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FAQs about Yellow Tang Disease Diagnosis 

FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease: Disease 1, Disease 2, Disease 3, Disease 4, Disease 5, Disease 6, Disease 7, Disease 8, Yellow Tang Disease 9, Yellow Tang Disease 10, Yellow Tang Disease 11, Yellow Tang Disease 12, Yellow Tang Disease 13, Yellow Tang Disease 14, & Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,
FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional, Trauma, Pathogenic (infectious, parasitic), Social, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Yellow Tangs

Related FAQs: Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 3, Yellow Tangs 4, & Yellow Tang FAQs: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Reproduction, & Purple Tangs, Striped Sailfin Tangs, Zebrasoma Tangs, Zebrasoma Identification, Zebrasoma Behavior, Zebrasoma Compatibility, Zebrasoma Selection, Zebrasoma Systems, Zebrasoma Feeding, Zebrasoma Disease, Zebrasoma Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Many, MANY possibilities: Poor water quality issue/s;
Anti-social tankmates
Cumulative stress from collection, handling...
Nutritional deficiency, incl. loss of essential gut fauna
Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Yellow tang breathing hard, getting skinny
Hi team,
I'm having a problem with a 4 inch yellow tang, and I'm wondering if you could shed some light on it. I've had the tang for about 4 months now, in a 180 gallon FOWLR system. He's in there with a small Maculosus angel, a
large Annularis angel, two large puffers (Porcupine and Stars and Stripes),
<You know this last gets huge>

a Bicolor dwarf angel, and a large Desjardini Sailfin tang.
For about the last month the tang has been breathing hard (he's gilling much more rapidly than he normally would) and isn't eating well. He no longer eats the Spectrum pellets he once did. He only eats small pieces of Nori and a few Spirulina brine shrimp here or there. He's hiding a lot more than he should be, and he's getting pretty skinny.
There doesn't appear to be any ich or velvet present in the system (no spots on him or the other fish, no scratching on rocks or sand, etc) and from what I can tell he isn't being bullied. He's just breathing hard, hiding a fair amount, and not eating very well. Any idea what's going on?
<My first (and best) guess is gill flukes (do see WWM re); but the fish may be just having a hard time competing for food and space here. IF it were me, mine, I'd first try moving it to another established system and increasing foods, feeding. Am hesitant to suggest treatment w/ a practical anthelminthic in a FOWLR, as the die/kill-off of all worms may be real
trouble. Do spend some time observing this fish during feeding... is it getting its share? Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow tang breathing hard, getting skinny

Thanks for the reply Bob.
<Welcome Dan>
To answer your question, no, the yellow tang is not getting its fair share of food.
<Ahh; and you're likely aware that most tangs, including Zebrasomas, eat most all the time during daylight hours>
It does not seem overly interested in eating or competing for food, especially the Spectrum pellets I feed them every single day.
<A great product>
I've also noticed some reddening around its mouth.
<Aye ya; a bad sign>
I'm reading your take on flukes (below). Will a full-strength Cupramine treatment eliminate them (I know it will any micro fauna on my liverock, but I'd really prefer not to lose the yellow tang)?
<It will not... or more accurately, by the time the Copper poisons the Flukes, the Tang will be gone. Need to use a purposeful vermifuge...
Prazi/quantel would be my first choice here. I do (of course) concur w/ all stated below. BobF>
Worms Phylum Platyhelminthes; flatworms, flukes, tapeworms. Turbellarians, a group in the flatworm Phylum Platyhelminthes are mostly "free-living" non-parasitic species. One notable exception is Paravortex, the causative
agent of "black spot disease", notably of yellow tangs. This is easily eliminated via freshwater dipping, though other authors suggest formalin baths and organophosphate remedies. Turbellarians, a group in the flatworm Phylum Platyhelminthes are mostly "free-living" non-parasitic species. One notable exception is Paravortex, the causative agent of "black spot disease", notably of yellow tangs. This is easily eliminated via freshwater dipping, though other authors suggest formalin baths and organophosphate remedies. Trematodes, the flukes are divided into ecto-parasitic (external)
monogenes and the largely endo-parasitic (internal) Digenes on the basis of their life histories. Monogeneans have a direct life cycle, and digeneans an indirect one with the use of one or more intermediary host species. The monogenes are important as gill and body parasites of marine fishes. There are many species of flukes, they are common on imported livestock, and may significantly reduce their health if not eliminated through acclimation techniques. Hiding, rapid breathing discoloration and more are symptomatic of infection/infestation, though microscopic examination of skin scrapings and gill clippings are required for positive diagnosis. Several chemicals including organophosphates, copper, quinines and dips of freshwater with/out malachite/formalin have been described in the literature as being efficacious. Recent authors tout the use of Praziquantel (Droncit (R)) at 1ppm in a treatment system. Digeneans rarely spread due to the absence of intermediaries, and many of the monogenes are species/group specific.

yellow tang large white clump on fin     11/26/15
my yellow tang has a large white clump on his fin its kinda hanging off but still attached can you please help me identify and how to treat it
<Mmm; can't quite make this out; but appears to be a "wound site"... rather than something pathogenic. I would not move this fish, add medicines; but do your best to bolster health through good nutrition (soaking foods per WWM) and optimized environment (water quality). Bob Fenner>

re: yellow tang large white clump on fin        11/27/15
it started out small (spec of salt) and has grown to the size of half a pea, within the past month. I have noticed the past day that it is starting to fall away
<Look up Lymphocystis on WWM
. Does this appear to be similar? BobF>

Yellow Tang issues... color chg., in the AMs...          6/1/15
85 gallon tank, 1.024 salinity, 0.25 phosphate, 10-20 nitrate levels, 78 degrees, 50 #s live rock 1 yellow tang 2 pajama cardinals1 damsel1 black full bar clownfish12 blue leg crabs I purchased a healthy yellow tang two weeks ago, he acclimated very well and quickly. He has eaten every day since I first put him in,
<Eaten what? See WWM re>
he has been very happy and healthy since putting him in. Last night I added my normal dose of purple up,
<Mmm; see WWM re... though am a fan of most all CaribSea products... not this one>
a hour later or so I added a recommended dose of SeaChem stability to aid in good bacteria growth. This morning I woke up to a yellow tang who seem to be swimming fine and all of the fins looked normal. but he was losing color,
<Mmm; when you woke up; as in the tank light/s had just come on? Zebrasoma... all tangs blanch out during dark times>

to a pale whitish color on the front third of his body. The tank is 6 months old and I have not lost any fish since setting it up, I have added and taken out several fish since setting up the tank. Can you wonderful people help me and steer me into the right directions in what is the best step to turn the problem around.
<Not likely a problem here>
I also have been feeding it sustainable aquatics pellet food, the tang seems to love it he gobbles it up.
<Ah, good... do add some purposeful macro-algae... live or prepared as well>
I have fed him this since first putting him in the tank, should I switch to a more veggie type of food? All suggestions advice and input are all appreciated deeply. Thanks for your time.
<Take the stroll (read) through WWM's voluminous accumulations re this species. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang issues         6/1/15

Well the lights hadn't kicked on yet, they kick on in the afternoon. Being a executive chef at a resort and in the middle of peak wedding season , I haven't gotten to spend much time in front of my tank. so I woke up at 5 this morning wide awake made some coffee, and thought I would turn my lunar bulbs on and check things out. that when I saw him come outta the rocks looking weird. I usually don't mess with the light cycle, I know it can tend to mess things up. I never see what the tang looks like when the lights kick on, so im not sure if he looks this way every day. I will add some live macro algae and some veggie formula to his diet. when I return home and he still looks pale should I do an emergency water change? thanks again!!!!!
<.... don't worry. READ on WWM instead. BobF>

Yellow tang troubles 10/13/11
Hello Wet Web Media Crew,
I emailed you a while back about some sps issues and your responses were very helpful and my corals are doing better than ever. I now have a new issue that is confusing me and I am hopeful you can provide some clarity.
I have a yellow tang that has been showing blemishes on its pectoral fin.

The blemish first appeared about a week and a half ago in the form of a faint light spot on the right pectoral fin. The spot was noticed about mid day and was gone by the next morning. Another 4 to 5 days later a spot again appeared on the same area, on the tip of the right pectoral fin.
Again the spot went away within 24 hours. Today the spot reappeared, again on the tip of the right pectoral fin. The spot was very noticeable at first and faded quite a bit in the first hour and was barely noticeable when the lights went off today. I read through a bunch of your site on yellow tangs and parasites and haven't come across anything that matches my fishes symptoms. The time table points me toward crypt or some other parasite but is it normal for a parasite to fall off and return on the same spot of the same fin and no where else?
<Mmm, these transient blemishes... more often red than other colours, are almost always due to either water quality issues or bullying by tankmates>

That is the part that is confusing me. I have obsessively looked over the fish every day and can only find the spots on the pectoral fin. The fish went through a 6 week quarantine and had been in my main 100g reef display for a little over 6 weeks before I noticed any spots. All other fish have gone through a similar QT period and have no noticeable blemishes. The only additions in the past 2 months have been a few new Acros. I have a cycled hospital tank up and running in case I need to treat but I don't want to subject the fish to any unnecessary treatment. The tang does swim along the front glass picking off algae and when doing so he constantly hits his pectoral fin against the glass. Could this or brushing against rocks cause the tip of the fin to become damaged like this?
Other than the spot the fish looks great and is acting and eating normally.
What would you recommend I do going forward?
<I'd place a useful cleaner organism: Read here:
and the linked files above>
If it is a parasite I will let the tank go fallow for 6 to 8 weeks and treat the fish accordingly. I am hoping that isn't the case but I will do what I have to.
<I would not move nor treat this fish>
Tank parameters: Ammonia-0 Nitrite-0 Nitrate-1-2
<How are you keeping NO3 this low. Many chemical filtrants express themselves as you describe... toxicity>
Ph-8.2 Ca-425 Alk-9.2 Mag-1350 Phosphate-less than .2
Tank Inhabitants: 1 Yellow tang, 2 ocellaris clownfish, 1 neon goby, 2 Cleaner shrimp,
<Oh! You already have cleaners... I take it this is some sort of Hippolytid... Lysmata...>
various snails and crabs, various corals Again, thank you for you time, it is much appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow tang troubles 10/13/11

Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Jeff>
Thank you for your response. The blemishes are not red, they are white and as they fade they turn more light pink.
<As I understood from your last email>
Would the diagnosis be the same with that information?
<Mmm, more of a guess than a diagnosis>
I have never noticed any of the other fish bullying the tang, in fact I would say he is the bully of the tank and at time is a bit aggressive. The filtration I use is a protein skimmer, 3 small bags of carbon which I rotate changing weekly, and a small amount of GFO in a reactor changed approximately monthly, all located in a 40G sump. The only other thing I do the keep NO3 down is weekly 15-20% water changes. Would any of this be an issue?
<Shouldn't be... the GFO... might>
The shrimp are Lysmata amboinensis.
<Ahh, my fave>
Thank you so much for your help.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Yellow tang clarification... HLLE... /C? 7/24/11
Dear crew, your site has been most helpful for my success with saltwater tanks. I have spent days reading information on here, and I wanted to extend my deepest appreciation for all that you do. I am hoping this email will be quick and easy to answer. I am looking for some clarification on yellow tangs. I have had my tang now for 2 years in my 75g, w/38g sump.
Other fish I have in my system are 2 perc's, 1 damsel (blue yellow tailed), 1 strawberry goby, and 1 blue spotted goby. All of these fish except the blue spot have been in the tank >1 year. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and Phosphates 0,
<Mmm, how are you rendering the NO3 and HPO4 thus?>
calcium ~420-450, PH ranges from 8.25 during the day to 7.95 at night (I have a probe which constantly monitors this). Temperature ranges from 78.1-78.5. Water flow is powered by 1 Mag 9.5, Mag 7 (soon to be replaced by another 9.5), and a Kor 3. Return into my tank is via 2 3/4" sea swirls. I drilled my own tank with Anthony Calfo's (not sure on spelling) design, with 2 1.5" bulkheads on the back/top of the tank surrounded by an overflow also only covering the back/top. Lighting is provided by 2 150w LED fixtures. Skimmer is a AquaC EV-180. I keep a fine DSB in the sump, with Chaeto over it, reverse daylight. I have a ReefKeeper Lite controller managing it all. I have 1 frogspawn, and 1 torch. I hope this wasn't too much info, but in past correspondence, information I thought was irrelevant turned out to be needed, so I wanted to ensure all was included.
After reading through Yellow Tang diseases, I believe my tang is suffering from Malnutrition, but I wanted to confirm with your group.
<This, and/or other aspects... environment>
I have attached a photo below. I feed my tank a mixture of Ocean Nutrition Formula One, Formula Two, and Prime Reef Flakes 2-3 times per day, and feed a variety of frozen food every 3-4 days. The tang actively pursues everything I drop in the tank, including the meaty foods, and he is constantly picking at the rocks and glass for anything growing off it. I have tried dried seaweed in the past, but he never shows any interest. If this is malnutrition, is there another type of dry food I can try?
<Yes; I strongly endorse New Life's "Spectrum" pelleted food... wholly nutritious, very palatable. Good for issues of supposed missing nutrient as here>
I understand tangs, being herbivores, like to "graze" throughout the day, and I was considering increasing the frequency (not amount) of food per day. I work from home, so if this is recommended, it is not a problem. In case the picture doesn't come through, it looks like a loss of pigment around its eyes and gills.
<I see this>
There are white patches in those areas. That have slowly been increasing in size over the last month. I thought it might be stress, as I recently moved everything into this 75g, from a "reef ready" 90g (I wanted a more efficient flow, hence the reason for my custom work). The tang does not appear to be acting out of the norm. And the only aggression in the tank has been Strawberry goby -> damsel, and clowns -> damsel.
<Perhaps "loose" electrical current; very unlikely, but possible Neuromast destruction/HLLE... from...? Carbon exposure? I'd add the Spectrum food, perhaps dose a vitamin/HUFA supplement to the water once a week (after water changes et al.). Bob Fenner>

Re: Yellow tang clarification 7/24/11
Mr. Fenner, thank you for the very quick response. I did forget to mention I run carbon through a reactor as well, which I change every 4 weeks.
<Mmm, I would leave off, leave out the carbon for a month or two... There have been innumerable speculations as to the "cause" of HLLE... stray electricity/voltage, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic build-up syndromes... and more recently Jay Hemdal's assertion as to carbon effect/s>
I do a 5% water change weekly when I do my tests. I dose trace elements and Kalk, but I only started this in the last couple of weeks. Your question on the Nitrates/Phosphates, I am not sure what you mean by how I achieve this.
<The perhaps too-aggressive C/arbon>
I ensure there is no uneaten food left during feeding, I siphon the gravel in the DT when I do the water changes. I leave my DSB alone in the sump.
I clean the skimmer 2-3 times per week. I have not been able to get above a 0 on my water tests in over a year. The fish and corals are growing fine, so I think I feed enough. The only thing I can think is that the Nitrates and Phosphates that do exist in my water are consumed so quickly I never get any readings?
<To some extent; but not likely both... one should/be/come rate-limiting, leaving the other in measurable quantity. Understanzee?>
I do have 135 lbs of live rock in my system. I'll add the below mentioned foods and dosing to my routine, just need to locate some. Thank you for the suggestions. You mentioned exposure to carbon, should I stop the carbon reactor for a while and see if this helps?
I just took a multimeter to my aquarium, and was unable to detect anything.
The only non-grounded electrical components in my aquarium are the Kor 3 and the pump for my carbon.
<Do please report back in a month or so. BobF>

Re: Yellow tang clarification 9/21/11
Mr. Fenner, as requested, I am reporting back after a couple of months. I removed the carbon, and included the recommended food in my feedings. The LFS ordered it for me, and they were impressed with the ingredient listing (I think they're in love).
The yellow tang's loss of pigment is almost completely gone. He is looking even healthier now, so I certainly want to thank you for your invaluable advise. I now have a couple of patches of hair algae pop up since my removal of the carbon, but I would rather fight that battle any time. It appears your theory on the carbon being the cause were spot on.
Thanks again for everything you do.
<A pleasure. Thank you for this follow-up Lang. BobF>

"Lumps" on Yellow Tang -- 10/11/10
Hello WWM Crew -
I'm a long time listener, first time caller.
<Hello there>
I have a Yellow Tang who has been resting comfortably in QT for the last 3 weeks since purchasing him from a LFS. Ever since I've brought him home, I've been observing these two lumps that appear to be WITHIN his fins and visible from both sides of his body. I don't believe it's Ich--he's not flashing or rubbing. It also doesn't look "cauliflowery". I'm stuck on whether these lumps could just be some "beauty marks" or something worse.
My wife has been bugging me to put the poor guy in the main tank but before I do, I'm hoping to get an expert opinion. The attached photo makes it look more white than it really is...it is just less translucent as the rest of his fin.
Let me know what you think: Treat? Ignore?
<Ignore. These appear to be "stress/repair" zones... likely from bends in the fin rays. Not to worry; will repair on their own>
Thanks much! Your web site is addicting as it is informative.
Thanks! Brian,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Red veiny lines on Yellow Tang, ref. 1/6/2010
Hey good afternoon,
<Still AM here in sunny S. Cal.>
I have a question about my yellow tang. He (or she) is very active eats well and has all signs of a healthy fish.
<... you're sure you searched this on WWM?>
However he spends a lot of time with his tail brushing sand around and it is causing his tail fin to look a little fraid. The tail also has red almost vain like lines going through it. I have had him now for 2 months and he started off a brilliant yellow and is now got these small red veiny lines in his tail. The tank is fairly new (only 3 months) and is due for its second water change.
Everything tests good. Salinity gravity at 1.023, pH @ 8.16, No trace of Ammonia, Slight trace of Nitrite @ 0.05 and Nitrates have built to 50ppm.
<Way too high, toxic... a factor here>
I did light dose with copper
<? What for? Not in the main display. A mistake>
about 6 weeks ago and that tested @ .25 ppm a week ago. I have heard the positives/negatives about dosing with copper and still went ahead.
<Yet didn't follow instructions before writing us... Please do as a few tens of thousands of users per day do...>
I try to feed seaweed on a clip (which he loves) and I have been mixing up the food base from flakes to a marine veggie cuisine to a freeze dried brine. I'm wondering is it a water quality issue or am I not feeding it the correct supplements. Oh and lastly his tank mates are 2 yellow tail damsels a hippo blue tang (added the same time) and just recently ( 2 days ago) a maroon clown
<The alpha fish>
and a small green bird wrasse). The tank size is 80 gallons and he has had the red veins on his tail now for about 2 weeks, Its is more visual at first sight in the morning. What could this be?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaq3.htm
and the linked files above, elsewhere on WWM re NO3... and copper use. Bob Fenner, persnickety this AM>
Red veins on Tang Solved (I hope)
Hey thanks so much!!! I believe my issue is poor water quality with my tang and the red veiny look.
<Ahh! I do agree/concur>
I was able to look it up and once again thanks for steering me in the right direction. Any web-sites that you would recommend for mail order fish?
<See WWM re... my fave is Dr.s Foster & Smith in general>
I live 2 hours one way from closes fish store and its a pain in the backside.
<Wow! I bet>
Nor. Cal., Mendocino Coast. Once again thanks for the direction.
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Sickly Yellow Tang 3/14/09
Hi. I browse your site often, and usually find what I am looking for, but I have a problem with my yellow tang that I have been unable to resolve through research. I have had my tank set up for about a year and a half now, and moved it last November (saving every drop of water in the tank) with no problems in the move. The tank is 55 gallons, with at least 25-30lbs live rock, a Marineland C-360 canister filter, a protein skimmer, and I keep it at around 78 degrees. The pH is 8.2, but it has been around 7.8 for a month because my first protein skimmer broke and there was not enough oxygen in the tank.
My calcium is in the range of 450-500mg,
<Mmm, high>
and the alkalinity is slightly high. The specific gravity is usually in the range of 1.25-1.23,
<Missing a decimal place... but I get what you likely mean>
and there is 0 nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. The phosphates are slightly higher than zero, but probably worse because I have rampant hair algae growth since the move, which I am working on remedying by using Algaefix
<I would NOT use this... too likely to cause toxicity problems>

and pulling the algae out manually. In the tank are 6-8 hermit crabs, 1 turbo snail (I haven't had much luck with them), a mushroom polyp, some very happy Zoanthids, a branching coral fragment, a blue Chromis, two pink skunk clowns, recently two Firefish, and the yellow tang, who is about 2.5-3" currently. (I plan on purchasing a larger tank in the near future for him) I feed them frozen Spirulina brine shrimp once a week, flake food daily (they won't eat pellets) and the Tang has Julian Sprung's Seaweed sheets. The problem I am having is that the tang's color is not good. He remains in the stress coloration- very whitish, and he sometimes is reddish. His appetite varies from ravenous to just picking at food, but he has never refused to eat.. He hides, but is still curious about what is going on with his surroundings. I do small twice monthly water changes, and he perks up after them.
<A good clue here>
Also, his dorsal fin has not been right for months. It is jaggedy on the edges,
<Good observation>
but there are no different colors at the edges to indicate infection. I have tried treating him with Melafix and Pimafix, but nothing seems to help. I worry that one of the fish might be biting him, but I have not observed it. If you have any suggestions on how to make him happy and colorful again I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
Chardelle Cochran
<Mmm... well, the use of the Algicide is trouble... and there may well be some trouble with Cnidarian allelopathy here... Please see WWM re... Here:
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Distress  10/22/08 Hi, I am relatively new to marine aquariums, I bought a 65 gallon tank in June. It currently has around 50 pounds of live rock and I use a protein skimmer. I have had my yellow tang since the beginning of July and he has done wonderfully until a week ago. Last week he began scrapping up against the live rock and red blotches began appearing on his side. A few days later he was still doing this and the red began to spread from the areas he was hitting with the rock (around his tail) to the front of his body. He has now stopped eating which is my biggest concern. Other inhabitants of the tank are two clown fish, a porcupine puffer, <Misplaced here... needs much more room... may indeed be a factor> a blue damsel, and a cleaner shrimp. Any advise would be very much appreciated, the store where I have been getting all my supplies and fish was not very helpful with this. Thank you. -Beth <Mmm, there could be a few things amiss, but given that you don't report troubles with the other fish life, the root issue here is very likely environmental... Either social, with some of the other fish present bothering the Tang, metabolite accumulation (NO3 as a measure) or it ill-reacting to its own reflection. Read here please: http://wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Red on Yellow Tang, 8/13/08 Hi, <Hello> I have read your resource pages regarding Red spots and streaks on Yellow Tangs and have gained some great knowledge; however, I can't seem to get my tang better. We have a 55 gallon tank which we recently upgraded from a 33 gallon (4 months ago). <Still too small for a tang.> The aquarium is completely cycled and the parameters are near ideal and I have also had them checked at our LFS. <Near ideal? Numbers please.> We have 20 lbs. of live rock. We have a 2 clowns and the tang. We have had the tang for approx. 3 months. About 3 weeks ago she started having red showing on her face, lateral line and starting to spread on her dorsal and tail fin. We thought it was diet so increased the seaweed in her diet and added vitamins to the water. <This is almost always associated with poor water quality.> The redness continued to spread and the owner of the LFS thought she had a bacterial infection. We put her in a QT and treated her with Erythromycin for 4 days, doing water changes every other day. <Did it improve?> We transferred her back to the large aquarium on day 5 and everything seemed fine. About 4 days later the redness was returning, but this time more severe. <Good water quality in the QT and the fish is fine, back to the main and symptoms improve, think there is a link there.> Back to the LFS where it was recommended to put her back into the QT and treat with Erythromycin for 7 days. 24 hours ago, we put her back in the large aquarium and the red is back. You can almost see it spreading. I have already moved her back to the QT but have not added any medication. The redness disappears quickly when she is put into the QT. <Water quality.> She is eating normally, but her activity seems to slow down after she is in the large aquarium. The two clowns are absolutely fine. <More resilient, tolerate of environmental issues.> I am at a loss to know what to do now. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Lisa <When was the last time you changed the water in the main tank? If not recent I would give it a 20% water change immediately.> <Chris>

Re: Red on Yellow Tang, 8/13/08 Hi Chris, <Hello> pH 8.1, SG 1.020, <I would raise this slowly to more natural levels of 1.025.> Ammonia 0, Temp 80, Nitrite 0.1, <This may be the problem, nitrite is still very toxic, needs to be 0.> PO4 0. <Nitrates?> The redness did improve after 4 doses of erythromycin but returned about 5 days after placing her back in the large aquarium. It disappeared again in the QT with 7 doses of Erythromycin. We use R/O water and do water changes and complete cleaning of all the equipment every 3 - 4 weeks. <How complete, can do too much and damage your biofilter.> It has been 2 1/2 weeks since the last water change. I will do it again today. I put the tang back in the QT last night and today the red is gone. The water in the QT is water siphoned out of the large aquarium. Thanks, Lisa <Do you have any anemones or aggressive corals that it could be coming in contact with. Typically bacterial infections do not manifest themselves is this manner, at least without some outside influence.> <Chris>

Yellow Tang Question, hlth.  -- 07/03/07 Bought a yellow tang two days ago. He looked in really good health when purchased. Today I noticed bumps under the skin. It looks like mosquito bites. Could it possibly be a stress reaction? <Possibly> I have included a picture he is a bit camera shy it was the best angle I could get. Thanks in advance! <Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm And the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Lost Balance   4/3/07 Hi Crew, <Gideon> I've written to you before, long ago, and got prompt and accurate response. Thanks! I'm hoping you can help me again. I've searched your site (especially the Yellow Tang Disease section), but can't find an answer. My Yellow Tang seems to have lost her (let's say it's a she) balance. It seems to me that her tail fin isn't co-operating / moving. She does all her swimming with the other fins. <Mmm, Zebrasomas, other tang genera do "hop/skip" on their pectoral fins mostly... only really use their caudals for "jetting" about in need...> When coming to a standstill, she either hangs head up or head down (she favours a particular spot), and she also swims "on her side" often. <Yikes... bad behavior> She is eating whenever I feed, and takes frozen food, flakes and Nori. I first noticed this about 5 days ago (had her for about 8 months, I think). She doesn't look at all thin and her eyes are alert. No recent changes to the tank (2 months ago some rock and 2 fire gobies). It's a low-stocked 180g tank with about 40kg of live rock and lots of sandstone. Tunze 9010 skimmer, T5 lights, Tunze 6000 Turbelle Stream for circulation (another one would help, but low on $). Thanks in advance ... Gideon <Mmm, a few possibilities come to mind... Would you list the other tankmate species (fishes and invertebrates)... Do you offer live macroalgae... like Ogo/Gracilaria...? I would... Have you tried screening (attaching paper to) the outside of the area where this flavescens "hangs out"... a reflection of its image may be "bumming it out"... Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang Lost Balance   4/4/07
Hi Bob (I own a copy of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist btw), <Me too> It's worse, I'm afraid. I noticed I reddish blotch on her body yesterday, and some of the fins seem to have a bit of "rot" to them. <Bad signs... of further health loss> If I remember correctly that's a sign of vitamin deficiency? <Can be> Her "scalpels" also stand out from her body - it looks like it's attached only on one side, breaking away at the other. <Does this... not necessarily indicative of anything> She's still eating (herbivore pellets and Nori yesterday), so I really do hope she'll beat this. <Do look into (quickly), Spectrum foods... amazingly useful, palatable...> No I don't have macro algae (had a few pieces before, but they flourished for a few weeks then suddenly died off in one day), <... this may be telling... useful info... Why did this algae "just die"? Most Yellow Tangs are lost due to inadequate environment... secondly from nutritional disorders...> only a large amount of hair algae. <This may be poisoning your Tang... directly and/or not...> I do feed the tank "home-grown" green water and rotifers now and then. I'm looking for some Selcon or similar to add to the frozen mix I make, but it's been hard to find in South Africa. I don't think her reflection is the problem - she hangs out around a "cave" surrounded by rocks on three side, and an open expanse of water on the other. Other inhabitants are: A few Snails and Hermits "True" crab which came with live rock, which I'll catch one of these days. Cleaner Shrimp x2 Tomato Clown breeding pair Coral Beauty Regal Tang Six-line Wrasse Mandarin <And these are all doing fine? Just the Yellow Tang is "off"?> Added 2 Firefish to inhabitants list ... <And these are even more sensitive to many chemical/social complaints... BobF> Will it help if I put her in the sump (don't know if I'll be able to catch her) or will that just stress her out even more? <If you had another system, I'd move this fish there... If all you have is the sump... maybe... Perhaps the difficulty here has a large social component this move would address> I have never seen any other inhabitant bother her (or each other). She and the Regal fought a bit for a day when I introduced the Regal (which didn't get Ich, btw), but they were very friendly towards each other since then, eating together of the Nori side by side. <Mmm... got me. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang Lost Balance   4/19/07
Bob My yellow tang died in the end, yesterday ... Still don't know what it was, though ... <Me neither... Perhaps "something" internal off with this one specimen...> Thanks, anyway ... Gideon <Sorry for the loss. BobF>

Koran in Reef - Z. flavescens Didn't Make It >Hey! >>Hello from way up here to way down south there!  How are you doing, Daniel?  (I've been in Chicago, I had another message from you that I was saving to put along with this, but it's nowhere to be found.) >A few days ago I added a Healthy Yellow Tang from an established system where it had been 4 years. >>Uh oh.. this sounds as though you didn't qt this fish. >It was eating algae and flakes almost immediately. >>Ok, that sounds fine. >Then on the 2'nd day it stopped eating. On the third day in the  morning it was breathing really fast and it seemed that he had a really obvious red mottled kind of splotch on his one side. >>This is so common, but I haven't yet read/found a definitive cause for this.  Usually, and especially in a healthy system, they can recover after a time.  Normally this takes some weeks, though.  The rapid gilling is a bad sign of stress, infection, or possible parasitic infection, though. >I then had to leave for school and when I got back it was dead. >>JEEZ!  That fast?  Not even a day?  Could another fish in the system possibly have been harassing it?  Something's going on there, and I feel I must assume that you know full well how to acclimate, about pH shifts, etc., to have not been diligent in putting him into the system (except for skipping quarantine - this is simply because you haven't mentioned it). >P.S The Koran seems to be chowing the Pulsing Xenia. >>Heh, I know some people who would like to have him in their systems, their xenia have exploded to plague proportions! >Monitoring the situation but I think he may have to be removed. >>Hm, too bad.  What about the person with the other Koran that came from the same batch?  Are they having the same problems? >P.P.S I've got a Longnose Hawkfish in quarantine. How long will he need to be in for? He's looking really healthy. >>Repeat the following mantra - "Thirty days DISEASE FREE, and this little fish will please me."  <insert silly grin> >Thanks in advance. >>You're welcome, and sorry for the delay, Daniel.  Marina

Re: Yellow Tang and Swollen stomach Hi,<Hi. MikeD here> My yellow tang is sick again.<Sorry to hear that> At first, about a week ago, the tang was darting around being real aggressive towards other fish<This is often normal for many Tang species as they can be very territorial, particularly toward other tangs, with one per tank usually best> and it was scratching his body<occasional scratching is normal as all animals get an itch> and I saw one white spot on his stomach. So I started the SeaChem's Cupramine treatment and the tang stopped eating altogether and he became stationary at the top of the tank twitching once in a while.<First off, one spot doesn't mean Ick and can be caused by many other things as well, and 2nd, that reaction sounds suspiciously like the fish was overmedicated> It was getting real bad, so in a hurry, I started him on one hour dips with SeaChem's ParaGuard and I did it two days in a role and as I'm writing this letter I'm getting ready to do another dip.<MY suggestion is not be in such a hurry to medicate. Remember, medicines are also poisons, and it's often best to err on the side of caution and NOT medicate until you're SURE what the problem is> He was so sick that when I tried to catch him, he came right into the net without a fight.< a bad sign> At this time his stomach was sunken from not eating. After the ParaGuard dips his color came back to bright yellow but now his stomach was swollen and he hasn't eaten any thing for a week. He is now back to his own spot in the tank but he's still stationary at one spot and swaying from side to side and twitching or jerking once in a while. I don't know what is wrong with him and I don't now if the Cupramine treatment or the ParaGuard dips will help. Could he have internal parasite so something like that, because his stomach should not be swollen at all, and if so, what kind of medication will do? This is first time I've seen this with the Yellow Tang.<By now it's really hard to tell, but I strongly suspect he's severely poisoned from too much medication> Just before this the Tang was real healthy, he was eating almost everything I feed him like the Nori dipped in Selcon and other pellet foods and also he was eating other flake foods that I was feeding to other fishes in the tank. From the looks of it he looks well but he is just sitting at one spot and swaying side to side and twitching and not eating.<At this point, my suggestion would be to remove him to a Quarantine tank by himself with good water and NO medication and offer him the Nori and flakes that he was eating before. Sadly, if it has absorbed too much medication, you may just lose the fish to copper poisoning. IN the future, my friend, try not to over-react so quickly and remember it's best to wait until you're SURE what the problem is and only then treat with the right medication, in the correct dosages> Can you help? <only by suggesting that you give him a rest in unmedicated water with some peace and quiet for a while. The very best of luck to you,   MikeD> -hsk

Neglected Yellow Tang I recently acquired a Yellow Tang that came from someone who had been neglecting it. It appears very faded in color, has some pink discoloration above and between the eyes that appears as though some skin has peeled off. It has been malnourished for some time. I don't know the proper terminology for the fins, but the only ones that are still intact are the ones on his sides (I think pectoral) and his tail fin. The one on top (dorsal?), the one opposite it on bottom, and the two small fins in front of that are almost completely gone. <It sounds like an extreme case of Head and Lateral Line Erosion.> I almost think he would be better off if I just put him out of his misery, except he does not appear to have any type of parasites or infections and he seems very active and is eating well now. <This affliction can be reversed somewhat over time with proper care (excellent water quality and feeding).> What are the chances of this fish being ok? <Pretty good actually. It may never make a complete recovery, but can definitely improve and continue to live a long life.> Can tangs grow back damaged fins? <To an extent. It depends on how far the erosion has occurred.> If so how long does it take to grow them back? <It has taken months, possibly years, of neglect and poor husbandry to get this bad. It will take months to correct.> Is the faded color most likely from malnutrition, <Poor diet and water quality> and will his color return with proper diet? <Yes, in time. Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Crazy Tang! Hi gang, hope everything is great. <Sure is! Scott F with you tonight!> Hoping you can quickly ID this problem for me. I've had my yellow tang for 5 months. Today the tang has started to zip around the tank, darting, thrusting and pointing up as if to relieve something (gills?), but isn't scratching on the rocks. All the water parameters are fine although I did a water 10% change the night before. The water used was perfect (temp, salinity, etc). It doesn't have any spots on it or anything unusual. Think it's the onset of ick? Worms? Why? Thanks for your help.. <Well- it's hard to say what it could be! Potentially, there could have been an ammonia spike or other chemical anomaly that sparked discomfort in the fish. Another possibility is that the fish is a bit "skittish" from something that frightened it. Still another possibility is that the pH may have plummeted briefly, send the fish into a temporary shock condition...Many possibilities. If the fish has a parasite or some other condition, you'll notice it if you employ careful observation. Just keep an eye on this guy;  don't rush to medicate until you know that he is indeed in need of treatment.. Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Sick Yellow Tang - <Greetings, JasonC here...> I've had this tang for almost 6 months.  I've been feeding my fishes with emerald entree and Nori seaweed.  In the past month, it stopped eating and breathed heavily, so I'd given it few freshwater baths, treated it with CopperSafe, changed 25% of water, and lately with Tetracycline from Mardel Labs continuously for more than 8 days.  But nothing has improved.  I'm planning to change 25% of water this Saturday.  What else can I do? <I would start perhaps with some research into fish disease and their treatment - your approach so far has been haphazard - start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Does it have some kind of gill diseases? <Or parasite, or environmental issues - many possibilities.> I almost forgot to mention.  Before this happened, I saw red rashes near the tail for few weeks but the rash is gone now.  I like it very much and don't want to lose it.    I currently have a regal tang, Longnose Hawkfish, and 2 Firefishes in a 55 gal tank now.  I'm using a Fluval filter, 2 powerheads, and a 3 ft long airstone for filtration, water movement and oxygen. <I think your tank would benefit from a protein skimmer and perhaps some live rock.>  Everything looks fine except the nitrate is around 200. <If fish are your only inhabitants here, then NO3- of 200 is not terrible, fish can endure this. That doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt to try and lower that number.> What can I do to reduce it to 0 or near 0? <Live rock - lots of live rock, and perhaps another power head.> Finally, do you know the name of this fish?  It's a yellow fish--1.5" long, shapes like a blue damsel, has 2 long tails (sorry, couldn't think of a better description) around the top jaw extended passed the bottom jaw vertically, and uses those long tails to scrap algae on rocks, tank, and gravel like a cleaner fish. <Could it be a goatfish? More on those here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Goatfshart.htm > I like it a lot and want to buy one but don't know its name. Thx, A <Cheers, J -- >

Tang Trouble? Mike from VA here <Scott F. here!> My yellow tang is acting weird. Attacking all the fish, darting around and just looking strange. He has a red line inside his body starting at the tail and ending in the middle. Looks inflamed. This just happened in the blink of an eye. this is day 2 of it. My water is fine on all checks. I feed prime reef flake and frozen/formula 1,2/and brine shrimp. What can I do to correct this? This is my favorite fish and my first saltwater fish. Help thx <Well, Mike-it's hard to say from here- especially without a picture...A symptom like this can be caused by any number of things...could be environmental, could even be some kind of parasitic infection...My gut tells me that it's some kind oaf a reaction to environmental conditions...I'd do a thorough check of all environmental factors, just to make sure that things are stable, particularly nitrite and/or ammonia...Check the obvious, and then look beyond the obvious...Hopefully, this is something that can be easily corrected through environmental manipulation...Observe carefully, and take actions as needed. Consult the WWM site under diseases, and see if you can find some kind of condition described that is similar to what you are observing here...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Yellow Tang Color Change Bob, <You got Steven Pro today.> I have a 55 gal FO tank with three Signature Coral replicas and four fish. The fish are a Percula Clown, a Pseudochromis, a Golden Sleeperhead Goby, and a Blue Devil. Last night at 8:00 p.m., I added a small Yellow Tang to my tank. I had been watching him at the LFS for the past two weeks and he seemed very alert, was very curious about my presence, and was a deep yellow color. I took him home and acclimated him in the bag (in the dark) by floating for 15 minutes to equilibrate the temperature and then slowly added aquarium water to his bag for 15 minutes to equilibrate the salinity. When I turned him loose, he hid in the cave of my Signature Coral and the next time I saw him (still in the dark) about 11:00 p.m., his golden line down his side had turned white and there was a brown circle around this line that was about the size of a quarter. This morning I did not turn on the light and he still appeared to have the circle and the white line. I am reading your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and read your abstract about the Yellow Tang. It was unclear if you were saying this color change will happen every night or just when the fish is scared and it is a bad situation if this happens. Do you think the fish was overly stressed by my acclimation technique or is this a normal behavior for the Tang to have when transported? <It is normal and will probably happen every night, although maybe not as dramatic as in this instance when under stress from the move.> I purchased some seaweed sheets to feed the Yellow Tang. Should I rubber band a small piece to the pillar coral reproduction and leave it in the tank all the time or should I remove it after he has had five minutes to eat? <Do attach it to something in the tank, like the decoration you mentioned. You will probably have to leave it for a while before the Tang takes to it. Once he recognizes it as food, he will dive into it immediately.> The LFS said I should feed both the seaweed sheet and romaine lettuce, is this true? <I would leave out the lettuce and maybe add some Formula II frozen foods (personal favorite).> If so, do I leave the romaine lettuce in for extended periods of time or just a matter of minutes? <See above comment> Thanks for your help. I have learned more from your book, CMA, and WetWebMedia than all the other sources combined! Cheers, Ray McClain <Glad you find it so useful. -Steven Pro>

Yellow Tang, heavy breathing Hello gentlemen, <Cheers, Anthony Calfo up at bat> Quick question today. I have a Yellow Tang, Hepatus Tang, Royal Gramma, Flame Angel, two Perculas and Purple Firefish in my 90 gal reef. All parameters are good - Nitrate 0, Nitrite0, ammonia 0, phosphate 0, PH 8.3-8.5 calcium a little low last time I checked at 360, salinity 1.024. Question is this - the Yellow seems to breath a little fast and so does the Hepatus. <is your temp over 78F and do you have any aeration (major skimming, crashing water in sump, etc)> When I go close to the tank the Yellow comes right up to the glass and paces back and forth quickly. Darts around sometimes like something is bothering it.  <get an Oxygen test kit and take a reading peak day and dark night readings> Been up and running for about 6 months, and they are all otherwise doing fine and eating fine. He has been doing this for 2 months or more. No sign of any Ich, etc. I have carbon filter pads in the trickle, but is possible there is something in the water that may be agitating them, or is this normal? And is it wise to throw a poly filter in the trickle to take out anything that may be there?  <I highly recommend Poly-Filters> I have started raising the salinity slowly because it was about 1.021 and I read on your Q&A that it should be up where natural seawater is at 1.025.  <actually... lower is fine for fish only displays... but with a lot of live rock and especially reefs and invertebrates need more natural salinity> Thanks in advance for you advice. John <best regards, Anthony>
Rapid breathing with tangs
Anthony, I do skim with a SeaClone (in sump) <VERY sorry to hear it (not joking)... do consider an upgrade or a second skimmer. Much room for improvement here. You can skip over the Berlin's too IMO and go straight to a Euroreef or Aqua C. Money very well invested in your system (and spares you much labor too)> and it is an overflow system, with a trickle filter. Temp is about 80 degrees. <not a bad temp at all... but without any other source of significant aeration... depending on the SeaClone would not be my choice of a position to be in. Perhaps a slight and slow drop in temp to 78F> OK, I will get an oxygen test kit and try that out, and throw in a PolyFilter as well. Thank-you, John <excellent my friend... and do watch out for excessive body scratching/glancing or any other sign of a possible impending gill or body parasite> <best regards, Anthony>

Help with Yellow Tang Hi there crew, <Eric>         I'm hoping that you will be able to help me with a little problem I'm having with my yellow tang. When I bought my yellow tang it was a bright yellow as time has gone by he has been yellow has been getting darker and then I noticed little black/brown spots on his side. I've searched the net about this and thought that it might be "Coral Fish Disease", which I'm not sure if it is. <This is a common name mainly applied to Amyloodinium (Velvet), but also to another protozoan, Cryptocaryon... what you describe though is most likely environmental in cause... secondarily nutritional> I read up on this and found that other people managed to sort this out by purchasing a Cleaner Wrasse to clean him. <Mmm, cleaners sometimes do help psychologically... but Labroides wrasses are a very poor choice... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm> So I bought one and he has picked some of the spots off. I went to my LFS and asked him for some advise and he suggested on a fresh water dip. I thought hard and long about this and decided to do it, which I now regret because when I caught him after stressing him out a bit. His tail spine got caught in the net and had a game trying to free him. Well after did the fresh water dip nothing has changed and the spots are getting darker. <Bingo> He looks healthy and swims around in the tank fine. But I'm worried that if I don't do something for him his health will deteriorate I have a 30gal tank with no Live rock yet, and the inhabitants are two clown fish 4cm each, regal tang 6cm, the Cleaner Wrasse 6cm, and two cleaner shrimp. I do a 5 gal water change every 3 to 4 days and clean all the algae from the glass and tank, as well as cleaning my external filter sponges. The water quality I think is fine PH is 7.8 Ammonia and Nitrite is 0, Nitrate is about 20 and Salinity 1.022. I hope you can help me with this. Thanks in advance Eric Jooste <Ahh, this tank is way too small for this mix... Each tang needs about this much volume, and they don't mix well... I encourage you to trade either one in... or better, to seek out the means and purchase a much larger system. Your maintenance sounds exemplary... I do hope you are feeding a mix of foods that includes marine algae... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marind3_5_of_6.htm See the section on Tangs? The articles and FAQs on Tang Compatibility, Systems, Yellow Tang Disease? Nutrition? Read on. Bob Fenner>

My fish is sick Hi Bob I have a yellow tang that has red splotches along his spine and near his tail spikes. It almost looks like he is bleeding internally. However there does not seem to be anything else wrong. I recently had an outbreak of Ick that I used Copper Power to treat. All the infected fish seem better and the tank has had the treatment for over 2 weeks. Help Jerry <May be residual copper poisoning... or some sort of secondary bacterial (prob. Vibrio) infection... I'd just wait it out. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Died I had a Yellow Tang die recently, I had it for six months and it appeared  fine, looked healthy and was eating. It's illness came on very rapidly and it  lost most of it's color then it refused to eat. Can you tell me what you think happened to it, it had  no visible external diseases and all my tests indicated everything was  alright in my tank. <Likely a cumulative nutritional disorder... very common with this species (and other tangs)... due often to the "urban-myth" of feeding them terrestrial greens like the nutritionally zero lettuces... A related possibility is the loss of gut fauna from exposure to copper, other medications, that kill off the necessary microbes in their "stomachs"... Does any of this sound familiar? There are other less likely causes of mortality... internal parasites, genetic defects... Bob Fenner>

Re: Yellow Tang Mortality Bob: Thanks for the reply. Three follow up questions: 1) Why do the tangs look good when I get them?  <Appearances can, indeed be deceiving... there is a time lag between the copper poisoning and its resultant effects... We are "species centric" in our understanding... subjectively comparing our current experiences with those of the past... as homeotherms (warm blooded animals if you will) we are accustomed to A influence leading almost consecutively to be consequence... The world, universe is much broader my friend... Fishes show subsequences sometimes weeks, months, years later> 2) What do you mean by destroying gut fauna? 3) Is there anything I can do to save my current tang, i.e. special diet, medication, etc.?  Steve <Surgeonfishes have a mix of microbes, bacteria, Protozoans... more that like E. coli in our intestines, or better, similar organisms in termites allowing them to utilize cellulose... With loss of these obligate co-digesters, the animal hosts suffer from nutritional deficiencies... Where do the Surgeonfishes et al. pick up these helpers? From ingestion in the wild (sediment, detritus, fecal pellets... Perhaps having a not-too clean system, with other healthy Tangs would re-seed the impugned fishes guts. Bob Fenner>

Lines on Yellow Tang Dear Bob, When it arrived, I gave the yellow tang a dip with R/O water with pH and temperature adjusted to 8.2 and 77. <Okay... something like this in its shipping water we presume...> It's been 4 days in the quarantine tank (10 gallons of water from the sump of the main system, no detectable chemicals, sp. gr. 1.022, w/Skilter, small powerhead, and a chunk of well seasoned live rock.) <Sounds about right> Every other day I replace 25% with water from the main system. He has eaten very well since the first day, Spirulina flake and grape Caulerpa from the rock I gave him (he cleaned it off in one day). <Good> Perhaps because of my neophyte status I am overly concerned because the fish has irregular lines on its face and forehead which might be "erosion". Is this normal? If not, what should I do about it? While I have not yet needed them, I have a supply of all the chemicals suggested in your CMA book. <Probably no problem here... this species does display discernible "markings" to a careful observer as yourself... when stressed, tired, at night/dark... No worries due to its overall good behavior.> As always, your help is appreciated. Howard <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Sick Tang: Our Yellow Tang has been in the tank for almost 2 years. Over the past month or so, we have noticed that the top of his spine, when raised, is no longer smooth. Is this a sign of injury or disease? <A disease, yes... in a general sense... likely mostly borne of "old age", less than satisfactory water quality, a lack of some nutritional component or more, or... a combination of these and other influences... many things might help... Selcon to soak its food in... using Nori sheet as that food... growing Caulerpa et al macro-algae to feed it and improve water quality (in an algal filter as detailed on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com...> I see no other signs of illness and he still behaves normally. [I've been feeding Julian Sprung's Sea Veggies (purple), HBH Soft & Moist Large Pellets Krill, and Hikari Sinking Carnivore Pellets (mainly for the goby, but the Tang nibbles on them). Sometimes, I give them frozen brine shrimp. And sometimes, I soak the food in Kent Zoe before feeding them. Does this seem to be deficient? Is Nori sheet something I'd get at an Asian market? <Yes to the Nori being available from the Asian markets... that's where Jules and co. get theirs... And the Zoe should be fine... but do look for and add iodine/iodide every other day (just a drop of any preparation for pet-fish use) to the food as well... this will help> I will look into the algal filter you referred me to. Thanks. John <Very good. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Turning Red. Why???? Hi, I am new to this hobby, 6 months and unfortunately have not heard of you but the great people at ReefCentral message board told me to ask you this question. Here is the thread to what has been said I would appreciate it if you can take a look at it and tell me what you think: www.reefcentral.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=20967  <Hmm, many good suggestions offered here... on the why's of your Yellow Tang being "reddish"... Do agree that this sort of "petecchial" markings are often directly related to poor water quality, nutritional deficiencies, possible bacterial problems internally... and the suggested choices for improvement: pre-mixing and storing your new synthetic seawater, improving diet.... I would do both of these, suggest you soak Nori, other human-intended algae in a vitamin preparation like Selcon... ahead of offering... Possibly add a Cleaner organism as well... Please do read over the "Yellow Tang", "Environmental Disease", "Foods/Feeding/Nutrition" sections and FAQs on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com for background, and hopefully something's there will jog your memory/observations as to primary causes.> Thank you very much and I hope to learn about you and info from you. Thanks again, Brian a.k.a. stars360 <Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang Turning Red. Why????
Thank you very much. I will look at that section later on today but what type of cleaner organism do you suggest.  I cannot get a cleaner shrimp because my trigger or eel will eat it.  <Too likely, yes. Look into tank bred Gobiosoma spp. readily recognized by most fishes as helpers... not food... Covered on the WWM site> and the only other organism I can think of getting is a cleaner wrasse. but from what I hear they are impossible to keep. so what do you recommend. Thanks again, Brian <Bob Fenner>

More then HLLE? Dear Mr. Fenner, I am wondering if you can help me understand something I have read in your book about Yellow Tangs. I have a 80 gallon reef aquarium, 20 gallon sump/refugium. Berlin Skimmer, 70 pounds of live rock. The only fish who calls it home is my yellow tang. My water quality after months of fiddling around has reached a perfect balance. No stray voltage (had it tested.) I am treated this tang for HLLE by way of Zoe vitamin supplements and Iodine. It is a slow process but thanks to your web sites support, as well as your book, I feel I have made progress. <Ah, good to read of your continuing progress> My question to you is about a passage in your book about an unwanted variety of yellow tang. A yellow-white morph. the kind that has the white band across the body and is rather startling to see at night. The tang I have now falls into that description. A gift from my husband who knew I wanted a tang for many years, and now he is having a guilt problem thinking he (the tang) is a sickly doomed fish. I wonder if you could go into further detail about what causes this. <Very, very likely what you are observing is "fright", night coloration... not the novel genetic anomaly mentioned in CMA> Is it the same factors as HLLE?  <No> If not is there anything I might do to benefit this fish? <Certainly. Most any/all things that benefit water quality, nutrition, the mental/emotional well-being of this animal and its tankmates. Principally the addition of live rock and macro-algae here... Or in a tied-in sump/refugium... would stabilize water quality, add foods... Please read over this and related sections on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm> The tangs I see at the fish store are a golden yellow (going by the Crayola crayon color scale) and mine is a pale lemon yellow. I hope that if you are able you could send an answer or direct me to a book or web site that could help. Any advice is so very welcome.  <Yours color will come back... through an understanding of the underlying causes of such loss... water conditions, nutrition. As stated, please read through the WWM site> Pictures of the Tang can be provided as well. Also I must add the white band that runs across her body is visible during the day (4X96 watt power compact lights). Thank you, Chris <Your intelligence and caring show through your writing. You will be successful. Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang Hello Bob, I hope that you may be able to help me. I have kept a yellow tang for a year now. He is huge! :) I feed him all kinds of food stuffs and soaked in Selcon four times a week. He feeds of most of the things grown in my refugium. I have a concern about him though. I noticed this morning that along all of his fins it looks like the skin is thickening in patches. I can send a picture if that would help. I don't know what it might be. <Perhaps just "growth". Would like to see an image.> It doesn't seem to be bothering him. Swimming and eating like normal. I don't know what Ich looks like on a fish, only what it is described to be. Maybe I am wrong about him and should get him to QT tank. <I would not move this fish> I have added some new damselfish about four weeks ago so I am wondering if it is a delayed stress reaction or those fish gave him a present. I do have a neon goby that has been cleaning him. Could it be that my tang is irritated by being cleaned? <Possibly this or as you speculate, some part due to the new damsels> I hope you can help! I can send a picture if that would help! Owan <Please do. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Dear Mr. Fenner, Let my say first off how much your last email meant to me. I hope you remember, sick tang, lost the job & my best friend. You gave me some advice that has made a difference in the past few days. Thank you. <Indeed, a pleasure to be of service.> I think I am able to take the latest development with my yellow tang far better because of your advice. :) I have a picture as an attachment to this email of her fin. Three holes (sorry if the pic is fuzzy) at the top. You can't see it in the pic but it is starting on her bottom fin as well. <Ah yes... can see it in the next/attached mail. Not Ich, but "rapid growth" to "blame" here. Have seen this sort of missing bits of fins often... in the wild, and in collecting this species. Nothing to worry about.> I still have not ruled out Ich, but no white spots all about so I am wondering. I would think it was some kind of infection. I checked the water quality but besides my low Alk all is well. I have never tested for iodine. I will go to my LFS and see if that might help her. She has been on Zoe & Zoecon twice a week for months. I get some Macro algae from a friends tank to help her out. She eats Nori and brine shrimp too. Formula 1 & all over my 80lbs of live rock. I will go out and charge for a QT if you think it will do her a service. Two other thoughts have run through my mind as well. One is that I added a bubble coral about two weeks ago. Could the stress cause that? Or a bump in the night against it's stinging fingers? Also I have a cleaner shrimp. A nip from it maybe? <Perhaps, but once again, this will heal/grow in place on its own with your good care and time going by> I called my LFS and they have a neon goby for sale that I have put on hold. Would it be too much stress on my tang, or a good help to any possible problems? <Of benefit> So sorry for the long letter!! Take care and I hope to hear from you soon. I'm off for an interview. :) Libby Nickas <Good luck, life my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang
Mr. Fenner, What a relief to hear that the tears on my tang were due to growth. I guess that would explain her odd behavior in the last few days. :) My LFS is quarantining the neon I spoke of for me. I will be able to pick him up next week. Thank you yet again for all of your help. I am so grateful for all you have done for me. Libby Nickas

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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