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FAQs about Yellow-Eye, Kole Tangs, Disease Treatments

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:
Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see
Tangs/Rabbitfishes &Crypt), Genetic,

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; hlth., and Cu f'      10/18/17
Good afternoon Crew,
I unfortunately experienced a loss in my tank last night - my Kole tang.
I've had a Kole Tang previously for years... a curious outgoing fish that was constantly on the move. I have a shallow 60g tank, 79f, 1.024 salinity, no signs of nitrates/nitrites/ammonia - although I have been purposely
allowing a little hair algae to grow for the upcoming arrival of my Kole Tang. I'd say overall I feed rather lightly, sometimes every second day (but am observing my fish growing/fattening up), and only enough that just
a small amount of thawed frozen Mysis/brine/etc... falls to the substrate for my snails/crabs/serpent star, etc
I currently have a few corals, bta, two clowns, yellow watchman goby, royal gramma... I noticed a plump Kole Tang with what appeared to be ICK at my LFS and offered to buy him at a greatly reduced price because I've
successfully QT and treated ICKY fish with Cupramine in the past, and without losses. The Kole Tang went straight into my 30g QT bare bottom tank and I followed the Cupramine instructions as always. The Kole Tang would sometimes eat, sometimes not, but frequently picking away at scraps that had stuck to the foam cover on the filter. He remained active and plump for the 16day QT. With the Cupramine treatment over and no signs of white spots, and what looked like a healthy active fish... I introduced him to my display tank.
The Kole Tang's been shy, not as active, and while I've witnessed him picking away at the glass and rocks from time to time, I rarely saw him feeding with the other fish. Almost two weeks later... Last night, he was on his side in the corner of my tank and breathing rapidly. He still looked to be of a healthy size, but something was obviously wrong. I felt that removing him at that point would cause more stress and certain death.
Watched my cleaner shrimp jump on him at that point, and the Kole Tang swam away. I checked on him this morning and his outer body had been completely picked away by hermit crabs and my serpent starfish.
Question... do you think the death may still be Ick related, even though he appeared to have successfully finished a Cupramine treatment?
<Ick/Crypt might have been a factor... to extent here. As well as the copper exposure. I suspect this fish had a trauma issue though. Perhaps from collection, holding, transport...>
I don't think anything in my tank could've harmed him, and he had no wounds of any sort. I'm assuming my small to medium sized bubble tip anemone wouldn't have been the culprit (unless the BTA had actually caught him and was eating him)?
<Could have had a brush here as well>
I'm stumped... I thought I had success in saving this fish from the store.
<Sometimes Dave, sometimes not. Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang     10/18/17

Could a simple brush from the BTA have done something like that?
<Not likely a Ctenochaetus tang would perish from glancing a BTA; no; not of/by itself>
I was thinking possibly trauma from collection, but in the QT he was really active, breathing at what I perceived to be a normal rate, etc... Cupramine indicates to treat at .5mg/l, and that toxic levels exist at .8mg/l My
treatment was definitely at .5mg/l, having checked multiple times throughout the 16 days. Are some fish (tangs?) more delicate with copper treatments?
<Re copper exposure; there is no sub-physiological dose. Akin to old treatments of humans by mercuricals and arsenicals; you're killing the host by degrees along w/ the parasite. Tangs are amongst the most sensitive fishes to copper poisoning. 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 Yellow Eye Tang, hlth., HLLE plus?      12/11/12
<... you sent two times 19 plus megs of files... more than 3/5's of our email server capacity. What re following our instructions re? Idiocy>
I ordered a small-medium Kole Yellow Eye Tang from Liveaquaria.com in the Diver's Den section.  The fish was supposed to be quarantined before he was sent to me.
<Likely was then>
  When I received my Tang he was very stressed and not looking very well.
 He was breathing very heavily and refused to swim around.  I acclimated him slowly using the drip method for over an hour to try to let him calm down a little before messing with him.
 I read that Kole Tangs don't do well in quarantine
<Mmm, Acanthuroids, Acanthurids... very commonly have parasitic issues. Best to isolate>

 so I decided to skip it and wanted to use a dip.  But after over two hours of acclimating he still wasn't swimming or breathing normally.  I was worried that the dip would stress him out more and because he was supposed to be quarantined before I got him I wasn't too worried about putting him in my 60g.
<? sans dip/bath, quarantine... a mistake>
 After a day with the lights out he was doing much better swimming and eating normally.  After day two I started to notice what looked like small dots on his face.  They weren't white and they looked more like small circular chunks of his face had been taken out.  And when I say small I mean like grain of sand small.  They then began to spread up his face and towards his eyes.  As the spots got farther up they turned into huge oval chunks.  You can clearly see that the skin is missing.
<HLLE manifestation>
 He also does this weird thing where he swims up to the glass and spreads all of his fins and swims backwards very quickly. 
<Reacting to its own (internal) reflection likely>
He loses all of his color in the front part of his body while the back becomes very dark and his pupils get very large.  He will have four or five of these 'episodes' in a two minute time span.  The worse ones his whole entire face is white almost see-through and his back half is almost black. 
At the end he hides in his cave and breathes heavily and then continues on eating.  He will have one 'episode' every half-hour to an hour. 
Usually this happens more in the morning almost non-stop.  Is he reacting to his reflection?
<Ah yes>
 I tried putting cardboard in front of the tank but he just kept doing it.
<Cover one end...>
 The first thing I thought is HLLE so I tried giving him green, red, and brown dried algae and seaweed strips but he has never touched them. 
<Remove carbon, try Spectrum, read on WWM re....>
He eats mostly Formula 2 Flakes, Frozen Vitamin-Enriched Brine Shrimp, Spirulina Brine Shrimp, 50-50 Plus, Instant Ocean seaweed blend, Cyclop-Eeze, and Mysis Shrimp..  He also picks at the rocks all the time. 
Then I noticed the spots spreading to my other fish 3 Green/Blue Chromis, a Royal Gramma Basslet, and my two clowns a Saddleback and a Ocellaris.  The spots start around the eyes and spread and get bigger as they spread.  Any idea what it could be? 
<The erosive condition, HLLE...  perhaps Flukes/Trematodes, some Protozoan... see WWM re these>
Before the Tang there was nothing wrong with the tank.  All of the fish were healthy.  The tang also seems more aggressive than what he should be. 
It's probably from being stressed from being sick but he is constantly trying to pick fights with my Saddleback and the Chromis.  He also has had his scalpel out for more than a week.  I thought the spots would go away with a wider diet and I added Herbtana  to their food to try to boost their immune systems.  The spots seem to have stopped growing but is this going to work long-term?
<... can't say>
  I want to find a treatment that will work on all the fish.  I might have noticed some scratching against the sand from my Saddleback and the Tang but they only did it once so I'm not sure if that's an actual symptom.  Here is a video of the Tang and his face. The before video when he just had a few bigger circles around his mouth and an after where they are everywhere.
I also tried to get a video of him doing the swimming thing.  I got a picture of the spots on my Royal Gramma but they aren't nearly as noticeable and none of the other fish display any other symptoms besides the spots. 
<I don't make anything out in this pic.>
Any help at all would be wonderful! Thank you.
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Re: Kole Yellow Eye Tang    12/11/12
I'm so sorry about the videos I tried to make them smaller but I'm terrible with technology.
<Aye ya>
 I covered the front end of the tank
<...? See the prev. email. NOT the front or back, just one side>
and he is still doing it. I added some spectrum and removed the carbon to see if it helps. Thanks
<Cheers, BobF> 

Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11
Hello friends,
<Hello Chris>
So, this past Monday, after much research and consideration, I purchased a Kole Tang. I brought him home and gave him a five minute pH adjusted fresh water dip (no MB, as I haven't found it locally yet), then settled him into his 10g QT which had been filled two days prior with 50/50 new water and tank water from my display. There is a small heater, Maxi-jet 400 and Penguin bio-wheel 100 (the wheel had been curing in my display since boxing day, it also has a small amount of carbon in the filter pad), and a 3" dia pvc t-joint. Everything looked good. He immediately hid away in the pipe and would poke his head out from time to time. Yesterday morning, he was cruising around the tank, looking for food, so I dropped in a small piece of Omega One sinking veggie pellet (about 1/4 of a pellet). He immediately took to it, and ate about half. After 5 minutes, I pulled out the remaining bit with a baster. Last night I gave him another small piece, which he ate all of. I checked parameters, amm/nitrite//PO were all 0 and nitrate was slightly darker then 0 (not quite up to the 5ppm colour, this is using an API kit) SG was 1.024. I had intended on doing a small (1g) water change today, but when I got up this morning, he was back to hiding in his pipe and respirating very heavily. I immediately checked parameters again, and everything was the same, except nitrate had climbed to a little over 5ppm.
I did a 50% water change instead, and nitrates are back down to a little more than 0.
<Your 5ppm reading is not something to worry about...is fine.>
I've forbidden my two year old to go near the QT (as he can be a glass-tapper), and am watching closely. I know there is a reference to skipping QT with Koles on WWM, but as he was in a shared system with a variety of Blue Tangs (albeit in other tanks), I didn't want to risk Ich in my display. Currently in my 65g display are 2, 3" clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp,
2 hermits and about a dozen snails (turbo/Astrea). There is about 110lbs of LR with plenty of hiding spaces for him, if he wants them,
<He will want them.>
and a bit of green hair algae to munch on. Aside from respiration, he looks fine, though he's a bit hard to see in the pipe.
Should I stay the course? Move him into the display? He's an awesome little dude and was so happy and feisty yesterday, I hate seeing him hidden away and clearly in trouble.
<If there are no signs of disease and your dealer's tank is not infected, I would follow the advice you have read and place this fish in your display tank.>
Thanks so much for your help,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11
That's a great .pdf, thanks!
<You're welcome.>
Okay, I pulled the clowns out and popped them into a bowl with display water and a lid, to give Kole a chance to get into the tank unharassed.
<Why the bowl, why not the QT.>
The move didn't go perfectly, his tale spiky deals got a little caught in the net, and he had to fight a bit to get out. He immediately headed into the rock work, and stayed there for a while. After about 15 minutes I put the clowns back in (they're a tough pair, well established, but I don't like giving them a hard time either), and they seemed oblivious.
<Likely was not necessary to remove the clowns, I'm thinking you have Percs/false Percs.>
Kole started showing himself, cruising around down low in the column, while the clowns stayed near the top, where they generally hang out. He was already picking at some green hair algae on the rock, though he's still breathing pretty heavily.
Keeping an eye in the hopes to see it drop as he settles in.
<I'd keep the lights off for a couple of days along with not sitting in front of the tank
all day. This fish is in another new environment, needs time to adjust. Patience.>
I have had a few better views and still don't see anything that speaks of disease, though both the cleaners have attempted to give him a going-over.
<Natural behavior.>
He keeps flicking them off in favour of cruising for algae, which I'm hoping is a good sign (hoping if he were in discomfort from Ich or whatever, he'd welcome them. Could be noob wishful thinking....). I'm going to leave the tank lights off for the day and just keep an extra close eye on everybody.
Thanks again so much,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11

Haha, read that email while sitting in front of the tank. I've moved now, and turned off the overhead lights too. I'm not going to obsess, I'll just take a quick peek a few times throughout the day. He was swimming in a moderate flow area, not doing much but very heavy breathing, but like you suggested, I'll leave him be. I'll leave you guys alone too, unless something drastic changes.
As an aside, I opted for the bowl thinking that I was trying to keep them separate for the move, and at some point they would have been in the same quarters if I didn't use it, and while I could have moved the clowns from the bowl to the QT after Kole was out, keeping them in the bowl for 15 minutes meant I could simply gently pour them back into the display, rather than having to net them again (the female was not impressed with being removed). While they are small (I've forgotten and didn't note it when I bought them, but they're aquacultured clowns, and I think ocellaris/false Percs), the female has shown some aggression in the past (had a go at both cleaners when they were introduced, and occasionally tells my hand it's too close), so I thought better safe than sorry. Kole headed for the rock so quickly I doubt it would have been a problem, but live and learn. They seem happy and back to normal, anyways.
Thanks again, have a great day, and like I said, I'll leave you and the Kole alone for a while now.
<Sounds good. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11
Thanks so much for your quick reply. I wasn't sure how many of you were left coasters and was worrying about the time difference.
<There are a few left coasters on the crew, Bob and Scott V. for sure, but I reside in Michigan.>
He's starting to poke out of his pipe a bit more, though still respirating heavily. I can't see any evidence of disease, but I'm still pretty new at this. Gills look good (aside from fast movement), fins and body all look good (no abrasions, bumps or spots I can see), eyes are clear (does that only matter when buying fish at the market to eat?).
<Well, you definitely want to buy healthy looking fish to eat, but then again there is nothing healthy looking about a dead fish. :-) I will attach a chart put out by Hikari that is useful in determining fish health.>
After my last message he looked like he was looking for a bit of food, so I dropped him another piece of pellet and it's gone now. I'm hoping (as a best case) he's just stressed, and that perhaps 10g with that equipment is just a bit too small for him?
<Oh yes, and prefers better security than a pipe.>
Hopefully the move will make him happy!
<I'm thinking so.>
Thanks again, I'll report back.
<Please do, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11- 2/17/11

James/the crew
Just a quick happy note to say that Kole is doing well.
Still pretty shy, he only pokes out of the rock work for a few seconds at a time, but he's grazing on algae and even had a go at some of the mysis I dropped in this morning. He's still breathing a little heavy, but is looking great otherwise.
<Give it some time and maintain high water quality, it is a must for tangs.>
Thanks, as always for the calm, comforting help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Chloroquine phosphate usage/dosage 2/13/09 I acquired a Kole recently, and put him into quarantine where I've noticed two relatively small white patches on him. About one month ago after reading Bob Fenner's writings here, I acquired some Chloroquine phosphate from a Canadian pharmaceutical company. It came in 250 mg tablets. My question is how to go about trading him. The fish is in a 10 gallon quarantine tank with a seeded filter, but I know that frequent water changes will be necessary. Specifically, how do we administer the does which I believe is 10 mg/liter (380 mg/10 gallon tank)? <You could "grind up" the tablet/s... with a pill crusher... or have a pharmacist do this for you (grind, weigh)... "guess"/measure as to about the right amount otherwise> This drug is not like copper. We have no way of testing its level. As we will need to do water changes from time to time, how can we be sure that the level is correct? <One can only "guess-timate" presently. There is a broad range of efficacy, safety> Your advice will be greatly appreciated as we would very much like to save this fish. Thank you, Jeffrey Castaldo <And re the "patches" period... I would not likely treat for this/these... better to dip/bath and place this Ctenochaetus in your main display. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chloroquine phosphate usage/dosage - 2/13/09
Based upon a dosage of 10 mg per 1 L, which is what I have read here, 380 mg (1.5 tablets) would be correct, and easy enough to attain accurately with a pill cutter. <We are in agreement> However, having just acquired this fish, I am curious as to why you recommend to just dip/bath the fish and place it into my main display tank without the usual 30 day quarantine I usually adhere to, and what is normally stressed here on WWW. <This genus is "touchier" than "average"... and that you state you have only a ten gallon to quarantine it in... My high confidence opinion is that there is much less likelihood to be transmittal of pests, parasites (excluded through preventative bath) than subsequent damage to this specimen in a months isolation there> Without a photograph, are you able to give me some insight as to what those patches are? <Mmm, only guesses in either case. I have collected Combtooth tangs in a few countries, though primarily in HI... these are often hand-damaged through moving from hand netting (off a barrier, mist net) to collecting/decomp. buckets... and later processing... Often what one sees here are actual "fingerprints" on the fishes' sides...> And when you recommend a dip/bath, are you referring to plain buffered (8.4) freshwater, with Methylene blue, Formalin, or? <I am referring to all of these possible protocols. I would use pH adjusted FW, some MB and Formalin... the last with heavy aeration> Also, I am still uncertain as how to go about keeping the dose therapeutic when I need to make frequent water changes. I suppose I could use Prime, but I am uncertain as to how to incorporate that into the treatment. <A good question. I don't know either. Maybe ask the folks at FishVet (.com)> I am sending this follow-up because I do not fully understand, and want to administer the proper treatment. Thank you very much for your assistance. Jeffrey Castaldo <A pleasure to conspire with you, BobF>
Re: Chloroquine phosphate usage/dosage - 2/13/09
Thank you for clarifying this to me, and for your excellent advice and honesty. I realize that there is no clear-cut solution for all situations; many times we must learn through trial and error. Best regards, Jeffrey Castaldo <Ah, yes... am doing my best to share, warn folks of my too-many errors... so they can avoid these trials. Cheers! BobF>

Kole Tang Question, Ctenochaetus acclimation, lack of quarantine 5/28/2008 Dear Crew, <Andy> I was reading up on Kole Tangs because I'm thinking of purchasing one for my 110g display and I noticed in the article written by Bob (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/koletang.htm ) that he generally advises against quarantining this species and instead using an extended pH adjusted freshwater dip (how long is "extended"?). <Five or so minutes... w/ constant observation, "swirling" of water or the use of mechanical aeration (a "bubbler")> Has anything changed/is this still good advice? As always, thank you! Andy <Is still my opinion. This pc. was penned w/in this last year... maybe should have incept. dates... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Kole Tang Question Thanks Bob. I agree that dates on the articles is a good idea--that would be very helpful. <Will endeavour to add going forward...> Would you add in Methylene blue to the freshwater dip, or just pH adjusted freshwater? <I would add the Methylene Blue... I see you have a follow up question, input re... will answer there> Thanks again. I can't wait to get my hands on the new version of CMA--June 3. Andy <Ahh! Have heard Champion Lighting has it, will be showing this wknd. in Chicago at IMAC. BobF>
Re: Kole Tang Question
Bob, <Andy> Sorry for the double-post, but I thought of something that I meant to ask you. I asked whether you would add Methylene blue to the pH adjusted freshwater, but my more basic question is "would you add anything to the pH adjusted water, e.g., Methylene blue, formalin, etc.?" I have bottles of both Methylene blue and Rid-Ich+ (malachite green and formalin). <Would be careful re the Malachite (only "regular" dose)... but yes to the formalin. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above. BobF>
Re: Kole Tang Question
Thank you very much. I have read the dip articles, but because this question was so specific to a particular animal I just wanted to be safe. I get really nervous adding any animal without a 4+ week quarantine. I'm sure you don't remember, but when I got back into the hobby about a year ago I was stupid and suffered, with your help, through ich and all the hassles that it brings, 6 weeks staring at an empty tank, fish dying, etc. At your suggestion, several month back I did add a Copper Band Butterfly that I had in QT for only 10 days because it showed signs of Lymphocystis, and all worked out wonderfully--healthy eater (including a few Aiptasia that I had on my LR), bright and happy. I'll stop bugging you now! Cheers, Andy <Always best to be cautious... rely on your own intuition, choosing ultimately... My "input" is borne generally of many personal and second hand experiences; including reading. In the case of Tangs of the genus Ctenochaetus, it has been my overwhelming experience that dips/baths are more efficacious than these AND/OR quarantine alone. RMF>

Re: Kole Tang Question, Ctenochaetus acclimation, lack of quarantine Hey guys (again), <Tom> I read the below on the FAQ today. Why exactly does Bob recommend not QTing the Kole tang? <Probability, borne of experience, dictates that much more damage and loss is likely to occur from doing so than skipping... dip/bathing instead and placement> Reason being is, as I've talked about in other emails, that I'm planning on the purchase of an Atlantic Blue Tang. The last one died in QT, which was a 20g with a live rock and sponge filter, after a week. We previously discussed that, and came to the conclusion that the fish was sick prior to purchase, but I digress. The new tang, once purchased, will hopefully be 4 to 5 inches instead of the smaller one I purchased last time. I have hesitations about QTing this sized fish in a 20g, so naturally this email below caught my eye. What's the thoughts? Thanks again Thomas <This species of Acanthurus as well I would skip quarantining... A. coeruleus is not usually a strong "carrier" of external communicable parasitic disease... Bob Fenner>

Re: Kole Tang with Fin trouble 7/25/07Hi Bob and Crew You don't need to post, but I just wanted to follow up; the Kole did heal by itself, no medication other than rest needed. <Ahhh> Everyone is now back together (including the little Rainford's Goby who had an unexpected visitor in QT) and the Blenny is behaving himself; I just wanted to thank you for your advice. <Welcome> I try to not over-react to anything I see happening in the tank (nothing good happens fast...), but it is so hard to know what is the correct level of response when you see a fish in distress. kb <Thank you my friend. BobF>

Disease ID on Kole Tang <Cheers, Richard> Hello Bob, I have been having some type of disease problem with every Kole tang that I have brought into my store. I have attached some pics of an affected fish in hopes that you can help me identify the disease. It usually starts as a brownish or pale colored patch on their side and eventually spreads around the head area. So far the disease has never spread to any other fish in the tanks. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Richard <the species specific nature of the pathogen is not a surprise... we have seen this with butterflies and dwarf angels just the same. It is not exactly clear from the images what the primary cause is, but I see a hint and suspect the fishes die with full blown hemmorhagic septicemia (you see bloody ruptures under the skin or even open lesions?). If not, then we make look towards complications from Brooklynella which is all to common in Hawaiian imports. I assume that this is a central system. My advice would be to stop putting tangs in this system for 2-4 weeks minimum and ozonate it (or ozonate it better). At the same time, import just a few more to place into an off-system QT tank to see if the problem is the shipper or a bug in your tank/system. Treat the new import in QT with daily formalin (use Aquarium Products Formalin or "Quick Cure [malachite with formalin]) daily for 5 to 7 days consecutively. A small daily water change for that first week from the bottom would be nice too. Stable temp in qt (2 heaters, 78-80F... no higher). And observation for a total of 2-4 weeks. This will indicate to us where it is coming from and how we can treat it. I strongly recommend properly dosed ozone in commercial systems... there are so many benefits beyond disease control. And UV is almost useless on central systems (too high flow, too high organics and particulates, etc... just useless for most). Ozone with effluent passed over carbon is fool proof. A RedOx controller running it will be a tremendous investment in the quality and health of your fishes. Best regards, Anthony>

Worried (about Kole Tang appearance) Mr. F. Had a small melt down here on Saturday, the temperature in my garage where my hospital and isolation tanks (both tall 20's) are located went to 90+ degrees, the tanks themselves went to 84+ (the upper limit of the particular Hagen "on the glass" thermometer used). In the isolation tank at the was my new Coral Beauty and Cole Tang. Due to my anxiety and the necessity to play host I was not able to baby sit these new fish so I threw the dice and introduced them into my 55 gal. show tank after only a day of quarantine. <Hmm, likely what I would have done, had I had such presence of mind> The show tank: 55 gal. AGA (not reef ready) with 45 lb. of new Walt smith Fiji live rock, 40 lb. of crushed coral substrate. Fluval 304, CPR Backpack IIR (just replaced AMiracle quad mini, as good as a sea clone) <You're making my day>, 2 Rio powerheads for circulation (on the 40 watt light circuit), <Now, definitely> one 40 watt actinic, two 55 watt power compacts, two False Percula Clowns and two Blue Devil Damsels two Hermits, five Turbo. Snails. I use the Aquarium Pharm. tap water filter for make up water and mix-up water (aged one week) for weekly four gal. changes. The coral Beauty looks great, if I could have only one fish this is the one. I am worried about the tang. He/She now looks mottled or scratched, I think it has scraped itself hiding behind the rocks. Tang has a good appetite, I have seen it eat. Just looks like it danced with a bus. No "other" sign of disease, no torn fins, no itch or mucus, Bright alert eyes, the only other thing is it's almost always hiding, dashes away when it sees me (I'm not taking the hiding personally, I'm not the best looking fellow but I don't think I've been scaring away my fish). Any procedure or additive to help the Kole? <This fish, Ctenochaetus strigosus, is a real tough survivor type... and I have seen some very "rough" ones in captivity and the wild... And had many "bad shipments" totally rally in a few weeks time. If it's still eating fine, do possibly add some vitamin and iodine solution to its foods, otherwise just try to be patient... You will likely experience a similar "rebirth" of this ugly duckling tang. Bob Fenner>

Kole tang update Hi Bob Fenner, Hope everything is going good with you. Things are pretty good in my tank world. Here is what is going on and the questions that I have: I had a Kole tang that developed white "ichy" spots on his fins, no other fish (two little damsels) were affected. You suggested I lower the spg of the tank and raise the temp which I began to do (of course this takes several days). I decided this weekend that there was some maintenance which needed to be done to the overflow box and tank itself (you know, small things you want to fix but can't once everything is in place), and I had the time and lots of extra tanks, so I broke the tank down to go fallow for a month. The Kole (his name is Ole since it rhymes) is in a super long, short and wide 20 gallon hospital tank (he's in the best hospital in town) with a little hang on filter with carbon and extra powerhead; and the other damsels, shrimp, and snails are separated accordingly in various tanks throughout the house. This evening all maintenance will be fixed on the main system and it will be up and running again with live rock, shrimp and snails, but NO FISH, in it. All fish are doing great and seem happy. Ole the Kole is eating like a pig (I am trying to not feed him too much right now since he is in a not too good - filter wise - system), and he even got a fresh water dip for 5 min.s. before he went in the hospital. He did great, even let me pet him for a few minutes while I sat with him. The spg of his tank is at 1.020 right now. He still has some, but not as many white specs on him, and he twitches a little every once in a while and ONLY in the morning - weird huh? <Not weird in the sense of unusual> (I watched him for many hours this weekend) Is there any medicine I can use to rid him of this disease completely? <Mmm, I would lower the specific gravity to 1.015 if it's just Ole... and leave it at that... no "medicines"> Methylene blue is completely unavailable in CA as far as I know. <Really? Don't think so...> And if he still shows signs of these white specs when my one month fallow period is over, DO NOT put him in the main tank, right? <Correct> And if he is clear of disease, freshwater dip him before he goes back in the main tank, right? <Yes> Also, should I boost his immune system with a vitamin supplement? <Good idea> He eats mostly off of the few pieces of algae covered live rock that are in the tank with him, some frozen algae food which mainly has Spirulina in it (sorry don't remember the name brand, etc.), and live brine shrimp every few days or so. Does he even need a vitamin supplement? (I realize that if I treat him with medication then the carbon and the live rock have to leave the tank. ) <Would help> Thanks for any input you might have on this matter. Jana's animal hospital (the dog has an ulcer on her eyeball and is taking medicine as well), Jana <Take care my friend. Bob Fenner>

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