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FAQs about Health/Disease of Tangs 7

FAQs on: Tang Disease 1, Tang Disease 2, Tang Disease 3, Tang Disease 4, Tang Disease 5, Tang Disease 6, 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

Some tangs, like Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis are relatively disease resistant... others...


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

Sick Vlamingii Tang Hey guys! at work we have this Vlamingii Tang that has had HLLE before and it looks like it is coming back. :(  But in addition to HLLE he has these gray/black skittle (candy) sized bumps on him, and some smaller ones.  Most of the bumps have little tiny white dots at the tip of em (about the size of a grain of sand).  These bumps/parasite/infection seem to be increasing every two days, and the bumps are located on the gills and 2 inches before his spines.  what is this infection called and how can I treat it?   <Don't know exactly what this is... would take at least catching the fish, scraping a bit off, looking under a scope... perhaps a "worm" parasite stage, or a protozoan...> but the catch is the tank is 3200 gallons and has lots of other fish like puffers, triggers, wrasses, angels, and groupers.  No one else in the tank has these bumps. treating the whole tank is not really an option, nor is giving him a special diet, while he is in the 3200gal tank.  I'll net him and put him in the hospital tank but want should I do from there, treat him with chemicals? fresh water dips? vitamin enriched foods?    <Vitamin and medicine treated foods. There are vermicides/fuges like Praziquantel and Piperazine that I would "lace" (mix in) much as described on WWM in the Pond subweb for Furunculosis treatment. I would do this first, in a large treatment tank, for a few weeks (2,3) and see if there is marked improvement. Don't worry re re-infestation, as this parasite very likely has a complex life cycle with at least one or more missing intermediate hosts/vectors in your main system. Bob Fenner>

Get That Tang To A Hospital (Tank)! After 3 weeks treatment of Rid-Ich+, My blue tang still has ich. What I find very weird is that all the other fish, including another tang, do not have any ich at all and have not shown any signs for the last 3 weeks. <Not unusual for tangs...Some seem to have little or no resistance to this disease, whereas others can hold their own for some time against it...> 3 Damsels, 1 Yellow Tang, 2 small puffers( Leopard and Valentini) and 1 Blue Tang. I don't know what to do about the ich, I treat the tank every 12 hours, full dosage of Rid-Ich. Do you have any suggestions? <My number one suggestion is to not treat the fish in the display tank. It's simply too hard to control the medication to maintain an effective therapeutic dosage. Substrate, rocks, etc can really "suck up" medications. There is also the very real possibility of "collateral damage" to desired life forms when you treat this way.> I don't have a quarantine tank, so that is not an option unless a 3-4" blue tang can fit in a ten gallon, I have plenty of ten gallons. <For one fish, this will be fine for a brief treatment period. Leave the tank bare, fill with water from your display tank, filter with a sponge filter, aerate heavily, and change water frequently. Be sure that you follow any manufacturer's instructions with regards to dosage and duration when you treat a fish. This is the most effective way, IMO. Meanwhile- keep a careful eye on the display tank to make sure that no one else is showing signs of this annoying disease.> Please answer quickly and thanks so much. Tank specs: 0 ammonia, nitrite and 20 nitrate. ph: 8.1 <Go get 'em! You can really deal a death blow to the disease if you fight back in an effective manner. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Internal Struggle? (Internal Infection In Tang) Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> My new Blue Hippo Tang has a swollen belly and a bubble-like thing protruding from the private area on the bottom and its a whitish bubble can you help me I have no idea what to do? Lisa P.S., It's not a big one its the size of a quarter in the body. Thanks in advance!!! <Well, Lisa- it's hard to say what this could be without a pic. The swollen belly could be a symptom of an internal parasite or other infection, or simply the sign of a well-fed fish! The "white bubble" you refer to could be coincidental, or could be an additional sign of infection. I am not a big fan of treating without knowing exactly what I'm dealing with, so I caution against rushing to medicate. Ask yourself a few questions...Is the fish eating regularly? Is it swimming without difficulties? Breathing at a normal rate? Are there any whitish, string feces protruding from the fish? Some of these symptoms could be signs of an internal bacterial or parasitic infection. Review the WWM FAQs on internal bacterial or parasitic infections. Usually, these types of conditions can be remedied with the use of medicated foods. Go slow, try to get a positive indication about what you're dealing with, and move accordingly. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Tang/Tank Update (9/15/04) Hey Steve it's Brian again. <Hi> I bought a hospital tank like recommended and would like to know what I should treat my fish with. <There are a lot of options here, with passionate advocates for each. It would be nice if you could be fairly certain of whether you're dealing with ich or velvet--check some pix for comparison. For ich, copper is the old reliable standby, but can be hard on some fishes, including tanks. Formalin is another, but must be used carefully and can be harmful to humans. Hyposalinity (1.010) is another many swear by. I'd suggest you read the articles by Steven Pro for guidance. There was also an excellent series of ich articles at www.advancedaquarist.com within the past year.> P.S. I found a larger tank for sale in my local news paper it is a 100 gallon for a good price.  Is this a decent size aquarium? <Oh yes, excellent. A good used tank, just like a good used car, is an excellent way to get a great buy. Your Tang will love it and you will have a lot broader range of tankmates to chose from, but not another Tang.>  Thanks for all the help. Brian <You're welcome. I hope it helps. Please keep us posted. Steve Allen.>

The Story Of Suzie Wong (Tang Health Issues) Dear helper, <Scott F. your helper today!> I have a Sailfin Tang about 4 inches. ! Just shifted it  from a 6 ft tank . The 6 ft. tank held a Lionfish, a Yellow Tang, a Regal Tang , a hermit crab, and a Butterfly. Now it has been set up in a 3 ft . tank. He seems fine except that within a week of him arriving in my 3 ft tank , my Indian Clownfish passed away. The clownfish seemed fine - bobbing around the place  and even eating flakes whenever fed. What went wrong? Checked the water and all details are within the parameters. <Well, it could have been coincidental...Or it could have been something passed along by the tang. Hard to say, but my guess might be that the tang was carrying something, or it may have been harassing the clown to the point where stress did it in...Investigate all possibilities> Anyway, regarding Suzy Wong - yes that's the Sailfin tang's name - She keeps fiddling around the heater of late - the oxygen bubbles are let out close to that place. Now I have noticed - she has scratched across her body. One day it's there -then its gone - then a few more appear. <Could be simply caused by contact with tank decor, such as jagged rock or coral. Keep an eye on the scratches to make sure that they do not become infected...> Yesterday was a shocker - the fin close to the tail seems to have torn / got a jagged end. Is it maybe because she was around the heater? <Could there be another fish in the tank that she is tangling with? Again, consider the possibility of damage caused by contact with the tank decor. Do keep an eye on the water quality as well as diet-other potential causes of frayed finnage.> I have been feeding her only flakes - which she has been eating well - Rest is all fine - Her colour is fine and she changes colour with her moods I guess. What else should I be feeding her? <Well, colors on fishes can change in response to "moods" and stress. Tangs, like many fishes, also have a day and night coloration, so this is fairly common. If the fish is continuously showing washed out colors, this is indicative of something wrong. Use that as a clue! Flake foods are just not sufficient nutrition for the long run. This fish eats considerable vegetable matter in the wild, and you should provide this in captivity as well. Try getting Suzie some fresh macroalgae, such as Caulerpa, or may favorite- Gracilaria. These are great foods for this fish. Alternatively, you could visit an Asian market and get some sushi Nori-the unseasoned kind- which is dried seaweed, and attach it to a feeding clip for Suzie to chomp on at her leisure. With a little extra care, she'll live a long and happy life! Suzie will get pretty big- close to 15 inches- so make sure that a larger tank is available for her in the future! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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

Sailfin tang developing facial markings. Hello, << Blundell here. >> New here, looks like you guys know your stuff, so here goes. << Actually I just make up answers, so here goes. >> I have just recently decided to turn my 60 gallon fish tank to a reef. Up and running with approx. 40lbs. live rock, 2 tangs (blue, sailfin), 1 neon goby, 2 anemones (just split from the previous 1 last month), 1 clown and 1 crab. All good with ph, nitrates, ammonia, etc. However, my sailfin tang has recently developed what almost looks like scarring around his face - hard to describe and I can't identify it using any charts, etc. I have been soaking food in garlic elixir, but doesn't seem to have any effect. << Good idea, I like that idea. >> The fish acts like nothing is wrong, behavior is normal, looks great other than it's face and I hate to remove and medicate and possibly stress him out if there is nothing wrong.... have you seen this type of anomaly in other Sailfins, he is approx. 2 1/2 years old. << Well, it is possible it is changing patterns and developing different external characteristics.  But I doubt that.  I'll say it is "odd" but I wouldn't worry too much.  If it is still acting normal and doesn't seem affected by anything then I wouldn't worry much.  I'd also look into nutritional deficiency and be sure to add a varied diet including Nori, Spirulina, Mysis, and zooplankton. >> <<  Blundell  >>

Blockage in Tang? 8/12/04 I have a blue hippo tang about 4" long that appears to have a blockage. She still has a good appetite but there's nothing coming back out. <please do refrain from feeding anything but high moisture foods until this is corrected. This is a rare case where adult frozen brine shrimp is a good food/use> She is very fat at this point. I don't think she'll survive much longer. Do you have any suggestions? <add one rounded Tablespoon of Epsom salt (from the pharmacy) per five gallons and repeat after three days if needed. It works as a laxative> I talked with Penny at Aqua Corals and she mentioned your site to me. <ah, thanks kindly! Penny's a great lady> I would appreciate any info you could give me. Thanks, Ruth <best regards! Anthony>

A. Sohal Gilling to rapid Dear members of the WetWebMedia, << Blundell here. >> Your site has been a great help to me in keeping my marine fish in reasonable conditions. Thank you for having this site for us. I have some concerns regarding A. Sohal & have searched through your FAQs & did not find any relevant. The fish in concern is: A. Sohal. Its an active fish. But of late, it's been scratching & flashing with NO visible &  evident signs of white spots or velvet/dusts. Its gilling very fast, approximately 120-150 per minute. Is it possible that Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium has invaded the gills & show no signs on the body? Or is it just gill parasites ( Trematodes, flukes etc). << I'd hate to make a guess, and steer you in the wrong direction.  But regardless of what it is, the treatment is probably the same.  A freshwater dip may help greatly, and a hospital tank with meds is best. >> I have Quarantine it in a separate tank & salinity is 1.0215, PH=8.1, Ammonia & nitrite =0. For your info, this tang fish does not take medicine well. I have seen it in the past. Is hyposalinity & FW dip the only course of action for me? << Well it is a good option, but I wouldn't rule out copper or meds, it may not take them well, but the alternative (death) is worse. >> Can you also please advise if A. Sohal gill rate is normally much higher than other fish? << Hmmm, my personal experience would say "no".  I have never noticed any type of unusual breathing patterns in A. Sohal. >> I thank you in advance & wish all of you great health. Best regards, << Good luck. >> Cameo Tang <<  Blundell  >>

Paranoid-or Super Conscientious? (Disease Dilemma) Hi Crew <Hi! Scott F. at your service!> After losing some new wrasses during quarantine, I'm embarking on my quest to stock My new 200 gal FOWLR. I have a Kole and Hippo Tang currently in a 90 gal reef. Those two will go in the 200 along with some other inhabitants I'm not sure of yet. I am going to get a pair of maroon clowns for sure, after that I may go semi predator with a smaller lionfish, a couple small angels and butterflies, or get some schoolers like Anthias and Chromis and wrasses. Not sure yet. <All part of the fun!> Anyway, the tangs in the 90 are ich free (that's what I lost the wrasses, too, along with copper misdosing/ammonia spike) except for every so often the Hippo showing a spot that looks like ich. <Not uncommon with these fish!> I've had her for over a year and she has never had an outbreak, just a spot here and there. Anyway, being I'm a little paranoid about quarantining now that I'm over my wrasse trauma. Here is what I have planned. I'm am going to get the already paired maroons from the LFS and QT for the 4 weeks. No meds unless needed. At the end of the QT I will add the Tangs from the 90 along with clowns. <Sounds fine> The tank is now running and by the time the fish are added it will have run fallow with the live rock for about 8 weeks. Ich free by that time I hope. <Well, as "ich free" as possible, I'm sure> When I add the tangs I want to dip them in FW along with the clowns before they enter the 200 as a precaution. Do you think the 90 has ich in it?? <I would operate on the conservative assumption that it does...If sick fish were present in the tank, it's the safe bet to assume this.> That is why I think I'm going to dip my seemingly healthy Tangs before transfer. Do I run a significant risk to the 200 during water changes to the 90, by adding some of the 90's water to help make the systems similar. I consider my 90 reef to be very very healthy. What do you think??   <Again, I'm of the conservative mind set. I'd assume that ich could be in the system and operate accordingly. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Bruised Tang? Hello. <Hey! Scott F. here today!> I just noticed my Desjardini Sailfin Tang has this HUGE black (for lack of a  better way to describe it) "splotch" on the lower part of its body. It is about the size on a thumbprint and it is only on one side. I have attached a few photos. <Hmm. didn't see the attachment> Under close examination, I noticed some light "scrape marks" on top of this area. Is this a bruise or could it have gotten into it with one of my other tangs (Blue, Powder Blue, Naso- all are roughly 4")? All of these fish have been  in the tank for a while now with no prob.s, but the Blue and the Naso are growing fast!  Or perhaps the fish bumped itself on the live rock or dead coral in my tank?   <A distinct possibility. I have seen such a phenomenon before with this very species, and the fish recovered without incident.> The fish is still eating like the pig that it is- pellets, Formulas 1&2 (both flake & frozen); frozen Mysis, Spirulina,  etc... <Excellent...A fish that eats is a fish that lives!> Water tests fine:  8.2-8.4 ph; 0 Ammonia; 0 Nitrites; 60 Nitrates. Temp is  78-79. Salinity is about 1.020. 125 gallon tank w/ prefilter, wet/dry, and protein skimmer Do fish bruise? Do I need to remove this fish from the tank? Appreciate you getting back to me ASAP! Thanks! Michael <Well, Michael, it certainly seems possible here. I'd simply observe the fish carefully, feed it as much as it will eat, and maintain excellent water quality. I'll be the fish makes a full recovery in a relatively short time. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Bruised Tang? (Pt. 2)
Hi Scott! <Hello again!> Thanks for getting back to me. Turns out the very next morning (about 8 hrs  later) the "splotch" was about 80% gone, and by this evening 95% gone! <Excellent! Glad to hear!>   Basically no black left, just the faint scratches.  I'll try sending the pictures again, if for no other reason than for a reference to help others. Once you see the pictures, perhaps you can tell me what this was? <I'll certainly try! Thanks for sharing!> Thanks again! Michael <My pleasure, Michael! Glad the fish is on the mend! Regards, Scott F.>

Tang Trouble? Hi, <Hey!  Scott F. here with you tonight.> I have a Blue Regal Tang. This fish has been extremely active ever since I have had it. Three days ago it started hiding and won't eat. It hides well and it is difficult to see it much.  However, what I can see is it shaking a lot and it looks like there is something wrong with its skin around the face and eyes area as well as starting down the side. The spots that look damaged are changing colors almost a reddish or brownish color from what I can see. Also the top fin looks like it could have some damage. <Hmm... could be some kind of parasitic disease...Maybe Amyloodinium, which shows some of those symptoms, particularly skin damage, lack of appetite and sluggishness> One day it was very active and like overnight this problem just appeared with no warning. I talked to a local fish store and they suggested ich but it seems to be more than  that. <Yep- sounds like more...> Also this fish is in a 90 gallon reef aquarium so I got something to help  ich that is reef safe per there advise, but it does not seem to be working and  frankly I don't know what is wrong with the fish. What do you think? Thanks in advance for any help. Mike <Well, Mike- I think we both will agree that "reef safe" medications are really not, and that there are more effective methods to treat parasitic diseases. If this is indeed Amyloodinium, a more aggressive medical approach (catching the affected fish and treating it in a separate aquarium) using a proven medication, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based preparations. Some tangs do not handle copper exposure well, so you may want to utilize a formalin-based medication if this turns out to be parasitic. Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter concerning dosages and duration. If you act quickly and decisively, you can beat this illness. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Tang Health <Hello, Ryan with you> I have a blue (hippo) tang and a yellow tang, along with a few others including (1) ocellaris clown, (1) yellowtail damsel, (1) six line wrasse and (2) blue-green Chromis.  All of these are housed in a 90 gal show with another 50 gal of overflow and refugium. <Very good.> Two questions.  First, it seems like no matter how many Chromis I put in the tank (a couple of weeks ago I had 4 Chromis) they always dwindle down to 1 or 2.  Do I have too many fish in the tank and only 1 or 2 Chromis can survive or is it bad luck, bad water or what? <They're a pretty timid fish, the weak ones likely perish in the face of your more rambunctious tangs.> Second question is do you have a recommendation on lettuce types that I can introduce to the tangs. <None.  Lettuce has no little value to a tang-keeper.  You mentioned a refugium- I'd order some Gracilaria (Tang Heaven), and get a clump going.  It'll produce enough to feed them purchased from the local fish store.  I would like to offer more variety but wanted your advice. <You can purchase other types of seaweed- Just vary as much as possible.  Lettuce should be used as an absolute LAST resort, as it can negatively affect water quality and livestock health.> Thanks in advance Craig

Sick Regal Tang Hello! <Hi Sherei, MacL with you tonight>   I was reading your Q&A and you seem to be quite knowledgeable about fish. <We all try our very best.> We've recently acquired a Regal Blue Tang from a previous fish keeper (not a store) and as far as we know, his tank was filthy and the Regal Blue Tang seemed to always lie on its flat sides and drift around aimlessly, as if playing dead.  <That sounds like a very rough life.> We set the fish into there and he seemed to be quite happy in the tank (after a brief period of wedging himself between two rocks), swimming around and playing with the other fishes. We then noticed an odd discolouration of some sort on his head and a bit on his tail. Enclosed are some links to pictures of the Regal Blue Tang. We were just wondering if it was stress and bad diet (as a result from the last tank), or if it was serious. As far as I can discern from other images on the internet, his eye area is supposed to be a dark black stripe across it, but it's faded and looks as if it has been discoloured.  <It appears to me that he has a very bad case of head and lateral line disease. This is not a good thing and is usually caused by bad tank conditions such as what you got him from. The good news is that with the new tank conditions many times these fish can be helped. I know additions of vitamin C into the water and treating the food helps as well as getting him some greenery such as Nori or Caulerpa will help immediately. The good news is that it hasn't spread visibly to his lateral line and that's a good sign and it hasn't made a complete hole in his head. Let me suggest you read the FAQs on HLLE at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm> I've enlarged the photos a bit with an image resizer, but they might be a bit blurry. If you want, I can also send along sharper images. http://www.sherei.com/regalblue.jpg http://www.sherei.com/regalblue1.jpg http://www.sherei.com/regalblue2.jpg http://www.sherei.com/regalblue3.jpg Any help would be greatly appreciated. <Good luck and let me know how it goes. MacL> Thanks. :-) Sherei

Powder Blue Rehabilitation First I would like to commend all of you For the fine job you do! <That's very kind of you.> Answering all these questions Helping everybody you can. <I know we all try.> Even when the common Sense in a lot of persons seem to be absent, you always Pull through. The Dedication, you all have Just amaze Me. The Service you supply to many with no Monetary requirements Is Unbelievable. We purchase livestock from our LFS, knowing the advice we get from them is far from the truth, when our Systems go astray, there is Bob Fenner and crew. I Really wish their were Strict licensing and a test LFS should go through before they can open. <Interesting thoughts but honestly for the most part there are caring individuals working in them.>  I Do not think I will live to see that. I have recently Purchased Robert Fenner's Book, and found it to be OUTSTANDING!. <One of my personal favorites and a top reference book.> I bought at the local LFS and They Told me they herd it was a good book. My comment was " I can see you obviously just herd about it, If you had read it, You would keep your live Stock in much better shape" <Perhaps they didn't see something? I know when I worked in a store we stayed pretty busy.> Anyway I do have a question, sorry about the length, it is easy To Email all the bad, but I needed to say this, hoping All realize The value of what they are getting at there disposal. I have read persons Getting mad at the crew because they didn't like what you have said, But I wont go there! Hats off to you crew!!!!! Here is my question. >From time to time I go to LFS, and buy the livestock that is not doing well. I am not trying to encourage them however, They will die either way. <Believe me I understand why you would do this but the idea is that if they lose enough fish of a certain type the pet store will stop ordering them.> If they get healthy and I am satisfied, I Sell them to good homes. I wouldn't Even ask for money However , I find when People spend money on something They take care of it. I bought a Powder Blue Tang, He was getting beat up Bad by some trigger fish and a Type of Sea Bass. LFS moved him in front of me And he looked really Bad. LFS Guy said "You Take, 20 Dollar" So I Did. I have him in a hospital tank, He is very skinny, He does Eat. (Hosp. Tank is 30 Gal) I soak Spirulina flakes (Soaked with Zo? And Selcon) Some Brine & Mysis. He barely has no color in his face Were it is suppose to be Black. He sometimes Swims very fast but then lays down. When he lays down sometimes his breathing is Labored, Sometimes not. He seems alert to his surroundings. And as I said he is extremely Boney. Tank has 300gph Power Head. Added Extra Aeration, As I know Powder Blue Tangs Need Lots of Oxygen. Readings are All ok at this time. Do you think this is Cyanide or Just a bad Malnutrition? <Hmmm or an internal parasite of some kind.> He Does Not have any signs of Ich at all, which surprises me. His eyes right now are Clear but his face seems sunk in. Can you give me advice. <You might try some Caulerpa and just adding the Selcon or Zo? To the tank. Vitamin C will help the fish. You might consider adding some cleaner shrimp to the quarantine area if safe for them. There's something irritating the fish. Usually if its cyanide the fish is gone within a couple of weeks.> By the way I do not make money of the fish, It either goes to the next bad fish or as last time I donated to the Save the Reef Foundation, Here in Florida. Its Only a little Here and there But any bit helps I Guess. I thank you for your in put ( Other than being an Idiot for doing this) My Success rate is about 60%. Thanks.... <Good luck, MacL>

Regal tang help Greets Crew, << Hi there. >> I need some help with my regal Tang, Ill start of with tank param.s. SPG 1.023 temp 78 nitrite 0 Nitrate 5 Ammonia 0 tank size 90 gallon 35 gallon sump 10 gallon refuge fish Yellow Tang Unicorn Tang 2 True Percs 1 Maroon clown cleaner shrimp peppermint shrimp and crabs and snails. Now the regal always ate really well even after she broke out in ick, and continued eating as the ick would come and go, the cleaners would do there work and the cycle would repeat etc.. I had hope that over time it would come to a stand still and all would be well. well she went for well over a month with this going on and never slowed in eating then one day she never came out of the rock to eat just laid there. so I thought ill see what she does next day and she never came out so I Talked to my LFS and he said she could just be stressed from ick taking its toll on her and decided to treat it with kick ick as I have a few corals. << I don't like medications in display tanks.  I would definitely try garlic. >> I began treatment 7 days ago and she came out of the rock but she cant seem to swim. she has not eaten in ten days and was a little on the chubby side so was not concerned about her starving. her color appears good her eyes are relatively clear although she still has some spots on her. << Garlic in the food may help.  Also, it is very rare for a fish to turn down live food, like live Mysis or live brine.  You may want to try that. >> is it possible she has a SW disorder or infection? or is it the stress of long term ick? what is long term ick? << I don't think it is a disorder, but simple stress from being sick. >> any suggestions would be helpful. << Can you catch the fish?  If so, a  hospital tank with treatment may be the best method.  Otherwise I think garlic and live food is the best option. >> Cheers Drew <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Tangling With A Tang! Hello, quick question for you. <Sure! Scott F. here> I have a Pacific Blue Tang who is (thankfully) starting to recover from a semi-severe case of HLLE...He has been scratching A LOT lately and I'm wondering if that is a symptom of recovering from HLLE or if it is more likely that he has a parasite. None of my other fish are scratching at all (that I have seen), which is why I suspect that it is not parasites. What do you think? <Well, it's hard to be sure without a picture. As you may well know, these fishes have a well-earned reputation as "Ich magnets", so they may contract this disease regardless of the condition of the other fishes...If you think that the fish is suffering from ich, it may be time to remove him for observation and/or treatment, if it becomes necessary. read up on parasitic diseases on the WWM site to confirm if this is, indeed, what you are dealing with here.> Also, just for those who may be curious I was able to successfully help him start recovering from HLLE with high quality pellets (actually that is the clown's food, which the tang steals), Nori soaked in Selcon and, dried purple Nori... I alternate the type of Nori I give him so there is some variety. <All good foods. For our other readers, I want to point out that these tangs are largely planktivorous, and vegetable matter, although highly important, may be secondary in importance to good meaty stuff. Try some frozen Mysis, or even some Cyclop-Eeze, which are excellent "planktonic-type" foods. That being said, fresh macroalgae are eagerly accepted, too. Try some fresh Gracilaria, which is my #1 food choice for herbivorous tangs. You can get starter cultures from my favorite e-tailer, Indo-Pacific Sea Farms, or the other wonderful source, Inland Aquatics. This stuff is amazing!> I didn't use the mysterious tank grounding technique or add any iodine or anything. Just good old fashioned nutrition. :) <I agree with you wholeheartedly. You did a great job! Great water quality and excellent food will often do the trick without anything else too exotic!> Thanks! Steve <My pleasure, Steve! Regards, Scott F>
Trouble With Tangs...
HI: Thanks for your quick response. <Hi there! Scott F. following up today!> I have a 55 gallon tank with standard filter & protein skimmer. It does have a thermometer. All plants are plastic along with "fake" coral. When I do take the plants & coral out to the clean them, I only use hot water, no chemicals. <Good...> I've been trying to keep the plain yellow Tangs alive. So far, I am 0 for 4. Each lasts about 7-10 days. One lasted about 2 weeks. That's the longest. Used the tetra kit & got a 0.3mg on NO2 & 0.25 mg on the NH3. <Well- both of these parameters should be undetectable on a hobbyist-grade test kit. Do re-check...This could be a big part of the problem right there. Tangs are extremely sensitive to poor water quality> Salt level seems ok. I have the tank in my upstairs living room & there is a lot of evaporation, so I am adding water almost every day (about 1 liter, tap water, adding drops). Is this enough new water? <Well, as long as you are using reliable, purified water for evaporation replenishment, this should be fine. Of course, regular water changes are equally important, if not more so> The tank temp is about 75 degrees. The Tang is dead now, but the only fish I have left are: 1) blue damsel (the one with the black dot on top) 2) velvet blue damsel 3) bigger fish, almost looks like a triangle with yellow & black. <A Trigger Fish perhaps, or a juvenile French or Koran Angel? Do find out what this fish is!> 4) also have a blue fin damsel that I put in an isolation area because it was stressing out the others. <Yep.. your tank is a bit heavy in the damsel department!> 5) Hermit crab (getting bigger) I originally thought that the blue fin damsel was my problem. Stressing out the other fish until they died (angelfish, clown, Firefish, ll dead). <A very distinct possibility. Many damsels can be extremely antagonistic towards other fishes, especially once established. They will often harass new introductions into "their" tank!> Today a green Chromis died. I started adding Maracyn on Friday because someone in the fish store said it might be some type of disease. Now my water is slightly green. Is that normal? <Sounds like you really got some bad advice there. Without specific disease symptoms, how could they conclude that any medication is appropriate? Maracyn is good stuff, but only if you are treating a disease that it is designed to combat. Also, my advice is to never treat in the display tank, as it is difficult to control the proper therapeutic dosage, and is potentially devastating to beneficial organisms in your system, including nitrifying bacteria, in many cases (hence the nitrite and ammonia readings, perhaps?).> Sorry for all the questions. My family really likes the tank, but they get upset when a fish die. Thanks Again for your help. Ray <I certainly can empathize with your family, Ray! Sounds like you truly care for your animals, but need a bit more guidance. Well, you've come to the right place! On the WWM site, we have tons of great information on a variety of fishkeeping topics that will be of great assistance to you. It might also be a great idea to invest in a couple of basic marine aquarium books to help you on your path to greater success. I'd highly recommend Bob's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist", and Michael Paletta's excellent "The New Marine Aquarium", both of which will provide you with a solid backbone of great information. Armed with a little knowledge from your research, and a few bumps and bruises from your experiences here, you'll be on tour way to success in no time! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Trouble Keeping Tangs Alive Hi: <Hello Ray> I've had a 55 galloon tank for about 2 years now & I'm having trouble keep tangs alive. <Some of my favorite fish Ray.> Can you tell me more about the tank? Tank levels, do you have any algae in there? What other creatures are in the tank with them?  What kind of tangs are you trying to get? Have you had a chance to see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangfaqs.htm very good discussion about tangs in general.  There is also another one that talks about tang selection. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangselfaqs.htm> When first introduced into the tank, they seems fine, getting along with damsels & clown fish. Then after about 1 week. the fish basically stays in one place leaning. When it is now leaning, the fins spin real fast like a propeller. Levels seem to be fine. <Do you mind clarifying which levels? Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, ph?  Do you have a lot of oxygen in the tank, a lot of current, most tangs need a good oxygen saturation and some like the Achilles have special needs of their own. I might also direct you to The Conscientious Aquarist section on tangs. Just loved it.>What am I doing wrong ?. <Don't worry Ray we will get to the bottom of this and help you> Thanks for your help. Ray Sohmer  <Tangs are wonderful fish Ray.  But they do have some specific needs. We will figure out what's going on for you.  MacL.>

Tang parasite symptoms? 5/28/04 My PB Tang will follow my snail around and almost lays on his side and flutter around the snail real close. I haven't noticed him scratching on any rocks or anything else for that matter but he will swim to one end of the tank sit, graze, and then comes back and kind of like a sideways rub on the snail's shell. Is this normal? What is he doing? Thank you, JB <grazing is unmistakable versus scratching gills from irritation from parasites. Lips or gills here mate? Gill flukes and other parasites are very common with tangs. Have you also noticed the tank closes or favors one gill (alternating) while "breathing"/gilling? Another sign of infection. Do read up on treatments in our archives and be sure to have your hospital tank ready. Kindly, Anthony>

Tank Troubles (Sick Tangs) Hi. I just have a couple of questions that I thought maybe you could answer for me.  <I'll try! Scott F. here today> I have a 90 gallon aquarium with a 350 canister filter, an under gravel filter powered by a couple of reverse flow power heads a protein skimmer made by SeaClone and a couple 6in airstones for aeration. I have had 1 Foxface 5in, 2 Clownfish 2in, 1 Cowfish 3 in, 3 Damselfish 1 in a piece, and one Dragon Goby in my tank for a while. Never had any problems. I just recently added a Powder Brown Tang (Japonicus) to my tank which did good for a week, so I added a Regal Tang to my tank. <Did you quarantine these fish? Please do quarantine every new arrival before releasing into your display. This is especially important with fishes such as tangs, which seem unusually susceptible to the rigors of capture and acclimation. Also, the tank seems a bit crowded...Do consider a larger tank soon, okay?> The Powder Brown chased him around for a little while, then they settled together good. <Good to hear that.> In less than a few days after adding the Regal, they both got ich very badly over every square inch. <I don't want to say "I told you so", but...> I just put them in a ten gallon tank 3 days ago which I set up the same day I added them. <well, at least you had the right idea!> I added distilled water to the tank (which I heard wasn't good after the fact) and I'm using Quick Cure for the ich. <Was the distilled water to lower specific gravity? If so, this is a technique supported by many aquarists..> I did a water change today Sunday the 22nd,removing 3 gallons replacing it with bottled water instead of distilled and added some more quick cure. <Do follow manufacturer's instructions concerning dosage and duration when using any medication> The ich is much better, but they both still have some. The regal has rapid breathing and swims in the tank really fast sometimes. The Powder Brown hides in the decoration most of the time, keeping the Regal away from him. The Powder Brown will not eat seaweed salad or brine shrimp and still refuses to eat anything but the Regal will eat just the brine shrimp. If you have any suggestions please let me know thanks a lot. <Well, if it were me, I'd very carefully monitor the water conditions in this treatment tank, and continue the course of treatment that I started (although I might have chosen a different medication, myself). Again, I urge you to follow the manufacturer's instructions on dosing and duration for this medication. Do attempt feeding other foods, such as Gracilaria macroalgae, Mysis (which is more nutritious than brine shrimp), and other frozen foods. Stay with it. Ich is not a disease that can be licked in a couple of days. It takes up to two weeks to do the job. Stay at it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Parasite on Tang? Wait And See! Hi there, just let me start by saying your site has so much useful info. I have told everyone I know about this site!! <Awesome! And check out our new magazine, "Conscientious Aquarist" while you're here! (shameless plug!) > My question is in regards to my juvenile Naso Tang. We purchased him about 3 months ago. He is approx. 4 inches long, eats wonderfully (which I've heard is one of the biggest hurdles to get over with these guys) and seemingly healthy. <Awesome!> About a month after we got him he developed a small white bump behind his gills. We gave him a freshwater dip and it seemed to fade but not completely go away. Around a week or so later it was back, but now it is larger and looks like something is eating away at his skin.. it is round and pink and the top layer of skin looks as if it's gone. I have tried to look closely and don't see any "worm" (I've heard sometimes you can see them). And now he is developing another one on his "nose" are. I guess my question is can you help me identify if this indeed is a skin or gill fluke, or is it some other type of parasite? <Sounds like it may be one...> We have a cleaner shrimp and 2 neon gobies. Could they have picked away at his skin, or is it a nasty of some kind? <It doesn't sound like an injury...Sounds more like a parasite of some kind.> Oh, and we have 5 snails, I have heard they can carry flukes is this true? <Hmm...I guess it is possible...> I'm at a loss. Last week my husband and I gave him a formalin and Methylene dip. We have done this twice so far and it doesn't seem to have done anything. Here is a list of my tank parameters. 55 gal (I know it is too small for him, we are getting a 120 gal very soon) <Good to hear that> 1 Naso Tang 1 Blue Tang 1 Clown fish 2 Neon gobies 1 Cleaner shrimp 5 Snails Nitrates 0 Ammonia 0 Nitrates 30 ppm Calcium 410 Sorry for the long email, I can't seem to find ANY pictures of flukes on the web, if the pics are something you can use, please feel free to use them on your site. We really love this fish and don't want to lose him, I figured if anyone could help it would be you guys!! Please let me know what you think of the pictures and the course of action I should take. Thanks so much!! Samantha <Well, Samantha, your water quality sounds great, your fish is not going to be overcrowded in the larger tank, and he eats well. If formalin is not having an effect on the fish, I'd play a "wait-and-see" game. As long as the fish seems to be otherwise healthy, I would not be too concerned...yet. I would not rush into overly-aggressive and potentially harmful treatments. Make sure that he stays otherwise healthy, and this may just resolve without further intervention on your part...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Tang In Trouble? Hello to all, <Hello! Scott F. here today!> I have a question regarding my baby hippo Tang:  When we bought her, she (or he) was about 1", and in the past month she is growing fast, seems to be happy and healthy (until recently). It appears that she is developing black spots, but not just along her head and lateral line...these bumps are also on both sides of her belly. Plus at times she appears to have a whitish film on parts of her body. I have looked up HLLE and other health problems on your website but I haven't been able to find anything that definitely resembles this. We have had our water tested (many times just to be safe) and all of our conditions are fine. I am feeding her a much better diet, (following the instructions for HLLE) but I am wondering, could this be signs of a different disease? Please help, I love this tang and want to keep her healthy and beautiful!! Thanks for taking time to help!!! Jamie <Well, Jamie, the film that you are describing could be indicative of a parasitic illness of some sort. However, if you're seeing that the fish is eating well and otherwise behaving normally, it may pay just to wait and watch carefully. If the fish is declining, and just doesn't look right- I'd consider starting with a very simple course of action, such as occasional freshwater dips. Granted, these are sometimes ineffective, but they do often provide some relief for light symptoms of parasitic infections. On the other hand, if you are dealing with some sort of serious parasitic infection, more aggressive treatment regimens are recommended, such as formalin-based products. Whichever way you go, be sure to observe the fish carefully. Do read up more on the parasitic disease FAQs on the WWM site to verify what you may be dealing with. Let us know if the symptoms get worse...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Very Thin Powder Blue Tang  >>Hi, this is Marina again. I had to respond to you ASAP because I took a look at your tang and he is painfully thin.  >Here is my PBT. Does he look skinny to you?  >>As above, painfully so, this fish appears to be entirely unhealthy I'm afraid.  >Like I said, he eats Mysis like a pig and is eating Nori. Should I be concerned? Thanks.  >>There could be a couple of things going on with this fish, both mean that he may eat a large amount, but simply cannot process what's taken in. Parasitic infection (internal) is one, and another, more common unfortunately, is exposure to cyanide. Parasitic infection is treatable, cyanide exposure is not. Feed the heck out of this fish, and read up on Acanthurus leucosternon here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm   (Although as time goes on, more and more people are having good success with these fish.) Marina

Very Thin Powder Blue Tang - Follow up  >Thanks for the quick reply.  >>You're welcome, I feel the fish looks bad enough that it was warranted.  >I will start feeding him as many times a day as he will eat. Should I try foods high in protein?  >>I wouldn't target in that manner, what's most healthy is as much variety as he will take. Along with (or in lieu of) that, soaking in the supplement, Selcon, will help greatly. He definitely needs vegetable matter, so if he doesn't take the Nori, try romaine lettuce, "nuked" broccoli (soften the flesh for the fish), spinach, "nuked" kale/Swiss chard, zucchini.  >What symptoms are related to internal parasites?  >>What you're looking at and describing fits BOTH internal parasites and cyanide exposure results. If you've had the animal for 6 months or less, then it makes the cyanide exposure more of a possibility. Do Google our homepage for "internal parasites", just in case, but I wouldn't treat him at this point, he's far too thin in my opinion to handle the strong medications.  >All my other fish seem fine. Thanks.  >>Good, glad to hear that. It may be that he's had a very rough go of it, these fish ARE delicate. Hopefully your set up is such that he's got the best chance of recovering, or at least putting some weight on. If you check today's daily picture, I specifically posted a healthy PBT for you to see what they should look like, and I specifically chose an aquarium specimen, for comparison. Best of luck! Marina

Very Thin Powder Blue Tang - Follow up  >Do I ever appreciate the advice.  >>I'm glad to help.  >Today, he ate Special Formula VHO.  >>EXCELLENT!  >I will try different foods each day. Just to let you know, because I never said, my tank is a 135 reef with more than enough rockwork to graze on. Thanks and I'll keep you updated.  >>Then I think we'd be hard-pressed to find this fish a better place, yeah? I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Marina

Very Thin PBT - Intermediate Response >Hi Marina, >>Hi Tyler. >Once again, I appreciate your help.  >>You're very welcome. >I have enclosed pictures of my PBT from the 15th & 20th.  >>Yes, I've taken a look at them, I recall the first pic being the one you'd sent originally, yes? >Maybe I'm wrong, but under his front fins, his stomach looks swollen.  >>It sure does, and I've emailed some people to try and get a consensus of opinions. This doesn't just look like a really full belly to me, however, I've never dealt with a parasitic infection with a fish that looks like this, either. I need some more ideas before I can properly advise you. In the meantime, please keep doing what you're doing, and watch him closely. You've got him in about the best situation I can think of at the moment. >Could this be a good sign or bad sign?  >>At this time I am rather unsure. He appears to be generally fatter overall (I'm really looking as closely as I can at his entire body, spine, ribs, area behind the skull, above and aft of the belly). >He went on a hunger strike for two days and has now resumed eating Nori and whatever frozen food is prepared.  >>Alright, if you can, try to log this stuff to keep track, may come in handy (these emails are a good means). >He doesn't hide in the rockwork, but instead, likes to hang out by the powerhead at the top of the tank.  >>So he tends to stay situated in that area, and is not swimming back and forth rather ceaselessly? Does he spend time grazing at the rockwork still? >When he sits at the top of the tank, the light shines on him and I can actually see his bones. Why the strange behavior? Sorry to keep bugging you, but I don't want to lose this fish.  >>Well, honestly, I don't see these as good signs. The fish is clearly not well, and it's difficult to ascertain at this point exactly *why* he's so thin. However, I feel I must tell you that *if* this animal was exposed to cyanide, it won't matter how much you feed him or how perfect the water is. Cyanide, from what I've read, destroys the gut-lining of most fishes, rendering completely null their ability to utilize nutrients. That means that no matter *how* much he eats, it's doing nothing more than filling his belly. If, however, we're looking at a severe parasitic infection, it may be treatable. The thing is, if it were a parasite, I would think that the fish's condition would have begun degrading a long time ago. Not to bag on you, but you seemed unsure of whether or not your fish was in good condition, so I have to assume that if it did look bad, you simply couldn't tell. All a learning experience. I must also tell you that, no matter what the problem is, it isn't something *you* did. You're just stuck with trying to find a solution, if there is one. >Thanks for all the help and future help to come. >>Let's wait to see what I get from others, and we'll try to go from there. In the meantime, I'm holding onto these pics and may re-address this message. Marina 

Troubled Tang? Dear WWM crew, <Scott F. with you today!> Hope you are doing well!  As always, your selfless service to the community is much appreciated. <Thank you for the kind words. We're glad to be here for you!> I am hoping your wisdom can aid my favorite fish to live a healthier life.  I have a Yellow Tang that seems to be struggling with his red spots issue.  Two weeks ago I noticed his pectoral fins was completely red, like the color of blood.  This redness soon developed on to his body in small patches, on his tail fin as well as his dorsal fin.  I also noticed he had some pits around his eyes and at the top of his head (actually I noticed these earlier but did not realize it was HLLE).  His mouth was also red and he stopped eating.  Fearing HLLE getting worse and consequent infections from it, I began soaking his food in Selcon, VitaChem, garlic extreme, and added marine C into the water (should have done this all along but was not aware until I read the FAQs on WWM). During this week I changed 30 gallons of water from my 100-gallon setup (normally I would change 10% per week).  At the end of the week he improved dramatically, no more red spots and his pits began to close a little.  He has also regained his appetite and is eating like before the onset of these red spots.  Two days later (today) his pectoral fins are flushed red in color again and I noticed a red spot in the middle of his body on the right side and a small red band on his dorsal fin.  I am not sure how else to help him get better.  I do have a hospital tank standing by but he recovered so well in the main tank I am hoping he won't need it.  And even if I did move him to the hospital tank I am at a lost as to what to treat him with.  I have seen him down and almost out and would really hate to see him pass on.  I am hoping your knowledge can aid me in doing the right thing for this fish.  Any suggestions you can provide would be invaluable.  I have included some parameters below as added information. -Tank setup = 72x18x22 - hoping this is enough room for 1 Yellow Tang, <It is> 1 Coral Beauty, 2 Dartfish, and three Chromis. -Skimmer = EuroReef CS8-2 (150Gallon capacity).  Hoping this is enough skimming action for 100 gallons of water (about 80 in the main tank and 20 in the sump) <Sounds fine> -Water movement = 4 MaxiJets at 295 gph each plus a MagDrive 1800 main return pump (1800 gph).  I estimated total water movement for my 100-gallon tank (after head pressure lost) is 2100gph.  So I am hoping water movement is not the problem. <I don't think that it is> -Readings tested last night @8pm using Salifert test kits PH = 8.2 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = 0 Ammonia = 0 Calcium = 360 (can't seem to raise this) Magnesium = 1120ppm (can't seem to raise this either) Alkalinity = 2.8 meq/l (working on raising this to 3 meq/l) Water changed made with distilled water only Hoping the above parameters did not cause his illness as I know they are not perfect. <They are fine for fish...Didn't catch the specific gravity, but I will assume that it is 1.022-1.025> I do not have a picture of him but he does look close to this picture submitted by one of your readers of WWM http://www.wetwebmedia.com/yeltangfaq4.htm.  Except when he was really "sick" his pectoral fins are deep dark red in color in addition to the other red spots shown in this picture. Hoping your expertise can guide me to aid this fish in making a full recovery - thank you! Tim <Well, Tim, this kind of problem has a couple of distinctly different possible diagnoses, in my opinion. One could be bacterial, such as a Vibrio infection, which sometimes comes after the other possibility, some sort of parasitic disease. I suppose my first approach would be a less aggressive series of freshwater dips. If the problem is parasitic, this may help alleviate the symptoms without resorting to medications. If this does not provide any results, you may want to consider a bacterial problem. In that case, it may be advisable to attempt treatment with an antibiotic (in a separate tank, of course). Treatment of these bacterial diseases is quite difficult, but success can be had. Sorry I cannot be more specific, but without actually seeing your fish, it is a tough call to make. Either way, keep providing this guy with plenty of food and good water conditions, and take the course of action that you feel is most appropriate. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Could It Be Ich? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> For the past few days, my Purple Tang has been hiding in the rocks. He is breathing hard, and just today stopped eating.  He scares easily, and if I get close to the tank he starts darting about the rocks. I'm really worried.   What do you think this is. Scott. <Well, Scott, the rapid breathing, lack of appetite, and "spookiness" can be a couple of things. My first suggestion is to check on your water parameters. If you detect ammonia or nitrite, then you should take immediate action to correct these problems. On the other hand, if water quality is good, and other symptoms begin to manifest themselves, such as excess mucus, spots, etc., then you may be dealing with Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium, both rather nasty parasitic diseases. The preferred course of action would be to remove the infected fish to a separate tank for treatment with formalin-based medication. Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and monitor the fish carefully. You can beat these nasty illnesses if you intervene quickly enough. Read more under the Parasitic Disease FAQs on the WWM site. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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

Kole Tang Recovery (3/6/04) Hi Everyone, <Steve Allen tonight.>   I have written you in the past regarding my Kole Tang and his battle with ich.  I treated him with Cupramine for the last fourteen days in a QT.  His problem now is that he looks terrible.  His skin is blotchy and he is really pale.  The good news is that he has ended his hunger strike. <Always encouraging.> I am feeding him foods soaked in Selcon.  <Good.> Will this help him look normal again or can I treat him with anything (antibiotic)?  Thanks. <Sorry for the delay. One of the crew is out and I'm helping clear his inbox. I suspect your Tang is suffering from the rigors and stress of his illness and treatment rather than a bacterial infection. It is wise to enrich his diet. I'd add a quality vitamin too. Also make sure he gets a lot of vegetable matter. Sea Veggies on a clip would be great and can even be obtained at Petco these days. Even better would be fresh Gracilaria if you can get it somewhere. It might even be worth ordering some of this "Tang Heaven" at www.ipsf.com  As for antibiotics, I would defer unless he appears to have a bacterial infection. Pristine water conditions will help immensely.>

Tang Troubles (3/7/04)   Dear Wet Web gurus...Ok here's my problem... I've got a yellow tang who isn't looking so well these days.  He hasn't been eating nearly as much (he used to gobble up anything and everything leaving little for the other smaller fish but now he might eat one small bite of seaweed) and has been particularly skittish lately.  This is worsened by the fact that he has an area around his face that seems to be infected.  One of the biggest problems is I can't identify what it is! <Search for some pix of HLLE (Head & Lateral Line Erosion) on WWM or elsewhere on the net.> The only area affected is from right above his eyes to his "cheek" area.  It doesn't go further back than his gills.  The "infected" area is somewhere between clear and white.  It is definitely lighter than his yellow body.  It doesn't protrude from the surface of his skin.  My tank is 29 gallon Eclipse3 system with a Berlin airlift protein skimmer, 40 pounds of live rock, a Ricordea coral, umbrella mushroom coral, finger leather coral, a coral beauty angel, 2 Firefish, and the tang. <How big is the Tang. Minimum recommended tank size is 75G)>  Also, I know that you recommend biological methods to rid fish of parasites first <Well, not really. Can "control" perhaps, but not cure. If one really has a parasitic infestation it needs to be medicated in a hospital tank. See the Ich articles & FAQs> - I just ordered and received a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp Wednesday to try to help the tang.  I've seen them cleaning once, very briefly, but the tang has approached the little cleaner shrimp many times.  Also, I've seen him scratch against rocks a couple times, which makes me think it would be Ich or some other parasite. <Worrisome, but they usually do it more than "a couple of times.">   My biggest question is whether this problem is some sort of parasite or bacterial infection like Ich or something of that nature, or whether it is just a stress-induced issue (of course it could be both).  One of the reasons I'd like your input is to get some advice on where to go from here.  I've already done a freshwater dip but that didn't seem to reduce the white much, if at all. <Ich caused numerous small white specks, not the patches you describe.> Mostly it just scared the tang.  I'm a college student and I don't' have a quarantine tank set up or available, though I am ready to borrow a friend's 10 gallon and put together an assortment of other borrowed heaters/air pumps/ etc if need be.  I can't use a copper medication in the tank because of the coral, but I bought one that doesn't list copper in the ingredients but I hesitate to use it unless it's in the quarantine tank. <Return the snake oil and save your money. These don't work. If they're "reef safe" they're usually ineffective, and if they're effective, they're usually not reef safe.> If it's not bacterial/parasitic, however, and is just stress induced, I don't want to put MORE stress on the fish by moving it to the other tank. <Do read up on HLLE & look at some pix. I'm rather suspicious. The treatment is stress reduction, better nutrition, & quality water. Stray voltage in the tank may play a role. If you suspect HLLE, go to a library that has it and read the series of articles on this that ran in FAMA late last year. Hope this helps, Steve Allen. BTW, can you take & send a digital picture?>

Treat The Tang-Or Just Keep An Eye On Things? Hello All, <Hi there! Scott F. in today!> Must start by sending accolades on your incredible site!  Your site is the first place I look with virtually every question or concern I have regarding this boundless hobby (it is also usually the last word!). <Glad to hear that! We're happy to be of service!> I have a 55 gal FOWLR (only about 10 pounds of LR) housing one 2" Yellow tang, one 1" Perc. clown (tank bred), and one large cleaner shrimp (Lysmata).  It also has a dozen or so snails and small blue legged hermits. Water quality is good (I think) No Ammo, No Nitrites, Nitrates <5, ph 8.2, alkalinity 2.2, temp. 76.5, sg 1.021, at least 600 ppm Oxygen. All tests are Red Sea Marine Lab.  I have a one-month old refugium in the sump running 75 w of PC lighting 24/7.  In the fuge are Chaetomorpha, Grape Caulerpa, and Caulerpa Prolifera.  I am awaiting the arrival of some Gracilaria from Florida Pets. <I love macroalgae to "work" in your refugium. Caulerpa is controversial, but it is a good algae if properly managed> I use local tap water (Fort Worth, TX) conditioned with Stress Coat, and change 15% every two weeks. Don't have the funds for RO/DI. The tank is 6 months old and cycled with damsels.  The clown fish seems to be fine and the cleaner occasionally tries to clean the tang who is not very cooperative.  The tang and clown were introduced together about 4 months ago and the shrimp came 6 weeks ago. Onto the issues: The tang is beginning to develop whitish "snail trail" type lines and marks, bi-laterally, near her eyes, along her snout, and gill covers.  From what I've seen and read, I'm guessing HLLE. <That would be my guess, too!> I've read extensively here and on other sites and understand that nutrition is widely believed to be the main cause. <A significant one, at least> I feed Sprung's purple algae soaked in Selcon, Nori soaked in Selcon, attached to a rock for daily grazing, Formula II flakes and Omega Vegetarian blend (2/day), and Caulerpa and Chaeto every other day or so, I also see the tang grazing microalgae from the LR regularly.  The tang is quite fat and a voracious eater.  There is a very slight dimpling or "sinking in" behind the girth of her stomach, but it doesn't appear to be the kind of pinched in stomach that I've read of/seen in internal parasite concerns. <A possibility. BTW, the Gracilaria macroalgae will be an excellent dietary supplement for the tang, once you get it going>   The white markings seem to be getting worse rather than better. The tang recently (within last 3 days) began to develop a few small orangish-red "splotches" on her body and today, I noticed a few tiny ones along her lateral line on one side.  I've seen pictures and read of petecchial (sorry about the butcher job on the spelling) marks and the picture you have on your web site, although much more advanced, is quite similar to the spots on my fish. <Sounds like water quality is also a possible factor> Also, the tangs fecal matter (sorry for the scatology) is long, stringy, mostly clear and appears to be banded every .5mm or so with a brownish circle.  It also trails out of the fish in multiple "strings" that look like tentacles waving behind the fish.  It almost looks like a bunch of worms--gross.  I thought this could simply be the tough Chaetomorpha not digesting well, but I don't know.   <Another good thought on your part, but it may also be some sort of internal parasite...> I have seen much on your site about the first two symptoms, but not much about the third and, in any event, am concerned that they are all co-morbid. <Hmm...> Would you recommend a single (or course) of freshwater dips?  I don't have a QT yet, but could set one up in a spare 10g I have or in a rubber maid tub. <Good> I am reluctant to treat the tank chemically, the live rock would no doubt suffer as would the copious microflora and fauna that have started to take hold in the tank. <Exactly- I agree...> Your thoughts... Thanks for everything! Jim <Well, Jim- it could indeed be some sort of internal parasitic problem, as well. The best "cure" for all of these possible problems is to continue to provide very high quality water conditions and a balanced diet. It's often best to just observe the fish carefully, and to optimize the environment. Sometimes, playing with various medications and other "remedies" can cause more problems than they solve. Hang in there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Kole Without Appetite? Hi Everyone, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> I bought a Kole Tang about a week and a half ago.  I brought him home and he began to eat.  A couple of days later, he developed ich.  I treated him with Cupramine in a QT.  Since then, he won't eat.   <Not uncommon with tangs. They don't always do well with it. I've experienced this myself many times. Be very careful when treating with copper, as these fish have delicate digestive fauna, which can be damaged by prolonged exposure to copper. This will often diminish their appetite, among other things. I'd follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and monitor the copper level continuously during the process. If the fish shows serious distress, do discontinue copper use. Often, once the copper level is lowered, the tang will begin to feed again. In the future, Formalin-based treatments might be a better route if you keep tangs.> I have tried everything, from frozen brine shrimp to flakes to Formula Two frozen to Nori on a clip.  Is this a result of the copper?  What else should I offer him?  Thanks.    <Well, besides lowering the copper concentration at some point, you could try a piece of fresh live rock for him to "graze" on. Sometimes, this can tempt an otherwise fussy fish to eat. Also, consider the use of a liquid vitamin supplement, such as Vita Chem, administered right into the water Observe the fish carefully. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Kole Kwestions! Hi guys, <Hey there! Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have been browsing your site for quite some time now. It is great. <Thanks for the kind words! We're glad that you enjoy it!> I have a question, which I could not find an answer to anywhere. I have a Kole Tang, which started getting some strange spots/blemishes/smears of brown color, which are not protruding or elevated. They look as if someone took a crayon and drew them on the sides and on the nose underneath one eye. I thought that they were some kind of physical damage and they would go away, but recently saw that there are some new ones. They are in no particular shape or form. He seems to occasionally bounce off the gravel (scratching as I understand), but does it quite seldom and has been doing it since I got him about a month ago without any outbreak. <Hmm...Sounds to me like it could be either some sort of trauma, as you considered, some type of harmless pigment migration, or even the beginnings of an environmentally-caused disorder called Head And Lateral Line Erosion. Usually, this "disease" can be cleared up by maintaining excellent water conditions and providing quality food. In the absence of other signs of disease or discomfort, just maintain excellent conditions and provide quality food.> My only other fish is Tomato Clown and he has no signs of these brown marks. My tank is quite new - about 4 months. I have a persistent Brown Slimy algae (sorry I don't know the correct term) which I can't get rid of - could that be Tang's problem? <Probably not> I am doing regular water changes and all parameters are fine. One thing that concerns me is that he has never touched Nori that I offer to him, does not accept flakes that I feed to the Clown, and did not touch broccoli - all he eats is green algae of the glass and picks off the rocks (but there is not much on the rocks as I see it - tank is new). Could a bad diet be the cause of the brown spots? <One of my possible theories. Please avoid terrestrial greens like broccoli, as they are minimally nutritious for marine fishes, and they can impart tremendous amounts of undesirable nitrate into the system water. Ctenochaetus species of tangs, such as your Kole, tend to rasp diatoms and liberate detritus from substrate and rocks with their specially-configured mouthparts. They are very adept at this type of feeding. You could supplement with some fresh macroalgae, such as Gracilaria, but I have found that they tend not to eat this with the same enthusiasm as other tank species. I'd avoid excessively cleaning the substrate and rocks, to give them some foraging> If yes, how do I get him to take Nori? <Personally, I have never found these species to be fond of Nori, but it's worth a shot. You can rubber band it to a rock, or attach it to a feeding clip> Are there different kinds of Nori? <Well, yes...> Could he like one type and not the other? <It is possible> Otherwise he seems active. I am attaching 2 pictures. Sorry for the long e-mail. Thank you so much! Artemia. <didn't get the attachments, Artemia, but if he appears otherwise healthy, I'd just keep an eye on the tang and go from there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Brown Spot - Hi. The spots appear to be going away slowly BUT there is a new event. Now, at the front bottom of one side, not far from his gills he has a little tiny patch of something externally, looks kind of brownish. Very small right now so it's hard to tell. Let me know if this "sounds" like something I should watch, like a fungus....Thanks as always!! <Anything that seems foreign should be watched - I don't know exactly what this is, but can say with some certainty that this is not fungus - could be bacterial - but fungus typically only shows on fish once they are long dead and forgotten in the corner of the tank.> I tried to catch him to QT him for a little while and maybe treat him but I can't catch the little sucker... he is calm but the minute I put a net in there... he is super freak. <Might need to use two nets - one to distract and one to scoop.> I stood perfectly still at the tank with the net submerged for almost an hour hoping he'd get used to it and I could sneak up on him... didn't work. <Sometimes is does, sometimes it doesn't.> If this sounds like I should QT him, any ideas on how the heck to catch him? <Well, for now, I wouldn't quarantine, I'd just keep an eye on things. AS far as catching the fish - if you can, try to get a second set of hands in there and they can help you steer the fish into the net. If that's not an option, consider draining a portion of your tank into a trash can - with one of their degrees of freedom taken away, fish are much less creative at escape and you should be able to get scoop out the fish. Once caught and placed in the quarantine tank, you can refill your main tank and call it a day.> appreciate your advice. Heather <Cheers, J -- >

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Well? >Hi, >>Hi, I'm coming into a conversation already taking place, so forgive me if I go over stuff already covered (this is why we like to have previous exchanges included in the body - this is also likely why you ended up with me). >We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich. >>Righty-oh.  Very easily eradicated. >Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide. Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that pH is the same as saltwater - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? >>I don't know that you would really need to go with the copper, this parasite is so easily eradicated with simple hyposalinity.  A salinity of 1.010 ought to do the trick.  Also, I'd leave him in there much longer than 3 minutes, I'd give him more on the order of 10 or so. >Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? >>Bathing?  I'm going to assume that you're using this terminology interchangeably with dipping, in which case length of dip as above (forgot to add that you would do well to add Methylene blue - enough to turn the water dark blue).  I would keep the tang in the hypo for two weeks, using observation to decide at what point he seems to be clear.  As I said, this is easily dealt with.  Then, he should remain in quarantine for 30 days MINIMUM, starting from the point at which you decide that he's clear of all disease.  After that 30 days is up, begin bringing the salinity up to the tank's levels, over two or three days is good.  Dip in the freshwater as above, then he can be placed in the display.  Oh!  Garlic has not been shown at all to demonstrate any efficacy for treating Cryptocaryon irritans. >History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience. Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight). Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions! Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! >>It's the first for me, so.. I'm not irritated at this point.  ;)  (We like our fish-minded friends, anyway.)  Be sure to keep up water quality with water changes, this is KEY.  ZERO ammonia and nitrites, nitrates under 30-40ppm is desired (obviously, the lower the better).  Best of luck!  Marina

HELP - Barking Blue Tang in Distress 2/10/04 Hello all: <howdy> Perhaps this should be addressed to Anthony, as he and my tang have a relationship (remember the football prognosticator?). <I do... I hope he's feeling good about next year> I have a 125G Fowl/oLR that has been up and running for 4 1/2 years. We have had the blue hippo from the get-go. The tang has developed a swollen mouth in that it stays open all the time. It is difficult for him to ingest any food. He will go up to the pieces, but they get lodged between his lips. He seems to rely on the water current to allow food to enter his mouth. <hmmm... any pics possible? I'm wondering if its a swollen thyroid (iodine deficiency or excess nitrates induced)> There are no spots or any external indications of disease. As I said, he shows a desire to eat, but is having difficulty. I also find him swimming somewhat on his side at times. The LFS said that these are not good signs and that age may be a factor. <age?!?!? What are they smoking?! Blue tangs were considered hardy back in the 70's as one of the few fish that could be kept for many years (albeit with regular bouts of ich<G>). They are some of the oldest kept fishes in the marine trade with longevity records over 30 years old. I personally know of a 26 year old specimen kept locally to me (Pittsburgh)> I am reluctant to freshwater dip, as the stress of both catching him and the dip itself may prove too harmful. All water parameters are fine. I would appreciate any advice that you can give in our attempt to save this fish. Thanks,  Mitch <if its the throat that looks swollen, it would be consistent with a dietary deficiency for how long you've had the fish (limited diet, lack of iodine dosing in the tank or lack of water changes to maintain bromide levels for the absorption of iodine adequately. If instead though it looks like a swollen lip/jaw... all best are off for my diagnosis. A pic would help here my friend. Else do consult a local vet (some do fishes). Anthony>

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Hi, We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich.   Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide:-) Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that PH is the same as saltwater <I'd just use this second step to add the buffer - the directions on the container are too general. Just add and test, add and test.> - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes <If you can push this to five minutes, that would be excellent.> - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? <Nah... just move to a quarantine tank. Don't treat with anything unless the problems persist.> Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? <If the problem reoccurs, I wouldn't dip the fish any more than once every other day, and then also think about some form of treatment in the quarantine.> History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience.  Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight).  Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions!  Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! <Cheers, J -- > Tangs I have an Atlantic blue tang and it has something on its mouth.  It almost looks like it has teeth on the outside of its mouth.  I was wandering if you could help me out.  Thanks Ange <A picture would help a great deal, without a picture I can only guess, Good luck, IanB>

Hippo tangs - always QT: ich magnets 2/6/04 Hi Everyone, <howdy> I was doing some reading on the website and noticed something about hippo tangs.  It says not to Quarantine them and give them a freshwater bath instead.   <I'm not sure where you read this my friend... but if not misinterpreted, know that the archives are dated in time and represented by many different mentors sharing advice. That said, you will find that the overwhelming majority of aquarists, I suspect, would emphatically encourage you to QT hippo tangs strictly for 4 weeks above almost any other fishes! They are categorically disease prone. Really ich-magnets!> Will this kill off any parasite they may have?   <freshwater dips with QT are both recommended and effective> Just wondering the reason for this?   <no idea on the no-QT comment... sounds dangerous to me> One other thing.  I am looking for a couple of non-aggressive tangs to put in my 135 reef.  How about a Hippo & a Kole together?   <reasonable> If so, which one do I introduce first?   <a smaller Kole first> Thank You. <best regards, Anthony>

- Parasite Problems, Follow-up -  Dear Jason C.:  Thanks for your reply. <My pleasure.> I've reached the conclusion that this purple tang does not have ich, nor Oodinium. You asked if his coloration is pale. I wouldn't say it's truly pale, but he's not as bright as other purple tangs I have seen. Some of the marks on his body are light blemishes, and most don't appear parasitic in nature. <Is what I suspected.> This particular tang has been on quite a journey over the last six weeks, so these skin problems could be stress related. For two years he was housed with a Beau Gregory Damselfish in a 46-gallon aquarium, and though he held his own with that aggressive fish, I'm sure that was a stressful environment for him. I set up this 180-gallon tank for several reasons, and one of those was to move him from his former aquarium. Although in time this will prove a beneficial move, I'm thinking that stress associated with the move to a new environment may have taken a slight toll on him. <Happens.> All of the tangs can be touchy at times, so I'm going to use a more cautious approach rather than trying hyposalinity, medicated flakes, and so forth. Although he eats a varied diet now, I'm going to boost it even more (additional greens, etc.), and a more consistent application of vitamins. <Sounds good.> Regarding vitamins and additives, which ones do you prefer when dealing with tangs and surgeonfish? <Selcon - Vita Chem... both are worth while.> Here are some that I've used in the past, and some others that I have read about online or in various trade publications. I'd like to know your opinion and if you've ever used them: (1) Vita-Chem, <Use it every day.> (2) Zoecon, <Not a fan of Kent products.> (3) garlic. <Am beginning to think garlic is a waste of time.>  Thanks.  Sam M.  <Cheers, J -- >

New tank syndrome and Melafix worries, mate - 1/29/04 Hi <G'day> Brief history...I have a 90 gallon marine aquarium with a wet dry filter with a protein skimmer. <OK> I have a new tang that had what looks like abrasions from being netted, but I'm not sure. <Were they there before you bought your fish or after he had been in your tank for a day or two???> He has like little light brown spots that had like a white looking coating on the spots. <Hmmmm....sounds like more than netting abrasions> One of his eyes had a slight clouding in a small area. <Likely acclimation problems as well as possible poor water quality not the least of which all could also be related to general stress> I put a cleaner shrimp in the tank...and boy he went straight to him. <Good> I also put one dose of Melafix...wish I would have looked online before taking the advice of my LFS. <Always a good idea> The light brown spots no longer have the white on them...the shrimp must have taken care of that. <possible> My question is will the Melafix harm the bacteria that is in my wet dry filter? <It is not supposed to, but there is little known about the effects of this product as Aquarium Pharmaceuticals has published very little in reference to this product. Give a call to their tech support and demand more information and pose your question to them. Product/Technical Support: (800) 847-0659>  The tank is cycling and I don't know if I should do a water change at this point. <Oh....well that explains the brown patches on your fish. Likely from exposure to nitrite. Some fish can survive a brief exposure to ammonia during the initial break-in period but they are less tolerant to nitrite. Hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood, combines with nitrite (nitrous acid) to form methhemoglobin, which is incapable of carrying oxygen. The blood turns dark brown, hence the term "Brown Blood Disease," corresponding to the symptomatic brown patches on your fish. Nitrite poisoning can be prevented by weekly nitrite testing and partial water changes, especially during the break-in period.> I used Bio Spira and I was considering putting in more, which is what the packaging suggests. <Of course it does. They can't just say "Buy me" on it. I would just let the tank cycle for a few more weeks before adding any new inhabitants. Feel free to do water changes every day or so of about 20% to hopefully help keep the current inhabitants alive. Take a look at our site regarding new tanks and cycling here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/filtration/biological/biofiltr.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm> My Ph is at 7.5 <Wow way too low for saltwater animals> Ammonia is at .1 (highest it's been after 5 days) <Not good> Nitrate is at .2 (also highest) <Check nitrite as well as it is deadly!!> I guess I'm not sure how often I'm supposed to do water changes when the system is cycling either. <Frequently when you have animals in toxic soup> I'm really freaking out about having possibly killed all the good bacteria in my filter. <I would be more worried about your current inhabitants being killed. Bacteria will re-populate in time. Likely there is no issue with Melafix as you just need to take your time to establish a stable system. Do read through the section on our site labeled "Set-up" under "Marine Aquarium Articles"> Also, it seems like it made the water a slight bit cloudy. <Should dissipate over time. Change your water though, just in case of an over dose. Probably made your tank bubbly at the surface as the surface tension of your tank's water has increased.> Thanks for your help!!! Van PS How can I support you/your web site? I really appreciate your help and service! <Well, first start by using our site to its fullest extent. Read before acting. Also we do have an honor system pay area located here: http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/pay/T3P5J4CVWEJER0/058-8132970-7585862 but we would be happy if you supported the site's fantastic authors. Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner are very accomplished authors regarding marine aquaria and the science that is our hobby. Thanks for asking and good luck ~Paul>

Tang Troubles? Dear Sirs, I am new to this hobby. <No need for "sir". Just Scott will do fine! Welcome to the hobby/obsession!> I don't seem to be able to keep any tangs in my quarantine tank alive longer than a week. My water quality is excellent, nitrite, nitrate all 0. The blue tang was fine the last few days, eating well, but this morning I noticed some reddish marks on both sides of its tail. I quickly performed a freshwater dip for 5 minutes, obviously it seem very stressed over the dip. <They don't really like them- but they do work for parasitic conditions. I wouldn't be so quick to do a dip unless you suspect parasites. The stress could be worse than whatever the "illness" is> Half hour after the dip, it stay near the filter pump and died. I have got this feeling that the stress caused during the freshwater dip resulted in its death. What is your opinion on my assumption? <Certainly possible, although the condition of the fish before the dip may have been poor, and the dip simply pushed it over the edge...Don't be too hard on yourself> Can you enlightened me on what to do in future if facing similar circumstances? Thank you for your time. Regards, Richard. <Well, Richard, I would use the FW dip as part of the acclimation process-before you put the fish into quarantine. Tangs are very susceptible to parasitic infections, such as Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon. Also, they don't always ship well, as they need excellent water quality, a lot of oxygen in the water, and need to forage continuously. They often arrive at the dealers in poor shape to begin with, and the added stress of transit from the store to the hobbyist doesn't help the situation any! My advice is to study the Surgeonfish FAQs on WWM, where Bob has compiled considerable information on selection. This is an important aspect of tang acquisition and husbandry. With a good specimen, careful quarantine, and good feeding, your odds of success are very good! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Brown Tang - Is This How a Happy Fish Acts? >I just purchased a 4 inch powder brown tang, fish looks very happy he swims around the tank. >>Tell me the tank in question is a quarantine tank.  Please. >What I don't get is why does he turn on his side while swimming, seems he likes to rub his sides on the substrate bottom while swimming fast.   >>Uh oh. >He never rubs the bottom being still only when he is swimming fast, is he just having a good ole time or is he trying to scrape a bug off him?  To me he looks very fit and very healthy. >>Uh, yeah, for now.  What he's doing is called "flashing".  It means he's got a "bug", and it's highly likely that "bug" is a protozoan parasite called Cryptocaryon irritans - aka ich.  Search our site using our Google bar for "marine ich".  You will learn there how it can be treated, and if you wait too long you will learn the wisdom of quarantine, ESPECIALLY with animals like tangs.  Marina

Tangs with Pimples 1/8/03 Hi Bob, Love your website!  I read through it all the time to increase my knowledge on just about everything you have to offer.  In my opinion, it's the best info site on the net -- thanks for being there for us all. <Adam here today.  Thanks for the kind words about WWM.  Glad you have benefited.> I have a 110 gallon tank that recently went through a major case of Ich and secondary Velvet.  Using double doses of Ruby Reef's Kick Ich product along with their Rally product the tank was saved.  I have never used these products before but this time wanted to avoid copper in the tank and was willing to give them a try.  I lost several fish during the treatment process because the Ich had gotten the upper hand before I started treatment.  After all was done, I was able to save the Yellow Tangs.  They were actually pretty strong and kept their appetite throughout the process. <I personally am not convinced of the effectiveness of these products in the recommended dose, and suspect that doubling it helped.  I am glad to hear that you were able to save some of your fish since velvet has often caused fatal damage before signs of it become obvious.> I fed them green, red, and purple Nori sheets throughout the day for browse; Kent's garlic added to their frozen "Emerald Green," frozen Brine and frozen bloodworms.  The Brine and Bloodworms are primarily for the stripped damsel and the hermit crabs and cleaning shrimp that also survived this ordeal. <No doubt that a good appetite improves survival of such an ordeal.> All signs of Ich and Velvet have been gone for about 3 weeks now.  Everyone looked great for the last couple of weeks.  Tonight, all the Tangs seem to have pimples all over their body... they are not red or fungus laced... they just look like they are pimple bumps on various parts of their body.  I've never seen anything like it in the last 17 years of maintaining marine aquaria... maybe I've just been fortunate.  Any suggestions on what it might be and what treatment should be sought if any? <Without a picture, it is hard to tell, but I would suspect inflammation of the sites where the parasites were imbedded.  If the medication killed the parasites while imbedded in the fish, they have to go somewhere.  There is also a chance that there is a secondary infection.  If you fish don't show any other signs of ill health, I would ride it out.  If you see signs of a secondary infection (redness, discharge), I would consider antibiotic food.> Thanks for your help!  -Danric- <Best of luck, and please do write back if you have more questions!  Adam>

Hippo Tang with Cotton Pills 1/6/03 I have searched everywhere on WWM but have seen nothing that matches what I am seeing. My hippo tang last night had what I would describe as cotton pills (you know, when you have an old sweater and the fabric "pills") attached by strings to its upper and lower fins. Last night there were two, and within an hour or so they were gone, then this morning there were 4 when the lights went on, and a couple of hours later, they are gone too. None of the other fish seem to be having any problems, and ALL of them including the tang seem to be very happy and eating and swimming, no heavy breathing, etc.  Water param.s are 0 across the big three - amm.. - 0, nitrites - 0, nitrates, 0, this is a 75g with a 29g DSB sump, RO/di water. etc/ I have seen ich many times, and this does not look like ich at all. The cotton pills are bright white, fairly well defined oblong shape, about a 1/4 the size of a BB. Any ideas? <I wouldn't 100% rule out ich from your description, but agree that it isn't likely.  Is it possible to get a picture?  There are other parasites that behave similarly to, but look a bit different than ich.  I would consider moving this fish to quarantine to be safe, especially if it is a new addition.  Observe your other fish carefully for the same signs.  Sorry for not having better advice, but an ID is pretty tough without a picture.  Adam>

Tangs 1/4/04 Hello Crew, I am still new to the marine aquarium. I have been doing some research on it for about a month, and decided to build a big tank. so I got myself a 6000litres of saltwater reef tank. it is partially outdoor with 3.20meters length on display. it has been running empty for about a month. <Wow!!!  That is quite an ambitious start into the marine hobby!  By "empty", I am assuming you mean that it had salt water, live rock, lights, etc, but no fish or corals?> I am having difficulties with it. after the one month period, I started to fill the tank with fishes. partly to name of-sting rays, tangs, damsels, etc. the only thing that concern me is the tangs. I just fell in love with these fishes! <It is easy to fall in love with all kinds of marine fishes.  Tangs have a special spot for me too!  It does sound like you may be stocking a bit too fast, though!  Be patient...  it will be worth it in the long run.> first I got 2 regal tangs. and died: (,then another 2. they now have the white spot ich problem. I cant catch them and wouldn't risk on any medication and hyposalinity method just to safe the tangs since I have more corals worth more than these two fishes. so I leave them in, and seems to be doing alright with the ich still until now. <All tangs, and Regals in particular are very prone to Ich, and as such should be quarantined (all fish should be, really) before introduction in to a display system.  They should be removed and treated in a separate system.  If the fish are still eating, you can try a small barbless fish hook designed for fly fishing, baited with some meaty fish food and literally go fishing for the sick fish.  This is harmless to the fish and much less stressful than being chased about with a net.> I was wondering if it is safe to add more fish into the tank. I was thinking of getting some more tangs. <Absolutely not!!!  Please do remove and treat the sick fish your currently have.  Once they are cured and re-introduced or if they die, wait at least 30 days to be sure that the disease does not recur.  At that time, you can put more fish into quarantine (at least two weeks, a month is better) to be sure they are healthy before introducing them.  Introducing more fish now (particularly ich prone ones like tangs) will certainly lead to the loss of more fish.> thanks!  Hann.. <best of luck!  Adam>

Tangs 1/8/03 Hello Adam/crew, <Hello again Hann!> thanks for the advice. I did try fishing in the tank but just couldn't get the sick Regals out. just wondering what will happen if I buy a fish, then quarantine it for a month and introduce them to the main tank with Regals still having the ich problems? wouldn't it be a waste of time? <Yes it would be a waste of time.  Do not introduce any new fish until the Regals are cured and have been free from ich for at least six weeks.  Also, please do quarantine all future additions.> Another question: I have been reading that tangs will fight among themselves. would it be the same case if I have a bigger tank? I am not planning to build any bigger, but is it ok with the 6000litres tank? <Tangs will definitely fight among themselves, but it is also true that they will fight less if they have more space.> I currently have 2 Regals, 2 yellow, 5 convict, 1 two-tone sailfin, 1 purple, 1 chevron, 1 mimic, 1 brown and 1 pacific sailfin tangs. I am  planning to get more tangs in, e.g., Naso and Kole tangs. <in such a large tank, you could probably get away with a few more fish, but do watch them for signs of stress and/or aggression.> what would be a good choice of fish? other than tangs? <Yes!  Many!  As much as I like tangs, I would consider stopping where you are and looking into other smaller reef dwelling fish (blennies, Basslets, etc.) and/or schooling fish (green Chromis, some Anthias, etc.) than!  Hann..

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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