Powder blue tang Acanthurus leucosternon; tangs are an inarguable staple of many marine systems, but they are often kept in inadequately sized tanks.
WhileIwasworking at Pittsburgh’s PPG Aquarium as a staff diver, I had the privilege of talking with professional
aquarists and learned a lot about how to
properly maintain tanks. When I was on
dry land talking to private aquarists, it
struck me how little some of them knew
about the fish in their care.
Once, while leaving the aquarium after a
day of diving, I noticed a couple shocked by
the appearance of an adult orange shoulder
tang Acanthurus olivaceus. I overheard their
conversation and picked up on the fact
that they owned a marine aquarium. The
couple simply had no idea what species of
fish the orange shoulder tang was. I kindly
stepped over and informed them that the
animal in question was an orange shoulder
tang. The two looked shocked.
“We have an orange shoulder tang,” the
woman exclaimed. “It looks nothing like
that and is not even half that fish’s size.” I
got out my phone and searched for images
comparing juvenile orange shoulder
tangs to adults. “Our aquarium is only 55
gallons,” the man noted.
While diving in South Florida, I had
the opportunity to swim with the famous