Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Yellow Tang Disease/Health 2

FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease: Disease 1, Disease 3, Disease 4, Disease 5, Disease 6, Disease 7, Disease 8, Yellow Tang Disease 9, Yellow Tang Disease 10, Yellow Tang Disease 11, Yellow Tang Disease 12, Yellow Tang Disease 13, Yellow Tang Disease 14, Yellow Tang Disease , & Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,
FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Trauma, Pathogenic (infectious, parasitic), Social, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Yellow Tangs

Related FAQs: Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 3, Yellow Tangs 4, & Yellow Tang FAQs: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Reproduction, & 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, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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>  

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

Untimely yellow tang death Hi Bob, <Hello there> I must first thank you for sharing your vast knowledge. I've been relying on WetWebMedia as the major source of marine information since I set up my first saltwater aquarium 6 months ago. Unfortunately, I have found that the LFS doesn't always steer me in the right direction. <A difficult job (tried to do so myself for years...). Easier to distill ones experiences, hopes, efforts, put in print with time, calm, contemplation...> I have a 72 g with 30lb LR. wet/dry filtration, cc protein skimmer, and a newly added Caulerpa bed, and UV. My nitrates are high ~ 50ppm when tested just before my weekly 10% water changes. <Newly? Give this macro-algae some time (weeks) and lighting?> I'm attempting to counter that with the Caulerpa and increased circulation just above the substrate, so my protein skimmer and mechanical filtration can do their jobs better. I also believe that I was overfeeding significantly until fairly recently. <Mmm, you seem to have a good understanding of inputs here> After cycling with Damsels, I introduced a lionfish, who ate the damsels within a week (as planned). My second addition was a yellow tang, followed a few weeks later by a Caribbean blue tang. Immediately, my yellow tang started attacking the blue, so I made the decision to quarantine the yellow while the blue settled in. Once re-introduced a week later, they got along famously. <Yes, good strategy> I then introduced live rock, a few snails, a brittle starfish, and chocolate chip, and a hermit crab - all a week or two apart, waiting until after the nitrites returned to a minimal reading. Probably backwards, I now realize. <Yes... but workable> My tangs contracted black spot and Ich, respectively, in which I first attempted to treat with FW dips. About a week after each dip, they re-contracted. So, I purchased a UV sterilizer, waited 48 hours, and re-dipped. That stopped it for good. Thank you for your advice - the LFS advised me to quarantine the inverts and use copper. <Likely the best route to try> Yesterday, after 3 weeks quarantine I introduced 2 new hermit crabs, a few more snails, and a 5" Maroon Clown (the biggest I've ever seen outside of the ocean) all seemed very healthy since purchase. <Yikes... Clowns of this size to start with... often have "behavioral problems"... like being "mean as Dickens" (sorry Charles)> I fed shortly after the Clown was settled in, and all ate fine. My yellow tang became very pale from the gills forward - apparently stress related. This has been happening quite often during the last hour or two of the 13 hour "days" I have them set up on. I turned the lighting off, and decided to shorten the days to about 11 hours, thinking that he would be happier with shorter days. He has been eating fine since he's gotten over his black spots, more than a month ago. He had been a little thinner than the blue, but not gaunt like many of the tangs I've seen at the LFS. Overall, he seemed very healthy outside of the late evening paleness. <Okay...> This morning, during my morning check, I noticed my largest crab eating the yellow tang's body, who had apparently been dead for hours. My guess is that he was in borderline health, and the stress of a new tankmate was too much for him. <Good guess> I would like to understand what caused the death and what I can do next time. I am saddened by the thought that I plucked this beautiful creature from his home to watch him slowly die due to my poor husbandry, and want to make sure that it won't happen again. Thank you for any knowledge you may share with me. Daron <I sense, think you are on the verge of tremendous "living", self-discovery. From the above it is apparent you do "know" what to do, how to research what you don't, have the self-provocation to do so... You may just not be "conscious" of what you know... my input is as nothing. Bob Fenner>

Sick Tang Help, My yellow tang has red blotches, what could be causing this ? <if the tang is new, could be Septicemia...if the tang is older, likely a bacterial infection from stress or poor water quality. Either way, quarantine promptly in a separate tank and use broad spectrum antibiotics (Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone combination would be good)... and feed antibacterial medicated flakes too> all levels are fine check everything yesterday .  <what is you pH and alkalinity specifically... often times they are low (below 8.2 daytime reading) when enough organics have accumulated in the system to cause bacterial infections> He is eating well and is very active <a good sign...Anthony>

Yellow Tang and Fresh Dips Hey! <What!?!> I'm looking everywhere for some info on some red velvet like spots on my yellow tang and can't seem to get anywhere. The Paravortex you mentioned which causes black-sot, well are they really black (maybe that's a stupid quest but I'm desperate).  <yes, indeed they are> What are the symptoms for it if you know what the red spots are b/c now it looks as though the insertion point of his right fin is affected. <common black spot on tangs is distinct and raised (identical sized) spots like black grains of salt. A fine powdery "rust" colored spot (rather like talc powder) could be another parasite altogether.> The freshwater dip how long do I do that for and by freshwater do you mean distilled or RIO. water.  <never use raw RO/DI water unbuffered for anything! in marine aquaria (including evaporation top off...wastes buffers in salt mix/alkalinity pool in tank). It could actually be fatal to marine fishes in a bath. Buffered RO/DI water or tap water is to be adjusted to match the pH and the temperature of the sick fishes tank, and it should also be aerated for several hours ahead of time (dechlorinate if necessary). Catch the fish quickly and gently (never put an exhausted/stressed fish in a fresh bath). Put in the fresh dip for 3-5 minutes minimum. Catatonic swimming or laying on the bottom of the bucket is normal... erratic swimming or spitting water at surface is not... return fish to main display. Any fish that dies in a properly conducted freshwater bath was not destined to survive anyway. It is a great and natural treatment for external parasites. Kindly, Anthony> If any suggestions please help. Thanks, Corina

Yellow Tang Color Change Bob, <You got Steven Pro today.> I have a 55 gal FO tank with three Signature Coral replicas and four fish. The fish are a Percula Clown, a Pseudochromis, a Golden Sleeperhead Goby, and a Blue Devil. Last night at 8:00 p.m., I added a small Yellow Tang to my tank. I had been watching him at the LFS for the past two weeks and he seemed very alert, was very curious about my presence, and was a deep yellow color. I took him home and acclimated him in the bag (in the dark) by floating for 15 minutes to equilibrate the temperature and then slowly added aquarium water to his bag for 15 minutes to equilibrate the salinity. When I turned him loose, he hid in the cave of my Signature Coral and the next time I saw him (still in the dark) about 11:00 p.m., his golden line down his side had turned white and there was a brown circle around this line that was about the size of a quarter. This morning I did not turn on the light and he still appeared to have the circle and the white line. I am reading your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and read your abstract about the Yellow Tang. It was unclear if you were saying this color change will happen every night or just when the fish is scared and it is a bad situation if this happens. Do you think the fish was overly stressed by my acclimation technique or is this a normal behavior for the Tang to have when transported? <It is normal and will probably happen every night, although maybe not as dramatic as in this instance when under stress from the move.> I purchased some seaweed sheets to feed the Yellow Tang. Should I rubber band a small piece to the pillar coral reproduction and leave it in the tank all the time or should I remove it after he has had five minutes to eat? <Do attach it to something in the tank, like the decoration you mentioned. You will probably have to leave it for a while before the Tang takes to it. Once he recognizes it as food, he will dive into it immediately.> The LFS said I should feed both the seaweed sheet and romaine lettuce, is this true? <I would leave out the lettuce and maybe add some Formula II frozen foods (personal favorite).> If so, do I leave the romaine lettuce in for extended periods of time or just a matter of minutes? <See above comment> Thanks for your help. I have learned more from your book, CMA, and WetWebMedia than all the other sources combined! Cheers, Ray McClain <Glad you find it so useful. -Steven Pro>

Fin Deterioration on a Yellow Tang Hello Mr. Fenner - I have a 55 gallon system running, which currently houses an Orbic Batfish, Tomato Clownfish, Yellow Tang, and Niger Trigger. I have noticed recently that the fins of my yellow tang have slowly been becoming more and more tattered and ragged. I thought that this could possibly be from adversarial nipping from tankmates, most likely the trigger, so I isolated the Niger, but yet the raggedness drags on, increasingly so. Otherwise the fish seem to be doing fine. I have not had this tang for long and I would venture to say that it is a fairly young specimen. I have started to supplement its diet with broccoli and green leaf lettuce. I have positively observed it browsing the microalgae in my tank. If you have any suggestions as to what could be causing this problem, they would be taken with gratitude. <I do suspect nutritional deficiency here as well. Don't rely on the terrestrial greens to supply this. Please read over the Yellow Tang materials on WWM, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and on to the FAQs pages, marine nutrition, environmental and nutritional disease...> In case you need to know, the system is filtered with the large version of the Emperor outside power filter and a hang-on Prizm protein skimmer. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide. - Dillon <Thank you for asking. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Accident Dear Mr. Fenner, I had an accident on Dec. 23rd while cleaning my salt water tank. My yellow tang was frightened and I did not see him before he cut my middle finger knuckle with the bone on his tail. It happened in an instant and the pain was instant and horrible. My knuckle swelled, turned black and blue, throbbed non-stop for 6 hours, and the pain radiated clear through my hand into my wrist. <Yowch...> I called the Aquarium store right away and they told me that the fish not only cuts your skin ( I had 3 small cuts) but it injects a poison into the wound. I was told to place it in warm water to draw out the poison, and try meat tenderizer, which I did. I could not take my hand out of the warm water without excruciating pain for over an hour! It took a several days before the pain subsided completely. <Mmm, may be a toxin associated with this species... there is with other genera, but not documented as far as I'm aware with Zebrasomas> It is now Feb. 5th and I have had a resurgence of pain, slight bruising, and swelling in that knuckle. I spoke with the Aquarium store again today and they told me that I was misinformed initially and that yellow tangs do not poison, they only cut you. I was referred to you. Can you help me? I don't know if this is normal or if I need to see a physician. I would greatly appreciate your expertise. <I would definitely see a physician re this injury. There may not have been envenomation, but there is a real possibility of infection. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Wound.htm and the associated FAQs file. Do seek medical care, at least examination here. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Claire Hart
Re: Yellow Tang Accident
Dear Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure that I got your complete message because it was mixed into my message. I will call my dermatologist today. I read the articles you referred to me, very interesting! I have had a tank for 8 years and this is my first time to have a wound. I have almost always had yellow tangs and I was always aware that I could be cut. I just didn't expect this! <Small chance of real trouble... but best to clean, keep covered... and have a practitioner take a look. Good luck, life. Bob Fenner> Thank you again. Claire Hart

Out of the Woods Hello one more time Anthony- <greetings, not-so-alien visitor> I was up late last night and saw the tank after the light timer had shut it off. The Yellow Tang was quite normal. So I put back my old light. Nasty old 2 25 watt 50/50 blue/daylight setup. With worn out bulbs I am sure. The yellow is acting normal again and all the rest are eating better. <excellent... no doubt thanks to your diligence and water changes... and perhaps the rain dance I performed in their name> I noticed during a light vacuuming of the top of the substrate (another 5 gal water change) that I have hundreds of little dead shrimp looking things coming out with the water. I have always seen these little fellas around but looks like a mass die-off happened (possibly reason for big jump in nitrates?) <amphipods and yes, contributory> I am thinking the new stronger light has killed off these guys. What do ya think? <alas.. entirely unrelated. Water chemistry for sure (accumulated noxious elements/toxin, low pH, etc> If it made the Yellow tang almost kill himself, it is possible, I suppose. <not really... just a bit stressful and coincidence> Also, how can I get the tank adapted to the new light without raising hell? <light adaptation is still a concern... in a perfect world, use a borrowed light meter to compare the intensity of the old fixture at the water surface to the height at which the new one must be placed to equal it. Otherwise, prop the lights up 6-10 inches higher (don't shorten the familiar photoperiod or it may cause more stress) and lower them one inch per week until adjusted> Thanks again Anthony... Calming down a bit now.....all are going to make it !!!! Dennis <good job, bud. Anthony>

Tang with Red Splotches Hi Bob, <Paul... Anthony Calfo here in your service> To start off Jerry Abbot from San Diego says HI. I hit him with a problem and he suggested I contact you. I have a yellow tang, had him for about two months, in a fish only 90 Gal tank. He has now developed red splotches, symmetrical on both sides near his tail fin. He is acting normal (for a tang), eating, everything. I am setting up a QT for him, <excellent and glad to hear it> but don't know what it is or what to use to treat it. Any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks......Paul. <maintain stable water temperature and similar or slightly lower specific gravity than display tank. Bacteria are likely to be present (although they may be secondary). Find a commercial medication at your LFS that has both Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone in it and give a full marine dose (sometimes double the freshwater dose). Feeding a program of medicated food for the next two weeks in quarantine is also a helpful idea to prevent secondary infections. If you do not see stabilization or improvement in three to five days, please write back. Anthony>

Tang with Spots  I have attached a photo of my Yellow Tang I just took showing the spots on his dorsal fin. Also has it on the pectoral fins as well. Do you think this is Ick? Thank-you <John...Anthony here again. Tough to tell from the picture for certain, but it really does look like common marine Ich (Crypto). Best cure is in a quarantine tank for 2-4 weeks. Without medication, a daily water change in a bare bottomed aquaria (siphoning from the bottom) once daily for eight consecutive days can effect a cure. A gradual drop in salinity in the holding tank (.002 points per day) towards 1.018 while in holding may be stimulating. Copper medication monitored with a test kit, or a treatment like "Quick Cure" with malachite green and formalin in it may be necessary. Feeding antiparasitic food for the treatment period may also help, albeit gently/slow. A good fish disease book can be found in the Handbook of Fish Diseases by Dieter Untergasser (TFH)... with easy to follow flow charts. Good luck, Anthony>

Yellow Tang HLLE Hi Bob, I have a juvenile (2 ?") yellow tang in my 110 gallon reef tank and I think he may be developing HLLE but I cant tell for sure and was hoping you could help. I've noticed white "freckles" around the eyes and cheek of this fish that seem to be slowly spreading towards the rear of the fish. <Does sound like HLLE... does often develop slowly, over months... can be easily reversed in early stages...> I've looked at pictures in books and have seen similar markings but these seem to be expanding. The adult yellow tangs at a LFS do not show these marks. I also have a juvenile hippo tank in this tank that is beautiful and showing no signs of this malady. In addition there are 2 fire fish, 2 juvenile false perculas, 2 blennies, 2 small (2") Heniochus, Red Fromia star, bubble tip anemone, asst. coral frags which are doing quite well. The water parameters are SG 1.022, PH 8.1-8.2, Ammonia-0, Nitrite 0, nitrate <.2. Alkalinity is 14 dKH and calcium is 369 . I inject ozone into my turbo flotor Multi 1000 and my ORP is 330-395 depending on what I feed. Speaking of which, I feed twice daily with a mix of Spectrum, Spirulina, Tetra marine flakes, frozen Mysis soaked in Zoe and Nori occasionally soaked in Selcon along with an occasional feeding of blood worms. <Sounds yummy> I run a calcium reactor if that is of any help to your diagnosis. Any insights you may have would be very much appreciated as I really respect your opinions. Thank you again! <Please do read the Yellow Tang FAQs and HLLE FAQs posted on WetWebMedia.com http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and we'll chat. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang getting brown patches Mr. Fenner, I hope you can help me. I recently used a product called Fritzyme #9 to help me with an ammonia problem caused by Maracyn II used for a bacterial problem. It killed all my bacteria causing my ammonia to go sky high.  <Unusual> The Fritzyme brought my ammonia problem down to normal in 2 days. However, I now feel that by not using it after water changes, that my water quality has changed. My Tang has started to develop brown patches. He eats fine and acts normal but looks awful.  <Let's slow down here a bit... you say "recently". How much time has gone on here? Your Tang should improve in weeks, not days...> I did a 10% water change yesterday. My hardness is at 4 and I cannot raise it to the normal of 12.  <Why not? What does this system consist of? What products, methods do you utilize to assure water quality?> My live rock does not appear to be doing its best either. <By this what do you mean?> I thought by doing a very major water change would help. I have just purchased your book and find it thoroughly educational and I thank you for writing it. My problem is not in the book and so I find myself writing you. Please help. <Much to state my new friend. Please augment your reading of TCMA with the numerous articles, FAQs files on WetWebMedia.com Look especially to the set-up and maintenance sections, perhaps give the tank troubleshooting area a read first: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm We'll be chatting. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Lois Roseman
Re: Yellow Tang getting brown patches
I would say he started showing the start of his patches about a week ago. It was also at that time I introduced some new food. I forgot to mention. I introduced "Julian Sprung" Sea Veggies. On a clip. They love it, but it was around the same time. Coincidence? I have not fed this since. Red Seaweed. <No problem with these foods.> My tank is a 75 gallon, I have a porcupine puffer, juvenile emperor and a yellow tang. I also have a couple of dotty backs, 1 scooter blenny and a lawnmower blenny and a Percula. Live rock (about 35lbs.) I run a Red Sea protein skimmer, an Eheim filter and a wet dry.  <You might remove the wet-dry media from this filter. Often more a source of trouble than benefit. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wetdryfaqs.htm> I have 2 Rio pumps inside the tank for circulation along with the intake/outtake of the wet dry and the Eheim. I use Amquel and Novaqua when doing water changes. <These are unnecessary if doing small changes, or better, if making, storing your to-be-used synthetic water... Please see WWM re> I also use Kent, dKH Super Buffer to keep ph at the same level. I use AMiracle drip pads in my wet dry. I have to change it twice a day. It gets so dirty. <Mmm, twice a day... Do consider rigging up Emperor Aquatics (link on WWM) filter "bags" instead... Bob Fenner> I hope you aren't shaking your head. My tank was doing great until I used the Maracyn and then everything got messed up. I feed twice daily. I feed the Puffer, frozen whole krill, he makes a mess. The others get a combo of frozen brine shrimp and frozen Spirulina. I also feed the tang and emperor flake Spirulina. The emperor used to eat everything, now he has become very picky. <Likely "water quality" related, determined> Should I use some Kalkwasser even though my hardness is at 4? <I wouldn't... look over WetWebMedia.com sections on biomineral, alkalinity supplementation here.> I certainly appreciate your response. <Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Thank you again, Lois
Re: Yellow Tang getting brown patches, test kits, 
Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your replies. I just want to tell you how much I am enjoying the book. Wish I had it last year. <Ahh, I as well> Just to let you know, I think I found the culprit causing the staining on my Tang. <What was/is it?> My ph is to low. I did 3 different tests and they all came up low. 8.0 or lower. I am getting a Red Sea Test Kit. It seems to be the better of the others I use. Fastest is good but I have a hard time reading it. Saltwater Master by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals is the other and the worst. None of the test colors are even on their charts. This is the one I've been using and it really taught me to have more than one test kit in the house. <Thank you for this personal account, input as to test kits> I will be doing a slow drip tonight of Kalkwasser. Hope it works and will let you know how my Tang is doing. He was worse this morning. Thank you again. Lois <Be chatting my friend in fish. Bob Fenner>

Sickly yellow tang I have a 5 inch yellow tang in 75 gallon reef tank . I have had the fish for over 6 months now. About every 6 weeks he starts to get red marks on fins, sometimes spreads to his body. I have treated him twice with Maracyn in a hospital tank when it got real bad other times it went away within a few days. What keeps causing this to happen ? His tankmates are 2 tomato clowns and 2 yellowtail blue damsels which never bother him. Water conditions are very good 8.3ph ,0amm., 0nitrite, 10ppm nitrate. 10 % partial water changes are done every 10 days .I put vitamins on his seaweed selects every other day. <I assume the medication you were referring to was Maracyn (Erythromycin). If so... it had little or nothing to do with your tang healing IMO. Maracyn is a gram positive medication and quite useless for most bacterial infections in aquaria. Your tang got better in QT because it was removed from whatever persistent and recurring stress is occurring in the display. Watch for aggression at night (fighting over sleeping territories)... also for pacing behavior (mirror reflection on tank glass), etc. There must be something bothering him in the main tank. In the meantime, skim aggressively, consider some poly-filters (Poly Bio Marine) and overall good water quality. DO read through the WWM s archives (articles and FAQs) to see if anything sounds familiar. Best regards, Anthony>

Sick yellow tang I have a yellow tang that I noticed had black spots the skin; I looked it up as Tang Turbellarian disease. I have since treated the tang with a "fresh water" dip. The black spots fell off, but then a few days went by and he started looking palish white. <Stress-marking...> I've isolated him to a separate tank where I've put rid-Ich+, also I have the specific weight of water at about 1.017. The pale skin has gone but he looks emaciated and isn't swimming around or eating. How do I get him to eat. Anything would be appreciated.  Alex <Please read through the Yellow Tang and general Tang, Feeding FAQs files here. Linked to: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm under the genus name "Zebrasoma". Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Sick? Dear Mr. Fenner, I am curious to see if you could offer some advice on a yellow tang. I noticed about 2 days ago my yellow tang had some reddening that appeared on both sides of the fish, not perfectly but somewhat the same amount and shape on both sides. The redness appears to be slightly "hairy" like peach fuzz, but not to the point that you can notice the fuzz without looking very closely. The fish is not pinched, is eating well, and does not seem to be stressed. I at first thought that it might be ammonia burn, but got no readable level with my test kit (Tetra Laborette). Here are the test values done since the redness was noticed. NH3-0 ppm., NO2-0 ppm., NO3-40 ppm., PO4- 1.5 ppm., pH- 8.4/8.5, S.G. 1.019, TEMP. 82 degrees F. The system was treated for flukes ( I think it was flukes) about a month and a half ago with Clout, low S.G. (1.016), and a 25W U.V. sterilizer run for two weeks, the clout was used for about 5 doses prior to dropping salinity and putting on the sterilizer. This Tang was added 2 weeks after this treatment process. The system is made up of the following: LIVESTOCK- 1 Mexican Wrasse, 1 Blue Devil Damsel, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, and of course, the Yellow Tang. EQUIPMENT- 55 gal. all-glass with built in overflow to a Marineland Tidepool I, nothing in the first tray, blue bonded filter pad in the second tray, and 3 poly pads in the last tray. Then the water goes to the bio-wheel to the sump with a C.P.R. SR2, Tronic 200W, and a Coralife Titanium Ground Probe. All other fish seem fine, all equipment is in good shape, and water quality seems to be very good. The Phosphates were able to come up during the earlier treatment, I'm working on that and the S.G. is also being gradually raised to 1.023 over the next few weeks. The Tang was quarantined for about a week before going to the main tank and treated with clout for 2 doses as I now expect everything I purchase to have some sort of parasite. In the meantime I have no idea what to do about the redness as I'm not sure exactly what it is and don't want to treat the whole tank.  <please review the descriptions, photos and protocols at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Begin here and spider out with links at the top of the page> I plan on trying some antibiotic flakes in hopes to clear a possible bacteria problem and not disturb my biological filter, is that worth trying or are these flakes useless for treatment or maybe even dangerous to my bio-bed?  <really mildly effective. Just supportive. This fish needs treatment in a proper quarantine tank with medication> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, M.P.Gillespie.  <best regards, Anthony> 

Post Tx QT cleaning, Tang passed Hello again, I appreciate all the help I've received from your site.. <always welcome> Even with all the help the yellow tang I was treating recently for Ich and Blackspot disease passed away today...unfortunately after multiple freshwater dips, water changes, and copper treatment the disease was just too prevalent in my QT, overcame him and he gave up.  <indeed very sorry to hear it, but kudos to you for your dedication to our living charges. And the experience learned will certainly benefit others. Best regards, Anthony>

Follow up to yellow tang question. Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob is away... I think they said he is staying at a special "Mental Wellness" facility... whatever that means> A few days ago I sent this message and in the third paragraph, I have added a few more facts that may help. <OK> I have a Yellow Tang in my 55g fish only tank along with a Percula clown, a purple Dottyback, a goldenhead sleeper goby, and a red-fin fairy wrasse. I have a Fluval 304 canister filter with polyester floss, activated carbon, and biological ceramic rings as well as a sea-clone protein skimmer. My tank seems to be doing fine with ammonia and nitrites at 0 ppm, nitrates at 2-3 ppm, salinity at 1.023, and a temperature of 75 degrees. I have a Signature Coral 14 inch pillar coral which contains a cave the tang sleeps in and a 12 inch elk horn Signature Coral. I am feeding the fish flakes, frozen krill, and frozen brine shrimp on a rotating basis as well as romaine lettuce and Seaweed Selects on a lettuce clip around the clock for the tang to "graze" on. <please add more mixed frozen fare. The krill is good, the brine is useless and the flakes lack many vitamins/nutrients through baking> My problem/concern is for the past three days, my tang stays in between the 14 inch pillar coral and the short side of my tank (probably 5 inches of clearance) and moves rapidly back and forth in a almost panicking fashion. He puts his top fin down flat when going both forward and backward. He still eats but spends the majority of his time doing this rapid, sporadic motion. Sometimes he even goes horizontal and scraps himself along the bottom. I have had him for a month and he used to drift around the whole tank grazing but now seems to have a problem. Would you care to provide any advice? As always, thanks for your time. <hmmmm.... he could be the first fish in the tank to show signs of a toxin. Do a large water change 25-40% and add a PolyFilter and see if this doesn't give relief (and indicate water quality)> In the Conscientious Marine Aquarist, I looked up parasites as well as the general information on the yellow tang. My fish does not have any white or black spots that are visible and does not seem to have a dusty, velvety coating. At night he does turn a lighter shade of yellow but I think this is normal for the yellow tang?  <very normal...called a fright pattern or night pattern> He is still scratching on the sand every half an hour or hour for a few minutes each time. He seems to start the sporadic movements (darting around quickly with his dorsal fins down flat to his body) mostly at nighttime. In regards to Amyloodinium, does the fish go  through spells of scratching and lethargic behavior or is it constant?  <no.. it certainly could be spells and it often gets into the gills first without any signs on the body> If a fish develops Amyloodinium, how long does it take to progress bad enough for the fish to get lethargic or to show the dusty, velvet coating.  <actually...it can take more than a week> As your book states, I don't want to treat the fish unnecessarily, but I also don't want to break my tank down in order to sterilize it in a few weeks for my lack of intervention due to inexperience. Do you have any suggestions as to weather I have a strange fish, if I have a parasite problem, or any other logical explanation. Thanks again for the tips, Ray <be prepared to set up and use a quarantine tank instead for treatment. All marine aquarists need a QT tank. But try the water change and chemical filtration first (specifically use a poly filter as it is quite good for many toxins as being chemically Adsorptive. Anthony Calfo>

Sick Revolving Yellow Tang Hi Guys, <cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> Two months ago I bought the healthiest Yellow Tang, that I've ever purchased. It is about 3.5" in length. A month ago he was showing signs of a parasitic infection (scraping near his gills on rocks & elevated respiration) probably Gill Flukes or Velvet. My other fish appear healthy. Water quality looked ok for a FO tank (0 ammonia & nitrite, ph is 8.2, Nitrates are 15 - 20ppm, Salinity 1.023, @ 78F) His diet consists of vitamin enriched herbivore flake food, frozen mysids and brine shrimp and romaine lettuce. He is still a big eater. I've been doing regular water changes. I changed 30gallons last week to get the nitrates down. I'm mixing 10 gallons right now. I also added 15lbs of high quality cured Fiji LR today. Everyone seems to be excited about it. However the tang continues to hide. He can spot me from across the room. If he sees me, he hides. I removed him from the tank and gave him a fresh water dip. Now my LFS tells me that does more harm than good. <they are very mistaken... FW dips are one of the single most effective treatments for parasites when properly conducted... especially for Velvet and Gill Flukes which are unaffected by copper treatments. Copper is really best for Cryptocaryon because it is superficial (not buried in gills/flesh deeply)> Anyway he seemed to improve for a day or two then he started showing signs of another infection. I noticed black/brown spots on his fins and body Velvet) ..  <actually a Terebellid worm (Black spot on tangs) that needs daily FW dips for 5-8 consecutive days... do archive proper FW dip protocol> This time I gave him a formalin bath in salt water. The salt water was at a lower salinity.  <A good treatment... I'm OK with that> After an hour or so, I returned him to the tank. He was fine until Tuesday. On Wednesday, I placed him in a make shift hospital tank.(32Gal trash can filled w/ 15 gallons lower salinity salt water. Correct dosage of Formalin. Power head for circulation)  <outstanding! I like the ingenuity!> I left him there for 30 hours then I returned him to his tank.  <Arghhh! QT should be for 2-4 weeks... the frequent moving is a death sentence for some fish!> While he was in the hospital tank, I fed a mixture of medicated flake food, and vitamin enhanced flake food for herbivores.  <medicated flakes should be for 11-14 days to be effective> He appeared to be back to normal when I returned him. Today the parasites appear to be back (scratching again, though not frequent.) He hides from me. I think he stresses out when he sees me, and that may be weakening his immune system. I don't think I'm going to move again. I'm going to wait and see if he calms down on his own. What do ya'll think. Thanks, Glenn <my friend... a cure for this takes time and you just are not sticking with anything long enough. FW dips are great but must occur on consecutive days... a QT stay with medication is safe but takes nearly two weeks to work. Please give some of the above a chance to work. A ten gallon hospital tank would do you wonders. Best regards, Anthony>

Yellow tang illness/treatment, Black spot disease Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I enjoy your site greatly and have emailed you several times in the past, receiving excellent advice. Thank you for that. It appears time to seek that advice again however. I have a 60 gal flat back hex reef tank which is now 4 months old and off to a great start. During this past week, I received the gift of a new fish from well-meaning relatives. It was a yellow tang. I greatly appreciated the gift but upon inspecting my new tang I immediately saw that he was covered with marine velvet and black spot disease!! <wow... double whammy> He came from a less than reputable LFS that I try not to frequent except for emergencies. My nephew (3yrs old) wanted me to immediately add him to my main tank. Fortunately I have a quarantine tank set-up in my basement and was able to convince my nephew that my new fish needed some time in a tank of his own to get stronger. <outstanding and wise> So. in he went into the quarantine tank which is set up as follows...15gal glass tank, full hood with single fluorescent light on a timer, Aquaclear 150 power filter (with sponge filter sections soaking in my main tanks sump to colonize bacteria), Airstone with pump, Ebo-Jager heater, salinity 1.024, temp 78F, bare bottom with pvc piping for hiding and enclosed on 3 of 4 sides with dark blue background material. <if you had any idea how many times each day we here at WWM talk to kind folks with sick fish who don't know this QT procedure other folks that don't care to, you would understand how delighted I am that you a have a perfect QT set-up... and why I'd like to marry you. Yes.. I'm proposing...hehe> I have never had a sick fish until now and didn't have any copper on hand (smart right?) <no problem here... it is not effective much or at all on these two buggers> I quickly ordered online a bottle of Seachem Cupramine with a SeaChem copper test kit. However the copper will not arrive for another 2-3days what should I do in the meantime? Should I take the fish out and give him a freshwater dip? <yes... forget the copper and do aggressive dips (5 minute minimum... I'll advise you towards 7 minutes but I personally would go over ten if I felt the fish was strong and responding well... Velvet and Black spot are tenacious> Try hyposalinity? Or leave him in there without doing anything until the copper arrives. Will copper treat the black spot also or do I need to do something else for this separate disease. <indeed... I'm one of those inclined to use Formalin for these nasty infections... but I would most always do FW dips first and foremost> (What is black spot disease anyway?) From Bob's files: <"Turbellarians, a group in the flatworm Phylum Platyhelminthes are mostly "free-living" non-parasitic species. One notable exception is Paravortex, the causative agent of "black spot disease", notably of yellow tangs. This is easily eliminated via freshwater dipping, though other authors suggest formalin baths and organophosphate remedies."> His color is good, he's eating well and my water parameters are perfect right now. The velvet is not getting worse (yet) and actually seems to be slightly better today. <Excellent.. a good sign> What do you suggest? <small daily water changes siphoning the bottom (cysts) and daily FW dips for at least 8 days> Also have you used Cupramine personally? I have heard from many people that it is the best copper treatment currently available. What is your opinion? Thanks, John <I'm inclined most only to use it on Cryptocaryon. Best regards, Anthony>

Black Spot on Tangs (Turbellarian worm) Hello guys, I am in need of a little advice regarding black spot on yellow tangs .  <yes...very common on yellow tangs and other Hawaiian fish in particular> I have a 120 gallon tank , 100 lbs. of live rock , running a CY194 CPR wet/dry system . I noticed that your section on diseases suggests fresh water dipping , but as I am sure you know it is an impossibility to catch these tangs without removing the entire contents of the tank . Is there another way or will this disease run its course .  <Definitely not going to run its course... slow to kill a fish, buy slow to cure to> Also I am trying to decide when to remove my BIO-Bale from the sump .  <no opinion/experience with this product> Is 100 lbs. of live rock enough to keep the nitrates in this tank down .  <unlikely... but then, most of surface of LR is aerobic and will never reduce nitrates. Need very large pieces (with dense anoxic zones) to accomplish this. You will be better served by a deep sand bed or extra water changes to control nitrates> I have 4 yellow tangs and 2 blue Chromis . Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer . Richard <freshwater dips and or formalin based medication in a hospital tank will be necessary. It is critical for all marine aquarists to have and use quarantine tanks. Else it is just a game of chance with living creatures. Black spot can be easily screened on all new fish in a proper QT before entering a display. Best regards, Anthony>

Yellow Tang turning brown... I have a Yellow Tang I got 10 days ago and have kept in quarantine.  <very good...always QT new fish> He seemed to be doing great, eating well, and swimming vigorously, checking out the tank. Watching him last night, I thought it looked like he had a "bruise" on the forehead area, as it looked like it was turning brown. I thought maybe I was just seeing things. This morning, his entire body is brown (just where the "meat" of his body is, and there is a definite white line running horizontally across the middle on both sides.  <known as a night pattern or fright pattern. Evidence of stress if shown by day> I can't seem to find any kind of disease matching this description. Any thoughts as to what's wrong, and what to do for him? Water parameters seem fine, although pH is a bit low (8.0), <8.0 is very low if that is a midday reading (meaning that it certainly drops below that into the 7's at night... very stressful. Ideal ph is 8.3 by night, 8.5-8.6 by day in a properly buffered system> no measurable ammonia, or nitrates, SG is at 1.022. One piece of LR and a power filter is all that's in the tank. <hmmm... as long as the fish is feeding well and shows no other symptoms, do just continue to observe.. no pathogen evidenced yet. The fish is not breathing quickly, right?> Thanks, Sandy <quite welcome. Anthony>

Re: Yellow Tang Color Change Bob, My yellow tang has decided he likes living with me and maintains his yellow color now, thanks for the advice to leave him alone and he will come around. As usual, just as one problem is solved, another appears. My tank has been up and running for 7-8 weeks now with the five fish I listed in my attached message. My nitrite level keeps popping up to 0.25 ppm.  When I established my tank, <It's not "established" yet... as in fully cycled. Be careful about feeding, changing anything about the system at this juncture> I added 40 pounds of biologically active sand which you suggested in a previous e-mail "pre-popped" the system. Now, even though I feed sparingly and do partial water changes (20 %) every week and a half, I still see the nitrite. Is this a normal level or am I doing something wrong? <Stop changing the water unless there is a real reason to...> My second problem, and probably more serious is that my Percula clownfish stays at the top of the tank in the corner. He is not being harassed by any of the tankmates and feeds as soon as the food hits the water so I think he is healthy. Several times an evening, he sporadically swims around the tank very fast like he is being shocked and goes to the grooved top of the heater and scratches his gill plates or head rapidly for 10-20 seconds. Other than that weird behavior, he looks healthy. No torn fins, no rapid breathing, and no discoloration. I have been concerned over this wondering from your book, CMA, if he has a parasite but also did not want to do anything prematurely. <Good idea... likely "nothing". Definitely nothing you can do re now> Last night I grew very concerned to see my tang scratch himself on the sand and rub up against a set of barnacles and up against my coral reproductions. Do you think this is a parasite taking over my tank . Do you think this has to do with my high nitrite level? Should I medicate and if so, with what? <Maybe... but they do "scratch" naturally to a degree> If I do need to medicate, should I put the tang and the clownfish in a smaller tank to isolate the other fish?  Ray  <Don't touch anything at this point... let your system cycle... then add a bit of Macroalgae, perhaps a cleaner (shrimp, goby...).> Thanks for the help as each new hurdle I reach makes me nervous as I don't want the fish to suffer from me being a novice. <When, where in doubt, step back, reflect on where you are, how you arrived/rested there. Think on your possibilities, choices. Be content that you are doing your best. Bob Fenner>

Lip damage to yellow tang Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob is said to be in Australia despite 8 claims, at last count, that he was sighted at an Elvis impersonator's convention in Las Vegas> I got a yellow tang from a friend with a damaged mouth. The mouth was damaged by fighting with another tang in that tank. I have had the tang for the last 6 weeks and the mouth is not bleeding anymore and the fish has gained some weight but still looks thin.  <soak its green foods in a fatty supplement like Selcon (very helpful...do keep refrigerated though)> The lips however have not grown back. It is swimming around, eating Nori and hair algae in the tank and seems okay except for the missing lips. Will the lips eventually grow back? <hard to say without seeing it but sounds unlikely. Soft tissue and muscle will regenerate to an extent... but a large chunk that included cartilaginous matter will not. As long as it is feeding well, it sounds like you've done a gracious and merciful deed. Keep up the good work. Kindly, Anthony> Karun

Sick Tang. Dear Sir, I contacted you last week in regards to a Yellow Tang with what appeared to be a bacterial infection. This tang is now showing signs of flukes by flashing and I have noticed some black spots in some areas. Is there any way that the flukes could have somehow survived the whole treatment process?  <Mmm, yes> This appears to be the same thing that a tang before him had before it died. Can some flukes survive the low salinity (1.016), the U.V. run for 2 weeks ( 25w on a 55 Gal.), and the treatment with clout?  <Generally not, but a possibility> This new tang was quarantined for a week and treated with clout before being added to the main tank and had been doing very well for over a month. There has been no new livestock added to the tank at all since the tang and no livestock added for months before the tang. I would greatly appreciate any help or suggestions you may have as I don't believe that the tang I had before this new one died from the flukes, but from the toxicity that I foolishly allowed to build up with the clout treatment and lack of water changes between doses. Is it possible that the flukes can survive an environment toxic enough to kill a yellow tang?  <Again, a remote "maybe"... Am not so sure what you describe are "flukes" (Trematodes). Do you have a microscope you can use to examine a scraping from an infested area?> I pulled all the decor. out of the tank to be bleached and changed all the mech. filtration after the clout treatment with the U.V. still running for two weeks after that. I suppose I will try a freshwater bath, but in the meantime I don't know what to do about getting the parasites out of the tank itself if in fact this is the same problem source from over a month ago. Thank you very much for your reply to my last e-mail and thank you very much for your time. <Much more to go over than there is likely time... Do you use biological cleaners? Have you ruled out other contributing causes here? Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and the linked articles, FAQs files beyond. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, M.P.Gillespie.

Yellow Tang, heavy breathing Hello gentlemen, <Cheers, Anthony Calfo up at bat> Quick question today. I have a Yellow Tang, Hepatus Tang, Royal Gramma, Flame Angel, two Perculas and Purple Firefish in my 90 gal reef. All parameters are good - Nitrate 0, Nitrite0, ammonia 0, phosphate 0, PH 8.3-8.5 calcium a little low last time I checked at 360, salinity 1.024. Question is this - the Yellow seems to breath a little fast and so does the Hepatus. <is your temp over 78F and do you have any aeration (major skimming, crashing water in sump, etc)> When I go close to the tank the Yellow comes right up to the glass and paces back and forth quickly. Darts around sometimes like something is bothering it.  <get an Oxygen test kit and take a reading peak day and dark night readings> Been up and running for about 6 months, and they are all otherwise doing fine and eating fine. He has been doing this for 2 months or more. No sign of any Ich, etc. I have carbon filter pads in the trickle, but is possible there is something in the water that may be agitating them, or is this normal? And is it wise to throw a poly filter in the trickle to take out anything that may be there?  <I highly recommend Poly-Filters> I have started raising the salinity slowly because it was about 1.021 and I read on your Q&A that it should be up where natural seawater is at 1.025.  <actually... lower is fine for fish only displays... but with a lot of live rock and especially reefs and invertebrates need more natural salinity> Thanks in advance for you advice. John <best regards, Anthony>
Rapid breathing with tangs
Anthony, I do skim with a SeaClone (in sump) <VERY sorry to hear it (not joking)... do consider an upgrade or a second skimmer. Much room for improvement here. You can skip over the Berlin's too IMO and go straight to a Euroreef or Aqua C. Money very well invested in your system (and spares you much labor too)> and it is an overflow system, with a trickle filter. Temp is about 80 degrees. <not a bad temp at all... but without any other source of significant aeration... depending on the SeaClone would not be my choice of a position to be in. Perhaps a slight and slow drop in temp to 78F> OK, I will get an oxygen test kit and try that out, and throw in a PolyFilter as well. Thank-you, John <excellent my friend... and do watch out for excessive body scratching/glancing or any other sign of a possible impending gill or body parasite> <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Yellow Tang Black Spot II Hi guys , I am writing under very depressing circumstances .  <I know... the Janet Reno for Governor thing is getting to me too. One of us is senile... I just keep watching CNN to try to figure out if it is her or me...hehe> I took your advice and gave my 4 yellow tangs a fresh water dip to cure their black spot. I spent two days getting the water just right . I used RO/DI water the Ph was 8.3 , temp 78 . I also put a small power head in for oxygen . After all this effort all 4 tangs died within 12 hours . What happened ?  <very unusual and likely had little to do with the dip. As a rule, a properly conducted freshwater dip is far less stressful than a long bath/tank full of medication. Again, as a rule, if a fish dies in said FW bath, it wasn't going to make it anyway. Still... all four within 12 hours suggests it was related. I understand that the water was pH adjusted (perhaps bicarbonate) but was it buffered/remineralized (SeaBuffer?). RO/DI water is to NEVER be used on fresh or saltwater fishes unbuffered (you follow the difference between pH and alkalinity, yes?). Another concern is a fast capture... the FW dip candidates must be captured quickly (easy in a QT tank or sleepy morning time, but difficult else wise). If the fish were run down with a single net (Always use two nets to catch fish) for several minutes before being thrown into the FW, that may have contributed. If it took more than 5 minutes of chasing each to capture them, then I assure you that contributed> I am devastated . Any ideas on the cause?  <truly sorry...consider the above. If not either... then no fault of your own I'm sure. Perhaps too advanced or virulent of an infection> Also I wrote asking about CPR's bio bale and you said you never heard of it. All it is , is plastic curled shavings put in a sump instead of bio-balls .  <I have in fact heard of it... I've disliked it for over a decade. Very poor performance biologically compared to engineered media (bio-balls). Bio-bale is an industrial by-product swept off of factory floors...hehe> When is it adequate to remove the bio-media from a sump . I have 110 lbs of live rock .  <at least 1 pound of cured live rock per gallon... you can slowly begin> The tank is a 120 gallon . I think the bio-media is creating nitrates. <almost certainly> I have a little tid-bit that I thought might be of some interest . The store where I buy my livestock has 3 large 180 gallon tanks all in series , they have the best equipment money can buy and all the live stock and rock looks great . I brought a nitrate dip test from home and tested the water, the nitrates were well over 150 ppm. When I asked him how anything is living in that system . I just got a shrug. Any ideas? Richard  <sure... for starters, dip/litmus test strips are staggeringly inaccurate. I mean show-stopping. I cannot believe they are still sold or have lasted on the market as long as they have. But lets assume that it is accurate: if the tank is display only or has a slow rotation of livestock, then they have gradually become accustomed to it. Else, we know that most fish and many invertebrates can indeed tolerate high nitrates for at least some period of time. Perhaps enough are living long enough in their water to be sold to a customer with hopefully lower nitrates. Do buy dry tab only test kits. Liquid is easily corrupted and dip strips are really just scary. Kindly, Anthony>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: