Blue Tang

Regal Tang ~ Blue Surgeonfish ~ Indo-Pacific Blue Tang

Family: Acanthuridae Picture of a Blue Tang ot Regal Tang, or Indo-Pacific Blue TangParacanthurus hepatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Hi im a begginer in starting a salt water tank in wich im planning to so im asking if its ok to put a juvenile blue tang with an ocellaris clown wich is with a sea... (more)  Rito

   Readily available and very beautiful, the Blue Tang is probably the second most popular tang next to the Yellow tang!

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


Geographic Distribution
Paracanthurus hepatus
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Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Acanthuridae
  • Genus: Paracanthurus
  • Species: hepatus
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.

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Maintenance difficulty:    The Blue Tang, Regal Tang, Blue Surgeonfish, or Indo-Pacific Blue Tang is easy to keep.

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.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Blue Tang, Regal Tang, Blue Surgeonfish, or Indo-Pacific Blue Tang are found in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to Japan. Swims at depths of 10 to 40 meters.

Foods:    In the sea they eat mainly zooplankton.

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.

Sexual differences:    Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Breeding/Reproduction:    Probably will not be accomplished in captivity. See the description in the Breeding Marine Fish page.

Temperature:    No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 75 and 79 degrees.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Blue Tang, Regal Tang, Blue Surgeonfish, or Indo-Pacific Blue Tang adults can grow to 30 cm (12 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 75 gallon aquarium is recommended for an adult.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Picture of a Blue Tang ot Regal Tang, or Indo-Pacific Blue Tang
Photo courtesy: John Rice

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    Swims all over the aquarium.

Availability:    This fish is readily available and is inexpensive.

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Lastest Animal Stories on Blue Tang


Rito - 2015-10-28
Hi im a begginer in starting a salt water tank in wich im planning to so im asking if its ok to put a juvenile blue tang with an ocellaris clown wich is with a sea anemone that im planning to take care of??

  • Clarence Green - 2016-07-17
    If you want a blue tang aka Dory a quarantine tank is an absolute must not matter how healthy the fish looks a flawless looking fish can still carry parasites or flukesomething. It's our responsibility as aquarist to protect the fish from harm a untreated ich problem can explode in the confines of a tank and copper is only treatment unless you want to set up a bunch of tanks and transfer fish every 48 hrs.
    Best to leave this fish alone until you have proper set up, I waited 10 years before I got mine didn't want to put in a 75 gallon
Reply
Keragahn Scott - 2016-03-25
I love my tang. She is beautiful in my tank. I have two clowns, a dwarf flame back angel, a six line wrasse, a goby, two cardinals, and two chromes, and my tang . Everyone gets along just fine there is no fighting or anything its amazing.

Reply
Anonymous - 2015-10-29
Hi i was thinking if its ok to put a juvenile blue ring angel with a juvenile blue tang in a 20 gal. Tank in wich i will upgrade soon

Reply
Elaine - 2015-10-06
Hi my Blue tang his top black gills he lost some, I don't know how, but my question is will it grow back.

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