Do clownfish and blue tangs get along?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Clownfish and blue tangs can potentially get along in the same tank, but there are several factors to consider before introducing them to each other. It’s important to note that every fish has its own unique temperament, so individual personalities can play a significant role in determining compatibility.

1. Tank Size: Clownfish and blue tangs both require a spacious tank with plenty of swimming space. A larger tank will help minimize territorial disputes and provide ample resources for each fish.

2. Aggression Levels: Clownfish are generally more peaceful and can tolerate tank mates well. However, blue tangs, also known as regal tangs, can be more aggressive, especially towards other tangs. It’s crucial to monitor their behavior closely when introducing them to ensure they don’t harm each other.

3. Introducing New Fish: When adding new fish to an established tank, it’s advisable to rearrange the existing decorations and territories. This can help prevent aggression and territorial disputes as the new fish will enter a less established environment.

4. Species Selection: Not all clownfish and blue tangs are compatible. Some species of clownfish, like the ocellaris or percula clownfish, tend to be more docile and adaptable, making them better candidates for tank mates. On the other hand, blue tangs can be more territorial towards other tangs, so it’s essential to choose a compatible species.

5. Gender Pairing: In some cases, pairing a male and female clownfish can increase their compatibility with other fish, including blue tangs. This is because the presence of a breeding pair can divert their attention away from other tank mates.

6. Monitoring and Observation: It’s crucial to closely monitor the behavior of both clownfish and blue tangs when they are introduced to each other. Pay attention to any signs of aggression, such as chasing, biting, or fin nipping. If aggression persists, it may be necessary to separate the fish to prevent injuries or stress.

Personal Experience:
I have successfully kept clownfish and blue tangs together in a large tank (around 100 gallons). However, it took careful planning and monitoring to ensure their compatibility. In my case, I had a pair of ocellaris clownfish and a blue tang. The clownfish were already established in the tank before introducing the blue tang. Initially, there was some chasing and territorial behavior from the blue tang, but after a few days, they settled down and coexisted peacefully.

While clownfish and blue tangs can potentially get along, it’s important to consider factors such as tank size, aggression levels, species selection, and gender pairing. Close monitoring and observation are essential during the introduction phase to ensure the well-being of all fish involved.