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FAQs on the Powder Blue Tang Disease/Health 2

FAQs on Powder Blue Tang Disease: PBT Disease 1, PBT Disease 2,
FAQs on Powder Blue Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogen (plus see Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt), Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Powder Blue Tangs, Acanthurus Tangs,

Related FAQs:  Powder Blue Tangs 1, Powder Blue Tangs 2, Powder Blue Tang Identification, PBT Behavior, PBT Compatibility, PBT Selection, PBT Systems, PBT Feeding, PBT Reproduction, Acanthurus Tangs 1, Acanthurus Tangs 2, Acanthurus Tangs 3, Acanthurus ID, Acanthurus Behavior, Acanthurus Compatibility, Acanthurus Selection, Acanthurus Systems, Acanthurus Feeding, Acanthurus Disease, Acanthurus Reproduction,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Trying to save my fish; CP f'      9/10/17
I had a group of 5 fish (juvenile Queen, an adult Imperator, a Powder Blue and Achilles tangs and a smaller Blue Jaw Trigger) in my 160 gal QT system, made up of 3 - 55gal tanks plus sump. They have been there since Aug.
12th. They seemed to be doing good at first. They were in lower salinity water for over two weeks ~ 17ppt, temp 78F, pH around 8. I started to slowly bring the parameters up to match my display when I saw Ick break out on the Tangs.
<Very common; as you likely know these two Tang species are VERY susceptible>
I lowered the salinity back down to 17ppt and did 2 treatments of Chloroquine Phosphate (from National Fish Pharmaceuticals) . After a week the trigger died. The Ick seems to have morphed into Amyloodinium
ocellatum - cloudy eyes, shedding slime, patchy white on the Achilles...I'm not sure if the darkening pelvic fin is on the Powder Blue is a symptom of something else.
<Could be sampled, looked at under a 'scope. Perhaps just chemical/physical burn>
The tangs have stopped eating.
<VERY bad>
The two angels are still in better shape - I only see white spots on the eyes and they are still eating well. I gave both tangs a fresh water dip yesterday but didn't see any improvement. I pushed the salinity lower to 14ppt. I am about to do a 25% water change and give another treatment of Chloroquine. Am I missing something?
<The CP may be hurting more than helping here. >
Is there something else I should be doing? Here are some pictures.
<IF these were my fishes, I'd NOT use the quinine, but just drop the spg.
down to 1.010, and hope. They may be too impugned to come back at this point>
I would appreciate any suggestions you might have Thanks,
Mike Spizzirri
<I would have you read re others experiences w/ CP (on WWM) as well. Can be tricky in use: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuinTrbFixF.htm
and the other Quinine FAQs files linked above. Bob Fenner>

Hairs on PBT    2/13/17
Hi any ideas what these are.. looks like small hairs on my pbt. He has been in tank for about a year. I have been dosing Prazi for the last week. Any help would be great. Thanks
<Would REALLY like to sample and look at these under a microscope... Could be "just" body mucus from... something chem./physically irritating in the water, accumulated gunk in the system attaching... Perhaps some sort of worm/s. Again; I'd sample and look first, check and improve your water quality, add mechanical filtration... and possibly treat with an Anthelminthic... the last via foods. Do please send along further input as this progresses. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hairs on PBT    2/13/17
Thanks bob.. that being said I have a dose of Prazi going now.. I could do a large water change..one other fish may have a couple spots.. not sure.. not sure what to do.. what is your best idea? Environmental or parasite??
<Can't tell w/o data Eric. BobF>
Eric Willoughby
Re: Hairs on PBT    2/13/17

Thanks bob.. another thing he is flashing and rubbing on rocks.. would he do that if it was environmental??
<Oh yes. BobF>
Re: Hairs on PBT    2/13/17

Thanks again.. did a huge wc and loaded a bunch of carbon.. see what happens
<Ah yes. B>

PBT... Hlth., env.      1/13/17
Hi I have a PBT that has been in my DRT for about a year….he started getting little hair like filaments coming off his body….looks like a man who has not shaved for a day… like stubble…. He also has some larger white masses on his fins that have come and gone….. He is eating…and it does not look like ich… you can see the little strings/stubble on his skin….any ideas…thanks
<Mmm; could you send along a well-resolved pic of this? Have you read re Paracanthurus disease on WWM? This reads like an environmental response issue rather than something pathogenic (a biological disease). What other life here? (always a good clue), foods, feeding... Water quality test results? Maintenance, set-up? Bob Fenner>

Thanks I will wait for my lights to come on.. 1.026.. n 1ppm . P says nd
<? Phosphorus is not detectable?>
but know I have some.. mag/ca/ are at Red Sea pro salt levels.. alk too.. ph is low 7.7-7.8..
<Yeeikes! This is critically dangerously too low. The pH scale is a base ten log... this IS the likely cause of your/Tang trouble>

run a ca reactor..
<? What is the effluent pH? NOT lower than 6.6-7 I hope/trust. You may need different, better media to melt down>
have a rsm 650.. do about 10 percent weekly changes.. but have been doing large changes past two weeks since this showed up.. did dose tank with prazzi..
<... I'd be sampling... first; not using an Anthelminthic>
I'll get you a pic when I can.. mates... clowns, tiny purple tang, hawk fish, Anthias, 2 cardinals
<.... Please read your emails, messages before sending them. BobF>
Pbt     1/13/17

Here are some picks about 1.5 weeks ago.. these seemed to resolve but more have shown up.. thanks
<.... Eric... the fish would be dead by now if this were pathogenic. READ on WWM re the husbandry of Acanthurids. FIX your water quality here; THIS is what's wrong with this fish... The mucus coming off of it is from poor environment. Bob Fenner>

Re: Pbt     1/14/17
Hi did you get to look at these
<Already responded re. See WWM Dailies if you didn't receive directly. B>
Pbt     1/14/17

Any ideas?? Is it ich? Thanks
<What? Read>
Re: Pbt     1/15/17

You indicated to read but nothing was attached
<Where you've been referred to on WWM. Search just Acanthurus leucosternon... read all. B>
Re: Pbt     1/15/17

Thanks when I search Acanthurus leucosternon on your site it comes up with stuff just on pbt.. sorry a little confused on what you are telling me to look at.. sorry just confused.. do you know what this is.. thx
<Mate; I've responded re this, and told you where to find the resp. twice on WWM. Either go there and read or go elsewhere. B>
Re: Pbt     1/15/17

Ok again not trying to be hard..but told me twice to look up info on Acanthurus leucosternon.. correct.. that is the name for pbt.. correct.. I was just trying to id what was on the pics I sent.. I'm not sure if we were talking about the same thing.. sorry for the confusion

powder blue tang that is bloated     2/27/16
Could you shed some light on the problem I am having with my powder blue tang.
<Will try>
It has looked fine up until this morning where I noticed it was just hovering in one spot, on closer inspection I noticed it was swollen around the abdomen.
<I see this in your excellent pix>
It was a bit sluggish earlier today but this evening it seems to be waddling through the water and the swelling has increased.
<All in one day.... Something ingested... too much, gasifying?>
the pbt has been on a diet of frozen Mysis and brine, Nori, and just recently grazing block.
admittedly the diet has been mostly protein and not a lot of fibre or “green” foods.
<Mmm; should be the other way around>
I have attached a picture to illustrate.
thanks in advance.
<Am hoping "this too shall pass"; however, if it were me, mine, I would go ahead and administer Epsom Salt here; as a laxative... at 1 tsp. per five actual gallons of system water. This is a very safe material; its use gone over and over on WWM if you'd like to search/read. Bob Fenner>

Re: powder blue tang that is bloated    2/28/16
Thanks for the reply.
I have now dosed the tank with Epsom salts and have tried to feed cooked pea’s (skinless) but I have also to hand some “fluke solve” which I am holding off on using until I know whether it will kill of the flatworm infestation I’m having at the moment as well.
<Mmm; are they (the flatworms) "that" bad? I'd leave for now>
I don't suppose you know anything about this?
<A bit; archived on WWM. Do you need help using the search tool, indices?>
adding to this, is it possible to overdose the Epsom salts? what's the effects?
<Not easily done... MgSO4 has a wide margin of safety... again... on WWM. Welcome. BobF>
thanks again

Re: powder blue tang that is bloated    2/28/16
yeah I'm not that concerned about them just now, apart from whether they will die due to the meds. I'm going to siphon a few off tomorrow and do a container test to see their reaction.
these are the flatworms…..I think they are just red Planaria.
<Oh; nice pix. BobF>

Powder Blue tang     8/19/15
Hi Gang. Hope all is well. Love the sight and all of the usual information.
I've got a small, I believe anyway, issue with a powder blue tang I've had for a few years now. Visually the fish is very healthy and happy. It is active all day picking at algae as you would expect, it's color is very sharp and vivid and its body is nice and thick. I feed a regular variety of quality marine food, both frozen and flake, as well as Nori to supplement.
My setup is a 150 gallon tank with liverock and your standard sump wet dry/protein skimmer combination. My "issue" is that for the last 12 months or so it will swim alongside something and scratch itself.
<Natural... behavior... do in the wild.... not necessarily indicative of ext. parasite, water quality, other issue/s>
Having been in the hobby for about 20 years now I'm well aware of the diseases associated with this type of behavior and keep a close eye watching for evidence of such. Having said that after very close examination on multiple occasions I can not spot anything from a parasitic standpoint. No bumps, lesions, spots or otherwise. It's coloration is very uniform and bright and, again, it is very active all day and eats constantly. Since this has been going on for some time I'm almost at the
point of it likes to scratch itself, but the 20 years of experience tells me something must be causing this. I have 4 or 5 other fish in the tank as well and none of them exhibit any issues health wise either, difference being that they don't scratch themselves. My water parameters are exactly where you'd like to see them and I have tested them many times for accuracy. Basically I'm stumped. Any thoughts on what the issue might be?
<A non-issue... given their propensity for being "first to break out", Acanthurus leucosternon, the aquatic canary in a cave.... yours otherwise looking good.... >
Could it be something internal and, if so, any recommendation treatment/medication wise? Thanks!
<Nothing to treat; would NOT medicate. Bob Fenner>

Powder blue tang; hlth, using WWM      6/24/15
I am facing a concerning issue with one of my favourite fish. I have recently put my pet in QT and commenced hypo with him after some concerns he may have been infected by ich.
<Very common w/ this Acanthurus and a few others... READ on WWM re>
He has been in hypo
<Rarely effects a lasting cure. READ re this as well>

for two weeks and eating up to three days ago. He has great colour, is thick and his fins are perfect. The problem is he is struggling to swim. He is constantly at 45 degrees or worse and swimming almost in circles with his head up.
<Could be simply the low salinity>
The salinity is at 1.009 and the other fish is in QT with are doing great. I am considering treating for bacterial infection with something like Kanaplex
<Mmm; I wouldn't... for reasons again gone over and over on WWM>
but wanted to ask what you thought I should try.
<Reading... likely the use of a Quinine compound... these fish are still Cryptocaryon (et al. likely) hosts; just being weakened further through the hyposalinity treatment... Seen this many times; avoided buying the tee shirt, no news at eleven>
Thank you for you time and any guidance you can provide.
<Simply the looking, reading, understanding ahead of real action through the use of WWM's archives. Bob Fenner>

Thin Powder Blue Tang     5/3/13
Hello again crew. Seems like I've been writing you guys a lot lately.
<... w/ too-large image files>
 This will hopefully be my last question for a while! I ordered a Powder Blue Tang online.
<This fish is starving>
 When he arrived he was very thin but he was eating right away. He was even searching for food in the acclimation bucket! He has not come down with crypt and eats voraciously on Nori and Rod's Food soaked in Selcon.
<Ah, good>
 But as stated he is very thin. I am just wondering if there is anything more that I should be doing for him?
<Yes... NLS Spectrum pellets.... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbtfdgfaqs.htm
 Other than supplying him with an endless amount of Nori.
<Very little food value in Porphyra sheets, other algae... Bob Fenner>
 I have attached a few pictures for reference.

Re: Thin Powder Blue Tang     5/3/13
Thanks Bob. Sorry about the image sizes. I can resend with smaller sizes if you would like.
<Ah, no; too late>
 I have various sizes of NL Spectrum Pellets that I can offer.
<Oh, good>
Should I be soaking them in the Selcon solution?
<Maybe for a short while (a minute or two)>
 I am appalled in the condition that this fish showed up in.
<Very common for all wild-caught fishes to not be fed after capture...
through packing, shipping... often even while at wholesale facilities...
And Tangs as you note, eat/forage continuously by day>
 This is the second tang that showed up like this. First one was a Naso that died 4 days after arriving. I could not get that one to eat. Needless to say I will not be ordering from that company in the future.
<Ah yes; good point... Dr.s Foster and Smith (through Quality Marine) is a valid source>
<Welcome, and thank you. BobF>

Powder blue tang 4/8/13
Hello all. My powder blue tang has what looks like small white threads on one of its eyes.
<Ahh, likely Trematodes... Flukes>

Tried to get a pic but to no avail. Tank info - 125 gal, 100 lb live rock, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0 - ph 8.3, temp 77 degrees. Fish in tank - yellow tang, clown, flasher wrasse, royal gramma, lawnmower Benny, red Hawkfish, long-nosed Hawkfish (all get along fine). Any thoughts?
Diann Trapp
<Search WWM re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Powder blue tang 4/8/13

Thanks, any suggestions as to what to do? He's eating like crazy and acting normal. Should I be concerned about other fish?
<... please read where you've been referred. BobF>

PBT with growth/injury  2/22/13
Dear Bob all other crew members,
I have a problem with a Powder Blue Tang (A. leucosternon). When the fish arrived it had what appeared to be a scratch along part of its lateral line (see image #1). I did not pay it much thought since such minor injuries heal pretty quick in most fish. That was on the 8th.
A few days after that the wound got larger and looked "fleshy" with whitish protrusions. I thought that this might have been due to an overeager cleaning shrimp and that it would heal.
But the injury/growth/parasite infection keeps getting worse with the current state shown in images #2 and #3. I hope you can see that it has spread enormously along the lateral line, even up to the posterior end of the scalpel. My phone's camera isn't that good and the fish kept swimming away… But in person the look of the growth is fleshy and pinkish (not "fuzzy" as it might seem on the pictures) with small longish white protrusions among it. Could this be a simple reaction/inflammation due to the sensitivity of the lateral line organ or is this something parasitic? No other fish shows any symptoms (yet).
The PBT does not show any discomfort at all, I strangely haven't seen it flashing even once, and it is very active and curious (i.e. normal Acanthurid behavior). It is housed in a 400g reef tank with zero measurable phosphates/nitrogen compounds, 34-35ppt salinity, 78°F temperature, Ca, Mg, alkalinity, pH all in the optimal range, so I think environmental conditions are not the main culprit.
<Mmm, no. A physical injury is>
Do you have an idea what this might be and what can be done/if it will heal itself?
<Am hopeful re the last... only time going by will reveal>
Thanks in advance!
Cheers, Alex
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: PBT with growth/injury  2/22/13
Thank you for your reply, Bob!
Then I'll wait and see. (Definitely preferable to trying to catch the tang…)
<Ah yes... best not to try and do anything here. BobF>

Powder Blue Tang question   1/29/13
Hello WWM,
I've had a large (4.5 inches)
<Mmm, no; medium. Gets about twice this length>
Powder Blue Tang for the past 8 weeks in my 180 gallon FOWLR.  The tang eats well, on a diet of Spirulina brine shrimp, mussel meat, formula 1, and daily Nori sheets.  His stomach is not pinched in (indeed he has a little belly on him) and he is not thin behind the eyes (per your article) but I can see his spinal column quite easily, especially on the anterior half of the fish. 
<Then is thin... not atypical; and can be fattened up >
The tang is quite active and behaves normally, but should I be worried about this?
<Mmm, no. I'd use Spectrum pelleted as a basic/staple... a few times daily.
Will be plump in a few weeks to months>
  I know tangs have laterally compressed bodies, but I wondered if this was normal.
<Easily starved in transit from the wild, through the chain of custody...
Bob Fenner>

Suicidal powder blue! High NO3, stung by a H. magnifica... in too small a sys.     9/1/12
Hi crew, firstly what a fantastic site! I have learned soooo much!!
Although I have now hit a problem with a tang that has behavioural issues!
Tank specs are as follows:
100 (UK) gal reef

Sg 1.0255
Temp 26.2
3 x Wavemaker
1800 Gph return
3x150w m/h 14000k
Aggressive wet skim vodka dosing @ 3ml/day due to high nitrate prob
Socked carbon in sump
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 40 ppm
<High by twice as much as I'd allow>

Nitrite 0
Tank mates are:
Sailfin tang
<Will need more room in time>

Flame angel
Pink spotted goby
Engineer goby/convict goby
Emperor cardinal
2 clowns hosting a "rescued" Ritteri
<Mmm, very stinging>

Mix sps/lps
After water change (5-6hours) the powder blue tang started swimming at the surface, breaking water, swimming awfully close to the nem, he seemed very friendly swimming around my hand to the point I moved him away from nem with my hand but he headed straight back in to flow of Wavemaker pushing him back towards nem, he got stung and grabbed by nem, I pulled him out and into my sump until I set up my hospital tank again, please help he is now breathing rapidly in the sump not moving much but buoyant at the top of the water
Many thanks in advance
I did a 30 gal change 2 days ago and another today to try bring down the nitrates
<Ah good. I suspect this A. leucosternon did actually encounter the Anemone strongly enough to suffer real damage... and/or that or there's a shortage of dissolved oxygen here (this species needs room, good DO), and/or there's something "internal" going on w/ this specimen... Other than moving it to other quarters, there's not much to be done. Bob Fenner>
Re: Suicidal powder blue!    9/1/12

Hi bob, thank you for your swift reply, as you suspected this fish has already succumbed to the sting unfortunately,
 I still fighting the nitrate battle and doing another 30 gal change in 2 days and another every 2 days, until the nitrates are down,
<There are other means... see WWM re>
I'm not seeing any improvement using vodka dosing, do you see this as a beneficial way of reducing the nitrates
<Not long term, no... better to utilize DSB, RDP sump and macro-algal culture... and, and...>
 or do you think this may have caused a reduction in DO in conjunction with the 30 gal change today?
<Unlikely; no. BobF>
Thanks again

Powder Blue Tang Ick, no rdg.   4/13/12
Hello Crew
 I purchased a rather small Powder Blue Tang, only about 3".
<Mmm, smaller than I'd start w/>

 I know that this size is generally not recommended, but he appeared alert, healthy and was eating. I paid for him and had the store hold him for three days prior to picking him up. Once home, he went in my 45 gallon quarantine tank. On day two he developed what appeared to be ick on his fins.
<Very common>
 I removed the carbon pads from my filter, and started treating with CopperSafe.
<Acanthurids-oids don't "like" copper exposure.
Other treatment means are preferable, gone over on WWM>
 He is still acting normally, nibbling at seaweed strips and small amounts of Mysis shrimp. Treatment started 48 hours ago. Water temp is 78, PH 8.2, salinity 32, spec grav 1.024, nitrates 10ppm.. I removed the carbon pads from my filter, and started treating with CopperSafe. He is still acting normally, nibbling at seaweed strips and small amounts of Mysis shrimp.
Treatment started 48 hours ago. Water temp is 78, PH 8.2, salinity 32, spec grav 1.024, nitrates 10ppm.
<Mmm, keyed twice, or copied...>
 Is copper the wrong medicine to treat with? If so what do you recommend?
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PBTDisFAQ2.htm
and... the linked files above>
How often and how much water should I change to control water quality?
<Also covered>
 Will the two pieces of live rock in the tank have to be discarded after the treatment? How long does this usually take to run its course?
<... not necessarily, and perhaps a couple weeks to forever>
 Assuming I am lucky and actually save this fish, should I keep him in the quarantine tank for approximately 3 to 6 months
<Will surely perish t/here>

 until my 180 setup is ready for him, or move him to my existing 55 gallon FOWLR with a percula clown and 3" Heni butterfly fish? The 55 has been up and running for a few years with hermits, snails, coral banded shrimp and green Mithrax crab. Thank you for your help.
<Better to look before you leap... Look to quinine compounds... moving this animal through a dip/bath procedure. Bob Fenner>

Help! Powder blue tang stopped eating 12/24/10
<Happy Xmas eve>
I have a powder blue tang in a 180 gallon tank that stopped eating and swims at the bottom of the tank like he cannot see.
<Perhaps s/he cannot>
He is bumping into the glass tank and the rocks. He is not very active at all. Water and tank quality is the same and no changes. I am not sure what to do. He does not have any signs of disease on the outside.
<Most often such cases/symptoms point to long/er term avitaminoses... deficiencies in diet... To some extent correctable at times...>
I checked the body and eyes and they appear clear. I do not know what to do. We have had the Tang for about 9 years now and do not want to lose him. Please help.
<Put the two words "Tang blindness" in the search tool here:
and read the cached views. Perhaps addition of supplements to the water, foods will rectify the situation. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! Powder blue tang stopped eating 12/24/10
Thanks Bob. I will search the site as suggested but I am very concern that he is not eating.
How do I get him to eat?
<Please read where you were referred to. All I know re this issue is archived there. BobF>

Help with a new powder blue tang, hlth. mostly 7/28/10
Dear Wet Web Media staff,
First off, let me just say that your web site has been such a help with both the setting up of my freshwater tank and now my new reef tank.
Yesterday, I went to my LFS and bought a Powder blue tang semi- impulsively.( I knew a lot about tangs and knew my 120 gallon fish tank could support it, but I got home and read that they need an older aquarium.) I tried to return it to the fish store but they would not take it back because it would be too stressful for the fish understandably.
<Bogus, would not be any more stressful than being added to any other tank.>
My tank was cycled with 50lbs of live rock for 2 to 3 weeks. My question is what is and what are the signs of the white stress bar and does he have a chance that he will live.
<Certainly he has a chance of living if properly cared for, not sure what you are asking about the signs of the white stress bar. These tangs do display a white bar in response to some stress, but in and of itself it is not harmful.>
I feed him algae, brine shrimp and New life spectrum optimum salt H20 with garlic in them.
<Lose the brine and garlic, feed occasionally with Mysid but mostly algae is what this fish needs. Selcon or similar additive may be beneficial.>
He looked very healthy in the store.( he is the right colored blue, clear eyes, responsive, active, and eating already.) The only thing I saw wrong was one dark splotch on him but it is already half gone.
I put him directly in my main tank because it was empty and am currently putting stress zyme in that replaces his mucous coat and treating him precautionarily with reef safe kick Ick.
<I would not be using either of these products at this point, unnecessary and if Ich becomes apparent I would go with a more effective treatment method.>
I also gave him a 17 minute freshwater bath and didn't see anything come off of him. Thank you for your time
<Enjoy the new fish.>

Quarantine 5/3/10
<Hello Jay.>
I am expecting a powder blue tang to arrive for my reef tank from saltwater fish.com folks
<Uh oh.>
Do you recommend isolation tank/ fresh water bath or what??
<A quarantine tank is highly recommended. The Powder Blue Tang is a very difficult fish to acclimate and
they are known as ich magnets. You do not want to risk infecting your other fish should a disease become present, and due to the stress of shipping/handling (especially so with this particular fish), the stage for this to happen is usually set.>
The owner of the LFS recommended against isolation tank because of the increased stress.
<As above, and please read here.
And here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm
James (Salty Dog)>

eye-clean PBT with fast breathing and no appetite - 10/24/09
Hey guys,
<And gals... don't forget them... or next generation... there won't be one>
Thank you all so much for what you do!
Now a little background: 110 gallon display with 120 #s live rock and 1" live sand, 20 gallon sump with EuroReef skimmer, 20 gallon fuge with ~6" live sand. Total flow is around 1000 gallons/hour. 6 40watt NO tubes on the display, 1 60watt CF on fuge with a 12/12 lighting period. I have a half-dozen hermits, about 50 assorted snails, two tank-raised percula clowns, long nose butterfly, flame angel, powder blue tang and a Moorish idol
<These last two are not easily kept in captivity>
in the display. In the fuge is Caulerpa
<I'd ditch this... too toxic>

and another handful of red macro that I grabbed from the LFS without identifying. Temp: 81, SG:1.025, PH:8.2, Ammonia, Trites, Trates: 0. I do 10% weekly water changes. I have all the fish and there have been no changes to the tank, feeding or livestock for over a year.
And my problem: The tang is breathing at roughly a 2x rate of what it should be and has not eaten for a week. Normally, this guy is a bottomless pooping machine. I have studied him closely (especially his gills) to look
for something (anything!) that I could treat or at least identify.
Nothing. It is a strange feeling to hope and wish that you identify something bad, but the lack of a desire to eat is a big deal for me (especially with this tang). I have never lost a fish in the 4 years I have had this tank going. All the of the other fish are fine. I was going to quarantine but I don't know what to treat for.
<Need to assess the root issue/s... or at least guess at what may be most likely... Environmental... water quality, social...>
Question: How would you debug this?
<Water testing... change-outs, chemical filtrants... A cursory reading on WWM re environmental disease... cogitation>
What should my action be? What kind of time-frame do I have? I know that his immune system has probably already taken a hit due to the lack of food for a week, but he still looks quite plump?
Thank you very much!
<Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marenvdi.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: eye-clean PBT with fast breathing and no appetite - 10/25/09
Thanks for the quick response. I re-tested all the levels to rule out water quality.
<Umm, no... your pic shows a nice plump A. leucosternon... but with a good deal of (toxic) Cyano/BGA on the rock...>
Everything is at the proper level as listed in my previous mail.
I can't think of anything that has changed environmentally in the past year. I am going to continue to try and guess at what is troubling this guy, but I am feeling rather hopeless.
<See WWM re Cyano control...>
In the past day, the fish has developed a white discoloration. I am thinking that this is due to stress that would come as a result of countless possible conditions, but I thought I would send it to you in case it sets
off some alarm.
Thanks again,
<Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: eye-clean PBT with fast breathing and no appetite 10/25/09
<Big Al>
Awesome. I am glad I sent a picture, I had no idea this algae was toxic.
I'll start daily 10% water changes (This is the fastest I can make water), siphon out as much algae as I can and add carbon.
<Good moves>
Think the Tang will make it?
<Yes... looks otherwise to be a mighty fine specimen>
Thanks again, you're a lifesaver! (hopefully)
<We'll see... BF>

Hippo tang not eating! Deli time, high NO3 - 10/24/09
Hi all,
<Reuben... one of my fave sandwiches BTW. Extra 'kraut please>
Firstly just like to say that your web site is a great resource and has helped me loads in the past!
<Welcome... and sharp mustard galore>
The problem I'm having I couldn't quite find this time though so am asking myself this time.
I've had a 65 gallon tank now for just over a year and a half with 1 hippo tang about 4 inches long now, a yellow about 3 inches, a Sixline wrasse and two ocellaris clowns.
The tank has remained with the same inhabitants and live rock arrangement with a couple of soft corals for the best part of a year with no real problems though I have lost a couple of snails and my cleaner shrimp did go missing about 6 months ago never to be seen again!
My problem is about 5 nights ago I returned form work to find that my Hippo tang was no where to be seen at feeding time (he normally will always come out and actually will play 'tug o war'
with a piece of dried seaweed if you hold it on the surface of the water)
after a look around I found him hiding in his little rock space or 'home' at first I thought maybe he's just a bit spooked from a 10% water change I did the night before but he didn't come out all night, I managed to get a good look at him using a combination of peeking through the gaps in the rock and hanging a mirror down the back of the tank and he looked fine, no skin damage ich or anything similar, his eyes looked ok and he was flapping his fins about like normal, so I was a little bit puzzled.
Anyway 3 days later and he still hadn't really moved so I headed to my LFS to get some advice and after explaining the situation they suggested that the power balance may of swung in the Yellow's favour (as with the Hippos absence he was looking a bit more dominant) and that the Hippo has been stressed and/or scared so they suggested getting him out of the gap to try to feed him, unfortunately I don't have a QT tank and don't have the money to buy another setup at the moment
<Solution: Catch the Yellow Tang and place it for a few days in a floating plastic colander in the tank>
so for now I have put him in a home made large 'breeder box' within the tank, since then he has pretty much (apart from when I first put him in he was swimming around a bit)
stayed in the corner of the box
<Move this Paracanthurus out of here>
just flapping his fins sometimes calmly other times fast like he's trying swim away and hide, I've put in a bit of flake food (which is used to eat all the time almost 'stealing' from the clowns), a few live brine shrimp which he definitely normally eats and hung a piece of dried seaweed in and he has completely ignored all of it, in actual fact the only reaction I did get is if I move the box about he loses colour and turns white (it returns shortly afterward).
I'm getting worried about him now the last time I saw him eat anything was about 5 days ago and he's starting to look a bit skinny and his stomach has now got a small 'pinches' on either side.
Anyway tank parameters are,
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates around 80-100ish
<... likely the root of the issue here. See WWM re NO3... act>
(this I know is too high and have had trouble with them in the past getting them down to 20ish) had a suspicion they may have crept back up recently as
my tank has had a bit of an algae bloom so will try and reduce these.
Don't know why it hasn't affected the corals and other inverts on LR though they all seem fine.
Ph around 8.2
Temp around 78ish
SG is 1.025
Equipment is a canister filter, protein skimmer and two powerheads to increase flow inside tank.
Please any advice will greatly appreciated he's my fave fish and has so much personality, I hope I don't lose him.
Many Thanks,
<Get going Reuben. Bob Fenner>

Powder blue problems 2/16/08 Hi Bob, <Sam> Sorry to bother you but my powder blue tang appears to have gone temporarily blind I have had him for around 2-3 years. I have always fed him ocean nutrition flakes and occasionally mysis, plankton and frozen marine mixes. He ate some mysis and plankton a few days ago. But over the last week he has stopped eating and on further inspection appears blind. He seems to be swimming in circles. Normally he sits in his hole and comes out at feeding time. Apart from that he is quite a fat specimen. His eyes appear vaguely cloudy and his eye balls are moving a lot somewhat like a toy doll. He can see, but only things that are close to him. I have placed him in my hospital tank with aquabee 200/1 skimmer, eheim wet and dry filter. i have lowered the SG to around 1.018 and added ParaGuard. Do you think he will regain his vision? Regards Sam <I do hope so. As marine fishes "drink" their environment, I encourage you to supplement the system water with a vitamin and HUFA prep... Like Selcon, Microvit... This addition may well serve to reverse some sort of deficiency syndrome in effect here. Bob Fenner>

Fish Disease... A. leucosternon 12/14/08 Dear Crew, After researching carefully, I am unable to identify the presenting condition of this Powder Blue Tang. The symptom onset was eight weeks ago and very sudden. The fish has been in an aquarium for three years. The fish is quarantined and remains bright, alert, active and feeding. <Good> I've attached some hi-res photos to offer you a closer look. <I see these> If you have an interest or experience to share in this matter, I'd be grateful. Regards, Greg Danos Owner / Operator Urban Aquarium, Inc. Anaheim, CA 92806 www.urbanaquarium.com <Mmm, well... considering that the fish presents as damaged only on the one side, the length of time in captivity, its apparent good health otherwise... I would guess (with some confidence) that this is an issue that started with some sort of physical injury... that has developed as a secondary, likely bacterial issue... How to proceed? On a few fronts. I would move this fish back to a main display that has rock et al. to pick on at its leisure, and try bolstering what it does eat with vitamins and HUFA supplementation (e.g. Selcon), and use a cleaner (my choice, a Lysmata species shrimp) to keep the wound clean, AND avail yourself of the benefits of "mud" filtration in the system, have palatable macro-algae present (perhaps a Gracilaria sp.)... and if available, lace the foods with the antibiotic Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) should your veterinarian be willing to prescribe this to you for this use. I have seen similar wounds "heal" with time (months) going by. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish Disease... A. leucosternon 12/14/08 Bob, <Hook 'em Danos!> Thank you kindly. I will implement your recommendations pronto. Your Fan and "Student" for 10 years, Sincerely, Greg Danos <Ahh! Glad to assist your efforts. BobF>

Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake... compounding... need to read... Hyaku! 11/30/08 Hi again, I'm afraid that I improperly quarantined my tang, and he might have marine ich. <This, and a few other species, are indeed very hard to rid of this protozoan> cannot tell for sure if he has it or not, but there are small white dots on his fins and maybe on his body but they are really really small. To somebody looking at him they would probably think it was a sort of acne; but you would have to be closely looking at him, not just a glance. To be safe I put all the fish in the QT tank and turned the heat gradually up to 81 days over the course of the day. <Mmm... not high enough to be of use...> I bought some rid-ich at the store (only ich remover they had) and read the directions. <... and this; formalin and Malachite Green, treatment is not generally effective... and quite toxic> It says that it is safe to use on "scaleless" fish and some inverts ( I do not have inverts, jus thought it would be worth mentioning). The puffer seems to be a little sick also. His right eye is a little cloudy- greenish cloudy. And his left eye is cloudy white in one spot. <... could be a pathogen or just exposure to the Kordon product...> I feel like I am in way over my head with this saltwater stuff. Do I wait 4-6 weeks from the start of treatment or the start of seeing no cysts? <My friend... you need to read... and quickly...> It says when treating for ich to treat for three days after no visible signs of cysts occur- but then want? Do I wait and see if it comes back and start over? I do not want to start treatment before I know all of this because I don't want to injure/ kill my fish. I hope in this hobby the beginning is the toughest place to start, then it gets more enjoyable. I almost forgot to thank you guys for all the info and quick responses!! Thanks, Will <Have just skipped down. Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scroll down to "Parasitic Disease", particularly parasitic tanks... then onto Cryptocaryon... and then to Quinine use... and quickly. Bob Fenner>
Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake 11/30/08 Thanks bob. I have not used the rid-ich because I was afraid it could be toxic to some of the fish. <Ahh, you are wise here> Would freshwater baths work for the ich and help the puffers eyes. <Mmm, no> Do you know where I can get Methylene blue? <On the Net assuredly... a few brands are sold by most all the major etailers... B> Thanks, Will
Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake 11/30/08 That was literally a super quick reply. What do you recommend for the ich then? <... that you read where you were initially referred to... I would go the Quinine cpd. route... time is slipping... make that sliding way fast... into the future.> I'm afraid to use any medications. It seems that I'm just sitting around doing nothing. <I concur. You apparently are> To help with the ich would I raise the temperature and lower the specific gravity in the display and QT tank or just the display. <Too late, too little...> The only fish that seems "sick" is the puffer. The powder blue tang has the white spots, but other than that his behavior is normal. The lionfish doesn't seem to care that he has moved, he still swims around and tries to intimidate his reflection. The eels seem fine. They both had their heads out of their rock. Do you know what I can do for the puffer and the tang? <Yes> I'm thinking of using the rid-ich in a dip/bath as mentioned in one of your FAQ's and putting the lionfish and eels back in the display since the ich might not have been transferred from the tang to the ground if he was only in there for a matter of hours, but I don't know if this is true. Will Methylene blue help relax the fish and make them calmer? <Yes also> I just want them to get healthy again. <I understand... read. B> Thanks for all your help/advice, Will
Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake 11/30/08 I am getting freaked out because i found parasitic diseases, then "in marine tanks" but that's just a FAQ section and i cannot find anything on Quinine use" <Ahh, let me help you... here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm You should learn to/use the search tool, found on all pages.> I am going to perform a dip for about seven minutes on all the fish (separately) with Methylene blue and water to calm them down and to hopefully buy them some time. <Mmm, likely more stressful than useful...> thanks for all your info, will <Will, a good path to take all a step at a time here... Do consider the Chloroquine Phosphate... B>
Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake 11/30/08 I also and a question about dips/baths. When using Methylene blue and fresh water, is that the complete make up of the bath? Or is it added to saltwater and then the fish go in? thanks, Will <Just the dechloraminated freshwater and Methylene Blue my young friend. B>
Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake 12/1/08 I looked it up on fishchemical.com and it is $125 for a kg. <...! You' don't need a kilogram> I'm only 16 and don't have that kind of money right now and neither do my parents. I went to my local fish store and they had some products I would like to get your opinion on. First is Copper Cure II by Aquatrol, Inc. I know copper can be toxic to tangs and some other marine fish. Second is Quick Cure by Aquarium Products. <... See WWM re... the ingredients... all covered> Third is Nox-Ich the people at the LFS said this is what they use, but I trust you guys more than them- it says use half dose on scaleless fish, so that's kinda a bad sign. There's also the rid-ich+ i could use half dose, but i don't want to take any chances. Only now do i realize the importance of a good QT tank. <Ah yes> I feel like a smoker who is surprised that he got lung cancer, with all the warnings out there and all. I did do a Methylene blue bath, but if it's just going to stress them out more then that's out. The puffer does seem better after the bath though, he is swimming around the QT tank now. <Good... baths can be efficacious, IF you can move the afflicted livestock on to new/non-infested settings afterwards> Thanks bob/WWM crew, will <... Please... don't write with these sorts of questions until you've read what is posted on WWM... this is all gone over and over. I fear by the time we "chat" via the Net... your livestock will be gone. Bob Fenner>
Re: Acanthurus leucosternon mistake... compounding... refuses to read 12/01/08 I treated with half strength rid-ich+ and there practically gone. <...> So dips are ineffective if They go back into the QT tank they were being held in for treatment? If that's the case would I be able to add Methylene blue directly to the QT tank to calm the fish down if I need to? Will it be safe while using rid-ich+? Thanks, Will <Don't write... READ. There is just too much (again!) that needs to be made known here... and not sufficient time/means of teaching you through this process of asking next, next... B>

Powder Blue Tang and parasites, parasitized sys. 10/22/08 Hi, <Marcia> I have yet another question for you about powder blue tangs and parasites. I bought my PB tang about three months ago. He is housed in a 55 gallon tank. <... too small> (Yeah, I know. The arrangement is temporary. I'm setting up a 130 for him.) <Likely should have waited> Tankmates include a pair of gold head sleeper gobies, a small damsel, a small algae blenny, a few small hermit crabs, and a sea urchin. Tank is well established, has a 4+ inch sand bed and a moderate amount of live rock. Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are negligible, pH 8.2, temperature 81, salinity 1.022, <Too low...> lots of water movement. I did lots of reading before buying the tang, so I pretty much knew what I was getting into with this fish. He was the last fish added to the tank, and I do not intend to add any others. I am feeding mysis shrimp and two kinds of Nori. Food is soaked in garlic. The tang was in good condition at time of purchase. He eats well, is full-bodied, and still has lots of "sparkle." <Good> Of course, I knew it would likely happen sooner or later. One morning I looked, and the PB tang had several spots of ich. A few days later, he began to have tiny bumps all over his skin. Today I noticed a few gray spots (~2 mm. diameter) on the anal fin and the body in that region. It seems to me that the bumps and the white spots are different stages of the same thing, but the gray spots are not something I have not seen before. Possibly a secondary disease? <Define "disease"...> So here's my question. Assuming the whole problem is parasitic, <Is not... a large part/element of "the whole problem" is environmental> is it possibly to control disease like this in the main tank effectively, without using medication? <Mmm, yes> Shortly after the fish began to show symptoms, I added a UV filter to the system, hoping that that would help. <A bit... to improve water quality> The parasites continued to multiply. Since then, I have added a diatom filter with an 800 gph pump. <Shouldn't be run continuously> It is my understanding that the diatom filter does help with ich, but do you think it could arrest the outbreak once it is in full force? <It cannot> The UV filter continues to run as well. I do not have a hospital tank set up at this time, and I do not really have the financial resources to buy much new equipment right now. Can you make any additional recommendations? Marcia <Yes... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Powder blue quarantine 9/20/08 Hi Crew <Wayne> Couldn't find an answer to my question on the site. Hope you can help me out. <Me too> I just bought a 4" PBTang...been at the LFS for 2 weeks and looks healthy. Have him in a 40 gal QT. My question is about feeding. I plan to feed dried Nori, red algae, and Gracilaria (all soaked in Selcon)..as well as occasional Form 1 & 2 pellets, and New life Spectrum pellets. I also have this "Jungle" anti-bacteria pellet fish food. I've read about the beneficial bacteria that reside in the guts of PBTs. Based on this....should I not feed this anti-bacterial food? <Mmm, don't think this will be an issue. The infauna of use are actually Protozoans mostly> What if the fish displays a bacterial infection...would you still not feed this food? <Such "infections" are actually exceedingly rare... How to put this a bit differently than usual... By the time such microbes "show up" it is almost always too late... they're mainly decomposers, not pathogens per se> Thanks a ton. You guys/gals are great! <Mmm, myself, fair to middling. Cheers, BobF>

Powder Blue "pimples" 7/3/08 Hi and happy 4th of July to everyone at WWB. <?> I'm writing in regards to a problem I have with Peanut, my Powder Blue Tang. I bought him a little over a month ago and immediately put him in a 40gal QT. I observed him for a period of 3 weeks and I didn't notice any problems, no parasites, no signs of disease, eating frozen food and the dry algae sheets. The fish is about 4 to 5 inches in length. Then I thought everything was great and put Peanut in my 150gal FOWLR. He acclimated very well and none of my other fish bothered him. If anything he bothered my Foxface at first, but then they became friends. A week later however, I noticed something very odd. He had what looked like pin sized pimples all over his body. They were not white like ich and it looked like they were under the skin. He didn't seem bothered, still very active and eating like a pig. I waited hoping these "pimples" would go away but they didn't so now Peanut is back in the QT, except I have no idea what is wrong or how to medicate for this problem. If these pin sized pimples were white, I'd say ich, although none of my other fish have it and the tank has been ich free for 6 months. Still, anything is possible. Any idea what these are? They're only on the body, nothing showing up on any of the fins. My tank parameters: Ammonia and Nitrites: 0 Nitrates: 20 pH: 8.3 Density: 1.025 Other tank mates: 5" Foxface, 4" Picasso Trigger, 4" Niger Trigger, 4" Yellow Canary Wrasse, 2" Juvi Queen Angel. Again, there was no aggression at all. The Niger is the most aggressive in the tank but it never bothered the tang. Thanks, Peter <Mmm, likely sporozoans... not easily treated... Could be encysted worms... these might be treated with a vermifuge. Bob Fenner>

Powder Blue Tang/Health 3/3/08 I just recently purchased a Powder Blue Tang about a week ago. He is very hardy, started eating the first day, I have him in my hospital tank cause of previous problems with the Powder Blue getting parasites, sure enough he has them, <Not surprising.> not bad and is being treated with med's an 2 Cleaner Wrasses. The Powder Blue is one of my top fish but have never had no luck with them. <You and many, many more aquarists.> I just recently got rid of my Gold Rim Tang , which I had for about 3 years so I can successfully accomplish acquainting a healthy Power Blue. I've read that the Powder Blue is from South Africa an also Indo. Is there any way to tell them apart? <Do not believe so. Most are collected from the Indo Pacific.> I also read that the Powder Blues from South Africa are a lot more hardy, is there any truth in that? <No. Do read here and linked files above, will give you a some knowledge of what it takes to successfully keep one. In future queries, please do a spelling and grammar check before sending. Just do not have the time to correct/edit queries before posting. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Powder Blue Tang Disease Id 2/24/08 Hello. Was hoping someone could help me identify what is wrong with the Powder Blue Tang I recently acquired. I got him, put him in quarantine (37 gal. tank, wanted it big enough for when I get big fish), and thought it was just some scrapes on his side but a friend that was over said it was body rot. <...?> He is eating well (algae and omnivore flakes, seaweed sheets, mix of frozen enriched brine/Mysis soaked with extra vitamins) and is not trying to scrape on anything (there is some pieces of live rock in the tank from my 2 yr established tank that has a couple strands of live feather algae for him on it). He is picking at the algae and the rock like normal. Please take a look at the pic attached and let me know what it is and what is the best way to treat if anything needs to be done. It was suggested I try garlic, would that be good to add as well? Any help is appreciated! Thanks! Nicole <These markings are due to injury (handling... fingers really) during capture, transport et al. stress... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Powder Blue Tang/Disease...Another Sad Tail 7/19/07 Thanks Guys, <And gals> Kick butt website by the way! Just a short scenario for you, and I would LOVE to save my fish here! I'm on day #3 with this Powder Blue, and it came down with ich. <Not surprising. A difficult fish to keep.> I didn't quarantine, (I know, stupid move ). I added a Scopas Tang at the same time, <Another bad move.> once again no quarantine, <And again.> and it got ich as well. Both are eating like crazy, but I got them in a qt anyways, 10 gallon only, <Too small for these guys, big time stress coming up. At least get another 10 gallon tank and separate them.> temp is 80, conditions are good. <Good? Not with two tangs in a ten gallon tank.> In my regular tank, levels are good, temp is more 77-78. (reef tank by the way) What should I do at this point? <I would pray.> I was told to lower salinity, raise my water temp, frequent water changes (how much?) and haven't done these yet. Garlic in the foods is all I have done so far... <All this is gone over in the linked files posted below.> I'm also adding small doses of Rid Ich in my QT. <Much better off using Copper Safe than this.> All other fish in my display tank are ok. They have had ich in the past, and I QT'ed them for awhile, put them back, and they are fine. Must have immunity? Am I on the right track here? <Aaron, you do not have much time, especially for writing back/forth. Do read here and related linked files above, and act. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> Your help is appreciated, just trying to save some fish over here! Thanks in advance, <Good luck, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Aaron Wise

Re: Was: Rapid Breathing Emperor... Now PBT dis., Crypt - 03/12/07 Bob, It has been about two months since my last e-mail. I had observed my powder blue tang flash on several occasions <Mmm, a natural behavior to extents... not necessarily portentous...> and decided to wait it out having not seen any spots present. following my last e-mail I have not observed it flashing and believed I was in the clear. I have had it for approximately 5 months now and have been feeling pretty good about my chances with him. It has put on weight and is a very aggressive feeder on over a dozen different foods all soaked in Selcon and Zoe. <Good> Having read all the reasons that they are not suited for captivity, I chalked up my apparent success to luck and believed that I may have happened upon a good specimen that was going to adapt to life in a glass box. About a month ago I began to acclimate my reef to metal halide lighting and this is where I believe things took a turn for the worst. Immediately he began aggressively attacking his reflection in the glass. <Yes... this A. leucosternon can be a very social OR extremely territorial animal with its own kind> His face would get dark black and his eyes would turn bright gold. It sounds funny but he would get a crazy look in his eyes. In retrospect, this indicated that the fish had not in fact adapted to life in a glass box, and now leads me to believe that it probably never will as so many PBT's before him. As I'm sure you've guessed he has now broken out in a full blown case of crypt. My emperor angel had a few spots and the two clown fish haven't shown any signs. The crypt is cycling right now so no spots are present. <"Are elsewhere"> I am going to tear down my reef tomorrow to move these fish to a hospital tank. I have three cycled BioWheels ready and will be purchasing a tank in the morning. <Good planning> All fish were quarantined in a hex aquarium for a minimum of 2 months back to back with the powder blue being the final edition. the shape of this tank is not suited to treat these four fish at once. I have a 20gal. Would that be too small? <Mmm...> The tang and angel are both about 3.5'' and the clowns are 2'' and 1''. <Will have to do. Add some PVC parts for habitat...> I hate to use copper on these fish because I believe that it kills the intestinal fauna which leads to nutritional problems like HLLE later in life. What is your feeling on this? <Is so, though these intestinal fauna can be easily re-constituted... and the use of vitamins, "muds" can forestall...> Unfortunately, copper seems to be the most effective cure in my experience. Do you have any experience with the transfer method combined with hypo salinity? <Yes> Is this a viable option in your estimation? <Not dependably> I am also planning on a 2 month fallow period which I have read will not result in total eradication, <This is correct> but I read one study that indicated that line degradation occurs after multiple cycles of crypt and without any new additions to a system over the course of 15-20 cycles crypt loses its ability to reproduce and will result in an "ich free" system. <Also so> In your opinion is there any merit to this claim, or will ich always be present in my system. <Can be eliminated entirely, but in actual cases, most always retained as a subclinical infestation...> I guess my concern is that once returned to the display my PBT will stress out under the metal halides and over time become reinfested. <Too likely so> The fact that he still attacks his reflection leads me to believe he always will and since releasing him to the wilds of Minnesota is not an option the stress of it might be the death of him. Although I suppose this is a little premature. He still has to live through the copper treatment! Any words of wisdom from the wise are always appreciated! <I would definitely try... covering all sides but the one viewing panel with paper or such... this may well solve the "reflection" issue> Thanks for reading and responding to my ramblings, Jim <Steady on my friend. The road may seem long ahead of you... but it is your path. BobF>

Tang parasite?... Not reading re researching WWM first, sending too large files... 1/29/07 I bought a very nice looking powder blue tang 11 days ago that has been in my 10g Qtank since I brought him home. I started him on a half dose preventative treatment on Coppersafe. <Mistake> I didn't notice a single thing on him until about the 5th or 6th day. I noticed a suspect area on his left side under his pectoral fin (I think where his stomach is). After looking at it a while, it seemed like it was something hanging off of him and he would scratch at it from time to time too. I upped the dose to about 90%(scared to over do it), and the very next day the area had gotten noticeable worse to about what the picture shows. <... likely due to copper poisoning...> The lighting looks funny because I was using a shop light to show it better. <Good note> The tang has always eaten very well (mostly mysis shrimp and some formula 2-loves the mysis) and still is. Water quality and temp have been good and consistent and he shows no other symptoms other than scratching and a little less color from time to time. Oh, and there is a little area small black spots on the forward part of his anal fin (you can barely see it in the pic and the spots aft of the most fwd part of the fin were on the glass). The pic shows the main suspect area pretty well. Any idea what it is? <... your file is an order of magnitude larger than we request... And your answers and many more that you are not yet aware of are posted... on WWM. See the indices, search tool... re Acanthurus leucosternon, Tangs and Copper... Bob Fenner, disgusted>

Re: tang parasite? 1/29/07 Bob, I apologize for sending the large file, I forgot about it cause it's been a while. <And sorry for my apparent over-reaction... we only have ten megs of storage... and we went past it... all else is bumped till the buffer is cleared...> I have been researching WWM using different key words, but I hadn't thought copper was a problem (based on a friend having tangs for years and the LFS), <Is with Acanthuroids... particularly soft-bodied species like the PBT and Achilles> and I couldn't find anything else like I was seeing, but I don't even know if I was using the right words. I'm not sure if you got the image so here it is in a smaller size. <Thank you, did down-load and look at> I am looking again using your info, but any other help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks <I would not expose this specimen further to copper compounds... Perhaps a one-time formalin dip and move... And the administration of a general purpose anthelminthic... My choice? Praziquantel. Bob Fenner>

Re: tang parasite? FW dip Q. 2/4/07 after more consideration and a little improvement, I decided on a FW dip. took my time balancing temp and ph. I only let him go 3 minutes. WWM is VERY right about the dip being so stressful on the owner, but I wanted to ask: Is it normal for the fish to stop swimming and just lay down? <Yes, very common> he did that quite a few times and I would just prod him along with my hand, he would swim a little and then stop all tensed up and fall over on his side. by the time 3 minute came around he wouldn't respond to stimulation from my hand and he was turning colors so I had to stop. <BobF>

Powder Blue Tang, Ich 11/8/06 I have a 155 reef with 13 fish, and assorted corals and inverts, all levels great, but while out of town for 3 days (fish watched by LFS owner) my powder blue has a light (for the time being) case of ich. I have not added anything for over a year, so my QT is gone. My other fish seem unaffected, the tang has had it for 4 days, I have been adding garlic to the food, but he isn't getting better or worse. Will kick ich help the tang, or will it prevent only further spread. < I cannot advise adding this to a tank with corals. While it may help the tang it may harm you inverts. Please research WWM for opinions on these "reef safe" products. > And do I do freshwater dips, or would it be useless without a QT. < If you can catch the tang without inducing a lot of stress then it can help. > He is still acting normal and eating great, but I want to do whatever I can. < This is one of those watch and see situations. I would suggest getting that QT up and running ASAP. If you can maintain optimal water conditions you may keep your fish healthy enough to fight off a minor outbreak, but prepare for trouble. Moving all fish to QT at the first sign of ich spreading may be your best bet. > Thanks, < You're welcome, and hope everything works out for you - Emerson > Denise
Powder blue with ich... re-sent, same bat channel.. 11/14/06
I have a 155 reef with 13 fish, and assorted corals and inverts, all levels great, but while out of town for 3 days (fish watched by LFS owner) my powder blue has a light (for the time being) case of ich. <A common occurrence> I have not added anything for over a year, so my QT is gone. My other fish seem unaffected, the tang has had it for 4 days, I have been adding garlic to the food, but he isn't getting better or worse. Will kick ich help the tang, <Not in the least. This product is an outright scam> or will it prevent only further spread. <Neither, none of the above, nunc...> And do I do freshwater dips, or would it be useless without a QT. He is still acting normal and eating great, but I want to do whatever I can. Thanks, Denise <Mmm... a bunch to state, speculate... on the one proverbial hand, you could do the least/nothing... watch the Acanthurus for signs of further increasing infestation... to the other end of the scale... removing, treating all fishes... hoping that by allowing the main/display system to go fallow (sans fish hosts), the protozoan will die off or become so subsequently weakened as "not likely" to re-infest your fish livestock... All these and intermediate possibilities are posted, gone over on WWM BTW. Bob Fenner>

Wound or disease or both? 9-19-06 This Powder blue I have had for about 4 months. It was at the LFS for about 3 months before I purchased it. It has never had any health problems to my knowledge. Can you determine from these pictures the ailment, if any? <Mmm, nope> I noticed this dark spot on its side 2 days ago. It seems to have occurred overnight. Did it have a run in with some rock? Or the anemone? <Maybe> Or is this some sort of disease? <If so... likely environmental... not nutritional, infectious, parasitic/pathogenic...> The last "change" I made was a 5 gallon water change last week. 90 gal reef tank <Too small> 1.021 <Too low> temp: 80-82 deg Nitrate/phosphate/nitrite/ammonia all equal zero. Lighting: MH and Actinic and moonlights 1 royal Gramma 1 black clown 1 blue damsel 1 sebae anemone (6 inches in diameter when fully expanded) 2 pieces of frogspawn 1 small blue mushroom colony 1 green star polyp 1 leather coral 70-80 lbs live rock Thanks so much for your help, Blake <Could be some sort of allelopathogenic effect... result of negative interaction twixt your H. crispa and the other cnidarians... my best guess... Cures? Improve water quality... use of chemical filtrants, add a refugium... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Microsporidean Infection - Will it go away? 3/21/06 Hi Bob, <Steve> You have been such a great help! I recently got a small Powder blue tang that has been showing pimple-like bumps on its body - not salt grains (ich) and not dust-like (velvet). After researching your site, I'm pretty sure it's a microsporidean infection. My question is, while it is said that there is no cure for this, will it just go away or is the fish just doomed? <Mmm, have seen such infestations live "with their host" for many years> In your responses to the other related posts, you only mentioned that it's not infectious to other species nor is contagious. Secondly, how long does it usually take for these bumps to develop? <...?> I'd like to figure out if it picked it up in my tank or already had it when I bought it from the store. <This latter, assuredly> I bought the PBT with a yellow tang at the same time so that they won't get too territorial. For the first few days they were buddies, then the PBT would get annoyed and they'd flash their tails now and then. Could these bumps be coming from stress maybe? <To some extent> Also, from your experience, how long does it take to go away? <Sometimes months, other times, never.> thanks again for your help. You've truly impacted the aquarist community for the better. Steve <There are some groups of fishes, my favorite example the serrasalmine fishes called Silver Dollars, that very often have these... and they often prove persistent. I would enjoy this fish, ignore the bumps. Bob Fenner>
Re: Microsporidean Infection - Will it go away? PBT dis. - 03/22/06
Update on my PBT - Last night the white bumps turned into more or less white specks and white specks started showing up on its pectoral fins. <Is likely the protozoan Cryptocaryon...> Then this morning they looked black on the body but still white on the fins. As this is my first time dealing with this, I find myself second guessing my initial diagnosis. Could it be ich, <Most likely> or black ich that I'm seeing instead of a microinfection or is this just part of the lifecycle for the microsporidean? The fish is less active today and swimming a little more wobbly but still eating Nori and picking at algae on the LR. His original darker full blue has faded into a much lighter powder blue and he's not picking on the other fish anymore, sometimes just hiding in the corner away from the other fish. Sorry for bombarding you guys with these trivial questions - I feel like a nervous parent who's never seen their kid have a cold before. So a little reassurance or at least understanding of what's going on would be most helpful. Just in case, since I only have a 10 gallon QT, I decided to move all my corals (I don't have that many, just some zoos, xenia, anemone, and candy cane) to the QT and leave the fish in the main tank with a some live rock in case I need to medicate. Did I misdiagnose or is this just part of the microsporidean lifecycle and I just have to wait it out? Steve <... is not likely a Microsporidean. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Parasite on powder blue tang? Health... - 03/12/2006 Dear Crew, My 2 ½' powder blue tang has recently been infected by what I assumed was marine ich. It started as small white sand grains all over his body two days after I introduced it to my tank. <Sans quarantine...> It is a new addition to my established 60 gallon tank (non-reef). <Too small...> My water is RO and the levels are stable and near perfect. I had it with a small (2' long') yellow tang and I they didn't get along very well for a couple of days. I thought that this is why the powder blue was stressed and was infected with ich. I turned up the temp to 82 degrees (as told to do so by my LFS) and rearranged the live rock and they began to get along and even followed each other around. The ich started to get worse and I noticed small bumps under the skin of the powder blue. All along it has eaten very well (red macroalgae, frozen mysis cubes, and grazing the liverock) and been very active, just looked bad due to the bumps and specs. I took the powder blue out after a week, <The system is infested...> freshwater dipped for 20 minutes in formalin / malachite green. It did very well (no signs of stress). Then I moved it to a quarantine tank, which I have treated with the same formalin / malachite green (after reading through your FAQs, I now know that I should have done this in the first place, <Ding ding ding! Yes!> before putting him in the display tank). The instructions on the bottle say to treat the tang for up to 3 days. It has been in the quarantine for a little over 12 hours and most of the white specs are gone. Now the specs are gone, the raised bumps under it's skin are more prominent. The bumps seem to be all over it's body, but especially large just under and rear of it's pectoral fins. <Poisoned...> The powder blue is still very active and eating very well, but I am concerned about the bumps. Is this just another symptom of the ich or another parasite all together? <Symptomatic of formalin, malachite toxicity> Am I treating the tang correctly? <... no> It is a beautiful fish and would love to get it healthy again. The yellow tang has shown no signs of infection at all and the powder blue acts like nothing is wrong. This gives me hope. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated. <Posted... on WWM> I have attached two pics of the fish in QT. I am sorry the pics aren't sharp, but it is the best I can do. The first shows the dark marks left after the white specs were gone. The second shows some of the bumps I am concerned about (circled in yellow). The bumps are not discolored, just raised and actually look like they are clear inside, like large water bubbles. Thank you for your help, Casey <Do read... and soon... re leucosternon tangs, crypt, the compounds you have used. Bob Fenner>

Re: parasite on powder blue tang ? - 03/12/2006 Crew, Thank you for your quick response. I do understand the error of my ways as far as not quarantining my fish before introducing them into my display tank. I was just listening to the instructions of my LFS. They were bad instructions. <Learn, think for yourself> I have removed both tangs and have them in QT. I don't think the bumps are coming from the meds though. The bumps were present on the Powder Blue before I move it to the quarantine tank. They are just more visible now the white specs are gone. There was no formalin / malachite green in the display tank. The display tank is now empty except for a small (10") snowflake eel. I am planning on leaving it that way for 4 or five weeks to let the parasite life cycle expire. <... won't with the eel present...> I have been reading more on your site and it sounds like I have two choices, copper or hyposalinity. I am more apt to go for hyposalinity as I don't want to poison my fish anymore, if I have already done so. <... please read on WWM re hyposalinity treatments> Thank you for your help and all the wisdom on the website, Casey <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Disease Identification Hi WWM, <Jen> I need some help identifying some "stringy white tissue" hanging from the fins of a Powder Blue Tang. I have never seen this on a fish before, and have no idea what it is, what caused it, or how to treat it. This fish was quarantined for 3 weeks in hyposalinity and no symptoms of parasite or any other problem was noticed during that time. The specific gravity was then raised over the course of 2-3 days to 1.020, <This species is best always kept in near natural seawater concentration, 1.025> and the fish remained in quarantine for 4 months to help insure he was in excellent condition before being added to the display tank. There were never any indications of parasite or any other problem. He was added to the display tank about 10 days ago. On day 9, we noticed some slight scratching on the rocks and a few of the "stringy white tissue" hanging from the tail fin. On day 10, (picture attached of fish on day 10) he had considerable more of the "tissue" hanging from both pectoral fins, the tail fin and the back part of the dorsal fin. He is still breathing and eating normally. We have noticed that he will occasionally dart, and then resume swimming normally. The other fish in the tank seem unaffected. I am hoping you can help me identify this problem and advise me on the best treatment method. Thank You for your time. Jen Marshall <I am of the opinion that these extensions are part of the fish itself, and will diminish with time, good care. I would not "treat" the water or fish per se. Bob Fenner>

Tang With Ich or Velvet or other? 12/15/05 Hello my wonderful WWM Team, you all are a true blessing! I pour over your information like a wolverine ALL THE TIME to research new tank inhabitants, care, disease, reef care, etc... I true database of information! Here we go. Tank: 29 gallon Bio & Carbon filters, Eclipse hood w/upgraded lighting and add-on circulation unit. About 20 lbs of Live Rock & additional live sand. Tank Inhabitants (currently alive and well): 2 percula clown fish 1 firefish goby 1 clown goby 1 juvenile Powder Blue Tang <... in a too small world... Really needs hundreds of gallons.> 1 Rose BTA <If something goes wrong in such small confines...> 1 SPS Hammer 1 Blood Red Cleaner Shrimp 7 Hermit Crabs 8 Astrea Snails 5 Sand-Sifting Snails (Nass's) I had recently purchased two juvenile clown gobies and a neon goby from my LFS. <Not to go in this same system I hope/trust> This was exactly 18 days ago. Sad to say I have not gathered enough SW care equipment to have a quarantine tank (I know, I know!) - so I acclimated my new tank inhabitants in the only tank I currently own. <You're learning... by fire> The clown gobies fought with each other the first couple days, one becoming very shy and elusive. She used to hide a lot while the other fed (and/or he chased her and they locked jaws a lot, I figured they were sorting things out) but I did in fact observed her eating - have not seen her at all for about 7 days now, was hoping she was still hiding in the LR eating the live food that naturally resided there, but I fear she's gone (crab meal). <Only one should be kept here... remove the other if it's still about.> The neon was very active and aggressively wanted to clean my powder blue tang. (The tang rarely sat still enough for the shrimp to clean him unless he was with it in the rockwork). So he was a great eater, very active, did very "goby things" as I would call it. Then one day (about three days ago) I did not see him during feeding time front and center eating like a maniac. I looked around, he was tucked in the LR and eating here and there, but not like his true self. I did not see him the next day. Today during feeding he must have just died because the crabs were cleaning the fresh carcass (I could see the blue stripes still on him very vividly). I am not sure what he died of at all. He acclimated and got along with everything so very well. Well upon my daughter looking at the remains of the goby. She said, "What's wrong with the tang?" My heart sank - I ran over to the tank. He has what looks like and I can only describe as "chicken pox" - it does not look like ich or marine velvet (to me) but can be either or. How did he get it? <Environmental to a large degree... perhaps a parasite, pathogenic input from the non-acclimated/new livestock...> Could it have come over on the gobies? <Yes> The tang was "flashing" - rubbing up against the rockwork two days ago quite a bit (looking silly I thought - he is quite the character, but I did not notice any spots on him then as I know this can be a sign of a problem). He didn't really have any "white dots" so I looked up black spot - nope not that either. And I am not sure if it is even velvet. They are grayish bumps all over his body. On the dark areas of his face, the spots look like white faded scars, on the light areas they look like a soft gray spot. His white fin on the bottom has what looks like gray spots on it. He is acting very normally, eating, swimming patterns, etc. not getting aggressive towards anyone. I checked my water params and everything seemed normal on my end - but I am taking a sample to the LFS in case I had some sort of error (double checking myself) and salinity is perfect, temp is between 79-81 degrees (usual for my tank). He is not presenting himself that I can see to the blood red shrimp - and did not allow the neon goby to clean more than a few seconds (as he is so active). I heard both of these animals help with ich - is it just my tang is too active to allow for a good cleaning? <Mmm, no> The tang has been in my tank for about 8 months without ever showing signs of sickness except for when I did a large water change once (breathing very quickly - I literally held him in front of the minimal eclipse hood flow I had so he didn't have to work so hard to get flow over his gills. <Good observation> I held him for a few moments in the flow (he actually allowed me to), he was calm and seemed to catch his breath so to speak and I released him from my one-handed cupping and he was fine after that with no draw backs - don't know what that was about but he never exhibited any spotting/discoloration that might have gone along with a disease or infection. Other than that, he has been a happy, healthy and extremely friendly fish to all of his tank mates. <Eight months is a good long time for this species in captivity in general... remarkable in this small setting> He is very bumpy - almost pimply looking. Like I said, appears to be a lot like chicken pox all over his body. They are dull-colored splotches, like I said they discolor whatever color it was on. It made the dark areas appear to be light (like an old scar would be on a person), and light areas have a gray tint. It did not "coat the fish" as the velvet pics show - but had defined spots/bumps. I read and read and read through the tang disease and other diseases and have not found something that fits this description (I did try to do my research!). I thought perhaps with the history of my introduced inhabitants and their behavior/deaths might help you to help me. <... you need a much larger system...> I love my tang (aka: "Fat Head") and would do what's necessary to help him. I have pre-mixed salt at home already with pH buffer missed as well that is about 4 days old. Any suggestions on what I can do now (yes, I am buying a quarantine tank TODAY!) I read you all don't favor copper treatments. Any other suggestions on how to treat the reef tank - and should I remove all the other fish even tho they are showing no signs of the ich/velvet? <Not a treatment per se... but barring moving this fish to a large, stable system with a good deal of cured live rock, possibly "mud filtration", there is not much that can/will "cure" it> I am so afraid I don't know what I am diagnosing and I don't want to treat them, stress them, <You are wise here> then realize I have to treat them all over again for using the wrong medications. HELP! Damage control! (PS: I tried to take some pictures of him, but he is never still and ends up being blurred and you can't see anything. sorry I could not send them along with this request.) Thanks in advance for any help in figuring out what this is and helping me and my fishies - you all are THE BEST and I really appreciate all of the hard work put into having WWM and your selfless contributions to fish-keeping society. Warm Regards and many hugs - Christine <Thank you... am sure you've read my piece on Acanthurus leucosternon posted on WWM, and the accompanying FAQs files... I would review these again. Copper, formalin, other treatment are not efficacious here... this fish needs to be moved to better quarters... soon, to survive. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Malady? Hey Crew! Need your help again! Thanks for your advice! <Glad to be here for you! Scott F. with you today!> I have had this beautiful Powder Blue for 2 weeks now, he has been eating like a monster, and doing well with the other roommates. Parameters: Temp 82 75 gal. w/20 gal. sump/fuge growing Caulerpa; EV-240 skimmer; 140# LR, 4-5" fine substrate pH 8.2 Yellow tang, Picasso Trigger, Volitans Lion, Powder Blue tang NH3 0 NO2 0 NO3 20 <Water conditions sound good...At some point, a larger tank is in order for this crowd!> The last two days the Powder Blue has exhibited the discoloration shown in the photo, he has lost the black to his face. These look like abrasions with some inflammation, but are difficult to visualize due to his speed. <I see...> They are on both sides, and various body parts including his face, which makes me think more along the lines of a fungal infection or such. I'm setting up a Hospital tank now and will QT him until further ID of problem. Thanks again for your help! Ed Carter, RN, BSN, CCRN <Unfortunately, I didn't get the pic, so I'm compelled to take a guess here. Discolorations like you describe could be anything from a non-lethal malady like Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE), which generally is diet or environmentally-induced, to a more serious fungal infection, as you theorize. Usually, HLLE has a gradual onset of symptoms, so you may indeed be looking at some sort of fungal disorder. Are there any other symptoms? Lack of appetite? Heavy breathing? Obvious distress or discomfort shown by the fish? If you could try again with the picture, we might be better able to diagnose this malady. Until then, your quarantine procedure is correct. Keep the water quality high, feed carefully, and take note of further symptoms. I'd avoid any medications until you get a handle on just what this affliction may be. In some cases, these types of non-lethal disorders clear themselves up with the passage of time and a good clean environment. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>
Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine

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