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FAQs about Tangs of the Genus Naso Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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

Nasos don't feed at night time... but lay on the bottom like this damsel.

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

treatment... Naso nutr.  2/5/11
I have a 6 foot reef set up which houses among others my lipstick tang.
The problem is that although he feeds very well taking brine, Mysis and Julian Sprung's sea veggies he appears to be losing weight from the body area, not the stomach. I have started to be able to see the long bones running the length of his body.
<Naso spp. are very metabolically active... Need a good deal of nourishment. What foods you list won't sustain a N. lituratus>
Is it possible he has an intestinal worm or other parasite?, if so what are the treatments including brand names?. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Regards Ian Marvell [ UK ]
<Do look into the use of Spectrum (brand) pelleted foods as a staple. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/basicfdarttepoot.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/SpectrumFoodsF.htm
Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang/Naso Feeding 12/3/10
Hey guys:
I will start off by saying thank you for all the help since I have been in the hobby. I really feel that I owe the success of my tank to you guys.
Thank you for the help over the years.
<You're welcome.>
Now for the troubles unfortunately.
For the past ten months I have fed Spectrum solely to my tank. (I have had more and more people in amazement, asking what I feed my fish. They are happy, healthy, large, and disease free)
<Is a good nutritional food.>
The week of Thanksgiving, I introduced a Swallowtail Angel, and a Fairy Wrasse. (While in QT, I could only get him to eat plankton, spinach, and raw uncooked shrimp that I would rinse and peel under hot water.) I do want to say that these fish are fine. There are no markings on them, fungus, etc.
On the weekend of Thanksgiving, I fed spinach, and raw shrimp to the main tank while trying to get the newbies to switch over to the Spectrum. The entire tank including the Naso Tang and the Purple Tang went nuts over it. (Both of these fish are about a year old and measure about 6 to 8 inches from head to tail. I had them since they were the size of a silver dollar)
After (I know too much) shrimp and spinach, I noticed that my Purple Tang and Naso Tang are not eating as of Tuesday. They are not showing signs of sickness or anything like that, but they will not go for any food. I even went back to the basics tonight with Nori, Plankton, Spectrum, and Brine shrimp. They will show interest in it, but will not eat.)
The shrimp I fed was the frozen uncooked shrimp. I ran it under hot water to thaw it out while peeling it. I then broke it into small pieces and fed it to the tank.
Except for the eating, their behavior has not changed. They still flare up when food enters and do their occasional tail batting when someone enters their territory.
I will admit that I most likely overfed the frozen uncooked shrimp and spinach. When I saw how nuts everybody went over it, I gave them more than I should over the weekend. The rest of the tank is currently doing fine and eating normally.
Koran Angel
Yellow Tang
Blue Hippo
Midnight Angel
I did a full water test today. My phosphates were somewhat high. I did a 30% water change and brought them down to the .25 to .5 mark. All other parameters are fine.
Please help me guys. I have raised them since they were small. They are big, fat, and of course my two favorite fish. I would be beside myself if I lost them.
<The fish may be constipated. Spinach in its raw state is difficult to digest and draw nutrition from due to
its cellulose make up. Blanching, freezing, and/or boiling before feeding will help break down the cellulose.
Personally, I think you would be better off just feeding Nori. Given a few days, their appetite should be back to normal. Bob may have some input here as well.> <<Skip the terrestrial greens period. Problematical and not generally nutritious to marines. RMF>>
Thank you in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Naso Tang/Alga Supplementation/FOWLR Lighting - 06/10/08 Hey Crew, <<Hey!>> I wish to keep a 150 FOWLR aquarium and was wondering if a Naso tang is suitable for this setup. <<Mmm, not really/is less than ideal…a 6ft tank would be much better as this/most any tang species needs room to roam>> I am aware of their adult size so I want to make sure before I get one, so it can last for a while in my tank. <<Indeed… A small individual (3-4 inches) might be "OK" for a couple years, but is then as it continues to mature, behavioral/health issues are likely to manifest>> I know that they need algae preferably brown macroalgae, <<Will also eat/benefit from green alga>> but since it's a FOWLR I tend not to turn on the light as often and some days have no light, but I replicate the day/night schedule with the living room lights. <<…? FOWLR or not, I would use a timer(s) to establish some type of "routine" with the tank lighting>> Is there an alternative to having constant growth of algae in the tank, as reefers certainly have an excessive growth and be willing to rid of it, but in a FOWLR aquarium, I don't have a strong lighting, which in this case I don't need. <<Algae can be easily supplemented. One of my favorites for this is Sea Veggies from Two Little Fishies>> Would Nori sheets and both brown and green algae sheets be sufficient or do I still need blooming algae in the tank and if so, how can I do so with T5 lighting? <<There is no need to "grow" the algae in the tank…what you describe will work just fine. Do consider giving the algae a soak in a liquid supplement like Selcon or Vita-Chem, once or twice a week>> Again, I feel that the lighting consumes much power, in addition to the filtration, etc. and don't wish to use it unless necessary such as in a reef. <<Consider this…though you don't have a "reef" tank, you are still keeping fishes associated/found on the natural reef. Many of these fishes are used to a very bright environment…keeping them in a darkened tank is unnatural, maybe even unhealthy for some. While a FOWLR tank may not require the PAR values a reef tank would…it does require illumination, in my opinion…even what some may consider as "bright" illumination. If a dimly lit tank is what you prefer, then choose your livestock accordingly. Perhaps you are better suited to keeping Scorpaeniformes, which would enjoy/benefit from the subdued lighting>> Thanks in Advance! <<Happy to share. EricR>>

A Tale of Two Dead Naso Tangs - 09/17/06 Hello, <<Good Morning>> I am writing you and talking to anyone else I could think off. <<Wise not to limit yourself to a single source of information/advice/opinion>> This past week I lost a pair of Naso tangs. <<Sorry to hear...>> I am devastated over this for a number of reasons, but mostly because I can't find an answer to why they died.  Before I ask you to give some thoughts on what you think might of happened let me give you as many details and variables I can. <<Thank you…always helpful>> The tank is a 350 gallon fish/reef tank.  I keep a variety of angels and tangs, clowns and damsels.  There are also inverts like shrimp, snails and crabs.  There are not a lot of corals at this time but the idea for the tank is to keep a number of corals with larger variety of fish not usually kept in a reef. <<I see...and researching re to assure/maintain compatibility I'll assume...>> There are a few LPS and SPS corals along with a few soft leathers. <<Mmm...with "variety of angels"?>> I do have to be very careful in what corals I choose because of the types of fish. <<Ah yes!>> The larger of the tangs was a Hawaiian Naso the other was a smaller Red Sea blonde. <<Hmm...ever considered a "biotope" display?>> I know typically these species are not kept together but they have done very well often swimming side by side and staying together at night.  The tank has ample swimming room and the aquascaping is such it gives the fish room to swim in a big circle. <<Excellent>> The tank has been established for 4 years.  Only up until last year I started to get into corals having spent the money to have a dedicated electrical circuit for the lights and pumps. <<Reef setups are indeed "power hungry">> Prior, the power options didn't allow me to have the right lighting.  I now run 3 10K 250watt HQI de's with PC actinics.  The tank gets a weekly water change from RO/DI water and top-off is from the same unit.  I dose manually calcium and dKH supplement as needed, parameters are checked weekly. <<Very good>> The only issue I have which is not serious is slightly elevated nitrates. <<...!  I don't know your definition of "slightly", but even so, chronically elevated nitrate can/will have effect on your livestock (and what about ammonia/nitrite?...these were/are checked as well?).  This may be a clue to the two Naso tang's demise>> I use a refugium with grape <Caulerpa> and Chaetomorpha macro algae. <<Mmm, another issue (clue?) here in my opinion.  Grape Caulerpa is very noxious, even toxic to fish (many herbivorous fishes won't eat it for this reason).  Combining it with Chaetomorpha in a refugium means the alga are constantly waging war (alga compete just as corals do for space on the reef), releasing chemicals/toxins to inhibit and/or kill each other.  Such constant and powerful chemical warfare (Alga rates at the top of the list with some of the nastiest corals for aggression/noxiousness) can't be "good" for a system.  Not to mention the loss of usefulness/processes for having the algae in the refugium in the first place due to the "energy" expended on warfare>> The Chaeto is fed to the tank where the angels and tangs feast. <<Hmm...wonder the possibility of the Chaetomorpha being "tainted" from close exposure/battle with the grape Caulerpa...>> The nitrate levels are elevated, but don't cause any issues with nuisance algae, the Acropora and Montipora orange cup coral are growing and doing well so I use that as a measure since the nitrates don't seem to cause any other problem. <<I agree it would seem the corals you mention would show deleterious affects from elevated nitrate before the fish would...but I'm still very curious as to your actual nitrate reading(s)>> I do understand the bio load may be a little high causing the elevated nitrates, however I go to great lengths to make sure the water quality and environment stay optimal.  Of course the tank has a large skimmer on it which is cleaned 1-2 times per week. Ok, with that overview here is what happened over the last few weeks.  About three weeks ago I noticed the RO unit was not producing any RO for the top-off. <<Raw RO water for top-off?  Not recommended...>> The unit being in place a little over 6 months I thought it might just need to be cleaned and didn't need new filters or membrane replacement. <<Not likely, no..."should" get a couple to several years out of the membrane, even with this size tank...life of the filter cartridges will depend mainly on your source water/how often they are rinsed clean>> The water source is well water.  After rinsing the filters in tap water and putting the unit back together it did start to produce some RO however the TDS was > then 0 and could not produce enough for a water change. <<Again... I need specific measurements to really be of much help>> At this point I called the company to discuss my options. <<A good move>> They agreed that the membrane should not have to be replaced but agreed to send me a filter kit and new membrane anyway.  The unit is a 100gpd. <<As is mine...>> I skipped my weekly water change that week waiting for the filters. <<Um...not seasoning/maturing/buffering your water before "and" after mixing the salt?>> I received the filters and they forgot to ship the membrane. <<Mmm...>> I waited until that weekend to install the filters.  After the filters were installed, the unit still didn't make RO for my water change. <<Strange...perhaps you should remove/gently rinse the membrane...install a "flush" kit>> Bottom line, by the time I got RO back online it was almost 3 weeks without a water change. <<Shouldn't have been a problem>> I didn't think this was that critical as I checked params and everything seemed to be ok. <<Would agree>> I started to cut back on feeding slightly which is usually done twice a day, every other day. <<I don't agree with this, fish should be fed daily...preferably multiple small feedings.  If feeding daily causes secondary issues with your tank then reevaluate your maintenance/husbandry practices/stocking levels...but don't jeopardize the fishes long-term health by "cutting back" on proper and adequate nutrition>> I target feed the fish to make sure everybody gets enough without over feeding the tank.  They get mostly pellets soaked with Vita-Chem. <<A good product...and New Life Spectrum pellets I hope!>> That is supplemented with frozen Mysis and the macro algae. <<Ah good, variety is key...and the more the better>> During this 3 week period, I added 2 fish to the tank one of the fish was a replacement for a small saddle back puffer that jumped out the tank some time ago, <<Jumped!...?  Was this fish stressed/harassed by other fish?  Perhaps another clue here as well.  Could be the puffer was stressed to the point of releasing toxins (jumped to escape its own poison?) and the tangs are merely victims of the long-term affect...and hopefully the "only" victims>> and the other was a mandarin dragonet.  This is my first time keeping a mandarin but given the size of the tank and amount of pods I see I thought I would try to keep one. <<Sounds reasonable to me as well considering the "mature" nature of this tank>> During this time I also took a handful of the spaghetti algae about baseball size and tossed it in the main tank during the lower feeding period.  Also something I have done many times before.  Now the blur of events I have been going over and over in my mind trying to figure out what happened.  I can't say exactly when during this period but, I did notice the larger Naso hiding a little bit.  He was still feeding and there were no other signs of problems.  I kept an eye on him and noticed during the last week that he had seemed to have a sunken stomach, stopped feeding and was staying at the top of the tank in a vertical position.  Shortly after the larger Naso started to exhibit this behavior I noticed the smaller Naso also with a sunken stomach. <<Were these fish treated with a copper-based medication at any point prior to this?  Tangs treated in this manner will sometimes suffer from loss of digestive microbes in their gut, preventing them from digesting food/assimilating nutrients.  Another thought is the behavior of these two fish is similar to those afflicted with internal parasites, though many times such afflicted fish show absolutely "no interest" in food>> I began to feed the tank everyday in the morning and later in the day, both tangs showed interest and slightly picked but were not near their normally aggressive feeding behavior.  Their breathing also seemed slightly labored.  The large Naso was the first to die, the smaller died yesterday.  Neither fish showed any signs of marks, spots, no physical changes outside of the sunken stomachs.  Before disposing of the smaller tang I lifted the gill flap and used a bright light to examine the gill.  The gill was bright red and showed nothing abnormal.  Both fish had labored breathing towards the end but again didn't have any other visual indications. <<May have been secondary to the stress of/weakening by  malnutrition>> No other fish in the tank currently show any signs of abnormal behavior and continue to feed normally.  I have done 2 water changes last week once the RO produced enough water hoping to save a least one of the tangs. <<Not likely the issue...and possibly an additional stressor (bouncing water parameters), especially if the new salt mix is not allowed to mature/complete its chemical processes before adding to the tank>> The smaller did appear to be swimming around better the day before but refused to eat. <<Never good>> As of now I am suspecting the following; The RO unit; is it possible the filters contaminated the water some how, either the exhausted filters or the new filters? <<I'm doubtful of this>> Did adding the puffer or mandarin bring something in the tank? <<More of a possibility, yes>> BTW all my fish come from 2 places that I trust and know.  I never have any problems with their fish or corals. <<Fortunate>> Did the puffer release toxins in the water? <<Possibly>> The previous saddle back was there for a year and never had any issues.  Is it possible that something was in the macro algae the tangs ate? <<Another possibility I think, yes>> Again, the Nasos eat this algae all the time and can eat a baseball size amount in a day. <<Possibly a matter of toxic accumulation>> Lastly, I dose the tank weekly with only Kent dKH supplement.  The product is added to my sump which is connected to the refugium. <<If tested/added as needed this should not be a problem>> I was thinking maybe the macro algae could have contained concentrated levels of this? <<I don't think so>> Other fish ate the algae, but mostly the Nasos. <<Could be telling>> Lastly, the tank has Euro-bracing and is open.  The stand is over 4 feet high, the tank total height is around 7-8 feet. <<Cool>> This was done because of the kids and placement of the tank.  It is of perfect viewing in a standing position. <<Indeed>> I thought I'd mention this in the event something got into the tank that's unknown? <<Anyone been "cleaning" around the tank?>> I do find bugs every now and again in the sump that must be attracted to the lights. <<Yes>> The only other thing that I thought of was this past weekend my wife had some people over to clean the house.  I was not around but always give my wife strict instructions that the cleaners stay away from the tank.  They were new people, so I don't know if something was introduce through their cleaning? <<Weren't the tangs displaying symptoms before this?>> Sorry for the long email, <<No worries my friend, I appreciate the detailed explanation (hmm...wonder if I can make an article out of this some how?)>> <Likely so. RMF> but I am at my wits end on this and can't begin to explain how I feel.  I have been in the hobby a very long time and have never seen anything like this before.  Please help... <<Well Patrick, I have been in the hobby more than 30 years myself, and "have" seen this before.  Unfortunately, knowing the exact cause is usually very difficult without a necropsy of the fish.  I do have some thoughts/theories as I've stated>> Thanks and regards, Patrick Mundt <<My pleasure to assist.  Do give thought to separating/choosing a single macro-algae (my vote goes to the Chaetomorpha) for the refugium...and do take a look on our site re using RO water for top-off as well as making/mixing with salt for water changes.  Cheers, Eric Russell>>
Re: A Tale of Two Dead Naso Tangs - 09/18/06
Eric, <<Patrick>> Thanks for the response. <<Quite welcome>> You do however raise more questions, and also cause me to ask you to further explain some of your answers :  ) <<Certainly>> To address some of your concerns, the RO water is made with salt a day before the water change.  Nothing is added to the water outside of Tropic Marin Salt. <<An excellent salt (would use it myself were it not so expensive), but, raw/newly mixed saltwater is very irritating to your livestock...I recommend you make it up far enough in advance to give it a few days to a week to "mature">> The nitrate levels are not 0 but range between 10 - 30 ppm. <<Too high for the fishes (should be less than 20), and WAY too high for the corals (should be less than 5)>> This is tested using only Salifert test kits. <<A good line of test kits>> I put the grape Caulerpa in the fuge about 2-3 months ago.  Both types of macro algae have grown much better since adding the grape?  Don't know why. <<Hmm...likely coincidence...feeding off the source of your high nitrates>> I only feed the fish the Chaeto.  I do remember having to remove to grape that was tangled with the Chaeto before feeding that day.  The first puffer I had was a great tank mate, very interesting and didn't bother anything.  Other fish left him alone he never appeared stressed never saw anyone bothering him.  In regards to his jumping out of the tank, I have moon lights on the tank as well, and it did appear odd to me to wake up for work and find him on the floor. <<Indeed...not a fish that comes to mind when you think "jumper">> I thought the combination of lights and perhaps him going after something to eat caused his death. <<Don't know...but seems unlikely to me>> Usually the puffer finds a perch and sets up for the night.  To the medicating the tank;  Last year after being begged by a fellow aquarist I agreed to take a powder blue tang from him that was harassing his fish.  Big mistake! <<Indeed...a difficult/problematic species...probably best left in the ocean>> The fish came with a gift and before it was over wiped out half my tank. <<No quarantine mate?>> As I mentioned before I have 2 very reliable LFS, I have not used a second tank in years. <<A ticking time bomb...>> Anyway, the Odin. or other parasite moved very fast and as a desperate act I medicated the tank with Malachite Green (I'm sure this is not spelled right <<corrected>>). <<Yeeikes!  Dangerous stuff...very toxic (must be measured very carefully)...tends to kill the "good guys">> Anyway, one of my LFS sources assured me they have medicated their show reef tank with this stuff with great success. <<(sigh)>> So to answer your question, yes the tank was medicated but this was a long time ago and the tangs in the tank died from the parasite, the medication did get rid of the parasite and didn't kill any of the corals.  The feeding of every other day was suggested to me, all the fish in the tank seem a litter over weight, (I think), even the 2 Nasos were very thick and clean.  I do think they should eat every day, but I think they have gotten used to this. << <grin> Would "you" get used to eating every other day?>> I have had a small passer that has grown into an adult with great adult colors and has been with me since I started this tank. So what do you think the downside of this may be? <<Can only wonder how much "better" the fishes would be with daily nutrition...>> Next, having read through your site, I must have missed the RO part, why not use RO for top off? <<Raw RO water lacks any buffers/earth elements...these are pulled/drawn from the tank water to reach equilibrium each time raw RO is added, creating instability/ a seesaw effect on your water chemistry>> I figured the weekly water changes would replace anything the RO is missing for top off no? <<Likely it does...but buffering the top-off water to reduce fluctuations in water chemistry is a better solution and will reduce the associated stress on your livestock>> TDS of the RO was approx > then 150. <<A properly functioning RO membrane should give you a reduction by a factor of 10 over the reading from your tap>> Based on what you have said, I think I will remove the grape macro algae. <<Super!>> After this email, I think I am leaning more towards the algae causing the problems as I know tangs more then other fish have to be handled with care in regard to diet. <<Important to al fishes...the more varied the better>> Please let me know what you suggest for the water change water. <<I think I have...but if not clear, just give a holler...>> I am always looking to hear other experienced advice... <<As am I my friend>>   Thanks, Patrick... <<Be chatting my friend, Eric Russell>>

Lobophora control- I found the answer! Nasos    6/14/06 Hi Bob: <Paul> After 1 year of searching for the control of a serious outbreak of Lobophora <Brown Wafer Algae for browsers> I have finally found the answer.  No it is not pulling out by hand (been there, done that) nor is it some exotic sea urchin (I've tried many different species).  No, the answer is as simple as the common Naso Tang. <Heeee! I have some pix of "intertidal" Naso lituratus in Hawai'i... yes, with their heads out of the water, munching on "Limu" brown/Phaeophyte algae on the shoreline...> I read recently that someone had success with a Naso tang clearing out Lobophora within 1 month.  It works!  I purchased a blonde Naso Tang last week and he has not stopped working on the Lobophora since.  I think the reason why many reefers are reluctant to try the Naso is for fear that if they don't do the job, they are stuck with a fish that will eventually get too big for their tank.  I myself only have a 90 gal tank. I was willing to take the chance rather than see all my rock continue to me smothered with the Lobophora.  There are plenty of small Naso Tangs on the market, you just have to look around and be patient until you find one that's not too big.  I was lucky enough to find one around 3" from head to tail.  I figure I will get a good year or so before he may have to relocate.  I am confident that by that time, there won't be a piece of Lobophora in sight.  In fact, in the past week he has cleared out about 25% of it and is working on the rest every day. By the way, he shares the 90 gal reef with a 4" Yellow Tang and a 2" Hippo Tang.  I am sure you will have fun with that one! <Can be done... particularly where one or more is "occupied" as here> Neither of these tangs will touch the Lobophora.  The Naso tang, which apparently has a diet that consists of mainly brown algae in the wild, loves this stuff. I hope you will post this email. <We post all> It may help out many frustrated reefers that are plagued with this algae.  I have even seen some posts with reefers resorting to pulling out all there rock and scrubbing it. Good grief! Thanks again Bob for all your help on other issues throughout the years.   <Thank you for sharing, writing so well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Abused, Starving Tang/Lousy LFS - 04/30/06 Dear Crew, <<Good Morning>> About 3 weeks ago, I received from LFS a 10" tang. <<Big>> I think it is from the Naso Family. <<Think?  Mmm, a bad way to start mate...you should be doing your research "before" you bring the critters home>> It was labeled Vermingii (I know that's not spelled right Sorry). <<Likely is a Naso vlamingii, also known as a Bignose Unicorn fish>> It looks like a type of Naso Unicorn fish. <<Indeed>> It has a bump and is gray with blue streaks in it. <<Yep>> It is extremely under weight. <<Uh oh>> They said it has not ate in a month. <<This is not good>> A large Angel fish was pounding the crap out of it. <<The Naso genus does seem to be the more "gentle" of the tang species, thus more susceptible to bullying...though there's probably not much (maybe a like-sized Clown Trigger) that can go toe-to-toe with a large mature angel.>> The LFS gave it too me because they said it was going to die. <<It's disconcerting that the LFS left the tang in this situation as long as they did, to be starved (they were aware it hadn't eaten in a month!) and eventually killed by the angel.  They don't deserve to be in business in my opinion>> I have it in a 55 gal hospital tank. <<A wise move>> I have treated it for ICH, and infections. <<Be careful here, tangs don't react well to most common Ich medications (copper)...I would only treat if there are visible signs of infestation.  A prophylactic freshwater dip (temperature and pH adjusted) may be all that is necessary>> I noticed it has a gash on the side near its nose and mouth.  I am thinking it will not eat because it can't. <<Mmm, hard to say...may just be a reaction to the stress of being bullied by the afore mentioned angel>> I noticed it is starting to move its mouth more.  Now this might sound pathetic on my part, but I have been force feeding it.  I hold it in my hand, he lets me (not sure why) and I put the syringe in his mouth (No needle, just opening). He wraps his mouth over it and I gentle squeeze out Brine (Enriched with Zoe). Sometimes he spits it back out other times he takes it. <<Interesting (and dangerous to you re the fishes caudal spines)...normally I would advise against "handling" the fish as the stress induced thus would be counterproductive, but perhaps this fish is too weakened to feed on its own.  Do try to get the fish to eat by itself...and I also strongly urge you to switch the brine shrimp for Mysis shrimp...is much better nutritionally>> I do not want to hurt him by shoving stuff down his throat. <<Agreed>> He has to be getting some nutrition, I can not believe he has went this long with out eating (would be 2 months now). <<Yes, I would think it is gaining "some" nutrition from your feedings>> You can see he is way under weight though. <<Will likely take some time to recover...if ever.  But "Kudos" to you for your efforts!  Many folks would not go to the extent you have>> I thought about humanly disposing of him but he seems to want to live so bad.  He has fought off 2 major infections. <<I think at this point there is no further harm in keeping the tang in the QT and continuing to induce it to feed>> One night he jumped out of the tank. <<Yikes!>> I did not know it.  The dog was barking and for a good 5 minutes I could not figure out why.  Here the fish was behind the cabinet laying totally still.  I thought he was a goner and put him back in the tank.  He was sideways at the bottom for a few minutes, and started moving.  That was a week ago and he is swimming okay now. <<Wow, and in its weakened state no less...this fish has an iron constitution...perhaps all is not lost after all>> Any thought on this, what should I do. <<Continue with your good care...try to get the fish eating on its own (the sooner you can stop "handling" it the better)>> If he makes it I have a 480 reef and a 240 all fish with a pair of clowns (never stocked it running 6 months). <<My vote is for the 480...these fish get BIG>> I do not want to keep him going for human pleasure, if he shouldn't be. <<No worries mate, I think you're doing the right thing/all you can for the moment.  Though I am concerned for your safety when handling this fish should it decide to lash out with the spines on its caudal peduncle>> I don't mind feeding him by hand. <<But best to discontinue this...>> He certainly does not mind me holding him.  He comes to me like my dog. <<neat>> I noticed for a fish that big, I do not see his barbs, just little stubs. <<Hmm...may have been "clipped" upon collection...but continue to be cautious, no matter how "docile" this fish seems>> Crew what are your thoughts? <<You have mine>> Thanks in advance.    <<Regards, EricR>>
Abused, Starving Tang/Lousy LFS II - 04/30/06
Thank You Eric for your fast response. <<Very welcome>> I am going to give him the best care I can. <<Excellent my friend>> I will switch to the Mysis. <<Very good...a much better staple than the brine shrimp>> I am not returning to that LFS. <<Mmm...don't get me started <G> >> I have 4 others in my area to choose from. <<Good to hear>> I guess I am lucky, or not. <<Life is what we make it>> Take care, <<And to you in kind.  Regards, Eric Russell>>

Re: Denitrification/Ammonia Level/Now Tang Feeding  3/30/06 I haven't used a PolyFilter since using the Quick Cure.  I'll be sure to do that.  By the by, my Naso has only been taking frozen brine shrimp since I got him about two months ago.  <Not good, Donna.  No where near enough nutrition to keep these guys alive for long.  Do at least soak the brine with a vitamin supplement such as Selcon.> I've tried flake food and Nori and he won't eat that.  He will eat live algae, but I don't have a means to grow it just yet.  I'm planning to try some Frozen Formula Two.  Any other ideas?  Thanks for all your patience in dealing with dumb questions and newbies.  I'm really trying hard not to kill these fish!  They are beautiful! <Donna, the tangs were certainly not fish to select, especially at your experience level.  The Naso is especially difficult to acclimate yet alone having a reputations as ich magnets.  I will post a link, Tang Feeding FAQ's.  I suggest you read these over and see what others have done/tried.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangfeedingfaqs.htm Good luck, James (Salty Dog)>

Blonde Naso/General Feeding  - 03/11/2006 Can a blonde Naso live only on Caulerpa. <Almost!> Had it for two weeks about 4 inches from the Red Sea.  Like a vacuum cleaner eating Caulerpa and only nibbles on other foods I have tried like Spirulina flakes, formula two, brine, Mysid shrimp.  Any suggestions on what else to try? <Yes... the best: Spectrum brand pelleted foods... highly palatable and nutritious> Lettuce on clips?  what type of lettuce? <Am not a fan of terrestrial greens for Surgeonfishes... See WWM re algae as food... Naso Feeding...> I also think I am feeding my fish too much.  Try to vary their diet daily with different foods.  A LFS told me only to feed my fish every other day.  good idea? <No... please see WWM...>   Can they live on that?   Have 125 tank with 9 fish totaling 28 inches.  Actually how often and how much should you feed them.  Should you vary the diet daily or weekly, or not bother trying to give them different foods? Thanks, Alan <Keep reading Alan. Your answers and the next few strings of them are posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Naso tang eating excrement  - 3/1/2006 Here's one you may have not heard before. I have a healthy thriving 90 gal fish only tank that's over a year and a half established. I have an assortment   of species which includes yellow tangs, blennies, a Picasso trigger, various clowns, a Naso tang and a green bird wrasse. One morning approximately 6 months  I noticed my Naso impatiently waiting for the bird wrasse to waken from his  sleep. To my surprise (and disgust) the reason he was waiting so anxiously was  he was waiting to devour the wrasses morning excrement. This became a ritual  every morning. My concern is can this behavior in anyway be detrimental to the  Naso tangs health. <Not likely... and is common... have seen innumerable times in the wild> Be aware that my fish are well fed 2-3 times a day with a  variety of foods which include flake, frozen and dried seaweed. Of course there  isn't much I can do to stop the Naso from having his morning "snack". (cant hit  him in the nose with a rolled up newspaper and tell him no !). Just curious to  see if you guys have heard of this before. Thanks for your anticipated  response. Eric <Amongst friends have speculated that this is part of a necessary/beneficial means of Naso et al. species acquiring "gut fauna"... many equivalents, analogous patterns in other species... ourselves included. Bob Fenner>

Offer food to my Naso Tang  02/12/06 Hello, <Hi there> I got my 3 to 3.5 inches Naso Tang for approx. 2 weeks now. <A small size to start>   After 3 - 4 days, he turned to a lighter color and recently I seem him stretch his fins often at dawn.   I assume this is a good sign.  But I am concern of his eating.  He is not taking any food that I offered him, <What is it with the change of tense?> the foods are eaten quickly by my two Crown fishes and Foxface.  Foods that I offered him includes marine green flakes, hard and soft pellet food in brown color and green color, and dried marine green algae sheet; for some reasons, the green algae sheet is in red and not green.  None of them he eat or even tried.   But he constantly picks on the those brown hair algae grow on the circulation pump and occasionally pick on those tough cup type Caulerpa Macroalgae. <Good>   Which is one of the reasons I brought the Foxface and the Naso Tang to try to control those Caulerpa Macroalgae, as they damage one of my hard coral.  The Caulerpa Macroalgae is approx. in 6 inches of diameter in size.   Are those brown algae on the pump and Caulerpa macroalgae enough food for the Naso for short term and long term? <... does the fish look thin?>   His stomach look flat to me, I seen Naso tang with big full stomach like my Foxface has.  I can see the bone line and some small round patch poked out from my Naso's stomach, his stomach is not smooth and round.  I hardly see him remove any hair algae or those Caulerpa Macroalgae, may be occasionally pull some Caulerpa out.   But for sure I seen him excrete at least these couple days and it is in light brown and like more solid than my other fishes' excrete.   Say he has enough food right now, what happen if those Caulerpa ran out in my tank? <You tell me> Will he accept the food I offer then?  Or will he still not eating since he is custom to what the current environment in the tank offer him?   What and how should I train him to eat? Thanks in advance for your assistance. Gregory <Methinks this fish was/is too small to start in captivity. Bob Fenner>
Re: Offer food to my Naso Tang... non-native speaker   2/13/06
Hi Bob, <Greg> - I didn't think he is tense, I thought he just yawn, as he look relax and move slight with the current just above the coral in the opening. <Different meaning my friend> - I think he look thin, I can see his main bone along the body and those rib bone in the stomach area.  But I don't know if his stomach is full or not.  And he ate enough or not. <Yes... is too thin...> -  Should I offer him variety of food to see if he eat them or stay with one kind and hoping he get used to seeing them and start eating?  If I stay with one kind, what and which type of food have the best chance that he will eat it? Thanks, Greg   <Yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/nasofdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Naso Tang/Feeding   2/14/06
Thanks a million for the FAQ section. <Gladly.> It really helps a lot.  Naso tangs may not be for newbies (my LFS person knew that I was one), <Mmmm, more interested in selling than helping.> but now I have one.  So what should I do?  He told me it was very important that he eat Tennera Algae, but he doesn't like it.  He won't eat it at all.  I do have some algae growing in my tank, but it's probably not enough.  He does like brine shrimp, although I know that's not particularly good for him.  Any suggestions on what I could feed him? <Read FAQ's on subject here.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangfeedingfaqs.htm  Any info you require is easily found on our site.  Do search there first before sending a query.  Thank you.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Naso Tang/Feeding  - 2/15/2006
I read the information you sent me a link to.  <Great!> I had tried the Nori soaked in vitamins and the Tenera, so I thought my next best bet would be the real thing.  The only live macro-algae my LFS had was Caulerpa Mexicana.  With much hesitation I bought some and placed it in my tank.  My Naso LOVES it! <Great!> He ate it like there was no tomorrow. <A good start.>  He had been attacking the frozen brine like he was starving, this morning he hardly touched it. <Full belly?> There were quite a few tiny snails in the Caulerpa.  Are they going to be a nuisance? <Hard to say, don't know what kind they are.> I know I read somewhere in the FAQ's about using Arm & Hammer baking soda as a PH buffer, but I cant seem to find it now. <Better off with SeaChem Reef Builder or a similar product.> Could you point me in the right direction? <I'd seriously consider getting a refugium to grow the Caulerpa.> You guys are great! <Thank you. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Naso Tang/Feeding  - 02/16/2006
My sump is not huge, but could I set one up inside there? <I'd go with one of the CPR hang on refugiums.> And yes, his belly was very full.  He didn't refuse the shrimp, he just didn't eat as much as he had been. <Keep in mind Donna, to have success with this fish water quality is of extreme importance along with plenty of swimming room and a healthy diet.  Consider purchasing a skimmer if your not employing one now.  I'm also curious to know what size tank you are keeping the Naso in.  James (Salty Dog)>

Naso Hunger Strike and High Nitrates   2/2/06 Hi again, <Hello Mordy, Adam J with you this time.> My 6 inch Naso, who has been with us for about 5 months (in a 125 FOWLR with some other friends) has gone on a hunger strike. When I first got him it took me nearly three weeks to get him to eat after which he ate anything I fed, like a pig. Feedings are daily flake, frozen and Nori. Past week he has not been eating, wandering aimlessly, swimming through food and hanging around the Nori but not eating. <Hmm, any obvious stresses that would have caused this? How long has the hunger strike ensued?> Belly is starting to get noticeably pinched but still swimming actively. Does not appear to be sick nor do any tank mates. I have three things that I think it may be related to; 1. recently added about 45lbs of LR to the 130 already there (changed his living space no doubt), 2. Higher nitrates 40-50ppm <Mmm, yes surgeons are quite sensitive to high levels of wastes/dissolve organics in general, in a FOWLR you need to get this number no higher than 20, 10 and less is preferred.> 3. elevated phosphates. Any of these things sound like a good enough reason? <See above.> What can I do to rectify the situation? <Large water changes and possibly try adding a nutritional supplement to the food like Selcon, also consider some fresh algae (such as Gracilaria) or even live brine; yes I know it's not nutritious but better than nothing.> Thanks for all your help, past & present. <Anytime.> Mordy <Adam Jackson.>

Naso Won't Eat (4/29/05) I have had a Naso tang for about 2 weeks and he is not eating. I have tried all of the following: Nori, Live Caulerpa, Flake food, frozen brine, formula 2 with garlic, and some pellet food from the LFS, and he is still not eating. I don't want to lose him. He was fat when I got him.  <So he's already thinning out? Bad sign.>  He was quarantined, no diseases, but will still not eat. What can I do to get him to eat? I have tried to locate live brine in my area, and am unable to do so. Please help. Would it be worth it to try fresh spinach?  <Like most Tangs, Nasos are primarily herbivorous, so I don't think the brine shrimp will help. Fish often go on hunger strikes for a while after being purchased, but this seems to be pushing the limit. It can't hurt to try some spinach or romaine lettuce just to get him to eat something, but these will not do in the long run. I suggest you try fresh Gracilaria. Tangs tend to love this. If you cannot get it from a local LFS or perhaps another aquarist locally, I'd say it's worth the money to order some "Tang Heaven Red" from www.ipsf.com. I hope this helps, Steve Allen.> 

Re: Naso Tang Post, 2.25.05 Greetings Crew! <Greetings! Ryan with you today.> I was reading the daily questions and came across this 'Naso tang' question. He states that all his water params are fine but the Naso just won't eat and looks stressed, and has some seaweed on a clip for the fish. I also have a tang (yellow, Hawaiian) that will exhibit the same similarities as this IF I use the blue seaweed clip.. Red clip, no problems at all.. Its almost as if they have been watching the Matrix too many times! I would have him maybe just tie some seaweed onto a smallish rock and see what that does for the tangs stress levels. <We'll post this for him to read, enjoy. Thank you for sharing. Certainly entertaining! Personally, I would recommend a grounding probe and a skimmer cleaning if you notice your tang isn't quite himself. The oxygen saturation level of your water should remain high with this type of fish. Good luck! Ryan> 

Feeding my Naso Tang 2/11/05 Hi to all. I have a Naso Tang which is about 5" in length she seems to be doing very well. The only problems I seem to have with her is that she will only eat Seaweed, she loves it won't even let me clip it in before she's pinching it out of my hand!! I have tried mixing her diet with Mysis shrimp but with no look. Would you consider this a problem? She also seems a bit shy, gets the white blotches on her side when you go near unless with a piece of seaweed. <I wouldn't worry a bit, especially if you have only had this fish for a short period of time. Boldness will come, and seaweed alone will be a fine diet for a while until it starts accepting other foods.> Also my clown fish will only eat Brine Shrimp. Picky little buggers! Any feedback would be much appreciated. Keep up the good work. Regards Daniel  <This is very uncharacteristic! Clowns will usually eat just about anything. Brine Shrimp is a poor choice for staple foods. I would suggest experimenting with a variety of frozen and dry foods for these and your tang. Some flake and pellet foods have remarkable attractants added and are irresistible to these fish. Ocean Nutrition makes a great line of frozen foods and for dry, I like New Life Spectrum, Ocean Nutrition and OSI. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Naso Tang Not Eating Hello, I am fairly new in saltwater fish.  I've had my 75gal tank since the beginning of July, cycled it with Damsels, tested the water, and it is perfect.  I bought a Naso Tang, Kole Tang, and Porcupine Puffer Fish about two weeks ago.  The Puffer is eating good.  The Kole Tang has finally started eating pellets other than the live rock.  But our Naso is not eating as much, especially since I can see his belly looks pinched in.  He used to eat from the live rock, but will not eat the seaweed I have dangling from the seaweed clip.  He doesn't seem to have any parasites on him. Any suggestions?  I am getting worried.  Will the fish actually starve themselves to death?  I've tried green seaweed, brine shrimp, and putting Vitamin/HUFA supplements in the tank, which is supposed to "stimulate" their appetite, as my local fish store told me.  Thanks. <<Good Morning, Barbara Taormina helping out while the majority of the crew is at MACNA. I'm sorry to hear your concerns with your Naso, one of my favorite fish. Naso tangs require large tanks and are known to sulk if they feel "cramped", if there's been a change in the decor or if the tank is without strong circulation. You don't mention the size of the Naso or the amount of live rock present in your tank and my concern is that there isn't enough to sustain both the Kole and the Naso. This is a relatively new set-up and the amount of algae growth on the live rock may have been depleted.  I would attempt locating some "plant rock" from a local fish store.  This is small pieces of rock with various types of Caulerpa growing on it or perhaps you know a fellow hobbyist that maintains a refugium that could share some macro algae.  It can take some time for fish to become accustomed to a seaweed clip. I would try rubber banding the seaweed to a small piece of rock where he will hopefully find it while foraging.  My Naso is particularly fond of Nori, (which can be found at Oriental grocery stores) and is also crazy about frozen cubes of "Emerald Entree", Formula One & Two, and Mysis shrimp. The use of vitamin supplements is great, soak all foods for 20-30 minutes before offering. Best of luck, Barbara>>

Naso only eats Mysid Before I get underway, I like to thank you for your valuable service especially as it is volunteer based. <You are welcome. Thank you for the acknowledgement> I recently purchased a Naso Tang. He is about 4". I've read your advice regarding buying one over 5" but I honestly couldn't afford it as the difference in price was quite significant.  <Yes... understandably... due to the size of bag, water weight, oxygen it takes to ship these active fish... the bigger sizes take much more...> I did, however, wait two weeks before purchasing him and checked to see if he was eating. The problem is he only seems to eat Mysid shrimp. I've tried to get him to eat seaweed, marine algae, Spirulina, and flakes. Realizing that he needs a vegetarian element to his diet, I've also tried to withhold the Mysid in the hopes that he would change his singular tastes. All was to no avail. Also, he is not eating enough and has become somewhat emaciated. <Try soaking the seaweed in a vitamin mix (like Selcon, Microvit...) for a good fifteen minutes or more ahead of dangling it at the upper edge (with water wafting it about). Try different types of algae (from the oriental food section/store... reconstituted by soaking in water), particularly the softer Reds...> Do you have any advice? Should I continue to withhold Mysis until he turns vegetarian or simply keeping feeding and hope he develops a craving for green? <I would keep feeding the animal the mysids, but try making some homemade food (gelatin or other emulsifier based) into chunks and feed it mixed with other materials (algae, pellet...) to wean this animal onto other food types. Recipes for same can be found on the Net> Any help you can give will be much appreciated. -Limak <Persistence pays. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang Hello Web Media crew <G'day> I recently bought a Naso Tang that is only grazing on the plant growth from my live rocks. He completely stripped the growth from some Fiji rock that grew a kelp like growth ( yellowish brown leave and stems) and is dining on other macroalgae - red color with narrow stems mesh like growth. I tried green and brown algae sheets, dried kelp from an Asian grocery - no luck. I also tried live brine shrimp and only my other fish ate that. Q. What might be going on? <He likes the real algae better.> and what is the next best avenue to take? <Keep offering a varied diet.> Fresh shrimp from the grocery ? I do not want to loose this fish. Looking to hear from you. Thanks. <Check out the links below for more information. http://wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/nasofaqs.htm>

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>

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>

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>>

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>

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>

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>

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 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>

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

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>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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