Tang Fish: can be aggressive and territorial.
The Tang Fish belongs to the family Acanthuridae, along with
Surgeonfishes and Unicornfishes. The family is comprised of
around eighty species in six genera. All members live in
tropical waters, most often around coral reefs. These are
popular aquarium fish because they are brightly colored and
What is distinctive about Tang fish is that they have
spines on either side of their tail. The spines are
dangerously sharp and some species have more than one. Both
the rear fin and the dorsal fins are large and extend as
long as the body.
Most of the different species are small and will grow a
maximum of sixteen inches (just under forty-one centimeters)
long. But the largest species can reach a little over three
feet (nearly one meter) in length. These fish do grow very
quickly so it is recommended that you chose a tank for them
based on the Tang's mature growth rather than the length
they are when you buy them.
Tangs have small mouths with a single row of teeth that they
use to graze on algae. Tangs prefer to eat macroalgae like
caulerpa and gracilias. They can also eat meat-based fish
foods but this is not their preferred meal.
Aquarists sometimes grow macroalgae for their Tangs in a
refugium or sump. This is not only good for the fish but is
also economically beneficial as well. Doing this promotes
the proper balance because the macroalgae absorbing nitrates
in the water. Then the algae growth is controlled by feeding
it to the Tang fish.
If you are a home aquarist and want to add Tang fish to your
aquarium you should know that Tangs are extremely
susceptible to diseases. You must control the water balance
and nutrition and regularly clean your tank to maintain a
healthy Tang fish.
Tang fish can be aggressive and territorial so it is
recommended that you add your Tang fish last to your tank to
prevent it from harming other fish that are new. Ordinarily
it is necessary to quarantine the new Tang fish in the fish tank
before allowing it to swim around in it to decrease its
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Tang Fish and Tropical Fish Calendars