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

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, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see
Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: The Genus Paracanthurus,

Related FAQs: Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 1Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 2, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 3, Pacific YTB Disease 4, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 4, YTBT Health 5, YTBT Health 6, PYTB Tang IDPYTB Tang Behavior, PYTB Tang Compatibility, PYTB Tang Selection, PYTB Tang Systems, PYTB Tang Feeding, PYTB Tang Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,



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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Blue tang illness     12/9/17
Hello Bob and crew !
It has been a long time since my last contact.
Lately I lost view of my blue tang and today I saw him in a bad condition.
<Eeyikes Thanasis! This poor fish is about eaten away... HLLE is the general term...>
He has lost his blue color and he looks seek. He has not eaten for two weeks at least. I took a photo of him and I am sending it to you in case you can advise me what is wrong and if I can help him.
Best regards from Greece, Thanasis
<Perhaps vitamin, appetite stimulant added to the water directly, favorite foods soaked in it. Please read here:
and the linked files above, and:
And write me/us back with your further observations. Bob Fenner>

Paracanthurus eye issue 11/9/12
Hey Bob.... You know, while I was emailing you I discovered that my hippo tang has two clear/white outlines around his eyeballs.  Almost like his eyes are being pushed out slightly and there is skin or something coming out.  What could be the cause of this?
<Likely some aspect/imbalance in water quality more than anything... perhaps biologically mediated... When, where in doubt, change some water out...>
 Besides Epsom salt is there anything else I can do?
<See WWM re eye issues of marine fishes. B>
Thanks again

blue tang... no searching, rdg. 1/4/12
As you see from the attachment I have a blue tang who its not doing so well.
<Mmm, yes... usually water quality and/or nutritional issue/s are at cause here>
The tank is over a year old so this is not a new tank. There are 2 clown fish in there with her and they have no visible problem.
<A good clue... able to rule out much in the way of possible environmental causes>

They all seem to get along. She started her fin decay a few months ago and I took a water sample to the local aquarium store and they tested it. They said it looked like my tank was cycling but other than that everything was fine.
<Toxic/debilitating while cycling>

If everything is ok in there and she is the only one with the problem then I feel it is probably not my tank. But I do not know that as I am fairly new to all of this. She eats fine (on most days) and comes out to play and check things out. Can you please help. Thanks!
<Umm, yeah. Please learn to use the search tool and indices on WWM. Read here:
and the linked files above else-wise. Bob Fenner>

Sick Hippo tang 11/04/10
Hi WWM Crew,
<Hi Kate>
I recently found your website and thought you might be able to help/advise me on my current situation.
I bought a 2.5" Hippo tang about 8 months ago and put it in my 29 gallon tank
<? This fish cannot live here>

with an 8 year old Clown fish (I stupidly did not quarantine-rookie mistake but neither fish had any ill effects from it thankfully. I bought a small quarantine tank after that). 5 months ago, I bought a 130 gallon fish tank and let it cycle 2 months sans fish.
I have 150 pounds of live sand and about 30 pounds of live rock in it. I have a SeaClone Protein Skimmer 150, a Fluval 304, a Rena Filstar XP4, and a heater.
<Mmm, would look to swapping the canisters out, and just utilizing live rock for filtration here>
I change 25-30% of the water every 3 weeks.
<Good regimen>
I bought a Yellow Tang shortly after setting up the 130 gal tank and put it in a separate, smaller 10 gallon quarantine tank. After the 2 months of cycling, I introduced the Yellow Tang to the main tank first (he was getting stressed from being cramped) and he has done marvelously since.
<I would have placed the Paracanthurus first here, the Zebrasoma last>
Next to be introduced was the Clown fish about 6 weeks later, again with no problems. 2 weeks ago, I introduced the Hippo tang to the main tank.
<Should have been the first fish, or perhaps second after the clown>
She hid for about a week before coming out (she was stressed and she and the Yellow Tang did not get along initially)
but seemed fine after that until 2 days ago. She had what looked to me like classic Ich, little white bumps on her skin, maybe 12-15 of them. I immediately removed her to quarantine (44 gallon Rubbermaid container) and started treatment with Kordon Rid-Ich (Malachite green chloride salt and 11.5% formalin).
<This action was pointless I'm afraid Kate. Even if you manage to rid the Paracanthurus in QT of the parasites, you are only re-introducing it to an infested system that has an incumbent Zebrasoma with it's territory marked. Your problems will repeat themselves, I would have either left this to see if a balance could be struck with these parasites, or removed all of the fish for treatment w/ a fallow period.>
Yesterday, her white spots looked like they had flattened out so I thought the parasites had dropped off of her and continued treatment, but today she looks like a different fish entirely! Her eyes are slightly cloudy, she has what looks like a white film on her sides (the white spots are completely gone), is lethargic, breathing heavily despite extra aeration and splitting her time gasping at the top or laying on the bottom. I'm sure by the time you respond to this she'll probably have already died. It breaks my heart. She's my favorite fish by far.
<'¦ small qt tank therefore poor water quality, chemicals present, stress'¦ death of fishes>
I don't understand how she went from fine with a few spots to near death in so short a time.
<You introduced her to an infested system with an incumbent Tang>
Do you think having her by herself is making her worse?
She seemed to get drastically worse after putting her in quarantine and treating her for Ich... Should I continue treatment, change treatment (if she's still alive)? I'm not sure what this could be. I'm also concerned for the other 2 fish in the main tank. Neither are showing any signs of disease yet. I don't know where I went wrong and how she got whatever she has. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
<Would place the fish back to display system, in the sump if possible, away from the others to recover while you ponder your next move>
I attached a picture of the Hippo Tang in a clear plastic container so you could see her.
<Yes.. ragged fins like that are sure-fire indicators of poor water quality, poisoning, and the cloudy eyes'¦ this QT system & it's water is not suitable for this fish>

White patch on Blue Tang (Paracanthurus)    11/30/07 Hello WWM crew... I have a blue hippo tang with white patches all over it's body (I have included pics). <I see these> This has happened on two occasions. The fist time, it wasn't that bad, and In asking advice from aquariacentral.com.. they suggested that the cause was the tang not getting enough green's in it's diet. <Mmm, maybe... not the greens per se though> I then fed it greens, and it went away within a few days. Now, just a few weeks later, it has happened again, except this time it is a lot worse. I again went to AquariaCentral and they suggested that it is stress (caused by possibly the damsel). <Possibly a component as well> I have a very tame damsel, and it never bothers the tang, however occasionally I will see the tang chase it around, however it has always done that. (5 month old tank) Here is the thread on AquariaCentral regarding my problem: http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131877 Tank Specs: 55 Gallon, <This species, Paracanthurus, needs more room than this...> 1 Blue Damsel, 1 Blue Hippo Tang, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby, 1 Hi-fin Goby, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 2 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, 3 Sexy Anemone Shrimp, 1 Sand Sifting Sea Star, 1 Serpent Sea Star, 1 Brittle Sea Star, <What species? If Ophiarachna in particular, this animal could be over-stressing the Paracanthurus by night> various crabs/snails for a clean up crew Water parameters are all fine (0 Ammonia/0 Nitrite/ 15-20 Nitrate). <This is borderline... too high... another source of stress... the real "cause" here> Do you believe that it is stress that is causing the tang to produce these white patches? <Yes> Currently the patches are starting to fade, however I wish to try to prevent this problem from happening again... Thank You! -Jessica <This is a "good" email in that you've provided most all the useful, pertinent info... A few "things" would help here... A larger system, the addition of a living sump (refugium), the culture of macroalgae there and its feeding to the tang, perhaps the addition of "mud"... This is a HUGE amount of material to introduce to you... not knowing what you already are aware of. Please take the time to peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Jotting down notes, more specific questions re these aspects of set-up, filtration. Oh and the survey piece on this species: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Blue tang in danger!! Inappropriate home 6/6/07 Hi there, <Hello> Here is my setup (or what I know of it... I bought it used for 200$ from a guy on the net who said he did not have time to care for it anymore). 33Gal tank one Fluval 303 and two power head in there is three large live rock two clownfish 1 cleaner shrimp (used to be two but lost one in a day of big heat before the A/C was installed) about 4-5 turbo snail and more I don't know about yet ! Yesterday I decided to do a little tweezers treatment on my live rocks as there where many Fireworms and I saw them eat away at a snail who is now dead of course! <Mostly likely dead or dying already, and they were just cleaning up.> I also carried out a cleaning of the live sand and replaced about 40% of the water (maybe too much here !) <I would limit it to 25% unless there is a real emergency.> This morning I noticed that my blue tang was staying at the bottom and breathe very rapidly he refuses to eat I am afraid I might lose it ! <This tank is way to small for a blue tang, they need a tank at least 100G larger than what you have.> Water parameters are (ammonia 0 to 0.1 hard to read !! NO2 is 0 and no3 is about 50 ! salinity is 1.0235 Used to range in the 1.024 to 1.025 when I first got it (that might also be it the reason right ?) <Not likely, not enough of a change.> There does not seem to be any spots other than the HLLE that it came with which is very minimal and concentrated in the eye area (not in the yes but in front) I don't really know what to look for I think I might have an Aiptasia outbreak but they are very little about 1-2 mm diameter and 5-7 mm long and there are two large ones about 1cm wide to 2-3cm long buried in the live sand. <Not the source of your problem here.> I will include pictures of the Aiptasia and other life forms found for referral. Please help my tang !!! It does not want to die ! Thanks ! <Not much to go on here. First guess would be that there was a fall in water quality, either an ammonia spike, or too drastic of a change in temp, pH, or other parameter when you conducted the water change. Could also be the first signs of ich or other parasite, they attack the gills first. Either way the long term survival of this fish is doubtful in such a small tank honestly. Also please spell and grammar check your mails before sending them, correcting them before posting takes away time we could be using to answer questions.> <Chris>

Blue tang disease, infection?   5/2/07 I read through your site often and refer people here all the time.  I own a fish store and have occasionally come across this same situation.  Mostly only occurs with Blue Tangs.  When I received this fish she was fine and beautiful.  I performed my normal acclimation procedure for all of my new fish. <Does this/it entail a dip/bath? What chemicals do you use if so? Is it pH adjusted?> I have had this blue tang for over a week now, she eats, and is fat and healthy, when I came into my store yesterday she had swelling on top of her head, as if she had un into something and injured herself (which is common for them to get spooked from customers etc), <Yes> in this situation I observe and do my best to keep them eating and calm, <Best to place such fishes in "high" up and away tanks...> today when I came into the store the top of her head is rotting away.  My system holds approximately 600 gallons, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0.  This system always contains copper. <Mmm... not uncommon, but not recommended>   and specific gravity is at 1.019. <And... I'd keep this a few thousandths higher...> All other fish in same system are fine, including other blue tangs, which have been in system for over a month.  In the tank with this blue tang is (Vlamingi tang, Leopard Blenny, Klein's butterfly, Foxface Lo, Longnosed hawk).  I have included some pictures in hopes you can help me to identify what this could be, I love all of my fish and only want to help them the best I can. Thank you so much Wendy <Very nice specimens... judging from the very yellow underside... from New Caledonia or thereabouts... Likely the damage initiated in capture, holding, shipping... but the copper exposure and unnaturally too-low spg is not helping... If this fish were mine, I would remote it to your invertebrate system (in a good sized/volume tank) as you likely do with your seahorses, Pipefishes, clowns... Sans the copper and with NSW spg of course there. Further... if I might influence you, I encourage you to revise your receiving protocol and do away with constant copper use. The rationale, instructions for these is posted... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Hippo tang in need of immediate help - possibly ringworm? Hyposalinity... 3/5/07 Dear Bob, <Ryan> I searched high and low on your website for an answer to this question but I could not find one. I was hoping you could shed some light on the issue and put me out of my ignorance. This hippo tang has rings all over its body. <I see this> I have enclosed some pictures for you to see. Currently, the fish is in hyposalinity to get rid of ich. The specific gravity is at 1.008, <This is a/the problem... Paracanthurus don't do well in such low salt densities... See WWM re Crypt, Hyposalinity... this is simple stress marking> ammonia and nitrite are 0, nitrates are 10, temperature is 79, and the pH is 8.3. I have had people say that it was the beginning of head and lateral line erosion, gas bubble disease, or maybe, side effects of hyposalinity. <Bingo> I performed hyposalinity on two times in the past in a quarantine tank and have never seen this happen to a fish. Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated. Ryan Smith

Blue tang sick......please help   2/9/06 I purchased a blue tang from a very large and reputable  LFS about 2 weeks ago and since I bought him he just keeps getting worse! In my  almost 2 month old 150 gallon tank I have     *   Yellow moray ( 3  feet)     *   Zebra eel ( 4  feet)     *   Miniatus Grouper ( 5  inches)     *   Marine Betta ( 5  inches)     *   Maroon clown (3 inches)        *   Large bubble tip  anemone     *   Naso tang ( 6  inches)     *   Yellow tang ( 3  inches)     *   Blue hippo tang ( 5 inches. very  sick!)     *   15 large soft  corals I have VHOs with more than enough lighting (just below  requirement for frags) and 160 pounds of live rock. All my parameters are in  check although just yesterday I did get a nitrate spike (in safe levels however) <Numbers please>   but everything is fine now¦ anyway on to the sad part. For about 2 days he swam  around (the hippo) and shook while swimming occasionally swimming on his side  although he definitely did not do this in the LFS! Anyway after that he hid in  the rocks and pretty much stayed there since now¦.. about 2 weeks (no eating,  swimming, hardly any activity whatsoever) he dame up today leaning on my snail  on the glass not moving and I caught him with my net <Must be sick!> and made a protective  plastic sanctuary at the top of my tank with a cut laundry basket with a little  home from shade from the light and etc. Now that I see him he has transformed  from the beautiful fish I bought, into a fish with faded blue spots and his  yellow tail looks like a beat up feather duster and is off white from the bright yellow it used to be. There is also a cluster of tiny red spots oh his tail   which I have no idea what it is. He looks awful please help me I have read over 200 inputs with no real definitive answer and am blue in the face with  no progress. It would be a shame if he didn't make  it Thanks so much   <Very likely this new fish is reacting to a chemical "soup" situation your other fishes have become classically "adapted" to... their combined wastes, the soft corals... If you want to save this fish it needs to be moved to other quarters pronto... The overstocked situation in your 150... I'd stick to what you have. Bob Fenner>

Nitrates and regal tang  12/17/05 Hey! <Hey, Hey>   Guys believe me I did a lot of reading before mailing you. <I believe you>I have a 140G tank and considering the decorative corals and sand and rocks it would come down to 120G of water. I checked my nitrates on my Tetra No3 and the color code matched between 50-100. 100 is the max reading on the rate card so that scared the sh*t out of me.  I had done a 10% water change on Sunday & checked No3 on Tuesday to get this reading. I had unfortunately not done a test before. My regal tang(2", 6 months old in my tank) all off a sudden started hiding and when on a hunger strike which made me do the test. I still wonder what's wrong with him as my other tank mates which include a fire clown, yellow tang, Purple Fridmani, Strawberry Goby, Blue devil; are doing very fine and are good at eating etc. My other water parameters are Ammonia 0, No2 0, pH 8.1 yes I am increasing it to 8.3 already. I have got the pH up from 7.8 to 8.1 in a span of 15days and will get it to 8.3 soon. I did another water change yesterday (around 15%) i.e. Thursday and still my No3 remains the same. <You need to control nutrients my friend.  Read here.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm> My filtration includes an EHEIM 2217, a UV after that and a Overhang Wet/Dry. The water flows from the 2217 to the UV and finally to the Wet/Dry and back in the tank. I changed my carbon Bag in the canister on Sunday itself. How do it get rid of the Nitrates? <Carbon should be replaced monthly.  Consider using a higher grade such as Chemi-Pure.  The filter floss needs to be changed on a weekly basis also.> Have the high nitrate levels caused the regal tang to go on a hunger strike? <Very possible as tangs do require pristine water quality and a high vitamin diet.> I haven't fed anyone for the last 48 hrs. Please help me out with the same. <Most fish will tolerate nitrate levels around 25ppm with no problems. At the level you are at would be questionable.  Keep in mind there is nothing you can buy and/or add to the tank that is going to make the nitrate go away overnight.  I'm also thinking a hang on wet dry isn't going to have the area you require for efficient biological filtration for a 140 gallon tank.  Do read the link and I'm sure you will see areas that you are failing in.  <You do not mention the use of a protein skimmer.  This alone helps immensely in controlling nutrients.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance <You're welcome>

Blue Tang looks powdery and nitrate levels Hi guys,  <Hello, Mike> I have a 75 gallon Sea Clear II system that has been up for almost one year. I am currently running two in tank circulating pumps (one in each corner) and have stocked the tank with approx. 70 lbs. Of live rock (it is hard to remember). Presently it is running as a FOWLR set up my current residents are a pacific yellow tang, mandarin goby, (3) fire gobies, orange spot goby, convict goby, black percula clown and my newest addition is a blue tang.  He seems to have adjusted to the tank well enough and he has been with me for about three weeks now but recently I have noticed that he is scratching himself frequently on a large shell and he appears to look kind of powdery on some angles. So my first question is from my humble description do you have any wisdom to bestow on me about my Blue Tang?  <Mike, part of your problem is that your tank is overstocked. You really don't have 75 gallons of water after you put in 70 lbs of live rock. Tangs are very prone to ich and the overcrowding isn't helping matters. Seven gallon weekly water changes are almost a must in keeping tangs healthy along with an algae rich diet. I would get an iodine supplement such as SeaChem's and dose weekly. It should help the fish out some. You also might want to try a garlic supplement added to the fish food. My answer to helping the tang out is that you would have to try and net the tang out and treat in a quarantine tank, or take your chances. In doing the later, you may lose all your fish.> My second question is do you have any advice on lowering my nitrate levels? I have never been able to get them below 45 ppm. I “blow” the LR approx. once a week and do a 10 gallon water change every two weeks. My protein skimmer in an HOB Red Sea Prizm (not the greatest I know). Two weeks ago I built a denitrator coil and installed it; also at the recommendation of a fellow enthusiast a replaced my bio balls with live rubble rock (seasoned for many years at the LFS). As of today my nitrate levels are down to approx. 35 ppm (still high I know) but this is lower than they have ever been. I would love to do some coral but my level most obviously be much much lower.  Can you help me with my misery?  <Mike, with the overstocking you have, you are importing more nutrients than the system can export. Find homes for two or three of your least favorites. I'm guessing the tangs are probably at least three inches long? My rule of thumb is one cubic inch of fish per five gallons. I'd start by doing the later and employ weekly 10% water changes. This is something I do on a regular basis, problems or not.  Add a couple units of ChemiPure to help get rid of some of the nutrients. This filtering media employs excellent scavenging resins and aids water quality both visually and chemically. When doing water changes, do use a vacuum type siphon to suck out detritus in the gravel. Blowing the live rock just puts the mess in another place. If you are using filter pads, change weekly. Hope this helps you out, Mike. James (Salty Dog)>   

Established Blue Hippo Tang Thanks Bob and everyone else for a great site- it has been invaluable.  I have a 50 Gallon well established saltwater aquarium.  I use a Penguin 170 Bio-Wheel filter and a SeaClone Protein skimmer both of which have worked great.  I try and do a water change weekly, I keep the specific gravity at 1.021-1.022, and I only use high quality filtered water that gets rid of most nitrites, nitrates and keeps the PH very stable.  I have a clown fish, a blue hippo tang and a diadem Dottyback.   They have been living in relative harmony for over a year.  The Blue Tang has amazingly never caught Ich but has been very sensitive to water/temperature/environmental changes. A few days ago we had a very warm day on the Jersey shore and I completely forgot to adjust the tank temperature.  I looked in horror at the tank when I realized it was over 90 degrees.  The blue hippo tang stopped eating and seemed to be lingering around the bottom sides of the tank, being swept along with the current from the protein skimmer.  I immediately did a water change and a slow decrease in temperature.  The color has remained good but it has started to fade, the face has gotten a little transparent but there is absolutely no sign of ich.   <Your system itself is very likely ich-free...> The blue hippo tang seems to be in distress as it is not swimming naturally and doesn't seem to be able to leave the sides of the tank due to weakness.  I'm worried and she doesn't seem to be eating much (marine vegetables, Mysis shrimp, high quality flake food).  I did a fresh water bath per your instructions and it didn't seem to help. This happened one other time with the tang, very similar behavior, I did a fresh water bath and the next day it was bouncing around the tank like nothing had happened to my relief and I was praising this website :-).  It has been 3+ days now and I don't like the looks of her.  Any help would be much appreciated.  Thanks again. <The fish is/was likely thermally stressed... should recover in a few weeks time. Bob Fenner> David

Hippo In Distress Hi, I have a Hippo Tang, Yellow Tang, Molly Miller Blenny and 2 Chromis.  I battled ich with the Hippo Tang for 6 months (only fish affected).  It finally seemed gone when I combined Seachem's Metronidazole in the food with Kick Ich.  Fish has been clear of ich for several weeks.  Medicine was removed with charcoal and water changes 6 weeks ago.   About 2 weeks ago, I noticed one Chromis appeared a little dark and kind of quivers in place most of the time (not too unusual for him - but a little more than usual).  A few days later, most of the Blue on my Hippo Tang had turned very dark (especially around the head).  I searched but could not find an illness that fit the description.  Neither fish is scratching against rocks and both are eating well.  I did some water changes.  Four days later, the Hippo's color seemed normal and the Chromis was no worse.  Then a few days later the Hippo darkened again - only to look normal after a few days.  Today, the Hippo is "blacker" than ever.  He looks like someone airbrushed his head and part of his body with black or very, very dark purple (most of it - other than the blue in the center of the black markings).  One of his eyes is also matte over this time (used to do that with ich - but has been clear for 6 weeks).  The Chromis still looks a little "dull" colored.  Do you think this could be black ich - or have any ideas?  Nothing has been added to the tank.  No other fish are affected. Thanks, Doug <<Dear Doug; Black ich is easily recognized, it looks like white ich, only black...in other words, small, irregularly placed spots on the body of the fish. Easily seen on most tangs. Freshwater dips will take care of it, or Cupramine in a hospital tank. However, I do not think this is your problem. It sounds stress related. You do not give any water parameters, so I will need you to email me back with the following info: You used Kick Ich, is this a reef tank? What does filtration consist of? What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels? Is the pH stable? Temp stable? Do you dose anything? ALK? CA? How often do you usually do water changes, and what size is this tank?? Do you see any aggression between the tangs? What do you feed them? Any other unusual behavior? Any signs of HITH? Please get back to me with this info. -Gwen>>
Hippo In Distress II
He was much better this morning - more like his old blue (a little darker around the head and above his fins).  Then this afternoon he started looking more and more black!  Maybe it is stress - but I can't figure out what is bothering him (other fish do not harass him). The only stressful thing I can think of has been a couple of quick power outages (several days ago - due to storms).  However, there is a grounding probe on the tank and his color has been going back and forth since then (without any more outages). The tank is a 120 gallon bow front (48 inches in back and 30" tall). We plan to move to a 72" tank soon - but he is only about 3" now (so I think he should have enough room). Filter - Ecosystem Caulerpa (with 10% water change per week) Water Parameters: Salinity 1.024 Nitrate - 10 (usually not detectible - I will do a 5 - 10 gallon water change tonight) Nitrite - 0 PH - 8.0 (runs a little low - I will be adding a little reef buffer to make up water) Temp 80 - 81 In case my test kits are off - would PH or any measure in particular possibly do this to a Hippo without affecting anything else (other fish, snails, shrimp, etc.)? Also, when we move up to a 72" tank we are probably going to get a wide, short tank (26" wide and 20" tall).  Will that 20" height be adequate for the Hippo and Yellow Tang? If we get him over this, I think we will move to the new tank very soon.  What type of quarantine do you recommend for the Hippo (between his ich and this we know we must run the new tank fallow for 6 weeks and will quarantine him separately, Should we treat him with very mild copper to make sure all ich is completely gone during part of the 6 weeks - he has had a spot or two since the kick ich/Metronidazole so I know he is not completely cured - but most days over the past six weeks he has been ich free). Thanks again from me and my "problem child," Doug <<Doug; Your pH does concern me. You would generally want to keep it anywhere from 8.2 to 8.6 (yes, some people do go this high) because it does fall at night, and if your pH is 8.0 during the day, it could fall as low as 7.6 at night...too low! This itself might be the sole stressor your tang. Thing is, your pH is also affected by other things, and affects other things... what else do you test for? Alkalinity should be next on your list. Yes, you can q-tank the tang, it might be a fine idea to quarantine both tangs. If you use copper, go with Cupramine. Also, from what I read, your sole filtration is Caulerpa. You might want to upgrade your filtration, either with a skimmer, a deep sand bed, or bioballs, whatever. Do some reading, and pick the one you like best. All filtration methods work well, if you understand them and their proper applications. In the meantime, a few more water changes might be in order...you know: manual filtration :P -Gwen>>
Hippo In Distress Again!
Hi Gwen, Looks like you were right on the money with the PH.  It was dropping from 8 to around 7.6 at night.  The cause was 2-fold:  1)  covered tank and 2)  Phosphate remover.  We removed both and added reef buffer slowly.  PH is holding it's own now around 8.3.  Unfortunately, a little red slime came back (which is why we used the Phosphate remover).  We are battling it with water changes. <<Running a high quality carbon will help, also Chemi-Pure.>> Our Hippo is looking a tiny bit better.  Still has a black face, but a tiny bit more blue is showing on his body.  I'm sure it may take a few weeks.  He is still eating and swimming great so hopefully he will fully recover! <<I hope so too.>> The new tank comes in a month.  It will have a protein skimmer along with the mud filter (Ecosystem advertises not to use a skimmer - but for us that only worked for a year then went downhill fast)! Before moving the fish and live rock, we'd like to do two things:  1) make sure ich is totally gone, and 2) get rid of as many or all Bristle worms if possible. <<Why? Bristleworms are excellent detritivores. Why remove them? Their number will balance out with the amount of nutrients available to them...if you remove some (and you will only be able to remove SOME) the rest will simply re-populate the tank until you have just as many as before...>> We don't want to stress the Hippo any more so I plan to wait until his color is back to normal before removing any of the rocks and putting him into quarantine (unless of course he gets worse instead of better).  I'll replace the CopperSafe we bought for emergencies with Cupramine.  And of course, I now have more questions! <<Okay>>   -  What is a good but very low level of Copper for the Tangs and how many days treatment are necessary to ensure it is gone (neither shows signs of ich right now)? <<I will assume you mean to use the copper in the q-tank only. A good level is the level listed on the product label: one milliliter for each 40 litres, every two days, for 14 days...(sorry, I'm Canadian, read yer own label :P) Use a good copper test kit to keep the level safe. Do not exceed 0,6ppm. Test the tank before each new addition of copper!>> -  Should we go ahead and quarantine the Blenny and Chromis with low dose of Cupramine just to be safe? <<I don't believe it's necessary, but then, I can't see the condition they are in. You must make some judgment calls.>>   - If they can be treated together, can they all go into a big Rubbermaid container with plenty of plastic hiding places (they all get along now)? <<Sure. Just make sure the water parameters are stable.>> - Or - we could move the rock and all inverts out of the existing tank and treat them in it - except I heard not to ever use Copper in acrylic tanks (let me know if that is not true). <<Don't know about acrylic, but DO NOT treat your main tank!>> And two Bristle worm elimination questions: -  Will 1.035 salinity dip (said to make bristle worms come out of the rock) hurt mushrooms and xenia for a short time?  We have a couple monster (30 lb.) rocks that are nicely covered with those corals - but the rocks also have Bristle worms that have been hard to get rid of (we would love any other ideas on how to get rid of them as we move tanks). -  Would taking the mud out of the sump and "sifting" it to try and remove all the worms while leaving amphipods, etc. work or would the larvae most likely still be there (should we go ahead and pay the price to change all the mud)? <<See above re: bristleworms. They are good. Keep them. Trying to remove them will result in dead pods, anyways. Why bother? Is there a necessary reason for their removal?>> Thanks a million once again! - Doug <<Most welcome. -Gwen>>

White spot on my blue tangs. Hi there...sorry to bother you... I am just beginner on marine reef. I just  recently bought 3" blue tangs <Tangs? Not tang? You mean more than one?> for my 33 gallon tank <Uh-Oh!> before I put him to my tank. I just changed the water after 5 hr then I put my blue tangs inside my tank. After 2 days I saw white spot on the body but the tangs seem good in swimming and eating very well only the white spot on his body. what should I do? <One white spot? Watch carefully for a while. I wouldn't worry too much about one spot. However, these fish are known as "ich magnets" and it is certainly possible this fish may have ich. He needed to be placed in a quarantine tank before being placed in your main display> must  I change the water? I check the NO2 and its ok. What is the problem bob and what must I do? <My friend...I see a couple of problems...Your tank is really too small to house a blue tang long term. I  know it probably looks like it's doing alright now but he will grow...up to 12"! Here's my advice: Before purchasing any other fish get a good fish book. Michael Scott has a book called "Marine Fishes". It's a small pocket size book that is needed by virtually all hobbyists. Secondly...you also need a good book on husbandry techniques. I suggest Bob Fenner's book "The Conscientious Aquarist". Lastly, peruse the WetWebMedia.Com facts and articles section to learn the basics about aquarium setup, water chemistry, aquarium husbandry and much, much, more! David Dowless> thanks <You're welcome! Keep reading and learning!>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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