Blue Regal Growth Rates

Reefing Newbie

New member
Yes I know there have been many threads on this, but I am not finding specific info on it. Most of the time I read "It grows very fast", I honestly don't know how fast is very fast. I will be honest with you guys that I am guilty of wanting to put a blue hippo tang(hepatus) in my 125. I do find it hard to believe that a fish would grow from 3/4" to 7-8" in say 7-12 months. That seems pretty far fetched, for a fish that lives a fairly long time. I would more or less understand that growth if it lived for two years. My plan was to buy about a 1/2" blue hippo for my 125 and move it to my 240+ upgrade within the next three years. Local people have said that it should be fine as well as another forum(will not mention, no source is better than the other and I am looking for an overall view at this. You can't do a science experiment once and say that it works or doesn't work. So need multiple sources for this before I do this). So please give me your experience, starting size, end size, and length of time it took for the growth. Pics would be amazing if you have them!
 

Reefing Newbie

New member
Would it be logical to say that the bigger they are the slower they grow? It would be like humans where the little infants grow really fast and somewhat slow down when they are toddlers until they get to be 10-15 years old.
 

Toddrtrex

Premium Member
Why not wait to get it until you have the "big" tank? IMO/E it is best to buy fish for your current tank, and not the one you hope to have. I was suppose to have my "big" tank 5 years ago, still don't have it -- life changes.

With that said, I had one many many years ago (( the ex wife bought it )) it more than doubled in size in less then 6 months. Would say it was around 2-3 inches when first purchased.
 

Reefing Newbie

New member
I do have that thought of waiting until I have the right tank for it going through my mind as much as I think about getting one. I would still like to see what others have experienced as far as growth rates in the hippo tang. Just curious as to how fast they grow.
 

RotaryGeek

New member
I have a 6-7" hippo in my 180 (now in a 125 because of a leak in my 180, don't tellthr tang police) and he hasn't really grown at all in the year or so I hav had him.
 

lhm nole

New member
Got mine around 4 inches had him a year now and he is close to 7 inches but is twice as thick as when I first got him.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
I do have that thought of waiting until I have the right tank for it going through my mind as much as I think about getting one. I would still like to see what others have experienced as far as growth rates in the hippo tang. Just curious as to how fast they grow.

So you are looking for some evidence that doing this, despite it being bad husbandry is allowable?
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
Naso and other larger tangs Tangs

The Naso tangs grow to be a spectacular reef fish; they are hardy, eat well in captivity, doesn’t bother sessile invertebrates, and rarely quarrels with other reef fish. Sounds like the perfect addition to your reef aquarium, right? The problem is that it grows to an adult length of almost two feet!

Some aquarists such as ones on this thread say they plan to keep a particular fish until it outgrows their home aquarium and then donate it to a public aquarium, another aquarist or their LFS. While this sounds reasonable, it shouldn’t be assumed that the local public aquarium, LFS, or fellow hobbyist will accept your donation. Most public aquariums are inundated with donations of fish and simply don’t have the room or need for many fish. And of course, the health of your environment, no matter how good, is an unknown to public aquaria. LFS will only take fish they can sell. Large fish require large tanks and few folks really have LARGE tanks; some do most do not.

I’ve often seen the statement, “I’ll get a bigger aquarium when it grows.” While this is honorable, it rarely materializes. My estimate of upgrades that NEVER happen is about 90%. The fish frequently suffers and dies long before a new and appropriate habitat is obtained.

Then there is the attitude that you’re not going to keep the fish alive long enough for it to outgrow your aquarium anyway. While this is rarely said aloud, we all know it’s out there and came up implicitly in this thread. Aquarists with this mentality should find another hobby.

The other side of the argument is illustrated by these statements: “So what if we purchase a fish that will outgrow its cage.” “After all, we’re not obliged to recreate a natural habitat for a fish to live out its natural lifespan.” “It’s already been taken from its “home” and placed in a glass box, so what difference does it make how long it lives?” “Let’s not kid ourselves; we’re not coming close to creating a natural reef in our homes anyway.” “Assuming it’s not an endangered species, there’s no harm done.” “After all, we capture many species of fish to eat and no one complains about that.” There is some validity to these arguments. After all, what is the point of our home aquariums? Guilty pleasures, a home decoration, an educational instrument. In any case, the goal is rarely to see how close we can come to keeping a fish alive for its natural lifespan.

Let’s return to Naso tangs. The Naso tangs are part of the large family of tangs and surgeonfish, Acanthuridae. It belongs to the sub- family, Nasinae, which contains the single genus, Naso. There are 20 species of Naso tang. Naso tangs are distinguished by the two fixed spines on the caudal penduncle. In other tangs and surgeonfish, the spines retract into a sheath. Some Naso tangs develop nasal protrusions as they mature. These can be small humps or single large horns, hence the name “unicornfish.”

All the Naso tangs get very large by aquarium standards. Adult sizes range from 12 inches up to 36 inches ( Naso annulatus)! Most of the Naso tangs are somewhat understated in coloration, with the exceptions of perhaps N. lituratus and N. elegans. Even the Vlamingi tang is a bit of an ugly duckling. The magnificent coloration doesn’t manifest itself until the fish reaches 8-10 inches in length.

Naso tangs are primarily mid-water planktivores. They cruise reef walls in large numbers and feed on passing zooplankton in the tidal currents. They will also graze the substrate for algae, a trait that is more pronounced in some species than others (e.g., N. lituratus and N. elegans ).

Naso tangs are a widespread species and occur throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean, but are not present in the Atlantic Ocean. Because of their size and swimming habits we recommend a 10 foot tank minimum. Tank length is most important not gallons.
 

Reefing Newbie

New member
I decided that I won't get it. I will simply replace the tang with a pyramid butterflyfish or several smaller fish. I think it would be nice to see what the actual growth rate of these fish are.
 

Gandolfe

New member
and he saod hippo tang not naso tang if you read his thread. so a 6 foot tank isn't big enough for a 6" fish?if you leave room all around the rocks in a big circle that's 6 + 1.5 + 6 + 1.5 feet of swimming room..so 15 feet isn't enough for a 6" fish?
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
and he saod hippo tang not naso tang if you read his thread. so a 6 foot tank isn't big enough for a 6" fish?if you leave room all around the rocks in a big circle that's 6 + 1.5 + 6 + 1.5 feet of swimming room..so 15 feet isn't enough for a 6" fish?

I read his post. Hepatus tangs grow quickly to one foot. And I said Naso and other large tangs. No, a 125 gallon tank is not appropriate for a Hepatus tang.
 

Reefing Newbie

New member
I will wait until I have at least a 240 for the hippo. Like I said, it still would be nice to know a general amount of time for a little 1/2-3/4" hippo to grow to it's adult size.
 

Gandolfe

New member
and you are an expert why? Not trying to be rude or snide it's just that you seem to act as if you are an expert and i was wondering why your opinion is better than anyone elses on here? are you a marine biologist? Just wondering
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
and you are an expert why? Not trying to be rude or snide it's just that you seem to act as if you are an expert and i was wondering why your opinion is better than anyone elses on here? are you a marine biologist? Just wondering

My opinion is probably a bit better than a 15 year old's with less than one year of real experience (OP). The Reef Central recommendation for this fish is a 240 gallon tank which may even be less than desirable. My personal experience with marine fish exceeds 25 years experience. Hepatus tangs are swimmers that become progressively aggressive. The OP is free to ignore my opinion as are you. Marine biologists don 't know a whole lot about keeping marine fish; I do have over 3000 hours of observing fish and marine animals in the wild.
 

Reefing Newbie

New member
I respect the opinions of snorvich very much but as more if a scientific person I was curious as to how long it takes for the said fish to grow to it's adult size. Snorvich is a great person with lots of experience so I respect it but you cant blame me for having that urge to get the blue hippo tang. Again I was just looking to see how much they grow in a given time.
 

Toddrtrex

Premium Member
You will never get a truly accurate answer, there are so many variables to be truly accurate. All you are going to get is people's experiences, and even in those cases there is going to be numerous variables.
 
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