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Old 01-14-2004, 09:12 AM   #1
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Fishy Behaviour

I have recently added a Sailfin Tang (yellow tail) to my fish only aquarium. The results of which has been largely disappointing. I have a Maroon Clown, NasoTang, Majestic Angel and a High-Fin Snapper in the tank. Prior to the addition of the sailfin everyone was in excellent shape and quite content. The Sailfin has been in the tank for about a week and I have noticed huge chunks of fin missing from my clown, a few nibbles from my naso's fins and a few nibbles from my Angle's fins. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions - should I get this sailfin out of this tank? Is this typical behavior? Is this an adjustment period?

I hate to see the beauty and health of my original tankmates compromised due to an unruly addition.

Any help - greatly appreciated.

PS - this is really upsetting as I had this problem with henni's which I quickly returned then specifically asked my LFS about the sailfin and he indicated they do not nip fins!

Tom
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Fishy Behaviour

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadNucleus
I have recently added a Sailfin Tang (yellow tail) to my fish only aquarium.
Do you mean a Sail fin Zebrasoma veliferum or a Purple tang Zebrasoma xanthurum? The purple can be quite territorial and aggressive.

Quote:
I have a Maroon Clown, NasoTang, Majestic Angel and a High-Fin Snapper in the tank. Prior to the addition of the sailfin everyone was in excellent shape and quite content.
This, IMO will be most of the problem. Too many large growing territorial fish. In the absence of LR for the fish to establish territories, this can be even worse as each fish tries to establish some type of pecking order (dominance). In a 125 gal, you are best off with only 2 large species, a 3rd is pushing it and the final 4th is most likely instigating the aggression.

Quote:
The Sailfin has been in the tank for about a week and I have noticed huge chunks of fin missing from my clown, a few nibbles from my naso's fins and a few nibbles from my Angle's fins. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions - should I get this sailfin out of this tank? Is this typical behavior? Is this an adjustment period?
I would remove the last addition if it's been a week and no lessening of aggression. Typically there will be a few days of tail slapping and chasing but after this much time, you may end up with a dead fish or at the least sick/injured.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 01-14-2004, 12:37 PM   #3
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Steve,

Thanks for your thoughts. Sort of what I figured. This guy has to go (BTW he's a Zebrasoma veliferum). The LFS has told me to give it a few more days but said he would take him back full credit.

Your suggestions on LR seem mighty reasonable - guess I should look into this. I have much decorative imitation coral but it's probably useless in terms of tankmates establishing territories.

One last question - Do you know the behavioral characteristics of the Rooster Snapper (Hi-fin snapper).

Thanks so much for the help.

Tom
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadNucleus
One last question - Do you know the behavioral characteristics of the Rooster Snapper (Hi-fin snapper).
I have have no personal experience with this fish (Symphorichthys spilurus) but if you post a specific question I am sure someone will have an answer either through experience or proper research.

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Old 01-14-2004, 11:30 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if Rooster Snappers are anything like Emperor Snappers but I work at a large fish aquarium attraction and our two inch Snapper became two feet in a little over a year and will eat almost anything that will fit in his mouth (he leaves the butterflies and tangs alone but look out pompino) He grew really really fast.
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:49 AM   #6
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Steve and Xenos,

Thanks for the info. Seems the only fish taking hits is the Clown. About the Snappers growth - I've heard the hi-fin also grows fast and will eat anything that will fit in his mouth - in fact I'm starting to think that it was not the sailfin but the snapper that was ninpping at the other fish's fins.

Funny thing though - I left my computer monitor on one night and in the morning did not find any new damage - have left it on for the last several nights and everyone seems to be ok - so I have a new thoery on this: Check it out and let me know if you think it's all wet.

Whichever fish was doing the nipping (assume the snapper just cause his name fits was occassionally stumbled across by other fish in the pure darkness of the room - this resulted in a small battle since the aggressor would be 1.) startled and 2.) not sure of the threat. Hence a bit of "moonlight" ensures 1.) that milder fish don't stumble into the aggressors path and two even if they do the aggressor does not see them as a threat since he recognizes them from daily activitiy and familiarity.

What the Heck - I can't seem to find any other explination

Tom
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:15 PM   #7
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It is possible but if you also consider the fact the problems did not start until after the 4th fish was added, the number of fish moreso than what you've suggested above would be the problem. With some additional reading I have found that they also do not do well in FO tanks and need the security that LR can provide. Somethig else to consider.

In each instance of aggression it was after a new fish is added, the snapper was there living peacefully with the others previously correct? Whichever fish you decide to keep, I do not think the main cause is not the lack of light.

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Old 01-15-2004, 12:55 PM   #8
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Steve,

thx for the input. Yeah, you are likely correct. I know it was a long shot on the evening lights, maybe just coincidence. I suppose I should just get over my unfounded paranoia of live rock and put a few pieces in. As for the Snapper, you are correct nothing seemed to be happening until after the Sailfin tang was added, however, the snapper was added about 3-4 weeks prior to the sailfin. And several LFS swear up and down that Sailfin Tangs will not take chuncks of fin out

Based on the description of my 125 tank (via profile) do you think I could just buy some LR and add it or do you think I need to do something special prior to doing so. Also how much should I add?

Really appreciate the insight and info.

Tom
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:07 AM   #9
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Great post!
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Old 01-19-2004, 10:35 AM   #10
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Bonestock,

Glad you found some interest here. A lot of good contributions. BTW All tank mates are now happy. No new nipping and no one looks stressed or uncomfortable. I have to tell you, I am still leaning a bit in the direction of evening light. I think that total darkness in the evening is stressful to captive marine fish. Therefore I am in the process of building a Moonlight. It sort of makes sense as recent research shows that in order to get many species to breed in captivity, a moon light is necessary.

For now I continue to leave my Monitor on in my home office with a solid pale blue screen displayed.

If nothing else, maybe my buddy the Naso Tang will become Computer Literate.

Check DIY forum '5 LED Moonlight' initiated by the 'King of Moonlights' Mr. Yaksplat. Also in Salt, general discussion 'Moonlight=good' initiated by me.

Chat Lata'

Tom
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