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FAQs about the Yellow-Tail Blue, Palette, Hippo Tang Pathogenic Disease    (plus see Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt)

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, 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,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Parasites?      2/12/16
I wonder if you can help with an issue with my regal please.
<Ah yes>

He is currently in a quarantine tank with a hello, foxface and PJ Cardinal after something wiped out the majority of my fish in the main tank. I originally thought velvet due to the speed they started to die after I added corals on live rock, which is where I assumed the parasite came in on.
<Could be>
They have been in quarantine for 13 days. Tomorrow, I was due to transfer them to my 200l reef, whilst the main tank is fallow.
<?! I would NOT do this. The Paracanthurus has some parasite... I would treat ALL fishes ASAPractical where they are
All fish looked fine, but yesterday the regal started flashing against everything. Today it looks like this. Other fish look fine.
Nitrite 0.2
<Toxic... needs to be zip... See, as in READ on WWM re NO2
Nitrate 20
Copper 0.5mg/L tested 3x daily to maintain therapeutic levels throughout the two weeks.
<A good clue... the embedded spots on this Regal Tang may not be susceptible to Cu exposure>
SG: 1.025

Temp 26.5.
Thanks, Kirsty.
<Not much time (for your fishes)... I would def. do the drastic DROP in specific gravity for here, right NOW. Down to 1.012, even 1.010... in the hopes of saving your fishes. I would proceed to READ re the use of
Chloroquine (di) Phosphate (CP) on WWM and go ahead and treat with this AND an anthelminthic (likely Praziquantel), directly in the water. You need to act NOW
. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasites?      2/12/16
Thanks very much.
I shall start to reduce the SG now, and am picking up Chloroquine in the morning (it's 11pm here in the UK).
I have not heard of Praziquantel, so shall have a look online and see if it's something I can source over here.
<Yes; in the UK you may need the help of a veterinarian (or perhaps an M.D.?) to gather both these compounds. The lowered spg will hopefully buy you time>
Many thanks.
<As many welcomes. BobF>

Crypt, velvet or infection? ID help, please...        12/10/15
<Six plus megs of uncropped pix? Why?>
Greetings! I'm unfortunately without microscope and would appreciate some input on the current malady I see in my tank if you would be so kind.
<How could I, or anyone tell from these images?>

300g tank.
About 30 SPS frags.
Hippo tang.
Three yellow tangs.
Pajama cardinal.
Six line wrasse.
Eight blue green reef Chromis.
Peppermint shrimp.
Skunk cleaner shrimp.
Tank is a year old. It was moved a year ago from being set up for 12 years
and all livestock was given away. It has all the same live rock as before.
Fish have all been in tank for four months. Corals for about 5 months, with one being introduced 2 months ago.
Three days ago I did a flatworm exit treatment since I was finally sick of siphoning out hundreds of flatworms with each weekly water change. All seemed to go well, and I did a 25% water change at the end, as well as running activated carbon in a reactor for a day and siphoning as many dead worms as I could.
Around that time I noticed a little white area on the hippo tang's forehead. Since then it has grown to a full white forehead and a white spot on either side. I have attached a picture.
<.... looks like a scratch on the flank.... Physical trauma>

I don't know if I am seeing things or the yellow tangs seem like they may have a white sheen over their whole bodies, but it is only visible when looking at the fish from the front. From side view they look normal.
The cardinal seems fine. Six line wrasse seems fine. Chromis' seem fine, although one of them seems to have a physical injury and a little brown spot in the side.
None of the fish have been scratching. None are breathing rapidly. All have voracious appetites, with the hippo tang being the most voracious. No hiding. All swimming out in the open. Gills are not swollen.
Could you please check the picture and my descriptions and tell me if you think it is crypt or velvet, or possibly some sort of infection brought on by lowered immune systems due to toxins from the flatworm treatment?
<Can't tell anything from the pix, description>

I would think if it was velvet everything would be dead already, and I am ready to try and catch all fish and place in a hospital tank and treat if it is necessary.
<... no need to move, yes to Velvet>
Please let me know if the picture doesn't come through. I appreciate all that you do! You guys helped immensely many years ago and all has been smooth sailing in my tank until this incident.
Thank you! I look forward to your reply.
Thomas Bolton
<Don't panic! Bob Fenner>


Help to identify and treat disease     12/4/14
I was wondering if you know what this disease is, nobody seems to want to guess

<On the Paracanthurus here I take it... Have you sampled any of these... looked under a 'scope? Either something surface like monogenetic Trematodes (flukes), or Microsporidean>
I took these pictures today a week later, his forehead is now expanding, I have done extensive freshwater dips and am dosing Cupramine but no reaction so far.
<Not treatable w/ copper>

I'd really like some help with this and don't know what it is,
Thanks in advance,
<See WWM re the above... the former are easily treated w/ prophylactic dips/baths and Anthelminthics, the latter... not treatable as yet as far as I'm aware. Only improving the environment, nutrition... optimizing and stabilizing the fishs health will it be able to improve if Microsproridean (internal) involvement. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help to identify and treat disease      12/4/14
Thank you for the quick reply, the bulging band across the forehead has receded somewhat as four white parasites now hang out of it whereas it was a smooth bulge before. I will have a go at the dips with some trematode medication and ease off with the Cupramine.
<Good; I'd give up on the copper... see WWM re this and Tangs; a poor match>
I see hypo is ineffective for flukes too and the main tank has been in hypo for many weeks so by process of elimination it may well be flukes. Thanks again,
<Easily identified w/ sampling, microscopic exam... and just as easily eliminated. READ on WWM re.

Re: Help to identify and treat disease     12/7/14
Hi Guys unfortunately not looking good at present. Video update here
<Mmm; Paracanthurus looks like it's developing HLLE, the Y. Tang breathing hard... rest of fish look fine; but a Clown Trigger (dangerous; will kill other fishes in time), and a hamlet/sweetlips?! Not easily kept>
Have dosed with http://www.aquarium-munster.com/en/marine-water/remedies/gyromarin.html
<I see; a product of Praziquantel>
3 days ago as recommended in case is Trematodes but now yellow tang looks like is bleeding from lateral line and heavily infected with growths causing craters too.
Blue tang continues to be disfigured as the 'parasite' erodes deeper, especially in the face, and dotted sweetlips also affected
with holes appearing in his head over the top and underneath gills. The purple lips Flagfin has a single dot on the forehead that has been there about a week but the join of his pelvic fins is blood red. Bannerfish eats a few bits off the yellow tang on cleaning service and clown trigger seems largely unaffected. The setup is about 2 years old but never had such a difficult issue. It is about 3.5 weeks into the infection. Is fish only setup with uv, protein skimmer (both off for 3 days on meds) and sump filter tank below so any meds can go in the display tank. Anything else I might try? I don't have a scope unfortunately. Thanks Ed
<The scope; as originally stressed. There's very little sense in "treating" for something you don't know. Perhaps a download and reading of the second  ed. of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease; Diagnosis & Treatment"... you can get from Amazon.com for a nominal charge for the e-version. Call around; some fish stores, colleges w/ bio. depts. will have microscopes, folks to help.
Bob Fenner> 

Re: Help to identify and treat disease... Flukes    12/7/14
Thanks Bob, I tested all the water parameters and found nitrite had shot up, no ammonia or nitrate, so did about a 50% water change and redosed lost Praziquantel. Ca, Mg and pH all on low borders but probably because is slightly hypo still. I did 5 minute freshwater dips of the Sweetlips, yellow tang, blue tang and Flagfin with Paraguard. The majority of the infection dropped off the yellow tang this time,
<Preserve some... just with distilled clear alcohol if nothing else... to look at under a scope>
he is still breathing hard and his face and body look like they are covered in acne scars now, lots of sore little red holes remain.
<Likely fluke haptor holes>

Less obvious reaction on the blue tang but perhaps less white and more grey/black at the infected points. They all seem quite content and swimming around since. I have upped the water surface agitation to make up for the skimmer loss and added some Pimafix

at the fish importer's recommendation to help the raw skin heal. I don't know if it will do any good so long as it does not harm them but they say it works for them. Mind you they also said vodka or white vinegar solution directly on the infection works but will leave that as a last resort.
Regarding the Sweetlips I have found him one of the hardiest fish I have cared for since had him the past six months. He fed on pellets ravenously from day one. I have read a lot of people saying they drop dead quite quickly without reason but six months in he is growing well and has dodged ich when it affected other fish. I am just concerned he will need a lot more space. I see the Persian Gulf is the edge of his natural habitat so in a worst case scenario I'd put him back to sea - as am based in Dubai.
<Don't do this. NEVER return captive organisms to the wild... too much chance of introducing other undesirables>
 So far I would have recommended him to others as a starter fish were it not for all the chat about how difficult they are on forums. Seeing as they seem a rarity in the US perhaps they were just caught with too much cyanide and didn't last long. The local Filipino fish shop owner always say they are a very strong fish and easy to feed. Time will tell. Thanks for all your help, really appreciate it and will get the recommended book, I did a fair bit of reading of the Merck Veterinary Manuals which was interesting and a good free resource too
<Ahh; thank you for this>
. Scope might be a tougher purchase in Dubai.
Best Regards,
<Mail order if nec. B>

Hippo tang with Ich in QT     9/15/14
Hi Wet Web Crew,
I have a tiny hippo tang with Ich in quarantine but need to give some background information before I ask my question. I have been in the
saltwater aquarium hobby for 5 years and early on had a heartbreaking outbreak of velvet in my display tank.
<Yikes... can be devastating>
I subsequently set up a hospital, QT tank and went the traditional route with minimal substrate and no invertebrates. After several treatment failures my young daughter observed that I should not call it a hospital tank because everything died in it. It did not function well as a QT for more sensitive livestock either. I have since turned it into a mini reef with fine sand substrate, live rock, xenias, mushroom coral and star
polyps. The tank is 24 gallons and functions well as a quarantine tank with most fish getting through. This brings me to my current dilemma. This tiny 1/2 inch hippo tang is undergoing quarantine with a baby Ocellaris clown and a Rainford's goby.
<Saw a half inch Amblygobius just ayer underwater here in Bali>
All are feeding well and are active. The tang was scrawny when purchased but is now starting to get some belly fat. Today I noticed some Ich spots and now have a dilemma. I obviously cannot treat the QT with hypo salinity or copper. My past experience with catching sick fish and trying to treat has been a dismal failure and I would need a QT tank for my QT tank! My inclination is to wait it out and see if he beats it. Does this sound reasonable and if successful how long should I wait before moving all fish to the display tank (The display is a 220 gallon SPS dominated tank that
does have a UV sterilizer)
<I would definitely just wait as you state... boosting immunity through administering and soaking foods with vitamins and HUFAs>
Thanks in advance, Doug
<Life to you, Bob Fenner>

Paracanthurus, hlth. 8/21/10
Hi Crew
Thanks for all your hard work answering questions and I hope that you might be able to help me.
I have kept the attached Regal Tang for almost a year and whilst he/she has been susceptible to itch in the past,
<Itch? Do you mean SW Crypt, Ich?>
bounced back well. I don't think the fish has itch this time. There are no white dots on the body and no itching. He/She is eating normally, breathing normally, swimming normally, sleeping normally. However, welts have appeared on the body over the last couple of weeks.
<I see these in your pix>
My question is could these marks/welts be stings?
<Yes... from...?>
The tang fairly aggressively competes for New Era Marine pellets from the auto feeder and occasionally my fuzzy dwarf lionfish also goes in for a bite. I have seen the Tang display and push the lionfish out of the way, but when witnessed did not shoot off like it had been stung?
<Could well have done so>
I have also recently added some Zoanthids, which I did read on your site could be responsible for stinging, so this is another possibility.
<Ah yes; even more likely>
Given the otherwise health of the fish, my gut instinct is sting over disease, but I am by no means an expert and that is where I was hoping you could come in.
<I would not treat this fish (chemically) nor remove it to somewhere else necessarily>
The tank is 160G with 80kg of live rock, plus Seachem Matrix and Kent Nitrate sponge, Rowaphos, Carbon, UV and Aqua C Urchin pro skimmer.
Parameters are all good, except high nitrates, which I am constantly battling. Currently c. 25, but I am installing a refugium and upgrading my skimmer this week to hopefully overcome this battle!
<Ah, good>
There is no way I could catch the fish without breaking up the reef and causing severe stress to everything in the tank, so would consider this a last option.
<I agree>
In the past I have treated the tank with Easy Life Halt Parasites
... wonder what this actually is>
(does not contain copper). The treatment has been successful in treating itch with no ill effects to corals and inverts, so I could treat with this again, but obviously don't want to add a substance without reason. If you haven't come across the product then it tackles Ichthyophthirius, Oodinium an Cryptocaryon.
<Not a fan, decidedly of such "mystery potions">
Kind regards
<And you, Bob Fenner, who would go forward with your fuge plans, leave this fish in place>

Blue hippo tang with ich 1/12/10
Hello, Crew.
I need a recommendation regarding proper treatment of my hippo tang. Pretty sure he's got ich; white sugar-like spots a few days ago, then they increased in number, ultimately coalescing. He's behaving normally, and eating. I've moved him to the quarantine tank and have put in some copper.
My question is whether you'd also treat with an antibiotic to prevent bacterial superinfection of the parasite's entrance/exit wounds, or whether that would be overkill/dangerous. If antibiotic, which?
<Mmm, the "later and greater" route for such Protozoan complaints, particularly on more-sensitive fish groups/species are Quinine compounds.
Please read here:
Bob Fenner>
Re: blue hippo tang with ich -- 01/12/2010

Thanks, Bob.
There are shallow pits on the tail end of one side of the fish.
There's no redness associated; just looks like little holes in the skin. The fish hides in the decorations mostly, but does come out to eat when I put a few food pellets in.
<A good sign, indication of health>
Would you treat NOW (while copper is present also) or would you wait?
<I would remove the copper and treat now>
If wait, then wait for what? Also: I have available to me products called "API Super Ick Cure" that contains Malachite Green and Nitrofurazone, and "API Furan-2" that contains Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone.
<Antibiotics, antimicrobials are of no direct use/efficacy here>
Quinine isn't available at present. Which of the other two (if either) should I add?
<Neither. Order Chloroquine Phosphate via the Net if necessary, or check with a local veterinarian (Aralen...). BobF>

Worms? 5/17/09
Hello crew,
I have searched your website for answers, and the best that I can come up with is that I am dealing with some sort of worm.
<Is possible... or a Microsporidean or such>
I have attached a photo of the fish that seems to be having the issues; and I circled the "spots" in question (the fish only has two of these spots). The spots seem to protrude from the fish roughly 1-2 millimeters and are white in color. There are no other fish in the tank with any bumps, spots, or any protrusions from the skin. I ruled out crypt when I noticed that the "spots" were protruding that far from the fish, and when the spots remained after a couple of days.
This fish contracted crypt (due to a non-quarantined new arrival- I won't do this again)
<I hear/read you>
in December of last year, and was treated for a month in quarantine (with all of the other fish in the tank). After the treatment, I kept the display tank fallow for another month (for a total of two months)
before adding my fish, slowly, back into their original homes.
My aquarium is a 155 gallon bowfront with the following inhabitants:
1 Hepatus Tang (I have had for about 4 years- this is the fish with the "spots")
1 Sohal Tang (I have had it for about 4 months)
1 Marine Betta (I have had it for over two years)
2 Ocellaris Clowns (I have had them for about 4 years)
1 Queen Angel (I have had it for about 1 year)
And 1 Clown goby (I got this fish with the ocellaris clown, about 4 years ago)
I also have many various corals and snail, hermit crabs, and a brittle star.
My tank parameters are Ammonia-0 Nitrites-0 Nitrates-0 PO4-<0.1ppm PH-8.0
For filtration, I have a 20 gallon sump and a 10 gallon refugium. I use no mechanical or biological filtration, but I do utilize a SeaClone skimmer (I have found this skimmer to be hardly useful).
<It is. I'd be upgrading... see WWM re>
I used to grow Chaetomorpha in the refugium, but within the last two weeks all macro algae growth has seemingly ceased (this has me puzzled). My only guess is that there just aren't enough nutrients to support the rampant algae growth that I used to see. I have also packed the display tank full of the Chaetomorpha to aid in filtration, and I built caves out of it to give my Betta caves to hide in.
If you have any ideas about a positive ID,
<Not w/o dissection, the use of a scope... but...>
and a treatment, please let me know. The fish is still eating well, and I have a small stock of Metronidazole on hand if it is needed.
Thank you very much for your assistance.
<There is a "general" approach/cure to investigate: Levamisole. Bob Fenner>

Ich 03/26/09
Another question, sorry!
My hippos has ich, as does my Foxface etc.... I assume everyone is screwed at this point.
<Double Mmmm>
Anyways, I was told by everyone that NO MATTER WHAT Hippo tangs will get ich over and over. NO MATTER WHAT!
<... No, not so>
So I am thinking of the best course of action right now. I dread the thought of leaving the tank fallow for 2 months, and then having to buy another tank to treat the infected in (smallest size?) I have a 29 gallon in my crawlspace right now but with my small house I am wondering where the heck I will put it and will it be big enough?!
<Should be>
I will be very upset if I do the whole treatment of curing the fish while fallowing the tank and then I put the hippo back in and it gets ich again as I am told that is what will happen. I know you are thinking this is what you get for not QTing, but I did
QT. My tank is new (not new to me but brand new) and these are the first fish added after QTing. I don't know where I went wrong?
I am so pissed right now. I wanted a really nice system and bought a super nice looking stand, bubble king skimmer180, 2 Vortech MP40's, etc... My total must be near about 8000.00 right now. I feel that if the ich knew that they would just die a horrible death and leave me with a nice tank. But NOOOOOOOO, that is not the case. So I guess my question to you is if I go through the hassle of QTing/ medicating again! will the hippo just get ich again when added back to the tank starting this whole saga over again for me?
<Is possible... however... there are some better approaches to treatment that might work>
Should I flush it down the toilet now? ha ha, not really. And what do you find the best treatment for ich?
<Heeeee! Sorry... Maybe quinine for you here:
Hyposalinity or copper, and if copper what brand is best to use? Is there a copper that is a tad safer?
<Mmm, yes... please take a gander at WWM here... chelated varieties, brands... matching test kits...>
I want to make sure I kill the ich dead, but not the fish! I am so sorry for the rant, you must get tired of all the questions
from people. I have Bob Fenner's book on order, I have a few sw books already but the more you can read the better I figure.
<Mmm... perhaps. Gots to toss in the proviso that we are indeed time-limited, task directed only to extents>
Thank you so much for your eagerly anticipated answer!!
<Sorry for the delay Penny... am out of the country diving, making pix. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich 03/26/09

Thank you very much for your answers. Sorry again for the rant. Who knew this could be so frustrating???
<I'll admit to knowing the likelihood... but, am hoping we can help you get beyond this trouble...>
I am going with Seachem's copper treatments with the matched up copper test. Hope that does the trick for the sick fishes.
<Sounds good>
Can't wait for your book to come in the mail, should be today!
<Am also sure you will enjoy, gain by its perusal. Cheers, BobF>

Black spot, maybe not 12/26/08 Hi there, <Hello Dan> Sorry to be a bother, but I have a confusing situation over here. I have a 90 gallon reef tank with; yellow tang, blue tang, two clown fish, anemone, clam, cleaner shrimp, sally light foot, purple lobster, leather corals, hammer corals, some polyps, mushrooms and other bits and pieces. As well as about ten, well established mangroves growing in my sump refugium. Everything was going quite well until I added a yellow eyed Kole tang (which I do love) to my reef. Two weeks later I noticed black bumps and some color fading appearing on my blue tang. As well as some lateral line and forehead peeling on my yellow tang. So I went on the Internet and found your site. I think my blue tang has the black spot disease, <Mmm... actually... you would very likely see this now, concurrently on the Yellow, Zebrasoma flavescens... I think you may be witnessing Microsporideans... not really treatable... and not very debilitating> but I didn't notice any info about the spots kind of bumping out a bit, <Good description... and likely shiny, kind of shaped like cones... whereas Paravortex is dull, flat...> and one day he was fine and the next he has 20 spots on him. So I am guessing I need to quarantine him, but what about the Kole (who is fine except for only eating off the rocks so far) and yellow tang? <Again... or for emphasis, I would NOT move these fishes... at least as yet...> I think I can deal with the yellow tang as it seems as his peeling is do to poor water quality <?! What leads you to think this?> and stress. I am about to do a water change and hook the skimmer back up (after two years off due to the mangroves). <I would> Should I quarantine all of the tangs? can I do them all together? What product would you recommend? <No, yes, None> Could I do it in my mangrove tank or will the medicine possibly hurt them? <Depending on what's used, yes> Sorry again and thank you for your help. I have never had a sick fish before and was upset to see him, I do have a good photo if needed and also don't know how to find this page again. <Mmm, should be here with your message/response. Please do send the image along> Thank you Dan <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

black spot, maybe not 12/27/08 Hi there again Bob. <Dan> I was worried about waiting another day to treat my fish, so I made a executive decision and went against your advice to wait to move the three tangs into a quarantine. I see why you said wait as it does seem to cause a lot of stress (for the fish and my girlfriend and I) to try to catch them. I was only able to catch the infected blue tang, but did so without disturbing my reef which seemed good as I have seen what happens when you start moving rocks around. I went to my LFS and showed them the same photo of the blue tang I sent you, <I still haven't seen this image> and he told me to quarantine all three and to treat the fish with aquarium Munster proto Marin Intensiv, <What are the ingredients here?> which I did do. I was reading the instructions and noticed that it said nothing of treating black spot or Microsporideans. I know I should have waited until you saw the photos but he seemed to be getting worse and I wanted to get him treated as soon as possible. I have the feeling I am not treating him with the right medication. What should I do now? <...> I know you will have probably answered all my questions in my second email but just in case, should I keep treating him with the proto Marin, and if not than what? >... nothing< should I catch and quarantine the other tangs? <... already answered> What about the other fish? <... How would I, anyone be able to determine what is actually going on here?> I have been reading about dips - would you recommend doing this? and should I keep my fish quarantined for 4-6 weeks? also I have a Marineland hot magnum that came with cloth like filter like those in vacuums, would this work for my hospital tank? or if not could I fill it up and run it with the sponge filters? Sorry for going ahead as I have read some of your articles where people did the same thing and they seemed annoying. Also sorry for two emails at once, I just wanted to keep you posted and if you thought the blue tang would be better off back in the reef tank, another day would not have gone by. Thanks so much for all your help. I appreciate it. Dan. <... Please, see, read on WWM re Acanthurid Health, Protozoans, Infested Systems... B>

black spot, maybe not 12/27/08 Hi Bob Thank you for getting back to me so fast. What lead me to believe that the yellow tangs peeling is do to poor water quality is that, It had happened to him before and when I started trying to improve my water quality it went away. He may have started peeling before I introduced the Kole tang, and I have noticed that a lot of the yellow tangs in LFS do have the same problems. I guess I diagnosed him with the head and lateral line disease. I did have a few mangroves slowly die in my sump a few months back when on vacation, and when I questioned the guy at the LFS about his peeling he guessed that my nitrites were high, which they were, and said it generally happens when water quality is low and they are stressed. Do you think thou I could be wrong and my yellow tangs problem could be related to the blue tangs black spots? <Mmm, indirectly, yes... the pitting is very likely mostly due to "poor water quality"... is a type/form of HLLE...> I should mention that all of my fish are acting normal and are as hungry as ever, thou I have noticed the blue tang rubbing a bit on the live rock. I couldn't find any information on Microsporideans. Will my other fish be affected if I do not quarantine the blue tang? I read some where to remove activated carbon, I run Chemi-pure in a hang on filter should I switch it off or change products? <... I would keep using the Chemi-pure> As for the blue tangs bumps, on the blue part of his body there are bumps with a black spot in the middle and around the spot on the rising sides of the bump seems to be whitish. However on his black markings he seems to only have one or two white spots, and on his fins and tail just black dots no bumps. Does this sound like Microsporideans? <Could be... but... net cause/s?> Is there anything I should do? Hopefully the photos are usable and helpful. Thank you very much for your time Dan
<Keep reading. BobF>

Acanthuridae (Finrot?) 10/20/08 hi , I have a question about my hippo tang. I have had her 3 months. within the past three months I have been battling a case if ich, black ich , and now she has a white cotton looking growth on her fin.. I had put her in some quick cure but this never went away. just curious what it is? and how to cure it? <Almost certainly a bacterial secondary infection, though a fungal infection can't be ruled out. In any case, you'll need to treat, promptly, for example with Maracyn or Maracyn 2 (I'd try the first first, and if that doesn't work, the second). Do also understand that secondary infections don't come out of nowhere, and nine times out of ten the cause is environmental, specifically water quality, though mechanical trauma (e.g., biting, poor handling) should also be considered. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm  Cheers, Neale.>

Hippo tang question, hlth., learning   8/19/08 Hi there, I purchased a juvi hippo tang last Thursday (August 14) and he settled into my tank <... no quarantine> very well (started swimming about the tank, meeting new tank mates within 5 minutes of introduction) <Good> The tang is very small, probably as big as a loonie, and smaller than a Toonie. <Mmm, summat less than a dollar coin in the U.S.: http://www.bcpassport.com/vancouver-vital-information/canadian-money-currency.aspx > He does have a nice stuffed belly, but he has not eaten anything since being introduced. He has shown maybe 3 to 4 spots of ich, which it tries to swipe off himself by dashing on the bottom or corners of the tank every so often. <Mmm... you do realize the system is now infested if this is a protozoan agent?> He is not in complete distress at all, and still is active, not breathing fast and generally looking pretty good. I am taking measures to treat the fish for the ich (trying Aquarium Munster Protomarin coral, fingers crossed) I will have no chance of catching that tiny fish in my display so I am resorting to medication. <Mmmm... "reef safe"... "effective"... Don't go together any better than licorice and pizza... and I'm a giant fan of these last two. I don't see where the manufacturer lists the ingredients: http://www.aquarium-munster.com/Eng/GB_0_Home.asp Do you know what this material really is? If so, please send along> My question is, after how many days without food should I start to worry? <Daily> I already am worried, but like I say, his belly is pretty fat. He tries to peck at floating items in the tank (thinking it's food), so I know he is trying to eat.. he just always misses out on my feedings. When I turn the pumps off, he goes running and hides the entire feed. With the few ich spots, and not eating, I am worried it's health will decline at a fast rate. I have tried feeding with pumps on, but the movement from me putting food into the tank sends my clownfish running, so everyone follows, they all get scared so easily. <A bad sign> I have also ordered some Kent Garlic Xtreme, <...> and some Selcon to start soaking the foods in, in hopes it might entice him to eat. I also ordered some seaweed algae. All these items should arrive by Friday. I forgot to mention, I am feeding my fish with NLS Pellets, and Mysis shrimp soaked in garlic extract (which is better?) <Can't say> I don't want to lose the little guy, he is the healthiest I have found a juvi hippo. Is he going to starve?? <Mmm, maybe. Are you going to read?> I really hope this guy starts noticing my pellets and Mysis soon.... with all the extra food I am pumping into the tank for him to eat, I am getting bits of algae outbreaks. Thankfully my clowns are complete pigs and usually clean up the leftovers. Thanks for reading my long post, I am terrible at summarizing. I just basically want to know how long without food should I start to worry, what foods I should focus on feeding (I hear the NLS pellets are a very good source of nutrition for marine fish?) <Yes... an excellent, very palatable source> I have been trying to feed every day, with no luck. It's not that the fish doesn't want to eat, it's just that he hides when I introduce food into the tank. I figured if all the other fish would eat, he would notice and start eating too, but no luck on that note yet. Thanks again for a great resource.. I appreciate your time and efforts. <A few "things" possibly going on here. "Just" being new/stressed, to being toxified by some homeopathic remedy... You don't mention your system components, history, or water quality tests... Please start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracfdgfaqs.htm and on to the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Blue tang itching  1/23/08 Hello Crew, I have a question about my 1 inch Blue Tang. <Small...> I have thoroughly read your pages on fish, diseases and parasites, and I am still not sure if my tang has ich, or if it may be stress. <Perhaps a bit of both...> I have had the tang in the main tank for 2 weeks. I QT him for 6 weeks before the move to the main tank. <Ah, good> He was in the main tank for 2 days, and began rubbing his belly against the rocks. He stopped rubbing his belly after three days, and had a few scratches from doing this, there was no injury, and no cysts have appeared. He seemed to be over whatever was bothering him. Three days after he stopped the belly rub, he started a head rub, and this has been happening for three days now, there are still no cysts to be seen anywhere on his body. <Paracanthurus do scratch quite a lot... naturally> He is breathing normally, eating, playing (he's hilarious), schooling with the Chromis, and generally having a good time, <Ahh!> he has also made a bed in one of the Sinularia. No other fish are showing any signs of itching, rubbing, scratching or cysts/spots. I haven't done anything to treat him yet as I wanted another opinion on whether it is ich or not. I asked the LFS, and of course they wanted to sell me a $50 bottle of liquid that is reef safe, and can be dumped into the main tank - <Mmm, I would NOT do this> they were not very happy when I told them that was one of the worst things they could recommend as a treatment. I stopped short of telling them to read WWW. <Please, don't feel, be so reserved> Should I just go ahead and QT, dip etc, or wait a few more days to see if those darn cysts appear? <I would leave all as is presently> It is going to be a challenge to catch him since he is only an inch, and I don't want to stress him if he doesn't have ich, and he just stressed. Tank stats for your info are: 50gallon tank with a Fluval 305 canister filter (bio and carbon that is changed weekly), Aqua C Remora skimmer (best purchase I ever made), powerheads to blow the water around, T5HO lights, with live rock, aragonite substrate, 2 Sinularia, 1 BTA, cluster Duncanopsammia, cluster candy cane, cluster of Blastomussa (all corals are very happy). 1 ocellaris (hosting in the BTA), 1 mandarin, 1 bicolour blenny, 4 schooling blue/green Chromis, and the tang. I know the tank is too small for the tang, he will be moved to a bigger tank. Water parameters are within the recommended limits (didn't list them as I have rambled on too much already). Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated, my tank couldn't live without you :) <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang with recurrent Crypt  1/16/08 Dear WWM crew, Thank you for receiving my question! <Welcome> I have a hippo tang (have had for 18 months) who I treated 1 year ago for Crypt. <Looks like with copper... resultant in the obvious Neuromast destruction here (HLLE)> He successfully had 2 weeks of copper, other fish quarantined and display tank fallowed for 7 weeks. Despite all of this, he intermittently 'breaks out' when stressed (change in environment, power outage etc). Has 1 mm 'white spots' for 2 -- 3 days, then they appear to cycle off and he appears clinically 'free'. <Mmm, yes... not atypical... Your system is infested still> In between episodes he is lovely, with all other fish (2 pairs of clowns and 1 mandarin) unaffected. Display tank -- 300 litres (80 gallon), these 6 fish and various soft corals. Sp Gr 1025, temp 26C, pH 8.2, amm, nitrates, nitrites 0. His last episode, he did not so readily recover from, actually stopped eating (amazing as he is always ravenous), and has since been returned to a treatment tank. He has been in copper (tested twice daily and maintained at 0.25 ppm -- never below 0.2ppm) -- he improved after a few days, then dramatically worsened and has remained covered. He has had 12 days of copper. I have started freshwater/Methylene blue dips, which I think are giving some relief. He is slightly better than 7 days ago, but is still visibly covered with white raised 1 mm diameter spots -- body and fins. Some are larger -- up to 3 mm diameter, most are small. <Okay... though the copper is killing this specimen... slowly> He is in a 60 litre (13 gallon) bare bottom treatment tank - too small for him I know - am keeping ammonia down with 30 % water changes 2 - 3 times weekly, and occasional Chlor mon to neutralise the ammonia (your opinion on these products in this situation??) <Can be useful> His appetite is still great. RR is increased (approx 80/min) with open mouth. My LFS says it is not Crypt but continue copper. <... Is very likely Cryptocaryon... Do they have a scope?> I am concerned with prolonged exposure to copper with this Tang, and also -- what am I dealing with? I would value your input on this case. Continue copper? - <I would not...> how long until I should expect a response? How often should I freshwater dip? <These won't cure the resident infestation...> Should I try formalin dips?- how often? <I wouldn't> Should I skin scrape? (if so, how with a glass slide, and what should I stain with? <H and E... or any other acid fast...> Any good sites for protozoan ID? <None that I know of... look for Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment"> I think scraping would be very difficult/traumatic on my scatty hippo tang .. he is crazy 'easily freaked out'¦). <... you could try a quinine route of treatment... but returning the fish to the infested system...> I have included some photos -- difficult to capture, but they may be of help. Myself and 'Big Blue' are extremely grateful for your advise. I often and extensively utilize your website, and am grateful for the knowledge, experience and wisdom found within it. Thank you, Kim Newell <The best route (of a few) would be to cure the Paracanthurus... and place it elsewhere... and resist placing any new fishes in the infested system... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

New Regal Tang, hlth.  01/14/2008 <<Hello, Andrew here>> I work at my LFS, a few months ago our marine tanks where wrecked by some HBH balancing blocks, yet my idiot boss refuses to re-cycle the tanks, and even worse, still insists on ordering new fish (and selling them while they are entering the early stages of ich). Don't worry, one of us (me or her) will quit soon. Anyway my question rests with a 2-3 inch regal tang (which I've been wanting one for ages) who was ordered and placed in one of our wrecked tanks, it sat there for days hiding and sitting lethargically on it's side (to be expected) but it was doing it for longer than it should have taken it to settle in (it also flashed quite a lot, ich?). <<Sounds precarious..>> Against my better judgment I took it home as I knew it would die a certain death at work, it's currently sitting in my 50 litre quarantine with crushed shell and coral + one piece of (very healthy) liverock. <<Remove the sand and rock from the quarantine, just have a piece of PVC pipe in there for hiding. Sand and rock can harbour parasites which will remain, and the idea of quarantine is to keep parasite free for new arrivals. Its also easier to clean after the quarantine process is complete>> It seems to be improving (since I brought it home yesterday) but the shells + LR are probably the worst things it could possibly be flashing against. I tested the water with some tri-sulfa <<Would stop using this>> before drip acclimatizing it, although I know now that this probably won't help a lot. She eats like a machine (I've been feeding her some krill/Spirulina granules) but still scrapes and hides on it's side under the (bridge shaped) live rock most of the time. <<Best advice is to keep a close eye on the fish, is it showing any signs of Ich? It does sound like Ich, however, I would not pre-empt a treatment until you can confirm this>> The water param.s are (tested 3 days ago) : PH:8.2, Ammo: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0, SG: 1.023-5 Once she is better I plan on putting her in a 55gal with 1 royal dotty back, 2 false Perculas, one green Chromis and a coral goby (suitable tank mates?). <<Suitable tank mates, however unsuitable tank size, you ideally need 120 or more gallons to house these fish. Yes, its small now, but these do grow quite quickly in a well maintained system>> Anyway my question is, is there else anything I can be doing (or doing better) to ensure her good health and survival? <<You're taking the right approach with the fish. Keep it fed well on a good staple diet, maintain excellent water parameter and keep a very close eye out for Ich. Hope all goes well with the Tang>> Thanks, Oscar. <<Thanks for the questions, A Nixon>>

Bacterial infection of blue tang?   7/19/07 Dear Crew, Any ideas what type of infection my new blue tang could have had that came on in 24 hours when just yesterday there were no signs/symptoms? <Yes... such events can be very rapid onset indeed> Tonight it had frayed dorsal and anal fins, almost swollen in appearance, no redness. It became listless and the area directly under the dorsal fin and an area near the anal fin looked bleached out. Eyes were clear, no open sores, scratches; very rapid breathing. I took it out of my QT and moved it into a isolation tank and was gone in about an hour. Now I'm worried about the two other fish in my QT. Thank you, Jeff <Mmm, and I'm curious as to what species these other fishes are... It might well be that some degree of territorial et al. aggression is at play to an extent here... Bob Fenner>  

Blue tang got itch 6/1/07 Hi Jason, <Hello, but no Jason here, Chris with you.> I have had my hippo blue tang for 9 months in my Nano 24 g wt LR & LS. <Way way way too small for this fish, doomed to an early death if kept in this tank for much longer.> He's been doing well but today I saw white spots on over his skin body. He tries to scratch his body to LR, so I know for sure that is itch. I have changed 10-20% water weekly, but recently my nitrate is raised up (25-30ppm). 1) What cause itch for my tang? <The parasite Cryptocaryon irritans.> 2) After I saw he is itch, I changed 5 gal. water right away, is it helpful? <Not terribly, needs to be treated for the parasite, see here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> 3) Should I use any medication such as Nox-itch? and how to treat him? Can itch spread to the other fish? <See link above.> Pls advice Thanks in advance Hanson <Much to read here, check out the marine disease section for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm  .> <Chris>
Re: Blue tang got itch 6/03/07
Thanks for your reply, I read your links about the parasite disease and treatment. The only problem I face that I don't have Qt. <Really limiting your choices here.> I have 1 clown,1 Chromis, 1 tang & 1 goby, 1 rose anemone, 1 open brain & 1 zoa. Should I treat my itch tang with copper in main tank? <No, tangs don't respond to copper particularly well, and it will kill all your invertebrates.> How to do the freshwater dip ? Pls more specific. <http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-10/sp/feature/index.php > Or should I move all corals to some place else and put copper med in main tank? <Won't work, would need to remove all live rock and sand as well, also copper would bind with the silicon and release over time.> If so, what should I do to eliminate copper in main tank after treatment done? <Can't really.> Or what's your advice. Thanks in advance Hanson <Really your only hope here without a hospital tank is to keep up the water quality and feed good foods and hope the fish develop an immunity, but the Ich will always be present in the system until it can run fallow, so all new additions will suffer. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.> <Chris>

Cannot Identify the Problem, Paracanthurus parasite... inside the skin bumps    4/9/07 Crew, <Darren> Thanks for the great information on your site. It is the best online source for marine aquariums I have found. I am having a problem with my Palette Tang that I have not been able to identify. I've looked on your site as well as used Google to find our what it is with no success. It has developed small white bumps that look like pimples or poison ivy. The bumps look much too large to be Ich. They are not the small salt-like bumps that I have seen or read about. It has also developed pop-eye in its one eye, which I assume he developed when scratching himself, because of the bumps. These are the only signs I have seen so far. He is eating and breathing normally, and showing no abnormal behavior. I have not found anywhere that describes these symptoms. Does Ich sometimes appear larger than salt-grains? <Rarely> I don't know what else it could be. My tanks has 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 40 ppm nitrates. I know my nitrates are high. I am currently curing live rock to replace my bio-balls in my wet-dry filter. I do a minimum 10% water changes weekly, and I clean my filters every other week. Thanks for the help. I much appreciate the time you all volunteer to help your fellow aquarists. Darren <These spots are apparently not on the outside of the specimen? That is, they appear to be bumps pushing up from under the skin? There are two common possibilities here... a protozoan and worm... Can be treated with Metronidazole/Flagyl for the first, an anthelminthic for the second (my choice, Praziquantel). Notes, details on using these are posted on WWM. http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scroll down to therapeutics. Bob Fenner>

Blue hippo (regal) tang changing tanks, En-Crypt-ed systems   3/11/07 Hello again, I hope you are doing well, whomever responds to this email. <Yes, thank you> I have a small Regal tang in a 29 gallon BioCube as temporary housing until it moves to my 92 gallon (when I say small I mean about 2 to 3 inches). <Needs more room, psychologically, now> It had it's bout with ich <Also stress related...> and rather than move it to treat it with copper ( I have read this is bad for the digestive system of tangs) <Yes> I decided to purchase a small UV sterilizer, which in time took care of the problem, <Mmm, no> I have not seen a spot in months.  My question is, since I know I've had ich in my 92 gallon tank and did not treat for it and all the fish got over it, should I worry about doing a freshwater dip? <Mmm, I would not worry, but I would do the dip> The Regal tang has been in the BioCube for a long time, at least 4 months, it is eating like a pig and appears quite healthy.  I am paranoid about doing the freshwater dip, I have seen it done and it did not turn out well ( Purple tang ).  I would like to acclimate to the new system (not new a year old) and place the Regal tang in it without <Okay... will likely not make "much" difference... Depending on the resident ich/Crypt populations, there might be some synergism, or unrelated strengthening on their part...> causing it any added stress.  What is your opinion on this idea?  I currently have a Kole tang, Clownfish, and a Blue Flavivertex Pseudochromis in the 92 gallon tank, do you think any of these would pick on the new fish?   <Hopefully not> I know you will probably say that is too many fish for a 92 gallon tank, but all are small and I will rehouse if need be.  Any advice or opinions on this would be very appreciated.  Thank you, Ryan.  Please forgive any misspellings, I checked my spell check and all appeared well.  Thanks again, Ryan. <Looks good... I would move this fish. Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich, Paracanthurus  3/6/07 Crew,     I need your help.  My 90 gallon FOWLR finished cycling 2 weeks ago.  I quarantined my Snowflake Moray and Dogface Puffer, <Will need more room> together during the cycling process, which was about 6 weeks.  I purchased them together, from the same tank, at my LFS so I thought quarantining them together would be ok.  After introducing them, I began a shorter quarantine for my Hippo Tang.     I read in CMA that Bob doesn't necessarily think that quarantining a Hippo is necessary or even good, <Often more damage than good... better to do a pH-adjusted FW bath... along with good specimen selection of course> I thought that since I purchased the tang from a different LFS than the eel and puffer that I should QT.  I compromised and QT'd for 2 weeks.  Quarantine was over on Thursday and I added the Hippo.       All was fine.  Did a 20 gallon water change on Saturday, with well-aged RO/DI water.  Tests were 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and less then 3 Nitrate (using completely submerged open-pore cell material and sintered glass noodles really keep Nitrates down.  All are 0 now!     Anyway, I left the house for 2 1/2 hours yesterday and when I returned the Hippo had the worst case of Ich that I have ever seen!  I probably am guilty of sharing nets between tanks.  This is the only thing I could think of, based on the precautions I took.     I needed to act fact and unfortunately do not have access to my quarantine/hospital tank because it is "off-site" at girlfriend because of space constraints in my apartment and of course, she is away so I though my best option was to lower the salinity. <Mmm, not likely efficacious> I am assuming that all the fish are infected which is another reason for doing the hypo-salinity route as each of my aqua-buddies have different tolerances for meds. I typically keep the tank at 1.025 by refractometer, so I am going to drop it to 1.018 as soon as the water warms up. <This is w/in a safe-range... just not useful as a treatment mode>     Am i doing the right thing?  i know I need to go out tomorrow and buy another QT/hospital tank. <Yes> Don't room for much more than a 20 here and hope the eel (small), puffer and Tang (if he pulls through), can coexist in a 20 for 6 weeks while the 90 gallon goes fallow.     What would you guy/gals do?       Thanks     Roy <I would have dipped/bathed the incoming tang (on the way to the Q and the DT)... and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm and as much of the linked files above as it takes to understand your situation and options. Bob Fenner>

Ich on blue tang   2/20/07 Hi guys, <And girls, too! *grin*> thanks for providing such a great site. My name is Janet and I am just starting my marine aquarium journey. <Hi Janet. My name is JustinN. Welcome to AA -- Aquatics Anonymous ;) > I have a blue tang about 8cm which I introduced to my 4ft tank around 5 weeks ago. I did not know about quarantining then but I do now. <I will spare you the soapbox then, my friend.> There is around 30kg of live rock, 2 tomato clowns, 1 coral beauty, 1 blue wrasse and 1 reef butterfly. At the moment I don't have a skimmer but will next week. <Ok> My levels are all good, nitrites 0, ammonia 0, nitrates 20ppm <A tad high, see if you can identify the source here.>, specific grav. 1.022 <Likewise, a tad low.. should be maintained at Natural Seawater levels (1.025)> and pH 8.4. My blue tang developed white spots yesterday and also has a pop-eye (maybe from trying to scratch) and she kept going up to the wrasse for a clean I think. <Too likely to have had the ich from the get-go; this is a parasite that does not just appear on its own, must be carried in by a host. Tangs are also known as 'ich magnets' because of their proficiency in contracting major outbreaks of the parasite.> I have a 35ltr tank that I am now using as a hospital tank. I gave her a freshwater dip with Methylene blue for 4 min.s then put her into the 35ltr tank which I had pre-dosed with 5mls of Ichonex (Aquasonic). <Not an appropriate product. Not sure of its effectiveness in freshwater applications, but this product is marketed as a freshwater ich solution -- the two parasites are not the same.> The directions on the bottle say to treat half doses on day 2 and 3. My hosp. tank has a sponge filter and noodles in it, <Mmm, fish soup!> no substrate and just a few ornaments for her to hide in. What I want to know is am I on the right path and is there any extra advise you can give me? thanks heaps, Janet. <Well, Janet, you've got the right idea with quarantine now, in hindsight. Don't feel too bad about the oversight, it happens to all of us. The human condition is to learn via mistakes. However, your medication choice is simply not effective, and who knows how it may actually be affecting your fish! You need a treatment based on copper here, and likewise, you will need to quarantine all your fishes outside of your display tank for an extended period. If one fish is ich-infested, your entire display is now carrying the parasite, even if certain fish aren't showing outward signs of problems. Any of the fish can, and will, act as a host carrier for the parasite until you treat for it properly, which involves a treatment in a copper solution for all of your fishes, while leaving your display tank 'fallow' (active and running, but unoccupied) for a minimum of 6 weeks, to allow for the life cycle of the parasite to run its course, without a host to allow reproduction. After this point, you will be safe to move your aquatic charges back to their home. Have a read here for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm -JustinN>

Too Many Tangs in a 135...Now the Health Issues Begin - 09/15/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I recently bought two Blue Hippo tangs for my 135 gal. tank. <<Mmm...too many for this tank...barely large enough for one in my opinion.  These tangs grow to about a foot in length...are beefy, active, and a bit "skittish" as tangs go.  They need very large quarters with LOTS of swimming room along with convenient "bolt holes" in which to dart when they feel threatened.  I feel this species of tang is particularly susceptible to developmental retardation (manifesting in health/behavioral disorders) when kept in too small an environment>> I also have 3 clownfish, a gray Naso tang, a purple Firefish, two blue-yellow tail damsels, a mandarin goby, and a cleaner shrimp. <<A Naso tang too?...(sigh)>> It's been about a month since I've had my fish now and a couple days ago I noticed white spots on my blue hippo tangs. <<And so it begins...>> I've got about 200lbs of live rock in my tank which they like to go into a lot. <<Indeed>> Their spots have not yet got away yet and was wondering if I should be worried. <<Never really ever "goes away" (crypt will be/is always present in the system), but under "optimum" conditions the symptoms of a light outbreak will often resolve themselves.  The fact that this system is overstocked with three large (potentially) tangs does not bode well>> They seem to be swimming and eating fine and none of my other fish have them. <<...yet>> Anyways, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could give me some advice as of what to do and what could be causing them. <<Please read here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm).  You will need to remove the afflicted fish and treat in a separate hospital tank.  Ideally, you will need to remove and observe (treat only if necessary) "all the fish" and allow the system to sit fallow for six weeks>> Thank you so much for you time. <<Happy to assist>> Sincerely, Mai <<Regards, EricR>>

Hippo Tang with Ich (Temperature Fluctuations) - 08/13/06 Hi Crew - I've read thru your site countlessly, thank you for all your help in advance! <<Hello Linda!...I think we've "chatted" before...This is Eric in SC>> 100 gal. tank with wet/dry filter...1.  My blue hippo tang started out with a few white spots, but weren't quite sure whether it was the fine micro bubbles from the Hagen powerheads that always shoot out these dreaded bubbles on spurts OR whether it was ich. <<Hmm...though true "micro-bubbles" can be problematic, I've never found the occasional "spurt" of bubbles from a powerhead to be a real problem>> 2.  I've had a hard time getting the tank temp below 84 degrees, due to the weather being dreadfully hot even with air conditioning!, <<Indeed, am quite familiar with the "weather" you speak of; but 84-degrees is not "too high" in my opinion>> so decided to unplug one of my two heaters to bring down the temp some, down to 82 degrees.  Trying to get it down to 80 so experimenting, unplugged the 2nd heater last night, this morning temp down to 78 degrees. <<Mmm...sounds like the heaters are set too high maybe?>> With this much temp fluctuation, my blue hippo tang has more white spots AND also some black freckles around face. <<Not surprising...>> He is NOT scratching and seems to be perfectly fine and eating well along with VitaChem soaked seaweed, which he loves.  What has caused the black freckles? <<Likely a reaction to the environmental stresses you mention>> Should I try to catch him, dip him, and quarantine with copper solution? <<If you have the facilities for such, absolutely...and the sooner the better.  If you have other fish present you may find you will need to treat all...and let the tank sit fallow for 5-6 weeks>> Thank every so much. Linda in GA    <<A pleasure to assist.  EricR>>

Oh my god, Help me!!!! SW Parasite problem? A good case for Hitchhiker's Guide: Don't Panic   4/1/06 Oh my god, I can't believe I have a problem with a parasite and I can't find any info about it anywhere. Please help me. I have a 150 gallon tall tank. I have a 3" yellow tang, 2 baby hippos 1 1/2", 1 PJ cardinal, 2 black clowns, algae bunny, 2 small false percula clowns. Three days ago I noticed my smaller of the two hippo tangs to have a small black spot on her side. Not like a grain of salt. BIGGER! Looked more like a big piece of poop stuck to her side. She didn't seem to bothered with it until day 2. On the second day she began to scratch almost every few minutes. I discovered it could be a parasite so I called 8 LFS in the phonebook, nobody knew what it was. <Might be "nothing" pathogenic> I qt ALL my fish prior to placing in my display tank. She was in QT  6 weeks... She looked good so I placed her in the display. I had the water tested at LFS yesterday. <Water chemistry changes with time, transport... for what you have invested here, I would get/use my own kits> He said everything is great with your water. That isn't you problem. Now today she has a gapping hole in her side and looks like something is in the re. Help. The tank is 3 1/2 foot deep <Yikes! Custom!> so this will be fun trying to catch and put in QT. It takes two people to do this on each side of the tank to catch the fish. FUN, FUN, Today I noticed the smaller black clown has the same spot on this side. Help me please. The spot is as big as, if not bigger than the balled end of a straight pin. The hippo is not eating as well as she has been. I need Big help before she dies. All other fish have been in the tank 6 months now. Tank has been running w no problems for 8 months now. Thanks in advance for your help. I sure do need it. Julie <Mmm, I would drain the tank down to facilitate all the tangs removal, and dip them per what you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm re Paravortex (which this likely is) and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above... and move the fish to QT to avoid re-infestation... for a month or more and all should be well. Oh, and I would add a purposeful cleaner organism here. Also covered on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Blue Hippo and Ich   4/1/06 Dear Crew,  <Ben> Sorry for bothering you with such a normal question, but I really am confused because I get so many answers to the ich problem.  My blue hippo has recently been experiencing an outbreak of ich.  My puffer has had a few pieces of ich on him as well, but everyone else seems fine.  The hippo has had it for two days and the puffer has had it for a week.  I have several other fish in my aquarium and do not have a large enough quarantine tank to remove all of my fish.  I only have a 10-gallon and would need to set that up.  Since I have an anemone in the tank would Ich-X work or should I wait it out.  My tank is a 125-gallon and I have only an anemone for my invertebrate population.  What would you suggest?  I would love to do hyposalinity, but the anemone is a problem and copper would be fabulous but then it would be in the tank and I could never add corals or inverts again. This is frustrating.  <Ben, all covered on WWM.  Read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangdisfaq2.htm  and here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Ben

Paracanthurus/Blue Tang ... health  3/4/06 Mr. Fenner & Crew, <Bryan.> A while back wrote to you about my very tiny 1" blue tang which I suspected to have ich shortly after introduction to quarantine.  You suggested a biological treatment before chemical because of the size.  Well, here's an update and a few questions.  Biological cleaning barely helped the little guy so I did a four day treatment of copper and after a rough 2 weeks everything seems to be fine. It has been 6 weeks now and the he's doing great and as almost doubled in size. <Good to hear.> Currently he is still in the 20gal tank that I first put him in to treat and grow a little before moving to the big tank.  My question is what would be a good size for him to be before I put him in the display tank.  My concern is the other fish he will be joining (mainly the purple tang - 5").  Should I wait until he gets about 3-4"? <Might be better to put in there now.  The small size of the blue tang may not be recognized as a threat to the purple tang.  Keep in mind that regardless of size there will more than likely be a skirmish or two.> Also, when that time comes and there has been no additional sign of illness, should I give a FW bath prior to moving to the display tank or skip it? <I would skip it.  This is the purpose of quarantine...fish looks good for three to four weeks, time to move.> Lastly, do you know any tricks to get blue tangs to eat their greens, <Might try an algae clip, worked for me once.> he eats everything but seaweed and macro/micro algae.  He loves every type of shrimp, flake, and plankton I offer to him.  Most of the foods I use are high in HUFA and Spirulina and sometimes I soak it in Selcon.  Will this mix of foods do, or do I need to continue to try the greens? <Sounds like a healthy diet but do continue trying the greens.  The greens are the freeze dried variety, correct?> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Bryan

Re: Unbeatable Hepatus Tang and Crypt 10/12/05 Dear Crew, <Jeff> I wrote several weeks ago concerning my Hippo Tang and Crypt, and Adam wrote back with some suggestions which I have attempted to follow. The tang has now been in a QT for almost 3 months and I still see spots on it.  <... likely needs to be treated... not just quarantined... ahh, I see you've done this. Below> The odd thing is though, the spots never seem to disappear or increase. Is it possible I'm not dealing with Crypt at all? <Yes> Some of the spots appear to be like white pimples while others are white and smooth. There are no spots on the fins whatsoever, only on the body. Some sort of other irritant? Debris? <Possibly... there are other external parasites that look "spotty", other conditions that irritate neuromast (the pit organ/cells that are part of the lateralis system...> I don't see the tang flashing nor does it appear to be in any distress and it eats like crazy. Quick summary of what I've done up till now: Hypo for 4 weeks, Formalin baths, freshwater baths, copper treatment for 2 weeks with CopperSafe and now almost a week of copper with SeaCure (and using the appropriate test kit to monitor the level) and finally multiple aquarium swapping (as suggested by Adam). <I see...> At this point, do I dare move the Tang into the main? <I would> I'm worried the prolonged copper usage and other stresses of being in QT is going to kill this poor fish. As always, you all are amazing and many many Thanks! Jeff <I share your concern. I would pH-adjusted freshwater dip/bath this fish and place it in your main system. Bob Fenner>

Hepatus tang and Cryptocaryon 9/19/05 Dear WWM Crew, I am writing to you because I have reached a point where I have nowhere else to turn.  I have had this Hippo Tang in a bare quarantine tank for over 9 weeks now and I cannot get this fish to stop contracting "ich". I have used every possible resource on your site and I only wanted to write as a last resort. Treatment Details:  Originally I started with hyposalinity (1.09 SG, using a refractometer) for 4 weeks to no avail.  I slowly returned the SG to normal and then started treating with CopperSafe (using a test kit to monitor the levels) for 2 weeks.  Again, the ich has re-appeared, or should I say never disappeared. I then tried several formalin (Rid-Ich+) baths, and I would leave the tang in the solution for an hour.  You guessed it, ich is still showing.  I have now picked up a bottle of SeaCure but of course the Aquarium Pharm copper test kit I have doesn't have a reading for this type of copper level and I'm treating "blindly" at the moment till I can find a test kit (I drove to at least 4 LFS the last two days to find a simple test kit without luck and I'm fuming).  <I can only imagine your frustration!  I am surprised that this barrage of treatments has not been successful.  I would suggest confirming 100% that you are dealing with ick.  As for the SeaCure, I am not sure that a test kit exists to accurately monitor it.  I would simply follow the package directions precisely.> Conclusion: My WWM Friends, I am totally desperate. I just bought a neon goby and it's been "going to town" on the tang but the white spots still remain, and the tang still scratches too.  All in all, the tang is doing EXTREMELY well considering what it has gone through but I worry it will never have a chance to go into the main tank.  What else can I do?  For what it's worth, I had ordered this tang online through saltwaterfish.com.  When I received this poor tang it was so tiny and skinny it was almost transparent.  Through TLC and Nori feeding it has gotten plump and much larger but the crypt is our nemesis. Please help "us". Thank you!! - Jeff <See here for some great information (as well as part 2 of the linked article): http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php  I also have one last suggestion (assuming you are 100% sure you are dealing with Ick).  Set up a second hospital tank and fill it with water from your main display.  Move the fish to the second tank.  Drain the first hospital tank and allow it to dry COMPLETELY.  After the fish has been in the second hospital tank for three days, fill the empty tank from the display and move the fish to the new tank. Repeat this tank transfer procedure through a total of four moves and the fish should be ick free.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Blue Tang with Blisters on Dorsal and Ventral fins 8/11/05 We have a small salt water tank in our office.  The Blue Tang has developed blisters on his dorsal and ventral fins.  The "Fish Guy" who cares for the tank doesn't know what it is and doesn't know if it is treatable.   <Me neither... could be "worms" of a few sorts, possibly environmental...> I've surfed the net and thought I get "blisters and blue tangs", I can't find a specific reference to the subject. Please help.  Oddly, I seem to be in love with these fish.   Thanks. <Please have your "fish guy" contact me... I would try some Vermifuges here first (Praziquantel my first choice), and if this doesn't reduce the blisters, Metronidazole... as well as bolstering this fish's immune system with soaking foods in Zoe, Selcon... Our various input on this species, other tang disease, nutrition, habitat can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blue Tang with Blisters on Dorsal and Ventral fins
8/13/05 Ol' Blue passed away last night. I'll bury him at the beach. bring him close to the ocean out of which he arose. Gabrielle <An appropriate place, gesture. BobF>

Pacific Blue Tang 07/01/05 ... disease... Crew, I recently bought a small (2") Pacific Blue Tang to add to my 90 gallon tank, joining a maroon clown, black and white damsel, 2 cleaner shrimp, and 3 small hermit crabs.  I acclimated him as per the LFS instructions (which did not include quarantine or freshwater dip).  Within 1/2 hour I noticed very tiny white things on his body, which I thought might have been bubbles.  After reading some FAQs on your website I am afraid it may be ich.  Is it too late to try a freshwater dip and quarantine? <I would QT and treat ASAP before the other fish contract the disease.>    Should I medicate the entire tank? <Not with inverts present, the copper will kill them.>  I have heard that cleaner shrimp can help with ich, is this true? <To some extent, certainly not 100%.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for your help, Nathan

Regal tang acting weird Hi there, I am quite new to the hobby and have found your FAQs and articles an invaluable resource. I have a question about the recent weird behaviour of a blue hippo/regal tang I'm keeping. For the last four weeks this fish has been in QT with a pair of percula clowns resulting from an outbreak of Ick. I have been treating carefully with Cupramine but couldn't get hold of a test kit for the first three weeks (a faulty batch from the USA meant no shop in Sydney, Aus. had stock). Upon seeking advice from Seachem via their website they posted me another kit (great customer service) <Yes, their service is great.> and so finally last week I found my Cupramine levels to be spot on at 0.5 The fish had been free of spots for 3 weeks by then and Seachem recommended dosing for another full week (even for the Tang considering its digestive bacteria, etc) to be sure considering she was probably in a lower than effective dose before I had the test kit (I was changing water frequently and dosing with caution to avoid poisoning them). So after four weeks of treatment, the fish are free of spots but I've noticed this odd behaviour over the last day or two in the Blue Tang. She seems to spend more time than usual hiding in her PVC tube. She comes out occasionally and still eats like a maniac (brine shrimp, Nori, flake, garlic and small pieces of chopped squid). Her behaviour seems to alter dramatically when I'm watching her...she loses her colour very quickly, begins to breathe rapidly and sort of "fits' inside the tube. She's not scratching herself, rather she's sort of darting and flapping her fins rapidly. If I go away she stops this behaviour and regains her colour but still spends more time in the tube than she was even during the treatment. <This isn't abnormal.  If all the tang has is the PVC for a hideout, they will be a little skittish.  Much prefer live rock, caves, etc for shelter.> My instinct is that she might be stressed from being in a small QT tank for the past four weeks<could very well be> and is trying to tell me this by exhibiting this frantic behaviours when she sees me watching her. The QT is only 40Litres  but I've got an AquaClear 350 turning the water over and an airstone bubbling away so the oxygen is terrific. We are changing about 30% water weekly. PH is 8.5 (not sure about ammonia due to copper), Nitrates zero, temp at 29 and salinity showing 0.24 (we raised the temp on advice from the shop whilst waiting for the test kit). The last water change was 2 days ago and we have not redosed copper. I intend to add carbon to get rid of the rest of the copper this week. Could there be another reason for this behaviour? Have I done something wrong? <I would add a couple more pieces of PVC in the QT.>I would ideally like to keep the QT going for another 2 weeks without copper to check they are all in good health and that the main system has run fallow for 6 weeks (main now has 2 coral banded shrimp and frequent hovering and water changes as well as higher temp 28 in effort to get rid of as much Ick as possible) but if the tang is suffering from being in smaller confines for too long should I move her back now to her 140 litre main home? <If the tang has been exposed to effective copper levels for 28 days, I would feel comfortable putting her back in the main system.> Please advise, thanks in advance for more invaluable help...<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Hillary
Re: Regal tang acting weird...
Hi again, Thanks so much for your advice and your speedy response! Just a couple of points of clarification if you don't mind... <Go ahead> There are currently 2 elbow shaped pipes and two small box shapes in the QT tank for the tang and 2 percula clowns.. should I add more than this? <Mmm, if everyone has a space to hide in, no> My thinking was it would be better to offer her max swimming space than clutter the QT with copious amounts of pipe...but please correct me if I'm wrong!! <I agree with your point of view> Would you suggest I move her back sooner rather than let her go another 2 weeks in non-copper QT? IE: Is it better to ease her stress (if that's what's causing her behaviour) and make the total fallow period only 4 instead of 6 weeks, or should I try and stick it out another 2 weeks in QT? <Myself, I would opt for the short/ened time frame> And if I'm moving her back now, should I bag her and follow normal acclimatization procedure, or freshwater dip her then into main system, or just ensure temperature, salinity and PH levels are the same in main and QT system and net her straight from QT into the tank? <I would definitely dip/bath this fish in transit> I am a little nervous about cross-contamination as I'm sure there is still copper traces in QT and I have inverts and corals in the main system. Thanks again, Hillary <Good questions, thinking here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Regal tang acting weird... dipping protocols
Hello, <Hi again> Again thanks for the advice, and since you thought my questions were good I thought I would ask a couple more about the freshwater dip for the Blue Regal/Hippo tang coming out of copper QT... hope that's ok!!! <Sure> I have read the article on WWM and the FAQs so I more or less just wanted to confirm I have digested and fully understood the procedure before I go ahead. I would hate to think I might cause her more harm than good in doing something wrong and would appreciate some reassurance I have things right, and if I don't, someone to set me straight: <Will try> Since she is not visibly suffering from Ick now after the treatment, would it make sense not to include medication in the bath such as Methylene Blue? Or would it be advisable to include this in the bath for good measure? <Mmm, well, amongst the stockpile of chemicals that can/could be added to such dips/baths, Methylene Blue is exceedingly non-toxic, non-stressful> If I should use Methylene Blue should I add this to the bath before checking PH parameters or will this not affect the PH? <Will not practically effect pH... though with aeration, can help to sustain high, steady pH> If there's no need to use it am I literally just preparing temp and PH adjusted fresh water to put her in? <Yes> The procedure: Using tap water treated with a water conditioner/de-chlorinator in a bucket, match the temperature and PH (using baking soda to increase) to the water in the QT tank that she's currently in. Use a net to lift her out of the QT tank and then do I release her into the bucket of premixed bath or do I keep her in the actual net for the duration of the 5-10 min.s, monitoring her reaction and pulling her out if she thrashes about or tries to jump out? <Better to release large, active fishes in baths... re-net to remove> Then do I net her out (or simply lift her out if she remains in net) drain, and then transfer her straight to the main system? <Yes> In terms of removing copper and sterilizing QT tank (that has been exposed to Ick), do I do water changes and run Carbon or CupriSorb in filter until copper test kit reads zero, then empty, soak tank and PVC for 1-2 hours in non-scented household bleach, then rinse thoroughly twice with 4 x dose of de chlorinated tap water and allow to air dry? Should I run the bleach solution through the hang on filter and rinse the same as for the tank, then return filter media to main system to prepare it for possible future hospital/QT purposes? <I would add the bleach (will complex any copper as cupric chloride), let circulate for half an hour or so, dump, rinse... re-fill> I won't do anything until I'm sure I have this right. She was a lot calmer last night than she has been so I'm not panicked about taking her out of the QT tank as soon as possible. Many thanks for your advice and patience with me! Hillary. <A pleasure to share, help. Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang Still has ICH My question is what can I do to rid my hippo tang of ich, other than copper. I have my fish in a quarantine tank and have been treating with RID-ICH for 2 weeks now, but my hippo still is showing signs of ich.  <Or... what you presume is Cryptocaryon... might just be proteinaceous precipitation from the medicine> I have been dosing every 12 hrs like it says if you have a stubborn case. None of the other fish are showing any signs of ich including a yellow tang and a Naso. I do not want to use copper as I plan to use this as a quarantine tank for live rock, and inverts. By the way the qt tank is bare bottomed with pieces of pvc for decor. The filter is a penguin 330 w/bio wheels, and there is no filter media or carbon. The hippo is fat and moving around very well, but is flashing and I can see a couple spots of ich.. I don't want to lose it, what can I do. <Read, study... try to understand other possibilities, get, use a microscope, make a smear, look for causative organism/s... I would "bath" this fish per WWM input and place it, with biological cleaners... Bob Fenner> 

Hippo Tang (disease) Dear Bob Fenner, <James here for Bob> Carefully following The Conscientious Marine Aquarist and Wet Web Media from the start for over 3 year, I have never had a disease process in my 100 gallon reef show tank. I now have a total of 180 gallons in circulation with two refugiums containing three types of macroalgae and over two hundred pounds of live rock total, 0-3 generator on a Turboflotor, a 25 watt U/V, and over 2500 GPH circulation. There is no predation among the peaceful fish community. Feeding includes a mixture of premium flake and pellets, Gracilaria, Caulerpa, and freshly hatched brine shrimp. Water changes and make up water are RO/DI. Ca is maintained with Kalkwasser drip system.  There is never detectable ammonia, nitrite, silicate, or nitrate in the system. Most of the fish I started with 2 to three years ago are still with me. ORP stays between 350 and 400 except after weekly water changes. Having wanted a hippo/pallet/Pacific blue Tank for some time while knowing that it can be a problem fish, I found one that had been at the store for four weeks - an absolutely clean fish. After "Fenner dipping" she was in a 30 gallon quarantine for 4 weeks, eating everything I put in there. I introduced her at night to the reef tank and she immediately began active swimming and aggressive eating. There was no predation. She remained clean and beautiful for 3 weeks. A few days ago I noticed one white spot. Today I see seven white spots. The fish otherwise looks and acts very healthy and active. By the "book" this looks like ick! I have no idea why. I cannot catch her due to the extensive rock work but will take it apart if you say it is necessary to treat her. But then, I would not want to put her back. I love the beauty and activity of this fish. Can I wait and see if it goes away or is this an emergency? Will this contaminate my whole system? I have and will continue to follow your recommendations. What should I do?  <Howard, for now I would suggest you soak the fishes food in a garlic based vitamin. This will help the immune system of the fish and may even prevent other fish from getting the disease. I would keep an close eye on the hippo, and if the case gets worse, you probably have no choice but to remove the rock to net the fish. There really isn't an effective medication you can use in a reef tank. I have seen other hippos contract the disease and eventually recover, so cross your fingers. James (Salty Dog)> 

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Well? >Hi, >>Hi, I'm coming into a conversation already taking place, so forgive me if I go over stuff already covered (this is why we like to have previous exchanges included in the body - this is also likely why you ended up with me). >We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich. >>Righty-oh.  Very easily eradicated. >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 - 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 - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? >>I don't know that you would really need to go with the copper, this parasite is so easily eradicated with simple hyposalinity.  A salinity of 1.010 ought to do the trick.  Also, I'd leave him in there much longer than 3 minutes, I'd give him more on the order of 10 or so. >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? >>Bathing?  I'm going to assume that you're using this terminology interchangeably with dipping, in which case length of dip as above (forgot to add that you would do well to add Methylene blue - enough to turn the water dark blue).  I would keep the tang in the hypo for two weeks, using observation to decide at what point he seems to be clear.  As I said, this is easily dealt with.  Then, he should remain in quarantine for 30 days MINIMUM, starting from the point at which you decide that he's clear of all disease.  After that 30 days is up, begin bringing the salinity up to the tank's levels, over two or three days is good.  Dip in the freshwater as above, then he can be placed in the display.  Oh!  Garlic has not been shown at all to demonstrate any efficacy for treating Cryptocaryon irritans. >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! >>It's the first for me, so.. I'm not irritated at this point.  ;)  (We like our fish-minded friends, anyway.)  Be sure to keep up water quality with water changes, this is KEY.  ZERO ammonia and nitrites, nitrates under 30-40ppm is desired (obviously, the lower the better).  Best of luck!  Marina

Re: disease? I have a hippo tang with small bumps on his body. It looks like small pimples of some sort (best way I can describe it). I have searched online but have only found one disease that seems to fit what he has, and that was called wasting disease. I have had the fish about a year now and never had any problems with him so far and he still eats and it seems to not bother him at all. I would like your opinion as to what it could be and what I should do about it. Should I give him a freshwater dip or just leave it alone and see what happens? It started out as one bump about 5 days ago and has progressed to about 6 to 8 bumps now, mainly on the middle part of body. Any help with this would be appreciated, thank you.   <This is hopefully evidence of a Microsporidean infection... a type of protozoan. And not (currently) "treatable". Not uncommon in wild stocks or otherwise healthy Paracanthurus. These "spots" are multiplying too quickly to suit me though. I wouldn't dip or chemically try to medicate this specimen for now, unless the "spots" are white, epidermal (rather than blue, subdermal)... in which case I suspect marine ich... and would read quickly on www.WetWebMedia.com re treatment. Bob Fenner>

Sick of Ich--Hippo Tang >Hi, thanks for your wonderful website, this is always a good source of knowledge!! >>Hello, you're welcome, we're glad it's of good use for yourself and others. >I have moved my 50 gal reef tank from my parents' house to my apartment 1 week ago.  All my livestock are fine except my hippo tang.  It was showing some sign of stress since the first day at my apartment.   >>Alright, could it have gotten chilled during the move?  This can bring on that ich pretty badly, especially with fish such as tangs. >It have get worst and last Friday I have found some ich on it.  So I have gave to it a fresh water bath with bleu Methylene. >>Good course of action, however, it may need to be placed in a hospital tank using hyposalinity (1.010). >Since that time my tang is always hiding and don't eat anymore. What could I do for him now?  I really don't want to lose him... Steve Timmons >>Set up a hospital tank with heater and some filtration, and acclimate the fish over the next two days to a specific gravity/salinity level of 1.010.  Keep him there for at least two weeks at that salinity level.  Once he's cleared, keep him in quarantine for 30 days.  Offer him a good variety of foods, perform as many water changes as needed to keep the water quality very high, and this, hopefully, will do the trick.  Marina

Blue tang ich options Hi Robert, I think I'm making good decisions, but I thought if I was making obvious mistakes you could catch me on them, if you have time. <Okay> I have a 33G tank with ~10lbs of live rock, 1" of aragonite sand over 2" of crushed coral over a UGF run in reverse. The draw if through an Eheim surface suction extractor into an Eheim canister, into the UGF. I've ordered an AquaC Remora protein skimmer, and I'm waiting for it to arrive (should be this week) to remove the UGF. The tank is 6 weeks old and I cycled it with two damsels. There were two snails and a nickel-sized starfish on the live rock. <I'd likely just "unplug" the flow to the UG and leave the plate there as an ersatz plenum> After 6 weeks and no measurable ammonia, nitrite and ~2ppm (approx based on colour somewhere between 0 and 5 on my test kit) nitrate, I bought some more friends! I bought 2 scarlet hermit crabs, 3 snails (one Astrea, one turbo, one tiger turbo, bringing the total up to 5), and a starfish (I don't remember what kind, but it looks pretty standard, nothing fancy, roughly 3" in diameter and brown.)<Hmm> I bought those at Marinescape in Ottawa; nice store, I think I'll be going there a lot. I waited almost a week, returned the Damsels at the Ottawa (St. Laurent) ASWO and got two real fish there. A blue tang and a pygmy angel. The rep seems quite knowledgeable about marine tanks, and said that these two are reasonably good choices for a beginner and should coexist well. Not trusting him, I checked in their books anyway! They pretty much confirmed that these fish are easy to keep and hardy. I acclimatized them over the course of an hour, but didn't do the freshwater dip. <Yikes, I would have... and no quarantine? You may have inadvertently infested your tank... time will tell.> Both fish were from the same tank, the tank was very active and seemed in perfect health, and I had no other fish to protect, so I was unconcerned. Although future incidents put that into question, my understanding of the biology of marine ich (foreshadowing there!) seem to me to indicate that this was not a bad decision. I got some emerald entree as well. <Do like the mystery lingo entered here... can we wait to see how this "turns out"?> They've been home for three nights now, and unfortunately 2 days ago the blue tang was dusted with about 30 or so white spots (consistent with your description of marine ich.) Yesterday, the fish was less active and there were fewer white spots. Both fish are still feeding well and there is no sign of asphyxiation. There was 100% I'll stake my reputation on it absolutely no sign of it in the store. More Internet research has uncovered the fact (absent from the book in the store!) that the tang is susceptible to ich. Sigh. <Arggghhhh, I knew it... It was YOU! Not the Butler after all... Don't be too hard on yourself... Neither you, I or anyone else could/would have likely seen the "spots"... but in shops they're epidemic... Most systems are not independent in mixing, treating water... folks are sloppy in sharing specimen containers, nets... sans sanitizing dips/procedures... Hence the rationale behind dips/baths, quarantine procedures... a bunch and I mean a really big pile more on this stored on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com> Marine ich biology is now a subject in which I am reasonably well versed. Please correct me where I'm wrong: The little bastards live in and on fish, not just on them. A freshwater dip can be helpful, but won't necessarily prevent fish who are currently infected from bringing their infection along with them. The lifecycle of marine ich (three stages) lasts approximately from 8-10 weeks, with about 2 weeks being the "white dust" phase. <Pretty much correct, 'cept for time frames of single generation infestations... and the capacity to speed up same with elevating temperature... the Q10 factor as you may recall> There seem to be two possible ways to deal with this: 1) I accept that marine ich parasites in the tank is a fact of life, the way going into a hospital the fact that the flu virus is somewhere in there is a fact of life. Healthy fish need not be particularly concerned, but whenever there is a stressful event, some may catch it. It's unlikely to kill my fish. I can control it with a cleaner shrimp, which many sources advocate as a natural way to combat marine ich and other marine parasites. OR 2) I don't want any nasty marine ich in my tank, thank you very much. I take the two fish out right away, pop them into a hospital tank (that currently does not exist), treat them with copper and leave them there for 10 weeks, while not adding any fish to my main tank. I can add inverts and have some fun watching them while the tang and angel recuperate. In 10 weeks, having completely deprived any ich in any stages in the tank from any fish hosts, my tank is clean. I can add the fish back in. From now on, however, I need to treat ANY new fish with copper for 2 weeks in my hospital tank before adding them to my main tank. <Two weeks should do it... in the hospital tank with environmental manipulation thrown in... and a month of dropping spg and elevating temp. in the now-impugned main system... but you can/will read about this on the WWM site> I'm going to decide (1) as it requires me to buy a 30$ additional pet to enjoy instead of setting up another tank and going without my pets (for practical purposes) for a long time. I also surfed your site and there are salinity options discussed there that I am open to adopting. I am worried about overstressing the fish in this weakened state with salinity changes. Any advice for me? Thanks in advance, Paul <First, I do commiserate with your situation... I would do both 1 and 2 in the way of treating the fishes in the main system with a copper based medication (which will likely be necessary... you'll very likely otherwise lose your livestock...), test kit, and the mentioned spg, temp. changes... in the main tank... Yes, risking the loss of nitrification and all that portends... and having plenty of back up pre-made water to effect possible water changes... And then once this "parasite problem" appears to be licked, avail yourself of plan "1" (after utilizing activated carbon or Polyfilter to assure removal of the cupric ion... and returning temp. and spg to near natural seawater conditions...) and make a firm commitment to adopt and adhere to a stiff regimen of dip/bath and quarantine of all new fish livestock.... Bob Fenner>

Ectoparasites on hippo tang Bob, Once again I crave your advise. I have two hippo tangs and a Bannerfish butterfly that have been in quarantine since 12/9/00. I dipped the fish in fresh water and then treated them with therapeutic copper x 10 days. During that time, the tangs were reclusive so I didn't get to examine them well. Two days after stopping the copper, I noted that one of the tangs had several ~1mm brownish attachments to one side of its dorsal fin. Both tangs had 3 mm white oval rings on their bodies. The butterfly had a single white 1 mm lesion on its body. I attempted to view the dorsal fin lesion in my surface microscope, but was unable to hold the fish in focus without traumatizing it, so I didn't get a good view of the lesions. I treated them again with copper for another 14 days, and only the butterfly's lesion disappeared. Then, I tried a commercial Malachite green / quinine preparation x 5 days, while feeding them brine shrimp mixed with Metronidazole, without affect. Then I used Paragon (which along with various antibiotics, has Dylox. <Yes, DTHP, an organophosphate insecticide...> The oval rings are gone. The butterfly and one tang have been completely clear for two weeks. The other tang still has 3 brownish, 1 mm protuberances on its dorsal fin. All fish are eating and acting well. Should I continue quarantine or could these represent dead but firmly attached parasites? I do have a cleaner wrasse in the main tank (sorry, I read your injunction after the purchase!). Would it be sufficient to safeguard the tank from contamination? Should I try another treatment, and if so, with what? thanks, Sam <Much thought and thoughtfulness have gone into your actions and message here; I appreciate this. And a somewhat tough call on how to proceed. I can, as always, only speak to how I would proceed. I would place the Paracanthurus Tang, even with the described lesions at this point... and consider that the risk of contamination is very small (acceptably). Biological cleaners (I like various shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies as you know, rather than the dismal survival-history Labroides)... do help, but cannot/will not prevent infectious, parasitic disease spread... All else contributing... an optimized, stable environment and so much more (see the "Three Sets of Factors Determining Livestock Health" on the www.WetWebMedia.com site) I give you very good odds that the problems on the Palette/Hippo/Pacific Yellow Tail Blue Tang will self-cure. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ectoparasites on hippo tang
Thanks. Here's another quick question. When I realized that the quarantine tank was needed for more than two weeks, I moved my fluidized sand filter from my main system (where it had run in parallel to the primary wet/dry filtration) to the quarantine tank. Despite having been running for 8 months, the sand filter did not stop the quarantine tank from cycling. I was surprised. Do you think that the medications killed the bio-filtration organisms (they each claimed not to),  <Yes, copper kills nitrifying microbes... Bob Fenner> or is the fluidized sand filter less capable than advertised? <These can be finicky depending on lack of flow, temperature change, availability of nutrients...> thanks, Sam

Yet Another Ich Question...! Mr. Fenner, I have read all related questions prior to bothering you but had no luck with finding anything relating to my problem. I am new to "The Hobby" and introduced a hippo tang into my reef tank a couple of weeks ago (12 Gallon Eclipse). <A Paracanthurus in such a small system...> I DID dip him in a product called "HydroPlex". He developed the onset of Ich two days ago and I purchased and added a product called "No-Ich Marine" to the tank that same day. <Both non-effective products in my estimation...> I started doing some research and you can imagine my dismay when I found your web site and started reading all the horror stories regarding Ich. Do you know if the products I used are valuable as I am using them?  <Yes, do know, and no, they're not...> I have raised the temp, vacuumed the live gravel and rock, changed the water, purchased a cleaner shrimp, etc., etc. as I see you advise over and over again, but am hopeful that this "new" type of medication will prove more effective than older products. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! <Ah, my new friend... I do wish I had some 'magic' or other-additional information to render... you now know about all I do re the common parasitic infestations of marine fishes... do continue with the environmental manipulation, use of cleaners, vitamin prep.s.... Bob Fenner, who would of course, encourage you to dip-bath, or quarantine all new livestock... not place the stated species in such a small system... I wish you well, life>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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