Although the blue tang has been a popular fish for fish keepers for years, its recent spike in popularity has resulted in a number of people adding a blue tang to their aquarium who may not be familiar with it with many people reaching out with various questions on how to care for the fish.
Without a doubt, the most common question that we see people asking about is how to treat a blue tang with ich so we have decided to make this the main focus of today’s article.
Unlike most other popular fish, blue tang are particularly skittish and scare easily so the process of quarantining the fish can actually do more harm than good.
This is why treating a blue tang with ich is a little more complicated than treating some other fish species as you usually have to leave the fish in the community tank during the treatment.
As we see so many different questions from the community about treating a blue tang with ich, we have decided to compile them all in this single article to try and be as in-depth as possible.
We have also added our table of contents below to allow you to quickly skip to specific sections of the article as fast as possible too.
Can Tangs Get Ich?
Many people believe that tangs are more susceptible to ich and other infections due to getting stressed and anxious more easily than other fish but this is not the case.
Just like all other fish, tangs can get ich but provided the tank is cared for correctly and the tang is fed a suitable diet, they do not have a higher than average chance of having problems with ich.
One of the main problems with tangs when it comes to ich is that they can be very picky eaters, especially when they are first introduced to a new tank with new food sources.
This can cause them to be heavily nutrient deficient while also having less calories in their system resulting in less energy to fish off various problems with parasites and bacteria.
Many tangs will focus on only eating the algae or other plants in a tank when they are first added but you are able to try some seaweed and algae bars to top up their vitamin and mineral intake.
The majority of seaweed and algae bars will also contain garlic flakes that can help to protect against issues with parasites and bacteria too.
Should You Quarantine A Blue Tang With Ich?
Quarantining a blue tang that has ich is controversial and can often be the topic of heated debate between fish keepers and in all fairness, both sides are right.
Tangs do have a much lower stress and anxiety threshold than other fish and chasing them around your aquarium with a net to quarantine them can stress them out and cause various issues.
On the flip side of that though, ich is highly contagious so you put your fish at risk by keeping your tang with ich in your community tank.
The general consensus is to usually avoid quarantining a blue tang that has ich with the logic being that the ich is already in the tank and your other fish may already have it.
Trying to quarantine your tang will only stress it out and increase the chances of it having serious issues while most people will still treat their main community tank for ich after quarantining a fish from it anyway.
One work around that we have seen is that if you only have a small number of fish with a single tang is to quarantine the tang by removing the other fish in the tank to a backup tank and leaving the tang in the main tank for treatment.
It is very rare for the required conditions for this to be the best route forward to line up though so keep that in mind!
How To Treat A Blue Tang With Ich!
The most common method of treating ich in a blue tang is to work on its diet rather than use a specific chemical based treatment due to blue tangs usually being kept in reef tanks where chemicals can cause problems with corals.
Trying to add garlic into the diet of the tang is one of the most effective things that you are able to do but nori sheets also have the ability to help work against ich too.
This is why we highly recommend seaweed and algae bars as they come with garlic flakes in them and they really are the perfect food for a tang with ich.
Keeping them as a regular food for your tang can help to reduce the chances of ich taking hold in the future too. You are also able to try using garlic infused fish flakes or a product like garlic guard too.
Depending on your tank setup, you may be able to get away with trying a chemical based treatment to cure the ich on your blue tang like white spot cure but it is generally not recommended.
The copper in the treatment can cause a number of issues with coral and live rock so working on the diet of your blue tang to treat the ich is usually the easiest route to take.
Can Tang Recover From Ich By Themselves?
Tang can sometimes recover from ich by themselves but there are a few things that you are able to do to help them by supplementing their diet.
One of quickest, easiest, and cheapest methods is to try and add garlic to the diet of your fish due to its anti-parasitic properties.
You are also able to try and add nori sheets to your tangs diet too as nori has a natural anti-parasitic property with some nori sheets also being available with garlic to super charge the food.
Maintaining optimal water parameters is also able to help your tang recover from ich too but you have to keep its tank maters and any coral or live rock in the tank in mind too.
Some people also tweak the UV light exposure to the tank to help their tang fight off the ich but this can also cause problems with your coral or liverock too.
That brings our article going over treating a blue tang with ich to an end. We hope that we have been able to explain the best route forward for treating your blue tang and returning it to fill health as quickly as possible. As we mentioned above, ich really is a pain in tangs and they do tend to be more prone to it than other fish too but there are a number of things that you are able to tweak in their diet to help treat the ich while also reducing the chances of the fish getting ich again in the future.