Sailfin Tang, Desjardini


Fish Type: Tangs


Scientific Name: Zebrasoma desjardini


Species: Acanthuridae

Color: black, blue, white, yellow
Aggressiveness: With Same Species
Diet: herbivore, will eat some meaty foods
Max Size: 16"
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Relative Care: moderate
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria


The Desjardini Sailfin Tang, also known as the Indian Ocean Sailfin Tang, Desjardin’s Sailfin Tang, or Red Sea Sailfin Tang, is dark to very light gray in color with light freckles on the nose and yellow freckles on the abdomen. The body has several, varying sized vertical yellow stripes with intricate markings between the stripes at the face. It has a blue tail with white freckles. Its appearance can practically double in size at will by raising or lowering its sizable dorsal and anal fins.

A 180 gallon or larger aquarium is necessary to provide plenty of swimming room. It is aggressive towards its own species and conspecifics at times, but peaceful towards other fish, so keep only one except in a very large tank. It eats filamentous algae.

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. This will strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression and improve their overall health. Offer dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip, and feed at least 3 times per week.

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