Purple and Scopas Tang Breathing??

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fox0521

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Hey folks,
125 g dt with pair of clowns, banggai cardinal, bluestreak goby, scopas tang, and purple tang.
Check out the video of my tangs breathing. Are they breathing heavy/rapid? or normal? They breath like this all the time and have since I got them (a month ago), but it just seems more intense than the other fish in the tank.
Parameters are stable, no obvious signs of disease or injury that I can see, they eat fine (algae available all day and mysis in the evenings), and I don’t see any signs of aggression. How do they look? Thanks for help!


 
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Jay Hemdal

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Seems shallow and rapid to me. What’s the water temperature? Is there good aeration in the tank, like a skimmer? If you can, use the video to actually get a respiration rate on them....if you count, say 20 breaths in 10 seconds, that would work out to 120 per minute. Anything more than that could indicate a problem.
Jay
 
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Couple more videos. Tank temp is 79.6. Attached a picture of my sump also, I do have a skimmer and I test O2, always comes out at 6 or 7. I’ll try to grab a count from the videos real quick!


18AB3590-A600-4FD4-BC10-82C4AE67C29C.jpeg
 
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Seems shallow and rapid to me. What’s the water temperature? Is there good aeration in the tank, like a skimmer? If you can, use the video to actually get a respiration rate on them....if you count, say 20 breaths in 10 seconds, that would work out to 120 per minute. Anything more than that could indicate a problem.
Jay
I believe the Scopas Tang’s breathing to be about 150 bpm. I can’t get the best look at the purple tang, he’s constantly on the move. What should I do to help them?
 

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I believe the Scopas Tang’s breathing to be about 150 bpm. I can’t get the best look at the purple tang, he’s constantly on the move. What should I do to help them?
Well, the tank isn’t too warm, and the aeration seems ok. The fish don’t otherwise look sick (like they would with velvet gill disease). My next idea would be they have a moderate gill fluke infestation. Did you quarantine the tangs? One idea would be to dose with prazipro. That is mostly reef safe (will kill worms).
Jay
 
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Well, the tank isn’t too warm, and the aeration seems ok. The fish don’t otherwise look sick (like they would with velvet gill disease). My next idea would be they have a moderate gill fluke infestation. Did you quarantine the tangs? One idea would be to dose with prazipro. That is mostly reef safe (will kill worms).
Jay
I did not QT the tangs, unfortunately. What are other symptoms of flukes? It seems odd that only my tangs are experiencing this rapid breathing. Would stress/aggression be a possible cause? I spent some time watching my tank from a distance this morning, and noticed my tangs will go into the same openings in the rock work. Got a little closer and noticed them fighting in the rocks. Neither tang has any marks or injuries, but I’m definitely seeing aggression. I added some rock to try to give more hiding places. I can’t really rearrange existing rock, but I did when I added the purple tang.
 

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Certainly, aggression and activity can increase respiration. However, it really shouldn't rise above 100 in most fish, and above 120 in small really active fish. However, given they weren't quarantined and seem to be breathing faster than that, gill flukes would be suspect. One way to try and discern the activity level is to try and measure the respiration rate at night, or when the fish are not swimming actively. If the rate drops substantially, below 100, then it may not be gill flukes. There are other gill disease issues, but flukes are by far the most commonly seen. Some species of fluke have an affinity for certain groups of fish....so not all fish will be affected, but closely related ones would be.

Jay
 
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Certainly, aggression and activity can increase respiration. However, it really shouldn't rise above 100 in most fish, and above 120 in small really active fish. However, given they weren't quarantined and seem to be breathing faster than that, gill flukes would be suspect. One way to try and discern the activity level is to try and measure the respiration rate at night, or when the fish are not swimming actively. If the rate drops substantially, below 100, then it may not be gill flukes. There are other gill disease issues, but flukes are by far the most commonly seen. Some species of fluke have an affinity for certain groups of fish....so not all fish will be affected, but closely related ones would be.

Jay
I’m only going to ask you to watch one more of my tang videos! I captured this when the tank was still waking up this morning. The tangs stay close to their homes in the rock until later in the morning. At night, they hide completely in the rocks to where I can’t see them so this is the best chance I have for observing low activity breathing. Looks to me a little better, but maybe still shallow and rapid? Probably closer to 100 but not under 100? If I treat with prazipro, I’ll only lose my small feather dusters? corals would be okay and I wouldn’t see any negative affects on the system as a whole? I’m leaning this direction rather than waiting and seeing.
 

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Still seems a bit fast to me. Two other hints from the video: watch for "coughing" and darting forward. I thought I caught a glimpse of both of those behaviors. Those can also be a sign of gill flukes.

Jay
 
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Still seems a bit fast to me. Two other hints from the video: watch for "coughing" and darting forward. I thought I caught a glimpse of both of those behaviors. Those can also be a sign of gill flukes.

Jay
I have seen them dart at times. I assumed it was part of a stint for dominance. Alright, I’m going to pick up some prazipro. I’ll do a water change tomorrow of say 20 gallons. Where I struggle with dosing is trying to figure out my actual system volume after rock, sand, and equipment. It’s a 125 g dt with a 30 g sump.

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Update: scopas definitely has a cough and finally was able to get a good look at the purple tang. He is breathing heavily, rapidly, and darting occasionally also. Not going to wait for my water to be ready tomorrow, going to get water and prazipro from LFS.
 

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I have seen them dart at times. I assumed it was part of a stint for dominance. Alright, I’m going to pick up some prazipro. I’ll do a water change tomorrow of say 20 gallons. Where I struggle with dosing is trying to figure out my actual system volume after rock, sand, and equipment. It’s a 125 g dt with a 30 g sump.

423ABAC7-C89A-44BE-ADF9-9B77CC558EBD.jpeg
Its tough with rocks - measure the tank and the sump, inside in inches, multiply L x W x water depth to the sand. Divide by 231. That gives you the water volume in gallons with no rock displacement. I would then multiply that by 0.85 to remove 15% for rock displacement. Add in the volume of the sump (calculated the same way) and dose for that.

Jay
 
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Its tough with rocks - measure the tank and the sump, inside in inches, multiply L x W x water depth to the sand. Divide by 231. That gives you the water volume in gallons with no rock displacement. I would then multiply that by 0.85 to remove 15% for rock displacement. Add in the volume of the sump (calculated the same way) and dose for that.

Jay
I’ll double check when I get home but I think this will come out to about 90-100 g, probably closer to 90. fingers crossed I caught this in time!
 
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20 g water change done and PraziPro has been dosed. Now we wait! Assuming I should see symptom relief (and dead feather dusters) in 24-48 hours? ;Bookworm I’m thinking I will do another 20 gallon water change in 5 days, then redose. Maybe repeat again after that? Good idea, bad idea, or unnecessary? I want to make sure I eradicate!
 
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It seems that breathing has slowed some but is still rapid. I have seen coughing, darting, and now flashing (scopas tang trying to “scratch” gills on the sand). Is there anything more I should be doing to help these guys?
 
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It seems that breathing has slowed some but is still rapid. I have seen coughing, darting, and now flashing (scopas tang trying to “scratch” gills on the sand). Is there anything more I should be doing to help these guys?
It isn't uncommon for the symptoms to get worse after a prazi treatment - it makes the worms drop off, leaving holes in the fish's gills. It takes 48 hours or more for that to settle down. That said, diagnosing remotely like this is always difficult, so there could be something else going on....but I would still repeat the treatment for sure a second time after 7 days, and possibly a third time.

Jay
 
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It isn't uncommon for the symptoms to get worse after a prazi treatment - it makes the worms drop off, leaving holes in the fish's gills. It takes 48 hours or more for that to settle down. That said, diagnosing remotely like this is always difficult, so there could be something else going on....but I would still repeat the treatment for sure a second time after 7 days, and possibly a third time.

Jay
Alrighty! It’s been 72 hours. Breathing has not improved (I thought it did yesterday but it’s back to shallow and rapid today) and I still see the scopas tang flashing (scratching gills on sand). I did a 25% water change today after my Salifert ammonia test wasn’t conclusive (could have been 0, could have been <.15, I really couldn’t tell). Do I need to wait before retreating? Should I do a freshwater dip to ensure flukes is what I’m dealing with, or will that even work now that I’ve dosed one treatment?

thanks!

 
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The fish both look really good, just breathing a bit too fast. What's your water temperature? You're confident you got your dose/water volume correct? I really wouldn't redose the prazi until 7 days are up.

Jay
 
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The fish both look really good, just breathing a bit too fast. What's your water temperature? You're confident you got your dose/water volume correct? I really wouldn't redose the prazi until 7 days are up.

Jay

I haven’t seen any coughing today, just the fast breathing (both) and the flashing (Scopas only). I’ve noticed them acting a bit irritable as they’ve been more territorial and aggressive towards each other and tank mates since medicating (no injuries). They’re eating well, activity levels are good.
I dosed 4.75 tsp for 95 gallons. My little feather dusters are still alive and well, so I’m assuming I under-dosed. My total system volume could be anywhere from 95-110 gallons, I dosed on the lower end of it. Water temp is 79.1°F. I’ll wait until this weekend to redose.
 
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The fish both look really good, just breathing a bit too fast. What's your water temperature? You're confident you got your dose/water volume correct? I really wouldn't redose the prazi until 7 days are up.

Jay
I spoke too soon in regards to having no injuries. As I am feeding this evening, I noticed my purple tang has some damage to his dorsal fin. Forgive the blue lights and purple fish, but I slowed the video down before uploading so the injury can be seen. I’m assuming the scopas is to blame and it is unrelated to the heavy breathing and flashing.. anything I need to do for the purple? Hoping this aggression settles back down!
 
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