Fish of the Week: Yellow Tang

Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)

Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders
Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders

A common saltwater aquarium fish, the yellow tang is a member of the surgeonfish family. Eating primarily algae and seaweeds, yellow tangs are a good addition to any home reef aquarium, since these fish are hardy, active swimmers, and nonaggressive when kept with different species of fish, yet similar in size. Yellow tangs are great at cleaning up the algae growing in your tank. In the wild, they’ll provide shell cleaning to any turtles passing by.

If you are interested in adding one to your aquarium, it is important to only have one fish, or introduce a few together, so they do not have to compete with established fish for space. In order to prevent competition, it is recommended that only one yellow tang be in a tank. It is recommended that you have lots of rocks and hiding places for them to swim about. (It will give them more space to roam.) Instead of placing reef substrate right against the back of your aquarium, place it near the center so they can swim around the whole tank. Yellow tangs are big fans of veggie clips, and will munch on green, leafy vegetables and seaweed that you put in with them. Yellow tangs can be a great bright, active addition to your home aquarium!

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