Feeding and housing Tangs for size


New member
Several years back I made the jump from a 90 to a 10' 450 for one and only one reason:
I saw the big reef tank in Atlanta and I wanted my Tangs to achieve the growth potential of their species in a multi-species environment.

I knew I'd have to put up with the extra labor involved with a tank that is always overfed but I was willing. My experiment started well but I've hit a wall.

The Blue Hippos topped out at 5", the Zebrasomas at various sizes between three and five inches (Yellow 5, Purple 3, Scopas 4, Sailfin 4). The Mata gets first prize at 12"

This is the second time I've attempted this (the first attempt failed when a faulty heater cooked my tank over a weekend <image attached> so I know Zebrasomas can grow a lot more. I had a Desjardinii that made it to 8". That tank also had a Hippo which I bought at 1" and watched it grow to 7" rather quickly. By the way, having the heaters and chiller now run by my Apex controller which can turn off the heaters and lights gives me enough peace of mind to justify the cost.

My ultimate goal has always been to add more fish in the existing species and at least two more species (Orange Shoulder and Achilles) but I feel this tank has been established too long for me to add more Tangs w/o conflict. I got lucky when I added the Sailfin recently but I only did so because he insisted in resting in a cave in my other tank where the crabs loved dining on his dorsal fin.

I've resigned myself in not adding the additional fish until my next build but since I might change residences that'll have to wait. My next tank is a U shaped beast 14' on a side with my bed in the center. It calculates out at 2,180 gallons (less rockwork).

MY QUESTION: Has anyone seen anything which might compare not just the number of fish for the various tank sizes but the number and size of the fish? Something like "a 1,000 gallon tank can support 214 fish-inches of Tangs".

Second question: When I move the fish from this tank to a larger environment could they resume growing or are these fish done?


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New member
Cant help you with your questions, but that would be an amazing tank when you build it. If you do go with this idea, please post the pictures on here


Saltwater Addict
Your fish will resume growth if fed correctly. You mention over fed tank, you maybe over feeding too much causing water quality issues inhibiting growth of your fish. Your Mata would of grown to 12" in a 120g, just like it has in your 450g. To answer the fish inch for gallon question, there is no right answer it all depends on equipment. Ie. if you had a oversized skimmer for said tank with many bio reactors you could get more fish in the tank than if you were to have a sized skimmer and minimal filtration. As far as aggression issues go adding fish at once is always best, later additions should always be much smaller or bigger depending on what is being added and current inhabitants. The Gansevoort hotel in Miami has a 50 ft 40,000g tank full of sharks as far as seeing a tank like you mentioned