The Pacific Sailfin Tang: A Hardy, Bold Species Demanding Spacious Accommodations

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Indo-Pacific sailfin tang (Zebrasoma velifer)

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

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Saltwater Smarts is a unique online resource created by long-time aquarists Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz to inspire and entertain a new generation of marine aquarium hobbyists while helping them acquire the reliable, authoritative knowledge base they need to succeed with a saltwater system. By clarifying key concepts, techniques, and terminology, as well as sharing expert insights from fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals, Chris and Jeff hope to promote a more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable marine aquarium hobby. Read more about our mission and the contributors who are part of our team.

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