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FAQs about Naso lituratus Systems

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

Related FAQs: Lipstick Tangs 1, Lipstick Tangs 2, Lipstick Tang Identification, Lipstick Tang Behavior, Lipstick Tang Compatibility, Lipstick Tang Selection, 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

The bigger the better... at least a six foot run....
Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Naso Tang/Systems 1/10/12
Hi Crew.
<Hello Toby>
I've spent way more hours reading your website than I'd like to admit.  I'm currently reading Bob's book as well.
I've been running saltwater for about a year and have previously had freshwater systems for about 15 years.
My question is about a Naso Tang.  I am cycling a 180 gallon tank that will house my current 75 gallon and I'd like to add some other fish to it.  I have read all I can find, however I don't see anything concrete (as if anything is concrete anyway).
Can I house a Naso Tang in the 180?  The dimensions are 72x24x24. 
Everything I've read says that they need at least a 6ft tank, but it doesn't say that a 6ft is OK.
<Six foot is acceptable, but larger would be better.>
 I know ideally they would have a tank with 1000's of gallons, but unfortunately that's not a choice I have.  Will this fish get to it's full size of 18" and not be too crowded?
<It's unlikely it would grow/attain a length of 18" under captive conditions.  Do be sure you get one at least four inches long.  Smaller specimens generally do not adapt well.>
The other inhabitants would be:
2 true Percs
1 Foxface lo
1 coral beauty
1 lawnmower blenny
1 green mandarin
1 royal gramma
1 Banggai cardinal
Various inverts for cleanup.
I'd like to have a few tangs in there, maybe a powder brown, purple, Kole.
<Would not put the Powder Brown Tang in with a Naso or any other tang, fighting is likely to occur.  I'd go with a Purple or Yellow Tang.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Naso Tang/Systems 1/10/12

Thanks James for the quick response!
<You're welcome.>
That's what I was thinking about the Naso, but wanted someone with more experience than myself to say it.  :)
If I nix the PBT, how many Tangs can co-exist in a 180?
<Will depend on species chosen.>
There will be about 160lbs of live rock with a 2" sand bed and I plan on keeping lot's of open space for swimming.  Could I do a Purple, Kole, Yellow, and Naso?
<Four is a bit much for that space.  As far as aggressiveness, these tangs are relatively peaceful unless kept with their own kind, but each individual fish has their own unique personality so there are no guarantees.  If it were me, I'd put the Naso in first, then add the Purple and Yellow Tang at the same time.  There may be some disputes between the Yellow and Purple, but in your size tank it should/could work out.  I'll take my words back.  If it were me, I'd have the Naso and Purple Tang and no others.  Having too many tangs in that space could lead to problems and if this should happen, you will have a difficult time removing the villain.  Not worth the risk in my opinion.>
I often see people with many more Tangs that I think is possible.
<I suggest reading here and related links/FAQs found in the header.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Wrasse harem questions.. mixing species. Also Tangs 1/9/11
Thanks again Simon!
<No problem Adam>
When you say only keep one species as a harem, do you mean only keep one species of wrasse per tank if you do a harem? Is it possible to keep a harem of one species, and individuals of another species in the same system?
<I think this is a better/ more sensible approach if you want more than one species>
Also, what constitutes a 'harem'?
<One male and a few females usually>
My LFS only orders and sells Flame Wrasses in M/F pairs. Could a harem of Lineatus Wrasses be housed with a m/f pair of Flames? Or would a single Lineatus with a harem of Flames be more appropriate (assuming I could special order in only females).
<Mmm, we are leaving my comfort zone here now a little! I would research this more on WWM, perhaps Bob might have some input, will post to his box and if he does he will chime in>
<<Need more than a single female for all to be "happy"... and yes, especially disparate (not very similar) genera of haremic wrasses can be kept in large systems (hundreds of gallons). BobF>>
I've been doing more and more research on Tang compatibility, and the more I read, the less convinced I am that a powdered tang (blue or brown) is a good idea with a Tennenti. I know I'd need to make sure I got A. japonicus and not A. nigricans if I went the brown route, but I've been reading some horror stories about A. leucosternon aggression on forums that gives me pause.
<They can be terrors, but are beauties if they work out>
I've had a Naso tang suggested to me as an alternative, as that would mean I wouldn't be grouping animals from the same genus, but I'm concerned about size. They are a beast of a fish when they grow up, yet every fish retailer online lists a 125 gallon as a minimum size.
<IMO an 8 foot tank is an absolute minimum for the Lituratus, which I assume is the fish you mean. I have kept this fish in a six foot tank before, and to be honest, once it grew to a large size not only was it obvious that it needed more swimming space, it also looked a little silly as my once 'large' tank really did start to look small. I now have a 7.5 x 5.5 foot tank and have decided against a Lituratus there for the same reasons, though I have been sorely tempted! In a 10+ footer this fish is a must-have though, once again IMO>
I have a hard time swallowing that number for an 18 inch fish.
<Me too.. 125 is an 'older used' number that means the smallest 6 foot tank available. But the fish would hardly even be able to turn around were it able to reach anything like it's full size, which it should be given the opportunity to do. It would probably get to over a foot in your 'new' tank though, not likely 18 inches, but still huge. To go with the size is the activity of the fish, which is why it needs a long 'run'>
My tank will be over double that volume, but still only 6 feet long. What are your thoughts?
<To pass on the Lituratus, and either gamble with the A. leucosternon or go for a Paracanthurus, introduced before any other Tangs. This fish is much smaller growing, a 'cruiser' as well as easy-going towards it's tankmates>
Again, thanks for your time. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
<No problem Adam. It is commendable that you are taking so much thought over this.. this research and planning will see you have far fewer problems in the long run.>

Question On How Many Tangs Is Too Many :)/Tang Compatibility/Systems 3/23/10
I have a 125 gal. reef tank with skimmer, 3" sand bed. Fish include Rainfordi Goby, Purple Fire Fish, Six-line wrasse, cleaner shrimp, pistol shrimp, 3" Yellow Tang, 5" Kole Tang. We are wanting to add a Blue Regal Tang and a Naso Tang, would this be too many tangs for our tank.
<Yes, and I would not attempt to keep a Naso/Lipstick Tang in a system less than six by two feet. They need space, the more, the better.>
I am also considering taking out the Yellow Tang because I think he is causing stress to Kole because his color is so splotched.
<Good move, these two species generally do not get along in small volumes of water.
Do read here.
Thanks for any help and advice.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Tina Hopkins
Re Tangs/Compatibility/Systems 2/22/10-3/23/10
Thank you for the link.
<You're welcome Stacy.>
I got lost on the website again last night, somehow I lose hours when browsing through all the information.
<Can easily happen.>
The quantity of fish would probably explain my Aiptasia and majano outbreak.
I tried AiptasiaX and my hundreds of Aiptasia turned into thousands.
I have Nudibranchs arriving tomorrow to help with the Aiptasia.
<Hopefully they will help you out.>
My nitrates at the highest measured at 10ppm, I'm going to increase the water changes. No aggression between the tangs currently but perhaps my luck will run out as they grow.
Thanks again for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Naso lituratus: Aquarium Volume vs. Aquarium Dimensions -- 10/31/09
Dear WWM crew,
<<Greetings Bruce>>
Well I have been reading enough of your FAQ's on Naso lituratus and other Naso tangs for my wife to think that I have a serious obsession.
The more I read, however, the less I believe that I can accommodate this fish in my aquarium, which is ironic, since that is why I upgraded!
<<Ah'¦or should I say'¦uh-oh!>>
I have a 180 gallon custom tank with an eight foot length, two foot height, and 18 inch front to back.
I picked these dimensions to allow for ample swimming room.
<<With maybe the exception of the front-to-back dimension 'perhaps there were limiting factors involved>>
There is a 55 gallon refugium underneath the stand, a GSM 2 skimmer, and 200 pounds of live rock.
<<Is all this rock in the display? Do consider your statement of 'ample swimming room'>>
Current fish are two BG Chromis, a bicolor angel, a coral beauty angel, and a lemon butterfly (C. miliaris). A black back butterfly, C. melannotus, is on the way.
<<Both Butterflies are good choices for aquarium keeping>>
This is a FOWLR with a few mushrooms. I have read in the FAQ's various tales of woe with this species, including viciousness, difficulty in keeping, and overgrown fish for their systems,
<<I assume we're talking about the Naso here? Quite possibly, yes'¦ But this can also apply to many other fishes when kept under less than satisfactory conditions (e.g., growing-up in 'too small' an environment)>>
despite the prevailing presentation among the more reputable online fish businesses, (i.e. Live Aquaria, Blue Zoo Aquatics) that these fish can successfully be maintained in a community tank.
<<Oh, and they can 'given a big enough tank for the long term. I have a Naso lituratus that resides peacefully with four other tangs from three different genera, as well as a Scribbled Rabbitfish and other smaller reef denizens 'also in an 8-foot tank 'but with front-to-back and top-to-bottom dimensions of 30' each 'more than doubling the 'volume' of your system>>
So my question is, bottom line, can a Naso lituratus be maintained happily and for the duration of a "normal" life in a tank of my size with four or five butterfly fish of about 5 to 7 inches, a few dwarf angels, and a few smaller fish, such as Chromis, Dartfish, clownfish?
<<Recommending suitable fishes for the size of one's system is often a hard sell 'and there are others that would dispute a tank such as yours being 'too small' for Naso lituratus. But given that these fish have a possible lifespan of decades, can grow to 12' and more in the home aquarium (20' in the wild), and become more wide-ranging as they mature (some might even say 'pelagic'¦)'¦I do think the 18' front-to-back dimension of your tank is a limiting factor here>>
Frankly, I think that a tank of my size is about as big as many people will be getting in their hobby.
<<For many, yes 'though it does seem to me that 180g displays, and larger, are much more common these days>>
While I would like to believe that it would have quite a lot of swimming room in the eight foot length, I sincerely question whether a one foot long fish (or more) would be happy living in an 18 inch wide tank.
Thanks for all your help in this bewildering obstacle course we call marine fish keeping!
<<Happy to share Bruce'¦ EricR>>

Naso Tang: System\Health\Shipping Stress. 3/14/2009
<Hi Paul>
I have a 125 (6' long) all fish.
I have some live rock (1) blue tang, (1) clown, (1) damsel, (1) mandarin,((1) yellow tang, (3) emerald crabs, (3) cleaner shrimp, several snails, (2) sally crabs, and several hermit crabs.
<Pretty closed to maxed out as far as stocking is concerned>
All the water parameters are exactly where they should be.
<Actual readings would be helpful.>
The tank has been set up for 6 months and have not had one problem with it.
I started out with a 30 a couple of years ago and learned from there.
Three weeks ago I purchased a (Naso) Tang (west indies?) from Saltwaterfish.com.
<What kind? I am going to assume Naso lituratus Totally inappropriate for a tank this size and with this level of stocking.>
When it got here it was very lethargic and couldn't seem to get off of its side. It carried on approximately two days this way and then started swimming upright.
<How big was the fish - Fish under four inches rarely adapt to captivity.
Also, it is imperative to get them eating immediately.>
During this time it didn't eat and I let it go for three more days and it went back over on its side and never recovered. I subsequently got my credit for the fish and decided to use it to order a larger Hawaiian Naso Tang. (after the acclimation period)
<Any Quarantine?>
I put it in the tank and it just laid on its side. After several hours it righted itself and seemed to be swimming OK.
<Shipping\environmental stress, starvation.>
It has yet to eat and this morning it is listing to one side like the other one did. I have tried everything I can think of, "entice", krill, algae, flake food, etc. but it will not eat. The other fish in the tank are loving the different variety of things I have offered.
<You may want to try some live Brine Shrimp>
Am I missing something? I hate to lose the guy he is very pretty but am at my wits end. I contacted a local fish store about some help but he was as clueless as me on what to do.
<There is much to learn here. Firstly, Naso's get BIG, needing hundreds of gallons. Being in conditions too small will stress them to death.>
If you can give me some advice I would be most appreciative.
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso_lituratus.htm >
<My Pleasure>

Naso Tang (Second attempt) HELP!! Hlth, temp./sys.   3/8/09 Hi Guys, <Joey> In a bit of a panic and I'm hoping and praying you guys can help. <Will try> 150 US GAL Reef tank(with 50 GAL sump) , inhabitants are as follows: 1 x yellow tang approx 4 inches doing very well, nice and thick eating well good coloring and shape. 1 x powder brown tang doing amazingly. Beautiful specimen, eats well with no abrasions and is just my pride and joy. 1 x one spot fox face rabbit fish. Again doing very well and about 4 to possibly 5 inches in length although not nearly as "massive" as the tangs 4 x blue green Chromis. All doing well and between 1 and 1.5 inches 2 x ocellaris clowns hosted in the same sebae again doing very well (1 = 2.5 inches , 1 = 3 .5 inches both very hearty) 1 x blue devil damsel doing well 2 inches 1x lemon (or yellow damsel) doing well but very very small I would say about 1 inch long Various corals of all types, leathers, SPS's , LPS, Softs, etc. About 200 LBS of Live Rock (lots of rock very large structure in the middle of the tank 5 inches or aragonite mixed with crushed coral bed 50 gallon sump with 1/3 as fuge . about 5 inch sand bed down there and about 30 pounds of live rock Above display I have an algae scrubber that is in the process of being established Lighting is : 2x 250W 14000K MH , 2 x 54 Watt T-5 FLO 420 NM , 2 x 54 Watt T-5 FLO 460NM, 9 white 1 w lunars and 9 blue 1 watt lunars. Water parameters are all very good . There is one item that I'm not confident on however which Is water temperature. I have been running my tank at about 83 degrees at night and it peaks at just under 86 (85.8 - 85.9) during the day. <I'd lower this, allow it to be a big lower... a good five degrees F. or so> There seems to be 2 schools of thought on this. The mid to upper 70's crew and the "keep it as NSW temps of where the fish came from" crew. Because these are reef animals mostly from the south pacific or Indonesia I thought it would make sense to run it at this temperature. <Ahh, no... see WWM re... I've written and debated extensively re this topic... much better in almost all cases for temperature to be lower... Don't have the time to hash over again here. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/heatrat.htm and the linked files above> At any rate here is my issue and why I'm so concerned, well call it scared as honestly that's what I am right now. A while back I introduced a very healthy looking Blonde Naso into my tank (no QT and trust me I understand all the reasoning behind doing the Qt I just haven't had an opportunity to set one up yet although I definitely need one and it WILL get done believe me!) <I hear you> The fish was perfect in the store and eating well. I brought him home and initially he was okay (for the first few minutes) but when I tried to feed he did not show interest. Then he began to show "black" coloring. And when I say black I mean it was frightening at first since I had never seen a fish turn completely black like that. Almost like he had donned a ninja outfit. No heavy breathing or other behavior that would lead me to believe he was stressed so I thought maybe those are just his night colors? <Yes.... can be... and patchiness, lighter blotches... But in a word: stress... from?> I did some searching and didn't really find anything leading me to believe that NASO's have "night" colors <Oh, indeed they do. Large Naso lituratus (though I don't condone/suggest this) are collected for ornamental use at night time... sitting/laying on the bottom... Have seen many times> so I began to really be concerned. For the next few days I continued to try without success to get him to eat vigorously. He would eat the occasional passer by seaweed the others would let slip but nothing more than that. I thought maybe he was getting bullied but didn't really see anything to support that. <Often subtle...> Then about the 3rd or 4th day he began to get a white cotton looking crust around his lips. <Oh, might have been damaged in collection, holding shipping... not uncommon> It would almost drift in and out of his mouth occasionally when he breathed. Almost as if he had a fake mustache that wasn't quite staying on? This went on for another 2 days and finally he passed on "I assume" because he never came out of the rocks structure. <Ah no... the question might be... "what caused this fish to go into the rock structure?"> My Cleaners all disappeared for a day or so and all reemerged later on at the same time. It was about a week when I finally gave up all hope that she was alive. I did some research and found that perhaps the stress of the move caused her to get a fungal infection that ended up leading to her demise. I did some asking around at the LFS and it turns out that she had just been brought in that same day when I bought her. A mistake I will NEVER make again. I should have asked but saw her eating which gave me a false sense of security. <You're learning> This time I put a slightly bigger and much thicker specimen in to my tank. Same 2 hour acclimation process. Very healthy and eating although he had been at the LFS for about a week. Eating well as well. I put her in last night and immediately began to see the same type of behavior as the last including the "Black" coloring. I am very very scared now that she will go the same way the other one did and I just can't figure it out. Why the Naso? <Mmm, one important factor that you've mentioned... temperature... and its effect on metabolism AND dissolved oxygen... need to lower...> I have bought all my fish from the same place and all are doing amazingly well? Not to mention the powder browns are supposed to be more difficult to care for than the Naso's ? <... needs more DO>  Or at least that's my understanding. BtW I have tried soaking the food in garlic and also tried Zoecon with Zoë« mixture. (have tried brine, pellet, flakes, and seaweed of green, purple, brown and red varieties although I understand they have a preference for the brown) This time no fungus looking white stuff around the mouth (YET!) but I have noticed whitish markings on her skin . She had those from the store and they kind of look like just character marking... just abrasions perhaps. But I'm not sure. I really don't want to lose her . I would be very grateful for any help you can provide. Thank you very much for your time. Very Gratefully, I tried to introduce Joey Freyre <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Tang families (sic, genera) and tank size   2/19/08 Mr. Fenner, I would first like to note that I have read several of your online publications recently and found the detail to be of great value. Thank you for your efforts in relaying information to marine hobbyists such as myself. <A pleasure to share; a hope to relate information of worth> I have a question about the various families of tangs in relation to their suitable home aquarium size. I read through your documentation on wetwebmedia.com and there are only a few noted tank volumes recommended as a minimum for the families; <Ah, genera> the Acanthurus, Ctenochaetus, and Zebrasoma all note a guideline size starting at 50 gallons. I was wondering if the data is current, <Mmm, not really is likely a reasonable response. Having been a content provider in the trade and hobby for... is it really more than forty years?... much of my in-print work is woefully dated... and worse... extant w/o this note> and if perhaps you had some additional recommendations or adjusted recommendations for tank size for any of the 5 major families on the site? <Well... for most small species of Acanthurus, all the Bristlemouth and Sailfin species, really a fifty gallon volume that is otherwise not crowded... will suffice... that is, with otherwise good maintenance, nutrition... keep these species alive, healthy for something like a "normal" average maximum life span... However... Some Acanthurus get quite large (saw an absolutely gorgeous group of five A. blochii yesterday diving off Crescent Bay/Manta Ray Cove here on HI's Big Island... I do hope my video of them came out... and I do wish I knew enough re editing, placing such on this/these devices that I could immediately (if not sooner) share this with you... But these were all more than a foot long body length (more with their caudals)... These would need hundreds of gallons... Naso and Prionurus species likewise need hundreds of gallons... systems of at least a couple metres/six foot "run"/length to be happy, grow, survive for any real period of time... Oh, and Paracanthurus... should not be kept in anything smaller than a 75... It should go w/o saying, but am always aware that many less-sophisticated folk may read this... that "bigger is better" for sure... behaviorally and physiologically with these and all other fish groups.> There are several message boards that I frequent, of which they all have a group of people who state that the minimum tank size for most tangs would be something with a 6' length, and nothing smaller than a 75 or even 90 gallon for Zebrasomas or Ctenochaetus. Is there any data that supports specific sizes for these tangs? <Mmm, anecdotal experience mostly... There are historical, institutional longevity records for some species... but these are almost always kept in vastly larger systems... But I've kept, personally can account for the most popular species care in the stated volumes by our and other service companies...> I only ask out of curiosity, personally, I have a 180g tank and have been in the hobby for a couple years, but would much prefer to gather all the data that I can as a reference. Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated. Alex Liffick <Thank you for your interest, asking. I do ask in turn that when you have confidence, time, that you consider joining our WWM Crew in aiding others. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Tank Size for a Lipstick Tang   7/16/07 Hi there, <Hello Jonnie, Marie with you today> Just a quick question, I am thinking about getting a Naso lituratus (Blonde) for my reef set up. <One of my favorite fish!> What would you say is the minimum tank size for this fish? I have done my research and have read anything from 75-150 gallons and between 4-6 feet long. I have a 110 gallon, 4 foot long Aqua Medic bow front. Is this okay? <Scott Michael recommends 180-gallon tank as a minimum. I have a Naso lituratus in my 160-gallon reef tank, but I personally would not place this fish in a tank any smaller than that. It also depends on the size of the fish, and what other fish you have in this tank? These fish can grow to lengths of 18 inches. > Many thanks, Jonnie Culling <Your welcome Jonnie, good luck>

Tank size for lipstick tang (Naso lituratus)... BIG!   7/15/07 Hi there <Greetings, Mich here.> Just a quick question, <OK.> thinking about getting a Naso lituratus (Blonde) for my reef set up. What would you say is the minimum tank size for this fish as I have done my research and I have read anything from 75g-150g 4ft-6ft. <I would lean to the high sides of these numbers, if not higher.> I have a 110-gallon 4ft aqua Medic bow front. Is this o.k. <I think this is too small for this fish. In the wild, these fish get BIG! Really, really big, to 18 inches or so. And they swim... a lot, and need a lot of room. I think it would be unfair to put this species of fish in such a small tank.> Many thanks. <Welcome! Mich>

A couple of q's, Naso hlth./sys., mixing Cnid.s   5/14/07 Hi crew, <Sarena> My fiancé© and I LOVE your site. It has been such a great help! You guys have taught me so much that my non-marine friends are convinced that I am a marine expert because I use acronyms and terms they've never heard like "reverse osmosis" and "QT" (although I am very new to the hobby and still don't know nearly enough!!). <I am fairly old to the hobby and find myself in the same condition!> The first question I have is regarding our Naso Tang. We just got him from saltwaterfish.com (he's about 4 in long). When we first put him in QT, we fed him some frozen Spirulina enriched brine shrimp and he ate it right up. Since then, he will not eat a thing. <This genus of rather open-water tangs really doesn't "like", do well in quarantine... I suggest you do a pre-emptory pH-adjusted FW dip/bath and place it in your hopefully minimum four, better six foot long system> We kept some dried macroalgae on a clip in the corner of the tank...he wouldn't touch it...we even tried soaking it in Garlic Guard. We thought it may have been because he was unhappy in such a small tank (10 gallons) so we moved him over to our display (4 ft long, 72 gallons, good water flow) yesterday. <Ah, good> He was only in QT for about 1 week but we did daily Para Guard treatments during that time so hopefully (fingers crossed) he is parasite free.  We still have not seen him eat at all. <Takes a while to adjust... and this fish will likely need to be moved to larger quarters still w/in a half year or so...> He was out and about last night, swimming in place against the water where the flow was heaviest. I'm hoping he's just "adjusting" and maybe that's why he's not eating? <Yes. Very likely so> But it just seems weird that he chowed down on the first day we got him and then not since. <Probably had not eaten for a good while before...> The other thing I noticed today is that he will only come out from hiding when I'm not in the room. If I peak around the corner I'll see him swimming around and then if I walk in the room, he'll quickly go hide behind some rocks and not come back out until I leave. Do you think he'll get over that? <Perhaps... as stated, and posted elsewhere (I have a relatively new article on Naso lituratus on WWM... this fish needs ROOM to feel secure> Ok, second question...about possibly overstocking. Here is the rundown of what's in our tank and I'm wondering if it would be crazy to get anything else (maybe one more fish) or if we should get rid of some of our stuff: It's a 72 gallon reef tank with approx 100lb Fiji live rock. All levels are good with the exception of the nitrates (were around 40-60ppm)...yikes, I know! <Way too high... this needs addressing, fixing NOW> We have been doing almost daily 10 gallon water changes and vacuuming the substrate to get the nitrates down and it has helped (they are now around 15ppm) so we're going to continue to do that until we can get them back to normal. Fish: '¢ the 1 Naso Tang '¢ 2 Percula Clowns '¢ 2 Pajama Cardinals '¢ 1 3-Striped Damsel (bully of the tank) Inverts: '¢ 4 Tiny Blue Leg Hermits '¢ 10 Nassarius Snails '¢ 4 Queen Conches '¢ 1 Fighting Conch '¢ 1 Peppermint Shrimp '¢ 1 Camelback Shrimp '¢ 1 Coral Banded Shrimp '¢ 1 Anemone Crab '¢ 1 Arrow Crab <Keep your eye on this Stenorhynchus... become predatory> '¢ 3 Emerald Crabs <Ditto> '¢ 2 Porcelain Crabs '¢ 2 Sally Lightfoot Crabs '¢ 1 Brittle Starfish '¢ 1 Red Serpent Starfish '¢ 1 Purple Urchin '¢ 1 Cleaner Clam (although I can't find him) '¢ 1 Sand Shifting Cucumber '¢ 1 Yellow Cucumber '¢ 1 Lettuce Nudibranch '¢ 4 Feather Dusters '¢ 1 Long Tentacle Anemone '¢ 2 Pink Tip Haitian Anemones '¢ 1 Atlantic Carpet Anemone '¢ 1 Rock Anemone '¢ 1 Florida Condi Anemone <Mixing anemones together and with other Cnidarians can be very big trouble...> '¢ 1 Red Gorgonian '¢ 1 Deep Sea Yellow Gorgonian '¢ 1 Orange Tree Sponge Corals: '¢ 1 rock of Yellow Polyps '¢ 1 rock of Green Star Polyps '¢ 2 Green Ricordea Mushroom Polyps '¢ 1 rock of Umbrella Mushroom Polyps '¢ 1 Leather Toadstool '¢ 1 rock of Orange and Lime Green Zoanthids '¢ 1 Cladiella '¢ 1 Frilly Mushroom Coral '¢ 1 Christmas Tree Coral Everything seems to be doing great but that's this week...who knows...it seems to change all the time. We recently stocked up a lot on the corals and anemones so I'm worried that we might have overloaded it too quickly and that could be a recipe for disaster. Any insight would be great. <Read on WWM re each of these species, and any future purchases... Ahead of acquisition...> And last question (sorry, this email is getting to be longer than some of the reports I had to write in college!)...one of our Perc. clowns has one gill that sticks out a little bit. He seems completely fine...not acting weird at all, swimming all over the place, and eating well. His gill has been sticking out like that for a few weeks now. We did move him to the QT tank when we first noticed it and treated him for a week and 1/2 with Para guard (thinking it could possibly be a parasite) but the gill didn't change and he seemed to be fine so we moved him back to the display. Should I be worried about it? <Mmm, no... Worrying will not change the future> Thanks again for all of the great info you provide and sorry for the ridiculously long email!! Sarena <No worries. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

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 Tangs & Algae Anthony, <Anthony is a little busy right now, so I am filling in.> Thanks for responding back so quickly on the brown algae problem I was having. You mentioned you knew the type of algae I was talking about but could not remember the name. I was wondering if you had any luck locating the type. <Feel free to browse through the images we have on www.WetWebMedia.com regarding.> Also you mentioned placing a couple urchins in the tank to control the problem. This has been done, two Royal Urchins. I heard that the Naso lituratus would be good at helping to control this also. Your thoughts on this and compatibility with a Yellow Tang. <Nasos in general are relatively compatible with Yellow Tangs, but Nasos require large tanks (180 gallons and up) and very strong water movement (10 times the tank volume per hour minimum with approaching 20 times being optimal, example a 180 gallon tank with total circulation in the 1800-3600 gph range).> Thanks again, Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Naso Tang Hello, I own a 72 gallon Tank with a 3" yellow tang, 3" Picasso trigger, 2" regal tang, 4"Lamarcks angel, and a 4" Naso tang (Naso lituratus). My question is concerning his size I know that they can reach to a huge 20" in a 15 to 20 year period. I was wondering how long I could keep this little guy in my 72 before I have to give it up or buy a larger tank. Also he pigs out on the prepared dry algae and is huge and then the next morning he has a pinched belly. Thanks for your help, Greg <Hi Greg, Your Naso needs room to swim starting with a minimum 4 foot long tank, preferably 6 feet, and the larger the better. Please go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm  for more info on Naso Tangs and their requirements.  Craig>

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 Tangs. . . Mr. Fenner, <Hello> Hi! How are you? I was just reading an article you wrote on Naso Tangs and became concerned about mine. I have a 100gallon tank -- is this enough room for my Naso? He seems very happy -- eating well, actively swims, etc. <Enough for a smallish (hand-size) specimen... for a while... year or two> How fast is their growth rate normally? Will he eventually outgrow the tank or will he adapt to tank size? <Will likely outgrow... can go from a few inches to several in a year.> Thanks for any help you can provide. By the way, I love your website -- VERY informative and interesting. Thanks for all you do for us fish lovers! :) Elizabeth <Glad to have you be one of us. Bob Fenner>

Tank Setup Hey Bob, <Actually, you are "talking" to Steven Pro. Anthony Calfo and I are helping Bob out for awhile answering the daily questions.> Its been a busy three weeks since I last talked to you and a lot has changed with my tank. My Aunt and Uncle who bought our old house decided that they liked our tank so much that they would buy it. Its kind of bitter sweet because I end up loosing my animals and the tank I have worked so hard to build and maintain but now I don't have to worry about moving the setup and I get to build a new larger one. Since they didn't know anything about keeping marine fish, I lent them your book and gave them a crash course in Saltwater 101. I've also been going over every weekend to check up on them and supervise while they add fresh water. Anyways my questions have to do with my new setup. Right now I am looking at a 90 gallon tank. For filtration I want to have a sump with an ETSS Evolution 500 skimmer. I also am going to have at least 90 lbs of live rock and a 6 inch live sand bed for biological filtration. My fish list for right now is a Naso Tang, 2 Percula clowns, a raccoon butterfly, and possibly a juv. queen or emperor angel. Do you think this tank will be successful with the filtration system and animals I have listed? <I would not get the Naso. They get rather large for a 90.> You Advice Is Appreciated, Jonathan Pac

Horse for 90 gallon Reef Tank Bob/Anthony, <greetings regional friend... Anthony Calfo at your service> I was just wondering about a recent purchase being acclimated to my tank. I am actually using my wife's email account to check on something (because I'm not at the office). I sent my wife to Aquatic Technology (she works in Strongsville and we live on the East side of Cleveland) to pick up a small coral of her liking (to try and get her "into" the reef tank).  <aha!... flawed psychology, assuming that the gentler sex doesn't know what we are really up to... hehe> I also mentioned that she could instead buy a small fish of her choice as long as she get permission from Greg at Aquatic Tech (I trust his judgment on reef systems) <Ahhh, yes. Greg and his smiling face> I armed her with the following: We have a 90 Gallon Reef Tank, 100lbs LR, 20lbs LS, Purple Tang, Blue Headed Wrasse (you remember this question from earlier) and Clarkii, a blue haddoni and a cleaner crew consisting of some blue/red hermits, snails, emerald crabs and some Sally Lightfoots along with some Corals. She came home with a Blonde Naso Tang. <holy cow!!!! what's up with that beautiful baby horse of a fish?!> Looks great. I read about them today. Gorgeous animal -- however, after reading from your sight, he may eat my cleanup crew? Greg from Aquatic Tech told her that he should be fine. <I'm far more concerned that is a poor choice for an empty 90gallon let alone one stocked with fish such as your Purple tang that will ultimately also outgrow it. I agree with Greg that there is a good chance it will be relatively reef safe. But the fish is inappropriate as it grows far too large for a four foot tank> He mentioned that there may be a squabble between the Purple Tang but that the Naso should mind it's own business.... <agreed, especially if the Naso is larger> he never mentioned anything about eating all the small inverts... is there going to be a problem?  < a chance, but no more than a purple tang or dwarf angel eating coral. Your blue headed wrasse is far more dangerous to crustaceans> What should I look for if I intend to keep a close eye on the situation? < an add in the newspaper for a good price on a bigger tank, bud! Hehehe... I hope you can tolerate my humor/sarcasm... there is truth in there. Kind regards, Anthony>

Stocking Questions? Hi Bob! I have had a reef tank going for a few months. 75 gallon with 90lbs of live rock and 75lbs live sand. All levels look good and I have recently added some fish. Percula Clown and Kole Tang. My question is over future stocking. I plan on adding a Flame angelfish. I would really like to add a Naso Tang as well. I would start with a smaller one, but is a 75 too small for him? How long before he would outgrow the tank? Thanks! <Well worded... I appreciate your cautious approach... a Naso lituratus (as this is likely THE Naso species you're referring to) would likely do okay in this size, shape system for about a year... depending on factors we could expand on... Bob Fenner>

Naso Tangs in a four foot aquarium is a NO NO Hello I currently have a 110g reef that I will be upgrading this summer to a 150 or 180 if my floors can handle the weight. I currently have a white cheek tang and will be adding a yellow tang after his quarantine period is over.  Can I keep a Naso tang as well?  If not what are some other tangs I could house with these 2 guys?<None>   I have close to 200lbs of LR so there are a decent amount of cave and hiding sports. <Naso tangs do not need live rock, In the wild they inhabit open water. They need swimming room and a four foot aquarium will most definitely not be enough, IanB> Thanks

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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