Howdy from the Humboldt interior of Northern California! I am a Tang newbie, but Iâ€™m a little crazy for these fish (see below). I started with some disastrous mixes of shell dwellers in a 10gal. I now have three Tang tanks running, but I think I need to reorganize to avoid problems and get the best community mixes or species tanks.
My tanks all have reverse UGF, sponges, HOB filters, aeration, sand and/or crushed shell substrate, and hard water plants. The current layouts are:
10gal with a wild N.ocellatus pair (not friendly yet -- heâ€™s almost 2 inches and sheâ€™s about an inch and did some practice mating â€œwiggleâ€
40gal has the 6 Alt.comp.FireFin juveniles, 3 Eretmodus gobies, 5 petricola cats, and 3 L.brevis. Status: OK.
18gal tall has wild L.ocellatus pair with fry and two tiny Black Calvus. Status: seems good, dominant calvus chases the other calvus, occies rule the bottom.
new 45gal (36x15.5x20") has 3 subadult N.brichardi. Status: looking for tankmates, ANY SUGGESTIONS?
new 29gal has V.moorii pair, N.buescheri pair and ellipsifer eel. Status: V.moorii laid eggs 2-3 days ago but they disappeared; she looked like she was trying to move them one by one into a deeper cave.
The V.moorii did move her eggs into a deeper cave and they hatched on May 3rd or so. Apparently it is normal for the mother to handle the eggs and maybe even condition them to hatch by cleaning/stimulating them with her mouth (a german breeder wrote about this). At best count, there are almost 200 free swimmers. Today most of them moved to the back of the tank, so at first I thought they got eaten. I did see my male N.buescheri spit out two fry. I couldn't tell if they were dead or playing possum, but he didn't seem to like the taste.
They are growing on baby brine shrimp, cyclops and powdered food. We'll see how many survive.
I've rocked the tankmates into tighter caves, and they seem to be staying out of trouble. The V.moorii parents have a few places they like to patrol and hang out under overhangs. Chases appear minimal so far and I have not spotted any damage. I think the female V.moorii got a mouthfull of the eel's spines once and she hasn't attacked again. The N.buescheri are cautious but still come out to feed and watch the action.
I found a used 3 foot, 48gal (intended as a reef setup). It now has 3 N.brichardi (~2-2.5") and 2 Alt.comp.Firefins (~1.25"). Any suggested tankmates for the open water? It seems like Tang schoolers all need more than 3 feet.
I didn't intend to have a fish farm, but they're breeding quicker and in bigger numbers than I thought.
The 29gal now has just the young N.buescheri pair, the wild V.moori and their many, many fry. I put the eel in the 48gal and she seems more relaxed and free to roam. Her tankmates are two young N.brichardi who seem paired off and might be ready to spawn. They tried to bug the eel at first, but have given up for now.
I was hoping that my 3 eretmo gobies and Alt.comp.Firefins might be able to breed in the 40gal. I'll let the Firefins grow out (they're 1.5 inch or less) and see if the gobies settle in. I wonder if the 5 petricola cats will get in the way of any breeding. They do keep the tank almost spotless with their scavenging. Should I break up the cats into smaller groups (maybe 3 in the 48gal and 2 in the 40gal)?
The 18gal tall is crowded with two L.ocellatus spawns and two 1/2 inch Black Calvus. Beyond a few chases, things are going surprisingly well. The tank is divided into about 5 zones with wood and rock that give everyone some territory in the small space.
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