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FAQs about the Yellow-Tail Blue, Palette, Hippo Tang Disease Treatments   

FAQs on Paracanthurus Tang Disease: PYTB Tang Disease 1, Pacific YTB Tang Disease 2, PYTB Tang Disease 3, Pacific YTB Disease 4, YTBT Health 5, YTBT Health 6, YTBT Disease 7, YTBT Disease 8, YTBT Disease 9, YTBT Disease , & Tangs/Rabbitfishes &Crypt,
FAQs on Paracanthurus Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see
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Related Articles: The Genus Paracanthurus,

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Question; moving, acclimating Paracanthurus     4/6/13
Hi there,
Thank you for taking the time to answer questions and provide a resource for all people in this hobby.
I have a question about moving a Blue Hippo Tang from my old tank to a new tank in my house.  The six inch Tang is currently living in an uncomfortable/stressful 55 gallon tank.  The Tang is moving into a much more comfortable 180 gallon aquarium.  I am not sure how to move the Tang.  I think bagging and floating and acclimating may be too stressful, so I was wondering if you think it may be better to try and match the water quality between the two tanks and then just drop him in the 180 gallon? 
Or perhaps I should just bag him?
<I would move this fish in a doubled "fish bag" of size... catch it with two nets, one for guiding... watch your hands... the tang and dorsal and anal fin spines are painful to get stuck by>
If I were to match the water in the tanks, I was thinking salinity, temperature, and pH would be the most important.  The 180 gallon is perfect
on all measurements (very proud of that), the 55 has very high nitrates and will be dismantled after the move.
Thank you and I appreciate any input.
<Please read here re marine acclimation:
Bob Fenner>

Re: after Ich outbreak -update; Paracanthurus hlth. mostly      2/20/13
hello crew,
The things have settled since my outbreak. The tank remained fallow for 4 weeks now ( 7 weeks including the time that there were only 2 Firefish gobies in there that are now in a friends already populated tank and doing ok, so they were not hosting Ich ).
<Not so; these Microdesmids should have been removed... were acting as reservoir hosts>
 All the corals ( including some new SPS) and invertebrates are doing great. 
And now, 2 days ago the first 3 new fishes arrived. There were QT`s waiting for them, already cycled, with live rock, for the Chelmon Rostratus was even a big rock full of Aiptasia from a friend that he is enjoying a lot.
Baths with freshwater and blue methyled were made. Except for a beautiful Paracanthurus Hepatus Yellow Belly that was almost finished when I opened the bag ( 6 hours drive from the closest LFS).
He was laying on a side and not looking good. I resisted the temptation to put him directly in the QT and started an acclimatization for him that took 40-50 minutes, but skipped the bath because I thought he would not make it.
I was thinking that if he dos make it he will have the bath after 4 weeks in quarantine before going to the DT.
After introduction in the QT that had an air pump and good water and hiding places he just laid on one side for the rest of the night. In the morning he was crawled under some rocks. When I lifted one of the rocks he came up and toured the 40 gallons aquarium and then hidden again.
All he dose now is sitting in there, and trying all the time to go even further under the rock even if there is no room.
<Not to worry. Don't disturb this fish; it will be fine>
The QT`s are in the garage, well heated, under a window, so all day nobody bothers them, there is dawn, really nice daylight lighting and quiet.
But he doesn't seem to ever get out from there. Not to speak about eating something... It has been 2 days already, what should I do? He is really beautiful.
thank you
<Just be patient... being moved, being oxygen starved, being placed in a small transparent container... are all frightening. Bob Fenner>

Sick Blue tang... no rdg., mis-using WWM 6/13/2011
Hi Guys,
<19 megs of pix... DO pls follow instructions... no one has responded as your files are too large>
I have a Blue Hippo Tang that has brown spots on the black area between his tail and blue oval.
<Stress markings>
I have had him in my 30 gal. qt for about a month trying to diagnose and treat him.
<Place this fish in a proper environment>
I've use 1 cycle of furan-2,
<Of no use here>
several fresh water dips, and am now using copper.
<An exceedingly poor idea w/ Acanthuroids... much too toxic. Not only have you abused our mail server w/ too much blurry pix, you haven't read on WWM ahead of writing us>
Please see the above photos. I realize they aren't the best. The brown spots are flat and look like mud or dirt spots. The fish eats a ton and acts healthy. I would greatly appreciate you opinion.
Best regards,
Todd Zevchik
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paradisf6.htm
and all the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

re: Sick Blue tang.... still not reading 6/13/2011
Sorry about the pics. My computer is having some problems. I did read before I sent an email, but didn't find a specific enough answer. Do you suggest removing the copper (dosed at 1.5)?
<... Please just read where you've been referred to... NO free copper period is advised w/ this fish, these fishes>
Should I place him in my main tank as is?
<Yes I would>
Todd Zevchik
re: Sick Blue tang 6/13/2011

Thank you for your help and information.
Todd Zevchik
<Welcome. B>

Hippo tang acclimation 1/3/11
Hi Crew
<Hello Jim>
I have just run my main tank fallow for 5 weeks to reduce parasites to a minimum after and Ich infestation claimed my previous livestock.
I have had a flashback gramma and a hippo tang in quarantine for 6 weeks.
Today I put them both (disease free) into the main tank.
Straight away the hippo tang has made for some rock work and has not moved all day. He was displaying this in the Q tank and he has done this before as the Q tank was only 15 gallon and the gramma was a bit boisterous.
Should I be concerned the tang is sick? I know hippo tangs are very timid on introduction...
<I would not be concerned... Paracanthurus DO hide a great deal on introduction. It may not come out much at all for the next few days. I urge patience. Bob Fenner>
Your thoughts please
Re: Hippo tang acclimation 1/4/11
Hi Bob
<Howdy Jim>
Thanks for the feedback. Tang has come out briefly today but is still hiding
and breathing quite heavy. I did read on your site you do not recommend quarantining this fish. Is this correct?
<Generally the case, yes. A decision that one must make w/ each specimen... whether the duration and stress of quarantine is likely to "get you more" (or save you more) than cursory dip/bathing. Tangs in general are a family of fishes that straddle the line here... often delaying their placement results in more trouble, morbidity/mortality than simpler preventative MOs>
Your thoughts please.
<Is this clear, complete? BobF>
Re: Hippo tang acclimation 1/4/11
Yes Thanks Bob
The tang still displays clear stressful behavior and the rapid breathing is a concern. I think at this case it's a wait and see approach.
<Good. Is what I would definitely do>
Thankfully so far the main display seems to be Ich free.
<Ah good. BobF>
Re: Hippo tang acclimation 1/5/11

Hi Bob
The tang has thankfully come out to feed now. However it has developed Ich again (I think). I am dismayed as the main tank was left fallow for a month and the tang was totally parasite free when it was placed in the display tank.
<I would not over-react here. Would leave this fish where it is>
Currently it only has a dusting of 4-6 tiny spots and they are virtually unnoticeable. I fear putting it back into the QT tank is counter productive as it will probably stress it too much.
<These spots may well not be Ich... even Crypt is not "spots", but the host fish's mucus reaction to irritation. Again, I urge patience. BobF>
Your thoughts please.
Re: Hippo tang acclimation 1/6/11
Thanks again for your advice Bob
<Mmm, am not inclined to actually give advice; rather, just state what I'd likely do given the information presented and what I "know">
Sadly I woke up this morning and the tang has more spots. The royal Gramma is unaffected. This does look like an Ich infestation.
Clearly the Ich in my tank is still present. Perhaps four weeks was not long enough.
Isolating the tang again doesn't seem a good idea at present do you feel?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above. Maybe adding a biological cleaner would be of use here>
Rather let nature take its course. I fear a total strip down may be necessary.
Many thanks Jim
<Welcome. B>
Re: Hippo tang acclimation
Thanks for the links Bob
Have digested/cogitated before and still again.
If I remember rightly the last Regal tang I had in my old tank broke out with Ich, but it made it through with the help of a UV sterilizer (and the removal of a bullying Trigger). I am currently dosing ozone instead, but may add a UV to assist (the only problem is they push my temperature up too high in summer months).
Just to be sure of your opinion would you leave the fish and make sure parameters are optimal? I really am a little frustrated that I have followed the gold standard of QT and letting go fallow and been rewarded like this.
<I would very likely just leave all there for now>
It is this experienced hobbyists opinion that even an apparent 'fallowed' tank still retains some Ich protozoa ready to attack compromised/stressed fish.
<Yes it is generally>
Regards Jim
<And you, B>
... Hippo tang, Crypt
Hi Bob
Just to keep you informed. The tang continues to suffer with Ich (4 days after introduction) . He feeds ok and the royal gramma is seemingly unaffected still.
As I only have one quarantine tank (which is full with a maroon clown and some neon gobies) and a fish trap what do you suggest is the best long term solution in my display now?
<... still reading, just waiting>
I am still dosing ozone and am tempted with a UV.
<Have any idea what your RedOx is?>
Many many thanks.... I still have your conscientious marine aquarist book.
It is however well studied and falling apart a bit.
<Mine too. BobF>

Blue Hippo Tang Quarantine tank 12/2/10
Good Afternoon Crew,
First of all, I would like to thank all of your efforts and hard work which allow hobbyists such as I to have access to the vast knowledge, experience, and information that all of you poses.
I purchased a 2-2.5 inch Blue Hippo Tang yesterday evening, and after bringing him home, I gave him a 10 minute fresh water bath,
<pH adjusted?>
and set him in my 10 gallon quarantine tank. My quarantine tank is just a bare-bottom 10 gallon with a hang-on filter and a heater. At first he ran to the corner and settled down, breathing quite heavy. I assumed it was normal behavior for a stressed fish, and let him be. I realized now that I should have turned the lights off in his tank, to help calm him a bit more.
The lights were on in his tank for approximately another 3 hours, and when I went to go turn them off, I noticed he was wedged behind my heater and the pipe from the filter.
<Typical behavior>
Started by this, I swished some water on to him to check if he was still alive, and realized then that he was probably just looking for a place to hide, so I threw in a small rock, and led him to it, so that he could hide
inside. I turned off the lights, hoping to greet him in the morning with some food.
When I saw him in the morning, he was still hiding behind the rock, in a very particular position. He was hanging vertically, with his head facing the bottom of the tank, and was still breathing quite heavily.
<Not unusual>
Disappointed by his lack of adjustment into my tank, I tried to feed him some HBH veggie flakes anyway. He didn't even seem like he noticed, although my false percula clown (in the main tank) goes gaga for them.
He is still hanging in that vertical position, and now I am wondering if its because the bare-bottom of my tank is creating a "mirror" effect, and he thinks there is another blue tang there?
<Mmm, no; not likely>
I'm assuming this isn't normal behavior, even for a stressed tang, to be swimming in such a position?
<Not unusual>
Even for the few seconds that he left the rock and swam out for a bit, he was still hanging vertically, with his face to the bottom, and as soon as he spotted me, ran back around and behind the rock once again.
Water levels:
Ph: 8.1Nitrites: 0Ammonia: less than 0.3 Salinity: 1.023
<Mmm, I'd raise this>
Temp: 77
After putting him into the quarantine tank, I looked at your " http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm" section, which states not to quarantine blue tangs due to the stress levels that all the moving may cause. Should I not have put him into the quarantine first?
<Only if you had concerns... By and large I dip/bath and place this species sans quarantine. Most all that can/could be gained by isolation is provided for in dipping (removal of external parasites)>
Forgive me for the long read, I am just trying to supply as many details as possible.
Thank you in advance for your response,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

HLE Suggestions 5/15/10
I have a 90 gallon SW tank, 100 #'s live rock, 4" DSB. Up since Jan (was established before then with prior owner) You guys have helped me through Quinine Sulfate treatment on my Blue Tang, THANKS! Now the same tang appears to have HLE.
<Appears to be the beginnings of>
When I first got the fish it would not touch Nori, he ate any frozen food, and flakes, no pellets. I've fed a variety of Mysis, frozen form 2, Spirulina brine, marine cuisine, and 1 and 2 flakes. I finally got him eating purple sea veggies brand Nori about 2 weeks ago (the same time the first spots of HLE had shown up) Last week I got Selcon and vita Chem, and am soaking food in one of those each day (rotating).
I also purchased Emerald Cuisine Frozen (he likes) and Spectrum pellets (which it doesn't seem to eat).
<Give this time>
I added a grounding probe,
<Mmm, usually not of use>
I do weekly PWC's of about 6 gallons. I run a smallish skimmer and a UV, along with a Tidepool sump. I use Seachem's phos guard, as well as Purigen. My water tests Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrates are now 0 (used to run around 10-20). I'm wondering what I'm missing to help the fish,
<Likely just time going by... though DSB, "mud" use can be useful adjuncts>
I tried to attach a picture but he dives in the rock when I get the camera out. Do I need to treat for a bacterial infection?
Any suggestions are welcome. I do have a QT cycled and running with a gramma and 2 Sharknose gobies, they've been in QT for 3 weeks doing well. I "could"
move them to the DT if I need to treat the tang in the QT.
Thanks, Pam Speck
<I would just continue w/ your current practices; not move, "treat". Bob Fenner>

Dying tang? 3/1/10
Hello all
Whatever help you can give me I would appreciate.
I have attached a picture of my 1 inch blue tang.
I have small yellow tang, clown, and my blue tang in a 10g QT. (I know very small, but all I have).
My new blue tang developed ich, The other two fish are fine, never showed signs of ich and are doing well overall.
Wk 1: they took out the live rock and carbon filter to treat with rid-ich and hyposalinity, seemed to work.... (I tried to get Chloroquine phosphate, but no one had it).
<Hypo and Rid-ich together is probably very rough on the fish.>
Wk 2: Put carbon back
We went away this weekend, had a friend do a water change (this is how we have been battling ammonia) 50-70-% water changes daily also used AmQuel+ 3x (LFS said it was safe and would remove the ammonia while we were away).
When we came home the ammonia was .5 ppm (mg/L).
<Could be a false reading from the AmQuel, but do more water changes.>
We came home and my blue tang looks like it has petechiae/ bleeding under the skin/ small red spots.
<Water quality.>
He looks a little better today, looked like he had a bloody scrape yesterday that looks better today but not sure if this is due to the ammonia from this weekend or if he has a bacterial infection.
<Could be a combination of both.>
Ever since the ich, he hides whenever I come around, wedging himself under the PVC tubing I put in there for them.
Is 4 wks long enough to wait for my display tank to go fallow or do I have to wait for 6wks, my Qt is so small...
<I would move him back now, 6 weeks would be better but you risk losing this fish in the QT here.>
Lastly, I noticed a bunch of small (2mm)white bugs on the back of my DT.
I tried to take a pic but they are too small to really see except when moving. is it ok to assume they are some small benign copepod?
<I would.>
I know its bad, please help
<I would move this fish back now, the risk of staying in the QT outweighs the risk of ich in the main tank in my opinion.>

This fish is fine. RMF

Regal Tang Breathing Problem 8/5/09
Hello All,
<Hi Adrian>
I have a small regal tang (3 inches roughly?) that was first in my quarantine before my display. It was in there approximately 5 weeks, and I had used PraziPro for 2-3 days... did a water change.... then did a treatment with Cupramine because it had ich from the transport from the store to home...
<Fish do not contract ich on the way home, this fish had the infection before it left the store. Why did you use PraziPro (Praziquantel), did your diagnosis indicate the need for this particular med? This medication is generally used for treating flukes, flatworms and Turbellarians, and treating tapeworms in our four legged pets. The recommended 5-7 day treatment isn't nearly long enough to effectively eradicate ich, generally 21-28 days to ensure an entire kill. Did you monitor the Cupramine level with a test kit? Although a little safer than copper, the toxic level of Cupramine is 8mg/L with the minimal effective dose being 2-3 mg/L. Tangs are very sensitive to copper and therefore should be treated at the 2-3mg/L level. Another problem I see is combining medications, no other medication should be used with Praziquantel. I'm sure your water change did not remove all of it.>
After all of that, I noticed the fish had HLLE ( vitamin lack I believe... I try).
<And water quality.>
I then proceeded immediately to order Selcon, Boyd's Vita Chem, and Zoecon.
I mix those into it's food now in a small dish with water, as well as add some drops to the water.
<One is all that's needed.>
My question is - the fish seems to be breathing a lot faster than normal.
Did the Cupramine destroy it's breathing ability? I don't know what to do in order to judge if it's breathing is too fast - or if the Cupramine made it always breathe this fast.
<I'm guessing the fish is no longer with you by now. The rapid breathing is an indication that the gills are infested with the ich parasite causing the fish difficulty in breathing.
Generally the last symptom before death.>
The rate at which it is breathing is doesn't seem to vary much. I can't judge how many times it's moving its gills, (but it would be as if the fish swam very fast across the tank and then stopped).
I should note that I am writing this only a few hours after adding it to my main display. It was in a 40 gallon tall quarantine tank previously.
<Why on earth did you move an infected fish into your display tank?>
I have a 125 gallon display with 2 false clowns, and a 90 gallon sump. The clowns seem to have befriended it.. and they are hanging out as a group now.
Water parameters would be considered "normal".
<Mmm, I don't know what you consider normal.>
Any advice? I'm trying but I don't know what else to do other than vitamins, lots of Nori ( it isn't finding it on the clip ) and water quality.
<In the future, properly diagnose the disease before selecting a treatment.
Dosing medication that will not be effective will just further stress out an already stressed
out fish. Do read here and related FAQ's. Will help you in selecting healthy fish and in diagnosing disease and proper treatment.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm. Also read here on quarantine.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Regal Tang Breathing Problem 8/05/09

Hi James,
<Hello Adrian>
I'll go ahead and answer your responses if you don't mind.
<Not a bit.>
I didn't mean to say the fish contracted ich purely on the ride home - I did the treatment because I did see ich but also as a preventive with tangs.
As for PraziPro... I had read that PraziPro can be used safely as a preventative measure as well, so that was the reason I had used it for 3 days before doing water changes to start the Cupramine treatment. There was no intention of eradicating ich with this, but rather to be sure it wasn't flukes (shook head side to side in QT - could have been ich causing this as well).
<Would have been better just to start with the Cupramine.>
The Cupramine worked very well and all white spots were gone. The treatment lasted 15 days at .5ml and then I did many water changes.
<Good to hear.>
I observed the fish for another 1-2 weeks and saw no signs of the ich so that is why I put the fish into the main tank.
<Now it makes sense. Wish your email would have had this information from the start.>
I had also read that copper can cause a fish to breathe faster, along with having HLLE and water quality - so I assumed the main tank environment along with other fish and a proper diet would help settle it down. I still have the fish and it was breathing slower last night, or at least varying it's breathing rate from what it was before.
<Good, and hoping the tang makes it. Is it eating well?>
Water parameters are:
dKH 7.5
Ca: 460
MG: 1400
PH 8.2-3
Nitrates: undetectable
<Sounds good.>
So just wanted to clarify a few things...
<I'm glad you did. You may want to increase your water quality by filtering the water through Chemi-Pure. Do you have good water flow, say about 10x your total tank volume? Tangs do prefer good flow rates. You never mentioned your tank size, type of filtering, etc.,
makes it difficult to see the whole picture.>
Thank You,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Regal Tang Breathing Problem 8/6/09

Hello Again,
<Hi Adrian>
Thanks for the prompt reply.
I did mention my tank size in the first email I believe,
<Yes, you did, sorry.>
however it is a 125 gallon with a 90 gallon sump and a 20 gallon skimmer box. I have 2 MP20 Vortechs in the tank with a Mag 9 return pump. I think I am going to get a Mag 12 to "up" the flow.
<You have an adequate flow rate with what you have. The MP20's are impressive, very well made and expensive.>
On a side note - The tang isn't seeing the Nori I am putting in so I have moved it's position near it's hiding cave. I did place the Nori on the sand but my turbo snail mowed it down first...
<If it is eating other foods, it may well recover. I have had very healthy tangs that would not touch Nori and then some that did.>
I am also adding 4-5 drops of Zoecon to the water daily to help fight HLLE.
I then rotate Boyd's Vita Chem and Selcon in the flake/frozen food.
All The Best
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Regal Tang Breathing Problem 8/6/09

James.. you won't believe this....
<I bet I will.>
I saw my tang lining itself up in front of a rock and then.... you guessed it.... flashing it's side on the rock a few times... I can't believe it. I went 3 months with a fallow tank... hyposalinity for my 2 clowns... Cupramine at the proper dosage.. and now this.
<I'm certain the tank was clean after three months. The disease was introduced into the system by some means.>
I certainly cannot tear down the entire tank again. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can properly do to combat this? I know the odd tang will scratch in real life and not have ich... but I'm not certain with this one. I also know that skunk cleaner shrimp do NOT get rid of ich under the skin, but could they help alleviate some "annoyances" the tang has?
<Likely not enough to matter, as you say, they will not eliminate the parasite but may alleviate some discomfort.
My suggestion would be to quarantine all fish and maintain treatment dosage for 28 days.
This will ensure all hatching cysts will be killed. Copper/Cupramine has no killing effect on the unhatched cysts and is why a 28 day treatment plan is advised. As long as no fish are present in your display tank, the parasitic infestation should cure itself in five weeks. The ich parasites will die soon if no host is present. Any nets or other cleaning tools should be sterilized in a solution of 20% chlorine bleach and 80% water. We do not want to transfer any disease into the display tank by way of implements. Have you read here?
Thanks for all your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Regal Tang Breathing Problem 8/7/09

Hi James,
There are only 2 possible solutions then. The hyposalinity treatment either did not work (months ago),
<No guarantee's here, just a preferred first step.>
or the Cupramine treatment did not work. With that said, I did properly calibrate the refractometer before I performed hypo on my clownfish. They stayed in there for 3 months! Tank had no fish...
As for the new tang - I only held Cupramine for 15 days because the bottle says 14 days and then get all of the chemicals out of the tank. Are you saying that I should extend Cupramine treatment for 28 days at .5 ?
<To ensure a total kill, yes.>
Other than that, I do not how to transfer the fish from the QT to the main tank? I simply used a clean net (after Cupramine treatment) and netted the fish, then let it down into the main tank. All of this of course, under the presumption that the ich was killed off, and not thinking ich could attach to the net during a transfer..
<The parasite can attach to and be transmissible by any wet object. Is a good practice to make sure the net used is sterile before transferring the fish back into the display tank. I say this only because some folks have multiple systems and may use an infected net in "clean" tanks.>
On a side note - the fish is still breathing slower, no more scratching, and one tiny white dot I did see near it's tail is no longer there (hard to tell otherwise.. you think you see little white dots under the skin from certain angles) I'm not certain as to whether or not it was ich because I have seen little particles stuck on a fish for some time and then when the fish swims fast or changes direction suddenly it clearly falls off. So I'm quite stumped as to how the ich got back in the tank... sigh.
<I'm thinking you did not read the article I linked you to. Will explain the life cycle of
the parasite. Also go to and read the links posted at the end of the article, "Steven Pro's excellent ich articles".>
I think catching them all again would be very stressful? I also do not know how to measure the Cupramine levels in the quarantine tank once a water change is done.
<You must use SeaChem's test kit, it is designed for Cupramine. The tests should be taken twice daily to ensure and effective dose is always present.
There are different copper test kits on the market, some measure copper, some measure chelated copper. Using one of the later kits can result in erroneous readings.>
This could of contributed to the original HLLE on the tang.
I had gotten the copper level correct measuring with SeaChem's test.. and then left it at that because I wanted to be certain the copper level always remained around .5.
<Ah, good, you do have the SeaChem kit. Again, test twice daily to ensure the recommended dose is present.>
If you could offer some advice that would be great.
<I had given you plenty of advice, read the articles I linked you to, more reading,
less writing. There is no easy way out.>
I think for now since the tang is calming down.. I am going to leave them in the main tank for now, using garlic and vitamins boosters... as well as add a couple cleaner shrimp to help with some alleviation.. if it doesn't re-occur then it should be alright... if not... I'll have to net them again.
<OK, you're call. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Regal Tang Breathing Problem/Not Reading/Remembering 8/8/09

So if I understand you correctly James in regards to transferring the fish,
I should:
1) Net fish from QT
2) Place fish in bucket or some sort of transfer holding tank
3) Sterilize net (while fish waits in bucket)?
4) Scoop fish from bucket and place into DT?
<I've only mentioned item 3. You are making this more difficult than it actually is. All I was eluding to is not to use a "dirty" net in other tanks to prevent disease transmission. We have already been through sterilization a few threads back. My personal method is to keep my net in a container of Methylene blue and fresh water for a few days after use, then rinse, and hang to dry.>
Wouldn't the parasites fall into the water (in the bucket from) when being transferred from the quarantine tank?
<When the transfer occurs, there shouldn't be any parasites in the quarantine tank if treated properly.>
Then when I scoop the fish from the bucket they would re-attach themselves to the sterilized net? I'm not sure why I'm having a hard time getting the right steps down.
<Same as above.>
I did read the article, perhaps just so much information at once :)
I was also under the impression that using Cupramine for over 14 weeks would permanently damage the fish. Otherwise I would have used treatment longer.
<If the Cupramine dosage is maintained for 28 days, the disease should be eradicated.
My addition amounts to 4 weeks. You need to go over the links I've provided, all information is
explained very clearly. We just do not have the time to take individuals by the hand and walk them through everything when the referenced information explains all.
We are all volunteers here at Wet Web Media, and our time spent answering queries is usually limited to a couple of hours a day.>
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Blue Tang Not Acting Quite Right 05/19/09
Hello again,
<Hello Becky>
Thank you so much for your quick reply!
<We try.>
My dad just got back from the store a while ago with a 2-gallon plastic tank. I know it isn't much, but it is something. We have filled it with the water from the main tank and have put Dory the Second in (haha! Yes I know, the "second". I hope my parents will take your advice on not getting a third).
<Please do put some pressure on them about not getting a third. This fish really should be returned to the fish store when recovered. It is much too large for a fifty gallon tank. Additionally, this two gallon tank is not going to work for long term quarantine. Not only will the water quickly become toxic from the waste produced by this fish, but it is too small psychologically, even in the short term of a few weeks. Consider a twenty gallon tank or so the absolute minimum for quarantining small tangs.>
Now that my dad has moved her to the Q Tank, we can see her better and she's gotten worse from being up against that Power Head. Hopefully now she'll be able to recover that she's alone.
<Likely it was the other tang that was damaging your blue tang. Once recovered please either return the blue tang to the fish store, or find a much larger home for this fish.>
<<It will never recover here. RMF>>
No matter what happens, we have learned from this experience. Even though I'll be sad when I see Dory #2 on the bottom of the Q Tank (which I'm sure will happen soon) I know that with each mistake, wisdom is gained.
<I hope so.>
And besides, we got a quarantine tank out of this! :)
Anyway, thanks for your advice!
<Your welcome Becky and good luck
Josh Solomon>

Hippo\Regal Tang Health: Quarantine 3/26/2009
Hi Crew,
<Hi Alex>
I just discovered your site and the amazing amount of information it contains, what a wonderful resource for those of us seeking knowledge!!
<Happy to hear you find it useful!>
I've spent the last eight hours reading through numerous threads and I only wish I had found your site prior to purchasing a Blue Hippo Tang; for now I realize the mistakes I have made up to this point, and I could have surely avoided what might turn into a big problem.
<Ok, lets see what the problem is.>
I have a 125 gallon tank with a 25 gallon sump, mostly fish and a few corals (Xenia and Zoanthids.) I never realized the importance of a QT for new arrivals until now, you have truly enlightened me to the point of change.
<Sadly, this is a lesson that is usually learned the hard way.>
My question is regarding the Blue Hippo I purchased yesterday. Prior to purchasing I did a little research (not enough) regarding compatibility, diet, behavior, and general info on this beautiful fish and decided he would be a acceptable addition to my tank. I read they are more susceptible to marine ich than most so I was careful to make sure he looked healthy before purchasing and was assured by the LFS owner that the fish was quarantine for several weeks upon arriving in his store,
and has been eating and healthy for 2 additional weeks since leaving quarantine.
<Sounds encouraging so far.>
As he was ringing me up he went into long detail about drip acclimating (which I always do for several hours already) and feeding the fish with garlic soaked food to prevent an ich outbreak.
<I personally have doubts about garlic preventing Ich.>
Garlic was a new one to me so I wasn't sure what to make of it, but the LFS owner swore by it and told me all the success he has had in the past treating ich using garlic, so I purchased a bottle.
<Fair enough, it certainly cannot hurt.>
On the drive home the excitement of purchasing the fish started to wear off and I started to get a little nervous. All this talk of ich and preventative garlic and previous ich in the LFS was far different from any previous fish purchase I have made and it began to spook me a bit.
Upon getting home I got even more nervous when I noticed the Tang had gotten kind of scraped up during his attempt to avoid being netted at the LFS (he tried to hide by wedging himself under a rock.)
<Very common>
When I started the drip acclimation, I decided it might not be a bad idea to try do something now to help prevent my new little buddy from getting ich, so I thought adding some medication to the water might not be a bad idea.
<It was a bad idea.>
Since it was 7:30 pm by this time I had to go with what I had on hand, which left two choices: Copper or Acriflavine. I figured Copper might be too harsh and stressful since he wasn't showing any signs of ich and would be in the acclimation tank for the next few hours so I went with the Acriflavine which I had used with success in the past on Discus and was also for marine use.
<It does not treat Ich>
I added a few drops at a time to make sure he didn't negatively react (in an obvious way) to the medicine until I got to about 1/2 teaspoon then used the incoming drips to slowly dilute the water during the acclimation period of two hours. He didn't seem to be overly bothered by the process.
This morning he was swimming around the tank getting used to his tankmates and began eating the garlic soaked food enthusiastically, however the scraping on body looked worse than it appeared through the plastic bag upon his arrival last night. He has white patches (abrasions not the salt grain look of ich) so I'm afraid he is more susceptible to an ich breakout. I run a UV Sterilizer on the tank 24/7 and have never had any ich outbreaks in the tank since inception 4 years ago so I'm fairly sure there is no ich in the system unless it has been introduced by the Tang. What has me concerned is that after reading through your site I now understand the lifecycle of ich and also the trouble it is to properly treat once an outbreak has begun. It seems to me that garlic might offer an infected individual some benefit in fighting off an infection but it would do nothing to eliminate the parasite from a system once introduced, so if the LFS owners method of ich treatment is garlic then I think I'm in trouble. Since the Tang was in a tank with some coral and shrimp at the LFS there couldn't have be any copper treatment in the system. On to my questions:
1) I read on your site that Acriflavine isn't an effective treatment for ich but do you think a two hour bath in a highly concentrated solution would have any effect at killing the ich parasite if it were present?
It appears it might have removed his slime coat so the stronger concentration might have made it to the target.
<Removing the slime coat makes the fish more vulnerable to infection, so you do not want to damage the slime coat any further.>
2) Since by the time you respond to this e-mail he'll have been in the tank for over 36 hours is there any reason to try to remove him now or am I past the point of no return.
<I would not move or stress this fish further unless you actually see signs of Ich or an infection from the scrapes.>
I thought about trying to remove and quarantine the Tang today but I have around 150lbs of live rock in the tank and catching him would more than likely be impossible and only stress him further and probably lead to more abrasions so I decided to write to you first.
<I agree, leave the fish be and observe. With a good diet and good water quality, it should heal up fairly quickly.>
3) If removing him is your suggestion do you have any tricks to netting him?
Thank You so much for taking the time to respond, and thanks again for the wonderful site. I'm confident with your sight as a reference I'll avoid making many truly unnecessary and preventable mistakes in the future.
<Happy to help>
Re: Hippo/Regal Tang Health: Quarantine 3/27/2009

Thanks for the reply Mike,
<Hi Alex, no problem.>
I guess my most pressing concern is trying to avoid introducing the ich into the system.
<Ich is already in your system and has been since day 1, the trick is keeping all of your livestock healthy enough so it does not overwhelm them.>
Since the article on the lifecycle of ich says that it spends seven days on the host fish growing and multiplying before popping and spreading.
<This is true.>
I was curious if I have an opportunity window of seven days to remove the Tang if he starts showing signs of ich. OR, if it's already too late and if the ich was introduced via the Tang is already there and removing him would be of no value.
<Removing the fish would be of no value at this point, unless it actively shows signs of Ich or starts showing signs of infection.>
<My Pleasure>

Is an 18g Rubbermaid container too small to quarantine a 6" hippo tang? -02/27/07 Dear Crew, Just wanted to get your advice on this, as I have been given wildly divergent advice on my local forum. They all completely advise against freshwater dips even though I've read about it many places. <Ah, this is the "problem" with forums. You never know who is answering your question or how knowledgeable/experienced they are or aren't. But they're fun anyway. :-) The freshwater dipping method is a bit "controversial" and there are arguments on both sides.> I am acquiring a 6" hippo from another local hobbyist and I still debating QT/Dip methods. Thinking my 10g quarantine tank to be too small for this fish, I went out and bought an 18g rubber maid box to use for quarantine. I am wondering, will this still be too small? <Even if you want to debate the dips, it's pretty universally agreed that QT is generally a good idea. 18g is a bit small for a 6" tang... but it doesn't have to be a tank. You can use a rubber maid container, just get a bigger one.> Also, I have seen many times that Bob advises a prophylactic dip then straight into the display to minimize stress for hippo tangs. Would this indeed be a better method for my new fish? <Truth be told, there really is nothing written in stone about these things. Hippo tangs are quite prone to ich and this is an argument for quarantining them. However, on the other hand, stress is a big "cause" of ich. Thus, reducing stress as much as possible might help prevent ich just as much or more as quarantining. Fans of quarantining will say that quarantining should be done such that it doesn't cause the fish much (if any) stress. But again, since there's so little we actually know for sure, ultimately there's still a lot of guess work/intuition/empiricism involved with these things. The best we can do is make sure are "guesses" are intelligent, well-informed ones. Personally, I would consider the overall health of the fish when you get it. If it looks really healthy (no discoloration, no fin tears, vibrant, active, good appetite, etc.), you might be less inclined to quarantine it if you think doing so would only cause it unnecessary stress. But ultimately, the decision is simply up to you.> As for the dip, I have the 18g quarantine "tank" all ready to go, saltwater is aged and aerated. If I chose to go the dip route, could I just add Methylene blue to this tank for the dip? I was thinking that it being saltwater, it would be less stressful for the fish. <sounds reasonable> The only other thing I've never quite been able to grasp with freshwater dips is the acclimation process from the shipping bag to the dip container and then to the display. Am I right in thinking that I make sure PH, temp and salinity correlate between the display tank and the dip vessel and acclimate the fish to the display tank then put it in the dip vessel? Sorry for the dumb question, but it's something I've never quite understood. <Not dumb questions at all. It stands to reason that the fewer "moves" you have to make, the better. So if you were going to do the dip, maybe you should do it straight out of the bag, then proceed to acclimate. On the other hand, the fish might already be so stressed in the bag, it might be wiser to "give it a break" and acclimate it before dipping it. Again, I would try to judge the overall state of the fish. If it looks like it's really stressed out, I'd wait to do the dip (do it after acclimation). I'm sorry I can't honestly give you a certain answer (no one really can). Personally, I'm not a big fan of freshwater dips in general. A lot of the parasites it's meant to kill/prevent are tough little buggers that aren't likely to die off with just a dip. Or, rather, it wouldn't kill off *enough* of them to justify the potential stress it causes the fish. But again, this is MY opinion. And there are a lot of varying opinions on this. You'll see even here on WWM, different crew members have different opinions on freshwater dips. And since there's simply not enough real formal research on any of these things, anyone's educated guess is as good as mine (or yours).> Thanks again for all your help! Dane <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>
Re: Is 18g Rubbermaid container too small to quarantine a 6" hippo tang?-02/27/08
Hi Sara, Thanks for the advice. At this stage, I'm leaning more towards skipping quarantine based on what I know of the fish. It's from a local hobbyist who's had this fish for a year in captivity. From the pictures it looks very healthy, although I will reserve judgment until I actually see it. <In this situation (since the fish is coming from another tank where it's been for a long time, and not from a LFS), quarantining might not quite as important as not stressing the fish.> The only fish I've lost in the short time I've been in the hobby has been a hippo tang that I got shipped. Died of no apparent cause (nothing external anyway) and so, I resolved to only buy locally and preferably from an established tank. I've included pictures to see what you think. <Looks like a pretty healthy fish... but as you said, I wouldn't be sure till I saw him/her in person.> IF the fish did get ich in the display, would it necessarily affect the other fish? <Not necessarily, no. But it would make the other fish more vulnerable to it if they are stressed. These infections have a lot to do with the overall health of the fish. Generally, healthy, happy fish under minimal to no stress don't get ich nearly as easily as a stressed/ailing fish. And some fish are just more (or less) prone to it naturally. If the fish does get an infection, you should probably remove it and quarantine it just to be safe. But lets hope that doesn't happen. :-)> Fingers crossed, <good luck> Dane <Best, Sara M.>

Regal Tang, fin covering up small lump?  10/23/07 Quick question for ya... A question about a Regal Tang I have in quarantine. I believe the retailer had him for a week before I selected him as the best looking Regal Tang I've seen for months at a store. Nice colors, active, and plump. I did a pH and temperature adjusted freshwater dip for about 7-8mins. I've now had the tang for a week and he is feeding well on flake, pellet, meaty foods, and Caulerpa I have in the tank. pH 8.2 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10ppm Salinity 1.025 Temp 26oc This has just developed over the past 24hrs.... The tang has a bit of swelling or a lump right behind it's right gill. The skin is still proper color... in fact I'd best describe it as a pimple forming under the skin. The lump is round sort of like if you had shaved a few mm's off of a standard pencil eraser. Furthermore, the fish is not using the fin on that side of the body. It is evident that he can use it as the odd time he does... he was swimming fine all week. He still seems to swim around fine without using it much. When he's not using that fin, it almost completely covers the lump. Does this sound at all familiar? What can be done if anything? Dave <Mmm, might be physical (a trauma let's say), could be pathogenic (perhaps a parasite of some sort), but more harm to be done than not by overtly "treating" this fish at this point. Best to maintain high, consistent water quality. A note re the (sic) Caulerpa mentioned above. I would replace this with a less-noxious genus of algae... Likely a Gracilaria or Chaetomorpha species. Its toxicity might be working against you here. Bob Fenner>
Using Metronidazole and Praziquantel... More re the Regal Tang bump   10/23/07
Hopefully I reach you in time as I'd like to recall my previous question regarding a Blue Tang with a developing lump on his side, where he is also not using the fin on that particular side of the body. <Am still here> After reading through 4 pages of Tang FAQ's, I think I have spotted two notes about what appears to be a similar issue. Bob's recommendation on the other notes in both instances was: <Have seen such markings before... usually geographically, seasonally expressed... Are likely either a protozoan or encysted worm presence... Can be treated serially with one dose of Flagyl/Metronidazole and an anthelminthic... (my choice, likely Prazi/quantel)... Both/all are covered on WWM. Bob Fenner> <Ah, yes> So, now that I likely know what it is I've read through the article on Metronidazole, etc.. <Okay> My Tang is in a 24gallon Nano <Needs more room than this... oh, this is for treatment only I take it> with a very shallow crushed coral bed (less than one inch by far) with a small piece of liverock with a good growth of Caulerpa. I'm a bit confused by the article. It seems to state that soaking food in Metro and then placing in the fridge for a few hours and then feeding to the fish is considered one dose. This seems to be associated with the treatment for freshwater fish who do not 'drink'?? Is this correct? <Is one way of administration... more "sure" as dosing/dosage than direct water treatment> For Marine fish, long-term baths for about 3 hrs each day for 3 days?? Is the article suggesting filling a bucket with tank water that is aerated with the appropriate dose? <Is another approach> I'm just wondering if catching the fish, placing in a bucket for 3 hrs, catching the fish to put back into the tank x 3 days would severely stress out the fish? <Too much so, too likely, yes> Or, since it's only a 24gallon tank... should I add directly into the quarantine tank that has the crushed coral/piece of liverock, and then do a full water change (from my main display) daily for the three days? Is it ok to have a crushed coral bottom and/or a piece of liverock in their during the treatment? <Not if the medications are to be added directly to the water, no. Too likely diluting effects...> Will it harm the nicely growing Caulerpa or should I take the liverock out for the three hours during the treatment? <Will not harm Caulerpaceans> Or... is it just as easy to soak the food and use that as the treatment? <This is best in most circumstances... given the fish/es are feeding> Soaking the food seems like a lot less work and easier to administer... at the same time, I want to ensure that I knock out this issue as quickly as possible without harm to the fish. The recommendation to use Praziquantel as an additional cure/precaution... can I use both together? <Yes> Your article says to simply add 7.6mg/gallon. Can this go directly in the system with crushed coral and the liverock? <Yes, though will be affected to a degree...> How long do I keep it in there? <Indefinitely... will degrade in time> Can I do this while administering the Metronidazole via soaking food? Via adding Metronidazole directly into tank? <Yes, could> I have been doing 30% water changes on this 24gallon quarantine tank about 3 times every two weeks using 1/2 new mixed water and 1/2 system water for each water change. Although the Metro doesn't seem to conflict with water changes... do I keep up with water changes with Praziquantel if the Prazi is meant to be in the tank for a week or more? <Yes, or re-administer with water changing...> Apologies for all the questions... but there isn't much info on the Prazi and the article on the Metronidazole has me afraid of potentially killing the fish because I used it incorrectly. David Brynlund <Again, I would treat with nothing at this juncture if this were my ward. B>
Re: Using Metronidazole and Praziquantel  10/23/07
Hi Bob, <David> Thanks for the comments, it has helped... But now you have me even more confused... <Again, I would treat with nothing at this juncture if this were my ward. B> Last night, the fish was using the other fin more... But the lump/pimply like feature on his right side that used to be the same color as the rest of the fish appears to becoming a bit discolored. Reading through your FAQ's this does sound like an internal parasite and you had recommended others to treat with the products I mentioned below. Why would I not treat this fish for what appears to be a parasitic infestation? <... please see my comment/mantra above...> The fish is still pretty chubby and feeds easily. Can this parasite work it's way out of the fish leaving the fish healthy after a recovery period?? If it remains untreated and the parasite exits the fish... Can it not re-enter the fish for a secondary infestation? David Brynlund <Be patient, learn... B>
Re: Regal Tang, fin covering up small lump?    10/24/07
Ok. The Caulerpa is just naturally growing on the liverock. Should i pull it out? Move it to the main display? Any chance of... if this is a parasite that perhaps it may also be present in the liverock thus i shouldn't move the liverock to a main display? <If only a "small piece" I would not worry re toxicity... leave it in place. BobF>

Hippos... Quarantine? -- 08/17/07 Just a quick question... in Bob's book as well as on your website, it is suggested to place Hippo Tangs directly into the main display without quarantine to reduce the stress of multiple catch and release out of quarantine. Are you still of this opinion? In my past experience, a Hippo I had about 4yrs ago seemed to be a 'Crypt' magnet. <Mmm, Paracanthurus are not "as bad" as such compared with many other Surgeonfish species... and my opinion is "it depends"... "IF" the specimen looks otherwise in good health, it can be isolated for a time... to assess its health... However, it can be peremptorily FW dipped and placed in most cases> Would u expect a Hippo Tang, aside from adding nice colors to a tank, assist in mowing done some green hair algae? <Depends on the species of algae... not many are palatable... and many that look "Green" are not... are often BGA, which is entirely undesired> I will be adding a Foxface after a 4 week quarantine which I'm thinking will further assist in a green grassy hair algae problem. Note, the tank is 200gallons FOWLR. David Brynlund <Hotay! BobF>

Hippo tang with Popeye... not using WWM   8/14/07 I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank. <Too small to house Paracanthurus...> We purchased 2 percula clown fish, 1 potters angelfish, <Not easily kept> 1 hippo tang and 1cleaner shrimp. We had the fish 2 weeks and noticed the tang and angel had ick. I started treating the tank with kick ick <Worthless> every 2 days. I noticed the hippo wouldn't let the angel get cleaned by the shrimp, so I purchased a second cleaner shrimp. I thought they were doing better. We did a partial water change then in two weeks did another water change, put back in the carbon filters, turned back on the skimmer, thought they looked good, stopped using the kick ick. The angelfish died the next day. So, I took out carbon filters and unplugged skimmer and went back to using the kick ick, every 3 days now. Tang looked good but I noticed white on the outer side of one eye when the fish would shift its eyes, but overall eye looked good solid black. A week has gone by and today the tang has Popeye in one eye. <Unilateral... mechanical injury...> I bought MelaFix <Also worthless> to treat tank. My question is should I be treating the tang with something stronger ( a real anti-biotic) for this. <No...> I don't want to try this for a few days to find the tang dead. I know antibiotic will kill shrimp - I will take them back to fish store, <Along with the Crypt? I doubt they'll be happy> not worried about that. I want the tang to live - he has been sick for over a month now and i am worried he cant take much more. he still eats well, body mass looks good. ick spots are gone but i am still treating the tank because he is still scratching and getting cleaned by shrimp. He hides a lot always scratching his eyes and fins against objects in tank. please help. I was crushed to lose the angelfish. Thanks a lot, KMS <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Popeyecures.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> sorry about the file size on pics, I forgot to check it before hitting send. thanks again. <No worries. RMF>

Dips, Hippos  - 05/01/07 Dear WetWeb, I have been reading on hippo tangs and Am confused. Because I read in you info about hippos that you should fresh water dip them and then place them into the display tank. I thought that this web site strongly believed in the QT. Please help me try to understand why you should not QT a fish that is so prone to illness. Jeff <Read on! Some fishes are better not dipped... for what apparent good it will do them, you... versus the stress and strain, likely induced problems from said procedure... Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Regal tang as a possible disease vector...  12/10/06 Hello crew, I have a question for you.  I purchased a Regal Tang from Live Aquaria's Divers Den a week ago today (the exact description was African Yellow Belly Regal Tang Var.). <Neat> They called me last Monday saying the fish had some scratches and they wanted to hold it for a while to make sure it was healthy and didn't develop a secondary infection (hopefully the truth). <Yes... good of them> They are supposed to ship the fish tomorrow and I would receive it Tuesday.  I work at a LFS here in Michigan and know the problems with these fish, they seem to always get ich but most of the time get over it without any treatment.  We have developed a system at the store where we put all moderate to difficult tangs in the reef system in large tanks and they seem to do much better because of the extra swimming room and hiding spots and we rarely lose any fish in that system. <Ahhh!> Now to my question, since I know the fish will likely develop ich (had it in my tank before, no fatalities) and most likely get over it in a few weeks, would it be better to place the fish directly in my 92 gallon reef tank with lots of hiding spots or place it in my 29 gallon Bio Cube that has only been setup a couple of months? <Not the cube... unless this was going to be simply for quarantine, observation... ahead of its placement in the 92...> The 29 gallon has very few places to hide and only has one fish in it, a Starry Blenny.  My personal feeling is that the fish would do better in my 92 gallon tank because it would be able to hide and swim about when it wanted and feed on any algae on the rocks, not to mention it is a well established system. <But... is "it" worth the possibility of introducing virulent pathogens? Not IMO> My 92 gallon tank has a Clown, Kole Tang, and a Blue Flavivertex Pseudochromis, all about 3 inches long.  The Regal Tang (a 4 inch fish) will be my last addition to the 92 gallon tank.  I am a little worried about the Regal Tang because of the health issue Live Aquaria said it had, but am hopeful with their honesty and the fact that they have had the fish at least 2 weeks makes me feel a little better about it adapting to my tank and hopefully eating right away.  I forgot to mention I have read extensively about this fish on your site, many of the FAQ's and the article that says placing them in your main system without quarantine is best because of the nature of this particular fish. <I would still, at least, run this Paracanthurus through a prophylactic bath... see WWM Re> I have thought about this issue long and hard and have discussed it on the forum, and have emailed forum members about the best way to go about this.  I always research everything I buy for my tank before purchasing it and have not lost a coral or a fish because of it.  Your opinion would be very valued and will be the last one I receive before picking up the fish.  Thank you very much for your thoughts and time, Ryan Nienhuis (again).  I will send you a picture as soon as I receive the fish.  Thanks again. <Again, to be clear... I would NOT simply acclimate and place this fish in a main/permanent display... Not worth the risk of introducing Crypt, other disease organisms in a hyper-infective state... A dip/bath... at least. Bob Fenner>
Re: Regal tang... and lost WWM mail...   12/11/06
For some reason I did not receive your reply on my email <Bizarre... and this is happening more and more...> however I looked it up on today's FAQ's so I know what was said. <Ah, good> Anyway thanks for the quick reply and yes my intentions of putting it in the 29 gallon were for observation/quarantine only, not a permanent home.  Thanks again. <Ah, very good. Cheers, BobF>

Hippo Tang keeps floating to top   7/4/06 Hello, I have a problem and this seemed like the best place to find a solution... <Okay...> I have an 8-month-old 110-gallon tank. About 2 weeks ago I bought a beautiful Hippo Tang. I am aware of the 'problems' that Hippo Tangs can have such as forming ick from hiding under rocks and rubbing on them and how they have a reputation for being shy... <So you of course quarantined this specimen...?> so I wasn't too surprised when it kept itself hidden behind some rocks after I put him in initially. <Not> I figured I would give him a few days to adjust. However, after 2 weeks it was still not coming out at all even to eat. I decided to take him out today b/c I was worried about whether or not he was sick and I would not want him infecting the rest of the tank. <Would be too late if so...> It was then that I discovered it doesn't have ick. Instead, it looks as if it's stomach is bloated which is causing him to float to the top. This would explain why it was hiding under the rocks to keep from floating to the top. I know that with time, it will eventually die b/c it wont eat due to the stress it's experiencing. <Unusual...> Please give me any advice you can about helping my Hippo Tang get the air out of it's belly. Thanks! Cassie <... Likely Epsom Salt in a treatment tank... Details offered on WWM. See the search tool for WWM or the indices. Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang with fungus or Necrotic tissue?   6/8/06 Hello WWM Team, <Eric> I have a 1 inch hippo tang <A bit small... die much more easily started under 2-3 inches...> in a 10 gallon quarantine tank with 11 lbs. live rock. I have had her for 1 week and 3 days. She has been eating great since I got her. I give her a blended variety of frozen fish/meaty foods mostly, along with some Kent garlic additive. She always showed me her left side which looks brilliant and has beautiful coloration. Then after 1 week I noticed her right side which seemed to have some fungus like patches, but it flowed a bit like it might be skin tissue or necrotic tissue. I could hardly get a good look, but it is around her eye and partly down her body but only on the right side.  I have seen these patches which have grown in size for the last 3 days, but she is swimming more freely in the tank, still eating voraciously and greeting me more readily when I show my mug at her tank. <Good signs> She used to do some flashing/flicking of her body on Saturday and Sunday, but not doing it much now. <The species does flick, flash quite a bit naturally> I do 15% water changes every 3 - 4 days. There is only a 40 gallon mechanical whisper filter. The water is Alk: 1.6 (low); pH: 8.2; Nitrate: 10; SG 1.0235; Temp 81 F. The only extraordinary thing I can say that really could have caused this is during the heat wave here in PA recently the tanks temp was 85 F for a little over 2 days which I tried to get down slowly and did eventually with fans blowing, hanging ice packs in Ziploc bags and AC on in the house. It still took over 2 days to finally reach 81 F which still isn't my ideal, but it is stable. Could that temperature hike have done this? <Mmm, not by itself... likely ongoing issues with capture, shipping... perhaps a bit of aggression from/with other fishes in transit> Any other ideas beside regular water changes? <Vitamin additions to the food, water... I would not (at this time) avail myself of antimicrobials, dyes, metal solutions...> In a few weeks time I will move her to the main tank if she doesn't come down with any other problems like ich. Your wisdom or at least good advice is appreciated. Eric <This outgoing specimen will likely heal and do fine with the good care, protocol you detail here. Bob Fenner>

Sick baby Blue Tangs- Regal-(Paracanthurus hepatus)    4/4/06 Hi WWM Crew, I have 2 baby Tangs (2-3 cm) and 2 False Clowns (same size) in a 60 litre tank. All parameters look good .... SG 1022, PH 8.1. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10. The tank has been up and running since early November 2005 and I added my 2 clowns in early December. I water change 25% fortnightly and test water parameters 1-2 times a week always revealing above results. In mid February my wife comes home with the 2 tangs purchased from a favourite LFS (very trusted) and all 4 have been getting along beautifully, playing and even sleeping together in a plastic anemone. I have seen the tangs laying on their sides at times and then straightening up and playing around again. <Natural behavior... but should have been quarantined...> BUT on Sunday (Aussie time) .. they both seemed to be doing this quite often, even lying against each other and sinking to the bottom and just lying there for minutes at a time then dart off and run into a rock or something ... I also noticed their colour has changed (faded) and their breathing has gotten heavier. I kept my eye on them at times during the day and they seemed to be doing it more frequently. I thought, something isn't right, so I feed them all some flakes to observe there reaction and only one of the tangs ate !! I have been feeding them all brine shrimp, flakes, Nori etc. I might add that I also have a 400 litre reef tank as well as 400 litre freshwater tank for 4 years now and have only lost a few freshwater fish only.  (this hobby soaks up all my time .... I love it) Back to the problem, I immediately acclimated the tangs to my QT and they showed signs of improvement, one more than the other. I made a 50% water change at lunch time and in the afternoon returned the tangs to their tank with the clowns (youngest son hit the QT with a soccer ball and cracked it). <Yikes. No kicking in the house!> One of the tangs is swimming around OK and playing with the clowns and eating and then all of a sudden drops to the bottom and lays there, the other one is still laying on the bottom breathing heavily (has a quick 5 second swim then stops again). Getting late I left them be and the next morning expecting them to be dead they're both still breathing (rapidly) the same one still swimming and eating and then dropping to bottom, the other is still on the bottom breathing rapidly. Their colour has come back but they just can't seem to get over whatever it is doing this to them. I changed water again this afternoon (10%) which I will continue to do daily incase some thing has gotten into the tank and poisoned it. <Not likely...> Maybe the wife fed them after using hand cream or something or the kids had something on their hands ????? The clowns are hardy I know and carry on as if nothings happened !! I'm lost, any ideas ??? I can't see any HLLE !!! Thanks Heaps ! Rick Sydney OZ. <The much more likely scenario is simple "stress" for these tiny two... leading to blood cell pack volume loss... best to place such new fishes into quarantine immediately and leave them to rest for a few weeks... Being caught, handled... is very stressful. I do hope yours recover at this point. Am torn re advising to move them back to QT... more stress might be worse. Bob Fenner> Re: Sick baby Blue Tangs- Regal-(Paracanthurus hepatus) Bob Fenner  - 04/05/2006 Hi Crew, <Rick> I just wanted to let you know your advice of  "<The much more likely scenario is simple "stress" for these tiny two... leading to blood cell pack volume loss... best to place such new fishes into quarantine immediately and leave them to rest for a few weeks... Being caught, handled... is very stressful. I do hope yours recover at this point. Am torn re advising to move them back to QT... more stress might be worse. Bob Fenner>"  has worked well. (( I left them in the main tank so as not to "stress them anymore than need be" )) The new "tiny two" are up and playing together once again !!! They look happier than ever, it's like they've had a new lease of life. ( and I'm loving it ) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your prompt reply - I hate to think how many questions you and your crew must receive everyday (hundreds I guess) and to receive an answer only "24 hours later" is a sure sign of absolute dedication !! Outstanding effort WWM !! I applaud all involved !! Regards  Rick Down Under. <Thank you for this follow-up. Bob Fenner>

HLLE or Something Else?  2/13/06      Your website is great!!!      Yesterday, I "inherited" a baby (1") regal tang (aka Pacific Blue, Blue Hippo). <Small...>   When I first got him, I noticed a white patch on either side of his head below each eye.   <Just stress markings> I gave him a freshwater dip for about 3.5 minutes and put him in quarantine.  Today, the white is spreading so that his face is nearly white as well as his hind end, while his middle, fins and tail are still normal color. <Likely still just stress...> It is not raised spots, rather it looks like someone has "bleached" him causing him to turn from blue to white.  Other than that, he is acting well, swimming around and eating (Emerald Entree soaked in Garlic Xtreme and dried seaweed with vitamin C, I'll be adding vitamins, but LFS is closed on Sunday).  There is no pitting, sores, scratches, holes or any other signs of illness.  He does tend to hide when I come near, but I'm pretty sure that's normal. <Yes>      Water tests showed pH = 8.3, ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = < 12.5, sg = 1.021, <Raise this to 1.025> temp = 79.      I took some pics of him this evening, but they came out really blurry, so, unfortunately, I can't send them.  I'll try again later.      I'm really hoping to save this little guy as he is one of the fish I really wanted when I got my aquarium, but they've been really hard to come by (LFS hasn't had one in months).  He'll be joining two baby (1") false percula clowns, a small (3") yellow tang, a 4" Ward's Sleeper (Tiger Watchmen's) Goby and 12 turbo snails in a 6ft., 125 gal tank.  It doesn't seem like a lot of fish now, but I know they'll grow.      Do you think this is HLLE? <No... not at this size...> I've searched and searched and that's the only thing I can find that comes close to his symptoms.  If so, what can I do for him?      Thanks for your help.  Your website and FAQ's have helped me tremendously, although I've been blessed with healthy fish so far. <Provide good water quality, an assortment of foods, some soaked in vitamin prep., and this fish should be fine. Very small Paracanthurus are often stressed, colored in this fashion. Yours will "color up" soon... w/o any "medication"/treatment. Bob Fenner>

Unhappy Hippo (Paracanthurus hepatus) - 08/11/2005 Help! My Blue Hippo Tang is dying. I have a 75Gal tank and she has only been in there 2 weeks. She's lying flat on the sand and breathing so hard. <Too many possibilities, too little information....  I would immediately do a major water change (be certain to match pH, temperature, and salinity) and add a great deal of aeration....  And begin reading here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm  and here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm .> She can't get up and I have no clue what to do. Can I save her, or is it too late? <Without actually seeing the fish, I could not say.> Please help!  Christina Rafiyan <Wishing you and your tang well,  -Sabrina>

Tiny Hippos Hi, We have a 200 gallon tank reef tank that has been setup for 3 months (and most live rock came from an existing tank). The only fish are a 3" Yellow Tang and 4 Green Chromis. They are still in quarantine in order to ensure the new tank was stable and free of any ich.  <Good> We would like to add 2 Hippo Tangs and have them grow up in the tank. Both our LFS and LiveAquaria have Tiny Hippos (body=3/4") in stock. <This IS small... but this species is quite hardy, caught, shipped at this size... providing they've been and kept fed> In fact this is the only size available. We have a cycled 20 gallon setup. If we quarantine them for 6 weeks and don't add the Yellow or Chromis to the big tank until the same time, would that size work out okay in the large system? <Mmm, if it were me, mine, I'd pH adjusted freshwater dip them on the way into quarantine, only keep them there (with some PVC pipe fittings to hide in) for two weeks... and then dip them again on the way to the main/display tank... this is all that is necessary with small Paracanthurus, and about all the stress they can take> We intend to feed both live algae red and Zooplex (with possibly flakes and/or the meaty mix we feed the others) a couple times a day (because of their size). Once in the big tank, they should have plenty of copepods and amphipods, etc. on the rocks as supplement because we have stocked both and they have multiplied like crazy while the tank has gone fallow. <Good> Would we be crazy to get 2 this size? <Nope> If you think it is okay to get them - should we do the usual freshwater dip pre-quarantine as small as they are? <Ahh! I've got to adopt my own suggestion to read all input before responding... Yes my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tiny Hippos Did the DO (wah) Dip
Hi Bob, Just wanted to let you know the baby tangs are doing great! They are very outgoing for hippos and started eating right away. They are starting to get a little rounded as they should (they were pretty skinny when they first came in). They play together all day and sleep together at night. No signs of ich at all so far (or even any stress)! <Good> We had already done the freshwater dip with RO/DI when we received your e-mail. Luckily, it does not seemed to have hurt anything this time (I stopped just under 3 minutes.. they were just so tiny). I am sure our tap water is loaded with metals/minerals and who knows what else. Would Spring water pH and Temp adjusted work better/be safer? <Really matters very little here... for such short duration/exposure. Bob Fenner> 

Haze on hippo tang eyes Hello crew, Thanks for all you do. I have a 125 gal saltwater FOWLR in the beginning stages of starting reef. I have a coral Beauty Angel, a mated pair of Yellow Stripe Maroon Clowns, a Sea Hare, a few Reef safe Stars, cleaning crew of various hermits crabs and snails, and my Blue Hippo. The tank has been up and cycled for a little over 3 months. I bought my Hippo about a week and a half ago. She immediately started hanging out with the clowns (and I thought it was just in the movies :-)... She swims with them eats and sleeps with them. I think she even tries to help them with their Sebae Anemone.  All was going well until this morning. I seen her left eye is all clouded over, it does not seem to be protruding though. I changed about 10% water yesterday and I use a RO/DI unit. I checked latter in the day yesterday and all levels were good. Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 (can not seem to get it lower if there is a trick I'm open to suggestions) PH 8.2 Phosphates were maybe .25 it was not quite the color of 0 but no where close to the next color up. Calcium 450. Temp 79.  When I seen the eye I checked again this morning and all was the same but PH maybe 8.0 due to the time of day. All the fish including the Hippo are acting normal, well the same as they have been. The Hippo seems unaffected for the most pat and is eating and swimming fine. Still helping the clowns keep house. She does seem to have some affect on her vision. I have not seen anything in FAQ that really sounds like this.  <Actually... not that uncommon> I don't want her to get more stressed because of her eye. I was thinking of freshwater dip (for how long though?) Is this a type of disease and what can I do to help cure it? <Not likely a disease per se... unilateral... probably resultant from a mechanical injury> Could it be that the Anemone stung her while she was cleaning house for the clowns? <Could be> I am very concerned and do not want to lose her. Thanks again for all you do for all of us out here. PS. Do you think that 1 or 2 more hippo's her size to school with would keep her away from the Anemone and out of danger? Or would the fight instead of school? <I would just stick with the one Paracanthurus... and not "treat", otherwise handle, further stress this specimen... You could try bolstering all's immune systems by soaking foods in Selcon or equivalent... but should heal on its own over time. Bob Fenner> 

White film in P. hepatus tang's eye - Anthony's Take 5/9/05 Hello crew - thanks for all you do. <It's a labor of love, my friend. Thank you :)> I have a 125 gal saltwater FOWLR in the beginning stages of starting reef. I have a coral Beauty Angel, a mated pair of Yellow Stripe Maroon Clowns, a Sea Hare, a few Reef safe Stars, cleaning crew of various hermits crabs and snails, and my Blue Hippo. The tank has been up and cycled for a little over 3 months. I bought my Hippo about a week and a half ago. She immediately started hanging out with the clowns (and I thought it was just in the movies. <And not to be a buzz kill here... but I see/realize that you added these fishes without quarantine. You have my sad and solemn promise that you will kill fishes if you do not learn this lesson: to use a quarantine tank for all things wet that will go into t he display to prevent parasites, predators or disease from contaminating the system. PLEASE take this to heart my friend. Do you recall the scene in Nemo where he enters the tank and everyone asks where he's from... when he says "the ocean", they freak out because he had not been cleaned/quarantined? Its a really big deal. Do read out archives and FAQs on the subject please.> She swims with them eats and sleeps with them. I think she even tries to help them with their Sebae Anemone. All was going well until this morning. I seen her left eye is all clouded over, it does not seem to be protruding though. I changed about 10% water yesterday and I use a RO/DI unit. I checked later in the day yesterday and all levels were good. <Singular eye clouding my be physical trauma and not an infection necessarily. Yet still watch for this being a bacterial infection> Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 (can not seem to get it lower if there is a trick I'm open to suggestions) <Do look into archives again... ( or my Book of Coral Propagation) for inline bucket DSB denitrifying filters. Very cheap and effective.> PH 8.2 Phosphates were maybe .25 it was not quite the color of 0 but no where close to the next color up. Calcium 450. Temp 79. When I seen the eye I checked again this morning and all was the same but PH maybe 8.0 due to the time of day. All the fish including the Hippo are acting normal, well the same as they have been. The Hippo seems unaffected for the most pat and is eating and swimming fine. Still helping the clowns keep house. She does seem to have some affect on her vision. I have not seen anything in FAQ that really sounds like this. I don't want her to get more stressed because of her eye. I was thinking of freshwater dip (for how long though?) <It's not indicated here... the eye clouding cannot be a parasite... if anything. you may need antibiotics and an isolation tank (10 gall with sponge filter) to treat the fish in)> Is this a type of disease and what can I do to help cure it? Could it be that the Anemone stung her while she was cleaning house for the clowns? <It's not likely) I am very concerned and do not want to lose her. Thanks again for all you do for all of us out here. PS. Do you think that 1 or 2 more hippo's her size to school with would keep her away from the Anemone and out of danger? <Look at the adult size of a single hepatus tang at fishbase.org... and you will see that this tank arguably cannot house a single blue hippo tang at adulthood... more than one in this tank would be irresponsible IMO> Or would the fight instead of school? <It's tough to say. But a moot point regardless considering these fishes' adult size. Best of luck! Anthony> 

Re: white film in hippo eye Anthony, Thanks for the timely response. <Always welcome my friend :)> I am going to dive into theses articles immediately. My sister and her husband came to visit about a couple months ago and caught the fever for fish when they seen my dual 125's set up. One of which is the one now converted to saltwater. I am pleased to say I have kept them from making the numerous mistakes I have made through bad advice, trial and error. <Fantastic to hear! It is the very thing we hope to do here with archived content and answered queries.> As far as internet mumbo-jumbo my theory is read many points of view and the couple things that they actually agree on I accept as truth or fact and the rest I view only as opinion. I agree with you also on my choice of words, assume is better stated as perception since we can only go on what we take from the incoming questions. Again that's my bad habit of knowing just enough to be dangerous. (I often use the joke from the commercial... no I'm not an aquarist but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.) <Heehee... understood. It reminds me of one of my fave Fennerism's Paraphrased here: "[Most people know what they know... but some folks don't know, what they don't know."]> I am very conscientious and determined to succeed at this. As when I was new to freshwater and aquariums in general, I realize patience is the key and yes it will get easier with time and experience. (just tiring not to go in debt while learning as saltwater is much more costly money wise then freshwater in my experience) <its all very good to hear/wise, my friend. And if I could get just one piece of advice to stick with every fellow aquarist I/we chat with... it would be the critical need to strictly use a quarantine tank. All things wet (plants, algae, snails, fishes, corals, live rock... everything wet!) must go through QT for 4-8 weeks (4 weeks of pest, predator or disease free symptoms, actually). If you obey this lesson, you will enjoy your hobby so much more through the years, and more importantly... save organisms lives in the process. Anthony>  

Please tell me how to save my Dory. Another fish poisoned by Mela (not) Fix Hi, I've had my blue tang "dory" for about 5 months now, probably 2 months ago she developed a scab like disease on her back side, close to her tail. After a while the scab healed leaving the fish with a hole close to its tail, the hole has been there for a couple of months now, and the fish has been perfectly fine. I assumed it just took a long time for it to heal, and that eventually the hole would close.  I asked Big Al's Aquarium if there was anything I could do to aid in the healing process, they suggested MelaFix. I started using it yesterday, and today I noticed my blue tang was extremely sick. She was stuck to the filter vent, I turned off the filter and she swam away from it, but then fell on its side and could not move from there.  I also noticed she was off-coloured (pale with spots of white) and appeared near death. I removed her from my tank and placed her in a separate tank all on her own (with only a filter/heater/a couple of live rocks/and some purple seaweed in case she gets hungry).  I tested the water and it seems perfectly fine. Could you suggest something, maybe as to why my fish is sick? Do you think she is reacting to the MelaFix? Is there something I can add to her tank to make her better? Thanks <Hello, it sounds like your tang is in the late stages of a secondary infection. If the tang is not eating, I don't think that there will be much for you to do. It is very difficult to treat for a secondary infection (fin rot) and treat for parasites (ich/white spots). I think that it is a coincidence that the addition of MelaFix and your fish's health coincide. You are taking the proper precautions now that you put your tang in a quarantine tank. Offer the fish some live food and try treating with a mild dose of copper. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Hi, We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich.   Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide:-) Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that PH is the same as saltwater <I'd just use this second step to add the buffer - the directions on the container are too general. Just add and test, add and test.> - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes <If you can push this to five minutes, that would be excellent.> - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? <Nah... just move to a quarantine tank. Don't treat with anything unless the problems persist.> Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? <If the problem reoccurs, I wouldn't dip the fish any more than once every other day, and then also think about some form of treatment in the quarantine.> History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience.  Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight).  Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions!  Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! <Cheers, J -- >

Tang Trouble? Hi, <Hey!  Scott F. here with you tonight.> I have a Blue Regal Tang. This fish has been extremely active ever since I have had it. Three days ago it started hiding and won't eat. It hides well and it is difficult to see it much.  However, what I can see is it shaking a lot and it looks like there is something wrong with its skin around the face and eyes area as well as starting down the side. The spots that look damaged are changing colors almost a reddish or brownish color from what I can see. Also the top fin looks like it could have some damage. <Hmm... could be some kind of parasitic disease...Maybe Amyloodinium, which shows some of those symptoms, particularly skin damage, lack of appetite and sluggishness> One day it was very active and like overnight this problem just appeared with no warning. I talked to a local fish store and they suggested ich but it seems to be more than  that. <Yep- sounds like more...> Also this fish is in a 90 gallon reef aquarium so I got something to help  ich that is reef safe per there advise, but it does not seem to be working and  frankly I don't know what is wrong with the fish. What do you think? Thanks in advance for any help. Mike <Well, Mike- I think we both will agree that "reef safe" medications are really not, and that there are more effective methods to treat parasitic diseases. If this is indeed Amyloodinium, a more aggressive medical approach (catching the affected fish and treating it in a separate aquarium) using a proven medication, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based preparations. Some tangs do not handle copper exposure well, so you may want to utilize a formalin-based medication if this turns out to be parasitic. Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter concerning dosages and duration. If you act quickly and decisively, you can beat this illness. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Tangling With A Tang! Hello, quick question for you. <Sure! Scott F. here> I have a Pacific Blue Tang who is (thankfully) starting to recover from a semi-severe case of HLLE...He has been scratching A LOT lately and I'm wondering if that is a symptom of recovering from HLLE or if it is more likely that he has a parasite. None of my other fish are scratching at all (that I have seen), which is why I suspect that it is not parasites. What do you think? <Well, it's hard to be sure without a picture. As you may well know, these fishes have a well-earned reputation as "Ich magnets", so they may contract this disease regardless of the condition of the other fishes...If you think that the fish is suffering from ich, it may be time to remove him for observation and/or treatment, if it becomes necessary. read up on parasitic diseases on the WWM site to confirm if this is, indeed, what you are dealing with here.> Also, just for those who may be curious I was able to successfully help him start recovering from HLLE with high quality pellets (actually that is the clown's food, which the tang steals), Nori soaked in Selcon and, dried purple Nori... I alternate the type of Nori I give him so there is some variety. <All good foods. For our other readers, I want to point out that these tangs are largely planktivorous, and vegetable matter, although highly important, may be secondary in importance to good meaty stuff. Try some frozen Mysis, or even some Cyclop-Eeze, which are excellent "planktonic-type" foods. That being said, fresh macroalgae are eagerly accepted, too. Try some fresh Gracilaria, which is my #1 food choice for herbivorous tangs. You can get starter cultures from my favorite e-tailer, Indo-Pacific Sea Farms, or the other wonderful source, Inland Aquatics. This stuff is amazing!> I didn't use the mysterious tank grounding technique or add any iodine or anything. Just good old fashioned nutrition. :) <I agree with you wholeheartedly. You did a great job! Great water quality and excellent food will often do the trick without anything else too exotic!> Thanks! Steve <My pleasure, Steve! Regards, Scott F>

Tang In Trouble? Hi, <HI there! Scott F. here today!> I have a hippo/regal tang.  It had ick about a week ago and I put him in a hospital tank.  I treated him with quick cure for the recommended five days and he seemed fine, however  after four days in tank he started to develop white patches in his belly and sides. I had a difficult time maintaining good water parameters in hospital tank, so I released him back into main tank, hoping that this condition was caused by poor water quality. <A calculated risk, but not worth taking again, IMO> He has been back in the main tank for a couple of days and he's eating and swimming normally but white patches are still present on his skin.  What is this? What can I do?  My daughter and I are very distressed, he is her baby. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  And any tips on keeping him healthy would also be helpful. Thank you very much> <Hard to say exactly what this could be. It might be a secondary infection of some sort, or it could be a condition brought on by the medication. I suppose the best course of action at this point might be to continue observation of the fish, rather than to subject the fish to another round of medication (especially if you're not 100% certain what it is you're treating!). Do consult the disease FAQs on the WWM site to see if anything that you see there is similar to what this tang has. If the symptoms worsen, or if the fish appears to be in distress, take appropriate action immediately. Otherwise, continue to maintain excellent water conditions, and these symptoms might just clear up on their own. Hang in there. Regards, Scott F>

The Hippo Is A Sick-O! I recently bought a med hippo tang (yesterday). The LFS I bought him from QTs their fish for 7-14 days. Today he is rubbing against the rocks and has small white spots. <Uh-Oh...could be ich- or worse. You need to take immediate action... By the way, unless the LFS quarantines the fishes in tanks that have no connection to a central filtration system, does not add any new fishes into the tank after the quarantine period has started, and completely breaks down the tanks after each use, then I would not consider the fish "quarantined". The quarantine process is very simple, but requires perseverance in order to be successful. And, the quarantine period should last a minimum of 3 weeks- ideally, a month. This gives sufficient time to assure that, if diseases arise, you can catch them before they are introduced into the display> The other fish in the tank have been fed garlic soaked food once a day for the last 2 weeks. They include 2 Perc clowns 2 yellowtails damsels a yellow tang a royal Gramma a yellow goby 125 gal tank, with 75lbs live rock. Should I try to beat this with the garlic soaked food and seaweed or should I net him and put him in qt for a week or 2 with meds? <Garlic may have some value as a preventative, but the jury is still out as to its effectiveness as a "cure". I'd rely on more traditional treatment regimes.> If so what do you suggest? <Well, my recommended course of action doesn't endear me to every hobbyist- but here it is: I'd remove ALL of the fishes from the display tank, even the ones that are not showing symptoms. If an infected fish has been placed in the display, there is a good possibility that the parasites that cause ich are in the tank now, and that the other fishes have been exposed to it. I'd treat the fish that are showing signs of the illness with a commercial copper sulphate remedy (follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and test for copper concentration). Meanwhile, the display tank should run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. In the absence of potential hosts, the parasite population will "crash", and their numbers will be dramatically reduced to a level that otherwise healthy fishes should withstand. This is a very conservative course of action, it's not fun- but it really works. Believe me, it's absolutely awful to watch one fish after another contract this disease, especially after you think that you've licked it...Hope this helps! Scott F>

Tangling With Quarantine Hello; <Hi there! Scott F. here today> Just wondering what your take is on quarantining  hippo tangs. I want to buy one and plan on quarantining it for a couple of weeks. A friend of mine read here that you people don't believe in quarantining this particular fish and I would like to know the reasons for that. Want to make the right decision.              Thank you. Craig <Well, Craig- I'd have to disagree with whoever suggested that you should not quarantine this fish. The Hippo Tang is notorious as an "ich magnet", and tends to be particularly prone to acquiring this disease. It is for that very reason that it should be quarantined. I suppose the school of thought which suggests not quarantining this, and other species of tangs assumes that they are more stressed out by the quarantine process. Again- I tend to disagree. It seems to me that a fish which is easily stressed should be a prime candidate for quarantine. I would not, however, use medications, such as copper, with this or any fish, unless the appearance of disease dictates. Tangs have digestive bacteria that can be easily damaged by prolonged exposure to copper. In the end, though- quarantine all new fishes a minimum of three weeks. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

This Hippo Is A Sicko...(Treating a Sick Hippo Tang) Thank you for the info...much appreciated...."freshwater" dip instructions very clear...thank you...I unfortunately have more questions regarding this...I was able to find a Methylene blue 5% solution...the only directions on the package say to add one drop per gallon of water...is this for a QT tank or a dip? I don't know how much of this stuff to add to dip and how much water do I want for the dip --- 1 gal , 2 gal? <I use a decidedly "low tech" approach...I use a 3- 5 gallon bucket, and add enough Methylene blue to color the water a deep, royal blue color...simple as that. Methylene blue is gentle to pretty much every fish that you'd commonly encounter in the hobby, so it's pretty hard to mess this up, IMO!> I understand that the time in dip will depend on condition of fish...I have never dipped a fish before...Just want to do it right the first time so now life lost...after dip I plan to QT for four weeks per your instruction and let display go fallow. <Yep- let the main system run fallow for a month. As far as the dip duration, I'd shoot for at least 3 to 5 minutes (preferably 5 minutes) > Can I leave the invertebrates (snails, crabs, orange Linckia, coral banded shrimp, feather duster, etc.) in display while fish are out...Will it still go fallow? <Yep- this is fine...The inverts are not thought to be hosts for the parasitic illnesses that we're talking about> Also do I keep specific gravity and temp normal in the display throughout this process? <I would, personally. In fact, if you are keeping the inverts in the main tank, then you really cannot mess with the specific gravity. Some people like the lower specific gravity approach in a fallow tank...I have not done this myself, and have been very successful with the fallow route...your call here> Do I do water changes, and how frequent during this "fallowing" period? <Follow your regular maintenance schedule, which I hope includes at least weekly, if not more frequent, water changes> In the QT tank , during the copper treatments for velvet, should I include fish that show no symptoms in order to let main go fallow...I have a royal Gramma that looks fine and eats great...and a clown goby that has had a couple of white circles on him off and on for a couple days...Is this velvet too? <Hard to say- but better safe than sorry. I would include the fishes that are showing no signs of infection, as they have been exposed. If you have an extra tank, and are leery about copper sulphate, you can put the "not-yet-showing-symptoms" fishes in there, without copper.> Spots don't look grainy or salt like , it looks soft and "velvety"( excuse the term) which makes me think it is ...the Hippo is more covered not circles...and is still not eating...I have continued offering algae sheets, Tetra Marine Color flakes, and brine shrimp,  I have only seen him eat a few flakes one time since we've had him(2-25)  any suggestions on what else I could offer, especially while in QT <Hippos are more "planktivorous" than most other tang species, so I'd try frozen Mysis shrimp. And I'd enrich all foods at this point with a nutritional supplement, such as Selcon> Should I get a vitamin supplement of some sort ? any recommendations? <Yep! You hit it on the head...I'd use Vita Chem, and administer it directly into the water in the hospital tank. This way, the fish can absorb or drink the preparation...Important for fishes that are fighting an illness> I live in Illinois and the local stores are terrible about information and not to mention product availability...so it might take a couple days for me to order something... <Well, give the LFS a try first, but if you can't locate the products you need, then definitely mail order...Getting the copper sulphate is more important than the vitamin preparations at this point...You should be able to find a product like Copper Safe or Cupramine locally>    Thank you for all your help , I really appreciate it...In the mean time I'll continue to re-read the info on WWM and await your response...Thank You again...J. Smith <You're quite welcome! Just hang in there, take decisive action, and the fishes should recover nicely! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
This Hippo Is A Sicko (Pt. 2)
Thank you thank you  thank you....you cleared up so many of my questions! <Really glad to hear that!> I picked up CopperSafe today and I am in the process of setting up the dip.  I couldn't find a copper test at my LFS....will be ordering one online tonight...will probably hold off on adding copper till tomorrow so I can be sure of testing it (it will take 2 days to get kit). <Very wise! Always test concentration of copper> I will definitely do freshwater dip and get them into QT right away ...I am also scheduled for water change today...Thank you again for sharing your knowledge with me It is very much appreciated....I feel much better after your reply...good day, J. Smith <Always happy to help! You're gonna do fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Black Spots On A Blue Tang? Hi all, <Scott F. with you today!> For the past month or so my Blue Regal has gone through a major sickness.  At first it looked like ich, but after it cleared up in quarantine, he had white bumps along his body. Since then, he and the other tankmates traveled to Las Vegas from Illinois and all were doing great in their new environment.  The Blue Tang even cleared up and got his color back.  Now, his bumps have returned and there are mostly black spots throughout his body, but still having the protrusions. <Certainly sounds parasitic in nature, to me. Hard to say, without a picture- but it sure sounds that way!> I've begun freshwater dips, but I don't know what he has and how to continue treating it.  He continues to eat normally (vitamin C enriched algae, flakes soaked in garlic, etc) and is not changing behavior (not rubbing against rocks or hiding).  What can you suggest? Chris Karl <Well, Chris- the fact that he's eating is a very good sign. I like the idea of freshwater dips; I hope that they will work better down the line for you. Perhaps you could increase the duration of the dips to more than 5 minutes...I'm a bit leery to recommend an aggressive treatment, like copper, unless we can ascertain exactly what this is we are dealing with. Another thought- you could try one of the medicated foods that are available from a number of manufacturers. Assuming we are dealing with a parasitic affliction, I'd get one that is anti-parasitic (duh). Since the fish is feeding well, medicated food may be helpful. Do peruse the disease FAQs on the WWM site to try to get a positive ID on what you're dealing with...Good luck with your efforts! See ya soon! Scott F>

Dip for Tang (7-26-03) How long of a preventative dip should I give a Paracanthurus? Also, should I put anything into the dip? <I would do 8-10 minutes.  Just make sure the PH and temp are good. Cody>

A Disagreement of Opinions Among Crewmembers Re: QT? >I just read in your hippo tang FAQs where it says not quarantining and placing new specimens in the main tank after a few bath was preferable. >>(Groan)  This woman STRONGLY disagrees. >I find that surprising since I have read on the site that "everything wet" should be quarantined before entering the tank. >>Let me just say that the majority of us are in total agreement of this policy, though we might disagree about sufficient q/t time (I'm a strong advocate of a 30 day minimum). >I have a relatively new blue tang addition to my 90 gal which I didn't qt and he has had mild ich since a week after arriving. >>Uh oh. >It wasn't the advice of WWM that precluded me not QTing,. It was the fact the damsels in the tank for 2 mo.s previous never showed signs of any problems.  Joe Culler >>I will strongly suggest you look for the writings of Terry Bartelme on ich and its lifecycle, how and why it may rear its ugly head. You will also find in his writings and here what to do now that you have an infestation in your display.  Marina

- Recuperating Hippo Tang - Howdy Crew - Hope this finds you well! <It does, thanks for asking.> About 7 weeks ago I very emotionally purchased a very ill and mistreated hippo tang.  The store gave him to me for almost nothing and I have slowly nursed him back to health. <Have attempted this type of rescue myself - honorable when it goes well, depressing when it doesn't.> He was severely emaciated, had a nice run of head and lateral line erosion, small case of ich and scales that appeared to be rotting away.  On the upside he was eating well and fairly active. After almost two months of great water quality, one run of Nitrofurazone a few formalin baths and a run of Metronidazole he has made drastic improvement. <Excellent - glad to hear this.> He has regained color and plumped up quite nicely.  He is in a 35g hospital and is almost 6" long. It is time to get him to his new home (sadly not mine) but I have just one last concern.  If you look at the photo you will see his face is a mess.  That is the worst area he has left.  There is no infection still (to my knowledge)  yet the scales are not showing any regrowth or repair.  I am wondering if this an issue of time or if it may never happen. <A little of both, methinks.> Could he be permanently scarred? <Is a possibility.> Is their something I can do to help this along? <Just time.> Can you see or think of anything else I should be concerned with before moving him? <A good home.> As always, a big Thank You!
<Cheers, J -- >
- Refugee Regal Tangs - About three years ago I bought three Regal Tangs from the LFS that looked terrible. Someone had given them to the pet shop because they were unable to care for them. The pet shop had them in a QT and they were on sale for two bucks each because they were really bad shape. Well to make a long story short, they lived. Their behavior is normal, they eat well and everything seems fine except that they still look terrible. They look like they went through world war three. <No kidding.> Enclosed is a picture of one of them. <Yeah... not a pretty sight.> Their tail fins are so damaged you can see their flesh. They also have  what I think is HLLE. I have tried various diets, flake, brine shrimp, Spirulina, Romaine lettuce. <Only one thing on that list really sounds suitable to me... and beyond that you've said little about the system these fish live in. Could be a factor of crowding and diet. I would consider a constant rotation of live rock, with some rock in a separate tank being prepared for use in the tank, and then swapped for the rock in the tank when the algae has taken hold on the stored rock. That and the occasional Mysis shrimp along with a heavy dose of vitamins. Also real seaweeds, like Nori for sushi also soaked in vitamins should work. Brine shrimp have little to no nutritional value, same with many flake foods, and lettuce is a poor food for tangs... they may eat all of the above but it's less than optimal. > Water parameters are very good. I just can't seem to get the fish to heal and have been trying for three years! I have never given them a fresh water treatment, do you think I should? <No... don't think parasites are an issue here, and that's really what freshwater dips are best for.> Attached is a picture of one of them. Cheers
Mike F
<Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine of yellow-tail blue tang I have read your articles about the blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), and see that you recommend not quarantining this fish and introducing it directly to the tank. I'm wondering if you can comment a little more on this...?  <Will try... Most Paracanthurus are relatively "clean" on arrival (especially from some locales... like New Caledonia...) and if you had, say, a thousand random specimens/trials, you would find (as I have) that the vast majority of them (and their tank-mates) are better off with this practice (pH adjusted freshwater dipping and placement in the main/display system versus quarantine, particularly exposure to copper, other metal salts).> I currently have a 55 gallon fish-only tank with a single tank-raised Percula clownfish. There are no parasites in the tank, and I would like to keep it that way ;].  <I understand> Doesn't placing the tang directly into the tank (after a bath/dip) still pose a (significant?) risk of introducing parasites into the tank which may then infect other fish? Thanks - Keith <Not in my opinion... but would still avail myself of biological cleaners... perhaps a Lysmata Shrimp or other (see the newly spiffed up files on these on the www.WetWebMedia.com site for pix, more on choices) or a Gobiosoma goby... Other Surgeonfishes are much more prone to cause troubles of the sort you're trying to avoid... they're surveyed on the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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