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Old 03/08/2018, 10:35 PM   #12
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Huntington, WV
Posts: 664
Classic Head and Lateral Line Erosion, aka HLLE.

I doubt a small amount of rust would harm your fish.

I have a hypothesis that the dietary needs of many species change as they age. I've seen Paracanthurus hepatus tangs grow large and then, rather suddenly, develop HLLE, sometimes even going blind.

A friend kept his Hippo tang with his inverts until one day it destroyed his tank, eating everything it could. It was quite large at the time. I believe it was not getting the nutrition it required as it aged.

If you can rule out stray voltage, and water parameters are good, you may want to provide more of whatever is missing from your fish's diet. If it's not getting a lot of greens, increase it; I would be giving it an Angelfish food with sponge it it as a matter of course. I've always used black mussels for large fish.

One my favorite tricks was to cut nori in strips, soak it in fish oil, and feed it to the fish.

I used to purchase fish with HLLE at a discount. I could invariably cure the fish simply by feeding food I made myself out of squid, nori, spirulina, and a other various molluscs and crustaceans I purchased locally.

Invariably, the previous owners of the fish fed dry, processed food, which I believe is a major factor in HLLE. I would only allow my salt water customers to use ANY processed food in small amounts. It was to be an occasional treat, never a major food source. My personal fish get almost NO dry food.

Last edited by WVfishguy; 03/08/2018 at 10:41 PM.
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