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Yellow Tang

(Zebrasoma flavescens)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 8"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Acanthuridae   • Species: Tangs   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

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

Yellow Tangs are an extremely popular fish within the marine aquarium hobby, due to their brilliant coloration and hardiness. Yellow Tangs are also sometimes referred to as the Yellow Hawaiian Tang, Yellow Sailfin Tang, or Yellow Surgeonfish. Yellow Tangs make an excellent addition to either fish only or reef aquariums, and can be kept with very gentle or aggressive species. A 55 gallon or larger aquarium is recommended for keeping the Yellow Tang, as they can become quite large with age, reaching sizes of around 8 inches in the aquarium environment.

Although Yellow Tangs are not an aggressive species, they are aggressive towards others of its own species or other Zebrasoma species of Tangs. However, Yellow Tangs can be kept in groups of 4 or more specimens or a mix of Yellow Tangs and other Zebrasoma species if kept in groups of 4 or more. When this species is kept in groups or schools (4 or more) it will not display the same territorial behavior (which will most likely lead to the death of one of the fish) that it will exhibit if kept in a pair or small group.

Yellow Tangs are not surprisingly a brilliant bright yellow color, with a small white area at the base of their tail fin being the only other color exhibited. Yellow Tangs get much of their beauty from their unique shape as well as their bright coloration. Yellow Tangs have a unique snout shaped face that they use for grazing on marine algae and plants. Their bodies are nearly as tall as they are long, with a tall sail-fin on top the when fully extended gives them a very impressive look.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Yellow Tang in the home aquarium.

Yellow Tangs will do very well in any aquarium 55 gallons or larger and can be kept with a large variety of species and aquarium setups. Yellow Tangs can only be kept with other similarly shaped tangs and other Yellow Tangs if they are kept in groups of 4 or more. Keeping less than 4 of this species in the same tank will cause territorial fighting that will often lead to the death of one of the fish. Therefore, Yellow Tangs are either kept as a single Zebrasoma Tang species per tank or in groups of 4 or larger. Yellow Tangs can be kept with smaller species or even with larger more aggressive species such as groupers and triggers. Yellow Tangs also make a great addition to any reef aquarium, as they will not harm corals or invertebrates. They should be provided with a good amount of rock work or live rock in order for them to be able to graze on algae and provide them with hiding places when they feel threatened.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Yellow Tang.

Although Yellow Tangs will eat a variety of meaty foods ranging from flake and brine shrimp to meaty frozen preparations, it is important that they are offered plenty of marine based seaweed and algae. This will strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression and improve their overall health. In the wild green stuffs and algae make up a large part of the Yellow Tangs diet and is necessary for their immune system to function properly. Yellow Tangs should be offered dried seaweed, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce or other items such as Sea Veggies tied to a rock or with a lettuce clip, 2 to 3 times a week.

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