Updated July 30, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Lavender Tang is often passed over by hobbyists since it's not quite as striking at first glance like many of the other readily available tangs. But, once you fatten the Lavender Tang up and get them under the right lighting the colors on these Lavenders can really come to life. Lavender Tangs have light gray bodies with pastel like yellow dorsal fins and purple tail/anal fins. They also have small yellow dots on their mouth and face.
Use caution if you plan on stocking this tang with other tangs and only keep them in 100 gallon tanks or larger. It is not advisable to keep them in the same tank with other Acanthurus tangs such as the Powder Blue Tang, Powder Brown Tang, etc. That's not to say it can't be done, but just that you will have to watch them closely for aggression and take the appropriate actions if you notice them not getting along with tank mates. Keeping them with the more common Yellow Tang or the less common (and expensive) Purple Tang may be ok but, again, watch them closely.
As far as feeding the Lavender Tang goes, stick to the usual diet for tangs that is heavy on the greens. Dried brown, red and green algae (e.g. nori seaweed) fed to them using a veggie clip will be required. Having lots of live rock in your tank will allow them to graze in between meals. Herbivore pellets and flakes are also accepted and make for a good main diet.
Give them stable water parameters, highly oxygenated water (provided by multiple power heads), high flow and a proper diet and the Lavender Tang will be in your tank for a long time.
Lavender Tang Care
Scientific Name : Acanthurus nigrofuscus
Common Names : Brown Tang, Brown Surgeonfish
Care Level : Moderate
Life span : 7 years or longer
Size : 7 - 8 inches (21 cm)
pH : 8 - 8.4
Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (24°C - 28°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.022 - 1.026
Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific, South Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia.
Temperament / Behavior : If you have a big enough tank you can keep multiple tangs but do not keep conspecifics in the same tank to avoid aggression.
Breeding : Group spawners, open water egg scatterers
Aquarium Size : 90 gallon minimum, 100 gallons plus is way better
Tank Mates : Generally peaceful but may take exception to new arrivals. Use caution when stocking this tang.
Reef Tank Compatible? : The Lavender Tang is reef tank compatible.
Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease generally hardy but drip acclimate slowly over an hour or so.
Food : The Lavender Tang is an herbivore, you need live rock and be ready to give them dried seaweed or dried algae using a lettuce clip. The brown, red, green and purple (brown algae being really good) algae will be devoured by these tangs. They will also accept flake, pellet foods and of course live foods but give them lots of greens for optimal results. In the ocean during the summer they primarily eat brown and red algae and during the winter they eat lush green algae (reference).
Tank Region : All over the aquarium
Gender : Not able to determine by external characteristics
Forum : Tang Forum
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
Lavender Tang Comments and Tips
My local fish store has one of these tangs and it really is amazing looking but they refuse to sell it. They say it's one of the best algae eaters they've come across.
Just an FYI - This is a really peaceful tang if you add it to your tank last (or so I've heard from friends that have kept them). If you add it first you may have some issues with the other fish you add later. Mine was very mean to any fish I added after him but they eventually learned to coexist.
More Tang & Surgeonfish Profiles
Pacific Sailfin Tang
Looks very similar to the Red Sea Sailfin, but the one collected in the Pacific doesn't have as many spots. Lots of marine algae and a very large tank are some care requirements. Check the profile for more care information.
Powder Blue Tang
Often sought after due to their beauty, the Powder Blue Tangs will quickly leave the uninformed hobbyist singing the blues if they are not prepared to care for this tang.
Powder Brown Tang
Adapts to the aquarium much better than the Powder Blue Tang.