Tang Aggression - Understanding and Combating

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4FordFamily

4FordFamily

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We have a lot of snails, not many hermits (which i wouldn't care if they disappeared lol. They always attack my snails.) 2 peppermint shrimp that I've seen like twice in 6 months lol. I'd hate to lose a lot of the snails, I love having a bunch to help keep the tank clean.
I wonder if adding both would be too much at this point. I know blue hippos can get pretty big and we already have two yellows, lt, vlaminigi, magnificent foxface which are all pretty good size. The new landscape i did does offer lots of swimming room and hiding places though.
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Your call, they may eventually outgrow the tank, no doubt.
 
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4FordFamily

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Crustoceous

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I know there’s a lot of people suffering through the tang addition problem... I’ve had a lot of success by using the mirror trick to distract the hell out of the existing tangs. Recently I added a baby blue hippo (about silver dollar size) to my 175g tank with an Atlantic surgeon (he’s a dick), purple tang and blonde naso, all about 5”. The purple was super aggressive at first, I don’t know why, maybe the yellow tail. I put a full size mirror on one side of the tank and a small travel mirror on the other end. The larger fish ended up congregating by the small mirror to flex while the baby hippo stayed on the other side, I’m thinking because he felt he had another small hippo to hang out with. I left it like that for a couple days and was able to take the mirrors down with no issues... I saw some aggression from the Atlantic surgeon and put the small mirror back up and it diffused all issues. Everyone is doing great and the baby hippo isn’t part of the tang gang yet but he is doing well and no one pays him any attention. For reference the tank is about 8 mos old and the most senior tang, the Atlantic surgeon was silver dollar size in March...

what’s interesting is the hippo hangs out on the left side predominantly and has his own hidey-hole there, and the others like to congregate near where the mirror was. There’s also a foxface that is part of the crew.
 

shnapper20

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hi currently planning stocking list on a new 6ft*2ft*2ft sps dominant cade tank. The tangs I would like to keep are a combination of
hippo tang
yellow tang
Achilles tang
powder blue tang
purple tang
I also like powder brown and gold rimmed. The must haves are the Achilles and yellow tang. I intend to add a pr. of Ocellaris Clownfish, a flame hawk, a 6line wrasse and a couple of damsels, wait a few months then add the tangs. I'm thinking hippo and yellow tang first, wait a month then Achilles, pbt and purple tang. From what I've read going back through the posts this would be doable, but would appreciate any advice prior to taking it on. I've kept tangs in a variety of tanks over the years. thanks in advance john
 

lmm1967

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Tank is standard 6' 180 mixed reef

Current tangs in tank:

Kole Tang - 4" - general boss of the tank but really only bossy if anyone else is showing signs of aggression (killed a hawkfish that was belligerent)

Silver dollar size hippo (recent addition)

Hoping to add either a Purple or Sailfin.

Reasonable chance of no issues?
 

mdrobc13

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Current tangs in residence in order of addition:
Naso tang, Yellow tang x2, Hippo tang, Chevron tang, Orange Shoulder tang, Achilles tang, Lavender Tang, Purple Tang. All get along well. No aggression...just a lot of quick eating at food time as some are a bit more quick on the draw at feeding time than others. Tank mates include small damsel, Angel, small maroon clown, small orange clown, 4-5 green chromis Angel, Pgymy angel, purple psuedochromis, small filefish (atipsia eater), and med Racoon Butterly (atipsia eater). Will likely re-home Naso tang as he's grown from small to Med-Large in less than 10 mos and would do better with more space...he's also the 1st one at the dinner bell too! :)

Key for me to minimizing aggression has been adding tangs in terms of temperament (easiest 1st - least last) and also in groups (added orange shoulder and achilles together along with lavender to ensure all were used to each other and tank at same time) and where I was able also quarantined them together too. Feed regularly and add nori in separate stations on opposite sides of tank to minimize aggression and distract some of the more robust feeders. So far more success than not...takes a bit of planning though and even had to re-home an orange shoulder that I thought was too big and might be too aggressive to my achilles and get a smaller one so I could introduce together. Worked well,
 

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Also the 2 yellow tangs seem to have figured things out now. It helps that the smaller one has caught up to the larger one size wise. We don't even seen them fight anymore. Every now and then they will chase each other for a second if one tries to go in a hiding spot the other is already in but that's it.
I wonder if initially having 3 yellow's and the smallest one (who got beat up pretty bad in QT) dying early on made a difference in the two we have now getting along? Maybe that combined with them QTing together plus having more decent sized, active fish in the tank now?
Thanks for all the tips and help @4FordFamily
What did you do I'm having the same problem. My LFS told me to get two because I have a very aggressive domino damsel. The first three days was good. But now the small one done let the one grass the rocks getting worry. What should I do. I have a 90 gal bow front tank with some LR only.
 
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jaxteller007

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What did you do I'm having the same problem. My LFS told me to get two because I have a very aggressive domino damsel. The first three days was good. But now the small one done let the one grass the rocks getting worry. What should I do. I have a 90 gal bow front tank with some LR only.

@4FordFamily is the expert but for us, having lots of hiding spaces, rearranging rock some, and putting a mirror across the front with sheet over the tank and lights out for a couple days worked. Also have lots of nori available so they don't feel like they only have one spot to graze.

Since this post we now have the two yellows, huge lt tang, vlaminigi tang that gets bigger every day, flame tang and just added a medium blue tang.

We also overfeed probably but it seems to keep every fat and happy.
 

jaxteller007

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Not laughing at your situation but I laugh at the thought of a domino damsel dominating our tank. Not that they aren't mean (I've been bit by some damsels) just that our tank now is full of some decent sized fish, don't think a damsel would stand a chance.
Then again I've seen our mean female clown chase the biggest fish in our tank away from her spot lol.
 

Dave2245

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Not laughing at your situation but I laugh at the thought of a domino damsel dominating our tank. Not that they aren't mean (I've been bit by some damsels) just that our tank now is full of some decent sized fish, don't think a damsel would stand a chance.
Then again I've seen our mean female clown chase the biggest fish in our tank away from her spot lol.
No I understand domino was one of the bigger one in the thank cause he would bully everyone for the food. He also bite me a few times when I do water changes. It's like he's not scared of anything. But now with the tangs being the same size he calm down some. I just now have to clam down these tangs.
 
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For whatever reason, small hippo tangs seem to fly under the radar of more aggressive tangs. Sometimes they do not, however -- but I have seen this many times! Glad you have some tang harmony!

hi currently planning stocking list on a new 6ft*2ft*2ft sps dominant cade tank. The tangs I would like to keep are a combination of
hippo tang
yellow tang
Achilles tang
powder blue tang
purple tang
I also like powder brown and gold rimmed. The must haves are the Achilles and yellow tang. I intend to add a pr. of Ocellaris Clownfish, a flame hawk, a 6line wrasse and a couple of damsels, wait a few months then add the tangs. I'm thinking hippo and yellow tang first, wait a month then Achilles, pbt and purple tang. From what I've read going back through the posts this would be doable, but would appreciate any advice prior to taking it on. I've kept tangs in a variety of tanks over the years. thanks in advance john
I'd advise against both achilles and powder blue -- if you really want to try it you can but it is riskier. The rest should work out just fine. Add them together if you do it, and with another tang, such as the purple, as you mentioned.

As far as advice, the originally post in this thread covers it all, I wish I had more secret sauce but I haven't added anything haha! Nice fish selection, by the way! :)

Tank is standard 6' 180 mixed reef

Current tangs in tank:

Kole Tang - 4" - general boss of the tank but really only bossy if anyone else is showing signs of aggression (killed a hawkfish that was belligerent)

Silver dollar size hippo (recent addition)

Hoping to add either a Purple or Sailfin.

Reasonable chance of no issues?

In your case, it sounds like you don't have a lot of tangs currently. This is a riskier proposition, because in your tang's mind, it's been able to defend it's turf "successfully" (no challengers, really). So the expectation of being the sole tang in the territory is there, and you'll be adding other tangs. Kole can be particularly surly when they're "tank boss" or have "only tang syndrome" (so to speak). However, a social acclimation box may help but this is a risky addition on that ground, IMO. If you added two tangs, you may increase the odds of success. Kole and Purple often tangle with each other due to somewhat similar appearance. Just food for thought! :)

Not laughing at your situation but I laugh at the thought of a domino damsel dominating our tank. Not that they aren't mean (I've been bit by some damsels) just that our tank now is full of some decent sized fish, don't think a damsel would stand a chance.
Then again I've seen our mean female clown chase the biggest fish in our tank away from her spot lol.
I had a 2.5" Sergeant Major damsel in a quarantine tank that badgered 6-8 inch tangs, angels, puffers, and even triggers. Even bullied a large King angel almost to the point of death. I couldn't believe my eyes!
 
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jaxteller007

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I had a 2.5" Sergeant Major damsel in a quarantine tank that badgered 6-8 inch tangs, angels, puffers, and even triggers. Even bullied a large King angel almost to the point of death. I couldn't believe my eyes!

Our fist saltwater tank came with two convict damsels or whatever (black and white) and you talk about freaking mean! Would chase my hand anytime i put it in the tank and try and bite.

Now the only truly mean fish in the tank is the female clown. Her and her mate stay pretty much constantly at the top by one of the corner returns and I've seen the female straight chase away any fish that comes in that spot. Except our one chromi who hung out with them non stop for awhile.
 
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4FordFamily

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Our fist saltwater tank came with two convict damsels or whatever (black and white) and you talk about freaking mean! Would chase my hand anytime i put it in the tank and try and bite.

Now the only truly mean fish in the tank is the female clown. Her and her mate stay pretty much constantly at the top by one of the corner returns and I've seen the female straight chase away any fish that comes in that spot. Except our one chromi who hung out with them non stop for awhile.
I don't have much love for damsels... I'll leave it at that. Haha
 

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Thanks to 4Fordfamily for your advice. I did change my rock work from one big landscape to three different islands and the fighting between the both of my yellow tangs stop. Before one was fighting the other because it did not want him to graze any of the rocks. I guess he felt all of it was his. But now they both graze with no problems. Sometime they pick at each other but it's not as bad as before.
 
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Thanks to 4Fordfamily for your advice. I did change my rock work from one big landscape to three different islands and the fighting between the both of my yellow tangs stop. Before one was fighting the other because it did not want him to graze any of the rocks. I guess he felt all of it was his. But now they both graze with no problems. Sometime they pick at each other but it's not as bad as before.
I am glad you found success!! Congratulations :)
 

Dave2245

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I am glad you found success!! Congratulations :)
No thank you, you know ya just want to set down and watch your tank. But when they was fighting I didn't want look at it at all. I do care for everyone in the tank. I didn't like bulling. So I am glad it's over.
 
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