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Atlantic Blue Tang
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(Acanthurus coeruleus) Easy Peaceful 10" 150 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Caribbean Sea, Western Atlantic Ocean Acanthuridae Tangs / Surgeonfish Reef Compatible Atlantic Blue Tangs are found in coastal waters and shallow reefs throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea from Florida down to Bonaire and Aruba. They live amongst the coral reefs and inshore reef slopes found near the coasts of southern Florida, Mexico, Central American and the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacoa). Juveniles have a bright yellow colored body with a brilliant blue coloration on the tips of the caudal and anal fins. During their transition phase from their juvenile coloration to their adult coloration, they very from a mixed yellow and light blue to a more uniform light blue coloration with darker blue striping. As an adult, the Atlantic Blue Tang takes on a deep blue color with light blue striping on their body and finnage. They are prolific algae grazers who graze on algae almost continuously throughout the day. They will feed on algae growing on the reefs in which they inhabit and algae growing on large fish and sea turtles. In eating the algae off the bodies and shells of larger fish and turtles, the Atlantic Blue Tangs serves as a cleaner species for larger predators. The Atlantic Blue Tang is a very active swimmer, as they spend most of their time cruising long stretches of the reef in search of algae on which to graze. They will form sizable groups of individuals who school together as they search for algae and macro-algae marine plants on which to feed. In the wild Atlantic Blue Tangs live in large groups or schools of fish who move about the reef and reef slopes foraging on algae, macro-algae plants and cleaning algae from larger open water fish and sea turtles. Despite being a schooling fish, their eventual size combined with the average marine aquarium size, means that the average hobbyist will not be able to keep a school of these fish. Atlantic Blue Tangs will settle in nicely with other Tang species commonly found within the aquarium hobby if given plenty of open swimming room and plenty of algae to graze on. Unlike many of the Tang species reef hobbyists often keep, the Atlantic Blue Tang will not be happy in smaller reef aquariums or cube aquariums. They need significant room to swim with a 6 foot long aquarium being a good starting point. Ideally this species should be kept in something closer to a 180 gallon aquarium or larger. However, if given adequate swimming space and plenty of marine based algae and plant matter, they will happily share their aquarium both with other Tang species and other reef fish ranging from Chromis to Large Angelfish. As with most Tangs it is better to either keep a single Tang of each body shape or to keep 6 more Tangs so that no single fish tries to claim the entire aquarium as their territory. The Atlantic Blue Tang will also appreciate plenty of variable or laminar water flow, which will help simulate the shallow reefs and reefs slopes that they commonly inhabit in the wild. Wavemakers or modern powerheads with flow controllers are excellent methods to provide laminar water flow within the aquarium. As a herbivore, the Atlantic Blue Tangs diet should consist mostly of marine based algae and plant matter. While they will also consume some meaty foods, the majority of their diet should consist of algae, seaweed and commercial foods designed for marine herbivores. A diet consisting of too little marine algae and plant matter will weaken their immune system due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in their diet. Improper diets will also lead to increased aggression, poor coloration and increased risk of disease. Atlantic Blue Tangs should be provided plenty of grazing opportunities, which can be achieved by having plenty of live rock being present in the aquarium or via the addition of algae or plant matter introduced into the aquarium via a veggie clip or similar fashion. In addition to grazing on marine algae, they should be offered prepared herbivore foods 2 to 3 times per day. Atlantic Blue Tangs are more prolific grazers than the average Tang; therefore, they are only recommended for larger well established aquariums where there are plenty of algae grazing opportunities.
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Achilles Tang
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(Acanthurus achilles) Expert Peaceful 8" 90 gallons 72-78° F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 dKH 8-12 Herbivore Pacific Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible The Achilles Tang (Achilles Surgeonfish) is very popular within the hobby for both its unique coloration and pattern; as well as, its ability to consume large amounts of marine algae. This species is best suited for larger FOWLR and reef aquariums that have plenty of live rock and ample open swimming areas. Although Achilles Tangs are commonly found in Hawaiian waters, all the way southward to central Polynesia and westward through Micronesia and Melanesia, there appearance is consistent throughout their entire range. This species is generally for expert aquarists, as they require excellent water quality, a large aquarium and plenty of marine algae and vegetable matter in their diet. The Achilles Tang has a black body and fins, that are accented by white and orange. The gill flaps, dorsal, tail and anal fins are accented in white along the edges with orange accents along the fins where they connect to the body. The body has the trademark orange mark just before the tail fin and a larger orange area located on the tail fin. Achilles Tangs do best in large aquariums (100 gallons or larger) with plenty of live rock and open swimming areas. In the wild, this species spends much of its time grazing on marine algae, and will do best in an aquarium with plenty of live rock to graze on throughout the day. While this species is peaceful towards most other fish species, it is aggressive towards other similar shaped tang species. When collecting this fish, the larger specimens have a nasty habit of "crashing" the net, which means that it swims full force into it, then flails around, up and down the net, stripping the skin off the area of their mouth. When purchasing this fish look closely at the nose area for any damage as any raw or open sore areas on the face or body can be a site for potential infection. Achilles Tangs make excellent additions to reef aquariums as they have peaceful dispositions, are good around corals and will keep algae under control. The Achilles Tang is a herbivore and will require a diet consisting of marine algae and frozen or freeze-dried herbivore preparations. In nature the Achilles Tang grazes on marine algae constantly during the day, thus it does best in aquariums with plenty of live rock to provide grazing opportunities. Although they will eat meaty items in the aquarium environment, they will require a large amount of vegetable matter in their diet to maintain their immune system and reduce aggression. Their diet can also be supplemented with romaine lettuce, green leaf, dried seaweed or similar marine vegetable products such as Sea Veggies or Seaweed Salad.
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Whitecheek Tang
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(Acanthurus nigricans) Moderate Peaceful 8" 70 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Herbivore Western Pacific Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible The Whitecheek Tang or as it is also commonly referred to as within the aquarium hobby as the Gold-rimmed Surgeonfish or Whitecheek Surgeonfish is brilliantly colored fish with a blue-purple body and light blue and yellow highlights. While this species is very attractive, it requires highly oxygenated, clean, stable water conditions to do well in the home aquarium. This species should be kept by medium to advanced marine aquarists with large established aquariums. When properly housed and fed, this species is certainly a showpiece fish with its attractive size, shape and brilliant coloration. The Whitecheek Tang has a purplish-blue body with a small white mark on the cheek between the mouth and eyes. The pectoral, anal, and dorsal fins are dark blue with bright blue highlights at the tip. The tail is a light blue color with a yellow stripe and a darker blue color at the end. A yellow striping runs along the body, against the anal and dorsal fins, forming a distinctive wishbone-shaped marking. Whitecheek Tangs are the domain of the moderate to advanced marine aquarist with a large established aquarium. Even though the minimum tank size for this species is 70 gallons, they do best in larger aquariums that have very stable water conditions. Whitecheek Tangs are more prone to diseases than many other tang species, thus do best in large aquariums with clean, highly oxygenated water and very stable water conditions. It is best to keep this species in an aquarium with plenty of swimming room and lots of live rock to provide plenty of grazing opportunities; as well as, to provide them large caves or crevices to retreat to when they feel threatened. It is recommended to add Whitecheek Tangs to established aquariums only, those that are 1 year or older with an established biological and chemical filtration system. A proper marine herbivore diet will keep the immune system of this species strong and help prevent diseases, and will help curb some of its aggressive nature. The Whitecheek Tang is a peaceful community species, but is territorial towards similar shaped tang species. Therefore, it is best to keep this species as the only tang in the aquarium or with 4 or more tangs, assuming you have a large enough aquarium, which will generally prevent them from becoming overly aggressive of territory. Whitecheek Tang are primarily herbivores, thus require a diet of marine algae, Spirulina, dried seaweed and other vegetable items like green leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce. While they are herbivores, they will some meaty items in the aquarium environment; however, meaty items should make up a very small percentage of their diet. Ideally it is best to provide lots of live rock to allow the Whitecheek Tang plenty of opportunities to graze on marine algae.
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Lieutenant Tang
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(Acanthurus tennenti) Moderate Peaceful 12" 150 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Sri Lanka, Indo-Pacific, Red Sea Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible The Lieutenant Tang (Acanthurus tennenti) is a popular Surgeonfish species among large reef aquarium hobbyists, as they are renown for their ability to consume large quantities of marine algae including hair algae. They reach a fairly large size of 10 to 12 inches in length, which combined with their active swimming style makes them only suitable for larger marine aquariums of 150 gallons or more. Lieutenant Tangs are commonly sold within the aquarium hobby under a variety of common names including: Doublebanded Surgeonfish, Vampire Surgeonfish, Tennenti Tang and Spinecircle Tang. Lieutenant Tangs coloration changes drastically as they mature from a juvenile to an adult. Juveniles are primarily a yellowish gold color, while adults exhibit a more complex blue, white, orange and black color pattern that is most commonly seen in Lieutenant Tang (Acanthurus tennenti) photos. Lieutenant Tangs do well with other Tang / Surgeonfish species and should not show aggression toward other species unless poorly fed or if housed in an aquarium that is much too small for them. While the Lieutenant Tang reaches only 12 inches in length, it is an active swimming species that needs plenty of swimming room in addition to live rock caves and formations. They do well in both reef and FOWLR aquariums 150 gallons in size or larger. Juvenile specimens can certainly be kept in smaller aquariums;however, as an adult the Lieutenant Tang will require plenty of room within the aquarium. Lieutenant Tangs are especially sought after for large reef aquariums where they work to keep excess algae growth in check, while not bothering delicate corals or smaller peaceful reef fish. They can be kept with other Tang species, but they should only be kept with similarly shaped Surgeonfish in large aquariums that can provide adequate territory for each. Like all Surgeonfish and Tangs, the Lieutenant Tang prefers plenty of varied water current and turbulence. In addition to good water current, the Lieutenant Tang needs high levels of dissolved oxygen and clean water with low nitrates. In the wild, Lieutenant Tangs spend their day swimming around on the reef in search of marine algae and meaty bits of food they can find. Their diet should consist primarily of marine based algae and plant matter, with only a small portion of their diet being made up of meaty foods. If underfed, it is not uncommon for Tangs to pick at large polyp stony corals. It is recommended to feed dried marine algae (Nori), Spirulina Flakes, frozen mysis shrimp, high quality herbivore flakes and other similar foods. Tangs quite easily adjust to captive diets and will eventually eat a wide variety of foods including flake and pellet foods. It is recommended to soak flake food in some type of vitamin supplement like Selcon or a garlic supplement in order to help the fish fight off any possible parasite infestation and offer balanced nutrition. Feed 2 to 3 times a day an amount of food that the fish will consume within a few minutes. Seaweed, sheets of marine algae or vegetables like romaine lettuce or green leaf lettuce should be provided for grazing on 3 to 4 times per week.
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Kole Tang
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(Ctenochaetus strigosus) Moderate Peaceful 7" 65 Gallons Yes 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Hawaii, Western Pacific Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible Kole Tangs are one of the more popular species of Tang among marine fish and reef hobbyists due to their peaceful nature and algae consumption. Kole Tangs are found under a variety of names within the hobby including: Yelloweye Kole Tang, Yelloweye Bristletooth, Goldring Bristletooth, Goldring Surgeonfish and Yelloweye Surgeonfish. Their voracious appetite for algae makes the Kole Tang a highly sought after species for reef aquariums where excess algae growth needs to be kept at a minimum. The peaceful disposition of the Kole Tang makes them a solid addition to both community FOWLR and reef aquariums, as there is very little chance that they will squabble with other tank mates. However, Kole Tangs will be territorial towards others of its own kind or very close relatives unless kept in a very large aquarium. They will do fine in large aquariums where there is enough room to house a group of Tangs. Kole Tangs are at risk of being bullied by more aggressive Tang species unless housed in larger aquariums (200 gallons or more) where there is either adequate territory or a group of Tangs to spread out aggression. The moderate size, active swimming, attractive coloration, peaceful nature and algae consumption make the Kole Tang an excellent species for both the reef and FOWLR aquarium setup. Kole Tangs do well in a variety of marine aquarium environments, with nano reefs and aggressive predator setups being the only exceptions. Ideally aquariums housing Kole Tangs should contain plenty of live rock and an ample amount of swimming room. Live rock allows the Kole Tang to graze on algae growth between feedings, which they do throughout the day in their natural habitat. Their algae consumption is an added benefit to reef keepers, as the Kole Tang can consume algae in tight spaces without damaging corals or sessile invertebrates. Kole Tangs adapt very well to the aquarium environment, quickly adjusting to prepared foods and getting along well with most all tank mates. They should only be kept with other Kole Tangs or similar species of Tangs if the aquarium is large enough to support a group of Tangs consisting of 4 or more individuals. Kole Tangs should be added before more aggressive Tang species in order to give them time to establish themselves in the aquarium. They should be offered additional feedings of dried marine algae or plant matter like green leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce via a veggie clip feeder multiple times per week. As a herbivore, the Kole Tangs diet should be mostly made up of marine based algae and plant matter. While they will also consume some meaty foods, the majority of their diet should consist of algae, seaweed and commercial foods designed for marine herbivores. A diet consisting of too little marine algae and plant matter will weaken the Kole Tangs immune system due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in their diet. Improper diets will lead to increased aggression, poor coloration and increased risk of disease. Kole Tangs should be provided plenty of grazing opportunities, which can be achieved with plenty of live rock being present in the aquarium or via the addition of algae or plant matter introduced into the aquarium via a veggie clip or similar fashion. In addition to grazing on marine algae, the Kole Tang should be offered prepared herbivore foods 2 to 3 times per day.
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Scopas Tang
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(Zebrasoma scopas) Moderate Peaceful 12" 75 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Herbivore Central and South Pacific Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible The Scopas Tang is a member of the genus Zebramosa, which is a part of the Tang/Surgeonfish family most notable known for their tail sail like body/fins and elongated snout. They are very popular within the aqaurium hobby because of their unique shape/color and their propensity for consuming nuisance algae from within the aquarium. Their elongated snout enables this species to reach filamentous and other nuisance algae from crevices in the live rock. Scopas Tangs are widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific from Africa to Japan, where they live either solitary or as a mated pair never far from the safety of the reef. In some situations Scopas Tangs can also be found living in large groups of mixed Zebramosa Tangs. They are generally found in lagoons and corals reefs in depths ranging from 3 to 60 feet. This species does well in the aquarium environment, especially when kept in a large well-lit reef-like aquarium with plenty of live rock. Juvenile Scopas Tangs have dorsal and anal fins that are tall in comparison to their young body, with thin white vertical lines that traverse the body. They have many characteristics that resemble juvenile Sailfin Tangs (X. Desjadinii). Adult Scopas Tangs can reach around 12" in length with highly variable adult coloration. They can vary from specimens that are light gray, yellow or white fading to brown, to specimens that are almost completely black in color. Scopas Tangs often change color within the aquarium environment, where they can fluctuate from a mostly yellow color with small areas of black, to body that is half brown and half yellow. These color fluctuations occur over periods of time and are more likely to to occur as younger specimens age. Scopas Tangs are often sought after by reef aquarists as they are excellent algae grazers and can keep excess algae in the aquarium to a minimum. Their long snout enables Scopas Tangs (Zebrasoma tangs in general) to reach filamentous algae in reef interstices and crevices that are out of the reach of other algae eating fish species. While not as flashy as many of the other Tang species commonly found within the marine aquarium hobby, the Scopas Tangs unique appearance and aquarium utility has made it a staple in the hobby. Scopas Tangs are more territorial than most Tang/Surgeonfish species; therefore, they should be kept singularly or in a very large aquarium with many other Zebramosa Tangs to moderate their territorial aggression. While they are very territorial towards other Zebramosa Tangs (species with a similar shape), they get along well with other shaped tang species (ex. Regal Tang, Naso Tang) and other community fish species. It is important that their diet consist of plenty of plant and algae material to provide them a proper diet that will help maintain their immune system and limit their territorial aggression. Scopas Tangs should be kept in aquariums with plenty of live rock to provide them with algae grazing opportunities and places to hide when they feel threatened. Scopas Tangs should be fed a varied diet consisting of mostly marine vegetable matter and some vitamin enriched meaty foods. Vegetable preparations should contain marine algae, spirulina, or other green and brown marine algae. Scopas Tangs will also readily consume greens such as romaine lettuce, zucchini, broccoli or green leaf lettuce. Flake or frozen herbivore preparations that are fortified with vitamins and minerals also make great additions to this species staple diet. Scopas Tangs should be fed 3 times a day and provided with fresh vegetables a couple times a week.
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Sohal Tang
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(Acanthurus sohal) Moderate Aggressive 16" 180 gallons 72-80° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Red Sea Acanthuridae Tangs Fish Only Sohal Tangs or Red Sea Clown Tang as they are also referred to as, originate from the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. While not an overly difficult fish to keep within the home aquarium, they do grow to a fairly large size of 16 inches in length. Their large size means that they require large aquariums of 180 gallons or more as an adult; as well as, plenty of water flow and open areas in which to swim. Sohal Tangs tend to vary from semi-aggressive to aggressive in nature, thus they should only be kept with other fish species that can tolerate living with other semi-aggressive to aggressive tank mates. An ideal aquarium setup for a Sohal Tang would provide them with a long aquarium (6 feet or larger) with plenty of live rock for grazing and open swimming areas. Their laterally compressed body and large size means that they swim very swiftly, which makes them most suitable for larger reef and FOWLR aquariums. Properly housed and cared for Sohal Tangs can live a long life of up to 15 years of age within the aquarium environment. The two key factors in successfully caring for Sohal Tangs within the marine aquarium environment is adequate space and proper tank mate selection. Simply put Sohal Tangs grow to upwards of 16 inches, which means they eat a lot of food and place a high bio-load on the aquarium filtration. They tend to graze all throughout the day, thus should be provided with plenty of live rock on which to graze. Sohal Tangs are a very dominant species that are used to getting their way on the Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean reefs where they live in the wild. They bring this same attitude to the aquarium environment, which makes it very important to house them with suitable fish species that can hold there own with Aggressiveness of the Sohal Tang. Medium to strong water currents and large open swimming areas are also very important in order to provide the Sohal Tang an environment that satisfies their basic needs. Lastly, Sohal Tangs need a varied diet that is comprised mostly of marine seaweeds, algae and plant material, supplemented with non-marine green stuffs like romaine and green leaf lettuce. Sohal Tangs are a herbivorous species whose diet should consist primarily of marine algae, seaweed and plant material. They will also feed on meaty foods fed to other fish housed in the aquarium, but the vast majority of their diet should come from plant matter. Sohal Tangs are also natural grazers that prefer to feed in smaller amounts throughout the day. The best approach for this species is to provide them seaweed, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce or similar items that they can graze on throughout the day. They will also graze on naturally occurring algae growth within the aquarium and will feed on commercial foods designed for both herbivores and omnivores. A proper diet for herbivores will also ensure that the Sohal Tang has all the nutrients and minerals needed for a healthy immune system and will help reduce aggression toward tank mates.the day. The best approach for this species is to provide them seaweed, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce or similar items that they can graze on throughout the day; however, they will also graze on naturally occurring algae growth within the aquarium.
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Regal Tang
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(Paracanthurus hepatus) Easy Peaceful 12" 75 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Omnivore Indo-Pacific Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible The Regal Tang is commonly known by many names within the marine aquarium hobby, including: Pacific Blue Tang, Palette Surgeonfish, Hepatus Tang, and Blue Surgeonfish. It is a very popular species that is prized for its unique body shape, color and markings. Regal Tangs can become quite large (12 inches) and are very long-lived, often living for up to 20 years in ideal conditions. While this species requires excellent water quality to remain disease free, it is a very hardy species that does well in large established marine aquariums. Regal Tangs also make an excellent schooling fish for hobbyist with very large aquariums and can be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals. Regal Tangs are also very versatile in that they can be easily kept in a community aquarium with smaller peaceful fish species and are equally at home with larger more aggressive fish species; such as, small sharks, groupers, triggers etc. Regal Tangs are very distinctive due to their unique pattern and bright coloration. They have a vibrant blue color covering their body, with black markings that extend from their eyes to their tail. Their tale fin is outlined in black and colored a bright yellow in the middle. The striking colors and unmistakable pattern have made the Regal Tang a hobbyist favorite since their introduction into the marine aquarium hobby trade. Regal Tangs require a fairly large aquarium to live comfortably at their adult size of up to 12 inches, a 75 gallon or larger aquarium will provide them enough room to create a number of hiding places and still leave plenty of room for them to swim about. Regal Tangs are intolerant of other tangs that have the same body shape as themselves; such as, Naso Tangs, Powder Blue Tangs, Kole Tangs, etc. but will live without problems with tangs with a different body shape like Yellow Tangs, Scopas Tangs, etc. (Zebramosa tang species). While they can be kept successfully in schools of 4 or more, this would require a very large aquarium, thus they are typically seen singularly in most aquariums. If you do plan on housing a group of Regal Tangs, try to introduce them all at once into the aquarium (150+ gallons). Regal Tangs are also more susceptible to lateral line disease, fin erosion, ich and other skin parasites than many other fish, so excellent water quality is a must. This species will also benefit from relationships with cleaner shrimp and Gobies as they will help keep the Regal Tang free from dead skin and parasites. While Regal Tangs will eat most 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 is very important to strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression and improve their overall health. Providing marine based seaweed and algae is best performed by using a "veggie clip" to attach the vegetable material to the glass wall of the aquarium, so the tang can nibble on the food throughout the day. Dried seaweed or other marine vegetable food sources should feed at least 3 times per week. Some examples of quality marine vegetable based foods are: "Sea Veggies", "Seaweed Salad" and "Ocean Nutrition" are all ideal products that are easy to use and can be found most anywhere marine fish foods are sold.
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Vlamingii Tang
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(Naso vlamingii) Moderate Peaceful 24" 180 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Indonesia Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible 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. 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. 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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Purple Tang
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(Zebrasoma xanthurum) Moderate Semi-aggressive 10" 75 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Omnivore Red Sea Acanthuridae Tangs Reef Compatible The Purple Tang is a very attractive Zebrasoma Tang species with a deep rich purple/blue body with bright yellow accents on its pectoral and anal fins. Purple Tangs are most commonly seen in reef and FOWLR aquariums, but can also do well as adults in a variety of aquarium environments including some aggressive species tanks. While the Puple Tang is more aggressive than many of the other Zebrasoma Tang species, it is not overly aggressive and with proper diet and a large aquarium can be kept successfully with the vast majority of marine fish species commonly available within the hobby. This is a rather expensive species that is best suited for moderate to advanced marine aquarium hobbyists. Purple Tangs have a circular shaped body with large dorsal and anal fins, like all Zebrasoma tangs. When the fins are fully extended, the height of these fish is roughly equal to their length. Like all of the Sailfin Tangs, the Purple Tangs have a slightly extended snout and eyes that are set high on their head. As their name would indicate,the body is a beautiful purple to dark blue color, while the caudal fin is a bright yellow, there are also very small black spots on the head and the front portion of the body extending onto the adjacent fins, and black scribbled horizontal lines on the rest of the body and fins with the exception of the caudal fin. There is also a yellow accent on the edge of the pectoral fins. On each side of the caudal peduncle is a single spine or “scalpel” used for defense or dominating other fish. When not in use these spines are folded down into a groove along the side of the body (Caution should be exercised when handling this species,as a cut from its scalpel can cause discoloration and swelling of the skin with a high risk of infection). Adults can reach up to about 10 inches (25 cm), but captive specimens are generally smaller up to about 8 or 9 inches (22 cm). Purple Tangs do very well in a variety of aquarium setups including reef aquariums, fish-only w/ live rock and predator tanks (if the purple tang is of mature size). This species is generally only aggressive towards other species of Zebrasoma tangs (those with a similar shape), but can be kept with others of their own kind if kept in groups of 4 or more. While the Purple Tang may too boisterous for very timid species, it can basically be kept successfully with the vast majority of species available within the marine aquarium hobby. Purple Tangs need an aquarium of at least 70 gallons to accommodate their adult size of around 10 inches. They will also need live rock or similar aquascaping to provide them with shelter in the form of caves and crevices, along with an additional food source of algae which they can graze on. Purple Tangs can be kept with most invertebrates including most forms of corals commonly available within the trade. They require good water conditions and a balanced diet of both meaty and vegetable material to insure their immune system is strong. Poor water and/or diet can cause lateral line disease as well as an increased level of aggression towards their tank mates. Moderate to advanced hobbyists should have few if any problems keeping this species in a properly sized aquarium. It is also important to note that this species should not be netted if possible, as they have sharp spines on either side of their body near their gill flap which can become stuck in an aquarium net. Purple Tangs will eat a variety of foods in the aquarium environment, ranging from flake and frozen meaty foods to herbivore preparations like seaweed and fresh greens. While this species will readily consume meaty foods including: mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, marine flake and krill, they should also be fed plenty of vegetable matter in their everyday diet. Marine seaweed and fresh greens like romaine lettuce and green leaf lettuce along with frozen herbivore preparations like formula 1 & formula 2 along with grazing on algae within the aquarium, will provide much needed plant material in the Purple Tangs diet. Purple Tangs need a mix of vegetable and meaty foods in their diet to keep their immune system strong, which will keep the fish healthy and reduce their aggression towards other tank mates.
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