Scientific Name:
Paracanthurus hepatus
Other Common Names for the Blue Hippo Tang:
Royal Blue Tang - Hippo Tang - Flagtail Surgeonfish - Pacific Regal Blue Tang - Blue Surgeonfish



Blue Hippo Tangs are found throughout the Indo-Pacific. They can be seen in the reefs of the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, New Caledonia, Samoa, East Africa, and Sri Lanka. These beautiful tangs have a royal blue body, yellow tail, and black "palette" design. The Hippo Tangs from the west-central Indian Ocean have yellow on their bellies. They will use their caudal spines as a weapon against other fish that threaten them. Blue Hippo Tangs can reach up to 12 inches in length and require an aquarium of at least 150 gallons with live rock and plenty of room to swim.


Tangs, in general, are primarily herbivores. That said, they need rocks to graze on as their diet is primarily marine algae. For tanks on the smaller side that have less live rock to grow algae, you will need to supplement your tang’s diet with Nori or other vegetable matter like Nori, Romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, or broccoli. They also will accept flake foods and sometimes small meaty offerings like Mysis shrimp. A good variety of foods will keep your tang healthy and vibrant. A well-fed tang won’t pick at your corals, but there is always a possibility if there is no algae or Nori present. Also, a well-fed tang has less chance of developing HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion). HLLE can be fatal depending on severity and can leave lasting scars on the tang.


As stated earlier, a Blue Hippo Tang can reach up to 12 inches and requires an aquarium of at least 150 gallons with live rock and plenty of room to swim. Tangs, in general, will spend their days swimming from one side of the aquarium to the other, picking on any algae growing on your live rock or frag plugs. In the ocean, tangs swim great distances every day. This should give you an idea of how much swimming space a tang will need to be satisfied in your tank. It is also recommended that your tank be wider than it is tall, to allow them more space to swim. Without ample space to swim, a tang can become stressed and will be very prone to diseases like Ich.

Blue Hippo Tangs are mostly known to be peaceful with other tangs and other fish. With the spines built into their tails, they can usually defend themselves against other more aggressive fish. Keeping your Blue Hippo Tang well-fed will reduce aggression in your reef. If you intend to keep fish, a netted lid is recommended.

Blue hippoHepatusMarinefishParacanthurusReefchaserRegalRoyalSurgeonfishTang

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