One question I looked into when I decided to add Tangs into my tank was “how fast do they grow?”, there wasn’t really an answer to this question. So in this post I want to explore the growth rate of my 3 Tangs of the last 18 months.

I keep an Orange Shoulder Tang, a Regal Tang and a Sailfin Tang in my aquarium. They were all put in within 3 weeks of each other, and all very similar sizes when they went in. They have now been in the tank for 18 months, and all get along swimmingly!

The Orange Shoulder Tang

The Orange Shoulder Tang has been the fastest grower by far. It started off at about 2 inches in length, and is now about 4.5 – 5 inches in length. It is the biggest fish in the tank, and as such doesn’t get hassled by anyone else.

It is also the peace-keeper within the aquarium. If anyone is going to try and be a bully, its the Sailfin, but as soon as the Sailfin starts, the Orange Shoulder breaks it up. It doesn’t continue the chase, or bully anything in the tank, but it will not tolerate anything else trying to be a bully.

As you can see from the images below, the Orange Shoulder Tang has also started to change it’s tail shape, and it’s colour/markings are beginning to show.

The Desjardin’s Sailfin

The Sailfin Tang in my aquarium started off at about 2 inches in diameter, it is now about 3.5 – 4 iches in diameter. So over the last 18 months it has had significant growth.

It is the bully of the tank. It really hates my Rabbitfish and does seem to spend half of it’s life trying to chase it. Thankfully, my Rabbitfish pays no attention to it.

It is the fish that has had the most predominant colour change within the tank, I am pleased to say it no longer looks like a skinny little runt, but it is now a beautifully coloured, fat fishy!

The Regal Tang

The Regal Tang was the largest fish I put into that tank, now the smallest of all the Tangs by a considerable amount. When I put it into the aquarium it was a good 2.5 inches long, it would now only be 3 – 3.5 inches in length (being generous!) after 18 month. It is by far the slowest grower in the tank.

It is the fastest fish in the entire aquarium (making it very difficult to photograph!), it moves so quickly and elegantly through the tank, it’s very easy to appreciate why it is recommended they have such large aquariums.

It is the most independent of the fish too, all the other fish seem to buddy up or hang out together, where as the Regal Tang is definitely happiest when on it’s own, doing it’s own thing.

It’s marking have changed, which truthfully I hadn’t noticed until I put these 2 photo’s side by side. It is definitely moving more towards its adult colours.


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