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The Yellow Belly Blue Hippo Tang, scientifically known as Paracanthurus hepatus, is a stunning and sought-after fish species that belongs to the Acanthuridae family. This marine beauty is admired for its vibrant blue coloration, unique body shape, and striking yellow belly, 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 Yellow Belly Blue Hippo Tang showcases a mesmerizing combination of colors. Its body is oval-shaped and laterally compressed, with a distinctive curved profile, a pointed snout, and large, expressive eyes.
This species can reach an average length of around 12-15 inches (30-38 cm) when fully grown. Its body is predominantly covered in a brilliant blue color, with a contrasting black coloration on the edges of its fins and tail. What sets the Yellow Belly Blue Hippo Tang apart is its vibrant yellow belly, which extends from its throat to its anal fin, creating a stunning contrast against the blue background.
The Yellow Belly Blue Hippo Tang is known for its peaceful temperament 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 Yellow Belly Blue Hippo 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 crucial for the well-being of the Yellow Belly Blue Hippo 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 essential to maintain water quality.
While the Yellow Belly Blue Hippo Tang is generally peaceful, it may exhibit territorial behavior towards similar-looking species or other tangs. It is recommended to provide ample swimming and territorial space, especially in larger aquariums. Introducing them to the aquarium as the last addition can help minimize aggression.
Overall, the Yellow Belly Blue Hippo Tang is a captivating and highly desirable addition to any reef or marine aquarium. Its vibrant blue coloration, striking yellow belly, 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 Yellow Belly Blue Hippo 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 and usually will not tolerate their own species at all. Tangs require a natural diet of seaweed and algae, which can be fed to them tied to a rock or by use of a veggie clip. This should be a done a minimum of 3 times a week. Tangs will also enjoy meaty foods with the other fish in your aquarium.
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.
Tang's of different species can typically get along if they are given ample living space and given that they are introduced at the appropriate size & time.