to my yellow tangs face about a week ago.
<Could be HLLE>
Three days ago I fed the tank Mysis in the morning as usual and that night my File Fish was dead (no sign of sickness prior). Since he was stuck to my carpet anemone I figured he had been stung.
<very likely>
But then I noticed my yellow tang of two years was sucked up to the circulation fan. I thought he was dead too.
<Fish don’t usually get sucked by common circulation fans unless they are too weak to swim away; I need more information about your water parameters, frequency of water changes, temperature, salinity and also about your filtration system.>
I bumped him off and he started swimming, really weak. He died the next evening. So, my question is I have a clown fish and long nose Hawk fish left, both seem normal with no sign of sickness. Do I do anything for them as precaution?
<I need more information about your system>
I am really not sure if the Goby and these last two cases are related, since they didn’t have evidence of a sickness. I thought maybe I had something on my hands when I fed that morning? I do have the clean up crew, a cleaner and an urchin also. I don't want to cause more harm or stress if I don't need to. My first time for anything to be sick so it is all new. I haven’t added any new fish in at least four months before the goby died so it all shocked me that this happened. Thank you for any help.
<Wilberth Gamboa>
<<Well done Wil. B>>

Fish dying in new fish store     12/22/17
Hi Bob,
I'd like to start by saying thanks so much for your help over the years... have asked a few questions when needed as a hobbyist, and now I need help as a retailer.
I am about 1 year into creating a brand new LFS... it's been a struggle...
We haven't had a grand opening yet, but customers just started coming in anyway so it's getting a bit busier.
<Ah, good>
The goal is to sell the highest quality fish possible with the least chance of any disease passing through, so we have four separate quarantine systems in the back.
<Outstanding. Offering healthy livestock is key to growing a successful LFS long term. There is NO better promotion>
These have worked okay for a few months just fine but a few weeks ago we had fish starting to die out. It looked to me like it was possibly velvet. We already had CP in the water, so added in some CopperSafe, which is supposed to be OK to mix. I do have a spectrometer to measure the CP.
Moved some fish to the display systems, and a few were OK.. but the rest died off. After this die off, I didn't want to take any risks, so we completely bleached all the tanks and rinsed a few times.
<Good. This is what I would have done as well>
Then rinsed with lots of sodium thiosulfate and waited a few days. I'll try to keep it brief - got more fish, they all died again. (We put extra amounts of turbo start, complete, and ammonia was 0)
Thought maybe some leftover bleach in the sponge filters, but I didn't think it could last that long and the ORP was around 150 (from 700 when there was bleach in there) , as we have ozone also.
Cleaned it all up again, the tanks looked like brand new, rinsed a few times with tap water, drained, and re-filled with new saltwater, de-chlorinator, waited a day.
Got new fish for just 1 tank to see how it was going, and everything stayed fine with about 10 days+, great parameters..
Got more fish to fill the other tank, then they started to all slowly die from the first tank that was fine for 10 days along with the new ones. 
Low bioload, 10 small Anthias and 4 wrasses in 100 gallons.
The newly ordered fish looked great and swam around fine for 36 hours+, then all of them died again in one of the tanks, about 50% in another, all the Anthias are dead from the first one except the wrasses, and I'm going absolutely nuts at this point and have lost a ton of time, money, and my heart breaks seeing even just 1 dead fish.
<I can relate... something is insidiously poisoning the livestock here... but what?>
Someone had suggested to me that the ozone was killing the fish; as there wasn't enough carbon and too much ozone byproducts. There's about 1/4-1/2 cup of it in the ozone reactor, which is just a regular media reactor, it's
changed monthly or so.
One of the systems had an ORP of 475; the others were never over 380,
<I'd keep up to 400 microsiemens/cm.... no higher>
and all still had fish deaths. So this last shipment no ozone was used at all, and I took live rock from home (absolutely disease free for years) and put carbon in before the fish arrived.
<... The salt mix you're using... please do check for me. Assure me it doesn't have bromine>
And they all still died even without the ozone.
I should mention we did a 99% water change.
Water is kept at 1.020; 73-76F; pH 7.9; ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all at 0. Nothing I could measure was out of range.
My acclimation procedure is as follows:
1 - Open the box in the dark;
2 - Check the pH of a few bags
3 - Create matching pH/salinity water (last case it was 8.3 system going to down 7.75 bag - i used "pH lower" but personally have just used vinegar in the past)
<Either s/b fine>
4 - Pour fish into buckets mixing a few fish with assumed same pH for the size of the fish and water quantity
5 - Add in Fritz Guard for stress and Fritz Complete for detox, sometimes meth blue if the pH is really low
6 - Slowly add in the new water, then remove some water, then add water, etc, for a 30min+ time so the fish ends up in all new water
7 - Add some buffer to some RODI,
<And aerate this... when new/fresh it has no dissolved oxygen>
and put a few drops, and slowly mix and add drops to bring it up to 8.3
8 - Net fish over from the bucket to the new QT tank water with exactly the same parameters. I usually add powdered PraziPro the following day.
I have done this with lots of fish and it's worked fine, almost always with 0% death rates.
It was the same in this last case, not one died the next day and they looked great, happy, swimming, then dead the next.
Each time, I purchased fish from a different supplier (3 of them around LAX airport). I also put a few more expensive fish directly into a display system as a test. Almost all are still okay out there, except a few Anthias also died.
So clearly I am the one killing the fish. I want to take all these QT systems and burn them in the trash, but truly I need to stop killing fish, it's driving me mad.
They are still running right now and the fish remaining appear fine, but I don't know how long that will last.
What do you suggest? Thank you so very much for your help!
<I take it you're VERY sure there is no outside source of contamination here... no metal in contact with plumbing, the systems? I'd place a pad of PolyFilter in a discharge or intake area to give you/me an idea (by color) if indeed there is metal contamination. There isn't a "kitty litter box" nearby? No chance of sabotage (as in human)? Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish dying in new fish store     12/22/17

The salt (Fritz RPM) should be OK, we have a giant 1200 gallon plastic tank, with a pump working into a hose, it's used throughout the other systems without any problems, same batches.
<I see... something came to me re the poss. of your mixing a brominated salt with ozone... but you mentioned that you were experiencing losses even sans O3 use>
I will have to check with the contamination issue. The only metal in there are titanium grounding rods, we did that to see if it would help with the dying.
There is no other plumbing besides the HOB media reactor.
<The pump/s... perhaps>
The tanks are on a shelving system with particle board that's been wet more than once... you can see some mold growing on the bottom. At least 12" above the next tank. Do you think that could be a problem?
<It shouldn't be>
They still died on the top most shelf though. There is also a refrigerator 6" away from the side. However that still doesn't explain some dying outside the QT room.,, although rather infrequent. Plenty of fish have been in the various systems for 6mo+, and the invert and coral systems doing great.
<Good clues, input>
I will put some Polyfilter into each of these QT systems right now, however! No kitty litter, .. now that I think about it, we have a big air pump split with air hose into about 40 sponge filters+. There is a metal ring holding the manifold in that has some rust in it. Could the air be picking up some of that?
<Perhaps, but appreciably?>
A mystery... definitely no sabotage. I will let you know about the poly filter colors as soon as they change. Thanks again!
<Thank you Michael. BobF>

Fish injury?     8/20/17
<12 megs of blurry pix?>
This morning, I had to move rocks in my reef tank. Before moving anything, I took some time to peruse the tank and plan out what I wanted to do. I know I looked over my fish and didn't see anything noteworthy.
As I was removing rocks, inside a rock was one of my lyretails. As the Rick broke the water surface, she gave a wiggle and dropped out of the rock and into the water.
After I finished everything, the fish began exploring their surroundings when I noticed several large, white clumps on the side of a lyretail. I can't say for certain it was the one in the rock.
The white spots appear to be pieces of my white substrate stuck to her side.
<Might well be>

I'm not sure if this is an injury, gravel or if I should do anything about it.
<Does look odd. I would do nothing treatment wise here. Bob Fenner>

Fish injury, continued     8/20/17
Dear Crew,
My last message was sent before I was through, sorry.
I wanted to add, the white marks seemed to be raised from the skin and run along just one side of the fish.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
<As you state/d; likely substrate. B>

Deborah Baran
re: Fish injury?     8/20/17

I think it was gravel some of its off already.
<Ah, good. B>

Fwd: pictures of strange ailment.    10/24/16
No..... am in Mexico. Can't download ten megs of pix. SEE and HEED our requirements.... hundreds of kilobytes... and please RESEND. BobF
Re: Fwd: pictures of strange ailment.   10/25/16

Y dos.
My Guy emailed these to me today. I see now that the files are about one megabyte each. Hopefully that'll be ok!
<Yeah; just took a shower while downloading. En futura, please crop. B>
Re: Fwd: pictures of strange ailment.   10/25/16

Lo siento...
<Por (Ralph) nada (Nader)>
Ahoy Bob and friends,
I've got myself a head scratcher with a raccoon butterfly and a Flagfin angelfish. As you may be able to see from photos, first raccoon showed skin irritation, followed by protruding white growths around rostrum.
Weeks later the Flagfin angelfish is showing same.
<See this.... whitish growths>

Living peacefully in a community of largish fish. No Visible aggression.
And still eating well.
They are Living in a fish only 250 gallon @1.011,
<Know of other folks in the trade who maintaining FO systems at such low spg's... not a fan: TOO stressful>

pH of 8.1. daily vinegar dosing to remedy nitrate. Some Kalkwasser mixed into top off water for

Bi weekly 60 gallon water changes. Fed large blend of flake pellet and frozen daily.
Any ideas? Fungal maybe?
<Environmental I'd list as principal cause... like Lymphocystis.
I'd move the mal-affected fishes to a higher specific gravity setting sans NO3 issue. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fwd: pictures of strange ailment.    10/26/16
Thanks for the comeback Bob.
So ideally, yes I'd raise their salinity. However three weeks ago I pushed above 1.0013 and got a Cryptocaryon outbreak immediately. Tank had been at 1.008 for 3 months to attempt to remedy deadly outbreak caused by unquarantined fish (against my recommendation).
<Time for CP...>
Nitrate has lowered from above 100 to currently 25 as per Salifert.
I'm considering capture and treatment of affected fish in quarantine tank.
<This issue will best resolve/solve itself over time in a large, established main/display system. REDUCE stress, add vitamins, HUFAs, probiotics to foods, and be patient. BobF>
Re: Fwd: pictures of strange ailment.    10/26/16

Little further discussion-
I'm going to have to disagree with regards to hypo and CP. After three years experience using hypo, and about 9 Months using CP, I dropped CP from my
arsenal. Too unreliable without effective accurate testing for therapeutic vs. lethal vs. ineffective.
My assistant and myself combined found that it killed 6 out of 6 hippo tangs.
However hypo has been a miracle symptom eraser.
<Symptom; not cause>
We recognize that its more of a stall than a cure, but it has worked every time at preventing mortalities, and seems to make reef fishes less stressed rather than more.
<A fave approach as mentioned earlier; esp. for Lance Ichinotsubo. Bob Fenner>

all fish died       7/18/16
Good evening gents,
I have the weirdest thing happen to a tank of one of my clients. Saturday we service this mans tank and feed the fish as he is away on a holiday and his wife is home alone but does not like to feed the fish for some reason. Anyway we service the tank and test Nitrates and salt levels as we most of the time do with our service (twice a week in this case) and all norms seem ok (Nitrates seem to have always been hanging around 20) but only a few elegances in his tank and they all seem to be doing very well.
<Catalaphyllia/s... very stinging... >

The tank is L1m x W1m x H1.6m temperature set at 25.5C He houses 1 small blue face 7 yellow tangs 4 scopa tangs 1 yellow angel 1 key hole angel and 1 coral beauty. quite some Nassarius snails in his shallow sand bed and 3 urchins and some turbo snails. Sunday evening around 6pm I get a massage from him that his wife called him and all fish are death???
So we rush over and his tank looked like a battle field fish all over the floor of the tank non of them hide or nothing it seemed like they just fell out of the air? We had a timer installed on top of his tank and saw the amount of fish food of the tank that assembled about 2 feeding s they had missed so tells me they must have died around 9-11am as first feed of the day is set at 8am and is a bit larger in volume. When asked the wife when they died she said she didn't know as she left the house there at about 11pm (fish were still ok according to her at that time) and only came home just before I got there. So all fish must have died between 11pm and 9 am all snails and all corals are doing A ok full extended and snails had a feast on all death fish around them. we tested the water right away on Ammonia, Nitrates, Salt, temp, Ph and all norms were ok only Nitrates now elevated to 60 (should not be that deadly is it???)
<No; this is/was an after affect... the cause different, the NO3 the result of death>

and might just have been caused to all the death in the tank I presume. For some reason I think the wife had something to do with it as from past we know she is not into those fish and would rather have them out of the house......The death fish did not display any kind of parasite or anything in the past and even when death no marking on them at all. see pictures attached. What did strike me was though is that Saturday we cleaned out all skimmer cups and when we got there Sunday they looked like Picture 1 shows you. We cleaned them out again and today same thing skimmer had been
serious overworking/ see picture 2Could fish have been poisoned by something not affecting the snails and corals or what else could have caused this.
<Mmm; yes>
I experienced Velvet and Ich outbreaks previous but does not kill this instant in my idea
<No; agreed. This is/was either a sudden poisoning effect or a dire environmental one. My bet is on the former>
(velvet sure fast but not this fast and is still a bit visible after death) and in my experience sick fish die in the rocks most of the time as they get lethargic before the pass away? Anything you can add? I am baffled and would like to solve this mystery or at ;east know what I have on this guys wife if ..... but I can not imagine anyone would??Dirk
<This reads like a classical cascade event... the maintenance of the
skimmers et al., triggering an overt reaction by the Elegance Corals; they chemically (allelopathically) reacting, causing other corals to do so in return.... Please read here re:
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegcorcompfaqs.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CnidComp6.htm
and the linked files above. A few things that can be done now and going forward... as you'll see in your reading.
Bob Fenner>
Fw: all fish died       7/18/16

sorry guys forgot the picture
<Mmm; my analysis of possibilities, likelihood is reinforced. BobF>

Sunday                                                                                   Monday

Help with Anemone and Algae. Moved sm. sys., cascade event      7/1/16
<Eight megs... is there a full moon? Why are folks sending such huge files?>
Hi there. I need help...About 1.5 months ago I moved to from San Francisco to Monterey for a job, and moved my 24 gallon reef tank for the second time in 2 years. My tank has been established since Oct. 2013, and has been thriving up until this move.
During move I followed the same protocols I used when moving two years ago (which was successful), which were the following: Placed biggest piece of live rock in bucket with airstone and heater along with all non-coral animals. Placed all other live rock and corals in a Styrofoam cooler in water. Emptied tank nearly all of the way, leaving 1/4" of water above the live-sand. I was able to plug heater and airstone into electricity with adapter in my truck. Drive 2 hrs, set up tank, all seemed fine until 2 weeks later...
Fast forward two weeks and I started to get brown slimy/hairy algae on sand, rocks, back walls etc.
<I see this... likely a release of nutrient/s... loss of RedOx/ORP... alkaline reserve in your substrate
I would siphon out as much as I could during water changes, revealing nice white sand under the brown scum, but it
comes back after a few days. At the time of my move I also switched to Reef Crystals from Instant Ocean for salt mix, and also purchased an under-sink RO system. Where it got weird is when my normally super-happy bubble tip anemone spawned, probably 1 month into the move. A big blob of eggs were released from her (I guess it is a she) mouth. I netted as many of them as I could. Ever since that spawn-night, the anemone has been small, deflated and wandering. It slides from one spot to another night after night, and never inflates to its previous 8-10" size. I realize that I might have
stirred up gunk in my 2-3 year old live sand during move,
but wouldn't I see a noticeable uptick in nitrates? The tap water here smells very chlorine-y also, but shouldn't my RO system be filtering bad stuff out?
<It should... and you likely have a carbon contactor pre-filter. You could test for free chlorine...>
My underlying question is; what could be simultaneously causing this algae outbreak and also stressing the anemone?
<The gunk stirred up in your old substrate; subsequent allelopathy with your other Cnidarians...>
Are there additional tests I can run to find out?
<Sure; HPO4, NO3, K....>

Here are some details about my tank: As mentioned 24 gallons, all-in-one setup with Tunze 9002 protein skimmer, heater, power head, and bag of MarineLand activated carbon dropped in back chamber every couple months.
Livestock: percula clown, royal gramma, Longnose Hawkfish, Banggai cardinal. A couple hermits, a couple turban snails, 1 fighting conch, 1 tuxedo urchin, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp. Soft corals (Christmas tree, various mushrooms, Zoas, leather), a few LPS (plate coral, hammer, torch, war coral).
Levels: Nitrates, ammonia, nitrites all "0"
<Really? NO NO3? I'd check with another kit
, pH 8.1, temp 78. I can measure for calcium and dKH but generally don't. I used to dose iron but don't anymore.
<I would, and iodide-ate... I might skip ahead and dump the entire existing substrate and replace first>
I have attached pictures of the algae (I think it is either dinoflagellates or cyanobacteria),
<Likely... need a 'scope look and see>
and am desperate for a concrete way to put a stop to it.
I have also attached a picture of the anemone spawn, and anem pics before and after move. Let me know if you need additional info to assess the problem.
Thanks in advance for your attention on this.
<Try searching, reading on WWM re these algae groups control. Bob Fenner>


Re: Help with Anemone and Algae      7/1/16
Apologies. I thought the pics were small enough, thanks for responding anyway. I will replace my sandbed...are you able to make a recommendation on live sand?
the linked files at top>

And yes, I have tested "0" Nitrate for the past year and a half...I just figured my bioload was low enough or that I had a super effective bio filter. I will get a new kit.
Thanks again.

can you identify this disease please? ... Large reef, poisoned via Cnidarian allelopathy      4/28/16
ok the situation is this.
The tank is a 1700 gallon system with loads of fish in it a few corals.
All parameters are good with NItrates just showing a bit high at 40
<This is more than a bit high... by about twice. See/READ on WWM re NO3 reduction
but should be no issue looking at whats in the tank I believe.
The tank has been doing very well for about a year now (for detailed fish list you can check out the build thread of this tank here in RC)
<Don't do bb's. Worse than a waste of time almost always>
So all fish doing really well and eat like crazy look fat and all.
Friday I have a batch of dwarf angels for another tank and see I have one in overtall
for that tank so add 1 yellow angel
<What species is this... a Centropyge? flavissimus?>
to the large tank. on Saturday we add 1 leather finger coral and one leather mushroom to the tank
<.... how were these acclimated? Have you read my SOP re on WWM? Need to be introduced over weeks time..
and all is still good. Now Monday morning with feeding we see fish are not feeding as normal and we see one of our powder blues stuck on the overflow ready to die so at further inspection we see many more fish struggle.
<Allelopathy... a cascade reaction... likely drop in ORP, DO... change water, add GAC, Chemipure, PolyFilter... IF necessary move all the fishes elsewhere>
Tuesday we remove 2 death butterflies, 2 death Anthias Wednesday we see most tangs start to feed again though still reluctant and much more skittish as they used to be hiding in the rock all the time only 1 death clownfish seen. No today Thursday we film the clip of a clownfish struggling and have 1 more Anthias lying on the floor as death though when caught it was still alive though we removed it anyway as it is dying.
On non of the fish any sign of Ick or any other skin lesions I think. The clown in the clip as maybe not really view able the skin looks like dry and rimpled and seem to have melted skin on his back fin?? in the clip which is filmed on the side (so top of tank is actually left side of the view) the clown goes up to the surface to let himself sink back down over and over again. All other fish seem to be behaving the same as last few days feeding reluctant and still hiding all the time??
<READ here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
and the linked files above, NOW
what could be wrong
<See above>
and what disease did I clearly introduce into this system though the Yellow Angel (can a disease from 1 dwarf angel small size even spread that fast??)
or through the rocks of the coral though they came from my own system and have been doing in an ok tank for over 3 years now.
anyone can help so we know what to treat tank with if treatable? large size of the tank does not help the situation here for sure I think
<Keep reading... and act accordingly. Bob Fenner>

Re: can you identify this disease please? Not reading...         4/29/16
Hi Bob, Thank you for the quick reply
so your thinking that one of the leather poisoned my tank?
<That and/or the Shroom>
Rather than the fish introducing some parasite?
<Not a fish parasite... the etiology is all wrong
The fish introduced was a Centropyge heraldi. Both leather come from a system I have at home and have been in that tank there for over a year and have been doing well.
<Not with new... DO THE READING>
By the way both leathers look still ok. Should I take them out? Can 2 small (each about 5-6" in diameter) colonies poison an entire system this large?
<Don't write: READ!>
Re: can you identify this disease please? Still not reading....         4/29/16

Hi Bob, also to my previous reply we made a picture of one of the butterflies who showed the behavior most fishes show just before they die just sitting on a rock with lack of movement the red spots on the picture we were not able to see on any of the other fish previous (though they were colored and much smaller) maybe this picture helps diagnosing?
<Can't tell anything definitively... Same answer. B>

Re: can you identify this disease please? Not able to read?         4/29/16
Hi Rob, some more pictures this time from a suffering Butterfly we have in there now.
<... mate; IF you won't read I/we can't help you. Your fishes are almost certainly suffering from Cnidarian allelopathy; secondarily from? This latter cannot be ascertained w/o sampling and microscopic examination. STOP WRITING AND READ>
seem to not swim around though when trying to catch him he is still very lively but will be a goner for sure tomorrow. He seem to come as close to the glass as possible as he was saying take picture and get this diagnosed
hope they are more clear and can help you better to help me. Wonder what all the red spots are all around his skin. Again here skin looks dry and flaking.

Chaos in my tank. Mysterious Anthias losses       4/22/16
Hi. I have a 90 gallon reef tank with a 30 gallon sump and roughly 110lbs of live rock plus more in the sump. Livestock includes two young black clarkii clownfish approximately 1 inch each, A small 2.5 inch Bluejaw trigger, a lawnmower blenny, a diamond goby, misc. snails, three emerald crabs, and a sea hare.
<What species is this Aplysiid? Most are NOT compatible for hobbyist, reef use. See WWM
A mixture of corals like birds nest, frogspawns, Zoanthids, and a few Acans.
<And READING re Zoanthids>

I was at the LFS and told the woman that works there that I don't have any swimmers in my tank. The Clarkiis never go far from the rock they are hosting. The Bluejaw trigger just chases his reflection in the glass on the left side of the tank all day. The diamond goby moves sand like he's building a skyscraper all day long. The lawnmower blenny picks at my glass or just sits on a rock and looks at me. None of my fish swim in the water. When people see my tank they think it's just corals and rarely see any fish unless they stare at it for a while. So I asked her for suggestions on a swimmer, someone who will be active in the tank. I told her I'm not a fan of tangs. She suggested a foxface Rabbitfish and a few Anthias. I usually take her word for things. (She's one of the most respected LFS owners in the area). So I picked up 4 square Anthias (1male and 3 females) and a foxface. I realized the next day while doing research that they require a larger tank in general, or at least the square Anthias do. I drip acclimated the fish (separately)
<I would definitely have run all through a SOP dip/bath; as gone over on WWM... to exclude external parasites>
and quarantined them for about a week. After the week was up a I drip acclimated them to the display tank. I put them in with the lights out. The foxface appeared to take the transition quite well. The four square Anthias were another story. Three of them did great and one just laid down in the bottom of the tank. I figured she just needed some time. This is how the tank stayed for the next two weeks. Everybody doing great except for the female Anthias was always laying in the bottom of the tank. She had no sign of illness and I had read that it can take them a while to feel comfortable so I gave her time since she looked healthy. I had an automatic feeder with NLS pellets feeding three times a day and I gave frozen Mysis shrimp every night. Everybody was getting food. The female laying in the bottom would never even try to get up and get food. I came home one day and the Anthias were nowhere to be found, any of them. The foxface was black and in the corner. I put some food in the tank to see if anyone would come out and everyone came out to eat except the Anthias. The foxface even turned back to yellow and came out to eat. I started looking through the tank and found the male square Anthias dead under a rock, then found two other Anthias laying in the bottom alive but seemed scared. The fourth one I have yet to find. I'm thinking the cleanup crew already disposed of it. Not knowing what's going on, I didn't know what to do next. The next day another Anthias died, and then... the last Anthias died. I spoke with the lady at the LFS and she said I have a bully.
I know Clarkii clownfish can be super aggressive but these guys are really young and small. The blue jaw has never messed with anyone and is scared of just about everything. She said it sounds unethical but by <buy> some cheap peaceful fish and see who is doing the bullying. I thought it was a bad idea but didn't know what else to do. So I bought five Blue Chromis.
<Not a hardy species>
I put them in two days ago. Two died the first night the other three died the second night. Then the foxface swam around the corner covered in what looks like ich. The foxface is now in the hospital tank in hypo salinity with ParaGuard and the heater set to 80°F. Everyone else is doing fine. All my water parameters are good Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10, PH 8.2. I'm thinking someone is being aggressive but I was keeping a close eye on the tank and never saw anyone not getting along. Clearly I have an issue. Any suggestions as to who my bully is or what step I should take next. Other than the Foxface, no one has shown any signs of illness and this foxface is the first time I've ever had ich in my tank and it's been running for 2 years with no issues. I quarantine everything before putting it in my tank and I reef dip my corals. This is the first time I've ever really had an issue and it's frustrating. Please help.
Thank you,
<My guesses, probabilities lie w/ the Anthias being weak to start with, further weakened by the quarantine process (this species is NOT "open water", but more inclined to hide); AND poisoning via the Aplysiid and/or Zoas. Please do the suggested searching, reading ON WWM; and write back w/ your further input. Bob Fenner>

Re: Chaos in my tank       4/23/16
The Sea Hare appears to be a Aplysia dactylomela after reviewing WWM article on sea hare identification. I Have someone lined up to take the sea hare off my hands.
<Good; I would>

I've been planning on rehoming it for a while. I don’t have much algae for it to thrive on and he seems to be growing tired of eating New life spectrum algae pellets. I've never seen him release ink in the tank and nobody messes with it. Is this type of sea hare a bad thing to have in my tank?
Is it toxic in a manner other than releasing ink?
<There is some speculation. A fave ref.: http://www.seaslugforum.net/showall/seahares

I'd really feel bad if I rehomed him and he causes issues in someone else's tank.
The Zoanthids have never been an issue before. They were the first frags I ever purchased a long time ago. I'm just curious if they need to be removed. the Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus vulpinus) That is currently in the quarantine tank. Should I just treat it for ich for a few weeks and try to reintroduce it to the display tank?
<Please read what is archived on WWM re Acanthuroids and Crypt>
How can I be sure it is in fact Ich. It has misc. white spots that look like little pimples scattered throughout both sides of his body and a few on its fins. I know this fish changes colors when stressed but can some of that color change include white pimples, roughly a dozen or more on each side?
I also recently after the death of the Anthias had to remove some rocks from my reef tank. They had an unidentifiable (to me and the LFS owner)algae growing on them. It was solid green and not loose or soft by any means of the words. It appeared to be a green staining that appeared overnight and got darker and darker every day. The woman at the LFS said she had seen that one other time and it was due to the rocks leeching copper.
<?! VERY unusual>
I removed them immediately and replaced it with a piece of dry rock I picked up at a different LFS. I took my water the next day to have a copper test performed and it had a very minimal amount of copper in the water, Just barely any color to the reading at all and nothing I should be super concerned about but I'm running CupriSorb anyway. Could any of these recent events be caused by this mystery algae?
<Possibly. There are definitely many toxins associated w/ a great deal of algal species>

Or the copper?
<.... would have to be a "chain reaction" here... a cascade effect. "Some" copper is essential... as a micronutrient...>
The algae was very, very green, no hair or filament nature to it, it wasn't removable. I scrubbed these rocks with a stiff tooth brush for about thirty minutes to no avail. The sun is the only thing killing it. It didn't look like any type of coralline I've ever seen and it only grew on three rocks I picked up from a local reefer who had had them out of a tank and dry for close to three years. The algae literally showed up overnight covering the entirety of the rocks. It progressed to a darker color at an almost hourly rate. I do not have pictures of it while it was in the tank but I'm including pictures of them outside of the tank. I'm using an led lighting fixture and only running the day lights for about 8.5 hours a day and running the blues for an additional hour. The LED's are only turned up to approximately 45% power.
Lastly what Potential tank mates might you recommend to add a little activity to my system if any?
<Please peruse the several "stocking reef" FAQs files on WWM. We have some 30k users per day...>
Ideally I would like a peaceful tank where everyone gets along.
Thank you again
<W. BobF>
RE: Chaos in my tank      4/23/16

<6 megs of pix; why? SEE, as in READ on WWM re algal ID. B>
RE: Chaos in my tank      4/23/16

It should have only been two small pictures of two rocks. sorry

<? Poisoned by BGA?>

Quarantine question      4/2/15
I have a quarantine tank setup and have had terrible luck so far.
We have added fish in groups of 4
<What species? Some are not easily quarantined alone, let with incompatible others in small volumes>
and by the time the six week quarantine period is up we are averaging one survivor per group.
<Six weeks is a very long time. DO PLEASE READ on WWM re my/our stated preferred S.O.P. here. Usually two weeks is about the zenith of benefit; turning point of more damage than worth>

We are dosing with .5 Cupramine at the start of the quarantine period as a prophylactic.
<.... this might well be too toxic; also killing off, forestalling nitrification>

Should we wait to administer the Cupramine until a few days after introducing the new fish?
<Depends on why you're adding the Cu>
Should we stop using Cupramine as a prophylactic?
<Unless there's a specific reason for its use, yes>
Any advise you have is very welcome.
Thank you in advance.
Steve DeFilippis
<Please do the reading and send along the data requested. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question      4/2/15

Thank you for your prompt response. I have read the quarantine articles on your website and came away unclear about the use of copper as a prophylactic.
<Its use IS promoted and condemned by various parties... for varied reasons>
I believe some of the threads indicated that it was a good idea.
<Can be; but really.... should be done by folks "above" (as in before) the end user (hobbyist/consumers)... Better for folks in the trade (collectors, wholesalers, retailers) to employ simple dips/baths.... to "knock off" external complaints (and not copper immersion)...>
The fish involved are: Longnose butterfly,
<Very touchy to Cu exposure>
yellow tang, flame Hawkfish, royal gramma, raccoon butterfly,
<Don't "like" quarantine>
hepatus tang, and Naso tang.
<REALLY don't like>
I hope to also acquire Heniochus but so far they have not been part of this process.
<I'd just dip and place Heni's, actually all Chaetodontids>

After having the copper in the tank for 2 weeks we then do a complete water change for the remainder of the quarantine period.
<Ammonia, nitrite need to be monitored... once, twice daily.... new water made up, available for change out>
The first time we did the quarantine we did not add the copper and none of the fish survived. That's why I decided to try using the copper as a prophylactic measure.
<Please re-read my articles on Acclimation....>
Thank you again.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question     4/2/15

Thank you again for such a prompt reply. I will follow your instructions and let you know how things proceed.
<And you, B>
Re: Quarantine question
4/3/15 The QT tank was completely emptied and refilled with water from the main tank and no further copper treatments will be administered. A Raccoon Butterfly and Yellow Tang were added to the QT tank after a freshwater dip (BTW, I hire a service to maintain my tanks and they supply the livestock).
Everything seemed fine. As of 4/7/15 both are eating well although the Raccoon is exhibiting a little bit of scratching against the coral.
4/9/15 the Yellow Tang looks listless and the Raccoon is still eating well and behaving the same. 4/10/15 the Yellow Tang is dead.
4/11/15 the raccoon Butterfly is dead.
They are using water from the main tank when they do water changes on the QT tank.
<A good practice>
The main tank has 6 Ocellaris Clowns and one Coral Beauty and they are all thriving in the main tank. The Coral Beauty is the only fish that has made it through quarantine into the main tank since we setup the QT tank on 12/30/14. Since then we have lost the following fish in the QT tank: 3 Raccoon Butterfly fish, 2 Royal Grammas, 1 Yellow Tang, 3 Long-Nosed Butterfly fish, and 1 Flame Hawkfish
<How large is this tank? It is monitored for ammonia; the copper daily?>

. I am really out of answers right now and feel terribly about how many fish I have lost. I have had salt water tanks
since the 1970s and have never encountered anything like this. Any input, comments, guidance you can provide is extremely welcome. Thank you.
Best regards,
Steve DeFilippis
<Something/s are wrong here.... very. I'd likely just use preventative dips/baths and skip whatever routine you're presently using. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question
The QT tank is 55 gallons
<A good size, shape>
and is monitored for copper, nitrate, nitrate, salinity, ph and ammonia. Are you recommending that I bypass the QT completely?
<I would if I had the results history you describe; with the species involved; particularly Chaetodontids. See my writings re BFs, their health, handling on WWM>

Would it be advisable for me to get the fish directly from the service's wholesaler before they put them into their tanks (prior to bringing them to my house)?
<Possibly... do you know much re their procedures? May be that there adding to morbidity here. BobF>
Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
Re: Quarantine question       4/14/15

Thank you again for your prompt response. I will keep you updated on further developments.
<And you Steve. BobF>

Re: Quarantine question        5/9/15

Finally some success!
Last week my service provider brought me a royal gramma, flame Hawkfish, long nosed butterfly fish and yellow tang directly from the wholesaler before they were put into the system at their shop. We quarantined them for one day ( we didn't want to over stress them since they had just been shipped from the wholesaler) and then did the freshwater dip and put them
in the main tank. Here we are eight days later and all four fish seem to be thriving.
<Ah good>
I'm hoping to add three small Heniochus, a blonde Naso tang, raccoon or threadfin butterfly and hepatus tang to finish stocking the tank. We will repeat the same process and hopefully be as successful as we were the first time. I will keep you posted. Thank you again for all of your help.
<Thank you for the update. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question      5/29/15

Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse. My service provider brought three Heniochus acuminatus direct from the wholesaler on May 20. He did a freshwater dip on all of them and then released them into the main
tank. He also brought a Hepatus tang which he place in the QT tank. On May 22, he freshwater dipped the Hepatus tang and placed it into the main tank.
All of the fish were eating well. The Yellow Tang went after one of the Heniochus but I figured he was asserting himself and after a while this behavior would diminish. This Heniochus developed a bruise on its side.
On May 24 I noticed some white spots on the edges of the dorsal fins on the Heniochus and their caudal fins. On May 25, the bruise on the one Heniochus became an open sore (it looked like a red blotch and you could see where the scales had separated.) I removed this Heniochus and put it in the QT tank.
Meanwhile, the Long Nosed Butterfly now had white spots on its caudal and pectoral fins and the Hepatus tang had some on it's sides. All of these fish were still acting normally and eating voraciously.
Today I found the Long Nosed Butterfly and the Heniochus in the QT tank dead. One of the black Ocellaris Clowns now has some white spots on its sides.
All of the fish are behaving normally (no scratching) and eating voraciously. So far, the following fish do not have any white spots on them: three orange Ocellaris Clowns, Royal Gramma, Yellow Tang, two black Ocellaris Clowns, Flame Hawkfish, and a Coral Beauty angelfish.
I phoned my service provider and he is coming out tomorrow to try to catch the affected fish and give them a freshwater dip. Do you have any other (or better) suggestions?
<Widely reading... on WWM, re all species here>

I am so frustrated. We seemed to have finally turned the corner and now this. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated.
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question; Heniochus esp.     6/13/15

Well, things are still spiraling downward. We removed the Yellow Tang and put it in the QT as it was badgering the Heniochus (which ultimately died anyway) and it is still in the QT doing well and showing no signs of Crypto. Meanwhile, we treated the display tank with MetroPlex. I also starting soaking the food in Garlic Guard. Since then, the three Heniochus are dead as well as the Royal Gramma, the Hepatus Tang and one of the black Ocellaris Clownfish. Here are the surviving fish today: two black Ocellaris Clownfish, three orange Ocellaris Clownfish, Coral Beauty, Flame Hawkfish and Cleaner Wrasse (I know you recommend against the Cleaner Wrasses but my service tech insisted the Cleaner Wrasse would help with the Crypto even though everything I read said it wouldn't). The Coral Beauty has one spot on its lip, the Flame Hawkfish has no visible spots, each of the orange Ocellaris Clowns has around 5-6 spots and the black Ocellaris Clowns seem to be spot-free.
All of these fish are eating very well and behaving normally (no flashing, scratching or fast breathing). Today my service tech is putting carbon back in the filter and turning back on the skimmer and UV. Is it possible that these fish will just fight off the remaining Crypto and go back to normal?
<Yes; it is possible>
If so, how will I know when it would be safe to put the Yellow Tang back in
the DT and then add any new fish?
<Safe? As in completely? Never>
The other option would be to take them all out and put them in the QT with the Yellow Tang and let the DT go fallow but that might cause more stress (and would the QT be too crowded - it's a
55 gallon tank)? Any advice you can give is deeply appreciated.
<It's all posted/archived on WWM; over and over>
I have spent hours reading on WWM but sometimes the amount of information is overwhelming and it is difficult to determine the correct course of action.
<Ahh! I have always hoped that having so much would lead folks to make their own decisions>
Lastly, I have had nothing but bad experiences with Heniochus. Twice introducing them has caused a serious problem in my tank resulting in massive casualties.
<Perhaps time to give them a pass. The two principal Heni species ARE problematical at times. Look to others>
I know that your books and others describe them as hardy but my experience is contrary to that. Needless to say, I have taken them off my list for restocking in the future.
Best always,
Steve DeFilippis
<Thank you for your update. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Quarantine question      6/21/15

The eight surviving fish from my last post are still alive. They are eating well and the white spots seem to be gone. My plan is to observe these fish over the next 6 weeks and if the white spots do not recur begin adding fish at that time. Is this reasonable?
<Mmm; okay>
I plan to add the following fish: Long-nosed Butterfly fish, Yellow Tang, Royal Gramma, Hepatus Blue Tang, Raccoon Butterfly fish and a Tail-spot Wrasse. I intend to add two at a time obtaining them directly from the wholesaler before they go into the LFS system, quarantine them one day in my QT, freshwater dip them
<I'd add formalin and aeration to the dip/bath; per the S.O.P on WWM>
the next day and place them in the main tank. Is this a reasonable plan?
Any comments, suggestions and/or criticisms are extremely welcome.
Thank you as always.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantine question; Now: Many mysterious SW fish losses        9/27/15
Update since my last post on 8/12/15:
We moved the Hepatus Tang, Longnosed Butterfly, Royal Gramma and Naso Tang into the main tank after one day in QT. They were each dipped in freshwater before being placed in the main tank. The Hepatus died after 9 days, the Naso died after 18 days and the Longnosed Butterfly died after 41 days.
There were no signs of disease on any of them. They were all eating either until they died or up to one day before they died.
My water quality is impeccable. The Royal Gramma survived. I have had a Coral Beauty in the tank for 7 months, 5 Ocellaris Clownfish for 9 months and a Flame Hawkfish for 7 months. To review, all of these fish have been brought to me straight from the distributor (they never went into the system at the LFS), put into QT for one day and then freshwater dipped and placed into the main tank.
This past Wednesday, my service brought me a Blonde Naso Tang, Hepatus Tang and Tail-spot Wrasse. They were placed into QT and the Hepatus died after one day in the QT. After two days in the QT, the Naso and Wrasse were freshwater dipped
<pH adjusted... per the/my SOP on WWM; NOT using RO or RO/DI water that's unaerated>
(the Wrasse got very stressed after only 15 seconds in the dip) and placed in the main tank (this was yesterday). This morning I found the Wrasse dead.
I am at my wits end. I have had marine fish on and off for over 40 years and have never experience anything like this. This is a 220 gallon tank, FOWLR and the water quality has consistently tested out at excellent levels for everything. The only alteration my service is recommends is lowering the salinity to the 1.0017-1.0019 range.
<Some folks do>
I feed a combination of New Life Spectrum and Omega One pellet food in an automatic feeder supplemented several
times a week with Formula One, Formula Two and San Francisco Bay Brand's Saltwater Multi Pack (I alternate these throughout the week). I soak the frozen food in Selcon and Zoe (I alternate every other feeding).
I had fish that lived 10-14 years in my last tank. This tank was setup 6/13/14 and since then I have lost 50 fish.
<?! Something very wrong here.... highly likely environmentally. Search, READ on WWM Re such losses>

I am aghast that I am responsible for so many mortalities. I am seriously considering getting out of the hobby. Most of the fish have died within 2-3 weeks. My service has a new fish manager and he said he isn't happy with their current supplier (Sea Dwelling Creatures) and will be changing to a new supplier with which he has had good results. I have also considered changing to a new service but I really like the person I have now and he is very honest and I know he is trying his best for me. They are guaranteeing the fish for 30 days (since I am only buying fish from them and they are in control of everything) so they are taking a huge financial hit. Do you have any comments/suggestions based on what I have described?
<Need more data... as in real water quality tests. Do send along images (resized) of the system, mechanicals; dead/dying organisms... and we'll begin a conversation. Bob Fenner>
Grazie in advance.
Steve DeFilippis

Re: Quarantine question       9/29/15
Here are all of the chemical readings from my tank:
Nitrite - 0; Nitrate - 20; Ammonia - 0; pH - 8.2; phosphate - under .25; calcium - 460; specific gravity - 1.024 (we are trying to lower this to 1.020).
<.... remove about a fifth of the water, refill w/ fresh>
What other information do you need?
<Mmm; a pic of the fish involved (dead) might help; any input re smell of the water.... Do you folks use ozone/UV? Have RedOx/ORP measures?>
Do you have any experience with/comments on using Sea Dwelling Creatures as a livestock source?
<Oh, yes.... know the Cohen bro.s (friends), and their father, Robert, before they popped out. They have a good, to sometimes badly mentioned (by others) reputation. IF you have concerns; I'd be calling, speaking w/ them>
Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question       9/29/15

Tonight I will get you pictures of the last two fish that died (those are the only fish I have at this time). We use a UV sterilizer, a skimmer, a sump with socks and my service mixes the salt water on site using RO water (we have our own RO unit, we use Kent Marine salt). I will also get you some pictures of the filtration systems. Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
<We WILL solve this mystery. Please send along a list of the dead fishes, in the order in which they perished (good clues to be had). B>
Re: Quarantine question       9/29/15

I wasn't sure what you meant by "Do send along images (resized)" so I am only attaching one with this email. Please let me know if it is the correct size and I will send the rest.
<Fine, and sorry for the confusion. Yes to sending the pix along>
Regarding the fishes that have died, in October 2014 I lost a bunch due to Brooklynella and in May 2015 I lost a bunch due to Crypto. Do you want me to include these or only the fish that died without exhibiting an obvious disease?
<All please>
Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
<My friend. B>

Re: Quarantine question       10/13/15
Attached is a picture of the Poly Pad. Can you discern anything from it?
<Mmm; either organic or you have a good deal of ferrous material presents (Fe +2, 3?) I'd be checking this last... Too much iron presence can be toxic. Bob Fenner>
Thank you.


Fast Moving Disease? Again; env. anomaly        9/27/15
Good Afternoon,
I have a bit of a situation on my hands here that I have not seen before and could use some advice. Fortunately, our quarantine system here in the store consists of multiple tanks and I am hopeful that we have this situation contained to just 2 or now 1 tank.
A couple of weeks ago one of our quarantine tanks that was just about finished with our 3 week process and had finished coming up out of hypo just days prior, suffered a complete wipe out overnight.
<... out of one of the QT systems or are these all tied/plumbed together?>

I was not working over that weekend and was told that the fish appeared stressed on that Saturday. The following day the fish had all died. There was 4 fish in this 40 gallon qt tank. A juv. Queen Angel, a Valentini Puffer, a Christmas Wrasse and a small Clownfish. We performed a couple of 50% water changes on the tank, but did not disinfect the tank.
<I would change out all the water>

Later in that week we received a livestock shipment and spread out the order to the available qt tanks in our system. The next day I noticed that the fish in the tank that had the previous wipe out were breathing very rapidly and hovering slightly diagonally facing the surface.

I tested the water for ammonia, nitrite and pH and found there to be no detectable readings of ammonia or nitrite based on my test kits and the pH read about 8.0.
<There are MANY other chemical, physical qualities. Dissolved oxygen is coming to mind>
I performed a 50% water change and moved a couple of the fish from this tank to another qt tank that was more lightly stocked. That evening we had lost most of the fish in the tank and the following day started to see the same heavy breathing and diagonal or lying on their side behavior. The fish in the tank that the others from the problem tank were moved to had
been just fine for days prior and all started to slowly succumb to the disease.
As a side note, we initially had thought there to be a poisoning or perhaps a mistake made by having too many fish in the bucket during acclimation, so we pulled the remaining fish from the first tank and treated them in a bucket with methylene blue. This actually seemed to have some benefit, but the fish still died the following day.
So at this point the fish in the first tank and the second tank have all expired except for three that are lying on the bottom breathing rapidly and I would imagine will not make it to the end of the day. We have tried treating the fish with prazipro, chloroquine phosphate, but have seen no change.
<I'd kick up aeration, skip adding any med.s, review your acclimation procedure/protocol.... These fishes sound ammonia burned to me.... READ HERE: http://wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/acclimlvstkbiz.htm
Other than the above mentioned heavy breathing and swimming behavior we are seeing no other symptoms. The speed at which this has moved once we added the fish from the first tank to the second is striking to me. So far none of the fish in our other tanks within the quarantine system have show any symptoms including the ones that came with this weeks shipment.
We have since drained and disinfected the first qt tank with bleach and plan to do the same with the second tank if/when the remaining fish are lost.
Any advice on what this could have been would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
<The reading, stat.... and a review of your receiving procedure/s....
Something is wrong here that is fundamental.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Fast Moving Disease?      9/28/15

Hello Bob,
Thank you very much for the quick reply as always. The tanks are individual tanks and are all air driven. We have switched over to this system about 2 years ago after having a central system as our quarantine for the shop.
<Ahh; then I would dump, bleach, rinse this one tank>
So far it has been working out well for us and especially now that the problem seems to have been contained to just the 2 tanks.
Admittedly, I did not test for DO in the tanks, but we have never had an issue with this in the current qt set up that we have and there was nothing out of the ordinary for us with this shipment or the acclimation process.
The ammonia levels are checked daily in these tanks and had no detectable reading during this time. Also, during the time of the addition of new
livestock to our qt tanks we add SeaChem stability and prime to the tanks that are receiving new fish.
My first though was certainly that this must be an environmental issue causing the problem, but I had moved a couple of the fish from the first qt tank where all of the fish were showing symptoms to another qt tank that had fish that showed no signs of a problem and were eating fine. The fish that were moved never showed any sign of relief and the existing fish that
were previously doing just fine started to show the same symptoms within 24 hours of the new fish being moved in. This is the point at which I had believed that we were dealing with some sort of fast moving disease.
<There is nothing pathogenic that can/does act on disparate fishes so quickly. The issue here is either environmental or acute toxicity from some source>
We have been running our quarantine and acclimation process here in the store with much success here for the past 2 years, but I will be sure to follow the link and do some reading to see what we can do to improve our process.
Talk to you soon,
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Fast Moving Disease?      9/28/15

Hello Bob,
Yes, we had drained and bleached the first tank immediately after the last fish in that tank expired. Was planning to do the same with the second tank that had suffered losses after moving the fish into it. I did not expect the remaining fish to make it to the end of the day after emailing you yesterday, but there seems to be some positive response (perhaps just coincidental?) to a freshwater dip and Chloroquine treatment in the water.
<Ah, good>
The remaining fish are still alive and their breathing has slowed down to a more normal pace. Thank you very much for your information. I will continue to go over the events of the past week here in these tanks and try to find what I may have missed environmentally that could have caused this to start.
<Easily done... Review the several instances here:

Thanks Again, http://wetwebmedia.com/envdisf13.htm
and the linked files in the series above.>
<Welcome. B>

adding fish issues      9/20/15
Good Morning Sir (in Thailand it is at least)I seem to have an issue adding new fish to my tank and can not figure out what is wrong. The tank is 1200gallon L118xW39xH63 has been set up 3 months ago and has gone through a cycle. It is set up using fresh ocean water and started with death rock. My parameters are all good with only Nitrates a bit elevated but at 20 not bad. Ph swings between 8.0 and 8.4 night and day. temperature is set at 78.8Now after 1.5 months as it looked the cycle was completed (small ammonia spike only shown) I added some Blue green Chromis. after another 2 weeks I added some Anthias and some yellow tangs, a large Copperband, a small blue tang and 2 large Naso which seem all doing fine even till now.
Now since 3 or 4 weeks I am trying to add more fish including some Angels (emperor, regal, Queen) and some other fish like powder blues etc also 2 more larger blue tangs had been added and all those new additions seem to die after about 4 to 5 days in the tank? Weird thing is that on day 2to 5 they all seem doing fin swimming around eating etc and each and every time the new batch I add seem to die on the same night so morning when checking all new fish I added about 5 days earlier are death with all fish added original still doing fine? What could cause this?
<Most likely something environmental that the first fishes "acquired" some immunity to somehow...>
if it would be a water issue wouldn't all the original fish die too?
<Not necessarily, no>

Also a question is that the Nitrates still seem low with all the deaths this system has encountered so far though most fish could been removed though some (one large Angel got into the rocks and still might be there in parts) Ammonia and Nitrites still at 0 so presume my bacteria population is working overtime. I am currently also experiencing a heavy Cyano outbreak though doubt this would have an effect would it?
<Ah yes; THIS is likely the root cause, or a good part of it. You NEED to address the BGA issue first and foremost. There are a few approaches to controlling Cyanobacteria and I would take a multiple attack. READ here:

and as much of the linked Cyano Control FAQs files as you deem necessary.
Bob Fenner>

Help! My fish keep dying! No useful data      9/17/15
Hello. I have a 29 gallon tank, started with 10 pounds of live sand, and varying amounts of lace rock. I started the tank on 8/4/15, and my PH is 8, sg is 1.021,
<Why so low?>

ammonia 0, nitrites usually 0, but sometimes 0.25, nitrates 5-10.
My fish keep dying, and I feel awful! I’ve lost at different times this month: 2 Valentini Puffers,
<a.... 29 gal. only large enough for one Toby>
a lawnmower blenny,
<See WWM re... not a large enough world>
a Horseface blenny, and tonight a pygmy angelfish. I bought algae-covered coral and rocks from my LFS for the blennies. One died of starvation -- he was so thin!
<... the reading.>
The Horseface blenny was fine and then one morning, dead. The pygmy angelfish never adapted to the tank -- I only had him 2 days. I bought a clownfish baby with him, and the clownfish is now sticking to the top of the tank in the corner not eating. Other fish in the tank are now a Tiger Goby and 3 bumblebee gobies. There were 2 damsels as well, but I took them out to the QT because they were picking on everybody. The gobies seem happy. What am I doing wrong?
<Can't tell from the information provided>
I don’t want to hurt any more fish. Thanks so much -- Carol
<Ummm; would you read on WWM? Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! My fish keep dying! Still.... and no rdg.

Hello again --
Thank you for the speedy response.
Why is the SG so low? My LFS keeps the marine fish at 1.020 - 1.021.
<See WWM Re.... i.e. actually READ on the site>

So I should raise the salinity gradually? Could the algae-covered coral and rock have brought something into my tank?
<Yes; possible>
As to the Tobies -- I had one at a time -- I have been reading your forum, and even re-homed some fish that I started with after reading here that my tank was not large enough for them. The blennies I had one at a time as well. I take the water parameters daily, but I am new to saltwater. The only fish that seem well suited to the tank are the blue damsels, the
bumblebee gobies, and now the Tiger goby has lasted almost a week looking well. I used to have a GSP in with the damsels and BB gobies -- they got along well.(Puffer tried to squeeze between the filter and glass, and I lost him-- had him a month). Does my tank sound like it is done cycling?
<Something is awry here environmentally. Again; can't discern from the info. provided. Where/when in doubt, water changes; perhaps the assiduous use of GAC, Polyfilter...>
I had spikes in ammonia, then nitrItes, then a rise in nitrates. I am debating whether to go with the more aggressive fish again, as at least they lived.
But the peaceful fish seem to never adjust, I will continue to read WWM, and learn. I am just at a loss as to what to do.
Thank you for your time
and patience.
<When still in doubt, do nothing stocking-wise.... Bob Fenner>

Advice needed. Anomalous marine losses.... not a reader      7/20/15
Hey Bob,
I. was away for the week, and came home to find my hamlet dead. No big. Deal, losses happen. Next my stoplight parrot is near the top of the tank, breaking the surface, the following morning dead.
<Parrots aren't aquarium hardy>

Wake up today, porcupine puffer has no appetite and two cloudy eyes.
Also. my emperor angel has one cloudy eye, almost looks to be peeling.
<Mmm; env.>

These fish have been with me at least 6 months, quarantine with copper and Prazi, and fine until this week.
It is a Fowlr, and the only thing that appears to have changed is temp, from 81 to 85 . (tank in basement, heat wave outside,)
I have puffer in hospital tank with maracyn antibiotics. Doesn't look good.
Can that temp cause bacterial issues, or is could it be I was lucky till this week?
<Something amiss w/ this world>

I don't believe it is. Flukes, they have all been thru Prazi, I suppose it. Wouldn't hurt to run prophetically.
<When, where in doubt? Water changes, chem. filtrants use... Reading. B>
re: Advice needed.

Understood. I always look for a causation, such as a new addition to. Livestock, cross contamination, bad food, or chemical in water that doesn't belong.
I ruled all those out, and I. can't say for. sure, but upon further looks, I can see "capsules" within the eyes of the emperor angel. I am running Prazi and will freshwater dip them all.
<.... look up emphysematosis>
If things don't clear up in 48 hours (In my experience, flukes die within the first day) I will run carbon and chalk it. up to. mother nature disapproving of my 6x2 ocean not being a viable substitute for her kin.
As time goes on, I am starting to feel these organisms are best kept for view of snorkelers and divers. I can't be the only one.
re: Advice needed. SW dis.
Good morning Bob,
I did indeed read your play on the ent. Word.
Differences I see here are only 4 of my 12 fish show symptoms.
And some new developments occurred upon waking this morning.
The emperor appears to be coated in what looks like ich, white marks scattered abroad. However I am certain it is not ich.
<Microscope, sampling, reading

Also, both of his eyes look as if someone drew white circles on his corneas. He is swimming into objects, so it appears his vision has been compromised.
As for the puffer, no improvement, still alive.
I scoured the books I have, wwm, reef central and called a few, and I am truly stumped.
I have put a fan near sump, and temp has been constant 82, down from 85.
Re: Advice needed. SW dis.     7/23/15

Hey Bob,
Have an update for. you.
I used Prazi pro in the tankz and within 24 hrs, the.emperor angel has clear eyes, full appetite and has vision back.
The puffer in hospital tank is not doing well. I've tried Prazi, maracyn 2, as well as primafix.
<No use>
Not eating. I would venture to say if he doesn't come.around today, my next step would be clovr oil.
<Read on WWM re Puffer Diseases>

Cannot stabilize my reef tank       4/1/15
Hi Bob and Crew,
I’m just going to get right to it. I have a 300 gallon display mixed reef tank with a 60 gallon refugium growing macro algae and a 40 gallon sump. About 6 months ago, I noticed that many of my corals, SPS, LPS, and leathers, started to show signs of tissue damage, bleaching, and death. The ones that have not either died or begun to die have lost the pop in their color.
<What re N, P, K?>
Still, some others, both leathers and SPS, seem to be totally fine.
<Mmm; a red flag just popped up given this last sentence: Allelopathy via the Alcyoniids>

I have considered many causes. The problems seemed to begin around the time that I increased the rate of my Kalkwasser drip in the tank, so I thought that a spike in pH might be the cause.
<Mmm; indirectly.... again, I suspect the change ticked off the Leathers; they in turn are responding, poisoning the system>
I corrected this change, and the problems persisted. Next, I started doing more frequent water changes.
The water changes seem to help for a few days, but then randomly the leathers will show signs of white spots or tissue loss and the SPS will start to bleach and die from the base up. Usually the parts of the sps that are first to go are the ones that are shaded from light, whether that be at the base or elsewhere. What’s interesting, especially with the leathers, is that they seem to be growing and flourishing right next to small patches where the tissue is clearly receding. The next thing I realized was that even though it was winter my tank was getting up to 84 or 85 degrees some days,
<Mmm; too warm>

so thinking that this might be the problem i cranked up my chiller and have had it set at a constant 77 for two months now…still no improvement. Next I noticed my magnesium was running a bit low even though I put Mag chips directly into my calcium reactor, so I dosed magnesium and increased the chip count in my calcium reactor. This seemed to help my deresa clam but not much else.
<Again, what re Potassium?>
My salinity is 1.026, alk 8, cal 400, Mag 1400, nitrate high, phosphate .05. The reason I say “high” for nitrate is that my test only goes up to 4ppm and I am clearly above that range. I started dosing vodka about a month ago to help control my bioload, but I’m only up to 5ml per day and from what I’ve read I still have a long ways to go to get to a level that will impact the nitrates/phosphates in a tank of my size. The vodka has had no effect on nitrates so far. I have some hair algae in the tank and diatoms on the sand bed, but this has been the case since before I had these problems develop and it didn’t seem to correlate with a decline in my livestock in the past. One “red flag” I can think of is the high nitrates, and in fact I have a heavily stocked tank. I have 5 tangs, 2 Rabbitfish, an emperor angel, saddleback butterfly, gramma Basslet, 2 Chromis, 1 Anthias, 3 dwarf angels, and a mandarin goby. All of the fish are honestly doing amazing, maybe the best I’ve seen them in color and activity, which is even more perplexing.
At this point I can only think of four possible causes….1) I’m getting random ammonia spikes from the heavy bioload that my tank cannot handle.
<Mmm; nah>
To address this I’ve reduced the amount I feed to two pinches of flakes and 1/4 sheet of Nori every day….sometimes some pellets and frozen shrimp to mix it up. But I’ve certainly fed way more than this in the past on a daily basis without problems. So can the fish alone create more bioload independent of the amount I’m feeding them?
I wouldn’t think so, which is why I’m skeptical that this is the cause of the problems. 2) Another possible cause is that one of my leather corals is getting big and aggressively releasing allelopathic compounds that are nuking other corals.
I run carbon 24/7 and I also run poly filters 24/7 and have a strong skimmer. I was running GFO as well, but cut that out because I want the bacteria to have fuel to grow with the vodka dosing. The leathers have behaved in the past and thrived alongside my SPS corals, so I’m also skeptical of this as the root cause 3) Another cause that I can think of is that when I went away on vacation and let our pet sitter feed the fish she used like half a container of pellets in a single week. I came home and the tank was in chaos, but I can’t imagine that I am still fighting the residual effects of this blunder, could I be?
<Perhaps a (co) factor>
I have a big cleanup crew and have done tons of water changes since then. That was over 6 months ago. 4) My last and possibly biggest fear is that someone dropped something into my tank like a quarter or piece of metal that is slowly killing everything.
When I do water changes perhaps the toxins are diluted enough to let things rebound, and then in a few days things take another turn for the worse? There’s no way for me to know if this were truly the cause, is there?
<Yes; t'were it copper, it would show up as a discernible aqua blue stain on the PolyFilter>
I would think that things would decline more steadily and be unable to rebound if this were the case, but again, I don’t know.
It seems like just when I think I’ve turned a corner and the corals are improving that I wake up one morning to find these burn spots on my leathers, bleaching/tissue necrosis on my sps, and even sometimes my LPS corals as well. I run a strong skimmer and even grow mangroves to help with the bioload. The leather corals are as follows, toadstool, Capnella, snowflake finger leather, green finger leather, blue Sinularia, green star polyps, orange clove polyps (they have taken over my tank!), pink anthelia. The lights are EcoTech Radions, I have 5 units running. I have a deep sand bed, 300 lbs of live rock, and run UV sterilizer. The tank has been running for 4 years, and the introduction of the second Rabbitfish and the emperor angel somewhat correlates with the decline of the tank.
I think that’s everything but please let me know if you need additional information. What is going on here!?
Thanks and Best,
John Alvino
<To sum up: I would get/use a Potassium test kit.... see that this level is about 1:1 ratio w/ [Ca] here; and a plug for a new product: Nualgi.... I would try this here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cannot stabilize my reef tank

Thanks, Bob, that is a helpful perspective. I’ll be in touch if the problems persist after I’ve taken the suggested actions.
John Alvino
<Ah; please do keep us in the loop. BobF>

Re: Specification of pH from Nestle Water. SW fish dis. trb.shooting         2/9/15
I am at a loss so thought I would seek your view. Although the param.s were showing as normal I decided to change 80% of the water with fresh tropical Indian Ocean water as the system was due for a change.
<... do you store new (real) seawater for a time? Have you read the SOP on WWM re? I strongly suggest keeping to-be-used water in the dark for a couple weeks ahead...>

This seems to have had no effect except for tiring me out. Clowns, Regal Tang are fine but the Blueface still looks terrible and now so does the Emperor.
<Something else may be "at work">
There has been some electrical discharge maybe this has got worse but has been like it without symptoms for along time.
<Some what? I'd have this corrected... at the source... and ground the tank>
Surely if it was flukes, bacterial or fungal the Regal would be blotchy first.
<Mmm; no... Am reading an article in an olde (1995) freshwater Elasmobranch symposium collection... where the investigator is using the diversity of helminth gonad parasites as an indicator of divergence of potamotrygonine rays... My point is that there is at times high specificity in such parasite fauna. WHAT is malaffecting one species MAY NOT have much or any effect on other hosts>
Something is making the fish produce more mucus and tanks do not have much but clowns do, confusing. Luckily they are still feeding and their eyes are ok and so is their gill rate but they look terrible the Blueface I would say is 50% colour and more lethargic than normal. Do you think it could be the electricity?
<It could be; yes; but... I'd keep investigating all possibilities. See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Scroll down to "Troubleshooting".... and read and read...>
As you know I am a long way from a LFS and it would take time to get a proper probe so if I buy a copper wire and place it in the tank and earth it will the copper poison the fish?
<Don't do this... there are real probes, IF this is an issue as determined by testing, LOOK for the root cause... the lighting? Heating, Pumping? ISOLATE the cause and FIX IT... check polarity and connections... IF YOU don't know how to do this, have a qualified electrician do it for you>
No inverts in the tank I am at a loss as normally pathogens kill much faster
<... not a factual statement. Not necessarily, no>
so I still think it is something else?
<.... My young friend; how could I tell from here?>
One other point I did buy a new LED light with no manufacturers name which does not appear to shine too bright but could it be burning them?
Any ideas?
<The reading... it will/would take too long to write, re-write all. By the time we were done going back and forth, all could be dead>
A very concerned Adam I have had the Blueface and Emperor for about 6 months and the Emperor was the tiniest I have seen.
Kind regards,

Completely confused. SW fish loss unknowns      2/3/15
R.J. here. I'm at a loss what to do.
<Let's see....>
Here's a brief countdown of the last month, to this morning which left me with no fish left alive in my 2-1/2 year old 50 gal saltwater tank.
I should probably mention that about 3 months ago I had a heater go "boilistic"

on me. It malfunctioned and heated the water a Lot.
<Ahh; better to have two heaters in such a size, type system.... Both of too little wattage that should one "stick on" it won't overheat the system disastrously... and that you'd notice that the "pilot light" was on continuously should it do so. Understanzee?>

I lost my fire shrimp, cleaner shrimp and diamond goby. I watched the rest of my fish for ich - which miraculously did not develop. I was relieved, since the tank had been ticking along beautifully since setup with no problems. I still had my two clownfish, misc. crabs and snails and my Kenya tree was doing great. After a month of watching and no problems,
I added another diamond goby. The little guy settled in and all seemed well.... for about a month and 1/2.
My son gave me a rainbow butterfly
<Ahh; don't know this common name for a Chaetodontid>
for Christmas. He seemed to settle in well. But, about a week or so after adding him, I noticed my clownfish were acting strange. It looked like they were looking for another sleeping spot, after sleeping in the same place for 2-1/2 years, and acting sluggish. I thought it was because the butterfly seemed to like their old spot. I was probably wrong, seeing as I got up about 2 weeks ago to two dead clowns. :( Within two days, the butterfly was gone too. I consulted with my son and he said he'd lost his tang. Clownfish disease introduced by adding the butterfly - which probably had it already?
<Mmm; possibly>
No spots or fin damage on anyone. No color loss... ( Until they were dead..of course)...and no "growths" anywhere on the fish. However, I had noticed the butterfly listing to one side ever so slightly on occasion. I asked my son and he said, " He's a flat bodied fish...so...they sort of do that sometimes." I get the feeling that's when I should consulted my saltwater fish store guy. :P
<Need to (have) sampled the dead fishes, looked under a microscope... with references, help in identifying IF there was a pathogen/parasite at play here>
It's a week later and my goby went this morning. Again, no spots or fin damage, but he had been lethargic for a few days. I was hoping it was because he was alone in the tank. I guess not.
Through this whole thing my water levels had been reading spot on. My Kenya tree is still doing great.
<Mmm; may be allelopathogenicity from this soft coral at fault here>
I've done my water changes ( about 1/3 tank at a time) right along too. The last one was the day after I lost my clowns.
I decided to run the tank without fish for a while and raise the temperature a bit...in case there Was ich present. I was hoping to speed up the life cycle. If I'm not wrong....which I very well could be...that would be about a 6 to 8 week cycle. Right?
<Even sooner; esp. at elevated temp.>
This morning, when I got up and did my "flashlight check" ( which I do on occasion) I saw some very small
( about less than 1/4 ") grey, multi-legged swimmers/crawlers on my live rock.
<"Pods" of some sort; highly unlikely culprits>
They have a segmented looking body with a longer tentacle/feeler in front and 6 to 8 "legs" on the back third of it's body. I often see a revival of critters on the live rock, after a water change, but I don't remember seeing these particular ones before. I'm at a loss. Should I tear the tank down, rather than risk putting good fish into a compromised tank?
<A massive water change or two might be in order; and/or the use of chemical filtrants... Am asking that you read here:
here: http://wetwebmedia.com/toxictkendof.htm
and the linked files you lead yourself too; particularly Cnidarian Allelopathy>
Can I treat the water without harming the Kenya? If so....for what?
<.... depends on what you mean by treating. I would do the water change outs, add activated carbon, perhaps PolyFilter in your filter/flow path and not add other chemicals>
Again, my water levels have not been off, even with all the dead fish. I expected to see, at least the nitrate levels rise. Yet....Nothing.
I don't know what to do. I should probably mentioned I'm disabled, so if I can salvage the tank, that'd be great. I spend a lot of time just watching it. ( or rather...I used to).
Any suggestions? Please!
<The reading, and cogitating furiously for now... act only with knowledge (conscientiously)>
Perception is reality, all that people are concerned about is their perception about things not the truth or underlying reality of the real situation.
<Mmm; I disagree... perception is limited sensorial experience... to the extent one is able and willing to perceive their universe, along w/ their value system (feelings), their universe is only a successive approximation of reality... E.g.; whether you perceive the tide is coming in, going out... it is. Bob Fenner>

Help to identify and treat disease     12/4/14
I was wondering if you know what this disease is, nobody seems to want to guess

<On the Paracanthurus here I take it... Have you sampled any of these... looked under a 'scope? Either something surface like monogenetic Trematodes (flukes), or Microsporidean>
I took these pictures today a week later, his forehead is now expanding, I have done extensive freshwater dips and am dosing Cupramine but no reaction so far.
<Not treatable w/ copper>

I'd really like some help with this and don't know what it is,
Thanks in advance,
<See WWM re the above... the former are easily treated w/ prophylactic dips/baths and Anthelminthics, the latter... not treatable as yet as far as I'm aware. Only improving the environment, nutrition... optimizing and stabilizing the fishs health will it be able to improve if Microsproridean (internal) involvement. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help to identify and treat disease      12/4/14
Thank you for the quick reply, the bulging band across the forehead has receded somewhat as four white parasites now hang out of it whereas it was a smooth bulge before. I will have a go at the dips with some trematode medication and ease off with the Cupramine.
<Good; I'd give up on the copper... see WWM re this and Tangs; a poor match>
I see hypo is ineffective for flukes too and the main tank has been in hypo for many weeks so by process of elimination it may well be flukes. Thanks again,
<Easily identified w/ sampling, microscopic exam... and just as easily eliminated. READ on WWM re.

Re: Help to identify and treat disease     12/7/14
Hi Guys unfortunately not looking good at present. Video update here
<Mmm; Paracanthurus looks like it's developing HLLE, the Y. Tang breathing hard... rest of fish look fine; but a Clown Trigger (dangerous; will kill other fishes in time), and a hamlet/sweetlips?! Not easily kept>
Have dosed with http://www.aquarium-munster.com/en/marine-water/remedies/gyromarin.html
<I see; a product of Praziquantel>
3 days ago as recommended in case is Trematodes but now yellow tang looks like is bleeding from lateral line and heavily infected with growths causing craters too.
Blue tang continues to be disfigured as the 'parasite' erodes deeper, especially in the face, and dotted sweetlips also affected
with holes appearing in his head over the top and underneath gills. The purple lips Flagfin has a single dot on the forehead that has been there about a week but the join of his pelvic fins is blood red. Bannerfish eats a few bits off the yellow tang on cleaning service and clown trigger seems largely unaffected. The setup is about 2 years old but never had such a difficult issue. It is about 3.5 weeks into the infection. Is fish only setup with uv, protein skimmer (both off for 3 days on meds) and sump filter tank below so any meds can go in the display tank. Anything else I might try? I don't have a scope unfortunately. Thanks Ed
<The scope; as originally stressed. There's very little sense in "treating" for something you don't know. Perhaps a download and reading of the second  ed. of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease; Diagnosis & Treatment"... you can get from Amazon.com for a nominal charge for the e-version. Call around; some fish stores, colleges w/ bio. depts. will have microscopes, folks to help.
Bob Fenner> 

Re: Unable to keep certain fish in my reef aquarium     11/11/14
OK. Thanks
<Do read on WWM re NO3 and wet-dry filtration. You may well want to modify yours. B>

Mysterious Fish Deaths, Please Help    9/18/14
<Amber.... you know there is a Centropyge angel named after a spelling of your family name?>
I would like to start by saying, as many others have, that your advice is beyond appreciated and absolutely priceless. I have spent several hundred hours on this website
and have always found the answer I was looking for, until now. I will try to keep this simple.
I have a 300 gallon salt water tank. It is roughly a year and a half old.
This is my 5th tank, and I have been in the hobby for 4 years. Fish have been added every 2 months or so, and with the exception of an occasional Ich outbreak, I have had fairly good luck, knock on wood.
The inhabitants were as follows:
1 Blue Hippo Tang
4 Percula Clowns
1 Yellow Eye'd Kole
1 Achilles Tang
1 Powder Brown Tang
1 Juvi Imperator
1 Cream Angel
1 Bi-color Foxface
1 Goldflake Angel
All are between 1.5 to 3 inches in length, and will be relocated to a bigger tank when the time comes.
My water parameters are as follows:
pH.: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0
Temperature is a constant 78F.
I'm operating a 100 gallon wet dry sump, with 3 UV filters and a protein skimmer.
I do not run carbon, for fear of HLLE.
<I see... though its use is implicated, I am still a fan of GAC use on a punctuated basis (every month or so...)>
Herein lies the problem:
One week ago, I noticed the Kole laying on her side on the bottom, breathing normally with zero visible markings on her. I caught her easily
in a net, and moved her into quarantine. She was dead by morning. I figured it was an issue with her swim bladder, as it came on so suddenly and again, she had nothing visibly wrong with her, was eating the night before, etc.
Two days after the Kole, the Achilles displayed the same issue. Laying on her side, body curved in a 'C' shape, breathing normally but unable to swim. Threw her into quarantine and she was dead within 6 hours.
3 days ago, the Powder Brown met the exact same fate, and just yesterday so did the Bi-Color Foxface.
To say I am at a complete loss would be an understatement. I have a grounding wire in the sump, there is zero current getting into the tank. My water is absolutely pristine, as I have tested it myself almost hourly at this point, and have brought in samples to three different LFS's in the area. I have been doing 20-30% water changes daily, since the loss of the Kole. No one shows any sign of duress whatsoever and then all of a sudden they are on the bottom of the tank, when just mere hours before they were up swimming, eating, and behaving normally. There is zero aggression or bullying to speak of, and again, zero markings of any sort were on all 4 that died.
<Strange... and frightening... is this some sort of parasite peculiar to Acanthuroids? My bet, guess is on something they are encountering,
ingesting in this system (on the rock, substrate).... The list is very large... "just" BGA of various kinds... hydrozoans... But, how to remove
it? Perhaps supplant it with other foods? Oh, IF you have occasion to save/preserve the specimens... one could profit from necropsying their
stomach contents.>
It is an absolute conundrum, and no one else in the hobby that I know personally, nor any of the LFS's have any sort of solution.
If anyone could weigh in, and help me to figure out what in the world I could possibly be missing here, I would be ever so grateful.
Thank you again for all you do for those of us in the hobby!
Sincerely Yours,
Amber Vorlicky
<Ahh; my guess is predicated on the relatedness of these fishes; their feeding modes. There might be merit in changing some parameter in the system; to favor other life forms... allowing NO3, HPO4 to accumulate for instance, increasing or decreasing lighting... to "get rid" of the presumed noxious material. Do please report back your further observations, findings. Bob Fenner>

Copper Alkano-amine Complex In Marine Tanks.    8/4/14
Hi Crew,
I was at a loss of why my fish were dying as it was sudden death (less than 24 hours) with no visible spots.
<Mmm; something environmental highly likely. IF you'll list the order in which they're dying, and their relative sizes, this information may yield insight/s>

The signs were very fast breathing with blotchy skin.
<... too little oxygen, and/or too much carbon dioxide? Some other source (common) of poisoning... PLEASE READ HERE:

the third tray: Toxic Water Conditions
for background: Could be abiological (e.g. metal), toxic tankmate/s, microbial....>
I am in a remote location and the only copper I have is described as Copper Alkano-amine complex.
<Is a class of "chelated" copper/cupric ion>
Is this effective in killing most single cell parasites, deadly to marine fish?
<Some are; some are not... some formulations made for swimming pools can work with ornamental aquatics. IF there's time, it's BEST to try a sample out on some less-valuable fishes>
The blotchy skin has gone but the fish (only survivor) is still breathing fast, I hope just an after effect of gill infestation.
<... maybe>
I am surprised he made it this far.
I have added a large amount of this but after a few hours it shows zero copper on an API test kit.
<... the test kit MUST be one FOR chelated solutions (i.e. NOT free copper; e.g. copper sulfate products)>
It will take me a few days to get Cupramine which I have had best results with.
<A very good product indeed. I have used many hundreds of gallons of this over the decades in the trade>
My question is should I keep adding this as I have already added 100's of drops until I get the required level of around 0.5 or wait until the Cupramine arrives?
<Can't and won't say without knowing exactly what it is that you're treating here. IT MIGHT WELL BE that you're just poisoning your fishes (further). Do you have a microscope and know how to use it? You should sample and examine... to determine that there's something worth treating with copper here; rather than just blindly pouring it in>
I have read there are many different types of ICH and perhaps this is a strain that the spots are no visible perhaps because it is a small parasite.
<I'd also strongly encourage your reading re the use of quinine compounds.
Broader application, and not as toxic when used appropriately>
I was amazed how quickly this came on as the day before there were no symptoms. I changed 80% of the water which did not help so I thought it must be an infection.
<Again; I really doubt it. The root issue here is environmental. READ
Kind regards,
<Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang; gone disappeared     6/7/14
Hello Crew,
My name James, my Naso tang developed ick, I treated the ick maybe to <too> late. The next morning I could not find the tang at all. I moved everything out of the way.
I still cannot find any sign of the Naso Tang.
Where did it go?
Thank you for your response, love the web site
James Schafer
<Either jumped out and turned into carpet jerky, carried away and eaten by a companion animal... taken out by someone else, is hidden therein, or died, dissolved/decomposed quickly. Happens. Bob Fenner>
re: Naso Tang     6/7/14

I found underneath a rock, do you recommend another type of tank for a 90 gallon tank?
<Tang? Yes... See WWM... re Tang Selection/Stocking.... Do you know how to use the search tool and indices? http://wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm
scroll down.... BobF>

My friend's fish are sick      5/30/14
First I'd like to apologize for my spelling mistakes, English is not my mother language but I'll do my best.
<I understand you perfectly; thank you>
So I contact you because all the fish in my friend's tank are getting sick.
He has a 200 gallons reef tank.
Here are some pictures of the tank :
<Ah; very nice>
People already told him to move all the fish or the rocks but unfortunately my friend has no other aquarium to stock the rocks neither the fish.
<Looks fine as is... are you concerned w/ a/the lack of circulation through the rock pile? I would not be>
So everything started 3 months ago his Acanthurus leucosternon started to
have grey/black spot (like black Ich or something).
Here is a picture of him
<Mmm; I see some white spots... likely indicative of Crypt... but not too many...>
He tried garlic, grapefruit and vitamin on him but nothing seems to work, the fish keeps the black/grey little dot and he's rubbing himself on the rocks/sand.
<Some such scratching, glancing is natural; particularly with some of the very problematic "catching" tang species... Best to "treat" indirectly as he's been doing. Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PBTDisFAQ2.htm
and the linked files above>
Everyone accords to say that if it was Ich he'd have died already.
<Mmm; no; not necessarily... BEST to have a go at sampling and looking under a microscope... Easy to do>
4 days ago the others fishes started to get also sick but it seems that there are different sickness.
<May be more than one>
Here are some pics : Synchiropus splendidus getting totally white
<Mmm, could be the treatments alone... the grapefruit et al. added; triggering a cascade event amongst the corals, poisoning the fishes... stressing them, making them more susceptible to the Crypt. See here re:
and as much of the files above till you understand the potential situation.
... I would hold off/stop with the citrus>
Anthias doing the same http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/682510P5294994.jpg  (he died yesterday)

<This fish looks burned chemically... and more Crypt on the tail/caudal>
He tested the parameters and they're all fine, the nitrate are a just a little bit high but nothing bad 15MG/L.
<Not problematical of/by itself>
I guess he bought some contaminated fish at the LFS but usually the LFS treat them before selling them I guess some parasite and bad others things survived(stress probably did not help too).
<ALL MUST do their own isolation/acclimation/quarantine of new livestock...
a sad and expensive lesson here>
I just went back from his house and it's getting worst so I come here in hope that you can help me identifying what's wrong with the fish and if there's a cure.
<... I'd be reading on WWM re Cryptocaryon cures.... Starting here:
He almost tried everything reef safe,
<... not useful. There are NO such "reef safe" treatments that are efficacious... that is, that actually work>
he's thinking of using UV fertilizer
<Sterilizer... again... will NOT cure an entrenched Protozoan infestation>
for 10 weeks. Do you think it will help or do you have any other advice ?
<READ, and QUICKLY. Formulate a plan... EITHER in-tank, or moving all fishes elsewhere... NOW>
Thanks in advance for your reply,
<Thank you for the care, preparation, image-work you've sent along. PLEASE do write back if any part of this message is incomplete or unclear. Bob Fenner>

Re: My friend's fish are sick       5/30/14
Thank you a lot for your reply I'll tell my friend what to do and hope his tank will do fine.
<Ah good>
Have a great week-end and again thank you.
Best regards from Belgium,
<Oh! And you... a friend just came back from a "bier tour" there... Said of all things that folks were making IPAs (!?) more... less of your fab "white" biers. BobF>

common ailments... SW, fishes
Hello Bob. I have  2 strange cases going on in my tank, and have spent a few days searching and reading on possible causes. I have found very similar threads on WWB, that seem indicative on what is going on. I would like to state them and ask if my analysis seems right.
1. Miniatus grouper, (3 inches) has a very large eye on one side. It is not cloudy, suggesting it is a physical injury, and not an infection. My hypothesis here is either another fish, or a rock, caused this swelling. He still eats very good, Mysis, krill, clam etc, but the larger eye is very much noticeable. Treatment: good water quality and nutrition.
2. Indian Trigger (5 inches) Has white spots or patches on only one side of his body. Have developed there a few days ago, and have not spread or reduced any. Certainly do not believe it is parasitic in nature, ich etc.
Again, physical injury/repair. Still eats anything I put in there, and doesn't any abnormal. Same scenario here as the aforementioned, good parameters and food.
I do have a .3 copper (Cupramine) in the tank. It has been in there about 3 weeks now, I was thinking this could be irritating/itchy the fish. On Monday, I will start to use poly pads to remove it.
What do you think of my diagnosis?
<As stated. B>

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