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wake49 06-28-2009 11:34 AM

Tang Compatibility?
I started my 135, and after I threw the lights up top, I noticed that there were good size scratches on the inside of the glass! Right in the viewing area! Last time I buy used...

Anyway, the LFS guy was real good about it, and upgraded me to a 150 Reef Ready, with all brand new plumbing. I picked it up Thursday and it is sitting in my Living Room. I have to transfer the 135 gallon over to the 150, and that is this week's project.

So, to the point of this thread: Since the tank is chock full of swimming space (6 ft long, 18 inches wide, and 27" tall), I decided I want to have a nice variety of tangs in my tank. I currently have a Hippo Tang, a Green Mandarin, a pair of True Percs, one Bangaii Cardinal (I'm getting him a friend or two, I'm just waiting for my LFS to bring in TR again), and a Spotted Rabbitfish. I house a variety of softies and LPS, and of course inverts (peppermint shrimp, fire shrimp, crabs, snails, RBTA, and a couple of SS Starfish).

I want to add at least three tangs: a Desjardini Sailfin, a Powder Blue or Powder Brown (depending on what's available) and a Kole Tang.

Would I have any problem with this combination of fish? Is there an order that they should be added? I don't believe that any of these are from the same genus, so I would believe that it would be more a question of order, but I would still love some feedback.

p.s. - if I find a good specimen of Clown Tang, I would like to add him down the road. Would he get along with these fish?

Thank you.

Pasfur 06-28-2009 04:48 PM

The is an art to combining Tangs in an aquarium, so lets discuss specifics. To answer your question, YES, you can have a Hippo Tang, Desjardini Sailfin, Powder Blue (or Brown), and Kole all in your aquarium. I'm not sure if you have achieved this mix of fish on purpose or by conicidence, but each of these Tangs is from a different Genus, which makes them much more apt to get along in captivity.

Your existing Hippo Tang is in a Genus of its own, the Paracanthurus genus. It is very closely related to the Power Blue and Brown Tangs, which are Acanthurus tangs. For this reason, I would be most cautious when adding this mix together on your list. You may want to add 2 or 3 Tangs at the same time, introducing the Powder Blue in this mix. I strongly suggest a Powder Blue, because the Powder Brown is EXTREMELY difficult to keep. For the record, the Clown tang is also an Acanthurus Tang, so it should added at the same time as the Powder Blue for best chance at success. Also, you should know that the Acanthurus genus as a whole is more difficult to keep than the other members of the family. They take much longer to acclimate to captivity and are prone to internal parasites.

The Desjardini Sailfin Tang is a Zebrasoma, the most territorial on your list. I would suggest adding this fish last, or adding a smaller size. For example, I added a Yellow Tang to my 180 first, but it was much smaller in size than the future Tang additions. If you want to keep a Purple Tang or Yellow Tang in your tank, you should add these fish at the same time as the Desjardini. By the way, the Desjardini is extremely durable and will be a great fish for you.

The Kohl Tang is from the Ctenochaetus genus, which are the smallest of the Tangs and the best algae eaters for a reef setting. They are also rather passive in comparison, so you may want to add the Kohl Tang first. You may also find the Chevron and Tomini Tangs available at the LFS, each of which are Ctenochaetus.

The only genus you did not mention that is commonly available is the Naso genus of Tang, which includes the "Naso" Tang and the Unicorn Tang species. This genus grows rather large and is probably best left out of a 150 gallon tank. I had to think long and hard about adding a Naso tang to my 180, and I feel that a 180 is the absolute smallest size aquarium that this genus of fish would be comfortable in.

Just remember, when mixing Tangs of the same genus, add them to the aquarium at the same time. Also, do not add Tangs that are similar in color, such as the Yellow Tang and Lemon Tang, despite being from a different genus.

This link may help with the scientific names: Surgeonfish, Tangs, Unicornfish and Moorish Idols

wake49 06-30-2009 09:20 AM

Thanks Mark. I did do some research to pick one Tang from each Genus, because I have heard that different genuses will get along better in the aquarium.

I think I will add the Clown Tang first, and see how he gets along with the Hippo. I assumed that the Acanthurus and Paracanthurus were closely related just by their names being so similiar. Will he do better if I add him with the Kole, at the same time? Maybe I will ask the LFS to hold the Clown Tang if it is a real small fish. My Hippo is about 4" now. Are Hippos generally territorial?

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