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FAQs about Purple Tangs 2

Related Articles: Purple Tangs, Zebrasoma Tangs, Yellow Tangs

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

Zebrasoma xanthurum in captivity. A small (3.5 cm.) one in captivity. Photo by Hiroyuki Tanaka.

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Zebrasoma stocking Thank you for the help Mike! Regarding your comment about stressing-out the Purple tang to the point it gets ich; I QT all new fish for at least four weeks before adding them to my main tank. <that is what everyone should do!>   If any signs of ich are present, I add Copper or CLOUT and keep them in QT for four weeks after the last signs of ich.  I cannot use copper in my main tank and I cannot catch the fish once they have been released into my main tank, so this is very necessary for me. On WetWebMedia, I have read that there very good reason to expect to never have ich in the main tank if such QT procedures are followed. <in a perfect tank this is true> This being the case, do you still feel that the Purple Tang could be at risk for developing ich? <under this strict quarantine most likely not>   I ask because I had considered using copper on ALL incoming fish (regardless of signs of parasites) as a preventative measure but I was advised that 90+% of fish present signs of ich during the four week QT period if they have any Cryptocaryon on them. <ich is present all the time in your substrate when a fish become stress it's slime coat breaks down causing parasites to attach to the fish> If ich could break out at any time, then it seems it must always be present either in the water or dormant on the fish.  If this is the case, allowing a tank to go fallow for four weeks to eradicate Cryptocaryon seems almost pointless (except for a near-term reduction in crypto population). <yes but this quarantine that you put these fish threw ,not only gets rid of any parasites on the fish but gives the fish time to build up his slime coat and to make sure he is feeding well, so that he will be able to feed aggressively when entered into the main tank>   Please help clear this up for me as I have been struggling for the best insurance against ich. <what you are doing is right on the money. you are taking every step you can. but one thing you can not predict is how another fish will act with another good luck Mike H> Thank you, -- Greg Wyatt

"Reef-Safe" Purple Tang? 6/15/03 I have a 55 gallon tank. It has a Colt Coral, Torch Coral, Large Pearl Bubble, Open Brain and a Green Daisy Polyp. I have one fish in there. He is a purple tang. He has been in the tank a few weeks and has only recently picked at the Open Brain and just the Open Brain. He picks at it just like he does the live rock. Is this OK? <not uncommon unfortunately... and not OK. It will kill the coral(s) in time. Zebrasoma tangs are often picky on corals. The American hobbyists tend to tolerate it... but several prominent European books/authors do not regard tangs as reef-safe at all. I agree that they are serious nibblers at times.> Will it hurt the Open Brain? <will kill it for certain in time. They must be separated> What should I watch for? I don't want to move this fish back with my Foxface Rabbit, Coral Beauty, and Blue Headed Wrasse in my other tank if I don't have to. Is the Open Brain like a rock to the tang or has he developed a taste for meat. <the latter> I feed him Two Little Fishes Seaweed, Formula one, Sweetwater Plankton, Flake food and Mysis Shrimp. Happy Father's Day!..............Chet <to you in kind, best regards. Anthony>

Good News: The Purple Tang is Purple Again! Hi Ian, just an update on My Purple tang.  This morning he looked much better (I was really Surprised)<me too>  and tonight he has almost all of his deep purple color back.<good to hear my friend>  He is breathing normally, and eating and swimming as he usually does (aggressively).<aggressively sounds about right>  I am really surprised as I thought he was finished.  This was a really scary change for this fish, still not sure what caused it, but the on-set was overnight, and it looks like the cure was overnight as well.<agreed>  None of the other three fish are affected so far, and nothing in my tank has changed.  I guess I should just consider myself one of the lucky ones...but I will  do a slightly larger water change this weekend.  Thanks again Larry <your welcome, IanB>

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

Purple Tang Purple Tang started showing few spots of ich, feed garlic soaked food and gave a FWD with Meth blue, spots disappeared overnight. It came back hard after about a week, still feeding garlic and giving 10-15 min FWD every couple of days but no real improvement. Fish seems okay with the dips, just getting harder to catch. Questions, how often can FWD's be given and should I expect the spots to drop off after the dip? At the start, spots would be gone after the dip but back by morning, now they don't seem to be dropping off at all. <FWD's are very stressful to all salt fish not to mention the stress of catching it daily. Many of the spots should drop off. However, this fish is getting weaker with each dip and that's making it more susceptible to ich infestation. My friend, do you have a quarantine tank? It would really come in handy. You could administer copper and get rid of the dips. If this interests you, please read about disease treatment at Wetwebmedia.com There is lots of information archived at this site...including directions for FWD's and a copper treatment. Please don't administer copper in your main tank> Thanks Mark <You're welcome. I'm just sorry that your having this problem...David Dowless>

Purple Tang / Brooklynella / Mouth Sore Hello panel, I have a 4" purple tang that after a year and a half in the 110 has had an outbreak that looked like Brooklynella; irregular whitish flaky patches (3 cleaner shrimp went nuts on these when the fish was sleeping), stopped eating, generally stayed facing a rock and struggled to keep balance, breathing was normal.  I pH-adjusted-FW dipped with Meth Blue and put it in 10 ga hospital tank with Formalite II AND Neomycin (for secondary infection prevention).  He was in this bath at recommended levels of medication for 14 days.  Patches went away and I felt victorious (pride comes before a fall). In hospital tank, it developed a sore/pinkish reddish lesion covering his upper lip that won't go away.  Not getting bigger or smaller. I couldn't control ammonia levels (at high end of Hagen test kit scale) with that size fish in such a 10 ga tank even with water changes so about 7 days ago I put it in a well cycled 30 ga quarantine tank that has 0 ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings. I thought the ammonia was poisoning him and he seems to be doing better in 30 ga.  Sore is still there but he is swimming a little more.  Starting to get some HLLE beginning around eyes (probably water quality related) and this morning he has a small flaky white patch aft of gill cover (arghh!).  It also twitches dorsal fin every second or two which is something new.  Is it because he can see a yellow tang in another q-tank nearby?  Is it something else? <Hmm, it could be both as far as behavior. The patch indicates there is still a problem. I personally like copper treatment and medicated food (Metronidazole). See parasitic disease section of WetWebMedia.com. Tetra medicated food is actually addictive (my observation), may get fish to eat.> It still has deep purple color but won't eat food provided.  Do you have any ideas on what is bothering this fish and what steps I may take to get him back to his old self other than what I've tried?  Four weeks now, and it hasn't eaten any Nori (although there is plenty of micro algae in both tanks he may be nibbling on... I can't imagine it can go for a month w/o eating and it is not getting skinnier).  I assume it won't eat as long as the sore is there and my experience with fresh-water fish and mouth sores tells me that I better do something or "that's all she wrote" for my purple friend.  Sincerely, John Ilg <He may be eating nothing but microalgae which may cause the mouth problem, although I lean to the water quality to start (in the 10). The mouth sore should clear up on it's own if it's not too extensive. I would stop the formalin and neomycin, keep copper at recommended levels (WetWebMedia.com) and maintain water quality. The color change is related to stress and conditions. Lower light and give him plastic/inert hiding places to help with stress. Best of luck!  Craig>>

Purple Tang Bully Thank you for the advice on placing my flame wrasse.  He was starting to pale out and smash his head in the QT tank so after a week, no signs of disease I gave him a dip and placed him in my 55 gallon. <Ah, good> His color is very good now, but my purple tang has become aggressive.  He used to live peacefully with my maroon clown, but now he is mad and is nipping clown and wrasse.  For the first few days the wrasse would barely come out and when he did the purple would chase him back in to hiding.  He seems to hold his own a little more now, it has been five days.  But there is a little nip out of the flame's top fin and both little bottom front fins on the clown are about half the size they were.  I never see the aggression towards the clown, maybe it happens at night, but it is obvious the purple doesn't like the wrasse.  I thought the clown was being nipped by a big white-spotted scarlet reef crab, so I removed the crab, but the nips I see are new.  Other inhabitants are 6 tiny hermits, about 1/2 inch, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 brittle star, and 2 feather dusters, all of which are not bothered by the purple tang.  My question is whether this aggression will continue, it has been five days and it seems a little better but there is physical damage, though minor, to the fins of the other 2 fish.  The tang of course looks better than ever.  Also the clown doesn't seem to care that the tang has nipped its fins, it still swims right next to the tang following it around like it always has.  I have 5 little green Chromis, and 3 neon gobies in QT right now with about a week left, I was hoping that adding these might reduce the tang's aggressiveness, will it? <I would try removing the Purple Tang (to the quarantine tank) for about five days or so... this move, isolation will often quiet down a natural bully> I wasn't planning on adding any more fish to the tank after that.  But I do have another question about a blenny I saw in a display tank at an LFS.  They called it a yellow or gold Sailfin blenny from Tonga.  They said it was pretty rare and there was a long waiting list for it.  They didn't know the scientific name for it and I looked through all the blenny stuff on your web site and haven't seen this particular one.  It is one of the cutest fish I have ever seen, looking very cartoonish, very big eyes and flat forehead.  It has a fatter and shorter body style than most of the blennies and looks the most similar to what they call a black Sailfin blenny on ffexpress, except it was a very bright true yellow.  Do you have any idea what genus this blenny is in so I could research it more, and you know what it is, is it a good fish for an aquarium or not, also would it mix with the other fish I have, if I was to ever get one with the long waiting  list. <This fish might well get along with what you have if the system is large enough. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm What you have seen is likely Meiacanthus ovalauensis> Thank you so much for the wonderful advice in the past, it has saved my fish. Kylee <Glad to have helped you help your livestock. Bob Fenner>

Purple tang questions Received a 5" purple tang and neon goby five days ago did the FWD (temp/ph matched with Meth blue) and that was sure stressful and least for me. <Been there, done that...I know how you feel!> First the tang goes out of the net, jumps about a foot in the air (landing back in the bucket) then lays upside down, nose first with all its fin held rigid. Could see the gill plates moving so left in for 5 minutes. <Mayday! Mayday! Your fish was under severe stress. In the future if a fish behaves this way, skip the dip. Some fish do great with FWD others not so well. Each fish is an individual. Use a quarantine tank instead> Then when I placed in the tank, it just laid on its side at the surface, after about 15 seconds, I poked it a couple of times, before it swan to the bottom of the tank. Anyway my questions, small white dot on lower part of eye. Looks more circular than in picture, thought it might be sand like the other dots that had me going but this is staying, Ich? <Personally, I never freak out about one spot of anything. Keep the water temp very stable, and the water quality high. Let's don't call it ich yet> Second question, just before the tang voided noticed there was white 2" thread like streamer, could this be an internal parasite? <Could be but I don't think I would worry. A fish voiding during a FWD is a certain sign of severe stress. Keep the tank temp very stable and the water quality high...and leave this guy alone for now... unless something obvious crops up> Had some long strands of hair algae that the tang been cleaning up. < If the poor fellow is eating that's definitely a good sign. I am inclined to think that you scared this guy literally almost to death and he needs time to recuperate. If you have a quarantine tank I would move him there just so he could relax and begin to feel at home. If you don't have a QT consider setting one up before your next fish purchase. For now, leave this fish alone...but watch closely> Thanks and Merry Christmas Mark
<Happy holidays to you and yours! David Dowless>

Re: Live Sand Hi, <HELLLLLLLLO!>    I have a question about live sand.  I have a 58 gallon tank with 80lbs. of live rock and about a 2" sand bed in my tank. In the deeper lighted areas of the sand, it has started to produce large amounts of bubbles.  It doesn't appear to do this in the shaded areas.  Is this normal? <Yep...Just the natural processes going on in the sand> Is this the nitrogen given off by denitrification processes? <With a bed this shallow your are unlikely to get denitrification> I was always under the assumption that nitrogen gas given off would be dissolved in the water.  All the water parameters are good: NH4 = 0ppm, NO2 = 0ppm, NO3 = <10ppm, etc.  The fish and inverts appear healthy and happy. <Nothing to worry about> As a side question, is this tank big enough for either a Kole Tang or a Purple Tang?  I currently have the following:  Cirrhilabrus luteovittatus (Fairy Wrasse), Stonogobiops nematodes (Striped Shrimp Goby) with Alpheus randalli (Pistol shrimp), Opistognathus aurifrons (Yellowhead Jawfish), (incidentally, and not to get off topic, should I be worried about this pairing of the Jawfish and goby/shrimp pair?), Amphiprion ocellaris (False Percula Clown), Gobiodon oceanops (Neon Goby), Nemateleotris decora (Purple Firefish). <I think your tank is at capacity. Besides...tangs, especially the purple (Zebrasoma xanthurum)...are very aggressive. This tendency is even worse when you have them confined in small tanks (like a 55) with lots of little fish. The tangs will terrorize this peaceful tank. Leave it out...Pleeeeeeease?> Thank you for all your help, <You're welcome! I'm glad to see that you are researching before spending a $100 or more on a fish. This habit WILL save you a lot of money and aggravation. David Dowless> Erik Jorvig

Re: x-mass tree worms and purple tang Hello again gents. I have a Porites coral with xmas tree worms all over it and was wondering if I get a purple tang will it try to eat the xmas tree worms? <Your Porites with Xmas Tree worms is likely safe from a Purple Tang, but still not likely to live long term. These are known for dying in captivity. Their secret has eluded the hobby. We are not even sure what the worms eat.> Also do the purple tangs bother open brain corals and hammer, anchor etc.? <No, Tangs in general do not bother corals.> Thanks! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ick on my purple tang Hello, I recently bought a purple tang which was a pretty decent size, I added him directly to my reef tank and of course he got ick within a few days . After a week I noticed he was not getting any better in fact worse now he would not eat and swimming lethargic at the top so I took him out and put him in a 10 gal tank with just a rock to hide behind, a filter and a powerhead for oxygen. I am using rid ich medication and changing water everyday he got better the first week, and started eating again. I am supplementing my frozen foods with garlic, Zo?and marine c vitamin, he was getting better everyday the first week, on my second week now, I have noticed he is breathing very rapidly and he constantly stay s almost completely pale white hardly any color but as soon as I walk in the room he comes out to eat but still stays discolored I have been checking my water parameters daily and everything is fine. By the way there is no light on the tank at all.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks or help !    <Stop the Rid Ick, perform a FW dip as per directions on WetWebMedia.com, change water in QT to remove Rid Ick and dose with copper at 0.25ppm for two weeks, then two weeks w/o copper. Test copper twice daily with the proper test for the copper you use. Hold your main tank fallow of fish for at least one month. There are no short cuts. Please QT all new fish for at least two weeks before introduction to display with healthy fish.  There is much valuable information available on WWM. Type "ick", "copper" and "quarantine" in the google search engine at the bottom of the page.  Let us know if you need more help!  Craig>

Help! Purple Tang has turned brown-green and won't eat Hi, Thanks for your excellent web-site. I've kept marine aquariums for almost 5 years now, and have a problem I've never encountered, and can't find a reference on the web.  My purple tang, who for 3 or 4 months has been very fat and healthy (along with all the other residents of the tank) has over the past 10 days: 1) stopped eating, and 2) changed color over most of his body (looks like he's been covered with grey/green dust). (He's still purple on his sides where his fins fold back against his body) 3) I don't observe any ulcerations, holes, or fin damage. I've tried enticing him with different foods (Ocean Nutrition's "Formula 1", "Formula 2", and "Brine Shrimp Plus", Frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, Waltham's "Aquarian", Aquatrol's "Spirulina 20", "Nutrafin Max", freeze-dried krill...  but he still has no appetite. He won't even eat lettuce, which he used to devour. He has become more shy, and will hide when I walk up to the tank (he used to do this on occasion, but now does it every time). When he doesn't know he's being observed I can see that he is still pretty active, but has started to look really gaunt in the back half of his body. Specs: 100 Gallon Uniquarium, fish only, habitually understocked (other inhabitants are 6" blonde Naso, 5" Foxface, 3" flame angel, 3" long-nosed hawkfish, 3 small damsels) Uniquarium has: - venturi protein skimmer - foam-block pre-filters - carbon bag chemical filters - wet/dry bio-balls biological - I don't know the GPM on the power head, but it's the one that came with the Uniquarium Feeding - I usually feed mostly flake (variety of Formula 1, Formula 2, and Brine Shrimp Plus), and usually a full leaf of Romaine lettuce daily. <Ahh, much here. I would look to environmental/nutritional causes from the above. The bio-filtration produces nitrates which should come down to less than 40. The lower the better, but difficult with the type of filtration you have. Now, for primary cause in my opinion...diet, which is contributing to parasites, bacterial, or fungal condition. This fish eats vegetative matter in the wild and needs it in captivity. Land based foods like lettuce are inadequate. Feed Nori, algae, perhaps Caulerpa, etc. The Formula 2 *frozen* food would be a good addition as well as soaking foods in Selcon. Brine shrimp is like Ho-Ho's or Twinkies. Brine shrimp plus is like those frosted donuts.> Maintenance - I do 15-20 gallon changes every 2 weeks; ammonia & nitrite always at 0, nitrate sometimes as high as 80ppm but usually 20 or 40. Copper is 0. Temp stays at 79, salinity at 1.023. Everybody else in the tank is very fat, healthy, active, peaceful, and happy. Help! Thanks -  Joel Sweat <I would work on optimizing water and diet. QT if needed to control disease and treat as needed. Start with a FW dip. Raise temp to 83 in QT. Most likely ick/velvet or bacterial from overall stress, diet, nitrates.  Please write if you need further assistance, Craig>

Sick purple tang I have a purple tang that I had in a qt tank for about three weeks and just put him in my 50 gallon reef tank about a week ago. Since then he has been eating but has just started to get ick then the next night I noticed a blister like white spot on his left side and an indention directly below it but it does not look like he is starving (especially since he is eating well). His diet consists of formula two with Spirulina some dried seaweed and live seaweed and some frozen brine shrimp. Hope you can help thanks in advance. Dan <This could have been caused by a stressful acclimation. I would move the fish back to the quarantine tank for treatment; once he is back in shape try placing him in the display again. Checkout the disease section of WWM, you should be able to identify the pathogen in question and how to treat it.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm With proper treatment you should be able to clear this up - Good luck, Gage>

Purple Tang Dilemma Good afternoon to you all! <<And good morning to you, JasonC here.>> I have a reef system (set up for about 8 months now). I have now encountered my first problem. My 4 inch purple tang has some sort of illness but I'm not sure what. He has been flashing around the tank and now has white splotches (not white spots like with ick). I'm concerned that it might be marine velvet.  <<It could be...>> What I don't understand is that he has been in the tank for about 3mths and all inhabitants before and since have been quarantined for at least 2wks. <<Hmmm... well, two weeks of quarantine is a little short, I like to shoot for a month or more, just because it can take a while for parasitic problems to show themselves. But I don't want to beat you up over quarantine - to do this at all is better than many.>> My tang is now in the hospital tank and I'm wondering if I should just freshwater dip him every other day or should I use something more drastic like CopperSafe.  <<I would start with the dips - do make sure you match the pH of the dip water to that of the quarantine tank. Try to avoid the copper for a little while if you can - copper often causes problems for the tangs as it kills off unique fauna in their gut. I'd wait and see how the dips go - perhaps for a week. As long as the fish is eating and getting around well, you've got some time.>> Awaiting your wisdom, Christina 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, < 5 nitrate, spg 1.024, pH 8.2, alk 3.2 meq/L Ca 420,water change every 2wks <<Sounds good. Cheers, J -- >>

Purple Tang Dear Mr. Fenner, Mr. Calfo, or Mr. Pro, I appreciate you guys answering my question about adding fish to my aquarium, that I asked you guys a few days ago. Now I just have one more question that I hope you can help me with. I will be receiving a Purple Tang that has outgrown a fellow marine fish enthusiasts tank, and I will be putting it in a 150 gallon aquarium. My question is, I have a 29 gallon quarantine tank set up for it, and I was wondering if you felt that this would be a big enough tank for it, <It should be unless the fish is very large, over 6" long.> and also how long you would quarantine it for, <In this particular instance since it is not coming from a store and should be coming from a healthy environment, you could shorten the QT period to two weeks IF the fish behaves perfectly the entire time. Otherwise, one month.> if after a few days of being in quarantine it shows no signs of illness or disease and it is active and eating? <Two weeks is the absolute minimum.> Also, do you think that a freshwater/ Methylene blue dip both before and after quarantine would be helpful in this situation? <In this situation, probably not needed. Again, do to you getting this fish from a fellow hobbyist versus a store.> I have read all your articles on these subjects, and I am just confirming that you agree with my course of action. Thank you very much, I appreciate your help! Craig S <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Purple tang Hi! I have a Purple tang for about 4 month in a 75 gal reef tank with only 1 Tomatoe clown & 2 cleaner Shrimp., several snails and hermits. I feed the Purple tang twice a day. Once Seaweed Selects and once either Frozen Spirulina-Formula 2 or Kelp which I rotate. Twice a week I soak the seaweed in Zoe and Zoecon. Recently I noticed White spots over the purple tangs body. They are not bubble-like or really look like ich. They just seem to be dis-colorations from head to tail. At looks the fish seems fine and they can only be seen from a certain angle. They have recently grown in numbers. The tang doesn't rub up/ scratch against any of the rock and still has a great appetite. Is this ich or some other disease?  <tough to say from the description but tangs are indeed very susceptible to external parasites. Temperature changes between night and day (house air conditioning, etc) and cool water changes are culprits commonly> I have recently noticed the tang has been hanging out with one of the cleaner shrimp. Could this be irritation from the cleaner shrimp cleaning at him?  <not likely... the tang would avoid the shrimp if so... sounds like the tang has an infection and is looking for cleaning service> Should this fish be quarantined? <definitely, my friend. Continue the good feeding. Keep stable temp. Do water changes form a bare bottomed QT tank. FW dips for 7-10 days and medicate with formalin or tested copper if necessary. Ideally a 4 week QT stay to be sure> Please let me now what you think. Thanks for your time! - Ron

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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