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FAQs about Health/Disease of Tangs 10

FAQs on: Tang Disease 1, Tang Disease 2, Tang Disease 3, Tang Disease 4, Tang Disease 5, Tang Disease 6, Tang Disease 7, Tang Disease 8, Tang Health 9, Tang Disease 11, Tang Disease 12, Tang Disease 13, &
FAQs on Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see below), Genetic, Treatments
FAQs by Tang Disease by Pathogen: Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 2, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 3, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 4, & Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,

Related Articles: The Surgeonfish family, Acanthurus, Ctenochaetus, Naso, Paracanthurus, Zebrasoma , Prionurus, Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i, Surgeonfishes for Reef Systems,  

Related FAQs: Tangs in General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Treating Marine Disease, Marine Diseases 2

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Kole Tang Run in with Tunze'¦.once an accident, twice a mistake, but more get a clue?   7/25/06 Hi there: <Hello> My Kole Tang has been a super tough guy since I got him in December or so. Always big and fat and eating. But on day 2 for reasons unknown I had to free him from the overflow intake.  Hmmm... Then in January, he twice was stuck to the intake of a Tunze 6060 rotating on Sea-Swirls.<Poor guy> That was odd indeed.  Second time he was on it for a while, seriously tattooed on one side. <Hmmm I probably would have done something creative to keep the fish from the intake and overflow the first time there was a problem. Perhaps the pumps are to strong or the fish weak for some unknown reason.> Recovered from that though too. <Lucky fish>I target fed to make sure he ate well and frequently, at least 3x a day. Starting maybe in March, I'd say every couple weeks I'd arrive home to see that the scales were missing in a splotch on one side, almost always on his left side.  In fact, I think always'¦.that is the side he was stuck on that last time on the Tunze. <I wish you were kidding but I have a feeling you're not. Seriously you need to do something to keep that poor fish off the intake of that pump. 4 months every 2 weeks'¦. so the poor fish has been injured at least 8 times in the last 4 months, not including his original 3 injuries. How many times does it have to happen before you do something about it?> Anyway, I'd always target feed and he'd always eat and it would always clear up within a couple of days. <Very resilient. It's great that you are taking such good care of him after he is injured but some prevention would go much further. One of these days the poor fish will not be so lucky.> I'm thinking, tough guy. <Perhaps initially but every time he gets hurt he is probably getting weaker, with a good chance of some permanent damage to that left side.> Now I am not so sure. Tonight he is deep within the rockwork, not breathing hard, but hiding.  I can see that the scales are missing between his eyes right on his head, and a bit on the side of his mouth. Hard to tell much else as it's dark in there, even when the lights are blasting away!  Not a chance of getting a picture. Most worrisome is he didn't come out when he saw me or when I fed the tank and that is an absolute first. <Indeed, not a good sign.> That has me concerned in the morning he'll be gone. <As you should be, there is a good chance he could be. I would try turning the lights off and doing a water change.> When I say the scales are missing is I see white flesh. I figured wounds somehow against the rocks or maybe he picked a bad fight, though with whom given my stock I haven't a clue.  He should be the boss. <Hard to say given you have not listed the tankmates. Less dominant fish will often pick on injured or weakened fish.> Anyway, white flesh is apparent now on his head similar to in the past when always on his body. <Perhaps this was his last run in with the power head intake. If not and he survives you need to do something with that Tunze intake> Any ideas what this could be or what I could do??? <Sounds to me like he had yet another run in with the Tunze. If you can gently get him out of the tank, you could try putting him in another tank to recover'¦.. a hospital tank where he is safe from the Tunze and other fish. Set it up similarly to a quarantine tank with hiding places. Keep the lights off and water quality good. If he survives PLEASE do the poor fish a favor and do something with that pump intake. Build a mesh basket around it or place a sponge over it. We do this all the time in seahorse tanks. It's really not a big deal. It may not be esthetically pleasing and the sponge will need to be removed frequently to be cleaned, but at least the fish will be protected from further trauma. This may sound harsh, but needs to be said'¦ once an accident, twice a mistake but really 3 and on up times is irresponsible to say the least. You really should have done something a long time ago. It is your responsibility to protect the creatures in your care from  harm as best you can.  Leslie.>
Re: Kole Tang Run in with Tunze'¦.once an accident, twice a mistake, but more get a clue? (continued) 7/25/06
No, you have totally misunderstood.  I don't know how you misread that but sorry for my part. <I apologize for the misunderstanding> Anyway, the Tunzes are out.  I now have modified MaxiJet 1200s on the swirls, he's never had a problem with them. <That's good to hear> These wounds are not the wounds he had when stuck in the pump, and began to appear months after those incidents, which have not recurred. This is not a pump issue. Something else is going on. I have a pic now at www.ostrows.us/sickkoletang.jpg I'm wondering if there is some parasite or bacterial disease that could do this? <It's possible but hard to say for sure. Those are good-sized white patches/wounds. It is really hard to tell from the photo if they are actually wounds with broken skin or white patches. In my experience white patches of bacterial and parasitic etiology are not usually that size when first noticed. There is usually some indication something is going on earlier, before the patches get to that size.> Tankmates: 2 green chromis, 1 royal Gramma, 1 percula, 1 hepatus, 1 scribbled rabbit, 1 mandarin goby, 1 Flamehawk. He's the biggest except for the Rabbitfish. <I am going to guess that perhaps he injured himself on the rock or was injured by the venomous spiny rays of the Rabbitfish. If he seems to be holding his own in your display tank and none of the other fish are bothering him I would leave him where he is and keep a close eye. In addition I would recommend a water change, maintaining stable and pristine water quality as well as the addition of a vitamin like Vita Chem to a healthy varied diet. I would also add some Bets Glucan to his food. You can get this at most health food stores. Beta-glucan is a potent immunostimulant that provides important health benefits for fishes. Research indicates that it helps prevent infections and helps wounds heal more quickly; it is safe to use in conjunction with other treatments and has been proven to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics; is known to alleviate the effects of stress; and to help fish recover from exposure to toxins in the water (Bartelme, 2001) . For more information on Beta Glucan for aquarium fish, please see the following article: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2003/feature.htm If he does not appear to be doing well in your display tank and the other fish are harassing him. I would remove him to a hospital tank and follow the above directions. If the wounds appear to be getting worse you may want to consider the addition of medication. I hope this helps, Leslie>
Kole Tang Run in with Tunze, once an accident, twice a mistake, but more get a clue? (continued 7-31-06)
I'm using Selcon regularly. <That's great! Vita Chem has additional nutrients. It might be nice to rotate the 2 supplements. Rotating supplements is another way of varying the diet so your fish get a variety of nutrients.> I have Beta Glucan around (are you Puffer Queen in another world?) which I have used in an anti-Ich food recipe that works wonders for me. <Nope, not the Puffer Queen in any world, more like the Seahorse Queen in this world. I do have Puffers though (not in the same system as my seahorses> Maybe I'll try that. <That should be fine as long as there are no medications in your anti-Ich food recipe. Take care, Leslie>
Re: Kole Tang Run in with Tunze, once an accident, twice a mistake, but more get a clue? (continued 7-31-06)
Thanks.<Your welcome> There are medications in the Ich recipe. I'd just use Beta Glucan for this, though an antibiotic is going to be tempting if it happens again, given the seeming risk of infection with that size wound. Hopefully your Ich recipe does not contain any antibiotics, since Ich is a parasite and antibiotics will have absolutely no effect on it. The problem with the indiscriminate or inappropriate use and inadequate dosing of antibiotics and other medications is that this causes the organisms to build up resistance creating super strains of organisms. These resistant organisms do not respond to the traditional medications in the traditional doses thus making treatment difficult and limiting treatment options. I am sure you have heard the expression "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." There is a great couple of article about disease prevention in the marine aquarium please do have a look at this here.... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Take care and best of luck with your Tang, Leslie>

Tang QT - 7/25/2006 Hi Lisa, <<Hey Elise!>> I need some advice! <<Gladly.>> Yesterday I bought a yellow tang.  I gave it a ph and temp adjusted freshwater dip before placing it in the QT tank.  It died within an hour.  I am convinced the dip killed it because before the dip it was bright yellow, vibrant and active, and after the dip it looked, well, deathly. <<Ouch, sorry to hear that.>> I wonder if I dipped it too long (nine minutes).  I have performed this dip before with great success, (on my blue tang), so I'm not sure what I did wrong.  My kids have their heart set on a yellow tang, so I bought another one, and put it directly in my QT.  It has one black spot, I'm sure it's black ick, (I've seen it before). <<Ick is not black.>> My research leads me to believe I should dip it, but I'm afraid!  Should I dip for maybe 4 minutes?  Do I need to treat the QT tank with copper or anything?  It's been in there about a day.  Its bright yellow, and pacing up and down the glass vigorously. <<I would just do a hyposalinity extended QT.  Remind me, how large is your tank?  With a regal and a yellow tank, it really needs to be at least 6 feet long.>> As always, thanks in advance for your help! Elise <<Always glad to help my friend. Lisa.>>

Torn caudal spine, tang   7/3/06 I have a 250 gallon reef tank and I recently noticed that my sohal tang has a torn caudal spine.  Not sure what it could have been from but am concerned about it.  What do you recommend?  Thanks Brett <Mmm, actually "nothing"... such tears/damage are not uncommon, and can, often do heal of themselves. Handling tangs is dangerous business... most all collectors have been sliced, gashed as times (I have on several occasions)... It's not worth the possibility of damage to yourself or the fish... The usual recommendation here to do what you can to provide good environmental conditions, nutrition otherwise. Very likely there will be no repercussions to the health of this fish from this damage. Bob Fenner>

Copper Treatment...Tangs And Other Sensitive Fish  6/21/06 I'm about to start treating my purple tang, Firefish goby, royal Gramma, and neon goby with copper to rid my tank of Ich once and for all.  The cleaner shrimp and garlic helped, but the Ich would always reemerge after a few days. I have been reading for WWM for the last 2 hours about copper treatment to make sure I do it right.  From my understanding measuring the amount of copper in the water is essential, especially when dealing with tangs and other scale-less fish/es. <Yes> I also read that many people seem to have trouble reading levels of chelated copper and that test kits are specific to either chelated or ionic copper.  I have a bottle of CopperSafe (chelated) and a bottle of SeaCure (ionic).  Which would you recommend I use?  I also have a Salifert copper test kit on the way in the mail. <To measure the concentration of Copper Safe, a chelated or total copper test kit is required.  All readings should be based on the total copper or chelated copper results and not the free copper results. The Salifert Test Kit measures dissolved or weakly chelated copper.  Strongly chelated copper will measure very low or not at all with the Salifert Kit.  I believe the Copper Safe is strongly chelated.  Bob, do you agree?> <<Is, do. RMF>> Do you know which (if either) type of these two copper medications would the Salifert test measure more accurately? <The Sea Cure would be my choice.> Can I rely on this test kit? <Yes, a very accurate kit.> After reading several letters, it seems like many people treat the bare hospital tank as directed on the bottle but then get strange results when measuring with a test kit. <I'm guessing the proper kit isn't being used for the type copper they are using.> Also, I'm still confused as to the amount (ppm) and duration of treatment for tangs and other sensitive fish.     0.15-0.25 ppm of ionic or 1.5-2.0 ppm of chelated seems the standard, tangs and Firefish too?? <I would monitor the copper level very close and maintain at 1.5ppm with these types of fish.> Twenty-one consecutive days is what most people seem to recommend.  Then again I also read that Bob stated he would not treat a tang for this long and drop treatment to 14 days instead. <Bob, is this dated info, or can tangs be treated at 1.5ppm for 21 days safely?> <<Better to limit to minimum dose, exposure time. RMF>> Thank you in advance <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Ich and Tangs Part II 6/5/06 One more question on treating my Yellow Tang, in re-reading over info on your site, I found the following response to treating a tang with copper. "<However, a standard aquarium copper remedy, used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, is very effective. Avoid long-term use of copper with tangs, as it could damage their digestive fauna>" Is 4 weeks too long? <Most likely ok.>  I have one more fish to catch ( my Falco Hawkfish) then all fish will be out of my reef and it can go fallow for 2 months. The tang has been in the QT with CopperSafe for almost a week now. If I put the Hawkfish in there tonight, and wait 3 weeks, the Tang will have been in copper for 4 weeks. Is this too long? <Probably fine, but do watch carefully.> Should I remove him and put him elsewhere in another week or will 4 weeks be Ok? <Will probably be fine, but if possible I would treat separately.  Probably an overly cautious approach, but once the Hawkfish is added you need to treat fully again since Ich will be reintroduced to the QT and if the tang begins to suffer options will be limited.> On a side note, my canary fang blenny is eating much more aggressively in the QT tank... (no LR to pick at, he got hungry and decided he likes Mysid shrimp!) <Excellent, a small positive to the QTing process.  Something to help carry you through the seemingly endless weeks before you can start restocking the tank.> Thanks again, Mike

Sailfin Tang Injury, Skin Disease? - 04/22/2006 I will keep this short and sweet. <Just the way I like it!  Well.... most o' the time.> Been reading pages and pages on your website (love it, wealth of useful info) <Glad it is of service to you.> But have been un-able to find a clear answer on this problem I'm having with my juvenile sailfin tang. <And I hope we can help!> Established reef system (285L) <A little small for a fully grown sailfin....  But of course, by the time the fellow has grown, you'll have become addicted to pet-fish and you'll have a larger system, eh?> of about 12 months, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, PH = 8.1 <I'd like to see this a tenth or two higher.> and nitrate is at about 10ppm. Salinity 1.022, <And might like to see this just a touch higher, 1.024ish, but okay.> temp at about 25.5C Filtration by overhead wet dry filter. Lighting is provided by 3 bar fluor (2 white and one actinic blue) <This is a reef tank?  Hopefully you don't mean normal output fluorescents?  Or your photosynthetic animals have very low lighting requirements?> Corals and fish all happy and growing well, but sailfin has a strange skin condition. Does have a small white patch over right eye (I thought HLLE) <Mm, if over only one eye, may just be from a scratch or injury....> and a small patch of What looks to be normally coloured scale free skin. This area has grown in the last six months (see pics). <Excellent images!  I very much think that this is also the site of an injury, or contact with a particularly aggressive Cnidarian perhaps....  I would first observe VERY closely at different times during the course of a day to see what other animals might have been to blame, then quarantine this fellow for treatment if the site does not begin to improve on its own very shortly.  The animal looks otherwise quite good; clear fins, etc.... may very well recover on its own.> Sailfin readily takes sea veggies, Nori Sushi wrap, flake food (JBL Maris and Krill) Mysis and brine shrimp (likes to eat....just like me!). <Hey, we should all head out for dinner!  I'm not keen on Nori, though, the tang can have my share.> Have treated with tri-sulfa tonight and await outcome. <This will likely help.> I wonder if you could help identify this disease as I have not been able to find pictorial evidence to compare to. <I really am leaning more toward the idea that this is an injury or reaction to a coral or Cnidarian sting rather than an infection.> Was tri-sulfa the right choice. <I've no quarrel with Tri-Sulfa, this will likely help the animal to heal - though I DO hope he's being treated in a quarantine system and NOT the main tank, for an endless number of reasons....> Thanks for you time. <Of course!> Andrew
<All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Re: Sailfin Tang Injury, Skin Disease? - 04/22/2006 Hi Sabrina, <Hi, Andrew!> Thank you so much for your reply, <You bet.> I'm glad the images were of some help.   <Yes, great help.  An image (well, a clear one anyway) is worth so much more than the cliché© of a thousand words.> In answer to your query about the high output fluoro's.... to be truthful I don't know if they are or not, but in any case I've specifically chosen corals with low light requirements, all LPS corals.   <Even many LPS have need of more than normal output fluorescents, so do please take a look at the needs of those you keep or have an interest in keeping.> Will work on raising the Ph and salinity a little over the next week, <It's not "off" enough to be an incredibly urgent issue at this point anyway.> but am unable to treat this fish in quarantine, as I no longer have my smaller tank. <Oh my....> I know its not ideal, <Not at ALL, for many, many reasons....  the safety of your invertebrates, bacterial colonies, and more for just one reason....> but the guy at my LFS assured me the tri-sulfa would not harm anything, aside from killing some of the bacteria in my filter.... <And possibly harming/damaging other life....> but should be fine with only 2 or 3 treatments. I hope this was accurate!!   <I would discontinue treatment and do a water change, to be quite honest.  I would also (quickly) look into a quarantine tank....  Even one of just 10 to 20 gallons would suffice.> Once again, thank you so much for your advice.  -Andrew. <Glad to be of service.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Sailfin Tang Injury, Skin Disease? - III - 04/22/2006 Ok it seems I'm in a spot of bother then!! I Just did a water change yesterday, will have to mix up a new batch. I'll put the carbon back into the filter to absorb as much as I can over night. Will let you know how it goes in a couple weeks. Thanks again. <Glad to be of service.  Please do look into a quarantine tank....  It will be a small or moderate expense now, but will save you much in life and frustration as time goes by.  Read most any of our saltwater Ich FAQs files to understand how vitally important a quarantine tank will be to you.  Take care,  -Sabrina>

Tang, et al. fishes parasitic problems, aquarium keeping    4/8/06 Hi there Bob, <Stefan> About 10 days ago I got myself an Acanthurus japonicus Surgeon, about 10cm long. When I added the fish he was a bit intimidated by the larger fox face and the tang did not really eat much for the first three days. <Not atypical behavior for a new Tang... esp. in the presence of an established Acanthuroid species> I moved the Fox to the sump to give the tang chance to relax and hopefully get him to eat, which he did in small quantities. <No quarantine....?> About five days after I added him I noticed he became very uncomfortable with something and he kept on doing fast turns, like something chasing or biting him, he will be relaxed the one moment, and next thing doing fast "8 figure" moves. Closer inspection revealed that there are about 9 very small black spots on the rear half of the body, no spots on fins. Before I noted the spots I suspected some gill parasite and I give him a freshwater dip with Methylene blue for 6 minutes. Doing this made a big difference and he stopped doing the crazy sudden turns. He still occasionally scratch himself against the glass after I did the dip. I read that stress and a poor diet can cause the black spot parasite to attack the fish. The fish ate little till about day 6 when I started adding "Entice" and "Garlic Guard" to his Nori, now he eats a lot !!! great products!!! The amount of black spots looks less, but are still apparent. This might be a stupid question, but should I put him through all the stress to try and catch him for a second dip, or should I now leave him since his eating very well? <... a bunch to state ahead of a simple "yes/no" response here... This is likely a fluke infestation... that might have become established now in your main/display system... dipping and/or treating them elsewhere and returning host fish won't really cure them...> The colour of the fish is now much more bright compared to the first week. The fox is still in the sump with no signs of black spots. My tank is a 300L reef with about 11 KG crushed live rock on a thick Aragamite bed using a plenum, lots of artificial rock... System is running for about 9 months. Water Chemistry is very good. Thank You Bob, Stefan, South Africa <Welcome... Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above re "Parasitic Systems"... and embrace such acclimation and quarantine procedures outside your principal displays. Bob Fenner>

Oh my god, Help me!!!! SW Parasite problem? A good case for Hitchhiker's Guide: Don't Panic   4/1/06 Oh my god, I can't believe I have a problem with a parasite and I can't find any info about it anywhere. Please help me. I have a 150 gallon tall tank. I have a 3" yellow tang, 2 baby hippos 1 1/2", 1 PJ cardinal, 2 black clowns, algae bunny, 2 small false percula clowns. Three days ago I noticed my smaller of the two hippo tangs to have a small black spot on her side. Not like a grain of salt. BIGGER! Looked more like a big piece of poop stuck to her side. She didn't seem to bothered with it until day 2. On the second day she began to scratch almost every few minutes. I discovered it could be a parasite so I called 8 LFS in the phonebook, nobody knew what it was. <Might be "nothing" pathogenic> I qt ALL my fish prior to placing in my display tank. She was in QT  6 weeks... She looked good so I placed her in the display. I had the water tested at LFS yesterday. <Water chemistry changes with time, transport... for what you have invested here, I would get/use my own kits> He said everything is great with your water. That isn't you problem. Now today she has a gapping hole in her side and looks like something is in the re. Help. The tank is 3 1/2 foot deep <Yikes! Custom!> so this will be fun trying to catch and put in QT. It takes two people to do this on each side of the tank to catch the fish. FUN, FUN, Today I noticed the smaller black clown has the same spot on this side. Help me please. The spot is as big as, if not bigger than the balled end of a straight pin. The hippo is not eating as well as she has been. I need Big help before she dies. All other fish have been in the tank 6 months now. Tank has been running w no problems for 8 months now. Thanks in advance for your help. I sure do need it. Julie <Mmm, I would drain the tank down to facilitate all the tangs removal, and dip them per what you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm re Paravortex (which this likely is) and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above... and move the fish to QT to avoid re-infestation... for a month or more and all should be well. Oh, and I would add a purposeful cleaner organism here. Also covered on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Sohal Tang, HLLE   3/4/06 Bob, <James today> I have had a 7" Sohal Tang (which has been a great fish) in my FO 135ga. tank for about five years. I recently converted my tank from fish only to a reef tank (currently only have a Clown and a mix of inverts). During the conversion, I realized my Sohal Tang had HLLE. He only had  one pit but was showing other symptoms. I have read much on your site about HLLE and Sohal Tangs. After noticing that he had HLLE, I took him to the LFS (a very good one) so they could treat him and find him a home. I did not know for sure how to treat him and was not sure he would do good in a reef tank. They have treated him for about three to four weeks and he seems to have improved. The LFS said that I can get him back for no charges. I would to get him back, but want your opinion. Now that my tank setup (and water conditions) have improved greatly. Good protein skimmer/ W/D filter 25ga. sump/ 250lbs. live sand (about 3 1/2" to 4")/ 60 lbs. LR will add more slowly/ Nitrates very low now! Should he do alright in a reef tank? <Sure> If I change his diet (as directed on your site) and with improved water quality is it likely that his condition will reverse itself? <Does/can happen.  Weekly/Bi-weekly water changes are a must also.> Your site states that the salinity (for a Sohal Tang) should be kept near 1.025 , this is where I keep my FO tank. Should he adjust to a salinity of 1.022 (where my tank is now)? <Sure, just do it slowly.> Should I look for a younger and smaller Sohal Tang for my reef tank? <Better to keep what you have.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Kent

Poorly Atlantic Blue Tang....    2/3/06 Hi All, We have a 55 UK gallon tank, with 30 kilos of Live Rock, MC500 Deltec, 2 power heads, 250 halide and two blue arcadias. Fish stock includes Mandarin Yellow tang Atlantic blue tang 2 Green Chromis 2 percula clowns Brownbarred goby Six lined Wrasse 9 red hermits 6 turbo snails 1 cleaner shrimp. Our problem is our Atlantic blue tang, it seems to have what I can only described a bubbly skin and there are a couple of white spots on it. <Unfortunately... quite prone to such troubles... as are most Atlantic Surgeonfishes> We are guessing its Ich but we're not getting much help from our LFS who have told us the just leave him  and he will get over it?!? <Not if it were indeed crypt/Ich... but I doubt this is what you are observing... otherwise your other fishes would be mal-affected as well> We are concerned as we are relatively new to this and would like to do what is right! I've read a lot of articles on this site with regards to freshwater dips, garlic copper and so on and from this have deduced freshwater dips are the way to go. Would you think this was advisable? <Not w/o knowing what is going on here> He is still eating well but does seem a little irritable. Many thanks for any help and advice you can give to us Brits as I haven't found a website as useful as yours in the UK. Emma and Simon, Lake District, UK <Mmm, need more information re the chemical make-up of this system. Were your fishes quarantined ahead of placement? I would be leery re "adding something" here in the way of "medicine"... Is there an aquarist friend, stockist who might come by and take a look at your set-up, livestock? Bob Fenner>
Re: Poorly Atlantic Blue Tang....   2/6/06
Thanks to Bob Fenner for is prompt reply, The tang seems to have deteriorated overnight, he now have a number of visible white spots and his skin is very bumpy and has developed two 5mm white patches which looks like the loss of pigment. All the chemicals are fine all tests have come back as spot on. No fish have been quarantined prior to putting in the tank as we "assumed" this was done by the place we've been buying them from. <Not a good assumption> Unfortunately there isn't anyone local to come and check out our system we're a little in the middle of nowhere the most local person originally advised us to us water out of the stream which runs through our back garden at first (!!!) so wouldn't trust anything he had to say. That's why we have to travel over an hour to the best one in the area. No other fish are affected at all which makes me wonder if it is Ich as I would have thought maybe the clowns would have got it by now. <As stated, this fish (Acanthurus coeruleus likely) and other TWA tangs just don't "cut it" in captivity... for whatever reason/s> We have a cleaner wrasse but the tang won't let him near and just chases him away. <Labroides are not found in the Atlantic...> The fish store is posting out some bacterial type to put into the system but I'm hesitant to use it, especially due to the loss of pigment on his skin. Many thanks if there is any help you can give me, Emma, UK. <Not much more to say unfortunately. Bob Fenner>

SAILFIN TANG under Stress?  11/22/05 Hi. I Just added a sailfin tang to my tank, past Wednesday. It was sold as in good condition. But I noticed that it had a bulge in its stripes, just below its snout on the lower part of his body. The size is about 2.5 inches. It is not eating. I've been feeding the same as all the fishes in the tank, marine fish pellets. It's kept with a black percula clownfish, yellow tang, powder brown tang and a yellow tailed damsel, they are all peaceful with each other except the yellow tang which sometimes gets a little bit aggressive but doesn't do any harm. The sailfin doesn't move much from its territory, <A clue that these tangs are not "getting along"> and I don't know if  I've seen correctly but it has eaten some of the other fish's wastes. <Yes, natural. No worries> I added a lettuce leaf to see, if it would at least go try it, but wasn't successful, although I didn't know i had to boil the lettuce leaf before introducing it to the aquarium. Also, I noticed like a white thing coming out of its snout, as if it had a tongue, I don't know if its a tongue or a parasite, or if its just blowing or what not which I don't seem to see in any of the other fishes. As you can see I'm a beginner, and its the first time I've had a problem like this. If you have any advice, i would appreciate it, because its a beautiful fish and wouldn't want to lose it.. Thanks in advance, Frances Aviles Guadalajara, Mx <You really should move this sailfin tang to another system, and soon. Though it may not appear to be "fighting", there is too much antagonism for it to live comfortably in this setting. Bob Fenner>

Black Ich and a Fallow Tank, Avoiding infectious and parasitic marine disease 10/25/05 We now QT everything which has finally given us a completely Ich free tank with Tangs (including the Hippos... and they are much, much calmer without those occasional spots!). <I'll bet> It has been 6 months since they returned to the tank and we've had a few temp. drops from electricity going out. No spots AT ALL have showed up (and I watch them daily)... so, I am a total believer of the experts that you can have an Ich free tank!!! <Can> My question is around black Ich. We are getting some corals from someone who has had Ich and black Ich before (and possibly flukes). We know that 6 weeks QT will ensure we do not transfer Ich... but want to make sure that Turbellarians, flukes, etc. will all perish if kept in a fish free environment/QT. Will we be safe? What are the life cycles of the worms and flukes? <Simple to complex and diverse... some requiring or facilitated by intermediate hosts, vectors, others more direct... there are dip adjuncts that you can use to give you more likelihood of avoiding pathogens... Bob Fenner>

Head Line Lateral Erosion, no.. Head & Lateral Line Erosion (in) Tangs = Poor Husbandry - 10/24/05 Hello, <Hi Joe> I am emailing you because I believe that I have a yellow tang with head and lateral line erosion.  <Ok>  This is about the third time this has happened to me in the past couple of months. The tangs are healthy when I buy them, then they turn red around their eyes and lateral line, their fins begin to erode, and after about three months they die.  <Something environmental (your tank) is not right, either sub-par water quality, stray electrical voltages or poor variety/improper diet.>  I feed the tang Spirulina pellet food, Mysis shrimp, and Formula 2. Is there a problem with this diet?  <Actually it's pretty good but I would try to increase the variety, maybe some dried Nori or a nutritional supplement like Selcon.>  The other tank inhabitants include a Volitans lionfish, a maculosus angel, a Soldierfish, and a dogface puffer.  <This assortment of 'messy' makes me tend to believe you may have nutrient problems which can lead to t he poor water quality and thus HLLE. Be sure to keep on regular water changes.>  The maculosus seems ok, but he has a small indentation/hole just above each side of his eyes. This has been there for about six months and has not gotten worse, so I am not worried about this.  <If its in more than one specimen its definitely environmental, see above and please keep an eye on this specimen as well.>  The yellow tank {tang?} has reddish pitting around his eye, and his lateral line is very distinguished against the rest of his body. He just developed some red blotching all over his body today.  <The red spots could be anything from skin trauma to a secondary/parasitic infection from the HLLE, it's hard to say without seeing the fish. Do a search on WWM re: Tang Disease.>  He continues to eat vigorously and act healthy. No fish are picking on him either. Any help on how I can reverse the HLLE would be greatly appreciated. <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm.> Thanks, <You are welcome.> Joe Marano <Adam J.> 

Hypo or Copper? Tang with Ich - DON'T Send Messages Using html, Please! - 10/23/05 Hello everyone <Hello Tyler, Justin with you tonight. Please do not use html formatting when sending us emails, it leaves us separating the html information form your message.> First the bad news, my Powder Brown has Ich. Now the good news, he has been in a QT since I bought it. <Well, good, that is the best way to find out one has a disease to fight.> I have read through many articles on the site about using hyposalinity. I'm not 100% sure I want to do this. Does this really work? Or, should I dust off the bottle of Cupramine?  Thanks Tyler <I would try the hyposalinity method on this tang before I would dose with a copper treatment. Tangs generally do not stand up as well as other fish to copper, and copper does require frequent testing and dosing of the tank to ensure parasite removal. Hypo salinity if done correctly is less stressful and does work. Please read our FAQ's on this as well. I have personally done this many times for fish and seen great results.> <Justin (Jager)> 

Tang with Ick Question 10/11/05  <<Stan, some of my/other input. Cheers, BobF>> Hello Crew:  <Hi Stan, James here today> I currently have a purple tang and a desjardini tang in my QT (20gal) <<RMF would NOT mix two tang species in QT>> which I plan on adding to my 150 gal reef system once they pass QT. They've been there for about a week and are both eating like little pigs and seem to be doing fine. I've been feeding them a variety of foods which includes Spectrum Thera-A Anti-Parasitic Formula, Julian Sprung's Seaveggies, Ocean Nutrition Marine Pellets Formula 2, Kent Marine Platinum Reef Herbivore Fish Food which are sometimes soaked in Vita Chem.  However, in the last couple of days, I've noticed some white spots on my purple tangs body and fins. Can't really see if the Desjardini has these same spots or not because the spots are not as contrasting as on the purple tang. I assume it's ick, or the beginning of it. So I looked here and read some articles that hyposalinity and/or a cleaner shrimp might do the trick without medications. So I added a shrimp a few days ago and then this weekend started researching how to do the hyposalinity treatment.  <<Not with the shrimp present. RMF>> Instead of finding out how, I found more articles claiming that hyposalinity was a waste of time and wouldn't work long term. So I guess my question is, how would one go about treating ick long term in QT? Isn't that what a QT tank is for? <<Not really what "quarantine is for"... a period to review, observe health, behavior, possibly treat there/then... but also for "rest". RMF>> I know everyone has different opinions, but what do most people do? Medicate? If so with what? Any help would be very much appreciated.  <Stan, if it were me, rather then stress the fish out with hyposalinity treatment, I would treat with copper. A copper test kit is a must along with daily testing to insure an effective and safe level is kept. Recommended dose to maintain is 0.015-0.020ppm. <<Dude! Of what? Free copper/cupric ion... PLEASE understand that there is a difference in reading/s with chelated copper and their corresponding kits. RMF>> I would treat for a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degree temperature. The ick cyst casings are unaffected by the copper so we have to wait till all hatch out where at this stage they can be effectively killed by the copper. The Ich that is embedded in the skin of the fish also is pretty much unaffected by the copper. Only in the swimming stage, after hatching and when they have to find a host, is when they are most vulnerable to copper. James (Salty Dog)>
Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/11/05
Thanks James (Salty Dog): OK. So a treatment with copper it is. Any recommendations as to what copper brand / type to use? Isn't there chelated or non chelated ?  <Yes, there are chelated/non chelated types. If it were me I'd go with Aquarium Systems Sea Cure Copper treatment along with their FasTest Copper Test Kit. Fortunately for me I've never had to treat a tank in 10+ years, but if the problem arose, the above would be my choice.> <<... three weeks... with an unchelated copper... on tangs? I would NOT do this... I'd go with two weeks, and a chelated make/model with accompanying at least daily tests. RMF>> And I assume that I need to move the cleaner shrimp to my main tank since he won't make it thru the copper treatments right ?  <Stan, all inverts must be removed. Google our WWM site on copper treatment for more info. James (Salty Dog)> 
Re: Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/13/05
Thanks for the quick replies James (Salty Dog), very much appreciated.  <You're welcome> But I'm a bit confused here and was hoping that you could maybe point me in the right direction.  Just as a reminder, I've left the replies back and forth as a memory refresher. After talking on Monday, I went out to my local pet stores looking for copper but could not find any, believe it or not they were all out. So I ordered it mail order that night. Well here's the confusing thing. On Tuesday, when I checked in on them and watched them for awhile to see how they were doing, etc. I noticed that my Desjardini tang was laying on its side and the cleaner shrimp was going to town on him. After taking a closer look, I saw that the purple tang no longer had white spots on him either (this is while the lights were on). Am I going nuts ?  <<James... respond to the question/s! Not going nuts... the "spots" are reactions... do cycle on/off... RMF>> Unfortunately, I noticed that my Desjardini tang had a two spots missing from the top/rear of his fin. I'm guessing Mr. purple is the reason. However, when I checked on them this morning (lights still off) the purple tang looks like it has some type of spots on it (not white), and its body was a bit discolored. The Desjardini on the other hand, seems like the spots that were missing on its fins are filling in already. So here is my dilemma. Do I treat the tangs with copper ?  <Stan, this treatment must last at least 21 days to be effective and are you using a test kit to insure safe and effective doses?>  Why do I see spots one day and not the next? Will treating them, if they don't have anything be a bad idea or more harmful then good ?  <You have gazillions of cysts laying on the bottom waiting to hatch and find a buddy. Continued treatment is necessary to kill all the hatchings.>  And do I keep pushing my luck in trying to keep two tangs in the same tank ? I'm sure the 20gal isn't ideal but I'm hoping that the extra space in the 150 will allow them to get along.  <The 150 should be fine, you have to accept the fact there will be occasional aggression. Its recommended that no two alike tangs be kept together.>  I know it's pushing it. Could go either way. They could get along, with the occasional "I'm boss" reminders, or they may destroy one another. <<This is something you NEVER want to see.  If the two tangs are also close in size, you are probably pushing it too far with their compatibility, this is not what could be considered "conscientious". MH>> Should I separate them in the QT tank ? Should I get rid of one of them and just go with one ?  <If the aggression gets up to the next level, then I'd probably trade one in. James (Salty Dog)> I know there's a lot of questions here, many of which are hard to answer, with no definite yes or no. But I'd really appreciate any input that you guys might have. Thanks in advance  <You're welcome. Do compatibility research in the future if you are considering buying two alike fish.> 
Re: Tang with Ick Question 10/14/05
Hello Again James or Bob:  <James here. Stan I'm sorry for the poor reply I gave you. I strive to provide the best information I can give. Unfortunately I was tired and battled out from a long day with the in-laws. My apologies again.> OK, so now my head is about to explode. Will someone please pass the Excedrin.  <Morphine might be in order> I'm sorry, I'm really not trying to be a pest, but after goggling the site for ick, I walked away one day with hyposalinity being the answer. Then when I tried to get more info, and Googled hyposalinity, I came away with it being a waste of time, that copper was the way to go. So I Googled copper treatment, and came away with some questions. So I wrote in, asking for some additional insight. Since doing that , I've come away with not one but two more opinions (which sound to me totally opposite) on how to treat with copper and with what kind. Did I mention that I'm a bit confused here ? I understand that there will always be varying opinions on how to do something. But if you're new at this (aka me) then how do you know what to do ? Which is the more tried and proven method ? Can anyone shed some light please ?  <<We're better at shedding hair.  MH>> I'd like to get started on treating my tangs.  <Stan, I will try to simplify this for you. Ionic copper, usually from copper sulphate is referred to as free ionic copper. It is easily kept at a safe and effective level by use of a copper test kit. If your treatment tank contains any carbonate substrate, quite of bit of the copper will be absorbed by it, hence the necessity for the copper test kit. Ionic copper dosages should be between 0.015-0.020.  Chelated copper medications are made to slow the copper from precipitating out of solution. Depending on the brand you use, dosage level will exceed 0.2 ppm. The dosage rate is tied to the actual volume of water, not tank size. If this volume is misjudged then an ineffective cure will result or it can become dangerous to the fish. As far as I'm aware of, there are no inexpensive test kits to measure this accurately. Bob, correct me if I'm wrong.  It is my recommendation to use an ionic copper/copper sulphate to effectively cure the disease. My apologies to Mr. Fenner for my initial reply. Go treat your tang, Stan. Also, the Aquarium Systems Sea Cure is a non-chelated copper. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again.  <You're welcome and good luck with your tang.> 
Re: Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/15/05
James (Salty Dog): Thanks for the info and no apologies necessary.  <These were necessary on my part.>  I'm going to begin treating my tangs with copper but I have a couple more dumb questions here. My 20gal QT currently is a bare bottom tank with a few PVC pieces and a sponge filter running in it. What do I do with the sponge filter while treating ? Remove it ? Keep it in there and throw it away when done ? Do you start frequent water changes to keep water quality up ? <You can remove it so it doesn't become absorbed <saturated? RMF> with copper. I'd change 10% of the water weekly. Keep a power head in there for circulation. Read here Stan: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm James (Salty Dog)> 

Torn Between two tangs 10-12-05 Dear Crew, <<Hello>> I have a 180 g FOWLR that had been a closed system for quite some time until this summer when after a 4 wk quarantine I added an adult emperor angel. <<QT should always be a minimum of 4 weeks and I personally suggest a minimum of 6 weeks on tangs and angels as they like to harbor "nasties".>> The 180 had a powder blue and a Naso tang, both beautiful fish. A purple tang and Foxface that I have had for 8-9 years were looking like they were on their last  leg ( probably old age , I guess ) and I decided to open the system to new inhabitants. Unfortunately, despite using a QT the tangs look like they came down with crypt. I pulled all fish from the system, treated then in QT's with copper for 3 weeks and let the display lie fallow for 5 weeks. <<Again as a general rule, a tank should be left fallow for 6-8 weeks and temp. should be raised as high as tolerable for current inhabitants to increase the rate of the parasite life cycle.>> I have since re-introduced all of the fish except for the tangs. For 4 weeks since the 180 has been with fish the system looks great. My tangs are also doing well while still in the QT except for some HLLE that they acquired while copper treated.  The Naso has a few scattered papules on the face and head and body that copper had no effect on ( ? HLLE ) but is otherwise doing great. The Naso and powder blue are in a 55 g tank together. The papules on the Naso are whitish and  much 4-5 times larger than what is seen with crypt, this has been a chronic condition for this fish but it has not been that noticeable nor has it affected the fish's activity eating etc. Now I am faced with a dilemma : Should I dare re-introduce the tangs into the display. I fear that tangs are very "parasite prone" Currently the 180 has an adult emperor 6". a majestic 4-5" Foxface 5" Heniochus 4" a couple of clowns and one damsel, 250lbs of LR with plenty of hiding places. Probably no good answer to this question, but I thought I would try asking. <<The best answer I can give is; if you don't feel comfortable doing it, then don't do it. You are correct in your thinking that tangs are prone to infection. My advice would be to pick one and give the other to a friend or set up the 55 for the outsider.>> Jimmy <<TravisM>><<<I actually am going to make a comment... both species listed here are unsuitable for a four foot long system (should be in six foot minimum)... the mucus marks on the Naso are likely "just" resultant from stress... RMF>>>  

Sick Yellow-Eyed Tang  8/31/05 Hey there, <Hi> Great website, but it's a little hard to navigate and search. <Do you have (specific) suggestions on how we might improve these aspects?> Good resource nevertheless.  I wanted to seek some professional advice about my sick yellow-eyed tang.  I purchased it about 3-4 weeks ago.  My 60 gallon tank has been cycled through for a few weeks before that, and I introduced a small spotted damsel to start the bio-cycle.  When I purchased the yellow-eyed tang, I also introduced a small clown fish at the same time.  I secluded the damsel in fear that it would be too aggressive for the clown and the tang, but after rearranging the live-rock and releasing the damsel after a few days, they seemed to get along quite well. Very recently within the past 24 hours, my yellow-eyed tang had secluded itself under a large piece of live-rock and didn't come out of its hiding place.  Usually, it would be waiting with the other two fish for me to feed them.  Before yesterday, the tang seemed to be swimming very normally, and I fed it Formula 2 pellets w/ garlic.  He seemed to be eating those fine, but wasn't too keen on the seaweed sheets. <Takes time... familiarity> I did an immediate 10-15% water change, and lifted the live-rock it was hiding under, only to find the tang on its side and breathing heavily. I do not have a quarantine tank, so I had to seclude it in a small glass fish-bowl that is semi submerged in my 60-gallon tank.  My only other idea was to place it in the homemade sump, but was afraid of the water pump catching the tang in its vacuum inlets.  I've attached two pictures of the tang.  It is still breathing and still has normal coloration. The only other symptoms are that it looks anorexic (it has only looked this way within the last 24 hours), and seems to swim normally when in a gentle current.    Any help/advice is appreciated. <Mmm, well, this specimen is badly emaciated... starved... So, at least part of the answer here is poor handling prior to your receiving the fish... "It has a low index of fitness"... this coupled with stress of moving, a new tank... I would return it to the main tank, and hope it recovers of its own accord... Do take a look at pix of other/healthy Ctenochaetus species... notice how much more well-fleshed they are. Yours is way too skinny. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick tang mentioned in today's daily 8/21/05 Just thought might add to the problem with the blue tang.  That may be cyanided to check the WWM link about Methylene blue dips.  As in that page it is mentioned that Methylene blue works well with reversing the effects of cyanide. <Thanks much for this. Will post/share for current and future situations. Bob Fenner>

Tang questions 7-26-05 Thanks for your input. I did mention however that there are no detectable nitrites or nitrates. <Must have missed that - are you testing nitrate as nitrate-nitrogen or nitrate ion?  Have you used more than one kit?> There has not been any overt aggression, and many of the fish weren't around long enough to take a beating.  Regardless, it's good to hear it from somebody else because that is exactly what I told my friend, I just wanted to double check and make sure that I wasn't missing something obscure or even something blatantly obvious. <Does seem to me like bad water quality on your friends part - is he using chemical filtration of any type?>  Could I still get a second opinion on this topic from another member of WWM? <I tossed this letter around the inbox, seems like no one has any additional input> As a side note, I am curious why a 3" Hippo can't thrive in a 65.  It's one of our most popular fish and one of the ones that people have had the best success (extremely rare losses or problems) even in 55g tanks. My first SW tank (45g) I bought as a setup and it came with a Hippo that lived in there for over a year and a half just in my possession and who knows how long it was in there before. <Just because a fish is surviving doesn't mean it's thriving.  Tangs are open water fish, and in my opinion, a 3" in a 65 is pushing it>    It is now in a 90 and just about the healthiest, most beautiful tang I have ever seen.  Now two years into saltwater that is the one fish that I can point to and say "I have had that fish for years" with a big smile on my face. <Good to hear, though it will outgrow that 90>  I can understand why at maybe 6" or so that same fish would be quite crammed, which is why my store offers huge amounts of store credit on fish that have outgrown systems.  Speaking from my fairly limited experience, and with the practical knowledge I have of tangs and their needs I am curious what I am missing that makes 3" a misfit in a 65. <See above> Scott Johnson Critter Cabana <M. Maddox>

Powder Brown Low-Down (Tang Quarantine) 7/14/05 I have a 75gal FOWLR, and I am thinking of adding a Powder Brown (White Faced) Tang. <Just keep thinking, but please don't add this fish to your tank, unless a much larger tank is in the very near future. Your tank really is too small to support this fish for anything close to a natural life span, IMO. You need a tank that is at least 6 feet long, to provide "physical space" for the fish, as well as large water capacity to help dilute metabolic waste...> I have a  20gal hospital tank setup and I know how to perform a freshwater dip. <A good practice> Should I run copper in the hospital for the whole 21 days or just wait and see if anything pops up. <I would not use copper, or any other medicine, on a prophylactic basis.> I'm pretty sure with a Powder Brown it is going to have Ich (even if I don't see it) and I don't want to kill it the copper treatment but I also don't want the Ich in my main. What to do? Thanks Daryl <Well, Daryl- if you were going to get this fish, you'd be well advised to do a full 30 day quarantine, without copper or other medication. Only medicate if the fish shows signs of illness. Just make sure that you run the full 30 day quarantine. Regards, Scott F.>

Yellow Tang...Oxygen Deprived?? 30 Jun 2005 Greetings,     Although I wouldn't normally send questions this frequently (twice this week!), I am stuck in a sort of problem now and any suggestions would be of much help. I have a 75gal, fish-only tank with a wet/dry filter "trickle" system.  130W power compact fluorescent lighting.   Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates are all 0.0.     I've had a Yellow Tang in my the tank for over two months now, and up until about 4 days ago he seemed to be acting just fine. Curious about the tank, eating well, swimming casually, breathing at a normal rate.  About 4 days ago the temperatures rose here in Pennsylvania to 90-something, and it's been like that every day since then. The house I currently live in has no A/C, and I don't have a chiller system on the tank (prior to this, in a different house, I had A/C). At present it would be tough to afford either an A/C unit or a chiller.....If my floating thermometer is correct, the temperature in the tank has gone from about 77 degrees to 81 in the past four days, and is holding pretty constant around 80 degrees. <This is an okay range... diurnally... I might turn your lights off during these hot days...> The other fish (Sergeant Major, Yellowtail Damsels, Green Chromis, and Coral Beauty Angel) seem to be acting normally, but the Tang's breathing/respirating/gilling rate increased the first day the tank temp rose. <Yes, Surgeonfishes have higher dissolved oxygen requirements than these other families of fishes> The day I noticed this, he seemed to be swimming and eating normally so I didn't think much of it. Today I returned home from work to find him breathing heavier, and swimming erratically. He'll swim erratically for awhile, then quickly jerk to one side or the other, almost like a seizure.  I have one airstone in the sump already, but I put another one in today...probably should have done that SEVERAL days ago, something I regret.  As far as I know, no factors might have changed the water quality today. Is it possible that the Tang just couldn't deal with the stress and finally gave in today? <Maybe... more likely something else in the tank triggered trouble... this in turn might be temperature related>     The Tang also started to develop very minor HLLE, <This is an important piece of data... something amiss water quality, nutrition-wise> and it seemed to be reversing before this heat wave occurred, but now it seems to be getting worse quickly.  Stress induced? <Possibly... that and food...> The HLLE was going away with a diet of Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Selects algae "paper" and Ocean Nutrition Formula Two frozen food. The color of this fish, otherwise, still seems to be fine. With most fish situations I tend to try and figure out these problems myself, but I don't think the Tang will last more than another day or so unless I do something.  Any information or suggestions will surely help. My hypothesis is oxygen deprivation due to increased water temps, any other ideas?                                                 
Thanks again for keeping such a great webpage on the net!                                                             
Bryan M. <Something unknown re water quality... Where, when these mysteries occur, I do water changes, add chemical filtrants. Bob Fenner>

Tang problem 7/5/05 Hi James the water that was used was from a local fish store that takes care of   aquariums and they use water that they cycle....they have been trust worthy with   my other tank I've had for years so I didn't question  them. <I have no idea what we are talking about as you didn't reply with the original query.  We get hundreds of queries and it is impossible to remember the query in most cases.  Also, please cap all your "I's" and use punctuation.  These queries have to be edited before posting and it saves our editor valuable time.  Thank You, James (Salty Dog)>

Needing help about lipstick tang, illiteracy Hi just wondering we had a lipstick tang and it was fine and then a couple of weeks down the track we brought a blue tang and put it in the tank and then the lipstick tang started acting funny our blue tang died and then a couple of days later our lipstick tang turned a really dark grey colour and stopped eating. i just wanted to know what does it mean when the lipstick tang turns a really dark grey colour is it because it has a disease. thanks Semiany please reply i would really like to know. <The darkening is a sign of psychological and/or physiological stress... Something/s frightening and/or challenging to the specimen. 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>

Quarantine Query Hi! <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> I have an old 12 gallon tank I took down a while ago. Would I be able to use this as a QT for a small-medium tang? <For a small tang, probably. For a medium sized specimen, it may be a bit small.> If not, how big should I have? <I'd shoot for a 20 gallon "long" style tank for a medium tang> And how long should I keep it in there under what water parameters? Thank you. -Adam <Well, Adam, I'm gonna refer you to an article I wrote on the subject a couple of years back. It's right here on the WWM site at this link, and should answer most of your questions on the quarantine process: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Hope this helps! Good luck and I commend you on embracing the valuable quarantine process! Regards, Scott F.>

Tangs, Crypto and UV - In Other Words "QUARANTINE"! (5/15/05)  I have 3 tangs in my 125G tank, and they are all getting along very well. Rarely see a raised fin, tail slapping, etc.  <Lucky you. It may not stay that way as they grow.>  That said, two are the most common contractors of Ich, the hepatus and the powder blue.  <Yup.>  My reef has way too much rock with coral frags all over to dig out. If I wanted to be proactive, what is the best way to make sure Ich does not enter the picture.  <4 weeks of quarantine for any new additions. Make sure they get a good variety of food with plenty of algae. Supplement with vitamins and HUFAs, which may help prevent HLLE, a big problem with the Hippos. Keep system as stable as possible. Minimize stress. Remove aggressors if problems do develop eventually.>  I do weekly 15% to 20% water changes, aggressive skimming, etc. Occasionally I'll see a tang scrape against a rock a time or two, but I always hope it was just an itch.  <If this is occasional, it is probably not a concern.> Bottom line: do UV Sterilizers, large enough with a slow flow rate, eliminate Ich with destroying too much beneficial stuff?  <No guarantees. It may help and some people run it periodically or continuously, though there have been unsubstantiated concerns of this leading to immunodeficiency in the fish. For a great summary of UV pros and cons, read Scott Michael's marine parasite article in Aquarium USA Annual. It was the 2004 Edition, I think.>  Thoughts on the best way to avoid problem before it starts?  <As above.>  Thanks.  <Hope this helps.> 

HELP!! Tang with urchin wound! Dear WWM Crew <Rebecca> MY idiot yellow tang swam into my long spine urchin (diadema sp. )!!What should I do? It is sticking out of him still, but since you can kinda see through him, it doesn't appear to be puncturing any organs, but I am not sure where the swim bladder may be. <About straight back from the pectoral fin/s... at their end on the body if you folded them flat> Around the wound and up a little bit, is kinda whitish, or bluish, is that the poison? <Mmm, no... color from the spine> Should I pull it out or leave it in to work it's way out? <If it's small in size, leave it...> I know that urchin spines are made to go only one way-farther in, so would pulling it out hurt him more? <Mmm, not on fishes> Should I Quarantine him with Mela-fix? Oh, what in the world should I do? <Patience... take several deep breaths... this too will work itself out> BTW, the stupid fish is just swimming around like normal and eating the seaweed I just put in as aggressively as ever. <Good> Thank you for any help, and hurry with answers please!  Thanks, Rebecca <Welcome. Bob Fenner, whose been poked by both tangs and urchins plenty of times... and is still around>

Quarantine Procedure/ Swim Bladder Treatment 5.3.05 Good day, <Hello, Ryan helping you today.> I have a 5½-inch long Pacific Sailfin Tang, which got white spots disease recently. When I noticed it, I removed the Tang to a quarantine tank and added treatment. After two days, I noticed that the Tang is spending a lot of time in a vertical position and is not swimming normally, as if it would not have any balance. It also looks like it is breathing quicker than normal. Do you perhaps know what this could be?  <Sounds to be a swim bladder infection, although it could be simple suffocation. Is the temperature getting high in such a small tank? Is the surface of the water being covered with a film?> Is there anything I can do? <Read Scott's article on Quarantine procedure: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm. Did you miss anything? How is the copper level? Water changes will require a redose, as copper will be removed. Copper will not evaporate, however, so you don't need to redose when topping off. As for a possible swim bladder disease, bacteria and parasites can cause this. A new tenant could have brought something along. He needs a calm, clean environment to rebuild a healthy immune system- He has maxed out.> The water conditions are: Salinity - 1.023 Ammonia - 0 Nitrites - 0 Nitrates -15 Your response would be highly appreciated. <I would try some medicated foods, for a bacterial infection. Call it a hunch. Give the bottle a good read and make sure that it is compatible with any copper medications. Have a look here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/fishdisho.htm  Cheers, Ryan.>

Tang In Trouble? (Getting Tang To Eat Post-Copper Treatment) 7/22/05 Greetings, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Help, my Yellow Tang is in grave trouble.  Three weeks ago I noticed Ich pustules on the fins of my Yellow Tang and Purple Pseudochromis in my 60gal reef.  I followed the recommendations I found on this site and quickly set-up a 20gal bare-bottom hospital tank, administered fresh water dip, and transferred all my fish to it (Yellow Tang, Purple Pseudochromis, Three-stripe Damsel, pair of Ocellaris clowns). <Good moves..> I treated the hospital tank for 2 weeks with SeaChem Cupramine (at 82F), and after that I started  biological/carbon filtration with Penguin 100 bio-wheel filter and daily 10-20% water changes using fresh RO/DI water mixed with IO.  The main tank has been running fallow at 84F.  After 3 weeks, all the fish except the Yellow Tang appear healthy and active.  The Tang looks wafer-thin and has stopped eating.  He will not touch sea-weed, and is barely moving. Just stays in the corner and looks miserable. What should I do?   <Hmm.. tough one. Although copper treatments can be used with many fishes, including Tangs, not all of them take it well. They have digestive fauna that enable them to process food which, if damaged-can result in the fish having difficulty eating. Collateral damage, if you will. In the case of this fish, I'd operate under the assumption that either copper may have affected his digestive tract, or that some sort of secondary infection has occurred. Discontinuing the copper treatment was a good call on your part. I would continue with regular water changes and increased filtration/aeration. Before returning this fish to the display, I'd make sure that he is eating. If he cannot be tempted with foods such as Nori and the conventional frozen foods, I would try to get some fresh macroalgae (my choice would be Gracilaria, aka "Ogo", which you can get from e-tailers such as Indo Pacific Sea Farms and others)-any macroalgae at this point...In fact, getting a fresh live rock with some microalgae attached would also be a good idea. Anything to stimulate him to "graze" again.> It's been 3 weeks exactly and I'm tempted to put him back in the main reef tank. He  looks like he could drop from starvation at any time.   I realize that minimum 30 days is required to keep the Ich from coming back, but I just worry that if I don't put him back into his familiar reef where he can graze on algae, he will not make it.   What should I do?   Thank you for your help - Rob <Well, Rob- as indicated above- I'd rather "bring the reef to him" by dropping in some rocks and fresh macroalgae to help nurse him through this tough period. Although the situation may be critical, these fishes can go a remarkably long time without eating. Be sure that all of the copper is removed from the water (use a good copper test kit, like Seachem's), and use copper removing media such as Poly Filter or Seachem's product (the name escapes me at the moment) if you still have residual copper readings. Also, consider the use of some liquid vitamins (such as Boyd Vita Chem) administered directly to the water (fish do drink) to provide at least a possibility of supplemental nourishment for him. Hang in there...stay with him, and don't give up. I've seen this before, and these guys CAN recover. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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