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FAQs about Health/Disease of Tangs 4

FAQs on: Tang Disease 1, Tang Disease 2, Tang Disease 3, Tang Disease 5, Tang Disease 6, Tang Disease 7, Tang Disease 8, Tang Health 9, Tang Disease 10, 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, Paracanthurus, Zebrasoma , Prionurus, Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i, Surgeonfishes for Reef Systems,  

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

Acanthurus lineatus in Mabul, Malaysia.


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Ich on tang, dead anemone Hi your website is really nice. It's a great help I'm sure for everyone in the hobby !!! I have a small 50g reef tank with 60 pounds of live rock. It's running now for more than a year. My tank setup is: - 2 Fluval 303 - 1 CPR BakPak 2 as protein skimmer - 1 powerhead (150 gph) - 6 fluorescent (3 actinic and (3) 10 000k)   I have 4 snails, 2 hermit crab, 1 Lysmata amboinensis, 1 small mushroom anemone, 1 yellow wrasse, 2 clownfish (frenatus kind) and 1 hippo tang. So my first problem is that my tang got ick. I did the mistake to bought it even if it was a bit sick.<would quarantine all fish for 2-4 weeks before introduction to main system> I have it since 3 weeks and the problem is getting worse, but the other fish have no symptom.<they will> I have given to it a FW bath.<good would use Methylene blue in with the freshwater....do read the information on this page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> There have been a good result but after a few days the ick have came back in strength. I'm not really equipped to put the fish in a QT tank, so what should I do with it ?<repeat freshwater dips with Methylene blue> Is it a good idea to raise the temperature at 83oF with my invertebrate in the main tank ?<no, treat this fish with FW dips not within your main aquarium>  Would it be a good thing to buy a UV sterilizer? <yes, will help in the future> Any idea?! I will try it :) My second problem is that I did bought a blue tip anemone 1 weeks ago and it have died 2 days after. My water is good,  all my chemical parameter are fine.<anemones need iodine supplements> I did respected the acclimatizing procedure. When I bought it, it was retracted and the salesperson told me that it was to protect its food from the cleaner shrimp that it was with. After it has been put in my tank, I putted it in the sand near some live rock.   Here is an historic of what happened: time 0: It's seem ok to me but its not seem to stick on the substrate. 3 hour after the introduction: The disc is now half of the size it was and the body column is longer. The anemone is not sitting on is pedal disc but on is side.<not good> 12 hours after the introduction: The light of the tank have just opened and the anemone have retrieve its shape from the time 0 and look like a pancake on the bottom ok my tank <sounds bad>:) all the tentacle are now really tiny(  minimum  size they can be . I decided to put it on live rock near. 24 hours after the introduction: It's now upside down, so I replaced it in the sand. 48 hours after introduction: I come back from work and I found it upside down, it have lost some tentacle. There is a bit of a white stuff that is coming out of it (it's look like flesh and my hippo tang seamed to find it good:) I'm not seeing the mouth anymore... A brown stuff is covering all the oral disc.<sorry about your loss> What can have happened to my anemone? Any ideas or comments on the setup of my tank would help me gratefully.<your setup sounds fine, would check all chemistry though> Thank you to have read me and sorry for my none perfect English... I'm a French Canadian. < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm read over this and our FAQ's before you purchase another anemone.>                                                      Steve Timmons P.S. Do you have any idea what is the quote for transport to Canada for your new book?, I want to buy it!! One last thing, do you know one good online store that would deliver fish and non-vertebrate in Qu?ec, Canada?  <check out the Marine Center...www.themarinecenter.com or www.liveaquaria.com, am not sure if they ship to Canada though, but call them up and ask, good luck, IanB>          

Naso lituratus Hello Bob <Sanjay> I know nearly everyone who contacts you starts off by stating they have your book TCMA.  I am no exception. Anyway I'm looking for some advice regarding the above species. <Okay> My history  Has a Naso for 10 months, wife and I named it lipstick. <Good name>   I noticed one day he was fat, the next he went skinny, esp. lower front where the intestines are located.  He would not eat, even though he had a willingness to do so. <Not uncommon> He died within five days.  I was told by LFS it was intestinal worms. (this was not confirmed). <Possibly> After vowing never to keep this species again, and especially after reading the info on your website, I decided to have another go.  This was six weeks ago. I saw a lovely Naso at LFS( fell in love with it) and bought it. was feeding well a fish store nice and fat. Got him home fed on meaty foods like brine but did not touch algae Nori etc.  it seems he preferred the brown algae in the tank. <Yes... a key kind of ingredient in this species diet. I have seen them stick their heads out of the water in Hawai'i (where I am now) to gain access to brown kelp> after all brown algae had been exhausted he took to Nori etc.  Then flake foods with relish. <Good> due to my previous experience with a Naso I was paranoid that the same would happen to this fish.  however I gave it special attention ensuring if feed several times a day with Nori by hand.  This fish was spectacular it would not even get frightened when I put a net into the tank. after six weeks one morning I noticed he had got thin.  I whipped him out of the tank and into the quarantine tank.  Feed him some food soaked in Piperazine. <A good choice again. Either this or di-N-butyl tin oxide... or other Anthelminthics> Next day getting worse and not eating.  third day it was suggested that he had an intestinal blockage therefore used Epsom salts in water and as bath.  Still not eating.  the next day I could see worms in the water. I took the Naso and the worms to the vet who confirmed roundworm and administered some deworming treatment by mouth. Next day seemed okay, still not eating but I added glucose to the water and this helped colour him up. <Yes... a very good "trick"... one company's welfare is based entirely on it> By the end of the day he was dead.  He got sucked up into a power head and this finished him off. anyway to my questions  Although it is stated that Naso are difficult to keep.  I can help thinking If they weren't so prone to intestinal worms.  then it would be easier to look after them, especially after they start feeding like mine did. <Agreed. This is a situation of many factors, co-factors... including the stress/damage of collection, holding, shipping, confinement in generally way-too-small systems, low oxygen (commonly), starvation... all conspire to result in losses> Other questions apart from veterinary preps for worms are there any specialist aquatic ones? <There are a few... but mostly inappropriate (too dangerous, expensive) or unavailable to hobbyists. If you can get to a large (college) library, look for the works of Edward Noga re fish diseases.> Over here in the UK  there are tougher regulations regarding medications, I believe in the states it is easier to buy medications like anti-biotics etc. <Perhaps, but still not simple> I am over in the states in October therefore will try to buy some things the USA have that we don't in the UK. <Okay... will restate that products with or of Piperazine are likely your  best bet.> I am hell bent on getting another Naso, but will de-worm it before it goes into the main display.  I wanted to know if you have had any success in de-worming and what's the best thing to use. <I mostly encourage folks on the supply end to do what they can to avoid damage/stress> I really love Nasos as I've seen them in the wild in the Maldives while on honeymoon.  My wife adores them also. <A gorgeous species> Any help would be greatly appreciated . Regards Mr. Sanjay Patel. <A request: that you "write up" and send in your observations, notes on success and trials to "Aquarist and Pondkeeper" or other hobbyist publication for others edification. Bob Fenner>

Tang Trouble? Hello my name is Chris and I have a question regarding a sick fish. <Scott F. with you today, Chris> It is a pacific blue tang that I have had for a while now.  He has always done really well.  Lately, he has gotten to where he just lays in the rocks or up against the glass and he is not eating at all.  He is not showing any external signs of disease except for the behavior.  When he does come out he seems really disoriented and bumps into the glass and rocks.  If you have any suggestions on possible causes or treatments they would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you very much!!  Chris S. <Well, Chris, in the absence of visible signs of disease, my first thought is to check your water chemistry to verify if some kind of event has triggered ammonia, nitrite, or a sudden pH drop. Sudden environmental changes or toxic events can trigger strange reactions by fishes. If it is a water-related issue, it may be as simple to correct as to engage in a few strategic water changes; or you may need to isolate and correct the source of the problem. If water does not seem to be the problem, I would consider isolating and observing the fish in a separate "hospital" tank, which will provide you with greater control and flexibility should disease manifest itself and intervention with medicine become necessary. Keep observing carefully....Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Yellow Tang >Hi Crew, >>Greetings, Marina this morning. >Have a Yellow Tang about 5 inches long.  It is fine except for a "habit" it has developed.  (I think)  There is one certain live rock it seems to keep hitting with the tail and tang portion of his body.  When he is facing you straight on you can see the scales are rough but no other marks etc.  Because of this repeated hitting of his tail on this rock, little light red spots have appeared. Are these bruises, or is there something else going here?   >>Well, while Yellow tangs are known to sometimes be aggressive, it's not normal for them to be so with inanimate objects.  It sounds to me as though you have the beginning of a possible parasitic infection.  His scratching (and the openings in the skin) will leave him open to secondary infection. >He eats very well seafood gourmet, seaweed, Spirulina, general pellet food and parboiled broccoli.   >>GREAT!  We love to hear of well fed fishies!   >I have put malachite green in the tank for the last three days (darting and scratching).  Our local dealer said he had no idea except to use Melafix treatment.  I thought I would ask the experts. >>Ex-who?  LOL!  Hardly an expert here, but I've had a bit of experience.  It would be helpful to know (if you have this information logged) your water quality parameters, include residents as well, timing of additions, anything and everything is helpful.   >>Anyway, this is my recommendation: set up a quarantine/hospital tank for the fish.  IF you have ich, then you'll do best to remove all fish to hospital and allow the tank to lie fallow for 6-8 weeks (especially if you have invertebrates in the tank).  When you pull the tang, perform a freshwater dip, matching the freshwater to the salt for pH and temperature.  Then place him in quarantine, where you can treat him (assuming he's otherwise fat and healthy) using hyposalinity (very low specific gravity), on the order of <1.011-1.010 is what works for killing Cryptocaryon and Amyloodinium.  While he's in q/t, (bare bottom tank, with pieces of PVC for hiding spots and "structure") be sure to siphon off the bottom of the tank every day, this helps to remove cysts that have fallen off the fish and prevents reinfection.   >>At this time you can also treat with a good broad spectrum antibiotic to avoid/treat secondary infection (since he's rubbing himself raw this is likely).  Many folks like Melafix, I happen to like the results I've seen with Spectrogram, other folks like Maracyn (also Maracyn II).  He'll need to be treated like this until you see clearing of the bloody bits, (I know you haven't mentioned seeing any spots, but I know of no bacterial infections in fish that cause itching), then leave him in normal conditions until the display has run fallow at least 6 weeks (you can also raise the temperature to 80F-83F to speed up the life cycle of the parasite).  Assuming that the infection is low-grade, and that the fish doesn't experience a relapse, you should be able to utilize these treatments and be done with it. >Thanks in advance for your time and help. >>You're quite welcome, we want folks to keep their animals thriving and with them a long time.  SUCCESS!  That's the goal.  If you have any other questions, please feel free.  Best of luck, Ceil!  Marina

The Hippo Is A Sick-O! I recently bought a med hippo tang (yesterday). The LFS I bought him from QTs their fish for 7-14 days. Today he is rubbing against the rocks and has small white spots. <Uh-Oh...could be ich- or worse. You need to take immediate action... By the way, unless the LFS quarantines the fishes in tanks that have no connection to a central filtration system, does not add any new fishes into the tank after the quarantine period has started, and completely breaks down the tanks after each use, then I would not consider the fish "quarantined". The quarantine process is very simple, but requires perseverance in order to be successful. And, the quarantine period should last a minimum of 3 weeks- ideally, a month. This gives sufficient time to assure that, if diseases arise, you can catch them before they are introduced into the display> The other fish in the tank have been fed garlic soaked food once a day for the last 2 weeks. They include 2 Perc clowns 2 yellowtails damsels a yellow tang a royal Gramma a yellow goby 125 gal tank, with 75lbs live rock. Should I try to beat this with the garlic soaked food and seaweed or should I net him and put him in qt for a week or 2 with meds? <Garlic may have some value as a preventative, but the jury is still out as to its effectiveness as a "cure". I'd rely on more traditional treatment regimes.> If so what do you suggest? <Well, my recommended course of action doesn't endear me to every hobbyist- but here it is: I'd remove ALL of the fishes from the display tank, even the ones that are not showing symptoms. If an infected fish has been placed in the display, there is a good possibility that the parasites that cause ich are in the tank now, and that the other fishes have been exposed to it. I'd treat the fish that are showing signs of the illness with a commercial copper sulphate remedy (follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and test for copper concentration). Meanwhile, the display tank should run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. In the absence of potential hosts, the parasite population will "crash", and their numbers will be dramatically reduced to a level that otherwise healthy fishes should withstand. This is a very conservative course of action, it's not fun- but it really works. Believe me, it's absolutely awful to watch one fish after another contract this disease, especially after you think that you've licked it...Hope this helps! Scott F>

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

Troubled Tang <Hi Abby, PF here with your this AM> I have a blue tang that seems to be suffering from HLLE and is experiencing some fin degeneration.  Pictures in your book seem to indicate it may be fin rot.  I am really at my wit's end.  The fish is fat and eats well.  All other tank inhabitants (flame angel, neon gobies, clowns, damsels, and mandarin) are fine and look awesome.  I feed a variety of frozen foods (always soaked in Selcon or VitaChem - I alternate the vitamins) and flake foods.  I also have plenty of algae growing in the tank, I buy special "tang heaven" packages for this fish, I place dried Nori seaweed, etc. <Well, he sounds happily spoiled. This is a stumper.> I did not buy any crabs when I set up the tank. <My wife heard several loud expletives directed at the crab population of my first tank.> There are two crabs that came with and live in the live rock. I really do not think they are bothering him.  None of the fish bother him as he is the largest fish.  Tank set up for 14 months.  Tang has been in tank about 6 months, came down with symptoms about 3 months ago.  I am confused because his condition seems to be staying the same.  If he was getting well, I would expect to see improvement.  If he was getting worse, I would expect to see deterioration.  Also, the fin rot is puzzling because as a bacterial disease, wouldn't other fish be affected.  I also feed Mysis shrimp regularly, brine shrimp occasionally as a treat.  I tried the steamed broccoli idea but the fish would not eat it. <Mine either> The tank is a 110 gallon tank.  I quarantine all fish for 4 weeks <Good for you. Nice to see someone being responsible> -- the tang was treated this way also.  I am pretty against the use of medications in the main tank <More harm than good IMO> but feel that i will not be able to capture the tang to place in QT. <You could use a clear container (a large acrylic pitcher for instance). Put some Nori on a clip at the bottom, have the pitcher in sideways. Feed him this way for a few days, then spring the trap by sliding the lid behind him. You could try mixing some garlic in with his food too. Blend it up with the vitamins. There is some ongoing debate about the effectiveness of garlic, but it can't hurt (and my fish love the stuff). >  I just do not know what to do now.  Any help or feedback would be appreciated.  Abby <Well, I've also seen some research showing that Ly Seng's ecosystem filters help with HLLE, though that's a rather expensive option (and controversial in it's own right). I'd recommend you get him into a hospital tank, and treat him there for his infection. In addition, here's the webpage for HLLE: www.wetwebmedia.com/hlle.htm  . Do read that and the FAQs attached to it. I hope the little guy recovers soon, and I hope I've been able to help some. PF>

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

Purple Tang Question? >I have a purple tang with ich.  I have a 75 gallon tank with about 80 pounds of live rock.  I have 1 brown Lobophyllia and 1 bulb anemone.  I have a clean-up crew which is 2 brittle stars, 1 sea cucumber, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, and several red legged hermits and turbo snails.  My fish are the purple tang, six-line wrasse, 2 green Chromis, blue spotted goby, and a tomato clown.  About a week ago I noticed my tang came down with ich really bad.  He was totally covered with the ich.  It was so bad I didn't think he was going to make it.  I don't have a sick or quarantine tank so I decided to try and treat my tank with Kick-Ich.  After the fist dose the tang seemed better.  He seemed to do a little better each day of treatment.  He is swimming around and eating like normal.  Today makes exactly a week of treatment and he looks as bad as the first day I treated the tank.  He swims over to the cleaner shrimp but it seems they can't make the connection.  When the tang first came down with the ich the shrimp seemed like he was helping, but not anymore. Everyone in the tank is doing great.  I feel so bad for the guy.  Is there something you could suggest?  He's a fighter and I would hate to lose him. >>Hi Randy.  Truthfully, I would be remiss if I told you to try the Kick-ich again or any other similar treatment.  The fact is that they are unproven as cures.  There are two methods that I know of that are completely *proven* as cures for ich, and both absolutely require that you remove all vertebrates (unless your display had no inverts in it) to a q/t-hospital tank.  They are hyposalinity and copper.  I strongly suggest you set up a hospital system (it doesn't have to be devised of a fish tank, it can be any non-reactive watertight container), move all fish into it, and choose for them either of the two options.  If you opt for hyposalinity, you'll need to bring it down to 1.010 or less.  If you opt for copper, you'll need a test kit (those who say you can do this w/out the test kit are tempting fate).  In the meantime, slightly increase your tank temperature to 82F and let it lie fallow for 6-8 weeks.  I'm the "better safe than sorry" type and would let it go with no fish for 8 weeks.  Kick-ich is pretty much a waste of money and you lose precious time when it comes to aggressively eradicating this persistent pest. >My water: >salinity is 1.024 >PH is 8.2 >ammonia 0 >nitrite 0 >nitrate 10 ppm >>If possible, try to get your nitrates at least in half.  Persistent low levels have been associated with problems with disease and the like.  Good luck!  Marina
Re: Purple Tang Question?
>Thank you for responding so quickly.  >>Quite welcome, Randy.  Sorry it wasn't in time. >I'm sad to say that over night my tang has died.  What should be my next step?  You suggested cutting my nitrates in half...how can I accomplish this?  >>A 50% water change would do the trick, should cut them down to under 10, I would think.  I need to let you know that your system is not free of ich, so if you plan to replace this fish with another tang (or similarly easily affected animal) you'll need to go the hospital tank route. >Once again thank you for your help...my only regret is not finding you sooner. >>Ours as well, but now you know.  However, don't be too disheartened, as it's not uncommon for some species of fish to succumb to ich VERY quickly.  This is why I get so irritated when shops sell something like Kick-ich, when it *won't* treat the ich (the cysts fall of no matter what--it's part of the lifecycle) and simply leaves the owner unaware.  Here you are thinking you'd done something to treat the problem, but no.  Anyway, in my opinion you want to also consider how you can best provide NSW (near sea water) conditions in as stress-free an environment, with the very best nutrition possible for your fish.  This is *especially* true if you haven't got the hospital-q/t system (though I really stress q/t ALL new additions, minimum 30 days).  These pathogens are present in the wild, and the fish can fight them off because they're quite healthy.  When you have an animal that can't fight them off, it means there's an underlying problem.  Wait to replace the fish, address these other issues, and I'm sure you'll have much better success.  Marina

New Zebrasoma in trouble >The circumstances are complicated to explain but suffice to say I have ended up with a black tang that just shipped in after 24 hours straight from the islands.   >>This is within the normal time frame. >When I got the tang it was in highly ammoniated water.   >>Again, to be expected. >And now its suffering from extreme ammonia/ph burn.  Its in a tank where the ammonia is gone.  Ph is 8.2. O nitrates, O nitrites.  BUT the tang has been burnt badly and I'm not sure how I can help it.   >>Having no idea how you've acclimated the fish, and since she's already been placed in the q/t system (assuming that's what it is), we'll go on from here.  In future, if you don't already, drip acclimation is best for delicate specimens. >Yesterday it was laying on its side doing no much of anything.  Today its swimming but signs of the burning are coming out like crazy.  Shredding fins, shredding tail, Hurt top fin.  With a wound opening on it.  Yesterday the lateral line was standing out horribly but doesn't seem so bad today.  Yesterday breathing was very very difficult but does seem vastly improved today.  This morning she was swimming with her body at a 45 degree angle facing up but now she seems pretty stable swimming in the water OTHER than that she seems to be fighting the water pretty hard to stay afloat.  This fish is strong as all get out and I desperately want to try to save her.  ANY advice or help would really be appreciated.  So far I have placed her in appropriate water.  Put extra oxygen in the tank in the form of airstones because I read that tangs need more oxygen.   >>Tangs require the same O2 saturation that other fish found concurrently would require.  As long as the airstones are agitating the surface of the water (where the O2/CO2 exchange takes place) then it's helpful. >I put Selcon in the water directly because as you can imagine she is NOT eating.   >>That will do nothing for the fish, and it will simply waste the Selcon.  Offer her no more food until she begins to swim normally and demonstrates an interest in her surroundings.   >Do you all have any suggestions as to how I might help her recover from this?  Do you think some kind of stress coat would help her?  Perhaps Novaqua or something to make her slime?   >>Yes, those can help.  Amquel would be another good product, and at this point I would consider (along with copious water changes) beginning her on Spectrogram.  It's probably safe to assume that her immune system is somewhat compromised, and an open wound is an excellent entry point for bacteria.  Other than that, you just keep those water conditions stable and pristine, and give her some time.  Keep the tank dimly lit, let her rest (maybe fish get jetlagged, too, eh?), and keep an eye on her and water parameters.  Once she begins to come around, offer her Nori soaked in the Selcon, maybe some Mysis, and free feed romaine.  Assuming she also hasn't been exposed to cyanide, close care should pull her through. >Thanks for your time and help >>You're welcome, and good luck.  Marina

Regal tang in QT Hello again, looking for a little insight into my newly purchased regal tang.  Been in quarantine for 16 days <Good for you, a process that will benefit the animal and your display tank> Question #1 I am currently housing the 3 and a half inch regal in a 25 gallon quarantine tank. Aquaclear 200 with two floss filters in it that has been running on the main tank's sump for over a month to seed it.  The regal is eating good, though I feed very little.  Ammonia 0.  Nitrite is showing approximately 0.05 to 0.3 ppm for the past week.  I change about 5 gallons of water every day to two days.  Is this level of nitrite going to harm him? <Really would like to see the Nitrite 0. More frequent/larger water changes should help. Keep an eye on the reading and react accordingly> Question #2 How much longer should I keep him in quarantine?   <Minimum 4 better 6 weeks after all signs of problems are gone> I have seen the occasional scratching, and fluttering of his left pectoral fin (like something is irritating him).  These occurrences are fairly rare.   <Still a sign that something is 'bugging' him/her> That didn't stop me from giving him two 9 min ph adjusted fresh water baths, within 5 days.   <Yes, a good reaction to this behavior> His color is a little different then what I see in pictures.  The very bottom of him is whiter then the top 90 percent of his body.  Other then that, his color is very brilliant, though he has one small white spot on his body.   <All individuals will be uniquely colored. Also, this fish is recovering from very stressful collection, shipping, and several different environmental acclimations. Would not worry about minor color changes. The white spot is a concern. I would continue the adjusted fresh water baths. Can you get some Methylene blue? That would help> He is also very shy.  Always hides when I come in the room or he sees movement.  When I feed him he is instantly aware of food in the water.  He then shoots out of his hiding spot to grab some food, and then quickly swims back to his favorite spot.  He repeats this action about 5 or 6 times until all the food is eaten.  When I feed him he seems to get stressed.  His color will turn whiter when he is quickly grabbing food and then within a minute go back to dark blue.   <Again, nothing to be too concerned about consider the rough handling the fish has experienced the last few weeks> He is breathing normally.  I would really like to be feeding him more.  But am afraid of rising nitrite levels.  What is your opinion on when he should go in the main tank? <You can attempt to feed it well, but remember fish are stomachs with fins. If you can get some food into it daily, I think that will be fine. Do you have a light on the QT? Reducing the wattage or shutting it off may help. Darkening the sides of the tank (cardboard/heavy paper) would help with the shyness/skittishness as well. I would not put this fish in the main tank until all spots and scratching are gone and then an additional 4-6 weeks have passed. I cannot tell you how many messages I have read where folks put the fish into the main tank to soon after a parasite infestation only to carry the nasties into the main tank> Thanks for your time. <My pleasure, Don>

- Sick Yellow Tang - <Greetings, JasonC here...> I've had this tang for almost 6 months.  I've been feeding my fishes with emerald entree and Nori seaweed.  In the past month, it stopped eating and breathed heavily, so I'd given it few freshwater baths, treated it with CopperSafe, changed 25% of water, and lately with Tetracycline from Mardel Labs continuously for more than 8 days.  But nothing has improved.  I'm planning to change 25% of water this Saturday.  What else can I do? <I would start perhaps with some research into fish disease and their treatment - your approach so far has been haphazard - start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Does it have some kind of gill diseases? <Or parasite, or environmental issues - many possibilities.> I almost forgot to mention.  Before this happened, I saw red rashes near the tail for few weeks but the rash is gone now.  I like it very much and don't want to lose it.    I currently have a regal tang, Longnose Hawkfish, and 2 Firefishes in a 55 gal tank now.  I'm using a Fluval filter, 2 powerheads, and a 3 ft long airstone for filtration, water movement and oxygen. <I think your tank would benefit from a protein skimmer and perhaps some live rock.>  Everything looks fine except the nitrate is around 200. <If fish are your only inhabitants here, then NO3- of 200 is not terrible, fish can endure this. That doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt to try and lower that number.> What can I do to reduce it to 0 or near 0? <Live rock - lots of live rock, and perhaps another power head.> Finally, do you know the name of this fish?  It's a yellow fish--1.5" long, shapes like a blue damsel, has 2 long tails (sorry, couldn't think of a better description) around the top jaw extended passed the bottom jaw vertically, and uses those long tails to scrap algae on rocks, tank, and gravel like a cleaner fish. <Could it be a goatfish? More on those here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Goatfshart.htm > I like it a lot and want to buy one but don't know its name. Thx, A <Cheers, J -- >

Tang Trouble? Mike from VA here <Scott F. here!> My yellow tang is acting weird. Attacking all the fish, darting around and just looking strange. He has a red line inside his body starting at the tail and ending in the middle. Looks inflamed. This just happened in the blink of an eye. this is day 2 of it. My water is fine on all checks. I feed prime reef flake and frozen/formula 1,2/and brine shrimp. What can I do to correct this? This is my favorite fish and my first saltwater fish. Help thx <Well, Mike-it's hard to say from here- especially without a picture...A symptom like this can be caused by any number of things...could be environmental, could even be some kind of parasitic infection...My gut tells me that it's some kind oaf a reaction to environmental conditions...I'd do a thorough check of all environmental factors, just to make sure that things are stable, particularly nitrite and/or ammonia...Check the obvious, and then look beyond the obvious...Hopefully, this is something that can be easily corrected through environmental manipulation...Observe carefully, and take actions as needed. Consult the WWM site under diseases, and see if you can find some kind of condition described that is similar to what you are observing here...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Parasitic Disease... Black Spot Hi, I am new to the board but not new to reef tanks or fish. I have a question about a chocolate tang that was purchased 2 or 3 months ago. It came from a LFS and looked healthy and happy. Clear eyes, fins and eating well but it was in copper. I have a 4 year old tank with tons of macro algae and I feed Nori daily. No more than a day after the tang was in my tank it had small black spot on its fins. My parameters are perfect other than my salinity was much higher than the LFS but I took time to acclimate the fish. I have used broad spectrum anti biotic (fresh water Maracyn) and the patches disappear leaving a lighter colored skin under it. I also used garlic soaked Nori with almost the same results. As soon as the treatment stops the fish has them again. It can turn its self from a all yellow to a black face in a matter on seconds so i do not know if its gills are supposed to be dark or if there is an infection causing this. There adult color is much darker and I believe its beginning to change now. The fish is calm eats well does not really ever scratch and comes out even when the net is inches from it. That is why I am leaning to treating in the tank. I do not see a reason to stress it further by trying to catch it and move it to another tank. My questions are has anyone had a similar problem? Should i just try and medicate longer with the Maracyn than I have before because I just followed there instructions and quit when I was told. I have heard tangs can develop spots to make them look less appealing for predators is this true? <Not in this case. Go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and read/follow procedures for worms/black spot disease.> I also have two huge dusky Jawfish that could be grabbing the tang and cutting fins leading to infections. I am mentioning this because I have came home a few times and seen the fins ripped a little and I have seen the tang back up to them and swing its spike. <As long as it isn't too serious....minor pressure is alright, but do not let this escalate to stressful or dangerous conflict.> I am moving to a 180g within a few months so they would not see each other as much but I do not want to transfer the infection if that's what it is. Thanks, Adam <Treat as per parasites page at WWM.  Use a QT now and in the future!  NO main tank intros without QT!!!!!  Good luck!  Craig>

Yellow Tang turning orange >Hello Robert, >>Marina here. >I have an issue with my yellow tang that I was hoping you could help with.  I have tried everything, diet changes, antibiotic's, you name it.  The stats on the water are pH 8.2 nitrates and NH4 trace amounts and the nitrates are 25ppm. >>You should be getting zero readings on *both* ammonia and nitrites, the readings on the nitrates are, in my own opinion, a bit high for the long-term health of your residents. >Any thoughts on what it could be the yellow tang has developed an orange coloration to its skin, it started around it's eyes moved to its tail section and then to its dorsal fin and on it's tail fin. The tang eats well and is very active, any thoughts? >>A change in coloration is a reason to worry, but the first thing that should be done is to move it to quarantine.  Does the color appear to be unnaturally bright, or is the fish getting a large amount of krill or brine shrimp?  I would hesitate to throw antibiotics at the fish without seeing any other actual symptoms...and a pic would help a bit.  Also, when you speak of diet changes, it would be helpful to have a bit more information, such as going from what to what, what he likes now, supplements, etc.  If you're not already, give him Nori (the wrapping used for sushi) soaked in a supplement like Selcon, and free feed romaine lettuce along with the Nori (as much as he'll eat, anyway). >>Is his body nice and fat as well?  If so, then I wouldn't worry too much, but I would watch him *very* carefully. >Thank you!!!!  Ciaran Gormley >>You're welcome, I hope this has been of some help.  Marina

Tang Scratching Normal? >Hey everybody, >>Hey yourself, Paul. >Just want to start off by thanking everybody there for A LOT of help throughout my startup. Even though this is my first written question your pages have answered tons of others and got me this far with minimal problems.   >>Excellent.  Glad to hear it, goal achieved. >Overview of tank: >125G standard main with ~140# Live rock (Fiji) 1/4" to 3/4" fine sand >48G DIY Acrylic Sump with EV-180 Skimmer >6" DSB >38G Refugium with 4" coarse DSB >Water Quality is as follows: >SG 1.025 >Ammonia 0 >Nitrite 0 >Nitrate <5ppm >pH 8.4 daytime >Alk 8.5dKH >temp 78 >Fishes: >1 Zebrasoma veliferum (Pacific Sailfin Tang) ~2" when bought 12/21/03 stocked 2/24/03, is now ~2 1/2" >2 Paracanthurus hepatus (Hippo Tangs) ~3/4" when bought 12/21/03, Stocked 2/24/03, is now 1 1/4" >2 Pomacentrus alleni (Allen's Damsels) ~1" when bought 12/1/02 (were 3), stocked 1/3/03 is now ~2" >2 Amphiprion percula (Percula Clowns) ~3/4" when bought 12/1/02, stocked 1/3/03, are now 1 1/2" and ~2" >>WOW!  Great charting and fantastic growth, I can't imagine you having a problem, let's read on. >Inverts include various small snails, hermits, small sand clams, and hitchhikers.  My question is this: My wife bought me the tangs for a x-mas gift (of course without asking what to get...) because they were cute. >>She meant well, but it seems a little chat is in order, yeah? >When I put them into quarantine one of the hippos started scratching after about 2 weeks, so everyone got FW/Methylene Blue dips (~15min) for 3 days. >>In the quarantine system, yeah?  If so, you're spot on.  However, there are only two methods that I know of that are proven to cure any ich (the obvious suspect).  They are hyposalinity (<1.010) and copper.  Many folks don't want to copper their tangs, however, I've never had a problem using good quality (Cupramine) products, and DAILY testing, along with lots of good, fresh water.  Expensive, I know (because along with the water changes you have to add the medication again), but it's the standard at the local public aquarium and it works. >Other than a scratch on the tang's side where he was scratching on the decorations in the QT tank saw no indications of any spots or disease.   >>Great, this is to be expected, but with a good feeding regimen they should heal quickly. >Left them all in QT for another 4 weeks before stocking them into the display.   >>You're using the same protocol I would. >Now after they have been in the display for about 6 weeks the same tang has started scratching again.   >>Darn fish. >Nothing has been added into the tank without QT since the LR/inverts at the beginning. Nothing has changed in the tank since these fish were added. My question is should I just watch him for awhile more (been scratching about once an hour for the last 4 days) or should I tear apart my tank trying to get him out of my LR?   >>I would put in some cleaner shrimps, and, if you don't already use any food supplements, then begin soaking your Nori/krill in something such as Selcon.  Also, if you don't already, I suggest free feeding Nori and romaine.  I believe that if you address water quality (other than nitrates, yours is tip top) and nutrition, the cleaners should help keep anything else in check. >He seems very healthy eats good, no rapid breathing, is schooling well with the damsels and other hippo (strange school but they like it). >>So, just a touch, I wouldn't stress him (or yourself) further at this point. >Sorry to ramble but wanted to give you all the information possible to get the right answer.  Thanks in advance, Paul. >>No worries, we want and *need* that information to give you the best answer possible.  Marina

Yellow Tang Problems >Our yellow tang looked pale for a couple of months, but never changed his behavior.   >>Uh oh, color changes like this signal at the very least stress.  Stress, especially long-term, will make any animal (and human) much more susceptible to disease. >He now has regained his bright yellow color, but has what looks like a red raw spot above his eye and along his back.  He also has some red on his mouth and doesn't ever close his mouth.   >>This sounds as though he's succumbed to the stress and an infection has set in. >This week we have noticed that he is not eating much (he can't seem to get hold of the seaweed to bit it off) and is not near as active.  Today he has had his dorsal fins spiked up all day.   >>Unfortunately, I believe by the time of this writing your fish has met its demise.  Erect fins are a sign of impending death.   >This is our first marine aquarium established last November.  It is fish only.  We also have a porcupine puffer and a valentini puffer who both seem to be doing well.  I have read several articles and cannot find anything similar to this.  I have attached a picture for you to look at.  Thanks for your help.  Erin Ball >>I'm very sorry, Erin, but you have waited too long to get help for your fish.  By the looks of this picture he's on his way out, if he hasn't died already.  Did you look in the aquarium science section of WetWebMedia?  If not, please do.  Also, please search other sites, such as http://www.reefs.org/library >>At first sign of trouble (odd coloration, behavior, *anything* out of the ordinary) you must immediately place the suspect animal into its own, separate hospital/quarantine tank.  If, by any chance, this animal is still alive, place it into q/t, and begin a program of Spectrogram--a broad spectrum gram positive and gram negative antibiotic.  Do let us know if he's made it this far, and we'll go from there.  Also, please do begin to create a library for your own reference.  I would begin with Bob's book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", as well as books by John Tullock, Martin Moe, Jr., Julian Sprung, C.W. Emmens, and others.  Do ask around on our site and others for recommendations.  Marina
Re: Yellow Tang Problems
>Yes, my yellow tang is still alive.   >>Wow!  That's great, he could have a chance after all.  That picture shows such an ill fish. >>Before I received your answer I was able to contact our local aquarium store for advice.   >>Very good. >Wednesday night we removed the carbon media and began treatment with Kanacyn (it is not feasible for us to have a quarantine tank at this time).   >>Understood, some folks will set them up using Rubbermaid containers, anything that's non-reactive, watertight, and durable can do the job. >We also are feeding him some flake food throughout the day, as it is easier for him to eat than seaweed.   >>Very good to hear!  I can think of a few folks who will want to know both what it is you've got for him, and where you purchased it. >His fins are still erect, but his color looks much better.   I know his heath status is still in question, but we are trying everything we can.  If you have any further advice (not criticism) we will gladly accept it.   >>Sorry if you took my advice for criticism.  I seek only to convey what I know.  If the Kanacyn is bringing improvement, then I would suggest you stay the course.  Hopefully this will help pull him through, *especially* since he's taking the flake food.  To help pump some nutrients into him, I'll suggest soaking the flakes in a supplement such as Selcon, first.  Every little boost you can give him, right? >Thanks for your help.  Erin     >>Let's keep our fingers crossed for him.  Good luck!  Marina

Yellow Tang with Pectoral Fin Problem >Hi. I have a 55 gallon tank with 65lbs live rock.  Ecosystem filtration method. No PS. >>Fair enough, but I'd really like to see you get a skimmer.   >I have some Cyanobacteria that has been around for a couple of weeks.  I added some PhosGuard in a filter bag in the sump, and now the Cyano seems to be going away (or not coming back as quickly after I remove it).  The tank is about 7 weeks old. >>It's still a young tank. >The temp varies from 77.2 - 79.9, SG is always 1.023 plus or minus .001, PH is consistently 8.2, Amm and Nitrites have been zero for weeks, and nitrates <10 for weeks. >>The low nitrate readings can also contribute to a Cyano-bacterial bloom.  Have you also tested the tank and source water for phosphorous? >I have a maroon clown and a yellow tang.  I also have 6 turbo snails and 3 reef hermit crabs.  I feed flake food (a mix of OSI marine and Spirulina flakes) twice a day. I have had the clown for 3 weeks and the tang for 2 weeks. I am just now setting up a quarantine tank (I now realize the cart is ahead of the horse, no more additions without proper quarantine). >>Indeed.  At least you've sorted it and you're preparing to do things more properly.  No worries, just remember proper q/t is 30 days (in my opinion, at least, and I think you'll few arguments among professionals).   >Yesterday, I noticed white "clumps" on the tangs right pectoral fin.  Today, a large part of the fin is gone. >>Offhand, that sounds like Lymphocystis.  If I recollect correctly it's a viral infection that rarely seems to need treatment, which is a good thing, because the only treatment I'm currently aware of is trimming the affected fins.   >The tang is eating and active. No other problems noted. >>Very good. >The clown seems fine?  Any ideas? Is this fin rot? >>No, sure doesn't sound like fin rot to me.  The fish would have a more "raggedy" look, and you might even see areas of redness where the fin has broken away. >All research I have done on fin rot shows pictures much different than what I am seeing.  This fish has about 1/2 of the fin missing, literally overnight, and from the bottom and back. Like this (forgive the crude drawing). >>You need an ASCII proggie!  Here--> http://ascii.zelab.net/ >The other pectoral fin is just fine.  Thanks for your help. >>Glad I can help.  Now, I want you to also go to--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com and go to the aquatic sciences link, there you'll be able to read up on some common diseases.  You may also want to find yourself a book on fish diseases, though in my opinion, if you make good use of the q/t and basic purchasing rules you should have relatively few troubles.  Marina

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

This Hippo Is A Sicko...(Treating a Sick Hippo Tang) Thank you for the info...much appreciated...."freshwater" dip instructions very clear...thank you...I unfortunately have more questions regarding this...I was able to find a Methylene blue 5% solution...the only directions on the package say to add one drop per gallon of water...is this for a QT tank or a dip? I don't know how much of this stuff to add to dip and how much water do I want for the dip --- 1 gal , 2 gal? <I use a decidedly "low tech" approach...I use a 3- 5 gallon bucket, and add enough Methylene blue to color the water a deep, royal blue color...simple as that. Methylene blue is gentle to pretty much every fish that you'd commonly encounter in the hobby, so it's pretty hard to mess this up, IMO!> I understand that the time in dip will depend on condition of fish...I have never dipped a fish before...Just want to do it right the first time so now life lost...after dip I plan to QT for four weeks per your instruction and let display go fallow. <Yep- let the main system run fallow for a month. As far as the dip duration, I'd shoot for at least 3 to 5 minutes (preferably 5 minutes) > Can I leave the invertebrates (snails, crabs, orange Linckia, coral banded shrimp, feather duster, etc.) in display while fish are out...Will it still go fallow? <Yep- this is fine...The inverts are not thought to be hosts for the parasitic illnesses that we're talking about> Also do I keep specific gravity and temp normal in the display throughout this process? <I would, personally. In fact, if you are keeping the inverts in the main tank, then you really cannot mess with the specific gravity. Some people like the lower specific gravity approach in a fallow tank...I have not done this myself, and have been very successful with the fallow route...your call here> Do I do water changes, and how frequent during this "fallowing" period? <Follow your regular maintenance schedule, which I hope includes at least weekly, if not more frequent, water changes> In the QT tank , during the copper treatments for velvet, should I include fish that show no symptoms in order to let main go fallow...I have a royal Gramma that looks fine and eats great...and a clown goby that has had a couple of white circles on him off and on for a couple days...Is this velvet too? <Hard to say- but better safe than sorry. I would include the fishes that are showing no signs of infection, as they have been exposed. If you have an extra tank, and are leery about copper sulphate, you can put the "not-yet-showing-symptoms" fishes in there, without copper.> Spots don't look grainy or salt like , it looks soft and "velvety"( excuse the term) which makes me think it is ...the Hippo is more covered not circles...and is still not eating...I have continued offering algae sheets, Tetra Marine Color flakes, and brine shrimp,  I have only seen him eat a few flakes one time since we've had him(2-25)  any suggestions on what else I could offer, especially while in QT <Hippos are more "planktivorous" than most other tang species, so I'd try frozen Mysis shrimp. And I'd enrich all foods at this point with a nutritional supplement, such as Selcon> Should I get a vitamin supplement of some sort ? any recommendations? <Yep! You hit it on the head...I'd use Vita Chem, and administer it directly into the water in the hospital tank. This way, the fish can absorb or drink the preparation...Important for fishes that are fighting an illness> I live in Illinois and the local stores are terrible about information and not to mention product availability...so it might take a couple days for me to order something... <Well, give the LFS a try first, but if you can't locate the products you need, then definitely mail order...Getting the copper sulphate is more important than the vitamin preparations at this point...You should be able to find a product like Copper Safe or Cupramine locally>    Thank you for all your help , I really appreciate it...In the mean time I'll continue to re-read the info on WWM and await your response...Thank You again...J. Smith <You're quite welcome! Just hang in there, take decisive action, and the fishes should recover nicely! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
This Hippo Is A Sicko (Pt. 2)
Thank you thank you  thank you....you cleared up so many of my questions! <Really glad to hear that!> I picked up CopperSafe today and I am in the process of setting up the dip.  I couldn't find a copper test at my LFS....will be ordering one online tonight...will probably hold off on adding copper till tomorrow so I can be sure of testing it (it will take 2 days to get kit). <Very wise! Always test concentration of copper> I will definitely do freshwater dip and get them into QT right away ...I am also scheduled for water change today...Thank you again for sharing your knowledge with me It is very much appreciated....I feel much better after your reply...good day, J.Smith <Always happy to help! You're gonna do fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sohal question in my 230 Reef This question is for Bob Fenner if possible.    <Go ahead> Bob, I am the guy who has the 6" Asfur in my 230 soft coral and invert reef.   The Asfur (who my kids named King of the Red Sea) is doing great and readily eats out of my hand.  He has been doing well for about 4 months now. I just added a 5" Sohal which will be the only other fish in this tank (except for a school of Red Sea Chromis).  I want to give them room to grow and be healthy long-term.  The Sohal was in quarantine for two weeks before going into the 230.   My question is the Sohal eats of the live rock all day long (this is good).  However, I have a lot of red bristly macro algae that grows on the rocks.   The Sohal loves this stuff.   The problem is he has some of it stuck on the outside of his mouth.  I guess it is kind of thorny.    He is eating everything in site but I do not want him to get an infection on his mouth or anything.  It has been on the outside of his mouth for two days now (not sure if it is the same piece or what).    Is this something to be concerned with or will he be ok?   <Not concerned this point, should be okay> Thank you for all your help.   I look forward to some of your new books out soon!!! <Me too! Bob Fenner> Andrew

Re: black spot on yellow tang Please help! I am running a marine system with invertebrates and have had not many problems. However I introduced a lovely yellow tang (named Daffodil) two weeks ago. At first he was fine, then he seemed to show signs of breathing rapidly.  today I have noticed he is pickled with small black spots.  I've looked in all my books and it indicates 'black spot'.   <Likely so> Please let me know how to get rid of this and if any of my other fish will get infested. Daffodil seems to be friendly with my cardinal called 'jester  and they swim around together quite closely. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the "related FAQs" (linked, in blue, at top)... You will find the information you seek there. Bob Fenner> Please help regards Helen

Tangs and Quarantine Hello all, <Hello> I am having a difficult time keeping new tangs alive in my tank.  The last two that I bought eventually perished. <what types of tangs are we dealing with? The following link is a good place to start. http://wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm > Other fish are doing extremely well and the reef is thriving (100 gallons).  Are there any "must haves" or "must dos" when acclimating and keeping these fish? <quarantine>  In your opinion, is it essential to hold these fish in a quarantine tank for several weeks before introducing them to the reef? <Yes, see here   http://wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm >    My LFS recently told me that putting the fish directly in the reef would be fine, but I have my doubts. <Ha, not their reef that could be getting infected.  If you know the folks at the LFS well, and they quarantine, and they hold it for you for a few weeks after that, maybe.  But I still would not recommend it,   QT is extremely important. -Gage> Thanks.  Mark.

Re: Yellow Tang Illness? My wife and I are new to Salt Water Aquariums.  We have been doing everything told to get the best water results.  Over this time table we have introduced new fish as allowed with instruction.  Yesterday we introduced a Powder Blue Tang to our 55 Gallon Tank.  Now we notice that our Yellow Tang has become very pale in color and has almost a dandruff look to his body.  We also introduced a cleaner shrimp (2).  Please advise if the Yellow Tang has become ill.  He acts more shy and has focused toward one corner of the tank. <Mmm, sorry to state, the new Tang is not an aquarium-hardy species, and placing it with a Yellow Tang not a good idea (they're not very compatible)... Likely a latent parasite (ich and/or velvet) has been "triggered"... Much to say re these issues. I strongly suggest going to our root web: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ and using either the Marine articles index or the search tool there to study about Tang compatibility, Tang Disease, Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium/Velvet... Quarantine... and quickly. Your fish/es will soon be dead w/o fast action. Bob Fenner> Thank You Dana Ramos

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

New yellow tang under stress. <Hi Bryan, after kicking this around with other crew members (thanks Anthony) Here are the results> This is a follow up to my previous question.  I removed the damsel because he started to bully the yellow tang.  The yellow tang's tail is pretty chewed up.  The tang continues to eat Nori that I clip in the tank.  The tang still looks kind of stressed.   He still has  some brown splotches and now there appears to be a small string about 3 mm long attached to one of his gills.  Is this a gill fluke or some other parasite ? <Probably not, but is a good indicator the fish is very stressed. More likely a 'sloughing' of mucus. This is normally caused by poor water quality. Make sure all the water parameters are in order and change slowly to adjust.> Should I do some freshwater dips to see if it falls off?   <Not now as we don't see any parasites (indicated by scratching, glancing, flashing off landscape, sand) yet and will only stress more> I have ordered some Selcon to soak his food in. <While this is a good product to use, a vitamin mixture like Boyd's Vita-Chem will help with the fins> It probably won't arrive for another week.  Is there anything else I should do?  Again thanks a lot you have been a great help. <So, to summarize: the fish is very stressed. Work on water quality, slowly adjust. Keep offering food. The stress seen now may lead to parasitic attack later. I would recommend you get a small QT ready now. 10-20 gal bare bottom (tank, Rubbermaid like container) heater, small powerhead, filter. Start cycling the QT now so it is aged/ready IF this fish develops parasites. Lots of prepared aged water as you will be doing lots of water changes in the QT. Formalin and fresh water dips at that time, good thoughts for you and your fish, let us know if it worsens, Don>

Tang with Black Spot, Cleaner shrimp Hello again! <Hi Becky, Don here> I have an update on my tank issues.  (we had the 55 gallon, with a yellow tang, juv. emperor angel, clarkii clown, orange tailed blue damsel, and cleaner wrasse)  Our tang has been dealing with black spot. The cleaner wrasse has since died, which was expected, after I read up on how bad it is to buy one. <Sorry to hear of your loss. Live and learn, more research next time a new addition is considered? Hang in there> I was worried about my emperor angel (he lingered in bubbles.)   Well, we have yet to set up a QT, and instead waited things out a bit.  I have fresh water dipped the tang when the black dots re-appear.  We added a 402 powerhead with a little filter on it, and a longer bubble stone, in addition to the Eheim filter we have.    I think the emperor is actually fine.  He was a pricey fish, and so my husband thinks I was being paranoid.  (Never saw any obvious marks on him indicating ich, he is and has always been eating wonderfully and is very friendly/curious to us when we look at the tank.  I could have been over thinking his situation) In any regards, with the increase in water movement, and aeration I think things will be okay.  Now I believe the Tang will need to be quarantined to fully get rid of the black spot?   <I would, with continued fresh water dips there.> I have a 35 gallon tank I can use, but really would like to use a smaller tank if I can.  The tang is only about 2 inches.  (2 1/2?)  How small of a tank is possible? <At least 10G and the bigger the better. See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and use the links at the top of the page for more info> I have access to a tank that is between 5-10 (my sis can't remember the size)  Also...any chance this can be gotten rid of if we just keep dipping him when the spots show up? <You could certainly try. Long run? You are most likely going to need a hospital/qt tank eventually. And remember, the QT period starts AFTER the problems has been licked.> Rather than QT for a month? One last thing...obviously the cleaner wrasse was a bad idea.  I am really starting to like the cleaner shrimp.  Is it a good idea to get one?  <They need good cover. I would not unless you add some live rock or other landscape material it could use to hide in> We have no live rock, and only the 4 fish mentioned above.  Would it help with the black spot? Thank you all so much for the hard work!  I am getting a little obsessed with this web site.  : ) <Hey, crew, got another one! Welcome to the obsession, er…hobby Becky! Don> Becky

Black spot Hello, and thanks for being here for me.   I have a 125 gallon reef tank in the makings 200lbs of live rock, 125 lbs of live sand i canister filter no media in it a 180 Jebo hang on skimmer ,2-402 powerheads.  Ph.8.0,No3. 10,phosphate 1, SG.1.023, temp. today is 81 to 82 F  had the windows open outside temp around 78 today. My problem is my Yellow tang has black spot.. Would it be ok to give it a fresh water dip and return it back into the tank with my 2 other fish and anemones or will this worm still affect my tang or even my other two. <Mmm, have to leave the infested system yellow tang-less for a good month. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the related FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner> thanks, Bill
Re: Black spot
Thanks a lot Bob ....I got a lot out of that link ..I try hard at keeping these tanks going but seems like the harder I try the harder it gets but i get a lot of help from site like this one .....Thanks again Bill <All will be easier soon. Bob Fenner>

New yellow tang under stress. <Hi Bryan, Don here> I have a 125 gallon tank that is 3 months old.  It is a FOWLR tank with about 50 lbs of live rock.   I have two emperor 400 filters and a SeaClone 150 which produces about 8 oz of green tea colored skimmate daily.  I know the skimmer is not the best, I plan to get a new one soon.  <Don't apologize if you can get that kind of consistent production from such a lightly stocked tank> I have a yellow tang that I have had for about one week.  He is about 3.5 in long.   The only other fish is a 2 inch yellow tail damsel. I feed the tang strips of Nori and formula 2 daily.  The damsel gets a small amount of frozen brine shrimp plus. <Did you know that brine shrimp are 90%+ water? Neither did I until I read it here. And sure enough, right there on the label. No nutritional value here>  I did a 10% water change yesterday and today he looks stressed. <Was the water properly aged? Brought to same temperature, pH, and specific gravity as that of the main tank? If not, should be in the future>  He has some brownish discoloration around his head and is hiding more.  <Likely stress/handling damage, observe closely> He ate some pieces of the Nori that I have clipped in the tank today. <The fact that it is eating at all is overall good. You might soak the Nori/other food in an enrichment product like Selcon. Please look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and prepare for new livestock by getting the equipment together now for future additions. You may need a qt/hospital tank for this guy if things don't improve. If things do not progress as we would like for this fish please resist the temptation/advice of medicating the main tank. Have a hospital tank for this purpose.>  The water parameters are :  amm - 0, nitrite - 0, nitrate 10 ppm,  pH 8.2 daytime, temp 79, and spg 1.024.   The damsel in the tank appears to be doing fine.  I removed the uneaten Nori from the tank and I will not feed for a day or so.  I also turned out the light in the tank. Is there anything else I should do,  or should I watch closely and wait for now.  Your help will be greatly appreciated. <IMO you leave it be for now, observe, and keep your fingers crossed. The fish been put through enough stress for now. BTW, most all of us have gone through this with some facet of marine aquaria in the past. Read, learn, go slow and you will be OK.> Thanks, Brian <Bye for now, keep us updated, Don>

About tanged out - Ich  2/8/03 Hey guys i am about at the end of my rope with tangs, help me out here if you can. is there a common ailment tangs have that looks like ich but is in actually something else? <hard to be specific here without a better description from you on the spots, their occurrence and behavior (wax and wane or no, raised, talc-like, grains of salt, etc). Still.. to answer in gross terms, there are a few common spotted "ailments". Its still much more likely that you simply have Cryptocaryon. It is very tough to get rid of... especially if you have allowed it into the display by not quarantining new livestock (all livestock... fishes, algae, rock, plants, coral). Once it gets into the gravel/sand... you are beat without a long fallow period... and even that's no guarantee> my local pet store has had a small yellow tang for almost a month now. <hmm... I see where this one is going, but I'm still not biting <G>. Over a month in a pet store means very little. They have new fish in and out of the store every single week. Even if there hasn't been new fish exposed to that fish/tank... there still are feeding nets, wet hands between tanks, etc that do have new/infected fish, etc. Bottom line... there is never an excuse not to QT at home> i decided to purchase him/her and give him a home in a much bigger tank. this tang...9 hours after being put in the tank looks like he's coming down with ich, and this happens with every tang i buy. i have other fish in the tank and no one ever gets sick but the tangs... <indeed... fishes that have had it once or more build up some immunity> i have a clown who has been in the tank over 9 months...a diamond goby for 10 months a fire fish I've had for a year and they have collectively out lived 3 tangs. now on the advise of  the WWM i always allow several months to pass before trying another tang because I've been told ick cant live for more than a month without a host. <that's mostly true indeed. Have you added any non-fishes from the pet store in the interim though? Live rock, Caulerpa, live brine shrimp, invertebrate, etc? It sets the clock back to zero> got any suggestions, <A cleaner shrimp would likely help a bit (but no cleaner wrasses). Also, check to be sure that your temperature is not fluctuating much or at all between day and night (no more than 2F)... that promotes Ich infections> or would you just give up on tangs if you were me??? <QT all new fish for 4 weeks without exception and add the cleaner shrimp to the main display. Ich can be cured... its persistence suggests a flaw somewhere (fluctuating water quality, neglect of water changes, lack of gravel siphoning, sand sifting, etc). We could also make a case for hooking a RedOx meter and ozonizer up to your skimmer here too if you wouldn't mind having a new toy> thanks Robert <have all three tangs come from the same supplier? Perhaps a different source too. Best regards, Anthony>

Tangled... Hi guys, I'm having another "fish situation" here and could use some help. <That's why we're here! Scott F. with you today> I really thought i had done all the right things this time, and am very worried about the current state of affairs. We've had a juvenile mimic tang in QT for three weeks, it's been doing well. <Glad that you're quarantining!> Eating like a horse (mostly Nori, some flake and bloodworm for diversity), swimming energetically, he even recognizes my face and poops especially for me every time I watch him (my wife is jealous).   <That's a skill that you must be very proud of! He's destined to be a celebrity in the neighborhood!> The QT started out with 50% water from the main, and received weekly 50% changes with water from the main, along with smaller changes with clean aged saltwater, so the water quality should have been reasonably good. <Assuming, of course, that the water in the main system was of high quality!> Tests picked up no ammonia or nitrites, and never more than 8ppm nitrate.  I was very good about keeping temp constant even through the changes.  The clean saltwater I added was a higher concentration, so the salinity was gently brought up from the 1.021 the LFS uses to the 1.024 of the main tank over the QT period. <As long as it's done slowly, and monitored carefully, this is okay> The only disturbing signals from the tang were his occasional tendency to flash on one piece of decoration; I gave him a 2 minute FW bath (ph/temp adjusted, aerated) four days ago just to make certain he had no parasites. <Good hunch, scratching behaviors (I assume you mean "scratching" when you used the term "flashing"...? I'll operate on that assumption here-hope that I'm correct?) are usually indicative of some parasite or other source of discomfort to the fish, such as an injury of some sort. Do observe him carefully...> No change in behavior. I figured the flashing may be an indication that life in a 10 gallon tank wasn't what he had in mind when he left the reef. <Well, it's definitely different, and some fish don't fare as well in quarantine as others, but with good care and high water quality, this can work for the quarantine period...it's vital to see it through for the full 3-4 week period, IMO> Chatting with some folks on #reef IRC reinforced this opinion.  the LFS had him for almost three months before we acquired him, so after three weeks of QT I figured it was best to move him into the main tank sooner rather than later.   <Danger, Will Robinson!!! The scratching behavior is still of concern to me...some disease symptoms can take several weeks to manifest themselves...Please don't assume that juts because he was at the dealer's for some period of time before you purchased him that he was never exposed to any sick fishes...> In preparation for the move, I got some new fake macro algae decorations from the LFS and rearranged the decor to confuse things a bit for the other fishies. <Good procedure when introducing a newcomer into the existing social order> Then the tang went in for a nice 3+ minute FW bath (again, temp/ph adjusted with aeration). <A second freshwater dip (before introducing him to the main tank) is generally unnecessary, IMO- because he should not have been exposed to any parasites during the quarantine period. However, the fact that he was scratching seems to indicate that this was a good call on your part...but- if a fish is displaying behaviors that could indicate the onset of a disease, I'd hold off on adding him to the tank altogether until there are no more symptoms!> He was fine with the bath, but of course ended up snagging a gill in the net when I took him out. <Uh-Oh> I gently freed him in short order, and careful observation in a small container of main tank water (with some slime coat additive for good measure) showed no obvious trauma. <Good...> Into the main he went, and to my joy he and the clown were curious about each other but not appearing aggressive.  After a few minutes of checking out the bottom decor, he started swimming around the rest of the tank.  While preparing the main for his arrival, I also replaced the 1/2" line from the main pump; it was obviously more clogged than I thought since it's >producing a lot more output than before.  This seemed to have increased the turbulent flow a lot more, since he was getting buffeted around pretty good.  I figured "tangs are strong swimmers, he'll be fine!" but soon enough he started swimming sideways, getting buffeted around a lot, and then retreated to a calm corner and proceeded to rest on the bottom.  He propped himself up with decor so he's not flat, but he's definitely not moving around. <Not unheard of for a stressed tang...> He's breathing at a reasonable pace, just not interested in doing anything. I am hoping he's just exhausted from the stress of the FW dip and all the swimming around in the new environment.  There was no powerhead in the QT, just an airstone and hang on.  thinking perhaps it's a good idea to slow down the circulation, I halved the output on my two 750 gph powerheads.  This has definitely calmed things down.  Of course, he's not moving still. I've turned off the tank lights and am allowing him to rest.  No one is bothering him, so the other fish obviously don't think he's sick or hurt and a good target for harassment. Should i worry?  I figure that moving him back to his familiar QT is probably just adding more stress. <Well, moving him around a lot is not going to help! Good hunch...I wonder of perhaps there was more injury as a result of the net snagging, or perhaps some injury from being bounced of a rock or something...or simply general stress, brought about by the change in environment...> But perhaps the dip/net snag did traumatize him too much, and being back in familiar environs would help? <I hate to keep moving him, but I'm fairly concerned about the possible injury, and particularly about the behavior that he was exhibiting prior to the move...> I'm trying to avoid overreacting; it is frustrating to have gone through what i really thought was good QT procedure, and a surprisingly good initial welcome from his new tankmates, just to have him crawl off in a corner and die from some shock i unintentionally introduced.  He should have been well conditioned to the tank water ahead of time.   <Well, you did do a great job with quarantine...Remember, tangs, like all marine fishes, come from amazingly stable environments, and seldom encounter even subtle environmental changes in a short time period...they simply are not evolved to do so...there is always the possibility that stress is causing a problem here...Be prepared for the worst, hope for the best..> I'm worried there may be a problem with the main tank I'm missing.   <Ok- recheck all water parameters to see if there is something out of whack- or perhaps a big deviation from your quarantine tank parameters....> It received a 25% change and thorough cleaning last week, more thorough than usual due to an outbreak of Cyanobacteria (hence the addition of the powerheads and change of the line from the main pump to increase the circulation).  There were a couple of days of detectable ammonia (never more than 3ppm) thanks to the aggressive cleaning, but the filter bacteria seem to have recovered completely now. <Well- the ammonia spike is not a good thing...I'd assume that it was back to undetectable levels when the fish was placed in the tank?> The increased circulation, a heavy dose of carbon, and the aggressive cleaning seem to have solved the Cyano problem, since I would expect it to have reappeared by now. For the long term, I finally got a protein skimmer (remora w/1200 gph pump); <Excellent move...> Of course UPS hasn't decided to actually bring it to my house yet.  Assuming it's here this week, by next week it should be broken in, so I'm hoping the water quality will be acceptable for the tang's long term health (I understand they are far less tolerant of nitrates than other fish).   <And of lower oxygen levels> As of yesterday, the main tank tested fine. No ammonia or nitrates, no phosphates (the BGA made me test for that), 8.4 ph and ~6ppm nitrates.  is there anything else I should test for? <Well, alkalinity, nitrite (since you had an ammonia peak- it makes sense to check nitrite just to be sure...or did you mean nitrite when you said "no nitrates?"...just recheck again...> The other fish (maroon clown, neon goby) seem fine.  The inverts (hermit crabs, turbo snails) seem fine.  Everything's great except for the dang tang. I'm sorry this was so long, but I'm really at a loss and wanted to provide as much information as possible in order to make it easier for you to diagnose the situation. Pete French <Well, Pete- your observations and reactions have been good...As mentioned above, sometimes, even seemingly minor stress events, such as the entanglement, can lead to sever stress for the fish, and possibly become life threatening...At this point, all you can do is monitor water chemistry and other parameters, make adjustments as needed, observe the fish, and prepare to intervene medically if it becomes necessary...Remember, stability, consistency, and good water quality are critical with tangs...Let's hope that the trauma is not life-threatening...hang in there.. Regards, Scott F>
Tangled (Pt.2)
Sadly enough, in the time it took to compose my last mail to you, the mimic tang in question died. He was in exactly the spot we saw him last, but decidedly expired. <Damn! Sorry to hear that! It sounds like a definite reaction to stress, brought about by any number of factors....> I just changed the carbon with a fresh dose to pick up any "I'm dying now" chemicals he may have released in his stress. <Never a bad idea...> I don't suspect he was dead long enough (or alive long enough in the main) to warrant a water change.  The other occupants seem fine. Feel free to advise me otherwise.  I'm obviously in need of it. <Well, Peter- I think that you really did all that you could have done for this guy...Sometimes, even with our best efforts, an animal just doesn't make it...It's the agonizing part of the hobby, and not a happy thing, but unfortunately it is part of the risk we take when we are dealing with wild animals...You did the most responsible thing that you could have done by executing quarantine procedures...If nothing else, recheck all water parameters yet again, and try to learn as much as you can from this experience...Don't give up....Move on, and try to take as much as you can out of this...Chin up! Regards, Scott F>

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

Re: dark area on tang's head OK! I am so sorry to bug you yet again.  This Tang (that I adore) is now showing white fuzzy stuff on his sides and anal (?) fin.  This wasn't easy to see on the pic, and now I'm more neurotic than before.  This is the first expensive fish we have bought and the idea of $40.00 croaking depresses me beyond words!  My baby is in a 30 gal Eclipse, and his roommates are 2 Banggais, 2 Damsels, 1 Sebae, 2 Perculas, and a Fire Goby.  We also have 2 Chocolate Chip and 2 anemones. <Oh oh... the anemones are likely at least in large part to "blame" in your tangs duress here... they produce chemicals and physical structures that get loose in the water that mal-affect other animals... and your tang is the most sensitive in your system. I would either remove this fish to another system or the anemones>   So copper is not an option.  And no, I don't have a quarantine tank.  Shame on me, I know.  Any pearls of wisdom? PLEASE!  I really respect and appreciate your time & input.  Thanks. Heather <You can read about anemones and their keeping on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Tangled Thanks for the quick response, <We are always here for you! Scott F. with you today> My saga continues.  Upon returning home last evening I noticed about a quarter of an inch cut on the body of my yellow tang, it didn't look to deep but the area around it did seem to puff up a little.  The good news is the purple tang seems to have stopped chasing the yellow (I'm not sure if the purple actually inflicted the wound or if the yellow scratched itself on the rock).  Will a small cut like this typically heal itself (fish looks healthy otherwise and has started picking at the Nori I have put in the tank) or do I need to do something with the yellow to prevent it from getting sick and can it infect its tankmates?? Thanks <Good question. In my experience, it's often better to simply leave the fish in the main system, and pay extra good attention to maintaining very high water quality to discourage and prevent infection. This is especially important in your situation, where the "social order" is now falling in to place. Removing and then replacing this guy could create still more problems down the line. Keep a very close eye on the fish, and be prepared to take action if it becomes necessary. Hopefully, he should make a full recovery with little or no intervention on your part. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sohal Tang sickness A Few Problems... Hello crew, got a problem with a sohal tang purchased 2 weeks ago. About 6 days ago started to show a bump on the middle of his side. The bump had a brown dot on it and 1/4 in line on either side of it. Began a copper treatment ( fish and live rock tank only) and second day improvement showed, third day line merged into one brown line running from top to bottom. <Grr...I still don't like the idea of treating in the main tank...really hard to maintain therapeutic levels of the medication in a tank with rocks and sand, which can actually bind with the medication. Always quarantine new arrivals in a separate tank at least 3 weeks...This will give you a chance to treat things like this in a more conducive environment...Live and learn!> hen yesterday, Koran angel died. Began a treatment of Kanacyn, (bathing tang separately for one hour each day) and adding VitaChem to tank. Hoping to do this for five days and see what happens. Problem is no one has ever seen anything like this before, brown stripe and bump! <Hard to say from here, but it sounds like a parasite of some sort...I don't like "experimenting" with medications, especially in the main tank, where copper has already been used...At least run some Poly Filter to get some of the copper out of there...Vitamin preparations are good at helping provide extra nutrition for the fish, although you may be fueling future nuisance algae blooms> The tank is a 55 gal, other inhabitants, lunare wrasse, Picasso trigger, & Tasmanian devil damsel. They appear healthy, all eat well, and are active. Bio wheel and Accu flo filter (carbon removed) and Sal 1.023, temp 76. Any ideas, hints, or help greatly appreciated. Desperate Depths! <Well- not the time to scold you...But...That is way, way too many potentially large (and high metabolite-producing) fishes in this sized tank. The Sohal is one of the most aggressive of all tangs, and can reach almost 15 inches in length! I wouldn't even put this combination of potentially large, aggressive fishes in a 100 gallon tank. These fishes all require a lot of room, superior water quality, and stable conditions. I think that you need to consider a much larger (like 180-300 gallon tank, maybe more) tank to maintain these fishes in a happy and healthy state for anything close to their natural life span. Also, you need to re-assess your equipment to deal with the copious amounts of waste that these fishes give off. A protein skimmer for these fishes is an absolute necessity, as is liberal use of activated carbon or other chemical filtration media, which should be changed regularly. Employ regular, small water changes on a frequent basis. You'll learn a lot from this episode, and you'll have a great deal of success if you take into account some of the needs that these fishes have...Stay on top of things, slow down, read a lot on the WWM site, and you can turn things around. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Yellow Tang I have a yellow tang in my 90 gallon tank that appears very healthy (aside from his tail), eats well and is very active. Other fish in the tank include some percula clowns, a 6 line wrasse, and a coral beauty.  Its tail is about a third of its size when I got it about eight months ago.  Although I've noted the larger of the two clown fish take a run at it every now and then, I've never actually seen it nip the tang's tail. I have heard of some sort of tail erosion, but have not been able to find much reading material on it. Does this sound like erosion, or is it some other malady I should be looking into? <Perhaps nutritional in origin rather than the Clown (or perhaps hidden by day hitchhiking crustacean) at play here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangfeedingfaqs.htm and those on Tang Disease, Yellow Tangs... linked (in blue at top). Bob Fenner>

Shy Tang! Purchased a 3-4 inch blue tang mail order.  The fish immediately went to the bottom of the tank.  Has been alone in the quarantine tank now for 3 weeks. Will come out from under a rock to eat Sea Veggies when no one is around, but spends most of its time on its side under the rock. Doesn't really swim and is certainly not acting like a normal fish.  No outward signs of parasite or infection. I have used no chemicals or drugs.  Tank did take an ammonia bump, but this seems to be resolved.  Any suggestions?  Thanks, Mark <Well, Mark- it's not completely unusual for this fish to hide for periods of time. Even when established in a tank, this fish will often retreat to a cleft in the live rock structure, and wedge himself into the rock for "security". I think that this guy will come into his own with continued good care. Do observe him carefully during the remainder of the quarantine period, and be prepared to take any action that may be required. In the end, however, I think he just needs more time to settle in. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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