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Tank Size for Sailfin

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    Posted: May 21 2013 at 2:26pm
I recently got a 75 gallon tank, and I was wondering if anyone here had some experience with Sailfin Tangs. Do they get too large for a 75 gal? If they were purchased when they were small, would it be okay to raise in a 75 gallon, or would it be too confining for them? Just trying to be a responsible fish owner ;)

Thanks, 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dan9554880 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2013 at 3:52pm
Salfin tangs get huge. If you find a small one you can raise in a 75 but it will need to be one a bigger tank latter.
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 6:40am
Aloha,

I've seen freshwater Cichlids, Oscars for example, that grew from a few inches to almost a foot long in a 30 gal tank. I believe it is physically impossible for marine fish to grow to half the length of their tank.

In my experience, the decision as to what size and how many of a particular type of fish and the combination/number of fish to keep in a tank is dependent on two things:
1. the ability to feed them; and
2. the capacity to filter their water.

Feeding is of two types. Food growing in the tank itself and supplemental feeding by the hobbyist. Natural food growing in the tank, both algae and bugs, IS biofiltration. There is a limit as to how much biofiltration a tank can provide. Increasing the size of an attached Refugium increases the biofiltration proportionally. After that, to increase filtration capacity we turn to technology such as Mechanical filtration to remove large particles, Skimmers to remove dissolved organics, O3 and UV units to deactivate and sterilize living cells and Nitrate reactors to change and eliminate Nitrogen compounds.

Personally, I found that direct sunlight increases the capacity of a tank to support more and larger life. The beneficial effect of natural sunlight is due to the full and complete spectrum of sunlight meeting the energy needs of all marine organisms.  Natural UV Sterilization is part of this effect. If you question my assumption, just look at the spectrum that artificial light provides. See the dips and valleys on the spectral analysis? Those missing wavelengths are limiting growth in ways we do not fully understand.

I'm not picking on LED's. It just happened to be the spectral analysis I had already uploaded.

Sunlight, on the other hand, has no missing wavelengths.

Here is an example. This 75 gal tank with attached 10 gal Refugium and 40 gal coral farm was positioned in an East facing window. It was just over a year old at the time of this picture and was filtered by biological filtration only. It had none of the technology mentioned above, yet it supported a Rabbitfish that grew to 6", two Tangs that grew to 5", a couple Angelfish and 10 other fish that were thriving and still increasing in size at the time it was sold about 18 months later.


Mahalo for reading,
Mark Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 10:27am
Aye Caramba, Mark Ermm LOL
 
 
Long story short to the OP:
 
 - You can place a small (juvenile) Sailfin (2" or so) in a 75 and it will do OK... for a while
 
 - Expect it to outgrow the tank. WIth 'outgrow' being once the tang has exceeded 4" nose to tail length. At that point, it will start to get aggressive / stressed due to lack of sufficient space.
 
 - Expect to have a hard time selling it once it reaches that size
 
 - Expect to most likely have to give it back to a LFS for little credit or even free
 
If you are OK with all those conditions, then go for it.
 
- My Current Tank: 150g Mixed Reef -

* Marine & Reef tanks since 1977 *
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 12:27pm
I say go for it, in the event it gets too big, plumb its butt to a protien skimmer and feed it on an IV drip which would take care of the waste and feedings....in all seriousness, can you keep it alive in a 75? yes, is it "ideal" long term? no to debatable. Disclaimer..I have no experience with Sailfin Tangs but I did read about this crazy fish that survived a 2 year, 5000 mile journey in a boat washed away when the Japan Tsunami hit...certainly not ideal conditions but it survived! http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Japanese-tsunami-fish-hitch-ride-on-boat-to-Wash-beach-201765991.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ann_A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 2:18pm
Having kept a sailfin in a 65 for awhile I would say yes you could get away with a small one for awhile, but would not be able to keep it long term. If you are planning to upgrade in the future then you can keep all the "big fish" juveniles you want in a 75. Just be sure not to crowd the tank and cause stress to the fish.

My experience comes from keeping a powder blue, a Niger trigger, an emperor angel, and two moorish idols in my 65. These are all quite small specimens compared to how big they get, but I do have plans for upgrading in the near future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 5:38pm
Embarrassed I should have just said, Yes, a Sailfin Tang can do just fine in a 75 and with some preparation it can get large and still be okay.You might be surprised at the large Tangs I've seen in not that large of tanks.

Aloha,
Mark Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 5:49pm
Much better answer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SNOWRIDER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2013 at 8:20pm
That story about the fish that lived in that boat for two years was pretty amazing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 80cent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2013 at 2:37pm
Thank you for all of your help guys. I've decided not to get a sailfin-- not because I don't like them-- I just want to be a responsible fish caretaker. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2013 at 4:02pm
I have seen it recommended the following Tangs for that size tank (pick one, not all). Kole, Mimic Lemon Peel, Bristletooth Tomini, Squaretail Bristletooth, Two spot Bristletooth. I have the Kole, he is cool. I have no direct exp with the others but most sites that sell fish put them at being ok in a 75 but you should always do your own research and ask for other opinions (as you did with the Sailfin). Hope this helps!
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