FAQs on HLLE, Head and Lateral
Line Disease 4
Related Articles: Head and
Lateral Line Disease, Algae Filters Articles, Caulerpa Algae,
Related FAQs: HLLE
1, HLLE 2,
& FAQs on HLLE: Causes/Etiology, Cures, Non-Cures, SW
Case Histories, FW
Case Histories, Vitamins in Marine Systems,
Re: Coral beauty hole in the head
Hi Mr. Fenner/ Crew, thank you so much for your response! (Something weird
happened with my email, which I actually wrote somewhere in September 25th,
but I see that it went out on 11/15...) Unfortunately, that CB died the next
day, I am attaching some pictures (sorry for the poor quality), for
diagnosis purposes. I am also attaching pictures of my tangs that I believe
were struggling with Turbellaria, from few months ago... Ever since, my tank
has been haunted! I lost 1 CB, 1 Potters angel and a rusty angel (pictures
attached), 3-4 days after being released in the DT they got covered with the
fine white dots, from nose to tail. Normal behavior, no flashing, eating
fine (except the CB that died), even the CB that I’ve had for 3 weeks
started the same, actually I didn’t think it would make it, but I treated
the tank with PraziPro and he cleared up; I have 2 purple Midas blennies, a
bicolor blenny and a Tailspot blenny, they all scratch on the glass and
sometimes bite their tails; 1 eibli angel, 1 purple and 1 scopas tang, 1
yellow watchman goby, 1 maroon clown and 1 6line wrasse. They all eat, no
scratching (except the blennies ), but they stop by the cleaner shrimps
(which are fire shrimps so they don’t really care) and every now and again I
see them yawning. So it’s not ich, pretty sure not velvet, probably not
flukes (I treated with PraziPro 6 times in the past 3 months, which is
probably the reason they are still alive ), is this (still) black ich?? What
should I do??
<Read, on WWM re parasitic diseases of marine fishes>
The problem with PraziPro is that it brings my ph sometimes below 7.8, and I
already poured 1 box of baking soda in the tank to bring it back to normal
<See SeaChem's line of buffers for marine systems>
Help, please !! Any input is much appreciated! Thank you for your time !
(More pictures are coming )
<DO NOT SEND such large files. They and your messages will be deleted. B>
Mimic patches on face 2/7/19
Attached is a photo of my latest addition; a mimic tang. I am trying to figure
out if the white irregular shapes on one side of his/her face is parasitic, or
from injury of some sort.
<I can see this in your very nice pic. It could be an injury made with a rough
surface, if it don´t heal on its own in a few days, we are probably in front of
a HLLE case at its early stages.>
The tang has been in the main display for ~ 4 weeks and the "patches" on his
face appeared about 10 days ago.
<Are you using activated carbon? sometimes its use triggers this condition>
Please ignore what looks like a sprinkling of salt over the rest of him, it is
just the debris in the water I could not avoid. He is absolutely clear outside
or 3 or so white patches which do seem to be a bit raised but not by much. There
has been no progression since I noticed it. He/She does not scratch, flare and
is eating .well. like a tang. Diet consists of Omega one flakes, Red algae
strips and occasional frozen cubes of mixed meaty foods..not to mention the
<Have you try Newlife Spectrum pellets?...have give me very good results over
His home is a 265 gallon SPS tank with a few LPS, Hammer coral and several
Duncans. Tank mates are 1 Scopas about the same size, Ocellaris clown, 1
Chromis, 6 line wrasse, bicolor blenny and a Mandarin. There is really no
aggression in the tank. The scopas and mimic will eat the strips greedily
Ammonia 0 detectable,
Nitrite 0 detectable
Nitrate really undetectable using API kit
pH 8.04 to 8.13 (tank is in basement)
Temp kept at 75 using Apex controllers
<Looks like a well maintained tank.>
Any thoughts on what this could be? My other fish I had had for anywhere from
4-6 years and they are not showing any signs of illness. I would like to add to
the room mates, but I want this to "Clear" up before I do
<Watch it for the following days and keep us posted.>
<Cheers. Wil. >
Interesting Neuromast issue 12/17/18
<... is for equines?>
Please see attached photo of a maculosus angel. In captivity a long time.
Recently started showing heavy neuromast pustules. A vlamingii tang is also
showing a similar condition.
This is a fish only system, with artificial decor. Typical water parameters. Any
ideas a reasonable course of treatment?
<Mmm; yes; but first a review of likely causes. Inflammation, enlargement of
lateralis pores as this is often due to irritation (chemical, physical,
biological), leading to infection; possible parasitic involvement.
A useful approach is to improve water quality (muds of various sorts, HUFAs,
Vitamins added to foods and directly to the water. Do you measure, manipulate
ORP? I would.... I would NOT resort (at this time) to "medicating" as the likely
source of trouble here is environment. Let's have you read what we have
assembled on WWM:
The linked files in blue, at top. Bob Fenner>
Fin rot or aggression? 11/18/18
I have a Yellow Tang and Hepatus Tang whose dorsal fins seem to be
eroding. The Yellow Tang's caudal fin is also in bad shape. Can you
tell if this is fin rot or aggression from another fish?
<Looks like some fish is nipping both of your tangs>
The water tests out fine.
<I need more accurate information here, also what size is your tank,
The water is changed regularly. I feed high quality food with vitamins. The fins
have been like this for several months. I am at a loss.
<I don´t think this is a disease, more likely, as mentioned above, aggression.
Could you tell me about the other tankmates? species, size…>
Best regards, Steve DeFilippis
<nice weekend, Steve. Wil>
Re: Fin rot or aggression? 11/18/18
It is a 220 gallon tank. UV Sterilizer, Skimmer, bio sump under the tank,
<Decent size tank, don´t think aggression(if that´s the case) is due to space>
Here are the fish:
3 Percula or Ocellaris Clownfish (I am not sure which) 2-3 inches
Naso Tang 8-9 inches
Yellow Tang 3-4 inches
Hepatus Tang 4-5 inches
Flame Hawkfish 2 inches
Royal Gramma 3 inches
Coral Beauty Angel 3 inches
Blue jaw Trigger 3 1/2 inches
Tail Spot Wrasse 4 inches
A few small crabs and one larger hermit crab
<All of them can coexist. have you see any aggressive behavior?...maybe during
feeding or at night?>
Re: Fin rot or aggression? 11/18/18
I have not seen any aggression. That's why I am puzzled. Fin rot would also seem
unusual given the quality of the water conditions. The Yellow Tang in particular
had beautiful fins before this started.
<Then the only thing that comes to mind is that it is an
environmental/nutritional issue, very likely HLLE, plus something in the water
you´ve been missing or that test kits don´t measure; try doing a large water
change(20% +), run activate carbon or Chemi Pure for a few days and add vitamins
A,D,E enriched foods/supplements to the water.>
>>Ahh; yes; THIS IS a type of HLLE... nutritional, environmental (water quality)
most often the cause. SEE/READ on WWM Re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCure.htm and the linked files above.
Long nose Butterfly with exploding head... yeah who wants this one?
Lol... More bio. 9/6/15
So I have a long nose butterfly fish I've had for several weeks from a reputable
LFS that had quarantined him themselves for a week. Up until now he has always
been his normal chipper self, poking around and eating quite voraciously.
Parameters on my 150 gallon reef are quite stable, although I recently
started carbon dosing (about 3 weeks ago) after my nitrates got to
5ppm. I dose with vinegar, about 96 ml.s per day by doser at 4mL an hour.
Nitrates are .2ppm with Salifert, now seemingly stable. Phosphate being dealt
with by GFO and Phosguard.
Anyway back to the fish. Woke up and the fish is swimming near bottom, seemingly
just trying to maintain balance. On the side of his head he has a bump, which
seems to have split his scales so that it is noticeable. One of the cracks
originating from the bump appears to go down the side of his body (not following
the lateral line). Unfortunately the picture I took
from my iPhone doesn't really do it justice.
First, this would appear to me to be parasitic in nature.
If so, is it unique to butterflies or must I now worry about other
<Possibly; this is HLLE; possibly with Octomita involvement (chicken: egg
analogy); of... a few possible influences.... nutritional, water quality
mostly.... corrected, correct-able by the same>
Is there anything I should/can dose with to eliminate said parasite? This fish
is obviously on deaths door, but should I euthanize, or QT and wait and see?
<Just read here for now:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for the help,
Angelfish Disease.... more HLLE
We have some sick angelfish and would like your advise on what you think it
I have attached a picture of another angelfish that shows the disease.
<Mmm; looks to be "classic" HLLE.... due to? Most likely nutritional and water
quality issues, and able to be corrected to degrees by improving same... via
water... as marine fishes drink their environment. A few folks speculate that
carbon (filtration) is a contributor, still others, stray electrical current.
All this is gone over on WWW. Start reading here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Angel; French Angel, HLLE
I have a 220 sw tank. Mag 12 and another pump rated at 1000gph. Bi weekly 30
percent water changes. 12 yellowtail damsels. Emperor angel.
<... this isn't an Emperor Angel, but a Pomacanthus paru; a French>
Lunar wrasse. Couple pajama cardinals. Salt is at 17 or .012.
<Missing a 1. here>
Tested water shows 20 ppm nitrate, 0 nitrite, 8.0 ph, no signs of ammonia.
Here are to videos
<LINK> of a
French angel about 3 months ago it "looked" perfect. Here are two videos. The
emperor angel has lateral line and the powder blue which is kinda new is showing
signs of what the French has.
<Oh! Okay; you also have an Emperor I take it>
I do use tap water. Is the tank over crowded? Do I need to use rodi?
<... can't say w/ the data provided. HLLE IS a condition influenced/brought on
by environmental and nutritional circumstances>
I feel spectrum pellets and formula 2 pellets. SF brand frozen variety pack
<Mmm; I'd soak these foods in a vitamin, HUFA supplement... And have you read
and the linked (related) files above>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
|MHLLE question 2/27/13
I am so glad I found WWM. What an invaluable resource! You
are now the only place I go for anything saltwater related. There
is so much misinformation on the web, its mind boggling. Now to my
question. After searching your forums, it seems that my large Naso
may be suffering from MHLLE. I have read every thread you have on
this and have followed all recommendations, but I feel like it might be
progressing, thereby making me wonder if I have it identified correctly.
<This looks more like something viral... growing out of neuromasts about
Attached is a picture of his head. It started out as a couple
small “pimples,” but progressed rather rapidly. It seems like
within a matter of a few days, it went from a few pimples to warts.
Now it looks like masses and getting some holes. I am concerned
that it seems to be progressing on one side and not the other.
I have read that MHLLE is bilateral. This started out as
bilateral (with a preference for one side), but one side seems to have
cleared up while the other is getting worse.
When I initially noticed the bumps (within a day or two of them
appearing), I inquired at the LFS and was told that it was probably
MHLLE and was instructed to treat with Metro in his food.
<Mmm, won't help here>
I did this for a few days in his pellets until he quit eating pellets, I
assume because of the taste.
After I found someone who knew what they were talking about and they
identified it as a nutritional deficiency and not a parasite or
protozoa, I changed his diet and quit the Metro (he had been on Metro
for 5 days). I got some NLS pellets and Ocean Nutrition seaweed
with garlic. He wasn’t interested in the pellets, but would devour
the seaweed and come back for more.
Then I found your site and read every thread you have on MHLLE. I
felt good that I had obtained the NLS pellets, and also went and got
some Nori and Selcon. He still wouldn’t eat the NLS but loved the
Nori and Selcon.
A little history: I ordered this tang sight unseen about 3 months ago
from the LFS. I had a 10g QT set up and ready to go and when he
came in. He was supposed to be about 3”, but he was almost 7”
long. Much too large for my QT system so I had to make the call to
acclimate and add to the display since it was late and there wasn’t a
local store open to get a bigger QT. I wasn’t too worried as the
tank was new (2 months without any fish) and he was the only fish in
there. My new system is 400g and will ultimately be a reef setup,
although it is now mostly LR (500lbs) and a few mushrooms. The
tank had been running fishless for 2 months prior to adding the Naso.
It had already cycled. The ammonia was 0, the nitrites 0, nitrates
5-10 using API test kit (the colors look the same to me on the 5 and
10), phosphates about .05 using Elos test kit. Ph 8.0-8.1, water
temp 77F, salt mix Red Sea Coral Pro (1.025), RO/DI water testing zero
Marineland Black Diamond carbon, Super Reef Octopus 5000 skimmer, 800
micron filter socks, and LED lighting.
The fish was fine for the first 2 months. When I saw no signs of
disease, I started to add new fish that I had acquired and had waiting
in QT. They were all added over several weeks to give the system a
chance to catch up. New additions were: a yellow tang and a purple
tang (3”), a Hippo tang (5”), a school of Banggai Cardinals (8), a
school of Lyretail Anthias (8). The whole tank was very
For the first couple of months, the Naso only really showed an interest
in PE Mysis shrimp. After finding out that it might be a
nutritional deficiency, I cut out the PE and tried to get him onto
pellets and seaweed. About that time, I also acquired a Blue Jaw
Trigger from a friend (6”). This fish was very high energy.
He was never aggressive towards other fish, but at feeding time, he
would charge right through the crowd to get his portion and everybody
else’s. This would sometimes make the Naso shy away. I don’t
know if this could be causing stress to the Naso and be a contributing
<Not likely much>
The Naso has not had any PE Mysis shrimp in 2 weeks and has been eating
Selcon soaked Nori every day for the last 3 days. He is starting
to warm up to the NLS pellets and eats 4-5 1mm pellets at feeding time
(2-3 times a day). He spits out the 2mm pellets. He has been
eating the pellets for 3 days. I think he would eat the Nori
continuously if I gave it to him. That is all he begs for.
My question is: does this look like MHLLE, even though it isn’t
<It does not>
Is it common for it to progress for a bit once nutrition is corrected,
before it starts to reverse? I feel like my water quality is good.
My RedOx is consistently between 350-400. I do 10% water changes
every other week. I had been running carbon but just removed it
today after I felt sure any Metro that was in the water was gone.
I have read on your site that carbon could contribute. I will now
run without carbon for a bit. I also added Phoslock to remove any
<Mmm, I'd allow some HPO4 here; not use chemical filtrant/s>
I just want to feel confident that I have identified the problem
correctly and that I am treating appropriately to give him the best
chance. Thanks for all that you do. James
<T'were it me/mine, I'd continue as you have, and add some purposeful
cleaners here. Likely Lysmata species. Hopefully their presence will tip
the balance and stir your Naso to self-improvement. Bob Fenner>
White spots 6/12/12
I have a Unicorn Tang that has these white spots on and around it
They all most like boney or calcium like protrusions.
I'll included two pictures of it. I've had this fish for about 4-5
<I see the one pic attached to your next email... these whitish blobs
are almost certainly "neuromast destruction"... the mucus filled pit
organs of the principal lateralis line of the head... note how they're
bilaterally symmetrical... the cause? Appears to be a good bit of blue
green algae present (the red and likely the brown clumpy stuff about)
Could you try and give me opinion? Thanks Jim
<... Search WWM w/ the string "Blue Green Algae Toxicity". You need to
improve your overall system and water quality... Bob Fenner>
Re: White spots; Naso, HLLE likely
Thanks Bob, I should have mentioned that the tank you see the unicorn in
is just one of my quarantine tanks.
<I see... well "something" is irritating the neuromasts of this
The possible list is quite long>
The fish lives in a 150 gallon tank with no algae growing in it.
The tank received a 30 gallon water change every two weeks.
It lives on Ocean Nutrition mixes flakes along with Nori pieces
that I've cut up and mixed in with the flake food.
<I encourage you to change to Spectrum pelleted food... much more
nutritious and discrete (easier to get the food into your fishes and not
have it spread, dissolve in the water)>
Ocean Nutrition mixed frozen cubes and a piece of broccoli once every
two weeks when I service which has been soaked rinsed and kept frozen
until installed in the tank when I service that tank.
<I'd skip the broccoli... make a visit to the oriental food store (or
eq. part of your food market shelves) and shop for marine algae>
I've thought of what pesticides could be on the broccoli but the fish
just love it and that's all we hear is the vitamins that is in broccoli.
Do you think there is any possible cure for the protrusions or will this
just stay with him into old age.
<Do read here:
and the linked files above... again, this "condition/syndrome" is known
to be caused by a handful of influences... and cured similarly by fixing
I track all my livestock in that tanks I service but of course for this
fish I missed putting down the date I installed him into this customers
My guess is somewhere between Jan 2008 and March 2010..So it could
be in the tank for about four years. Any idea of the life span of a
<At least ten years>
As always thanks for writing and thanks for running such a great site!
<Ah welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blueface angel 12/25/11
Mr. Fenner, I think my Angel does have Hlle. I noticed
his wounds were getting smaller, and then a couple of days ago they got
bigger. I put some fresh charcoal in,
<Mmmm, I'd not use this at this time... linked as a cause and
will remove some of the molecules of use, as cure here>
and I am now giving him angel formula on top of everything else I am
feeding him every other day. Any suggestions?
<Oh yes. Posted... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCure.htm
and the linked files above>
Have Merry Christmas, Jim
<And you, BobF>
Re: Blueface angel, dis. f', HLLE 12/26/11
Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the quick reply on Christmas. You work to hard.
So I pulled out the charcoal today. I have been checking my Nitrate,
Nitrite, and Ammonia. One thing I have not been checking is my
ph since I converted it from a reef to a fowlr tank. It was at
7.2, now it is at 8.3.
<?! I would NOT change pH this fast... are you familiar w/
our/WWM's search tool?>
Do you think that had something to do with it?
<Of a certainty, yes>
So here's my plan. I feed new life spectrum pellets once a
day, every day.
Every other day I feed Angel formula, and every other day I feed Mysis.
I always soak them in Selcon and garlic Do you think that will do the
trick, Plus keeping superior water quality?
<Only time can/will tell>
How long should I remove the charcoal for?
<... see WWM re carbon use>
Anybody reading this and thinking of putting a Blue Face
Angel in a reef DONT DO IT! My angel nipped at lps, soft, sps and
<Thank you for this... also posted on WWM>
The only one thing he never ate is Lavender Mushrooms, and that is
because my two clown fish live in it like a anemone and protect it from
the Angel, Me and anything else that gets near it. lol I know a guy
that has a 600 gallon reef and had Blue face Angel in there for a
couple of years and he had to be pulled out because he started eating
everything. Live Aquaria says, they are reef safe with caution. There
<they're> full of it! I wanted to give you a update on the
Cowfish, Emperor, and the 265 tank. I took the cowfish back to my lfs
store. The cowfish was to <too> slow of <an> eater to make
it in my tank. I was hand feeding him, but it just seemed like he never
was getting enough food, and I think he would of starved to death. I
went and looked at 265 tank for $4500. It was a mess. Lots of plywood,
spray paint, homemade horrible stand, pvc pipe scattered in three
different rooms coming off of it. My wife was with me when I looked at
it. She said, there's no way we are putting this in our house!
<Heeee! Great that she went along>
Of course she said it right in front of the guy selling it. She
lets me do pretty much what I want when it comes to my aquarium, but
that tells you what a mess it was. lol So I took the Emperor to my lfs
too. I don't know now when I am going to get a bigger tank since
they are in between. and cant afford $10000 to set one up brand
new. I know The Emperor would of rather lived in my 55, then in
my 180 getting bullied by Blue Face. So I think It made a good choice.
I just hope that the lfs does sell him to somebody and they put him in
20 gallon tank. I seen that crap on you tube very sad! Thanks, Jim
<And you, B>
Re: Blueface angel 12/27/11
Thanks for the quick response Mr. Fenner!
<Welcome Mr. Ivy!>
I am sorry to share my drama about Murphy, (blue face angel) but
I thought maybe I might be able to save at least one reef tank from
disaster. It was great that my Wife went, but she could care less about
<... perhaps in time>
Its my hobby and She knows how expensive it is because we share a
Banking account. BOO! I will look the ph and charcoal up on WWM. I will
keep you updated. If you here of any tanks for sale up in the North
West send me there number. ; ) Have a great New Year, Jim
<Thank you Jim. B>
fin and head erosion on regal tangs
I appreciate your taking my question.
One of the staff members at the marine shop where I trade came over to
look at my aquarium. My two Regal Tangs have had erosion on their faces
for over a year and their tails were torn. I had thought this was
because they were scratching their faces on the rocks and perhaps
biting each other's tails.
The staff member said he thought is was nutritional <and/ or
psychological/ environmental> and said he thought they had head and
lateral line disease.
I thought about how I had previously taken care of Tangs before and
remembered I used to put Boyd Vita Chem on the food before feeding. I
started doing this in March. It is now September. I have seen a very
<This needs to caught early, while the erosion is white in colour.
If the erosion colours to the skin colour of the fish then it is rarely
In early August, the shop suggested Selcon drops that I am now
Still not much improvement. I have a copy of your book the
Conscientious Marine Aquarist. The book says the vitamin supplement
needs to have vitamin D in it.
<And C. You can add your own to the vitamin mixture. Also look for
Beta Glucan at the health food shop>
I could not find the content on the bottle of Selcon drops. The Vita
Chem says is has D-L Phenylalanine 3.0MG, D-L Isoleuline 2.0MG Crude
Fiber 2 per cent and D-L Tryptophan 1.0MG min crude fat .09 per cent.
Is this what you mean by vitamin D?
<Mmm, not sure, have you Googled this? Baby vitamins (the drops)
should have this vitamin>
If it isn't, could you please recommend a specific vitamin
supplement I can buy to help my fish?
<Feed them New Life Spectrum Pellets. The single best HLLE
'healer food' I have used.>
I have been feeding them live algae from the shop and frozen brine
<This needs to be soaked in the vitamin mixtures & fed alongside
the NLS pellets>
Along with Cyclop-eeze once a week, and Thera +A, and Ocean Nutrition
Formula Two Flakes with Garlic daily. The chemistry of my tank is
usually ph 8.1, kh-13, cal 380-400, phosphates-0, nitrates-10. spg-23,
Any help you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.
<I do think Judy that a fish that has had the condition for this
length of time might well be permanently scarred unfortunately>
re: fin and head erosion on regal tangs
Thank you so much for your help and for answering so quickly! I
appreciate it very much!
<It's a pleasure to help>
<Thank you, Simon>
Need Some Help Please, HLLE... poss. cure/causes
Thanks again for being a great resource. I try hard to research and
attempt to fix problems myself before turning to you. Unfortunately,
I'm about out of ideas at this point. My multicolor dwarf angel has
got HLLE. I spotted very small holes or "pits" around its
eyes around August of this year. I quickly learned that this was an
early sign of HLLE. Here is a summary of what I've done to combat
the problem up to this point:
1. Activated Carbon: Around the time I noticed the HLLE, I had recently
switched activated carbon brands, so I switched back to the brand I had
originally used in my tank. There's been no improvement.
2. Nutrition: Around the time I noticed the HLLE, I had stopped feeding
Formula Two pellets because I noticed they had passed their "fresh
date." I had been just feeding flake foods since then. So I got
some frozen formula two food. I used it along with VitaChem to combat
the HLLE. My nitrates started going up using the frozen food, so I went
back to Formula Two pellets. Again, no improvement.
<I'd switch to a small size of Spectrum (pelleted food), and
apply a Vitamin and HUFA supplement directly to the water>
3. Water Quality: I've been doing water changes more frequently and
I'm trying to keep up with a 10% change every week. My nitrates are
at around 20ppm. Not ideal, but not particularly detrimental to the
health of the fish from what I've read.
<Still... a concern re what is allowing, generating such>
I've tried changing out carbon more frequently, but that
doesn't seem to help. I'm considering "seeding" my
tank with more bacteria via Seachem Stability, but again I'm
wondering if my water quality could be behind the HLLE.
<Is at least a large/r factor>
Also, my PH is usually around 7.9 or so because it's a tall column
tank; I don't think it's the problem, but I want to mention
that as well.
<But again, is indicative of a less than ideal water quality
4. Stray Voltage: I've checked for stray voltage and I get a 0.7 V
reading in my tank. I can't find any materials that definitively
state how much voltage is too much in a tank. From what I've read,
there will always be some voltage in the tank as long as we are using
equipment. I have two Koralia powerheads; each one contributes about
0.1-0.2 V. I have a heater that contributes about 0.3 V. My LFS
suggested I use a grounding probe.
<Am not a fan in general... if your GFI isn't tripping you
should be fine>
I have not used it yet. I do have everything plugged into a GFI, but
I'm concerned that if I put in the probe, I won't be getting
rid of the voltage, I'll just be creating a direct path for it to
the probe itself -- a path that leads through the water and to my fish.
I really don't know if I should add the probe or try to get a new
heater. At the same time, if I get a new heater I think it will
contribute at least 0.1 of voltage to the tank so wouldn't getting
new equipment be negligible in terms of decreasing stray voltage in the
<Not to worry>
I'm really at a loss of what to do at this point. The HLLE is
progressing and I'm worried the scarring will be irreversible if I
can't get it to reverse soon. I guess my options now are to try the
probe, get a new
heater, or try frozen Formula Two food again and deal with the higher
nitrates. Please tell me your thoughts on what I've said and any
suggestions you have. I really would love to save this beautiful
Thank you very much.
<Please (re)read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above. I would address the water quality
(improvement) and the nutritional aspects here. Bob Fenner>
Large fish relocation... Free-ish, large, HLLE-scarred
fishes in Vegas 6/22/10
Hey gang, Kinda of an off the wall question for you, I own a local
aquarium maintenance business, I do roughly 4000 gallons a month. One
of my tanks is a 2200 gallon FO tank, the people who set it up (ATM Las
Vegas) included a very large canister (think swimming pool) that they
used to run carbon, I think carbon isn't very good so I got rid of
it and changed to uv/ozone in the proper dosages. Many (most) of the
fish have/had HLLE very bad,
including several 6 ish inch blue tangs some lion fish (over 12 inches)
several large (18 inch) grouper, tangs etc. I have in the past year
reduced the HLLE by at least half, and many of the fish are completely
healed (except the scaring that is permanent) problem is that some of
the fish are scared severely from the HLLE and will never recover. The
owners of the aquarium want to make some changes, they want to do more
small fish (schools
of Chromis and Anthias) as well as many tangs etc. So here is my
question, what do I do with these larger fish,
<Mmm, hopefully sell them to folks who will continue to care for
We live in Las Vegas and there are plenty of casino's that
"might" take them but we have not got any solid answers from
them. So do any of you guys know of anyone who might want some large
fish for free?
<I would contact other service companies, the retailers in town who
do service work... and offer these organisms... cheap>
I cannot make the changes to the aquarium until these fish are moved,
and ill be damned if I will just "toss" them. any suggestions
or ideas? Thanks as always..
<And also place ads on Craig's List... detailing what you have,
when it will be available... and on your co. website if you have one.
Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/15/10
Been a long time since I asked a question. I have had a 180
Gallon FOWLER for 12 years. (Inhabitants 10" Emperor Angel (
6 yrs old , 7 " Blue Girdle Angel 6 years old , 10"
Naso Tang 11 years old, 4" Heniochus Butterfly 11 years old,
Fox Face, 12 years old, 2 brittle stars )
<Wow, really good ages some of these, well done!>
All going well until approx 3 days ago. Emp. Angel has quit
eating, but still behaving normally.
<Mmm, Pomacanthus not eating is not behaving normally>
Maybe hiding a bit more, but hard to say. (Comes to top of tank
during feeds, approaches food with interest, pecks at it and then
<This does not seem good to me>
When I approach tank it swims to the feeding corner, but does not
assume the position of dominance like it did in the past to get
first crack at the food. All other inhabitants doing well.
Emperor Angel has had HLLE but not that badly (some cratering
around nostrils, mild loss of coloration around face but no
visible lateral line disease. Only other thing that I have noted
is that the mouth/ lips is just a bit swollen but not reddened or
<May have been in a tussle with one of the others. Can you
provide a picture of this?>
It almost seems as if "it hurts" for the fish to open
its mouth. I have used multiple food sources to no avail.
I have had a busy work schedule recently, but have changed water
once every 4-6 weeks, on a couple of times went 8-10 weeks.
<With these fish in this volume, this is far too little. I
would be stepping these up to weekly>
Recently I have made a major water change (80 gallons ) with aged
mixed R/O salt. And from there have been doing small partial
water changes daily ( 20 Gallons )
System has been closed to new inhabitants for over 5 years.
Emperor Angel has no other signs of disease...to look at it,
other than the mild protuberance of the mouth, no signs of
disease. I am almost thinking that the mouth has suffered trauma,
but I see no evidence of any abrasions, or redness, just the mild
swelling of the lips.
I will continue doing partial water changes daily, until it
hopefully starts to feed. Try vitamins, iodine supplements,
Selcon.. but food supplements don't do much good if not
Any other suggestions
<Yes, moving this fish to another system, a larger and less
crowded one. I suspect a tank-mate as the culprit here.. perhaps
the Naso, although it could be that this fish psychologically
just needs more room now and it is telling you this with it's
change of behaviour. I do think that 180 gallons, even
un-crowded, is too small for P. Imperator. Another possibility is
that this is just an injury of some kind and will heal on
it's own in time>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE
<No problem Jimmy>
I completely agree on the water changes. The Emperor has been
such a gladiator of a fish
and the king ( or queen ) of the tank for years. I have been
reefkeeping for 25 years and it is my impression that this fish
is either traumatized, <Probably> getting old <No. These
can live 30 years>, or outgrown the house (or a
<Likely the first and last here>
It gives me the impression that it is really hungry but cannot
bring itself to eat!
<The mouth looks swollen to me, but with no sign of an injury.
I wonder if Bob might have some input here.. will post to his box
for his comments if he has any>
If water conditions or trauma are the culprit, it should be able
to recover nicely.
<Yes, it should>
I will send a picture.
<I see these, and apart from the swollen mouth and Neuromast
destruction the fish looks otherwise healthy. I think time is on
your side here, but ultimately this fish needs more room than is
being provided. The HLLE is a clue to the unsuitability of the
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/16/10
Here are some pictures
What do you think
<Is HLLE in one of its guises... "cures" as Simon
states can be found in the linked pages. BobF>
See: SW Case
Histories, for continuation
Strange white faced groupers
Good day crew!
<Sorry for the delay in responding>
I own a small aquarium shop, and have recently noticed something
a little alarming with a couple of my black spotted groupers. 2
of them have developed what appears to be "white
faces". See the attached
photo for a reference.
<I see this in your excellent pix>
Any idea what could be causing the problem?
<Yes... "Neuromast destruction"... aka Head and
Lateral Line "Disease"... HLLE...>
At first I thought it may be battle scars, but the uniform shape
seems to match their skulls... They've been housed in a sale
tank. We keep our S.G. between 1.017 and 1.020,
and generally use no remedies or medications. Furan II is on
hand, as well as Melafix
<Don't use this...>
and the other usual remedies, but none have been applied to the
patients in question.
<Neither will help you here>
They are housed in a 70 gallon sale tank within a partition of
about 20 gallons. To this point, they have shared a compartment
with a Clown Trigger,
and a Stars & Stripes Puffer - but no others. They have
normal ABS/PVC pipes to hide in, but they rarely use them.
We skim heavily, as well as use regularly replenished activated
carbon for filtration. All in all - its a very clean tank with no
nitrates or other contaminants (that we're aware of).
Thanks in advance for your help, time, and for providing such an
amazingly helpful website.
<Please read here re this syndrome:
and the linked files above. There are a few inputs that can
result in this erosive condition... Mostly water quality and
nutritional issues... and the "cure" is the
rectification of these issues. Bob Fenner>
Yellow Tang Trouble -- 05/21/10
Hello all. I have been reading your site quite a bit and getting great
information. Excellent site. My Yellow Tang is in trouble. I was
treating him for lateral line with Fish Zole,
<Metronidazole... Flagyl generically>
recommended by LFS.
<Mmm... only if the root cause of this erosive condition is
Parasitic... rare... will such a treatment avail... OTOH, this compound
is very toxic... one dose is all fishes should ever be exposed to...
components... mortuus est. Instead, water quality, nutritional aspects
are almost always the basal cause of HLLE... Read here:
and the linked files above...
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm
and the linked...>
After day 5 he started to turn red so I stopped. No one seemed to know
what it was
and said it was most likely from treatment.
<Oh, yes... tis so>
So I find a picture similar on your site. Should have come here
The Tang is in a QT tank right now.
<Won't be fixed here>
I have been using vitamins in his water/food.
<Good... return this fish to the main system>
Water tests are 0. PH is 8.2 and doing water change daily. Yesterday he
did not eat his Nori soaked in vitamins nor the frozen herbivore food
and the same for this morning. Not a good sign I'm sure. Is there
anything else I can do? Should I start antibiotics again?
Would putting him back in the main tank be a bad idea?
<No; a good one>
He's been in the 10 gallon QT for 3 weeks which may be too small
for a long period. Also It seems there is no set answer on how this
<Double nonsense... the etiology of this condition, and its arrest,
reversal is well-worked out...>
Water quality, which seems to be great and no problems with hippo tang
or bicolor angel. Stress...he was boss of the tank....although I never
seen much picking. Voltage....I have heard this one is a myth. Any
<... see WWM re>
Thanks for any ideas and have a great weekend.
<Read where you've been referred and write back if you still
have questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>
Sick Hippo Tang question 1/27/10
I have a Hippo Tang that seems to be suffering from HLLE. His symptoms
are holes above and below his eyes and along his lateral line (they are
getting bigger). <Ok>
He still has an absolutely wild appetite and only hides when spooked by
out of tank sources, he spends most of the time "schooling"
with the two clowns he shares the tank with.
<Nice behaviour to watch!>
I have taken some steps to cure him, but nothing seems to be
The Nitrate levels are higher than desirable <a factor>, so I
have started doing smaller and more frequent water changes, I also
purchased a protein skimmer.
<Mmmm, you should have had one of these from the start>
I got him to finally eat seaweed by tearing it up and soaking it in
Mysis shrimp before feeding (he doesn't take seaweed from a clip).
His diet consists of Mysis shrimp, seaweed, and flake food.
<Ok. There is no proof as to what actually causes this condition,
but improving the diet and environment can bring about a halting and/
or a reversal. I would start with the diet here: Cut out the flake and
replace with a decent pellet food such as New Life Spectrum. Feed this
as the staple with a little Mysis every few days. I would soak the
seaweed (Nori?) in a vitamin supplement (something like Selcon) before
feeding daily as well. Don't overfeed so that it affects your water
It has been several months with what I believe is HLLE and I don't
know what else to do. I heard that activated carbon can be a problem
(which is what I use), what can I use instead if it actually is the
<Mmmm, I am not convinced by this 'carbon as the cause'
argument. I use carbon continuously and my fish have never suffered
from this condition. I have also bought 'second hand' fishes
with this condition and halted/ reversed it. The only way I see carbon
as being a cause would be if it 'removed' some 'mysterious
but necessary' element. If you do your water changes regularly then
you should be replenishing anything lost. As stated, there is no proof
for any cause, but IMO a clue is that a) Wild fish don't get this
at all, and b) Improving the environment & diet works. Fishes like
Tangs & Angels need space, give them this and a decent diet and you
should see things right>.
My Hippo Tang shares his tank with two clowns, two Firefish, and a
coral banded shrimp, all of which are healthy.
<In what size tank?>
The water parameters are (non reef):
<Non-reef systems commonly show this problem on fishes
(environment). Do you have live rock w/ algae growth? If not, I would
suggest adding some>
Nitrate - 40 ppm
<Too high and probably a contributing factor>
Nitrite - 0
pH - 8.0 to 8.5
Specific Gravity - 1.021
<Too low -- I would gradually raise this to 1.025 -- 1.026>
Temperature - 76 degrees F
<No problem, I think there are a few things you can do. Try reading
Holes in head on Yellow Long Nosed Butterflyfish
<Good AM, good gosh!>
I have been treating a Yellow Long Nose Butterflyfish from Whitespot
with copper treatment, which I have found very effective although in
the first week it is essential to test the copper level at least three
times a day in the first 7 days as it drops very quickly and overdosing
is very easy to do and will kill fish in hours.
<Thank you for (re) stating these facts>
Anyway, after two weeks the Whitespot seems to have gone but the Yellow
Longnose Butterfly now has small holes in his head.
<Resultant from the copper exposure>
Any ideas of what they are would be helpful and hopefully a cure.
<Just good water quality and nutrition as detailed here:
There is also a small about 2inch Copperband in with him which is a new
fish I cannot get to eat anything including, brine/mysis shrimp or
fresh tuna meat.
PS The salinity is also low 1.010 which by itself did not kill the
<The Spg needs to be returned to near seawater strength... as in
"good water quality"... Bob Fenner>
FYI/Powder Blue Tang 3/26/09
I don't have a question just an interesting (yet sad) observation.
In my city there is a casino with a large 150000 litre walk through
<Mmm, 40,000 gallons, that is large.>
It is stocked full of marine fish such as puffers, triggers and many,
many tangs. It is sad in that though they call it a reef it is merely a
few decorations and no liverock at all. I believe they used to keep
shark but they kept dying so I guess they decided to add reef
fish. Anyway all the tangs are suffering from severe HLLE, many
holes on their heads and barely any fins. Hardly a pretty sight! All
except the Powder Blue Tangs. They were all the most healthy looking
tangs in the tank. I found this interesting since these are the most
difficult tangs to keep. Maybe the were hogging all the food or
are not as susceptible to HLLE?
<May have been new additions?>
Thanks for your time, I just wanted to let you know of my observation.
I am disgusted at the fact that these fish are so far gone and that
with some better nutrition they could be healthy.
<Very sad indeed, Kathy. Thank you for sharing with us. James (Salty
Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion and Activated
Carbon 11/12/08 Hello staff, <<Hello>>
After looking around on Google for some answers all I was able to
find was some varying opinions at best. <<Mmm'¦
Much opinion here as well>> My tank is FOWLR. I have 3
medium sized fish and 4 small fish in a 75 gal tank. I turn over
the water 10x an hour (360 canister, 350 BioWheel) and a hang-on
skimmer. Water quality has never been an issue according to local
marine stores in St. Paul, MN. <<Hmm'¦>> I
will be upsizing to a tank around 200 gals in the next year or
two to accommodate my Koran Angel, Yellow eyed tang, Niger
Trigger, Maroon Clown, 6 line wrasse and two yellow tail
damsels-so they'll have a larger home soon. <<And the
sooner the better'¦ Even just growing up in too small a
tank can have deleterious effect>> I feed them what I would
say is the best food I can buy. Frozen mysis shrimp, Nori, frozen
Spirulina cubes, prime reef from ocean nutrition flake food and
other frozen food I can't remember. pH is usually above 8.0-
I used to have problems keeping it above 8 but the past 9 months
it's been 8 or better. Anyway on to the MHLLE the tang and
angel have. The tang looks almost identical to the Atlantic tang
seen in an article I read
<<Okay>> The angel has almost like a sunken area that
is yellow-I know he is going through its color changes but it
doesn't look natural. Both fish seem extremely healthy.
<<Not unusual>> For a while I thought the angel's
problem was from not eating enough angel formula-which he hates.
I usually have to skip a tank feeding once a week then the Koran
will eat the formula. Does he need to eat it more than once a
week? <<Not if it means starving the tank to do so... A
better solution in my opinion would be to fortify those foods the
Angel will more readily consume with vitamin/HUFA supplement such
as Selcon or Selco>> I can't think of anything else it
would be although I've only been at this for two years now.
<<HLLE is almost always a result of an environmental and/or
nutritional issue. Your water quality may well not be as good as
you have been led to believe (always best to buy/learn to use
your own test kits for monitoring water quality). Another factor
may be the size of the system the fish currently occupy>>
Does the use of activated carbon have anything to do with this?
<<I have heard excessive use might be a contributing
factor>> I use it in all three of my cleaning
devices-I'd say 4-6 oz of total product. <<This
doesn't seem excessive'¦ But perhaps you could try
limiting its use to a few days every couple weeks to see if it
helps>> Lastly over the course of a month I change out 33%
of the water. Thank you for any help or advice you guys can give;
you really have an excellent website. <<Try the food
supplement/fortifier suggested, as well as providing an
iodine/iodate supplement to the system'¦ And get these
fishes to a bigger home as soon as possible'¦ I also
suggest you get some test kits and at least validate what the
stores are telling you about your water chemistry. Regards,
Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion and Activated
Carbon 11/13/08 Hello again staff, <<EricR
here again>> I've forgotten how good your site really
is. <<Oh?>> I was going through some of my books last
night (Bob's book being one of them) and I'm still
confused about if I'm running my tank in a good way.
<<How so?>> It appears you guys don't put a lot
of stock in activated carbon being bad for the tank so we'll
let that one go. <<Usually have more benefits than
drawbacks, yes>> I'm also confident that the HLLE going
on with my tang and angel are most likely food related.
<<Most always the case>> I'm probably a bad
parent here not forcing them to eat enough greens and I'll
start adding some vitamins and Iodine to their food <<Mmm,
to be clear'¦ Vitamins/HUFAs added to the food are fine,
but Iodine additions/supplementation should be made to the system
water not the fish's food, per the manufacturer's
instructions>> -I'm going to make a big push to make
sure they're getting the right nutrition. <<Something I
neglected to mention before'¦ Do get some Spectrum New
Life pelleted food. This excellent fare is palatable and
nutritious'¦ And could possibly turn this issue around
on its own>> My follow up question is about filtration. I
have a Marineland canister filter 360 and BioWheel 350 and also a
hang-on Red Sea skimmer. Do you guys think this is good enough
for the 3 medium and four small fish I have in a 75?
<<Probably so'¦ But that doesn't mean you
can't do better, especially concerning the skimmer. The
addition of a sump, and a refugium if possible, could also make a
big difference here along with providing a place to put that
better skimmer>> My tank doesn't have overflows so
I'd have to get one of those hang-ons going down to a
sump-which I'm not crazy about. <<But maybe for the
best. The tank might could be drilled through the back or end
panel, but if not, utilizing a
ï¿½pairï¿½ of siphon overflows can
mitigate any overflow issues>> I ideally wanted to wait
until I bought a new tank in a couple of years. <<Then
perhaps you need to consider returning the Angel and Tang to your
LFS in exchange for fishes more appropriate to the tank>>
The book 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' do you
consider this book still up to date when talking about sumps and
mud? <<Much has changed since Bob originally penned this
book, but he also has an updated edition available>> It is
a wonderful book I'm just wondering if I need to supplement
it with some new research. <<Even Bob will tell
you'¦ Yes'¦ Always investigate/use several
sources of reference>> I just got your response as I was
writing this so I can respond to couple of comments.
<<Great>> I have several test kits and everything
tests well, I usually bring a sample to the store just to double
check myself. <<Ah, okay'¦ Very
good'¦>> I'll purchase the supplements you
mentioned. <<Excellent'¦ The Selcon and/or Selco
is great stuff>> I also read on your site about using a
pellet food called 'New Life Spectrum Marine Fish
Formula' one of your writers thought it was wonderful and
helped with HILLE <<Ah yes!!! It truly is an amazing
product>> -my fish have not taken pellets in the past
though-thoughts on this? <<Most do though some
won't'¦ Persistence is key'¦>> At
least I can show your response to my wife and leverage getting a
larger tank much sooner. <<Lol!>> Thank you so very
much for your help-I really appreciate the help. <<It is my
pleasure>> It's funny how overwhelming the marine fish
hobby can be. <<Preparation/research (to include proper
stocking)>> Thanks again and have a great day. <<And
to you in kind. Eric Russell>>
Re: Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion and Activated
Carbon (and now 'feeding/foods') -- 10/13/09
<<Hiya Jeff 'Eric here again (still!)>>
I have a follow up question about a year later.
I've made some adjustments to the way I do things with my
tank and I have a lingering question in my head. I've had my
tank now for 3 years and in that time I've only lost 1 fish
7/8 (a pretty good % I think)
<<Indeed it is>>
and I think the most difficult part of maintaining a salt
environment is feeding.
<<Hmm, an interesting viewpoint>>
If you keep up on water changes and have good lighting and
filtration (also a lot of live rock has been great for me) and
additives it pretty much runs itself.
<<Is a bit more than that I think. A well maintained
assemblage of quality gear is key for sure 'but the best
design in the world can't succeed without thought to the
livestock going in to it (suitability to captive life, species
compatibility, overall bioload, et al). Thus perhaps, making
'proper stocking of a system' the most difficult aspect
of the hobby?>>
But food I still wonder if that's right.
<<A nutritious and plentiful diet certainly plays a large
role in 'my' mind>>
I've been using 'New Life Spectrum' pellet food for
the larger fish and flakes mainly for the really small guys
(damsels and wrasse).
<<Mmm, do look in to the 1mm size pellets of this most
excellent food. Both my large and small fishes readily eat (the
bigger fishes even prefer) this smaller pellet over the 3mm
They all really like the food but (here's the question) does
my Koran angel and yellow eyed tang get the nutrition the
manufacture brags about.
<<Based on my own experience with the Spectrum pellets, and
observation of other's use of it 'yes, it would seem
so. And while this is a very good 'stand alone' food, I
still like to expand the daily diet with frozen Mysis, Glass
Worms, Reef Plankton, Cyclops-Eeze, shredded Macroalgae, etc. for
the added nutrition and even just the difference in
Specifically the angel they (New Life Spectrum) claim that I do
not need sponge/angel formula or additives (Selcon, Zoe, etc) and
it actually is counterproductive when using other foods.
<<I don't agree with the latter. I am a BIG fan of the
Spectrum food'¦ I do think ANY hobbyist would benefit
from providing it to their livestock'¦ And though I have
known those who fed it exclusively, it is my belief that there is
still benefit to adding variety re other 'quality'
foodstuffs, as well as the periodic use of the Selcon food
supplement. We can debate what's 'most difficult'
about the hobby, but I am certainly in agreement with you on the
problem of 'getting it right' when it comes to feeding
our fishes to provide for their 'long term' health and
vitality. Providing a 'bounty of nutritional foods' is
certainly a 'requirement,' in my book>>
Do you think I can only use their food only or should I continue
to force (angel has never liked its formula) angel formula and
treat my pellets with Selcon, and use mysis shrimp (also with
Selcon) 2, 3, 4 times a week?
<<I don't feed foodstuffs my fishes won't
eat 'why waste it/the money (along with the added
organic load of the uneaten food). If the Angel Formula (Ocean
Nutrition?) is not accepted then don't feed it. But I
'would' continue to use the Selcon product
periodically 'and I 'would' feed additional
items like the Mysis Shrimp and others>>
Last thing, does the damage from HLLE ever grow back?
<<Yes 'and as you likely already know, is largely
Or is the fish scarred permanently?
<<This is a possibility...and all depends on the extent of
the damage. Fishes have astounding powers of recuperation and
regeneration (when given the chance/a healthy environment). And I
have seen some amazing recoveries from horrific wounds...but with
many of the worst displaying the slightest bit of
scarring/deformation. Time will
Thanks for any insight you can lend,
<<Is a pleasure to share'¦ Eric
R2: Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion and Activated
Carbon (and now 'feeding/foods') -- 10/14/09
Thanks for responding and giving me some great insight.
<<My pleasure 'hope it helped>>
This website and the people taking their free time to help people
like myself is really truly wonderful, I appreciate it.
<<Thank you for the kind words>>
I agree that I over simplified having a good system- I guess
maybe I might be at the point where I'm just dangerous at
what I think I know so I feel pretty confident as to why things
are the way they are in my tank.
<<I don't think you are dangerous at all 'and
I'm sure you are an accomplished aquarist to boot. But I do
think if we hobbyists were, as a rule, smarter/more realistic
when stocking our tanks that 'life' would be a lot easier
for 'all' involved>>
But I suppose it's one of those things you realize the more
you think you know you probably don't...so that's why I
ask you guys.
<<It's always nice even to just have someone to
Anyways I do have the 1mm sinking pellets for the small fish but
it seems like they have a hard time tracking it when I put it in
and most falls on the bottom-maybe they get it later, I don't
<<Hmm'¦ My fishes (of all size 'excepting
the Copperband Butterfly which only eats frozen fare) seem to
find the slow-sinking pellets quite easily 'and consume
I could try breaking their feeding into a few more feedings and
see if that helps.
<<Frequent small feedings are always best when
I worry about my angel and feel responsible for what I did
because I didn't act on the HLLE sooner because he/she never
liked the first angel formula I gave it for the first 2 years
(the brown cube the name escapes me now). Currently I am feeding
a red cube now (there's not a name on the package) and I have
to skip a day to get the angel along with the tang hungry enough
so they will eat the angel formula.
<<Time to find another brand then, mate. Your fishes need
regular daily feedings>>
Where as if I were to feed the NLS or mysis a few hours prior
they wouldn't touch it.
<<If they are consuming the NLS then I wouldn't be
overly concerned. This food does appear to be 'wholly'
Skipping I'm sure you'll say is not great but it gets
them to eat their 'veggies'.
<<I would offer a sheet of Macroalgae on a clip, and just
keep feeding the NLS and other frozen fare daily/a couple times a
I just wanted to know if NLS I guess counts as angel formula and
it sounds like you are saying it does.
<<I can only vouch for the robustness, exceptional color,
and vitality of my and other's fishes fed re. But
yes 'everything I hear and have seen relating to the
quality and dietary fulfillment of this food seems to be
I will see if my store carries the foods you mentioned and
I'll give them a try-I could never be accused of skimping on
cost for my fish.
<<Hee-hee! My wife claims my tank eats better than we
Sounds like I'll try to increase some variety and more or
less keep doing what I'm doing.
Thanks again for your help
<<Always a pleasure>>
....talk to you next year maybe.
<<I look forward to it! Eric Russell>>
hole in head, reading
This is my black and white sweet lips of three years. Just
recently he began to show this crevice on his head. I'm just
wondering it looks to be parasitic as I don't think it looks
to be an HLLE type problem.
<Mmm, is symptomatic of HLLE (I take it this is bilateral, on
the other side of the head as well), which almost always has a
parasitic component... though not the direct cause IMO>
My water parameters are all perfect and the fish get an extremely
varied meaty diet. This fish eats extremely well and is very
active, showing no signs of an illness except for some agitation
concerning this problem. As I hope the pictures show, there is a
groove in his head with some brownish substance in the wound.
Sorry for the large picture size as I had a real hard time
getting a good shot of the problem and the large pictures show it
best. Thanks in advance for
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
|Re: hole in head -10/26/08 I
don't know if it would change your opinion, but this is only on
one side of the fish's head. <Mmm... such erosive conditions
are rarely unilateral... As are my responding to emails with lower
case "i"s> Should I just monitor and maintain good
nutrition and water quality for now or is there another more
proactive approach to take? <Yes... better, more complete
filtration period... the use of DSBs, Mud, Macroalgae culture...
above all as a measure, high, consistent RedOx potential.
Naso Tang 007, hlth. 10/14/08
First off, thank you for a wonderful web-site. I just happen upon
it a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoying reading all the vast
amount of information. It's very commendable of you to offer
such a tremendous service. I do own a copy of CMA. Great book Dr.
<Mmm, no doctorate, just Bob, please>
I'm somewhat of a newbie in that I left the hobby several
years ago as time constraints (i.e. 3 children) along with moving
to new residence kept me from re-establishing my tank. Anyhow, my
reason for writing today is that I am starting up my 300 gal.
FOWLR and have made my first fish purchase. One of the fish being
a 6" Blonde Naso Tang. This fish was offered at discount
through the retailer (F&S) you mention on your web-site
frequently. (I wonder if it had been in their tank for long
period of time, thus the reason for the discounted price?)
I received the fish on Weds. afternoon and by Sat. morning he
developed what appears to me to be Lateral Line Disease. I am
attaching a picture for your review.
The Naso was placed in quarantine tank 30 gal.(4' x 1' x
1' ) upon receipt on Weds. 10/08. The water in the quarantine
tank is being treated each day with Kordon's Prevent Ich per
<Mmm, won't "treat" HLLE... in fact the
ingredients here, the further stress... will drive all the other
Water parameters are as follows: spg 1.023,
<Mmm, low, but likely better here for gas exchange
ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates <5, temp. 76, ph 8.2. He is
currently not accepting food i.e. mysis shrimp, krill dip in
vita-chem, red algae w/garlic sheets, flakes, etc.
<Stop! I would move this fish (back) into the 300 gallon
setting... The etiology/causative mechanism of the syndrome shown
won't "spread" as a consequence to other
livestock... and otherwise the chance of this fish resolving is
He is not actively swimming around tank, occasional stroll and
then sits on bottom.
<More bad behavior>
Today, Monday, he has started gilling. I have been using a power
head position right at the water-line to agitate the surface so
that there's plenty of air mixing with the water.
<Mmm, not for this species... Move it>
Could you please confirm my diagnoses and provide any other
information on treatment as well as suggestions on what else can
be done to save him. I read all that I could find own your
web-site with respect HIHLL and seems to me that the general
consensus for its cause is related to nutrition and water
<Yes, this is so>
With that being the case, what could have caused this condition
in such a short period of time (3 1/2 days) given the water
<Stress period... as you speculate, just how long has this
fish been kept, moved about in sub-par conditions?>
Your response most appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Angel infection... HLLE... and/or? --
A friend of mine referred me to you to get help with my new angel. I
have posted pics online and described the situation. Could you take a
quick look at my thread and let me know what you think?
Here's my thread:
<Mmm, though other folks discount that there might be similar
etiologies for both HLLE and this sort of more random "Hole in the
Head"... in what little scope work I've done (most
post-mortem), I have observed both Octomita/Hexamita and Spironucleus
in and about the damaged areas. There is evidence (good) that the
quinine compound Chloroquine (phosphate) is VERY effective re
Protozoans... internal and external... through varying/different
treatment methods (gel-foods), directly administered to water... Please
see the Net, WWM re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Scopas Tang HLLE 7/22/08 Hello, I have a
question about possible hole in head disease in a scopas tang. I can
not get a decent picture but I found one on the web that looks really
close and have included the link below as well as my tank parameters
and stocking list. My tang does not have as many markings around the
eye but very similar line under the eye. There is not a hole but it
looks as though the color has disappeared in these lines and dots. I
have had my tang for about 3 months. I feed him mysis, blood worms, a
slurry of: squid, scallops, mysis, pellets, krill, silversides, red and
green sheet algae, Cyclop-Eeze. I also have red or green algae on a
clip for him every day sometimes every other day. I also clip Chaeto
from my fuge sometimes. I soak all food in Selcon and vita-chem and
have been before I got the tang. If my fish is sick I do not think it
is nutritional. He is in a 72 bow with 20 gal sump. There is a 3 stripe
damsel that nipped him at first but now they seem ok, sometimes they
shake tails at each other. The spots where the damsel nipped the tangs
fins have been totally healed for a while now. Do you think the damsel
is stressing the scopas and causing this issue? The damsel recently
caused my long nose hawk fish to jump through the egg crate top and die
on my carpet, the a hole. The tang is about 4 inches and the damsel is
about 3 inches. The tang is active and eats like a pig. I can not find
many picks of adult scopas so I do not know if he is changing color or
if he is getting the hole in head lateral line disease. If he is
getting the disease any suggestions as of what to do . I tried to catch
the damsel with a crude trap but all I got was Nassarius snails and
hermits. As always thanks for you thoughtful advice on this.
thank parameters 72 gal bow front 20 gallon sump with 5 gallon chamber
refugium with macroalgae live rock and sand bed ph- 8.3 ammonia- 0
nitrite - 0 nitrate - under 5 ppm calcium- around 500 dKH - 10 specific
gravity- 1.024 temp - 79/80 live stock 3 stripe damsel scooter blenny
pink spot goby scopas tank some snails and hermits coral harry
mushrooms toadstool fox coral frog spawn yellow sea blade red lobo
brain Favia brain small zoo polyps on shell xenia Kind regards, Jeff
<Jeff, I would definitely remove the damsel, they can be very
annoying to their tank mates and stress them as well. I have seen HLLE
occur when everything has been perfect, it is a disease in which the
direct cause is unknown. I would continue to feed the tang everything
you have been doing (maybe add some vitamin a and c crystals from GNC).
I had an Africanus Angelfish that had HLLE and with a couple months of
vitamin A and C crystals it has reversed and you can no longer tell it
even happened. Good luck with your tang, IanB>
HLLE disease in Hippo, more reading
I've just discovered your website tonight. I've been a member
of another saltwater forum for a short time and have asked this
question there but I've tried what I was recommended there and so
far no results. I have a 75, and I know now that this is too small but
for now there is nothing I can do. My home is for sale to get a larger
house and until this one sells and we get in the other, I cannot get a
bigger tank, but I will be getting a 150 whenever that does happen. I
have an Emperor400 and a Marineland330, and two powerheads, and about
125lbs of liverock. I have 3 tangs(I know bad) but I've had them
for 5 yrs, almost 4 years, and almost 2 years. My pride and joy, Audrey
Hepburn has just shown the first minor sign of HLLE, after my hippo and
yellow tang have had it for some time, in fact the hippo has had it for
at least 2 years, recently progressing quickly. I love these fish like
many people love their cats and dogs and will do the most I can to save
them. I've been reading some of the threads about HLLE and saw that
you mentioned a bacterial or protozoan "strain".
<Mmmm, Octomita and Spironucleus are/have been
"implicated"... but methinks that generally they are
"chickens that come after the egg"... Poor water quality,
lacking nutrition are the primary drivers of this neuromast destruction
I'm wondering if this is likely since all three have it. So far I
have changed the diet to Mysis, emerald entree, very little brine, and
flakes, with occasional algae sheets. I've been soaking about 2
times a week overnight in garlic, Kent Zoecon, and Zoë«
Marine. This is not working, in fact I believe the disease has
progressed since I've been doing this for the last month and a
half. I don't have any LFS in my area or near, just small chains
with very little product. I order from Fosters and smith occasionally.
I don't know where I can get Sushi Nori, unless the local Japanese
steakhouses would sell it to me. If I need a liquid vitamin, which one
do I need. I'll try whatever I can, can you please give me some
tips, in the order of how I should try them. Thanks so much!
<Keep reading on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above... The use of Chloroquine may be of use
here... Bob Fenner>
Re: HLLE disease in Hippo 10/6/08
I've read almost all of the info you have posted, q and a. If it
was mentioned where Nori could be purchased I must have missed it, and
the Chloroquine you mentioned Im not sure what it is. My access to
anything that cant be ordered is very limited to non-existent. Thanks
again, this situation, although silly, has affected my mood keeping me
chronically down and depressed watching something I love die.
<Amanda... please use the search tool on WWM re this quinine cpd...
and do order the Chloroquine... online... Do what you can to improve
water quality... look into adding a DSB, refugium, macroalgal
culture... Try to be content that you're doing what you can to
remedy the situation. Cheers, BobF>
|Lateral Line Erosion 6/7/08
Hello Crew, <Howdy> First of all, thank you in advance.
You've been so very helpful to me in the past. <Welcome>
I have recently received a beautiful Koran Angel, given to me
because the owner had tried reselling it and was unable to do so,
because of the skin missing from its face. It seems very healthy,
and was alongside many other fish, and none of them have ever
become infected. She bought him several years ago, when he was just
a nickel-sized fish, she says, and he's had the erosion since
he was a baby. She says lately, it did not look as bad as before.
<Can be progressive, slow... halted... even reversed> I have
read up on LLE being common in other fish types, but not in
angelfish. Is this LLE? <Appears to be, yes... aka neuromast
destruction> I have included a photo. I've started feeding
him a variety of foods, supplementing the water and I am looking
for fish vitamins to add to his diet in hopes he begins to heal.
His face looks pretty bad. It's missing. Thanks in advance.
Here is a photo of my fish. PS- Please pardon the sick looking
bubble anemone, as we had an overheating incident 3 weeks ago and
the corals are all recovering. <Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm and through the other two FAQs
files linked above in series. Bob Fenner>
Success in curing HLLE 05/30/2008 Hi WWM crew,
<<Good afternoon, Andrew today>> I have always appreciated
the fine work you do for the marine fish/reef keeping community, and
keep up the excellent work! <<Thank you for the kind words, much
appreciated>> This time I have something to offer. Not claiming
to be an expert or anything, just one more success story and data point
for the common HLLE problem among Surgeonfishes. <<Ahhh...the
best emails to receive, success>> Some background: I have kept a
Hippo Tang for several years, and he has always been healthy, active,
and eats a lot. I have always fed him frozen brine shrimp, mysis
shrimp, Spirulina pellets and krill pellets. However, due to bad LFS
advice, he was stuck in a 37gal system for a while, which is way too
small for such an active fish. A year later, he started developing
HLLE. He had a small pit developing on both sides of his head, behind
the eyes. <<Such a shame>> This year, I finally setup a
125g system with a 30g sump, and moved him over. He seems much happier,
but the HLLE condition was still there, with no signs of improvement.
Granted, it was only a very mild case, since the rest of the head and
his body looked absolutely fine, but since this is not normal in wild
specimen, I wanted to cure him. Two weeks ago, I started adding sushi
Nori to his food. For the first day or two he refused to touch it. But
persistence paid off when I shred the Nori in little pieces and mixed
it to his favorite frozen mysis/brine shrimp, and he consumed
everything with gusto. <<Superb news>> A week later, I saw
blue color appearing on one side of the pit behind his left eye. It
seems like the HLLE is starting to heal. I wish I could take pictures,
but he wouldn't stay still for a portrait :-( <<he he he he..
they never do stay still when you want them too>> It seems HLLE
is a diet related condition, but until he is fully healed, I will keep
monitoring his progress for the coming weeks and report any more
findings. <<It is of my personal opinion, that diet is one of THE
main contributors to HLLE, so, I agree>> I thought the Hippo Tang
is unique in Surgeonfishes due to it being a planktivore, but I guess
having some more greens in his diet wouldn't hurt, and maybe the
missing link to the mystery of HLLE. <<I am really really glad
you have been able to rectify the HLLE in the tang, such a beautiful
fish, yet seen so often in captivity suffering from HLLE, along with
the yellow tang, such a shame for them. I do hope that you email here
will be a an invaluable read to others who are experiencing the same
issue.>> Hope this little piece of information is valuable! Isaac
<<Many thanks for sharing your experience with us, and really
glad you perceived to achieve a positive outcome. Kind regards, A
Possible HLLE in Pork Puffer, fins also involved
3/18/08 Hello Bob and Crew! <Hello> My VHO lighting crashed
about 2 weeks ago. Since then I've been substituting with two
smaller strip-lights and 2 lamps. I ordered a new ballast after
replacing the bulbs and giving up on tinkering. Anyways, my porcupine
puffer has developed what looks like HLLE-The pale forehead, a few
pits. He hasn't eaten in 3 days, and he's been swimming away
from me and staying towards the bottom, breathing heavily <Not
good.> Very unusual for him. Also, He also has some bits on
his fins and tail where it's opaque, with a streak of brown. I am
setting up a QT tank, but I can't get a picture that's any
help. Can this be from the lack of light? Should I treat with an
antibiotic? <Not from lack of light directly, but probably due to
lower water quality. What are your water parameters? HLLE is usually
environmental and dietary in nature. I would not treat with antibiotics
unless you diagnose a bacterial infection. See here for more
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm > <Chris>
Angel Problem. HLLE On The Way? 3/10/08 In my 6ft
tank I have a King Angel that has been with me now for around 9 months,
the area around its head and gills has no colour, it's as though
the top layer of skin has disappeared. The rest of the fish is ok, and
it is accepting food with no problems. In my other 7ft tank I have a
Blueface Angel that has been with me around 2 months, this fish has
exactly the same problem regarding the colour disappearing around the
head area. In both of the tanks I am keeping various other fish and
there is no problem with them. I am interested to know if there is some
problem with my tanks or the fish I have purchased have some disease.
<Alan, sounds to me like HLLE (Head and lateral line erosion). This
is mainly due to environmental conditions and nutrition. It can be
reversed by maintaining pristine water quality and a good diet. Read
FAQ's here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm, and here,
http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm> Regards <You're
welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Alan
Free tank - north of Philadelphia... and HLLE success,
Zebrasoma -- 03/10/08 Hi Crew, <Alison> I just thought
I would send you this. If you feel it is inappropriate please just let
me know. I'm moving soon - next week actually. After some very
honest thinking I've realised that that best thing for my salt
water fish would be to give them to my neighbor since he is a very good
and experienced fish person who has similar philosophies. I'm
moving from just north of Philadelphia to FL and my Sailfin tang is
just too high strung in nature for me to want to risk his well being.
Since I will be fishless for a while I thought I'd offer up my
hospital tank to someone who may need it. Its a 30 hex that hasn't
thankfully been used in two years. The seals may need replacing soon
but when last operating it did not leak. They just look worn. Also I
would like to offer up a success story with a milder case of Hole in
the Head. The Sailfin had it when I bought him. It continued until I
drastically changed my husbandry after researching on your site. Since
my main tank is a hex as well I added a deep sand bed, added well cured
live rock, and took out the Magnum 350 I had running. I kept my bioload
exceptionally low - just the tang, cleaner shrimp, brittle star, a
damsel, and originally a pygmy angel (he died I think of old age having
come from a tank where he'd been placed as an adult approx 12 yrs
prior). I had a power head providing water movement, and an airstone to
keep the O2 levels as high as possible. A very low maintenance, simple
set up. The tank was dedicated to just the tang even though it was too
small for him at just 60 galleons. I thought this was at least better
than the 20 long the LFS had him in, and arranged the rock so he had
multiple swim patterns. I thought about a second power head but
didn't want to add additional vibrations to the tank since he shows
great sensitivity to this. I fed him mostly organic Nori from Wegmans
and Algae Plus Formula from Olsen Frozen Fish Food in NJ. I choose this
brand over others because the ingredients were simple: marine algae,
kelp, Spirulina, plankton, clam, krill, gelatin, and mussel. In about
6-9 months later there was no more hole in the head. He still has some
marks on his face which I assume to be scars. Otherwise healthy and
happy though still a high strung individual. I'll miss him greatly
but he's taught me a lot. I know he made it through importation but
I can't see putting him through that again since my life is very
chaotic right now. If anyone wants the tank please email me at
email@example.com Thanks, Alison <Thank you for relating your
success with the Zebrasoma, HLLE... many will benefit... And I do
hope/trust we will see you back in the hobby once you've settled
into your new circumstances. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
HLLE on a hippo 03/09/2008 dear WWM crew, thanks
to Andrew for all the help he has given me. <<Hello, Andrew
here>> I think that my baby hippo tang has HLLE, there is a
discolored stripe along his nose from his head to his mouth. I cant
tell whether it is a hole or not because he is so active and wont stop
swimming. he eats well, I feed frozen mysis in the morning and
Spirulina flakes at night. can you tell me what is wrong with my fish
and how I can save him. Also should I feed him anything else, today I
tried garlic pellets and he loved them. One more thing, do you know how
to tell whether it is a boy or a girl. thanks <<This does sound,
potentially, like the start of HLLE. My suggestion would be to start
treating the foods with vitamins like Vita-Chem...HLLE is usually
caused by either a poor diet or poor water quality. Whichever is the
failing entity here needs to be changed. Read more on HLLE FAQ's
and linked articles http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm>>
<<**** Note to RMF ***** I am afraid on the sexing of this, I am
unsure, however, I hope Bob Fenner picks this reply up and should
hopefully chime in from his experience>> <<Thanks for the
questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>> <Paracanthurus, like
other Tangs, cannot be discerned sexually, w/o either seeing them in
the act, or taking them apart. RMF>
|Chrysurus "patch"... Neuromast
destruction, tied to... 01/21/2008 hi I've tried to look
for an answer to this weird patches on my Chrysurus Angel but I
cant find anything about it. <Is a "form" of
HLLE...> I don't know what it is I think it might be going
threw <through> a change in face pattern or growth in
coloration maybe? <Is being "consumed" by some
factor/s... avitaminoses, "poor" water quality, perhaps
stray voltage...> But it has looked like this for over 4 months
now. The face gets better and then worse and it repeats this.
I'm dosing the tank with all the vitamins <Ahh!> I can
find, but it doesn't seem to do any good. I'm sending 2
pictures with this any help is greatly appreciated! Morgan <I
would consider a carte-blanche approach to improving water
chemistry (mud-filtration, a refugium with live macro-algae and
DSB, the use of chemical filtrants), improved nutrition (another
BIG plug for Spectrum pelleted foods here), and even a read and a
check for possible electrical current, installation of at least
GFCIs for all elements of 110 volt powered mechanicals here. Do
read on WWM re HLLE. Bob Fenner>