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Old 01-19-2010, 10:21 AM   #1
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Powder Blue Tang vs. Powder Brown Tang

This weekend I'm planning to get two tangs for my 150G. This will be the last livestock I buy for a while. Here's what's in there already:

250 lbs. LR
Mandarin Goby
Cave Goby
Two-Spot Goby
Green Clown Goby
Firefish Goby
Bi-Color Blenny
CUC
4 Bangai Cardinals

I definitely want to get a yellow tang, and looking around at a couple of places I'm between two other tangs for the other spot: a powder blue and a powder brown.

I'm wondering if there's any significant difference between these two guys besides their color. They both look like they're in great shape, though the powder brown is at the same store as the yellow tang I'm looking at, and their water is more similar pH-wise to what I have in my tank. I'm leaning towards the brown one for these reasons but am very open to suggestions.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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You're brave. Although I believe they are two of the most attractive tangs, I think they're ick magnets. If not magnets, from what I've read and seen over the years, they definitely aren't as hardy as others. They are in the same family, genus, or whatever ya call it, so they will have some sparring before they settle into their heirarchy. That sparring has a good chance to make one of them stress and get those little white spots. Then again, you may totally luck out and have no problems. I wouldn't be that brave.

Have a large QT tank to let them settle their differences in? If not, and my fears come true, then you've got an infection in the main. Oh shoot! I don't mean to be a naysayer. Sorry.

So, your goal is to have three tangs? These two and a yellow? I think the yellow goes in last and he'll have to be larger.

Ever thought about different families of tangs to cut down the agression from having them all in the same family. Consider a bristletooth tang, a naso maybe, and the yellow. I got lucky and planned my threesome. Had a medium purple already. QT'd a naso and bristletooth (same size as each other and the purple). Added those 2 to the purple in the main. No agression at all. The naso died and I added a larger yellow. The purple and yellow (same family again) tustled for about a week and settled on the yellow being the boss. The 3 of them were inseperable.

Again, you're braver than me if you do either of the powders.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:36 AM   #3
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Here's what I planned on:

1. Yellow tang
2. Powder Blue OR Powder Brown

I wasn't really planning on having three tangs in the tank, at least not at this point.

I was thinking they would end up in the display at the same time, though the largest QT I have at the moment is 10G (my 20G is in use right now by the lovely damsels that will go in after the tangs). I'm assuming both of them in the same 10G is a bad idea, so once they look healthy on their own I guess it would be time to put them in the DT together...

I was mainly looking for any reason to pick either the blue or brown over the other, and it sounds like there really isn't any so far...
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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Well, it just seems to me that I've seen more blues than browns successful in captivity. Nothing scientific, just observations over the years from other's tanks and comments.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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All right. Do you still think there's a big risk to stress/ich with just the two tangs?
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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If it were me, I'd make the powder blue a bit larger than the yellow so he doesn't feel threatened or get bullied and add them at the same time. I just be hesitant to put a powder blue directly into the main with QTing - for any reason, not just that there's another tang.

There's just a larger ick risk with any of the powder'd tangs IMO.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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I didn't read through the entire thread, but the powder brown depends on the species since there are two by that name, amongst other names. Acanthurus nigricans is the less hardy compared to Acanthurus japonicus. In general, if you are going to QT then being "ich magnets" doesn't matter much, but if you are not then I can almost guarantee you will introduce parasites into your main display.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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I see, I didn't realize there were two different species of the powder brown. Doing a quick google image search, the one I'm looking at is the Acanthurus japonicus. Nice catch, Innovator.

So I plan to QT of course, but I guess I'm not sure what would be the best way to do so -- with the tangs together or separate. If they were separated they would be in their own 10G tanks each, but if they were together I suppose I could kick the damsels out of their 20G and put them... somewhere.

I've looked at the articles around here but there isn't much about this -- is there anything I should do to try and prevent problems with parasites while QTing? Is the standard 2-3 weeks a good idea or is there a way I can know for sure when they will be OK?
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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How large will the tangs be? You could get away with 2 in a 20g if reasonably small, but I wouldn't use a 10g. As for QT, the standard is 30 days. If you plan to use hyposalinity I would begin after 24hrs of QT acclimation. I would also de-worm within the 30 days as well.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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Both of them are less than 3" long, I think the yellow may be a little bit smaller, but not by much.
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