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Old 12-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #11
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Really really really not trying to get off topic or start a tang war here. The minimum tank suggestions are indeed suggestions rather than rules, but they are neither harsh nor arbitrary. Tangs require more space than many comparably sized fish because of their natural behavior. One can hardly blame the exuberant aquarist for wanting them and thinking they can do fine in smaller tanks. The literature is conflicted, and the forums will never be void of the "my tang has been in a thirty gallon and is fine" guy who never ever mentions that it died a month later. Heck, I'll even admit that I had a tang in my 55. Poor guy lasted two months before the stress killed him.
If the OP chooses to keep these fish, there is nothing I can do about it except suggest a more strict water change schedule than usual (to dilute growth limiting pheromone buildup) and a varied diet. But I would suggest different fish. There are many beautiful fish that will do great in a tank that size.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #12
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There's no denying that some fish need more room, but yes, minimum requirements are arbitrary. Some say 4', some say 6' others 120 gallons, others 180+.

The only barometer that is effectively used is whether the fish, tang or otherwise, is healthy. Regardless of whether the issue might be swimming room, poor diet or poor tankmates, if a fish is healthy, it's fine & if not something needs to be done.

Keep in mind, some tangs are territorial and others are not. Territorial tangs are used to staying in relatively small areas but are more prone to aggression to defend it. Others roam many miles and they do require larger systems. How much larger? Nobody know and that's where the size becomes arbitrary. But remember this: the primary drive to roam, be territorial or aggressive is FOOD not sightseeing. If the food needs are met, the need to roam decreases as does aggression.

Like I said, keep them well fed & keep watch on their health & you will be ahead of the curve.

FWIW, I have yet to see any scientific information of the "anti growth hormone" that causes tangs or other fish to turn inside out. Why would ANY ocean dwelling animal have such a hormone? Especially when in most cases size decreases predation?
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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Don't beat yourself over it, we all make mistakes. My first SW tank was a 55 gallon and it came with a yellow and blue tangs. They were fine for about a year. The blue died at about 3". Thats how I found found out about tangs tank size and how I found this site. IMO keep and enjoy them for a few months before trading them. I aways ask any fish store if they take in trades for store credit, most independents will give around half of what they will sell them for. I tend to take my business to them. Here's 2 sites I use Saltwater Fish: Marine Aquarium Fish for Saltwater Aquariums Aquarium Store Finder - Map.
Good luck
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #14
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Information about growth inhibiting pheremones in fish can be difficult to find. Mostly you find arguments about it. I was able to locate this, however. This is not the full text, since that requires a membership.
"DJ Solomon - Journal of Fish Biology, 1977 - Wiley Online Library
... Yu & Perlmutter (1970) examined growth inhibiting factors in the zebra fish Bruchydanio rerio (Hamilton ... In nature, levels of crowding below those causing retarded growth and reproduction, may ... In flowing water, the presence of a pheromone eliciting a rheotactic response can ..."
The Abstract for this article specifically mentions growth inhibiting pheremones. Now, even if there truly was no scientific evidence to support the idea, I would still err on the side of caution.
Remember, not all health issues will manifest in a way that is immediately apparent to the aquarist, especially a novice aquarist.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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Most myths found on the Internet turn up more arguments than evidence. IF there was such a pheromone, wouldn't that be listed by every fish resource out there? Further, if such a pheromone were present, we would likely never see large tangs in captivity. They would all be stunted. Any but the largest of private aquaria would have exponentially smaller water volume than the natural habitat, resulting in constant pheromone build up. Even with 100% water changes every day. For such a pheromone to be effective in a natural reef environment, huge quantities would have to be produced.

My point is only to put the OP at ease, with proper care their animals have as much hope as any in captivity.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:26 PM   #16
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I did some more looking and found a few other scholarly articles studying growth inhibiting factors such as overcrowding, water quality, etc. They all mentioned pheremones as growth inhibiting factors. So there should be no question of IF these exist. It seems well accepted. As for why we don't see references to it on every fish site... In a very oblique and roundabout way, we do. In minimum tank size suggestions. Anyone can find the articles, but many do not put the effort. Furthermore, if "accurate information exists" really did equal "everyone should show it on their site" then no one would ever pose the question "is this aiptasia?"
Your assumption that no full sized fish would be found in any but professional exhibits is flawed. Biology isn't like arithmetic. 2 + 2 will not always equal 4 when different species and environments are compared.
This isn't an attempt to frighten the OP into giving up. It is meant to allow the OP and all followers to make informed decisions (right or wrong, but informed). I would rather be told why something may not work well than lose my favorite fish because no one told me what I was doing might not be the best for it. When I started, many people put me off ideas that I thought were great. And sometimes I didn't listen. The times I was warned and ignored it, the consequences were a bit heartbreaking. Like losing all but two of my fish to ich because I didn't run a QT. If I hadn't heeded a lot of good advice, I may have given up. I still have my tank, and I hope the OP will still have and enjoy this tank for years to come. Lets help that happen!
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:43 PM   #17
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And links to these articles are where?
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #18
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You may want to try adding garlic power or something like that to your flakes, pellets or nori. My regal also likes garlic soaked mysis.
Beautiful selection of live stock. Have been known to be prone to white spot/ick. Keep immunity high & water quality higher.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:52 PM   #19
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Well, a quick google scholar search yielded results but I can post a couple.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...130.x/abstract
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...813.x/abstract
Putative chemical inhibition of development by conspecifics in mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis - Springer
There's more, but I'm doing this from my iPhone and screen size is irritating me. Lol
Little in this is 100% conclusive but research does indicate the existence of growth inhibiting pheremones in fish. So, if there is even a chance (again, research says there is) that tank size can cause growth retardation, shouldn't we strive to provide the best possible environment for these small creatures whose lives are in our hands?
To be honest, there are many people in these forums that will never be convinced because they have already decided that they are right. No amount of evidence will prove otherwise. I'm not writing to them. I am writing to all those with open minds who want to learn how to provide the best possible care for their animals. I am writing to those who don't want to watch their favorite fish die early. And if even one person looks at this and decides to wait until they have a bigger tank, then I consider this a success.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor View Post
To be honest, there are many people in these forums that will never be convinced because they have already decided that they are right. No amount of evidence will prove otherwise.
Of the 3 articles you posted at least 2 are regarding freshwater fish, and neither list conclusive evidence in the abstract. The third only indicated that the pheromone may affect OTHER fish. Simply listing that a trait was searched for in an abstract does not mean it was found whatsoever.

The biology of freshwater fish is vastly different than marine fish. One major aspect is that they can survive in far poorer conditions than reef fish. In fact one could see the logic behind an evolved trait in freshwater fish where size was limited due to the natural limitations in size of the body of water. Marine fish live in ecosystems which are almost infinite in size compared to many freshwater species.

The reality is, you are the one passing on ideas which are not based on any kind of evidence; you decided for yourself that this pheromone exists and no lack of evidence will change your mind.

Anyways, ill digress and leave saying I hope the OP is happy & enjoying their fish. As long as you watch your fish & keep it healthy you did not make a mistake.
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