The Blue Tang is a fairly common Aquarium fish from the Sturgeonfish family. They came to be widely known after the Disney movie “Finding Nemo”, where a Blue Tang was used as one of the main characters. It was named “Dory” in the movie so of course some people now refer to them as Dory Fish, Ellen DeGeneres did the voice for Dory.
They are super colorful and active, making them a great addition to your aquarium if it is large enough. The Blue Tang is an active fish and can grow to around 1′ long, making them not suitable for anything less than a 150 gallon aquarium. They are often sold at very small sizes, as small as 1/2″ but you can also find them as large as 6″. The bigger ones being much more expensive. You can expect to pay as little as $20-30 (USD) for a small one and upwards of $50-75 (USD) for a larger specimen.
Scientific Name: Paracanthurus hepatus
Common Name: Blue Tang, Regal Tang, Palette Surgeonfish, Royal Blue Tang, Hippo Tang, Flagtail Surgeonfish, Pacific Regal Blue Tang and Blue Surgeonfish. I guess I can add Dory Fish as well, due to the movie Finding Nemo.
Regions of Origin: It can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The Blue Tang is also found in reefs of East Africa, Japan, Samoa, New Caledonia, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Temperament: Generally peaceful but can be aggressive towards similar species. Many people will only keep one Tang or Surgeonfish per tank for this reason. That or introduce them all at once and have a very large tank.
Diet: The Blue Tang is omnivorous as an adult feeding on plankton and algae, they will eat seaweed based diets in captivity. You can buy pre-packaged dried seaweed and sea veggies for them.
Size: Up to 12″
Tank Size: You could raise a baby in something like a 40g breeder tank but an adult will need a 150 gallon or larger to really thrive and have swimming space.
Water: 73-78 degrees, 1.022 – 1.026 sg
Blue Tang – Side Profile
Blue Tang cruising by…
Blue Tang, kind of funny looking from this angle.
Blue Tang, head on. They are very slim bodied fish.