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Old 07/08/2009, 10:29 AM   #1
BrianD
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Powder blue tang primer

The Powder Blue Tang Primer
Please offer your suggestions and advice for keeping these wonderful fish.

Possible items to cover:





Waterflow and tank dimensions

Acclimation and quarantine

Tank mates (good and bad)

Suggested foods

Recommended size at purchase



Please improve the usefulness to the reader by stating opinions as such and actual experiences as such.

Thank in advance to all who participate.


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Old 07/08/2009, 02:58 PM   #2
jimroth
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I love my PBT, that is one super color combination. Plus, it has personality, always swims up to meet me.
I bought it because it was a fat, good colored specimen. It initially had a couple bouts of ich, but that stopped, perhaps because of a good diet (it eats everything, mysis, blackworms, nori, pellets). Plus it grazes the horrific red fiber algae off my rocks.

My tank is pretty large, 65 X 30 X 25H, and the tang really shoots down the length, a regular speed demon.

It's easily the bossiest fish in the tank, it beats up any new fish that I put in. Probably should have bought it last. It hassles my copperband and yellow longnose butterflies sometimes, but they just raise their dorsal spines and fend him off. Doesn't bother the square anthias group.






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Old 07/08/2009, 08:26 PM   #3
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I should add that I run two Vortech MP40s for water movement and I have a fairly large skimmer, an ETSS 10000 powered by an Iwaki 100RLT, so the water in my tank is pretty well oxygenated.
And I've only had the PBT since December of last year, about 7 months. And it's about 5" long.


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Old 07/09/2009, 08:57 PM   #4
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PBT

I have never kept a Powder Blue Surgeon but they are on a fairly short list of fish that I would love to keep in the near future. From everything that I have read the basics are the following.

1. A 5 foot tank or longer (100 gallons or more)
2. Pristine water quality
3. Well oxygenated water
4. Plenty of swimming room
5. A varied diet with plenty of seaweed in its diet


James


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Old 07/12/2009, 03:54 PM   #5
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I have mines in a standard 90 gallon reef with 2 mp40 set up at 100% lagoon mode with pretty bright light in the tank(2x250 watts 20k ushios and 6 x54 watts actinics). The fish that ran the the tank before was a purple tang. The purple attack the pbt for a day until the pbt said enough and fought back. Now he is the king if the tank. The pbt started off with mysis and now he loves everything.


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Old 07/13/2009, 02:08 PM   #6
Amoore311
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Everything Stated Below is first hand experience.

My Powder Blue Tang has been with me for just shy of 1 year.
The fish was purchased through Live Aquaria- Diver's Den.

Tank Size: 90 Gallon AGA

Circulation: 2 Vortech MP40W on Lagoon Mode (Set to about 85-90%)

Lighting: Tank is lit by a T5 6Bulb Tek Light.

Filtration/Other: The tank is skimmed by a MSX160 Protein Skimmer. The tank also has a 15 gallon refugium w/ Chaeto. Oceanic Salt has been used since the tanks inception. Vodka is dosed in the tank, and a 5 gallon water change is performed once a month. Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates are 0. I have about 90 LBS. of live rock in the tank as well.

Tank Mates: Sixline Wrasse, 2 Mated Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Hawaiin Yellow Tang, 1 Yellow Watchmen Gobie, 1 Pincushion Sea Urchin, 1 Sea Cucumber, 1 Crocea Clam, and various snails/hermit crabs. I also have a wide variety of corals from all 3 main categories (Softies, LPS, SPS). The tank is mainly LPS dominated though.

I've noticed slight aggression at feeding time towards the Yellow Tang during feeding time, and right before lights out. Never has the scuffles ended in any torn fins or bite damage. 1 fight resulted in a nice gash on the side of the yellow tang, which healed fine in a couple days.

Suggested foods: My tang will only eat Nori. I feed 1/2 sheet a day, mostly green. I will supplement with brown and purple nori occasionally as well.

I would recommend getting the smaller end of the spectrum on this fish. I started with a medium sized one, and while I didn't have any problems... I think my case might have been in the minority in terms of aggression.

My quarantine procedure lasted only 2 weeks. I wasn't expecting to get such a large fish, and my only quarantine tank was a 29 Gallon tank. The fish would not move or eat, so I made the decision to move him to the display. I drip acclimated for 45 minutes, then added him after the lights were out for a bit. The next day he was all over the tank picking at the rocks.

Please note this fish really should not be kept in a 4 FT tank for the duration of its lifetime. My fish will be moved to a 6' Long 180 Gallon Oceanic in the next couple weeks.


Now for my opinions on this fish:

This fish is really no harder to keep than any other tang, the key is to get a healthy specimen. Please read the quoted material below in regards to this situation. The quote is from Kevin Cohen (Director of LiveAquaria):


Quote:
BrianD had asked in our Vendor Forum if I could come here to post in this thread to possibly shed some light on the chain of custody of Acanthurus leucosternon.

Powder blue tangs are found thought the Indian Ocean from the East African coast east to Sri Lanka, over to Sumatra, and down to the Western side of Denpasar Bali in the Western Pacific Ocean. The range of these fish ends there and they are not found in the Central Pacific, South Pacific or in Hawaii. If an exporter in Hawaii has these for sale then they have been purchased from an exporter somewhere in Bali, Sumatra, Sri Lanka, or the Maldives.

Most Powder Blue Tangs offered in the aquarium trade in the US are from exporters in Bali. The main issue with these fish is the chain of custody itself. For a Bali exporter to acquire these fish, they themselves either have to import them from Sri Lanka, or acquire them from collectors who have to make very long trips to the collection sites where the fish are harvested. Some of these boat trips can last for a week or more before they are tanked in filtered water at the exporter’s facility. During this time the fish are maintained in bags with pure oxygen. Good collectors will change the water on these fish daily, but they have a long journey on rough seas before they hit the shore in Bali. The fish may then be sold to brokers or middlemen, who consolidate other species and offer them to the multitude of Bali exporters. After all of this work, these fish are then exported to the US for sale in the aquarium trade.

We choose to offer Powder Blue Tangs from the Maldives as opposed to the Sri Lankan or Bali Powder Blues. In the Maldives there are only a few exporters, who have a very short distance from their facility to the collection site so the time from collection to the exporters tanks are very short. Once the fish are rested and purged they are then exported weekly to the US on flights out of Male to Los Angeles California. Powder Blue tangs from the Maldives are much hardier, and we have very little problems with these fish, both at our facility on Rhinelander Wisconsin, or at the holding facility in Los Angeles California. Maldives Powder Blue Tangs have proven themselves to be very strong fish when maintained in large aquariums, and offered the proper diet.

To conclude, in my opinion the handling and chain of custody plays a critical role in how well a Powder Blue Tang will do in our aquariums. I would encourage everyone to find out where your Powder Blue Tang came from before you make that purchase.
The original text can be found here:
http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum...s+Leucosternon





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Old 07/13/2009, 09:51 PM   #7
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I have had mine for 3yrs now. Absolutely love it. It's in a regular 5ft 100gal with 2xkoralia 3's, one #2 and a little giant return. He is about to be moved into my 180 upgrade, but I am going to add any other tang that I may want before I transfer him over. He is the boss and will defend his patch of rocks. The span of the 180 isn't even enough to simulate what they are used to protecting in the wild, so any other fish will be introduced to the new tank first. I feed a small piece of nori every morning (sometimes plain, sometimes with garlic, sometimes with selcon), a small pinch of pellets for everyone switched up with a pinch of spirulina flakes and a cube of mysis every Sunday.
QT- I saved this fish from an lfs that had very poorly trained employees and is no longer in business. He was thin and hid from everything. I put him in a 20high full of caulerpa and kept a clip with selcon soaked nori beside his hiding rock and moved it further and further away every other day until he was fat and swimming like he owned the tank. He was tiny then so different qt for different fish. Keep up small but many water changes and have some flow for these guys. Mine sleeps in front of the return


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Old 07/16/2009, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Amoore311

Please note this fish really should not be kept in a 4 FT tank for the duration of its lifetime. My fish will be moved to a 6' Long 180 Gallon Oceanic in the next couple weeks.



i disagree on this point as i have seen reefers who kept this fellow in 4ft tank


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Old 07/16/2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by chercm
i disagree on this point as i have seen reefers who kept this fellow in 4ft tank

Hobby Experience: newbie
As other experienced reefers have noted, the PBT should be kept in a minimum 6' long tank.


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Old 07/17/2009, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macimage
As other experienced reefers have noted, the PBT should be kept in a minimum 6' long tank.
what happens if it does not ?


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Old 07/17/2009, 07:28 AM   #11
BrianD
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Let's keep this thread on topic with actual experiences.


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Old 07/17/2009, 12:22 PM   #12
Amoore311
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Quote:
what happens if it does not ?
The first thing I've noticed is aggression. This fish is already one of the meaner tangs you can keep. Having them cramped up will just compound that. I have noticed this with my own Tang as he has grown a bit he is getting more aggressive. He is to the point now where he is happy just being the ruler of my tank. If he any angrier though (and I was stuck with a 90 Gallon only) I would definitely have to get rid of him for fear of him killing my fish.

I've also noticed this when a close friend of mine had a Powder Blue in a 40 Gallon breeder. The fish was a baby, but as it got bigger, it got meaner. Eventually killing off a mated pair of full grow adult maroon clowns that it was in the tank with.

Once he transferred the fish to a 120 Gallon, it calmed right back down again.

That being said, every fishes personality is different. I still recommend at least a 6' tank with these guys though. Just watching how active and bossy they are is a tell tale sign to me that they are a candidate for a longer than average tank.


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Old 07/17/2009, 04:49 PM   #13
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i am running a 100gallon tank here....


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Old 07/17/2009, 05:56 PM   #14
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chercm, we get the fact that you are gong to keep the fish in a tank size that isn't recommended. Let's move on from that issue.


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Old 07/18/2009, 01:21 PM   #15
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I agree, 100 gallons will not be enough for an adult powder blue Tang.
I had one in a 125 gal for 2 years and he got very agressive to the point that he killed a new Copperband butterfly. I now have him in a 300 gallon and he has become much more peaceful alowing me to add new fish without incident. That shows you how miserable he was in the 125.


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Old 07/19/2009, 10:14 PM   #16
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I keep a PBT in a 6' 180 gallon tank. It constantly paces across the six feet of swimming space, like it's neurotic. Is this normal?

The tang loves nori, I wouldn't keep a PBT without a constant supply of macro algae or a nori clip to graze on.


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Old 07/20/2009, 12:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by chercm
i am running a 100gallon tank here....
Me too and mine is the angry heavy handed boss. My 180 is going up as we speak. As stated before. Mine was rescued as a small fish and now is around 5in and has to be moved because he still isn't done growing.


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Old 07/20/2009, 07:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
I keep a PBT in a 6' 180 gallon tank. It constantly paces across the six feet of swimming space, like it's neurotic. Is this normal?
Is he just listlessly swimming back and forth? I highly doubt he is pacing due to lack of space.

He may honestly be bored with the tank set up, as far as rock work goes. I've had puffer fish that do that when they are bored with the rock work.


Do you have a FTS you can post.


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Old 07/21/2009, 01:00 AM   #19
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What? They do that due to stress or no algae to pick at.


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Old 07/24/2009, 05:49 PM   #20
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Where your pb tangs eating right off the bat or did it take any adjustment period. I just got mine yesterday. He is picking at the rocks, but I have yet to get him to eat any thing I put in the tank. Im feeding nori, mysis, formula 2, and brine. Hes a pretty fat and very healthy fish, should I just be patient. any thoughts......


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Old 07/24/2009, 09:10 PM   #21
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Tie the nori to a piece of rubble rock and stick it between your rockwork. That usually gets them to start eating. Also, there are three different types of nori (green, red and purple). Try them all.

Good luck!
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Old 07/24/2009, 09:15 PM   #22
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I'll give it a shot. anybody has any other ideas or suggestions they would be greatly appreciated


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Old 07/25/2009, 06:56 PM   #23
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Its been a day now and he is starting to eat some nori. I think they just need an adjustment period especially if other tangs are involved. Hopefully I can get him to eat frozen soon.


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Old 07/25/2009, 07:53 PM   #24
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Re: Powder blue tang primer

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianD
The Powder Blue Tang Primer
Please offer your suggestions and advice for keeping these wonderful fish.
Possible items to cover:Waterflow and tank dimensions
Acclimation and quarantine
Tank mates (good and bad)
Suggested foods
Recommended size at purchase
plenty of firsthand experience with PBT's here:

they are aggressive (territorial).
the first one I tried keeping (back in the early 90's) was in my 75 gallon reef aquarium. What a big mistake. It didn't live long and my other fishes were happy it didn't. It was a terror.

My current A leucosternon (PBT) is in my 225 reef aquarium. Powder Blues are usually very aggresssive (territorial) and should be the last Tang introduced. They don't mix well with other Acanthurus species and they might (or might not) take an extreme disliking to any other fish in the aquarium. (For example- mine wants to kill one of my Butterflyfish yet never so much as blinks at my other Butterflyfish.)
Quite honestly, the only reason I have my current PBT is because it was removed from someone elses aquarium where it was beating up a Queen Angelfish. (Queen's are brutes so this should give the reader some idea of this fish's temperment.) Highly oxygenated water (via really good water flow) can help make it easier to maintain this species in a community of fishes by helping to disperse aggression. Rockwork can also help breakup line-of-sight aggressions. QT is strongly suggested (for ALL fishes kept with a PBT) as this species is highly susceptible to cryptocaryon.
Good lighting over the aquarium can provide microalgae growth this species will pick at constantly. The microalgae diet must be supplemented with prepared foods such as nori and small meaty seafoods. Keep 'em plump because a skinny PBT isn't long for this world. Look for a healthy specimen and avoid any questionable looking ones. Not a species for beginners!


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Old 07/27/2009, 07:11 PM   #25
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I've had my PBT for close to a year now. He was just moved a few weeks ago from a 125g to my new 280g (72x30x30) and he loves it. He is by far my most active tang I have, I thought my blonde Naso or Regal would have been. I had 2 MP40W's and 2 K4's in the 125 and have since added a Tunze 6105 in the new tank. It's SPS dominated so I need the flow anyway. Beautiful fish but as others have said they need their swimming space thats for sure.


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