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FAQs about Yellow Tang Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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Related FAQs: Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 3, Yellow Tangs 4, Yellow Tang FAQs: Identification, Tang ID, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Disease, Reproduction, Black Spot Disease, Purple Tangs, Striped Sailfin Tangs, Zebrasoma Tangs, Zebrasoma Identification, Zebrasoma Behavior, Zebrasoma Compatibility, Zebrasoma Selection, Zebrasoma Systems, Zebrasoma Feeding, Zebrasoma Disease, Zebrasoma Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Most Yellow Tangs can in time become tame enough to eat out of your hand. Barry Neigut of Clams Direct here with "Oscar".

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Yellow tang not eating. Env.     10/7/15
Hello. My name is Russ and I have had a 55g saltwater tank running for about 1 year now. I have 70 lbs of live rock and keep it lightly stocked.
I only have a few corals and though I research it has been mostly learn as I go.
I had a problem with my RO water system that went undetected for a few water changes. Had brown algae rapidly grow through the system, but the parameters remained stable. I bought a new RO/DI system and did a 50% water change. There was so much algae that I also did some cleanup of the walls and the rock that was without corals attached. I had consulted with several people on a forum I belong to, and the information I got was mixed as to whether I should do that, but there was so much that I felt my corals were in danger. Anyway, done is done. That brings me to my problem, which I am also getting mixed info on.
Up until I cleaned the tank my Yellow Tang was doing fine. It was healthy and active and it's appetite was good. But now (last 4 days) it is not eating and just stays in one cave structure. I see no signs of disease other than weight loss, it is getting very skinny. I am moving it to my sick tank today.
<Likely a cascade event... the algae profusion; its removal, poisoning the corals, they in turn reacting, poisoning the Tang.... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/toxictkendof.htm
Can you inform me on what to do, and what to look for?
<Yes; I'd be moving the fish as you mention; continue doing regular water changes, using chemical filtrants (GAC, Chemipure) to remove metabolites, keeping my skimmer spiffed up... and hoping for the best>
Could this just be stress?
<Oh yes; big time: Chemical, biochemical>
I would appreciate any information I can get at this point.
Thank you, Russ.
<Read on! And welcome. Bob Fenner>

The Stubborn Tang; not fdg. post Cu exposure      7/4/12
Hello crew!  i have an interesting predicament, so I'm hoping you will be able to help!
<Me too>
Here's the story:  i have a 5'' yellow tang in my 90g DT (150g total system) tank, and he wont eat for me recently.  I've had him since February this year, and until about 2 weeks ago, he's been acting....off.  When i first got him he had some mild HLLE which with lots of seaweeds, soaked in Selcon and Mysis and formula 2, he had a great recovery, almost complete turn around of the HLLE.  About 3 months ago the tank was hit with Ich, and then promptly treated by moving all fish to a QT and followed with copper treatment and a fallow tank for 7 weeks.
<The Cu exposure will very commonly affect tangs as you describe... make them anosmotic, and worse, kill off necessary intestinal fauna... Need to replenish... By adding a Tang species that does have such in its gut. Or moving the Yellow Tang into a system w/ such "critters" living there>
 After full recoveries and such.
all fish were returned and everything has been fine up until now.
I noticed the tang acting more lethargic than normal at lights on for a few days to start, and him bumping into the rock work occasionally, so i was worried his eyes were possibly blinded by the lights for some reason, so i lowed the lighting levels and that didn't change it.  then a few days later i noticed faint red mark, mostly around his tail and dorsal fin- at this point he was eating, but not as vigorously.  a few days later he stopped eating completely and as almost completely receded into the cave network in my rocks. there was a period of about 5 days, a week ago that he seemed to have some problems staying upright while not swimming, turning completely on 90 degrees on his 'side' and once and a while to nearly 120 and then quickly righting him self - this symptom has gone away recently.
now, almost 2 weeks since seeing him last eat, his HLLE is back with almost full force, if not worse, and i cannot get him to eat anything, even doused in garlic / Selcon.  Im quite worried.
<You should be>
Param.s: 0amm/nitrite, 5-10 nitrate, 80 F, .028 salinity (a little high, evaporation is...being difficult, slowly lowering to .026)
<1.    >
I would remove him to QT but I'm afraid moving him may do more harm then good, and all the other tankmates are looking fine and dandy ( 3'' hippo Tang, 3 teal Chromis, 1 blue damsel, 1 fire-fish, 2 peppermint shrimp, and a serpent-star).
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
<Mmm, like Rabbits (lagomorphs), Termites... and many other examples, Acanthuroids have live G.I. symbionts... that are too-easily killed off w/ copper exposure... You need to put the fish in a situation where they can become reinoculated... The Tang will "pick up" these from the substrate.
Bob Fenner>
Re: The Stubborn Tang 7/4/2012

Hey Bob, just a quick follow up with your last email.
What do you suggest I do?  Should I add another herbivorous tang to the system to uh... 'Reintroduce' these critters or should I attempt the daunting task of finding someone that can house him for a few weeks to get him going again. (Pickings are slim in my area, my best bet would be this one LFS near me- well kept larger tanks-, but the owner is a bit of a hermit...).
<Yes; one or t'other>
Thanks with all the help,
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Stubborn yellow tang follow-up 7/5/2012

Hey Bob, sorry to bother you...again, this is the last question I'm sure:
<Not a bother>
What species of tang do you think would be a good choice for the job at hand.
<Mmm. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm
scroll down to the section on Tang Selection/Stocking>
The reason I ask is, I would assume in a best case scenario another yellow tang would be the best for replenishing these 'critters' but I don't want a turf war in my tank by adding a second yellow.   Any thoughts?  Also, would adding water from a system with herbivorous tangs be sufficient to reintroduce the needed critters?
<Ohh, now I recall... yes to adding not water, but mulm... fecal material... you can gravel vacuum from the one tank, place in the needed one>
Thanks a million,
<As many welcomes. BobF>

Skinny Yellow Tang    4/7/12
Hello gang. Love the site. Have a question in regards to yellow tangs. I'm now on my 2nd. Had my first one for 7 or so years with no real problems to speak of. However, over the entire length of having it I would describe the fish as "skinny". No fat or thickness to the body.
<Mmm, not uncommon... Many Zebrasoma have their gut-fauna bumped off via copper et al. exposure... never really gain weight or girth consequently>
All other signs of health never much of a problem. Active, always ate, swam normally and picked at the rocks all day. Now that I'm on my 2nd, and experiencing the same scenario, I can't help but to wonder why all the other fish in my tank are healthy and "thick" while the yellow tang remains skinny. I feel like I'm feeding properly, a combination of flake, seaweed selects and also Julian Sprung's Sea Veggies. My current setup is a 150 gallon tank with wet dry and protein skimmer. Water quality is good and steady, older tank of about 12 years. Any thoughts or recommendations? If the fish were yours, what would be your feeding regimen/t? Thanks!
<May seem strange, but similar to many other animals (bunnies/Lagomorphs come to mind due to the season); I'd be adding (if there's room physically and psychologically), another Acanthurid... perhaps a member of the genus Ctenochaetus... to add the (poop) microbes... Oh, and do try out a fave personal food line, Spectrum pellets... The skinniness could be due/accountable to other factors... but my guess stands (for now). Cheers,  Bob Fenner>

Stringy/threads in yellow Tang poop? 2/3/11
Hi. I have a 4" yellow Tang who's been in my 145gallon display tank for 2 weeks after just over a week in QT. (I moved him on Bob's advice as he was showing signs of stress). He's been shy in eating Nori, flake, and pellet food (eating some eventually) but quickly eats Mysis shrimp (previously frozen) which I am giving daily. This evening I saw him do a quick swim with a shake and out fell a lump of poop with several stringy/ threads coming from it -worms?
<Do appear so to me; either this or some remnant of "string" algae>
All dark black/brown). Nothing was moving.
<A clue, perhaps>
The flow soon broke it up but I caught a quick picture of it. See below although its a bit blurry. Could this be internal parasites? Not sure if I should be worried/ do something? Thanks for your advice.
<Could be, but I don't think so... color is wrong, immotile... Is there stringy type algae present in the system, foods that you offer? Do you have a low power microscope? Bob Fenner>

Macroalgae for Yellow Tang 6/2/09
Hi Folks,
< Hello >
My new yellow tang has settled in nicely and I would like to grow some macroalgae in the refugium for him. Any suggestions on variety? I have read that they like Chaetomorpha, which I have, but mine seems disinterested so far. Rebecca Bray
< Not surprising. In my experience, animals that actually eat Chaeto are few and far between.
Red Gracilaria, Sargassum and Ulva are good choices with the Red Gracilaria being my first choice. GA Jenkins >

Yellow Tang Not Eating 8/5/08 Hey, guys. Thanks for your great resource. I've learnt A LOT from spending many hours reading through the many FAQs. Saying that though, I've tried searching through the site but haven't found a direct answer to my problem. <OK> I have a 35 gallon tank and have a lawnmower blenny,  Flame Hawk, <Needs a larger tank> Yellow Sailfin Tang, <Also needs a larger tank.> Coral Beauty, <larger tank...> Blackcap Basslet, two True Percula Clowns and a couple of cleaner snails and Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. The tank inhabitants are all pretty happy. I've had them for more than a year now. The Yellow Tang's normally the "boss" and eats almost everything. However, it has stopped eating for close to a week. I normally feed it baby brine shrimp, Tetra flake food, tiny blood worms, red seaweed and also romaine lettuce. <Not really good foods for this fish, needs vegetable foods of marine origin.> Not all at once, of course. :-). I've stopped feeding romaine lettuce and give more Nori now... <Good> The Tang is no longer eating anything at all. It's still pretty active but now seems to rush against the aquarium glass like it's trying to break through it. <Results of the cramped quarters.> There is a faint whitish stripe along its body, even with lights on. <Stress markings.> There aren't any red streaks or anything, though. Its belly also looks a little bloated with bumps all over it. It looks like it ate a bunch of little rocks or something! It extends its fin every now and again... <Could be a result of the diet, or an infection, difficult to say.> What could possibly be happening? <Too small of a tank, inappropriate diet takes it toll.> I've grown very attached to all my tank inhabitants and would absolutely hate it if anything happened to the Tang. What do you suggest I do? <Get it into a larger tank, change its diet to something more appropriate.> Thanks for your help. Charles Tang <Welcome> <Chris> <<Obviously has NOT done a lot of reading... on WWM. RMF>>

Yellow Tang Growing Thin - 08/21/07 I currently have a 55-gallon saltwater aquarium... Inhabitants include 1 Yellow Tang <<This fish really does need a bigger environment>> 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 Coral Banded Shrimp, 2 hermit crabs, 1 Coral Beauty Angel, 1 Maroon Clown, 1 Chocolate Chip Starfish, and a good amount of live rock. Protein Skimmer, EHEIM canister filter, salinity is good, taking water in to work to get it tested today. I just came home on my lunch break and looked at my tank and noticed that my Yellow Tang's body seems to be caving it just below his side fins. He is eating fine and acts completely normal... Any ideas on the cause of that and if so how do I go about fixing this problem? -Crystal <<Mmm, you say the fish is eating fine, but eating what? My guess at this point is the fish is not getting enough of the "right foods" to eat. I suggest feeding New Life Spectrum pellets and a macroalgae like Two Little Fishies Sea Veggies...soaking all in a supplement like Vita-Chem or Selcon before feeding. Another thought is that this fish has been exposed to an antibiotic or copper treatment that has damaged its gut-fauna making if difficult/impossible for the fish to properly digest food. If this is the case, exposure to other tangs "may" help it to re-establish these. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Yellow Tang Growing Thin - 08/21/07 Thank you for your prompt reply I really appreciate your help. <<You're quite welcome…is why I choose to be here>> I am currently in the works of upgrading to a larger aquarium in the next few weeks. <<Neat! How big...100? ...300? ...500? Sorry…getting carried away! [grin]>> I am aware of his need for a bigger environment and am working on doing so. <<So very good to know>> I am currently doing a variety of different feeding forms. Switching it up between frozen/thawed Brine & Mysis shrimp (w/ Garlic Guard added in) and Omega One Marine Flakes with garlic... <<The Mysis and Omega feeds are good, but I consider the Brine Shrimp comparable to pop-corn for humans…little to no nutritive value>> I also add almost daily Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Select Green Marine Algae (Natural Dried Seaweed) dipped in Garlic Guard before adding it to the tank. <<Hmm…this is very good…does the tang eat its share?>> It eats at anything I feed it to the extent that I would not think that it is hungry in any way. <<Mmm, curious…perhaps the "pinched" appearance is due to a parasitic affliction>> As far as medication is concerned.... I haven't treated my tank with anything other than Stress Coat by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals which is supposed to help not harm. <<Indeed… Perhaps the condition is a temporary one… Your feeding regimen seems fine, but I would still like to urge you to add the Spectrum pellets and enrichment products (Vita-Chem/Selcon) to your repertoire…these truly can/will do wonders for your fishes health/color/vitality>> -Crystal <<Be chatting. Eric Russell>>

R2: Yellow Tang Growing Thin - 08/22/07 Eric, <<Crystal>> I am hoping on upgrading to a 90-100 gallon tank. <<Excellent…just don't add any more tangs to go with the Yellow you already have>> I was recently hired into a pet store in the fish dept. <<Cool! An opportunity to learn…and pass on that knowledge too!>> Am learning very quickly and with my discount I am hoping to upgrade in MANY areas. A lighting upgrade was just recently made... I am now interested in upgrading filtration & tank size. <<Okay>> Yes the tang is eating more than his share of the seaweed... and I fed him twice today... <<Very good…but a vitamin soak will still help>> since his last feeding he is definitely looking better though you can still definitely see where he is caved in... <<Mmm…if this fish is a fairly recent acquisition…and was held at the store for a while…this may be no more than a sign of starvation and will likely be remedied under your good care>> Yes it does give a pinched appearance... One point in the area he is caved in is much deeper than surrounding area. If you feel this is a parasitic affliction, what type of parasite could it be and how could I go about solving the problem? <<Hmm, a couple possibilities for sure…cestodes (tapeworms)…roundworms…maybe others. These are most usually always present and don't cause a problem unless the animal has been stressed/weakened. If the fish is looking better and feeding well you may not need to do anything re medication…though you might want to try some of the "treated" foods like the Spectrum Thera-A pellets>> I will definitely look to see if we have the Spectrum pellets at work & adding those to his diet. <<Will benefit most all your fishes…and worth turning to the NET if necessary>> Thanks again Eric & I look forward to hearing back from you. -Crystal <<The pleasure is mine. Eric Russell>>

Feeding yellow tang - Zebrasoma flavescens  6/25/06 - Hello Crew, I have a yellow tang.  Seems to be very healthy.  How much should I be feeding it?  Right now I am feeding Seaweed Selects once daily (about a 1" x 3" piece).  Is this enough or too much? Thanks, Brett <<Brett: Depending on the size of the Tang and the amount of algae that grows in your tank, you will probably be able to feed less often.  When I used to feed algae every day, I noticed that the algae eaters got lazy and the amount of algae in my tank shot up.  Once I started cutting back, the Tangs started foraging for themselves more.  With a Tang, study it's belly before and after it eats.  If it is really hungry it will look really thin and pinched in the belly.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Yellow Tang no longer accepting food   6/24/06 Greetings, just a few questions, perhaps you can lend some advice: <Perhaps> About 10 months ago I purchased a 4" yellow tang from Aquacon.com. My first mail order fish, it arrived alive and after a few hours he was out and about in the tank. Seemed to be acting normally since then, even reversed some slight HLLE. However since about a week ago he has been refusing food and has been pretty much camped out amongst the rocks. He'll come out for a few minutes at a time, then suddenly rush back to the rocks (with no lighting changes, no sudden movements from myself or the livestock, etc.) He is also breathing heavier and for some reason seems to come out more frequently when the lights are off. <Something amiss...> The typical food of choice is Emerald Entree from... Sally's <This is a "logo" of sorts of San Francisco Bay Brand...> I believe? It's a frozen cube with Mysis and brine shrimp, bits of greenage. Also provide green algae "paper" in a clip. <Good> He had previously eaten all these foods readily. On one of his rare visits he may swim to the algae clip and try a nibble, then shy away and rush back to his hole. As far as I can tell, the algae sheets seem to be fresh and the same quality he was eating previously. I've even tried different colored clips for if some reason he was frightened (?) by this one. Why such an abrupt change in his behavior? <Hard to say thus far...> My ph is 8.3, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all zero. It is a 75 gal. FO tank (FOWLR coming soon) with quite an abundance of nuisance algae. As far as I know, no foreign substances were introduced to the tank. The other fish seem to be acting normally, two Yellowtail Damsels, two Green Chromis, and a Coral Beauty. I also had a Sergeant Major that was about 4". <Mmm, this fish may be the real issue here> I didn't see him outwardly harassing the Tang, but I had planned to remove him anyways. He was moved to my quarantine tank, yet the Tang is still reclusive. <Takes a while...> If I remember correctly from a puffer feature in an aquarium magazine, a refusal to eat was curbed by vitamin B12... an injection or medication? <Just placed in the water> Not sure, I just skimmed the article. Regardless, I know there will be no magic bullet to cure the fish but if there's any species-specific tricks for curing or tendencies for this fish to suddenly refuse food, any input would be appreciated. Any opinions on Aquacon.com? <Seem to be a good outfit. Have been around a good while. I don't know them personally> They're a livestock retailer based out of Florida, but bless the people who buy their "cleanup crews" based solely on their sugar-coated presentations on the website. Also, for about the same price, which would you lean towards, the EuroReef CS-80 or the AquaC Remora/Urchin? <Both fine products... for this set-up...> Noise is a factor my setup, perhaps one is more quiet than the other? <Both are very quiet> Should have considered your FAQ pages, my Prizm skimmer is now in the closet. Looking forward to a bigger sump, 80lbs live rock, and a new skimmer. <This will be a giant improvement either way> Again, thank you. -Bryan PS- Fear not, I have a home lined up for the Sergeant Major, in a friend's bigger tank with more compatible livestock. <Ah good... I do hope your Tang recovers its appetite, zest for life. Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang - discoloring; disease, Photo Not Found (Where'd ya put it, James?)  11/30/05 Hello there. The usual set of congrats on the site and even more thanks. <You're welcome>  I recently acquired a yellow tang and several other fish under the situation of their owner attempting to kill them off before he moved to a new huge house. There was a massive rotting corpse of a tang on the bottom of the tank and all readings were beyond measurable. SG- off the bottom of my reader, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia levels would probably have killed me. <This person has no business having an aquarium.>  Of seven fish, I am down three, 3 ill (fungal as best as I can tell, being treated), and the tang that was, at least until recently, healthy spare starved (also a part of his little idea). In the attached, I tried to take photos to show the whitish/pale blotches that seem to be appearing underneath the skin/scales of the tang. The blotches are not uniform on each side and are still internal from all noticeable viewings.  <<There were photos that came with this email, has been inadvertently deleted, now cannot find.  My apologies.  Marina>> Fins are intact unlike the 3 that didn't make it suffering from extreme tail rot (1 yellow-tailed blue damsel, 1 black and white striped damsel (convict damsel?), and a poor tomato clown that was incredible friendly and I was attached to (had less tail rot, more "clownfish disease" (?) from what I could tell from WWM)).  The images may be a tad bright so if that is a nuisance, try darkening the screen; my camera has a bad habit of over exposing... let alone chasing a tang with a camera. Hope you can help out... skimmed through what I could of the diseases with no obvious luck. If I passed up something, by all means redirect me. We're rather attached to the fella and I'm not going to let something as stupid as pride get in the way.  <Ken, based on the looks of the tang, the fish are suffering from a terrible vitamin deficiency to start with yet alone very poor water conditions. I recommend religious 10% weekly water changes, good prepared foods such as Ocean Nutrition soaked in Selcon. Might try Ocean Nutrition's algae flake food...excellent product. I would start adding an iodine/iodide supplement also. James (Salty Dog)> With much due respect, Ken. 

Yellow Tang  9/20/05 Is there a way to do this without the Monos eating all of the Tangs food? >>>Soak some Seaweed in Selcon, that should go a long ways. Other than that, the other fish will eat what they eat. No way around that. Jim<<<

Yellow tang not digesting properly  9/1/05 Hello, <Hi there> I bought a yellow tang two weeks ago and it appears to be doing great but just yesterday I noticed about a one inch pile of algae coming from where the fish poops. <What they do>   The waste appears to be totally undigested and looks like the algae that she has been eating growing in the tank.  This worries me because I'm afraid she is not getting all the nutrients she needs from the food she eats because it is not digesting properly. <Not to worry> I feed her Julian spring sea veggies, Nori, another brand of sheet vegetable and all the algae growing in the tank.  As for meaty foods, mostly Mysis shrimp and krill.  However, a sixline wrasse keeps her from getting as much meaty foods as I would like her to have.  This is the only reason I can come up with as to why the algae she ingests looks the same as when it comes out.   <Nope... doesn't have much nutritive value... you should see the tanks a day after catching "Yellows" in Hawai'i!> The fish appears great she is bright yellow, no external parasites, HLLE, or any signs of a bacterial infection.  I ordered some Selcon to temporally alleviate this problem until I can figure out what is wrong.  Any opinions or suggestions would be great because I have never seen or heard anything like this before. Thanks for the great site, Aron <Not to worry. All reads like you and your Tang are doing fine. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

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

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>

False percula this time 05/07/2005 Thanks for helping with my skinny yellow tang. fed her once with Metronidazole and she is fattening up after only 24hrs!

Stubborn yellow tang in qt tank Hello,   I have a couple of quick questions.  On Friday I bought a Yellow Tang.  He is approx. 4 1/2''. Currently all I can get him to eat is Nori seaweed. I have been soaking the seaweed in Dick Boyd's vitamin solution and 1 drop of iodine.  He currently eats approx a 4''x4'' pc. hanging off a lettuce clip, and another 4''x4'' pc. that is rolled tight and attached to a mini conch shell with a bunch of rubber bands. She always devours the conch shell's seaweed first, and I figure that is because it is more "natural" to her. <I'd guess this too> Anyways I can not get her to eat anything except the algae.  I have tried flake, and shaved frozen food.  She doesn't even recognize this as food as all and just swims right by it.  Since she is going to be in QT for three more weeks, will the algae sustain her or am I going to run into a problem before she meets the main tank? <This fish will soon learn of other foods... perhaps offer them in or on the Nori> She is full bodied and is one of the best physical specimens I have ever run across in a LFS.  She is not concave, her color is bright yellow with no reddish coloration at all.  I rarely see her fright colors even in the morning when the lights go on. Anyways my second question is I bought the Yellow Tang because she was such an exceptional specimen.  This however has jumbled my fish stocking plan.  Currently I only have 2 Ocellaris clown fish in the tank, with a mixture of scarlet, blue leg, red leg crabs, and about 12 snails.  The pH is 8.2-8.3, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, and Nitrate is < 10 by water the weekly water change day.  I want to add a six line wrasse, a mystery wrasse, and maybe a bottom dwelling small fish to stir the sand.  First of all will this be too much fish for a 55 gallon tank?  Do these fish all sound compatible? <Should be fine and yes> If not can you suggest something similar that would be compatible?  Do you think the fact I didn't add the yellow tang last will be a big problem. <Not likely a problem with what you list> Any fish suggestions would be gratefully acceptable I do want to keep them small since I have a small tank. I am down the road planning to add some coral or a clam to the tank but lighting issues will prevent that for now.   Sorry for the long inquiry but as you can see I am one to ramble on. Regards Rick <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner> Yellow Tang Feeding Concerns Hello WWM Crew, Thanks for all the help, you guys are a great resource of knowledge. I recently added a Flame Angel and Yellow Tang to my 120g marine tank. <<Post quarantine, yeah?>> I am a little concerned about feeding the Tang. I feed the other fish (2 perc clowns, 2 fire fish, and a royal Gramma) a mixture of flaked food and frozen brine (Formula one-Prime Reef). <<Nix the brine, or supplement with REAL foods, Mysis, krill, squid, octopus, clam, etc.>> They all eat very well. I know the Tang is a herbivore (well mostly) and my LFS showed me a trick of adding liquid garlic to seaweed rolled up like a cigarette and wrapped (with a rubber band) to a piece of rock for the tang. He doesn't seem to be at all interested in it. <<Yo tang don't smoke no spliff, it seems.>> I did get some live brine which he loved. I add Vitamins (Kent) to the brine, is this enough? <<I far prefer Selcon, so does the LBAOP. I also far prefer krill, as does LBAOP.>> Are there any other tricks or advice I can get on the tang eating more? <<Well, are you sure it's not eating enough in the first place? In any event, though there are those who would argue the usefulness, I am again going to refer to my experience at "Tang World", the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. And what they feed their tangs by the bellyful is romaine lettuce banded to a rock. Some of them put the fat mack down on it, others really love their krill and will hold out for it. Spinach is another good one, but doesn't keep as well as romaine in refrigeration. Nori, soaked in Selcon would be good for any fish that eats it, again, banded to a rock. The only use I have for garlic is to cook the fish IN, not feed. However, Allicin does have proven mild antibiotic properties, and there is a great deal of empirical evidence that it induces feeding. It seems your tang knows none of this, though. If it's thin, feed it as much krill as it will take, and keep the lettuce or Nori in the tank daily (changing as it gets old). Hope this helps! Marina>> 

Yellow Tang I have a 75 gallon tank with 75lb of Live Rock. I started with 2 Damsels and then a week later added a yellow tang. I was told to get Green Algae and Pellet food for the Tang but he showed no interest at all in either. He does however gobble up the flakes that I feed the Damsels. One Damsel had been harrying the other but other then that everything seemed fine.  After another couple weeks we added a Snowflake Eel. No one seemed terribly concerned at first the Eel made himself at home right away clearing the crushed coral from under the Live Rock into a system of tunnels. The Tang swam too close a few times and got nipped at but the Eel has no real interest in eating or harrying him. For a few days everything seemed alright besides the harried Damsel who eventually disappeared.  All of a sudden the Tang started acting very twitchy. He'd zoom around the tank frantically and then lazily swim almost into the mouth of the Eel and slowly wander off. Yesterday I noticed some marks above and behind his eye that looked as if he'd been bitten.  Not deeply but enough to mar the scales in 3 patches.  At first I thought he'd gotten bit by the Eel but, watching him for a while I noticed similar markings on the other side of his head. They seem almost symmetrical. Now he zooms away behind the rocks if he senses any movement in the room and this morning he seems to have tiny white dots on his pectoral fins. His dorsal fin stays erect for only moments and then it lies wrinkly across his back.  He still eats ravenously from the flakes but ignores everything else. He seems stressed but not on account of the Eel. We're having trouble keeping the temperature below 80 even with the heaters turned off and only 2 of the 3 powerheads running. We raised the light fixture (only 1 bar) 4 inches above the water surface and keep the room temperature at a brisk 72. We've been doing weekly water changes with reverse osmosis filtered water. The water tests are all in normal ranges. Does he need some meat in his diet?  <Yes, they should have a varied diet. Ocean Nutrition makes several types of frozen food in cube form. You could try some Sushi Nori freeze dried algae sheets attached to an algae clip. The Sushi Nori can be gotten at most supermarkets or use the freeze dried algae that may be available at your LFS. You may want to add some garlic supplement to the food to help combat what sounds like the onset of ich.>  I'd appreciate any help you can give me. The other two seem happy and healthy. < Do a Google search on the Wet Web, keyword "Tangs" and read about their requirements. James (Salty Dog)>

Feeding tangs I have a 50 gal salt water tank. There is a blind clown who is pushing 9 years old. I just added a yellow tang to the tank because I thought it would be safe for the clown. I've always had heavy meat eaters & I'm not familiar with the tang family. She is very active & looking around for food picking at the coral (not live) but is not interested in the Sally's Seaweed Salad (green marine algae dry) or the leaf lettuce or frozen brine shrimp. I'm not sure what to try to feed next. << Sometimes it just takes them a while to realize it is food.  I would try Nori, romaine lettuce, and Spirulina. >> Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Cheri <<  Blundell  >>

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>

Crowded Yellow Tang Hello, I just got a beautiful Tang in my 50 gal!!! Guys, I never knew how beautiful this fish can be its just plane AWESOME!!! I have been feeding it seaweed selects for him and brine shrimp for my other fish.  Is that a good food source or is there one better for this fish??? His been eating since the first day and swimming very happily!!! Should I leave one strip of the selects in the tank all day every day so he can graze on it, or should I feed it once every other day?    He is a pretty big Tang his about 4 in long!!! Thank you so much!!! >>>Hi Alex, Brine shrimp are not a good staple diet for *anything*. Feed your fish a variety of foods, including preparations such as formula 1, Formula 2, etc. Brine shrimp can be fed here and there, but not as a main source of nutrition. For the tang, you can leave a strip of seaweed in there all day, just make sure you remove anything left at the end of the day. Formula 2 is also a good food source, nori, etc. Regarding this fish, 50 gallons is much too small, especially given the fact that he's already 4"! 75 gallons is the minimum tank size for this fish long term. A SMALL individual can be acquired and kept in a 55 for some time, maybe two years before larger quarters are needed. 50 gallons is MUCH too small to start out with, especially one the size of yours. I recommend you upgrade the tank, or select a different species of fish. Regards Jim<<<

Re: Feeding a Yellow Tang Thanks so much for your help.  I do have several more questions (sorry) I guess I am paranoid about having a peaceful tank.  At times while the tang is patrolling the tank I have seen him swim close to the other fish and they usually swim in the opposite direction.  I haven't seen him actually attack another.  I am concerned about my royal Gramma.  It has always been shy and lived in his own little hole in a rock.  Now for the last two days he seems scared to come out and eat and is now spending most of his time staying behind the heater.  Is this normal until he gets used to the tang? << Yes this often happens, but often with a not so happy ending.  I'm not sure if there is anything you can do to relieve his stress but provide a healthy well fed environment. >>  If I do decide to take the tank out, is there some kind of a trap or easier way than to try to net him? << I don't think I would risk the increased stress of catching the fish.  If you do decide to, then I would try using the bottom half of a 2 liter bottle, and putting food in it.  Sometimes fish (Tangs) will swim in there for the food, and you can lift it back out. >> Also, I have no inverts or live rock, just a community F/O tank.  What would you recommend for the correct specific gravity when I mix my salt water? << Good question.  First, I would still add live rock as I feel it really helps the fish only tanks with filtration.  But to more directly answer the question... 1.020 >> Thanks again, James <<  Adam Blundell  >> James Hall

Feeding a Yellow Tang 6/*8/0 Hi, Hope things are going well for all there. <Leslie here and I am doing well thank you> I bought a yellow tang about a week ago.  I purchased the dried algae made by Ocean Nutrition. I put a strip on a clip when I get home from work in the evening and take out what he doesn't eat after a couple of hours because the algae starts to become soft and break away, causing a mess in the tank. <Yes, it sure does> I  have read that tangs need to have something to graze on constantly, but I can't leave the algae in the tank all day.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Sure, you can add some live macro algae available from several online retailers....like Ulva    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?siteid=26&pCatId=1762 Gracilaria sp.     http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?siteid=26&pCatId=1127 and Tang Haven from IPSF http://saltaquarium.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ipsf.com%2F%23anchor219582 Also, the tang is larger than any of my other fish (pair of percula clowns, flame hawk, royal Gramma and coral beauty angel).  After the tang gets used to the tank will he start to become territorial and fight with the other fish? It is a possibility.  It should not be a problem in a large enough tank, It depends on the size of the tank and individual fish. > If so, I will take him back to the LFS because I want a peaceful tank.  thanks, James  Your welcome and hope this helps, Leslie     

Feeding a Yellow Tang (can't 6/9/04) The tank is 75 gallon. <That should be fine. >  The tang is about 4 inches long.  Do you think I should replace him with a smaller one, or just take him out and not have a tang? No, not necessarily. Sorry I did not mean to give you the wrong idea. I just wanted you to be aware that there is the possibility of a potential problem if the tank was to small and to be prepared should the fish act up.....it may be the model citizen. Since the fish is already in the tank and doing well, if it were my fish I would keep it, and only consider removing it if it should begin to show any signs of mis conduct.> Thanks again. <Your most welcome, Leslie>

Is it Possible to Overfeed a Tang? >Greetings! >>Greetings, and may the Force be with you, Jedi Ray. >Thank you yet again for providing those of us new to the marine hobby with such a wonderful resource. >>Indeed, quite welcome. >I am wondering if I am feeding my yellow tang correctly or if I am overfeeding.   >>Is it possible to overfeed a tang?  I think not.  But please, let us discuss. >Every morning I put in a 2x3" (approx) piece of Seaweed Selects in a clip--after letting 5-6 drops of Vita-chem soak in.   >>I prefer Selcon, but no matter.  A 2"x3" piece of seaweed isn't much at all. >I leave it there all day and by the next morning whatever the tang has not eaten, the snails have finished off. >>So, none is left to set and rot in the tank?  If this is the case, then all is well. >The tang also eats some of what I feed the other fish.  That consists of a daily rotation between Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp (both soaked in vita-chem), Formula one and Bio-blend. >>This sounds like a good combination, I would only add some fresh (frozen) whole seafoods such as shrimp, squid, krill, or similar, chopped or ground as the animals require.  These can be soaked in the supplement as well. >The tang seems to nibble on the seaweed all day and it is my understanding that they are grazers.   >>Correct, think of them like horses.  It's not just good for their bellies, it's good for their brains. >Should I be keeping the seaweed in there all day or just leave it for a set amount of time?   >>Jedi Ray, use the Force, use your powers of keen observation.  If your ward's swim about happily, are undiseased, and grow, then you know you are providing well for their needs.  If they are diseased, always hiding, skittish, or their outward appearance isn't up to par, then you know something is amiss.  Use the Force, Jedi Ray, be guided by the Force. >Some of the other fish and shrimp also nibble on it, but not as much as the tang. >>Indeed, it is salad. >FYI, All chem levels optimal and have been that way for 2 months (no spikes in ammonia or nitrite). >>Then I would continue, and if all is being consumed quickly, then you may add more.  Know that you can save money by using sushi Nori (found at the alien market, or the alien section of your local market).  All is well.  Live long and prosper.  May the Force be with you.  Marina >Thanks again.  -Ray

Tangs And Angels Hi Scott How are u? <Hi there! Getting over a lingering flu, but raring to go today!> I am thinking of purchasing a Yellow Tang in the near future what is the best food to feed this guy. <Well, these fishes are renowned for their vegetarian preferences. The ultimate food, IMO, would be some fresh Gracilaria macroalgae> I had a look at your site and everybody has their own opinions. Can you tell me what you think would be the best way to go. <A varied diet, with a heavy emphasis on vegetable matter (of marine origin- NOT lettuce or terrestrial greens)> Also how big does one's tank need to be to house a Semicircular Angel. and how difficult are these guys to keep? <If you are referring to Pomacanthus semicirculatus, you'd need a very large tank, IMO. Like hundreds of gallons, and at least 8 feet in length. These guys can easily attain an adult size of 12-15 inches or more, and range over a wide range in nature. Quite honestly, I don't like to encourage people to keep large angels like this species in captivity. They are gorgeous, and reasonable hardy, but trying to keep a fish like this in a typical sized tank would be like condemning yourself to a life in your living room! It may be okay at first, but in the long run, it would become a miserable and agonizing experience for the fish. I would rather encourage you to investigate many of the gorgeous, small Centropyge angelfish species. These "smaller models" are usually much better suited for captive care, IMO> Thanks Again Ziad <Always a pleasure! Regards, Scott F> Regards Ziad Limbada

Yellow tang ate all the algae! I recently added a yellow tang to my 55 gal, and in 2 weeks it has eaten every bit of algae I had growing on my live rock!!!<that is what they eat in the wild> Not that it was too much, (I had no other algae eaters aside from hermits and shrimp, that didn't eat it anyways) and have now started to add green and red algae (dried) to a clip attached to the tank wall. But it will not accept it.<maybe he likes "live" algae> Other tank members seem to enjoy it, but the tang will not even approach it! So my question is... is there any way to stimulate more algae growth on my live rock?<more lighting, water chemistry...but he will probably not let the algae grow hehe...you will need to either purchase Caulerpa or grow your own in a refugium...search in google for "refugiums" and you are sure to find many links> Or a way to convince it to eat the clipped algae? <if he is hungry enough he may accept it lol, good luck, IanB> Thanks! Amanda

Tang Tummy Trouble? Hello Crew, <Scott F. at your service!> I'm either really missing the boat regarding nutrition, or maybe there is another problem.  I've had this yellow tang for a few months and he's starting to lose weight.  His gut, however, is so full of food that he looks like he could explode any minute.  Sort of like something out of that movie Alien.  His usual diet is a hunk of Nori seaweed every day that has been soaking in Selcon, Zoe and Vita-Chem, plus he grazes the tank as well as eats the meaty foods the other fish get.  Looking at how full his gut looks, I wouldn't think that under-feeding would be the problem.  But, he is losing that rounded look behind and above his gut and just starting to get that flat and skinny appearance.  It appears by looking at the feces that there is less complete digestion as there was when he was in QT.  I don't really see any stringy substance in them, but maybe you could make an argument that there may be a little mucus-like material holding everything together. I?m not sure how abnormal that is since he is eating a variety of things. No sign of HLLE and actually his lateral line improved from QT.  Also, he has good color, is active, and heals well if he ever gets a nick in his fins.  But boy does he act hungry all the time. <Well, there certainly could be some form of intestinal parasite at work here...You could try an over-the-counter anti parasitic flake food to help out...> I've been mixing in garlic into his Nori for the past week and searching your site for treatment of possible internal parasites.  It appears that Metronidazole is a common treatment.  My LFS does not have any of that straight up, but they do carry Paragon II which contains that medication. I suppose the delivery method would be to soak his Nori in it, although dosage control is not very exact. <No it isn't...but medicated food is a good choice, IMO> Getting him out of the main tank is even a tougher exercise. <Yep- it's pretty miserable...> So, what do you think if it was your fish? <Well, if it were my fish, I'd try an anti-parasitic food, combined with a continued variety of high quality foods. You might want to try some live macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, which can be obtained from a variety of sources, my favorite being Indo Pacific Sea Farms in Kona (www.ipsf.com). Good stuff! Of course, continue to keep an eye on this fish, and be prepared to take more aggressive action if it becomes necessary!> Thanks for your help.  Patiently waiting for the next book. Doug <I have no doubt that it will be worth the wait! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

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

Yellow Tang Feeding Behavior Bob, Anthony, or Steve, Hi, luckily for my fish it has been a while since I had to send a mail on their behalf. I have a 55 gal FO tank with a DSB, a 304 Fluval, a Sea Clone protein skimmer, and a few Signature Coral replicas. The parameters I test seem to be in line; Temp 79 degrees, NH3 - 0 ppm, NO2 - 0 ppm, NO3 - 5-10 ppm, and Salinity - 1.023. I have four fish; a goldenhead sleeper goby, a tank raised percula clown, a yellow tang, and a purple Pseudochromis. A few months ago I had to treat my fish with copper for Ick. <Hopefully in a separate quarantine/hospital tank.> Everyone made it through the treatment and all seems to be well. My yellow tang goes through periods of spending a lot of time in his cave with his fins down yet readily comes out to feed when I put seaweed selects in the tank or add krill for the other fish. I have also noticed that the posterior ends of his dorsal fin and anterior fin have the "webbing" missing between the last four/five spikes. He seems to always be out swimming laps in the mornings before the lights come on but is much less active later in the day. I just run the two standard fluorescent lights that came with the aquarium and this has been constant so I don't feel I should be blinding him. <Very unlikely.> Is there any problem that would lead to him being light sensitive? <I don't think that is your problem.> I have read, probably in Robert's CMA book or this website, that if the microfauna in the tangs digestive track is damaged, the tang may starve from vitamin deficiencies even if they are feeding regularly. <I have read/heard the same thing and believe it.> Do you think the copper treatment a few months ago damaged the fishes digestion track and he is lacking vitamins from the seaweed selects that is resulting in the fins diminishing? <Possible. It does sound like a form of HLLS. Even if undamaged, living with one food could give you long-term problems. Nori is excellent, but no one food can supply everything. Best to mix it up with some other foods; Spirulina based pellets, Formula II, etc.> If this is the case, is there any way I can re-introduce the necessary microfauna to the fish? <Nothing but time and probably grazing off of liverock.> The only other thing I have seen in my reading is that if the tang grows rapidly, the fins may tear or stretch. I have not noticed a change in size of the fish and my wife is about to kill me for asking her if she thinks the tang is any bigger! I also have a brief question regarding general feeding of fish. I place a 1 inch square of seaweed selects on a lettuce clip daily for the tang to eat. Once he eats for a while, he just hangs out in his cave and comes out with a white tint top his yellow color. Is he eating too much and making himself uncomfortable and the time in the dark making his color change? <Sound like a stress/fright pattern, but I do not know why. This fish sounds awfully timid.> Is this normal? <Not really. Yellow Tangs are notorious aggressive feeders and usually dominating the tank. There are of course exceptions.> If I don't feed him he spends much more time looking for food and remains bright yellow. This fish really has me puzzled! Thanks again for all your answers. I would have given up this hobby shortly after staring up my tank the end of last year if not for your website and guidance. Now that things seem manageable I enjoy my tank very much and plan on adding some live rock and a few critters to my tank. Thanks again. Ray <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Tang not eating My yellow tang isn't eating well, the only food he'll eat is the hair algae in the tank, no prepared foods or even lettuce, Any suggestions? He's getting really thin because there isn't much hair algae in the tank.  Thanks again, Chris <Yes, a few suggestions. Try some Nori (from a fish store, Ocean Nutrition, Two Little Fishies) or an oriental food store/section. Tie it with a rubber band to a piece of coral decor or rock and sink it on the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang Hi Bob, I just bought a yellow tang about four days ago. He is very healthy he gets along with all my fish which are maroon clown, humbug damsel, volitans lionfish, Picasso trigger, niger trigger, porcupine puffer. But there is one problem he will only eat brine shrimp and nibble a little bit at formula 2 (plant based food). I put romaine lettuce in there but he won't eat it. I afraid he is not eating a well balanced diet which is necessary for them to still healthy and alive. Bob what should I do to get him to eat a well balanced diet.? What kind of plants will he for sure 100% eat with out any problems? Thank you Bob please respond soon. <Read over the Yellow Tang and survey pieces on Surgeonfishes and associated FAQ pages archived on the www.wetwebmedia.com site.  Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Mr. Fenner, I just purchased and received a Yellow Tang yesterday. I have green algae on the back and sides of my tank. My question is should I go ahead and leave food out on a lettuce clip for it or should I wait until it cleans up the green algae first? Thanks for your advice. Teresa <I would definitely be offering some "human consumption intended algae" as well as hoping this animal will find/discover your nuisance algae as well to be to its liking. Bob Fenner... who asks, "what if all you had in the way of cereal in your home was Cocoa Puffs? And you liked Raisin Bran? P.S., I like both.>
Re: Yellow Tang
Thanks for your quick reply. When I purchased the tang, I also purchased some Seaweed Selects food for it. What would you suggest along the lines of "human consumption intended algae?" Thanks again. <This is identical... just with a fishy label and elevated price. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang nutrition Hi Bob, got a question for you about a yellow tang. I will first give you a rundown on my tank, 35 gal, running for about 2.5 months. PH- 8.1, NH3 <1, Nitrite<1, nitrates 4-5, Salinity 1.023 ,76 degrees. Anyways back to the tang, she eats very well, loves lettuce and flake food, has beautiful coloring, (I just put her in this week). I started the tank with 3 damsels all of which are still alive, every once in a while she will take off fluttering around the tank once sort of sideways almost as if she is being chased and then she returns to normal, I have seen her do this twice. Have you seen this before, is she just playing or is it something I should be concerned with? Thanks. <Natural behavior for such a fish (Zebrasoma flavescens) being new to such a small volume, with three territorial fishes in place... Do yourself and this Sailfin Tang a big fave and stop feeding terrestrial greens (the lettuce) and look into human-intended algae like Nori... which you can cut into sheets and feed with a plastic clip... Much more on foods/feeding/nutrition and "Tangs" posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com... "read it", "believe it", "live it" (Fast Times at Ridgemount High, eh?). Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang not eating and having goose bumps Hi Bob, How are you doing? I am sorry to bother you with a couple of questions if you don't mind. <Never a bother> I just purchased a yellow tang recently. I put it in my QT for a week. No signs and symptoms but no eating, either. <Mmm, this is a sign, symptom> A few days after I put it in my 75g fish-only tank, it started having tiny goose bumps on its body (it is like needles being poked from inside out), no other signs or symptoms but still not eating at all. I've been feeding the whole tank with soft & moist pellets rich of Spirulina, formula 1 and 2, live brine shrimps sometimes. I thought it could be a certain infection, so I put it in the QT again and treated it with copper safe and Minocycline. Now it is still not eating at all. It's been almost 1 1/2 weeks now. <Not good> Forgot to mention that when it first got introduced into the tank, it got harassed by a purple tang (only 1/2 of a size) a bit. Could it be because of this reason? <Possibly... possible contributing cause... along with the trauma of collection, shipping...> I did solve this harassment problem by removing the purple tang from the tank for a couple days, changing all decorations, and putting the purple tang back into the tank. The problem was reversed, the yellow tang did chase the purple a little bit. It looks like those goose bumps are gone now but it is still not eating. Another question is my tank has an undergravel filter run with 2 powerheads. The tank is new, less than 5 months old. It has been running fine with a magnum 350 external filter, w/o protein skimmer/UVS. I have been reading almost every single article on your website.  <Then you are likely aware of the benefits, my promotion of skimmers... I would put one on here... to vastly improve water quality... If you don't think the gunk it removes is worth the expense... please contact me> My wife loves the fish tank but complains that I am on the internet all the time. I told her that keeping healthy fish is not the same as keeping a healthy dog. <One is much more interested in water, agile at retrieving balls than the other> I learned that undergravel filter can be a headache later on when stuff gets built up in the gravel --> sulfide gas problem. The 2 powerheads I use are reversible. Do you recommend that instead of sucking the water up, I should have the powerheads pushing the water down ? <Reverse flow as you have them> Thanks for your time and have a Happy Thanksgiving! Quang. <Do try some live macro-algae (greens, Caulerpa spp.) for your Tang, as well as vitamin soaked strips of algae (Nori, kombu)... and consider getting a bit of live rock along with the skimmer. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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