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Yellow Tang

Scientific Name: Zebrasoma flavescens
Family: Acanthuridae

About the Yellow 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, Hawaii
Compatibility/Temperament: The Yellow Tang is a typical member of the Zebrasoma genus. They are generally a good community fish, provided they are added as the last addition to the aquarium. They also fare well in a reef environment with smaller fish that do not pose a threat. The Yellow Tang is known to be a very effective grazer in the reef tank, which is typical for the Zebrasoma genus. They will generally mix with other Tangs, but it is best to avoid mixing it with members of the Zebrasoma genus, such as the Sailfin Tang and Scopas Tang. When keeping more than one Zebrasoma species of Tang, it is best to add them at the same time to a larger aquarium. When adding multiple Tangs to the same aquarium, be sure to add the Zebrasomas last, as they are the more aggressive of the family.


The Yellow Tang will not bother coral or invertebrates, however it may eat desirable marine algae. One of the easiest saltwater fish to keep after acclimated, the Yellow Tang is a great fish for beginners. It is best added as the last Tang to an aquarium since it can become quite territorial and aggressive towards other tangs.

Individual species can display a wide range of behavioral differences in the aquarium, with some being downright nasty, and other mixing in well. The key to this is likely related to tank size and having a sufficient rock structure to break up territory.

Yellow Tang Diet

Feed a diet rich in vegetable matter including frozen herbivore foods, dried seaweed, or live macro algae. Freeze dried algae sheets should be offered daily.


Reaches up to 8'' in length. They are a fast growing fish and should be kept in aquariums capable of sustaining their adult size. Also, beware, adults tend to become very territorial, so do not underestimate the size tank necessary for keeping this fish happy in a mixed community.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

125 gallons

Ideal water parameters for Yellow 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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