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FAQs about Yellow-Eye, Kole Tangs, Nutritional 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, Environmental, 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      6/1/18
Good evening Crew!
I have a 60G shallow tank, 60lbs of mature liverock with a very little bit of green hair algae growth. I've had my Kole Tang for almost 6months now, and I'm getting increasingly concerned over what I presume to be the fish's "thinness".
<Not much space to grow food in a 60>
I've had a Kole Tang before for years in my previous tank, and I'd say this particular fish's behavior is normal. He eats aggressively, and I typically feed frozen Mysis, Spirulina, brine, Spirulina, etc...
switching daily and feeding at least five times a week (if I'm out for the weekend) if not every day. The fish will consume until finally he ignores it and lets it fall to my Yellow Watchman Goby. I believe if the fish was still hungry, he'd continue to eat.
<Usually, yes. Six mo.s in captivity though... do you suspect intestinal parasites?>
On weekends where I can manage two feedings, I've fed when the lights first come on and then again at night, thinking he'd pack on a little more meat on the bones, but I haven't noticed a difference. Bottom line, when I feed... there's never an instance where this fish won't eat... he's always there consuming. Do you have any recommendations for me? Would an algae clip with nori be a good option?
<I do have a strong recommendation; for you to add a good quality pelleted food to your daily offerings. Hikari and Spectrum are my fave brands. These foods add a good deal of mass and food value compared w/ what you're currently using>
I don't think it makes a difference to my question, but the tank is lightly stocked with only two Picasso Clowns, the Watchman Goby, a Canary Wrasse, and then my clean-up crew.
<Good to have the data. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang       6/1/18

Hi Bob,
I thought the same thing, adding a good high protein pellet. I've offered a small Spectrum pellet of appropriate size and the Tang has taken the odd one, but it mostly goes to the goby or else eventually my sandbed. Perhaps I should try a different kind?
<Yes I would... and mix in right before feeding with other types of foods in an increasing percentage>
How would I determine intestinal parasites?
<Mmm; sampling of feces, examining under a 'scope... is best>
Aside from looking skinny, there's nothing else that appears out of the ordinary.
<This is a bit of diagnosis itself. Bob Fenner>

old or sick Kole Tang?    6/29/12
Hi guys, thanks for your time. I've read many of your responses on Tang care and disease, and wonder if my Kole Tang has just run its course and is simply old, or if it is salvageable, will quarantining it do more damage than good.
Our 125 gal. tank with 100 lbs. of live rock is 6 years old,
<Mmm, DO add a bit (10-20%) new live rock
, remove some of the old if there's too little space...>
as are the 3 clowns and 1 Kole Tang. We have included other fish and cleaner crews throughout the years, but these 4 fish have been through it all. along with the 4  we have 1 yellow goby with its pistol crab mate, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1  six line wrasse, and 1 blue Chromis along with  several types of snails and crabs. The ph is 7.8, nitrates 0.2. The water quality has been consistently "fine" not great, can always use an extra water change, but the Kole has adapted all these years. It's been hot here, and since the Kole has been upset I've turned the lights off ( with pumps running) for a day or two.
<Good move>
The past 2 days the Kole Tang has been attempting to keep its equilibrium in one place, not cruising the tank and not eating. He is not pursing his mouth at all, just keeping it open. Therefore, he is not cleaning the glass or rocks at all and when I feed him garlic flakes or Mysis as usual he is not taking the bait.
<Try/use Spectrum pellets... highly palatable, completely nutritious>

His face and body are very thin and his color is faded, sort of too green and sickly. He has what looks like a minuscule dot of sand on his tail that has not spread.
Gloria R. S.
<Mmm, well; Ctenochaetus species can live 10-12 years in captivity... When in doubt, "water change/s"; new live rock addition, and the switch to the NLS food. Bob Fenner>

Kole tang 8/3/11
Hi Crew,
I'd appreciate any advice you could give me about my Kole tang. He's swimming a bit sideways, and his mouth is open all the time.
<... this fish is badly emaciated... starved>
There's this white stuff lining his lips as well. In addition, he has a bump on the side with an indentation in the middle of it, like a donut. I attached a picture for you to see. I noticed him like this today; however, I just came back from a week-long trip and I'm not sure how long the fish has been like this. Everything looked fine before I left for vacation, and a water change was done before I left. This tang's been in the system for 2 years.
<What do you feed your fishes? Is this one eating? It needs food, quick. Bob Fenner>

Re: Kole tang 8/3/11
The tang usually eats the small marine pellets by Omega One, as well as algae from the rocks.
<Obviously insufficient>
Are you saying that there's no disease here, and what I'm seeing is the result of starvation? He shows interest in the food now but doesn't actually manage to eat anything.
<Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/kolefdg.htm
and the linked files above, particularly Ctenochaetus Feeding FAQs. BobF>

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

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