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Surgeonfish – Questions and Answers

Date Published - 22nd August 2012 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

Are surgeonfish suitable for the beginner?
In many cases, yes. But they need the very highest quality stable water conditions, plenty of swimming space and a good supply of algae and suitable green foods. They tend to do much better in a well established aquarium, rather than a freshly matured one.

Are tangs suitable for the invertebrate tank?
Owning to their susceptibility to disease, no. The most effective remedies for such diseases are copper based, and lethal to invertebrates. Also, most invertebrate tanks have very little swimming space, and this may cause unnecessary stress.
Why are some tangs seen on sale with hollow pinched-in bellies?
Fish are not fed prior to being shipped to prevent them from fouling their travelling water. On arrival at their destination reputable importers will quarantine the fish for several weeks during which time they will be fed properly, and treated for any diseases. Fish that are not quarantined but put on sale immediately will not have a chance to recover and will be in poor condition with hollow stomachs and pale colouration. It would be very unwise to purchase any of these specimens.
Do surgeonfish have any unexpected behaviour patterns?
When newly introduced into an aquarium, a specimen may rest in its side and look very distressed. This is not uncommon and passes quite quickly. Darken the tank to prevent other fish from bothering it. To keep stress levels to a minimum, it is best to introduce tangs to their new home very slowly over a period of up to 40 minutes with all the lights off.
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