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FAQs about Yellow-Eye, Kole Tangs, Disease Diagnosis

Related Articles: Kole Tangs, Ctenochaetus,

FAQs on Kole Tang Disease: Kole Disease 1, Kole Disease 2, Kole Disease 3Kole Disease 4,
FAQs on Kole Tang Disease by Category:
Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see
Tangs/Rabbitfishes &Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

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


Kole tang bumps           5/17/15
Hey crew hope all is well, need help identifying....
My Kole tang has several bumps UNDER the skin on both sides of body. My Heniochus picked at them and now they're light pink from skin shedding. I Google and couldn't find a good identifier. I just bought him last week, could this be from capture and handling?
Just concerned it will get worse and unsure if it's HLLE. Any ideas? He swims all over and eats well.
Thanks much
<Scan through the Ctenochaetus and Surgeonfish disease FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang-swollen abdomen – 02/20/13   
Good evening!  I will start with some information about my tank. I have a 90 gallon saltwater tank with a wet/dry filter,
<Mmm, I see that you list NO3 at 0 ppm... how is this done w/ a WD filter?>
 Reef Octopus 150 skimmer, Corallife 150 watt 20 k - radiums, 2x Tunze NanoStream 6025's, 2x smaller power heads, 1x Quiet One 4,000 return pump, a 3"sand bed in most areas, about 70 lbs. LR, 5x Nassarius Snails, 1x Super Tongan Nassarius Snail, 1 Turbo snails, 1x Large Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Green Mandarin (eats all foods offered and has substantial Copepod population) , 1 Hoeven's Wrasse, 2x Ocellaris clowns, 4x Bartlett's Anthias, 1 Royal Gramma, 1 Kole Tang, 1x Feather Duster, 1x Caulastrea Furcata (Candy Cane), 1x Tubastrea (SunCoral), 2xTubiporidae (Pipe Organ), 2x Briarium (GreenStarPolyp), 2x Zoanthid colony, 1x (Literally) Yuma Ricordea mushroom, 1x Actinodiscus Mushroom, 5xBlastomussa Wellsi(Blasto), 2x Echinophyllia Aspera(chalice) and finally 1x Acanthastrea or the Acan frags. Most everything is frag size maybe slightly larger.
My parameters are as follows:
Sg-1.025            Nitrate-0
Ph-8.2                Mg- 1275
Ammonia-0         Alk-9.2
Phosphate-Test maxed out at 3 and it tested at 3         Cal- 440
Nitrite-0             Temp-80 F
In regards to the phosphate levels, obviously my personal test kits were showing 0 on everything.  I had a local aquarium member test my water.  So if my phosphates are through the roof then I am assuming my others like nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia are too.
<Mmm, no; doubtful. Likely there is Nitrate, but not NH3, NO2>
 I just received a phosphate reactor tonight and am setting it up. 
<There are other, better approaches>
I also ordered a digital phosphate reader.  I also, do 10 gallon water changes weekly.  I am also more careful as to how I feed the tank, not putting excess food in such.  So I feel comfortable about getting all this in check.  Like I said, tonight starting with the phosphate reactor that will be set up tonight.
Despite my phosphate readings, I haven't lost any fish, thankfully.  I am worried about my Kole tang.  We have had this Kole tang for about 7 months now.  Eats everything and keeps the rocks in the tank very clean. 
Yesterday was water change day (Sunday) and the Kole tang seemed slightly bothered by it this time.  He/she was fading its color and hiding.  Nothing too drastic though!  I put in a Nori sheet and the Kole tang started grazing on it.  Well, today is a different story.  The tang is withdrawn today, has a swollen abdomen, possibly elevated breathing, and is not interested at all in food (not normal at all for our tang).  I haven't noticed the fish go #2 either.  And this tang is always going!  And it is never white and stringy (I read on here that could indicate bacterial infection). Here is what we feed - Spectrum pellets, Nori sheets, Mysis, Cyclop-eeze (small amounts, a little goes a long way) and Selcon is used a couple times a week.
<Sounds good food-wise>
I understand poor water quality can take its toll.  But if the tang was fine and then just today (Monday) not fine, could it be something else?
 He/she is keeping its color normal 95% of the time today also.   Looking through all the posts, I did see that fish can become constipated.  Could this be our situation?
<Perhaps... my best guess is that it/this is something the fish (over)ate... and will likely cure itself. I would not treat this fish, the system, nor remove the Kole elsewhere>
I appreciate any help.  Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang Scratching 6/13/10
Hi all.
<Hi John>
Firstly, great site, advice and friendly staff!
I've lost count of all the number times I've referred to your site.
<It is a wonderful source>
My question is: I purchased a Kole Tang about a month ago for my FOWLR set up. Was eating fine and looking great at the store and did the same when I took him home. I had an ich infestation at one stage, but I seemed to clear that up. It's been a year and no sign of parasites. Until a couple of days ago, when I noticed the Kole scratching.
<They will do this from time to time>
Mind you, he hasn't scratched in over a month. He has a healthy appetite, greedily eating everything I throw in there, and his colours are vibrant. He seems very, very happy. All water parameters are good. I did add recommended dosage of Seachem calcium powder to the sump just before he began scratching. Could this be a cause of irritation?
He hasn't scratched since as it only lasted about a day. Thanks in advance.
<I would not worry too much here John. I certainly would not be removing or treating this fish. This behavior is not a positive sign of parasites unless it is consistently scratching itself all day long. Simon>

Re: White splotches and sadly swimming Kole Tang... Ludicrous speed 3/19/10
Oh, let me add that this is a 75 gallon tank, has been running for about 2 years. I have been battling a hair algae problem.
<What form has your battling taken?>
Water parameters all test within the norms.
Please let me know if I need to provide more info.
Marc from Gmail!!!
<... What? Please send along image/s, real test data, the scope of maintenance, tankmate list... Oh and read here:
and all the linked files above. BobF>
White splotches and sadly swimming Kole Tang
I came home yesterday to find my Kole tang swimming sadly in a cave and his skin is all splotchy (see image).
As far as I can tell it is not a growth on the skin, but the pigment has become mottled.
I managed to remove it from the tank without having to chase it too much and put it in a hospital tank.
After a bit in the tank, hiding behind a rock I put in there, it seemed to regain a bit of strength and color. I put in a bit of Nori in case it got peckish.
This morning it was still alive but I think only barely. it's color looked to be all gone and it was having trouble staying upright.
I searched WWM and found only one reference that looked like it might fit, stress. the only thing that didn't quite match was that the reference article said that their fish still had strength and energy.
I had this fish for a week. During that week it looked healthy, was nibbling at the rocks and had found a friend. My fairy wrasse, following it around like a puppy. It showed no signs of illness.
I hope you can help, if it's not too late.
Marc from Gmail!!!
<Something is amiss here... chemical-wise perhaps... Your pic shows a good deal of Cyanobacteria growth... likely a factor. Read where you've been referred to, and onto chemical/environmental disease issues. Have you used a chemical Algicide in this system? Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang Disease? 3/11/10
Hi guys. I got a Yellow Eye Kole Tang yesterday, and it had a couple spots on its right side that were very close to its body color, so I thought they might be some sort of scarring from being bitten from another fish. Now, a couple of the spots have changed from near-body color to a whitish color.
The spots are about 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch across, and the whiter ones are slightly raised from the rest of the skin. He's hard to take a picture of because he hides, so I used arrows to indicate the spots that weren't from the tank glass. The rightmost spot is what they all looked like when I first saw the spots. There aren't any more of them that have appeared since I got him, just changing in color. Is this ich, or some other infection?
Thanks alot!
<No such word>
Andrew Angrist
<These look like marks, reactions from stings, physical trauma. Not parasitic, treat-able per se. See WWM re these on Tangs. No specific "treatment" desired. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang/Behavior/Health 10/13/09
Dear Sir,
<Hello Chris, "Sir" won't be necessary in the future.>
Have read as many articles as possible om <on> the Kole Tang and still a bit concerned, I purchased a small Kole Tang 2 weeks ago, picked one that was eating, fins erect, good colour etc., mouth looked OK, no damage, but lips looked to protrude like Kissing Gourami, thought this was OK as per photo's.
<Is normal.><<Mmm, I don't think so... not in this case... RMF>>
He has been in a QT tank since I got him home, I know you advise against QT with this fish but have had so many set backs due to not QT, I decided I would, anyway he is eating and is very colourful really good marking and fins still erect, he never stops picking at glass, piece of rock etc and readily takes flake food,
<Hoping this isn't all he is being fed.>
but his mouth still looks like it's pouting and open. The only time it's closed is when he is chomping on food
<I know of a few humans that display this same behavior.>
or the small piece of rock, is it natural for these fish ?
<Yes, and a good sign the fish is interested in food. Should be no worries here but a pic would have been nice to confirm your concern.
Many thanks,
<You're welcome. And, please do a spelling check and proper use of caps before future mailings. We just
do not have the time to correct. James (Salty Dog)>
<<There's some trouble here... Maybe overgrown teeth, some sort of damage, or blockage in the bone structure that makes up the jaw... genetic anomaly? But the mouth is not right. Please read through the Ctenochaetus area and C. strigosus on WWM. RMF>>

Re Kole Tang/Behavior/Health 10/14/09
James thank you for the prompt reply,
<You're welcome.>
some photo's attached the best I can do he is to fast and he is also eating mysis
<May want to introduce some New Life Spectrum (1mm size) pellets, a very nutritious food.>
and picks at Nori.
<Mmm, mouth does appear to be open more than the norm.
Ctenochaetus do have some evident processes around the mouth, but the mouth should close a little more than what I see in the photo. Quite possibly some
damage from shipping/handing. As long as it is eating good and has a full girth, no caved in stomach, I would just continue observing. I will ask Bob here for his input.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Kole tang
Thanks again will be waiting to hear what Bob has to say,
<My input Chris, James. RMF

Re: Kole tang 10/14/09
Thanks again, not what I was wanting to hear but these things happen, thought I had picked a good one, anyway will keep an eye on him and fingers crossed perhaps it might right itself,
<I/we do hope so as well Chris. What passes for amniotes "neotenous" period/development in fishes extends more over their first several months of apparent juvenile to adulthood... With good care, this fish may self-correct the apparent "mouth defect". BobF>
Re Kole Tang/Behavior/Health 10/13/09
Thank you for your input/help. Mine was based on his statements, and is why I suggested photos.
<Always a good idea. Cheers, B>
Re Kole Tang 10/14/09
Thanks to both of you for your help, will know what to look out for next time,
<You're very welcome Chris. Will relay your thanks to Bob also.
James (Salty Dog)>

Sudden Kole Tang Troubles 7/5/09
About 4 weeks ago, I purchased a Kole tang from my LFS. He was active, constantly foraging, and quick to respond to anybody watching the tank.
After bringing him home, I performed a freshwater dip with Methylene blue, but skipped quarantine per the advice found on this site:
<Have heard of it>
For the past 4 weeks, he's been living in a 75 gallon tank all by himself.
The tank has been around for more than a year, but I haven't had any fish in it lately. It's populated by a serpent star (Ophiolepsis superba), 4 Astrea snails, 1 Nassarius snail, and a pair of cap snails (Stomatella
varia). And, of course, the usual army of copepods, amphipods and Asterinas. Because I perform a small water change daily, the parameters tend to remain very stable. Temperature wavers between 78 and 80 degrees (depends on the time of day), specific gravity 1.023-1.024, ammonia & Nitrite both at 0 ppm, nitrates stay around 2.5 ppm, and ph at 8.4.
The tang has been very active, munching on rocks, munching on the substrate, and swimming through every nook and crevice. I've fed him 3 times daily, which includes one feeding of frozen mysis and at least one
feeding of Formula Two flakes. He's eaten quickly each day, and any time I enter the room, he swims to the surface just in case it's time to eat again. My point is: as far as I could tell, he was in excellent health,
even as recently as last night, when I was watching the tank before I went to bed.
<So far...>
Today, while performing my water tests, I didn't see him come to the surface, which was odd. I found him hiding behind a rock. He was pointed more vertically than horizontally, he was breathing very rapidly, and had some patches of lighter coloration near one side of his lower rear side.
When he didn't respond to food being dropped into the tank, I got worried.
<Me too>
Examining him further, he didn't appear thin, he doesn't have any other colored patches or marks, and I can't find any sign of damage (sores, torn fins or body, scratches, etc.). I did notice that his ventral area, just
under the mouth has what might be a slight swelling, but I'm not sure if I'm seeing a real problem, or if my brain's exaggerating what I'm seeing because I'm looking for something to be wrong. Unfortunately, I can't get a good photo shot to get a second opinion.
Any idea on what may have caused the illness and, more importantly, what I can do to treat him?
<I'd just "wait and see" at this point... perhaps this is some sort of residual (hopefully transient) "capture/handling/shipping syndrome" (very common with wild-caught fishes...)... and will solve itself in short order (also the usual nature of these affairs).
IF other symptoms show, we should talk. Bob Fenner>

Yellow eye Kole tang issues Mystery Malady or Environmental Response (Tang Condition) 11/18/08 Hi guys, I'm new to your site but been reading on it off and on since I started my reef tank a year ago <Welcome to the site/hobby! Scott F. in today.> I have a yellow eye Kole tang that over the past few days has begun to look like something is taking chunks out of its head. he had this issue before but it went away so I thought it might just be from him running into the rocks like he does when I dig around in the tank. but these, although they look the same, are just getting worse. he seems to be healthy as far as eating and swimming and being his normal self. just starting to look like he got dropped into a French fry fryer!!! <I can make so many jokes here, but I won't,,,> Its only on his head and no where else. he eats a combination of red sea veggies, green dried sea weed, marine flakes and formula two marine pellets with garlic. and is always grazing on the rock, glass and in the sand. the only thing that seems to of changed is now he wont let the shrimp clean him. <Hmm...> Any ideas on what may be wrong with him? If its a parasite or something will it spread to the other fish in the tank? is house mates include....2 OC clowns, 1 Lawnmower Blenny, 2 Firefish Gobies, 1 Elegant Foxface, 2 Pajama Cardinals, normal Blue Leg and Scarlet hermits, snails, Arrow Crab, Skunk Shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp and some soft corals. Thanks DJ Hollingsworth <Well, DJ, it's hard to be 100% certain without pics and some information on your system parameters, but I'd hazard a guess that you are talking about "Head and Lateral Line Erosion" (HLLE), which is theorized to be a response to environmental/nutritional deficiencies. Generally, this malady is non-lethal, and comes and goes over time. Tangs and Angelfishes are particularly susceptible. Typically, it can be put into permanent "remission" with very high quality diet (seems like you're just about there...Keep up feeding the marine algae and maybe add some more live rock for the fish to graze on..They are detritivorous and also like to rasp diatoms from rocks/glass) and excellent water quality. Step up your water change regimen and utilize some form of chemical filtration (e.g.; activated carbon or Poly Filter) to help keep organics to a minimum. With greater attention to these factors, you should see improvement. Hope this gets you looking in the right direction. Do read up on HLLE here on the WWM site! Regards, Scott F.

Kole Tang died... can't figure out what sickness it had - 12/13/07 I have looked through a couple hundred posts/articles on this site and others, but I have not been able to locate exactly what doomed my Kole Tang. Here's the background. I have a 75g tank with protein skimmer, 80lbs live rock, Longspine urchin, a few small crabs, some coral, and a maroon clown. At previous times, I have had damsels, Chromis, and a yellow tang, none of which have had problems in our tank (the yellow tang unfortunately died within 18 hours during an attempt to kill off a significant Cyanobacteria infestation with an antibiotic, following the directions explicitly--"doesn't harm fish", right...). <You're learning> I purchased my Kole Tang from the LFS after observing that it ate fine and looked very healthy. I acclimated it into the main tank using a drip method over approximately 2 hours. I do not have a quarantine tank. It was very shy at first, but I've read here and other places that this is in no way unusual for these fish. <Correct> Initially, the Kole exclusively ate microalgae in my tank (there was a lot of it--it's amazing how fast the tang cleaned off the glass). I also fed it Nori, which it eventually warmed up to and also Formula One flake, which took a little longer, but it eventually ate it. Within a week of introduction into my tank, the Kole started to lose color, and I began to see blemishes (see the attached picture). I checked my water parameters and also had LFS check them to make sure. The LFS said all parameters were just fine with one exception: my salinity was 1.028. Turns out my hydrometer was biased heavily to the low side (lesson learned--I'm getting a refractometer). LFS recommended a fast decrease in salinity, <Mmm, I would not> so I did a fast water change to get the salinity to around the LFS-recommended 1.020 (I only use RO water). <?! And would NOT keep a mixed "reef" tank at this low spg... My comments re are posted on WWM, books, articles> I also began to supplement the Kole's diet with garlic by soaking the Nori with it. The Kole kept getting sicker, but it still was a voracious eater--microalgae, Nori, and eventually flake food. It began to scrape itself against the sand and glass and shake more and more over time, and the sores got much worse over its body--much worse than the attached picture. It ate heavily even the day before it died. It lasted a total of about five weeks. I never observed the maroon clown fighting with the Kole Tang, <Wouldn't necessarily be overt...> and the clown still has no visible signs of sickness and is eating fine. I'd like to introduce more fish in the future and would like to know what doomed this poor guy as well as what I could have/should have done. Also, hopefully the picture can help others to diagnose similar problems. My best guess based on my reading is that it was an infection of sorts. <Mmm, not mine... perhaps very secondarily, tertiarily...> Thanks much for your help and your incredible knowledge base on this site. Steve <While out in HI this go I've written a survey piece on this Ctenochaetus (and therefore have read what I can re its practical husbandry)... It is my opinion that this specimen died mainly from "stress"... Is a touchy species at times... the mix of livestock, psychological crowding (mainly the Premnas) the change of spg... I might get a quarantine tank... and switch out the clown for a week or two when introducing new fish. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang Shaking 5/9/07 Hi Crew I have a Kole tang that has been in the 90G with 2 ocellaris and various IPSF critters for about a year. After suffering from ich when he first arrived, he recovered and ever since has been quite healthy and fat. He's about 4 inches long. About 3 weeks ago I noticed what looked like a white hole on his side. It was much larger than a typical ich spot so rather than jump to conclusions I thought I'd wait and observe. <You are wise here> The hole cleared up after 2 days but since then I have noticed an occasional juddering/shaking. <Many fishes "do" this from time to time... some more than others...> It is very different to the flashing he did when he had ich. He swims up to the glass and either turns side ways or backs up into the corner before shaking and moving his pectoral fins quickly as if he's trying to swim backwards. He doesn't do this against the glass but about 1 inch away. He only does this when the light is on so I'm not sure if it has anything to do with reflection. <Good point> The only new item to the tank was a bottle of tiggerpods (I'm currently building up a refugium). Otherwise he looks and acts fine and still eats like a pig - dried seaweed, frozen formula 2, frozen formula Spirulina and has even started stealing the ocellaris' enriched brine/Mysis shrimp. Any Idea what the shaking is ? <Mmm, well... likely "nothing" to be concerned about... I do think there is a positive correlation twixt water quality issues and the frequency, intensity of such behavior... So the usual emphasis on improvement here should be mentioned> Thanks -Peter Hi, I forgot to add - PH=8.2, Nitrates undetectable, Temp=78. Lots of live rock with too much Algae. I add B-IONIC 2 part every other day for Alk/Calcium. I also have a Current 25v UV and ETSS Reef Devil Skimmer. Thanks -Peter <All reads as good... Perhaps adding a purposeful cleaner organism (e.g. Lysmata amboinensis is found in the Ctenochaetus strigosus range) might help all feel more at ease... Bob Fenner>

Sick Tang? Hi all, Happy Turkey Day. Sorry to bug you on the holiday but take a look at the attached pic and tell me if you think the Kole is sick and if so recommended treatment. I looked at the disease articles and could not find any pics that look like this and I don't want to treat until identified. This fish is in quarantine with sponge filter, powerhead , heater, and skimmer. I had it in the dark for the first 5 days and then put a 40w NO light on the tank (20L). It looks real pale in the am but I thought this was normal. <At times the species, actually genus and whole family will "pale" if stressed> It is swimming around, is active, fins are not clenched and breathing is not rapid. I have added some Caulerpa and Ulva and a piece of live rock, 3' PVC T. I have been feeding Mysis (never seen him eat any) and Spirulina. This it attacks violently. Whaddya ya think? Thanks in advance, Don <It does appear mostly okay to me from your pic, and very much so from your description. I am inclined to give it a clean bill of health. Bob Fenner>

Kole On The Decline? I just purchased a Kole Tang one week ago, and everything was fine except that she wouldn't eat the sea weed either from the veggie clip or when floating around the tank. The Kole Tang was eating Spirulina flakes with vigor just a few days ago. Yesterday, I noticed that she had some light blotches on her forehead and stayed completely hidden (under a large rock) and didn't come out for food at all. <Hmm, not a great sign, huh?> Her mouth was open and looked fine although I'm not sure if it was swollen. < Do confirm this with careful observation. Sometimes, Ctenochaetus tangs do occasionally suffer from "collection traumas" and other injuries to their mouths, and these visible problems should disqualify a specimen from selection for your tank. When the mouthparts of these fishes are damaged, they rarely recover. Not trying to paint a "gloom and doom" scenario here, but, based on your description, there is a possibility that the fish may be damaged in this manner..> This morning, I used a flashlight to examine her in her little cavern and it looked like maybe the white blotches might be HLLE. Since I have not seen any pictures of this on the internet I cannot diagnose properly. <Well, HLLE symptoms usually include a "pitted" appearance to the head of the fish. White blotches sound more like a fungus or a bacterial malady of some sort. It sounds to me like this fish needs to be moved to a "hospital tank" for observation and/or treatment. Do read up on the wetwebmedia.com FAQs on disease to confirm what it is you may be dealing with. With quick, decisive intervention, you may be able to save this fish (assuming that the mouth is not damaged, as discussed above).> Is it time to heat up the frying pan or can I still save my Kole? Tank specs. Tank:100GAL Sump: 40GAL (approx 17GAL full) PH: 8.3 Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 ALK: Normal Temp: 80.5 SG: 1.024 (using the plastic Coralife Hydrometer with the arm) I do not have a grounding probe and the other fish in my tank are a blue damsel and a three stripe damsel. The tank is three months old and has approximately 30lbs of live rock in it. Thanks, Peter <Well, Peter, it sounds like your tank conditions are okay...I get the feeling that you're not dealing with HLLE here for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the very rapid onset of the symptoms. In the future, please "play it safe" and quarantine all new arrivals for a minimum of 3 weeks before releasing them into your main system. Tangs, in particular, are notorious for contracting diseases during collection, shipping, and acclimating, and quarantine gives you the opportunity to observe, "harden", and treat the fishes if necessary without incurring the added stress (for both you and the fish) of removing it from the main tank, or spreading disease to your other fishes. Take quick action with this fish...Good luck! Let us know if we can be of further assistance. Regards, Scott F>
Kole On The Decline? (Pt. 2)
Thanks for your response, I examined the Kole Tang again most of the night and she seems really slow and unresponsive. Not like when she was purchased. At this point it looks like her mouth rarely closes if at all. She did come out to eat, although not with the same vigor as last week. <The fact that this fish is eating is a good sign!> Do you know of any successful treatment if this is mouth trauma? <Well, if the mouth is damaged, it's unlikely that a medication could help. However, if the fish is "gaping" due to a bacterial infection, then a medication could perhaps work. Impossible for me to diagnose here, so you'll have to really take a look at this fish and review the disease FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com to try to verify exactly what you're dealing with. Try to verify if the mouth is actually "injured", versus swollen.> Some type of antibiotic, or, medication to help her through this? <Well, I'd go for a broad-spectrum antibiotic, such as Maracyn 2. The administration of the medication should really take place in a separate aquarium. At the very least, freshwater dips may help if you're hesitant to try a medication. This is a more manageable, but possibly less effective treatment, if a "hospital" tank is not available.> At this point I do not have a quarantine tank set up. But after this experience I will in the future. Peter <Certainly a great idea! You'll definitely reap the rewards of this practice down the line! Good luck! regards, Scott F.>

- Kole Tang Changing Colors - Hi there how are you? <I am well, thanks for asking.> I have a question or two for you. I purchased a Kole tang about a week ago at a local pet shop it looked healthy it was continually eating algae off the live rock in the tank and with further inspection I took him home. After a day or so it started to eat I tried a variety of foods including dried see weed, brine shrimp, blood worms and a frozen seaweed variety angel formula. <As an FYI - Angel Formula is actually a sponge based food for larger angels... not so much sea weed in there.> After about four days I noticed some blotches on his sides I have had many battles with marine ich before and I know this isn't it. <Could be for a variety of reasons, but I suspect your problems with Ich would be due to the fact that you didn't quarantine your fish before placing them in the system. Please read up on this here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > These blemishes seem to be below the surface mostly seen under bright light, these blotches have spread to the head area as well they don't fall off and they don't look fuzzy like fungus. <These fish can change their colors depending on mood, time of day, etc... most likely it is under stress from the move to your system and is just feeling out of sorts. It will take a couple of weeks to a month for this fish to feel at home.> The tang is still very active but is a finicky eater it seems to be feeding off the rock and some areas of the glass where algae has started to form. I am wondering if It is Stress that is causing this any suggestions. <Yes... stress - give it time, be patient.> He is housed in a 72 gallon tank with a Lemonpeel angel, a blue devil damsel, two common clowns about an inch long, a purple Pseudochromis small as well, and a very small tomato clown. It seemed to quarrel with the blue devil damsel for a while but now it seems ok. All other fish in the tank are feeding and have a clean bill of health. If you have any suggestions please E mail me back. Thank you Stan N.

Dark spot on cheek of Yellow Eye Tang... Bob, I have a Yellow eye tang with what appears to be dark sores or spots below his eyes on both sides, on his "cheeks." I can't figure out what they are. Any ideas? Thanks, <the description is too general my friend... please look through the archives of FAQs and articles to see if you find anything similar or that helps. Regards, Anthony>

Yellow eyed tang I have a yellow eye tang been in the tank for a few months. recently it has gotten to look like it can't shut its mouth. <A very bad sign, development... Often, a "bump" or rubbing on a bag in transit will result in microbial infection, loss of feeding, vigor... death. Best to react ASAP> It looks like his mouth is peeling, any ideas? It may also help to know that it wasn't until recently that I found out you are supposed to feed them seaweed. Could these two things be linked? <Yes, likely> In the tank are 5 damsels a wassy or rassy however you want to pronounce it, a clown (orange and white) 6 black and white fish. My wife picked up 3 hermit crabs 3 anemone 4 Featherdusters about 20 lbs of rock and a walking pin cushion. Okay laugh I don't know the names of all these fish. Its a 30 gal tank with proper filtration unit (recommended by the fish shop) and a 50/50 bulb. please help. Mike <Yikes... this is a lot of fish in such a small tank... the Damsels in particular are often quite territorial (depending to a large degree on species). Please use the Google search tool at the bottom of our homepage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ with the names of your fishes, "tang health"... to learn what you should know as a keeper of this life. Bob Fenner>

Tang unable to maintain balance Bob, I recently bought two Tangs (Naso, and a yellow eye Kole) to add to my 200g aquarium. Before putting them in the big tank I decided to put them in a hospital tank to give them some time to adjust to the new water without being hassled by the other fish. <Good idea> Tonight I found the yellow eye Kole laying on his side at the bottom of the hospital tank. Upon further inspection the fish is still breathing. Fearing that the problem was water quality I carefully moved the Kole tang into the sump of the big tank where he would still be physically isolated from the other fish but in a fully cycled tank. I also moved the Naso into the main tank as a precaution (he looks healthy although a bit shy). I have been keeping an eye on the Nitrates and ammonia and changing water in the tank to keep them as low as I can while the tank adjusts to the additional bio load. What is the probable cause for the tang to become sick? Is possible to save him? Thanks, Rodney Korn <<In such a large system, I discount the sudden loss of water quality as a probable (first, primary) cause... How "recent" is recent? This is little doubt an animal collected in Hawai'i (most Ctenochaetus strigosus, Kole's, Yellow-Eye Tangs hail from there to the U.S.)... but I would conjecture that this animal has/had some sort of congenital defect, or suffered some unseeable trauma through the collection/shipping procedure from the wild... Not likely an infectious or parasitic situation but "something" genetic, or developmental...Bob Fenner>>
Re: Tang unable maintain balance
Thanks for the quick reply. The fish in question did not make it through the night. <Ah yes, I intimated as much> He was purchased from FFExpress about two weeks ago. I guess I am just glad the Naso Tang is still doing well (still very shy and gets chased by a blue damsel once in a while). I figure that as the Naso grows the Blue will learn humility (the Naso is a Juv, just a little bigger than the blue). <Yes, the health of this animal is not linked to the deceased Kole> On a second, less important question, do you know of any way to catch a fish in a BIG aquarium with minimum stress to the other animals? I was thinking about moving the blue into the hospital while the other fish get acquainted. He is fast and there is lots of room for him to run to...Thank, Rodney <<About the best technique is to condition the animal not to respond (shades of B.F. Skinner, no relation). Place a net (I like the large plastic coated handle green ones) in the tank in a corner, at about a thirty degree angle (lip under water)... and casually feed the fishes over and in this site for a few to several days... leaving the net in the tank... soon, Mr. Fast Damsel will be lifted out. Bob Fenner>>

Yellow eyed-tang Hey guys, I recently bought a yellow-eye and he seems to have splotches on him and he looks like he is bouncing on the top of the water.... have you seen this before ? <Yes. Sometimes just resultant stress from shipping, handling... but can be indication of other (environmental, parasitic...) disease. Please read through www.WetWebMedia.com re the genus Ctenochaetus tangs, Tang Disease... and where you lead yourself through the linked files (at top, in blue). Bob Fenner> Paul Rawlings
Re: Yellow eyed-tang
FW dip ? I have heard of this.... Freshwater and de-chlorinate it ??? <Time to send you back... to www.WetWebMedia.com, please use the search tool (bottom left) on the homepage, with your terms "freshwater dip". Bob Fenner> Paul Rawlings

Questions - Yellow-eye Tangs (5/15/2004) We've recently started a 50 gallon saltwater aquarium and have a variety of marine life living quite happily-We just lost 2 yellow-eyed tangs, <Sorry to hear it. I assume you mean the tang Ctenochaetus strigosus. More than 1 in a 50 gallon aquarium would overcrowding them> the third is doing fine, we have a butterfly fish, <What species? Most butterfly fish have very specific diets and can be hard to feed in captivity> a crab, a starfish, a cleaner shrimp and a bunch of snails and little hermits. We have a never-ending battle with red, stringy algae growing all over everything. <Most likely Cyanobacteria, technically not an algae> The ammonia, nitrite, and ph are all good (according to our supplier and to our own tests) but we don't know what happened with the tangs or why we have the algae. <What are your nitrates\phosphates? What do you mean by an "Ok" reading? Numbers would be helpful :) Cyanobacteria is often caused by excessive dissolved organics, nitrates, and phosphates. Try doing weekly or bi-weekly partial water changes with a water source that is known to be free of phosphates and nitrates. Use a chemical media such as Seachem's SeaGel or Poly-Bio-Marine's PolyFilter to remove any excess DOCs, as well as phosphates and nitrates. Do you have a protein skimmer? If not, I highly recommend you obtain one. Definitely do a search of our FAQs regarding Cyanobacteria removal) If you have any recommendations, we'd love to hear them. <I wouldn't add any more fish to your aquarium, as your tang will reach 6-8 inches by itself. M. Maddox>

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