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

Related Articles: Striped Zebrasoma Tangs, the Genus Zebrasoma

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

  At the very  least a hundred gallons...

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

Flasher Wrasse Question      11/10/18
Good morning crew!
A quick question on stocking Carpenter's Flasher Wrasses. My current system is a 75 gallon reef (plumbed in line with a 30 gallon mangrove tank and 20-tall sump) - so total system volume around 100 gallons. My current fish stocking list is as follows:
Desjardinii tang

<Yikes; will get MUCH larger in time>
Potters Angel
Helfrichi Firefish
pair of Ocellaris clowns
Tailspot blenny
I've been planning to add a small harem of Carpenter's Flasher Wrasses - 1 male, 2 females.
<Mmm; I wouldn't w/o re/moving the Zebrasoma first... not enough psychological/room here>
I finally found someone who has females in stock. I wanted to clarify a couple of things:
1 - I've read in 1 or 2 places that it is best NOT to quarantine these fish. I wanted to get your opinion on this. My usual quarantine is 6 weeks for all new arrivals. Thoughts?
<IF the fish/es are in good (apparent) shape, full-bodied, feeding, they may benefit from quarantine... THEY ARE JUMPERS! A small opening may find them out on the floor; more so in small/er volumes. IF they were mine, I'd likely utilize a dip/bath (see WWM re) and simply place them in the main/display>
2 - I've read that I should add the females first. Is that advisable, or would it be ok to add the females and male all at once. My concern is one of the females turning male while the male is in quarantine if I wait.
<For a trio... this setting, I'd place all at once>
As always, your input is greatly appreciated.
<Again; I'd trade out your Tang in advance of introducing the Wrasses. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flasher Wrasse Question     11/11/18

<Hey Charles>
Thanks for the prompt reply. I do plan to upgrade to a significantly larger system in the next couple of years (though I’m well aware of the danger of using that as a plan for fish size). Are there any particular signs in the tang’s behavior I should look for to indicate it has reached a size that is “too big” for its current home?
<"Jousting" so to speak... chasing other fishes, swiping at them w/ its caudal peduncle>
If I were to remove the tang and replace it with, for example, a purple tang, would there be enough space for the wrasses, or is this a case of either the wrasse harem or a tang?
<More time; yes. Z. xanthurum is "more calm" and doesn't get as large as the other Sailfin sp.>
Am I just all full at this point with species space in the tank?
<Per the livestock you list fish-wise, yes. Again... you can review what I stated earlier. >
I’d like to have one more species in there to provide additional movement and color.
<For me; I'd go w/ the Flashers, maybe switch the tang out for a Ctenochaetus species. BobF>

Re: Seeking second opinion on FOWLR stocking. (Scott F.) FOWLR Stocking: Long Term Sailfin Tang Husbandry 11/25/08 Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thank you for the answer and insight, I will give the Wrasses that you suggested some thought. <Good! I think that you're bound to find a species among the Halichoeres genus that appeals to you!> I agree that the Sailfin will in all likelihood need much larger quarters in the future. In your opinion, as this juvenile is under three inches (7.5cm) long , would I have a year before the Sailfin gets too large for this tank? As my wife has grown rather attached to the fish (she names them), and we are in the process of looking for a larger home, it will be easier to justify the purchase of a 300 gallon (1135 liter) tank in the next year. After that, I am thinking of making the 150 a dedicated species tank of some sort. <Hmm..I'm always hesitant to give the thumbs up to temporary quarters for a fish that we know can get huge, but here's my two cents worth: In my experience, this fish can grow surprisingly rapidly. Given a good diet (rich in marine macroalgae, such as Gracilaria), a decent amount of space, and good water quality, it's not uncommon for this fish to grow as much as 4 or more inches in a year! Just make sure that you really get that 300 gallon system in the next year...And you might need to go larger still to accommodate this guy for anything approaching a natural life span!> Regarding your comment that it was somewhat unusual to have two types of Gramma in one tank, I was somewhat nervous adding both types of Grammas myself. However, as both Grammas and the Cherub Angel were in the same small holding tank at the LFS, I figured I had better than even odds that some sort of pecking order had already been established and everyone would get along. After an hour of open mouth displays to each other in the tank, the Blackcap settled in to a cluster of rock, with the Royal finding a home on the other side of the tank. Their behavior is markedly different, the Royal is more of a free swimming fish, while the Blackcap likes to stay close to "home", never venturing very far from his rocks. <Excellent observation. I would love to see some intrepid hobbyist with the right combination of creativity, skill, and space (AND finances!) try keeping a dedicated aquarium with a colony of either one of these fishes. Not only do I think that it would make for a spectacular display- I think it will afford the opportunity to witness spawning behavior in these beautiful fishes! Somebody out there: Take my challenge and show the world your unique species aquarium!> Thank You Again, Mike <My pleasure, Mike! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Yummy tangs... Hey Lorenzo,
Just have a quick question for you. My current 54 gallon corner has a pair of true Percula clowns, a flame angel, an algae blenny, a Kole tang, and a couple dozen misc. hermits and snails. I have 45 lbs of live rock, a DSB, and a Prizm protein skimmer as filtration.
<Under-skimmed, big time.>
I just added the Kole tang and the cleaner shrimp about two weeks ago but I just lost my 4 eyed butter fly last weekend due to starvation. (I never could get it to eat consistently)
<OOOH. Darn.>
Anyways, I was at a restaurant and I saw a Desjardin Sailfin Tang.
<On your plate?>
I was wondering if I could add this fish in without causing any major disturbances.
<You should ask your doctor about this and other gastro-intestinal problems. Many ornamental fish are quite poisonous...>
I also plan to upgrade my skimmer to a Remora Pro and add another 45 lbs of live rock.
<Ah Ahh! GREAT skimmer, definitely will do the trick on your 54g. You really have room in there for 45 more pounds of rock? 90 pounds in a 54 gallon tank is pretty serious! Sounds nice though.>
De you think this fish will fit in ok or should I look towards something else?
<Mix with other fish should be fine... but don't do it until you have the bigger skimmer - your tank is already heavily loaded, especially with just the Prizm. And don't eat any more valuable Tangs... :-P > Thank You,
Jonathan Pac
<You're welcome! -Lorenzo> <<Zo... this fish gets way too big for this size, shape tank. RMF>>

Pacific Sailfin Tang-- is this a problem? Hi Bob, I hate to be a pest, but I think I might have made a mistake? (or should I have said another mistake?) <To err...> Yesterday, I went out to get a Kole Tang, however when I got there the Kole in question was a little thin. They didn't recommend me buying it. (Very good LFS if you remember.) So I thought I'd look at some other Tangs that were in the Zebrasoma Family <genus>, as recommended. They had Yellow Tangs, Purple Tangs and a couple Sailfin Tangs. <A nice assortment> I want something a little different. And the purple Tangs were really expensive. So I've got a Sailfin Tang. I remember reading about them in your book, and I couldn't remember anything negative about them. <They get big...> When I got home are read some more. I was surprised to find out that they get to be 15 in. in the wild - probably means around half that in an aquarium, but still... you also didn't especially recommend them in your new book, giving them a two (not sure if that was because of how big they get or something else?) <That reason.> The strange thing about this is that it was one of the smaller Tangs there, <So was I... once.> Not counting the purple tangs, which were quite small. I think the Sailfin is about 3 1/2-4 inches or so, of course not counting all the fin. <And just a juvenile> So my question to you is this: Just how long his this fish quite to fit in my 40 gallon tank? (I don't think it's a juvenile as I've seen some pictures of them.) <Months...> Should I take it back or something radical like that? <Likely no... better to be thinking of, gearing up for a larger system in future> BTW, it appears to be healthy fish, getting used to the tank and ate some brine shrimp mixed with Spirulina. I also put some Nori in there for it. <They are very tough, adaptable> Thanks again for being there! --Jane <A pleasure my friend. Bob Fenner>

Taken By A Tang! My email address has changed. Sorry about the incorrect email address and thank you. <No problem> I have done some more reading on your site today at work and think I have found an interesting fish. The Sailfin Tang seems to have caught my attention. <A beautiful fish- one of my all-time favorites-but they get HUGE!> I also know that in 1 year or so I would need to upgrade the tank <Yep- substantially!> but when that comes, I would do it as before. Thanks for the wonderful web site and your valuable time need to start charging lol. <Yep-I'm glad that you will plan on upgrading to a larger tank with this guy- they are awesome fish- but they demand a very large tank to live out their full life span in comfort. You just have to be prepared for this if you want to keep this fish! They make terrific aquarium species if you can meet their needs. Plan, prepare- and make it so! Good luck! Scott F.> Taken By A Tang (Pt. 2) The Sailfin Tang seems to have caught my attention. Well, another question: What size tank would this fish be comfortable in full grown? I have the time to do it right the first time and some what the money to do it right. <Good for you! That's really the correct way to approach keeping any fish, especially one that can reach 15 inches! I'd say that to house this fish comfortably for its full life span, you'd want an aquarium that is 8-10 feet long, and holds around 300 to 500 gallons or more, IMO. I have spent plenty of time swimming with these fishes around Kona, and I can tell you that they maintain very large territories, and require a large amount of swimming room to be happy and comfortable. If you take the time to create a system suitable for their requirements, your fish will reward you with many years of enjoyment. Take Care! Scott F.>

Mixing Tangs, lights for an LTA 8/29/05 I have a very small sailfin tang in my 55 gallon tank along with 2 perculas clowns, a bullet goby, and a cleaner shrimp. I want to know if I add a blue hippo tang would it fight with the sailfin because I would also like to add a yellow tang but I would much rather have the blue hippo. also is a 260watt light enough power for an LTA <... The Sailfin will grow too large for this tank... your compatibility and lighting questions are answered, archived on WWM... learn to/use the indices and/or Google search tool there. Bob Fenner>

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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