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FAQs about Yellow Tang Social 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, Pathogenic (infectious, parasitic), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Yellow Tangs

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

There is not substitute for your keen observation of what is going on twixt your livestock.

Social stress can be very important w/ reef fishes
Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Yellow tang twirling        4/8/15
We have had a yellow tang for about 18 months to 2 years. It was fine when literally overnight it seemed to be blind.
<Mmm; a mix of possibilities as to possible cause... in order of preponderant likelihood: Nutritional issue/s, too-bright and constant lighting w/o shade, internal parasitic problem... and distally some others>
It would swim into the side of the tank, the rocks in the tank, etc. Food would float right by it and
it makes no attempt to eat. It gets stuck in small areas and can’t get out. Now it is swimming in a small circle continuously. The not eating has been going on for several weeks, so I know it has to be eating something but it is not the food we put in there. Please tell us what we can do. Thanks very much.
Judy Rayfield
<Uh, yes; need data... re the systems, foods/feeding. Listing other tankmates often grants insight... Have you perused WWM re this species? Blindness in fishes? Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow tang twirling
We have a 75 gallon tank with live rock and live sand. Tank has been set up for about 4 years now. Other fish are a Foxface,
<Ahh; this Siganid may be harassing the Zebrasoma; or worse, have poked it: Read here:


Banggai cardinal and a pygmy angel. Others are fine. They are fed brine shrimp, algae, angel specialty food, etc. Our water has been checked by the local salt water pet store,
<Variables change with time, transport. You really want your own test gear>
and it is fine. We also have 3 blood shrimp to keep the Aiptasia under control.
<Ahh! Their health is a good indication of suitable water quality, ala a canary in a cave>
Lights are turned off middle of the afternoon and turned on about 8 in the morning. I have walked through the room in the middle of the night and the poor tang, Amber, is still swimming in a circle. The circle swimming is recent, just the last couple of days. We kept thinking she would die from lack of food, but like I said it has been over 3 weeks now.
<Can go for a long while...>
At one point, about 2 weeks ago I did see kind of a darker patch on her sides but it was gone by the next day. Any help will be greatly appreciated. I hate to see her like this.
<Likely got poked by the Rabbitfish... will cure or not. I'd keep offering foods. Bob Fenner>

Healthy Yellow Tang Dies For No Apparent Reason 4/9/12
Hi guys,
<Hello Brandon>
I'm sad to say that my happy little yellow Tang has kicked the bucket :(.
I am left still wondering what happened to him, because he was quite healthy and very active. When he died he was still full of color and looked great, only he wasn't breathing. I had no feeding issues what so ever.
The little guy tore through Nori and feed on the natural algae all day long. He got along with the other fish very well and was about a year old.
<Nori has little nutritional value and will not keep a tang alive very long unless additional food supplements are given. Did your tang eat other foods?>
He was in a 92 gallon corner bow with a blue tang, two clarkii clowns, a Allen's damsel, a golden headed sleeper goby and a Condy anemone. All of them are doing great. I figure if my anemone is doing great, I don't have any water issues as they seem to be very fragile.
<A possible run in with the Condy. A healthy Condy can have a potent sting.>

So on to my question, the only irregular thing I can think of that I did the night before was leaving the light on for an additional 4 hours.
Sometimes I like to entertain my guests with the fish, so I override the automatic light timer. Do you think this could have stressed him out so bad that it killed him? I saw him swimming around the morning of and then he jammed himself into a rock and said goodbye.
<Nutrition and the Condy would be my two leads.>

<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Healthy Yellow Tang Dies For No Apparent Reason 4/9/12

Thanks for the quick reply. I feed Omega One marine flakes every day. Then I feed Omega One Green Seaweed, fresh lettuce and spinach, and a frozen omnivorous blend at different times through the week.
<Would not be my choice of dry foods.  New Life Spectrum is the best available, I use it exclusively.>
Usually it's flakes only for 2-3 days a week. Is this enough variety?  Is it possible for a Yellow Tang to look in perfect health and really be malnourished?
<It can.  If deprived of nutritious foods, tangs generally reduce their food intake or may not feed at all.>
I'm leaning toward thinking the Condy gave him a paralyzing sting and stopped his breathing.
<My guess as well.>
The anemone is  about 8" wide with its tentacles spread and the Yellow Tang was about 2 1/2" long.
<Tangs this small are less likely to survive long term.>
Do you think it is inevitable for this to happen again on my other fish? 
What should I do?  Maybe I should get rid of him and get a Sebae?
<Is not a good idea to mix potent anemones with fish that do not host anemones and likely you have witnessed the reason why.  What makes you believe a Sebae anemone would be less potent than a Condy?>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Fish aggression in quarantine, Yellow Tangs 5/27/10
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I'd read that adding a group of yellow tangs was possible, but for best likelihood of success they should be placed at the same time.
<Yes. Keep in mind that, just as water seeks it's own level - fish find their own place in the hierarchy. In NATURE '¦ the weakest is almost always lost. What we're trying to do is minimize that.>
I got 3 small ones (approx. 2") and put them in a 10g quarantine tank.
<10g is a tad small for 3 tangs of ANY size>

One fish is bullying/displaying the typical signs of tang aggression. The 'victim' just stays in one corner all the time.
<Not unexpected>
I was planning to keep them in QT for 2 weeks, then a 5 minute freshwater dip, then directly into the main 125g system.
<We all have our own experiences, Chris. Mark Twain once wrote "the problem is not that we don't learn from our experience, it's that we learn TOO MUCH. Consider the cat that jumps on a hot stove. The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either.>
<For me, what that means is '¦ SIX weeks, not two. No shortcuts, no excuses '¦ as Earl Schieb used to say "No, ups, No extras!" SIX weeks. Too many times I've had fish in quarantine until I thought "If he was going to have a disease, he'd have had it by now" only to find that at 5 weeks, 6 days and 3 hours .. I was wrong.>
<<I can see his persona-Ruh self resurrected in some distant future... "I'll paint any spaceship for 9,999,999...">>
Does the stress from bullying justify placement of any of them into the main tank earlier than planned?
<In a word '¦ NO!>
<in two words '¦ NO WAY!>
<in three words .. Not A Chance!>
<in four words '¦ Not On Your Life!>
<I can keep this up all night '¦ but I hope you get the point. NO amount of ANYTHING gives us the right to risk the lives of the inhabitants of our main tank. EVER!>
<If you only have one quarantine tank '¦ then you're that guy. The mythical guy that only has one extra tank. Most of us have more gallons of extra tanks than we have display tanks -- and this is the reason.>
If not, what else would you recommend?
<Two choices. Move the little guy to his own QT tank (and start his QT clock back at zero again!!!) -- or move ALL of them to a larger (30g) tank that has several pieces of PVC pipe and maybe even several pieces of dead rock -- where you can create what is called "visual privacy" for the two combatants: places where they can both exist without having to see the other>
In anticipation of a suggestion to get a bigger sized QT, I'll start looking around for a larger used tank, but is there another solution using my existing setup, such as simply using a tank divider, or would this be too confining?
<No tank divider in a 10g .. but for your 30, 40 or 50g QT tanks {plural} (welcome to the Brotherhood!!!) then perhaps yes>
<That's my 2 cents ... but I'm going to ask the boss if I missed anything. RMF??>
<<Well, I think you've summed up your stance, in, umm, your own usual, umm particular... idiom. BobF>>
Re: fish aggression in quarantine
I appreciate the promptness of your response. At the same time, I must reply to your comments, which at first read seemed at times somewhat condescending and smug. After noticing Mr. Fenner's postscript, however, it's possible that may have not been your intent, but rather, your communicating style just leans towards hyperbole. <<Heeeee! I'll say! RMF>>
<Sorry that you didn't 'get' my sense of humor, Chris. It takes a certain dementia to do this job and mine runs toward weird humor. Mostly I get positive feedback, but Neale Monks does point out from time to time that my writing style doesn't always move to other English-speaking countries and must be downright hideous when literally translated into other languages. Yours is a letter that would seem to support his position.>
While I don't contest that a larger quarantine system and/or multiple tanks would be better, I do take issue with your statement that I am the 'mythical guy that has only one other tank' and that 'most of us have more gallons of extra tanks.' Based on the 13 pages worth of 'Quarantine-related' questions within the WetWebMedia website, it's clear that a great many of the posters have historically used NO quarantine methods whatsoever, much less use multiple tanks. I am sure that you (meaning all WetWebMedia consultants) realize that the people who write to you are, for the most part, not experienced aquarists like yourself, but novices.
<Chris, probably every last one of us has used the "no quarantine" method when we started out. We live and learn. The problem is that Marine Aquaria is both art and science and while we all agree on the science, the art is different between us all. So we get a QT tank and then have an "oops" just like you did and we acquire a second. Then, in the process of something else we see that we should have done "thus & so" and suddenly we have a third. That 'mythical guy' I was joking about was an effort to make you feel that you hadn't done anything wrong -- that we have all followed this same path. Again, sorry it didn't come across>
I agree with you that we in the hobby are custodians of often fragile life forms, and this demands a certain level of responsibility. However, we also balance that responsibility with our own respective individual constraints, whether they be financial, space related, time related or otherwise. The ability to maintain multiple 'spare' tanks is not as simple as you proclaim it to be. Now you may say, 'if you aren't able to provide the extra space/tanks, you shouldn't have bought the fishes.' That I chose to quarantine three small yellow tangs in a 10g tank may not be ideal or proper, but neither was it borne out of complete arrogance/ignorance.
<au contraire. I assumed you made that choice based on the best information available to you at the time combined with the limitations of space and money. Just like all of us>
I opted to do so after reading from Mr. Fenner's The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, page 325: 'Yellow and Hippo (Yellow-tail Blue) Tangs can easily get along on a 10- or 15-gallon allocation when they are very small; the larger species double that capacity." Knowing that this confinement was only for a limited period of time and after reading that excerpt, I felt this size quarantine tank could suffice. If I was mistaken in my interpretation of that passage (i.e. 10 gallons = 1 tang), then it is now duly noted.
<Nope - you probably interpreted it just fine. But see, this is exactly my point about the science and the art of it: Bob Fenner has VASTLY more experience than I do in all areas of Marine Aquaria. Vastly more. His science in unimpeachable but in this particular case, your three tangs stand as living proof, I was right. BUT YET that doesn't mean Bob is wrong. The problem with our art is that MOST small tangs get along '¦ USUALLY in these cases, etc. Tangs act differently as pairs than triads than schools, too.>
<which brings us to the discussion of quarantine>
Secondly, you were quite emphatic ('!') in your insistence on a 6-week quarantine, with no exceptions whatsoever. Please explain how you reconcile that position with page 170 of Mr. Fenner's The Conscientious Marine Aquarist ('A proper interval (generally a minimum of two weeks) must go by in which the specimen in the quarantine tank shows no ill effects of transport or disease. Some public aquariums, with small fortunes tied up in their exhibits, wait four weeks for additional security'); Page 13 of John Tullock's Saltwater Aquarium Models ('I suggest a minimum quarantine of two weeks'); or Page 114 of Michael S. Paletta's The New Marine Aquarium ('Every new fish, whether given a dip treatment or not, should be placed in the quarantine tank for 3 to 4 weeks').
<Here's how I explain it: I've lost fish 5 weeks into quarantine. I tried NO QUARANTINE and I tried TWO WEEKS and I tried FOUR WEEKS and like almost all of us, I've tried "If he was sick he'd have shown it by now" and all of them failed. So I learned from MY experience to use the largest possible tank (lowest possible bio-load produces the least chance for diseases and parasites to reach the other fish) and wait SIX weeks. I then took great pains to quote Twain as a way of admitting that I may have over-learned from my experiences. BUT with that said, I haven't acquired a communicable disease or parasite in my display tank since I started holding to 6 weeks.>
<No matter how you do this, YOUR experiences will vary -- and they'll vary from the documentation and advice you get from all sectors. The science of this is well documented but keeping the fish alive and healthy is also an art and the methods employed are very much in the eye & hand of the artist.>
<In fact .. to go off on a tangent '¦ do you remember the Wizard of OZ? The scene where Dorothy meets the Scarecrow at the crossroads and asks how to get the Emerald City? The Scarecrow says "some people go that way and others go the other way '¦" and gives her every possible answer, which also means, in effect NO answer. The same holds true for this hobby and as newbie, it frustrated the bejeesus out of me when I wrote in with a sick Blue Tang (Ick) and I wanted an expert to tell me what to do. Instead what I got was an expert telling me a bunch of different things I COULD do and what OTHER people do. At the end of three sets of emails, I was exactly like a College Graduate: my head was swimming with knowledge and yet I didn't have the first CLUE what to do or how to use that knowledge.>
<So when someone writes in about QT - I say "6 weeks">
<When they write in about introducing an unquarantined fish - I say NO!!>
<Then - if I think I went too far or over my head, I refer my answer upstairs, just to be sure.>
If this rebuttal comes across as strong, it's only because I want to emphasize that chiding those seeking your help and expertise is counterproductive. I know that most of you are unpaid volunteers and your time is valued. However, a youngster new in the hobby receiving that type of response might easily become disenchanted.
<You could be right. My experience, however has been the opposite - that most people seem to be pleasantly surprised that someone took the time to be funny and personal in the response. A HUGE unknown is also the state of mind of the reader.>
And ultimately, the more of us that experience the joy of responsibly keeping live aquaria and learn to appreciate nature in its different forms, the better. I have great respect for Mr. Fenner because, even with his vast knowledge, he offers straightforward advice with patience and respect
<Yes, he does>
(I personally have had the privilege of his response to some of my past questions), regardless of the questioner's experience or expertise.
<So have I. In fact, it was in such a series of email exchanges that he tricked me into becoming a member of the team (there was supposed to be free food!!!!!)>
Chris S.
<Again Chris, I apologize for my sense of humor. It's one of a great number and depth of character flaws I possess (as my ex-wife could spent days reminding me) but the intent was to answer your question and amuse the reader as the same time. It seems in this case that I did neither very well>
<You'll notice that you're not alone: at the end of my response, EVEN BOB called me an Idiom>

Orange Spots and Lines on Zebrasoma Tang: No Useful Information, no reading, ref. 4/26/2009
<Hello Jen>
Our Yellow tang has orange "spots and lines" on him now.
<Hmm... where? May be HLLE, but can't tell based upon this email.>
Can you please tell me what that is or is from.
<Based upon the information given, no This is the same as dropping your car off at a repair shop and leaving a note on the windshield "Car is broken">
And if there is anything we need to do.
<Some more information would be helpful here. How big is the tank, what is in the tank, what are you feeding him, a picture, that sort of thing...>
Thank You

Re: Orange Spots and Lines on Zebrasoma Tang: Severe Overcrowding\Mixing Incompatible Species 4/29/2009
Hello Mike Again,
<Hi Jennie>
There is <in addition to a Yellow Tang>
1 6 line wrasse, <Moderately aggressive>
2 gobies,
2 Nemos, <Clownfish, aggressive>
3 blue damsels, <Aggressive>
1 trigger, <Extremely aggressive, most grow to over 12" in length>
1 blue bird wrasse, <Moderate aggressive, grows to over 12">
1 powder brown angel, <Tang - Grows to 8 - 12 inches long>
1 juvenile, <?>
1 spotted grouper, <Panther Grouper - Grows to over 12" in length, will eat anything it can fit in its mouth>
some cleaning shrimp.
They get feed Prime Reef Flakes, Marine Pellets, Algae Pad and Feeder Fish.
<Feeder fish are an exceptionally poor method of feeding see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fdgfdrartneale.htm >
The tank is a 55gal.
<There is no way that this mix of fish is viable in a 55 gallon tank.
This mix would be pushing the limits of a 300 gallon tank What are the results of your water tests (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, etc). Read Here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm  and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mtestrat.htm >
We haven't had no issues with it
<Yes you are, your tang is turning orange - likely as a result of poor water quality and stress Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm >
and we pulled some fish out to put into another tank so we could add the blue bird and spotted grouper. And now our tang is turning orange. There are pictures attached.
Thank You Again.
<Please read the above linked articles. Again, there is no way what you
have in that tank will survive in the long term>

Yellow tang - urgent help... Not urgent as in rapid onset... iatrogenic... 02/09/09 Hi crew, I need help, please. I have noticed that 4 of 15 yellow tangs have some redness within a FOWLR. <15?! I'm afraid to even ask... how big is this tank??> If have checked nitrate < .2ppm, nitrite 0, phosphate .05 ppm, KH 10, calcium a bit high at 550ppm, magnesium 1250ppm still need to get a new test kit for ammonia. I am unsure if it is a dieses, injury, etc, I have attached some pic to help. <These fish are clearly not in good shape. Please do measure your ammonia. Are they eating?> Can you please let me know what would cause this? <15 tangs in one tank!? I suspect, unless you have a 1000g tank... you have a serious overcrowding issue!> thanks
Sara M.>

Re: yellow tang - urgent help 02/10/09 Hi Sara, they are in a temporary holding tank with +-200g with 2 medium 6cm and the rest are between 3cm -4cm in size. Yes they are all eating, Nori, a variety of frozen food, pellets, live food, etc. A LFS checked the ammonia which is 0. <Redness on tangs is sometimes evidence of the fish just being over stressed. Have you tried looking through these articles? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm > Thanks Mohamed <Best, Sara M.>

Re: yellow tang - urgent help 02/11/09 Hi Sara, Thanks for the link to the articles, interesting read. I have come to the conclusion that all parameters are okay so the only logical explanation will be stress. I did a 60% water change yesterday to be safe but I am going to move some of the tangs to another tank by the weekend. <This is a good idea.> Thanks Mohamed <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>

Re: yellow tang - urgent help 03/04/09 Hi Sara, an update on the yellow tangs. I have moved some of the tangs to another tank and the redness is gone. <Ah, good.> Another question, I have noticed that 1 yellow tang is bloated but still eats fine. Firstly is this dangerous, secondly is there a known cause and remedy? <Could be... it might be constipated... please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm> Thanks Mohamed <Cheers, Sara M.>

Dark Splotches on Tang 1/28/09 Hi there and thanks in advance for reviewing my correspondence. I, like so many others, appreciate your expertise and for sharing it in this type of forum. <A pleasure, honor and duty to share> I have live rock only 55 gallon salt water set-up with a 1.5 inch pacific blue tang, a 1.5 inch Huma Huma trigger, 1 false percula and a 3.5 inch yellow tang <Yikes... this is too crowded and incompatible a mix...> which is my fish with the problem. Ammonia -- 0, Nitrites -- 0, pH 8.4, Nitrates -- 10, spg 1.024. I will start by advising that I will be trying to finding him a larger home if I am able to get him healthy again. <Needs this TO be healthy> I am aware this tank size is too small for him but he came to us with nowhere else to go and I couldn't turn him away. He came out of quarantine about 2 weeks ago where he was being treated for septicemia with Furan II. He refused to eat the entire stay (2 weeks) in quarantine but when he appeared healthy again (as best I could assess visibly) he was returned to the display tank. I did notice where he had been red with the septicemia, the places turned to a darker red, to brown and then to black. I assumed that was blood and the small black spots have since been clearing up. Although it may be something else entirely. I have seen black Ich and it doesn't look like that when you can see him up close. While in quarantine he did loose some of his bright yellow coloring but with lack of nutrition, stress and meds I assumed this to be somewhat normal for his circumstances. I returned him to his home in the evening and he immediately began eating vitamin soaked Mysis shrimp again the next morning as though he had never been away. <Good> However, I still have not witnessed him eating his seaweed or Nori, which he aggressively ate in the past. His respiration is increased, he is eating but not very much as compared to just a week ago, doesn't swim around as much as in the past and even seems to slightly lean to one side or the other intermittently. This morning I woke up to find 2 black-ish colored splotches on him that appear to be under the skin. One splotch is on his nose and the other is more toward his tail. I am wondering what is now plaguing my already stressed out fish. I am concerned that any further quarantine could do more harm than good for him at this point and I wouldn't quarantine without feeling confident about a clear diagnosis and treatment. His tank mates appear unaffected. I have attached a couple of pictures (the one that is most clear is the spot on the nose )in hopes that you may be able to make an identification and tell what, if anything, I can do for him. Thanks for your time and help Monica <The decolorizing manifests itself from general "stress"... in this case the crowding mostly... With movement to larger, more suitable quarters, space to get away from the Paracanthurus and trigger... it can/should heal. Bob Fenner>

Help with Strange Yellow Tang Problem Please 4/9/08 Hey Guys- <Brian> I have had 2 mini reef tanks for several years and recently consolidated them into a 90 gallon. There is approximately 90 lbs of live rock which half I've had for 3 years and 60 lbs. of live sand. For filtration there is a protein skimmer and a wet dry. I've just ordered a refugium. Water parameters are where they should be: ammonia= 0, nitrites=0, nitrates=0, PH=8.2, Phosphates=0, salinity= 1.024. I have recently purchased 3 yellow tangs for my tank. <Mmm... too likely to actually fight here rather than get along... Zebrasoma of all species have a mix of territorial behaviors... the dynamics of their stocking... can be complex> The LFS where I buy my fish is a good store as their stock is usually in great shape. The LFS is adding new display tanks in their store and the tank that the tangs where in was not lit with light properly due to their construction. When I got them home I noticed they had the beginning of HLLE. One of the tangs had a weird white spot on his dorsal fin that looked like a wound. It is not ick. In the last week these white spots have appeared on the other 2 tangs and the one with the original spot has a few more. They are in the same location and do not seem to get any better only spreading slowly, meaning they never fall off. The spots are also larger than ick spots and look fleshy. The spots are also raised- similar to ick. I have caught some fresh water fish fishing that had something like this on them. I'm sorry but I can not get a picture of it. The fish are very active and have huge appetites. They are very nervous and spooky. Unfortunately I did not quarantine them and I'm paying for it now. They are the only other fish I've added since the consolidation. <Sounds/reads like either subdermal encrusting worms or perhaps a type of Sporidean protozoan. Have seen such in aquariums and the wild on many occasions, having dived hundreds of times in Hawai'i> For fish I have the 3 juv. 3 1/2" tangs, 2 1" onyx clowns, 1 2.5" yellow wrasse, 1 2" six line wrasse, and 1 yellow clown goby. None of the other fish have this or any other problem. <And not likely to "contract" the stated symptoms> I feed them prime reef frozen and flake, dried seaweed and algae, formula 2, frozen Mysis, and Spirulina brine. I'm going out to buy Nori and Selcon today as well as a cleaner shrimp. <Ah, good> I have been researching this site and goggle for a few days with no results and need your assistance please. Thank you for your help and the service you provide! Brian <Adding the refugium, the other food/supplement and cleaner will help a great deal... but do keep a watchful eye on the Tangs interactions... it may be that definitely one will be "the odd fish out" and in time only one be happy-enough in this volume, size setting to suit you and it/themselves. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with Strange Yellow Tang Problem Please -04/11/08 Thanks you for your help. I have caught them out of my main tank and setup a hospital tank which is ten gallons. I returned 2 of the tangs and am going to keep just one. <Ah, good... I had notions of modifying, adding a further note to our prev. corr. re this... Is best> After catching them I did a 3 minute freshwater dip- I know it wasn't long enough as now I've read the correct way to do it. <This is about as long as any good can/will be done> I was able to get a few pics of the problem which I have attached to this email. I have started him on Mardel CopperSafe as per instructions. What do you think? <I would not... See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fishindex3.htm the areas on Tangs, Disease, Copper... No good to come of exposing this Zebrasoma to such for what is going on here... Just better care, environment...> Thank you again! Brian <Welcome. BobF>
Re: saltwater tank infection 5/5/08
Thanks Bob. The yellow tang seems to be improving, he's eating much better and is out and about more. His color seems to be starting to come back as well. Hopefully he pulls through, thanks for the help. <Ah, thank you for this upbeat update! BobF>

Spots on Yellow Tang  - 05/01/07 Can anyone tell me what these light rust colored spots are on otherwise healthy yellow tang? They are mostly near the tail and at the baseline of upper fin. Any input would be appreciated. <Are indication/s of either something amiss water quality wise or damage from biota... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Spots on Yellow Tang   5/2/07 My water quality is actually very good. My calcium is low so I'm using C-Balance & Liquid Calcium. <Could be the trouble here... depending on how administered, such mixes can be irritating> I'm fairly new at this ( 7 months) and every day is a learning experience. <Mmm, am fairly old at this... and every day is a learning experience!> I have a 10 gal. sump and there is some red slime in it. I keep cleaning it out -it seems manageable.  I guess this hobby is fairly new and everyone has their own way of doing things but I understand that you guys are the gurus. I do have Xenias, polyps , pipe organ and an anemone. <This last is problematical...> All are wide open and doing ok. I understand they can be an indication of water quality, is this correct? <Yes> My skimmer is working well, I have about 1/2 in. in cup everyday. So as a newcomer my question is--What is damage from biota? <Likely a chemical or mechanical injury twixt the Tang and the Cnidarians... such garden mixes are trouble... see WWM re Anemone compatibility with these other Cnidarians> Is there a book I can get that will help me with these things as well as understanding how the refugium works. Thanks again Dot <Most all is covered at least cursorily on WWM... for free. Anthony C and I's work on Reef Invertebrates has the most extensive coverage on refugiums of any work in print. Bob Fenner>

Tang Wrangling Anemone - 01/28/2007 Hi, have looked all through information on anemone stings and I found nothing about stings on other fish.   <I know we have such queries....  somewhere....  a Google search of WWM on "anemone sting" might provide some useful information.> I have a yellow tang that was being terrorized by another fish in the tank.   <How big is the tank?  What fish was responsible for terrorizing the tang?  Sounds like some potentially dangerous incompatibilities....> As he dashed about I saw him dash thru the anemone.   <Oh dear....  And what sort of anemone?> I didn't  think much about it and I put a divider in the tank so  that I could let him recover from, the nipping fish and hope to identify the fish nipper.   <Ah, I see.  Culprit not yet identified, gotcha.  I'm glad you're trying to get to the root of it!> I have a tomato clown, strawberry Basslet <Either of these can be aggressive....  In a large enough system, though, neither should be of much threat to the tang.  I am curious how large this tank is, and if it perhaps is not providing them enough territory.> 4 green Chromis <Not the problem, I'm sure.  Placid little guys.> and yellow tang, and the anemone.   <I would like to urge you to look through our anemone FAQs; I would rarely if ever recommend an anemone in any fish tank, aside from captive-propagated bubble-tip anemones, and even then, best to keep them in systems where they will not be harmed, and they will not harm fish.  Anemones just don't make great additions in fish tanks.  A reef tank might elicit a different opinion from me, but on that hand, anemones often don't mix well with corals, so....  Basically, were it *me*, and I intended to have an anemone, I'd go with a bubble-tip and I would base my aquarium and stocking plan around the anemone's needs and potential threats.> The next day I was looking at his fins as I had put some vita Chem in the tank to stimulate fin growth ad I noticed bubbled areas in the lower sides.  I's sure it must be the anemone stings.   <Oh yes, quite likely.> A few day have past  and one side is much better, while the other is still a red sore.  Will  this heal OK <Only time can tell.> or do I need to help with something?   <Removing him to a quarantine tank where you can observe him well and provide him with pristine water conditions would be ideal.  At this point, I might consider treating with a good antibiotic (Kanamycin sulfate, Nitrofurazone....) to prevent secondary infection in these wounds - but DO NOT do this in the main tank, lest you risk destroying your anemone and in turn the rest of your livestock when the anemone keels over.  Furthermore, once the tang is healed, don't return it to this system.  Either the tang or the terrorizer needs to go, or you'll be in the same situation again soon, more than likely.> I have been using VitaChem.  Thanks for your time.  -Debbie <All the best to you and your wounded tang,  -Sabrina>

Yellow Tang infection/ulceration Hi, I got my two yellow tangs a week ago. <OK, first thing, yellow tangs generally do not do well in pairs.  They need to be in groups of 3 or more or just one.>  They seem fine, eat well and play well. I notice one of them has several internal little bumps (sand size) on both sides of the body for 2 days or so. Today, it has a little (sand size) opening, it does not appear to have any discoloration or itching symptoms. I have observed very careful and don't see any protruding or attaching organism to the opening. I am concern that it may become type of parasitic infection that warrants early treatment. Could you please tell me what type of infection may it be? I realized that it’s difficult to tell from the description but please give it a try.  And, could you suggest what type of treatment should be provided for them. Thank so much for your help! Regards, Minh <Hello, from your description it sounds like one of the yellow tangs is losing in the “playing.”  Tangs have sharp barbs on their tails and they will hit each other with those tails to set up dominancy.  I would be willing to bet that is your problem.  I would take the injured fish out of the tank and put it in a quarantine tank and watch it closely.  If it doesn’t get better something like Ampicillex would be a good medication for any secondary infection.  Good Luck. MikeB>

- Odd Behaviour in My Yellow Tang - Hi there, I've been trying to track down some information as to some strange behaviour my yellow tang began showing a couple of days ago and I'm hoping you can help. <I can try.> He is staying in one place and hardly moving round the tank at all. He is also pointing towards the surface of the tank and his breathing has sped up. Previously he was always the first to the food (a mixture of brine and gamma shrimp defrosted in a few drops of Kent Zo?marine) but now he is the last. We have a 180 litre tank which also contains two common clowns, one flame angle, one bi-colour blenny and several invertebrates all of which seem perfectly fine. I did a 10% water change this morning and added some Tetra Aqua Easy Balance as I am trying to reduce the nitrate levels in the tank (pH, ammonia nitrite and salinity levels are all fine). <So what is the nitrate level?> The tangs behaviour is not constant, he seemed fine for a couple of hours this afternoon before then hiding behind the live rock for an hour (which is not something he usually does) and then reverting back to the almost stationary pointing to the surface position. <Are you around all day so that you can observe other behavior in the tank? Perhaps someone is picking on your fish.> Any suggestions as to what may be causing this or what can be done to help would be very useful. <My guess is that this is either a response to water quality issues or the result of aggression from someone... do examine all angles.>

Re: Update on yellow tang/  QT tanks are great This is an update on my yellow tang who was stressed and bullied by damsel.    I put the tang in a QT tank because he looked terrible.  He was really discolored, tail was chewed up and raggedy and all he did was hide in the rocks and would hardly eat. I did a freshwater dip for 10 minutes and put him in a 38 gallon tank that I am using for a QT.   Within 24 hours he started to eat more and his color improved.  I used Boyd's Vita Chem to help heal his chewed up tail fin.  I am feeding strips of Nori 2-3 times a day that he munches steadily and some Formula 2 once/day.  I am thinking about leaving him in this tank.   This QT tank definitely saved my fish. <Yes, along with your fast action> If I had left him in the main tank he'd be dead now.   On the site now I see why everyone stresses  the need to keep a QT/hospital  tank,  they can truly save your fish. <Yes!>   Thanks to the whole crew for helping me with my fish I am a newbie and you have helped me so much.  Thanks again,  Brian Smith <Thank you for the follow-up. Bob Fenner>

Re: dark area on tang's head Hi guys, Here is a pic of my Yellow Tang... I was hoping you could tell me what that dark area is on the side of his head. It is on both sides of his head and on  the front of his face ...please please please advise............   thank-you   
<This melanization can be "nothing" or sign of some sort of water quality, nutritional, or social trouble. As your fish looks overall very healthy, I would not be concerned. Likely these markings will slowly disappear. Please read over our Yellow Tang FAQs starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and following, reading re others experiences and input in the files above (in blue). Bob Fenner>

Re: dark area on tang's head OK! I am so sorry to bug you yet again.  This Tang (that I adore) is now showing white fuzzy stuff on his sides and anal (?) fin.  This wasn't easy to see on the pic, and now I'm more neurotic than before.  This is the first expensive fish we have bought and the idea of $40.00 croaking depresses me beyond words!  My baby is in a 30 gal Eclipse, and his roommates are 2 Banggais, 2 Damsels, 1 Sebae, 2 Perculas, and a Fire Goby.  We also have 2 Chocolate Chip and 2 anemones. <Oh oh... the anemones are likely at least in large part to "blame" in your tangs duress here... they produce chemicals and physical structures that get loose in the water that mal-affect other animals... and your tang is the most sensitive in your system. I would either remove this fish to another system or the anemones>   So copper is not an option.  And no, I don't have a quarantine tank.  Shame on me, I know.  Any pearls of wisdom? PLEASE!  I really respect and appreciate your time & input.  Thanks. Heather <You can read about anemones and their keeping on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>
- Red Spots on Yellow Tangs - A couple of days ago I wrote telling you about red spots on 2 of my three tangs. The local pet store tested my water and found everything to be at 0 except for phosphates. He said that was the problem. So I bought a phosphate sponge and used it that night. The red spots are starting to go away they went from big red spots to kinda being spread out and pink. Does this make sense? <Yes and no... these red spots are typically due to water quality issues, and that can encompass many things that cannot be tested for. Phosphates all on their own will not cause this problem but their presence could be an indicator of other husbandry issues.> Any ideas? <Take a close look at your system and how you do things... are you over feeding? Do you have brisk circulation? Are you protein skimming? How often and how much water do you change? Those are the questions you should be asking yourself.> The fish are eating properly and acting normal. Are they recovering? <Perhaps.> Here is a pic if it helps. Thanks a bunch, Bill
<Cheers, J -- >

- Yellow Tang Colors - Hi WWM, My name is Grant and I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank (Fluval 404, heater, air pump, hood with fluorescent lighting. I was given the tank from my brother who previously had salt water fish in it. All his fish died off, before I inherited it since then I have added 2 domino Damsels, 1 Yellow Tang approximately 3 inches in length x 3 inches in diameter, and 1 tomato clownfish. I also have approximately 30 lbs. of live rock, and 13 small snails & 1 Mexican turbo snail. Anyway the entire set up is about 2 months old and I have recently noticed my Yellow Tang has developed red coloration in his fins and some throughout his body. I have asked around about what this might be and have had my water tested, the water quality has come out good and no one has any idea what the red coloration might be. I perform 5% water changes weekly and am feeding twice a day on Mysis and dried marine algae. <This coloration is 'usually' due to water quality issues, which seems odd given the amount of water that you say you are changing. You might try re-hydrating the algae before you offer it as well as get some vitamins in there - Selcon or VitaChem would do.> Other than the coloration the Tang seems to be doing fine, do you have any suggestions if so please let me know. I have recently set up a quarantine tank (20 gal) on 10/22/03. If I should quarantine the Tang is there anything I can do to speed up the process of cycling the quarantine tank. 20 gallons, filter, heater, air pump, hood with fluorescent lighting. <Usually, quarantine tanks don't get a chance to cycle or if they do, they have their biological filtration stalled by the various treatments added to the tank. When using quarantine, I rely on daily large water changes. Cheers, J -- >

Yellow Tang wiggles Dear Mr. Fenner: <David Dowless with you this evening> My yellow tang lives with 2 panther groupers ( about 7 inches each) <The panther grows to almost 28"! Your tank will become too small...and soon> and a four inch square Anthias in a 95 gallon tank with live rocks. My aquarium has been cycled for more than 15 months now. <I would consider your tank at capacity right now...> Recently, I noticed that my Yellow Tang wiggles like a goldfish as she swims instead of the usual gliding , fast paced swimming. She is still as active as ever, has a very hearty appetite, tends to go close to the panthers for physical contacts once in awhile. It seems like a mechanical factor. It seems to have some red marks above its eyes; otherwise, everything seems normal. <Well Richard...have you run a full battery of water tests? The redness around the eyes could be a fungus or even more likely, collateral damage from being in a tank with 2x 7" panther groupers...or the swimming problem could be a swim bladder problem. Search WetWebMedia using the terms swim bladder and then check out our section on parasites/fungus. Can you send a picture?> How could I make her swim normally? <See above> Regards, Richard <Good luck! David Dowless>

Fin Deterioration on a Yellow Tang Hello Mr. Fenner - I have a 55 gallon system running, which currently houses an Orbic Batfish, Tomato Clownfish, Yellow Tang, and Niger Trigger. I have noticed recently that the fins of my yellow tang have slowly been becoming more and more tattered and ragged. I thought that this could possibly be from adversarial nipping from tankmates, most likely the trigger, so I isolated the Niger, but yet the raggedness drags on, increasingly so. Otherwise the fish seem to be doing fine. I have not had this tang for long and I would venture to say that it is a fairly young specimen. I have started to supplement its diet with broccoli and green leaf lettuce. I have positively observed it browsing the microalgae in my tank. If you have any suggestions as to what could be causing this problem, they would be taken with gratitude. <I do suspect nutritional deficiency here as well. Don't rely on the terrestrial greens to supply this. Please read over the Yellow Tang materials on WWM, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and on to the FAQs pages, marine nutrition, environmental and nutritional disease...> In case you need to know, the system is filtered with the large version of the Emperor outside power filter and a hang-on Prizm protein skimmer. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide. - Dillon <Thank you for asking. Bob Fenner>

Sickly yellow tang I have a 5 inch yellow tang in 75 gallon reef tank . I have had the fish for over 6 months now. About every 6 weeks he starts to get red marks on fins, sometimes spreads to his body. I have treated him twice with Maracyn in a hospital tank when it got real bad other times it went away within a few days. What keeps causing this to happen ? His tankmates are 2 tomato clowns and 2 yellowtail blue damsels which never bother him. Water conditions are very good 8.3ph ,0amm., 0nitrite, 10ppm nitrate. 10 % partial water changes are done every 10 days .I put vitamins on his seaweed selects every other day. <I assume the medication you were referring to was Maracyn (Erythromycin). If so... it had little or nothing to do with your tang healing IMO. Maracyn is a gram positive medication and quite useless for most bacterial infections in aquaria. Your tang got better in QT because it was removed from whatever persistent and recurring stress is occurring in the display. Watch for aggression at night (fighting over sleeping territories)... also for pacing behavior (mirror reflection on tank glass), etc. There must be something bothering him in the main tank. In the meantime, skim aggressively, consider some poly-filters (Poly Bio Marine) and overall good water quality. DO read through the WWM s archives (articles and FAQs) to see if anything sounds familiar. Best regards, Anthony>

Yellow tang Hello, I wrote you sometime back about the bad luck I was having keeping my  fish alive.  They all died accept my cleaner shrimp who is still kicking. So I  drained the tank washed all of the coral and everything inside and out. I  also went over kill on the filtration, I now have a 150 gallon tank with a  underground filter with 4 power heads, a rainbow fluidized bed, a magnum  canister running all carbon and a skimmer. Here is my problem, to cycle the tank I added some maturation fluid and went down to the local store for some  sacra-fish. I got 3 blue-yellow tailed damsels and a yellow tang, also 3  black mollies that I converted over to salt water. Well, the tank has cycled  all of the levels are zero and nothing died. Now my yellow tang thinks he is  Rambo or something when I try adding additional tank mates. He goes on a  rampage before I can get the net out of the tank. We only have one small  fish store that I won't go to because I think there business practices are  bad and the huge pet place where I got them. But I went back and told them  the problem and the 16 year old with 4 pounds of metal in his face said  bummer dude. I would like to add some more fish but don't want them to be a  target for the tang. What should I do?  Thanks O wise one, Mark Pinkston <Hmm, interesting email... Well, you can probably upset the balance of the established Yellow Tang by raising the bar with a next level "meaner" specimen... of adequate size... like another tang species, trigger, puffer, or angelfish... You might likewise be successful adding three or more of something all at once. Like Heniochus Butterflyfishes.... Or something prickly, unpalatable like a boxfish, or Sharpnose puffer... Or something's really fast like a Thalassoma wrasse... Or catch the Yellow up in the corner in a BIG net and let him "hang there" for a day or two while the newbies get situated. Bob Fenner, who will lift a little something from Kahlil Gibran for your bejeweled clerk. "By adornment, we acknowledge our ugliness". From "Spiritual Sayings">

Observation on yellow tangs... Hi Bob, I wrote you a few weeks back, explaining I had a large loss of fish in  my show tank due to Ich. It was a strong infestation. Only fish that remained  was a small Lunare wrasse, and a Fiji damsel. I am somewhat a expert,  maintaining 25 or so salts / reefs for people for about 15 years...anyway,  after letting my tank "dry out" for 3 weeks (large h20 changes, new UV, and  poly-filters, etc) and just observations for spots on the last two. I went to a LFS to get some food and saw a 29 gallon tank with a dozen or  so Yellow Tangs getting along well, and clear of any spots, etc. They had the  3/$50 deal so I thought it would be a inexpensive test putting them in...I made  two observations after that which changed my view on 2 points. Always when  buying Yellows or other tangs, I stayed away from ones with pinched stomachs,  thinking they were not eating or having digestive problems. I picked out 3  that did not have pinched stomachs. When I put them in a holding tank after  the trip , 2 of them did have it!...They all ate right away. I then  transferred all 3 later to the show tank and the 3rd had it to. So, it must be  short term (I hope) stress related reaction. Second note, all three were getting along pretty well in the holder, but  the largest somewhat picking on the other 2. I found it odd that when I put  them in a 125 gallon tank , pretty much all to themselves, that they hung  together constantly, and still displayed some "tail slapping"...my thought  here is that the "minor scraping" is a natural behavior of some sort, because  they all could have found there own space. what you take on these items. Sorry for such a long note. Thanks...Joe Marshall <Hmm, lots of interesting observations here. For one, three weeks is not long enough to "let the system go fallow" in the hopes that a persistent Ich problem will dissipate completely... more like two plus months are really required in an established system... But maybe the Yellow Tangs did "bring along" the new Ich problem with them. Do agree that some "scratching" is natural. And have seen, many times, similar behavior amongst Tangs like you describe. They do "associate" like this in the wild... and are less inclined to "joust" when crowded in small volumes of water... but are probably much more stressed in these circumstances. Hope you are able to try some biological cleaners to straighten out the Ich problem at this point... I would hold off on any other fish livestock from this system (and as an old timer, retired, from the service end of the interest, isolate any gear... nets, specimen containers.... mixing water between your other, and customers' systems). Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang with blood spots Bob, I have a 120gal tank with a snowflake eel, small lionfish, hippo tang, and yellow tang. My yellow tang had blood spots, I put him in a hospital tank, treated him and then returned him to the tank. A month later when I bought the lionfish, the yellow tang got blood spots again. Once again I treated him. After returning him I noticed that he and the lionfish were having confrontations with each other. A few days later the blood spots showed up again. Is the lionfish causing enough stress to cause this? If so, what is your opinion on what to do? On the tank I have an aqua ultraviolet sterilizer but I guess its not helping much. Any help would be appreciated.  <Good observations here... it's possible the Lionfish is somehow contributing to the "overall stress" which I do think IS the principal cause of the "blood spotting"... but would look to improving water quality in this system and improved nutrition as a cure... add some live rock, macroalgae, sheet algae like strips of Nori (from the oriental food store) to this Tangs diet, and the spots will disappear.  Bob Fenner>

New Yellow Tang I just purchased a yellow tang about a week ago. When I brought him home he seemed healthy and was eating well. Yesterday I noticed that he isn't eating (that I have noticed anyway) and one of his eyes looks swelled up a bit and on the top part of the eye it looks like there is some white fuzzy stuff. He is spending most of his time behind the coral in the corner but does come out from time to time. Another thing I noticed is his sides don't look smooth, instead it kind of has a raised rash look to it. There is no color change and the bumps are the same color as the rest of him. Please help. Even though I have only had him for a week I am already quite attached to him. Thanks. <Yikes... I do hope this apparent "rough" condition is transitory, due to handling and transport... If the animal is "coming out" a bit and eating, I would likely not "add medicines" other than perhaps a vitamin preparation to the foods, water for now. Do you have a biological cleaner in this system? Maybe read up on these issues (cleaners, vitamins) through the search feature on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>
Re: New Yellow Tang 
I just read something on your site about a Mandarin giving off a poisonous slime of some type. Is this true?  <Yes, well documented... how else might this often-bizarrely bright and slow moving animals avoid predation?> I just purchased one of these fish not knowing anything about it besides the little bit of info that the man in the store gave me. (He didn't mention anything about this slime though) I tried not to let any of the stuff into my tank but some might have gotten in there anyway. Could this have any thing to do with the problem that I am having with my Tang? <Possibly, yes.> His problem seemed to come on so quickly. His eye still doesn't look good and he still has the bumpy appearance to him but he seems to be out and swimming around allot more this afternoon. The pet store told me to use something called Melafix (not sure what this is) <A tree extract... by friends at Aquarium Pharmaceuticals... have heard accounts of it helping as a cathartic... little of deleterious effects> but when your email said not to I didn't. How long should I wait to see if this will correct itself?  <I would wait a couple of weeks> And what is a biological cleaner? I couldn't find it on the site. <Hmm, strange... there is a section entitled exactly as this... Do try using the Google search feature on the site, or scan the marine index. Bob Fenner>

Dashing Tang Bob Hope your hanging out on the web this Good Friday. My Yellow Tang keeps dashing around the tank in a panic. All other fish seem just fine. I fed them some frozen Mysis shrimp last night before going to the in-laws a three hour visit. I soaked it in marine vitamins as usual and all fish ate with their usual gusto. When I came home the tang was a pale color and dashing around the tank every time it saw movement. I figured sometimes fish get spooked, nothing to get alarmed over. This morning the tang is still in the same condition and all other fish appear to be acting normally except for some strange looks at the mad tang. I fed the tank some Tetra marine flake so to keep the feeding light. They all ate again with gusto, even the tang! <Hmm, strange but not unheard of behavior... from a algae-picking, free-roaming, schooling species...> What could be the matter? No spots, discoloration (except just more a pale yellow) nothing that would seem abnormal. Nothing was placed into the tank except for food so I don't think it could be some introduced chemical or anything. Tank is 55ga. with 10 to 12 gallons changed weekly. 45lbs live rock, Emperor 400 (no bio-wheels) and a Remora Pro skimmer with surface skimmer box. pH 8.2, ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate 20ppm, 79 degree water with plenty of water movement. Nitrogen test assure me everything is fine with ammonia and nitrites. I am very concerned. This tang is very gorgeous and has been getting nice and filled out over the last three weeks. Its fins are superb! I feed it frozen Formula One, frozen Mysis, frozen brine shrimp, dried green marine algae from Ocean Nutrition (daily) and some Tetra Marine flake. Vitamins are added to food three to four times per week. Thinking maybe possible stray voltage? (no grounding probe) <Not voltage... just time to adjust...> Help! <None needed... placing other Hawaiian marines would likely speed acclimation along... but do just try to be patient. Bob Fenner> Zimmy

Yellow Tang Hi Robert, I've wrote you a while back about Lucy, my yellow Sailfin Tangs' ongoing septicemia. I took your advice and she's doing better than ever. Thanks for your impute. <Glad to read of your success> I've had her for about two years and am thinking about adding a couple of more like her. Whenever I've added any fish of the same size (Angel; Bannerfish), she's attacked them viciously so I took them out. How do you think she'd react to her own kind? And, if you think it would work out, how many would you suggest I add? <In how large a system? I would leave Lucy by herself if this is less than a couple of hundred gallons... Too much chance of negative interactions... perhaps some other species of Surgeonfishes found in Hawai'i would do... read over the www.WetWebMedia.com re these and try to get specimens decidedly smaller than your flavescens. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Rich Aylward

Yellow Tang not eating and having goose bumps Hi Bob, How are you doing? I am sorry to bother you with a couple of questions if you don't mind. <Never a bother> I just purchased a yellow tang recently. I put it in my QT for a week. No signs and symptoms but no eating, either. <Mmm, this is a sign, symptom> A few days after I put it in my 75g fish-only tank, it started having tiny goose bumps on its body (it is like needles being poked from inside out), no other signs or symptoms but still not eating at all. I've been feeding the whole tank with soft & moist pellets rich of Spirulina, formula 1 and 2, live brine shrimps sometimes. I thought it could be a certain infection, so I put it in the QT again and treated it with copper safe and Minocycline. Now it is still not eating at all. It's been almost 1 1/2 weeks now. <Not good> Forgot to mention that when it first got introduced into the tank, it got harassed by a purple tang (only 1/2 of a size) a bit. Could it be because of this reason? <Possibly... possible contributing cause... along with the trauma of collection, shipping...> I did solve this harassment problem by removing the purple tang from the tank for a couple days, changing all decorations, and putting the purple tang back into the tank. The problem was reversed, the yellow tang did chase the purple a little bit. It looks like those goose bumps are gone now but it is still not eating. Another question is my tank has an undergravel filter run with 2 powerheads. The tank is new, less than 5 months old. It has been running fine with a magnum 350 external filter, w/o protein skimmer/UVS. I have been reading almost every single article on your website.  <Then you are likely aware of the benefits, my promotion of skimmers... I would put one on here... to vastly improve water quality... If you don't think the gunk it removes is worth the expense... please contact me> My wife loves the fish tank but complains that I am on the internet all the time. I told her that keeping healthy fish is not the same as keeping a healthy dog. <One is much more interested in water, agile at retrieving balls than the other> I learned that undergravel filter can be a headache later on when stuff gets built up in the gravel --> sulfide gas problem. The 2 powerheads I use are reversible. Do you recommend that instead of sucking the water up, I should have the powerheads pushing the water down ? <Reverse flow as you have them> Thanks for your time and have a Happy Thanksgiving! Quang. <Do try some live macro-algae (greens, Caulerpa spp.) for your Tang, as well as vitamin soaked strips of algae (Nori, Kombu)... and consider getting a bit of live rock along with the skimmer. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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