powder blue tang problem!


New member
Hey my younger brother purchased a powder blue tang on friday - (it is now sunday) and I have a yellow tang in the aquarium for 1 month - the morning after, I woke up to see both of their fins ripped and some scratches on my powder blue - I need help to find a way to make them OK with each other.

I told my brother it could be a hit or miss cuz yellow tangs are supposed to be the last tang added.

Anyways I changed the live rock completely - it helped a little but at night, there was one crappy cave and an awesome cave like a mansion...

They fought all night to occupy it - in the morning i made an equally awesome cave on the other side and it seemed to calm things down to 80% - now they cross each other without taking swipes and eat nori from the same clip BUT there is still some swiping - am i to expect this until one dies or will they eventualy make up?


Premium Member
Powder blue tangs are extremely aggressive. Yellows are generally more mellow.

The two should get along as long as the tank is large enough. Powder blues can make adding any other fish difficult.


RC Sponsor
Premium Member
2 tangs in 1 tank dont mix. And yes with stocking you always add least aggressive fish first.

I've had several tangs (vlamini's, powders, chevrons etc) at the same time in my tank and introduced them gradually without any issues. As sanchoy mentioned, it really depends on the size of the tank as well as the type of tangs. Introduction order is another factor, especially with certain tangs.

You will either have to wade it out and see if they learn to get along or remove the agressor either temporarily or permanantly.



New member
You can definitely keep tangs together. But, you will likely have aggression if the tank is less than 6' long. Give it a few more days. They usually work it out (as long as they have enough space).


New member
2 tangs in 1 tank dont mix. And yes with stocking you always add least aggressive fish first.

They absolutely do, I have four in one tank and they are all fine. Powder blue tangs are as already stated, aggressive. Try the mirror trick and see if he falls for it. Put a small mirror on the outside of the tank. He will be naturally more aggressive against another powder blue so he should wear himself out trying to attack his image. After a few days he should give up and just go on his way.

BTW, powder blue's are extremely difficult to keep. Good luck with him. Also, scratches on Tangs are normal. Their outer flesh is like velvet and scratches easily. I have a purple tang that loves to sleep in a SPS coral I have. Any given day he scratches himself backing out of the coral in the morning. No big deal.


Premium Member
I am guessing this is the tank. And while it seems big, they still don't have all that much linear swimming room -- they are "Tall" tanks.

Current Tank Description
150 Gallon - 45 gallon sump refugium reef octopus 200 nw 2x hydor koralia 140 gph


New member
I don't buy any fish unless it has went through the QT process. It is just to much of a risk and could cost you alot of money in the long run. Good Luck!!


New member
thanks a lot for all of your advice guys, I truly appreciate this. im new at this and have been really trying to do things correctly from the start ( with a ton of newbie mistakes like thinking the drain of my ro di was the good water.......) anyways here is what has gone on- the yellow tang is still an a-hole so i put him in my refugium and moved my chaeto to a diff compartment. as for quarantine- i started with a 2 month cycle - quarantined each fish. my pbt did get/has an ich outbreak- he was extremely stressed and i guess ich just loves him... not my yellow but still he prolly has it too. I cant leave the aquarium fishless because ive got too many fish that burrow as soon as i put a finger in the tank - id have to take out 200 lbs of live rock - So i guess a life of ich is part of life.

So should i sell- give back 0r keep my yellow tang? or should i re-introduc him in a couple days? he has about 15 - 20 gallons of space in the sump compartment.

What do you guys suggest?

Arthur Curry

In Memoriam
Take the Yellow tang back, If you want the Powder Blue, he will probably never get along with the Yellow tang. Just about every Powder Blue I have ever had fought any other tang in the tank and developed ich within a few days of having to share the tank with another tang..... The only time this worked for me my tank was 250 gallons and I had three Yellow tangs and I added the Powder Blue last......


New member
I keep my powder blue tang in a 125 gallon, 5 foot long, tall with a purple tang with no problems. They have both been in there for over a year and get along fine.


New member
campos the reason for your success is the purple tang is so much stronger - he is definately the dominant one - my friend told me the only tang easy to add with another is the purple.

im going to change a bit the rocks while the yellow is in the sump- reintroduce him and see if they work out- if not i will return the yellow - he was easy to catch i found an easy way to catch him.