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FAQs about Social Disease of Tangs

FAQs on: Tang Disease 1, Tang Disease 2, Tang Disease 3, Tang Disease 4, Tang Disease 5, Tang Disease 6, Tang Disease 7, Tang Disease 8, Tang Health 9, Tang Disease 10, Tang Disease 11, Tang Disease 12, Tang Disease 13, &
FAQs on Tang Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Trauma, Pathogenic (plus see below), Genetic, Treatments
FAQs by Tang Disease by Pathogen: Tangs/Rabbitfishes & Crypt, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 2, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 3, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 4, & Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,

Related Articles: The Surgeonfish family, Acanthurus, Ctenochaetus, Naso, Paracanthurus, Zebrasoma , Prionurus, Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i, Surgeonfishes for Reef SystemsInfectious Disease

Related FAQs: Tangs in General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Treating Marine Disease, Marine Diseases 2,

Basses of size, triggers, angels...

Stinging-celled life contact, Bristleworm spines...

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Tang Problems....11/23/11
<Hello Tim>
I have been reading you site and can appreciate all of the help you give.
It is nice to have some one to bounce problems off of.
I have a 45 Gallon swa <please, no abbreves> with 50 lbs. of live sand and 50-60 lbs of live rock.
I have a wet dry system (Americalreef 150) With a Coralife protein skimmer.
Lighting is 250 watt MH 14,000K with 96 watts of actinic fluorescents (T5)
I set this tank up in August with live rock and live sand, I added 3 Green Chromis and a small cleaner crew.
-5 big Mexican turbo
-5-7 small snails
-1 emerald crab
-1 Cleaner shrimp
I let this cycle for a while and added a cleaner goby in September. Late September I was in full green algae heaven so I added a Kole Tang and then later a small hepetus <hepatus> blue.
Everything has been going extremely well.
SG 1.024 / 77 F / O ammonia
I recently (last week) added a sebae anemone and a maroon clown. They have paired up nicely in the last 48 hours and seem happy.
When first introduced, the Kole would act very aggressive to the clown. ( I expected this)
The blue tang seems to act as a mediator to the too, getting in between them and seeming to break it up.
Were doing wonderful last night and this morning, eating well and active.
Got home from work today and the clown is happy in his anemone , the blue tang is near death, barley moving, lying on his side. (end is near)
The Kole seems like he cannot close his mouth, also seems stressed.
Could they have gotten into the anemone?
<Very possible.>

The Kole is bigger than the blue maybe a sting?
I have attached a few pics of the tank.
Any ideas on my Tangs?
<Is really too small a system for these tangs to co-exist. Even though the Kole Tang is one of the less aggressive Surgeonfishes, it will battle with its own kind, and possibly with close relatives.>
Thanks for any help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Badly bleached


Sick tang, social, env., Acanthurus... 08/28/08 Hello Crew, Thank you for all your help in the past, it has been invaluable. I noticed about a week ago my Orange Shoulder Tang was getting a few "discolored spots" on his body. <I see this> It seemed to be getting worse by the day until today it seems as if it has covered most of his body with the exception of fins and head. It doesn't appear to have a texture or any depressions/lesions. Each spot just seems to have a lighter coloration than what is normal. I looked in The Conscientious Aquarist and on this site, but am still uncertain. I have included a pic taken this am. None of my other fish are affected (as of yet). Any thoughts? <Something environmental... psychological perhaps...> 125 g reef tank sg-10.25 calcium- 450 KH- 9 nitrate- 0 nitrite- 0 ammonia- 0 phosphate- 0 1 Blue Chromis - Chromis viridis 1 Green Clown Goby - Gobiodon histrio 2 Pajama Cardinals - Sphaeramia nematoptera 4 Blue Streak Cardinals - Apogon leptacanthus 2 Firefish Gobies - Nemateleotris magnifica 2 Saddleback Clownfish - Amphiprion Polymnus 1 Sixline Wrasse - Pseudocheilinus hexataenia 1 Lawnmower Blenny - Salarias fasciatus 1 Dusky Jawfish - Opistognathus whitehurstii <These three above may be harassing this fish> 1Royal Gramma- Gramma loreto 1 Dejardin's Tang - Zebrasoma desjardinii 1 Orange Shoulder Tang - Acanthurus olivaceus 1 Chocolate Mimic Tang - Acanthurus pyroferus 1 Yellow Tang - Zebrasoma flavescens <Or these other Acanthurids> ---------- 20 fish total <Too much, mix for this volume...> thanks in advance, Alan <I would definitely be moving this fish elsewhere... Someone/s' bugging it too much. Bob Fenner>

SAILFIN TANG under Stress?  11/22/05 Hi. I Just added a sailfin tang to my tank, past Wednesday. It was sold as in good condition. But I noticed that it had a bulge in its stripes, just below its snout on the lower part of his body. The size is about 2.5 inches. It is not eating. I've been feeding the same as all the fishes in the tank, marine fish pellets. It's kept with a black percula clownfish, yellow tang, powder brown tang and a yellow tailed damsel, they are all peaceful with each other except the yellow tang which sometimes gets a little bit aggressive but doesn't do any harm. The sailfin doesn't move much from its territory, <A clue that these tangs are not "getting along"> and I don't know if  I've seen correctly but it has eaten some of the other fish's wastes. <Yes, natural. No worries> I added a lettuce leaf to see, if it would at least go try it, but wasn't successful, although I didn't know i had to boil the lettuce leaf before introducing it to the aquarium. Also, I noticed like a white thing coming out of its snout, as if it had a tongue, I don't know if its a tongue or a parasite, or if its just blowing or what not which I don't seem to see in any of the other fishes. As you can see I'm a beginner, and its the first time I've had a problem like this. If you have any advice, i would appreciate it, because its a beautiful fish and wouldn't want to lose it.. Thanks in advance, Frances Aviles Guadalajara, Mx <You really should move this sailfin tang to another system, and soon. Though it may not appear to be "fighting", there is too much antagonism for it to live comfortably in this setting. Bob Fenner>

Tang Disease? I have Kole Tang that in the last month has shown signs of distress. <Such as?> I have a 55 gallon tank with 75 lbs of live rock.  An Emperor 400 filter and a SeaClone protein skimmer (need to upgrade that I think).  I have a red thorny starfish, the Kole tang, a Foxface Rabbitfish and a red spotted Hawkfish.  The tang appeared ok until I added the hawk and the Rabbitfish.   <Bingo... very likely its behavior has been influenced by the presence of the Rabbit... these fish groups don't "mix" in the wild... often utilize the same resources... space, foods... i.e. they're competitors> The Kole has been a resident of the tank for 6 months along with a goby and my starter damsels.  The tank itself is a year old.  I do regular water changes and also have my water tested weekly at the LFS as it is only a few minutes from my house.  I don't know the specific numbers other than I trust the fish store at least a few of the employees.  Anyway back to this poor tang.  He is still eating very good and always has but after I added the hawk and the Rabbitfish (they were QT for two weeks prior to introduction) his body began to show signs of fighting.  I witnessed the hawk and the tang going at it several times.  The fighting subsided but the tang had visible markings on its side.  Since that time near the tail it appears two small bones have protruded.  Excuse my ignorance but the tang always appeared to have two very small fin like protrusions and now it just appears there is no flesh covering those. <Good observations... the flesh will/can re-grow over the exposed spines>   The tang also appears to scratch these along the tank.  For the first week or so the tang would also swim very wildly although that has seemed to have calmed down except for the scratching which is a rather odd motion.  I noticed tonight some fin rot on the bottom fin.   The tang eats wonderfully but the two bone like areas don't seem to be healing.  I feed a mix of frozen variety packs, plankton, and algae sheets.   Any ideas? <Sounds like you either need a larger tank or to switch out some of these fishes> A few other questions while I have your time. Would a goby do ok in this tank?  I have watched a diamond watchman and he is an extremely fun fish to watch.  The goby is a very interesting species. <Would likely do fine, but you would have to watch for negative interactions with the Hawk initially> Are there any type of inverts the Hawkfish will not eat? <Most all non-crustaceans> Thank you in advance for your assistance. Andy Martin Oh and I should explain I removed the damsels as they had killed two attempts at dwarf angel fish.  They appeared to be extremely territorial.  I had tried both a flame and a lemon peel with the same result.  I also waited for my LFS to get a potter angel but it died after shipment to the LFS before I took delivery.  Poor thing just never would eat. <Mmm, most all your difficulties would be solved/mute if you only had a larger (hundred gallons plus) system... Bob Fenner>
Re: Tang Disease?
Thank you so much for your assistance.  I had assumed that the territorial fighting was between the tang and the Hawkfish and never made the connection that the tang could just be losing it because of the Rabbitfish.  Of all the fish I have had the Rabbitfish is by far the most peaceful and I have never seen it and the tang fighting. <May well be happening during the night> The Rabbitfish minds his own business and usually he and the tang can be right next to each other with no problems.   Sometimes I wonder if the tang is actually attacking his reflection and this is why he appears to be scratching the spines along the side of the tank. (My wife swears he has mental issues) This week I added 3 more pieces of live rock and rebuilt the structures giving more hiding spots and more in and out areas amongst the rock. <Good move> The tang seems to be a bit happier.  Before I bought the Rabbitfish I checked several sites and kept getting conflicting information on its compatibility with a tang.  I finally just asked the LFS but unfortunately it wasn't the most trusted of the employees. <You are right here in that all such information comes down to individuals>   I will monitor them for a bit longer with the rebuilt rock and see if this doesn't solve the problem.  If not I will seek a trade with the Foxface as I feel some loyalty to the tang. The information you provide is wonderful.  Since I have found your site I seemingly spend hours each week reading it.  I am also anxiously awaiting the arrival of CMA....had to order it as no local bookstore carried it. And Ahhhhh yes.....how I now long for a bigger aquarium and someday with more experience at hand I am sure I will add a second larger tank! <Perhaps your birthday...?> While I am limited at this time to the 55 gallon tank please offer some advice on stocking....such as: If I remove either the tang or the Rabbitfish, leaving the Hawkfish, and either the tang or Rabbitfish....could I add a diamond watchman goby and a clownfish or would this be overstocking? <Should be fine> Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I like a few of the dwarf angels but now that I have started adding corals I am leery of adding one. <I would hold off till you have another or larger system> Also do you have any preferred internet vendors for livestock? <Have heard little but positive re Dr.s Foster & Smith, The Marine Center and Marine Depot> We have 2 LFS one of which has a decent selection of marine life but recently our airport (Springfield, IL) has lost some of its air transportation and the LFS is having difficulty receiving deliveries. <Mmm, also, this is the worst time of year (Xmas), and there has been a devastating tsunami in South Asia...>   I ordered live rock on line to get started and had excellent luck but have always been leery of ordering actual livestock. Again thank you for the wonderful service that you and your staff provide. Andy Martin <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

Scarface Hello, <Hi, MikeD here> New here, looks like you guys know your stuff, so here goes. I have just recently decided to turn my 60 gallon fish tank to a reef.<I almost kicked this back for one of the "reefers", as my specialty is fish, crustaceans and FOWLR tanks,> Up and running with approx. 40lbs. live rock, 2 tangs (blue, sailfin),<here you have a problem....a 60 gal, tank will soon be too crowded for one tang, let alone two.> 1 neon goby, 2 anemones (just split from the previous 1 last month), 1 clown and 1 crab. All good with ph, nitrates, ammonia, etc. However, my sailfin tang has recently developed what almost looks like scarring around his face - hard to describe and I can't identify it using any charts, etc.<It's commonly referred to as HLLE or Hole in the Head/Lateral Line disease, and is actually just a symptom, not a disease> I have been soaking food in garlic elixir, but doesn't seem to have any effect. The fish acts like nothing is wrong, behavior is normal (although I have to admit, he seems a little irritated with the blue tang, but I think it's because the blue tang is CONSTANTLY following him around, almost like he wants to school with him)<That's exactly what is happening, and the day will come, sadly, when the sailfin shows you why the books state one tang per tank when he backs up to it and cuts it to ribbons. Once the attack starts it will probably be rapid, nonstop and violent, so be prepared.  Maturity often brings it on and it's at or nearing that age now>, looks great other than it's face and I hate to remove and medicate and possibly stress him out if there is nothing wrong<There's definitely something wrong>.... have you seen this type of anomaly in other Sailfins, he is approx. 2 1/2 years old.<Eventually the erosion will spread down the entire length of the lateral line of the fish and is caused by improper feeding and cramped conditions, both of which are now occurring. I can say this without reservation as the Sailfins reach 15" in length, and are NOT stunted by too small a tank. If being fed a proper diet, he'd already be too large for your tank and likely be around 6"-8" long, minimum. In a 60 gal. tank, adding foods such as FD algae sheets, romaine lettuce, raw shrimp, etc. and MAY help, but it won't address the overcrowding issue, thus there may not be any improvement.  I was given a 7" black Acanthurus tang, and by improving the diet and placing it in a 300 gal. tank the HLLE cleared itself up completely in less than 60 days. You, my friend, have some tough choices to make and that's the ONLY thing that will help. Otherwise, the HLLE will continue to spread until your fish gradually rots alive and contracts an infection in those "holes"....if you're lucky, it won't be contagious infection and he will be the only fish that you lose, while there's a good chance that the eventual outcome will be a complete tank die off.  By the way, I earned the title "The Coralslayer" by trying to keep fish such as these in with corals.....between their food and excreted wastes, you're not likely to have a lot of success with the corals as well.>

Tang In Tatters? All of a sudden my yellow tangs fins are all frayed and jagged with a slight reddish tint to the edges.  He has not been battling any more than usual and no other fish in the tank seem to have the same problem.  What can I do? Mike <Well, Mike, without knowing the water parameters, tankmates, and other conditions, I can only speculate. My two thoughts about frayed and bloodied fins are that they are caused by either environmental deficiencies (i.e.; detectable ammonia, nitrite, or unusually low pH), or that there could be some form of bacterial or parasitic infection. You may need to do some digging in the WWM FAQs to get a positive ID. If it is an environmental problem, the cure might be as simple as some minor corrections to the tank conditions. Keep a close eye on things, monitor water quality carefully, and take required actions. Then again, it might simply be the result of injury incurred during skirmishes with its tankmates (hence the lack of other affected fishes), so re-visit this possibility, too. Good luck. Regards, Scott F>
Tang In Tatters? (Pt. 2)
<Mike was noticing red streaks and frayed fins on his tang, and is providing more detail son his system parameters...> OK, so I did forget a few details.  100 Gal tank, 75 lbs. live rock, 2" live sand, AIS 90 skimmer, carbon, Chem pure, 100 micron filter pads, 65w compact light, 2-401 power heads, 700gph pump, alk-300, ph-8.2, nitrite-0, nitrate-20, calcium-380.  I do 20% water changes every 10 - 14 days.  Fish : 1 med hippo, 1 med yellow tang ( in tattered fins ), 1 sm Hawkfish, 2 med clowns,  3 small  green Chromis, 1 large beta, lots of snails and crabs, 6 med/large mushrooms, 1 green polyp, 1 sm xenia.   <Sounds nice...> Other than the nitrates and the frayed fins, this tank has been running for 2 years as I have listed.  I removed the bio balls 1 year ago and can't reduce the nitrates any further.  Any ideas?  Thanks............Mike <Well, Mike- I'm leaning towards some type of collateral damage as a result of a conflict with some other inhabitants...Husbandry and tank parameters sound fine. I'd continue to keep an eye on this fish to see if they heal up on their own. Otherwise, if disease seems to manifest, it may be necessary to intervene with medication. My thinking is that if this is a disease, you might be looking at some sort of bacterial infection. Hope these fins heal up without your having to intervene. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Strange Behaviour! Dear Mr. Fenner: <Scott F. here today!> Merry Christmas ! <And Happy New Year to you and yours!> I recently purchased a 4 inch Blue Tang and a 9 inch Yellow Tail Coris Wrasse and added it to my 380 liter FOWLR aquarium with existing inhabitants---11 inch Panther Grouper and 4 inch Brown Tang. <Those are some large and potentially large fishes for a tank of this size...do think about the future...> On its first two days of introduction, both fishes ate some frozen shrimps eagerly. Then their behaviors changed: Coris Wrasse: On its first two days, it would disappear towards the substrate at night and reappear only in the morning which was expected. After two days, it stopped burying itself at night and started  to swim abnormally and in a very crazy fashion----swimming while somersaulting/tumbling, rests with it mouth pointed towards the substrate while the body  in a diagonal position and would occasionally swim up to the  surface and down again. Today he stopped resting at the lower portion of the aquarium and would spend most of his time near the surface of the aquarium and occasionally squirting water. What is wrong? His belly appears to be slightly bloated. <Wow- hard to be sure from here...could be some type of internal parasite of some sort...maybe Vibrio bacteria...? Do check water conditions to verify if there have been no ammonia/nitrite spikes or other chemical parameter fluctuations. Also, do take a good long long at the fish to see if there is any external injury of any sort Don't rule out collection traumas, either...). You seem to make accurate observations, so it seems to me that some sort of internal parasite or infection is possibly the cause here. I'd continue to observe carefully for the next few days, and if the condition does not appear to improve, you may want to remove the fish to a separate tank for treatment...I'd probably look into some antibiotic medications for this condition. Review the wetwebmedia.com disease FAQs before medicating to confirm exactly what you may be dealing with here> Blue Tang: after introducing for 2 days, he started hiding himself among the rockworks and would occasionally peek at his environment and would refuse to eat even food is offered near him. However, the panther is frequently seen resting very near the Tang and would occasionally be rubbing itself against the Tang---but definitely not of the aggressive intent or approach. The blue tang doesn't swim away either. The Panther does that occasionally with the Brown Tang. What do these actions signify? <May be a dominance/submission behavior between the fishes...more posturing than anything else...As long as no one is getting chewed up, I would observe and be prepared to take action if needed> I am perplexed. As far as the water parameters, they are all normal--- zero nitrites, phosphates, 8.2-8.3 ph, specific gravity of 1.15 with sufficient protein skimmer, three airstones, heavy filters. <What was that specific gravity...? If you meant 1.015, that could be a problem... Maybe you're causing osmotic shook to the new fishes...dozens of possibilities. I'm sure that you meant 1.025. If 1.025, not a concern> The panther is with me for exactly a year while the Brown Tang is been there for two months and both have hearty appetites with no apparent aggressive behaviors to the other tenants. Kindly give your views and comments. <I'd just keep observing everyone and be prepared to intervene if disease or further aggression manifest themselves in this tank. Once again, do think long-term about the physical tank sizes required for the large fishes that you are keeping...Maintain the highest possible water quality. Feel free to contact us again if you have any further questions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Fading Yellow Tang - <Greetings, JasonC here...> My yellow tang has always done very well, and still is doing fine (2 yrs old 4").  However, over the past month or two, his dorsal and anal fins have become a little ragged.  The tail and pectoral fins are perfect. I have seen the dorsal and anal split before and they always healed up in a week or two, but this time they don't seem to be repairing themselves.  I have attached a picture that may help. <Looks to me like someone is nipping at them.> I have also noticed that on his left side there is a botchy area where the yellow colour is turning a bit white.  He eats and acts fine, and breathing normally.  I feed all of the fish once or twice a day - marine flakes, Graze flakes, and on occasion Mysis shrimp, glass worms and Marine Cuisine frozen food. <If I were you, I'd invert that food plan, and feed Mysis more often and flakes less often. Flake food is mostly air.> Also every day they get a 2" x 6" piece of dried seaweed to graze on. <And perhaps offer this as the second meal of the day.>  My system is a 90 gal reef with sump, 90 lbs LR Red Sea Berlin Classic Turbo (for up to 250 gal) that produces daily, 700 GPH return, three 402 power heads and both PC and VHO lights.  The fish are a Hippo Tang (4"), Flame Angel, 2 Percula Clowns, Purple Firefish, Royal Gramma, and of course, the Yellow. <There are a couple of suspects in there for aggression... you should keep things under observation.> My water parameters -  nitrate, nitrite ammonia and phosphate are 0.  Calcium has always been a bit on the low side and hasn't been checked in a while but lots of coralline growing so I think it is OK.  Temp is 79 degrees and SG is 1.023.  Recently I have had a bit of Cyano growing (not too bad), but I have bumped up the water changes a bit and it seems to be dissipating.  Is this normal for the Yellow? <Well, many fish change their color to reflect their mood or time of day. As I mentioned before, the fin tears look like bites to me, and being the object of the aggression will depress your yellow tang.> I can't really see him being undernourished, and my water is pretty good.  Any suggestions or am I overreacting?  I have seen many a yellow tang in dealers tanks that have ragged fins, and I was always pretty proud of the fact that my yellow had nice smooth perfect fins. <Everything else being equal, they should regrow.> Thanks for your valuable time, and Merry Christmas!! John
<And Merry Christmas to you. Cheers, J -- >

Yellow Tang wiggles Dear Mr. Fenner: <David Dowless with you this evening> My yellow tang lives with 2 panther groupers ( about 7 inches each) <The panther grows to almost 28"! Your tank will become too small...and soon> and a four inch square Anthias in a 95 gallon tank with live rocks. My aquarium has been cycled for more than 15 months now. <I would consider your tank at capacity right now...> Recently, I noticed that my Yellow Tang wiggles like a goldfish as she swims instead of the usual gliding , fast paced swimming. She is still as active as ever, has a very hearty appetite, tends to go close to the panthers for physical contacts once in awhile. It seems like a mechanical factor. It seems to have some red marks above its eyes; otherwise, everything seems normal. <Well Richard...have you run a full battery of water tests? The redness around the eyes could be a fungus or even more likely, collateral damage from being in a tank with 2x 7" panther groupers...or the swimming problem could be a swim bladder problem. Search WetWebMedia using the terms swim bladder and then check out our section on parasites/fungus. Can you send a picture?> How could I make her swim normally? <See above> Regards, Richard <Good luck! David Dowless>

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

Tang update Hello again Robert It Jason again with an update on our new Tang Acanthurus pyroferus As you and other fish people suggested, I moved our new tang to the main system. He went from 1.012 to 1.19 salinity in a drip feed in about 2 hrs. I figured if he stayed in that q tank any longer he be dead soon anyway. He spent 2 days not wanting to move and was being harassed by my trigger. He has not eaten since Tuesday. This morning I started making plans to bring him back to the store. He just was not wanting hold his own with the other fish. My Trigger absolutely Hates him! Then he started to brave it out later during the day. I started seeing him pick at some rock and explore the rest of the tank. But still That damn trigger was trying to spear him full blast with his mouth. My Annularis Doesn't really bother to chase unless the Tang is in his way. My Flame angel is about the same size as the Tang. They really don't seem to like each other either. They just flutter aggressively next each other and separate. I'm Thinking of removing the trigger into my 12 gall eclipse for a few days. Will this help? <Possibly... but your systems are psychologically overloaded... too crowded period... time to do some hard thinking, and acting on what to remove/keep. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, JET

New tang, big-fish-mix Hi Bob, quick question again.  <Hi Thomas, Lorenzo Gonzalez here, doing my best Bob impression while he's incommunicado-in-Asia> all is REAL well with my reef (added plenum), but had a question about my 160 (yes again). I had the tank coppered and was bringing the tank off of it, when i noticed my tusk started hanging out in the upper right hand corner of my tank, swimming all night!! his fins started to look ragged, so I treated with moderate dose of Maracyn, I then came to realize that my miniatus grouper was no longer so mini, and was territorializing the tank. I traded in the grouper, for a Naso (lipstick tang), and added a small clown. I know I should have waited, but I seldom deal with this this LFS anymore, and wanted to get my credit while I could. <Mmm. The tang is likely quite displeased with any remaining copper in that tank. Tangs and copper never mix well.> Anyway, I want to make sure I am not over stocked or have a bad mix. I have a 12+ queen angel, 5+- blue face, 6 in tusk, 7 in lunatic trigger (cross hatch), the Naso and a small clown. the Naso is exhibiting white dots on fins (I did have a quarantine tank, but that became my sump when I cracked the other).  <Did you at least freshwater dip the incoming fish? Extra important without a quarantine system, and absolutely necessary if that clown is wild-caught.> The tusk already seems happier, the tang is not eating (i got him yesterday, looked good, swimming constantly). Sorry for the length, your writings suggest I have a good selection, my question is one of space and how to coax the Naso to eat. Thanks a million, Tom <Sounds like a workable mix to me. Clown might be seriously shy due to relative dwarfing by those big-boys. Bet that adult queen angel is a real stunner. Oh yeah... the tang would probably appreciate some fluffy Caulerpa, check out Gerald's 'Tang Heaven' (www.ipsf.com), if you really want to treat the fish right. (Throw a light in the cabinet and grow this great stuff in your sump!) In the meantime you can try some Nori, Spirulina, other pre-packaged dried seaweeds, perhaps marinated in a tasty liquid vitamin to help bolster the new Tang, or even some fresh baby spinach (not a long-term staple food) Put the stuff in a clip, attached somewhere near where the tang mostly hangs out, and leave it there a while. > p.s. I lucked into a new LFS in the area that is heavy into successful coral keeping, they are very well read and coincide with your methodology. <Always lucky to find a decent LFS! Regards, Lorenzo>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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