Need advice on treating Kole Tang for possible disease

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by vk999, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. vk999

    vk999 Guest

    I;ve got this fish 3 weeks ago. It looked ok, active, good color. Fish spent 1 week at the fish store before I got it (they had records). The fish is about 4 in long. I put him in the quarantine tank (10G) for observation. I did not treat with anything since the fish did not show obvious signs of any problem. The fish spent about 2 1/2 weeks in the quarantine, he was eating but started losing color. He was very shy fish, always hiding from me under the rock in the quarantine tank. I even had to set up webcam to see if he eats and swims about. He did. I thought he was losing color because of the stress in the small tank and given that I could not see any sign of disease, I moved him over to the big tank. Display tank is 180 G, hosts not too many fish and this Kole tang is actually bigger in size than any other fish I have. There was no aggression towards him as far as I could see and he was eating too. The color started to return. Until today he was in the display tank for only 3 or 4 days.

    This morning I have noticed change in his behavior, he was just sitting in the center of the tank swimming in a small circle and not go away when I approached. It was still kind of dark and I did not want to scare him so I did not turn on the light. I thought I could see edges of his fins being little ragged and may be some cloudiness in his eyes. So I caught him and put him back in the quarantine. Actually, the fact that I could catch him tells me a lot since I could never catch any of my fish in this tank - its too big and there are too many hiding places. This Tang, on the other hand, did not try to swim away or hide and I caught it with fish net on the first try.

    Now it is in the quarantine, seems listless, swims a little but mostly either sits under the rock or is near the surface. He does not eat. The color seems to be almost normal although there are some spots. Spots seem to be because of the variance in coloration, I can't detect any film such as from bacterial or fungus infection. Edges of fins look little ragged to me.

    About the quarantine: its small, just 10G, has some rock and sand, of the equipment it has a heater and a powerhead. No filter and no skimmer. I do 20% water change every other day but can do it daily. Test kits show no sign of ammonia or nitrite (using Salifert). I use water from the display tank for water changes. Basically, 2 G of new water into display, 2 G from quarantine to the drain, then 2 G from display into quarantine.

    I have little experience with fish disease diagnostics and treatment. I am looking for any advice you can offer to help me try to identify what is going on with the fish and possibly treat him if necessary.

    Thanks !

  2. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Hi Vadim,

    Sorry to hear about the kole tang. Its hard to tell from what ails your tang, but sounds like a internal parasite ? Here's some good articles to read up on on Lee Birch's Fish Disease forums on RF.

    I would take some photos of the tang or shoot a short video and ask him directly for course of treatment.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  3. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    If you medicate be sure to remove all the sand & rock from the QT tank and replace with short PVC pieces of varying sizes, bigger ones obviously since the fish is big.
  4. vk999

    vk999 Guest

    Thanks for the advice gimmito, I just posted on ReefFrotntiers.

    Fidel: yes of course I'll do that. I read somewhere that copper sticks to the carbonate rocks and that makes keeping concentration right very hard. I'll remove them.
  5. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    If there are no signs of ich, I'd skip the copper for now. Copper can be hard on fish and easy to overdose. Use with caution. An alternative is chloroquine. I know several BAR members use it instead of copper.

    PraziPro (or other praziquantel containing products) is quite safe and is effective against internal parasites.

    Perhaps you could also put the fish in a larger QT? 20L?
  6. vk999

    vk999 Guest

    Thanks aqua-nut but its too late, the fish withered away and died over night. The onset was very quick. May be I should have done preventive treatment with copper and/or other things right when I got it, like some authors recommend. And yes, I need bigger QT. My problem is lack of available space and water changes. I know I need to do frequent water changes in the QT. If I am to do it daily, then dragging buckets of water back and forth every day for weeks in a row can quickly become a problem.
  7. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Well that's a bummer. Sorry for your lost.

    For the future...
    If you seed a sponge filter or the sponges from a HOB filter in your DT, you should get an almost instantly cycled QT. You won't need daily WC. Using copper can kill the filter. Prazi and chloroquine do not kill the filter.
  8. vk999

    vk999 Guest

    yep, I know about the sponge and kept one in my sump for a very long time. The thing is, a small-ish sponge in a simple small filter just does not seem to be nearly enough to handle denitrification even in 10G tank. I might be mistaken of course. Also I have done copper in the past and have seen it first hand how it killed the filter with all the consequences. That is why I was aiming for the setup where I could do frequent water changes with minimal hassle. Also this setup would allow me to do hyposalinity easily. It all seemed to be so clever :)

    I have read about Prazi and Chloroquine recently. This seems to be something to try when I get ready to get new fish again. Where do people buy these ?
  9. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    pm sent.
  10. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    This may be helpful in the future, I do these things when I quarantine and it's worked well for all 5 fish in my current tank (all acquired from different sources)

    First, I QT for no less than 30 days no matter how healthy the fish looks, this may have helped in your situation because you would have noticed the issue and would have been ready to treat immediately, also it would have eliminated the stress on the fish caused by moving back & forth.

    I too hate doing frequent water changes, so to cut down on water changes there are many practices to follow;
    as aqua-nut recommended it helps if your filter media (sponge or floss) is left in DT before you decide to grab a new fish and instead of doing that with one piece of sponge throw all of the filter media in the sump, another plus is siphoning out all detritus & left over food quickly and easily and since the QT is essentially a bare bottom tank this takes less than a minute and does not remove too much water. Lastly a small HOB skimmer would do wonders on a small tank like that, a remora or bak pak will work great. Want more? if your DT water hold low nitrates & phosphates I recommend you save the old water you take out during a water change and use it to top off the QT after you clean it, this way you're regularly adding denitrifying bacteria.
  11. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    I agree with Fidel except for the last part. Becareful adding your system's water to the QT before the recommended 4-6 weeks of quarantine. You could be introducing something your fish is not ready to deal with quite yet, whereas you won't have to worry about that with new makeup water. The fish's waste will provide the denitrifying bacteria for your filter media also. Adding your systems water after say a month (and the animal shows no sign of disease) would be a good idea to acclimate your fish to your systems water. A Seachem ammonia badge will help you monitor any spikes in a small quarantine tank also.
    Try adding beta glucan to food for the first week in QT to help boost your animals immune system. New Era thera A+ helps with internal parasites.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013

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