Blue Tang


The Blue Tang boasts a vibrant electric blue body dressed with bold black markings. In fact, the black that begins at the eyes, traces the dorsal line down to the tail, and circles back above the pectoral fin to create a unique shape reminiscent of a painter's palette. This marking is why the Blue Tang is also known as the Palette Surgeonfish. It is also called the Pacific Blue Tang, and Hepatus or Regal Tang. Regardless of common name, Paracanthurus hepatus fish is equal parts beauty and peacefulness that suits almost any large community marine aquarium.

Native to reefs across the Indo-Pacific, the Blue Tang relishes a good hiding location amongst live rock. However, this active fish also loves to swim. Therefore, ample room to roam around your aquarium is essential for optimum health. Though peaceful towards most tankmates, the Pacific Blue will become aggressive towards other fish of its own species. To keep multiple specimens, introduce the entire lot at once into a larger marine system.

Although Tangs will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important that they are offered plenty of marine based seaweed and algae. This will strengthen the Blue Tang's immune system, reduce aggression and improve their overall health. Offer dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip, and feed at least three times per week. Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad and Ocean Nutrition are all ideal products and are very easy to use.

Careful observance of the Blue Tang is essential; as it is more susceptible to lateral line disease, fin erosion, ich and other skin parasites than many other fish.

Quick Stats:
Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Reef Compatible: Yes
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4, dKH 8-12
Max. Size: 1'
Color Form: Blue
Diet: Herbivore
Origin: Fiji, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Solomon Islands
Family: Acanthuridae

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

AnimalBabe August 17, 2008 at 9:18 pm

I have a 50 Gal saltwater aquarium with two clownfish and a small damsel fish. I was hoping to get either a Blue or Yellow Tang but I don’t know much about tangs or how large they will grow. Is 50 gallons big enough for this fish? Petco sells small blue tangs, roughly 1.5-2 inches in size, but if the fish will grow to be 8 inches or bigger like I’ve been reading I assume my tank will be way to small. Any thoughts? Also, in terms of size and temperament, do you think a blue or yellow tang would be best for my other fish? I might like to get a few more smaller fish in the near future as well. Thanks in advance!

jake April 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

Such a beautiful fish but it so hard to take care of. My friend had one and his died. It might have been a sick before he put it into his tank. He did buy the fish from a bad store. I recommend getting your fish from a good fish store because it can get your other fish sick if you introduce one that is sick

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