Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum) Care
The Purple Tang, Zebrasoma xanthurum, is also known as the Yellowtail Tang. These fish come from the Western Indian Ocean. They have a purple body with dark spots and lines and a bright yellow tail. Tangs are also known as surgeonfish because they have a scalpel-like spine at the base of the tail, be sure to handle them with care!
Tangs are herbivores and require a diet rich in foods such as macroalgae, dried seaweed, and enriched vegetable flakes. They should be fed a couple of times a day. Despite being herbivores, they will happily eat meaty foods fed to other tank inhabitants.
Purple Tangs can reach up to 10″ and require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons with strong water flow and lots of swimming area. They will be peaceful with almost all fish EXCEPT other tangs. If you want to add multiple tangs to a tank, it is best to add them at the same time so none of them have pre-established territories.
They are reef safe.
NOTE: Tangs are very susceptible to getting ich; always quarantine them before introducing them to your main tank.
Approximate Purchase Size
Tiny: up to 1½”
Small: 1½” to 2”
Small-Medium: 2” to 2½”
Medium: 2½” to 3½”
Medium-Large: 3½” to 4”
Large: 4” to 4½”
Extra Large: 4” to 4½”