Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature

Blue Tang

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Acanthurus coeruleus - Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Blue Tang

Image:Acanthurus coeruleus.jpg

The herbivorous Blue Tang can be kept in small groups in larger aquariums. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

The Blue Tang feeds mostly on filamentous algae and is a good choice for controlling undesirable algae. It may eat more desirable macroalgae and occasionally nip the tissue of large-polyped stony corals (especially large-polyped species).

Family: Acanthuridae

Other common name(s):

  • Blue Tang Surgeonfish
  • Blue Barber
  • Blue Doctorfish
  • Yellow Barber
  • Yellow Doctorfish

Native range:

Habitat: In the wild, the Blue Tang forms small groups and inhabits coral reefs, inshore grassy or rocky areas.

Maximum length: 23 cm (9 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

[edit] Feeding

Feed a mixed diet, the bulk of which should consist of vegetable matter. Give it frozen foods that contain the blue-green algae Spirulina, slices of zucchini, broccoli, and dried algae flakes or sheets. Vegetable matter should be introduced daily in an aquarium where algae is not present, and frozen foods should also be presented several times a day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Although this species is usually well-behaved in larger aquariums, it can misbehave in smaller tanks. Your safest bet is to keep only one A. coeruleus per tank, especially the yellow juveniles which are highly territorial. Small groups of adults can be kept in extra-large aquariums and should be added simutaneously.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Blue TangRDF feed
Common name Blue Tang  +, Blue Tang Surgeonfish  +, Blue Barber  +, Blue Doctorfish  +, Yellow Barber  +, and Yellow Doctorfish  +
Family Acanthuridae  +
Genus Acanthurus  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 9 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 100 gal  +
Native range Western Atlantic  +, Bermuda  +, Gulf of Mexico  +, Brazil  +, Eastern Atlantic  +, and Ascension Island  +
Reference A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes  +
Specific name coeruleus  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +

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