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    Posted: January 28 2014 at 1:34pm

It started up about 2 weeks ago.

I use Kent's Activated carbon (and have for years) but I just took it out.

I'm a bit afraid it's stray voltage because just before this started showing up my skimmer pump died on me and when I took the needle wheel out it was all sorts of chewed up. I replaced the needle wheel and it works again but I'm concerned that there my be some stray voltage leaking through pump. That said I do have a ground cable hooked up to my tank that should alleviate that problem right?

Any thoughts? So far it's just my Sailfin and not my yellow tang or blue tang.

As for water parameters
Temp: 78-79
Salinity: 1.024
PH: 8.0
NO3: 25 ppm
Po4: 0
Alk: 10.2
Calcium: 400
Mag: 1350

Thanks in advance!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 28 2014 at 2:39pm
Although the lateral line looks affected, usually there is much more damage than that to the head and lateral line before such damage shows up on the dorsal fin (hence the name HLLE). How big is your tank? That dorsal fin looks like it was damaged by a tank mate.

There is still no definite cause of HLLE, but fine carbon dust is very suspect. I have had fish heal of HLLE in my tanks with carbon, so it is not the only factor. Make sure you rinse your carbon well. I would keep an eye on those tangs together. Also, keep a ready supply of fresh or dried algae for them. I would bring your nitrates down as well.
Diving since 2009, reefkeeping since 2007, & fishkeeping since 1987
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2014 at 10:10am
I agree that it looks more like a battle between tankmates.

In an effort to decrease Nitrates, have you been feeding less? This causes territorial agressiveness when the Alpha Fish says, "There's not enough food in this place for all of us. You gotta go!"

My suggestion, as you may know Wink, is to introduce live algae into a well illuminated, preferably an upper area in the display, which reduces pollution as it feeds. I have a big clump of Chaeto I'll give you for free. Chaetomorpha is not their favorite algae so it will last longer as a pollution reducer while they nibble on it.
Another suggestion is to completely cease feeding dry foods in favor of natural foods, i.e., Leafy greens, Nori and frozen meaty foods that are packed with algae, like Emerald Entree and Spirulina Enriched Brine/Mysis. These natural foods provide longer lasting time release nutrients which are better for the fish for a longer duration and at the same time are less polluting to the water. Feed just enough Nori that it is all eaten in an hour or so, otherwise the leftover simply adds to the tank pollution. Leafy greens can be left hanging on the clip for hours.

As I'm writing this, I realize that you probably know all this already, but maybe another reader can benefit.

Did you know that an electricity leak into the water is not eliminated by a grounding probe? The truth is, a Grounding Probe exacerbates and prolongs the electricity leak because the electricity is flowing through the tank water until it reaches and follows the probe out to ground. A true short circuit contact of a power wire to tank water sends 110 volts to ground. Because of the physics of electricity through salt water, there is not enough electrical current to trip the house circuit breaker, but plenty enough to stress tank inhabitants for days, weeks or months. This, even while a hobbyist that is insulated from the ground goes about happily working with his/her arms in the tank, totally oblivious of the slow electrocution going on around them.
Another way of explaining this is to say that a grounding probe creates an electrical circuit running right through the fish.

If stray voltage is suspect, it can be verfied with a voltage meter like this:

1. Unplug the grounding probe and make sure the other end is still in the water.
2. Place one lead of the voltage meter in the ground hole of the 110 power source vacated by the grounding probe, either the wall or a power strip.
3. Place the other lead into the tank water or solidly touching the ground plug end of the grounding probe.
4. Set the meter to detect 110 AC voltage. (If you have a DC Pump, check again with the voltage meter set for DC voltage)

If the voltage meter shows more than 40 volts of AC electricity or more than half the DC voltage of the DC pump, there is a problem. One by one, unplug each individual electrical device until the voltage drops significantly. That device is the culprit.

Hope this helps,
Mark Hug
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