Sunshine For The Marine Aquarium

Marine fish come in all sorts of colours, some quite garish, others beautiful but more subtle. There’s one fish that is a ray of sunshine, catching the eye.

The fish is the yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) which comes from the Hawaii area. It grows to around 6ins (15cm) so is generally able to fit into some smaller aquariums, though proper attention must be given to fish load (aquarium carrying capacity). As always seawater quality must be high so the aquarist should have some experience, perhaps a year or so, as the yellow tang is sensitive to seawater quality. The fish is territorial so only one in the aquarium. There isn’t any risk to smaller fish in the aquarium as the yellow tang will live peacably with most species.

Overfeeding is a beginner mistake, leading to pollution, nasty algae and poor fish health, always to be avoided of course. The yellow tang likes vegetable based food, some filamentous algae will be eaten if in the aquarium. Vegetable food is very important to keep them healthy. Flake food is fine if based on a high vegetable content, check the description. A young lettuce leaf, or part of one, could be hung on the tank glass and the tang should nibble away at it along with any other vegetable loving species. Live food is also eaten by the fish. Feed the fish both morning and before lights out to ensure the fish has enough to eat (but not just on a lettuce leaf or similar!). Always watch the body shape, it should not become visibly thin. The fish is not difficult to feed.

So, as with all marine fish, the number one priority is seawater quality. This of course means the maximum carrying capacity of the aquarium must not be exceeded and the aquarist must carry out required maintenance as demanded. The fish is likely to investigate anything edible but must have vegetable based food. As said there’s suitable algae/vegetable flake available etc.

If the basics are given attention, the yellow tang brings Hawaiian sunshine into the aquarium adding variety, a different shape and bright colour to the scene. The fish is not difficult to keep though some experience is advantageous.