Yellow tang with bulging eye, tell me if I am am approaching correctly? (pictures)

DanielJay

New member
Last Friday I bought a yellow tang and put it in my QT system. The QT system is a 20g long tank with a Marineland HOB filter rated for 30g. Tank was setup with water a week before buying the fish. The filters were set in my new 125g DT that has had fish in for 4 weeks and has been active for 9 weeks.

The yellow tang was fine the first 5 days I had it at home. I was doing a 20% water change daily on the tank since I knew it was not cycled. I noticed that the left eye was getting puffy and cloudy. I started to to take a little more water out on the changes since I noticed it but never really anything drastically different. I am trying not to take fast measures and do things slow. The QT tank is in an area that does not get much traffic in front as it is just me in the house. There is no light on the tank.

Tonight I noticed that the eye was much bigger and worse. I have done a 50% water change and have new water mixing up tonight for tomorrow. I have noticed that the ammonia according to my API test kit was up to .25 ppm which is bad news! Since the 50% water change it is reading 0.

Should I continue doing larger daily water changes and see if it gets better? Will the fish lose it's eye? Should I treat with anything?

The fish has been eating like a pig since I got it. Feeding a combo of 2 different flakes as well as nori every day.

main.php

main.php
 

dunc101

New member
I would probably get some maracyn 2 to treat the popeye. As far as water changes, whenever you detect ANY ammonia, you should do a WC. This is most likely what brought about the pop eye in the first place. Maracyn 2 might also "retard" the the bacterial population that you are trying to establish at the moment, so it is a catch 22.
A good suggestion would be to get 2 5 gallon buckets and use the "tank transfer method" and let your main QT finish cycling. Just put a stone airation device in the bucket.
This would do 3 things:
1.) allow you to treat with maracyn 2 without a worry about ammonia build up as you do 100% water changes every 3 days.
2.) Treat prophylactically for ich which tangs are notorious for.
3.) Allow your QT to finish cycling.

Your other option may be to use some Prime in the QT with ammonia to hopefully convert the ammonia to non toxic ammonia. I am not sure how Prime interacts with maracyn 2, so I would do some research before doing that if you choose this route.
 

h2so4hurts

New member
Maracyn2 is a broad spectrum antibiotic. It's going to destroy the biological filter, not retard it.

Tank transfer is probably your best bet. But do it in two separate tanks. Don't treat your cycling QT with the antibiotics if you don't have to. Then once you get done with the antibiotic treatment you should have a cycled QT tank ready for your fish.

You might want to see if you can get some antibiotic food locally. It's always much better to feed the antibiotic to the fish than to dump it in the water. The antibiotic works better internally and it also lessens the destruction of the biological filter if you don't want to do tank transfer.

I like ammolock better than prime, but that's just personal preference because I like to use coppersafe. Prime has other chemicals in it that destroy the chelators in coppersafe and turn it into copper-unsafe :p
 

DanielJay

New member
I will see what local shops have the Maracyn 2 available. As well as look for any antibiotic food.

So for the "tank transfer method" would I be understanding it correctly with the following process?
1. Get 2 5g buckets and fill them 3/4 way up
2. Put an airstone and heater in each bucket
3. Every 3rd day net the fish out and transfer to the other bucket with matching temp and salinity
4. After each transfer clean both buckets and the net with a mild bleach solution, then a vinegar solution, let dry for a day and then refill with new water

Should this be done for 1 week or 2 weeks?

I have bought a pre-filter sponge for a canister filter(I actually don't even own the canister filter) and soaking that in my DT sump. I am going to leave that there for the whole process above until the fish goes back into the main QT tank. I also have a filter pad with carbon for my Marineland HOB filter that has been in the sump of my DT for the past week already.

Would it be best to do a 100% water change on the main QT tank and clean it really well before the fish goes back in? Or should I let it sit just like it is until the tank transfer method above is done and put my filters I have been soaking in my DT sump a day before the fish goes back into the QT tank?
 

dunc101

New member
I will see what local shops have the Maracyn 2 available. As well as look for any antibiotic food.

So for the "tank transfer method" would I be understanding it correctly with the following process?
1. Get 2 5g buckets and fill them 3/4 way up
2. Put an airstone and heater in each bucket
3. Every 3rd day net the fish out and transfer to the other bucket with matching temp and salinity
4. After each transfer clean both buckets and the net with a mild bleach solution, then a vinegar solution, let dry for a day and then refill with new water

Should this be done for 1 week or 2 weeks?
12 days. This is the "quickest" QT solution for ich. Try to change the water / move the fish over in the AM every 3rd day if you can.

I have bought a pre-filter sponge for a canister filter(I actually don't even own the canister filter) and soaking that in my DT sump. I am going to leave that there for the whole process above until the fish goes back into the main QT tank. I also have a filter pad with carbon for my Marineland HOB filter that has been in the sump of my DT for the past week already.

Would it be best to do a 100% water change on the main QT tank and clean it really well before the fish goes back in? Or should I let it sit just like it is until the tank transfer method above is done and put my filters I have been soaking in my DT sump a day before the fish goes back into the QT tank?
Assuming the DT is cycled, hopefully the sponge will be seeded enough in 12 days to control the nutrient build up that the tang provides. I personally, would keep it "as is" for now and see how far along your regular QT cycle gets during this period. If you see no ammonia in 12 days (nitrite is OK in QT saltwater), I would just do a 50% WC on it and add your sponge and fish then. If you still see ammonia (which is likely), I would then do a 100% WC and add the sponge and use some Prime if you see any ammonia later. Since the tank transfer will have already treated for ich, you should not need to add any copper unless the fish shows sign of another parasite. I would then observe in QT for about 4 weeks. I am also assuming that the pop eye would have been resolved before transferring to your QT.
 

DanielJay

New member
Thanks for the info. I have to go to one of my local LFS tonight to get some snails for the DT so I will see what all they have for food/meds.

I do have another sponge that came in the package from the canister filter but did not put that in the sump yet. I guess I will just put that in there now and seed it for future usage.
 

L8ndeb

Registered Reef Keeper
IMO, tank transfers will not work for popeye. It is a bacterial infection, not a parasite. As already stated, QT with Maracyn 2 would be the way to go.
 

h2so4hurts

New member
IMO, tank transfers will not work for popeye. It is a bacterial infection, not a parasite. As already stated, QT with Maracyn 2 would be the way to go.

Tank transfer with maracyn 2 will prevent an ammonia overload. I'd treat with antibiotics for at least a week using this method. Be sure to use prime or ammolock in the water to keep the ammonia toxicity down.
 

L8ndeb

Registered Reef Keeper
Tank transfer with maracyn 2 will prevent an ammonia overload. I'd treat with antibiotics for at least a week using this method. Be sure to use prime or ammolock in the water to keep the ammonia toxicity down.

Yup, I agree using it to control ammonia is the way to go (Amquel can help as well). Sorry I read your post wrong.....I thought you were suggesting it as a way to control popeye.
 

b0bab0ey

Moved On
Maracyn2 is a broad spectrum antibiotic. It's going to destroy the biological filter, not retard it.

I used to do aquarium maintenance, and the owner would prophylactically treat all new arrivals with Coppersafe and Maracyn 1 & 2. He used 55g QTs with crushed coral & u/g filtration as the only means of biological filtration. And let me tell you, he really packed the fish into those tanks. Very heavy bio-load. They would remain in QT for a month or two, until they were ready to be placed in the clients' tanks, and we never once had any ammonia issues. So, while an antibiotic may kill some of the bacteria, it doesn't kill it all. It certainly won't "destroy" a biological filter.

I have also used Maracyn 1 & 2 in my personal QTs, both u/g w/crushed coral and using an AC HOB w/a seeded sponge. Never had any ammonia issues in those either while using Maracyn.
 

h2so4hurts

New member
You're right B0bab0ey, I meant Maracyn Plus...Maracyn 2 (minocyclin) only kills gram negative bacteria. I wish they would just use their pharma names.

Use Maracyn plus because it's hard to tell if the problem is due to a gram negative or gram positive bacteria so it's best to treat for both. Your biological filter is made up of mostly gram positive bacteria.
 

b0bab0ey

Moved On
You're right B0bab0ey, I meant Maracyn Plus...Maracyn 2 (minocyclin) only kills gram negative bacteria. I wish they would just use their pharma names.

Use Maracyn plus because it's hard to tell if the problem is due to a gram negative or gram positive bacteria so it's best to treat for both. Your biological filter is made up of mostly gram positive bacteria.

Maracyn 1 covers gram-positive, Maracyn 2 gram-negative. Furan-2 does both. I've used all 3 in conjunction with biological filtration many times with no ammonia problems.

Although I have no first hand experience with it, I've read that Maracyn Plus can effect biological filtration. Sounds like a product to stay away from IMHO.
 

h2so4hurts

New member
Sounds like the perfect product, IMHO. An antibiotic that doesn't destroy your biological filter probably does a terrible job of killing bacteria within an infested fish. Personally, I use kanamycin because I have access to it in my lab. It's not common at fish stores (Kanaplex, etc) though, so that's why I recommend Maracyn Plus. Most bacterial infections are opportunistic and since reef tanks contain both gram positive and negative bacteria it makes sense to kill all of both just in case you guess wrong and the infection proceeds too rapidly for you to switch treatment regimes, IMHO. I think a lot of people use Maracyn two because they want to preserve their biological filter, but if you have a gram positive infection in your fish, you're SOL...
 

DanielJay

New member
All I can find locally is Maracyn 2 labled for freshwater use. Is it safe to use or should I find a saltwater variation online?
 

b0bab0ey

Moved On
All I can find locally is Maracyn 2 labled for freshwater use. Is it safe to use or should I find a saltwater variation online?

Yes, but there are two downsides:

1. When using the f/w version, you have to double the dosage for s/w use. The powder packets in the f/w version contains 10 mg Minocycline; the s/w version has tablets that contains 20mg Minocycline. The effective s/w dosage is: First day add 2 tablets (or 40mg) per 20 gallons of water. Second thru fifth day, add 1 tablet (or 20mg) per 20 gallons of water. So, if you were using the f/w packets, you would use 4 packets the first day per 20 gals, and then 2 packets per 20 gals Days 2-5.

2. With the f/w version you don't get the B complex vitamins to stimulate appetite.
 

Paul B

Premium Member
I wouldn't do anything to that fish. It normally goes away by itself in a few days.
If it doesn't I suck out the fluid behind the eye with a hypodermic but that is not usually necessary (although it cures it in about 5 seconds)
 

DanielJay

New member
Good to know. I picked up a package of the freshwater so I can start treatment asap, tonight when I get home I will search online for the saltwater stuff.
 
Top