Achilles tang

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This is an amazing hobby and fish are more like pets to me than a hobby. Most of us have fish that they really want to keep, almost like a bucket-list fish. For me there are a few and most of them I have either kept in the past or currently house successfully in my tank. One of these fish is an Achilles tang. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to get one but unfortunately due to disease (whitespot) I lost him and almost all my other fish. Yes I know its best to quarantine fish but at that stage it was not an option and I was still relatively unexperienced. Fast forward a few years and after so many research, planning and experienced gained I am nearing the point where I want to venture down this road again.

How many forum members are there that either kept or are still caring successfully for one today? I really would like to learn as much as possible before I would decide to continue. Local knowledge will really help - obviously the fish are subjected to much longer transit times compared to the USA market. The USA market is where most of the experienced currently are available on forums / videos and discussions. Yes, most people feel that its almost impossible and should not be attempted. Therefore, I need help from people that are open-minded and have done this successfully. I need help to do this successfully and I presume there are also other members that are looking at harder to keep fish for e.g. Moorish Idols etc.

Currently these fish is not available locally, but when they do they are very expensive. However, the lively-hood and wellbeing of the fish are more important to me than the financial side. Should they become available in the future I want to be ready. I have learned that quarantine is the first and most important step. I have successfully quarantined all my fish since I started up again. I use the chloroquine method in a tank without any biological filtration - and had very good success so far. I would, without saying, ensure that all the obvious boxes are ticked. This include a well established system that is large enough with suitable tank mates. Furthermore, factors like enough flow, hiding places, feeding schedule and correct variety of food and stable parameters will be implemented.

Therefore ,any help / feedback etc. will be greatly appreciated - even why I should not attempt this or reasons why this will not work. This will also help to plan for these circumstances and avoid or address them in advance.

I am looking forward to hear fellow reefers thoughts.
 
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I have not attempted to keep a achilles yet. But I've done a fair amount of research on them. Probably one of the more difficult tangs to keep if not the hardest. They are subseptable to disease. They normally don't ship very well. The ones I've came accross in shops all looked almost dead. Then there is the challange to get them to eat. Not even to speak about introducing them into a tank environment with other fish. But from what I've seen and read. If you do manage to get one that's healthy and established in a tank. They beautifull. Maybe there's other guys that can be of more assistance. All I know is they difficult to keep. I'll attempt one one day if I have a bigger tank.
 
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There's a few guys who have kept Achilles Tangs long term in SA

Please tell me you not planning on putting a Achilles in a 120gal (Not tang policing here) but any harder to keep large species of tangs really do alot better when placed into huge tanks from the start and should not be attempted in small tanks

@ScubaLover22 has a beautiful tank with huge tangs and they all look good and healthy if im not mistaken he has a Resident Achilles aswell
 
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RiaanP

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An Achilles is the ultimate tang to keep (for me) - maybe one day.

I prefer the bucket transfer method, as I am guaranteed that no whitepsot pests made it to the end. I do that even for the cheapest of fish I'm adding. It is not to clean the new fish, but rather to protect the current inhabitants.
 
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Thanks all for the feedback and pointers I will add them to my planning process. Yes I am fully aware of the challenges but it is possible and have been done. The last one I saw for sale about a month or so back in S.A. initially did not looked healthy at the LFS but started eating and quickly improved. I was not ready at that stage to house it and it was sold to someone else. As far as I can gather it is doing fine in its new home. In the end there are so many factors affecting success. @RiaanP I will definitely look into the tank transfer method or maybe a hybrid method. I just don't think the TTM addresses all the diseases that the chloroquine method does? I had great success with the latter and I do believe you as well with the TTM! I agree QT is essential with all new additions - it is just time consuming and a lot of effort. Maybe this service will be offered here in S.A. as well (see the popularity is greatly increasing in the USA and UK).
 
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Thanks all for the feedback and pointers I will add them to my planning process. Yes I am fully aware of the challenges but it is possible and have been done. The last one I saw for sale about a month or so back in S.A. initially did not looked healthy at the LFS but started eating and quickly improved. I was not ready at that stage to house it and it was sold to someone else. As far as I can gather it is doing fine in its new home. In the end there are so many factors affecting success. @RiaanP I will definitely look into the tank transfer method or maybe a hybrid method. I just don't think the TTM addresses all the diseases that the chloroquine method does? I had great success with the latter and I do believe you as well with the TTM! I agree QT is essential with all new additions - it is just time consuming and a lot of effort. Maybe this service will be offered here in S.A. as well (see the popularity is greatly increasing in the USA and UK).
People in SA are not willing to pay the extra costs associated with the risks of fully qtying fish...I tried it at one point but basically guys would still price compare to normal petshops and buy there,yes there are a few willing to pay more for a as disease free fish as is practically possible that's eating and tank acclimatised for a few weeks but they're too few and far between to make a sustainable business model out of it.
 
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Thing is in the States its much cheaper and also much easier to get the different medications. In one of Humblefishes posts he shares were to buy all the meds in bulk. If you want to follow Humblefishes ways of doing things in SA. It gets expesive very quickly. And secondly most of the meds you can only get on a script. And if you want to do it in bulk you will never have enough meds. You are prity much limited to bucket transfer, or copper or cupramine or any commercial packed meds thats available in a shop.
I wanted to import meds from Humblefishes connections a while ago but never did. Was told i could get into trouble if i import 2kg of chloroquine Phosphate :m23: Maybe one day i will try.
 
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Hi Dexter yes its much easier and cheaper in the States! How big is your quarantine tank that you need 2kg of Chloroquine? In S.A. we only get the chloroquine sulphate (malaria treatment) and as a preventative treatment one does not need a prescription from a dr. Using this method to treat my 40L quarantine tank it did not work out more than R150. However, should you treat very large systems it probable adds up - this method apparently does not work well in tanks with established biofilters. I agree treating or quarantining fish is not cheap, but neither are the hobby! As RiaanP stated the quarantine is to protect all the tank inhabitants. People like Humblefish and this forum really does great work in forwarding the hobby and addressing all the challenges. Thanks for all the inputs.
 
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My qt is not very big. But I did go through a stage were I bought fish very regularly. I calmed down alot now since the prices shot up. But I had the idea of buying bulk CP and then just sell onto other reefers. But yeah. Was just a thought. And I have no clue what the law says. You might just get into trouble. Not sure.
 
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Hi yes if you resell then definitely you will be in trouble. If you buy for home use and explain to the pharmacist why you need a little then you “should” be ok. Chloroquine used as a preventative treatment of malaria is a schedule 1 drug thus no dr script needed. However, using any medicine for any other use than registered for (in this case for aquatic use) is also contravening the law and deemed illegal.
 
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My dream was realised and I managed to get my hand on an Achilles tang! All I can say is what a beautiful fish! It was a challenging road but managed to get a very healthy specimen, not stressed and the size I was hoping for. I manage to get it through a 14-days QT (followed the cholorquine method from Humblefish - as with all my fish from day one) followed by a smooth introduction into my DT. I was nervous as I have already a purple, yellow and regal tang. Luckily they did not cause any serious issues or stress to the Achilles. I added him to a isolation box and then after a day I let him free in the DT at nigh which also helped to limit any aggression. The Achilles was eating from the beginning in the QT and also in the DT. He is now happy and hopefully enjoying his new home for about 3 weeks!. He loves swimming in the flow - I have 1 x MP40, 1 x Nero 5 and 2 x Nero 3. He managed to clean the flow-heads in a very short period of algae. This was normally to hard work for my other tangs to get hold of. I am feeding him various pellets, frozen and nori as well as the algae growing in my tank. The challenge now is to keep him healthy and hope that I have no disease outbreak or aggression popping up. In the end being prepared by reading up ALOT and also talking to as much people possible (including on this forum) helped a lot! In my opinion getting a healthy specimen that is disease free and eating is key! Minimising stress and also implementing a good QT-strategy is also imperative!
 
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My dream was realised and I managed to get my hand on an Achilles tang! All I can say is what a beautiful fish! It was a challenging road but managed to get a very healthy specimen, not stressed and the size I was hoping for. I manage to get it through a 14-days QT (followed the cholorquine method from Humblefish - as with all my fish from day one) followed by a smooth introduction into my DT. I was nervous as I have already a purple, yellow and regal tang. Luckily they did not cause any serious issues or stress to the Achilles. I added him to a isolation box and then after a day I let him free in the DT at nigh which also helped to limit any aggression. The Achilles was eating from the beginning in the QT and also in the DT. He is now happy and hopefully enjoying his new home for about 3 weeks!. He loves swimming in the flow - I have 1 x MP40, 1 x Nero 5 and 2 x Nero 3. He managed to clean the flow-heads in a very short period of algae. This was normally to hard work for my other tangs to get hold of. I am feeding him various pellets, frozen and nori as well as the algae growing in my tank. The challenge now is to keep him healthy and hope that I have no disease outbreak or aggression popping up. In the end being prepared by reading up ALOT and also talking to as much people possible (including on this forum) helped a lot! In my opinion getting a healthy specimen that is disease free and eating is key! Minimising stress and also implementing a good QT-strategy is also imperative!

Well done!
Very special fish these.

Pics please!
 
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Thanks!. Here some pics in the QT and DT. He is not a fish that tends to hang around for a photo. Loves the algae on the wavemaker
Achilles.png
 

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Absolutely awesome! Well done on doing all the research and prep beforehand.

Keep us updated :)
 
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I got him form a LFS in Jhb, there were two different shops that brought them in. They were beautiful fish, healthy and not stressed at all but sold out very quickly!
 
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