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FAQs about Hawkfish Disease/Health

Related Articles: Hawkfishes, Hawkfishes of the Cook Islands,

Related FAQs: Hawkfishes 1, Hawkfishes 2, Hawkfish Identification, Hawkfish Selection, Hawkfish Behavior, Hawkfish Compatibility, Hawkfish Systems, Hawkfish, Feeding,

Longnose Hawkfish injury   2/26/19
Good afternoon --
<Hey Vince>
I was looking at your site and found a great deal of valuable information.
I am having some trouble with my Longnose Hawkfish and was wondering if you had any advice.
<Let's see>
About 3 days ago I looked in my tank (95 gal FOWLR) in the morning and noticed that my Longnose Hawkfish had what appears to be a bad bruise on its upper jaw -- it's red and swollen, but not bleeding nor does there appear to be an open wound. Its mouth also is staying open slightly and doesn't appear to be able to close. The same morning, I noticed that my Foxface had some damage to the rear of his dorsal fin and a bruise where the fin meets the back.
<Mmm; well, Rabbitfishes can easily injure other fishes... have seen them "challenging"; raising spines, tilting head down toward others. REALLY painful (even possibly venomous) to be stuck by them... The family, Siganidae is AKA the "Spinefoots">
I've never noticed these two fish skirmishing before, so I don't know if they got into a battle overnight, or if this was a mere coincidence.
<Could be... either>
Of possible relevance is that the preceding evening, I had done one of my regular partial weekly water changes of 22 gal. This never seemed to cause any change in behavior in the tank before. The water
quality was fine and not seemingly any issue. All my water parameters are well within normal range
The Foxface is doing fine and his fin, although a bit ragged at the end, looks to be healing. So my concern is for my beloved Longnose Hawkfish.
He (or she) ate a little that first morning -- with some difficulty, and ate even less during the evening feeding. For the past 2 days, the fish tries to eat, but doesn't appear to be able to open its mouth to get the food. I've tried putting some small brine shrimp in front of it, and it tries to get it in, but just can't open its mouth any more. I've moved the fish to my 10 Gal QT tank -- a difficult feat catching it in a big tank -
for observation and to try to let it heal.
<Mmm; do try to be patient. Hawkfishes are very tough, capable of notable regeneration. The fact that yours is feeding is very good news>
I suspect one of two things occurred the other night -- 1) the Longnose Hawkfish and Foxface did get into a fight and the Hawkfish got some venom from the Foxface's dorsal fin, or 2) as previously mentioned the two fishes injuries are coincidental and the Longnose Hawkfish injured its jaw on a
rock or the tank by darting around. I'm no vet, so I can't tell if the upper jaw is broken or not. But I can tell the fish is not able to open its mouth and eat regularly.
All my water parameters remain within normal range in the display and QT tank.
Can anyone give any advice on how to help this fish and what else I should be looking out for? I certainly don't want to let it starve to death, but I've only euthanized a fish when it was obviously on death's door due to disease.
Your guidance would be greatly appreciated.
<Really just waiting, watching. No treatment, or movement... Bob Fenner>
Re: Longnose Hawkfish injury

Thank you for the words of wisdom. I do hope he is able to heal. He's a wonderful addition to the tank. It's the fourth one I've had over the years and love keeping them. I never saw one injured like this before.
<I've encountered many injured Oxycirrhites over the years... in good conditions (water quality, nutrition), they are fast healers. BobF>

Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.     11/12/18
I recently noticed my healthy flame Hawkfish has developed what appears to be a white fuzzy substance on his pectoral fins. Am I looking at a fungal infection?
<Very doubtful... such are rare on marine fishes (unless dead, dying) and cirrhitids are very tough, resistant to such>
How should I approach this. He is behaving perfectly fine. I apologize for the quality of the pics.
<Something either to do w/ getting stung here or being chewed by a tankmate likely. I'd be observing this fish, system carefully. If you write again, do include a list of organisms present please. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.    11/12/18
<Ave John!>
Thank you for the prompt response! Upon further examination it almost has cotton-like quality to it. I can see a “strand” or two hanging off.
<Mmm; could be a few things; best guess simply (body) mucus trailing the irritation>
As for tankmates, he is in with a Melanurus wrasse, Sixline wrasse,
<Most likely bully>
2 Percula clowns, a Blue/Green Chromis, a Bartlett Anthias and a large rose bubble nem.
<And if this is the sole Cnidarian here, the prime candidate for stinging>
I had wondered if what I am seeing was fish squabble related or from a sting but it looks so… strange. He is 2nd in charge of the tank under the Melanurus who pays him no mind whatsoever. Last thoughts?
<Again, not likely biological in origin... I would do nothing treatment wise; just simple optimized stable conditions (water quality, nutrition)... should see this fish improving>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Hawkfish with "fuzz" on fins.    11/12/18

Is a parasite possible? It definitely resembles no parasite I’ve experienced.
<... possible? Yes; probable, no. Please READ on WWM re such... need sampling, microscopic examination to af/con-firm. B>

Good morning....flame Hawkfish has a lump just before his tail what could this be?      6/17/18
<Mmm; a cyst, tumor... bacterial, cancerous? Do you have a good pic of a few hundred Kbyte size?
Bob Fenner>

Re: Flame Hawkfish, bump      6/21/18
<... six megs... nonsense. >
This appears to be a growth response to a physical injury. Good care, use of HUFAs, vitamin soaking foods, water quality minding... is a/the path to resolution. BobF>
Re:       6/21/18

Thank you

Gray/black spot on yellow Hawkfish, Paracirrhites xanthus     6/11/16
<Nine megs of pix.>
Hey crew,
Been a long time since I've emailed in a question, but I need some advice now.
Two weeks ago I bought this beautiful Tahitian Yellow Hawkfish, from Diver's Den.
I've learned my lesson over the years, and it's in a quarantine tank despite being from DD. At 1.024, since I also have some corals in there, but easy to take them out.
A few days ago, I noticed a black or gray spot, or what actually looks like a splinter forming on his right side up near his eye. I've no idea what this could be, and doesn't match anything I've studied. The spot started small and has grown larger in the last few days. It's definitely got some three dimensionality to it. Nevertheless, the Hawkfish is eating mysis like a pig and appears content, despite the small quarters of his quarantine tank.
Any advice on what this spot may be and what to do next?
<I'd summarily pH adjusted FW dip/bath this fish per the SOP on WWM and move it to the main/display. The issue here is almost certainly environmental in origin>
I've attached some pictures, and also of the fish prior to acquiring.
He'll be going into my display tank of 187gal which currently has just one fish, a flame Hawkfish. There's two separated giant towers of rock 28" tall, so I'm assuming that they'll figure out how to get along.
I also have some Lyretail Anthias in a separate quarantine tank, and was hoping to put those in too, but heard P. xanthus may eat them. Any thoughts on that also?
<Not if they're large enough>
Thank you for the help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Red Flame Hawkfish has a bump on his head     1/9/16
Good Afternoon Crew, I've had this Hawkfish, Noel, for an year (Christmas present) and few months ago he had something like a whitehead pimple on his head, he was acting normal and eating normal and in few weeks the pimple
<I see this in your excellent photographs>
Three weeks ago I noticed all of a sudden 3 pimples just like the one he had before, this time they got worse and bigger in few days and he stopped eating 3 days ago and he's hiding behind the rocks all the time. He also
breathes very fast and keeps his mouth open.
<Hawks are very active fishes physiologically... these behaviors may mean nothing>
Yesterday I tried 2 freshwater dips and miraculously he survived overnight (not that they helped...) but not doing very well at all. I checked the water yesterday and ammonia and nitrites are ok, nitrates are maybe 10-20,
but that's how they usually are in my tank (29 G), that he shares with a green spotted puffer and few hermit crabs. Nothing has been added to the tank in more than 6 months. I would really appreciate your opinion and advice. Thank you in advance! (First picture is from this morning) Cristina
<Unfortunately such growths have varying etiologies (causes); and are not treatable directly... I would strive to do my best to optimize water quality and nutrition here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Red Flame Hawkfish has a bump on his head     1/9/16

Bob, thank you so much, I appreciate your prompt answer!
<Ah, welcome Cristina>
Should I move him to a quarantine tank?
<I would not. This condition is not "catching"... sort of like cancers in humans...>
I was going to try low salinity but I don't know if it would really help...
He's not moving a lot now and he doesn't even hide anymore. Cristina
<Yikes... Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Red Flame Hawkfish has a bump on his head     1/9/16

Thanks again! I'll do a water change and see what happens. So you think it's rather a tumor than a parasite or a wound (sorry for my insistence)?
<Yes; a growth of sorts. Not pathogenic. B>
Re: Red Flame Hawkfish has a bump on his head     1/9/16

Bob, thank you so much, I appreciate your prompt answer!
<Ah, welcome Cristina>
Should I move him to a quarantine tank?
<I would not. This condition is not "catching"... sort of like cancers in humans...>
I was going to try low salinity but I don't know if it would really help...
He's not moving a lot now and he doesn't even hide anymore. Cristina
<Yikes... Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: Red Flame Hawkfish has a bump on his head    1/10/16
Didn't get the chance to do anything... We lost him, he died before I got home from work!
<Ahh! B>
Re: Red Flame Hawkfish has a bump on his head    1/10/16

Thank you so much for your time, Bob, I appreciate it!
<Certainly welcome Cris. BobF>

Long nose hawk fish       6/19/15
Hello the crew @ WWM911,
Our long nose (+2 years in our care) has not been seen to be eating in the last couple of weeks.
<Happens... might've inhaled summat that didn't/doesn't agree with it... like a Bristleworm>
Details: He is about 5” long and is starting to look a little pale.
<Another clue>
goes crazy at feed time hovering in a vertical pose at the feed site but doesn’t seem to be attempting to take any food
He has always eaten shrimp (Mysid) and taken medium - large marine pellets (always been a good eater)
I’m usually away so "she who must be obeyed” mostly feeds them, so I have noticed this in recent weeks only.
He has a gaping (curved upper) beak that is never closed (is this an issue?)
<Might be... damage... preventing it, making it feel like not eating>
The water quality is always very good (we have very low mortality with corals and the anemones that sprout as though on steroids)
<Mmm, might have gotten stung...>
The tank is 6’x2’x2’ (about 170US gal in your currency)
Please help as I would like to get “Jock” back to good health again?!
<Just good care and patience here is about all one can do>
I notice many reports in the forums about Hawkfish being aggressive? I have to comment in 3 years (tank age) we have always kept a pair of flame hawk fish and they have always kept themselves amused with each other, and this is the second Long nosed we have had and in all this time we have kept banded shrimp and scarlet skunk shrimp.
<When small, molting, so much Cirrhitid food items>
The camel shrimp however have disappeared one at a time over a year or so from 5 -> 0 (we have just found a mantis shrimp in the tank which we have suspected over the last year by the clicking sound heard occasionally). However we have never seen the hawks chasing or attacking anything in the tank (we have 2 butterflies, 5 angels, 5 assessors, a wrasse, 2 tangs, a blenny, 2 gobies and 2 clowns).
Many thanks in advance
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Long nose hawk fish       6/19/15

A little more on Jock the "long nosed” his gaping beak has been this way for quite some time, our tank guy says this is unusual from his experience but not completely sure, we currently feed: large, small and medium marine pellets; frozen Mysis and brine shrimp; marine green mix; a marine meat mix and frozen rotifer for coral feed only once a day. I’m trying to get a small extra feed in just now by chasing the other fish away (Jock has had the habit of landing on your hand since a young age at feed times so he is not frightened by this and hopefully will offer extra opportunity to feed) as the others [except for the gobies] are voracious eaters.
Thanks again
<Try some Grass/Glass Shrimp... almost always sold as/in freshwater, but some are brackish and marine. Bob Fenner>

Traumatic Injuries To Freckled Hawkfish…Chance For Recovery? – 06/05/13
Hi Bob and others.  I read your book years ago, and still refer to it at times.  I have a 75 gallon with a canister filter, Emperor 400, skimmer, chiller with pristine water parameters.  I have had my tank set up for over 3 years, but may have an unusual compatibility problem.  I have a Freckled Hawk that my Lunar Wrasse has beaten the crap out of.  Its top fin is shredded, top skin sloughing off with bloody undertones.  Probably 30 percent injury.  This fish is supposed to be tough, and even beat up the wrasse after acclimation.  I have had them together with a yellow tang, and Picasso trigger for a long time.  I am drip acclimating him to my 20 gallon green spotted puffer fish tank.  My quarantine tank is in use at the moment.  He is still breathing, but I could catch him without too much effort.  My question is; am I giving him a fighting chance, or just delaying the inevitable.  Thanks in advance!  Ed
Sent from my iPhone
<<Fishes have amazing powers of recovery from physical trauma in my experience…when given a chance re separation from aggressors and provided with excellent water conditions and nutritious feedings.  I do think you have good odds of saving this fish.  EricR…Sent from my work PC  (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!)>>

Hawkfish quarantine quarters - too small? – 11/13/12
Hi Crew,
I have a Chinese Hawkfish (Cirrhitus Pinnulatus) on order from LiveAquaria.
It is about 4-5". In your view, is a 10G tank too small for a 4 week quarantine?
Thank you, Dave
<Too small to keep stable, have this species be secure... need about twice this volume... B>
Re: Hawkfish quarantine quarters - too small? – 11/13/12

I was afraid you'd say that...
I've had my trusty 100G stock tank in mind for this, but unfortunately didn't account for the Denver cold and its impact on my utility/fish room...which due to the outside air intake for the furnace, is dropping to 60 degrees at night...I have seen over the last few nights of observation that the 40G of water in the tank dips to 68 degrees (despite a 250W heater)...
After seeing your emailed response, I have overnight ordered another 250W heater Amazon, to hopefully keep this stock tank/temperature up to task for the hawk...
As if there are not enough closed-system variables to manage in this hobby!
<Well-stated. B>

Hawkfish & Brooklynella   3/20/12
Are Hawkfish known to become affected by Brooklynella? <It is normally associated with clown fish, but nearly any fish is susceptible.  Please read here, http://wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm > Amanda M

Freckled Hawkfish won't eat 12/23/11 Dear WWM Crew,
I purchased a mated pair
<Mmm, not likely, no... Cirrhitids don't live as such>
of Freckled Hawkfish about three weeks ago, and put them into our 90 gallon tank. They seemed to be doing really well for two days or three days - swimming around together and both eating frozen soaked Mysis and thinly sliced silversides. Then the smaller of the two "vanished", not to be seen for almost two weeks. The other was fine, grabbing food right out of the mouths of the yellow tank and Copperband butterfly. I had given up looking, when suddenly I saw the fish sitting on the sand, half lying against the glass ... in really bad shape. Red bitten tail, lost scales, lost colour, etc. I grabbed my net and very easily caught it because it didn't even try to swim away. I set up a 10 gallon tank with a fake rock and for two days the fish just sat in the net on the bottom of the tank. Wouldn't budge, didn't even move it's eyes or move when I jiggled the net.
I treated the water with a few drops of Cure All,

just to keep the chance of infection to a minimum. Well - it has been a little over a week and now the tail is growing back, getting colour and scales seem to be growing back. It will slither across the bare glass and go into the cave now - it looks and moves around, but won't eat and won't perch on the fake cave or try swimming. I've tried Selcon soaked frozen Mysis, and pellets. I did purchase 3 really small shrimps which have vanished so maybe I need to grow some live brine shrimp?
<Worth trying... as will be small "ghost/glass shrimp"... should be able to find at local fish stores>
I read another similar post on this forum about stress in hospital tanks which is why I'm writing to you. My question is - this fish nearly died from stress (I believe) in my big tank even though it's mate is faring famously in that tank and eating like a pig. I have another smaller 34 gallon Red Sea Max - should I put the fish into that tank?
<If there are not issues w/ compatibility, yes. MUCH better than the sterile ten>
There are a couple of clownfish, 4 Anthias, a scissortail goby, a small damsel and a sand sifting goby in that tank. Nothing too aggressive although they all like their grub. Or, should I wait and hope it gets stronger / starts eating in the hospital tank?
<No; I would move this fish to the 34>
I've included a picture which shows the lack of colour... and it's environment. Thanks so much in advance for your help!
<Mmm, bunk... looks "cut up"... perhaps from the other Hawk... secondarily infected bacterially... and this system... not good. Move it, and please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hawkfshdisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Hawkfish w/fluke? white growth coming out of operculum... 11/10/10
Hello Crew, and thanks again for providing me with a never-ending supply of aquarium education!
I just caught site of my 3" Falco Hawkfish (*Cirrhitichthys falco)** *in my 125g and was shocked to see a long white growth protruding from his operculum about 1/2". He has been feeding normally, is not gasping, and seems fairly unhindered by the growth. I am colorblind, so I do admit that I can't find him in the tank about 80% of the time and as such, I don't observe his as closely as I should and am not sure how long the growth has been present.
The protrusion blows around if he perches in a strong current, and seems to be pretty thin. Could it be a fluke?
<Not likely, no>
I have come across them in several forms, but nothing this size. Is it dire that I remove and treat him, or can he tolerate it for a few more days while I bring my holding system online and break down the tank that he is in?
<Actually; I'd just leave this fish be, where it is. I suspect whatever this is... likely something "hung up" on the gills/branchiostegals, will solve itself>
It would be quite a task to catch him with the tank stocked, and he has yet to fall for the trap.
I have included the best pictures I could snap. I apologize for the quality, but the PAR meter beat out the camera on the 'toys I need' list.
Thank you for the help,
<And you for sharing your concern. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hawkfish w/fluke? white growth coming out of operculum... 11/10/10
Hey Bob,
<Hi Lanny>
Thanks for the advice. It turns out I jumped the gun on emailing you. I checked on the Falco this morning before work and whatever was hung up on his opercular series had dislodged. Chalk up another win for Mr. Fenner.
Take care,
<Thank you for this follow-up, good news. BobF>

Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish "Hunger strike in Quarantine Tank" 03/23/10
Hi WWM Crew,
I am hoping you will have some suggestions for getting this guy to eat better.? I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of...
Here is the situation:
I have a 29 gallon reef tank and purchased this guy a couple of weeks ago to go into my reef?
tank after quarantining him. He was purchased from my local LFS and was eating well...I observed this on several occasions prior to purchasing him. He was observed eating live brine and frozen Mysis. He appeared fat and
healthy. He had been there for 2 plus weeks before I purchased him. I have a small 10 gallon quarantine tank, with a BioWheel filter. The BioWheel is put into  my reef tanks sump in-between quarantine uses to culture bacteria. He is currently housed in this tank and was treated prior to admittance to the quarantine tank With a ph/temp adjusted Methylene blue/freshwater bath.
<I would summarily have just placed this Cirrhitid in the main display... and would do so now>
Tank is bare bottomed, and has a few small pieces of pvc pipe for hiding placed in the tank. Water parameters are ph 8.2, nitrates 0, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, water from my weekly reef tank water changes (25 % weekly from reef tank, making it a?50% water change to quarantine tank weekly)?is used to replace and change water in quarantine tank. No lights on the tank, ?just ambient light from room the tank is housed in, water temp is 78 degrees.??
I have seen him eat on occasion...but he isn't eating enough and seems to be losing a little weight now...not quite as plump as he should be. I am feeding Rod's Frozen Food, and frozen Mysis shrimp, these are soaked in Selcon prior to feeding, I have also tried formula one, prime reef...even the pelleted food recommended on WWM pages, etc....he's interested in food and occasionally I'll see him grab a piece of food shyly...but not enough to maintain him. I even got desperate and tried some live brine soaked it in Selcon and he will eat that...but I know this is not a valuable food source for the long term...any ideas on how to get him to eat more and better food??? He's been in there 2 weeks already and I do not want to admit him to the reef tank w/o him being as healthy as possible and eating well is of great concern...There is no evidence of disease...but could this be an unseen parasite problem..or stress??
<The latter>
Is there anything else I can try to reduce stress or encourage feeding...Thank you for your assistance!!!
<Move this fish... Bob Fenner>
Re: Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish "Hunger strike in Quarantine Tank" 03/23/10
Sorry I forgot? to inc this the SPG? Is 1.024
<... what's wrong with your formatting? Not to worry re the water density
here. BobF>

Re: Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish "Hunger strike in Quarantine Tank" 3/23/10
Thank you for your quick reply. I will do so immediately!!
<Heeee! If not sooner!>
I thought about putting him in there right after the bath..but was trying to be careful since my reef tank hasn't had any Ick/parasite problems and hoping that will continue to be the case :)
Thanks again,
<Hawkfishes period are quite resistant to common protozoan problems... And are generally "very clean" on import. I fully suspect that yours has very little chance of being a carrier here... and much too much chance of suffering from delay in being permanently placed. Cheers, BobF>

Flame Hawkfish continually breathing rapidly 6/1/09
Dear Mr. Fenner and Wet Web Media crew,
<Hello Ramona.>
It SICKENS me to even type this out on paper, but it looks like he has velvet! I have heard so many HORRIBLE things about this disease. I CAN'T believe that this could very likely be the problem. Not only do I not know what to do, I have to face the fact that I may likely lose both him, and the Foxface. What STUPIDITY on my part to put them both in the same (30 gal)tank with a tank divider!!
<We live and learn.>
I have taken up so much of your valuable time (and website space) with this entire mess. As I had mentioned in my original post, I had fish for many years that very suddenly suspiciously died. As I also mentioned, I had become ill and couldn't do a water change on my 80 gallon FOWLR tank with a
25 gallon sump for a month. When I discovered the loss, the first thing I did was test the water parameters (something that I kept CLOSE eye on).The only thing that was out of the norm was the nitrate level(40 ppm). I am beginning to wonder if SOMEHOW the velvet had gotten into the display tank and I just didn't notice it at that point. I was back in my wheelchair (YUKKK!!!) for a while. My family had to help me with EVERYTHING, including caring for my fish. The ONLY things that I had ever added to either of my
tanks( I also have a 26 gallon bow FOWLR with a large sump with live rock) over the years would be hermit crabs and snails, as their life span is not terribly long. Even these would be in QT for 4 weeks FAITHFULLY, so that something like this could be avoided.
<It, as you see, can and does still happen at times.>
That would certainly explain the reason that they had all perished so fast.
the maroon clown( from my original post about him swimming as though he had swim bladder problems) was the only survivor, and, as I mentioned, has made a complete recovery. WHERE DO I START??!! Likely by asking someone TO KICK ME IN THE PANTS for being so ignorant. I am (humbly) writing this so that someone else may benefit from it and not make the same foolish mistakes I have made. The tank divider is a HUGE NONO!!. I found it to be a bacterial breeding playground. I never thought it would become a problem because I had both sides outfitted with a Marineland 15 (160gph) filter on each side, along with a box filter filled with crumbled live rock from the main tank( that would likely explain the velvet , if in fact , that was in there to begin with), with a high air input to keep water movement going.
The poor little Hawkfish is still eating well.
He does have some almost white patches on his body, now that I Know what I am looking for. His respiration is what concerns me. How long can ANYTHING live if it is struggling to breath.
<Not long.>
The Foxface APPEARS to be just fine. Perhaps it has not gotten bad for him yet. If there is ANYTHING I can do that could save this little sweetie's life, I will do my best to do that. I am terrified to work with any kind of copper, as I have read from other posts that it can be tricky.
<It is a poison, the level must be monitored. Easy enough with a test kit. Chloroquine diphosphate is more expensive, a bit harder to come by, but can be effective also and is generally regarded as a safer option.>
The main tank has had only hermit crabs and snails in it for over 2 months.
I will continue to leave it this way for a while, as I was getting ready to put the clown back in. How could I add more oxygen to a QT tank than I already have? If this is truly velvet, why has the Foxface shown no sign what so ever?
<If it is he likely will in time.>
I hope I haven't spread this to my smaller tank if it is (royal gramma and 2 wild caught Perculas that I have had for NEARLY 10 YEARS!!) Thank you for allowing me to post this on this WONDERFULLY helpful website. It may be too late for me, but perhaps this may help someone else in a similar situation.
I feel almost ASHAMED to ask for any help, as I feel that my own ignorance has brought this about. Thank you ever so much. Ramona
<Welcome, hoping for the best, Scott V.>

Flame Hawkfish continually breathing rapidly 5-30-3009
Dear Mr. Fenner and crew,
I can't believe that I am bothering you again (already) for more advice. PLEASE KNOW THAT I TRULY APPRECIATE IT!! You had such excellent advice for my maroon clown, which by the way, has made a full recovery. I am ready to put the maroon clown, along with the other fish in QT (hippo tang, Foxface lo, flame Hawkfish) in my big tank after having all of them in QT for over 2 months. I am quite concerned about the Hawkfish. I have never had one before. He has been eating everything and anything very robustly. I noticed from day 1 that he breaths much harder than the other fish .
<Hawkfishes, for all their apparent sedentary behavior, require high oxygen tension... More so than many other fish families>
As I had mentioned in the post about the maroon clown, I am right on top of the water conditions in the QT tanks( each fish is in it's own tank). Over the last week, the breathing has gotten much worse. Today, after the usual water change, I noticed that his breathing was even worse yet. Also his color paled. He is still eating but has now become picky about it.
<Cut back on the feeding. Way back>
This little guy is PRECIOUS! I will do what I have to help him, but don't know what to do. I don't know if this would matter, but I soak his food in Selcon each time I feed him.
<Mmm, as much a fan as I am of this product, I would not use it continuously>
I have used this product for the last 6-7 years ,and have never had a problem with it. at the moment, he is in a 30gal long, with a divider for him and the Foxface. Each side of the divider has its own Marineland 15 Bio filter, and also a box filter in the opposite corner that is filled with crumbled live rock from the sump of my large tank. There is plenty of water movement in each side of the tank. The Foxface is fine, and quite friendly (My previous one took forever to adjust to tank life). His breathing is just fine. I would be grateful for either yours, or someone else's input on this.
It was hard enough to lose the other fish that I had for so many years. I don't want to lose this little one. thank you so much for taking your time to read this. Ramona
<I would be very chary/careful re much food offering... minimal for now here. Bob Fenner>

Flame Hawkfish ill :( Help?, Ich, 4/15/09
Hello to My All-Knowing Fish Keepers,
<Ha, hardly, I did achieve total enlightenment once, but then found a bottle of Tequila and it has been all down hill from there.>
I'm new to saltwater. I've been referring to your site often these past couple weeks in an effort to save my fish. And, I've learned the importance of a QT, so please no I told you so's. : (
<Well we did...>
As soon as I am able to find a job, I'm all over it! I've learned my lesson. I don't want to go through this again, but without any other alternative, I had to treat the display tank this time.
<Often can be worse and not treating at all.>
So now I am trying to save my last remaining fish. My beautiful Flame Hawk. He's my buddy and still hanging on. Any help you can offer, I would gladly appreciate.
<Will try.>
I have a 120 gallon fish only saltwater. It's approximately 6 months old.
Everything was perfect, and then I added a tang, who I believe to be the culprit in this nightmare. Anyway. I had a Scopus Tang, (who I returned to the LFS about 10 days ago after 5 weeks, because he was mean as hell believe it or not and used to chase/terrorize my Hawk all the time, but the night before I took him back, I noticed a few spots on him) a maroon clown, two yellow tailed damsels, a choc chip starfish and my Flame Hawk. The starfish and the flame are all I have left now. : ( My water appears to be perfect, nothing registering on ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, my PH is 8.2 and the salinity is 1.020. (I'm gradually lowering it)
<I would not, will definitely kill the starfish and any life remaining on your live rock/live sand. Also numbers please next time, "perfect" tends to mean different things to different people.>
It used to be 1.023.
<I would maintain a more natural level of 1.025-1.026.>
Oh, and I've been keeping the temp around 82. I've been doing water changes of about 15 gallons every other day.
Anyway, I'm fairly certain that I have crypt/Ich. although, to this day, I've never seen it on my Hawk. But he did the whole flicking/glancing thing for about a day and a half and has had rapid respiration. My damsels
were covered in little white dots the day after I took the tang back.
<Could very well be.>
I went to my LFS and they recommended Greenex of 1 drop/gal since I didn't have a reef tank, but had the starfish.
<Not a treatment I would have gone with, in fact not a chemical I really like to have around the house if I can avoid it, pretty toxic stuff, Malachite Green and Quinine HCL.>
I removed the Chemzorb from my filter, turned the light off and began treating the tank with the Greenex every other day for six days. This was Tuesday, 4/7. 4/8, my hawk and all other fish stopped eating. LFS told me that on Saturday, my hawk should be better.
(I read about the Greenex and the importance of not using too much malachite green for fear of poisoning, so I used 110 drops for the 110 actual gallons in my tank to account for the sand (1 lb per gallon, about 2
- 2 1/2" deep) and rockwork/decorations.
<Yes, very toxic.>
Now, he has stopped glancing, and his color has returned, he was for a couple days, pretty pale, struggled to move and didn't leave his little home under a rock cave.
<Probably more due to the treatment than the cure to be honest.>
On Saturday, he still did not look great and is still breathing rapidly.
But as I said, his color has returned and he is on his 'perch' at the top of the tank near the filter. When I contacted the LFS they told me that the Greenex is a weak medicine so the starfish/invertebrates can withstand the treatment and that I needed to begin another course of treatment 3 days after the last one.
<I would never consider GreenEx a weak medicine, in fact quite the opposite, one of the stronger medications available.>
I treated again with 110 drops last night after changing out 15 gallons.
How long will I need to treat the tank? And is the advice they are giving me good in my current situation?
<At this point I would just stop all treatment, I think here the treatment is worse than the disease. Good water quality and feedings will do more for this fish than the Greenex. When you are able to get a QT you can remove this fish and treat in there while allowing the main tank to go follow and the Ich to die off before adding new live stock. I would also think about finding a new fish store, Greenex/Malachite Green is about one of the least desirable treatments for what you are trying to achieve here.
See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm .>
My starfish appears fine. He's been active and roams the bottom of the tank picking up food that my flame is not eating. The actual reason for this e-mail is the food. I haven't been able to get my hawk to eat for 8
days. He used to eat like a champ before he got sick. Mysis shrimp, brine, live brine, marine flake, and New Life Marine Formula pellets. How can I get the poor little guy to eat? I don't want him to starve, he
appears to be fighting this mess.
<Stop treatment and improve water quality here and see if that does not get him back on track. Perhaps some live brine or garlic soaked foods many entice a feeding response.>
Please let me know if you need any other information.
Help. :( & Thanks,
~ Jen

Re: Flame Hawkfish ill :( Help?, Ich, 4/16/09
Hello to My All-Knowing Fish Keepers,
<Ha, hardly, I did achieve total enlightenment once, but then found a bottle of Tequila and it has been all down hill from there.>
Thank you for the laugh, the information and the quick response! I'm trying my best to save him on little resources. Stupid Economy! >: |
~ Jen
<Good luck with everything.>

Re: Flame Hawkfish ill 4/17/09
Hello again!
I followed your advice from yesterday and stopped treatment, put my Chemzorb back in the filter and slowly returning the tank to normal.
My hawk is eating again!!!!! First time in 9 days! THANK YOU!
Now all I have to do is find a different LFS. Considering that is the better of the 3 here, might prove challenging!
Thanks again! : )
<Your best bet is to find a shop that carries healthy livestock and educate yourself through multiple sources so that you do not have to rely on the advise of someone who is trying to sell you something, especially at times like now where sales are down and stores are desperate for the quick buck.
I have found a couple shops whose livestock selection is excellent, however I cringe whenever I hear them giving advise to hobbyists.>

Longnose Hawkfish Snout/Jaw Issue? 11/28/2007 Good morning all, <David> I'm frustrated... <... the calm before the storm?> Last December, I set up a 200g FOWLR tank with a deep sandbed (approx 5"). My salinity stays pretty constant at 1.025, temperature at 26.5 - 27.5oc, my water flow is 18X/hr. Water parameters are all in check except Nitrates stay consistent at 20ppm. <Okay> I have a 28" Snowflake Moray, a Magnificent Foxface, Banded Serpent Star, and a Harlequin Tuskfish remaining in the tank. I wrote to Bob a few times in September when my two Bannerfish mysteriously disappeared and were found in my eel's lair. Both fish were aggressive feeders and seemed healthy aside from a few odd behaviors from time to time. The odd behaviours were consistent over the 5+ months that I had them and figured if it was a problem, they would've perished earlier. The ReefCentral Community believes that it would be highly unlikely that the Snowflake would have caught and killed these fish, but likely scavenged on the corpses. <I agree> Anyhow, we've discussed this before. I wanted to comment on my Longnose Hawkfish. I purchased a Longnose Hawkfish in late September. He was always curious and an aggressive feeder who liked to play 'keep away' with my Tuskfish (i.e. grabbing food and running swimming like mad to ensure the Tuskfish didn't steal it from him). About 2 weeks ago, I noticed a small bump on the very tip of my Hawkfishes snout. He was still feeding at the time. A few days later, it almost appeared that where his snout meets his head was a little swollen. Upon a closer look, I wasn't sure... but obviously it must've been for me to notice in the first place? Something didn't look right. The jaw seemed inline looking at it straight on, the fish's coloration remained bright, but something didn't seem right about the jaw... and the fish would always keep it's mouth open a little bit, never closing it. When I noticed the mouth open consistently... it was then that I noticed it wasn't feeding at all... not even taking an interest in any food. The Hawkfish would sit within inches of the eel and the eel would never bother it... the other fish would never pay attention to the Hawkfish, however there was usually a playful chase when the Hawkfish snapped up the last bit of food (being chased by the Tuskfish). Anyhow, so I'd estimate the Hawkfish hadn't had anything to eat for maybe 6-10 days. Yesterday morning, the Hawkfish lay dead on the sandbed... I had noticed the Hawkfish gill beats per minute had increased fairly rapidly over the prior 3 days. Are you familiar with anything that would cause minor swelling around the jaw area of a Longnose Hawkfish? <An injury from bumping into something or being bitten> Like I said, the swelling was hardly noticeable, but the initial bump on the snout certainly was noticeable. I'm almost thinking that the eel mistakenly grabbed the Hawkfish by the snout/head and realized that he wasn't desirable to eat and then released the fish.... Perhaps leaving broken bones into the skull and some bruising with minor swelling? <Not likely... Oxycirrhites are smart... and fast... Perhaps the Choerodon... in going for the same food item... or it could have "jumped", hit the top...> I don't know... there wasn't really any discoloration around the head area and the Hawkfish eyes would still be alert. In your opinion... what could potentially cause the Hawkfish to keep his mouth open or possibly disable the use of his mouth? <See above> It's frustrating because I started this tank with successfully keeping all of my first 5 fish (but I did something stupid with two of them in a hospital tank and know exactly why they perished)... but have lost my last 3 introductions without an obvious sign of what went wrong. I'm only introducing a new one every 4-6 weeks after a 3-4 week quarantine. If fish are collected by cyanide, would it take about 3 - 5 months to start having health problems? <Rarely... most die immediately to within a few days to weeks> While I have your attention, I am using RO/DI water filter since beginning of September. I am averaging about 10g/week water change on a total system volume of about 230g. From Dec 06 - July 07 I was using tapwater and a minor hair algae issue that went away and I had the cleanest tank I've ever had... nice coralline algae and only had to clean my glass once every 6 weeks. About July, hair algae galore!!! Hence I bought the RO/DI unit. Having used it for the past 3 months and using PhosBan for the past 6 weeks... I am noticing little improvement in my hair algae situation. Mind you, leaving the 2xBannerfish corpses in the eels lair vs. taking apart my tank to retrieve the bodies likely didn't help the cause. Am I taking the proper steps with PhosBan and RO/DI ??? My lights are 95W strip and a 65W strip for 9.5hrs/daily. David Brynlund <Is one approach... there are others worth considering... All posted on WWM. RMF>

Giant Hawkfish Ailment 10/22/07 Hi, <Hello Christine> First of all thank you for providing such an in depth and helpful website. I often find that the most accurate information I get comes from here as opposed to many of my local fish stores. Anyway, after carefully searching through your site I could not find a situation as specific as mine, with regard to my giant Hawkfish. <Neat animals> Let me first say that I am meticulous when it comes to water changes, checking levels, salinity etc. So I can confidently say that the environment is not "dirty". My giant Hawkfish, who resides with his eel brother in their 100 gallon tank has developed a very faint gray film over his left eye. It is not within his eye but covers it. Nowhere on the body are there any other signs of infection, or fungus, or whatever it may be. The closest thing I could find online as far as descriptions go is something called cataracts. Well, I first thought it was a fungus but now I am quite uncertain. It was suggested to me that a brief freshwater dip will cause this film to simply fall off after awhile. I did that for about 2.5 minutes and I have yet to see any change. My Hawkfish (Chad) is still as personable as ever. He eats, swims and behaves normally. I am worried about this thing over his eye. It is almost cloudy but again, not inside of the actual eye. I was also recommended Rid-Ich as a simple solution but based on the material on this site, it seems as though Rid -Ich is not so simple and will cause more harm than good. <Agreed> I have live rock and live sand in the tank and I have no quarantine tank to use, so my choices are limited. Well, I hope I have provided sufficient information. It's not so much an emergency as it is a motherly concern. For now though... I will continue with my water changes and monitoring of levels and pH.. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. -Christine in Ca. <As you state, this is a one-sided involvement (unilateral)... Though Cirrhitids are agile, fast... this one may have scratched the outer eye... Perhaps there is an infectious agent involved subsequently... but maybe not. I would leave this fish where it is, do your best to maintain optimized water quality, good (supplemented) nutrition, and be patient re (likely weeks to months) self-cure here. Bob Fenner in smoky San Diego>

Arc-eye hawk with freckles - 08/15/06 Hello Bob and friends. I really hate to do this, but I Googled and Googled. I opened at least two threads about this. Anyway,...I have a 37 gallon column with 30 plus lbs. of live rock with one bubble tip anemone. There's one coral beauty, <Needs more room than this> a mated pair of yellow head Jawfishes, and an arc-eye hawk. I quarantine everybody. The arc-eye had a black spot on his side that honestly looked like pigmentation. <Likely was/is> Kept him in quarantine and the spot didn't change at all. After two weeks I put him in the display, determining it was just like a 'freckle'. The black spot is like a fleck of black pepper. It's not raised above the surface,...it just looks like a pigmentation. Only problem now is, there's now like 4 of them on the fish! Again these spots are not raised above the surface. He also seems extra skittish all of a sudden. The tank is like 9 months old. ph:8.2, sg 1.022, nitrite:0, ammonia:0, nitrate:40, alk:2.2. Please help! Adam B. <Mmm, I'd raise your spg and alkalinity... Could be still some sort of melanization... from... who knows? The anemone's presence? Overall stress of captivity? Harassment from the Centropyge? The Opistognathids? I would not "treat" per se. Bob Fenner> Re: arc eye hawk with freckles (more) - 08/15/06 (continued) I also performed 3-4 freshwater dips for about three minutes before moving to display. When the hawk was in quarantine I treated with a formalin based medication called 'rid Ich'. This was for about 5 days. I thought maybe it was Paravortex <Could be... but where would this come from? Has been recorded on about 125 species of five families... but this Turbellarian has a direct life cycle...> or some sort of subcutaneous parasite. I have since removed him the main display and now he is acclimating to the qt's water. Temperature in main display is 80. Also, I wanted you to know he still eats like a pig. Even as early as an hour before I removed him, he was attacking the frozen Mysis with a vengeance. thx Adam B. <A bigger tank... time going by... Bob Fenner>

Re: arc eye hawk with freckles (more) - 08/15/06 So, my only question is,...do I leave in qt? <Mmm, no... not indefinitely...> He obviously hates it in qt. I don't think he feels secure. The first time and this time around. If I should leave in in qt,.. how long? <Let's cut to the proverbial chase... this species, family's members need to be housed in larger quarters, not with shrimp... see WWM re...> If it was Paravortex wouldn't it have fallen off and also the 'spot' would go away? <... not likely parasitic... If this flatworm could persist for weeks...> I have a 90 gallon that's running fallow due to Ich. As with any fish that's starts to 'outgrow' the 37, they will be promptly relocated. <Oh! Good> But, back to the hawk, I don't want him to stay in qt unless YOU or one of your people say so. You're the man Mr. Fenner. <Heeee! We're the fish men!> 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' is a incredible book,...thx Adam B. <I would try to hold off on returning this Cirrhitid to the tank with the small crustaceans... and place it in the larger tank when it's "ready"... and not worry re the black spots/freckles. BobF>

Re: arc eye hawk with freckles (more) 8/16/06 Well the only problem with waiting on the 90 gallon is that I still have like 3-4 weeks until it's 'safe'. And the hawk won't eat in the qt. <Try a grass shrimp...> He didn't the first time around either! As soon as I put him in the display (initially), he was eating like a maniac. You had said something about 'housing with small crustaceans',.... I don't have small crustaceans. Just some hermits crabs, <...> I feed frozen Mysis. Maybe that was the misunderstanding. So, back to the original question,... can I put him in the display temporarily until the 90 is ready?.. <Back to the orig. resp.> You said 'no, not indefinitely' about leaving him in qt, isn't that like saying yes and no at the same time?!?? (very slick.. lol) <Sorry for the confusion... mean/t, "not indefinitely in the quarantine> And you also said 'if this is flatworm it could persist for weeks', do you mean it would stay visible on the fish? <... yes> To the best of your un-ending fish knowledge you think it's not likely parasitic, and I agree, but why?? <Not expressed as such... not likely on the one host...> I'm a fiend for fish smarts,...I work at a LFS, so I like to know the 'WHY''s. Thanks again,...I'll do my best to leave you and your crew alone for a while. Adam B. <Heeee! Be reading, chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: arc eye hawk with freckles (more) 8/17/06 Well, I really thought I'd be leaving you alone, but,.. the damsel in the qt (waiting to go into the 90) is now showing similar spots! <Unusual> So, obviously the hawk is staying in qt. Now my question is, did the damsel get it because of the less than optimal parameters in qt.... because I don't see spots on anybody in the main display. Maybe because of the close quarters? I feel horrible! Should i be worried about the others in the main display? I'm going to go ahead and treat qt with a formalin based med., regular dose? <Mmm, I would first try a simple/r pH adjusted FW bath... detailed on WWM... under "Dips/Baths"... and see if these blackish spots "fall off"... as in Paravortex... I still have my bet on these being "stress markings"... and would NOT subject the fish to Formalin exposure> Am I losing it??... <Perhaps temporarily> Could the black spots still be something else? <Definitely> How quickly things can turn into a nightmare.....?! thx Adam B. <Ten deep breaths... a long walk... the letter in your sock drawer... Bob Fenner>

Re: arc eye hawk with freckles (more) 8/18/06 Could the marks on the damsel be bite marks from the hawk? <Mmm, yes> ...You know how damsels always 'tail-slap' new additions ...? <Some, yes> ....Maybe the hawk retaliated?....Tried fw dips on the fish with no luck.....jeez.....Adam B. <Then not Paravortex... I'd take a "chill pill" here... wait on any/all "med.s". BobF> Sick Long Nosed Hawkfish 7/19/06 Hello! <Hi there> My husband and I recently stumbled on your site and have found it to be incredibly helpful. Thank you all for your hard work. <Welcome> I'm writing concerning our long nose Hawkfish. We've had the hawk for about 5 months now, and everything was fine until recently. The hawk has been in our 90 gallon tank. It had been our reef only, no fish tank until this year. We were down to a variety of mushrooms and a small clump of star polyps, so we decided to add some reef friendly fish. We added a Maroon Clownfish, Diamond Watchman Goby, Algae Blenny, and Hippo Tang. <Okay> We've been battling a low pH and alkalinity problem in all our tanks since moving to our new house. It seems to be due to the composition of our water here, which is not ideal for aquariums. <Ahh...> We've now got a R/O unit which mostly helps. We've been using Seachem's Reef Builder and Reef Buffer to correct the problem. <Good products> Long story short, a little while ago (a month maybe), I noticed that our Hawkfish had what appeared to be a small bump on the lower part of its mouth. We worried at first that it was an injury from jumping or running into something else. We left him alone to see if it would heal. <Which is what I would have done as well> It has not gotten better, instead it has gotten bigger. The Hawkfish was eating fine. When we realized that the problem was worse we put the Hawkfish into our QT tank to be able to observe and to feed it without competition from the other fish in the tank. We were gone this past weekend and came home to find that part of the hawk's lower jaw seems to be missing and it is having trouble catching the bits of food I put in the tank. It is still active, curious about its surroundings and coming to the surface to see what food I put in the tank. Is it possible to diagnose what is wrong and save this fish or is it more humane to euthanize the fish at this point? I really don't want to see it suffer. <I am almost always siding on treatment and holding out hope...> Other than the now corrected pH and alkalinity problems, the rest of our specs are within the normal range. Can you help me identify the problem? <Maybe. Could be a long-term internal disorder... genetic, even parasitic... perhaps a nutritional deficiency of some sort... I'd strongly consider even a tumor resultant from a physical injury.> I'm happy to provide and additional information that you might need and even a photo, if that helps. Thank you very much! -Jen <Pix are almost always of help... I would maintain this fish at NSW water conditions, spg of 1.025, soak its foods in a vitamin, HUFA and iodide prep. solution. Bob Fenner> Re: Angel (medicine poisoning) disease? I'm sorry to bother you with this question, I've searched the site for a while and couldn't find a answer. I had a dwarf flame angel, a small Koran angel and a small Hawkfish in a 30 gallon quarantine tank. Is it possible for the 2 angels in a quarantine tank to get a disease, and not the hawk? <Yes> The two angels eyes became very cloudy. I was treating the tank with Maracyn 2, Maroxy and CopperSafe. <<... how much of all this?>> Both angel's eye's seemed to just waste away leaving what seemed to be two blind angels. After removing the two, the Hawkfish seems fine. It has been 4 days since taking out the angels. I've read some things about angel disease. Is this what happened?? <Angels can be a little sensitive to copper. Did you monitor your copper level with a test kit? The recommended level would be 0.15ppm. Another problem is too many medications in the tank at one time. Determine the disease and treat for that disease only. James (Salty Dog)> <What? Where's the previous correspondence? There are some three dozen of us "here". Bob F> Thanks for the quick response. The copper level was at .15ppm, My main question wasn't answered though. Is it normal that the 2 angels health was horrible while the hawk seemed, and still to this day is seems fine? <Cirrhitids can be remarkably disease resistant compared to Angels. Bob Fenner>

White Fecal Matter Morning Bob, <Scott> I have a question regarding a Dwarf Hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco, I believe) which I recently moved into a QT. I was running a 39 gallon Eclipse 3 as a FOWLR tank for 4 years. That was until my wife got pregnant and decided to turn my fish room into a nursery!!! I was able to adopt out all of my specimens except for this one Hawkfish. So I set up a 10 gallon Eclipse 1 and cut the material Bio-Wheel down to size to fit the Eclipse 1 Bio-Wheel, to avoid a new break in period. I also transferred 5 gallons of the water but none of the LR or Substrate. So the tank is clean except for 1 piece of bleached coral for hiding. I also moved a few bumble bee snails, and Mexican turbo snails with the Hawkfish. This was not meant to be a QT tank for health reasons, so no meds were planned on being used. Since moving into the new tank, the Hawkfish stopped eating immediately and breathing became heavy. All water parameters (e.g. pH, salinity 1.023, temp, alk) are exactly as they were in the main tank. Three days ago, while performing a partial water change, I saw a little white worm wiggling around on the glass bottom of the tank, so I quickly sucked him out with the hose, not thinking to try to save it for ID. About a day after that I noticed my Hawkfish had white stringy fecal matter and was still not eating. When I woke up this morning, I noticed that he has the beginnings of Popeye disease. I have the full range of meds (e.g. copper, MarOxy, Formalin-3, Maracyn I and II), however I'm not quite sure how to treat. I know that I have to remove the snails, no biggie there. Any help would be fantastic. <If anything I would try a dose of Metronidazole/Flagyl... this is described on WWM's root/marine web. Bob Fenner>

Longnose Not Doing Well >Hi, I am hoping someone can help. >>Hello. >I have a Longnose Hawkfish. I noticed he was not eating as well as he does normally. I also noticed he was perching a little crooked on the rocks. Now I have noticed his left eye is bulging out. Do you think he got hurt, or could it be some sort of disease. >>One eye tends to be from injury, if it were disease it would present equally and bilaterally. >Should I quarantine him? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks Debbie >>You may wish to figure out who/what is causing him injury. In the meantime, it may certainly be the case that, until you get it sorted, q/t is best. Marina

Longnose Not Doing Well - Follow up >Thanks for your prompt reply. I don't know who would be bothering him. I only have a 35 gallon tank, with 5 fish. I have had him since October, and have seen on bullying from other fish. I guess I will try QT him, maybe he will recover faster, if he does not have to fight for food. Debbie >>Ahh.. this is telling. Longnose hawks, as you may very well be aware, are known jumpers. I am guessing that in such a small tank he may have hurt *himself*. In which case, there's likely no need to move him, but you might wish to consider future digs for him, especially if this occurs again. Marina

Flame Hawkfish I have 29 gal tank with a maroon gold stripe clown fish, purple Dottyback, eibli angel, and a flame Hawkfish. I had recently used MelaFix to fix to the tail of the clown who looked like he had been picked at. But this made the water kind of filmy looking so I put activated carbon in the media tray of my emperor 280 to try and clear the water and this seems to have worked wonderfully. Except that my Flame Hawkfish is now hiding in the rocks, and is always on his side. He just sits there when the other fish come over and poke at him and really doesn't seem to be eating. <Doesn't sound good. Just sitting there is no big deal... but the other behavior...> He used to sit on the powerhead in an upright position all the time, but now will only stay crammed up in the rocks on his side. Aside from the charcoal to clear the water there have been no changes and the other fish seem much happier since the charcoal went in. Is this normal for a Hawkfish or should I be concerned. <I would be concerned. I would execute a large water change (25%) and try a bit of live food... best, some live Glass Shrimp... perhaps soaked in an appetite/vitamin enhancement product like Selcon. Bob Fenner> Thanks for any help you can give me, Jim

Re: Flame Hawkfish Bob, <Jim> Thanks for your advice, but he still died today. When I first bought him it was about 4 weeks ago and he didn't seem all that active in the tank at the store. <... sounds like cumulative stress, damage from collection, shipping...> And against my better judgment I let the store worker talk me into getting him because they said his colors looked good and I had read that they were supposed to be a very hardy fish, but it turns out I may have gotten damaged goods since my other three fish, which I bought from different pet stores, are all doing well. <Think so. Bob F> Thank you for your help, Jim Kinney

Re: Flame Hawkfish Bob, Here is my last question of you on this. I'm not going to get anything to replace him for at least a couple of weeks, <And hopefully he will reciprocate> but I wanted to keep the number of fish at 4. And I wanted to know if a flame Hawkfish is actually a good fit with the fish I currently have. Because this one had labored breathing from the day I brought him home and I wanted to know if that was their way or again just the built up stress? Thanks for all your help, Jim <Uh, Jim... what are the other specimens? Only time can/will tell whether this Hawkfish rallies. Bob Fenner>

Sick Hawkfish <Beth, I'm sooo very sorry for the delay, I just got this today. Hope we aren't too late. MacL>I have had a banded Hawkfish since 9-16. The store had him for 4 weeks and I put him in qt for 2 weeks. He has always been a great eater. I feed him flakes and fresh shrimp. About 3-5 days ago he spit out his shrimp and hasn't eaten since. He seems to have raw areas around his mouth and part of his lip is swollen and red. <That doesn't sound so good> I don't know if I'm imagining it but he seems to have white patches around his gills...maybe just natural markings I don't know if I'm paranoid or not. <Could be or it might be some type of fungus. Very possibly might be where he's knocked into something.> He also has small white dots all over his nose and above his eyes...again maybe just natural markings. <Those probably are natural.> The only med I have is rid-Ich and I live in a rural area and must travel to get anything else. I have moved him to the qt. I tried a freshwater dip but he went into shock so I put him in the qt without it. <Lots of times when they are being freshwater dipped they will lay on the bottom and look pathetic but that's actually typical of fish in the dip.> He is still active and "plump". I put in a dose of rid-Ich as it says it will kill fungal and parasitic infections. It will be Saturday night before I can get anything else. I had allowed the main tank to get away from me and amm and no2 was 0 but no3 was between 40 and 80. the qt is stabilized and amm and no2 is 0 and no3 is 15. ph stays a constant 8.2 and temp is 78 in both tanks. s.g. is 1.024 he is the only fish in the tank aside from a choc chip sea star who is thriving...surprising considering the no3. <You definitely need to do water changes to get that more stable. I have had excellent success with MelaFix in my saltwater tanks for this type of problem. Please write me back and let me know what's going on with him? Good luck, MacL> any help, please Beth

Hawkfish On The Mend! Thanks for getting back. I know you all get a lot of mail. <Scott F. following up tonight!> "Spike" is still in the qt. He just finished a round of Spectrogram. There was definitely white patches on his side that was obscuring his stripes. Same with the raw patches around his face. The Spectrogram has worked great. the blister below his lip is going away. it is now just a red spot on his lip about 3/16 in. long. He ate some fresh shrimp yesterday and is once again swimming very well. The Spectrogram apparently killed my biofilter in the qt, so I am doing daily 2 gal water changes. <A good help in this situation. You may even want to limp the biofilter along with a "bacteria in a bottle" product for a while...> I still have a few questions... do I wait another day and do another round of Spectrogram as the package suggests, or run carbon for a day or two and try a different antibiotic. <I'd stick with just one medication, especially if it is working. Always follow manufacturer's suggestions concerning dosage and duration, unless you are noticing very negative reactions. Just keep monitoring water quality and begin using carbon and water changes when the next round of medication is complete.> I do have Melafix, but was told it is not effective. <Perhaps it is on some conditions...I'm not a big fan of it. And again, I would not mix medications at this point.> And now that he is eating, should I go back to his regular every other day schedule or daily to help him get stronger. <I'd go for daily, with attention to water quality, of course.> I usually give him a few flakes and about 4 small bite sized pieces of shrimp. <Try some really nutritious items, like Mysis Shrimp, which can really help provide the nutrition that he needs to get stronger...> Thanks again for all your help, Beth <Sounds like you're doing a great job, Beth! Keep it up! Regards, Scott F>

Flame Hawkfish losing color 3/1/05 I have a 125 FOWLR with 130lbs of rock and ample skimming and circulation. About 4 weeks ago, I added a flame Hawkfish to the tank. He was bold red, active and eating well, basically an excellent specimen. Since joining my tank he has continued to be active and eats well. Tank gets a variety of foods (saltwater multipack--4 different foods, plus Mysis shrimp, zooplankton, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and flake, making a diet of 9 foods in addition to whatever is on the rocks). <do emphasize crustaceans in this fishes diet... principal prey and also color enhancing. Add some Cyclop-eeze based foods too for value and color> The other occupants: Yellow tang Juvenile blue angel Foxface Royal Gramma Sixline wrasse Chalk bass Ladder glider goby Purple Firefish Green Chromis Percula clown The hawk has always appeared to get along with everyone, and I have not noticed any obvious stress. For the past few days, his color has been fading. He is still eating, but he spends more time on the bottom rather than hopping among the powerheads and rocks. He just doesn't look healthy. Any ideas why he is fading? What should I do? <it could be impending illness... do look for symptoms. It could also be light that is too bright or substrates that are too light. 4 weeks is not long enough for diet to be the reason, though. Do examine the previous suggestions. Kindly, Anthony>

Hawkfish illness 5 days ago we did a 12 gallon water change on our 55 gallon tank (we do these weekly). In the tank currently are 2 domino damsels and a falco Hawkfish. We also have converted to power compacts (4 55's) and have finally been leaving all four lights on (rather than just for a few hours for the adjustment period) One day later (after the water change) the Hawkfish was hiding out in our live rock which was strange for him. But, he was still eating and looked fine so I thought he was okay. He is not eating now and acts almost dead, but still breathing. He looks at the food as it is offered, and notices it, seems interested but does nothing. His fins are not clamped, his breathing is normal and his color is good. He does look skinnier though. Also, it seems like he is not "with us." Plus, he never comes out from under the rocks (he is usually all over the place) I did another water change as we had used a buffer for the replacement water last time. I am thinking he got poisoned by supplements. Here is my problem...I would like to quarantine him, however my quarantine tank is occupied by a Sailfin tang I purchased about a week ago, (before this all happened). Should I place my hawk in there anyway? Should I just let the hawk hang out in the main tank and 'hope' this all blows over? Could this be related to the lights at all? (Too bright?) Would quarantine help if he has been poisoned? (or something). He just acts brain dead, and usually he is such a character-coming up to the tank to let us feed him when he sees us, etc. So this is very upsetting. BTW all my testing levels were normal. Thank you in advance--Carolyn -just when I thought I was getting this all down...>> Hmm... something is awry with your Hawkfish... it might have something to do with the supplement (maybe he got a strong dose, ate some?), but not the lighting as a factor..... And I would just leave it in the main tank and hope for the best... Not worth the trauma to all (including you) trying to catch it... possibly upsetting the Sailfin Tang... versus what might be gained. Bob Fenner

Hawkfish Hello, I have a 72 gallon saltwater tank with a porcupine puffer and a maroon clown. These were the only fish because of an outbreak of Ich. I bought a 20 gallon QT tank (unfortunately after the outbreak instead of before) and left the 72 empty except for live rock and sand for six weeks. I then put the puffer & clown back in the 72, everything seemed to be fine to this point. We then bought a red Coris wrasse and a red flame hawk and put them in the QT tank for 2 weeks. <A little short, I prefer a full four weeks just to be sure.> They seemed to be doing fine with no signs of disease. I added them to the 72 tank and on the 27th the next day the Hawkfish was dead. I did notice his color seemed pale when we first put in the larger tank and he literally dropped to the bottom instead of swimming, but his color seemed to come back soon after and he was perching on rocks soon thereafter. The wrasse is doing fine, but I'm in the dark what happened to the Hawkfish. We were told they were very hardy. I do need to mention that the water checked out fine in both tanks before we bought the 2 new fish and the temperature and salinity are identical. The 72 tank is about 6 months old. Any ideas? Should I do different in the future, maybe treat any new fish with copper just to be sure? <Because of the fast nature and lack of symptoms we can probably rule out a disease as the cause of death. I would instead double check the water quality in the 72 (perhaps at a LFS with their test kits) and also look into your acclimation procedures when you released the Hawkfish. -Steven Pro>

- Mystery Spot - Hello, <Good morning, JasonC here...> I have had Snarky, a Long Nose Hawk, for approximately one and half years. Tonight I noticed, for the first time, this black spot on gill next to his eye. I netted him, and he let me attempt removing the spot, but it would not come loose, as if there was nothing clinging to his body. I can not tell if it is Turbellarian, or if he had developed a beauty mark, that I just happened to notice after all this time. I have attached a good picture of the spot I am referring to for your examine, and I can magnify this picture, and resend it if you need a closer view of it. I would appreciate if you could let me know what your assessment is ASAP, so I can begin treatment if required. <I think this is most likely something similar to a bruise.> I am also scheduled to leave on vacation this Friday. It always seems that stuff like this happens before I go on vacation. <Ain't that the truth.> Anyway, my tank is very healthy, and I don't suspect this to be an illness, since Snarky isn't exhibiting any loss of appetite, scratching, or listlessness, it's just that it seems like an unnatural marking amongst his red and white pattern. What do you think? <I think it will be fine - will go away in time.> Thank you for having such an informative site/resource for an aquarist to improve their fish friends' health and well being. Sincerely, Joel <Cheers, J -- >

- Single Black Spot - Hello, I think I missed your assessment. Should I be concerned or not? <It's my opinion that the spot is just a bruise. No cause for concern.> Thank you, Joel <Cheers, J -- >

- Another Follow-up on Freshwater Dips - Would you consider Longnose Hawkfish a fish? <Of course - it's certainly not a bird or a horse.> The Ich seems never affected it. <They are just durable and disease resistant.> Would you recommend a cleaner wrasse for the tank since it feeds on external parasites? <No. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm > I bought one last weekend because I had seen them servicing the fishes, hoping this one would perform the same function. Yet this new wrasse never approached/touched the fishes w/ Ich. <Is probably getting used to the new environment.> Is that strange? <Not really.> I wonder if the Ich on the fishes scared the wrasse away. <I doubt it. Cheers, J>

Disease ID Hello Crew, I have an Arc Eye Hawk (Ivan's his name) that 2 times over the last 6 to 8 weeks has had small, white nodules (for lack of a better description) on the front spines of his dorsal fin. They look a lot like small pieces of Styrofoam (and having recently battled Ick it looks nothing like it). The first time, they went away on their own, leading me to believe that something (some debris) got stuck on him. He got them a second time and as of yet they have not gone away (after about 7 days). He is otherwise active and eating really well. Do you think he has some funky disease and if so what is the treatment? All other fish in this tank (a 180g FO) are healthy and eating well. Any insight that you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Bob Jones <Hey Bob, it is hard to say with out a picture, does it look fuzzy? Check out the disease sections at the link below, see if any of that sounds familiar http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm If he is infected with something, the first step would be to get him into a quarantine tank for further observation and identification of the disease. Feel free to send a pic if you can. Best Regards, Gage>

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