My powder brown tang is starting to bully my sailfin tang

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Brett S

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So both of these fish have been in my tank for more than a year. I don’t even remember which one was added first, but up until now they never really paid any attention to each other. However lately my powder brown tang isn’t letting my sailfin tang leave his spot in the rocks. As soon as the powder brown sees the sailfin out in the water he will chase him back to the rocks. Once the sailfin is in the rocks the powder brown leaves him alone… at least until he ventures out again. He isn’t being super aggressive… there’s no slashing of tails and neither fish is injured at all, but it’s got to be stressful for the sailfin if nothing else. And the funny thing is that the sailfin is much bigger than the powder brown. Probably at least twice the size, not even counting his sail. The powder brown leaves everyone else alone - except my magnetic algae scraper… he hates the algae scraper and whenever I use it he will try to attack it and slash at it with his tail. He’s much more aggressive with the algae scraper than with the sailfin tang.

Any ideas on what I can do to get him to leave the sailfin alone?
 
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Jeffcb

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I have the same situation with a Purple Tang and a Scopas Tang. They got along fine for about a month. I added them to the tank at the same time. Now the Scopas make the Purple stay in a cave. When I feed them the Purple Tang comes out and gets his share but the Scopas chases him back to the cave. I use 2 algae clips and put one by the cave entrance! The Purple sneaks out and grabs a bite and runs back in the cave. I have 5 tangs. The Scopas just picks on the Purple, no one else.
 
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Jmcg89

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So both of these fish have been in my tank for more than a year. I don’t even remember which one was added first, but up until now they never really paid any attention to each other. However lately my powder brown tang isn’t letting my sailfin tang leave his spot in the rocks. As soon as the powder brown sees the sailfin out in the water he will chase him back to the rocks. Once the sailfin is in the rocks the powder brown leaves him alone… at least until he ventures out again. He isn’t being super aggressive… there’s no slashing of tails and neither fish is injured at all, but it’s got to be stressful for the sailfin if nothing else. And the funny thing is that the sailfin is much bigger than the powder brown. Probably at least twice the size, not even counting his sail. The powder brown leaves everyone else alone - except my magnetic algae scraper… he hates the algae scraper and whenever I use it he will try to attack it and slash at it with his tail. He’s much more aggressive with the algae scraper than with the sailfin tang.

Any ideas on what I can do to get him to leave the sailfin alone?
Did you have any improvement? I have a similar issue with a powder brown and hippo.
 

Uncle99

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They have to work it out, one way or another.
Such behavior can exist for weeks, but in many cases, this should subside once the potential protection of existing hierarchy or a change in status in the hierarchy has been completed.
Hierarchies are not static and may change over time.
 

JumboShrimp

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My Rabbitfish grew from 1” to 5” in the same tank as my large Emperor Angel— literally right before his eyes. Then one day two weeks ago the Emperor suddenly “noticed” the Rabbitfish for the first time (yeah, right?) and chased him for the better part of a week; made the Rabbitfish camouflage and hide under the overflow box, and took chunks out of his tail fin, too. Now things are almost back to normal. Go figure. :(

I almost left out the best part. I didn’t know what to do at first so I change the lights over to blue. When that happened the Rabbit Fish could swim right past the Emperor almost like he became invisible. I change the lights back to white and the chase was right back on.
 
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Brett S

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Did you have any improvement? I have a similar issue with a powder brown and hippo.
I did, actually. It went on for a good two or three weeks and never got super aggressive. Neither fish hurt the other and the sailfin seemed to still be managing to get enough to eat, so I just let them work things out. And then suddenly one day the powder brown just started ignoring the sailfin again. No idea what happened, but they’ve all been getting along fine since then
 

Jmcg89

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I did, actually. It went on for a good two or three weeks and never got super aggressive. Neither fish hurt the other and the sailfin seemed to still be managing to get enough to eat, so I just let them work things out. And then suddenly one day the powder brown just started ignoring the sailfin again. No idea what happened, but they’ve all been getting along fine since then
Awesome! Thanks
 
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