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FAQs about Purple Tang Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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Related FAQs: Purple Tangs 1, Purple Tangs 2, Purple Tangs 3, Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Disease, Reproduction, Yellow Tangs, Striped Sailfin Tangs, Zebrasoma Tangs, Zebrasoma Identification, Zebrasoma Behavior, Zebrasoma Compatibility, Zebrasoma Selection, Zebrasoma Systems, Zebrasoma Feeding, Zebrasoma Disease, Zebrasoma Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,


Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

purple tang, not fdg.  10/16/09
I monitor you web site frequently and you have provided invaluable information.
I have become (after many years) quite proficient in managing my marine tanks and for this I thank you.
One of my older fish, a purple tang I have had for about 5 years has been having difficulty eating. He 'hits' on the food ( I know he is hungry) but for some reason he misses it. After 4- 5 'hits' either another fish gets it or he moves on to another piece of food and the same thing happens.
<Mmm, typically indicative of blindness (usually nutritional, though can be biological disease related) or damage, or chemical poisoning of some sort...>
He is losing color and weight and I do not know what the problem might be.
His eyes are clear so I know he can see it. I have thought about relocating him to another tank but I don't think the stress will help.. he has been with his tankmates for years... everyone gets along and water quality is not an issue.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Some people would think me crazy but it would break my heart to lose this special fish.
<I would try switching food to something very palatable first... Spectrum (brand) pellets of medium size/diameter... Perhaps adding a feeding stimulant (vitamin, HUFA mix) to the food, water will re-trigger a feeding response. Please do keep me/us informed. Bob Fenner>

Purple tang lighting and food   1/18/06 Hi guys. <Hello Sam> I sent you an email wondering whether my lighting was sufficient enough for my tank. I have a FOWLR, 1 Picasso, tusk, and a purple tang. the tang   is new to the tank. I have 110watts of fluorescent lighting. I also tried to feed him sun dried algae and zucchini he wont eat either, even when it is in the  lettuce clip. Any advice on some veggies for him, and is the lighting good  enough? <Your lighting is fine for a FOWLR.  I don't like zucchini either.  Try some of the freeze dried sea veggies that are available.  Might want to try putting some frozen brine in there and get him into a eating habit.  The trigger isn't what I'd consider a good tank mate for the tang, just a tad too aggressive, and you also don't mention the size of your tank.  In future queries please cap all your I's and the beginning of a sentence.  Does make our job easier if we don't have to edit.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks Sam Purple tang and shrimp goby questions Hello there. I've had great fun reading and learning from your wonderful site. <Me too> Basics: we (my fiance and I) have a healthy, vibrant reef tank: one-year-old 55 gal, lots of live rock well-covered in coralline algae, several inches of live sand substrate, very good water quality checked regularly and maintained religiously. As far as hardware, we have a CPR BakPak skimmer, three burly powerheads to move the water around (one agitates the surface -- FAQs!) , and a small AquaClear filter that gets its media cleaned several times per week (FAQs!). Lighting is about 200W of mixed color-temp (one yellow-er tube, one purple-er tube). Fish: A. melanopus clown w/green bubble-tip anemone, purple tang (young adult, 3-4"), red fire goby (yeah, I know, not the best match, got it when the tank was "gentler"), and a big royal Gramma. Everyone seems to be getting along fine. Inverts include various hard and soft corals (pulsing xenia, galaxy coral, mushrooms, plate coral, torch coral, daisy coral, etc) plus a good number of snails and a few hermits. Two big peppermint shrimp. Oh, and a Randall's pistol shrimp, more on him in a sec. We feed a combination of Mysis shrimp, Cyclop-eeze, and assorted San Francisco Bay brand frozen prepared food (meat- and veggie-based). I've also been throwing in some Nori for the tang (FAQs again!).  Questions (finally!): (1) The tang is constantly hungry and has cleared out virtually all greens in the tank. It's also nibbled a lot at the xenia which is irksome as it's our favorite coral. We are wary of over-feeding as we have had phosphate spikes related to overfeeding which gave us Cyanobacteria problems (all better now -- FAQs!). Between the tang and the clown (we named him "Piglet") all food thrown in the tank basically vanishes. How much food should we give? In particular, how much Nori for the tang? <To the point the fish doesn't appear concave... thin> Also, in what form: one big hunk, diced up small, etc? I've been feeding about 1-2 square inches per day of the Nori, playing around with a few big hunks versus chopped fine. It all seems to vanish. (2) We bought the Randall's pistol shrimp in combination with a Stonogobiops yasha (white-rayed shrimp goby or "Yasha Hase" goby). They lived together for a while then decided to move apart. Then the goby decided it liked the carpet better and we got expensive reef jerky :( The shrimp is still happily maintaining and expanding his burrow. Three weeks ago we got him another friend (same species of goby). The goby backed into the shrimp's hole -- and was never seen again. Perhaps reef jerky again? <Or a shrimp meal> Never found him -- maybe the cats did. In any case, we have secured the tank with taped-down screen and are ready to try again. Do you know what species of goby are compatible with this shrimp? <Mmm, there are in print lists of naturally occurring hosts... but in captivity, many if not most "shrimp gobies" can/will learn to associate... See WWM re the various genera, species here> In particular, is Randall's shrimp goby? <Yes> (Seems likely from the name but you never know). Any other recommendations based on availability, personality, compatibility, maintainability? <Nope> (3) Lastly, would a six-line wrasse be a good match for this tank? I love those guys. <Perhaps, but may work your alpheid woe. Bob Fenner>

Purple Tangs I just purchased a Purple Tang (med) three days ago. I have not seen him eat  since the introduction to my tank. I have tried frozen, and live Brine, as  well as flake and algae sheets....Should I be worried or what should I try next....Thanks for your help. Jay Farley <<Do you have live rock in this system? It's probably nibbling bits of life from there... I wouldn't worry unless the animal was obviously getting thinner. Bob Fenner>>

Purple tang How often a day should I be feeding my purple tang?  <depends on the amount if any of other algae naturally in the tank with live rock and beyond (Caulerpa farmed from refugiums, diatoms on glass, natural turf algae, etc). If your tank has little of the above, then 2-3 small feedings daily will be necessary. Else, as little as several feedings weekly with a lot of natural greenstuffs in the tank> I feed him about 1inch by 1 inch piece of seaweed selects each plus I feed him a 1/2 a cube of either Formula 2 Spirulina or frozen Kelp which I rotate.  <all very nice> He always seems hungry.  <they graze naturally all the time> I have about 90 lbs of LR in a 75 gal tank- He doesn't really pick at the LR at all- The LR has of coralline algae but I think my cleanup crew(45hermits 55 snails) didn't leave anything for him- <correct> Should I remove some of these hermits?  <that could afford more greens for the tangs and also help any live sand (hermits are rough on the microfauna)> Do I need to feed him more Greens/ more often?  <perhaps more often daily tiny feedings to maintain weight and growth> Everything I put in he consumes fast and seem to always be looking for more. I am just concerned about over feeding him or possibly under feeding him. Please let me know- Ron <without any significant nuisance algae growth, it seems unlikely that you are overfeeding. Best regards, Anthony>

Diet Recently, I started feeding my marine fish Mysis shrimp together with Spirulina soaked in Zoe. Soon thereafter, having switched from Formula One & Two to this, the Purple Tang developed Lateral Line or Hole In the Head Disease. <Probably not the cause, but not helping matters either.> Though the Mysis has lots of protein, might this be the cause of this affliction and should I cease using it in deference to a greater mixture of frozen food along with lettuce occasionally? <Lettuce is terrible. Keep feeding what you are, plus add the Formula II back and get some Nori and vitamins to soak your food in addition to the Selcon.> THANKS, Stephen Pace <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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