Fun Tang Fish Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Tang Fish Facts For Kids

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Do you like to see fishes in an aquarium? Are you someone who loves to know about different types of fishes? Then we are here to help you with facts about one of the most interesting species known as tang fish. Tang fishes are also referred to as Surgeonfish or Doctorfish and are one of the most wonderful additions to the reef and the aquarium, they are fascinating fish. This family of fish includes about 86 species that are extant in the marine fish that live in the tropical seas. The variety of tang fish species includes orange tang fish, emperor tang fish, elephant tang fish, naso tang fish, blue tang, hippo tang fish, unicorn tang fish, black tang fish, achilles tang fish, white tang fish, kole tang fish, purple tang fish, red tang fish, micro tang fish, gem tang fish, royal blue tang fish (Paracanthurus hepatus), baby blue tang fish, and many more. The spine of the tang fishes is dangerous and can injure anyone if you try to harm them. Most of the length of the body includes dorsal, anal, and caudal fins that are large in size.

Their food requirements are taken care of by the coral reef. This surgeonfish has only a single row of teeth which is used mostly for grazing on the algae found on coral reef tops. The species of these fishes are usually small in size. The tangs are very sensitive and are prone to diseases when kept in a house aquarium. They tend to grow at a fast speed when they are kept in aquaria. When you think of keeping a tang fish at an aquarium, you must also think of the size in which this fish can grow. So, here are some fascinating blue tang fish facts for you to check. After reading these fun facts about blue tang fish along with interesting yellow tang fish facts, you may also take a look at milkfish facts and codfish facts. 

Fun Tang Fish Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Plankton and algae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

40,000 eggs

How much do they weigh?

1.32 lb

How long are they?

10-12 in

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Royal blue and canary yellow

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Destruction

What is their conservation status?

Not Extinct

Where you'll find them?

Clear Water And Coral Reefs


Pacific And Indian Ocean









Tang Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tang fish?

Pacific blue tang fish (scientific name Paracanthurus Hepatus), also known as doctor tang fish, are an aquarium fish that is native to the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, stretching from the American Samoa to the eastern coast of Africa.

What class of animal does a tang belong to?

Tang fishes (scientific name Paracanthurus Hepatus) belong to the class of ray-finned fishes. Tangs are aggressive in nature when they are kept in aquariums as tangs get a very small place to play around and live in. Tang saltwater fish have spines that are sharp, and they use them as an effective way to defend themselves. Also, the blue tang’s (Paracanthurus hepatus) flesh is poisonous. They move around in a group which is known as a school.

How many tangs are there in the world?

There is no correct number as to how many tang fishes there are in the world. There are around nine species of tang fishes (scientific name Paracanthurus Hepatus) including the blue tang, hippo tang, and yellow tang that are found in the Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, and the Pacific Ocean. Purple tang fish is the most rare tang fish species. Most tang species move around in a group.

Where does a tang fish live?

Tang fishes (scientific name Paracanthurus Hepatus) usually prefer to live in clear waters and in places that surround the coral reefs. There is often confusion with the other two surgeon fishes that live in the same waters.

What is a tang's habitat?

The blue tang fish habitat consists of clear waters and in places that surround the coral reefs. Their habitat also includes aquariums where blue tangs are kept. This surgeonfish is usually seen in the Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, and the Pacific Ocean.

Who do tang fish live with?

Tang fishes live alone, or sometimes blue tangs can be found in schools. There are chances that this surgeonfish might stay together but sometimes blue tangs don’t end up playing nicely with each other. So, they prefer to live alone instead of living in groups.

How long does a tang fish live?

The blue tang fish life span can go up to 30 years in the wild. But, if blue tangs are kept in the aquariums, then tangs can live up to 8-12 years, although there are chances that they might acquire some kind of disease which will have an adverse effect on their health as well.

How do they reproduce?

When blue tangs understand that it is time to reproduce, then tangs come together in breeding groups. There is some behavior that blue tangs (Paracanthurus hepatus) reproduce, known as broadcast spawning, where the female will release the eggs in multiple numbers and the males also release the sperms in multiple numbers in the water column that comes above the reef at the same time. The process of fertilization takes place externally. Once the female releases her eggs, then the offspring takes time to become sexually matured.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of tangs is not extinct. Tangs have multiple species and are still in good numbers. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the extinction of tang fishes as there are many around. But, at the same time, it is necessary that we protect tangs species so that it does not become extinct, due to environmental reasons.

Tang Fish Fun Facts

What do tangs look like?

Tang fishes are small fishes and are natives to the coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. These fish come in two bright colors: royal blue and canary yellow. Blue tangs are very easy to spot because of their bright colored appearance. Tangs have a body that is flat, and it comes in a round shape.

Tang Fish

How cute are they?

Tang fishes are very cute in their appearance and look very adorable because of their color. Their colors make them look even more attractive when compared to the other species of fish. Their color adds more beauty and cuteness to them.

How do they communicate?

Tang fishes communicate with each other through the use of different sounds, color, and body language that is understandable by other fish. Blue tangs use sound in order to communicate regarding  spawning, to alert the other fishes about predators, and also while fighting.

How big is a tang fish?

Blue tang fishes (Paracanthurus hepatus) are usually 10-12 in long. Blue tangs are medium in size and not as big as compared to other species of fish. They can be characterized by the color of their body.

How fast can a tang fish swim?

The Blue surgeonfish has the ability to swim fast because of its size and especially when they see a predator approaching them. Blue tangs try to swim even faster in such cases in order to save themselves from the attack of predators.

How much does a tang fish weigh?

The tang fish weighs around 1.32 lb and are medium in size. Their body weight is determined by the food that blue tangs eat.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and female of the tang fishes, they are known as males and females respectively.

What would you call a baby tang?

Baby tang fishes are called larvae which are small in size and on attaining full size, they are known as a juvenile. The female tang fish takes care of the juvenile when it is born.

What do they eat?

Tang fishes eat plankton and algae. By consuming algae they preserve the coral because otherwise the coral would be covered entirely by algae. Owners of aquariums should make sure that they provide the tang fish with the required diet in order to keep them healthy and fit.

Are they edible?

No, tang fishes are not edible animals as their flesh is poisonous which is why you should not eat tang fish. It can cause ciguatera which is an illness that is caused by the consumption of certain reef fish as it has a certain type of toxin in its flesh.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it seems to be an issue as blue tang fishes are not suitable for home aquariums. You cannot have blue tang fishes as it is not available for purchase in home aquariums. The blue surgeonfish becomes more aggressive when blue tangs are kept in aquariums as they do not get enough space.

Did you know...

The royal blue tang fishes come with a scientific order that is known as Perciformes, which is the largest vertebrate order consisting of nearly 9,300 species. Blue tang fishes have the capability to adjust their hues in different colors, from light blue to deep purple. Their spine is dangerous and can harm you if you touch them as it has a defense mechanism.

Tang fishes are identified by the color of their body and the shape of their body. The male tang fishes are more aggressive towards each other. When blue tangs see a predator approaching them, they try to act dead by lying on their side till the time the predator passes them.

Do tangs have teeth?

Tang fishes have teeth that are very sharp which are used to nip and scrape the algae for their food. The main use of their teeth is to scrape off the algae that are essential for their diet. Their teeth are very sharp and can injure you if you try to poke them unnecessarily.

Types of tang fish

There are different types of tang fishes that fall under the category of tang fishes. The types of tang fishes include blue tang fish, yellow tang fish, sailfin tang, powder blue tang, brown tang, red sea sailfin tang, Kole tang, chevron tang, and other types which vary in color, habitat, surroundings, and many other features that make them different from each other. There are currently nine species of the tang fishes that are listed. Also, the price of tang fishes varies accordingly based on different factors. The yellow tang is known to be one of the hardest tangs around.

Having your own tang fish

A blue tang fish is an adorable aquarium fish. The price of the tang fish varies according to the feature and size. A gem tang fish price is considered to be very high, owing to its beautiful color. The blue tang fish price ranges from $60 to $250, depending on the season as well. It is difficult to keep tang fishes in your home aquarium as they are prone to diseases, and therefore, it is necessary to keep the water quality stable. Tang fishes are territorial, and some of them also get along really well, such as regal tang, blue tang, orange shoulder tang, and a yellow tang. Blue tang fish is not a preferable pet as they will not stay alive for a long time for they are prone to diseases.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including sucker fish, or pumpkinseed sunfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our tang fish coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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