Biota Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum)
The purple tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum) is a longtime favorite in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Because it is reef-safe and indeed is a great algae-eater, the species is very commonly enjoyed in reef tanks. Many aquarists prize this fish for its high levels of physical activity and its lack of shyness (it almost never hides). Many other aquarists appreciate its vivid coloration and exotic body shape. Overall, it is a deep bluish purple with darker speckles and yellow on its tail and pectoral fins. It is strongly laterally compressed with a longer snout (similarly to its popular cousin the yellow tang). While not extremely aggressive, the purple tang is bold and may intimidate passive tankmates. It may also be fairly territorial against other tangs (especially of its own species). These captive-bred specimens are far easier and keep and much less likely to carry deadly parasites than are their wild counterparts.
See below for more information.
Size and Care Requirements
- Purchase Size: ~3″ (length)
- Max Size: 9-10″ (length)
- Water Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.2-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
- Color: Purple body, yellow fins
- Reef-Safe: Yes
- Diet: Omnivorous (though heavily herbivorous).
Purple Tang Species Information
Though this species was once believed to be restricted to the Red Sea, it also occurs in the nearby Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden. It generally is found at 2-20 meters in coral reef habitats where it primarily consumes filamentous algae. While it is solitary when young, it may join large shoals as an adult.
The Benefits of Captive-Bred Tangs
Captive-bred livestock provides a huge advantage over wild-caught specimens. Because they are cultured in captivity, they are better adapted to living in an aquarium and tend to be more disease resistant (wild tangs are especially prone to external parasites). They are also better able to handle shipping/acclimation stress. By purchasing captive-bred purple tangs, you are supporting the aquaculture of marine organisms and helping to make our hobby more sustainable!
100% Alive on Arrival (AoA) Guarantee
We guarantee that every purple tang we sell will be Alive On Arrival and in good health. Should it arrive in any other state, we will replace it free of charge (including shipping). If the total livestock loss is less than $40, we will issue store credit. For more information, please also visit our 100% Alive On Arrival Guarantee page.