Powder Brown Tang – Marine Fish Breed Profile

By Alberto Roy

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The Powder Brown Tang, often known as the Powder Brown Surgeonfish, Japan Surgeonfish, and White-faced Surgeonfish, has a brown physique with a white mark on the cheek between the mouth and eyes.

The pectoral, anal, and dorsal fins are darkish brown with mild blue highlights on the tip. The dorsal fin additionally has an orange stripe current.

The tail is blue with a yellow vertical bar. Yellow striping runs alongside the physique, towards the anal and dorsal fins, forming a wishbone-shaped marking.

A 125 gallon or bigger aquarium is important to offer loads of swimming room. Maintain just one Powder Brown Tang per tank. Use warning when housing with different Tangs or Surgeonfish. Comparable formed Tangs could be very aggressive in the direction of one another.

Though Tangs will eat meaty meals together with the opposite fish within the aquarium, it can be crucial that they’re supplied loads of marine primarily based seaweed and algae.

This may strengthen their immune system, cut back aggression and enhance their general well being. Provide dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip, and feed a minimum of 3 occasions per week. Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad and Ocean Diet are all best merchandise and are very simple to make use of.

Powder Brown Tang

On the lookout for an incredible saltwater fish that’s each amazingly stunning, but one way or the other subdued and fewer flagrantly coloured than most?

The white-faced powder brown tang matches that description and extra. They’re elegant and refined and difficult to take care of.

For those who simply have a second to scan, take a look at the solutions to a few of the commonest questions:

Acanthurus japonicus

  • Are powder brown tangs aggressive?
  • Are powder brown tangs laborious to maintain?
  • What are some nice tankmates to pair with this nice fish?
  • What do powder brown tangs eat?
  • Are brown tang fish omnivores?

Let’s discuss a bit extra about what makes them difficult after just a few fast info.

Details Concerning the White-faced powder brown tang:

  • Scientific Title: Acanthurus japonicus
  • Frequent Names: Gold-rimmed tang, Powder brown surgeonfish
  • Max Measurement: About 8 inches
  • Minimal Tank Measurement:90-Gallons
  • Aggression Degree: Semi-Aggressive
  • Coloration: Yellow, Gray, Blue, White, Black, Brown
  • Care Degree: Knowledgeable
  • Most Energetic: Day

The pure habitat of Acanthurus japonicus

The powder brown tang hails from reefs within the Western Pacific, and like their scientific title suggests, they’re generally seen in heat water reefs round components of Japan, in addition to different components of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, together with Taiwan and the Philippines.

Are powder brown tangs laborious to maintain?

The brief reply is sure, powder brown tangs are laborious to maintain. They’re massive, energetic swimmers that require plenty of room to swim (due to this fact requiring a really massive system, which by itself advantage skews in the direction of superior/professional) and are liable to parasites/illness like marine ich, making them comparatively laborious to maintain.

A preferred fish, however one which requires cautious upkeep, the Powder Brown Tang is greatest housed as the one Tang current in an aquarium.

The Powder Brown does greatest in a big tank with loads of potential “homes” or locations to duck into when it feels threatened. Though the same Goldrim or Whitecheek Tang (Acanthurus nigricans) can also be delicate, it’s considerably extra sturdy.

Powder Brown Tang Breed Overview

Frequent Names: Powder Brown Tang, Powder Brown Tang, Powder Brown Surgeonfish, Powder Black Surgeon, Japan Surgeonfish, White-nose Surgeonfish, White-Confronted Surgeonfish

Scientific Title: Acanthurus japonicus

Grownup Measurement: 8.3 inches

Life Expectancy: 7+ years

OriginWestern Pacific.
SocialPeaceful except with other Surgeonfish
Tank LevelAll levels
Minimum Tank Size100 gallons
BreedingGroup spawner
Temperature72–78 degrees Fahrenheit

Colours and Markings

The Powder Brown Tang has a black dorsal fin; its anal fins are edged in blue; its dorsal fin is edged in pink, and it has yellow stripes alongside its physique. Its face is generally white.

With all this colour, nevertheless, its physique is the darkish brown colour for which it’s named. In case your Powder Brown Tang immediately sports activities a yellow colour on the rear a part of its physique, there is a good likelihood it has been frightened or startled.

Powder Brown Tang are comparable in look to the Whitecheek Surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans, and it’s doable that your fish is definitely a Whitecheek reasonably than a Powder Brown as they’re typically bought beneath the identical title.

Japan Surgeonfish

One distinction between the 2 is the quantity of white on their faces (the Whitecheek, oddly, has much less white on its face than the “official” Powder Brown Tang).

Japan Surgeonfish Origin and Distribution

The Powder Brown Tang is extensively distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific; it may be discovered within the waters of southern Japan, Taiwan; Indonesia, the Philippines, the Hawaiian Islands, and New Caledonia. Its title, japonicus, refers to the truth that it is typically discovered off the coast of Japan.

Tankmates of Marine Fish

Powder Brown Tang is a comparatively peaceable Surgeonfish and could be stored in a reef or group tank offered the tank is massive sufficient (they want an excessive amount of area to maneuver, and could be very messy with their meals).

This species generally is a good tankmate for a variety of fish or any measurement, even with smaller semi-aggressive fish; some potential tankmates embody Clownfish, Goby, Blenny, Anthias, and Fairy Wrasses.

There are just a few exceptions to this rule: like most Surgeonfish, Powder Brown Tangs could be aggressive towards others of its personal genus and are simply confused by extra aggressive fish.

Thus, whereas it is superb to maintain your pet with many different fish and marine animals, it is best to maintain only a single Surgeonfish within the tank. Make sure you keep away from aggressive fish resembling Triggers, Lionfish, Puffers, and Grouper.

Powder Brown Tangs are wonderful reef fish, as they graze on algae however will hardly ever injury coral or assault invertebrates.

They’ll trigger some stress to invertebrates, nevertheless, as their algae-nibbling can result in minor injury to coral and clams. These points can typically be dealt with by guaranteeing that your tang is fed a plentiful, nutritious eating regimen.

Powder Brown Tang Habitat and Care

Powder Brown Tang are caught within the wild and might undergo from a variety of points because of this. Stress, parasites, and illness are all doable.

It is thus greatest to pick a fish that has been in captivity for just a few months and is visibly relaxed and consuming in its tank. As soon as you choose a Energy Brown Tang, you may want to arrange its atmosphere with care as it is a fragile fish that may be simply confused.

Your new pet’s tank needs to be as massive as doable (125 gallons is good), and it needs to be a secure atmosphere; a model new tank is prone to create challenges to your Tang.

Present a sandy substrate, so the Tang can take pleasure in blowing the sand with their mouths whereas looking for meals.

Embellish the tank with nooks, crannies, reef parts, and vegetation, leaving loads of open area towards the highest of the tank.

Select a high-performing filtration system, and ensure there’s a sturdy water motion to offer wonderful oxygenation. Keep away from utilizing activated carbon which has been linked to move and Lateral Line Erosion in Tangs.

It is a good suggestion to maintain the tank at a comparatively low temperature (beneath 78 levels Fahrenheit), as this serves a number of capabilities.

First, decrease temperatures imply extra oxygen to your Tang. Second, Tangs are likely to sicken in temperatures between 79 and 83 levels.

The “sword”, “spur” or “scalpel” on the base of the tail of the Powder Brown Tang is just not as massive or harmful as it’s with another Surgeonfish, such because the Naso Tang (Naso lituratus) or the Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles) nevertheless they’re nonetheless massive sufficient and sharp sufficient to inflict a critical wound so be cautious when dealing with this fish.

Not like a few of the sturdier Surgeonfish such because the Naso Tang, the Powder Brown is inclined to gill and fin ammonia burns.

Normally attributable to extra ammonia accumulation throughout assortment from the ocean or throughout transport, “ammonia burns” to the gills could be fairly critical and ultimately deadly within the extra critical circumstances.

When buying a Powder Brown Tang, have the vendor present you that the fish is certainly consuming (the primary signal of issues with a fish is lack of urge for food) and what it’s consuming.

Powder Brown Tang Eating Regimen

Primarily a herbivore that can graze on filamentous micro and a few kinds of smaller fleshy macroalgae, the Powder Brown needs to be fed a minimum of 3 occasions a day on a eating regimen of frozen and dried fares appropriate for herbivores that comprise marine algae and Spirulina (blue-green algae). Zucchini, broccoli, leaf lettuce, and nori (dried seaweed) could be supplied to complement its eating regimen.

Meaty fare needs to be supplied a number of occasions per week to assist present additional protein. A veggie clip with dried seaweed hung from the aspect of the tank makes it simpler to maintain a very good provide of macroalgae accessible to the Powder Brown Tang.

Breeding the Powder Brown Tang

Powder Browns are group spawning fish; their eggs are fertilized on the identical time that they’re launched, they usually float alongside the floor of the water. It’s terribly troublesome to take care of the larval Tangs, and because of this just about all captive Powder Brown Tangs are wild-caught.

Powder Brown Tang (Acanthurus nigricans)

Correct tank situations & Powder brown tang habits

The powder brown tang grows to be about 8 inches in size, as a completely grown grownup. Which means they’re bigger than a lot of the smaller saltwater fish (gobies, basslets, damselfishes, clownfishes, blennies, and so forth.,) however are literally one of many smaller tang species–practically 10 inches smaller than the attractive Naso tang (Michael 2001).

Since all tangs and surgeonfishes (that I do know of, a minimum of) are extraordinarily energetic, open-water swimmers, the minimal really helpful tank-size is about 100-gallons, and others might even disagree with this and say they require much more area.

This, sadly, makes Acanthurus japonicus an unlikely addition to our tanks for many of us fish-lovers with tank-sizes lower than 90 gallons.

These gold-rimmed tangs are ideally suited to a big, open reef tank, that has each:

  • Loads of open area to swim
  • A lot of stay rock to graze on

They aren’t significantly choosy about water situations. Normal reef tank water is adequate. They do require plenty of oxygen and do greatest in well-aerated tanks with nice water motion (Fenner 2001). Tangs have been recognized to be delicate to copper.


These fishes are liable to marine ich and might succumb to the parasite (seemingly out of nowhere…) when confused. Due to this fact it’s best to quarantine them upon arrival and in addition make sure you’re monitoring them for stress, as soon as added to your new system–particularly if there’s a danger they may get ich whereas in your system.

Whereas in quarantine, you’ll be able to make sure to feed them effectively and beef them up for the journey to your show tank.

Dealing with

Do not forget that the surgeonfishes get their title as a result of they’ve a blade-like ‘scalpel’ by their tail that they’ll use to slash at enemies or when scared. Watch out when reaching into the tank to keep away from getting slashed and in addition use care when transporting your tang.

Nets may cause injury to the pores and skin (making them extra inclined to ich) and their scalpel can get caught within the mesh. Greatest to move them with massive, inflexible specimen containers, as an alternative.

Compatibility with and aggression within the white-faced powder brown tang

The white-face powder brown tang is an attention-grabbing fish to contemplate, by way of group fish compatibility. Firstly, they’re thought-about to be reef protected and shouldn’t disturb your corals or different invertebrates.

They’re additionally largely tolerant of different non-surgeonfish species and make a very good group fish addition. Nonetheless, aggression creeps into the image in two completely different situations.

The primary state of affairs is…over time…should you add a powder brown tang to your tank early within the means of stocking your tank after which, due to this fact begin to add different fishes to the tank later, your gold-rimmed tang might change into aggressive in the direction of these newcomers, defending its territory by flipping its tail (and the business-end of the scalpel) at them.

This relative aggression is variable primarily based on the person specimen you might have (how aggressive the person is) and time in your aquarium (with out disruption) such that it has recognized with its territory.

The opposite state of affairs, which is far more constant, and due to this fact predictable, is to anticipate critical aggression with different tang species. The golden rule right here is to maintain just one tang per tank.

Knowledgeable aquarists with very massive techniques are typically in a position to home a number of tangs, however I like to recommend doing a little particular analysis there earlier than making an attempt that–and solely when you already know you might have adequate aquarium quantity.

Since they’re comparatively massive, themselves (about 8-inches, when absolutely grown), are fast-swimming and might defend themselves a bit, with their scalpel, you possibly can additionally maintain them with a few of the different bigger and aggressive fish species.

Powder brown tang tankmates

There are plenty of completely different group saltwater aquarium fish species that will be good tankmates for the Powder brown tang, however listed below are just a few recommendations, to get you began:

  • The Marine betta
  • Flame angelfish or Bicolor angelfish
  • Banggai cardinalfish or Pajama cardinalfish
  • Clownfish species, just like the Ocellaris clownfish and even the Tomato clownfish
  • Sand sifting or digging goby species, just like the Engineer goby or the Diamond goby
  • They may also be nice tank mates to maintain with Mushroom corals, Zoanthids, Giant Polyp Stony, or Small Polyp Stony corals
  • Breeding, spawning, and rearing in captivity

Breeding tangs in captivity was initially regarded as too troublesome however has change into an actual state of affairs over the previous few years.

The landmark aquaculture of the Yellow tang, the powder brown tang’s shut cousin, offers hope for the daring, with plenty of time, sources, and a monster aquarium.

Breeding these fishes in captivity is not going to be simple. The primary problem shall be to determine a pair, on condition that it’s troublesome to detect variations between men and women–and in establishing a pair with out all of the preventing you’d anticipate.

They’re additionally broadcast spawners, which suggests they forged their eggs within the open water, reasonably than lay them on a substrate, which suggests it is advisable have a way to gather the eggs and/or larvae. Lastly, the larvae are fairly small and difficult to lift.

With that mentioned, should you succeed, you’ll change into immediately well-known (in aquarium circles) and be my hero for the day :). Want any extra motivation?

What do powder brown tangs eat?

Powder brown tangs are usually not regarded as strictly herbivorous, which makes them an omnivore, technically, however they do closely graze on algae. Actually, they’re one of many 21 greatest algae-eating saltwater fish.

They’ll eat filamentous blue-green microalgae, in addition to filamentous and fleshy pink algae. They’ll naturally graze in your rocks, aquarium glass, and tools all day lengthy and also will greedily eat flakes and frozen meals as effectively, as soon as acclimated.

Are powder brown tang fish omnivores?

Sure, powder brown tang fish are omnivores and can eat meaty and plant-based meals and can nip at algae and algal movies in a saltwater aquarium.

What sort of meals?

Ready meals that embody vegetable matter, like nori and different dried seaweeds, in addition to spirulina-based meals and meaty meals, like black worms, brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp.

Acanthurus japonicus, or the orange-rimmed surgeonfish can get stressed by the journey from their residence to yours and sure people battle to acclimate to aquarium life.

Head and lateral line illness

Tangs stored in cramped quarters, poor water high quality, or with inadequate vitamin, stray electrical voltage, and even those who run activated carbon can disproportionately develop a medical situation known as head and lateral line illness or lateral line erosion.

The best choice for therapy is fast detection (don’t be in denial), troubleshoot the problem to take away it, and ensure you’re feeding your tang a high-quality algae-filled eating regimen.

The place to purchase a golden-rimmed surgeonfish

I’d characterize the Powder brown tang as a moderately-available saltwater fish species. It definitely isn’t one of the vital abundantly accessible fishes or as ubiquitous because the yellow tang, however respected native fish shops that cater to the saltwater finish of the interest typically do purchase this fish on much less frequent rotation.

They’re additionally generally accessible on-line.

Use warning whenever you see on-line gross sales for fish which can be lower than 3 inches lengthy. These smaller fish are typically extra fragile and have a more durable time coping with all of the stress of switch.

Search for a fish that’s thick all through with sturdy muscle on their dorsal backbone behind their head. Look ahead to daring, energetic habits and suppose twice about skinny, malnourished, pale, or any fish that’s itching/scratching on rocks.

Whether or not to Purchase a Powder Brown Tang

That is the a part of the article the place I sometimes espouse the professionals and cons of the fish in query and allow you to know whether or not it will be a sensible choice to your setup. For those who learn the article up till this level, it most likely received’t shock you that I’m a bit conflicted right here.

If you’re searching for a subtly attractive, comparatively smaller surgeonfish–and you’ve got area and endurance to satisfy their care wants, then a powder brown tang is an effective alternative.

In case your tank is lower than 90-gallons…and also you’re attempting to speak your self into pondering your 70-gallon tank is huge for its measurement…or that you simply’ll give the fish away when it will get too huge…or should you can solely afford one of many 2-inch juveniles.

You and the fish are most likely higher off should you make a unique choice. My purpose right here is to provide you useful data and assist you and your underwater pals achieve success.

For those who learn this and are satisfied you’ll be able to meet their wants, good! For those who aren’t certain, good! Thanks for being considerate and giving it truthful consideration.

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