Life of Sea | Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) | The Blue Tang is also known as the Regal Tang, Blue tangs and the Indo-Pacific Blue Tang. This beautiful fish is readily available, easy to maintain, and is very interesting to watch. The Blue Tang is probably the second most popular bar next to the yellow bar. It is a kind of Indo-Pacific surgeonfish and a popular aquarium fish in the sea, it is the only member of the genus Paracanthurus. The species' range is broad, but it is nowhere common. It can be found in the Indo-Pacific. It can be seen in reefs of East Africa, Japan, Samoa, New Caledonia and the Great Barrier Reef.
Species: P. hepatus
Blue Tang is quite flat like a pancake with a rounded body shape, a pointed snout-like nose, and small scales. The blue bar has nine dorsal spines, 26-28 dorsal soft rays, three anal spines and 24-26 anal soft rays. The blue bar should be one of the most common and most popular marine fish worldwide. They live in pairs or in small groups of up to 10 or 12 people. These fish reach sexual maturity at 9-12 months of age. As a juvenile, its diet consists mainly of plankton. Adults are omnivorous and feed on plankton, but also graze on algae. Spawning occurs during late afternoon and evening hours. This event is indicated by a change in color of a uniform dark blue to light blue.
Although Blue Tangs will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important that they have enough of the sea-based seaweed and algae offered. This strengthens the immune system of the Blue Tang's, reduce aggression and improve their overall health. It is important that you feed tangs a good variety of live, frozen, and prepared formula foods. The Blue Tang eats zooplankton so they should be fed brine shrimp, mysis, grindal worms, and flake food. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day.
The Blue Tang is of minor importance to commercial fishing, it is a bait fish. The meat has a strong odor and is highly appreciated. This fish can ciguatera poisoning from human consumption. However, blue tangs are collected commercially for the aquarium trade. Dealing with the forceps risks the chances of being severely cut by the caudal spine. These spines, on both sides of the caudal peduncle, are extended from the body when the fish gets excited. The quick, thrashing sideways motion of the tail can produce deep wounds that lead to swelling and discoloration, posing a risk of infection. It is believed that some species of Acanthurus have venom glands while others do not. The spines are used only as a method of protection against aggressors.