Brown Spots/Splotches on Tang

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by jlemoine2, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Hello All,


    Yesterday, when the lights turned on, we were surprised by the appearance of our Atlantic/Caribbean Blue Tang (still a yellow juvenile, obviosuly). He has a bunch of small brown spots/splotches of various shapes on his head and body. Today, there appear to be perhaps 10-15% more spots than there were yesterday.


    His/her general behavior and appetite appear unaffected so far. His poo looks the same as it always has, which appears to be digested greens (he eats a lot of nori).


    I've had him for 11 months, and he was quarantined before going into the display. All new additions to the tank have been quarantined as well. In QT, I always medicate for external parasites whether I visibly see issues or not, but I don't always medicate for internal parasites.


    There are SPS and LPS corals in the tank, but nothing exotic. I also have a RBTA. No fish are aggressive, and there have been no fighting amongst the fish. No fish are showing any problems, only this tang.


    What do you all think?


    [​IMG]




    Zoomed in a little:


    [​IMG]
     
  2. swannyson7

    swannyson7 Moderator/Acro Aficianado Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award CTARS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    6,733
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Bantam, Connecticut
    Looks like "black ich" which is actually a parasitic flatworm that burrows into the skin of the fish. It is most common in tangs, but can affect other fish as well. For treatment, you should set up a QT and treat with Formalin baths. A freshwater dip will also help temporarily ease symptoms, but shouldn't be the sole treatment. The parasitic worms can live off of detritus in the sandbed for a period of time, so you should have a fallow period of a few months if at all possible.
     
  3. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Thanks for the quick reply... but from my knowledge of black spot disease, the spots are more like salt-grain size. These splotches are much larger than that. Doing a quick google check, none of the pictures showing black ich look anything like this, and the spots are much finer in appearance.

    I'll need to devise a way to get this feller out and into QT, but i would like to treat for the proper illness.
     
  4. boxer

    boxer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Augusta, G.A.
    +1 black ich is very small, you think it could be the color of the fish changing to its adult color, just an idea ive never seen the transition in person just have seen one color or the other.
     
  5. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    My wife asked the same thing about the transition. The only transition pic I've seen of this type of tang is that it was about 50% blotchy blue (a vivid blue). In the zoom pic above, you can kind of see a little hint of blue on the cheek, and a little more above the eye. I imagined the transition more of that color slowly creeping in.
     
  6. boxer

    boxer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Augusta, G.A.
    huh!!!! yea i can understand it does make more sense that you would see the blue instead of the blackish brown spots like you have here. It just really weird!!!!!!!!!!! Well good luck Hope you determine the problem......
     
  7. brannock_16

    brannock_16 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Hey jlemoine2,

    Your best bet for removing the tang is to pick up a fish trap. Go down to Fish Aquariums and Stuff or post up on the IMAS boards to see if anyone has one you can borrow.

    And if you need a QT tank I have a 40 breeder laying around that is not being used. It would be a great sized QT so as not to add additional stress to the tang.

    Good luck with the treatment.

    Robert
     
  8. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Thanks Robert! I already have a QT tank setup full time. I'm a believer in the quarantine process for fish. I was planning on running down to Fish Aquariums and Stuff today to see if I could borrow or buy a trap. If they did not have one, I'll post something up on IMAS to see if anybody has one.
     
  9. Steven R

    Steven R Well-Known Member R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    florida
    is the whiteness on the fin normal for that that fish since you bought it or is that a new development?
     
  10. Steven R

    Steven R Well-Known Member R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    florida
    maybe try hypo-salitnty treatment. The fish does not look to bad yet?
     
  11. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Hi Steven. The white splotches on the fins are not normal. It showed up on day 2. Today is day 3... the lights came on a little bit ago, and the white on the fins seems to be worse, and only seems to be on the clear pectoral fins. The brown splotches actually looked better, as if they are healed up a bit and do not seem to be protruding as much.

    I'm going to try and get him out of the tank and into quarantine today. I'll try treating for internal, external parasites, and probably something to treat fungus and/or bacteria.
     
  12. bct15

    bct15 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Starkville, MS
    Do you have any other tangs in the tank? The white spots sound like ich and is typical to see on a stressed tang IME. The spots look like battle wounds from another tang that have been cleaned...or the spots left over after an ich syst has fallen off, that have been cleaned. If fish is healthy should recover on it's own from good water quality and good feeding. What size system is it in? Do you run carbon, if so how?
     
  13. Steven R

    Steven R Well-Known Member R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    florida
    IMO I would look in to fin rot I know it does not seem practical because of the cyst but fin rot can produce brown spots on the fishes body including the fins. I think i could possibly be early stages of fin rot because of the whiteness of the fins and if so the edges of the fin will soon be tattered as if someone was nipping on them. If it is fin rot i would get the tang out as soon as possible because it can be transmited to all fish in the system and is hard to stop when it gets to that point. You are trying to get the fish out already so that is good. The only reason I say look into fin rot is because about a year ago my mimic tang came down with something similar to your tang and that is what it turned out to be. I started hypo-salitnity treatment and copertine treatment. Also look into marine velvet which is different then marine ice and will produce brown/black/or red bumps and the fish will kind of feel like a sand paper texture a parasite medication and freshwater dip for 3 to 10 min every other day will help curve and stop the progression. well hope this help. I am not saying this is a diagnosis just the most probable IMO.
    STEVE
     
  14. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Thanks for the reply! No sir, I don't have any other tangs, this one is the only one. 120 gallon tank. I run carbon in a NextReef reactor. There is no fighting amongst the fish in the tank, all the fish get along very well and are fed in abundance.

    I think it's to easy to blame "white" ailments on standard ich (crypto..) and darker spots on "black ich". However, the size of these marks are too big to be either one, and having experienced ich in quarantine, I can say with relative certainty, that this issue is not ich. I'll post my updated findings here shortly....
     
  15. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    I do believe a parasite to be at work here. I have a book titled "Diseases in Marine Aquarium Fish" by Gerald Bassleer. It describes internal parasites known as encapsulated digenetic trematodes or metaceraria that meet the general description I'm experiencing here. The book describes black spots on the skin and muscular tissue, and white spots on the fins (I have both). The photos in the book are terrible, but it's the closest match I could find for the symptoms. It also makes sense because my own quarantine procedures don't treat for internal parasites.


    Doing some more digging around, it is common for parasitic infections to cause this type of marking, as it is a skin reaction to the immune system trying to block the parasites. I'm confident enough in my QT procedures that I don't have an external parasite. Also, on day 3 of this issue, this tang and a lyretail anthias were having white stringy poo... which is a key indicator of an internal parasite.


    Since I could not immediately get a fish trap (and more than one fish appears exposed), I tried soaking some mysis and brine with PraziPro. Doing some quick searches showed that quite a few folks had trouble with this method (dead fish), but I'm convinced they were overdosing the PraziPro like this, since they provided no measurements. I did not want to simply dose it to the water as I'm not keen on running without carbon or a skimmer for several days.


    Doing my own research, I was able to come up with a dosage of 0.07ml per 1 gram of food. It turns out that old Salifert calcium test kits have a perfect syringe for that type of measurement. I thawed out two cubes of frozen food, which is approximately 6.5 grams. With the thawed and rinsed food in a little cup, I squirted in ~0.45 ml of PraziPro, mixed it up good, and let it soak for 15 minutes. After that, I fed it to the tank with a turkey baster like I normally do. On this initial batch, the fish seemed to eat a little slower than they normally do... I figured the PraziPro may not have tasted good soaked into their food. I put in a couple drops of garlic extract to the food container. From there, they attacked the food more vigorously.




    The next day (today) On Day 4, here is what my tang looked like:


    [​IMG]




    Big improvement! On Day 2 some white splotches also appeared on the pectoral fins. Those are still there today, but they are either equal to or not as bad as yesterday. Since these showed up day 2, it's possible they will go away later than the brown splotches will.




    This is the best picture I could get of the fin splotches, which are about 3mm in size.:


    [​IMG]




    Given the size and shape of these, I'm about 90% sure it is not crypto. I'm sticking with the encapsulated trematodes or metaceraria theory. I'll continue dosing PraziPro soaked food for the week to see how things go.




    I mentioned before all of my fish go through quarantine. I also treat the fish for external parasites regardless of whether they show symptoms or not. At one point, I used to dose PraziPro to the water (in QT) for internal parasites as well, but I did not like running without a skimmer on a little system that did not have any biological filtration. I also noticed the fish would often not eat at all, or at most very little. So I stopped using PraziPro. I think now that I may have a good method to give it to the fish orally, I will use this dosing method in my QT protocols as well.
     
  16. jlemoine2

    jlemoine2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Day 5 update...


    The tang is still improving! Today was the third day of PraziPro soaked food. Yesterday, there were some brown spots between the eyes, which appear to be gone today. The white splotches on the fins are improved as well. I can barely see any white on one fin, and the other (which was worse) is much less noticeable, but I still can see a couple white splotches (as seen in the picture below).


    Today's photo... he even looks to be smiling again! :lol:


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Toto851

    Toto851 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas
    Brown Spots

    I have this exact thing on my Carribian Tang and the Raccon Butterfly that I have has been flashing against the rocks and tearing himself up. Could these be related?

    I have no problems with any of my other fish (at this point). Can I still treat the entire tank?
     

Share This Page