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FAQs about the Black or Longnose Sailfin Tangs, Zebrasoma rostratum

Related Articles: the Genus Zebrasoma

Related FAQs: Zebrasomas 1, Zebrasoma Identification, Zebrasoma Behavior, Zebrasoma Compatibility, Zebrasoma Selection, Zebrasoma Systems, Zebrasoma Feeding, Zebrasoma Disease, Zebrasoma Reproduction, Yellow Tangs, Purple TangsStriped Zebrasoma TangsSurgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease, 

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

4" Black Tang/Zebrasoma Systems, Jame's go 12/6/10
Hi Bob,
<Hi Sal, James here for Bob today.
This is Sal. I ve asked you so many questions over the years that I feel like you know me. I understand that you probably don't remember me but it's nice to think you do!
Anyways, I have a 90 gallon ( 36x24x24 ) reef tank that is dominated by LE chalices, Favia and Zoanthids. This system is bare bottomed to keep detritus from settling. It has about 75 lbs of live rock. This system drains into a sump with a Warner Marine Redline 150 skimmer and after that a refugium with 5" DSB and chateo <Chaeto>.
I do weekly 20% water changes and I dose two part Calcium/alkalinity and Korallen-Zucht amino acid LPS concentrate. That is all.
I recently had the opportunity to purchase a 4" black tang ( Zebrasoma rostratum ) for a great price. I have wanted this fish forever. Since the escalating prices for Hawaiian and Christmas Island fish, I thought I would never be able to afford one. So, when this chance presented itself, I purchased this fish at about half of what I've seen it priced at on many sites.
<Yikes, that would still run 300-350 smackers.>
Also, I know many buddies who would love to have this guy if I couldn't make it happy in my tank.
The only other fish in my reef is a mandarinfish. Bob, will this setup keep this Black Tang happy?
<Not for long.>
What other things can I do to make this a better place for the fish?
<Larger quarters.>
The thing that bothers me isn't the water volume of 90 gallons.
<Should be.>
The tank is 3 feet long. Does the 2 foot width help with swimming space as much as length does?
<It does, but as the tang grows, your system volume will still be too small.>
I' ve read that it needs anywhere from 4 to 6 feet in length. I have a wider tank and I'm not really sure if that helps or not. Your opinion is greatly valued/appreciated. Thanks for all that you've done for me in the past.
<Allowing for growth, a six by two foot tank would be much more accommodating for this fish. This fish is one of the more aggressive of the Zebrasoma family and smaller systems generate territorial issues.>
Gratefully,
Sal
black tang acclamation/quarantine. RMF's go    12/6/10
I ve asked you so many questions over the years that I feel like you know me. I understand that you probably don't but it's nice to think you do!
<I do recognise your name>
Anyways, I have a 90 gallon ( 36x24x24 ) reef tank that is dominated by LE chalices, Favia and Zoanthids. This system is bare bottomed to keep detritus from settling. It has about 75 lbs of live rock. This system drains into a sump with a Warner Marine Redline 150 skimmer and after that a refugium with 5" DSB and chateo.
I do weekly 20% water changes and I dose two part Calcium/alkalinity and Korallen-Zucht amino acid LPS concentrate. That is all.
<Mmm, no other foods? Not likely>
I recently had the opportunity to purchase a 4" black tang ( Zebrasoma rostratum ) for a great price.
<This species needs more room than this... something much longer than 3 foot in length>
I have wanted this fish forever. Since the escalating prices for Hawaiian
<... not found in HI>
and Christmas Island fish, I thought I would never be able to afford one.
So, when this chance presented itself, I purchased this fish. Also, I know buddies who would love to have this guy if I couldn't make it happy in my tank.
There are no fish in this tank. Will this setup keep this Black Tang happy?
<Not in the long haul, no>
What other things can I do to make this a better place for the fish?
<Palatable macro-algae...>
The thing that bothers me isn't the water volume of 90 gallons. The tank is 3 feet long. Does the 2 foot width and 2 foot height help with swimming space as much as length does?
<Not really>
I ve read that it needs anywhere from 4 to 6 feet in length. Your opinion is greatly valued/appreciated.
<I do concur with the 4-6'>
Also, I'm planning on putting this fish directly into the reef after drip acclamation with Amquel and meth blue. I'm a little worried about a freshwater dip but if you think I should, I'll consider it.
<This species tends to ship very well, be external pathogen free... I'd likely just place it in the main display>
How long should the drip acclamation take?
<30 minutes maybe... perhaps an hour if the water in the shipping bag is much different. I would measure for ammonia, and if there's "much" (like 0.2 ppm or more) present, dump the water out, or lift the fish (with a net, not your hand) and place into pre-mixed, pH-matched water... See here re:
http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm
both articles>
I think its too expensive to mess with and my reef is the best place for him. There are no other fish in the reef. If it gets Ick I can pull him out and QT/treat him and let the tank go fallow. Since there are no other fish in the tank, I feel like it's a fair risk to take.
<I agree>
Please offer up some advice or comments about what I'm planning to do.
Thanks for all that you've done for me in the past.
<Welcome! BobF>

Re: black tang acclamation/quarantine  12/6/10
Hey Bob,
<Hi Sal>
Thank you very much for your response. You said what I thought you would.
So, this 4" black tang is in a tank that is just " Ok " for it right now?
<Yes, likely so>
How do I tell when it is no longer ok for it?
<Mmm, subtle to overt behavior... not-feeding, dashing itself against hard objects for instance>
Is it the fishes behavior or a certain size that would dictate removal to a larger tank. To be realistic/honest, I don't think I can get a new tank for at least a year so. Is there a certain way I could arrange LR to make it better for him (short rock structure with more open space above or tall rock structure with more open space around the rocks)?
<Yes; bommies rather than walls... and careful feeding to slow this animal's growth rate... BobF>
Re: black tang acclamation/quarantine  12/6/10
Hey Bob,
<Salvatore!>
Sorry to bug you one last time. Are bommies tall separate rock structures or short separate ones?
<Can be tall or short, but upright, free-standing (drilled, pegged best, rather than just stacked) structures in any case>
I'm guessing two bommies in my tank would be best. Does it even matter in my case?
<Mmm, yes. Best to not overcrowd... likely two, three... B>
Thanks Again.
Re: black tang acclamation/quarantine  12/6/10
You Da Man, Bob!

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
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