Do tangs really need at least 180 or larger in most cases?

XxAlex_OhxX

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NOTE: This is in no way ridiculing anyone, especially experienced hobbyists in any way. "tAnGs ArE aCtIvE sWiMmErS". Yes, I know they are and so does my neighbor who keeps a yellow in a 55 (has done so for 8 years), and my LFS who keeps 3 purples in a 300 and another with one in a 175. The thing is that they are perfectly healthy and big, but I swear... from the ones I observed, all that space they have to swim around and they seem to just prefer staying in that 1/8 portion of the tank just swimming around the same rocks . All this just has me thinking... is such a large tank essential in case u get a tang that truly just prefers to hang around one spot?
 

blecki

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Yes. Your tang in your small tank hangs around in one spot because it doesn't have a choice. But it depends on the size and species of the tang, and length of the tank matters too. A yellow in a 55 isn't egregious unless it's an especially large yellow. A fullsize adult sailfin gets a call from the tang police in anything under 180.
 

Kasrift

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NOTE: This is in no way ridiculing anyone, especially experienced hobbyists in any way. "tAnGs ArE aCtIvE sWiMmErS". Yes, I know they are and so does my neighbor who keeps a yellow in a 55 (has done so for 8 years), and my LFS who keeps 3 purples in a 300 and another with one in a 175. The thing is that they are perfectly healthy and big, but I swear... from the ones I observed, all that space and they swim around the same rockwork in the left corner even with some or no other fish in the tank. All this just has me thinking... is such a large tank essential in case u get a tang that truly just prefers to hang around one spot?
I don't have a big tank (yet, ordered one on black Friday), but my opinion is yes you need a large tank. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean they need don't need to "stretch" their fins to exercise/stay healthy.

I'd liken it to owning a dog. If you have a breed that needs exercise and you don't, it probably isn't living it's best life. It may still be a happy cuddle buddy, but they are meant to run and can't be cooped up all day with out causing both physical and psychological damage to the animal.
 
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XxAlex_OhxX

XxAlex_OhxX

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I don't have a big tank (yet, ordered one on black Friday), but my opinion is yes you need a large tank. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean they need don't need to "stretch" their fins to exercise/stay healthy.

I'd liken it to owning a dog. If you have a breed that needs exercise and you don't, it probably isn't living it's best life. It may still be a happy cuddle buddy, but they are meant to run and can't be cooped up all day with our causing both physical and psychological damage to the animal.
I love my dog and he has the whole yard to himself, even tho he just prefers to stay inside with us so this makes a lot of sense. Also my neighbor has been in the hobby for 16 years and still keeps that behemoth in his 55. Its not my place to talk him out of it because I barely entered the hobby 5 years ago, but should I try persuading him into getting a bigger tank?
 
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XxAlex_OhxX

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I don't have a big tank (yet, ordered one on black Friday), but my opinion is yes you need a large tank. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean they need don't need to "stretch" their fins to exercise/stay healthy.

I'd liken it to owning a dog. If you have a breed that needs exercise and you don't, it probably isn't living it's best life. It may still be a happy cuddle buddy, but they are meant to run and can't be cooped up all day with our causing both physical and psychological damage to the animal.
the 90 dollar purple tangs on Black Friday were killing me inside because i only have a 20 gallon lol
 

GARRIGA

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Few of us will ever provide any Tang with enough real estate. Seen 100 medium size yellow tangs in a six foot 100g at a wholesaler. Granted not staying for long yet all got along. None looked stress. all eating. All had all six feet to swim which probably contributed to not actually being cramped yet as stated by the author. They each mostly stayed in a section although free to roam the entire length.

Seems best option is try and if issues arise then I'm sure they'll find a new home. Doubt many with proper sized tanks would refuse it. Plus does depend on the particular tang. Seen too often it generalized as if every tang needs a monster tank and from birth. 2" anything isn't stuffed in a 75 and as it grows one can then determine if it no longer belongs. Assuming one doesn't care what the tang police think all should do. Leave it to them and sea world might be tight accommodations :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
 

Kasrift

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Few of us will ever provide any Tang with enough real estate. Seen 100 medium size yellow tangs in a six foot 100g at a wholesaler. Granted not staying for long yet all got along. None looked stress. all eating. All had all six feet to swim which probably contributed to not actually being cramped yet as stated by the author. They each mostly stayed in a section although free to roam the entire length.

Seems best option is try and if issues arise then I'm sure they'll find a new home. Doubt many with proper sized tanks would refuse it. Plus does depend on the particular tang. Seen too often it generalized as if every tang needs a monster tank and from birth. 2" anything isn't stuffed in a 75 and as it grows one can then determine if it no longer belongs. Assuming one doesn't care what the tang police think all should do. Leave it to them and sea world might be tight accommodations :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
Ya'll don't have tanks the size of Polo Reef?
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Anemone_Fanatic

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I would say that the majority of tang species do need a 6'+ tank, but that's only because lots of species which we don't see often get really big. There are plenty of species within the hobby which are totally fine in a 4' tank, and sometimes you can get away with smaller, though that's not to be counted on. These are the species suitable for a 4', by my own reckoning;

- Yellow tang
- Scopas Tang
- Purple tang (potentially)
- Gem tang (potentially)
- Tomini tang
- Whitetail Bristletooth
- Squaretail Bristletooth
- Two Spot Tang
- Yellow Eyed Kole
- Lemon Peel tang
- Mimic tang (eibli + half black)
- Powder Blue (not a good idea, but possible)
- Powder Brown (not a good idea, but possible)
- Whitecheek tang (not a good idea, but possible)

This is obviously a small minority of tang species, but there are absolutely tangs which can live in a smaller tank, and most of these are on the easy side when it comes to tangs. A good rule of thumb for open water fish like tangs is that by adding up the length of a short and a long side, the figure should be equal to 10x the total length of the fish, with the long side being no less than 6x the length of the fish. That's up to about a 6.8" fish in a 4' tank (accounting for glass thickness and such), which matches most of the tang species listed above (though some can always get bigger).
 

Reefering1

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Another aspect of tank size requirements is aggression. My fish all get along and about 80% of the time they are within a foot of each other in perfect harmony. I've wondered/ considered "do they really need their 6 foot long tank? ". Half way through the thought my desjardini sailfin goes bipolar, turns black and chases/attacks one of the others... then I realize that the other fish appreciate/need that space to feel safe, knowing they can evade and escape him. They dart away, desjardini loses sight of his target, and they re emerge somewhere else and all is well again(until his next episode). They aren't scared of him because they know they can escape. This will not be possible in a small tank or even a large tank, with too fancy of a scape(not enough rock)
 

littlefoxx

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Another aspect of tank size requirements is aggression. My fish all get along and about 80% of the time they are within a foot of each other in perfect harmony. I've wondered/ considered "do they really need their 6 foot long tank? ". Half way through the thought my desjardini sailfin goes bipolar, turns black and chases/attacks one of the others... then I realize that the other fish appreciate/need that space to feel safe, knowing they can evade and escape him. They dart away, desjardini loses sight of his target, and they re emerge somewhere else and all is well again(until his next episode). They aren't scared of him because they know they can escape. This will not be possible in a small tank or even a large tank, with too fancy of a scape(not enough rock)
Agree my purple goes through spurts every now and again where she chases all the fish in the tank then just goes back to cruising around
 

Reefering1

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Agree my purple goes through spurts every now and again where she chases all the fish in the tank then just goes back to cruising around
Yup. I like the term "bipolar". Its interesting to watch. I never had a purple, but the desjardini has quite dramatic color changes with his mood. Sometimes he turns black, then I know he's about to flip out
 

littlefoxx

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Yup. I like the term "bipolar". Its interesting to watch. I never had a purple, but the desjardini has quite dramatic color changes with his mood. Sometimes he turns black, then I know he's about to flip out
Yeah its super cool! She goes almost white when shes mad!
 

Reefering1

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Yeah its super cool! She goes almost white when shes mad!
I was impressed by how fast they change, almost instantly. My little jerk turns white when most happy/ submissive(eating food mostly). Black and white stripes when im digging around in tank, all black when he's being a jerk. I think he uses the regular blue/yellow stripes with the little freckles as camouflage to sneak up on the others
 

GARRIGA

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Ya'll don't have tanks the size of Polo Reef?
Stop Shakes Head GIF by GIPHY News
Exactly and even Polo doesn't have a tank large enough to replicate an actual reef. Best we just realize that we provide will always fall short of what our fish need and decide to keep or not to keep. I'm keeping. Don't care what any police think of that. Going Beavis and Butt-Head style tang tank... Breakin the law... Breakin the law... :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
 

Mschmidt

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Mine use the full 5' of swimming length, while mostly weaving in and out of the rocks. I also wouldn't get a fish whose max length is longer than my tank's minimum dimension. So a 6" fish is the largest I would put in my 72"x12" tank.

Edit: I fudge that though by having a powder brown and kole tang. Do as I say, not as I do;)
 

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I don’t keep tangs and that’s partially because I have seen them in the wild. They are almost always much bigger and fatter then you’ll ever see in captivity. Even public aquariums have issues getting tangs to their full size and weight. That’s not just down to tank size though. Many just don’t provide tangs with a good diet. The vast majority of their diet should be algae not mysis shrimp or other meats.

Saying that I keep massive wrasse so I’m not perfect either.
 

blecki

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That's also a little bit of confirmation bias. The big fat giant tangs you see in the wild are the exception, not the norm - they spawn in the thousands and very few survive to that age. Of those that do, not all of them will ever reach that size even in the wild. Size variation in our own species is as high as 4x between healthy individuals. We wouldn't claim someone is malnourished because they aren't Hafþór Julius Bjornsson. That 'max size' is just that. It's like listing the max height of a human at 7'6" because Yao Ming exists. It should be a bell curve. Like a yellow tang can get to 8 inches long but on average the peak of the bell curve is more like 6 inches.

But I'm sure diet helps too. They are definitely getting what they need from a meat-rich diet but perhaps with a primarily veggie diet they grow slower but also grow for much longer?
 

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