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Tangs / Surgeonfish

Size: Some types of tangs can grow to over 60 centimeters Lifespan: Generally around 25 years, but they may live up to 30 years Temperament: Peaceful Diet: Mainly herbivorous in the wild but omnivores in captivity Care Level: Medium

Tangs are known as fast and curious fish and are some of the most popular species to keep in home aquariums. They are generally friendly, with some exceptions when it comes to certain other members of the surgeonfish family. Because they are active swimmers and tend to reach large sizes, tangs usually require large tanks. If the tang begins to grow and the tank is too small, they get extremely stressed and may even become aggressive.

Blue Hippo Tang

Along with a large tank, it is also important to put in a substantial amount of live rock rubble. Tangs have a relatively high bio-load so the tank water could become dirtied quickly if there isn’t an adequate amount of live rock. Live rock also provides algae and other plant matter a larger surface on which to grow, which the tank need for grazing.

When it comes to feeding tang, they absolutely love algae. However, that is generally not enough for them, and their diets need to be supplemented with vegetable matter like unseasoned nori, marine origin algae, or meaty foods like Mysis shrimp or chopped scallops.

Tangs Species Variety

Tangs come in a stunning variety of colorations. From the striking blue, yellow, and black of the Blue Hippo Tang to the vibrant Yellow Tang, these fish are stunning to look at and interesting to watch. Some members of the tang species are:

  1. Purple Tang -This beautiful, highly sought-after, and expensive tang has a purplish-blue body with dark striped patterns and a striking yellow tail. This tang requires a large tank and is quite fussy, so it should not be mixed with other tangs.

Purple Tang
  1. Unicorn Tang – One of the largest of the species, this type of tang can grow up to 61 centimeters. They are usually white or grey and sometimes light green-blue. What makes this tang unique is its signature unicorn-like horn.

unicorn fish
  1. Yellow Tang – A great choice for beginners, this tang is easy to keep and looks stunning with its vivacious yellow coloring.

  2. Achilles Tang – This type of tang is simply stunning to look at with its midnight blue coloring, interesting tail markings, and the distinct orange teardrop shape on the lower half of its body. However, it is considered to be a difficult fish to keep because it struggles to adjust to aquarium life and is vulnerable to marine diseases like ich.

  3. Black Tang – Although it is extremely rare and therefore very expensive, this tang has striking looks and is a hardy fish.

  4. Clown Tang – Another highly sought-after species, this tang has alternating blue and yellow stripes and a white belly. While it is beautiful, this fish also has needs that are tricky to meet for the average person who keeps fish as a hobby.

Fun Facts

The Blue Tang became popular when it starred in the animated movie “Finding Nemo” as Dory, an endearingly absentminded fish.

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