Clownfish & Blue Tang
Clownfish & Blue Tang

Common names for the Regal Blue Surgeonfish include; Regal Tang, Blue Tang, Pacific Blue Tang, Palette Tang, Hippo Tang & of course… Dory.

Made popular by the films Finding Nemo & Finding Dory, the Blue Tang is now a household name. These beautiful Surgeonfish may be popular, but they are not really suitable for a beginner aquarist.

A big plus for the Blue Tang is that you can now buy tank bred specimens, meaning you no longer have to rip them from their natural environment just so you can enjoy them in your home aquarium. As a reefing community it is our responsibility to ensure that as many of our fish, corals, inverts & even portions of rock are sourced using sustainable methods to help ensure we preserve our natural ocean reefs.

These fish will grow to a massive size, they should only be kept in a suitably sized aquarium. They occupy every inch of your tank, they enjoy open swimming but require lots of bolt holes should they feel the need to hide.

Tank Requirements & Facts

Regal Tang
Regal Tang
  • Minimum tank size: 180 Gallon (965 Litres) [A massive tank!]
  • Prone to disease: Yes, Ich (Ick) & HLLE (Head & Lateral Line Erosion)
  • Beginner Compatible: With Caution
  • Adult Size: 12 inches (30cm) [Hence the need for the massive tank!]
  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Predator Tank Compatible: Once at a larger size
  • Care Level: Some special requirements
  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Temperature: 24°C to 28°C
  • Preferred Tank Level: All over
  • Lots of hiding places required
  • Number to a tank: To be kept singularly. Can be kept with other Tangs with caution. Generally considered invertebrate and smaller inhabitants safe.

Feeding

These fish have special requirements with feeding. They spend their day pecking at the sand beds and rocks grazing. A mix of frozen, live and algae based foods is required.

  • These are omnivores
  • A varied diet made of predominantly vegetable based foods is a must to help prevent the onset of HLLE
  • They are fast eaters, ensure you are feeding enough for the entire tank and not just these tangs
  • They will graze on algae, seaweeds, diatoms, detritus, and filamentous algae throughout the day and readily accept other foods at feeding times
  • Live foods, frozen foods, flake and nori will all be appreciated.

Acclimatisation

Place your fish in the bucket and then drip acclimate for about 60 minutes at a rate of 3 drips per second. This should bring the fishes water parameters in line with your tanks parameters.

Once your fish has been drip acclimated, catch the fish with a net and place it gently into your tank. Do not put any of the water the fish originally came in, into your tank.

Care should be taken after adding the fish to ensure there is a tightly fitting lid on the aquarium at all times. These fish are known to be jumpers and they are more likely to jump when first introduced to an aquarium.

Can you keep the Regal Tangs with other Tangs?

These stunning fish are less aggressive and boisterous than most Surgeonfish (Tangs). They are generally considered to be compatible with most living beings commonly found in mixed reef aquariums.

Blue Surgeonfish
Blue Surgeonfish

If you are planning on keeping the Blue Tang with other members of the Surgeonfish family, the Blue Tang should be the first of the Tangs added to the aquarium, in order for it to be allowed to establish it’s territory and find it’s bolt holes!

As long as you have a big enough and well established tank, these fish shouldn’t cause you any issues.