Sailfin Tang being a very active swimmer needs to be kept in a large aquarium tank measuring at least 100-gallons and above. Being an overall peaceful fish with rare unpredictable behavior, they will not have any problem getting along with other saltwater fish species. However to avoid unexpected situation, sailfin should only be added to any existing tank while they are still juvenile in order to avoid aggressive behavior usually seen in adult tang. Keeping them as a pet pose a challenge because although the fish has been domesticated and kept in home aquarium for quite a long period, little is known about their exact requirements and breeding profile. Some aquarists even go to the extent to prepare proper hiding place for mating purposes but so far, captive breeding has never been reported.
The behavior of a Sailfin Tang is always an interesting subject and usually becomes a topic of study among aquarist. Being an avid observer, I spent most of my time looking at what they do and a great deal can be learned based on their behavior. The fish is generally a grazer, which spends most of their time searching for foods, and algae being their favorite is searched throughout all corners even among the nooks between live rocks. As long as there’s plenty of foods and wide swimming areas to go along, they will avoid showing any aggression towards other tank mates and will go about with their daily routine minding their own business. Sometimes they can be seen picking up sands and clearing up the bottom layer, for which I think, makes them an efficient tank cleaner as they help to stabilize the whole reef system.
Preparing your water and tank setup to accommodate your pet sailfin tang requires a lot of understanding regarding the fish. Because these fish are usually captured from the open sea as wild fish to be domesticated in home aquarium, the saltwater and overall living condition should mimic to be as close as possible to their natural habitat. Needless to say that water quality is the main important aspect you should always monitor if you want to ensure that your fish stays healthy. In fact, care must be taken especially during preparation and conditioning of the saltwater, adding the right amount of aquarium salt to get the exact salinity and finally the most challenging part is during water changes. After that, maintenance should be carried out as frequent as possible to test water quality, especially to check pH level and also temperature. To achieve all that, the tank must have an established population of corals and live rocks which acts as natural biological filtration system.
Other interesting fish species: Saltwater Angelfish