Sailfin Tang
Sailfin Tang

Common names for the Sailfin Tang include; sail fin fish, sailfin surgeonfish, Pacific Sailfin Tang, Ringed Tang, Striped Tang and it is often miss-identified as a Desjardin’s Sailfin Tang.

These beautiful disc-shaped fish are an ideal candidate for someone looking to start keeping tangs. They are peaceful, hardy, reef-safe and less prone to disease than other Tangs.

Care should be taken when handling these fish, they have a sharp “scalpel” like spine running along each side of the caudel fin. They will use this to defend themselves and their territory.

The dorsal and anal fins are much larger in these Tangs, which is what gives them the disc-shaped appearance. When the fins are fully extended the total height of the fish is roughly the same length as the fish.

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

Sailfin Tang
Sailfin Tang
  • Minimum tank size: 180 Gallon (965 Litres) [A massive tank!]
  • Prone to disease: Yes, but less prone than other species of Tang. Ich (Ick) & HLLE (Head & Lateral Line Erosion)
  • Beginner Compatible: With Caution
  • Adult Size: 15.7 inches (40cm) [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 Sailfin 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.

Pacific Sailfin Tang
Pacific Sailfin Tang

If you are planning on keeping the Sailfin Tang with other members of the Surgeonfish family, the Sailfin 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.