If you’re looking for a fish that will make your reef tank pop with color and personality, you might want to consider the blue hippo tang. This stunning fish is one of the most popular and recognizable species in the saltwater aquarium hobby, thanks to its bright blue body, black markings, and yellow tail. You might also know it by its other names, such as regal tang, palette surgeonfish, Pacific blue tang, hepatus tang, and many more. But whatever you call it, this fish is sure to impress you and your guests with its beauty and charm.
However, before you rush to the nearest pet store and buy one of these fish, you should know that they are not the easiest to keep. Blue hippo tangs have specific requirements and needs that you must meet if you want them to thrive in your tank. They also have some quirks and behaviors that you should be aware of before you introduce them to your aquatic community.
In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about how to keep blue hippo tangs in an aquarium. We will cover topics such as tank size and setup, diet and nutrition, compatibility and behavior, health and diseases, and more. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what it takes to care for these amazing fish and whether they are suitable for your reef tank. So let’s dive in and learn more about the blue hippo tang!🐟
Tank size and setup
One of the most important factors to consider when keeping blue hippo tangs is the size of your tank. These fish are not small; they can grow up to 12 inches in length as adults. That means they need a lot of room to swim and explore. Blue hippo tangs’ minimum tank size requirement is at least 100 gallons, but some sources recommend 180 gallons or more. A tank of this size is likely 6 feet long, which provides enough space for the fish to swim naturally and forage on the aquarium rocks and glass for algae films.
Another thing to keep in mind is the tank setup. Blue hippo tangs need plenty of hiding places among live rock to feel secure and comfortable. Live rock also provides a natural source of algae, which is essential for their diet and health. You should arrange the live rock in a way that creates caves, crevices, and ledges for the fish to retreat to when they feel threatened or stressed. You should also avoid sharp or rough edges that could damage their delicate skin and fins.
The water conditions in your tank should also be optimal for blue hippo tangs. They prefer a temperature range of 72-78°F, a salinity of 1.020-1.025 sg, a pH of 8.1-8.4, and a hardness of 8-12 dKH. You should test your water parameters regularly and perform water changes as needed to maintain these levels. You should also use a good filtration system and a protein skimmer to keep the water clean and clear.
Diet and nutrition
Blue hippo tangs are herbivorous fish, which means they mainly eat plants and algae. They have a special organ called a pharyngeal jaw that helps them scrape off algae from rocks and other surfaces. They also have a sharp spine on their tail that they use to defend themselves from predators and competitors.
It is very important that you provide your blue hippo tangs with a varied diet that includes marine-based seaweed and algae. This will strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression, and improve their overall health. You can offer them dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip to attach it to the side of the tank. You should feed them at least three times per week with products such as Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad, and Ocean Nutrition.
You can also supplement their diet with some meaty foods, such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, krill, and other frozen or live foods. These foods will provide them with some extra protein and vitamins that they may not get from algae alone. However, you should not overfeed them with meaty foods, as this could cause digestive problems and nutrient deficiencies. You should feed them only what they can consume in a few minutes and remove any uneaten food from the tank.
Compatibility and behavior
Blue hippo tangs are semi-aggressive fish that can be territorial towards other fish of their own species. They may chase or nip at other blue hippo tangs or similar-looking fish in the tank. To avoid this problem, you should keep only one blue hippo tang per tank unless you have a very large system with multiple specimens introduced at once. This way, they can establish their own territories and avoid conflicts.
Blue hippo tangs can get along well with other fish that are peaceful or moderately aggressive, such as other tangs, clownfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, wrasses, gobies, blennies, and more. However, you should avoid keeping them with fish that are too aggressive or too timid, as they may bully or be bullied by them. You should also avoid keeping them with fish that have similar shapes or colors, such as yellow tangs or purple tangs, as they may mistake them for rivals.
Blue hippo tangs have some interesting behaviors that you should be aware of before you keep them in your tank. For example, they may hide in the rocks or play dead when they are first introduced to the tank or when they feel stressed or threatened. This is normal, and they will come out when they feel more comfortable and secure. They may also change color from light blue to dark blue depending on their mood or environment. This is also normal and not a sign of illness.
Health and diseases
Blue hippo tangs are prone to some health issues that you should watch out for and prevent as much as possible. One of the most common problems is lateral line disease, which causes erosion of the skin along the lateral line of the fish. This disease is caused by poor water quality, stress, or lack of nutrition. To prevent it, you should keep your water parameters stable and clean, feed your fish a balanced diet, and reduce stress factors in the tank.
Another common problem is fin erosion, which causes the fins of the fish to fray or rot. This problem is also caused by poor water quality, stress, or bacterial infections. To prevent it, you should follow the same steps as for lateral line disease and also treat any wounds or infections with appropriate medications.
One of the most dreaded diseases that can affect blue hippo tangs is ich, which is a parasitic infection that causes white spots on the skin and gills of the fish. This disease is highly contagious and can spread quickly among the fish in the tank. It can also be fatal if left untreated. To prevent it, you should quarantine any new fish before adding them to the tank, avoid sudden changes in water temperature or salinity, and use a UV sterilizer or ozone generator to kill any parasites in the water.
If your blue hippo tangs do get infected with ich, you should act quickly and treat them with a copper-based medication or a hypo-salinity treatment. You should also raise the water temperature slightly and increase the oxygen level in the tank. You should monitor your fish closely and continue the treatment until all signs of ich are gone.
Some signs of healthy blue hippo tangs are active swimming, bright coloration, and good appetite. If you notice any changes in these signs, such as lethargy, dullness, or loss of appetite, you should check your water parameters and look for any signs of disease or injury. You should also consult a veterinarian or an expert if you are unsure about what to do.
In this article, we have learned a lot about how to keep blue hippo tangs in an aquarium. We have covered topics such as tank size and setup, diet and nutrition, compatibility and behavior, health and diseases, and more. We have seen that blue hippo tangs are beautiful and charismatic fish that can add a lot of color and personality to your reef tank. However, we have also seen that they are not the easiest to keep and require a lot of care and attention.
If you are interested in keeping blue hippo tangs in your aquarium, you should make sure that you have the right equipment, space, and knowledge to provide them with the best possible environment. You should also do more research and consult experts before you purchase a blue hippo tang. This way, you can avoid any problems or surprises that may arise along the way.
Blue hippo tangs are amazing fish that can bring you a lot of joy and satisfaction. They are also very intelligent and can recognize their owners and interact with them. They may even become your best friends in the tank. However, they are also living creatures that deserve respect and care. If you treat them well, they will reward you with their beauty and charm.
We hope this article has been helpful and informative for you. Thank you for reading, and happy fishkeeping!🐠
Blue Hippo Tang FAQ:
Are you considering adding a blue hippo tang to your reef tank? You’ve come to the right place! This blog section FAQ is your go-to guide for all the information you need to know about caring for one of these vibrant members of the surgeonfish family.
Are Blue Hippo Tangs easy for beginners?
Blue hippo tangs are not for everyone and require a lot of research and preparation before adding them to your tank. Proper quarantine, adequate tank space, a high-quality diet, and attention to their stress levels are all necessary for a healthy fish. While they aren’t difficult fish for beginners, we usually recommend beginners start with other fish, oftentimes because of the size of first-time tanks.
What do Blue Hippo Tangs eat?
Blue hippo tangs are omnivores, meaning they require both plant and animal matter in their diet. The bulk of their diet will usually be in some form of algae, and they will also eat plankton and other small meaty bits.
Can I keep multiple Blue Hippo Tangs together?
Blue hippo tangs are shoaling fish and do best when kept as a single specimen or in a school. It is typically recommended to keep only 1, as they will fight in pairs or even with 3. If you want to keep a school of blue hippo tangs, make sure you have a tank with 1,000+ gallons of water space.
Q: Can I keep a blue hippo tang in a nano tank?
A: No, you cannot. Blue hippo tangs are large fish that need a lot of space to swim and grow. The minimum tank size for a blue hippo tang is at least 100 gallons, but some sources recommend 180 gallons or more. A nano tank is way too small for a blue hippo tang and will cause stress, disease, and stunted growth.
Q: Can I keep a blue hippo tang with a yellow tang?
A: It depends. Blue hippo tangs and yellow tangs are both semi-aggressive fish that can be territorial toward each other. If you have a very large tank with plenty of hiding places and algae, you may be able to keep them together peacefully. However, they may fight and injure each other if you have a smaller tank or limited resources. It is safer to avoid keeping them together or introducing them at the same time when they are young.
Q: Can I feed my blue hippo tang only flakes or pellets?
A: No, you cannot. Blue hippo tangs are herbivorous fish that need a lot of marine-based seaweed and algae in their diet. Flakes or pellets alone will not provide them with the nutrients and fiber they need. You should feed them dried seaweed at least three times per week and supplement their diet with some meaty foods occasionally.
Q: How can I tell if my blue hippo tang is sick or stressed?
A: There are some signs that can indicate that your blue hippo tang is sick or stressed. For example, if your blue hippo tang is hiding in the rocks or playing dead, it may be scared or stressed by something in the tank. If your blue hippo tang is changing color from light blue to dark blue, it may be unhappy or uncomfortable with the water conditions or the tank mates. If your blue hippo tang has white spots on its skin or gills, it may have ich or another parasitic infection. If your blue hippo tang has frayed or eroded fins, it may have fin rot or lateral line disease.
If you notice any of these signs, you should check your water parameters and look for any signs of disease or injury. You should also consult a veterinarian or an expert if you are unsure about what to do.
Q: Can I name my blue hippo tang Dory?
A: Sure, you can. Blue hippo tangs are very intelligent and can recognize their owners and interact with them. They may even respond to their names if you train them with food rewards. However, you should also respect their individuality and personality. They are not just characters from a movie; they are living creatures that deserve care and attention. So if you name your blue hippo tang Dory, make sure you treat it well and provide it with the best possible environment.