HLLE (Head & Lateral Line Erosion)

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Humblefish, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Head & Lateral Line Erosion "HLLE":

    Symptoms - HLLE literally looks as though the skin is rotting or peeling off the fish. Affected areas usually include the face and lateral line, and may be white in color.

    Treatment options - This is more of a condition than an actual disease. Since no one can agree on the exact cause, all you can do is address all of the following theories regarding HLLE:

    1) Stray voltage - Use a titanium ground probe & test your tank for stray voltage.
    2) Running carbon - Don’t use it, or use only premium grade carbon.
    3) Nutritional/vitamin deficiency - Feed high quality nutritional foods. Some have had success reversing the effects of HLLE by soaking food in “fish vitamins” and also feeding nori.
    4) Copper exposure - Sometimes fish treated with copper (especially tangs) will develop HLLE. It usually "heals" post treatment, but food soaking a vitamin supplement is a good idea to help expedite this.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
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  2. justingraham

    justingraham Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    image.jpeg
    I know it's tough to see but it's even tougher to get him to stay still. But above his mouth on the left is that HILLE?
     
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  3. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    @justingraham I need a closeup photo of the affected area(s) to say for sure.
     
  4. justingraham

    justingraham Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    Working on it. He's not runway model material.
     
  5. domination2580

    domination2580 Reef-a-nator

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    I can see some white blotches but like humble fish said, better pics to be for sure
     
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  6. Pola0502ds

    Pola0502ds Zoa Addict R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member Article Contributor

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    Perfecting timing humble, you have been doing a great job helping me with my fish in QT and i think i may have posted this in that tread but the tangs have developed this so i am going to do what you recommended.

    However, can you give me an example of premium carbon? Maybe a specific name and brand? Is rox .8 carbon from BRS premium?

    Then with the stray electric, can you provide a link to show a device that would test for it as an example?

    Regarding the vitamins, is something like selco boost or selcon (not mispelled, there is a N) our best option? Are there any others? I heard that these vitamins should only be applied to nori and allowed to be absorbed. If applied to say frozen food it just comes right off after it hits the water. True/False?

    Regarding the copper, i will agree that this is absolutely true. I have a yellow and blue hippo that were fine before going into QT with copper and they have now developed it. I would like to say its a combination of the copper medication itself and the fact that copper will make the fish eat less. Even more so with thier veggies. None of them will eat the nori and lettuce that i put in the tank. I believe its because those item absorb the copper which makes it taste bad therefore they wont eat it leading to HLLE.
     
  7. Confuse

    Confuse Active Member

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    My tang started developing HLLE soon after I put a large amount of carbon in my reactor. He's had it before without the carbon, but it quickly went away. I don't have any scientific proof whatsoever, but I feel that it started creeping up once I stopped feeding nori regularly for a while. I'm now trying to be consistent and feed nori daily. Again, no proof whatsoever. Just observations.
     
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  8. zoomonster

    zoomonster Active Member

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    All other things already eliminated all I had left was carbon which was removed months ago with no improvement. My powder blue is fine (~4 months), My purple has a couple small spots around eyes and not getting worse (2 yrs) and my yellow bellied regal is a mess (1.5yrs) with affected face and deep pits going down both sides to tail (not nearly as bad as pic above). Food wise they get 2-4 sheets of red and green nori a day soaked with selcon. In addition mysis, calanus and assorted quality flakes and pellets. The frozen food is most always soaked in selcon. All 3 tangs are fat, growing and otherwise healthy but I'll be danged if I can figure the issue. Maybe it just takes a long time after carbon is removed but the regal is probably permanently scarred. Related I have 5 dwarf angels and one has pretty good erosion above the eyes and one looks like it may be getting it. Never been a big tang person and this is the most I have ever had. The most I ever kept in years past was a yellow and my first one long ago ended up being the healthy tang from hell but was missing the dorsal fin like the pic above.

    I don't have high nitrate issues but I have also seen that as a contributing factor to HLLE. As far as carbon what I have seen recommended is to only use pelletized. The only products I recall seeing are Tri Base, Brightwell and Lifeguard.
     
  9. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Yes, Rox 0.8 is all I use.

    Copy & pasted from here: http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/aquariummaintenancecare/a/aastrayvoltage.htm
    The above is basically accurate, except every aquarium will have some VAC. Anything under 40VAC is "low voltage" and harmless. But if you get a reading above 50VAC, then you definitely have a problem. :eek:

    I think they're all pretty much created equal; the main ingredient in most of them is fish oil. I use Selcon or Zoecon, but that's only because it's what I'm used to. You have to thaw the frozen food before applying it. ;) No reason why you can't soak vitamins in nori.
     
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  10. Neptune1707

    Neptune1707 Active Member

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    My experience has been that of lack of nutrition and crappy carbon. Once I started feeding nori on a daily basis blue hippo tang got better. Depending on the degree and depth of open area of HLLE...some areas may never completely recover, so it's best to catch it early and start treating. Recently the same blue tang was in QT after a rookie mistake and I infected DT with ich. As he went through copper treatment, HLLE came back on gill covers. Been back in DT for 1.5 month, healing very nicely with nori soaked in Selcon, Vitachem, Garlic extreme. Occasionally gets soaked mysis and a few flake food here and there for smaller fish. Currently using quality Kent Reef Carbon. Rinsed well does a great job and doesn't effect my tangs. Can't really comment on the concept of stray voltage....guess it's possible, think more research is needed, like the other theories. Overal in my opinion I think DIET is key. U really have to be able to fed your fish the stuff they need and the quantity. My tangs go through a full sheet of nori daily!!! As u can see just a small area under the eye that is closing up :)

    image.jpeg
     
  11. Pola0502ds

    Pola0502ds Zoa Addict R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member Article Contributor

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    How many tangs do you have? I only have 2 in my DT and they would eat nori all day if i let them. They usually get a full sheet from 2 little fishies and chunk of romain and a few pieces of spinach. Breakfast lunch and dinner lol.
     
  12. Neptune1707

    Neptune1707 Active Member

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    Currently I have blue hippo, Naso tang, yellow tang. Yeah they are pigs for nori. I read somewhere that they call tangs "sea cows" because of how much they like to graze. Depending on where u live if u have a whole foods grocery by you or local gorcey store...go to Asian food section. They will have a couple different brands of nori sheets available. Cheaper than what u buy from online. See attached image....usually like $7.99 a package. I feed a half sheet in am and 1/2 sheet in evening....otherwise a full sheet, they shred in tank and makes for a dirtier tank. More food in tank than in their mouth LOL

    image.jpg
     
  13. Brian Kim

    Brian Kim Color My Reef

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    I was feeding them mysis, brine, nori, pellets and flakes soaked in garlic extract but it was not really helping with HLLE until I tried adding Selcon to the mix.
    They were completely recovered within a couple weeks.
     
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  14. Pola0502ds

    Pola0502ds Zoa Addict R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member Article Contributor

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    So it sounds like it can be reversed then, a lot if people are saying it got better after changing a few things up. A lot of people elsewhere say its not reversible.
     
  15. Neptune1707

    Neptune1707 Active Member

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    Yeah Selcon seems to be the magic bullet to help healing
     
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  16. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    It is mostly reversible; however if the damage has gone too deep permanent scarring can occur. Some fish with severe HLLE will never look right. For example, back when I did aquarium maintenance, most of our clients' fish got HLLE because all we were allowed to feed was flake food & romaine lettuce. o_O After many years of the fish looking like crap some clients wanted "new fish" so I got the discarded ones. I tried everything I could, but could never get most of them back to looking "normal". Some I kept some in a 400 gal my family & friends dubbed "the freak show" :p; others I was able to rehome to a public aquarium who was happy to have them because they didn't have much of a budget.
     
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  17. Alanc425

    Alanc425 Active Member

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    @Humblefish

    Both of my tangs (3") from the LFS had HLLE, they showed no improvement while in my QT for over a month. However the HLLE almost immediately disappeared within two weeks after being in my display tank. All parameters and feedings between the two tanks are the same with the exception of the display having more room, rocks, and having a full lighting period, as my QT is blacked out a majority of the time, with the exception of ambient room lighting.

    I don't know if there's any science or truth behind it, maybe you can chip in more, but I really believe the extra room and lighting clears up HLLE, perhaps by creating a more natural and stress free environment?

    Edit: my purple tang pretty much looked exactly like this http://www.cichlidfish.com/Adam/images/ppltanghith.jpg

    There wasn't a trace of it a few weeks after moving into the DT.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  18. Neptune1707

    Neptune1707 Active Member

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    Yeah agree Humble Fish....I had an adult Emperor Angel Fish several years ago that was wonderful, then the HLLE started to settle in. I had no idea what it was. Did as much research on the internet at the time. Same discussion were happening then...carbon, diet, stray voltage. What has changed is some progress in the treating of HLLE....which is a great! After a few months, I ultimately gave the adult emperor back to the store ($500 orig price) to see if they could care for him. At least they were kind enough to give me a partial credit toward some other "beginner" fish that wouldn't have HLLE issue. At the time I was running a canister filter with crappy carbon in conjuction with my sump to help polish water. That along with prob not the best diet is what affected the fish. Looking back I wish I would have tried harder to reverse his condition, but I just figure I was doing the fish more injustice by letting him suffer. I figure the LFS would be better at getting him to recover. Hopefully some day they will find the silver bullet as to the root of what causes HLLE.
     
  19. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    @Alanc425 Did you treat with any medications during QT? Especially copper, as that will often cause HLLE in tangs.

    Also, were you running any carbon or did you test for stray voltage in QT? Those are all possible factors.
     
  20. Alanc425

    Alanc425 Active Member

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    The tangs came with bad HLLE from the LFS, so they didn't get it as a result of QT. They were treated with cupramine and prazi. I don't have a way to test for stray voltage but I have one of those titanium grounding probes in each tank. No carbon in QT, yes to carbon in display
     
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