Thursday, July 29, 2010

Zebrasoma flavescens

Image: © Karel Jakubec (Karelj)
Please click here to view original image.
Scientific Name: Zebrasoma flavescens
Species Authority: Bennett, 1828
Family: Acanthuridae
Common Name: Yellow Tang, Yellow Sailfin Tang, Yellow Surgeonfish, Hawaiian Tang, Zitronenflossen-Doktorfisch (DE)
Distribution: Pacific Ocean: Ryukyu, Mariana, Marshall, Marcus, Wake and Hawaiian islands. Has been reported off the coast of Florida in the Western Central Atlantic.
Environment: Reef-associated; marine; depth range 2 to 46 meters, usually 3 to 46 meters. They inhabit coral reefs in subtropical waters, but generally do not live in tropical seas. Yellow Tangs mainly live in the sub-surge zone of a coral reef, this is the area with the least wave action.
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 500 liters. As with all Tangs, this fish is an active swimmer, and so needs a reasonably sized tank.
Tank Set-up: Marine aquarium with corals, live rocks / rocks, macroalgae. Their preferred water temperature is around 21 °C. It is necessary to provide plenty of swimming room. They must have a lot of hiding spots for them to feel comfortable in their captive environment.
Water Region: No specific level.
Lighting: Minimal lighting is required - enough to allow the fish to determine "day" from "night".
Water Flow: Moderate to strong flow is recommended.
Size: Up to 20 cm
Lifespan: 5 to 10 years, possibly longer.
Diet: Herbivore. They spend much of their time grazing for algae. A suitable aquarium diet includes meaty and vegetable materials, in very small amounts. Provide them with frozen herbivore food that contains marine algae, and vegetarian items such as spirulina, zucchini, broccoli, leaf lettuce, and dried seaweed. Yellow Tang can store fat in their body cavities, and it is natural for them to go through periods of non-feeding.
Temperament: Semi-aggressive. It's best to keep only one Tang in an aquarium of minimum size, because they can become very territorial with other Tangs. They will usually play nicely with other fish in a community tank setup of about 200 liters (although the minimum tank size recommendation is 500 liters).

On larger aquariums, with ample open areas for swimming and a lot of places to graze and hide, Yellow Tangs can be kept as a group and can even do well with other Tangs such as Acanthurus leucosternon and Paracanthurus hepatus. Make sure you introduce your group of Yellow Tangs all at the same time.
Care Level: Moderate
Resilience: High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months.
Reproduction: Group Spawner. It's not very common for them to breed in captivity. They can spawn in groups or in pairs. When in groups, females release eggs and males release sperm into open water where fertilization occurs. When in pairs, the male courts a female by changing colors and exhibiting a shimmering movement. The two fish then swim upward and simultaneously release their eggs or sperm into the water. There is no parental investment in Yellow Tangs beyond the fertilization of eggs.
Gender: No reliable information available.
Special Requirement/s: Their diet is very important to take note of. They need a varied diet high in beta-carotene and vitamin C, and low in protein matter. To maintain their bright coloration, however, it must keep to a strict herbivore diet to prevent fading. They are usually very hardy, although, like all Tangs, are quite susceptible to Ich and other common saltwater diseases. Tangs / Surgeonfish require highly oxygenated water. Provide them with strong movement in at least one area of the tank.
Red List Status: Not Evaluated
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Specific Gravity: 1.020 to 1.024
Temperature: 24°C to 27°C
:pH: 8.1 to 8.4
Angelfish (Dwarf)Groupers
Angelfish (Large)Grunts / Sweetlips
BlennyLionfish / Scorpionfish
CardinalsPuffers / Porcupines
ChromisSeahorse / Pipefish
ClownfishSharks / Rays
DartfishTangs / Surgeons
EelsWrasse (Reef Safe)
Filefish Wrasse (FO/FOWLR)
Foxface / RabbitfishCorals
With Caution
Not Compatible
Encyclopedia of Life (
Fresh Marine ( (
Pet Education (
Meerwasser-Lexikon ( (
Reefkeeping.Com - (
Aquatic Community - (
Animal World - (
Wikipedia (
Wikimedia Commons (
Baensch Marine Atlas
The New Marine Aquarium (Michael S. Paletta)
World Atlas of Marine Fishes (Helmut Debelius & Rudie H. Kuiter)

1 comment:

  1. In my humble opinion, I think a tank of 200 liter was too small for this type of fish.

    Yes, it's possibile, to put into... but for the caracteristic of the fish, we need more space to swim. In such a small tank, it's easy to have our Zebrasoma with white dots (protozoa disease)and aggressive behaviour, due to a small tank.