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Purple Tang
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!

Quick Stats

Care Level Moderate
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Color Form Blue, Purple, Yellow
Diet Herbivore
Reef Compatible Yes
Water Conditions sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4
Max. Size 10"
Origin Kenya, Red Sea
Family Acanthuridae
Minimum Tank Size 125 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
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The Purple Tang is blue to purple in color with a yellow tail and yellow accents on the pectoral fins. This fish was formally known only to the coral reefs of the Red Sea, but it is now found in the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and in the waters off Sri Lanka as well. It usually lives singly, but can occasionally be found in schools in the southern Red Sea. Adults can reach a size of 10 inches.

The Purple Tang is one of the most prized specimens of all saltwater fish for its coloration, and one of the most popular Tangs for the reef aquarium. If housed properly, it is a rewarding and attractive addition to any large fish-only tank, or reef aquarium. If keeping them, be sure to provide good lighting, lots of free-swimming space and plenty of potential hiding spots. They can be very aggressive and do not fare well with tank mates of similar body shape, especially other Tangs of the genus Zebrasoma.

Although Tangs will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important that they are offered plenty of marine-based seaweed and algae. This will strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression, and improve their overall health. Offer dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip, and feed at least 3 times per week. Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad and Ocean Nutrition are all ideal products and are very easy to use.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2" to 2"; Small/Medium: 2" to 2-3/4"; Medium: 2-3/4" to 3-1/2"; Medium/Large: 3-1/2" - 4" Large: 4" to 5"

Customer Testimonials

Ed P Myrtle Beach , SC
My Purple Tang absolutely loves nori (seaweed)! He's doing very well with a smaller Yellow and Blue Tang. The key was to put the Purple in last. He occasionally tail fights with the Yellow, but there is far less aggression than if the other tangs went in after him! I actually put a Yellow in after a Purple in an old tank and although the Yellow survived, the Purple was relentless in his pursuit of harassing the Yellow. Combining Selcon and Vita-Chem seems to keep his color very bright with no signs of erosion along the lateral line. 
Kenny E Sparta , TN
I recently purchased a Purple Tang from your web site. I was very surprised that after being coached by a Sailfin and a Blue Hippo Tang, it went to the broccoli to feed as much as the other tangs. They have become big buddies!
Stephanie L Alamogordo , NM
I ordered this fish about 3 or 4 months ago from this site and I love it! It gets a long well with my Blue Hippo and Yellow Tang. It'll flick the Yellow Tang from time to time when I put the seaweed in the tank. This guy is a pig! Loves meaty foods as well as the seaweed. The one I received looked very very close to the picture...I didn't expect it to have the lines and 'freckles' like in the picture, but mine does. I would def. recommend this fish to anyone owning a reef or fish only tank
Gabriel W York , PA
I recieved a beautiful purple tang. He even had the patterns on him. He was healthy and is now thriving in my 75 gallon reef tank. Great fish although very aggresive. I definetly recomend this fish
Tim G Fayetteville , NC
I just received my purple tang about a week ago is doing great. When I received the specimen much to my surprise it was much bigger than expected. Took to the tank and friends vey well. He is housed with a yellow eye tang, and bi-color Angel and two maroon clowns. He started eating the next day now can't seem to get enough. Thanks Liveaquaria very happy with all my purchases. You do business the way it should be. Would recommend this fish for anyone who wants to add beauty to their tank. Thanks again.
Fahad Elgin , IL
I ordered a medium Purple Tang a couple weeks ago. The size that I got was a little smaller, more in the small range but it came in with amazing colors and very healthy. It is still going strong and eating a lot. This guy is small compared to my other 6-7 inch tangs and no bothers him. I am amazed with the colors on him and will definitely be ordering from LiveAquaria very soon.
Robert C Coral Springs , FL
I ordered my purple tang from live aquaria and I have no complaints. This fish has been perfect in my reef tank and it hasn't bothered my other tangs including my sailfin. I'm very pleased with this fish. I'll recommend it to anyone as it's the crown jewel in the tank.
Thomas C Fulton , NY
A beautiful species I would heartily recommend to any hobbyist. The two that I ordered arrived in wonderful shape and are thriving. I have not really seen any of the aggressive behavior that they are known for.
Carmen J Brownsville , TN
I have never seen a fish more beautiful than the Purple Tang. I ordered it along with two Yellow Tangs. These three get along great and are very kind to the other fish in the aquarium. They immediately started feasting on the algae and live plants in the tank and are doing fantastic! When it was delivered, the FedEx man just HAD to know what was in my box marked so I showed him. He was really impressed. He said I get my order first the next time he sees a box!
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