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Old 08/18/2000, 05:13 AM   #1
Planoi
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I guess this will confirm me that I don't need another Tang... anyhow, I have released the Purple Tang into my tank 3 days ago. During the past 3 days the Yellow Tang has , been very agressive towards the newcomer (they engage in the butt-fighting all the time)which is already showing signs of stress.

Has anyone ever kept these 2 together? will they eventually get along?


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Old 08/18/2000, 06:34 AM   #2
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Yellow tangs and purple tangs are from the same genus, Zebrasoma. They will be very prone to fight, and might never get along.

You might want to reconsider having two tangs of the same genus in one tank.

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Old 08/18/2000, 06:40 AM   #3
Larry M
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I have found, like HFF, that tangs of the same family will not get along under most conditions. I once tried putting a raccoon butterfuly and a yellow tang together and got the same results. If they think the new guy looks like them, trouble starts.....

Good luck,

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Old 08/18/2000, 07:09 AM   #4
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Planoi,
I have had a yellow & purple tang in my 120 for around 10 months now. Several others that I know of have these two tangs in 6' tanks and they probably end up getting along 75% of the time. I have read posts where one had to be removed because it was really getting beat up though. I added my purple tang after my yellow tang and in my opinion the purple tang will end up being slightly more aggresive than the yellow. My purple was a little smaller than the yellow when added, but is slightly bigger than the yellow now. They still do occasionally tail-swipe at each other, but don't do any damage to each other and will occasionally tail swipe at my female clarkii clown as well and I don't think they feel that she looks much like them. The purple seems to be the instigator most of the time and it seems to be the dominant fish in the tank and I think just likes to show everyone who's the boss. I did have one bout with a mild case of ich about 6 months into having them, right after adding 30lbs of LR and rearranging some. That went away with some garlic, and no ich since. They seem very healthy and have good color (my yellow is one of the brightest tangs I have ever seen). I have thought about trading out the purple for a blue hippo tang though, but am afraid that it might not be able to hold it's own vs. the yellow. I have plenty of hiding places and they both have "their" spots that no other fish can mess with, that is usually when the tail-swipes occur, when one ventures a little to close to the others spot. They swim the tank well, sometimes together, but that is only my experience. I would suggest watching them very carefully and if one starts looking beat up my experience is that the killer instinct will kick in and the other will keep it up 'til its to late. (not personal experience in my tank mind you, I watched this happen in a co-worker's FO tank at work leased from the LFS experts, I called and told them what was happening, but they waited a couple days to check it out and it was to late then)
Oh well, be careful but it can be done and my tangs do seem happy and relatively stress free. Make sure you have greens available and lots of swimming & hiding room.
FWIW, Nathan

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Old 08/18/2000, 07:39 AM   #5
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Planoi - From your other thread:

In my 160g, I currently have these (in order of size):
a Mandarin
2 small clown fish
4 firefish
2 cardinals
a blenny
Juvernille Hippo Tang
Yellow Boxfish
Yellow Tang
Purple Tang

Am I overloaded?


---------

Overloaded is a pretty general term. I'm quite sure your system can easily handle the bioload, but perhaps a lower density environment would be more successful for you. Especially if you have battling fish fillets.

If they are fighing, do yourself, and your fish a favor and give one away now. Sounds like you have plenty in there.

-Steve

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Old 08/18/2000, 11:50 AM   #6
Planoi
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My course of action will probably be to wait and observe for a 2-3 more days to see if the tension will ease up.

If not I guess the purple will have to go... and catching it will be a pain...


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Old 08/18/2000, 12:07 PM   #7
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yeah, catching a tang, or any fish in the rockwork can be tough. You can usually train some (like clownfish) to eat from your hand and just scoop them out with a net when they come to the surface, but tangs are a bit more elusive.

Good luck, and keep a close eye on it. Things can suddenly turn much worse if its getting really beat up by the other.

-S


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Old 08/18/2000, 06:02 PM   #8
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If you had added both at the same time, you would stand a much better chance of them getting along, because neither would have an established territory to protect. They would each claim half the tank and work out there problems, but there's no guarantees there either. Your yellow has established the entire tank as his own and the purple threatens that. Purple are pretty tough and he may be able to get established, I'd say the chances are a little less than 40/60. The only other way to get more than one zebrasoma tang to survive together is to have a really big tank and have a school of them, but that takes a really big tank.

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Old 08/18/2000, 07:19 PM   #9
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Does the size of the tank matter in terms of whether or not tangs will get along?

Does the firefish get along w/ the yellow tang, Richardson?


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Old 08/18/2000, 07:51 PM   #10
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Wind,

Tank size defenitely matters. The bigger the tank, the better chance you have of them getting along.

Firefish and tangs should get along fine, but tangs are fairly aggressive and may or may not harrass a firefish. It helps if the firefish is established in the tank first and the tang added later.\

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Old 08/18/2000, 08:36 PM   #11
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I got a purple and a yellow in my 100 gal tank. They get along fine. The purple is the more agressive of the two. In the past, I also have a sailfin tang (non red sea) with the two. The sailfin is the least agressive and is the bigest of the three, while the purple is the smallest. Try to rearange your rock, the two should have a better chance of getting along if you do.


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Old 08/18/2000, 11:07 PM   #12
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About 3 weeks ago i added a purple tang to my 75. i already had a yellow tang , sailfin tang and a naso tang. the yellow tang picked on the purple guy for about a week.this is normal for fish of the same species, there just establishing a pecking order. The more of the same kind put together the less the aggression. anyway until the disputing ended i used a lettuce clip stuffed down where the purple tang was hiding so that he could feed.
I also soaked the romaine lettuce in garlic juice to keep ick from attacking. the only time i ever get ick is with in the fist two weeks of adding a new tang, the stress of a new system plus being pushed around causes it. with the garlic soaked romaine it's very hard for them to get infected.
Every tang in my tank gets along great no problems at all.


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Old 08/19/2000, 01:29 AM   #13
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In the end, in boils down to psychological quirks, though hebivores are generally more acutely aware of fixed territory since the amount of fodder they can chow on depends directly on area of domain.

Nearly all tangs are only juvenile tenants on the real reef. As semi-adults, they become semi-pelagic, schooling visitors-at-best. It is natural for them to seek out space.

Juveniles may patrol the reef in small schools of six or more. The area such a group patrols can exceed several hundred square metres. They school for defensive purposes despite the natural competition for grazing because there's no real shortage of fodder. Big difference when you're plopped into a tiny glass box with competitors for food.

Some tangs getting amiably along with others may be attributed to arrested development (much like domestic dogs fail to become natural adults in the presence of paternalistic humans). Also, as some wholesalers and retailers know already, putting a large number of potential targets for aggression before an aggressor diffuses any violence: the tormentor wisely avoids expending more energy fending off intruders than the available food can fuel --but over the long term, a pecking order does develop, and the lowest-rung animal declines, a process that can result in death, and then there is more aggression to spare on the next lower animal, and so on.

If you have such well-adjusted tangs, goody for you, though things can (as I described) change. If your tangs are already fighting, there is virtually no chance of teaching them to get along, and separation is virtually necessary. Defense of food source leads many tangs in tanks to attack any thing with a herbivore profile, even some carnivorous Pomacanthids (angels), or as mentioned above, Chaetodontids (butterflies).
HTH

[This message has been edited by horge (edited 08-19-2000).]


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Old 08/19/2000, 03:37 AM   #14
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Even while traveling in large schools on the open reef most tangs will fight among themselves. If they can be aggressive in the wide open ocean I can't see tempting fate by placing a lot of tangs in a small glass box.

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Old 08/19/2000, 03:55 AM   #15
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Absolutely.

Let's be clear. The point about putting several in a 'box' to diffuse aggression was explicitly described as a temporary solution, ideal only for retail or wholesale scenarios.


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Old 08/19/2000, 04:34 AM   #16
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Horge, you're comment re. protecting the food source happens in my tank as well, my Hippo tang got along just fine with the Coral Beauty until he realize she ate the same food. The angel can't go near the algae clip if the Tang is close by - so it doesn't even have to be another tang for them to become aggressive. Luckily, the hippo only chases without trying to do damage with his tail and if the angel gets really fed up, she'll back towards him and threaten to 'stab' him.

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Old 08/19/2000, 11:24 AM   #17
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Planoi,

please keep us posted on your tangs aggression over the next 2 weeks. I'm very interested in seeing if your results are simular to mine, which have ben very positive.

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Old 08/19/2000, 01:05 PM   #18
Larry M
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Please do keep us informed, Planoi. After 3 years of reading these message boards, and after going through this same thing myself, it seems to me that your experience is far more common than Vins Fins. Or maybe his tangs are exhibiting aggressive behavior too and he doesn't realize it.

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Old 08/19/2000, 02:04 PM   #19
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Hi Planoi,

I made some major mistakes with tangs in my 75g tank in the first year that I started in this hobby and would like to share my experience with you and the others on the board here.

After the tank was a few months old I added a Scopas tang (Zebrasoma scopas). He seemed to be a very sturdy fish and really active.

Well after a period of time I felt I had to have another tang so I added a Naso (Naso lituratus) that was about the same size as the Scopas. After about 2 minutes in the tank the Scopas started to constantly harass him and about 3-5 days later the Naso was dead. I feel that the shape of the Naso's mouth was what caused the Scopas to attack it and whenever the Naso would try to graze at the algae the Scopas would attack.

Then I tried a Yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) which was a little larger than the Scopas that only lasted for about two days. The reason for this is that the Yellow and the Scopas looked identical except for the coloration.

Next came the Achilles tang (Acanthurus achilles), which was a bad choice in the first place because they are so hard to keep anyway, which made it for about a week. The Achilles had a different body style but was the same color as the Scopas except for the orange tail and fin area.

You would think that I would have stopped by now right? Wrong.

Next was the really nice Kole tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus) which lasted about 4 days. Again simular coloration and mouth type.

Then there was my wife's 6 month old Sailfin (Zebrasoma veliferum) tang that we moved from a smaller tank into the 75 and he lasted about two weeks. Here again simular body type.

Then came the large Naso (Naso lituratus) which also was gone in about a week. I thought that by having a fish much larger than the Scopas would solve this problem but it did not and the end result was the same.

Finally after killing all of these really nice fish, and feeling like a real jerk, I added a small Regal tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) to the tank which has now been living peacefully with the Scopas for over a year now which I really think is just luck. The only reason that I think the Reagal and the Scopas are living together is because the body types are so different and the coloration of the Regal is also different than any of the Zebrasoma species. This is not to say that having these two fish together in such a small tank is a good combination either. There is a always a high percentage risk that once the Regal tang reaches adult size there could be a serious turf war between it and the Scopas which will end in the death of either one of them or both.

I am also somewhat sure that many of these problems came about from the small size of my 75g tank and the Scopas defining the entire tank as his own territory. With the Zebrasoma species defining large areas in the ocean as their own territory keeping them in our small glass boxes stacks the cards against us from the start.

Not only did I lose all of those other tangs I also lost other fish because of the constant stress of the tangs fighting all the time.

I hope that things work out better for you than they have for me in the past but try to keep a close eye on your other fish for stress related illness and make sure that they are not going to become victims of the two tangs fighting.

HTH

Doug



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Old 08/19/2000, 06:29 PM   #20
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Your luck may have more to do with the fact that these two animals inhabit different parts of the oceansphere. Regals, as you pointed out, have different shaped mouths & feed more from the water column, and do less scrubbing, than the Zebrasomas. It could be that the scopas simply doesn't feel the Regal a threat to his food source, so he leaves it alone.

DJ

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Old 08/19/2000, 07:20 PM   #21
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Old 08/20/2000, 05:41 PM   #22
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badly worded, sorry horge
I'll get lucky and catch a blackfish for you one of these days

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Old 08/20/2000, 07:24 PM   #23
dark horge
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Ah, err, I was already out the door,
(just ask Larry)
No need for any kick to help me along,
... Mwahahahaha !!!

Anyway, and this really is my last peep.
The practice of fish-cramming is unavoidable in wholesale and retail scenarios. Shipping alone incurs it. If you can figure out a way to ship out these fishes that avoids cramming and still make a profit for people here, I'll back down from calling it ideal FOR THOSE SCENARIOS.

I know what bill was angling at though: People who want to keep three or more tangs will take my comments out of context and use it as an excuse, so I'll back bill up:

In no way was that method of diffusing aggression ever recommended for keeping tangs long-term --and I fully pointed out the consequences in my first post. I was merely theorizing on reasons (albeit short-term ones) for the lack of hostilities between groups of tangs in LFS tanks and some hobbyist displays. No more.

Putting multiple tangs in even the larger-volume tanks commercially available is putting the animals at unnecessary risk.

Now, perception of area is one thing you can mess around with when keeping tangs: They measure benthic space as much as they do volume --if not more. By increasing grazing area via open rockwork, you increase territory without having to increase volume --but this is small change that counts only if you're near the mark. In the end you still need volume to keep these beasts long term. And you're best off avoiding groups.

Well, so long, and thanks for all the fish
(none of them blackfish, though... I'll be waiting for those)


[This message has been edited by dark horge (edited 08-20-2000).]


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Old 08/20/2000, 10:26 PM   #24
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Update:

I woke up to see that the Yellow Tang's tail is ripped and he has a pretty nasty cut in on his body about .5 cm long and .5mm deep (no ordinary scratch), but he was still very agressive, doing sonic boom and tail swipe everynow and then. So I thought that's it... I'm gonna have to take the Purple Tang out.

After about 20 minutes of rock ripping, chasing, and knocking off some coral, I gave up. During this time the Purple Tang has venture into the Yellow's territory and stayed for a while. The Yellow just hide in the rock work and watch. After I finish putting things back together, the Purple was freely swimming about the tank, but the yellow kept a careful and he didn't attack anymore.

This really puzzle me, since the Yellow would never let the Purple into the left side of the tank... may be the yellow just gave up after the purple has broke the boundary line?

If anyone has an effective way of catching the Tang, please let me know.


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Old 08/20/2000, 10:40 PM   #25
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Planoi,

It is possible that you may have two males in the tank. If so there will certainly be disputes, but usually the weaker of the two will back off and peace may come eventually.
I may have a male and a female which might cause less aggression. I don't breed salt water fish, so didn't try venting the tangs to check for there sex, either way things should work out for you in such a large tank.
Be patient and feed romaine soaked in garlic juice.

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