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Powder Blue Tang

(Acanthurus leucosternon)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 10"
• Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 dKH 8-12
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Acanthuridae   • Species: Tangs   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Powder Blue Tang native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Powder Blue Tang is a prized fish species within the aquarium hobby because of its unique and striking coloration. However, this species is best suited for reef aquariums and moderate to advanced aquarists with an established aquarium. Powder Blue Tangs require excellent water conditions and plenty of live rock for algae grazing opportunities. While this is a peaceful community species it is very aggressive towards other similar shaped tang species, unless kept in a very large aquarium with lots of live rock.

At first it is best to provide plenty of marine algae, seaweed, romaine or green leaf lettuce or similar items to help get the Powder Blue Tang feeding comfortably, and over time they will accept mysid shrimp, brine shrimp and even meaty flaked foods.

Powder Blue Tangs are most coveted for their light powder blue color that dominates most of their body. Their face is a darker blue to black color with a vibrate yellow dorsal fin that extends from just behind the eye all the way to the tail fin. The underside of their body is accented with white markings below their mouth, anal fin and tail fin.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Powder Blue Tang in the home aquarium.

Powder Blue Tangs reach a fairly large size of 10 inches and require a good sized aquarium (90 gallons or larger) to provide them adequate swimming room. Powder Blue Tangs are excellent algae eaters and will spend much of their time grazing the live rock in the aquarium for algae. This species is aggressive towards other Tang species in the aquarium environment, much more so than most other tang species.

To keep this species with other Tang species it is best to have a large aquarium with plenty of live rock, and introduce them together as juveniles if possible. Powder Blue Tangs make excellent additions to most reef aquariums, as they are peaceful with other tank mates, with the exception of other tangs, and keep excess algae to a minimum. This species is somewhat susceptible to parasitic outbreaks, thus the use of a UV sterilizer and a quality diet of marine algae and seaweed are recommended to keep the Powder Blue Tang healthy and disease free.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Powder Blue Tang.

Powder Blue Tangs require a lot of marine algae and seaweed in their diet for them to be healthy and maintain a proper immune system. While they will also consume meaty flake and frozen foods, the majority of their diet should come from algae and herbivore preparations. Vegetable matter, dried seaweed and other herbivore preparations will strengthen their immune system and also help reduce their overall aggression towards other tank mates.

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