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FAQs about Yellow Tang Pathogenic Disease 

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: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Trauma, Social, Genetic, Treatments

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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,

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Yellow tang and gastrointestinal parasites     5/13/14
Hello Wet Web Media crew,
I've been having some problems with my Yellow tang. I've had him for two years but in the last 6 weeks he has not been well. It started with him losing his appetite and staying in one spot in the tank which is a 125 gallon reef. I started noticing that when i fed the fish at night and gave the tang his Nori he was barely eating. There were no visible signs of any parasites. I did see that his feces was <were> white and stringy looking.
After doing some research I figured that he probably has some sort of gastrointestinal parasites.
<Maybe; but this does not necessarily follow given the stated symptoms...
I.e., could be due to nutritional, psychological issues>
He was treated in a quarantine tank for 10 days with 250 mg of Metronidazole per day with 50 % water change daily. Gradually he started eating again and he was put back in the DT. Its been about 3 weeks now, and he is beginning to look very skinny and sunken in and he isn't eating much again. I'm not really sure how to proceed with treating this fish. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you
<I'd be offering a wide range of foods; with frequent to (as with algae) constant offering. See WWM re Z. flavescens foods/feeding/nutrition (FAQs).
Bob Fenner>

yellow tang black spots/quarantine question... Paravortex?       4/8/14
I bought a yellow tang a week ago. It had black spots on its entire body that weren't visible at a fish store.
<Ahh, likely the not-so-problematical Turbellarian...>
The tang had been fresh water dipped upon arriving home, put in quarantine and treated with PraziPro, and CopperSafe for 5 days. It's now free of visible diseases and the tang has been eating fine. When would it be safe to put the yellow tang in my display tank? Would another round of PraziPro and/or CopperSafe be beneficial, or should it be observed for another couple of days without medication before going in the display tank? Thank you!
<Mmm, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm
... likely just a pH adjusted dip enroute... Bob Fenner>
Re: yellow tang black spots/quarantine question
... Doing your own Quarantine      4/8/14
Thank you very much for your reply. Another quick question: if a fish store has had a white cheek tang for 5 months can a quarantine process be foregone and place the fish directly into a fish tank? This is for another (75 gallon) tank and won't be mixed with the yellow tang. Thank you!
<See the Quarantine sections on WWM. BobF>

I'm not 100% sure this is black Ich.... SW parasite diag. 4/21/10
Hi crew....
I've scoured and gathered as much info as I could about black Ich around the web and especially your site. For starters, about my tank: 125g w/ 60g sump, skimmer, live rock, live sand, above the tank refugium, plus in sump refugium, 2 Koralia 4's, and mag18 return pump. Tank is Fowlr -- but has a rock w/ mushrooms that hitchhiked, very few inverts (5 or 6 hermits, 5 or 6 assorted snails). Tank has been established for 4 months, livestock were moved from a smaller tank. Inhabitants are 1 ocellaris, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 1 Firefish, 3 blue/green Chromis, 1 diamond watchman goby (added him a month ago), and 1 small pistol shrimp -- and our latest addition, a yellow tang, is the reason for this email.
First off, I did not QT (yes, I know, this is the risk I take, especially with tangs). I got him 4 days ago from my LFS. Drip and temp acclimated for 2 hours, and he's been eating clipped algae sheets, Mysis, Spirulina, anything I put in there. He's a small one.
Today, I noticed black splinter looking things...
<... splinter?>
this is why I'm emailing. I cannot get a picture -- he's camera shy.
<You need to practice>
It was suggested in a forum that it could be black Ich. There are only 2 or 3 pictures I've seen (one is that yellow tang image in your site and one is black Ich on a hippo tang),...the problem is, the ones on my tang don't look like spots...they literally look like tiny splinters of wood. Could that be the start of black Ich?
<Mmm, no... perhaps these are monogenetic Trematodes, maybe parasitic copepods...>
I also noticed a very light gash along his side. I'm thinking it could have happened while trying to scratch himself on the rocks to get rid of the parasites?
<Could be>
The little "splinters" look like the gash, except they're poking out a bit....ironically, as I write this, I'm wondering now if this could be the start of WHITE Ich...hrm..so if it is white Ich, would the scratching start before the white spots show up?
<Yes, could>
Ok, so if this is black Ich, how long before it turns into the spots that I see on the fish? Like, what comes first -- the itching or the spots?
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blkichsympf.htm and the linked files above>
Some observations about his behavior:
- I see him brushing the sand and sometimes the rock with his pelvic fins, like he's just brushing the areas. But I could interpret them as rubbing because of the parasites.
- When I first got him, he paced up and down the tank, pressing himself against the glass..but I attributed it to just adjustment time.
Upon some research on products, I settled on getting Seachem Paraguard. I even spoke to a representative. It's not copper or formalin based.
<It's Glutaraldehyde>
It's invert safe, but with caution -- she suggested a partial dose at first to get them used to it. Since I'm Fowlr, I will just take out the shrimp, cuc, and the rock w/ the mushrooms and put them in a qt tank. I will treat the main tank.
<I would not do this>
I'm assuming the eggs have been dropped and in the substrate at this point, so I want to kill them there, too. The rep and my lfs did warn that with any meds, it will cause stress, so I'm aware that I might have some casualties, but I'm hoping it turns out well. Any opinions you might have with this product are welcome (so far, majority of the reviews raved about this product).
<People have got to learn... as in understand, that anyone writing anything on the Net doesn't make it so...>
As always, thanks for your time, crew! You guys are awesome!
<Is there a chance you have access to a low power microscope? Please search WWM re such use. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang, Crypto, Reading -- 11/04/2009
<Hey there! JustinN here!>
I have a yellow tang in a 55g tank i also have 3 yellow tail damsels, 1 bicolor Dottyback, and 2 scooter blennies. The tank has been up since September-19-09.
<This tank is too small ultimately for the Tang, and likely too immature to support even a single scooter blenny, much less two. The tang has potential to outsize the tank very quickly, and the scooter blennies are obligate fauna feeders -- they will pick your tank clean of their necessary food source quickly.>
I got a yellow tang on October-3-09 and he was doing fine until I had a Ich infection which i treated with Kordon Rid-Ich+.
<Treated in your display? This should be done in a quarantine tank.>
I am still treating with this the yellow tang has no visible signs of Ich but the Dottyback does.
<Is parasitic, and communicable to all fish in a mixed display here. This is why Quarantine is so important.>
I have just noticed (about 3 days ago) red spots on the Yellow tang and they seem to be getting worst by the day.
<Sounds like chemical burn/irritation here>
He looks like he has hole in head. The red spots are at the tail. I can't identify what they are. My tanks recent test values are as follows: Nitrate-30, Nitrite-0, Alkalinity-300, pH-7.9.
<What is your Salinity at? Your pH is a bit low, should be in the 8.1-8.3 range -- Nitrate should be at, or as close to, 0 as possible. The nitrate alone may be enough to cause the burning, but if the Formalin/Malachite
solution is being dosed too highly, this could easily cause the 'burning' as well."
Their is a small electrical current measuring .002v in the tank.
<Most likely unrelated, but there shouldn't be stray voltage in your tank.>
The filtration is a emperor 400 filter and a coral life super skimmer for a 125g tank.
<The main thing you need here is some reading -- your tank is very immature, and is likely still going through its establishing nitrogen cycle. Exacerbating this is your stocking levels -- you have too many fish, far too soon, and the tank is still attempting to establish its biota balance. In addition to this, by treating your display tank with the Formalin/Malachite compound, you are effectively killing all beneficial bacterium/biological filtration available in your tank. These medications treat indiscriminately. More reading is in order -- start here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm    http://wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm
and related subheadings. -JustinN>

Black string like object on yellow tang   9/6/08 Hi guys hope you can help, I have a yellow tang that has a black string like object coming out of its anus. The fish is otherwise healthy and behaviour is normal. Although some weight loss seems to have occurred. It began growing yesterday and is now about 4cm long. Is this intestinal worms? <Mmm, might be... but could also likely be just something the fish ate, is passing... I wouldn't panic... would wait a few days... Bob Fenner>
Re: Black string like object on yellow tang  9/10/08
thanks heaps for your help, you were right. The tang passed it the next day and is doing fine. Thanks again <Ah, good. Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

Tang Internal Parasites... worse  3-11-08 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Mrs. Ridgeway actually.> Does this fish look pregnant to you or is this some sort of disease? It is the only yellow tang in the tank. <Definitely not pregnant, very loaded with internal parasites though. You need to get him into quarantine as soon as possible. He also looks mangled, did this occur while you have had him or did he arrive this way? Check out this link about parasites: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm; I would treat him with Metronidazole for the internal parasites then possibly Melafix afterwards to help with the extensive fin damage. I hope he is able to pull through.> Regards,
<Good Luck. --Yunachin>

"Send in another victim of industrial disease"

Yellow Tang dis.... reading   3/9/08 Good Morning Crew, <Gilbert> I've been reading a lot at WWM and let me tell you guys what a wonderful job your doing; I have focus a lot more on Ich because seems like its one of the most difficult disease to work with!! Now I am worried because I noticed my yellow tang has little white spots on his body and fins, although the fins seem to have the same color as the fish. After reading for about three hours all over WWM, I have gotten a lot of great ideas, but I will also admit that after so much information now I seem a little confuse. How should I go about treating my tang? <Mmm, when you figure it's worth trying... If you have other fish present, and they are not similarly "spotted", this is highly unlikely Crypt... Much more likely flukes/Trematodes...> I know u <...> guys mentioned that a fresh water dip may not do it and you mention copper, can you please explain the procedure of using the copper <posted...> or what other solutions do I have, and if I do apply the copper I will be in my QT? And for how long? Gilbert Gomez <Keep reading... re Crypt, Quarantine, Flukes... Bob Fenner>

Nematode treatment, not Cu   11/4/07 Dear Crew, <Mark> My yellow tang appeared to have "small strings" coming from its vent. I merely observed for 3 weeks, but the fish started to hide excessively and become lethargic. Water tests showed good water quality: pH=8.1 in a.m. - 8.4 in p.m. Hardness=9dGH Ammonia=0 Nitrite=0 Nitrate<5ppm Phosphate<.5ppm So I captured the tang and put him in a quarantine tank and treated with .50ppm ionic copper. <Mmmm, I would not have done this> I know tangs don't always do well with copper, but I like using it because I can test how much is present vs. " the dumping and hoping you added enough/not too much" method associated with most other treatments. <Good point> I did not try a freshwater dip because I have had poor luck/skill with its use . Anyway, my yellow tang seems to be responding well to the treatment so far (2 days). So how long should the tang be treated? And how long should the display tank (90 gallon reef) remain fallow? Thanks, Mark <If you had a microscope... I would cease the copper exposure and try an anthelminthic here instead... in both the treatment and main tank... Prazi-.... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

QT tang with Ich   8/26/07 Hello all: Need some words of wisdom from you guys at WWM. Have a yellow tang that I purchased from my local LFS 2 Saturdays ago, he was immediately placed in QT( SpG 1.019 temp 80 degrees), <... what spg was this fish in previously?> and within 2 days began to show signs of Ich which is not surprising since LFS is notorious for this problem since they tend to overstock. <And don't employ prophylactic processes> Began treating last Friday with CopperSafe and have been maintaining level between 1.5 and 2.0 ppm since then. He has been eating like a hog the whole time color is great no rapid respiration, flashing or rubbing and within the last 3 days the lesions have resolved completely and areas of irritation have also diminished. My question is I have read a lot of information regarding Tangs and copper therapy and it is my understanding that they should be treated no longer that two weeks due to damaging their intestinal flora. <This is so> This being the case how do I go about ensuring he is free of infection prior to introducing him to my display tank. <Continue, finish the copper treatment... allow to rest up, observe... use a dip/bath in moving to the main display...> If I reduce copper levels after 2 weeks of therapy and keep him in QT another two weeks more will I not be waiting for another exposure when the cysts begin to hatch in 28 days???? <Mmm, will 'hatch' out much sooner than this... Would likely show within another week if not gone...> Marie Jones <Bob Fenner>
Re: QT tang with Ich -- 08/26/07
Hello Mr. Fenner: Could your please clear up the information you sent me and see if I am understanding you correctly. I guess what you are saying is treat my tang for two weeks in copper, remover copper then observe for another two weeks, then Methylene blue dip <Mmm, pH adjusted FW... perhaps with formalin rather than Methylene Blue> prior to introduction into main tank. If an outbreak reoccurs during 2 week resting period in quarantine begin cycle all over again. <At that point I would use something other than Copper> Have I got it? Also the SpG at LFS was 1.021, he was acclimated over a period of 45 min. Thank you for your time. <I see. Sorry for the lack of clarity, completeness. BobF>
Re: QT tang with Ich -- 08/26/07
Dear Mr. Fenner: I thank you and Big Bird tangs you. LOL Your time and advice were very much appreciated. Hopeful I was not too much of a pest. <Not a worry> Will let you know in a few weeks how things have progress. Again, Thanks <Thank you, BobF>

Tang with Paravortex, Overstocking and lack of QT - 3/23/07 I was reading an article on your web site about this but it didn't answer my questions. <Ok, I'll see if I can't help>   I have a 55 gal with ys maroon clown, coral beauty, 3 damsels, long nose hawk, and yellow tang, along with several soft corals, LR, and Live sand. <Quite a crowd for a 55 gallon -- and an inappropriate one at that. Tangs will not live out a comfortable life in a 55 gallon tank, there will be psychological and physiological problems down the road here. This doesn't even take into consideration the pesty nature of the damsels, who will likely become an eventual handful, as well as the overt aggression of the maroon clownfish.>   I had my tang for 3 weeks before I put my maroon and long nose in and he was doing great. About a week later he got black spots. Only a couple. I didn't medicate and in a couple of days they went away <No quarantine regimen? This is a craps shoot from the start without such, especially involving a tang.. Tangs are some of the leading causes of parasitic invasions in salt water aquaria.>   Now they are back and there is more of them (I figured this). So I took action. I am medicating with Ick attack and took carbon out. <Useless, toxic, shouldn't be treating the whole tank, and further, this is not an Ich issue. More likely an issue with Paravortex.>   Its been 3 days of medicating the whole 55 gal tank. Spots are still there. <Yes, this medication is useless here. You are not trying to rid yourself of Ich. Further, by treating your entire display, you are putting your live rock and corals at risk, as there are no 'reef safe' solutions for Ich. That said, there are chemicals that can be added, that are marketed for Ich, that will not cause problems, but it is my opinion that a 'reef safe' Ich solution would be a placebo and not really doing anything anyhow.>    What do I do? Should I just keep medicating and wait to see. The bottle says do it for a week? <Stop medicating with the Ich attack, and find yourself a way to setup a quarantine tank, quickly. You will not be able to treat for this disease in your aquarium without detrimental effects to your other inhabitants.>    He hasn't lost any color, still has a great appetite, but does scratch occasionally. Anything I can do or should do. <Have an in-depth read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm . There is a ton of information preexisting on solutions for this problem.>   Should I buy a cleaner shrimp, will that help? <Not going to eliminate the problem on its own, but assuming you stop treating for parasites in your display tank, I see no problem here.>   Any other medications? (that are reef safe) <None, as in they don't exist. There is no easy solution here, just the longer winded ones that you were trying to side-step.>   Fresh water dip? ( and if so is temp and PH of freshwater a big deal?) <Can help, if the dip is en route to a proper quarantine facility. Yes, pH and temperature are crucial. If you are not able to accurately match these, do not attempt a freshwater dip.>   Did this come from clown and hawk, or did my tang always have it and its just coming out now? <Likely from the tang, but the overall situation was avoidable, with a proper quarantine regimen and a little foresight.>   Please respond. Thanks <We respond to all, my friend. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>   

Re: was UV/skimmer, now Tang parasite...  3/6/07 Bob et al., Well, some small progress on the BGA situation.  It seems to be slowing down.  Friday it was going through one of it's let-go-and-float-to-the-surface phases, so I picked as much out as I could.  It seemed to be more cohesive and pick able than usual.  It has been regrowing slower than usual since.  So the UV and/or the water changes with homemade RO/DI water may be helping slowly. <Yes, likely>   Another siphon attack and water change tonight and see what happens. The new problem of the day is that I am concerned about my yellow tang. I added a yellow tang and a baby purple tang about 6 weeks ago.   <Mmmmm> They had been in quarantine after purchase, and did develop Ich.  I treated with hyposalinity (1.009) first, <For how long? Tangs don't like reduced salinity...> that didn't work and the next wave of the parasites was pretty bad. I ended up treating with copper <Nor much copper exposure> and the Ich resolved and they both were symptom free for 4 weeks before going in the display tank.  The yellow tang had gotten pretty thin, as he did not eat well in QT, the little purple was a pig and seemed to always beat him to the food, and I tried to be conservative about the feeding, as the tank was small and so quickly polluted. <Good> I assumed he was thin because he was too stressed to eat much.   <Yes, likely so> He was not thin when I purchased him, but lost weight during the quarantine.   So right after adding him to the main tank, I noticed an apparent cyst in his muscle just below his dorsal fin, on the left side.  It was not visible in QT with normal lighting, but only under the reef lights.  You can only really see it as a shadow when the light comes through him. You can't see it from the right side.  It is about halfway between the skin and the bones on the left side about 1/4" below dorsal fin.  There is no visible skin lesion, but if the light hits it just right, an opaqueness in that spot, about the size of a sesame seed. I did not worry too much about this, as he seemed fine, and it could have been some scar tissue or something.  He began eating well right away, and his behaviour has been very normal.  He has the typical night-time color change with a dark spot and a white stripe when the lights go out.  He is not quite as aggressive as the others at feeding time, but seems to be eating well.  He does not show any interest in the Nori, so he only eats when I feed flakes or frozen, but I worry he is not grazing enough. Their new favorite food is Formula 2 with garlic.  They all seem to love it. He is still thin, and I am worried that this cyst is a tapeworm or nematode.  His guts do have a lumpy kind of appearance, and he could have worms of some sort.  But this could just be the normal intestinal appearance that is visible because he is so thin. I have not seen any abnormal protrusions or worm-like excrement.  I have tried to get a picture, but he is not cooperating with that of course.  If I don't have a camera he poses very nicely right in front of me.  All the other fish are fat, and he is not gaining weight.  He is not losing more weight, he is just not improving.   In reading all I could find here on cysts and intestinal parasites, it seems there are not a lot of answers without a positive ID on a parasite. <Not possible w/o necropsy... microscopic examination> I found a few with identical descriptions but no one knows what to do because of unclear identification.  I can't find any similar pictures or descriptions on the external links.  And I have not seen this particular intra-muscular cyst described in any of my books.  It seems it would be impossible to ID without a biopsy anyway. <Yes> The purple tang who was quarantined with him is doing great.  He is fat and growing.  I will need a bigger tank soon if he keeps it up.  He had some stress lines on his face after QT, but he is beautiful now. <Good> Should I try to get the yellow tang out and put him back in quarantine? <I would not. I'd leave in the main display... and hope for the best> I don't want to infect the whole tank if it is something that doesn't need an exotic intermediate host. <Not likely to spread>   I don't want to overreact since he doesn't seem ill.  I am just getting more concerned because he is still so thin, and the other references to this mysterious cyst involve fish who expired suddenly.  The only choices I see are to quarantine and treat as worms and try to get his intestines cleared out and feed him without competition for a while -or- leave it alone and watch to make sure he does not go down hill.  He is so thin I just worry that he doesn't have much reserve for additional stress.  He seems fine otherwise.  Fins are good, behavior seems very normal.  Even in quarantine, I wouldn't know what to do about the cyst.  It is deep in the muscle, so would be unaffected by fresh water dip.  Without an ID it seems futile to throw medications at it. <There are purposeful Anthelminthics... covered on WWM... that one could try...> Some of your writings suggest that these parasites may not be a problem if the other stresses are low, so may not be a plague if the other fish are healthy? <Yes> Very much enjoying reading "Reef Invertebrates"! Thanks so much! Your website is so addictive.   <Methinks you may be coming up to being a responder...> I am wondering how I survived 12 years of fish-keeping without it! (or how my fish survived anyway! :-)) Seriously, it is great to have somewhere to go for current and trustworthy answers. Alex Miller 75 gal, Instant Ocean, Aqua-C Remora, Emperor 400 filter, 9 W UV sterilizer, too-small refugium/sump, 2 powerheads, CoraLife Deluxe PC 4x96W.   Aragonite substrate, plenum, live rock. Fish: Sailfin Tang, Purple Tang, Yellow Tang (LFS convinced me 3 different tangs would work, but am expecting to have to get a bigger tank soon - <Good... Zebrasomas can become real tusslers at times... stress levels escalating respectively> I really wanted the purple tang, already had the sailfin, the yellow was to make it an odd number), maroon clownfish, watchman goby, yellow-tail damsel, flame angel.   Inverts: emerald crab, Lysmata cleaner shrimp, pistol shrimp, a few hermits, a few snails. Corals: Xenia (going crazy), Euphyllia, mushroom polyps, Zoanthids. pH 8.2, NH3 = 0, NO2 = 0, NO3 = 0, P = 0, Ca = 360, kH = 8, temp = 75 F, SG = 1.025 <If it were me, mine, I would not medicate here... Bob Fenner>
Re: was UV/skimmer, now Tang parasite... and new WWM Crew member! - 03/06/07
Thanks Bob! <Welcome Alex> I agree, the yellow tang is probably better off in the main tank. Watching him more closely last night and this morning, I think the appearance of his abdomen is only due to his thinness and it even seemed slightly better.  I tried again to get pictures, but cannot get any of it to show up in a photo.  I will keep trying to get him to eat more. He is just not as good at grabbing the food as the others, so I will try to sneak him extra while the others are distracted.  Hopefully this cyst will not develop into something more sinister. <Mmm, not likely>   I will keep an eye on it.  Stressing him further right now does not seem indicated. <Agreed... that this may be embedded Metacercariae for instance... would it help the host to have them die, dissolve? How might this organisms complex life cycle be completed w/o a requisite predator consuming it? Perhaps this is simply a "twisted muscle" sort of injury/growth...> I will work on convincing my husband that we need a bigger tank! <Ahh!> Wow, your comment "<Methinks you may be coming up to being a responder...>" is very nice!  Weird, actually, as I was thinking the same thing last night. You read my mind. <!>   I begin to wonder if I might have some value to add here at some point.  My background is somewhat eclectic.  I am certainly not an expert, but I have learned from mistakes and struggled with and overcome a lot of the standard problems over the years. I understand the basic mechanical, chemical, and biological processes.  My weakness is probably in pathology and taxonomy.  I am a mechanical engineer, so could address pumps/head/flows/siphons/gravity, etc. <We have plenty of these... all are encouraged not to answer anything they're not comfortable with> I have done my fair share of DIY projects, and am pretty handy with plumbing in general.  I have not had a full-blown reef yet, but grew up with freshwater fish, and have had a FOWLR for a decade, moving toward a reef in the last couple of years. So I have seen the evolution in the best-practices and have tried to keep up.  I had a short stint cleaning tanks as a part-time helper at an LFS, and have seen local businesses come and go.  I appreciate their challenges, and the challenges of hobbyists who get varying advice from their LFS.  I like to keep it simple, and do appreciate your emphasis on natural sustainable approaches.  I also am picky about spelling and proper English, <Heeee! Yay!> and appreciate your efforts on this front. I would be glad to proofread anytime.  I am also a diver (I am the one floating upside down looking under things to see the details that everyone else swims right by), although haven't been able to go in a couple of years. I am a life-long aquarist, captured by the challenge, the beauty, and the serenity (in-between crises) offered by our own little piece of the reef.   <All good traits, experiences... It is obvious you have good command of the written word, a positive approach, are desirous of aiding others...> So, I will keep reading for now, and maybe I can help out one day.   Thanks!! Alex <Mmm, please do make it known when you have the sensation that you have suitable/sufficient "free time" for joining us. BobF>
Re: was UV/skimmer, now Tang parasite... and new WWM Crew member! - 03/06/07
Hi Bob, <Alex> Yes, on further reading I see that you have a wide range of experience levels and backgrounds making up the crew.  I would indeed like to help if you are in need of more responders!  I do enjoy sharing/communicating and can continue to learn on the job.  It would be an honor to be part of your team. <Ahh!> It sounds like the responding is done through your webmail system, <Yes> but I should probably set up another personal email for contact, <Please do send this along> since this is my work email (although it is certainly the quickest way to reach me for now - we have no access to webmail at work due to virus threats & productivity issues). Actually, my blackberry email may be the best backup for contacting me directly (copied above). <But hard to respond on... is this an address/system you would like to use just the same?> But if most of the communication is handled through logging into your site, then that may not be necessary.  I will be available in the evenings and weekends, as I do work days.  Let me know what I do next. <Respond to the last question, or make it known how we can reach you... You are welcome to have an address... Alex@WetWebMedia.com if you'd like. But the mail does come/go through a webmail svc.> Oh, and I am 99% sure that the cyst on the Z. flavescens is a Metacercariae.  I may have lost my appetite for sushi for a few days after reading up on that.  Yikes! <Mmm, yes... Anisakine ("Green" "Herring") worms are not my faves... I do like the sushi bar experience, but find myself "candling" fish flesh more and more as the years go by> He seems even better tonight, and I think he will be fine.  He is just still recovering from the QT stress and is not as piggy as the others and needs more food and time. Thanks! Alex <BobF>

Tang with Parasites - 8/9/2006 I have recently acquired a salt water tank already set up with a yellow tang, yellow belly damsel, percula, and a coral banded shrimp. <<Is the tank large enough for a tang? Nothing smaller than 6-feet will do in my opinion.>> The first few days everything seemed "normal" (granted this is the first salt water tank I've had) and I gathered that the tang has his territory, the shrimp his, and the percula has his while the damsel just swims about. The previous owners seem to have abandoned the tank and it is very dirty and there was only one small live rock and a small fake anemone for the animals to hide and roam. I'm not sure if they were even being fed. I've added a few more hiding places for them and plan on adding another live rock or two. <<You should look into 1-2 pounds per actual gallon.>> My problem is that for the last two days the tang swims backwards *all* the time. I mean he'll dart from one end of the tank to the other tail first. He seems to be freaking out about something... swimming on his side at times, his fins always puffed out except when he's swimming backwards. It seems like he's trying to scratch his dorsal fin on the rocks! <<Sounds like a much stressed animal to me.  What are your number readings for ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte?  The scratching makes me believe an external parasite is present here.  Do you see any white flecks on the fish?  Look on the fins especially.>> And tonight I've noticed that it seems like the shrimp is attracted to him... I'm not sure what he's trying to do to the tang but he's trying to climb on him or maybe clean him??? I'm not sure. And what's weird to me is the tang is allowing it for the most part. His coloration seems normal and I don't see any spots or fin tears or anything. I haven't changed anything in the tank other than adding two hiding places (rock and a fake seaweed). What is wrong with my tang? Is this normal behaviour? <<The behaviour of the cleaner shrimp confirms to me that an external parasite is present.  The tang is allowing the cleaner to pick them off, and is common, normal and beneficial.  You need to address the parasite issue however.>> I'm very worried about my fish. <<I understand. Please read on WWM to ID the parasite here, and to knock it out before it gets too bad. Tangs are notorious for ick, and I'd bet that's what you have hear.  Treatment is detailed throughout the site.  Good Luck. Lisa.>>

Spot on tangs face    3/31/06 Hi, <Good morrow> I have had a yellow tang for over six months, and have not added anything to the tank since. Everything is normal and acting as it should. Yesterday I noticed a white bump right between the eyes of the tang centered on it's face. The white bump is set right on a bone. The spot could be Ich, but to me it seems too large possibly being the size of 5 grains of salt combined. <And would be more numerous> But it is definitely a possible Ich spot, because I have seen Ich spots this big before on other fish (not in my tanks). when viewed straight on it has a blackish color in the center, and a white color on the outside. When viewing the fish's profile the bump protrudes out as far out as it is wide. It kind of looks like a popped pimple, having an indentation in the center of the spot. Although it does not really have the shape of a pimple, more so a round ball sitting on the fish. Everything in the tank has been stable, and to my knowledge there has not been any stressful events. So is this Ich or something else? <Likely resultant from a physical injury> So far my only course of action is to wait and see if it falls off, and if so quarantine and treat as needed. Thanks, Jed <Yes to your plan. Likely nothing pathogenic or "treatable". Bob Fenner>

Paravortex "Black Spot Disease"  11/11/05 WWM Crew, Recently my Yellow tang showed signs of Black Spot Disease (little black dots covering its entire body) after a few days they were gone, and then a few days later they were back.  I hope my diagnosis was correct.  I followed Mr. Fenner advice from the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (great book) and gave the Tang a fresh water bath (pH adjusted & aerated) for 10 min and it did very well and knocked off all the black spots. <Good> After the bath I put it in a 20gal by itself.  Two weeks later there are no signs of Black Spots.  First question, how long should I keep the tang in the 20gal before putting it back into the main tank? <About another two weeks> Second question, how long will the Paravortex survive without a host? <A few weeks typically> Third, are my fish in the display tank (72gal bow) at risk for contracting the disease? Currently in the tank I have 1 Bicolor Angel 6" (doing very well contrary to reputation), 2 True Perculas (pair), 1 Lawn Mower Blenny, 2 Blue/Green Chromis, and 1 Yellow Tail Damsel. <Mmm, there is a possibility these fishes might act as "reservoir hosts"... Ideally, all would be processed per your Tang, isolated, the infested system allowed to run fallow for a month...> I practice good maintenance; all tanks (3) get a 10% water change twice a week and parameters are stable and were they should be.  Please lend me some advice, my Bicolor Angel misses the Tang and likewise for the Tang. They are good buddies. Thanks in advance, Bryan <Heeee! Soon to be reunited. A thought... adding a purposeful cleaner... perhaps a Lysmata Shrimp or a Gobiosoma goby... might add interest to your system as well as utility here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Paravortex "Black Spot Disease"  11/12/2005
Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the information. I guess I should have mentioned that I do have one Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp in the tank as well as a few soft corals, one Bubble Tip Anemone (opposite end of tank from corals), Black/Red star, and other hermits and snails.  <Ah, yes, thank you> I sure hope that the others are not acting as a reservoir host, they show no signs. The cleaner shrimp has been cleaning the Bicolor Angel regularly. He also cleans the Chromis too. I think I will leave the Tang out for another 3-4 weeks just to make sure. Thanks again. Bryan <If this doesn't work out (this time) it is not that big of a deal to "re-do"... Paravortex is not "very debilitating". Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Skinny Yellow Tang This girl is a pig, but she remains skinny. She feeds continuously on tank algae ( green, green hair, golden, purple ) and on Nori soaked in garlic and Zoecon or other vitamin supplement. <Mmm, not atypical... very likely a case of substantial gut fauna competing with your Tang here...> My dogs just ate the Zoecon. They enjoyed the Cyclops too. <Heee!> She doesn't eat anything else that has been introduced to the tank. i.e. Mysis, brine, angle food, formula 2 (frozen), Cyclops flakes. She has eaten Gracilaria when i have it. She has had a few white spots on her from time to time but they quickly go away (twice in one month - gone in one day). She uses the cleaner shrimp like a day spa (all day) She is very active, curious, belly is always packed full, but never seems to put much weight on to her back muscles, and she is a little sunken under her eyes.  She is in a 40G reef, with 200 watts 10k/actinic, NH3 - 0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 20,, PH 7.8-8.1, sal 1.023-1.024 60# live rock, 120# live sand, dozens of hermits, snails, corals, a BTA, Lawnmower Blenny, 2 cleaner shrimp, 4 peppermint shrimp. Should i be concerned, and if so what should i do?  thanks - Robert <A simple, one time administration of Metronidazole/Flagyl to this animals food/s should "do it". Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Skinny Yellow Tang
Thanks for the advice. I will try the Metronidazole. However I cannot find any information on the preparation of a 1% solution. If I dissolve 1-250mg capsule in one ounce of water does this make a 1% solution that I could soak Nori in?? Thanks again Robert <Ah, yes, this should work fine. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich Hello there, <Howdy> I know you are very busy so I will get to the point.  <Good> We have had our yellow tang about 3 weeks, eating well, enjoy his life. Today I noticed that he has black spot that seem to protrude. Almost as if you touched him you could feel the bumps. <You have sensitive touch!> I tried to find that description in your numerous responses but did not. And a little fraying on his lower fin. My water levels are all in check. Do have a problem with brownish/red algae that I am trying to control. Can you point me in the right direction.  <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the Related Disease FAQs linked above...> His tankmates include 1 blue damsel, 1 Chromis, live rock, 2 crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp and 1 anemone. It is a 30 gallon tank. <.... Erk! This tank is too small for this fish...> I am new and reading a lot and found out patience in adding new fish is must. <Ahh, correct!> I lost 2 clowns in the beginning from lack of knowledge of water quality and 1 from white Ich which I did a freshwater dip. Not a good turn out on that, don't prefer to do that again. This is my daughter's (8 yrs old) Tang, used her b-day money for it I really do not want him to die she will be heart broken. <I as well> Also so can you suggest a good book with how to treat disease and algae control methods. <Mmm, there is plenty actually on WWM re both these topics... and the Net is currently much easier to access such information> Thanks so much Tina <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich (treatments)
Thanks for the response and believe it or not I was able to get rid of the black Ich. Based on a ton of information I read on your website, I chose to try the freshwater dip and it worked. For anyone thinking to try this really read about it and follow it exactly, I did not have that information the one other time I tried and had failure sorry to say. It has been 6 days since the dip and he is back to his perky little self again and spot free.  <Good> Oh, I do not know if this may help anyone and correct me if I am not right. But if it can help someone else great. I have read where people have had great success with adding garlic to their diet. I had tried that early with a fish for 1wk to remove white Ich with no response to the garlic then did the freshwater dip which failed. I read that if a fish dies after a correctly done freshwater dip that there is probably a secondary infection. This time I chose not to do the garlic and went right for the dip within a day of the spots appearing. I think this may have stopped the disease from getting worse. This is just a observation on part for what worked for me. Have a great memorial day. Tina <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> 

Black spot disease outbreak? Good Evening WetWebMedia crew members. <Yawnnnnn! Good morrow to you> I have recently traded a blue line trigger for a yellow tang (+ a Kole) since the trigger grew to 8 inches long and started becoming highly aggressive. My system is 157 gallons with mostly soft corals. Problem is that when I was at the LFS, under their normal fluorescent lights, I was unable to see 3 little black dots on the yellow tang that I immediately spotted when I placed him in the main tank (under 450 VHO watts). The LFS guy said not to fresh water dip the fish because it would stress it out, if not kill it. <... which is more stressful? To you, the fish? To have your system infested with Turbellarians? Or a simple dip/bath? Bad call.> I also do not favor this method too much because I lost another yellow tang to an 8 min fresh water dip 3 years ago - as soon as I placed him back in the tank his buoyancy got messed up and sank to the bottom, only to die a few minutes later. <Was the freshwater (presumably) dip water pH adjusted? Aerated?> So, I properly acclimated yellow tang Number 2 and introduced him into my setup, since I had no quarantine tank. Since day 1 (1 month in my tank), the yellow tang has had 2 outbreaks with the black dots. He doesn't scratch, eats well (has devoured all my Caulerpa algae and does not appear to be skittish.) I have attempted several times to catch him, however, it is impossible to lure him with food.. he constantly hides (well, I'd do the same thing If I were him). My question is, is this disease deadly since he eats well, and all behavior seems to be normal? <Not "very" deadly... just persistent, semi-debilitating> Will he ever recover by himself if not treated / left in the tank? <Mmm, not likely... the "tank has the disease" now... a balance can be struck with biological cleaners (Lysmata Shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies...), but Paravortex will live in a tang-free environment for months at times... w/o hosts> I hate to tear off the tank completely to catch him ( I have 25 corals + 120 lbs of LR. I have read this Paravortex flatworm or whatever, does not affect other fish (currently I have 2 other tangs with the yellow one) but it's hard to get rid of.  <Yes, you are correct> If the fish does not deteriorate due to the flatworm, do I still need to remove him from the tank? <Mmm, no> Any advice on what to do would greatly be appreciated. WWM site is simply invaluable. Thanks for your help, Dimitris <I do wish we could go back in time... I could convince you to at least quarantine this Yellow Tang.... if not dip it... I would go the cleaner route here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black spot disease outbreak?
Hello Bob, <Dimitri> Thanks for writing back. How's the weather in San Diego? <Bunk, overcast... been a very rainy winter...> I live in Largo, FL.. similar weather but very humid most of the time  <Very nice> I did purchase 3 peppermint shrimp to fight this... <Mmm, not Peppermints... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm> ...so hopefully they'll do their thing. Yes, I agree with the fresh water dip but I had a bad start with the other yellow tang, so I was naturally afraid (I also listened to the LFS guy ). I just wish the supplier(s) in HI would actually dip the fish before they ship them over to the LFSs (could have saved me a lot of headaches). Dimitris <Yowzah! You're so right... this is a campaign issue I've been waging for going on thirty years in the trade... Really makes not sense not to... to bump off your customers... their livestock... over such a simple procedure... Bob Fenner> 

Population Control/Parasite Issues (Xenia, Black Ich) Hello folks, <Hi! Ryan helping you today.> Today's email has two topics.  The first finding a way to control my pulsing xenia.  My tank is as follows: -55g (will be upgrading to a 120g soon) -4+ years old -80lbs live rock -Fish:  1 coral beauty, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 yellow tang -Inverts:  1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, ~15 Astrea snails, ~5 turbo snails, ~5 red-legged hermits -Corals:  Yellow polyps, White clove polyps, blue, orange, green, pink and lavender Zoanthids, 1 toadstool leather, pink cabbage coral, red mushroom polyps, orange Ricordea, 1 mosaic mushroom polyp, various sponges, pink pulsing xenia -Parameters:  pH - 1.024, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, temp - 79F (calcium, iodine, strontium, molybdenum, etc. all within acceptable levels) My problem is my pulsing xenia.  A little over a year ago, I bought 3, 1 inch stalks of it.  Now, I've got over 40 stalks of xenia and it's multiplying by the day.  It seems to be growing out of control, and taking over other desirable corals (the Zoanthids have a hard time fighting for position).  I plan on taking rocks covered with it back to the store for trade (I've got a great local LFS near me), but would also like to trim some back where it's growing on rocks with other animals.  The problem is, when I cut it back, it just grows back again out of the remaining stalks.  I don't want to *scrape* it off, for fear of damaging the other animals and possibly releasing toxins into the water.  It can be chiseled off of some of my rocks, but some of the rock frags are too small to split and have some really great Zoanthids on them.  Are there any other ways that this coral can be removed from rock that I've not seen? <Xenia is commonly seen re-populating previously deserted reefs...I bet you know why, huh?  It's reefer's crabgrass!  I have many friends who have similar issues with all varieties of xenia.  Pulsing Xenia seems to be a fast grower, but Anthelia is even faster in my experience.  As for removal, I would remove the entire rock from the water and scrape it clean with a plastic scraper of some type.  As you know, the smallest piece left can repopulate a xenia colony within weeks.  Scrape, and then rinse the rock with saltwater to eliminate small pieces from straggling.  Perhaps it's easier to remove the zoos first?> My next topic has to do with a case of black Ich that I recently experienced.  I purchased a yellow tang not too long ago, and quarantined him for two weeks in a 20g nurse tank.  After he showed good health and eating and absolutely NO signs of disease, I put him in my display tank. About 1 month after that, I noticed very, VERY tiny black specs (smaller than pepper) on his side.  Turned out to be black Ich.  I weighted the idea of trapping him from the display tank, but this would've wreaked havoc on the tank and would've really stressed out the fish.  I can't treat the tank with traditional methods, due to the softies in there.  So -- I did something that hadn't been recommended, but was a wonderful success.  I purchased a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  It was a healthy specimen that had already setup a cleaning station in the LFS tank.  I brought him home and within a week's time, he had acclimated, setup a cleaning station and had removed every parasite from the tang.  The coral beauty and the wrasse have shown no signs of infection and the tang has not had a reinfestation.  This seemed like the most *natural* approach to the issue, especially since it was caught very early on and since black Ich is one of the slower diseases in terms of damaging fish.  My question is -- am I just lucky that this worked out in my favor? <Lucky so far...Parasites have a life cycle that doesn't always include hosting on the fish.  Just be on the lookout for a relapse, and have a QT tank ready.> I'd hate to think that I gambled with this fish's wellbeing, but my goal was truly to cure him in a way that caused the least stress and disruption to my system.  If this is a reasonable approach to addressing an outbreak of a parasite, I'm wondering why I don't see this type of treatment recommended more often. <They’re highly unsuccessful at eliminating disease long-term.  It's similar to adding an algae eater into an algae-filled pond and saying the problem is fixed.  Even if he eats all algae on the walls, cells still exist that could re-populate the colony!  You're either lucky or have a false sense of security.> I normally only see cleaners advocated for prevention. <Yes, they are wonderful for prevention and display!  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks as always.  You folks are absolutely fantastic! Deb Colella

-Yellow tang w/ Ich- Hi there! Your website has become my new source for info. with our saltwater tank. <Excellent!> I am looking for help with our Yellow Tang. We recently noticed (in the last 2-3 days) the tang was darting & moving around the tank as if something was "itching" her skin.  The tang was swimming close to the sand, as if to rub it to take care of an itch.  The next day I noticed small white spots on the fins, and last night, the spots are a little larger, more visible with the lights off (in natural light), and seem to be all over. <Yep, that's Ich alright.> At the same time, we noticed we have thousands of teeny tiny little bugs (I'm thinking they are copepods) all over inside the tank.. <Likely copepods, totally unrelated fish food.> Does she have some form of parasite? <Yes, Ich> If so, are the little bugs MORE parasites? <No> OR does she have ICH, and the bugs, copepods?  How do we treat this? <This is an incredibly common disease and as this question has been answered hundreds of times before (search our FAQ's!!!) I ask that you read this article http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm, and us the search feature of this website.> We started with one treatment of Pimafix, which treats fungal infections, then were told to try  Greenex (Malachite Green) which we did in place of the Pimafix.  Can you help? We just want her better, whatever it is it's driving her crazy!  We also have a Picasso trigger & yellow tail damsel, live rock. <If no one else in the tank shows any signs of infection, I would suggest removing the yellow tang to a quarantine tank (again, check our plethora of articles and FAQ's!) and treating in there with copper sulfate and/or formalin before things get worse. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestcryptfaqs.htm as well. Good luck! -Kevin>  Thanks guys!  You are the best!!

Kill them all? WWM Crew - I'm starting to collect a library of strange advice from my LFS. I bought a very nice juvenile Yellow Tang from them, which I did not inspect that well before hand. A few days later it has black-Ich (Turbinella worms?) and is in a quarantine tank ready to start the best treatment I can (copper? Formalin? Daily FW dips?) <I'd recommend Formalin and FW dips... see more here (follow FAQ links at top of page too: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > When I told the LFS about this, the senior reef guy pulled me aside and whispered, "Take it out and kill it. I'm the only one here that will tell you this. Don't put any more tangs in your tank for 6 months." <he is mistaken... Black Spot on tangs is very curable... and limited in infectious rates> Of course I'm not going to do this, I'll either cure the fish in the QT or let the worms kill it. It's strange getting this kind of advice, since it makes no sense from a customer-oriented business standpoint, from an animal husbandry standpoint, and from the have-patience-and-never-give-up-attitude standpoint that is necessary for successful reef/combo tanks. <agreed> Plus, searching the literature leads me to believe that black-Ich (black-spot) is not that hard to cure anyways .... ? <quite correct> I've read this page : http://wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and it seems to confirm that it is not _that_ bad. I'm not sure there's a question here, unless you have any ideas about a.) the best treatment to start it on, and b.) why would I get this kind of advice? Thanks, SLC <I do believe you will be fine with the treatments commonly prescribed for the former on the pages you have seen/researched... as to the latter question, simple misinformation that the clerk carries on and alas... has not challenged himself to reconsider/look higher. Best regards, Anthony>

Tang With Ich Hello Bob, <Scott F. with you> I have a fairly new 100 gallons FOWLR tank with only 1 yellow tang. Few days ago, I noticed there were some small white spots (like salt grains) on the fins but quickly disappeared after a few hours. I did lot of reading on this web site and also your book and these steps were what I did so far: - Dipped the fish in FW with Methylene Blue for 5 min.s - Then moved it to a hospital tank (20 gallons). - Raised tank temperature 1 degree/day. - Lowered the Spg 0.001/day. - Do water change everyday (2 gallons) since the hospital tank has not yet established. - Let the main tank goes fallow for about 1 1/2 month. <Good protocol-decisively executed!> Here're my questions: 1) How high the temperature should I keep in the hospital tank? What about the Specific Gravity? <I'd shoot for about 82 degrees, with 1.020- keep the oxygen level high. Some people like to lower specific gravity to 1.015, but I'd try to keep it close to "normal" tank readings, if possible to avoid added stress> 2) Should I treat the yellow tang with any kind of chemical such as copper, formalin... or just altering the water like what I did is enough and observe the fish for a while? <I like the idea of observing, then performing freshwater dips, when possible. However, a standard aquarium copper remedy, used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, is very effective. Avoid long-term use of copper with tangs, as it could damage their digestive fauna> 3) For the main tank, should I raise the temperature and lower the Specific Gravity as well? Should I still do water change even without fish hosts? <Yes on the temperature increase-as it will accelerate the life cycle of the parasite. I'd leave the specific gravity alone, and perform regular scheduled maintenance> Thank you in advance for your help. Regards, Dung Ngo <Glad to be of service. You're doing great! I'm sure that you'll beat this disease. Just be patient>

Confused if my yellow tang is/was sick Hello, thanks for all your time and knowledge you guys pour out to aquarists. It's really great. I am a little confused if my yellow tang was sick or not. I'm not sure what I should do. Here's a summary of my tank setup: - 50 gal reef w/LR, LS, protein skimmer - 1 Banggai cardinal, 1 purple Firefish, and 1 yellow tang. - snails, red legged hermits, green star polyp, mushrooms, leather, and some yellow polyps. - ammonia = 0, pH = 8.4, sg = 1.024, nitrate = ~10 Here's what happened: I bought a yellow tang and quarantined it. No ill signs. I did notice it was a fast swimmer and would dart around my 10gal qt.; especially when he saw me. I assumed this was normal; thinking that it just needed more swimming room or wanted to be fed. During qt, I replaced water every few days because ammonia levels would go up slightly (0.25). QT has penguin mini-BioWheel as filtration. Fish ate a lot of food. After 2 weeks of qt, I put him in the main tank. He ate like usual and darted around like usual. After a few days, I noticed 2 white dots on his fins. I waited for more signs before taking any drastic actions. Eventually, I noticed about 10-20 small black dots on him. I waited to see if my peppermint shrimp would clean him. Black dots disappeared next day. A few days later I noticed he darted around a lot more and would scratch himself against the glass. At the same time he breathed hard. To me, this was a clear sign of Marine Velvet. I promptly removed him from the main tank, FW dip for 3 min.s., and then into the qt. I put the manufacturer's recommended dosage of SeaCure copper (1 drop/gallon) in the qt. 2 days later, I tried measuring the copper w/Salifert copper test. It said no measurable copper. I tried again the next day and same results. Does SeaCure require the FasTest copper test kit?  <I would test with another test in order to test the test...Uhh, use another test to make sure the original test is accurate.> I maintained copper level by only adding more when I changed the water in the qt. Tang seemed normal and white dots were gone. 2 weeks later... Still darting around and no dots. I recently bought the FasTest copper kit and it said there was about .5 copper in the qt. Not the .15 recommended. (Though, this was after a water change where I didn't add more copper) <That would dilute the copper, I am going to have to believe the second test, maybe bring a water sample to the LFS and let them test it as well.> Why am I confused? Well, my 2 other fish in the main tank have no sign of disease. So does that mean there isn't disease in the main tank?  <May still be in the tank, and just not infected anyone yet.> My tang still swims fast. If he had marine velvet, it should have killed him by now. Is he cured? Is it something else? One thing I was thinking was he may be swimming fast because ammonia spikes in the qt every few days. Thanks and sorry for the long message. <more info is always better> regards, Jason <The safest option would be to remove all fish from your main display and let the system run fallow (without fish) for at least 4 weeks. Without a host the parasites should die off. I would also continue treating the tang for at least another weak with copper to see if his behavior returns to normal. You can find more information on parasitic disease at the link below. Best of Luck, Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm>

Yellow Tang and Ich I have a 4 inch yellow tang that I had in a 38 gallon tank by himself with about 5 lbs of live rock (more was to be added later).  I have had him for about a month.  He was eating really well.  Nori about two times a day with Formula 2 soaked in Boyd's Vita Chem several times per week.  Water changes about 10% once per week.  Tank parameters:  pH 8.2,   nitrates, nitrates and ammonia - 0. Temperature 79.   One day I noticed that he did not eat as well and appeared to be hiding more.  I looked at him closely and he appeared to have been sprinkled in salt.  I was afraid that he had ick.  I gave him a  20 minute freshwater/Methylene blue dip the next day which he appeared to tolerate pretty well and put him in  a 20 gallon QT tank.  He has been in the QT tank for a little over 24 hours now and initially he appeared to do OK.  However today he is hanging up near the surface of the water and appears to be trying to stick his nose out of the water.  I know this is a bad sign and he probably won't make it.  Do you think this is secondary to ick or some other internal infection.   Please give me some advice on what I should do next.    I hope you get this email in time. <Hi Bryan, sorry to hear about the tang. What kind of water movement, aeration do you have in the QT? Maybe add a stone to help. I would continue daily fresh water dips with Methylene blue although 5-10 minutes is a little easier on the fish. You might try raising the temp (slowly) to about 82-83 and lower (again slowly) the salinity to 1.018-1.019. Also you can search for Ich using the WetWebMedia.com search engine for more info. It may take several days to see a reduction in the Ich and after all spots are gone, then the 4 week QT starts. If any spots reappear, the QT timer restart after it is gone. Good luck with your tang, Don>

Danger of disease with too little practical knowledge, bunk advice I have a 55 gallon tank, which has been up and running again for a little while...(4 months?)  Anyway, we have crushed coral on the bottom, and some coral and rocks for decoration/hiding/shelter.  Our water has been checking out fine when we do a test at the store.  (the only test kit we have is the PH one)   <First Dave, take responsibility for knowing your water, get an ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH/alkalinity test kit(s) and learn to test your water. Your fish store may or may not be able to really help you.> Our fish are 1 yellow tang, 1 orange tailed blue damsel (don't know his official name, but he is not the yellow-tailed ones), 1 clarkii clown fish, 1 juvenile Emperor angel and 1 cleaner wrasse.  (Okay, I have only just begun to read about how this is a bad fish to get, but was trying to solve the tang's problems)  Oh, and our filter is an Eheim canister style filter (says 2213 on it?)  and we have a bubbler stone with little pump just for nice bubble look off to the side. Okay, here is the problem.  Our yellow tang looked great when we first got him. (this was after cycling our tank with damsels and then returning all but the orange tailed guy)  Then a few days later developed tiny tiny black dots all over.  Checked it out and talked to our fish guy.  He said it was the Hawaiian black spot parasite and he recommended a fresh water dip.  I did that and they went away.  Then of course they came back, I now am beginning to read and understand about the life cycle of the parasites.  Because they kept coming back the fish store people had me treat the tank with Marine Aquaria NO ICH treatment for 2 weeks. <FIRE your LFS and do not buy this snake oil stuff anymore!!! PLEASE go to the disease pages of WetWebMedia.com and read about *why* you are getting this disease and how to get your system back in order. Also, please read about and obtain a quarantine tank large enough for all your fish. Read about quarantine and marine stocking at WWM too!> Well, all looked well so after the treatment cycle we bought the emperor angel.  I mentioned to them that I thought I saw one or two new dots, and they agreed that a cleaner wrasse would help.   <See my advice above and give me a double. Give them the broom, they are not only rip offs, but they sold you a fish that you now know doesn't have a good survival record AND is endangered.> Sure enough, that day the wrasse ate them off, and I thought we were out of the woods.  Now here we are a week later, and the yellow tang has 4-5 tiny dots again.  and the wrasse is not eating them.  She is eating everything else we feed the fish (we primarily use the frozen formula two food, but to ensure the Emperor would eat, we got some brine shrimp)   <Brine shrimp is fine to get fish eating, but do switch to Mysis shrimp and another form of nutritious food, brine shrimp is the Wonder Bread of fish foods, no, it's more like Twinkies. IOW, it has no nutritive value.> I did another fresh water dip on the tang, for 5-7 minutes.  He looked fine in there the whole time, but is looking definitely stressed now.  His breathing was quite rapid, and he was in his stress darker color mode.  He is fortunately looking a bit better now, but not much. What also worries me is now our Emperor angel is lingering in the bubbles on occasion, and I am afraid he is getting something now. I just did a 15% or so water change today, and put the carbon back in the filter (was out during the treatment)  But things just seem off.  I am afraid we are going to wake up to all our fish dead.  Oh yeah, the wrasse is not looking so good anymore.  Having trouble staying straight in the water, and holding her mouth open a lot. (her name is Alice, by the way, from the Brady Bunch.) So there we have it.  Spare me no details, although I already know some of the major mistakes we have made.  (No quarantine tank being the biggest I think)  Help save our fish! Becky <I would look up black spot disease on WetWebMedia.com and treat as per directed there, in a QT tank, this is common for Yellow Tangs. You may also have another parasite or water condition that you don't see or can't test for, (ick/velvet) and wastes (esp. ammonia/nitrite) and pH/salinity/temp. I would recommend a QT tank along with tests for water parameters as these may be problematic/causative with all fish listless.  Also search on Google search at WetWebMedia.com on ick/velvet treatment as this may be problem with new additions to black spot. I know you won't add any more fish without a proper quarantine, will you?  It may take a month or two to get all straightened out. Make good use of the QT and disease pages of WWM!  Best of luck!  Craig>

Sick Revolving Yellow Tang Hi Guys, <cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> Two months ago I bought the healthiest Yellow Tang, that I've ever purchased. It is about 3.5" in length. A month ago he was showing signs of a parasitic infection (scraping near his gills on rocks & elevated respiration) probably Gill Flukes or Velvet. My other fish appear healthy. Water quality looked ok for a FO tank (0 ammonia & nitrite, ph is 8.2, Nitrates are 15 - 20ppm, Salinity 1.023, @ 78F) His diet consists of vitamin enriched herbivore flake food, frozen mysids and brine shrimp and romaine lettuce. He is still a big eater. I've been doing regular water changes. I changed 30gallons last week to get the nitrates down. I'm mixing 10 gallons right now. I also added 15lbs of high quality cured Fiji LR today. Everyone seems to be excited about it. However the tang continues to hide. He can spot me from across the room. If he sees me, he hides. I removed him from the tank and gave him a fresh water dip. Now my LFS tells me that does more harm than good. <they are very mistaken... FW dips are one of the single most effective treatments for parasites when properly conducted... especially for Velvet and Gill Flukes which are unaffected by copper treatments. Copper is really best for Cryptocaryon because it is superficial (not buried in gills/flesh deeply)> Anyway he seemed to improve for a day or two then he started showing signs of another infection. I noticed black/brown spots on his fins and body Velvet) ..  <actually a Terebellid worm (Black spot on tangs) that needs daily FW dips for 5-8 consecutive days... do archive proper FW dip protocol> This time I gave him a formalin bath in salt water. The salt water was at a lower salinity.  <A good treatment... I'm OK with that> After an hour or so, I returned him to the tank. He was fine until Tuesday. On Wednesday, I placed him in a make shift hospital tank.(32Gal trash can filled w/ 15 gallons lower salinity salt water. Correct dosage of Formalin. Power head for circulation)  <outstanding! I like the ingenuity!> I left him there for 30 hours then I returned him to his tank.  <Arghhh! QT should be for 2-4 weeks... the frequent moving is a death sentence for some fish!> While he was in the hospital tank, I fed a mixture of medicated flake food, and vitamin enhanced flake food for herbivores.  <medicated flakes should be for 11-14 days to be effective> He appeared to be back to normal when I returned him. Today the parasites appear to be back (scratching again, though not frequent.) He hides from me. I think he stresses out when he sees me, and that may be weakening his immune system. I don't think I'm going to move again. I'm going to wait and see if he calms down on his own. What do ya'll think. Thanks, Glenn <my friend... a cure for this takes time and you just are not sticking with anything long enough. FW dips are great but must occur on consecutive days... a QT stay with medication is safe but takes nearly two weeks to work. Please give some of the above a chance to work. A ten gallon hospital tank would do you wonders. Best regards, Anthony>

Yellow tang illness/treatment, Black spot disease Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I enjoy your site greatly and have emailed you several times in the past, receiving excellent advice. Thank you for that. It appears time to seek that advice again however. I have a 60 gal flat back hex reef tank which is now 4 months old and off to a great start. During this past week, I received the gift of a new fish from well-meaning relatives. It was a yellow tang. I greatly appreciated the gift but upon inspecting my new tang I immediately saw that he was covered with marine velvet and black spot disease!! <wow... double whammy> He came from a less than reputable LFS that I try not to frequent except for emergencies. My nephew (3yrs old) wanted me to immediately add him to my main tank. Fortunately I have a quarantine tank set-up in my basement and was able to convince my nephew that my new fish needed some time in a tank of his own to get stronger. <outstanding and wise> So. in he went into the quarantine tank which is set up as follows...15gal glass tank, full hood with single fluorescent light on a timer, Aquaclear 150 power filter (with sponge filter sections soaking in my main tanks sump to colonize bacteria), Airstone with pump, Ebo-Jager heater, salinity 1.024, temp 78F, bare bottom with pvc piping for hiding and enclosed on 3 of 4 sides with dark blue background material. <if you had any idea how many times each day we here at WWM talk to kind folks with sick fish who don't know this QT procedure other folks that don't care to, you would understand how delighted I am that you a have a perfect QT set-up... and why I'd like to marry you. Yes.. I'm proposing...hehe> I have never had a sick fish until now and didn't have any copper on hand (smart right?) <no problem here... it is not effective much or at all on these two buggers> I quickly ordered online a bottle of Seachem Cupramine with a SeaChem copper test kit. However the copper will not arrive for another 2-3days what should I do in the meantime? Should I take the fish out and give him a freshwater dip? <yes... forget the copper and do aggressive dips (5 minute minimum... I'll advise you towards 7 minutes but I personally would go over ten if I felt the fish was strong and responding well... Velvet and Black spot are tenacious> Try hyposalinity? Or leave him in there without doing anything until the copper arrives. Will copper treat the black spot also or do I need to do something else for this separate disease. <indeed... I'm one of those inclined to use Formalin for these nasty infections... but I would most always do FW dips first and foremost> (What is black spot disease anyway?) From Bob's files: <"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."> His color is good, he's eating well and my water parameters are perfect right now. The velvet is not getting worse (yet) and actually seems to be slightly better today. <Excellent.. a good sign> What do you suggest? <small daily water changes siphoning the bottom (cysts) and daily FW dips for at least 8 days> Also have you used Cupramine personally? I have heard from many people that it is the best copper treatment currently available. What is your opinion? Thanks, John <I'm inclined most only to use it on Cryptocaryon. Best regards, Anthony>

Black Spot on Tangs (Turbellarian worm) Hello guys, I am in need of a little advice regarding black spot on yellow tangs .  <yes...very common on yellow tangs and other Hawaiian fish in particular> I have a 120 gallon tank , 100 lbs. of live rock , running a CY194 CPR wet/dry system . I noticed that your section on diseases suggests fresh water dipping , but as I am sure you know it is an impossibility to catch these tangs without removing the entire contents of the tank . Is there another way or will this disease run its course .  <Definitely not going to run its course... slow to kill a fish, buy slow to cure to> Also I am trying to decide when to remove my BIO-Bale from the sump .  <no opinion/experience with this product> Is 100 lbs. of live rock enough to keep the nitrates in this tank down .  <unlikely... but then, most of surface of LR is aerobic and will never reduce nitrates. Need very large pieces (with dense anoxic zones) to accomplish this. You will be better served by a deep sand bed or extra water changes to control nitrates> I have 4 yellow tangs and 2 blue Chromis . Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer . Richard <freshwater dips and or formalin based medication in a hospital tank will be necessary. It is critical for all marine aquarists to have and use quarantine tanks. Else it is just a game of chance with living creatures. Black spot can be easily screened on all new fish in a proper QT before entering a display. Best regards, Anthony>

Sick Tang. Dear Sir, I contacted you last week in regards to a Yellow Tang with what appeared to be a bacterial infection. This tang is now showing signs of flukes by flashing and I have noticed some black spots in some areas. Is there any way that the flukes could have somehow survived the whole treatment process?  <Mmm, yes> This appears to be the same thing that a tang before him had before it died. Can some flukes survive the low salinity (1.016), the U.V. run for 2 weeks ( 25w on a 55 Gal.), and the treatment with clout?  <Generally not, but a possibility> This new tang was quarantined for a week and treated with clout before being added to the main tank and had been doing very well for over a month. There has been no new livestock added to the tank at all since the tang and no livestock added for months before the tang. I would greatly appreciate any help or suggestions you may have as I don't believe that the tang I had before this new one died from the flukes, but from the toxicity that I foolishly allowed to build up with the clout treatment and lack of water changes between doses. Is it possible that the flukes can survive an environment toxic enough to kill a yellow tang?  <Again, a remote "maybe"... Am not so sure what you describe are "flukes" (Trematodes). Do you have a microscope you can use to examine a scraping from an infested area?> I pulled all the decor. out of the tank to be bleached and changed all the mech. filtration after the clout treatment with the U.V. still running for two weeks after that. I suppose I will try a freshwater bath, but in the meantime I don't know what to do about getting the parasites out of the tank itself if in fact this is the same problem source from over a month ago. Thank you very much for your reply to my last e-mail and thank you very much for your time. <Much more to go over than there is likely time... Do you use biological cleaners? Have you ruled out other contributing causes here? Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and the linked articles, FAQs files beyond. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, M.P.Gillespie.

Weird Bumps On Yellow Tang I bought a yellow tang which is about 2.5" in size. It's been feeding very well, but I've noticed that the fish has some bumps randomly all over its body. It doesn't look like Ich... the bumps look like some kind of rash... under the skin and are only visible when the fish is at certain angles to the light. Then, they look like the bumps are a bit whitish... the difference between those and Ich is that Ich looks like grains of salt outside... these look like tiny mosquito bites under the skin... The fish is also scratching a lot...I was thinking that maybe its body flukes. <Could be...Or some other type of parasitic invasion...> I gave the fish 5min bath in FW today. The bumps are still there, nothing changed... <Not a bad idea...I'd still give it a couple more tries, to see if this will do the trick> What do you think this is? What treatments would you recommend...? <Well, for a parasitic infection, copper or formalin preparations would work. There are  other commercial products better suited for "flukes", however...Visit a few of our sponsor's web sites for various products and their applications> BTW, for body/gill flukes, what is better: copper (just like the treatment for Ich or velvet) or formalin/malachite green ? <Do make  positive ID on what you're dealing with there, just to make sure. Check the disease FAQs and see if you can find an example of something that looks like what you're seeing. Or, if you can email a digital photo, we can possibly help make a better ID...> Thank you, Luke <And thank you for stopping by, Luke! Regards, Scott F>

Go Spot, Go! (Marine "Black Spot" Disease) Can a UV Sterilizer kill black ick? <It may potentially kill some free-swimming parasites, but you really need to treat the affected fishes with medication, such as copper sulphate, in a separate "hospital" tank, along with some freshwater dips> Can black ick kill my yellow tang if left untreated? <Sure, Parasitic diseases can eventually move into the gills and other vital tissues, and cause severe stress for the fish, weakening them. If it doesn't kill the fish, it could leave it open to secondary infections. Should I be concerned for my Jawfish or Bi-color Blenny?, they have shown no signs of it while the tang has. <Well, Tangs are particularly susceptible, but, this being a parasitic malady- it can affect everyone in the tank. I would go for the "fallow" tank route like we so often recommend at WWM. All fishes in this tank are potential victims, and you should take this stance when you are contemplating treatment options here> Can blenny and gobies have freshwater dips? Or is it to stressful? <These fishes can be freshwater dipped (I am a big blenny/goby fan, and I FW dip all of my new arrivals without problems). The dip procedure is certainly a potentially stressful one; that's part of its advantage as a prophylactic/supplemental treatment technique. It induces some osmotic shock, which the parasites can't handle nearly as well as the fish! If performed carefully, freshwater dips are a great technique to use> Thank you Sensitive fish guy. James DeHoff <Finally, some one besides Nadine calls me "sensitive"- Gotta love that! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

"Black ick" I would just like to say I really like your information and it's always helpful to me. Well, where to begin... I have a 55 gallon with about 100 pounds of live rock, 30 pounds of live sand, and some low light corals (I have about 3 watts per gallon, but I haven't tried difficult corals yet). Because of corals and invertebrate, I keep my salinity on the high end (1.024). Water temp is good and steady at 76. Anyway, because I have so much live rock and that I do 5 % water changes weekly, I have very good water quality. Can honestly say I have never had a big spike, other than phosphates a while ago. I do quarantine new fish for 3-4 weeks before adding them to my main tank. I  learned that mistake when I first started. All of my fish died from marine velvet, last year, because I did not quarantine. Now I am very shocked that I noticed that my yellow tang has black ick. I don't understand how he got it because my set up is good, diseases should not get in. <Is strange... some Paravortex must've been in the system all along> However I read that black ick is like velvet, in that it multiplies in the substrate, thus it probably will spread to my other fish. <Mmm, no... this Turbellarian almost exclusively infests Zebrasoma tangs... sometimes other tangs...> Yesterday I put my tang, potters angel, and royal Gramma in a low salinity quarantine tank. Before doing so, I gave my tang a freshwater dip, because he was the only one showing signs of black ick. I intend to keep them in quarantine, giving freshwater dips daily, until the problem is subdued. <Should only take one dip... Please read on WetWebMedia.com re... you can use the search tool on the homepage> I want to know if my Clark Clown fish will be fine, if left in the main tank? <Yes> I heard that they are very disease resistant, does this include black ick? I also didn't want to take him out of the main tank because of his anemone. I bought him at a very young age and immediately he was attached to the long tentacle. I also heard that it can be very stressful for both fish and anemone to separate. Should I take my clown out and "treat" him also? <No> Is there anything, other then freshwater dips and garlic in the food, that I can do, without copper ( I don't like using copper because I think it's to harmful)? Lastly, I want to know how long it will take for the "black ick" to be completely gone from my main tank. For marine velvet I waited about 5 weeks before adding fish. Do I have to keep my fish quarantined this long? Any other suggestions would be very helpful also. Thank you very much and I apologize for grammar and spelling, it's not my strongest area. <No need to panic... just read over re on WWM, leave the definitive host absent for a month or more... Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang with parasites I am 2 months into the reef keeping hobby. I have a 37 gallon micro reef (Eclipse 3) with 22 pounds of live rock. Tank mates include: one yellow tang, one diamond goby, one green brittle star, one pencil urchin, and a few snails and hermit crabs. The yellow tang first got small black spots on him 4 weeks ago. I dipped him in Seachem's Paraguard, and fed him Tetra Anti Parasite flakes for 10 days. Low and behold the black spots appeared on him 3 days after the dip, while still being treated with the medicated flakes. I have dipped him 4 times since, each time the black spots reappear within a few hours. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated. Also have the Eclipse systems proved to be adequate filtration systems? <Hey there. Well, there seems to be a bunch of incidences of black spot disease on yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens) this year. Must be a new or lazy collector in Hawai'i not doing the simple freshwater dip that knocks these flatworms (Paravortex) off at the source... So, you will have to do it, and maybe move the Yellow Tang to another system for a few weeks for the worms to die out in your main system (they have short life span intermediate forms that drop off, metamorphose and look/swim out looking for new hosts). Do you know how to do freshwater dips? If not, there are instructions in an article concerning baths/dips for marines, as well as a piece on Yellow Tangs that covers Paravortex infestations on my wetwebmedia.com website. Don't worry and don't overreact regarding this black spot problem. By itself it is not nearly as debilitating as the medications people (including you) subject their hosts to. This parasitic disease won't spread to your other livestock. Bob Fenner>

Black Spots I have bought several yellow tangs and each one I have had has developed black spots on them. I have a reef tank . I have consulted a local fish store and they told me it was black ick. They suggested that I place the fish in a fresh water dip for seven minutes with a air stone running in the fresh water. Could you please advise what you think this might be, and how to stop it or what to do if it comes back? This has happened on three or four yellow tangs. I have other fish and they have never developed this. <Hey Stacey, can tell you as this causative mechanism was an old roomies Master's and Doctorate organism du jour. "Black spot" disease of yellow tangs is none other than a Turbellarian (I know, usually free living) flatworm (Phylum Platyhelminthes) of the genus Paravortex. After Mike Kent did his thesis/es and these made the pet-fish literary circuit, this little black worm about disappeared from the hobby as collectors and shippers of Z. flavescens ran them all through a preventative freshwater (plus other stuff in some cases, like copper solutions) prior to shipping them (mainly from HI's big island) to the U.S. Anyhow, it turns out Paravortex is not very debilitating, but can be a concern, and is easily eliminated by that bath that should have been done in hula-land. I'd go ahead and "dip" them. Bob Fenner>

External Parasite Bob, Chris again, thanks a lot for the info on the hippos, will definitely consider them for my reef. Another question though, my 3" yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) seems to have some sort of external parasite that doesn't seem to be bothering him too much, except he has become extremely shy. covering his sides are tiny dark specks. They aren't even visible until close observation. He is the only fish in the tank but there are a large amount of inverts. Any treatment ideas? I really miss his roaming throughout the tank.  Thanks again, Chris.  <Wow, the return of Paravortex! Seems like only yesterday my old (now) friend Mike Kent was looking for a Masters and then his PhD (piled higher and deeper?) thesis topic, and set on this Turbellarian flatworm that is almost just a commensal (not very parasitic) on the Yellow Tang. He was "foolish" enough to write and have published (in Aquarium Systems' quarterly infomercial SeaScope) the oh too easy cure... a simple freshwater dip... And so thereafter we couldn't find any Yellow Tangs with Paravortex (aka Black Spot Disease of Yellow Tangs) to study! Want more, read the topic articles on the wetwebmedia.com website. Bob Fenner>
Black Spot Disease/Paravortex
Bob, Thanks so much for the resources, I'm glad somebody is as excitable about such subjects as myself! but would you believe that I'm not a sophomore in college but a sophomore in high school! And my internship is high school credit related. My marine science classmates can't stand me because I'm so obsessed with the ocean, and I have the highest grade (my marine science teacher told my whole class that I knew more about coral reefs than he did!) I can't wait to get started on the thesis. Still think I should submit the article for publication in FAMA, etc.? How do I prevent the Paravortex on my tang from returning? Will a pair of boxer shrimp do the job? thanks again, Chris  <Yes, absolutely you should submit your findings and cogitations on what you've read... to FAMA, AFM, even TFH! The Paravortex will probably not reappear if you dip the hosts, place them in another system for a few weeks and replace them to their original system. Boxer shrimp (family Stenopodidae) will definitely help. Less aggressive Lysmata (like the ever-popular L. amboinensis from the Pacific) are less testy if you have touchy (make that edible) livestock.  Bob Fenner>

Problem with White-spot in tank Help me, my tank is new, 1 month old 46 gallon tank I have a hermit crab, 5  anemones and a yellow tang in my tank. There are white spots on my tang and  began scratching on rocks what should I do ?? The water is very cloudy and  the nitrite is 4.0 which was really high in the beginning but now it is  lowering. I bought a 10 gallon tank which now will be my hospital. I bought  MarinOomed so I am planning to medicate my tank. And watch it for a couple  of days is the right thing to do please inform me I am stressed out myself  and thinking I am going to have the white spots on my skin!!!! <Well, what you should have done (you no doubt know now) is to wait on the tank completely cycling... and run the Tang through a dip and quarantine period... ahead of placing it... Now, you should treat the tang in the Ten gallon system, leave all fishes out of your main system for at least a month, place a biological cleaner ahead of returning your Tang... and hope that the "Ich/white spot" has not become entrenched in the system. There are a few other items to attend to in your treatment of the fish, lowering specific gravity, elevating temperature... all of this is detailed in articles archived at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com... under the "Marine Articles Index"... Please give these materials a once-over, and we'll cure up your one fish and have you on a/the right path soon. Bob Fenner>

Pathogen Bob, Some of my Tangs (Yellow, Naso, Sailfin) and my French Angel (Juv. changing) have developed black specks. They showed up really well (had a lot) on the Yellow Tang so I've moved him to a hospital tank with Copper Safe. I can't move all these medium to large fish into the 10 gal hospital tank so I've dropped the salinity to 1.018, temp 79-80. The tank is 100 gals, has LR and houses Tangs (Yellow, Sailfin, Naso, Sohal), a Foxface, a Volitans Lion, a small Picasso Trigger and a Lemon Butterfly. Any idea what the black specks might be or how to treat? The fish are not scratching on the rocks and all have good appetite and are not lethargic. Thanks for the help. Tony <Might be the relatively free-living (versus pathogenic/parasitic) Turbellarian (flatworm) Paravortex, the celebrated cause of "black spot" disease of Yellow Tangs... it does occasionally show itself on other species in high density situations... Another long shot are one of a number of Microsporidian infections... but the observation that it rapidly showed up on such different fish stocks... Nah... The Black Spot should "just clear up" on your other fishes... but leave the Yellow Tang out of the system a good month... and consider adding some cleaner organisms... Bob Fenner>

Help! Infestation, Yellow Tang Dear Mr. Fenner, In order to treat a Yellow Tang for an infestation I have had her in a 20 gal. quarantine tank with a Magnum HOT system (BioWheel 30 & Magnum filter with mechanical filtration media only) for nine days. Unfortunately, the filter had not sufficiently matured and despite frequent water changes as well as the addition of Cycle, I cannot seem to keep the water conditions stable. The tang seems unaffected, i.e., is active and eating well, and has not exhibited any scratching or flicking since the third day of treatment. My question is this: would I be better off returning her to the main tank before the two-week course is up or to continue to struggle with the quarantine tank, exposing her to both ammonia and nitrites (and complicating seriously the matter of keeping the copper levels consistent)? Thanks very much. Rob Duff <Hmm, what sort of "infestation"? Most Yellow Tang problems are easily rid by simple freshwater dipping. Please see our site re this species of Surgeonfish, Dips/Baths, and Quarantine... Home Page. Bob Fenner>

Black Spot on a Yellow Tang Hello again- Thank you so much for your help on two previous questions. I have a 55gal reef tank. My yellow tang has had two outbreaks of black spot. When he had the first outbreak, I did a freshwater dip and it was gone. Now about a week later, it is back. I have read some articles that say that dosing Vitamin C will help with this and other disease problems. What is your opinion?  <No problem trying... though what you are seeing/experiencing is "just" the Paravortex/flatworm completing its cycle on its definitive fish host in an infested SYSTEM... you will have to move the Tang to another system or leave the tank w/o Yellow Tangs for a month or two. Read over the coverage of this species and this disease on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm> I am using Zoe and Zoecon (which contains Vitamin C), at the recommended dosages, in the water and food already. Any pitfalls or recommendations to watch out for with the dosing Vitamin C? <None really... in practical terms... you could feasibly pour in enough to alter water chemistry (like lower the pH)... this isn't going to happen, and fishes treat this water soluble nutrient about the same as humans... no worries. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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