tank too clean for bristle mouth tang?


Well-known Reefer
Manhattan Reefs
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Queens, NY
So I had this happen twice now.
Had a 2 spot bristle mouth tank in my 75 gallon for a while, then I turned off the lights for 5 weeks to clear out all the hair algae, and didn't notice my tang getting too weak to eat. Not that he was eating hair algae, but he was scraping off whatever was growing on the bare spots, and without light, the bare spots didn't grow enough food for it, and by the time I noticed, it was too weak to eat dried nori, or pellets.

Currently have a kole tang, and just dumped in a whole lot of hermit crabs and snails 2 weeks ago, low and behold, the rocks are white, and I just noticed yesterday, that the tang wasn't eating. I only feed it once a week, and this week it didn't go for the food. I take a closer look and its stomach area is so thin. It's been starving. Today it's still not going for pellets and doesn't do its normal scraping off the glass and such. Anyway I've increased the light timer and increase brightness to grow some algae slime as quickly as I can, but it may be too late.

So, long term, assuming I'm able to get my tank squeaky clean for corals, using snails and crabs, etc, does that mean a bristle mouth wouldn't do well overall, as they compete for the same foods? I've kept koles in the past in algae coated tanks before with no problems, but I'm moving towards corals first, low nutrient set up now.