First things first! If you don’t own a Blue Tang, now is not the best time to buy. After the release of Finding Dory the Blue Tang became massively more popular, and more expensive. Unfortunately, Blue Tangs are very hard to breed in an aquarium so they are being heavily fished, and they are not that common to begin with.

The Paracanthrus which we all know as the Blue Tang is a beautiful saltwater fish that commonly graces larger saltwater aquariums. Though they are generally peaceful around other species they can be aggressive to other surgeonfish, especially blue tangs, unless you have a large enough tank.

Blue Tang can naturally be found in the reefs of the indo-pacific, and there are several varieties that have different but distinctive gold patterns on them.  Blue Hippo Tang is one of the more common species kept by hobbyists, but some Blue Tang can be nearly all gold.

Blue Tang Care

The Basics

  • Size: Up to 12″
  • Tank: 100 gallon bare minimum, preferably 180.
  • PH: 8.1 – 8.4
  • Hardness: Soft to Medium
  • dH Range: 4.0 – 20.0
  • Temperature: 68 – 82 °F
  • Swim Level/Strata: Middle
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Water Movement: Medium to High
  • Lighting Needs: Medium

Blue Tang Tank Setup

Blue Tang love the wide open spaces, with places to hide. Chances are you’re not going be able to mimic this. To get as close to nature as possible be cognisant of space. A reef set up with plenty of places to hide is essential, but you need to provide enough space for the fish to flit around freely, and without obstruction.

Introducing Blue Tang to a Tank

Blue Tang are delicate fish, and they are also caught wild, so make sure to do a two-week quarantine before putting them into your main tank.  If you plan on having more than one Blue Tang, introduce them all at the same time, they can get territorial, so you need to keep any territorial issues to a minimum!

It helps if you have an algae sheet ready to go here (I use this clip on algae sheet feeder) or live algae on a stone (I use a budda statue and switch it between tanks for this!)

Blue Tang Feeding

Blue Tang need a varied diet, although it is mostly herbivorous.  Fresh algae is a good starting point but you can supplement it with high-quality fish flakes, or a pellet based food such as New Life Spectrum.

As with most larger fish, avoid filler foods such as lettuce.

Blue Tang Aquarium Maintenance

Blue Tang are fragile fish, and susceptible to fin erosion and parasites.  This is especially true when you first get the fish, as they will have been live shipped, most likely from Indonesia.