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FAQs about the Striped Sailfin Tangs,  Zebrasoma desjardinii, Z. veliferum: Identification

Related Articles: Striped Zebrasoma Tangs, the Genus Zebrasoma

Related FAQs: Striped Sailfin Tangs 1, Striped Sailfin Tangs 2, & FAQs on:  Striped Sailfin Tangs BehaviorStriped Sailfin Tangs CompatibilityStriped Sailfin Tangs SelectionStriped Sailfin Tangs SystemsStriped Sailfin Tangs FeedingStriped Sailfin Tangs DiseaseStriped Sailfin Tangs Reproduction, & Zebrasomas I, Yellow Tangs, Purple TangsSurgeons In General, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Fishbase.org lists two species...

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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

Tang ID / Coral ID & Advice     5/29/13
Hi Bob, Crew:
It's been a while since I've written, the last time you may recall a few years back resulted in a Chloroquine Phosphate experiment in a 300 gallon display. I am hoping you can help me identify two species in a tank I have recently adopted.
The first, the Tang appears to me to be a Zebrasoma species, I am leaning toward veliferum; however, the tail markings are not consistent with what I read on your site. Can you ID the species and tell if it is a juvenile or adult?
<It is as you state; not quite an adult... grows to more than plate size in the wild; turns dark>
Secondly, we have a problematic / unhealthy handful of what appear to be Sinularia spp.
 I moved them toward the top of the tank nearer to the MH lighting and in an area of increased flow about a week ago. Most were near the bottom with weak flow prior. Can you help me ID the species or at least confirm I am headed in the right direction?
<Don't need much flow; but do have other specific needs... is there measurable NO3, HPO4 here?>
As you can see from the image,
the animal is not happy. The 125 gallon tank has been in place about 60 days with good, stable water parameters being 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, No traceable nitrates and S.G. of 1.025-26. 3-150 Watt MH (10,000k), 8 actinic florescent, with 12 hour photo period. I have targeted with iodine, strontium, and calcium alternate with carbon in the sump / refugium overflow chambers.
<... [Ca], [Mg], alkalinity? Other Cnidarian life present?>
I have included an overall view of the reef so you have a point of reference. The (Sinularia) species in question is right of the Kenya Tree near the top right of the image. It was moved from the far left, bottom where the red mushrooms are now.
<These are likely winning out over the Alcyonaceans... see WWM re them (compatibility FAQs) and allelopathy>
 I do not believe the tank is overcrowded;
although, there is a wide range of SPS, LPS, and soft coral. Everything else appears happy, healthy.
<Not all>
Thank you for your input!
<Read on! Bob Fenner>

Is this (Zebrasoma veliferum) the same species as Z. desjardinii of the I.O., RS Bob: Looks like veliferum to me? Photo from the Pacific?  <Yes, also off the dry side of the Big Island> Z. desjardinii of the Indian Ocean is a valid species close to veliferum.  <Ah, had read some accounts the latter was considered a junior synonym now...> Different fin-ray counts as well as some color differences. Aloha, Jack <Thank you for this Jack. Will add to the Zebrasoma FAQs on our www.WetWebMedia.com site. Bob Fenner><<Jack is Dr. John Randall, Bernice P. Bishop Museum. RMF>>

Re: Is this (Zebrasoma veliferum) the same species as Z. desjardinii of the I.O., RS <Response to daily pic email out by Werner Schmettkamp, BSV in Germany, owners/publishers of the mag. das Aquarium and Sven and Alf's fab Modern Coral Reef Aquarium books....> Dear Bob, it is indeed Zebrasoma veliferum, cause of the unspotted yellow tail fin. <Danke mein Herr. Be seeing you... this May at Interzoo. Bob Fenner> Take care, Werner

Indian Ocean v. Red Sea Sailfin III 11/11/03 In Calfo and Fenner's new book Reef Invertebrates they list Z. veliferum as a potential bubble algae control creature;  did they mean to include all members thereof  (including the Pacific or Hawaiian Sailfin) or is the Desjardin Sailfin the one commonly believed in aquaristics to be the right candidate? <as stated in the last e-mail, my friend... they are the same species (Desjardin/red sea Sailfin is simply a Z. veliferum) but anecdotally they are believed to be more inclined to rasp bubble algae: <<it is possible that a race of fishes (same species...different locale) is evolved or predisposed to eating some prey items over another. There is a strong belief in aquaristics that this is the case with the Red Sea Sailfin>> best regards, Anthony> <<Fishbase.org lists two species... RMF>>  

Zebrasoma desjardinii or Zebrasoma veliferum 1-10-08 Hello crew, <Yunachin here> I am not sure if this tang (picture attached) is Zebrasoma desjardinii or Zebrasoma veliferum. When I purchased him it was sold as Zebrasoma desjardinii but I am leaning toward it being Zebrasoma veliferum. <I am going to say that if this is an adult specimen then it is in fact the Zebrasoma veliferum. The differences between the two species are the markings on the tail, where an adult desjardinii will have a spotted tail and an adult veliferum will have the yellow tail. If this is a juvenile you are going to have to wait it out to see if the colors change. Here is a link as well for some more info on the two : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stripedzebrasomas.htm > Thanks much
John Maggio

very nice

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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