Purple tang orangish skin near head

Ryan1277

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I have a purple tang that’s in QT with coppersafe 2ppm and prazipro. He’s been in QT 3 weeks. I had an ick outbreak after removing rocks and shifting sand around.(I sold some old decor because of upgrading to a larger reef ready tank). Notice my clown and another got ick, so I went ahead and QT all fish while waiting for new DT tank to cycle. A few days ago I noticed purple tang has developed some sort of skin issue near head. Any ideas what this could be? I’ve removed him from coppersafe and prazipro and QT in another separate tank. I was planning on using general cure or apr E.M. Erythromycin to treat. Any help would be appreciated. He’s eating normally.

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mcwhng

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I have a purple tang that’s in QT with coppersafe 2ppm and prazipro. He’s been in QT 3 weeks. I had an ick outbreak after removing rocks and shifting sand around.(I sold some old decor because of upgrading to a larger reef ready tank). Notice my clown and another got ick, so I went ahead and QT all fish while waiting for new DT tank to cycle. A few days ago I noticed purple tang has developed some sort of skin issue near head. Any ideas what this could be? I’ve removed him from coppersafe and prazipro and QT in another separate tank. I was planning on using general cure or apr E.M. Erythromycin to treat. Any help would be appreciated. He’s eating normally.

6999586D-1463-4AB9-8CA1-FB3D4D86E285.jpeg 898D3D40-6E61-46BC-8833-8D5C11B58BBF.jpeg 4F06E93F-C87C-4A04-9525-F9BA5B32817E.jpeg
Looks like head and lateral line disease, most likely from the copper
 

rgulrich

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I'd recommend keeping it in QT a bit longer in as close to "perfect" conditions you can muster - rigorous filtration and keeping nitrates and phosphates as close to zero as possible. That might include frequent water changes if your QT setup doesn't have a mature biofilter. Run a skimmer on the QT system. Feed plenty of nori and fresh caulerpa and chaeto algae. Other fresh leafy algae if you can source. Supplement with a little protein source such as a little mysis or brine shrimp. Primary focus should be an herbivorous diet.
You may get lucky and have the scales grow back. If not, they still make a wonderful fish.
My 14 year old Red Sea Purple Tang sends its regards - it's been there with the ich outbreak (when we moved 11 years ago), but I used Seachem Cupramine. Had good results and only use it with my QT regimen now.
I hope this helps.
Cheers,
Ray
 

Jay Hemdal

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I’ve removed from copper last night. Should I treat with a medication? I have some fritz maracyn oxy and Parzipro. Currently he’s in non Medicated QT tank

This does look like HLLE. But there is a related syndrome called epithelial erosion, I'd rule that out because it looks like the lateral line is involved here.

Copper doesn't cause head and lateral line erosion. The only demonstrated cause is the use of carbon at some point in the fish's history. Purple tangs develop this syndrome fairly often, and sometimes much quicker than other fish - I've seen dealers offering purple tangs at a discount due to HLLE, where with other species, it usually doesn't show up in fish until later on, once they are in the customer's tank.

Here is an article I posted here about this: https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/head-and-lateral-line-erosion-hlle.784/

There isn't a lot you can do about this - avoid carbon use of course, but once the lesions start, they typically don't heal.

Jay
 

rgulrich

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If carbon use (and resultant fines dispersion in the water column) was the cause, the abstract from the research conducted by Stamper, Kittell, Patel, and Corwin (2011) states: "Once the carbon was discontinued, the processes reversed in a mean time of 49 d. As the lesions healed, they reverted from the coalesced to the pitted stage and then darkened before returning to normal."
So perhaps there is always hope.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
 

Jay Hemdal

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If carbon use (and resultant fines dispersion in the water column) was the cause, the abstract from the research conducted by Stamper, Kittell, Patel, and Corwin (2011) states: "Once the carbon was discontinued, the processes reversed in a mean time of 49 d. As the lesions healed, they reverted from the coalesced to the pitted stage and then darkened before returning to normal."
So perhaps there is always hope.
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
In our study, the lesions didn’t reverse after 90 days, except with the less severe, pelleted carbon sample. However, we didn’t move the fish, just discontinued the carbon. I can’t remember if Stamper’s team moved their fish or just stopped carbon.
Jay
 
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Ryan1277

Ryan1277

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Thanks guys, I’ve never had him in carbon, I guess I’ve owned him about 5 or 6 months. Should I keep him separated from other fish? Does it spread fish to fish?
 

fachatga

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In our study, the lesions didn’t reverse after 90 days, except with the less severe, pelleted carbon sample. However, we didn’t move the fish, just discontinued the carbon. I can’t remember if Stamper’s team moved their fish or just stopped carbon.
Jay
That’s a great article jay. Thanks for posting it. Wonder what would have happened if they used rinsed carbon. Seems kinda like the dust is the issue. Even so I’m sure there’s always some no matter how careful you are.
 

rgulrich

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@Ryan1277 - As you've not had it in carbon, I'd lean more on it being environmental stressors.

What are the conditions of the QT/system? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? Phosphates? Food sources? Protein skimming? Temperature? Water changes? Age of biological filter (QT systems cycle, too, and can have spikes in Ammonia and whatnot)?

Here's a link to another article (by Steven Pro) to provide some more background and information, and it includes references to Jay's research and work as he provided above:

As an anecdote, my Red Sea Purple Tang has only spent three months *without carbon* in the filtration system (I'm old school and like what carbon provides to a closed system), and that was during the aforementioned "ich incident" immediately after our move 11 years ago. I do currently have the carbon in an external chamber and have the return empty into the sump just before the skimmers, so perhaps I'm in the crowd that the protein skimmer removes any fines that may be the root cause in some outbreaks. I've tethered a pic of it photobombing a reef shot in May, as well as a link to a video of it cruising with its main antagonist, a Zoster's Butterfly.

Cheers,
Ray :cool:
 

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4FordFamily

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I've had many tangs in copper exhibit this without being in carbon. Of course, they could have been in the previous system before I receive them -- but it seems to worsen during copper treatment. A necessary evil, IME to keep fish healthier long-term.

It's true that many fish don't completely heal, but I do see that they can improve a lot. Good water quality and nutritious foods would be my recommendation. If you removed copper before 4 weeks, be advised you may not have effectively eradicated ich/velevet. In fact, it's almost certain you did not.

For nutritious foods, I mix frozen foods and then strain and soak them in selcon, vita chem, and zoe. Good luck!
 
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Ryan1277

Ryan1277

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Thanks again guys. Your information is extremely helpful and educational. I’ve ordered some selcon to soak his food in. I did add some seachem pro guard only to new QT tank and currently have him separated from the other fish in QT. This particular fish has always been the bully of the tank and hides often other times. So I could definitely see it being stress related. Especially with the smaller QT tank. He’s been pretty relentless at attacking other fish.

I’m guessing about 2.5 months ago I had posted because he received a injury from another fish, possibly the fox face in my tank. Which completely healed within a week.
 

Jay Hemdal

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I've had many tangs in copper exhibit this without being in carbon. Of course, they could have been in the previous system before I receive them -- but it seems to worsen during copper treatment. A necessary evil, IME to keep fish healthier long-term.

It's true that many fish don't completely heal, but I do see that they can improve a lot. Good water quality and nutritious foods would be my recommendation. If you removed copper before 4 weeks, be advised you may not have effectively eradicated ich/velevet. In fact, it's almost certain you did not.

For nutritious foods, I mix frozen foods and then strain and soak them in selcon, vita chem, and zoe. Good luck!

I've never been able to demonstrate copper as a cause for HLLE. It has been suspected since the 1970's, but many of the cases were the standard: "I dosed copper, used carbon to remove copper, and my fish got HLLE from the copper" (grin). I know you didn't use carbon, but many of the people did.

I should point out that Andrew Stamper's study differed in my own in that he feels that carbon removes organic compounds in the water, that otherwise bind/chelate heavy metals. Removing these compounds creates free heavy metals (including copper and zinc). These are more toxic. He feels that causes the HLLE. My problem with his study is where did the heavy metals come from? They don't show up in testing. Why don't other absorbents like Polyfilter seem to cause HLLE then?

I think it is the carbon dust. About a year after my study came out, a researcher in California said he found carbon dust the in the lateral line pores of fish with HLLE using a scanning electron microscope.. Dust was NOT seen in the fish I sent out for histopathology. That researcher said that was because the dust is too small to be seen with a regular optical microscope - I'm not sure about that.

So in the end, neither of our studies proved or disproved the mechanics of the action, only the link to HLLE and carbon. My later, (non-reviewed) dietary study tended to rule out dietary influences.

I have put 200+ tangs through copper since 2015, and no HLLE, but I won't allow carbon in my building (grin).

I found a link to my 2009 HLLE survey:



Jay
 

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