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Naso Tang

(Naso lituratus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 18"
• Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 dKH 8-12
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Hawaii
• Family: Acanthuridae   • Species: Tangs   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Naso Tang native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Naso Tangs are a popular Tang species that can be found from Hawaii westward through the Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean to the the western coast of Africa and the Red Sea. The Red Sea Naso Tang is also commonly referred to as the Blonde Naso even though it has the same scientific name of Naso lituratus. The Blonde Naso Tang has the same temperament and aquarium requirements, but varies in appearance with a lighter gray colored body and some color variations on its fins and accent markings.

Naso Tangs are a very popular because of their vibrant personalities, and their inquisitive nature towards their owners. Over time, they will become very friendly towards their owners, coming to the front glass to meet them and becoming tame enough to hand feed. Naso Tangs do grow to a large size (18 inches) and require lots of grazing opportunities, thus do best in large FOWLR or reef aquariums with plenty of live rock.

Naso Tangs have a gray body that can vary from light to dark gray in color, sometimes almost black in color. The forehead has a patch of bright yellow, with a yellow accented line that extends from below the eye to the area behind its mouth. The lips are a bright orange color and the forehead has a dark gray to black area outlined in yellowish accents. The dorsal fin is a bright blue at the base, then a black band followed by a yellow band, that then ends with a white band along the outer margin. The anal fin is brownish orange at the base, turning to a brighter orange, with the outer margin trimmed in white. The tail has a crescent shaped border that is white inside, changing to a pale yellow color on the outside edge, with the male having long, streamer-like pennants that extend off the top and bottom tips of the tail.

The Naso has two very sharp, razor-like caudal spines on each side of the tail that are surrounded by a bright orange area. Extreme caution should be used when handling this particular species, as these spines can cut a persons hand very deeply causing a very painful wound.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Naso Tang in the home aquarium.

Naso Tangs are one of the larger Tang species found in the aquarium trade, growing approximately 18 inches in length. They are primarily herbivores, but will eat a variety of foods over time. They do well when kept in large aquariums (125 gallons or larger) and are suitable tank mates for most any peaceful or semi-aggressive fish or invertebrate species, with the exception of other similarly shaped tang species.

They should be provided with plenty of live rock for grazing and protection, along with open swimming areas suitable for a fish of their size. Initially they will need plenty of brown/red algae, seaweed select or equivalent foodstuffs; however, over time they will accept a variety of herbivore and meaty preparations. Naso Tangs make excellent addition to reef, fish-only, fish only with live rock and even aggressive species aquariums (when they are adult sized) and will not harm other fish species, crustaceans or corals. Naso Tangs are also known for being becoming very tame with time and enjoying attention from their owners including being hand fed.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Naso Tang.

Naso Tangs in the wild will generally eat marine algae and seaweed exclusively; however, in the aquarium environment they will generally accept a variety of foods. The bulk of their diet should consist of marine algae, seaweed and other forms of vegetable matter in order to properly maintain their immune system and overall health. Proper nutrition will also reduce aggression in Tang species towards their tank mates.

Suitable vegetable matter for this species include: marine algae (brown and green), seaweed, frozen or flake vegetable preparations, spirulina, sea veggies, seaweed salad or equivalent products along with fresh romaine or green leaf lettuce. After they are acclimated to aquarium life, Naso Tangs will also accept other meaty foods as well, but the bulk of their nutrition should come from herbivore preparations.

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