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Unread 03/25/2007, 09:29 AM   #1
SDguy
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Unhappy Sad times for anthias in SDguy's tank.

Well, I'm at a loss. My anthias are being killed off one by one, and I have no clue what it is. The group was 4 bartlett and 4 lyretails. Three each were from November or so. One each from about two months ago. No new fish additions other than a pair or percs that were in QT for 3 weeks without a hitch.

About two weeks ago, my male bartlett started to get milky fins, breathing heavy, not acting quite right...but still eating. He got progressively worse, slightly hemmoragy looking on portions of the skin, tail slowly eaten away. I pulled him out while he was barely alive. Everyone fine for a day or two. Then the female next in line. Same symptoms, again, dead in three days. Everyone fine for a few days. Then a female lyretail (middle rung in the social ladder). She hung on for maybe four days, same symptoms. I thought everything was fine now for a few days. This morning a bartlett anthias is dead. This time I didn't see these symptoms, just acting slightly "weird" yesterday.

What could possibly be moving from one fish to the next, killing them? Only anthias, only one at a time. There is no aggression from other fish. Not a scale out of place until they get sick. And it's not like the others are slightly sick and I just don't notice. No, it's really just one at a time. My only guess is that the pathogen is spread from fish to fish due to their social interactions? And perhaps only leaves to a new host after the current host is on death's door?

Should I trap and pull as many remaining anthias as I can? I have a fully equipped QT system, live rock, skimmer and all (4+ years old). Once they get sick, forget catching them. They are still fast enough to escape me, but sick enough to not enter the trap after food.

Mods, I know this probably should be in the fish disease forum, but I'd prefer it see a little more traffic before you move it please


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Unread 03/25/2007, 09:41 AM   #2
mattyice
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hmmm peter the same thing happend to my ignitus until now when i only have a pair left, my guess is that the anthias were just picked on to death by the main male, my deaths happend more raidly though, the male taking out another male a night and ever since then mine have been acting like nothing ever happend


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Unread 03/25/2007, 09:44 AM   #3
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SD,

Leave them alone and feed the well. Was there a temp spike at all in the past few days? Is your skimmer up and running? Sounds like it could be a oxygen deprivation.

Either way, if I were you i wouldnt pull anything. I would keep everything good and clean and feed the anthias well with a variety of enriched foodstuffs.

Moving fish around and doing drastic things is what causes the problems.

When anthias are put in a tank to form a social order, this is the kind of stress that can occurr. They are beating up on each other most likely assuming there was no temp spike.

This is my guess and i would LEAVE THEM ALONE...there is no "pathogen"


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Unread 03/25/2007, 10:02 AM   #4
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Well, let's see. I doubt it is O2 depletion, as my PBT would probably show some sort of signs of stress.

I know, I know, I really want to blame anthias-anthias aggression, but it makes no sense. There has been much more aggression in the past...chasing and such. Things have been pretty mellow lately. No nipped fins, no lost scales. No hiding. Not even aggression during feeding.

And randomly crossing species? And a middle rung lyretail female? It just doesn't add up to aggression. I'd like to think I could recognize aggression considering how much I like anthias, and stare at them

As for water chemistry problems, again, between my acros and my PBT and fairy wrasse, I think I would have seen a problem with at least one other type of fish. My skimmer, ca reactor, even kalk topoff have been rock solid. In fact, the acros have never looked better.

Ugh!


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Unread 03/25/2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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OK, crazy update. The body this morning was in fact the second bartlett female! Not a fourth specimen. Wow, she must have hung on for a while somewhere in the rocks. OK, so 5 remain, 3 lyretails, and 2 bartlett. Perhaps things don't look as hopeless as I thought.


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Unread 03/25/2007, 10:26 AM   #6
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Peter, my first thought was aggression as well. Don't worry, we won't move your thread


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Unread 03/25/2007, 10:32 AM   #7
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Yeah, you know, I'm just thinking aggression (in the form of visual intimidation) just eventually makes them susceptible to a pathogen that is in the tank. It doesn't show up on the other fish due to lack of competition? But I would think the smallest anthias would go first.

I hate learning curves.

Thanks for not moving it Brian.


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Unread 03/25/2007, 11:34 AM   #8
mattyice
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the males that were dead and i took out of my tank showed no sign of a fight between males but then why would males be the only ones that died?


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Unread 03/25/2007, 11:47 AM   #9
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I believe the Lyretails are the culprit. Once you have a pair going they are relentless in chasing other fish around. My lone juvi. male Lyretail tries to go after my pair of True Percs - not too successful.


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Unread 03/25/2007, 12:06 PM   #10
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Matt, since yours are freshly imported, it's a tough comparison, IMO/E. I've lost new dispars with no marks as well. Just dead. But they were not established, like these guys.

Eileen, yes, I really want to believe that too. But my lyretails don't chase my bartlett's. Not at all, which is weird, because I would expect some. Plus, why then the dead female lyretail? Is it possible they only act aggressively when I'm not there? Has anyone experienced this?

Thanks for the input all.


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Unread 03/25/2007, 12:07 PM   #11
BrianD
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I would call in Steve McGarrett.


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Unread 03/25/2007, 12:30 PM   #12
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I think I may have had the same situation with my lyretails. I originally had 1 male & 3 females. The first sign I noticed was a couple lost the tips of their tails. Then the maled developed milky scales and didnt eat and eventually bit it. The females seemed fine and their color stayed but two had their lyre look misiing from their tails. I got another male and he developed the milky look but I believe this might have been from alack of eating, he did not make it either. The females always ate well, mysis soaked in selcon and formula one flake twice a day. One female had a hole in her scales and another developed the white look and I lost 2 females recently. I never noticed any agression until the males were gone, two of the females were locking jaws but this was after the tails started to fade away. The last female now looks well no sign of sickness and is eating well.

I cannot contribute this to water quality because I have SPS and they are thriving well. I thought I maybe wasnt feeding them enough because of their demand, but most of the time I was hitiing them twice a day but maybe once or twice a week only once. I will not buy any more anthias until I know what went wrong...


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Unread 03/25/2007, 12:47 PM   #13
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Yes, the eating away of the tail tips....not bitten, slowly wasting away. Yes, that was a classic sign on all mine. Your descriptions are just like mine.

What's interesting is that I've seen athias die from stuff like this before, in previous tanks. Never ich. Never velvet. Just this weird milky skin thing, deteriorating tails.

And yes, once the fish is really sick (hours before death) then the others will go after it, sensing the illness I assume.


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Unread 03/25/2007, 07:23 PM   #14
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Even just moderate stress over time is a killer. It really doesn't take fighting and chasing to induce a stress related death. As you said Peter a pathogen might have finally gotten its chance to take hold with a weakend immune system.

I would introduce Beta Glucon to the food. This has shown some incredable immune system boosting and overall heath improvement.

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Unread 03/25/2007, 07:38 PM   #15
SDguy
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Thanks Carl...I will see if I can find some at the local drug store. Any dosing recommendations, or links re use on marines?


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Peter

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Unread 03/26/2007, 01:56 AM   #16
zemuron114
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sdguy - sorry to hear i loved your anthias!

Since you've had them since november, it probably isn't aggression. Aggression kills fish much quicker then that...

I do know bartletts come in with some major flukes from christmas island. Most of the time they arent even noticeable and will kill the fish over a long period of time. The melting of the fins is pretty strange...



Good luck finding what happened. Maybe just stick with one species, bartlett or lyretails... Easier in the long run i think.


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Unread 03/26/2007, 08:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by zemuron114

Good luck finding what happened. Maybe just stick with one species, bartlett or lyretails... Easier in the long run i think.
(grumble, grumble) Yeah, I know you are right

Thanks for the input. I actually did not dip any of those first anthias for flukes, but after that, because of your info, I actaully have dipped the two newer anthias.


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Peter

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Unread 03/26/2007, 10:23 AM   #18
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They are probably ****ed that you changed your avatar.

I have a trio of bartletts that I was going to put in with 4 squams. I am rethinking that now. Sorry for your loss, but as least others have learned from it.


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Unread 03/26/2007, 10:31 AM   #19
SDguy
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Quote:
Originally posted by jda
They are probably ****ed that you changed your avatar.
LOL, yeah, I'm going to have to take some new pictures...

Well, all the others (3 lyretails/2 bartletts) seemed fine all weekend. One thing that was interesting to watch, since I'm rarely around when the lights come on at noon, was the two males displaying all over the tank...up and down, side to side. Just displaying, not to each other or the females really. Very interesting. The newly "promoted" bartlett male also seems to be growing tail streamers, which I see as a good sign. We'll see what happens.


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Peter

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Unread 03/26/2007, 10:36 PM   #20
Peter Schmiedel
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Peter,

did you recently open / use a new package of frozen food? We had similar problems out here and it appeared to be brine contaminated with bacteria of the genus Vibrio. To be safe I would at least put the current used frozen food in "quarantine" until cause of dead is defined.


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Unread 03/27/2007, 02:24 AM   #21
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There is a trematode that is still pretty common that can cause blotchy / pale / pasty coloration, cloudy eyes, frayed / ragged fins, redden blotchy areas , and ulcerations. It's is very hard to see on the fish as it is fairly transparent. A FW dip will confirm if the fish have any as they will come off around the 10 minute mark and the FW makes them become opaque with a frosted white appearance. They can be quite a problem and their means of attachment to the fish can become points of secondary infections ( reddened areas, lesions, ulcerations.)

As Peter S. pointed out , Vibrio sp. could be the culprit through the food, the trematodes ( known as flukes as zemuron pointed out), or other means.


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Unread 03/27/2007, 06:51 AM   #22
SDguy
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Yikes! Scary posts. OK, well, I pretty much mostly feed frozen, so that's scary. H2O brand mini mysis. San Fran Bay Brand (Sally's) Plankton. O.N. frozen formula 1 (had that forever, don't think it's the problem).

What are my options in either case? Will the trematodes slowly work their way through every anthias unless I do something? I guess I can try trapping a few anthias, and dipping them. Do you suggest adding anything in the pH adjusted FW dip?

I looked up vibrio in marine fish. Gruesome! Not sure that's it...few common symptoms, and again, I'm not sure my anthias are my most sensitive fish. But who knows....


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Unread 03/27/2007, 09:54 AM   #23
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Sorry to hear about your issue. I was thinking about adding some other species of Anthias to my tank, but after reading this I have been lucky and I think I will leave well enough alone. I think it sounds like a pathogen of some kind.

Lisa


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Unread 03/27/2007, 11:16 AM   #24
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I have 1 male lyretail and 10 female lyretails. Never had a problem, they do fight every once and a while but nothing major. I just recently had 2 of the females (morf) into males, and still had no problems. I plan on adding another 10 more females next month. I have also added (2) red stripe anthias last month, they get along fine with the lyretails. I feed them 2 to 3 times a day of mysis with vita-chem, and small pellets. Anyway, on my old tank I did have some lyretails and barlets that died, I found the culprit to be a big *SS crab. So, I would look from some sort of predator that preys out night. Anthias sleep wedged in the rocks, so easy prey for the hunters!!

Good Luck!!


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Unread 04/01/2007, 08:59 AM   #25
just dave
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Quote:
Originally posted by SDguy
Yikes! Scary posts. OK, well, I pretty much mostly feed frozen, so that's scary. H2O brand mini mysis. San Fran Bay Brand (Sally's) Plankton. O.N. frozen formula 1 (had that forever, don't think it's the problem).

What are my options in either case? Will the trematodes slowly work their way through every anthias unless I do something? I guess I can try trapping a few anthias, and dipping them. Do you suggest adding anything in the pH adjusted FW dip?

I looked up vibrio in marine fish. Gruesome! Not sure that's it...few common symptoms, and again, I'm not sure my anthias are my most sensitive fish. But who knows....

If they do have the trematode I'm referring to a FW dip will remove them from the fish. In your tank there is nothing I'd rec adding to treat the system because of the other inhabitants.

If vibrio is suspected I would feed food laced with Kanamycin sulfate. If you do this only feed the medicated food and feed smaller amounts more frequently and continue for at least ten days.


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