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20 Gallon Hospital Tank

November 02, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
Ok so I know the last few days have been very sad and full of death, but just one more sad story to tell. Also hopefully this will be my last post about a fish passing away for a long long time.

I always wanted to add a Purple Tang to our 240 gallon mixed reef, so when a opportunity came up for me to purchase a young Purple Tang in great shape at a low price I couldn't pass it up. My new tank was going to be done soon anyway, so I didn't see anything wrong with taking the plunge.

I got him home and put him into our 20 gallon quarantine tank with new filters and a 50/50 mix of display tank and new saltwater. He seems pretty happy and eat like a pig. After a few weeks I noticed that he was starting to develop HLLE (Head and lateral line erosion). I did some research and decided that the area I was keeping the Purple Tang in was too dark with inadequate lighting and no natural sunlight.

I then borrowed a 40 gallon tank from my tank builder and put a bunch of live rock that had been curing for a few months in with the tang. I also put in two new filter pads. Which I soon read were probably causing the HLLE from the type of carbon they used.

Frantic I then tore out the carbon and rinsed the filters extremely well and did a 50% water change. My tank build didn't come to an ended and we hit a bunch of road blocks along the way. The best ways to fight HLLE are with better nutrition and better water quality. I feed the Purple Tang everyday with vitamin soaked nori and mysis shrimp. He ate like a pig but his HLLE never seemed to improve. I knew this was because of water quality, the lack of a skimmer, poor filtering of the HOB filter, no cleanup crew and heavy feeding didn't help that mater.

I was shocked that the little guy held on for so long, but one day I found him swimming very strange and having problems staying upright. I then took it upon myself to do a 50%+ water change and really clean every inch of the tank with a siphon. It was all in vain and the Purple Tang died the next day. It was crushing on us. I felt so bad I was forced to keep the fish in such a badly filtrated tank for nearly 5 months. The HLLE, stress, water quality etc... just ended up getting the better of him.

I do plan on getting another Purple Tang, but this time I'm hoping to quarantine for only 4-6 weeks and just look out for any signs of infection. If all goes well, he'll go into the 240 with my existing Yellow Tang. I will also be quarantining another Yellow Tang separately, so I can add 2 Yellow Tangs and 1 Purple Tang for 3 Zebrasoma Tangs going in simultaneously to cut down on tang warfare.

I've learned my lesson this time and will only be buying the new Yellow and Purple Tangs after my 240 is up and running with no leaks or other issues. I will no let this happen again to a fish...


October 30, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
I bought this little 20 gallon long glass tank at Petco during their dollar per gallon sale. My original plans for this tank was that it would be my quarantine tank, which for small fish would be just fine.

The more I started looking at the type of fish I would like to keep, I realized that keeping a 3-5" tang for 4-6 week in a 20 gallon tank just wasn't going to work. Our original 55 gallon display tank would work much better for those larger fish.

We have used this 20 gallon tank to quarantine a few fish including our Yellow Belly Blue Tang and Black Ice Clownfish with good outcomes.

My new plan is to have the 55 gallon tank setup as a second tank which will always be up. This tank will be used for all new fish as a sort of holding and monitor tank, where the fish can get used to being in a tank and eating and we can see if anything goes wrong. The 20 gallon tank will then be used as a bare bottom tank for when a fish needs a little extra help that doesn't make sense to treat either the display tank or 55 gallon holding tank with medication.

Right now the 20 gallon tank is being used to house the live rock from a 40 gallon quarantine tank that held our purple tank for 5 months and he ended up passing away, I'm guessing due to stress and horrible filtration on that 40 gallon tank. I'm going to let the rock sit in this tank and do water changes until I feel like the rock is nice and clean.

After that I will take some of that rock out and put it in the 40 gallon tank and leave the rest in the 20 gallon. I will then quarantine a new Yellow and Purple Tang in each tank while the 240 gallon is cycling. My hopes are to put the new Yellow and Purple Tangs in the 240 at the same time as my existing Yellow Tang. Hopefully these Zebrasoma Tangs will get along in a group of three if adding at the same time to the 240.

This little 20 gallon tank is really the little tank that could. We'll keep you posted on each little build it goes through in the coming months and years.


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