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Old 06-26-2003, 11:45 PM   #1
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Dang Tang

I have always had a terrible time keeping tangs. They are advertised as “very hardy” fish, but mine will barely last a month. I love the fish and would like some ideas on what I am doing wrong. I just lost a beautiful Achilles. I tested my water immediately after finding him. Here are the water readings:

• Temp 80.1
• pH 8.4
SG 1.024
NH3/NH4 0.3
• NO4 10
NO2 0.3

The complete inventory, minus the tang, is in my profile, but I’ll include it here for convenience.

• 65 Gal Reef
• Kent Marine BioRocker
• Protein skimmer
• 9 watt UV sterilizer
• 2 96 watt compact 50/50 6700K/blue lights
• 4" DSB
• 40 lb LR (some is Once Live Rock. Do a search on that subject for the sad details)
• Anemone Demoiselle (2)
• Blue Damsel (2)
• Blue Devil
• Blue Streak prawn Goby
• Three Spot Damsel
• Yellow Backed Damsel
• Orange Tree Gorgorian
• White carnation Tree
• Devil's
• Hand Leather Coral
• Condy Anemone
• Sea Cucumber (3)
• yellow Star Polyps
• Blue-legged Hermit crab
• Horseshoe Crab

This tang, unlike others I’ve had would not eat romaine lettuce. He would, however, gobble frozen brine shrimp, Tetra Marine flakes and just about anything else he was offered. His color was good and he had no sign of being attacked by other residents of the tank. I’ve never seen anything else go after him. All other residents in the tank appear healthy. I have had other fish in my tank for years, but the “hardy tangs” just don’t like me. Any advice would be great, but I hope you don’t tell me to tear my tank down and throw it away.
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:52 PM   #2
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Get your test kits double checked, if those readings are correct...you've got some other problems in the tank. Achilles are noted for being difficult, between those readings and the small tank (it is a 36" tank, I think), the stress would be problematic for it. Achilles are open water swimmers and I wouldn't try to keep that particular tang in anything less than a 72" tank. Were there any signs of parasitic infestation? Did you quarantine the fish?
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:33 AM   #3
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and the damsels are known for their aggression. In a small tank, they would be especially territorial. Maybe the harrasment happened after lights out.

Many of the tangs are difficult keepers. Also, many are cyanide caught, which would be atypical with the symptoms of them eating well and only lasting a month.
The kidneys/liver shut down and they cannot utilize the food. They usually only last a few weeks.
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Old 06-27-2003, 02:06 AM   #4
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RE: DANG TANG

To reefrunner69 and Hara:

Thank you both for the advice and for prompt reply. This site is the best I’ve ever seen on any subject for its members offering straightforward, prompt and expert advice. I will answer you both in this one post.

The stress idea seems to ring true. Yes, the tank is 36W x 24H x 18D. Ever since I’ve had the Achilles, he has been a “VERY" active fish. He had a loop he would rapidly swim around and around the rocks, from one end of the tank to the other, constantly. Occasionally he would turn flat-sided to the sand and brush against it. I just thought he was trying to stir up food. Would a yellow tang be has hard to keep in this tank as was the Achilles? I haven’t had much luck with those either come to think of it. The test kit I have is a Master Test Kit, manufactured my Hagen. It’s the same as my favorite LFS uses when water samples are brought to them. I will try to have my water tested this weekend for comparison to my readings however.

Unfortunately, the size of South Florida homes lived in by average people on average income (we’re not drug runners) does not allow for setting up multiple tanks, so I did not and never have been able to quarantine new fish. Perhaps I could find room, if I can find the money, for one of the MARINELAND ECLIPSE SYSTEM 12 - 12 gallons systems. Would that work as a quarantine tank or what suggestions would you have?

I didn’t realize that anyone was still using cyanide to capture fish. What a waste! Is there any way to tell that this is being done? As you said, it could be going on when the lights went out, but I never saw any of the other residents even look cross-eyed at the Achilles. If anything, he was the tank bully. I’ve seen him chase my goby back under the rocks and that sucker's got some teeth. I know that from experience.

Again, thanks for the advice. I would very much love to keep a tang or two. They are so showy, but I will follow your advice. What other somewhat large “very colorful” possibilities could you offer?
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Old 06-27-2003, 09:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Occasionally he would turn flat-sided to the sand and brush against it

This sounds like behavior signs of ick.

Quote:
I haven’t had much luck with those either come to think of it. The test kit I have is a Master Test Kit, manufactured my Hagen.
I don't want to get down on Hagen kits, so I'll just tell ya what I use and what I recommend. I use Salifert for all my test kits, if these were not available, I would use seachem.

Quote:
Would a yellow tang be has hard to keep in this tank as was the Achilles?
IMO, no, a yellow tang would be much better suited for your tank than any of the Acanthurus or Paracanthurus species, however, it is not recommended that any tang be placed in a tank that is less than 4ft in length and preferrably 18" in width. If I were going to try a tang in a 3ft tank it would be the yellow tang. Make sure the tang is a Hawaiian yellow tang to reduce the risk of a cyanide caught fish.

Quote:
Perhaps I could find room, if I can find the money, for one of the MARINELAND ECLIPSE SYSTEM 12 - 12 gallons systems. Would that work as a quarantine tank or what suggestions would you have?
I think an eclipse 12g would make an excellent quarantine tank, but I do not feel it has to be that elaborate. Check out these links..
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=17
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=18

Quote:
I didn’t realize that anyone was still using cyanide to capture fish
It is quite extensively used in the Phillipines and Indonesia, however, there is very little chance your Achilles was cyanide caught since they are Hawaiian fish.

Quote:
I would very much love to keep a tang or two.
As I pointed out earlier your tank is not really suited for a tang, so if you do get one, restrict yourself to one.

Quote:
What other somewhat large “very colorful” possibilities could you offer?
Unfortunately when you enter the realm of "Reef Safe", tangs and some angels are about it. There are a few predators you could get, but chances are you'd be battling nitrates and the addition of a predator will limit the fish and shrimp you can keep. You might, however, consider a fairy wrasse, very active fish and extremely colorful, although IMO these fish really need to be quarantined.
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