Gem Tang - The Highly Prized Gem Tang
Gem Tang Facts
Scientific Name : Zebrasoma Gemmatum
Origin : West Indian Ocean, Mauritius
Difficulty : Medium
Minimum Size Tank :100 gallons
Temperature : 72 - 82°F
Reef Safe : Yes
Maximum Size : 8 Inches
Diet : Herbivore
The Gem Tang is the most sought after member of the surgeonfish family in the marine aquarium hobby. Their given scientific name is Zebrasoma Gemmatum and they are also quite rare. Most specimens are collected from Mauritius but their range extends to Madagascar and other parts of the West Indian Ocean.
At $3500 per specimen, the Gem Tang is by far the most expensive surgeonfish in the aquarium hobby. Which is surprising for a fish that isn't quite as stunning as the price suggest. But in this hobby, rarity rules the roost. Looks are secondary.
Gem Tang Feeding
Thankfully, caring for a gem tang is very similar to most of its cousins like the Yellow Tang. They require an aquarium no smaller than 100 gallons with sizes of up to eight inches or so. They are herbivores in the wild that adapt quite well to prepared fish foods.
Despite the fact that they're primarily herbivores in the wild, they are open to just about anything offered once acclimated. Seeing as how algae makes up a large part of their diets in the wild, they should be getting large amounts of algae based foods in our tanks as well. Nori sheets and Julian Sprungs sea veggies are good foods to offer.
You will need a clip of some sort to secure the seaweed sheets. You can buy a commercial type of fashion one up yourself. Some people fold the sheets before clipping while others just clip it as is. Use the suction cup to attach it to your aquarium and you're done, you can enjoy the show.
Formula two is a good quality algae based mix for herbivores. It has an extra amount of algae in it along with a good mix of seafood, trace minerals, vitamins and more. It is available as a flake food, pellet or frozen cube. The best flake food for the Gem Tang would be Sea Veggie mixed flakes followed by formula two flakes. It you're looking a great all rounder with balanced ingredients then you can't go wrong with New Life Spectrum pellets.