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FAQs about Toxic Water Conditions: Venomous, Poisonous Livestock 3  

Related Articles: Marine Toxic Tank Conditions , General  Marine Maintenance,

Related FAQs: (See the various Organism Groups below "Compatibility" FAQs files on WWM), Venomous/Poisonous Tankmates 1, Venomous/Poisonous Tankmates 2, Venomous/Poisonous Tankmates 4, & Toxic Situations 1, Toxic Situations 2, Toxic Situations 3Toxic Situations 4Toxic Situations 5, Toxic Situations 6, Toxic Situations 7, Toxic Situations 8, Toxic Situations 9, & FAQs on Toxic Water Conditions by: Unknown Causes, & Endogenous (from inside, e.g. Internal, Organic Causes): Foods, Nutrients, Wipe-out Syndromes/New Tanks e.g., Exogenous (from outside, External, Inorganic, e.g. Metals), Marine Algaecide Use/Chemical Control, Toxic Copper Use Situations/Troubleshooting, Insecticides, Cleaners, & Troubleshooting/Fixing,

The list of potentials is very long: Most all groups of stinging-celled life: See Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Nudibranchs, some Worms, most Blue Green Algae, some Greens (e.g. Caulerpaceans), Most Nudibranchs, some Cephalopods (Blue ring et al. octopi, Flamboyant Cuttlefish), some Seastars (e.g. the Crown of Thorns), some types/species of Sea Cucumbers and Urchins... Some notable fish groups: Plotosid Catfishes, Lionfishes and their relatives, Rabbitfishes, Soapfishes, Boxfishes (actually all puffers if they die/dissolve)...

Nuked tank  >>RMF comments<<        9/9/19
Hi Guys and good morning from Thailand here,
<Morning Dirk!>
would like to bring the following story with an uncertain outcome and hope you guys can follow me in my process of elimination and see if I took the correct route and what more I should be doing now....Yesterday walking into the my customers place taking care of his 1200Lt fish only (with full resin rock and coral setup) we noticed several fish deaths (Harlequin Tusk, Blue Lined Angel, Valentini Puffer, Large boxfish, Tomato Clown and several regular clowns,..) All other fish seem to look struggling big time hanging to rock and barely swimming around. Only 2 fish not effected seem to be a powder brown and a big eye Soldierfish.... My first thought went out to a longer power-cut and a failing of the installed backup system as it looked like all fish behaving as in an oxygen shortage....checking on all logs from installed Alexa and other electrical appliances in the house it seem like nothing had logged any kind of power outage so I guess that was not it.... My second thought was 2 of the Heteractis >>RMF would have used Entacmaea...<<(added about 3 weeks ago to get some (10) Clowns requested by the customer and to protect them a little from too many predators in the tank) had gone into any kind of nuke mode? Though it seemed that they didn't move at all so sure not ended up in any power head or anything and that could not have caused the death of all clown fish in the aquarium (included the tomato which was housed in one of them) so I guess I could eliminate that as well as a cause..... MY 3rd thought was with adding the 10 clownfish about 5 days ago I have introduced an aggressive form of any kind of disease (Velvet maybe??)
<Maybe. Should have been quarantined>

Though some of the fish showing signs of itching when and if swimming around no visible signs of any parasite was visible...Only fish showing any external signs was an Emperor Angel showing red marks on his body.....So I contacted the supplier but doubt that is this was the case as supplier is a very well maintained breeding farm here locally in Thailand and the supplier who I know very well mentioned he is not aware of any disease or parasites in his closed breeding set ups....but then again can one be ever 100% certain...?? Now I came to the thought of could a boxfish been hit by any of the anemones and got so damaged he released his toxin....As I knew they could be toxin but can they be so toxic wiping out a tank?
<If it released a large enough amount of the toxin, yes.>

Now with discussing this thought with my helper he mentioned that when removing the death boxfish from the aquarium he seem to have been stock between one of the resin rock and the side of the glass and was completely covered in a thick white dust like substance....signs of the toxin maybe?? maybe he got stuck between that rock and the side got in such a panic slowly dying not moving and releasing his toxins in being super stressed...?
<Very likely this is what happened.>
Anyway, I decided to go that route, so did a 50% water change immediately and added a huge bag of activated carbon to the system.....
<Good moves>

Guess I will go check later this morning on how the surviving fish reacted and if they are all a bit more active now? So what you guys think do you think my last thought was the correct one and did I handle appropriately or didn’t I do enough to get rid of the toxin yet and should I do more water changes??? How long is that toxin active for as not a lot (just that they are) is available on the net on boxfish toxin in aquariums
<You did the right thing, though I’d do smaller (20%) water changes until things get back to normal, I also advise you to add a high grade activated carbon to your filter, this will help in eliminating the toxin remains.> >>RMF would have and still would move the surviving livestock to another established system<<
... Thank for your guys thoughts...Dirk
<Cheers. Wil.>>>Note, both Wil and RMF have worked for several years in the aquarium install and maintenance business. These "wipe out" events do occur.<<
Re: Nuked tank; puffer poisoning...        9/11/19

Hi Will,
<Hi Dirk>
might not have enough time do that what you propose
<I understand>
Today also died a blue tang, Emperor Angel, Bannerfish, Picasso
<Oh, sorry to hear/read that>
What more info is out there about that toxin? how long does it stay in the tank and how to get it out effectively
<Hard to tell how long it stays in the water... As stated, water changes and activated carbon>
Now with only 5 fish left in that aquarium I am actually thinking just take out all the water and start all over new..???
<I do not think It would be necessary to empty the tank but yes to let it fallow for a month or so and put the remaining fish in a quarantine tank >
Can this toxin get fixed onto the resin also or into the life rock that is in the sump underneath the aquarium?
<The toxin is mostly in the water; not usually absorbed by substrates or other surfaces.>
The fish still alive will be dying too or can they recover from the toxin as I read it is a nerve toxin so I can imagine once effected they suffered serious nerve damage and will all die sooner or later?? Non of the surviving fish right now look its own normal behavior all showing skittishness and just hanging against that rock work.....Dirk
<At this point, I am not sure the toxin is the culprit of the loses, most likely some kind of disease not visible at first sight, might have been introduced inadvertently to the tank...please do take a look at the following article, it is worth reading... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Cheers. Wil.>

can you identify this disease please? ... Large reef, poisoned via Cnidarian allelopathy      4/28/16
ok the situation is this.
The tank is a 1700 gallon system with loads of fish in it a few corals.
All parameters are good with NItrates just showing a bit high at 40
<This is more than a bit high... by about twice. See/READ on WWM re NO3 reduction
but should be no issue looking at whats in the tank I believe.
The tank has been doing very well for about a year now (for detailed fish list you can check out the build thread of this tank here in RC)
<Don't do bb's. Worse than a waste of time almost always>
So all fish doing really well and eat like crazy look fat and all.
Friday I have a batch of dwarf angels for another tank and see I have one in overtall
for that tank so add 1 yellow angel
<What species is this... a Centropyge? flavissimus?>
to the large tank. on Saturday we add 1 leather finger coral and one leather mushroom to the tank
<.... how were these acclimated? Have you read my SOP re on WWM? Need to be introduced over weeks time..
and all is still good. Now Monday morning with feeding we see fish are not feeding as normal and we see one of our powder blues stuck on the overflow ready to die so at further inspection we see many more fish struggle.
<Allelopathy... a cascade reaction... likely drop in ORP, DO... change water, add GAC, Chemipure, PolyFilter... IF necessary move all the fishes elsewhere>
Tuesday we remove 2 death butterflies, 2 death Anthias Wednesday we see most tangs start to feed again though still reluctant and much more skittish as they used to be hiding in the rock all the time only 1 death clownfish seen. No today Thursday we film the clip of a clownfish struggling and have 1 more Anthias lying on the floor as death though when caught it was still alive though we removed it anyway as it is dying.
On non of the fish any sign of Ick or any other skin lesions I think. The clown in the clip as maybe not really view able the skin looks like dry and rimpled and seem to have melted skin on his back fin?? in the clip which is filmed on the side (so top of tank is actually left side of the view) the clown goes up to the surface to let himself sink back down over and over again. All other fish seem to be behaving the same as last few days feeding reluctant and still hiding all the time??
<READ here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
and the linked files above, NOW
what could be wrong
<See above>
and what disease did I clearly introduce into this system though the Yellow Angel (can a disease from 1 dwarf angel small size even spread that fast??)
or through the rocks of the coral though they came from my own system and have been doing in an ok tank for over 3 years now.
anyone can help so we know what to treat tank with if treatable? large size of the tank does not help the situation here for sure I think
<Keep reading... and act accordingly. Bob Fenner>

Re: can you identify this disease please? Not reading...         4/29/16
Hi Bob, Thank you for the quick reply
so your thinking that one of the leather poisoned my tank?
<That and/or the Shroom>
Rather than the fish introducing some parasite?
<Not a fish parasite... the etiology is all wrong
The fish introduced was a Centropyge heraldi. Both leather come from a system I have at home and have been in that tank there for over a year and have been doing well.
<Not with new... DO THE READING>
By the way both leathers look still ok. Should I take them out? Can 2 small (each about 5-6" in diameter) colonies poison an entire system this large?
<Don't write: READ!>
Re: can you identify this disease please? Still not reading....         4/29/16

Hi Bob, also to my previous reply we made a picture of one of the butterflies who showed the behavior most fishes show just before they die just sitting on a rock with lack of movement the red spots on the picture we were not able to see on any of the other fish previous (though they were colored and much smaller) maybe this picture helps diagnosing?
<Can't tell anything definitively... Same answer. B>

Re: can you identify this disease please? Not able to read?         4/29/16
Hi Rob, some more pictures this time from a suffering Butterfly we have in there now.
<... mate; IF you won't read I/we can't help you. Your fishes are almost certainly suffering from Cnidarian allelopathy; secondarily from? This latter cannot be ascertained w/o sampling and microscopic examination. STOP WRITING AND READ>
seem to not swim around though when trying to catch him he is still very lively but will be a goner for sure tomorrow. He seem to come as close to the glass as possible as he was saying take picture and get this diagnosed
hope they are more clear and can help you better to help me. Wonder what all the red spots are all around his skin. Again here skin looks dry and flaking.

Re: can you identify this disease please? Idiocy        4/30/16
<Did you read where you were referred? IF you had, you'd know what to do. MOVE the fishes elsewhere>
Activated carbon is present in the system. Chemipure and PolyFilter are not available in Thailand so anything else I can do If I remove the fish till when or till what? Just trying to understand what is going on as it ain't fun seeing those fish suffer and taking out a death fish every day.

Saltwater; poisoning incident; endogenous      7/3/15
Hey guys! I have a really strange occurrence that happened to my saltwater tank. I have been in the hobby almost 10 years and this blew me away. The night before I added a carbon cartridge for marine tanks to my aquarium. I wanted to add it for no certain manner except better water quality. I do bi weekly water changes also with NO heavy feelings each day. The temperature of my tank hovered around 78 degrees. The next day I woke up to find a completely clouded tank and almost all of my fish dead. I had a spiny puffer fish in the tank as he was one of the dead fish.
I have never had something so odd and sudden occur like this let alone for fish that I have raised for over 5 years. I lost a precious amount of livestock that I have raised many years. I did not check the levels such as nitrate or anything yet, I was in a rush to go to work. I had more than enough live rock to support any raise in ammonia so I'm very certain that
wasn't it. Do you have any ideas or input? Thanks!!
<Mmm; yes; the puffer... if it got "stressed" enough... could have poisoned the system; taking the other fishes with it. See WWM re Diodontids. Bob Fenner>

Re: Saltwater; toxicity event         7/4/15
I have a dog faced puffer in that same tank and he survived the whole thing..very odd.
<Actually; not. Tetraodontids are more resistant... BobF>
Re: Saltwater        7/4/15

Here is my puffer that survived. Can you tell me what this might be on his fins please? I hope that the pictures are clear. I know it's not ich.
<Mmm; something... mechanical or chemical... did this fish get sucked up against a powerhead, overflow? It might have been the source of the poisoning, cascade event itself. See WWM re Tetraodontid Compatibility (the FAQs).
Bob Fenner>

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