Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about the Yellow-Tail Blue, Palette, Regal, Hippo Tang Disease/Health 7

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 8, YTBT Disease 9, YTBT Disease , & Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Paracanthurus Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: The Genus Paracanthurus,

Related FAQs: Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 1, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 2, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 3, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 4, PYTB Tang ID, PYTB 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

New eBook on Amazon: Available here

New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Regal Tang Wound? 1/7/09 Hi Crew, <Reuben> Firstly just wanted to let you all know that your site is awesome! <Thank you> My question is regarding a Regal Tang about 3 inches long that I've had in my tank now for around 8 months. A couple of days ago while feeding it I noticed that a white scab around the size of a small fingernail had appeared on one side, <I see this in your photos> this then developed into what looks like a wound, <To me too> almost like a piece of flesh has been eaten away, along with this a couple of small blood coloured patches have appeared on the skin just in front of the gill and I've also seen it scratching up against some of the rocks and scenery, other than that the fish is acting completely as normal (eating like a pig & darting about all over). I looked it up and so far haven't been able to find anything that quite matches it, so I've come to you all for your expertise. Tank parameters are: Tanks been up & running for 1 year 65 gallons PH 8.3 Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrate 80 ( I tested the water after I noticed the scab and have been performing water changes to bring it way back down) Temp 79 degrees Fahrenheit SG 1.024 Red sea prism deluxe protein skimmer Canister filter for 105 gallon tank Extra power head for added flow UV sterilizer Two air stones Sand bed is about 2 inches deep and is made of crushed coral Inhabitants 2 Ocellaris Clowns largest is 1.5 inches had for 10 months 1 six line wrasse about 2 inches had for 10 months <Mmm, the most likely culprit> 1 Yellow Tang about 2.5 inches had for 8 months 1 Pacific Cleaner Shrimp had for 9 months 4 Turbo Snails had for 9 months A few other cool hitchhikers including Feather Dusters, a Button Polyp & a clam like crustacean I feed the fish marine flakes & dried seaweed daily and a bit of frozen food like Mysis & brine shrimp once every other week. All the other inhabitants are fine and I've never had any problems other than a brief outbreak of Ich not long after I started the tank up which killed off my Royal Gramma and a Fire shrimp which had trouble molting and ended up dying the following day. I've attached a few photos if they're any help. <They are definitely> If you've any idea what it might be and any treatment for it I'd be most grateful as I've grown quite attached to it and wouldn't want to lose it. <Is most likely a physical injury... a wound as you surmise. I would do nothing treatment-wise here. Good maintenance and nutrition will show this fish improving with time. Bob Fenner> P.S once I've sorted out the water quality and the problem with my regal tang I'd like to add possibly a couple more fish and inverts do you have any suggestions? <This 65 gal. tank is already past full temperament-wise... part of the reason here... I would add no more fishes>

Hippo Tang/Health 1/6/09 Hi crew, <Hi Derek> I got a Hippo Tang 1.5" at a LFS during Christmas sale, and did not quarantine it, now I fully regret it. It seems to have developed some kind of erosion around its stomach. I've read your forum and it doesn't seem to be HLLE. Not much on the face and lateral line, but erodes/ scar more on the stomach area (greyish white). The LFS told me to get it out and dose it with some antibiotics, and if not dose it with Marine Melafix. <Melafix isn't really an antibiotic, and quite frankly, in my opinion, is utterly useless. What it can/will do is damage to your denitrification process. On another note, do not dose medication unless you can identify the symptoms and then only dose with the proper medication. If an antibiotic is needed, you would be better off using a product containing Erythromycin such as Maracyn. Bob may have additional suggestions.> <<No sense using antibiotics here period. RMF>> I've tried using nets, fish traps, bottles and still couldn't get the sucker out. Since I can't get it out, I turn<ed> off the skimmer and dose Melafix daily, <Stop dosing this, you will likely be causing more problems.> but it doesn't seem to be improving. Its still eating like a champ, eating Mysis, brine, Nori & flake. I have a 75g tank with 150lbs of live rock, housed in it is a 3" Yellow Tang (I've seen bullying and territorial dominance), <Not uncommon when mixing tangs.> 2 False Percs, 1 Algae Goby and one Dragon Goby. Water parameters seems to be quite good, should I take any other action? What do you think the parasite/ erosion would be? <The pic isn't that detailed for an accurate diagnosis, but my first thought was that this fish has been in a few scuffles with the Yellow Tang and likely got these bruises from barreling into a cave/crevice. If you could get a clearer pic, it would be more helpful. For now, just keep a close eye on the Hippo. When writing to WWM, please capitalize all proper nouns including "I" as it saves us much time if we do not have to do this before posting.> thanks a lot <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Derek <<This is very likely simple mechanical injury as James suggests... No use "treating"... Bob Fenner>>

Re: Hippo Tang/Health 1/12/09 Hi salty dog, <Yikes, my name not in caps.> I believe you are right. The scuffs are from the Blue Tang trying to wedge himself into caves/ crevices. The blue tang disappears after the lights go off and hides in his favourite cave. When the lights come on in the morning, the scars/ scratches usually worsens. (any idea why this is?) <In my experience, Hippo's generally try to wedge themselves into the tightest possible crevice and this is more than likely why you are seeing this.> Since your last email, I've stopped dosing Melafix, <Good, green tea extracts don't do much as far as anti-biotic remedies go.> and ran carbon to remove it. Knock on wood the scars have been almost gone, and I'm still continuing to feed him garlic. <OK> I have heard from other fellow reefers that by putting a mirror in front of the tank, an aggressive (in my case a yellow tang) tang will knock themselves out by chasing after their shadow. In turn will lower the fish's aggression. I'll try this once the blue tang is fully recovered. <Doesn't hurt to try.> Thanks again, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Derek

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>

Sick tang... 11/19/08 Could you please help identify these for me. I am researching for someone else . From my understanding the owners of these fish had said, this appeared over night. I have seen this on other fish in the past but not able to pin point what it is cause or treatment. those fish perished. Any help would be greatly appreciated Lynn <... the marking on the Paracanthurus looks to be the result of some sort of physical trauma... the Clown... is worrisome... overnight? This might be Mycobacterium... perhaps Brooklynellosis... need better, close up, even microphotographic imagery and staining to discern. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick tang. Paracanthurus 11/20/2008 Dear bob Thank you for taking the time to get back to me on this .Unfortunately the hippo tang passed away 24 hrs upon onset of this odd color change.. I have seen it in the past a few times. Although it tends to be common with blue hippos when they are smaller and more susceptible to disease when purchase at such a young stage.. <Yes> All with the same signs of blackening and within 24 hrs death.. I stopped purchasing such small fish due to this similar signs and not knowing how to help.. is it possible that this could also be a similar strain of virus that appears darker on the tang? <A virus? I don't know> due to its natural pigment? Please tell me your thoughts on this.. Whatever is the cause it kills within 24 hrs.. Thank you again for your time Lynn <Is very strange... frightening. Have also seen this "sudden death syndrome" on other Paracanthurus. Again, I'm not aware of the causative mechanism/s. Bob Fenner>

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.>

Do you know what is happening to my fish? :'( 10/8/08 I was referred to you by Penny at Aqua Corals, <A very fine retailer, individual in my estimation> I e-mailed her to find out what is happening to my fish here is the message I sent her explaining the problems I'm having... Penny, Here is a picture of my Blue Hippo Tang it looks like something took a bite out of the top of the fish and all the tissue around it is decaying, I also have a Tang whose left fin and side has turned white and also looks like it is starting to decay. The fish were is perfect condition Sunday night, <!> on Monday morning the Blue Hippo had a small piece missing and was white all around, today a much larger piece is gone and the white has spread further down. Do you have any thoughts on what might be causing this. <Something (frightening) that is very aggressive...> I had thought it might be possible that they got into a fight but they have never been aggressive with each other or any other fish before, and they are not avoiding each other either. P.S All the other fish in the tank seem fine. Thank you again for your time. Penny thought you may be able to help, I appreciate any suggestions or help you may be able to offer, thank you. Sherri <Again... this very rapid onset troubles me... IF the fish was somehow "bitten"... perhaps by a hidden predator (e.g. a Mantis/Stomatopod) or another fish, to have decomposers (bacteria, fungi...) reduce it to this condition in this short of time... is troubling. Do you have another system you might move it to? I would utilize a pH adjusted freshwater dip and formalin dip/bath, with aeration enroute... in the hopes of arresting progress here. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above re. Bob Fenner>

Possible Hole-in-the-head in a Hippo tang. More 9/29/08 Hello WWM crew, <Miguel> I'm new to the salt-water part of the hobby and I'm trying to figure out how to help this little guy/gal. I would like to narrow down what I'm treating before I use any medicines. I unfortunately started the tank before I found your great web site and I hope I'm not screwing up too bad. The set up: 75 gal tank started July 2008, 80 lbs live rock, 100 lbs fine Oolite aragonite live sand (live sand not really necessary/wasted extra money after reading your site), Prism deluxe protein skimmer (purchased before reading your reviews and planning to upgrade), Magnum 350 canister with a micron filter changed/cleaned every week or two depending on conditions. <Part of the issue here> Once a month, charcoal used in Magnum for a couple of days ( 2 to 3). <I'd just leave the carbon in> The outlet hose of the magnum goes through a "squid" unit (Switching Current Water Director and I have two Maxi-Jet 1200 power-heads attached to a Red Sea Wave maker. The latest water parameters: Temp 80F, Sp Gr 1.025, Amm 0, Nitrate 0, <Really? Surprising> Nitrite 0, pH 8.4, Alk 3.92, Ca 420, Phos 0, Cu 0. 10% weekly water changes using R/O water purchased from the LFS. Nothing is added without testing for it first except for Iodide (hoping to get a test kit soon) which is supplemented as per the Seachem "beginner" instructions on the bottle. The fauna: 2 Peppermint Shrimp (which took care of a minor Aiptasia outbreak on the LR), 3 Turbo snails, 5 Red legged hermit crabs, 3 B/G Chromis, and 1 small Hippo tang ( purchased before knowing 75 gal tank is not adequate size). 1 frog-spawn, 1 button polyp , 1 Evergreen starburst polyp on a controllable area, and 1 carnation (again I wished I would have found your site before purchasing but it has grown is size). The tang was purchased and place in a 10 gal QT. 2 weeks later it broke out with Marine Ich. The little guy went through copper treatment (Cupramine) <... killed off necessary gut infauna...> very well and was kept in the QT for 6 weeks post treatment. He was finally placed in the main tank and was doing great...until 2 weeks ago. I noticed a single small, white tuft-like growth on the right nares. He was getting superficial scrapes from the LR so I kept an eye on the area. The tuft remained unchanged for nearly two weeks and no new ones were appearing. The fish continued to eat and was fairly active. Within the past week things have rapidly progressed. The tuft fell-off and now there is a nice sized ulcer under the area (see picture WWM3) The fish also has lost a tremendous amount of body weight and is looking emaciated ( see picture WWM2). <I see both> He is still attempting to eat (Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef flakes, Frozen Mysis shrimp and Nori is offered but has never really eaten it). I noticed he is swimming with his mouth slightly open and appears not to be able to close it (perhaps from the muscle atrophy). I moved him back to the QT tank and the questions I have are: does it look like hole in the head and if so can I dissolve Metronidazole tablets in the 10 Gal QT tank. <Mmm... not what I would do> Is there a better antibiotic/treatment to use? <Really... root issue is water quality, avitaminoses...> ( I'm a Veterinarian so I have access to most antibiotics) <Mmm, though a couple of flagellates (Hexamita/Octomita, Spironucleus) are associated with these sorts of Neuromast destruction syndromes, the causative mechanisms are nutritional, environmental. Even so, some folks report (indirect) success with the use of Quinacrine phosphate... see WWM re> Should the 3 B/G Chromis be place in the QT tank and treated or should I wait for any clinical signs to appear? How contagious is it to other fish if at all? <Mmm, not so much as Tangs and Angels...> I appreciate your help and I've learned (am learning) so much from your site. Sincerely, Miguel Perales. <Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: -head in a Hippo tang (follow-up) 9/29/08 Thank you for the quick response. <Welcome Miguel> Having gone through the information on your web site and understanding that HLLE is a multi etiology disease makes it easier come up with a treatment plan. My plan is to increase water changes to twice a week even though the parameters seem OK. I will start soaking their food in Selcon. My problem is this, I've searched the LFS and no one seems to carry Selcon. I'm going to have to order on-line so it will take a few days to arrive. In the mean time I do have Seachem's Reef Plus which does have Vitamins and Minerals. Will it hurt the fish to soak their food in this product until the Selcon arrives? <Not at all. It will help> I feel that I need to intervene soon and don't have much time to waste since the tang is losing interest in eating and is hiding most of the time. Thank you in advance, Miguel Perales <Again, cheers, BobF> Possible Hole-in-the

I have a regal blue tang in serious need of help! Reading 9/16/08 Hello team, I have a regal blue tang in serious need of help! About three weeks ago I noticed that he was missing scales in a number of areas and did some reading and decided that it looked like lateral line erosion. I took a closer look at my yellow tang and saw some discoloration on his face and lateral line as well, along with some fin erosion. I did some reading and it looks as if there are a lot of mixed opinions as to what causes it. <Mmm, not to/for me> Some of the more popular reasons I've read about were vitamin C deficiency and poor water quality. <This and other avitaminoses, stress> I feed my fish formula 1 and 2 ocean nutrition flakes, frozen cubes of marine cuisine with brine shrimp, and green algae sheets and have witnessed the blue tang eating all of those, although the algae sheets are rare. <I'd be supplementing these foods... with a liquid prep. like Selcon, MicroVit...> I did some asking at my LFS and the lady I spoke with there suggested feeding romaine lettuce for the vitamin c. <... no. See WWM re. A very poor choice period> I put clips in the tank and after a couple of days all of the lettuce disappeared. I haven't witnessed the blue tang nipping off of them but I have seen the yellow tang eating feeding quite a bit and he looks like he may be getting some color back. The blue tang has only been getting worse though, he has almost no blue left on his entire body and looks almost clear, but is still eating other foods. My clownfish, blue damsel, royal gramma, Firefish, and neon goby all appear to be healthy. I tested water quality and specific gravity is 1.023, <A bit low> PH is 8.2, ammonia and nitrites are both zero, but the nitrates had jumped up to 40 ppm. <Way too high...> I did a quick water change and that dropped the nitrates down to less than 20 ppm and I have more water mixing for another change if they get any higher. <You need to discern the cause, deal with this here. Very likely the "lettuce" in part> I think I may have been overfeeding so I've cut down on how much I feed them and the water has cleared up a little as well. I also have been battling black algae. <Can be a factor, toxic> I no longer get the brown algae all over my rocks but have about a square foot patch of substrate that is constantly covered in black. I'll remove all of it, but within a few hours it will be well on it's way to growing back in the same spot but nowhere else in the tank. <See WWM re Cyanobacteria...> My setup is a 75g fish only system. with an emperor 400 filter, powerhead and airstone for circulation, and the temperature set for 78 degrees. It has been set up for about six months now. There have been a number of events recently that may have impacted the regal tangs health. I was having a battle with ich and conducted hyposalinity on my display tank. I had no live rock at the time so I moved my shrimp, crabs, and snails into my 12 g quarantine tank and left only the fish and hermits. The tang went two months with a salinity of 1.009 and it was at the end of that time that I first noticed missing scales. <Another input for sure> At the beginning I also gave him dips in RidIch with formalin <Ditto> but the yellow tang wasn't subjected to that. While the tank was in in hyposalinity I cured about 30 pounds of live rock that is now in my display tank and have another 30 pounds curing to be added as well. Is there any way to encourage him to eat the lettuce? <...> I put clips near his favorite spots in the tank but he has been ignoring them as far as I can tell. Thanks, Jason <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here

New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: