Do people overexaggerate tangs

TSM Aquatics

i cant think

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
1,905
Reaction score
1,430
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
PS - everyone always talks about the 'length' of the tank. Yellow tangs, for example live in 6-150 feet or so deep. Do many people have a 6 foot deep tank? BTW - I'm not arguing or debating that tangs should be kept in small tanks. I'm just saying making an arbitrary tank length 'limit' does not seem logical to me. By the biggest tank you can afford - and if the fish get too big or problematic re-home them?
That’s what I say, however IMO depth doesn’t matter unless it’s a truly deep water fish like many tilefish, wrasse, peppermint angelfish. Then you need a relatively deep tank (I’d say 1.5’ tall would be a nice size for being able to have the end in your tank but also to have enough room for your top water column, middle water column and rocky areas).
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
Dave1993

Dave1993

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
389
Reaction score
327
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
UK
Not always, they can bolt around but that’s usually severe distress but they also don’t just stay in one side of the tank 24/7.
All my fish stay on 1 side of the tank and ur theory about low 02 on 1 side has already been said to be none sense tho
 

i cant think

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
1,905
Reaction score
1,430
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
purple stays on same side as the PB
It could be aggression but I’d be surprised if it was but it certainly isn’t normal for fish to stay to one side all the time unless something else is wrong with the other side. Any hitchhikers? Hear any noises from the tank at night like punching or something?
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
Dave1993

Dave1993

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
389
Reaction score
327
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
UK
It could be aggression but I’d be surprised if it was but it certainly isn’t normal for fish to stay to one side all the time unless something else is wrong with the other side. Any hitchhikers? Hear any noises from the tank at night like punching or something?
Nope i have a hitchhiking crab on the same side they stay but hes hidding in the rocks n cant get him out only comes out at night the pipefish goes over the other side of the tank and the wrasse sometimes does rest of the fish don't bother
 
OP
Dave1993

Dave1993

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
389
Reaction score
327
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
UK
As for the 02 situation i have 1 mp 40 on 1 side 2 mp10 at other side at 100% Red Sea Reefer Skimmer RSK-300 constant surface agitation from return nozzle
 

Zekireef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
18
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
down unda
You’ve got a PBT in a 4 footer right? That’s not the right environment or ideal conditions, and if you have a purple and other fish, O2 level is definitely not going to be ideal for the PBT short of pumping oxygen into the tank (no one does this) or hooking your skimmer up to a MASSIVE CO2 reactor.

That’s the point. I don’t mean to offend but you’re not providing the PBT with ideal conditions, the fact it isn’t using all 4 feet is irrelevant. That’s like jumping out of a plane without a parachute because someone somewhere survived the landing. You’re essentially using the anecdote of a PBT (I’m assuming you’ve added fairly recently) in one instance. For that one instance, we have countless instances of PBTs who don’t eat and whither, die due to stress, cause an ich/velvet outbreak or if they survive, kill everything else in the tank.

A quick google search will show you the rule to your temporary exception, that’s my whole point.
I’ve had acanthurus tangs orange shoulder, powder blue, white cheek) in my 260 gal and I’ve had a purple and desjardini, and the acanthurus scour the whole 7x2.5 area, the only time they didn’t is when a bigger meaner fish (my first blue face angel) would harass them all out of a 3 foot block on the 7 foot tank when they were first introduced.

experienced reefers know this, which is why when we keep tangs in tanks that are too small, we have exit strategies, what is your exit strategy? I’ve no idea how much a powder blue/brown costs in the UK but I’m assuming it’s more than here in Aus, so you’ve basically got an expensive time bombs you’re dealing with statistically speaking.

I’m not saying that you’re doing wrong by the fish (I’m not a tang cop, I too am in the works of keeping a bristletooth in a 70 gal) what I’m saying is that you’re essentially asking a loaded question (which is a fair one BTW). I also answered that question too, which is no, people do not over exaggerate the requirements to care for these fish long term, if anything tank size is underestimated as most reef based acanthurids scour reefs in large groups to feed. They aren’t like pomacanthids, or anemone fish where once established they lurk in a set territory or anthias where they sit against the current in the water column above a reef to feed.

in absence of providing the ideal environment, we need to do the best we can to make sure we meets the animal’s needs. I’ll put it to you this way, you’re not going to leave a border collie or a cattle dog in an apartment 24/7 right? If you do you’re guaranteed to end up with a neurotic dog who wrecks your apartment. Which is why you try and give the dog all that you can to make sure you’re meeting its needs, fish should be no different.
 

i cant think

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
1,905
Reaction score
1,430
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
You’ve got a PBT in a 4 footer right? That’s not the right environment or ideal conditions, and if you have a purple and other fish, O2 level is definitely not going to be ideal for the PBT short of pumping oxygen into the tank (no one does this) or hooking your skimmer up to a MASSIVE CO2 reactor.

That’s the point. I don’t mean to offend but you’re not providing the PBT with ideal conditions, the fact it isn’t using all 4 feet is irrelevant. That’s like jumping out of a plane without a parachute because someone somewhere survived the landing. You’re essentially using the anecdote of a PBT (I’m assuming you’ve added fairly recently) in one instance. For that one instance, we have countless instances of PBTs who don’t eat and whither, die due to stress, cause an ich/velvet outbreak or if they survive, kill everything else in the tank.

A quick google search will show you the rule to your temporary exception, that’s my whole point.
I’ve had acanthurus tangs orange shoulder, powder blue, white cheek) in my 260 gal and I’ve had a purple and desjardini, and the acanthurus scour the whole 7x2.5 area, the only time they didn’t is when a bigger meaner fish (my first blue face angel) would harass them all out of a 3 foot block on the 7 foot tank when they were first introduced.

experienced reefers know this, which is why when we keep tangs in tanks that are too small, we have exit strategies, what is your exit strategy? I’ve no idea how much a powder blue/brown costs in the UK but I’m assuming it’s more than here in Aus, so you’ve basically got an expensive time bombs you’re dealing with statistically speaking.

I’m not saying that you’re doing wrong by the fish (I’m not a tang cop, I too am in the works of keeping a bristletooth in a 70 gal) what I’m saying is that you’re essentially asking a loaded question (which is a fair one BTW). I also answered that question too, which is no, people do not over exaggerate the requirements to care for these fish long term, if anything tank size is underestimated as most reef based acanthurids scour reefs in large groups to feed. They aren’t like pomacanthids, or anemone fish where once established they lurk in a set territory or anthias where they sit against the current in the water column above a reef to feed.

in absence of providing the ideal environment, we need to do the best we can to make sure we meets the animal’s needs. I’ll put it to you this way, you’re not going to leave a border collie or a cattle dog in an apartment 24/7 right? If you do you’re guaranteed to end up with a neurotic dog who wrecks your apartment. Which is why you try and give the dog all that you can to make sure you’re meeting its needs, fish should be no different.
Over here for just a 2-2.5” juvenile powder blue it’s usually around £30-£35 so relatively expensive. For a powder brown it can go to £45 for a 2-2.5” juvenile… purple tangs are worse £125-£130 for a 3” juvenile.
The other thing is (I’m not sure if it’s been proven but I’m pretty sure it was), a fish’s guts don’t stop growing until the fish is at max size but if the fish is stunted it can cause issues in the organs. Also, because of how much just a Ctenochaetus tang swims… I wouldn’t dare to throw a truly active tang like Acanthurus into a 4’ tank but hey, as long as there’s a backup plan for the time it’s alright.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Zekireef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
18
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
down unda
Over here for just a 2-2.5” juvenile powder blue it’s usually around £30-£35 so relatively expensive. For a powder brown it can go to £45 for a 2-2.5” juvenile… purple tangs are worse £125-£130 for a 3” juvenile.
The other thing is (I’m not sure if it’s been proven but I’m pretty sure it was), a fish’s guts don’t stop growing until the fish is at max size but if the fish is stunted it can cause issues in the organs. Also, because of how much just a Ctenochaetus tang swims… I wouldn’t dare to throw a truly active tang like Acanthurus into a 4’ tank but hey, as long as there’s a backup plan for the time it’s alright.
I didn’t realise how many typos my massive thumbs caused haha
 

Shooter6

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
621
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
You’re right in saying a proper setup will mitigate the O2 issues, the issue is it’s likely OP isn’t providing that environment for the PBT in question, as far as tank sizes go, no people don’t overestimated or over blow tank sizing for tangs, those experienced reefers who have a tang in a smaller than recommended tank know what they’re doing, know how to control the aggression issues and have exit strategies, newbies just don’t abs more often than not end up killing the tangs or the tank mates.. this is especially true with acanthurus, Nasos have no business in anything less than 8 foot, they can quite comfortably get up to 1.5 foot in length and are open grazers in the wild.

I’ve also kept angels in my reefs and they are different to tangs in how they behave, a pomacanthus will have its cave or outcrop and rarely stray from it, acanthurus, Nasos and hippos all tend to swim across sections of reef grazing, heck, they’re built to be more hydrodynamic than beefier angels and other more sedentary fish, and this should explain it all as to why they really need A larger tank.


I had a 260 with a desjardini and purple before I downsized to a WB reef100.3, atm I’ve got a tiny ctenochaetus binotatus in QT who will be cleaning the tank with some other open swimmers like dispars so my skimmer actually get some loading haha! This tank is way too small for an adult and I have an exit strategy if I haven’t gone back up to a 200 gal by then, hopefully bringing my desjardini back into the bigger setup! A 120 will work for PBTs for about 6 months, and then if things work out the rule is that one by one you other fish will be beaten to death, this rule applies with most all other acanthurus tangs, the exception is they play nice haha!

edit: that being said, ‘the best we can do is the best we can do’ as hobbyists, we should always strive to either keep tangs in big tanks or be disciplined with what we chuck into a reef with a tang, and PS I’m not a huge fan of tang police either haha!
I agree with everything, except the o2 depleted area in a display driving a tang or any fish to swim in one side over another.
Hell if you go to the water park in sea world san antonio tx, they have a huge ( possibly 100k gal sea stingray pond that people pay to get in and have the stingray swim on them. In it there's hundreds of full grown achilles with streamers, yellow tang sailfin ect. All of them are over 1 ft long and about 3-4 inch thick. None of them fall into the listed max size.

In home reefs ,even the multi thousand gal ones, I've not seen any of these tang reach the listed full size though.
 

Zekireef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
18
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
down unda
I agree with everything, except the o2 depleted area in a display driving a tang or any fish to swim in one side over another.
Hell if you go to the water park in sea world san antonio tx, they have a huge ( possibly 100k gal sea stingray pond that people pay to get in and have the stingray swim on them. In it there's hundreds of full grown achilles with streamers, yellow tang sailfin ect. All of them are over 1 ft long and about 3-4 inch thick. None of them fall into the listed max size.

In home reefs ,even the multi thousand gal ones, I've not seen any of these tang reach the listed full size though.
The lack of O2 on one side I think was someone getting signals crossed haha! Gas will almost always be evenly dispersed in a reef tank, especially one with adequate water movement. The issue is a 4 foot tank with only a mp40 and mp10 isn’t going to provide the turbulence that leads to an oxygen rich environment, that’s not how powerheads work

but yeah, we’ll rarely meet the needs for tangs, all we can do is the best we can by the fish once we own it.

I’m not a huge fan of these sorts of questions because they’re generally bad faith. More often than not they’re asked to reaffirm the OPs opinions rather than actually asking for curiosity’s sake! OP here has been fairly open and fair minded from what I can see.
 

Shooter6

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
621
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
The lack of O2 on one side I think was someone getting signals crossed haha! Gas will almost always be evenly dispersed in a reef tank, especially one with adequate water movement. The issue is a 4 foot tank with only a mp40 and mp10 isn’t going to provide the turbulence that leads to an oxygen rich environment, that’s not how powerheads work

but yeah, we’ll rarely meet the needs for tangs, all we can do is the best we can by the fish once we own it.

I’m not a huge fan of these sorts of questions because they’re generally bad faith. More often than not they’re asked to reaffirm the OPs opinions rather than actually asking for curiosity’s sake! OP here has been fairly open and fair minded from what I can see.
Your overlooking a huge part of o2 getting saturated into the water.
#1 overflow box,pipes and filter sock/media area.
#2 skimmer
#3 refugeum if used.
#4 is surface agitation.
Neither of us have seen the placement, or output settings for the powerheads.

If the op is running them near the top, the surface could very well look like rapids.

I hate assumptions.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Doctorgori

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
2,186
Reaction score
2,229
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
NE Ohio
You trying to summon the dreaded “tang police” ? I thought we shut those guys down on RC :p
Anyway, my personal tang experience by specie….this is JUST ONE data point, not absolute fact…..

bristlemouths …. a 4ft tank is fine…arrest me …

Sailfin/DJ tangs….. grow fast, hardy as hell, get along OK other zebra so as, no issue with bristle nose type….I’ve raised them in 120+ 4ft tanks but I’d call that very minimum

Yellow: the $10 yellow tangs from the 90’s were hardy, the $200 yellow tangs are hardy but prone to divorce side effects …fast growers, temperament is variable but OK with space…

Mimics.: all….IMO these can be housed in a 4ft 100g >

the Acanthrus
 

Zekireef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
18
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
down unda
Your overlooking a huge part of o2 getting saturated into the water.
#1 overflow box,pipes and filter sock/media area.
#2 skimmer
#3 refugeum if used.
#4 is surface agitation.
Neither of us have seen the placement, or output settings for the powerheads.

If the op is running them near the top, the surface could very well look like rapids.

I hate assumptions.
Again, the factors above could still lead to a tank that has insufficient O2 levels for a PBT to thrive. It’s questionable that skimmers actually oxygenate water the way we think they do, even CO2 scrubbers are debatable atm and short of ending up with more water out than in your tank, we’re not replicating the conditions on reef crests, no matter how much we try, and for darn sure in a 120. The only things that would definitively increase oxygenation would be surface tension (4x2 isn’t all that large a surface to begin with) and a refugium (OP is free to share pics, which is what should have been done in the first place). All we can run with is assumptions here anyway as mentioned in brackets earlier Re pics.

I don’t want to be a wet blanket here, but like I said we just aren’t likely to meet a tangs needs in most systems, we just need to do what we can to make sure we’re doing right by the fish! That can be an upsize or exit strategy once the tang is too big. More of a PSA here than anything.

We’ve all seen these sorts of questions before, and much more often than not they’re followed with ‘what’s wrong with my fish’ or ‘is this ich’ or simply, ‘Help’ threads or posts on Facebook. I’m not saying that OP falls into this, as they’ve done well enough to keep both the PBT and purple alive for a year.

But when you get a ‘wrong’ rather than any photo evidence to prove that the tank has been made an adequate setup for any acanthurus tang, you’re more likely to assume the worst, as much as you don’t want to.
 

i cant think

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
1,905
Reaction score
1,430
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
But when you get a ‘wrong’ rather than any photo evidence to prove that the tank has been made an adequate setup for any acanthurus tang, you’re more likely to assume the worst, as much as you don’t want to.
This is for sure what I think, I always prefer to see the tank with a thriving tang like an Acanthurus before making assumptions but since there was no build thread or photo evidence of this I had to mention it just in case. I definitely give the OP some credit for keeping two tangs alive and not get them become aggressive with eachother in that tank size! But it’s usually that thing you see with a person whose been in the hobby for 25+ years and knows what they’re doing.
 

GARRIGA

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
19
Reaction score
17
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
South Florida
The internet is often parroted as if spoken from experience. Not saying the net isn't useful but I question it when it counters my own experience. Fish placed in a box aren't happier because they got a bigger box, within reason. Best solution is to try and gain some experience.
 

jda

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
9,697
Reaction score
13,937
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boulder, CO
I skipped most of this post after the first few, but Tangs do not have to be mean, aggressive or ich magnets. They need fed, have room to hide (like disappear into some rock and not some man-made "caves and arches" that people like so that they cannot really hide) and have an established tank with some real rock or sand that can devour some parasites when/if they fall off of the fish. I have had clown, shoah, 2 blacks, 3 purples, sailfin, chocolate and a few yellows all on a tank and they got along wonderfully, but they all were well fed and had room - FWIW, the blacks, 2 purples, sailfin and the yellows were known coral eaters as they got larger.

Think of tangs like the idiots on reality TV shows... probably perfectly normal under normal circumstances, but stimulate them, don't let them get away for a while and undernourish them and they turn into internet memes and punchlines.
 
BRS

Toys For Kids Drive

Untitled-2 copy.jpg

TSM Aquatics

Have you ever had a nano reef tank?

  • I have one now (leave a photo in the thread)

    Votes: 176 47.4%
  • Yes, but in the past

    Votes: 82 22.1%
  • No and no plans to have one

    Votes: 58 15.6%
  • No but I want to have one in the future

    Votes: 48 12.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 1.9%
Pacific East
Top