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FAQs about Tangs of the Genus Naso Systems

Related Articles: Naso Tangs

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

Let's see... open ocean fishes, some reef "related", up to a few feet in length... Big, long systems need only apply.

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Henis and Pufferfish, FO stkg., incl. Nasos, Tetraodonts   3/28/10
Hello! I have a 120 gallon fish only tank that has been up for a little over four years now. I currently have a 8-9 inch unicorn tang,
<Really needs more room than this>
12-13 inch stars and stripes puffer,
<This too>
and a 4-5 inch lawnmower blenny. Everyone gets a long famously and even when I had some Sailfin tangs everyone got along well. Unfortunately my Sailfin died at the whim of the intake for my filter
<Mmm, doubtful. Zebrasoma are powerful swimmers and very aware of their worlds>
and are no longer present. Today in my LFS I saw a pair of Henis that I would like to add.
<Mmm, no. You don't have room here. Psych- or physiologically>
I've read that they are timid and my puffer can be territorial, but is there a chance of this working if I do things slowly? Thanks P.S. They're the acuminatus variety.
<I'd be shopping around, or planning on building a larger system; even for just what you have now. Bob Fenner>

Re Tangs/Compatibility/Systems. Naso vlamingii sys.  2/22/10-3/23/10-3/26/10
Hi again, I have another question. When I got my Vlaming Tang I wasn't aware of this website and got my information off the LiveAquaria site, it said minimum tank of 180 gallons for the Vlamingi, so I assumed my 210
would be fine for him.
<What are the actual dimensions of your tank?>
When I got him he was just over 3", he'd swim with the Chromis and at first glance I couldn't tell him apart from them. He is now about 8-9 inches. He grew really fast at first, now he seems to have slowed down. I've had him now for about a year, year and a half. After reading your site some more last night I read that I should have a tank
with the width a minimum of 3', my tank is 2', had I thought it through a little more I would have realized if he is going to reach 2' in length then a 2' tank probably isn't going to be big enough for him.
<Mature sizes rarely develop in closed systems unless the fish is placed in volumes of several hundred gallons.>
Now knowing that I'm going to have to rehome him I'm curious if you can tell me, on average, how long I have until he'll out grow my tank.
<Depending on your tank length, I would not worry too much about rehoming him until he gets near the one foot length.>
I'm really bummed about this, he is by far my favorite tang. I'm hoping I'll have enough time to buy him a suitable home, but it's not feasible for me to do this anytime in the near future. Would the deep dimension aquarium of 150 gallons, measuring 36x36x27 be sufficient room for him?
<Would not work, the width is fine, but with the length not any larger, it offers little swimming area for this fish. Do send along your actual tank dimensions and we will go from there. >
Thanks again for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Why Would My Naso brevirostris Jump Out Of My Tank??? 2/8/09 First off I love your sight and all the information I get off of it. <Thank you.> I search and read, read, read but I have a dilemma . I have a Big Nose Unicorn that jumped out of my 220 gallon reef, it is apprx 5" to 6'' and I have had it for 18 months with no problems. Other inhabitants are all smaller than it and the newest addition is 4 months ago. Co tankmates are Yellow tang, Kole Tang, Lamarck Angel, Tomato Clown, Royal Gramma, 2 Engineer Gobies, Harbor Goby, Pink Spot Goby, 2 Mandarins, Scooter, Bi-color Blenny, crabs, snails, serpent star, and 15 Green Chromis in main tank Total volume of system is a 220g main w/ 90g refugium plumbed in, 40g sump and 4.5g h.o.b. refugium, system has 25x +/- turnover. I also have 200+ lbs live rock, 200+ lbs live sand, macro algae, 25g per week water changes, r.o.di. water, skim, 1200gph, 24-7-365 w/ 2+cups of black/ green skim per day. Is my unicorn ok? <Can't see it, I don't know. Observe and determine.> Possibly just exercising, or am I screwed up!? <I don't know of any fish that exercise. May be environmental stress, light flashes, territorial/fighting issues between the tangs, etc. You didn't provide any information as to any behavioral observations you have seen.> I research as much as possible and this fish is like family. Also the tank is covered by glass except the 3''x12'' feeding area where George jumped out. <Ah, Murphy's Law took affect.> Thank you for any help and your sight is the best resource for all in any aquatic hobby. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Tim

Naso Tang/Alga Supplementation/FOWLR Lighting - 06/10/08 Hey Crew, <<Hey!>> I wish to keep a 150 FOWLR aquarium and was wondering if a Naso tang is suitable for this setup. <<Mmm, not really/is less than ideal…a 6ft tank would be much better as this/most any tang species needs room to roam>> I am aware of their adult size so I want to make sure before I get one, so it can last for a while in my tank. <<Indeed… A small individual (3-4 inches) might be "OK" for a couple years, but is then as it continues to mature, behavioral/health issues are likely to manifest>> I know that they need algae preferably brown macroalgae, <<Will also eat/benefit from green alga>> but since it's a FOWLR I tend not to turn on the light as often and some days have no light, but I replicate the day/night schedule with the living room lights. <<…? FOWLR or not, I would use a timer(s) to establish some type of "routine" with the tank lighting>> Is there an alternative to having constant growth of algae in the tank, as reefers certainly have an excessive growth and be willing to rid of it, but in a FOWLR aquarium, I don't have a strong lighting, which in this case I don't need. <<Algae can be easily supplemented. One of my favorites for this is Sea Veggies from Two Little Fishies>> Would Nori sheets and both brown and green algae sheets be sufficient or do I still need blooming algae in the tank and if so, how can I do so with T5 lighting? <<There is no need to "grow" the algae in the tank…what you describe will work just fine. Do consider giving the algae a soak in a liquid supplement like Selcon or Vita-Chem, once or twice a week>> Again, I feel that the lighting consumes much power, in addition to the filtration, etc. and don't wish to use it unless necessary such as in a reef. <<Consider this…though you don't have a "reef" tank, you are still keeping fishes associated/found on the natural reef. Many of these fishes are used to a very bright environment…keeping them in a darkened tank is unnatural, maybe even unhealthy for some. While a FOWLR tank may not require the PAR values a reef tank would…it does require illumination, in my opinion…even what some may consider as "bright" illumination. If a dimly lit tank is what you prefer, then choose your livestock accordingly. Perhaps you are better suited to keeping Scorpaeniformes, which would enjoy/benefit from the subdued lighting>> Thanks in Advance! <<Happy to share. EricR>> Tang question, FO stkg... reading  -09/03/08 I'm thinking about buying a used 120 gallon complete reef set-up with a 30 gallon sump.? It houses a Blue Tang, Sailfin Tang, Vlamingi Tang, <This Naso sp. needs more room... or will in time> and a? Maroon Clown.? Do this sound O.K. in a tank this size?? Would you add any more fish or do you think this is enough / too many? Thanks, Matt <Please read re each of these species on WWM... Your information is all archived there. 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>

Naso Tang.. Acclimation.. Environment 2/27/07 Hope you can provide some direction. <Should be no problem.> This is my second attempt at acclimating a Naso.  First Naso lasted 5 days (ate Mysis shrimp for 1st 3 days then ate nothing).  I prepared to try again.  I am waiting to see if the Naso at my LFS will take flake food (something I did not do the first time around). <Flake food alone is not going to do it.> Do you know of any "must-do's"  that I should be concerned with to make sure the acclimation process goes smoothly.  Specifically around best types of "veggie" foods to start the new Naso off with.  I have a 55 gal tank with good water quality with one exception. <Off to a bad start with a 55.  Tangs are grazers and constantly swim in search of food.  Your tank is much too small for keeping such in a healthy state.> I recently had a nitrate spike (up to 20 PPM) potentially due to over use of phytoplankton. I perform regular (weekly) water changes and have been doing 2 water changes (5 gal each) twice a week since discovering the elevated nitrates.  At what level of nitrates should I be concerned with when acclimated a new fish like a Naso Tang.  In other words is 20 PPM too much for acclimation? <Tangs enjoy pristine water quality, so, the lower the nitrate level, the better. Do read here and related links for the info you seek.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm> Thanks for the advice. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog) GJB

Is 210 gallons large enough for a Naso (lituratus)?   1/29/07 Hello there, greetings from Portugal, <Hi there!  Greetings from the chilly Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania!  Mich with you tonight.> I'm a long time reader of www and have posted some questions (promptly answered !) in the past. <Glad you're with us old friend!> I have been waiting to have a Naso for more than a decade, but never felt I had a large enough tank to keep one healthy and for many years as it should be. I'm wondering if now is the time for it. <Maybe.> Let me start by giving you some info on my reef system: in-wall 800 ltrs. / 210 g. (200cmx73x55), with a 270lts sump, 100lts upper refugium (15 cm.s DSB, LR and Chaetomorpha) and a 90 ltrs quarantine tank; around 150kgs 3 to 4 yrs old LR; Weekly 10% water changes (so far, at least) ; Circulation with Tunze with a controller and more than 30x turnover; Equipment a bit oversized (skimmer is recommend for up to 3000 ltrs). <A nice setup.> The tank is SPS dominated with 2 or 3 LPS and some soft corals (all placed in one corner, near one of the overflows). I run active carbon 24/7. <OK.> I do have a lot of fish.... but I believe they're balanced: 8 threadfin cardinals; 4 lyretail Anthias; 2 mandarins (1 male S. splendidus and 1 female S. picturatus) 1 yellowtail damsel- Chrysiptera parasema (for 4 yrs); 1 Maroon clown (for close to 4 yrs); 1 flame angel (for 3,5 yrs); 1 Scribbled angel and 1 Yellow tang (for close to 4 yrs). <A nice mix.> The latest fish in was the Scribbled (in November 06, after close to 2 month QT) and he is now perfectly establish and the system adjusted to the extra bioload. <Very good.> I'm considering a Naso lituratus to close the system. The idea would be to acquire it in late Feb-March and then start the QT procedure. It should be entering the tank 6 to 8 weeks later. <OK.> The thing is...I'm still not 100% sure/convinced I have room for it. I only have 1 tang (which helps) and the tank is - hopefully - long enough. But I want to think in a long term basis and an adult Naso is really big and active. So, I would like to have your thoughts on this. <Before seeing these beautiful fish in Hawaii, I would have said in theory, from everything I've read yes, you have plenty of room.  After seeing them, well, and this is a response based on emotion, so take it for what it's worth, I'm not so sure.  As you know, Nasos get big, really big, over 46 cm or 18 inches.  They are gorgeous fish, especially the males, but I'm not sure that it is fair to keep a full grown Naso in anything but the largest home aquarium.  A full size Naso could take up a quarter of the length of your tank.  It just doesn't give much room long term.  If you start with a small Naso you may be OK for a while, but you have kept many of your fish for several years and I'm not sure it would be fair to house a mature Naso in your current system.  Sorry, I'm sure this is not really what you wanted to hear.  Again this is merely my opinion based on emotion and observation in it's natural habitat.>   Thanks in advance. <You're welcome.  -Mich> Regards, Jo? Monteiro

Re: Is 210 gallons large enough for a Naso (lituratus)?   1/29/07 <Greetings Jo?!> Thanks Mich, What I wanted was to hear your honest opinion (even if based on emotion, as you said), so I got what I asked for. <I am glad for this.  Is always a challenge, which is why I qualified my answer.> One final issue: I believe it's not possible to determine the sex of the Nasos when they're juvenile, can you confirm that? (If I could find a female, I believe she wouldn't be over 30cms in captivity which would be feasible) <Yes, this is true for a visual inspection.  Only sexually mature males develop elongated streamers on the caudal fin.  A max size of 30 cm.s would be better, though I'm having difficulty verifying this figure.  -Mich>   Regards Jo?

Tang compatibility   12/15/06 We have been reading about tang compatibility on your web site (wonderful site), but we are unsure if we have a problem in the making.  Our current tank is a 95 gallon with 100 pounds of live rock.  Inhabitants include 1- 3 inch yellow tang, 1- 5 inch Naso tang, <Mmm, needs more room... at least a six foot "run", length system... now... and possibly much larger later> 2 Sebae clowns, numerous invertebrates, and several corals (hammer, frogspawn, mushroom, bubble, assorted zoos, and a torch).  The yellow tang and the clowns were the first fish in the tank about four months ago.  The Naso tang was added about 2 months ago.  We watched with baited breath and a net in hand when the Naso was introduced, but all went well.  The yellow tang showed aggression with body language for several hours, but made no actual strikes or stabs.  Now, the two appear to be the "best of friends."  They always swim together and show no aggression to our inexperienced eyes.  They are both quite friendly and social and even eat out of our hands on occasion. <Very nice>    My first question is how likely is this to last? <Highly likely... now, adding another Acanthurid might well be trouble...> Are they likely to start showing aggression toward each other as they get older? <Mmm, no>   My second question is what size tank do you propose for these fish assuming all continue to live and thrive?  We know the 90 is too small for 2 tangs so we have started planning the upgrade. <Ahh!>   The only other fish we plan to add after the upgrade is a mandarin (with appropriate refugium for pods) and a small school of blue green Chromis.  Also, do you have an estimate of how soon an upgrade would be needed? <Yes... really needs, would appreciate that six foot length to swim about... Perhaps a stock "180"... even an eight footer... a stock 240... of either 24 or 30 inch height... perhaps a custom job... Time to start measuring the living space... perhaps making cardboard cut-outs of the proposed sizes (one of my fave approaches)> i.e.:  how fast might our Naso grow!?  Thank you for your time and assistance!  Michele <Can grow quite quickly (an inch every few months) when fed well, given room... Bob Fenner>

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.>

Talkin' bout my setup... pent. with three Acanthurids   2/26/06 Hi all.  I love your site and appreciate all the help you do for me and everybody else.  I just want to run my setup by you because my Hippo tang has been rubbing on the rocks and I just see want to see what I can do to make a better life for my fish.  I have a 60 gal. corner tank that's 2' x 2'   x 2'with the front corner knocked off that has  been running for 2 years (I have had it for one).  So it is diamond shaped when viewed from above. It is a reef tank. With Florida live rock.   I'm not sure of the exact weight of my live rock but it takes up 1/3 of the volume of the tank. There is an under gravel filter with 2 risers coming up I'm scared to take out    The fish are: 1 - 2" Yellow tang 1 -2.5" Hawkfish 1 -2.5 Blue damsel 1 -1.5" Clarkia clown 1 -1.5" Hippo tang (I got a month ago) 1 - 3" Naso tang (I got 5 days ago) <... this last is not suitable for this sized, shaped system... Even the other two Acanthurids can become problematical here> Inverts are Fire shrimp Brittle star Astrea snails Blue leg hermits There are a Hammer coral ( that is 8 inches from the light) and Green Button polyps and some Pink Xenia. I have an Aqua-c Remora skimmer with the MaxiJet 1200 power head.  A Jebo 110w pc light. With an actinic and regular bulb in there.  An over flow box going down to my sump with a 2 month old, Bob Goemans style plenum sump.   Built exactly to his specifications.  With Chaeto macro algae. How long should I run the light for on the sump? <Ten, twelve hours... have it overlap your main tank> Will my  Wal  Mart light strip work?   <Yes> I run my PhosGuard in there too. I have a canister filter with the unbleached cotton fabric inside that I use to just to filter the water.  I clean the filter every week.  I have a Jebo 300 w heater.  I had a problem with micro bubbles so I built a bubble trap in the tank. Inside the bubble trap is some Caulerpa prolifera. For circulation I have a small power head that pumps around 250 gph. Water parameters are: (tested with red sea kit) Sal. .023 Temp 82 Ph 8.0 Alk  says high? <Hello back to it> No3 2.5 ppm No2 .025 Amm. 0 Po4 1 ppm (down from 2. am working on that) <Good> Cal.460 I was using the Calmax by WM research 2 part cal/Alk buffer till it ran out.   I just got the Sea Chem Reef complete , calcium ,plus, builder this week and did my first dose of those, to their specifications.  Am trying to get my already growing coralline algae to grow faster. I do 5 gal. a week water changes and I vacuum the gravel with water changes too. I use a heater to make up my water and I aerate the tap water for 24 hours. then I use Sea Buffer from Aquarium systems to raise the ph and I use Instant Ocean salt. There is not any algae problems. Just some coralline algae and light, dark green algae on the glass that my sponge scrubber wont get off.  Is the razor scraper ok to use on the glass? <Yes... all but the Naso being there is okay to mighty fine... the Paracanthurus will scratch a bit (it's their nature)... I would trade out the Naso. Bob Fenner>
Re: my setup  - 02/27/06
Thank you for your fast response!  I will trade the Naso Tang in for a more suitable fish.  the only thing I did not understand about your reply was after my Alk. you responded with "Hello back to it"  can you please explain this to me?  Thank you <Ahh... sorry re... you stated: >Alk  says high? ><Hello back to it> <I was responding as if it had uttered "Hi". Bob Fenner>

Re: Naso Tang ... sys.  - 02/16/2006 He is in a 55 gallon tank (which I now know is too small) that is 4 feet long I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do about that yet.  I'm considering trading him back in at the LFS. <If the tang isn't over four inches, the tank should be OK for now.  Before making future purchases do research our site, know the needs/requirements of what you are getting into.>   I don't have tons of rock in my tank yet. I only have about 50 pounds so far, so there is swimming room for him.  I really want to do the right thing here.  I don't have a protein skimmer yet, although I am planning to get one along with a UV sterilizer. <I'd invest more money in a good skimmer before I'd get a UV unit.  Some people have a misconception of UV units thinking once employed their tank will be disease free.  Sterilizers only kill what goes through them good or bad, doesn't make the water magical.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Naso Tang/Mixed bag ... SW stkg.    2/17/06
I really appreciate your help. <You're welcome.> I will definitely do more research here before I get anything else. <You will be glad you did.> Certainly none of the other fish I get will be that large (maybe two percula clowns, a bulb Anemone, some blue Chromis, and brown scopas tang). <Not all in that 55 I hope.>  Your website is loaded with info.   You've answered a lot of my questions.  When I placed the Caulerpa in my tank lots of little critters came out of it <copepods more than likely, good snack.> along with some type of coral.  What are the lighting requirements of keeping coral and propagating the Caulerpa? <Do search coral/lighting and refugiums for help here.  James (Salty Dog)>

How Big A Tank - 01/09/06 Sorry Eric I forgot to ask, <<Ok>> If wishes were horses; how big a tank would you like see for a Naso, or more properly: what is the minimum size tank you would put a Naso Tang in? <<These fish are large, far ranging, and active swimmers...and like most tangs, will suffer from behavior problems if left to grow up in a "too small" tank.  Many die "mysteriously" for this very reason.  Assuming were talking about Naso lituratus (other Naso tangs get even bigger), a system twice the size of your 300 gallon tank would be needed to keep this fish for the decade-plus (decades?) it could be expected to live...if wishes were fishes...er, big tanks...EricR>> Thanks, Dave Harvey

Naso tang sudden death   1/7/06 Aloha WWM Crew,<And a lei for you> I will get straight to the point.  I have had a Naso Tang in a 75G FOWLR for about 10 months.  The Tang has been healthy up until yesterday when I noticed it would not eat.  It actually went over to it's feeding rock where I  put the Nori, but would not eat any.  The following hours he got progressively worse and died the next day.  My water parameters are these: Nitrite-0, PH- 8.6, Nitrate- 40 ppm, Ammonia-0, water temp-81, SG 1.020.  Tankmates are 2 yellow tangs and 1 small clown. <SG is a little low John.> Equipment is an Eheim 2213 canister filter, an Aqua Clear 300 power filter, 2 Rio 600 power heads, and an Aquarium Systems skimmer.  These water parameters have been stable since I started the tank about 1 year ago (except the nitrates).  I noticed two things I think may have contributed to his  demise but am puzzled as to why he went so quickly. First: his back fin looked like it had been bitten a few times by a tankmate.  Can an aggressive tankmate cause a healthy fish to die that quick? (He hadn't shown any signs of tension before) Second: just before the holidays, I lost my air pump.  In the confusion that is Christmas and New Years, I completely forgot to replace the pump.  As I was thinking about what to do to remedy my sick Tang, I remembered reading how these fish need a lot of dissolved oxygen.  After kicking myself I tried feverishly to fix the torn bellows in my pump but was unsuccessful.  So, my question is, wouldn't lack of dissolved oxygen make the fish a little lethargic weeks before he passed?   <<James... this is a question... respond. The answer is yes. RMF>> I really appreciate your insight as I am truly puzzled by this "sudden death".  <John, first off, your tank isn't large enough for these fish.  I suggest at least a 5 to 6 foot long tank.  Your present filtering devices are not going to give you the pristine water quality that these fish require (by pristine I don't mean parameters).  A sump/wet dry which will provide near saturation levels of O2 is one requirement.  A good protein skimmer is a must.  The skimmer you are using <my opinion> is really not efficient enough in removing dissolved protein to help in lowering your nitrate level. A vitamin enriched algae diet is another requirement.  Please do read articles here.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm> Mahalo,<And to you.  James (Salty Dog)> John

Another Large Fish in Too Small of a Tank 11/26/05 Hey Crew, <<Hello Bryan - Ted here>> I have quick question for you.  My two favorite fish are the N. lituratus and the Z. xanthurus.  I have a 72 gal bow front tank and would like to add a N. lituratus to the group.  Right now in the tank I have a Purple Tang, Bicolor Angel, Lawnmower Blenny, Yellowtail Damsel, and Percula.  I know that Tangs in the wild can be schooling fish, but not as much in an aquarium.  I have watched my Purple Tang for a long time now, and he is showing no signs of aggression towards the Bicolor Angel (same size, about 6 inches) or any other fish.  Would it be wise to add a N. lituratus that is slightly larger than the Purple Tang since the Naso has a less aggressive behavior towards other Tangs not of the Genus Naso? <<No. Naso Tangs should not be placed in any tank less than 6 feet in length. N. lituratus grows to 18 inches. Please do not add this fish to your system.>> Thanks a lot. Bryan <<You're welcome - Ted>>

Re: Stocking Question 8/3/05 Thanks for your earlier message.   <You're welcome.> In your advice about the 125 gallon if I were to try the Naso, I have another question. <Alright.> Ironically I ran across a guy wanting to sell his 130 gallon tank, but it is a 130 tall, and it's only 48" long, is that enough, or do tangs prefer length?   <I would think you could pull that off.> Thanks again for all your help. <Not a problem. Glad to assist.> Doug <Mike G> <<RMF wouldn't put a genus Naso tang in anything less than six foot in length>

Yellow Tang With Blonde Naso Tang (Too Much!) - 07/17/05 Hi there! <<Howdy!>> I have been reading a lot of articles on your web site and definitely got some insight into Tang behavior. <<Really?>> We have recently sold our 55 gallon tank and moved everything into a 40 gallon stretch hex tank, with no losses I might add, yea!  We did this about a week ago and even rearranged about 75 pounds of live rock along with a variety of small corals, a Condy, a bubble tip anemone, along with a few snails shrimp and hermit crabs.  We also have a maroon clownfish and a strawberry Basslet, along with a 3-4 inch yellow tang. <<This tank is too small for tangs.>> We added a 5" Blonde Naso Tang today <<sigh!>>, figuring the rearrangement of rock would alleviate any territoriality issues. <<Not in a tank this small...no tang should be in this tank, especially one (the Naso) that grows to a foot and a half!>> Almost immediately the Yellow Tang began tail banging the larger Naso.  This did taper off and they were eventually feeding together, although you could tell the Yellow Tang would posture next to the Naso but not swipe at it.  Tonight the Naso is hanging out behind some rock.  It does not appear stressed as it is not breathing fast and appears calm.  It this new tank mate syndrome? What are your suggestions for this arrangement? <<I'm afraid my suggestion is one you don't want to hear...If you care about the long-term health of these fish, remove/replace the tangs with fish more suitable for this tank.>> Thanks!!!!! <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Yellow Tang with Blonde Naso Tang 7/18/05 Thank you for your insightful feedback, we had NO IDEA the Naso Tang could get 1 to 1 1/2 feet long! <Yes> I guess we need to do some internet research going forward, since the  sales people at our local fish store never suggested the mix of fish we  currently have would be troublesome, or that our tank was too small for these  fish. Many thanks once again. Jennifer & Blair <Glad for the Net, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Naso et al. not for reef tanks? Merits of dips/baths 6/31/05 Matt from Critter Cabana in Newberg here, We have a customer who was told by another local fish store that his Naso tang and a couple other fish needed to be pulled out of his reef tank because water parameters were very unstable in a reef tank due to the necessary chemical and mineral supplements in a reef system. <Huh?>    This seemed odd to me, but it came from the person who most people in the Portland area consider the local authority on fish health issues, just curious if you knew where he was coming from on this.   <Wacky in my book/s> Another strange recommendation, I know that most if not all of the wet web crew highly recommends dips as preventative disease control and acclimation into the quarantine system, and it has been the only success we have had with ich control here at the store.  Anyway, we won't offer guarantees for customers unless they use our recommended fw dip acclimation.  Well, the other local stores in the area have caught wind of this policy and are telling our customers basically that we are nuts and that no respectable marine aquarist would ever perform such an activity. <Mmm, I disagree... dips/baths were S.O.P. in our retail stores... are so at the best wholesalers on the planet (Quality Marine in Los Angeles, Tropical Marine Centre in the UK), collectors...>   Are your thoughts pretty strong on this issue as in its hands down the best way to acclimate?  Is the dip some sort of rogue method?  Or is it a professional standard?   <Is posted on WWM... hobbyist to commercial> I'm hoping to share this email with customers to provide a simple authoritative answer on some long standing arguments.   Matt <Glad to share my opinions, experiences... first and other hand. Bob Fenner>

Attack Of The Peppermint Shrimp...And More...(Maybe Some Attitude?) - 06/02/05 In answer to your questions: My previous Nasos were in 65 shows and 55 long tanks respectively.  Both seemed to be very robust.  Unfortunately, I lost 1 when someone who was babysitting my tank added quinine to treat what she thought was marine ich.  (It wasn't) and made all my inverts go toxic.  That fish had been in my tank for 3 years at that point.  The other one lived for many years until I traded him in when I was moving. <<Sounds like you're trying to justify keeping a very active wide ranging fish that grows to almost two feet in length, in a four foot tank.  Keeping a fish for "many years" does not indicate quality of life my friend.>> The timeline for the larger tank looks like just a few months.  If need be, I have a 90 gallon FOWLR available to place him in immediately.  However, that tank has some more aggressive fish in it, which is why I would like him to be a bit bigger before I would consider placing the fish in that tank. <<OK>> From what you are saying, it looks like I will have to catch the peppermints to save the corals.  Its a shame as I have never experienced problems like this previously. <<And it is possible that if you replaced the shrimp you would not have the same problem...tis a crap-shoot at times.>> As to the coral's possible compatibility issues, I will have to do a tank reorganization if I start to see any negative consequences. Finally, you questioned whether I placed them in a QT tank.  In fact, this is one of the few times in my life that I did not do this.  I currently do not have a QT up and running.  Even if I did have one up and going right now, I may have chosen to place them in immediately anyway as I felt their need to scavenge would outweigh the danger to the 3 damsels.  If I had other more expensive fish in there, there is no way I wouldn't place them in a QT. <<I agree there are instances when quarantine is not the best method/way to proceed.  But basing value of life on its "cost" in dollars does no justice to our hobby.>> I am planning on picking up a new QT in the next few days and place a piece LR (no corals) in there so that I won't face this choice again.  Thanks again, Art. <<Eric R.>>

Re: manifold, actually a story re genus Naso tangs in too small quarters Thanks for sharing your opinion on the manifold, and enlightening me on the tang, Looked it up on Fishbase, and is a Naso Elegans, formerly known as Naso Lassiratus. <... lituratus?> I am glad to be informed that the 55 was going to be too small of tank. That fish gets up to 17.7 inches. And to think I was holding off getting the imperator angel due to size of the tank, until was able to get the 96"x24"x20". Maybe a 72"x36"x20". $800 on live rock and another $700 on tank are definitely setbacks.  If unable to upgrade tanks prior to him getting to 8-10" will trade in to LFS, It's still under 4" at the moment. <Chances are it won't live this long. Bob Fenner> 

Adding Tang to 200G Community Greetings WWM Crew, <<Greetings and salutations, querier.>> As a frequent peruser of your site, I already owe you much in the way of Thanks for this fabulous resource. Now on to my query... I would like to introduce a Naso Tang to my 200 gallon community tank (live sand, live rock, all parameters good with somewhat low salinity for my batfish).  <<Batfish? Tell us you've got a system of about 3,000-5,000 gallons going up for this one.>> The players are as follows; 2" twin spot hogfish <<Hey, NICE fish, isn't it?>> 3" algae blenny, 1 1/2" jewel damsel, 2" white ear damsel, 3 1/2" Blue Angelfish juvie, 2" cleaner shrimp, assorted hermit crabs and turbo snails and the star of the show, a 7" Tiera Batfish (from 2" to 7" in 5 months). I would really like to add a Naso but understand that some tangs can be aggressive and I don't want to upset the balance.  <<Most often it is conspecific aggression, or at least with perceived competitors. There could be an upset between the angel and the tang.>> Also, would a Naso be able to tolerate the low SG, and if I do add one should it be bigger than the Blue Angel? (he's always been peaceful but I don't want to push it.) <<The tang can handle a lower salinity, but I'd be more worried about the inverts. Also, when you say "lower", how low are you talking here? And why specifically for the batfish? It does occur in brackish waters, but this does not go on to mean that it must be kept in these lower salinities, especially given its sometimes pelagic nature. I worry for the other fishes also being kept long-term in salinity too low (not knowing how low is low). In my opinion, a range of 1.020-1.026 is perfectly acceptable.>> Any direction you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Elizabeth Turner <<As I feel you've surmised, the tang *could* have a conflict with the angel. However, since the angel is only just going into adult form, you may be able to get away with it no problem if you simply get a similar sized fish. I think you could do it, but DO watch them closely. Also, knowing the ultimate size of these fishes, I am really hoping you've got plans for bigger digs for the whole group. Marina>>

Naso Tang Good day Gents,  <I hope> First off, must say 'Love the website', helped me out on many occasions. (Long time reader)  <Thank you> I have setup a new tank and am moving all the contents from 4 tanks to go into the new reef tank. New tank is 160G with a 30-40g sump. 1-2 Inch live sand bed with 110 Live rock. Aqua-C EV-240 Skimmer. Tank has been cycling and preparing for 2-3 Months. Have not started moving many corals to the new tank as yet but that will commence this coming weekend. Not sure of all the inhabitants at present but have the following livestock to possible put in. Comet grouper  <Will eat smaller fish/shrimp> 3 Banggai Cardinals Purple Tang Long Nose Hawk Fish Scooter blenny Pair of green mandarins  <Tank will be too new for these guys, and then I would only go with one unless you are lucky enough to find one that eats Mysis or frozen food.> Visited a LFS and they had a pair of NASO tangs (Male/Female). The male has its streamer and they seem to be inseparable. They look like a mated pair. <tangs do not mate>  Would it be okay to have this pair of Naso Tangs in this size tank, <Again, I'd go with one. Your observance of these two tangs being inseparable is a false observance. In small dealer tanks, tangs are thinking more about escape than being compatible. In a larger system such as yours, aggression between the two will more than likely take place.> preferable with the Comet (My favorite fish). They are some of the nicest Nasos I have seen and are plump and eating like champions. They have been at the LFS for 3 weeks. Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 

Naso Tang, Small World Hi. Hope you can help! I have a 65g tank with a UV and skimmer. It is currently stocked with 2 false clowns, a Regal and a Yellow Tang.  I would like to add a juvenile Naso tank to my set-up. How long would I be able to keep this fish in my 4 ft tank before buying a larger aquarium.  <Perhaps months to a year or so... if it lives> Hope you can answer my question as I would love to own a Naso. Thank you for any help. Daniel <Do seek out one that is "well adjusted" to such a confining environment. 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>

Re: 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>

Rock and Nasos >Hello fellas, Hey!  There are a couple of gals here, too.  ;)  Marina is the lady of choice today.   >Got a couple of questions for you today.  Quick ones too so I don't take too much of your time.  First, how much rock can an aquarium within reason hold without compromising the structure of the tank?  I have a 72gal bow front that at the moment has around 130lbs of live rock.  How much will cause the tank to be in danger or cause leaks?  >>Boy, good question.  The tank can *easily* hold 2-3lbs. of rock/substrate/gallon without problems.  Truthfully, to the best of my knowledge there's little that we can put in our tanks that's heavier than water, so there's little reason to think that what you have will cause problems.  As long as the tank suffers no torsion stresses, you should be golden. >Second, I know that Blonde Nasos and Nasos are the same fish but why are blonds sold specifically as either male or female?  What is the difference in sexes that would make a male more expensive than a female in the blond variety?  Color or some other specific feature?  >>Blonde Naso tangs, to the best of my knowledge, are at most a color variant, but I believe that they are one and the same fish.  I'll call it a marketing ploy.  The long streamers off the tails are the desirable feature.  See here (almost to the bottom of the page) for a brief description (also, please do search our site) >>-->   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangscks.htm >>Now, I'm going to make an assumption here, I believe you're asking because you'd like to put one of these big fellas in your 72 gallon tank.  I would like to suggest to you that you go with a Zebrasoma species, instead, as Nasos and other large, free swimming tangs really do need far more space, and are known to hurt themselves and other fish if darting about rapidly.  I'll also tell you that these fish are a PAIN to ship, they rip bags open like nobody's business! >Thanks for your help guys.  I look forward to reading the second book on reefs, I love The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, however, I have found that a majority of the stuff in the book is right on WWM, but I love the book anyway and am still glad I bought it.  Thanks for the help guys.  John (Fin) >>Yes, just (finally!) having purchased the book myself, I'm quite glad I've got it.  I am also a big proponent of a full, well-rounded reference library, so please do continue buying as much literature as you can.  Good luck!  Marina

Nasos and mandarins and skimmers, oh my! Hey guys, need your help. I have a 46 gallon bow front with fish and live rock. It's been running since November of 2002. I've had 3 damsels in there since around Jan. and have added an ocellaris in late Jan., a Mandarin in Feb. <Unless the mandarin is eating prepared foods, your tank is much too small to sustain one, and it better be full of live rock crawling with 'pods!>  and my most recent purchase, A NASO TANG. I know it will get too big for my tank but I plan on getting something much bigger in about a year or so. <Hopefully the Naso won't beat you to it. If it's small, they grow very fast, the idea here is buy for what you have, not for what you will have.> My main question today is about my tang. He's only been in my tank for about 4 days now and he has been doing fine, eating and swimming around. He likes to pick at my Live rock a lot which to me is a good sign of a healthy tang. I did not quarantine him because I do not buy any fish from the pet store without knowing they have been there for 3 weeks AT LEAST already. <It's still an excellent idea to quarantine, catching and transport is enough stress to make all kinds of lovely things rear their ugly heads.>  So just today I noticed he's been hanging around the surface of the water in a corner. When I feed he comes down quickly to eat then he swims around for a while nips at the rocks then goes back up there. He has know indication of disease yet other than his behavior. NO SPOTS, NO CLOUDY EYE, NO marks of any kind. I KNOW SOMETHING is wrong because sometimes when he is swimming I'll see him shake usually just to one side. <If you are certain that the fish is not getting picked on by the clown (they get territorial), check to see if it is having trouble staying down, like it was buoyant, which would indicate a swim-bladder problem.> kind of has sporadic swimming motions. IS THIS THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF ICH? <Probably not, but who knows?!> I cannot afford to purchase a quarantine and the other problem is that my Mom really would have a heart attack if I had ANOTHER tank in my room lol. <A quarantine tank can be just a cheap 10g freshwater setup from the local pet shop and you could place it inside the aquarium stand.> What can I do? Should I just wait a while longer before taking any action? I seen fish getting better many times on their own. What medication is best? <We only medicate if we know what the problem is, for now just watch it and keep it well fed. Also, check your ammonia, pH, and nitrite levels.> Also I need your advice on filtration. Now I previously owned a 75 gallon tank with wet/dry and skimmer. MY current tank was going in my room so I needed something smaller (46 Gal Bow) but I'm concerned about using proper filtration. I am using an EMPEROR 400 alone, NO SKIMMER. <Should be fine as long as you keep the tank understocked.> I never got the skimmer because I figured the tank was too small to really need a skimmer. <Ah, they're never too small!>  Now that I have fish in it, should I make the investment in the skimmer? <If you've got some extra cash, otherwise don't worry about it.> My water is crystal clear without it. I've been looking into the PRIZM PRO DELUXE because its a hang on and REQUIRES VERY LITTLE SPACE in the TANK itself Just the Inlet to suck the water), WHAT SKIMMER DO U RECOMMEND? Do I need the $200 Prizm pro of will the $80 Prizm do the same? <They won't do the same, the pro definitely performs much better than the original. Instead of either one, you'd be much better off with either an AquaC remora, remora pro, or a Precision Marine HOT-1, as the Prizms are of low quality, noisy, and inefficient compared to the aforesaid models. -Kevin> THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!!!! HOMER

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 Chris 55g Stocking I have a 55 gal. reef tank with various hard and soft corals. I currently have in the tank a 2" maroon and gold clown, a 3" yellow tang, a few damsels (black neon, domino, orange-tailed blue), a 2" coral beauty angel, a 1" six-line wrasse and several sally lightfoot crabs and snails.  Experienced hobbyists keep telling me about the only "reef safe" fish I could now add are gobies and the like. Aren't there any more magnificent fish (i.e., Naso Tang, Butterflies, Wrasses, Anthias) I can add at this point that won't eat my reef? <<Are there? You bet! About thirty eight fish families that contain of outstanding choices... Not the Naso, but many other tangs, dozens of Butterflyfishes, ditto with the wrasses, several Anthias. Am writing a tome about this topic, much of which you can find sans images (thus far) at wetwebmedia.com. Tell me what you think. Bob Fenner>>

Re: 55g stocking Out of curiosity, why not a Naso? How about a large red Coris wrasse? There is a beautiful one at a local store but I'm worried he'll (she'll) eat my corals. Please advise. Thanks. <<The Naso gets too big and is too rambunctious and waste-producing for your 55, the Coris will bother, even eat/chew on many of your reef animals. Bob Fenner>>

Naso Vlamingii I have the opportunity to purchase an adult Naso Vlamingii. A very beautiful fish. I have 150 gal. tank. Do you have any info. on this fish. And any suggestions on caring for this fish? <<All sorts... one of the smaller Naso genus tangs at just 18" or so in length. An avid eater of all foodstuffs... needs some greens in its diet daily. Lots of open tank space... high dissolved oxygen... Brisk circulation. Bob Fenner>>

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. . . 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

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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