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FAQs about Yellow Tang Disease/Health 3

FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease: Disease 1, Disease 2, 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 ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Yellow Tang Problem (12/14/2003) I have just purchased a Yellow Tang about 2 weeks ago, and everything seemed fine up to the last couple of days.  I noticed that on each side of the Tang he had white strips around his eyes in a c-shape, and then one side the line continues back.  He seems to be acting normal, he eats the brine shrimp I provide once a night and enjoys the dried algae that I provide after work, that I leave in the tank for a few hours.  <What else do you feed him? Brine shrimp are not nutritious. Consider Mysis and other more nutritious fare. Needs lots of algae. Check out Tang Heaven Red at www.ipsf.com.> My water temperature is approximately 79 degrees and salt level is 1.023, and the light is left on for about 5 hours.  I am hoping this may be just stress, but I am lost and confused with what to do. My image is larger than a few hundred kbs, so I included a website link to view the image.  In the first two images, it looks like his tail is all messed up, but it is fine as shown in the third image.  I hope that it helps.  http://www.7-ven.net/imagez/Tang.jpg <A little hard to see. If you are referring to the broad whit band along the side, this is normal when the tang exhibits it's fright/stress colors. I'm wondering if this could be HLLE disease. Please search this on WWM and compare some pix.> Thank You,

Reef-safe treatment for Black Spot I have a 55 gallon marine aquarium with about 60-70# of live rock seeded with feather dusters and baby sand sifter starfish, a few small anemones, an undergravel filter with 3" of substrate, and a few fish, including a yellow tang.  My problem is that the tang has recently come down with black spot. I would normally net it and dip him in a fresh water bath to kill the black spot, but it quickly hides in the live rock.  I don't want to pull out the rock to get to the tang because the fish have been through some stress lately due to the addition of 20# of live rock, along with the rearrangement of all the rock.   My question is whether there is any kind of black spot treatment that is reef and invertebrate safe? <Mmm, one possibility comes to mind... the use of purposeful cleaner organisms... perhaps a Lysmata species shrimp, and/or a Gobiosoma goby... no chemicals exist that are safe AND effective.>   I would like to treat the aquarium as a whole. One dealer recommends Kick Ich, and another recommends a Chem Marin product that lures the Paravortex off the tang, while increasing the tang's slime coat to prevent recurrence. <There is no such thing... am very familiar with the Turbellarian in question, its history of study (my old college roommate/friend Mike Kent generated his higher degrees studying it)... Ask around further re these "products". IMO/E they are a sham and a HUGE source of livestock loss and hobbyists leaving our interest. Bob Fenner> Thank you.
Re: Reef-safe treatment for Black Spot
Assuming I am successful in netting the tang, what is the most safe, effective product to eliminate the parasites outside the aquarium? <Easy to eradicate. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the linked FAQs (at top, in blue)... Bob Fenner>

- Yellow Tang Woes - After loosing my porcupine puffer to a long and agonizing death I had finally recovered and decided to purchase another fish.  Couldn't do another puffer so I found a big beautiful yellow tang.  He did great for a month and then started looking a little pale.  He is not eating and is staying at the bottom of the tank.  I noticed three small dark brown spots on his upper body and now black spots on his lips.  The temp. in the tank was 80 but he was hovering around the heater so I increased it a little (I probably fried him)  The other fish appear fine.  ph 8.4 or so nitrates 0 salt .24  I've been reading some great stuff on your site and the fresh water dip seems to be a cure all.  I tried accessing how to do this as listed, WetWebMedia/dips_baths.htm but it wouldn't go. <Hmm... try this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm > I read on another site not to do the dips, it would kill the fish before killing the parasites. <Hmm... actually, this fish should easily tolerate a five minute dip, but it seems to me that this fish is more likely responding to an environmental condition - red/brown spots are frequently an indicator of this. Whether or not it's a water quality issue, aggression, or over-crowding... hard to say with what you presented. I would only add that even with what seems like "perfect" water quality, there can still be water quality issues - dissolved organics, other things that can't be tested for that will affect some fish sooner than others; yellow tangs certainly fit into that category.> What should I do and how? <Consider carefully what might be going on in your tank - do you have a skimmer, is it working? Is there anything else you might added to the tank that might have set this problem off?> Would using Quinsulfex treatment be of any help. <I'm always hesitant to treat with anything without knowing exactly what I'm treating... > He is now breathing very heavy. <I'd turn the temperature back down and consider some additional aeration if you don't have a protein skimmer - keep an eye on things. Also go through the tang FAQs, should be some useful information there: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm Cheers, J -- >

- Yellow Tang Issues - Hello everyone, I have new tank 72Gal for 5 weeks. Ammonia level < 0.25ppm, 0 nitrite, 10ppm Nitrate. I introduced a bright yellow fat yellow tang for about 1 week. It body color darken a little bit (little brownish along the fin and throughout the body). Maybe camouflage or deal to different diet. But now it has cloudy fins and one cloudy eye. Does not look like Ich as Ich should be 1mm sugar grain size. Would you please confirm with me this disease and treatment? <I think this is likely the tang's response to issues with water quality. Your tank is much too young for a fish of this type.> I think I need to setup a 30Gal QT tank just for it. Besides, I did a wrong thing of buying a Green Mandarin in this new tank. I think it is starving and losing energy (staying at tank substrate). It starts to have a white patch (About 4mm diameter) on the head (again, not white spot) Should I QT it with the tang? <Hmm... the mandarin will starve just as easily if not more so in quarantine - you really should have waited to place both of these fish. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm > Thank you so much in advance. DL <Cheers, J -- >

- Yellow Tang Lost - Good morning crew, Thank you for your website.  You have helped me tremendously.  I could use some advise.  My yellow tang died last night. <I'm sorry to hear of your loss.> But, let me start 1st with some parameters. 58 gallon tank salinity 1.023 nitrite and ammonia 0 nitrate less than 12.5 temp 79 ph 8.0 oxygen I always get a reading of less than 5, I don't know if I am preparing the test wrong?? <Wouldn't be overly concerned about dissolved oxygen.> tank running for 9 months Eheim filter Red Sea protein skimmer airstone live sand fish only tank with 1 maroon clown and 1 coral beauty 2 pieces of live rock, the rest is artificial 8 gallon water changes every 2 weeks I add VitaChem to the water every week I add BioCoat when I do water changes (is that a good idea?) I feed them 2 times a day with a variety of frozen fare, supplement with flakes. The tang grazed on Nori seaweed. I have been battling with some sort of crustaceans in the tank.  From all of my reading, I still can't identify what they are (maybe copepods).  I don't have a 2nd tank (working on that) so when I introduced a live rock, my guess is the critters were on the rock.  As much as I try I can't get rid of them.  They seem to be multiplying. <Are you certain these need getting rid of?> Up until a few days ago the tang was "fairly" healthy.  He had 3 occasions of Ich, occasional red spotting (which would clear in a few days), but he started to get a red blotch under his skin.  Looked like blood.  last night the blotch was bigger, he wasn't swimming, slow breathing.  My little buddy didn't make it. The other 2 fish have always been healthy, with the exception of the clownfish fin's split and then close and then split again.  I treated the tank with Maracyn for that but I didn't know if the Maracyn was helping. (working on getting a 2nd tank). Could the critters have infested the tang and attacked him from the inside? <Doubt that very much.> I am wary of getting another tang.  He as been a challenge, but in the process I have learned so much. <Well... your pH is lower than it should be - needs to be in the range of 8.2-8.4 - 8.0 is much lower than you might think it is. The red coloration on the tang is usually indicative of water quality issues and I would start there - address the pH issues before you add any more fish.> Thank you for any advise you can give Tina <Cheers, J -- >

- What to Watch for in Yellow Tang with Cloudy Eye - Hello!  I searched your FAQs but didn't find a post that completely answered what I want to know.  Yesterday morning I overslept and didn't turn on any of the house lights prior to the aquarium light coming on at 6:00 a.m.  When I got up (right after the aquarium light came on), I noticed that my 3" yellow tang ("Tang") had his fright pattern displayed and was hiding behind one of the tank decorations.  Then, last night when I got home from work, I noticed that his right eye was cloudy.  Upon observation, Tang appears to have trouble seeing out of the cloudy eye, as when he swims with that eye to the back glass, he keeps running into it. It doesn't appear that the cloudiness is fuzzy (like bread mold would be), although it's hard to tell because when he's swimming he tries to keep his good eye facing the front of the tank at all times.  Unless you suggest it, I don't want to net him for a closer look as I don't want to cause him any more stress. <Understandable.> The tank is only 20 gallons (we'll be upgrading to a bigger tank for him very soon - not sure how many gallons, but at least 4 feet long) but I tested the water last night again (I test it every weekend) and there was 0 Nitrite, 5-20 ppm Nitrate (depending on which test kit I use), pH was 8.2-8.4, 1.022 specific gravity, ammonia is fine, temperature is 76, and I have been doing 10% water changes every weekend.  I'm pretty sure that Tang ran into something and injured his eye, as the lights coming on from total darkness likely freaked him out, and it was only the second day of having the aquarium light on a timer. <Possible.> I did a 25% water change last night just in case my test kits were missing anything.  The only other fish in the tank with him is a 1.25" Ocellaris clown (I'm sure you can guess what it's name is!  Nemo!).  Given that the eye cloudiness is probably an injury, I don't want to use any medication unless I absolutely have to. Now for my questions:  Assuming I am correct and Tang's eye cloudiness is an injury, is there anything that I should be doing other than keeping him as stress-free as possible? <That's about it.> What should I be watching for that would indicate this is something OTHER than an injury, and what action should I take if that is the case? <Watch for the other eye to cloud up - usually eye injuries lead to pop-eye, which is counter to your diagnosis. If both eyes cloud up, you likely have a different problem. I'd be leaning towards that 'other' problem, which is probably water quality - unfortunately, there can be many problems that a test kit won't show. Due to the size of your tank, parameters can change quickly enough to cause some real stress issues. Do be very careful in the next couple of weeks to make sure any changes you make to the tank happen very slowly. That and please get that new tank very soon - a 20 gallon tank is just to small for any tang.> He is eating fine (Sally's Seaweed Salad), but again, I can tell he's having a little trouble with depth perception as he sometimes misses the food now. <Makes sense.> Tang goes after his seaweed salad with gusto whenever I refresh his veggie clip, and there is also brown algae growing on the substrate, tank back, and tank sides, but he doesn't seem too interested in that. Should I be supplementing his diet with other things? <Well... I'd try some Mysis shrimp from time to time, perhaps soak the seaweed in fishy vitamins like Selcon or VitaChem.> (Oh, and he also occasionally steals some of the flake food and frozen brine shrimp meant for Nemo). <I'd feed a bit extra so they both get some.> I appreciate any help you can give.  Thanks so much!! Melissa <Cheers, J -- >
- What to Watch for in Yellow Tang with Cloudy Eye, Follow-up -
I took your advice of soaking Tang's Nori in Selcon, adding some occasional Mysis shrimp (which he really seems to enjoy), and continuing to monitor the other eye for any cloudiness.  I am happy to report that after 3 weeks, Tang's injured eye is completely back to normal and the other eye never showed any signs of being affected.  Thanks for the help! <Am glad things are headed in the right direction.> Two follow-up questions - as tangs are so susceptible to HLLE, how many times a week should I enrich any offered Nori with Selcon to prevent HLLE? <Every day, every meal... is what I would do.> Can you direct me to any materials (printed or on-line) that lay out a nutritionally balanced (ideal) feeding regimen for yellow tangs? <Also think you are on the right track here... mostly herbivore with a little meaty foods on the side.> I've gone through the FAQ's on Tangs and also done several search engine queries, but have come up empty. Thanks again! Melissa <Cheers, J -- >

- Yellow Tang Colors - Hi WWM, My name is Grant and I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank (Fluval 404, heater, air pump, hood with fluorescent lighting. I was given the tank from my brother who previously had salt water fish in it. All his fish died off, before I inherited it since then I have added 2 domino Damsels, 1 Yellow Tang approximately 3 inches in length x 3 inches in diameter, and 1 tomato clownfish. I also have approximately 30 lbs. of live rock, and 13 small snails & 1 Mexican turbo snail. Anyway the entire set up is about 2 months old and I have recently noticed my Yellow Tang has developed red coloration in his fins and some throughout his body. I have asked around about what this might be and have had my water tested, the water quality has come out good and no one has any idea what the red coloration might be. I perform 5% water changes weekly and am feeding twice a day on Mysis and dried marine algae. <This coloration is 'usually' due to water quality issues, which seems odd given the amount of water that you say you are changing. You might try re-hydrating the algae before you offer it as well as get some vitamins in there - Selcon or VitaChem would do.> Other than the coloration the Tang seems to be doing fine, do you have any suggestions if so please let me know. I have recently set up a quarantine tank (20 gal) on 10/22/03. If I should quarantine the Tang is there anything I can do to speed up the process of cycling the quarantine tank. 20 gallons, filter, heater, air pump, hood with fluorescent lighting. <Usually, quarantine tanks don't get a chance to cycle or if they do, they have their biological filtration stalled by the various treatments added to the tank. When using quarantine, I rely on daily large water changes. Cheers, J -- >

Skittish yellow tang Heya guys...Scott F. thank you for all your recent help regarding chiller and canary wrasse etc etc.... LIFE SAVER. you haven't heard from me in quite  a while.. I hope things are doing well. My problem (if one at all) is that my newly introduced (after a stay in QT) yellow tang (2")is acting a fair bit skittish after main MH light goes out and leaves the two actinic fluor's on. To put it simply (sorry I'm very very tired) he is acting normally when all the lights are on (MH + actinics), swimming normally so and so forth. but as soon as the MH goes off he is pacing up and down very fast. zipping in and out of everything he can find (not scratching or anything the likes off *touch wood*... haha) like he has had a dozen cups of black coffee. other tank occupants are 2 canary wrasses, 1 ocellaris, 1 fire goby, and the yellow tang water parameters are excellent amm nitrite nitrate 0 ph 8.4 temp 24.9-25.2 deg C no more no less salinity 1.022 kH 5meq/l calcium 420ppm constant poly filter and carbon use (wow what great stuff) actinics are on at 10 am MH on at 12 noon MH off at 8pm actinics off at 10pm tank is 40G +15G sump but am upgrading very soon... lovely HUGE skimmer producing around a cup of DARK smelly gunk a day... go Australian made!!:-) I hope I haven't missed anything any ideas.. suggestions. person experiences... or anything at all thanks very much for a simply wonderful site.. I couldn't get by a day w/o it almost :-) keep up the good work all help greatly appreciated.. Garth.. from Australia down under! P.S recently bought a Tronic heater (Hagen).. and all I can say is wow.. I am so very impressed. I have used many heaters before. from Ebo's to Chinese rubbish.. and these are the most accurate I have ever used.. just passing it on.. great heater.
In The Dark (Skittish Tang Responds To "Lights Out"- Pt. 3)
Thanks Scott. No worries about being tired, as I was too.. :) <Sleep deprivation is highly under-rated as a cause of weird responses to emails! LOL> Wow those dimmers are expensive.. <Unfortunately, they are..> What I have tried.. but haven't seen results yet, because main MH is still on... OK what I have done is remove one of the actinics and I placed an 18W bio Lux tube in (free of charge, brand new from a nice LFS) <I'll say!> When the unit came on in the morning (the now one actinic and one bio-Lux) it wasn't as blue (duh!) and was not overly bright... I think that maybe it was just the total blue freaking the tang out, only a theory.. <It's as good as any, man!> Because when the actinics (x2) finally shut down he seemed to just go quite and go to sleep (only just worked that one out) oh well... all will be revealed tonight.... I'll keep you updated <Maybe it will do the trick...It dawned on me (no pun intended!) that you might consider one of the new LED "moon lights" offered by several manufacturers to accomplish the same thing. They are a soft, usually blue color, and use like one or two watts of power, so they may be a good idea. You can leave them on all night, or be a real geek like me and run 'em according to lunar phases (It only SOUNDS like I have too much time on my hands, believe me!).> A big OY OY OY! from down under Garth <Party on, Garth! Regards, Scott F.>

Yellow Tang Hi, I have a 75 gallon F/O tank with the following inhabitants:  pair of percula clowns, pair of lemon butterflies and a coral beauty angel.  I have been considering getting a yellow tang for quite some time but am leery because of all I have heard about them being prone to Ich. <agreed>  If I purchase one in good health and have a healthy tank are the odds still pretty good that it will get Ich in the future? <If purchased he/she should definitely be QT'd for at least a month>  Also, if it is the last fish I put in my tank will it cause problems for the existing inhabitants? <probably not, good luck, IanB> Thank you, James
Yellow Tang
if the tang makes it for a month with no disease are the odds good it will be OK? (unless later stressed) <parasites can show up at any time, normally they begin to appear when stress is involved. you can't really say your odds are good or bad it all depends on the overall health of the fish, its tankmates, etc. I would just keep a close eye on him and from now on QT ALL FISH!!, IanB>

New Yellow Tang Thanks for your time. I just purchased a yellow tang and added him to my newly cycled 55 gal tank. in with one blue damsel (who made thru the cycle hardy lil bugger), and he looks freaked out. he is eating algae in the tank and also seaweed off the clip. Tang seems to be rubbing on live rock once in awhile. Seeing as how I just purchased him today, I was wondering if I have a problem? <you could have a problem if the scratching continues... did you quarantine this fish?> Also have  4 hermit crabs. Acclimated him and all levels in tank are great. Was wondering if his scratching is a sign of something bad to come? <could be parasites, if you didn't Qt this fish you made a BIG mistake!!> Or is he getting territorial? Fish looks fine, no spots or redness. thank you. <ok... just monitor him closely... good luck, IanB>

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. >>You're quite welcome, we want folks to keep their animals thriving and with them a long time.  SUCCESS!  That's the goal.  If you have any other questions, please feel free.  Best of luck, Ceil!  Marina

-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>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yellow Tang  I have a yellow tang which has developed red streaks under the eyes in the same fish-only tank where I have been treating a purple tang for hole in the head dietary problem. Might this be the same problem? <They could be related. HLLE is linked to dietary and water quality problems. Whenever I have seen the red streaks, I almost always find an aspect of water chemistry that is off. Low pH (should be 82.-8.6) and/or high levels of nitrates (anything over 40 ppm, should be ideally zero) are the two biggest concerns.> Perhaps they are getting too much protein when I give them a cube of Mysis shrimp together with two formula 2 and one of formula 1 soaked in Zoecon & Zo?plus marine c in the water. Your advice please! Thanks Bob & crew, Stephen Pace <A quick examination of your tanks parameters will reveal the cause. -Steven Pro>

Re: Sick Yellow Tang Hello: <Hi Robert> I've had my Yellow Tang for about six months now and it's gone though various illnesses and survived with treatment. The fish has always been a very healthy eater. I've kept him mostly on frozen Formula One and Two with a garlic juice additive plus dried macro algae (which he consumed -until recently- voraciously). I also use ZOE vitamins. Nitrites and ammonia are zero, pH is 8.3 but nitrates are around 40 ppm. This is a fish only 55 gallon tank. About 5 days ago, he stopped having bowel movements, stopped eating (except very small amounts of flake) and is very lethargic. I noticed lateral line erosion towards the tail on both sides. I installed a grounding probe but that didn't help. A dealer told me he probably has an internal parasite that pinched off his intestine and that there's no cure. Would you agree? Someone mentioned Epsom salts, could that help? If so, what is the dosing? I'd really hate to lose this fish. Thanks for you help. Robert Sabbia <Well Robert, not much to go on here....except the nitrates which I would lower with a healthy water change. Like 40-50%. I would make conditions ideal for him and continue to feed just as much flake as he will eat. Ocean Nutrition makes the formula foods in flake form and they work well at times like this.  If he shows no obvious signs of parasites or disease it's very difficult to diagnose.  All kinds of possibilities from past treatments, method of capture, transport, internal disease, parasite, etc. cause stress and health problems for fish.  Epsom salts will throw your ionic balance of in your water. The best thing to do is optimize conditions.  I would start with your water.  I hope this helps your fish.  Craig>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- What to do... Watching someone's tank - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Help I am watching a tank and the yellow tang has black sand like specks on the body and now one white dot on the dorsal fin.  There is a puffer and a lion fish in the tank 110 gallons - what do I do? <Well... depends on how comfortable you are with catching fish. I'm sure you're just trying to help out here, but ideally you would catch that fish and give it a freshwater dip. If you don't feel comfortable with that, perhaps check in with one of the local fish stores and see if they have someone working there that might do this service for a fee, or perhaps recommend someone. If you feel up to the task of the freshwater dip, there are a few things you need to do, so please read up here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm At the very least, perhaps contact the person you are fish-sitting for and let them know your intentions.> Laura Kenny <Good luck, and cheers, J -- >
- Baths for Tang -
Hi JasonC, <Hello.> I looked and am very confused - I can't find an article on the black spot bath <The article is on freshwater baths in general, there is not a specific bath for this parasitic problem. The change in specific gravity should kill the parasite.> - could you let me know do I do a fresh water dip of a combination of fresh and the water that she is in <Just with freshwater, with the pH and temperature matched to those of the tank the tang is in now.> - HELP <If you don't feel comfortable doing this, don't do it. Let it wait until the owner of the tank returns.> - also are the lion fish and puffer safe? <From this particular parasite, yes.> Thanks for the help so far <Cheers, J -- >
- Freshwater Dips -
Hi JasonC <Hello> Its Laura again the fish babysitter - I feel comfortable with the bath - I can't find an article that tells me the time limit - just if it is a longer one you need to add a bubbler to the bath. <To be effective, a bath needs to be at least five minutes. No matter what, you should put a bubbler in the bath to keep the water aerated.> But in the process not only does the tang have the black spots, but now it appears to have a hair cotton ball like - toward the back end of him, but the bony structures, does this mean it is fungal, and if it is - will the bath still help her? <The bath probably won't do much to a fungal problem, but what you describe sounds more like Lymphocystis, which usually goes away on its own.> Thanks so far for all the great advise - I don't know what I would do without the quick responses. Laura <Cheers, J -- >

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

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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