Blue Hippo Tang - Central Pacific

Paracanthurus hepatus


(5 Reviews)

Blue Hippo Tang - Central Pacific

Blue Hippo Tang - Central Pacific

Paracanthurus hepatus


(5 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Max Size: 12 inches

The Blue Hippo Tang, a.k.a. Regal Tang, is a beautiful blue fish with black bands and a yellow tailfin. These fish have interesting behavior and do well in groups. The Blue Hippo likes lots of rockwork to help make it feel secure. They can be kept singly or in groups. The Blue Hippo can be very timid and may wedge themselves under rocks and into caves and crevices when young or new to an aquarium. In the wild they will wedge themselves into coralheads and branching corals. They are very peaceful towards other fish and do well in a peaceful community or reef tank. This fish will often lie on its side and "play dead".The Surgeonfish family consists of fish which are colorful, thin-bodied, and usually have an oval shape. These fish have long continuous dorsal and anal fins and crescent tailfins. The scalpel at the base of their tailfin is very sharp and is used by the fish for protection from predators as well as a way of establishing itself with other fish. 


The Enigmatic Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)

The Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) is an iconic and enchanting fish that has captured the hearts of saltwater aquarium enthusiasts worldwide. Known for its vibrant colors and unique body shape, this marine beauty adds a touch of elegance to any underwater setting. Let's dive into the fascinating world of the Blue Hippo Tang and explore its habitat, reef-safe nature, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture options, compatibility, suitable tank mates, tank requirements, and other common names.

Habitat of the Blue Hippo Tang

The Blue Hippo Tang is commonly found in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the eastern coast of Africa, and the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. In the wild, they inhabit coral-rich reefs, seeking shelter and feeding on algae.

Reef-Safe Nature of the Blue Hippo Tang

The Blue Hippo Tang is considered reef-safe, making it an excellent addition to reef aquariums. They are peaceful towards corals and other invertebrates, and their diet primarily consists of algae, helping to keep the reef environment clean and balanced.

Size and Lifespan of the Blue Hippo Tang

Blue Hippo Tangs can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) in length as one of the larger tang species. When kept in a spacious and well-maintained aquarium, they can live for over a decade, rewarding their owners with years of joy and companionship.

Diet of the Blue Hippo Tang

In their natural habitat, Blue Hippo Tangs are herbivores, feeding on various types of algae that grow on coral reefs. In captivity, it is essential to offer a balanced diet that includes high-quality algae-based flake or pellet foods and occasional supplements of marine algae and fresh greens like seaweed.

Aquaculture Options for the Blue Hippo Tang

Due to the high demand for this captivating fish, there have been successful efforts in breeding Blue Hippo Tangs through aquaculture. Captive-bred specimens are becoming more readily available in the aquarium trade, which helps reduce the pressure on wild populations and supports sustainable marine aquarium practices.

Compatibility and Suitable Tank Mates for the Blue Hippo Tang

When considering tank mates for the Blue Hippo Tang, choosing peaceful and non-aggressive species is crucial. Tangs can be territorial and may display aggressive behavior towards other tangs or fish with a similar body shape and coloration. It's best to keep them in larger aquariums with plenty of space and hiding spots.

Tank Requirements for the Blue Hippo Tang

Setting up a suitable tank for the Blue Hippo Tang involves replicating a coral-rich reef environment. Provide ample swimming space, a variety of live rock for grazing and hiding, and ensure stable water parameters to maintain the health and well-being of this majestic fish.

Other Common Names of the Blue Hippo Tang

In addition to the name "Blue Hippo Tang," this species is also known by other common names such as "Palette Surgeonfish," "Regal Tang," "Royal Blue Tang," or simply the “Blue Tang.”

The Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) is a stunning marvel that splashes vibrant color and grace in your saltwater aquarium. With its reef-safe nature and captivating appearance, this fish is popular among marine enthusiasts. Providing them with a spacious, well-maintained aquarium and a balanced diet ensures they thrive and continue mesmerizing their owners for many years.

I ordered one of the <1.25" and my heart wasn't ready for how tiny and cute she is! (my son made me name 'her' dory so we just say its a girl lol) She's such an awesome addition to the tank and her coloring is so beautiful and vibrant! I was super worried about her when I got her because she was very slow and swimming on her side rather then vertically but she perked right up after the first night and has been great ever since!! 10/10!


Reviewed by: Kelsey Yusupov on April 4, 2024

Gorgeous fish! Very healthy, eating well from first day. I've had him for about a week and he's still very frightened and mostly hides. But I know he will come out of his shell soon and be a beautiful addition to my tank. He loves Emerald entree and spirulina brine shrimp, not crazy about Frozen roe or tdo pellets soaked in Selcon but he eats both of those too


Reviewed by: Maureen Croft on May 29, 2023

I have two 5-6" in a 125 gallon. There is some light chasing, but most of the time, they are great with each other. They ignore all other fish. Are great at eating. Give them food with algae/seaweed. I wouldn't buy tiny ones. Get at least 2-3 inches. They are great with Rabbitfish, smaller fish, invertebrates.


Reviewed by: John Atella on June 7, 2022

I received the Blue Tang in good shape with overnight shipping. The box was equipped with a heat pack and packaged very well. After acclimation the Tang settled in nicely and was eating with the other fish that afternoon. Very colorful fish that gets along with all my other fish including a Yellow Tang. I feed all of my fish Rod's frozen food. Going to try some nori seaweed next.


Reviewed by: Chris Bohn on March 16, 2018

The blue tang was a beautiful addition to our 50 gallon aquarium! I did the drip transfer as described on the website (for 2 hours instead of 4) and the fish transferred just fine. The blue tang is a little shy so as long as you have some hiding places it should be fine. We previously bought fish at a local pet store where our fish continuously died, our tank checked out fine and we did not know what the problem was. The store wet out of business recently and we have no local salt water fish stores in the area so I made the decision to purchase online. This was the best decision I have ever made!! The fish came packaged carefully and was in great shape!! It has been two weeks and the fish are still doing well!! I will order again from this site!!!


Reviewed by: Kristie on Aug. 27, 2014

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