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FAQs about the Yellow-Tail Blue, Palette, Regal, Hippo Tang Disease/Health 6

FAQs on Paracanthurus Tang Disease: PYTB Tang Disease 1, Pacific YTB Tang Disease 2, PYTB Tang Disease 3, Pacific YTB Disease 4, YTBT Health 5, YTBT 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 2, 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
Hippo Tang   8/29/08 Dear Mr. Bob Fenner <Akila> I have an 80G Marine tank with 1 Hippo Tang, 1 Bannerfish, 3 Large Tube Worms, Bubble tip Anemone, some snails, a microalgae colony & lots of live rocks with coral line algae. I use 6500K 500W (4 x 125) CFL lighting. I use a 4G Canister Filter, 5W UV Sterilizer, Remora hang on Skimmer (with 2000L/H separate power head), 2 Power heads (2000L/H), & Chiller.  The tank is running well. I do a 20% water change every month and feed my fish and invertebrates carefully. My water parameters are Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate < 20. This tank has being running well for the past 1 year. <Ok> Hippo Tang was in QT for 2 weeks and transferred to the main tank about 2 months ago. I have attached some photos that shows a problem that the Hippo Tang is having now. These spots are under his belly and on the side. When you look at it closely it look like his skin is coming off. I am so worried as to what will happen to my Tang. Could you please help me identify this disease and let me know of a way to help him. Thanks in advance for your help Best regards, Akila <Thank you for supplying complete information and such fine photos. This mark looks very much like a "burn"... Am almost sure it originated with a chance/accidental mishap with your BTA... It should heal in time of its own accord with your good care. Bob Fenner>

Hippo tang question, hlth., learning   8/19/08 Hi there, I purchased a juvi hippo tang last Thursday (August 14) and he settled into my tank <... no quarantine> very well (started swimming about the tank, meeting new tank mates within 5 minutes of introduction) <Good> The tang is very small, probably as big as a loonie, and smaller than a Toonie. <Mmm, summat less than a dollar coin in the U.S.: http://www.bcpassport.com/vancouver-vital-information/canadian-money-currency.aspx > He does have a nice stuffed belly, but he has not eaten anything since being introduced. He has shown maybe 3 to 4 spots of ich, which it tries to swipe off himself by dashing on the bottom or corners of the tank every so often. <Mmm... you do realize the system is now infested if this is a protozoan agent?> He is not in complete distress at all, and still is active, not breathing fast and generally looking pretty good. I am taking measures to treat the fish for the ich (trying Aquarium Munster Protomarin coral, fingers crossed) I will have no chance of catching that tiny fish in my display so I am resorting to medication. <Mmmm... "reef safe"... "effective"... Don't go together any better than licorice and pizza... and I'm a giant fan of these last two. I don't see where the manufacturer lists the ingredients: http://www.aquarium-munster.com/Eng/GB_0_Home.asp Do you know what this material really is? If so, please send along> My question is, after how many days without food should I start to worry? <Daily> I already am worried, but like I say, his belly is pretty fat. He tries to peck at floating items in the tank (thinking it's food), so I know he is trying to eat.. he just always misses out on my feedings. When I turn the pumps off, he goes running and hides the entire feed. With the few ich spots, and not eating, I am worried it's health will decline at a fast rate. I have tried feeding with pumps on, but the movement from me putting food into the tank sends my clownfish running, so everyone follows, they all get scared so easily. <A bad sign> I have also ordered some Kent Garlic Xtreme, <...> and some Selcon to start soaking the foods in, in hopes it might entice him to eat. I also ordered some seaweed algae. All these items should arrive by Friday. I forgot to mention, I am feeding my fish with NLS Pellets, and Mysis shrimp soaked in garlic extract (which is better?) <Can't say> I don't want to lose the little guy, he is the healthiest I have found a juvi hippo. Is he going to starve?? <Mmm, maybe. Are you going to read?> I really hope this guy starts noticing my pellets and Mysis soon.... with all the extra food I am pumping into the tank for him to eat, I am getting bits of algae outbreaks. Thankfully my clowns are complete pigs and usually clean up the leftovers. Thanks for reading my long post, I am terrible at summarizing. I just basically want to know how long without food should I start to worry, what foods I should focus on feeding (I hear the NLS pellets are a very good source of nutrition for marine fish?) <Yes... an excellent, very palatable source> I have been trying to feed every day, with no luck. It's not that the fish doesn't want to eat, it's just that he hides when I introduce food into the tank. I figured if all the other fish would eat, he would notice and start eating too, but no luck on that note yet. Thanks again for a great resource.. I appreciate your time and efforts. <A few "things" possibly going on here. "Just" being new/stressed, to being toxified by some homeopathic remedy... You don't mention your system components, history, or water quality tests... Please start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracfdgfaqs.htm and on to the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Tang Help! Hippo hlth.  08/18/2008 I purchased a thriving system from someone who was moving to CA. It has been up and running in my house now for 3mos and has still been thriving. <<Ok>> A 7" Blue Hippo tang came with the system when I bought it and has been a very healthy fish. I added my 2" Blue Hippo Tang who has doubled in size since adding to the system. Yesterday I rearranged the rock work and added the following; 6 green Chromis 3 blue mushrooms 1 green clove polyp 1 Christmas tree worm rock on Porites and 2 Bali tube worms <<All sounds nice>> Almost immediately the large Blue Hippo started acting all stressed out. Trying to find a new hiding place, even though I did not change his old one, and breathing hard. I turned off the lights early hoping to help relieve some of his stress, but he died overnight. Now my smaller Blue Hippo is missing this morning for feeding time. <<Such a shame the fish died. Could well be just stress of the new additions as to why the surviving tang is in hiding, hope all is well with it>> Was one of the above toxic to Blue Hippos? What could have possibly happened to cause such a fast death? <<No, nothing there is incompatible with a Paracanthurus. Did you inspect the dead fish for outward marks, cuts, abrasions etc etc?? This would be your first port of call upon death>> 125g reef tank All my levels are at 0 Nitrates are less than 10 calcium is 500 temp is a steady 80 salinity is 1.023 <<Was the LFS water added to the tank with the new purchases? any additives etc? There is usually a reason why fish die, and starting off giving the dead fish an inspection, can usually start to enlighten us as to what has happened. Hope this helps, A Nixon>>

Blue hippo tang can't swim  7/29/08 Hello, <Josh> I've used your site for years, and have found many answers to my questions, but I can't seem to find this one. Here's my problem: I have had my blue hippo tang for 2+ years and he has battled a few attacks of ich, but never anything serious. <How "it" was treated may be> Recently (about 3 weeks ago), I noticed he was swimming around with his head pointed down, and seemed to have trouble swimming level. <Mmm, not good> I watched him for a few days and did not notice him eating. By the time I decided I should quarantine <Not advised here> and try to help him, I didn't have the time (was going out of town for a week). So, I regretfully left him in the display tank <Good> and gave him my best wishes while I was gone. When I returned, he was laying on his side on the bottom, but still breathing. I took him out of the tank and put him in quarantine with Furazone green (the only antibiotic I have available). He appeared almost paralyzed and would flop a little bit when I touched him, but that was about it. After a couple more days, he floated to the surface and bobbed around. He was still breathing and aware of my presence (would flare out his dorsal fin when I hovered over the tank). I decided there was no hope, so I took him out and was going to put him in a baggy to freeze him (heard this was a quick way of putting them down). But when I did, he started flopping and spit up a baby turbo snail. <Interesting> He was showing more energy than I had seen for a while, so I decided not all hope was lost. He still hadn't eaten anything (probably about 3 weeks now), but I tried again with some frozen Mysis. While I had him out of the water, I put the Mysis in his mouth and he swallowed it. I put him back in the water, and while holding him with my hand, I placed him in front of more Mysis. He would suck them in, chew a little and then spit it back out. But after several times of doing this, he actually swallowed it! That was yesterday and I've now fed him three more times by holding him and sticking his mouth in front of the Mysis. I've seen no improvement (but he doesn't seem to be getting worse either). Do you have any idea what might be the cause and solution of this problem? <Mmm, only wild general guesses... Could be a matter or function of long/er term nutritional deficiency of some sort, a developmental/genetic issue, some legacy of collection/handling damage, some residual chemical/treatment damage... Very likely not pathogenic...> Could it be the baby turbo was stuck in his throat and caused all this? <Mmm, possibly> But why is he floating on the surface, unable to move? <Lack of food...> He shows no external signs of problems. No visible parasites and color is good and eyes are clear. He changed color (got pale) when I had him out of the water, so he is still responding to stress, I guess. He is very buoyant and floats to the surface quickly when I let him go. He cannot swim at all, but sometimes get a little burst of energy and twitches. I am hoping there is still a chance, since he is eating now. <There is always a chance at living as long as there is life> Tank is a 450 reef tank with 48 other fish. <Ahh, then highly unlikely a deficiency syndrome... but perhaps something to do with ingesting Hydrozoan, Anthozoan... material> None of the other fish are showing any signs of stress or abnormalities. Nothing has changed recently in the tank. I've never seen any aggression towards him and he's never been aggressive towards any other fish. He's always been shy, but still got enough to eat to keep him healthy. Nitrates = 5 Nitrites and ammonia are 0 Calcium = 400 Alkalinity = 8 Thanks in advance for any help or advice, Josh <Were it me Josh, I would keep trying what you are doing. Bob Fenner>

Tang In Trouble (Mystery Malady or???)  7/13/08 Hi, <Hey there! Scott F. in today!> I have had a Hippo tang for about 6 weeks. Three weeks in quarantine; three weeks in the main tank (95 gal; asst corals; several misc. fishes). <I commend you on embracing a quarantine procedure!> Since I placed it into the main tank, he has been mostly hiding in the live rock, with an occasional venture outsides this protection. For the past few days, he has been very lethargic. If finally have been able to "capture' him and place him in a QT. He is on the verge of death, but I would like to do whatever I can to save him. Any suggestions? Thanks, Fred <Well, Fred, general lethargy can be the result of many different potential issues, ranging from poor environmental factors to disease. You'll have to do some detective work and ask yourself some questions here. I don't have much to go on. I'm assuming that the fish was eating well and showing no signs of illness during the quarantine period, correct? It is not uncommon for a fish to hide for some period of time upon introduction to his/her new home. However, for the fish to be in such severe state of lethargy, there must be something else going on. Is there a "bully" in your aquarium that is harassing this fish? Are all primary environmental parameters (temperature, specific gravity, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) within acceptable limits? Is this the only fish in the aquarium that is acting in such a lethargic manner? Are there any other telltale signs of disease, such as rapid breathing, discoloration, excessive mucus, bumps, spots, or other obvious body traumas? Has the fish been eating with any degree of regularity? I think that you're going to have to remove this fish for closer observation and possible treatment, if there is a disease to treat. Quiet conditions and stable environmental parameters in the quarantine aquarium may help bring this fish back, but it is hard to know. Administering a vitamin product, such as Vita Chem, into the quarantine aquarium's water, might help perk the fish up a bit. Before you begin bombarding the fish with drugs, it's important to know what's going on, of course. Like I mention above, it's really tough to diagnose this fish based on the information that you described. I'd key in on either some illness, or obvious trauma as a culprit. If the condition was caused by environmental factors, the other fishes in the aquarium would have showed signs. If it is an obvious disease, such as Ich, there likely would be other fishes affected. In the end, you're going to have to get this fish into a quarantine aquarium and observe him/her closely before deciding on your next course of action. Sorry I cannot give you more specific advise, but I hope that the questions that I asked, and the fish health resources here on WWM, help you use deduction to determine what is wrong with this fish. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Re: sick Hippo tang In Trouble (Part 2)  7/18/08
Hi Scott, <Hello again.> Thanks so much for your very interested reply. <Hope it was useful for you.> Addressing your concerns; 1. All other fish seem do be doing fine, eating well. 2. There is no apparent 'bullying'. 3. I keep a close watch on water quality and there is nothing out of acceptable range. 4. Ich does not seem to be present. <All encouraging signs, to a certain extent.> That being said, I regret to inform you that the little guy has passed on to his next life. <I'm sorry to hear that. It's never easy to lose an animal.> His color was not good and he seemed to be very thin. I really think that he starved to death. <It is entirely possible. Perhaps he was subjected to collection trauma, such as improper handling, decompression sickness, chemicals, etc., which resulted in his demise.> In reviewing the entire experience, I think that I was premature in moving him from the QT tank into the display. During the QT period, I was mostly looking for Ich (knowing how the species is susceptible to such). He may have not settled into eating well in the time allowed. Then the stress of another move was more than he was able to handle. Obviously, this is only speculation on my part. <Yes, but you might be on to something here. Remember, the quarantine period is not just for looking for disease- it's also for "hardening" new arrivals- waiting for them to begin to eat and regain strength.> However, I will use this experience and be certain that in the future any fish must be eating well before being move into the main tank. <Excellent!> Thanks again for your help. Peace, Fred <Sorry to hear of your loss, Fred. However, your experience may benefit fellow hobbyists, and most importantly, the fishes that we keep. Your Tang may have not died in vain. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Sick Hippo Tang -- 07/08/08 I was told on Reef Central to send you a picture and some info and you might be able to tell me what is wrong with him. I woke up yesterday morning to my tang growing a beard. Little white hair looking item's on its body. All my water Parameters are good, and none of my other fish are sick(2 clown's, 1 other tang, 2 Chromis) <... Your tang has "tang"led with something... Either a Bristleworm or such... or some other prickly critter. Not much to do here but provide good care, and hope. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Hippo Tang... lunacy  -- 07/08/08 Should I put him in a Quarantine tank? What are the chances of it surviving, and contaminating other fish? <What? Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm RMF>

Hippo tang with Velvet? - 7/2/08 Hey guys, http://www.zaita.com/Images/Hippo01.jpg  http://www.zaita.com/Images/Hippo02.jpg <I see> I noticed these marks on my Hippo today, she was fine yesterday. She seems to have a scratch in front of them going up her body as well. I thought maybe velvet, but I am thinking it's something more? <Mmm, something different. Twere this Amyloodiniumiasis, all your fishes would be dead> Maybe she got stuck in a rock and had to wiggle free? It is only on 1 side of her body too. <A possibility, but there is a much greater likelihood that this area is resultant from a "brush" with the Cnidarian life in your system... perhaps the Euphyllia just in view> Tank is 125g, 12months old. She was first fish introduced and is now about 15cm in length. No new additions for the last 12 weeks. She is housed with 2 Scopas tangs who she bosses around, a few smaller fish and a CBB whom she ignores. She rules the tank quite happily. Her appetite, attitude and breathing all appear to be normal. She is fed Nori, enriched Spirulina and enriched frozen brine. She has previously had white-spot but it was only ever 1 or 2 spots that left after a week. Apart from that she has been a healthy blue tang. She was looking perfectly normal yesterday too. Thanks heaps guys, really love the site and it's an invaluable resource. Regards, Scott. <Thank you for your kind words Scott. I would "do" nothing extraordinary here. Very likely this area will heal w/in a few weeks, the fish all the smarter for paying closer attention to the "decor". Bob Fenner>

Re: Hippo tang with Velvet? - 07/02/08 Thanks Bob, I kept a close eye on her that night and made an amusing observation. The scratch running her the side of her body was also lined with bristles, very hard to see without a good light and the fish moving slowly. I am guessing she was jabbed by a Fireworm (Eurythoe complanata) and then as you have suggested, must've run into a coral. <Ahh! Ouch!!!> She seems to have healed up for the most part already, so hopefully she will be a bit wiser in which rocks she tries to play dead against :P Thanks, Scott. <Thank you for your further input Scott. BobF>

My blue tang recently got ich... no pic, data, or reading    6/10/08 Hi, My blue tang recently got ich, it was a very small case of ich, but ich none the less. It seemed to get better until we noticed that after a while the white spots started looking less like ich, and his flipper looks like it has kind of been eaten at in places. I thought maybe it was marine velvet, but after reading up on it I figured that wasn't it. So I thought maybe it was fin rot, but after looking at the symptoms it doesn't sound like fin rot either. Any ideas? <... You're not joking? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Trouble in Paradise, Sick/Dying Tang, Inappropriate Stocking 6/5/08 Thanks in advance for any information you can give me. Your website is wonderful! This is the first time I've posted so bare with me. <Ok> I have a 30g tank, 23 lbs live rock, 30 lbs live sand, 8 snails, 12 crabs, two tank raised Perculas (one obviously bigger than the other but are still duking it out), <This never really stops> 1 Chromis, and 1 Hippo Tang. <This tank is by far too small for a Hippo.> Water conditions are: temp 77, pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate just below 5, Spg 1.021. <Would slowly raise the SPG to a more natural level.> I cycled my tank with live rock for 4 weeks. Added crabs and snails at a little over 2 weeks (sand and rocks were covered in brown algae). I then added 1 Chromis at a little over 4 weeks. Added clowns and hippo tang 5 days after Chromis. <Probably too much too fast.> Everybody was fat, happy and eating Formula 1 flakes (this is what the LFS told me to feed). This continued for about 3.5 weeks. Last Thursday I noticed the tang rub on the rocks and saw what looked like a couple bubbles on "her" but they went away. I didn't see her do it again after that. This past Sunday she wouldn't come out of her cave and wouldn't eat, Monday the same thing. Tuesday she came out but stayed at the surface with her nose almost sticking out of the water and breathing kind of heavy, still wouldn't eat (see attached photo). Last night she would swim a little but for the most part stayed at the surface. This morning at the bottom, belly up with "bugged out" eyes. After reading through your website for many hours I'm thinking it was crypt/ich. <Is common for this species.> My question is: Do I need to do anything to the tank/other fish? <Wait and see how badly they are infected, be prepared to treat for ich in a hospital tank.> I went by my LFS on Wednesday and was told "that's crazy Dory for you. just keep an eye on her." Called them back today and was told she must have been stressed. Asked them what I needed to do at this point because I don't want my other fish to die and was told "I don't know just watch and see." My neighbor also had a tang from the same store displaying the same symptoms died two days ago. <I would think about finding another LFS.> I'm new to this and I have a very upset 4 year old wanting to know where Dory is and why are the two Nemo's fighting! (also attached a picture of the clowns) Help! Meghan <Please see here for some ideas on what is going on and where you may be heading. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nemoproart.htm  .> <Chris>

Life is not a cartoon show. RMF

Hippo Tang, hlth.   5/29/08 Hi WWM Crew <Carol> I consider your web site invaluable in resolving problems I have encountered over the years. I am so upset over the sudden loss of my Hippo Tang and hope you can shed some light on what might have happened. I purchased him as a 'baby' over 2 years ago and he has grown and thrived. Yesterday when I came home from work there he was, my pride and joy, dead on the gravel. I was stunned. He had eaten the night before and showed no signs of any problem. I immediately checked the water parameters and everything is fine. All of his tankmates (1 clownfish, dwarf lion, goby) and my anemone and mushrooms are all OK. I checked the tang for damage and could not find anything. He did not have Ich or HLLE. I read Mr. Fenner's book about changes in water temp, but that checked ok also (80) Any idea what might have happened to him? Thanks, as always, for your advice. Carol <Am sorry to read/realize your loss... there are a few sets of speculations re these "sudden death" events root causes... One that should receive credence is that fishes, though they seem "adult", compared with tetrapods (the so-called higher vertebrates) are not "genetically mature" as mammals, birds... and do often (a relative term) perish from pre-determined coded flaws... Another possibility here might be some sort of enhanced stress from the presence of your anemone and mushrooms... these disparate Cnidarians don't "like" each other, and their chemical warring does wear on fish livestock. Some input re this last phenomenon and actions that can be taken to alleviate it can be perused here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  Bob Fenner>
Re: Hippo Tang  05/30/08
Thank you, Mr. Fenner, for your reply. I have been in this hobby for many years and thought I had it down to a science... and then something like this happens. It is very discouraging. <I do sympathize.> You should know that the 'Conscientious Marine Aquarist' is by far and above the best book I have read (from cover to cover) and is my bible when I look to purchase my 'obsessions' : > <Ahh! BobF>

Blue Tang Problems 04/05/2008 Hi All, <<Hello, Andrew today>> I have recently been having some trouble with a Blue Hippo Tang in my 75gal reef aquarium. It has begun scratching on the rock work in the tank more frequently than normal, and has numerous raised bumps on it, about the size of a pinhead, and a few of them are white. I originally thought it was Ich, but as none of my other tank's inhabitants (2 percula clowns, 1 coral beauty, 1 Hawkfish) have had any symptoms or odd behavior, I figured it was something else. The tang has had this problem before, though not as badly as lately and those bumps usually went away within a few days or so, but this recent outbreak has lasted about 5 days now. My water parameters are pretty good, 0 phosphate, 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, 2.5 nitrate, pH 8.3, salinity 1.025, calcium at 450 and Alk at 8, so water quality shouldn't be the issue. I am inclined to think it is something fungal on the Tang, and if so, what should be used to treat it? I have been soaking the food in Selcon and garlic alternately to try to help out. The tang eats very well, I usually feed Formula flakes, pellets and frozen foods, I tried to get it to eat Nori and seaweed, but it refuses to eat anything off a veggie clip. Any advice? <<Does not sound fungal to me, it does sound like Ich, and Ich that has not gone away from a previous infection. I would suggest moving the stock to QT and treat with hyposalinity and monitor all. More can be read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >> On a hopefully unrelated note, I have been having some Cyanobacteria problems for a few months now, it will grow on the rock and glass until I siphon it off during weekly maintenance, and then grow right back. Skimming through some of your files here at WWM, I read that the DOC's from frozen foods can fuel Cyano growth <<Potentially, yes>>. I usually feed one cube a day, and until very recently, hadn't decanted the 'juice' out of the cubes, would that be the source of the problem? <<Quite possible, yes. The juice from the frozen foods contain a high amount of phosphate (even though some foods say they don't). Cyano can appear from a few things overfeeding, too much light (lighting period), high phosphate and nitrates, flow....One of these area's are providing the means for the Cyano to bloom>> Thank you for all your help, your services are invaluable. Kindly, Daniel <<Thank you for the questions Daniel, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Is an 18g Rubbermaid container too small to quarantine a 6" hippo tang? -02/27/07 Dear Crew, Just wanted to get your advice on this, as I have been given wildly divergent advice on my local forum. They all completely advise against freshwater dips even though I've read about it many places. <Ah, this is the "problem" with forums. You never know who is answering your question or how knowledgeable/experienced they are or aren't. But they're fun anyway. :-) The freshwater dipping method is a bit "controversial" and there are arguments on both sides.> I am acquiring a 6" hippo from another local hobbyist and I still debating QT/Dip methods. Thinking my 10g quarantine tank to be too small for this fish, I went out and bought an 18g rubber maid box to use for quarantine. I am wondering, will this still be too small? <Even if you want to debate the dips, it's pretty universally agreed that QT is generally a good idea. 18g is a bit small for a 6" tang... but it doesn't have to be a tank. You can use a rubber maid container, just get a bigger one.> Also, I have seen many times that Bob advises a prophylactic dip then straight into the display to minimize stress for hippo tangs. Would this indeed be a better method for my new fish? <Truth be told, there really is nothing written in stone about these things. Hippo tangs are quite prone to ich and this is an argument for quarantining them. However, on the other hand, stress is a big "cause" of ich. Thus, reducing stress as much as possible might help prevent ich just as much or more as quarantining. Fans of quarantining will say that quarantining should be done such that it doesn't cause the fish much (if any) stress. But again, since there's so little we actually know for sure, ultimately there's still a lot of guess work/intuition/empiricism involved with these things. The best we can do is make sure are "guesses" are intelligent, well-informed ones. Personally, I would consider the overall health of the fish when you get it. If it looks really healthy (no discoloration, no fin tears, vibrant, active, good appetite, etc.), you might be less inclined to quarantine it if you think doing so would only cause it unnecessary stress. But ultimately, the decision is simply up to you.> As for the dip, I have the 18g quarantine "tank" all ready to go, saltwater is aged and aerated. If I chose to go the dip route, could I just add Methylene blue to this tank for the dip? I was thinking that it being saltwater, it would be less stressful for the fish. <sounds reasonable> The only other thing I've never quite been able to grasp with freshwater dips is the acclimation process from the shipping bag to the dip container and then to the display. Am I right in thinking that I make sure PH, temp and salinity correlate between the display tank and the dip vessel and acclimate the fish to the display tank then put it in the dip vessel? Sorry for the dumb question, but it's something I've never quite understood. <Not dumb questions at all. It stands to reason that the fewer "moves" you have to make, the better. So if you were going to do the dip, maybe you should do it straight out of the bag, then proceed to acclimate. On the other hand, the fish might already be so stressed in the bag, it might be wiser to "give it a break" and acclimate it before dipping it. Again, I would try to judge the overall state of the fish. If it looks like it's really stressed out, I'd wait to do the dip (do it after acclimation). I'm sorry I can't honestly give you a certain answer (no one really can). Personally, I'm not a big fan of freshwater dips in general. A lot of the parasites it's meant to kill/prevent are tough little buggers that aren't likely to die off with just a dip. Or, rather, it wouldn't kill off *enough* of them to justify the potential stress it causes the fish. But again, this is MY opinion. And there are a lot of varying opinions on this. You'll see even here on WWM, different crew members have different opinions on freshwater dips. And since there's simply not enough real formal research on any of these things, anyone's educated guess is as good as mine (or yours).> Thanks again for all your help! Dane <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>
Re: Is 18g Rubbermaid container too small to quarantine a 6" hippo tang?-02/27/08
Hi Sara, Thanks for the advice. At this stage, I'm leaning more towards skipping quarantine based on what I know of the fish. It's from a local hobbyist who's had this fish for a year in captivity. From the pictures it looks very healthy, although I will reserve judgment until I actually see it. <In this situation (since the fish is coming from another tank where it's been for a long time, and not from a LFS), quarantining might not quite as important as not stressing the fish.> The only fish I've lost in the short time I've been in the hobby has been a hippo tang that I got shipped. Died of no apparent cause (nothing external anyway) and so, I resolved to only buy locally and preferably from an established tank. I've included pictures to see what you think. <Looks like a pretty healthy fish... but as you said, I wouldn't be sure till I saw him/her in person.> IF the fish did get ich in the display, would it necessarily affect the other fish? <Not necessarily, no. But it would make the other fish more vulnerable to it if they are stressed. These infections have a lot to do with the overall health of the fish. Generally, healthy, happy fish under minimal to no stress don't get ich nearly as easily as a stressed/ailing fish. And some fish are just more (or less) prone to it naturally. If the fish does get an infection, you should probably remove it and quarantine it just to be safe. But lets hope that doesn't happen. :-)> Fingers crossed, <good luck> Dane <Best, Sara M.>

Fin Rot? HLLE? Data?   -02/20/08 Hello again WWM Crew! <Mike> I have an issue with our blue hippo tang. A couple days ago she started swimming with her dorsal fin fully extended and it has stayed that way ever since. <Mmmm> We've noticed that it seems that the spines on the fin are starting to protrude now and the fin seems to be eroding. <I see this> I have included 2 pics of her from different angles (sorry about the clarity but she is a fast little sucker). <Shorter exposures if you can... 125th of a second... with strobe/flash> I was just wondering if you might be able to identify it and suggest care/treatment for whatever it is that is going on? <Root cause here is very likely either environmental, nutritional or both...> Is this something that would repair/regenerate itself? <With good care/water quality, and feeding, yes> I have been checking water param.s daily (instead of my usual every other day) for the past 4-5 days and they are all perfect. <... need data, not subjective evaluations> She swims a ton and has been eating like a pig, so it does not seem to be affecting her in that way. Nevertheless, I wanted to correct this if there is something I can do. As always, thanks again for the fantastic site, your help, and your time. Mike P. <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... BobF>

Re: Fin Rot? HLLE?  -02/20/08 Mr. Fenner, <Mike> Thank you for the quick response. Sorry, the water parameters are: ph 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates reading between 5-10, salinity 1.024 and water temp at 78 degrees. <Mmm, these are all fine...> As far as nutrition, I have been feeding spectrum marine pellets (1mm) in the morning, and frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms at night. <And this is excellent as well...> I will get to reading. Thanks again. Mike P. <I have seen such cases as yours... permanently erect unpaired fins, hard/fin spines poking through... in tangs, other fishes... Most of the times/instances, these do heal of their own accord... in weeks periods typically. Thank you for the follow-up. BobF>


African Yellow Belly Tang with large bump  2/14/08 We're having a bit of a problem with our African Yellow Belly (Regal) Tang. We've had him in our tank for about 14 months (that was well established when we added him). He's eaten like a champ from the beginning (formula two, seaweed clips, brine and Mysis, clam, Spirulina, garlic, a liquid supplement to soak food in, and another frozen product that is made up of healthy "greens" that we mix with the meaty fare). He had a bad outbreak of ich, which we treated with a freshwater dip and No-Sick Fish, product worked immediately, but he has developed a single large bump on his forehead, that seemed to pop-up overnight. I thought it might be from the ich, but it is blue (skin tone) and protrudes like a unicorn's horn, just below his top fins. He seems to have recovered from the ich, his color is coming back rapidly, now this! <The bump?> The water quality is excellent, we've done several water changes and have been very careful in monitoring our prize fish. He does seem to be more timid than usual, I have attributed this to the ich outbreak, your thoughts? <Perhaps the treatment... though NSF does not list ingredients> Nitrates, Ammonia, etc. are at undetectable levels, temp. is holding steady at 80 degrees, ph. is steady as well. Any idea what this could be? I've browsed WWM, RC and contacted several LFS's and still have no idea what to do. Please Help! Thanks! Kyel <Maybe a tumorous growth of some kind, perhaps the expression of an embedded parasite... Necropsying the bump area... sectioning, staining, looking under a scope... is about the only means of being sure here. I would not treat for this mass. Bob Fenner>

Sick Regal Tang 02/08/2008 Hi, <<Hello, Andrew today>> I have a very sick looking Regal Tang who looks like he is about to pass away. Two days ago he stopped eating, and coming out of his hiding place in the live rock. At times he just falls against the glass and stops moving his fins and tail altogether. The tank is two years old and at present houses only the Regal Tang (about 4") a Yellow tang (about 3") and one green Chromis, several corals , snails and hermit crabs. I am trying to restock the tank and 2 weeks ago introduced a group of 7 Green Chromis (quarantined for 2 weeks prior to introduction), however one by one the Chromis have disappeared until only one (the smallest fish, but biggest bully) is left. We managed to remove one of the bodies but the others have not been visible in the tank, or we have seen then being eaten by the crabs. Someone did ask if we have a mantis shrimp in the tank which was eating the Chromis but I am pretty sure it is just down to the bullying nature of that fish that the others have died. <<My initial thoughts did also lean towards a mantis hiding in there. Any clicking emanating from the tank??>> I did a 20% water change last week, because of all the dead bodies, and the protein skimmer is working well. All the water measurements seem OK Nitrite 0.05, Nitrate 10, Ammonia zero and Phosphate zero. The tank is 4 x 2 x 2. I have moved the regal tang into quarantine but don't know how to proceed, he has no obvious signs of any problem except complete lethargy. I have been feeding Mysis shrimp, algae sheets and fresh algae, lobster eggs for the Chromis and a bit of flake but he will no longer eat anything. Is there anything I can do? <<Is the tang slow breathing? This is usually coupled together lethargy. For the most part, not overlit good signs. It could well be that the tang is suffering from a parasitic disease like Amyloodinium or Crypto, but is not yet showing the external signs of suffering. As its now moved to quarantine, I would suggest you keep a very close eye on the fish for any outward showing signs. continue trying to feed its favourite feeds, provide plenty of greens, with a touch of garlic or Selcon. Keep a good water change routine on the qt tank. Don't get dis-heartened about it. Also, what is the SG of the tank out of interest??>> For his sake I would appreciate some help. Caroline Reid <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Sick Regal Tang 02/08/2008 Thank you very much for your response Andrew <<Hello again Caroline>> SG is 1.022, and he is breathing very very slowly if hardly at all. Am going to pop out to LFS now for some garlic. Is there anything I can do to control parasites (will check the FAQ's now)? And is the Yellow tang likely to come down with it also - there is a UV steriliser on the main tank. << You could raise your Sg more towards 1.025..The best course is as in previous email. Monitor the fish for any external changes, keep a good feed regime and water changes. And most of all, stay positive>> No there are no clicking sounds from the tank but with all the sounds of the water it is difficult to hear anything else. I am currently preparing water for a 25% water change of Q tank. Caroline <<Good Luck Caroline, hope all turns out well. A Nixon>>

Blue tang itching  1/23/08 Hello Crew, I have a question about my 1 inch Blue Tang. <Small...> I have thoroughly read your pages on fish, diseases and parasites, and I am still not sure if my tang has ich, or if it may be stress. <Perhaps a bit of both...> I have had the tang in the main tank for 2 weeks. I QT him for 6 weeks before the move to the main tank. <Ah, good> He was in the main tank for 2 days, and began rubbing his belly against the rocks. He stopped rubbing his belly after three days, and had a few scratches from doing this, there was no injury, and no cysts have appeared. He seemed to be over whatever was bothering him. Three days after he stopped the belly rub, he started a head rub, and this has been happening for three days now, there are still no cysts to be seen anywhere on his body. <Paracanthurus do scratch quite a lot... naturally> He is breathing normally, eating, playing (he's hilarious), schooling with the Chromis, and generally having a good time, <Ahh!> he has also made a bed in one of the Sinularia. No other fish are showing any signs of itching, rubbing, scratching or cysts/spots. I haven't done anything to treat him yet as I wanted another opinion on whether it is ich or not. I asked the LFS, and of course they wanted to sell me a $50 bottle of liquid that is reef safe, and can be dumped into the main tank - <Mmm, I would NOT do this> they were not very happy when I told them that was one of the worst things they could recommend as a treatment. I stopped short of telling them to read WWW. <Please, don't feel, be so reserved> Should I just go ahead and QT, dip etc, or wait a few more days to see if those darn cysts appear? <I would leave all as is presently> It is going to be a challenge to catch him since he is only an inch, and I don't want to stress him if he doesn't have ich, and he just stressed. Tank stats for your info are: 50gallon tank with a Fluval 305 canister filter (bio and carbon that is changed weekly), Aqua C Remora skimmer (best purchase I ever made), powerheads to blow the water around, T5HO lights, with live rock, aragonite substrate, 2 Sinularia, 1 BTA, cluster Duncanopsammia, cluster candy cane, cluster of Blastomussa (all corals are very happy). 1 ocellaris (hosting in the BTA), 1 mandarin, 1 bicolour blenny, 4 schooling blue/green Chromis, and the tang. I know the tank is too small for the tang, he will be moved to a bigger tank. Water parameters are within the recommended limits (didn't list them as I have rambled on too much already). Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated, my tank couldn't live without you :) <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Blue Hippo Tang Question 1/17/08 Hi Crew, <Dane> I am new to the world of marine aquariums but have been immersing myself in the literature this past month (including CMA - a fantastic book.) Anyhow, I got a great deal on a complete 55g setup with everything included, the tank is cycled with all water parameters in order. At the same time I purchased and set up a QT, and a week ago I purchased my first fish: 2 false Perculas and a blue hippo tang. My question pertains to this tang: When she (I'm just using she for ease of expression as I don't want to call her "it") first arrived she spent a lot of time hiding which I found out was very normal. For the past week though she's started roaming the tank a bit more, especially when she thinks I'm not looking. She's also been eating garlic-soaked Nori and picking at the clowns' flake food. However, today I got home and she seemed paler than usual. I also noticed that she appeared not have touched her Nori (it's normally all gone from the clip by the time I get home.) She was also very subdued. Water quality was all fine. Nevertheless I still did my daily water change using water from the display tank. Have just checked and water from both tanks is good: Amm: 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, PH 8.4 (a little high I know.) <Is fine> So my problem seems to be that she's not eating and is now swimming around the tank a lot following her reflection. <May be a clue here... I would darken an end panel (place a piece of paper over the outside) to rid this reflection> Also, the paleness seems to be an issue and her breathing is rapid. It just seems like a big change from how she's been acting this past week. Am I being paranoid? <Mmm, no. Just observant and cautious> I've included a few pics I just took to see if that helps you at all. (Just the fact I can even get near enough to the tank to photograph her is weird - normally she'd go and hide even if I walked past!) Thanks for your help. I've been using this site everyday to answer questions I have and to supplement what I've gleaned from books. It is such a valuable resource to have. Keep up the good work!! All the best, Dane <I take it you've already read re Paracanthurus on WWM... but please do review here re feeding: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracfdgfaqs.htm I would expand the food selection and try soaking in a food stimulant (e.g. Selco/n), ahead of offering... and be patient. Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang with recurrent Crypt  1/16/08 Dear WWM crew, Thank you for receiving my question! <Welcome> I have a hippo tang (have had for 18 months) who I treated 1 year ago for Crypt. <Looks like with copper... resultant in the obvious Neuromast destruction here (HLLE)> He successfully had 2 weeks of copper, other fish quarantined and display tank fallowed for 7 weeks. Despite all of this, he intermittently 'breaks out' when stressed (change in environment, power outage etc). Has 1 mm 'white spots' for 2 -- 3 days, then they appear to cycle off and he appears clinically 'free'. <Mmm, yes... not atypical... Your system is infested still> In between episodes he is lovely, with all other fish (2 pairs of clowns and 1 mandarin) unaffected. Display tank -- 300 litres (80 gallon), these 6 fish and various soft corals. Sp Gr 1025, temp 26C, pH 8.2, amm, nitrates, nitrites 0. His last episode, he did not so readily recover from, actually stopped eating (amazing as he is always ravenous), and has since been returned to a treatment tank. He has been in copper (tested twice daily and maintained at 0.25 ppm -- never below 0.2ppm) -- he improved after a few days, then dramatically worsened and has remained covered. He has had 12 days of copper. I have started freshwater/Methylene blue dips, which I think are giving some relief. He is slightly better than 7 days ago, but is still visibly covered with white raised 1 mm diameter spots -- body and fins. Some are larger -- up to 3 mm diameter, most are small. <Okay... though the copper is killing this specimen... slowly> He is in a 60 litre (13 gallon) bare bottom treatment tank - too small for him I know - am keeping ammonia down with 30 % water changes 2 - 3 times weekly, and occasional Chlor mon to neutralise the ammonia (your opinion on these products in this situation??) <Can be useful> His appetite is still great. RR is increased (approx 80/min) with open mouth. My LFS says it is not Crypt but continue copper. <... Is very likely Cryptocaryon... Do they have a scope?> I am concerned with prolonged exposure to copper with this Tang, and also -- what am I dealing with? I would value your input on this case. Continue copper? - <I would not...> how long until I should expect a response? How often should I freshwater dip? <These won't cure the resident infestation...> Should I try formalin dips?- how often? <I wouldn't> Should I skin scrape? (if so, how with a glass slide, and what should I stain with? <H and E... or any other acid fast...> Any good sites for protozoan ID? <None that I know of... look for Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment"> I think scraping would be very difficult/traumatic on my scatty hippo tang .. he is crazy 'easily freaked out'¦). <... you could try a quinine route of treatment... but returning the fish to the infested system...> I have included some photos -- difficult to capture, but they may be of help. Myself and 'Big Blue' are extremely grateful for your advise. I often and extensively utilize your website, and am grateful for the knowledge, experience and wisdom found within it. Thank you, Kim Newell <The best route (of a few) would be to cure the Paracanthurus... and place it elsewhere... and resist placing any new fishes in the infested system... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

New Regal Tang, hlth.  01/14/2008 <<Hello, Andrew here>> I work at my LFS, a few months ago our marine tanks where wrecked by some HBH balancing blocks, yet my idiot boss refuses to re-cycle the tanks, and even worse, still insists on ordering new fish (and selling them while they are entering the early stages of ich). Don't worry, one of us (me or her) will quit soon. Anyway my question rests with a 2-3 inch regal tang (which I've been wanting one for ages) who was ordered and placed in one of our wrecked tanks, it sat there for days hiding and sitting lethargically on it's side (to be expected) but it was doing it for longer than it should have taken it to settle in (it also flashed quite a lot, ich?). <<Sounds precarious..>> Against my better judgment I took it home as I knew it would die a certain death at work, it's currently sitting in my 50 litre quarantine with crushed shell and coral + one piece of (very healthy) liverock. <<Remove the sand and rock from the quarantine, just have a piece of PVC pipe in there for hiding. Sand and rock can harbour parasites which will remain, and the idea of quarantine is to keep parasite free for new arrivals. Its also easier to clean after the quarantine process is complete>> It seems to be improving (since I brought it home yesterday) but the shells + LR are probably the worst things it could possibly be flashing against. I tested the water with some tri-sulfa <<Would stop using this>> before drip acclimatizing it, although I know now that this probably won't help a lot. She eats like a machine (I've been feeding her some krill/Spirulina granules) but still scrapes and hides on it's side under the (bridge shaped) live rock most of the time. <<Best advice is to keep a close eye on the fish, is it showing any signs of Ich? It does sound like Ich, however, I would not pre-empt a treatment until you can confirm this>> The water param.s are (tested 3 days ago) : PH:8.2, Ammo: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0, SG: 1.023-5 Once she is better I plan on putting her in a 55gal with 1 royal dotty back, 2 false Perculas, one green Chromis and a coral goby (suitable tank mates?). <<Suitable tank mates, however unsuitable tank size, you ideally need 120 or more gallons to house these fish. Yes, its small now, but these do grow quite quickly in a well maintained system>> Anyway my question is, is there else anything I can be doing (or doing better) to ensure her good health and survival? <<You're taking the right approach with the fish. Keep it fed well on a good staple diet, maintain excellent water parameter and keep a very close eye out for Ich. Hope all goes well with the Tang>> Thanks, Oscar. <<Thanks for the questions, A Nixon>>

White patch on Blue Tang (Paracanthurus)    11/30/07 Hello WWM crew... I have a blue hippo tang with white patches all over it's body (I have included pics). <I see these> This has happened on two occasions. The fist time, it wasn't that bad, and In asking advice from aquariacentral.com.. they suggested that the cause was the tang not getting enough green's in it's diet. <Mmm, maybe... not the greens per se though> I then fed it greens, and it went away within a few days. Now, just a few weeks later, it has happened again, except this time it is a lot worse. I again went to AquariaCentral and they suggested that it is stress (caused by possibly the damsel). <Possibly a component as well> I have a very tame damsel, and it never bothers the tang, however occasionally I will see the tang chase it around, however it has always done that. (5 month old tank) Here is the thread on AquariaCentral regarding my problem: http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131877 Tank Specs: 55 Gallon, <This species, Paracanthurus, needs more room than this...> 1 Blue Damsel, 1 Blue Hippo Tang, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby, 1 Hi-fin Goby, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 2 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, 3 Sexy Anemone Shrimp, 1 Sand Sifting Sea Star, 1 Serpent Sea Star, 1 Brittle Sea Star, <What species? If Ophiarachna in particular, this animal could be over-stressing the Paracanthurus by night> various crabs/snails for a clean up crew Water parameters are all fine (0 Ammonia/0 Nitrite/ 15-20 Nitrate). <This is borderline... too high... another source of stress... the real "cause" here> Do you believe that it is stress that is causing the tang to produce these white patches? <Yes> Currently the patches are starting to fade, however I wish to try to prevent this problem from happening again... Thank You! -Jessica <This is a "good" email in that you've provided most all the useful, pertinent info... A few "things" would help here... A larger system, the addition of a living sump (refugium), the culture of macroalgae there and its feeding to the tang, perhaps the addition of "mud"... This is a HUGE amount of material to introduce to you... not knowing what you already are aware of. Please take the time to peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Jotting down notes, more specific questions re these aspects of set-up, filtration. Oh and the survey piece on this species: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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