Dying Regal Tang - What should be my next step?

glenlikes_stuff

New member
Hello,

I currently have in a 90L QT (prophylactic approach) a 2.5 inch Regal Tang along with 2 clownfish and 2 Pyjama Cardinals. They've all been in the QT for 2.5-4 weeks now. Initially under an observation period followed by a freshwater dip with Myxazin and then a 20 day cycle of Chloroquine Phosphate (10ml/L). I began the CP cycle on 16 January so they are 16 days in.

All fish are eating well except for the Tang. Initially she was eating like a pig, very fat and healthy but about 8 days ago she stopped eating completely. I have tried everything to try and tempt her to eat - seaweed clip, garlic enriched brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, red plankton, live food, New Era algae flakes and marine pellets. No luck.

Admittedly when I tested my water about 3 days ago it was out of control. 0 Ammonio, 2 Nitrite and about 100 Nitrates. I have a sponge filter in the QT that was seeded in my DT but obviously it wasn't doing a sufficient job. I performed very large water changes and the Nitrites are currently at .25 and Nitrates 60. I have also added a piece of live rock in a last ditched attempt to control the water quality.

When I noticed the water quality the Tang had little pimple like spots around its lips and a row of spots just above the lateral line. One of the clownfish also had about 3 random spots. Immediately after I performed the large water changes these spots disappeared. The Tang now has 1 tiny spot at the edge of its dorsal fin and above its eye.

The tang is breathing rapidly and I've observed her scratching on the flower pot that I've had in the QT. For a period of an hour I've also seen her swimming in the powerhead flow. In an attempt to feel like I've tried everything I can I also treated her in a 6 hour Sera Tremazol bath yesterday. Today she is still not eating and is very skinny, I can see her bones on either side of her body. So I fear she does not have long left.

Any suggestions on what should be my next step and what is causing her not to eat? Is it the water quality? The CP? Ich/something else? I've had LED running on my QT (it's a Fluval M60), do you think this could have broken down the CP and made it ineffective?

Thank you, all help is appreciated!
 

dkeller_nc

New member
It certainly sounds like you've got ich in your QT, and it's also possible from your water chemistry tests that you had an ammonia spike that could've damaged the gills on your tang.

Rapidly lowering the salinity to hyposalinity conditions might save it - there's considerably more oxygen in hyposaline water than full-strength seawater, and hyposalinity is one means of eradicating an ich infection. Many will suggest using the tank transfer method for eradicating ich, though it sounds like the tang's so weakened that it might not survive the stress of tank transfer.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
Trouble with CP is that there are some questions about the quality of the source (assuming it comes from the 'ebay seller' rather than from a vet). Tang doesn't get skinny overnight, so I'm inclined to think that your fish may have some underlying issues that have nothing to do with ich. Not saying it's cyanide necessarily, but your description of the fish's condition is certainly consistent with it.
 

glenlikes_stuff

New member
Thanks for the replies so far. I'm using Avloclor as the source of the CP so the quality should be "good" and the tang has progressively been losing weight since it stopped eating 8 days ago.

If it was an ammonia spike, is there any way coming back from that? She seems to be more active today than the last couple of days and I haven't observed any scratching. But still no eating... :(
 

dkeller_nc

New member
Yes, fish do recover from ammonia spikes that aren't immediately fatal. Among other things, ammonia damages a fish's gills. Under that circumstance, getting oxygen into the fish is the primary concern. Considerably lowering the salinity and making sure that there's very good water movement/aeration would be the recommended route helping the fish out.
 
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