Fish juvenile 2.0" scopas tangs seem weak this month. Bad batch from the wholesaler?

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I picked up 4 small scopas tangs this past weekend from 2 different retail vendors, and of the 4, 3 died within days and only 1 is eating as of now. I'm assuming they all came form the same wholesaler, which got me thinking that they may have been caught using cyanide. Thoughts? They were very thin, and lost so much energy on the trip back home that they were too weak to eat. I was able to feed 1 manually by placing mysis in its mouth with tweezers, which he sucked down for a couple of days, but even he died on day 4. (I tried to be as gentle as I could lifting him out of water) As for why I picked up tangs which were apparently too weak to eat, I've never had problems with treating zebrasomas before, regardless of their condition. They were all hardy eaters. I was surprised that these wouldn't eat and I couldn't figure out why, till I remembered cyanide fishing methods using in Asia.
 

LongIslandAndy

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I would try and avoid any thin tang especially if they are thin above the lateral line. In my experience when that occurs the fish is actually using his own tissue for nutrition and its very difficult to bring back. Another suggestion would be to avoid fish that are very small . Scopas tangs are relatively inexpensive fish wholesale so maybe pick a lfs and have them order 4 or 5 for a fixed price . I haven't seen much difference in health from Philippines or Bali caught Scopas other then price. Good luck with your quest
 
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It occurred to me that if given the choice between a yellow tang vs scopas, or a kole tang vs 2-spot bristle mouth/blue eye tang. Given that they are either net caught from Hawaii or caught using questionable methods from South Asia, I'm going to go with the regulated net caught fish from Hawaii, though they may be more expensive. No point getting 4 scopas tangs and having 75% mortality, whereas I could have just bought 2 yellow tangs would have a much better survival rate.
I'm applying the same logic to the copperband butterfly fish. Get the common ones (maybe cyanide caught from IndoChina) or the more expensive Australian ones, which are net caught.
Hmm, I'm going to start looking at and purchasing from regulated fisheries from Hawaii or the Caribbean from now on. That blue caribbean tang is starting to look good now as opposed to the powder tangs.
 
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OK I figured out whats happening with these small tangs. its not a problem of how they were captured, I'm having difficulty feeding them enough calories to maintain their weight, while in quarantine and maintaining water quality. Just ran though 5 more small yellow tangs, only 2 are doing well. They all start out eating aggressively on dried nori, but over the past 3 weeks, I've lost 3 of them. When I examined them, the 2 remaining ones are very fat, but the other 3 seemed to have gotten thinner and thinner, till they can't even swim or stay upright. They didn't take to mysis, and I did feed them what fresh red gracias algae I have, but I simply can't maintain their body weight. the last one to die, was eating the fresh gracias, right till he tipped over and stopped eating, after which he lived another 2 days, thin as a rake.
So in regards to maintaining calories, I recalled many rabbits, I've had in the past that were also eating aggressively on hair algae, but "starved" will full bellies, but no muscle mass. In hindsight, the hair algae I was feeding him didn't have enough calories.
So, as of now, the problem with these small tangs, is that they are not adapting to food fast enough, before they keel over. which means I have to rethink my feeding regiment and flip them to high protein mysis as fast as I can, which is a problem in itself. Looking at the mysis out there, San Francisco brand has only 5% protein, which I passed on. Hikari, which I'm using is at 10% and of course there's PE mysis at 70%, which is probably what I should be using from now on. Does this mean, in the future I shouldn't be using dried nori at all and stick to PE mysis? I've purchased a pack of frozen San Francisco brand formula B, but they definitely do not recognize that as food.
Thoughts/feedback on how you get your tangs to eat while in quarantine? My process seems flawed, given my results.
 
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2 months later, an update.
Of the 4 scorpas and 6 yellow tangs, only 4 yellow tangs made it though my quarantine process, and were adapted to eating nori sheets and 1mm new life spectrum pellets. The 2-3mm standard size pellets were too big for them. I then moved them into the main tank, where within 2 weeks, the trained fish have all starved to death. The nori sheets were not high enough in calorie to maintain their body weight, and the 1mm pellets all got lost in the tank and I was not able to feed them the high protein foods effectively.
I have seen this before with the small juveniles I've caught, such as black fish, sea robins and the look down. All of which were eating well, but didn't get the frequency of meals needed.

Lesson learned, there is such a thing as too small. A tang that's less than 2.5" in size is still in the actively growing phase and needs lots and lots of continuous feeding. For example, the look down which I caught last summer, was only 3 to 4 weeks old. Once he was eating the 1mm pellets, I would feed him as much as he could eat every hour of the evening after work, yet he still starved.

Fish this small need a lot more attention and care than a typical hobbyist can provide.
 

Humblefish

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One time I got in some Tomini Tangs the size of a quarter. :eek: Yes, I was pissed. But to my surprise they did extremely well. I put them in with a bunch of chromis and feed mysis + calanus. I also like getting in really small Yellow Tangs because it is easier to keep them in groups that way. Just not the baby Yellow Tangs, which have dietary requirements most of us cannot meet.
 
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Ah yes, I'm in agreement, my intent was to have a school of 6 yellow tangs. If I kept them in isolation, I would have been able to grow them out on new life spectrum till they were big enough to go into the main tank. Adapting them to high protein foods within a short amount of time is the tough part. Growing them out would also be a problem.

FYI, I have sense picked up another 6 medium tangs 2 weeks ago. They were very hungry, lots of muscle on their body, but their bellies were very thin. They were eating nori in the store, just like the first batch. I currently have them in the same setup. These guys have been grazing on the clump of mixed seaweed and stopped eating the dried nori (I assume since fresh is better). I have already successful adapted them onto frozen San Francisco brand formula B. its just a matter of time before I get them onto pellets and into the main tank.
 

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