The yellow tang
belongs to the family Acanthuridae.
are endemic to the shallow water reefs of
the Indo-Pacific. Most of the yellow tangs sold in the US
are native to the Hawaiian
Unlike many tangs
surgeonfish, yellow tangs have a solid color palette. Their
coloration does however morph at night or in the presence of a
During periods of inactivity or escalated stress levels they will
light brown coloration mid-body followed by a white horizontal band.
daffodil coloration will return quickly once they are active or the
These fish have
rounded bodies typical of a tang, a slightly
elongated snout and very full anal and dorsal fins. Their fins give
overall profile the general shape of an arrowhead. This species is also
marketed by the aquarium industry under the names Yellow
Hawaiian Tang, Yellow Sailfin Tang, and Yellow
species is more
tolerant of fluctuating water parameters than most of its relatives. It
hardy, relatively disease resistant fish with an easy care rating.
tangs and surgeonfish made available by the aquarium trade, this tang
the top of the list for novice saltwater aquarists. This makes the
the most widely exported and popular fish in its family. Tangs are a
sub-grouping of the family commonly referred to as surgeonfish. All
surgeonfish. Not all surgeonfish are tangs. Just in case you
weren’t sure why
you so often see the two grouped together in the same sentence. Tangs
more prevalent in home aquariums than are other surgeonfish.
is a medium sized
fish. It will reach an adult length of 6-8 inches. They are a
species but are not known to bully fish of similar size and
do indeed make an excellent community
fish as long as they are housed with suitable tank mates. A
principle part of their diet
consists of marine plant life. Keep this in mind when deciding if they
right for your particular marine reef tank. These tangs can be housed
in a group as long as they are simultaneously introduced to their new
will not give them a
chance to establish territorial boundaries before they encounter
of their species. Yellow tangs may exhibit aggressive behavior towards
tangs and surgeonfish. This species will function perfectly well in a
aquarium provide it is sparsely populated. They
will require at least 100 gallons if housed in more populace
are strictly herbivores. In their
natural environment, their diet consists almost exclusively of plant
benthic algae. This makes them an excellent source for algae removal. As
is common with many community
will eat food products placed in the aquarium for the other
is to be expected. They will jump right in the middle of a brine shrimp
frenzy along side their other tank mates. As long as you make sure they
an adequate supply of plant matter this will not present a problem.
eat wild grasses, lettuce, spinach, and have been known to munch on
common table vegetables. Plenty of live rock and dried algae sheets
insure a well balanced diet. A sure sign of nutritional deficiencies is
in their color palette. If you observe this beginning to happen, make
increase their plant matter intake to avoid potential health problems.
purchasing a tang for your aquarium you should be aware of two things.
are rather prevalent to ich. They should be quarantined for at least
before being added to the general population to avoid the spread of
fish ailment. Surgeonfish derive their names from the razor sharp
spines on the
of their bodies.
tangs have extremely sharp, retractable spurs used as a means of
located near the base of their tails. All surgeonfish should be handled
males and females of
this species are identical in appearance.
have not been known to