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FAQs about Health/Disease of Tangs 5

FAQs on: Tang Disease 1, Tang Disease 2, Tang Disease 3, Tang Disease 4, 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, Social, 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 Systems,  

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

Healthy tangs are "bright", alert to their environment and your presence.


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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>

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

Blue tang w/HLLE Dear WWM HLLE-guru:<lol> I can't seem to find anywhere a photo of what a Regal Tang looks like with HLLE.<hmm.. well in the last 3 weeks I have seen 4-5 at LFS stores> I have a 4" juvi one of these, and it may or may not be getting this disease. I think these fish have normal bumps and craters in their facial area, but I don't know how to determine on mine if these are normal or the beginnings of HLLE.<well does it look like pitting is taking place? is he still the rich color blue. or is he fading? what do the nitrates test out at and what do you feed this fish. there are many factors involved as you can probably already tell. Can you send a picture of your hippo tang? I can probably tell you if it is the beginning of HLLE> Any links to a good photo would be appreciated... Thanks, SLC <you're welcome, IanB>

To Treat Or Not To Treat? Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> Hoping you can give me some help. I have 3 yellow tangs in a 125 gallon tank with 2 green Chromis, 3 star fish and 2 clown fish. I have had all these for over 8 months. My tangs appear to be getting some red spots on them. What do I do?  I really do not want these guys to die as I have had them since the beginning. The seem to be acting normal, eating, hiding, swimming about. What caused this? <Hard to say...Could be anything from injuries to a parasite, to a stress reaction brought about by declining environmental conditions...A picture would help make a better diagnosis> I checked my water myself and am going to go to the LFS tomorrow morning to have it retested. My salinity is at 23, ammonia 0, nitrates 0, nitrites 0, ph 8.2. They have been doing fine for so long now this. Will this kill them? I don't have a separate tank, and catching them I fear will add to much stress cause of all the hiding places. What should I do? Thanks. <Here are my thoughts. First, continue observing the fishes. If they are still actively swimming about and eating, and otherwise behaving normally, I'd do nothing more than continue to provide the highest level of care. However, if they go off feed, start scratching, or display other obvious signs of discomfort or illness, it may require intervention on your part. Sometimes, this can be as simple as a freshwater dip, or it may require more complex treatment, such as antiparasitic medication, administered in a separate treatment tank or container. No sense in taking rash actions that, as you correctly observe, could cause more harm than good! Do read up a bit on the WWM disease FAQs to see if you come across anything that fits the description of what you're observing. If you can send us a clear picture of what you're seeing, maybe we can make a more accurate diagnosis for you! Good luck, and hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Tang and butterfly hi guys, I have a lipstick tang that is not eating, a day before this happened my Heni B/F died...and I observed that they get along (weird and funny) the tang will always stick around with the Butterflyfish... does this make sense? Is this because of the death of my Heni B/F (psychological)...? will my tang eat again?<he should eat again, I would check your water quality. normally fish don't "just die" there is a cause of death. Good luck, IanB>

Power Blue With The Blues -  8/20/03 We've had a powder blue tang now for about 2 months, and last night I noticed that half of his body turned a patchy dark blue color. <Sounds like Velvet to me. Read up here on it. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm >   Then this morning he wouldn't eat, and he is not using his left fin at all, and most of the time he's not using the back fin. <First things first. Get him/her into a QT.>   He had been darting around the tank for a while now, and we've been doing water changes every week or so. He's trying to keep his balance, but sometimes he will be on his side.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you,  Tara <Treat this by giving the fish a FW dip. Make sure the FW is pH adjusted. Try this and see what happens. In the meantime, keep trying to feed. Maybe offer some new foods, are you feeding Nori (dried seaweed)? Keep fighting and get back w/ me if anything changes!  Phil>  

Tangled Tang? Good Day Gent's (& Ladies) <Hi there! Scott F. at your service today> Still reading Reef Invertebrates...Great Stuff. My question deals with a Vertebrate though...I have a small reef set-up and included in the tank is a Yellow Tang. I recently noticed that the skin around the upper portion of his/her mouth looks as if it folded over on itself possibly sometime during foraging on the live rock. I've included a few pictures. They aren't real clear as I am new at the art of attempting to "catch" a moving creature behind glass with a camera. <Actually, your photos seemed to capture it well!> The only way I can describe what I see is it looks as though the upper half of the skin covering the tang's teeth has been pulled up and folded over back onto itself which exposes the tang's upper teeth. I can't see any red areas as if it ran into anything and I can actually see the "flap" of skin neatly folded back. I don't see any signs of stress and the Tang is still eating well and foraging. My dilemma is whether to leave it as it is thinking I might cause more problems and stress trying to catch the tang and fix the problem or try and pluck the tang from the water and perform a lip-ectomy on it. Any suggestions? <I was initially thinking that it was caused by some kind of trauma to the mouth of the animal...I was thinking about other damaged mouthparts that I've seen on Ctenochaetus species tangs, which usually spells doom for the animal... In the case of your tang, however, it seems that he's still able to eat and does not appear to show any other signs of illness or discomfort... It might simply be "swelling" of the mouth tissue, caused by some abrasion or something... I'm inclined to agree with your assessment that capturing the tang may cause more stress than it's worth at this point. I'd try to keep an eye on this guy, and only take action if the situation warrants it...If the "swelling", or whatever it is goes away on its own, I think that would be the optimum result! However, in the absence of other symptoms, the course of action I might be inclined to take (if it comes to it) would be to utilize Epsom salt (in a separate treatment tank) to help "draw down" the swelling....> One further question. This same tang has only one barb on it's tail fin. It has a barb on the right side but none on the left. Is this common or is it possible it lost the barb during capture and/or shipment? <I believe that you're referring to the acanthus, which is used mainly for defensive purposes. It is quite possible that the fish was damaged during the capture and shipping process...Once again, unless the fish is in distress, I would not be overly concerned...> Thanks again for your help. J.T.
<Any time! Regards, Scott F.>

- My Yellow Tang is Turning Brown - I have noticed on my yellow tang brown streaking I have read is caused by a bacterial infection.  <The origin might be bacterial, but this problem almost always shows itself as a result of water quality issues.>  I would like to no how to treat these brown streaks I appreciate the help.  <Please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm  Cheers, J -- >

Tangs and Ich This is my tank -90 bow front FOWLR (145lbs) -15 gallon sump -650 gph flow through sump -4 maxi-jet 1200 -1/2 inches "Florida crushed coral substrate" -Aqua C 180 EV skimmer with Mag drive 5 pump -2-65 watt 10 K full spectrum PC 12 hrs per day -2-65 watt 03 actinic blue 14 hrs per day -2-300 watt heaters -2 bags of carbon (app 1 cup each) replaced alternately once per month -ammonia - 0 -nitrite - 0 -nitrate - below measurable limits -temp - 79-80 -calcium - 310 ppm   <May want to raise this a bit> -s.g. - 1.025 -pH - 8.22 - 8.35 (buffered occasionally with Seachem Reef buffer) -RO water for everything -Mag - 1250 ppm -Total Alkalinity - 4.5 meq/l Inhabitants -4 true tank raised clowns about one and a half inches long (bought together, unsexed, very healthy, lively, playful, hungry- I think I know which one will eventually be the female) -1 regal tang -3 small feather dusters which are growing about 1/4 inch per week (got free with LR) -1 (has recently split into 8) mushroom which gets really big during the day (also got free with LR) <Sounds great so far> Questions:  I have a 4 inch regal tang that I have had for 7 months now.  Since I got him there have been no additions or changes to the tank, except the cleaner shrimp.  He seems to be getting ich.  2 days ago he had 7 or 8 white spots on his body.  Today he has 25 or 30.  I finally caught him, a very difficult task considering all the LR in the tank, and gave him a ph adjusted fresh water bath.  I also just recently got a cleaner shrimp.  I don't know if he is cleaning him or not (I have never seen any interaction between the two) He is eating fine.  (Red, green, and purple dries algae, Mysis shrimp, blood worms, and many other vitamin enhanced dry and flake foods.)  Should I just keep an eye on him and quarantine with copper if he gets worse, hoping that the cleaner shrimp may help?  Or should I go through the grueling procedure of catching him again to put in quarantine right away? Also, with no additions to the tank for 7 months, where would the ich come from.  How could it have been introduced into the system?  Thanks for all your help.   <You'll need to QT him with copper, give him freshwater dips.  A cleaner shrimp won't fix an ich outbreak.  The longer he's in the tank, the longer the parasite has to locate new hosts (your clowns) and spread like a plague.  Get that Tang out, and quickly.  Be prepared to QT the clowns as well, and run your tank fallow for 4+weeks.  You may get lucky and only need to treat the Tang this time.  Best of luck! Ryan>
Tangs and Ich, Part 2 <Hello Again! Ryan back> I just got your message today and would like to ask one more question.  The regal tang is showing no real signs of ich except for the spots, but today the spots are gone.  Should I keep a close eye on him and be prepared to quarantine him with copper if things get worse? <Ich is a parasite with a life cycle.  After it hosts on your fish, it falls off to create cysts at the bottom of your tank.  These reproduce.  QT that fish, implement that copper.  As for the display, do a water change, and try to vacuum from as close to the substrate as you can.> Or should I do it right away?  I have heard of fish, especially tangs, getting some ich, but then recovering on their own with no intervention.  <Not realistic in your situation>  Is this possible, or just being to risky?  Thanks again for all the expertise. <No shortcuts here, I'm afraid.  Best of luck! Ryan>

As The Worm Turns? (Fighting Intestinal Worms) Hi Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. your Crew Member today!> I DID IT - I finally caught my sick Naso (180 gal, lots of LR)!!!  Now that I finally have this sick fish in a QT, the information I need is how to treat him/her.  From reading MANY posts on your website, my assessment (best guess) is that my Naso Tang has intestinal worms.  I have not seen any worms but this fish has not eaten in 5-6 days and I can nearly see through it because it is so emaciated.  I do not notice a swollen area near the posterior of the fish, similar to those that had a blockage. <Sounds like it may be just that, but usually, you can't tell 100% unless you dissect the animal... I guess you'll have to go with your best guess here. > I noted that some of the people who discovered this issue with their Naso in time took the fish to a vet who administered an oral de-wormer.  I do not know of any vet in my area that treats fish.  Is there anything I can use to treat my Naso for worms?  I currently have Cu in the QT (3.0 PPM) and I am using Melafix because I have read several positive results from using this "natural" medication and no negative results. <I am skeptical about it...It's supposedly for external problems, too, by the way...I'd remove the copper, is it may be causing more harm than good to the fish, by damaging it's digestive fauna...Not a good thing when a fish is possibly starving. Although it is reported by some people to be successful at treating worms, I'd use Poly Filter or Cupri Sorb to remove the copper, and keep up a lot of regular small water changes. As far as a medication for intestinal worms, I'd steer towards a medication like Praziquantel, or possibly a Formalin based medication.> As I mentioned previously, I did previously notice a single "attachment" to the throat area of this fish that dropped off the day after I noticed it.  I assumed this was some sort of parasite but no others have returned in the approximate 5 days since this "attachment" fell off.  I thought the Melafix would also be good to prevent a secondary infection at the site of this parasite attachment. <Ahh... didn't see your first post. Now I understand your rationale for using Melafix...Good thought> Assuming I am able to cure my Naso of these (assumed) worms in time, would these worms not still be present in my main tank?  If so, how do I prevent a re-occurrence? <Unlikely. Usually, these worms come in with the fish from the wild, so it's hard for me to imagine that they are present in the tank in any numbers that could be a problem. On the other hand, the external parasite that you noted could have reproduced, and could be a potential problem. Observe carefully, and let the tank go fallow if this turns out to be a problem. Parasites don't fare well without hosts! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> ________________________________________ My information contribution: Hopefully this will help some other person who is finding it impossible to catch fish in a large tank with many rocks.  This is how I finally caught my Naso:  Since I have several other Tangs (ich magnets) in my tank, I was very worried about stressing all the fish in the tank and causing an ich outbreak.  To minimize stress (the fishes' and mine), I waited until night and turned off the aquarium lights (leaving only a flashlight pointing at the bottom of the opposite end of the tank from where my fish sleep).  Once all fish has settled into their normal sleeping positions, I slowly removed all live rock that was not directly providing immediate shelter for a sleeping fish (moving the rock to the opposite end of the tank without exposing it to air).  I then used whatever I could find (feeding tongs, plastic cup, etc.) to plug any holes/cracks between rocks that were large enough for this fish to fit through.  Although not necessary, I have a Sony camcorder with infrared night vision, which I used to locate the Naso without disturbing the other fish (just a tip in case you happen to have a similar camera).  I placed one (larger) net at the single opening I had left between the rock and glass on one side of the aquarium.  I then (very gently) moved the other (smaller, more maneuverable) net near the fish from the opposite side of the tank.  To me it seemed that this was just an annoyance to the fish rather than causing fright.  Once the fish got close enough to the large net to realize what was happening and to begin zig-zagging, looking for another quick getaway, I turned the flashlight directly on the fish causing it to become temporarily disoriented.  I then quickly scooped it up with the large net and let it swim into a container in the aquarium, filled with aquarium water.  Leaving the lights out the entire time (other than the small flashlight), I poured the fish into the QT. Maybe this sounds a little extreme (overly-cautious) but I have heard horror stories of ich outbreaks with tangs that led to loss of all the fish.  I do not want that guilt (or loss of $$)!  Like I said, hopefully this will help someone else because I struggled with several attempts before finally finding a way to catch the fish.  I nearly just left it in the tank to "wait and see" - probably a certain death from what I have read. Please advise how I can treat for worms and THANK YOU so much for all the help you are providing with this forum.  Greg

- Chewed up Sailfin tang - I have a sail fin tang and a clown fish.  <Hellooo, Kevin here, it's 2 am after a long night of unpacking fish and coral. Ahh, the joys of Southwest airlines...>  My water levels are fine. I have a  few live rocks. My tang is a pig and eats everything I put in, almost like he  is starving all the time.  He looks like his fins have been completely picked  off. Other than that his color looks good.   Will his fins ever grow back?  <They should, although they may still appear ragged in some spots>  I  have had him at least 6 months and the loss of his fins has been gradual. Help.  Any assistance is greatly appreciated.  Kim <Sounds like your clown is doing it when you're not looking. You may want to isolate it for a while and see if the fin damage still gets worse. If it does, it's got fin rot or some other fin eating disease. Keep it well fed and happy in the meantime. Good luck! -Kevin>   

-Tang and Sandsifter problems- Hello crew - I hope all is well for you.  Thank you SOOO MUCH for the service you provide! <You are entirely welcome!> I have several questions (hope you take time to read/answer all, please excuse the length but I want you to have all relevant details) so I will begin with the "possible emergency".  I have searched your site but did not find anything that addressed my fishes' issues exactly: 1)  My tangs recently developed a case of ich and I am struggling with treatment options since there are many hiding places within the live rock, making catching the tangs (to put into a QT) VERY difficult and stressful for them.  I have a 180 gal tank with a Hippo, Yellow, Naso and Kole Tang (all approx 4"), a pair of maroon clowns with BTA, Diamond Goby, Red Lip Blenny, a few small damsels and a variety of inverts (basic algae / detritus cleaners + flame scallop, 3 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermint shrimp, etc.).   So obviously, using copper in my main tank is out of the question.  My tank has been up for about 3 months now and has had zero nitrates/nitrites for 2+ months (SG=1.0235, pH=8.2, Ca=280 yes LOW and Temp=81?F <temporarily elevated to accelerate ich life cycle>).  I am also running a 25W UV.  I added all tangs to the tank 2 weeks ago.  Since I did not want all the tangs fighting and possibly dying I added them all at the same time. <Too many ich-magnets to add at once...> Unfortunately I felt 5 tangs (originally there was a Powder Blue also) in my 20 gal QT would be too stressful for them so I put them directly in my main tank (cringe - I know). <The only way to do it would be to quarantine them separately. You would likely have had no problem introducing them one by one, but I'd go with a max of 3 for a 6' tank.> All was fine until, about 4 days ago I noticed the Hippo Tang flashing on everything and I noticed a few salt crystal-sized white spots on the Naso, Hippo and Kole. Terrified of an impending ich takeover I began researching reef-safe ich medications (again worried about stress of catching fish + stress of them being stuffed in a 20 gal QT). Although none of these medications appear to be even close to the effectiveness of Cu, the best reviews I found were for "Stop Parasite". What is your opinion of the effectiveness of "Stop Parasite" and it's effect on inverts? <I've yet to run into a reef safe med that works, including that product.> For a 180 gal tank, treatment of the main tank is going to be expensive (and possibly ineffective or risky for inverts).  Currently I am trying the "let their own immune system fight it off" approach but I know ich can turn nasty FAST.  I am feeding them Formula One pellets (containing some garlic) as well as a mixture of silversides, brine shrimp and zooplankton soaked in Selcon and minced garlic.  Over the past 4 days, using this approach, the number of white spots has not increased and all fish are still eating voraciously (white spots and flashing have not decreased either). So what do you recommend: Continue the "natural immune system approach" <It's obviously not working, something needs to be done fast!> (maintaining high water quality, UV, cleaner shrimp and diet), using a reef-safe medication in my main tank, catching and QT'ing all fish - or something else? <Well, unfortunately, methinks that you'll have to get them out. It appears that they aren't going to be able to ward off the infestation themselves, so they'll need to be treated in another system. I'd suggest quarantining them separately, or at least with partitions, in a few tanks (could even be Rubbermaid bins, just keep them separate with plenty of swimming room). There you could use copper sulfate, formalin, and malachite green; a very powerful combination since the fish are getting pretty bad. You should also do a freshwater dip on their way in to the QT system. Check out our articles and FAQ's on quarantine.> 2) My Kole Tang has been acting strangely for the past few days.  It swims very quickly toward the glass and briskly along the glass with its tail "scalpels" extended and fins flaring.  Sometimes it darts quickly back and forth or shakes.  It has three cuts on its nose, presumable from this activity as well as sometimes running directly into rock. <Potentially from the other tangs> Otherwise it appears very healthy.  Do you think it is attempting to attack its reflection or do you think this is related to the ich mentioned above or some other disease? <Sounds a little stressed by the disease, but we won't know for sure.> 3) I have had two lawnmower blennies and an eyelash blenny die.  Originally the only (known) inhabitants of my tank were a lawnmower blenny, 6 damsels, a diamond goby, starfish (sand sifting, brittle and serpent), tiny blue and red leg hermits, snails, flame scallop, coral banded and peppermint shrimp, small queen & fighting conch and emerald crabs.  This first lawnmower blenny lasted about 2-3 weeks; munching algae the entire time.  After adding the tangs and a few more critters (horseshoe crabs, sand crabs, sea cucumbers, more tiny blue leg hermits) I also added another large (approx 3 1/2") lawnmower blenny.  After about a week I added a smaller red lip and eyelash blenny.  Approximately 5 days later I found the lawnmower blenny dead.  The next day I found the eyelash blenny dead.  All had been eating well, there were no signs of torn fins, bites, parasites, spots, etc.  They were just alive, munching on algae one night and dead the next morning.  What could be causing this? <Sounds like bad fish, again, hard to tell> 4) My Orange-spotted Diamond Goby (approx 6") has been in my tank for nearly two months - apparently doing well (constantly sifting sand).  For roughly the past week I have noticed this goby getting thinner and thinner until now I am concerned it could starve to death any day. <That's a problem with these guys, since you have horseshoe crabs and a sand sifting star, you have way too many things competing for the same food source. Another bad thing about this is that your sandbed is pretty much sterile, as far as critters are concerned. I'd remove all the sand sifting things for now and add a bunch of live sand.> I can see its ribs.  I feed all the fish very well (3 times daily, an alternating variety of Formula 2 pellets, seaweed, silversides, brine shrimp).  The starfish, crabs, etc. living in the substrate all seem to be fed well.   For the past 3 days I have been squirting brine shrimp from a baster directly in front of this goby.  I also added a few feeder guppies one day and some small pieces of silversides on another day. <Ix-nay on the feeder guppies, freshwater fish are not to good for marines.> The goby has sampled all of these but I am still worried since I do not notice it looking any better.  What could be wrong?  What can I do to save this fish? <You'll have to relocate it to a tank with ample live substrate for him to sift through. It's unfortunate, but there's just not anything left in your sandbed.> 5)  I am in the process of curing live rock.  Unfortunately, during the first 3 days when I was preparing my next batch of RO water, the ammonia level in my rock-curing 32 gal trash can spiked to over 8 PPM (off the test chart)!!  Since Ammonia does not immediately jump to 8 PPM, it must have been at toxic level for probably two days.  I did a 100% water change (scrubbed the rock and moved it to another container of aged sea water of same temp) and it has been curing there for three days.  Ammonia is just now starting to re-appear so I scrubbed the rock again and moved it back to the original container (clean water of course).  After the initial extreme ammonia levels, do you think I will have any life on this rock? <I'm sure some stuff survived> I currently have a fish-only tank, so I am not overly concerned with sponges, etc. but I do not want to lose the nitrifying bacteria or coralline algae and it would be nice to have a few surprise (good) inverts as well.  Also, I initially dipped the rock I a 1.040 SG saltwater solution to hopefully rid the rock of undesirables but nothing came out.  This was before the ammonia issue.  Is this an indication the rock really never had much life to begin with or does the hyper-salinity dip not work well to drive out inverts? <It's good for getting stomapods out, and really shouldn't hurt anything else too bad. > Believe it or not, that was my last question.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING THIS FAR (and hopefully for providing answers)! <I wish you much luck, and would suggest that you do a little more research on the critters that you purchase in the future. We're always here! -Kevin> --Greg

The Klutzy Sohal... I have a Sohal tang.  He seems to be accident prone, right now he has a injury on his fin that is on the side of his body by his head.  I don't know what he keeps getting hurt on all I have in my tank is live rock and some fake coral, and a clown trigger. The injury he has right now is not puffy red or anything like that, he has gotten hurt before and it heals right up. <Glad to hear that! If a fish is going to clobber himself all of the time, it's always good to heal quickly!>   Could it be that my clown trigger is biting him? <Could be...But it could also be a function of the fish's behavior...If the tank is too small for this guy, his nervous "pacing" could result in him bashing into stuff. Or, if that's not the case, the fish may have some vision problems or problems maintaining hydrostatic control (i.e.; his swimming capability is compromised)...Lots of possibilities> When I watch my fish they both seem to be getting along just fine even at night.  They both are eating fine and swim around and don't chase each other.  I know that the Sohal could easily kill my clown trigger if it wanted to. Also I was wondering as far as tankmates go I was thinking about a blonde Naso tang, or a powder brown tang, or a flame angel, or a yellow tang.  Will any of these fish be ok with the two I have now?? <In my opinion, no. The Sohal will usually just beat the crap out of any other tang added, unless you have a very large (like 500 gallons plus) tank...Not worth the risk, IMO> Thank you for your time. Scott <My pleasure, Scott! Regards, Scott F>

Naso tang in shock I acclimated my new Naso tang this morning.  Since he has been released into my system he has remained in shock (lying on the bottom, breathing rapidly, moving his side fins and keeping his dorsal fin erect). <Signs of anoxia, a lack of oxygen>   He has moved a few inches here and there but is otherwise looking pretty pathetic.  Is there anything that I can do to help?  Does his actions mean inevitable death? <Add aeration ASAP. An airstone/mechanical diffuser, air intakes on your powerheads...> The other fish that were acclimated were 2 Heniochus, flame hawk, anemone and a coral banded shrimp...all are doing extremely well.  Lights are still off.  Any suggestions or valuable insights? Carrie <Naso genus tangs are active, large animals that require high, consistent levels of dissolved oxygen... and as part of this, plenty of room to swim, have for gaseous exchange. And yes, best to leave the lights off for now. Bob Fenner>

All Tangled Up...? I have had a reef tank setup for a year now,72 gallon bow. My question is referring to my incredibly bad luck maintaining tangs for indefinite periods. <A lot of other people do, too!> I have had Sailfins, Naso,&Kole tangs and I can't keep one alive for longer than three months! My system is good, PH 8.3-nitrite 0-ammonia 0-temp 77-calcium 420. My most recent loss was a six inch Sailfin which I had with one tomato clown, cleaner shrimp, snails,&crabs. I would feed him brine shrimp, brown marine algae, and he also had a supply of hair alga in the tank on which he grazed frequently. I watched how he and the tomato got along and they seemed to be okay with one and other. All of a sudden I noticed a change in the sailfin's behavior he became shy and isolated, avoided the clownfish, ate very sparingly, and changed color to completely black the night before he died. <Well, it certainly sounds like he was under some sort of stress before he died. In the absence of obvious disease symptoms and poor water quality, we may have to conclude that some other factor was involved. I'm thinking about the overall stress that a subadult Sailfin can undergo during the transition from wild to captivity. The Sailfin tang is a great fish...I love them more than almost any other tang. However, they have the potential to get huge (15 inches plus), and require a lot of space. If it were me, I would start with a juvenile specimen (maybe 2-1/2 to 3 inches or so), as they usually will have an easier time acclimating to captive life. I think that the strategy of getting smaller, subadult fishes of almost any species gives them a better chance to make the transition. A six incher is already used to a life in the limitless space of the wild reef. Placing such a fish in a modest sized tank can contribute to the stress. If you're looking at keeping larger tangs, like the Nasos and Sailfins, I would avoid one unless you have the potential to provide a truly large tank in the near future. Frankly, I would not even attempt to keep such a tang in anything under 240-300 gallons (or more!). Stick to the smaller guys, like the Koles and the Z. flavescens (Yellow Tang), as they don't achieve such large proportions, and may adapt better to more modest sized tanks.> I am a long time marine, African, and koi keeper so I am not a novice, all my other inhabitants are fine and my corals are good so I don't believe it's an environmental issue. It happened so quickly I assume it was a stress related death. <We're on the same page...> Any idea's would be greatly appreciated, I can't see the tomato being the cause because of the duration of time they were together in the tank and I haven't ever heard of clowns not tolerating tangs? <I don't think the clown was the cause....Sounds like other stressors, as indicated above> Anyway I think my next attempt at a tang will be a yellow, it will be easier on my wallet and I've had better luck maintaining them in the past! <Agreed! Much more hardy than most other tangs, readily available from Hawaii, and generally collected "cleanly", and since the travel time is less than from, say- Indonesia, the fishes are not subjected to as much shipping stress, or lack of food...> Still though I would appreciate you're feedback, all of the tangs I've kept are supposedly hardy species, just not in my reef tank) and since keeping hair algae naturally at bay is best done by tangs this is my quandary! Any ideas? <Well, I think that you're on the right track here. Try a smaller specimen of a species that reaches a smaller maximum length, and be sure to include some fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria as a good part of your tang's diet...It can make a big difference in the overall health of your tang> I  just don't understand how a seemingly healthy fish could crash in two days after showing absolutely no signs of being ill three months prior? THANKS! <Well, as they say- stress is the "silent killer"...It can be a real factor in the death of many captive fishes...I would not be discouraged from trying again with another, more appropriate tang. Your experience and high level of care will make the difference! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Injured Sohal tang (7-15-03) My Sohal tang got either burnt or cut by something in my quarantine tank.   Will he be alright its nothing big just a little cut.  Do I have to put medicine on him or will it heal on its own??  <Just keep a close eye on him and make sure it doesn't get worse,  if it does start to look like its infected (red , puffy...) you will want to start treatment.  The best thing you could do is give him the best water quality possible and baby him for a while, but do NOT remove him from quarantine.  You can research the best way to treat him, if needed on our many facts at wetwebmedia.com These guys are tough and he should pull through OK! Cody> Thanks again for your time. Scott

- Yellow Tang Going Downhill - Hola my piscatorial friends: <Hello there!> I recently purchased and treated a pair of Z. Flavescens with Malachite Green & Formalin (one drop/gallon) / adjusted pH freshwater to remove what resembled crypt. The fish got really stressed and one eventually died. At present, the survivor is refusing to eat and it's dorsal and caudal fins are starting to waste away. <Could be a subsequent infection from the bout with crypto.> I've tried flakes, enriched brine, Mysis and clam to no avail. <Although fish in this condition rarely make it, I'd try some erythromycin or another general antibiotic to knock out any infection in the fins. If the ich is still there, discontinue the formalin and malachite and treat with copper sulfate (use carbon to remove traces of previous meds so they don't interfere with the antibiotic). I wish you luck. -Kevin> Please advice on how to save this fish. Best, B Chandra

Yellow tang losing coloration.  (7/8/03) I have a 38 gallon tank with a 2 and half inch Huma-Huma trigger and a 3 inch yellow tang. They get along great! I have a Whisper 60 and 2x100gph powerheads for filtration. I have had my tank for just about a year. I bought the tang about 3 months ago (in perfect health) slowly in time his nose began to turn white and then around the horizontal line along the length of its body about 5mm below the dorsal fin. I first suspected HLLE but it isn't I'm positive. Now his whole body in a translucent he's not yellow any more only a glimpse of yellow left. I can see his insides and he has been like this for about a month and a half. He eats fine and acts normal. But his skin condition seems to get worse. But it does vary from day to day from whole body or half the body. His breathing might have slightly increased but nothing that has worried me yet. I feed him a varied diet of broccoli, carrots, squash, algae, and he grazes all day long.  <Try feeding him foods of marine origin and discontinue the veggies.  Ocean Nutrition makes algae strips that work very well, also try the formula 2.  If your LFS doesn't carry it try one of our sponsors on our website.  Also try feeding him Mysis shrimp and make sure no brine is being fed as brine has very little nutritional value (Its like eating a candy bar).> He has me stumped I don't know what to do. What ever he has hasn't affected my Huma he is still perfectly healthy. I hope you can help.  <Try the different foods and let me know how he's doing in a month or so.  Cody>

- Follow-up: Down but Not Out, Black spot on tangs - Hello Anthony or WWM Crew, <It's JasonC today... hello to you.> Well this Tang was doing great, until I tried to cure it of its black spot disease, and then I killed it with a freshwater dip. This makes it 2-and-0 for my success rate having a healthy fish make it out of my FW dips alive (I wrote about a Coral Beauty that I sent into the hereafter with a FW dip.) I've had this Tang quarantined for about a week, without any meds or dips, just to observe what was going on and allow it to get acclimated to the QT before I dipped it. As I mentioned below, the black spots seemed to have gone away, and I've been vacuuming the tank floor every day, and these spots still hadn't reappeared. <These cycles take time - they have a life cycle which means if you've seen them once, you will see them again.> My thinking was that it might be a good time for a dip, since the absence of any noticeable black spots would mean there were very few worms on the Tang, and the Tang might be resultantly at a strong point to stand up to 'osmotic stretch' (by not having to fight parasites.) I prepared the water as instructed everywhere I've read about this procedure (nuked the chlorine/chloramine with Amquel, got the temp and pH (using Proper pH 8.2) as close as I could to the QT.) I put the Tang in the dip bucket for less than 2 minutes, moved it back to the QT, and it sank to the bottom on its side, breathing heavily for about an hour before it expired. <Well... the anecdote about this type of occurrence is that if it didn't make it through the dip, it wasn't going to make it anyway. I'm sure that is no consolation to you, but... is pretty much how it goes.> I'm getting very frustrated, as a simple procedure that is commonly used everywhere I read about disease prevention and cures, is turning out disastrous for me. These fish were apparently very strong and healthy before the dips, eating and looking 100%, and I just keep knocking them off like it's pure chlorine I'm dipping them in. <Perhaps not as strong as they appeared. Sadly, fish aren't like other things we are familiar with - other mammals: people, cats, dogs, etc... - fish can look excellent until the last day and then just drop dead or when they do show signs of illness, they are already on an irreversible path to the end.> I've thought of a few reasons for my failures: 1.) I'm not really removing all the chlorine and chloramine, or just breaking chloramine bonds and leaving ammonia in the water. <Possible... a good way to be certain would be to prepare the dipping water a day in advance.> 2.) The pH is not as close in the dip bucket to the QT as it should be. <Unless the pH is drastically different, [+/- 0.1 is fine] I wouldn't be concerned about this.> 3.) Same as #2 for temp. <How about aeration? Again, unless the temperatures are vastly different, this is probably not an issue.> 4.) I'm cursed. <Or your fish store is cursed. I would have a talk with them about the origin of their livestock. Many stores obtain their fish via a method called trans-shipping which more often than not results in compromised livestock. Also, the point of origin is important.> 5.) I'm stupid. <Probably not.> 6.) These fish just can't take it, for unknown reasons, and I've had an unlucky streak. <This is most likely, and in combination with my answer to #4.> As a further mysterious factor, our tap water here is very good, as in the chlorine/chloramine levels straight from the tap are almost 0, and anything else even remotely 'bad' (like copper, nitrites, nitrates) are below detection. This time of the year the pH straight from the tap is at or above 8.0. Maybe I should try hypo-salinity dips with Methylene Blue or similar from now on ... or sell my aquarium and just get one of those cheesy plastic tanks with fake plastic fish that float around when you plug the thing in. <Stick with it... the learning curve may be steep, but the rewards are well worth it. Again, do consult with the store where you purchase the fish. Both of the fish you mention are relatively sturdy, and I've dipped both in the past and never had problems.> Betcha I couldn't kill those guys. Thanks, SLC Fish Killed While You Wait <Chin up. Cheers, J -- >

Troubled Tang? Good evening. <Hello there! Scott F. with you tonight> My purple tang has skin sloughing off one whole side of his body.  Appearance has gone from brilliant purple to grey/white on that side. Other side shows some discoloration but not nearly so much.  I've had the fish for several years with no prior problems.  He's in one of 2 120's networked to a common sump. Soft coral reef tanks w/ moderate tank loading and excellent water quality, powerful skimmers, lots of water circulation, etc.  The other fish appear to be unaffected.  Tried to catch the tang, but that's not easy in a reef. <That's for darn sure!> The startling part of this is all has happened within 24 hours.  Last night he looked fine, tonight he looks terrible. No scratching and no visible parasites.  He's not the pig he usually is, but he did eat so I gave him some Tetra medicated food. Ideas? Recommendations? <Hmm.. hard to be sure without a pic, but it could be either a fungal infection of some sort, or reaction to a trauma (sloughing mucus and body slime). It could even be a parasitic infection...lots of possibilities...Unfortunately, any potential treatment calls for removal of the affected fish from the aquarium; at the very least, for observation. If it is some sort of parasitic disease, time is of the essence, as it could spread to your other fishes. If it is some sort of reaction to injury, you might luck out by simply maintaining excellent water conditions and the use of "biological" cleaners, like neon gobies or cleaner shrimp. Observe carefully, and take immediate action if required...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Down but not out: Black spot on tangs 7/1/03 Hello (Anthony), <howdy> On a strange note, this Yellow Tang seems to have lost its black spots within a day of being quarantined. I have not done anything as far as dips or meds. Did the turbinellarid worms cycle off of the Tang and into the larval cyst form (or whatever flatworms do?) <some perhaps... but the game is not over so soon. Still a minimum of 8 day bottom siphoning... 4 week QT> I've vacuumed the QT floor until it was clean enough for Mother Mary herself to eat off of, so hopefully they won't cycle back onto my poor sweet Yellow Gal. <not likely or realistic, but a good start perhaps> It seems like this would be too easy of a solution. <correct> I still want to let the main tank lie fallow for 4 weeks, so there's no rush in getting this gal back in there. Thanks, <very good, mate... a solid 4 weeks is always the best/safest route. Kind regards, Anthony>

Blue tang >I recently purchased a blue tang he's about 6 inches long.  I have an 80 gallon tank with a dwarf lion, dogface puffer, and a green bird wrasse.  I've had the blue tang for 5 days and he hasn't eaten anything.  I've tried to feed him seaweed, brine shrimp, and emerald entree. I don't know what else to do and I don't want him to die. >>Hello Nathan, Marina to try and help you this morning.  By your message it seems that you have not quarantined the fish.  At this point, if I were in your position I would try to get the fish into a q/t system, just for observation.  Does he otherwise seem to be behaving normally?  If he's a powder blue tang, Acanthurus leucosternon, then I would expect him to be more skittish than Paracanthurus hepatus (see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acanthurTngs.htm ), which would mean that he's not only going to present more feeding problems, but he'll be much more susceptible to disease (read: easily stressed animal).  Was the fish eating before you purchased it?  If so, contact the shop you purchased it from and ask what they were feeding.  Test your water and ensure that water quality is not the problem.  If it is, do a 50% water change and see if that helps.  The more information we get the better we can help you.  Marina

- Beautiful Tangs... But What a Pain! - Hi Crew: <Hello to you, JasonC here...> You guys (gals) are the best!!  Thanks for all the hard work!! I have a question for which there may be no answer, but thought I'd ask the community mind known as the CREW.  Getting a little sci-fi in here.... It's a far too familiar story... broken heater (Ebo Jager no less!)... water rising to 88 degrees before the forlorn aquarist realizes that his charges are now living in a warm bath!  Although tempted to panic, the aquarist keeps his head after reading stories of rash action and tragedy on WWM.  He removes the covers from the tank and allows it to cool naturally.  The fish seem to be no worse for wear.  Whew!!! But wait... I have hippo tangs!!!  You can guess the upshot from there. ICH!! Anyway, here is the rundown.  I have a 110 FWLRGX (fish with LR, gorgonians and xenia) with a cool cascading refugium system that I built (two 30s with DSBs and LR that overflow into each other and then into a 40BR sump w/skimmer).  The main tank contains about 150 lbs of LR.  The inhabitants are: 2x Chaetodon (4") 2x Paracanthurus hepatus (3-4") 1x Acanthurus japonicus (4") 1x Centropyge ferrugata (2-3") 1x Holacanthus ciliaris (2") (I know she's kind of small, but I couldn't resist the allure/challenge of raising this tiny creature to her full majestic size and glory!!! <laugh>  I had her in one of the 30s in the refugium system while I was trying to fatten her up... this was after quarantine, as I always quarantine 3-4 weeks...and she is showing a few spots as well)  (And yes, there is a much bigger tank in the planning stages for the next couple of years.) Assorted snails and hermits 2x gorgonians and some madly growing xenia (the Aurigas seem to leave these alone after initially sampling them a bit) 2x cleaner shrimp, 1x fire shrimp All seemed well until this ich outbreak.  Water quality is 0-0-5 (and hopefully those nitrates will vanish with the maturation of the DSBs), pH 8.2, temp 79 except for this episode.  I have a few of questions including the one for which there may be no answer.  From my reading, I intend to let the tank run fallow for at least a month.  I intend to start treatment of the fish with a fresh water Meth blue bath (5-10 minutes depending on reactions), then... 1) I understand that copper sulfate is probably the best way to go with treatment generally but, since the Rusty angel is sensitive to organic dyes and metal, should I treat him separately w/ formalin? <I think copper will be fine - their sensitivity to such things is connected to their size so stay on the lower end of the recommended dose, roughly 0.15 ppm.> Fresh water bath only... skip the bath altogether? <I would also dip, these fish are plenty tough to make it through this.> Better suggestions? 2) I haven't read so, but since the Aurigas are more sensitive than some fish, is Meth blue/copper okay for their treatment? <Should be fine.> 3) Any problem with treating the Hippos and Powder Brown with Meth blue/copper? <Not really - just avoid exposing them to copper for longer than the standard treatment [14 days].> 4) Now for the question for which I have not the slightest clue (and for which this missive is titled)...how do I get the hippos into the treatment tank?  From past experience with rearranging my LR, I know that as soon as my hand goes in the tank the hippos go into my biggest, "holeyest" piece of rock and do not come out even if the rock is lifted from the water! Generally this behavior is one of the things that make these fish so interesting, but now it is just a giant pain.  What to do... what to do??? <Hmm... you will probably have to employ a number of strategies... for starters, perhaps try to go for their favorite rocks first, or even partition those off, so that flight into those rocks doesn't work. I've also seen friends lift the rock from the water and then pour tank water on the fish until the realize they're in more trouble out of the water than in. The fish I've had to extract from rock are always so small I have to break the rock... very carefully. You might also try a trap.> I'd appreciate any input that you guys have on these questions... or anything else that you can think of from my note.  You are the best! Thanks, Greg P.S., can't wait to get the new reef invert book! <Book will be out very soon. Cheers, J -- >

- Powder Blue Tang Problems - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Hello, I am a new aquarist. I have a 180 gallon acrylic, 500 watt reef / fish tank with a sump with a euro-reef skimmer, via aqua chiller 77.5 degrees, rock bed, UV, miracle mud Caulerpa (razor) bed growing, 3 month old tank with a 3100 driving it and 2500 power head inside for flow. I have a nitrate bag in the sump. I have 5 anemones, 2 scallops, 10 emeralds crabs, 40 hermits, 2 brittle stars, 2 urchins, Zoanthids, brain coral, mushrooms, 2 blennies, a dragonet, little strawberry, royal Gramma, purple fire fish, 2 perculas, a large copper band butterfly, (the tang and butterfly are buddies the largest fish and in the tank last), the butterfly is fine. I have probably 100 lbs of rock from around the world. Nice purple coralline algae on it.  I also dumped in 10 lbs if GARF's grunge when I started the tank. I have 4 inches of sand for a substrate Everybody is fine except the Tang! Total of 10 fish, (I'm under the 1" per 5 gallon rule) 1) I seem to have a lot of detritus build up on the rocks though. <Not unusual - you can clean off with a turkey baster.> 2) Also have a odd dark brown slime growth that's on the substrate, its like chocolate pudding almost, I used chem.-clean already, did nothing to it! It starts in little batches and grows. <Sounds like BGA - Cyanobacteria - can be addressed with more flow, and caution about over-feeding.> 3) My Powder Blue did have a little ich, I cured that, but now it is hiding and developed these symptoms! a) little spec's all over, like clear see thru areas, not white, not ich, but larger than ich. b) Light dusting of detritus on it. c) Eyes look cloudy I feed everybody frozen Mysis shrimp that's soaked in extreme garlic. And feed the Tang Seaweed Select green marine algae dried seaweed. Can you help me with my Powder Blue Tang; I'm worried about him! <Hmm... those pictures sure look like ich, and don't really bode well for your tang. I would immediately put that fish through a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip with formalin in the bath and then place in a separate quarantine system - don't put it back in your main tank. Just based on your pictures, I can't honestly tell you that all will be well... your fish looks to be in serious trouble, and you need to take action now. If you don't have a quarantine tank, you need to get one immediately - dip this fish, and then isolate it. If it makes it through, you will probably have to continue treatments for a couple of weeks, and try to nurse it through. The Powder Blue tang is a notorious fish for its susceptibility to parasitic problems, and as much so for falling victim to rough handling in the capture/shipping process. Here is some reading for additional background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/badacanthurusaq.htm > Sincerely, Ryan Gilmore
P.S. Attached pic's for you!
<Cheers, J -- >

- RE: Powder Blue Tang - What is a more resilient tang to own, I don't think he make it, I took your advice, but he looks pretty much on the other side already... I'm totally bummed! <I'm sorry to hear...> I also lost the strawberry, the royal Gramma disappeared also, and the dragonet floated today,  do dead urchin become poisonous? <A possibility... no other signs/spots?> I now feel clueless and helpless and irresponsible! <It's an honest and frequent mistake. Here's another link for you with some of the better Acanthurus tangs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acanthurTngs.htm > Ryan <Chin up. Cheers, J -- >

Frayed Fins On Tang Hello, wondering if anyone might know why my blue tang has a frayed tail ,dorsal and bottom fin? All other fish are fine including a yellow and yellow eyed tang. The 75 gal. has been up and running for about 9 months and everything is doing beautifully. Water is excellent and all fish are eating and growing. Blue tang is behaving as normal but I've just noticed the starting of the fraying fins. What's up? What should I do? There's no aggression that I can see with the tangs. <Well...there are literally tons of possibilities...If you've ruled out some sort of aggression between fishes, I'd look for environmental problems. Do a check of all major water parameters and monitor the interactions of the fishes very closely for the next few days, to see if there is any aggression that has escaped your observations previously...This tank is going to be kind of cramped for long-term maintenance of these tangs together...Do consider this in the future. Keep looking for the obscure- but don't overlook the obvious, either! Good luck! Scott F>

Sick Purple Tang Hi Guys, I haven't asked a question for a long time.  I searched your site first but can't find anything to describe what my Tang has.  First off I have two tanks, 125g reef and a 90G FOWLR.  Both tanks have been great, the reef for over 5 years, the 90 for almost one year. All water parameters are fine, t=76, Ca 360, DKH 10, no nitrates etc.  I only have 4 fish in the 90, a small clown trigger 2.5 " max, a Coris Gaimard 5",  Koran 4" and my problem Purple Tang 4".  I have had the tang for about 8 months.  I had not added or changed anything to the tank in recent memory.  All other fishes are fine and seem healthy.  This morning the tank has lost all his color, is more pale blue than the rich purple he was last night, the fins are still yellow.<could be stress, has he been picked on at all by fellow tank mates maybe the nasty little clown trigger-(they do get mean so watch him carefully)...do check the water parameters a couple times...just in case>  he has no spots or blotches, the eyes and fins are clear.<ok>  He is rapid breathing though.<maybe parasites, or just stress>  I do have a quarantine tank, but as this came up so fast, I'm afraid he will be gone in a few hours, and think things like fresh water bath may hasten his demise.<well from what you have told me...the fish is breathing rapidly and lost some of his color....I would do the FW dip because it sounds to me like your fish has a parasitic infection-in his gills and if not treated he will suffocate to death-before the parasites are visible on the body they attack the gills> have you seen this before?  any ideas would be appreciated.<Yes, I have seen this before it normally is a parasitic infection inside of the fishes gills, I would do a freshwater dip. I will enclose a link for you to help with the process   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm  Hope this helps, IanB>  and to place him in another aquarium  Thanks   Larry Re: Purple Tang Thanks, Ian.  I thought the same as you that the Trigger might be bothering him.  The other three fish are leaving him alone, which is great.  He ( the tang is still white (very light purple)) as you can imagine is very difficult to catch.<yes, indeed>  At this point I have given up, he just is still too quick.<I agree>  I fed the tank, and was surprised to see him eat. <that is a very good sign> I have prepared the fresh water, in hopes that I can catch him.<good luck, IanB>  Thanks for the help. Larry

Pale Tangs Hi crew member. <Hi there> I wrote to you a few months ago concerning my yellow tang who seems losing his colour. The situation is getting neither better nor worse since then. Please see the attached photo. I feed him formula 2, some flakes food, Nori,.. other tank mates seem ok.. you can also have a look at the blue tang... Thank you. Eric..

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