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Tangs, a.k.a. Surgeonfishes


Their common name (Tang) is from the German word seetang (seeweed) in reference to their feeding habits while the name Surgeonfish refers to the scalpel near the tail. All Tangs are herbivores but will enjoy a mixed diet of Nori (dried seaweed) and meaty foods such as LRS Reef Frenzy, Mysis, spirulina enriched brine, and pellets. Foods can also be soaked in selcon or fish oils for a nutritious boost. Tangs love to eat and it is best to avoid purchasing specimens that have a pinched belly or head. Tangs are more susceptible to disease and a malnourished individual may be difficult to bring back. Look for the active individual that is grazing on rocks, free of blemishes, brightly colored, and readily eats. 


Tangs are generally territorial and tank size, order of additions, individual personalities, fish size and type of Tang will all play a role. Mixing surgeons of different types is generally the safer bet as long as tank size, territory and feeding requirements are met. An acclimation box can be utilized for new individuals so aggression can be monitored from resident fish.


Tangs are more susceptible to Cryptocaryon (Ich) and Amyloodinium (Velvet) and are often the first to show signs of disease. Acanthurus tangs are especially prone and disease management can be difficult with this genus. The aquarist may want to consider quarantining or observing new fish before adding them to the display tank. 




HLLE - vitamin D & C deficiency loss of color and lateral line erosion. 


Hippo Tang - lodge themselves in rocks



Atlantic Blue Tang

Black Tang

Bristletooth Tang

Chocolate (mimic) Tang

Chevron Tang

Clown Tang

Convict Tang

Gem Tang

Sailfin Tang/Red Sea Sailfin Tang

Kole Tang

Naso Tang

Orangeshoulder Tang

Hippo Tang (Regal)

Powder Brown Tang

Powder Blue Tang

Purple Tang

Sohal Tang


Tomini Tang

Vlamingi Tang

Whitecheek Tang

Yellow Tang



Saltwater Fish Index




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