cant keep a yellow tang


Have 55gal (4 yr reef). Have 1 clown, 2 damsel, couple of mushroom, green polyps, colt coral, plenty of algae and cleaning crew (scarlet crabs, blueleg crabs, emerald crab, coral banded shrimp, sally lightfoot, turbo snail, cleaner clam, nassarius snail)
Also have marineland 350 filter and power head 160gph, protein skimer. lights are supaq w/ 2 65watt dual daylight 6,700k/10,00k and 2 65watt dual actinic 420nm/460nm.

Got a yellow tang and he lived for 6 days. Before he died we was looking little lethargic before getting stuck to the power head. 2nd yellow tang lived 4 days before he started to look lethargic and laying on the bottom of the tank and against coral. All water levels look good and with in reason. Temp is 80-82. I know my water flow is sub-par. I order power head 600gph. Poor water flow could that be reason for the tangs demised? Also keep reading about air in the water. Do the power head help create that or do I need to put the air-line hooked to the power head in to make that? My understanding is w/ power heads turning water that will increase air w/o the use of air line? 2nd why can't I keep a tang alive. thanks
  • Moderator


HI Welcome to FishLore
I'm sorry, about your fish.
I can't answer your question, but I'm sure some of our salty members can help.

May I suggest for your safety and privacy that you change your user name to something other than your e-mail address?
At the top left under My Settings, click My Settings, you'll see a menu on the left, scroll down and you'll see the link.

Best of luck and post some pics soon!




The tangs are most likely dying due to the tank being uncycled or going through a minI cycle. If the tank is 4 years old its going through a minI cycle, I would recommend a couple of 10-20% water changes and waiting until ammonia and nitrites are 0 before adding any more fish, and then watching the parameters carefully for another minI cycle.

IMO a 55 gallon is too small for a Yellow tang, I would like a Yellow tang for my 75 gallon reef but feel the tank is too small. I have read they need a tank 100 gallon or more, and yes while they are small its ok, but you need a plan before they get too big for the tank.

Yellow tangs are on the endangered species list as they are being over harvested from the wild for our greed of wanting them in our tanks, and the natural environment is getting damaged. Please think carefully before adding endangered fish to your tank and please, please make sure your tank is not going through a minI cycle.



I agree on everything, but yellow tangs are not endangered. They are in fact very common in the Pacific Ocean (indo pacific, Hawaii, Japan) and Indian ocean.


Why do zoos keep the Yellow tangfish

Yellow tang are not an endangered species but their habitats, coral reefs, are threatened in many places. They are thus presented by zoos and aquariums as an ambassador species for reef protection.

How the Yellow tangfish should be kept

Minimum size for a tank is 1 m³ (1000 liter), Salinity should be in the order of 34 to 35 ppt, The water should be slightly alkaline with a pH from 8.1 to 8.4. Carbonate hardness must not fall under 7 to 9 KH, it may be relatively high if stony corals are kept in the tank, but should never exceed 14 HK. Water temperature should range from 24-28 °C.

Yellow tangs may be kept in small groups, whereby, in general, all individuals should be introduced to the aquarium simultaneously.


So this is recommending a 260 gallon tank.

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view

Top Bottom