Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Zebrasoma veliferum
Pacific Sailfin Tang, Sailfin Surgeonfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

Photos & Comments

Zebrasoma_veliferum_1.jpg (20kb)
Photo Credit: Mike

Name: Zebrasoma veliferum
Size BehaviorReef
Origin: Pacific Ocean
40 cm Loner Low Risk


Sailfin Tangs are not challenging to keep. I purchased mine almost six months ago and he is by far one of my favourite fish. Literally the second I put him in, he went right to work at picking the algae off the rocks. Also, he ate what I offered him right away. He's in a tank with coral, a couple of Cleaner Shrimp, a Blue Linkia Star, a Bubble Tip Anemone, a Venustus Angel, a Copperband Butterfly, two Ocellaris Clowns, two Purple Firefish, and a Green Mandarin. When I put the butterfly into the tank, he was a bit aggressive towards it, probably because of their shape similarity, but now they are the best of friends. He swims around and picks at the rocks with the Copperband Butterfly 24/7. He also loves to swim around with my clowns. They will come up next to him and they will all swim together for hours. The Cleaner Shrimp provide a good service to him. They clean him whenever he goes up to them and he loves getting cleaned like that. The Sailfin Tang, and almost all tangs from what I've observed, are very social not only with other fish but also with their owners. Mine comes up to the glass whenever I go to visit and will show off his fins and when I put my hand in the tank to feed him, he comes right up to the top and let's me pat him. He eats mainly vegetable matter like the algae in the tank and also Spirulina Formula, Formulas One and Two, seaweed sheets, and will also enjoy frozen brine and mysis shrimp. This tang, and all tangs, need plenty of room to swim around to be happy. If they do not feel happy, they will break out in ich. Fortunately, that hasn't been the case with this guy.

Contributed by Mike

I just wanted everone to know what a great fish this really is. If you want a reef safe fish with a personality then this one is great! In my last tank I had the most playful and conceded sailfin, when I would go close to the tank on my computer chair he would swim at eye level to get my attention. If I moved he moved, swimming back and forth until I stuck my finger in the tank for him to come up and get pet. I loved him so much, unfortunately I had to move out of state and had to give him away. :-(

Contributed by Samantha

Sailfin Tang is a beautiful fish and a great addition to a reef or fish only tank, my sailfin tang is always following his buddy the Coral Beauty Angel around, they both love swimming scraping off algae. I've had mine for 8 months now and have no problem with him at all. A very hardy fish and fun to watch.

Contributed by Nathanael Catherman

I absolutely love my Sailfin tang, it is one of centerpiece fish in my 470 L reef. Something important to remember about these beautiful fish is their size, they do reach 40 cm long and they will attain that length in captivity. These fish need a large aquarium if they are to be kept. Like all acanthurids, they are more prone to Marine Ich.

Contributed by Brad

My sail fin tang is a very active swimmer. It swims with vigor with two green bird wrasses (one male and the one female) and a file fish. I have a 380 liter live rock tank with 10 cm of crushed coral. The sail fin tang began to nip at hair algae beginning on day one. It loves to eat seaweed and brine shrimp, also sliced peas. The sail fin is very social and will approach food held by my fingers and nip at it.

Contributed by Brian

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