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FAQs on the Powder Blue Tang Systems

Related Articles: Powder Blue Tangs, Acanthurus Tangs

Related FAQs: Powder Blue Tangs 1, Powder Blue Tangs 2, Powder Blue Tang Identification, PBT Behavior, PBT Compatibility, PBT Selection, PBT Feeding, PBT Disease, PBT Reproduction, Acanthurus Tangs 1Acanthurus Tangs 2, Acanthurus Tangs 3, Acanthurus ID, Acanthurus Behavior, Acanthurus Compatibility, Acanthurus Selection, Acanthurus Systems, Acanthurus Feeding, Acanthurus Disease, Acanthurus Reproduction, A. sohal, A. nigricans & A. japonicus, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Selection, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Large, well-established, under-stocked, lots of live rock, high water quality, great circulation, high DO...

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Palette Tang or Powder Blue Tang - Tank Size? (bigger than available here) – 07/18/12
<<Hiya Allie!>>
I have recently set up and finished cycling my 120g SPS tank (40 gallon sump/fuge). Although I haven't put any fish in yet (I'm going to wait a good while),
I am currently planning out my stocking list out.
<<Will be time well spent>>
I am looking at having one relatively large "centerpiece" fish and was interested in perhaps getting a tang - the two I have my eye on are the Powder Blue Tang and the Palette/Hippo Tang.
<<Mmm…I see>>
The tank has lots of flow: 2 Vortech MP40s on max, which I know most surgeonfish enjoy.
However, as my tank is only 4' long (2' width, 2' height), I know this is considered controversial: a lot of literature I am reading says both of these species need 6-8 feet tanks at minimum.
<<Yes…pacers/roamers…with the Paracanthurus needing at least twice the volume you have, as well>>
However, browsing your site I read that you wrote "Paracanthurus...should not be kept in anything smaller than a 75" (in response to "Tang families (sic, genera) and tank size"). I was wondering if that still holds up and if you think either of these species would be a suitable choice, especially long-term?
<<The Powder Blue is the better choice re your tank size…but still may be not the “best” choice. I’m going to suggest you research more/better options here…especially if your experience in the hobby is minimal>>
They would ideally be added last
when the system is more mature. Thanks for any advice! :)
<<Do think hard on this… Do more research on your choices thus far… And maybe look at what other Tang species are available… And… Feel free to come back/discuss further your findings/decisions. Cheers… EricR>>

Upgrade... Tank size... sump and lights too?  11/29/11
Hello Sir,
I currently have a 130 G reef
<Mmm, small for Acanthurus leucosternon>
 with sump and MH lights. I am considering upgrade to a larger tank so my corals and fish have more room to grow. I am thinking of either 180 or 210 and that being the case, do I need to replace my sump?
<Not necessarily, no>
 Also my MH light strip is 72" long and do I need to replace this as well? Thank you! Dai Phan
<Depends on the position, species of photosynthetic life... and your appreciation... BobF>

Add New Tang to the Mix? -- 11/23/09
Hello WWM Crew!
Love the site here!
<<Happy to know>>
I have yet another Tang Compatibility question that I could not find.
<<Another one? [grin]>>
I have a 4' 100g tank with about 175 pounds of Live Rock that's been setup for 2 years. Inhabitants are; Scott's Fairy Wrasse (4"), Ruby Head Wrasse (4"), Ocellaris (1"), Purple Firefish (2"), Purple Tang (3") and 3 Threadfin Cardinals. I have the opportunity to acquire a Powder Blue Tang that is around 3-4" that has been housed in a 55g, and I was wondering if this was a good idea?
<<Mmm, not really mate'¦not for the long term>>
Also have a 30g Frag tank and a 10g QT tank, so I would absolutely QT and introduce correctly.
<<Understood'¦ But the real issue here is the size of the environment. The Powder Blue really needs a bigger environment for itself alone. If your tank was a bit longer and larger (at least 6-foot and 125g) I would give you the thumbs-up to try this, but a 4-foot system'¦even at 100g'¦is too small for these two Tangs to be kept together and keep them happy and healthy for the decade-plus they can/should live in captivity. As much as that Powder Blue 'should not' be in that 55g tank, adding it to your tank with the Purple Tang is not the answer'¦in my opinion>>
And could even take the Purple Tang out and re-introduce them together. You think that is a good idea?
<<Your system sounds very nice, with a fine 'balance' of fishes'¦I fear adding the Powder Blue here will upset this balance>>
Thanks in advance! You guys rock!
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Acanthurus leucosternon mistake Re: Powder Blue Tang mistake (Acanthurus leucosternon) 11/29/08 Hi WWM Crew!, <Jessy here.> I am fairly new to the saltwater fish hobby (just over half a year) and I am afraid That I made a mistake by purchasing a small specimen of Acanthurus leucosternon. <Many have my friend> I heard they are tricky to get eating and should be left in the ocean. <Not so sure I agree with this totally> My tank is a ninety gallon tank with a Pterois volitans that is about three or four inches long, Arothron nigropunctatus that is about three inches long, Echidna nebulosa about five of six inches, and a Richardson's eel (I am currently not aware of it's scientific name, if you could give me its name that would be excellent.) that's about six inches long. <Mmm not too savvy on eels, perhaps one of the other crew could chime in> The pet store I bought him/her from said they were as easy to keep as any other tang, and it was a spur of the moment type thing, and he seemed to be priced really well for thirty dollars at two to three inches in length-that's over half less then liveaquaria.com which I assumed had some excellent deals in the past. <Indeed that is an AMAZING price!> Anyways I put him in today after being quarantined and he seemed really happy and content. At first I thought the Pterois volitans was going to get him but he was just curious and he doesn't even care that he is in the tank now. He seemed really healthy, swimming around and eating some of the algae from the rocks and seaweed from my veggie clip. I read from one of your FAQ's that they really need a 300+gallon tank (this was my fault again, reading that article after I bought him) but I plan to keep them in a 180 gallon when all the fish get bigger, then I eventually wanted to do an indoor pond thing that's at least 500+ gallons, so I am good on the adult size of the fish. Here is a link of for the pond/pool I had an idea of setting up in the future, I got this idea from a forum monsterfishkeepres.com: http://www.target.com/Round-Prism-Pool-Package/dp/B0001E4KN8/sr=1-15/qid=122 7927914/ref=sr_1_15/191-6831975-9483921?ie=UTF8&index=target&rh=k%3Aabove%20 ground%20pool&page=1. It might be an over kill but then there will be enough room for the tang, and maybe some other fish. What do you think of the idea? Also, what else would you recommend feeding the tang? He is eating the dried seaweed on his first day in the main tank, so everything seems fine. I am just worried i will not be able to properly care for this beautiful fish. <Will, I would say that you CAN have this tang in a smaller tank than 300 while it is growing. But, I wouldn't keep it in a tank less than 6ft in length minimum, 8ft preferred. A ninety gallon is too small this fish except in its smallest form. Personally, I've not experienced any issues with feeding these tangs. As with most all tangs, they'll accept Nori and frozen food quite readily. Its the ich you've got to worry about. These fish are extremely susceptible to it, even more than other tangs. I would say that the 180 will be a good home for it at this size and upgrade when you can and when the fish gets bigger and more aggressive. Thanks WWM Crew, Will <No prob. Jessy>

Tang families (sic, genera) and tank size   2/19/08 Mr Fenner, I would first like to note that I have read several of your online publications recently and found the detail to be of great value. Thank you for your efforts in relaying information to marine hobbyists such as myself. <A pleasure to share; a hope to relate information of worth> I have a question about the various families of tangs in relation to their suitable home aquarium size. I read through your documentation on wetwebmedia.com and there are only a few noted tank volumes recommended as a minimum for the families; <Ah, genera> the Acanthurus, Ctenochaetus, and Zebrasoma all note a guideline size starting at 50 gallons. I was wondering if the data is current, <Mmm, not really is likely a reasonable response. Having been a content provider in the trade and hobby for... is it really more than forty years?... much of my in-print work is woefully dated... and worse... extant w/o this note> and if perhaps you had some additional recommendations or adjusted recommendations for tank size for any of the 5 major families on the site? <Well... for most small species of Acanthurus, all the Bristlemouth and Sailfin species, really a fifty gallon volume that is otherwise not crowded... will suffice... that is, with otherwise good maintenance, nutrition... keep these species alive, healthy for something like a "normal" average maximum life span... However... Some Acanthurus get quite large (saw an absolutely gorgeous group of five A. blochii yesterday diving off Crescent Bay/Manta Ray Cove here on HI's Big Island... I do hope my video of them came out... and I do wish I knew enough re editing, placing such on this/these devices that I could immediately (if not sooner) share this with you... But these were all more than a foot long body length (more with their caudals)... These would need hundreds of gallons... Naso and Prionurus species likewise need hundreds of gallons... systems of at least a couple metres/six foot "run"/length to be happy, grow, survive for any real period of time... Oh, and Paracanthurus... should not be kept in anything smaller than a 75... It should go w/o saying, but am always aware that many less-sophisticated folk may read this... that "bigger is better" for sure... behaviorally and physiologically with these and all other fish groups.> There are several message boards that I frequent, of which they all have a group of people who state that the minimum tank size for most tangs would be something with a 6' length, and nothing smaller than a 75 or even 90 gallon for Zebrasomas or Ctenochaetus. Is there any data that supports specific sizes for these tangs? <Mmm, anecdotal experience mostly... There are historical, institutional longevity records for some species... but these are almost always kept in vastly larger systems... But I've kept, personally can account for the most popular species care in the stated volumes by our and other service companies...> I only ask out of curiosity, personally, I have a 180g tank and have been in the hobby for a couple years, but would much prefer to gather all the data that I can as a reference. Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated. Alex Liffick <Thank you for your interest, asking. I do ask in turn that when you have confidence, time, that you consider joining our WWM Crew in aiding others. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Large Fish Tanks/Tangs/Stocking - 09/07/06 Hi Bob, <<EricR here today...Bob's off to Jamaica for a B-day dive treat for his wife...and who knows, maybe some dreadlocks for himself while he's at it...>> Writing to you about a concern of how big my fish could get. <<Mmm...usually quite easy to find/determine at fishbase.org>> I have a 75-gallon reef-type setup that is a fish only tank. <<...?  Isn't that a contradiction of terms? <grin> >> I recently purchased a T5 lighting system for this tank thinking that I was going to turn it into a reef, but I really like the fish I have so I was thinking otherwise. <<Ahh, okay>> The fish include a Flagfin angel about 4 inches, a powder blue tang about 3 inches, <<This tang is not easily kept under the best of conditions, and tank is not big enough for this fish>> a yellow tang about 4 inches, two skunk clowns, a Potter's angel about 3 inches, and a Randall's goby.  If I were to move into a larger tank would a 120-gallon be good for these fish or is it to short? <<A six-foot tank would be better, more swimming space for those active tangs...though in this case this is more an issue with the Powder-Blue than the Yellow>> I would like to use this lighting system which is the same length or should I just get some of these fish out? <<Remove the Powder-Blue and I think the rest would do fine in the 120>> Thanks, Ron. <<Regards, EricR>>

Schooling PB Tangs  8/25/06 Bob, <Scott> Re - this statement - "On the issue of how many, one is the magic number for all but the more huge (thousands of gallons) systems."  My client has a strong affinity for the Powder Blue over all other tangs.  Would his 1300g (8x8x30) <Neat... but man oh man... not easy to work in!> be large enough to keep a small school in your opinion? <Mmm, yes> And if so, how many would you keep? <Three>   It's a very, very decked out system and will be peaceful and understocked (by normal aquarium standards).  They would be the fish showpiece of the aquarium, next to only a Naso Tang. Scott <Could try five, but I'd go with three... that are super-clean... at least thoroughly dipped/bathed... Am sure you know the route. Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn Coral and a  Fish fight... Euphyllia beh. and PB Tang sys. Hello Everyone. <James> I saw something strange in the tank this morning and I will do my best to describe it on the frogspawn colony. First off, only one outcrop did this and the others on the branch did not. It seemed to balloon at the bottom (where attached) with the polyps retracted. This I have not seen before as normally they just retract polyps if they are touched or at night. This branch all were getting morning sunlight though not direct bright light. I never have seen this before and can only describe it as ballooning at the bottom. Do you have any idea what this behavior is? Spawning maybe??? =) <Perhaps> Part two comes with some surprise from me. I introduced my powder blue tang to the main tank last night and it was not well received by the Foxface?!? <Mmm, not unusual... the two families are closely related... use similar niches...> Now, okay, they are both surgeon fish but they are not the same species, as with Zebrasomas for instance; so if I mixed a yellow and purple tang together I should certainly expect trouble. The Foxface has been a very peaceful and easy going fish and has got along very well with everything in the tank thus far. I thought more of it as the big (bigger now and compared to the others anyway) yellow coward. It was strange, this fish swam over and immediately started at the powder blue with its spines and they went at each other for a little while before I shut the lights completely (I just couldn't catch the P.B.T. around all the live rock to remove it). This morning they are on opposite sides of the tank and I switched the lights off rather than have the lights come on with the timers so I can see how they interact when I get back home. I figured I would have had to move the firefish to the 24 gallon and planned on it (just too passive). I thought the royal Gramma and flame angel would both adapt and thus far seem to. Work issues and travel kept me from this introduction sooner so the qt period for the PBT was about 3.5 weeks rather than the 2.5 I wanted.   <Longer is better here> I still have the 55 gallon tank in addition to the 24 gallon (was just used for QT for the PBT) plus the main tank 75 megaflow with a 20 gallon RDP sump/refugium. I really do not want to put either fish in the 24gallon as it is way to small long term. Both fish are marked from their little tiff. Size wise the Foxface is larger by about an inch. <Good. Better> Had the aggression started from the PBT I would not be as surprised. I did not think Foxy had this in her. I do not like seeing her mottled and unhappy in the corner of the tank. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Re-setup of the 55 gallon tank won't be impossible just difficult and more expensive as I will need a new filter, light and protein skimmer... I moved these to the 75 setup in place of the 55 though I kept that tank and stand. Wow, surprises... Thank you. James Zimmer <I would just wait this out at this point. Likely they will "learn to get along"... Acanthurus leucosternon needs more space than a 75... Bob Fenner> Tang mixing question   1/14/06 All, <Derek> As I've only had a reef tank for about a year, I've greatly enjoyed reading your books and website - much good information and counsel! <Good to hear/read> Now that you're properly primed, I have a fairly basic question regarding two tangs.  In brief, I would like to put a Power Blue in with a Sailfin (Zebrasoma veliferum) in my big tank. <Can be done> I have a one year old 30 gal reef tank and a 2 month old 220 gal reef tank.  The 4" Power Blue has been in the 30 gal tank for about 8 months - and is doing very well, if a bit cramped.  I introduced the 3.5-4" Sailfin to the large tank about a week ago. <Mmmm> Fish-wise, also in the big tank, I have: -mated pair of maroon clowns -coral beauty -3 Banggai cardinals (or bad guy cardinals as my 4yo daughter calls them) -3 Chromis By the 5-gallons-per-square-inch-of-fish measure, I know I'm already over my mark. . . Never the less, the advice I've been given is that I should be fine putting the PBT in with everyone else. The argument I've heard is that the PBT and the Sailfin are different shapes, so they will cohabitate no problem. <Likely so... with a bit of periodic jousting... especially at first> Is this bunk, or is there actually a legit argument there? Thank you in advance, Derek <Would be better if the larger communal system were a bit more aged (a few months), but there is the question of present crowding alternatively... Bob Fenner>

Torn Between two tangs 10-12-05 Dear Crew, <<Hello>> I have a 180 g FOWLR that had been a closed system for quite some time until this summer when after a 4 wk quarantine I added an adult emperor angel. <<QT should always be a minimum of 4 weeks and I personally suggest a minimum of 6 weeks on tangs and angels as they like to harbor "nasties".>> The 180 had a powder blue and a Naso tang, both beautiful fish. A purple tang and Foxface that I have had for 8-9 years were looking like they were on their last  leg ( probably old age , I guess ) and I decided to open the system to new inhabitants. Unfortunately, despite using a QT the tangs look like they came down with crypt. I pulled all fish from the system, treated then in QT's with copper for 3 weeks and let the display lie fallow for 5 weeks. <<Again as a general rule, a tank should be left fallow for 6-8 weeks and temp. should be raised as high as tolerable for current inhabitants to increase the rate of the parasite life cycle.>> I have since re-introduced all of the fish except for the tangs. For 4 weeks since the 180 has been with fish the system looks great. My tangs are also doing well while still in the QT except for some HLLE that they acquired while copper treated.  The Naso has a few scattered papules on the face and head and body that copper had no effect on ( ? HLLE ) but is otherwise doing great. The Naso and powder blue are in a 55 g tank together. The papules on the Naso are whitish and  much 4-5 times larger than what is seen with crypt, this has been a chronic condition for this fish but it has not been that noticeable nor has it affected the fish's activity eating etc. Now I am faced with a dilemma : Should I dare re-introduce the tangs into the display. I fear that tangs are very "parasite prone" Currently the 180 has an adult emperor 6". a majestic 4-5" Foxface 5" Heniochus 4" a couple of clowns and one damsel, 250lbs of LR with plenty of hiding places. Probably no good answer to this question, but I thought I would try asking. <<The best answer I can give is; if you don't feel comfortable doing it, then don't do it. You are correct in your thinking that tangs are prone to infection. My advice would be to pick one and give the other to a friend or set up the 55 for the outsider.>> Jimmy <<TravisM>><<<I actually am going to make a comment... both species listed here are unsuitable for a four foot long system (should be in six foot minimum)... the mucus marks on the Naso are likely "just" resultant from stress... RMF>>>

Powder Blue Tangle! I recently purchased a powder blue tang, despite my better judgment from what I heard about the difficulty in caring for this species. System: 125 gal (fish only) 1.023 salinity Temp:  76 0.2 ammonia (a little high, maybe due to adding new fish?) <Yes- too high...Something is amiss with your husbandry! Maybe the tank is a bit overcrowded-possibly too much waste product... Do re-check...Review skimming, filtration, water changes, feeding practices. This needs to be corrected IMMEDIATELY! Do not even think of adding anything else until this problem is corrected! Sorry to lecture- but I urge you to jump on this immediately! Your fishes lives' depend on this.> Nitrite ok <Assuming that means "undetectable"- right?> Tank mates: Fiji puffer 3" Naso tang <That Naso will get HUGE- be prepared to move him to a larger home at some point, okay?> 4" orange spotted rabbit 4" Wrasse I've had him for about 1-1/2 weeks now. <Please tell me that you quarantined him...Please?> I saw him eat quite vigorously at the fish store (flakes) so I thought he was pretty healthy, but I did notice some scratching. <Umm- that was a mistake, IMO. Never purchase a sick fish, no matter how well he is eating...Especially if you don't quarantine!> 1st day I took him home and gave a freshwater dip prior to putting him into the main tank since I don't have an QT set up. <Please invest in one- it's well worth the minor expense and effort! At least you dipped the fish, that's a starting point!> That evening I fed him, but he didn't really eat 2nd day morning he began eating more. 3rd day he was eating well and looked good. Swimming around the tank quickly (not flashing) Continued to eat well (Mysis shrimp and formula 2) About 4 days ago he slowed his eating again.  Won't touch the Mysis shrimp, very selectively eats the small specs of flakes and formula 2 that I feed them. Swimming also slowed down and sometimes hides in a little cave in the tank. I tried the Nori, but he doesn't seem to go for that either. Observation: No sign of scratching No sign of sores No sign of cloudy eyes No sign of heavy breathing Some patchy signs of slight discoloration on the body, I think from when he was scratching No signs of white spots on him. No sign of bullying <That ammonia reading has something to do with this- I'll bet on that! Re-check all water and environmental parameters again> >Question: 1) I was looking on the website a read about the powder blues and noticed most of the people with the powder blue have a reef tank.  Can a powder blue live in a fish only tank with no live rock? <As long as you provide it with stable conditions, proper food, and plenty of room, you certainly can maintain the fish in this type of setup> 2) Why do you think the fish slowed his eating could it be the ammonia level?  That's the only thing I can see and think of that is making him unhappy? <Absolutely...Plus, whatever illness he might have had at the store could be re-emerging due to the stress of the ammonia level...> 3)  What other food should I try to feed him?  Should I get some live rock for him to eat?   <I'd try a macroalgae, such as Gracilaria ("Ogo"). Tangs go nuts over this stuff, and it's highly nutritious!> 4) I know the fish store I go to doesn't sell the Caulerpa since I think they said it was banned in California since people were dumping it starting growing out of control in the wildlife.  Is there another type of algae I should get for him to eat and start a refugium? <I'd go for the Gracilaria...Try Indo Pacific Sea Farms...> I'm beginning to think I made a mistake by getting him.  He's causing me a lot of stress worrying about him.  I would appreciate any advice and information you can provide me on caring for this guy. Thanks Maurice <Well, Maurice- don't be so hard on yourself. Yes- you made some mistakes, and yes-there may be some problems. But with immediate attention to the problems at hand, you can achieve success with this fish. If you've learned something from this, it will not be a wasted lesson. The most important thing when attempting to keep any fish, particularly a fish with a dubious reputation for hardiness, is to read and learn everything that you possibly can about the fish, and prepare for it's care BEFORE you make the purchase. I think you have learned that now. However, the fish needs to be removed and observed for possible illness. You really need to get a handle on the ammonia problem. I know that you can do it. I'm sorry that the fish is going through this-but it's obvious you care, so get to it! He's depending on you. Do read up on quarantine, disease treatment, etc. on the WetWebMedia.Com site and take action. Good luck! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

A few questions (Powder Blue Tangs) Hello, it has been awhile since I've written in, but that's mostly due to the others who ask questions before I know that its the question I needed to ask.  <outstanding... the FAQ system works! <smile>> Thank you guys so much for providing us all with this vast database of pet-fishing knowledge.  <our pleasure> Well, a few questions this time.. I have a 58g reef tank (80g total water volume, including sumps) with 96 watt powercompacts (36" long tank.) My current filtration is: bio balls (wet / dry) , a protein skimmer that collects about a full cup of liquid every other day, and a bit over 100 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants are: white ribbon eel, maroon clown, bubble anemone, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, a clam I've never identified, and as of today, a powder blue tang. I know everyone says it's a bad idea to buy one, but I've resisted the urge for over two years.. the one I purchased is about 4.5" long, and is very fat, happy and colorful.  <one great problem aside from all shipping and acclimation problems notorious with this creature is that they come from very dynamic areas of a reef (surging reef crest action, even). As such... they need very low long tanks with tremendous water flow. They will stress and suffer in time without it. Some respond so severely as to even pace the tank which many aquarists recognize from seeing in store tanks (and their own) with fish such as Powder blue tangs, Nasos, spotted tangs, etc. I honestly think it is unlikely that your new tang will fare well in a 58 gall tank... all odds are against him, sorry to say> It was the first one I had seen without shipping damage or other tell-tale signs of collection abuse. As far as my water parameters, my salinity reads about 1.024-1.025 depending on when I changed the water last. To prevent problems with disease and the powder blue, should my salinity be high or low?  <nothing out of the ordinary after a good 4 week QT to screen for major parasites. Besides, your eel and shrimp will suffer with low salinity> Different LFS' have told me different answers to that one. I know my temp should be high, and it is currently 82.. is that high enough? too high?  <too high... 78-80 is fine> Ammo/nitrite/ph are dead on, calc is 450ish, nitrate slightly visible (20-30ppm depending on when water was last changed... should I remove the media from my trickle filter? is that done all at once or slowly?) <with enough live rock, good skimming and regular water changes... your tank (medium bio-load) is a candidate for removing bio-balls to reduce nitrate production. Do so slowly... portions over an 8 week period> other than that everything has gone great.. no additives put in this tank except for food for over a year now. The tank has been established nearly two years, and never has had a disease in it to my knowledge.) So on that basis I went ahead and purchased the healthy fish.. hope he does okay.. will try and get him to feed on Mysis/krill and seaweed (any seaweed type suggestions? so many to choose from these days..)  <plain sushi Nori from an Asian grocery store is a good start (like sea veggies from fish store but cheaper)> Also, I've never figured out what kind of clam I have.. I think perhaps a Derasa.. how are clams identified? From the pictures on your site I'd say it looks like a Tridacna Derasa.. it is about 3.5" in shell width (purchased it at about 2.5") and the mantle is a deep brownish/pink color with lightened blotches (looks like camouflage done up in brownish/pink) <many good pics, references on net... also Daniel Knops great Giant Clam book. Derasa is pretty distinct with flat smooth shell and limited color mantle... if yours looks like the pics, then probably a derasa> anyways, my question regarding the clam is.. it always has spit out stringers ( I have it in a low water flow area of the tank near the overflow intake, so it isn't stagnant or anything) that seem to hang about the clam until I brush them away by moving water near the clam.. which closes it up.) What are these?  <likely mucus from this heavy filter feeder... derasa clams tolerate and favor higher particulates then most clams> should I leave them be?  <yep> (should I stop putting parenthesis inside more parenthesis?(?))) :)  <("what do you mean?" (says the voice of parenthetical levity (in soliloquy)))> Thanks so much in advance, you're always a ton of help, as is the FAQ's on the site. <you are quite welcome> Regards, Bill Hammond <kindly, Anthony>

Powder Blue / Pearly Jawfish Hi Bob, Got a couple of questions to ask if you don't mind :) <<I don't think Bob minds at all, I get to answer the email... I hope YOU don't mind ;-) >> I have a 50 gallon reef, with ample filtration, great water conditions and water movement. Until last week, the only fish residents were to false Percs. When I went to the fish store last week, I saw this little 2-3 inch powder blue in a really bad tank, overcrowded by a lot of other fish, many of which were tangs and since it was so small, it was getting into really bad shape. I couldn't help it and decided to rescue the poor little guy. I know what I have isn't exactly suited for a powder blue but if it does happen to make it pass the mysterious death period of the first 2 months, I do plan to go to a bigger tank later on as it grows. <<If you do make it through this period, I would get the larger tank before it grows - large quarters are necessary to make this tang feel comfortable.>> Right now, it is doing much better than it was in that nasty tank before. Its body is rich blue and head is deep back, as compared to the pale colors it was exhibiting before. However, it only excepts very little bit of the food I offer it so far (Formula 2, Formula 1, brine shrimp soaked in vitamins, <<you should really use Mysis shrimp instead of brine - brine shrimp, regardless of gut loading and vitamin soaking are bunk.>> and rather spends his time picking off algae from the rocks, rear glass panel and the sand/crush coral. <<Yes, and you should probably try to substitute this with algae based foods, dried seaweed, Nori, etc.>> It is not showing any signs of emaciation as it is quite robust. Will he begin to eat more of what I offer him soon? Also does the powder blue eat hair filamentous algae like soft hair algae (I previously had a yellow tang and it ate all that hair algae up with a gusto). <<I would say this is different from tang to tang, but yours may find an appetite for it in time...>> In addition, sometimes it swims around the tank exhibiting the lines going down the blue part of his body (signs of aggression), I think perhaps looking for a fight? <<These color changes can mean all kinds of things, surprise, stress, aggression, depression, sleepy-time, etc.>> Is this normal for a new addition (4 days)? <<Well, most fish take weeks to adjust to a new tank so... I'd say the flashing is normal for a fish who is feeling a little out of join in a new tank.>> Lastly, I added a pearly Jawfish at the same time and this fish is quite comical. Although I hardly see it, I do enjoy watching this fish more than I thought. Its already dug itself a nice burrow with and continues to do stuff with the sand/crush coral and stirring up the sand bed. Yesterday, it ate for the first time several brine shrimps since I saw it peaking its head out from the burrow......When do you think this guy will come out a little bit more and eat a bit more? <<Well, these fish are known for staying mostly out of sight. In the burrow most of the time. Will likely only leave the hole for food if it doesn't drift by.>> Will it do okay with the powder blue in the tank? <<I think it will do fine.>> It really seems to me that the Powder Blue scares it when it swims by and it quickly zooms back in the tunnel. <<Well, the Jawfish is likewise a bit uncomfortable with the new surrounds. Give it some time.>> Does this mean that I have to get rid of one of them? <<No.>> Thanks Bob, sorry for the long e-mail and I look forward to your reply. Sincerely,
<<Cheers, J -- >>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care

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