Naso Tang (Naso lituratus) - If you have a larger saltwater aquarium that's at least 125 gallons, preferably larger, you might be interested in the Naso Tang. This is one of the larger tangs. Naso Tangs can reach up to 18 inches and they are very active swimmers. A highly oxygenated tank with lots of swimming room is needed.
It can be somewhat difficult to get them eating. In the ocean they eat brown macro algae (Sargassum and Dictyota). It is recommended to have this algae on hand if you plan on trying your hand at keeping them given their finicky taste buds, at least at first. Once they acclimate you could start introducing other greens into their diet using vegetable clips or placing pieces of dried marine algae under rocks in the tank for them to graze on. Given their high activity rate you will want to provide several small feedings per day.
Be careful when using a net with the Naso Tang (and all tangs). They have spines that they can erect at the base of the caudal peduncle. These spines are used for defense and aggression and they can inflict a nasty wound if you're not careful.
The Naso Tang should play well with other fish species, except for other tangs and surgeonfish. Invertebrates should be left alone, but some hobbyists have reported that they have caught them nipping corals. Exercise caution if introducing to a reef tank and be ready for plan B should they not behave.
According to FishBase this species is separate from it's Indo-Pacific cousin, Naso elegans.
Naso Tang Care
Scientific Name : Naso lituratus
Common Names : Naso Tang, Clown Tang, Orangespine Unicorn fish, Striped Unicornfish, Lipstick Tang
Care Level : They can be fairly rugged once they become accustomed to their new home, but take your time introducing them and feed a high quality diet incorporating macro algae.
Life span : 8 years, likely longer
Size : Up to 18 inches (46 cm)
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 75°F - 79°F (24°C - 26°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.023 - 1.025
Origin / Habitat : Near and in reef areas at depths of 1 - 90 meters (1 - 270 feet) near Japan south to the Great Barrier Reef.
Naso Tang Temperament / Behavior : Does not do well with other tangs in the home aquarium but may be ok with larger species as it reaches adult size.
Breeding : Observed to form pairs, would be extremely difficult in the home aquarium.
Aquarium Size : 125 gallon minimum
Naso Tang Tank Mates : Don't mix them in with other Tangs or Surgeonfish but they may/should play nicely with other species.
Reef Tank Compatible? : Could be considered with caution... Some hobbyists have reported that they've witnessed them nipping corals.
Naso Tang Diet / Foods : The Naso Tang is an herbivore and having lots of live rock goes a long way and be prepared to give them dried seaweed or dried algae using the lettuce clip or place it under some live rock in the tank. It's highly recommend to feed them brown macro algae as it's in their natural diet and may be one of the key factors in keeping them healthy long term.
Tank Region : All over the tank, this is an active swimmer
Gender : Not sure of any external characteristics to identify males from females.
Forum : Tang Forum
Author : Mike FishLore
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
Tullock, J. H. (2001). Natural Reef Aquariums, Simplified Approaches to Keeping Living Saltwater Microcosms. T.F.H. Publications.
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