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FAQs about Bristletooth Tangs, Genus Ctenochaetus Environmental Disease

FAQs on Bristlemouth Tang Disease: Ctenochaetus Disease 1, Ctenochaetus Disease 2,
FAQs on Bristlemouth Tang Disease by Category:
Diagnosis, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic
(plus see Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: CtenochaetusNaso

Related FAQs: Ctenochaetus Disease 2, Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt, Ctenochaetus Tangs 1Ctenochaetus Tangs 2Ctenochaetus Identification, Ctenochaetus Behavior, Ctenochaetus Compatibility, Ctenochaetus Selection, Ctenochaetus Systems, Ctenochaetus Feeding, Ctenochaetus Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Bristletooth tang          5/27/15
I have a white tail Bristletooth tang in a hypo qt tank. It is eating well with no signs of disease for weeks. Yesterday I started to bring up the salinity via a water change
<Mmm; how had you prepared this water? I take it you are using a synthetic mix (not natural)... DO see our input re making up and storing such for a week ahead of use...>
and today I have noticed its skin has a sunburn like peel to it.
<Had read this first>
The fish is still active and eating well. Was it the raise in salinity that causes this or am I overlooking something?
<Could be this; or a run-swim in to some burning organism.... Bob Fenner>

Ctenochaetus ID, hlth.  - 12/19/2012
Hi Bob..
Follow up on the two spot bristle tooth tang
I should have sent you a pic of when he was healthy too.
I will attach one of him healthy and one of him sick. Comparing the photos, You can see in the second photo he hasn't been eating much and his color is very faded. He stopped eating normal over a week ago. He has a white fuzz around his mouth and he is starting to look emaciated.
<Yes; well the teeth are definitely overgrown... need to be trimmed, naturally or not...>
 He hasn't ate his Nori in over a week. I have been feeding him Spectrum Thera + garlic. Plus the Sanfran Omnivore and Herbivore frozen. Tonight he did eat a lot
<No such word>
more then the last 5 days. Still he's Looking worse everyday. I dosed today with some Kordon Rid Fungus,
<? Of no use>
thought maybe that would help with the white fuzz around his mouth.
Also he just keeps swimming in circles..
Like I said before. I had him for 5 years with no issues at all. Again I tested the water and everything is normal. All that's in the tank with him is a 5 year old True Perc clown. They have been tankmates for 5 years..
Not sure if I should put the tang in a hospital tank? or what I should do to help him...Any other advice is appreciated.. Thanks Gino
<Again, do read on WWM re the genus. BobF> 

Re: Ctenochaetus hlth.  - 12/19/2012
Here is an update on the my 2 spot bristle tooth tang.  Well I've been getting him to eat Spectrum Thera A+Garlic. But he's still not eating a lot.
Also I've noticed he's looking more sickly. His color is dark, the yellow very faded. He has a white cotton fuzz around his mouth, front fins are almost gone, they look like little stumps now (He still can swim ok). His back fin looks slightly ripped up. The only thing I can find that kinda describes his condition is articles on Columnaris..
<Something else... primary at work here... Likely environmental>
 Could it be this? and how do I treat him. I haven't done anything, yet cause I want to treat him for the correct problem. I hope I can still save him. I appreciate your help.. Gino
<Please review what is archived on WWM re the genus Ctenochaetus (systems, disease), perhaps the whole family Acanthuridae... There is something else as the root cause of trouble here. Bob Fenner>
Ctenochaetus... cross? - 12/19/2012

Hey Bob. I took some photos of the tang today. Maybe a visual will help a little better.. Im also reading about Ctenochaetus on WWM..
Thought I would see if you could take a look at the photos.... Sorry to keep bugging you. Thanks so much!!! Gino
<Don't know what this is Gino... bizarre. The genus was gone over a decade or so back by John Randall... looks like this may be yet another one.


Strange spots on a Kole Tang   2/13/07 Hi Crew,     After successfully completing a 4 week quarantine, our brand new 3" Kole Tang has joined the 90G main tank. He has been mowing our hair algae like a champ and seems to be getting along great with everyone. He showed no signs of disease in QT, but received a Meth Blue dip at 2 weeks anyway. Our water param.s are 0 NH3, 0NO2, >5ppmNO3, pH 8.2.     Immediately after drip acclimating him into the main, I noticed some strange splotches on different parts of his body. <Mmm, not uncommon with Ctenochaetus, other tangs, fishes of many groups... "stress markings"> They are about 1/8" in diameter and white but when you look back at him 2 minutes later they are  all gone. You may not see them again for a couple of hours and then they are in a different spot but only for a minute or two and they disappear.     Could this be just a nervous response to seeing me up close? <Ahh, yes!> He is not breathing fast, no clamped fins and in all other respects seems healthy and happy.     I'm really stumped because it doesn't fit any disease descriptions I could find.     Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks Ed <I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang! Hi MacL, <Hi Jim, sorry about the delay, I've been dealing with soccer ARGH lol> I took your advice with the quarantine tank. <They really do come in handily.> It didn't take 10 minutes after I put the Kole Tang in and it's brown color came back. <GREAT! That's a very good sign.> The only thing that I think affected it's color was poor water conditions in my primary tank. <Truly that's usually the reason.> I was going to let my weekly tests dictate when to change my water. <Either that or set up a more frequent change schedule.> The tank has been cycled for two months, and I really haven't changed the water. <Eeek, really just a series of partial water changes is all that's necessary. Perhaps 20% every couple of weeks is best.>  I've read your articles about water changes, only to find that my practice wasn't a good one. <No worries, you are learning still. We all had to learn.> Anyway, when I changed my water, it was very yellow, and I noticed the surface of the tank having a haze to it. <That's generally a sign of ammonia or an algae bloom.>  I moved some powerheads close to the surface so that it would cause a good amount of waves, but that hasn't cleared things up. <Your water changes will I'm guessing that it may be related to protein issues. <Very possible but remember that water changes will take a lot of that out of the tank.>  I had a Skilter 250 protein skimmer, but even with the recommended modifications, it doesn't clear up anything. <Anything that stirs water is good but I think you will find other skimmers make a huge difference.> After reading some more articles on your site, I ordered an AquaC Remora skimmer. <Lovely choice, there are many good ones out there.> However, I will need a biological filter since I have a fish only tank. <The live rock serves as your biological filter if you have any live rock in the tank.????> Will the Skilter's biological abilities be enough for my 46g bow front?  I have a Millennium 2000 that I'm using for my freshwater tank, but I can easily swap if you think that's a better approach.  I'm really trying to only have "hang-on" filters.  Anyway, please provide any information on anything I've listed, so I know if I'm heading in the right direction.  <You are right on in your thinking. If you add the live rock it takes care of the biological aspect of this. Its really about the "type" of tank you want to have.  You should be proud of yourself, you are really learning quickly and what you learn are helping others.> Thanks for the help!!! <Good luck and let me know how it goes!> Learning the Hard Way <The/A way nonetheless. RMF>  

Kole tang Hi Bob, I wrote to you earlier today asking about protein skimmers for our 46ga. bow front. Now I will get into why we decided we should get one. I'll recap our setup:  <Good>  Magnum 350 canister filter, approx. 10 lbs live rock, Blue Damsel, Percula Clown, Yellow tang, and a Kole tang. We also have 3 hermit crabs, and 4 turbo snails. The PH is at 8.1-8.2. Not sure any other levels. We have recently been taking our water to the LFS and getting it tested. They say that the water is fine as far as nitrates and nitrites. <Would invest in my own test kits... some values change with time, moving the samples... What to do if store is closed?> Everyone in the tank seems to doing great except our newest addition, the Kole tang. We've had him for three weeks. The first couple of days, there was some tension between the yellow and Kole.  <Very typical> After that they were friends, eating from the clip of food, and swimming around just fine. Then, gradually, the Kole looked like some of the skin was coming off of his nose area. I thought maybe he rubbed a rock the wrong way. But as each day went by, the area started getting bigger. Now, along with the nose area, he is getting pea-sized brown spots all over his body. And it seems that a 'layer of skin' (for lack of better words) is coming off of his eyes, and they look cloudy. All of his fins are full and healthy looking. He has a big appetite, and isn't shy. Sometimes when he is still, he will start to twitch and then swim aimlessly, jerking as he swims. <I see> His diet includes marine flakes, frozen brine shrimp, green marine algae (seaweed), and the brown algae in the tank. Our LFS gave us some Maracyn to use in the tank. He explained that it was made for fresh water, but worked fine in salt. Not knowing what else to do, we used it in our tank, and it hasn't helped. <No... not bacterial in origin.> I searched WWM for an explanation, but haven't come up with anything yet. If you can help, please let me know. Thanks, Jason <The major "cause" in this erosive condition is likely nutritional, and principally having to do with iodine... or co-factors related to its uptake/utilization. I encourage you to supplement these fishes foods with a vitamin preparation that includes "iodine" (soak it a few minutes before offering), and consider growing some Caulerpa (a genus of Green macroalgae) in your tank, a sump... for a more natural source of this element. This will work, but may take weeks to months to reverse the effects... the general description of "environmental disease" you describe so well for this Ctenochaetus strigosus is "HLLE", Head and Lateral Line Erosion... There are materials, FAQs about this condition posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site now that you know the name. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang sick? Bob, Good Morning again, and Happy Holidays. A few weeks ago we had discussed a problem with my 55 gallon saltwater tank being a juvenile Kole tang that died probably due to hypoxia. Since then I have added 2 more powerheads MJ 1200+900) and introduced an adult Kole tang had him for 2 weeks now) and was doing fine until last night or rather this morning. It seems that his skin is peeling off in a small section behind his head, and his skin looks like it has some kind of discoloration. I have also noticed some little white dots on him, but they don't look bumpy at all I thought ick spores(?) look a little bumpy. <Mmm, trouble... but to necessarily parasitic. Have you checked water chemistry? ...> Needless to say, the tang showed no signs of appetite this morning. I am planning to read through your site's material again, but what would that be? Perhaps it is stress induced (I am stating this because 2 nights ago I added a Florida star coral, various Christmas tree worms and a little yellow Atlantic cowry. The tang sleeps next to the newly added coral. I have also dipped the tang twice in fresh water since I got him just to be on the safe side, however I am thinking of placing him in a QT and treating him with some kind of medication but what?) <I would not dip this fish any more... and probably not move it... as whatever the problem is can and should be treated as the whole tank at this juncture. I would place a cleaner shrimp (maybe a Lysmata or Boxer shrimp species)... Do read through WWM starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm going on to the articles, FAQs files as they are linked. Bob Fenner> Please help...Thanks, D.
Re: Kole Tang sick?
Water chem. is Amm. 0, Nitrites less than 0.25,  <Should be zero...> Nitrates less than 10, PH 8.2 ; haven't checked Alkalinity lately, but corals/Christmas tree worms look fine. The weird thing is, I took a look again at the Kole tang and the spots/discolored areas are gone & he did eat some brine shrimp/pygmy formula cube. This is the second time he woke up looking like that. <Which further leads me to point to "water quality" as a/the root cause here> I forgot to mention that occasionally he fights with the yellow tang over who will get the better place to sleep in I have formed 2 mini caves with the rock (40 lbs total in the tank)). <One more would be good> Also, I didn't mention I have a maroon clown fish that I have dipped occasionally into fresh water because it looked like it had developed either ich or had bumpy spores on its body never scratches and eats ok). Those seem to go away after the fish is dipped in fresh water, but do come back after a while. Should I treat that fish at least? <Treat the whole system... with steps to improve water... live macro-algae, perhaps a sump/refugium with lighting, more live rock, adding liquid vitamins to the foods, to the tank once a week...> My LFS recommends organic cure but they did not advocate towards treating the entire tank. <Don't put this toxic material in your main tank!> Finally, I have a banded coral shrimp that regularly cleans the yellow tang, however I didn't have a good experience with Lysmata/peppermint shrimp in the past (they did prey on my Christmas tree worms.) <Bizarre... I would try them again. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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