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Pacific Blue Tang

Scientific Name: Paracanthurus hepatus
Family: Acanthuridae

About the Pacific Blue Tang

Species Type: Saltwater Fish
Category: Tangs & Rabbitfish

Care Level: Moderate. Healthy specimens are frequently available for purchase, but stress in shipping does sometimes occur. Will accept dried foods after settling in, but frozen foods or algae grazing sheets may be required initially. After proper quarantine and acclimation to the display, this fish is generally resistant to disease. An overall good choice for the new saltwater hobbyist.
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Bali, Fiji
Compatibility/Temperament: The Pacific Blue Tang is also known as the Hippo Tang, Regal Tang, and Dori Tang. It is one of the more peaceful Tangs to be kept in an aquarium, and is generally a good community fish. If kept with other Tangs, it is best to avoid mixing it with members of the Acanthurus genus, such as the Powder Blue and Powder Brown Tangs. Outside of this, the Regal Tang generally mixes well with other Tang species, provided the aquarium is in the 180 gallons or larger size range. The Regal Tang is considered to be reef safe.


A great choice for most reef aquariums, the Pacific Blue Tang will add a striking blue and yellow coloration to your aquarium. Once acclimated, it spends much of its time in open water grazing the reef for algae. It will definitely help control growth of algae in your reef. When resting and when first introduced, the Pacific Blue Tang will wedge itself between rocks or coral to keep safe. Do not be alarmed if you see it hiding in the rocks, it’s only resting.

Pacific Blue Tang Diet

Herbivore- Feed frozen preparations containing algae, live macro algae, and chopped meaty foods. Freeze dried algae sheets should be made available daily.


Grows to a maximum size of near 14''. In the aquarium trade they are often available for purchase in sizes as small as 3''. Unfortunately they grow extremely fast and should never be placed in smaller aquariums with the intention of upgrading to a larger tank. In these situations this species is very difficult to keep and prone to infection. Sufficient room to grow is needed for this fish to feel comfortable and adjust well to captive life.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

125 gallons

Ideal water parameters for Pacific Blue Tang

Marine fish are highly sensitive animals with very specific care requirements. Most all saltwater species will require similar water conditions, designed to replicate that of natural seawater. Ammonia and nitrite levels should absolute zero, temperature at 76F to 80F, and salinity at 1.024 to 1.026. Although some fish are tolerant of lower levels of Nitrate, the goal in every aquariums should be to keep Nitrate as close to zero as possible, and certainly under 20ppm. Finally, maintaining a stable pH of 8.0 to 8.4 is desired. Achieving this is made easier by monitoring alkalinity, which should be kept at 8-12 DKH, and calcium, which is targeted at 400 to 460ppm.

Contributing Members

The following members have contributed to this profile: Pasfur
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