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FAQs about Dottybacks, Family Pseudochromidae Disease/Health

Related Articles: Dottybacks

Related FAQs:  Pseudochromids 1, Pseudochromids 2, Dottyback Identification, Dottyback Behavior, Dottyback Compatibility, Dottyback Selection, Dottyback Systems, Dottyback Feeding, Dottyback Reproduction,

Congrogadus... bloated.

Question regarding sick neon Dottyback
<Hi Maria>
My name is Maria and I am writing from Chile. I was really hoping you could help me out with my Dottyback. I know sending pictures is not ideal (Im a doctor myself, so I really do understand), however any input would be very much appreciated.
I have a Boyu TL 550 (128 litres) that is about one year old. My newest arrival was the neon Dottyback about 2 weeks ago (I purchased him at
another local fish store, different from the one I got all my other specimens). He acclimated very well, the first two days my ocellaris and damselfish attacked him a little, but it resolved.
<Mmm; the unpaired fins, esp. the dorsal, are badly maligned>

He was thriving, eating flakes (GVG mix), and doing well. I changed the lighting of the Boyu
> aquarium to an HD Prime yesterday, so when I saw some subtle white spots I thought it was because of the lighting. Today, however, he was been hiding on a groove for the entire day and has refused to eat (he is usually a voracious eater).
> Upon further inspection, I have noticed some white spots that look very similar to the picture that was posted of an orchid Dottyback on 4/12/16 (however, mine are more subtle). I am attaching the best photo that I could
> take. I read that in the case of the orchid Dottyback they gave him ´´Dr G´s anti-parasitic food´´; I would anticipate that I´m not going to find this in my country.
<One can make this... it's dried food laced/mixed with Metronidazole and Praziquantel I believe>
I´ve been having some problems with my salinity, as it is very hot and have had a lot of evaporation. This morning it was 1.032: after a water change it is now 1.030 (I don´t want to lower it more quickly, as I presume it has been high for some weeks now). Other than that, everyone else is doing fine. I also have a lawnmower blenny, neon goby, sixline wrasse, yellow watchman, yellowtail damsel and 2 ocellaris. They all seem fine. I know that there are many stressors going on in my aquarium at this moment (changing the lighting, salinity problems), however this seems to be affecting mostly the Dottyback and I am concerned about an infectious cause for his spots and whether this could affect the rest of my livestock or be
Thank you so much for your time and for a great website!
<Pseudochromids are by and large very tough; able to bounce back/recover from traumas, less-than ideal conditions. Going w/o food for a few days is not a problem either. I would continue lowering the spg a thousandth or two per day (to about 1.025) and offering foods to all that have been soaked in vitamins and HUFAs. Bob Fenner>
-- Dra. M. Ignacia Eugenin

and the BGA...

Re: Question regarding sick neon Dottyback     4/5/17
Thank you Bob for your input.
<Welcome Maria>
I had some follow up questions.
<Go ahead>
You said that <Mmm; the unpaired fins, esp. the dorsal, are badly maligned>
Is this something that the Dottyback had from the beginning? Could it be a sign of a particular disease?
<Not likely... but chewing in this case... You don't mention the other fishes present having issues; and if this were degeneration from some other cause, pathogenic or not; the other fishes would be similarly malaffected>
I was reading up regarding treatment options, and so far what I found (and what I presume I can make here in Chile) is this (hopefully you can tell me if you agree or not).
-Praziquantel I can get in tablets of 500 mg.
I read you could dose it as 5 mg/L, so for my 128 lt aquarium it would be 640 mg (roughly 1.5 tablets).
However, I have a Featherduster worm, so I don't think this is a good idea.
I could not find any references as to adding it their food, other than 20-150 mg/kg PO (and I really couldn't find how much a Dottyback weighs or eats...)
<Agreed; I would NOT use this here>
-Metronidazole I can get in tablets of 500 mg
I red you could dose it in 250 mg/20 gallons, so for my 128 aquarium it would be about 2 tablets
Every 48 hours, for 3-5 times. Water change of 50-75% before the next dose.
<Nor this really. The issue w/ this fish is not likely "biological"; neither infectious, nor parasitic. It will likely come out in time and self-cure in this setting>
I also read you could dose it as 100 mg/kg PO (in their food). Again, can´t figure out how to dose it.
<I would NOT use this either>
Many of the preparations that are already available (aka Dg Gs..) just say active ingredient Metronidazole; couldn't find and exact concentration.
<Is quite dilute>
Do you have a specific recommendation or dosage? Considering the presentations available here?
I was also recommended to give them garlic in their food. What do you think about this?
<Mmm; am not a fan of Allium for aquarium use. Better in sauces and soups>
Thank you once again for all your help and your prompt reply
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Orchid Dottyback        4/12/16
Hello, I have an orchid Dottyback that has white/grayish patches, she has had them for several weeks.
<I see these in your pix...>

Lately she is looking very thin (although she is eating well) and I have noticed that she has stringy white poop. I have only seen her scratch a couple of times over several weeks. I did a treatment of Dr. Gs anti-parasitic food (for a week)
<I see this: http://www.drgsmarineaquaculture.com/frozen-antiparasitic-detail.cfm
is CP... you might well want to try a formalin dip here>
followed by 10 days of Dr. Gs anti-bacterial food per someone's recommendation. I have not seen any improvement, in fact I think she looks a bit worse. She is still very active and eats a lot but I am afraid I'm going to lose her if I don't figure this out (I lost one who showed these same symptoms a few months ago). I have PraziPro, would this be a good idea to try?
<Yes; after the dip.... both should remedy monogenes... flukes. The formalin will cure much else... as long as you pay careful attention to dosage and exposure. DO READ on WWM Re>
My ammonia and nitrites are zero, ph about 8.0 and nitrates 20. She is in a 90 gallon mixed reef with a yellow tang, flame angel, maroon clown, Bluefin Chromis, and a melanarus wrasse.....all of them seem fine, and I don't see any
signs of aggression. I have had everyone else for a minimum of a year, Dottyback is the newest (4-6 weeks now). Thank you in advance for your help, I really appreciate it!
<I so wish that folks lived closer; there was more opportunity for instruction in disease prevention, ID... sampling and microscope use here. Guessing from photographs is very unsatisfying... and by the time we go back/forth, the animals are too weakened or have perished. Bob Fenner>

Re: Orchid Dottyback       4/12/16
Thank you so much for the quick reply, I have no doubt that diagnosis from a picture is very unsatisfying! I am having trouble finding the formalin,
<May have to be ordered from the Net... DO try checking w/ your local fish stores. Almost all use it themselves...>
but will keep trying. Should I do PraziPro in the meantime and continue the Dr. Gs anti-parasitic food? Thanks again.
<I'd skip the CP for now... won't treat for worm complaints. But do use the Prazi. BobF>

Purple Dottyback Darken Stomach      11/18/14
Hello WetWebMedia,
<Hey Brent>
My question is concerning a Purple Dottyback (Pseudochromis porphyreus) we have recently introduced to our DT. We have noticed his stomach area is darkening.
<I see this in your pix>
It definitely wasn’t this dark when we got him and we’ve noticed the darkening over the last few days. He seems to be swimming around and eating normally, but this quick darkening had me a little concerned. I have attached some photos that I hope may help.
<Yes; thank you>
Does this look normal to you?
<It is normal... in that I've seen such darkening in other specimens... and it's transient; goes with time>
Would you be concerned for disease or parasites?
<No; I would not>
Would you recommend any action at this point?
<I would not do anything at all>
I appreciate any insight you may provide. As always, thanks for the incredible service your team provides.
Brent Wells
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>

Bacterial infection on sunrise dotty?    11/23/11
Hi bob!
Two weeks ago I got a sunrise Dottyback and its in quarantine right now with a few other fishes.
<Mmm, what species? Looks like something has bitten your Pseudochromid>
A couple of days ago, i noticed a weird lesion near its tail so i separated it from the rest and its now in its own container and i began treating for bacterial infection with furan 2 after reading up on what it could be on wwm. I thought it was most likely a bacterial infection of some sort.
<Resultant from an injury, break in skin... from somewhere>
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be helping and as you can see from the pic, its like someone took a bite from his tail area and there's now an open wound. I've been following the instructions on the furan box and since it hasn't been working, I've been thinking of switching to erythromycin. He's still pretty active but his appetite isn't like it used to be.
What should i do? I moved him to a smaller container in the pic so i could take a clearer photo and the dirt you see at the sides are the flakes i tried to feed him.
<Try to keep this fish in a suitable, stable setting (with habitat, even just plastic pipe to hide in) and optimized water quality. Bob Fenner> 


Re: Bacterial infection on sunrise dotty?   11/23/11
Hi Bob,
Its actually a sunrise Dottyback. Yeah that could be the case, it was in a 50g QT with 2 other sunrise Dottybacks
<Uh... they don't get along>
but the other two seem totally fine and this one is actually the biggest one. The skin wasn't like this at first, it was like a lesion that exploded and is now continually rotting away or something. Im not sure how else to
describe it.
<You just have>
Should i continue treatment with Antibacterials?
<I wouldn't... see my opinions/reflections re the use of such poured into marine systems. Largely a waste of time/resources... more often more destructive than no treatment/s whatsoever. B>
Re: Bacterial infection on sunrise dotty?   11/24/11
Alright thanks bob! Ill do a water change and run carbon on his tank ASAP!
I hope he recovers!
<Me too>
Thanks again for all the advice!
<What we do. Cheers, B>

Orchid Dottyback Sick   1/7/10
Howdy. I have a sick orchid Dottyback and has been this way for about three weeks. The fish was healthy, active and a voracious eater. Then one day, I found her listless and hiding in a hole (that I could observe form the top of the tank). Sometimes she would be upside and other times on her side.
This went on for a few days and then my family went out of town for two days. Upon our return, she was stuck to the overflow with grayish circle about 1/8" diameter toward her tail fin. Getting her unstuck didn't help as she just tumbled in the current. I moved her from my display tank (where there are strong currents) to a 5.5gal that has liverock, a few snails, and an airstone (it has been setup for a month prior).
This was on 12/20/09.
Today is 1/6/10. Since then, the Dottyback has gone from solely moving her pectoral fins and bobbing at the surface to laying on her side in an upside-down U-shape at the surface. She can pop herself deeper when I come to feed her, and I have observed waste hanging from her, so I know she eats some. (I've been soaking a mixture of food in Garlic Xtreme as per the advise of my local reef club.) However, she has been in this state with little to no improvement for about 7-10 days--mostly in that U-bend at the surface or hiding vertically behind the heater).
Should I be doing anything else? Any odds on the likelihood of recovery?
<I would not do anything else... and there is some chance of recovery. I suspect this fish "ate something"... toxic, otherwise trouble... growing in your main system>
I believe it happened as a result of salinity swings (or new salt). I acclimated several new coral additions without turning off my ATO, so when I was taking salt out of the system (by slowly adding it to the many livestock bags I had floated), the water was being replaced by RO. The SG dropped to 1.022, but I didn't notice for a few days until I did my weekly param check.
<This isn't a big deal, I assure you>
I mixed up a new batch of saltwater (using a new salt--Tropic Marin Pro reef) and raised the salinity back to 1.025 relatively quickly.
<Not a problem>
Thanks for providing this resource.
<Only time can/will tell here. I hope your Pseudochromid resolves. Bob Fenner>  

Dottyback Health, 12/30/08 Hi.. <Hello> I currently have a 55 gallon tank, all levels are OK. <Numbers please, ok is subjective.> Currently I have in the tank: 1 Pair Maroon Clown hosting in a bubble tip anemone 1 Coral Beauty 1 Blue Damsel 1 Royal Dottyback 1 Torch Coral Various other corals <Lots of aggressive fish here, along with potential problems combining anemones and corals.> I have had the Dottyback for over 2 years now, he is now about 6 cm and appears to be in perfect health, however his coloring has faded to a dull yellow and pink instead of the original purple colour. We feed him frozen brine, spectrum pellets, live brine and frozen mysis, and frozen marine green too...so they are fed a varied diet. What is the reason for the coloring of the Dottyback fading, is it because of age or another factor? Thanks for your help, Albany <Most likely other factors, 2 years is not very old for most fish. Sometimes it is as simple as the background color being more conducive to bland colors. Might also be being bullied by the other fish and stressed, resulting in color loss. His diet seems good, although I personally would probably not even both with the brine they are so nutritionally worthless. Also there are always the possibility of water quality issues.> <Chris>

Dottyback  -- 11/15/06 Hi < Greetings -- Emerson with you today. > I have a 29 gallon tank which has one Amphiprion ocellaris, Gobiodon okinawae, and a Pseudochromis fridmani, and a cleaner shrimp and some turbo snails and 2 red legged hermit crabs.  My Pseudochromis fridmani does not look good he has some white spots near his head, but is not scratching.  He has some white scraps on him where he is missing scales.  He is also breathing rapidly but when he sees me looking he goes back into his rock cave.  My ammonia is 0, ph 8.0 (a little low I know I am trying to buffer it up), nitrate and nitrites are 0 also.   < Have you ruled out other stress factors like alkalinity, temp swings, kids tapping on the glass etc? > There has been no aggression from what I can tell amongst the three fish.  Should I move it to quarantine?  Please advise.  I have read Wet Web Media FAQ's about Dottybacks, but do not know what to do. < I would suggest searching for images relating to ich and other marine parasites. The white spots and rapid breathing suggest a parasite, but this alone is not enough to dictate treatment for one. > P.S. I can set up a quarantine if need be have one on stand by and I have had this Dottyback for around 9 months now so I am really close to him! < Hooray for quarantine! To stay on the safe side I would suggest getting the QT up and running. You did not mention feeding habits, and this is often a huge factor in the 'when to QT' decision. If your Pseudo's signs get any worse or you notice a difference in feeding habits then please move to QT. As far as treatment goes you will need to research the signs observed and choose a treatment plan accordingly. > Thank you so much < Best wishes to you and your fishes! >

Mauled Dottyback - 26/4/06 Hi everybody! <Hi Sam!> This is Sam from India <You've got John from China today.> Today morning when I was checking out my tank all fishes were fine. But my favorite fish the Diadema Dottyback was not so well, it looked like it could not swim and is struggling to change its place. So I took my probe stick, as usually it should move when the stick is taken near it. But it did not move much but was struggling to move, there is some problem I thought! Then I moved it with my stick and to my horror its entire stomach was eaten away! As it was struggling too much, I thought there is no chance of recovery so I just put it in the freezer and had to euthanize it. Was this right? <Oh! That sounds horrible! I think you made the correct decision to euthanize the fish and spare it from its slow demise. However, opinion varies on whether freezing is the most humane method. clove oil anesthetization - or even a whack on the head - are likely quicker and less painful for the fish. But this is a moot point - you should be proud that you did the best you could.> What could have caused it? In my tank I have a Yellow-tail Damsel, a Blue Devil, a pair of Allardi Clownfish, and a few Nerite snails. The Dottyback was the oldest dude, and no one messed with it! <unless it was very sick/weak already, I don't know what could have happened here.> The tank is full of live rock; could some thing be hidden in it? <Could have: have you added any live rock recently? Loud clicking/tapping noises at night would be a tell-tale sign of a mantis shrimp.> And the best part is that it was not dead and then eaten, but was alive when eaten! <Poor fish.> No other fish was interested in checking him out! It just happened 10 minutes ago, so still a bit sad. <Understandable. Do keep an eye out for unwanted hitchhikers if you have recently added live rock. Other things to think about are sharp objects - or perhaps falling rocks - in the tank. Maybe an exposed powerhead impeller? Or, if the fish fell ill beforehand, then look into water parameters.> Anyways, see if u can answer this! Thanks, Sam <I hope you get to the bottom of it! Best regards, John.>  

Wolf Eel and Goiter  12/26/05 I have a green wolf eel (Dottyback/blenny what ever the want to call it now) which has recently developed a bloated, oversized abdomen. I have had him for about 5 months now and he has been healthy. I feed him frozen silversides and frozen muscles every other day. He lives with only a spotted puffer. I have been trying to find information on what exactly causes this kind of condition, but I have found no answers. If you could help me figure this out I would appreciate it. Thanks! <Hi Matt, first off these are very nice photos, excluding the fact you have an ill animal.  As far as your wolf ell goes, he appears to be suffering from some sort of goiter condition; judging from the area that the bloating is occurring. I would begin soaking his foods in some type iodine solution, such as Lugol's.> Matt Merrill <Adam J.> P.S. attached are pictures of the eel
<Yes they were very helpful.>

Pseudochromid health 7/13/05 Hello!  Remember me?  I've got the green wolf eel that I believe to have the bump to the eye.  Well, I've added the Epsom Salt and the swelling went down, but the blueness to the eye (it's like a blue film covering the eye) never went away. and worst, it spread to the other eye.  Now the eel also has a large blue spot on it's body as well, and on the fin.  It's a bright neon color blue.  She's still refusing to eat anything.  she seems to have trouble breathing in the early morning, but by the afternoon, she isn't breathing as hard.  She's very, I guess, lethargic or something.  She hardly moves anymore, and she used to swim right up to the top of the tank to meet my fingers when I drop food into her tank. I honestly don't know what's wrong with her and neither do the people working at the three fish stores I've taken her to.  Please help.  I don't want my poor baby to die. thank you for all your help. <Can't tell anything more, different from what you've described here. Would add vitamins to the water, keep offering varied meaty foods. Bob Fenner>

Wounded Purple Pseudochromis I've got a Purple Pseudochromis that looks as though he's got a scrape on his side, at first I thought it was an outbreak of ICH! But as I continue to observe him it looks as though he's just been scraped up on one side and is missing a few scales giving the appearance of a white discoloration.  Would you recommend I add a stress coat of any kind or just let nature take its course and let him heal up on his own, while keeping a close eye on him? I'd rather not add anything or change the makeup of my water in any way. TIA Kevin >>Hi Kevin.  Well, Pseudo's being the scrappy sort they are, it's not terribly uncommon to see scrapes.  What would really help make my answer more definitive would be other information, more specifically water parameters, tankmates, and the behavior of the animal in question. I will assume you have good water parameters, no predatory fishes, and that he's feeding and otherwise behaving normally.  If this is the case, I would not get him into a hospital tank but would instead help him through the healing process--if you don't already, offer him good meaty foods (in small bits, of course), Mysis shrimps, and a quality frozen food (best bet, here) soaked in a good Vitamin solution (Selcon is good).  Really stay on top of water quality, and watch others for aggression, they'll know if he's injured and that could induce even more aggressive behavior. If you have other problems that we should be aware of, please let us know and we'll work through it together as best we can.
Re: Wounded Purple Pseudochromis
Perfect timing I'm feeding them right now :D, I do have some Life Line krill in my bag of tricks here, he was quick enough to grab a large piece and disappear into the LR would that be good for him >>Well, I do say that timing is everything. LOL!  If he's that hungry, he should heal up right quick.  Glad to hear it. Marina
Re: Wounded Purple Pseudochromis
thanks for the reply :D "I will assume you have good water parameters, no predatory fishes, and that he's feeding and otherwise behaving normally" Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0 and pH 8.2.  Other fish include a pair of tank raised Percula clowns, Flame Angel.  All fish seem to be very communal they all swim around and by each other without nipping or any signs or territoriality to my current observation.  I am feeding them Life Line Green and some Brine shrimp once in a while.  I soak the Life Line in ZOE before feeding.  He seems alert/active and is eating like a swine. >>Sounds very good, I would nix the Nauplii and go with Mysids of some sort, instead.  There's no reason why the pseudo shouldn't heal up within a couple of weeks.  Just keep observation, and if you note any negative changes contact us ASAP. Marina

Dottyback with abdominal bulge >Hello, >>Greetings. >Your site's great -- I use it all the time -- thanks. I have a question I hope you can answer.  I recently acquired a Neon Dottyback, who's been behaving fine, eating well, and getting along well with all the other tankmates (a couple clownfish, a Picasso trigger, and a yellow tang).  This morning, however, I noticed a sizable bulge in what I think is its abdomen (pretty close behind the head).  Unfortunately, I don't have a digital camera on hand. What do you think this might be?   >>Very hard to say without seeing the fish itself.  Even then, it can be difficult to surmise without either waiting or performing a dissection (if a pathogen is suspected). >I found a similar-looking picture online:   http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-02/hcs3/images/orchid%20dottyback%20female.jpg   >Could it be eggs?   >>It could be, though I'm not familiar with the breeding of Dottybacks. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reproduc.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm http://www.reefs.org/library/talklog/m_moe_102002.htm http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/apr2002/breeder.htm >>Hopefully these links can help you. >If so, is there anything I should do/expect?  I also saw a reference on the FAQ for your page to some kind of worm Dottybacks can contract -- how likely is it that that's what I'm looking at? >>Again, I couldn't venture a guess as to how likely or unlikely it is, but please read these links.  My advice is this, if the bulge appears to be misshapen, malformed, or otherwise odd, then I would suspect it to be a pathological symptom.  If not, and the fish continues to behave, eat, and swim normally, then I would just observe. >If so, what should I do?  He's still behaving normally, as far as I can tell, and eating.  Thanks very much in advance--Ben >>Read all of the above, and also do a general Google search, as well as any other search engines you prefer (I like Google and Dogpile, myself).  Good luck!  Marina

- Fish Problems - Hi, My Royal Dottyback has been very reclusive over the last week or so, and today did not come out to eat. When I saw it a few hours ago it had a stringy white thing that looked just like a piece of white cotton, about 1 1/2 inches long hanging out of its anus (think that's the right word). Just seen it again and it still has this thing hanging out. <Sounds like feces but could also be Lymphocystis.> Is this something I should be concerned about? <Hmm... not entirely. Is worth keeping an eye one, but probably not yet worth more drastic measures like quarantine and medication.> Also, don't know if this is related, but I did a Salifert flatworm treatment last week which the Dottyback did not like very much, and it has been off sorts ever since. <Sounds related to me - not at all sure what's in the flatworm treatment, but would suspect this.> The treatment did not seem detrimental to anything else though. Except the flatworms that is! <And your Dottyback it would seem.> <Cheers, J -- >

Watch And Wait! Hi guys, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I purchased an Orchid Dottyback yesterday. Because of the LFS' tank setup, the two Orchid Dottybacks they had were constantly able to slip through cracks and get into the same cubicles as each other. Obviously they had been fighting, since one of them had a pop-eye. The one I purchased doesn't have a pop-eye, but he has some minor fin damage and a white scaly looking area around one of his eyes and on that side of his face, which I didn't notice until today. It's that scaly area I'm concerned about. It is probably an injury, or could it be some kind of parasitic disease? <Hard to say, without seeing a picture.> I've got him in a quarantine tank with water from my main tank in it. He seems pretty active and curious, but I'm wondering if I should put some antibiotic or some kind of anti-ich treatment in there as a precaution. <I'd maintain very clean water conditions and a stable environment first, before resorting to medication. If you cannot positively ID what you are dealing with, don't use a medication. Observation is sometimes better than quick, but inappropriate reactions> Also, if I need to, is it possible to combine both treatments in the same tank? Thanks for such a great site! Jarin <I'd avoid potentially stressful or lethal combinations of medications. First, find out what it is that you're dealing with, then take appropriate actions. In this case, I'd opt for the aforementioned stable conditions and continued observation. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

How The Dottyback Got His Groove Back! Hi Scott - thank you so much again for your saltwater world wisdom!  My Dotty is now looking very well and there are almost no visible signs of the worm (don't want to jinx myself though). <Cool- keep hanging in there! Don't give up on this little guy!> His tail fin is still a bit frayed from the stress but he is out and about like he used to be when I first got him and eating very well (not hiding at all anymore).   I think (hope) that he will be fine although I will continue VERY close observation and maintaining high water quality (as one should). <Awesome!> I will continue to read the Q&A's that are posted every day as they are very helpful and informative. <I learn something new every day!> And if he shows signs of getting the worm again I will definitely try the medicated food route.  Also, my freshwater friend has an extra 10 gallon that she is willing to give me (it's currently empty) so that I can start my quarantine tank - just one more question or two... if you don't mind... what would be the minimum but the best route for setting up a quarantine tank?  How much filtration would I need? <Funny you should ask! Being a huge fan of quarantine, I wrote a brief article on the subject that's on the WWM site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm   Hopefully, this will answer most of your questions regarding the setup and use of quarantine tanks. Just shoot another email if there are some things that aren't clear after reading the article- I'll be glad to help you further!> How well should I wash the tank out (as some of her freshwater fishes may have had ich in the past)? <I'd use lots of hot water, MAYBE a SMALL amount of Clorox in the water. Fill it up again, rinse it. Scrub it with a sponge. Fill it again, and add some commercial dechlorinator product to the water to help remove any residual Clorox. Let it sit, then drain it again. Rinse it one more time. Whew! Overly paranoid- yes- but really give it a good cleaning. It's unlikely that pathogens would withstand extended desiccation, but who knows?> What should I watch out for in converting this to my quarantine tank? <Just make sure that you maintain high quality water conditions with frequent small water changes. Don't overfeed...just good common sense (which you have plenty of, I can tell!)> Is 10 gallons enough? <For most fishes, yes. Larger fishes would usually fare better in say, a 20 gallon tank> My dream is to have a Power Blue Tang in my tank someday - is a 10 gallon enough to sustain it for 4 weeks? <Well, depending on the size, possibly. I'd opt for a larger tank for this fish...They are widely regarded as a bit challenging, and only half-jokingly referred to as "Powder Blue Ich Magnets" by hobbyists. Do research this fishes needs and prepare a suitable environment for them, and I know that you'll be successful with them!> Thank you again (and to Bob) for this wonderful website!!  It's a life/fish saver!!! I will keep you posted on the update of my little Dotty! Christy <Thanks for the "props"! It's as much fun to chat with fellow hobbyists about heir tanks as it is to mess around with my own tanks! Do keep us updated about this little guy!> PS - I named him Purple Rain (Giggle) <Gotta love that! Glad it's not "The Fish Formerly Known As The Purple Dottyback", or, just "The Fish", or...LOL>

Standing By A Sick Fish.. Scott!  Thank you so much for your advice!!  You are so helpful and quick!!! <I'm glad that we could be of service!> I am recommending this site to all of my "fish friends"! <We really appreciate hearing that! Thanks!> I also called my fish store and they advised me that this worm would probably "cycle" itself out in time and not do any real damage to the Dotty? <Well, it's really hard to say whether it will do this or not...and when...Could even be after it has done serious damage to the fish. Your guess is as good as mine, unfortunately> They explained that it will come out of the dotty and (as I don't have any sort of live rock or anything else in the tank) it will not find the necessary host for the next stage in it's life and will die. <Well, I agree with the fact that it may emerge from the fish at some point...> They recommended that I wait and watch the fish rather than capture it and put it through stress trying to medicate it and such. <Not a bad idea, as long as the fish doesn't appear to be suffering. I'd try the medicated food route first before moving the fish, as discussed previously.> He was quite flabbergasted when I told him the Dotty had a worm and has guaranteed a replacement fish for free!  But I wanted to check with you to see if that would be the best route to take at this point? <Sounds like a dependable dealer! But don't give up on this Dottyback...I'd try to monitor and/or treat the fish before trading him back for an uncertain fate at the dealer...> Note - the Dotty is doing quite well, swimming and eating as normal, although I can still see the worm inside his lower abdomen.  I don't want to put undo stress on the fish but I don't want him to die as I've become rather attached to the little fellow....Christy <I'm glad that you're not giving up on this guy, yet! Do try the medicated food and see if that helps. keep feeding him, and providing the best possible water conditions. I'll bet he'll pull through! Keep me posted! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Wound or Parasite? Just a quick question here.  I have a new Bi-Color Pseudochromis in my system.  She's been fine the first 4 days in my system, but now has a small chunk of tail fin missing (maybe 1/3... yet the fin base is intact).  The fin tear looks recoverable as I hear they are fast regenerators?<Most fish will grow that part of their fin back quickly.>  At the top of the tail on both sides of tail there is a small red blotch mark.  I am not too familiar with diseases/parasites... but I hear these Pseudochromis are pretty resistant.  Given the new tail fin tear would you think this is a small wound?   The fish is still actively feeding and has normal behavior from what I can see. If it is a wound from a scrap, I would suspect my pistol shrimp??  Anything to worry about?  How does one differentiate a wound from a parasite/disease? 90 gallon saltwater with 90lbs live rock. Pistol shrimp Coral Banded shrimp 2 Percula Clowns Yellow Watchman Goby Algae Blenny <Hello, I think that by the description that you gave there is something picking on the fish.  With the list of fish and inverts that you submitted I would suspect the pistol shrimp in this case.  Try and put the fish in a quarantine tank or remove the shrimp.  Good Luck.  MikeB.>

Ich Again? 12/29/04 A few troubles that concerns me is the fact that one of my orchid Dottybacks will not eat too much. Perhaps he isn't interested in brine shrimp, or the fact that he is still kind of small. <hmmm... do resist using adult brine shrimp... even baby brine is not that dense. Better still consider Cyclop-eeze or minced krill... Pacifica plankton or Mysid shrimps. All are more nutritious than brine shrimp> He eats about 5 brine shrimp, but it seems awfully little when compared to how much the pair of orchid Dottyback eats in the larger tank. Will orchid Dottybacks accept pellets? <yes, most Pseudochromids are quite amenable to prepared foods> Also, I've noticed some rubbing against rocks from the sunrise Dottybacks and the orchid ( only 1 of them)? Could it be the side effects after eating a Bristleworm? <Ooooh... not likely - either water quality or impending parasite infection> If it was ich, wouldn't my purple tang be the first be infected or the angel? <not necessarily... each fish has different tolerances and immunities (the tang less so if it had it once before)> And what is the main difference between a fire worm and a bristle worm? <Fireworms have some/more venom with the setae/bristles. They are fairly uncommon too... most people only see common bristleworms> Thanks a million, Best Regards... Alan <rock on my salty brother. Anthony>

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