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Fish Species at


Hippo Tang -

Other Surgeonfishs»

Scientific Name:Paracanthurus hepatus
Size:12 inches in the wild, aquarium specimens up to 8 inches
Temperature:74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Origin:Indian and Pacific Oceans

Hippo Tang Species Profile

The hippo tang has become extremely popular since Disney’s Finding Nemo came out. In the movie, Marlin, Nemo’s father, befriends a hippo tang named Dory. A hippo tang is a spectacularly beautiful fish, almost always available at local fish stores, and once it gets over acclimation, it is usually fairly hardy. The main problem with this fish is that it tends to get ich, with practically every hippo tang going through one or more bouts with ich before becoming established in a tank.

The hippo tang is basically a reef-safe fish, but because it is so susceptible to ich and other parasites, it can be problematic in reef tanks where copper cannot be used as treatment. With a hippo tang, it is imperative that it is first placed in a quarantine tank. Even then, there can be problems when it is moved into the main tank.

This fish is basically an omnivore, and it needs both meaty and vegetable foods. Leaving some nori or other leafy vegetable hanging on a clip in the tank is a good idea, but it should also be fed general preparations for all kinds of fish. A small hippo will get along fairly well, but when it gets larger it can be a less-than-perfect citizen, although it is not as bad as most other tangs.

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