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Regal Blue Hippo tang

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

The blue tang or Hippo Tang is quickly recognized by most anyone these days since movies like Finding Nemo and Finding Dory featured this fish. It's a Regal tang, Paracanthurus hepatus, and I've kept a few over the years. They are fast swimmers, love space, and will seek shelter in the oddest places. 

My son won one in a raffle at our club meeting, and that 1" Regal Tang quickly felt at home in our 55g reef. Also referred to as a Hippo Tang, its main diet is vegetation. It will consume some algaes in the reef tank, but needs to be well fed. Prone to ich, keeping water conditions stable will help keep this fish stress-free and its immune system strong. Feeding with garlic helps. These tangs grow quite large and need large areas to swim, so a 6' long tank (or greater) would be best.

We named him Tucker, because he would tuck into a coral to sleep at night. Once larger, it developed an affinity for zoanthids, which was problematic.  We had to give him away. But years later, I got another one that lives in my 60g cube with a bunch of clownfish. It will have to be moved when it grows too large, but for now it adds a nice splash of blue color to that tank.

Here's a nice picture by Darrin Trager.