Scopas Tang stopped eating prepared foods after 2 years, when do I start to worry?

skywelker

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I have a Scopas Tang that stopped eating prepared foods about a week ago. He still picks at algae on the rocks, glass, and sand. I have had him for 2 years but moved everything into a new larger tank (75g to 150g) about 2 months ago. He seems to be acting fairly normally other than being a bit shyer than usual.

Here is what i have done so far:

-Offered the following foods: Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Select Green Marine Algae, Julian Sprung's Sea Veggies Seaweed, LRS Herbavore Frenzy, Hikari Frozen Spirulina Brine Shrimp, Chlorella Flakes, New Life Spectrum Pellets. In the past he would eat all of these fairly voraciously, now he inspects them when I feed but shows no interest in eating them. He goes back to hanging out in the rockwork after a minute or so. I've tried the Nori on the usual clip and now also strapped to rock. I've also tried feeding at different times of the day with the same results.

-Went to my LFS that I know has a Scopas in their display tank to compare behaviors/breathing rate/etc. If anything mine looks healthier and seems to be breathing normally. I cannot see any spots or abnormalities on him and he comes to the glass pretty regularly for me to inspect him.

-I treated earlier this week with Prazipro. Probably was not necessary but I had it on hand and decided to try it, no noticeable difference.

-Checked for stray voltage. Found around 30VAC from my equipment (DC return pump, heater, skimmer, ATO) but no current at all so i think this is normal.

-20% water change

-Added Poly-Filter a few days after dosing Prazipro to remove any contaminants that might be in the tank

Tank mates:
2 clowns
Harptail Blenny
Possum Wrasse (was added from my other tank when I upgraded to the 150g-had this fish for 4 months in a tank by itself)

Parameters:
Salinity 1.025
Temp 78
Alk 7.5
Calc 460
Mag 1360
Nitrates 1
Phosphates 0.01
Ammonia 0 (API and Seachem Ammonia alert)

He did this one other time but it was only for a day or two and I am now at a week. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I do not want to panic but I'd hate to wait too long if there is something I should be doing. Thanks!
 
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skywelker

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Well this is strange. I was working under the tank and my Scopas came over to check me out. He changes color and just happened to be very dark when I looked up and low and behold he had markings on his head. Within a couple seconds he changed back to his normal coloration and they seemed to disappear but luckily I got a couple pictures. Does this look like HLLE?
IMG_20200726_163949.jpg

IMG_20200726_164009.jpg
 
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skywelker

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Maybe try garlic to get him feeding? How recently was the wrasse added? Is he getting picked on or having to over-compete?

He is definitely not getting picked on, he is much larger than the other fish and doesn't pay them any attention. The Wrasse was added when the tank upgrade was done about 2 months ago and it is very docile. None of the fish are particularly aggressive eaters in my opinion and he has had no problem grabbing what he wants in the past.

I will look into the garlic thing. Does I just put some in with the food and some tankwater and let it soak? Sorry if that is a naive question. I've also order some Seachem Entice to see if that will help but I can't find it anywhere locally so it won't be here until Thursday.

Thanks for the help!
 

Jax15

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I've used a garlic product in the past. Yes, you add a few drops to the food and a small amount of tank water and let it soak for a bit before feeding. I personally haven't had much results using garlic, but I know people that have sworn by it as both a way to get fish eating, and even as a medicine to treat sickness. So can't hurt to try it.
 
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skywelker

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I've used a garlic product in the past. Yes, you add a few drops to the food and a small amount of tank water and let it soak for a bit before feeding. I personally haven't had much results using garlic, but I know people that have sworn by it as both a way to get fish eating, and even as a medicine to treat sickness. So can't hurt to try it.
Thanks again, definitely worth a try! Picked up some Garlic Guard from the LFS so I'm gonna try that tonight.
 
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skywelker

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As an update to the situation, last night I fed LRS Herbavore Frenzy and he ate! Not much, but he seemed to go after the red algae that happened to be in the piece I cut up. I went to the LFS and grabbed some Red Marine Algae hoping that would do the trick but he seems to be ignoring it.

My LFS is pretty great and they suggested some live foods might help. He is getting some brine shrimp in on Thursday and offered to give me some for free to see if it works so that is going to be my next plan if the Garlic Guard doesn't do the rick.
 
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skywelker

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Newest update: Last night I offered Spirulina Brine Shrimp and New Life Spectrum Pellets that were soaked in the garlic guard. He seemed like he was going to eat the shrimp but he would spit them all out. He ate the pellets though so i think the garlic might be working.

Today I tried nori soaked in garlic guard with no luck. I then fed the live brine shrimp that I got from my LFS and he ate quite a few. I tried the garlic guard soaked pellets again but he only ate a few this time, possibly was full from the live brine.

It's good that he is eating but he is starting to act a bit more shy and the marks on his face are concerning to me. I'm not positive but when he didn't see that I was there I'm pretty sure I saw him scratch on the overflow box and twitch a few times. At first i thought he was eating off the panel but I think he was actually flashing.
 
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skywelker

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Mine has the same. Happened after i added some dusty activated carbon. Its hlle. Id also suggest looking for any pumps with leaking milliamps. It will get better.

Thanks Cory! I could not find any leaking amperage as the new tank has all new equipment but I added a grounding probe just in case. I don't use carbon so hopefully it will get better. I feel so bad, I just wish there was more i could do for the guy!
 
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skywelker

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Here's a few more pics showing the markings on his head. It's pretty symmetrical but i had trouble getting pictures of his left side. It's so weird how it almost completely disappears when his colors brighten up, makes me wonder if he's had it before but I never noticed in the old tank.

IMG_20200730_204742.jpg IMG_20200730_224407.jpg IMG_20200730_224439.jpg IMG_20200730_224645.jpg MVIMG_20200730_224352.jpg MVIMG_20200730_224425.jpg MVIMG_20200730_224624.jpg
 
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skywelker

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I wanted to post an update and see if anyone had any thoughts.

I was able to get him eating for about a week or so using Seachem Entice coupled with New Spectrum pellets. Other foods were hit or miss. He was also picking at Nori a bit more but not like he used to. However, for the last few days he has started spitting the food out again. He spends most of his time in the corners of the tank and generally doesn't seem to be very active.

The only new change I've noticed to his appearance is a large faded spot near the scalpel on his left side but it seems to come and go. I've read this could be from stress but I still can't figure out what is stressing him out. I have an ICP test out but the USPS lost it for a week and half so who knows when i'll get the results. Here are the best pics I could grab of him.


IMG_20200814_225515.jpg
IMG_20200814_232913.jpg
IMG_20200815_095343.jpg
MVIMG_20200814_213348.jpg
 

Jay Hemdal

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That lesion seems unrelated to HLLE, I'd worry more about a bacterial infection from a scrape. The change in appetite is worrisome, given the fish's past history.

The earlier pictures you posted show possible mild HLLE, but these new pics look better (may be the lighting, may be the fish changing color).

Jay
 
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skywelker

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That lesion seems unrelated to HLLE, I'd worry more about a bacterial infection from a scrape. The change in appetite is worrisome, given the fish's past history.

The earlier pictures you posted show possible mild HLLE, but these new pics look better (may be the lighting, may be the fish changing color).

Jay

Thanks Jay! Unfortunately it's really hard for me to see changes in the HLLE as he changes color so much. As hard as it is to see it is even more difficult to get it to show up in a decent photo.

Do you have any thoughts on treating the possible infection? Is there anything I can add to the DT that might help him?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Thanks Jay! Unfortunately it's really hard for me to see changes in the HLLE as he changes color so much. As hard as it is to see it is even more difficult to get it to show up in a decent photo.

Do you have any thoughts on treating the possible infection? Is there anything I can add to the DT that might help him?
Sorry, there really are not any antibiotics that you can add to a DT. A number of tonics are marketed for this, but many of them are of dubious value, don’t list their ingredients, or both. Supportive care is the best option; good water quality, diet and avoid what stressors as you can.

Jay
 
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skywelker

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Wanted to come back and update this thread in case it helps anyone in the future.

For the last few months my Scopas has been very skittish and seems to be eating in waves. 1 week he'll do great, the next week little to no interest in food at all, but he was never really back to 'himself'. I could never find out what was causing it but i basically just decided he was just weird and whether he ate or not I would put a small piece of Nori in every day.

I finally decided it was time to add some new fish as I have really needed more for a while but was hoping to wait until the Scopas was 'better'. Well it turns out adding a few pyramid butterflies really lit a fire under him. They've only been in a few days but he is more active than I have seen in months. He eats huge pieces or Nori now, to the point where I am offering it multiple times per day. He even started getting a little aggressive with his scalpel to the point where I had to do the mirror trick to leave the pyramids alone for a few. Hopefully all he really needed was some dither fish and he's back to normal.

I'll update this again over the next few weeks to see if this is a permanent thing or just a fluke.
 
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