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Old 11-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #1
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Unhappy Is my Blue Tang shy or dying?

Hi there,
I just bought a blue tang to keep my clownfish company; and expected the same "movement" that I saw in the LFS or from my clown. When I gradually introduced it to the tank, it went deep in the LR and comes out only briefly but can be seen peeking from inside small holes in the rock. Last night it slept on its side under a rock. When the lights came on this morning, it swam up and into its normal Peeping routing.
Is this normal?
Should I rearrange the rock?
Its not going for the sinking pellets. What should I be feeding it?
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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Sounds normal for a new hippo tang. They are weird IMO sometimes. Laying sideways unders rocks, etc. I never had one though.

Tangs need veggies more than anything else. Try a sheet of green algae or nori from the chinese food place. That's the green stuf they wrap sushi in. Don't touch the rocks since that will stress him even more.

How long has he been in the tank?
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #3
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They are a rather shy species. When mine was in QT is was always on its side under the heater. or a piece of pvc whenever it knew I was in the room. If I sat far away and kept still it would start swimming around. It's still a bit skittish, but much less so now.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:17 PM   #4
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I agree. I`ve seen many a hippo tang do the same thing at the LFS or in someone`s tank. Sounds normal to me. I also agree with trying some seaweed selects.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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Thanks very much. I just purchased some of BigAl's Seaweed Delight and a mounting clip. Will try that for my new addition. Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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How can you be sure its not dying?
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:11 PM   #7
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I that doesn't get him eating, try frozen brine soaked in Garlic Guard. Don't rely on it though since tangs do need vegetables. Rinse the frozen shrimp cube with FW first. The water its frozen in is notorius for being loaded with phosphate.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:12 PM   #8
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Because they do it too often. I`m sure one day it might but I`ve seen many a hippo tang sleep like that or just chill out that way.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:51 AM   #9
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You know, only now I found out these guys are called Hippo Tangs... I always thought it was just blue tang, or regal tang.

In either case, that sounds like normal blue tang behaviour (I have a small (1.5") in my aquarium.) He's been in the aquarium for around 3 weeks now... he sleeps in the rocks, on his side, with only his eye peeping out. It's how they stay safe at night it seems. They like the comfort of the rocks. Don't worry about hermits or shrimp trying to feed on him either, I haven't had any problems.

Give him a few days and he should be out and about, especially during feeding time. Note that in the future it's always a good idea to ask your LFS (big al's?) how long they've had the fish for, ask what they're feeding it, and ask them to show you it's eating... they get asked these questions all the time, and will usually have food nearby to show you they're eating.

Blue tangs have tiny mouths, and I find they don't go too much for the pellets, and will not attempt to go for most foods that are bigger than their mouth, even if it's seaweed. In the wild they eat tiny itty bitty bits of algae floating around.

My tang wouldn't eat at first either. I filled up a small mug with aquarium water, then added a tiny (1" square) piece of seaweed to it. I mixed it up for a good 5 minutes with a stir-stick. The seaweed broke down to tiny pieces of seaweed very closely resembling algae.

Only took a few seconds after pouring that into the water for the tang to finally come out and eat the tiny bits of green floating around... everyone feasted for a few minutes. Just be careful not to put in too much of the water at a time, you don't want to pollute the water either.. the bits of seaweed can get into your liverock and rot away.

Hope this helps...
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:01 AM   #10
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Yup what Justin said. I have a hippo tang that I swore was dead several times. He sleeps on his side, behind a stack of live rock and he's almost bent in half. He seems to be the most happy hiding behind the rockwork. If he's not hiding he's contorting himself between the tiny spaces between the liverock. I actually went as far as to remove some the liverock because I thought he was dead and caught up in the rock.....I was wrong. The only thing I might add is that neither of my tangs will eat seaweed from a clip....it has to be attached to a rock at the bottom of the tank....spoiled rotten brats!
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