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FAQs about Rabbitfish Disease/Health

Related Articles: Rabbitfishes,

Related FAQs: Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt, Siganids 1, Siganids 2, Rabbitfish Identification, Rabbitfish Behavior, Rabbitfish Compatibility, Rabbitfish Selection, Rabbitfish Systems, Rabbitfish Feeding, Rabbitfish Disease, Rabbitfish Reproduction,

Bloated juvenile Foxface      8/30/17
I have a young Foxface approximately 1.5-2 inches that has been eating well for the last month and appeared to be the picture of health. Was treated with PraziPro and Paraguard over the last month for internal and external
parasites. This bloating happened very suddenly about 3-4 days ago. His color and balance are good but he isn't eating and hides most of the time.
There doesn't seem to be much info on bloat in saltwater fish so I have treated him with a combo of Metronidazole and Kanamycin in case of a bacterial cause. Any insight or direction on what to do with the little guy
would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Andrea
<Such extreme and fast swelling could be due to bacterial involvement or cellular circumstances... from?...
I'd suggest isolation (in another system), and administration of Epsom Salt... and patience. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bloated juvenile Foxface      8/30/17
He has never left the 30 gallon quarantine tank. I tend to qt for at least a month having learned the hard way. Do you have an article on the Epsom Salt administration. Is it a bath?
<Can be administered either... the search tool, on WWM, every page:
Some here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Please write back if a/your path isn't clear, and with your further observations. Bob Fenner>

Re Yellow Tang Spot... Rabbit       6/6/17
I have a Yellow tang in my saltwater aquarium which I have had for about three years. He is eating and appears healthy, but has developed a strange brown spot. Are you able to identify and suggest treatment. See picture
<Mmm; well; the photo sent is not a Tang but a Siganid/Rabbitfish (see WWM Re); a member of a not-too distantly related family of fishes. This mark brings to mind a physical injury... I would NOT treat the water, fish...
but do my best to maintain good conditions, nutrition... It should heal of its own accord>
Kind regards
Chris McMaster
<Welcome. Bob Fenner.

What happened to my salt water Foxface Rabbitfish?      4/20/17
Dear crew,
I was looking through your site while trying to research what may have happened to my Foxface. It is a standard yellow Foxface with a black and white head. I've had this fish for at least three years. It is about five inches long and it has always been a good tank neighbor.
<Is a fave Siganid of mine... Lo vulpinis>
Recently, my family and I went on a four-day trip to Boston. While Boston was frigid, Houston was quite warm. We were expecting a cold front so I purposely left the air conditioning off in the house. I had my son-in-law taking care of the fish. I pre-mixed the food consisting of the frozen food, dried Mysis shrimp and dried brine shrimp in salt water and left it in the refrigerator for him to just mix up and dump in the tank.
<Good move>
When we arrived home, I could see that the Foxface was not behaving properly. He was always skittish about people near the tank but now he was always hiding, his spines were always up and his coloration was always
mottled (which usually only changed at night). When he swam in the tank, he no longer reacted to the presence of anyone near the tank. I could see that he was bumping into the tank walls, coral and live rock. The skin on his
nose actually began to rub off. He was not eating readily and appeared to not be eating at all. He appeared to behaving like he was blind but there was no outward appearance of any other disease or damage. His eyes are
clear and not foggy at all which I found to be strange given his symptoms.
My main tank is a 125 gallon tank (long configuration). I have invertebrates, corals and fish. I use an off-the-shelf test kit and the PH is about 7.8,
<Mmm; will comment: I'd look into, raise this... s/b 8.2-8.4... you're missing some perhaps not obvious source/s of alkalinity here>
nitrite = 0, ammonia = 0 and my nitrates hover about 20. I know the nitrate level is high and I have been actively trying to reduce them to as near zero as possible, but take it from me that the nitrates are half what they used to be and everything else is very healthy, active and growing. The only other tank fish of any size that could threaten the Foxface is a 3" scopas tang, 3" maroon clownfish and a 3" Niger trigger.
The smaller fish are all damsels.
<Mmm; I first suspect the trigger, but possibly the clown or tang is going after your Rabbit>
After about a half-week, the other fish were starting to pick on him so I took him out and put him into a ten gallon quarantine tank. I went to a LFS and they gave me the standard Ich medicine.
<? Mmm; they/Siganids don't "like this"... like their close relatives, the Surgeonfishes, most Ich med.s are too harsh>
I've also been dosing with some API Stress Coat. Since I don't have a skimmer in the quarantine tank, I do
about a 40% water change every other day. The fish has been in quarantine for almost two weeks now and shows no signs of changing. I still don't see him eating readily but I also don't see him losing size or weight.
<Now, in quarantine, likely "just" stress is malaffecting this fish>
The only thing that may have been an issue while we were gone was the temperature. As I said above, I did not leave the A/C on as the area was expecting a cold front while we would be gone. However, the opposite occurred and the house temp was probably at 80 or a little higher while we were gone. I do not have a chiller on the tank and when we got home, the water temp was a little higher that the yellow zone of the little thermometer I keep in the tank. I would put that at about 83-85 degrees.
Once I hit the A/C and the house cooled, the tank water cooled as well.
Do you have any idea what happened to my Foxface?
<I don't think temperature was the real source of trouble here, but likely harassment from a tankmate. I'd be moving/placing this fish elsewhere... if you have another system. Elsewise; likely trading it in>
Bruce Houck
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

What is this on my Foxface?       8/11/16
Gentleman, good day. I have had this One Spot Foxface in my tank for a good five years and I haven't added anything to the tank for at least 6 mos. This showed up on him yesterday morning. I check my fish all the time as I am retired, so I know it wasn't there the day before. The area is slightly raised on the edges, but then it slightly concaves. I haven't change the rock work in probably 2 years. He is the largest fish in my tank, the rest of the fish are very docile. Could this be an injury from the rocks or possibly a bacterial, fungi or some type of skin lesion?
<My strong bet is on a trauma... a scrape likely>
He is eating like a pig and swimming okay. Tank is a 120 gallon Thank you for your help.
<I would leave all as is; NOT treat other than perhaps soaking foods in a supplement. Bob Fenner>

black spots on foxface /Earl?        4/7/16
This morning my foxface lo developed black spots as in the pictures below.
They were not there last night but there was some white blotching on his skin. Yesterday morning he looked normal. I've been researched on WWM and internet and it seems it is either black ich (but the spots seem too big
for that) or a bacterial infection. Do you have an opinion from the photographs? If it is black ich, I will remove from MT and treat with formalin baths and keep in QT (with PraziPro treatment as well)? If it is bacteria, I have some food with Kanamycin and metronizadale, and I will feed him that as per instructions. Is that proper protocol.
Many thanks for your advice,
Terry Martin
<Hi Terry. It sounds like you are on top of the situation. Perhaps a dip in (pH adjusted, oxygenated, temp controlled) freshwater. Often this kind of thing clears up on its own but it may be better to treat, than wait and hope, as long as it's done correctly. I'd proceed as you've planned, making sure to "follow the labels". The need for quarantine tanks shows its usefulness once again! :)">
black spots on foxface /RMF       4/7/16

This morning my foxface lo developed black spots as in the pictures below.
<I see these....>
They were not there last night but there was some white blotching on his skin. Yesterday morning he looked normal. I've been researched on WWM and internet and it seems it is either black ich (but the spots seem too big for that) or a bacterial infection. Do you have an opinion from the photographs?
<Mmm; yes. Either Paravortex the Turbellarian; or similar; or Trematodes....>
If it is black ich, I will remove from MT and treat with formalin baths and keep in QT (with PraziPro treatment as well)?
<? I'd be reading on WWM re.... Do you need help using the search tool, indices?>
If it is bacteria, I have some food with Kanamycin and metronizadale,
<Nah; of no use and toxic to the system; the latter to the fishes period. Just the Anthelminthic or freshwater bath (w/ or sans the biocide formalin) will do here>
and I will feed him that as per instructions. Is that proper protocol.
Many thanks for your advice,
Terry Martin
<Don't render such; only say what I might do given the apparent state. Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish; damaged        2/13/16
Good Morning,
<And you>
I added a Rabbitfish 6 days ago to my reef and 2 days ago I noticed this (see pictures). He eats and his left side appears normal, but the right side also has a cloudy fin and eye. Likely parasites or bacteria?
<Very strange... to show up so quickly this is almost assuredly a physical injury manifestation. My good guess is on someone with something on their hand (gasoline?) touching or dropping this fish in the process of collection, handling... I would just do your best to keep the system optimized and stable. Siganids are celebratedly venomous; and folks do grasp them firmly
when being moved... Bob Fenner>

Magnificent Foxface; hlth f'     11/21/14
I need some advice regarding my Magnificent Foxface.
<How large a specimen and system? What other fishes there? How long have you had this Siganid? What med.s has it been exposed to?>

I have had it for about one month. Everything seemed to be going well. He was eating, and swimming around the tank. He was not grazing a ton, however, there honestly is not a lot to graze on. I had been feeding him New Life Spectrum pellets,
mysis shrimp, and about twice a week, I was putting in seaweed made specifically for lettuce clips (I crumple it up and let it float around
the column). He was his usual self in the morning, eating his morning meal and such. Then when I got home in the evening, he was up against a new Gyre pump that I had just bought. This is a new pump altogether, so I was worried that the intake was too strong for the fish,
<Mmm; not. There are FAR more powerful currents in the wild>
but when I put my hand under it, the current doesn't seem to be anymore powerful than the suction of a powerhead, if even that. I quickly turned it off, and he swam away from it. His breathing was labored, and he looked somewhat contorted. I expected to see him dead this morning, sadly, and he wasn't. He didn't look so contorted, and he ate. I'm really puzzled as to what to do. Water
parameters are good, no nitrite, ammonia, nitrates are about 5. PH is at 8.4. He does look thin. I'm not sure if I should treat him for something, maybe try the new new life spectrum Hex for wasting disease?
He looked plump earlier in the week, so should I just be putting a lot of greens in there. I've always heard that herbivores metabolize food faster, so maybe new life isn't enough to sustain him. Last night I felt pretty hopeless, but this morning, I'm curious if he could make it if he eats the right thing.
<What you list is fine; very good>
Also, his coloring is fine, and his really had shown no other sign of illness. And the other fish in the tank appear to be completely fine as
Thank you so much,
<Need answers to the above questions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Magnificent Foxface     11/21/14

Thanks for the quick response. The foxface is about 5" long. He is in a 200 Gallon aquarium.
The other fish are a yellow tang, royal gramma, three Banggai cardinals, a marine Betta, a Tomini tang, a cleaner goby, a
clownfish and three cleaner shrimp and a coral banded shrimp.
<Do the tangs go after the Rabbit much?>
There are some random corals that came on some live rock, but this is really set up as a FOWLR tank. I have a 40 gallon refugium. He had no prior medications in my system.
<How long have you had this fish? For emphasis... BobF>
Re: Magnificent Foxface
I've had the Fox face for a little over a month.
<Ahh, now we're getting some place. This fish may well have been exposed to copper enroute... had its gas bladder poked in decompressing or over-pressurized... It is very likely parasitized externally (flukes and Protozoans) and lumenally... Have you read re Siganid health on WWM? Do so: http://wetwebmedia.com/rbtfshdisfaqs.htm
The tangs don't really bother him. The yellow tang kind of swatted him with his tail when I first got him. But that only lasted for about a day and a half.
Re: Magnificent Foxface     11/23/14

Thank you for the link. The information is quite helpful there. I am happy to report that he is still alive and has a voracious appetite.
<Ah good; a very good sign>
I've been using the new life spectrum foods (ick shield and hex shield). I'm going to use the hex shield for the three day course. He does still appear to be somewhat weak, but is picking at the rocks today, which I hadn't seen him do in about a week. The question I do have is about what you said about his gas bladder. Should I just keep to it and wait and see what happens, or is this something to euthanize for?
<Yes to waiting. These problems, damage can/does often self-heal in time>
I know it seems like an odd question, even though I'm reporting that he seems to be doing better on the outside. I
just don't want it to suffer with no chance of survival. (I've never had a fish caught in a filter or pump that lived). Maybe I caught him on it in the nick of time? If so, should I try Flagyl, KanaPlex, or another medicated food after the hex shield is done?
Thanks for all of your help,
<No other med.s to use. Bob Fenner>

Scribbled Rabbitfish has white spot near mouth      2/16/13
<Anthony... your image file is an order of magnitude too large. See our instructions re writing us>
Hello WWM,
I have a Scribbled Rabbitfish, Siganus doliatus, in a 180 gallon tank. He's been in there for about 4 days and I just happened to notice a spot near his mouth on the right side.
<I see this>
 I was told that it was fluke
<... no>
 but he is not showing any other symptoms of having flukes, he's not flashing, he's not scratching he's picking at the rocks eating the algae and eats Nori and other prepared foods, he doesn't seem to be clamping his fins and his breathing is normal. I was hoping to get a second opinion from you folks and see what you think before I start treatment or even if I need to start any kind of treatment.
<I would definitely NOT treat. This appears to be a simple dot of body mucus; likely from a physical trauma... Will cure on its own in days to a few weeks>
Parameters are, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 0,
<How/why is NO3 0 ppm?>
 phosphates = 0.25. I have attached a picture of the spot, I was originally thinking that it was possibly a scar until someone mentioned flukes. You'll see in the picture that his eye looks cloudy but I was under the impression that this is common with Rabbitfish, his eye only looks cloudy when the light hits it a certain way otherwise it looks fine. Any ideas you guys have would be greatly appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 


Re: Scribbled Rabbitfish has white spot near mouth    2/17/13
Hi Bob
<Hey Anthony>
Thank you for the quick reply and I apologize for the slow response lol. I have resized the picture in hope that you can use it when you post my original message.
<I did dnld. re-size the original, thanks>
I will not treat the tank, I will keep an eye on the Rabbitfish and see how things progress.
<Good. Is what I'd do>
As far as my Nitrates, I run an Aquaripure filter. Not sure if you are familiar with this piece of equipment but it's basically a large vodka doser, with the exception of that it houses denitrifying bacteria inside the filter housing and the vodka feeds this bacteria.
<Ah, yes; our companies under the umbrella Nature Etc., Inc. made such anaerobic denitrators thirty some years ago>
The reason I use it is I was having a hard time keeping my nitrates below 80ppm and I wanted to start keeping corals and I knew that having the nitrates that high would make keeping corals difficult.
<There are (presently) better, more sure techniques... See WWM re SW/NO3>
Regular water changes (10% weekly) was not getting them low enough, macroalgae helped keeping from going higher but didn't grow fast enough to lower them, so I decided to give this filter a try and it works. They say it's the equivalent of performing 50 water changes a month but I still do my 10% weekly water change to keep my parameters in check like calcium, alkalinity and other trace elements.
<Do pay special heed to regular maintenance and monitoring (daily)>
Thank you,
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Rabbitfish with bumps under skin 11/9/12
I emailed Bob about my recent acquisition and short QT/transfer of my Bluelined Rabbitfish to my main tank. He suffered a few chomps from a porc puffer with whom he shared QT quarters, so was FW dipped and transferred quicker than I hoped. He has been in the main tank for 3 full days. He is increasingly active/comfortable in the tank and eating fine.
<Ah, good>
However, for almost 2 days I have noticed about 5 bumps on each side of his body, very ich-like except slightly larger "domes" and they are under his skin (i.e., as I can see that his skin is over them). I fought major ich problems in this tank for a long time (as Bob knows). The only other observation is that I noticed a slight shedding of his slime coat a few days ago (perhaps related to the puffer chomps and tank move?). <Maybe>
Otherwise, I don't see signs of scratching or breathing problems.
Is it possible these are parasitic worms?
<Yes; but doubtful... due to rapid onset...>
I see they may be based on WWM disease article/FAQ review, although this seems to be a rarely mentioned condition?
If they are worms - perhaps I should run PraziPro in the display tank?
<I wouldn't... too many other "worm groups" likely to be mal-affected, in turn, cause issues here>
I "nuked" the system with heavy/sustained Cupramine/Quinine during my Ich battle, and would suspect that nothing aside from the bacterial filter and algae (which is now starting to return) survived.
<You would be likely very surprised>
So, I'm wouldn't expect
there to be any more die off problems if I use this in the main tank.
<There will assuredly be such>
Here again I don't see how I can catch him in the 200G with the live rock "cavern" system in place...
<I would just let this fish be... not likely a parasite, nor something that can be "treated" as such. Patience. BobF> 
Re: Rabbitfish with bumps under skin    11/12/12
<Dave!? What are you doing? Twelve plus megs of pix? Follow directions or go elsewhere>
Bob, thank you for the response. Can you have a look at these pictures?
<Barely... thank goodness I'm back from Europe... the service there would not have allowed these downloads>
I still see the bumps, and it is extremely difficult to ascertain whether they are truly under or over the skin given the light skin coloring of the rabbit. Here you can see two pictures, one that catches the bumps more so in the light and another that shows how they seem to be underneath the markings (including one in the black stripe, at the top). I am now nervous as I wonder if I see one or two extremely small (i.e., glisten in the lighting) spots on the fins. I do not see any discomfort, scratching/flashing, etc. From all I read about Ich on WWM, it seems that external signs are generally subsequent to the irritation/gill infestation signs, so I am confused and still unwilling to diagnose as Ich. Could it be
that Rabbitfish (with their specialized thick skin coat) may host cysts on its outside skin without having them in gills?
Dave Fantz
<As previously speculated these "patches, tags" are due to something non-pathogenic... spikes/stings from Polychaetes perhaps... NO treatment of use other than time going by. B>
Re: Rabbitfish with bumps under skin    11/12/12
Bob! Thank you! As for the picture size, all I can say for myself is, D'oh.
Won't happen again!
<Good; my blood pressure's already too high!>
Now that another 24 hours have gone by, I see a few spots in the fins.
They look like giant white Ich spots. Drat!
<... they're not>
I am so confused!? I suppose the fish's skin coloring is so light that the lighting gives the illusion they may be under the skin? If it were a dark-skinned fish, there would be no question whether the spots are under or over the skin.
And, still no erratic behavior, scratching/flashing. Perhaps the rabbitfish's slime coat affords it protection until an infestation becomes rampant.
In any case, seems it is time to fill and run the stock tank and move these
2 fish into it for a 3 month fallow period. It appears I've confirmed that I never did beat Ich...raising a white flag in the display tank before Freakshow II starts in it...


Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/4/12
Hi guys! I just want to say first off that your site has been the source of much help and info over the last nine years of our saltwater adventure. My boyfriend actually asked you a panicky question about the same fish I'm asking you about 9 years ago and you were a huge help. That being said we've run into a huge issue. We just moved from an apartment we've rented for ten years to our first house. Because of space constraints in the apartment we were unable to set up a sump with our 125 gal saltwater tank so we always kept our tank vastly understocked (at most we would have three fish, carefully chosen based on compatibility / size, etc). Through nine years of trial, error, and general mishaps (cat sitting on the heater dial and trying to "cook" our fish for example) our very first fish, a one-spot Foxface Rabbitfish has persevered and thrived. Now we've moved and run into a whole new set of trouble. We chose to upgrade our tank to a 240 gal acrylic to take advantage of the increased room we'd have. One thing after another has plagued us (from delayed closing reducing our move time drastically as an example) resulting in our three fish (the rabbit, a Humu trigger, and a queen angel) being placed in the 100 gal Rubbermaid trough purchased to be made into a sump instead of the new tank. We did get the big tank filled with water but it's not plumbed yet so we have powerheads keeping circulation going with the sand from the 125 and our rock (we had around 150 lbs and are adding more over time). We added three damsels who seem to be doing fine but our Aiptasia seem to be hanging on so we decided to try and starve them out before adding the big fish. Sadly the Aiptasia just made lots of little Aiptasia. Anyway, I digress. Recently we noticed our hardy rabbit (from 2 inches 9 years ago to 6 inches now) is listing in the trough and her eyes appear to be cloudy. She is also breathing very rapidly. My boyfriend moved the trigger to the big tank and we'll be moving the angel shortly. As the rabbit (named Usagi) has been through so much we would be devastated to lose her.
<Move this fish now>
I was wondering if we should just move her now

or leave her in the trough for awhile once the angel is out? Our water parameters seem to check out okay with nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia being undetectable in both tank and trough and our pH and salinity seem to be in normal parameters (salinity is a little higher in the trough bc of evaporation). She's been in the trough since the very end of August with no issues other than reduced feeding from stress for a while but she had appeared to return to normal. I was wondering if it could be a combo of stress from the smaller trough and the reduced food intake?
<This in general; many possible sources>

She hasn't been able to do her usual grazing since there isn't a lot of algae in the trough (we've kept only indirect light) but we give her Nori on a clip. Any suggestions of what to do?
<... move>

I'm very worried about her! We already lost our green brittle star in the move (he was very large and presumably old and already on his way out pre-move) and I'm afraid we'll lose her too! Help!
Thanks guys!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/4/12

Thanks Bob! We are moving her right now. She's still hanging on so hopefully she'll continue to be her resilient self and improve!
<Real good Carole. BobF>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/5/12

Hi again. Sadly Usagi didn't make it. Her colors had appeared to improve and she was swimming a little but we had to leave for a charity dinner and when we returned she was gone. I spoke with my boyfriend and he said the salinity in the trough had been high (1.027) and we think that may have been the problem.
<A contributor>
Our other fish (Humu trigger and queen angel) seem to be fine, though. Another question is whether the green brittle star's passing may have contributed to this?
 As I said before, he was on the way out before the move and this just seemed to accelerate it.  We are devastated to lose her. She was our first fish and had been with us for nine years through all manner of disasters (power outages in winter, wild temp fluctuations in summer, etc). :(
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/5/12

Our Humu trigger is starting to show some of the same signs. He's already been moved.
Post-mortem her eyes looked cloudy and deteriorated. She was in panic coloration with her spines out. She also had blanched-looking patches on her. We've had fish die before from various causes but haven't seen anything like this.  The trigger seems to be getting some cloudiness in one of his eyes and one of his fins looks almost whitish?  Would the stress cause this?
  He was moved previous to the rabbit and the angel looks fine as far as we can tell. He also seems to be eating just fine.
<Naught to do other than search out sources of said stress, counter them.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!! - 11/05/2012

Thanks again. We're going to move the angel today. We're also going to take some of the trough and tank water to our lfs and get it tested. I want to be sure our test kits haven't been lying to us this whole time. If so there could be a big part of our problem (we had been doing water changes on the trough and it did have as much of our old tank water as we could save). Not sure if buying a house was worth it at this point.
<It will be in the longer haul. BobF>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/7/12

Hi again.  Sorry about the long panicky string of emails.  So, both the angel and the trigger look like they have the same symptoms, just not as severe as our Rabbitfish.  I'm thinking a bacterial infection brought on by the stress but I'm leery of trying to dip them to treat it, both because that will cause more stress for both fish and because it's not an exact science (I actually work as a microbiologist in a hospital - my luck I'd get a resistant strain or not dose high enough and CREATE a resistant strain or just get the wrong kind of antibiotic entirely).
<Quite possible>
  I was wondering if this is really a good idea right now?
<No; not a good idea to treat. I strongly encourage you to simply provide a stable, optimized environment and good nutrition>
 They are still acting stressed out even though they are in the big tank and I don't want to stress them more.  We are actually debating putting a blanket along one side of the tank because we brought them from a tank that was against the wall to a peninsula-style tank and I'm thinking the "openness" of everything is causing a bit more stress.  They are showing interest in food, and are eating a bit, but definitely not the voracious eaters they were before.
I'm going to try soaking some Mysis and Spirulina in garlic juice in the morning to hopefully tempt them with that. 
<Try Spectrum pelleted food>
We will also be performing a water change tomorrow evening (the salinity in our prepped water wasn't quite high enough to do the change tonight).  I haven't gotten the water samples checked yet but that will happen first thing tomorrow. 
<Moving samples changes parameters... Get and use your own kits>
On the plus side, our Humu trigger is doing his sand hunting again (where he grabs a mouthful of sand, eats whatever poor critter he finds, and then spits it out all over the tank) and the angel found a hidey spot.  Hopefully this means they are still fighting and won't succumb they way the rabbit did (they aren't as bad as she was, but then again I've been at work all night and haven't seen them for almost twelve hours).  Any suggestions, even leaving them alone, would be appreciated.
<Leave them alone>
 I don't think we're going to stop panicking until they are all happy and fat again.
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/7/12

We do have our own kits (Salifert) but I feel the results from both trough and tank we were getting of undetectable nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia were somewhat suspect considering the instability of the trough after moving. I am afraid the kits are out-of-date and need replacement. Thanks for all of your help!
<Ahh, real good Carole. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/11/12

Hi again!
Here's an update on our fish situation.  The angel is starting to return to her normal color but is still not eating well.  She also spends a lot of time hiding behind the overflow.  She seems to be doing better but again, hiding and not really eating.  The trigger is out, swimming and being social, but also not eating like his normal piggy (see what I did there!
:D) self.  He is eating more than she is.  The three damsels we already had in the big tank seem to be super happy to have giant friends now and are out more than they were.  So far as we can tell, they are all getting along well - we got lucky with our trigger and he is very good with other fish.
Never had a problem with him and we've always made sure to get fish who can hold their own with him in case that changes.
Right now we're leaving them alone (to the point we stay out of the room entirely) with the exception of an afternoon feeding and an evening feeding (I've noticed the angel will start toward food like she's interested but if she's sees me she goes back into hiding - I'm trying to stay out of sight while feeding - very difficult).  We've also left the metal halide on the tank off for now - there's a blue actinic metal halide off to the side that comes on providing indirect light plus sunlight from a window a few feet away.  I kind of want to try turning on the light again but we're leery of changing too much right now.
We are of differing opinions on whether they are improving.  Since they're still not eating normally my boyfriend feels they are still on the verge of disaster.  To me, since they are improving in color and behavior, albeit slowly, and have appeared to stabilize, they are on the verge of being out of the woods and next week when we finish the connections and get the big tank to optimal operating capacity I think they'll completely pull out.  I know that fish are unpredictable but the fact that they have started to turn around and the cloudiness is clearing tells me they're convalescing and will return to normal.  Hopefully I'm right (will be the first time he'll be happy to hear me say "I told you so!") and this will all be done.
We have definitely learned a LOT about moving with fish and no matter how much reading and research we did, everything seems to hinge on everything happening as it should without any wrenches thrown in the works.  In retrospect, I think we should have been less cautious about moving the fish from the trough to the big tank.  We thought the stress of moving them to the big tank before it was completely ready would be worse than leaving them in the trough with our old tank water as long as we did fairly frequent water changes (we didn't account for the large amount of evaporation we had which is what caused our salinity issues). 
Technically, the big tank was fine with water parameters and since we had put our live sand from the old tank + our rock in the big tank immediately we had everything work out cycling wise.  Mainly we were concerned with the lack of filtration / skimming because we need to find custom fittings for our large return pump and couldn't get the sump ready in time.  Until we can get the plumbing worked out we have jury-rigged our canister filter to the big tank.  It won't be enough in the long run but I think it will hold them
for a little longer. It's a learning experience and we know better now.
Anyway, thanks for all of your help, Bob.  Again, we really appreciate it and you've kept me from turning into a husk (I, like my fish, tend to not eat while stressed out - this move has knocked me down a few pant sizes).
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    11/12/12

Sadly I do not get to say "I told you so".  The angel had seemed to be recovering but it wasn't enough because she didn't make it.
She seemed to be getting better and I thought her appetite was improving a little but it appears that it was too little too late.  Right now I'm just trying to convince my boyfriend not to give up since the trigger did seem to recover and is eating and the damsels are fine. She was still washed out and patchy looking but the cloudiness had receded and her behaviour was
returning to normal so we really thought she'd made her way from "doomed" to just "very very sick".  This is heartbreaking.
<Steady on. BobF>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!! And now Humu in/comp.   11/22/12

Hi again!  So, our Humu trigger has made a full recovery and is apparently super happy with his new, 240 gal palace of a home.  Unfortunately, because he's always been such a calm, peaceful kind of guy (I know, right?) we thought he would be okay with the three 1 1/2 inch damsels
<Mmm, not>
we had already put in.  Apparently not.  He seemed fine with them for a little while but then my boyfriend brought home three 1 1/2 inch Chromis.  The hopes were that having a large, 240 gal tank with plenty of hiding places in the rock and his very own cave that he loves would allow for cohabitation with these other small fish and keep him from taking completely over as big bad boss so we could add other big fish later.  All seemed well at first - the damsels were hanging out with the trigger, the Chromis seemed happy... then suddenly, there were only two damsels and two Chromis.  Then, while I was sitting near the tank, one of the two remaining Chromis disappeared without even a ripple in the water.  When I checked the damsels they had small wounds (I'd say at most 2 or 3 mm in diameter), almost like bite marks on them.  Our Humu is 5-6 inches and hugely fat - I didn't think the wounds were big enough for him to cause them but my boyfriend disagrees.  The remaining Chromis seemed fine.  Next morning our damsels had passed leaving
us with one giant trigger and one tiny Chromis.  I found the Chromis dead yesterday with no visible wounds.
<This too happens>
Now there remains only a fat trigger and a 4 inch cowry snail (he leaves him alone, mostly because I don't think the trigger even knows he exists) that we see once every 9 months.  The part that worries me is that since Bitey (the trigger) has now decided to be territorial, will it be difficult
to introduce the rest of the fish as we had planned?
<Hopefully not... if the trigger proves too aggressive, it should be taken out temporarily, even just floated in a large plastic colander for a few days; to give the new fishes time to adapt, rest>
 Our stocking was based on having the trigger, the rabbit, our Queen angel and adding a puffer (dogface or porcupine), a wrasse (still deciding on this one - one of the bigger species for sure) and now I can't remember the rest.  We'll probably get a magnificent Foxface to replace our one-spot and another angel.  I just remember the list was carefully chosen for compatibility and size and there weren't too many on the list - maybe 7 or 8 fish total.  My boyfriend has actually mentioned the possibility of getting a second trigger (I'm not convinced that's a good idea, myself).
<Can work in larger volumes like yours>
Sadly, I think Usagi (our rabbit) was his boss and kept him in check and now he doesn't have anybody who will knock him down a peg with venomous spines.  I told my boyfriend we can continue with our original stocking plans only they will involve our 125 gal being turned into a "Bitey hotel" for a week while we acclimate and introduce the newcomers and rearrange his rock.  He isn't convinced that Bitey won't continue with his rampages but to me, the fish he went after were very small and he has been fine with fish his own size for years.  I feel bad for the poor damsels and Chromis but by the time we realized what was happening we couldn't get them to the LFS (closed on Sundays) to save them :(
Something else - our water parameters have been really good (now that they are out of the trough) but when I checked the water after the final tiny fish passing (we never found the first three) our nitrites and nitrates were in the detectable range (0.1 ppm nitrites and 0.2 ppm nitrates) and our salinity was around 1.024.  I'm also concerned that maybe the trigger WASN'T going on a rampage and instead we had a small cycle that took out the little fish.  If that's the case I will, oddly, feel better as we are prepping water for a big change this weekend (we just did a change last week and were out of salt to make a new batch - the water is ready, just needs salt which I picked up today).  I am also considering damsel gang warfare as a potential cause but that, even though they are mean ol' damsels, just doesn't seem as likely.
<Can happen>
  I guess I don't have a question so much as need reassurance that we can still make our original 240 gal plan work with my big mean pal in it and not have to get rid of him (I would reaaaaaally rather not as I am extremely fond of him).  :)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!

Again, thanks Bob!  You really have helped keep me sane through the great "fishpocalypse" as I have dubbed this move.
<Good one. B>

Foxface in quarantine not eating   3/17/12
Dear Crew,
I love your web site!! So much good info. Thanks.
I bought a 3" Foxface 1 week ago.
<Mmm, overall length? On the lowest end of size I'd collect/buy>

 I put him in a 10 gal lexan tub that I use for quarantine
<Am a bigger fan of prophylactic dips/baths for Siganids... quarantine by and large is more harmful than useful w/ these fishes>

. It has a small filter & piece of PVC for hiding. There are some bubbles produced by the filter waterfall & there is no cover on the tub. Nothing else in the "tank". I noticed some Ich on his pectoral fins, so brought the Sg down to 1.015 & temp to ~80F. The Ich is gone now.
<Mmm, not likely, no... the manifestation (mucus reaction series) is not obvious... is still there at this spg>
I also treated for 2 days with Erythromycin as some of the other fish at the LFS tank had a bacterial skin infection. No signs of infection on the Foxface & the water in quarantine was changed. Sg is back to 1.025, temp is 78F.
He has not eaten since being put in the quarantine (1 week),
 still tends to stay in one spot & is showing his stress colors until I turn on the lights in the room & look at him, then his black spots go away & he starts swimming around, but still won't take food - algae sheets or pellet food.
Should I leave him in QT for more time, put him in the display which is a 90 with ~80# LR, corals, 2 yellow tail damsels, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 pajama cardinal, snails & hermit crabs? I'm afraid to put him in the display tank while he is not eating.
Doug S.
<I'd do the dip/bath... Please read here re:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Siganus doliatus... hlth. 1/6/12
Hi and thanks for the help regarding the Rabbitfish. I purchased him a week ago and seems to have settled in very well, even getting along with his tank mates! I have noticed what look like scratches on each side of him. I have attached a photo. They were there when I brought him home. Initially I thought they were from handling, but some of the scratches seem identical on either side.
<Strange... have looked at my pix of this species and those on Fishbase.org, and don't see similar "scratches" on wild specimens>
As you can see, there is no bleeding or deep cuts. I assume that due to the nature of their mucus skin, any brushes against a rock will come through?
<Mmm, maybe>
Or are they simply normal for such fish?
<Likely capture, shipping damage... but not a worry. Will heal of their own in time>
None of the other fish are scratching themselves. Thanks again.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Foxface Rabbitfish dying or maybe poisoned by majano? 4/6/2011
Hello marine life gods,
<Uh, am the third demigod on the left>
Last night when I fed some algae to my fish the Foxface ate just fine but he had some type of abrasion on this side. He's had these types of things before so I didn't think much of it until I got home from work and he was hiding in the corner with a majano stuck to his spine.
I was actually able to grab him by the tail and pull the majano off his poisonous spines by hand. He doesn't even run away when I come at him with the net.
<Not a good sign>
His stomach is all collapsed in, but he's been eating well up to this point and yesterday his belly looked fine. He was the first saltwater fish I've ever purchased and I've had him for seven years so who knows how old he really is.
Is it possible that he was just poisoned by the majano that was stuck to him and may recover?
<Mmm, yes; possible>
I doubt it but you never know. I couldn't find any such information on the web.
I'm thinking about putting him down but I just can't do it. Ace is my homie.
<I'd hold off here... there is a possibility of full recovery. These fishes are tough>
If I do, what is the most humane way to do this?
<See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
I can't bring myself to smash him in the head with a hammer as some fisherman teach. He's too big to flush down the toilet which seems wrong to me as well. My father taught me to quickly slice through the spine right behind the head with a sharp knife before cleaning a fish, but it just seems a lot different when you are going to eat the fish vs. a pet you've had for nearly a decade.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Foxface has gone blind, RMF too, with humongous downloads 3/1/11
Hello All,
<Groan... am out in Cozumel... won't wait to try downloading your 8 megs of pix... We ask folks to limit to a few hundred Kbytes per...>
I have a Magnificent Foxface (Siganus magnificus) which has gone blind as of this morning. I have had the fish approximately 1 year and overall he has been healthy. Yesterday the fish was observed eating seaweed from the veggie clip as well as Mysis shrimp. His behavior seemed normal and prior to this morning we had no cause to suspect the fish had any issues. While the clownfish occasionally gets an attitude, I have not observed any persistent or excessive aggression to the Foxface from any of the other tank-mates. Their diet consists of 1 to 2 feedings per day of seaweed, Mysis shrimp, and Cyclop-eeze.
The water quality tested fine; no detectable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate.
Specific gravity is at 1.024. The temperature is maintained at ~78 degrees Fahrenheit, typically no more than 1/2 degree fluctuation throughout the day. I did not test for pH, alkalinity, or other trace elements. All other fish/coral appear healthy and do not exhibit any unusual behavior.
I am certain he can not see his surroundings; he cautiously attempts to swim around and bumps into rocks/glass/coral et al. When we offered Mysis shrimp he was obviously alert and interested, he would even make blind attempts to snatch them as they drifted by, but he was unable to get anything. As of today I have shifted from a mix of all three foods to larger quantities of just the Cyclop-eeze, as I feel he has the best chance of feeding on these.
He also shows skin problems which seem consistent with an infection or parasite of some sort. However, I am not sure whether the skin damage is a symptom of what has caused the blindness, or if this is the result of frequent exposure to coral stings.
From what I gathered from researching online, blindness is typically the result of vitamin deficiency (notably vitamin A), or a bacterial infection.
<Add sometimes over bright lighting here>
Given the rapid onset of the symptoms, could this be the result of an injury?
Besides the coral and himself, nothing in the tank is venomous or poisonous. Based on the attached pictures, what do you suspect is the cause of the problem? Is there a treatment you can recommend to restore the fish to good health?
<Vitamin supplementation, patience...>
I appreciate your time in addressing this matter.
<Please put the string "Foxface Rabbitfish Blindness" in the search tool here:
and read the cached views. Bob Fenner>

Yellow "growths" on Foxface fins? - 6/11/10
Hello WWM crew,
<Hi Shannon>
I'm hoping you guys can help me out with my very first saltwater fish, a Foxface,/ Siganus vulpinus/.
<Okey Dokey>
He's about 4 inches long and is now in my 20-gallon quarantine tank. I've noticed recently that there appears to
be a yellow growth or wart on the edges of one of his pectoral fins, and another on the tip of one of his dorsal spines. His color is good, he's alert, his breathing is steady and even, and he's eating well. I'm not sure what these growths could be--is it possibly Lymphocystis?
<Could be, yes>
Since I consider you fine folks the experts, I thought I'd ask you first before I consider any kind of treatment, plus I don't want to start putting chemicals in the quarantine tank and stress out the Foxface. Any help would, as always, be greatly appreciated.
<Ok, what has he been in contact with regarding other animal life recently?
This could be a sting/ injury. Or it could be Lympho like you say. Photo's are always helpful here, as from the information given it is impossible to give a definitive answer. I agree though, that you should not treat this animal with anything just yet>
Thanks in advance,
<No Problem>
Shannon O'Rourke
Old Bridge, NJ
<Simon, Cheddar, Somerset>

Re: Yellow "growths" on Foxface fins? 6/13/10
Hi Simon,
<Hello Shannon>
Thanks so much for your quick reply.
Ok, here's the best photo I could get of my Foxface, as he's so active!
<This is a good photo>
You can see the yellow growth on his pectoral fin and dorsal spine in the attached photo.
<Yes, this does look like Lymphocystis to me>
He's the only one in the quarantine tank right now, as he went right in there when I brought him home from the LFS.
<Well done>
At the store he was in a tank with some type of small wrasse, but I don't know which species it was. Hopefully the photo will help.
<Yes, this fish looks healthy to me, no treatment required here other than your good care and it should disappear on it's own in time>
Thanks again,
<Thank you>

Foxface Injury??!! -- 04/03/10
I'm hoping to get some help with this, as soon as possible.
I just noticed that my Foxface was hovering, in the bottom, front corner of my tank. Upon further inspection, I find 3 serious looking wounds on it's side. In order to get photos, I fed Red Marine Algae, and it eats just as pig like as always.
<Mmm, what else is in this system... Likely another Acanthuroid...>
Tank mates include:
Pair of B/W Ocellaris
Red Headed Solon Fairy Wrasse
Atlantic Blue Tang (Introduced on 3/24/10)
Tomini Tang (Has been with the Foxface for months)
<One of these last two have been "Tangling" w/ your Siganid>
The tank is a 200 Gallon Deep Dimension 48"X36(front to back)X27"Deep (Full Reef)
I can only assume that this damage was inflicted by one of the Tangs.
<Likely so>
In observing the tank, I've never seen any aggressiveness between either Tang and the Foxface.
<Is transient...>
The day I introduced the Atlantic Blue Tang, there was some serious aggressiveness between it and the Tomini Tang. However, that lasted about an hour or so. I haven't witnessed any aggression between any of the fish since.
<There was a tiff...>
I feed dried Red Algae, dried Green Algae and live Ulva, that grows in my refugium. I feed the herbivores 3-4 times daily. They also get Rod's Food Herbivore Diet, every other day, along with the Algae feedings. When I
feed, all 3 eat, together, and show no aggression towards one another.
Once in awhile, when eating, I will see the Foxface extend it's dorsal spines, towards other fish, but very seldom.
<An aggressive, territorial display>
Here's pics. In the first picture, there appears to be a small wound under the left eye, as well, though I don't see this injury by eye, when inspecting the fish. Please excuse dirty glass. Any suggestions on how to treat this fish?
<Mmm, can't get these to open. I'd be moving the Rabbitfish. No treatment necessary or advised. Bob Fenner>
Re: Foxface Injury??!!
-- 04/03/10
Thank you so much for your help! You've confirmed what I've been thinking.
The pictures were links to my Flickr site. Just in case, here are a couple pictures, attached, instead.
<Ah yes... Tang punctures... have seen this often, even had these on my hands... BobF>

Possible parasite on Metallic Foxface 2/26/10
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hi Mike>
Love the site as it has been my main resource since finding you when I started my journey on the marine side of the hobby.
<Yes, the amount of info on here is amazing!>
I really need some help as my Metallic Foxface Rabbit has what I first thought a wound from either scraping on something or squabbling with one of my Tangs. After watching him it seems very suspect as it looks more like a round legion or like a cigarette burn raised around the edges and dark in the centre?
<I see this, and although the images are not great, it looks familiar>
I've been scouring the net and asking fellow reefers and some feedback is perhaps my Rose Anemone stung him or a possible crustacean/parasite?
<Both possible, but have you considered a heater burn? Do you have an unprotected heater in your tank?>
I did battle parasitic Isopods when first in the hobby (good old Florida live rock what a welcome that was!) so I'm freaking out it might be something of that sort!
<Let's hope not! Have you been quarantining your animals since?>
All live rock has been in the system for 1 1/2 years (none of the Florida!)
with only additions frags and a couple Maxima Clams. I've attached pictures from camera on cell (the best I know) and of course he makes it so easy to photograph as well! Murphy's Law in full effect as this has to happen to my favourite fish!
<It is a lovely fish>
Thanks for your help!
<No problem>
<Simon> <<See the large Zebrasoma veliferum in the second pic? RMF>>

Re: 26/02/10 Possible parasite on Metallic Foxface 2/28/10
Hello Simon and WWM Crew,
<Hello Mike>
WOW! I'm impressed, yes I do have a 250 watt Ebo in the tank which I had been wanting to move and of course neglected to.
<Just buy one of those plastic heater guards for it, or put it in the sump>
I now have him out of the 225 gallon and into a very spacious 10 gallon quarantine.
<?Spacious? At least in here you will be able to get a good, close look, although I'm not sure I would have moved him at all>
Unfortunately I have not been quarantining the corals (mostly lps) and clams (3 Maximas) just dipping the coral in Seachem dip and occasionally fw dip. Clams I check for Pyramid Snails and clean shell, a little afraid to dip them, your thoughts?
<Mmmm, without proper quarantine you do leave yourself open>
I will keep him in qt for a bit and oh yes, have attached some better pictures.
<I see these, and I would hold off treating until you know the issue. Bob has commented that your Z. veliferum is also a potential cause.. have you considered aggression between fishes here? I do think this is an injury of some kind><<And in looking at these better pix, I am pretty sure this is a "poke", physical injury here. Perhaps by the Zebrasoma. No treatment suggested other than time going by, keeping an eye on the players. RMF>>
I was going to treat the quarantine with copper or Paraguard, a friend had mentioned formalin (is effective with isopods?) but wanted to hold off on treating him until I could get your feedback.
<A dip w/ freshwater should remove Isopods, but you should be able to identify these easily. Now you have him out you could do this before re-introduction to the display, which is what I would probably do. Have you read here re: isopods? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopodfaqs.htm>
I appreciate the kind words as this guy was worth every penny, he is a beautiful fish!
<Yes, but do consider that you may have a compatibility problem>
Oh btw, had the chance to listen to Bob and Scott out here in Denver and hope you guys will be back through soon!
Thanks Again!
<No problem Mike!>
More Re: 26/02/10 Possible parasite on Metallic Foxface 3/1/10
<<And in looking at these better pix, I am pretty sure this is a "poke", physical injury here. Perhaps by the Zebrasoma. No treatment suggested other than time going by, keeping an eye on the players. RMF>>
<I agree, in fact looking at my response here I have provided an incomplete answer, as I did indeed mean to say that this will heal on it's own, without medication, but I have omitted this! Apologies! Simon>

Re: More Re: 26/02/10 Possible parasite on Metallic Foxface 3/2/10
<Hi Mike>
Thanks very much, <No problem> I'm looking at yanking the Zebrasoma and the largest tang C. striatus from the system. Both were mellow when smaller now very territorial <Yes> and I'm now living proof how much room is needed to house these guys!
<The Zebrasoma is indeed a jumbo fish for sure>
That would leave Acanthurus Pyroferus who seems to be more mellow. While I have you, can I introduce a M. Meleagris in my 225 with a Halichoeres ornatissimus?
<I would think this would be ok here. Have you read our FAQ's on these? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/macropharyngodon.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/halichoeres.htm, the Halichoeres is a better pick>
Thanks again!
<No problem, Simon>

Foxface fish rubbed his snout 1/11/10
Good morning, <Good afternoon Jeff>
My question relates to the Foxface fish and I couldn't find an answer to this anywhere. <ok> I currently have a 3" blue hippo tang, 3" Foxface fish, 3 blue/green Chromis, a Sixline wrasse and 2 ocellaris clowns in a 75 gallon <crowded>. I keep the temperature at 77 degrees, Nitrite=0, Ammonia=0, Nitrates usually between 5-10 (have been steadily decreasing since putting in the DSB), Salinity = 1.025 and PH 8.4 <all good so far>. I have a 4" DSB and pretty strong current and also 80 lbs of live rock. Anyways, all my other fish seem to be fine. I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary but the Foxface fish spends a lot of his time swimming up and down the glass on the side of the tank. <one of two possible reasons I can think of> He started doing it all of a sudden and I didn't think too much of it at first but when I was looking at him yesterday it looks like he's worn his snout away on the glass because his snout used to be black and now it's white and I can see his teeth at the front <this is worrying>. He's still eating like he was before <a good sign>, he loves Nori and eats it like crazy as well as Mysis shrimp and new life <Spectrum?> marine pellets. I soak all their food in Zoë and garlic <an excellent, varied diet overall>. I was going to put him in my quarantine tank but figured he would most likely continue to rub it in there so he might be better in the display <not necessarily>. I tried covering the one side of the tank because I thought maybe it was the way the light was coming in as he doesn't do it on the other side which is up against the wall but this didn't help. If there is anything you can recommend it would be greatly appreciated. <Ok. Fishes usually do this when they can see their reflection in the glass. This is due to the lighting/ set up in the room itself that presents the fish with a reflection. Have you made any changes in the room's decor or arrangement recently that co-incided with this behavior? If not, then I would suggest moving either the Foxface, or the hippo tang and see if that makes a difference, because psychologically these fishes will be crowded in this setting. I would not recommend putting either of these fish into a 75 gallon tank, but you have both and it's quite possible this is your problem, especially since these fishes would also occupy similar niches in the wild. The good news is, it seems you are taking good care of your fishes, and so if you can work out why the fish is doing this then he should recover with your continued efforts>. I just picked up Bob's book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist <Is a nice book> and I'm reading my way through it but it seems I can't learn fast enough <You are on the right path, reading and learning are pre-requisites for success in this hobby, keep at it!> Thanks, Jeff <Simon>

Dead Rabbitfish 1/10/10
I had a Siganus doliatus Rabbitfish for about 8 months where he grew from a 2 inch midget to a 6-7 inch beast. He died suddenly and mysteriously :( I am away at college where my parents take care of the tank about 98% of the time. The day before it was noted that he was hiding and didn't want to eat. Normally he eats like a pig. His diet included spectrum pellets and red Julian Sprung seaweed.
<Both good foods>
He had nice coloration and looked healthy when I came home to visit about a week ago. I did observe some odd behavior when he was alive where he would gulp air from the surface and expel bubbles through his gills. I've read other people observing this behavior with the same species. Could it be a gill parasite?
<Mmm, from where? Much more likely something "else" it ingested... from the live rock perhaps, that didn't "agree with it">
The tank is 125 gallons, with DSB, refugium, skimmer, the works running for about 3 years. Salinity is 1.025, calcium 380ppm, Mag 1100ppm, alkalinity 9dKh. Tank mates include 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 green Chromis, 1 radiant wrasse, 1 rosy scaled fairy wrasse, 1 Midas blenny, 1 ignitus Anthias, 3 resplendent Anthias, and 6 waitei Anthias. I also have a mix of different hard and soft corals.
<Perhaps a bit of these last>
I used to have 2 ignitus Anthias since last year, but one of them vanished without a trace a few months ago. I suspect that my giant hairy mushroom ate it.
Also, the Chromis was sick for several weeks where it would swim at a steep angle in a corner all day and night. It has recently recovered and seems to be doing fine now. All the other fish seem to be doing fine.
I suspect the reason for the Rabbitfish death is the fact that I don't have a heater.
In winter (right now), the tank temperature stabilizes at 70-72 degrees.
Is this temperature really just too cold for long term survival?
<A contributing cause perhaps; though many tropical reefs are this cold at times>
Should I get a heater immediately?
<I would>
Do reefs in the wild really have the same night and day temperature?
<Not much, no>
<Woof! Bob Fenner>

Foxface With Swollen Stomach 7/7/09
Hi again.
<Hello Danielle>
Sorry for so many questions lately, but I have another one.
I have a 4" Foxface fish which came with a tank I bought a couple of weeks ago from someone, because I wanted the corals for my own 29 gallon tank.
The Foxface has always lived in a 29 gallon, though I know he needs a much larger tank, and I plan to rehome him once he's looking good again. The problem is that he has a bloated abdomen which seems to be getting worse.
I'm not sure if it's constipation, which I've seen before in my goldfish, but usually closer to the tail. The swelling on the Foxface starts near the white on his body. Today I noticed that the swelling on one side looks kind of lumpy. Does this sound like constipation? I couldn't find a lot of info on constipation in saltwater fish. If so, what's the best treatment? Could it have been caused by improper diet? He was eating the flakes and mysis shrimp I feed to my clownfish and royal gramma, though I bought him some frozen food for herbivores yesterday, which he is loving. His appetite is fine, he seems to be acting normally (I haven't really had him long enough to know what normal is for his species) and the only weird behavior is that he's been flicking his fins randomly, which he's done as long as I've had him. By flicking, I mean quick flaring of all his fins; he'll pick at the live rock and flick, pick and flick again (but also when swimming too).
Don't know if that's normal or not, no flashing or scraping though. Please help me get this guy healthy so I can find him a bigger home. I've attached two pics if that'll help.
<The pics are not that clear, but my first impression was that this fish is suffering from a severe lack of proper nutrition.
The upper and lower part of the body appear to be caved in.
Feeding algae enriched foods such as your herbivore diet should get him looking better in a few weeks. Do feed smaller amounts but more often during the day. Other crew members may chime in with their input.>
Thanks in advance,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Fox Face Rabbitfish W/brown spot.. -- 4/17/09
Hi, guys. I've got a quick concern and can give more info if needed. I have a Foxface Rabbitfish in my 125 gallon tank. Along with Naso Tang, Clownfish, anemone, blue tang, wrasse... Anyway the Foxface has been in for a couple months, and eating out of my hand like a pig.. Just today on his left side at about the same level as the black spot, and right about were the white color starts is a smaller (about 1/4") brown spot. It just looks like a perfect round circle brown. It's not a lump or bulge just a brown circle. What do you think this could be.
<Mmm, perhaps just a "stress" mark... could be resultant from a run-in with the anemone, a fish bite...>
He is still eating and swimming like normal. Please let me know if I should be concerned.
<Do you have another suitably large system to move it to?>
I really like this guy and want to help him if he needs it.
<Please read on WWM re the keeping of Siganids period. Bob Fenner>

Sick foxface lo 03/29/09
I am concerned about a foxface lo I've had for about 2 years now. I have a 90 gallon FOWLR aquarium that includes the foxface, a hippo tang and a coral beauty angel. The other two fish are fine. For about 2 weeks now, I have
not seen the foxface eat,
<What did you used to offer? What now?>
and is continually swimming at the top of the water, back and forth, from one side to the other. He has, of course, lost weight through not eating, but when I look at him, I really don't notice anything that I can visibly see on his body, except that his upper teeth are always showing,
<Could be that this is an issue... Siganids/Rabbitfishes do wear their growing teeth down akin to puffers...>
and his snout comes out of the water as if to breathe more air. He does this all day and night. I have no idea if it is external/internal parasites or not. All I know is something is certainly wrong, and I have no clue as to what. I thought you may have some idea with this type of fish. There is plenty of oxygen in the tank. I do water changes once a month, and haven't added any fish or invertabrates to the tank. Thankyou, Eddie V.
<I so suspect that there is some sort of long/er term deficiency syndrome at play here... along with the possibility of overly overgrown teeth... the latter can be trimmed physically (see WWM re), but the former may not be easily solve-able with this animal if it's not eating... You might consider force-feeding, but do we warned that some of the spines in these fishes
fins are dangerously sharp and venomous. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gold-Spotted Rabbitfish, hlth. 3/12/2009 Hey Bob, or whoever happens to read this... I just wanted to thank you for your help. Between continuing to read and taking your advice, I feel a little more confident with my tank. I say a *little* more because this early in the process of learning marine care, I think a healthy level of panic might be healthy (for the critters I have, at least). <This response is a valuable asset at times, places> I'm not sure on the etiquette here, but if you have the time/interest I did have some follow-up questions. I'll reference the previous conversation as needed. <Okay> I have an 80 gallon corner tank. 4 inches of live sand, 55 lbs live rock. external Ren Filstar XP2. Nitrate, nitrite and ammonia are always safe *read zero*. Ph 8.2. 80 degrees. SG 1.02-1.021. *now 1.019 <Mmm, might I ask, why such a low spg?> You recommend small odd numbers for the green chromis. I realize most people use them as "Starters" but to date they remain my favorite fish. The opalescence they have is stunning. The store in town doesn't carry them because "They just don't make the money." I have the option of special ordering them. I was planning on ordering 3 more to make 5. <Sounds good> My real quandary tonight, though, is about QT tanks. Before I continue I'll admit that I made the amateur mistake of assuming a healthy looking fish was safe. <Ahh! I ask all to think on this... With living in such a competitive, predator-present habitat... does it not make sense that organisms would "mask" their debilitations?> Still, I QT'ed (improperly, I now know) my fish. I've done a bit of reading on QT tanks now and think I'm prepared to set a proper one up. The new stars, on the other hand, I failed to QT. My beautiful gold spotted rabbit has ich. I understand they are "magnets" for the disease. <Yes... Siganids, like their closely-related cousins, Acanthurids are very prone> In the meantime (while I wait for my QT tank parts to come in) I slowly began to decrease the salinity of the tank. (1.019 now) <Now I see the rationale> Strangely, the ich is no longer visible. While I'd *love* to pat myself on the back and call the ich monster defeated, from my readings I'm guessing the ich simply isn't visible and I still plan on removing my fish, <Is very likely "just cycling" as you state... For hyposalinity to "work" (which it very often doesn't in any case) the spg must be much lower... I would drop it quick if all other life present can stand this> dropping the salt further, upping the temp and letting it sit for a month while I treat the fish. (I'm planning on a 30 for the fish and a 10 for the stars). Here's my question. Is the water itself an ich carrier or can I "borrow" the biological stasis to set up my smaller tanks. <You can and should do such borrowing, but/yes the water is a carrier as you state> I'm assuming not. Mostly I'm just trying to save time without cutting any potentially lethal corners. Finally, on an unrelated note, I took your advice of 55 pounds not being enough for the rabbit fish and rearranged *slowly and carefully* my live rock and my live statue to try and optimize the caverns and hiding spots. I plan on getting more but setting up my QTs has eaten my fish budget this month. Despite having funny white dots, he seems much happier. I mentioned having a gold-spotted rabbit and 2 CC starfish. Your response was "difficult to keep". Was this in regard to the fish or the stars, or both? <The CC Stars... Please see MarcoL's just-newly placed article re this Protoreastor> I also purchased some Ocean Nutrition pellets. You mentioned Spectrum but they aren't available near me and these seemed to be the closest. The short version is that my finicky clown actually prefers these to shrimp as does the rabbit. I continue to worry about the CC stars. I've tried placing the food near them or as near to under them as I can and have only successfully gotten one to eat once. They seem healthy but I'm worried about their nutrition. It's obvious that they are still eating the brown algae on the back of the tank. <Mmm, actually the aufwuchs associated perhaps to some nutritional degree> Lastly, if my reading is correct, it may be possible to introduce a second clown to my tank. <Yes... a much smaller specimen> I don't have anemones so I'm not worried about sparring for territory but I wanted to make certain the parameters I'm using are correct. Introduce him as soon as possible and preferably of similar but smaller size. Finally, a sincere thank you. Your input and expertise is greatly appreciated. Brenton <Thank you for sharing Brenton. BobF>

Quarantine a Magnificent Foxface? 2/17/08 Hello All, <Howdy Chip> I ordered a Magnificent Foxface (Siganus magnificus) from Diver's Den, and it will arrive tomorrow. I did a lot of research before deciding on this fish. The Rabbitfish article on WWM, says not to quarantine. <Often better not to with Siganids... a need to balance the probable good of such protocols with the damage...> I am worried about following that advice. All of the fish in my DT went through a 6+ week Hypo-salinity treatment. I have been burned by marine ich in the past, so I wanted to start 'right' with this tank. If I put this fish directly in the tank, wouldn't it be possible to introduce ich? <A possibility, yes> My QT tank is a 55 gallon with 2 bio-wheel filters (Emperor 400's, without the wheels). It also has several pieces of PVC for hiding places. I know that this tank is a little small, but this will be only fish in the tank (with a small possibility of one more small fish being put in this weekend). <This sounds, reads as a superb QT... I would go ahead and use it in this case> My DT is a 220 with 200+ lbs of LR. My stocking list is Yellow --Eye Kole tang, Hepatus Tang, pair Ocellaris, 7 Blue-Green Chromis, Randall's goby, misc crabs and snails. Should I quarantine? <Yes, I would, given your facility> Thanks for all of your help. Cheers, Chip <And you. Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish, losing weight, though eating... hlth. 12/10/08 Hi Bob, I have a question for you if that's okay? <Certainly> We have a Orange-Spotted Spinefoot Siganus guttatus, that we haven't had for that long. It was previously in a fish only system (we bought it form the local shop, owner told us a customer had brought it in after keeping it for four years) and we have had it for about 5 months. The aquarium is actually with my parents and Chris who both live up north in Preston as I will be moving house soon and we didn't want to stress the fish with continual moves (not sure where we are going to end up as my girlfriend works in the fashion industry). The problem that they have been having, and when I go home I have seen, that it is getting very thin. it shares the tank with two large tangs (Regal and Sailfin) and a pair of maroon clowns. Both the spinefoot and the tangs are around 6-8 inches. It eats very well (they feed 2-3 times a day with high quality flake, mysis, chopped mussel, prawn, brine-shrimp occasionally with garlic), and there is absolutely no aggression between the fish that Chris and I can see. <Often there are "stand offs" amongst Tangs, Rabbitfishes... due to their knowledge, forbearance concerning its others spines...> I have obviously watched them feeding since they have all been together (as this was my first concern that it may not be eating enough) and it eats plenty, they have even begun hand feeding it as the other tangs do clear the tank of food quickly. Along with this they are in an established reef with good growth of algae and are supplemented with dried sheets of marine algae. <Very good> If this was a fish freshly imported I would now start thinking it had an internal parasite, but I'm not too sure as the fish has spent nearly five years in captivity. Any help would be greatly appreciated Bob and I look forward to any suggestions you may have. Typically this fish has become my mothers favorite (she is the one who hand feeds) and of course I want to do everything I can to try and resolve the situation. Many Thanks <I do concur with you re the unlikelihood of internal parasite involvement here for this animal. The longer in captivity, the less likely... and five months... But do know that for such seemingly sedentary fishes, Siganids can/do go through a good deal of food... and much of what you list as being offered is of low protein content. Keiran, if it were me, mine, the best action to take would be to move this animal to another system. Not only would this discount the possibility of aggression twixt the Acanthurids, but it might well stir a new social dynamic for this Spinefoot. Barring or in addition to this possibility, I encourage you to culture (perhaps in a lighted sump/refugium) some macro-algae known to be palatable (perhaps a type of "Ogo" (Gracilaria) or one of the many Greens), and offer this "in system" periodically... Much more food value than dried sheets, and serves to "take the nervousness" out of the social setting. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Keiran Hart

Sick One Spot Foxface? Env. -- 09/12/08 Good Evening All, <Justin> I purchased a Rabbitfish (Siganus unimaculatus) about a week ago from a LFS. During the trip home in the bag he was stressed, changed to a darker color and of course changed back as normal with one exception. There remained a vertical streak on his right side about 3/4 inch long, 1/8 inch wide that remained dark brown(total fish length 2.5 inches). That seemed to clear up after acclimation though. Is that sorta thing normal? <Yes> Due to excessive stress maybe? <Ditto> Now that the fish is in my own aquarium he's a bit closer and he seems very skinny. In fact so skinny that it looks as if you can make out individual intestines through his sides. He has also since developed a (permanent?) brown stripe across the top portion of his body. <Also a stress marking...> He is swimming and foraging mostly on the large red leafy macroalgae (type unknown) in the tank and seems well enough otherwise. In order to fatten him up a bit the LFS suggested mysis shrimp which he just doesn't seem too interested in (I'm guessing maybe my fish prefers to remain strictly a herbivore haha). His feces, of which there is a lot, tends to hang from him for a while until he swims fast enough for the current to detach it. Is this anything to worry about, suggesting a not so balanced diet maybe? <Possibly> Is there any critter that I could add that would consume his feces? <Mmm, not reliably... You may need more circulation> The tank is a 30 gallon <Ahh! Much too small for this or any other Siganid species> with a 15 gallon sump, and before you say the tank is too small (ha) within the next 2-3 months we will be upgrading to a 180 gallon. <If it lives this long> There are 2 clowns, a Picasso trigger, the one spot Foxface, a couple shrimp and 40ish pounds of live rock. <Too crowded... and no quarantine...> As well as a handful of Nassarius snails, turbo snails, a blue leg hermit and a red leg hermit left from a cleaner package purchased a year ago when I bought the tank. The trigger is odd, he will eat anything in the tank with the exception of shrimp, hermits and snails, but loves romaine lettuce. <Of no nutritional value, but frequently a source of pollution> I always thought it went backwards. Anyhow the tank parameters that I test are within range. Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates are all zero. Salinity was 1.023. <Too low> Phosphates were .1ppm, temp was 78 and ph was 8.3. I don't test for any other parameters as the only coral in the tank is a variety of Xenia, so I have never bothered too much with other kits. Do you recommend I test for anything else? <Mmm, no... Given your status, there is likely no real need/use> I think I covered everything, I have also attached 2 pictures of the fish, the quality is terrible though... hopefully you can see the skinniness and dark upper body I am talking about. The red macro is also in one of the pictures. Thanks for your help, Justin <"Just" environmental... this fish needs a larger world... stat. Bob Fenner>

Help with my Rabbit Fish! 8/29/08 Sorry about the picture, but he is either in the rocks or under the overflow. And of course the batteries are almost dead and the kids have used all the spare batteries for who knows what. <Have tried "spiffing up"> Any way, my rabbit stopped eating last weekend and was pretty much hid all day long. I left for a 4 day business trip thinking he would be gone by now but he is still around but looks like 2 face from batman now. Half real dark and the other normal. He only picks at any food in the tank. I would appreciate any help here. Doug <Something is severely stressing this Siganid... Most likely something to do with the system, water quality, tankmate/s... You've provided no information re.. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm and the linked files above. If you can't discern the source of the stress, I strongly encourage moving this fish to another system, stat. Do take care in moving as these fishes are venomous. Bob Fenner>

Foxface Nipped-Fin Question And More -- 06/23/08 Hi there, <<Hello>> I noticed today that my Foxface is missing the tip of his right fin. I looks a little white at the end like a finger nail that was burned by a match (oops busted ex smoker). I haven't introduced anything into my tank in months except for a tuxedo urchin about 2 months ago. Prior to that a large toadstool leather that was attached to a rock 4-5 mo.s ago. I have a small snowflake eel that gets a little excited at dinner and sometimes bites at the Foxface (he's only about 7 inches long). <<Ah'¦and likely the reason for the missing fin tip on the Foxface>> I haven't seen that he has actually gotten him. <<The physical evidence would suggest otherwise>> He leaves the other fish alone including a scooter blenny that sticks with him and eats along side of him. <<The nipped fin was not likely an 'overt' action by the eel but more a case of 'mistaken identity' and excitement during feeding time>> I looked at all the pictures of diseases and none seems to be what I'm seeing. <<With good care/water quality the tip of the fin should grow back fine on its own'¦assuming no more 'nipping' from the eel>> Thanks, Stacy <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>> P.S. I have also read lots of the tiny starfish posts. I notice that the little buggers in my tank are overly interested in my frogspawn. The end of the frog spawn stalk broke off so I have it sitting in a plastic tube; they try to climb up it all the time. <<Most of these small stars are harmless in my experience. Unless you see them actually doing 'harm' to the coral I would not be concerned>> Aside from that I rarely see them. I did see one on the shell of a large snail that died, not sure if they got in the snail and killed it. <<It is more likely they were just 'cleaning up'>> I pluck them out. I love my frogspawn and don't trust them!! <<Is up to you>> P.S.S. One more thing, sorry. <<No worries>> I have an Aiptasia and some hair-like worm thing that lives in what looks like a sand tube that just showed up on a rock I've had for almost 2 yrs?? <<This is not unusual'¦though likely they have been there for some time, maybe just out of site. The worm is of no concern (a Terebellid Polychaete), is even beneficial'¦but I would dispose of the Aiptasia before they spread>> First of either I have had in my tank. Do they move? <<Yes>> Was it dormant in the rock? <<A possibility>> I got a syringe today and hope to kill it tomorrow. <<I tried Red Sea's Aiptasia-x recently'¦best commercial product for eradicating Aiptasia I've seen to date>> Is the tiny hair thing bad? <<Nope>> It seems to go in and out like a little snake. <<Is a beneficial detritivore'¦not to worry. EricR>>

Loss of Naso and Foxface... allelopathy? Hey there, I have question about my reef aquarium. The aquarium has been setup for about 9 months. I use Coralife salt and use well water rather than RO water. My tap water tested at 3 with a TDS meter. This is just as good as RO water so i just decided just to use the well water. There is .2 ppm of phosphate in the water, however, so i put a few drops of Caribsea's Phosbuster and it works great. Well water may be inconsistent, and i have an inkling that it may be the root of my problem, but I'll let you decide when I'm done rambling about my tank and ask the you actual question. The water parameters are as follows: Salinity - 1.025 Temp - 77-79 F Ph - 8.0-8.2 Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate - 0 calcium - 425 Alkalinity - 12 dKH (my alkalinity has always been high, without any supplementation whatsoever.) <Unusual... am wondering how this jives with such a low reading for Total Dissolved Solids?> I dose Seachem's reef complete for calcium, and reef plus for trace elements for the corals. <This is the source> Everything else is replaced by 10% water changes every 10-14 days. Other maintenance includes emptying the skimmer cup and cleaning the glass. The tank is a 75 gallon with a 30 gallon sump. The sump design was based on Melve's reef model F sump. The drain branches off and roughly 30% drains to the fuge section and the rest drains to the skimmer section. Both of these sections then overflow into the return pump section. The sump contains a octopus nw-150 skimmer and a fuge section with Chaeto and Caulerpa as well as a DSB and live rock rubble. My return pump is a rio 2100. I also run Purigen occasionally in my overflow. In the display, i have roughly 85 pounds of Fiji live rock formed in two patch reef structures. Circulation if provided by the return, a Hydor Koralia #2, and a maxi-jet 1200. The livestock list is as follows: Fish - Yellow Tang Coral Beauty Six Line Wrasse Pair of Ocellaris Clowns 1 green Chromis corals- lots of Zoanthids/Palys (may be a concern also) Ricordea Florida Finger leather Toadstool leather Hammer Several Mushrooms Xenia Inverts- Condylactis anemone (yeah, I want him out, but he's stuck on there GOOD) Common starfish Sand sifting starfish Blue leg hermits (approx 20) Turbo snails (approx 15) Nassarius snails (approx 15) Feather Duster Misc. worms, copepods etc Now, here's the question: In the last two months two of my fish have died out of the blue. The fish are a Foxface lo and a Naso tang (a small one, with plenty of room in the tank) <Mmm, these species really need larger quarters than a 75 gallon tank> The Foxface was the first to go. He died about 2 months ago. He was fine one day, then the next he was found dying on the bottom. I had him for only about 3 months. The Naso Tang died today and exhibited the same symptoms, he was fine one day, then the next day he was found struggling for life at the bottom, only to die a few hours later. I had him for about 8 months. What could be the cause of these fishes death's? <Likely "stress"... from the psychological crowding component mentioned... coupled (more importantly) with negative interaction twixt some of your "corals"... Note that these Acanthuroid fishes are the ones needing the highest dissolved oxygen in your system...> It could very well be anything, but with the information provided i am hoping you guys can figure something out. Thanks. <Please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm I would be pulling the Condylactis, with the rock it's attached to; at least. Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish - Why do some have that cloudy green eye? 1/14/08 I've been searching for some time for an answer, and can't find it anywhere. I finally had to break down and bother those who are never stumped. Thank you for being that source. <Welcome> I used to have a Foxface (S. unimaculatus) that had a metallic green, cloudy eye. Something like a puffer or anthias. I would like another, and have asked my LFS to keep an eye out for one (no pun intended). We're in southern California, so he visits all the wholesalers personally, every week. He hasn't seen one Foxface with the cloudy eye in the several hundred Foxfaces he's seen while there. Do we know why some have that feature? Is it regional? A part of maturation? Random genetics? As always, your help is appreciated more than you know. - Jason <Mostly an artifact of capture... net damage, high bacteria counts in shipping, ammonia burn... and the natural tapetum lucidum of Siganids. BobF>

Foxface Has a mark on above it's Eye. 1/1/08 Hi Guys and Gals: <Blaine> We love your site, and really appreciate all the fantastic information you provide. <It is for you and your livestock we endeavour> We recently picked up a few new additions for our Aquarium upgrade on a trip to Maine. We got a Flame Angel, Powder Blue Tang, and Foxface Rabbitfish. All were in a really great shape and looked very healthy in the shops, but when we got them home we noticed that the Foxface had a bump/growth/sore/parasite of some kind above it's right eye. <I see this mark> Currently the three are living in a 20 gallon long, quarantine tank with no substrate and a half dose of Cupramine as a buffer (for the next two weeks), since all fish were being kept in copper treated water in the their respective stores. They are being fed a variety of different foods including Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef flake, Ocean nutrition Formula two flake, Frozen Mysis shrimp, Arcti-pods, and Cyclop-Eeze. We also have a some Nori banded to a rock in the tank as well as some Chaeto that they occasionally pick at. Other than the bump/growth/sore/parasite above the foxface's eye, it seems to be doing very well. It has a healthy appetite, and is relatively active. I've attached some photos of the mark in question It seems to be brownish, with a lighter spot in the center. Any help you may be able to offer indentifying and fixing the problem would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your help and advise, this site is invaluable to myself and everyone else involved in the aquarium hobby. Blaine LeRoy Saint John, NB <Looks to me to be a "sore" resultant from a bump into something likely... near the nares... I would not treat this per se... with time, good care on your part, it will very likely resolve itself. Cheers, Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA>

Re: Foxface Has a mark on above it's Eye. Hi Bob: <Blaine> Thanks for your help. The sore on the Foxface's eye seems to be getting smaller ad he is quite active with a good appetite. <All good signs> One thing I was wondering though, he seems to breath rather rapidly. <Mmm, like other members of this suborder (Acanthuroidei... including the Surgeons/Tangs/Doctorfishes), Siganids have a need for high dissolved oxygen... space and circulation...> We have him in a partitioned quarantine tank with the Powder Blue tang and Flame angel on one side and him on the other. The others seem to be breathing normally and all the nitrate/nitrite levels are fine. I can't say for sure he's breathing fast or whether it's just a trait that Foxface have. <Likely mostly this... though stress might play a role> His mouth seems to constantly move and his cheeks or gills seem to move rapidly... it looks kind of like a rabbit does when he eats, so I'm thinking it's probably a trait of the fish, but want to make sure, since I can't find any information about it at all on the web. He swims normally, eats fine and is developing a bit of a belly, and the sore is disappearing. The Powder blue tang had a couple ich spots on his fin, but they have since dropped off and the water is being treated with Cupramine, so I have my fingers crossed that there will be no recurrence. <Oh! The rapid, laboured breathing is surely being amplified by the effects of copper exposure... Do keep an eye on this... keep the dosage/concentration down to the lower physiological level. See WWM re> Thanks again for all your help Blaine <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Foxface Has a mark on above it's Eye. Should I move him? <I would not> I have a 20 gallon that contains two tomato clowns a mandarin dragonet and a neon goby that he could move into until the 130 gallon tank is cycled. I don't want to move him into our main tank since it is pretty full of rock and everything in it has very established territories, I think he would be picked on, but the smaller tank with the smaller fish might be okay for a month. <Leave this specimen where it is. B>

Foxface Lo Quarantine 7/2/07 Bob, I wasn't able to find information about Quarantining a Foxface Lo in CMA, but I (think I) did see on the FAQ here on WWM that you do not think the risk of moving the fish twice is worth it; just a PH adjusted freshwater dip. Are you still agree with this process. Should I use Formalin or Methylene Blue in the dip? <Mmm, if I thought the specimen might be infested with an external parasite, the Formalin... if not just the Methylene Blue> Please advise Thanks Roy <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Foxface Lo Quarantine 7/3/07 Bob, Sorry, didn't quite get the response. Just Dip, no Quarantine? Roy <I would just dip the specimen if it looked in good health otherwise... However if there is some question in your mind re any aspect here, I would quarantine it. Bob Fenner> Disappearance of a Foxface 4/24/07 Hi Guys, <Ryan.> First off great job, and thank you for helping all of us enthusiasts out there. <Share the knowledge, this website is a great resource> Anyway, my question is in regards to my Foxface that seems to have gone missing with no sign or trace of him anywhere. I have a 75-gallon tank with a tomato clown and one green chromis. I have no corals of any kind and my water condition seems to be just fine after testing. <Numbers needed to hear? Different interpretations of 'fine'?> I do have about four extra large turbo snails and was wondering if these snails could have attacked and killed my Foxface. <I would say 99.99% no, they don't have the diet or the speed to predate such a large fish> I also stopped feeding my Foxface any type of greens or vegetable material about two months prior to him disappearing since he seemed to eat the frozen krill, brine, Mysis, etc that I fed the other fish. <As you realize, they need a specialized diet varied with a general one, two months is a long time without this> I moved some of my rocks around the best I could and still did not see him. I also looked around my tank for any evidence of him jumping out. My only guess is that he may have died from the lack of vegetable material that's needed in his diet and the snails ate him or that he might have jumped out of the tank and my dog ate him. I would assume if this happened my dog would be sick (which he is not) since the Foxface is venomous. <This may have been an indication, although the effect of the venom may be varied from species> If he died in the tank would the snails eat him and if not will a dead fish cause any problems? To move all my rocks around will definitely be a considerably complicated and lengthy task so I am trying to lean away from having to do this. <The decay from this fish, which potentially maybe large, will add considerable undesirable nutrients to your water, degrading its quality. It may be worth turning over your rockwork to find it for the benefit of your other inhabitants. If this genuinely isn't a viable option, which is should be in a 75, then large water changes will be needed regularly to dilute and remove the excessive ammonia etc> Any thoughts, possibilities or actions you think I should take would be wonderful. Thanks again guys, I really do appreciate it. <Unfortunately, fish do occasionally disappear and I know how frustrating it can be! Do keep looking though and remove> Sincerely, Ryan <Olly, last thought; do you have a substantial sandbed? The corpse maybe buried, an odd chance!? Also, Thank you for your very well constructed letter; I didn't have to do any corrections at all [smiles].>

Sick Foxface 4/18/07 Hey all. After much research and process of elimination, I still cannot figure out what is wrong with my Foxface Lo. I have a 55gal <Not enough room here for this species> FO setup with adequate filtration, lighting, oxygenation, and water movement. Temp is a at constant 78 degrees, ammonia is 0, nitrate is 0, nitrite is 0, pH is 8.4 and specific gravity is 1.023. Now on to the problem! I noticed that his symptoms cover a broad range of diseases and ailments, and narrowing them down is becoming increasingly difficult. They are as follows; A frayed fin, rapid breathing, cloudy eyes, lethargy, color changes and brown spots on his back. His appetite is great and he eats well. Diet is varied including flake, Nori, lettuce, <A poor idea> and brine shrimp <Ditto> soaked in Selcon. Can you guys please help me? Im really attached to this fish and Im worried sick about his condition. Any information will be much appreciated. Thanks Jon Picano <Environment... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Floating magnificent Foxface - swim bladder problem, never seen anything like it - time running out 4/17/04 Hi guys, <Lisa> I hope you can help me. I have read through your site and have posted for help on four marine aquarium hobby sites. I have a Magnificent Foxface, Siganus magnifica. It is a rare and fairly valuable fish, about 6 inches long. Here is a link to an image of the species: http://photo.zootrotters.nl/albums/BatchUpload/Diverse/Aquatopia/Vossekop.jpg <Am familiar> I have a fair amount of experience with keeping fish and handling disease/parasite problems. I am trained as a biologist and have kept marine aquarium animals for 30 years. I have never seen anything like this in the years I have kept fish. I have had this specimen for several months, and it has always eaten well, and been very active, hardy and healthy. It was housed in an established 120 gallon tank with a zebra moray eel (which I have had over 6 years) and two other moderate sized fish. The tank has about 200 lbs live rock and is skimmed as well as having a canister filter and refugium. Water parameters: Temperature mid-70s pH 8.0 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10-20 ppm Food: frozen mysis shrimp, seaweed sheets (Nori, Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Selects), Ocean Nutrition frozen gel cubes (a variety) Around April 5, I noticed the fish was not eating very actively and was hiding. I was out of town until April 6-10. My husband said the fish was not eating at all during this time. When I got home, I noticed the fish seemed to have a swollen abdomen and was shimmying as though it was trying to swim against a current and getting nowhere. This was going on day and night. By Thursday 4/12, I put the fish in a hospital tank (60 quart Rubbermaid with a small powerhead). Once it was in the tank, I realized it had been shimmying to try to stay upright and under the water. It was fighting floating on top of the water. Once in the QT, it has been floating. It has defecated some. The swelling is getting worse (far back in the abdomen, looks like it would be the swim bladder, but I am not sure). I have done the following treatment, under the assumption that there is an internal infection of the swim bladder: Diamox 250 mg/10 gallons - commonly used to treat gas bubble disease in seahorses - can be used in conjunction with sulfa and neomycin <Yes> Triple Sulfa 1/4 tsp/10 gallons - according to package instructions, National Fish Pharmacy Neomycin 1/4 tsp/10 gallons - according to package instructions, National Fish Pharmacy The fish is still alive, but weakening. Others have suggested different drug treatments (e.g., Kanamycin, Nitrofurazone, Maracyn-2). Can you provide me with any advice? <A "hard thing" to find oneself guessing in these situations... But... if it were mine... likely a serial application of the protozoacide Flagyl/Metronidazole followed by a treatment with a vermifuge (my choice, Praziquantel... moda posted on WWM> I am considering either euthanasia or tube feeding at this point. I would welcome any guidance from you, and time is running out. I hope you all can help me. Thanks, Lisa (LisaD on the boards) <Does read like either some sort of long-range genetic or parasitic anomaly... I would (gross) necropsy this specimen if it passes. Bob Fenner> Re: floating magnificent Foxface - swim bladder problem, never seen anything like it - time running out - 04/17/07 Bob (and the crew), <Lisa> Thanks so much for the quick reply. Do you think it's a good idea to try serial baths, since I am not sure how the drugs interact? I do have Metronidazole and Praziquantel on hand. I was thinking a.m. in the first, p.m. in the second. <Mmm, as far as I'm aware these two can be used at the same time> Are you saying you DON'T think there could be an internal bacterial infection causing the swim bladder (or whatever) to fill with gas? <Yes... I am doubtful this is the root cause, or a probable cure> I wasn't sure if I should continue with antibiotics. <I would discontinue> I do have an unexpired (2008) container of Paragon II from Aquatronics. I don't have the package here with me, but believe it contains: Nitrofurazone, Isoniazide, Neomycin, and Kanamycin. What if I alternate baths of Paragon II with Metronidazole? Then after a full course (if the fish survives) Praziquantel. <I would administer the Metronidazole and Prazi directly to the water, not as an immersion of determinate length> I am baffled, as the fish was the healthiest and most active of the bunch. Thanks again, and I would welcome any other insights or suggestions you may have. Best, Lisa <I too like this Lo/Siganus... have caught many of them... for the industry and for image-work... in Fiji... Sorry to hear/read of yours ill-health. Bob Fenner> Re: floating magnificent Foxface - swim bladder problem - 04/17/07 Thank you again for the quick reply. I will do as you suggest and provide an update. If doesn't make it, I'll perform a necropsy. <Thank you. Am interested in the nature of the blockage, the apparent mass. Bob Fenner> Stressed Foxface 4/16/07 I'm new to this but I work in the pet industry so I have had lots of help. I have a 30L <Thirty litres is too small for any species, specimen of Siganid...> with a 30L sump both with lots of live rock. I added a 3in Foxface 2 weeks ago and suddenly he is mottled, breathing labored, swimming infrequently, laying on his side at the bottom of the tank and in general appearing very stressed. My nitrate levels are non-existent, calcium at 360mg/kg and I do bi-weekly 5gal water changes. He is the only fish with some mushrooms and xenia that are doing well. 2 days ago I added a leather coral that is not doing well either. It shriveled up and has not yet opened back up. I'm afraid I am losing it and my Foxface! What can I do? Thanks in advance! Kim <The easiest, best course of action? Move this fish to other quarters... Stat.! There is something toxic, inappropriate (perhaps just low DO) with the present. Bob Fenner>

Re: stressed Foxface 4/17/04 Misunderstanding- 30 gal tank ( I meant 30 Long tank)- Sorry my inexperienced mistake! <Still too small...> Unfortunately, I lost the Foxface shortly after writing you. I want to correct whatever problem I have as I am afraid is is also killing my leather coral. <...> I did a partial water change yesterday and I use premixed water and always have. All my levels seem to be fine... What else should I check/change/examine for problems? Thanks! Kim <Please... read... http://wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Siganus magnifica Rabbitfish in QT 3/7/07 I currently have a 60gal FOWLR that has been running for 2 years. <Cool.> I have plenty of LR and a 2 inch sand bed. <2" is sort of no mans land. If you want the effects benefits of a DSB I usually recommend 4"+, if you just want the "look" an inch or less is what I would aim for. Anything in between is a detritus trap, usually.> It is filtered with both a Eheim pro 3 and a wet/dry with a 125gal protein skimmer. Any how, the only thing other than clean up crew is a 7inch Snowflake Moray and a coral banded shrimp. <Just FYI, crustaceans...shrimp...is what makes up the eels diet.> I have an order from BlueZooAquatics coming in today. A small *Pterois volitans* and a medium *Siganus magnifica. <This tank is getting...will be crowded.> *I have two 10gal QTs up and running waiting for the arrival. <Small, will require daily testing and water changes, 50%.> Now here is my question, after learning the hard way, <Uh-huh.> I want to QT everything. <Good.> My concern is that the 10gal QT my do more damage than good for the medium Rabbitfish. The web site said a medium is 4 - 4 1/2 inches. <Yes even for a temporary space (2-4 weeks) this is to small for quarantine.> Assuming this is correct, do you think the 10 gal would be too small for such an active fish? <Yes.> I also read on WWM that QTing a Rabbitfish is not always necessary, <...But is always recommended.> due to their resistance to disease. <Resistant but not impervious, can be a carrier too, though the eel should be safe..."please read the disclaimer should be....not a guarantee.> What are your thoughts on this? <Just the above.> Thank you, <Welcome.> Mike
<Adam J.>

Oops...Skipped Quarantine -- 02/15/07 Hello Crew, <<Hello Michele>> Thanks as always for the invaluable help! <<Always welcome>> We have a 95-gallon tank with 15-gallon sump and 15-gallon fuge with the following specs: ammonia/nitrate/nitrite: 0, alkalinity: 4, calcium: 500, SG: 1.025, temperature: 79-80, pH: 8.2, live rock: about 140 pounds. Inhabitants are 2 tangs, 2 clowns, mandarin, and various invertebrates. We are in process of cycling a 240-gallon to move everything to since we are currently overstocked (at least as of last night!). <<Ok>> So onto the question......Last night we got a 4-inch Foxface Rabbitfish. <<Mmm...is a Siganus species (Siganus virgatus or Double-Barred Rabbitfish), but not what I would call a "Foxface." Though still a fine specimen/aquarium fish>> We skipped the quarantine because after reading we thought it was not necessary with this fish. <<A popular notion, indeed...these fish have a very heavy mucous coating that helps them to resist parasitic/protozoan infection>> Included is the quote from your site proving we did attempt to do our research, although it seems we may have been wrong! =) "The Foxface poses little threat of contamination as opposed to many other fishes. Some authors feel the risk is so small as to not warrant the additional stress/handling of quarantine." <<I understand...and agree with this assessment>> The fish "looked" healthy in the LFS, was active, eating, etc. so home he/she came. The fish was acclimated over about 30-minutes and released into the tank. There was only a few minutes of all fish checking each other out, establishing the pecking order, etc. The Foxface went to the live rock and appeared to start eating algae. Then we noticed that both of the eyes are very cloudy. They are bright blue with a cloudy opacity over them. <<Not uncommon for this genus in my experience/estimation...I have always noticed a bit of opacity to their eyes, but have never seen one that appeared to be debilitated by it>> I searched for pictures on the Internet and could not find any close-ups of the eyes on a Foxface. Any chance this is normal? <<I think so, yes>> I am assuming the eyes were like this before and we did not notice, but of course I am unsure. The fish appeared normal for the next two hours......checking out the environment, eating algae, etc. Then, he/she started skimming across the top of the water surface with his mouth making air bubbles. <<Perhaps "spooked" by something in its new surrounds>> This continued until the lights went off about an hour later. My initial thought was decreased oxygenation of the tank, but we have always had adequate aeration (skimmer fed with outside air) and the other fish are not showing any signs. We also noticed some white fluffy spots on his pectoral fins (none on his gills or anywhere on his body). <<These fishes do seem to "pick up" bits of sand/detritus all the time...sticks to the slime coat>> I am hoping this is stuff he picked up skimming along the live rock (an additional 40 pounds of cured rock were added several weeks ago and it has a bit of thin white strands coming off of it) and not the dreaded ich. <<Is likely as you state>> So, any idea of the cause? <<Probably just "adjusting" to its new environment>> Should I move this guy to quarantine now? <<I wouldn't>> If this is infectious, how worried should I be about the other fish......he's been in the tank for about 16 hours now? <<Little concern here>> Is this likely severe enough I should just head back to the LFS with him? <<I don't think so, no>> Oh please tell me this is just normal! <<Take a breath my dear...nothing to panic about that I can tell. Give the fish a few days to adjust, likely all will be fine>> Thanks again for all the help. Michele <<Keep an eye on the fish and give me a shout if you have any further concerns, but unless the fish was damaged when purchased, I think the fish will adjust to your tank and be just fine. Be chatting, Eric Russell>>
Re: Oops...Skipped Quarantine - Siganid hlth. 02/17/07 Sheww! That's a relief! Thanks for the info. <<My pleasure>> One quick question...after getting your reply, I read about the two barred Rabbitfish (don't I feel stupid thinking I had a Foxface!) and saw it prefers to be in pairs. <<Mmm, but not in your tank...is too small>> Is this in the wild or also in the aquarium? <<Would be normally "wild" behavior...though if collected/introduced together, a pair might be kept in a large system but more often than not these fishes don't tolerate conspecifics>> Should we add another of the same species for our guy, especially since he is still scooting across the surface of the water? <<I would not...and this continued behavior concerns me some, though likely it will calm eventually. But in the meantime... Are you sure there is no "bullying" going on (Rabbitfishes are oftentimes "targets" of tangs re due to the similarities in shape/color/habitat/food fare)? Are you certain of the efficacy of your test kits/of the quality of your water chemistry? Perhaps a large water change is worth a try...>> The tangs have been amicable to him/her, but one of the little clarkii clown has been a bit aggressive so perhaps the new fish needs a companion??? <<Not a companion, no...but perhaps a place to hide. You may want to consider placing the Rabbitfish "first" once the larger tank is ready>> Thanks as always! Michele
<<Happy to share. EricR>>

Foxface Lo... Crypt, not-reading 2/3/07 Hello I have a 75g FO tank with a 4in Niger trigger, 3in Picasso Trigger, two Clownfish, a Domino damsel and a few other's (Turbo snails, Hermits, Sand Star and a LTA. Ammonia-0, Nitrites-0, Nitrate-10, Ph-8.3, Salinity-1.021. <The Triggers will eat your invertebrates listed, and likely the Clowns eventually... and I'd keep your spg near 1.025...> Well i <I> Purchased a common Foxface Lo from my LFS and QT him for about 3 weeks with no problems, so i put him in the main tank. Almost immediately every on swam to him to check him out then i noticed that my damsel and Picasso never left his side. They rub on him all the time Fins and all but he doesn't mind. <Interesting> Now today i notice a bunch of white specks on my Picasso and blotches on his fins. I QTed and would like to know what you think i should treat him with and if the Foxface has anything to do with this problem. Thank you .. <... likely is Crypt... covered on WWM> Oh yea if you can answer i recently set up a 36g for a reef tank and was wondering that since i used my bio-material from my 75 early if it is cycled. Levels are fine. Thanks again <Please fix your English going forward... Bob Fenner>

Dark spot on Foxface 12/18/06 Hello Bob and the WWM team, <Craig> Thanks for maintaining such a great resource. I've searched through the Rabbitfish and tang disease articles but haven't been able to find anything similar; apologies if I missed something apropos. I have a 4.5" -long Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus unimaculatus) recently purchased from the LFS, which I've had about 8 days in a 12 gallon quarantine tank with a sponge filter and bio wheel. He's been doing well and constantly grazing from a Chaetomorpha algae ball in the tank with him. <Good, and good signs> But today a dark gray spot, maybe 1 mm in diameter has suddenly appeared on his left side about 3/4 inch above his pectoral fin (see pic). <Unfortunately, this didn't come through> I've been doing 3 gallon water changes every other day with water from my main 75 display tank (his ultimate home), <Good technique> but I'm not thinking putting the algae ball in there was a bad idea, since he's constantly eating and I'm detecting ammonia in the tank (0.25 ppm) even with the water changes. <Mmm, to be expected> Any idea what the gray spot could be, and if it's anything to worry about? <Most likely "nothing" to be concerned about... perhaps a reaction from being jabbed by something in transit... likely another fish...> It's too large to be 'black spot disease', and there's only one spot. Should I remove the algae ball and keep him in QT, do larger water changes, or put him in the main tank soon to get him in better water? Thanks for your advice! <I would move this fish and the Chaetomorpha with little concern here. If you are worried re the possibility of Paravortex transmission, a simple pH-adjusted freshwater bath will eliminate this. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Foxface in Quarantine - 10/24/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> Thanks for taking the time to assist me today. <<Quite welcome>> Over the past 3 months or so I have been setting up a 90 gal. marine with a 55 gal. refugium. <<Neat>> I've had the 135lbs of live rock for about that long now and have finally got the tank how I like it, so 10 days ago I purchased a Siganus unimaculatus (about 3") and put him in a 10 gal quarantine tank, after a 2-3 min freshwater/methylene blue dip. <<Ah good...and a cool fish>> The salinity has been at 1.025 , Nh4= 0, NO2= 0, PH=8.2. I had used media from the live rock to use and never saw NH4 or NO2 spikes. I've been doing 1-gal water changes every 1-2 days. <<Excellent>> He has been doing great, has become so tame that he immediately starts begging for food when ever I enter the room and will nibble Nori from my hand. <<Indeed...very "personable" fishes>> Well yesterday at lunch time I noticed 5 very suspicious spots on his head, looked like the dreaded salt grains (not the typical micro bubbles I had seen on him). Well that evening they were gone and he is still doing ok. I never saw him scratching. I went and got another 20-gal quarantine tank and plan on doing another freshwater dip and then place him in the new clean tank. My questions are: 1) Should I just observe and see if the spots return or should I go ahead and treat any way. And if treatment, which one. I have read that Rabbitfish and Tangs can be sensitive to copper and Formalin because of their intestinal fauna. 2) Should I now restart the 30 day quarantine clock. <<Observation is best...these fish are actually quite ich resistant due to their thick slime coating (often you will see this "sloughed-off" in sheets when the fish becomes active/excited). Also, because of the heavy slime coat, small grains of sand will often "stick" to them with the appearance of ich only to be gone when you look again. I see no reason to restart the quarantine clock OR to subject the fish to additional stress with another dip and a move at this time>> Thanks for providing such a valuable source of information and taking the time to assist others. It is appreciated. Thanks, Rob <<Is gratifying to know. Regards, EricR>> Re: Foxface Rabbitfish seems darker than at pet shop... - 09/14/06 I figured it out; I had a juvenile Koran Angel that had to go; now it's just him and two False Perc's. He's nice and bright today! <Ahh! Thank you for this update. BobF> Quarantine for Siganids? - 08/23/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I am currently in the process of shopping for a Magnificent Foxface and am reading as much as possible on them. I was a bit surprised to read that you suggested not quarantining them, I guess it's just because I have HORRIBLE luck with fish and their survival rates due to illness. <<The Foxface poses little threat of contamination as opposed to many other fishes. Some authors feel the risk is so small as to not warrant the additional stress/handling of quarantine...the decision is up to you>> I have the Foxface at my LFS in a separate holding tank just to make sure he's eating. I do have a 10g QT tank with about 10lbs of LR in a tank at home, so by your recommendations I should just take him home and leave him in there unfed for a day then right into my display? <<Firstly, a quarantine system should not have live rock in it. Any "cover" for the fishes should be a chemically non-reactive material such as PVC pipe. Nor should live rock be used for filtration in a QT system for the same reason...please read here and among the associated links in blue (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm). As for the Foxface, if you are choosing not to quarantine then I would skip the QT tank altogether and merely acclimate and perform a temperature and pH adjusted freshwater dip before placing in the display system...see here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm)>> Tank is a 95g BB Reef tank, only other fish are a fire clown, gold stripe maroon, and a Vlamingi Tang (I know he must go, I had him in a 210g and didn't get rid of him yet since the downgrade, he's currently about 4"). Probably 150-200lbs of LR and an ASM G3 skimmer. Thanks, Chris <<Regards, EricR>>

Foxface Passed 8/7/06 Dear Bob and WWM Crew, I am sad to report the passing of my very first fish, a 6" Foxface Rabbitfish. The tank just seems so empty without him, I can't look at it. I know sometimes there aren't any answers but I don't want this to happen to any more of my pals so any light you can shed will be greatly appreciated. <Will gladly try to help you> Let me give you some tank history and test results first then I will describe what I observed. I emailed you folks with some questions about this Foxface on 6-28-05, and here are the relevant parts of that email: My tank setup: 6 months [now 19] up and running 75g AGA, 60lbs [now 90] live rock, 3/4" of crushed coral. A CPR HOB 24" (it's about 5gal) fuge with 3" live sand bed, live rock frags, grape Caulerpa (24/7 lighting 20 watts), tons of pods and some filter-feeding fan worms. I use an Aqua C Remora skimmer with the maxi jet 1200. Two additional MJ 1200's for water movement and a Magnum 350, sans bio-wheels and media for the same purpose [now alternate carbon/Chemi pure per Bob's suggestion]. <Does work> I use 2, 200 watt Ebo Jager heaters. Weekly small 5 gallon water changes (low bio-load right now), and topped off with RO/DI buffered water. The lighting is standard el-cheapo <Heee! My fave brand!> (2x60watt) bulbs that came with the hood, 8 hour photoperiod. [now 4x65 watt T5's actinic/white, 12 hour period] Current Inhabitants: 1 3" Siganus vulpinus, 1 2" Dendrochirus zebra, various pods. [Have since added 2 tank bred Percula clowns, Pygmy Flame Angel, 2 chromis after QT, also added 3 large turbo snails, 1 coral banded shrimp-large adult, cabbage leather and 2 pulsing xenia corals - inverts were not QT'd.] Tank History: Cycled the tank with 10lbs of live rock. Quarantined the Foxface for a full month then added to display. I ordered 50 more lbs of live rock off eBay and cured it in a tub for a full month. As I was adding the LR I smelled it, it was not rotten and had a good briny smell. I tested for ammonia for the next few days, none was detected. The Foxface seemed put out by all the disruption but was soon back to normal. The Foxface's color behavior has changed as well. He was QT for a full month. He was added to the tank first and had it all to himself for a couple months till I got the lion. After he acclimated and got settled into the tank he would always revert back to his bright yellow with just a round dark spot in the rear. I've seen pics of other Foxfaces on the web and this is what they look like too. Now his upper half will remain a constant mottled brown, <Mmm, a "fright contagion" coloring... something not to this fish's liking> with the lower half reverting to bright yellow. To me this says the fish is not as happy as he was. <Agreed> This has been going on since the lion was added, <Bingo> I thought he was just settling in again but it's been 4 weeks since his roommate moved in! ---------------------------------------------- Now for the results of my tests: Ammonia and Nitrite are not detectable, Nitrates are 40ppm, <Yikes... would keep this at no more than half, 20 ppm> Alk 2.97 meq/L, Ca 350, Ph 8.2 I've got a lot of junk algae on the walls so have been doing more water changes to help get that under control and reduce the nitrates. <Perhaps something/s more... better skimming?> I use RO/DI water, a powerhead to vigorously circulate the water for 24 hours before adding IO salt. The water is temp/ph/spg matched to the tank and aged another 24 hours before adding to the tank. I use a hydrometer but still rely on the chemical tests for my Ph measurement. The most recent events were adding the clowns on 6-9-06, and two days ago one of the big turbo snails died. I got him out real quick. The angel has now gotten a taste for the xenia and nips at it. The symptoms of the Foxface was rapid breathing and reduced activity. <Good observations, bad signs> I would guess he was at about 120bpm last night. I also noticed he would remain facing into the output of a powerhead, about 8 inches away. His mouth would open and close as rapidly as his gills. Before leaving this morning he did not go for the algae on his clip. When I got back he was laying on his side barely breathing. The shrimp climbed over him and picked at him some. I only do a head count in the mornings, it's at night when I take time to watch my fish. I noticed some scrapes on him, but that was nothing new. I also noticed a few areas on him, above his anus, that seemed to had lost all color. It was as if someone took a small eraser to him and removed his yellow coloring leaving a bleached area. I tried to take some post-mortem pics but they did not come out too well. I am still concerned as the larger of my 2 clowns seems to be breathing heavier/faster than her mate. <Perhaps something related to the too-high nitrates... many other chemical situations are/can be linked to this measure> I'm headed to the LFS to pick up a brand new bag of Chemi pure, only thing I can think to do now. I have added no meds at all, nor will I unless you folks suggest something. Then I will set up my QT again or do whatever else you suggest. And lastly, a BIG THANKS to the whole crew for being there for all of us when something goes wrong! -Sam <I would increase aeration, decrease (slowly) the spg a few thousandths (to improve gaseous exchange, solubility), and read here re reducing nitrates: http://wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above. Your Rabbitfish might have passed from simple "cumulative stress"... though it might well have been "poked" by the Dwarf Lion at night... Sorry for the loss in any case. Bob Fenner>

Re: Foxface Passed 8/22/06 Dear Bob and Crew, Since my last letter (below) my only survivors are the dwarf zebra lion, CBS, and a scooter blenny. I forgot to mention the scooter in the last letter. Both clowns, Chromis, two large turbo snails and the flame angel perished. The lion and blenny are in separate QT tanks now. <You are smart to have moved these> The parasite wasn't noticeable until the angel was covered with it. The larger of the two clowns didn't get spots, just a white area on each side of the dorsal fin. I started doing Formalin FW dips (ph and temp adjusted for 10 minutes), before moving the fish to QT tanks. <Very good> Matched the QT tank water (ph 8.2 and SPG 1.025) as close as possible to the main tank, erring on the side of a slightly warmer (82 degree approx) QT tank. <Good> The clowns, Chromis and angel all died within 24-30 hours of introduction into QT. With the survivors In the QT tanks I've lowered the spg to 1.018 measured via refractometer and maintain the 82 degree temp. For the first few days I continued the FW and formalin dips (now discontinued). I only ever saw one parasite on the side of the lion. It looked like something had poked him in the side. <Might have> So now my main tank is fallow (as of 8-12), except for the CBS, live rock/substrate/HOB fuge, a couple hermits, the corals and some little baby snails. I'm wondering if any of these are going to allow the parasite to continue living? <Not likely> Was the death of my 2 remaining large turbo snails (within a day of each other) coincidental? <I suspect so> Should I throw everything out of the main tank and start over? <I would not> I was looking back through my log book and now recall the angel only stayed in QT for 1 week as it looked like she was showing signs of HLLE. Also if this was not Ich what was it? <Many possibilities... likely protozoan though> I've read several of the faq's on Ich but wonder if there was something else I was missing here as far as treatment? Should I extend the time I leave the tank fallow? Should I trade in the CBS in for some cleaners? <All up to you> I'm feeding the blenny Selcon soaked Mysis shrimp so I think he will be ok without the presence of all that live rock. The lion is getting his usual fare of gut loaded (formula 1) ghost shrimp. Also I'm using this time to try to get him to take Mysis as well. He's so picky! Sometimes I can get a ghost to grab hold of a Mysis, then the lion gobbles them both up! I've spent many hours in the past trying to get him to eat frozen foods to no avail but I'm not giving up! Thanks again to you and the Crew for all your help! -Sam <Sorry to realize your trials/travails. Bob Fenner>

Emaciated Foxface Needs Help 5/24/06 Hello, Our Foxface (Siganus unimaculatus), touted as being almost indestructible, appears to be in danger of dying. It has been in the tank for about 2 months, until recently had a voracious appetite. Over the past two weeks has eaten progressively less, now only very small amounts of Caulerpa or nothing at all. It is emaciated and getting more so by the day. Its behaviour is changing too: retreating either to the top corner of the tank or dark holes, its color coming and going from the defensive blotched mode to a pale yellow. There are no visible signs of parasites or other disease. I have tried to net and move it to my QT when it looks 7/8ths dead but it sort of wakes up and hides in the rock. I am pretty sure it will die within the next few days unless I figure out how to save it. Can you help? <Perhaps> I have a 90g FOWLR, about 150 lbs LR, 8 other fish, invert cleanup crew, anemones and softies all doing fine except electric blue hermit crabs which seem to live only a few weeks then die. <... maybe tied-in here> pH is 8.14 in the morning and 8.24 at night before the lights go off. <No worries> NO3 20-30ppm, PO4 0.75ppm (high I know), salinity 32 ppt, 78-82F, 20 gal fuge with Caulerpa, big skimmer. Regards, Stu. <The two most likely scenarios with the Siganid are that it was too much, too long exposed to copper, killing off necessary gut fauna (sort of like ourselves and coliform bacteria), and secondly, that a microbe in the gut is causing trouble... The first can/could be solved by having another Acanthuroid fish present (to "seed" the theater with its fecal material) or otherwise introducing this material via foods... The latter can be successfully treated with administration of a dose of Flagyl/Metronidazole... You can read re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm and the linked files at top. You have read the section on Siganids on WWM? Bob Fenner>

Foxface Injury - 05/21/06 Hey gang, "long time listener, first time caller." <<Hello Jason>> I've attached a photo of something that's developed on my Foxface this evening. Do you recognize it? I can't seem to find anything, hence this message. <<Looks to me like some sort of physical trauma>> He's acting normally, and eating well. <<Good to hear>> I've had him about 4 to 6 weeks, and he came from a local hobbyist's tank, where he was for several months. The problem in question is the purple spots. The tears/damage at the very tip of the tail were there when I got him, and are healing. He used to be bullied by a gold-stripe maroon in his old tank. <<Mmm, yes...the clown fish is/can be a real monster. And the Foxface makes for an easy target with its peaceful (almost timid) disposition. Well, knowing that, the marks do look as if they could be "bite" marks from the clown fish. But you say they "just" appeared? Still, perhaps old wounds that were opened up with a brush against a rock (mere speculation, to be honest). Keep an eye on the fish, but I think it has an excellent chance for recovery...as long as it is not being harassed in your tank as well>> Possibly related (?), he's never eaten Nori in my tank. <<The possibility of a nutritional deficiency can't be ruled out...but I don't think so>> Within his first week in my tank, he decimated all bubble algae populations. Now he only eats Spectrum Pellets (LOVES these) and Cyclop-Eeze flakes. <<Both excellent/nutritional foods>> He'll also eat frozen mysis. <<Another very good choice>> I've tried three different kinds of Nori, each dry, each soaked in garlic, and each soaked in Selcon. He won't touch any of them. I've seen him peck at a floating piece, then spit it back out. <<Strange...is there other algae available in your tank? Perhaps try some 'Omega One' veggie flakes...a good quality food...and my Foxface loves 'em>> As always, your assistance is very appreciated, and so highly under-rated. <<You're welcome...and thank you for the kind words>> - Jason
<<Regards, EricR>>

RABBIT FISH VS TRIGGER TWINS, ROUND ONE TO TRIGGERS Re: Rabbitfish is failing III - 5/7/2006 <Hi I, luckily for you, noticed that you sent us 4 separate emails each with different info regarding this one subject. This can be quite confusing as we (the crew) all pick from one email box and this could have gotten split-up causing a lot of confusion. Also you aren't the one sending us queries'¦so it got mixed up with everyone elses two, I just by chance caught on that this was a series of emails and, again, luckily for you I have condensed them into one'¦.please try to the best of your ability to put all of the pertinent information into one query'¦'¦.and if possible keep it to the point and short'¦unlike my explanation. Thanks --Adam J.> I have a Foxface Rabbitfish that has been in great health for 1.5 years in a stable tank that is suddenly failing. I found it in a holding pattern at the top of the tank today, and would not eat when fed. <That's not good.> In a desperate move and lacking for ideas, I moved it to my second tank (just picked it up in a large container -- didn't fight at all) where it promptly sank to the bottom and is languishing there an hour later. Reading through your posts I am not getting any clues to what could have caused this <He sounds either stressed or spooked'¦what are water params? What are tankmates?> but I will follow with the pertinent details in case I have missed something. But the first and immediate question is, in case anyone is on duty tonight, <That would be on the graveyard.> what does one do with a sick fish when the second tank does not seem to help? <I think your jumping to conclusions'¦'¦..this problem or situation is relatively 'young' less than 24 hours in the making'¦I would not consider your move failing quite yet.> It is so sad to just watch...I am fairly new at this (only two years) but have not lost a fish in over a year so have no clue what to do in such situations. Part II follows. <See my first statement'¦'¦> The tank the Rabbitfish has been in for nearly two years is 110 gallons, reef tank, live rock, actinic blue lights and 3 halide white lights, refugium, protein skimmer, very stable. Nothing has been added or taken out in months except as noted below. All parameters were perfect two weeks ago except nitrates which were not zero (sorry, I forget the value but will run a test again here shortly). SPG is 1.025. I have developed a red algae problem over the past month or so that I have not been able to address yet, <Sounds like water params. are not perfect, you have some underlying nutrient issues, nitrates for sure and likely phosphates as well'¦'¦'¦..though I doubt that is what's affecting the Rabbitfish'¦> which is the only change of note in the tank. Fish include maroon clownfish, four Chromis, yellow tang, rainbow wrasse, cleaner shrimp, Banggai, and a niger triggerfish that was accidentally introduced when I transferred some live rock from the second non-reef-safe tank maybe two months ago. From your previous advice my only guess is that the triggerfish might have been bothering the Rabbitfish without my knowing it, <Possibly I wouldn't count him out, the tang as he and the Rabbitfish are close in appearance is another culprit.> as I did have a scooter dragonet that disappeared shortly after the triggerfish was introduced. <Mmmm'¦..> Other tenants include a carpet anemone, a rose anemone, a couple of brown-orange anemones I don't know the name of, <Not a wise mix at all'¦'¦..> a blue clam, and something that may be a hammerhead coral (light green). Sorry not to be more specific; just trying to get you some basic information for the moment. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide to this relative newbie. <I would keep the Rabbitfish in QT offering food, keeping water quality pristine and just observing for the moment being, give him at least a few days to 'chill', don't move him anymore.> I Googled "Foxface Rabbitfish die" and your site was the first link that came up. <WWM has a way of doing that hehehe'¦> I was amazed to find so much detailed information on the subject; you guys obviously know what you are doing, and you are great to share it. <Thanks.> Just checked on the Rabbitfish again in the second tank I moved him to. The second tank is in the process of being broken down and has only a Mexican wrasse and a Humu along with the live rock. <This Rabbitfish should preferably be alone, do you have a QT? But mmm, if he shows no sign of disease at present and no interaction problems with tankmates I would rather you not move him again.> When I walked in the Rabbitfish was skimming with its nose along the top of the tank, definitely an improvement. <When you say skimming the surface with his nose, do you mean he is tilted up'¦like struggling to gain balance? This is not good'¦.> Then I saw the Humu take a jab at it, not an improvement. <Ok, I retract the above statement, move him into QT if you have one.> He sank to the bottom again and is laying against the rocks, looking like he is panting. <He is stressed.> I now see a little bite out of his tail that may or may not have been there in the former tank. Ugh, is all this about having a niger in the big tank and harassing all the others? The niger and Humu coexist very well. <Triggers are nasty fish'¦plain and simple.> I should add, no white spots, no mucous, just the usual brown mottling I see at night. Maybe a little more emaciated looking than usual. <Move him to a QT tank for recuperation and get rid of the triggers, Adam J.>

Ick Only On Fins? - 04/02/06 Hi, <<Hello>> I've tried searching to find an answer to my questions and can't seem to sort through the information and come to a conclusion about this problem. <<Hmm...Ok>> We have a one-spot rabbitfish that has developed white spots only on his pectoral fins. These appeared Monday morning (5 days ago). He seems to be camouflaged coloring more often lately, but other than that he is acting completely normal. He is not scraping on rocks, breathing heavily, or acting sick. He feeds aggressively and grazes constantly. We have been watching the fish to see if there are any spots on his body, but none have appeared. <<These fish can produce copious amounts of body slime...makes them fairly "Ick" resistant.>> In fact, the spots have not changed at all; they are neither any worse nor are they any better. <<Mmm, maybe not disease/parasitic organisms at all.>> None of the other fish have spots. <<Might just be grains of sand even.>> Our set up is a 90 gallon tank with about 100 pounds of live rock. It has been up about 8 weeks. We have been doing a 20% water change weekly. We've been told by the LFS that this is too much and to cut down to 10%(?). <<What! No, not "too much" in my opinion. Ten percent a week is fine, but if you have means to do twenty percent, then by all means, do continue.>> We were using this schedule because it is what we follow for our freshwater systems. <<Indeed, stick with it if you so wish.>> Ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is 0, pH is 8.1, salinity is 1.022. Tankmates are: 5 blue-green chromis, 2 Clark's clownfish, 1 coral beauty angelfish, 1 lawnmower blenny. We use a Prizm Deluxe skimmer rated for our size of tank, a Cascade 1200 loaded with biomedia, floss, and charcoal, and a powerhead for water movement. Temp is 77 degrees F. We want to treat him, but have no clue what to do. <<I would just observe for now.>> We don't want to stress him unnecessarily. <<Exactly>> However, we are afraid that if we do nothing he may become weakened and whatever organism this is will overcome him. <<I'm not convinced there's a problem yet.>> Should we quarantine? If we do, what should we treat for? Can ich be isolated to the fins? <<If the condition appears to worsen, then yes, quarantine and treat per the info on our site re "Ick". But from what you describe I'm inclined to believe this is nothing for concern/will likely resolve itself.>> We have an 18 gallon tank available for quarantine. We have a 29 gallon quarantine tank running, but it is occupied by a small regal tang that I don't want to move. Will an 18 gallon be large enough? (Footprint is same as 10 gallon; it is just taller.) <<Better than nothing if push comes to shove.>> I can afford another 29 gallon setup if need be. <<This would be better.>> Thank you, Debra Porter <<I'm interested to see how this plays out...do keep me informed. Regards, EricR>> Foxface Big Trouble!!! How are doing today? <Fine Emile> Good I hope. I have a major problem unfolding before my eyes concerning my Foxface. Shall I start with my tank. I have a 55 w/ a 25 gallon sump wet dry. I run 250 milligrams of ozone but I have a ORP monitor to keep it in check, also have a couple of gobies and numerous snails and crabs. Water quality is good no none problems that I can detect and I pretty much test everything ph is about 8.3 ammonia 0. nitrites 0 nitrate about 10 ppm's. So are you ready? <Yes> I can almost here the answer you will give me. My Foxface has been fat and happy since I purchased him 3 months ago. Yesterday my wife called me to let me know he had a red spot on him about the size of a pencil eraser. So I told her I would take a look when I got home. Well for the time it took me which was about 2 hours it had spared about a quarter inch per 30 minutes. I got home late and thought I hope he makes it through the night. Well today he looked worse. When I first observed him it was pretty horrific to see him in this condition. Today the hemorrhaging seems to be whiting and rotting more of his skin it doesn't seem so red but has spread over his eyes and his whole left side. I cannot quarantine him at this time. I did go to store and purchased a bottle of vitamins to maybe help him a little. But I do not believe this is because of a lack of vitamins he eats fresh algae I grow in another tank and freeze dried quid, shrimp etc.. I hope you can give me some kind of incite to what to do. I do not believe I will wait to much longer to step in and put him out of his misery. Hope to hear from you soon.. R.P.H.. <I fear this response is too late... some sort of infection (yes, bacterial) inside and/or out has claimed your Siganid. Very strange to have one for three months to lose it like this... and no clue from the information you offer. Do you have cleaner organisms? Please read about these on our site, WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

New fish doing well Hi Bob, it's the 14 year old again. <Soon to be older> After the loss of the Fourline wrasse I was pretty down, and afraid to purchase a new fish. Just wanted to say that I bought a 3 inch one-spot Foxface (Siganus unimaculatus) last Sunday for my 38 gallon tank. Him and the Redlip blenny get along fine. And he is an absolute garbage pit!!! He eats anything I give him, and grazes constantly. <Typical for Siganids> I am aware that there maximum length is about 8 inches, and that is too long for my tank, but he probably won't grow that large for a while. Thanks for all the help you've given me. I just have one question, do I have enough room left to add an orchid Dottyback? <Should be, and a good choice. Do secure a tank bred/reared one. Bob Fenner> Thanks again. -Andy

Spots on Foxface Mr. Fenner, I have a Foxface that has small red spots on one side of his body. I have tried to find some kind of article on this but so for I couldn't find any. He shows no signs of discomfort, and is eating well. I feed him a variety of Macroalgae species. Water quality is not a problem. Every few days I might see a white spot on him but my cleaners seem to take care of him. The red spots have been on him for a couple of days and I am wondering if this poses a threat to his well being. Once again I seek your supreme wisdom! Hope to hear from you soon Ryan H <Hmm, could be something "biological"... by this I mean an infectious or parasitic matter... perhaps a type of Myxosporidian or other protozoan... But/and likely "not catching" nor life threatening. I would ignore these markings, keep up your water quality, monitoring... and perhaps try adding a vitamin, iodine complex to this animals food before offering. Bob Fenner>

Rapid Foxface Decline Dear Bob, < JasonC here, giving Bob a day off, although he is still in town, and certainly reading this... > My setup is a 55-gallon tank with wet/dry/skimmer that's been in operation for over four years and has been relatively stable, except for a couple of minor periods of owner neglect. It's been in excellent shape for the last few months. The tank consists of a large maroon clown that's been a long-time resident (over 4 years old), with most of the other inhabitants being newer additions. These include a powder blue tang, five jewel Lyretail Anthias, a bubble anemone, three cleaner shrimp, live rock, and some other inverts (two serpent stars, abalone, snails, crabs). The temp is stable since adding a chiller, and overall water quality has been good, though nitrates have always been higher than I'd like. Not sure if it's a significant data point, but the mushrooms on the live rock have flourished. < how high is high on those nitrates? how big are the tang, maroon, Foxface? > Recently I added a yellow Foxface to the tank without realizing how much aggression the powder blue would show. I introduced the Foxface slowly during the first 24 hours, but then let him fend for himself. The powder blue harassed the Foxface pretty good for the first few days, but the Foxface seemed to find his legs. The powder blue came up with what looked like some holes from the Foxface's spines, and things seemed mellow in the tank. The Foxface was eating fine, including formula one, seaweed, and dried, and would venture into most parts of the tank, though the powder blue would get territorial in some areas. < rough start > Overall, things looked like they were going fine until today. During an afternoon feeding, the Foxface went for the food as usual, but I noticed a significant amount of white blotchiness on one side. He quickly retreated to a top corner of the tank, and within a couple of hours he was noticeably worse. It didn't look like little white spots or powdery crystals, nor did it look particularly like mucous (I don't think). At that point, his friend the powder blue began accosting him all the more, and he hid behind the overflow. The white-ish continued to spread to around his eyes and fins, and some stringy white trails seemed to appear off his top fin. I contacted the local fish store and they suggested a dip in Maracyn, as that was the only medication that I could get my hands on tonight. When I returned to the tank, the Foxface was in the grips of the larger serpent star, so I removed him ( he was looking bleak) to a Maracyn dip for less than two minutes and then to a little holding container hanging in the tank to stay warm. He died pretty quickly thereafter, just 5 hours from when I initially noticed the malady. Once I got him out of the tank and got a closer look, it actually looked like his coloration (is that the scales or under the scales?) had been removed in spots, rather than a coating covering the exterior. Any thoughts about what might have gone on here? The Foxface was in the tank for a total of just over three weeks. Could stress from the aggressive powder blue have caused this to happen? < I think you nailed it > Should I be concerned that the rest of the tank is at risk of getting the same disease? < probably not, the diseases/pathogens are probably always there to a very small extent, but the continued harassment from the tang put the vulpinus into constant fight-or-flight mode, and this in turn caused its immune system to shut down and you know the rest. This can/does happen in humans too, and in your fish's case most likely tipped the balance on a system already on the edge of being crowded, I counted seven fish, before the addition of the Foxface, yes? You may want to consider carefully if/when you should add your next fish, or perhaps a larger tank. Your remaining fish, if in good health will most likely stay that way. > Thanks for any help that you can provide. Harry Cardile < Cheers, J -- >

My one spot Foxface Rabbitfish Hi Bob, <Actually, JasonC today... how are you?> I acquired my third Foxface (Buggs 3) Buggs 1 died of parasites, Buggs 2 I assume died of poor water quality, i.e. off the scale salinity. I've solved my parasite problem with 3 weeks of quarantine in a 20 gal hospital tank, And my water quality by just being a better steward to my tanks. <Ahh good.> Buggs 3 did fine in quarantine, and he's bin in my big tank for about two weeks. I just noticed that he has lots of bubbles on his body, fins, and eyes. Not spots just bubbles, and maybe a little mucus. <My question to you is, do you have an obvious source of the air bubbles - do you use an air stone in the tank, or is there another source... is the water already full of bubbles that you can see?> He gets along fine with all the other fish, and he seems to be eating fine, but he's the only one with bubbles on his body. Can you shed some light or am I just being gun-shy with my rabbit? <Well, depends a lot on your answer to my question. For certain, most all fish have a "slime" coating, mucus actually, and sometimes when under stress, this coating can be a little more prolific. If there is an obvious source of air in your system, then likely these air bubbles are sticking to the slime coat on the Rabbitfish as it still qualifies as a new introduction to the system, and most likely still stressing a little. On the other hand, plumbing problems [air leaks] can introduce micro bubbles which then can make it into the skin of your fish, and often show up at the tips of fins and scales. If this was the case, you'd probably also observe these bubbles developing on your other fish. Either way, this is something you do want to keep your eyes on, but could certainly turn out to be nothing to worry about.> Thanx, Tobin <Cheers, J -- >

Re: New Foxface acclimation and a Fairy Wrasse Sorry about setting off the alarm bells with the quarantining strategy. I found the suggestion in the wetwebmedia.com section, where this was suggested specifically for Rabbitfish because of their poisonous dorsal spines. It doesn't matter now anyway, because the poor critter died. Oh well'¦ <indeed sorry to hear it :(> You mentioned that the SeaClone protein Skimmer was possibly inadequate. It produces about 1/4 cup of somewhat smelly, dark-green fluid a day--the large cup allows me to get lazy about collecting it. <daily skimmate of any kind is good and appreciated... full cups shouldn't be hard to produce though> Is a skimmer like the Remora a better choice? <much better in most peoples opinion. Mine too> Thanks again -Ian Berger <best regards>

The Rabbit Died...(Mysterious Rabbitfish Death) First off, your web site is the best source for marine/reef tank information... I've only written a few times as just reading your FAQs and Articles provides me with so much information... thanks for all the help! <Glad you enjoy the site! It's great to hear that it's been helpful. We have a great time helping out our fellow hobbyists> I have been into this hobby for about a year and a half. First two attempts were failures (dreaded ICH) - I learned the importance of patience as I added too much too quick. <It happens all the time...But at least you were able to learn from these setbacks!> My third attempt has been going great since August 2002. 55 gallon with 53 pounds of live rock, Protein Skimmer, Magnum 350 (Floss sleeve and crushed coral in the media container) with 2 BioWheels, 2 Maxi-Jet 1200 and 1 PowerSweep 228, temp at 79 deg. Fish inhabitants are 2 Clowns, 1 Damsel, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Mandarin Goby and 1 Foxface Rabbitfish. Inverts are a dozen various type snails, a few crabs (2 emerald, 2 blue leg and 2 scarlet), 1 serpent star, 1 blood shrimp and 1 feather duster. Now my problem/question... everything was going great, and to my surprise I walked in last night to a dead Rabbitfish (had him for around 5 - 6 months)! He looked great that morning/previous night with great color and swimming around. The only thing that comes to mind is that I just learned about Aiptasia and I fed Reef Calcium +3 with a dropper directly to a few Aiptasia in the tank (very effective at killing them, by the way). I intentionally killed whatever I could with the standard weekly dosage that I would have used anyways (in fact I didn't get to kill all of them after I used the usually dosage, so I intentionally said I would get the last few Aiptasia next week with that weeks dosage). The only difference here is that I usually premix/dilute about 1/2 teaspoon of Calcium +3 with water and add that to the tank, rather than introducing it straight into the tank as I did when killed a few Aiptasia. Do you think feeding the Calcium +3 direct to the Aiptasia somehow killed the Rabbitfish - it's weird cause everyone else in there seems to be doing great - in fact I would say the same of the Rabbitfish until I found him floating at the bottom of the tank last night. Thanks in advance for your help - you guys are great! <Wow...really sorry to hear about your sudden loss of the apparently healthy Rabbitfish. I suppose that the calcium additive could have been caustic if ingested by the fish, but there's no guarantee. The fact that he died suddenly does make me suspicious of some kind of poisoning or trauma. The Rabbitfish may have been picking (as these fishes do) at the rock, and possibly ingested some undissolved product that accumulated on the rock. We just don't know! A suggestion would be to monitor all basic water chemistry parameters (pH, alkalinity, nitrite, ammonia, etc) to verify if there has been a sudden environmental fluctuation of some kind. In the absence of any other signs of disease or trauma, it may very well have been a poisoning event of some kind. Check the obvious, as you have...And then look beyond the obvious! Make sure that you keep an eye on the tank and all of the remaining fishes. Chin Up! Regards, Scott F>

- Polaris Rabbitfish - Hi again crew, <Hello to you, JasonC here...> I e-mailed you a week or so ago with a couple of newbie questions. I have yet more :) I ordered a Rabbitfish from an online fish store. It arrived DOA. I switched suppliers, got another one yesterday. I freshwater dipped it (Methylene blue and buffered fresh water for about 6 minutes), and put it into the quarantine tank ok. QT is 15 gallons, had been cycled using old frozen angel food. <I wouldn't be so concerned with having a cycled quarantine system. Much better to be prepared with plenty of pre-mixed water to do frequent, large water changes.> Readings were all 0 for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. I went out for a bit (2 hours), and when I came back, I noticed the heater on, the fish lying at the bottom on its side, and the temp at 86 degrees (eek). I pulled the heater, and started replacing tank water with some DI water that's sitting around at room temperature (72 degrees +/-) about a cup at a time for about 2 gallons worth (talk about mind numbingly slow :) I had to turn on the lights dimly (it's been in darkness pretty much), and take the light fixture off (so there was a hood still on). When it saw a ray of light, it made a mad attempt at jumping out of the tank. Then it would calm down and lie back on the tank bottom. Is there anything else I could've done? What was causing the missile impressions it was doing? <Probably the changes in water quality when you added the cooler DI... quite likely changed the pH and definitely changed the salinity, and all most likely to quickly. Best to just let the tank cool by itself, and address water quality issues slowly - over a period of days.> The online fish store is sending me a replacement which will arrive tomorrow, so any ideas on what the problem might have been (or what to look for) are appreciated so I don't have a repeat of the situation. <As I mentioned before, have plenty of new saltwater mixed up and ready to go... don't be super-concerned about having the quarantine cycled - you can ease this by keeping a sponge or filter pad in the main system for use when the fish are put in quarantine, but if you have to treat with anything like copper, your cycling efforts will be lost and you'll be back to changing 25-50% of the water at a whack... so, make sure you have some made in advance.> thanks, rob <Cheers, J -- >
- Re: Polaris Rabbitfish -
thanks for your quick response. <My pleasure.> as follow-up questions: 1) did the high temp cause the fish to lay on it's side in the first place, or should I look for another factor? <86 degrees really isn't 'that' hot... it's higher than normal, but not instantly fatal, and also considering that the temperature would have moved up to that point slowly, I'd be looking for other factors. Could be it was only the heat, but I'd still be looking for other factors just for my own sanity.> 2) how much time should you FW dip a Rabbitfish in a Methylene blue solution (barring it showing signs of stress)? 5 minutes, 10, 15? <At least five, but I would keep an eye on things and push for as long as possible... the fish will bug out at first but should improve and then be swimming about for some time. A dip of ten minutes would be excellent.> thanks in advance, -- rob <Cheers, J -- >

- Foxface Trouble - <Hello, JasonC here...> Help, our Foxface rabbit came down with ich which was being treated with garlic. That seemed to help for a while, then it got worse so I added Coppersafe. This morning he's swimming around normally but won't eat and his body seems to be covered in little white bubbles, almost like dried salt. Is there anything we can do to save him? <First, you should isolate this fish in a quarantine system. Then, you should continue the treatments with the Coppersafe for about 15 days, and if the fish hangs in, then it should be out of the woods. Unfortunately parasitic problems are cyclic and I'm not convinced the garlic would have actually helped. Likewise, if you are not treating this fish in a quarantine tank, the gravel, rock, and decor will absorb some of the copper making it difficult to give the fish a therapeutic dose. Here are some links to some articles you should read to give you some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >
- Re: Foxface Trouble -
I had to go for a couple of hours and came home to find the Foxface was gone. <I am sorry to hear of this.> We're in the process of setting up a new 90 gallon tank so we'll just get all new rock and sand. <Also consider quarantine for all new placements in this tank - can save much heartache.> I don't want to take a chance on whatever it was. We'd had him about 2 months. The yellow headed eel that was in with him doesn't seem to be affected. Thanks again. You did save our lionfish who I immediately moved out of the tank after reading your FAQs and finding out that the CopperSafe would kill him. <Cheers, J -- >

Rabbitfishes - Quarantine I noticed the following introductory article to Rabbitfish on the website ( < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm)> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm). Can this really be so - i.e., that one shouldn't really bother quarantining a new Rabbitfish prior to introduction to an aquarium? This seems to fly in the face of all the consistent commentary that one is a complete idiot if he/she doesn't quarantine ALL fish. Any thoughts? <Yes, as the paragraph continues on: "Put another way, moving them again is not worth the damage that the small potential for disaster warrants from simple introduction to the main/display system." Almost all Siganids are better freshwater pH-adjusted dipped/bathed and placed... quarantining them (by and large) is more of a source of mortality and induced disease than it's "worth". Agreed, it does "fly in the face" of the general rule.> "Once the fish is "home" it is best placed and left alone unfed in an unlighted system for a day. Rabbitfishes are one of my exceptions to the general rule of quarantine; most are clean and ready to go with just a preventative freshwater dip. Put another way, moving them again is not worth the damage that the small potential for disaster warrants from simple introduction to the main/display system." Also, the foregoing statement seems to contradict what I have read which consistently suggest that Rabbitfish are "ich magnets." <Not so... or way on the other end of the scale... of their close relatives the acanthurids> Thanks in advance for your time/comments. ps - Could a small Rabbitfish (say 3 inches) get by in a 46 gallon bowfront for a few years (prior to becoming full size) with the idea of eventually moving it to a larger tank? <Not a good idea. Better to wait till you have the larger quarters. Bob Fenner>

Disease or "Collateral Damage"? This site is so informative. Every day I learn more and more from your site. <Glad that you enjoy it! We all learn more each day ourselves! Scott F. with you today!> Now I have a problem and require some advice. About 4 days I noticed that my rabbit fish had small white spots on him and his huge appetite had disappeared. Upon closer inspection I saw that his skin seemed to be peeling on one side. I removed him and a Pajama Cardinal (showed spots as well) from my main tank and put them into my QT tank. I have been treating the QT tank with copper but I have noticed that his skin is getting worse every day. He is eating a little bit but looks quite stressed. I have attached a picture for your review. What should I do? <Well, the picture was a bit blurry, but I was able to get a general idea. I am speculating here, but it might actually be the copper that is affecting the fish. I have seen similar reactions to copper in tangs before. Do check your copper concentration and make sure that it's not at a hazardous level...Keep it at the medication manufacturer's suggested level at all times. This might be one of those cases where I'd go with freshwater dips, or maybe a formalin-based treatment. I would not continue with copper, at this point. Try some water changes in the QT, followed by some good filtration and feeding. After a break of a week or so, if the fish has shown no improvement, I would consider a formalin-based medication if you're still seeing signs of ich. With close observation, good water conditions, and quick action, I'm sure that this fish can make a complete recovery! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Disease Or "Collateral Damage"? (Pt.2) Thanks for the quick feedback. <You're welcome!> The peeling started before the copper treatment. Would you still discontinue and see how it goes as per your advice? Any chance this is bacterial? It started shortly after I treated my tank for red slime with an antibiotic. <Ahh... this could be some form of bacterial infection...I'm not sure how the antibiotic could have contributed to this. However, I'd stand by and just keep water conditions as perfect as possible in the treatment tank, and avoid medication for a while...Give him time to recover in clean water without meds. If he starts to decline, or if other symptoms manifest, do continue appropriate treatment. I still think that you may be able to see improvement without the need for medication, if he appears healthy otherwise, and continues to eat well. Keep a close eye on this fish. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sick Foxface <Hi, MikeD here> Ok well I'll try to keep this short ..I stress try ..well I went to my local fish store yest to purchase a Foxface lo my husband had been eyeballing for some time. well we arrived the little guy wasn't looking too good. He was in the corner of a 150 gal tank struggling to stay afloat.<That's definitely not looking good>while swimming he's his brilliant yellow color. but tends to tire quickly. ends up mostly lying on his side very stressed turning his blotchy brown color only when lying down). well even though this poor guy didn't look healthy or barely alive I still purchased him.<I've been known to do that too>.I know you probably thing I'm crazy for wasting my money on him but I spent an entire hour browsing through the shop for other items I needed. I just felt bad for the little guy just left there to die. So I made the dealer an offer of 10.00 to rid him of this sickly fish. reluctantly he agreed.<Understood. It's the "wounded bird" syndrome>.know it was most likely a waste of time and money to me. well as of this morning he's still struggling to stay alive. I don't know if his problem is<Probably one of several> bacterial parasitic or just plain starved (he's very very thin).<This sounds like a strong possibility of a cyanide caught fish>He was kept in a tank with much more feeding aggressive fish hence leaving him to what ever he could catch before the others did. I now have him in a 10 gal QT for the first few hours with a mild Melafix later last night I placed carbon filters in the filter to remove any traces of the meds. I have gotten him to eat a little micro algae that seems to liven him up (at least while he's eating it) won't touch his frozen foods made for him yet.<A pure macroalgae diet would be best for now>I have added extreme garlic to the water 1 drop .now treating tank with spectrogram antibiotic .I do know that my methods could very well do more damage then good as in stress factor for this little guy but the way I see it for this fella is, he has one fin on a banana peel and the other in the grave as it stands<That's about my opinion as well> ..I just seem to bring myself not to try with him. any other suggestions you may have for this would b greatly appreciated..<You're right on track. Quiet tank, clean water and as much vegetable mater as it will eat> PS. I have had great luck with my other majestic Foxface<A beautiful fish> which I house in a 130 gal tank. and just purchased another 125 gal just in case he makes it and doesn't get along with my majestic<Here's the bad news...he WON'T get along with your majestic, not a guess, but rather almost a sure thing. The Lo and Majestic can be extremely territorial, to the death. Get your new 125 going and good luck!>

Foxface Question Dear Webbed Ones, <Hard as heck to key with this skin between my fingers, Argggghhhh> This past Sunday I purchased a Foxface rabbit fish from my LFS. The fish looked fine was active, alert, etc. Appeared to be as clean as a hound's tooth. <Ooh, I do like that metaphor> Brought him home freshwater dipped and placed in tank per comments I read in an FAQ re this fish. Left lights off for the day. Tank has 80lbs of live rock, copious algae growth of many species. Other occupants a royal Gramma and an ocellaris clown, couple of snails, two emerald crabs. Tank is 80 gallons and all water parameter are good. Tank is up for nine or ten months. The fish hid in the rocks and is now actively swimming around the tank. Switched on one of my NO lights. Doing some grazing. This evening on closer inspection I see a number of white spots along the black stripes bordering both sides of his nose. Also a couple on yellow of body. I know these were not visible when I brought him home. These guys are supposedly fairly disease resistant. Could this merely be a stress reaction or am I possibly looking at ich? <Could be either, both... You've seen ich/Cryptocaryon? We have pix of this on WetWebMedia.com for reference... it is distinctive, raised> LFS does run copper in their water however none of this water made it into my tank. Thoughts would be appreciated. Happy New Year to all! Keith <Keith, do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles, FAQs as far as you'd like (if you haven't already). Do keep your eye on ALL your fish livestock... and start looking about for the means to isolate and treat elsewhere should this be a parasitic infestation. I would NOT panic and move, treat as of yet... maybe try a cleaner shrimp, goby... Bob Fenner>
Re: Foxface Question
For Bob Fenner Will wait, watch, see Foxface and prepare quarantine tank. This guy is out and about, vigorously swimming, clear eyed and munching on my algae. Thanks for a response from the Master himself!!! <Ha!> (hmm skin between your fingers, maybe between your toes but then again spending extensive time on a slowly eroding shield volcano in the middle of the Pacific can do that sort of thing to people). <Be chatting! Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish Concerns I purchased a Foxface 2 weeks ago and placed him in a 10 gallon QT. At the same time I purchased an Indigo Hamlet (although it has never been blue - it is tan and white stripes- anyway the Hamlet is ~2.5" and is peaceful) and placed in the QT. <This tank is really too small to support these two fish for any length of time...> After a few days, I noticed a white patch on his pec fin and on the Hamlets as well. I also saw a small loose "clump" on his other pec fin (may be a parasite of some sort). I treated the QT with CopperSafe. They were both eating and seemed to be getting use to the tank. They have been in the tank for 2 weeks now and in the last 2 days they have both stopped eating and do not look as good. <Do check your water chemistry... likely the ammonia has started to accumulate.> The white patches have gone away (probably ich), but the lose "clump on the Rabbit's fin is still there and the Rabbit's breathing is more rapid now. <"Clump" is likely Lymphocystis and will not be removed with copper or quarantine - is pretty much harmless and not contagious... do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm > Any suggestions as to what the "clump" is and as to what's going on with them? <Read on...> The water parameters (due to the CopperSafe) have been iffy (the nitrites are ~3ppm and nitrates are ~40ppm), but this is with 30% water changes almost every other day. Any thoughts? <Keep changing the water... consider changing larger percentages. Likewise, as it's been two weeks, you might be better off putting both fish through a pH-adjusted freshwater dip and letting them into the display. Any more time in quarantine at this point may do more harm than good. Cheers, J -- >
- Rabbitfish Concerns, Follow-up -
J--, Thanks for your quick response. <My pleasure.> I freshwater dipped the Foxface and placed him in my display tank on Sat. It's been over 24 hrs now, and he looks great, swimming all around and eating again (except for some hazy eyes - I'm treating him with antibiotics through his food). <With some luck, that will pass.> The Hamlet looked worse than the Foxface in the QT, so I did not put him through the dip and was going to keep him in the QT for a few more days, but he died during the night. :( <Oh... sad face indeed, am sorry for your loss. Hamlets don't seem to adjust well to being moved around a lot, so it's often best with these fish to just give them a good dipping and put them directly into the display. Do hope you try one again as these miniature groupers are real lookers.> Would you suggest a cleaner shrimp to help with the Lymphocystis on the Foxface? <Yes, that would help although if you try the Hamlet again, it may eat it for lunch... perhaps a neon goby.> Thanks for your help! Patrice <Cheers, J -- >

Foxface Quarantine Acclimation (10/8/04) Mr. Fenner: <Steve Allen tonight.> I realize you have probably gotten this question a hundred times. <Actually, only 93 ;)> I purchased a Foxface lo <Great fish. Love mine. Very hardy.> and acclimated him to my tank for approx 1 hours, freshwater dipped the fish with a drop of Meth. blue ich treatment and pH balanced water. <Temp needs to be the same too, BTW. And a drop of MB does nothing. Actually, even a large mouth really doesn't do anything for ich. It helps oxygenate the water and calms the fish by darkening it. I usually add enough so that the water is fairly dark, but I can still see the fish.> The fish was active, bright colored, and eating at the LFS. <All good.> I have purchased all of my fish there and have not lost one to ich (knock on wood). <Knock hard. There's always a first time--been there, done that.> I read your forum post on added Foxfaces to your tank without qt due to extra damage of transfer. <There are differences of opinion on this and that may be an older post, as well. The general consensus would be to quarantine. I would consider this vital with any Tang and most Butterflyfishes, but it is strongly advised for most all fish. The hardcore quaranitiners of the crew QT every living thing, including inverts and plants.> The fish has now been in my reef approx 14 hours, lights off, but was out actively swimming checking things out. <Good, for all their venomous spines, Foxfaces are quick to hide and turn ugly colors when frightened.> I purchased a Foxface previously from the store, QT'd for six weeks <4 is plenty> with no signs of disease but the fish passed via powerhead after 3 days in display. <Ouch. I hope you have those protected now. I notice a C-shaped bruise on mine once from an unprotected intake to a canister filter I was polishing the water with. The wound healed fine, and the intake has a basket now.> I am worried I was being too impatient and should have QT'd the fish as I do all my others. <Too late now. Rabbitfishes aren't among those fishes most likely to have/contract/transmit ick, so hopefully everything will be OK. The horse is out of the barn now anyway, there's no going back, is there?> I guess I am just seeking reassurance besides what I read on WetWebMedia. <I'll bet everything will be OK, but no promises.> The fish is in a lightly stocked 75 gallon softy reef with carbon and aqua c remora pro skimmer. Peaceful tankmates. <These fish grow fast and get big--it may get a bit tight in there for him. Mine was under 3" a year ago, now over 6"> Mike Uscio - Thank you <I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Jut keep a watchful eye and act if needed.>

Foxface Is my fox face sick, he seams to eat well and swims ok, but scared and puts up his defense with his fins. At times his eyes seem cloudy. My tank is a reef tank, We have him mixed with 1 yellow tang 2 clown fish 1 blenny scooter 8 gobies 1 cleaner wrasse, and our tank been up for about 5 months and all the other fish seam to be fine and I have them in a 90 gallon tank. <Nora, I believe the fox face flares up due to the yellow tang that is present. Nothing to worry about. As for occasional cloudy eyes, this could be diet. Fox faces do like algae. Have you tried feeding it the freeze dried algae? Also add some vitamins to all the fishes diet such as Selcon or similar. They will all benefit. Do you perform water changes on a regular basis? James (Salty Dog)>

Foxface in trouble!! 9/8/05 I have had a Foxface now for 9 months. It has been doing great!! Just yesterday, I said "what a beautiful fish" as he came close to the glass, as he always does, to let me look at him. This morning, however, he was in the corner doing somersaults and has what appears to be wounds or lacerations on his chin, side and near his dorsal fin. <Not good> I removed him. He did not put up a fight and placed him in the QT. He continues to roll upside down most of the time. I also have 2 ocellaris clowns, a flame hawk, a Banggai cardinal, a lawnmower blenny and a strawberry Pseudochromis in the main 92g tank. Could he have possibly been injured during the night?? I am treating him with saltwater Maracyn II. Any thoughts?? <Strange... the other fishes you list should not have been responsible for this situation... I do agree that the damage most likely was caused by the fish "bumping in the night" (some outside lighting is a good idea...) It's now early evening and he looks more pale around the head region. This Foxface has been a great fish and I hate to lose him. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks! <Is this a tiny specimen? Are your other fishes "acting strange?". Bob Fenner> Re: Foxface in trouble!! 9/9/05 Thanks for answering Bob - unfortunately, the Foxface died last night before I went to bed. :( But I would like to know what it was that killed him, for my knowledge as well as the health of the other fish. <I don't think it's something "catching"... likely resultant from a physical trauma...> He was ~4" (not including tail). The strange thing is, is that he looked great the day before - bright yellow, not hiding and eating great as usual, no visible marks. When I took him out to inspect him after he died: at an angle the "wounds" did not appear to be on the outside - meaning the skin did not look injured exteriorly, but from under the skin - no spots (ich/velvet), no lumps or raised skin. The marks range from 5-8mm in length and are ~2mm in width. The marks are not straight, but have a slight curve to them. Could this be some sort of worm or parasite? <Not likely> Are the other fish in danger? <Doubtful... unless this turns out to be some sort of "mystery predator" in the tank itself... attacking during the night when your fishes are sleeping> The other fish do not show any signs of these marks and are all acting fine. Thanks for your help! Patrice <Bob Fenner>

Foxface Rabbitfish Getting Dark Back 10/21/05 Hi Crew - <Marc> Have you ever seen or herd of a Foxface Rabbitfish's back getting dark? <Yes> The top half of his back on both side is getting darker, but the rest of him is still yellow and vibrant. He seems healthy, eats fine, etc. It is happening when the full lights are on, so it isn't his night colors (2x96 watt CF and 2x175W HQI). He has been in the tank about 2 weeks. Thoughts? Picture attached. <Pic didn't come through... likely "just" stress... if "both sided"... do you have dark/er areas where this fish (and your other livestock likely) can "get out of the light?" Bob Fenner>

Foxface 11/6/05 I've got a Foxface Rabbitfish that is having problems. He can't swim well, and has been seen panting on the sand a few times. <Good observations, bad behavior> He tried to swim but can't do it well and refuses to eat (when he's ALWAYS my biggest eater, although I don't overfeed him). Nitrates/Nitrites/Ammonia is normal at 0 ppm. It's not overcrowded and there's nothing that I would think bother him. The only fish that could is my blue tang and orange shouldered tang, but both are half his size. <... can still be harming this fish psychologically> I also have a pair of banded coral shrimp, a lawnmower blenny, mandarin, a clown and random hermits. It was fine when I left but when I got home 5 minutes ago was acting strange. I did a water change today as I do every 2ish weeks and added the blue shouldered tang, but didn't see it harass it at all. Is there anything I can do for him? <Not enough information proffered here... re the size/shape of the system, its make-up... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm and the Related FAQs linked above. Hopefully others input will prompt you to realize more. Bob Fenner>

Foxface Rabbitfish had an untimely death 1/10/06 Hi guys... I'm so glad to be able to get some questions answered here!! <Will try> I got new carpeting for my house on Friday. This required me to take most of my water and rock out of my 55 gal tank the night before, disconnect my protein skimmer and lights, and my power heads for part of the time. The 3 fish stayed in the tank (clown, goby and Rabbitfish). We moved the tank a few feet away. The carpeting guys made a lot of noise doing their thing. <Necessarily> We moved the aquarium back to it's original location after several hours. All fish looked ok. And then, an hour later, I noticed my Foxface Rabbitfish laying on his side in the corner next to the Diadema sea urchin. He flapped around for awhile, was breathing heavily, got very dark looking, had all of his fins extended, did some more flapping on his side, and then died. Note that earlier in the morning before the house became loud, he looked great and was eating. <Mmm... they (Siganids) are more sensitive to such stressors, and to low oxygen tension... than other fish groups> Is it possible that he was stung by the sea urchin and died? <Unlikely> Or would the stress from all of the changes and noise have caused his death? <Definitely contributing influences> He was a very shy fish and would hide a lot. I had him for about 6 months. At the same time, I had a sick clownfish in QT. I received a response from WWM last week that this fish was probably not treatable and that it was probably just his time. Well, he did die (on the same day as the Rabbitfish). It was a bad fish day. The clownfish's mate is still living in the 55 gal tank and is about 1.5 years old. Is it possible to add 2 more clownfish to this tank? Or is that one clownfish too many? <Likely any more added to this sized/type system will be pestered excessively> Thanks a bunch! RK <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Foxface with a small but growing "thing" on Dorsal fin - 03/11/2006 For 4 to 5 weeks now, I have noticed a small brown coloured "thing" growing on one of the spines of my Foxface. It's getting bigger and looks like it is not part of the fish. Any idea of what it is? Should I physically remove it and if so, I don't want to be pricked with the spine. Thoughts? <Mmm, any chance of a "close-up" photo? Could be a parasite, or endogenous growth, but is much more likely "just" part of the fleshy bit of skin that grows over the spinous portion of fins. I would do nothing with it (another name for Siganids is "spine-foot"... they're painfully venomous...) but wait, see. Do you have cleaner organism/s? Might be good to add one... Bob Fenner>

Newbie Mistakes and Sick Rabbitfish? 2/8/06 I'm a newbie at saltwater and aquariums in general and have learned so much from your site. My husband had a 55 gal saltwater tank a number of years ago, but as far as I can tell, didn't do much right (no quarantine, no water changes, no live rock, no sump or protein skimmer, mixed aggressive with docile fish) and all of his fish lived, so I'm having trouble convincing him of the necessity of such things. <My argument: Look about ourselves... "things" (knowledge, technology...) change> Anyway, we purchased a 125 Oceanic Reef Ready aquarium two months ago with an Oceanic Model 2 Reef Ready sump without the bio-chamber, MagDrive 12 (rated at 1200gph), Coralife Super Skimmer, two Seio Super Flow Pumps rated at 820gph, an AquaLight that's run 8 hours per day <I'd extend to ten, even twelve hours per day> with "night" lights on remainder of the time and 140 pounds of Kaelini live rock. We made our own saltwater using mostly purchased R/O with some distilled and Instant Ocean mix. Because we live in dry Arizona, we have to add water regularly (only R/O), but a couple of weeks ago, our specific gravity was low so we added a few gallons of Real Ocean water that we had purchased at Petco. <I would hold off on mixing natural and synthetic seawater. Not to be mysterious, my reasons are stated on WWM> Our LFS, where we bought our system, also gave us a copy of The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paletta, <A fine work> which I have now read. We did not purchase a test kit or a system for quarantining, nor have we done any water changes (I know, I know, believe me, I know now), but that is now being remedied. We took water samples into our LFS weekly to see how our cycling was going. Two weeks ago, they told us we were ready to add fish. We didn't add any fish, but added two Turbo snails, three Margarita snails, one bumblebee snail and six hermit crabs. All were doing well, but just for "kicks," we took a water sample into another LFS, who told us that ammonia = 0, but that we still had some nitrites and they would wait to add fish and test again in a week or two. We were having a growth of brown algae but were told that was normal and would go away in time. <Yes, most likely> The snails and crabs continued to do well, so this weekend took water samples into both LFS's and both said the levels were OK, so we purchased two very small tank-raised Ocellaris clowns (less than 1" each) and a 3-4" one spot Foxface Rabbitfish. We didn't quarantine the fish (see paragraph one). <You'll learn...> On day 1, they all were doing well exploring the tank under the "night" lights, although the Rabbitfish spent much of the day hiding and turned brown several times. <What they do in such circumstances> On day 2, we fed them 1/3 cube of frozen Emerald food as told by LFS. All came out to eat and ate well. The clowns seemed to find homes on opposite ends of the tank and the Rabbitfish was grazing on algae, although he continued to hide if we came near the tank. On day 3, all still seemed to be well, although we noticed some white crusted spots on our live rock that wasn't there before. Today, day 4, started with a dead margarita snail (which we removed) and more white on the live rock. The clowns were acting normal. The Rabbitfish was hiding behind some of the rock, but was still bright yellow and looking fairly normal. When I got home from work, the clowns and Rabbitfish were all out and all looked OK; however, when we got back from going out to dinner, I found the Rabbitfish lying on its side, behind some rock, turned almost completely brown and he wouldn't come out to eat. I know they turn brown when sleeping or when frightened, but I'm guessing that the laying on the side and not eating are not good signs. The clowns, snails and crabs are still acting normal. Unfortunately, we don't have a test kit and can't get one this late at night. I did check the specific gravity and it's 1.021 and the temperature is 77. I will be remedying the lack of a test kit and the quarantine tomorrow, but is there anything else I should be doing? I don't want to lose any more fish. Thanks so much for your help. Your FAQ's have been a treasure for a newbie like me. <Not much to do, or that I would do at this point... watch, hope that this Siganid "decides to live" in this setting... They do "lay down", turn dark... for a few reasons... there may well be "nothing wrong" here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Newbie Mistakes and Sick Rabbitfish? 2/9/06 Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, the rabbitfish was dead the next morning. I did get a test kit and take a water sample into LFS and the water checks out with Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.05 with home test (LFS showed 0), Nitrate 50, <... this is high> pH 8.4, temp 77, and SG 1.021 , which LFS says shouldn't have caused the death. LFS has given us a credit for the cost of the fish, but I'm nervous about adding another fish right now, so it's just sitting on a gift card, and I'm just happy that my little clowns, snails and crabs are doing OK. <Mmm, I do encourage you to raise/keep your seawater at near natural strength. A spg of 1.025 will be better for all. Read on WWM re nitrate, means to lower. Bob Fenner>

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