Top Ten Tangs & Surgeon Fish

Hey folks! Last week I asked my YouTube subscribers what they wanted to see for a video. I gave them a few video ideas that I had been kicking around. With 41% of the vote, they voted for “Top Ten Tangs & Surgeon fish for a Saltwater Tank” So that’s what we are going to take a look at in today’s article.

Tangs & Surgeon Fish are some of the most beautiful fish available to saltwater tank hobbyist. Not only are the beautiful but they can also help maintain the aquarium with algae removal. They can grow rather large and it’s important to make sure they have plenty of remove to swim around.

Below you will find my video which cover Top Ten Tangs & Surgeon Fish for a Saltwater Tank. Also, if you haven’t made your way to my YouTube channel be sure to stop by and hit the subscribe button. I’m making video like the one below all the time.

Top Ten Tangs & Surgeon Fish for a Saltwater Tank Video

Tangs & Surgeon Fish Facts

To be successful with keeping Tangs & Surgeon Fish, you need to have a larger aquarium. In most cases an aquarium 100 gallons or more is required. It’s important to remember these fish spend most of their day cruising the reef in search of food, in large schools.

Tangs Fish are also highly susceptible to Ich. This is due mostly to that fact that they do not have scales like other fish. If you are unfamiliar with what fish ich is, it’s a parasite that lives off the blood of it’s host. It often shows up in the form of a white spot on the fish’s body.

The argument can be made, that a happy tang fish which is well fed and has plenty of swimming space is better equipped to fight off parasites and diseases.

Top Ten Tangs & Surgeon Fish

Yellow Tang

10. Yellow Tang: The Yellow Tang is a staple in the reef tank hobby and is one of the most common tang found in any saltwater tank. They are (for the most part) friendly fish and are often curious about the things that take place in a saltwater tank.

  • Min Tank Size: 100 gallons
  • Avg Price: $40 – 60

9. Blue Tang: The Blue Tang is on the rise in the hobby due mostly to the Pixar movie “Finding Dora” The concern with this fish is that they can grow upwards of a foot long. Which a fish that size needs a lot of tank to swim around.

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $40 – 80

8. Sailfin Tang: The Sailfin Tang is a beautiful addition to any saltwater tank. I didn’t think much of them until I got to see one in person at MACNA last year. It’s not a tang fish thats going to hit you with a lot of color but it’s markings are amazing. Much like the yellow Tang these fish have a lot of personality.

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $40 – 80

7. Powder Blue Tang: This was one of the first Tangs that I first fell in love with. I had one in my 90 gallon years ago and leaned the hard way of the need to give these fish what they need to succeed with them. They are a beautiful pale blue and yellow in color and will knock your socks off.

  • Min Tank Size: 125 gallons
  • Avg Price: $50 – 90

6. Kole Yellow Eye Tang: This Tang color can vary from fish to fish but one thing remains the same in each one, It’s stunning yellow eye. When it is young, it displays a golden color combined spots in it’s face and with stripes in it’s body. As this fish grows into an adult it’s color darkens to a blueish almost burgundy color.

  • Min Tank Size: 70 gallons
  • Avg Price: $40 – 80
Achilles Tang

5. Achilles Tang: Undoubtably, this is probably my favorite tang on this list with the exception of number 1. At some point in this hobby I will own an Achilles tang.

What keeps me from getting one is that they are considered to need expert care. Team that with a $200.00 price tag and I’ll wait a few more years.

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $200+

4. Longnose Black Tang: The first time I saw a long nose black tang It captivated me. You wouldn’t think that a all black tang would be that great looking but the first time I saw one I couldn’t take my eyes off. It appears like a shadow moving through the reef. which for some reason also reminds me of Peter Pan. Unfortunately, This Tang does come with a heavy price tag.

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $1000+

3. Blonde Naso Tang: Without question, the Blonde Naso Tang is a show stopper. This year I plan to add three tangs to my 220 gallon reef tank and this fish is one of them. Most Tangs are consider semi- aggressive and I would go as far to say that the Naso Tang is a gentle giant.

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $60 – 100

2. Gem Tang: The mighty Gem Tang… This is one of the most expensive saltwater fish in the hobby to date. Price aside, It’s a very ok looking fish. I would struggle to pay 4,000 for a fish. I would struggle to pay that for an entire reef system. So the question has to be ask… What would you do with $4,000? Buy a fish? I would be more apt to spend that kind of money on coral. #allmymoneygoestocoral

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $2,000 – 4,000

1. Purple Tang: Hands down one of the most beautiful Tangs fish available for saltwater tank hobbyist. They come with a higher price tag but are worth every penny. This will be one of the three tangs that I add to my tank this year.

  • Min Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Avg Price: $200+

Tangs & Surgeon Fish Final Thoughts

Tangs are some of the most beautiful saltwater fish available to hobbyist. The most important thing to remember when it comes to Tangs and Surgeon fish is space. Do you have the space to accommodate this fish and it’s need to swim.

The worst thing you could do is take a fish that needs a large aquarium and cram it in a small aquarium. Better yet, maybe it’s time for an upgrade.

Stay Salty,


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