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FAQs on Genus Acanthurus Tang Diseases

Related Articles: Acanthurus Tangs, Naso,

Related FAQs: Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt, Acanthurus Tangs 1, Acanthurus Tangs 2, Acanthurus Tangs 3, Acanthurus ID, Acanthurus Behavior, Acanthurus Compatibility, Acanthurus Selection, Acanthurus Systems, Acanthurus Feeding, Acanthurus Reproduction, Powder Blue Tangs, A. sohal, A. nigricans & A. japonicus, Tang ID, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Cloudy pop eye tang     7/8/17
Hi, thanks as always for the wonderful service you provide everyone! Your advice, articles, and information are all super!
<Ah, good>
I have an orange shoulder tang I just got and apparently the sellers other fish picked on it and damaged its eye.
<This beautiful species is on the end of the scale w/ a few others (Powder Blue, Brown...) in terms of being hard to keep in captivity. REALLY needs a BUNCH of room (hundreds of gallons)... VERY clean water...>
I attached a picture of the eye. It is in a 100 gallon stock tub QT now.
Should I treat the fish with something or just rely on good water quality and food to help it get better?
<A tough question... as the bulging eye is unilateral/one side; this is highly likely a case of trauma (rather than bacteria, parasitic...) issue>
If I should treat it what should I use? Does it look like it will be okay eventually? Thank you!
<Let's have you read here re:
and the linked files above as much as you'd like; to gain perspective.
Unfortunately the prognosis for this species, kind of injury is poor. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cloudy pop eye tang     7/8/17
Hi Bob, thanks for the incredibly timely response. I read the FAQ's before emailing, but didn't see a definitive answer, but after evaluating it more I think what I'll do it wait and see.
<Ahh, yes. This is what I would do. This IS a fave species of Tang, esp. when out diving in Hawaii, am always looking for its broad flanks scooting about the bottom, feeding>
The fish came from someone's established tank and went to another reef keeper whose fish picked on it, and then I got it so it is not brand new to a tank. This evening I think the orange shoulder tang is looking a bit better. He is eating Spectrum pellet food like a pig and picking on nori.
<Good food choices>
His eye looks close to the same. I'll just keep him in the 100 gallon QT tub for a while and keep the water clean, it has a decent skimmer too. After that if he is okay in 3-4 weeks he can go in my 300 gallon tank which has 500 gallons of total volume going through it. Hopefully that'll be big enough. By the way, you spoke at our reef meeting in San Diego and I saw you speak at the last MACNA on butterfly fish, which I was contemplating getting but decided not to after learning more about them. ��
<Ahh! Am hoping that Mark Lawson will help resurrect the San Diego Club. Have offered to help in what ways I can/may... Giving programs, lining up others, manufacturers, distributors for donations et al. Hope to see you at the upcoming (August) MACNA in LA. Bob Fenner>

8 year old Shoulder Tang      1/27/17
<Howsit? Darrel, you owe me some part of twenty US... your too large file wouldn't load here in Fiji. Had to sign up for the advanced svc. Hundreds of Kbytes mate, NOT megs>
I really appreciate the service wet web media provides. Mahalo. To Bob Fenner and the crew.
<Follow our guidelines then!>
I operate a Marine aquarium maintenance service and recently some thing happened to an 8 year old shoulder Tang that I haven't seen before.
The Tang resides in a 650 gallon Fish only aquarium 8.2pH 40ppmNitr 1.021SG.
<A bit low>
About 3 weeks ago, a golden head goby I added died fairly quickly.. 2 weeks or so after 15 days QT time. A little while after the Tang developed brown splotches and started to hide.
<Mmm; likely not related>
With parameters in line, I immediately suspected parasites of some kind.
Close inspection of some of the other larger fish, 2 yellows, 3 Blue Hippos, and a 10 year old Stars and Stripes puffer, revealed little.
Nothing evident on the fins, clear active eyes, no scratching, etc.
However the fish mostly clustered in one area of the reef insert for about a week.
<Mmm; environmental. Something/s you don't measure are off>
There is also an 8 year old Heniochus that is mostly hiding but has no visible discolorations.
Any advice?
<When, where in doubt, punt! Massive water change (like half), with gravel vacuuming, addition of a few units of ChemiPure and PolyFilter in the flow path
. Bob Fenner>
Thanks in advance.

Re: 8 year old Shoulder Tang      1/27/17
Oh, the system also is running a 120 watt Emperor Aquatics Smart UV (40wx3)
6 months of service for the current bulbs.
<I'd be checking the Fe +2 and 3 coming off the igneous. B>
Re: shoulder tang      1/27/17

Mahalo. I will send you a check or money order. U.S. funds?
<Heeeee! Thank you for the offer Darrel>
I already did everything you suggested prior to contacting you.. the markings improved and then came back albeit in a different pattern. I will repeat process.
Thanks again.
<This Acanthurus (does) suffer/s from many types of environmental (over) stress. IF it's still eating, moving about... I give you good odds of it recovering. A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner>

Tang issue; dis. and ID        7/1/15
Hello there,
If you would be so kind to point me in the right direction, I would be thankful. I had this tang for about 3 weeks in quarantine and after I checked it for the all clear I put it into my system. About a week later it developed these blotches all over its body and the next day 2 of my other fish got them too.
<Mmm; best guess these are simply "stress markings" (though could be Flukes; see WWM re).... will go of their own accord; and likely in just a few days; once all become familiar w/ each other>
I have since put the three fish back into quarantine.
<I would put all (back) in the main-display. More stable, optimized conditions>
Could you help identify what this is?
<Appears to be a juvenile Acanthurus nigroris. Bob Fenner>

Research question about surgeonfish photo      5/18/14
Hi there!
I am doing some research on ocean surgeonfish disease and was wondering if you can tell me who the photographer is for the photo below and when the photo below was taken. Thanks for any information that you can provide.
<I shot that pic in Nov 2011 while in Key Largo... likely near Pennekamp. Bob Fenner>

Re: Research question about surgeonfish photo      5/18/14
Thank you!
<Welcome. BobF>
Director - CIEE Research Station Bonaire
Executive Director – Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean
Resident Director – Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation program

Blindness in freckle tang      4/1/14
Hi everyone,
Hope all is well. I have found myself in a somewhat stressful position and looking for some advice on the best way forward. I have a freckle tang that I have had in QT for the past 4 weeks
<Mmm, well; this, a fave Acanthurus sp., decidedly does not like (gets easily stressed by) small space confinement>
and he has been eating and looking great (I love these fish). However a week ago he displayed the signs of significant swim bladder issues and I treated with antibiotics (I was concerned it may be biological and he didn't look happy - I understand it may have also just been a gut blockage) and I am pleased to say he is now swimming upright. The problem is and I blame myself for not picking it up early enough during his issues with his swim bladder he scrapped his eyes quite badly and I fear he may have physically blinded himself by damaging the surface of his eyes. He does not appear to be able to see right now and I was wondering do I continue to persist with him and see if he improves or is it more humane to euthanize.
<I'd hold off on the latter for now>
It has been a week since he began swimming properly and I have made sure water qualities are spot on and stable.
Thanks from a disappointed fish lover.
<Acanthuroids have remarkable powers of regeneration. Bob Fenner>

Weird Skin Disease? Env. likely    9/21/13
Good day everyone,
<Hey Lyndon>
Appreciate it if someone could advise what this could be and possible treatment?
Weird discolouration that I haven't come across on a tang so far.
Thanks for the assistance.
<Have seen such "markings" on Surgeonfishes many times. This is highly likely not anything pathogenic (i.e. caused by a biological agent), but a reaction to something "too much" (or possibly too little) in the water here. If it were my fish, and I had another established system, I'd move it there. If I didn't, I'd look into water quality such as we have tests for, and add a few to several pounds of healthy live rock to the existing system... To modify the water, offer other foods.
Bob Fenner>

My Atlantic blue has form of some patches on it fins and body ( pigmentation)     8/21/12
Hi there,
I have some problem with my Atlantic Blue tang, i had it since he is a babe, almost a year now.
Lately he show some brown patches on its skin, is it normal?
<Mmm, yes; simply evidence of capture, shipping/handling and isolation stress>
I am worry sick.
<Don't be>
I remove him to the sump and monitor closely.
He is still eating so well and still active.
Do you think he is sick or he is normal and changing into adult?
<I'd move back to the main/display tank>
Hear from you
<And you, BobF>

Dussumieri Tang Lip     4/22/12
Good afternoon.
<And you Nate>
Yesterday I bought 6 inch or so Dussumieri Tang. Today I noticed his upper lip is kind of pull back a bit, exposing his entire front teeth, tooth, beak, whatever you would call it. I would guess it was from banging into tank walls or rocks before I got it.
Is this something I need to worry about? Also do you think this is an issue that will fix itself on its own or will he have this problem forever?
<Mmm, not to worry much, nor "do" anything extraordinary. These fishes (Acanthuroids) are quite good healers given good water quality, space and nutrition. I wouldn't "treat" the fish, system>
Thanks for your time,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fraying Tail 11/7/11
This is my A. bahianus. Tail's been fraying for three or four months.
<Mmm, no big deal really>
This started in a hospital tank while the show tank was fallow for Ich treatment. At the time, the fish were in Cupramine.
<Hard on Acanthuroids (copper)>
I tried a Maracyn product (the one for fin rot), but it made no difference. A firefish, Perc and gramma have never been affected. Another firefish had similar symptoms at first, but that particular fish was taking a beating from the gramma, and eventually starved to death hiding in the rockwork.
<This Acanthurus is too thin as well>
This gets better and worse. Right now it's the worst I've ever seen it on the tail. The ventral fin is better, and the dorsal fin is almost completely cleared up.
Still, I have no idea what's causing it, or how to beat it.
<I do... in addition to what foods you're utilizing, add Spectrum pellets to the staple list... This added nutrition will cure the thinness and fraying fin issues in a few weeks>
Tank is a 72 gal bow. Nitrates range 5-15 (I skim continuously), and I try to keep pH at 8.0+. SG = 1.024-1.025. All water goes through an RO/DI. My pumps are over 150W, and my typical temp is 80-82F with open "eggcrate" tank covers.
There are shrimp in the tank, and if I need to medicate I'm prepared to trap him and move him to a hospital tank.
<Not necessary or advised>
What do I have, and how should I treat?
<The NLEnterprises food product. You're soon to be a "believer". Oh, do read here re if interested:
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Fraying Tail of Acanthurus 11/7/11
I'm familiar w/ Spectrum. If you think this is a nutrition problem I'm happy to make it a tank staple.
<Is largely. Again, this specimen has a low index of fitness period>
He does seem undersized for his age. I've been using mainly saltwater multi-packs supplemented with dried seaweed, but in retrospect this does seem less than adequate for grazers.
Thanks, Bob, you're a lifesaver. They're little tiny coldblooded lives, to be sure, but you definitely make up for it in numbers!!!
<Cheers Rick. BobF>

Fish Question 8/30/11
Dear Bob (and Crew),
I've had a nearly 4" Acanthurus bahianus for almost three years. Around four months ago I converted my 72-gallon bow-front tank from crushed coral to a fine aragonite. Around the same time I also introduced a dwarf angel who has since died. Somewhere along the way, the tang started pooping white sand.
<Tangs do ingest substrate... thought to aid in digestion, perhaps trituration, akin to the crops of some birds>
Nothing slimy looking, nothing "clingy or stringy," but also no other kind of poop that I've noticed. He just poops white sand.
<Not to worry>
I'm not sure whether this is related to a parasite that might have come from the angel, or if the fish just happens to eat this new kind of substrate while grazing. Appetite seems fine, and he doesn't seem to be losing weight. I'm tempted to throw in a Praziquantel-based food in case there's a parasite, but there are also some shrimps and a hermit and I don't know what it would do to them.
<I would hold off on treatment>
None of the other fish (two Firefish gobies, a false perc, a royal gramma)
are pooping anything unusual.
Should I be concerned?
Thanks in advance,
Rick Koch
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Vampire tang with freckles??-- 03/20/11
We have a Vampire Tang (Acanthurus tennenti) who is about 3' and has developed brown splotches over the surface of his skin that look a lot like freckles. They are not raised and don't appear to have moved. We were concerned that it could be black Ich but after doing research on the net I have not found any pictures that look like what he has.
The problem started when we went on holiday for a week and came back to find our Bannerfish had died after getting trapped between 2 rocks. We tested the water and had high nitrites and ammonia obviously due to the death of the poor fish. We did an immediate water change (20%) on the first day and another the next day. This returned the parameters to normal.
I wondered if the tang could have ammonia burns?
<Yes, though more psychological than physiological likely here>
We also have a freshwater tank that houses 2 goldfish we bought who were already suffering ammonia burns and we have basically rescued them-- they are now both very fat and happy. The markings on the tang seem similar to what they had and have progressed in a similar way. He has been scratching on rocks, but has been receiving good cleans from our cleaner wrasse and the cleaner shrimp. We thought we had noticed some rapid gill movement so added 2 extra air stones to supplement our normal system.
Other than that his behaviour is
normal, he is swimming around fine with no balance problems and is as sociable as usual. He is eating well, loves the Nori and flake that we put in and is foraging around the tank. All of the other fish (2 false clowns, 3 Pseudochromis,
<Mmm, which species? Tank bred? How large is this system?>
flame Hawkfish and the wrasse) are fine with no abnormal markings or abnormal behaviours.
We are not sure what to do with him. We were thinking of doing FW dips but he is impossible to catch and I don't want to stress him out further.
<You are wise here>
Is there anything you think we should be doing or something we may have missed?
We are going to the LFS to buy a vitamin supplement in case it is a dietary problem.
<Also a good idea>
Any help you could offer would be great, he is our first tang and is so interesting to watch. It would be a shame to lose him!
<Just time going by, your good care. Bob Fenner>

More re Vampire tang with freckles?? 3/20/11
<Now that I see your pic/photo, I do agree with your that this is very likely a chemical burn of some sort. I see evidence of BGA/Cyanobacteria on your rock... toxic. BobF>
We have a Vampire Tang (Acanthurus tennenti) who is about 3' and has developed brown splotches over the surface of his skin that look a lot like freckles. They are not raised and don't appear to have moved. We were concerned that it could be black Ich but after doing research on the net I
have not found any pictures that look like what he has.
The problem started when we went on holiday for a week and came back to
find our Bannerfish had died after getting trapped between 2 rocks. We
tested the water and had high nitrites and ammonia obviously due to the
death of the poor fish. We did an immediate water change (20%) on the
first day and another the next day. This returned the parameters to
I wondered if the tang could have ammonia burns? We also have a freshwater
tank that houses 2 goldfish we bought who were already suffering ammonia
burns and we have basically rescued them-- they are now both very fat and
happy. The markings on the tang seem similar to what they had and have
progressed in a similar way. He has been scratching on rocks, but has been
receiving good cleans from our cleaner wrasse and the cleaner shrimp. We
thought we had noticed some rapid gill movement so added 2 extra air
stones to supplement our normal system. Other than that his behaviour is
normal, he is swimming around fine with no balance problems and is as
sociable as usual. He is eating well, loves the Nori and flake that we put
in and is foraging around the tank. All of the other fish (2 false clowns,
3 Pseudochromis, flame Hawkfish and the wrasse) are fine with no abnormal
markings or abnormal behaviours.
We are not sure what to do with him. We were thinking of doing FW dips but
he is impossible to catch and I don't want to stress him out further. Is
there anything you think we should be doing or something we may have
missed? We are going to the LFS to buy a vitamin supplement in case it is
a dietary problem.
Any help you could offer would be great, he is our first tang and is so
interesting to watch. It would be a shame to lose him!

Re: Vampire tang with freckles?? 3/21/11
Thank you for your reply!
What do you suggest we do re cyanobacteria? And is there anything we should be doing for the fish that we currently aren't?
Thanks again,
<... Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above. B>

sick convict tang 9/20/09
Hey there Crew, hopefully you can help me with my sick fish!
<Will certainly try>
My little 4" convict tang seems to be all bound up inside.
<I see this... looks like me after a big night of pizza and beers>
I had written in about a week ago about having a high pH and wondering if that was maybe why he had stopped eating, but it appears to be worse than that, see the attached pictures for what I mean.
For what it's worth, water is 1.024 salinity, 77.5 degrees F, pH is 8.45,
<A bit high>
ammonia/nitrite are 0 and nitrate is 60. This is a 210 gallon FOWLR, no corals.
Any idea what could be wrong with the convict? It looks to me like he either has a really huge parasite load or else has real bad gas. I looked at him yesterday and he didn't look swelled like this. I thought yesterday he was
maybe a little big in the stomach area, but nothing near like this.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
<I think this A. triostegus has just "overeaten"... I want to relate to you that the root cause of the food intake/exercise may well be that this fish is lacking the company of its own kind. The Convict/Manini (in Hawaiian) is one of the most social of Tangs... REALLY needs to be kept in a group. I cannot encourage you enough to add two, or four more individuals if they can be fitted in here... The added exercise of schooling, milling
about will make this specimen fitter and much happier. Bob Fenner>

sick convict tang #2 9/20/09
I got some better pictures right after I sent my email in to you, the convict came out into the light for a little while.
<Thank you for these>
Just a little more information on the issue, the convict has been barely eating for a week and for the last couple days it hasn't eaten anything at all. It follows the food I feed (NLS pellets) around and the Nori pieces, but it wont eat. It wants to eat though.
<It is noshing on the algae et al. in your system. The foods you are offering are excellent though. BobF>

Re: sick convict tang 9/20/09
I agree with you that the convicts should be kept as a group. I've been to Hawaii 6 times now and my latest trip was this last February, I recall how many convicts I would see ranging around together. Originally, I had 4 convicts in my system. However, after about a week of settling in, they started chasing each other nonstop. They were relentless. There were two in particular that would go back and forth the tank all day long. One would chase one into his little cave, then they would turn around and the other would chase the one back into the other cave they picked out. This would go on nonstop unless I was feeding, then shortly after feeding they would start again.
I feed to excess, hence the high nitrates, so it wasn't as if they were competing for food out of starvation. I feed NLS daily, normally 3 times a day and at least one sheet of 12" x 12" Nori, sometimes 2 sheets.
<Wow! You could start your own sushi bar doh!>
I also about every 3 or 4 days do about 1/4 of a shot glass of PE mysis soaked in Selcon, garlic extreme, vitamin C and Kent Zoe, then I slowly feed that to the tank over the course of a couple hours until it is all gone. Anyway, I don't think the convicts were ever starving :)
At the point I decided to sell 3 of them, it was because they were all 4 looking really battered. I don't mean as in ready to be deep fried, I mean they were beaten up. Scratches all over their bodies from running into the rocks in their chases and their tails were all getting in bad condition from the tang behind them chasing and biting. One day I witnessed the smallest convict chasing around my equally small majestic angel (about 3 inch) and I decided they had to go. I sold them to a LFS and they have them in their 600 gallon tank where all three of them do fine, although I do see them squabble from time to time but they at least look healthy, in my tank, which is a 210, they were close enough together all the time that they never were recovering from the slight injuries they were inflicting.
<I see>
It's worth noting that in my tank, the 4 convicts were so aggressive for the Nori clip that my other much bigger fish (9" dussumieri and 7" emperor angel) couldn't even get to the clip. They are normally the bosses of the tank, everyone gets out of their way but during feeding it's like the convicts didn't even care, the dussu and the emperor would flare up and try to get them to move and they just chowed down without a care in the world.
I could feed two or three full sheets of 12" x 12" Nori and the convicts would eventually fill up, but even then they would still just circle around the algae clip waiting for just the tiniest bit of food to digest so they could work more in. My emperor and dussu were OK because once the convicts slowed down a little bit, they moved in and ate, but my majestic was a little too skittish to get much food.
Maybe I should get just one other convict?
<I'd get two>
Try a small group of two? I'm not willing to try 4 again, that was bad for everyone involved.
<Small, odd numbers are best>
I hope you're right that the convict in question has just overeaten, although I'm really hesitant to believe that as it's been a week now since I've seen him eat. I don't really have any algae in my system to eat either, so it isn't as if he's foraging and getting full. I don't see how he could swell up that much in one or two days, especially with not eating. But I guess I'll just watch him and wait and hopefully he starts getting skinny again.
Thanks Bob!
<The bumpiness in the sides is indicative of ingestion of sand/gravel... Common as well... Let's hope "this too shall pass". Cheers, BobF>

Black Frayed Markings on Fowleri Tang -- 09/08/09
Good Afternoon,
<AM here now...>
I have searched for a couple hours and haven¹t really found a good answer for this one. Attached is a picture of my Fowleri Tang that is currently in QT. It has developed black frayed marks in a couple of places on its fins... I don¹t know if this is only a coincidence, but this is a day after I added a final 50% dose of Prazipro to the tank.
<Mmm, not likely related directly. This is evidence of physical... oh, I see you surmise this below>
Is this a sign of physical trauma from the other tang I have in QT, or is this something else I should worry about?
<Is the other tang... I'd be placing both, soon. Bob Fenner>

Tang in QT too long 4/24/2009
Hey guys,
My Maculiceps tang has discoloration on the top of his fins and on the bottom as shown in the picture. He has changed his behavior as well and swims at the very top of the tank and refuses to eat. Prior to this he
ate like a pig. He is in a 55 gallon qt and has been there for 3 weeks (new fish). What treatment courses do you recommend?
<Moving this fish summarily to more permanent quarters>
Thanks as always for your
<Prolonging the quarantine period is not likely to benefit further... Being in more propitious conditions definitely will. Bob Fenner>

Sick Atlantic Blue Tang, reading -- 04/12/09
I purchased this fish two weeks ago. At the store it looked fine but within a few days it showed this abscess in its shoulder area.
<Acanthurus coeruleus is inherently not a very strong fish for aquarium use...>
it doesn't seem to eat and it just picks at the rocks. Now it has a brown belly and brown spots, he has lost his color and is now very pale.
<Very bad signs>
I am hoping that I can help this fish but I am having difficulty identifying what's wrong.
<Unsuitable environment mostly, likely issues with tankmates... I see a Premnas... as stated, this is not a good captive species... Had you read on WWM you'd know this>
He also has ich. Please advise. The first pic is two days after I brought him home and the other pic is today.
<See WWM re this Atlantic Acanthurid and Crypt... Bob Fenner>

Re: Acanthurus ID (Attn: Bob) 2/19/09 I'll clean the glass and take another picture for you then. <Heeee! Is a neat species... very beautiful, and reportedly quite captivity suitable. Thank you, BobF>

Re: Acanthurus ID (Attn: Bob) Pics as promised One customer saw it and said it had lateral line disease. I can't see it. Can you? <I cannot... even at enlarging the images... The family does have more pronounced lateral pores... There is some minor damage to the lower half of the caudal fin... but this will no-doubt heal, re-grow in time. I rate this specimen highly. BobF>

Atlantic Blue Tang 2/17/2009 ABT Health, Selection, Disease Hello Crew, hope all is well. <Hello.....everything is fine, thanks.> A few days ago a fellow reefer was visiting some aquarium shops in a neighboring city and picked up a beautiful 7" Atlantic Blue Tang for me. <How long did they have this fish, and was it caught in the wild or was it a "trade-in"?> I added the tang to my 600 gallon aquarium and he looked very healthy and strong but I haven't been able to get him to eat. <How long was the fish quarantined? ABTs seem to be more vulnerable to Crypt than others>I've tried Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp (with and without garlic), algae sheets and still cannot get him to eat, all my other tangs are pigs but he just swims around while everyone else is pigging out. <Wild caught adult Tangs generally have trouble adapting to captivity, which is why it is recommended that Acanthurus are introduced between 3 - 4 inches (7.5 - 10cm) in length, as they are more adaptable to captive conditions at this age.>He is the third largest Tang in the tank after my Naso and Vlamingi and nobody picks on him, but I cannot get him to eat. He will pick at the rocks but won't eat anything else and his health is starting to fade, he now has ich <Likely caused by stress and a poor diet.> and still swims around acting like the king of the tank but will not eat, do you guys have any ideas? <I would get this fish out of your display and get it into a quarantine\hospital tank for treatment. For further reading on Crypt, I would suggest that you start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm As far as feeding is concerned, I would keep trying different foods, live brine shrimp, or a freshly opened clam to entice it to eat. More information can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acantfdgfaqs.htm .> Thanks. <No problem, MikeV>

Lavender Tang with mouth problem 2/11/09 I recently rescued a lavender tang from a misinformed hobbyist who was planning on keeping the fish in their 10 gallon nano tank!!! <Lock them in the closet for a month> The fish is eating and looks great however the flesh over it's mouth is gone. You can see its teeth. It kind of resembles a birds beak. The missing flesh is only on the top and the bottom portion of it's mouth is ok. Does the flesh over the fish's mouth regenerate like it's fins? <It can, yes> Is this going to be a permanent injury? How do injuries like this occur? <Mostly from manic rubbing... the fish's face against the viewing panels...> Is it from rubbing on the glass or is this more of a transport injury where the fish got stuck in a net? <More likely the former by far> Thank you for reading and I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Eric <Patience here... Bob Fenner>

Black Spot on Atlantic Blue Tang 4/25/08 I want to first off say thank you for all the help you and your website have given me. I recently lost my UV light for about a week and was waiting for the replacement to arrive. During that week I was out of town and when I got home I noticed a few things. One was this large black spot on my Atlantic blue tang about the size of a small pea. I attached a picture I hope you can see the spot. <I do> I looked up Black ick but I do not think that is it. Do you have any suggestions of what it maybe? <Looks very much like a "recovery area" from a physical trauma...> Another thing I noticed was since my UV had gone out I now have this dark green almost black film on all my flex hose and my skimmer is working overtime. Any ideas of this blackish green film? <Microbes of various sorts likely... will go with the lamp replacement> It is not on anything but the hoses and plumbing nothing in the tank. Thanks Again
<Not to worry here... Bob Fenner>

Bloated Yellow Mimic Tang, 3/22/08 About a week ago I noticed my juvenile mimic tang is very bloated (see picture attached). <I see this> He ate has been eating this week, but did not eat anything this morning. I have had this fish since November 2007. He is usually pretty active. For the past day or so, he stays hidden most of the time. Do you have any clues as to what could be wrong? Is there any treatment? <Mmm, perhaps a gut blockage, could be a form of egg-binding...> 7 month old, 75 gal FOWLR. Fish include: Yellow mimic tang, imperial angel, <Needs more room than this> coral beauty, tomato clown, Sailfin tang, sand sifter Gobi. Water conditions: NH4 - 0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 4ppm, pH - 7.9, <A bit low> PO4 - .07ppm, salinity 1.026, dKH - 8.7 <I do see quite a bit of BGA/Blue-Green algae in the pic as well... it could be that this Acanthurus has swallowed too much of this... and is being mal-affected... There are cases where the addition of Epsom Salt can "free up" such apparent swellings. Do use the search tool on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm and read the cached views re. Bob Fenner>

Convict tang mouth disease 8/7/07 Hey folks - <Chris> I've read on your site that a surgeonfish with a mouth infection/disease is pretty typically a goner. <Yes> I received a shipment of fish four days ago and put them in QT. These fish are slated to be the inhabitants of my newly upgraded 150 gallon tank, <Not this one...> which has been running for a couple of months now. Seeing as the tank has no new live rock or other substrate (all of it coming from my previous tank), high flow (~50x), and a EuroReef CS250 skimmer, I'm quite confident in it's ability to handle the fish load, which include a blonde Naso, pair of blue throat triggers, and Kole tang, all of which are currently under 3 inches in size and share the QT with this convict tang. The QT consists of a 20L, which I used tank water to setup, currently has a nitrate level of ~5ppm, a SG of 1.024, temp between 78-80 degrees, a simply light, some LR and PVC. Because these fish were bought sight unseen on the internet, I was taking a risk of getting diseased/damaged fish. While I will likely get a credit for the value of the convict tang, I'm more concerned now with the health of the other fish in the QT. <I understand, and agree> They all seem fat and happy (assuming they have no emotion of the dying fish in their quarters), continue to eat and swim around, and appear to be in good health. Are there any recommendations regarding the care of the other fish? And do you know exactly what this injury/disease is based on the picture? - Chris <Likely this manini was beat in collection, handling (with nets) and/or repeatedly bumped into whatever container it was kept in (need to not be placed in too-small "cubicles"... It's problem is not contagious per se. Good water quality ought to do it here. Bob Fenner>

Help With Sick Shoulder Tang, env. - 7/23/07 Good afternoon, geniuses! <Uhh... okay> First, thanks for such a great website. I've found so many answers to so many questions on the site, that I've never needed to write before now! <Yay!> I bought an Orange Shoulder Tang last weekend from my LFS. Brought him home and put him in quarantine with a smaller Sailfin Tang. <Mmm... I would NOT mix these...> They're in a 30-gallon quarantine tank (too small, I know, but it's for a relatively short time). <Like you, I and a black bear?> I noticed some small (very small) gray spots on him when I brought him home and figured that it was just discoloration or some pigment loss, but now the gray spot on his forehead is getting bigger and seems like it might be growing outward too. <Mmmm> It's behaviour is definitely different than it was. It swims VERY fast, sometimes in a very jerky manner, sometimes brushes against the gravel or PVC in the tank, but, a lot of time he spends in one spot directly under where the water pours back into the tank after being filtered. He has a really healthy appetite and goes crazy for frozen herbivore food. <Ah, good> He's a beautiful fish and has a ton of personality, so I don't want anything to happen to him! <This is one of my fave Acanthurus species (of the 32...) and am out seeing them most days while diving/snorkeling currently in HI> The tank setup is 30 gallons, has crushed coral on the bottom (going to be removing it when/if these guys come out of quarantine) with a basic pump pouring over charcoal/biorings filter. No protein skimmer yet (installing one on Wednesday). <This will help for sure> Water quality is good - Ammonia and Nitrite undetectable, Nitrates are 10-20. We did have a little bit of ammonia in the tank a few days ago - 0.5 - but we did water changes and it dropped down right away. Any idea what the problem could be and, more importantly, any suggestions on what to do to rescue this poor guy? He's obviously uncomfortable. By the way, the Sailfin is just fine. Doesn't exhibit any problems at all. Thanks and I'm including two pictures of him. Wes <The difficulty here is very likely "just" environmental... This is a wide-ranging species (needs hundreds of gallons really)... and even a trace of ammonia can be real trouble. Improve this animal's world and all will be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Acanthurus tennenti disease -- 04/30/07 Hi, Thanks again for all the help. Unfortunately when I got home today the tang was in worse shape, it has some red in the lesion and more white fluffy marks on the other side. In addition the Sixline wrasse who was doing fine, eating voraciously and swimming around, suddenly died. I did a 25% water change but I'm starting to think that there is something wrong in the QT tank. Do you think that the two events are related someway? <Yes. Highly likely so> I'm thinking that maybe I should dip the tang and put him in the main tank to reduce the stress, would it make sense now or it could spread the disease? <I would take the risk and do as you suggest> Thank you, Diego <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Acanthurus tennenti disease -- 04/30/07 Hello again Bob. <Diego> Thanks for the help. I'm writing you again to get an opinion on what is happening and also to share what happened since I suspect that it may be useful to others. <I thank you for this> After your email I agreed on taking the risk, I was hoping that the QT was stressing the fish and it was the cause of the skin lesions. The fish was eating with more appetite, probably because he was getting used to my presence. I prepared a freshwater dip and dipped him for 1 min. I decided for just 1 min for a couple of reasons: first I was doing a preventive dip since the fish didn't show signs of ich or parasites, second my previous bad experience forced to be more cautious in the length of these dips. <Okay> In addition after 1 min the fish was becoming a rocket fish trying to leap out of the dipping container. <Typical with Tangs> After the dip I placed the fish in the main tank and I noticed that the skin lesions had white bumps or bubbles of what seemed to be skin. I don't now hot to describe it precisely, I'm pretty sure that the bubbles weren't parasites but more similar to dead skin. <Likely so> As soon as it found a nice cave to hide in, my cleaning crew, made of a coral banded, a scarlet and a fire shrimp (I now a dangerous combination but they get a long wonderfully and I'm closely monitoring ready to separate them in case of war signs) started frenetically cleaning for 5min (never seen a fish stay so much) removing all the bubbles. Sorry for the long email but I would really love to have your opinion on what is happening and if the stress hypothesis still holds or the new information points more towards a disease. <I think the Tang's symptoms are/were resultant from general stress in QT, that the behavior elicited the response of cleaning by the shrimp...> I know everybody says it but I really want to thank you and the rest of the crew for the great help. It really gives a huge boost to this hobby. Thanks. Diego <A pleasure to serve my friend. Bob Fenner>

Mimic Tang Problems... improper env., nutr., 4/6/07 Good morning, Crew. <Andy> I love your web site. I am in need of some help. I have a 55 gallon FOWLR tank with about 60 lbs of live sand as substrate, 40 lbs of live rock, an Aquaclear 70 hang on filter, 4- Maxijet 1200 powerheads, and a Prizm <Proper nouns are capitalized> protein skimmer. In the tank, I have two green Chromis, two tomato clowns, one yellow shrimp goby, one orange spotted diamond goby, an anemone that I think is a Caribbean anemone (that unfortunately my clowns have shown no interest in), <It may consume them...> and a mimic tang. <Not enough room here for this species> Recently, my mimic tang has been showing up with black splotches on his body. <Likely principally "stress" at play here... the lack of space, the Tomatoes acting aggressively toward it...> The first one showed up just in front of his tail. Now, it is predominantly on his head between his eyes, and has shown up on his tail fin. He seems to be acting normally, eating as much as usual, fighting with his reflection, <More stress...> swimming between the rocks, and playing in the sand. My fiancé's first thought was that he was bruised from fighting his reflection, but I was skeptical about that. My thoughts were that it was either (1) black ich (which I thought only affected yellow tangs) <Not this... has other symptomology... but this species can be afflicted with Paravortex> or (2) he's been stung by the anemone, <Is a possibility> which is a fairly new addition. <And is mis-placed here. I would remove this Condylactis> He has gotten very close to the anemone, though I've never seen him actually touch the tentacles. <"Bits" do come off... float about in the tank...> I've attached some pictures. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I lost a green Chromis to HLLE, and I don't want to lose this one. <Is an environmental/nutritional complex...> Oh, and I tried feeding him the freeze dried seaweed, but he didn't seem to take it. He seems much more interested in the algae on the live rocks and the veggie flakes from Omega One. Thanks. Andy Anderson <... Please take the time to search, read on WWM re Acanthurus, Acanthurid care... Caribbean Anemone Compatibility... Your and many more as-yet non-conscious questions/items are addressed there already. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mimic Tang Problems - 4/6/07 Thanks for the quick answer, Bob. I did want to make a correction, though. The anemone is a long tentacle anemone. In my ignorance, I assumed I knew the type, but after I sent you the message, I asked the LFS where I bought it, and he gave me the correct info. The clown at the LFS was wallowing in it and loving it, but mine will not go near it. <Ahh, these associations often take time (weeks to even months) to develop> Regarding the mimic tang, my fiancé surprised me with this fish because I had commented that I really liked it. <Are beauties> The LFS where she purchased it said that 55 gallons was sufficient, but I did have my doubts. I probably would have stuck to smaller fish for my system. The clowns appear to leave it alone. <Appearances... can be... deceiving> The only fish I have that have shown any aggression are the gobies toward each other. He did start eating some macro algae, so I may start soaking that (and his flakes) in Selcon to boost his nutrition. I have a friend building a house in which he's setting up a 200 gallon tank, so if this fish does not improve, depending on what other livestock he is planning to add to his tank, I may just go ahead and give him this fish if he wants it. It will be a lot happier in 200 gallons. <Yes> Thanks again for your help and the great website... I'm new to the hobby and have literally spent hours at WWM trying to absorb all the info. Andy
<A pleasure to share. BobF>

Possible HLLE or injury to Acanthurus 4/5/07 Hi Crew. <What's up Ryan?> Can you tell me what the splotch is above my orange shoulder's left eye? <Mmm...a little blurry but appears to be either a physical abrasion or perhaps the start of Head Line Lateral Erosion...I would check WWM articles re: to see how it compares as well as possible effects and treatment. Judging from the abrasion only being on one side of the animal I would just wait it out, pristine water quality and an appropriate diet, and watch for possible aggression as well.> I've included three pics so you can see. Any help would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Ryan Mullinax
<Adam J.>

Mimic Tang Behaviour 3/19/07 Hello - First off, thank you for providing such a great site. I often have questions and find the answers just by browsing around. <Yes... and thank goodness... there are tens of thousands of unique ISPs here every day...> But this is one I couldn't find. I have a 75 gal tank that has only been up and running for about 4 months. So far so good. I have 2 clowns (percula and Clarks) and a yellow mimic tang. Just in the last few days, my mimic tang has been rubbing his side against the sand? <Not an unnatural behavior... and not to worry unless this becomes "excessive"> It is very brief, quick movement and then he is back to swimming as usual. He is just doing it every now and then and not constant, but I have seen it happen at least 4 times today that I have noticed so I assume he is doing it more. Is this something I should be concerned about? <Not really> I am hoping it isn't any kind of skin condition or whatever. He is showing a little bit of aggression to one of my clowns, but that is only when the mimic tang feels the need to invade the clowns space around and underneath our BTA. <Also to be expected for the species, genus> Other than that, they get along. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Hoping it is just a little quirk of the mimic tang, and not a problem - Stacy <No worries. Bob Fenner>

(Acanthurus) Tang Issues From Singapore; Some Much Needed Reading 3-12-2007 Hi. <Hello.> I have this problem with my tangs. <I'll see if I can help.> I used to have a clown tang, <Acanthurus Lineatus, is a notoriously poor choice for most marine aquariums, suffering from shipping and acclimation to captive life. Those that do survive are quite aggressive and get quite large as well 15'+ and should arguably not be housed with other surgeons in all but the largest settings (100's to 1000's of gallons)'¦definitely not other Acanthurus.> blue tang <Which blue tang? Paracanthurus , A. Coeruleus or A. leucosternon'¦'¦'blue tang' is a common name used for all of these species.> and powder blue tang <Or Cryptocaryon magnets as I call them.> in my tank at different period of time. I supposed that all of them died of Ich. <A common plight for many captive surgeons.> All of them died the same way <Well of the two tangs I was able to verify that you have kept, these are both notoriously poor choices, disease wise in captive environments.> and each time I try many ways to sustain their lives. My first clown tang was seen struggling with Ich and I remove to do a freshwater dip. But I forget to buffer the pH and it died in a few minutes time. <Dips are a good start but due to the lifecycle of Cryptocaryon this type of care won't do much good alone. Read here for more detail: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-10/sp/feature/index.php .> Horrible instead. My next blue tang died before I can do a freshwater dip. Also seen struggling with Ich. <Mmm'¦I will also direct you here as well: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php . You need to start quarantining your animals in a separate area before addition to the display. And if the animals to get ill in the display they need to be moved back to the quarantine container and treated there.> When I had my blue tang and clown tang, nitrate lever was high to around 20ppm. <Not ridiculously high but does need to be lowered.> But when I kept my powder blue tang, nitrate level is at zero or undetectable level. It starts to show sign of Ich when I switched off the filters and skimmer to do a huge water change and clean up. Before that it was a healthy and excellent specimen. <The ich/crypt was already there it wasn't just being 'expressed,' likely something changed which affected the animals immune system and allowed the parasites to gain the upper hand. Refer to the above articles posted above for more.> I did a freshwater dip for it when I saw it struggling. Instead of helping it, the freshwater dip impacted on it. At first it can still hold itself up and swim but when I did a freshwater dip, it became hard and started breathing rapidly. <What type of freshwater are you using?> After I add it back to the main tank, my boxer shrimp actually went to help clean him up. Pretty amazing that my boxer shrimp can actually do his cleaning job because very few people have witnessed boxer shrimp's cleaning capability. It helped to clean the tang off the ich and the fish just lie down there, but it did move on occasion. In the end, I choose to move him to another quarantine tank. <Should have been the first choice my friend.> I was thinking that maybe the water quality is not good so maybe the other tank is better. But in the end he died. I think I should just leave it alone to the boxer shrimp. Think I made a wrong decision there. I am very sad about all their death and faced with great difficulties in maintain another tang. Fearing that I will kill another tang, I decided not to house any fish for now but to improve on my phosphate level. I am planning to get an ozonizer. <Phosphates can usually be linked to source water'¦what is it?> What's your suggestion into housing another tang in the future so that the same drama doesn't occur again? <Allow your display to run fishless for 6 weeks, at least, and quarantine all new additions for at lest 4 weeks. Also make better initial choices, both of the tangs we discussed here are not good captive choices. And PLEASE read the articles I posted.> And I am keep a 50 US gallon tank. <This is also to small for what you are/were keeping.> How much dosage of ozone is good for my tank since I don't plan on getting a monitor now. Can you can me a rough estimation on how often and how long should I intro ozone into my tank if the output is 100mg/hr? <Read this too: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-03/rhf/index.php .> And maybe give me some guidance on it. Thanks. <Welcome, Adam J.>

New tennenti tang has white on part of lip... - 03/12/07 Just got a juvenile tennenti tang. Noticed that its lower lip is white and it looks like it is misaligned with the upper lip. <Mmmm, likely damaged in collection (are collected via fence-nets, herding/directing...)... possibly in holding, transit> The tang is otherwise doing fine and eating like crazy. Any thoughts on what this is and any suggestions on how to treat it? Thanks. <Mmm, just good conditions, nutrition, time going by... Not treatable per se.> <Mmm. Bob Fenner>

Acanthurus tennenti disease, env. likely -- 03/09/07 Hello, <Diego... I live in your town> I have a 75 Gallon tank with 2 ocellaris clownfish, a Pseudochromis and an Acanthurus tennenti <Will need more room... perhaps already does...> along with some shrimps, crabs and snails. The tang is showing different symptoms each day. At first I saw him scratching in the sand for a couple of days and I noticed I white spot on the body. The spot disappeared the following day. <Only one? I wouldn't be concerned> After a day with no symptoms, today I noticed that the fish had some bumps behind the eye region and along the lateral line. <Ah... neuromast destruction... stress... water quality... related> I also noticed a black spot on the body. The thing that worries me most is that these bumps seem to brake leaving a scar. I don't understand if it is the beginning of ich, black ich or internal parasites. <Mmm, not likely any of these> The fish doesn't show other problems, it feeds well on seaweed enriched with garlic extract and shrimp dipped in garlic extract. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Diego <I suspect that stress from being in a small environment is mostly at play here... second-string influences might be water quality... If you can't move this fish to larger quarters, I would try bolstering its immune system... with vitamin, HUFA soaking of foods, addition to the water once a week during/after water changes... Water quality best improved with the use/addition of an as-large-as-you-can fit refugium. Bob Fenner>
Re: Acanthurus tennenti disease 3/10/07
Hello, <Hi there Diego> Thank you for the suggestions. I was actually planning on adding a refugium next week (there is an add-on version with Miracle mud) and I'm currently adding vitamins (Selcon) to the food. <Good moves> Having said this I feel that your main point on aquarium size is right. Unfortunately my larger aquariums are in Europe and here I don't have many alternatives. Since you mentioned the fact that you live in my town <Oh... sorry for the obscure reference... I live in San Diego... the Saint of your namesake> I was wondering if you know somebody that might want to take this fish and give him the space he needs. Please don't misunderstand, I don't want to get rid of him but I feel that I made a mistake in taking this fish (the LFS said it was perfect for this tank, but I guess this isn't something unheard of) and without a bigger tank in the near future the best solution is to find him a spacious new home. Thank you, Diego <Mmm, do look about... for a marine/reef club... perhaps Craig's List? Other retailers who may allow you to trade this animal in... Bob Fenner>

Question regarding a sick tang 12/23/06 Hello WWM Crew <Cole> Hopefully you can help me with the following problem. I'm getting pretty desperate and I'm worried sick about my tang. I went on vacation for a week and had someone look after my tanks. When I came home I noticed my orange shoulder tang kept hiding and didn't eat anymore. <Unusual for such a bold species once acclimated> The person who looked after the tank told me that the tang stopped eating 3 days after I left. We usually feed them twice a day but when we were away, he only got fed once a day. I've been home for a week and he's still not eating. He hides in a cave all day and only comes out when the lights go off. He swims around and it almost seems like he can't see well and he keeps swimming into things. I put my hand in the tank and he bumped into it. He spends a lot of time swimming up and down in one corner. All the levels are normal and none of the other fishes are sick. (He shares the tank with Anthias, a flame angel, a coral beauty, several cardinals etc) All the SPS and LPS corals and a sea star are doing ok. I've had him for over year and a half and he's been very healthy until now. He used to like eating from my hand and interacting with me daily. He was always more like a puppy than a fish. I can't see any visible marks/fungus or spots on him. He's not scratching or twitching and his balance seems ok. I don't think his eyes are cloudy either. He doesn't seem to have any HLLE symptoms either. I could take him out and put him in a separate tank and treat him but I'm not sure what to treat him with. I understand sometimes tangs get stressed out and get sick. Is it possible that someone else looking after the tank caused him to get stressed out? <Mmm, no> What could cause his illness? <Most likely a nutritional deficiency... possibly a pathogenic disease... internal... specific to this one fish> Anything I can do? I added a new ChemiPure, a PolyFilter and did a partial water change already and been over skimming for several days. <All good moves> I haven't moved him as I'm worried about stressing him out even more. What could I treat him with? Thank you in advance for any help and advice. Cole in Vancouver, Canada <I would add a vitamin supplement both to offered foods and to the water directly. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/nutrdisf.htm Bob Fenner>

Tangs with mouth trouble - 10/17/06 Hey guys, <Hey Ron, MacL here with you tonight. Bob's on a trip and we are all pitching in.> I bought a powder brown tang yesterday. The tang has ich, which is not a problem. I have treated many tangs with ich. It is in a hospital tank right now. I will be lowering the salinity today. The tang has a sore or spot on it's mouth, right on the tip. The sore is white, almost clear. The tang is eating and acting normal. Is there anything i can do for its' mouth? I know mouth troubles on a tang are not good news. <Is it large enough to determine whether its Lymphocystis or something else? Lymphocystis on a tangs mouth can be a large problem but often its bad water parameters from the previous water. I'm sure that as you supply it with good, clean healthy water it will help it immensely. Keep watching the fish to determine if there is red shooting through it in any way, because that is a possible infection. Keep a close eye on it and watch to see the marks growth patterns and how it looks, whether it becomes like a cauliflower in shape and texture or something else. I would not suggest adding any type of antibiotics until you are sure of what it going on with the fish but I would DEFINITELY suggest get him eating Nori or some other types of greens. Its amazing what a difference algae can make for a tang.> Please help. Thanks, Ron <Good luck, MacL>

Treating a Powder Brown Tang (A. nigricans) with Crypt. 9/27/06 Hello Crew, <Mark> First let me tell you what a great service your website is to those of us who love the hobby. It is simply the most accurate source of information I've found. It has really helped me make better decisions at the LFS, separating truth from fiction. <Ah, good> I'm treating a powder brown (A. nigricans) for crypt that was in a 120 gal reef tank. The tank is located at a business and is "taken care of" by a local service. I have salt tanks at home and have seen/treated crypt before but never on such a delicate species as a powder brown. I was the first to notice the fish had a slight case and suggested to the service that they remove all the fish and treat in a separate tank. They obviously didn't QT the tang before they brought it to us. We'll they didn't listen and went to dipping and then to Kick Ich and......you know the rest. <Oh yes> Yes they put Kick-Ich in the main tank, soft corals, inverts, and all. I have nothing good to say about Kick-Ich. I fell pray to it a long time ago. It's worthless. <We are in agreement. Perhaps worse than worthless... as folks actually believe they're doing something of use> I do not have experience with this species. I've now educated myself about the powder brown on your site and realize I may not win this battle, but I have to try. I brought my 10 gal H.T. in from home and set it up in my office. I removed a small power filter I run on my 55 at home just for this purpose. The fish had a fairly severe case when the "fish service" finally cried uncle and let me try 3 weeks later. I'm at day 5 of a 14 day copper treatment (Mardel, Copper Safe) and the fish is doing very well now. I've got it eating dried seaweed, it won't take dried foods and I haven't tried frozen yet. <Very likely it won't feed till the copper treatment ceases> Spots are gone, I'm doing daily 4 gal water changes using water from my 55 gal at home in attempt to seed the tank. Copper is probably killing bacteria as quickly as I put it in. <Likely so> I am fighting ammonia; it's at a steady 0.5 ppm as long as I continue water changes, which was predictable. Nitrite is 0, which may change next week. Salinity is at 1.023. that's where I keep my tanks. I am testing for Copper and levels are where they're supposed to be. Here are my questions: Assuming I can keep this delicate fish alive through the copper treatment, should I return the fish to the main display after two weeks or try to get the 10 gal to cycle and keep the tang out of the "infested tank" for a full 30 days? <The latter... the main tank has been left sans fish hosts? Or "nuked" as in bleached?> I say "infested" because none of the other fish are showing signs of crypt. <It's there> I understand there is a potential for the fish to become infested again <Almost a surety> I just don't know if the extra time out of the tank really means anything since we didn't let the system go fallow. <A mistake> I'm conflicted between stressing the fish by keeping it in the 10 gal longer than required and potentially re-infesting it in the main tank. How much stress am I putting the tang through keeping it in such a small tank? <A bunch> I realize they like large spaces! Do you see any thing wrong with my treatment method? Thanks for a wonderful site! Mark Gustin <Mmm, nothing per se... but the "whole picture" is incomplete w/o the "treatment" of the main display... Bob Fenner>

Complications arising from treatment for Ich on a Acanthurus achilles 9/1/06 Hi Bob, <Matt> Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply. About seven weeks ago I purchased an Achilles tang after years of wanting one I finally felt I had the system capable of supporting one. He initially went into my refugium for a month and proceeded to do very well with no signs of ill health and eating voraciously, after being introduced into the display he showed a few spots for about 10 days before he worsened considerably. I made the decision to remove him to Hypo at that point. I lowered him to what I thought was 1.009 however later discovered it to be 1.012 due to a faulty hydrometer. Whilst in hypo he degraded into the worst case of Ich I have ever seen. The fish was totally listless and unable to move effectively. I was concerned that I may have a strain resistant to Hypo so decided to administer a half dose of Cupramine. Within three days all signs of Ich had abated, and with the specific gravity being maintained at 1.010 I decided to replace the carbon and remove the Cupramine. Now five days later the Ich has not returned, respiratory rate is normal. <Good> My problem is the fish is still very listless, unable to control his orientation and is not eating. <Not too surprising> Could I have somehow poisoned him with Cupramine or would a massive Ich infection cause enough electrolyte imbalance to cause these ongoing symptoms? <Perhaps a bit of both> I am at a loss, I don't know whether to slowly raise the salinity once more in the hope that may help or whether to wait it out. <I would raise the spg... a thousandth per day or so> It has been about a week now since he last ate and I am concerned that he will become to weak to recover. <Me too> Thank you in advance for your reply Matt <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Clown Tang/Health - 8/10/2006 Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, <Good morning Eric.> I'm writing you today because I am concerned about my newly acquired Clown Tang (he is very pretty). He is in QT right now (has been for about a week) waiting to go into my 55 display. My concern is that he has developed "discolored" splotches on his left side (please see attached photo) and has begun to "scratch" that area of his body against the ground and the bits of cover in the QT. Even upon very close inspection I can not see any white specs (watching for ick). I'm also worried about nutritional conditions as he is my first Tang and I'm still learning, although he seems to be eating healthily... the scratching is my concern. <Not a good first tang for sure. It appears to be an Acanthurus lineatus, one of the more difficult ones to keep. The Acanthurus sohal is similar in appearance and much easier to keep.> He has been eating, what appears to be "normally" (though I've never had a tang before and do not know how much to expect him to eat). I've been placing a 1"x1" to 2"x2" piece of dried seaweed on a clip in the QT for him every other day (I hope this is right, it seems so from what I've read on WWM). <If eating well, the fish should have a slightly rounded belly.> I am becoming concerned about putting him into the display even though he has a while to go in QT. Should I hyposalinate the QT? Copper? <No, do not add any more stress.> I don't want to cause undue stress to the poor little guy by treating him for Ick if it isn't there, but I don't want him to die either and as we all know, early detection (and treatment) is the key to everything. <Along with selecting fish that are easier to acclimate to aquarium conditions.> Any other words of advice on this species I may not have read yet? <I'm guessing your experience level is low. Should have done some research before buying this fish. OK, I'd ensure plenty of cover is available in the form of PVC pipe large enough to accommodate him. I would treat with Mela-Fix, but the fish appears to be suffering more from environmental/nutrition issues more than anything else. Do soak the sea-weed in Selcon or a similar vitamin complex. Do alternate feedings with a good frozen food, such as the Ocean Nutrition brand. I would not illuminate the tank as well. This fish does not tolerate poor water quality very well and the tank you plan on putting him in is much too small, as this fish can grow over one foot in length under ideal aquarium conditions. Somewhere in the 150 gallon range would be more like it. I'm hoping your QT is large enough (no 10 or 20 gallon) to make this fish reasonably comfortable during QT. I might add that I would seriously consider asking your dealer if you can return this fish.> Thanks again for everything you are doing! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Unusual Tang Species, Rapidly Breaking Down 8/7/06 Hello from England, I am in need of some urgent help please. <Okay> I have a 6' long x 3' wide x 2' deep reef with a mix of 60/30/10 SPS/LPSs/softies. parameters- nitrate 5ppm nitrite -0 ph 8 temp - 26 Alk - 9 dKH 4 weeks ago I bought this Acanthurus guttatus <Interesting... not an oft-collected, kept Tang species> from my LFS where I work part-time and all was well for a few days then, what I thought was ick started to appear, (fish was quarantined for at least a month) <Mmm... "even the best laid plans"... and their execution!> In the last 2 weeks I noticed some small skin lesions on one side of the fish, the fish was feeding from hand and by far the most greedy of my 3 tangs. In the last week it got worse so I dipped the fish in SeaChem's ParaGuard, There was an improvement for 3-4 days then it started to come back, as I'm writing this its getting worse FAST, I mean I can see its flesh being 'eaten' by the hour (see pic). 6 hour ago the fish was still eating fine but has lost its appetite in the last few hours. All my other fish are fine. Where the skin has been 'eaten' you can see redness although the pic does not show it too well, Am pretty sure Am going to lose this fish and I am kicking myself for not mailing you sooner. I've attached a pic of the other 'good' side of the fish too. Thanks in advance Matt <Yeeikes... can't discern what this is specifically, but I would immediately remove this fish to a separate quarantine/treatment tank... and enroute dip it in a seawater and formalin/formaldehyde bath. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm and the linked files above. And soon. Bob Fenner>

<Not so> Weird Death of Achilles Tang 7/26/06 Hey Crew, <Jeremy> About a week ago, I decided to purchase an Achilles Tang (3.5"-4"). I researched the species for about 3-5 months reading whatever I could find on it. Well, my LFS owner and I worked on a shipment of them for about two weeks in the store's medic tanks because they had an ick infection. <Common> Mine had what looked to be a secondary infection of fungus around the mouth area when it was in my tank. <Not fungal... bacterial> I didn't QT him for my system as I had him QT'd in the LFS <Not usually a good practice to rely on anyone else...> and I thought the ick was over. Like I said, I checked in on him at the LFS, so I saw first hand that he was being taken care of and was well. I thought so anyway. <Very easy for "cross-contamination" to occur in commercial settings... nets, other gear, water, livestock getting mixed...> The tank was small for the species (55g), but a much bigger tank is scheduled to be setup in the house around the end of September (130g). The tank had a good amount of current and had a heavy amount of dissolved Oxygen in the water. I have had a blue tang (hippo) for a little over a year so I would think I would know how to take care of a tang... Especially since I nursed the blue one back after feeling sorry for the pathetic look it had in a bad LFS. I did read how hard the Achilles could be and I knew I was up for a challenge to say the least. The water parameters were spg:1.025, ph:8.4, temp:78F, Amm:0, Nitrite:0 and Nitrate:10. I set my medic tank up (29g) using water mostly from my main tank (about 75%) and some newly made water that set for about 36 hours. The Achilles tang was doing ok and I was just starting to get him to eat prepared foods that the other fishes ate. Meanwhile, he was making quick work of my Live Rock. Not that I cared, I was happy to see him eat anything. He was full bodied, almost all black with vibrant, bright orange markings, swam around normally, even sociable to me and others. Not near the schizo that the blue one is. I would imagine everything sounds ok up to this point doesn't it? Despite the tank size... The only thing wrong that I saw was the little bit of mouth fungus. I went back to the LFS and he said Maracyn was probably the best idea. I read that on the FAQ's too. I noticed the remaining Achilles Tang's looked ok (in the mouth area) and that I wasn't overreacting. I figured I would have a tough time getting him to eat if his mouth was hurting him so I wanted to get his mouth healed ASAP. I waited until it was dark (less stress) to move the fish into the QT. I gave him a FW dip and then into the QT. At first he swam around a little, and then he was laying on his side breathing heavily. My blue tang does this when stressed (mostly during water changes) and I decided best to just leave it alone and let it recover. I got up early the next morning to check on him and he was dead as a doornail. Any thoughts? Could a fish go from doing "ok" to dead in a matter of hours with little change in the biological environment? <Can/does happen... "just stress"...> Was it doomed from the beginning? An anomaly? I don't know what to think. Thanks again, Jeremy <A percentage risk... Your reactions, plans were not "off"... I would likely have done what you state. Bob Fenner>

Re: Weird Death of Achilles Tang - 07/26/06 Thanks Bob. Any chance you can catch me another one while diving in Hawaii? <Do see these most days while out diving... And thanks for the chance to add a bit re their capture, husbandry... This Acanthurus species is surprisingly "soft-bodied"... and the best/better specimens are collected at night (while they're "lying" on the bottom, vs. in a barrier/mist net as most all marine fishes are captured... but where they get "beat" easily... and suffer consequently for it)> It will be a while before I try any new fish. I may try another Achilles, but later on. The little monsters already swimming in my tank are a handful as it is. One of the hardest aspects of this hobby is the planning. You see so many fish that you would love to keep, but you can only keep so few... Jeremy <I suspect this is an "adaptive behavior" of worth... and of economic principle... "Folks always want, and their wants can never be fully satisfied"... Wish you were out diving with us! BobF>

Gold Rim Tang with Blue Bumps... learning not an easy way 7/10/06 Hey guys. I have a gold rim tang and have had him for about a week. I noticed this morning that he has a few blue bumps on his face and about 6-8 blue bumps on his side. I noticed that he also has 3 white bumps on his other side. I am unsure as how to diagnose this and treat. If it was only white bumps that would be ich, but not sure about the blue bumps. He is acting normal. The other 3 fish are healthy and happy. We added some new Fiji live rock a couple days ago. I have been testing the water every 3 days. Water parameters are: salinity 1.021, <I'd raise and keep this up to NSW, 1.025...> Ammonia 0, nitrite .05 (had a small spike), <Dangerous> nitrate 5 (again tied to that small spike when I added the live rock) and ph seemed low this morning 8.1. I know the ph needs to be raised ASAP. <Uh, no> I tested the water 3 days ago and the PH was fine. Not sure what caused the drop. I read that you can dissolve a small amount of baking soda in a cup with dechlorinated water and that will raise the PH. How can i safely raise the PH? <Not with sodium bicarbonate here: Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm and the linked files above> Sorry, not to get off topic... but I did not heed your advice about a QT tank, and am setting one up as we speak. How can I help this little guy get better? <... now a treatment tank. Actually, this fish likely "came in" with either a protozoan (likely, and likely a Sporozoans of some sort) or Cercaria infestation... is "under the skin"... not able to be treated easily... except to treat the environment... That is, to optimize, stabilize the habitat, deal with through reduced stress, good nutrition... Very common for this species (Acanthurus nigricans, nee glaucopareius) to have problems. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GoldRimSs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Torn caudal spine, tang 7/3/06 I have a 250 gallon reef tank and I recently noticed that my sohal tang has a torn caudal spine. Not sure what it could have been from but am concerned about it. What do you recommend? Thanks Brett <Mmm, actually "nothing"... such tears/damage are not uncommon, and can, often do heal of themselves. Handling tangs is dangerous business... most all collectors have been sliced, gashed as times (I have on several occasions)... It's not worth the possibility of damage to yourself or the fish... The usual recommendation here to do what you can to provide good environmental conditions, nutrition otherwise. Very likely there will be no repercussions to the health of this fish from this damage. Bob Fenner>

- Help with Ick on a Goldrim Achilles Tang - 6/14/06 I am interested in a Goldrim achilles hybrid at the local LFS but he has bad ich. They don't seem to know very much. I suggested vitamin C and algae to feed and Kick Ick but they don't know about any of it. <I don't know that the Kick Ich is a good idea.> Would I be better off to buy it and treat it myself or let them teat it. <Your choice - one of the two ways will cost you nothing.> I guess I should ask if the fish would be better off. <Too late for that...> I think I know more than them but do you have any tips as to aid in its survival. <You can try but when these tangs get sick for real, they rarely make a comeback. You'd have to have a large quarantine system with excellent water quality to even begin to turn this fish around. Odds are not in your favor.> Thanks, James G. PS. They are only asking 40 dollars so I wouldn't be out too much... <Or... you could save your $40 for the next one that comes in healthy. Cheers, J -- >

Clown Tang Problem...A Tang For Expert Aquarists Only - 06/06/2006 I have a small Clown Tang that I have had for a few weeks. When I got up yesterday morning his head was very dark, almost black. This happened overnight. Also he is swimming only using one lateral fin. His appetite is fine. <Water quality issue more than likely. You certainly didn't pick one of the hardier ones. These guys have a very high mortality rate. Pristine water quality and a good diet will go a long way in keeping the Clown Tang healthy. You say his appetite is good, so you won one of the battles. Do feed marine based seaweed and algae. It will strengthen their immune system and become a little less aggressive...Yes, a very aggressive fish. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)> Any suggestions? <If your experience level is low to moderate, I'd see if you can return this fish for store credit/exchange.> Dan
Re: Clown Tang Problem...A Tang For Expert Aquarists Only - 06/06/2006
I have had a Achilles as well as a Powder Blue successfully. <A little easier to keep than the Clown Tang. "Have had"?> My water quality is good 1.023. Nitrates below 20. Nitrites 0. <Water quality isn't just 1.023 salinity and nitrates below 20 and nitrites 0. Other factors are stable non-fluctuating temperature and pH, absence of dissolved nutrients (An excellent skimmer goes a long way here), weekly 10% water changes are a few. Do read here, Dan. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watchgantart.htm> If it is water quality, wouldn't it have developed over a few days? <Not necessarily. Very hard to tell water quality by looking at it.> And why would it affect his use of a lateral fin? <Was not implying that this was the cause of the fin not being used, is difficult to say without actually observing. For brief periods, I have observed tangs exhibit this behavior. What I was getting at is the difficulty in keeping the Clown Tang alive for any length of time.> He is eating Nori and grazing. <Good> I know that is an aggressive fish but I needed to have something straighten out my Achilles. <As long as the fish is eating well, just observe/monitor for health decline, hopefully you will have some luck with this fish. James (Salty Dog)>

Poorly Atlantic Blue Tang.... 2/3/06 Hi All, We have a 55 UK gallon tank, with 30 kilos of Live Rock, MC500 Deltec, 2 power heads, 250 halide and two blue arcadias. Fish stock includes Mandarin Yellow tang Atlantic blue tang 2 Green Chromis 2 percula clowns Brownbarred goby Six lined Wrasse 9 red hermits 6 turbo snails 1 cleaner shrimp. Our problem is our Atlantic blue tang, it seems to have what I can only described a bubbly skin and there are a couple of white spots on it. <Unfortunately... quite prone to such troubles... as are most Atlantic Surgeonfishes> We are guessing its Ich but we're not getting much help from our LFS who have told us the just leave him and he will get over it?!? <Not if it were indeed crypt/ich... but I doubt this is what you are observing... otherwise your other fishes would be mal-affected as well> We are concerned as we are relatively new to this and would like to do what is right! I've read a lot of articles on this site with regards to freshwater dips, garlic copper and so on and from this have deduced freshwater dips are the way to go. Would you think this was advisable? <Not w/o knowing what is going on here> He is still eating well but does seem a little irritable. Many thanks for any help and advice you can give to us Brits as I haven't found a website as useful as yours in the UK. Emma and Simon, Lake District, UK <Mmm, need more information re the chemical make-up of this system. Were your fishes quarantined ahead of placement? I would be leery re "adding something" here in the way of "medicine"... Is there an aquarist friend, stockist who might come by and take a look at your set-up, livestock? Bob Fenner>
Re: Poorly Atlantic Blue Tang.... 2/6/06
Thanks to Bob Fenner for is prompt reply, The tang seems to have deteriorated overnight, he now have a number of visible white spots and his skin is very bumpy and has developed two 5mm white patches which looks like the loss of pigment. All the chemicals are fine all tests have come back as spot on. No fish have been quarantined prior to putting in the tank as we "assumed" this was done by the place we've been buying them from. <Not a good assumption> Unfortunately there isn't anyone local to come and check out our system we're a little in the middle of nowhere the most local person originally advised us to us water out of the stream which runs through our back garden at first (!!!) so wouldn't trust anything he had to say. That's why we have to travel over an hour to the best one in the area. No other fish are affected at all which makes me wonder if it is ich as I would have thought maybe the clowns would have got it by now. <As stated, this fish (Acanthurus coeruleus likely) and other TWA tangs just don't "cut it" in captivity... for whatever reason/s> We have a cleaner wrasse but the tang won't let him near and just chases him away. <Labroides are not found in the Atlantic...> The fish store is posting out some bacterial type to put into the system but I'm hesitant to use it, especially due to the loss of pigment on his skin. Many thanks if there is any help you can give me, Emma, UK. <Not much more to say unfortunately. Bob Fenner>

Acanthurus Tangs 12/28/05 Dear Mr. Fenner <James today> I read over your website, specifically on the Acanthurus genus. I have been a reef-keeper for nearly 10 years now, and like many have had my resounding success stories with livestock and dismal failures as well. I have noticed that whenever I have purchased a number of different Acanthurus species over that last several years, they tend not to be long-lived like Zebrasoma tangs. <The nature of the beast. One of the most difficult fish to keep.> I'm speaking specifically of Ã'. japonicus and A. Leucosternon. Powder Blues,<The worst of the family.> I understand from some sources consider them touchy, although I had one that lived in my tank for three years and I only removed him because of size and aggressiveness. Even the Powder Browns (an understated beauty) full bodied and strong colored seem to thin way down in captivity, relatively quickly. <A good vitamin enriched diet is most important.> I have one now. Perfect condition when I got him (color, body fullness) he eats like a pig and still has sunken behind the head and body. His color and behavior are still normal and he still eats very well but doesn't look it. Purple and Yellow Tangs in the same tank are fine and healthy. (150 gallon tank -very little aggression between them. They even "school" together) 4 802 power heads in tank for strong water movement. Water parameters are tested regularly and fine. pH, Nitrates, Nitrites, Phosphates, Alkalinity. All fish in the tank are feed Vibra-Gro and Dried green seaweed (specifically for Tangs). Fed once, sometimes twice a day. <Consider using Ocean Nutrition frozen cubes specifically designed for herbivores. Soaking your food in Selcon is recommended.> Is there something else missing diet-wise for this genus ??<As above> Have I come to an illogical conclusion about them ?? Just bad luck ?? <No bad luck. You are just choosing difficult fish to keep for any length of time. Water quality is very important also. Are you using a skimmer? Do you change at least 10% of the water on a weekly basis or 20% every two weeks?> Please respond if you find the time. I would hate to have this fish die out of my ignorance for information. <Bob Fenner wrote a good article on the Powder Blues in Sea Scope, Volume 21, Issue 1, 2004. I think they are archived at the Aquarium Systems web site. Check it out. James (Salty Dog)> Sincerely Douglas Fix

Achilles QT 9/21/05 <Adam J answering this evening> I will try to be to the point. Thank you very much for your time. <The pleasure is mine> I have a 125 G tank with a 75 G sump/make-shift refugium. I have 2- 6"x6" overflows with Durso standpipes. I would estimate about 150 lbs of live rock. The tank was set up six months ago and I would consider it relatively well established with copepods/amphipods/Mysis throughout. I am using a Berlin Turbo Protein Skimmer. My return pump is a Laguna 5000 (1100 gph). <Cool, sounds like a nice set-up> I regret buying that pump, but them's the breaks. I have an auto top-off unit that is hooked into a 5 stage R/O unit. Water parameters are always ideal, although I only test for nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia. <This being a reef tank I would start testing calcium and alkalinity at the least.> pH is 8.2 and falls to about 8.05 at its lowest. I add one cup each of A & B from Three Little Fishies daily. Temp between 78-80 (damn Metal Halides!) <This is an ideal temp. Nothing to be concerned over.> Salinity is 1.023. After some trial and error, all corals seem to be thriving. I have a blue spotted watchman goby that sifts the sand like a champ, a fairy wrasse (rubriventralis), and a mandarin goby. <I fear the Mandarin may have been added prematurely, keep an eye out for signs of starvation. Sadly most of them don't live over a year in captive systems> Various hermit crabs, snails, 3 conchs, and 2 sand sifting stars. I needed more fish, and I bought one. The Achilles Tang. <Ok> I did my research and am aware of the difficulty in keeping this beautiful fish. He is in a 35 G QT that has been set up for over a month with rock and water from my show tank. <I prefer bare-bottom tanks with PVC pipe for hiding rather than live rock in a quarantine tank, should you need to medicate this tank you will likely sterilize the live rock within it.> I have a small venturi skimmer and a emperor 400 filter on the QT. The tang has been in the tank for three days. He is eating anything I put in the tank and devoured the racemosa that was on the live rock as soon as he saw it. A little early to declare victory, but I am optimistic. <Maybe not victory yet but very encouraging nonetheless.> How long should he stay in QT? I would rather he be in a tank with better skimming and more rocks sooner than later. <My recommendation is to quarantine at least 30 days. Some diseases may not express themselves for up to 21 days, and tangs are notorious for bringing Cryptocaryon (marine ich) into a system.> How often should I be performing water changes and how much should I change? <Due to a quarantines water volume they tend to be unstable, many aquarists (myself included) perform small daily water changes on a quarantine tank.> I have done one 5 G change with water from my main tank since introduction. I am planning on doing 5 G changes with water from my main tank until the water parameters are virtually identical to help the acclimation process when the time comes. Is this OK? <As long as the water quality is stable in the display I see no problem, just be careful when using equipment on both tanks, you don't want to contaminate your display.> Also, should I upgrade my skimmer and main pump in the main tank? <I would wait and see how things play out, if you are able to maintain the tank to your expectations then an upgrade would not be necessary. If the time comes when you are unsatisfied with your current products then I would upgrade.> What would you recommend? <As far as skimmers I am fond of ASM, Euro-Reef and Aqua-C. As for pumps I like Iwaki for 'dry' and Eheim for 'wet'> Other than keeping an undesirable Tang, any other areas of concern? <Tangs are in large part herbivorous so make sure he is offered fair such as Nori or dried seaweed as well as meaty affair.> I would like to thank you again for all your help... I did try to be brief. Oops. <No worries.> BJ Wincott Niagara Falls, ON <Adam J>

More Comms. From the Dyslexic (Or, "It's a Good Thing His Name is Bob!) - Itchy Fishy Ok Bob, enough about my dyslexic spelling problems. I'm a bit touchy when people correct me on it, sorry if I came across as a bit crabby. <No worries> Well, I put the little regal back in the main tank and within 2 days he looks like his getting it again, grief! I cant figure out why the other fish are not catching it, why does it hit the regal tang first?? <This species is just touchy, more susceptible... Ones from further into the Indian Ocean are tougher by far than those from the tropical west Pacific> Having read up some more on other methods of killing white spot, I was thinking of taking the fish out that are infected and treating them buy lowering my salinity in the QT tanks rather then using copper based medication. Would that be a better answer. <Try it and see... IMO no> I must admit the thought of the white spot exploding as the salinity drops is very satisfying indeed. Also if I took my corals and inverts out of the main tank and lowered the salinity to say 0.10 for 3 weeks would that kill the white spot quicker then just leaving it fishless for a month or two? <No> I am learning through all this and will put the experience on my web site to help others. Glad you liked my site hope its content was up to scratch. <Looked good> Your help is greatly appreciated. Mark and Kathy <Bob Fenner>

Mimic Tang 5/6/05 Thank you for your reply, I do think I will place any new fish in quarantine, <This is very reassuring to hear my friend. It is the only way to enjoy long term success! IMO> the fish in my tank are established eaters and very competitive I have never had problems before with fish not eating, I guess this is an eye opener, it is sad that a fish has to suffer because of my own ignorance. <I regret that I must agree, my friend... lucky> I will also be picking up B12 do I just soak food in it prior to feeding or do I just add it to the tank?. <Both please - as per previous reply/instructions> Thanks, Drew <Best regards, Anthony>

Disappearing Convict Tang Hello, <<And hello to you, JasonC here.>> I have a convict tang which I owned for about 6 months that is having trouble maintaining weight. He eats very well but seems to be slowly getting thinner. Lately I have been feeding 4 times a day alternating Mysis, brine shrimp plus, seaweed selects, and a high quality Spirulina flake but he continues to get thinner. <<As a quick aside, these Tangs [Acanthurus triostegus] really lean towards the more vegetarian side of things... you may want to try and encourage some hair algae to grow on live rock in a separate system and then cycle this in and out of the main system as needed so the fish has something to graze on.>> Originally I suspected that he was being outcompeted for food by his tankmates but he seems to get plenty of food. He is housed with a hippo, Sailfin tang, emperor angel, maroon clown, Sailfin blenny, and a wrasse all of which are in excellent shape. <<How big is this tank?>> Would you have any suggestions on determining if internal parasites are the cause and any course of treatment? <<No way to determine this for certain, but is a definite possibility. If so, you might try the garlic treatments others are so fond of for treating Ich [I'm not a believer in garlic as an ich treatment]. But I do know the original use of garlic was specifically for treating internal parasites.>> I was thinking of feeding freeze dried brine soaked in a solution of Flagyl. <<It might be worth a try, but I would try the garlic first - it also acts as an appetite stimulant.>> Thanks, Richard <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Disappearing Convict Tang Thanks for the advise. I will give the garlic a try and let you know the results. The tank is a 140 gallon. <<Ah good, was just making sure things weren't too crowded. Crowding causes social problems that would add as much to the wasting away of your tang, just due to intimidation and the like. Good luck with the tang. Cheers, J -- >>

Acanthurus dussumieri Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro this morning.> I write you because I would wish to buy an Acanthurus dussumieri but I had a bad experience some years ago with Acanthurus leucosternon which ended in the almost total loss of all my fishes (with Cryptocaryon). <That is the reason we are all so strict about proper quarantining measures.> It is for this that I inquire to know if A. Dussumieri is as sensitive to the white points as A. leucosternon, A. japonicus, A. Achilles that I decided never to maintain for the reasons quoted above. I am afraid that in the introduction of this fish in the tank, it makes one pushed with white points, if it is hunted with the present fishes in the tank (Berlinois of 1000 liters with surgeon: A. sohal, A. coeruleus, A. tennenti, A. olivaceus). I thank you beforehand for your answer. Cheers <Setup a quarantine tank and hold the fish for a minimum of four weeks and you should be ok are far as disease goes. Take a look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm for additional information. -Steven Pro>
Re: Acanthurus dussumieri
Dear Steven, I planned to put the A. dussumieri in a quarantine tank for several weeks. But I'm afraid that it does white points once it will be in the reef tank in spite of it stay in the quarantine tank. This is the reason I wanted to know if this species is as sensitive to the white points as A. leucosternon. <IME, all surgeonfish are equally prone to Cryptocaryon, but a four week minimum stay in QT will alleviate the problems. -Steven Pro>

Regal Tang problem Hello Mr. Fenner, First I want to say how helpful your writings have been. A great source of advice. <Couldn't agree with you more ;)> My question is: I have a blue regal tang, about 2 1/2", been treating him for ICK, in hospital, hyposalinity, Warner temp and used a product called "Quick Cure" which is none copper. He has recovered very well and has no signs left. He is eating well and very active. Now there are brownish colorings around his eyes. Areas about twice the size of his eyes. What could be the cause of this coloring? <Mainly the treatment... with time it should "go away"... the animal's natural coloring will return> I tried searching out information but received mixed opinions. Some thought it was diet and some thought is was a bacteria. Thanks in advance for any advise. Dave Konwinski <Only secondary... sorry... that is/I mean, there might be some sort of organism(s) involved secondarily/opportunistically... after the fact, the treatment... These influences too, will "go away" with time, good care. Maybe weeks, perhaps months. Bob Fenner>
Re: Regal Tang problem
Hello again, Oops, I mean I will not reintroduce him to the main tank. Should the brownish marks be complete gone before he returns to the main tank? Thanks again, Dave <No need to wait, leave the fish out as long as the disease problem is solved... it will cure up much faster in a stable, optimized, larger system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Regal Tang problem
Hello Bob, Thank you for the input. I will put him back in the main tank and keep an eye on his diet. Dave <Ah good, and you're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: fish health appearance thanks for the info on a the gray angel but for my clown tang how do u know he is well feeding? <Look at the fish "head on"... it should appear convex, rounded outward on the sides... you don't want a skinny tang... especially one that is thin in the head region. Bob Fenner> Miguel
Re: fish health appearance
It's really hard to tell for my clown tang? are you saying the body should be larger then the head? <Yes, wider in profile> if that is the case my fish I don't have that I see no cones on the fish I can tell when his stomach is empty that mask of the fish is quite large compare to the rest of the body! <Please read through the Acanthurid fish sections where I keep sending you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm and the linked files beyond... there are examples and pictures of well-fleshed, and not high/low index of fitness tangs there> I feed the 3 time a day a salad thing for tangs and flakes what is a good food that gets them fatter ? <READ. Bob Fenner> when I first got the clown tang is was hard to feed but not now I just want him to be healthy thanks Miguel

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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