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FAQs about Naso lituratus Behavior Behavior

Related Articles: Lipstick Tangs, Naso TangsSurgeonfishes/Tangs/Doctorfishes and Marine Aquariums,

Related FAQs: Lipstick Tangs 1, Lipstick Tangs 2, & Lipstick Tang Identification, Lipstick Tang Compatibility, Lipstick Tang Selection, Lipstick Tang Systems, Lipstick Tang Feeding, Lipstick Tang Disease, Lipstick Tang Reproduction, & Naso Tangs 1Naso Tangs 2, Naso Tangs 3, Naso ID, Naso Behavior, Naso Compatibility, Naso Selection, Naso Systems, Naso Feeding, Naso Disease, Naso Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease

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Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Blonde Naso Tang Male/Naso Tang Behavior 7/29/11
Hi there Crew,
<Hello Jim>
I have a 5" Naso Tang in a 180 gallon tank with lots of live rock. He normally eats like pig. I put a 5" Emperor Angel in the tank and now the Naso is not eating well. He's now is always swimming toward the power head for the flow and has been doing that a lot.
<Mmm, you did not mention the type of filtration system you are using.
Naso Tangs demand well oxygenated water with high flow rates, a minimum of 10x with 20x being much better, and possibly why your tang is swimming toward the power head.>
The Emperor is very aggressive towards all the fish. I have had lots of large angels and they have never been this bad should I separate or give it time?
<May be the reason why your Naso has lost it's appetite. Does the Emperor drive the other fish away during feeding time? If the Emperor's aggressiveness continues, yes, I would separate the two.>
I have had the Angel a week on Friday. We are upgrading to a 300 gallon next year.
<Your Naso will be much happier in that volume of water. May want to read here as well, including FAQs on Naso behavior.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Jim from Idaho
Re Blonde Naso Tang Male/Naso Tang Behavior 7/29/11 - 7/30/11

Hi James,
<Hello Jim>
My Naso died yesterday.
Sorry to hear this.>
I got rid of the Emperor a few days ago, but I think I am going to get him back since the Naso died. We have two power heads and large pump in the sump that blows a ton of current threw <through> the tank. I had the Naso for two months. The only thing he would eat is red, green and brown algae on the clips. The Emperor did drive him away from Algae clips when he tried to feed.
<I felt there was a little stress factor going on there.>
I was thinking of getting another Blonde Naso do you think a bigger one would do better? Aladdin (Naso) was a good five inches.
<That's a good size, and would not buy one under four inches as smaller Nasos generally do not make it. May want to read Bob's article on the Naso Tang which can be found here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Jim from Idaho

Odd habit of my Naso and Bariene Tangs 9/7/2010
<Hello there>
I just love your website. Truly it is one of if not the most informative places to go when needing information for saltwater aquarium hobbyists. I have both a Naso and Bariene Tang. The tank decor consists of about 200 pounds of live rock. One large piece sits on the bottom which is flat and I have it angled up so it forms and overhang. Last night I noticed the Bariene Tang pick up a small piece of rock under the overhang and carry it to the other side of the tank and drop it. He has also done this with a live sponge twirling it in the water like a beach ball. This morning I placed the small rocks back under the overhang to see if he would move them again. Instead the Naso went and picked them up carrying them to the top of the tank then dropping them. I'm curious if it is normal for Tangs to do this or could they be playing having that type of intelligence?
<These are "intelligent" fishes (as far as fishes go) in my opinion/experience. I suspect that either these fishes are trying to
extract a food item, or that such behavior has species-survival value for doing so>
The Naso is about 9 inches long and the Bariene about 7 inches long. Thank you.
<Thank you for this relating. Bob Fenner>

Naso's flesh lines?  6/14/09
Greetings Crew, I hope this finds you all well over there. If you can see this picture below,
<Mmm, nope... graphics need to be attached as detailed on the portal/info.
on how/where you wrote us>
it shows a full-bodied Naso with vertical lines under its skin. These lines seem to be its flesh outlined underneath. I see pictures of some Nasos having this definition while other Nasos do not.
<Is almost always "stress markings"... summat amiss here... psychologically and/or metabolically>
My 8" Naso is showing its meaty flesh lines a little more each day. She is fat, so I know these are not her ribs showing from starvation. When the flesh lines show like that, does it mean the skin is getting thinner due to a problem within the body?
Thanks as always for your guidance & support!
<See WWM re Naso (likely lituratus)... systems, feeding, compatibility... Need info. on size/shape of your system, water quality tests, other livestock present, history... Bob Fenner>

Naso Tangs'¦ Jumpers? -  -- 2/21/09 Hi there, <<Hello Jeanne>> And my thanks for your site. <<A collective effort'¦you're quite welcome>> I would like to purchase a small Naso tang for my 150 gallon reef tank and have read a lot about them. <<Okay>> One thing I cannot find any real consensus on: Are they jumpers? <<Not in the classic sense, no>> I had a purple tang for just under 15 years in this tank (and a 90 gallon before that), but I know the Zebrasoma are not thought of as jumpers. My dealer says he does not have an issue but those are artificial circumstances to say the least. <<Mmm'¦as are your tanks, Jeanne>> I have had a small school of Lyretail anthias in the tank for about 4 years and none of them have ever jumped. <<These have proven to be one of the least 'jumping' Anthiines in my experience as well>> However, I did lose a blue jaw trigger that way. <<Maybe less surprising than one thinks'¦ I have seen schools of Triggerfish in the wild (Pinktails in this instance) 'boil' the surface like Piranha while going after food morsels>> The Naso would be the biggest fish eventually but right now I have a pair of Genicanthus melanospilos that would be similar in size. What is your experience? <<Just about any fish we keep can jump from a tank with the right circumstances'¦ The Naso Tang is an excitable fish, especially at feeding time, and will occasionally feed from the surface (Bob has reported seeing fish from this genus actually lifting their heads from the water to grab algae growing just above the water line)'¦but unless harassed to the point of being actually chased from the tank, I think one 'jumping out' is a very remote possibility>> Thank you so much for your help, Jeanne <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Naso Tang/Behavior 12/16/08 Hello WWM Crew, <Hi Rich> I must first say how fascinating your web page is for me. If I could only retain half of all the information. I would like to tell you about an interesting behavior that my Naso Blonde Tang has been doing ever since I added a Goldstripe Maroon Clown and Flame Angel. The tang will demonstrate a somewhat motherly action toward the clown and the Flame Angel by hovering around them and nuzzling them. They don't seem to mind at all and are even somewhat disinterested. It almost appears as though the tang is really in need of a close companion. Just wanted to share that and see if you had any comments. Other than that, things seem to be going really well with the setup so far. I only have one more addition to the tank to go and that is a anemone for the clown. LFS says to wait a while longer before adding the anemone. Yes, I have my quarantine tank setup as well thanks to your advice. <Mmm, strange behavior indeed but would not be for the want of a companion, seems more so in looking for a cleaning job. Just a guess though. Keep in mind that adding the anemone will more than likely trigger some aggressive behavior from the clownfish if he bonds with it. Here is a link for you on the genus Naso. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm> Thank you for providing us with this valuable service, <You're welcome and thank you for sharing. James (Salty Dog)> Rich Tank details: 125 gallon FOWLR approximately 3 months since setup 60 gallon refugium with Chaetomorpha and some other algae recommended by the LFS 4 Green Chromis tang Flame Angel Gold Stripe Maroon Clown 2 Fire Shrimp 2 Turbo Snails some kind of slug looking creature (hitchhiker)

Naso Tang with Stress Spots?  9/5/08 Hello Crew, <Frank> I recently acquired a small Naso Tang for a very small price because the LFS was giving him away saying "they couldn't care for it any longer" and that he wasn't eating. They wouldn't elaborate any further on that. He is approx. 3.5inches. I currently have him in 29G quarantine tank before introducing him to my running but empty 60inch long 110G tank. (I understand that he will need something like an 8ft tank in the long run). <Yes> Curious thing is that when he is scared or stressed, his light gray goes very dark with like 7 or 8 large white/gray spots. <Ahh! Stress markings... a good sign (of health) actually> I first saw it when the LFS tried to catch him. When his color returns, his skin looks fine. The LFS said it was a normal occurrence when stressed. Have you guys seen or heard anything like that? <Many times...> Second issue is that he is not eating as well as he should. Since I have an assortment of foods available from my other tanks/livestock, I've tried to see what he will eat. He only eats Cyclop-eeze and barely some mysis and plankton. I've tried Nori, brown algae, spectrum pellets and formula 2 pellets soaked in Selcon, emerald entree, formula 2 frozen, but he wont touch it. <Place some live rock with brown, red, green macro algae on it with this animal> Sometimes he eats one single pellet and then spits it out. Is there anything else you can suggest to help feed? My guess is that he is missing some of the gut fauna that is normally found in the stomach since I was told that the tank he was originally in at the LFS was medicated with Coppersafe. <Ahh! You may be spot on here> I would assume that introducing him to my other stocked 125 with a powder brown and blue hippo tang would assist in the gut fauna and learning to eat, <Yes! Even siphoning out some of the "poop" of their tank and placing it with the Naso would be very useful... In fact... I would summarily FW-dip/bath (perhaps with formalin... and vigorous aeration) this fish and place it in your main tank... NOW> but I don't want to take a chance if he is sick. In my 2+ years of reef keeping, I've never had the nightmare of dealing with illness or diseases (due to buying livestock from trusted LFS and 4-6 week quarantine procedures). Since my normal LFS went out of business, my first attempt to purchase a fish from another place is now giving me heartache. I welcome any and all help. Thank you Frank <Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang with Stress Spots?  9/11/08 Thanks for the help Bob. The Day after getting my response from you and doing the "poop" siphoning......the little guy began eating. He eats Nori soaked with Selcon, spectrum pellets soaked with Selcon, emerald entree, and formula 2 frozen. <Ah, very good> I feed him three times a day and leave some long strips of Nori before I go to work in the morning. He's become a big eater and is looking full. His stomach is no longer pinched and his bones have since disappeared with his body becoming more plump. I've had him now for nearly 2 weeks and he's really about 3-3.5inches in size. I plan on keeping him in the qt for another 2 weeks before moving to the 110g. Does his prognosis look good for survival, at least in the short term? <Yes... though this species, indeed all Naso, require larger volumes in time> One last question I do have is that he has some white marks on his body. Definitely not ich. I saw a Naso before at the LFS with much much worse of the same and was told that it was due to the Naso rubbing up and scratching himself on the live rock. Is that true and is that normal? <Is possible, but not normal> What would be the cause or reason for him to do that if he is healthy? <None that I know of... fishes do "scratch" for irritating chemical, physical, pathogenic reasons... as do you and I> Thanks again Bob. Frank <Welcome in turn Frank. BobF>

Naso Tang swimming strange   6/23/08 I have a Naso Tang (6 inches) that has been in the tank about 3 months. In the tank with him are a Regal Blue Tang (5 inches), Yellow Tang (3.5 inches), Yellow tail Coris (4 inches), Coral Beauty (3 inches) 2 3.5 inch Ocellaris clowns and a lawnmower blenny. The Regal did have cloudy eye about 2 weeks ago and I treated it with Focus and Metronidazole in the food. <... what was the cause?> The cloudy eye are gone and he has stopped scratching on the live rock in the last day or two. The tank parameters are: 150 Gallon 200+lbs live rock 1.025 specific gravity 0 NO 2 5 NO 3 11 Alkalinity 8.2-8.4 Ph 0-.02 PO4 77-78.5 temp 400-450 Ca 1250 Magnesium <These all look good> The Naso shows no outward signs of stress yet he will swim normally and then jerk almost in a nervous twitch or as if he had hic ups. <Natural behavior to extents> He does not eat frozen food but eats dried seaweed and pellets with no reservations. <Ah, good. No worries> After reading the FAQs I am going to add a airstone for good O2 in the water. <Can do little possible harm, but much good> I did just add a sulfur denitrator about 4 weeks ago and that has brought the Nitrates down from 25. They have been less than 10 the last 2 weeks and this behavior started about 2 days ago. Water changes are about 30 gallons every 2 weeks. All top off is done with RO water. <Mmm, I would not be overly concerned with the behaviors stated. Perhaps some settling in with the S2 is occurring. Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang swimming strange  6/26/08 The cloudy eye I believe was caused by my food. <?> I was thawing 1 weeks worth of San Francisco Bay brand frozen food (plankton, Emerald Isle, Mysis Shrimp) and mixing it with vitamins and garlic extract and leaving in the refrigerator. I found out you should only do that for up to 48 hours. So, my suspect is that the food had started to go bad and created the cloudy eye. I also think that is why the Naso stopped eating the frozen and went to eating the pellets and seaweed. <Mmmm> The Naso appears to have stopped or reduced the jerky motions. It does have some white discoloration on the edge of the upper part of one of his gills. It does not appear to be getting larger or smaller. He is eating fine so I suspect it is nothing to worry about. Thanks for your reply. <Welcome... you have read the sections on WWM re this genus, species? http://wetwebmedia.com/fishindex3.htm scroll down. Bob Fenner>

Methylene Blue with Erythromycin? Naso lituratus hlth., beh.   6/11/08 Hello Crew! <Charlie> I have a somewhat urgent need for a definitive answer, I have searched somewhat here and have not as of yet found my answer. I do know that it is here, as I believe I have read it months ago. Yet, in my frantic search cannot for the life of me locate it on this vast wealth of information. So I come to you in hopes of finding it sooner. My thanks in advance for the help you offer. Now my question. I have a 6 in or so blond Naso tang. She has been housed in my 135 for approximately 15-16 months. <Will need more room than this> This fish is BTW my favorite and I love Anna very much. This past weekend I relocated the tank to another room. She was temporarily housed with 12 other fish in a 65 filled with water straight from the 135. Anna was in there for about 15 hours with a heater and a Koralia 4 for flow. All fish made it back to the DT and were treated very well during the move. Most including Anna were hand caught <Yikes...> as they feed from my hand daily, and never saw a net. All look and act normally upon intro back to the DT except Anna. She displayed the typical dark shading when stressed and didn't feed the following day Sunday) Nor did she ever really socialize. Last night, I found here laying still, slightly curved and dark grey along the bottom. <Tangs do lay on the bottom at night> She is very listless and just plain weak acting. Any current will pin her in place. I have moved her into the 10 QT with an air stone/heater and dosed erythromycin. <I would move this fish back to the main display.> I cannot see any evidence of anything wrong with this fish. She does have a sore on her side. But that was definitely caused by being stuck against a power head. Which was caused be her ailment. I don't have any idea what it may be. <My best, high-confidence guess is psychological stress... from being moved, kept in such a small volume... Will "get over it" in time... likely under a week. But DO move this fish into the larger quarters, now> However in a last ditch effort to save her, I administered the erythromycin. <These are miscible... no problem> Finally here's my question...LOL I want to know if dosing Methylene blue along side the erythromycin is OK? <Yes> Also would it if it is, be of any possible help/harm to her. Really I don't think she's going to make it, but I will try anything you suggest. Also I feel as though her problem is caused by some kind of trauma she may have suffered while my watchful eyes were not upon her. I thank you and so does Anna Charlie Bunch <Bob Fenner>

Juvenile Tang, Naso beh.   1/5/08 Hi - I have searched all my marine fish books, on line and through your wonderful website but I cannot find out whether juvenile lipstick tangs are supposed to have their yellow scalpels when small (3ins) or whether they appear when the fish is a bit more mature. Many thanks in advance. Juliette <Are vanishingly small till they are about 10 cm./4 inches in overall body length. Bob Fenner>

Naso tang acting funny -- 06/16/07 Hi, <Hello Robin, Marie here> I just got a Naso tang 6 days ago. <One of my favorite fish! > It was doing fine until today. It is just swimming in one place under a cave. <What size tank do you have him in and does he have any tank mates that are harassing him?> It is eating a lot of green seaweed and looks healthy. He use to swim all over the tank in a calm matter and now doesn't. Should I be concern and what should I do? My Naso tang is 3 inches <He is still relatively new to his environment, it may take some time before he is comfortable. As long as he is eating well and appears healthy I would simply continue to observe him.> Thank you. <You're welcome>

Naso tang... growth, size in captivity   3/31/07 My apologies if this information is out there, but I have looked seemingly everywhere with no luck.  We have a Naso lituratus as our prize fish in a 6 foot 240 gallon reef tank.  I know their maximum size is listed as 18 inches in the wild, but how big would one expect this fish to get in an aquarium assuming proper management, good health, good luck, etc.? <Good question... about a foot standard length... this is a fisheries, ichthyological term: from the end of the snout/mouth to the bones of the tail called the hypurals... basically the caudal peduncle... the narrowing... Not the long elements of the tail fin itself... Can grow surprisingly quickly, as you state, given space, food, good conditions overall... to this length in a couple of years. Bob Fenner> More pacing (swimming) with tangs - 2/17/03 Hey crew. I love the site, read it everyday.. <Thanks kindly, my friend> I'll try and make this short. I have a Naso tang for about 3 months. He's great .he has a wonderful personality, eats like pig and very social and peaceful with the rest of my animals. He has no scars or signs of  illness or rapid gill movement. Everything looks good. The weird thing is at night when the lights go out, he'll start swimming back and forth from one end to the other . <This is very common behavior with Naso tangs as well as Powder blue, Whitecheek and powder browns... cause by undersized tanks and/or lack of water flow (10X minimum... 20 X tank volume is better). Try extra water movement fish. Still... this fish is one of those species that needs large under-stocked tanks for vast open swimming room. Rather strict about it. A lot of rockwork or tanks under 6' for medium sized specimens may not be able to prevent this pacing behavior> He doesn't hit anything or smack himself just swims back and forth . <Understood. Its extremely common. You can see it a lot with these species listed in pet shop tanks and wholesalers where the fish are really crowded necessarily> (only does this with lights out) The light are on timers first set goes off then the second set1/2 hr. later then the third set. and there's even a small night night,  so I don't think he's frightened. <Agreed... but stress induced/nervous nonetheless... rather like big cats in the zoo that pace at times> Is this nocturnal behavior, should I be concerned? I'm not sure how long he does this. But in the morning he's fine ,comes to the front of tank when I walk in. I am a bit concern. What do you think? As always Thanks ! you guys are the best! Bill <Do let us know if the extra water flow helps, my friend. best regards, Anthony>

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

Naso Tang I have a Naso that is about 3 inches long. He paces back and forth every once in a while across the front of the tank. He eats well but I was wondering if the pacing means anything? <This pacing behavior is usually caused by poor water circulation. Nasos in particular need very brisk water movement, 20 times the tank volume per hour. -Steven Pro>
Re: Naso Tang
How do I get 20 times the tank volume of movement? <You can use a combination of powerheads and external return pumps.> Will this affect the yellow tang and clown? <No> How does not having enough water movement affect the Naso? <The theory is that they panic, thinking they got trapped in a tidal pool. If they were truly stuck behind a sand bar they would die from heat, low dissolved oxygen, or even a fish eating bird. But basically, they freak out from stagnant water. -Steven Pro>

- Naso Tang Life Span - My fish died over the weekend and I believe it was 8 yrs old.  <Am sorry to hear of your loss, but good job keeping it this long.>  How long can these fish live?  <In the wild, likely two to three times this amount. In captivity... hard to say, too many factors go into its quality of life. I'd say that under ideal circumstances [giant tank, lots of water flow, low competition for food], you could expect at least 15-20 years.> Thanks, John <Cheers, J -- >

Naso Tang Trouble - 02/03/2006 Hello WWM: <Hi John.> I appreciate your assistance in helping me diagnose a problem with a Naso Tang. <I'll try.> I have asked purported experts at 2 reputable fish stores to provide some guidance and each provided little or no assistance. <OK...No pressure.> THE ENVIRONMENT *100 Gallon Tank *100  Pounds of Tonga Rock *Established 1 Year *Temperature 84 Degrees <I'd lower this to about 78-80 if possible.> *Salinity - 1.023 *Ph - 7.9 <Try to get this up to about 8.3.> *P04 - 0 *N03 - 30 <Ouch. 10 or less would be much better.> *4 Clownfish *1 Sailfin Tang *1 Hippo Tang *1 Flame Angel *1 Royal Gramma *1 Goby THE PROBLEM I purchased the Naso approximately 2 weeks ago. He appeared healthy and reasonably active in a relatively small store tank. <Hmm...Reasonably?> After we purchased the fish we acclimated him to the water temperature and did a fresh water dip prior to releasing him into the display tank. <No QT I see. Only acclimated to temp.?> We noticed with 1-2 days that one of his eyes appeared to be injured and we were told it was most likely an injury and not eye cloud or Popeye. The water quality is perfect and I just recently had the tank serviced. <I wouldn't quite say perfect, but is mostly acceptable.> That problem seems to be improving. <Good.> The second problem is that the tang also eats very little. <Uh-Oh...> Flake and pellet food are not of particular interest though he did at times eat the seaweed. <Not good. Have you tried soaking these in a vitamin prep. or appetite stimulant?> The real problem now is that for the past 2-3 days he has been moving erratically. He generally is inactive is often seen at the bottom of the tank or on an angle against the rock or, at times, flat on the crushed coral. <Sounds like stress. The filtration seems inadequate with the nitrate levels, and Tangs need an environment with low metabolic wastes and high dissolved oxygen. It sounds like these are the problems as well as a lack of personal space for this fish.> The gills are moving rapidly and the fish appears to be in severe stress. The service person said that everything is fine and further that Naso Tangs in particular tend to behave that way and will rest on the bottom of the tank and against rock and I should not be concerned. <What!? This is definitely something to be concerned with.> The fish will sporadically swim for short periods then will again rest at the bottom of the tank. When sporadically bothered by the other tangs the fish will tail whack and defend itself. The situation looks grim. Any suggestions? <I don't think this tank is big enough for all these fish. This is probably a combination of environmental and psychological stress. I'd start with a good 25-30% water change to lower those nitrates. Given the mix of fish, I'd say you dissolved oxygen is low also, so I'd add an airstone or other means of aeration. How's the flow in your tank? Vigorous circulation is also necessary. Skimmer? Don't see one listed. As far as the mix you've got, review on WWM re, and consider reducing this load.> Thank you. John <You're welcome. - Josh>

The Great Escape. Uncatchable Tang - 03/17/2006 Good Day all, <Hi Pete.> I have searched but have been unable to find a usable technique for catching a Naso Tang in a well populated reef system. I have a 6 inch Blonde Naso which I rescued from a poor local store about a year ago. He is now very healthy, eats all foods and gets along well with his tank mates. <Great!> The tank however is too small for this wonderful fish. To make a long story short, I have found a fellow enthusiast with a 500 gallon reef system that is willing to take the fish and give it a good home. <Sounds Good.> Is it easier to catch this fish at night when it is at rest? <Could be, if you are quick. I fear that if the fish bolts for it when startled it could injure itself on the rocks.> My attempts during the day are simply uprooting my corals. The fish seems to park in the same spot each night and is not disturbed by a flashlight so I thought it might be easier. <Try recruiting the other hobbyist (tell them to earn their fish). Double team the Naso, one holding a container, the other herding the fish into it.> Thanks in advance. Pete <Hope that Helps Pete. - Josh> By the way, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the WWM crew for this forum and encourage all who benefit from it to make a donation. The information we all receive is of great value and we should all show our support financially.          <And a heartfelt thank you from the Crew.> <<The night-time approach may be worth considering here... This is how large Nasos are collected, at least in Hawaii... while they are "sleeping", lying on the bottom... Do take care, caution in any case while handling this fish, in a net or not... as those scalpel like projections are extremely sharp... and the fish knows it. BobF>> Young Naso tang I have had a young Naso tang in my tank for about 5 weeks now and it is doing great. I was wondering if this species of tangs develop their bright colors as adults. My Naso (3-4") is sometimes a very dark grey color with no other colors visible, to light grey with a little yellow on the forehead. I have seen larger Nasos with beautiful coloring. Is this normal for a juvenile, or is he lacking some nutritional need? thanks, diggy <This sounds like a juvenile color pattern, but here are some care requirements for Nasos just to cover the bases. When they are small, they need frequent small feedings (two to three small feedings daily) due to a high rate of metabolism. They also need a large tank with brisk circulation. They are more of an open water fish and need a tank six foot long with circulation ten times the tank volume per hour (example 150 gallons needs 1500 gph actual rates). And lastly, read this for more info, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Juvenile Naso Tang Hey gang, just a quick question today. A friend donated a very juvenile Naso Tang to me the other day. He's only around 3.5 to 4 inches total length. He is already taking food; Mysid shrimp, Spirulina flake and Nori soaked in Zoe.  <Ah, good... keep this big eater feeding...> My question concerns his coloration. Most of the time he looks like a normal juvenile Naso should look. I have a couple in other tanks, including a streamer and a blonde. However, I have seen him turn very dark gray to almost black for extended periods of time. I know, from the other Nasos, that this coloration often results from the fish being under a certain amount of stress. Is it normal for juvenile Nasos to become easily stressed?  <Yes... good observation and telling. Quite normal> He is in an 80 gallon tank with excellent water quality. His tank mates include a small Flame Hawk and a juvenile Dragon Wrasse. I have never seen any conflict between the fishes. And I have very limited experience with a Naso this young. Just curious as to your thoughts. <Stress more from just being in captivity and all it entails. But have seen small to large Nasos in the wild change light, dark, mottled in appearance. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, Michael Mariani

Naso Tang Mr. Fenner, I have an unusual concern with my Naso Tang. For some reason when he relieves himself, even though he eats like a pig, he turns around and eats his own waste. Seems to me that it cannot be normal, have any suggestions on this problem? <Actually, not a problem... not unusual with this species, other related fishes (acanthurids in general), even some mammals (lagomorphs/rabbits are probably the best example). Don't worry about this coprophagous behavior. Bob Fenner>

Naso tang life span What's the average life span of a Naso Tang once reaching full length ?<In captivity I would say it would take around 5-10 years for the Naso to attain its full length. In the wild about half that, IanB>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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