The Pacific Blue Tang is also referred to as the Palette Surgeonfish, Hepatus Tang, Blue Surgeonfish, and Regal Tang. Like most tangs and surgeons, it is easy to recognize because of the oval body shape and bold markings. It has a deep blue color with a "painter's palette" marking on the body.
Pacific Blue Tang requires a 75 gallon or larger aquarium with a number of hiding places and plenty of room to swim. It is tolerant of other tangs, but can occasionally be aggressive towards other Blue Tangs. It is more susceptible to lateral line disease, fin erosion, ich and other skin parasites than many other fish. The Pacific Blue Tang feeds on algae and other vegetarian items.
Caution: This species has a scalpel-like, razor-sharp spines on their sides near the base of the tail. This gives them their common name "Surgeonfish." The spines can inflict a very painful wound.
Maximum Size: This species grows to 12 inches in length.
General Size: This Blue Tang is about eight to nine inches in length.
Minimum Tank Size Suggested: A 75 gallon or larger aquarium provides a good environment for these Blue Tang .
Tank Conditions: The Blue Tang should ideally be kept in temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A pH value of 8.1 or 8.4, and a specific gravity of 1.020 to 1.025 should be maintained. When kept with invertebrates, the specific gravity range should be 1.020 to 1.025, for the invertebrate species. In a fish only aquarium, the specific gravity should fall between 1.020 and 1.023.
Habitat: The Blue Tang occurs in Hawaiian waters, but the distribution of this species extends from Hawaii southward to central Polynesia and westward through Micronesia and Melanesia, but it apparently does not extend to the Philippine Islands, the East Indies, and the Indian Ocean and indo-pacific region.
Feeding and Diet: The Blue Tang fish is a herbivore. Its main diet consists of marine algae, having an unusually long digestive tract to digest the plant matter they eat. They are constant feeders and in nature spend most of their day grazing. A habitat with algae growth is good for them, which in turn helps to keep the algae in an aquarium cropped and in check.