Tangs for a 65g


New member
I'm trying to decide what kind of a tang to add to my 65g reef tank. I have 120 lbs of live rock with plenty of hiding places (see pics below) and the current inhabitants are:

Foxface Lo
Longnose Hawkfish
Clown Goby
Yellow Headed Sleeper Goby
Maroon Clown
Crocea Clam
Star Polyps
2 Leathers

I'd love to get a Powder Blue, but from everything I've read, a 65g is just too small for one. I've been considering a Blue Hippo, Purple or Chevron Tang, but I've read articles with differing suggestions as to the minimum tank size regarding those three. Any reccommendations/suggestions or even other tangs to look into?? In the future I'd also like to add a pygmy angel of some sort so it would have to get along with him as well. Thanks so much!!


New member
You could add a tang but i think it would not be wise because they all really get to big for a 65. You could possibly try a blue or something smaller like a kole or something, but it really won't have enough room once it gets closer to it's adult size. A foxface and tang and pygmy angel would definately be too much for a tank that size.


In Memoriam
You could try a yellow but I think with your tank size the Foxface might have issues with the new tang and it wont have enough space to get away. Plus I've been told that a yellow tang needs a min. of 4 ft length to swim. Also hope you have a really large skimmer because tangs poop like a crop duster.


New member
Thanks for the advice. I'd prefer to not get a yellow tang. I just finished reading the post above this with the minimum tank sizes for tangs and I'd consider getting a Kole tang if that was my only other option. I could potential put the Foxface in another tank. Would that give me more options for tangs?


Premium Member
I had a Kole in my 65 for almost a year before he got ick and died. Looking back, I don't feel my tank is suitable for any tang and I won't put another one it. I was told the bristletooth's are the best tangs for smaller tanks (90G'ish) because of their swimming habbits but yellow's, purple's, etc, need much more swimming room. I would skip on the tang in a 65.


New member
Seriously, I would go with a pygmy angel over a tang for that size of a tank. You might even try a pair of them if you can find one.


I agree, a pygmy angel would probably be alot better than a tang. Ive heard that the kole tangs can get really aggresive especially in smaller tanks.


New member
I do have alot of rock, 120 lbs, so alot of hiding places, and the front 5 inches is pretty open
Here is a pic of the tank


Premium Member
It's not that amount of rock that will give them a happy home, it's the amount of swimming room they need as that is what they are used to in the wild. A small tank won't give them a happy home in the long run. I did the same as you and tried to talk myself into the fact that my tank was suitable for a tang; it just isn't though. And I've never heard of Kole's getting aggressive, mine would eat out of my hand and was very friendly. I would look to other options for your tank.


New member
I have in my 65 (36x18x24):

one blue tang
two angels, a rock beauty angelfish and a blue angelfish (both juvies)
one wheeler goby
one spotlight parrotfish
one mandarin goby
one false perc

My blue tang, which was quarter size when I acquired her, gets along with everybody in the tank. The only aggressive fish I have is the false perc, but only towards the angels if they get too close to her territory.

I wouldn't get a pygmy; I had a cherub, and had to take it out before the other two angels were put in. They can get very aggressive, and I had to near totally dismantle my tank to get her out. Of course, that could be the case w/any fish, but it was way too aggressive for me.


Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8128390#post8128390 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by emperior911
the only option would be a yellow tang, but i wouldn't do it

Why do you say a YT is the only option? From my understanding, they need much more swimming room than a bristletooth (Kole, Chevron, etc).


New member
i dont mind what you do, its your tank and its good your asking on here first.

but i can tell you my only experiance with fish in smaller tanks, 3 months ago i moved some fish (still all small and young...) into a 55qt from my larger system. never had issues with agression in my display. then my scopas tang decided the new tank was all his and killed my vegabond butterfly....

weeks later i had issues with my koran angel in the same 55g tank, he went nuts bullying everyone... it just didnt work, i found it heaps interesting that a group of fish that were happy in my display just hated eachother in this smaller territory, if only they knew there were only in there for 6 weeks.......

i talk myself into things all the time but my best adivce to you is if u want one of these fish dont talk urself into the fish talk urself into a 4ft long tank and get a small species of tang....



New member
I had a Kole in a 55, which has 4 ft of length, and although he ate like a pig, he eventually got ich and died. It was likely that the amount of other fish had a big effect. I was taking care of him for a friend for a couple weeks, too bad he didn't make it.


New member
yeah i would agree that the koles and tominis would be better, but i think the idea is establishing a tank and having it run for years. The tang would not be happy in the long run. The only one if you really want one would be a bristletooth species. Kole would the easiest one to take care of. they are a great fish, good luck with what ever you decide.