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FAQs about Yellow-Eye, Kole Tangs, Trauma

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, 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 injury?       4/1/17
Hi WM crew hope all is well.
<Yes; thank you Bernard>
I added a Kole Tang to my 72g Bow Front a couple of days ago.
Tank parameters Salinity 1.025, PH 8.2 early morning tests before the lights come on, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates 0(undetectable) on a Salifert test kit. Tank occupants 4 Red leg Hermits, 4 Green Chromis, two Cleaner Shrimp.
Tank was down for a couple of years and I restarted when I moved to north Texas from California around July of 2016.
The recently added Kole tang has what appears to be a wound on his side.
<Agreed; I see this in your excellent photo>
He has been very skittish as expected since I added him to the tank a couple of days ago. Today he was out more but I noticed that he has what appears to be a wound or parasites?
We had a severe storm and lost power for over 12 hours the night he was added. He goes at the live rock constantly(eating) when out and about and ate the New Life Spectrum Thera A+ soaked in garlic that I fed when I got home this evening.
Had to take the photo from a distance as he's still skittish. What do you think? Should I leave in the tank and just keep parameters optimal?
I do have a hospital tank I could use. Should I treat somehow?
<I would not move this fish; more stress>
I'm thinking this is a wound from hitting the rocks, he darts to cover very quickly when I enter the room.. Hoping time and good parameters will allow him to heal as he gets more comfortable in the surroundings.. Getting a battery backup to run air lines this weekend just in case there is another extended power outage:)
Thanks for your assistance
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Kole Tang injury?     4/14/17
Wanted to thank you for your response and also send an update, the injury healed amazingly quickly, I was very surprised.
<I am not! Heeee>
New pic with a quick question there are a couple of bumps just behind his eye on the same side as the original injury.. He's much less skittish.. Do you think these are also injuries from bums in the night/day? Water parameters still measure the same..
<Can't tell, but would not be concerned re... These too should self-heal in time. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang - Mouth - 5/9/2012
I bought a Kole tang three days ago and have got him in QT. In the first few days he was attacking his reflection along the back glass and I fear he may have caused some damage to his mouth.
wwm: Not uncommon
I have covered the glass and his behaviour has improved. He is nibbling at food but I haven't seen him take any yet. I have also added Nori to the tank but haven't seen him eat this.
wwm: I'd try some live rock if there are no deleterious chemicals present
Is there anything I need to be concerned about at this stage or should I just observe him and try some different foods such as frozen Mysis or the like. I do plan to hypo him as a precaution against marine ich.
wwm: And Spectrum pellets are a very good choice as a trial and staple
Thanks again for all your help and information to hobbyist such as myself.
wwm: Don't be discouraged... these "things" take time. Most all Ctenochaetus learn to eat w/in a week under captive conditions. Bob Fenner
Damaged mouth on Kole tang 05/10/21012
Sorry I sent a reply with no photo. This is a bit clearer showing his
<Can't download such files, but have seen the prev. one Darrel uploaded. B>
Re: Kole Tang - Mouth 05/10/2012
Thank you for your reply. My main concern is if the mouth may cause him troubles with eating and he starves to death. He seems to be unable to close his mouth and his top lip seems very high. Do these injuries improve with a
reduction in swelling. How resilient are Kole Tangs.
<Do improve; quite resilient>
I was hoping to hypo the Kole but maybe I need to move him in with some live rock on his own and see how the goes there. I have some live rock I have QT'ed for the last 5 weeks for my DT so I can move some of this and leave a piece or two for him to feed off and hide amongst. He still seems very shy.
<I would move this fish>
On a positive side the yellow tang is a pig and looking very healthy just three days into the QT process. The two stick together like glue. Thanks again. Sorry about the extra questions I am just a bit concerned as I
really feel responsible when it comes to keeping fish healthy and alive.
<No worries. BobF>

Odd Kole Tang Issue 3/13/10
<Hi Spencer>
I have had this Kole for a bit over six months now and he has been awesome.
<A great fish!>
Eating every type of food I offer (Mysis, Formula One, and Formula Two).
<Try to lean more towards the veggie end of these if you can.. maybe skip the F1 and swap for some New Life Spectrum>
Today I noticed this really bizarre spike or bone sticking out from its caudal peduncle region, right before the caudal fin.
<I see this>
It protrudes out about 1/2 a centimetre on both sides as if the fish has been punctured through.
There is no red area around the wound,
<It's not a wound>
or any type of puss seeping. In fact, it appears as if this is causing the fish no harm at all.
<It is not>
He ate like a hound dog this morning. I have taken a few pictures and they are jpegs attached in .zip form. What could this possibly be?
<This is clearly seen in these photos. Ever wondered why these are called 'Surgeon Fish'? This is the 'scalpel' that all Surgeons have, and is one of the identifiers that help place each species into a genus. This Ctenochaetus species has a single retractable scalpel on each side of the caudal peduncle. For some reason this fish has it's scalpel in 'out' mode.
Why? Maybe as a defence/ offence showing to another fish in the system>.
My system is a 90g assorted reef with a 40g sump and about 90lbs of LR. I do a 30g water change every two weeks, and maintain good water parameters. He shares his home with: (2) Percs, Hippo Tang, Potters Wrasse, Mandarin, Chalk Bass, Algae Blenny
<This one....>
, and an assortment of shrimp, crabs and snails.
<No worries..>
Spencer Hall
<Simon><<Is an injury to the one "tang"... I see there is a follow up... RMF>>

Kole Tank Oddity 3/13/10
Scratch that fellas, I did some more reading and found it (
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/besttgsreefs.htm), thanks again.
<Too late Spencer I just finished replying!>
<Simon><<No treatment per se... Ctenochaetus are part of the Acanthurids that can exsert or retract their caudal peduncle spines (as opposed to the genus Naso for instance, where they are always "out"). This may or not heal on its own accord. RMF>>

Re: Kole Tank Oddity... not a good "sharer" with AEBs, same eco-niche 3/14/10
Thanks Simon.
<No problem Spencer>
I appreciate the response. It makes sense because he always seems to be going after the Blenny and he's a pretty big Blenny.
<Yes, these fishes are not compatible>
I am assuming this is because they share a natural food source?
<Yes, 'niche'>
Although, I have <read?> a lot about the Kole and they are mainly detritivores?
<They will eat algaes as well, and do graze the same places as the Salarias/ Atrosalarias Blennies>
(sorry to be asking question inside statements)
<No worries!>
Thanks again

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>

Injured kole tang 8/21/09
Hey guys!,
I have a kole tang that has been doing very well for a few months. He's always a voracious eater and shows no signs of stress. However, I'm perplexed by something that has happened twice now. A few weeks ago, I added a velvet fairy wrasse to the tank. There was some initial aggression
on the part of the tang, but it was never too serious (mostly just chasing the wrasse away from his hole). About a day after the wrasse was added, there was a small "scratch" between the tangs eyes. It wasn't red, and didn't seem irritated. It seemed like the scales had been scratched off.
I didn't put much thought into it because he certainly was acting normal and it healed up within just a few days. However, two days ago, I added a one spot Foxface to the tank. The tang largely left this fellow alone, and everything has been going grand. That being said, last night, not 10 minutes after doing some work in/on the tank, I came back to the room to find another similar spot on the tang's face. This time it was larger, and more on his snout, but it looked like the same kind of "injury."
<Likely is>
Is this attributable to him picking on the new fish and the new fish fighting back?
<Likely related, yes>
A new fish seems like the common denominator here, but it could just be a coincidence. I do have a skunk cleaner. Could the shrimp have gotten a little too overzealous?
<Not impossible, but unlikely>
The only other thing I can think of is that he stuck his face up into one of the Koralia pumps (though that doesn't seem likely to me). I'd think his injuries would be much more severe had he done that.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. He seems to be none worse for the wear, but I'd love to hear what you have to say.
<... Umm, how large is this system? See WWM re the physical needs of the animals you list. Bob Fenner>
Re: injured Kole tang

Thanks for the reply. This is a 75 gallon tank.
<Ahh! This IS likely a behavioral/territorial issue. B>
Re: injured Kole tang

I thought you might say that! All inhabitants are quite small at the moment...less than 3 inches.
<Good... do know that Ctenochaetus species can claim such an area as your tank all their own, even at this size. B>

Yellow Eye tang with hole in his side 1/28/09 I have read many many pages about the problems with Tangs but I just can't figure this one out. When introduced to my 108 gallon tank with 65 pounds of live rock all my measurements have been within acceptable ranges, Ph is 8.5 and salinity is 1.024. I do regular weekly water refreshes and have been maintaining good levels for over a year. In my tank are 2 damsels, 2 clowns, 1 regal tang, 1 yellow tang, 1 yellow eye tang, 1 blenny, 1 cardinal. All are relatively young and have been doing well. 2 days ago i noticed a spot on my yellow tang near his tail. I have attached a picture as it now appears to be a hole in his side. I do not think any of my other fish bit him so I'm not sure what is going on. Is this an injury, parasite or is he suffering something else. Thank you for your time. Tamara <Does appear to be a sore from a mechanical injury... a "bump in the night" if you will... Likely will heal in time (a few months) of its own accord. The usual urging to monitor water quality, provide good nutrition. Bob Fenner>

May be Aiptasia involvement

Re: Yellow Eye tang with hole in his side 1/28/09
Thank you very much for your input. I'll keep an eye on him for sure. <Ah, good... and you may want to address the Glass Anemone/Aiptasia here... It might be involved in the injury... Perhaps the new Red Sea product (Aiptasia-X)... BobF>

Re: Yellow Eye tang with hole in his side 1/28/09 I forgot to mention we have a Copperband and 2 peppermint shrimp for 2 weeks now. They are slowly attacking our Aiptasia. <Ah, good> I was going to purchase some Berghia but am waiting to see how these work first as they are expensive to bring into Canada right now. I'll take a look at the product you have mentioned I do need to get my Aiptasia under control. <Thank you for this follow-up. B>

Yellow Kole mouth problem 2/8/08 Just purchased a yellow eye Kole from an online dealer. I know not to now! Its mouth is stuck open and looks like growths or something on its edges where it opens and closes. <Mmm, Ctenochaetus do have some evident processes around the mouth... but the mouth should close... This one is likely damaged> I read on wet web of another person with a similar Kole mouth problem and it was said to take action ASAP. However the writer went to another subject of damsel fish and the ASAP action was never discussed. It was suggested that the problem was probably a microbial infection to damage done in capture or shipping. My question is what action to I take to cure a microbial infection? Thanks for Your help Bob Carter <Mmm... I really don't like carte blanche infectious disease (probable or real) treatments with marine life... Best to situate this fish in a stable, lots of live rock, and low total bacteria setting (a newer, though cycled system, perhaps with a UV, ozonizer...) and hope for spontaneous recovery. Bob Fenner>

Re: yellow Kole mouth problem 2-9-08 Thanks so much Bob. I seem to be on the right track because I have moved him into a two month old cycled system. I have put in Ulva, Ogo or Gracilaria, feather Caulerpa and rock with much hair algae. <Ah, good> Before I moved him to the newer system he spent much time hanging out in front of my Hectors goby. Is it possible he was expecting the goby to pick parasites from his mouth? <Perhaps...> It sure looked like he was seeking help. Crazy thoughts I guess. However I am going to put in a skunk cleaner shrimp in case it might help. <A good idea> This animal {yellow eyed Kole} is so beautiful and graceful its breaking my heart to see him suffer. Bob, thanks so much for being there as well as the rest of your crew. Bob Carter <A pleasure to "bear pain with you"... to be compassionate is to be human. BobF>

When it rains it pours, Ctenochaetus tang damage 5/5/07 Hey guys I have been a reader of your site for a long time and love it. You guys and gals are incredibly helpful. I have asked a question of you once, and that was last week. Well I need you again already. I asked last time about my Yellow Eye Kole Tang (HLLE), and a Radiant Wrasse (Cataracts) . Thanks for the input by the way. <Welcome> Well this time it seems my Tang has caught his tang on a rock or something. It is sticking out on one side and there is minor damage to the flesh around it. <Does happen> It seems to have pulled his spur through from the other side inside of his tail. I say that because I can't see any damage on the other side but his tang is missing. <Unusual, but may have broken off...> Since this happened he is darting around the tank like a mad man. He still eats but not as much, and I am worried. I read on your site the tangs can be clipped and they grow back. <Mmm, yes... if not too damaged...> But if they are ripped out of place will they heal on there own or continue to grow out of place. I am worried about this protruding part of him getting caught again and causing even more trauma/stress. I didn't say it in my last e-mail but thanks <Only time can/will tell... BobF>

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.>

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