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Old 10-08-2004, 05:10 PM   #1
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Terrified Tang & New Additions

I have a 55 FOWLR (see sig), with a Yellow Tang. The Tang started out terrified of anyone who would walk into the room with the aquarium in it. He has plenty of hiding spaces, and we've had him for several months now.

He's slowly becoming used to us, but still spends most of his time behind the rockwork, eyeing us from a hole or two in it.

We have added a Serpent Star, still quite young. The Tang is terrified of it. He'll swim away from us, see the star, and run away from it. We waited two more months, then added a Firefish. I was worried about the Tang being territorial (really, this was not the order we wanted to add them in, plans got switched around - long story), and watched closely, waiting to scoop the Tang into the QT if need be.

The Tang slowly swam near the Firefish, and the Firefish darted away. This scared the Tang, who also darted away - almost right into the star who was climbing over a piece of rock. Tang darted away again.

At this point, the Firefish has figured out the game, and swims freely around the tank. The Tang usually ignores him, but if he gets too close (read: not at the opposite end of the tank), he runs away, on the other side of the rockwork.

To the best of my knowledge this isn't normal. I've gotten my water tested several times with the quick test strips (which I've now stopped using), the drip tests, and pet stores (I can't remember the numbers off the top of my head, but everything was "fine".. *dodges a rock*), he shows no signs of illness, and is eating well. He doesn't seem to show any signs of stress, just.. well.. something between caution and fear.

Based on this information, should I continue to keep them both in the same tank? I don't know if I want a 55 gallon with only a Yellow Tang in it, adorable as he is. I do have another tank I can transfer him into for the timebeing, if needed.

There has been no nipping of fins or signs of aggression from either.

If I do keep them both in the tank, any suggestions for new tankmates (to be added down the road)?

Do I just have a neurotic Tang? Am I worrying over nothing? Will he and the Firefish eventually warm up to each other? Will I get another fish? Will I take a fish back to the LFS? Will the tank explode? These questions and more answered.. whenever you answer them.
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:19 PM   #2
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I had 4 to 5 inch yellow tang that did the same exact thing. Every time i look at it or if even at feeding time he would swim away or literally hide under a rock, even though he was the biggest fish I had at that time. 3months later he died.IMO, I would return it.good luck
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:22 PM   #3
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LFS does not accept returns on any SW fish, found out after the fact.
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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yeah I made the same mistake .try another LPS that is willing to exchange the tang with something else and stick with that LPS. I went through 5 different LPS till I found one that had at least a 24 hour guarantee and was willing to give store credit for livestock, in Stockton, ca. Chicago...Hmmm?I would bet a powder blue tang that there is one in Chicago.
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:51 PM   #5
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I've already found a new LFS to purchase from, but I don't know if they'll exchange the Tang for me.. I'd also not like to stress him out more if I don't have to.

I know it probably doesn't mean anything, but I've had him for a little over 5 months, and he does seem to be getting bolder.. If there's a chance he'll survive, I'd like to keep him.

I've grown attached
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:55 PM   #6
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Update..

Looks like it might be O.K.

The Tang and the Firefish will swim past each other now, and don't seem to care that the other one is in the tank.

Both are continuing to "graze" upon the algae/copepod population.

Tang hasn't displayed his fright colors, and the Firefish hasn't been in his bolt-hole in a while.. Tang remains terrified of the starfish.

Looks like I might be able to add another fish down the road.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:52 PM   #7
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Hmmm... I had a similar problem with my unicorn tang when I got it. It would hide in the rock, often sidways ALL THE TIME. We were concerned that it might not appreciate the 75G (found out later it liked tanks 120G or larger). Well here we are a month and a half later and it, along with the rest of my fish, are eating flake from the net.
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:33 AM   #8
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I think it is a blessing that you have a non aggressive tang. Many times they are very aggressive and people need to rid of them because it. I would keep him, he may eventually come along. The firefish can't hurt him.
Besides, its sounds like a rather comical situation.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:21 AM   #9
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My tang was the same way (also a yellow)... he was scared of his shadow. Now he is one of the guys and comes up for feeding time... he also follows my Niger Trigger around the tank like they were brothers. In my experiance this is normal. Give him a bit of time. He will probably get over it all.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:51 AM   #10
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sucks mine didnt got other tangs that doin well though
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