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How to Take Care of a Yellow Tang Fish

How to Take Care of a Yellow Tang Fish

Yellow tang fish are a popular choice as aquarium fish because of their bright yellow color. If you're planning to get one, PetPonder lists out some important points about yellow tang fish care.
Raksha Kulkarni
A Tip
Yellow tangs are great when kept alone but if you want to keep it with other fish. It's only possible if you introduce all the fish at the same time in the tank and give them a lot of space to swim.
The yellow tang fish (Zebrasoma flavescens) are beautiful saltwater species which are majorly found in Hawaii and in some parts of Indonesia and Japan. Their bright pleasant color along with their hardy nature makes them a popular choice for aqua pet lovers. They are also known by names like the Yellow Sailfin, Yellow Hawaiian Tang, and Yellow Surgeonfish. This fish has a bright yellow-colored body, with a white scalpel near its tail, which it uses when threatened.

These are found in shallow water of reefs and feed on algae. Their hardy disposition means they do not require a lot of maintenance and can be easily kept in a fish tank or a reef-tank. Read on to know more about the feeding habits and care tips of yellow tang fish.
Things You Should Consider Before Getting One
➤ All aquatic creatures can be carriers of diseases, so always make sure you wash your hands after handling the fish. People with weak immunity, pregnant women, or children should stay away as much as possible to avoid any possible infection.

➤ The yellow tang fish grow very rapidly so make sure you have a tank large enough even if you the tangs are small. Young tang fish are around 2 - 4 inches long when bought, but they grow rapidly and are around 8 inches in length when fully mature. So get a big tank.
Tank Requirements
➤ It is advisable to get a tank that has a capacity of more than 100 gallons. Tangs require ample space to hide rest and swim.

➤ Placing live rocks is a great option. It will encourage the growth of algae, which is good for your fish.

➤ Place aquarium plants and other aquarium decor to add beauty and simulate the natural habitat of these fish. Moreover, these fish loves to seek shelter and also rest amidst them.

➤ The water temperature should be in the range of 75 - 82°F (24 - 28°C). The pH value must be around 8.0 - 8.4. The specific gravity should be 1.020 - 1.025.

➤ A strong water flow is required to keep a good flow of oxygen at the surface. Yellow tangs enjoy the water running through their gills. They like it that way!
yellow tang fish resting
Provide ample space to hide and rest
➤ In their natural habitat, the yellow tang fish and known to feed primarily on algae, but you can feed them a balanced diet of pellets/flakes, boiled vegetables, algae, and occasionally meat food.

➤ Algae sheets like nori should be fed. You can clip them to the tank or keep it under/tie it to a rock. The fish will nibble on it once in a while. It helps in improving the immunity of the fish and also helps in reducing aggressiveness.

➤ Blanched lettuce or spinach can be given as a treat. Bloodworms or brine shrimp, either in the frozen form or live, can also be fed to your fish.

❋ This genus is capable of storing fats, so do not worry if it doesn't eat for sometime.
Compatibility Issues
➤ These fish are compatible with fish like angelfish, puffers, clownfish, eels, hawkfish, lionfish, etc. Just remember to watch out for any signs of fighting, just in case.

➤ Yellow tang fish are generally known to be aggressive towards any newcomer in the tank. These are also known to dislike the company of the same species like other tangs or surgeonfish. They can be kept with certain same species if you have a huge tank.

➤ They are known to tolerate Hippo tangs and purple tangs. Remember to change the rocks or decor placement in the tank while you introduce new fish.

❋ When they swing their tails towards a new fish, it means that they don't like the newcomer and might attack it. They will hardly attack another but will definitely show signs.
Health Concerns
✓ If you see clear eyes, normal eating, active swimming, and the fins intact; your fish is in a great condition.

✘ If you see loss of appetite, spots or fungus near mouth or on body; contact the vet, and check the water specifications immediately.

➤ The yellow tang can be susceptible to "marine ich". The symptoms are cysts on the skin and fins, and pale skin with too much of skin mucus. The whole tank has to be treated with a parasite remedy, and the water quality needs to be improved.
Some More Care Tips
✓ Check the filter and temperature of the water daily. If you have any other equipment, do check that too.

✓ Check the salinity levels a minimum of two times a week, and check the water quality once a week.

✓ Change around 10 - 25% of water after every 2 - 4 weeks. You can also change it as the need rises.

➤ If the yellow tang gets too aggressive, try switching off the lights. Also, you can try placing a mirror at one end which will keep the fish busy attacking its mirror image and prevent attacking the other "real" fish.

➤ It is advised that you use a collection cup instead of a fish net while moving them. Their spines can easily get tangled and may injure the fish. Go for the safer option.
Take good care of your fish, and you'll see it growing as you get older! Always keep an eye of any sign of aggression or illness. If you're ready to take such a responsibility, go ahead and get one!