Blue Hippo Tang - Central Pacific

Paracanthurus hepatus

(0 Reviews)

Blue Hippo Tang - Central Pacific

Blue Hippo Tang - Central Pacific

Paracanthurus hepatus

(0 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Expert
Temperament: Peaceful
Reef Safe: Yes
Diet: Flake, Pellet, Brine, Greens
Origin: Indian Ocean
Acclimation Time: 3+ hours
Coral Safe: Yes
Invertebrate Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons

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.

Great little fish! Had a little trouble getting him to eat what I offered but, finally got him to take flake (tried pellet & frozen first). Beautiful coloration and great addition!

Reviewed by: Geoff Warrell on Feb. 26, 2017

Great buy! Healthy and happy! I bought a little tiny one, and boy, is he an eater! He's like a vacuum cleaner when I feed. Lol!

Reviewed by: Chel on Nov. 26, 2016

Received a beautiful fish! I got a smaller size tang, the little guy took to my tank very well and seems to be doing great! absolutely no signs of any diseases. very please with my order :)

Reviewed by: Ryan Chambers on Aug. 12, 2016

I got the smaller size hippo tang, I was a little nervous during the acclimation because it kept laying on its side while I was waiting. I went back on the site and read in the description that they like to play dead when there isn't any hiding spots and they're nervous. It's one of the healthiest looking hippo tangs I've seen, very pleased with my fish order

Reviewed by: Ajmarks on May 17, 2016

Love this little fish. He has adapted well. No complaints at all.

Reviewed by: Rachel on May 17, 2016

I got this little guy as a free gift with an order, he was so tiny when he arrived but his beautiful coloration has quickly made him my favorite fish!

Reviewed by: Holly Weiland on May 3, 2016

The fish is very active and healthy, no sign of stress or diseases. I still put it into my 3 weeks quarantine and its eating great. got nice coloration. A happy fish is a healthy fish.

Reviewed by: Vise Fi on April 7, 2016

Pay a little more and order the larger sizes. The small ones seem very delicate. I lost two of them... But the team at was quick to issue credit! No complaints at all! I give a 5 star because the blue hippos that I have ordered have always been beautiful and disease free.

Reviewed by: Tazdad08 on March 22, 2016

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