Why the Yellow Tang is a Good Beginner Fish in Saltwater Aquariums

What Is Yellow Tang?

The Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma Flavescens) is one of the most recognizable fishes in the marine aquarium industry along with the blue tang, percula clownfish and the flame angelfish. It is also the most popular tang in the surgeon fish family and its very easy to see why. Its entire body is a stunning pastel like yellow.

The yellow tang is commonly collected from Hawaii and the nearby islands. Once acclimated the yellow tang is a hardy fish that is peaceful with other fishes (Outside of the tang family) which makes it a popular choice for community aquariums.


Reasons Why Yellow Tang is a Good Beginner Fish

Yellow Tangs Eat Algae

New aquariums will often run into cycles and blooms of green algae. This is just a natural part of the life cycle of an aquarium, and often green algae will be present well after the initial cycling process.

Yellow Tangs are green algae eaters and will pick away at green algae that grows on the glass and live rock. Especially on the live rock. The Yellow Tang is known for it’s habit of grazing on the live rock to continually feed itself when hungry.

If you do have a Yellow Tang, you may not need to feed it as much when it is able to find natural sources of algae and food in the aquarium.

Bright Color and Personality

The Yellow Tang will add a colorful presence to your aquarium. It is easy to see from a distance and will quickly gain the attention of aquarium onlookers.

In addition to being an beautiful and colorful fish, the Yellow Tang has a great personality and is a fun fish to take care of for beginners. Just feed it plenty of sea vegetables and and seaweed and give it plenty of space with plenty of water current to swim and venture in. If these rules are followed you’ll notice that your Tang will be healthy, active and fun to watch.

Cost Effective

The Yellow Tang is usually one of the most cost-friendly Tangs. Some Tangs will cost you from fifty dollars to well over a hundred dollars, but the Yellow Tang can frequently be found for less than fifty dollars.

If addition to being a cost effective aquarium fish, it is also one of the easier Tangs to find. Most local fish stores will have a Yellow Tang if they have any Tangs. Other popular Tangs in a comparable price range are the Blue Hippo Tang, Powder Blue Tang and the Sailfin Tang. Even though they are all comparable in price, the Yellow Tang is still usually the cheapest.

You will probably want to buy cheaper, more cost-effective fish if you are just beginning in the world of keeping saltwater aquariums. If you make a mistake and lose one or more fish in your aquarium, the mistake won’t be so costly.

Adequate Territory

A Yellow Tang should be kept in at least a 75 gallon aquarium at a minimum, and you probably won’t want to have more than one Tang unless you have at least a 120 gallon aquarium. If you let your Yellow Tang have it’s space and territory within your tank you’ll notice that it will pace throughout the width of the aquarium, hide in rocks and dart about.

In addition to a decent amount of space to swim in, your Yellow Tang should have plenty of live rock to swim around and hide in. Tangs like to hide at night when sleeping and also need places to hide and to swim through to feel comfortable.

Add the Yellow Tang Last

It is best to add the Yellow Tang as one of the last fish when adding the first batch of fish your aquarium. If you add the Tang first, it will be able to establish a large territory quickly and might not as friendly to other smaller, less aggressive fish you add to the aquarium.

Adding the Tang last, especially in aquariums between 75 and 150 gallons, will allow it to work around the other fish in the aquarium to find it’s space and get situated in the aquarium.

Provide your Tang with plenty of structure and swimming room and it will be very happy. If your new aquarium is at least 75 gallons and you have plenty of live rock, the Yellow Tang will be a great choice as one of your first fish.

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