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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm an ESL-speaker so if something is a bit hard to understand I'll try to explain it better. If you find the text too long to read there's a summary at the bottom of the post. :) Thank you for reading!

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I have a 100 gallon tang. tank that is currently hosting a "colony" of multis, three julie marileri and seven cyp. leptosoma.

A few months ago, the tank got hit with the bloat/wasting away disease. At this time I had a functional colony of multis, the three julies and 15 cyps. I lost two cyps to the bloat, but after two weeks of medication there were no more signs of disease and everything seemed well for a little while.

However, the cyps did not stop dying. At this time I'm loosing about one a week but of the seven cyps I have left, however none of them are healthy at the moment. They all have the tell-tale signs of the disease, their backs are crummed and their stomachs hollow. They do eat without spitting the food back out though.

The multi colony sort of just... broke up I guess. There's one female and male still hovering over their shells but the others have left the shells to seek cover in the vallisineria plants.

The julies have NOT paired up, I started with five and now have three, one BIG mean female and two smaller males. I've had them for over a year, how long can this take? :/ They aren't really using the cave I built for them either. :c

As horrible as it may sound, I'm just waiting for the cyps to die. The ones who get their back crooked I take care off. I'm at the end of my rope and I've tried everything, I love every single one of my fish but this is just so taxing emotionally and economically.

Questions

1. In the end, I guess what I need help with is rebuilding my set up. I'm not going to keep cyps again after this, they are beautiful fish but they're just too fragile. What other "free swimmers" are there? I know I could probably keep tropheus, but they too have their problems with the bloat. :/ Any hardy tang. cichlids that free swim?

2. Is there any tricks to get a multi colony back together? I don't think they are sick, they just doesn't seem interested in shells at all? These are previously working pairs + harems that have produced fry.

3. How long can it take for the julies to pair up?

4. Can I fit a pair/one alto. comprecisseps? into this? Is there a risk they will eat my full-grown multi?

I want to add more speed and motion to the tank, because now it's 100gallon that at first glance looks completely empty. I love tang. cichlids but all this trouble have me tearing my hair out. I want a pretty tank with healthy fish. :( Is there a light in the tunnel or should I just give up now and fill the tank with fancy guppies?[/img]

Help and advice deeply appriciated, I do my research and am more dedicated than I may come off, but it's only been downhill now for awhile,

cheers;

Janthina
 

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I'm by no means a tang expert, however, when you describe an emaciated fish that eats and (I'm assuming here) has normal bowel movements, I would suspect a parasite as the cause and not bloat. A fish with bloat will very rarely eat anything.
So my advice, before you plan your restocking, is to treat with an anti-parasitic medication such as Jungle Parasite Clear. Otherwise you're at risk of passing the ailment on to new fish.
What medication were you using?
 

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Don't give up, tangs are fairly easy, as long as their basic needs are met. Can you share a little more information about water chemistry, water changes, what you are feeding?

Also, when you get your tank back in order you can get at least a pair or trio of alto's, maybe more. What are the measurements of your tank? (length x width x height)
I have not heard of alto's eating adult multies, they will eat the fry though. If you are starting with young alto's it will be a long time before they get large enough to even worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I may have underestimated the time frame here, the troubles started many months ago. After a lot of discussion online and with the helpful people at my LFS I did "diagnose" my fish with bloat, but I don't know for certain if that's what it was. The sick individuals where not eating. I treated with octozin and then with bactopur, I'm not sure if I need to "translate" the medication? :s

They (the cyps) were healthy for a couple of weeks and then they started to die again, but this time I didn't see many signs before their backs crooked and then a few more died. :/ I used parasite clear and it seemed to work, but a few weeks after treatment the cyps again started to die with crooked backs. The other fish are all fine and haven't shown any symptoms since the first treatment.

I will of course make sure the tank is healthy before adding any other fish. I was just curious if there were any options for me, or if I should just make sure the surviving fish are healthy enough to be given back to the LFS. :) Thank you for the advice though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's been so long with this disease though, I almost forget what the tank used to look like when it was healthy. I'm not giving up, it's just hard to pick myself up after all the set backs. :p

Tank measurments: 150cm in lenght, 50cm wide, 50cm high (I think it amounts to 59 inches long and 20 inches high 20 inches wide?)

pH: 7,5
dKH: 10
temp: 26 celcius/78,8 farenheit

I change 30% a week, treating the water with aquatan and bicarbonate. I feed twice a day; frozen mix of pea and shrimp, at times frozen brine shrimp but lately mostly frozen daphnia and (more rarely now) spirulina pellets. I let them fast on Sundays. I am going to start feeding them with live brine shrimp as soon as I can get my hands on a "maker".

I've had my eyes on the altos for a long time and the plan was always to introduce them when the multie colony had grown a bit, but the babies keep dying before they reach adulthood. Maybe I'm just not very good at this.

I was thinking of adding some brichardi, but I've heard quite a lot about them taking over the whole tank and I'm not sure I want a 100 gallon species tank for them. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone know of any parasites that have a long dormant stage? My whole tank is obviously infected again, symptoms such as rapid gill movement, white stringy waste and emaciated fish, some eats, some do not. Anyone know of any "cure all" medication I could use? I tried jungle parasite clear but after a few weeks the disease was back again. I tried to cure it again, everything seemed fine (except the cyps but I just thought they'd taken too much of a beating from the disease to survive) but now it's back again. One multi even has a hole in his side but I don't know if this is just the marileri female. :(

Sigh. I don't know what to do now except try to cure it, but since it just seems to come back over and over maybe it's time to rebuild the tank from scratch.
 

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For diseases that seem to go and come back, the issue might be that the pathogen may only spend a portion of its lifecycle in the fish. A UV sterilizer might help to kill the pathogens during their non-resident phase.

I've not used one, but have heard from folks with similar situations to yours that, together with medication, a UV sterlizer cleared up their issue.
 

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Another thought, when you medicate take out all filter media. You presumably know to take out the carbon, but given that fish waste collects in the "mechanical" media, that might be where the pathogen is colonizing. Throw it out, and once the medication has run its cycle, put in completely fresh media. This presumes you have something like a biowheel that won't completely compromise your bio filtration when you remove the mechanical media.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sadly I don't have a bio-wheel. :/ I'll have to try the UV-sterilizer I think.

There seems to be some black spots in my marileri females fins and under her "chin" that I haven't noticed before, I guess this could mean that they have black ich? :/ I haven't seen the black spots anywhere else though, so i don't know if that's what it is. They all have the stringy waste too.

It looks kind of similar to these pictures, especially the ones that show the specks on the females chin: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=170652&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=30 . In those cases it seems to be either stress/food troubles, but I'm not sure since they show so many other symptoms of disease. Rapid breathing in one multi, crooked backs in the cyps, it's only the julies that have the black spots? And the julies all seem pretty healthy, except for the aggression they show each other.

Someone else said they might have fish TB, anyone know if this is common in tangs? Either way it doesn't look too good. I'm thinking of dissecting the next fatal case, but I don't really know what to look for. :/
 
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