The Pacific sailfin tang (Zebrasoma velifer), not to be confused with its Red Sea namesake (Zebrasoma desjardinii), is a fish with many attributes that make it desirable to marine aquarium hobbyists—it’s attractive, hardy, bold, easy to feed, etc. But don’t be deceived by that cute little specimen on display at your LFS. Z. velifer also gets really big rather quickly, so a large tank is essential if you plan to keep this species long term.
Physical traits: Z. velifer exhibits the oval body shape, pointed snout, and sail-like dorsal and anal fins typical of the members of its genera. This last characteristic is especially pronounced on Z. velifer, thus its common name. In fact, when its dorsal and anal fins are fully extended, this species can appear downright massive. A scalpel-like spine is situated on each side of the caudal peduncle. The maximum length for this species is over 15 inches. MORE