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FAQs about Yellow Tang Disease/Health 4

FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease: Disease 1, Disease 2, Disease 3, 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: Yellow Tang Disease 1,  Disease 2, Disease 3Disease 5Disease 6, Disease 7, Disease 8, Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt, Black Spot Disease, & Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 3, Yellow Tangs 4, & Yellow Tang FAQs: Identification, Behavior, Tang 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, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Fish Worms Diseases

A 4 cm. Zebrasoma veliferum in captivity. Photo by Hiroyuki Tanaka. Don't start with too small or too large Sailfin Tang specimens. They ship and adapt poorly. 


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Yellow Tang...Oxygen Deprived?? 30 Jun 2005 Greetings,     Although I wouldn't normally send questions this frequently (twice this week!), I am stuck in a sort of problem now and any suggestions would be of much help. I have a 75gal, fish-only tank with a wet/dry filter "trickle" system.  130W power compact fluorescent lighting.   Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates are all 0.0.     I've had a Yellow Tang in my the tank for over two months now, and up until about 4 days ago he seemed to be acting just fine. Curious about the tank, eating well, swimming casually, breathing at a normal rate.  About 4 days ago the temperatures rose here in Pennsylvania to 90-something, and it's been like that every day since then. The house I currently live in has no A/C, and I don't have a chiller system on the tank (prior to this, in a different house, I had A/C). At present it would be tough to afford either an A/C unit or a chiller.....If my floating thermometer is correct, the temperature in the tank has gone from about 77 degrees to 81 in the past four days, and is holding pretty constant around 80 degrees. <This is an okay range... diurnally... I might turn your lights off during these hot days...> The other fish (Sergeant Major, Yellowtail Damsels, Green Chromis, and Coral Beauty Angel) seem to be acting normally, but the Tang's breathing/respirating/gilling rate increased the first day the tank temp rose. <Yes, Surgeonfishes have higher dissolved oxygen requirements than these other families of fishes> The day I noticed this, he seemed to be swimming and eating normally so I didn't think much of it. Today I returned home from work to find him breathing heavier, and swimming erratically. He'll swim erratically for awhile, then quickly jerk to one side or the other, almost like a seizure.  I have one airstone in the sump already, but I put another one in today...probably should have done that SEVERAL days ago, something I regret.  As far as I know, no factors might have changed the water quality today. Is it possible that the Tang just couldn't deal with the stress and finally gave in today? <Maybe... more likely something else in the tank triggered trouble... this in turn might be temperature related>     The Tang also started to develop very minor HLLE, <This is an important piece of data... something amiss water quality, nutrition-wise> and it seemed to be reversing before this heat wave occurred, but now it seems to be getting worse quickly.  Stress induced? <Possibly... that and food...> The HLLE was going away with a diet of Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Selects algae "paper" and Ocean Nutrition Formula Two frozen food. The color of this fish, otherwise, still seems to be fine. With most fish situations I tend to try and figure out these problems myself, but I don't think the Tang will last more than another day or so unless I do something.  Any information or suggestions will surely help. My hypothesis is oxygen deprivation due to increased water temps, any other ideas?     Thanks again for keeping such a great webpage on the net! Bryan M. <Something unknown re water quality... Where, when these mysteries occur, I do water changes, add chemical filtrants. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang blues? Using WWM Good afternoon! <Howdy> I have a Yellow Tang in a 55-gallon tank, live rock and sand, plenty of  room for swimming and moving in and around the rock - tank mates are a couple of Ocellaris  clowns, a blue damsel and a red scooter blenny.  Water parameters are all good. The clowns,  damsel and blenny are healthy and active. Until very recently, so was the tang -   however in the last couple of days he's started to get thin, and seems to mope   around the tank. He still eats pretty well, a mixed diet of seaweed, flakes and  brine shrimp.  But instead of swimming around with the normal healthy aggressive attitude that he used to have, he seems sluggish   and listless, almost as though he's depressed. Even  though he does eat well, he's   definitely losing weight. Any ideas? Thanks, MM in OH <Yes... read, on WWM re this species... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and onto the linked files at top... You don't state re the history of your having this fish... how long you've had it... might need to be cleaned of intestinal parasite fauna... can't live on brine shrimp, flakes... Bob Fenner>

Cloudy eye on yellow tang Quick question I hope you can answer for me <Will try> I purchased a yellow tang about 2 weeks ago and after several days he developed a cloudy looking eye with a small bubble on it.  Some of his fins also seemed a little torn.  I first thought it was due to new rocks I added causing him to injure himself <More likely poor, diminished water quality... perhaps related to the new rock> however I asked the man at the store and he told me to dip him in freshwater which I did.  When I dipped him little white "discs" fell off of him. <Good observation>   He looks a little better now but I'm not sure what else I should do.  Your help would be appreciated ! The water has been tested and is perfect in all aspects.  The only other fish are 2 clown fish .  I also have 6 snails and am purchasing a cleaner shrimp today.  I feed them pellet crumbles and occasionally dried seaweed.   Thank You <Wish you had a small power microscope... could look at these discs, maybe send a pic along... Very likely what you observed was flukes of some sort... You can read re these, their avoidance, treatment on WWM... use the search tool there, the indices. Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang boding disease? 6/20/05 So glad to have found this website and hope that you can help us.  We are new at keeping a salt water aquarium.  Our tank is 125 gallons and we are currently have about 80 pounds of live rock, 1 yellow tang, 4 damsels, 3 gobies, a peppermint shrimp, several snails.  Last week, we lost two fish - one being a puffer that we had purchased about 3 weeks earlier (He just seemed to be getting used to the place.)  and the other being a large clownfish which we had since December. We tested the water immediately at our local aquatic store and everything seemed okay. This week, the yellow tang, seems to be hanging out quite a bit with the peppermint shrimp.   <Hmmm... interesting. A concern> The shrimp seems to be "cleaning him".  I am sure that this is probably some type of symbiotic relationship but is it telling me that there are problems in the tank?   <It could be> I looked for white spots on the fish and have found none.  However, we are feeding them only brine shrimp and marine flakes. <Yikes... please do read in the archives about the patent poor value of adult brine shrimp. As a frozen food staple... it is perhaps the most hollow, useless feed on the market. Just read and compare the nutritional analysis on the back of it to other foods. Live brine may help new/shy fish to eat... but its only to be used as a treat/stimulant. Instead... seek and use frozen Mysid shrimps or fine krill. As for the fish... it may be a boding sign to be concerned with. Please do prepare (read/setup) a quarantine tank to be safe. If you don't have one... please buy and use it. It may spare future losses for less than the cost of a single fish. QT all new things (anything wet! snails, fishes, algae, live rock... everything) for 4 weeks to prevent the introduction of pests, predators and disease into the aquarium. Scott Fellman has a fab article on QT here in the archives... please do look it up. Kindly, Anthony> Thanks for your help!  We are loving this journey! Regards, Robin & Keith

Eye Popped Out (5/13/05) Hello Crew,<Steve Allen with you tonight.> This is an update/question about my yellow tang with pop eye. Well I think the pop eye is cured because the eye fell out. <In the same way that amputation cures gangrene I guess.> He now has no eye in the socket. He seems to be doing fine, eating acting normally, do you think he can do well with one eye? <Yes, a one-eyed fish can survive and thrive. Zero eyes is harder. Just like people with only one kidney are strongly advised to not risk it by playing football and such, I would recommend you avoid aggressive tankmates that could go after the other one.> I took him out of quarantine after 14 days and he adjusted to the main tank fine? Anything else I could do for him? <Just take good care of him.> Thank you, Concerned Yellow Tank Dad <Sounds like he's on the mend and should be OK.>

- Yellow Tang Ich? Follow-up - Hello WWM Crew, Thanks for the advice. I am writing as a follow up to my recent yellow tang questions. He is doing ok. It turns out he never had any raised lesions on his body, but I am still concerned about his eye. It started out as swollen and cloudy and progressively worsened. I placed him in hospital tank (10g) and started to treat with Maracyn. Is there anything else I can do? <You can try adding a small amount of Epsom salts to help alleviate the pressure within that eyeball, but there's not really much you can do except let things take their course.> Any other meds? Or just treat over the next 5 days and keep him quarantined for 2-3 weeks? <Would keep it in quarantine for now.> Thank you. <Cheers, J -- >

Skinny Yellow Tang This girl is a pig, but she remains skinny. She feeds continuously on tank algae ( green, green hair, golden, purple ) and on Nori soaked in garlic and Zoecon or other vitamin supplement. <Mmm, not atypical... very likely a case of substantial gut fauna competing with your Tang here...> My dogs just ate the Zoecon. They enjoyed the Cyclops too. <Heee!> She doesn't eat anything else that has been introduced to the tank. i.e. Mysis, brine, angle food, formula 2 (frozen), Cyclops flakes. She has eaten Gracilaria when i have it. She has had a few white spots on her from time to time but they quickly go away (twice in one month - gone in one day). She uses the cleaner shrimp like a day spa (all day) She is very active, curious, belly is always packed full, but never seems to put much weight on to her back muscles, and she is a little sunken under her eyes.  She is in a 40G reef, with 200 watts 10k/actinic, NH3 - 0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 20,, PH 7.8-8.1, sal 1.023-1.024 60# live rock, 120# live sand, dozens of hermits, snails, corals, a BTA, Lawnmower Blenny, 2 cleaner shrimp, 4 peppermint shrimp. Should i be concerned, and if so what should i do?  thanks - Robert <A simple, one time administration of Metronidazole/Flagyl to this animals food/s should "do it". Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Skinny Yellow Tang
Thanks for the advice. I will try the Metronidazole. However I cannot find any information on the preparation of a 1% solution. If I dissolve 1-250mg capsule in one ounce of water does this make a 1% solution that I could soak Nori in?? Thanks again Robert <Ah, yes, this should work fine. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich Hello there, <Howdy> I know you are very busy so I will get to the point.  <Good> We have had our yellow tang about 3 weeks, eating well, enjoy his life. Today I noticed that he has black spot that seem to protrude. Almost as if you touched him you could feel the bumps. <You have sensitive touch!> I tried to find that description in your numerous responses but did not. And a little fraying on his lower fin. My water levels are all in check. Do have a problem with brownish/red algae that I am trying to control. Can you point me in the right direction.  <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the Related Disease FAQs linked above...> His tankmates include 1 blue damsel, 1 Chromis, live rock, 2 crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp and 1 anemone. It is a 30 gallon tank. <.... Erk! This tank is too small for this fish...> I am new and reading a lot and found out patience in adding new fish is must. <Ahh, correct!> I lost 2 clowns in the beginning from lack of knowledge of water quality and 1 from white Ich which I did a freshwater dip. Not a good turn out on that, don't prefer to do that again. This is my daughter's (8 yrs old) Tang, used her b-day money for it I really do not want him to die she will be heart broken. <I as well> Also so can you suggest a good book with how to treat disease and algae control methods. <Mmm, there is plenty actually on WWM re both these topics... and the Net is currently much easier to access such information> Thanks so much Tina <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich (treatments)
Thanks for the response and believe it or not I was able to get rid of the black Ich. Based on a ton of information I read on your website, I chose to try the freshwater dip and it worked. For anyone thinking to try this really read about it and follow it exactly, I did not have that information the one other time I tried and had failure sorry to say. It has been 6 days since the dip and he is back to his perky little self again and spot free.  <Good> Oh, I do not know if this may help anyone and correct me if I am not right. But if it can help someone else great. I have read where people have had great success with adding garlic to their diet. I had tried that early with a fish for 1wk to remove white Ich with no response to the garlic then did the freshwater dip which failed. I read that if a fish dies after a correctly done freshwater dip that there is probably a secondary infection. This time I chose not to do the garlic and went right for the dip within a day of the spots appearing. I think this may have stopped the disease from getting worse. This is just a observation on part for what worked for me. Have a great memorial day. Tina <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> 

Proper treatment? Good Morning to All! <Already?> My question is concerning a yellow tang. I recently (last week) purchased this tang from my LFS. I plan to place him in my 55 gallon reef tank in the future. Once I got him home, I realized that he has ick (white spots, scratching etc.). Luckily he is in a quarantine/observation tank. This tank is a fully cycled 20 gallon hex with live rock, live sand, 5 blue legged hermit crabs & 1 cleaner shrimp. The tang is eating sheets of seaweed & grazing the live rock. So far, I have begun a schedule of daily freshwater baths (20% tank water & 80% freshwater with temp & ph adjusted prior to dip.) at 7 minutes each, with an air stone in the bath. <... returning the fish to the Ich-infested system? What for?> He shows very little signs of stress from this treatment. I have also been manually removing the parasites (when they are in their swimming stage) from the tank. They seem to congregate at the top of the tank near the light & swim in circles. Obviously, I replace the water I removed each time.  <... by siphoning? What?> My question is if I continue this routine, will this parasite eventually be eradicated (sp?) <Use your spell checker> or should I consider using one of the copper based treatments on the market? <... this is posted on WWM, as are many other pertinent points you will want/need to become aware of> I do have an empty 10 gallon tank that I can set-up for  that purpose (I just prefer the least invasive, least toxic treatment  possible). <Agreed> Also if my current treatment routine is sufficient, is their anything (a second cleaner shrimp, or heater perhaps) that you would recommend doing that would increase my chances of success. <Posted...> The current temperature in the tank is 78 degrees F., Salinity 1.022, Ph 8.3, Nitrates, Nitrites & Ammonia are undetectable. Also I have been considering the Methylene Blue dip, (my LFS should have it in tomorrow), although I am a bit confused on it's usage. Can this product to be added to the freshwater dip, or is it intended to be used in some other manner? Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <Posted> Thank you in advance for your time & expert advice. Julie <Read on my young friend, read on... Bob Fenner>  

Zebrasoma flavescens Query 4.30.05 Hi, its me Dillin again here, you guys are great and so is the site by the way. Well I have come once again to seek your outmost wisdom about the beautiful world of marine fish keeping. I really wanted help on the yellow tang my most favorite fish in the hobby! First off, I have always loved tangs but I have often read that certain types are difficult to keep. But with the exception of the yellow tang I have read and found that these magnificent fish are a good hardy beginner choice for the novice aquarist. But I really trust your opinion is there any truth to that? <Yes, the Yellow Tang is a hardy aquarium specimen, given adequate room and lots of current.> Also they are herbivores and require large amounts of algae in your tank well what if your aquarium cannot produce algae? Could they eat off fish flakes, pellets or commercial brand products? <Yes, you will clip a square of algae, called Nori, to a clip. This should be offered daily. You can also buy red and brown varieties.> And as you know sadly these delicate beauties suffer from marine Ich all too common in the tang family, are the yellow tangs just as likely to catch it? <Yes, they will be infected by the parasite if exposed...But NO fish will be infected if unexposed.> And why do the tangs catch marine Ich so easily? <Fishes with a high metabolism, such as this one, seem to be more prone to the parasite than others. Nevertheless, all will die without proper treatment.> Well I will leave these questions to the professionals and I look forward to hearing back from you people. Thanks Dillin. <Read up a little more here, Dillin.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm  Great job making sure you are ready for a Tang. Ryan>

Petecchial Marks on Z. flavescens 4.30.05 Your advice has been terrific. As a novice I have more questions than answers. I have a 100g tank with 100# of live rock and live sand. PH is 8.2, Specific gravity is 1.022, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 20ppm. Water temp 80F. Stocking levels-1 yellow tang, 1 hippo tang, 1 orange spotted goby, 1 percula clown, 2 yellowtail damsels, 1 sally lightfoot crab, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp. My protein skimmer acquires 1/4" of brown gunk weekly. Last week my yellow tang developed what looked like goose bumps that went away in 2 days. Then she developed what looked like a red hemorrhage on both sides of her body. She was eating and swimming fine. Occasionally she would rub against rocks. The red marks also went away in 2 days. She looks fine today.  Can this be caused by overfeeding? I feed twice a day, flakes in the morning, and 2 cubes of formula 1 in the evening. 3 time a week I add a 2X3" piece of green algae that gets eaten in 2 minutes by the tangs. The hippo's stomach sticks out and it takes them 7 minutes to finish the formula 1. I was told to feed once a day with 1 cube of frozen. Is this right? No 2 people or books agree. Also I'm thinking of adding a Naso or sailfin tang and coral beauty.  I'm planning on adding some hardy soft corals in the future. Is this stocking level ok? <Hi Gary! I have a bit of concern about your water quality. Your protein skimmer isn't producing nearly enough gunk for 100 gallons. For an example, my 20 gallon reef on my desk at work produces nearly that amount DAILY. Now, please take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm. Does your tang look like the one 2/3rds down the page, with the petecchial marks? If so, it's a water quality issue. I would start feeding 1/2 cube, twice daily as opposed to one large feeding. Do the flakes every other day for a few weeks. Also, you should make sure that this food is water temperature prior to feeding...A tropical fish in nature would never be exposed to foods of such a low temperature. I would hold off on adding livestock until your skimmer is kicking and your tang is healthy. Good luck, Ryan> 
Petecchial Marks on Z. flavescens pt. 2 (5.3.05)
Hello Ryan, Thanks for the reply. The marks on my yellow tang do look like petecchial marks. My water quality is ph 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 20ppm. I have been lowering the specific gravity slowly over the last 3 weeks from 1.0255 to 1.022. Could that cause the marks? My tank is only 2 months old, but the water has been very stable for 4-5 weeks. Any other water parameters I should be measuring? <Hi Gary, "petecchial" markings are often directly related to poor water quality, nutritional deficiencies, possible bacterial problems internally... and the suggested choices for improvement: pre-mixing and storing your new synthetic seawater, improving dietary needs, and circulation....I would also measure dissolved oxygen when keeping tangs. More on that here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watchgantart.htm  Good luck, Ryan>
Petecchial Marks on Z. flavescens pt. 3 5.5.05
I really do appreciate your helpfulness.  <No problem.> In the 100g tank I also have 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 sally lightfoot crab, 1 hippo tang, 1 Perc clown, 1 orange spotted goby, and 2 yellowtail damsels. All of the fish other than the yellow tang seem fine. All fish are breathing normally. Wouldn't poor water quality affect all of the fish? <Yes, in time. He is likely the most stressed of the bunch.> I thought the shrimp or crab would be the first to show poor water quality symptoms. I plan to purchase a oxygen test tomorrow. I haven't done any water changes yet because my tank is only 2 months old. My LFS suggested I wait a few more weeks. I plan to change 5g a week. Is this enough? <I would change 5 gallons weekly, or 10 every other week.> Can petecchial marks be caused by overfeeding?  <Not directly, but in the cycle, yes.> Sorry for so many questions but I'm new to the hobby and really want to take good care of my fish. <Enjoy them! And don't feed them every time they beg. Cheers, Ryan>

Yellow Tang Sick I have a 100g 6 week old FOWLR system with 1 yellow tang, 1 hippo tang, and 2 yellowtail blue damsels.   The tank has been cycled for 3 weeks.   Ph = 8.2.   Ammonia and nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 20 ppm.   Specific gravity was 1.0255.  I did a 2.5g water change with purified water to bring down the specific gravity and nitrates slowly.  1 hour later my yellow tang started swimming in a jerky motion and scraping the bottom.  His appetite is great.  No visible signs on his body.  His swimming is very unusual for him. It almost seems like a neurological problem    I plan to do another 2.5g water change every 3 or 4 days until the specific gravity gets down to 1.021 but don't want to hurt the fish. The other fish are great.  Please help. <Gary, lowering the SG slowly as you are will not affect the fish, no worries.  Doing so will increase the oxygen level slightly.  Your tank is really too new to put tangs in.  It really should age about six months.  Keep a close eye on the tang for the dreaded Ich. I would also get one of the garlic supplements and soak the food in it before feeding.  It will help some.  James (Salty Dog)>

Diseased Yellow Tang Hello! About a month ago, our tang started acting funny. He started scratching himself with the sand and decorations. He also developed white spots on his face. We treated him with Ich medicine for a while, but no one thinks it's Ich. Our tang is now swimming at an angle and not eating very well. He also has a red spot on his body and a red line on his tail that disappear and reappear. He doesn't close his mouth like he use to and he kind of has a white film on his gills. You can hardly see the film, but if you get close enough you can see it. Our damsels are fine and so is our clown fish. Our coral beauty is scratching but seems to be fine other than that. Do you think you could give us a diagnosis?  Thank you in advance, Brian and Maria <I suspect HLLE is one disease he has by your description. It does sound to me like he has Ich. The only real Ich medication that is effective IMO is copper. I don't know what you used. I'm going to guess that the tang is not with us anymore. Do you quarantine new fish? James (Salty Dog)> 

Black spot disease outbreak? Good Evening WetWebMedia crew members. <Yawnnnnn! Good morrow to you> I have recently traded a blue line trigger for a yellow tang (+ a Kole) since the trigger grew to 8 inches long and started becoming highly aggressive. My system is 157 gallons with mostly soft corals. Problem is that when I was at the LFS, under their normal fluorescent lights, I was unable to see 3 little black dots on the yellow tang that I immediately spotted when I placed him in the main tank (under 450 VHO watts). The LFS guy said not to fresh water dip the fish because it would stress it out, if not kill it. <... which is more stressful? To you, the fish? To have your system infested with Turbellarians? Or a simple dip/bath? Bad call.> I also do not favor this method too much because I lost another yellow tang to an 8 min fresh water dip 3 years ago - as soon as I placed him back in the tank his buoyancy got messed up and sank to the bottom, only to die a few minutes later. <Was the freshwater (presumably) dip water pH adjusted? Aerated?> So, I properly acclimated yellow tang Number 2 and introduced him into my setup, since I had no quarantine tank. Since day 1 (1 month in my tank), the yellow tang has had 2 outbreaks with the black dots. He doesn't scratch, eats well (has devoured all my Caulerpa algae and does not appear to be skittish.) I have attempted several times to catch him, however, it is impossible to lure him with food.. he constantly hides (well, I'd do the same thing If I were him). My question is, is this disease deadly since he eats well, and all behavior seems to be normal? <Not "very" deadly... just persistent, semi-debilitating> Will he ever recover by himself if not treated / left in the tank? <Mmm, not likely... the "tank has the disease" now... a balance can be struck with biological cleaners (Lysmata Shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies...), but Paravortex will live in a tang-free environment for months at times... w/o hosts> I hate to tear off the tank completely to catch him ( I have 25 corals + 120 lbs of LR. I have read this Paravortex flatworm or whatever, does not affect other fish (currently I have 2 other tangs with the yellow one) but it's hard to get rid of.  <Yes, you are correct> If the fish does not deteriorate due to the flatworm, do I still need to remove him from the tank? <Mmm, no> Any advice on what to do would greatly be appreciated. WWM site is simply invaluable. Thanks for your help, Dimitris <I do wish we could go back in time... I could convince you to at least quarantine this Yellow Tang.... if not dip it... I would go the cleaner route here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black spot disease outbreak?
Hello Bob, <Dimitri> Thanks for writing back. How's the weather in San Diego? <Bunk, overcast... been a very rainy winter...> I live in Largo, FL.. similar weather but very humid most of the time  <Very nice> I did purchase 3 peppermint shrimp to fight this... <Mmm, not Peppermints... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm> ...so hopefully they'll do their thing. Yes, I agree with the fresh water dip but I had a bad start with the other yellow tang, so I was naturally afraid (I also listened to the LFS guy ). I just wish the supplier(s) in HI would actually dip the fish before they ship them over to the LFSs (could have saved me a lot of headaches). Dimitris <Yowzah! You're so right... this is a campaign issue I've been waging for going on thirty years in the trade... Really makes not sense not to... to bump off your customers... their livestock... over such a simple procedure... Bob Fenner> 

Yellow Tang Problems Hi, I have had a Yellow Tang in my tank for a little over one year now.  Two or three months ago I noticed he was developing a little white film on the side of his body, and he had cuts, or ulcers, or openings on his head.  Soon enough the film covered his head, but not the end of his mouth.  He kept eating however.  I tried treating the whole tank with various medications and nothing worked.  Now, as a last ditch effort, I have moved him to a non-cycled hospital tank because he seems to be at the end of the road.  I am treating him with Pimafix and Melafix.  They are all natural and work together.  Also, I am not feeding him, partly because the tank isn't cycled and also because he won't eat when I try to feed him.  My question(s) are: what is going on with the fish.<Does the top of the tangs head appear to be caved in?  If so he probably has hole in the head disease.  This is usually caused by poor water quality, that is infrequent water changes, high nitrate levels and poor diet. It is usually irreversible. Secondly, how long can I go without feeding the fish, and if this treatment doesn't work,<If he is not eating then I wouldn't feed him.  If he lives that long, try a little food every other day> is it safe to say that he is doomed for the aquarium in the sky?<Based on what you are saying, I'm pretty sure he will be there soon.  For future reference, tangs do require excellent water quality, and as with all marine systems, a weekly or biweekly water change along with a nutritional diet and plenty of swimming room, 70 gallons minimum in my opinion.  Sorry.  James (Salty Dog)>  
Re: Yellow Tang Problems
Hi,      I have now taken my yellow tang out of the hospital tank (Sunday night) and he is back in his usual home.  He looks hungry, and he probably is.  Anyway, his head isn't caved in, and those sores on his head are all but gone.  Very minimal compared to what he went in with.  Now then, that film on him is still there.  I can't really tell if it got any better or not.  It doesn't appear to have.  The only reason that I took the fish out of the hospital tank is because the lighting in the hospital tank sucks. I can't tell if he got better or worse.  Also, to feed him in the tank.  I don't have to worry about any dangerous chemicals in the big tank.  Now, what do you think is the problem here.  Fungal, parasite, or bacterial.  Also, should I place him back in the hospital to completely cover the sores after a few days, or what?  Any and all information is appreciated. <From your scant description here, I don't think there is an actual problem... the "Fix" chemicals may have burned this fish's exterior (I would toss these herbal "remedies"), but this should heal. If the fish is otherwise okay, the system ready for it, I would return the tang to the main tank. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang infection/ulceration Hi, I got my two yellow tangs a week ago. <OK, first thing, yellow tangs generally do not do well in pairs.  They need to be in groups of 3 or more or just one.>  They seem fine, eat well and play well. I notice one of them has several internal little bumps (sand size) on both sides of the body for 2 days or so. Today, it has a little (sand size) opening, it does not appear to have any discoloration or itching symptoms. I have observed very careful and don't see any protruding or attaching organism to the opening. I am concern that it may become type of parasitic infection that warrants early treatment. Could you please tell me what type of infection may it be? I realized that it’s difficult to tell from the description but please give it a try.  And, could you suggest what type of treatment should be provided for them. Thank so much for your help! Regards, Minh <Hello, from your description it sounds like one of the yellow tangs is losing in the “playing.”  Tangs have sharp barbs on their tails and they will hit each other with those tails to set up dominancy.  I would be willing to bet that is your problem.  I would take the injured fish out of the tank and put it in a quarantine tank and watch it closely.  If it doesn’t get better something like Ampicillex would be a good medication for any secondary infection.  Good Luck. MikeB>

Tang injuries 12/29/04 My Yellow tang is the last of the Mohicans.  My Tang has a discolor very similar to an apple left on the table too long a sort of brownish discolor 55 gallon tank set up since 0ct 3rd this year.   <hmmm... sounds like aggression... as in, beaten up. If not, a severe fright pattern from stress> Temp @79   salt 1.022 test water home and at store they are all fine.  Bio wheel with two power heads underground filter crushed coral and bubbled in air pumps.   What could be wrong with my fish?   <not sure... a clear, full-frame picture would help here> P.S. I have a black and white clown in the tank looks like a percula clown <do look upon the genus Amphiprion on our website (search tool) and/or fishbase.org to see what species you might have. There are more than a few possibilities> Rick Finks    <kindly, Anthony>

Population Control/Parasite Issues (Xenia, Black Ich) Hello folks, <Hi! Ryan helping you today.> Today's email has two topics.  The first finding a way to control my pulsing xenia.  My tank is as follows: -55g (will be upgrading to a 120g soon) -4+ years old -80lbs live rock -Fish:  1 coral beauty, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 yellow tang -Inverts:  1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, ~15 Astrea snails, ~5 turbo snails, ~5 red-legged hermits -Corals:  Yellow polyps, White clove polyps, blue, orange, green, pink and lavender Zoanthids, 1 toadstool leather, pink cabbage coral, red mushroom polyps, orange Ricordea, 1 mosaic mushroom polyp, various sponges, pink pulsing xenia -Parameters:  pH - 1.024, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, temp - 79F (calcium, iodine, strontium, molybdenum, etc. all within acceptable levels) My problem is my pulsing xenia.  A little over a year ago, I bought 3, 1 inch stalks of it.  Now, I've got over 40 stalks of xenia and it's multiplying by the day.  It seems to be growing out of control, and taking over other desirable corals (the Zoanthids have a hard time fighting for position).  I plan on taking rocks covered with it back to the store for trade (I've got a great local LFS near me), but would also like to trim some back where it's growing on rocks with other animals.  The problem is, when I cut it back, it just grows back again out of the remaining stalks.  I don't want to *scrape* it off, for fear of damaging the other animals and possibly releasing toxins into the water.  It can be chiseled off of some of my rocks, but some of the rock frags are too small to split and have some really great Zoanthids on them.  Are there any other ways that this coral can be removed from rock that I've not seen? <Xenia is commonly seen re-populating previously deserted reefs...I bet you know why, huh?  It's reefer's crabgrass!  I have many friends who have similar issues with all varieties of xenia.  Pulsing Xenia seems to be a fast grower, but Anthelia is even faster in my experience.  As for removal, I would remove the entire rock from the water and scrape it clean with a plastic scraper of some type.  As you know, the smallest piece left can repopulate a xenia colony within weeks.  Scrape, and then rinse the rock with saltwater to eliminate small pieces from straggling.  Perhaps it's easier to remove the zoos first?> My next topic has to do with a case of black Ich that I recently experienced.  I purchased a yellow tang not too long ago, and quarantined him for two weeks in a 20g nurse tank.  After he showed good health and eating and absolutely NO signs of disease, I put him in my display tank. About 1 month after that, I noticed very, VERY tiny black specs (smaller than pepper) on his side.  Turned out to be black Ich.  I weighted the idea of trapping him from the display tank, but this would've wreaked havoc on the tank and would've really stressed out the fish.  I can't treat the tank with traditional methods, due to the softies in there.  So -- I did something that hadn't been recommended, but was a wonderful success.  I purchased a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  It was a healthy specimen that had already setup a cleaning station in the LFS tank.  I brought him home and within a week's time, he had acclimated, setup a cleaning station and had removed every parasite from the tang.  The coral beauty and the wrasse have shown no signs of infection and the tang has not had a reinfestation.  This seemed like the most *natural* approach to the issue, especially since it was caught very early on and since black Ich is one of the slower diseases in terms of damaging fish.  My question is -- am I just lucky that this worked out in my favor? <Lucky so far...Parasites have a life cycle that doesn't always include hosting on the fish.  Just be on the lookout for a relapse, and have a QT tank ready.> I'd hate to think that I gambled with this fish's wellbeing, but my goal was truly to cure him in a way that caused the least stress and disruption to my system.  If this is a reasonable approach to addressing an outbreak of a parasite, I'm wondering why I don't see this type of treatment recommended more often. <They’re highly unsuccessful at eliminating disease long-term.  It's similar to adding an algae eater into an algae-filled pond and saying the problem is fixed.  Even if he eats all algae on the walls, cells still exist that could re-populate the colony!  You're either lucky or have a false sense of security.> I normally only see cleaners advocated for prevention. <Yes, they are wonderful for prevention and display!  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks as always.  You folks are absolutely fantastic! Deb Colella

Yellow, Whitish... Tang Hi All, <Lyn> I have a beautiful yellow tang in my tank. During the day he is gorgeous with a deep yellow coloring. But, in the morning he looks as though he has Ich. Once I turn on the light, the "Ich" goes away and once again he looks awesome. What's going on??? Thanks, Lyn <Either a night-time coloration change or a quasi- infestation... your fish and system has Cryptocaryoniasis (marine Ich)... Please read over the Yellow Tang, Crypt articles, FAQs archived on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Zebrasoma flavescens I have an issue with my yellow tang. I read your information on WetWebMedia and had to ask about health and quality. I purchased one over the internet. I noticed a white stripe across his chest, both sides. He hides all the time. I have had him since the first of October. I feed him seaweed on a clip and frozen emerald entree. I see him grazing on the algae on a fake anemone. He is not "skipping". From a side view it looks caved in. He has red streaks above the white streak and a couple between his nose. Him not being active concerns me. He hasn't been active since I purchased him. What can you suggest I do to help him feel secure with his surroundings & make him happy? Regards, Lisa <Lisa, you are doing everything correctly.  The pinched stomach is a sign of internal parasites.  Try soaking the food in Hex-A-Mit to cure the parasites and then supplement the food by soaking it in a vitamin like Selcon or some other product similar.  The problem sounds like it to be Head and Lateral Line Disease.  Time and tender loving care will fix the problem.  Good Luck MikeB.>

Saltwater disease check Hey there crew, thanks for taking the time out again to help the masses. Anyway here is the situation,  last night I noticed on my yellow tang a handful(10-20) of tiny black dots on his body. About the size of tiny specs, uniform in size. From what I can tell they are not raised off the skin like crypt. My other fishes show no signs of it either. The only two parasites that I know of commonly are marine velvet (makes no mention of black dots) and crypt, which it is definitely not. Any ideas on what it can be? <Yes... very likely a "black worm" disease peculiar to this species. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and on to the numerous Yellow Tang Disease FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top) for hints on treatment> I know yellow tangs have a low survival rate once infected with things such as crypt so I'm hoping its nothing but am watching it closely. <Actually, this is one of the toughest, easiest treated common marine aquarium fish species> Its behavior seems completely unaffected by these dots. <They are not overly debilitating... easily rid off> tank specs are:  75gal, established about a year. LR w/ crushed coral ph-8.1~  sg-34.5~ppm nitrates-20-30ppm occupants: 18" snowflake eel -5" slippery dick wrasse -4" Niger trigger -4" blue hamlet -6" convict goby -2" evil blue damsel The last introduction was a month ago of the hamlet and goby, with no obvious stressors except probably being overcrowded. So just seeing if that shoddy description rang any bells because nothing stood out from the WWM articles. Thanks as always Jared <Read on my brother. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang with Fin Rot? Hi, <Hello...this is Jorie> I have a Yellow Tang that seems to have fin rot or somebody took a couple big chunks out of his upper rear fins.  I moved him to a QT tank and then he lost the bottom rear portion of his tail.  I have been treating him with Melafix for two weeks with no improvement.  Any ideas what he has and how I treat him?  I bought a Royal Gramma with fin rot.  Most of his fins were gone and I treated him with Melafix and he was better in a week.  Thanks. <Severe cases of fin rot can need antibiotic treatment to cure.  I'd suggest something like Ampicillex or tetracycline, but, of course, only in the QT tank (great job, by the way, on quarantining your fish!)  Also, you'll want to keep up with the pristine water conditions by doing lots of water changes, keep any and all sharp decorations out of the tank, and just give him some more time.  It certainly won't hurt to continue with the MelaFix, but it does sound as though a more aggressive treatment is warranted.  Good luck. Jorie> Nathan

Koran in Reef - Z. flavescens Didn't Make It >Hey! >>Hello from way up here to way down south there!  How are you doing, Daniel?  (I've been in Chicago, I had another message from you that I was saving to put along with this, but it's nowhere to be found.) >A few days ago I added a Healthy Yellow Tang from an established system where it had been 4 years. >>Uh oh.. this sounds as though you didn't qt this fish. >It was eating algae and flakes almost immediately. >>Ok, that sounds fine. >Then on the 2'nd day it stopped eating. On the third day in the  morning it was breathing really fast and it seemed that he had a really obvious red mottled kind of splotch on his one side. >>This is so common, but I haven't yet read/found a definitive cause for this.  Usually, and especially in a healthy system, they can recover after a time.  Normally this takes some weeks, though.  The rapid gilling is a bad sign of stress, infection, or possible parasitic infection, though. >I then had to leave for school and when I got back it was dead. >>JEEZ!  That fast?  Not even a day?  Could another fish in the system possibly have been harassing it?  Something's going on there, and I feel I must assume that you know full well how to acclimate, about pH shifts, etc., to have not been diligent in putting him into the system (except for skipping quarantine - this is simply because you haven't mentioned it). >P.S The Koran seems to be chowing the Pulsing Xenia. >>Heh, I know some people who would like to have him in their systems, their xenia have exploded to plague proportions! >Monitoring the situation but I think he may have to be removed. >>Hm, too bad.  What about the person with the other Koran that came from the same batch?  Are they having the same problems? >P.P.S I've got a Longnose Hawkfish in quarantine. How long will he need to be in for? He's looking really healthy. >>Repeat the following mantra - "Thirty days DISEASE FREE, and this little fish will please me."  <insert silly grin> >Thanks in advance. >>You're welcome, and sorry for the delay, Daniel.  Marina

-Itchy tang or Ichy tang?- I really hope you can help me.  I have been finding some things on the site to help out a bit but not enough to get me through this. <Alrighty, I'll give it my best shot.>  My tank is about 2 months old.  The water levels are fine except for a low salinity which I have been adding buff to get up the levels. <Adding buffer to increase salinity? You would want to add a buffer to increase your alkalinity and/or boost your pH. To increase your salinity, you need to add salt, not buffer.> I have 2 cleaner shrimp, a goby, 2 damsels, 1 Basslet, 2 starfish, and a yellow tang.  Usually if there is a sick fish in the tank, the cleaner shrimp will go after it, and then I find it dead the next day. <Yikes!>  The goby has been cleaning the tang lately but all has been well.  I've had the tang for 2 weeks now, usually swimming very gracefully.  Yesterday I noticed him darting around the tank, and rubbing up against the back glass.  He is still eating, there are no white spots on him, everyone else in the tank is fine. He just seems very agitated.  At night, when the lights go out, he calms right down.  He seems very itchy. I have read on here that it could be velvet disease or Ich. <Sounds like the early stages of either Ich or velvet, as you already suspected. I would suggest removing this fish to a quarantine tank> I don't have a quarantine tank up yet because I just pretty much started. < Ah, you read my mind! Now's as good a time as ever to set one up. I invite you to peruse the WetWeb articles on the art of quarantine and curing an Ich-ed up fish.> Is there anything that I can put into the tank, to treat the disease, if there is one, that will not hurt the other fish, the starfish or shrimp and will cure the tang? <You can supplement your fish food with garlic extract, but other than that there's not much you can do that works very well. Your best bed is quarantine with copper sulfate and/or formalin in combination with freshwater dips. For now I would just watch the fish in the quarantine w/out treating. No need to treat if this is a false alarm. I hope this helps! -Kevin>  Please help...I don't want to lose the tang or any other fish for that matter. Thank you, Jen

Dying Yellow Tang WWM crew, I am a ten year old boy that has a Yellow tang. He is almost dead and I barely got him I don't know what to do please help me sincerely Cesar >>>Hello Cesar, If he's almost dead, I'm sorry to say there is nothing I can do for you. Pick your specimens carefully at the store, and avoid stores like Petco and PetSmart. Also, make sure you quarantine new fish by keeping them in a separate tank for a few weeks. This will insure that you don't introduce dangerous parasites into your main display. Good Luck Jim<<<

Sick yellow Tang.... nutritional WWM crew, <Misti> I have lost a percula clown about 2 weeks ago and I think I about to lose a Tang.  The Tang just stopped eating last night and this morning it was at the bottom of the tank having a hard time breathing.  It also has a red blotch close to it's stomach and it appears to have red lips. <Not good>   I have already found on your website that I may  not have been feeding what I need to.  He has been getting brine shrimp and algae flakes daily.   <Yikes... sort of like you and I eating flake cereal and candy bars only... sounds good, tastes good, but not good for us in the long haul> Occasionally we feed them romaine lettuce. <This material is also a nutritive zero> I guess I should tell you we have: two tangs, 150 gallon aquarium, protein skimmer in sump, tank has been cycled for only about 2 or 3 months, do have a diatom problem at the time, water changes weekly (15 gallons per week), salinity 1.021, ph 8.2, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites 0-.25 ammonia, temp 78.5-79.2.  I would assume that we do have some nitrate present even if it isn't showing in the water test and some phosphate and silicates also.  Any help with the tang would be appreciated. Misti <If this fish rallies... do look into live and dried algae like Nori, Kombu (at the grocery or pet-fish store) and Gracilaria... Bob Fenner>

Clarification regarding Yellow Tang Article Hi Bob, <Joseph> Wanted to see if you would be able to help us with something. In the yellow tang article, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm, there is a short paragraph that discusses coloration:   (3) Color wise yellow tangs are yellow; golden, deep yellow. Every now and then you may find a brownish or yellow-white morph, and their is a fright and night time coloration that involves a white vertical body band. You don't want these; go for the gold. Would you be able to clarify for us, and to our customer, what you meant by "You don't want these; go for the gold." ? Does mean that you shouldn't want the brownish or yellow-white morph's, or does it mean that you shouldn't want ones with a white vertical body band? <Under "normal" or healthy circumstances, Zebrasoma flavescens will be all yellow-golden in color... though some of the "Koi" individuals (rare in the trade) are quite striking, and can be perfectly healthy, though mottled in their coloration> Our customer has come to the conclusion, after reading this article, that the yellow tang we shipped to her is low quality and has a defect as it has the white band. <Ahh, likely just "shipping stress"... and/or seeing the animal either at night, or first thing in the morning... when this marking strategy manifests itself. I would not worry about this unless the whiteness, vertical brown bar show during the day> If you can shine some light on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Joseph MarineDepotLive www.marinedepotlive.com <Please do share this information with your customer. Hope to visit there soon. Am out in HI where Ken and Amy visited last year. Bob Fenner>

Tang In Distress? Hello, I've emailed you a few times before and I've always relied on your awesome advice. <I feel no pressure here...No Pressure! Scott F. here today!> I've finally got a yellow tang and I've had him for about 3 weeks now. Today, after topping off my water, I noticed that he was breathing really fast. He did eat before I topped off the water, but I didn't notice whether or not he was breathing fast or not. Now, he is breathing very quickly and hiding behind the rocks. He isn't interested in the Nori I put in the veggie clip for him. I topped off the water the way I always do using the same water I always use. Nothing else has changed other than the fact that I added a new protein skimmer yesterday. All the other fish are behaving perfectly fine. I highly doubt that this is Ich because I've had him for three weeks as I mentioned before and there are no spots on him. I eliminated Ich from my tank three months ago and have always quarantined all my fish since then. <Excellent to hear!> What could be wrong and what should I do? Thanks for your help. <It sounds to me like there are a couple of possibilities to investigate. The first is that the fish is displaying signs of stress brought on by some sort of environmental challenge. You didn't mention your water chemistry parameters. Any detectible ammonia? Nitrite? Sudden change in specific gravity? Any drop in pH or alkalinity? Sudden environmental changes can be tough on fish-particularly tangs. Do run some water tests to verify. They can act like the proverbial "canary in a cola mine", acting as a sort of early warning system letting you know that something is wrong. The other possibility is a virulent parasitic disease, such as Amyloodinium, in which victims display difficulty in breathing and inactivity as part of their symptoms. Examine the fish carefully for any other outward disease signs. At this point, in the absence of any other obvious problems, you should simply maintain excellent water conditions and provide stability and good food. Keep me posted! Regards, Scott F>
Re: yellow tang breathing
A Happy ending! Thanks for the help. <My pleasure!> The weird thing is, I got home today, and the tang has recovered from whatever happened yesterday. He's back to normal and eating now, but I'm confused as to what happened and why. I guess sleep does a lot of good for fish too. <I have no idea- but that's great news...We'll take the outcome, regardless!> By the way, my ammonia and nitrites were at 0, nitrates at 5 and ph at 8.2, so nothing was wrong yesterday which is when I tested, I just forgot to send the results. Any ideas about what could have been wrong? Thanks <Once again, I suppose that we'll just accept the positive outcome at this point. The key with tangs is  initial quarantine after purchase, high water quality, good food, and environmental parameters that are stable. If you follow these simple guidelines, your tang should live a long, happy life! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Reddening of a Pacific Yellow Tang hello, I have a small yellow tang and, for the last couple of days he's getting red spots on him and I don't understand why, please let me know if I could do something about this. <reddening is thought to generally be due to toxins, bacterial infections, or nutritional issues. The bet I can suggest is to maintain pristine water conditions and excellent nutrition. If it seems to be getting worse, I'd consider moving to a hospital tank and treating with antibiotics. A 29 gallon tank is a fine temporary tank for a very small yellow tang, but I'd start planning on a larger, permanent home very soon. Thanks, Ryan> P.S. the size of tank is 29 gal thank you, Jorida 

HLLE Treatment Please HELP!  I stumbled across your site and I think it has loads of information to offer. It's absolutely wonderful! <We're so glad you stumbled by! Scott F. with you here tonight> I'm having a problem with a 5 inch yellow tang that I have had for a little over 4 months. The fish is displaying the beginning signs of lateral line disease.  It is behaving normally...eating well, defending his "house", and very active.  I've heard that you can feed them broccoli with fresh squeezed orange juice on it.  Is this true?  Will it have any adverse effects on my tank? <Sounds like one of the smoothies I had recently! I am not a big fan of terrestrial greens to feed marine fishes. In addition to being nutritionally inadequate for marine fishes (IMO), they can add a lot of undesirable nitrate into you tank. I'd be utilizing live marine macroalgae as a supplemental food source> Will it actually help?  This fish regularly eats spinach, green marine algae, red marine algae, Spirulina enhanced brine shrimp. <The marine algae are good. How about trying some Gracilaria (Ogo), my favorite macroalgae? You can get a great starter culture from Indo-Pacific Sea Farms (www.ipsf.com). This stuff is one of the best foods for captive herbivorous tangs, IMO> I try to be as precise as I can about nutrition with all the fish in my aquarium...but am I missing something? Thank you! Desperate to save fish! <Well, Desperate- your dietary array is pretty darn good. Keep in mind that HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion) can also be caused by environmental factors, such as water chemistry, and even exotic stuff, like stray electrical voltage. Do some searching on the net regarding this malady, and you'll get some more insights that may be of help. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

About Tangs and Black Spot Hello, <Hi there> I've read through your website and found lots of writings related to yellow tangs and Paravortex but not an exact answer to my question. Normally, people put this fish in their display tank and it turns up with black spot.  Advice is to dip the fish and move it to a different tank to allow the parasite to die off in their main tank.  My fish is in a 20-gallon nano tank that houses a few other fish and some inverts.  My question is:  Can I dip my fish in freshwater/RO water and then immediately place it into my main tank, which has been fish-free for 3 months, without fear of reinfestation?  If this approach IS possible, how long should the dip last? <This is a sound approach. The dip should be pH adjusted and include an airstone/diffuser (specifics are posted on WWM re) and the duration be about five to ten minutes. Bob Fenner> Thank you! Julie

Please help me, stressed yellow tang Hi Carmen, Thanks for your e-mail.  Sorry to hear about your problems with your yellow tang. I am passing your query on to Bob Fenner, a world expert in Marine fish keeping.  Bob is also part of WetWebMedia.com which runs a helpline.  I am sure that you will get a reply soon. Also check out their website WetWebMedia.com as this letter will probably get posted there. Good Luck. Please keep me informed. Regards, Iggy >Hi my name is Carmen Bartel from Arno Bay on Eyre Peninsula in South >Australia. I have a tropical marine fish tank at home and have just read >your article in the FAMA magazine titled "Dreaming of Marines, Yellow Tang >Strife." I don't know if this jinxed me or what, however I've had a yellow >tang for nearly two years and he's been beautiful and healthy the entire >time, grazing on rocks and always swimming around. Just in the last >two-three days I have noticed him situated under the same rock panting >quite badly. He still comes up to eat, but doesn't continue to roam the >tank like he used to. I have not added any other tank mates for some time >now, however I do have three blue regal tangs that were introduced at quit >a small size and they are growing rapidly. I thought maybe they might be >harassing him, however they are only 1/3 of his size and don't seem to >bother about him. They do tussle a little amongst themselves and >occasionally with the clown fish, but I haven't noticed them harass the >yellow tang. <Mmm, not likely these other tangs are at fault> >The other thing I thought it might be was water quality, however ammonia, >nitrite are zero and nitrate is getting up around 40 mg/l, which it has >been before. I am doing a water exchange today. The aquarium shop suggested >treating my tank with myxozan <Myxazin RMF?> as I have invertebrates. Which I may see the >results from in a couple days. I have aeration and a protein skimmer and >there is a large amount of small air bubbles in the water, so I doubt that >oxygen levels would be a problem, but I will check that with a DO meter >tonight. Plus check my pH levels. (as I work in a hatchery and have these >instruments there.)   No other fish seems stressed at all..... <It is anomalous that the other fishes are not similarly affected here> >Another observation worth noting is a couple weeks ago he had a red sore on >the bottom of his body between his fin and body. That has now healed.. >Maybe this may have decreased his immunity or something. There are no >apparent white spots on him or any other fish. I do have another quarantine >tank however I'm worried if I catch him this will stress him even more and >he will die. <Did you treat the system with a chemical/medication? The problem, though you've had this specimen, may be internal> >If you receive this email and are not to busy I would really appreciate >some advice from you. If you have any little suggestions it would be >greatly appreciated. >Thank You very much >waiting anxiously >Carmen Bartel <Nothing comes to mind... please do read through our FAQs files on "Yellow Tang Disease/Health", starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm Am hopeful "something will click" per your situation through the process. Hello to Iggy... and his Pentax rig! Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help me, stressed yellow tang
Thanks so much for your response. Your question was did I medicate my yellow tang. The answer is no I just left him as he was still behaving naturally and the sore slowly disappeared. Since then he has developed this panting and not grazing anymore. <Very likely your animal is adjusting to the parasite and treatment and will be fine. Often takes a week or two to resume to normal behavior post such events> You mentioned that my yellow tang might have something internal! His stomach does look full even though he has stopped picking on rocks and just eats what I give him. <Yes. It turns out that tangs have internal (gut) fauna something like termites... where these Protozoans et al. aid in food conversion... and they are often impugned with chemical medications... resulting in either non-feeding and/or loss of fullness from a lack of nutrition> Should I remove to quarantine tank and treat him, and what with??? <I would leave this fish in your main system for now, and do what you can to offer a selection of palatable foods, particularly live or dried algae> I am currently treating the entire tank with myxozan as I have live rock in the tank. I thought not removing him may help in his recovery due to stress levels. Please give me some more advice. <I would still leave the tang where it is... much more stressful to be captured, moved to smaller confines. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help me, stressed yellow tang
Thanks again for your response. You said in the last email that my tang may just be adjusting to the parasite and treatment. However he was not treated for his red sore a couple weeks ago. Could he just be adjusting to the parasite that he fought off. <Yes> You mentioned his gut fauna may have been affected from treatment, however he wasn't treated until now. Since I noticed him panting. His gut actually looks full all the time not empty, looks heavy even as he uses his pectorals a lot to keep afloat. <A good sign> I've ordered some Spirulina pellet that's meant to be jammed pack of nutrients and some more algae flake. Are pellets palatable enough if he does have problems with internal organs. <Yes> He fed quite well last night on Spirulina flake that I fed and some brine shrimp. It's a little difficult to get live food so is frozen brine shrimp, blood worm, and green marine flare ok? Along with marine flake, algae flake (getting), Spirulina pellet, Spirulina flake and I've got this other color enhancer (parasite resistor) pellet that he eats also? <Okay> Could the panting be gill parasites? Even though no other fish have it and no new fish have been added for a while? Thanks for your help Carmen <Yes to this possibility. Please do read here re this species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the FAQs files (linked at top, in blue). Bob Fenner>

Reddening Yellow Tang (5/16/04) Hi, <Hello. Steve Allen here.> I have a question about my yellow tang. <shoot> I had it since the beginning. Since the nitrite level went to 0. I did not have protein skimmer at the time and I was giving the tang Nori only and it grazed on the live rock. It came down with the HLLE at the time and the Tang still has some permanent damages from HLLE.  It also had fin rot which was treated with MelaFix. The Tang was doing ok for couple of months but now the damaged areas from HLLE is turning reddish and his body, except for his stomach, is also turning reddish in color. The fins are growing back fine but the reddish area is also around the base of the fin. It is not that bad right now, the reddish color is some what faint, but I'm afraid that this might get worse. Nitrate level is at 2ppm with Salifert test kit and Phosphate level is at 0ppm with FasTest test kit.  Could this be just water condition issue, just like other cases I read here, or something else? Right now, I'm feeding him Nori and some red sea weed Nori and Tang Heaven and I'm soaking Nori in Zoecon. I have Eheim Canister filter, Remora Pro Skimmer and Custom Sea Life UV sterilizer on my tank. <In Yellow Tangs, this reddening is thought to generally be due to toxins, bacterial infections, or nutritional issues. The bet I can suggest is to maintain pristine water conditions and excellent nutrition. If it seems to be getting worse, I'd consider moving to a hospital tank and treating with antibiotics.> Thanks in advance for your help. -hsk <Hope this helps.> 

Re: Yellow Tang and Swollen stomach Hi,<Hi. MikeD here> My yellow tang is sick again.<Sorry to hear that> At first, about a week ago, the tang was darting around being real aggressive towards other fish<This is often normal for many Tang species as they can be very territorial, particularly toward other tangs, with one per tank usually best> and it was scratching his body<occasional scratching is normal as all animals get an itch> and I saw one white spot on his stomach. So I started the SeaChem's Cupramine treatment and the tang stopped eating altogether and he became stationary at the top of the tank twitching once in a while.<First off, one spot doesn't mean Ick and can be caused by many other things as well, and 2nd, that reaction sounds suspiciously like the fish was overmedicated> It was getting real bad, so in a hurry, I started him on one hour dips with SeaChem's ParaGuard and I did it two days in a role and as I'm writing this letter I'm getting ready to do another dip.<MY suggestion is not be in such a hurry to medicate. Remember, medicines are also poisons, and it's often best to err on the side of caution and NOT medicate until you're SURE what the problem is> He was so sick that when I tried to catch him, he came right into the net without a fight.< a bad sign> At this time his stomach was sunken from not eating. After the ParaGuard dips his color came back to bright yellow but now his stomach was swollen and he hasn't eaten any thing for a week. He is now back to his own spot in the tank but he's still stationary at one spot and swaying from side to side and twitching or jerking once in a while. I don't know what is wrong with him and I don't now if the Cupramine treatment or the ParaGuard dips will help. Could he have internal parasite so something like that, because his stomach should not be swollen at all, and if so, what kind of medication will do? This is first time I've seen this with the Yellow Tang.<By now it's really hard to tell, but I strongly suspect he's severely poisoned from too much medication> Just before this the Tang was real healthy, he was eating almost everything I feed him like the Nori dipped in Selcon and other pellet foods and also he was eating other flake foods that I was feeding to other fishes in the tank. From the looks of it he looks well but he is just sitting at one spot and swaying side to side and twitching and not eating.<At this point, my suggestion would be to remove him to a Quarantine tank by himself with good water and NO medication and offer him the Nori and flakes that he was eating before. Sadly, if it has absorbed too much medication, you may just lose the fish to copper poisoning. IN the future, my friend, try not to over-react so quickly and remember it's best to wait until you're SURE what the problem is and only then treat with the right medication, in the correct dosages> Can you help? <only by suggesting that you give him a rest in unmedicated water with some peace and quiet for a while. The very best of luck to you,   MikeD> -hsk

Getting Tough With Disease! Good Morning <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I was wondering if someone could give me some advise with my new Yellow Tang which I introduced to my tank last Thursday. <Uh-Oh...No quarantine procedure? Gotta quarantine, okay?> On Saturday I noticed that he was full of White Spot. I have a 350 liter Marine Tank, which I have been running since January. I have tested my water and all readings are fine. I was told to treat the tank with a product called Tri-Sulfa and the next day all the white spots were gone off his body. <Not familiar with the product, but I do not advise treating fishes in the display tank...> He is still making funny movements in the tank for example he will swoop alongside the glass in a motion that he is rubbing himself against the glass. I have noticed that his reflection is a little bit reddish on his fins, but not to bad. He does tend to breath quite quickly. He is eating very well and that has not been a problem for him since I got him. <Not sure about the breathing...If it's caused by the disease, then you are possibly dealing with a more serious illness, such as Amyloodinium or Brooklynella. On the other hand, the fact that they're eating is a good sign!> The shop told me that I need to treat the tank and then do a water change of about 90 liters after 3 days and then to treat the tank again if he is still sick. I do not want to do a Fresh water dip because I feel that he will get even more stressed. <Well, freshwater dips are not always that successful. They are a good adjunct to more reliable treatments, of course. I don't think that it's necessary to perform them in all cases, however.> I have asked a few shops what I should do and I get different answers from all so now I wanted to ask the experts so please will you help me. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks Gary <Well, Gary, I'd observe the fish carefully at this point. Although I would have taken a different course of action for treatment, I'd finish up whatever treatment course the store recommended with this medication. Hopefully, it will have worked. Subjecting the fish to another treatment could be more detrimental, if not necessary. Do read up on the extensive parasitic disease FAQs here on the WWM site for more specific treatment recommendations. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Tang On The Mend!
Good Morning <Hello again!> Good News, my Yellow Tang is so much better, and I feel a lot better as well. I did a 25% water change yesterday and all is great this morning.  All my levels are still fine. To answer the question about a Quarantine tank, I do not have one yet, but I intend to get one ASAP. The Tang s not rushing around the tank anymore, so he is not crazy in the way I thought he was. Thanks for your advise. Regards, Gary <Good news, Gary! Sometimes it just takes a water change to help do the trick! Continued success! Regards, Scott F.> 

Troubled Tang? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a Yellow Tang that has been very healthy since I got him 6 months ago. In the last week he has developed this... almost blood red discoloration near his top and bottom fins and splotches of this blood red color near his tail. He seems to be eating fine and acting as usual. He doesn't appear to be losing any weight and his personality hasn't changed either. I also have a Clown (brn & white) a Candy Cane Shrimp, Blue and-Yellow Damsel and I believe the other fish is called a blenny. All the others seem just fine. Unfortunately I don't have a QT - I only have my one 55 gallon salt tank. <You could always use a large Rubbermaid or other plastic container in a pinch for this purpose...The small investment in a quarantine system is well worth it, IMO> What would you recommend? I prefer not to medicate as I feel it messes up the tank's chemistry. <Among other things!> Not to mention I have live rock with plenty of polyps and the such on it. Your advice is greatly appreciated, Tiffanie <Well, Tiffanie, it's hard to say what the problem might be. Let's operate under the assumption that your basic water chemistry parameters are acceptable (i.e.; ammonia, nitrite, ph, nitrate, etc.). This being the case, these streaks might be nothing more than minor traumas as a result of contact with rocks or substrate within the aquarium, and should clear up with no intervention on your part, other than maintaining a clean environment and a good diet. To be quite honest with you, I have generally found that these sort of streaks are associated with environmental issues. Tangs seem to be especially susceptible to this problem. Do run the aforementioned water tests, and perhaps employ a stepped-up water change regimen if necessary. Since the fish seems to be otherwise acting and eating normally, I'd continue to provide excellent water conditions and food, and carefully observe the fish over the next few days. If the fish continues to remain in good health, I'd simply keep up the good husbandry procedures that you've started. If the fish appears to be on the decline, do let us know and we can delve into possible diseases and remedies at that point. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Torn Tang Hello fine folks, just a quick question, and hopefully a quick answer :) I purchased a small yellow tang (about 3-4")about 8 day's ago. I put him into my 20gal quarantine to observe him. About a couple day's ago, I started noticing "torn" edges on his fins- mostly on his yellow fins (sorry for the lack of proper terminology) on the top and bottom of the fish, and just a little on his transparent, small fins on his side's (please note this on the pic I attached). <Noted> I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about ICK as I just finished a successful ICK treatment w/ copper sulfate a couple weeks ago. I don't really notice any of the infamous white salt grains usually associated with ICK, just these unusual torn parts of the fins. <I don't see any signs of parasites either... but this specimen is very thin... and this may well point to the root cause of the torn fins... a lack of nutrition> Incase the pic doesn't come through, etc. the fins are not nice and round as they were when I purchased the tang, but look as if they are small "notches" randomly taken out. The fish doesn't scratch wildly either. I do see it twitch randomly and occasionally as if something was bothering it at times, but not all the time. Does this look/sound like ICK, or another bacterial infection? <No> I am not familiar with any other bacterial remedies aside from copper. Could you please help me with a good protocol at this point? Can I use "such-n-such" as a bacterial treatment instead of copper? Once a treatment is started, does the quarantine clock start over, etc? I am somewhat new to the quarantine route, as I have had to learn the hard way. Thanks in advance for any help. <I would utilize a pH-adjusted freshwater dip in moving this fish to your main system and start "bulking it up" nutritionally... with Nori soaked in Selcon or equivalent, hopefully live rock organisms for it to forage... the tears in its fins will heal in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Re: Torn Tang Thanks for the quick reply Bob. I have only one question pertaining to your stating " I would utilize a pH-adjusted freshwater dip in moving this fish to your main system and start "bulking it up" nutritionally .. with Nori soaked in Selcon or equivalent, hopefully live rock organisms for it to forage... the tears in its fins will heal in a few weeks." Bob Fenner> Are you suggesting that it may be a better idea to get him into my main tank before the 20-30 day quarantine period is up? I mentioned in my first email that the tang has been in quarantine for 8 day's so far. The main tank is an established 75 gal oceanic w/ lots of LR for him to forage, etc. Thanks again. <Yes my friend. Sorry for any confusion. It is my opinion, experience that your Tang would be better served and that the likelihood that it would transfer a biological disease agent so small, that I'd move it sooner, rather than waiting. I would just pass it through a bath on the way there, as extra insurance. Bob Fenner>

Tang Loss (4/16/04)  Greetings. <Steve Allen this evening.>  Sad, sad day for me. My beloved yellow tang is no more. <Sorry to hear.> The sad part is that I feel as though I killed him. I am devastated. <Don't beat yourself up. Sometimes there's nothing one can do.> He has been getting black spot disease on and off for a month. He would get a few spots on him but by the next morning they would be gone. I credited it to my neon goby. He was active, bright yellow, plump and a voracious eater. He was always active and often played "I'm in your area so chase me" with my yellow-tail damsel (been going on for months, so funny to watch).  Then this morning, I noticed that he had a few more spots than usual, but otherwise was his usual self. I decided it was dip time. My QT is taken up with a flame angel with Ich so dips would have to do. I caught him in about 2 minutes with a Kordon Fish Corral (well worth it's weight in gold). While he sat in the corral, I prepared the dip water with temp adjusted RO/DI and baking soda until the pH was just right at 8.3. A few drops of Formalin and in he went for 5 minutes. He seemed to take it fine (pooped after the first minute) and then I returned him to the display.  Then he simply swam to the bottom, laid down and was breathing really hard. He was so out of it, I was able to reach in and pick him up. I held him upright in the current for almost 30 minutes hoping that he would come around with the assisted help but alas, he died in my hands. <Devastating indeed.> What gets me is that he was healthy until I intervened. I feel like I killed him and I am distraught enough to give up. <A 5-minute FW dip with an appropriate amount of Formalin should not kill a healthy fish. He must have been more weakened than it appeared.> He is only the second fish that I have lost in the 4 months since end of cycling, the first I lost in quarantine.  Any idea what I did wrong? <I don't think you really did anything wrong. Some people recommend organophosphates for black-spot disease, but may be hard to find & potentially hazardous to work with.> If I do decide to get another yellow tang, how long should I wait until the black spot parasites are gone? <I can find no specific info, so I'd recommend at least 8 weeks. Others besides Tangs can host this disease. If you've also got Ich in the tank, I'd keep it completely fishless for 8 weeks.>  Thank you for all your help in the past. <Han in there, take your time, proceed carefully, and I expect you will not suffer such a loss again. Do read all the FAQs on black-spot disease on WWM. Again, my condolences. I hope things work out. Steve Allen.>

Yellow Tang getting an internal brown spot. About 10 days ago, we purchased a yellow tang. He looked very healthy, however, today we noticed that he has a large brown spot inside. Looks like it's in his stomach area. <Is this marking "transient"? Does it come and go? Yellow tangs, especially new ones, placed in uncomfortable settings (too small, not sufficient decor to "get away"...) do often show such markings> We've had our tank set up for about 2 months and just started adding fish about 2 weeks ago. All other fish seem healthy and all are eating well including the tang. Since our tank is still fairly new, we monitor the water parameters every other day and the nitrates, nitrites, ph, etc are all within the levels they should be. We also do partial water changes at least once a week.   <Sounds good> We are feeding the fish Brine shrimp and we also feed them Super Veggie dried fish food. Do you think maybe the tang needs to have more greens in his diet? Could that be what's causing the brown discoloration? He seems perfectly healthy other than the coloring. <I would expand the diet a bit. Take a look on WetWebMedia.com re feeding tangs period and feeding yellow tangs> I searched through many of the other Q&A's on your website. However, I didn't find one that matches this scenario exactly. Thanks for your help <If the mark is not permanent I would not be overly concerned at this point. If it is persistent, do please keep in touch, and write if this animal stops feeding especially. Bob Fenner>

-Yellow tang w/ Ich- Hi there! Your website has become my new source for info. with our saltwater tank. <Excellent!> I am looking for help with our Yellow Tang. We recently noticed (in the last 2-3 days) the tang was darting & moving around the tank as if something was "itching" her skin.  The tang was swimming close to the sand, as if to rub it to take care of an itch.  The next day I noticed small white spots on the fins, and last night, the spots are a little larger, more visible with the lights off (in natural light), and seem to be all over. <Yep, that's Ich alright.> At the same time, we noticed we have thousands of teeny tiny little bugs (I'm thinking they are copepods) all over inside the tank.. <Likely copepods, totally unrelated fish food.> Does she have some form of parasite? <Yes, Ich> If so, are the little bugs MORE parasites? <No> OR does she have ICH, and the bugs, copepods?  How do we treat this? <This is an incredibly common disease and as this question has been answered hundreds of times before (search our FAQ's!!!) I ask that you read this article http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm, and us the search feature of this website.> We started with one treatment of Pimafix, which treats fungal infections, then were told to try  Greenex (Malachite Green) which we did in place of the Pimafix.  Can you help? We just want her better, whatever it is it's driving her crazy!  We also have a Picasso trigger & yellow tail damsel, live rock. <If no one else in the tank shows any signs of infection, I would suggest removing the yellow tang to a quarantine tank (again, check our plethora of articles and FAQ's!) and treating in there with copper sulfate and/or formalin before things get worse. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestcryptfaqs.htm as well. Good luck! -Kevin>  Thanks guys!  You are the best!!

Yellow tang problems 3/8/04 Hi guys,  Me again.  Thanks for all your help thus far.  I just wanted to give you an update on my yellow tang.  Unfortunately, it seems as though his HLLE is getting worse and his tail fine is starting to look a little ragged (Still eating well though).  I have checked my water parameters and they are as follows: pH = 8.2, nitrites = 0, ammonia = 0, nitrates = 15-20ppm (I can't seem to get them any lower).  I can't imagine it being nutritional because as I said from the previous email he is getting seaweed selects everyday in addition to veggie flake and brine and Mysis shrimp soaked in Zo? and VitaChem.  I perform a 20% water change every 3 weeks.  My tank is a 54 gallon corner tank.  For filtration I have a wet/dry pro 75 by aqua clear aquatics.  I am unsure of how effective the protein skimmer that is attached is because I never seem the get very much "gook" in the drainage cup. <As Scott mentioned, water quality may be an issue.  Stray voltage and low Redo have also been implicated in HLLE.  Also, it does take quite a while to heal, so if it was nutritional, you may not see significant improvement for several weeks.> Other tank inhabitants include a blue damsel and a percula clownfish showing signs of any problems.  I have not seen any signs of aggression so I don't think that is a problem.  For lighting I am using the standard fluorescent lighting that came with the tank assembly.  Is it possible that my tang is not getting enough light?  Should I invest in a more powerful lighting assembly? <Although lighting has been mentioned in association with HLLE, I find this to be a very unlikely contributor.  You lighting should be fine the way it is.> I have begun to get very frustrated because I truly care about the well being of my fish and I don't know what I am doing wrong or missing.  In the previous email you mentioned some kind of macro algae.  Where can I get some of this?  Is there anything else I should test for that could be causing this situation? <You may try to get a local advance aquarist to come by and advise you.  Often something simple get's overlooked in this kind of exchange and is quickly picked up on in person.> One more thing that is starting to cause me concern is the proliferation of white furry growths forming on my rocks and tank walls.  They appear to spreading fairly quickly.  I emailed  you guys a few weeks ago and the very gracious fellow who answered my email thought it may a type of sponge.  Does this sound like the behavior pattern of sponges?  If so, should I do anything to eliminate them? <Could be sponges, but hard to say.  It is probably nothing to worry about unless they grow to the point of being unsightly.> Thank you guys so much for helping me out with this.  I don't know anyone else I trust to answer these types of questions.  You provide a tremendous service for beginners like me and I appreciate your hard work.  Once again thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.  Sincerely,  Dan Kotecki <Thanks for the kind words.  It is our pleasure!  Adam>

Tang Nutrition Issues Hi guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight> I returned home from work today to find my yellow tang with internal red spots near his dorsal fin and tail.  I have been feeding him a daily diet of Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Selects soaked in Vita-Chem. In addition, he seems to be developing HLLE.  My 55 gallon tank has been running now for about 7 months with a percula clown and a blue damsel, both doing well.  In addition, today I just realized that I apparently have no form of chemical filtration. <One potential contributor to HLLE...Water quality is a factor> Therefore, I went out to the LFS and bought some activated carbon. Is it possible that having no carbon in my tank has led to the tang's deteriorating condition? <As above...> If not, do you have any other suggestions to clear this up?  Could too much brine shrimp lead to this? <Well, too much brine shrimp is not really an issue...It's too much brine shrimp and not enough of other nutritious food items! Brine shrimp have their place, but they don't offer a lot of nutritive value for marine fishes.> Note: At this time I do not have QT.  Please help! Thanks so much. Best Regards, Dan Kotecki     <Well, Dan- you're on the right track by using Nori, Vita Chem, etc. Try some fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, which offers many of the vitamins that the tang needs to thrive. Do test your water regularly, use chemical filtration media (activated carbon/Poly Filter), and small, frequent water changes with high quality source water. Aggressive protein skimming is helpful, too. Hope these tips help! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- APB For Yellow Tang - Hi, guys. I have been maintaining my 55-gallon tank with 65 lbs of Tonga shelf/ridge rock for over 2 years with no problems (thanks to your articles and Bob Fenner's CMA text).  I have a Remora skimmer, two small powerheads, two large air pumps with long air stones under the crushed coral substrate running 24/7, and a large (very productive) crop of Halimeda that rode in on the live rock.  I have three 40-watt full-spectrum and 1 blue actinic 40-watt NO fluorescents on for 10 hours per day. Now, my problem... the power strip fell off the shelf, and the appliance timer for my lights got unplugged from my power strip sometime during the 5 days that I was out of town.  The Halimeda covers about half of the rock surface, and all of the Halimeda is pale mint green (almost white).  My yellow tang is completely missing, but the three small yellow-tailed damsels, the tiny percula clown, and the small marble molly are all fine and perky.   My questions... (1) Will the Halimeda get green again, or should I cut it out/trim it to prevent it from dying and lowering the pH? <I think it will make a comeback.> (2) Is it possible for a yellow tang to die from lack of light - are they that easily stressed? <Not directly from lack of light, but more likely stress as a result of same... yes that could do it in.> It's usually very friendly and not that easy to spook, so I have to assume it's dead or sick.  I haven't found the tang, as I don't want to stir up the tank and take a chance harming/crushing the other fish by moving around the rock unless I have to.  What do you think? <I'd look for the fish... sadly is probably no longer with you, but should be removed although is probably paste by now.> Should I just wait until it shows, or assume it is hurt and charge in to the rescue, moving all the live rock? <Find it.> Any advice will be appreciated! Cory <Cheers, J -- >

Bali xenia and tang prob.s 2/22/04 hi, I had a couple of questions about a recent problem in my tank.  It's a 30 g reef tank with a yellow tang, clownfish, and 3 pajama cardinals. <That's a lotta fish in a 30g!  The yellow tang in particular will very quickly outgrow your tank (If it hasn't already).> Lots of polyps, mushrooms, leather coral and a Bali xenia.  The tank was doing great and I did a 5 g water change last w/e.  Immediately afterwards the Bali xenia deflated and has been that way for almost a week (although hasn't died).  The yellow tang had some red splotches on its side that disappeared and then reappeared yesterday, but this time much larger.  There was also a long red mark close to his lower fin and covering part of the fin. If you look close it almost seems like blood vessels that make up the red marks.  I've been trying to come up with things that I've done differently recently.  First, I had added a few spoonfuls of baking soda to the water before I mixed in the salt to try to buffer it. <Adding additional buffers to good quality salt mix should not be necessary.  The signs that your fish is displaying sounds like ammonia toxicity or some other chemical irritation.  Freshly mixed artificial sea water should be aerated or mixed with a powerhead for at least a day before use.> The Instead ocean salt dissolved ok but there was a precipitate that never dissolved in the water (b/c the salt is old?). <This is a common occurrence, and not a problem.> And when I added the water to the tank, there water turned whitish and then was  clear the next day. <Probably from the additional buffer.> I also began feeding Mysis shrimp.  All the  polyps and other corals in the tank look great now.  Finally, I've gotten an algae bloom on the front glass, even though I added distilled water (this has never happened after a water change before).  I'm planning on doing another water change in the meantime and ordered a new PC bulb (run 2x96W) in case the lighting is off.  Any ideas?  thanks, Ben <I think the algae bloom is a co-incidence.  If you do additional water changes, be sure to mix and allow to "age" for a day or two before use.  If you get a repeat of what happened, test immediately for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and alkalinity.  Best Regards, Adam>

- Red Marks on Yellow Tang - Dear WWM Crew, Thank you so much for taking the time to help the general public in the manner that you do.  Your website is very innovative, informative and a highly reliable and a valued resource that I turn to time-and-time-again!  My question tonight has to do with a yellow tang.  He has been in our tank for 6 months, and was doing fine until tonight.  I noticed he has some red coloring inside of his mouth and the base of his pectoral fins (where the fins connect to his body) are also redness in color.  He seems to breath fast now and then and twitch every 1-2 minutes in a side-to-side motion and also "phantom" scratch on the live rocks.  I say phantom because he does not truly make contact, most of the time he misses though he does make the sideward lean into the rock.  About once every fourth scratch attempts he make slight contact with the rocks but not in the same manner that I've seen fish "flash" before.  Rather, he barely tap the rock and move on.  There are no other red spots or coloring anywhere else on his body and no white or black spots so commonly found on yellow Tangs.  He is eating well and swims normally through out the tank and all of the other fishes are not showing any sings of distress.  This Tang is the "lord" of our tank and by far the largest in size.  His tank mates consist of two fire fish (magnifica type), three green Chromis, a cleaner wrasse, and one coral beauty which he chases every now and then for violating his hiding spot. I have fed him once a day (along with the other fishes) a rotation of frozen cubes (formula 1, 2, brine shrimp, prime reef, Spirulina, and angel formula.  Nori dried seaweed is placed on a holder daily so he can forage through out his day.  The only changes I've made recently to the tank was to increase my main return pump and hooked it up to a sea swirl to bring my total flow to 20x the tank water volume.  I also lowered my protein skimmer to extract a drier foam.  Other than that, I can't think of any other changes that may have contribute to any potential infection to the fish.  My tank specification are: -100 gallons main tank (72x18x20) -60 gallon sump -CS8-2 EuroReef Protein Skimmer -total water flow is about 2250 gph (after head pressure calculation, 3000 gph with out any head pressure loss) -temp average 78.5 - 79 degrees F -Ammonia = not detectable -Nitrite = not detectable -Nitrate = not detectable -PH = average 8.2 to 8.3 -SG = 1.0235 @ 79 degrees F -Calcium = 400 -Alk = 8dkh I am hoping not to have to catch him in order to quarantine since my rockscape will not make it easy but will do so if action is required.  Any advice you can provide would be most welcomed! <Hmm, hard to say exactly - these red marks are typically a reaction to water quality issues - would be advised to execute a couple of large water changes and see how things are going after that. As long as the fish is eating, you are ahead of the curve so keep at that for now... keep up the observation.> Thank you in advanced for your assistance, Tim P.S. Just bought the WWM sweatshirt, can't wait for it to arrive!  Any plans on new designs (not that there's anything wrong with the current lineup) or new books after Reef Invertebrates? <Yes, Reef Fishes should be out sometime later this year, perhaps Summer or early Fall. Cheers, J -- >

Toxic Algae? (1/27/04) Hi, <Howdy. Steve Allen here.>    I have Brown Algae, not like the one I had when my tank was new, that seems to get my Yellow Tang sick. My tank went through all the algae that I know of. Now the tank is almost free of algae but there are these Brown Algae that just won't go away.    My Yellow Tang was sick and it was in the hospital tank. When I put it back to the main tank the Yellow Tang was doing ok for a day or so and it was eating those Brown Algae. Then the Yellow Tang stopped eating altogether and its fins were collapsed. <Certainly something is amiss. Unlike people, fish are usually smart enough not to eat things that are dangerous to them. Hard to say for sure that it's the algae itself versus something else in the tank.>    Every time the Yellow Tang is in the main tank and eating those Brown Algae, it gets sick. This is just my assumption but I check the water and it was ok. <Zero ammonia and zero nitrite?> Only thing I can think that could have gotten my Yellow Tang sick is the Brown Algae that I haven't seen before.  Can you identify this Brown Algae, or stuff, is? It is darker brown then the brown algae that I had when my tank was new. <Kinda hard without a picture. I'd suggest you have a look at Julian Sprung's "Algae: A Problem Solver Guide." You may find it in there along with some good information on ridding one's tank of undesirable algae.> Hans

Treating Black Spot... So should I go ahead with the freshwater dips or wait it out and see? I'm really not sure what to do next. Blue Skies, James Smith <If the symptoms do not disappear, or become worse- I'd begin with the freshwater dips, which seem to be quite successful with this illness. Then, if these don't do the trick, you could progress to copper of Formalin based medications, per manufacturer's recommendations. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Tangled! (Sick Tang?) I have a question about black spot on a yellow tang. At first, I just noticed him scratching on the rock occasionally, but lately it has gotten worse. And to top it off, my Sailfin started scratching. I went out and bought a pepper- based medication thinking it was Ich and began treatment. <Yuck...> After a couple of days I noticed black patchy areas on the yellow. Is this black spot? <Hard to say without a photo. Could even be skin damage caused by the "cure"...> I was sure this was black spot, so I purchased black spot control from Aquatronics. <Ohh-Uhh...Another medication...> It is a citric acid solution. They recommend a 20 minute dip in this solution, but how long do treatments take? <I'm not familiar with this medication, myself> It was very difficult to net them both but should this dip have taken care of both of them or could I still be facing more problems? <Well, it's hard to say. If this is indeed a parasitic illness, you may need to repeat dips on a daily basis for several days before any results are visible. Personally, rather than subject the fish to another rather harsh treatment, I would have opted for (still somewhat stressful, but potentially less damaging) freshwater dips.> One issue I believe is my water quality. I tried setting up a Berlin Classic in my sump but do to the size and configuration I had to bend my tubing which apparently restricted some water flow. For a few weeks it has produced nothing! <Bummer! Something needs adjusting here> My new Aqua C Urchin arrives today! <An excellent skimmer!> Will this help with the parasitic infections? <Well, it will not cure the disease, but it will assist in providing better water quality, which will lead to a healthier overall system. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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