Tang Heaventm FAQS and Instructions

Taxonomy: Gracilaria parvispora (Hawaiian name: long red ogo)

1) What can I do with this?

Living Tang Heaven is best used as a healthy natural food for herbivorous and omnivorous reef fishes. It is high in fiber and natural pigments, and has been proven as a complete diet for Indo-Pacific tangs such as Yellow Tangs, Kole Tangs, Achilles Tangs, Hippo Tangs, etc.

2) How should I put it into my tank?

No acclimation is necessary. Just rinse off the tang Heaven in clean seawater, then float the fronds in an area of your marine aquarium where they won't be drawn down the overflow or sucked into a power head. You may also anchor it down with a small coral rock, or a lettuce clip, or you may tuck it into a crevice in your live rocks.

Your herbivorous fish species will quickly adapt to the new food and will graze continuously on it.

3) How can I tell if it's working?

Look for an improved condition in your tangs, as evidenced by a plumper appearance, weight gain, brighter coloration and a rapid healing of head and lateral line erosion, if present.

4) Can I freeze it or store it in the refrigerator?

This is not recommended for live Tang Heaven. Live Tang Heaven will lose condition and die if frozen, or if chilled in the refrigerator for more than a few hours. However, Tang Heaven Nori is a dried product which may be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for weeks or even months.

Treat live Tang Heaven like you would treat fish! For best results, keep it submerged in seawater with ample aeration and low to moderate lighting.

5) What if I have too much?

If you want to keep your extra Tang Heaven alive for a week or two, just place the excess into a five-gallon bucket with good quality seawater (the "used" seawater you siphon from your aquarium prior to adding "new" seawater is perfect for this!). Add a vigorously bubbling airstone. Low-to-moderate lighting is optional for survival over a period of 1-2 weeks. After that, lighting should be regarded as essential. Use this Rule of Thumb: Just enough light gives the seaweed a rich, deep, glossy, almost blood red color, while too much light results in an "orangy tint.

6) What about water quality parameters?

The SAME parameters you are currently using for your marine reef system will be fine for your Tang Heaven. Moreover, moderately high levels of nitrate and even ammonia are NOT a problem for these macroalgae species.

7) OK, I'm ready to propagate my own Tang Heaven. What next?

The sky's the limit on what you can accomplish here. For starters, consider using a simple 10-20 gallon setup with either an undergravel filter or a hang-on unit. One to two low wattage fluorescent tubes will suffice, as long as you have moderate water movement from airstones or power heads. The seaweed should be kept in constant motion but should not be damaged by the water movement.

The "used" seawater from your main tank should be more than adequate for your Tang Heaven farm. In fact, these macroalgae species are excellent Nitrogen consumers and will help remove both ammonia and nitrate very efficiently wherever they live. They love high nutrient levels!

8) How fast does Tang Heaven grow?

At the IPSF farmsite in Kona, we routinely achieve a biomass increase of 400% per month in our Tang Heaven Red (Gracilaria sp) cultures, even under shade. This means, for example, that 10 pounds of starter culture on Day 1 will increase to 50 pounds of harvestable seaweed on Day 30 - a fourfold net increase!

In a home culture system, you can expect a 150% increase of your Tang Heaven biomass each month. For example, if you start with 3 pounds of Tang Heaven (the amount we supply in our Tang Heaven Commercial Pack), within a few weeks you should be able to harvest - on a sustainable basis - a pound per week of fresh, nutritious Tang food! This is enough to supply all the dietary needs of at least 6 medium sized tangs.

9) I'm a hobbyist. If at first I don't succeed, then what?

These are very forgiving species, but if "the worst" happens, email us for technical advice. And remember, at any time you can start up a new Tang Heaven farm with healthy, genetically selected starter stocks from Indo-Pacific Sea Farms.

10) What is Tang Heaven Nori? How should I use it?

Tang Heaven Nori is the dried form of Tang Heaven Green (Ulva). It is naturally sun-dried daily on our farmsite on the Kona coast. Use Tang Heaven Nori just as you would use store-bought Japanese Nori. Tear off a small piece (about 1 inch by 1 inch) and anchor it down in your tank with a lettuce clip, small rock, or equivalent. It will quickly "re-hydrate" and take on an appearance similar to living algae.

11) Is it possible to overfeed Tangs with Tang Heaven or Tang Heaven Nori?

No. Healthy tangs tend to graze continuously during the day. They may appear "full," but they will not overeat, even in the presence of abundant food.

12) I still have questions. Who should I ask?

Just e-mail us with your questions (indopac@aol.com). We'll respond promptly with helpful technical advice.

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