Care Level: Advanced
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Fowleri Tang, also referred to as the Horseshoe Tang, has a wide distribution across the Indo-Pacific and northwestern Australia. Despite this large distribution, the Fowleri tang is infrequently available within the aquarium-trade because its natural ecological niche is around reef drop-offs making it more challenging to collect. As a standout species when it is offered, with this elite status comes responsibility as the Fowleri tang is one of the largest growing Acanthurus at approximately 18″ (please refer to “Care Requirements” below). An adult Fowleri tang is unmistakable for its grey or olive-yellow colored body, blueish face, bright orange dorsal fin, crescent/lyre tail and iridescently blue edged dorsal, anal and caudal fins. Juvenile or younger Fowleri tangs are typically offered but just as stunning, however these markings and colors are more subdued until it matures.
Diet Requirements: In the wild tangs are primarily herbivorous. A diet largely consisting of algae-based foods is absolutely necessary to maintain optimal health, coloration, immune function, and reduce aggression. If not, tangs often develop head and lateral line erosion from such deficiencies. Vegetable based flake foods or frozen foods, that may also include spirulina algae, are excellent options. We also recommend offering dried seaweed on a rock or clip three times a week minimum. Fowleri tangs will consume various other protein-based frozen foods.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 200 gallon aquarium with 18+ inch width is ideal for a small Fowleri tang in order to allow it space to grow. As it does, this species will require an even larger aquarium of 300 gallons or greater. Given this tang’s activity level, it will also need to be provided with a lot of unobstructed swimming space and highly oxygenated water, especially as it gains size. Hefty filtration and a large protein skimmer are recommended to better maintain a healthy environment. These specific requirements are why this fish has been listed as “Advanced”, because this species is truly an investment to keep. Fowleri tangs are one of the less aggressive Acanthurus despite their large adult size, but caution should still be exercised when attempting to house various types of tangs together. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small/Medium: 2-3/4″ to 3-1/4″; Medium: 3 1/4″ – 4 1/2″; Large 4 1/2″ – 7″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.