View Full Version : New powder blue tang getting beat up

07/20/2017, 08:10 PM
I just bought a beautiful healthy powder blue. I've wanted one for years. Things were going great for the first half hour. He was swimming freely and ate immediately. All of the sudden my hippo tang, who is smaller, just started bullying him. He won't leave him alone. Has him cornered in the tank, and anytime the powder blue tries to venture out of the corner he is attacked immediately. I thought it would stop, but his fins are getting torn up pretty bad and I'm starting to worry, I know how sensitive these fish can be. Has anyone seen this dynamic between these two tangs? Do you think it will stop? Any advice would be appreciated.

07/20/2017, 10:56 PM
Aggression can be pretty normal. To may stop in a few days, or never.

If you can catch him, I highly recommend an acclimation tank.

07/20/2017, 10:59 PM
There's no good way to predict. It depends on the particular fish.

If you can't catch him, move around the things in the tank to reset any territory issues. I'll add extra pvc pipe to make things temporarily look different.

07/21/2017, 02:48 AM
I once lost a beautiful newly acquired powder blue to a much smaller powder brown who was already in the tank for some time. He got pretty beat up and when we finally managed to get him out, he survived for a while but never really recovered. My advice to you would be remove one of the two immediately and place it in a quarantine tank. From there, you can try a few things:

- if you manage to remove the hippo, let it be grounded for about a week until the powder blue sets in and try placing it back in the tank. Because the Powder Blue is bigger it may then hold it's ground. You can also try change your rock work before adding the hippo back so it thinks it is a new corner of the reef where it doesn't has its territory yet.
- if you remove the powder blue, get it fully recovered and think about getting other tangs and add them simultaneously, it will divide the aggression between them and eventually the hippo should give up.

Tang aggression can be nasty and sometimes unpredictable. In a past tank my hippo and Naso didn't care about the Zebrasomas and Acanthurus nor the other way around. Now in the new tank I have a purple tang and just added a hippo which was getting beat up (even though it was not too bad as I've seen between Zebrasoma x Zebrasoma or Acanthurus x Acanthurus), so the purple has been grounded for about a week in the QT. Let's see how it plays up.

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07/21/2017, 06:35 AM
A lot of this depends on the size of your tank and how much rock work where the new fish can use to get away. Put a mirror on the tank to distract the aggressor may works.

07/21/2017, 07:33 AM
If you can separate your tank, keeping the tangs apart but able to see each other, it will be helpful. This allows the hippo to acclimate to the newcomer. It also gives the powder blue the same opportunity in addition to gaining its own territory. This is the easiest thing to do. Just use egg crate.

07/21/2017, 09:23 AM
Thanks everybody. I'm gonna see how things go today and if they don't improve I'll try and catch the hippo. He may have to go to sump until I can find a home for him. I hate it though, really like both fish.

07/21/2017, 11:03 AM
Place the hippo for a couple of hours/days in isolation or quarantine. The powder are very sensitive and might react badly. And try the net trick when placing the hippo back. Place all the nets you have in your DT for over an hour, the fish will try too hide in their comfortable zone. And last but not least, get a third one to release pressure from the bully on just 1 fish. I have managed to keep 3 tangs in the same tank, 2 yellow and a Purple.

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07/21/2017, 01:34 PM
New fish need a long 8-10 week qt in a sep tank. Always try and rearrange your rock and coral, if possible. Then lights out for a few hours to put dt to sleep. Add new fish in the middle of the night. Leave lights off for 3-5 days, and feed more than normal. If there is friction between them, I would blankets/towels over the tank to get it as dark as possible. Mirrors can help too. Lastly, I worry about the pb going after the hippo soon. PB can be brutal fish, but I love them too. Have a pb hybrid now.

Best of luck,


07/26/2017, 05:37 AM
Purple is back in the DT after a week grounded in the QT...Guess what? It's behaving like a gent with the hippo...

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