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Old 08/03/2005, 12:26 PM
alancolinet alancolinet is offline
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Location: Philly
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Exclamation Coral Beauty Problems

Hello everyone, I'm back with yet another coral beauty has what I can only describe as fin rot I think..... the top fin ( dorsal fin ??? ) has 2 of it's spines COMPLETELY showing and it looks like it is slowly spreading down the rest of the fin towards the tail fin. It is a fleshy stark white around the area with a slight red coloing at the base. The fish seems fine and is eating normally BUT it is hard to not notice this erosion of the fin. Does this sound like fin rot??? And if so then how do I treat for it??? Slowly every day it is looking worse and worse....none of the other fish exhibit any signs of being sick and the water qualities are all in spec. I recently added some carbon in a 100 micron bag to help remove any of the possible water issues that there could be that I cannot test for. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated since I am running out of time and I don't know how much longer this fish could have.
Old 08/04/2005, 11:04 AM
leebca leebca is offline
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Unfortunately, the root of the usual cause of such a condition is environment and nutrition. You seem to think that environment is okay (water quality). I'm not sure of that.

With the proper nutrition, your fish should be fine. Is it getting the right foods? in the right quantities? with fat additives? and vitamin additives?

I would still believe that its environment is suspect. I've kept sailfin tangs, for instance, that you would not recognize as that fish because its fins were all gone, come back to full fins in three months. It takes the optimal kind of nourishment and environment.

I can't help you out much more on environment, it's something you'll have to find. If you want to answer these questions, I can see if I can spot a concern or problem:

How old is your tank? When did it originally cycle?
What kind of system do you have (tank volume, dimensions, bio-filtration method, the equipment you use, any carbon or chemical filtration, etc.).
List all specimens in the tank (fish, inverts, corals, clams, etc.).
Do you use a quarantine tank and procedure?
Foods you use and feeding schedules.
How long have you had this fish?
Do you use any vitamins? any additives? Please list all.
Chemistries – please give actual numbers (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate, Silica, Ca, Alk., and any others you have)
Water parameters – please give actual numbers (pH and your pH range, salinity or sp. gr. & range, temperature range)
Water changes (how much and how often).
List what you added or taken out of your aquarium system (living, decorations, and equipment) during the past 6 weeks.
Maintenance schedule. What have you done lately?

BTW the most value that activated carbon has is this: For the first few days it pulls out mostly organics (thus its reported success at getting rid of yellowing water). After that, it depletes trace elements. Unfortunately, the fishes need some trace elements to remain healthy. So, carbon IMHO should be used very carefully. It's all part of the 'proper environment' issue.

Good luck!
Old 08/05/2005, 06:31 AM
alancolinet alancolinet is offline
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Location: Philly
Posts: 133
Well mostly the cause for concern for most people when I post replies about my parameters is that my tank has just turned 6 months old..... a little too young for some reefers to really be giving any accurate advice since their basis is on a more mature tank ( or so I have been told before ).

To answer your questions though :

-The tank just turned 6 months old, it had a mini cycle about 1 1/2 months ago when I added more live rock....but otherwise the intial cycle ended around 5 months ago.

-46 gallon bowfront 38x18x24
10 gallon sump
5 gallon fuge
80lbs LR in main display
80lbs Livesand main display
40lbs Livesand fuge
100 micron filter pad in 1200 GPH overflow box
100 micron filter sock on inlet of Quiet One 4000 HH return pump
100 micron filter bag w/ carbon in sump

-4 green chromis
1 percula clownfish
1 coral beauty
1 lawnmower blenny
1 coral banded shimp
1 cleaner shrimp
1 emerald mithrax crab
1 blue tuxedo urchin
6 nerrite snails
2 tiger cowlies
1 fighting conche
3 mini turbo snails
20 nassarious snails
1 large metallic green star polyp colony

- as of now I don't currently have a quarantine tank...I know that everyone recommends them and I have enough extra power filters laying around that I could make my own in short notice

- I use a marinereef pellet and flake food 2x daily.....not as much anymore w/ the pellets for I began to think that I might have been the pellets are around 1x day

- the LFS had the fish for a month before I picked him up, I have had him for around 3 weeks now.

- I use reef supplements daily.....basically the whole Kent Series of reef supplements, as in I use them all on a weekly schedule that I have, not every day for each

- 81 to 83 F
pH 8.35 to 8.4
Salinity 1.025 to 1.026
Ammonia 0.0
Nitrites 0.0
Nitrates 5ppm
dKH 9 or 191 ppm ( whichever you use since my test lists both )
Phosphates 0.1
Silica 0.0
Copper 0.0

- perform substrate vacuum and water change at same time 1xweek taking out 6-7 gallons at a time

- recently I hard plumbed my system with PVC and I had my brittle starfish and 1 cleaner shrimp die due to a salinity swing while I was away on vacation and someone else was adding water while I was gone....this occured about 2 weeks ago

- recently perfomed a partial water change 2 days ago in an attempt to remove anything that I may have missed to help the Coral Beauty out...also vacuumed the substrate

I think that answers all of your questions
Old 08/05/2005, 09:51 AM
leebca leebca is offline
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Thank you for the thoroughness of your response. I will try to suggest some things to do differently that I think will improve the environmental-nutritional issues your CB may be facing. They are my opinions and suggestions. But before I do, I would like to say that your routine and care is very good. I think there was a 'blip' in their care when you were away and their well being was in someone else's hands, less knowledgeable or unable to keep up the quality care you were giving. This happens to me and others, too.

Probably the biggest environmental impact was your absence and the changes that occurred then (as noted above).

Your tank is still settling in. The addition of rock to an established aquarium is a bit of setback to the aquarium's aging and settling in process. On paper your tank might be 6 months old, but some may argue it is really only 2 months old (when you added the last LR and it cycled again).

With your diligent and frequent water changes, I would question the need for the use of the additives. You may need to add Ca and Alk, but other than that, the fresh/new salt water will provide all the trace elements you will need. You may be overdosing those (and wasting your $). You may want to read up on this perspective:

You didn't mention that your refugium has any macro algae in it. I believe in the therapeutic effects that growing macro algae has for the fish.

So, under the heading of environmental I see a tank not settled yet and in a state of change; your absence and reduced care for a time; and perhaps too much trace elements. I would suggest focusing on stabilizing your water parameters; letting your tank age more; don't put it in the hands of an amateur; stop adding trace elements; and perhaps make sure you have some healthy macro algae growing (in your refugium or main display).

Regarding nutrition, I see a significant deficiency here. (I am only addressing the CB, but you need to analyze your feeding relative to the needs of your other specimens.)

You are feeding a mundane, routine food that needs improvement. You should also be feeding more, with supplements. Your CB is an omnivore. It needs to have at least 40% of its diet contain vegetable matter.

I also don't clearly see that you are supplying extra fats and vitamins to the food.

Your feedings should be no less than twice a day, three if you can manage it. Smaller, more frequent feedings is what your fish and its digestive system is used to.

Regarding nutrition, I would suggest the following:
Think of a weekly feeding regime. There are 21 feedings. 5 of those feedings should be frozen Cyclopeze, frozen mysis, or frozen fortified or live fortified brine shrimp. Every other day, put a piece of algae in the tank, anchored at the bottom, for the CB to munch on and pick at throughout the day.

Feed pellet or flakes for up to (and no more than) 5 of those feedings. I would vary the kind, choosing herbivore flakes now and then. (See below on why 'herbivore').

On the remaining feedings, mix and vary the diet of commercially prepared frozen herbivore and angle foods. The reason I suggest this is that because most of the commercially available herbivore foods contain more fish protein then they do vegetable matter. Read their label and you'll most likely see that spirulina or kelp is third or fourth on the list of ingredients, behind krill, fish meal, and other carnivore foods. So, the 'herbivore' food is good for an omnivore, actually.

Now: Once a day, soak one of the feedings in a vitamin for fish. Once a day, soak one of the feedings in a fat source for fish. Don't soak the Cyclopeze. It is a high fat source on its own. Below are just some suggestions. You can find others.
Vitamins & Fats:
Selcon (fats)
Zoecon (fats)

I think that if you can manage to implement the above nutrition and environmental changes over the next few days, your CB will improve. As for your other specimens, the clown and chromis will also eat the same diet as the CB. Others should be targeted for what they should be eating.

Start with small feedings, and slowly increase the quantity. Let the Nassarius snails & conch do their job.

Our fishes can be trained to eat almost anything (look at how many tangs eat fish flesh!). But, that doesn't mean they should be eating those things.

BTW, congratulations on NOT having any hermits in your aquarium!

I hope you will find the above helpful. Ask if you have ?
Old 08/11/2005, 08:01 AM
alancolinet alancolinet is offline
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Thanks a lot Lee, I have seen quite an improvement since I have introduced the frozen spirulina brine, frozen mysis and herbivorous algea groups to their feeding schedule. I forgot to mention that I have macro-algea in the fuge in the form of red mangroves, red algea and various other types of algea. Should I be scraping the diatom and brown algea off of the sides of the fuge when it gets "full" or should I just leave it alone?? Also, I recently added a scooter blenny to the mix. I have had some experience with these cute small fish before and I was wondering what suggestions I could get for keeping it in what to feed it? Thanks for the help
"Its eight arms, or rather feet, fixed to its head, that have given the name of cephalopod to these animals, were twice as long as its body, and were twisted like the furies' hair."
Old 08/11/2005, 05:13 PM
Piper04 Piper04 is offline
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I just read your posting and also have a Coral Beauty that Lee helped us with conquering ick. After the ick battle, we went on a vacation and came back and noticed our CB was not looking good - his color was all but gone and he wasn't eating.

In a few days, he regained his color but seemed very uninterested in eating - which is way out of the ordinary for him! I also noticed he had some scars above his eyes. I did some surfing and found a recommendation to add Vitamin C to the tank.

I found Kent Marine C and began added just 3 drops a day to the tank. In less than a week, our CB perked back up and began eating like a champ again! With the loving help of our neon goby, his scars are fading!

Listen to all the advice Lee gives - he is a life saver for CBs! But you may want to try the Vitamin C thing too - it definitely helped our guy!
Old 08/11/2005, 08:12 PM
leebca leebca is offline
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Don't forget the vitamins, alancolinet.

I'd remove 'the brown' once. After you remove it, import a few snails that will eat it. Might as well 'recycle' the little #$%@&. A few hungry Trochus, Strombus, and Cerith snails will keep the diatoms and slime algaes under control.

Unfortunately, "scooter blenny" is a name given to many different fishes. 'When in doubt, call it a sccoter' seems to be the way. However, if it is a Synchiropus ocellatus it is a carnivore, preferring microfauna. You can probably get it trained to eat mysis (I would avoid brine shrimp) and the foods generally offered Mandarins. Pods are its first choice in foods. In an established aquarium with 80+ pounds of LR, it should do well.

Some people have had good luck with them, others can't get them to eat anything but pods, right up until the time they die in the tank. Although attractive, like the Mandarins, it's one of the fishes I'd prefer only dedicated aquarists attempt to keep.

Old 08/12/2005, 06:31 AM
alancolinet alancolinet is offline
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Yea, the blenny is a Neosynchiropus ocellatus. Do you hink it would eat frozen mysis??? That is what I have been feeding the rest of the tank now with spirulina enriched brine also. Btw I know that brine shrimp by itself is not very nutritious, is that why you would avoid them??? what if they were enriched?, would it be more worth it then? Most of my algea now is in the fuge...but it still seems to creep its way back into the main tank. I guess I'll just do as you suggest and add some snails to the fuge. Also, I am going to start adding that Kent Marine C and see how things go. Thanks for all the help
Old 08/12/2005, 01:58 PM
leebca leebca is offline
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If given the proper time and attention to the training process, I think there's about a 70% chance you would succeed in getting it to eat frozen mysis. You should try to target feed it so the fish don't steal its food. Often, that sort of thing keeps it from proper training. If you will quarantine it, then you might find training it to be easier.

Yes. Brine shrimp is a bit low on the 'normal' food chain for our ornamental fishes. Enriched serves it purpose, but in a nutritious regime, I would limit even enriched b.s. to less than 3 feedings out of every 21. Decapsulated b.s. eggs mixed into a gel home made formula I think is a good addition.

You're welcome! Good luck!

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