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FAQs about Yellow-Eye, Kole Tangs, Environmental Disease

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, 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,


Ich or Velvet?     11/10/13
I have a Kole tang that suddenly is covered in a velvety substance.
I’m assuming it’s marine velvet… but I also thought it could be marine Ich.

Could you confirm which disease it is for me?
<.... doesn't look like either of these Protozoans to me... Something "more sinister", like poor water quality issue, perhaps stinging... What else is in this system? What additives, supplements et al. are you pouring in? Bob Fenner>
And I believe this guy is probably to far gone.
Friday he seemed fine… today (Sunday) he looks terrible.
Thank you for your help.
Matt Kasperski
Unfortunately, this is the best pic I can get.  It does appear more velvety than sprinkled with ‘salt or sugar’.
I’ve probably just answered my question.  But I thank you for your time.

Re: Ich or Velvet?     11/10/13
It’s a 6 month old system… (75 gallon).
Other fish are 2 ocellaris clowns, 3 Chromis, 1 melanurus wrasse.
Also 2 Birdsnest corals and a Montipora, cleaner shrimp… assorted snails.
<All these should be okay>
I moved from VA to TX back in June… 
The system was set up immediately in June and was ‘seeded’ with a few pieces of live rock from my old (4 year running) system.
I thought I had Ich in this new setup (even though all fish were quarantined for 6 weeks in a smaller tank).  I have been treating with ‘Kick Ich’
<... here's the problem. Ala pepper sauce. You've been scammed>
 for two weeks… (I know, it probably doesn’t work but I was desperate).
Was performing 25% water changes twice a week before a new dose of Kick Ich was added.
Aside from adding the Kick-Ich, I have added buffer (sodium carbonate) occasionally to combat low Alk.  Regular water changes are performed every two weeks and I would have assumed water quality was ok.
All the fish look a little ‘off’ today but the Kole tang looked the worst.
All are in hospital tank now… and I was wondering what would be the best course of treatment.
OH… and how long should I leave the DT fallow?  8 weeks?
<... posted on WWM... I'd look into quinine cpd.s>
I have attached a better pic of the Kole tang in the hospital tank.
<... poisoned by the scam product. Search, read re this on WWM as well. BobF>

Kole Tang Behavior 11/10/12
Hello WWM,
I wanted to reach out to see if someone may know what's happening to my Tang. I have had this tang for about 5 months now and he has seemed happy, eating, and on occasion would even chase other fish around. About 4 days ago I noticed that the tang suddenly stopped coming out and now his swimming seems wobbly. I have not seen him eat. All the other fish in the tank appear fine.
I have not seen him scratching against the rocks/glass, but suspect he may have a parasite (though I don't know where from as there have not been recent additions). He comes to my cleaner shrimp and looks like he wants to get cleaned, but the shrimp does nothing to help and then the Tang scurries away into his hiding spot in the back of the tank.
I'm getting concerned because I see that he is not swimming more sluggishly now and not grazing the rocks anymore.
I tested the water and found that I had some ammonia (likely from a recent accidental overfeeding). I have since did a water change and stabilized the levels, but the tang still appears unhealthy.
Do you have any ideas/suggestions?
<I'd try covering one end of this tank (outside) w/ a piece of dark paper.
It may well be that this fish is reacting to its own reflection. Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang Behavior    11/11/12

Hey Bob,
Thank you for your advice. The back of the tank is already covered by a dark paper.
<The side may need to be as well... you can't see the internal reflection from outside the tank>
 He seems to be afraid of me now, I'm not certain why and at least three times a day he swims up to the cleaner shrimp. I took a look and don't see anything on the body but his mouth stays open and it he appears to be breathing more rapidly than normal. I will keep you posted, but if you have any other ideas let me know.
<Perhaps another purposeful cleaner organism here. BobF>
Re: Kole Tang Behavior  - 12/02/2012

Well the Tang is still alive, though nothing I have tried is helping. The Tang's abdomen is very inflamed and he keeps opening/closing his mouth rapidly.
<Bad signs>
Although he is swimming more actively now, he's looking pale and won't come out of hiding often. If you have any other ideas on what I could do let me know.
<Sure. (Re) Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/koledis.htm
and the linked files above re this species and its genus. B>
Re: Kole Tang Behavior      12/9/12
Just an update. Seems that it is some kind of tumor on the abdomen. She's still swimming around, but I'm guessing her days are numbered as there has been no improvement in the inflammation. It looks very similar to this:
http://img.tapatalk.com/48f49385-6f58-9c96.jpg, though without the skin damage and with a significantly larger inflammation on both sides.
Wondering if I should consider freezing at this stage.
<Mmm, I'd just hold off and wish for the best. Spontaneous remissions do occur. BobF>

Kole Tang laying with his tail elevated    3/28/12
Hey, my boyfriend has an aquarium, he's had it about 9 months now. We recently did a water exchange, 5 gal, we're not sure the size of the tank, but I think it's 25 gal (he thinks 30, but I doubt it)...
<There are about 231 cubic inches in a gallon... measure, do the multiplication, division...>
 I'm pretty sure that's too small for the fish, we're working on getting a larger tank, but he's had it and everything has been fine, until Monday. We did the water exchange Sunday, stirring up the bottom (it's crushed coral, so that's the only way to clean it really)
<Mmm, I'd carefully vacuum, not stir...>
 he's got a Clown, a Royal Damsel, a Kole Tang,
<Needs more room>

 a Cleaner Shrimp, two Leathers (one of which is getting really large), some Mushrooms (they're starting to kind of over-populate now),
<These last two are chemically competitive, quite toxic... Read here re:
and the linked files above>
 and a Pencil Urchin, and recently there's been some temperature fluctuations, I think mostly due to the temp outside and he lives in an apartment so we don't control the indoor temperature. It was really too warm recently, so we unplugged the heater
<It's thermostatic, leave plugged in>
and started a fan on the water, that brought the temperature down to normal, this was all before the water exchange. Fanning the water has increased the evaporation rate, so he's been adding reverse osmotic water regularly.
 The temperature has stabilized since then and we've stopped fanning the tank. Over the winter he hasn't been doing water exchanges as regularly as he should, but still at least once a month or so. We feed the tank once a day with Mysis Shrimp, frozen tropical fish food ("Life Line" herbivore and carnivore blocks). The tank also has live rock and a bubbler (which we're going to exchange for a Hydor circulation and wave pump). I've read on protein skimmers, we don't have one, would you recommend it?
<Yes I do>
We got a water test the results were: Nitrate: 20ppm, Nitrite 0.5ppm, <Toxic; needs to be 0.0... search/read re on WWM>
Hardness 300ppm, Alkalinity 300ppm, PH 8.3, Spg 1.026, with temp 78 F. All the creatures in the tank currently have been together and with his family for years, they were moved about 7 months ago here, and like I said, everything up to this point has been great. The Monday after the water exchange we found the Kole Tang lying on his side on the bottom of the tank, with his tail elevated. He's usually very active, so we were obviously concerned. But when my boyfriend was feeding the fish, he got up and ate with them like usual. He seemed to be lazy in his swimming, sort of swimming along the bottom and too close to the rocks, his fins are getting torn now. He stayed swimming until the light went out then he went to the corner of the tank closest to the water return and kind of wedged himself in between the rocks and the tank wall. We thought maybe he was sick or was attacked by the Clown, so we thought he was hiding for safety. I watched him all day, he stayed right where he wedged himself, not moving much, and not trying to get out of where he was wedged. Again we noticed his face was downward, and his tail was propped up on a rock. You can see the red of the gills through his skin, but he's always looked that way to me, his breathing doesn't seem labored at all, he's not got Ich or Velvet, the other fish are just fine.
<This Tang is the most sensitive organism (in general) here... could be the NO2, the lack of dissolved oxygen, allelopathy twixt the soft coral and mushrooms...>

 We moved some of the rocks away from him, thinking he might tear his fins more, then fed the tank and turned the light off as the aquarium store we called suggested. Moving the rocks, we removed the one his tail was on, and he was lying almost flat on the bottom. When we checked he had moved across the tank to the opposite side where the bubbler is, lying on the bottom, angled against the glass. When we checked on the tank a little while later, he had moved to the front corner, still near the water return, this time with his tail propped up on a rock again. I thought he was using his tail strangely when I saw him swimming on Monday, if at all, also, this last time we found a snail on him, but it moved off. His eyes look normal, his color is the same, getting paler at light's out (which he always does) he looks like perhaps he needs more food, but he's never really eaten much, and when he eats the herbivore fish food, he takes a little, then spits it back out sometimes, then he'll try to eat it again. He keeps down most of the food, especially the shrimp. He's really sweet and we love him a lot, any help you can provide would be really good. The Kole Tang is a full-grown adult, my boyfriend's family has had him for 4 years, the Clown is also full-grown, and lately seems to be a bit more aggressive, and puffed up, he swims with his dorsal and his ventral fins erect. The Royal Damsel is shy because the Clown can get rough with him, but never with the Tang, the Clown usually seems cowed by him, but not lately, the Clown also seems to swim more in the open areas than he used to. I've been reading on your site, and you're very insightful and helpful, I don't think it's parasites,
<Me neither... "it" is environmental. As you've stated, the best route is to get/have a much larger system... protein skimmer, no nitrite...>
there's no strings coming from him, but it's been only 2 days, we're doing all we can, mostly worrying and reading lots of internet info, we know the salinity is a little high, but with our tester, it tested the same as usual, so we think the fish may be used to it by now, and don't want to change anything too much with Kole not well. I thought maybe a freshwater dip would be good, but the store said not too,
<I agree>
because it could stress him out too much. Could it be that he's just stressed from all the changes that have happened lately? Or could it be something worse?
<See above>
 He's the largest fish in the tank, and usually the most active and playful. Oh, usually the Kole swims with his mouth opening and closing regularly,
<Another good clue... the environment... the possibilities mentioned; the reading>
but since he's been lying on the bottom, it's been just open or just closed. I'm sorry. As I was writing this I checked on the Tang and he was deceased. I guess what I should ask now is should I be concerned for the other fish? :'(
<I am concerned w/ all here. 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.

Cataracts and HLLS???? -- 04/30/07 I have a 110 Gal tank. 100 lbs. live rock, 100 lbs. live sand. I have one Blue Damsel, one Talbot Damsel, one Blue/Green Chromis, all healthy. I also have one Yellow Eye Kole Tang, and one Radiant Wrasse. They have all been through a six week quarantine (the tang and wrasse at the same time) and after much stress and treatment on the fish, and myself they appeared to be fungus and ich free. My wrasse started acting funny the last week or two of quarantine even though he looked beautiful. I thought it was because the now healthy tang was becoming territorial and picking on the wrasse. <Maybe> So in week five I put a small container of new washed sand in the bottom to give the wrasse somewhere to bury himself for protection. His damage from the tang healed immediately. After the six weeks they seemed great so I put them into my display. Unfortunately under the bright lights of my display tank I can see two problems. The wrasse has cloudiness in his eyes one worse than the other no bulging or anything just like a cloudy film. Is this cataracts and can I treat this. <Is likely "environmental" in origin... and will go on its own> He swims around and runs into the rocks and glass when he comes out and I feel so bad for him. He is not eating that I can see. The tang appears to have scars on his face like small divots. Could this be HLLS. <Mmm, maybe... this is a symptom... not an actual disease... could be resultant simply from stress from the quarantine...> Not much algae grew in the quarantine tank and he would not eat any seaweed or algae foods. I tried everything I could buy that was seaweed or algae, dried, frozen, flakes and sheets, even with the garlic entice added. I could only get him to eat omega brine shrimp soaked in Zoe. Now that he is in the main tank he picks at Ocean Nutrition's Formula Two and eats the algae off the rocks and glass. Will this help. <Yes> LFS is no help. I don't want this to get worse and everything I read on your site says diet, diet, diet. The wrasse and tang had a tough quarantine I treated them with the following, (not at the same time and with a few days rest between treatments) Quick cure (Formalin and Malachite Green), <Toxic... the symptoms above are actually very likely from this exposure...> Fish Mox, <Amoxicillin for browsers> Kick Ich, and Rally. <These are scams> Could any of these treatments be the cause. I'm sorry for the length but I'm lost and have tried researching your site. Could not get a decent picture of the wrasse <Keep practicing, reading... the indices, search tool... BobF>

Good pic, eh?

Kole Tang I recently purchased a Kole Tang (1 week ago), and it's swimming up and down repeatedly in the same area. It appears to be "afraid" to eat, and will come out rarely with the exception of the above described swimming pattern. <<I get the sense that you did not quarantine this fish. One of the best reasons to do this is to help the fish get used to the idea of captive living and your feeding schedule, away from other fish.>> Is there anything that I can do for the fish? What is causing this behavior? <<Stress, most likely although most tangs are constant swimmers... they really like to cover a lot of ground. If it appears that the fish is doing this in response to its reflection in the glass [which isn't uncommon] then you might try leaving the tank lights off for a couple of days to help the tang get used to that other tang that keeps swimming back and forth with it.>> Will it die? <<Uhh... that is kind of open-ended... if it doesn't eat, yes.>> Please Help!! <<Be patient, consider a quarantine tank for this fish to have some quiet time to itself.>> Sonya <<Cheers, J -- >>

Some problems Hi Bob Fenner, <<Hi, JasonC here filling in for Bob while he is off diving in some tropical paradise>> I have a few problems I cannot find answers for on any website as of yet. My first problem (oh, alright,.... challenge :) is that I had a Kole tang (Ole - you might remember him) who was doing great in his hospital tank. After almost two months in quarantine I moved him to the main tank - 55gal, 65 lbs. live rock, 35gal. refugium, deep sand bed. I dipped him for about 5 minutes in Methylene blue, poured the royal blue water off him, then put him in his new home. For the first few days he was fine, then a few days later I noticed several scratches on him (he is the sole occupant of this tank, along with two cleaner shrimp: a common, and a fire). I watched him for a while, thinking maybe the shrimp were picking on him too hard, and I noticed that he was swimming like a crazy man, normal but FAST, FAST! He was swimming like he had taken some drugs or something. I am assuming the scratches are of his own doing, bumping into rocks and such, trying to fit into small places, etc. <<probably a safe assumption>> I checked all parameters and they are all very good: no nitrate level, no ammonia, pH=8.2, temp=76, etc. Could he possibly just enjoying more space? He is pretty scratched up and still swimming really fast. I might mention that he had only the daylight and a small light above his hospital tank. The main tank is equipped with 4 - 96W compact fluorescent bulbs. I took two out - one daylight, one blue, and only put light on him after he was in the tank for 24 hours. Then I started a light cycle that increases by 2 hours everyday (started with the lights on for about 4 hours). Once I get to a 12 hour cycle I will put the other two bulbs in and do the same thing. Do you think the new, bright lights are making him crazy? (he eats good, swims good, just fast!) <<hmm, well, put yourself in the Kole's shoes/fins - would that light regimen make you nutty? I would get it over with and just go directly to your intended light cycle - no great benefit to introducing the light slowly in this fashion.>> (Sorry this is so long) Here is my next problem: I bought a piece of rock with red algae (Fauchea sp. - I believe) about 2 months ago. It is in the refugium and was doing good until about a week ago. It has started to lose its beautiful, red color. It has begun to turn light pink, and in some places, light green. Also, the leaves, which normally look fern-like, now look matted. I have seen ferns and other plants (I am proud to say I have a HUGE green thumb) became infested with parasites which spin webs and enclose the leaves. (This is hard to explain, but the appearance is the same in both cases.) I have also began to add ESV (?) two part buffer solution to the aquarium since I had a low alkalinity reading a couple of times. Possibly this is causing the problem? (I do pour the buffer into a high current area of the sump, no where near the refugium, or anything living). <<well, can be a number of reasons for the loss of color - do recall that these are Algae and not plants, while similar they are also different. My question to you: what is the lighting regimen in your refugium? You may want to try running your refugium lights for 24 hours [no dark cycle], if you aren't already. Also, the ESV B-Ionic [the two part you mentioned, I am guessing] is not specifically an Alkalinity buffer, but a two part calcium system, of which one part is an alkalinity buffer. If you are using the B-Ionic to merely move your alkalinity numbers, you are using it incorrectly. Are you dosing any other calcium products or Kalkwasser? As for the algae, they rely mostly on other nutrients unaffected by calcium or alkalinity.>> The next problem is the red, flatworm infestation, on which I have gotten lots of info from your website. I am going to consider getting a psychedelic goby. I do have a rock which is covered with colonial anemones in the tank. Will this or other anemones harm the goby? <<most likely not>> Possibly this flatworm infestation is causing the problem with the red algae? Also, (just one more also) I read in Julian Sprung's Invertebrate book that some of these Acoel flatworms are toxic to fish, yet I find no refer to this on the net. Possibly the Kole tang ate one and now he is having some weird acid trip? <<considering the sheer number of different types of flatworms there are, the odds that you have the toxic type are high, so no, I don't think the Kole ate a magic flatworm. Also [I had to get in a second on myself], I'd think the only way a flatworm would compete with any algae would be over common resources/food-types - or how to say... unless it's an algae-eating flatworm, then they shouldn't bother each other.>> Please give advice, and thanks Jana <<you are quite welcome, I hope it helps. J -- >>

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 not 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>

Kole Kwestions! Hi guys, <Hey there! Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have been browsing your site for quite some time now. It is great. <Thanks for the kind words! We're glad that you enjoy it!> I have a question, which I could not find an answer to anywhere. I have a Kole Tang, which started getting some strange spots/blemishes/smears of brown color, which are not protruding or elevated. They look as if someone took a crayon and drew them on the sides and on the nose underneath one eye. I thought that they were some kind of physical damage and they would go away, but recently saw that there are some new ones. They are in no particular shape or form. He seems to occasionally bounce off the gravel (scratching as I understand), but does it quite seldom and has been doing it since I got him about a month ago without any outbreak. <Hmm...Sounds to me like it could be either some sort of trauma, as you considered, some type of harmless pigment migration, or even the beginnings of an environmentally-caused disorder called Head And Lateral Line Erosion. Usually, this "disease" can be cleared up by maintaining excellent water conditions and providing quality food. In the absence of other signs of disease or discomfort, just maintain excellent conditions and provide quality food.> My only other fish is Tomato Clown and he has no signs of these brown marks. My tank is quite new -- about 4 months. I have a persistent Brown Slimy algae (sorry I don't know the correct term) which I can't get rid of -- could that be Tang's problem? <Probably not> I am doing regular water changes and all parameters are fine. One thing that concerns me is that he has never touched Nori that I offer to him, does not accept flakes that I feed to the Clown, and did not touch broccoli -- all he eats is green algae of the glass and picks off the rocks (but there is not much on the rocks as I see it -- tank is new). Could a bad diet be the cause of the brown spots? <One of my possible theories. Please avoid terrestrial greens like broccoli, as they are minimally nutritious for marine fishes, and they can impart tremendous amounts of undesirable nitrate into the system water. Ctenochaetus species of tangs, such as your Kole, tend to rasp diatoms and liberate detritus from substrate and rocks with their specially-configured mouthparts. They are very adept at this type of feeding. You could supplement with some fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, but I have found that they tend not to eat this with the same enthusiasm as other tank species. I'd avoid excessively cleaning the substrate and rocks, to give them some foraging> If yes, how do I get him to take Nori? <Personally, I have never found these species to be fond of Nori, but it's worth a shot. You can rubber band it to a rock, or attach it to a feeding clip> Are there different kinds of Nori? <Well, yes...> Could he like one type and not the other? <It is possible> Otherwise he seems active. I am attaching 2 pictures. Sorry for the long e-mail. Thank you so much! Artemia. <didn't get the attachments, Artemia, but if he appears otherwise healthy, I'd just keep an eye on the tang and go from there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Brown Spot - Hi. The spots appear to be going away slowly BUT there is a new event. Now, at the front bottom of one side, not far from his gills he has a little tiny patch of something externally, looks kind of brownish. Very small right now so it's hard to tell. Let me know if this "sounds" like something I should watch, like a fungus....Thanks as always!! <Anything that seems foreign should be watched - I don't know exactly what this is, but can say with some certainty that this is not fungus - could be bacterial - but fungus typically only shows on fish once they are long dead and forgotten in the corner of the tank.> I tried to catch him to QT him for a little while and maybe treat him but I can't catch the little sucker... he is calm but the minute I put a net in there... he is super freak. <Might need to use two nets - one to distract and one to scoop.> I stood perfectly still at the tank with the net submerged for almost an hour hoping he'd get used to it and I could sneak up on him... didn't work. <Sometimes is does, sometimes it doesn't.> If this sounds like I should QT him, any ideas on how the heck to catch him? <Well, for now, I wouldn't quarantine, I'd just keep an eye on things. AS far as catching the fish - if you can, try to get a second set of hands in there and they can help you steer the fish into the net. If that's not an option, consider draining a portion of your tank into a trash can - with one of their degrees of freedom taken away, fish are much less creative at escape and you should be able to get scoop out the fish. Once caught and placed in the quarantine tank, you can refill your main tank and call it a day.> appreciate your advice. Heather <Cheers, J -- >
Ulceration on Tang Hello, <Hi Jim, MacL here tonight with you> I've got a Kole Tang that has gotten very pale and has a Brown Spot on his head and near one of it's gills. Initially, I thought it was just stressed, but after 2 weeks of observation, I've noticed the spot getting larger, and beginning to turn red from it scraping on the rocks. <Its hard to tell from the picture but it looks like its either bumped it and created an ulcer or it has some type of parasite that is trying to come through.> Tests show that my water has a PH of 8.0, 0 Ammonia and Nitrites, and 5 ppm on Nitrates, and I keep the temperature at about 82 degrees. <I'd really like to see you get the nitrates to zero.> It is eating well, but I would like to quarantine and medicate to address the problem, only I have no idea what it could be. <If you can find some medicated food that might be your best option since we know it is eating. Thinking that it might be a parasite your best bet for the hospital tank might be to use copper, as much as I hate using it. You'll also need to use an antibiotic either in the meds as previously discussed or in the water. I know some people who have been very successful using MelaFix although I cannot say that I have personally used it.> I've attached a photo to show you. Please help if you can. Thanks. <Jim, your fish is really way too light so obviously way stressed out. I think you need to do something pretty fast on this. Please let me know which way you decide to go. MacL> Jim
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 way nonetheless. RMF>

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