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FAQs about Stocking/Selecting Tangs, Family Acanthuridae 1

Related Articles: The Surgeonfish family, Acanthurus, Ctenochaetus, Naso, Paracanthurus, Zebrasoma , Prionurus, Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i, Surgeonfishes for Reef Systems,  

Related FAQs: Tang Selection 2, In General, Tang ID, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Hello Bob, 

I have a 7x3x3 'boisterous' live rock system with a few hardy soft corals and although it's hard to say for sure, I would say about 200kgs of live rock, with an extra 40kg or so in the sump. I have a few exotic angelfish; Apolemichthys trimaculatus (Flagfin Angelfish) and Chaetodontoplus duboulayi (Scribbled Angelfish) and fortunately both leave my corals alone!

            Housed with them are a few Banggai Cardinals and an Emperor Tang who is about 7 inches in length and around the same size as the Scribbled Angel. At this moment in time I would say that the Emperor Tang is well.... the emperor of the aquarium! Although there is very little in the way of aggression it seems the most confident if that makes sense? I feel like my aquarium is under stocked and to be honest I do like it this way, however I do want one more fish and I want it to be a showstopper! I do like the tang I already have and I wondered if there were any other rare or exquisitely marked tangs that would be a good addition to my system. I am willing to wait for the most suitable fish, as I want the best option in terms of temperament, size and of course the look. 

I would really appreciate your opinion as to a suitable addition. 

Many Thanks
Peter Murphy, Oxford 

Wow Peter! This is quite an impressively dimensioned system! Don't know which species of Surgeonfish you're referring to as 'Emperor', but I do concur that some Tangs are definitely alpha animals on the reef and in aquariums. As per mixing in another Acanthurid, my stock response is that this can be done'¦ with some provisos for improving the likelihood of success. First is to utilize a different genus, hence body-shape and likely ecological niche-occupier than your present specimen. IF you have an Acanthurus sp. for instance, I'd look into the genera Ctenochaetus and Zebrasoma. Secondly, do secure a decidedly smaller individual than your present 'Emperor'. Both these criteria should serve to limit aggression. 

            However I would be cautious still re how this new Tang is introduced. Do place it on a day when you can and will be present to assure it is not outright terrorized to the point of being slashed to death, and do make provision that should there be such trouble, that there is somewhere to move the new fish to; if nowhere else, to a floating plastic colander (that it can't be reached in).

Looking for Tangs in Poland Dear Sirs, <Jerzy> I live in Warsaw, Poland. In our country it is not easy to get marine fish. Would you try to help me by referring fish exporters who are able to supply, in particular, full range of Surgeonfishes and tangs - I am particularly interested in getting Ctenochaetus strigosus. Thanks a lot in advance. best regards Jerzy Grabowiecki (Mr.) <There are quite a few people that you might try. I will offer two who have websites: Tropical Marine Centre in the UK: http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/ and Quality Marine in Los Angeles, USA: http://www.qualitymarineusa.com/home.html These are wholesalers... who can likely point you to who in your country you might order through if you're not a retail concern. Bob Fenner>

Tangling With Tangs Hello WWM Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I was wondering if it would be safe to house a purple and chevron tang together in a 125 reef. The purple I have currently is about 2.5-3" and the Chevron I am considering is around 4". Other tank inhabitants include a 3" maroon, a flame angel, and a fat sunburst Anthias. I have about 130lbs of rock and the tank has been up for about 6 months now running with no noticeable no-no's and a Ca level hovering around 415.  Thanks for your time! <I have seen this combination before, and it can work for a while, however, it was in a much larger system. Both of these tangs reach fairly large sizes, and there will likely be some problems with this pairing down the line. Granted, they inhabit different "niches", but the Purple has a well-deserved reputation for being, shall we say, "feisty" at times, particularly with other tangs! I know that it seems possible to do, but I really would advise against it. In my opinion, it's so much better to keep one to a tank of this size. I am very conservative when it comes to the housing of tangs, particularly when attempting to house more than one. This is my opinion, however, so you may ask 3 other people and get 3 different answers! But do consider the ultimate size, needs, and social habits of these fish. Good luck!  Scott F.>

Tangling With A Tang! Hi, guys, <Scott F. your guy today> Wanted to bounce something off you. In my 45G corner tank, I have my sizable Sebae anemone (that Anthony and I have chatted about), some hardy soft corals and the following fish: 3 year old scooter dragonet A 2.5" flame hawk A 4" Halichoeres leucurus (I think; not positive on the species id; kind of looks like a dull ornatissimus) A 2 inch Assessor flavissimus 2 A. ocellaris clowns. and the blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) at about 5". The tang was inherited from another tank (in the previous tank about 2 years). He has been in my tank for about 4 months and seems to be doing well with good color and no ick and no odd behavior to date. However, I worry that the tank is too small for him and keep wondering if I should find a larger home for him. What do you think about his prospects in this size tank? Marc <Well, Marc- I'm so glad that you are taking into account the "end game" -the ultimate size that the fish could reach, and how to help it live a long, healthy life! Sounds like you're doing a great job at providing him with optimal care. In this case, I must suggest that he be moved up to larger quarters quite soon, at least a 100 gallon tank, really even larger, if possible, and preferably 6' plus in length. As you are probably already aware, these  fish can and do reach 9-10 inches or more, and have a great need for substantial swimming area and "psychological space". I take issue with a lot of hobbyists who suggest that these fish (tangs) can "adapt" or "grow to the size" of a smaller tank. It's really sort of cruel to do this to any animal. Sure, plenty of people keep 'em in smaller tanks, but that's the equivalent of you or I being sentenced to life in our living room-yep- there's plenty of comfortable furniture, access to good food-but lack of stimulation and confinement will make it a miserable experience in the long run. Sounds like you have a great set up there, but I think that the tang will be much happier in the long run in larger quarters, as you surmised. Your good sense and planning will really pay dividends down the line for all of your animals! Good luck!>

Lighting the productive refugium and tang compatibility Dear Bob, <Hi Howard, Craig here...> Here's Howard again, now having started up the new "fauna production refugium" in series with the Caulerpa refugium. Following suggestions from you and several of your associates it has 5 inches of sugar fine oolitic aragonite along with 2 pound inoculations of live sand from Florida, Fiji, and Inland Aquatics' filters. I have put in Mysis, Gammarus, and mini-brittle stars along with other tiny stars and a variety of worms and other life (some that I must research to identify) that came with the live sand. I will add peppermint shrimp for their egg strand production and continue to look for other sources of "plankton". <Sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe work the brittle stars out of there as they take the "refuge" out of refugium for your amphipods and sand inhabitants and you want to grow and reproduce them.> On Anthony's advice no Caulerpa but I have found Codium, Chaetomorpha, a red grape, Halimeda Ochtodes. My question is what level of light I should maintain? (the Caulerpa refugium is on 24 hours, 40 watts). I can't find anything on the lighting needs of these more interesting slower growing plants. For now I have rigged a spare dual 55 watt power compact 50/50 actinic/white on chains so I can put it at any height from 2 inches up. I would like your advice as to how close I should run this fixture to make both the plants and the amphipods happy? Should I get a different fixture - halide or fluorescent? Should lights run more than 12 hours? <Twin 55's, that's 110 watts of PC? Depending on the size/depth of the refugium this should be fine. I would use the growth of the plants as my guide. This can be run anywhere from 12 to 24 hours depending on pH stability and if that benefit is desired along with good plant growth which will happen with more hours of light.> I am looking for a blue addition to my peaceful community - have re-read your wonderful material including the chapter in depth about tangs. I have a Zebrasoma flavescens yellow tang, one of the first 4 fish that I acquired for the reef. (along with sleeper goby, flame angel, and clown and have added neon gobies, Anthias, convicts, and fire fish gobies) In 100 gallons, would a smaller xanthurus or Paracanthurus hepatus be at risk? These are beautiful fish! Or would the smaller size and different color make it an ok addition? Macro algae food source is plentiful. As always, Bob I appreciate your advice. Wondering if this departure might work out. <My bet is on the Yellow having difficulties with a new Tang addition if there is a problem, but this is a purely individual reaction. If you go this route do prepare for possible problems and returning the fish if necessary. Craig>

Tangs, Angels, And Powerheads  <Scott F. at your service> I would like to know how I can get rid of the film that sits on the top of the water and what causes this?  <Organic compounds and proteins> I have a Eheim Pro II canister filter and a red sea Prizm skimmer. Its seems to be doing the job. <I believe that Eheim makes a surface extractor attachment for their filters-check with them. As for the skimmer, this particular model has a sketchy reputation with some-check with fellow hobbyists. If it's pulling a cup a day of dark, yucky stuff, then you're doing okay>  I also would like to add some coral. I have one Volitans Lionfish about 4" long, and just got a Powder Blue Tang 4" also have two small red starfish about 3". <The lionfish needs a lot of oxygen and room to move-so does the tang, which is a sometimes delicate species, prone to parasitic infection. You may ultimately need a larger tank if they are to live normal lifespans> I would like to add some other fish such as a Juvenile Emperor Angel of a Koran Angel.  <Honestly, probably not a good choice, given the fact that they both get very large, requiring tanks of 180-200 gallons or more, especially when you consider the potential size of the other fish you have> My LFS has a blond Naso tang as well I was interested in.  <Not a great choice, IMO, for reasons sated above> What is your advice on some fish I can put in my tank.  <See this FAQ http://wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm> I have a 125g tank with about a 1" bed of live sand and 155lbs of live rock. I just got my powder blue tang 2 days ago, second fish into system and was just wondering about feeding. The fish is grazing a lot and very busy but doesn't seem to want to come to the top of tank for food. Is he just adjusting still?  <Could be- BTW, be sure to exercise a quarantine procedure with all new arrivals in the future, especially with tangs, as they do have a reputation for being "ich magnets"> I added some powerheads Hagen802 400gph. I put three of them in planning for some coral. The lionfish didn't seem to like the extra circulation even on the slowest setting. I was thinking about getting a couple of 402 that are 200gph. Will this be sufficient for some coral.  <depends-most corals need high water quality, and with some heavy eaters like you have, may not fare well> I also had a thought of a power bar along the back of the tank spraying out at the back of the rock and using powerheads to drive that.  <nice idea>  Aeration, a concern yet? <Keep the water highly oxygenated> Thanks, Ian Roff <Keep reading, studying-you will be fine. Remember to quarantine all new fish-it really works! Regards, Scott F.>

Questions on growth Hi, I was wondering about the growth and environment of some fish species. With a Sohal tang, would it be at all advisable to place one, say 4-5" in a 90g tank?  <Probably not... this species gets too large for this size tank... unless you were to stock it with almost no other fish life> Would starting out with a smaller size of this fish make any difference in what their environmental requirements would be?  <Yes> (I know they generally require a lot of swimming room) My tank is 4' long and I am wondering if the fish would grow so large that it would eventually need something bigger. <You are correct> Also, my LFS has some small (4") Naso tangs and the owner told me they won't grow much bigger in a 90g tank, maybe .5 - 1" more. <This is not correct... Naso lituratus, if it were to live and be fed more than minimally would grow to 8-9 inches in two, three years> Would you agree? And if that is the case, do they still grow to full maturity with an appearance of a fully grown adult?  <Very good questions... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/optgwth.htm as you'll find, the actual size of a given system is not in the top three of factors that determine growth, size. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help! Tim

Three Tangs Formula Is there any truth to the saying that if you put three in at the same time that they will be fine together? <Some, yes... I generally use the term "locker-room effect" for this dynamic... no one tends to beat up on two others when they're all new... But Tangs should still not be crowded. Bob Fenner>

Adding fish soon..... Hey guys! Thank you for your responses in the past. I have a 300 gallon tank with two fish in it currently (I know I'm pushing it with the fish load), a 4" Hepatus Tang and a Watchman Goby. <You will get no complaints out of me.> I have approximately 130 lbs live rock and a few corals. I would like to add these fish in this order: Naso Tang, Powder Blue Tang, 5 or so damsels, Percula Clown, Black Cap Basslet, and lastly a Yellow Tang. Do you think the Tangs in this size tank will be ok as some aren't recommended to be together? <These are generally not a good mix, but this is a rather large aquarium, so I think your odds are ok. The P. hepatus is the most docile one and good that it goes first. The worst are the Powder Blue and Yellow, but I would not change your order.> Will this group as a whole be ok and in this order? <They sound ok.> As always thank you for your time. -Dave Mart <My pleasure. -Steven Pro>

Tangs Two weeks ago I purchased three fish (Kole, Sailfin, and Regal Tang). The Kole has died, the Sailfin and Regal are covered with a "furry-like" appearance even their eyes are cloudy. <It sounds parasitic in nature. Either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium. This is the primary reason we are so adamant about quarantining all new fish prior to their introduction into the main display.> They both have been swimming in the highest current of the tank. It looks as if they are swimming against the current. I have added reef safe Ich medication (1 day ago). <I have found most to be mildly effective at best.> I am an inexperienced hobbyist and seem to kill off fish about 2-3 weeks after purchasing them. <Let me give you a few suggestions. First off, invest in a good book. Mike Paletta's "The New Marine Aquarium" is excellent. Secondly, quarantine all new fish.> The aquarium is clean (pH 8.2; Nitrites/nitrates near 0; <Your nitrites should always be zero, nitrates as near zero as you can manage.> salt level 1.024, temperature is within acceptable range). The water comes from a well, I occasionally mix in some distilled water to help keep algae down. <I am not thrilled with well or distilled water, but that is not the source of your frustration.> The tank is 11 months old. I have successfully maintained 4 damsels; 1 purple leather; 1 carnation, and 1 tiny mushroom that's left over from a large colony, and 1 brown (Scopas) tang. I have also lost every hard coral that I added. I have a flower pot that lived for 2 weeks then just reverted back into itself. I have not seen the tentacles for 3 days now. <Goniopora (Flower Pot Corals) are notoriously difficult to impossible for most aquarists to keep alive. If you wish to keep corals, I would also suggest Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals", another excellent reference.> What can I do to prevent such loss? <Truthfully, it sounds like you are lacking in your knowledge or being advised rather poorly.> At this point I have lost many lives not to mention the approximately $800.00 in cost. <This can be a very frustrating hobby.> Please give me some advice? <Please feel free to read what we have available at www.WetWebMedia.com. As far as your sick fish go, I would quarantine them immediately and treat with formalin baths. The details can be found by searching the website above. In the future, quarantining and education should help you to keep your losses to a minimum. -Steven Pro>

Tangs Hi Bob, I want to purchase marine fish online and would like to know who you recommend the most? I have been through both FFExpress and Marine Depots web sites I like what I see but don't know which one is better? <Please solicit the viewpoints of your fellow hobbyists. Our chat room is located here http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/index.jsp> Also, I looked at your fish compatibility chart and was unable to decipher if one Paracanthurus hepatus will live in harmony with 3 Zebrasoma flavescens? Please advise. <If all are about the same size and the tank is large enough (120 gallons or more), it can be done. Introduce the Paracanthurus hepatus first and then all three Zebrasoma flavescens at once. All should be strictly quarantined first for one month.> Thanks, Steve Segura from San Jose, CA <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Tangs My question is I have a new tank, nicely set up 55g reef 4 feet long about 80lbs live rocks etc.  I have no fish in it. Can I put a small Achilles in it? power blue or brown? or a white cheek tang in it? Miguel <perhaps just as you have suspected, my friend... none of these tangs especially are suitable for this tank. In fact, no tangs are recommended here for consideration of adult sizes but the ones that you have picked furthermore need VERY large aquariums and very strong water flow to have a chance to survive in the long term. Please admire them from afar my friend until you get a much larger aquarium. Else you will likely suffer the same situation as many before you... the fish seems to fare well for perhaps 12-24 months and then dies mysteriously if it even makes it that far at all. Kindly, Anthony>

Tang Compatibility Hi Bob, I currently have a 125 gallon reef tank. I have an assortment of leather corals, mushrooms, button polyps and star polyps. I also have a couple of frogspawn corals and a torch coral. Everything is doing great. the only fish I currently have in the tank are a Pacific Sailfin Tang, Coral Beauty, Gold Stripe Maroon Clown, Foxface, and a six-line wrasse that I have temporarily placed in my "prison" tank for assaulting my small Maroon Clown. <Wow, how'd you catch that little monster!?> I will reintroduce the six-line once the Maroon Clown gets bigger than the six-line. I was thinking of making another fish addition or two. I originally wanted to get a large angel but am a little worried about the different reports I read about them not being reef safe and sampling polyps.  <I would skip on this choice here> I like dwarf angels but I read that they do not get along at all so I am stuck with my Coral Beauty. That brings me to my Sailfin Tang. I would like to get another tang or two to go along with my Sailfin but am totally confused about what would be a good choice. My obvious two concerns are getting something that looks different so the Sailfin will maybe leave it alone and staying away from very delicate species.  <None are really delicate... but there is a propensity for them to fight as you're aware. Look to a larger new specimen if you try this> I don't want to get something that is typically shy and will quickly get sick and through off my whole balance. My Sailfin gets along with all the other fish and seems to be rather peaceful. This may be because he is the biggest fish in there, about 6 inches, and doesn't see any of them as a threat. Any suggestions you may have would greatly be appreciated. Even if you have suggestions outside of tangs I would appreciate. Thank you, Gianluca Carpinelli <My only input here is posted on the article coverage on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>
Re: Tang Compatibility
Bob, thanks for your quick response. The two tangs that I was really looking at adding were a blue hippo tang and a Naso tang. The blue hippo was my first choice. <This is the one I would go with> I actually had an idea, not sure if it is a stupid one, but was thinking of adding 2 or 3 blue hippo tangs. The idea behind this was to not have just one individual be the target for my existing Sailfin and maybe the addition of 2 or 3 blue hippos at the same time would cause them all to just mesh together. Do you think I would be starting world war III? <This is a good idea, and a regular practice in public aquaria... but your system is really too small to accommodate three Paracanthurus in addition to all you have already> If I did add 2 Hippos I probably would not add a Naso Tang at all. What would you suggest here? Do you think I am way out of line? What are your thought on Blue Hippo Tangs and Naso Tangs? Thanks again for your advice. <Just the one Hippo. Bob Fenner> Gianluca

Re: Ammonia is 0 Dear Bob / Steven, My 70 UK gallon system is almost fully established, thanks to your advice and support. Nevertheless, the questions never end! Don't expect you to remember the details, but I set the whole thing back a few weeks ago by rinsing some of the filter media under a tap (no more cringing please!), destroying the precious few microbes & bringing on the ammonia! Already had my little Lipstick Tang & Bicolor Blenny in there, but they are alive and happy as I write three weeks on - again thanks to your advice: Patience! - and now the ammonia is 0, although the nitrite/nitrate stage has yet to settle completely, I'm planning on adding my third fish, a young Scopas Tang, in the next few days. <Please wait until at least two weeks after both ammonia and nitrite have reached zero before adding any new fish.> I've read and heard mixed opinions about the adding order of these fish; some say the Lipstick should have gone in last, but my stockist suggested it should be first. <Truthfully, I would have never recommended a Naso for a 70 gallon tank.> Of course it's there now, and the only other fish I'm planning to add to this fish-only system is a Blue Trigger. The Blenny has rocks for safety, but do you foresee any problems between these three larger fish? <Minimal fighting between the two Tangs, but nothing extraordinary.> The Lipstick is around 3 1/2", and has considered herself alone for about five weeks now. My stockist has acquired the other two, both a little larger than her. And just to remind you, I'm asking you good people because my shop doesn't tend to come up with crucial answers in time! The other question is: Now that I have algae, microbes and zero ammonia, is it ok to replace the white sponge in my filter, as it's looking pretty yuck! <If this is a prefilter, yes.> I've also resumed 10% water changes weekly. Thanks, Hamish, UK. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Achilles tang I was hoping you could answer a couple question for me. I have a 75 gal reef tank with about 80lbs of LR. I have a tomato clown, 3 shrimp and lots snails/hermits. I have a purple tang (3 inches) in quarantine. My local fish store told me I could add an Achilles tang. I have them both in quarantine with a tank divider. Is this going to work? <IMO, no. Your tank is too small for these two to peacefully coexist.> I thought tangs were good together as long as they were the same species (Zebrasoma). I read something on your web page about the Achilles make your other tank mates die- Could you explain further?- Thanks Anjanette <Have a nice evening. -Steven Pro>

Yellow Tang With all your experience I would like to know if you would advise putting a yellow tang in a 75 gallon reef tank. I also have a flame angel and a mated pair of clowns. I've heard yes and no on different BB's. My decision to do so will be solely based on your answer. I've received nothing but great information from you so far. Thank you <There is always some risk in placing any living thing... all "reef safe" statements ought to be accompanied by a IMO/IME stipulation... and a % risk assessment (living in California has decidedly whacked my perception re legal liabilities!). Ahem, I give high confidence in a Yellow Tang being a great asset, getting along here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the many related FAQs files.  Bob Fenner>

Adding a Kole Tang I am wondering if I can add a Kole tang to my current mix of fish. I have a Longnose Hawkfish, an African Flameback angel, a yellow watchman goby, an engineer goby, a maroon clownfish, and (gulp) a purple tang. Unfortunately I have had the purple tang in the tank for about a year now, and I think I should not add the Kole tang because of this fish. However, I do know that they are not co-geners, but they do have a lot of body structure in common, so will there be fighting? <Always some fighting when mixing Tangs.> I know you do not know everything, and all individual fish differ slightly, but I value your opinion. The tank itself is a 65 gallon reef with a lot of live rock and corals. Thanks again! <The Kole was a good choice to mix with the Purple Tang. Your problems are the Purple was there first and the tank is too small. Sorry. -Steven Pro>

Tang Choice I have a 75 gallon tank that has been set up for 7 months. I currently have a Pacific Blue Tang, (my prize fish) along with a Cardinal, Yellow Wrasse, Firefish, Yellow Watchman, and a Sixline Wrasse. My question is...I would like to add one more tang. <Bad idea.> I found a Sailfin that was in a tank for a little over a year. The person was moving and had to take the tank down. It's healthy looking and very active. I also like the Yellow Tangs. That is the first salt water fish I saw that got me interested in the hobby. I understand that the Sailfin will outgrow my 75 gallon, but I hope to upgrade tank size down the road. What tang would be most compatible (Yellow or Sailfin) with the Pacific Blue and the other fish in the tank? <Within the confine of this aquarium, I cannot recommend another tang.> Thanks in advance for your reply. ~Jeremy <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Butterflies/tangs Here is a question. I know that tangs either are in a singularly or more than 2 (3 or more).  <In many cases much more than 3 to be successful> Presumably so one dominant species won't attack the single other one.  <essentially, yes> On a 200 gallon 7 foot tang, does this also hold true for butterflies ? Can you put 3 (or more) golden butterflies together (they are found in groups in the wild). Will this remove some of the territorial issues that are found when only two are present ? <as beautiful as the tank is... it is still too small for schooling or shoaling mid sized fishes. Think of it this way... you are snorkeling in the tropics and you spot the same 3-4 fish pacing within the same 7 foot of reef...bizarre and not going to happen. The quarters are too close for most. There are some Heniochus, however, that might satisfy your desire to keep larger schooling fishes. Do review Bob's work in his Conscientious Marine Aquarist and here in the archives on these fishes> And, another, does this also carry over to angels ?  <mucho aggression with most angels. Only the Genicanthus species are even remotely tolerant of each other (most being quite peaceful and better off in pairs)> Not planning on putting three imperators together, but just curious.  <heehee... no harm in asking. Anthony> Thanks, Jim

Re: Tang Sorry about the misc. other fish. I meant to include the word "small." <no worries, bud <smile>> The fish I have right now are two blue damsels, two Percula clowns, a lawnmower blenny, and a royal Gramma (also the angel). My primary interest for the tang was for control of a filamentous green algae. Three further questions: Even though a tang would not be very good in the tank, which tang (from below or otherwise) would you consider to be the "best" for algae control in the 40 gallon? <yellow eye tangs are best at cropping algae very low/squeaky clean. Zebrasomas just nip and tear. None eat long algae well at all (must be cropped for them first)> What other fish would you recommend for filamentous algae control? <Foxface/Rabbitfish are also quite good (although venomous). Generally peaceful too> Are there any inverts other than the usual snails and a variety of hermit crabs that would help control the algae? <tropical abalone are outstanding!!! Available from Tonga cultured. See if your LFS or online supplier gets Tonga stock> Thanks, Kevin Cossel <best regards, Anthony>

Tang (selection) Which tang would you recommend for a 40 gallon reef aquarium  <no tang will fare well in a 40 gallon tank in the long run... all are strong swimming and favor larger aquaria else problems with undue aggression are likely... still I will concede below if you are prepared with a QT> that contains a coral beauty angel and some other misc. fishes?  <geez, bud... how could I possibly know if miscellaneous fishes includes Firefish gobies or groupers... both of which are coral-safe?> These were the options I was considering but I wanted to know what you though about size and about fighting with the angel: Powder Brown Acanthurus japonicus <under no circumstance in this tank... too delicate, requires strong water movement (else they pace) and long aquaria> Brown Scopas Zebrasoma scopas <generally a great fish> Yellow Tang Zebrasoma flavescens <common, popular, may work> Kole Yellow Eye Ctenochaetus strigosus <probably the most useful algae grazer of all listed here> Yellow Tang Acanthurus coeruleus <an Ich magnet... not unless you are insanely strict about using a quarantine tank> Any other better suggestions? <yes... honestly, spare a tang from having to live in a rockscape 40 gallon long term. Many other wonderful fishes whether or not algae control is the issue. A wide open door if your only limitations are not getting too big and not likely to fight with the angel> Thanks, Kevin <always welcome... do browse the WWM archives for species descriptions and ideas. Anthony>

Schooling Tangs What kind of size do you need for tangs not to fight. I notice that most stores have multiple tangs in the tank. It appears the key is to have more than one tang to keep the dominant tang from harassing just one single other specimen. They keep them in groups of 8 to 10 in a 90 or 125 size tank (5 or 6 ft tank). <This kind of stocking level is usually very short-term (until they sell them) and usually seen without a lot of decorations so a dominant fish cannot stakeout a territory.> Wondering if keeping a long tank with several tangs is feasible. <Yes, a six foot tank would be nice with 3 or more.> Looks like you just have to keep more than 2. Is that the rule of thumb on them? <Yes, one or three or more.> Either singly or more than 2, or is multiple trouble as well - and one will just end up picking on different ones all the time <That sometimes happens too. Many times after purchasing three that are the same size and get along ok, the dominant fish outgrows the others and they get along less and less.> Thanks, Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Tangs a tank and a shoehorn I own 2- 70 gallon f/o aquariums. One has an orange-shoulder tang, a yellow tang, and a Singapore angel. The other has a coral beauty, orange-shoulder tang, and a Picasso trigger. I would like to add a hippo to the latter of the two but I don't know what size I should order. I realize that the orange-shoulder will outgrow the tank but we'll handle that when the time comes.  <so will the hippo for that matter... it is hard for me to make a recommendation on something that will only work for 12-18 months if the fish is well fed and cared for. Indeed the sum length of both fish at adulthood is over two feet! One fish will be too much for a 70 gallon tank at that point... assuming it lives that long cramped> Currently he's a juvenile just maturing to adult coloration. I'm worried that the Orange-shoulder will harass the hippo if I add him.  <some hippos are rather scrappy just the same. Mixing groups of angels, butterflies or tangs is always a risk. With so many other wonderful reef fishes to keep, I'd advise you to find something with a different feeding habit that will be perceived as less of a threat> I had an Atlantic blue tang before that ended up killing my one-inch hippo and I don't want to have the same happen with the orange-shoulder. The orange-shoulder is about 3.5 inches long. If I need to I can divide the tang but what do you think I should do? Do you think the two will get along? <Alas, my friend...in the big picture it is not worth the risk... even if 4 in 10 work out, that leaves 6 of 10 that suffer. With hundreds of great marine fish to pick from, do look for something that will remain small and be more compatible for your tank size. Kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Still deciding what new fish to add... Thanks for your earlier reply... <You are welcome.> What is the "get along" likelihood of three tangs? Specifically: Naso lituratus / Naso Tang 5" Ctenochaetus strigosus / Kole Tang 3-4" Paracanthurus hepatus / Blue Tang 3" <This group should be ok in a large tank, 180 gallons plus. Introduce them in the reverse order, Blue Tang first, Kole second, Naso last.> Thanks. I've opted out of the Pomacanthus imperator because I may be moving within the next year and that is a long term commitment kind of fish! <These fish are all long-lived, too. They should all live over ten years, approaching twenty with good husbandry. -Steven Pro>

Tangs Hello, I have been browsing your site extensively and I think it is excellent. I have had a reef tank for over a year and only just recently discovered your site. If I had earlier you would have saved me a lot of grief and money!!! It is amazing how unscrupulous people can be when it comes to earning a buck. I have had retailers sell me fish that they knew full well that should not be in my tank at various points. Anyhow to my question! I would really like to have a Purple Sailfin Tang and a Blue Hepatus Surgeon. From what I have read on your site this seems maybe not to be a good idea. Am I correct and is it worth a try? I have a 55gal Reef tank with a Clown fish, a Flame Hawk and a banded Goby. Everyone gets a long fine. I would also like a flame angel as well. Is this a recipe for disaster? Thank you for your time and for a wonderful and informative website. Sincerely, Nick Shushkewitch <Well Nick, glad you like the site. As to your question, yes you can house a Purple Tang with a Blue Tang, but just not in anything a small as a 55. Sorry. They will fight way too much and not have enough room to establish separate territories in a 55. You can certainly pick one and add it, but add the Flame Angel first. One word of warning, dwarf angels with sometimes nibble on your inverts; soft corals, feather dusters, large polyp stony corals, etc. -Steven Pro>

Tangs Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and web site have helped me a lot - Thanks. <truly a jewel in the education of the hobby> In reading all of the FAQs on Tang selection I couldn't quite find an answer to my problem. <very well... I'll make up something convincing <wink>> Tank is 90 gallon tank, 70 LR (just added 50), Niger Trigger, Huma Trigger and Yellow Tang. I added 50 lbs of live rock (the LFS said I could just throw it all in - although I did add a Protein skimmer the next day) and a White Cheeked Tang last weekend and the Yellow immediately began attacking it - along with periodic bites from the Niger. <yes... not a sturdy tang especially to be added late in the game, so to speak> I moved the Yellow into the quarantine tank. All 3 fish in the Main tank get along great now. <interesting> My question is: does the reintroduction of the Yellow change the dominance hierarchy?  <unlikely... if it walks like a duck, and it squawks like a duck...guess what? Its probably a duck. Aggression is aggression in this case I suspect> If they do start to fight again, should I let it go for awhile? <a little chasing for the first couple days is normal. But nipping and pursuit that lasts longer is unlikely to abate and will just stress the victim into sickness or death> How long? How can you tell if a fish is in mortal danger or if they just need to work out some dominance issues? <above> Thanks for any info, Mark <very kind regards, Anthony>

Yellow Tang, Buddy Tang Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I've had a Zebrasoma flavescens for almost three years now and during that time, I've gone through some other fish due to some tank problems or their just not surviving. One thing I've noticed during this time is my Tang's dependence upon one tankmate. My Tang has bonded with one fish at a time and seems to enjoy some symbiotic relationship with them. The species vary (Heniochus, Imperator, Goby, and now, a small Blue Damsel), but it's almost as if the Tang doesn't want to be alone. Is this normal behavior? <charming...fascinating...nut not normal in any traditional definition. Of course, it is nothing to be discouraged either. Just a funny artifact of captivity with this individual. Do enjoy his buddy behavior. Anthony> Thanks, Rich Aylward

Tang Compatibility Dear Robert, <You got Steven Pro today.> I am generally new to this whole aquarium hobby. My tank is 150 gallons, with no live coral. I just started adding fish about two months ago and so far have a yellow tang, a snowflake eel, a wrasse, and a porcupine puffer, I would like to add a blue tang and a purple tang, but have been given conflicting information on their compatibility. Could you please tell me if these to fish will be compatible with the rest in my tank and why or why not? Thanks so much. <In general, tangs do not like other tangs. They can sometimes coexist, but it would have been best to have added the blue tang first and then the yellow or purple. Take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs ,.htm for further information. Sorry I cannot give you a definitive answer, but the truth is there is not one. It will depend a great deal on your individual fish's temperament. If you do decide to attempt the new additions, I can give you a few tips. Get the blue tang, Paracanthurus hepatus, about a big or slightly larger than your yellow tang. Also, move the decorations around just before you introduce the new fish.> Best, Jennifer <Best of luck. -Steven Pro>

Restocking tank Mr. Fenner: Happy New year! I have a few questions. First I have been reading the FAQ on WWM and couldn't find one that specifically said which tang is most compatible with the pacific blue yellow tail tang. I have seen them with Achilles, gold rim, and yellow tangs, but am curious which tang is best to put in with a pair of true Perculas and a very large (5-6 inch, fat!!!) blue tang. <A Ctenochaetus or Zebrasoma species> We have 15 lbs of LR and some rock crabs, hermit crabs, two pregnant cleaner shrimps and a peppermint shrimp. We want one that will not take over the hippos dominance and will not eat my shrimps, crabs or other fish. I had read that yellow tangs eat peppermint shrimps. <All fishes of size can, might do this> Don't want that. We do need a tang of some sort as my hippo only comes out of hiding when there is another tang in the tank with him oddly enough, it has happened twice). <Not odd, as in unusual at all> Please let me know which tang you think would be best given my situation. My poor hippo needs a buddy. He keeps trying to hang out with the Perculas, but they are afraid of him cuz he is so large. Thanks in advance. and I will keep reading to see if I come up with anything in the meantime. Oops, one more questions, is there another dip I could use other than the Methylene blue dip. None of my Pet stores carry that product. <Many choices... but I would go with Methylene blue if using anything other than just pH adjusted (and dechloraminated) freshwater... look to e-tailers if the stores in your area are this backward> They suggest quick cure... And dumb question, but... is your recommended dip the dose of MB and freshwater... i.e. no saltwater in this little bath. I printed out the directions for the dip, but still wanted clarification. If we get the tang today and the pet store dipped it already (there shipment comes in today) should we dip again before we put in our system? THANKS SOOOO MUCH!!!! <Same approximate dosage... no worries, very safe. Bob Fenner>

Tang questions... Bob, I am interested in adding Tangs to my newly cycled 38 gallon reef. Since I really do enjoy all of the tangs I am not sure which one or how many I can add. <One is best in such a size, type system... and a small species at that.> Obviously most of the Acanthurus species need a much larger space to roam. <Yes. Nor a Naso spp.., or Prionurus...> In your opinion, what would make a great addition to my reef? <A member of Ctenochaetus or Zebrasoma... coverage of all here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm and the Links beyond> Also, what other fish would you suggest that I add? I will be adding 2 dozen turbo snails, an orange diamond goby, a six-line wrasse (Which will be added later), 2 sand sifting stars and 2 red skunk cleaner shrimp for a clean up crew. Thanks for your help. <Many choices... Do take a long read through the "Selection" and group survey pieces posted on WWM to help you decide. Bob Fenner> Regards, Keith Broadbent

Re: Sohal then Purple Tang Introduction Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the FAST reassurance on my "bass ackwards" stocking plan. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Sincerely, John ILG <Not so hard on yourself my friend. Seek to correct what you consider as "mistakes", "mis-steps", forgive yourself... and go on. Chiding yourself for the past will not change your future. Bob Fenner>

Tangs I have a 5' 110 reef that's been up for 6 years. I want to add an Acanthurus coeruleus and a Naso lituratus. Think they will be compatible? <Yes, should be... though these Tangs hail from different oceans they occupy different parts of reefs for the most part...> I have Sargassum, and some thin maroon macro growing and hope they will keep this in check. <Likely so, yes> I was also thinking of adding 3 chalk Basslets too. <Nice fish... I would try only two in such a size, shape system> I also have @ 150 lbs live rock and SPS, plus a cent. argi, convict goby, 2 clown gobies, 2 gr. Chromis, and a royal Gramma. Most of the current fish are 4-6 years old. Does this sound like too many fish? <Hmm, not in the relative world of aquarist-packed systems... Should be okay> I'm hesitant on adding the 3 Basslets, but I've found some at a good price and have always wanted to keep some. <One of my favorite genera of aquarium fishes: http://wetwebmedia.com/serranus.htm > Thanks! Gary <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Fish Questions Dear Mr. Fenner, I have some questions for you about fish compatibility. My current tank is a 54 gallon corner tank. I have a 4 inch DSB, about 35 lbs of live rock and a Prizm protein skimmer as filtration. My inhabitants are a flame angelfish, a small Kole tang, a pair of small true Percula clowns, an algae blenny, a pair of cleaner shrimp, and some misc. snails, hermits, and starfish as a clean up crew. My tank looks good but empty. I would like to do the following things to it: (in order) 1. Cure and slowly add 45 lbs of live rock 2. Change the lighting form 2 NO bulbs to 2 PC bulbs After letting everything settle for a bit I would like to add a couple of more fish. I would really like to add another small tang. I like the Purple, Yellow, and Naso Tangs.  <Not a Naso for this size, shape system> I also would like to a Juv. angelfish. Please keep in mind that these fish would only be housed in the 54 gallon tank for a few months because a larger (120 gallons+) is in the works and should be ready by next spring. I should have all the rock and lighting in place by the first of next year so the would only be in the 54 gallon tank for about 2 months. Which specimen would you suggest I add? Most of my fish are good tempered but I just want to start WW3. Thank You, Jonathan Pac <One of the Zebrasoma Tang species and a Centropyge angelfish that is rated highly for survivability. Please see the WWM site here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish Questions
Hey Bob, Thanks for the quick reply. Do you think a purple tang would fit in well or should I go with a yellow tang. Also, do you think I could go with a juv. blue angel or should I just stick to a tang? Thank You, Jonathan Pac <Either of just the Tangs for now. Bob Fenner>

Murder mystery!@? Good day Mr. Fenner <Good day> I have had a tragedy on the birthday of our nation. I woke up on July 4, anticipating a quick 15 gallon water change (working on alkalinity and nuisance algae), and then to the yard work when I noticed that my beautiful, vivacious Atlantic Blue Tang was not out to visit me. This is a small specimen, 2" or so, but nicely acclimated to both his environment, and me. Upon moving some live rock around, he swam out, noticeably limping (or something like that). There was a large chunk of his dorsal fin missing, including some of the flesh at the base. He died within an hour. I only have one other fish with him, a striped damsel, and I don't think he did it. I also have several hermits, snails, and 2 Mithrax crabs. The tank is 48 gallons with 50 lbs of live rock, plenty of hiding places for nap time. Is it possible that one of the Mithrax crabs did this?  <Possible, yes...> One is about the size of a silver Dollar (discounting his claws). I'm at a loss. The crabs do such a great job cleaning algae I'd hate to get rid of them. Would a larger specimen of tang be better?  <In terms of not getting eaten? Yes> Traditionally, are the Atlantic Blues good in the area of algae duty or is another species better?  <For general purposes... the genera Ctenochaetus and Zebrasoma are better... for biotopic (tropical West Atlantic), none better than Acanthurus coeruleus... and a few other Acanthurus good candidates for algae eating, hailing out of the Indian and Pacific Oceans... reviewed on the WetWebMedia site> I really like the Atlantic Blues, very classy looking, and acting (IMO). Thank you for your patient guidance. Jason, The guy who says that it must be a bummer to be in the middle of the food chain. <On the broader stroke we are all in the middle, or some indeterminate sliding spot on a bunch of loops... Do look about for a Mantis or even Pistol (Alpheid) shrimp involvement here as well. Bob Fenner>

Tangs/Surgeons I have a Naso tang and I would like to add one more tang. I like the powder blue, gold rim and Sohal, can you please advise as to which would be compatibly. <Please read over the www.WetWebMedia.com site re these fishes. The first two are not good bets, the last may get too big, mean for your system. Bob Fenner>

My next fish I've been doing some preliminary research on my final addition to the tank. Just as a reminder, I have Maculosus angel- 6-7" Passer angel- 5" Black durgeon- 6" Cleaner goby in a 125 gal tank My final addition will probably be a wrasse or a tang.  I've been using your site, book and Scott Michael's marine fishes. Here is what I have so far, any suggestions as per these fish or a fish I should look into would be appreciated. Thanks for your help- Yaron Tangs- Sohal tang- Scott says that this fish is really aggressive and needs a 180gal tank. You seem to like this fish more than he does. How big should I get this fish? <3-4"> Purple tang- Seems to me that a large enough one should fit in and won't be bullied. <Even a small one should be fine... they're smart and other fishes leave them alone.> Naso Tang- Scoot says that this fish needs a 135gal tank. Less than the Sohal. Again, it seems to me that a large enough one should fit in. However, I'm not sure 125gal is enough and that this fish really needs a much larger tank. I will get one from the red sea. <Good idea, and you're going to need a larger system for just what you have now, BTW.> Just a question- Would a powder blue fit into this community and how would your rate FFExpress's quality of powder blue's? Where is the best location to get one of these fish from. My pet store's powder blues are almost always infected w/ich. <The company has very good people picking out, taking care of its livestock, and a good reputation... but this fish is a dismal choice for you, your system right now... much larger, very well established reef systems only need apply.> Wrasses- Moon wrasse. Scott gives this fish much better marks than you do. He also says it doesn't need sand and that it hides in rocks. I don't have much sand so a wrasse that buries may not be a good choice. Do you know a better Thalassoma wrasse? I would get this fish from the red sea. <Take a look at the WWM site re this genus... have just finished putting images, ratings on the species utilized in the trade> Harlequin Tuskfish- I would get it from Australia. You and Scott seem to agree on this fishes suitability.  <A very nice species, good specimens from "down under".>  Another unrelated question. Over the years, I have taught my little brother a lot about fish and nature. He's ten and he's been asking for a flame angel and a Hepatus tang for ma few months. Would these two fish be able to live their whole lives in a 55 gal tank? Can a flame be kept in a 20 gal as Scott says it can, I know you believe it needs a larger tank. Thanks for your advice and help and have a good rest of the summer. - Yaron >> <Do think they would live in the 55, not a twenty... Scott and I agree to disagree a bit on many issues... Asi es la vida. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tangs I have a 72 gallon aquarium that I'm setting up for reef inhabitants. I currently have three blue green Chromis damsels, three fire fish, a Sailfin goby, and a cleaner shrimp. I would like to add a yellow (or other) tang to help control algae, but a friend told me that I should add it last as tangs become very territorial and will attack any new fish. I cannot find any reference to this behavior in any book, including yours. Is my friend right, and, if so, what fish do you suggest as alternatives (algae consumers). Thanks for your help. Bob Medlock  <<Well, there are occasional rogue specimens, and some genera (Prionurus, most Acanthurus) are more rough and tumble than Paracanthurus, Zebrasoma, Ctenochaetus and Hemitaurichthys species tangs... most Sailfins (Zebrasoma) and Comb-tooth (Ctenochaetus) species are easygoing except with mismatches of their own or similar appearing species (principally of tangs)... The long and short of it is I would give you very good odds of success trying one of the two genera. You can read my reviews and see some (an increasing number!) of images of all these species on my site: Home Page  Bob Fenner>>

Fish questions I have a 135 salt water set-up this is my first attempt at this so far so good! I have a fairly good dealer and a sales person I liked and trusted but he just moved on to a different job and I wanted to get some algae-eaters. What kind do you recommend? I have 3 yellow tangs, 3 tomato clowns,  and various damsels and last but not least a Niger trigger. I'm having a problem with algae only in a couple spots, I try not to keep the lights on too much. I have this set-up in a restaurant. I open at 5am and close at 9/10pm but we usually turn them on around 9 so they are on about 12hrs a day--Is that too much? But it is mostly on one corner only and my coral is staying fairly white, when the tank was going thru it's cycle I had a lot of brown algae but that's cleared up. One other question I had can I add a purple tang? Thanks, Jan <<Thank you for writing. And twelve hours a day isn't too much light for your system... Do you use any live rock? This would help in your quest to control algae... do look into the possibility of adding some. With the Trigger, your choices in cleaner uppers is much-restricted... If it were me, I'd get one Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus), and the Purple Tang (yes, it should learn to get along with your Yellows... though they will "joust" for a while)... and Maybe consider another genus of Tangs, the Bristlemouths (Ctenochaetus) like a Kole (Yellow-eye, C. strigosus)... as another purposeful algae eater (in addition to your Sailfin tangs... the Yellows and Purple) and the Blenny. Bob Fenner>>

Tangs in a reef tank Which Tangs are least likely to pick on corals in a reef tank?  <<Hmm, the ones found in the closest association with them in the wild, the genera of Sailfins (Zebrasoma), Comb-Tooth (Ctenochaetus), Hippo/Palette/Yellowtail Blue (Paracanthurus), and a handful of Acanthurus, like the Convict/Manini, A. triostegus... My complete rundown on the family (Acanthuridae) of Surgeonfishes can be found stored at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com . With pix soon, I hope! Bob Fenner>>

Tang Bob, I have a yellow tang, a Naso tang and would like to add a hippo tang to my  72. Additionally I have 3 black and gold Chromis and a pair of true Percula  clowns. Any problems with these 3 tangs in one setting? <<I give you better than fifty fifty odds that your Yellow won't become or stay "too aggressive"... There may well be some "tail-offs" the first few days... but do either wait (if there is no apparent damage... and the Hippo/Palette/Yellowtail Blue Tang does hide quite a bit) or move the Yellow to the quarantine tank (after the Blue has been moved) for a week or so, to let the newcomer become better established. I wish you well, Bob Fenner>>

Compatibility Hello Bob, I have written you in the past and thank you for your advise. Now I have a  question about stocking my tank. I have a 150 gallon tank I am running an  under gravel filter with 4 power heads, fluidized bed, magnum 350 canister,  and a skimmer. The tank has matured I currently have a yellow eyed tang, 3  mollies, 3 damsels, and 2 chocolate chip stars. We would like to know how  other types of tangs would get along together, we like the Naso, the Sailfin,  and the regal. Will they kill each other? Along the way we will add some  dwarf angels and some clown and probably some other stuff, but I really like  the tangs. What do you think?  Thank You, Mark Pinkston <<You should be okay... most tangs mix okay together coming from different genera... which the ones you list are... I'd start the only one that may cause trouble (the Regal, Acanthurus lineatus) at a smallish size... about four inches. Bob Fenner>>

Rule of thumb on tangs? Mr. Fenner: I have heard many different opinions on keeping tangs in a fish/invert tank, with some people suggesting that only one tang be kept per tank (regardless of tank size) while still other people claim that multiple tangs can be kept safely as long as they are in odd numbers. My question specifically relates to a 75 gallon fish/invert tank with exceptional filtration and water quality that is consistently excellent. In the tank, I have one yellow tank, one 4-stripe damsel, two blue damsels, one Percula clown, one tomato clown, one Florida Condy and approximately 75 lbs of liverock. The tank has been up for nearly 4 years and all of the inhabitants have been in the system for at least three years, with the exception of several snails and crabs. I have the desire to add an additional tang or two, preferably a powder brown or a purple. The tang that is currently in the tank is approximately 4" and is very peaceful towards the other tank inhabitants. Do you believe that it is possible to add another tang to this system? Should I add two more so that I have a total of three (odd number principle)? Would I be playing with fire adding another tang to this system? Thank you, Jason <<Hmmm, well, where it comes to Tangs I could relate what I could list several... I definitely disagree with the one tang specimen/species to a tank notion. Have dived in many places of the world (in Hawaii just yesterday) with a few to several species all swimming together in the same reef patch... Yes, tangs do fight amongst themselves, esp. ones of similar appearance... so yes, they get along better by and large when mixed by different genera... and Yes, there is a ranking of easygoingness to meanness within genera. In your case, a Purple is better to add after the Yellow... which you have going for you. And I'll skip to the chase and stop relating my opinions on the rules of thumb for mixing tangs, and say I would skip on the Powder Brown, and encourage you to consider the White Cheek instead (Acanthurus japonicus instead of A. nigricans (nee glaucopareius)). The White Cheek looks very similar and is very much more hardy. Many more articles and garrulous statements on these fishes to be found on the wetwebmedia.com site Bob Fenner>>

Tangs in 85g Hi, Bob, I currently have an 85 gallon hexagon aquarium. I am purchasing a 10,000K fluorescent bulb, and also an actinic 03. these bulbs are both 24 inches long, roughly the width of the tank. It is a tall tank, and I was wondering if this is enough lighting. Do you think this will be sufficient lighting for my live rock to thrive, and also grow a bunch of coralline algae? I am putting Kent Tech-CB in the water to maintain calcium and alkalinity levels for good coralline algae growth. I also was wondering what your suggestions for fish would be. I want a community with some Chromis, clowns and a tang or two. What would be two tangs that I could have together without much fighting between the two. 

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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