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Saltwater Fish Fish Types Tangs and Angels

Tangs are beautiful, peaceful fish that make gorgeous additions to a saltwater aquarium. Their bodies are laterally compressed (extremely thin) with a sharp spine at the base of their tail that can be erected when they feel threatened. Generally, tangs are very shy in an aquarium and will flee as soon as you put your hand into the tank, so you should not have to worry about being injured by this predatory defense. Tangs are herbivores, consuming mostly algae in the wild. In captivity, they should be fed a plant-based diet of marine algae, of either the dried or fresh variety, and dried nori.

Most tangs are sensitive when it comes to water quality and diet, making them a bit challenging and therefore better suited for experienced hobbyists rather than beginners. One of the easier tangs to keep is the yellow tang. It will survive under certain less-than-perfect conditions that would quickly bring an end to many of its relatives.


Some angelfish species are among the most colorfully patterned marine fish in the world. They range in size from 5 inches (dwarf angelfish) to 24 inches. Larger species tend to be more feisty then smaller species, and they should generally not be housed with invertebrates. In the wild, angelfish are usually found in snug corners of the lower levels of coral reefs, and in captivity they should be provided with similar circumstances to provide them with a sense of security. Angels are herbivores, grazing on algae in the wild. In a home aquarium, angels should be fed fresh or dried algae as part of a plant-based diet.

While large angelfish are not suitable for the tank of an inexperienced hobbyist, their smaller relatives, dwarf angelfish, are a good choice for a novice aquarist. They are relatively small and very adaptable to aquarium conditions. Dwarf angelfish will accept a variety of plant foods in all different forms. Some suggested species for the beginner include the coral beauty, the lemonpeel angelfish, and the flame angelfish.