Zebrasoma flavescens (Bennett, 1828).
Other Common Names:
Yellow Surgeonfish, Yellow Hawaiian Tang.
Even though this species is considered endemic to Hawaiian waters, its distribution extends from the Hawaiian area, including Johnston Island, westward through the northern Marshall Islands to Wake, Marcus, Guam, and other Marianas Islands.
Yellow oval body with a nocturnal horizontal white stripe.
Characteristics & Compatibility:
The habitat of this fish is from inside the reef out to depths of 100 feet or more. The larger specimens seem to stay in the shallow waters near the reef, while the juveniles usually prefer the deeper waters where finger corals are present.
In general this fish does get along well with other fishes in an aquarium, but it can be aggressive towards other Yellows and Surgeonfshes if they are not introduced into the aquarium at the same time. If your tank size will allow you to include several of these fish, you will be entertained by their lazy "follow the leader" patterns in and through live rock arrangements.
Diet & Feeding:
This fish is a herbivore, grazing on alga and other plant life. It is best kept in an aquarium that has good algae growth, where in turn they earn their keep by helping to keep the algae growth cropped. It will feed on Nori (dried or roasted seaweed), other green vegetable matter and vitamin enriched flakes, but may nibble at dried shrimp and other meaty fares as well. Using a lettuce clip or placing the Nori under a rock or piece of coral. This mimics its natural feeding habits. In the wild its lifestyle is one of a constant cruising and grazing.
Minimum Tank Size:
Reef Tank Suitable?:
We give the Yellow Tang a **
(Two Star) Care Rating Level
. It is a hardy, strong fish and is fairly easy to care for. However, it is a fish that is prone to contracting saltwater Ich diseases (Whitespot
forms and Blackspot
) and possibly HLLE
(head and lateral line erosion). The Ich factor makes it a less than ideal choice for a beginner just starting or cycling a tank, because stress is greatly related to these diseases. Use caution when handling this fish as the white razor spur near the tail area is very sharp and can cause cuts or injury. To learn more about the characteristics and traits of Tangs & Surgonfishes, refer our Tang & Surgeonfish Family Profile