Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Naso lituratus 1

Related Articles: Lipstick Tangs, Naso TangsSurgeonfishes/Tangs/Doctorfishes and Marine Aquariums,

Related FAQs: Lipstick Tangs 2, & Naso Tangs 1Naso Tangs 2, Naso Tangs 3, Naso ID, Naso Behavior, Naso Compatibility, Naso Selection, Naso Systems, Naso Feeding, Naso Disease, Naso Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease

"I vant to eat chour brown algae....."

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

- White Spots on Naso Tang - Hi Crew, I have a 3"-4" Blonde Naso Tang with small white specks surrounding the perimeter of both pectoral fins and a white tuft (approx 3/16" long) attached to the lower, rear anal fin.  I have tried to take pictures of this but I have been unable to produce any that show the problem. There is not a single (visible) spot of Cryptocaryon on the fish's body. It did have a mild case of crypto and refused to eat for the first four days after it arrived about 1 1/2 weeks ago so I began treating with CLOUT for two days, followed by CopperSafe since that time. The Royal Gramma that is in the QT with the Naso developed a case of fin and tail rot so I also treated the tank with Maracyn 2 and Melafix.  All fins on both fish are completely clear and perfectly healed now.  I gave the Naso an 8 minute freshwater dip four days ago, in an attempt to rid it of these few white specks, but this had no effect.  The tang is eating very well now and, other than these few white specks on the fin edges, it appears to be perfectly healthy.  The white spots are very pronounced though.  They are approximately the size of a grain of salt (except for the white mass / tuft on the anal fin) and they appear to be lightly sitting on top of the fin edge. I know the white salt grain-sized specs sounds like Cryptocaryon but I have maintained a constant 2.0 PPM level of Cu++ (chelated CopperSafe) in this QT for nearly 1 1/2 weeks now, followed by freshwater dips.  I have also examined this fish very closely and there are absolutely no other white spots except for these isolated few at the very outer edges of the pectoral fins so this is making me think this fish has something other than crypto. Any ideas? <It's probably just residual marking from the Cryptocaryon. Given the level of copper and the fact that the fish is otherwise eating and doing well, I'd let it continue in quarantine... always keeping an eye on things, make sure those spots don't turn into something else, get infected, etc.> Water parameters: Salinity = 1.022, Temp = 82 Deg. F, Ammonia = 0 PPM, Nitrites = 0 PPM, Nitrates = 20 PPM, 2.0 PPM Cu++, weekly 25% water changes. Your help is greatly appreciated! --Greg <Cheers, J -- >

- Shoe-horn Quarantine - Greetings Crew, I really hope you can help me to keep a Naso Tang alive.  I currently have a 3.5" (mouth to tail) Blonde Naso Tang that is frightened of absolutely everything.  His gills and fins begin to flap like a hummingbird's wings any time I get near his tank, turn the lights on or off or anything inside or near his tank moves.  He turns nearly black in color, with white spots.  There are times when gilling is normal and he regains normal coloration but I must remain completely still for several minutes to see this. What really has me concerned is his lack of appetite.  I have had this Naso for three days now and I have still not seen it eat.  This is my third Naso and all three have suffered the same symptom of not eating.  Although the first two Naso Tangs died, I have had very good success with all my other fish so I had hoped I just happened upon two unhealthy fish previously and this one would live a long life.  The only difference with this fish is that it does appear to have eaten at some point before I received it.  The previous two Nasos were very thin (concave, in fact) but this one is more rounded - "full-bodied". This Naso is currently in a 20 gallon QT with a 2" Purple Tang. <You should separate these fish - not a good size for two tangs.> I have not noticed any aggression (they were added at the same time). <Still... too close quarters.> For the first day I also had a flame angel and a tiny clown goby in this tank as well but I have since moved them to my 55 gallon QT. <I would do this the other way around with the clown and goby in the smaller quarantine and the larger fish in the 55 - even better would be to have the Naso in there by itself.> Ammonia and Nitrite is at 0 PPM, Nitrate = 20 PPM, salinity = 1.023 SG and temp = 79 Degrees F.  I perform ~20% water changes every third day (using water from my 180 gallon main tank).  The tangs showed signs of Cryptocaryon so I medicated with CLOUT for three days, until all white spots were gone.  I am not using copper at this time because I used this on the previous Nasos and thought this might have played a part in their lack of appetite as I have read that some tangs are sensitive to copper. <Perhaps.> I have tried feeding Formula 2, Nori, Spectrum pellets, flake food, chopped silversides (Selcon-soaked), Zooplankton and even brine shrimp (Selcon soaked) but the Naso has shown no interest in any of these.  The purple tang seems to like all of these.  What else could I try? <I'd stick with the algae and other green foods - what you might want to try is thaw out some frozen formula two and then press that into a chunk of live rock and re-freeze. When it's feeding time, thaw out a little bit and place in the tank. This should allow the fish to duplicate its natural feeding behaviour which is picking at algae on rocks. Again, I'd remove the second tang from this tank so there is no competition for this food.> Is there any "irresistible" fish food? <Not that I can think of other than live algae growing on live rock - this is what they eat in the wild.> I QT all new fish for 4 weeks (or 4 weeks after the last signs of ich).  I use the drip method to acclimate fish over about a 45 minute period.  I feed any existing fish in the tank before adding new fish and I leave the lights off for at least four hours after adding new fish to the QT.  There are two cave-shaped pieces of live rock in the QT for hiding.  I try to remain out of sight of the tank except for feeding for the first day or two, until the fish get accustomed to their new surroundings.  What else could I do to make the transition easier for this fish? <Remove that second tang.> What could I possibly do to get the Naso to eat? <Have detailed my ideas... can't think of much else.> Are Naso Tangs of this size just not hardy, do you see any issues with my husbandry or do you think I just had a very bad coincidence (3 very sick Nasos - 1 from my LFS and two from an online store)? <Combination of factors - capture and transport is very stressful, and this usually takes weeks to come down from.> I have considered moving the Purple Tang to the 55 gallon QT but this larger QT contains a 6" Powder Blue Tang, a porcupine puffer, a flame angel, 3 ocellaris clowns, a Longnose B/F, a Royal Gramma, a Lawnmower Blenny and a Clown Goby. <My friend, you have too many fish in this quarantine. You really need to be dealing with and then placing one fish at a time. Additionally, you have too many tangs... you're going to have problems in the long run with this mix.> I think the Purple Tang would probably hold its own with the Powder Blue but the 55 gallon QT is already a bit crowded and I also thought the Naso might be encouraged to eat by watching the Purple Tang. <I think you're overcrowding your quarantine.> What are your thoughts regarding what I should do - move fish? <Slow down - one fish at a time.> different foods? medication? fish shiatsu? buy a larger Naso Tang that is eating at the LFS instead of taking the risk on smaller fish? <None of the above - you need to adjust your behaviours. The fish are just reacting to the situations you are putting them into.> Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, as I do not want to be unintentionally harming this fish or wasting money on a type of fish that is "impossible" to keep. I did not think Naso Tangs were supposed to be delicate fish. <They typically aren't.> Are Blonde Nasos more/less hardy than those that are not from the Red Sea? <Not that I'm aware of.> -- Greg <Cheers, J -- >

Removing the tangs from a Tang I've heard that this is sometimes done by collectors seeking to make the Tangs easier to handle. <Yes, especially larger specimens... on collecting are "clipped" to reduce/eliminate chance of injury to diver, other specimens> I just received a Naso from Saltwaterfish.com whose tangs are not there.  What is the long-term impact of this?  I'm really disappointed!  It seems wrong to take away their primary form of defense.  It's akin to declawing a cat and then expecting it to acclimate well to an environment in which it will have to engage in the process of establishing a pecking order. <No long-term problem should arise from this practice. The "tangs" do grow back... in a few months time>   This fish does not seem terribly healthy, either.  He's not eating at all despite being offered many tempting treats.  (Lettuce, Nori, brine shrimp, formula one) Any recommendations? <To refer to the family coverage on WWM re the feeding of acanthurids, the genus Naso in general. Bob Fenner> Ana M. Saavedra

- Problems with New Naso Arrival - Hi WWM Crew, Two days ago I received a 2.5" Blonde Naso Tang along with a few other fish from an online fish store.  All fish are doing very well in my quarantine tank -- except for the Naso.  The first day in the QT it lightly picked at a piece of live rock but there is really not much life on this rock to sustain it.  Since the first day, I have not noticed this fish eating anything.  It appears thin to me, except for a slight bulge in its stomach. I had a similar problem with my last Naso Tang so I might just be overly-sensitive this time.  My last Naso was about the same size and I watched it waste away without eating for nearly three weeks before it finally died.  From what I have read on WWM and elsewhere, my best guess is that it possibly had some type of worms.  This Naso is presenting nearly identical to the last one; it has no signs of external parasites, no wounds, clear eyes and appears completely well in every way except for not eating (and sometimes being dark brown / gray in color).  I tried using Cravex (vitamin B12), a variety of foods, regular water changes and Paragon II with the last Naso.  None of this had any effect.  I am using Cravex with the current Naso and trying Formula 1 pellets, self-made food with Selcon (my other fish devour), Nori, Zooplankton and even brine shrimp (anything just to get it started eating).  So far, I have not seen this fish eat. What do you suggest to entice this fish to eat? <You might try a trick taught to me by Anthony Calfo... seems to work pretty well with fish that pick. Take small pieces of live rock, preferably something that has some surface texture but not sharp. Using the Formula 2, thaw it out and press the food into the surface of the rock and then refreeze. Thaw slightly at feeding time and place in the tank. With some luck, this will allow for something close to their natural feeding habits, and it will clean off the rock. If the fish does start to eat this way, do put other foods in through the top at the same time so it will [hopefully] begin to associate the two.> It is currently in a 55 gal QT with a 5" Powder Blue Tang (no aggression issues so far), 3 Ocellaris Clowns, a Royal Gramma, a Long-nose B/F and a Lawnmower Blenny.  All fish appear to be very mild mannered.  Ammonia and Nitrites are zero, Nitrates are 10 PPM, Salinity = 1.0235 SG, Temp = 77 Degrees F.  I am now considering moving this Naso to a 20 gallon QT and possibly trying to medicate using Clout as a kind of catch-all. <Hmm...> I do not want to just medicate indiscriminately but I also cannot stand to just watch another Naso Tang waste away. <Understood.> Please provide some suggestions. <I would hold off on treatments for the moment - do understand your desire to help this fish turn the corner, but think that the best way to do this 'right now' is to reduce stress as much as possible, and I think removal to another tank, treatment, et al. will exacerbate your problems. Try the feeding rock first... if that doesn't work, you might try more drastic action but I don't see a good end to it.> Now, following-up on a previous question -- I had asked about using Cu as a standard practice in a QT for all arrivals since I recently purchased a Purple Tang that showed no signs of parasites for the first day in the QT but looked like it had been sugar-coated on the second day.  My concern is that new fish could be carriers of Cryptocaryon and have no indication of this for the entire quarantine period, only to bring the crypto into the main tank once moved. <Nine times out of ten, they will present these issues in quarantine. Most all parasitic issues are cyclic so that at some point in the two to four weeks the problems, if there are going to be any, will show up. Copper, especially with tangs can cause more problems that it's worth, so it's my opinion that it's better to hold off.> Again, I prefer to not medicate without a specific reason for doing so but, since crypto can be so elusive, my question is: "Are the potential risks associated with consistent QT use of Cu outweighed by the benefits of (nearly) guaranteeing parasite-free fish being introduced into the main aquarium?" <Varies on a case by case basis methinks. Copper, formalin, all these are toxic/poisonous in the right concentration so that you really should avoid them unless symptoms dictate the need.> Thank you for the help.  I am looking forward to your response on the Naso so I can hopefully begin to do something to turn-around its appetite soon. --Greg <Cheers, J -- >

- Problems with New Naso, Follow-up - Thank you for the suggestion to try to get my Naso Tang eating. <My pleasure.> Unfortunately, it is no longer even picking at rock so I think it might be too late for even this option to work. <Well... it may be convinced there is nothing there to pick at.> I will try this along with regular water changes to maintain top water quality and hope for the best. <I think this is your best bet.> I did read a few suggestions about taking fish to a vet and having them tube fed. I honestly think this is probably the only chance for this tang now but there are no such vets in my area.  I have pipettes that would fit in the tang's mouth but it seems to me that this would cause more stress to the fish than most anything imaginable and could just push it over the edge. What do you think -- is it worth a try at this point? <The tube feeding? I agree with your premise that this will be too much stress on an already stressed fish.> Regarding the QT and medication, I will leave all the fish in this tank un-medicated for four weeks and hope they are not parasite carriers.  I did read that all fish are carriers of Cryptocaryon but it just remains dormant until a time of stress. <I don't agree with that - Cryptocaryon can't go dormant forever or until convenient, and if you don't think capture and transport isn't stressful, then I don't know what is.>  If this is the case, it does appear that I could be risking the fish in my main tank though and I do not have room to keep my main tank fallow for an extended period. <Quarantine will truly reduce these risks. If the fish is carrying parasites, 99.9% of the time they WILL be expressed upon arrival, whether in your main tank or in quarantine.> Once I eventually reach the final stocking capacity of my main tank and no longer need such a large QT, I would like to convert my QT to another display tank.  (I can't decide whether I want a reef or triggers, puffers and angels so this would allow me to have both setups).  My concern is that many people say copper can NEVER be completely eliminated from an aquarium once it has been used. <I've heard this too and feel that tanks are cheap enough that it's better to be safe than sorry - just keep it around as a quarantine or for emergency use.> A few other people have told me that use of a poly filter over an extended period of time will eventually eliminate nearly all traces of copper. <From the water... not necessarily the silicone.> If I do need to use copper in my QT, will I ever be able to use this tank for a reef (assuming I remove all existing sand and rock)? <Again, not a risk that I personally would be willing to take.> I cannot image how glass or silicone could absorb any significant quantity of copper. <Hmm... well I managed to turn all the silicone blue in my quarantine tank, so it's obviously absorbing something.> Even if they did absorb some amount of copper, the amounts that would be slowly released would be diluted in 55 gallons of untreated water. It seems to me that this small release rate (if any) would be more than offset by normal water changes.  Am I wrong? <I'm not sure you're wrong and I'm not sure you're right either. Personally, I just like to be cautious. I say try it... if you can't keep any invertebrates alive, then you'll know the answer.> --Greg <Cheers, J -- >

Naso Tangs Hello Bob, <Hello Sanjay> I'm unsure if you remember, but approx 3 months ago I wrote to you regarding Naso tangs and intestinal worms. My plan was to investigate intestinal worms in Naso tangs as a reason for their decline in captivity. <Interesting possibility> I purchased a healthy six inch Naso and introduced it to my QT system.  It settled in well and after a week or so I began my experiment.   To half a cube of frozen food I added approx 20mg of an anti-thelmic preparation called Mebendazole.  I obtained the liquid form which sticks to frozen food. I fed this twice a day for two days without any ill effects to the Naso.  However I did not see any worms. <Have you taken a look to and through the scientific literature on issues involving such worms and Surgeonfishes?> On the third day, hey presto, hundreds of tiny round worms (confirmed by the local vet) about 1 cm in length.  Nasty looking organisms might I add. <Have any pix?> The QT tank had a little live rock, which proved to be a great mistake.  Many worms sought refuge in this rock.  At the same time the anti-thelmic agent seemed to dislodge the worms, but did not kill them.  I tried to remove as many as I could.   The tang re-ingested the worms and began to decline in the same manner as my previous Naso did in my main system. The Naso became increasingly thin over a few days. Eventually the tang died from what I suspect to be an over load of worms. I decided to discard the live rock, but as I was about to do so, I spotted a very large round worm about half an inch thick and six inches in length. My conclusion from the above may provide a reason for why Naso tangs decline for no apparent reason in captivity. <One hypothesis... how will or might you go about devising experiments to prove, disprove it?> I am not repeating this exercise as I do not want to be responsible for another Naso death. However I believe that importers of these beautiful creatures may find my studies interesting and take on the responsibility of de-worming these fish before they are passed on to retailers, (in an  Ideal world). <... better to have a larger sample size... and more "cures" folks can attempt> I also conclude that those who read this post and decide to de-worm a fish in QT,  must do so with either a more effective anti-thelmic drug or a greater concentration of Mebendazole.  Ensuring the tank is devoid of live rock is also essential. <Okay> Hope this has been of interest to you, thanks in advance for taking an interest. Regards Sanjay Patel <And thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Black Spot on Fin (NASO TANG) Hello, You have a great web site!! I have a 130 gal. salt water with a few damsels and a large puffer and a 11" Naso tang. I noticed yesterday a black spot on one fin. I have had him about a month and he came from a friends tank. He shudders a lot , but no signs of anything! <Mmm, could be "nothing"... the shuddering is natural... some melanistic spots on Naso lituratus come and go...> I keep a low dose of copper in the tank, however recently I removed all of it with a carbon pad. <I would not keep copper constantly in a main/display tank> Should I retreat with copper or formalin? <No> He eats and looks great! Nitrates have been a little high but I do weekly water changes and everything else looks good! He constantly shakes  a lot. It this <This animal does shake naturally as stated (even in the ocean), but it may be shaking more due to being in small confines... I would look into ultimately trading it in for a smaller specimen (like half this length) in your 130... or getting a much larger, longer system for it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Spot on Fin (NASO TANG) Bob, Thanks so much for the information ! I am removing all copper out of the tank. My Naso is doing better, however he stopped eating for a few day but I was able to get him to eat live brine shrimp last night. I suppose it was the medication in the water and now he seems to be coming around. (The black spots on the fins have disappeared). <You are very likely correct here> I have one more question! I have a 4" or 5"-saddleback clown that I bought from a dealer. <A large specimen... better not bought at adult sizes> I put in a QT tank for about 2 weeks and then put him in my show tank. I noticed some large white patchy raised spots on the tips of his fins (about 2 of them )and one on his side. He does not scratch them and he eats like a pig. I have read they are prone to parasites or Brooklynella? I am putting him back in the QT tank and removing the copper . What Do I treat with now? Formalin or anything? Dips? or wait and see! He has about a total of 4 spots on him. <I would NOT treat this specimen OR move it... but instead replace it to the main/display system, bolster its nutrition with the soaking of foods with vitamin complex (e.g. Selcon)... Not likely Brooklynella or any parasite here. Bob Fenner> HELP, CAPT. NEMO-

Re: Naso Tang Hunger Strike, Black Spot... Bob, Hope everything is going well ! I wrote you last week about my 11" Naso Tang. I was running copper on the tank and then treated him with clout (for a black spot on his fin) about the 3rd day on the clout he quit eating! <If memory serves, I mentioned NOT treating this fish... and would cease to do so NOW> The puffer and the damsels in the 130 gal. tank are fine. The water is perfect and has been through the treatment. I am pulling everything out of  the tank with carbon filters and activated carbon, all levels are much lower. <My friend... I can't tell what you mean by "perfect" or "lower"...> However, my Naso will eat very little if anything at all. It has been about a week and he is looking ok, but he has the pinched stomach. I have tried everything, live brine shrimp is the only thing he will even try to eat and very little each time if at all ! I am very concerned that he has been over medicated with the copper and clout. I have used Selcon on brine and live plants. Do you have any suggestions! <Yes... place this specimen back in the main tank if you have not already, try various algae on a "clip" near the water/air surface... Kombu, Nori, what have you, that you can get from the oriental food store or section in a main outlet> I am very worried that I am going to lose him. He is swimming around fine and breathing normal, yesterday he started staying on the bottom behind a rock (very unusual for him). <A very bad sign... Tangs rest on the bottom at night, but during the day are continuously active> If the light is on he is more active. help! <Move the fish, offer it prepared or fresh macroalgae. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang Hunger Strike Bob, The fish that you told me NOT to treat and to move back into the main tank was the 5" saddleback clown. <Sorry re... think I've got you, your situation confused with something/someone else's that's similar> Which I did exactly what you said and he is doing great and some of the white cotton like spots have disappeared! He is doing great and eating  fine! <Ahh, good> Unfortunately, the Naso had already been treated as of my writings to you. My local Fish Store owner is the one who gave me the clout and copper treatment idea for the black splotches on the fin (I know, don't believe everything you're told!!) <I discount most all... including when I'm talking to myself!> Nonetheless, I did pick up some Kombu and Nori and will try that tonight! <This species of Naso REALLY likes macroalgae... I have seen it with its head out of water (!) in Hawai'i munching away at intertidal thallophytic material!> My water has maintained a O ammonia, O nitrite, 8.2 ph. 20 t0 40 on the nitrate( large fish only tank). Thanks for the help! <Thank you for the clarification, input. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang Hunger Strike Bob, Just a little update! My Naso is eating very well again! Thanks for the tip on the Nori & Kombu!! He is now eating everything again! Thanks for the help !! <Good news indeed. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Tang In Trouble? (Naso Tang Not Eating) Hi! <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> First would like to thank you all for the great site! I found answers to all  of my questions there! <Glad to hear that! We have a LOT of good information on this site...Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to research stuff...> But now I got one question I didn't find. <Sure> I have a 230 gallon reef tank with 2 clowns, 1 wrasse, 1 damsel, 1 Bicolor Pseudochromis, 1 Bicolor Blenny, 1 Firefish, 1 Orange Shoulder Tang juvenile, 1 quite big Moorish Idol and 1 Naso Elegance tang (juvenile) Some hardy soft and hard corals along with some disk anemones and mushrooms. There is 130 lbs live rock in the tank (planning to get more next month). Tunze Turbelle Stream 8000 l/h powerhead (with air), Tunze 3130/2 skimmer, 36W UVC. I have this tank for 4 month now. I had  much smaller fish only tank before (for 1 year). SG 1.023, temp 26C, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates about 10, PH 8.3, KH 11.3, Ca 480 - all parameters seems to be fine. There is no "electricity" in the tank since I bought "grounded" pump and skimmer. The problem is with my Naso Tang. I've got him 4 days ago, along with Orange Shoulder tang (I waited 4 mount for the tank stabilizes). I did a 1,5 hour acclimatization for the new arrival with lights off until next morning and the next day both fishes was extremely happy with no signs of stress at all! They eat everything I gave to them - frozen brine shrimp, Mysis, Spirulina, sushi Nori, even broccoli! <Always a great sign! But I didn't see the word "quarantine" mentioned there...You really should quarantine all new arrivals- particularly tangs.> So I relaxed a little bit, thinking I gave them a good start in the new tank.  Other fishes were very interested but not aggressive to the new tangs. Both new tangs were very active, they swam along together, picking food and rocks. However the day after my Naso tang showed completely different behavior. First it was hiding then later it came out and I noticed that he swims very strange - like he continues sleeping! He was swimming very 'passive' like fish do in the night in the stream, "freezing" in one point. He showed absolutely no signs of interest to food the hole day - it was very strange to me because the other tang was even more happy and hungry than the day before! <Not a good sign...> My Naso didn't eat for 2 days now and became very thin. He is doing this strange swimming the hole day and that's all! He ignores food and other fishes. I'm really concerned about him because it looks not good and I just can not lose him! I noticed that the same day he change his behavior one of my two starfishes (Linckia sp.) seems to be bitten. May be he tried it and poisoned himself with it's tissue? <Unlikely, but I suppose that it's within the realm of possibility...> There is now signs of internal/external infection or parasites... The other fish are fine and doesn't show any signs of aggression to him die to his size. I did read FAQ about Naso tangs found they can refuse food and so on. But I didn't found anything about this strange "sleeping" during the day. Is it en internal infection symptom or something else? I just have no idea what's wrong with him! What I suppose to do with my tang before it's too late? What else should I check? Please, help! Hope for a quick answer Mikael from Sweden <Well, Mikael- I agree that this is not normal behavior for this fish. It's never good to see a fish refuse food or act listlessly. The absence of external symptoms does not mean that the fish isn't ill, but it is something to be concerned about. These fishes do have difficulty adapting to new environments, although your tank sounds like the parameters are pretty good. If the fish continues to refuse food and continues to act listlessly, then you may want to consider removing the fish to a separate tank for further observation. If other symptoms manifest themselves (like obvious spots or sores on his body), then appropriate medical intervention is warranted. On the other hand, if the fish is simply listless and refusing to eat, then I'd do what I could to tempt him to eat again. Fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, is an excellent supplemental food. In the confines of a separate aquarium, you could also administer some aquarium vitamins directly to the water (remember- marine fishes do drink) in the hope that he will obtain some nutrition in that manner. Provide a stable, clean environment and a large variety of nutritious food items, and hopefully he will come around and eat again. Don't give up on this fish. With a little extra care and attention, he can pull through this difficult time and thrive. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Tang In Trouble (Pt. 2) Good morning! <Hello again!> I would like to thank you for the immediate reply. <Glad to be of assistance!> Things are not going better with my Naso tang today. I took a closer look on  him and he looks fine! Except he is very thin but there are no spots or scratches on his body. His breathing is ok and mouth and lips look good. <Glad to hear that!> Anyway I guess it can be some kind of internal infection or just stress (I hope!). He is still not eating. <Remain optimistic...> I will continue observations and offer him foods. To add some vitamins in  the water is a very good idea! <It might just keep him going until he comes around and starts eating again...> While things are not going worse there is a hope! Thank you, Mikael P.S. I know that quarantine is a most important thing to prevent diseases. But I've got fishes from a very trustful shop. Those guys are really concerned about animals they sale and they are professionals in this. They do quarantine right in the shop (10-14 days in separate tanks with UVC and so on). You can look and book the fish during this period but you can buy it only when quarantine will be done and only if the fish looks good and eats well after it... So I skip quarantine when I buy fish from them. <Wow! That's my kind of shop! Good to hear that! Still, do always remain skeptical and vigilant when purchasing new fishes! I hop to hear more good news from you on the Tang soon! Regards, Scott F.> Thank you. Mikael

Tang In Trouble (Pt.3) Good morning! <Hi there!> You guys are doing a very good job here! Thanks for the second immediate reply! <Glad to be of assistance> Today my Naso feels not better. His breathing is quite far from being ok- about 160 lungs movements per minute! I guess that's it. It's not a stress, it's some kind of infection, isn't it? <So hard to tell without photos. I think that you'll need to look into the disease FAQs on the WWM site to make a positive determination as to what it is you're dealing with.> Poor buddy! What should I do now? I do have an extra tank to isolate him but the one problem is that he looks very weak and it will be just extra stress for him. And the main problem is to CATCH him! The tank is very big with a lot of rock in it. I spent 3 hours last time to catch my clown (but tangs are much better swimmers!). So can I perform something in the main tank now? Or should I try to remove him to an isolation tank anyway? Thank you, Mikael <Well, Mikael- this is a tough situation! The fish really needs to be removed to a separate tank for treatment. Treatment for a parasitic infection simply cannot be accomplished effectively in the display tank. Yes, there is a certain risk involved with catching and moving this fish to another tank, but it is definitely preferable to watching the fish die without intervention on your part! I'd try to catch him and get him into a separate tank for observation and/or treatment as required (if you suspect parasitic infection, formalin or copper-based medications are quite effective...). Regardless of the symptoms, do your best to make a diagnosis and proceed from there. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.> Re: Naso Tang Ok, I will get a bigger tank, but how do I try to save him in between time. The yellow Naso tang is not eating.  What other types of food should I consider feeding him... any suggestions.<Nori, Lifeline, Caulerpa, other macro algae>  And are you saying I should only house 1 tang with a tank of the size I have?<probably yes>   Oh I have a rock and fish only tank sorry for the confusion. If I get a bigger tank will this prevent disease outbreaks in the future...any suggestions<possibly if you Qt before hand>  Janeiro <good luck, IanB> Nasos, and other Tangs <HI, Mike D here> I started to write and the Email went away , I apologize if you got this twice. I was wondering if you could help,<I'll try> I am finally getting my dream system put in soon A 10' - 12 ' Aquarium.<Sounds beautiful!> I have a Large 8" Naso, 2 Regal Tangs (1-4" 1-1.5")<Here's one problem> 2 clowns , 1-Comet (Marine Betta) 1-Coral Beauty, These are presently in 210 6' Tank The Naso is Kind of mean, I thought they were suppose to be Mildly tempered.<NO! The word "Tang" refers to part of a knife, in reference to the blades found on the caudal peduncle or base of the tail. These are weapons that can be used to deadly effect on fish perceived as competitors or a threat!> She excepted the smaller Regal, and the coral beauty with no problem , I had 2 copperbanded butterfly, Before I could get the poor fish out She had back the butterfly in a corner, Swatted her tail ant the butterfly and dang near sliced her in half, I never saw such a thing.<I have...use caution as they can do this to fingers too!> I was trying to net the butterfly out but I was too late. I have a 3rd 1." Regal but she was too tiny for this system and wasn't doing well. She's good now, these 2 smaller tangs were my rescue project. So far so good. When I get this new tank running. Is a Powder blue OK with the rest of the tangs.<NO!! Emphasis mine! Many tangs, and yours looks like a good example are one per tank. By Naso, I assume you're referring to Naso literates, which is a small member for this family of giants. The Powder Blue tang, by the way, although known as an "ick magnet" when small, often grow up to be extremely belligerent adults!>> The Naso seems to be fine with other tangs, the all swim together, although I think From time to time the Regal can be a pain for the Naso,  The regal will swim with Anything that will swim with her.<I wouldn't be surprised to see the regal attack and kill the other regal eventually. My suggestion, since they are getting along so far is to NOT add another tang, and as you've already seen, if you decide to add an angelfish or such, try a smaller specimen and allow it to grow up in the tank. It's quite likely your tang will attack any other large fish you introduce.> Thank you in advance for your Help<You're welcome> Scott

Naso Tang Blowing In The Current? I have a question for the fish experts at wetwebmedia.  My Naso tang has been doing great for over 5 months in my 180 tank.  Recently he has begun to swim with a waggle, for lack of a better term and he will turn sideways and roll.   Rather than being quick and alert like he always has been, he is being blown around a little more by the current.  Should I be concerned or is there any actions / diagnosis you would recommend? <Good observation on your part. Although it may be nothing to worry about, the fact that this normally very strong fish is  displaying some signs of weakness, getting blown around in the current-is certainly a cause for some concern. If you are not seeing any other obvious external signs of illness, such as white spots, excessive mucus, rapid breathing, etc., then no further actions may be required except for continued good husbandry. On the other hands, if additional symptoms of disease manifest themselves, please feel free to let us know.> He is eating well - mostly seaweed selects green algae on a clip with some Selcon soaked in.  He now eats some of the Mysis and flake that I feed the rest of the tank (yellow tang, ocellaris clown, lawnmower blenny).  Could this be a nutritional issue?   <It is certainly possible. I'd try offering some fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, which is en excellent supplement for tangs. You can get some at my favorite e-tailer, Indo Pacific Sea Farms. An excellent food for herbivorous tangs!> Until recently, he had no interest in anything I would feed except the algae on a clip.  The other fish are fine and the yellow tang is acting as usual.  The two tangs have always been a little scrappy but nothing to the point of injury. The only other abnormal thing that I can think of is that the Naso will sometimes have a circular lump in the stomach area after eating. <I would not be overly concerned about that at this point, unless the fish shows other difficulties...> Any insight you may have is appreciated. <At this stage of the game, I'd employ continued observation, frequent small water changes, regular feeding, and testing of water to assure that all is well. In short- keep doing what you're doing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Naso Tang with mouth problems dying We have had this Naso Tang in our 80 gallon tank for about five weeks. The tank has been established for about six years. It contains a protein skimmer, canister filter, bio filter, reverse-flow undergravel filter, & three powerheads. All water tests done have been fine. The Tang was eating until about a week ago, but at that time was only eating off the rocks and brine shrimp. He would not eat formula one or two, or Green Marine algae. He is now very thin, seems to breath normal but has some sort of white growth on his lips which may be why he quit eating. Can you tell by the picture what the mouth problem may be and if it can be treated?  I can't tell if the white is something hard or sloughing skin. We also have two brackish puffers, two percula clowns, a lawnmower blenny, three snails and a hermit crab in this tank and all of them are doing great. Thank You, Tina R <Does look something like what is often seen in tetraodont puffers where their teeth, for want of chewing on hard materials, overgrow the mouth, prohibit feeding, and lead to wasting and concomitant disease. I actually suggest reading about and trimming this fish's teeth down... and quickly making this attempt. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com using the search terms "puffer teeth" on the home page Google Search Tool. Bob Fenner> p.s. I thought it may be Lymphocystis but had never dealt with this virus before. If in your opinion it is Lymphocystis, can it be treated since it is on his mouth or will he just die from not eating? <Doesn't appear to be lymph... but the animal's teeth themselves>

Naso In Trouble? Hi, <Hello there! Scott F. at your service> I am quarantining my first Naso Tang.  I've had him over a month and he seems to be doing OK.  Likes to eat Sargassum and spaghetti algae but hasn't really gotten into flake food or brine shrimp yet.  Very aware and curious of my presence, relaxed breathing and a decent belly.  <All good signs> I'd like to put him in the aquarium but I wanted to check with you first.  My only concern are these light blotches or patches on its skin.  To me the blotches seem to have always been there, not getting worse or better.  They aren't raised or fuzzy either. I've attached a photo.  Is this a normal discoloration related to the confines of a QT. Thanks, Justin <Well Justin- first off, I commend you on your use of quarantine! An excellent practice that will benefit you and your fishes for years to come! As far as the blotches, it's hard to say what they might be. If the fish appears otherwise healthy, eats well, and is not in any apparent discomfort, then I'd be inclined to release the fish on schedule. Could be anything from a genetic fault to a light trauma incurred by scraping himself against aquarium decor. If you maintain excellent water quality, and keep feeding this guy carefully, he should be just fine. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Naso tang life span What's the average life span of a Naso Tang once reaching full length ?<In captivity I would say it would take around 5-10 years for the Naso to attain its full length. In the wild about half that, IanB>

Strange Naso Symptoms (3/26/04)   Just found your web site and found it extremely interesting regarding Nasos. I maintain aquariums for several businesses and have had a problem with Nasos. <Believe me, many do.> Seems after several months they get a series of pinprick spot on the sides mostly just below the top fin and behind the head. Looks like someone took a pin and gouged out a tiny spot.  They tend to be dark in color.  Also seem to have a few white protrusions (very small) here and there.  No idea if they are related to the same problem. The first fish finally died after months of this "stuff" slowly spreading to cover a fairly large area.  Treated with copper without any results. <Hopefully not in the display tanks.> Current fish has only 15 or 20 spots currently, eats well, acts normal and is in a 125 gallon aquarium.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  Jon Bartnick <It's always hard to say without seeing. I'm wondering if this is HLLE. Do read up on it and look at some pix on WWM. The other option would seem to be some sort of parasite. If you have a fish die, it would be interesting to look at some lesions under a microscope to look for parasites. Check out the HLLE possibilities first. Hope this helps some. Steve Allen> Neo Naso Notes I just got a 3-4" Naso tang and he just got added into the tank after a 3 hour drip acclimation are there any tips you can give me for raising a healthy Naso?<Yea....you will need to feed this potentially huge fish a lot...believe me I have a 14" Naso Vlamingi and a 8" Naso Vlamingi....they eat A TON OF FOOD!!! Also you will need to house this fish in at least a 6 foot aquarium because they are open ocean swimming fish. Also make sure water quality is very good. IanB>

Naso Not so Good Hello <Hi, Ryan here> I have a Naso tang (lituratus) with streamers and he is not eaten since a couple of days, I have checked water parameters and they are all fine (still did a water change) except the ph that was about 7.8 I raise it to 8.1over a two day period ,the thing is yesterday the fish had ate a little bit not as much that normally eat!!!!( had not eat for two, tree days before that )and now today he stopped again and I notice that is lips are white (like a fungus or something covering the lips ) and he is staying on the top part of the tank all he other fish are fine and healthy and eating fine .????????? <Hi.  A change in pH from 7.8 to 8.1 can have negative effects on sensitive livestock.  I recommend you start to buffer your pH (sounds like you already are), and add something to stabilize your calcium and alkalinity.  B-Ionic is simple as pie.  As for feeding, I would try and offer some frozen Formula 2 and Nori.  The white lips you are describing is probably a sign of a bacterial infection.  Is this a new fish?  I would take him out, isolate him and treat with a Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone medication, and follow the directions to the T.  Good luck, Ryan> I am starting to freak out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! don't want to loose that fish !!! how many time can they stay without eating ? Would like to have any help or advice you think might help Thanks

Naso Tang in Trouble pt. 2 Good morning, sorry to bother you but I searched your website and believe I found the disease affecting my Naso tang but not positive. <Hello, Ryan with you on the follow-up> On one email to question, you suggested it might be Turbellid worms. <Nasty business> I have had this Naso for about 3 weeks. <So he's still being quarantined?> Just in a few days did the dark spots appear all over its body. I've seen black ich and it didn't look like that at all.  The spots almost look as if they are under the skin. <Good perception> The Naso is nowhere near as aggressive as the other fish in the tank when it comes to eating. <I see he's in your display...Sadly, the others are also at risk, certainly because we're not sure what we're dealing with> He eats very little and only gets what falls to the bottom that other fish. <Nori?> I thought at first he was lethargic from not getting enough to eat but after the spots appeared, I knew it had to be some type of infection. <Certainly> I don't expect him to survive after looking at him this morning, he looked too weak to do any type of freshwater dip.  The other fish in the tank, small trigger, coral beauty, yellow tang and clownfish seem to be fine and are eating quite well.  <You need to get this fish in a quarantine tank- The other may die from this> What can I do to keep the other fish from getting it? <See above> He was the only one acting strange no other marks on any of the other fish. <Don't get comfortable yet> They are all eating quite well and active.  I did treat the tank this morning w/ Greenex just so the yellow tang and others would not stress and get ich. <I would refrain from medicating your display tank, and only medicate in quarantine.  Why force fish to undergo medication when they're healthy?  Medicate the sick, leave the healthy ones alone> What should I do? <See above> Don't want to lose the other fish but as I said they all seem fine now. Does raising the temperature of the tank help kill parasites? <Yes, but you'll kill your fish before the parasites.  Leave the tank temperature constant.  Healthy immune systems is the best defense for your fish at this point- Healthy fish are well fed, active and live in a stable environment.> Should I treat the tank with medication to prevent the worms if indeed that is what it is from spreading to the other fish. <Treat in quarantine> As I said, I've seen numerous diseases and never have seen this before other than on a previous Naso tang. <Yes, many nasty things can gain entry into a host during the stresses of shipping.  For this reason, it's important to... I don't think I need to repeat it again!  ;)  Good luck, and remember that these situations are caused by rushing.  Take your time, do it right, and enjoy yourself.  Ryan>

Naso Tangs in a four foot aquarium is a NO NO Hello I currently have a 110g reef that I will be upgrading this summer to a 150 or 180 if my floors can handle the weight. I currently have a white cheek tang and will be adding a yellow tang after his quarantine period is over.  Can I keep a Naso tang as well?  If not what are some other tangs I could house with these 2 guys?<None>   I have close to 200lbs of LR so there are a decent amount of cave and hiding sports. <Naso tangs do not need live rock, In the wild they inhabit open water. They need swimming room and a four foot aquarium will most definitely not be enough, IanB> Thanks Chris New Naso Good to write you again which must mean I have a problem. Actually it is more of asking a question to prevent the spread of a problem, if it is a problem that is. Anyway, the problem is that I have just purchased a Naso tang 3 days ago, and up to 2 days he looked great and acted great. He eats like a pig and enjoys swimming and looking the whole tank over, normal stuff ya know. Anyway, last night I noticed that around the inside of his orange lips it looked like he had a layer of white mucus like crap. Like someone had stuck a white rubber ring on the inside of his lips. As the day went on and the fish went picking and eating algae off the rocks he just generally rubbed the white filmy crap off.  So I thought that was the end of it, since it has not stopping his eating. I forgot to mention, when I first received the fish it looked like it had some slight pickings at its fins that are on its sides next to it's gills, sorry I can't remember the fin name <pectorals>. I didn't think anything of it, I have had fish come in like that before, I just figured he was getting a little bit of bothering, but what fish doesn't every now and then, and I figured it would heal up in a week or so. Anyway, come this morning the film was back around the mouth and now the picked edges of his fins had some white film on them too. I thought maybe his eye looked like it was starting to cloud a bit but I could be wrong so disregard that statement. Anyway, do you have any ideas what this could be, if it is anything? I was thinking maybe a bacterial parasite of some sort. The only reason I hope it is this is because the only other disease that I have seen that looks like this is a microsporidean infection, and if it is that I am a goner, or at least the fish is. But I really don't think it is that. if it is a parasitical infection how should I treat it? I have been told different ways. Some people tell me that a fresh water dip will cure it, bad thing is I don't know how long to dip them, you could help me with that. The other is a long bath in Methylene blue. So your help is greatly appreciated and needed, thank you. John Moyer <<I don't think there is actually anything wrong with your Naso (lituratus) Tang... what you describe is likely "just" some sort of mucus that the animal is producing in reaction to being handled, and healing... And I would not net and dip it... not worth the stress and damage from the dip procedure itself... Keep feeding and enjoying the animal...Bob Fenner>>

Food for Naso My Naso tang is about 4 in. long, I got him about 1/6/00. It started to eat some lettuce and some algae on the rock, then it stopped. I had removed my Sailfin to another tank. Maybe that will encourage the Naso to eat but I haven't got the result. I had tried different types of flakes, live brine shrimps, but he either eat a little or none. Bob, what can I do? My water quality is fine.  <<Look for some "Ogo" (sold live, cultured in Hawai'i) or other brown algae... as the best taken food... some live rock as second, some species of Caulerpa as third... Nori sheet algae tied to something near the surface... Bob Fenner>>

55g Stocking I have a 55 gal. reef tank with various hard and soft corals. I currently have in the tank a 2" maroon and gold clown, a 3" yellow tang, a few damsels (black neon, domino, orange-tailed blue), a 2" coral beauty angel, a 1" six-line wrasse and several sally lightfoot crabs and snails.  Experienced hobbyists keep telling me about the only "reef safe" fish I could now add are gobies and the like. Aren't there any more magnificent fish (i.e., Naso Tang, Butterflies, Wrasses, Anthias) I can add at this point that won't eat my reef? <<Are there? You bet! About thirty eight fish families that contain of outstanding choices... Not the Naso, but many other tangs, dozens of butterflyfishes, ditto with the wrasses, several Anthias. Am writing a tome about this topic, much of which you can find sans images (thus far) at wetwebmedia.com. Tell me what you think. Bob Fenner>>

Re: 55g stocking Out of curiosity, why not a Naso? How about a large red Coris wrasse? There is a beautiful one at a local store but I'm worried he'll (she'll) eat my corals. Please advise. Thanks. <<The Naso gets too big and is too rambunctious and waste-producing for your 55, the Coris will bother, even eat/chew on many of your reef animals. Bob Fenner>>

Fast Breathing Naso I have a Naso Tang that has started to "breath" very fast for about two weeks now. Believe it or not I think it is the result of a Picasso Trigger that I had in my 125 gallon tank (he is gone now). The Picasso harassed everyone in the tank. The Tang developed parasites so I treated the whole tank with copper (just to prevent other fish from becoming infected) and put him into a 20 gallon hospital tank with Paragon II where he has been for the last four days. Nothing appears to be helping the breathing. Any other suggestions? <<Yes Michael, let time go by without further stressing the Naso. These are highly active fish that take a beating with being moved, treated, and harassed... and the trials you describe have done a few things that will take a while to "heal". For one, fishes have much higher hematocrit (packed cell volume, or concentration of cells to plasma) than humans... all the moving, beating and the copper have reduced the animals cell count (dangerously). Add to this that fishes live in an environment of a few (up to seven or eight) ppm of dissolved oxygen (versus 200,000 ppm plus in the stuff we're "swimming" around in) and you can see why the fish can't "catch its breath"! Don't disturb the animal any more than absolutely necessary and it will come back. Bob Fenner>>

Naso reef safe ??? First let me start be saying thank you for your time , effort ,and wisdom. My question is . are Naso tangs reef safe , may local fish store said they  would nip at my claims . Would it be possible to add 2 Nasos to 100 gal reef . My only fish is a Sailfin tang would this be the start of WW3. I want to keep the fish load down so this would be the only residents of the tank. Thank you, Greg <<In a large enough tank, Nasos are reef safe, in my opinion... I would start with just one in a 100 gallon tank though... and it will get along with the Sailfin... very different life strategies... the Naso at the top, the Zebrasoma scooting around the bottom... Bob Fenner, whose tang pieces can be perused at the site: www.wetwebmedia.com >>

Naso Tang Mr. Fenner, I have an unusual concern with my Naso Tang. For some reason when he relieves himself, even though he eats like a pig, he turns around and eats his own waste. Seems to me that it cannot be normal, have any suggestions on this problem? <Actually, not a problem... not unusual with this species, other related fishes (acanthurids in general), even some mammals (lagomorphs/rabbits are probably the best example). Don't worry about this coprophagous behavior. Bob Fenner>

Re: confused-urgent ich problem Dear Bob, When we put the little Naso back in his home tank, he continued to look better and the next morning his dark spots were barely there. He still looks good. We called all over town and found a few cleaner shrimps. I wanted them anyway and I hope they can avoid becoming an expensive lunch for the hermits.  <Yes, they should be able to co-exist... unless you have "mean" species of Hermits... and/or both are hungry...> I love that little Naso (not so little). He's amazingly intelligent. I hand fed him Sunday as much as he would not spit out while he was in the copper tank. Now he eats out of my hand reliably. After yesterday, though, he turns distress colors when he sees the net. I hope I can win his trust back. <You will> Thanks for all the replies. People tell us getting a UV filter will prevent this.  <No... a myth> Now I'm just hoping the shrimp and fish "bond". By the way, your web site is an excellent source of info. (I would expect nothing less given that your book was so wonderful). <Ahh, thank you> I can't help it. I love this fish. Thanks again, Allyson <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Naso Troubles Thanks for the quick response! I apologize for asking another (unrelated) question, so soon on the heels of the last one, but I forgot to ask it last time. I have a Naso tang who seems to be wasting away. A friend took care of all of my fish for a few months, while I was in between tanks. When I got them back a month ago, they all seemed to be a bit on the thin side, but most have come back nicely. The Naso, however, seems to look worse. He seems interested in food, and vigorously attacks the sushi Nori that I feed every day, but he spits out whatever he chews. He does seem to keep all of the frozen and flake foods down. Is this something that you're familiar with? Can you suggest anything? Thanks again, Dan <Yes. Do try other "human intended" (especially Rhodophyte, Red Algae (though they'll likely look green...) species like Rhodymenia, Gracilaria... and soak all in Selcon (or other vitamin prep.s like Zoecon, Microvit...) a good fifteen minutes before offering them to your Naso... and some meaty foods you can suspend on a "feeding spoon" near the surface... Bob Fenner>

Naso tang Mr. Fenner, I am worried about my Naso tangs. I ordered a medium Naso tang from FFExpress and received a small one instead. <How small? You can read my numerous comments on this species, genus (Naso lituratus) posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... ones under three inches rarely survive> So I had them take care of the problem after some initial problems and they sent me the medium Naso for free and told me to keep the small one. So now I have two Nasos, but that isn't the problem, they get along fine. It's that neither of them will eat a darn thing. The little one was already skinny doesn't look thick like a normal Naso) when I received it, and it will be two weeks tomorrow since I got him. I have tried everything I have read in your book and received some advice from others but I am still worried. I have offered the small Naso the following: flake food I knew it wouldn't eat it, but I tried it anyways), brown algae on a clip and tied to the live rock, red algae on a clip and tied to the live rock, dried toasted Nori seaweed from the oriental store section tied to a rock and on a clip, frozen brine shrimp, frozen krill, formula 2, and today I tried live brine shrimp. I even tried romaine lettuce on a rock and the Naso took a few small bites but didn't really eat. Nothing seems to work, and for the little guy, it's been almost 2 weeks. The big one about 5") and the small one about 3"), did not even bother to eat the live brine shrimp. I actually had to scoop them out of the tank because they were just clogging up the water. The only good thing I can get out of all of this is that they both munch on the live rock I have about 100lbs LR) quite often, but I don't really have any macroalgae growing on the rock. I have some hair algae and what looks like the stumps from the seaweed that used to be attached to the rock I think that's what they try to eat). But they can't be getting a whole lot of food from that. <Well stated, and taken... Do keep trying to orient these fish to the Nori... with a clip near the water's surface... in the front... of their tank... and do secure some "Red Algae" (like "ogo", "Rhodymenia"...) fresh, frozen/defrosted, live... to sustain them while adjusting to captivity... this is principally what they eat in the wild> I have had the tank up for almost 2 months and water parameters are as follows: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0-5, ph 8.1, sg 1.024, temp 78*. The tank is a 125 and has plenty of lr(100+lbs) for the fish to hide and eat. All those water parameters have been stable for about 1.5 months. From what you say in your book, my water is almost/is perfect. Both fish are healthy and swim around, except the little one, he doesn't swim around real fast like the big one does. All the Nasos I have seen, seem to swim very powerful from time to time, and the little one just kind of waltzes around the live rock and occasionally into the open areas of the water. They are both pretty shy, and I can understand why. If I was kidnapped from my house in the middle of the night, shipped to some warehouse, then sent half way across the world to a LFS and kept in a tank with hardly any protection or hiding spots and then put into a new environment, I would be pretty shy too. But 2 weeks, and he is still very skittish when I move near the tank, <Yes... they live in almost an endless space, just on/off main reefs... over vast areas...> try to feed the other fish he runs every time to his hiding spot and won't come out for about 1-5 minutes), come on, I think he is retarded or just really scared still. The freaking damsels are running around and only get scared for like 1 second and then come back. The big Naso was freaking out when I finally turned the lights on later in the day when I got him. I took about 1-1.5hrs to acclimate him, and had the lights off for about 3-4hrs, and when I finally turned the lights on, he started swimming up and down and back and forth real fast and freaky like. He kept banging into the walls of the tank and looking like he was trying to get out or fight himself in the glass. He is cool now though, but still very shy, and only swims around when I sit perfectly still. I have heard from so many people that Nasos usually won't eat for about two weeks and then they'll eat just about everything. They say don't worry, mine did the same thing, and now he eats like a pig, eats out of my hand, and is fat like a little piggy. Well mine isn't eating. He doesn't look like he is sick and he isn't getting any skinnier. The bigger one is already a big guy pretty thick), but not eating. He started munching the rock today got him yesterday), but won't eat the live brine shrimp either. What I'm I going to do with these two fish? Just keep waiting them out and offering food every few days? Or take action? You are the expert, and I remember your stories about your time in the pacific dealing with fish export companies.  <Yes... and still go there every year.> You talked about how you were walking around on Styrofoam boxes and dodging missile jumping tangs. So I would consider you quite the expert, and your advice about what I can do and how to do it, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, Ryan Fick <Please do the above (continue to offer algal foods) and read through everything on the acanthurids posted on the WWM site... and have faith... I do believe the larger specimen will "come around"... and have hope for the smaller one. Bob Fenner>

Stocking Questions? Hi Bob! I have had a reef tank going for a few months. 75 gallon with 90lbs of live rock and 75lbs live sand. All levels look good and I have recently added some fish. Percula Clown and Kole Tang. My question is over future stocking. I plan on adding a Flame angelfish. I would really like to add a Naso Tang as well. I would start with a smaller one, but is a 75 too small for him? How long before he would outgrow the tank? Thanks! <Well worded... I appreciate your cautious approach... a Naso lituratus (as this is likely THE Naso species you're referring to) would likely do okay in this size, shape system for about a year... depending on factors we could expand on... Bob Fenner>

Sick Naso Hey Bob, This is a new one to me. I have had him for almost 4 years. Has had symptoms for about 6 days. Symptoms: not feeding partial cloudy eye (getting a little better) color changes from very dark to normal listless (except for occasional swim) when swimming, bumps into rocks and corals seems like he is blind. possible poisoning? some kind of internal parasite? <Maybe... but more likely a bad "bump" in the night... the tank top or side... do try a water change, offering some Nori sheet algae on a plastic clip...> This fish stresses real bad when moved so I have not moved him yet. Not sure what to treat for so nothing drastic right now. Any help would be appreciated . Thanks <Agreed re the moving... don't. Do try to be patient, and offer the algae, do the water change... Bob Fenner>

Sick Tang? Hey, My Naso Tang is a little red around the gills. He is eating well and acting normal. The water is at about 1.023 but I changed my water yesterday and before then it was at 1.018. The ammonia is at 0 and there are slight traces of nitrites. Is this a natural thing or is he sick. Also, I lost 2 turbo snail this week. I think it was do to my salinity being low but I'm not sure because I'm new at the invertebrate game. Thank You, Jonathan Pac <Yowzah... this specific gravity change is way too fast... about one thousandth a day is maximum... Be careful that you haven't depopulated your beneficial nitrifying bacteria here... and take things much slower henceforth... otherwise you'll have more than a Nasos red gill covers.

Re: Sick Tang? Hey, Well the tang died. I am going to wait a week or two before I buy another fish. The only problem is that I don't know what to add. I have a 55 gallon tank with 40 lbs of live rock, protein skimmer, and a UV sterilizer. I have a flame angel fish, a pair of clown fish, and a royal gamma. What should I add next? Thanks For Your Help, Jonathan Pac <Sorry to hear of your loss... Do wait a good two weeks... and consider another, more suitable species of tang... an exhaustive review of all can be found on the WWM site, as well as a giant re-do of marine livestock selection en toto. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tangs have a couple of fish that have white spots on there body. I have a 110 gal reef tank. I set up a 6 gal hospital tank to treat the 2 fish that showed signs of these spots "ick" 1 Blue Hippo Tang and 1 Naso Tang. The Naso Tang didn't have as many spots as the Blue Hippo but when I put them both in the tank after about 1 hour the Naso started to fling everywhere in the tank and just croaked. This was very upsetting. My Local fish store told me to set up the hospital tank and treat it with copper and place the fish in the hospital tank. They told me to do the follow. 1/Take water out of main tank to fill the hospital tank 2/Add copper to hospital tank and bring to level .20 ppm (after some reading I was a little unsure about the ppm level so I put it at .10-.13 ppm just to be safe) The blue hippo has been in the hospital tank for 24 hours now and doing ok. I also have 3 Percula true clowns now showing the white spots on there body as well as gasping very quickly for air. I am unsure whether I am missing something here as to I am very new to Marine Aquariums and never dealt with any diseases. I am afraid to put these little guys in the hospital tank because I don't want them to die just like the Naso did. I know that ick is 2-3 week moving parasite on the host so I wanted to wait and get a response from you on how to proceed, or what I need to change. These guys normal diet is frozen-live brine shrimp, romaine lettuce (for tangs) and Marine Flake Food. My system uses a Wet/Dry Trickle filtration system and as a SeaClone Skimmer also. Any help as soon as possible would be appreciated, as to I don't like to see these poor things pass away. Its just really sad. <<Who can say why the Naso reacted so negatively to the procedure... these species do not enjoy small systems... a six gallon is very tiny to them... I would have suggested a higher initial concentration of free copper... more like .35ppm and never letting the residual drop below .20... I would move the damsels, all other fishes and treat them together... Do read over the "ich" pieces on the site: Home Page regarding what to do with your main system going forward... And do develop and adhere to an acclimation protocol going forward to prevent having these problems. Bob Fenner>>

Black spot (markings on a Naso Tang) Bob, Just to confirm. I'm pasting your description below. Yesterday, we had what looked like tiny white spots that disappeared and moved around like bubbles just in front of the lower/ventral fin. Now it looks like a fine black powder on the ventral/bottom fin of our Naso tang. If this is "black spot" you suggest fresh water dip. It doesn't look like a worm (I think someone called it a small ciliated protozoan?) Dakin says it can spread to the gills and they can suffocate. How long do we have before this happens?  <What? Do you have access to a microscope? I would scrape off some of these "black spots" and take a closer look... they are not ciliated protozoans (e.g. ich)... these are too small to see with the "naked eye"... and moving about?> The fish is visiting the cleaner shrimp (they don't look too interested). Perhaps this will go away? It's weird because within the first hour the fish was awake, it looks like some of it has disappeared (not all of it). It always seems that diseases are worse in the morning...is that because the cleaner shrimp pick things off during the day? Treatment: Freshwater dip: adjust pH (w/baking soda), temp, truly FRESH water or should we just have a slightly lower specific gravity (e.g.1.019)? Additives to dip: Copper we've got Cupramine--what concentration?.2?)--perhaps some Methylene blue? Formalin? Do any of these things interact? If we have to choose, which is the most useful and least toxic to the fish? 2-10 minutes? Should the black spot disappear during this time? Should we just do it for 10 min or as long as the fish can tolerate? I suspect he'll freak out regardless.--some aeration Should 1 dip suffice? We've been getting Caulerpa and trying to grow it from a friend's tank. Do you think that might have transported it? He's got a yellow tang but it looked great.  One notable exception is Para vortex, the causative agent of "black spot disease", notably of yellow tangs. This is easily eliminated via freshwater dipping, though other authors suggest formalin baths and organophosphate remedies. Turbellarians, a group in the flatworm Phylum Platyhelminthes are mostly "free-living" non-parasitic species.  Thanks, Allyson <This is not Paravortex... on a Naso Tang... maybe a trematode/fluke... I wouldn't necessarily "treat it" unless symptomatically this condition seemed to be seriously negatively impacting this animals behavior. Bob Fenner>

Tangs Dear Mr. Fenner, <Howdy> It's me again with another question I'm hoping you don't mind pondering for a moment.  <Not at all> I've had a Naso tang in my 125 for about 4 months. He is the largest fish in the tank at about 7 inches. We recently got a red sea Sailfin tang, that is maybe 4 inches long. Since the introduction of the Sailfin, the Naso's appetite has slowly decreased down to nothing, and he's looking very thin. Do the two species not get along?  <Usually do... FWIW, their ranges overlap> I don't see them fighting at all. Everyone else seems okay, and water tests are good. Any ideas? <Often Nasos do go "off feed"... a good idea to try other foods, and to soak them in advance with a liquid vitamin preparation. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nasofaqs.htm and on to the many FAQs re marine fish nutrition, foods, feeding. Bob Fenner> As usual, infinite thanks for any help you can offer. Tracy

Naso Tang Hello, Recently got a Naso Tang.. it has white spots on it.. person at LFS said it is because the tang is scared. Is that something that really happens when they're just stressed, or should I be worried? <Mmm... I would be concerned... the white spots... are they "raised" in appearance? Transitional, or are they on the fish all day? Any other fishes showing signs? Likely the beginning of an ich infestation. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm going on to the links beyond as your interest, need leads you. Bob Fenner> Lisa H.

Naso Tank Hi Bob, I have a question for you. I looked in the FAQs and didn't really find an answer. 300 gallon reef tank and a lot of live rock. Naso Tang -- the lituratus. Will he eventually munch down my cleaner shrimp, or do you think he is safe? <Generally don't eat Cleaner Shrimp species... but might someday. Bob Fenner> I want to avoid any shrimp connoisseurs! Thanks, Dale.

Re: Naso Tang I bought A pretty good size Naso tang on Tuesday Oct.30. He is about 6-8 inches. The very first night I brought him home I fed him some frozen Brine shrimp. He ate like crazy, finished everything by himself, he looked like a Vacuum. The next day he didn't eat anything and today Nov. 1st he didn't eat a single thing again. He just passes right by the food. I give him Brine shrimp,  Seaweed Selects Brown Algae and Spirulina Pellets and he doesn't want to eat anything. I even tried some frozen Plankton. Is this normal? <Yes, at least not abnormal... do keep trying the various foods, especially hanging a strip of algae near the waters surface... perhaps soaking it in a vitamin preparation as a feeding stimulant> If he wouldn't have eaten that first night like he did I wouldn't be so worried about him not eating. I would just think he is getting acclimated. All fish take like 3 days before they start eating right but why would he eat the first night and not anymore. He is healthy looking and shows no signs of any kind of infection. <Don't lose faith here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Okay here is the new situation I was feeding my tang from a droplet. When I took him out I noticed his vent was very swollen I pushed on his stomach gently and something started to come It looked like jelly I looked a little closer and saw that it had a tiny vein so I stopped pushing. I don't know what it was I didn't look like excretion or a worm. I was thinking maybe it was his bladder and its so swollen that he can't release himself. Just a theory I wanted to run this by you maybe it is not a worm. If my theory is correct what course of action should I take to resolve this if their is any. If I'm wrong what is your opinion. <Just this fish's distended alimentary system> Also about the Epsom salt 1/2 saltwater 1/2 freshwater 2 table spoons of Epsom salt per gallon I have done that 3 days ago for 10 minutes as a dip. You told me only once would work, can we rule out blockage? Thanks always appreciate your quick response. <Hopeful this fish will eat on its own soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso I know by now you are probably annoyed with me. I have been reading all the articles on your web page about internal parasites and worms. From the vent of my fish seems there is something hanging out very little at first this is why I thought the fish was constipated but after reading your web page over and over and doing searches for internal parasites I have come to a conclusion that my fish has some sort of worm. Don't know which one but my fish is not eating and his stomach is getting bigger on the side it looks like their are 2 pointy things pushing from the inside almost looks as thought they are going to go through his skin close to his vent. I don't know what it is but I'm assuming it is either some type of bone being pushed from the inside out. My fish is getting larger and I feel that it is just the parasite getting larger I know my fish isn't eating I stare at him all day. <Not a bone... the condition, ascites, can be due to a few causes... intercellular, parasitic...> If this is an internal parasite your web site is saying their is nothing that can be done. Which is telling me that sooner or later my fish is going to die?  <Mmm, sooner or later all life ceases...> Is their anything I can do to get rid of the parasite some type of home remedy or store bought item that can be force feed to him? Please help me out I have been reading for the past 3 days. <There are anthelminthics, vermifuges... like di-n-butyl tin oxide, Piperazine... are these appropriate here? I would just use the MgSO4 treatment suggested... Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso I'm sorry but I forgot to mention the sometimes shakes kind of like he is saying no to the food. currently I'm feeding him formula 2 flakes Is this good) and sometimes he eats small pieces of krill that I feed my dogface. Should I try feeding him something else. Sorry for being a pain. <Please read over all the articles, FAQs posted on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com re the family of Tangs/Doctors, Surgeonfishes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso I'm not sure if he has a bacterial infection. I was just reading about parasites swelling up fish stomachs and it was treated with antibiotics.  <No my friend. Just as likely to cause troubles. Surgeonfishes have microfauna in their stomachs that they absolutely need> I just want to know what step I should do first I really like my tang I don't want him to go into shock by treating him the wrong way. No matter what I do I consult you or your website first. You are an aquarium guru. <Do try the Epsom. Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso I did like you said I used half a gallon of freshwater and half saltwater from my tank with two table spoons of Epsom salt. I tested my water and the readings were as follows. nitrite - 0 nitrate - 10 pH - 8.4 ammonia - 0 Gravity - 1.023 Should I proceed with these dips once a day or is this one time enough? <Once should do it> When should I start to rule out that its not constipation? The tang has not eaten for almost a week I would think his immune system is going to start to weaken and be prone to disease which is something no hobbyist wants. I have read up on the tang from your web page and have gained much information on them along with a dogface that I purchased. <Could be many other things afflicting this one specimen... looking like "constipation"... none of which are "treatable" in the short term. Hopeful/ly your Naso will resume feeding on its own. Force feeding this genus is generally unproductive, but worth considering... Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso How would I go about force feeding?  <Some details of this procedure posted on "Lions FAQs": http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionfaqs1.htm> Is this normal for this species?  <Not normal to be constipated... very typical to starve, die from stress from various traumas (mainly being in too small volumes, capture, shipping/handling...), nutritional disorders due to poisoning/loss of beneficial gut fauna...> Can it be signs of some type of disease in its early stage that can be treatable? Is it possible for the tang to be constipated for some long? <Don't think your tang is constipated my friend. This family of fishes can/does pass large amounts of living and not material with ease in the wild and captivity... Strongly suspect "the problem" is something else. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Bob I sent you an email yesterday concerning my Naso tang that has not eaten in 3-5 days but yet his stomach is swollen. I have been observing the fish it looks like he is trying to go to the bathroom but he is not able to push out the excretion. Do fish get constipated? <Yes they do> Is their anything I should do or just wait it out I appreciate your responses. Thank you <I might well try an extended dip/bath in diluted seawater (the system and half freshwater) and two tablespoons of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) per gallon for ten minutes... might well "do the trick". Please read here re such procedures first: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Do you think I should try an antibiotic solution in the water and when he starts eating put it in the food. <What for? Antibiotics are either for so-called secondary bacterial infections (almost always due to poor water quality, subsequent trauma) or to improve water quality to hasten cures otherwise, prevent further infection... Do you know that your fish has a bacterial involvement? Bob Fenner>

Oh, no! I've got the "gimme's"! (desire for Naso lituratus tang) A friend of mine has a beautiful Naso tang in his reef tank. He has variety of hard and soft corals and other inverts, and the Naso pretty much leaves them alone (and also keeps the yellow tang's ego in check).  <Naso lituratus mainly eats macrophytes (large algae... principally browns and reds) in the wild... very rarely cnidarians (stinging-celled animals)... and tend toward the large, dominant sides of aquarium personality as you state> Of course, I fell in love with this big fish, and now I must have one as well! I just want to make sure it would fit in with my other buddies: two false perculas, five green Chromis, and a 1.5 inch hippo tang, <This latter specimen is small!> plus some green star polyps, four colonies of pulsing xenia, some blue mushrooms, a cleaner shrimp, astrea snails and blue-leg hermits, and the four brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus). I have a 135-gallon tank with about 110 pounds of live rock (no substrate), and I can always beef up the water current. So can I put one on my birthday wish list??? <Likely... it might "go after" your shrimp in time, but... worth the risk IMO> What other things do I need to fix before I get one? Thanks! Gina <Nothing in my estimation. Bob Fenner>

Ich, another parasite, or stress??? I recently purchased a Naso tang that appears to Ich, but I'm not sure (I'm new to this). The Tang had a few white spots which now only really appear when the fish turns a darker shade of grey. What concerns me is that it now has some white patches on it, as if it has been scratching. I have started to treat it in a separate tank with Melafix and CopperSafe, I have also given it a fresh water dip. I have noticed that it has not eaten anything in several days. Is there anything else I can do? Thanks, Kyle <Maybe. I would lower the specific gravity and stop the Melafix. Please read over the ich, treatment, tang, tank troubleshooting... sections of our site: www.WetWebMedia.com, starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich, another parasite, or stress??? Thanks.....I am new to saltwater tanks and have been informing myself as quickly as possible through websites and local fish stores. Regretfully the Naso didn't make it and the specific gravity is really high, so I'm slowly going to lower that. Thanks for the help and all the info on the webpage. <Mmm, good to learn through as many inputs as practical... be chatting Bob Fenner>

Re: pls tell me your are online... (Naso demise) So far he is still alive.... 5 and a half hours after the move.... I also moved the cleaner wrasse into the hospital with him. The cleaner has been picking at Naso almost none stop. Naso even has ich inside his mouth.... He opens his mouth really wide... I guess wanting wrasse to clean inside there. <Hopefully> I am doing the SeaChem Cupramine treatment... I did a test and it is at 0.15 for now.... I will continue to test and adjust as needed (hopefully) <Good> THE PLAN: I will not buy more fish for the rest of the year..... <Let's not go that far> I will however get a Neon Goby and maybe a fourth cleaner shrimp. I am considering dropping the Salinity if another fish shows symptoms. <I would do this pre-emptively. Like starting NOW> If not should I drop it anyway? <Yes> If I can afford it should I get another tank for fish only and move all the fish over there for treatment or just to simply let the tank fallow for a few months? <The former is better> Would a 55 gallon be enough for a purple tang, yellow tang, 6 line wrasse, Percula clown, scooter blenny and a Naso I hope? <Yes> Does a FO tank require more than natural light? <No, not for treatment purposes. No photosynthetic life, no need for extra lighting> Or is that not necessary if no other fish show symptoms? <The system and its occupants do have the disease, whether they are currently showing symptoms or no... your situation is "in-between stages of infestation"... study the life history of Cryptocaryon... as time goes by (just a few days) you will start to evidence "multi-generational stages"...> The ich would then be considered in check with the current cleaner crew? <Possibly... but if/when "balance" shifts to the worsening of conditions for your fish livestock/hosts... Bob Fenner>

Re: pls tell me your are online... OK.... now to implement the SG drop.... Easy concept but what is the best way? Is there a formula for adding a percentage of change water with NO salt that will drop the SG by .001 a day? <Just an "eye ball" approximation of a proportionality... current water volume to remove, replace with just freshwater...> Should the Hydro meter say 1.017 or do I have to be really precise and look up the temp variations and such to get the exact salinity? <Hmm, not necessary to be that close to real salinity.> Thank you ever so much for your support my friend :) <You are welcome. Anima bona fac (Lingua Latina for "be of good life"). Bob Fenner>

Ich Life Cycle,,, adventures of Naso Hey Bob, I read about the Ich cycle a bit more and came across some info about the Cyst encased in gelatin stage.... <Yes> I believe I saw one a long time ago.... <Not visible to the "naked eye"> I thought that it was just mucus released by one of the corals.... So could this have been a Cyst at the bottom of my tank? It is/was about 1/2 an inch in diameter max. Is it safe to suck it out during a water change every time I see one? I have seen one on 2 separate occasions.... about 2 weeks ago and say 5 weeks ago....Knowledge.... there is no substitute..... Again your guidance is very appreciated, Robert PS. Do the cleaner shrimp eat ich in the Tomite stage or cyst stage? <They consume the encysted stages minimally (and necrotic tissue, mucus...) on the fish hosts only. Bob Fenner>

Re: adventures of Naso DOH!!! <No more Simpson's for you> I am getting used to the type of contradictions.... I hate that I had to learn the hard way like most people. <Not necessary, as you know> Found this... they say not good for reefs.... I am still in your camp... they gave no reasons WHY!!! Hyposalinity- This treatment cannot be done in a reef tank with invertebrates, live sand or live rock. Hyposalinity is at 16ppt, is highly effective at eliminating ich and surprisingly low stress. . This may be the best therapy as it is not a dip but rather a long-term bath that should last a minimum of three weeks. The treatment is more effective (although copper can be very effective) and less stressful than copper treatments. The only two disadvantages to using hyposalinity verses copper is an accurate hydrometer is need (or refractometer is even better) and you need to check the pH and alkalinity daily and add buffer as needed. Most hydrometers are inaccurate. You need one calibrated for reef temps and some large glass types are O.K. Stay away from plastic swing arm hydrometers they are not often accurate. Hyposalinity will NOT disrupt the biological filtration as long as the salinity is not lowered too abruptly. If you lower the salinity using two water changes a day for two days the bio-filter will be fine. The bacteria that perform biological filtration are the same in FW or SW all you have to do is acclimate them to the change When you are ready to introduce your fish raised the salinity back up to normal over the course of a few days to keep the fish from stressing from a quick change in salinity. <Some factual, other fictional material... Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang Quick question. Today I noticed that my Naso tang was breathing really heavy and was not eating. The other fish look to be doing fine and so do the xenia, mushrooms, and buttons. Checked the water parameters and everything seems fine. I am running a skimmer in the sump and two power heads in the tank so they should be getting enough oxygen. Don't know what to do? Please give me some suggestions <the fish may be showing the early stages of a serious parasite infection that has started in the gills. Please consult our section on Wet Web Media on quarantine tanks for preparedness. If this fish needs medication it will need to be done in a QT tank to be effective and to spare poisoning your biological filter and calcareous media. Best regards, Anthony>

Cause for alarm? (Naso Tang) Hello Bob (or whoever is filling the shoes today), About 2-1/2 weeks ago, I moved a Blond Naso into my main tank. After about 5 minutes, the Tang started darting around the tank (lights off) and smashing into rocks and the glass.  <Not atypical behavior> After about 45 seconds of this, he settled down, and hid in the darkest corner he could find. He would venture out every now and then, sampling the live rock, and all else appeared well. The following day, the Tang had developed several white "scratches" about 1mm wide and 4-5mm in length, all running horizontal. I had pretty much attributed this to the "run-ins" it most likely had with the various rocks in the tank. <Agreed> The scratches worsened over the next 3 days, covering the lower and rear third of its body, and he started to refuse food. None of the scratches appeared to be open wounds, thankfully. Not noticing any obvious external parasites, I played the waiting game, and ordered some Tang Heaven from the folks at IPSF, to coax the Tang into eating again. After 3 days of not eating, the Tang began to sample the Tang Heaven, but only consuming some. His stomach started to fill-in again, which I took as a sign of improvement. The whitish scratches began to fade, as well as about another third of his body, and the Tang took on a very light whitish-gray color. I started to worry about the possibility of an outbreak of velvet, but chose instead to "wait and see". No further external signs presented themselves over the next few days. Today, a week after the introduction of the Tang Heaven, he has started accepting Selcon-soaked flaked Spirulina again, and constantly grazes on the Tang Heaven, live rock, snails, etc. I am taking this as a good sign, but I am not convinced of being 100% out of the woods yet. None of the other inhabitants show any visibly noticeable signs, and are acting as they always have. I was wondering if you might have any suggestions for anything I have overlooked. Obviously, I refuse to induce any unwarranted stress on the Tang, but I would hate to lose him to something I might have overlooked. (Picture attached) And now, for the ever important tank information: 190 gallon, 2x99 DAS filtration units with skimmers. (Changing over to sump and EuroReef within 2 months). pH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5ppm, Phosphates <.2, Alk 10, Temp 80F. 1100gph and 700gph powerheads for water movement, coupled with the DAS return pumps (2000L/hr each). 15 gallon water change weekly, plus top-off. Lighting 2X400W 12000K MH (8 hrs/day) supplemented with 2 NO Actinics (10 hr/day). Kalkwasser drip to maintain Calcium around 400. 100 pounds live rock (more on the way soon), 40 pounds aragonite, 120 pounds live sand (more on the way soon, as well). Other Tank Inhabitants: 1 Chocolate Ocellaris, 1 Red-Lip Blenny, 1 Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Dragon Goby, 1 Scooter Blenny, 2 Engineer Gobies, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, 2 Sand Sifting Stars, 3 Brittle Stars, 2 Anemone crabs with appear to have hosted with the 2 flame scallops, 3 Sally Lightfoots, and 4 emerald crabs who "live" underneath a long tentacle anemone (fed a whole shrimp twice weekly), 3 dozen assorted snails, a half dozen scarlet reef hermits, as well as (I know you won't like these) a cucumber, and a long-spine purple urchin. There, I think that's everyone. Corals: 3 varieties of mushrooms (identifying), anthelia polyps, ar polyp I am trying to identify, as they are overtaking one of the rocks, a coral elegance, a green brain, and a Porites covered in Xmas tree worms. Feeding done with DTs every other day, coupled with Coral Heaven for spot-feeding. Thanks again for your assistance, not only for me, but for all of us in the hobby!-Jim I neglected to include one parameter in my last email:  Salinity:  1.025 -Jim <Thank you for this detailed report of your success. Your being patient, observant and pro-active in your food offerings has saved your Tang. Bob Fenner>

Juvenile Naso Tang Hey gang, just a quick question today. A friend donated a very juvenile Naso Tang to me the other day. He's only around 3.5 to 4 inches total length. He is already taking food; Mysid shrimp, Spirulina flake and Nori soaked in Zoe.  <Ah, good... keep this big eater feeding...> My question concerns his coloration. Most of the time he looks like a normal juvenile Naso should look. I have a couple in other tanks, including a streamer and a blonde. However, I have seen him turn very dark gray to almost black for extended periods of time. I know, from the other Nasos, that this coloration often results from the fish being under a certain amount of stress. Is it normal for juvenile Nasos to become easily stressed?  <Yes... good observation and telling. Quite normal> He is in an 80 gallon tank with excellent water quality. His tank mates include a small Flame Hawk and a juvenile Dragon Wrasse. I have never seen any conflict between the fishes. And I have very limited experience with a Naso this young. Just curious as to your thoughts. <Stress more from just being in captivity and all it entails. But have seen small to large Nasos in the wild change light, dark, mottled in appearance. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, Michael Mariani

Naso Relapse... Anthony, I have a feeling I'm going to wear out my welcome,  <no worries, my friend> but unfortunately I am in need of some advice yet again. I used the search option on your web page but could find very little info about my new problem. If you remember we have been going back and forth about my blonde Naso, which became ill over the weekend. Well since the transport into a QT, and subsequent treatment with Greenex which started on Monday, his ich cleared up, his appetite increased and the gilling ceased. In fact he was looking very good, up until last night. The ich has come back, which isn't a big problem I was expecting that.  <indeed> The new problem is that the poor guy now has cloudy eyes. To be exact it looks like there is a kind of film which has coated the eye. Also he refused food, both last night and this morning.  <secondary infection or response to the aggressive Greenex treatment> I searched on WetWebMedia.com for any articles relating to this. Really all I found were articles relating to exopthalmia, which he definitely doesn't have. There is zero swelling around the eyes. <agreed> I set up the quarantine tank using water from the main display. So my thinking is that whatever was in the main display, to cause his sickness in the first place, is still there making him sick.  <the water was appropriate... the fish is immuno-compromised and brought it in on his, er... person> I was hoping that treatment would help this. Could this be a side infection, initiated by the ich weakening his immune system?  <either or both> Is this yet another type of protozoan infection? Is there anything I can do, outside of a quick water change, to aide him? Should I do anything? <I still rank freshwater dips above all including Greenex> I realize this is a lot of questions. But since I'm not out of the woods yet, I was hoping you could help point the way. <no trouble... a common problem. Naso may still be quite fine in a week. Easy on that Greenex please. It is cure or kill.> Thank you, Michael Mariani <best regards, Anthony>

Feeding a Juvenile Naso Tang Bob, First let me thank you for your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. The information I have gotten from it has made it worth many times the purchase price. That said here is my question. I purchased a juvenile (3 inch) Naso Tang 4 days ago. I've tried feeding dried Nori on a clip and floating. Frozen Formula Two, Also Algae pellets. He picks at the rocks and gravel. However I don't believe there is enough growth to sustain him. Any thoughts? Thank you, Dan <You want to try to make the prepared foods appear more natural. Try attaching the feeding clip or the Nori directly to a small piece of liverock. Also, frozen Mysis shrimp, plankton, and bloodworms are all good too. -Steven Pro>

Rapid Gill pumping.... Bob, or who-ever is kind enough to respond to my dilemma: <Anthony Calfo in your service> About a week ago I decided to add a small Blonde Naso Tang to my 90 gallon aquarium.  <already sounds like an "I didn't quarantine my fish and now they have a disease" story...<wink>. Critical to QT my friend> He's around 6 inches in length. Today I noticed that his breathing seemed very irregular. The irregularity is just this; his gill pumping seems quite excessive. Earlier today I performed a small water change, around 10 gallons.  I didn't think that this would cause any kind of trauma to the fish in the tank.  <did the rapid gilling commence abruptly with the water change?> I do this on a weekly basis. After taking some readings I recorded a level of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, less than 10 ppm nitrate, and a specific gravity of about 1.022. The ph level has been pretty constant at around 8.0-8.1. <pH is definitely low if that is a daytime reading (pH falls even lower at night) Target 8.3-8.6...but still it would not cause the rapid gilling> His behavior doesn't seem out of the ordinary, at least for what I have been able to notice from the last six days. He swims all over the tank, but doesn't seem to pace. He is eating quite a bit.  <all good signs indeed> In fact it was after his last feeding that I noticed the increased gill pumping.  <yes... usually a bit after a big feeding but relaxes shortly afterward (hours)> I tried to count how many pumps per minute occurred, but I couldn't keep up with him. It is well above 100 beats per minute by my count.  <while respiration varies among fishes, 100 per second is fast enough to be concerned and to be on the look out for signs of parasitic infection or other pathogenic cause. Do review quarantine tank set up and procedure in preparedness of a medication treatment if necessary. You will almost never want to medicate the main display (many reasons... again, review FAQs in archives)> I haven't seen any change in his tank mate, a small Passer angel. <very good> Any ideas....advice? Thanks in advance, Michael Mariani Let's hope he is alive to hear what you have to say....... <continue with stable water quality, good feeding and water changes. You may try a slightly lower salinity to improve levels of dissolved oxygen if nothing else (.001-.002 daily drop until 1.018 SG). Please spend your next $100 on a QT setup instead of another fish <wink>... it saves money and lives. Anthony

Brown/Black spots on tang I have a problem with the tank and am not sure what to do. My LFS recommends using Greenex but I have read of awful "happenings" using this stuff on your website. It doesn't sound like you recommend it. <cure or kill solution... usually the latter> I went home for lunch today and my Naso Tang has very light brown/black spots all over him. It does not resemble black ich. They are not round spots. It's hard to explain. . . never seen anything like it before. I tested the water and it is perfect. He is acting fine -- eating well and swimming. What should I do? Do you recommend anything to try or just watch it for a day or so? No other fish show these signs. . . I'm at a loss. Please help. . . . <sounds like Turbellid worms. Hard to cure but slow to kill fish. A bare QT tank for 2-4 weeks with formalin and occasional freshwater dips would be best for this before it spreads to other fish (mostly tangs, butterflies and angels)> Thanks! <quite welcome. Anthony>

Young Naso tang I have had a young Naso tang in my tank for about 5 weeks now and it is doing great. I was wondering if this species of tangs develop their bright colors as adults. My Naso (3-4") is sometimes a very dark grey color with no other colors visible, to light grey with a little yellow on the forehead. I have seen larger Nasos with beautiful coloring. Is this normal for a juvenile, or is he lacking some nutritional need? thanks, diggy <This sounds like a juvenile color pattern, but here are some care requirements for Nasos just to cover the bases. When they are small, they need frequent small feedings (two to three small feedings daily) due to a high rate of metabolism. They also need a large tank with brisk circulation. They are more of an open water fish and need a tank six foot long with circulation ten times the tank volume per hour (example 150 gallons needs 1500 gph actual rates). And lastly, read this for more info, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Naso Tangs. . . Hello again. . .one more quick question if you don't mind. I took your advice and decided to stop the Melafix treatment. However, Monday when I had administered the Melafix I had obviously turned off the skimmer. Last night I turned the skimmer back on and it went crazy. It pumped out constantly and never seemed to stop. After about two gallons I decided to turn it off. Should I use some carbon (ChemiPure) to get the Melafix out and leave the skimmer off for two or three days? <A good idea, yes> Would this be harmful to my fish?  <No, more beneficial> I just administered one dose (10 teaspoons of the Melafix) so it should be out in a few days, right? <Not necessarily... the skimmer is/has removed quite a bit, the activated carbon will remove most all remaining> Also, regarding the vitamins. . . should I be giving them vitamins (VitaChem) as regular routine or only once in a while or when needed? <Yes, once a week to the water, as often as you'd like to their foods> Thank you so much for your help! Have a wonderful day!!!! By the way, bought your book and love it! :) Loving this hobby again thanks to you! Elizabeth <A pleasure my friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tangs. . . (more to fish health, knowing and the nature of the human experience) One more question if you don't mind. . . how will I know when it's time to move the Naso to a larger tank? Will he start acting unhappy? Signs of limited swimming, loss of appetite, etc.? <These behavioral changes are hard to discern, but yes, all the above> Also, off the current subject, I am just very frustrated and don't know where to turn. I love your website but frankly, I'm very new to this hobby (only about 9 months) and I don't know a lot about what I read. . .some of it is very confusing and hard to understand. So, where can I go to get some basic knowledge to help me understand and grow into learning this hobby? <Though it is supposedly shame-faced to do so, I will plug a worthwhile general (beginner-oriented) book on marine aquarium keeping of which I am the author: The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Available from e-tailers, the large book-sellers, fish shops. Very worthwhile> Frustration also exists in the fact that there are so many conflicting opinions. For instance, last night I noticed a small spot on my maroon clown's fin that looked like fin rot. I went to your website and found basically conflicting opinions (in the chat room) regarding Melafix and Maracyn. These are the only two medicines that I know of at all. I decided to use Melafix (because it seemed to be a safer, more natural product and the fin rot is minimal) but then this morning searched the WetWebMedia and found where you say you don't recommend it so now I feel like I've done something horrible.  <Mmm, not horrible... Understand the nature of our sites as mere extensions of related human experience... There are many (different) humans, hence opinions... And that "aquariology" is not altogether a "science", but art and "voodoo" as well... Embrace and revel in these differences (really).> What should I have done for the maroon clown (have I hurt the other fish in the tank that are not showing signs of fin rot?)  <I would likely have "done nothing" if just the one fish affected, one spot...>  and where can I go to get GOOD, solid information on treatment of diseases? <There are books on the subject (see Ed Noga's name on the Google Search), but with some general understanding of what diseases are ("The Three Sets of Factors..."), and good practice at picking out proper species, good specimens, some simple dip/bath and quarantine procedures, decent nutrition, regular aquarium maintenance, you are unlikely to need to know much or anything about "disease"> I trust you, Mr. Fenner, from all of the things I've heard and the books that you've written you are one of the few that I would trust. I just wish you could give out your phone number! :) When it's 10:00 p.m. and you don't know what to do for your fish it's frustrating! Please help and give me some guidance if possible. I apologize for being so longwinded but I just am at my wit's end. I love my fish and want to take the best care of them but I can't find a solid guideline to help me. Is there a book that you've written that's kind of a catch all for everything? <Ah, yes. TCMA> Thanks for your help! I appreciate you so much. <Glad to help my friend. Try to "step back" and enjoy your experience, even the apparent frustration, un-knowing... all will become clearer with time, experience, study, reflection, you'll see. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tangs. . . Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. And, no, it's not "shame-faced" to recommend your book -- I'm going to purchase it right now and am sure it will be a tremendous help! <Ahh, know you will enjoy, gain by the experience> In your opinion would you stop the Melafix treatment and just watch the maroon clown for a couple of days?  Or, would it be ok to continue the treatment through? It's an herbal remedy so can it really hurt anything? <I would hold off on further application. You could add a cleaner organism, supplement all the animals feedings with vitamins, other supplements, but likely all is/will be fine w/o the Melafix> Isn't fin rot rare in saltwater -- I thought it was mainly a fresh water disease so maybe I have misdiagnosed?  <Lots of possibilities... "fin rot" as in fungal or bacterial involvement in marine systems is very rare as a "first order" involvement... these decomposing events are almost always a result of system "collapse", post-death...> None of her fin is missing it just looks a line as been drawn across her fin and from that line down (just a small portion) is brown and looks thin. She still uses it and it's not folded to her side or anything. I don't think any other fish are "picking" on her. . . she holds her own quite well and seems very happy (not hiding or anything). She also does something that I don't know if it's normal for clowns or not...she takes her tail and whips it around in the sand making a big sand storm (she only does this in the evening though) -- she just recently (a month or so) starting doing this. . . is this normal especially since there is no anemone in the tank for her? What is she doing? <Please read over the WWM site re Anemones and Clowns: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clwnfshanefaqs.htm > Thanks for letting me bother you again. . . you must really love this hobby to put up with ALL of our questions! :) Take care. <For love of the planet, our species, myself am glad to share. You will do the same. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tangs. . . Mr. Fenner, <Hello> Hi! How are you? I was just reading an article you wrote on Naso Tangs and became concerned about mine. I have a 100gallon tank -- is this enough room for my Naso? He seems very happy -- eating well, actively swims, etc. <Enough for a smallish (hand-size) specimen... for a while... year or two> How fast is their growth rate normally? Will he eventually outgrow the tank or will he adapt to tank size? <Will likely outgrow... can go from a few inches to several in a year.> Thanks for any help you can provide. By the way, I love your website -- VERY informative and interesting. Thanks for all you do for us fish lovers! :) Elizabeth <Glad to have you be one of us. Bob Fenner>

Tank Setup Hey Bob, <Actually, you are "talking" to Steven Pro. Anthony Calfo and I are helping Bob out for awhile answering the daily questions.> Its been a busy three weeks since I last talked to you and a lot has changed with my tank. My Aunt and Uncle who bought our old house decided that they liked our tank so much that they would buy it. Its kind of bitter sweet because I end up loosing my animals and the tank I have worked so hard to build and maintain but now I don't have to worry about moving the setup and I get to build a new larger one. Since they didn't know anything about keeping marine fish, I lent them your book and gave them a crash course in Saltwater 101. I've also been going over every weekend to check up on them and supervise while they add fresh water. Anyways my questions have to do with my new setup. Right now I am looking at a 90 gallon tank. For filtration I want to have a sump with an ETSS Evolution 500 skimmer. I also am going to have at least 90 lbs of live rock and a 6 inch live sand bed for biological filtration. My fish list for right now is a Naso Tang, 2 Percula clowns, a raccoon butterfly, and possibly a juv. queen or emperor angel. Do you think this tank will be successful with the filtration system and animals I have listed? <I would not get the Naso. They get rather large for a 90.> You Advice Is Appreciated, Jonathan Pac

Horse for 90 gallon Reef Tank Bob/Anthony, <greetings regional friend... Anthony Calfo at your service> I was just wondering about a recent purchase being acclimated to my tank. I am actually using my wife's email account to check on something (because I'm not at the office). I sent my wife to Aquatic Technology (she works in Strongsville and we live on the East side of Cleveland) to pick up a small coral of her liking (to try and get her "into" the reef tank).  <aha!... flawed psychology, assuming that the gentler sex doesn't know what we are really up to... hehe> I also mentioned that she could instead buy a small fish of her choice as long as she get permission from Greg at Aquatic Tech (I trust his judgment on reef systems) <Ahhh, yes. Greg and his smiling face> I armed her with the following: We have a 90 Gallon Reef Tank, 100lbs LR, 20lbs LS, Purple Tang, Blue Headed Wrasse (you remember this question from earlier) and Clarkii, a blue haddoni and a cleaner crew consisting of some blue/red hermits, snails, emerald crabs and some Sally Lightfoots along with some Corals. She came home with a Blonde Naso Tang. <holy cow!!!! what's up with that beautiful baby horse of a fish?!> Looks great. I read about them today. Gorgeous animal -- however, after reading from your sight, he may eat my cleanup crew? Greg from Aquatic Tech told her that he should be fine. <I'm far more concerned that is a poor choice for an empty 90gallon let alone one stocked with fish such as your Purple tang that will ultimately also outgrow it. I agree with Greg that there is a good chance it will be relatively reef safe. But the fish is inappropriate as it grows far to large for a four foot tank> He mentioned that there may be a squabble between the Purple Tang but that the Naso should mind it's own business.... <agreed, especially if the Naso is larger> he never mentioned anything about eating all the small inverts... is there going to be a problem?  < a chance, but no more than a purple tang or dwarf angel eating coral. Your blue headed wrasse is far more dangerous to crustaceans> What should I look for if I intend to keep a close eye on the situation? < an add in the newspaper for a good price on a bigger tank, bud! Hehehe... I hope you can tolerate my humor/sarcasm... there is truth in there. Kind regards, Anthony>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: