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FAQs about the Sohal Tang Compatibility

Related Articles: Sohal Surgeonfish, Genus AcanthurusNaso

Related FAQs:  Sohal Tangs 1, Sohal Tangs 2, & FAQs on: Sohal Tang IdentificationSohal Tang Behavior, Sohal Tang Selection, Sohal Tang Systems, Sohal Tang Feeding, Sohal Tang Disease, Sohal Tang Reproduction, & AcanthurusAcanthurus Tangs 2Acanthurus Tangs 3, Acanthurus ID, Acanthurus Behavior, Acanthurus Compatibility, Acanthurus Selection, Acanthurus Systems, Acanthurus Feeding, Acanthurus Disease, Acanthurus Reproduction, Surgeons In General, Tang ID, Tang Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding, Disease,

Unless the system is absolutely huge (many hundreds of gallons... the Sohal should be planned on to be THE alpha fish, and placed generally last.

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Vampire/tennenti tang - powder blue tang... Now Sohal & Mystery Wrasse comp.   12/28/10
Thanks for the advice Simon!
<No worries!>
I have spoken with the LFS that is responsible for the construction of my tank, and it looks like a Tennenti Tang is going to be pretty difficult to get hold of, so I'm going to have to think about what combo I get some more.
<Really? These are regularly seen where I come from (England). Might be worth looking elsewhere for this fish before giving up, a supplier that gets their stock from one of the larger wholesalers should be able to find one for you.>
I have another question for you regarding fish compatibility.
A while back, my Sohal was responsible for the destruction of a Lineatus Wrasse (she sent it carpet surfing while I was out of town). I learned my lesson and covered my tank, and replaced the Lineatus with a Labouti <Laboutei> Wrasse.
<Ahh, but you tried here to treat the symptom.... look to the cause, something was making the fish 'jumpy' and you did not fix this. However, these fishes should be housed in covered tanks anyway as you now know>
After 3 or so months, my Sohal started picking on it (it was the next largest thing in the tank).
<This is typical in the size of system you were housing the Sohal in>
The decision to get rid of my Sohal was made firmly when she also sent the Laboutei carpet surfing - the fish was stronger than my hybrid glass/light diffuser cover was heavy. All the while, I had a Mystery Wrasse that hid 80% of the time, but got along with everyone.
I love Lineatus Wrasses, and always wanted to try my luck with one again when I had an appropriate home for it, so once I found a home for my Sohal, I started looking for one. I've now had a 2.5 inch lineatus in my 20 gallon quarantine for two weeks.
<Good practice>
I removed the Sohal today (she's gone to a much bigger home), and added my Lineatus to the display.
Well, I guess the Mystery Wrasse got used to being the king of the hill in the month and a half it was the only Wrasse in the tank. It reduced the Lineatus' fins to shreds in minutes. It only stopped when the lights went off. I had heard they could become aggressive, but as this particular fish had lived peacefully with two previous Fairy Wrasses, I thought it would be fine.
<Have you considered that this could be the reason, or at least a contributor for the other Wrasse losses, and not the Sohal? There are only so many hidey-holes in a 90 gallon tank you know.. when space is at a premium, it is better to house fishes from different 'niches'>
My plan is to remove the Mystery wrasse and send it to my quarantine tank tomorrow. I will likely need to remove every piece of rock to do that, but that's my own darn fault I suppose.
<Try a trap first.. inverted 2ltr bottle with a hole at one end for you to squeeze some bait into.. try for a week or so. Or buy a commercial one, I use a large Aqua medic one that has a glass trap door, works fantastical!>
My question for you is whether or not you think a 'cool out' period will mellow it out, and let the lineatus establish itself. If so, how long would it need to be separated?
The quarantine tank has lots of rock for it to hide in, but I don't know how long it will take the mystery wrasse to 'forget' it's old territory.
<Two weeks or so, would be worth doing a re-aquascape in this instance as well>
I would hate to have to sell it, but if this is a sign of future intolerance to all other wrasses,
<No, this is due to the size of the system here.. with more territory you will have fewer problems like this>
it's going to need to find somewhere else to live.
<Your tank is only 90 gallons. My advice is to wait for the 260, then add the Cirrhilabrus before the Mystery>
The Mystery was well established when the Laboutei was added, and it didn't even bat an eye. This sudden change in behavior is most distressing. The Mystery Wrasse still has all of it's lines, and is at most 2.5 inches long, so I don't think it's even an adult yet.
<Mmm, perhaps some stunting/ growth retardation is present due to the size of the territories/ housing. Again, I would stick with your present fish/es for now>
Again, thank you for your sage advice,
<No problem Adam, please try to capitalise the names of your animals if you write in again..
<Merry Christmas Adam, Simon>
Re: Vampire/tennenti tang - powder blue tang, comp.  1/9/11

Hi Simon,
<Hello Adam>
I wanted to share a little update with you:
My Mystery has been removed and sold to someone from a local reefer forum. I'm either terrible at making traps, or it's a smarter fish than I thought, as all I caught with the four traps that I made were snails and crabs. I ended up having to remove all my rock to get it out (Grrrrrrrrr).
<Ah well>
I also had some fortuitous news from my LFS. They put in a request for a Tennenti on their last order and lo and behold, one showed up.
<Yes, not a particularly difficult fish to find>
I've got my name on it, so once it's proven that it reliably eats prepared foods I'll be bringing it home.
<This is good practice, with QT included of course>
It's a juvenile, so it should be perfect for my 90 gallon for the next 7 or 8 months.
<Mmm, I can only recommend buying fishes that you can house properly now>
If I could get a female Lineatus, do you think it would get along with the one I currently have in my 90 gallon, or would I needed to have added them together?
<I would not add anything else here, wait for the big tank IMO>
My question for you is about stocking lists for my next tank. My two favourite families of fish are the wrasses and tangs, but it's always such a fine dance figuring out what can and will live together.
<Because this is not an exact science>
My LFS had a M/F pair of Flame wrasses (Cirrhilabrus jordani) come in on the same shipment as my Tennenti, I've never seen them in person before and I completely fell in love. I don't think they would be appropriate in my current tank, as the Lineatus will have been living in it solo for nearly a month before they would come out of quarantine. I also have a Cinnamon clown pair that recently started laying eggs and they seem to have exclusively claimed about 1/4 of the tank. I never noticed them being aggressive until I took the Sohal out, but now they even attack my hand when I scrape the glass. The female drew blood yesterday, so they probably won't be making the move to the new tank. The egg laying is cool, but so is my skin.
<They can be aggressive>
Do you think that I could get away with a harem of Lineatus and Flame wrasses in the same 320 gallon tank?
<Not something I would do. Pick one species for a harem and enjoy it>
I realize that dimensions may be as important as volume, so to give you an idea, the tank is a custom build and will be 6'1" long, 3' feet wide and 30" tall, more square than long.
<Nice! I like tanks with good width, mine is a similar shape, but larger>
I plan on having plenty of rock arranged in several 'islands' with open sand between them.
<Great! This is how mine is set up, with a couple of large cave structures as well>
The LFS also brought in a Rhomboid wrasse that took my breath away, so if it was possible to have harems of three kinds of wrasses in a tank that size, that would be my choice for the third. I like the three most expensive wrasses in the hobby though, so if I'm going to do this I need to be sure they'll get along. From what I've read here, I think three species might be pushing it.
<If you are having a harem then I would stick to just one species>
If that combination is possible, how many females would be appropriate?
<I can't recommend placing harems of three wrasse species.>
And is it acceptable to add females later?
<All should be added at the same time>
I've read your entire wrasse compatibility page and the general rule seems to be 'add them all at once' and 'don't give one male females, but not the other'. I just don't know if it will be possible to get that many animals of the desired sexes at the same time. I could most likely get male Flame and Rhomboid wrasses at the same time to add together with my Lineatus, but I don't know how many females of each species I could get at once.
<If they could be kept, collected together in another tank/s and then added to the main system together this would work, but really you should put the order in to the LFS to have them all brought in at the same time>
Then for the tangs - I love the Tennenti, but it's not the most colourful fish in the sea. I will obviously be adding it to the 320 first and giving it some time to make it's claim, then I would like to get one of either a Powder Blue or Brown, depending on if I can get a healthy specimen of the right size (and right species if it's a Powder Brown). After that I'm not sure what other tang to add. I think three Tangs will probably be the max for that tank, so I would like the third to be as colourful as possible. I was thinking maybe a Zebrasoma xanthurum, as they are quite spectacular, but I don't know if this pairing would be possible given it's innate aggression.
<Mmm, the Zebrasoma is not so aggressive really, not compared to the Acanthurus. Would add this first, depending on size/s. You could easily have one of the Ctenochaetus species here>
Maybe a smaller specimen, added last, but I'm open to suggestions.
<Place before the Acanthurus, especially if smaller>
I don't plan on adding many more fish, except maybe some very small guys that will sit on the sand/hide in the rocks after a good population of copepods has established itself.
Once again, thank you for your time and advice,
<Good luck Adam, this is an exciting time for sure!>

Sohal tang compatibility 9/24/10
Hello All!
I had a question about fish compatibility. We have a 250 gallon SPS/LPS reef with about an additional 300 gallons in supporting tanks (sump, fuge, frag tank, etc.) and about 180-200 pounds live rock in main tank.
All has been well with tank except for a battle with Aiptasia and a recent mysterious loss of some SPS. We lost a Naso tang (had for many years) about six months ago and are considering a Sohal tang for a
replacement fish. Current inhabitants are a pair of Ocellaris clownfish, a Rabbitfish, and a Yellow tang. These four fish have lived together for about four years. I know the reputation of the Sohal and am curious if you think this would be a good fit.
<Mmm, maybe...>
The Yellow tang can be quite territorial and I am concerned that he might start a fight with the Sohal that he would likely lose.
<Yes... if about the same size... definitely if the Zebrasoma were smaller>
I am also concerned that our clownfish pair, which currently swim freely in the water column with the
other two larger fish, may be harassed and start hiding in the rocks/corals.
<Clowns would likely be ignored... but not the Rabbitfish>
On the other hand, from what I have read it sounds like the Sohal is a hardy fish and obviously very beautiful. Since we have an understocked 250 gallon would we have a chance of peace?
<Too unlikely so for me to encourage you>
If not, any suggestions for a pretty, peaceful, and hardy tang?
<Another Naso species... or a Ctenochaetus sp.>
I love the Powder Blue, but we are looking for a fish not destined to have health issues.
Actually, what we would really like is a nice easy fish (i.e.: not Copperband Butterflyfish!) that would consume Aiptasia and not consume corals (or at least only a bit), but I think that is probably the
impossible, but if you have any great ideas on that one...
<I would try a Chelmon or Chelmonops species>
Otherwise, we are considering the Aiptasia-loving Nudibranchs. We tried Aiptasia X quite diligently with no success and felt like we were getting water quality issues secondary to using it so much. Thanks for any insight!
As always, love the site!
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Sohal tang compatibility, now fish eating Aiptasia
Thanks for the reply! We will not add a Sohal per your advice. I looked at the Chelmonops species you recommended, but I could only those native to cold water.
Do you have any thoughts on adding Chaetodon trichrous, the Tahitian Butterflyfish or Acreichthys tomentosus, a Filefish to help with the Aiptasia issue?
<The latter may help... but don't generally relegate polyp eating to just pest anemones>
We had considered adding one of those two fish at the same time as a Naso lituratus in hopes that
adding two fish together might disperse any aggression from the Yellow tang. Is this a reasonable plan?
<Mmm, define reasonable.>
Any suggestions between the Filefish and the Butterflyfish?
<Read here:
and the linked files above>
Thanks again for all the invaluable help...as always impressed with the commitment and dedication of so many to run your website so well!
<Welcome. BobF>

Re Corals And Butterflies???/Butterflyfish Compatibility/Now Tang Compatibility 8/11/10 - 8/23/10
Thank you for your detailed response!
<You're welcome.>
It has helped me very much.
I will only add a single Chaetodon auriga. Would the addition of an Acanthurus sohal overload the system with too many large tangs?
<Tough to answer without knowing the actual dimensions of your tank and how many is too many, and what specie are the other tangs.
May want to read here on the Sohal Tang first.
If I added 5-6 separate colonies of frogspawn could they co-exist and grow together?
I have been reading over the FAQs on LPS and the only mention of multiple frogspawn is when it comes to fragging.
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Corals And Butterflies???/Butterflyfish Compatibility/Now Tang Compatibility 8/11/10 - 8/23/10
The dimensions of the aquarium are 96x36x36.
The other tangs are Naso unicornis, Naso lituratus, Zebrasoma xanthurum and Paracanthurus hepatus.
<I would not add a Sohal to this mix. They are very aggressive compared to the tangs you now have. Sohal's, because of their aggressiveness, should be the only tang in a system. Did you read the link I referred you to?
James (Salty Dog)>

Sohal tang as main focus fish  10/29/09
Dear Sir,
<Hello William!>
I'm about to set up a 300 gallon circular tank, 42" in diameter and 42" high with a 72" x 20" x 20" refugium.
The refugium area is 48" x 20" x 17" and it's holding about >125 lbs of live rock and 4" of live sand since the center piece of the 300 gallon tank is made of fake corals.
<I see this>
The refugium has been running by itself for about a year now with it's own temporarily filtration. Once the 300 is ready, I'll plumb them together and hook up a protein skimmer to it and add a closed looped filtration to the system. I have 125 lbs of extra live rock in my other tank, do you think I'll need more in the refugium?
<Mmm, no more rock, but perhaps some macro-algae, a Reverse Daylight Photoperiod regimen... and maybe a good deal of fine Aragonitic sand>
Here is a pic the tank, refugium and the whole system together.
<Good pix!>
I would like to have a Sohal tang as the focus fish of the tank so I was wondering what other fish would be compatible with it?
<Mmm, quite a few here... that are subdominant, and thankfully, occupy other than the surface... The Sohal will reign here in the upper quarter to third>
This is what I'm planning to do but need your advice 1st: Start the tank with a shoal of 2-3" Blue Reef Chromis or the Blue/Green ones, don't know how many.
<A bunch... at least a dozen... if not two>
I don't want to overstock my tank but I like to get as many as possible.
<You can fit in a good deal here>
I already have a 5" Harlequin Tusk, 3" Tomato Clown and a 6" Blue Tang in another tank and would like to add them to this 300 tank. Would that be possible with a Sohal?
<Should be, yes>
And if so, how large of a Sohal should I get?
<Smallish... 10 cm. overall would be ideal>
Add the Tangs to the 300 tank at the same time?
<I'd put as much in ahead of the Sohal as you can>
Or should I not add the Blue Tang at all?
<It should get along... will stay out of the Acanthurus' way>
What other hardy fish can I add? Passer Angel or Maculosus Angel?
<The latter>
Kole Tang to take care of algae?
<Mmm, I'd add the Red Sea member of the genus myself...>
Can I add a Trigger that is not too aggressive like a Sargassum or a Pink Tail?
<Yes... but again... I encourage you to "think biotope"... Look for a Rhinecanthus assasi>
So looking at the list above, how many Chromis can I start with? I would love to have an impressive shoal of Chromis so if I have to give up on some other fish from the above list just to add more Chromis, so be it. Please advice.
<See above>
Love this pic from your web but there is about 30 Chromis there.
<Yes... live in much larger aggregations (in the wild)>
Thank you so much. You guys are a Godsend to all of us in the saltwater fish hobby.
<Maybe a Bobsend?>
Best regards,
Bill Woo
<And you Bill. Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/biotope.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/redseafwgv1.htm
and the linked files above.
Be chatting! Bob Fenner>

Re: Sohal tang as main focus fish 10/29/09
Dear Bob,
Thank you so much for your quick reply.
You mentioned that I should add a "good deal of Aragonitic sand" but my refugium already has close to 3-4" of fine sand. Should I add more?
<Yes I would... at least six inches total>
Also planning to add Spaghetti Algae to the refugium but what do you mean by "reverse daylight photoperiod regimen"? Leave the light on 24/7?
<Mmm, no. To have it on when the main/display system lights are off and vice versa>
BTW, I made a mistake, I have a 6" Hippo Tang and not a Blue Tang.
Would the Hippo Tang get along with the Sohal?
<I understood you... Paracanthurus... s/b fine>
So if I decide to go Red Sea "biotype" with the Sohal Tang as the main fish, none of my 3 current fish
fits that mold (Tomato Clown, Harlequin Tusk and Hippo Tang), is that ok?
<Yes, though none are found in the same region>
Ok so here is a revised list of fish for my system:
15-25 2" Blue/Green Chromis
6" Hippo Tang
5" Harlequin Tusk
3.5" Tomato Clown
5" Maculosus Angel
5" Picasso Trigger
4" Sohal Tang
What do you think?
Thanks again,
<Sounds/reads as a very nice mix indeed. Cheers, BobF>

Sohal Tang/Compatibility 5/12/09
I wanted to start by saying that your website has been a wealth of knowledge and practical information which I've applied over the last year in building my current 75 gallon SPS/Clam Reef.
<You're welcome.>
Current inhabitants are 3 Blue/Green Chromis, a Maroon Clownfish, small (3 inch) Yellow Tang, 3 Crocea Clams, 1 Squamosa Clam, a light assortment of LPS and SPS.
The tank has approximately 80 pounds of live rock, a mud bed in the sump with Chaetomorpha growing like crazy (illuminated 24/7). Lighting is a Current USA SunPod fixture with double ended 14k HQI bulbs.
I've built a fish room (fully insulated) in my garage. Being a tile and hardwood installer, I've put cobalt blue tile on the floor and wall behind a new 150 gallon "reef ready" tank which is currently cycling. There is
approximately 80 pounds of live rock in the tank and a 100 gallon Rubbermaid industrial tub with a mud bed and ETSS Reef Devil Skimmer plumbed externally. All predrilled holes lead to the sump, and are returned via a Blueline 40 external pump. through two holes that I've drilled in the back wall of the aquarium I'm going to let the tank run the whole summer before any livestock from my other tank are introduced. However...I'd like to add one more fish to the new tank. A Sohal Tang. I've watched as beautiful specimens come and go from my LFS displays, and would love for him to be "kingfish" in my new system. I plan on adding him last, probably by this time next year should it be deemed possible. With the room available, would this be at all feasible in the new tank? I plan on creating two island structures with plenty of caves and swimming space. above the corals, Can this work with the yellow tang? By the way, the liverock in my 75 will be slowly added to the 150 when I start introducing livestock in September.
<Alex, the Sohal Tang (Acanthurus sohal) is very aggressive toward other tangs and wrasses and would not recommend keeping with other tangs. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Asohal.htm>
Thanks again for all you do for this hobby/addiction.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

A. sohal and other Tangs 5/4/09
<Hi Frank>
Your site is great and has assisted me for some years now.........Thanks
<You're welcome.>
I have a question on compatibility. I have an opportunity to purchase a healthy, active A. Sohal that's roughly 2.5 - 3 inches at a great price.
Sohals and Achilles seem to be the hardest to come across most of the time when it comes to Tangs. My question is if there will be problems with adding this sized Sohal to a 125Gallon (6') tank with current inhabitants of a 5" Naso, 5" Thompson Tang, Sunburst Anthias, purple Firefish, royal gramma, yellow-tail damsel and 2 small golden-striped maroon clownfish. I only have about 45lbs of live rock which leaves plenty of swimming room. I have a 55 gallon sump which has a lot of live rock in the refugium portion.
My worries are obviously among the tangs. Will there be a problem with the sohal being aggressive even though the other 2 tangs are larger? I am aware that my current 125Gallon is too small in the long run for the Naso alone, but will be upgrading to a 475 Gallon in about a year-18months.
Sohals are incredibly beautiful and this opportunity would be hard to pass up, but will if you guys/gals foresee a problem in next 18months.
<The Sohal Tangs are very aggressive toward other tangs, and wrasses for that matter. I would not add this fish, especially in your 125, in lieu of it's current inhabitants.>
Thanks as always.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Sohal Tang Tank/Sohal Compatibility 4/9/09
Dear WWM crew,
I plan on getting a 240 gallon tank, which is 72"x 24"x31", with a standard 55 gallon tank as a sump/Chaeto algae refugium. I also plan to make this a reef tank with LPS's, SPS's, and a tridacind <Tridacnid> clam. What I
decided to do is to put just one tang with a pair of Ocellaris Clownfish, 3 Bartlett's Anthias, and 4 Green Chromis. The one tang that I'm aiming for is a Sohal Tang, and I'm not sure if a single sohal can be kept in a 6 foot tank?
<If kept with no other tangs.>
I know Sohals are very active swimmers that can grow a foot, and that some suggest at least a 180 gallon tank.
<Unlikely to get that large under captive conditions.>
Would a single Sohal Tang be OK in a 6 foot 240 gallon tank?
Also, if I do get 2 tangs, would a Purple Tang and a Sohal Tang coexist if I add them at the same time as 3" specimens in the system described?
<I would not chance, the Sohal's are pretty aggressive toward other tangs, likely a bar brawl will occur in time.
James (Salty Dog)>

Tang Compatibility 3/25/09
Hello again!
<Hello Pavlo>
You have always given me great advice (thanks for that), so I come back for more. I have had my 120g FOWLER for a bit over a year now, and am happy to say that it is now becoming a reef - YAY!! I have a 4 inch Tomini Tang, 2 Randal's Damsels, 1 Oblique Lined Dottyback, and 1 Lawnmower Blenny. In the past two months I have acquired a hammer coral, finger leather & a moon coral and looking for more additions to my addiction. A bunch of Sohal Tangs arrived at the LFS. I have never planned on a Sohal Tang, but having seen one, I can't seem to get them out of my mind. I know that tangs do not necessarily get along and that the sohal is a brute, but I am hoping given the light stocking of my tank and the differences in shape between the Tomini & sohal that I might be able to pull it off. So - Yay or nay? Your input is greatly appreciated. As always, thanks so much for the service you provide even if the answer isn't always what we want to hear.
<The Acanthurus sohal (Red Sea Clown Tang) is a difficult fish to keep, in fact, many etailers will not guarantee live arrival. Sohal Tangs have also been known to nip clam mantles and munch on soft large polyp and small polyp stony corals, so do keep that in mind. The fish can exceed full grown lengths of 9+ inches in captivity, which in time will make your 120 too small. Being that the Sohal's are aggressive and the Tomini rather peaceful, you would be taking a chance here, hoping that the long term residency of the Tomini would deter the Sohal's aggressiveness.
My vote, all things considered, no.
James (Salty Dog)>

Tang Compatibility I have a question about Tangs. My LFS has a Sohal Tang (4in), and a Red Sea Desjardini Tang (4in). I was wondering if these two fish could be placed in 180 FOWLR tank along with my Naso Tang or will this create a problem? Will all these fish outgrow this tank? <These three should mix together well enough... all are found together in the Red Sea and surrounding areas in the Indian Ocean. Bob Fenner>

Sohal Tang killed a fish! Well - the Sohal Tang we purchased from FFE about 3 months ago just decided, in the last week, that it no longer cared for our Red Sea Sailfin and began to nip its dorsal/tail fins, and in the last 2-3 days started to bite the Sailfins mouth. The Sailfin quit eating of course and just hid a lot. We were not able to get the hospital tank setup in time and found the Sailfin dead this morning. We have a 50gal. tank with 6 shrimp (2 cleaner, 3 fire, and 1 coral banded), a Red Sea Cleaner Wrasse, a Coral Beauty, a few cucumbers and a flame scallop. We have a few mushroom colonies and 100lbs of live rock. We're in a constant battle to stock this thing - slowly, and seem to take two steps forward, one step back at each and every point. Our question, then, is - what's with this Sohal? Are the typically aggressive (by the way, he darts about quite a bit, but doesn't bother any of the other fish in the tank or any of the inverts (all are smaller then the sohal whereas the Sailfin was of similar, though slightly smaller, size). Will the sohal continue to be that aggressive now that it has taken over the tank? What can we safely add / not add to the tank going forward? Thanks! <<Yes to the Sohal being an aggressive animal as it ages/grows... and a fish that needs much larger quarters... at least a hundred gallons... and to be introduced to an established "social dynamic" about last... I am sorry to have to inform you that you will be hard pressed to introduce much other fish life to the fifty... Do you have plans for a larger system? If so, I would stock it, let it run stocked for a month or more, then try moving the Sohal there... Bob Fenner, who has an article on Acanthurus sohal archived at www.wetwebmedia.com >>

Too Small Sohal I recently purchased a 3" Sohal Tang. He was in great shape when purchased with great color for his size and I was told by the dealer that he could handle himself community tank situations. However, he seems to be having trouble acclimating to my tank. It is a 55 Gal with quite a bit if coral and rocks to hide under. When I introduced him into the tank my 4"Niger Trigger and 3 line damsel harassed him into hiding for the first 3-4 days. After a week he has gained enough confidence to swim around the tank timidly though the other fish no longer bother with him much. At feeding times, he is timid and slow so the other fish beat him to most of the food. I've placed some strands of live algae in the tank as a source of food which he seems to be eating but I would to see him take the prepared foods as well and get a little more confident with the other fish. Am I expecting too much, too soon from him or does it seem to you like he may have trouble thriving in this situation? Phil Siani <A three inch Acanthurus sohal? This is really a small, perhaps too small specimen... if it's eating it should eventually adapt to the surroundings, tankmates it finds itself in... But I would move it to where it can be more dominant till it gains an inch or two in length... if you have another tank/system or even a sump with live rock for it to live in for a couple of months. Bob Fenner>

Sohal Tang I saw a beautiful specimen of a Sohal Tang today my LFS and was very much taken with it. It was about 7-8 inches in length. <Yikes... a great fish species, but large to start with...> They also have a Huma Huma Trigger about the same size. This Huma Huma Trigger is in a tank, about a 30 gallon I think, all by itself because they said it was very aggressive. <Likely yes... in such small quarters> They also said that the Sohal Tang is very aggressive and probably wouldn't be able to be put in the same tank with anything, except a rare few other fish. <At this starting size, likely> I currently have a 75 gallon with only live rock, some live sand, crushed coral and a dead marine tree looking branch in there. Would it be possible to put both the Huma Huma Trigger and the Sohal Tang in the same tank together and keep them that way? <Yes, I give you good odds that these two would co-exist fine in such a system... much more than the current circumstances they find themselves in> If not can you tell me what would be possible tankmates for the Sohal Tang? for the size aquarium that I have? Thanks Robin <Please search through the many survey articles on "Marine Fishes", "Livestock Selection" articles and "Fishwatcher's Guide to the Fishes of the Red Sea" posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com here. You will know. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sohal Tang Thanks for your quick response. I really appreciate your honesty. My LFS said that a Sohal Tang is a one fish only per tank kind of fish. I was very disappointed as I would have really liked to have had it. I just may go back yet. Thanks Robin <Unless the tank is very large yes. Take a look at the article on Acanthurus sohal I have archived on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more. Bob Fenner>

Sohal then Purple Tang Introduction Mr. Bob Fenner (hero, sage and wise man), <Just a pet-fish type of guy, please> After much reading (your book, Dakin's, Delbeek & Sprung's FAQ's and articles at WWM and FFExpress and others), I still did something (I think) might have been "dumb" in the stocking order of my tank re: sohal tang. <We can/could start a club... with a very large potential membership> Seduced by its beauty, I put a 6" sohal tang in my system on Friday.  <Yikes... kind of big... territorial for a 110...> The 110 tank currently has: 2 small ocellaris clowns (<1.5"), a purple Firefish, a Banggai cardinal, 2 Lysmata cleaner shrimp and a sally lightfoot crab (2" wide from toe to toe). I was wanting to add a Purple Tang and, from what I read, I better do it soon!  <Yes> I will have to wait 'til Tuesday because, even though a LFS has lots of brownish ones from the P.I. <Hmm, this species range doesn't extend this far east... the Philippines have Zebrasoma veliferum and Z. scopas, only...:http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=12023rum Only found from the Red Sea over to the Maldives...> the Red Sea ones (bright purplish blue) are in the LFS quarantine until then. Did I blow it? Is that too long to wait? <Likely no problem... some "jousting" to be expected....> Are they going to fight like cats and dogs. From what I read, they do OK after some sparring, if added at the same time. What are my chances after waiting a 4 days?  <Still good> I will turn lights off for 24 hours and maybe take out a chunk of lace rock and replace it with a big piece of Live Rock at the same time (I think I'll have to replace at lease 2 pieces of the lace rock and get more LR in the system eventually). I know I was to add this fish last in the system order but can I still add smaller, non-tang, non-alpha fish like gobies and pygmy angels and such in the future or an I in trouble there too? <As long as they're subdominant, smart, fast, that there's plenty of hiding spaces...> He doesn't bother the current small, sedentary fish although his size and activity level scare the H out of them and they keep their distance. Technical Details: Hardware Running for 6 months, I have a 110 Ga, with Aqua Medic T1.000 skimmer, 40 W Lifegard UV, Ocean Clear 340 Micron filter, AMiracle Maxi Reef Trickle Filter. In the tank, I have 3 large (~16" dia), very holey pieces of lace lock (no live rock), 60 lbs of aragonite (oolite) and 40 lbs of live sand on top. Water Perimeters Temp 82 Deg F., SG 1.0225, pH 8.2, KH 10, Ammonia 0, Nitrite, <0.3mg/l, Nitrate, 12.5 mg/l, Ca++ 380mg/, Iodine <0.01ppm (dose 2 ml every day of Kent concentrated iodine (for cleaner shrimp. Not much algae other than Diatom. Feeding: Greens: Clip with Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Selects Macroalgae sheets Meats: 1/4 tablet of Pro Pops Marine Supreme frozen food-morning and evening P.S. The cleaner shrimp love climbing around and giving the Sohal a "cleaning". Fun to watch. <Yes, and voluble activity> Always amazed that a smart guy like you is available to guys who do dumb things, <Umm, am actually one and the same... Must "look better" on the net than reality... Really. Your live rock addition, lace rock moving sounds good, your set-up and parameters as well. I would go ahead with your current stocking plan... Should the Sohal prove to be trouble later you can always trade it in. Such large and larger specimens are almost always in demand for large tanks/service accounts. Bob Fenner> John ILG

Asfur Angel and Sohal Tang Bob, I spoke to you several times about my 6"Asfur Angel I have in my 230.    I also have a school of Blue Chromis and a newly introduced 6"Sohal Tang .  I originally spoke to you about adding butterflies and the Sohal but decided against the butterflies as I do have some soft corals and inverts.   I plan on adding a few more small fish (more Chromis and other small fish) and leave the Sohal and Asfur room to grow. <They'll need more than this tank eventually> I am a little concerned about the Sohal being aggressive.   I know all tangs can be very territorial but I have not seen such aggression (usually around feeding time). This thing is a pig and wants all food for himself.   My question is will the Sohal and the Asfur be able to live with each other long-term as they grow larger? <Likely so, if they get along now> The Asfur is a little bigger than the tang at this point.  The Asfur has also been aggressive towards the Chromis and is a fish that should be able to hold it own (I hope) but it stays very much clear of the Sohal.  Just trying to make sure I made a good choice as I really want to keep these two together for a very long time.  Would recommend adding a few other fish to help "keep the peace"  If so, what fish would you recommend with these two that is invert safe? <Please see the "Fishwatcher's Guide to the Red Sea" pc. on WWM. Bob Fenner> Thanks for the help Andrew

Sohals and Zebrasoma (Yellow Hawaiian) Hi Bob...hope I'm not bothering you.  Just read your article on Sohals in WetWebMedia (great article by the way) and was wanting to ask a quick question.  There's a beautiful Sohal down at my LFS that I've been eyeing for some time now and think he would make an excellent "show" fish for my 110 gallon reef tank.  However I currently have a Zebrasoma flavescens that has been very successful in that tank.  Do you think that mixing different spp. of surgeonfish (not simultaneously either) is possible...especially when talking about non-conspecific spp. in terms of shape and size? <Will likely get along for the interim (months), but the Sohal will become "king of the tank"... and eventually too large for the 110... Oh, I would add any other fish livestock you intend ahead of its introduction> Most literature recommends adding surgeonfish simultaneously...but I haven't really been able to get any comment on adding different spp. of surgeons at different times. <Different genera/shapes... mix better than congeners... but there is a wide range of individual variation... the bigger the system the better, the smaller species, smaller individuals first...> Any thoughts? Thanks!  Michael Dunkle  Rollinsville, Colorado <Wish you were out here diving with me in Hawai'i. Am presently out of dive partners. Bob Fenner>

- Sohal Eating Soft Corals - Please can you help. I have kept a marine tank for 6 months now - so am still a beginner. I have a 400 liter tank. All chemicals are correct and tank has a good amount of living rock. Fish stock is: 3 x clown 1 x Purple Tang 1 x Sohal Tang 1 x Hawkfish 1 x Flame Angel 1 x Bristle Star 1 x Cleaner shrimp Coral stock is 1 x Finger leather coral 1 x Soft Medusa coral 1 x Mushroom coral 1 x Red branch sponge coral Everything has been going really well until 3 days ago when the Sohal Tang started to bite small bits of the ends of the Medusa Coral. He hasn't bothered any of the other corals. I have noticed he seems to do it less when he has just been fed. But I am feeding 3 times per day with enough food for the fish to eat for 3-5 min.s - and he makes sure he gets his fair share! The only thing that changed at the same time as the biting was the introduction of the Bristle Star - could that have upset the Sohal? <It may have upset the Sohal, but these are not children that act out to annoy you. Likely the nipping at the corals is coincidental with the introduction of the brittle star. Observation of these fish in the wild show that they feed constantly, and as a result these tangs are notoriously hard to keep as they get larger. It's quite possible your fish is not satisfied with three feedings a day.> If so, is it worth waiting to see if things settle down again. <Likely not to happen.> I have called my supplier and he says it is the first time he has heard of a Sohal attacking a soft coral and has offered to change the Sohal. But, I am really quite attached to him. Any advice would be really appreciated. <This behavior is not apt to change without some intervention by you - either the fish or the soft corals will have to go... or if you wait long enough the tang will take care of that for you.> Thank you so much for an excellent web site - and search facility. I have learned a huge amount through it. Regards David M. <Cheers, J -- >

Tangling With A Tough Tang! (Sohal Tang In Mixed Tank) Hi crew, <HI there! Scott F. here today!> I would really love to get a Sohal Tang for my 180 tank. At the moment there is not much livestock in the tank, so I am just "planning" at this stage. But if I am to introduce a Sohal later then I need to plan for it now in the other fish I choose. <Absolutely...these fishes have a well-deserved reputation for being rather poor citizens!> Generally speaking, I am nervous about adding a Sohal simply because of the horror stories I have heard about them being so aggressive. <These stories are usually true. These fish can be extremely nasty. Quite honestly, I would not attempt to keep one of these fishes in anything less than an 8 foot long aquarium, simply because they do reach considerable size, "patrol" a large territory, and need larger water volumes to keep up with the copious amounts of metabolic wastes that they produce. I'd rethink keeping this fish in a 180, myself.> Ultimately, I plan on having an angel (maybe a Maculosus OR Passer), some other smaller tang (yellow - not another Acanthurus -maybe a Hippo???), and one other medium-bodied fish (non angel / tang). <IN a large enough tank, you could certainly add another tang, but in a 180, it could be potentially problematic. Personally, I'd try another tang or two other than the Sohal in this sized tank. That's just me, but I've seen a number of Sohals "for sale or trade" locally that were in situations that just didn't work out.> The tank is to be what I term a marginal reef set up - that is to say there will be hardy corals (Toadstool Mushroom, Star Polyps, and Shrooms) - but nothing that could be termed as a reef tank as such. <I nice setup for a fish-oriented display! Natural is always cool!> Is a Sohal a good choice, or is there considerable truth to the scare mongering? <Sadly, the truth really is that these guys are bruisers. I'd entertain other tangs in this setup...Much more appropriate for long-term success, IMO!> Cheers, Matt <Best of luck to you, Matt! Regards, Scott F.>

Tangs ... Sohal mixing, comp. in gen.  - 3/1/2006 Hello Crew, hope you all are doing well.    <I am this AM, thanks>   I have a question. I currently have a 380 gallon aquarium with only 7 Fish, they are a 4" Scopas Tang, Pair of GSM clowns with the female being 4" and the male 1.5",  3" Purple Tang, 4" Imperator Angel, 4" Orange Shoulder Tang and a 8" Vlamingii Tang, as you can tell my 380 is pretty understocked and there is a member on our board that has a 15" Vlamingi tang in a 135  that has clearly outgrown his tank and wants to sell him to me. <Mmm, might go with your current Tangs... might not in the short to longer haul>   Would it be safe to put in the 15" vlamingii tang into my tank if I add another 2 fish along with the Vlamingii to create some distraction or would the Vlaming's still fight?    <As a "one shot" question here... given the input only... I would not do this... Instead, I'd set my mind to what you intend ultimately to house... and start, continue adding this in appropriate sizes. As you will know, I enjoy this Acanthurus species, but it can be a terror... and very hard to extract from a system as yours>   Note: I will be upgrading to a 570 gallon aquarium in about 9 months when I move houses.      Thanks. <... Mmm, maybe by the time this system is up and going your other tangs will have "put on" a few inches... and the Mondo Sohal will still be available. Do look into "Spectrum" pelleted foods... are very useful for tang keeping... health aspects, reducing aggression... Bob Fenner> Sohal tang aggressive?  12/30/06 Hello Crew <Hi Wayne, Rick Oellers (via proxy of Graham T.)> Happy New Year to you all. <Thank you! And to you and yours!> I have a 210gal FOWLR with some softies, 100lbs of LR (will have another 100lbs in the next month),<Good Idea.> and just hooked up my AquaC EV240 w/Mag18 (wife got it for me for Christmas).<Wish my wife would do that...>  I currently have a Volitans Lionfish 9", Harlequin Tuskfish 5", and a Yellowtail Damsel.  Everybody gets along great. <Damsel... interesting. How big?> I've been thinking of adding a Sohal Tang to the tank.  I've read they can be aggressive.  What do you think about this choice? <(Rick) A Sohal tang (Acanthurus sohal) added *last* to your tank is a good addition to the community you have currently, with one condition. The specimen should be around 3" or so to avoid over-aggression. In addition to the referenced aggression, slightly less documented is this species' poisonous scalpel! I (Rick) found out the hard way when trying to revive a seemingly distressed specimen in a shipping container, when SMACK! he got me! I recoiled at first, then again, and again as the real pain set in. What a wallop!> Wayne <Rick Oellers & Graham Tasker> <<Thank you both! RMF>> Re: Sohal tang aggressive?  1/2/07 Thanks for the prompt response Rick. <Thank Graham for pestering Rick, Rick for the info ;) Graham with you exclusively today.> My Damsel is 1" and was the first marine fish my wife and I bought 1.5 years ago.  He's a warrior!  The Lionfish gave up hunting him a long time ago. <Sounds about right for a Chromis xanthurus.> I had intended to add a 3" Sohal, so you and I are on the same page except for one thing.  I intended the Sohal to be the next, but not last addition to the tank.   <Can be done... but you save stress and returns to the LFS when adding an aggressive fish to your system last.> I'd also like to get an Angelfish (not sure what kind. I'd like to get a larger specimen), and a Porcupine Puffer. <You're right to add them before the Acanthurus sohal.> So... to revise my question, would a Sohal Tang be a good, last addition to my tank if I had... Volitans Lionfish 9" Harlequin Tuskfish 5" Yellowtail Damsel 1" Porcupine Puffer ?" Angelfish ?"(any suggestions?) <Honestly, I think your specimen list would be fine, though I keep thinking of all the Volitans I've seen bullied by other fish in the past. But if yours eats live food, then maybe he has the Moxie he needs. As for the angel suggestions, try a Pomacanthus paru (Cortez) or Pomacanthus conspectus (French) as these are hardy, active and feisty individuals. Just know that tangs and angels sometime decide they are too similar to be nice to each other. You may want to consider adding the angel and tang at the same time to avoid territorial disputes.> Do you think this bioload would be too high?  I have a 40 gal refugium as well as the EV240, I fill a Phosban reactor full of Carbon, and do 20 gal water changes weekly with RODI water. <Nope, looks good to me.> Thanks for the warning on the poisonous spines.  You are exactly right, not a whole lot is written about this topic. Happy New Year! <And you.> Wayne <Graham>

Re: Sohal tang aggressive?  1/2/07 Thanks Graham! <Of course! Just happy to help.> I understand your concern for the Volitans.  If the new fish I introduced were smaller than my lionfish, would that deter them from bullying him in the future? ...even if they get bigger than the lionfish in the future? <I did not mean to cloud your mind on the subject of your lion. No, he is not generally going to get beat up. But, they do tend to take the path of least resistance in an overly aggressive setup. I don't think this will be the case, and you have the right idea about starting the fish small so they remember him as bigger. Besides, a tang has little to gain from dancing with a Lionfish. Groupers and other medium to large aggressive were on my mind. I did not know that Lionfish have a history of being bullied.  Always thought they were tough, but passive fish. <True, see above. (I left the retail store I worked in one night to return the next morning to a 300gal tank strewn with Lion spines and guts that had been painstakingly spread about by a 6" Balistapus Undulatus. Poor buggers.)> Wayne <P.S. one thing I forgot to mention, is that the small list of angels I mentioned is obviously not the end-all. Just a quick list I came up with based on a little looking at some various online databases and my memory of their reactions in a retail or service setting. Generally, angels that are hardy, are usually tough, too.> Mixing A. lineatus and A. sohal....not gonna' have a good time  - 4/8/07 Hi guys, <Hey Wes...> I really appreciate all the time you all put into answering people's questions. <Thank you!> WWM is probably my most trusted source of online info. <A very nice compliment...thanks again.> I've been thinking about adding some tangs to my aggressive FOWLR tank. <Okay.> It's a 55g but I'm planning (in about a year) of upgrading to a 180g. <I would probably wait until then to add any surgeons. I would especially not add more than one to a system of this size...wait for the upgrade.> I'm definitely planning on getting a sohal tang <Then wait for the 180...and even then I'd be very cautious in mixing an Acanthurus sohal with another surgeon. In fact odds would be against you on this one, even in the largest of tanks.> and have been batting around the idea of getting a clown tang as well. <Together with the A. Sohal. Not a good idea my friend, not in the least bit...not advisable at all.> After reading all the info on your site, I'm beginning to suspect there's a good chance these two wouldn't get along together. <More than a good chance!> Is this true, even in a 180g? <This would be true even in a tank of double this size.  The boisterous personality of these two fish, not to mention they are con-geners would be a near disastrous mix.> Would I need to get an even bigger tank to house these guys for the long term? <Very big, one that exceeds the size of your average home aquarium, and even then my above comments would still hold true.> I really would like to have both, <It would have to be separate systems.> but if it's a flat out bad call, <These two animals have territorial issues with other tankmates, and especially other surgeons and mixing them is just not a good idea.> I'm content with sticking with just a sohal. <That would be best, but wait for the upgrade.> I'm also planning on getting an Atlantic Blue Tang (or possibly a sailfin tang) <Mmm...still not a good idea, at all...but better than the clown tang.> and a Porcupine puffer. <Too big.> Currently, my tank inhabitants are: Dogface puffer Blue-spotted grouper Snowflake Eel Bluejaw Trigger (Male) Banana Wrasse (which I'm thinking of giving back to the LFS) Two large hermit crabs <This is already far to much for a 55 gallon tank.> They're all small, about 3 to 4," except the eel of course. I realize that even in a 180g, all these fish together may be a bit of a crowd long term, <True.> but I figure I may lose one or two of them over the course of 5 or more years. If I have the good fortune of that not happening, I do realize I may need to give a couple away, which I'd be willing to do if need be. <Yes the tank is overcrowded as it is...> I'm considering returning the wrasse not for any major reason, but mainly because he's a bit too "hyper" of a fish for my tastes and also tends to hide a lot which doesn't seem normal to me for a wrasse. Maybe I'm wrong here? <Depends on the individual specimen and the personalities of those around him. He may be suffering from psychological/territorial crowding.> He also seems to pick at the hermits when he feels like. <Normal.> Thanks in advance for any advice! Wes Shive <Adam Jackson.>

Sohal Addition to Multi-Surgeon Tank   3/1/07 Hello Crew, <Hola.> hope all is well. <With you as well...>      I had a question for you guys. <No problem.> I have a 600 gallon aquarium that is 10FT long with multiple tangs which all seem to be getting along (the only real aggression is when the scopas chases the yellows which isn't very often) <Normal between cohabiting Zebrasomas...as long as no physical injuries arise, no problem.> and for my last tang I've been considering a Sohal <A gorgeous but aggressive animal.> (actually my wife is pressuring me more then anything ;) ). <I see.> I know that they can be quite aggressive but wanted to see real life experience in large tanks how would he do if being the last fish introduced, would he kill my other tangs or would he rough them up a little, <Likely the latter, but the former is also a possibility...as I'm sure you have heard there are no guarantees in marine aquaria. Your chances are increased however by the size of the aquarium and the fact that the other animals are already established. In particular I am fearful though for the "congeners" the other Acanthurus animals. If you do add a Sohal I would ass a relatively smaller animal of 3-4".> claim himself the king of the tank and leave them alone after that? <Will definitely be the "alpha" eventually.>      Fish Currently in the tank are: 6" Palani Tang (Acanthurus Dussumieri) 7" Vlamingi Tang 4" Orange Shoulder Tang 5" Powder Blue Tang 7" Desjardini Sailfin Tang Two 3" Yellow Tangs 3" Scopas Tang Mated pair of Maroon Clowns <Though a large tank, this is a lot of livestock, would you be willing to part either the larger vlamingii or another Acanthurus or two?>   The Sohal in question is 5". <A little larger than I would like to see.>   Thanks. <Of course, Adam J.>

Comments on Angel vs. Angel vs. Surgeon'¦. Queen A, Sohal T comp.   2/20/07 Dear Crew, <Hi Chad'¦.AJ with you this evening.> I thought I'd send in a comment on some behavior I observed when adding a 7" Queen Angel to my tank. <Okay.> My main concern when adding the Queen was my 4" Passer Angel. < A very valid concern.> I'd been looking for a large Queen Angel for a long time and pounced when I saw it. I'd seen other smaller Queens but passed because I was sure my Passer would not tolerate the addition of a similar sized Angel. <Adult Angel's usually don't tolerate the presence of other animals/fish let alone another Angel.> Well, suffice it to say, I had my fingers crossed on one hand and a net ready in the other (I have a refugium which I could've moved the Queen to if it got ugly). I was relieved to see the Passer ignore the Queen almost completely, he showed some irritation but there were no fights. <I would compare his irritation to that of a little brother, who is just biding his time until he grows up and can 'thump' big brother'¦..he doesn't act now because it wouldn't be smart.> I'm positive the Queen's size was THE deciding factor in this. <Likely a very important factor in establishing the 'alpha-role.'> But to my dismay, my 4" Sohal Tang was utterly furious! <Unfortunately this is predictable behavior for the Surgeon.> He was actively chasing down and attacking the Queen. Which actually made him quite easy to catch, I simply put a net between the two and he swam right in. I tried separating them for 24 hours, didn't work, same exact reaction. <The Sohal is notoriously territorial'¦.if they weren't 'I would have one, hehe, they are beautiful fish.> So I moved the Sohal to another tank for two weeks. The other tank is only 55 gallons, he was acting strange, looked like he felt confined, so I thought I'd give it another try. > this I surmise the display is quite large.> I added the Sohal back to my main tank today and everything went smoothly. The Passer, Queen, and Sohal are all existing peacefully in my tank, at least for now. <Operative phrase being 'for now' do keep an eye out.> I thought this would benefit some readers out there. <Yes, thank you for sharing.> It just goes to show that 1. nothing is guaranteed in this hobby <Agreed.> 2. heed the advice given by our friends at WWM, If you're going to take risks in compatibility, be prepared to separate if something unforeseen happens. Have an escape plan! I was glad I did. <Thanks 'and planning ahead is good 'impulses can really hurt you, as far as livestock goes, in this hobby.> And 3. Sohals, and fish in general can be mean! <Very True.> I just thought it was so strange that my Sohal had completely ignored EVERY other addition, and yet took on a fish twice its size. <For some reason (likely the size a factor) the Sohal felt that this addition was a threat to his dominance.> I was just glad I was prepared. If I'd thrown the Queen in and turned off the lights, I would've woken up to a very bad situation. Thanks <Thank you.> Chad <AJ.> P.S. I appreciate the work you guys/girls do for the hobby. Your web site is addictive! <Thanks again and good luck.>

Livestock question, adding Queen Angel (Holocanthus ciliaris) or Imperator Angel (Pomacanthus imperator) and a Sohal Tang (Acanthurus sohal) to a 210 gallon  2/9/07 Hello Crew! <Hello Wayne!> Thanks for offering a great service!   <You're welcome!> You guys/gals are awesome. <Thank you for your most kind (and inclusive) words.  They are appreciated!> I currently have a 210 gal FOWLR and a few softies, AquaC EV240, 55 gal Refugium/Sump, 200lbs LR, 384 watt PC lighting (getting upgrade in a few months to 1000 watt MH). <Very nice!> Current livestock: 9" Volitans Lion 2" Yellow tail Damsel 6" Harlequin Tusk Zoanthids Condy Anemone Finger leather <OK.> I want to add the following with the understanding that I will not be going to a larger system.  210 is it! <Heheee!> Next fish to add... Queen or Imperator Angel <Beautiful!> ..and then Sohal Tang <Sweet!> I know the angels and tangs can get quite large, but I've seen/read accounts of tanks smaller than mine with many more fish.   Do you think I'd be ok with this list? <I do think so.  I'm guessing you realize the Sohal can be highly territorial and a big bully, but what a fish!> Thanks again!   <Welcome!  -Mich> Wayne Re: Livestock question, adding Queen Angel (Holocanthus ciliaris) or Imperator Angel (Pomacanthus imperator) and a Sohal Tang (Acanthurus sohal) to a 210 gallon   2/10/07 Thanks Mich <You're welcome Wayne! I do realize the Sohal can be aggressive.   <I figured.> My plan was to buy him small, and add him last.   <A good plan.> Hopefully he will remember everyone one being much larger than him.   <Hopefully!> Maybe that will prevent him from bullying. <Possibly.  I did see a beautiful (and big!) Sohal yesterday at the Riverbanks Zoo...in a 5500 gallon tank!  A very striking fish indeed!> Thanks again. <Welcome again!  -Mich> Re: Livestock Question, Adding Queen Angel (Holocanthus ciliaris) or Imperator Angel (Pomacanthus imperator) and a Sohal Tang (Acanthurus sohal) to a 210 gallon   2/14/07 Hi Mich or whomever is reading this <Hello again Wayne, Mich here.> Quick questions.  2 of em to be exact. <OK.> I have a 210 gal, with 240# of LR, AquaC EV240, and 55 gal refugium <OK.> 1 yellowtail damsel 1 volitans lionfish 9" 1 6" Harl Tuskfish 1 Queen angel or Emperor Angel (Still deciding...haven't gotten one yet) 1 Sohal Tang (still haven't bought one yet) Is my tank maxed out? <I think it will depend on the behaviors/interaction of the specific fish in your system.> Question 2... I have an extra 20 gal and 40 gal tank.  I plan to buy either an Emperor or Queen Angel around 4"-6".  Can I use the 20 gal for QT?  Or is it too small? <Obviously bigger is better, but for the short term I think the 20 gallon is OK.>   Thanks for your help. <You're welcome.  -Mich> Wayne

Sohal Addition? -- 5/4/07 Hi. <Hello.> Joe here. <Adam on this end.> Just wanted to say love your site. <Me too! ...but thanks.> Very informative and appreciate the time you guys spend answering questions. Thanks. <No, thank you for the compliments.> Ok on to my question. <Of course.> I'm thinking of adding a Sohal tang to my 220 gallon (72x24x30)with 75 sump(150 lbs of live rock). The current tank mate are a 14 inch Coral cat Shark, 8" lion (Volitans),12 inch snowflake eel and 3 tangs all about 6 inches (Naso ,yellow and hippo). <Mmm...the existing surgeons fish have me worried...and the future aggression of the cat-shark as well, have seen them attack and consume fish twice their size.> I would like to add a small Sohal around 4-6 inches do you see any problems with aggression towards the others? <Yes, especially with the Naso and the other Acanthurus (Hippo) tang.> If so any thing I should be on the look out for? Also in the future would like to add either an Emperor Angel or a Blue Face angel. Would you for see any problems? <I would opt for one of these, not both.> The tank is aquascaped so I  have lots of hiding caves as well as have maximum swimming room. Thank you for your time and look forward to reading your response. <Joe Sohal tangs are notoriously intolerant of other tangs even tanks of 100's to 1000's of gallons for that reason alone I can't recommend it, sorry..> Joe <Adam J.> Acanthurus sohal / Paracentropyge multifasciata compatibility   12/9/07 Dear WWM-Crew, <Alexander> I would like to thank you for answering my question on magnesium supplements a while ago. Now I have another question regarding something completely different - stocking my new tank... I have a new 205 gallon reef tank (total system is a bit more than 250 gallons) set up recently and am now doing a bit of planning regarding my livestock. I do intend to get a pair/small harem of Paracentropyge multifasciata (Multibarred Angelfish), a Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (Sixline Wrasse) and one or two pairs of Gobiosoma evelynae (Sharknose Goby). My intention is to see the social/courtship/spawning behaviour of the gobies and the angelfish (although I will not try the almost impossible, i.e. raising dwarf angelfish). <Mmm, okay... though I feel compelled to state that many Centropyge are being produced nowadays through aquarium aquaculture... See the name Frank Baensch here in Hawaii> My question would be if it would be possible to add an A. sohal to this kind of livestock? <Mmmm, I would not do this, nor encourage you to... out of a sense that the Sohal would become too much of a/the alpha fish here... likely bully (or seem to) these other much more easygoing fish choices... I would look to other Acanthurids... perhaps of the genera Zebrasoma, Ctenochaetus, even other smaller, easier-going Acanthurus... instead> My concern would be that the angelfish would very much be dominated by the tang. <I agree, share this concern> I know it is an aggressive fish but it surely is one of the most beautiful fish available (should maybe be named Acanthurus pyxispandorae / Pandora's Box Tang) <Ahh!> and I would love to have it in my tank. Would it make sense/be ethical to maybe add some other fish (tangs/wrasses/anything annoying enough) to get the A. Sohal's attention away from the angelfish or would maybe the wrasse get most of his attention anyway (being striped horizontally like the tang and swimming around all the time)? <Might work... but... then again...> Do you think this is worth a try or is it downright impossible? Thank you in advance & best wishes, Alex <IMO/E, not worth the probable outcome. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Acanthurus sohal / Paracentropyge multifasciata compatibility   12/9/07 Dear Bob, thank you for your quick answer. I see that the concerns I had are pretty much the same as yours and it was important for me to get your opinion. So I will not experiment with the peace in the tank and go with a Ctenochaetus or maybe an Acanthurus coeruleus. <Ahh, good> Best wishes, thank you again, Alex <Thank you for sharing Alex. BobF> Is a Sohal compatible...   11/30/07 Hey I've been reading the info on your site and I think it is very informative. I was wondering if I could get a Sohal Tang in with my Yellow Tang (3.5 inches) and my Naso Tang (9 inches) and a flame angel (3 inches). I also have 3 cleaner shrimp one candy cane shrimp, and a fire shrimp, 6 engineer gobies and 3 starfish and 2 puffers a white spot puffer and a Valentini puffer. I am mainly concerned that the sohal will fight with my Naso tang or yellow tang and I don't want that to happen and I also wanted to add a magnificent rabbit fish to my tank (my tank is 125 gallons) do you think the sohal tang will fight my Naso? <The Sohal will become the alpha fish here, and may well fight with the other Acanthuroids... I would not place this fish unless this tank was eight feet long plus... a few hundred gallons. There is a small chance that it would "get along" if started relatively small (under four inches), but not enough to interest me. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking An Angel... Now, Sohal Tang, comp.    8/18/07 Related to our previous discussions... I was doing some more reading. Perhaps instead of a Hippo Tang in my 200gallon tank as discussed below... Would a Sohal Tang also work? <Mmm, might be too aggressive in time... if added, this should be the last fish> I've read that they are perhaps one of the more aggressive tangs? <Yes> I had a personality conflict with a Yellow Hawaiian Tang and my current inhabitants earlier this year. Or, perhaps a Sohal Tang would be better in my 90 gallon reef tank (two perculas, yellow watchman, yellow headed Jawfish, royal Gramma, yellow-tailed damsel, shrimps, stars, crabs) since no other fish would be close to it's size... And It could "Rule The Roost" so to speak? <A ninety is too small for this species IMO> In your opinion, would the Sohal be better suited as a tankmate to my smaller peaceful fish in a reef tank with lots of palatable algae growth? Or my 200gallon FOWLR with the larger fish? David Brynlund <The latter for sure. BobF>

Sohal tang distraction Do I have room for a Sohal Tang? 7/30/08 Hello <<Guten Morgen.>> First let me say that I love what you all are doing with how the site works. <<Thanks.>> Second, let me describe my set up for you all, I have a 135 glass tank with 250 pounds of life rock in the tank and 150 pounds of live sand in the sand, a 55 gallon sump, I have a 10 gallon tank in there filled with live sand as well, which acts as my remote deep sand bed. Then a 20 or so gallon refugium with another 75 pounds of live rock, and a Deltec AOF 600. With a return pump back to the tank. For water movement I have 4 number Koralia 4's. Fish wise I have a pair of clowns one is a black saddle back the female and the male is a false Perc. (I know weird. 5 Chromis, a yellow tang, blue tang, clown tang, powder blue tang, a 6-line wrasse. I am planning on adding a green mandarin eventually, <<I would refrain from doing so.>> a Moorish idol, and a desjardini sailfin tang. (I know a ridiculous amount of fish especially tangs.) But if I added a Sohal tang (small like 3 or 4 inches) last would the overwhelming number of tangs and fish prevent it from picking on a single fish by its self? <<You, your quote, have a 'ridiculous amount of fish.' Not only do you have animals that should not be housed with each other but you are doing so in an environment that is way too small. I think you have answered your own question as to if you should add any more animals to this set-up. On the contrary you should be looking for homes for several of them.>> Thanks in advance! <<Good luck; Adam J.>>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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