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FAQs about Health/Disease of Tangs 6

FAQs on: Tang Disease 1, Tang Disease 2, Tang Disease 3, Tang Disease 4, Tang Disease 5, 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: Tangs in General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Treating Marine Disease, Marine Diseases 2,

A healthy tang's eyes should be bright and clear. 

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Bloody Tang Rash (12/21/2003) Happy holidays! <Thanks, same to you!> First, THANK YOU for maintaining such a wonderful and informative site!  I have learned SO MUCH over the past few weeks by reading over the FAQ's. <me too> I have read other FAQ's with situations similar to mine, but I also wanted to send in a picture to get your opinion and see if you could help me identify more concretely what this "rash" is.  My yellow tang has developed what almost appears to be a rash just ahead of his spines that is visible on both sides, and he's also "flashing" up against the rocks now and then. It appears that the rash is under the skin (almost looks like he could be bleeding under the skin), and it first appeared about a week and a half ago. <The rash is rather non-specific. It is some sort of subcutaneous or intracutaneous bleeding or dilated blood vessels. In Yellow Tangs, this is sometimes associated with nutritional deficiencies. The other two principal possibilities are some sort of toxin or bacterial infection.> I cannot pinpoint any event out of the ordinary that may have triggered this (water tests are stable from week to week) <need ammonia & nitrites of zero.>, and I seriously doubt that he was attacked in the tank.  The tang is still eating (Nori and some Mysis, both soaked in Selcon),<you might want to add vitamins or perhaps garlic to stimulate appetite. If you could get your hands on some Gracilaria, this is great tang food -- try http:// www.ipsf.com or http:// www.inlandaquatics.com >  but I can tell he's lost weight.  Right now he shares a 20 gallon tank (too small, I know) with a 1.5" Ocellaris Clown (and a skunk cleaner shrimp who is still in the process of being acclimated) <how long of an acclimation?>, but they'll all be moving into a 40L (gallon, not liter, right> very soon.  Ammonia and Nitrite are 0 ppm, Nitrate is 5 ppm, pH is 8.6, s.g. is 1.023, and I do 10-25% water changes every week.  I have a Fluval 104 and will have a DIY skimmer up and running soon. <Could be your filtration is just not adequate yet or that something is wrong inside the Fluval. I don't like canister filters because they're too much of a pain to maintenance. For mechanical and chemical filtration, I like HOT power filters.> I am wondering a.) can you identify what might be wrong with him from the pictures? <see above> b.) in addition to adding the cleaner shrimp, feeding Nori with Selcon, and keeping up the water changes, what else can I do to help his condition improve?  I was thinking maybe a freshwater dip would help, but if this is stress-related, that might only make things worse. <I doubt FW dipping would help--only beneficial for external parasites. I would recommend a few large (30-50%) water changes over the next few days in addition to running carbon (and PolyFilter if you can get it) to remove any toxins. If the fish continues to act ill, and especially if it is worsening, I would get it into a QT (Rubbermaid container, sponge filter, heater) and treat with a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Spectrogram. See WWM articles on quarantine for details.> Just one final question - are there any books dedicated to the care of tangs/surgeons?  Or a book with at least an in-depth discussion on tang/surgeon care? <Well, you got the right person on this one. I'm the bibliophilic son of a librarian. I have purchased just about every marine aquarium book published in English in the past 5 years. I am not aware of any specific Tang care book. There is a nice ID book by Rudie H. Kuiter entitled "Surgeonfishes and Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives." It's a pretty book, but contains no care info. Your best source of Tang care info is any of the top-notch general books like Bob's "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist." There's a wealth of info on WWM as well, especially in the FAQs linked to the Tang articles.> Thank you again for the time that you all put in to help others out!! <You're welcome. Hope this helps, Steve Allen>

- Refugee Regal Tangs - About three years ago I bought three Regal Tangs from the LFS that looked terrible. Someone had given them to the pet shop because they were unable to care for them. The pet shop had them in a QT and they were on sale for two bucks each because they were really bad shape. Well to make a long story short, they lived. Their behavior is normal, they eat well and everything seems fine except that they still look terrible. They look like they went through world war three. <No kidding.> Enclosed is a picture of one of them. <Yeah... not a pretty sight.> Their tail fins are so damaged you can see their flesh. They also have  what I think is HLLE. I have tried various diets, flake, brine shrimp, Spirulina, Romaine lettuce. <Only one thing on that list really sounds suitable to me... and beyond that you've said little about the system these fish live in. Could be a factor of crowding and diet. I would consider a constant rotation of live rock, with some rock in a separate tank being prepared for use in the tank, and then swapped for the rock in the tank when the algae has taken hold on the stored rock. That and the occasional Mysis shrimp along with a heavy dose of vitamins. Also real seaweeds, like Nori for sushi also soaked in vitamins should work. Brine shrimp have little to no nutritional value, same with many flake foods, and lettuce is a poor food for tangs... they may eat all of the above but it's less than optimal. > Water parameters are very good. I just can't seem to get the fish to heal and have been trying for three years! I have never given them a fresh water treatment, do you think I should? <No... don't think parasites are an issue here, and that's really what freshwater dips are best for.> Attached is a picture of one of them. Cheers
Mike F
<Cheers, J -- >

Treating Sick Tangs... Hi guys. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I believe I have Amyloodinium in my 125 gal. tank. I have already lost 3 large fish to this illness that I believe I must have gotten off some live rock I put in. I have a 7" Naso tang and a 4" yellow tang that I am worried about losing. They have both been moved to a different tank and have each had 3 30 min freshwater dips with Meth. blue and the salinity has been dropped while the temp. has been increased. <A potentially effective technique...> They are still eating but far from acting normal. The Naso has a very dark grey color to him. I seem to recall reading that tangs do not take copper sulfate very well and might be better to not use it. <That is correct. Good pickup on your part!> If this is so, is there anything else I can do to save these fish?? <I'd continue with the regimen that you have started, augmented with a Formalin-based product. This stuff is not without its drawbacks, too. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter, and DO NOT add it to the display tank. It is a highly effective medication if used properly.> Also ---my 125 is not fallow except for some crabs, snails, and shrimp -- with the temp at 85 how long do I have to wait until I can put my fish back in, and how will I know that they are not still carrying the parasite and thus re-infecting my tank again? Thanks, Diggy <Well, Diggy- I'd let the tank run without fishes for at least 4 weeks-six weeks would be even better. You've already went to the trouble of removing the fish from the display, so stay the course and wait it out. Conduct all normal tank maintenance (water changes, etc.) during the fallow period. Hang in there and you'll beat this thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Hippo develops cloudy eye...- I have a blue regal tang that seems to have developed a cloudy eye since last night. It is swollen a little in a couple of spots, also. <Hmm...> He appears fine besides that. It is only one eye. He is eating voraciously and the other fish are not picking on him or anything. <That's an excellent sign> Water parameters are normal and all of the other tank inhabitants seem normal. Is this something that I need to treat immediately, or just keep an eye on? <No pun intended? This has happened to my regal several times, each time going away on its own.> The tank is a 75g tank with 90 lbs of live rock, a few mushroom corals, scopas tang, false percula clown, two domino damsels, a sand sifting starfish, a serpent starfish, a banded coral shrimp and a tri-colored Anthias. I have a quarantine tank, but understand that these guys are too social to desirably quarantine and I am not sure that is even necessary at this point. <No necessity for that unless you observe some ectoparasites or other infections.> How would I go about treating if the situation does not improve? <You can't effectively treat in the main tank. If everything else with the fish is ok, the water quality is in check and stable, and the other fish are leaving him alone, I suspect that it will go away on it's own. In the mean time feed lots of algae based foods soaked in vitamins and even some garlic. I hope this helps. -Kevin> As a newbie to the marine aquarium world, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help!! Thanks!

Mysterious Fish Deaths-The Truth Is Out There... Hello again, <Hi there! Scott F. with you> I have attached a couple of photos taken of my Naso and yellow hours before they died. The suspicious thing about this is the loss of such a healthy Naso and yellow along with three yellow tail damsels and not a hippo tang or coral beauty??? <Hmm...Lots of possible causes, ranging from a toxin in the water, to some other kind of environmental trauma, or even a sudden onset of a parasitic illness> One LFS suggests that it appears to be a mucus deficiency but could not suggest a cause. Your opinion would be greatly valued so I know what to do with the tank from here on. My inverts and tank overall appears to be very healthy, making me discount water conditions for the most part. The only dosing is 1/2 of one teaspoon of Seachem Kalk premixed in 1400ml of water and does in a Kent drip bottle just after lights out every other night. and a couple of drops of Iodine every couple of weeks. If the attachments are a problem please advise how you would prefer to receive them?? <The attachments were fine. It was kind of hard to tell what the problem may have been, based strictly on the pics. Since you indicate that the environment has been stable and acceptable, and since the inverts are doing well, I may be inclined to think that you're looking at a possible virulent disease- perhaps Amyloodinium, which strikes suddenly and kills quickly...On the other hand, your fishes did not seem to have any detectable symptoms, right? This is indeed a mystery. My advice is to do a complete test of all major water factors. If things look fine (as I suspect that they do), then you may want to consider a toxic substance at work, contaminated food, an electric shock, who knows? It's not funny, but it is tricky to sort out. Try looking at the obvious, and then go from there, considering even the bizarre...Hopefully, your search will locate the answer...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Thanks once again

Tangs With Ich? Hello Crew, <Scott F. your Crew member today> As usual I turn to you in a time of need. I have a new 90 Gal. setup (3.5 months old, 1 month after cycle) It is a Red Sea Sand bottom of 2 inches, with 60lbs. of new cured Tonga deep LR. It has 2 small Yellow tail Damsels, a 1.5 inch Coral Beauty, a 2 inch Hippo Tang, half a dozen blue legs, and a 3 inch sand sifter starfish. I am renovating soon and had to move my larger fish to this tank out of the way while I renovate my home. After a month, since cycling and adding fish, I added my 4.5" yellow tang from the other tank. The old tank is three years old and well established (maybe too well with high Nitrates). He did great for two weeks before I moved my 8" Naso Tang last week. Both are great fish with excellent eating habits taking their daily variety of Flakes, Mysis, Daphnia, Nori, brown and green. A few days ago the yellow had a red blemish on his tail, not near his spine but mid tail, (he did not appear to damage it in transport) then he got chalky looking with a good bout of Ick all within a two day period. Meanwhile my Naso has developed a brown/red looking flake on his side, appears to be Ick'ed and has a clouding eye. I have never had a sick fish let alone an outbreak in my tanks. <Not such an unusual occurrence with touchy fishes like tangs. They don't always take well to dramatic environmental changes> Please advise my best course of action. I fear returning them to their original tank as I have plenty of other healthy stock in there, I do have a small, small quarantine tank but I am sure that such large fish will be so stressed in the 15 gallon tank that it wont be worth while. The Coral Beauty, two damsels, and Hippo are not exhibiting these symptoms but they are all darker colored so likely wont show as much. Saturday I introduced a young cleaner shrimp, which of course everyone wants attention from… Come to think of it, besides Ich on the pasty looking Yellow, they hadn't been showing any of these symptoms until he arrived. Respiration seems ok, except when Naso gets all upset at the irritation and swims around quickly. Thanks again for your help! Regards Rob Lipic <Well, Rob- it certainly sounds like a parasitic disease of some sort- quite possibly ich. I suppose the best course of action would be to utilize some freshwater dips and the administering of a formalin-based product in a large container of water, such as a Rubbermaid, if you don't have an extra tank large enough.  I do use copper to treat ich, but it's not always a good idea to use with tangs, as it can potentially damage their digestive fauna. It may be a conservative approach, but you may want to treat all of the fishes in this manner, just to be on the safe side...Do consult the WWM site for much more detailed information on approaches to treating this and other parasitic diseases. Regards, Scott F>

Yellow eyed-tang Hey guys, I recently bought a yellow-eye and he seems to have splotches on him and he looks like he is bouncing on the top of the water.... have you seen this before ? <Yes. Sometimes just resultant stress from shipping, handling... but can be indication of other (environmental, parasitic...) disease. Please read through www.WetWebMedia.com re the genus Ctenochaetus tangs, Tang Disease... and where you lead yourself through the linked files (at top, in blue). Bob Fenner> Paul Rawlings
Re: Yellow eyed-tang
FW dip ? I have heard of this.... Freshwater and de-chlorinate it ??? <Time to send you back... to www.WetWebMedia.com, please use the search tool (bottom left) on the homepage, with your terms "freshwater dip". Bob Fenner> Paul Rawlings

Breathless Tang? Hi Crew, <Scott F. your Crew member today!> I hope all is well with you.  I am experiencing an issue with my 55 gallon QT.  Many of the fish in this tank appear to be gilling rapidly.  I have noticed this with a 6" Powder Blue Tang, a 2.5" Purple Tang and possibly with a small porcupine puffer.  None of these fish are breathing at the top of the water (in fact, they nearly all stay toward the bottom).  I am most concerned about the Powder Blue Tang, which is gilling at approximately 3 cycles / second.  Is this normal behavior? <Seems a bit fast to me, but probably acceptable if the fish is behaving normally otherwise. High oxygenation (i.e.; aggressive aeration of the water) will help meet the fish's needs> Possibly I am just imagining a problem, but this seems very fast to me.  The Purple Tang's gill rate is approximately 4-5 per second but it just seems to be generally excitable and I am unsure that this rate is consistent, whereas the Powder Blue's gill rate never decreases. <Hmm...> I assume this is an indication of low oxygen level in the water (or possibly gill / parasite issues) but I have a skimmer and a dual BioWheel Penguin filter in the tank, which significantly ripples the water surface as the water falls approximately ?" from the filter outlet.  After noticing this rapid gilling, I performed a 25% water change, lowered the temperature by 2 degrees and I have also added a sponge filter, a venturi powerhead and 100 drops of Methylene blue.  This did not appear to reduce the rapid gilling. <Is the fish displaying any other difficulties, such as swimming; any signs of mucus or other discoloration? Is the fish feeding?> Water parameters: Salinity = 1.0235 S.G., Temp = 80 degrees F, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 20 PPM.  Cu++ = 2.0 PPM (Chelated - CopperSafe). What do you think is causing this rapid gilling?  What do you recommend for correcting this problem? Greg <I like copper sulphate to cure specific problems, such as Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium, but I don't think it's a good idea to use it as a prophylactic. It can create some physiological challenges for some fishes, particularly tangs, which may have difficulties digesting food, etc. with continued exposure. Unless you are experiencing some diseases with these fishes, I'd discontinue the copper use for a while. Utilize water changes and Poly Filter to help remove some of the copper. Keep a close eye on things, and be prepared to take action if it becomes necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Breathless Tang (Pt. 2)
Thanks for the reply Scott.  Yes, the fish do appear to be acting otherwise normal aside from the rapid gilling. <That's good news!> Once possibly exception is the Powder Blue, which "twirls" slowly on its pectoral fins while sitting on the bottom of the tank.  It is not swimming around rapidly but just slowly rotating around. <Hmm...could be worth keeping him under closer scrutiny> Regarding the Copper; I did not originally have CopperSafe in my QT but, after about one week in the QT I had a minor Cryptocaryon outbreak so I added copper.  The good news is that today all fish appear to be doing much better. <Gotcha...good move. I was concerned that there was a "baseline" copper concentration in the water. Glad to see you treating in the QT!> Maybe I just did not wait long enough for the added oxygenation attempts to take affect, the methyl blue helped ease a gill parasite problem, the previously-elevated temperature was stressing-out the fish or... who knows.  All fish do appear to be looking much happier today though (although the Powder Blue is still gilling a little fast - maybe twice per second) but at least I think we are headed in a better direction now. <Good to hear. I think that the corrective steps you took made sense...> As always, thank you for the terrific service you provide all of us!-- Greg <You're quite welcome! Thanks for the kind words! I think that with a little close observation and TLC, the fish should recover and thrive just fine! Regards, Scott F.

Zebrasoma stocking Thank you for the help Mike! Regarding your comment about stressing-out the Purple tang to the point it gets ich; I QT all new fish for at least four weeks before adding them to my main tank. <that is what everyone should do!>   If any signs of ich are present, I add Copper or CLOUT and keep them in QT for four weeks after the last signs of ich.  I cannot use copper in my main tank and I cannot catch the fish once they have been released into my main tank, so this is very necessary for me. On WetWebMedia, I have read that there very good reason to expect to never have ich in the main tank if such QT procedures are followed. <in a perfect tank this is true> This being the case, do you still feel that the Purple Tang could be at risk for developing ich? <under this strict quarantine most likely not>   I ask because I had considered using copper on ALL incoming fish (regardless of signs of parasites) as a preventative measure but I was advised that 90+% of fish present signs of ich during the four week QT period if they have any Cryptocaryon on them. <ich is present all the time in your substrate when a fish become stress it's slime coat breaks down causing parasites to attach to the fish> If ich could break out at any time, then it seems it must always be present either in the water or dormant on the fish.  If this is the case, allowing a tank to go fallow for four weeks to eradicate Cryptocaryon seems almost pointless (except for a near-term reduction in crypto population). <yes but this quarantine that you put these fish threw ,not only gets rid of any parasites on the fish but gives the fish time to build up his slime coat and to make sure he is feeding well, so that he will be able to feed aggressively when entered into the main tank>   Please help clear this up for me as I have been struggling for the best insurance against ich. <what you are doing is right on the money. you are taking every step you can. but one thing you can not predict is how another fish will act with another good luck Mike H> Thank you, -- Greg Wyatt

Powder Brown Problem? Hi, <Hi there- Scott F. here today> I'm hoping you can help me diagnose what is affecting a new fish of mine.  I've begun the process of carefully adding livestock now using your advice.  I added a powder brown tang to my main tank about a week ago after quarantining him for two weeks. Very good, but I recommend a full 30 day quarantine procedure> He appeared very healthy up until a day or two ago.  The symptoms he's showing are pale coloration on top of the head and towards the dorsal area and a more slight paleness overall.  He darts about and thrashes around a bit.  There are no visible spots of any kind on his exterior and I haven't really seen him scratch, so I don't think it's ich or velvet.  I've tried to see if there is rapid gilling, but it's hard to tell with him. <That's somewhat encouraging. If he's eating well, that's a good sign, too.> I have a Picasso trigger in there too and he seems fine right now, but then again that fish is seemingly bullet-proof.  Do you know what this might be or what else I should look for? < Well, hard to say without a picture, but it could be anything from acclimation/collection trauma, water quality or dietary issue to a disease. In the absence of poor water quality parameters (i.e.; detectible ammonia, nitrite, etc.), I'd suspect that this may be the beginnings of a more serious parasitic illness...I still would not rule out Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium here.> And what treatment should I use?  I have the QT ready to go.  Is there anything I should do immediately, like a freshwater dip?  Thanks so much for any help. Tim <Well, Tim- I'm inclined to recommend removing the fish to the treatment tank (I commend you on the preparation of the "hospital facility") for further observation. Yes, I do like the idea of a freshwater dip here as an initial start. If other symptoms indicative of a parasitic illness manifest, I'd begin a treatment regimen utilizing a formalin-based product. I'm a big copper sulphate fan for many fishes, but you do need to be careful with tangs and copper, as this medication can damage the fish's digestive system and cause other difficulties for the fish. If this does prove to be one of the aforementioned parasitic illnesses, I'd consider removing all of the fishes for observation and/or treatment. Meanwhile, you may want the main tank to go "fallow", without fishes for about a month, to allow the parasitic population time to "crash" for lack of hosts. Quick action is vital here...Regards, Scott F>
Powder Brown Problem? (Pt.2)
Follow up on previous email: My tang has gotten seemingly a little worse.  He is now twitching almost constantly with erratic movement and sometimes swimming with his body at an angle.  It looks like something is irritating him for sure.  But no spots or anything I can see on the exterior.  His paleness isn't like it was yesterday, but coloration is still off a little.  This is puzzling because I don't what to do for treatment.  His is definitely being by bothered by something and it is getting worse.  Thanks for any info/help you can give. Tim <Well, Tim- I'm inclined to think that this is either a result of collection trauma of some sort, or maybe, just maybe some sort of parasitic problem (assuming that you mean "itching" when you describe this as "irritating"- signs of parasitic problems). I'd consider executing some freshwater dips to see if any improvement comes from this. Do monitor basic water chemistry parameters in the display, just to rule out ammonia, nitrite, or other problems. Sometimes, a good water change can get a fish back on the right track. However, don't rule out the parasitic angle, here either...Good luck, and keep me posted! Regards, Scott F>
A Cure For The Powder Brown Blues?
Scott, thanks for the reply.  Well I took him out and placed him in the QT and he was just fine, no signs of irritation or anything. <Excellent! Glad to hear that!> I left him there for a few days, and in the mean time I thought maybe an old power head that I had in there that quit working might have something to do with it since it was still plugged in but had quit running properly.  So I unplugged it and put him in a few days later. <I wonder if "stray voltage" or some other unusual phenomenon caused this problem? Hard to say what it was...> He seemed ok but I noticed he gets real frisky and aggressive along the glass. I think he's seeing his reflection and it's driving him nuts. <Definitely a possibility> Or maybe I'm nuts, but I don't know what else it might be. <Well, that's an entirely different matter, LOL!> He started this when I first put him in there initially, but now I he just acts kinda crazy.  He zooms around and gets all twitchy and stuff. <Not a totally unusual behavior for a tang...> I tested it by turning out the overhead lights so there is no reflection on the glass and he calms down.  It probably sounds strange, but I think he's just a little too high strung. <Again, not out of character for tangs..> Anyway, he seems totally healthy other than that.  His coloration is beautiful as it was when I got him and he's definitely full of energy.  Having so many problems with parasites in the past, I thought for sure he had something.  It's good that he doesn't, because I'd be ready to pull my hair out.  The tank sat fallow for 6 weeks and I'm taking a lot of precaution now.  All seems to be well for now, thanks for your help. Tim <Well, Tim, even though your procedures were conservative, I think that they were the way to go...The potential risk of skipping this process is not worth it, IMO. I hope that things continue to go well for you and the fish! It was a little "touch and go" there for a while, but I'm glad to see things are looking up! Regards, Scott F.>

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

Tang Post Mortem Dear Sirs,  My Yellow Tang recently died. <Sorry to hear of your loss.> For about two weeks it had been suffering the following symptoms: Labored breathing (gills flapping in excess of 80 beats/min), constantly gaping mouth, lethargy, shyness and an absolute refusal to eat anything. Absolutely no other symptoms were evident to me, nor were any of the other fish displaying any symptoms themselves. Water quality was as good as ever, with pH at 8.2, Na at 5ppm, Ni and Am at 0 and Salinity at 1.024. We've had the tang for several months. My first assumption was Velvet. I did a hydrogen peroxide dip based on some research I did on previous use of the technique, the half-life of H2O2 in seawater, and the reported toxicity of H2O2 on marine life (as reported by various chemical companies). <Hmm... would have been much better to just do a straight-up freshwater dip.> After doing the dip, I became afraid that whatever was affecting the tang might spread in the main tank, and so I resolved to dose the main tank. I put in what I thought was a safe dose (100mL) for my 55gal (+20gal sump). Nothing was affected except for my 4 cleaner shrimp -- all of which died (let that be a lesson to me and to others). The tang continued to show no improvement and would not feed (tried live brine, garlic extract, Nori etc). We then began to treat with daily freshwater dips. The Tang would quickly go onto its side, making us cut the dips short, to about 2 min.s. The gill flapping *seemed* to get a little better, but he still wouldn't eat. A day or two after we ceased the freshwater dips, he laid on his side and died. After his gills had stopped moving for about an hour, I removed him and reluctantly performed a necropsy. Not being a biologist, I am unsure what I found. All the pictures of the necropsy are found here: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~skotzaba/yellowtang.htm . I feel horrid over having lost a pet, having to cut it open, and worse still, not knowing what killed it. I would appreciate it if you could comment on what you think the cause of death was, and what the necropsy pictures seem to implicate. <Hmm... well, first let me commend you for taking the brave step of performing a necropsy on your fish. I'm sure it wasn't easy. The slides are incredibly fascinating, but unfortunately I can't get a one to one match with the fish disease books that I have. It looks like it could be either Cryptocaryon [ich] or Oodinium which coincidentally are the most common marine scourges. If I were to pick one, it would probably be the Oodinium as I don't see any evidence on your fish of ich, and Oodinium has been shown to infest the gills and never show any external signs of infection.>Your help and advice has been invaluable to myself and the hobby.  <Cheers, J -- > 

Toastyoat Tangs  Hi there,  I have just found your site out of desperation, you seem to know your stuff please help me!!  <Sabrina here, I'll certainly try>  I have had my marine tank for about 2 months now I have LR which is doing ok and everything else seems ok except the fish.  I am currently buying fish, they last for about a week or so then die. I had a powder blue tang that died I never noticed any illness before hand. Then I purchased a clown tang and a vampire tang,  <Yikes.... the clown I assume was Acanthurus lineatus? Or A. sohal? The former being a giant terror, the latter a giant not-so-terror. And the vampire, from what I can gather, do you mean Acanthurus olivaceus, the orange shoulder tang? Another giant terror - your two tangs would've had some serious problems with one another down the road at least, unless you have an enormous tank, so that may be part of the issue of having lost them - just pure aggression. Not to discount illness or water issues, though, just mentioning that behavior toward one another might have been a real issue, as well.>  both seemed fine until in a matter of 24 hrs,  <The low pH you mention below may have been the culprit here, if you hadn't seen any aggression - but then, who knows what happened after lights out....  the clown tang loss lots of weight started swimming at the surface, stopped eating then lost its balance then died. The vampire tang much fatter eating lots apparently in good condition, although I noticed even when I brought him he was rubbing him self against the rocks, not much but every now and again.  <The scratching is very likely a sign of ich, to which many tangs are very susceptible.... more on this protozoan parasite here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm Try not to purchase fish that exhibit signs of illness (including scratching), and please think about employing a quarantine tank: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm >  The tang was fine until about a week after the clown and again in a matter of hours he darkened, lost lots of weight and balance and died. I am new to the marine system and I change 10% of my water every week with pre mixed ro water from my local fish shop.  <You really might want to consider mixing up your own saltwater, unless you have very major benefits with the store water; it's not very difficult, and you'd have water on hand for emergencies or whatnot, and you would know exactly what's going into your water - basically, you'd have more control over your water quality.>  The ammonia levels a fine the nitrite levels are fine  <Fine being what? What about nitrate and salinity/specific gravity, as well?>  but the ph levels are out PH are lower 7.4 I have not checked this for about 3 weeks. Is this the problem and any tips on how I can bring the PH back up.  <A problem? Yes, very much so. Could even be what's been causing the fish deaths - though illness cannot be discounted, especially after such signs as the fish scratching. You should rectify the low pH, perhaps with a buffering product (many such products available), be certain not to overstock/overfeed, etc. - more on pH and alkalinity here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm . To help further and try to get you pointed in the right direction(s), more info on your system would be helpful - tank size, filtration, etc. Please do take a gander through the linked articles; there is a great deal of very, very useful information there. Also please browse through the rest of the marine articles http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm as you're sure to find stuff that will interest you, and help get/keep you up and running. Wishing you well with your new tank, -Sabrina>  Thanks for the advice, Scott 

Tang Lost His Zip...And Got It Back! Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for your reply the other day.  Many gallons of water changes and some Melafix doses later, my Tang is up and eating and being his usual self once again. <Glad to hear that...Surprised that Melafix did the trick, though...> I fed shrimp only for a couple of days to encourage him as well and yesterday morning he started eating and hasn't slowed down.  I don't know if it was good luck or good management, whatever I'll take it. <Yep! Definitely!> Thanks again, you and the crew have been a great help several times since I set up my salt water tank.  The books don't have everything in them to cover each and every possible situation. Ceil <Glad to heart that! We're always here for you! Regards, Scott F>

- Mysterious Tang Death, Perhaps not so Mysterious - Hi Crew, About three months ago I purchased a used 100 gal tank stocked with a 5" porcupine puffer, a 4" Picasso trigger, a 3" Kole tang, a 3" flame Hawkfish, a 3" red saddled anemone fish, a 3" coral beauty angel, and a 2" Fiji devil damsel (to pre-empt your overstocking warning, I'm getting them a larger tank in about a year). <Then please keep in mind that until then, your fish will be crowded - that is, they are crowded NOW - a year from now will likely have fewer fish.> I've been fighting high nitrates, ranging from 40 to 80ppm, since I got the aquarium and yesterday purchased two MaxiJet 1200's to help improve circulation.  The MaxiJets were added around 2:00pm yesterday, the tank looked great when I left at 6:00pm, but when I returned today at 2:00pm the Kole tang was dead. There were no signs of aggression or stress before his death and no signs of disease. The puffer is showing some darker stress colors but everyone else seems normal.  Water parameters are all okay (see below). I have two theories on what could have caused his death; does either one seem possible in your expert opinions? 1) Contamination from something on the MaxiJets, perhaps some metal or manufacturing oils? <Possible but not very probable - these pumps are plug and play and the company that makes them knows full well their pumps are going directly into fish tanks.> 2) There are large wildfires north of my home and the ground is covered in a fine layer of ash.  Could the airborne ashes have contaminated the water? <Could have, but again not very likely unless that ash were full of other bad stuff, in which case you'd probably have a hard time breathing.> Either way, I am doing a large water change (20%) today and will do the same tomorrow.  Any ideas on what else I can do to save my other fish from the same fate? <Yeah, my bet is the crowding. I'm sure these fish were at some odd form of stasis when the tank was moved to your location - so... stress, then the crowding, which adds more stress, and eventually the fish least capable of dealing with the stress dies - it doesn't need to show signs of aggression to have suffered from the same.> tank info: 100 gal display tank, 30 gal sump ~100 lbs LR CPR SR4 skimmer Tiny might pump (~1000gph after head) 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 40-80 nitrate, ph 8.2, alk 8-9 dKH temp 80-81 F 10-20 gal water change per week feed once per day a combination of Formula 1, Formula 2, Prime reef, Mysis, krill, Nori, spectrum pellets, Aquarian flakes top-off with RO/DI ph adjusted water only As always, thank you for your wonderful service. David
<Cheers, J -- >

- More of the Powder Blue Blues - Hi Crew, I am just checking in again with my Powder Blue Tang problems.  Although your advice has likely not changed, I guess I am just hoping you will see something in the attached picture or some little bit of information will trigger you to say: "Oh, I've seen this before and all you need to do is this..." (hey, I can always hope -- right?). I am now treating this fish with Maracyn, Maracyn-Two and Melafix.  Instead of improving, the situation just appears to be getting worse (see attached picture). <Not good - at this point you have a better chance of winning the lottery than seeing this fish recover.> In addition to the large wound in the fish's head and discoloration on its sides, now its fins are rotting off.  Half of the left pectoral fin is now gone and the dorsal fin is rotting in about a 1/2" section.  The right eye has now also clouded over.  The only slight encouragement is that this fish still has a healthy appetite.  He is regularly eating Formula II, Spectrum Thera+A and Nori.  There are also hundred of tiny white creatures crawling over the glass in the hospital tank.  I am hoping, since these are large enough to see, they are only harmless 'pods of some sort although some are surrounded by "legs". I have spent MANY hours scouring the web to fins photos or descriptions of fish diseases, trying to determine what this is and how to treat it but obviously this is not working.  My best guess is that this is some sort of external bacterial infection. <Actually, what I see from the photos is a fish in serious decline...> Since I have read that bacterial infections can quickly take over at temperatures above 76?F, I have lowered the hospital tank temp to 75?F.  I am doing 25% daily water changes (taking water from my 180 gal main tank to minimize drastic changes) and all parameters are staying fairly normal (1.023 SG, 0.25 PPM ammonia, 0.25 PPM nitrite).  I have tried to keep the ammonia down but I think the combination of gram positive and gram negative antibiotics has really reduced my biological filtration capabilities. Is there ANYTHING else I can do to try to save this fish? <My friend, this fish is very likely doomed. If these pictures were all I had to go on, I wouldn't bet on it if it were the only horse in the race. I'm sorry to say this, but if it were mine, I'd be considering euthanizing it rather than prolonging the inevitable.> Do you know what disease this could be? <It seems to me to be just general break down, and no real specific or single disease.> Should I try an anti-fungal medication? <I wouldn't do anything else at this point except end its suffering.> I do not like to keep treating this fish without knowing for certain what is wrong but I really do not want to see it die either. <You are already doing this, watching it die, I mean.> Sorry for the long email but I am just want to be certain I am doing everything I can to help this fish (rather than harm it).  I greatly appreciate all the great advice you provide via this forum! Greg
<Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Pax, J -- >

Sick of Ich--Hippo Tang >Hi, thanks for your wonderful website, this is always a good source of knowledge!! >>Hello, you're welcome, we're glad it's of good use for yourself and others. >I have moved my 50 gal reef tank from my parents' house to my apartment 1 week ago.  All my livestock are fine except my hippo tang.  It was showing some sign of stress since the first day at my apartment.   >>Alright, could it have gotten chilled during the move?  This can bring on that ich pretty badly, especially with fish such as tangs. >It have get worst and last Friday I have found some ick on it.  So I have gave to it a fresh water bath with bleu Methylene. >>Good course of action, however, it may need to be placed in a hospital tank using hyposalinity (1.010). >Since that time my tang is always hiding and don't eat anymore. What could I do for him now?  I really don't want to lose him... Steve Timmons >>Set up a hospital tank with heater and some filtration, and acclimate the fish over the next two days to a specific gravity/salinity level of 1.010.  Keep him there for at least two weeks at that salinity level.  Once he's cleared, keep him in quarantine for 30 days.  Offer him a good variety of foods, perform as many water changes as needed to keep the water quality very high, and this, hopefully, will do the trick.  Marina

- Tang Diarrhea - Hi Crew, I have a mildly gross question.  I bought a Kole Tang last week, and am currently QTing him.  I noticed this morning that his fecal matter is not the normal "string" but instead a sandy-looking "spray."  Sorry to send this at lunchtime (PST).  Is this anything to worry about, or is it a natural product of his grazing on the sparse sprinkling of sand on the aquarium floor and rock? <Yes... many tangs intentionally ingest sand to aid in digesting their mostly vegetative diet, much like chickens.> Or just natural for tangs? <Both.> Thanks for all of your hard work and excellent advice - it really does make a difference. Nick <Cheers, J -- >

- Powder Blue Blues - Hi Crew, I know you hear this constantly but I just want to reiterate how much I appreciate the information you provide! Three days ago I purchased from my LFS the (soon to be) latest additions to my 180 gal aquarium: a ~2" Foxface Lo, a ~2" Purple Tang and a ~4" Powder Blue Tang.  Currently these three fish are in my 20 gal hospital tank (Salinity=1.024 SG, Ammonia=0.25 PPM, Nitrite=0.25 PPM, Temp=81 ?F, Mardel CopperSafe Chelated CuSO4, Whisper 30 filter + sponge filter + ~15 lbs live rock).  The problem is the Powder Blue Tang is beginning to develop some type of wound (lesion/abrasion/fungus?) in about three areas (photos attached).  Two spots are approximately pea-sized and one is slightly smaller than a dime.  These patches appear to be slightly raised or to have a few bumps within a discolored area (possibly as if a repeated abrasion). I would not describe these areas as having a "cauliflower appearance". The Powder Blue also occasionally shakes and swims in quick circles. <I wouldn't be so concerned about this as much as I would be about these 'wounds'.> My LFS suggested this is not a reason to worry as it could just be "shaking off" a parasite or minor infection that will soon be cured by the copper. <Do believe the opposite, that the shaking is just a natural behavior and the spots are a reaction to the copper. If I were you, I'd discontinue the copper treatment unless you are sure there is a good reason for it, i.e. Cryptocaryon [ich] or similar parasitic problem. Many tangs react poorly to copper and it should only be dosed at very low levels. I realize the Powder Blue is a notorious ich magnet but it would be best to observe the problem first rather than just treating the tank with something that may do more harm than good at this point.>  Although I would not describe this fish as having a voracious appetite, it does appear to be eating (Spectrum Thera+A anti-parasite food, Nori and homemade food with Selcon).  The three fish do not appear to be the least bit aggressive toward each other.  I do not see a single ich spot on the Powder Blue but the Purple Tang appears to have a substantial case of Cryptocaryon. <I'd separate these and treat them individually - not only for the reasons I just listed, but also because a 20 gallon tank is rather small for these three fish.> Do you have any idea what is wrong with my Powder Blue Tang, if this is anything I should be concerned about and, if so, how to cure this?  Could the Copper be irritating this fish? <Possibly - would be my first guess.> I noticed my (Red Sea) Copper test kit is not made for chelated Copper but I did add the recommended amount of CopperSafe to previously copper-free water so I am hoping (at least initially) the copper concentration is correct.  My Copper Test kit measures 0.3 PPM Cu (exactly what the kit recommends as the "optimum copper level") but I have read that the proper ionic concentration is 0.15 PPM.  Can any correlation be drawn for chelated copper concentrations when using a Copper test kit intended for measuring ionic copper? <No - wrong test.> Thanks again for the help! Greg Wyatt <Cheers, J -- >

-Brown spots on hippo tang- Please HELP .. I have a juvenile hippo tang that has developed a brown spots around his face area.  It has appeared over the last day or so .....I have been reading the conscientious marine aquarist to try and find out what it may be but I can't define it for sure .... <Checked out the picture, it's hard to make out what it is. Otherwise it looks like a reasonably healthy tang> There is one large spot with a cluster of other smaller spots forming around the rest of his face ..... The spots are not grouped . I have attached a picture .. sorry it is not the best --- he would not stay still ...I want to treat him but don't know where to begin ... There is about 20 lbs of live rock, 2 true clowns, one yellow tail damsel, 4 emerald crabs, and a yellow-head goby in a 5 month old 55 gallon tank which all appear to be fine ... <You wouldn't be able to treat with much in this set-up, as it is fully stocked and contains inverts. This fish needs to be moved into a quarantine tank for further observation.> Have taken the tang out of tank at the moment ...  Please get back to me quickly so I can try and save the tang ... <Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm for quarantining techniques. I would keep this fish under close scrutiny and well fed with lots of algae based foods. At this point, there really isn't much you can do besides wait, and it may just disappear if the fish is in a good environment and otherwise healthy. Let me know how things progress and if you could get a better picture. Hope this helps, -Kevin> Thanks in advance -- it is greatly appreciated ..... A new hobbyist ..

White Patches...? Posted at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/thread.jsp?nav=false&forum=31&thread=13245&start=0&msRange=50 but hadn't gotten any hits back yet so I thought to try a more direct approach. There are a couple of photos attached to the user account that logged this thread. The clown is eating well and seems otherwise unbothered. She had been in QT for ten days with no sign of infection when overnight this dot appeared at the base of the dorsal fin appeared. There is a second clown and a blue tang in QT that do not show any signs of this. The tang is still hiding much of the time so it is hard to be completely sure. Garin Walsh <Unfortunately, Garin, I was not able to see the pics, so I cannot really make an accurate assessment. Usually, such patches are the result of a localized trauma, such as an abrasion, etc. I think that you can alleviate such symptoms by maintaining excellent water conditions, and perhaps using appropriate antibacterial medications or treatments, such as Methylene blue (perhaps administered in a dip). Hope that this points you in the right direction. Regards, Scott F.>

Weird White Spot on Kole Tang >Hi guys, >>And gals, Marina here. >I have a Kole Yelloweye tang that I recently got from my LFS.  I have had it for a while and I noticed a spot forming on it.   >>Uhh.. did you get it recently, or have you had it for a while, Rem? >It appears to be whitish on the side of the tang's body and I have also noticed other spots forming at the base of its dorsal fin.  The skin under it looks a bit wrinkled.  I am pretty sure that it isn't ich, and the spot seems a too big and in the wrong area to be Lymphocystis (I could be wrong though).  Any help would be appreciated. My new email is XXXX.  Thanks, Rem >>Rem, if you're positive it ISN'T ich or Lympho, none of us can really venture a guess with this description.  Any chance you can send us a webpage size jpeg?  Also, I'm really hoping you have this fish in quarantine in any event.  Marina

- Recuperating Hippo Tang - Howdy Crew - Hope this finds you well! <It does, thanks for asking.> About 7 weeks ago I very emotionally purchased a very ill and mistreated hippo tang.  The store gave him to me for almost nothing and I have slowly nursed him back to health. <Have attempted this type of rescue myself - honorable when it goes well, depressing when it doesn't.> He was severely emaciated, had a nice run of head and lateral line erosion, small case of ich and scales that appeared to be rotting away.  On the upside he was eating well and fairly active. After almost two months of great water quality, one run of Nitrofurazone a few formalin baths and a run of Metronidazole he has made drastic improvement. <Excellent - glad to hear this.> He has regained color and plumped up quite nicely.  He is in a 35g hospital and is almost 6" long. It is time to get him to his new home (sadly not mine) but I have just one last concern.  If you look at the photo you will see his face is a mess.  That is the worst area he has left.  There is no infection still (to my knowledge)  yet the scales are not showing any regrowth or repair.  I am wondering if this an issue of time or if it may never happen. <A little of both, methinks.> Could he be permanently scarred? <Is a possibility.> Is their something I can do to help this along? <Just time.> Can you see or think of anything else I should be concerned with before moving him? <A good home.> As always, a big Thank You!
<Cheers, J -- >

Cloudy eye Hi There! I have a 30 gal. Marine tank.  4 fish incl. 2 percula clowns, a coral beauty, and a red sea Sailfin tang.  Also numerous inverts.  No trouble with water parameters.<good to hear>  Tank itself is appearing healthy.  So are all critters except the tang.  He has developed a cloudy eye within the last 2 days and a small white spot on the superior aspect of the other eye.<normally this is caused by the environment. I would check nitrates, nitrites and ammonia a couple more times. with different test kits might I add>  No new critters have been added in about 3 months.<good>  He's kind of a goof and likes to hide on his side under the live rock when spooked.   Thus I'm thinking possibly injury.  Any ideas or things to watch for?<I would just check the water quality, and feed him a more varied diet, good luck, IanB> Regards, Grant
Cloudy eye
Thanks for your reply.  I hadn't heard about using different kits - makes sense, though.<yes it does!!>  Did a 25% water change.<good to hear>  Also ended up treating for ich which showed up after first email.  Anyway things are back to status quo.  Thanks again for your advice.<your welcome, IanB>

-Black spot disease on a yeller tang- I just bought a yellow tang, he is still in the store.  3.5 inches still has his "fright colors", don't know how long this will continue. <They only get "fright colors" at night or if they're under some serious stress.>  Eating well, swimming well, active, curious. <Hmmm... wonder what's up with the coloration. It could just not be very vibrant do to lack of proper nutrition.>  I noticed some evidence of black spot disease. <That should have been enough to keep you from buying it, especially with a fish this common.> The LFS owner said not a big deal, he is giving all his yellows a 10 - 15 min freshwater dip and that will take care of it. <That's an EXTREMELY long freshwater dip, they really shouldn't go more than 5m, and even that's a lot!> He also said the fish will be good to pick up in two days. <If you still want this fish, make sure you don't see anything on the fish for at least a week, but be prepared to treat it during quarantine.> I'm a little reluctant.  Will just one dip cure him, or will he require a few. <Depends, if he does a 15m dip the black spot should be dead, but so will the tang...> How long should I leave him at the store with no evidence of the disease before I pick him up? <See how long he's willing to hang on to him and deal with any issues that come up. If it's less than a week, don't go for it.> I know that my quarantine tank will be less stressful than the LFS, but I am hesitant, because I don't want further complications. <If the quarantine is properly set-up and you know how to treat for any diseases that come up, it is a much better option than hanging out in the store. This way you can give it individualized attention.> Again thanks so much for helping us inexperienced guys out. <No prob, I hope you've got the info now to make a good decision! -Kevin>

Dying Yellow Tang >Dear all, Could you please give me some emergency advice about my 2yo yellow Sailfin tang?  He has been healthy but did not feed much yesterday and today is lying on his side at the bottom, but there is some eye movement. >>Oh my, whatever the problem is, it's moving FAST. >Should I give him a freshwater dip?   >>Not unless he's showing external signs of parasitic infection.   >Could it be connected with the loss 1 month ago of my blood shrimp, which did act as a cleaner to the tang?   >>I couldn't properly venture a guess.  The "lack" of a cleaning organism wouldn't be what's causing this trouble, though whatever may have caused the demise of the shrimp has now become bad enough that it's affecting the tang. >I have no other cleaners.  My water parameters yesterday were normal and nothing else is showing any problems.  Kindest thanks, Peter >>"Normal" parameters tells me very little, unfortunately.  For some, "normal" parameters may be readable levels of ammonia or high nitrate readings--both of which can eventually cause stress and death, one faster, the other not so.  This is my advice; put the fish in a hospital tank with freshly mixed water.  If you haven't already, start doing some large water changes on the main display, and filter through carbon.  If the tang pulls through the next day, then take a closer look and see if there's anything observable.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but there is not much information to go on here.  Marina

- Red Spots on Yellow Tangs - A couple of days ago I wrote telling you about red spots on 2 of my three tangs. The local pet store tested my water and found everything to be at 0 except for phosphates. He said that was the problem. So I bought a phosphate sponge and used it that night. The red spots are starting to go away they went from big red spots to kinda being spread out and pink. Does this make sense? <Yes and no... these red spots are typically due to water quality issues, and that can encompass many things that cannot be tested for. Phosphates all on their own will not cause this problem but their presence could be an indicator of other husbandry issues.> Any ideas? <Take a close look at your system and how you do things... are you over feeding? Do you have brisk circulation? Are you protein skimming? How often and how much water do you change? Those are the questions you should be asking yourself.> The fish are eating properly and acting normal. Are they recovering? <Perhaps.> Here is a pic if it helps. Thanks a bunch, Bill <Cheers, J -- >

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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