Tang Aggression - Understanding and Combating

  1. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    No problem, glad you found it helpful!
     
  2. AJQ69

    AJQ69 Well-Known Member

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    Guys,
    I'm planning to add a Purple Tang to my reef which already have a Multibar and Lamarck, do you forsee any issues or have any bad experience with this combo or interaction? I had a yellow tang in the same tank that went crazy after yrs and started terrorizing the other fish.:(
    Please advise
     
  3. Anthony kolodziej

    Anthony kolodziej Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read the whole thread so forgive me if this was said somewhere . in my experience when adding tangs , if you have one and want another there will be problems . add 2 and everything is fine . size does not matter . I have 3 yellows and I added a vamingi . at first the yellows started thier backing up threatening but now the vamingi pushes them around . feeding a ton for sure keeps SOME of the aggression down . but not all pf it . Little spats I can cope with though . speaking of , time to feed the tangs . great thread . Oh and I do not recomend doing this . having too many tangs in one tank is asking for trouble . Ionly do this cause I am a tangoholic . I have a problem . and admitting it is the first step lol.
     
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  4. Reef_Obsessed

    Reef_Obsessed Well-Known Member

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    Great write-up! My plan, once I get my tank of 90+ gallons up and running, I plan on adding a purple, yellow, and Kole at the same time, all small size so they can grow together. Hopefully, this works!
     
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  5. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Purples tend to be more aggressive than yellows, but I don't think you'll have any problems and suspect your first zebrasoma tang was a "fluke".
     
  6. shred5

    shred5 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I agree with allot that is in this thread and some things I do not.

    One thing people do not realize is Tangs have barbs on their tales and these are dangerous and some can be very poisonous.

    Tangs are evil and can be extremely viscous and really do not mix well with each. They also do not mix well with other fish sometimes especially new additions.

    I do not believe this has anything to do with competing for food some of the time because I have seen tangs take out fish that do not compete with them for food. Recently seen a large squareback anthias added to a tank with several yellow tangs and within minutes they ganged up and killed this fish. I saw my kole in minutes kill a Banggai Cardinalfish. Kole are supposed to be one of the least aggressive. There are other fish they do not seem to touch either and to me it makes no sense.

    Also I find it does not matter which one is added last or size. I added a small white cheek and within hours he was king of the tank and ½ the size of my Kole. This tang had to be trapped in days, he was killing everything in the tank. My old Kole even though was not being attacked but challenged all the time was supper stressed.

    Fact is each tang has it own personality and some of the most docile ones can be viscous and some of the ones that are the most viscous can be docile.

    The most aggressive to me are:

    Powder blue tangs actually pretty much all the Acanthurus are.

    Purple tangs

    Powder brown

    White cheeks

    Achillies

    All the ones above are pretty even and the most aggressive tangs except powder blues which are way out there in front.

    Next I list the:

    Shoal

    Yellow

    Atlantic

    All those are pretty close too..

    I find these to be next and more docile:

    Kole

    Hippo

    Sailfin

    Chevron

    Scopas

    Naso


    To me the key to tangs is giving them lots of large caves so they do not fight over them. Also to me smaller tanks should really keep just one tang and for multiple tangs you really should have a very large tank. Also keeping multiple tangs spreads out the aggression between themselves, it also can stop aggression towards other fish. You should also have lots of places for other smaller fish to escape. Also things change fast with tangs, things can be fine one day and the next day two tangs that were buddies are trying to kill each other. Once on tang reaches a certain size it may all of a sudden be king..

    Another is keeping tangs of the same aggressiveness together. Sometimes this can be offset by size but sizes change.

    I also agree removing a tang for a while while you introduce a new tang can help sometimes. My fear is a stressed tang can be bad too and make them acceptable to ich.
    Personally I like to trap the existing boss tang and keep him in the trap for a while and introduce the new tang.

    To me it is very hard to keep multiple tangs unless you can have a lot of tangs in a very large tank. Do people keep several tangs in smaller tanks, yes and sometimes it works out and sometimes only for a while.

    I do not believe in the charts for recommended size of aquariums for Tangs. They are mostly based on size of fish and to me it should be based on aggression. I think the top ones I listed as most aggressive should have a larger tank. Obviously a larger tang will require a larger tank but there are some larger tangs like sailfin that actually are ok in smaller tanks than recommended and I am not saying a 75 gallon either that is ridiculous for a fish that gets 14".
    Some fish have large territories because they need that for food availability but in a reef tank that should never be a issues. But because this is how it is in the wild the fish does not know this sometimes and it is a issue.

    Also with tangs anything can happen. Like I said they have their own personality and everything posted an tangs is in general.

    Also remember things can change on a dime as a tang grows. There will be people who have claimed to keep this tang with this tang no issue but a year latter those two tangs killed one or the the other.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  7. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Thanks for your reply,

    You said that you dissent with many of my assertions but affirm them, by and large.

    I do agree that there's huge variance in individual temperaments, the claims made are just sweeping statements and "averages" based on observations. The primary thing I dissent with is that Multiple tangs are difficult, I've kept multiple tangs for years without much issue, but following the above rules. Has it ever backfired? Absolutely. I've had to rehome a few, or move a few as you said, because some are just horrendous. You see less of that with several tangs though, IMO.

    Find me a horrible tang that bullies everything and 9/10 times you'll show me a tank where he is the only tang or there are few relative to the size of the tank.

    All bets are off on some though, as individuals vary greatly.
     
  8. shred5

    shred5 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I never said yours assertions, I said thread.
    I also never said dissent with many, I actually said agree with allot.

    I just do not want anyone to think I was picking on them.. Your post is very good.
    It was just my ideas since I actually have been dealing with this allot lately.
    I recently had a bad issue with a white cheek that I added with a Atlantic blue at the same time.
    White cheek I swear was the spawn of Satan a Relentless killer.
    I also had to remove a Sailfin which was getting beat up bad lately.
    I now have too somehow get him back with my Kole. Sailfin is a happy camper in my frag tank right now but it is too small of a tank for long term.
    He was almost dead when I grabbed him with my hand. He is now in good health and pulled through.

    Another thing I think helps is introduce the fish just before lights out and feed first thing in the morning to distract the fish.
    The thing about acclimation boxes is usually they are too small for tangs so you need a big one or it stresses them majorly. I have a giant trap which I trap the head tang in and introduce the new fish.
    I leave the tang in there for a while and add the new tang during this time. This step works best for a a tank with one tang in.
    Sometimes adding more fish at the same time also can help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  9. Boxermom

    Boxermom Member

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    I'm surprised to see Purples on everyone's "more aggressive" list...over the years, my husband and I have had purple tangs in different sized reef tanks (a 240 gallon in the past, currently one in a 60 and another in a 50 gallon) and they seem to be fairly peaceful. The one in my 60 gallon gets excited at feeding time, but doesn't seem to have any problems with his tankmates. Interesting observations in this thread.
     
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  10. Hernan

    Hernan Well-Known Member

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    Hi to all, these is my case. My reef is 102" long, 30" high and 20" wide for a total, including sump, of 305 gallons. I have 4 wrassers, 2 bangai, 5 perculas, 1 gobio and 1 Colt tang, 1 Blue tang and 1 Purple Tang. My tank is 17 months old, 1 Vortech mp60, 1 Tunze weve maker (the big one) 2 Wav Apex and 2 hydor (big ones) and is 80% SPS.
    I'm planning to add 4 tangs at the same time at night with lights off to avoid bullying. These are the new fish: 1 orange shoulder tang, 1 yellow tang, 1 PBT and 1 Achilles tang. All are en QT and are ok; prior to putting them in the DT, I'll put them in acclimation boxes for 3 to 5 days in DT.
    The Blue tang and the colt tang have passed 2 Ich outbreak and the Purple Tang, just 1 in my Display Tang. I handle the 2 ich outbreak with lot and variety of food (frozen, dry and live), water stability and quality water. ( What I mean is that, although fish do not have Ich today in DT, Ich must be present in DT)
    Here my questions: 1- Do you feel that the procedure is ok?. 2- Are ok to add these fish considering the tangs that I alredy have? 3- Is too risky in order for a new outbreak, 4- Any other idea?
    I will apreciate very much your opinion. @4FordFamily with your experience what do you think? DSC03169.JPG
     
  11. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Unfortunately you are going to discover that unlike your current tangs, food variety, time, and water quality aren't going to cut it for the Achilles and powder blue. As soon as they go in your tank you'll have 1-4 weeks where things are fine. Followed by 1-4 weeks of ich getting noticeably worse, then 1-4 weeks of the fish suffering miserably until finally succombing.

    Your methods of ich management work well in large tanks for many if not most tangs. Achilles and Powder blue and immediate relatives are the exception. Your odds for these fish surviving more than one year in that environment are 5% or less for the Achilles and 5-10% for the powder blue if not less. Having them together serving as perfect catalyst for parasite reproduction will further reduce these odds as they'll both be sitting ducks and stress each other out.

    IMO either rehome these two, or QT and treat all current inhabitants and leave the tank fishless for 76 days and you have a good chance. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear :/
     
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  12. Hernan

    Hernan Well-Known Member

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    @FordFamily do you consider to be the same result if only introduce the PBT and orange shoulder tang.
    Very grateful for your valuable comments. Tks.
     
  13. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Hernan, yes.

    I've found cases where orange shoulders can handle ich management, as well as some sohal.
     
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  14. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Fascinating read! I noticed I have seen nothing on the Convict Tang. Is it that he is known by another name that I am not recognizing? Any thoughts on how aggressive they are would be appreciated.
     
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  15. germs101

    germs101 Well-Known Member

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    Would adding a Yellow, Sailfin, and Hippo simultaneously work? Any hope of adding a trio of Heniochus butterfly later on? This is into a 265 gallon.
     
  16. Susan Bates

    Susan Bates Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful I love the tangs, I have yellow, sailfin and nacso
     
  17. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Convict tangs I've just never personally had any experience with. From fellow hobbyist and time at LFS I put them as similar in temperament to the Atlantic blue tang (also an acanthurus tang) only perhaps slightly less aggressive.
     
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  18. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I think you would probably be fine,al although best practice in your case is to add 3+ zebrasoma simultaneously, extra points if they're not the same species. But I've seen two get by fine if added at the same time.

    The butterfly addition later would probably be OK given that you would be adding a trio. A lot of that depends on the temperament of the existing fish, as always though.
     
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  19. lou dog420

    lou dog420 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    My yellow tang is killing everything off in my tank, I hate him!
     
  20. germs101

    germs101 Well-Known Member

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    Would a desjardini and velifer with a yellow count as a trio, or are the two Sailfins too similar?
     

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