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FAQs about the Yellow-Tail Blue, Palette, Regal, Hippo Tang Disease/Health 2

FAQs on Paracanthurus Tang Disease: PYTB Tang Disease 1, PYTB Tang Disease 3, Pacific YTB Disease 4, YTBT Health 5, YTBT Health 6, YTBT Disease 7, YTBT Disease 8, YTBT Disease 9, YTBT Disease , & Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Paracanthurus Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: The Genus Paracanthurus,

Related FAQs:  Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 1Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 2, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 3, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 4, PYTB Tang IDPYTB Tang Behavior, PYTB Tang Compatibility, PYTB Tang Selection, PYTB Tang Systems, PYTB Tang Feeding, PYTB Tang Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Sudden disappearance of regal tang Hello crew, <Hi there Shrina> Love your website. We had a regal tang whom we loved.  She was friendly, spunky, just an all around good fish.  We nicknamed her "Piggy" because she loved to eat.  I saw her at morning feeding yesterday and not since.  It is unlike to miss any feedings, let alone 3 now.  I am really afraid something has happened to her.  Any ideas? <... either in the tank or not... Out, perhaps it jumped... is still there... or a pet picked it up. In, perhaps still hiding or... not. Have you looked thoroughly under rock overhangs, behind ornaments...? This species does "lay down" quite a bit at times> We have a reef tank, 220 gallons. It's aquascaped with live rock. Substrate is live sand (1 to 5 inches deep at places).  We have a protein skimmer, a chiller.  The system is quite stable. Water quality is Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 2.5 ppm.  pH 8.2. The tank is stocked with: 1 Clark clownfish 3 ocellaris 6 green Chromis 1 strawberry Gramma 1 orange spotted goby 1 blue cheek goby 2 neon gobies 1 elegant coral 1 frog spawn coral 1 Discosoma 1 leather coral 1 pipe organ coral 3 Cynarina 1 plate coral 1 hammer coral 3 small colonies of Zoanthids. Any ideas what happened to our sweet tang? <I hope it is just having a "time out" and will soon show. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sudden disappearance of regal tang
Thank you for responding so fast.  I didn't think about her jumping out of the tank.  If she did, we wouldn't find her.  We have 4 dogs and 3 cats. <Ahh... more common than you might think...> I really miss her and just hope we can find another one as good as her. Thank you again, Shrina <Sorry for your loss. Bob Fenner>

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

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

Sick hippo tang, system Hello Crew, <Lani> I am writing about my hippo tang.  Recently I have seen a few white spots on his body.  He shows now signs of distress, no scratching, heavy breathing etc. He still eats like a pig and all of my water parameters are normal.  I haven't really had a problem with saltwater ich before, but this doesn't look like the typical freshwater ich cysts, it is not "raised from the skin".  Any ideas on what it could be and how I should approach treatment. Thanks, Eric <Likely some sort of parasite, but in something of a "stasis" with its host... I'd add at least one type of biological cleaner (please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm) and do my best to maintain optimized, stable conditions, good nutrition... and keep an eye out for infestation. Bob Fenner>

Blue Tang looks powdery and nitrate levels Hi guys,  <Hello, Mike> I have a 75 gallon Sea Clear II system that has been up for almost one year. I am currently running two in tank circulating pumps (one in each corner) and have stocked the tank with approx. 70 lbs. Of live rock (it is hard to remember). Presently it is running as a FOWLR set up my current residents are a pacific yellow tang, mandarin goby, (3) fire gobies, orange spot goby, convict goby, black percula clown and my newest addition is a blue tang.  He seems to have adjusted to the tank well enough and he has been with me for about three weeks now but recently I have noticed that he is scratching himself frequently on a large shell and he appears to look kind of powdery on some angles. So my first question is from my humble description do you have any wisdom to bestow on me about my Blue Tang?  <Mike, part of your problem is that your tank is overstocked. You really don't have 75 gallons of water after you put in 70 lbs of live rock. Tangs are very prone to ich and the overcrowding isn't helping matters. Seven gallon weekly water changes are almost a must in keeping tangs healthy along with an algae rich diet. I would get an iodine supplement such as SeaChem's and dose weekly. It should help the fish out some. You also might want to try a garlic supplement added to the fish food. My answer to helping the tang out is that you would have to try and net the tang out and treat in a quarantine tank, or take your chances. In doing the later, you may lose all your fish.> My second question is do you have any advice on lowering my nitrate levels? I have never been able to get them below 45 ppm. I “blow” the LR approx. once a week and do a 10 gallon water change every two weeks. My protein skimmer in an HOB Red Sea Prizm (not the greatest I know). Two weeks ago I built a denitrator coil and installed it; also at the recommendation of a fellow enthusiast a replaced my bio balls with live rubble rock (seasoned for many years at the LFS). As of today my nitrate levels are down to approx. 35 ppm (still high I know) but this is lower than they have ever been. I would love to do some coral but my level most obviously be much much lower.  Can you help me with my misery?  <Mike, with the overstocking you have, you are importing more nutrients than the system can export. Find homes for two or three of your least favorites. I'm guessing the tangs are probably at least three inches long? My rule of thumb is one cubic inch of fish per five gallons. I'd start by doing the later and employ weekly 10% water changes. This is something I do on a regular basis, problems or not.  Add a couple units of ChemiPure to help get rid of some of the nutrients. This filtering media employs excellent scavenging resins and aids water quality both visually and chemically. When doing water changes, do use a vacuum type siphon to suck out detritus in the gravel. Blowing the live rock just puts the mess in another place. If you are using filter pads, change weekly. Hope this helps you out, Mike. James (Salty Dog)>   

Haze on hippo tang eyes Hello crew, Thanks for all you do. I have a 125 gal saltwater FOWLR in the beginning stages of starting reef. I have a coral Beauty Angel, a mated pair of Yellow Stripe Maroon Clowns, a Sea Hare, a few Reef safe Stars, cleaning crew of various hermits crabs and snails, and my Blue Hippo. The tank has been up and cycled for a little over 3 months. I bought my Hippo about a week and a half ago. She immediately started hanging out with the clowns (and I thought it was just in the movies :-)... She swims with them eats and sleeps with them. I think she even tries to help them with their Sebae Anemone.  All was going well until this morning. I seen her left eye is all clouded over, it does not seem to be protruding though. I changed about 10% water yesterday and I use a RO/DI unit. I checked latter in the day yesterday and all levels were good. Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 (can not seem to get it lower if there is a trick I'm open to suggestions) PH 8.2 Phosphates were maybe .25 it was not quite the color of 0 but no where close to the next color up. Calcium 450. Temp 79.  When I seen the eye I checked again this morning and all was the same but PH maybe 8.0 due to the time of day. All the fish including the Hippo are acting normal, well the same as they have been. The Hippo seems unaffected for the most pat and is eating and swimming fine. Still helping the clowns keep house. She does seem to have some affect on her vision. I have not seen anything in FAQ that really sounds like this.  <Actually... not that uncommon> I don't want her to get more stressed because of her eye. I was thinking of freshwater dip (for how long though?) Is this a type of disease and what can I do to help cure it? <Not likely a disease per se... unilateral... probably resultant from a mechanical injury> Could it be that the Anemone stung her while she was cleaning house for the clowns? <Could be> I am very concerned and do not want to lose her. Thanks again for all you do for all of us out here. PS. Do you think that 1 or 2 more hippo's her size to school with would keep her away from the Anemone and out of danger? Or would the fight instead of school? <I would just stick with the one Paracanthurus... and not "treat", otherwise handle, further stress this specimen... You could try bolstering all's immune systems by soaking foods in Selcon or equivalent... but should heal on its own over time. Bob Fenner> 

White film in P. hepatus tang's eye - Anthony's Take 5/9/05 Hello crew - thanks for all you do. <It's a labor of love, my friend. Thank you :)> I have a 125 gal saltwater FOWLR in the beginning stages of starting reef. I have a coral Beauty Angel, a mated pair of Yellow Stripe Maroon Clowns, a Sea Hare, a few Reef safe Stars, cleaning crew of various hermits crabs and snails, and my Blue Hippo. The tank has been up and cycled for a little over 3 months. I bought my Hippo about a week and a half ago. She immediately started hanging out with the clowns (and I thought it was just in the movies. <And not to be a buzz kill here... but I see/realize that you added these fishes without quarantine. You have my sad and solemn promise that you will kill fishes if you do not learn this lesson: to use a quarantine tank for all things wet that will go into t he display to prevent parasites, predators or disease from contaminating the system. PLEASE take this to heart my friend. Do you recall the scene in Nemo where he enters the tank and everyone asks where he's from... when he says "the ocean", they freak out because he had not been cleaned/quarantined? Its a really big deal. Do read out archives and FAQs on the subject please.> She swims with them eats and sleeps with them. I think she even tries to help them with their Sebae Anemone. All was going well until this morning. I seen her left eye is all clouded over, it does not seem to be protruding though. I changed about 10% water yesterday and I use a RO/DI unit. I checked later in the day yesterday and all levels were good. <Singular eye clouding my be physical trauma and not an infection necessarily. Yet still watch for this being a bacterial infection> Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 (can not seem to get it lower if there is a trick I'm open to suggestions) <Do look into archives again... ( or my Book of Coral Propagation) for inline bucket DSB denitrifying filters. Very cheap and effective.> PH 8.2 Phosphates were maybe .25 it was not quite the color of 0 but no where close to the next color up. Calcium 450. Temp 79. When I seen the eye I checked again this morning and all was the same but PH maybe 8.0 due to the time of day. All the fish including the Hippo are acting normal, well the same as they have been. The Hippo seems unaffected for the most pat and is eating and swimming fine. Still helping the clowns keep house. She does seem to have some affect on her vision. I have not seen anything in FAQ that really sounds like this. I don't want her to get more stressed because of her eye. I was thinking of freshwater dip (for how long though?) <It's not indicated here... the eye clouding cannot be a parasite... if anything. you may need antibiotics and an isolation tank (10 gall with sponge filter) to treat the fish in)> Is this a type of disease and what can I do to help cure it? Could it be that the Anemone stung her while she was cleaning house for the clowns? <It's not likely) I am very concerned and do not want to lose her. Thanks again for all you do for all of us out here. PS. Do you think that 1 or 2 more hippo's her size to school with would keep her away from the Anemone and out of danger? <Look at the adult size of a single hepatus tang at fishbase.org... and you will see that this tank arguably cannot house a single blue hippo tang at adulthood... more than one in this tank would be irresponsible IMO> Or would the fight instead of school? <It's tough to say. But a moot point regardless considering these fishes' adult size. Best of luck! Anthony> 

Re: white film in hippo eye Anthony, Thanks for the timely response. <Always welcome my friend :)> I am going to dive into theses articles immediately. My sister and her husband came to visit about a couple months ago and caught the fever for fish when they seen my dual 125's set up. One of which is the one now converted to saltwater. I am pleased to say I have kept them from making the numerous mistakes I have made through bad advice, trial and error. <Fantastic to hear! It is the very thing we hope to do here with archived content and answered queries.> As far as internet mumbo-jumbo my theory is read many points of view and the couple things that they actually agree on I accept as truth or fact and the rest I view only as opinion. I agree with you also on my choice of words, assume is better stated as perception since we can only go on what we take from the incoming questions. Again that's my bad habit of knowing just enough to be dangerous. (I often use the joke from the commercial... no I'm not an aquarist but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.) <Heehee... understood. It reminds me of one of my fave Fennerism's Paraphrased here: "[Most people know what they know... but some folks don't know, what they don't know."]> I am very conscientious and determined to succeed at this. As when I was new to freshwater and aquariums in general, I realize patience is the key and yes it will get easier with time and experience. (just tiring not to go in debt while learning as saltwater is much more costly money wise then freshwater in my experience) <its all very good to hear/wise, my friend. And if I could get just one piece of advice to stick with every fellow aquarist I/we chat with... it would be the critical need to strictly use a quarantine tank. All things wet (plants, algae, snails, fishes, corals, live rock... everything wet!) must go through QT for 4-8 weeks (4 weeks of pest, predator or disease free symptoms, actually). If you obey this lesson, you will enjoy your hobby so much more through the years, and more importantly... save organisms lives in the process. Anthony>  

Scratched regal tang Hi,  <Hello Alex> My name is Alex, and today I just purchased a regal tang, which is only about an inch long.  In the store it looked fine with no markings, but when I put it in my tank, I realized that one side has a few white coloured scratch marks on it. They don't look like any signs of disease (at least I hope!), but more like accidental scratches against sharp rocks or from fighting with other tangs. I'd just like to know if scratches heal and disappear on young tangs, and also, what potential size it can grow in a 48" by 18" by 18" tank. <Alex, the scratches will heal in time, not to worry. For info on tangs, do a Google search on the Wet Web, keyword, "tangs". James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for your help  <You're welcome>

Established Blue Hippo Tang Thanks Bob and everyone else for a great site- it has been invaluable.  I have a 50 Gallon well established saltwater aquarium.  I use a Penguin 170 Bio-Wheel filter and a SeaClone Protein skimmer both of which have worked great.  I try and do a water change weekly, I keep the specific gravity at 1.021-1.022, and I only use high quality filtered water that gets rid of most nitrites, nitrates and keeps the PH very stable.  I have a clown fish, a blue hippo tang and a diadem Dottyback.   They have been living in relative harmony for over a year.  The Blue Tang has amazingly never caught Ich but has been very sensitive to water/temperature/environmental changes. A few days ago we had a very warm day on the Jersey shore and I completely forgot to adjust the tank temperature.  I looked in horror at the tank when I realized it was over 90 degrees.  The blue hippo tang stopped eating and seemed to be lingering around the bottom sides of the tank, being swept along with the current from the protein skimmer.  I immediately did a water change and a slow decrease in temperature.  The color has remained good but it has started to fade, the face has gotten a little transparent but there is absolutely no sign of ich.   <Your system itself is very likely ich-free...> The blue hippo tang seems to be in distress as it is not swimming naturally and doesn't seem to be able to leave the sides of the tank due to weakness.  I'm worried and she doesn't seem to be eating much (marine vegetables, Mysis shrimp, high quality flake food).  I did a fresh water bath per your instructions and it didn't seem to help. This happened one other time with the tang, very similar behavior, I did a fresh water bath and the next day it was bouncing around the tank like nothing had happened to my relief and I was praising this website :-).  It has been 3+ days now and I don't like the looks of her.  Any help would be much appreciated.  Thanks again. <The fish is/was likely thermally stressed... should recover in a few weeks time. Bob Fenner> David

Sick Tang, HELP! Help yourself... WWM Hi Bob, <Joy> I have a small hippo tang (1 ?”) that I have had for 4 days. QT'd for 2 weeks but a friend had it before me. It just had a small spot on the tip of its fin when I got it, but I just thought it was damaged. Four days later, the white spots have multiplied up the fin and one has appeared to the right of the first dorsal spine. I think its Ich, but have no way to be sure. Water Parameters are fine and the Temp is steady at 78.6degrees. But I need to be sure because I do not won’t him/her to die. <Mmm, you can try pH adjusted freshwater dipping the fish, placing it back into new quarantine water... leaving the main system fish-less for a month... and/or treating the problem with a copper-based medication. All posted over and over on WWM. Bob Fenner> And is there such a thing as a reef safe Ich treatment? And if not, are there any other treatments besides cleaner shrimp that might work? (I have one cleaner shrimp that has passed 3 in. long ago so it scares the bejeesus out of the tang!) PLEASE HELP! Thank you so much,             Joy Stanley  

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

Scratching regal tang Hi my name is David from Puerto Rico. I need to know something. I buy a regal tang (Doris) 4 days ago and he no eat very well, and the first 2 days he scratch against the rocks, but I don't see a white spot in his body. Is normal this behavior with this fish? Thanks <Some scratching is to be expected... Please read here re Paracanthurus: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm.  See the linked files above re behavior, systems, disease? Them too. Bob Fenner>

Please tell me how to save my Dory. Another fish poisoned by Mela (not) Fix Hi, I've had my blue tang "dory" for about 5 months now, probably 2 months ago she developed a scab like disease on her back side, close to her tail. After a while the scab healed leaving the fish with a hole close to its tail, the hole has been there for a couple of months now, and the fish has been perfectly fine. I assumed it just took a long time for it to heal, and that eventually the hole would close.  I asked Big Al's Aquarium if there was anything I could do to aid in the healing process, they suggested MelaFix. I started using it yesterday, and today I noticed my blue tang was extremely sick. She was stuck to the filter vent, I turned off the filter and she swam away from it, but then fell on its side and could not move from there.  I also noticed she was off-coloured (pale with spots of white) and appeared near death. I removed her from my tank and placed her in a separate tank all on her own (with only a filter/heater/a couple of live rocks/and some purple seaweed in case she gets hungry).  I tested the water and it seems perfectly fine. Could you suggest something, maybe as to why my fish is sick? Do you think she is reacting to the MelaFix? Is there something I can add to her tank to make her better? Thanks <Hello, it sounds like your tang is in the late stages of a secondary infection. If the tang is not eating, I don't think that there will be much for you to do. It is very difficult to treat for a secondary infection (fin rot) and treat for parasites (ich/white spots). I think that it is a coincidence that the addition of MelaFix and your fish's health coincide. You are taking the proper precautions now that you put your tang in a quarantine tank. Offer the fish some live food and try treating with a mild dose of copper. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

Re: Tiny Hippos It is great to know you are there!!! The tiny tangs are here. They are even smaller than I imagined. Acclimating them now (and dripping slowly in the shrimp bags). <Good> Just want to make sure I have this right and you still think the bath is the way to go. 1) Use RO/DI water (put some in small bucket this morning with power head). <Mmm, better to use "just tap water" treated with dechloraminator> 2) Adjust heat and pH to match tank <Yes> 3) Net tang and place in the freshwater bath for 5 minutes?? <Should be plenty of time here> I'm just nervous because they are sooo tiny! Many, Many Thanks! Eve <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Black Spots on Blue Tang Hello! I have had a blue tang in quarantine for about 1 ? months. I started to move him into the main tank today and noticed some black spots that seem to be small holes on his face. It also looks like something is taking small bites out of his tail. He does not itch, eats well and overall seems to be doing great. Any suggestions? Your help is greatly appreciated! Kimberly Kinane <Actually... feel strongly that these are "stress markings"... the effects of quarantine... I would ph-adjusted freshwater dip this fish and place in the main/display tank... where, with better, more stable water conditions, more room, better food... this fish should improve. Bob Fenner> 

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

Question On A blue tang Hey there, I enjoy reading your Q & A on the Flying Fish Express web site. You've help me several times before. I had a blue jaw Goby the had a hole in his side. The medicated food didn't help. But I finally caught him last week. I treated him with Karcyn <probably Kanamycin>( mis spelled) and the hole has stopped growing and the White area has diapered. Thanks for the Advice. My New Question: I recently bought a blue Tang (yellow tailed with blue maze like pattern) The fish is still a juvenile. He was fine for the first week in Quarantine and now has black patches near his belly. Also had a clear white growth near his eye but has fallen off. The tang eats constantly. I feed him brine shrimp, macro algae and veggie gum drops. He does swim around allot. He is in the same tank as the Gobies. He also received the same medication as the Gobies. Any Suggestions what it maybe and the treatment if any? Thanks, Anthony >> <Sounds like a nervous/environmental "disease" that will cure itself with the animal adjusting to captive conditions... Not infectious or parasitic. I would just place the fish in your main system... and do start a "algae sheet" food offering regimen... strips of Nori you can buy from pet fish or oriental food sources. Bob Fenner, who says, oh, yeah, this is the same species (Paracanthurus hepatus), as you folks from elsewhere call a Hippo or Palette Tang.

- Hippo Blues, Follow-up - Jason, thanks so much for your advice and quick response.  <My pleasure.> I definitely learned something, however in an extremely painful and costly way.  <Understood... it always seems, at least to me that the most valuable lessons come at a price.>  I also checked my Cupramine level afterwards and I think that the level may have been too high so the cause was either the pH or the Cupramine level. My guess is the pH.  <Me too.> Thanks again. Ed K. <Cheers, J -- >

Blue regal tang problems My boyfriend just added a blue regal tang in a 90 gallon tank. He also has a squirrel fish, a Gramma, a Foxface, and a sergeant major. For two weeks the tang has done well, but two days ago the fish has been jerking like it is having seizures, and its body will shake uncontrollably and it will hit the tank wall hard enough to hear outside the tank. We are trying to figure out what is wrong with it, especially since none of the other fish are experiencing any problems and all the fish seem healthy. Please let me know what is wrong and what we can do.  <Well Pam, this isn't much to go on since you don't describe whether there are any white specks on the fish or other abnormalities. These aren't the easiest of tangs to acclimate along with all species of tangs being ich magnets of which I have a feeling your tang may have. If so, you will need to treat it. It's best sending a pic of this fish in question as this helps us determine what the problem may be. I'm pasting a link on these beautiful fish that you should read. http://wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm . Send a pic if you can. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

- Hippo Tang Troubles - hi, during our weekly visit to our LFS, we encountered our first rescue fish! a poor looking 5 inch regal tang sheepishly swimming sideways on the bottom of the tank. we had seen him the previous week as he had mouth and body fungus and tail rot. he was injected with Metronidazole and then treated for a few days with copper. When we came in this weekend the fish was going to be killed today unless someone tried to save him. Needless to say we took him and brought him home to our 10 gal QT. So fat we have kept him in QT without adding anything to the water which is good (test OK). It is hard to describe what he has other than laying on the bottom sideways and swimming sideways. can swim straight for a brief period. mouth seems to be healing. Please help us save this regal tang! <I'm afraid I don't really have enough information here to "help" you short of coming over to your house. Without being able to do that, you'll need to help yourself... read up on fish diseases, keep the water quality up, and try to get the fish to eat - if it's not eating, it's not going to make it. Please being your reading here and continue to the FAQs and livestock articles beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm & http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm > Jose <Cheers, J -- >

Blue hippo Tang mysterious bump hi I have been reading your articles from your site and its AMAZING this is the only site I go to, to check diseases. <Well, I've been reading and writing for years, and I still  got this danged cold!> OK I have a 1" Blue hippo Tang the I have purchased couple days ago at LFS. The tang looked great until we bought it and put it in our tank. I noticed that on the right side of it's fins there seems to be a bump the size of a pimple. <Happens... from physical damage in collection (breaking up branching corals to get Paracanthurus this size)> It eats but is it necessary to feed it some garlic which I already have. Kyolic Garlic Tablets. <Mmm, am not a fan... but doesn't do much harm... fresher garlic is better than prepared> At the bottom of the Tang there seems to be a little pale. It scratches itself against the wall but not on its bump. <Some scratching, flashing is normal, to be expected> There is no sign of ick. Its very shy and sometimes hides in his little rock where he go's to sleep. I'm not sure what to do but there is only 1 fish which is the tang. I love this fish. The tank was empty for about a month or so because my clown trigger had died including my Niger trigger. <Yikes... not good to mix these...> I was very sad and there were no fish in there and was about to remove the fish tank. OK would you consider buying any cleaner shrimps and I read about them and how successful there are. So now you know a little about the little guy try to respond to me ASAP. <A cleaner shrimp addition is a good idea... No medications needed... akin to a human pimple, this spot will likely just "go away" of its own accord with time, good maintenance on your part. Bob Fenner>

Blue tang is covered in flour?!?!?!? Hi, My blue tang has FINALLY gotten over ich, I am so happy! But now, I don't know if my tang has another disease or not. My blue tang appears to have rolled in flour and looks like he has very slight coating of it over his body. I am hoping it is not a disease but if it is will you please send me some info on how to treat it? thanks Hello,     It sounds like your tang has a secondary infection called Lymphocystis.  I would recommend putting the fish into a quarantine tank and then treating with a formaldehyde based medication like quick cure or something along those lines.  If that that does not work then try something like Quinsulfex by Aquatronics.  Good Luck! Mike B.

Blue Tang In A Blue Mood? (Possible Illness...Or?) Greetings from the Wine Country, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I've been reading your site for over a year now and am most impressed with the excellent work all of you do. <Thank you for your kind words!> Almost seven years ago I bought my girlfriend a 60 gallon SW aquarium for her birthday.  That and a trip to Vegas and Death Valley.  She sure is sweet and worth it. <Awesome to hear that!> Our first acquisition was a very small Pacific Blue Tang we named Appolonia. (We name all our fish.) <A very cool name! Don't tell me that it wears a Raspberry Beret or comes from the waters of Lake Minetonka, however!> She is now about six inches long and lives with a Cleaner Shrimp, Scooter Blenny, Clown Percula, Orchid Dottyback and a Yellow Tang.  All of them get along fine with Appolonia as the dominant one. <That seems about right for that combination of fish!> We test water every few days and perform weekly water changes of 10-15%. All tests now and in the past month have been fine.  Had a little nitrate bump for awhile that was causing algae blooms but looks like we have it stabilized now. <Glad to hear that!> Diet for many years has been Emerald Entree (frozen algae) and frozen brine shrimp with occasional frozen krill. And on holidays we even give them some live brine shrimp. Hey, we all got to have a treat now and then. <Yep!> We've offered them Nori but they pretty much ignore it. Though they are partial to Romaine we do not offer it to them very often. <Good. I'm really not a big fan of using terrestrial greens like Romaine to feed marine fishes. They offer very little in the way of nutritional value for the fish. Better to use algae of marine origin, such as sushi Nori, Kombu, or even fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria. Also, Blue Tangs (Paracanthurus hepatus) tend to be more omnivorous, feeding on zooplankton as well as vegetable material. Mysis is a very nutritional alternative to brine shrimp> Yesterday Vicki (G/F) fed them Ocean Star Marine Pellets for the first time. Today Appolonia is just hanging out behind the live  rock and is very lethargic. She won't even eat and she is always like the proverbial pig at the trough rushing about to scarf up as much as she can at feeding time. <I think the use of the pellets and the weird behavior are unrelated, but it is cause for concern when the fish goes "off its feed".> I came home tonight to this news after "lights out" so took a flashlight to look at her and from what I can see, she is hidden back there, there are no signs of external parasites, trauma or discoloration. Her breathing looks slow and her pecs are hardly moving. I hope she lasts. I'm not having a good feeling right now. <Not good...> What is the average life span of this species? <Up to 20 years or more in the wild, almost as long in captivity!> I am, as always, open to whatever suggestions you may have. Loren Davis <Well, Loren, the slow breathing and lethargic behavior are not good signs. I would not eliminate the possibility of a parasitic disease (such as Amyloodinium or Cryptocaryon) just yet, even though no external symptoms (the usual spots, mucus, etc.) have not yet manifested themselves. First, do run a complete set of water quality tests to get to the bottom of things to see if any environmental parameters are out of whack. If the environmental parameters are in line, you may very well be dealing with a disease. Before you remove the fish for further observation and treatment in a separate tank (and a separate tank is definitely the way to treat any fish, IMO). If you do see the fish deteriorating further, and displaying more signs of potential parasitic (or other) illness, remove the fish to a separate tank for treatment. If you are hesitant to use medication initially, or are unsure of what you may be looking at, it's never a bad idea to perform a water change or two to see if the fish improves. Keep trying to feed the fish with its favorite foods, and don't be discouraged! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

More on Pacific Blue Tang email Hello again, Got a little more info on my earlier question. This morning after sending you my previous email we turned the tank lights on and the Blue Tang is still alive and still back in her corner behind the live rock. But now I can get a better look and she does look pale and breathing rapidly. Pec fins are moving more than last night though. >>I hope for the best.>> Put some Emerald Delight in a turkey baster and squirted it back in by her but she still won't eat.>> Make sure you don't stress here by squirting food at her. >>If you can get some live food that might help entice her to eat.>> Looked at the thermometer and it was showing 69F. Yikes. We usually keep it about 76F. Checked the heater and it was dead.  Ran out and picked up a new 300W at Pet Smart. (Only place open at that time.) Before I left I gave my girlfriend instructions to heat up some water and *slowly* introduce it into the rear of the tank until the temp came up to 72F. Figured a three degree rise would not cause to much stress.  Got back and... well... she didn't follow my instructions and now it's at 76F.  Have the new heater in place. >>Hopefully the temp swings were too much for her.>> Tested the water and here's what I have PH - 8.0  (usually at 8.4) Alk - high (new Marine Lab test kit only gives a low-->high scale) Total Ammonia  <0.25 Nitrites  0.0 Nitrates  0.0 SG 1.024 >>The ammonia worries me. Did other stuff die? (Sorry, I didn't get to see your previous messages)> Also noticed that our Feather Duster died.  Was alive prior to the feeding with Ocean Stars yesterday. She only put in about 25-30 pellets. They are real small. >>When you say die what do you mean? Sometimes FD's lose their 'heads' and grow new ones>> This one is stumping me. There are two variables in here though I kind of doubt the Ocean Stars are the culprit. More than likely the lower temperature though I'm not sure a drop to 69F would result in what I am observing. Or there may be some other factor involved and the other two are just non-causal coincidences. >>Seems to me the temp drop is to blame>> Once again, any light you can shed would be most appreciated. >>Hope it helped! Loren Davis P.S.  Just checked the local Borders bookstore and they have a copy of CMA so I'm heading out to buy it. >>Great. Its a very good book!>> >>Rich>>

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Well? >Hi, >>Hi, I'm coming into a conversation already taking place, so forgive me if I go over stuff already covered (this is why we like to have previous exchanges included in the body - this is also likely why you ended up with me). >We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich. >>Righty-oh.  Very easily eradicated. >Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide. Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that pH is the same as saltwater - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? >>I don't know that you would really need to go with the copper, this parasite is so easily eradicated with simple hyposalinity.  A salinity of 1.010 ought to do the trick.  Also, I'd leave him in there much longer than 3 minutes, I'd give him more on the order of 10 or so. >Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? >>Bathing?  I'm going to assume that you're using this terminology interchangeably with dipping, in which case length of dip as above (forgot to add that you would do well to add Methylene blue - enough to turn the water dark blue).  I would keep the tang in the hypo for two weeks, using observation to decide at what point he seems to be clear.  As I said, this is easily dealt with.  Then, he should remain in quarantine for 30 days MINIMUM, starting from the point at which you decide that he's clear of all disease.  After that 30 days is up, begin bringing the salinity up to the tank's levels, over two or three days is good.  Dip in the freshwater as above, then he can be placed in the display.  Oh!  Garlic has not been shown at all to demonstrate any efficacy for treating Cryptocaryon irritans. >History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience. Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight). Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions! Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! >>It's the first for me, so.. I'm not irritated at this point.  ;)  (We like our fish-minded friends, anyway.)  Be sure to keep up water quality with water changes, this is KEY.  ZERO ammonia and nitrites, nitrates under 30-40ppm is desired (obviously, the lower the better).  Best of luck!  Marina

HELP - Barking Blue Tang in Distress 2/10/04 Hello all: <howdy> Perhaps this should be addressed to Anthony, as he and my tang have a relationship (remember the football prognosticator?). <I do... I hope he's feeling good about next year> I have a 125G Fowl/oLR that has been up and running for 4 1/2 years. We have had the blue hippo from the get-go. The tang has developed a swollen mouth in that it stays open all the time. It is difficult for him to ingest any food. He will go up to the pieces, but they get lodged between his lips. He seems to rely on the water current to allow food to enter his mouth. <hmmm... any pics possible? I'm wondering if its a swollen thyroid (iodine deficiency or excess nitrates induced)> There are no spots or any external indications of disease. As I said, he shows a desire to eat, but is having difficulty. I also find him swimming somewhat on his side at times. The LFS said that these are not good signs and that age may be a factor. <age?!?!? What are they smoking?! Blue tangs were considered hardy back in the 70's as one of the few fish that could be kept for many years (albeit with regular bouts of ich<G>). They are some of the oldest kept fishes in the marine trade with longevity records over 30 years old. I personally know of a 26 year old specimen kept locally to me (Pittsburgh)> I am reluctant to freshwater dip, as the stress of both catching him and the dip itself may prove too harmful. All water parameters are fine. I would appreciate any advice that you can give in our attempt to save this fish. Thanks,  Mitch <if its the throat that looks swollen, it would be consistent with a dietary deficiency for how long you've had the fish (limited diet, lack of iodine dosing in the tank or lack of water changes to maintain bromide levels for the absorption of iodine adequately. If instead though it looks like a swollen lip/jaw... all best are off for my diagnosis. A pic would help here my friend. Else do consult a local vet (some do fishes). Anthony>

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Hi, We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich.   Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide:-) Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that PH is the same as saltwater <I'd just use this second step to add the buffer - the directions on the container are too general. Just add and test, add and test.> - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes <If you can push this to five minutes, that would be excellent.> - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? <Nah... just move to a quarantine tank. Don't treat with anything unless the problems persist.> Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? <If the problem reoccurs, I wouldn't dip the fish any more than once every other day, and then also think about some form of treatment in the quarantine.> History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience.  Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight).  Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions!  Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! <Cheers, J -- >

Pacific Blue Tang Question Hi guys, <Hi! Ryan with you today> I have a question about my recently purchased Pacific Blue Tang. <OK> He seemed healthy in the store. But after I got him home and settled in the tank, I noticed a few marks on his head that look a little like scars.. I have a feeling after reading the FAQ's about these guys that it is HLLE. <I am glad you are familiar> But I've had him for about a week now and he seems perfectly healthy. <to be expected with HLLE> He is eating nicely and making friends with my clownfish (I know what your thinking and no I didn't make a Finding Nemo aquarium, I just happen to enjoy both species).  <Sure Buddy!  If you're a dentist, this question is over ;)   > Anyway, my question is about feeding and healing the possible HLLE. I know that blue tang's are grazers on the algae, but how much of their diet should be algae?  My current feeding schedule is to let him graze on the algae (which there is plenty of on the live rock at the moment) for the majority of the day, then in the evening give him some purple seaweed (Porphyra Umbilicalis) and then later in the even let him share the clown's Formula One flakes. Does that sound like a good feeding plan or not? <It sounds good, but I would add a little extra attention.  Get some Selcon, it is really helpful when trying to fight HLLE.  Also, get some frozen formula 2, and some dried Nori.  Feed the formula 2 once a day, the garlic is really good for him.  Now, soak the Nori in Selcon for 10 minutes, and clip in for the tang to eat for a few hours each day.>   What about the purple seaweed.. is that an acceptable replacement for Nori until I run out of it or not? <Yes, in fact it's great to vary the diet as much as possible...just like you and me.> Also, just out of curiosity.. the tang and the clown fish seem to be inseparable they are ALWAYS right next to each other. This was also the case with my now departed Yellow Tang and the same clown fish. Is my clown fish just "tang friendly" or are these two species normally so friendly with each other? Actually as a little side story, when my yellow tang was in the process of dying the clown fish went up and laid right next to him, it was kinda sad actually. <I'm so sorry for the loss...Clowns exhibit some crazy behavior, I'm not even close to understanding what it means.  I wish you the best with your new tang!> Thanks for the info. <You're welcome> Steve

Tang In Trouble? Hello to all, <Hello! Scott F. here today!> I have a question regarding my baby hippo Tang:  When we bought her, she (or he) was about 1", and in the past month she is growing fast, seems to be happy and healthy (until recently). It appears that she is developing black spots, but not just along her head and lateral line...these bumps are also on both sides of her belly. Plus at times she appears to have a whitish film on parts of her body. I have looked up HLLE and other health problems on your website but I haven't been able to find anything that definitely resembles this. We have had our water tested (many times just to be safe) and all of our conditions are fine. I am feeding her a much better diet, (following the instructions for HLLE) but I am wondering, could this be signs of a different disease? Please help, I love this tang and want to keep her healthy and beautiful!! Thanks for taking time to help!!! Jamie <Well, Jamie, the film that you are describing could be indicative of a parasitic illness of some sort. However, if you're seeing that the fish is eating well and otherwise behaving normally, it may pay just to wait and watch carefully. If the fish is declining, and just doesn't look right- I'd consider starting with a very simple course of action, such as occasional freshwater dips. Granted, these are sometimes ineffective, but they do often provide some relief for light symptoms of parasitic infections. On the other hand, if you are dealing with some sort of serious parasitic infection, more aggressive treatment regimens are recommended, such as formalin-based products. Whichever way you go, be sure to observe the fish carefully. Do read up more on the parasitic disease FAQs on the WWM site to verify what you may be dealing with. Let us know if the symptoms get worse...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Tang In Trouble? Hi, <Hello! Scott F. hee today!> I need help on identifying what is wrong with my Tang. This brown/pink discoloration starts near it mouth and is growing fast. At the local aquarium they told me it could be Velvet, but I'm not so sure. Its behaviour is changing to, it swims with flashing movements, like nervous. I post it here because I want to show you the picture Any Idea of what it can be? Thanks for you time. Sincerely, Francisco Maino <Good photos, Francisco! It's hard to be 100% certain, but it may be some sort of fungal illness of some sort. On the other hand, if you're seeing labored breathing, scratching, lack of appetite, and the other symptoms commonly associated with Amyloodinium, then you will need to take some aggressive action to counterattack (Do see the WWM disease FAQs for details). The fish looks pretty good, other than the discoloration, IMO. On the other hand, if this is a fungal infection, an antibiotic product might do the trick (administered in a separate aquarium). It might be a good idea to do a complete workup of your basic water conditions to make sure that things are in order. Sometimes, these types of conditions can be cleared up with simple improvements to water parameters. Do the tests and take any corrective measures required! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Mystery Malady? Hello! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I was reading your Q&A and you seem to be quite knowledgeable about fish. <Well, we certainly try our best!> We've recently acquired a Regal Blue Tang from a previous fish keeper (not a store) and as far as we know, his tank was filthy and the Regal Blue Tang seemed to always lie on its flat sides and drift around aimlessly, as if playing dead. <Not a good or "normal" behavior at all for this fish...> We set the fish into there and he seemed to be quite happy in the tank (after a brief period of wedging himself between two rocks), swimming around and playing with the other fishes. <Yikes! Next time, please quarantine all new fishes for a few weeks before placing them into your display tank. Especially in a situation where a fish is coming from a tank with known problems...> We then noticed an odd discolouration of some sort on his head and a bit on his tail. Enclosed are some links to pictures of the Regal Blue Tang. We were just wondering if it was stress and bad diet (as a result from the last tank), or if it was serious. As far as I can discern from other images on the internet, his eye area is supposed to be a dark black stripe across it, but it's faded and looks as if it has been discoloured. <Unfortunately, the photos did not come in too clear, so I cannot be 100% certain here, but this could be either Head and Lateral Line erosion (HLLE) or a possible parasitic illness, such as the deadly Amyloodinium (Marine Velvet). If it is Amyloodinium, this is a very contagious and highly virulent disease that must be treated immediately if you want to save the fish. Do look on the WWM parasitic disease FAQs to verify if this is indeed what you're dealing with. If you are looking at HLLE, this is more of a "condition" as opposed to a disease (at least in the traditional sense), and can often be placed into "remission" with excellent environmental conditions and quality food. I'd look into both of these possibilities, then draw your conclusions from your observations...Either way-both of these require some intervention on your part, but the degree to which you will need to respond will be dependant upon which condition that you're dealing with. Check out the FAQs for both on the WWM site, and take the appropriate action.> I've enlarged the photos a bit with an image resizer, but they might be a bit blurry. If you want, I can also send along sharper images.   http://www.sherei.com/regalblue.jpg http://www.sherei.com/regalblue1.jpg http://www.sherei.com/regalblue2.jpg http://www.sherei.com/regalblue3.jpg Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :-) <Well, they are a bit blurry, but I think the fact that you can see the fish in person gives you the advantage when attempting a diagnosis here. Try investigating the two possibilities that I gave you here and let me know if you have any further questions! Hope this was of some help. Regards, Scott F.>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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