Sailfin Tang

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Zebrasoma veliferum - (Bloch, 1795)
Sailfin Tang

With fins fully erect, this is a dramatic and a much-liked aquarium fish. Alf Jacob Nilsen/Bioquatic Photo

[edit] Overview

A showy species with large, sail-like dorsal and anal fins and a pleasing banded color pattern, this fish will help control algae growth in the aquarium. (The very similar Indian Ocean Sailfin Tang is known as Zebrasoma desjardinii.)

Family: Acanthuridae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Reef or reef-sand interface. Provide it with plenty of bolt holes and lots of open swimming space.

Maximum length: 40 cm (16 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 513 L (136 gal)

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

General swimming level: All levels.

[edit] Feeding

Herbivore. Feed algae-based rations at least three times a day, as well as freeze-dried algae and/or dried seaweed (nori). You may be able to feed it less if there is a good algal crop in the aquarium. Regular offerings of color-enhancing foods will help prevent ­fading of its pigmentation.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

This tends to be one of the most amicable members of the tang (surgeonfish) clan. Although an adult that is established in a tank may let newly added fish know where they fit into the pecking order (especially other tangs), it rarely causes problems. It is best to keep one per tank, unless you have a larger aquarium. It rarely bothers invertebrates, although the occasional specimen may ­develop the bad habit of nipping at clam mantles or the polyps of fleshy large-polyped stony corals.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Egg scatterers that produce pelagic eggs, often in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae that drift with plankton in the water column and settle back onto a reef at about the time of metamorphosis. These are among the most challenging types of marine fishes to propagate in captivity.

[edit] Notes

This is a very active fish that will spend most of its time in the open grazing on algae. It will become rather tame, accepting food from its keeper’s fingers.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: AJN
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Sailfin TangRDF feed
Common name Sailfin Tang  +
Family Acanthuridae  +
Genus Zebrasoma  +
Image credit AJN  +
Maximum length 16 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 136 gal  +
Native range Pacific Ocean  +, Indonesia  +, Hawaii  +, Tuamotu Islands  +, Japan  +, Great Barrier Reef  +, New Caledonia  +, and Rapa Island  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name veliferum  +
Swimming level All levels.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +