TANG: Yes or NO


To ich or not to ich (ICK), that is the question.
What are your views on Tangs in a reef tank? will they infect and kill everything with their ich? What size tank is best to house the Tang? Q.T. how many weeks fore placing in D.T. (display tank).


ok first of all, Tangs are more suceptible to ich but ich will not outbreak in a system unless introduced or fish are already unhealthy. Secondly, ich will not be a problem if fish are properly quarantined when bought. Food for thought


i love tangs. if i had a big enough tank i'd put one in my reef no questions. like stated above, i'd make sure i quarantined it and it was healthy, but how can you look at a powder blue or a purple tang and not want one.


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if the tang doesnt carry ick parasites, then it cant kill ur fish. the only way to do that is qt for 6-8 weeks.


Active Member
Are you assuming ich kills corals?
Ich is a parasite that if not introduced it will not hurt your fish... buy healthy stock, quarantine and you shouldnt have a problem.
Your question is flawed though.


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Tangs in the wild swim miles and miles a day. Because of this, their slime coat is inherently light, to help glide through the water better. The indirect problem, is that their thin slime coat, leaves them extra vulnerable to Ich infections. It's not the Tang's fault many hobbyists experience Ich problems, it's the fact that we're keeping sensitive creatures in closed systems. In the wild the Tang can just swim to an Ich-free location. in your tank, there's literally no-where-to-run.
If you're only planning to get your fish from ***** or a sleazeball LFS, and don't plan to QT, stick to damsels and skip a tang.

al mc

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Another thing to consider is tank size. It is the cause of great debate on this forum, but most would agree that a tang in a 3 foot long tank or less will work out poorly in the long run.
Personally, I would want a tang to have at least 5-6 feet of unobstructive swimming space.


The key is to buy a healthy specimen from a LFS that specializes in saltwater fish only, not the *****, petland chain type stores and have a tank that is at least 6 feet. I have a purple, regal, and powder blue in my 150 with no problems. I am lucky in the fact that I have a great LFS that receives high quality net collected fish. It is better to pay a premium gor healthy fish than to skimp on price and receive a stressed fish. They are great fish and with the right setup can provide years of enjoyment, although some of them may be a little crazy(my regal).


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It definitely is not "their" ick. Ick is not specific to tangs. You can get it in any fish - at any time, IMO, if all fish are not properly QT'd, including the hardiest types of fish.
Tangs are perfectly fine in a reef tank, for the most part, assuming the footprint of the tank is suitable for the fish.
most fish and tanks are exposed to ich .... They only come out / infect the fish when the fish are stressed/ sick/ or there are bad water conditions. Uv sterilizer, Good water parametersk, a couple good cleaner shrimps, and feed garlic to boost immune system. I see small spots of ich on my fish here and there but nothing to crazy GL


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a large reef tank without tangs is like a small reef tank without a clown or two. they just go hand in hand! I never had many ich issues with tangs. One never had it and one was easily treated. after the one caught it from fish I brought home and didn't QT (I got tired of looking at the fish for several weeks at the LFS and brought it home. tang had ich the next day). the QT I set up (which happened to be my main display I didn't get aound to breaking down) was profilactically treated with cupramine. any fish that spent 2wks in there became free of ich if they werent before. I had a UV on the tank as well for kicks. ich was a non issue. I'm not one to believe ich should "flare up" every now and then due to stress ect. herpes flare up, parasites dont survive long term unless they are acting parasitic. if you have occasional flare ups you simply have ich. once you deal with it by leaving the tank fish free for 6wks and treating the fish with cupramine there wont be any more flare ups unless you introduce it with new stock (the ich will be cured within 2wks of cupramine treatment, the wait is for the tank and observation). I much prefer it to hypo which has to be precise from day to day and takes longer.


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I agree... if you don't have ich.. stressed fish just "don't get it" from no where... it has to be introduced in your system one way or another... which is why having a QT tank is huge.