Powder Brown Tang

Acanthurus japonicus

(5 Reviews)

Powder Brown Tang

Powder Brown Tang

Acanthurus japonicus

(5 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 120 gallons
Max Size: 8 inches
The Powder Brown Tang, Acanthurus japonicus, also known as the Powder Brown Surgeonfish, Japan Surgeonfish, and White-faced Surgeonfish. The Powder Brown Tang has an oval disk shaped body and beautiful coloration, with a generally brown to blackish blue body, and black dorsal and anal fins that have a beautiful blue edging. A red band marks the back of the dorsal fin and yellow stripes run along the body just above and below these fins. The Powder Brown Tang also features a single spine on each side of the caudal peduncle, which is called as scalpel. 
The Powder Brown Tang loves to graze, so we suggest   keeping live rocks which can provide algae growth and to create crevices where it can inhabit. It is best kept as the only Tang in the tank, unless kept in a large and cleverly decorated system where it can hide if threatened. 

Introducing the Captivating Powder Brown Tang

Discover the captivating and visually striking addition that is the Powder Brown Tang (Acanthurus japonicus), renowned for its stunning coloration and intriguing behaviors in saltwater aquariums. This article delves into various aspects of the Powder Brown Tang, including its habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture potential, temperament, suitable tank mates, tank requirements, water conditions, common names, compatible tank mates, and the advantages of sourcing Powder Brown Tangs from Saltwaterfish.com. Learn why this species has captured the admiration of marine enthusiasts.

Habitat and Distribution:

The Powder Brown Tang is native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the western Pacific Ocean.

Reef Compatibility:

The Powder Brown Tang is generally considered reef safe, as it does not directly threaten corals or other invertebrates. However, its propensity to graze on algae can sometimes lead to inadvertent coral damage.

Size and Lifespan:

This tang species can grow to a length of approximately 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 cm). They can have a lifespan of 10 years or more in a well-maintained aquarium with proper care.


The Powder Brown Tang is primarily herbivorous, requiring a diet rich in algae and vegetable matter. Providing a variety of high-quality foods, such as marine pellets, seaweed sheets, and fresh vegetables, is crucial for their nutritional needs.

Aquaculture Potential:

Powder Brown Tangs are available in the aquarium trade, and almost all specimens are wild-caught; work is being done to develop aquacultured options. While not currently available, opting for aquacultured individuals supports sustainable practices and reduces pressure on wild populations.


Powder Brown Tangs are generally peaceful but can exhibit territorial behaviors, especially towards their own kind. Providing ample space and hiding spots can help mitigate potential aggression.

Suitable Tank Mates:

Angelfish (e.g., Coral Beauty Angelfish): Certain angelfish species with contrasting body shapes can coexist with Powder Brown Tangs, creating a harmonious community.

Wrasses (e.g., Cleaner Wrasse): Peaceful wrasse species can share the tank with Powder Brown Tangs, contributing to a diverse and engaging environment.

Cardinalfish (Apogonidae spp.): These small, peaceful fish can create a lively and harmonious community alongside Powder Brown Tangs.

Damsels (e.g., Blue Damselfish): Some damsel species can cohabitate with Powder Brown Tangs if introduced cautiously and in appropriate numbers.

Hawkfish (e.g., Flame Hawkfish): Hawkfish with differing characteristics can share the tank with Powder Brown Tangs, enhancing the visual appeal of the aquarium.

Tank Requirements and Water Conditions:

A spacious aquarium with ample swimming space is essential for the well-being of Powder Brown Tangs. A tank size of at least 120 gallons is recommended to provide room for their active swimming habits. Water quality must be diligently maintained, with stable temperature, salinity, and pH levels.

Why Choose Saltwaterfish.com:

Sourcing Powder Brown Tangs from Saltwaterfish.com offers several advantages. Their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices ensures you receive healthy and responsibly sourced specimens. Saltwaterfish.com provides comprehensive information about each species, aiding in well-informed decision-making. With a variety of options, exceptional customer support, and a streamlined purchasing process, Saltwaterfish.com guarantees a smooth and satisfying experience for marine enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the Powder Brown Tang (Acanthurus japonicus) is a captivating and visually striking addition to saltwater aquariums. Its unique patterns and graceful movements make it a valuable and alluring member of marine ecosystems. By providing suitable tank arrangements and selecting compatible tank mates, enthusiasts can enjoy the allure and vibrancy of these captivating tangs in their underwater havens. When considering the acquisition of this remarkable species, choosing Saltwaterfish.com ensures a reliable and ethical source that prioritizes the health and well-being of marine life. The Powder Brown Tang can become a breathtaking and iconic centerpiece in any saltwater aquarium with proper care and attention.

I could be happier with my powder brown tang he is eating good and travelling the whole reef . my order arrived next day with warm packs in a insulated box . saltwater fish is best in my book. Thank you for great deals

Reviewed by: Richard Koeder on March 14, 2019

Breaking the rules here! Purchased along with a smaller Powder Blue and the Powder Brown is doing great. Started eating immediately in my quarantine tank and very friendly. Sees me coming and comes over for pellets and freeze dried mysis! Great fish!

Reviewed by: Rick on Feb. 26, 2018

Very happy with this hard to keep fish. No ich, no stress. I definitely recommend taking 4-5 hrs to acclimate. He is happy and king of the tank. Very social and colors are amazing.

Reviewed by: Andrew Conte on May 23, 2015

Very big beautiful tang. Still not eating. Ordered live food. Very hopeful..

Reviewed by: Susan on March 11, 2015

Reviewed by: Rocky on Nov. 6, 2014

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