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FAQs about Yellow Tang Disease Treatment 

FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease: Disease 1, Disease 2, Disease 3, Disease 4, Disease 5, Disease 6, Disease 7, Disease 8, Yellow Tang Disease 9, Yellow Tang Disease 10, Yellow Tang Disease 11, Yellow Tang Disease 12, Yellow Tang Disease 13, Yellow Tang Disease 14, & Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,
FAQs on Yellow Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Trauma, Pathogenic (infectious, parasitic), Social, Genetic,

Related Articles: Yellow Tangs

Related FAQs: Best Yellow Tang FAQs, Yellow Tangs 1, Yellow Tangs 2, Yellow Tangs 3, Yellow Tangs 4, & Yellow Tang FAQs: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Reproduction, & Purple Tangs, Striped Sailfin Tangs, Zebrasoma Tangs, Zebrasoma Identification, Zebrasoma Behavior, Zebrasoma Compatibility, Zebrasoma Selection, Zebrasoma Systems, Zebrasoma Feeding, Zebrasoma Disease, Zebrasoma Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Boosting immunity via vitamin and HUFA supplementation, food soaking....

pH adjusted freshwater dips/baths, w/ or w/o formalin

Avoid copper compounds if you can: Too toxic

and beware of "phony med.s"... Ones that don't list ingredients. Junk "homeopathic" non-remedies like "fix"
Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

New Tang Trtmt.      6/4/15
Hello Bob,
I have incoming tonight 3 small tangs from a local wholesaler.
I would like to quarantine for the first time, but being these aren't exactly gobies or.clownfishz I have a decision to make.
I have a spare 29 gallon tank, equipped with hob power filter, 600 gph power head, and heater. I took media components, such as filter floss, sponge, and PVC pipe that's been sitting in my fish on only tank sump for biological bacteria for a few weeks
I can set tank up, input some media that could be my biological filtration.
Or I can skip bio filter, and do the tank transfer method every 48/ hours, not letting ammonia build up.
<I'd use the media.>
Since they are ultimately going into my display tank at the end of it( which I believe to be parasite free) I can use water from display tank, which also allows me to do 20 percent water changes on my display every 2/days, instead of just making new water only to go down the drain two days later.
<You may well have to check the water twice daily and change a good deal of it out daily>
I have the 29, I can transfer fish, into say an equivalent size rubber maid, bleach and rinse 29, and switch back to 29 in 48/ hours.
I know that's a lot of work but that's what I have the means to do. The other option is cycle the 29, and run copper, but I have a feeling a 29 with no live rock or sand may not biologically hold the ammonia output.
Any suggestions for my case would be appreciated. Thanks
<I'd read on WWM re Tang Diseases... and summarily dip/bath them enroute (after acclimating); in a pH adjusted freshwater bath... per the S.O.P. posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tang trtmt.       6/5/15

Hey Bob,
Read the pH temp adjusted baths, will definitely that do that in between transfers.
<Real good>
There will be 4 transfers, 3 days apart. I will probably wait for the 2nd and 4th session to use Prazi pro for flukes, worms etc.
<Okay... though the dip/bath should remove most all the external... look closely at the dip water... give it a stir...>
Goal would be try to get them to eat before adding any medication.
<A bit of triage evaluation is useful: IF the specimens are in apparently good health, treating them from the get-go is the route to go. Often in captivity, just in from the wild, being moved... they just worsen in isolation>
I see various answers about sanitizing. What's the most recent verdict or methodology, 1 part bleach to 10/parts water for a few hours, rinse, rinse and air dry at least 24 hours?
And in theory with tank transfer, since ich can be water borne and fish carry water in them, can they hypothetically carry ich in there bodies during a transfer?
<Not in... or at least we should define our terms; but "on", though at times deep-embedded in the tissue around and under scale insertions>
Or is that simply over thinking the process?
Thank you, Bob
<Welcome. B>

The Stubborn Tang; not fdg. post Cu exposure      7/4/12
Hello crew!  i have an interesting predicament, so I'm hoping you will be able to help!
<Me too>
Here's the story:  i have a 5'' yellow tang in my 90g DT (150g total system) tank, and he wont eat for me recently.  I've had him since February this year, and until about 2 weeks ago, he's been acting....off.  When i first got him he had some mild HLLE which with lots of seaweeds, soaked in Selcon and Mysis and formula 2, he had a great recovery, almost complete turn around of the HLLE.  About 3 months ago the tank was hit with Ich, and then promptly treated by moving all fish to a QT and followed with copper treatment and a fallow tank for 7 weeks.
<The Cu exposure will very commonly affect tangs as you describe... make them anosmotic, and worse, kill off necessary intestinal fauna... Need to replenish... By adding a Tang species that does have such in its gut. Or moving the Yellow Tang into a system w/ such "critters" living there>
 After full recoveries and such.
all fish were returned and everything has been fine up until now.
I noticed the tang acting more lethargic than normal at lights on for a few days to start, and him bumping into the rock work occasionally, so i was worried his eyes were possibly blinded by the lights for some reason, so i lowed the lighting levels and that didn't change it.  then a few days later i noticed faint red mark, mostly around his tail and dorsal fin- at this point he was eating, but not as vigorously.  a few days later he stopped eating completely and as almost completely receded into the cave network in my rocks. there was a period of about 5 days, a week ago that he seemed to have some problems staying upright while not swimming, turning completely on 90 degrees on his 'side' and once and a while to nearly 120 and then quickly righting him self - this symptom has gone away recently.
now, almost 2 weeks since seeing him last eat, his HLLE is back with almost full force, if not worse, and i cannot get him to eat anything, even doused in garlic / Selcon.  Im quite worried.
<You should be>
Param.s: 0amm/nitrite, 5-10 nitrate, 80 F, .028 salinity (a little high, evaporation is...being difficult, slowly lowering to .026)
<1.    >
I would remove him to QT but I'm afraid moving him may do more harm then good, and all the other tankmates are looking fine and dandy ( 3'' hippo Tang, 3 teal Chromis, 1 blue damsel, 1 fire-fish, 2 peppermint shrimp, and a serpent-star).
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
<Mmm, like Rabbits (lagomorphs), Termites... and many other examples, Acanthuroids have live G.I. symbionts... that are too-easily killed off w/ copper exposure... You need to put the fish in a situation where they can become reinoculated... The Tang will "pick up" these from the substrate.
Bob Fenner>
Re: The Stubborn Tang 7/4/2012

Hey Bob, just a quick follow up with your last email.
What do you suggest I do?  Should I add another herbivorous tang to the system to uh... 'Reintroduce' these critters or should I attempt the daunting task of finding someone that can house him for a few weeks to get him going again. (Pickings are slim in my area, my best bet would be this one LFS near me- well kept larger tanks-, but the owner is a bit of a hermit...).
<Yes; one or t'other>
Thanks with all the help,
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Stubborn yellow tang follow-up 7/5/2012

Hey Bob, sorry to bother you...again, this is the last question I'm sure:
<Not a bother>
What species of tang do you think would be a good choice for the job at hand.
<Mmm. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm
scroll down to the section on Tang Selection/Stocking>
The reason I ask is, I would assume in a best case scenario another yellow tang would be the best for replenishing these 'critters' but I don't want a turf war in my tank by adding a second yellow.   Any thoughts?  Also, would adding water from a system with herbivorous tangs be sufficient to reintroduce the needed critters?
<Ohh, now I recall... yes to adding not water, but mulm... fecal material... you can gravel vacuum from the one tank, place in the needed one>
Thanks a million,
<As many welcomes. BobF>

Treating a sick yellow tang 4/4/12
Hello WWM crew,
Sorry for the epic, but:
The question is: Will triple sulfa effectively treat a yellow tang with what appears to be bacterial/fungal infection?
<Mmm, not really; no. Best to address through consistent, high water quality and nutrition>

The details are: I rescued him from a client's aquarium (I pet-sit aquariums) after I found it being beaten to death by a scopas tang (surprise, surprise). The client wanted me to throw him out to avoid contaminating his tank further-- so I took him instead.
He was stabbed several times by the scopas on both sides of his body as well as had his fins chewed. Fin rot resulted from this, and the hard dorsal spines are exposed partially on the tang as well as deterioration of the pectoral and caudal fins.
<Can, will regenerate... heal over time>
Day 1 he almost died on the way to my house (fins not moving, gulping, eyes fixed with no response to stimulus). I threw him in my 20 gallon nano with no fish in it for a day just to see if he would live, or at least let him die in peace. (Aside: I am well aware of the tank size requirements of tangs-- the client himself has a 200g tank but poor livestock choices and overcrowding which resulted in aggression and poor water quality culminating in infection for the immunocompromised, bullied fish. It was either my nano or the garbage, so I chose my nano, even if it is horribly undersized for a tang.) He breathed rapidly, both eyes clouded, nasty wounds, laid on the floor.
Day 2 he was breathing better and swimming around but developed a thick coating of bacteria and/or fungus over his injuries, including fungus hanging from his hard dorsal spines and a bit from his mouth. At this point I took him and put him into a 5 gallon home depot bucket with a power filter with no chemical media and a ceramic mug. Have to use what I have, and I am obviously not going to put antibiotics into my 20 nano reef- Sorry, tang.
It was really confusing as which one to use and I just wanted to get something fast because he didn't look good AT ALL. So I purchased API Triple Sulfa. I was able to assist him in removing the thick bacterial coat (it was partially loose already) and found severe tissue damage underneath, down to what appears to be the muscle. He appears to be doing well in the 5 gallon bucket.
<Best to return to the twenty>
Day 3 Today he was quite lively and frisky when I captured him to observe him in a specimen container, compared to me being able to simply scoop him out of a 200 gallon aquarium with zero difficulty. A thin whitish coating has appeared over his exposed muscle and I fear the bacteria is growing back. I just want to know if I am using a medication which will be effective against his condition. I feel like he has the "fighting spirit" so to speak and would like to see him healthy. Conditions in QT are pH 8.0, 0 amm 0, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, and SG 1.018, with Triple Sulfa added.
Following manufacturer's instructions on the box. I started yesterday night (day 2 of rescue), and haven't brought it to the full therapeutic dose yet (they have you do half the dose the first night, the rest of the dose 24 hours later, then 24 hours later a 25% PWC and a repeat of the treatment followed by another 25% PWC and reintroduction of carbon, so I know the antibiotic is not in full effect yet anyway) Please advise, thanks!
<Again... the twenty, not sulfa drugs necessary or recommended. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Trouble -- 05/21/10
Hello all. I have been reading your site quite a bit and getting great information. Excellent site. My Yellow Tang is in trouble. I was treating him for lateral line with Fish Zole,
<Metronidazole... Flagyl generically>
recommended by LFS.
<Mmm... only if the root cause of this erosive condition is Parasitic... rare... will such a treatment avail... OTOH, this compound is very toxic... one dose is all fishes should ever be exposed to... Damages nephric/kidney
components... mortuus est. Instead, water quality, nutritional aspects are almost always the basal cause of HLLE... Read here:
and the linked files above...
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm
and the linked...>
After day 5 he started to turn red so I stopped. No one seemed to know what it was
<What? Nonsense!>
and said it was most likely from treatment.
<Oh, yes... tis so>

So I find a picture similar on your site. Should have come here first.
The Tang is in a QT tank right now.
<Won't be fixed here>
I have been using vitamins in his water/food.
<Good... return this fish to the main system>
Water tests are 0. PH is 8.2 and doing water change daily. Yesterday he did not eat his Nori soaked in vitamins nor the frozen herbivore food and the same for this morning. Not a good sign I'm sure. Is there anything else I can do? Should I start antibiotics again?
Would putting him back in the main tank be a bad idea?
<No; a good one>
He's been in the 10 gallon QT for 3 weeks which may be too small for a long period. Also It seems there is no set answer on how this happens.
<Double nonsense... the etiology of this condition, and its arrest, reversal is well-worked out...>
Water quality, which seems to be great and no problems with hippo tang or bicolor angel. Stress...he was boss of the tank....although I never seen much picking. Voltage....I have heard this one is a myth. Any ideas here?
<... see WWM re>
Thanks for any ideas and have a great weekend.
<Read where you've been referred and write back if you still have questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang Trouble - 5/23/10

Thank You for all your help. The tang is looking better since I put him back in the main tank. Less red, eating, and active. I believe this can be reversed with time.
<I do agree>

On another note...I have noticed a new round hole in my live rock that seems to be changing a little each day. Looking around and wondering what would create this hole.
<Mmm, could be a large number of biological predators, or even abiological factors at play here>
Mantis Shrimp has come to mind. Can they really crack glass?
<Reportedly, yes>
Does pulling the rock and putting fresh water in the hole really flush them out?
<I have seen/done this... better with Seltzer... and more fun>
Always a new challenge in this hobby but well worth it. I have asked for your book for my birthday. Looking forward to a good read.
Thanks again.
<Welcome Ms. S., BobF>

Please help my tank! 3/27/10
<Hi there Marilyn>
I have a tank that has been established for over a year, and my son has been taking some of my fish to his newly established tank in Boston.
On Monday I received 3 new small yellow tangs. They seemed to be doing fine, until I got up this morning and checked the tank. Two of the three tangs were dead and the third only lived for another hour or so!
<Look very stressed in your pix... from something...>
Please help me find out what caused their death. I have attached two photos that I took before all three were dead. I had put them in a separate tank and put some CopperSafe in it but to no avail.
<See WWM re Copper use and Acanthurids/Tangs... not a good idea>

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I checked and rechecked all of the levels in the tank and they seemed fine. And my cleaner shrimp and feather duster are still alive.
Baffled and sad on Cape Cod.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaq3.htm
and the linked files above. Something... chemically, physically and/or biologically did not "agree" with these Z. flavescens. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang, hlth. 12/3/09
Hello, I have a yellow tang in quarantine has been there almost a month, since I have had him he has filled out and is looking very good, lots of colour and fins nice and erect he eats anything that goes in, but have noticed that he swims really fast and erratic, shuddering movements back and forth then off he goes again back into a flowerpot, the thing that worries me most is he seems to flick his body against the heater and the side of his flowerpot and then does a lap of honour around the tank at high speed, there are no signs of any spots or marks etc could it be some other sort of parasite or just tang behaviour, many thank,
Regards Chris.
<All reads as "normal", i.e. healthy behavior. Zebrasoma tangs suffer for being kept in small volumes... w/o a sense of being able to "get away". The likelihood that this fish harbours communicable, parasitic disease is vanishingly small at this point. I would pass it through a pH adjusted freshwater bath, and place it in your main/display. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang
Thank you Bob for the prompt reply, appreciated, have been reading up on FW dips and other treatments for parasites etc so will now give him a FW dip
thanks again,
Regards Chris.
<Glad to aid your success Chris. BobF>
Re: Yellow Tang, hlth.
Hello again Bob, sorry to be a pest, do you think that one FW dip will suffice ?
and just to clarify you say to put him straight into the display after the dip ?
is there anything I should look out for after the dip i.e. behaviour from the tang what to look out etc, many thanks again,
Regards Chris.
<Mmm, yes... do keep an eye on the fish for signs of oxygen stress... add an airstone/pump if you have one, or agitate the water with your hand during the process. See here for more:
"and the linked files above"... BobF>
Re: Yellow Tang
Thanks again Bob greatly appreciated as you can tell new to marines,
Regards Chris.
<Welcome Chris! B>

Re: Yellow Tang 12/5/09
Hello Bob.
Sorry to bother you again, but just some updates on the yellow tang, taken onboard all you have said about the tang in a confined space and that will be sorted very soon, and have read LOTS of the related articles/threads,
anyway have not yet FW dipped him as have been observing him closely in case I missed something plus need to get out and get an air pump (when I get a minute from work) have noticed first thing in the morning he is very calm
and gill rate breathing quite slow, but after the lights go on and people about it's then he starts his flashing and gill rate breathing increase quite a lot, I guess again stress ?
as if it was gill fluke or something similar would breath rapidly all the time ? I will still be giving him a FW dip,
but would like to know your thoughts on the breathing, many thanks,
Regards Chris.
<Dip and move this fish. BobF>

Re: Yellow Tang 12/6/09
Thanks Bob making preparations now, have RO heating up the ph is low 6.5 so need to bring that up 8.2 both QT and display same so that's a plus, I have bicarbonate of soda , can't find any info on how much bicarbonate to use ?
many thanks,
Regards Chris.
<Mmm... a tsp. or so in a gallon or so will likely do here. Sodium bicarbonate will not dangerously over-elevate pH...
Maybe give a read here if interested in its applicable chemistry:

Re: Yellow Tang 12/6/09
Hello Bob, well the tang is in the main display and is 100% better than he was, he is grazing on the LR eating flake and seems a LOT happier, a couple of photo's attached,
Regards Chris.
<Ah, good. B>

Re: Yellow Tang -- 12/09/09
Hello again Bob, just to let you know the tang is really looking good now
(thanks to your help/advice), fantastic colour and gill rate normal really likes his new surroundings and his tank mates pair of clarkii clowns, the tang is feeding on Nori, flake and Mysis, his only problem now is the greedy female clown competing for food, who I just noticed swallowing a piece of coral shell in a feeding frenzy, do fish regurgitate what they can't digest or does it just pass though somehow ?
<Some of both>
once again many thanks for your help with the tang greatly appreciated,
Regards Chris.
<Glad to aid your successes. BobF>

Rotting Fin After Freshwater Dip 10/29/09
Hi Bob. I have a quick question for you. My Yellow Tang had developed some red blotches on its body (see attached picture entitled "Before 1").
Due to the fact that I had recently lost a fish to some disease, I decided to quarantine the Tang. I placed it in my QT tank and later that day freshwater dipped it (matching the temperature and PH). The dip took about 15 minutes, during which time the Tang laid sideways, but did not act irate. After the dip, I placed the Tang back into QT.
<So far...>
This morning all the red blotches were gone, but the tang's fins seemed to be rotting (see attached pictures entitled "After 1," "After 2," and "After 3"). This literally happened overnight. There is no other life in the QT, so nothing could have eaten the fins. How is this possible for this to happen overnight? The before and after pictures are 24 hours apart. In the before picture, the fins are smooth, but in the after picture, they are ruffled and look rotten. Have you ever seen anything like this? What do you recommend I do?
The Tang is not eating, but is swimming about kind of aloof.
<I do think the dip is accountable here... and "general stress" associated with it... This fish looks in good shape otherwise, and I do think that if it was moved to propitious circumstances following the bath, all should be fine here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rotting Fin After Freshwater Dip 11/6/09
Hi Bob. Thank you for the answer. The tang recovered and is eating perfectly.
Unfortunately, the red blotches on its body are coming back (see attached picture). It is still in quarantine, but not being treated with anything. What do you recommend?
<Time going by, good care. Read here:
and as much of the linked files above as takes to convince you. The red markings are environmental. BobF>

Desperation for anorexic yellow tangs Tang health: Probable copper poisoning 5/31/2009
Hi there
I apologise in advance for the length of this message/question and would also like to congratulate you on the most informative and helpful website I have found.
<Thank you for your kind words.>
I am writing from the UK so will convert to litres.
<Liters, gallons, UK gallons, whichever you are most comfortable with.>
I have 3 marine tanks, 2 display (450l and 400l) and one QT (100l). The QT is my problem NH4 -0, NO2 - 0, pH 8.0, NO3 currently about 10 SG- 1.020 for past week. (I only use in date Salifert test kits so I am sure they are reliable measures, expensive but the best IMO) QT is completely bare except a few plastic pots to hide in, is run by external Fluval 204, 1 wave p/head and 2 air pumps.
<Sounds fine.>
I have had 2 yellow tangs and a maroon clown in the QT for several months now due to various problems/diseases. Within 3 weeks of getting them both tangs developed white spot /Ich and I treated this successfully with a copper based treatment called Cuprazin (clown showed no symptoms at all).
<Hmm, not familiar with the product.>
They all fed well until towards the end of the treatment when the tangs stopped eating, but within 2 days of stripping it out and adding vitamins they began eating again. All 3 seemed fine and I was at the end of the further 4 wk period, almost ready to transfer into display tanks when I went away for a few days and neighbours clearly massively overfed whilst I was gone.
<As neighbors tend to do. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm >
NO3 was 15- 20 when I went and a huge 40+ when I returned. Consequently all 3 fish were struggling /breathing more heavily, both tangs displayed reddened areas on both sides at the back end and base of fins, and the clown was covered in grey film patches and some white spots. I obviously did repeated water changes to get control of NO3 again and added an anti internal bacteria product by interpret, with no response, so after required time I discontinued use, changed more water and stripped out ( using Polyfilter). LFS then recommended using a combined malachite green and formalin product as they wondered if it was Brooklynella on the clown?
<Hmm... not Brooklynella.>
I couldn't come up with an alternative diagnosis so I did as suggested for required time, again with no response, so I stripped out ( using carbon) and water changed etc.
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/brooklynella.htm >
At this point after searching on your site and everywhere else I decided to just keep improving/maintaining water quality to see if they would heal themselves and indeed this seemed to happen, very steadily the patches became smaller and red colour went paler on tangs and, the clown began to look more normal.
<Very good.>
Throughout these earlier treatments they all kept eating but the tangs were slightly less interested than usual in Nori, however, just as they appeared almost fully recovered one of the tangs started flashing against the
plastic pots repeatedly (near its gills particularly) and stopped eating and the breathing became more rapid. Spoke to LFS and they stated it must be a parasite, not just bacterial due to this behaviour so I began treating with the copper product I had previously used successfully.
Both tangs seemed distressed by this and began doing some strange behaviour - nose pointing upwards/ heavier breathing/ moving around less and neither of them were eating whilst copper was used ( clown again eating like a horse) . I became deeply anxious but continued to treat until the flashing stopped, then stripped out (using Polyfilter) and did 30% water change.
<You need to stop dosing with copper. Copper is toxic, particularly to the natural fauna that live in the digestive tract of Tangs.>

Again I left them to improve and again steadily the red colour continued to fade and the greedier tang started eating again but only brine shrimp (not Mysis which is their usual staple) and occasional flake, no Nori whatsoever. The other tang has not eaten since this time which must be at least 4 weeks now, except for one day (when he ate some Nori and one flake). I am astounded that he is still alive and am thoroughly despondent at what to do for him ! He continues to have heavier breathing and moves around but is almost skeletal. I have tried everything I can think of : a huge range of formula flakes/ herbi flake, live brine, Mysis, enriched Spirulina/omega 3 frozen food, krill etc etc I have added garlic and vitamins to both food and water. Nori is constantly available and replaced daily. I have racked my brains for changes as the other tang has now also stopped eating for the past 5 days and is getting rapidly thinner too. The clown continues to eat like a horse and is eating for 3 now ! !
<As Clowns will do if given the chance. It doesn't look good for the one Tang, just keep trying to get it to eat.>
In terms of symptoms the clowns have gone except for 1 tiny grey/white spot above the eye. The tangs bodies are yellow again, although there is light pink discolouration on the skeletal one at the back end and one persistent small red patch on the other tang over his brow / forehead and a few red/brown dots on his body. Both tangs still seem to be breathing slightly heavier than their usual pattern.
<Stress, healing.>
The only changes I can think of in the past week are: reducing SG slowly from NSW to 1.020 ( approx 1 week ago) in an attempt to aid healing and breathing, adding extra vitamins to the water on a daily basis ( the product suggests this if they are sick or weakened),adding a skimmer and new carbon.
<Are they still in the QT tank, or are they in the main tank? If they are still in QT, I would get them back in the main tank as soon as possible.>
So my first question is could any of the above be making them anorexic ?
<Stress, repeated exposure to toxins that may or may not have been beneficial>
my second question in desperation and complete confusion is please, please, please do you have any ideas or advice of what else to try ? ? I have scanned your site over and over in the hope of finding some answers or inspiration but so far the only new thoughts I have had are adding some coral sand from existing display tank that contains tangs in case they have lost internal gut fauna/bacteria,
<This is likely.>
adding rotifers/ plankton in the hope they mistakenly ingest some and adding other marine algaes Caulerpa/hair etc (which I did 2 days ago with no success yet)
<I would put them back in the main display.>
Also what do you think the clown had ? and could the anorexia just be a further declining stage before death and if so what disease do you think they have had for future reference of how to treat etc ?
<Likely poor water quality and not necessarily a disease.>
Many thanks for any help you can give, I am absolutely desperate now or would not have bothered you. Please respond quickly if at all possible.
Keep up the great work you do
Many thanks in advance.

Brown spots, Yellow Tang, stress, more reading and grammar checking   4/30/08
Hello Crew <Terris> I have spent hours reading your web site great stuff it should be organized into a hard cover encyclopedia. <Run on sentence> I am new at this, but we have to start somewhere right. <A statement?> I have a 110 gallon tank with a small community 4 clown (one is a tomato), 1 Yellow Tang a flame angel fish, coral beauty, a dog face puffer and a beta, <Not this> all living very happy. <Happily> With acceptable water conditions tank is fully cycled and is growing live rock very fast (up till yesterday) I have two sick fish the puffer and the yellow tang have these brown spots. <... in a word, from "stress"> I added quick cure 24 hours ago <An exceedingly poor idea/move... you've poisoned your system... with formalin> and I do not know now what action should be taken now since the fish still have the spots on them. I have added a picture of the tang. The puffer fish fins are starting to look better, but the tang is still not looking like there is any improvement. Terris Cooper <Keep reading... Likely the Tomato is harassing the Zebrasoma... could be nutritional, some aspect of water quality... Bob Fenner>

QT tang with Ich   8/26/07 Hello all: Need some words of wisdom from you guys at WWM. Have a yellow tang that I purchased from my local LFS 2 Saturdays ago, he was immediately placed in QT( SpG 1.019 temp 80 degrees), <... what spg was this fish in previously?> and within 2 days began to show signs of Ich which is not surprising since LFS is notorious for this problem since they tend to overstock. <And don't employ prophylactic processes> Began treating last Friday with CopperSafe and have been maintaining level between 1.5 and 2.0 ppm since then. He has been eating like a hog the whole time color is great no rapid respiration, flashing or rubbing and within the last 3 days the lesions have resolved completely and areas of irritation have also diminished. My question is I have read a lot of information regarding Tangs and copper therapy and it is my understanding that they should be treated no longer that two weeks due to damaging their intestinal flora. <This is so> This being the case how do I go about ensuring he is free of infection prior to introducing him to my display tank. <Continue, finish the copper treatment... allow to rest up, observe... use a dip/bath in moving to the main display...> If I reduce copper levels after 2 weeks of therapy and keep him in QT another two weeks more will I not be waiting for another exposure when the cysts begin to hatch in 28 days???? <Mmm, will 'hatch' out much sooner than this... Would likely show within another week if not gone...> Marie Jones <Bob Fenner>
Re: QT tang with Ich -- 08/26/07
Hello Mr. Fenner: Could your please clear up the information you sent me and see if I am understanding you correctly. I guess what you are saying is treat my tang for two weeks in copper, remover copper then observe for another two weeks, then Methylene blue dip <Mmm, pH adjusted FW... perhaps with formalin rather than Methylene Blue> prior to introduction into main tank. If an outbreak reoccurs during 2 week resting period in quarantine begin cycle all over again. <At that point I would use something other than Copper> Have I got it? Also the SpG at LFS was 1.021, he was acclimated over a period of 45 min. Thank you for your time. <I see. Sorry for the lack of clarity, completeness. BobF>
Re: QT tang with Ich -- 08/26/07
Dear Mr. Fenner: I thank you and Big Bird tangs you. LOL Your time and advice were very much appreciated. Hopeful I was not too much of a pest. <Not a worry> Will let you know in a few weeks how things have progress. Again, Thanks <Thank you, BobF>

Yellow tang and copper   8/22/07 I have a tang in qt <Not quarantine, but treatment> for ick using CopperSafe, and now it has developed a dark spot on one side. <... from copper exposure, stress, metabolite accumulation... > I was reading on here about copper with tangs can you go into more detail about this since I am using it, and what can I do for the dark spot, when I first put the tang in qt I had a fake rock in there and it rubbed on it I thought that maybe it rubbed to hard and made the spot (but looks like it is getting bigger to me) would appreciate any info thanks <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Yellow Tang, Treating Main Tank, Lack of QT 8/9/07 I bought a yellow tang about three weeks ago. It was from someone else's tank, relinquished to the local store, and bought by me (lots of moving.) Also, when store clerk was bagging it up, she practically wrestled with it to get it in the net and then in to the bag. <Not good.> Fish came home and ate a bit of algae the first couple of days, but I didn't know its preferred food, so I basically starved it for about a week. <Algae is its preferred and natural food.> Then it developed many symptoms - cotton mouth, white specs, cloudy eyes. THEN I found out what it likes to eat (brine shrimp) <worthless> but by then the eyes were so cloudy it had trouble eating. I have to spoon-feed it so that the shrimp touches fish's lips, and then he will suck it in. (Named the fish Nicole Ritchie.) Nicole has gotten some stomach mass back since the spoon-feeding began (was looking gaunt) and we treated the whole tank with a round of erythromycin. <Not good to treat the main tank, the antibiotic probably killed off your bio-filtration and your water quality could be in jeopardy here, making the whole situation worse. Check your water parameters here.> The box says a second round may be necessary. Nicole's eyes are still cloudy, but less cloudy than before, and body looks better, but her ability to feed seems to be hindered by not being able to see. Her fins are relaxed, she moves freely about the tank, and what looks like bruising on a peach, discolored marks on her body, seems better in the past couple of days. She associates one particular corner with being fed, and she goes there regularly, but it's hard to get the tiny shrimps right up to her lips, but we try. <Need to get better foods than brine into it, potato chips of the sea.> I was told she likes seaweed sheets, but she hasn't eaten any of it since I bought it, after her eyes were cloudy, not even if I hold it up to her lips. I know that everything Nicole went through to get here was bad, and I can understand that the stress wigged her out, but when do I administer the second round of antibiotics, or should I use something else? I left Nicole in the same tank since she's been here, as moving her to the smaller, empty tank I have seemed like more stress she didn't need, but I do have a 29 gal tank available, if you think moving is better. <This fish needs to be in a QT tank where it has a chance to settle down, fatten up and recover.> The tank she is in now is 55 gal, with live rock, some corals, a clown fish and a marine Betta, who are all still in good health and eat good. There seem to be no aggression problems with any of them. Please help me save Nicole Ritchie. Missy Kisner <You need to get your water parameters in check here, I'm guessing they are off. Also, all fish need to be QTed before adding to the main tank, since treating them in there is near impossible.> <Chris>

Question about Marine Fish Disease... Zebrasoma flavescens, constant Cu exp.  4/18/07 Bob, I have a yellow tang that wants to hide out when food is put in the  tank.  I haven't seen him eating, but it doesn't look like he is losing  much weight.   He also has pale patches above his eyes.  There are no visible white dots on him. His breathing is slightly rapid and when I changed the charcoal filter I  put in the Chemipure Elite he started scratching.  I took out the charcoal  after around 30 minutes, since I read that it removes copper, which I keep in my tank all the time. <A mistake>   He quit scratching when I removed the  charcoal. Also I added an Imperator Angel to the tank and the angel has taken on the task of cleaning the tang.  The angel must see something that I  don't. <Could be... this Pomacanthus is a facultative cleaner in the wild when small> Is there anything more that I should do, other than the copper? Thanks, Sherri <Mmm, all sorts... improve the environment... more/better filtration, skimming... Definitely cease the copper exposure... Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang with red scratches around face  3/6/07 I know you hear it all the time, but you guys and gals rock.  The information you provide is extremely helpful.  Thanks so much!! <Welcome> I have a yellow tang that has been in the quarantine tank for 6 weeks this coming Wednesday.  The main tank had a case of Ich and I removed the fish and treated the quarantine tank with copper for two weeks.  The quarantine tank is 25 gallons and water parameters are all good except nitrates which are about 20ppm. <Borderline... and indicative of other circumstances here> Last week the tang got  red tinged scratches around his eyes. <Is the quarantine stress and copper exposure>   I read your site and soaked his Nori and Mysis shrimp in Vita Chem, no Selcon available.  He eats well but sometimes swims a little excitedly, shaking his tail and moving rather quickly.  The scratches do not seem to be any better or any worse.  I was going to move him to the main display tank in hopes that he is stressed due to the lack of room in the quarantine, only other fish in the quarantine tank is a yellow tail damsel which is fine. <I would do this. Now> I would like your advice as to whether I should move him or leave him in the quarantine tank and provide medication of some kind, keep with the food soaking longer in the quarantine or go ahead and move him into the display.  Any advice you have to offer would be most appreciated. Thank you Karen <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Question about ick? Need... to read      11/25/06 Hey, <Neighhhhhh!> I was looking over the website and I wasn't sure if I answered my question or not. I have been treating a yellow tang and a percula clown in my quarantine tank <Now a treatment tank> for ick over the last few days. They had all the classic symptoms for it. The clown seems to be getting better, he is eating and swimming well. The tang's eyes have become cloudy, fins are starting to look bad, and gill working pretty hard. Is this a symptom of ick or could it be something else. <Could be, but more likely a symptom of the treatment (Acanthurids are sensitive to copper, poor water quality, the combo.> I have been treating them with rid ick for about 4 days. <And Malachite...> Thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated!! Zach <Read on my friend... your present answers and some others to soon come are answered on WWM. Yellow Tang Disease, Crypt... Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang, Discoloration.    6/4/06 Hello, I am in a rush, as I am very stressed about my situation, however I wanted to thank your for such a great effort at maintaining such a vast knowledge filled site. I am new to the Marine hobby, but thanks to your website I seem to know more about Marine fish than the LFS. <Heeeee... there comes a time...> I have a yellow tang. When the lights go off he turns quite pale. <What they do...> I understand this is normal in certain fish during the night, however tonight when I came home to turn off the lights he was pale, and breathing heavily, I checked the water parameters. The parameters in my 55 gallon were  ammonia 0 nitrite 0 Nitrate 30-35. <This last a bit high... as you're likely aware> Right now Im doing a 20% water change.  He appears to have dust like stuff on his body. Im afraid this might be some sort of disease. <Possibly... How long have you had this fish? No other non-quarantined livestock added since...?> I moved him out of the tank and am going to read about freshwater dips in case I might need to perform one. How do I know exactly if this is marine velvet. or just something similar. <Sufficiently similar that is hard to make out w/o microscopic examination at times... velvet is much smaller, regular in appearance, looks like dusting... rapid onset, very quick, labored breathing comparatively... and importantly, infests all> Any leads and advice would be appreciated. Just in case you need to know. There is one ocellaris clown, green Chromis, hermit crab and a turbo snail. All seem find except for yellow tank. Thank you, and Im sorry if my grammar is inappropriate. <... Do take a read on WWM re Marine Parasitic Disease... You may have nothing going on here... particularly if the other fishes are not affected. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Tang, Discoloration.  6/5/06
Hello, This time I am not as rushed and I have a big smile because Mr. Fenner actually wrote to me, its one thing to read the faq's, but its another to open an e-mail from the crew. I isolated the yellow tang in a makeshift hospital tank (used a 5 gallon bucket I had in the closet) I added an aerator and a heater and I feel like I accomplished something because he is still alive 36 hours later. I did one freshwater dip with out Methylene blue because at the time no LFS was open to purchase Methylene blue, today I went looking for it and no LFS was carrying the item I wanted so I purchased a form of copper because I heard that it was much better than malachite green. I administered a little under the recommended dose because I was afraid to overdose. The tangs breathing has decelerated. The onset of the white specs was very rapid 5 hours . It seemed to me to appear more like Ich than velvet, now that I have read more. No other livestock in the tank have any symptoms of the same kind. All are eating and swimming just fine. I really hope I don't have any parasites, as I was just at the point of upgrading to an aqua c pro and purchasing some live rock and new livestock. <I would proceed with your plans... Again, to re-emphasize: if your other fishes show no signs of a pandemic, I strongly doubt you're dealing with such here> If it is Ich I plan on removing the inhabitants to a separate 10 gallon quarantines and leaving the main display fishless for 6 weeks. Must I remove the hermit and snail also, for the parasite to subside? <No> If the other inhabitants have no symptom, what could this mean? <Could be "simply" stress affecting just the Yellow Tang... it might have an internal complaint, genetic/developmental anomaly, cumulative nutritional issue...> Any suggested course of action would be greatly appreciated. Once again thank you so much for being such a great help to all hobbyists. Sergio <"When/where in doubt do nothing"... good advice for aquarists, individuals in their own lives, families, communities, nations and planets. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater dipping Zebrasoma flavescens = bad... RO water, no oxygen, worse by far    3/27/06 PLEASE STOP ADVISING PEOPLE TO FRESHWATER DIP ZEBRASOMA FLAVESCENS FOR ANY REASON!!   These fish are very delicate <Mmm, no... on a relative scale, quite hardy> and I have now lost 2 to this process following the instructions on your website which I have found repeated in several threads to the "T" as I was trying to rid each one of the couple of black spot Turbellarians that they had. <... I have literally done this with hundreds of thousands of this species... Am out in HI on the Big Island where the vast majority of Z. flavescens are collected, "talked" many of the trop. collectors over the years into this procedure (pH-adjusted FW dips... with aeration...) to eliminate Crypt, Amyloodinium, Paravortex... it works, is safe...>   Each time the fish was placed into a well established QT tank for a week and each were doing fantastic eating sea veggies like there was no tomorrow.  I was planning on 4 weeks in the QT.  After the 6 min.s in the temp and pH adjusted bath using RO water, <... RO water has no oxygen....> the fish was dead.  This happened to 2 different fish at different times from different dealers and both fish were fantastic specimens.  The only reason I dipped is because your website said to do this to rid the fish of black spot which I did not want to introduce into my main.   <No oxygen> I also don't want to hear that the fish would have died anyways because observing each for a week beforehand in the QT tells me this is absolute rubbish regarding these two specimens.  Each died as a direct result of the bath.  Having wasted weeks of my time and effort and $70 of my money caring for these fish and to have them die in minutes following instructions on this website LEAVES ME EXTREMELY ANGRY!!!  I have found other post regarding this species from people who have had the same experience but the dip is still recommended.  Being such water quality bioassays, advising people to dip willy-nilly is ridiculous and reckless.  I should have stuck with my gut and allowed the fish to rid themselves of the 2 spots each had with quality water and food but I thought I could trust this site. <No oxygen... try holding your breath for six minutes and write me back. Bob Fenner>

Proper treatment? Good Morning to All! <Already?> My question is concerning a yellow tang. I recently (last week) purchased this tang from my LFS. I plan to place him in my 55 gallon reef tank in the future. Once I got him home, I realized that he has ick (white spots, scratching etc.). Luckily he is in a quarantine/observation tank. This tank is a fully cycled 20 gallon hex with live rock, live sand, 5 blue legged hermit crabs & 1 cleaner shrimp. The tang is eating sheets of seaweed & grazing the live rock. So far, I have begun a schedule of daily freshwater baths (20% tank water & 80% freshwater with temp & ph adjusted prior to dip.) at 7 minutes each, with an air stone in the bath. <... returning the fish to the Ich-infested system? What for?> He shows very little signs of stress from this treatment. I have also been manually removing the parasites (when they are in their swimming stage) from the tank. They seem to congregate at the top of the tank near the light & swim in circles. Obviously, I replace the water I removed each time.  <... by siphoning? What?> My question is if I continue this routine, will this parasite eventually be eradicated (sp?) <Use your spell checker> or should I consider using one of the copper based treatments on the market? <... this is posted on WWM, as are many other pertinent points you will want/need to become aware of> I do have an empty 10 gallon tank that I can set-up for  that purpose (I just prefer the least invasive, least toxic treatment  possible). <Agreed> Also if my current treatment routine is sufficient, is their anything (a second cleaner shrimp, or heater perhaps) that you would recommend doing that would increase my chances of success. <Posted...> The current temperature in the tank is 78 degrees F., Salinity 1.022, Ph 8.3, Nitrates, Nitrites & Ammonia are undetectable. Also I have been considering the Methylene Blue dip, (my LFS should have it in tomorrow), although I am a bit confused on it's usage. Can this product to be added to the freshwater dip, or is it intended to be used in some other manner? Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <Posted> Thank you in advance for your time & expert advice. Julie <Read on my young friend, read on... Bob Fenner>  

Re: Yellow Tang and Swollen stomach Hi,<Hi. MikeD here> My yellow tang is sick again.<Sorry to hear that> At first, about a week ago, the tang was darting around being real aggressive towards other fish<This is often normal for many Tang species as they can be very territorial, particularly toward other tangs, with one per tank usually best> and it was scratching his body<occasional scratching is normal as all animals get an itch> and I saw one white spot on his stomach. So I started the SeaChem's Cupramine treatment and the tang stopped eating altogether and he became stationary at the top of the tank twitching once in a while.<First off, one spot doesn't mean Ick and can be caused by many other things as well, and 2nd, that reaction sounds suspiciously like the fish was overmedicated> It was getting real bad, so in a hurry, I started him on one hour dips with SeaChem's ParaGuard and I did it two days in a role and as I'm writing this letter I'm getting ready to do another dip.<MY suggestion is not be in such a hurry to medicate. Remember, medicines are also poisons, and it's often best to err on the side of caution and NOT medicate until you're SURE what the problem is> He was so sick that when I tried to catch him, he came right into the net without a fight.< a bad sign> At this time his stomach was sunken from not eating. After the ParaGuard dips his color came back to bright yellow but now his stomach was swollen and he hasn't eaten any thing for a week. He is now back to his own spot in the tank but he's still stationary at one spot and swaying from side to side and twitching or jerking once in a while. I don't know what is wrong with him and I don't now if the Cupramine treatment or the ParaGuard dips will help. Could he have internal parasite so something like that, because his stomach should not be swollen at all, and if so, what kind of medication will do? This is first time I've seen this with the Yellow Tang.<By now it's really hard to tell, but I strongly suspect he's severely poisoned from too much medication> Just before this the Tang was real healthy, he was eating almost everything I feed him like the Nori dipped in Selcon and other pellet foods and also he was eating other flake foods that I was feeding to other fishes in the tank. From the looks of it he looks well but he is just sitting at one spot and swaying side to side and twitching and not eating.<At this point, my suggestion would be to remove him to a Quarantine tank by himself with good water and NO medication and offer him the Nori and flakes that he was eating before. Sadly, if it has absorbed too much medication, you may just lose the fish to copper poisoning. IN the future, my friend, try not to over-react so quickly and remember it's best to wait until you're SURE what the problem is and only then treat with the right medication, in the correct dosages> Can you help? <only by suggesting that you give him a rest in unmedicated water with some peace and quiet for a while. The very best of luck to you,   MikeD> -hsk

Torn Tang Hello fine folks, just a quick question, and hopefully a quick answer :) I purchased a small yellow tang (about 3-4")about 8 day's ago. I put him into my 20gal quarantine to observe him. About a couple day's ago, I started noticing "torn" edges on his fins- mostly on his yellow fins (sorry for the lack of proper terminology) on the top and bottom of the fish, and just a little on his transparent, small fins on his side's (please note this on the pic I attached). <Noted> I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about ICK as I just finished a successful ICK treatment w/ copper sulfate a couple weeks ago. I don't really notice any of the infamous white salt grains usually associated with ICK, just these unusual torn parts of the fins. <I don't see any signs of parasites either... but this specimen is very thin... and this may well point to the root cause of the torn fins... a lack of nutrition> Incase the pic doesn't come through, etc. the fins are not nice and round as they were when I purchased the tang, but look as if they are small "notches" randomly taken out. The fish doesn't scratch wildly either. I do see it twitch randomly and occasionally as if something was bothering it at times, but not all the time. Does this look/sound like ICK, or another bacterial infection? <No> I am not familiar with any other bacterial remedies aside from copper. Could you please help me with a good protocol at this point? Can I use "such-n-such" as a bacterial treatment instead of copper? Once a treatment is started, does the quarantine clock start over, etc? I am somewhat new to the quarantine route, as I have had to learn the hard way. Thanks in advance for any help. <I would utilize a pH-adjusted freshwater dip in moving this fish to your main system and start "bulking it up" nutritionally... with Nori soaked in Selcon or equivalent, hopefully live rock organisms for it to forage... the tears in its fins will heal in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Re: Torn Tang Thanks for the quick reply Bob. I have only one question pertaining to your stating " I would utilize a pH-adjusted freshwater dip in moving this fish to your main system and start "bulking it up" nutritionally .. with Nori soaked in Selcon or equivalent, hopefully live rock organisms for it to forage... the tears in its fins will heal in a few weeks." Bob Fenner> Are you suggesting that it may be a better idea to get him into my main tank before the 20-30 day quarantine period is up? I mentioned in my first email that the tang has been in quarantine for 8 day's so far. The main tank is an established 75 gal oceanic w/ lots of LR for him to forage, etc. Thanks again. <Yes my friend. Sorry for any confusion. It is my opinion, experience that your Tang would be better served and that the likelihood that it would transfer a biological disease agent so small, that I'd move it sooner, rather than waiting. I would just pass it through a bath on the way there, as extra insurance. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Good Morning and happy memorial weekend,<thank you, IanB on duty tonight> We have a yellow tang (beautiful and healthy).<yes they are> We just added a clown fish. After adding the new friend, the tang showed signs of Ich and began scratching on rock and other items.<sure sign of parasites> I could see a little spot or two on him.<good observation> So we fresh water dipped. Ich gone:-)<freshwater dips are very stressful but usually do the trick> but over the last 12 hours he looks like he is having an asthma attack.<very stressful on the fish> He's swimming but not eating yet.<would not expect him to eat for a handful of days> We did the dip just last night around 9pm (Wednesday). How long is the usually recovery time from these treatments until he is breathing normally or does it vary from fish to fish?<varies depending on initial health, also other factors involved such as species of fish, water quality, etc> He looks great, swimming well but breathing very rapidly.<again, as expected> We have the lights off and I have even covered the tank with a sheet to keep stress down.<very good> My water parameters are great.<good> I am planning to test again this afternoon if he is not improved.<I admire your practices, keep up the good work and good luck with the yellow tang. I enclosed a link, hope this helps-   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm IanB>

tang disease...? I have a yellow tang, <For how long?> the other day noticed a very small red area on body, now it seems the whole fish to be turning somewhat white in color, very thin face and body and gills rather unusual looking, redder than usual, maybe "kept open" more than usual. fish is not rubbing and seems to be eating ok but appears very thin, have one cleaner shrimp one true clown and an bicolor angel in tank, <Of what size?> none of the others seem to be sick. he does have somewhat white patching, or rough areas, not sure if the raised more yellow areas are the culprit or the fact that the outer areas are white if they are the disease...am I making any sense? <Yes> I have got a QT tank ready, now what do I treat with....I looked in my box of fish stuff and I have some CopperSafe, some stuff called quick cure I think it is like malachite green or something, TC tablets (but they say fresh water. is there a difference?), <Sometimes, yes> and maracyn2 (also says freshwater)...  I have no idea what this is...I feed my fish sea veggies green dried seaweed on a clamp and Mysis shrimp. 55 gallon tank with live coral and mushrooms, red legs and a large green scary looking starfish....oh just before I noticed this I had put  a dose of Chemi-clean for some red algae slime stuff on my live coral, could this have caused the tang to get sick? <Possibly an influence... as the changes you describe are almost certainly environmental in cause... not pathogenic first hand (in other words, your water quality is the direct reason for the off-color). Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Tangdisease.htm and the linked (in blue, at top) further FAQs files on Tang Disease, on to the Yellow Tang FAQs (linked through the genus name Zebrasoma), and on to environmental disease FAQs on WWM. You need to improve your fish's environment, possibly bolster its nutrition... no need to "treat" or quarantine this fish. Bob Fenner>

- Yellow Tang Woes - After loosing my porcupine puffer to a long and agonizing death I had finally recovered and decided to purchase another fish.  Couldn't do another puffer so I found a big beautiful yellow tang.  He did great for a month and then started looking a little pale.  He is not eating and is staying at the bottom of the tank.  I noticed three small dark brown spots on his upper body and now black spots on his lips.  The temp. in the tank was 80 but he was hovering around the heater so I increased it a little (I probably fried him)  The other fish appear fine.  ph 8.4 or so nitrates 0 salt .24  I've been reading some great stuff on your site and the fresh water dip seems to be a cure all.  I tried accessing how to do this as listed, WetWebMedia/dips_baths.htm but it wouldn't go. <Hmm... try this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm > I read on another site not to do the dips, it would kill the fish before killing the parasites. <Hmm... actually, this fish should easily tolerate a five minute dip, but it seems to me that this fish is more likely responding to an environmental condition - red/brown spots are frequently an indicator of this. Whether or not it's a water quality issue, aggression, or over-crowding... hard to say with what you presented. I would only add that even with what seems like "perfect" water quality, there can still be water quality issues - dissolved organics, other things that can't be tested for that will affect some fish sooner than others; yellow tangs certainly fit into that category.> What should I do and how? <Consider carefully what might be going on in your tank - do you have a skimmer, is it working? Is there anything else you might added to the tank that might have set this problem off?> Would using Quinsulfex treatment be of any help. <I'm always hesitant to treat with anything without knowing exactly what I'm treating... > He is now breathing very heavy. <I'd turn the temperature back down and consider some additional aeration if you don't have a protein skimmer - keep an eye on things. Also go through the tang FAQs, should be some useful information there: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangdisfaqs.htm Cheers, J -- >

Mixing medications Hello I just want to give these fish the best chance I can. <Understood and agreed> I read through quite a few of the FAQ's and it seems that freshwater dips help for velvet, and copper is generally recommended at .3ppm in the QT.  While this all great and fine for one of the tangs, the other has from what I understand to be a bacterial infection.  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone was what was recommended to others that had yellow tangs with same/similar condition. Like you point out... this would be a lot of medication, and stress be put onto the fish at once, and I just want to make sure that I don't contribute further to their demise than what has already occurred.  I lost one fish to velvet <A devastating disease that IME is hard to get rid of> so far, and am afraid to remove the tang that has the rash to a separate QT for treatment with Furan-2(he has no outward sign of velvet).  That's why I was curious if it would possibly be safe... understanding that nothing is perfectly safe, to use the antibacterial in conjunction with Cupramine.  I just don't want to have my bases uncovered. <I understand your quandary and appreciate your conscientious actions toward you charges. As you may have read, bacterial infections are harder to diagnose than Ich or velvet. At the risk of putting my own fishy practices into question, let me give you my opinion. Personally...in my "book" less is more. I try to provide basic medication(s) and then keep all water parameters as close to perfect and as STABLE (especially temperature) as possible. If you feel sure that your charges have a bacterial infection then please do medicate for the condition. Just consider: FW dips daily with medication, constant copper, and then adding several other chemicals simply sounds like a lot. Stress can easily kill or make matters worse. This is only my opinion and I'm positive there are other aquarists that would disagree. Continue reading the disease files at WetWebMedia for other opinions. David Dowless>
Re: Mixing medications
I respect your opinion, and thank you for taking the time to share it with me.  As far as bacterial infection is concerned... I went to the LFS that the tang was purchased, and they still had the other tang that came in the same shipment.  It also has the same rash like condition mine does.  So I believe I inherited the problem, and not created due to water quality issues. <Tangs can be difficult. It all depends on how they were treated before getting to the aquarist> Now whether or not it is bacterial or not.... your guess would definitely be better than mine.  The reason I concluded bacterial was because of the description other people gave of their tangs which seemed to fit in my case.  When speaking to the LFS owner about his tang, he seemed to think it was due to nutrition. <The bacterial infection? Really? HAHAHAHAHAHA! The knowledge level of many LFS's never cease to amaze me. Sometimes I don't see how these guys get fish to live long enough for an aquarist to buy!> He feeds his Marine -A- from Hikari... while I feed mine Spirulina and seaweed select green algae, and will drop a 3 or 4 of Marine -A- pellets once every 2 days since he appears to enjoy them. <Just remember to shoot for a well-rounded diet. Tangs also like meatier fare but they do need a lot of algae in their daily diet to avoid HLLE. If you have fairly strong lighting you could even grow some algae for the tangs. They especially like Gracilaria which is sold by a number of online retailers> So since we don't feed them the same diet... and the fact that mine eats like a cow kind of thru a wrench into that. <Eating is normally a good sign. Not eating is normally a bad sign> The sad thing to me is that the LFS owner is pretty well writing off his fish as he doesn't seem to want to be bothered to treat his condition. <Do you know why he feels this way? Allow me to explain: Most likely, after the fish die, he can simply get replacements at no charge or credit to his account with the supplier. It's more convenient for the store owner if the fish simply die. I mean, would you buy a fish that had just been through a series of meds to cure a velvet problem? Now think about this...What will happen after these fishes die of a contagious disease? You guessed it! As soon as he gets the replacement shipment they will likely go into the same tanks that the sick fish were inhabiting thus continuing the cycle. This is likely where the velvet and bacteria infection originated. If you buy fish from these tanks you will likely see velvet and bacteria infestations again! The solution to this problem (for the LFS) is a sick tank where fish can be held if they show obvious problems. You should point this out to the store owner but understand that store owners don't like sick tanks because they are taking up floor space for critters that aren't making money. The fishes are his problem when they are in the store and your problem after you purchase. That's partly why so many stores have a no return policy for fishes...this is why hobbyists "in the know" always suggest quarantining fishes.> I do agree with you, and am afraid to poison my fish in my feeble attempts to cure them.  I will just monitor him and if it appears to get worse, will pull him and start the furan-2. <Sounds good. For sure keep the copper going and the water quality very high and stable> To close on a positive note... yesterday my other tang was breathing very rapid & heavy, covered with velvet, <Oh no!> and stayed in a fixed place near the top of the tank at about a 45 degree upward angle. Today there is only a few visible spots behind his head/gills, and he is swimming and eating well. <Great! You can beat this problem. It takes time, patience, and some luck!> Still breathes a bit fast, but to a lesser degree than yesterday. Hopefully this isn't a calm before the storm.  I will continue the FW dips and daily water changes, and hope things continue to progress.  Again thank you for you input and time.    <My pleasure. I think you are doing a commendable job trying to save these fishes. I hoped I've helped you to understand some of these issues surrounding our hobby. If you don't like what you see at the LFS explain your position to the store owner...and do keep reading the disease facts at WetWebMedia. Every aquarist has a unique opinion. David Dowless> -Chris

How The Tang Got His Stripes... Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today> I hope this is the appropriate method for asking questions like those I see answered in your FAQs. <Just ask away!> I am new to marine aquariums and having a great time. <That's the most important part!> After nicely establishing a system with live rock, sand and waiting for good chemistry I added the following fish ... 3 tomato clowns, 2 single stripe damsels, 1 yellow goby, and 1 yellow tang.  In the first week I only lost one of the damsels and that was almost immediate so it might not have been the tank?? <Hard to say. Could have been anything from collection trauma incurred by the fish, to osmotic shock. You should start quarantining all new fish for a minimum of 3 weeks before adding them into your main system.  By utilizing quarantine, you'll avoid introducing diseases into your tank, and help "harden" new livestock before letting them into your "community". Do read up about this process on the wetwebmedia.com site.> Everything has been going very well and just as I was considering adding a cleaner shrimp, and maybe a crab the yellow tank has developed a white streak on its side that is perfectly matched on both sides.  Is the disease or development? <Hmm...sounds to me like a common color change that the fish undergoes during rest. The white streaks also show up when the fish is stressed or frightened. Observe the fish for a while- have the stripes faded over time? You should see the fish at different times of the day to see if this change occurs. If the fish continuously shows the pattern, and is otherwise appearing to eat and act normal, I wouldn't be too concerned. If the pattern is evident at all times, and the fish is behaving unusually, you may want to re-check all of your water parameters to find out the cause of the potential stress. I'll bet, however, that you're just seeing the normal day/night/fright pattern on this fish...> I haven't setup a seclusion tank yet for treating fish (was going to do that with the next stuff) so how should I treat if it is a disease? <As above- I don't think that it is a disease. Always be vigilant, however. A simple "hospital"/quarantine tank is nothing more than a very simple 10-20 gallon tank, a heater, and a sponge filter. A very nominal investment that can pay real dividends down the line in terms of fish health and hobby success. Do get one as soon as possible!> Any advice would be great. Thank you, M. Ross <I think that you're doing fine! The fact that you noticed this color variation shows that you are a keen observer- and that is a great attribute to have in this hobby. Keep reading, learning, observing, and working- you'll keep being successful! Feel free to contact us any time if you have more questions! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Yellow Tang Problems >Another update!  Thanks for all of you help through our times of crisis.  We did invest in a 12 gal Rubbermaid container to use as a QT tank.  We moved Mike (our yellow tang) there last Wednesday, starting a treatment with Furacyn.  He has improved significantly.   >>I am stunned, and exceedingly pleased that this fish is hanging tough.  I'd love it if you could send us another picture so we can see what's happened over the past few weeks.  A .gif or .jpg file would be easier to store, though. >His mouth has shut, allowing him to bite off seaweed.  We started a second treatment of Furacyn this past Wednesday.  Although he shows great signs of improvement in his looks and eating habits (we continue to soak all his food in garlic and a vitamin supplement) he remains pale.  I am guessing that is color will be the last things that will improve.   >>More than likely correct. >Our 55 gal tank has also suffered some heartache.  The four previous treatments of Kanacyn completely wiped out any beneficial bacteria causing our nitrites to spike off the charts.   >>Yes, another reason why I recommend a separate q/t system. >Once this was noticed we did a 25% water change and added Marine-Max.  Two days later we tested the nitrites again.  They were still off the charts.  We then performed another 25% water change, added another dose of Marine-Max and received some sand and media-balls (or something like them) from an established tank at our local aquarium store and placed them in our filter.  Over the next few days we were out of town and a friend watched our fish.  To make her life easier she just feed them and every other day added a dose of Marine-Max.  Once we returned we checked the nitrite level.  Once again it read off the chart.  We completed a 50% water change, continuing to add the Marine-Max.  This last water change was on Tuesday.  We check the nitrites last night and they are still off the charts.  What else can we do?   >>Generally, anything less than 50% isn't going to make a dent in high readings.  You need to start with three 50% changes, over the next three days would be preferable, if not, then every other day (making it a total of six days).  That *should* help, although just waiting it out will do the trick, too.  Do not stir up the substrate all at when you do the changes, you want to keep every last bacterium you have healthy in the system until things are in order. >The good news is that our fish (both puffers) seem to be tolerating the high nitrite levels.  We are keeping a good eye on them for any behavioral changes.  Thank you for all of your help! >>You're very welcome, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear that your fish are still trying to stay with us.  Do these big water changes, if the puffers aren't showing signs of stress you have a wee bit of breathing room, but know that by bringing the nitrite down the tank will take a bit longer to re-cycle.  Once you have decent readings then put the fish back on their regular feeding schedule, but bring it up gradually unless they're losing weight.  Best of luck!  Marina

Yellow Tang and Fresh Dips Hey! <What!?!> I'm looking everywhere for some info on some red velvet like spots on my yellow tang and can't seem to get anywhere. The Paravortex you mentioned which causes black-sot, well are they really black (maybe that's a stupid quest but I'm desperate).  <yes, indeed they are> What are the symptoms for it if you know what the red spots are b/c now it looks as though the insertion point of his right fin is affected. <common black spot on tangs is distinct and raised (identical sized) spots like black grains of salt. A fine powdery "rust" colored spot (rather like talc powder) could be another parasite altogether.> The freshwater dip how long do I do that for and by freshwater do you mean distilled or RIO. water.  <never use raw RO/DI water unbuffered for anything! in marine aquaria (including evaporation top off...wastes buffers in salt mix/alkalinity pool in tank). It could actually be fatal to marine fishes in a bath. Buffered RO/DI water or tap water is to be adjusted to match the pH and the temperature of the sick fishes tank, and it should also be aerated for several hours ahead of time (dechlorinate if necessary). Catch the fish quickly and gently (never put an exhausted/stressed fish in a fresh bath). Put in the fresh dip for 3-5 minutes minimum. Catatonic swimming or laying on the bottom of the bucket is normal... erratic swimming or spitting water at surface is not... return fish to main display. Any fish that dies in a properly conducted freshwater bath was not destined to survive anyway. It is a great and natural treatment for external parasites. Kindly, Anthony> If any suggestions please help. Thanks, Corina

Yellow Tang Problems >Our yellow tang looked pale for a couple of months, but never changed his behavior.   >>Uh oh, color changes like this signal at the very least stress.  Stress, especially long-term, will make any animal (and human) much more susceptible to disease. >He now has regained his bright yellow color, but has what looks like a red raw spot above his eye and along his back.  He also has some red on his mouth and doesn't ever close his mouth.   >>This sounds as though he's succumbed to the stress and an infection has set in. >This week we have noticed that he is not eating much (he can't seem to get hold of the seaweed to bit it off) and is not near as active.  Today he has had his dorsal fins spiked up all day.   >>Unfortunately, I believe by the time of this writing your fish has met its demise.  Erect fins are a sign of impending death.   >This is our first marine aquarium established last November.  It is fish only.  We also have a porcupine puffer and a valentini puffer who both seem to be doing well.  I have read several articles and cannot find anything similar to this.  I have attached a picture for you to look at.  Thanks for your help.  Erin Ball >>I'm very sorry, Erin, but you have waited too long to get help for your fish.  By the looks of this picture he's on his way out, if he hasn't died already.  Did you look in the aquarium science section of WetWebMedia?  If not, please do.  Also, please search other sites, such as http://www.reefs.org/library >>At first sign of trouble (odd coloration, behavior, *anything* out of the ordinary) you must immediately place the suspect animal into its own, separate hospital/quarantine tank.  If, by any chance, this animal is still alive, place it into q/t, and begin a program of Spectrogram--a broad spectrum gram positive and gram negative antibiotic.  Do let us know if he's made it this far, and we'll go from there.  Also, please do begin to create a library for your own reference.  I would begin with Bob's book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", as well as books by John Tullock, Martin Moe, Jr., Julian Sprung, C.W. Emmens, and others.  Do ask around on our site and others for recommendations.  Marina
Re: Yellow Tang Problems
>Yes, my yellow tang is still alive.   >>Wow!  That's great, he could have a chance after all.  That picture shows such an ill fish. >>Before I received your answer I was able to contact our local aquarium store for advice.   >>Very good. >Wednesday night we removed the carbon media and began treatment with Kanacyn (it is not feasible for us to have a quarantine tank at this time).   >>Understood, some folks will set them up using Rubbermaid containers, anything that's non-reactive, watertight, and durable can do the job. >We also are feeding him some flake food throughout the day, as it is easier for him to eat than seaweed.   >>Very good to hear!  I can think of a few folks who will want to know both what it is you've got for him, and where you purchased it. >His fins are still erect, but his color looks much better.   I know his heath status is still in question, but we are trying everything we can.  If you have any further advice (not criticism) we will gladly accept it.   >>Sorry if you took my advice for criticism.  I seek only to convey what I know.  If the Kanacyn is bringing improvement, then I would suggest you stay the course.  Hopefully this will help pull him through, *especially* since he's taking the flake food.  To help pump some nutrients into him, I'll suggest soaking the flakes in a supplement such as Selcon, first.  Every little boost you can give him, right? >Thanks for your help.  Erin     >>Let's keep our fingers crossed for him.  Good luck!  Marina

Red spot in my Tang Hi Bob Antoine and all the crew,,, I'm passing on this site!! <Salute, my friend!> The last night I was watching my 3" Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma F) & I discovered a little red spot just in the middle of his body. This spot is around 1.5 mm and looks like blood at simple sight but if you look in a lateral view it is more like little red hair (I don't know how to describe it better). I figure its a kind of fungus... <likely not a fungus but still treated the same> how can proceed? Fresh water baths with Methylene blue? <exactly> how long the bath will be? <daily for 3-5 minutes... please read through our Wet Web Media archives and FAQs on the proper protocol for conducting the dips... perhaps do a Google search from the index/home page to speed your search if not familiar with the site layout)> how often? <perhaps 5 in 7 days> or could be a bit or hit from the two damsels (but I never see the damsels trying to hit him)? My tank is: 200 ltrs, PH 8.3-8.5, SG 1.22-1.23, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 2.5, temp. 26°-27° C , 30 ponds of live rock, 5-6 blue legged hermits, 4 Turbo snails, and nothing else. I perform 10% water change weekly. <good water change schedule> Please, help me, In your article about Zebrasoma F. you said that it is "happily easily treated by common methods" really I hope so... Thank you, Carlos Diaz <you already have a good idea my friend. And it is best to remove this fish to a quarantine tank as well. Better and faster treatment (easier to catch for dips) and full tank meds can be dosed in QT (never dose a main display tank with meds). Kindly, Anthony>
Re: Red spot in my Tang
Hi Antoine, Thanks for your always prompt answer... <my pleasure> I didn't have a QT tank, now I know I need it, but... Because the time to proper set a new tank for this purpose  <actually a common misconception... no time needed. Use aged filter media, aged water, possibly a little bit of cured live rock and daily water changes for immediate tank set up. For future... always run a sponge filter in your display sump and leave QT empty (this a cycling fish is not needed in residency)> and for the sake of the Zebrasoma's Life, can I administer him the fresh water baths and return him to the main tank? <I doubt that you can conduct the necessary daily dips with less stress. Trying to catch him in a fully rockscaped tank will likely be far worse... plus the tomites in the display sand/gravel will just keep re-infecting him. IMO... a waste of time. QT is almost always and only the solution.> I am nervous that if I wait a little longer (the time that I will need to set up the qt time, the fish will be worst. <daily water changes on a 10 or 20 gallon QT are quick and easy and quite necessary anyway to "cure" parasites in any tank... display or QT>  Can the QT tank just be a 5 gallon tank with nothing else but a air pump and new salt water...?? performing daily water changes to avoid ammonia and nitrites...?? <the 5 gallon is rather small... at least a 10 gallon would be nice. And some cured live rock or a sponge filter (soiled filter media in the meantime will help) will be necessary. Plan on doing a 30-50% daily water change for the first week in a small tank. Test water quality to confirm/guide you> Thank you Antoine for your response,  Carlos <again... my pleasure. Good luck, my friend>

Yellow tang and reef I just purchased a lovely little yellow tang from the LFS, and right now he's in my quarantine tank so I can observe him for a little while (2-3 weeks). I plan on putting him into my 29-gal reef tank (the only other fish inhabitants are a purple Firefish and small tomato clown). My question is, should I do anything as far as treating the quarantine water as a preventative measure copper, etc.) Or should I just watch him for a few weeks, and then transfer him via freshwater dip? Also, should I put anything in the freshwater dip, or will it be enough to just be fresh? The only reason I felt comfortable getting a tang for my reef tank was because I have the quarantine tank. So I just want to use it to its best! Thanks! Kathy Hatzigiannakis <Well am I asked, and well shall I try to respond. You are right to be concerned re the introduction of the Yellow Tang. Surgeonfishes are notoriously susceptible to Ich, and bringing it into established systems. I would run the incoming fish through a freshwater (plus or not) dip before placing it into quarantine... and probably just keep the quarantine tank water at a low spg. (1.017 or so) and leave it at that. Other fish groups I routinely keep coppered, but not generally Tangs...Bob Fenner>

Still in trouble! Hello Mr. Fenner, In my last message to you, I told you about my yellow tang that I recently purchased. I told you that he developed a weird patch of something on his left side behind its fin. I told you before that it looked like the gunk that is left over after you peel a price tag off of something. Well, that was almost a week ago that I told you about this and asked for some help. Since then I think the patch has gotten bigger and it looks more like a rash now. I talked to three different pet stores to seek more advice. One store told me it was fungal, the next said it was bacterial, and the last said it was parasites and that I needed copper. Well, in looking at available medications, I came across a product called KANACYN. On the box it says that it treats both bacterial and fungal infections, so I decided to try this product first (getting two out of three). I began treating the fish in my 15 gallon quarantine tank on Thursday of last week. The fish still seems to be eating the sheets of algae that I put in the tank so I think that is good, but lately, more and more of his body is turning white (stress I am assuming) and I think his left eye, which is on the same side of his body as the rash, is also starting to turn white and cloud over. The fish doesn't really scratch himself on rocks but he does seem to twitch a lot and he hides under a pile of rocks pretty much all of the time. Well this is about all of the info I can think of to tell you, if you have any other ideas (I respect your feedback far more than any local pet shop) I would really appreciate hearing about them. Thanks once again for this extremely beneficial service. Spas <This definitely sounds bad... and may well be bacterial, maybe fungal ultimately... but likely "environmental" in real origin. It sounds more and more like this specimen was too roughly handled ahead of your acquiring it. I do hope it turns around... try to keep conditions "quiet" in the tank... and if you can soak the algae sheet with a little water and place the Kanamycin sulfate on it (as a powder) to try to get more of the antimicrobial into the Tang. Bob Fenner>

Tang Scratching I have a 50 gal. reef tank. I have a yellow tang, and just recently seen it  scratch. I thought it has Ich but I see no white spots. I can't get the fish  out of the tank, due to all of the corals and live rock. I also see the  fish is developing somewhat which looks like a rash along the back section.  What is this red stuff developing on it? Does it have Ich? <Maybe not... and I wouldn't go to extraordinary lengths to remove it at this point... as if it does, so does your whole system... If they will fit, look into and place some biological cleaners (Lysmata shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies) and hope that these helpers will turn the tide of balance in your favor. Bob Fenner>

No longer sick but not eating Well, Bob, Bennett is clear of black spots and is looking perky this a.m. Dorsal's up and silky looking. But, he's not eating. Guess this is part of the process. Just thought I'd fill you in. He's not throwing in the towel yet, but is definitely giving me ulcers. 'Think I'll go campaigning. I'm running for Town Council and can't hang around the tank wringing my hands all morning. Ginny <Hmm, starting to sound like an outtake from Norman Rockwell's "displacement behavior" paintings.... Don't worry on both counts. Bob Fenner (who ran for City Council in San Diego once...)>

Problem with Yellow Tang Hello Bob, I am having a problem with my yellow tang. I have a 135 gallon marine tank, and just got started a couple of months ago. First I added some damsels, then one clownfish, and a yellow tang. Today I noticed that the tang looked a little white. When I examined him more closely I noticed he had a white film on him that covered some of his body and even part of his eyes. Besides some algae growth everything else looks good. The salinity, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are O.K. and I add fresh filtered water weekly. I have had the tang for over a month and do not want him to die. Please let me know what I can do. Thanks, James <Hmm, do need to know more about your system and the other livestock... but would encourage you carte-blanche w/o knowing more to look into bolstering this animal's immune system by way of feeding... Do look into the oriental food store/section and purchase some "Nori" and/or other algae intended for human consumption there (just non-seasoned), and soak this in a bit of vitamin mix (Selcon or "baby vitamins"... liquid prep.s for human babies) and feed it in strips... the first few times the fish probably won't recognize the algae as food... but it will quickly learn. Also, if you don't employ live rock in your tank for food provision, improving water quality, do consider adding at least some. Lastly, a caution re "treatments" with chemicals in your system for perceived infectious, parasitic problems. Don't. Likely that after a month they are not a root-cause of your tang's difficulties. Instead, look to water quality as a cause, and consider manipulating it (lowered specific gravity, elevated temperature...) as detailed in materials stored on our site: Home Page.  Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Ailing Tang Hello Bob, I have a yellow tang that was in a 30 gallon in bad water conditions. Now I changed it to a 10 gallon quarantine. He's breathing hard and is not as active, probably staying in the 30 gall too long.  What can I do now to get him ready, before I put him in the 55? He's breathing hard, and is eating very little. Not swimming that much, only like drifting in one spot.  I know it is my fault, but I want it to recover in quarantine before I add it to the 55. <Keep the animal in near darkness, add an airstone... and a bit of live rock with some greenery on it... lower the specific gravity to about 1.018 (this will aid gas solubility)... and keep your fingers crossed. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Hi Bob, How are you?  Thanks for answering my previous questions; I need your help again.  I purchased a 3" yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) from my local retailer a few days ago.  I placed the tang in my 29 gal. quarantine tank (w/ live rock). I came home today and noticed the tang has developed a pinkish/red streaks on the pectoral fins and similar colored blotches on the head.  The tang is eating well, but a little shy during my presence.  Should I worry?  Is this some type of disease?  If so, what measures should I take to remedy the tang? Thanks. Dan <Hmm, "not yet" is my best response... this petecchia is probably transitory... not evidence of some malingering or impending infection... I would wait for a week and see if the bloody markings "just go away"... If not, there are steps that we can go over to aid its recovery. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Hi Robert, I have your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and it is my bible. Great job! <Thank you> I have a yellow Sailfin Tang that has had septicemia a few time and I successfully treated it with Maracyn II. Now it seems that whenever she (Lucy) gets excited/stressed, she starts to turn red (seems like high blood pressure) until she calms down and goes back to normal without using any medication. Any ideas on ways to prevent this? <As you state so well... to reduce whatever seems to get Lucy excited or stressed... reciprocally, to keep her/its environment optimized and stable. Hiding spaces, greens/algae in the diet, occasional soaking of foods in vitamin, iodide dip...> Thanks, Rich Aylward <You're welcome my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com>

Yellow Tang Hello Robert, I have written to you before commenting on how much I like your site. keep up the good work!!) <Will endeavor to do so my friend> I have a question for you if you don't mind. I have searched online for answers to what is happening to my Yellow Tang fish but couldn't find anything. Maybe you could help? As you can see in the pictures there is some reddish areas towards the back of the fish. <Yes, good close-ups... petecchial markings (blood evident, likely septicemic) along this specimens lateral line on the flank...> It is redder then it shows in the photograph. These red blotches are on both sides of the fish. They don't seem external. It looks like the blotches are coming from within the fish. <You are correct> It kind of looks like abrasions but from the inside. The fish has been eating normally and the water parameters are all in acceptable ranges. I have not added any new fish to the tank and there doesn't appear to be any aggressiveness going on. He has been eating a variety of frozen foods and dry seaweed type foods. I am at a loss as to what is happening and I would hate to lose a fish to something I had no clue about. Thanks for all your help. <Do start administering a multiple vitamin and iodide preparation to this fish's diet... do you have live rock, macro-algae in this system? What sort of filtration? What supplement practices? What other livestock (this gives good clues as to what may be going on) and any of them presently mal-affected? Bob Fenner> Mike

Tang problem Hi there! I've got a yellow tang, just recently acquired. I went through a bout of Ich and black Ich with him which was treated with a small amount of formalin and freshwater dips. <The latter's root cause, a Turbellarian worm, was worked up for a couple of theses by an old roommate in college. My general take on the species is posted on our site here: http://wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm> He has been fine for several weeks now but now seems to have developed what looks like reddish blotches around the base of his tail, on both sides of the body. <Likely a consequence/subsequent of your treatments... the formalin burns off/kills all it touches> the fish is eating well as usual, a varied diet of romaine, seaweed selects and flake food. He seems a bit irritable, but so far none of the other fish in the tank have any similar symptoms. I've been unable to identify the disease which might be causing it....could it be some kind of abrasion? <Yes, of a sort. An "environmental disease"... keep the system stable, optimized and all should clear up. Bob Fenner> thanks so much!

Yellow tang's fins... Hi Bob, Thanks for keeping the site, and I've gone to it about 100 times looking for all sorts of useful information. It's nice to have a resource like this. <I can imagine, and am happy that with friends/associates we can/do provide it> I have a problem that I'm hoping you'll be able to help with. I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a 10 gallon sump. I have a cleaner wrasse (who is almost indestructible, even though I've read a bunch of things to the contrary) <The few that "make it" to/through acclimation can be very tough... the vast majority perish before> a tomato clown, and yellow tang. I have a few corals, such as a series of mushroom polyps, yellow polyps, a sponge, a gorgonian, 3 bubble tip anemones (I love when they split)<me too>, and a devil's hand leather. Anyway, the yellow tang's fins seem to be eroding. I saw this a day or so after I put him in the tank. I watched it for a few days, and it seemed to go away. Now, it's back. His tail, although it's almost whole, it's translucent. <Can, may regenerate its color>  It is slowly starting to erode though. I have been recommended to use something called Melafix. It says it's safe to add to the whole system, but I'm not sure about that. Probably a bad idea. <I wouldn't use this material here, and don't consider its use "safe to add to the whole system"...> What is the appropriate way to diagnose and treat this problem? <Mmm, to consider the history of the specimen, test your water quality, carefully observe other livestock... investigate ameliorative action (improvements to water quality, nutrition), specifically treat the specimen... Please read through the Yellow Tang sections on WWM starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the FAQs files linked> It seems to move fairly quickly, so, not sure what to do here. I appreciate your response. Again, thank you for your site. Steve <Read through those cited sections and where they lead you. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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