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FAQs about Yellow Tangs 3

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Related FAQs: Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 4, Black Spot Disease, Purple 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 Behavior, Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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>

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>

Tweaked Tang? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have just added a beautifully healthy eating Yellow Tang. He eats the seaweed I put on the clip as well as blood worms. The worms are surprising because I thought the Tangs were herbivores. <Well, tangs are primarily herbivorous, but they do eat lots of different foods...In my experience, there are few foods that a healthy tang will refuse!> Anyway, When I look at him from a certain angle his right fin seems to have a white shading on it. It is not salt or sugar like ich. I am a little concerned. No rapid breathing, no scratching yet. But could this just be coloration? <Hard for me to be 100% certain from here, but I'd hazard a guess that this may be an area of different pigmentation...In the absence of other "symptoms" of disease, I'd just keep a close eye on him and not get too stressed out about it! If the situation changes, we can re-assess this, of course!> Thank You for your time and help. Christy <Any time, Christy! Regards, Scott F> David W. Evans

- 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>

Re: Yellow Tang Problems >Another update!  Thanks for all of you help through our times of crisis.  We did invest in a 12 gal Rubbermaid container to use as a QT tank.  We moved Mike (our yellow tang) there last Wednesday, starting a treatment with Furacyn.  He has improved significantly.   >>I am stunned, and exceedingly pleased that this fish is hanging tough.  I'd love it if you could send us another picture so we can see what's happened over the past few weeks.  A .gif or .jpg file would be easier to store, though. >His mouth has shut, allowing him to bite off seaweed.  We started a second treatment of Furacyn this past Wednesday.  Although he shows great signs of improvement in his looks and eating habits (we continue to soak all his food in garlic and a vitamin supplement) he remains pale.  I am guessing that is color will be the last things that will improve.   >>More than likely correct. >Our 55 gal tank has also suffered some heartache.  The four previous treatments of Kanacyn completely wiped out any beneficial bacteria causing our nitrites to spike off the charts.   >>Yes, another reason why I recommend a separate q/t system. >Once this was noticed we did a 25% water change and added Marine-Max.  Two days later we tested the nitrites again.  They were still off the charts.  We then performed another 25% water change, added another dose of Marine-Max and received some sand and media-balls (or something like them) from an established tank at our local aquarium store and placed them in our filter.  Over the next few days we were out of town and a friend watched our fish.  To make her life easier she just feed them and every other day added a dose of Marine-Max.  Once we returned we checked the nitrite level.  Once again it read off the chart.  We completed a 50% water change, continuing to add the Marine-Max.  This last water change was on Tuesday.  We check the nitrites last night and they are still off the charts.  What else can we do?   >>Generally, anything less than 50% isn't going to make a dent in high readings.  You need to start with three 50% changes, over the next three days would be preferable, if not, then every other day (making it a total of six days).  That *should* help, although just waiting it out will do the trick, too.  Do not stir up the substrate all at when you do the changes, you want to keep every last bacterium you have healthy in the system until things are in order. >The good news is that our fish (both puffers) seem to be tolerating the high nitrite levels.  We are keeping a good eye on them for any behavioral changes.  Thank you for all of your help! >>You're very welcome, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear that your fish are still trying to stay with us.  Do these big water changes, if the puffers aren't showing signs of stress you have a wee bit of breathing room, but know that by bringing the nitrite down the tank will take a bit longer to re-cycle.  Once you have decent readings then put the fish back on their regular feeding schedule, but bring it up gradually unless they're losing weight.  Best of luck!  Marina

Yellow Tang >Hi! >>Hi! >I have a 75g tank with one yellow tang whose about 1.5" long and a Maroon clown fish , a little smaller. Also one coral banded shrimp. I would like to know specifically what fish i can add to the tank and how many. I would love to add more tangs, but  finding more about fish that get along with the yellow tang has been hard.  Also can i add live plants, if so what kind?   >>Ok, consider the Forcipiger longirostris or F. flavissimus--two different species both known as Longnose butterflies.  Make sure that they are at least twice the size of the Yellow tang, to avoid aggression towards these more timid fish as they are both yellow and shaped similarly to the Yellow tang.  You could also add a Copperband butterfly. >>You could add a Royal Gramma or Pseudochromis, please don't mix them, though.  Hawkfish are a great addition, Arc-eye or Longnose are good (watch the Longnose for suicidal leaps).  The more timid damsels (such as the lovely pink and yellow Fiji damsel) would fare well and provide lively action.  You could also consider a pygmy angel, such as a Flame angel, but only add one, they don't care for each other and interspecies aggression is an issue.   >>If you added two butterflies (maybe three, but be careful), a hawkfish, a Pseudochromis or Royal Gramma, and a pygmy (not a Potter's) I think you should be doing fairly well.  Please avoid fishes that require aged, well-established reef tanks to thrive, such as Mandarin fish.  Without knowing your tank parameters or filtration it's difficult to be hard and fast about numbers (it is anyway, though), so it's better to err on the side of Understocking.  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>

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

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>

Danger of disease with too little practical knowledge, bunk advice I have a 55 gallon tank, which has been up and running again for a little while...(4 months?)  Anyway, we have crushed coral on the bottom, and some coral and rocks for decoration/hiding/shelter.  Our water has been checking out fine when we do a test at the store.  (the only test kit we have is the PH one)   <First Dave, take responsibility for knowing your water, get an ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH/alkalinity test kit(s) and learn to test your water. Your fish store may or may not be able to really help you.> Our fish are 1 yellow tang, 1 orange tailed blue damsel (don't know his official name, but he is not the yellow-tailed ones), 1 clarkii clown fish, 1 juvenile Emperor angel and 1 cleaner wrasse.  (Okay, I have only just begun to read about how this is a bad fish to get, but was trying to solve the tang's problems)  Oh, and our filter is an Eheim canister style filter (says 2213 on it?)  and we have a bubbler stone with little pump just for nice bubble look off to the side. Okay, here is the problem.  Our yellow tang looked great when we first got him. (this was after cycling our tank with damsels and then returning all but the orange tailed guy)  Then a few days later developed tiny tiny black dots all over.  Checked it out and talked to our fish guy.  He said it was the Hawaiian black spot parasite and he recommended a fresh water dip.  I did that and they went away.  Then of course they came back, I now am beginning to read and understand about the life cycle of the parasites.  Because they kept coming back the fish store people had me treat the tank with Marine Aquaria NO ICH treatment for 2 weeks. <FIRE your LFS and do not buy this snake oil stuff anymore!!! PLEASE go to the disease pages of WetWebMedia.com and read about *why* you are getting this disease and how to get your system back in order. Also, please read about and obtain a quarantine tank large enough for all your fish. Read about quarantine and marine stocking at WWM too!> Well, all looked well so after the treatment cycle we bought the emperor angel.  I mentioned to them that I thought I saw one or two new dots, and they agreed that a cleaner wrasse would help.   <See my advice above and give me a double. Give them the broom, they are not only rip offs, but they sold you a fish that you now know doesn't have a good survival record AND is endangered.> Sure enough, that day the wrasse ate them off, and I thought we were out of the woods.  Now here we are a week later, and the yellow tang has 4-5 tiny dots again.  and the wrasse is not eating them.  She is eating everything else we feed the fish (we primarily use the frozen formula two food, but to ensure the Emperor would eat, we got some brine shrimp)   <Brine shrimp is fine to get fish eating, but do switch to Mysis shrimp and another form of nutritious food, brine shrimp is the Wonder Bread of fish foods, no, it's more like Twinkies. IOW, it has no nutritive value.> I did another fresh water dip on the tang, for 5-7 minutes.  He looked fine in there the whole time, but is looking definitely stressed now.  His breathing was quite rapid, and he was in his stress darker color mode.  He is fortunately looking a bit better now, but not much. What also worries me is now our Emperor angel is lingering in the bubbles on occasion, and I am afraid he is getting something now. I just did a 15% or so water change today, and put the carbon back in the filter (was out during the treatment)  But things just seem off.  I am afraid we are going to wake up to all our fish dead.  Oh yeah, the wrasse is not looking so good anymore.  Having trouble staying straight in the water, and holding her mouth open a lot. (her name is Alice, by the way, from the Brady Bunch.) So there we have it.  Spare me no details, although I already know some of the major mistakes we have made.  (No quarantine tank being the biggest I think)  Help save our fish! Becky <I would look up black spot disease on WetWebMedia.com and treat as per directed there, in a QT tank, this is common for Yellow Tangs. You may also have another parasite or water condition that you don't see or can't test for, (ick/velvet) and wastes (esp. ammonia/nitrite) and pH/salinity/temp. I would recommend a QT tank along with tests for water parameters as these may be problematic/causative with all fish listless.  Also search on google search at WetWebMedia.com on ick/velvet treatment as this may be problem with new additions to black spot. I know you won't add any more fish without a proper quarantine, will you?  It may take a month or two to get all straightened out. Make good use of the QT and disease pages of WWM!  Best of luck!  Craig>

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>

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>

Paravortex Dear WWMedia, I have been reading through your Q&A section in regards to Black Ick & yellow tangs and have some questions in regards to this matter.  I have a 55 gal reef full of live rock (and some peppermint shrimp) that had been exposed to Amyloodinium by the previous occupants.  This tank has been fish free for over 6 months (yes--- 4 and 3 months without fish did not solve the infestation problem..... apparently Amyloodinium can go some time in its dormancy period). <Yes, unfortunately>   All of the previous occupants are now in another tank and after copper Tx they all are disease free.  Anyways, I purchased a yellow tang to put within the 55 system to see if Amyloodinium was still there (-I didn't want to risk putting the previous occupants in again since they are part of a new 150 reef that is doing very well).  After 1 month no signs of Amyloodinium on the yellow tang but now black ick is apparent.  (In the ideal world I should have quarantined the tang 1st before adding to the 55 gal for a controlled experiment)  Can you tell me if 1 or 2 months (or more?) is necessary for the 55 gal tank to go fish free in order to rid the system of the turbellarian? <Will only infest the Yellow Tang... I would remove it, freshwater dipping it in transit, and place it back in a month or two> I can easily treat the tang in another QT (I am now getting quite good at this process) but I do not want to risk infestation again if 1 month is not long enough.  What has been your experiences? Thank you for any info that you can provide, Laurie Rindell <A month or longer w/o the tang should do. Bob Fenner>

Re: Yellow Tang Color Dear Crew:   I've been looking at a couple of nice 4" yellow tangs at my LFS for a couple of weeks now. They seem healthy and are  acting normally and eating well. However, the ridges on their dorsal fins are rust-colored (and have been all this time). What could be wrong with them?   Steve Allen <Likely either residual trauma from collection and shipping or some aspect of less than ideal care (water quality mostly) at your dealers. They will improve quickly in a better setting. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and the linked Yellow Tang pages. Bob Fenner>

Re: tang disease...? i have a yellow tang, <For how long?> the other day noticed a very small red area on body, now it seems the whole fish to be turning somewhat white in color, very thin face and body and gills rather unusual looking, redder than usual, maybe "kept open" more than usual. fish is not rubbing and seems to be eating ok but appears very thin, have one cleaner shrimp one true clown and an bicolor angel in tank, <Of what size?> none of the others seem to be sick. he does have somewhat white patching, or rough areas, not sure if the raised more yellow areas are the culprit or the fact that the outer areas are white if they are the disease...am i making any sense? <Yes> i have got a QT tank ready, now what do i treat with....i looked in my box of fish stuff and i have some CopperSafe, some stuff called quick cure i think it is like malachite green or something, TC tablets (but they say fresh water. is there a difference?), <Sometimes, yes> and maracyn2 (also says freshwater)...  i have no idea what this is...i feed my fish sea veggies green dried seaweed on a clamp and Mysis shrimp. 55 gallon tank with live coral and mushrooms, red legs and a large green scary looking starfish....oh just before i noticed this i had put  a dose of Chemi-clean for some red algae slime stuff on my live coral, could this have caused the tang to get sick? <Possibly an influence... as the changes you describe are almost certainly environmental in cause... not pathogenic first hand (in other words, your water quality is the direct reason for the off-color). Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Tangdisease.htm and the linked (in blue, at top) further FAQs files on Tang Disease, on to the Yellow Tang FAQs (linked through the genus name Zebrasoma), and on to environmental disease FAQs on WWM. You need to improve your fish's environment, possibly bolster its nutrition... no need to "treat" or quarantine this fish. Bob Fenner>

Tang Breathing Heavily Dear crew, <Scott F. here today> I have my yellow tang for more than six months now...he has been eating well, no sign of ick or other diseases at all. but his colour is always a bit pale. I feed him some dry food. some frozen food...some Nori as well. he is the king of the tank, other tankmates include blue tang, tomato clown, goby and flame angel. they all look fine. I check the water parameters. they all seem fine. I don't have much green algae grown on the live rocks. Wouldn't it be a problem? <Not too much of a problem, if you can supply fresh macroalgae, in the form of Gracilaria, which is about as great a tang food as you can get! You can get this algae from a number of on-line vendors- my favorite is IndoPacific Sea Farms in Kona) He seems breathing a little bit fast. Wouldn't it be something to do with the level of oxygen in the water? <It could be...or it could be that there is something out of whack with your water chemistry. In the absence of other "symptoms", it is probably not a sign of disease...Do re-check water parameters. If none of the other fish are showing this behaviour, it is definitely worth examining the tang more closely for possible illnesses.> How can I increase the level of oxygen in water? would a ozonizer help? Thank you so much in advance. Eric <Well, Eric, I'd consider using some "low tech" devices, such as powerheads, or even a few airstones, if you suspect that this is a problem. Keep an eye on this otherwise healthy fish. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Crazy Tang! Hi gang, hope everything is great. <Sure is! Scott F with you tonight!> Hoping you can quickly ID this problem for me. I've had my yellow tang for 5 months. Today the tang has started to zip around the tank, darting, thrusting and pointing up as if to relieve something (gills?), but isn't scratching on the rocks. All the water parameters are fine although I did a water 10% change the night before. The water used was perfect (temp, salinity, etc). It doesn't have any spots on it or anything unusual. Think it's the onset of ick? Worms? Why? Thanks for your help.. <Well- it's hard to say what it could be! Potentially, there could have been an ammonia spike or other chemical anomaly that sparked discomfort in the fish. Another possibility is that the fish is a bit "skittish" from something that frightened it. Still another possibility is that the pH may have plummeted briefly, send the fish into a temporary shock condition...Many possibilities. If the fish has a parasite or some other condition, you'll notice it if you employ careful observation. Just keep an eye on this guy;  don't rush to medicate until you know that he is indeed in need of treatment.. Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Freshwater Dips - Hi JasonC <Hello> Its Laura again the fish babysitter - i feel comfortable with the bath - i can't find an article that tells me the time limit - just if it is a longer one you need to add a bubbler to the bath. <To be effective, a bath needs to be at least five minutes. No matter what, you should put a bubbler in the bath to keep the water aerated.> But in the process not only does the tang have the black spots, but now it appears to have a hair cotton ball like - toward the back end of him, but the bony structures, does this mean it is fungal, and if it is - will the bath still help her? <The bath probably won't do much to a fungal problem, but what you describe sounds more like Lymphocystis, which usually goes away on its own.> Thanks so far for all the great advise - i don't know what i would do without the quick responses. Laura <Cheers, J -- >

Rash on Yellow Tang I have a yellow tang in my 55 gal tank.  Couple weeks ago, I began to notice some red rash (block of redness) at the body near the tail and the rash still exists today.  Before this happened, it eats a lot whenever I fed it.  Now it just eat a little.  I feed my fishes with formula one and emerald entree.  I gave the tang a freshwater bath when I first the rash, but obviously didn't help.  Can you tell me what's wrong with it and how should I treat it?  I hate to lose it because it's one of my favorites. Thx, Adrian <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and the other Yellow Tang FAQs pages (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

- What to do... Watching someone's tank - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Help i am watching a tank and the yellow tang has black sand like specks on the body and now one white dot on the dorsal fin.  There is a puffer and a lion fish in the tank 110 gallons - what do i do? <Well... depends on how comfortable you are with catching fish. I'm sure you're just trying to help out here, but ideally you would catch that fish and give it a freshwater dip. If you don't feel comfortable with that, perhaps check in with one of the local fish stores and see if they have someone working there that might do this service for a fee, or perhaps recommend someone. If you feel up to the task of the freshwater dip, there are a few things you need to do, so please read up here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm At the very least, perhaps contact the person you are fish-sitting for and let them know your intentions.> Laura Kenny <Good luck, and cheers, J -- >

- Baths for Tang - Hi JasonC, <Hello.> i looked and am very confused - i can't find an article on the black spot bath <The article is on freshwater baths in general, there is not a specific bath for this parasitic problem. The change in specific gravity should kill the parasite.> - could you let me know do i do a fresh water dip of a combination of fresh and the water that she is in <Just with freshwater, with the pH and temperature matched to those of the tank the tang is in now.> - HELP <If you don't feel comfortable doing this, don't do it. Let it wait until the owner of the tank returns.> - also are the lion fish and puffer safe? <From this particular parasite, yes.> Thanks for the help so far <Cheers, J -- >

Sick Yellow Tang You come through for me before.  I need it again. <You need to stop, take a deep breath and count to 10 before you do something rash!> My Yellow Tang is looking worse.  He is in my 75g drilled with a sump and now a Aqua C EV-120 protein skimmer.  The skimmer has been working for a week and a half but the read streaks are worse. I want to do a fresh water dip. I have very good fresh water from my LFS.  I will have it at about 78 degrees <Match your tank temp and pH...Also consider using Methylene blue in the water> Can I just net the fish, put him in the clean container with the fresh water for about 20 minutes <No! Opps...This is overkill...I mean may kill him. 10 minutes and about 12 at the most and only if the fish is handling it well. If not, cut it short> or so (watching him closely) and net him out and back in permanent tank. <See why you need a quarantine tank?> Is that it? <No. Match your permanent tank's pH.  If you don't this could easily cause more fishy problems> I read your articles, but they were a little fuzzy (I'm sure just for this blockhead).  So, I'm just making sure I've got it. <The articles are found under "Disease." Take an hour or so and research please. A few hours won't hurt anything...days will> thanks! <You're welcome! Sorry to hear of your problems. David Dowless> Steve

Tang Environmental Disease Crew, <Steve> Thanks for being there!  See attached JPG. <A scratchy yellow tang> These blotchy red places started appearing on my Yellow Tang about four days ago.  No other fish are effected.  Everyone seems happy. I have a 75g FO tank.  Nothing unusual: 1 Yellow Tang 1 Saddle puffer 3 yellow tail damsels 1 Domino damsel 1 Neon velvet Damsel 2 turbo snails The tank is drilled and has a sump with BioWheel.  Protein skimmer to be added soon.  I did a 30% water change yesterday, thinking it may help. Didn't seem to help at all. <Get the skimmer, quick. May be that the Domino or Neon Velvet is beating the tang up, but much more likely just "poor water quality" affecting the more/most sensitive fish here. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Tangdisease.htm and the files beyond on tang disease, on to Yellow Tangs...> Any hints, advice? <The added skimmer will likely "do it"... improve overall water quality, the tangs health. Bob Fenner> Thanks again,

Mixing medications Hello I just want to give these fish the best chance I can. <Understood and agreed> I read through quite a few of the FAQ's and it seems that freshwater dips help for velvet, and copper is generally recommended at .3ppm in the QT.  While this all great and fine for one of the tangs, the other has from what I understand to be a bacterial infection.  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone was what was recommended to others that had yellow tangs with same/similar condition. Like you point out... this would be a lot of medication, and stress be put onto the fish at once, and I just want to make sure that I don't contribute further to their demise than what has already occurred.  I lost one fish to velvet <A devastating disease that IME is hard to get rid of> so far, and am afraid to remove the tang that has the rash to a separate QT for treatment with Furan-2(he has no outward sign of velvet).  That's why I was curious if it would possibly be safe... understanding that nothing is perfectly safe, to use the antibacterial in conjunction with Cupramine.  I just don't want to have my bases uncovered. <I understand your quandary and appreciate your conscientious actions toward you charges. As you may have read, bacterial infections are harder to diagnose than ich or velvet. At the risk of putting my own fishy practices into question, let me give you my opinion. Personally...in my "book" less is more. I try to provide basic medication(s) and then keep all water parameters as close to perfect and as STABLE (especially temperature) as possible. If you feel sure that your charges have a bacterial infection then please do medicate for the condition. Just consider: FW dips daily with medication, constant copper, and then adding several other chemicals simply sounds like a lot. Stress can easily kill or make matters worse. This is only my opinion and I'm positive there are other aquarists that would disagree. Continue reading the disease files at Wetwebmedia for other opinions. David Dowless>
Re: Mixing medications
I respect your opinion, and thank you for taking the time to share it with me.  As far as bacterial infection is concerned... I went to the LFS that the tang was purchased, and they still had the other tang that came in the same shipment.  It also has the same rash like condition mine does.  So I believe I inherited the problem, and not created due to water quality issues. <Tangs can be difficult. It all depends on how they were treated before getting to the aquarist> Now whether or not it is bacterial or not.... your guess would definitely be better than mine.  The reason I concluded bacterial was because of the description other people gave of their tangs which seemed to fit in my case.  When speaking to the LFS owner about his tang, he seemed to think it was due to nutrition. <The bacterial infection? Really? HAHAHAHAHAHA! The knowledge level of many LFS's never cease to amaze me. Sometimes I don't see how these guys get fish to live long enough for an aquarist to buy!> He feeds his Marine -A- from Hikari... while I feed mine Spirulina and seaweed select green algae, and will drop a 3 or 4 of Marine -A- pellets once every 2 days since he appears to enjoy them. <Just remember to shoot for a well-rounded diet. Tangs also like meatier fare but they do need a lot of algae in their daily diet to avoid HLLE. If you have fairly strong lighting you could even grow some algae for the tangs. They especially like Gracilaria which is sold by a number of online retailers> So since we don't feed them the same diet... and the fact that mine eats like a cow kind of thru a wrench into that. <Eating is normally a good sign. Not eating is normally a bad sign> The sad thing to me is that the LFS owner is pretty well writing off his fish as he doesn't seem to want to be bothered to treat his condition. <Do you know why he feels this way? Allow me to explain: Most likely, after the fish die, he can simply get replacements at no charge or credit to his account with the supplier. It's more convenient for the store owner if the fish simply die. I mean, would you buy a fish that had just been through a series of meds to cure a velvet problem? Now think about this...What will happen after these fishes die of a contagious disease? You guessed it! As soon as he gets the replacement shipment they will likely go into the same tanks that the sick fish were inhabiting thus continuing the cycle. This is likely where the velvet and bacteria infection originated. If you buy fish from these tanks you will likely see velvet and bacteria infestations again! The solution to this problem (for the LFS) is a sick tank where fish can be held if they show obvious problems. You should point this out to the store owner but understand that store owners don't like sick tanks because they are taking up floor space for critters that aren't making money. The fishes are his problem when they are in the store and your problem after you purchase. That's partly why so many stores have a no return policy for fishes...this is why hobbyists "in the know" always suggest quarantining fishes.> I do agree with you, and am afraid to poison my fish in my feeble attempts to cure them.  I will just monitor him and if it appears to get worse, will pull him and start the furan-2. <Sounds good. For sure keep the copper going and the water quality very high and stable> To close on a positive note... yesterday my other tang was breathing very rapid & heavy, covered with velvet, <Oh no!> and stayed in a fixed place near the top of the tank at about a 45 degree upward angle. Today there is only a few visible spots behind his head/gills, and he is swimming and eating well. <Great! You can beat this problem. It takes time, patience, and some luck!> Still breathes a bit fast, but to a lesser degree than yesterday. Hopefully this isn't a calm before the storm.  I will continue the FW dips and daily water changes, and hope things continue to progress.  Again thank you for you input and time.    <My pleasure. I think you are doing a commendable job trying to save these fishes. I hoped I've helped you to understand some of these issues surrounding our hobby. If you don't like what you see at the LFS explain your position to the store owner...and do keep reading the disease facts at Wetwebmedia. Every aquarist has a unique opinion. David Dowless> -Chris

How The Tang Got His Stripes... Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today> I hope this is the appropriate method for asking questions like those I see answered in your FAQs. <Just ask away!> I am new to marine aquariums and having a great time. <That's the most important part!> After nicely establishing a system with live rock, sand and waiting for good chemistry I added the following fish ... 3 tomato clowns, 2 single stripe damsels, 1 yellow goby, and 1 yellow tang.  In the first week I only lost one of the damsels and that was almost immediate so it might not have been the tank?? <Hard to say. Could have been anything from collection trauma incurred by the fish, to osmotic shock. You should start quarantining all new fish for a minimum of 3 weeks before adding them into your main system.  By utilizing quarantine, you'll avoid introducing diseases into your tank, and help "harden" new livestock before letting them into your "community". Do read up about this process on the wetwebmedia.com site.> Everything has been going very well and just as I was considering adding a cleaner shrimp, and maybe a crab the yellow tank has developed a white streak on its side that is perfectly matched on both sides.  Is the disease or development? <Hmm...sounds to me like a common color change that the fish undergoes during rest. The white streaks also show up when the fish is stressed or frightened. Observe the fish for a while- have the stripes faded over time? You should see the fish at different times of the day to see if this change occurs. If the fish continuously shows the pattern, and is otherwise appearing to eat and act normal, I wouldn't be too concerned. If the pattern is evident at all times, and the fish is behaving unusually, you may want to re-check all of your water parameters to find out the cause of the potential stress. I'll bet, however, that you're just seeing the normal day/night/fright pattern on this fish...> I haven't setup a seclusion tank yet for treating fish (was going to do that with the next stuff) so how should I treat if it is a disease? <As above- I don't think that it is a disease. Always be vigilant, however. A simple "hospital"/quarantine tank is nothing more than a very simple 10-20 gallon tank, a heater, and a sponge filter. A very nominal investment that can pay real dividends down the line in terms of fish health and hobby success. Do get one as soon as possible!> Any advice would be great. Thank you, M. Ross <I think that you're doing fine! The fact that you noticed this color variation shows that you are a keen observer- and that is a great attribute to have in this hobby. Keep reading, learning, observing, and working- you'll keep being successful! Feel free to contact us any time if you have more questions! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Yellow Tang's Fins Thank-you Jason C!. <You are quite welcome.> I forgot to mention I also have two cleaner shrimp and a brown serpent star. The yellow does go to the cleaners.  Is it possible they are picking at the fins? <Not to that extent.> John
<Cheers, J -- >

- Fading Yellow Tang - <Greetings, JasonC here...> My yellow tang has always done very well, and still is doing fine (2 yrs old 4").  However, over the past month or two, his dorsal and anal fins have become a little ragged.  The tail and pectoral fins are perfect. I have seen the dorsal and anal split before and they always healed up in a week or two, but this time they don't seem to be repairing themselves.  I have attached a picture that may help. <Looks to me like someone is nipping at them.> I have also noticed that on his left side there is a botchy area where the yellow colour is turning a bit white.  He eats and acts fine, and breathing normally.  I feed all of the fish once or twice a day - marine flakes, Graze flakes, and on occasion Mysis shrimp, glass worms and Marine Cuisine frozen food. <If I were you, I'd invert that food plan, and feed Mysis more often and flakes less often. Flake food is mostly air.> Also every day they get a 2" x 6" piece of dried seaweed to graze on. <And perhaps offer this as the second meal of the day.>  My system is a 90 gal reef with sump, 90 lbs LR Red Sea Berlin Classic Turbo (for up to 250 gal) that produces daily, 700 GPH return, three 402 power heads and both PC and VHO lights.  The fish are a Hippo Tang (4"), Flame Angel, 2 Percula Clowns, Purple Firefish, Royal Gramma, and of course, the Yellow. <There are a couple of suspects in there for aggression... you should keep things under observation.> My water parameters -  nitrate, nitrite ammonia and phosphate are 0.  Calcium has always been a bit on the low side and hasn't been checked in a while but lots of coralline growing so I think it is OK.  Temp is 79 degrees and SG is 1.023.  Recently I have had a bit of Cyano growing (not too bad), but I have bumped up the water changes a bit and it seems to be dissipating.  Is this normal for the Yellow? <Well, many fish change their color to reflect their mood or time of day. As I mentioned before, the fin tears look like bites to me, and being the object of the aggression will depress your yellow tang.> I can't really see him being undernourished, and my water is pretty good.  Any suggestions or am I overreacting?  I have seen many a yellow tang in dealers tanks that have ragged fins, and I was always pretty proud of the fact that my yellow had nice smooth perfect fins. <Everything else being equal, they should regrow.> Thanks for your valuable time, and Merry Christmas!! John
<And Merry Christmas to you. Cheers, J -- >

Yellow Tang with Red top fin Hello and thanks for your valuable time. <And you for yours> I have a 75 gallon fish only tank, with only two small live rocks.  Fish wise I have a velvet blue damsel, three yellow tail damsels, a saddle puffer, a clown and five turbo snails.  All seem to get along dandy.  I had two Condys that were added a week ago, but died the last two days because of lack of light (my fault and working on getting better lighting and will try an anemone again some day in the future).  I don't yet have a protein skimmer and no QT as of yet. The Yellow Tang has a dark reddish/orange area at the base of his top fin, closest to his head.  It's come on in the last three days.  He eats romaine, and frozen food.  He doesn't seem to like the dried algae.  He seems happy, but does do a little rubbing on occasion on the back of tank glass and some rocks (but not necessarily on the reddish/orange-ish area). What do you think this is? <A reaction to less than ideal environmental conditions. You should definitely acquire and place a skimmer (you'll be amazed at the gunk this tool removes)... All your livestock will benefit from this and the use of a QT system. Please do read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks! Steve

Yellow Tang with Red top fin Bob, Thanks.  I didn't realize that the skimmer would be that critical.  I had one in my last tank and it worked great.  Guess I just didn't think it was an absolute. <You will soon see the difference> Do you think that's the main thing that's causing the sot on the Tang? <Yes. Amongst all the factors you mention, probable causes, it stands out as number one> I read through the recommended html page.  I think I have all the other items covered in large degree.  Since I don't have anything but fish in the tank, I think the increased lighting can wait until I have the $$. <Yes, much less important than improved overall water quality. Get, use the skimmer first. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Steve HJ
Re: Yellow Tang with Red top fin
Well, I'm not sure.  I remember a Fenner that ran for city office in San Diego.  Can't remember if it was mayor or city council.  I'm a film producer and produced several promotional films for San Diego (as well as living in that great city.) <Amazing that anyone remembers. I did run for city council (6th district) back in 1988... lucky for all I dropped out!> Anyway, thanks for the Tang advice.  Glad to know the spot isn't disease. <Yes. Bob Fenner> Steve Johnston

Yellow Tang wiggles Dear Mr. Fenner: <David Dowless with you this evening> My yellow tang lives with 2 panther groupers ( about 7 inches each) <The panther grows to almost 28"! Your tank will become too small...and soon> and a four inch square Anthias in a 95 gallon tank with live rocks. My aquarium has been cycled for more than 15 months now. <I would consider your tank at capacity right now...> Recently, I noticed that my Yellow Tang wiggles like a goldfish as she swims instead of the usual gliding , fast paced swimming. She is still as active as ever, has a very hearty appetite, tends to go close to the panthers for physical contacts once in awhile. It seems like a mechanical factor. It seems to have some red marks above its eyes; otherwise, everything seems normal. <Well Richard...have you run a full battery of water tests? The redness around the eyes could be a fungus or even more likely, collateral damage from being in a tank with 2x 7" panther groupers...or the swimming problem could be a swim bladder problem. Search Wetwebmedia using the terms swim bladder and then check out our section on parasites/fungus. Can you send a picture?> How could I make her swim normally? <See above> Regards, Richard <Good luck! David Dowless>

Red Blotchy Yellow Tang Hey all, I tried to find the answer to my question in the FAQ's, but nothing quelled all of my questions.  I have had my yellow tang for almost a year and a half now.  Nothing new has been added to the tank for the past two months and it has been stable and great, but recently she had developed a red, rash-like pattern on the back half of her body, along the lateral line, the mouth, and lower Sailfin.  She has been scratching against the liverock for a few days and I have since dipped her in a freshwater bath.  She seemed to stop scratching for a bit, but she has started up again since I came back from the holiday.  The other fish (2 lions, a coral beauty, and a blue tang, chocolate chip star, and turbo snail) all look and act fine.  The yellow tang is eating and swimming normally, but she looks quite stressed, a little pale, and of course red.  She eats Seaweed Selects Green Marine Algae with Vitamin C, Frozen Brine, and Krill leftover from the lion feedings.  Her Sailfins (both top and bottom) became jagged after the dip, but show signs of regrowing.  What course of action should I take to save her? Chris   <Hi Chris, if this were me I would QT the Tang and be watching the other fish very closely for flashing, signs of distress, parasites. I also think part of the problem contributing to parasites with this fish is nutrition. Brine Shrimp is useless as a nutrient/food. The marine algae is good but you should try to give a good mix of fresh vegetative and meaty foods, perhaps soaked in a supplement like Selcon. To narrow down your parasite problem go here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm  and read the applicable links.  Let us know if you need more assistance.  Craig>  

Tang That Won't Eat... Hello <Good afternoon! Scott F. here> I have a yellow tang about 3 months. Now he refuses to eat and he's not swimming around much. I noticed that his mouth have a little red spot and constantly opens his mouth. I don't know what it is. I don't know what to do for treatment at this time. Can you recommend what to do now?  Thanks Young Dinh <Well, Young- I don't want to be overly negative, but a damaged mouth on a tang is a huge problem. Can be the result of an injury, declining water quality, dietary deficiencies, or even a protozoan infection. Hard to say exactly  without seeing the fish. I'd start by isolating the afflicted fish. You may want to try a freshwater dip, and then observe him carefully. It's difficult to recommend a specific medication without knowing exactly what we're dealing with here. I'd definitely review the disease FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com site for a possible positive ID. Also, review your basic environmental conditions (pH, Alk, Nitrite, Ammonia, Nitrate) and see if there are any disturbing trends there. If you discover a water parameter that needs correcting, do take immediate action to correct it. And make sure that you take decisive action to treat this tang once you've made a determination what you're dealing with. Best of luck!>

When Tangs Attack! I've just made two purchases that I'm starting to get worried about. I have a F/O 55gal tank with a yellow tang, three damsels and two small (1 in.) cleaner shrimp. I just added a blue regal tang and he's constantly being harassed by the slightly bigger yellow tang. I was under the impression that an oval shaped tang would not have a problem with the more round yellow tang and visa versa. <Not always- tangs of all species can be quarrelsome and territorial. New tangs (even of different species) can certainly be targets of harassment by the established tang. I had a friend who was in near panic because his 3 inch Kole Tang was making life miserable for a 4 inch Sohal Tang (Known as one of the toughest of the tangs, personality wise).> Will the harassment stop at some point, or should I consider bringing the regal back to my LFS? <Well, it's hard to say. Usually, things will settle down and the social order will be restored. Sometimes, these confrontations can result in death to the newcomer. You just don't know. Your tank is really at the upper limit of its capacity as far as larger fish like tangs are concerned. Ultimately, these fish (assuming they eventually settle down) will require a much larger tank to live out their natural life spans. In the mean time, keep a very close eye on the situation, and be prepared to remove the Regal if necessary. Alternatively, some people like to re-arrange the decor when adding a new fish, because the established "territories" are then gone, and everyone can start "fresh", so to speak. At this point, however, you probably want to see how things go before doing that.> I also added a large (2 in.) coral banded shrimp. Do my small cleaner shrimp have anything to worry about? <Coral banded shrimp can and will attack other shrimp. This is not to say that they cannot co-exist with other types of shrimp, but once again, you need to keep a close eye on them and be prepared for action if needed. Take Care!  Scott F.> 

Yellow Tang  I have a yellow tang which has developed red streaks under the eyes in the same fish-only tank where I have been treating a purple tang for hole in the head dietary problem. Might this be the same problem? <They could be related. HLLE is linked to dietary and water quality problems. Whenever I have seen the red streaks, I almost always find an aspect of water chemistry that is off. Low pH (should be 82.-8.6) and/or high levels of nitrates (anything over 40 ppm, should be ideally zero) are the two biggest concerns.> Perhaps they are getting too much protein when I give them a cube of Mysis shrimp together with two formula 2 and one of formula 1 soaked in Zoecon & Zo?plus marine c in the water. Your advice please! Thanks Bob & crew, Stephen Pace <A quick examination of your tanks parameters will reveal the cause. -Steven Pro>
Re: Sick Yellow Tang
Hello: <Hi Robert> I've had my Yellow Tang for about six months now and it's gone though various illnesses and survived with treatment. The fish has always been a very healthy eater. I've kept him mostly on frozen Formula One and Two with a garlic juice additive plus dried macro algae (which he consumed -until recently- voraciously). I also use ZOE vitamins. Nitrites and ammonia are zero, pH is 8.3 but nitrates are around 40 ppm. This is a fish only 55 gallon tank. About 5 days ago, he stopped having bowel movements, stopped eating (except very small amounts of flake) and is very lethargic. I noticed lateral line erosion towards the tail on both sides. I installed a grounding probe but that didn't help. A dealer told me he probably has an internal parasite that pinched off his intestine and that there's no cure. Would you agree? Someone mentioned Epsom salts, could that help? If so, what is the dosing? I'd really hate to lose this fish. Thanks for you help. Robert Sabbia <Well Robert, not much to go on here....except the nitrates which I would lower with a healthy water change. Like 40-50%. I would make conditions ideal for him and continue to feed just as much flake as he will eat. Ocean Nutrition makes the formula foods in flake form and they work well at times like this.  If he shows no obvious signs of parasites or disease it's very difficult to diagnose.  All kinds of possibilities from past treatments, method of capture, transport, internal disease, parasite, etc. cause stress and health problems for fish.  Epsom salts will throw your ionic balance of in your water. The best thing to do is optimize conditions.  I would start with your water.  I hope this helps your fish.  Craig>

Color of Yellow Tang Hi, Bob. <Steven Pro in this morning.> I have kept my Yellow Tang for more than 3 months now. He has been eating well, no sign of disease, except that he looks rather pale. <This happen sometimes in the confines of an aquarium. Diet, water quality, and to a lesser extent the hierarchy of the tank will affect their color.> I have been feeding him Nori, Mysis shrimp, HBH-Spirulina, and I add iodine, vitamins on a regular basis. I remembered when I brought him, my tank was full of green hair algae and he enjoyed eating it very much and his color was golden yellow. His other tank mates (tomato clown, flame angel, blue tang) all look fine. Your advice is very much appreciated. <I would look at some aspect of water quality being off. Yellow Tangs are some of the first fish to signal a degradation.> Thanks, Eric <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Questions... and then more questions (foods with copper preservative, Yellow Tang) Good evening WWM crew! How are you all? I have some (several) questions tonight but I'll try to be as brief as possible. <Good Evening TJ,> OK, I've recently added a couple of scarlet cleaner shrimp (pacific) and have read that shrimp pellets are good to feed them. So I hopped off to the pet store & asked for some shrimp pellets. They sold me these nifty brine shrimp pellets which I've started to feed the shrimp every other night. They've only really made a meal of these pellets about three times (at first they weren't interested in them). I split one pellet in two & give each one half. So... tonight while they're eating their dinner, I happen to read the ingredients of these great pellets, & guess what I find at the end of the list? Copper Sulfate. YIKES! I managed to chase them down & take the food away from them but I'm wondering how much damage is already done? I thawed a little bit of frozen brine shrimp for them & let them eat that out of a dropper to finish off their dinner, but I've read that that stuff is basically as nutritional as potato chips. So aside from wondering if they're going to die from the copper in the pellets, I'm also wondering what I need to start feeding these guys from this point on. I have vitamins I can mix with the frozen brine shrimp, but if there's something that's better for them I'd rather do that. I'm quite frustrated with myself for not checking the ingredients first. Another lesson learned. Should I test copper levels or is there not really enough copper in these pellets to be harmful (unless ingested by inverts)? <Not to worry, not likely enough to do any harm and you would notice.... The brine shrimp pellets are about as nutritious as the frozen form! Your cleaners can eat all kinds of foods, formula one, two, prime reef, pieces of marine meats like shrimp, scallop, krill, etc. all are good shrimp food. All my shrimp eat these. Basically, fish food.> I'm also beginning to consider re-stocking the tank. I had an ich outbreak last month which you guys were great at helping me through. We had a 50% survival rate with quarantine. However, one of the two that survived was a yellow-tail blue damsel, and, true to his nature, upon being returned to the main tank, he became aggressive to the shrimp. I found a pet store that agreed to let him live there, and he's in a new home now. So, that leaves me with my yellow tang, Ace. I know that they can become aggressive to other yellow fish and/or tangs. Ace has been in my tank for 4 years, and is now enjoying being the sole fish, sharing his space with his cleaner friends, whom he visits frequently. I'd like to get a pygmy angel... maybe a bi-color, but I don't know if this is a wise idea or not. Can you advise? Ace isn't really aggressive... he never fought with his other tankmates; he doesn't try to fight his reflection or anything. If he thinks I'm going to bother his cleaners (like earlier when I was trying to take away their food), then he may half-heartedly swat at me with his tail, but that's about as aggressive as I've seen him get. I probably should mention that I only have a 20 gallon tank so if I add anything, I want to only add one, and something that will stay small, and preferably something that will visit the cleaners (it's so neat to watch the fish be cleaned by them). Sorry for the lengthy email. Thanks for all your help! Take care! TJ <Hmmm, a Yellow Tang in a 20? and you want to add more fish? You *will* need to go to a bigger tank for Ace you know. A 20 is far too small for a Yellow Tang. I wouldn't add any more fish but I would look at the stocking pages of WetWebMedia.com and also the Tang articles, then figure out how to get Ace out of his closet! Hope this helps Ace out. Craig> 

Black Spot Disease I was just researching the black spot disease and found your article. My yellow tang has black specks all over and looks like he won't make it. He's been lying on the bottom of the tank, breathing hard now. It is making me sick. I tried contacting the pet store and was told to purchase some CopperSafe. I have 2 starfish and a Brittlestar so I set up another tank for them.  <Good Move> Hopefully I won't loose them, too. I have a clownfish left in the tank with the tang- I lost a blue fish today.  (I am new at this and cannot remember the name of it). What can I expect here? <with decisive, quick action, you may be able to save the fish. I would treat the fish in a different tank, without the inverts. Try a freshwater dip, then use the CopperSafe per the manufacturer's instructions. Keep in mind that you should always test for copper to make sure that you have a therapeutic dose, and are not overdosing-can be toxic> Will the clownfish die, also? Is there anything more that I can do for him? Is there any further treatment I can do on this tank? <Do try the above treatment. Do not treat in the main tank. Best to lower the specific gravity to 1.015 and let it sit fallow for a month or more before returning your cured fish> So many questions, so little answers. Please help! Thank you, Kim <Keep the faith-you are doing the best that you can. Be sure to check out the faq wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm Regards, Scott>

Tang With Ich Hello Bob, <Scott F. with you> I have a fairly new 100 gallons FOWLR tank with only 1 yellow tang. Few days ago, I noticed there were some small white spots (like salt grains) on the fins but quickly disappeared after a few hours. I did lot of reading on this web site and also your book and these steps were what I did so far: - Dipped the fish in FW with Methylene Blue for 5 min.s - Then moved it to a hospital tank (20 gallons). - Raised tank temperature 1 degree/day. - Lowered the Spg 0.001/day. - Do water change everyday (2 gallons) since the hospital tank has not yet established. - Let the main tank goes fallow for about 1 1/2 month. <Good protocol-decisively executed!> Here're my questions: 1) How high the temperature should I keep in the hospital tank? What about the Specific Gravity? <I'd shoot for about 82 degrees, with 1.020- keep the oxygen level high. Some people like to lower specific gravity to 1.015, but I'd try to keep it close to "normal" tank readings, if possible to avoid added stress> 2) Should I treat the yellow tang with any kind of chemical such as copper, formalin... or just altering the water like what I did is enough and observe the fish for a while? <I like the idea of observing, then performing freshwater dips, when possible. However, a standard aquarium copper remedy, used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, is very effective. Avoid long-term use of copper with tangs, as it could damage their digestive fauna> 3) For the main tank, should I raise the temperature and lower the Specific Gravity as well? Should I still do water change even without fish hosts? <Yes on the temperature increase-as it will accelerate the life cycle of the parasite. I'd leave the specific gravity alone, and perform regular scheduled maintenance> Thank you in advance for your help. Regards, Dung Ngo <Glad to be of service. You're doing great! I'm sure that you'll beat this disease. Just be patient>

Black Ick Hi guys I have been through all of the faq's regarding black ich on a yellow tang but I still can't determine if treatment with copper is a suitable solution. I am currently running copper in a QT and instead of FW dips I wanted to know if copper would cure the problem? <Copper can, will... how to put this, at a "certain cost" to the system, life in it... Generally, freshwater dips and exclusion of hosts (almost always just Yellow Tangs) effects a permanent cure... As Mike Kent found out when he published this cure in SeaScope many years back... we couldn't find specimens of the turbellarian for his M.Sc. work! Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Joe

Confused if my yellow tang is/was sick Hello, thanks for all your time and knowledge you guys pour out to aquarists. It's really great. I am a little confused if my yellow tang was sick or not. I'm not sure what I should do. Here's a summary of my tank setup: - 50 gal reef w/LR, LS, protein skimmer - 1 Banggai cardinal, 1 purple Firefish, and 1 yellow tang. - snails, red legged hermits, green star polyp, mushrooms, leather, and some yellow polyps. - ammonia = 0, pH = 8.4, sg = 1.024, nitrate = ~10 Here's what happened: I bought a yellow tang and quarantined it. No ill signs. I did notice it was a fast swimmer and would dart around my 10gal qt.; especially when he saw me. I assumed this was normal; thinking that it just needed more swimming room or wanted to be fed. During qt, I replaced water every few days because ammonia levels would go up slightly (0.25). QT has penguin mini-Biowheel as filtration. Fish ate a lot of food. After 2 weeks of qt, I put him in the main tank. He ate like usual and darted around like usual. After a few days, I noticed 2 white dots on his fins. I waited for more signs before taking any drastic actions. Eventually, I noticed about 10-20 small black dots on him. I waited to see if my peppermint shrimp would clean him. Black dots disappeared next day. A few days later I noticed he darted around a lot more and would scratch himself against the glass. At the same time he breathed hard. To me, this was a clear sign of Marine Velvet. I promptly removed him from the main tank, FW dip for 3 min.s., and then into the qt. I put the manufacturer's recommended dosage of SeaCure copper (1 drop/gallon) in the qt. 2 days later, I tried measuring the copper w/Salifert copper test. It said no measurable copper. I tried again the next day and same results. Does SeaCure require the FasTest copper test kit?  <I would test with another test in order to test the test...uhh, use another test to make sure the original test is accurate.> I maintained copper level by only adding more when I changed the water in the qt. Tang seemed normal and white dots were gone. 2 weeks later... Still darting around and no dots. I recently bought the FasTest copper kit and it said there was about .5 copper in the qt. Not the .15 recommended. (Though, this was after a water change where I didn't add more copper) <That would dilute the copper, I am going to have to believe the second test, maybe bring a water sample to the LFS and let them test it as well.> Why am I confused? Well, my 2 other fish in the main tank have no sign of disease. So does that mean there isn't disease in the main tank?  <May still be in the tank, and just not infected anyone yet.> My tang still swims fast. If he had marine velvet, it should have killed him by now. Is he cured? Is it something else? One thing I was thinking was he may be swimming fast because ammonia spikes in the qt every few days. Thanks and sorry for the long message. <more info is always better> regards, Jason <The safest option would be to remove all fish from your main display and let the system run fallow (without fish) for at least 4 weeks. Without a host the parasites should die off. I would also continue treating the tang for at least another weak with copper to see if his behavior returns to normal. You can find more information on parasitic disease at the link below. Best of Luck, Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm>

Fin Problem Bob, <Craig> I've had a saltwater aquarium for about a year. During the early time, I had water quality problems (since resolved) which affected my yellow tang. His fins have eroded; are uneven, and have holes in the upper fin (I don't know if this is fin rot or HLLE). He appears healthy otherwise. I don't have a hospital tank set up. Are there any vitamins I can try; do I need to quarantine him? Will it gradually heal on it's own? <Hmmm, could be water r elated, could be physical damage re: holes. If this were water quality you would expect to see improvement over a week or two or... If lateral line it could be dietary. Tangs like a lot of vegetative matter in their diet, Caulerpa, Nori, etc.  Keep an eye out, it could physical damage from crabs, shrimp, maybe fish tank mates. Otherwise, if you have resolved your water problems he should show improvement. Fins on fish are fast healing in the proper conditions.> For more info try: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangfeedingfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Tangdisease.htm Hope this helps, Craig>

Black ich on a yellow tang Hello Gang, What is the recommended treatment for a yellow tang with black ich? Thanks as always. Joe <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the FAQs files linked (above). Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Spot Good afternoon/evening WWM crew! Hope you all are well! <and you as well :) > Have some questions re black spot. Approx. 3 weeks ago I noticed some black specks which looked like dust on my yellow tang. I shot out an email & Anthony responded & told me to focus on a couple of the spots to see if they moved - as black spot does not. Here's what I've found thus far... The spots don't "walk" around on the fish or anything like that of course, but they seemed to move from one part of his body to another, rather than spread (I.E. the part where I originally saw them is not where they are now). I don't know what it would be, other than black spot, but I don't understand why the spots are still on the fish if it IS black spot. <very curious... but black spot is notoriously difficult to cure.> From what I've read on black spot, I came to believe that these worms had a 6 day cycle & then they fell off the fish, where each "spore" or what-have-you then produced more worms which then infested the fish again & so on & so forth. However, I also understood this worm to primarily be a substrate dweller... these fish are in QT (for crypto.) and there is no substrate. Is this true or am I confused? I wipe down the walls, silicone, & bottom of this tank if not daily, then every other day. I vacuum the bottom of the tank twice daily (after feedings), and I clean the filter, heater, & thermometer every other day. <all very good QT husbandry. Good job!> Ahhh yes & I clean out the pvc pipe that's in there for cover. (I was, and still am, hesitant to add Formalin to the water, as we just got done treating with copper.  <I suspect that you simply have to resort to Formalin and aggressive FW dips to cure this pathogen. Copper is really a limiting medication> I'm also trying to avoid a freshwater dip since it stresses both me & the fish so much.) <I assure you that the extended copper treatment (14-21 days or more as it should be) is much more stressful. A proper FW dip is no problem at all for a hardy fish and formalin does not stay in solution as long as copper and is less trouble in the long run.> The spg does flux a little from day to day with all the water mixing & changing that's going on, but everything else has remained pretty constant... ammonia .2, nitrite 0, pH 8.0, temp 78F.  <the pH is too low... a little baking soda here please> Maybe these spots are sticking around just because of the stresses of the water quality? <nope... just needs a more direct treatment. FW and Formalin are far more effective when used properly> Maybe he'll do better when he gets back in his home tank? (Maybe I better do a fw dip before I drop him back in his home tank) <please do continue to treat for black spot in QT. Else it may flourish in the display tank> He still eats well, and right off my fingers. I see him darting like he's trying to shake something off every now & then, but I've read that this can be from the meds in the water(?),  <really likely scratching for the black spots> so I'm hopeful that's all it is, as I see no more of those awful white spot monsters on him. When I fed him tonight I thought he was gilling rather hard, but he gets so excited when it's time to eat that it could be just from that... or it could be because I'm a paranoid little person that is going to flip out every time he moves in a funny way for the next six years. The latter is actually far more likely. <heehee... agreed. Have a beer, read more about FW dips and formalin... and have faith that it will work :)> Anyway, as always your advice is appreciated. Thanks a million! (Sorry for the lengthy email) :) ~TJ (yes it's me again!) <best regards, Anthony>

Fuzzy Lips Hello, <cheers> My yellow tang has fuzzy lips. I understand that this is likely a fungus.  <a common misdiagnosis: it is much more likely to be a bacterial infection (true fungal infections are quite rare). It is still to be treated with the same antibiotics in a bare-bottomed isolation tank. Use a Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone mixed med, double dose daily for 5 days> I have read about references to medicated foods but I can't find anyone who sells them.  <hmm... mildly effective here. A swab of the lips with Merthiolate or iodine would be even better. Do avoid staining the eyes or gills>> Are you aware if any are more efficient than others and where I can find them?  <they are weak but helpful if fed for 11-14 days without other foods> Also, are there negative ramifications to the other fish who are not sick?  <no harm here> I have also read about garlic oil.  <dubious if it even works at all. More of a preventative or placebo than primary treatment> Any experience with that as a medication or preventative? <I wouldn't trust my fishes life to it> Thanks! Ana M. Saavedra <best regards, Anthony>

Neglected Yellow Tang I recently acquired a Yellow Tang that came from someone who had been neglecting it. It appears very faded in color, has some pink discoloration above and between the eyes that appears as though some skin has peeled off. It has been malnourished for some time. I don't know the proper terminology for the fins, but the only ones that are still intact are the ones on his sides (I think pectoral) and his tail fin. The one on top (dorsal?), the one opposite it on bottom, and the two small fins in front of that are almost completely gone. <It sounds like an extreme case of Head and Lateral Line Erosion.> I almost think he would be better off if I just put him out of his misery, except he does not appear to have any type of parasites or infections and he seems very active and is eating well now. <This affliction can be reversed somewhat over time with proper care (excellent water quality and feeding).> What are the chances of this fish being ok? <Pretty good actually. It may never make a complete recovery, but can definitely improve and continue to live a long life.> Can tangs grow back damaged fins? <To an extent. It depends on how far the erosion has occurred.> If so how long does it take to grow them back? <It has taken months, possibly years, of neglect and poor husbandry to get this bad. It will take months to correct.> Is the faded color most likely from malnutrition, <Poor diet and water quality> and will his color return with proper diet?

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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