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FAQs about Tangs of the Genus Naso Nutritional Disease

FAQs on Genus Naso Tang Disease: Naso Disease 1, Naso Health 2,
FAQs on Genus Naso Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, 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

Second most common class of mortality

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Vlamingi Tang: HLLE\Lateral Line Disease. 10/6/2009
Hello crew,
<Hi Michele.>
I have a question regarding the Vlamingi Tang.
We have a beautiful one about 8 inches long. He has been eating very well but all of the sudden he has developed these huge nasty looking bumps on his head and around his eyes. The bumps look like pus pockets. I can't tell if he was stung by something or if it is an infection by getting scratched by a rock. He is in a 300 gal reef tank. We only have about 5 corals in the tank right now and none of them sting, along with a Yellow Tang, blue hippo tang, a Sailfin tang and a purple tang.
<That is a lot of tangs.>
One of the areas where these bumps popped up at is not blackish brown. It doesn't look good.
Do you have any ideas to what these bumps might be? I can try to send a picture if you would like, but I'm not so sure that it will turn out.
<Pictures are always welcomed and do help with identification. That said, what you are describing sounds like the beginnings of Head and Lateral Line Erosion or HLLE. Take a look here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm >
Please let me know what you think.
<have a read on the linked page and see if that matches what you have.>
Thank you.
<My pleasure.>

Naso tang, dieting issues 2/6/06 Hello crew, First I would like to thank all of you for the invaluable service you provide to everyone in the hobby. I have a 4" Naso tang in a 110 tall FOWLR. The tank is 1 yr old with appx 60 lbs of live rock on a 30 gal wet dry setup skimmed and UV sterilized. his tank mated are a (and I know your going to hate me for this, but I was an ignorant consumer at the time) Moorish idol, and a regal angelfish (red sea). everyone has been doing very well and is fat and happy. Appx. one week ago the Naso tang developed a small pinch but with no change in eating habits. The pinch became progressively worse up until yesterday still no change in eating habits. today he is literally a skeleton and is lethargic and it appears he hasn't eaten for months. the attitude has changed overnight. His diet has consisted of brown and green macro, Kent marine flakes, ghost shrimp, brine shrimp, frozen zoo, Mysis shrimp, formula 2, and shrimp pellets, all alternating and all enriched with Zo? Zoecon, omega lipids, garlic, and vitamin c, (also alternating). They obviously all eat better then I do, good water parameters, and is feces is of normal coloration. The tank is cycled appx 16x per hour and I do religious water changes. I am completely stumped. Any help would be a blessing . thank you, Ed <Likely a persistent internal fauna issue. Please read here: Google: Naso, skinny, disease: http://www.google.com/custom?q=Naso%2C+skinny%2C+disease&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com If the animal is still eating, a treatment with Flagyl/Metronidazole may save it. Bob Fenner>

Constipated Naso Tang? Hello.... I have an 85 gallon "fish only" tank including 1 Naso tang, 4 green Chromis, 1 maroon clown, and a Pseudochromis (sp?). Tank has been established for about 5 months and all fish are healthy and water quality is good (1.022 sp grav., 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 8.2 ph, and 20-40 nitrate). <I'd work to keep this below 20 ppm maximum.> My Naso tang (nicknamed "Hoover" because he normally is like a vacuum in that he eats everything) seems to have a problem. We noticed yesterday, when he didn't seem at all interested in eating that his "pooper" seemed to be plugged up. You can notice when he swims by that there is some stuff up there that seems to want to come out but isn't doing so. Normally, his poops are record breaking so the fact I haven't seen him go is a bit odd. He has lost some of his energy (he has always been very active) and he hasn't eaten in 2 days now. (My fish are normally fed 2 times a day and eat a variety of brine shrimp, Formula 1 or 2 and seaweed.) Also, I have a small fake plant in the corner of the tank that is bright pink and in the past, Hoover has nipped at the plant and taken little bits of the pink material off the plant. He then eats those bits of material and will even poop them out and eat them again. This has been going on for a month or so. Now, in the blockage seen in his "pooper," I've noticed a small strand of the pink material. Not sure if that's dangerous or not. <Good observation, description> Anyways, I'm a little worried about him and the fact that he is not eating tells me there is obviously something wrong. Is there anything I can for him or do I just need to ride this thing out? <If it were me, mine, I'd help out a bit by adding some Epsom Salt to the system... at a rate of one level teaspoon per ten gallons of actual system water> Because I can see the blockage I'm tempted to grab him and just pull it out but I really don't want to take that step. Just looking for some answers. I searched the whole site and couldn't find anything related to this exact problem. Your time and feedback is much appreciated! Thanks, Chris. <Do a search using the term Epsom... magnesium sulfate, on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Naso tang problems Hello, over the time of taking care of my fish I do a lot of research, reading books and message boards. And I have heard on the message boards from a lot of people that there Naso tangs do perfect for about 6 mos. and then suddenly they wake up and there Nasos are dead, I am one of these people as well. There are no disease signs, there perfect looking, until they croak. After my Naso died I asked my LFS about it, he said for the past year or so Nasos have been doing bad. He told me too about the 6 mos. problem with Nasos. He said he tries making big deals so he doesn't have a dead Naso in his store. Did you ever hear about this? <Mmm, no definite time frame on these sorts of mysterious losses. Most of the Naso lituratus sold do die from being kept in too small a volume, size systems principally (starving is another large source of captive mortality)> I want to try another Naso, is there any other way I can avoid losing another Naso. I think these fish are awesome. BTW my tank is 240 gallons, water quality great. Thanks! <Please see here re selection: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm Bob Fenner>

- Problems with New Naso Arrival - Hi WWM Crew, Two days ago I received a 2.5" Blonde Naso Tang along with a few other fish from an online fish store.  All fish are doing very well in my quarantine tank -- except for the Naso.  The first day in the QT it lightly picked at a piece of live rock but there is really not much life on this rock to sustain it.  Since the first day, I have not noticed this fish eating anything.  It appears thin to me, except for a slight bulge in its stomach. I had a similar problem with my last Naso Tang so I might just be overly-sensitive this time.  My last Naso was about the same size and I watched it waste away without eating for nearly three weeks before it finally died.  From what I have read on WWM and elsewhere, my best guess is that it possibly had some type of worms.  This Naso is presenting nearly identical to the last one; it has no signs of external parasites, no wounds, clear eyes and appears completely well in every way except for not eating (and sometimes being dark brown / gray in color).  I tried using Cravex (vitamin B12), a variety of foods, regular water changes and Paragon II with the last Naso.  None of this had any effect.  I am using Cravex with the current Naso and trying Formula 1 pellets, self-made food with Selcon (my other fish devour), Nori, Zooplankton and even brine shrimp (anything just to get it started eating).  So far, I have not seen this fish eat. What do you suggest to entice this fish to eat? <You might try a trick taught to me by Anthony Calfo... seems to work pretty well with fish that pick. Take small pieces of live rock, preferably something that has some surface texture but not sharp. Using the Formula 2, thaw it out and press the food into the surface of the rock and then refreeze. Thaw slightly at feeding time and place in the tank. With some luck, this will allow for something close to their natural feeding habits, and it will clean off the rock. If the fish does start to eat this way, do put other foods in through the top at the same time so it will [hopefully] begin to associate the two.> It is currently in a 55 gal QT with a 5" Powder Blue Tang (no aggression issues so far), 3 Ocellaris Clowns, a Royal Gramma, a Long-nose B/F and a Lawnmower Blenny.  All fish appear to be very mild mannered.  Ammonia and Nitrites are zero, Nitrates are 10 PPM, Salinity = 1.0235 SG, Temp = 77 Degrees F.  I am now considering moving this Naso to a 20 gallon QT and possibly trying to medicate using Clout as a kind of catch-all. <Hmm...> I do not want to just medicate indiscriminately but I also cannot stand to just watch another Naso Tang waste away. <Understood.> Please provide some suggestions. <I would hold off on treatments for the moment - do understand your desire to help this fish turn the corner, but think that the best way to do this 'right now' is to reduce stress as much as possible, and I think removal to another tank, treatment, et al. will exacerbate your problems. Try the feeding rock first... if that doesn't work, you might try more drastic action but I don't see a good end to it.> Now, following-up on a previous question -- I had asked about using Cu as a standard practice in a QT for all arrivals since I recently purchased a Purple Tang that showed no signs of parasites for the first day in the QT but looked like it had been sugar-coated on the second day.  My concern is that new fish could be carriers of Cryptocaryon and have no indication of this for the entire quarantine period, only to bring the crypto into the main tank once moved. <Nine times out of ten, they will present these issues in quarantine. Most all parasitic issues are cyclic so that at some point in the two to four weeks the problems, if there are going to be any, will show up. Copper, especially with tangs can cause more problems that it's worth, so it's my opinion that it's better to hold off.> Again, I prefer to not medicate without a specific reason for doing so but, since crypto can be so elusive, my question is: "Are the potential risks associated with consistent QT use of Cu outweighed by the benefits of (nearly) guaranteeing parasite-free fish being introduced into the main aquarium?" <Varies on a case by case basis methinks. Copper, formalin, all these are toxic/poisonous in the right concentration so that you really should avoid them unless symptoms dictate the need.> Thank you for the help.  I am looking forward to your response on the Naso so I can hopefully begin to do something to turn-around its appetite soon. --Greg <Cheers, J -- >
- Problems with New Naso, Follow-up -
Thank you for the suggestion to try to get my Naso Tang eating. <My pleasure.> Unfortunately, it is no longer even picking at rock so I think it might be too late for even this option to work. <Well... it may be convinced there is nothing there to pick at.> I will try this along with regular water changes to maintain top water quality and hope for the best. <I think this is your best bet.> I did read a few suggestions about taking fish to a vet and having them tube fed. I honestly think this is probably the only chance for this tang now but there are no such vets in my area.  I have pipettes that would fit in the tang's mouth but it seems to me that this would cause more stress to the fish than most anything imaginable and could just push it over the edge. What do you think -- is it worth a try at this point? <The tube feeding? I agree with your premise that this will be too much stress on an already stressed fish.> Regarding the QT and medication, I will leave all the fish in this tank un-medicated for four weeks and hope they are not parasite carriers.  I did read that all fish are carriers of Cryptocaryon but it just remains dormant until a time of stress. <I don't agree with that - Cryptocaryon can't go dormant forever or until convenient, and if you don't think capture and transport isn't stressful, then I don't know what is.>  If this is the case, it does appear that I could be risking the fish in my main tank though and I do not have room to keep my main tank fallow for an extended period. <Quarantine will truly reduce these risks. If the fish is carrying parasites, 99.9% of the time they WILL be expressed upon arrival, whether in your main tank or in quarantine.> Once I eventually reach the final stocking capacity of my main tank and no longer need such a large QT, I would like to convert my QT to another display tank.  (I can't decide whether I want a reef or triggers, puffers and angels so this would allow me to have both setups).  My concern is that many people say copper can NEVER be completely eliminated from an aquarium once it has been used. <I've heard this too and feel that tanks are cheap enough that it's better to be safe than sorry - just keep it around as a quarantine or for emergency use.> A few other people have told me that use of a poly filter over an extended period of time will eventually eliminate nearly all traces of copper. <From the water... not necessarily the silicone.> If I do need to use copper in my QT, will I ever be able to use this tank for a reef (assuming I remove all existing sand and rock)? <Again, not a risk that I personally would be willing to take.> I cannot image how glass or silicone could absorb any significant quantity of copper. <Hmm... well I managed to turn all the silicone blue in my quarantine tank, so it's obviously absorbing something.> Even if they did absorb some amount of copper, the amounts that would be slowly released would be diluted in 55 gallons of untreated water. It seems to me that this small release rate (if any) would be more than offset by normal water changes.  Am I wrong? <I'm not sure you're wrong and I'm not sure you're right either. Personally, I just like to be cautious. I say try it... if you can't keep any invertebrates alive, then you'll know the answer.> --Greg <Cheers, J -- >

Naso Tang with mouth problems dying We have had this Naso Tang in our 80 gallon tank for about five weeks. The tank has been established for about six years. It contains a protein skimmer, canister filter, bio filter, reverse-flow undergravel filter, & three powerheads. All water tests done have been fine. The Tang was eating until about a week ago, but at that time was only eating off the rocks and brine shrimp. He would not eat formula one or two, or Green Marine algae. He is now very thin, seems to breath normal but has some sort of white growth on his lips which may be why he quit eating. Can you tell by the picture what the mouth problem may be and if it can be treated?  I can't tell if the white is something hard or sloughing skin. We also have two brackish puffers, two percula clowns, a lawnmower blenny, three snails and a hermit crab in this tank and all of them are doing great. Thank You, Tina R <Does look something like what is often seen in Tetraodont puffers where their teeth, for want of chewing on hard materials, overgrow the mouth, prohibit feeding, and lead to wasting and concomitant disease. I actually suggest reading about and trimming this fish's teeth down... and quickly making this attempt. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com using the search terms "puffer teeth" on the home page Google Search Tool. Bob Fenner> p.s. I thought it may be Lymphocystis but had never dealt with this virus before. If in your opinion it is Lymphocystis, can it be treated since it is on his mouth or will he just die from not eating? <Doesn't appear to be lymph... but the animal's teeth themselves>

Tang In Trouble? (Naso Tang Not Eating) Hi! <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> First would like to thank you all for the great site! I found answers to all  of my questions there! <Glad to hear that! We have a LOT of good information on this site...Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to research stuff...> But now I got one question I didn't find. <Sure> I have a 230 gallon reef tank with 2 clowns, 1 wrasse, 1 damsel, 1 Bicolor Pseudochromis, 1 Bicolor Blenny, 1 Firefish, 1 Orange Shoulder Tang juvenile, 1 quite big Moorish Idol and 1 Naso Elegance tang (juvenile) Some hardy soft and hard corals along with some disk anemones and mushrooms. There is 130 lbs live rock in the tank (planning to get more next month). Tunze Turbelle Stream 8000 l/h powerhead (with air), Tunze 3130/2 skimmer, 36W UVC. I have this tank for 4 month now. I had  much smaller fish only tank before (for 1 year). SG 1.023, temp 26C, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates about 10, PH 8.3, KH 11.3, Ca 480 - all parameters seems to be fine. There is no "electricity" in the tank since I bought "grounded" pump and skimmer. The problem is with my Naso Tang. I've got him 4 days ago, along with Orange Shoulder tang (I waited 4 mount for the tank stabilizes). I did a 1,5 hour acclimatization for the new arrival with lights off until next morning and the next day both fishes was extremely happy with no signs of stress at all! They eat everything I gave to them - frozen brine shrimp, Mysis, Spirulina, sushi Nori, even broccoli! <Always a great sign! But I didn't see the word "quarantine" mentioned there...You really should quarantine all new arrivals- particularly tangs.> So I relaxed a little bit, thinking I gave them a good start in the new tank.  Other fishes were very interested but not aggressive to the new tangs. Both new tangs were very active, they swam along together, picking food and rocks. However the day after my Naso tang showed completely different behavior. First it was hiding then later it came out and I noticed that he swims very strange - like he continues sleeping! He was swimming very "passive" like fish do in the night in the stream, "freezing" in one point. He showed absolutely no signs of interest to food the hole day - it was very strange to me because the other tang was even more happy and hungry than the day before! <Not a good sign...> My Naso didn't eat for 2 days now and became very thin. He is doing this strange swimming the hole day and that's all! He ignores food and other fishes. I'm really concerned about him because it looks not good and I just can not lose him! I noticed that the same day he change his behavior one of my two starfishes (Linckia sp.) seems to be bitten. May be he tried it and poisoned himself with it's tissue? <Unlikely, but I suppose that it's within the realm of possibility...> There is now signs of internal/external infection or parasites... The other fish are fine and doesn't show any signs of aggression to him die to his size. I did read FAQ about Naso tangs found they can refuse food and so on. But I didn't found anything about this strange "sleeping" during the day. Is it en internal infection symptom or something else? I just have no idea what's wrong with him! What I suppose to do with my tang before it's too late? What else should I check? Please, help! Hope for a quick answer Mikael from Sweden <Well, Mikael- I agree that this is not normal behavior for this fish. It's never good to see a fish refuse food or act listlessly. The absence of external symptoms does not mean that the fish isn't ill, but it is something to be concerned about. These fishes do have difficulty adapting to new environments, although your tank sounds like the parameters are pretty good. If the fish continues to refuse food and continues to act listlessly, then you may want to consider removing the fish to a separate tank for further observation. If other symptoms manifest themselves (like obvious spots or sores on his body), then appropriate medical intervention is warranted. On the other hand, if the fish is simply listless and refusing to eat, then I'd do what I could to tempt him to eat again. Fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, is an excellent supplemental food. In the confines of a separate aquarium, you could also administer some aquarium vitamins directly to the water (remember- marine fishes do drink) in the hope that he will obtain some nutrition in that manner. Provide a stable, clean environment and a large variety of nutritious food items, and hopefully he will come around and eat again. Don't give up on this fish. With a little extra care and attention, he can pull through this difficult time and thrive. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Tang In Trouble (Pt. 2)
Good morning! <Hello again!> I would like to thank you for the immediate reply. <Glad to be of assistance!> Things are not going better with my Naso tang today. I took a closer look on  him and he looks fine! Except he is very thin but there are no spots or scratches on his body. His breathing is ok and mouth and lips look good. <Glad to hear that!> Anyway I guess it can be some kind of internal infection or just stress (I hope!). He is still not eating. <Remain optimistic...> I will continue observations and offer him foods. To add some vitamins in  the water is a very good idea! <It might just keep him going until he comes around and starts eating again...> While things are not going worse there is a hope! Thank you, Mikael P.S. I know that quarantine is a most important thing to prevent diseases. But I've got fishes from a very trustful shop. Those guys are really concerned about animals they sale and they are professionals in this. They do quarantine right in the shop (10-14 days in separate tanks with UVC and so on). You can look and book the fish during this period but you can buy it only when quarantine will be done and only if the fish looks good and eats well after it... So I skip quarantine when I buy fish from them. <Wow! That's my kind of shop! Good to hear that! Still, do always remain skeptical and vigilant when purchasing new fishes! I hop to hear more good news from you on the Tang soon! Regards, Scott F.> Thank you. Mikael
Tang In Trouble (Pt.3)
Good morning! <Hi there!> You guys are doing a very good job here! Thanks for the second immediate reply! <Glad to be of assistance> Today my Naso feels not better. His breathing is quite far from being ok- about 160 lungs movements per minute! I guess that's it. It's not a stress, it's some kind of infection, isn't it? <So hard to tell without photos. I think that you'll need to look into the disease FAQs on the WWM site to make a positive determination as to what it is you're dealing with.> Poor buddy! What should I do now? I do have an extra tank to isolate him but the one problem is that he looks very weak and it will be just extra stress for him. And the main problem is to CATCH him! The tank is very big with a lot of rock in it. I spent 3 hours last time to catch my clown (but tangs are much better swimmers!). So can I perform something in the main tank now? Or should I try to remove him to an isolation tank anyway? Thank you, Mikael <Well, Mikael- this is a tough situation! The fish really needs to be removed to a separate tank for treatment. Treatment for a parasitic infection simply cannot be accomplished effectively in the display tank. Yes, there is a certain risk involved with catching and moving this fish to another tank, but it is definitely preferable to watching the fish die without intervention on your part! I'd try to catch him and get him into a separate tank for observation and/or treatment as required (if you suspect parasitic infection, formalin or copper-based medications are quite effective...). Regardless of the symptoms, do your best to make a diagnosis and proceed from there. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Naso Tang Ok, I will get a bigger tank, but how do I try to save him in between time. The yellow Naso tang is not eating.  What other types of food should I consider feeding him... any suggestions.<Nori, Lifeline, Caulerpa, other macro algae>  And are you saying I should only house 1 tang with a tank of the size I have?<probably yes>   Oh I have a rock and fish only tank sorry for the confusion. If I get a bigger tank will this prevent disease outbreaks in the future...any suggestions<possibly if you Qt before hand>  Janeiro <good luck, IanB>

Naso Troubles Thanks for the quick response! I apologize for asking another (unrelated) question, so soon on the heels of the last one, but I forgot to ask it last time. I have a Naso tang who seems to be wasting away. A friend took care of all of my fish for a few months, while I was in between tanks. When I got them back a month ago, they all seemed to be a bit on the thin side, but most have come back nicely. The Naso, however, seems to look worse. He seems interested in food, and vigorously attacks the sushi Nori that I feed every day, but he spits out whatever he chews. He does seem to keep all of the frozen and flake foods down. Is this something that you're familiar with? Can you suggest anything? Thanks again, Dan <Yes. Do try other "human intended" (especially Rhodophyte, Red Algae (though they'll likely look green...) species like Rhodymenia, Gracilaria... and soak all in Selcon (or other vitamin prep.s like Zoecon, Microvit...) a good fifteen minutes before offering them to your Naso... and some meaty foods you can suspend on a "feeding spoon" near the surface... Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here

New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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