Naso Tang Care Guide: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

Naso Tangs, also known as the Lipstick Tang or Orangespine Unicornfish, are a popular choice among marine aquarium enthusiasts for their unique appearance and graceful swimming style. As a fishkeeper, I have always admired their elongated bodies and vibrant coloring, which makes them a standout addition to any saltwater tank.

Naso Tang care involves providing a suitable aquarium environment, proper diet, and regular maintenance. These saltwater fish require a large tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming space. They need a varied diet of meaty and vegetable-based foods, including algae and seaweed.

However, caring for a Naso Tang requires a deep understanding of their needs and behaviors. Naso Tangs can grow up to 18 inches in length and require a spacious tank, along with diligent maintenance of water quality to ensure a healthy environment. They are also known to be highly social and thrive with compatible tank mates, making community tanks a suitable option for these captivating creatures.

Naso Tang 2

Key Takeaways

  • Naso Tangs are a vibrant and popular addition to marine aquariums, but require diligent care
  • Providing a spacious tank and maintaining water quality are vital for their well-being and growth
  • These social fish flourish in compatible community tanks, which require research into suitable tank mates

Species Summary

The Naso Tang, also known as the Orangespine Unicornfish, is a saltwater fish originating from the Indo-Pacific region. They are known for their vivid colors and unique appearance, with a size that can reach up to 18 inches in the wild.

Naso Tangs have a lifespan of about 8-10 years in captivity, dependent on proper care and diet. These fish have a moderate growth rate, reaching their full size in around 3-5 years.

They display a gentle and calm behavior, making them a popular choice for many hobbyists. Naso Tangs tend to be more peaceful with other species, but can show aggression towards their own kind.

Sexual dimorphism is present, with males developing a unicorn-like horn on their foreheads as they mature. Females lack this distinctive feature, but both sexes possess orange lyre tails and blue highlights on their body.

I had a Naso Tang in my aquarium, and it was an incredible fish to observe. Its vibrant colors and flowing tail immediately caught my eye.

It’s essential to provide Naso Tangs with a large and well-decorated aquarium. They require enough space to swim and explore, as well as various hiding spots. They are herbivorous creatures, so having algae and plants available is crucial for their well-being.

In conclusion, the Naso Tang is a beautiful and interesting fish that can make a great addition to any marine aquarium. Proper care and attention are necessary to ensure they thrive and live healthy lives in their new environment.

Tank Setup

When it comes to setting up a tank for a Naso Tang, size is crucial. A minimum of 180 gallons is recommended, as these fish can grow up to 18 inches long. I once made the mistake of starting with a smaller tank, and my Naso quickly outgrew it.

Lighting plays an essential role in their environment. Use a high-quality LED light for optimum clarity and activity. Filtration and aeration need to be top-notch since Naso Tangs prefer a strong, steady water flow.

It’s crucial to include a heater in the tank setup, as maintaining a stable water temperature of 75-78°F is vital to the health of the Naso Tang.

A sandy or smooth pebble substrate works best for these fish. Keep in mind that they may dig around a bit, so a slightly thicker layer is a good idea.

Natural decorations like rocks and caves offer hiding places and rest areas for your Naso Tang. I once used a mix of live and synthetic rocks, which blended perfectly and provided a suitable habitat.

Live plants are an excellent addition to the tank since they not only improve the water quality but also provide some extra hiding spots. Remember, Naso Tangs may nibble on the plants, so choose hardy species like Java fern and Anubias.

Water Quality

When caring for your Naso Tang, it’s crucial to pay attention to the water quality in their tank. Let’s discuss the key aspects you need to monitor.

Water Temperature: Naso Tangs thrive in a stable temperature range of 72-78°F. Consistency is important, as fluctuations can stress them. I use a reliable heater and thermometer to maintain the ideal temperature.

Water pH: Naso Tangs prefer alkaline water with a pH between 8.1 and 8.4. I monitor the pH level regularly and adjust it as needed using buffering agents found at my local fish store.

Water Hardness: These fish favor moderate water hardness levels (dKH) of 8-12, so keeping it in check is essential. I utilize high-quality test kits to measure the hardness and maintain the appropriate levels.

Water Changes: As with any aquarium, regular water changes are necessary to ensure optimal water conditions. For my Naso Tang, I perform 10-15% water changes every 1-2 weeks to remove excess nutrients and maintain water quality.

By keeping a close eye on these water parameters, you’ll create a comfortable environment for your Naso Tang to flourish. Remember, monitoring and adjusting water conditions is key to your fish’s overall health and well-being.

Tank Maintenance

A well-maintained tank is essential for the health and well-being of your Naso Tang. Regular upkeep will ensure a clean environment and make it easier to spot any potential issues.

When I first set up a tank for my Naso Tang, I made sure to do a 15-20% water change every two weeks. This helps maintain water quality and reduced waste buildup.

It’s crucial to keep the water temperature between 74-80°F and maintain a pH level of 8.1-8.4. Invest in a reliable heater and a pH testing kit to achieve these desired parameters.

Monitoring the tank’s nitrogen cycle is critical to regulate ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Be mindful of overfeeding, as it can lead to ammonia spikes.

I have personally found that using a high-quality filtration system helps keep the water quality at a desirable level, supporting overall fish health.

Maintaining a clean tank also includes removing excess algae growth. Introduce algae-eating species like hermit crabs and snails for a natural solution.

Now let’s talk about the signs of a healthy fish. Actively swimming with gracefully flowing fins, bright-colored appearance, and consistent feeding are some indicators of a well-adjusted Naso Tang.

Remember, maintaining a clean and stable environment is the foundation for your Naso Tang’s well-being. With proper tank maintenance, your fish will thrive and bring joy to your aquatic adventures.

Tank Mates

When it comes to Naso Tangs, choosing the right tank mates is essential. In my experience, these fish tend to be peaceful and can coexist with a variety of other species.

Compatible Fish Species:

  • Clownfish: I’ve found that entertaining and colorful clownfish make great companions for Naso Tangs.
  • Angelfish: These vibrant fish also share a peaceful temperament and can live harmoniously with Naso Tangs.
  • Blennies and Gobies: Both blennies and gobies are small, bottom-dwelling fish that don’t compete for the same space as Naso Tangs.
Compatible Tank MatesExamples
ClownfishOcellaris, Percula
AngelfishEmperor, Coral Beauty
Blennies & GobiesBicolor Blenny, Firefish

Incompatible Fish Species:

Avoid housing Naso Tangs with aggressive fish or those with a tendency to nip at their fins.

  • Triggerfish: These fish can be territorial and exhibit aggressive behavior towards Naso Tangs.
  • Large Groupers: Groupers often grow to a considerable size and might view Naso Tangs as food.

It’s crucial to remember that each individual fish’s personality may vary, so it’s essential to monitor your tank’s inhabitants closely and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary.


Naso Tangs have a primarily herbivorous diet. They love munching on algae. Provide them with plenty of marine algae to keep them healthy and content. A great source of this is dried seaweed, also called nori. I remember the first time I introduced nori in my Naso Tang’s tank and watched it almost instantly devour the treat.

Feed your Naso Tang nori at least twice a day. Attach the nori to a veggie clip inside the aquarium for easy access. Additionally, you can complement their diet with high-quality herbivore pellets and frozen foods. Include mysis shrimp and brine shrimp, which are a good source of protein for these fish.

To ensure your Naso Tang’s health and well-being, incorporate a variety of foods in its diet. One tip is to try different brands and types of herbivore pellets to find the ones your fish prefers. It’s essential to keep their diet balanced and meet their nutritional needs.

Remember to frequently monitor the water quality in your aquarium, as Naso Tangs can be sensitive to sudden changes in water parameters. Following this diet guide and maintaining a stable environment will help your Naso Tang flourish in your care.

Common Diseases

When caring for Naso Tangs, it’s essential to be aware of some common diseases that can affect them. As a knowledgeable aquarist, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of being prepared for these conditions.

The first common disease is Ich (Cryptocaryon irritans). Symptoms include small white spots on the fish’s body, labored breathing, and lethargy. Treatment usually involves copper-based medications, and prevention involves quarantining new fish before adding them to your tank.

Marine Velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum) is another disease to watch out for. This condition presents with a fine gold or white dust on the fish’s body, increased mucus production, and rapid breathing. Treating Marine Velvet involves using copper-based medications and freshwater baths. Good tank maintenance can help prevent this illness.

Naso Tangs may also suffer from bacterial infections manifesting as cloudy eyes, red patches, or inflamed gills. Identification and treatment with appropriate antibiotics are crucial. Prevention includes maintaining good water quality and avoiding overfeeding or overcrowding, which can stress fish and make them more susceptible to infection.

Finally, parasitic infections like flukes can affect Naso Tangs. Signs your fish is sick include scratching against surfaces or a visible film over its body. To treat this issue, use anti-parasitic medications and ensure good water quality. Quarantining new fish before adding them to your tank also aids in prevention.

By staying vigilant and proactive with your Naso Tang care, you can minimize the chances of these common diseases affecting your fish and maintain a healthy, thriving aquarium.


Naso Tang

Breeding Naso Tangs can be a challenging endeavor, but with the right setup and care, it’s possible to achieve success. To start, you’ll need a suitable breeding tank, ideally a spacious aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and ample swimming space. Live rock is a must for these fish, as it provides both refuge and a breeding ground for their natural food sources.

It’s essential to establish a stable, healthy environment for the Naso Tangs to feel comfortable enough to breed. The key is to maintain excellent water quality, a stable temperature around 75-79°F, and a salinity level around 1.020-1.025 sg.

When attempting to breed Naso Tangs, it’s a good idea to introduce a small group of both males and females to the breeding tank. Pay close attention to their behavior, as they may become territorial or aggressive when breeding. During this time, make sure they have a varied diet, including plenty of algae and high-quality prepared foods.

I remember trying to breed Naso Tangs for the first time; ensuring all the conditions were right took a lot of patience and dedication, but it was worth it to see the fish thrive. Once a pair has formed and is displaying courtship behavior, such as increased coloration and circling each other, it’s time to shift your focus to caring for the offspring.

Naso Tangs lay eggs that will float on the water surface, where they’ll hatch in about 24 hours. These fragile larvae can be challenging to care for, requiring specific food sources like live phytoplankton and rotifers. Watch for a transition to the juvenile stage after about three weeks, when they’ll start to eat the same foods as the adults.

In conclusion, breeding Naso Tangs can be a rewarding experience, but it requires a well-planned approach, proper tank setup, and careful attention to the fish’s needs. With dedication and patience, you can successfully breed these beautiful and fascinating fish.

Product recommendations for Naso Tang:

  1. Hikari Marine S Pellets This fish food is specially formulated for marine fish, including Naso Tang, and provides a balanced diet for optimal health.
  2. Seachem Stability: This product helps to establish a healthy biological filter in your aquarium, which is important for maintaining good water quality for Naso Tang.
  3. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer: This protein skimmer helps to remove organic waste from your aquarium water, which can be harmful to Naso Tang.
  4. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump: This circulation pump helps to create a natural water flow in your aquarium, which is important for the well-being of Naso Tang.
  5. Instant Ocean Sea Salt: This sea salt mix is perfect for creating a healthy marine environment for Naso Tang and other saltwater fish.
  6. API Aquarium Salt: This product helps to promote healthy gill function and reduce stress in fish, including Naso Tang.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in aquarium water, which can be harmful to Naso Tang.
  8. Coralife BioCube 16 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for keeping Naso Tang in a medium-sized space, and comes with a powerful filtration system.
  9. Koller Products AquaView 6-Gallon Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for beginners and includes a built-in LED light and filtration system.
  10. Marina Floating Thermometer: This thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature of your aquarium water, which is important for keeping Naso Tang healthy.


Naso Tangs are fascinating fish that can be a rewarding addition to a well-maintained aquarium. As an expert in taking care of them, I can attest that their unique personalities will bring lots of joy to any fish enthusiast.

It is crucial to provide a spacious tank, clean water, and a well-balanced diet to ensure their overall health and longevity. I still remember the first Naso Tang I cared for and the mesmerizing sight of it swimming gracefully in my tank.

Remember to monitor water conditions regularly and ensure proper filtration and circulation. It’s a huge responsibility, but the reward you get from observing your Naso Tang thrive is definitely worth the effort.

When it comes to their tank mates, choose wisely, and avoid aggressive or overly territorial fish. This will promote harmony in the aquarium and prevent unnecessary stress for your Naso Tang.

Finally, practice patience when introducing your Naso Tang to its new environment, as it can be a shy species at first. You’ll find that with proper care, it will become a friendly and curious member of your aquatic community. With these tips in mind, you can create a hospitable home for your Naso Tang, and enjoy its enchanting presence for years to come.


What do Naso Tangs eat?
Naso Tangs are herbivores, primarily consuming algae. In my experience, it’s essential to supplement their diet with dried seaweed, spirulina, and marine algae to keep them healthy.

How big do Naso Tangs get?
Naso Tangs typically grow to be 18 inches in length. As a result, they require larger tanks to comfortably accommodate them.

What is the minimum tank size for a Naso Tang?
The recommended minimum tank size for a single Naso Tang is 180 gallons. This is crucial for maintaining their well-being and allowing them enough space to swim freely.

Are Naso Tangs compatible with other fish?
Yes, Naso Tangs are generally peaceful and can coexist with a variety of fish species. However, it’s important to avoid mixing them with other tangs, as this can lead to aggression.

How do I maintain optimal water conditions for my Naso Tang?
Naso Tangs thrive in water with the following parameters:

  • Temperature: 75°F to 79°F
  • Salinity: 1.020 to 1.025 specific gravity
  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels: As close to 0ppm as possible

Perform weekly water testing and regular water changes to maintain these conditions.

I once overlooked maintaining water parameters in my own aquarium, which led to a Naso Tang becoming stressed. I quickly realized the importance of consistent water quality for their overall health.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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