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FAQs about Yellow Tangs 4

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Related FAQs: Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 3, Yellow Tang FAQs: Identification, Tang ID, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction, 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, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

A group of juvenile Yellows hanging out in a branching Pocilloporid coral in Hawai'i.

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Adult YT      12/22/14
Bob, I've been reading your web site and see a figure you should update. The number of large size yellow tang 4.5"> populations are within 10% of each other in and out of the FRA's which bodes well for the continual sustainable supply of recruits. You had 48% several years back. A few years back Bob, we had seven different drops of yellow tang in one year. Sometimes it occurs when there are more baby yellow tangs than homes and food for them.
<Ah yes; as I and MANY other fisheries biologists have stated, habitat is the number one arbiter/determinant of recruitment... and next food availability>
Check out the link below for a spawn of biblical proportion this past summer. The WHT didn't think it was worthy enough for a story so they had a big color picture of a clown fish and story to say they were endangered. As you know there aren't any clownfish in Hawaiian waters, but the causal reader could construe that they are in trouble due to the AQ fishery. This is par for the course with this newspaper. Don't you think the people of West Hawaii would want to know about this big reef event? Regards David
Huge Spawn:   http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2014/08/29/biblical-spawning-event-on-hawaiian-reefs/
<I thank you for this David. Will accrue on WWM. BobF>

Yellow Tang... dis.?  9/30/06 WWM, <Vu> I have a yellow tang that may be sick.  He swims upward and darts across tank.  Sometime I notice he tries to lay down to one side.  His breathing is heavy. <Bad signs> When the lights are out in the tank, he's calm.  I have a 140 tank. Any help is greatly appreciated. Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, SG 1.022, <I'd raise...> PH 8.4 Temperature between 77 - 78 F <Need more info... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Yellow Tang... actually improper environment, bunk foods 8/18/05 Hey Crew I must say that I find your site very helpful. <By design... do you have suggestions for its improvement?> Sometimes when I have a problem with my tank i stop by any fish store to ask them some questions but it turns out, I know more then they do, just from reading your site. <Ooh, how I'd like to see computer access in fish stores...> Let me describe to you in few words what kind of problem i have with my Tang. I'm pretty new in marine tanks; I've had my tank for about 6 months now. It's a 30 gal tank <... this is too small a volume for a tang...> with about 12lb of LR and 1-2 in of Biosand bed. I have a total of 4 fish ( 1 yellow tang for about 2 months, 3 Chromis- 4 months, 1 cleaner shrimp- 1.5 months and 3 marinara snails). My water parameters are stable; i keep water temp @ 80F, specific gravity @ 1.023-1.024, PH 8.1-8.2, nitrate @ ~40-50 ( can't get it any lower even with routine water changes ?!), <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above... You need to reduce this...> nitrite @ 0. Every time when i change water, i add cycle bacteria to my tank and Bioguard. <Not necessary> I feed my fish with two kinds of food: morsels and marine flakes ( should i use more diverse food for my fish such as frozen shrimp or more nutrients? <Ah, yes...> if yes can you give me a hint ?). <Yes, read on WWM re> Now, lets get to business. For past few days i noticed that my tang was eating less and less but i didn't noticed anything on the body. I think my shrimp did because he was all over him. Yesterday, i noticed that tang did not eat anything. Maybe i should mention that i used to feed them twice a day and now for about 3 weeks I'm feeding them once a day. Also, it's got red spot at the end of his "mouth/nose" that looks like a blood; it's not that small because it looks like the whole upper "lip" is red. Do know what might have caused it and how to cure it? I really want to save it and i need your help once again.   Site fan, <Then read, use it!>> Marcin <Your trouble's roots are obvious... this system is too small, the water quality unsuitable, and the food unpalatable... Please read on WWM re the species, its care... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gobies, blennies, <but no Yellow Tangs> and the Maldives 7/26/05 Bob, <Steve> Thanks for the reply! Well, I guess the information at http://www.popweb.com/maldive/16.htm was wrong. <Yes... am actually out in Hawai'i presently, where Zebrasoma flavescens is principally collected... and it is one of the top ten species of fishes used in the marine aquarium interest... Do take a look at the fantastic tool which is fishbase.org... for this species: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=6018&genusname=Zebrasoma&speciesname=flavescens Have been diving in the Maldives... fabulous, but no Yellow Tangs> Goes to show you can't trust everything on the web. <That is for sure... including us/me!> I guess he goes back. At least they will have a fish that doesn't have ich. I q all fish for a month in hyposalinity (13ppt). Do you see any problem using hypo with the gobies and blenny? <Please see fishbase.org and WWM re> Thanks again, Steve <Welcome. BobF>

Yellow tang stripe eyes Thanks for being such a wonderful resource. I've searched your site for info on this and couldn't find any (maybe I'm using the wrong terms?). <Okay> I recently discovered my yellow tang's eyes have been displaying black marks above and below the "pupil". it looks like bruises and makes the pupil look like a stripe. they're fairly even and I don't think they are bruises. I can't figure out if this is normal or not. it goes away now and then, but every time I go to my LFS the eyes seem pretty clear - perfect black pupil inside yellow eyeball - 2 concentric circles. (best way I can describe it). Is it my water? Disease? I'm in La Jolla and have just been using Scripps filtered ocean water in my well established tank (over a year - no deaths, plenty of live rock, 1 BTA, 1 star polyp, 1 small tomato clown, 1 tiny blue Chromis, 1 bicolor blenny, 1 small yellow tang, 4 big snails - shallow/wide 25 gal tank, 110watt PC lighting.). Please help... Thanks!  Steve <Likely is natural... Most Zebrasoma eyes lack melanin marks outside their "regular" iris, but there are plenty that have these dots... doesn't seem to affect their vision. Bob Fenner, who lives about half the time in "east La Jolla" (Mira Mesa) but is out in Hawai'i' diving with them now.>

Yellow Tang Questions I have just read almost every posting on your great site about Yellow Tangs and wish I had found this site before I got this Tang. I think he will be fine but I am giving him a tank that is a bit small 50 gal. I am new to the hobby, but am trying to do things right. It is just hard to know who to listen to. I have a great retailer; they have quarantined fish for me because I don't have the funds to make my own tank. I have left the Yellow Tang with them for two weeks before I took it home. I know it's not the optimum but the best I can do right now. This is my tank. 50 Gal around 35 pounds of live rock Protein Skimmer Power head (don't remember the output but I made sure it was suitable for when I get coral)<You will need at least 500gph total flow rate> Canister filter, just for flow and the occasion filtration (like phosphate remover, or carbon) I got this before I knew I didn't need one with live rock.<Having a filter is a good idea.  I use Chemi-Pure in mine continuously.  It does more good than harm.> All levels are checking out very well. I have had the tank for 8 months; I only had hermit crabs for the first three, and only two clowns for the last 5 months. Trying to go slow. I am getting a fair amount of coralline algae that is making me very happy, especially after adding calcium supplement. My Nitrates, and Nitrites are both at zero or very close.<Good!> I have in the tank: 15 snails 50 hermit crabs 2 Clown Fish 1 Cleaner Shrimp (added with the Tang) and now the Yellow Tang (the smallest one I could find, very young but not skinny) So my questions are this 1. I had a Yellow Tang that seemed to be wonderful, not aggressive to the clowns, a very calm swimmer but traveled all over the tank, didn't hide when I put him in, and ate the very first thing I put in the tank. He swam right beside the clowns and they didn't even care. He was great, I was so happy. The next morning though he was dead. Less than 24 hours after getting him. It looked like he got himself stuck in between two rocks near the bottom of the tank, but that seems kind of unlikely. Is it possible or do you think it was something else from his previous tank?<Tangs will wedge themselves in a crevice for the night.  Quite possible through your excitement, you startled him in the morning.> 2. Now I got this second Yellow Tang to replace him <I'm confused.  Did the first one die?>but he is totally different. He hid as soon as he got in the tank (normal I know), but did come out and swim a bit soon after this. He is very fast and dominant though. He is always pushing the clowns around. He never does anything to them but they are scared of him for sure, they stay near their hiding place when he comes near. He is not calm at all, he swims very quick at times and swims back and forth a lot (very repetitive). Is this a nervous stressed swimming pattern? He does eat but not aggressively yet. I am going to go get him some Nori soon (after reading your site), I hope he likes that better. Right now I just have frozen brine, an all around pellet food, and some Marine Green40 flake food for all the fish. So the questions are. Was the first fish dying and therefore much calmer than this fish? Is this new Yellow Tang closer to the normal?<Without seeing the first tang its hard to tell.  Normal behavior for tangs is constant swimming and grazing the rocks.  They should not dart around quickly> Will his eating habits grow, or is that unlikely? After a day in your tank, a healthy tang should take food>(I know you can't say for sure, just best guess), will he stop bugging the clowns once he establishes himself, or is it just going to get worse when he gets older? Is this rapid swimming a sign of a healthy active fish or a crazed stressed fish?<I usually see the swimming behavior like this before the onset of ich. Not saying he has it, just an observance of mine.> If possible can you do your best to describe to me the right amount of food to feed these fish and the shrimp. Everything in the tank is young and small the Clowns around an inch and the Tang is not even two inches.<You should feed your fish a quality food.  Ocean Nutrition is a good flake food.  I like to keep mine in the fridge when not in use.  The same companies frozen cubes come in a variety of ingredients, and they also are a good food.  I like to soak my food with a little Cyclop-eeze before feeding.  It certainly enhances the food and creates a minor feeding frenzy.  And, never put more food in the tank than the fish can eat.  Put in a small amount at a time, if they eat that, add a little more, and when they start to lose interest, stop feeding.  A twice a day feeding (sparingly) is fine.  Once a day is OK also with live rock present.> Thanks for any information you can give me. I love your site, it has been an eye opener.<Thank you for visiting the site Sean, and good luck.  James (Salty Dog)>Sean

Tang Challenge..? I have an update on this question... <Okay...Scott F. with the follow up tonight> Last night I watched the tang go through all of the behavior described below and he hung out at the top of the tank near the heater all night.  I shut the lights off early so he would hopefully get some rest and feel better. At that point he appeared to be "gasping" a little - his gills were more active than normal anyway.  I also turned up the heater just in case.  I also dosed the aquarium with some VitaChem since I couldn't remember the last time I added it to the water and knew I didn't do it with the last water change (last week). This morning the water was back up to 78/79 degrees and the little tang was swimming around somewhat normally.  He ate his breakfast with a lot of vigor. <Always a great sign! A fish that eats is a fish that lives!> He still looks kind of weird and swimming around kind of funny but otherwise appears to be doing better. He is a very nice yellow color - no red spots or anything - a slight whiteness around his gills. In addition to the flake I mentioned below and my first shot with the Spirulina frozen stuff... I do also feed a spectrum Thera+ pellet (that while small pellets I need to crush them a little so the tang and damsel can eat them - the angel has no problem). Anyway - my tang is better but not out of the woods yet and so I'm still hoping someone might know what is happening to him. <Well, it's hard to tell without a good picture. My thinking is to keep doing what you're doing...Don't rush to medicate unless you have a definitive handle as to what is wrong. Sometimes, it's best to just keep observing...> My water appears to have turned cloudy so with my water change this weekend I'll probably also take apart the filter and see what's going on in there too... So any advice you have would certainly be appreciated to help my tang grow up big and strong! Thank you! <Well, it is really hard to say what's going on here. It could simply be the result of the rigors of capture and transport. My advice is to keep excellent water conditions, feed him well (try fresh Gracilaria macroalgae from Indo Pacific Sea Farms or Inland Aquatics), and to observe carefully. I'll bet that this little guy will do just fine with a little TLC and continued observation on your part. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Zebrasoma flavescens longevity Hi Guys, I've had a Yellow Tang for a little more that 5 years and he was an adult when I got him. What is their life expectancy? Thanks, Rich <Somewhere about ten years I believe... based on ones I've seen kept in public aquariums, service accounts... the recent ish of TFH re otoliths and dating. Bob Fenner>

Zebrasoma Flavescens Hi Guys, <And Girls, Mac here.> I've had a Yellow Tang for a little more that 5 years and he was an adult when I got him. What is their life expectancy?  <Rich, I went to fishbase.org looking for this information and its not on there.  Surprising. Then I went to a friend who is a distributor of fish from Hawaii.  He also didn't know the answer, but was going to try to find out for me. I plan to hold on to your address just in case he comes up with an answer for me. From multiple links on just individual discussions the oldest one I found in a fish tank was 12 years of age.  But let me differ to Bob Fenner's comments on this. "<I will try to give you my (relatively high confidence) statements to the point. I suspect that there is a very steep curve of mortality initially (in the wild only, this species has not been captive cultured), with juveniles being consumed, getting "blown off" the reef... and higher mortality in the first few weeks, months, followed by a few small part of a percent of animals living several (likely six or eight or so) years in the wild (again)... These individuals can be quite large (more than large hand size, 8-9 inches total length)... and are not collected (and rightly so, as they are substantial breeders/reproducers, and not easily adapted to captive conditions. The species Zebrasoma flavescens in captivity likely is one of the hardiest of species and definitely in the "top ten" kept for this purpose. Most are however likely "killed off" in the first month of care (from hobbyist mistakes, inappropriate tankmates, starvation...) but a few individuals have been recorded to have lived more than a decade in aquarium conditions. So, very likely this fish (perhaps due to a lack of predators, competitors, pathogens...) has proven longer lived in captive settings. Bob Fenner>" Thanks, Rich <I hope that helps, Mac>

Hawkfish and Yellow Tang Question Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank I'm trying to make into a reef tank. I also have a new 125 gallon tank that I want to do as a fish only tank. In my 55 I have a freckled Hawkfish, and a yellow tang. The two have lived together for 5 or 6 months now and the hawk I've had for over a year. Within the last couple of weeks my yellow tang started losing some color and breathing heavily and you could see some veins of blood in his snout. He wasn't eating and I was told this was a water problem. Which was probably true because my LFS was out of salt for that period of time. I've since changed the water about 20% and then added Quick Cure for 3 days and did another partial water change. My tang seems to be looking a little better, but he now hides all the time and he never did that as much before. He never comes to the top to eat like my hawk does and I fear that he's not getting enough food. I have been adding some seaweed sheets to some rocks, but my hawk has been eating that too (as well as my snails)! Should I add the yellow tang to my 125 gallon tank to get him away from all of this? (I'm wanting to add a Volitans Lionfish, a Harlequin Tusk, probably a clown trigger and some other "bully" fish to the 125) so would it be a good idea to add this peaceful little yellow tang to that crowd?<No it would not be smart...I would leave the tang in the 55gal...and allow him time to become used to the aquarium setup again> And what about the Hawkfish, would he survive in the 125 gallon tank (I really want to make the 55 a reef only, but I can keep the hawk in there if I have to, because I love my hawk he has great personality, I just think he might get bored in there alone in a reef tank). Thank You!<I would keep the hawk in the reef as long as you do not add any ornamental shrimp/crabs. Good luck, IanB>

Yellow Tang behavior Hello Master, <No bowing, please> I hope you're still in the Pacific and having fun. Now I come with a question, why not, why should I not have a question for you, I am at last not such a specialist you know... It goes about my Zebrasoma flavescens which I have since three of four years, I don't know for sure but I bought him as young one. Now it is a jolly fish but the last days he has a strange behaviour.  Let me tell:   a.. He is not ill, I think because he swims around as always with perhaps an inclination to hide and to be a little more aggressive against my Zebrasoma velifera.   b.. He doesn't have appetite anymore for meat, well for spinach!   c.. That's all and I ask me, should Z. flavescens change their diet with aging?  I don't believe that because if they are as I am, with age I become more carnivorous.... Ok that's all. <Not unusual behavior in my opinion, experience> Have a good trip back home and enjoy the rest of your stay. Friendly yours, Claude <Thank you my friend. Robare Fenner>

- Odd Behaviour in My Yellow Tang - Hi there, I've been trying to track down some information as to some strange behaviour my yellow tang began showing a couple of days ago and I'm hoping you can help. <I can try.> He is staying in one place and hardly moving round the tank at all. He is also pointing towards the surface of the tank and his breathing has sped up. Previously he was always the first to the food (a mixture of brine and gamma shrimp defrosted in a few drops of Kent Zoe marine) but now he is the last. We have a 180 litre tank which also contains two common clowns, one flame angle, one bi-colour blenny and several invertebrates all of which seem perfectly fine. I did a 10% water change this morning and added some Tetra Aqua Easy Balance as I am trying to reduce the nitrate levels in the tank (pH, ammonia nitrite and salinity levels are all fine). <So what is the nitrate level?> The tangs behaviour is not constant, he seemed fine for a couple of hours this afternoon before then hiding behind the live rock for an hour (which is not something he usually does) and then reverting back to the almost stationary pointing to the surface position. <Are you around all day so that you can observe other behavior in the tank? Perhaps someone is picking on your fish.> Any suggestions as to what may be causing this or what can be done to help would be very useful. <My guess is that this is either a response to water quality issues or the result of aggression from someone... do examine all angles.> Thanks, Mark. <Cheers, J -- >

Yellow tang lifespan Bob, I can't plug into the linked area for life history on FishBase.  The site says that info that can't be linked can be found on the species info page. <Mmm, sorry about the bad lead> However on that page the max age and length is black meaning there is no data on it. <Unusual... this is a "key" species the DNR (Dept. Natural Resources, HI) and the pet-fish industry uses... a good reference animal. Would think more data would be available on it.> Can we assume that no ones how long yellow tangs live in the wild or in captivity then? Carla <I will try to give you my (relatively high confidence) statements to the point. I suspect that there is a very steep curve of mortality initially (in the wild only, this species has not been captive cultured), with juveniles being consumed, getting "blown off" the reef... and higher mortality in the first few weeks, months, followed by a few small part of a percent of animals living several (likely six or eight or so) years in the wild (again)... These individuals can be quite large (more than large hand size, 8-9 inches total length)... and are not collected (and rightly so, as they are substantial breeders/reproducers, and not easily adapted to captive conditions. The species Zebrasoma flavescens in captivity likely is one of the hardiest of species and definitely in the "top ten" kept for this purpose. Most are however likely "killed off" in the first month of care (from hobbyist mistakes, inappropriate tankmates, starvation...) but a few individuals have been recorded to have lived more than a decade in aquarium conditions. So, very likely this fish (perhaps due to a lack of predators, competitors, pathogens...) has proven longer lived in captive settings. Bob Fenner> Re: Yellow tang lifespan Thanks Bob! My 9 year old really appreciates your time in answering his question. <Very glad to be of assistance... what an assignment for this age/grade!?> We bought your CMA book and he spends as much time reading/looking at it as I do! <Outstanding! Quite a precocious youngster. I am greatly encouraged by your account. Thank you. Bob Fenner> Carla

Yellow tang lifespan Hi guys. My son is doing a report on the yellow tang for his third grade science class. We've been doing lots of searches online to find info on the yellow tang. So far we have had much luck with two exceptions: We can't seem to find the life expectancy for the yellow tang in the wild and in the aquarium. We also need to know if he has any known enemies. Can any of you help us out? We also need a source for such info if possible. We have Googled and checked fishbase.org all with no luck. His report is due Friday but we really want the rough draft done by Wed evening. (They don't give you much time for these things in grade school!) Thanks for your help! <This information is actually available on fishbase.org... by plugging into the linked area: "life-history tool"... you can get the calculated value. Bob Fenner> Carla

Yellow Tang Harassing New Tankmates  I know I've read that Tangs should ideally be added last, but this was after the fact (I still have to learn the hard way sometimes).<we all do> My Yellow tang (2.5 inches) shares my 50 gal. tank with a Royal Dottyback.  They've gotten along for about 4 weeks now, and I've added to the mix, two Firefish and a small clown goby. (yes, they were quarantined, and were healthy, fine when I moved them). However, the Tang immediately began harassing my clown goby, and didn't recede, so he moved back to the QT. The Firefish seemed to be taken in by the tang, although the Dottyback /did/ make sure they didn't get near her "turf". <yea, pretty territorial fish> However, the next morning, I found that one Firefish was missing and the other was looking very very nervous in the top corner of the tank. The Dottyback was leaving it alone, but the tang would do her usual passing back and forth, and if the Firefish was near, the tang would attack.<yes, sometimes tangs just randomly attack fish and most of the time kill them> I moved the nervous Firefish back to QT,<smart move> and found about 30 min later the other Firefish emerged from under a rock.<probably hiding from the aggressive tang> This one seemed fine, but darted back to safety when I tried to remove it to put back in QT. It hasn't emerged from safety in about two hours. I figure I'm going to have to remove the tang from my tank,<I would> but I was wondering if there is anyway to see if I can get these guys to live in harmony;<I wouldn't risk the lives of any of your fish...best to remove the tang ASAP> or at least in some sort of peace. I had read that tangs don't usually readily attack other fish except for other tangs. What am I to do?<remove the tang, Good luck, IanB>

Yellow Tang Harassing New Tankmates  Thank you very much for the quick reply. It's at the end of the day, and I realize now that the tang is not going to let well enough alone. Now my next problem: getting the tang out. I tried getting the Firefish out, since I could at least get him to safety, but he doesn't leave his hiding spot long enough. And the tang has become a hassle to get out too.<I would try a really small barbless hook> I can't net her; she darts into the reef, and after a plethora of attempts, I stopped due to not wanted to kill her with the stress.<Well in order to catch my chevron tang or my smaller Vlamingi tang I have to remove 300 lbs of Live rock.> I set up a "trap" using a breeder tank with her veggie clip inside, but she won't go /near/ it.<as expected> Aside from dismantling my reef, is there a better way? <probably a small barbless hook> Would it be unwise to wait until she was asleep and then "surprise her" and catch her?<This works well but only with some fish. In my experience it worked with my starcki damselfish and small Vlamingi tang, and didn't work with my large Vlamingi tang and my golden pygmy angelfish. I would give it a try just to find out, but again no guarantees> Oy, this  could be a LONG week. . .<yes it could, good luck, IanB> 

-Black spot disease on a yeller tang- I just bought a yellow tang, he is still in the store.  3.5 inches still has his "fright colors", don't know how long this will continue. <They only get "fright colors" at night or if they're under some serious stress.>  Eating well, swimming well, active, curious. <Hmmm... wonder what's up with the coloration. It could just not be very vibrant do to lack of proper nutrition.>  I noticed some evidence of black spot disease. <That should have been enough to keep you from buying it, especially with a fish this common.> The LFS owner said not a big deal, he is giving all his yellows a 10 - 15 min freshwater dip and that will take care of it. <That's an EXTREMELY long freshwater dip, they really shouldn't go more than 5m, and even that's a lot!> He also said the fish will be good to pick up in two days. <If you still want this fish, make sure you don't see anything on the fish for at least a week, but be prepared to treat it during quarantine.> I'm a little reluctant.  Will just one dip cure him, or will he require a few. <Depends, if he does a 15m dip the black spot should be dead, but so will the tang...> How long should I leave him at the store with no evidence of the disease before I pick him up? <See how long he's willing to hang on to him and deal with any issues that come up. If it's less than a week, don't go for it.> I know that my quarantine tank will be less stressful than the LFS, but I am hesitant, because I don't want further complications. <If the quarantine is properly set-up and you know how to treat for any diseases that come up, it is a much better option than hanging out in the store. This way you can give it individualized attention.> Again thanks so much for helping us inexperienced guys out. <No prob, I hope you've got the info now to make a good decision! -Kevin>

Dying Yellow Tang >Dear all, Could you please give me some emergency advice about my 2yo yellow Sailfin tang?  He has been healthy but did not feed much yesterday and today is lying on his side at the bottom, but there is some eye movement. >>Oh my, whatever the problem is, it's moving FAST. >Should I give him a freshwater dip?   >>Not unless he's showing external signs of parasitic infection.   >Could it be connected with the loss 1 month ago of my blood shrimp, which did act as a cleaner to the tang?   >>I couldn't properly venture a guess.  The "lack" of a cleaning organism wouldn't be what's causing this trouble, though whatever may have caused the demise of the shrimp has now become bad enough that it's affecting the tang. >I have no other cleaners.  My water parameters yesterday were normal and nothing else is showing any problems.  Kindest thanks, Peter >>"Normal" parameters tells me very little, unfortunately.  For some, "normal" parameters may be readable levels of ammonia or high nitrate readings--both of which can eventually cause stress and death, one faster, the other not so.  This is my advice; put the fish in a hospital tank with freshly mixed water.  If you haven't already, start doing some large water changes on the main display, and filter through carbon.  If the tang pulls through the next day, then take a closer look and see if there's anything observable.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but there is not much information to go on here.  Marina

- Red Spots on Yellow Tangs - A couple of days ago I wrote telling you about red spots on 2 of my three tangs. The local pet store tested my water and found everything to be at 0 except for phosphates. He said that was the problem. So I bought a phosphate sponge and used it that night. The red spots are starting to go away they went from big red spots to kinda being spread out and pink. Does this make sense? <Yes and no... these red spots are typically due to water quality issues, and that can encompass many things that cannot be tested for. Phosphates all on their own will not cause this problem but their presence could be an indicator of other husbandry issues.> Any ideas? <Take a close look at your system and how you do things... are you over feeding? Do you have brisk circulation? Are you protein skimming? How often and how much water do you change? Those are the questions you should be asking yourself.> The fish are eating properly and acting normal. Are they recovering? <Perhaps.> Here is a pic if it helps. Thanks a bunch, Bill
<Cheers, J -- >

Another Yellow Tang with Black Spot 8/25/03 Hello I have a great 5-6" yellow tang but the other day I just discovered that the my fish is cover with very tiny sort of blackish or reddish dots. <Ahhh...yes. The Turbellarian work known as "Black Spot" disease> Its acting pretty normal but I am very concerned that it might be some sort of a disease. Would you perhaps know what are those symptoms are? I would really appreciate your help. By the way very great site. You guys are great. <do go to the home page www.wetwebmedia.com and use the Google search tool at the bottom of the page to search for this and various parasitic diseases. Use the phrase "black spot disease" first. You can also find in by navigating your way from the home page to many articles and FAQs on parasitic diseases. Advice on treatment lies therein. Best of luck. Anthony>

White variety, yellow tang I recently saw and photographed what appeared to be a color variant yellow tang in shallow waters of southern Maui.  It was all white except for yellow front dorsal, pectorals, pelvics, and eye rings. White caudal fin.  U of Hawaii and Bishop Museum folks (so far) have never seen a similar color variant. <Neat. Me neither... but have seen other "koi" varieties over the years, there and in the trade> I can send the jpg if anyone is interested. Does it ring a bell for anyone? I see various references to white versions of yellow tangs on the aquarists sites.  But this seems to be a different pattern. <Does. Do send and I'll post. Bob Fenner> Earl Byron

Re: White variety, yellow tang Bob, Thanks for your interest.  Here are the best (and only) pics I got of the fish.  Not the best, but you can see the color patterns at least. <Interesting. Thanks for sending this along (Bob, back out to HI next Thurs.)> Earl Byron

Down but not out: Black spot on tangs 7/1/03 Hello (Anthony), <howdy> On a strange note, this Yellow Tang seems to have lost its black spots within a day of being quarantined. I have not done anything as far as dips or meds. Did the turbinellarid worms cycle off of the Tang and into the larval cyst form (or whatever flatworms do?) <some perhaps... but the game is not over so soon. Still a minimum of 8 day bottom siphoning... 4 week QT> I've vacuumed the QT floor until it was clean enough for Mother Mary herself to eat off of, so hopefully they won't cycle back onto my poor sweet Yellow Gal. <not likely or realistic, but a good start perhaps> It seems like this would be too easy of a solution. <correct> I still want to let the main tank lie fallow for 4 weeks, so there's no rush in getting this gal back in there. Thanks, <very good, mate... a solid 4 weeks is always the best/safest route. Kind regards, Anthony>

- Pale Yellow Tang - I just purchased a yellow tang and acclimated him into my tank which had just finished its cycle he was doing awesome than the power went out and the lights were off now his face and frontal body has faded pale sort of and a visible yellow stripe is running through him he isn't acting strange already ate but the color loss is worrying me any help? <Well... this is most likely the fish's 'fright' pattern. Many fish can alter the coloration of their bodies to reflect mood or circumstances. Most typically this happens at night time, when the fish are either sleeping or out on the hunt. The color of fishes can also fade over time due to poor diet and care, but this takes some time - months to years. I'd be willing to bet that once the lights come back on, and the fish's mood improves, all will be fine. Cheers, J -- >

Kill them all? WWM Crew - I'm starting to collect a library of strange advice from my LFS. I bought a very nice juvenile Yellow Tang from them, which I did not inspect that well before hand. A few days later it has black-ich (Turbinella worms?) and is in a quarantine tank ready to start the best treatment I can (copper? Formalin? Daily FW dips?) <I'd recommend Formalin and FW dips... see more here (follow FAQ links at top of page too: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > When I told the LFS about this, the senior reef guy pulled me aside and whispered, "Take it out and kill it. I'm the only one here that will tell you this. Don't put any more tangs in your tank for 6 months." <he is mistaken... Black Spot on tangs is very curable... and limited in infectious rates> Of course I'm not going to do this, I'll either cure the fish in the QT or let the worms kill it. It's strange getting this kind of advice, since it makes no sense from a customer-oriented business standpoint, from an animal husbandry standpoint, and from the have-patience-and-never-give-up-attitude standpoint that is necessary for successful reef/combo tanks. <agreed> Plus, searching the literature leads me to believe that black-ich (black-spot) is not that hard to cure anyways .... ? <quite correct> I've read this page : http://wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and it seems to confirm that it is not _that_ bad. I'm not sure there's a question here, unless you have any ideas about a.) the best treatment to start it on, and b.) why would I get this kind of advice? Thanks, SLC <I do believe you will be fine with the treatments commonly prescribed for the former on the pages you have seen/researched... as to the latter question, simple misinformation that the clerk carries on and alas... has not challenged himself to reconsider/look higher. Best regards, Anthony>

Yellow Tang Good Morning and happy memorial weekend,<thank you, IanB on duty tonight> We have a yellow tang (beautiful and healthy).<yes they are> We just added a clown fish. After adding the new friend, the tang showed signs of ich and began scratching on rock and other items.<sure sign of parasites> I could see a little spot or two on him.<good observation> So we fresh water dipped. Ich gone:-)<freshwater dips are very stressful but usually do the trick> but over the last 12 hours he looks like he is having an asthma attack.<very stressful on the fish> He's swimming but not eating yet.<would not expect him to eat for a handful of days> We did the dip just last night around 9pm (Wednesday). How long is the usually recovery time from these treatments until he is breathing normally or does it vary from fish to fish?<varies depending on initial health, also other factors involved such as species of fish, water quality, etc> He looks great, swimming well but breathing very rapidly.<again, as expected> We have the lights off and I have even covered the tank with a sheet to keep stress down.<very good> My water parameters are great.<good> I am planning to test again this afternoon if he is not improved.<I admire your practices, keep up the good work and good luck with the yellow tang. I enclosed a link, hope this helps-   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm IanB>

Question on yellow tang Hi I have moved the live rock to my new 75 gallon reef and am going to try and fresh water dip the tang tomorrow he's stressed from all the live rock disappearing he's stopped itching though I think maybe he doesn't have a disease but something else things crawling on him and annoying him but better safe than sorry right I'm going to move my inverts 5 weeks from now when all the ammonia nitrites go down.  Will my coral catch what my tang has thanks? JM <Well if he is no longer scratching what other symptoms is he still showing?  I would not do anything until I was certain there is a problem.  I'm not sure what he has, but most likely it will not get passed on to the corals.  I think I may have missed the original email here. -Gage>

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

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