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This index has several hundred pictures, and it's still growing. If you have pictures to contribute which you have taken yourself, I'll happily add them to the database, and give you appropriate credit.


Paracanthurus hepatus

Common name: hippo tang, palette tang

Photo by Ignatius Tavares

In Fiji
Photo by Mark Rosenstein / Active Window Productions, Inc.

Photo by Mark Rosenstein / Active Window Productions

Juveniles are frail and like all tangs, they are prone to marine Ich throughout their life (the best way to cure ich in a reef tank is to prevent it! Use a quarintine tank). They do well in a reef tank. Keep only one or a school of five or more in your tank. Feed them lettuce if there is not enough algae for grazing. It's recommandable to add Vit C and iodine to prevent lateral line desease.

Unfortunately, the majority of Tangs are prone to marine Ich. In a reef tank it is hard to get rid of this terriblr little parasite. The best way to irradicate Ich from the reef is by using cleaner shrimp. Relatively cheap and effective.

P. hepatus is an excellent choice for fish-only or reef tank because it does not destroy inverts if fed romaine lettuce frequently. Keep the tank brightly illuminated to encourage the growth of microalgae, but don't expect to grow any kind of caulerpa spp. in your reef with P. hepatus. As this is a solitary OR schooling fish, do not expect to keep fewer than five or six in a large tank (an uncrowded 55-gallon tank will allow ample room for an adult fish).

When scared, they wedge themselves sideways under rocks and appear to be dead. They do this at night also. Very decieving and frightening when you first get the fish.

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