Blue Hippo Tang Care : A Complete Guide

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The Definitive Blue Hippo Tang Care Guide


Also known as the Blue Tang Fish, this fish gained popularity for being the loveable fish that was featured in two well-known Disney animation movies, Finding Dory and Finding Nemo. It is safe to say that after the release of these films, people began to show interest in these fish and also wanted to know if there was a Blue Hippo Tang care guide that could provide instructions on how to take care of these fish in saltwater home aquariums.

What Is A Blue Hippo Tang Fish?


The scientific name for this species of fish is Paracanthurus Hepatus, but it is better known by its other names such as:

Regal Tang
Pacific Regal Blue Tang
Royal Blue Tang
Flagtail Surgeonfish
Palette Surgeonfish


This fish would be a stunning choice to include in a saltwater aquarium. The following Blue Hippo Tang care guide not only details how to care for these exotic fish, but you will also learn a little more about these fish in general.


Interesting Facts About The Blue Hippo Tang


Because these fish are the only members of the Paracanthurus genus, they are native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean. It is here where you will find these breathtaking fish in the wild and enjoying everything that those tropical waters have to offer them.

If you choose to add this fish to your saltwater aquarium, you can expect it to live a fairly long life. The average lifespan for these fish is around 7 to 12 years.

These fish also have distinct colors that allow them to stand out from the rest. Blue Hippo Tang fish have yellow tails, a palette design on the side of their bodies that merge together with their royal blue bodies.


The Blue Hippo Tang’s Appearance


This fish has a body shape that is unique from many other saltwater fish. Its body is very flat, but it is round in shape. This cute fish also has a very tiny pointed nose and very tiny scales. In fact, the scales on the fish are so tiny, at first glance, it appears as though it does not have any scales at all.

It is also important to note that although these fish are gorgeous in appearance, potential owners should know that they are capable of hurting those who handle them regularly.

Located on their tail is their caudal spine. When they feel under attack, their tail will stand straight up and they will use it as form of self-defense.

In the spine there is a toxin. If this toxin enters your skin, it can cause very severe pain. However, there are saltwater enthusiasts who have handled these fish for years and have never become victims of a Blue Hippo Tang fish sting.


Proper Tank Size


Even though taking care of one of the fish is a fairly simple process, there are some aspects of their care that are key requirements. This means that when you are planning to prepare the ideal living environment for your new Dory, there are some essentials that you should never cut corners on. This is one reason why it is important to review a Blue Hippo Tang care guide in advance.

For example, just because you may have purchased a Blue Tang and it was on the smaller size, do not think that is as big as it will ever get. These types of fish are known to grow over 10 inches when living in the wild.

It is critical that the saltwater tank you purchase is the right size. It should hold no less than 100 gallons, but it is ideal to purchase a tank that can hold 200 gallons of water. If you are planning to buy more than one Blue Tang, be sure to purchase a 200-gallon tank.

By purchasing a 200-gallon tank, you can be certain that your fish will have all of the space they need to swim. If you ever decide to purchase additional Blue Tangs, you will need to increase the tank size.


Water Requirements


Another factor to consider is the water temperature. They are accustomed to tropical waters so you will likely need to place a heater in the tank.

The water temperature should go no lower than 76 degrees F and no higher than 80 degrees F. I always use a temperature controller to make sure the water stays within the recommended range.

Because Blue Tangs like to use coral reefs for resting and protection, your saltwater aquarium should also have coral reefs and other types of decorations.

The water in the tank also has certain parameters that you will need to meet. There must be the right balance of salt in the water. You can mix your own, or you can purchase saltwater from a pet supply store. Read all about using RODI water in your saltwater tank here.

The levels of certain chemicals must also be monitored. These chemicals are:

Ammonia – as close to zero as possible
Nitrite -as low as possible
Salinity – based on specific gravity of 1.025
pH – 8.1 to 8.4
Calcium – 380 to 420 ppm
Phosphate – below 0.2 ppm

Feeding Requirements


These fish are natural grazers. They tend to eat often, eat a lot and they are omnivores. Their diet should include:

Brine shrimp

Blue Tangs can also be given flake fish food, but you should avoid giving them lettuce and other leafy greens to eat. Here is a great quality seaweed that all my tangs seem to love!

Tank Mates


Blue Tangs are very tame fish and they can get along with almost any other type of marine life. The only issue will occur is if there is another Blue Tang in the tank.

It is not unheard of for these fish to fight one another over territory. So, if you are planning to place several Blue Tangs in one tank, it is critical that they have enough space. In other words, the bigger the tank you have, the more peaceful the fish will be.

If you do want to have several Blue Tangs, if possible, introduce all of them to the tank at the same time. This will help avoid any territorial fights in the tank, and they will not have anything to fight over.

The one thing that many people inquire about before reading a Blue Hippo Tang care guide is the cost of these fish. The actual cost depends on several factors such as their size and where you purchase them. However, you can expect to pay on average $25 for a young fish and up to $80 for a bigger one.

Yellow Tang makes a great tankmate!


Related Questions:

Q. Are Blue Hippo tangs reef safe?

A. Yes, they are. I have never had a problem with Hippo Tang’s bothering corals.


Q. Are diseases common with Hippo Tangs?

A. Yes, Hippo Tangs can be susceptible to white spot disease or ich.


Q. What is the normal Hippo Tang growth rate?

A. On average, expect your Hippo Tang to grow at a rate of 1″ per year.




Thanks for reading!


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