Regal Tang ~ Blue Surgeonfish ~ Indo-Pacific Blue TangFamily: Acanthuridae Paracanthurus hepatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
Readily available and very beautiful, the Blue Tang is probably the second most popular tang next to the Yellow tang!
- Maintenance difficulty:
- Habitat: Natural geographic location:
- Social Behaviors:
- Sexual differences:
- Light: Recommended light levels:
- Length/Diameter of fish:
- Minimum Tank Length/Size:
- Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong
- Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom
Dr. Jungle says...."Nemo's best friend 'Dory' in the movie "Finding Nemo" certainly helped with the Blue Tang's popularity!"
The Blue Tang is also known as the Regal Tang, Blue Surgeonfish, and Indo-Pacific Blue Tang. This gorgeous fish is readily available, easy to keep, and is very interesting to watch. We knew of one that would spend time everyday in play, chasing bubbles from the bottom of the aquarium to the top!
For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Black faced blue hippo tang eating, Paracanthurus hepatus
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Video of a cool color variation of a Blue Hippo Tang in captivity.
The Blue or Hippo Tang, Paracanthurus hepatus, is another surgeonfish that needs a lot of room to swim! They need 180 gallons, lots of strong water movement, plenty of veggies and appropriate tank mates. They will become quite belligerent in smaller tanks and will go after other tangs and fish if they feel crowded. They are one of the easier tangs to care for, aside from being the most popular fish sought after by new saltwater aquarists due to the movie Finding Nemo. Sadly, newbies quickly find that their 55 gallon tank is not going to cut it, as the Blue Hippo Tang will grow to 12," besides producing a lot of waste. Their need, like other tangs, to swim very quickly and aggressively means a 6 foot tank is minimum.
Blue Tangs Fiji Style, Paracanthurus hepatus, Hippo Regal Tang
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Video showing how fish start out after being captured.
This video is breathtakingly beautiful, almost making the most sensible saltwater aquarist want a shoal of Blue Hippo Tangs! When logic kicks in, most of us realize our 180 gallon tank, which should be at least 6 feet long, will really only house one adult! Yes, in the wild they shoal, but the ocean is a really BIG aquarium! They are hardy, and if yours is quite aggressive as an adult as mine became, then it is more than likely a male! Females are much more reserved than males. These fish grow to 12," and need strong water flow, lots of greens and places to hide.
Maintenance: It is important that you feed tangs a good variety of live, frozen, and prepared formula foods. The Blue Tang eats zooplankton so they should be fed brine shrimp, mysis, grindal worms, and flake food. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day.
Social Behaviors: Juveniles are found in groups feeding on zooplankton in the current rich outer reef terraces. Juveniles feed above isolated coral stalks of Pocillopora eydouxi. When threatened, they will take refuge in the coral stalks. Adults are solitary.
Breeding/Reproduction: Probably will not be accomplished in captivity. See the description in the Breeding Marine Fish page.
Photo courtesy: John Rice