Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Moderate • Temperament: Peaceful • Maximum Size: 24"
• Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Herbivore • Origin: Indonesia
• Family: Acanthuridae • Species: Tangs • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible
Native Habitat and Species Information
Vlamingii Tang native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
The Vlamingii Tang or Bignose Unicornfish, is a large member of the Naso species of Tangs which exhibit an elongated body, horse-like face and bulbous protrusion on their forehead giving them the Unicornfish moniker. Juvenile Vlamingii Tang's exhibit a pale green coloration with light blue markings throughout the body, while adults specimens exhibit darker and more varied markings. Adults develop a dark gray body with blue, green, yellow and orange markings around the head and on their finnage. Vlamingi Tang are one of the larger and longer lived Tang species kept within the aquarium hobby, reaching lengths up to 24 inches and living for around 45 years.
Their size, lifespan and requirement for large open swimming areas makes this species suitable for more advanced marine aquarium hobbyists with very large aquariums. It is important to note that the Vlamingii Tang is a very fast growing species that reaches it's adult size within the first 5 years of it's life, thus it grows around 5 inches per year. Therefore they should not be introduced to smaller aquariums that cannot provide them the room they need as they quickly grow into their adult form.
How to successfully keep Vlamingii Tang in the home aquarium.
In order to accommodate their large size and quick growth rate as juveniles, the Vlamingii Tang should be house in large aquariums that afford them plenty of open swimming area and rocky formations that they can seek refuge in when they feel threatened. An aquarium that is 6 feet in length and 2 feet from front to back should be considered the minimum size in which to keep an adult of the species. Keeping adult Vlamingii Tang's in anything smaller in size will likely lead to increased aggression and poorer health conditions as they will become stressed from lack of room and inadequate territory within the aquarium.
Like other Tangs and Surgeonfish, the Vlamingii Tang enjoys moderate water currents with areas of stronger water currents and high levels of dissolved oxygen. Some rocks, corals or equivalent aqua-scaping should be provided, but the Vlamingii Tang will spend most of it's time swimming in the upper open areas of the aquarium. Vlamingii Tang are non-aggressive towards tank mates as long as they are provided with adequate room and food, thus they do well in both FOWLR and reef aquariums.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Vlamingii Tang.
Vlamingii Tang's are a herbivorous fish species whose diet should mostly consist of marine algae, seaweed and vegetables like romaine or green leaf lettuce. They will also eat meaty foods intended for other fish they share the aquarium with, but the vast majority of their diet should be vegetable based. As is typical of most herbivores, the Vlamingii Tang feeds continuously throughout the day. Therefore, they should be provided with greens or seaweed via a veggie clip or similar setup to allow them to feed on and off throughout the day.
In addition to fresh vegetables and seaweed, Vlamingii Tang's should be offered flake, frozen and freeze-dried preparations that contain algae or vegetable matter along with some meaty foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp or krill. A diet that is high in vegetable matter will provide the Vlamingii Tang with plenty of Vitamin C and other nutrients that they need to maintain a strong immune systems and avoid becoming susceptible to diseases like lateral line disease. Proper diets also help reduce aggression in fish species as the fish become much less aggressive and territorial when their feeding needs are well cared for.
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