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Royal Gramma - no appetite and acting lethargic - please help


TeamIM24

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We've had our Royal Gramma for a month, and it's always had a ravenous appetite until yesterday when it didn't eat much and this morning where it didn't eat at all.

 

Two weeks ago we would notice a couple of tiny white spots (about the size of a period at the end of a sentence) on it each morning -- usually on the tail or a fin -- which would be gone by the afternoon. We figured that it was from bristleworm stings because we know we have bristleworms in the rockwork where it likes to hide.

 

Two days this past week, it had lots more of the same type of white spots not just on the fins, but on its head and body also. Again, they'd be gone by the afternoon. We noticed that the gramma would rub itself on the sand and rocks.

 

This morning it barely peeked out from its hiding spots when I turned off the pump to feed it. It usually is darting around in excitement when I turn off the pump for feeding time and readily chows down on anything we offer it. It was moving slowly, and didn't go near the food. It went up in its smallest hidey-hole and we haven't seen it in the last 2 1/2 hours.

 

Only change in the past 48 hours is we added a ricordia frag to the tank.

 

Any idea of what would be wrong and how we can help?? Would really love to save this fish if at all possible. The spots are white and look a little too big to be marine velvet to me, but we're fairly new to the hobby so I definitely could be mistaken.

 

Water parameters are great...tested ph, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites this morning.

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Fish can rub ich off? Didn't know they could do that. I had a freshwater tank before, and the ich always stayed on.

 

It's the only fish in the tank at present.

 

Best ich treatment for saltwater fish? Would love to hear everyone's best ones.

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Fish can rub ich off? Didn't know they could do that. I had a freshwater tank before, and the ich always stayed on.

 

It's the only fish in the tank at present.

 

Best ich treatment for saltwater fish? Would love to hear everyone's best ones.

You need to remove all fish to a Hospital tank and leave your DT with out fish for 6 to 8 weeks.

see my edited post above.

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...when the fish had ich. Didn't happen too often, but when it did, the ich didn't come off. When I wrote that the first time, it sounds like the fish constantly had ich. Not the case.

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Rubbing almost certainly confirms ich. Will be hard to catch him. You can also try soaking some food in garlic, doesn't actually help with the ich but may entice him to eat.

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Thank you for the help. We purchased a QT this afternoon and will set it up tonight and hopefully transfer the Gramma in the morning before feeding. We put some squid in this afternoon and she came out and ate a pretty good bit which is a good sign. She has also been out and about a lot of the afternoon which we also take as a good sign.

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Transferred Gramma to QT tank last night. She wouldn't come out of the live rock so we just moved that piece into the QT until she ventured out of it and then grabbed the rock and put it back in the DT. We did the garlic thing this morning and she ate. Hoping she makes a full recovery. Thanks for the help on this. We will post updates...

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Just keep in mind it takes 6 weeks minimum for it to die off in your tank. So don't put her back in once you feel she's better, which will probably be too soon. Be patient.

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Just so you know you should probably move all the fish to a QT. I've heard chloroquine phosphate is a good treatment if you haven't started something already. I left my DT fallow for 11 weeks when it had ich. Maybe a little excessive, but I wanted to be sure.

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What are you treating her with?

Copper treatment we got at the LFS. While Gramma is in QT and while we keep her out of the DT long enough (6+ weeks) for the ich to clear, can we still add corals?

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Copper treatment we got at the LFS. While Gramma is in QT and while we keep her out of the DT long enough (6+ weeks) for the ich to clear, can we still add corals?

yes, but keep in mind, you may need to reset your 6 week counter if you do.

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Copper treatment we got at the LFS. While Gramma is in QT and while we keep her out of the DT long enough (6+ weeks) for the ich to clear, can we still add corals?

I would run that DT fallow longer than six weeks .....after all of this, another couple weeks is no big deal. Yes, you can add coral. It is possible to bring the ich parasite in on the coral.....That being said, just purchase your coral from a high quality supplier. There are plenty on here. The time will pass faster than you think. Make sure you have a copper test kit to insure you don't over or under dose the QT.

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I would run that DT fallow longer than six weeks .....after all of this, another couple weeks is no big deal. Yes, you can add coral. It is possible to bring the ich parasite in on the coral.....That being said, just purchase your coral from a high quality supplier. There are plenty on here. The time will pass faster than you think. Make sure you have a copper test kit to insure you don't over or under dose the QT.

Will do. We are testing the copper level daily along with other parameters to keep everything stable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to post an update. Fishy is doing great. There was a period where she didn't eat anything and hardly moved for 3 days and I was pretty sure she wasn't going to make it. We finished up the copper treatment on Saturday and she is eating everything we put in and swims all over the tank (as opposed to hiding in the PVC like she did for the first 2 weeks). Now we are just waiting for the DT to get past six+ weeks so we can transfer her back.

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I love hearing success stories! All too often things don't work out or people don't make the effort to treat their fish with the appropriate care.

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Just wanted to post an update. Fishy is doing great. There was a period where she didn't eat anything and hardly moved for 3 days and I was pretty sure she wasn't going to make it. We finished up the copper treatment on Saturday and she is eating everything we put in and swims all over the tank (as opposed to hiding in the PVC like she did for the first 2 weeks). Now we are just waiting for the DT to get past six+ weeks so we can transfer her back.

 

Nice job!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tomorrow is 6 weeks in the QT for Gramma. She is still doing great. We will most likely move her over next week. We noticed an ammonia spike even though we were doing daily or every other day water changes. I think we may have been over feeding and not getting all the left over food off the bottom of the tank. We are ready to be done with the QT. It has required a lot more time than the DT.

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It's well worth the effort. Both my clowns and royal gramma had ich in 2009. Treated in QT and I still have them 5 years later. Large daily water changes get old real fast, but you do what you gotta do.

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It's well worth the effort. Both my clowns and royal gramma had ich in 2009. Treated in QT and I still have them 5 years later. Large daily water changes get old real fast, but you do what you gotta do.

 

That is encouraging to hear. We moved her back in yesterday afternoon. So far so good. She has been hiding out of site about 99% of the time but did come out to eat this morning. We are glad to have her back in the DT and we hope she enjoys the extra space, rocks, CUC and corals that she didn't have in the QT.

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