Help! My blue tang is suicidal when the light goes out.

Samloya

Member
HELP!!! My small blue tang is brand new to the tank as of today. (See time stamp.)
There are 2 clowns and they are all getting along famously. But when the light goes out the blue tang casually swims up by itself and hangs out by the filter intake. First starting out vertically allowing its tail to be pulled by by the current then eventually shifts to its side getting sucked looking dead. (See pics)

when I quickly turn the light on its strong enough to pull itself off, and it does but I fear when the light goes out (scheduled) it’s drawn back to that area and with that behavior. I fear getting sucked up for too long, the fish will lose its strength.

Thoughts?
 

Fae

Member
Following, this is sad. I wish I had an answer but I have no experience with saltwater fish
 
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Samloya

Member
Fae said:
Following, this is sad. I wish I had an answer but I have no experience with saltwater fish
Thanks for your prompt reply Fae, Yes, I'm concerned as My light is on a schedule and this tangs behavior might suck the life outta him. (literally) So I'm debating on whether I should wake myself up every hour to check on him.
 

Fae

Member
Samloya said:
Thanks for your prompt reply Fae, Yes, I'm concerned as My light is on a schedule and this tangs behavior might suck the life outta him. (literally) So I'm debating on whether I should wake myself up every hour to check on him.
I will do some research on blue tangs and see if I can help. For now, keep the light on maybe? I don't want to give you any suggestions that could be detrimental as I know next to nothing about salt. I would consider keeping the filter off so you can sleep but again I have no idea if that would end up being fatal or not

I just took a look at your aq details and I see that you put you don't understand the nitrogen cycle. Have you keep fish tanks before? Sorry if you have, I'm not trying to be rude. Just want to make sure I understand your experience level before I respond further
 
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Samloya

Member
Not a problem, This is my first saltwater tank and admittedly I'm not up on the nitrogen cycle. I have a test kit to check my levels which I understand, but I'm an idiot when it comes to terminology, and the art of it.
But I like to learn. and The store that sold my fish said based on my timeline, and maintenance my tank (they sold me) should be in good shape. Theres a thread where i read that the fish could be spooked by the abrupt turn off of the light, which I set to fade out within a few hours. But the filter intake behavior is a bit odd, and I'm not sure on that. As far as turning off my filter i think that'll be a bad move as the water needs to cycle, I'm thinking I should however put some kind of additional screen on the intake to weaken the current, but That's why I'm here.
 

Mar1111

Member
I don't know that filter system, and nothing at all about saltwater tanks/fish. I have freshwater tanks and use the HOB filters on 2 of them, and can put sponge pre-filters over the intakes to keep everyone out of it. I have sponge filters in my smaller tanks. I sure hope someone can help with that. Maybe he just goes limp when the light goes out and is sucked toward the filter and just floats there?
 
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Samloya

Member
Y
Mar1111 said:
I don't know that filter system, and nothing at all about saltwater tanks/fish. I have freshwater tanks and use the HOB filters on 2 of them, and can put sponge pre-filters over the intakes to keep everyone out of it. I have sponge filters in my smaller tanks. I sure hope someone can help with that. Maybe he just goes limp when the light goes out and is sucked toward the filter and just floats there?
Yes,
he appears to have caught on. He chill vertically in the corner (facing down) now.
I tried cutting one of my disposable Covid masks, and using the thinnest layer to soften the current. But my tank water started spilling out immediately. Note to self... Not a good idea.
 

Fae

Member
Samloya said:
Not a problem, This is my first saltwater tank and admittedly I'm not up on the nitrogen cycle. I have a test kit to check my levels which I understand, but I'm an idiot when it comes to terminology, and the art of it.
But I like to learn. and The store that sold my fish said based on my timeline, and maintenance my tank (they sold me) should be in good shape. Theres a thread where i read that the fish could be spooked by the abrupt turn off of the light, which I set to fade out within a few hours. But the filter intake behavior is a bit odd, and I'm not sure on that. As far as turning off my filter i think that'll be a bad move as the water needs to cycle, I'm thinking I should however put some kind of additional screen on the intake to weaken the current, but That's why I'm here.
Hmm I'm not familiar with how saltwater tanks cycle, i recommend searching the forum for info on how to cycle a saltwater tank. Your water parameters might be off. I'm really out of my element here so maybe try reaching out directly to a member well versed in salt
 
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Samloya

Member
Fae said:
Hmm I'm not familiar with how saltwater tanks cycle, i recommend searching the forum for info on how to cycle a saltwater tank. Your water parameters might be off. I'm really out of my element here so maybe try reaching out directly to a member well versed in salt
Sounds great Fae, Thanks again for all the help. He seems to have caught on and is staying more in the top corner of the tank instead of directly in the suck zone.
 

Fae

Member
Samloya said:
Sounds great Fae, Thanks again for all the help. He seems to have caught on and is staying more in the top corner of the tank instead of directly in the suck zone.
No problem, although I don't think I helped much! Also, I looked under find a guru on the bottom of the page, you can find members who have been recognized as being very knowledgable in specific areas there. Jesterrace might be able to help you more if you have any questions still
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
I believe saltwater cycles are the same as freshwater. What are your exact water parameters?
 

Fae

Member
I did a little bit of research into blue tangs specifically. Do you have a reef in your tank? Is it aged? I read that blue tangs are reef fish and are generally wild caught, if you're lacking a reef in your tank (or at least live rock), it won't know where to go or be comfortable. In the wild, they search their reef for their favourite algae and scrape it off with their hard teeth. They're generally solitary fish, and the males will fight with eachother for the best territory. How big is your tank? Not sure how they do with other fish

Edit: since it was most likely wild caught, it probably didn't know how to avoid the filter. I would put a prefilter sponge on the intake to keep it from getting sucked up
 
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Samloya

Member
Fae said:
I did a little bit of research into blue tangs specifically. Do you have a reef in your tank? Is it aged? I read that blue tangs are reef fish and are generally wild caught, if you're lacking a reef in your tank (or at least live rock), it won't know where to go or be comfortable. In the wild, they search their reef for their favourite algae and scrape it off with their hard teeth. They're generally solitary fish, and the males will fight with eachother for the best territory. How big is your tank? Not sure how they do with other fish

Edit: since it was most likely wild caught, it probably didn't know how to avoid the filter. I would put a prefilter sponge on the intake to keep it from getting sucked up

funny you mentioned...
Here’s what I created and it weakens the current.
Thanks again for this info. I’ll check all my levels tonight, and double check with the fish store of the blue tangs origin.
 

fish 321

Member
How is it doing? Generally when a fish is sucked up against a filter it usually isn't good. Since its so new to your tank mabey it is just stressed out.

Also if you can, check your salinity, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates or bring a sample of your water to you local fish store and see if they can test it for you.
 
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Samloya

Member
fish 321 said:
How is it doing? Generally when a fish is sucked up against a filter it usually isn't good. Since its so new to your tank mabey it is just stressed out.

Also if you can, check your salinity, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates or bring a sample of your water to you local fish store and see if they can test it for you.
Thanks for checking in. He’s doing great. The fish store owner assured me it’s what he did in the store and that there was no danger in it as he could pull himself off. As of today the light dims slowly to off within 3 hours. His retreat isn’t as abrupt as it was and he’s hanging out in the rocks now that the light is off.
In addition I ran a test on nitrates, ammonia, salinity level etc. all came back safe but ready for a water change.
I’ve attached some pics of those tests.
Thanks for checking back.
 

mrsP

Member
I don't have experience in saltwater fish, but I've had couple of fish that liked to be in water intake grill. They were healthy, and able to leave whenever, but oh boy did they freak me out! All I can think of is that they just liked to be able to rest there without any effort, and have plesant water flow at same time. Only reasons for me to think that way are because they were healthy, and able to leave whenever they wanted.
 

fish 321

Member
Hmm water looks all good. Id just keep an eye on him and see if he becomes more active.
 

Jesterrace

Member
Samloya said:
HELP!!! My small blue tang is brand new to the tank as of today. (See time stamp.)
There are 2 clowns and they are all getting along famously. But when the light goes out the blue tang casually swims up by itself and hangs out by the filter intake. First starting out vertically allowing its tail to be pulled by by the current then eventually shifts to its side getting sucked looking dead. (See pics)

when I quickly turn the light on its strong enough to pull itself off, and it does but I fear when the light goes out (scheduled) it’s drawn back to that area and with that behavior. I fear getting sucked up for too long, the fish will lose its strength.

Thoughts?
Perfectly normal behavior for Blue Tangs, especially when new to the Tank. I've seen them curl up around power heads at stores, filter returns, etc. They are just goofy about where they choose to sleep. It's just one of the odd personality quirks of the fish. Enjoy it.
 

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