Tangs and Surgeons

Discussion in 'Marine Fish Discussions' started by Kunhardt, 22 Jan 2009.

  1. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    I was at my LFS this morning, and happened to comment on a tiny yellow tang, only to be told, its not a yellow tang its a yellow surgeon.

    1) What is the difference between the two species?
    2)Does one grow larger than the otyher?
    3) Is there a difference in how easy they are to keep?

    From my untrained eye they looked exactly the same :p
     
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  3. Midasblenny

    Midasblenny

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    Usually a tang refers to a Zebrasoma sp and a surgeon either an Acanthurus or Ctenochaetus sp
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Kunhardt - there are fish that are called "Yellow doctor Surgeons" and "Yellow tangs".
    The yellow tang has a HUGE "sail" dorsal fin.... where the "Yellow doctor surgeon" (this one is also called the blue doctor surgeon) has a smaller/shorter dorsal fin.....

    It would be easier if you could have taken a pic to post for us.....

    The yellow tang, generically has a whitish/light yellow stripe on it's flanks.... which is lacking on the "yellow doctor"....
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Thanks Midas! Awesome answer!
     
  6. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    So then would a Yellow Surgeon be the same as a Lemon Tang (Acanthurus sp.) ?
     
  7. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    I will try take a pic tomorrow if he is still there, MAN he was tiny, couldnt have been bigger than a R5 coin. Like i said he looked exactly like a Yellow tang to me :p, unfortunately the LFS owner who deals with Marines wasnt there only the other owner so i couldnt really get much info out of him.
     
  8. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    Liveaquaria comes up with mimic lemon peel tang when i put yellow surgeon in, i see the juvenile is almost completely yellow except for what looks like blue markings under the eyes, which this one at the LFS did not have.
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    This is probably the amateur reefer's downfall, we have pet names for the fish we keep, if we stuck to the latin names there would be no misunderstanding, the yellow tang, or yellow doctor or yellow surgeon would simply be the zebrasoma flavens, similarly many of the corals we keep, only have the one latin name but i have seen many lps decribed incorrectly as brain corals (etc)
    Perhaps we should all do our homework and 1, research what we buy before we buy, and, 2, use the correct names for our pets (very much easier said than done):lol:
     
  10. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    Hehe, i think it probably is easier said than done, trying to remember the latin name for a creature than its common name.

    So are u saying that Yellow tangs and yellow surgeons are the both zebrasoma flavens? Cause thats what comes up in the google searches i did earlier, and i thought it must be a mistake.
     
  11. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Well that is the problem i highlighted, do you want a mimic tang that happens to be mimicking a lemon peel angel (acanthurus pyroferus) or do you want the zebrasoma style yellow tang? the latter i assume, so type in zebrasoma flavens and you should get the info you require:)
     
  12. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    Its not that i want either Mike, it was just me trying to look up the difference between a yellow tang and a yellow surgeon because they look exactly the same to me in the LFS, but apparently arent.
     
  13. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    As i said, the common names we use have fogged the issue, for me there is no difference between the yellow tang or surgeon, perhaps you need to ask the lfs what their latin names are (that'll worry him) then you can research the different tangs/surgeons and find out how to keep them should you want one.
     
  14. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice mike.

    lol i'm sure it will worry him when i ask the latin name.:lol:
     
  15. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    haha, what if its actually an angel:lol:
     
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    OK Kunhardt - here's the different fish:
    Zebrasoma flavescens - YELLOW TANG
    [​IMG]

    Orange should tang juvenile:
    [​IMG]

    Atlantic Blue Doctor tang:
    [​IMG]

    Mimic tang juvenile:
    [​IMG]

    I hope that this makes you understand that there are many different fish that looks the same.... but are different.
     
  17. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt Thread Starter

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    Thanks Jacques, I'm probably going to have to go with Mimic or Yellow tang off the top of my head. Definately wasnt one of the other 2, leaning towards mimic, which as Liveaquaria said was a yellow surgeon. I think I will do some reading up on this little guy.
     
  18. killer

    killer

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    Ive got a yellow tang, nowe buying a mimick surgeon and possible a powder brown. Is this a good idea? worried they going to go for each other!! Please advise soon as Im collecting on Friday. Yellow tang bigger than mimick suergeon and its been in my tank for 6 months.
     
  19. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Con specifics will rumble. If you have a big enough tank with enough flow they should make peace. Eventually. How much water does your display hold.
     
  20. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Killer - SunBurst has it correct. Tangs/Surgeons are EXTREMELY territorial. So - you can keep these fish together, IF you have the tank-space...

    And - IF you want to get them - either get them small, and all roughly the same time and the same size!
    Otherwise - if you want to add them slowly, each following one, MUST be bigger than the previous one....

    BUT, you will be looking for trouble if your tank is smaller than ie. 1.2 metres to 1.5 metres..... Tangs also want/need a LOT of live rock to hide behind, otherwise they will stress FAR too quickly....
     
  21. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    close, zebrasoma are usually only aggressive to other zebrasoma species - it's the shape rather than colour that is thought to be the issue, again acanthurus etc tend only to show aggression to their own species, but space - or lack of it - is always going to be a problem, tangs do tend to get big and require a large area to swim in.
     
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