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FAQs about Bristletooth Tangs, Genus Ctenochaetus 1

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Related FAQs: Ctenochaetus Tangs 2Chevron Tangs, Kole Tangs, & Ctenochaetus Identification, Ctenochaetus Behavior, Ctenochaetus Compatibility, Ctenochaetus Selection, Ctenochaetus Systems, Ctenochaetus Feeding, Ctenochaetus Disease, Ctenochaetus Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Yellow eyed tang I have a yellow eye tang been in the tank for a few months. recently it has gotten to look like it can't shut its mouth.  <A very bad sign, development... Often, a "bump" or rubbing on a bag in transit will result in microbial infection, loss of feeding, vigor... death. Best to react ASAP> It looks like his mouth is peeling, any ideas? It may also help to know that it wasn't until recently that I found out you are supposed to feed them seaweed. Could these two things be linked?  <Yes, likely> In the tank are 5 damsels a wassy or rassy however you want to pronounce it, a clown (orange and white) 6 black and white fish.  My wife picked up 3 hermit crabs 3 anemone 4 Featherdusters about 20 lbs of rock and a walking pin cushion. Okay laugh I don't know the names of all these fish. Its a 30 gal tank with proper filtration unit (recommended by the fish shop) and a 50/50 bulb. please help. Mike <Yikes... this is a lot of fish in such a small tank... the Damsels in particular are often quite territorial (depending to a large degree on species). Please use the Google search tool at the bottom of our homepage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ with the names of your fishes, "tang health"... to learn what you should know as a keeper of this life. Bob Fenner>

Ctenochaetus tominiensis or binotatus? (the latter) Thank you so much for providing so many people with help! I am in need of a little assistance also... I recently ordered a Tomini Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus tominiensis).  <Neat! A species I really would like to photograph> When it arrived I was sad to see that it looked nothing like every pictured I'd seen. I checked Dr. Burgess Atlas and it had juv. and adult images that looked totally different.  <There is quite a bit of variability in some Bristlemouth Tang species...> The fish I received has blue eyes and a bright yellow tale that is forked. It also has light blue spots ( mostly around it's face but extending threw it's body - almost in rows) with a rust/orange body color. It also has two dark spots above and below it's fins. I sounds just like a blue-eyed or two spot tang!  <Yes. Agreed> So after doing some research I sent them an email and told them about the mistake. They sent me a new one without any questions asked. The new one they sent was the same fish! What should I do? Am I wrong? This is a picture of the Tomini http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=16&cat=1875&articleid=2031 as a juv. and this is a picture http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname= as an adult. That website also mentions that it's the "Only species of @Ctenochaetus@ with angular dorsal and anal fins." What does that mean - they all look angular to me... Any ideas?  <That these fins are obliquely pointed... in relief... that they look like angles... I think because of the yellow highlights. Take a look at fishbase.org's image here: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=6016&genusname= A rare species in the trade and wild. Bob Fenner> Thanks so much! -Scott

Dark spot on cheek of Yellow Eye Tang... Bob, I have a Yellow eye tang with what appears to be dark sores or spots below his eyes on both sides, on his "cheeks." I can't figure out what they are. Any ideas? Thanks, <the description is too general my friend... please look through the archives of FAQs and articles to see if you find anything similar or that helps. Regards, Anthony>

Some problems Hi Bob Fenner, <<Hi, JasonC here filling in for Bob while he is off diving in some tropical paradise>> I have a few problems I cannot find answers for on any website as of yet. My first problem (oh, alright,.... challenge :) is that I had a Kole tang (Ole - you might remember him) who was doing great in his hospital tank. After almost two months in quarantine I moved him to the main tank - 55gal, 65 lbs. live rock, 35gal. refugium, deep sand bed. I dipped him for about 5 minutes in Methylene blue, poured the royal blue water off him, then put him in his new home. For the first few days he was fine, then a few days later I noticed several scratches on him (he is the sole occupant of this tank, along with two cleaner shrimp: a common, and a fire). I watched him for a while, thinking maybe the shrimp were picking on him too hard, and I noticed that he was swimming like a crazy man, normal but FAST, FAST! He was swimming like he had taken some drugs or something. I am assuming the scratches are of his own doing, bumping into rocks and such, trying to fit into small places, etc.  <<probably a safe assumption>> I checked all parameters and they are all very good: no nitrate level, no ammonia, pH=8.2, temp=76, etc. Could he possibly just enjoying more space? He is pretty scratched up and still swimming really fast. I might mention that he had only the daylight and a small light above his hospital tank. The main tank is equipped with 4 - 96W compact fluorescent bulbs. I took two out - one daylight, one blue, and only put light on him after he was in the tank for 24 hours. Then I started a light cycle that increases by 2 hours everyday (started with the lights on for about 4 hours). Once I get to a 12 hour cycle I will put the other two bulbs in and do the same thing. Do you think the new, bright lights are making him crazy? (he eats good, swims good, just fast!) <<hmm, well, put yourself in the Kole's shoes/fins - would that light regimen make you nutty? I would get it over with and just go directly to your intended light cycle - no great benefit to introducing the light slowly in this fashion.>> (Sorry this is so long) Here is my next problem: I bought a piece of rock with red algae (Fauchea sp. - I believe) about 2 months ago. It is in the refugium and was doing good until about a week ago. It has started to lose its beautiful, red color. It has begun to turn light pink, and in some places, light green. Also, the leaves, which normally look fern-like, now look matted. I have seen ferns and other plants (I am proud to say I have a HUGE green thumb) became infested with parasites which spin webs and enclose the leaves.  (This is hard to explain, but the appearance is the same in both cases.) I have also began to add ESV (?) two part buffer solution to the aquarium since I had a low alkalinity reading a couple of times. Possibly this is causing the problem? (I do pour the buffer into a high current area of the sump, no where near the refugium, or anything living). <<well, can be a number of reasons for the loss of color - do recall that these are Algae and not plants, while similar they are also different. My question to you: what is the lighting regimen in your refugium? You may want to try running your refugium lights for 24 hours [no dark cycle], if you aren't already. Also, the ESV B-Ionic [the two part you mentioned, I am guessing] is not specifically an Alkalinity buffer, but a two part calcium system, of which one part is an alkalinity buffer. If you are using the B-Ionic to merely move your alkalinity numbers, you are using it incorrectly. Are you dosing any other calcium products or Kalkwasser? As for the algae, they rely mostly on other nutrients unaffected by calcium or alkalinity.>> The next problem is the red, flatworm infestation, on which I have gotten lots of info from your website. I am going to consider getting a psychedelic goby. I do have a rock which is covered with colonial anemones in the tank. Will this or other anemones harm the goby?  <<most likely not>> Possibly this flatworm infestation is causing the problem with the red algae? Also, (just one more also) I read in Julian Sprung's Invertebrate book that some of these Acoel flatworms are toxic to fish, yet I find no refer to this on the net. Possibly the Kole tang ate one and now he is having some weird acid trip? <<considering the sheer number of different types of flatworms there are, the odds that you have the toxic type are high, so no, I don't think the Kole ate a magic flatworm. Also [I had to get in a second on myself], I'd think the only way a flatworm would compete with any algae would be over common resources/food-types - or how to say... unless it's an algae-eating flatworm, then they shouldn't bother each other.>> Please give advice, and thanks Jana <<you are quite welcome, I hope it helps. J -- >>

Ctenochaetus strigosus/Derbesia/Bryopsis Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this morning.> I'll keep this as short as possible. I know you're overwhelmed with mail. <Between the three of us, it is not too bad.> I've been reefing for over 12 years and have never had an algae problem until now. I believe it's due to my skimmer taking a crap and trouble for over a month trying to get the new skimmer I bought to work properly (presently waiting for a new, redesigned impeller to be sent by the company). Incidentally, the new skimmer was not cheap. It's a Red Sea Berlin Turbo geared for 250 gallons. Worked like a dream for about 2 weeks then wouldn't perform. When I contacted Red Sea, they informed me the original impeller was flawed and they now have a "redesigned" impeller. In Red Sea's defense, I did receive a prompt response from the company. I don't, however, understand why they put the unit on the market or didn't pull it off or recall it as soon as they realized it was flawed. I'm sure I'm not the only reefkeeper who ended up with one of the flawed skimmers. At any rate, I've been without sufficient skimming for 4 to 6 weeks now, and low and behold, the Derbesia/Bryopsis have made their appearance in force. Yes, I am attempting to cut back on nutrient addition, but I have 3 large Tangs (Blonde Naso, Yellow, and Hippo (Paracanthurus hepatus)) in this 180-gallon system who prefer to be fat and happy. I've been considering adding a Yellow Eye (Ctenochaetus strigosus) to this system to assist in algae control. First, will he eat these types of algae, <He will eat some of this algae.> and second, will the Zebrasoma flavissimus. pulverize him if I do add him?  <Yes> Any other suggestions in ridding myself of this plague would be greatly appreciated. I don't like or use crabs--the majority end up killing and eating snails. What's your opinion on the Emerald crabs?  <Ok for eating some bubble algae, but I do not completely trust them.> Any good for this problem? <Maybe helping somewhat, but your better option is to get your skimmer working again and go back to your regular maintenance routine. Without the extra nutrients, the nuisance algae will disappear in time.> What snails are the best in your opinion? <I prefer Turbans to Astreas, but a mix is always good. Trochus, Nerites, and Cerith snails are all good and I like Limpets, too.> I've always had Astreas, Turbos, etc., but they don't appear to be putting a dent in this problem. None of my existing Tangs are the least bit interested in this algae. Any suggestions (other than getting my much-needed skimmer back in action) will be greatly appreciated. <No, get your skimmer working and maybe in the mean time, step up your water change regimen.> This wasn't so short after all, was it?:) Thanks <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Kole Tang sick? Bob, Good Morning again, and Happy Holidays. A few weeks ago we had discussed a problem with my 55 gallon saltwater tank being a juvenile Kole tang that died probably due to hypoxia. Since then I have added 2 more powerheads MJ 1200+900) and introduced an adult Kole tang had him for 2 weeks now) and was doing fine until last night or rather this morning. It seems that his skin is peeling off in a small section behind his head, and his skin looks like it has some kind of discoloration. I have also noticed some little white dots on him, but they don't look bumpy at all I thought ick spores(?) look a little bumpy. <Mmm, trouble... but to necessarily parasitic. Have you checked water chemistry? ...> Needless to say, the tang showed no signs of appetite this morning. I am planning to read through your site's material again, but what would that be? Perhaps it is stress induced (I am stating this because 2 nights ago I added a Florida star coral, various Christmas tree worms and a little yellow Atlantic cowry. The tang sleeps next to the newly added coral. I have also dipped the tang twice in fresh water since I got him just to be on the safe side, however I am thinking of placing him in a QT and treating him with some kind of medication but what?) <I would not dip this fish any more... and probably not move it... as whatever the problem is can and should be treated as the whole tank at this juncture. I would place a cleaner shrimp (maybe a Lysmata or Boxer shrimp species)... Do read through WWM starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm going on to the articles, FAQs files as they are linked. Bob Fenner> Please help...Thanks, D.
Re: Kole Tang sick?
Water chem. is Amm. 0, Nitrites less than 0.25,  <Should be zero...> Nitrates less than 10, PH 8.2 ; haven't checked Alkalinity lately, but corals/Christmas tree worms look fine. The weird thing is, I took a look again at the Kole tang and the spots/discolored areas are gone & he did eat some brine shrimp/pygmy formula cube. This is the second time he woke up looking like that. <Which further leads me to point to "water quality" as a/the root cause here> I forgot to mention that occasionally he fights with the yellow tang over who will get the better place to sleep in I have formed 2 mini caves with the rock (40 lbs total in the tank)). <One more would be good> Also, I didn't mention I have a maroon clown fish that I have dipped occasionally into fresh water because it looked like it had developed either ich or had bumpy spores on its body never scratches and eats ok). Those seem to go away after the fish is dipped in fresh water, but do come back after a while. Should I treat that fish at least? <Treat the whole system... with steps to improve water... live macro-algae, perhaps a sump/refugium with lighting, more live rock, adding liquid vitamins to the foods, to the tank once a week...> My LFS recommends organic cure but they did not advocate towards treating the entire tank. <Don't put this toxic material in your main tank!> Finally, I have a banded coral shrimp that regularly cleans the yellow tang, however I didn't have a good experience with Lysmata/peppermint shrimp in the past (they did prey on my Christmas tree worms.) <Bizarre... I would try them again. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang I'm looking into purchasing a Kole Tang that's about 3" long. At the present time, I've already got a Hepatus Tang in the tank that's about the same size. I've seen conflicting reports on how well these two fish will get along in a 75 gallon tank. Please give me your opinion. <Should be fine... both not terribly aggressive species... good size difference... My opinions on the family, genera, species are posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm and the links beyond> It's also possible that I could get a 2 1/2" Kole instead. <Go with the larger one. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Larry Breit

Chevron Tang Bob, thank you for writing your book. It is a bible to me. My question is on Chevron Tang. I want to get it, but I have heard they don't last long. From my LFS, the owner said they last maybe a year. He said they need to be in higher water pressure to do well. What do you think on this issue? Jackie <All in all a very hardy species. Here is my ongoing opinion on the members of the genus Ctenochaetus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ctenocha.htm Though found, collected in deeper water, this is a very sturdy aquarium species both as juveniles and adults. Bob Fenner>

Chevron pop-eye Hello again Mr. Fenner, Sunday I added a 2" Chevron tang to my main tank. The first couple of days were almost constant jousting w/the 2.5" flame angel. The RedSea Sailfin has pretty much left the tang alone. The tang had pop-eye that seemed to have partially peeled off (like sunburn peeling) late yesterday afternoon. I was thrilled that he was healing so rapidly. <This is a great aquarium species... the peeling was likely originally due to a scrape with a net.> I've been soaking food in Zo?& Zoecon. Well, this morning the clear part of his eye has turned to a grayish black glob & I'm wondering if he may have bumped it in the night or is this the final "shedding" of the bad eye. <Could be either...> Also, his fins have become shredded from the jousting, but seem to heal overnight. I purchased some Melafix but have not added it to the tank because the tang looked so good last night. I just noticed that the flame now has a slight cloud on his left eye. What do you suggest? <Patience, the continuing use of the vitamins> Remove one of the fish, treat w/the Melafix or let nature take its course? I do have 2 cleaner shrimp in the tank. Will they help w/the pop-eye? <Yes, indirectly> On another front, SUSHI, my brother got word from his tank builder that his new 180g may not be ready until the 7th of Nov, instead of the 2nd. We will know Friday if the tank will be ready on the 2nd. I plan on coming down from Las Vegas when the tank is ready. If you can't make sushi on the 2nd, possibly the following weekend. I will let you know when I know if you are still interested in spicy scallop hand rolls. As before, you are still welcome to stay @ my brothers place in Newport. <Thank you. Please keep us informed. Am still hoping to be out of here, in Taveuni/FJ then... Bob Fenner>
Re: Chevron pop-eye
Mr. Fenner, You are quick! Yes the Chevron is a beautiful species & seems to be holding his own in the tank. He was a birthday gift from my brother & I hate to see him in such shape. I noticed in a few q&a's that you mentioned that you added Zo? Or Zoecon or Selcon directly to your system weekly. How much would you recommend for a 50g tank. <About a teaspoon> I'll keep you informed about next weekend. Thanx again. Craig Citro P.S. Where in the world is Taveuni??? <Ah, the Garden Isle of Fiji, in the South Pacific... to the east of Fiji's principal northern island. Bob Fenner>

Eye Abrasion Mr. Fenner You sir have a astounding web site. <Getting better all the time> I came across it about three months ago and it has given me a far better look at the balance required for a working marine aquarium. I don't think my tank (90gallon FOWLR/soft & hard coral but no so reef) has ever, in it's two years, looked this beautiful. Thank you! <A pleasure my friend> I hope you will lend me some advice about a problem I am having with my Chevron Tang. About three weeks ago I noticed a small scratch above her left eye. Not large at all. I kept up on my water quality and since she was eating and behaving well I just let her be. By the next week the abrasion grew in area. It became streaked red, extending around her eye and down towards her month. I lowered the SG slowly and started adding vitamins to her food (Nori, grape & red fern Caulerpa). Today her eye just looks hideous. I am cretin it has become very infected. The whole eye has become encrusted and almost looks like a boil has formed. I live on the outskirts of Anchorage Alaska, and getting to a LFS is a possibility but their knowledge of what to do is limited (I have called seeking advice). My gut feeling tells me that it needs to be lanced and drained (oh, will move her to QT tomorrow). She is eating well and by all means she does act normal. I feel that her fate is not good if something is not done. Can you suggests a course of action?  <Yes... a practical and likely fruitful course of action I would take is to carefully (two nets, maybe a friend with one to help) net this specimen, hold it gingerly and daub the infected area with a mercuric disinfectant (mercurochrome, Merthiolate, Merbromin) as for a cut for humans and a cotton swab... This may have to be done every other day twice or three times... Otherwise to continue as you have with the foods, vitamin solution. Don't lance the growth above the eye for now.> I will be able to order 48hr delivery from any e-tailor any supplies that might be needed. Your help would be very welcome!! Any other information can be sent right away. I will give the specifics of the tank below. Thank you for the chance to save my friend. She has been with my for two years and has quite a personality. :) Carl D. Tank: 90 gallon, glass w/ 30 gallon sump w/ refugium 380 watt PC lighting AquaC Skimmer 100lbs Live Rock & 3" DSB Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate trace, Alk 3.4, Ca 425, 78*, SG 1.024 Chevron tang, Yellow tang, 5 blue-green Chromis, spotted Hawkfish, lawnmower blenny, Soft and Hard corals (need a list?) :) <No. Good luck my friend. Kia orana. Bob Fenner>
Re: Eye Abrasion
Mr. Fenner, It is so kind of you to write back so soon. It puts my worried mind at ease. :) <Ah, am glad for this> I will do as you suggested concerning my injured Chevy. Tang. I have readied my QT, and my good friend is coming over tomorrow to help me move him from my main system and give her first treatment (I hope my LFS has the disinfectant). <Or any good sized regular market... The suggested disinfectants are very commonly available for children's scrapes and cuts... Non prescription, but a pharmacist's is sure to carry these> I will write again soon and update you if you don't mind. Probably ask for some more advice too. :) Mahalo nui hoaloha! Carl <You're welcome my friend. Aloha, Bob Fenner>

Kole tang ich update and macroalgae Hi Bob Fenner, I wrote several weeks ago, several times, about my Kole tang with ich. Well, he has been in his hospital tank for two weeks, with a gradual reduction of spg to now 1.016 and temp at 82 degrees F. He is doing great! As of yesterday, he had no more ich cysts present on his fins or body. He is healthy and his color is really bright ! I feed him brine shrimp in the morning, and a prepared frozen algae (mostly Spirulina) in the evening, then again at night. He actually comes to beg when he sees me come into the room. (Brine shrimp are his favorite food.) I suppose I will leave him at this spg for another 3 weeks since the main tank will have been fallow for 5 weeks at that time. Is this too long to leave him in this low salinity water? (Total of 3-4 weeks in spg=1.016) <No problem> About the main tank,... I have begun to stock the refugium part of my sump with macroalgae (have only actually purchased 2 different kinds, but as of last count have 6 different kinds present,....) Since I upgraded my lighting down there to 64W power compacts (15 gallon refugium area), things have begun to pop up everywhere. I have one kind of Halimeda which has very large "leaves" and is beginning to cover up a small piece of coral which has just began to extend its polyps for the first time. Both are located on a piece of live rock I purchased back in April, they have just never been under sufficient lighting. I would much rather the coral get to growing, over the Halimeda, but is there any way to pick the algae off the rock without harming it and "replant" it somewhere else in the tank? <Best to make a small "chip" off the rock with the holdfast mechanism of the Halimeda intact on it> Thanks for the constant, consistent advice, The recovering pet hospital, Jana <Thank you for the update on your continuing progress, success. Bob Fenner>

Big Mistake - Ich Bob, I think I may have messed up! I purchased a Kole tang, gave him a fw dip, and put him in quarantine. He was there 12 days, but he was losing color and would not eat and was getting real thin. I figured, 12 days, close enough and I thought adding him to the main tank with all the LR would help. So I fw dipped him again and put him in my main tank (90 gal, 90lbs LR, neon goby, some snails and hermits - amm, nitrite/trate = 0, 82F, 1.023). Well, just my luck (ignorance), he came down with ich. So I put him back in quarantine and will begin copper treatment. I'm afraid that in trying to help, I've unduly stressed this poor fish and have also introduced ich to my main system!!! Arghhhh! <I would have very likely done the same...> Should I raise the temp and lower salinity and let the tank go without fish for a month before putting the tang back in (if he doesn't starve to death in quarantine)?  <Maybe... I would wait, see if the fish develop ich there for now> Can I leave the little neon goby in the tank, or would he serve as a host for the disease?  <Would serve as a host if ich virulent enough... as stated, would wait at this juncture> Thanks in advance for any advice/help you can give. Frustrated. <Steady on my friend. Bob Fenner>

Kole tang update Hi Bob Fenner, Hope everything is going good with you. Things are pretty good in my tank world. Here is what is going on and the questions that I have: I had a Kole tang that developed white "ichy" spots on his fins, no other fish (two little damsels) were affected. You suggested I lower the spg of the tank and raise the temp which I began to do (of course this takes several days). I decided this weekend that there was some maintenance which needed to be done to the overflow box and tank itself (you know, small things you want to fix but can't once everything is in place), and I had the time and lots of extra tanks, so I broke the tank down to go fallow for a month. The Kole (his name is Ole since it rhymes) is in a super long, short and wide 20 gallon hospital tank (he's in the best hospital in town) with a little hang on filter with carbon and extra powerhead; and the other damsels, shrimp, and snails are separated accordingly in various tanks throughout the house. This evening all maintenance will be fixed on the main system and it will be up and running again with live rock, shrimp and snails, but NO FISH, in it. All fish are doing great and seem happy. Ole the Kole is eating like a pig (I am trying to not feed him too much right now since he is in a not too good - filter wise - system), and he even got a fresh water dip for 5 min.s. before he went in the hospital. He did great, even let me pet him for a few minutes while I sat with him. The spg of his tank is at 1.020 right now. He still has some, but not as many white specs on him, and he twitches a little every once in a while and ONLY in the morning - weird huh? <Not weird in the sense of unusual> (I watched him for many hours this weekend) Is there any medicine I can use to rid him of this disease completely?  <Mmm, I would lower the specific gravity to 1.015 if it's just Ole... and leave it at that... no "medicines"> Methylene blue is completely unavailable in CA as far as I know. <Really? Don't think so...> And if he still shows signs of these white specs when my one month fallow period is over, DO NOT put him in the main tank, right?  <Correct> And if he is clear of disease, freshwater dip him before he goes back in the main tank, right?  <Yes> Also, should I boost his immune system with a vitamin supplement?  <Good idea> He eats mostly off of the few pieces of algae covered live rock that are in the tank with him, some frozen algae food which mainly has Spirulina in it (sorry don't remember the name brand, etc.), and live brine shrimp every few days or so. Does he even need a vitamin supplement? (I realize that if I treat him with medication then the carbon and the live rock have to leave the tank. ) <Would help> Thanks for any input you might have on this matter. Jana's animal hospital (the dog has an ulcer on her eyeball and is taking medicine as well), Jana <Take care my friend. Bob Fenner>

Please, no lectures, Dad (Kole tang early introduction) Hi Bob Fenner, In view of our country's latest tragedy, if you are not answering emails, I understand, I don't feel much like working right now either, but I have something that needs to be dealt with immediately. <Am of the habit, practice of trying to do "simple things" when in turmoil...> I bought a Kole tang this weekend, and was concerned about handling him since their mouths are so delicate, so I opted not to quarantine him,... or dip him. Alright. Alright. I know, I have read it all. I know what I should have done, but the fact of the matter is that I just couldn't bring myself to watch him come onto the brink of death while swimming around in freshwater. I just figured that the chances of me hurting him were worse than the chance of him coming home with parasites. So I acclimated him slowly to my tank, and there he is. Here are all the specifics: He first had one white spot that sticks out like a grain of salt on one of his fins, now he has a few more little ones close by the first one. He took to my tank quickly. He eats all of the time, and I really don't even have to supplement him, he usually ignores the food I offer (which the cleaner shrimp gladly eats - Nori) and eats things I can't see, and some things I can, off of the rocks. He is very active, not scratching at all, and loves swimming in the strong current I have flowing through the tank. I also have two damsels in the tank. They are completely unaffected, of course. I have seen the cleaner shrimp jump on the Kole tang and quickly clean him, but this has only happened twice. Most of the time the shrimp just hangs out on the Nori eating, eating, eating. All of my animals, even the ones not in water, beg me constantly. There is no lack of appetite in my house, that's for sure. The tank: 55 gal future reef, 75 lbs. live rock 40 lbs. of sand (very thick sand layer), some macroalgae, no amounts of ammonia, or nitrate, has been running since April, 2 yellow tailed damsels, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 Kole tang, run Berlin method. Everything is pointed to healthy, but he has the white dots and that's it. Should I just wait and let the cleaner shrimp do his job, or should I break everything down right now and get them all separated and treated? Will the shrimp even do his job if he is eating too much? And if I do have to let the tank go fallow to rid it of these Protozoans, can the shrimp still hang out in there or not? Any advice would be appreciated. Jana <I would likely just leave this fish in place. If it had much of a "going" strength pathogen... your system would/will have it by now. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/ctenocha1.htm  Bob Fenner>

Re: Update of Kole tang with ick Hello again, I am very sorry about bugging you so much on this one. This is all my fault and I have learned my lesson. You can lecture me all you want now, Dad. I deserve it. <No fight, no blame> The Kole tang has, over the weekend developed so many white spots. At least 8-10. I have the water temp up to 82 and the salinity I am slowly dropping,... is at 1.022 right now. All fish are the same, they all seem completely unaffected. I purchased a Lysmata debelius this weekend, and he is doing good and helping clean the tang. But why is it that when both of my cleaner shrimp jump on and clean, they never pick off those little white crystals on the fish? What are they cleaning? <What they can, want... other materials, necrotic tissue> Things I can't see? And as far as lowering the specific gravity and raising the temp of the tank, that's a quick fix for now, but what about when things go back to normal conditions? Will the Tomite stage of the Cryptocaryon life cycle still be present in the tank?  <A question of balance. If your fish livestock are "healthier", the system more favorable to them... then no, the ich/Cryptocaryon will not "achieve" epidemic proportions> If I do have to resort to placing the Kole tang in a hospital tank what water should I use for the hospital tank?  <Initially, the system water... this is detailed on the WWM site.> My infected main tank water or my premix salt water outside in the new garbage can? I realize he needs to be in water similar to his own, but does this include infected water? And I realize I have to dip him as well. Freshwater with adjusted pH and temp equal to that from which he is coming and Methylene blue,....? I have some Rid-Ick from my previous freshwater days which contains formaldehyde and malachite green. Would this be safe to use for him as a dip? And if I do have to let the tank sit fallow for a month or so, can my invertebrates still stay and hang out in there? <Yes> I have read nothing to the effect of them "carrying" or contracting these sort of fish diseases. And during this "fallow" period if the damsels were to be in this tank, yet not display any signs of the Trophont stage on their bodies, would this necessarily mean the Trophont stage of the parasite has died since it only lives for a short time if it doesn't find a host?  <No, only that you might not actually see it... the damsels have to be pulled as well> Or is it just safe to go ahead and take them out as well, and truly let the tank go fallow? Also, could you please suggest a scientific journal article or something similar on Cryptocaryon irritans or such.  <A very good general reference: Noga, Edward J. 1996. Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment. Mosby-Year Book Inc., St. Louis. 367pp. Just met this gentleman at the recent MACNA XIII btw. Very complete work> The internet is very helpful, but I really need to learn more about this things life cycle in order to conquer it. (I have a degree in biology and can understand most writings in this field, so fire away.) In fact, since I started all of this marine tank insanity I am thinking of going to get a Master's in the subject. Why not, I already spend most of my free time studying this as it is! <Ah, perhaps I'll re-do my "pitch" on this holociliate (my extant one pre-dates personal computers... circa 1981 if memory serves> Again, Thank you so much for your ongoing support and advice. I am very pissed at myself for not quarantining this Kole tang, now he will be hurt more than he would have been to begin with. And I hate to see any animal suffer for ANY reason. Jana <Translate your agitation into positive action here... You will understand and get beyond this situation. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang, snail poop, and film Hi Bob Fenner, Your live rock is doing just beautiful in my tank still. I have a few questions: 1. How big does a Kole Tang get and where is he from?  <Three to four inches overall is best. Most Ctenochaetus strigosus come to the trade in the United States from Hawai'i.> (so far I have all Indo-Pacific habitants and I really want a Kole tang - I guess we'll see.) How about a chevron tang, he stays pretty small, right?  <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ctenocha.htm> My main tank is only 55 gallons and I don't want to crowd whichever type of tang I get. 2. About two weeks ago I got 12 Astrea snails and the algae sure is under control, but the snail poop at the bottom of the tank is a mess. I have really fine sand down there and cleaning it up without sucking up all the sand is a difficult feat. Do you know of any fish or such that will eat their mess,...literally? (I also have a scarlet cleaner shrimp so a crab would be out of the question.) <Best to siphon out into a bucket, let settle... decant/pour the water back into your system... Going forward, do make sure you have enough water movement, particulate filtration to remove such material> 3. I saw "Microbes to Mantas" at the Natural History Museum last week and it was very interesting. It covers the Sea of Cortez and how it is a unique abundance of life for all forms of marine animals. The filming is incredible and the movie screen is huge !! You should definitely go see it when you get time. And the museum looks great since it's face lift. They still need to fill up a few more floors with artifacts, but their collection now is really nice. For $5.00 you can't beat this entire package ! <Thank you for this. Will try to get out to Balboa Park before this show moves on. Bob Fenner> Talk to you later, Jana

Kole Tang Placement, Care Mr. Fenner, I love your CMA and have learned more from it than from any other single source. I'm new to the hobby, and have had my 55 gallon running for ~10 weeks. It's F/O, with a medium Kole, a medium Pacific Blue, a small Gold-Striped Maroon Clown, a blue damsel, and a common cleaner shrimp. T=79-80F, SG=1.021, NH3=0, NO2- =0, NO3- = 10-15. My Kole was my second fish, so has been here for 5-6 weeks. About a week ago he put his barbs out, and I have not seen them retracted since. He swims frantically, and spends a lot of time sideswiping the glass. I can hear his barbs clink outside the aquarium, but he shows no aggression towards other fish. This started about 10 days after the arrival of the clownfish, but what worries me is that he has recently damaged his face, and now he looks somewhat like a burn victim. Is this a fish that has had enough of captivity? <Hmm, perhaps this specimen has... the species itself are excellent generally. A couple of things re Ctenochaetus: http://wetwebmedia.com/ctenocha.htm I would place the genus later in new systems... only after a system has been running a few to several months... and do you have live rock in this system? I would definitely place this to improve water quality and provide sufficient forage for your Kole: http://wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm> Is there anything I can do? Thanks VERY much, John Sanders <Please do read through our site, place the live rock, and try to be patient. Bob Fenner>

Worried (about Kole Tang appearance) Mr. F. Had a small melt down here on Saturday, the temperature in my garage where my hospital and isolation tanks (both tall 20's) are located went to 90+ degrees, the tanks themselves went to 84+ (the upper limit of the particular Hagen "on the glass" thermometer used). In the isolation tank at the was my new Coral Beauty and Cole Tang. Due to my anxiety and the necessity to play host I was not able to baby sit these new fish so I threw the dice and introduced them into my 55 gal. show tank after only a day of quarantine. <Hmm, likely what I would have done, had I had such presence of mind> The show tank: 55 gal. AGA (not reef ready) with 45 lb. of new Walt smith Fiji live rock, 40 lb. of crushed coral substrate. Fluval 304, CPR Backpack IIR (just replaced AMiracle quad mini, as good as a sea clone) <You're making my day>, 2 Rio powerheads for circulation (on the 40 watt light circuit), <Now, definitely>  one 40 watt actinic, two 55 watt power compacts, two False Percula Clowns and two Blue Devil Damsels two Hermits, five Turbo. Snails. I use the Aquarium Pharm. tap water filter for make up water and mix-up water (aged one week) for weekly four gal. changes. The coral Beauty looks great, if I could have only one fish this is the one. I am worried about the tang. He/She now looks mottled or scratched, I think it has scraped itself hiding behind the rocks. Tang has a good appetite, I have seen it eat. Just looks like it danced with a bus. No "other" sign of disease, no torn fins, no itch or mucus, Bright alert eyes, the only other thing is it's almost always hiding, dashes away when it sees me (I'm not taking the hiding personally, I'm not the best looking fellow but I don't think I've been scaring away my fish). Any procedure or additive to help the Kole? <This fish, Ctenochaetus strigosus, is a real tough survivor type... and I have seen some very "rough" ones in captivity and the wild... And had many "bad shipments" totally rally in a few weeks time. If it's still eating fine, do possibly add some vitamin and iodine solution to its foods, otherwise just try to be patient... You will likely experience a similar "rebirth" of this ugly duckling tang. Bob Fenner>

Thank you Almost forgot my manners, thank you for your help, my enjoyment of this hobby would be greatly diminished without folks like you. I read the new post page every day and just signed up for the news letter. Once again thank you fish meister. <Ah, outstanding. It is to offer help, interact with folks like you that such efforts are made for. Thank you. Bob Fenner> Rick Klages

Re: Chevron Tang P.S. I have checked out your website. It is excellent. The best one I have seen, and I have passed it on to others. <Outstanding, thank you for your kind, encouraging words> And I also meant to tell you in your last communication to me that I appreciated the thought, honesty and detail you put into your answers.  <Ah, you humble me> I ended up getting that Chevron Tang. He seems to be quite happy at the moment, and my cleaner wrasse has never been so happy! If I feel that he becomes too big for my 46-gal bow front, then I will have to make some decisions (get a larger tank or find him a new home.) I promise not to become a bother, but I am sure glad I found you. Thanks, again. <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang Beautiful pic on the updates page--didn't mention it earlier because we had other business. I read the entries for this one on WWM--would make a beautiful centerpiece fish if I could get a good healthy one. . . <Yes, thank you, and these are generally very hardy fish on arrival from most any/all collection points... do look for ones that have only been "on hand" for a few days to weeks. Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang
Hello again, Bob, and thanks! Looks like my struggling to decide on a "centerpiece" may be over. This will make a very striking addition, and will be equally functional at grazing unwanted forms of algae. Much more community-oriented than a Sohal (and with somewhat similar appearance), and one that should never outgrow the 180. <Ah, yes!> Your comment that they should not be "on hand" for very long, as well as my study into their feeding habits, leads me to believe that these species would not fare well for any appreciable length of time in QT, if at all. Is that the case? Do you recommend a QT period for these, or just the Methylene blue FW dip?  <The dip alone is fine> (I also note that net-handling is risky with these species due to the delicate nature of their mouths. . .) <Yes... and fin spines and scalpel like caudal peduncle processes...> BTW--One of my fellow reef-keepers is giving me a 35 gallon tank and stand to use as a QT/hospital system, so I will no longer be relying solely on FW dips and luck to avoid introducing disease into my new system.  <Ah, good. What a gift!> The QT tank will be set up in a week or so and I'll probably put a Chromis in there to cycle it and keep it going. <Old filter media or substrate, LR would be fine, better> I won't be adding the shoal of blue-green Chromis for at least 4-6 weeks after my system has been moved over to the new tank and stabilized, and the Kole wouldn't come along for a month or so after that--and would be the final fish addition. <I'd place the Kole first... the Sohal about last... can be, become very territorial, especially with similar habitat-using life> Have a nice weekend--looking forward to the "pic of the day" as always! --JD <Have a bunch of nice ones lined up. Bob Fenner> James A. Deets
Re: Kole Tang
Caught you again, Bob! (I'll admit that when I re-read my message before sending it, where I said "shoal" of blue-green Chromis, my eyes tricked me and said "Sohal.") My stocking plan is just to add the blue-green Chromises and one Kole tang--using the Kole as the show fish in place of the Sohal, P. Asfur or Maculosus we'd considered and discussed before. : )  <Ah, good> I ruled out the Sohal because it's too aggressive (and I've read a number of accounts of Zebrasoma xanthurum finding its demise at the wrong end of a Sohal--right now, my Z. xanthurum is my favorite fish and "king" of the tank) and had also ruled out the Pomacanthus sp. because they'd get too large and might force me into a bigger system before I'm ready (as well as the possibility that they might nip at corals). <Yes> I am excited about this stocking plan, though, as it seems I'll have the perfect mix of fish, everything should get along, is completely reef-safe, hardy, long-lived, beautiful, and the complete mix shouldn't present any problems with overcrowding, even after everything has reached full size. <The benefits of thorough research> Thanks for posting that picture yesterday--the end to my search! :) <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Chevron Tang  Hello,  I'm hoping you can help me. I have a very successful 46-gal. bow front  reef tank. It is 6 months old and thriving. I have more than enough  filtration (a wet/dry, a canister, and an AquaClear that hangs over the  back). I also have a U.V sterilizer and a protein skimmer. My fish  include: 5 Percula clowns, 6 bar gobies, 4 Mexican red-headed gobies, 1  yellow headed Jawfish, 1 neon Dottyback, and 1 cleaner wrasse. I have the  opportunity to purchase a chevron tang. I hesitated a lot because of the  size of my tank.  <You do have a bunch of smaller fishes in it already, and a forty six gallon is smallish for a Ctenochaetus sp. tang...> The store owner knows my tank and feels that this tang  will be fine in it.  <Likely yes... this is a very good species for aquarium use. Oh, our coverage of this and all other Surgeonfish can be found on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com> My questions are: what is the life expectancy in a  well-maintained tank; <A few years> will it be aggressive towards any of the fish I have;  <Not really... some "jousting" to be expected... but no real competition for types of foods, habitat... that might occur with other species> am I doing the fish an injustice because of the size of my tank?  <Hmm, these ethical questions are tough... "Not really" to a "semi-yes" are my feelings/thoughts here... a larger system would definitely be better (like most all aquatic life the "living area" in the wild for one of these fish is much larger than almost all aquariums... but a forty six gallon bow-front is (barely) adequate for one... we have these genera of tangs in smaller systems here at our facility/test tanks... that are healthy, apparently "happy"> If not  the chevron, I was thinking of the yellow tang because it is a little  smaller and beautiful. <Both about equal choices all the way around> The store owner said, however, that he has seen  them tear up a reef and they don't live long.  <Hmm, do disagree with the gist of this stmt... > I would love to hear from you.....before I make a big mistake.  Laurie from Connecticut <Please read through the WWM site on these issues... I would go forward with your plans as stated with the hawaiiensis... especially if you see a larger system in your future... or a Zebrasoma Tang species. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang Hi Bob, I wrote to you recently about our Kole tang. I included the original e-mail below if you have forgotten the symptoms. <Thank you... not too feeble (well...), but do get a bunch of mail...> We have tried enhancing his diet with a new food from the vet, and soaking his food in vitamins, also. He seems to be getting worse. Now half of his body is covered with 'brown spots', and he acts like he can't breathe. He has been at the top of the water lately wedged in between the glass and heater with his mouth out of the water like he's trying to get more air. He has also been laying on the bottom of the tank on his side. I almost wish he would just die because I think he is suffering.  <...not good. If the animal is still eating at all I would not give up hope... have seen Ctenochaetus recover from huge troubles...> If you have any other suggestions, please help! We have a hospital tank set up if we needed to use it, but I don't see how putting him in it could help. <I agree... would not move this animal... As I say, if it is eating... Otherwise I would/do consider euthanizing doomed specimens... by freezing (in a bag with not much water... in the house freezer... as a humane way to end.> Thanks, Jason <Bob Fenner>

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

Questions on a Kole Tang Hi Bob, I wrote you earlier about this and I am ready to get that tang. I have been looking at the various tang and am now narrowing in on a Kole. I saw one at a nearby LFS and found it more interesting in behavior than a Yellow Tang, but unfortunately I think it wasn't especially healthy. However I read your FAQs and it looks like you have some reservations. <To where? When? Let's go! Oh, yes, I see> I am a relative newbie, with the forty gallon breeder going since December (though I think it cycled twice or even thrice??). It has 40 lbs of live rock and about 40 sand (half aragonite and half LPS). Water quality is good with ammonia, nitrites and nitrates at zero; ph 8.2; SG 1.024; Ca 405; Alk 3.5; Temp 79. I have 3 cleaner shrimp; 3 ? peppermint shrimp; 5 turbo snails and a Sally lt foot and a number of hermits (?). I just lost a Midas blenny due to a daredevil trick of his when the tank top was off. :-( <Very common...> I plan to buy it at a LFS that quarantines it's marine fish two weeks. They do not routinely use copper (I think something else though like malachite green??). I think the quarantine tanks are lower SG. He doesn't overstock his regular tanks. He never uses nets to catch fish. In other words, I believe the possibility of getting a healthy fish is better. <Very commendable> Now for the questions: (I am going thru your FAQ). 1. Is my tank too small for one? You don't recommend small ones, and I wouldn't even know where to get one. Eventually I would want another Midas (and I'll keep the top on all the time!!) and a couple False Percs. I am thinking I may have to find another home when it gets to adulthood. <Not too small by a smidgen... and the rest of these fishes ought to go "with a shoehorn..."> 2. Is my tank "established" enough. I can't remember where I thought you wrote that... I read thru much of the Tang stuff. <Yes, likely...> 3. Do I have enough circulation? I use the Ecosystems 40 and I recently put in a MaxiJet 1000 facing opposite of the outtake pump on the Ecosystems. It is really pumping the water around, in fact am seeing more debris, little white flecks, etc. I have another pump but was wondering as this seems to move so much water around. (I got a couple for $5 each, I know they are a discontinued pump. They seem in excellent condition). The Ecosystems has a Rio 600 in the sump. <I understand, and yes> 4. Diet: I was going to feed it brine shrimp that has added vit.s. Also I got a fish vitamin with added vitamins and iodine. This along with tank algae. I thought I would follow your advice on the feeding method. (Lacing the tank algae.) 5. Anything else I should look for? <Hmm, not necessarily> Thanks. Btw I look forward to reading everybody's comments and your answers. You have a very encouraging and helpful attitude. It seems like I have known you and a number of the writers for years. :-) <Ahh, thank you for this...> Btw I bought your book "A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Salt water Aquarium Fishes of the World" (book one). Very neat. <My first effort at "doing all" self-publishing wise... harrowing> --Jane <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Ctenochaetus strigosus Bob - Please comment on one Yellow-eyed/Kole Tang and two Percula Clownfish [with anemone] in a 25Lx19Dx21H tank. These would be the only three fish housed in this 37gal system with 50lbs / LR & LS substrate. My concern is that the Kole will grow too large for my almost "cube" shaped set up. How fast will a juvenile [3-4"] specimen grow to an adult [5-6"] fish? <Slowly> Are any in the Tang group known to mature smaller in size than the others?  <Yes, certainly... this is the "soonest"... with Prionurus, Acanthurus, Paracanthurus, Zebrasoma... all growing larger before maturity> Thanks for your help - TS, Dallas <You're welcome... Bob Fenner>

Are there two species of "Kole" tangs? one with yellow eyes and one without?  <Hmm, nope, just the one, Ctenochaetus strigosus... sometimes C. striatus is mis-sold as the Kole or Yellow eye... article and pix of both at the site: www.wetwebmedia.com> The FSG at my LFS told me that they're the same fish -- when they grow older the yellow around their eyes turns brown? I thought they were two different fish, but of course, maturing color changes are pretty common... ?? <Hmm, to some degree... but age/time not as big a factor in eye color as environmental (foods, feeding, water quality, social issues... ) factors> Furthermore, now that the Kole (?) is established, I'm thinking of adding an Achilles. Comments? <Not a big fan of this species of Acanthurus Surgeons... soft-bodied, and prone to damage, easy susceptibility to disease high... most succumb within a few weeks of capture/shipping from (mainly HI) the wild.> And, here's another Q. Has anyone tried to keep more than one of the SAME species of Centropyge in a tank before? I've a Atlantic cherub pygmy angel in a 155, and I'm thinking of adding a 2nd. <Yep, a few, for ornament and in attempts at establishing breeding harem/communities... for small fishes need BIG spaces (100s of gallons), and a sharp-eyed concerned keeper to prevent world war X problems...> thanks, Paulo <My dos centavos, Bob Fenner>

Tang unable to maintain balance Bob, I recently bought two Tangs (Naso, and a yellow eye Kole) to add to my 200g aquarium. Before putting them in the big tank I decided to put them in a hospital tank to give them some time to adjust to the new water without being hassled by the other fish. <Good idea> Tonight I found the yellow eye Kole laying on his side at the bottom of the hospital tank. Upon further inspection the fish is still breathing. Fearing that the problem was water quality I carefully moved the Kole tang into the sump of the big tank where he would still be physically isolated from the other fish but in a fully cycled tank. I also moved the Naso into the main tank as a precaution (he looks healthy although a bit shy). I have been keeping an eye on the Nitrates and ammonia and changing water in the tank to keep them as low as I can while the tank adjusts to the additional bio load. What is the probable cause for the tang to become sick? Is possible to save him? Thanks, Rodney Korn <<In such a large system, I discount the sudden loss of water quality as a probable (first, primary) cause... How "recent" is recent? This is little doubt an animal collected in Hawai'i (most Ctenochaetus strigosus, Kole's, Yellow-Eye Tangs hail from there to the U.S.)... but I would conjecture that this animal has/had some sort of congenital defect, or suffered some unseeable trauma through the collection/shipping procedure from the wild... Not likely an infectious or parasitic situation but "something" genetic, or developmental...Bob Fenner>>
Re: Tang unable maintain balance
Thanks for the quick reply. The fish in question did not make it through the night.  <Ah yes, I intimated as much> He was purchased from FFExpress about two weeks ago. I guess I am just glad the Naso Tang is still doing well (still very shy and gets chased by a blue damsel once in a while). I figure that as the Naso grows the Blue will learn humility (the Naso is a Juv, just a little bigger than the blue). <Yes, the health of this animal is not linked to the deceased Kole> On a second, less important question, do you know of any way to catch a fish in a BIG aquarium with minimum stress to the other animals? I was thinking about moving the blue into the hospital while the other fish get acquainted. He is fast and there is lots of room for him to run to...Thank, Rodney <<About the best technique is to condition the animal not to respond (shades of B.F. Skinner, no relation). Place a net (I like the large plastic coated handle green ones) in the tank in a corner, at about a thirty degree angle (lip under water)... and casually feed the fishes over and in this site for a few to several days... leaving the net in the tank... soon, Mr. Fast Damsel will be lifted out. Bob Fenner>>

Bryopsis Eater I know there's a good number of people who suffer from Bryopsis (wiry, dark green hair algae) plagues, including myself. I've heard they usually crash over time, but I've yet to see it happen in real life. Any cures (biological or otherwise) you can suggest would be greatly appreciated. I'd soon pull out my own hair then my Bryopsis again! <<Leonard, I still am pumping for the Tang genus Ctenochaetus to munch this algal genus control-wise. Look into the couple of species generally offered for sale out of Hawai'i: C. strigosus (the Kole or Yellow-eye) or C. hawaiiensis (the Chevy)...Bob Fenner>> 

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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