Blue Tang

Published August 6, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
Social Media: FishLore on Social Media

The Blue Tang also known as the Blue Hippo Tang, is one of the best looking tangs you can keep in our humble opinion. Along with increasing the popularity of Clownfish, that movie could also be credited with popularizing this fish as well. "Hey look, it's Dory from finding Nemo!" More recently, there is a movie coming out with Dory as the star called "Finding Dory"! Oh no, say it ain't so! I'm sure this will lead to many misguided parents picking one of these up at the local shop thinking they can keep them with little to no planning beforehand. Read on for more details on how to keep this tang.

Paracanthurus hepatus Paracanthurus hepatus

The Pacific Blue Tang is a member of the surgeonfishes and is one of the most active swimmers of the available tangs. They will need at least a 75 gallon tank (284 liters), preferably larger, to allow for adequate swimming space. They can be fairly hardy once acclimated but will not do well in a tank that has not completed the aquarium nitrogen cycle. You will also need highly oxygenated water provided through increased surface agitation using multiple power heads and/or wave makers.

Paracanthurus hepatus Paracanthurus hepatus

This surgeonfish has many different common names including - Blue Surgeonfish, Palette Surgeonfish, Regal Tang, Hippo Tang, Flag-Tail Surgeonfish and some others. Hopefully this makes you want to use the scientific name when researching and asking about this fish. They are remarkably colored with black, yellow and blue markings and are sure to bring lots of activity to the right tank.

Be careful handling this tang with a net because they can get caught easily in the net. If this happens, gently and slowly move the net back and forth in the tank water. Eventually they should relax their fins and come out of the net.

They will probably not do well with other surgeonfish, especially other Blue Tangs, unless the tank is really large, 100 gallons (379 liters) or larger. If you really have a strong desire to keep multiples, you can try to introduce them all at the same time, but have a back up plan ready. This tang is one of the more peaceful of the bunch and may get picked on by other tangs that are already in the tank. A lot of territorial aggression can be determined not only by the size of the tank but also by the order of introduction into the aquarium.

They primarily feed on nori (marine algae) and having plenty of live rock in your tank will provide plenty of grazing opportunities in between meals. Try to give your tang a varied diet and supplement their diet with marine seaweed using a veggie clip to prevent the colors from fading in this fish.

This tang should be relatively disease resistant once acclimated but you still need to take proper pre-cautions and use a quarantine tank before introducing them into your main tank. Keep them in the hospital tank for two weeks or so and watch for obvious saltwater diseases, such as marine ich.

Paracanthurus hepatus

Pacific Blue Tang Care

Scientific Name : Paracanthurus hepatus

Common Names : Blue Surgeonfish, Palette Surgeonfish, Regal Tang, Hippo Tang, Flag-Tail Surgeonfish

Care Level : Moderate, should do well if slowly acclimated to your tank.

Size : Up to 12 inches (30 cm) - adults range in size from 12 to 32 cm.

Life span : 5 years or longer

pH : 8.1 - 8.4

Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific, Great Barrier Reef

Temperament / Behavior : They can be aggressive with other tangs (surgeonfish), especially another Pacific Blue. They also are constantly on the move and will need a larger tank for swimming space.

Breeding : Very difficult to breed in captivity.

Aquarium Size : 75 gallon (284 liters) minimum

Tank Mates : Use caution when selecting tank mates for your tang. Avoid keeping them with other tangs. Might be able to keep multiple blues if you have a tank larger than 100 gallons. May do ok with Clownfish.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment, like most saltwater tang species you'll want to use a quarantine tank with this species as well.

Diet / Foods : Primarily an herbivore and feeds on zooplankton in the wild. Try to give them a variety of marine foods but predominantly marine algae. Having plenty of live rock for them to graze on goes a long way. They should accept vitamin enriched flake foods, frozen and definitely live foods.

Tank Region : All over

Gender : Difficult to determine the differences between males and females.

Forum : Blue Tang Forum

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

Site References :

Forum Avatar :
Blue Tang

Blue Tang Comments and Tips

From: Will
Blue Tangs tend to like to move alot. When I feed mine, I give it brine, Formula One pellets, and green seaweed. She loves them!
Yep, this tang is one of the best. They are indeed very active and like lots of swimming space.

Still have questions?
Jump on the forum and ask your question!
Go here: Blue Tang Forum