View Full Version : hippo tang w/ zoanthids

01/04/2009, 08:15 PM
i was thinking that i have read somewhere or something that the hippo tang is not a good addition to a tank w/ zoanthids b/c they will eat them. i was wondering is there anyone who has had this problem before. i know that w/ reef fish there is a chance of any fish eating corals. so what do you guys think?

p.s just for you tang police im not getting it for my tank lol.

01/04/2009, 08:30 PM
a hippo with tangs maybe not be a good idea. they may not eat them at first but in time they will. then there is the point where you may have to take them out for that reason and that may not be fun. i have seen purple tangs as well take down zoa's. once they get the teast for zoa's its over.

01/05/2009, 03:55 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14080908#post14080908 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by killingseed
a hippo with tangs maybe not be a good idea. they may not eat them at first but in time they will. then there is the point where you may have to take them out for that reason and that may not be fun. i have seen purple tangs as well take down zoa's. once they get the teast for zoa's its over.

I typed a very long response with a couple of links to prove it, but that man is preaching the gospel truth about Hippo Tangs and zoanthids. There's nothing left to be said, every single word Rev. Killingseed said is true. The Hippo I had back in 2003 did just that and I took some serious measures to remove him forthwith. Again, 2 thumbs up on a great answer Rev.


01/05/2009, 04:26 PM
My friend just removed one from his tank because of his nipping and eating habits. I won't get one because of it now even though it is one of my favorite fish.

01/05/2009, 04:44 PM
And its not limited to just zoos, i had one that would constantly pic at my LPS corals as well as my zoos.

01/05/2009, 05:12 PM
i guess i got lucky. i have a hippo in 1 of my tanks with alot of zoas and i have never had that problem. i wonder if yellow tangs are the same? i have a yellow tang in 1 of my other tanks and i have not seen any signs of this yet.

01/05/2009, 05:25 PM
They WILL mow down you polyps to the frag or rubble that they are on matt and all.

01/05/2009, 06:17 PM
is it just common to hippos to eat on zoanthids or is there other tangs that are known to do it?

01/05/2009, 06:35 PM
mostly Hippos, yellow tangs are mostly herbivor. But search youtube or google ... tang eat zoanthid.... you'll see them in action.

There are also reports of RABBIT FISH doing the same thing.

01/06/2009, 05:47 AM
hmm, well as soon as i see some zoas/palys start disapeering i guess the hippo will have to come out. i have had him in this tank for almost a year and have yet to notice anything. i will keep my eye out for it now though.

the yellow tang doesnt seem to bother any zoa/palys besides eating the algea around them.

Absolute Reef
01/06/2009, 07:34 AM
this is new to me, actually never heard of it before...ever. my hippo tangs along with other tangs never bother my zoa or any other corals, they just have their eyes on algae and nori seaweed.

ummm...try feeding it with green stuff or have some macro algae in your tank might change its eating habit, its possible.

01/06/2009, 09:27 AM
I have never heard that before. I have 2 9" Hippos in my 360, with various zoos. They never touch them. It could be that i feed my tangs 3 times a day a variety of meaty and veggie foods.

01/06/2009, 12:04 PM
this may be news to you all , but to some of us it not news at all. there are some fish and critter some of us would rather not take chances on because in time they will turn on zoa's. some tangs, rabbit fish , foxfaces to name a few. some are ganrentee to turn on them its only a matter of time. then you have the fun of removing it. i personal am not interested in having to take my tank apart on poor judgement of putting the wrong fish in my tank and have it eat my corals that i might have spent top dollar on. yes, i have seen it in person with a rabbit , a hippo and purple tang take out high end corals. its sad in both part but be aware of what you put in your tank. no , feeding or over feeding doesn't help. like i said , its only a matter of time.

there are lot of cases posted in this section you only have to search and you will find.

01/06/2009, 12:10 PM
Do they develop a taste for zoanthids at a certain age or size?

01/06/2009, 12:15 PM
Its not known Kigs, It just usually happens. In time they just develop a taste.

From what I've read and seen... when they get a taste of that zoa poop, some times that sets it off. Mixed with hunger?

But the most known fish are Blue hippo's, Fox Faces and other rabbit fishes, and Angels are known to nip.

01/06/2009, 12:24 PM
not sure there is a true answer to that question. personally not willing to find out. they are for the most part just nippers and nip at the algea and when they nip on the zoa's , maybe by mistake or instinct, they get the taste of them and its over. dont think the younger one will do it unless you are unlucky but its only time or maybe a certain color of zoa that catches their eye but even then they have learned zoa's are food and none will be left unattended by them.

i have a buddy that had a rabbit for a couple years. i did warn him but he brushed it off. then one day it eat his ppe's first and started work on other polies till he pulled it.

and another buddy who just got into zoa's had a purple tang. he told me it ate a whole colony of pink zoa's. i warned him as well. he start buying some nice high end stuff like ppe once again it turned on them and other polies and zoa till he gave up and took his tank apart to pull it.

in both cases they ate more then what the fish was worth. so why buy a fish to see it eat a couple hundred dollars worth of zoa's. why buy a fish that might eat any corals to just take you tank apart and have to pull one fish out.

01/06/2009, 12:27 PM
I had a hippo and a yellow tang in a small tank for almost 5 years. The hippo became a bully when it reached 4-5 inches but never bothered any of my zoa/palys. It, however, became nuts and would move frags from one end to another. My yellow tang was the one who developed a taste for pink palys - just the pink palys and never touched my other polyps.

01/07/2009, 05:19 PM
killingseed: I think that was the case with my purple tang too. When i first added him, I would freak out seeing him nip near the zoas but when I ran close, it was always just picking at the algae growing in between or on the plugs. Couple months down the line, it was just chowing down on polyps without any shame.

I'm wondering if these tangs differentiate between zoas, palys or other varieties of polyps?

01/07/2009, 06:26 PM
killingseed u were right about my tangs. I had a blue hippo and a purple tang they ate all of my most expensive Zoas at least $600 bucks, I kept them for a while hoping that they would stop, I had them for at least a couple of years so I didn't want to just take them out, I did take them out, too late. They WILL eat ur Zoas. On that same note I still have a yellow and tomini tang with no problems. yet..

01/07/2009, 06:40 PM
amore169 was one of the people i was talking about. glad to see you post amore169 but sad about your loses.

Kigs, by what i have read and seen so far i would say its random. guess its all about here they spend their time nipping. i have read i lot and seen them mow down polyps more. like ppe's , maybes its the color or the green skirts. they mistake for green algea and they turn on them. guess we would have to start a data sheet and get poeple to say what zoas or polyps they had that got munched. then we might understand or even find some type of relations about what, why and which ones are more like to get eaten first.

george albert
01/07/2009, 06:41 PM
I bought mine when it was about 2 1/2 in.It didnt bother them for over 2 years but when he reached about 6 in he mowed them down.
I had seaweed and fed 2 times a day.

george albert
01/07/2009, 06:42 PM
mine only ate the zoas not the pe or the plays

01/07/2009, 07:23 PM
Hmm... come to think of it, my purple tang went after my PPEs and True GPEs only. Maybe it would've eventually moved onto other zoas or colors, but that's what he started with. How do fish interpret color? Are there certain spectrums that tangs are attracted to? Blind to?

01/07/2009, 07:44 PM
When I first started keeping zoanthids in my main tank it well for a while. Then all of a sudden my colonies were disappearing, one by one.
I could'nt figure out what was happening untill one day I happened to look over at my tank from the next room. I saw my hippo tang going after a large colony of eagle eyes like it was candy.
I moved the colony ( what was left of it ) to the sump and then ended up taking the whole tank down ( a complete 135 gallon reef) to get to 2 hippo tangs out.

A year later I tried a purple tang and that lasted a week, before I had to move the tang. This time I used a fish trap. A three day trial.

01/08/2009, 03:12 AM
Mmm...what if one were to feed them nori heavily? Do you guys think it's possible to prevent this habit of developing or is it innate?

01/08/2009, 08:41 AM
I believe it hardwired somewhere in them already basically as another known food source ( when needed ).

Just my guess when they get hungry or tired of eating the same things, something inside their brain tells them that these polyps are also an alternative food source.

01/08/2009, 09:26 AM
i can go along with that, 650-IS350. i truely do not think heavy feeding will work may buy time but thats it. i believe the only work around is not to add them.

i feel that people that say, "i'll get a small one and chance it or wait it out. then remove the fish" is not a good answer. in the long run , its more trouble then its worth.

the hippo was giving its fame frome the movie, which we all know, and was out long after i started this hobby. is one of the reason so many want one.

if your not buying high ean or costly zoa's/polyps then there probly isnt much of a loss. just be aware that they may turn down the road and cost you.

01/08/2009, 10:06 AM
craps..oh well, it has been a year but no nipping for my hippo yet. Keeping my fingers crossed.

01/08/2009, 05:32 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14105897#post14105897 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Kigs
Mmm...what if one were to feed them nori heavily? Do you guys think it's possible to prevent this habit of developing or is it innate?

I have always fed some sort of nori on a pretty regular basis and that didn't seem to help in my case.
I think that it is in their behaviour to graze constantly, and in a confined space with a limited amount of food (for the most part lack of algea) when they find some that seems like it could be food and doesn't bite back, they keep going after it.

01/08/2009, 05:37 PM
This was just posted on a thread at reef frontiers.com by Lee Birch who is a mod and has his own forum titled,
Marine Fishes with Lee Birch.

leebca posted:

The 'secrets' to fishes eating invertebrates and corals outside of their noted diets in the wild is something few people really know or understand. I'll share what I know.

A fish will eat corals and/or invertebrates outside of the normal, observed diet in the wild because of one or any combo of the following:

1. One of the biggest reasons - the organism it ate was unhealthy. Nature doesn't waste precious energy, so a coral in trouble is an invitation to predators and marginal predators and even those that wouldn't consider eating such a thing.
2. The fish is undernourished -- missing something from its diet and/or not getting fed enough (quantity and/or frequency).
3. The fish is a rogue (as noted in a previous post). Each fish is and can be out of the norm -- its own personality.