Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma desjardini)
Care Level: Moderate
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons
The majestic Sailfin Tang is truly a sight to behold. With its vertical stripes of yellow and black along the ability to aggressively extend its dorsal and pectoral fins, the Sailfin Tang is as territorial as it is beautiful. This large species of Tang can grow to over a foot and needs at least a 100 gallon system to happily thrive. Although this Tang will readily eat virtually anything, they do need a plant based diet consisting of algae, nori seaweed and other foods specially made for herbivores. They are also aggressive eaters. If your Tang is in a community tank, target feed other fish in different areas of the tank
Feeding tip: Get garlic infused seaweed. Garlic repels parasites and will boost the overall immunity of your Tang.
The Sailfin Tang is reef safe. It won’t bother corals or inverts. The only issue in a reef tank setup is territorial aggression, especially with conspecifics. They will generally leave other fish alone if it’s a different size and species. This is one tang you will not have to worry about as far as getting bullied. I have seen Sailfin Tangs bully triggers into submission.
Like all Tangs they are susceptible to Marine Ich and other parasites/diseases. We recommend quarantining any new Sailfin Tang arrivals for at least 14 days.
Standard water parameters apply to the Sailfin Tang. The temperature should be between 74-80 degrees F. Maintain the specific gravity at 1.025, alkalinity at 8-9.5, Magnesium around 1350, PH 8.1-8.4 and Calcium at 420-450 ppm. Nitrate and Phosphate levels should both be <.10ppm and maintain ammonia and nitrites at 0 ppm.
Overall, the Sailfin Tang makes a great addition to a FOWLR or community reef aquarium. They are active and not shy, constantly roaming and grazing around the tank. Most systems will only have one Sailfin, however a group of Sailfin Tangs can live peacefully if they are added at the same time and are in a very large aquarium of at least 250 gallons. If you’re looking for a smaller Tang that’s a little less aggressive the Yellow Tang is a great alternative.