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View Full Version : Yet Another Moorish Idol Thread


straightrazorguy
12-07-2014, 02:12 AM
I love moorish idols. I know people say the survival rates are so poor, that it's not even worth trying. I know people recommend getting a bannerfish instead. Much easier, they say. Still, I like idols, but not bannerfish.

After a lot of reading I decided to try my hand at it. I know that they are abundant in nature, so the aquarium trade won't change any of that. That's how I justify my decision, anyway.

Long story short, after a lot of debating I picked up a medium pair (3-4 inch) a couple of days ago. They are both in my bare QT. I do a rigorous quarantine regimen, as I am not willing to introduce any nasties in my DT. I am currently treating the idols with PraziPro. I have, in the past, lost a Kole tang and a leopard wrasse to Cupramine. So the last batch of fish got a month of hyposalinty after a couple of weeks of Prazipro.

What do you suggest for my idols? One is eating and spitting a lot. The other one isn't eating at all. What do experienced Canreefers say? Please bring all advice, including your worst criticism. I'm a big boy; I can take it!

Aquattro
12-07-2014, 03:14 AM
I'm bringing one home later this week that has been in the LFS display for a year or so. Great fish that eats like a pig. Does well with it's tank mates. Eats nori and mysis, and the occasional nip at a coral. I can live with that for such a nice fish.

George
12-07-2014, 04:04 AM
Probably best to hold on to prazipro until both are eating and build up some fat reserve. Prazipro is known to suppress appetite of some fish.
try some live food clams (aka manila clams in the market), or live black worms (king ed sells them) to get them to eat.
Good luck.

Madreefer
12-07-2014, 05:39 AM
I'm bringing one home later this week that has been in the LFS display for a year or so. Great fish that eats like a pig. Does well with it's tank mates. Eats nori and mysis, and the occasional nip at a coral. I can live with that for such a nice fish.

Finally!!! Your lucky. I wish I could find one like that.

MarkoD
12-07-2014, 05:53 AM
I had one for 6 months before it was killed by a purple tang. I fed it pineapple sponges from my sump. It also ate NLS pellets and nori

Aquattro
12-07-2014, 06:01 AM
I fed it pineapple sponges from my sump.

How did you do this, exactly? My sump is getting full of them

straightrazorguy
12-07-2014, 06:00 PM
I had one for 6 months before it was killed by a purple tang. I fed it pineapple sponges from my sump. It also ate NLS pellets and nori

Bummer about it being killed by a killer tang. How did you get it to eat?

Mine are both now sampling all the food and spitting it out. I'm getting worried. Any advice/ideas?

Craigdillman
12-07-2014, 09:49 PM
have you tried live food ? brine shrimp tho small might get them interested and eating and heard of people hatching blood worms for copper bands and finicky fish maybe look into that ?

Good luck

straightrazorguy
12-07-2014, 10:07 PM
No, I haven't thought of live foods. I don't even know where to get it locally. My copperband ate frozen on day 3.

have you tried live food ? brine shrimp tho small might get them interested and eating and heard of people hatching blood worms for copper bands and finicky fish maybe look into that ?

Good luck

SeaHorse_Fanatic
12-07-2014, 11:05 PM
Mykiss (Pat) on BCAQUARIA raises live brine shrimp on a constant basis.

Jaws
12-07-2014, 11:47 PM
I've had success with some of the New ERA flake, pellet, and grazing wheel food. It seems to be smelly enough to entice some of the more finicky eaters. At the end of the day though, idols are always going to be hit and miss and I wouldn't personally buy one unless it was already eating very well before I bought it.

straightrazorguy
12-08-2014, 01:37 AM
Thanks Anthony; I may contact MyKiss.

Update: they are both picking at food, chewing and spitting back out, most of the time. But after observing them for a while I noticed they don't spit all the food; they seem to swallow some. I tried feeding all kinds of foods: nori, pellets, flakes, frozen mysis, clams, frozen brine, soaked in Selcon or not, etc. The smaller moorish seems to favour nori and the bigger one clam bits. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Treebeard
12-08-2014, 03:28 AM
I know it's a long shot, but maybe try Docs Eco Eggs Brew. All of my fish love it, including a Kole Tang that would only eat New Era Marine Grazers, and otherwise survives on whatever algae he picks off the ricks.
http://docseco.com/product/docs-eco-eggs-brew/

Cody
12-10-2014, 05:22 AM
I've been debating getting a Moorish Idol myself, and a guy that has successfully kept one told me that the key is a diverse diet with all different types of food. He feeds frozens, dried, pellets and flakes. Obviously there is more to it than that including great water conditions, but he felt the feeding diversity is crucial.

Good luck!

straightrazorguy
12-10-2014, 05:13 PM
Slow progress: the smaller fish eats reasonably well now. The big one still picks at it, spitting back out most food. Watching him eat is like watching paint dry. But the food disappears off the bottom and the nori gets eaten off the clip while I'm gone. And I'm feeding a variety of foods: flakes, pellets, nori and mysis. I soak them in Doc's Eco Eggs Brew, shich I piocked up at J&L (thanks Treebeard!). I'm quite hopeful!

Tracey2
12-10-2014, 11:47 PM
you could try live black worms, not many fish can resist. I agree to hold off on the prazipro until they are eating well.

KPG007
12-11-2014, 05:18 PM
I was at King Ed's a week and a half a ago and they had a few Moorish Idols. I just set up a 4'x8' frag system and was looking for some fish for it. Because of the size of my tank, I took a chance on one of the Idols. It took him a few days to come out from hiding when I came around, but eventually he did. He wasn't eating anything I put in the tank, but I did notice him pecking at rocks and at some algae growing on frag plugs. He slowly progressed to where he would get into the feeding frenzy and chase mysis around when it was added, but he would just spit it out.
Finally yesterday came the big breakthrough! I was going to add another sheet of Nori, but at the last minute decided to add some flake first. Wow! He started eating it like there was no tomorrow! He's out swimming much more comfortably now too. He has also buddied up with another new fish - an XL Naso tang (who is also hiding a lot and not eating, but I just got him last weekend). The Naso is a big boy and will hopefully come around.
I was suffering a little buyers remorse when I picked up the Idol, knowing they are not an easy fish to keep. I'm definitely a little more optimistic now that he's eating and more relaxed.

I was talking to Robert at King Ed a few years ago and he was telling me the '3' milestones of new fish:
A fish will die within 3 days due to capture and shipping.
A fish will die within 3 weeks if he does not start eating
A fish will die within 3 months if he was captured using cyanide.

So almost two weeks in and I think I passed the first two. Still a lot can go wrong, but so far so good.

Good Luck with your Idol!

straightrazorguy
12-11-2014, 06:59 PM
Yeah I got my two moorish at King Ed as well. Update, I had the tank set with Prazipro to begin with, and slowly drip acclimated them last Thursday when I got them. In retrospect, it was a stupid thing to do. I did do a 25% water change 3 days later, and they are eating reasonably well now. They are still slow, deliberate eaters, but they eat nori and flakes.

Like I said before, they got a full dose of Prazipro for 3 days which isn't quite enough. The question I have to you experienced fish guys, should I, at some point treat them with Cupramine for Ick? Or should I do Hypo? They are in a bare tank, and I hope to move them to the DT as soon as it's safe to do so...

straightrazorguy
12-14-2014, 10:16 PM
After eating like pigs for a few days the idols stopped eating. They were hovering near the surface breathing rapidly. I did a 30% water change and lowered the water level in the tanks so they get more oxygenation (the hang on back filter is the only turbulence they get). They seem to be better, but they are still breathing rapidly and not eating.

Any ideas? Suggestions?

Aquattro
12-14-2014, 10:18 PM
check ammonia?

Craigdillman
12-14-2014, 10:35 PM
ammonia check that if its in a QT get some prime in there asap

straightrazorguy
12-15-2014, 02:02 AM
The little guy has powdery spots on it now. The development was very rapid. It happened today (say 12 hours). I have added Cupramine, as the little MI is barely hanging on...:cry:

straightrazorguy
12-15-2014, 04:18 PM
Update: I woke up this morning to find the smaller MI dead on the bottom of the tank. It happened less than 24 hours since I noticed he stopped eating. The bigger one is still swimming around, but not eating.

Aquattro
12-15-2014, 04:37 PM
What did NH3 measure at?

straightrazorguy
12-15-2014, 05:14 PM
< 0.25 on my Salifert.

He had white powdery spots on his sides. I truly believe it's some sort of parasite....

straightrazorguy
12-17-2014, 01:37 AM
Another update: the surviving MI is still around. I dosed Cupramine slowly over a couple of days. Still not at 0.5 Cu. The Idol stopped eating, but is swimming around. His breathing is fast,, but not as fast as his now defunct buddy. How long do I have with him not eating? Anything I can do to entice him? Dang it, they had started eating well....

Aquattro
12-17-2014, 03:12 AM
It didn't sound like they were eating well, just kind of picking. Mine looks like he may jump out of the tank when I pick up the fish food jar, and he fights with a large blue face angel to get to the nori. He eats well :)
As for how long without eating, I'd usually say 3 weeks max before you hit critical.

straightrazorguy
12-19-2014, 05:33 AM
Thanks Brad. Over 3 days I increased the Cupramine to close to 0.5 (kinda hard to get the colours to match). He hasn't eaten anything since Sunday. Today he started eating nori. He is not spitting. He seems to be breathing normally now, so I think it was some parasite. I can't tell if it was velvet or ick, but it sure killed the little guy fast. I am keeping my fingers crossed....

Aquattro
12-19-2014, 05:36 AM
That's a good sign.

Aquattro
12-23-2014, 06:17 AM
How did things pan out?

straightrazorguy
12-23-2014, 06:28 AM
Sadly, the next day he stopped eating. Within 24 hours he turned black and died. So, that's 2 out of 2, so far.

Aquattro
12-23-2014, 06:34 AM
That sucks. Sorry to hear.

naesco
12-24-2014, 04:01 AM
So, what did we learn from this 'experiment' and how many Moorish Idol will be killed before someone on this board speaks up and says enough is enough!!

Aquattro
12-24-2014, 04:24 AM
So, what did we learn from this 'experiment' and how many Moorish Idol will be killed before someone on this board speaks up and says enough is enough!!

We learned that we only buy fish that are eating. Mine eats like a shark. A hungry shark, you know, eating things. :)

Welcome back Wayne !