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Old 11-14-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
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Surgeonfish Compatibility

Hello all,

I have a little problem. I want someone to tell me what I want to hear, however I don't think that's going to happen.

Here's the problem: I have a friend who has a gorgeous powder blue tang. We all know how hard they are to keep because of their inability to adjust to captivity. But he has had this fish for at least a year. It eats well and it's fat and healthy. He's been wanting to give it to me for quite some time because it picks on his blenny. I hadn't spoken with him in awhile (he lives about 45 miles away) and in the meantime fell in love with a kole tang at my local fish store and bought it.

My friend called yesterday and asked if I would still take this powder blue. So I did, and it's in my QT. The problem is that I have the kole tang in my display tank. The main tank is 125 gallons and it's long, rather than tall.

Whaddaya think? Any chance these two tangs might not fight? This is probably a dumb question, but I want them both. My friend was going to get rid of this powder blue no matter what, so I kind of, sort of, rescued it. But it's the healthiest powder blue I've ever seen. I have two algae clips and I can put nori on both ends of the tank and they are way different colors, but pretty close to the same size. Opinions?

Anyone live in the Vacaville, CA area who has room for one of these tangs if they don't get along?

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Old 11-14-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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Powder blue tangs are quite hardy once they have established themselves for a period of time, but they are considered aggressive. All tangs bicker regardless of numbers and it is likely yours will too. I've experienced a powder blue tang hunt down anthias in a tank over 5000 for over a week...it's just what they do.

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Old 11-14-2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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How big is the QT? In the 125 they should be OK after they get used to each other. They are different colors and different body shapes. My only concern is if the QT will hold both of them.


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Old 11-14-2010, 05:23 PM   #4
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it's up to the individual fish. i have one in a tank i maintain at the local gym. he's certainly aggressive. i'm concerned that as he grows he will not tolerate the other fish.
i put a copper band butterfly in a few months after him and he relentlessly chased him for about 3-4 days then suddenly stopped. everything seems ok now.
he also didn't eat much for the first week, but now he eats everything i throw at him.
after you add this fish you might have a lot of trouble adding anything else.

btw, this is a 150 gallon.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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The QT is 10 gallons, but the kole is already in the main tank and has been for some time. I don't want to leave the powder blue in the QT for long because he is quite large. The kole I've had for at lease two months and he's been in the main tank most of that time, so he's already established there.

Also, I don't plan to add any other fish after this powder blue, I will be maxed out. I thought that if he goes in last maybe there won't be too much of a problem. I was hoping someone would say the color and body-type difference would make it okay! Thanks!

Okay, i'm gonna try it. i'll keep the powder blue in the Qt for a couple days first. He came from my friend's display tank and wasn't sick, so I figure if he doesn't get ick from the stress of moving I'll go ahead and transfer him over.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:27 AM   #6
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Okay, so I put the powder blue tang in my main tank. There doesn't seem to be any conflict going on. The powder blue and the kole tang seem to actually be swimming together occasionally. They aren't fighting and one isn't chasing the other.

However, the kole tang looks like he has ick. I see the little salt-looking spots on him. There aren't a lot of them, so it's not too bad. None of the other fish have it, including the powder blue.

My question is this: what method can I use to treat the kole tang in the reef tank if I can't catch him to put him in the QT? I have read about some other method that is safe for the reef tank that doesn't include copper. Please advise.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:37 AM   #7
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If you see it on one fish all of them will probably have it. Qt all the fish and use hyposalinity. Should fix the problem. Or you could remove all inverts and treat the dt, but what do you do with the inverts in the meantime?
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:00 AM   #8
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I have a 10G QT set up that I can put the inverts in, but i have a couple crabs and shrimp that I'm surely not going to catch. I have an LTA that would need drip acclimation and anchor coral. would I have to remove those also or can they withstand hyposalinity?
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:17 AM   #9
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You must remove ALL the fish and treat them (preferably with hyposalinity) to rid the tank of Ich.

I bought a 30 gallon to this when I had Ich in my 125, but none of my fish were adult size at the time. You may need to use some 20 gallon rubbermaid (BRUTE) tubs to house the fish for the 6 week period to cure them.

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