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Reef Safe Aquarium Fish - Tangs

Tangs in the Reef Aquarium

General description: Tangs are in the family of Acanthuridae which includes approximately 80 species. Literally, Acanthuridae means thorn tail, and these fish can be easily identified by the sharp spines found on both sides of their tails. Their fins are lengthy, extending along the majority of their bodies. These fish are brightly colored and are very popular in reef aquariums as their natural lifestyle involves them living among coral reefs.

Living conditions: Tangs are very susceptible to disease when in an aquarium, so it is important to maintain clean living conditions and provide enough algae for the fish to feed upon. Be attentive with the specie of tang you select for your aquarium as some tangs can grow up to two feet in length; they’ll require enough space to both swim and hide. Shelter can be provided in the form of numerous corals or lofty ledges. Warning: Tangs are generally aggressive. Depending upon the species, they may be aggressive to newly introduced fishes, members of their own kind, or all other tank inhabitants. It is recommended that tangs be introduced to a tank after all other inhabitants have been introduced as the other inhabitants may have already established dominance.

Feeding: They have small mouths that house a single row of teeth that are used for grazing on algae. To maintain a sufficient supply of algae, it is recommended that tangs be placed in a tank that has a sump or refugium.