Red Sea Sailfin Tang
Updated August 2, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Red Sea Sailfin Tang is a surgeonfish that grows to be one of the largest of the commonly available tangs. The Red Sea Sailfin Tang will need at least a 125 gallon tank (473 liters), preferably larger, to allow for adequate swimming space and to accommodate for their potential adult size of 15 inches (39 cm). These tangs can be hardy once properly acclimated but will not do well in a tank that has not completed the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Sailfin Tangs also need highly oxygenated water provided through increased surface agitation (multiple power heads) and/or the heavy use of air stones.
This Red Sea Sailfin Tang is a very interesting looking fish with a peculiar body pattern. They are very similar and often confused with the Pacific Sailfin Tang. To help distinguish between the two, the Red Sea Sailfin has more dots at the base of the body and more pronounced white spots covering the front third of the body. These dots or small spots come with age. The Red Sea Tangs will not do well with other surgeonfish, especially other Sailfins, unless the tank is extremely large. Public aquariums can sometimes get away with putting multiples in extremeley large tanks.
This Sailfin Tang needs to eat frequently and should primarily eat marine algae. If you have live rock in your tank you are in good shape because the live rock will provide plenty of grazing opportunities in between meals. Try to give them a varied diet and supplement the diet with marine seaweed using a veggie clip that sticks to the aquarium sides.
They are susceptible to marine ich and you will definitely need to use a quarantine tank before introducing them into your main tank. Monitor your tang in quarantine for two weeks or so and watch for any outbreaks.
Red Sea Sailfin Tang Care
Scientific Name : Zebrasoma desjardinii
Common Names : Desjardin Sailfin Tang, Indian Ocean Surgeonfish
Care Level : Easy to Moderate
Size : Up to 15 inches (39 cm)
Life span : 5 - 7 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
Temperament / Behavior : They may be aggressive with other tangs, especially other Sailfin Tangs. They are one of the largest of the commonly available tangs and will need a larger tank for swimming space.
Breeding : Very difficult to breed in captivity.
Aquarium Size : 125 gallon (473 liters) minimum
Sailfin Tang Tank Mates : Use caution when selecting tank mates. Avoid keeping them with other species of tangs.
Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment
Diet / Foods : Primarily an herbivore and feeds on marine algae 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 will definitely help. 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 : Tang Forum
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
Red Sea Sailfin Tang Comments
Related Tang & Surgeonfish Profiles
This is another tang that is considered very difficult to keep because it doesn't adapt very well to aquarium life. Hard to get on foods and is known as an "ich magnet". Definitely keep this tang with a cleaner shrimp species.
The Black Tang is an extremely rare tang that goes for ridiculous prices, anywhere from $600 to $1,500 or higher depending on the size. Considered just as hardy as the other Zebrasoma tangs.
Another tang that needs lots of swimming room. They are always on the move and look fantastic. Try not to buy the very small ones though, they don't seem to adapt to the aquarium as well as those 2 inches plus in size.