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Powder Black Tang

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This species of fish has a black dorsal fin edged with red and a vibrant blue tail to match its anal fin. Its body is generally brown to black/blue with a white stripe running from its mouth to the eyes. It also has yellow horizontal stripes running along its back and belly. The Powder Black Tang can turn the entire rear section of its body into the same shade of yellow when frightened or excited.

Powder Black Tangs can be bred in captivity but it is extremely difficult to care for them when they are in the larval stage. The females are normally slightly larger than the males. Both sexes have an extremely sharp spine on their tail and as such should be handled with care.

These types of tangs are from the Indo-West Pacific Ocean as far as Hawaii and the Caledonia Islands to Indonesia and Southern Japan. They are found along outer reefs, lagoons and even coastal areas and usually spend their time at depths of 5-20 metres.

Tank Recommendations for Powder Black Tang

The smallest tank size for this species is 380 litres. As with most surgeonfish, they need plenty of swimming space to reduce aggression and keep them happy. Decorate with plants, reef items allowing them hiding places. Still make sure to leave plenty of open area near the top of the tank so they can swim and dart around.

They sometimes like to blow the sand while looking for food with their mouths, so make sure to provide a sand substrate. Excellent oxygenation is essential so have a good filtration system in place along with strong water movement.

Suitable Tank Buddies

Powder Black Tangs are relatively peaceful and as such can be kept with most other fish. They will, like most tangs, get aggressive with other tangs so only keep one in the tank.

Usually Compatible

Gobies, Groupers and Pufferfish will make suitable tank buddies and will get along fine as long as enough space is provided. Hogfish, Parrotfish, Clownfish, Damsels, and Goatfish will make excellent tank mates as well.

Sometime Compatible

The Powder Black Tang as mentioned is quite a peaceful fish and can sometimes be bothered by bigger more aggressive species. Watch out when keeping them with Batfish, Butterflies and Cardinalfish. Care should also be exercised if housed with Triggerfish and Wrasses. Success has been had when keeping with other tangs, but only in an extremely large aquarium.

Rarely Compatible

Seahorses and Pipefish can sometimes be bullied by tangs so don't keep them together. Even though tangs are agile, they still make great prey for Sharks so avoid at all costs. More than one male Powder Black Tang at a time in the same tank will almost certainly result in fighting.

Feeding your Powder Black Tang

This species of tang is an omnivore but it eats primarily a herbivorous diet rich in a variety of vegetation. Feeding them 3 times a day will work out best for these fish. Try them with different frozen and dried foods that contain spirulina and marine algae. They will graze on live rock but you can also supplement their intake with small pieces of broccoli, zucchini and leaf lettuce. Offer them meaty foods a few times a week to provide protein if their intake is low.