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The Orange Shoulder Tang, also known as the Acanthurus olivaceus, is a stunning and highly sought-after fish species that belongs to the Acanthuridae family. This marine beauty is admired for its vibrant coloration, distinctive markings, and graceful swimming behavior, making it a prized addition to any reef or marine aquarium.
Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, particularly found in the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, the Orange Shoulder Tang showcases a mesmerizing combination of colors. Its body is elongated and laterally compressed, with a sleek profile, a pointed snout, and large, expressive eyes.
This species can reach an average length of around 7-9 inches (18-23 cm) when fully grown. Its body displays a dominant olive green coloration, which is complemented by bright orange highlights on its shoulder area, dorsal fin, and caudal peduncle. These vibrant orange accents give the fish its common name, the Orange Shoulder Tang, and add to its overall visual appeal.
The Orange Shoulder Tang is known for its peaceful nature and active swimming behavior. It gracefully glides through the water column, showcasing its vibrant colors and elegant movements. It requires ample swimming space and a well-established reef or marine aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and live rock formations to mimic its natural habitat.
When it comes to feeding, the Orange Shoulder Tang is primarily herbivorous, feeding on various types of algae and seaweed in the wild. In a home aquarium, it should be provided with a varied diet consisting of high-quality marine-based foods, such as algae sheets, spirulina flakes, and other herbivore pellets or flakes. Supplementing their diet with fresh vegetables, like blanched spinach or seaweed, can also be beneficial for their overall health and well-being.
Maintaining optimal water conditions is essential for the well-being of the Orange Shoulder Tang. It prefers a well-maintained aquarium with stable water parameters, including a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) and a pH level of 8.1-8.4. Regular water changes and the use of a good filtration system are crucial to maintain water quality.
While the Orange Shoulder Tang is generally peaceful, it is important to provide ample swimming and territorial space, especially in larger aquariums, as it may exhibit territorial behavior towards similar-looking species or other tangs. It is recommended to introduce them to the aquarium as the last addition to minimize aggression.
Overall, the Orange Shoulder Tang is a captivating and highly desirable addition to any reef or marine aquarium. Its vibrant coloration, distinctive markings, and peaceful nature make it a standout species that adds beauty and elegance to your underwater world. With proper care, a suitable environment, and a well-balanced diet, the Orange Shoulder Tang can thrive and become a mesmerizing centerpiece in your aquatic display.
Use caution when housing with other Tangs or Surgeonfish. Similar shaped Tangs can be very aggressive towards each other. Although Tangs will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important that they are offered plenty of marine based seaweed and algae.
It is well known that tangs have a penchant for Marine Ich and other diseases due to their lack of slime coating. We highly encourage quarantining all fish, but especially Surgeon Fish. We do our best to quarantine all fish at Reef Chasers but there can be absolutely no guarantees.