The beautiful, disease resistant and easy to care for yellow tang is a very popular addition for a saltwater aquarium enthusiast’s setup, but there are a few important things to consider before you bring home your fluorescent yellow friend:

 (Photo by hoyasmeg/Creative Commons via Flickr)(Photo by hoyasmeg/Creative Commons via Flickr)

The yellow tang is a brightly colored tropical fish native to the warm waters of Hawaii, Japan and other parts of the Pacific Ocean. While juvenile yellow tang are normally 1.5” to 3.5” at the pet store, adults can grow up to 7.9” long, so if you’re thinking about adopting a yellow tang, the fish will need an aquarium that holds at minimum between 30 and 55 gallons. Yellow tang are herbivores by nature and are happy to consume algae, which should always be available for your new fish to munch on as needed, with a sprinkling of spinach, seaweed, lettuce and other leafy greens as an occasional treat.

Although yellow tang are pretty peaceful fish overall, I wouldn’t recommend housing more than one in an aquarium at a time. This species has a pair of defensive spines located at the base of its tail, which it will use to thrash and stab at other tangs, regardless of species, unless you raised several yellow tangs together from a young age in the same space. Since you’re probably getting the yellow tang from a pet shop or specialty dealer, the chances are pretty slim that you’ll be able to house a school of them yourself, but you’ll just appreciate the pop of color in your aquarium that much more!

(Photo by .curt/Creative Commons via Flickr)(Photo by .curt/Creative Commons via Flickr)

A yellow tang’s other essential needs are pretty standard: clean water, a rocky crevice to sleep in at night and a couple of non-tang (or tang-shaped) friends to keep it company, and you’re good to go. Have fun with your new yellow fishy pal, aquarium fans!

Sources: Petco, YellowTangInfo,, Animal-World

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