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Old 11-20-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
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Sohal Tang and Blue Face Angel

I recently upgraded my old reef to a 180 gallon tank. I moved all the same fish and corals over to that tank but just needed more room. Anyhow I was at my favorite fish outlet's 15 year anniversary sale this weekend and picked up a Blue Face Angel Euxiphipops xanthometopon. I know they are not totally reef safe but since most of my corals are softies and the more noxious softies at that I am not really worried. I am a little concerned about clam mantles but we will have to see how it goes, some reading I have done says they will nip others say they wont, others say with proper feeding they are fine.

Anyhow the problem is my Sohal Tang. He has been in the tank for about 4 months and is very bold, and is not taking very well to the angel. I know Sohals are very aggressive, mine sure is, although I never would have guessed they would be tough towards a fish from an entirely different family, that looks nothing like a tang.

The Sohal is not beating the Angel to the point of death like he would another surgeon but has kept the angel relegated to a small corner to the right of the tank. This morning the angel snuck out enough to grab some food pellets but soon the Sohal was over there putting him back in his place. My hope was with this amount of tank space and nearly 200 pds of live rock this would not be an issue.

I was wondering if anyone else had a similar occurrence and a solution? My guess is the only solution that would work is netting the Sohal and tossing him in the sump for a week or more to break any potential territories but I dont want to do this if I dont have to.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:21 PM   #2
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As you said, A. sohal's can be very aggressive to other tankmates, which is why they are usually next to last on stocking lists. Their aggressiveness does get worse as they age, so be prepared On the plus side, they are beautiful fish and constantly on the move, not to mention pretty disease resistant. Personally, I would just give it a week and see what happens. The sohal is going to pick on any fish coming into "his" tank until territories are adjusted. If the angel is being picked on to the point where it doesn't even attempt food consumption, a judgement call must be made (stress kills as well). You then have two choices on this matter, either create more hiding places (mix up the rockwork) and attempting to feed the sohal on one end and the angel on another or removing one of the two. What you don't want is escalated behavior where the angel is gashed (invites infections). Do you have any other fish? Since the sohal is a vet in the tank, I'm pretty sure he will be aggressive to any tankmate you introduce...
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:28 PM   #3
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Innovator - Thanks for the ideas, sounds like a good plan to me. Yeah there are other fish in the tank, several hawkfish, a bi-color blenny, some gobies and two barltlett's anthias. All of those fish were established before the Sohal came along and he really does not bother any of them. In fact the Blue Face is the first fish I have tried to add since I go the Sohal several months ago.

My first choice for a tang in this tank was a Powder Blue, but after numerous, intense Ich battles and constantly setting up qt tanks and hospital tanks I researched what rare and unique tang would be the hardiest and a Sohal seemed to win out. Ill keep an eye on it. The Angel is able to get pellets as they fall, although I put an algae clip with some norii near his hiding spot and it didnt seem like he had eaten any of that, although he was eating algae off the rocks where he is hiding.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:55 PM   #4
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I hope for the best as your situation is very common. I will go ahead and make some tang reccomendations (if you decide to nix the sohal) for you that tend to be not so ich prone nor aggressive:

Ctenochaetus strigosus, Kole Tang
Paracanthurus hepatus, Hippo Tang
Zebrasoma desjardinii, Desjadin's Sailfin Tang
Zebrasoma veliferum, Pacific Sailfin Tang
Acanthurus japonicus, White-Faced Surgeonfish
Acanthurus triostegus, Convict Tang

Keep trying the nori next to it's hiding place, it may take time since it is new and more worried about getting whooped on
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:26 PM   #5
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I believe you`re going to have to make a choice. My choice would be to remove the angel. I know we really deep down want to believe our angel will be good and wont munch on corals but IME they will eventually. I `ve had to evict two angels in my tank as they could not resist.You may have to get rid of the angel anyway so why not get rid of him and leave the tang.
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