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FAQs about Tangs of the Genus Naso Disease Diagnosis

FAQs on Genus Naso Tang Disease: Naso Disease 1, Naso Health 2,
FAQs on Genus Naso Tang Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Naso Tangs

Related FAQs: Naso Tangs 1Naso Tangs 2, Naso Tangs 3, Naso ID, Naso Behavior, Naso Compatibility, Naso Selection, Naso Systems, Naso Feeding, Naso Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Naso death 10/14/10
Hi crew,
Unfortunately, I am writing under tragic circumstances. I'm hoping you'll be able to enlighten me. I recently lost my blonde Naso tang under rather mysterious circumstances.
<Does happen>
I have a 180 gallon reef with a 55 gallon sump/refugium. My tank has been up for 2 years, spg 1.026,
ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 15. The contents are from a previous 55 gallon that was set up for 6 years before being transferred. I haven't tested any other parameters for a while. I do weekly 30 gallon water changes. I had the Naso for about a year. I got it because I had a dreadful Dictyota problem, and nothing would eat it but this little guy.
What an amazing job it did, and it quickly became my favorite fish. A few days ago, I noticed that it had a small brown spot on the base of it's tail. I didn't think much of it. I attributed it to a mechanical injury of some kind. The next day, the spot had spread to half of the fish's body. It was just brown, no peeling or loss of scales. Blondie was still eating prepared foods and picking off the rocks though, and I had no prepared sea water to set up a hospital tank. The third day, I found it wedged between two rocks, dead as a doornail. The brown completely covered one side of it's body. Very sad day. Now I'm trying to find the culprit. I've only recently discovered that sea urchins are poisonous. I found a small one when I first set up the 55 all those years ago. It was about the size of a dime. Now it's about the size of a golf ball, and has pink pointy tips. It's always on the glass though, I rarely see it among the rocks. Could the Naso have accidentally swam into the urchin and been poisoned?
<Mmm, not likely>
I'm asking so I know whether it would be smart to remove it. Other inhabitants are a pair of black Ocellaris clowns, a canary wrasse, melanurus wrasse, Tailspot blenny, sunburst Anthias, and a blotched Hawkfish. I really don't know, aside from the urchin, what could've caused this rapid demise. All my other
fish are perfectly fine. Please share your thoughts and ideas.
<Nothing "jumps out" as a probable cause here Karina... to use your adverb, unfortunately this genus at times appears to die mysteriously... From? Stress? I would state that "on average", specimens/species of Naso kept in larger systems "die less often mysteriously", have greater survival, longer life times in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang - all but gone 6/5/07 I tried to register on your website, but there seems to be a problem with the site. Hopefully you can give me some much needed advice to save my tang! <The Forum, WetWebFotos is controlled by Zo... who is obviously elsewhere> State of the tank: 150gl tank, all levels are spot on and the tank is lightly loaded as we're growing it slowly. Currently we only have the 1 Naso (4"- that's in big trouble), 1 Hippo (4"), 1 banana wrasse & 1 Christmas wrasse (both about 4"), 2- 3striped, 2 - yellow tail, 1 - solid blue all between 1 - 2" (these are what's left of the 9 starter fish from a little of a year ago). All of these fish have been cohabitating nicely for over a year, with the exception of the Hippo which we just added within the last month. I noticed approximate 1 week ago that the yellow portion on the back of the Naso's tail fin was starting to have some discoloration (brown areas). Yesterday, I notice that the yellow portion of the forehead was also getting some very small brown dots (not bumps - just color change). This morning I found him all but dead on the bottom of the tank (already in the "C" form, nose & tail touching bottom with body arched). <Very bad...> I instantly moved him into QT, added stress coat and Maracyn Plus Anti bacteria. The QT was only set up this morning and I used the water from the main tank so the water temp, salinity, etc. was the same. The only change (since adding the Hippo), is that we have increased the frequency of feeding seaweed clips. I ran out of the green so he's been taking in more purple this past week. He was eating well up until 2 days ago when I noticed he wasn't eating up the Mysis as he typically does. He's barely hanging on, and I appreciate any assistance you can offer. Warm aloha and Mahalo nui loa, (thank you very much) Sandy Tichy <How long have you had this Naso lituratus? It may be that it "came with" an internal complaint... Otherwise, there may be a nutritional (deficiency) issue here... there are some other much more minor possibilities... You have read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso_lituratus.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Ich help...maybe... Naso... hlth... 2/28/07 Hello All, <Kesha> I just wanted to let you know that your site is the most informative site that I have ever come across and I've been in the hobby since 2001. <Ahh!> I just have a few questions that I cannot get answered anywhere else. I have been running this tank since August 2005. It is a 75g all glass aquarium with 260w pc lighting and a moonlight 120lbs of LR, 60lbs of LS. ProClear wet/dry filter system with 3 add'l power heads for water movement. 4 domino damsels <Yikes! Biters!> 3 striped damsels 3 clownfish (2 false & 1 pink skunk) 1 tang 2 Hawaiian feather dusters 4 huge turbo snails & quite a few hermit crabs Water Parameters before putting Tang & feather duster in tank Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Ph 8.2 Done a 30% water change on Monday with distilled water and used 6 gallons of premixed seawater from LFS. I recently bought a Naso Tang <Mmm... needs more room than this> & feather duster about 4 days ago and since then the ammonia is at 0.25ppm & nitrate is at 20ppm. Ph is still the same as well as nitrite. 2 days after getting it, a white spot appeared on the fin near the end of it, has not been rubbing up against any of the rocks and no other spots has appeared. Was a bit worried about his color because it looks as if you can see through his body. Went to LFS and they said its probably cauliflower and antibiotics will help it! (WHAT???) <... I don't know what they're referring to either here... A viral issue like Lymphocystis... as "Cauliflower?"... Antibiotics won't cure this... and I do NOT encourage you to put them in your main display at any length> I researched it and cannot find anything on it. <Mmm... well... might be "just a dot"... from stress, getting whacked by a net... If only one, discrete... no other indications... I would not panic> As for the color I was told to get a ground probe, because the electrical currents running through the tank was causing this to happen. <... no... dismal> None of the other fish in the aquarium seem to have anything wrong with them and just wondered if this is the start of a disease problem? <Not likely... however... You are playing a sort of Russian Roulette by not adhering to some sort of quarantine... at least dip/bath procedure...> Please HELP. Also, do tangs normally try to eat the feather dusters? <Some can, do, yes> My tang is going to town on the ends of the dusters. Thanks so much, Kesha <... Quarantine... Observation for now... a much larger... at least six foot long systems... for the genus Naso... Bob Fenner>

Anemone sting on Blonde Naso? Velvet? Fungus? - Urgent 12/5/06 Dear Bob and Friends, <Oh, yes> I have a question about my 7" Blonde Naso Tang. I noticed a patch of white/grey discoloration and fuzziness with at least one tiny "fuzz ball" attached, right next to the spines on his right side. The patch is about a square inch in size. I would've sent a picture but he moves to quickly to get a good shot. He's had a very slight cloudiness on his right eye for several weeks. He had a rough time getting from the ocean to my tank, <Common with this genus of fast-moving, some almost-pelagic fishes> a case of ich accompanied by a hunger strike that lasted almost 3 weeks (the ich lasted only one week). He's been eating ferociously ever since he got healthy (about 3 weeks ago) but was left with what I'd describe as scars or small (about an 1/8th of an inch) lighter patches on his skin. Like I said he's eating like crazy, has regained all the wait he lost, seems "happy" regardless of the new patch. No scratching, no heavy breathing, pretty much the king of the tank. <A good position> I also noticed my small (about 2 inches) Bubble Tip Anemone sitting about a foot and a half from where he's been happily living for 2 months. He was deflated and did not look good. Through research on your sight I've come to the hopeful conclusion that my Naso may have accidentally whipped the Anemone with his tale <tail> , causing the Anemone to become dislodged and leaving a fuzzy patch on his skin. Can an Anemone do this? <Mmm, yes> I hope this is what happened because I had a case of Velvet wipe out my entire tank 6 months ago resulting in a total overhaul and rebuild (added a refugium with green Caulerpa, increased flow 3 fold, added a chiller and UV sterilizer). This doesn't look like Velvet but I could easily be wrong, we'll see if it's grown in size tomorrow. Other possibilities are bacterial or fungal infection. <I do doubt that this is Velvet/Amyloodinium... if so, most likely all your fishes would be languishing or dead at this point> Regardless, I'm not sure what to do. Medicating him would mean medicating the entire tank, live rock, live sand, cleaner shrimp, hermit crabs, snails, and 8 other fishes. There's no way I'm getting him out without pulling out 200 pounds of rock (that took me 8 hours to set up..). <Mmm... not necessarily... the type/kind of "medicating" I would do is through this and the other fish's foods... soaking and/or coating them in mainly a vitamin supplement product at this point... Very likely (along with good husbandry period) this will "do it"... the observed markings could in all likelihood be resultant from stress, troubles from three weeks plus back...> I did add a large Maroon Clown 4 days ago with no quarantine (my bad). I know I shouldn't assume any fish is healthy but he's been in my LFS's Coral system for at least 3 months. I'd been trying to get them to catch him for a month and a half and they finally succeeded (don't ever let a fish store tell you a fish isn't for sale! hehe). Well he looked healthy then, and looks healthy now, He's the only addition I've had for the last few weeks. I think my water quality is good. I've been doing 10% weekly water changes with R/O water, specific gravity is 1.019, <This needs to be higher... esp. for the anemone's sake... 1.025... Raise the Spg slowly> ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, nitrate 5-10 ppm, PH 8.3, temperature never goes beyond 77-79 degrees. Tons of purple coralline algae growing. I feed a combo of Angel formula, Mysis shrimp, Brine shrimp, squid, chopped krill, Spirulina flakes, brown and green seaweed on clips. Tank is six feet long, <A good absolute minimum for a Naso sp.> 135 gallons (I know its a bit small for this fish but I aquascaped the rock to create a lot of open space and plan on upgrading to a 300 gallon tank in a year or two), sump and refugium are each 30 gallons. All other fish look and are acting healthy and normal. So what should I do? 20% Water change and wait it out? Anything I can do? I'll try to take a picture if it will help, although I'm not sure how it'll come out. <The supplementation of foods mentioned is what/all I would do> On a side note, I can't seem to control the brown algae growing on the fine grain 4" deep sand bed. I stir it up and it grows back within 2 hours. I have about 450 watts of daylight and actinic light bulbs on for 6 hours a day. Any suggestions? <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brownalgcontfaqs.htm and the linked files above...> I want to thank you so much for your help. I read through your web site constantly and have found it to be EXTREMELY helpful. I must spend an hour a day on your site. I am very grateful for the wealth of information you provide. I'd love to meet you guys out in Hawaii one of these days. Thanks again for your help! Chad D. <Am out on the Big Island esp. ever few to handful of months... w/ some of the WWM Crew generally. BobF> Problems with Naso tang 10/26/06 Hi, Good afternoon everyone! In my tank with a flame Angel, a Yellow Tang, a Naso tang, two domino damsels, <Can be quite territorial to downright mean> two Bubbletip anemones, <Not usually compatible unless clones or in very large systems> a finger leather coral...up to yesterday night I had a clarkii clown in it but took it out because he was chasing the flame angel and I didn't want to lose my flame angel (clarkii clown is in another tank). This process of taking him out was very difficult (he was very fast swimming and hiding in all the rocks) therefore it took us 30 minutes to get him out... we also rearranged the rocks after that. We have a protein skimmer and a UV sterilizer and a power filter and we constantly check the water and its always perfect. We ended up going to bed at about 4:30 am and it was perfect all the fishes were doing fine, even the clarkii in the other tank. When I woke up this morning everyone was fine but I couldn't seem to find my Naso tang... when I finally did he was in a corner in a posing position hardly moving its fins, he is usually a light gray but today he was very dark gray almost black.. he had white spots all over his body (he have had this before usually when he gets scared) <Yes... is likely still upset re the commotion yesterday, early morning> but the neon blue in his eyelids, top of his top fin and bottom one disappeared like faded into white and almost all the other color faded... the only remaining color is the dark gray of his body and the yellow that on top of his eyes... Could all this be stress or he might have gotten some kind of parasite? <Just the former> All the other fishes are doing fine if not better than yesterday but he is not doing well... he is my favorite fish and I am very worried... please help me! I really don't know what to do.. I also have had him for like two months and has always done great.. he was very healthy , ate everything, very playful and peaceful... thanks you! Christina Ruales <Mmm, Naso species need systems of at least six feet in length... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/nasosysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

A Tale of Two Dead Naso Tangs - 09/17/06 Hello, <<Good Morning>> I am writing you and talking to anyone else I could think off. <<Wise not to limit yourself to a single source of information/advice/opinion>> This past week I lost a pair of Naso tangs. <<Sorry to hear...>> I am devastated over this for a number of reasons, but mostly because I can't find an answer to why they died. Before I ask you to give some thoughts on what you think might of happened let me give you as many details and variables I can. <<Thank you…always helpful>> The tank is a 350 gallon fish/reef tank. I keep a variety of angels and tangs, clowns and damsels. There are also inverts like shrimp, snails and crabs. There are not a lot of corals at this time but the idea for the tank is to keep a number of corals with larger variety of fish not usually kept in a reef. <<I see...and researching re to assure/maintain compatibility I'll assume...>> There are a few LPS and SPS corals along with a few soft leathers. <<Mmm...with "variety of angels"?>> I do have to be very careful in what corals I choose because of the types of fish. <<Ah yes!>> The larger of the tangs was a Hawaiian Naso the other was a smaller Red Sea blonde. <<Hmm...ever considered a "biotope" display?>> I know typically these species are not kept together but they have done very well often swimming side by side and staying together at night. The tank has ample swimming room and the aquascaping is such it gives the fish room to swim in a big circle. <<Excellent>> The tank has been established for 4 years. Only up until last year I started to get into corals having spent the money to have a dedicated electrical circuit for the lights and pumps. <<Reef setups are indeed "power hungry">> Prior, the power options didn't allow me to have the right lighting. I now run 3 10K 250watt HQI de's with PC actinics. The tank gets a weekly water change from RO/DI water and top-off is from the same unit. I dose manually calcium and dKH supplement as needed, parameters are checked weekly. <<Very good>> The only issue I have which is not serious is slightly elevated nitrates. <<...! I don't know your definition of "slightly", but even so, chronically elevated nitrate can/will have effect on your livestock (and what about ammonia/nitrite?...these were/are checked as well?). This may be a clue to the two Naso tang's demise>> I use a refugium with grape <Caulerpa> and Chaetomorpha macro algae. <<Mmm, another issue (clue?) here in my opinion. Grape Caulerpa is very noxious, even toxic to fish (many herbivorous fishes won't eat it for this reason). Combining it with Chaetomorpha in a refugium means the alga are constantly waging war (alga compete just as corals do for space on the reef), releasing chemicals/toxins to inhibit and/or kill each other. Such constant and powerful chemical warfare (Alga rates at the top of the list with some of the nastiest corals for aggression/noxiousness) can't be "good" for a system. Not to mention the loss of usefulness/processes for having the algae in the refugium in the first place due to the "energy" expended on warfare>> The Chaeto is fed to the tank where the angels and tangs feast. <<Hmm...wonder the possibility of the Chaetomorpha being "tainted" from close exposure/battle with the grape Caulerpa...>> The nitrate levels are elevated, but don't cause any issues with nuisance algae, the Acropora and Montipora orange cup coral are growing and doing well so I use that as a measure since the nitrates don't seem to cause any other problem. <<I agree it would seem the corals you mention would show deleterious affects from elevated nitrate before the fish would...but I'm still very curious as to your actual nitrate reading(s)>> I do understand the bio load may be a little high causing the elevated nitrates, however I go to great lengths to make sure the water quality and environment stay optimal. Of course the tank has a large skimmer on it which is cleaned 1-2 times per week. Ok, with that overview here is what happened over the last few weeks. About three weeks ago I noticed the RO unit was not producing any RO for the top-off. <<Raw RO water for top-off? Not recommended...>> The unit being in place a little over 6 months I thought it might just need to be cleaned and didn't need new filters or membrane replacement. <<Not likely, no..."should" get a couple to several years out of the membrane, even with this size tank...life of the filter cartridges will depend mainly on your source water/how often they are rinsed clean>> The water source is well water. After rinsing the filters in tap water and putting the unit back together it did start to produce some RO however the TDS was > then 0 and could not produce enough for a water change. <<Again... I need specific measurements to really be of much help>> At this point I called the company to discuss my options. <<A good move>> They agreed that the membrane should not have to be replaced but agreed to send me a filter kit and new membrane anyway. The unit is a 100gpd. <<As is mine...>> I skipped my weekly water change that week waiting for the filters. <<Um...not seasoning/maturing/buffering your water before "and" after mixing the salt?>> I received the filters and they forgot to ship the membrane. <<Mmm...>> I waited until that weekend to install the filters. After the filters were installed, the unit still didn't make RO for my water change. <<Strange...perhaps you should remove/gently rinse the membrane...install a "flush" kit>> Bottom line, by the time I got RO back online it was almost 3 weeks without a water change. <<Shouldn't have been a problem>> I didn't think this was that critical as I checked param.s and everything seemed to be ok. <<Would agree>> I started to cut back on feeding slightly which is usually done twice a day, every other day. <<I don't agree with this, fish should be fed daily...preferably multiple small feedings. If feeding daily causes secondary issues with your tank then reevaluate your maintenance/husbandry practices/stocking levels...but don't jeopardize the fishes long-term health by "cutting back" on proper and adequate nutrition>> I target feed the fish to make sure everybody gets enough without over feeding the tank. They get mostly pellets soaked with Vita-Chem. <<A good product...and New Life Spectrum pellets I hope!>> That is supplemented with frozen Mysis and the macro algae. <<Ah good, variety is key...and the more the better>> During this 3 week period, I added 2 fish to the tank one of the fish was a replacement for a small saddle back puffer that jumped out the tank some time ago, <<Jumped!...? Was this fish stressed/harassed by other fish? Perhaps another clue here as well. Could be the puffer was stressed to the point of releasing toxins (jumped to escape its own poison?) and the tangs are merely victims of the long-term affect...and hopefully the "only" victims>> and the other was a mandarin dragonet. This is my first time keeping a mandarin but given the size of the tank and amount of pods I see I thought I would try to keep one. <<Sounds reasonable to me as well considering the "mature" nature of this tank>> During this time I also took a handful of the spaghetti algae about baseball size and tossed it in the main tank during the lower feeding period. Also something I have done many times before. Now the blur of events I have been going over and over in my mind trying to figure out what happened. I can't say exactly when during this period but, I did notice the larger Naso hiding a little bit. He was still feeding and there were no other signs of problems. I kept an eye on him and noticed during the last week that he had seemed to have a sunken stomach, stopped feeding and was staying at the top of the tank in a vertical position. Shortly after the larger Naso started to exhibit this behavior I noticed the smaller Naso also with a sunken stomach. <<Were these fish treated with a copper-based medication at any point prior to this? Tangs treated in this manner will sometimes suffer from loss of digestive microbes in their gut, preventing them from digesting food/assimilating nutrients. Another thought is the behavior of these two fish is similar to those afflicted with internal parasites, though many times such afflicted fish show absolutely "no interest" in food>> I began to feed the tank everyday in the morning and later in the day, both tangs showed interest and slightly picked but were not near their normally aggressive feeding behavior. Their breathing also seemed slightly labored. The large Naso was the first to die, the smaller died yesterday. Neither fish showed any signs of marks, spots, no physical changes outside of the sunken stomachs. Before disposing of the smaller tang I lifted the gill flap and used a bright light to examine the gill. The gill was bright red and showed nothing abnormal. Both fish had labored breathing towards the end but again didn't have any other visual indications. <<May have been secondary to the stress of/weakening by malnutrition>> No other fish in the tank currently show any signs of abnormal behavior and continue to feed normally. I have done 2 water changes last week once the RO produced enough water hoping to save a least one of the tangs. <<Not likely the issue...and possibly an additional stressor (bouncing water parameters), especially if the new salt mix is not allowed to mature/complete its chemical processes before adding to the tank>> The smaller did appear to be swimming around better the day before but refused to eat. <<Never good>> As of now I am suspecting the following; The RO unit; is it possible the filters contaminated the water some how, either the exhausted filters or the new filters? <<I'm doubtful of this>> Did adding the puffer or mandarin bring something in the tank? <<More of a possibility, yes>> BTW all my fish come from 2 places that I trust and know. I never have any problems with their fish or corals. <<Fortunate>> Did the puffer release toxins in the water? <<Possibly>> The previous saddle back was there for a year and never had any issues. Is it possible that something was in the macro algae the tangs ate? <<Another possibility I think, yes>> Again, the Nasos eat this algae all the time and can eat a baseball size amount in a day. <<Possibly a matter of toxic accumulation>> Lastly, I dose the tank weekly with only Kent dKH supplement. The product is added to my sump which is connected to the refugium. <<If tested/added as needed this should not be a problem>> I was thinking maybe the macro algae could have contained concentrated levels of this? <<I don't think so>> Other fish ate the algae, but mostly the Nasos. <<Could be telling>> Lastly, the tank has Euro-bracing and is open. The stand is over 4 feet high, the tank total height is around 7-8 feet. <<Cool>> This was done because of the kids and placement of the tank. It is of perfect viewing in a standing position. <<Indeed>> I thought I'd mention this in the event something got into the tank that's unknown? <<Anyone been "cleaning" around the tank?>> I do find bugs every now and again in the sump that must be attracted to the lights. <<Yes>> The only other thing that I thought of was this past weekend my wife had some people over to clean the house. I was not around but always give my wife strict instructions that the cleaners stay away from the tank. They were new people, so I don't know if something was introduce through their cleaning? <<Weren't the tangs displaying symptoms before this?>> Sorry for the long email, <<No worries my friend, I appreciate the detailed explanation (hmm...wonder if I can make an article out of this some how?)>> <Likely so. RMF> but I am at my wits end on this and can't begin to explain how I feel. I have been in the hobby a very long time and have never seen anything like this before. Please help... <<Well Patrick, I have been in the hobby more than 30 years myself, and "have" seen this before. Unfortunately, knowing the exact cause is usually very difficult without a necropsy of the fish. I do have some thoughts/theories as I've stated>> Thanks and regards, Patrick Mundt <<My pleasure to assist. Do give thought to separating/choosing a single macro-algae (my vote goes to the Chaetomorpha) for the refugium...and do take a look on our site re using RO water for top-off as well as making/mixing with salt for water changes. Cheers, Eric Russell>>
Re: A Tale of Two Dead Naso Tangs - 09/18/06
Eric, <<Patrick>> Thanks for the response. <<Quite welcome>> You do however raise more questions, and also cause me to ask you to further explain some of your answers : ) <<Certainly>> To address some of your concerns, the RO water is made with salt a day before the water change. Nothing is added to the water outside of Tropic Marin Salt. <<An excellent salt (would use it myself were it not so expensive), but, raw/newly mixed saltwater is very irritating to your livestock...I recommend you make it up far enough in advance to give it a few days to a week to "mature">> The nitrate levels are not 0 but range between 10 - 30 ppm. <<Too high for the fishes (should be less than 20), and WAY too high for the corals (should be less than 5)>> This is tested using only Salifert test kits. <<A good line of test kits>> I put the grape Caulerpa in the fuge about 2-3 months ago. Both types of macro algae have grown much better since adding the grape? Don't know why. <<Hmm...likely coincidence...feeding off the source of your high nitrates>> I only feed the fish the Chaeto. I do remember having to remove to grape that was tangled with the Chaeto before feeding that day. The first puffer I had was a great tank mate, very interesting and didn't bother anything. Other fish left him alone he never appeared stressed never saw anyone bothering him. In regards to his jumping out of the tank, I have moon lights on the tank as well, and it did appear odd to me to wake up for work and find him on the floor. <<Indeed...not a fish that comes to mind when you think "jumper">> I thought the combination of lights and perhaps him going after something to eat caused his death. <<Don't know...but seems unlikely to me>> Usually the puffer finds a perch and sets up for the night. To the medicating the tank; Last year after being begged by a fellow aquarist I agreed to take a powder blue tang from him that was harassing his fish. Big mistake! <<Indeed...a difficult/problematic species...probably best left in the ocean>> The fish came with a gift and before it was over wiped out half my tank. <<No quarantine mate?>> As I mentioned before I have 2 very reliable LFS, I have not used a second tank in years. <<A ticking time bomb...>> Anyway, the Odin. or other parasite moved very fast and as a desperate act I medicated the tank with Malachite Green (I'm sure this is not spelled right <<corrected>>). <<Yeeikes! Dangerous stuff...very toxic (must be measured very carefully)...tends to kill the "good guys">> Anyway, one of my LFS sources assured me they have medicated their show reef tank with this stuff with great success. <<(sigh)>> So to answer your question, yes the tank was medicated but this was a long time ago and the tangs in the tank died from the parasite, the medication did get rid of the parasite and didn't kill any of the corals. The feeding of every other day was suggested to me, all the fish in the tank seem a litter over weight, (I think), even the 2 Nasos were very thick and clean. I do think they should eat every day, but I think they have gotten used to this. << <grin> Would "you" get used to eating every other day?>> I have had a small passer that has grown into an adult with great adult colors and has been with me since I started this tank. So what do you think the downside of this may be? <<Can only wonder how much "better" the fishes would be with daily nutrition...>> Next, having read through your site, I must have missed the RO part, why not use RO for top off? <<Raw RO water lacks any buffers/earth elements...these are pulled/drawn from the tank water to reach equilibrium each time raw RO is added, creating instability/ a seesaw effect on your water chemistry>> I figured the weekly water changes would replace anything the RO is missing for top off no? <<Likely it does...but buffering the top-off water to reduce fluctuations in water chemistry is a better solution and will reduce the associated stress on your livestock>> TDS of the RO was approx > then 150. <<A properly functioning RO membrane should give you a reduction by a factor of 10 over the reading from your tap>> Based on what you have said, I think I will remove the grape macro algae. <<Super!>> After this email, I think I am leaning more towards the algae causing the problems as I know tangs more then other fish have to be handled with care in regard to diet. <<Important to al fishes...the more varied the better>> Please let me know what you suggest for the water change water. <<I think I have...but if not clear, just give a holler...>> I am always looking to hear other experienced advice... <<As am I my friend>> Thanks, Patrick... <<Be chatting my friend, Eric Russell>> Re-2: A Tale of Two Dead Naso Tangs 9/19/06 Hello Eric, <<Hi Patrick>> I searched your site and was unable to find articles on RO top off pro/cons but going through some other users' questions have a basic understanding of the concern of not using raw RO. <<Ah good...and maybe time for me to stop procrastinating and "put pen to paper" re. And here are some articles worthy of your perusal: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water.htm ... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm ... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i4/RO_systems/reverse_osmosis.htm ... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watchgantart.htm ... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/marineMaint.htm>> I am without question going to change my procedures on the water change water, actually I understand now why I have to keep adding Alk buffer as much as I do. <<Indeed! Considering the volume of the tank, your water change routine, and the fact you have but a few corals at present, regular supplementation of earth elements should not be required>> Some new challenges are with the top-off water. <<...?>> I have serious space issues and need to find more information on what other people are doing to pre-treat their RO top-off water. <<Should be mentioned in one or two of the articles I've provided. But is a simple matter of utilizing a suitable storage container (plastic trash cans are common) to hold the RO water, adding aeration/water movement for 24 hrs to blow-off CO2, then adding buffer to raise pH and alkalinity. I like to use a 2 to 1 mixture of baking soda and Seachem's Reef Buffer...you can use baking soda alone but you won't get much of a pH rise without "baking it" first (spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour) to drive out the CO2 used in its manufacture>> <Interesting. Making some of this sodium carbonate... RMF> The RO unit has an ASOV (a fast flush as well, forgot to mention previously) so putting a float switch in the sump was not a problem. <<Understood...and not an uncommon though ill-advised practice>> What are some standard solutions, mechanisms used? <<Whatever your imagination/budget allows. My configuration consists of a 55g polyethylene barrel sited in my garage which is fed automatically by my 5-stage 100gpd RO unit. I control water flow to the RO unit through use of an "air-pressure" water-level switch that turns power on-off to a solenoid valve I installed between the water line and the filter unit. The 55g drum is plumbed through the attic to a 20g reservoir positioned above my display tank. A push-button "momentary" switch allows me to easily and conveniently fill the reservoir from the drum in the garage. Top-off to the sump is controlled by a Tunze Osmolator which feeds water from the reservoir to the sump through a DIY Nilsen reactor (use of the reactor precludes the need to buffer the water beforehand). This was "my" solution to the "top-off" issue...think about your needs/what you want to do and come up with an idea/a plan and I'll be happy to discuss it with you>> Seems to me I would need a container of some sort with a pump and float switch and a level controller in the sump? <<See...you're half way there <grin> >> Any help in the area would be appreciated. Just an FYI Big Al's sells Tropic Marin fairly cheap. A 200gal mix shipped is around 60 bucks. <<Not bad...but still decidedly more than Instant Ocean...which I also consider to be an excellent and consistent salt mix...and probably the best value for the dollar re>> I don't know if I feel any better having a better understanding on how the tangs died, but I walk away knowing more about a number of things and plan to make a number of changes based on your advice. Thanks <<Is all we can do my friend. And the more we learn...the better we come to understand...the greater the benefit to the hobby will be. Regards, EricR>>

Naso tang with fin prob. 6/10/06 Dear guys, <... and ladies> I recently bought a juvenile Naso tang 2.5" <Quite small for a Naso lituratus... many die from poor adjustment, shipping damage when procured at small size> that is still in quarantine with a percula clown n algae goby. Everything was fine and he started eating after 2 days from my hand but will only take Nori which I soak with vitamins each time before feeding him. An then 2 weeks later, I saw that the end of its dorsal fin was a bit torn. He was always competing with the algae goby (which of cos he won most of the time) for the Nori n I thought that the goby may have bitten him. Then a black line appear along the dorsal fine and there were more torn places. And now the anal fins are also torn towards the end and also has a black line. And I think today I saw that the tail also starts to have these line. All the lines are at the outer perimeter of the fins n tail. Does he have some kind of disease or was it cause by the goby and the lines are just normal coloration as he grows. The Naso is fine so far eating Nori like a pig. Am trying to coax him into eating some flake food. <Very likely just cumulative stress... from collection, holding, shipping...> The current quarantine tank is 25G, amm n nitrite is 0 and nitrate about 10. I didn't notice any patches on its body though its body is quite transparent under lighting n u can see his ribs sometimes. I am not moving him to the main tank yet until I am sure. Oh n the clown n goby are fine. There are no symptoms of any kind from them. Thank you. <Spell-check and no net-speak next time, please. And read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Lipstick tang health, sel. 3/15/06 Hi I would like to know if you have any ideas on why our lipstick tang died. We've had the tank 5ft- 380litres) for 3 months. We have a blue damsel, 2 coral banded shrimp, Fijian damsel, 2 clownfish and a coral beauty (all small specimens). We test regularly, everything stays relatively the same, and I tested again after the tang died. Ph-8.4, ammonia 0.1, <Should be zip> nitrate 20ppm. <Borderline high> We had the tang 9 days, when we first got it there was a small amount of tail fighting with the coral beauty, but after this all seemed harmonious. The tang ate well each feed either brine shrimp or vege cubes and we also added seaweed which it grazed on. The night before it fed well and seemed happy. Dead as a door nail the next morning! Shop said maybe stress but that it would have white spots if this was the case. I examines the tang, there were no marks at all, it looked perfectly healthy, other than being dead obviously. Any ideas would be appreciated Cheers Megan <Naso species do often "just die" shortly after arrival/collection from the wild. Likely "cumulative stress" could sum up the "cause" here. Buying a specimen that has been "on hand" for a few weeks will likely assure its survival in your setting. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang Trouble - 02/03/2006 Hello WWM: <Hi John.> I appreciate your assistance in helping me diagnose a problem with a Naso Tang. <I'll try.> I have asked purported experts at 2 reputable fish stores to provide some guidance and each provided little or no assistance. <OK...No pressure.> THE ENVIRONMENT *100 Gallon Tank *100 Pounds of Tonga Rock *Established 1 Year *Temperature 84 Degrees <I'd lower this to about 78-80 if possible.> *Salinity - 1.023 *Ph - 7.9 <Try to get this up to about 8.3.> *P04 - 0 *N03 - 30 <Ouch. 10 or less would be much better.> *4 Clownfish *1 Sailfin Tang *1 Hippo Tang *1 Flame Angel *1 Royal Gramma *1 Goby THE PROBLEM I purchased the Naso approximately 2 weeks ago. He appeared healthy and reasonably active in a relatively small store tank. <Hmm...Reasonably?> After we purchased the fish we acclimated him to the water temperature and did a fresh water dip prior to releasing him into the display tank. <No QT I see. Only acclimated to temp.?> We noticed with 1-2 days that one of his eyes appeared to be injured and we were told it was most likely an injury and not eye cloud or Popeye. The water quality is perfect and I just recently had the tank serviced. <I wouldn't quite say perfect, but is mostly acceptable.> That problem seems to be improving. <Good.> The second problem is that the tang also eats very little. <Uh-Oh...> Flake and pellet food are not of particular interest though he did at times eat the seaweed. <Not good. Have you tried soaking these in a vitamin prep. or appetite stimulant?> The real problem now is that for the past 2-3 days he has been moving erratically. He generally is inactive is often seen at the bottom of the tank or on an angle against the rock or, at times, flat on the crushed coral. <Sounds like stress. The filtration seems inadequate with the nitrate levels, and Tangs need an environment with low metabolic wastes and high dissolved oxygen. It sounds like these are the problems as well as a lack of personal space for this fish.> The gills are moving rapidly and the fish appears to be in severe stress. The service person said that everything is fine and further that Naso Tangs in particular tend to behave that way and will rest on the bottom of the tank and against rock and I should not be concerned. <What!? This is definitely something to be concerned with.> The fish will sporadically swim for short periods then will again rest at the bottom of the tank. When sporadically bothered by the other tangs the fish will tail whack and defend itself. The situation looks grim. Any suggestions? <I don't think this tank is big enough for all these fish. This is probably a combination of environmental and psychological stress. I'd start with a good 25-30% water change to lower those nitrates. Given the mix of fish, I'd say you dissolved oxygen is low also, so I'd add an airstone or other means of aeration. How's the flow in your tank? Vigorous circulation is also necessary. Skimmer? Don't see one listed. As far as the mix you've got, review on WWM re, and consider reducing this load.> Thank you. John <You're welcome. - Josh>

Sick fish floating - emergency 8/8/05 Please Help! I tried and looked for an answer on your site but I am a little flustered at the moment. I just came home to my healthy Naso Tang floating on the top of the aquarium on his side gasping. The water quality is fine, all the other fish are fine. I did a complete tank change from a 75 to a 150 last Sunday, and everyone was fine. Do you think this could be stress? <Not likely> If so is it possible for the stress to hit him a week later? What should I do? I put stress coat in the tank the day of the change, and just now again. The tank has plenty of o2 as I have a sump in my basement the water crashes into. Please advise! I am freaking out and do not know what to do!!! Thank you Jack B. Schimpf <We need more info on symptoms than simply floating. Is it closing or favoring one gill over another, and color changes, what is the diet, how old is the fish, etc. In the meantime, I'd suggest you get the fish into a QT tank with some aged aquarium water and some aged/mature filter media or live rock from the tank. Add 1 TBN of Epsom salt per 5 gallons and then repeat the dose after a water change 3 days later. You might add B12 and/or Beta Glucan to the water or feed for appetite/immunity boosting. And please do read through our archives at wetwebmedia.com to see if any other symptoms look familiar and treatments if necessary. Best of luck, Anthony>
Emergency sick fish floating II 8/8/05
Thanks Anthony, Not sure how old he is. bought him already as an adult, he already has the "streamers " on his tailfin if that tells u anything. He was floating on his side, now he is down below in a rock crevice and very difficult to see if he is favoring 1 gill over the other. Diet consists of flake in the AM and frozen brine occasionally in evening, along with seaweed. He was healthy as a horse and actually wouldn't leave me alone if I had to put my hand in the tank for any reason, so he isn't shy. Color is fine and as I said everyone else is fine, even my Dragonet <This indeed sounds a bit better for the fish... being well-established and with a history of hearty eating. The symptom, again, is so general as to be any of a number of things... but do still consider my recommendation. The use of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is mildly therapeutic and rather harmless if not helpful (its already in sea salt and fish food). The purpose here is to assist osmotic balance. You might lower the salinity and temperature in the tank just slightly for increased oxygen and slower bacterial proliferation. Nominal, but leaning in the right direction here. Best of luck/life. Anthony>
Emergency help: floating fish III 8.9.05
Thank you for your help Anthony, but he didn't make it between the 2 emails unfortunately. <I'm very sorry to hear it, bro> I am just worried that the same thing will happen to the rest of the group, although they all seem fine. Is there something out of the ordinary I should test for? <With a general symptom like "floating" it could be so many things from duress/stress to worms perforating inner tissues (unlikely) to bacterial infection (more likely). Start with a thorough test of water quality, then follow with a large water change and feed your fishes well while watching closely for the next days/weeks. But don't medicate without a clear symptom to respond to> Also when I removed the Tang from the tank, he had some brown coloration lines on his sides that weren't ever there before. Any ideas? <Death. seriously... no idea guessing sight unseen from here. Sorry, my friend... but it would not be fair to speculate on a general text description. Do insure water quality and proceed from there. kindly, Anthony>

Naso Tang Death Hello, <Hello Michael> This may be too vague and too many causes to answer but I'll give it a shot anyway. I came home tonight to find my Naso Tang wedged behind some rocks and barely alive. I immediately removed him from the main tank and put him in my sump so that I can keep an eye on him and gather him up if he dies. I then tested my water for anything that seemed out of whack. I can find nothing that appears to be wrong. My Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia are all zero. My buffer capacity was above (as far as I can determine from the color) 300ppm. My Specific Gravity is 1.021 and my pH reads 8.29. I have a RO/DI unit topping off the tank, so I don't *think* I am getting something bad from the water supply. The tang shows no signs of Ick and his eyes are clear. He does appear to be "gasping" through his mouth and his equilibrium seems to be off (i.e. he was swimming upside down a few times). I have done a couple of things over the past few weeks that I question whether or not it might have an affect. First, because of a micro bubble problem and at the LFS suggestion, I added a filter bag to the end of my overflow. This eliminated the bubbles but I question whether or not I could be suffocating the tank? Is that possible? <I don't think so> I also added a "cleaning" crew of snails, hermit crabs, peppermint shrimp, etc to the tank. They have destroyed about every bit of algae in the tank. Could I be starving the Tang? <Possibly, they do like algae in their diet.> I feed Mysis about every 5 days. The tang and 2 damsels are the only fish in the tank. I did accidentally leave the Mysis out all night and then refroze it. Could I have contaminated the food source doing this? <It's possible> I did add a pH buffer 2 days ago to raise my pH from 7.8 and it indicated that ammonia in the water could be lethal but again my ammonia level was zero. Is there something else I should look for? <Michael, the Naso, Powder Blue/Brown are all difficult tangs to keep. They do require at least 100 gallon systems as they are constantly swimming. Water quality is of the utmost importance. Normal test readings are really not an indicator of water quality. Ten percent water changes per week need to be done to maintain the quality and trace element supply. The use of a good protein skimmer adds to the quality of the water. Diet also plays an important role. Here is a link on the Naso Tang if you haven't read it already. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks so much, Michael <You're welcome>

Vlamingi--Brown spots with white center that looks like air bubble Dear WWM Crew, <Joey> Thank you for the great work! I couldn't find anything references to my problem in your existing documents (which never happened before!!) so here I am writing for the first time :-) Thank you for your time. <Welcome> My young Vlamingi tang (2.5-3")... <Wow, this is small> ... has been in my system for 7-10 days. Last night I realized there are some random brown/tan/rusty color dots (1mm across) on the ventral sides of his body (belly, mostly towards the back). The strange thing about the brown/rusty dots is that they are flat against his body, but have a white center (pin-head size) that stick out from the body like bull's-eye, which reflects light like an air bubble. <Yes... these are likely "just normal coloration".... I see this on ones in the wild at times... when I can get close, the lighting's good> Moreover, the same white dots on his side fins and the dorsal side of his body (all along his back), I would have thought they are Ick, but I am not so sure after seeing the rusty outer rims. They also reflect light like air bubbles. <Yes> What should I do? Should I separate Mr. Vlamingi form the rest of his tank mates? I cannot get a picture of him, I waited for 20 minutes and the camera only stresses him out! <I would "do nothing"... very unlikely not a problem with your Naso here> Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Joey System set up: Main tank: 55 gal, 50lbs LS, 60lbs LR, 220 power compact, 1 rotating power head, CPR BakPak protein skimmer. Sump: 20gal, almost full, regular household fluorescent light on 24 hours) with little macroalgae. Livestock: Fishes: 1 silver hybrid tang (4.5") <Really? I wonder, what sort of cross?> 1 Vlamingi tang (2.5") 1 homeless male false percula (1.5") 1 mandarin dragonet (3.5") Inverts: 1 cleaner shrimp (2") Clean up crew 1 bubble coral (2.5") 1 pulsing xenia (2.5") 1 long tentacle coral (5") <Mmm, do realize you're going to need a larger tank with the Vlamingi... at least six feet long in time. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang Hi there <Hello Jaime> Thank you so much for your website, it has been great help to us, you guys and gals are great! However I have looked over forums and articles and have had no luck with my problem. We have lost our first fish today and I have no clue why. I would be forever in your debt if someone could help me! So here we go..... We set up our first marine tank 4 months ago and all has been going swimmingly until today. All tests are normal and our water quality is high and our other fish are doing great so far (knock on wood). So here is our problem. We bought a lipstick/Naso tang about a month ago from our trusted fish store. He acclimatized well in the tank and was doing great. Then we had an unfortunate incident where he dive bombed himself into a live rock formation for no apparent reason and got himself stuck. I noticed him stuck so I freed him by moving the rocks. After that he seemed a bit freaked out, acting a little funny, his right eye looked like it had been scratched so it was a little cloudy and his left fin seemed to be bothering him, but a few hours later he seemed much better so we didn't want to stress him anymore by moving him to the quarantine tank. Over the next day he appeared to be healing fast, he was still acting a little bit weird, but he seemed ok because he was still swimming around and he was still eating. Then we came home from work today to find him lying almost dead on the bottom of the tank. His breathing was very slow, and he had turned the most horrible dark colour. So through teary eyes we moved him into the quarantine tank so that he wouldn't die in the big tank. He doesn't appear to have any strange markings or any of the symptoms of any disease I could find on the website. I am still worried that he might have something that has infected the tank, please could you help me with any clues on this strange behaviour? We loved that little guy. <Jaime, sorry to hear about your loss. The tang you selected is one of the most difficult tangs to keep in captivity. They are from the same family as the Powder Blue Tang, another almost impossible tang to keep for any length of time. I am gathering from what I read here that little or no research was done on this fish before you purchased it. I don't know what size tank you have, but they require a minimum tank size of 70 gallons. These fish can grown 20-24" in the wild. I would like you to read info on a link I'll include here. This certainly will help in any future tang purchases as there is not much we can do with the one you had. If your a newcomer to this hobby you definitely want to stay away from tangs in the Acanthuridae family which yours was a member of as they require an extreme amount of care to survive in captivity. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm James (Salty Dog)>

- Naso Tang Life Span - My fish died over the weekend and I believe it was 8 yrs old.  <Am sorry to hear of your loss, but good job keeping it this long.>  How long can these fish live?  <In the wild, likely two to three times this amount. In captivity... hard to say, too many factors go into its quality of life. I'd say that under ideal circumstances [giant tank, lots of water flow, low competition for food], you could expect at least 15-20 years.> Thanks, John <Cheers, J -- >

Naso tang Hello, I recently added a lipstick tang to a 100 gallon tank..<did you quarantine this fish for 3-4 weeks>  All usual tests were fine... the tank houses 2 Percula clowns and two blue damsels who are all fine. <ok>   After about five hours in the tank the tang simply wanted to rest on the bottom and not move. <usually they rest on the bottom when first introduced>  After about twelve hours he was on his side..<did you acclimate him properly?> Still alive but not wanting to move.  If prompted by the movement of a fish near by he would swim around a bit but always return to somewhere on the bottom.  He died in about 24 hours from being introduced into the tank.<That is why it is good to quarantine fish before introduction to the main system>  The tang had been at the shop for at least two weeks and was very healthy looking. swimming great and eating fine. Any idea what I did wrong? <could be how you acclimated it, but from now on I would quarantine all fish for 3-4 weeks before introduction>  One suggestion was that my oxygen content was too low.  I purchased a test kit today and measured between five and seven (which does seem low by some reckonings.)<well these free open swimming tangs require high levels of dissolved oxygen>  Could this have effected a larger fish in this way, but still have supported the smaller damsels? <yes, it could have> I feel very guilty for losing such a fine fish, and would like to establish what I did wrong before trying another one. <good idea> The tank contains only fish and has been established for 3 months.  I use natural seawater (live on an island)<would use pre-mixed salt-such as instant ocean.. etc> and maintain gravity at 1.022. I regularly change 10% water and add stress Zyme in proportion to these changes.  Temperature is about 79 deg.  I also did a copper test today, which reported nothing present.<well look over WWM and make sure to quarantine all fish before introduction to your main aquarium, I have enclosed a link for you to look over...should help http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm> Many thanks<IanB> Brendan Bougourd.

Sick Naso Hello, I couldn't find anything particular to these symptoms so any advice as to how to treat this guy would be much appreciated. 5" Naso tang, had him for 5-6mo, very happy usually - suddenly stopped eating & swimming around everywhere.  I can't see a thing wrong with him other than his stomach is thin now from not eating I guess.  All other fish in tank are perfectly healthy.  He looks kind of dazed, scared.  I do have a quarantine area if needed, should I move him and what could it be, what medication would help do you think? Thanks a lot...  <I wouldn't move him as it would stress him out more.  Check your water parameters, one of these are likely amiss.  What size is the tank he is in?  You could try feeding him some dried Nori on a clip and see if he will eat that.  Cody>

Removing the tangs from a Tang I've heard that this is sometimes done by collectors seeking to make the Tangs easier to handle. <Yes, especially larger specimens... on collecting are "clipped" to reduce/eliminate chance of injury to diver, other specimens> I just received a Naso from Saltwaterfish.com whose tangs are not there.  What is the long-term impact of this?  I'm really disappointed!  It seems wrong to take away their primary form of defense.  It's akin to declawing a cat and then expecting it to acclimate well to an environment in which it will have to engage in the process of establishing a pecking order. <No long-term problem should arise from this practice. The "tangs" do grow back... in a few months time>   This fish does not seem terribly healthy, either.  He's not eating at all despite being offered many tempting treats.  (Lettuce, Nori, brine shrimp, formula one) Any recommendations? <To refer to the family coverage on WWM re the feeding of Acanthurids, the genus Naso in general. Bob Fenner> Ana M. Saavedra

- White Spots on Naso Tang - Hi Crew, I have a 3"-4" Blonde Naso Tang with small white specks surrounding the perimeter of both pectoral fins and a white tuft (approx 3/16" long) attached to the lower, rear anal fin.  I have tried to take pictures of this but I have been unable to produce any that show the problem. There is not a single (visible) spot of Cryptocaryon on the fish's body. It did have a mild case of crypto and refused to eat for the first four days after it arrived about 1 1/2 weeks ago so I began treating with CLOUT for two days, followed by CopperSafe since that time. The Royal Gramma that is in the QT with the Naso developed a case of fin and tail rot so I also treated the tank with Maracyn 2 and Melafix.  All fins on both fish are completely clear and perfectly healed now.  I gave the Naso an 8 minute freshwater dip four days ago, in an attempt to rid it of these few white specks, but this had no effect.  The tang is eating very well now and, other than these few white specks on the fin edges, it appears to be perfectly healthy.  The white spots are very pronounced though.  They are approximately the size of a grain of salt (except for the white mass / tuft on the anal fin) and they appear to be lightly sitting on top of the fin edge. I know the white salt grain-sized specs sounds like Cryptocaryon but I have maintained a constant 2.0 PPM level of Cu++ (chelated CopperSafe) in this QT for nearly 1 1/2 weeks now, followed by freshwater dips.  I have also examined this fish very closely and there are absolutely no other white spots except for these isolated few at the very outer edges of the pectoral fins so this is making me think this fish has something other than crypto. Any ideas? <It's probably just residual marking from the Cryptocaryon. Given the level of copper and the fact that the fish is otherwise eating and doing well, I'd let it continue in quarantine... always keeping an eye on things, make sure those spots don't turn into something else, get infected, etc.> Water parameters: Salinity = 1.022, Temp = 82 Deg. F, Ammonia = 0 PPM, Nitrites = 0 PPM, Nitrates = 20 PPM, 2.0 PPM Cu++, weekly 25% water changes. Your help is greatly appreciated! --Greg <Cheers, J -- >

Naso In Trouble? Hi, <Hello there! Scott F. at your service> I am quarantining my first Naso Tang.  I've had him over a month and he seems to be doing OK.  Likes to eat Sargassum and spaghetti algae but hasn't really gotten into flake food or brine shrimp yet.  Very aware and curious of my presence, relaxed breathing and a decent belly.  <All good signs> I'd like to put him in the aquarium but I wanted to check with you first.  My only concern are these light blotches or patches on its skin.  To me the blotches seem to have always been there, not getting worse or better.  They aren't raised or fuzzy either. I've attached a photo.  Is this a normal discoloration related to the confines of a QT. Thanks, Justin <Well Justin- first off, I commend you on your use of quarantine! An excellent practice that will benefit you and your fishes for years to come! As far as the blotches, it's hard to say what they might be. If the fish appears otherwise healthy, eats well, and is not in any apparent discomfort, then I'd be inclined to release the fish on schedule. Could be anything from a genetic fault to a light trauma incurred by scraping himself against aquarium decor. If you maintain excellent water quality, and keep feeding this guy carefully, he should be just fine. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Naso Tang in Trouble pt. 2
Good morning, sorry to bother you but I searched your website and believe I found the disease affecting my Naso tang but not positive. <Hello, Ryan with you on the follow-up> On one email to question, you suggested it might be Turbellid worms. <Nasty business> I have had this Naso for about 3 weeks. <So he's still being quarantined?> Just in a few days did the dark spots appear all over its body. I've seen black ich and it didn't look like that at all.  The spots almost look as if they are under the skin. <Good perception> The Naso is nowhere near as aggressive as the other fish in the tank when it comes to eating. <I see he's in your display...Sadly, the others are also at risk, certainly because we're not sure what we're dealing with> He eats very little and only gets what falls to the bottom that other fish. <Nori?> I thought at first he was lethargic from not getting enough to eat but after the spots appeared, I knew it had to be some type of infection. <Certainly> I don't expect him to survive after looking at him this morning, he looked too weak to do any type of freshwater dip.  The other fish in the tank, small trigger, coral beauty, yellow tang and clownfish seem to be fine and are eating quite well.  <You need to get this fish in a quarantine tank- The other may die from this> What can I do to keep the other fish from getting it? <See above> He was the only one acting strange no other marks on any of the other fish. <Don't get comfortable yet> They are all eating quite well and active.  I did treat the tank this morning w/ Greenex just so the yellow tang and others would not stress and get ich. <I would refrain from medicating your display tank, and only medicate in quarantine.  Why force fish to undergo medication when they're healthy?  Medicate the sick, leave the healthy ones alone> What should I do? <See above> Don't want to lose the other fish but as I said they all seem fine now. Does raising the temperature of the tank help kill parasites? <Yes, but you'll kill your fish before the parasites.  Leave the tank temperature constant.  Healthy immune systems is the best defense for your fish at this point- Healthy fish are well fed, active and live in a stable environment.> Should I treat the tank with medication to prevent the worms if indeed that is what it is from spreading to the other fish. <Treat in quarantine> As I said, I've seen numerous diseases and never have seen this before other than on a previous Naso tang. <Yes, many nasty things can gain entry into a host during the stresses of shipping.  For this reason, it's important to... I don't think I need to repeat it again!  ;)  Good luck, and remember that these situations are caused by rushing.  Take your time, do it right, and enjoy yourself.  Ryan>

Black Spot on Fin (NASO TANG) Hello, You have a great web site!! I have a 130 gal. salt water with a few damsels and a large puffer and a 11" Naso tang. I noticed yesterday a black spot on one fin. I have had him about a month and he came from a friends tank. He shutters a lot , but no signs of anything! <Mmm, could be "nothing"... the shuddering is natural... some melanistic spots on Naso lituratus come and go...> I keep a low dose of copper in the tank, however recently I removed all of it with a carbon pad. <I would not keep copper constantly in a main/display tank> Should I retreat with copper or formalin? <No> He eats and looks great! Nitrates have been a little high but I do weekly water changes and everything else looks good! He constantly shakes  a lot. It this <This animal does shake naturally as stated (even in the ocean), but it may be shaking more due to being in small confines... I would look into ultimately trading it in for a smaller specimen (like half this length) in your 130... or getting a much larger, longer system for it. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black Spot on Fin (NASO TANG)
Bob, Thanks so much for the information ! I am removing all copper out of the tank. My Naso is doing better, however he stopped eating for a few day but I was able to get him to eat live brine shrimp last night. I suppose it was the medication in the water and now he seems to be coming around. (The black spots on the fins have disappeared). <You are very likely correct here> I have one more question! I have a 4" or 5"-saddleback clown that I bought from a dealer. <A large specimen... better not bought at adult sizes> I put in a QT tank for about 2 weeks and then put him in my show tank. I noticed some large white patchy raised spots on the tips of his fins (about 2 of them )and one on his side. He does not scratch them and he eats like a pig. I have read they are prone to parasites or Brooklynella? I am putting him back in the QT tank and removing the copper . What Do I treat with now? Formalin or anything? Dips? or wait and see! He has about a total of 4 spots on him. <I would NOT treat this specimen OR move it... but instead replace it to the main/display system, bolster its nutrition with the soaking of foods with vitamin complex (e.g. Selcon)... Not likely Brooklynella or any parasite here. Bob Fenner> HELP, CAPT. NEMO-
Re: Naso Tang Hunger Strike, Black Spot...
Bob, Hope everything is going well ! I wrote you last week about my 11" Naso Tang. I was running copper on the tank and then treated him with clout (for a black spot on his fin) about the 3rd day on the clout he quit eating! <If memory serves, I mentioned NOT treating this fish... and would cease to do so NOW> The puffer and the damsels in the 130 gal. tank are fine. The water is perfect and has been through the treatment. I am pulling everything out of  the tank with carbon filters and activated carbon, all levels are much lower. <My friend... I can't tell what you mean by "perfect" or "lower"...> However, my Naso will eat very little if anything at all. It has been about a week and he is looking ok, but he has the pinched stomach. I have tried everything, live brine shrimp is the only thing he will even try to eat and very little each time if at all ! I am very concerned that he has been over medicated with the copper and clout. I have used Selcon on brine and live plants. Do you have any suggestions! <Yes... place this specimen back in the main tank if you have not already, try various algae on a "clip" near the water/air surface... Kombu, Nori, what have you, that you can get from the oriental food store or section in a main outlet> I am very worried that I am going to lose him. He is swimming around fine and breathing normal, yesterday he started staying on the bottom behind a rock (very unusual for him). <A very bad sign... Tangs rest on the bottom at night, but during the day are continuously active> If the light is on he is more active. help! <Move the fish, offer it prepared or fresh macroalgae. Bob Fenner>

New Naso Good to write you again which must mean I have a problem. Actually it is more of asking a question to prevent the spread of a problem, if it is a problem that is. Anyway, the problem is that I have just purchased a Naso tang 3 days ago, and up to 2 days he looked great and acted great. He eats like a pig and enjoys swimming and looking the whole tank over, normal stuff ya know. Anyway, last night I noticed that around the inside of his orange lips it looked like he had a layer of white mucus like crap. Like someone had stuck a white rubber ring on the inside of his lips. As the day went on and the fish went picking and eating algae off the rocks he just generally rubbed the white filmy crap off.  So I thought that was the end of it, since it has not stopping his eating. I forgot to mention, when I first received the fish it looked like it had some slight pickings at its fins that are on its sides next to it's gills, sorry I can't remember the fin name <pectorals>. I didn't think anything of it, I have had fish come in like that before, I just figured he was getting a little bit of bothering, but what fish doesn't every now and then, and I figured it would heal up in a week or so. Anyway, come this morning the film was back around the mouth and now the picked edges of his fins had some white film on them too. I thought maybe his eye looked like it was starting to cloud a bit but I could be wrong so disregard that statement. Anyway, do you have any ideas what this could be, if it is anything? I was thinking maybe a bacterial parasite of some sort. The only reason I hope it is this is because the only other disease that I have seen that looks like this is a Microsporidean infection, and if it is that I am a goner, or at least the fish is. But I really don't think it is that. if it is a parasitical infection how should I treat it? I have been told different ways. Some people tell me that a fresh water dip will cure it, bad thing is I don't know how long to dip them, you could help me with that. The other is a long bath in Methylene blue. So your help is greatly appreciated and needed, thank you. John Moyer <<I don't think there is actually anything wrong with your Naso (lituratus) Tang... what you describe is likely "just" some sort of mucus that the animal is producing in reaction to being handled, and healing... And I would not net and dip it... not worth the stress and damage from the dip procedure itself... Keep feeding and enjoying the animal...Bob Fenner>>

Sick Naso Hey Bob, This is a new one to me. I have had him for almost 4 years. Has had symptoms for about 6 days. Symptoms: not feeding partial cloudy eye (getting a little better) color changes from very dark to normal listless (except for occasional swim) when swimming, bumps into rocks and corals seems like he is blind. possible poisoning? some kind of internal parasite? <Maybe... but more likely a bad "bump" in the night... the tank top or side... do try a water change, offering some Nori sheet algae on a plastic clip...> This fish stresses real bad when moved so I have not moved him yet. Not sure what to treat for so nothing drastic right now. Any help would be appreciated . Thanks <Agreed re the moving... don't. Do try to be patient, and offer the algae, do the water change... Bob Fenner>

Sick Tang? Hey, My Naso Tang is a little red around the gills. He is eating well and acting normal. The water is at about 1.023 but I changed my water yesterday and before then it was at 1.018. The ammonia is at 0 and there are slight traces of nitrites. Is this a natural thing or is he sick. Also, I lost 2 turbo snail this week. I think it was do to my salinity being low but I'm not sure because I'm new at the invertebrate game. Thank You, Jonathan Pac <Yowzah... this specific gravity change is way too fast... about one thousandth a day is maximum... Be careful that you haven't depopulated your beneficial nitrifying bacteria here... and take things much slower henceforth... otherwise you'll have more than a Nasos red gill covers.
Re: Sick Tang? Hey, Well the tang died. I am going to wait a week or two before I buy another fish. The only problem is that I don't know what to add. I have a 55 gallon tank with 40 lbs of live rock, protein skimmer, and a UV sterilizer. I have a flame angel fish, a pair of clown fish, and a royal gamma. What should I add next? Thanks For Your Help, Jonathan Pac <Sorry to hear of your loss... Do wait a good two weeks... and consider another, more suitable species of tang... an exhaustive review of all can be found on the WWM site, as well as a giant re-do of marine livestock selection en toto. Bob Fenner>

Ich, another parasite, or stress??? I recently purchased a Naso tang that appears to Ich, but I'm not sure (I'm new to this). The Tang had a few white spots which now only really appear when the fish turns a darker shade of grey. What concerns me is that it now has some white patches on it, as if it has been scratching. I have started to treat it in a separate tank with Melafix and CopperSafe, I have also given it a fresh water dip. I have noticed that it has not eaten anything in several days. Is there anything else I can do? Thanks, Kyle <Maybe. I would lower the specific gravity and stop the Melafix. Please read over the ich, treatment, tang, tank troubleshooting... sections of our site: www.WetWebMedia.com, starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich, another parasite, or stress???
Thanks.....I am new to saltwater tanks and have been informing myself as quickly as possible through websites and local fish stores. Regretfully the Naso didn't make it and the specific gravity is really high, so I'm slowly going to lower that. Thanks for the help and all the info on the webpage. <Mmm, good to learn through as many inputs as practical... be chatting Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang Hello, Recently got a Naso Tang.. it has white spots on it.. person at LFS said it is because the tang is scared. Is that something that really happens when they're just stressed, or should I be worried? <Mmm... I would be concerned... the white spots... are they "raised" in appearance? Transitional, or are they on the fish all day? Any other fishes showing signs? Likely the beginning of an ich infestation. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm going on to the links beyond as your interest, need leads you. Bob Fenner> Lisa H.
Re: Naso
I know by now you are probably annoyed with me. I have been reading all the articles on your web page about internal parasites and worms. From the vent of my fish seems there is something hanging out very little at first this is why I thought the fish was constipated but after reading your web page over and over and doing searches for internal parasites I have come to a conclusion that my fish has some sort of worm. Don't know which one but my fish is not eating and his stomach is getting bigger on the side it looks like their are 2 pointy things pushing from the inside almost looks as thought they are going to go through his skin close to his vent. I don't know what it is but I'm assuming it is either some type of bone being pushed from the inside out. My fish is getting larger and I feel that it is just the parasite getting larger I know my fish isn't eating I stare at him all day. <Not a bone... the condition, Ascites, can be due to a few causes... intercellular, parasitic...> If this is an internal parasite your web site is saying their is nothing that can be done. Which is telling me that sooner or later my fish is going to die?  <Mmm, sooner or later all life ceases...> Is their anything I can do to get rid of the parasite some type of home remedy or store bought item that can be force feed to him? Please help me out I have been reading for the past 3 days. <There are Anthelminthics, Vermifuges... like di-n-butyl tin oxide, Piperazine... are these appropriate here? I would just use the MgSO4 treatment suggested... Bob Fenner>
Re: Naso
I'm sorry but I forgot to mention the sometimes shakes kind of like he is saying no to the food. currently I'm feeding him formula 2 flakes Is this good) and sometimes he eats small pieces of krill that I feed my dogface. Should I try feeding him something else. Sorry for being a pain. <Please read over all the articles, FAQs posted on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com  re the family of Tangs/Doctors, Surgeonfishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Naso
I'm not sure if he has a bacterial infection. I was just reading about parasites swelling up fish stomachs and it was treated with antibiotics.  <No my friend. Just as likely to cause troubles. Surgeonfishes have microfauna in their stomachs that they absolutely need> I just want to know what step I should do first I really like my tang I don't want him to go into shock by treating him the wrong way. No matter what I do I consult you or your website first. You are an aquarium guru. <Do try the Epsom. Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Naso
I did like you said I used half a gallon of freshwater and half saltwater from my tank with two table spoons of Epsom salt. I tested my water and the readings were as follows. nitrite - 0 nitrate - 10 pH - 8.4 ammonia - 0 Gravity - 1.023 Should I proceed with these dips once a day or is this one time enough? <Once should do it> When should I start to rule out that its not constipation? The tang has not eaten for almost a week I would think his immune system is going to start to weaken and be prone to disease which is something no hobbyist wants. I have read up on the tang from your web page and have gained much information on them along with a dogface that I purchased. <Could be many other things afflicting this one specimen... looking like "constipation"... none of which are "treatable" in the short term. Hopeful/ly your Naso will resume feeding on its own. Force feeding this genus is generally unproductive, but worth considering... Bob Fenner>

Black spot (markings on a Naso Tang) Bob, Just to confirm. I'm pasting your description below. Yesterday, we had what looked like tiny white spots that disappeared and moved around like bubbles just in front of the lower/ventral fin. Now it looks like a fine black powder on the ventral/bottom fin of our Naso tang. If this is "black spot" you suggest fresh water dip. It doesn't look like a worm (I think someone called it a small ciliated protozoan?) Dakin says it can spread to the gills and they can suffocate. How long do we have before this happens?  <What? Do you have access to a microscope? I would scrape off some of these "black spots" and take a closer look... they are not ciliated Protozoans (e.g. ich)... these are too small to see with the "naked eye"... and moving about?> The fish is visiting the cleaner shrimp (they don't look too interested). Perhaps this will go away? It's weird because within the first hour the fish was awake, it looks like some of it has disappeared (not all of it). It always seems that diseases are worse in the morning...is that because the cleaner shrimp pick things off during the day? Treatment: Freshwater dip: adjust pH (w/baking soda), temp, truly FRESH water or should we just have a slightly lower specific gravity (e.g.1.019)? Additives to dip: Copper we've got Cupramine--what concentration?.2?)--perhaps some Methylene blue? Formalin? Do any of these things interact? If we have to choose, which is the most useful and least toxic to the fish? 2-10 minutes? Should the black spot disappear during this time? Should we just do it for 10 min or as long as the fish can tolerate? I suspect he'll freak out regardless.--some aeration Should 1 dip suffice? We've been getting Caulerpa and trying to grow it from a friend's tank. Do you think that might have transported it? He's got a yellow tang but it looked great.  One notable exception is Para vortex, the causative agent of "black spot disease", notably of yellow tangs. This is easily eliminated via freshwater dipping, though other authors suggest formalin baths and organophosphate remedies. Turbellarians, a group in the flatworm Phylum Platyhelminthes are mostly "free-living" non-parasitic species.  Thanks, Allyson <This is not Paravortex... on a Naso Tang... maybe a trematode/fluke... I wouldn't necessarily "treat it" unless symptomatically this condition seemed to be seriously negatively impacting this animals behavior. Bob Fenner>


Naso Tang Quick question. Today I noticed that my Naso tang was breathing really heavy and was not eating. The other fish look to be doing fine and so do the xenia, mushrooms, and buttons. Checked the water parameters and everything seems fine. I am running a skimmer in the sump and two power heads in the tank so they should be getting enough oxygen. Don't know what to do? Please give me some suggestions <the fish may be showing the early stages of a serious parasite infection that has started in the gills. Please consult our section on Wet Web Media on quarantine tanks for preparedness. If this fish needs medication it will need to be done in a QT tank to be effective and to spare poisoning your biological filter and calcareous media. Best regards, Anthony>

Cause for alarm? (Naso Tang) Hello Bob (or whoever is filling the shoes today), About 2-1/2 weeks ago, I moved a Blond Naso into my main tank. After about 5 minutes, the Tang started darting around the tank (lights off) and smashing into rocks and the glass.  <Not atypical behavior> After about 45 seconds of this, he settled down, and hid in the darkest corner he could find. He would venture out every now and then, sampling the live rock, and all else appeared well. The following day, the Tang had developed several white "scratches" about 1mm wide and 4-5mm in length, all running horizontal. I had pretty much attributed this to the "run-ins" it most likely had with the various rocks in the tank. <Agreed> The scratches worsened over the next 3 days, covering the lower and rear third of its body, and he started to refuse food. None of the scratches appeared to be open wounds, thankfully. Not noticing any obvious external parasites, I played the waiting game, and ordered some Tang Heaven from the folks at IPSF, to coax the Tang into eating again. After 3 days of not eating, the Tang began to sample the Tang Heaven, but only consuming some. His stomach started to fill-in again, which I took as a sign of improvement. The whitish scratches began to fade, as well as about another third of his body, and the Tang took on a very light whitish-gray color. I started to worry about the possibility of an outbreak of velvet, but chose instead to "wait and see". No further external signs presented themselves over the next few days. Today, a week after the introduction of the Tang Heaven, he has started accepting Selcon-soaked flaked Spirulina again, and constantly grazes on the Tang Heaven, live rock, snails, etc. I am taking this as a good sign, but I am not convinced of being 100% out of the woods yet. None of the other inhabitants show any visibly noticeable signs, and are acting as they always have. I was wondering if you might have any suggestions for anything I have overlooked. Obviously, I refuse to induce any unwarranted stress on the Tang, but I would hate to lose him to something I might have overlooked. (Picture attached) And now, for the ever important tank information: 190 gallon, 2x99 DAS filtration units with skimmers. (Changing over to sump and EuroReef within 2 months). pH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5ppm, Phosphates <.2, Alk 10, Temp 80F. 1100gph and 700gph powerheads for water movement, coupled with the DAS return pumps (2000L/hr each). 15 gallon water change weekly, plus top-off. Lighting 2X400W 12000K MH (8 hrs/day) supplemented with 2 NO Actinics (10 hr/day). Kalkwasser drip to maintain Calcium around 400. 100 pounds live rock (more on the way soon), 40 pounds aragonite, 120 pounds live sand (more on the way soon, as well). Other Tank Inhabitants: 1 Chocolate Ocellaris, 1 Red-Lip Blenny, 1 Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Dragon Goby, 1 Scooter Blenny, 2 Engineer Gobies, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, 2 Sand Sifting Stars, 3 Brittle Stars, 2 Anemone crabs with appear to have hosted with the 2 flame scallops, 3 Sally Lightfoots, and 4 emerald crabs who "live" underneath a long tentacle anemone (fed a whole shrimp twice weekly), 3 dozen assorted snails, a half dozen scarlet reef hermits, as well as (I know you won't like these) a cucumber, and a long-spine purple urchin. There, I think that's everyone. Corals: 3 varieties of mushrooms (identifying), anthelia polyps, another polyp I am trying to identify, as they are overtaking one of the rocks, a coral elegance, a green brain, and a Porites covered in Xmas tree worms. Feeding done with DTs every other day, coupled with Coral Heaven for spot-feeding. Thanks again for your assistance, not only for me, but for all of us in the hobby!-Jim I neglected to include one parameter in my last email:  Salinity:  1.025 -Jim <Thank you for this detailed report of your success. Your being patient, observant and pro-active in your food offerings has saved your Tang. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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