Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Naso Tang, also known as the Lipstick Tang, is a gentle giant with a wide geographic distribution. As juveniles, they have an overall grey colored body with several white spots. With maturation these spots disappear, the body coloration will become darker and the Naso tang will overall appear more striking. While juveniles cannot be sexed, those that are male will develop streamers on their tails as they obtain size. The biggest challenge in keeping a Naso tang is its size potential. An adult Naso tang can reach a size of approximately 18″ in the wild, though in home aquaria specimens seem to average around 12 – 14″. Nevertheless, this is quite large compared to other tang genera but is a common characeristic within Naso. Only the dedicated aquarist with a proper tank, in terms of size and dimensions, should consider a Naso tang. The Naso tang is often confused with its closely related counterpart, the Blonde Naso Tang (Naso elegans), however to tell these fish apart requires a quick glance at the dorasl fin. Blonde naso tangs, as their name suggests, have a bright yellow dorsal fin while in the standard Naso tang, the dorsal fin will be dark grey to black in color.
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. Naso tangs will consume various other protein-based frozen foods.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 200 gallon aquarium that is 72″ long and 24″ wide is ideal, though a longer and wider tank is encouraged given the size potential of the Naso tang. Smaller/juvenile specimens can be temporarily raised in smaller quarters (no less than 125 gallons) as long as it is upgraded accordingly. This tang enjoys some rock work and crevices to take occasional refuge, but should be provided with ample open swimming and turning space. Typically, Naso tangs do not conflict with other tank-mates and aren’t overly territorial in nature, but they may act out toward conspecifics (other Naso species). Tangs in the genus Naso are often compatible with other tangs, but it is recommended to add a Naso tang before more aggressive tang species (such as those within the genera Zebrasoma and some Acanthurus). Keep in mind that an adult Naso tang will certainly increase the bioload of your aquarium significantly. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 2″ to 3-3/4″; Medium: 4″ to 5-3/4″; Large: 6″ to 7-3/4″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.