Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Purple Tang may be one of the most popular tangs selected for a saltwater reef aquarium. Once found only in the Red Sea, the Purple tang has since expanded its range south into the Arabian Sea off the coast of eastern Africa and western Asia. Purple tangs are an attractive fish with an indigo to purple colored body, and yellow pectoral and caudal fins. An adult Purple tang can reach a size of approximately 8″.
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. Purple tangs will consume various other protein-based frozen foods.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 gallon aquarium with 18+ inch width is ideal. Smaller specimens can be temporarily raised in smaller quarters (no less than 90 gallons) as long as it is upgraded accordingly. This tang enjoys some rock work and crevices to take refuge, but also should be provided with open swimming space. Purple tangs are often sought after to add into a reef aquarium for their natural tendency to control algae build up. Typically, Zebrasoma species are semi-aggressive and territorial in nature. If you are looking to avoid potential rough-housing with other tank-mates, it can help to introduce this fish last. Additionally, Zebrasoma often conflict with conspecifics (including other species within the genus) or fish that have a similar body shape. If you want to house a Purple tang with other types of tangs, it is best to add them all at once, or closely together at the very least, for the best success. Purple tangs are generally solitary in nature, so we do not suggest having more than one per aquarium. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 2″ to 2-3/4″; Medium: 3″ to 3-3/4″; Large: 4″ to 4-3/4″; XLarge: 5″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.