Physical Description: The Whitecheek Tang has a distinct appearance with a deep body and a pointed snout. It has a vibrant coloration, with a dark brown to black body and a bright yellow tail fin. The most notable feature is a white or pale-yellow patch on each cheek, which gives it its common name. The dorsal and anal fins have a trailing extension called a "sailfin" or "streamer," which adds to its unique appearance.
Size and Habitat: Whitecheek Tangs can grow up to 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) in length. They are typically found in coral reef environments, swimming among rocks and coral formations. These fish are native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, including regions such as the Red Sea, the Maldives, Indonesia, and Australia.
Behavior and Diet:
Whitecheek Tangs are generally peaceful fish but can become territorial, especially if they feel threatened or if multiple individuals are kept in a confined space. They are herbivores and primarily feed on algae in the wild. In aquariums, their diet can be supplemented with a variety of marine algae and commercially available herbivorous fish foods.
If you're considering keeping a Whitecheek Tang in an aquarium, it's important to provide them with a spacious tank that mimics their natural reef habitat. A minimum tank size of around 100 gallons (380 liters) is recommended to accommodate their size and swimming habits. The tank should have plenty of hiding places, live rock, and open swimming spaces. It's also crucial to maintain good water quality and proper filtration.
Whitecheek Tangs can be kept with other peaceful fish species in a reef or community aquarium. However, caution should be exercised when introducing them with other tangs or fish with similar body shapes, as territorial aggression can occur. Adding tangs to the tank simultaneously or providing adequate hiding spots and territories can help reduce aggression.
- Care level: Moderate
- Temperament: Semi-aggressive
- Diet: Herbivore
- Reef Compatible: Yes
- Family: Acanthuridae
- Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Size: Medium 3" to 4"