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Old 01-04-2013, 05:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MikeYQM View Post
These misconceptions are believed by many due to the disinformation provided. Opinion is not fact. Fact is backed up by scientific evidence. The OP was being very proactive in growing out his tang in a small tank, and was met with "beware the stunted growth" which is absolute myth. There is no need to get defensive, there's nothing personal in my responses. I'm simply separating fact from fiction so the OP can choose their way forward with the best information available.
It's just that you're wrong. And your style of writing did give offense. I can show you a 10 year old yellow tang that is just 3" instead of 10" as a result of growing up in a small tank. In fact, as a diver, I have seen full grown yellow tangs and you will never see them this big in most aquariums. Some fish will grow to full size, some won't.

Here is a more intelligent discussion of the topic,
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=783630
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #22
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Well, firstly, a small fish is not necessarily an unhealthy fish. Secondly, any number of factors could have led that tang to be undersized - diet, genetics etc.

On the first note, can't we flip to the other side of the coin and say, maybe our tangs are "better" being smaller? Larger tanks often have higher fish loads, causing competition, and there's no shortage of that in the wild. IF captive fish are truly smaller as a rule, purely due to environmental reasons, couldn't it simply be due to lesser competition?

Fish are known to grow larger due to status within a hierarchy, especially with schooling fish. If you remove the dominant fish from a school, another will grow to & take its place - even in adulthood. Just because the rest of the school is smaller, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them.

It's equally possible that IF stunted growth in captive fish exists, it's simply because there's no need to grow any larger, and not an indication of anything wrong whatsoever. Judging by the 10 year captive age of your reference tang, it lived a "long" and healthy life despite its possible stunted growth and time spent in a small tank.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:50 PM   #23
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Well, firstly, a small fish is not necessarily an unhealthy fish. Secondly, any number of factors could have led that tang to be undersized - diet, genetics etc.

On the first note, can't we flip to the other side of the coin and say, maybe our tangs are "better" being smaller? Larger tanks often have higher fish loads, causing competition, and there's no shortage of that in the wild. IF captive fish are truly smaller as a rule, purely due to environmental reasons, couldn't it simply be due to lesser competition?

Fish are known to grow larger due to status within a hierarchy, especially with schooling fish. If you remove the dominant fish from a school, another will grow to & take its place - even in adulthood. Just because the rest of the school is smaller, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them.

It's equally possible that IF stunted growth in captive fish exists, it's simply because there's no need to grow any larger, and not an indication of anything wrong whatsoever. Judging by the 10 year captive age of your reference tang, it lived a "long" and healthy life despite its possible stunted growth and time spent in a small tank.
I agree with most of this, but the question was does housing the fish in too small an environment have an effect? The answer is yes. Tangs have a very thin slime coat and any stress can cause this coating to break down to disastrous effect. They are horizontal swimmers that cover miles of reef in a day, where as a clown fish occupies about a cubic meter of water. Food makes a difference for sure, but providing a proper environment is also as important.

While these small yellow tangs did live a long life, there is always the possibility of spinal issues as a result of stunted growth. And these tangs were in a 300 gallon system. The hippo tangs did not seem to act this way, they got big regardless of the tank sizing. In all cases the tangs were very well fed and fat.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #24
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I agree with most of this, but the question was does housing the fish in too small an environment have an effect? The answer is yes. Tangs have a very thin slime coat and any stress can cause this coating to break down to disastrous effect. They are horizontal swimmers that cover miles of reef in a day, where as a clown fish occupies about a cubic meter of water. Food makes a difference for sure, but providing a proper environment is also as important.
Miles? Easily. I would estimate they swim 10 miles a day. I just went snorkeling here in hawaii an i saw a school of orange shoulder tangs swimming across the whole reef. Each one being about the size of a soccer ball. If you want to put a tang in a nano tank come and watch them in their natural habitat and you will start to think that they shouldnt even be in 500 gallon tanks much less a nano tank.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:58 PM   #25
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Miles? Easily. I would estimate they swim 10 miles a day. I just went snorkeling here in hawaii an i saw a school of orange shoulder tangs swimming across the whole reef. Each one being about the size of a soccer ball. If you want to put a tang in a nano tank come and watch them in their natural habitat and you will start to think that they shouldnt even be in 500 gallon tanks much less a nano tank.
That's where I'm coming from. Some fish barely budge, but tangs are different. I have six in my 300 gallon, most are over 10 years old, have never been sick and are super fat. They will never get to the size they grow naturally even though they are happy.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #26
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It's highly probable that the miles tangs swim in the wild is out of necessity for grazing purposes, not for quality of life. By the "miles" argument, no tang should be in any aquarium ever. While the relative space needed by some fish can be approximated in captivity, even an 8' tank is only 0.001 of a nautical mile. A 4' tank (considered by many to be too small) is only .0006 of a mike difference.

Yes, there can be too small of a tank for ANY fish, but so many of the justifications are based on misconceptions. How small is too small? Every tank & every fish is different. Will a 1.5" tang survive in a 10" wide tank? Sure it will and there is no factual evidence to say otherwise. That tang COULD grow to be the biggest tang in captive history, there's no way to know.

And I'd like to know why you assumed your tang suffered from a compressed spine. Barring an autopsy, there's no way to validate that whatsoever. And even IF it did, it could easily be a symptom of the natural pathological or genetic defect that caused that to happen. There is absolutely no way of knowing that that tang would have turned out differently in a 1000 gal tank.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #27
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I did not say it had spinal problems in my case. You started this discussion by saying we call everyone morons. You are the one with the attitude. Nothing you have said makes any sense, so good day to you. Hope those that listen to you reflect on your advice when it goes wrong.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #28
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I misread your post. But again, then is ZERO evidence in spinal issues in tangs resulting from stunted growth; partly because there is ZERO documented evidence of stunted growth, period.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:22 PM   #29
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There are a lot of things in life that there is not scientific proof for. I like to err on the side of caution. You could keep a large dog in a small box. Feed it, clean it and it would probably live. Doesn't mean it's a good idea. To me, the bottom line with the Tang debate is that the large majority of experienced aquarists agree with the 6' tank idea. People that disagree can absolutely do whatever they want. Deal with the consequences, if there are any, and consider yourself lucky if things go well. I agree with the original advice of getting it out of the little tank and into the 120 as soon as it grows a bit.

I have always heard that juvenile Tangs have a high mortality rate. I'd be more worried about that, regardless of tank size.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:49 AM   #30
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I "argue" to point out misconceptions and myth, which this hobby is full of. Ill take peer reviewed science over hobbyist experience any day. Remember when the experienced guys said LEDs wouldn't grow coral? Or when carbon dosing was bad? Experience leads to opinion; opinion should NEVER be offered as fact.
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