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Black Tang Won't Eat and White Body Slime

jwshiver

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I purchased this tang a little over two years ago. He was about the size of a half dollar and now is slightly larger than the palm of my hand. I quarantined him as I do all my fish for 6 weeks. He has always been a voracious eater, fat and happy, although somewhat shy. So shy he is a royal pain to get a picture of. I did the best I can with the two attached photos. He won't be still long enough to get a good pic. I guess that's a good sign because he is not lethargic. I feed the tank nori three times a week and LRS and Rod's one to two times a day. Occasionally I feed some mysis. About three weeks ago I noticed his slime coat was turning white and he refused to eat. It is not spots but white slime. No other fish in the tank is affected. I have several wrasse that occasionally quarrel with one another but, I've never seen any fish fighting with him. I started offering nori every day about two weeks but he still refuses to eat. His slime coat is looking worse and his spine is starting to show. There has been nothing out of the normal as far as swings in parameters or new additions to the tank. The tank is 120 gallon SPS dominate mature colonies at 5 years old as of last August and very stable. The only thing I can think of is possibly a fungus. He is the only tang in the tank. I'm not sure how I would catch him even if I knew how to treat him. I was hoping he would fight through this but, without eating I'm sure his immune system continues to weaken. Any ideas?
Black Tang.JPEG
Black Tang2.JPEG
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Jay Hemdal

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I’d be inclined to rule out water quality since your corals look so good. When was the last fish/invert you added to this tank? Perhaps it served as a vector for something. One thing, as you know, anything white or cloudy really shows up on a jet black fish. Marine fungal infections are extremely rare, and usually internal. This could be a bacterial infection. You’re limited to treatment options in that tank, with a fish that’s not eating.
Jay
 
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jwshiver

jwshiver

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I’d be inclined to rule out water quality since your corals look so good. When was the last fish/invert you added to this tank? Perhaps it served as a vector for something. One thing, as you know, anything white or cloudy really shows up on a jet black fish. Marine fungal infections are extremely rare, and usually internal. This could be a bacterial infection. You’re limited to treatment options in that tank, with a fish that’s not eating.
Jay
If by some miracle I can catch him perhaps treat with Kanaplex + Furan-2 + Metroplex?
 

vetteguy53081

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I dont think its a fungus but rather whai it appears is that being that this fish is super sensitive to environmental change, it reacted to something in the water possibly after a water change where toxin levels may have suddenly spiked (ammonia or nitrate) and is actually losing its slime coat which appears as a viral or fungus issue.
Similar to Uronema marinum caused by a ciliate parasite with a direct life cycle, something attacked the skin.
Hopefully not the case but my best guess. As it helps with skin issues, melafix may or may not help, and Kanaplex may also help.
As Jay also quesationed,,,, verify your parameters (ammonia0nitrate-salinity (could be too high or low) and PH
 
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Jay Hemdal

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If by some miracle I can catch him perhaps treat with Kanaplex + Furan-2 + Metroplex?
He isn’t going to like being put in a QT, if he was still feeding, I’d say leave it be, but since it isn’t eating, you need to try something...the regimen you listed is pretty standard.
Jay
 
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jwshiver

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The only thing I can think that has changed is I have been experimenting with my ozone. I didn't give it much thought because I'm using such a small amount. I have a Ozotech Poseidon 200 with a Ozotech IQ-20 Air Dryer. I have been using ozone for 1 year and 7 months set for 10 minutes every two hours set at #5 which I assume is 110 mg/hr injected into my skimmer. I've never had any issues. My only reason for using ozone is to provide consistent water clarity and therefore consistent PAR for the SPS. I do not care about trying to drive up ORP with ozone. By the way, running it at this rate it doesn't. To be safe I have my Apex set to turn the ozone off should it reach above 400. It has never come close to 400. The highest it ever gets is around 370 and that takes 4 days after my weekly water change which causes the ORP to plunge. Recently I have been running the ozone continuously, set at #2, which I assume is 44 mg/hr from 7:00am to 12:50am. The gap from 12:50am to 7:00am is for the air dryer heat cycle to run for 2 1/2 hours and the remaining time for the desiccant to cool down. However I started that shortly after the first signs of the tangs slime coat turning white. Perhaps running the ozone, even at a reduced rate, stressed him enough to exasperate his problem? I have read @Randy Holmes-Farley post where he suspected issues with his tangs while running ozone. I have reprogrammed my apex back to the previous schedule. I might possibly shut down the ozone for a few days to see if there is any improvement. Any thoughts? Any additional info on ozone and tangs?
 
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Jay Hemdal

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The only thing I can think that has changed is I have been experimenting with my ozone. I didn't give it much thought because I'm using such a small amount. I have a Ozotech Poseidon 200 with a Ozotech IQ-20 Air Dryer. I have been using ozone for 1 year and 7 months set for 10 minutes every two hours set at #5 which I assume is 110 mg/hr injected into my skimmer. I've never had any issues. My only reason for using ozone is to provide consistent water clarity and therefore consistent PAR for the SPS. I do not care about trying to drive up ORP with ozone. By the way, running it at this rate it doesn't. To be safe I have my Apex set to turn the ozone off should it reach above 400. It has never come close to 400. The highest it ever gets is around 370 and that takes 4 days after my weekly water change which causes the ORP to plunge. Recently I have been running the ozone continuously, set at #2, which I assume is 44 mg/hr from 7:00am to 12:50am. The gap from 12:50am to 7:00am is for the air dryer heat cycle to run for 2 1/2 hours and the remaining time for the desiccant to cool down. However I started that shortly after the first signs of the tangs slime coat turning white. Perhaps running the ozone, even at a reduced rate, stressed him enough to exasperate his problem? I have read @Randy Holmes-Farley post where he suspected issues with his tangs while running ozone. I have reprogrammed my apex back to the previous schedule. I might possibly shut down the ozone for a few days to see if there is any improvement. Any thoughts? Any additional info on ozone and tangs?
While the ozone could cause this sort of skin issue, it seems to me that since it began before you pumped the ozone, it isn't the direct cause. When was the last time you calibrated your ORP probe?

Jay
 
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jwshiver

jwshiver

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While the ozone could cause this sort of skin issue, it seems to me that since it began before you pumped the ozone, it isn't the direct cause. When was the last time you calibrated your ORP probe?

Jay
I ordered a new ORP probe on 9/19/20 from BRS just in case the probe was faulty. I paid for expedited shipping and should have received it last Thursday. I still don't have it. It seems to be in nowheresville. BRS was good about refunding my shipping cost. I know when I install the new probe it can take a few weeks for the ORP reading to settle. In the mean time I stopped the ozone to see if there is any improvement over the next few days. If so I will go back to my old ORP schedule after he is healed.

I feel helpless not being able to catch and treat him. He is such a beautiful fish. It is hard being in the position of either hoping he gets better on his own or watch him continue to deteriorate. If he does continue to deteriorate to the point I can catch him it might be too late to help but you never know until you try.

I'm leary about about putting any type of treatment in my tank. I have too many large SPS colonies to risk RTN or STN.
Do you have an opinion on Melafix and Pimafix?
 

Jay Hemdal

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I don’t use either of those products, if anything, they are tonics, not actual medications. I wouldn’t risk using them with your corals. Melafix is melaleuca extract? I don’t know what the other is.

Jay
 

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