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FAQs about the Yellow-Tail Blue, Palette, Regal, Hippo Tang Behavior

Related Articles: The Genus Paracanthurus,

Related FAQs: Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 1Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 2, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 3, Pacific YTB Tang FAQs 4, PYTB Tang IDPYTB Tang Compatibility, PYTB Tang Selection, PYTB Tang Systems, PYTB Tang Feeding, PYTB Tang Disease, PYTB Tang Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

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Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Blue regal tang; sans info.         9/8/15
I have had my blue tang for more than two years has been doing great now all of a sudden it's hiding not swimming not eating does not have ick what could be wrong
<Need data.... see WWM re Paracanthurus re the kinds of info. we're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) rubs against Scarlet hermit (Paguristes cadenati)       9/3/15
Hi. I've had my blue tang and he doesn't have any feeding issues or visible signs of disease or distress. He follows my scarlet hermit (Paguristes cadenati) and rubs his sides, belly, tail against the hermit's shell.
Sometimes the tang will lay on the hermit for a minute and the hermit doesn't seem to mind. I've had the tang and the hermit for almost 2 years in a 210 gallon fowlr tank. Their tankmates include a porcupine puffer, and various hermit crabs. My h2o parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate 5. I was wondering if this type of behavior is normal and/or what's the reasoning behind it?
<Not unusual for Tangs, most fishes to rub, glance at times; and fixation on an object, other life form is quite common as well>
Thank you for all of the accurate information you have provided me with for the last few years.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang.... 02/08/12
Hey good morning,
 quick question for ya. I have a Blue Hippo Tang (Dori from Finding Nemo) in a 150 gallon aquarium. It constantly wants to go up and down in the back right corner? Why does it do this?
<Very likely seeing, reacting to its own reflection... you can't see it/this from the outside>
 Its healthy, water parameters are all good. W hen I walk up it swims around the tank normally (I think it thinks its getting fed). Do you know what this behavior may be? Thanks in advance for your time....
<See WWM re Paracanthurus behavior. Consider affixing a piece of paper or such to one end of the tank. Bob Fenner> 

blue tang question    9/25/10
At my local fish store, I saw a small (about 3") blue tang. It was one of the most active ones that I have seen in a long time at the store. Anyway, it had one issue that concerns me, and I am not sure it is actually a problem. I have noticed many times in blue tangs that their stomachs have a lumpy appearance to them. I'm not sure what that means.
<Most often that they've swallowed a bit of hard substrate... this is natural, serves as a triturating surface... for "chewing". Not a worry>
Not sure if that is significant or not. Otherwise, he seemed very healthy. He was very alert to my presence, very active. Do you think this fish could be sick?
<Not really>
What does a lumpy stomach mean?
<That this animal has picked up, swallowed some "gravel".>
Thank you for your help! Mike
<Welcome! I would not have this criterion/observation alone deter me from purchasing this specimen. Bob Fenner>

Splashing Paracanthurus hepatus/Tangs/Behavior    8/7/10
Hello Crew,
<Hi Pat>
I have a question about the behavior of a Paracanthurus hepatus. I have a 300 gallon tank (6' x 3' x 27"). It's a mix garden reef with 2 Amphiprion ocellaris, 1 Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, 1 Paracanthurus hepatus and 1 Pholidichthys leucotaenia (convict blenny) as the only fish in the tank. The aquarium has been running for 5 years now and gets a 40% water change every 2 weeks. Recently the "hippo tang" has gotten into the habit of swimming up to the surface of the aquarium and splashing some water out side of the tank. Lately it has been a common occurrence to get some water splashed onto my face or clothes if I'm not paying attention. Although I do find this behavior a little amusing I don't necessarily want this to become a habit. Other than the splashing all inhabitants seem happy and healthy. What could be the cause of this behaviour? Could it just be one of those quirks that tangs have or could it be a sign of a bigger problem. The tank is tested every week for all the parameters and everything is at acceptable levels.
<Nothing wrong with your tang other than being a joker, and it is not uncommon for this behavior. I once had a Hippo Tang that would swim to one end of the tank, splash, then swim to the other end of the tank and splash. With this type of behavior, you must ensure no electrical outlets/receptacles are in the area or cover them with some type of plastic material.>
Thank you
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Paracanthurus beh.     2/16/08 Hello crew! <William> This is my first time asking a question here, and I'm sure that it won't be my last! Thank you all for giving all of us such a wonderful service/resource. And now for a little about my tank and my fish's history. I have been in the hobby for about two years, and I have found myself to be completely addicted to aquariums. I suppose I will state my problem first, then tell you the other details. I have had "Happy" a hepatus tang for roughly 1.5 years, and he was a tiny little guy when we got him. His current home is a 155 gallon aquarium. The 155 has been running for about three weeks, and he has been in it for about 1 of those three. We started the tank off with a marine Betta and two Chromis. I transferred about 30-40 pounds of live rock from our 75 (that Happy was living in) to our 155 gallon aquarium. The ammonia spiked (.25ppm) within a few day of starting the new tank, and within two more days dropped to zero. Then we had a very slight (.25ppm) nitrite spike, and it went away to 0ppm) within a week. So then we added happy, and we never saw a change in ammonia or in nitrite, and he seemed to be happy to be in such a large aquarium. About a week later, we purchased a second tang (an eibli mimic tang), and Happy doesn't mind him, and he doesn't mind Happy. Every fish that we have ever purchased (EXCEPT for the eibli mimic tang) has been quarantined for 1 month before admission into the system. I guess we got too excited with the new tank, and over rode our better judgment. <Yikes... an able "lead in" here> Tank inhabitants include: 1 hepatus tang 1 eibli mimic tang 1 marine Betta 2 blue/green Chromis 1 large brittle star 1 medium chocolate chip star 1 tiny clown goby (hopefully he will be too quick for the Betta to eat) Will it be possible to put more fish in here, or should I stop now (well, I'm not putting anything in until I get the problem solved). <Ahh! A problem...> My current water situation is: Ammonia: 0ppm Nitrites: 0ppm Nitrates: 20ppm PH: 8.2ppm I took my water to my LFS to have them test the water, and this is what they got: Ammonia: <.25ppm Nitrites: <.25ppm Nitrates: 20ppm PH: 8.4 There are some discrepancies between our tests, and I'm not sure if even the LFS's results would create the problem that I am having. First I would like to say that every fish in the tank looks very good (except for HLLE on Happy). None have crypt, or any other visible issues. The hepatus has been with us for quite some time, and we have beat crypt once with him (he contracted it while in quarantine when we first got him, and we treated with copper for 30 days). I'm guessing the copper treatment is where his head and lateral line came from. Now for the problem. Soon after we put Happy into the 155 (around the time that we added the eibli mimic), he started flashing constantly, and swimming sideways like he wants to be cleaned by a cleaner shrimp (he used to be in a tank with a juvenile French angel, who cleaned him almost to death). Needless to say, we returned the Angel. There is no hostility between the tangs, and a matter of the fact Happy tries to get the mimic to clean him. and the mimic actually does clean him (oddly enough)! There are no spots on any of the fish to indicate a parasite, and I just don't know why he is constantly flashing. He has flashed so much that he is wearing a white "rub spot" on his lateral line (right side). Another note: He only flashes and wants cleaned on his right side, the left side still looks good. I have a quarantine ready, but I'm not sure if it is just environmental, <Likely so...> and will get better soon. Another note: he has had elevated respiration since he was cured of crypt. So, it is very difficult to tell if he is breathing faster than normal. Please let me know if you need more details. I was guessing that the 155 gallon was just not mature enough, and the chemicals are still trying to balance, but then why is only he affected? <Is likely a behavioral reaction/result... from this specimen seeing, reacting to its reflection in the glass... I would try darkening one/side panel of the tank (with paper, tape, on the outside)... and being patient. If this were pathogenic, all the other fishes would be similarly afflicted.> Thank you for your patience, ~William Millis <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Paracanthurus beh.     2/16/08
Hello, I just sent the following E-Mail, but I forgot to tell you how he acting.. OOPS He is completely normal, except for flashing and wanting cleaned. He has a voracious appetite, and he frequently swims around the tank. All of the other fish are completely normal as well. Sorry, and thank you again! ~William Millis <Welcome! BobF>

Re: UPDATE Hepatus has gone crazy. 2/29/08 Thank you again for the advice. I have taken the steps that were prescribed below, but he seems to be getting worse. He is literally "flashing" almost his entire lateral line away. He has deep wounds that are bleeding on the right lateral line, and he has begun to flash on his left lateral line. All other tankmates are very happy, and swim carelessly. The hepatus has been "flashing" on other fish, and has literally been laying on his side on top of other slow-moving fish (my gobies). He still eats normally, and breathing is really slow when he is laying, but back to normal when he starts to swim. My water parameters have not changed at all (since my previous question). He has been continuing this behavior for several days, and he looks terrible. One of my powerhead suction cups let loose, and blew some of the sand in the bottom of the aquarium around. This exposed a rusting piece of metal that must have come in from the sand, could the rust be causing this problem? <Yes> If so, why are no other tankmates affected? <More resistant> My last guess is kind of a "crazy guess", but can fish become depressed (or just go crazy)? <I do think so, yes> When I purchased the hepatus over a year ago, we also purchased a French angelfish with him. They were both about the size of a small coin when we brought them home. Since then they were never separated, and they were almost inseparable. Since the transfer to the new tank (and the return of the French angel to the LFS), he has been acting like this. Do you think that he could miss the angelfish, or do they not have this capacity? <I do think you may be on to something here. I have observed many such behavioral anomalies with the mixing, unmixing of fishes as well> Why is he only flashing on his lateral line, and why is he laying on other fish? <I don't know> I figured if it were a disease, all other fish would have similar symptoms by now, but as I stated above, they are all as happy as can be. Another odd point is that I have noticed him also laying on a brittle star, and the star seems to want to grab him, <Many Ophiuroids of size are predaceous> but the tang only shakes off the arms, and lays back on him. Please advise as to what I should do. Thank you again <Mmm, I'd move this Tang elsewhere if you have another system. Bob Fenner>

Blue tang itching  1/23/08 Hello Crew, I have a question about my 1 inch Blue Tang. <Small...> I have thoroughly read your pages on fish, diseases and parasites, and I am still not sure if my tang has ich, or if it may be stress. <Perhaps a bit of both...> I have had the tang in the main tank for 2 weeks. I QT him for 6 weeks before the move to the main tank. <Ah, good> He was in the main tank for 2 days, and began rubbing his belly against the rocks. He stopped rubbing his belly after three days, and had a few scratches from doing this, there was no injury, and no cysts have appeared. He seemed to be over whatever was bothering him. Three days after he stopped the belly rub, he started a head rub, and this has been happening for three days now, there are still no cysts to be seen anywhere on his body. <Paracanthurus do scratch quite a lot... naturally> He is breathing normally, eating, playing (he's hilarious), schooling with the Chromis, and generally having a good time, <Ahh!> he has also made a bed in one of the Sinularia. No other fish are showing any signs of itching, rubbing, scratching or cysts/spots. I haven't done anything to treat him yet as I wanted another opinion on whether it is ich or not. I asked the LFS, and of course they wanted to sell me a $50 bottle of liquid that is reef safe, and can be dumped into the main tank - <Mmm, I would NOT do this> they were not very happy when I told them that was one of the worst things they could recommend as a treatment. I stopped short of telling them to read WWW. <Please, don't feel, be so reserved> Should I just go ahead and QT, dip etc, or wait a few more days to see if those darn cysts appear? <I would leave all as is presently> It is going to be a challenge to catch him since he is only an inch, and I don't want to stress him if he doesn't have ich, and he just stressed. Tank stats for your info are: 50gallon tank with a Fluval 305 canister filter (bio and carbon that is changed weekly), Aqua C Remora skimmer (best purchase I ever made), powerheads to blow the water around, T5HO lights, with live rock, aragonite substrate, 2 Sinularia, 1 BTA, cluster Duncanopsammia, cluster candy cane, cluster of Blastomussa (all corals are very happy). 1 ocellaris (hosting in the BTA), 1 mandarin, 1 bicolour blenny, 4 schooling blue/green Chromis, and the tang. I know the tank is too small for the tang, he will be moved to a bigger tank. Water parameters are within the recommended limits (didn't list them as I have rambled on too much already). Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated, my tank couldn't live without you :) <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Regal blue tang transferred to new tank 11/23/07 Since putting a 4 inch blue tang into a 55 gal, a newly matured tank, he constantly runs up and down the side. He does eat. Originally he was transferred from a 40 long tank, fully matured for a few years. Also in this 55 gal tank, I have a small Picasso trigger and a small Volitans lionfish, which I know will have to move to larger quarters. <For sure, the tang will need to move too.> All parameters are fine. I have 40 lbs. of live rock and 40 lbs. of live sand. It has been one week since the transfer. I would appreciate your expertise. Thanking you, Nick. <If he is eating and otherwise acting fine it sounds like he is just swimming. Tangs are constant swimmers. He is probably enjoying the extra length down the tank. He will need a larger tank along with the others. Welcome, happy reefing, Scott V.> <<Perhaps this fish is seeing, reacting to its reflection. RMF>>

Marine Fish Diarrhea? Tangs...  - 08/17/07 Hello crew! <Robert> Hope all is well. Thank you to Mr. Fenner for answering my question so quickly before! <Hotay!> I have read through many of the previous FAQs about marine fish having diarrhea, but I feel mine is a bit different. I have a Paracanthurus hepatus, or blue hippo tang in my 70 gal. one and a half month old tank right now. <This tank is "too new" for a Tang...> Ever time I've witnessed him produce waste, it always looks like it comes out whole, without any digestion. <Oh! This is really about what this should look like... is part of the "rapid processing" of foods that have so much "bulk", and little nutrient value that Acanthurids consume... akin to sheep, horses let's say> I've been feeding frozen brine shrimp with omega 3, frozen Mysis, and spectrum Thera +a pellets. I've seen all these items come out whole...and on a few occasions the tang has even "re-ate" the food waste (not even a word, but all I can think of at this time...). <Also "natural"; no problem> As of today, all water parameters are fine and have been for quite some time, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5ppm low range nitrate, 8.3 pH, 1.024 salinity, normal to high alk, and have performed two 20% water changes in the last week. The make up water was filtered sea water from my local respectable LFS. Is this normal? How is the tang getting any nutrition if its expelling the food back out whole? <Yes and no worries> Is this a sign of an internal parasite? <Mmm, not likely> The tang is still eating like a savage, and even helping to clear a lot of my brown algae problem. He does however have a lumpy bulges on one side of his stomach, <Also not a worry> but I always assumed that it was because he was eating so much food. I only feed small portions 2x daily, sometimes 3x when time permits. <Good> Any help to shed some light on this concern would be greatly appreciated! Robert from California <Nothing to be overly concerned about here. Another Bob in CA.>

My fish are always scared and Blue Tang always stressed, no useful data 4/17/04 Hello WWM, Today after I got home I walked past my tank and all the fish started to hide and my blue tang was stressed. I have had the tank for 6 months and is doing good (Until now?). When under <?> the blue tangs eye turns brown does it mean they are stressed? It is a 6x2x2 foot tank and I have a lot of soft corals. Do you seem to know why this is happening? <Likely a combination of factors... the soft corals are producing chemicals that are malaffecting your fishes... Perhaps they're in a place physically where folks don't walk by much...> I have a convict tang as well but the blue tang and him always swim and eat off the feeding clip together. The two of them have been together for about 2 months and I do not think it is the problem why the blue tang is stressed. My other fish are: 3 Chromis Valentini Puffer Mandarin Dragonet Lawnmower Blenny 1 Ocellaris Clownfish Thank you <Mmm, you don't list water quality tests, but I doubt if "this" is something you can test for... I would avail yourself first of more knowledge... then to considerations of improving water quality (extraction of the aforementioned chemicals... ozone, better skimming, chemical filtrants) AND biological means of countering... Refugium of size, DSB, macroalgae culture... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, and http://wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm and the... Bob Fenner>
Re: My fish are always scared and Blue Tang always stressed  4/18/07
Hi Bob, The water quality is perfect. Calcium 400 Nitrate 15 Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Sg 1.025 The protein skimmer makes an 3/4 of an inch of skimmate everyday. The sandbed is 3 inches deep and my mandarin dragonet has been happy for around 5 months. Thanks, Maison <Mmm... well, there are many other biochemicals that might be at play... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrightChemsFWArt.htm and the linked files above... Or just the familiarity/conditioned response alluded to previously. Bob Fenner>

(Hippo) Blue Tang Life Expectancy   4/2/07 What  is the life expectancy? <In your average aquarium? A few months, most folks simply do not meet the care standards for this animal, whether it be a too small tank with improper settings or purchasing an animal that's doomed from the start. Having said that if a proper specimen is obtained and a large and proper setting is supplied (see WWM re: specifics) the animal can live considerably long in captivity, I know a few 15 year old specimens that are going strong.> thanks, <Welcome.> Jeff

Blue Tang and Chromis hiding, Fish Behavior 3/23/07 Hi WWM, <Hi Maison> I have a 2" Blue (hippo) Tang and 3 Chromis but every time I walk past the tank the Blue Tang and the smallest Chromis hide for about a minute or so.  This has been happening for the last week and I don't know what the problem is. I have had him for 5 1/2 months and my last fish introduced was a Convict Tang which I introduced 1 1/2 months ago. He is 3 1/2" and is great friends with the Blue Tang. <Mmm, drinking buddies, huh?> They both eat from my hand together and never fight. The tank is a 6x2x2 reef tank and this is the first time this has ever happened. If you know what the problem is may I please have your thoughts. <Behavior is not that unusual.  My False Lemon Peel exhibits the same behavior when I walk into the room.  This behavior started when I switched from PC to HQI lighting which creates much more shadow movement which can/will alarm fish. Have you changed your lighting or is your tank exposed to a bright window?  None the less, no worries here my friend.> Thank you, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Maison

That d@mn movie....you know the one....Blue-Tang Behavior    2/16/07 Is Dory a Drama Queen? <The Movie Character?....Le'me call my 7 year old sister...> About a week ago I introduced a 3 inch Blue Hippo Tang (Dory) <Very creative naming....> along with a 3 inch percula (Marlin) <Equally as creative...> and a Yellow tang (Bubbles) <Is that one from the movie too?> into my 75 gal aquarium. <Ooh...all of that to a 75?..and without quarantine?> It's been up for over 2 years, specific gravity 1.024 nitrates & nitrites 0, pH 8.2, temp 78-80 degrees, good water flow, protein skimmer, 110 watts of actinic and 110 watts of white light with moon lights.  Everyone was happy and getting along just fine (Dory and Marlin have been inseparable) except for a hellion damsel that had been pestering Dory. <Normal behavior for the damsel...should be removed.> I took him out this morning and everyone was happy. <Ahh...good.> I even did a 15% water change yesterday and everyone was still happy.  Then this evening, I took a picture of my tank and I guess the flash freaked Dory out because she started "playing dead." <Can momentarily startle animals...yes (it may also be a good F.Y.I. to know that most photographers of aquariums get the best results when the flash is off).> First Marlin and after about an hour, Bubbles, started "protecting her" and swam close to her so as not to let anyone near her.  Bubbles makes an occasional "sweep" around the tank and comes right back to her but Marlin hadn't left her side for a couple of hours.   <In the future I would recommend using scientific names of the animals....at least the common names...many including myself...are not very familiar with this movie. Many in the aquarium world even despise it, it has encouraged/inspired a rash of impulse buying and arguably many believe it has caused many of the featured animals to end up in "bad" homes... - rant over.> I watched for a couple of hours hoping she'd "snap out of it" like she did when I was acclimating her and doing the water change, but she didn't.  Then when Marlin swam off for a short time, by short I'm talking 15 seconds, she piped up and swam around.  Then when he came back, she went limp with a little bit of movement every now and then.  She's not breathing hard, and her color looks good, and no visible spots.  Is she trying to get attention, and have you heard of anything like this, I sure haven't.   <Personality wise, Paracanthurus Hepatus can be very "flighty" fish...natural defense behavior.> And would a camera flash be enough to stress her out? <Enough to scare her into submission/hiding for a few hours yes....a few hours of this dhy behavior, even a day is not much to worry about yet.> She's not even getting up to eat, and I've tried feeding a little bit of everything.  Is there anything I should do? <Patience, if the behavior lasts longer than 24 hours...then we will try a different approach. Some questions for you though...What are the water parameters and what are you feeding?> Please help! <See above....Adam J.>

My Hippo Tang is changing colors?!?!?!!?  7/23/06 We have a 6" Hippo Tang, we bought a tank and she came with it, we have had her for about 8 months.  Just last week my husband said she changed colors, which I thought he was joking but I just saw it for myself.  Where the  black strips are turn yellow and where the blue circle (in between the black  lines) turns white.  I watched the fish go back and forth several  times.  I have searched the web and can not find an explanation.  Can  you please help. Thanks BA <Mmm, can/does happen... a bit of physiological/behavioral signaling... do blanch out at night, do switch colors/markings as you've noticed if excited, upset... Bob Fenner>

My Blue Tang is laying on his side   6/18/06 Hello Bob. I really hope there is something you can do to help my Tang. I purchased a Blue Tang yesterday. I put him in an empty QT tank and slowly added some water from my main tank every 30 minutes. I then put him into my main tank and immediately put live brine into my tank. <Why?> I have noticed that this makes all the other fish not pay so much attention to the new fish, and it relieves the stress of the new fish because there is live food for him to concentrate on. <Ahh!> I was happy because this has worked well for me and I have yet to lose a fish. Today I woke up and couldn't find the newest addition to my aquarium. <A shy species. Often hides a great deal, especially at first> I looked everywhere so I had to resort to moving things around. <I wouldn't do this> I have 1 ornament in my tank (No longer in the tank) and I found my Blue Tang trapped under the ornament. <Not likely trapped...> He was probably deprived of oxygen all night, and is now showing the effects. He was laying on his side and had no strength. <Paracanthurus do lie on their sides a great deal...> The filtration system was pulling him towards it so I turned it off. He would then lay on a rock or the sand at the bottom of the tank. I had to pull him out, add main tank water to my QT tank, and put him in there. I did this because I did not want to keep my filtration system off, but if I turned it on with the Blue Tang inside, it would pull him towards it. He is now laying on the bottom of the QT tank. He looks like he is dead, but every so often he will swim around very very fast, and then lay on his side again. Is there anything I can do to help him, or is he a goner? I do not have a filter in my QT tank <!? You do have such? Why don't you use it?> because I have never had to put a fish in there, except when he is new. No diseases or anything else for any of my fish. I was thinking of going out and buying an air rock or something to see if I can help him get the necessary oxygen. Please help! Tank Size: 55 Gal <Too small ultimately for this species> Temp: 78 SG: 1.021 <I'd raise this...> PH: 8.1 NO2: .25 <Should be zip. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang Trouble - 02/03/2006 Hello WWM: <Hi John.> I appreciate your assistance in helping me diagnose a problem with a Naso Tang. <I'll try.> I have asked purported experts at 2 reputable fish stores to provide some guidance and each provided little or no assistance. <OK...No pressure.> THE ENVIRONMENT *100 Gallon Tank *100  Pounds of Tonga Rock *Established 1 Year *Temperature 84 Degrees <I'd lower this to about 78-80 if possible.> *Salinity - 1.023 *Ph - 7.9 <Try to get this up to about 8.3.> *P04 - 0 *N03 - 30 <Ouch. 10 or less would be much better.> *4 Clownfish *1 Sailfin Tang *1 Hippo Tang *1 Flame Angel *1 Royal Gramma *1 Goby THE PROBLEM I purchased the Naso approximately 2 weeks ago. He appeared healthy and reasonably active in a relatively small store tank. <Hmm...Reasonably?> After we purchased the fish we acclimated him to the water temperature and did a fresh water dip prior to releasing him into the display tank. <No QT I see. Only acclimated to temp.?> We noticed with 1-2 days that one of his eyes appeared to be injured and we were told it was most likely an injury and not eye cloud or Popeye. The water quality is perfect and I just recently had the tank serviced. <I wouldn't quite say perfect, but is mostly acceptable.> That problem seems to be improving. <Good.> The second problem is that the tang also eats very little. <Uh-Oh...> Flake and pellet food are not of particular interest though he did at times eat the seaweed. <Not good. Have you tried soaking these in a vitamin prep. or appetite stimulant?> The real problem now is that for the past 2-3 days he has been moving erratically. He generally is inactive is often seen at the bottom of the tank or on an angle against the rock or, at times, flat on the crushed coral. <Sounds like stress. The filtration seems inadequate with the nitrate levels, and Tangs need an environment with low metabolic wastes and high dissolved oxygen. It sounds like these are the problems as well as a lack of personal space for this fish.> The gills are moving rapidly and the fish appears to be in severe stress. The service person said that everything is fine and further that Naso Tangs in particular tend to behave that way and will rest on the bottom of the tank and against rock and I should not be concerned. <What!? This is definitely something to be concerned with.> The fish will sporadically swim for short periods then will again rest at the bottom of the tank. When sporadically bothered by the other tangs the fish will tail whack and defend itself. The situation looks grim. Any suggestions? <I don't think this tank is big enough for all these fish. This is probably a combination of environmental and psychological stress. I'd start with a good 25-30% water change to lower those nitrates. Given the mix of fish, I'd say you dissolved oxygen is low also, so I'd add an airstone or other means of aeration. How's the flow in your tank? Vigorous circulation is also necessary. Skimmer? Don't see one listed. As far as the mix you've got, review on WWM re, and consider reducing this load.> Thank you. John <You're welcome. - Josh>

Is This Normal Behavior 12-19-05 Thanks for being here to help everyone. <Always glad to be of service.> Ten days ago I received a Regal Tang through mail order. I acclimatized him using the drip method, and then placed him in a 20Ga quarantine tank with the lights off. The quarantine tank has a pre-matured sponge filter from my main tank and an watt UV sterilizer. I test the water daily, and the water has no detectable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate using Salifert test kits . After I giving him a few days to allow him to recover during which he hid under a plastic shelf I had provided, I gave him a fresh water dip. <Unless there were signs of illness I would have skipped the dip.> The dip seamed to go fine. I placed him back in quarantine. As soon as he got back in the quarantine tank he went back to hiding. <Very typical.> I put Nori and fresh Gracilaria from my refuge but I've never seen him eat any. He may be eating at night but if he his it isn't much. During the day, he hides in the same place and doesn't move all day. <A lack of feeding is normal in easily stressed fish, such as tangs. If it goes on for a week or their stomach becomes pinched then you should be worried. To lower his stress level you would want to put in more places to hide, lower the light intensity, and cover the tank sides with newspaper.> If it were for the fact that his color is bright blue I'd think he was dead. If I move the shelve gently with a stick, he'll swim out but go right back to where he was. Is this normal? <Yes, until it becomes detrimental. He should want to eat and become acclimated to the tank in a few days to one week.> Should I just keep putting a little food in and give it time, or are more proactive actions required? <Keep feeding him, but try new foods daily. Raise the light off the surface of the water more or add a paper towel layer in between the lights and the tank. Also cover the sides of the tank and lower the specific gravity to 1.018-1.020 as these will help calm the fish in my experience. Lower the salinity slowly by dripping RO water into the tank. Do not keep the salinity lowered for more than 2-3 weeks and bring it back up very slowly. Fish take lowering salinity well, but do not tolerate the increase in SG quite as easily.> Thanks for you're help. <Always glad to help. Travis> Regards, Michael

Blue Tang acting neurotic 7/31/05 Hi, I have one Blue Tang  5" long. I purchased him about a year  ago. He has been very healthy and eating well. 2 days ago he started  acting very strange. He is fanning his fins constantly and acting very  neurotic. He can not seen to stop. He is fanning his fins extremely out of control. <Something wrong with your water...> He appears to be breathing a little fast as well.  I also notice he is staying inside the reef hiding a bit more then  usual. He is acting like a fish on speed and can't stay still. I also  notice the starting of some type of white spots coming up on his head. I don't  know if he is itching or what and can't scratch it. He is still eating well up  to now Please help! Is there a disease that would cause this type of  behavior . He is still eating well up . Thanks Scott <... please read, starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paracdisfaqs.htm and on the linked files above... re PYTB Disease, Behavior, Systems... Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang bubble-eating feeding behaviour 7/13/05 Dear WWM crew, <Isaac> I have a Hippo Tang for almost 3 years now. He's been very healthy and always eats like a pig. Ever since I fed him prepared food like dried Spirulina, krill and Cyclop-eeze, the Tang would feed from the water surface and ingest air bubbles. After each feeding he would dive up to the surface, seemingly try to grab food (all the food's been eaten) but instead eats only air. <Interesting... I have a similar "food memory" with pizza... find myself re-searching in empty boxes for that last slice...> He's always been able to just expel the bubbles through its gills when diving back down, but lately he hasn't been able to on a number of occasions, and has led to buoyancy issues and swimming difficulties with trapped air bubbles. <...> I have tried increasing the size of each feeding, wetting the flake food before serving (so they won't stay afloat on the water surface and would sink immediately) and changing the feeding schedule to no effect. The Tang just loves to feed from the surface and eat air bubbles! I hope eventually he'll evolve and develop some lungs! But given this remotely possibility, how can I change this behaviour and does it create any harm? <Perhaps try using a plastic feeding clip, some dried algae with this... below water> P.S. I always keep my water at 1.025 to 1.026 and other water parameters check out ok. Isaac <Interesting behavior for sure. Bob Fenner>

Sudden disappearance of regal tang Hello crew, <Hi there Shrina> Love your website. We had a regal tang whom we loved.  She was friendly, spunky, just an all around good fish.  We nicknamed her "Piggy" because she loved to eat.  I saw her at morning feeding yesterday and not since.  It is unlike to miss any feedings, let alone 3 now.  I am really afraid something has happened to her.  Any ideas? <... either in the tank or not... Out, perhaps it jumped... is still there... or a pet picked it up. In, perhaps still hiding or... not. Have you looked thoroughly under rock overhangs, behind ornaments...? This species does "lay down" quite a bit at times> We have a reef tank, 220 gallons. It's aquascaped with live rock. Substrate is live sand (1 to 5 inches deep at places).  We have a protein skimmer, a chiller.  The system is quite stable. Water quality is Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 2.5 ppm.  pH 8.2. The tank is stocked with: 1 Clark clownfish 3 ocellaris 6 green Chromis 1 strawberry Gramma 1 orange spotted goby 1 blue cheek goby 2 neon gobies 1 elegant coral 1 frog spawn coral 1 Discosoma 1 leather coral 1 pipe organ coral 3 Cynarina 1 plate coral 1 hammer coral 3 small colonies of Zoanthids. Any ideas what happened to our sweet tang? <I hope it is just having a "time out" and will soon show. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sudden disappearance of regal tang
Thank you for responding so fast.  I didn't think about her jumping out of the tank.  If she did, we wouldn't find her.  We have 4 dogs and 3 cats. <Ahh... more common than you might think...> I really miss her and just hope we can find another one as good as her. Thank you again, Shrina <Sorry for your loss. Bob Fenner>

Aggressive Hippo I have had a saltwater tank up and running for about 8 months.  I have added the following inhabitants (in the following order): 1" Percula Clown, 3" Sailfin Tang and 4" Hippo Tang, and a 3" Niger Trigger.  My tank is a 55 gallon (4ft long) with an Aquaclear mechanical filter, CPR BakPak (I have been thinking about upgrading to the Remora C based on your recommendations), <Mmm, a good investment... for a larger tank... which I strongly believe you'll end up with> 2 Maxi Jet 600 (160gph), 50lbs liverock, and 40lbs of reef grade sand (About 1.5" depth).  I also have a serpent star, a red Linckia, 1 sea cucumber, 1 mushroom coral, 10 Nassarius snails, and 6 hermit crabs.  My tank parameters are 1.022, 9dkh, 8.2, 0 Nitrates, 78 degrees (Night) to 79 degrees (Day).  I change about 3 gallons a week and add Kent's Trace Elements, Prime, and Kent's Superbuffer. Since I have added the Niger Trigger (About a week ago), my Hippo has been harassing him constantly.  I had always assumed that the Niger was going to be the more aggressive fish. <Not being new, not in such a small system> The Hippo has a few scrapes on the side of him (Small white lines that are like bite marks), but the Niger Trigger's fins are jagged and he was cowering in the corner for the first couple of days.  With time, will the Hippo stop harassing the Niger? <Maybe... I'd isolate the Tang (put in in a floating plastic colander for a few days) and see if this helps> What do you think the odds of success are with these inhabitants? <Mmm, fifty fifty, with small level of confidence limits> Also, how long do you think they will be okay in this size system? <Not okay now...> Finally, what size tank would you recommend for these inhabitants long term (Over the life of the fish)? <Two, three times this size> Also, do you think the Percula will need an anemone to be happy with these inhabitants? <Nope> Thanks for the help.  I have been reading your site and found it to be very informative.  One final question, do you think UV lights are worth the investment for parasite or bacteria reduction?   <In some settings, yes... not as worthwhile in yours as what you might otherwise invest your money and time in...> In the beginning, I had some minor issues with parasites due to lack of understanding of the parasite life cycle (I did not wait long enough during treatment before moving the fish to the main tank). <Very common human/aquarist experience. Glad to find your intelligence, perseverance has won out over simply quitting, giving up. Bob Fenner>

- Hippo Tang Problems - I have a question. We have a 2" hippo tang in our tank. He was very well adjusted for 2 months, and all of a sudden he started laying on the bottom of the tank on his side. He looks healthy, is breathing and will come out to eat. Otherwise he just stays put. <Interesting.> We also have 2 small clown fish, a dog faced puffer, a yellow tang, and a Koran Angelfish. The tangs were added at the same time. The hippo has been with these fish for well over a month, and he started laying down about a week and a half ago? Any advise? <I'd give your water parameters a check... change the water frequently (about 5% a week would be best) and keep an eye on the hippo tang.> Thank you Kristi <Cheers, J -- > <<This species "just does this". RMF>>

Dory's Scared. What Now? (5/13/05) Hi there.  <Hi. Steve Allen with you tonight.>  I bought the famous Dory from "Finding Nemo" about 4 days ago because my wife really wanted it.  <Did you study the many difficulties of keeping this fish before you bought it? Let's start with the fact that it eventually needs to be in a tank of at least 120 gallons. From there we can move on to the fact that it is highly prone to marine ick and HLLE disease.>  Since it came it has been hiding under a rock, and I still haven't seen it eat.  <Typical. They're fraidy cats.>  All it does is hide and lay on one side day and night??  <They do have a tendency to lie on their sides and wedge themselves into crevasses when they're scared. It's like I child trying to make himself really small in a corner when he's scared.>  I'm a little bit concerned with it's behavior???? What do you think I should do? I do have 2 clown fish and 6 damsels in the 70gal tank. Thanks, Claudio  <Well, If I was this fish, I'd be scared to death if put into this tank full of bullies. If (and it's a big if) the Damsels leave it be, it may get up the nerve to come out and eat. It could be sick or unhealthy in some other way, perhaps cyanided or caught too small. How big is it? If it does not get up and about in a day or two, you should set up a quarantine tank and move it in there to try to stabilize it and feed it. Good luck.> 

Yellow tail blue regal tang I purchased a yellow tail blue regal tang this past Saturday. It is a good size fish (store guys thought it was about 3 years old).  At the  store where I bought it, it would swim to the corner, head up and just stay there.  Then it would go down to the bottom and lay on it's side.   <Mmm, stressed in this setting...> The store people told me this was normal behavior for this type of fish (they had had it for a week).  When I got it home, it hid behind the live rock, which I expected, for the first entire day.  The second day (Monday), it came out and would swim around normally and then go head down to the bottom in a corner and stay there.  Then it would be up and swimming again.  Later in the afternoon it was seen at the top against the overflow.  I had to go to a meeting Monday evening, and when I got home, the fish was dead.  I am so disappointed. <I am too> I think I was misled at the pet store, and it was sick there. <I agree... would ask for credit/replacement> Should it's behavior have been a clue for me?   <Mmm, yes> By the way, there were no ick spots on it and I never saw it eat while in my tank.  Thanks so much for your help. LaVonda Black <Thank you for writing so clearly, completely. As stated, I do think this fish was poorly adjusted at the store... likely very set in its ways from being in another, likely much larger system the three years previous. I would ask for reimbursement here. Bob Fenner>

Question about blue tang behavior There is a blue tang in my office's aquarium and I noticed that it won't leave the winter flounder alone. It keeps following it around to bite it's tail. Just wondering if you have an clues as to why it does this. <Is strange... not a food item in the wild... maybe the tang is "just curious"... does it appear to be doing any damage?> I read your article about the blue tang and still couldn't figure out why because according to you, it should generally leave the other marine life alone. Thanks for any help regarding this. ~Amira <Bob Fenner>
Re: question about blue tang behavior
You had asked if the flounder was being hurt at all and I'm not exactly sure. The blue tang has gotten a yellow tang to mimic its behavior occasionally and they usually just nip at the flounder. The tail seems to be the preferred location. Like I said, I'm not sure if the flounder is being physically hurt by it, but no longer blends in with the sand as well as he used to. He stays a much darker coloration now. ~Amira <Mmm, the coloration is an indication of stress likely... but if the Flounder were really hurt, you'd be able to see this. Bob Fenner>

Blue Regal Tang I am Amber. <I'm Michael!> I am trying to do some research on the blue regal tang... but it's not really working, all of the searches that I am trying are not helping me any. <How dare they not help you!> I am doing a report on them for a science project. <cool> I was wondering if you could help me out. <Will try my best> Do you know what the blue regal tang's play behavior is? <Hmm, as far as I know, Paracanthurus hepatus doesn't have much in the way of play behavior...it's pretty much limited to mating behavior, self defense, and aggression towards other tangs and competitors.  "Play" as we would define it is not practice in the fish world too much...limited mostly to some of the more intelligent fish, such as pufferfish, triggerfish, and a few others I'm forgetting. I will pass this email around to the rest of the crew and see if I can get you a better answer>  If so email me back, please. Thanks. Amber <No problems, M. Maddox> P.S. If you could e-mail me before Wednesday that would be great.. Thursday would be good also. <If you can get those TPS reports on my desk by Monday...that'd be grreeaat>

Lucky the Blue Tang >Hey there, >>Hey there yourself. >Well, I have a blue tang.   >>I hope you meant to.  What species of blue tang is it?  (There are three I'm thinking of off the top of my head.) >He is doing great.   >>Excellent. >He came with the tank I bought.  The lady that owned him and the tank before didn't take care of him very well.  She told me he likes to lay on his side (what?).   >>Yeah.. what? >He doesn't seem to anymore.   >>Cuz he never did "like" it, but you don't need me to tell you that, do you? >We called him Lucky because I was sure he would die in the first week, but he didn't.  He had HLLE, but most has been reversed.  Now, he is the happiest blue tang I have ever seen.   >>Excellent! >However, a couple of times I have seen his black markings turn completely yellow.   >>Hhmm.. Hippo tang or powder blue tang?  If a hippo, unusual, if a PB, not so. >It is the strangest thing in the world!  I have never seen anything like this happen.   >>I've only seen similar with PBs, when they're either stressed or going into sleep mode. >I don't think it is his night coloration.  He just sometimes does this in the middle of the day.  I have been looking for info on this, but haven't found anything.  Do you know why he is doing this?  Does it serve some purpose?  Do you think I am insane?  Maybe he is "magical".  Any info would be great!  Big Al Haggerty - Grand Junction, CO                                                       >>I honestly have no idea.  If he's a hippo tang (with the yellow tail) I've only seen coloration changes when stressed or sleeping, and even then it's just a general paleness to the overall color, not in specific areas.  If a powder blue, I've seen paleness in areas, but almost always in stressed fish.  Personally, I'm not familiar with this, but I would look to see what's happening in or around the tank, or note down time of day, anything/everything that's occurring concurrently or immediately previous to or after this change.  You may begin to see a pattern emerge.  Marina

Hippo Tang Behavior I would first like to say that your website is by far the best  source of information I have been able to find on the care and maintenance of marine aquariums.  Without you guys my fish tank would be in a world of hurt.  Currently I have a 4 month old 75 gallon salt water fish tank with 80lbs. of live rock.  All readings are good except my ammonia is a little high at .20 I just did a 10% water change and have cut back on feeding and its starting to go down. <Okay> I just bought a 2" hippo tang and for the past 2 days he has been hiding in a horizontal position between two rocks.  The only time he comes out is to nibble on some algae that I put on a clip for him.  The only other fish in the tank are 2 tank raised clown fish and a coral banded shrimp. I know I should have quarantined him but I have just now found out the importance of setting up a quarantine tank through your website.  I will be doing that before adding anymore fish.  But is this normal behavior for him. <Yes, quite normal> If so what can I do to make him feel more at home. <Mainly just have time pass... your small tang will become more outgoing with familiarity. Really, I'd just be patient> I am afraid that he may be sick and I do not want him to die.   Would it freak him out too much to put him into a day old  quarantine tank to watch him and to allow him to feel more at home before I put him back into the main  display tank.  Or should I just leave him as is and let him try to get used to things? Any info would help. <Better by far at this point to take the second path. Wait. Bob Fenner> Thanks Brendan Byrne
Re: Hippo Tang Behavior
Bob thanks for the quick reply. I am glad to hear my Hippo Tang will be ok. I have one last question for you.  I would like add more fish to my display tank but I would like to quarantine them first for a couple of weeks. <A very good practice>   Is it ok to add new fish to a quarantine tank that is only a day or two old. <Mmm, IF it is stable, likely filled with "clean" water from a well-established disease free system...>   I plan on using tank water from my display tank but will that be enough to help cycle a new tank. <Likely so... but do monitor ammonia daily, be ready to make massive water changes... and get in the habit of "pre-cycling" filter media (like a sponge filter...) in your main system somewhere>   My display tank took almost a month to fully cycle should I expect that same amount of time for my quarantine tank as well? <Maybe, maybe not... sometimes there are sufficient microbes moved in water alone... but often not if the "load" is too great, too soon. Again, be careful re feeding, test daily. Bob Fenner>

Blue tang Hi <How goes it, Michael here this afternoon>  I have a small blue tang. It seems to like scratch against the live rock and I'm a little worried about it. Is this normal behavior it eats well is very lively and swims all over the place.  Any ideas?  <Blue tangs are crypto magnets, so just watch him carefully.  If you notice white spots, heavy breathing, and more flashing, you may want to quarantine him.  There is a ton of information regarding crypto in the WWM archives for further reading.  Also, when you email WWM, please provide an email with correct grammar and sentence construction.  M. Maddox>

Blue Tang With A Mean Streak! I thought tangs were herbivores, mine is attacking other fish and is now eating my cleaner shrimp!   <Attacking the shrimp is really unusual, but bossing around tank mates is certainly not unusual for any tang!> What could I be doing wrong?  I literally bought 2 new cleaners because the other 2 were letting his ick get a little out of hand.  So, I thought some competition would help clean the fish up...well I put the other two in and the tang went NUTS.  He started attacking the cleaner shrimps tentacles and then eventually killed and ate him?????????? Now I know why the existing cleaner shrimp hide in the frog spawn! Any ideas? Jeanie York <Well, Jeanie, it sounds like you're not doing anything wrong here...It's just that tangs (like people) have distinct individual personalities; one can be a perfectly model citizen, and another can be an unholy terror! The aggression towards the shrimp is just one of those things that you can't explain! Sometimes, attacks on other fishes can be reduced by breaking up the aquascaping a bit- giving slightly different "territories" to the fish, which may reduce some of the aggression...Other than that- you may need to just wait out this "aggressive phase" and hope that he mellows out a bit. It may be necessary to remove some of the tank mates that are creating this aggressive behavior (perhaps for their own safety!)...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Blue tang going crazy!- I've purchased a blue tang in store yesterday. They've had the fish for 4 weeks and it was eating. I've put it into a quarantine tank (no medications). All parameters are ok. The whole day yesterday and today, the fish is not doing anything but banging into corner of aquarium! Swimming up and down, banging its head... the breathing rate is very high. What should I do? I've turned off the light in the aquarium, but I'm not sure what else can I do ? <It's just a little freaked out. The best you can do is keep the light off for a few days. Also make sure that there are places to hide (i.e.: large size PVC fittings, decorative rocks, etc). Good luck! -Kevin> thank you

- Hippo Tang Acting Oddly - Hi mister Fenner, <Hi, not Mr. Fenner today, but JasonC...> I really like your website and your book Reef Invertebrate. You are an essential part of the hobby, without your work, for many of us it would not be possible to keep reef inhabitant. I have a problem with an hippo tang and I would be really happy to get your advice on it. I have moved my tank 3 weeks ago from my parents house to my apartment and since that time my fish is acting weird. The first week, he was really nervous and was always swimming in a corner of the tank. <Is to be expected... the move would have been stressful.> At the end of the week he was breathing rapidly and have some spot of ich, so I have given to him a FW bath with blue Methylene. But the problem since that FW bath is not ich, it's that the fish is always hiding, he never comes out to eat since 2 weeks( I don't even understand how he cannot have starved to death). The only symptoms I can't see on him (it's in fact not easy to see him correctly:) is that his dorsal fin near his head have become translucent. So I'm not sure what's does he have (ich or not ich this is the question) and according to your website it is not a good idea to put an hippo tang in QT. <Well... at this point in the game, your fish is likely too stressed-out so a move would be trouble. I'd just continue trying to get this fish to eat, and also take a good look at your water parameters - make sure everything is where it should be.> I would be really happy to get your advices on it, mister Fenner! Thank you for your time and continue your good job !! Steve <Cheers, J -- >

Regal Tang Hello again Bob, <Hi there> I am writing to you about a new acquisition, a regal Tang. I have him in a quarantine tank (50 litre tank) and he has been there for 1 week now. He is eating well, I am feeding him pacific krill, chopped cockle/mussel, brine shrimp (all foods dosed with a vitamin supplement and left for 24 hours before use) and lastly dried seaweed which is clipped to the QT tank wall. He is eating well, taking every bit of food with enthusiasm. He looks well, very colorful, fattening out a little more. The reason I am writing is that I put him in quarantine as you say to many folks who write in, I am prepared to keep him there for the next 3 weeks, performing daily tests/changes etc to ensure his good health before I move him to the main tank (350 litre with 1 PJ wrasse and 2 yellow clarkii) but I am a little concerned about him getting bored. <Okay> I started to read more and more into the WWM forums and FAQ and noticed that you suggested NOT to QT regal tangs as they become bored when solitary and end up stressed and possibly sick. <Mmm, maybe other folks here have stated this... weighing the above likelihood with the chance of introducing a parasitic infestation, I side on boring the specimen> Currently he spends most of his time sitting behind the heater stat which is clipped to the side of the tank (not the element part obviously), only really coming out when he thinks no one is around or when food drifts his way. He has 3 pieces of decor in the tank, a large barnacle, 1 rock and a small ornamental castle which he occasionally lies down underneath and "peeps" at us through the castle windows.... (don't laugh :-) ) <Not laughing. Try inserting a couple of plastic fittings or pipe as well> Do you think it is wise to continue the QT given the description of his behaviour or should I contemplate a move to the main tank? My LFS QTs their fish for 4 weeks before they go on display but as I have read so many times, even the journey home from the shop could stress him hence why I have put him in QT. The last thing I want is for him to get stressed from being "lonely" and end up sick anyway. <I would leave the animal in isolation for a total time of two weeks, then move it through a freshwater bath as proscribed here: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/dips_baths.htm enroute to your main system. Bob Fenner> All advice greatly received, keep up the excellent work. Thanks Andrew, UK

Blue Hepatus Tang (behavior) Hi guys! Thanks for always answering questions sooo quickly. I've got another. I wrote about my Flame Angel that was constantly swimming up and down the glass. I increased the water flow without any change in the animal. Same thing. Now my Blue Hepatus Tang is "copying" it. I've had both these fish for nearly a year. My water quality has always been good because I do water changes and run a skimmer. (The more water changes one does, the less work one ends up with.) <Agreed> So my husband suggested that maybe our Foxface "got them?" Thanks again! -Becky <Likely nothing wrong here. It may well be that these fishes are seeing an "internal" reflection in the viewing panel, and reacting to their own image... Bob Fenner>
Re: Blue Hepatus Tang (behavior)
I wanted to describe the Tangs actions better. It puts it's belly right in the corner of the tank then flaps it's fins quickly without moving. It's head faces upward. Thanks <Mmm, some of the WetWebMedia crew does the same sort of thing when we've been out drinking tequila... Again, an agonistic display... self-generated... Which some of the folks who make up the WWM crew display as well. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> -Becky

Hippo Blues How many baby hippo blues can you acquire/place together in a very large tank (several hundred gallons). <I have seen 6 in a 450.> I'm thinking of getting a group of maybe 8 or 10 (about 1"), since it looks like they actually prefer to group together in those numbers. I do notice that they have a tendency to hide more when singular. <They hide in groups, too.> I know they are relatively not territorial, but am wondering if this is a good idea or not? Thanks, Jim <Have a nice night. -Steven Pro>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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