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Mata Tang

Mata Tang

The Mata Tang is known from coral reefs and steep drop-offs, often in very turbulent waters, to depths of 100m (328ft). Here they form large aggregations as they feed on zooplankton in the water column. This is a very active, semi-aggressive acanthurid that requires a great deal of swimming space - adults have been known to grow to over a foot and a half long and are powerful fish. If you are blessed with a system of enormous proportions, the Mata Tang could make a wonderful centrepiece. The tank should contain plenty of live rock which this fish will enjoy grazing upon. Include plenty of hiding places that are large enough for the Mata Tang to retreat into quickly should it feel threatened, at the same time aiming for an aquascape that allows plenty of open swimming space along the front of the aquarium for such a powerful swimmer. Mata Tangs are moderately aggressive towards tankmates, and in the confines of the home aquarium, this includes their own kind; for this reason it is best to house just one specimen per tank. There are good reports of this fish mixing with tangs of other genera; however it is recommended that the Mata Tang is the last addition to a set up, as it can be rather territorial to newcomers, especially similar fish species. It is best to source a medium sized specimen (i.e. over 4” in length) as they are more likely to acclimatise well to life in captivity. Conversely, extra large specimens may have a difficult time settling in, so aim for a healthy-looking fish that is neither too small nor excessively large. Avoid any specimens that appear ‘pinched’ in the belly area, and do ask your retailer to show you that your chosen fish is feeding well prior to purchase. Mata Tangs have a high metabolism and require small frequent feeds throughout the day. Powerful filtration/vigorous circulation and a high level of oxygenation are therefore essential for this energetic, voracious eater. Be sure to keep on top of water quality as this fish will not tolerate deteriorating water conditions. A large refugium with living rock can be most useful: macroalgae can be cultured on this rock and these pieces rotated with pieces from the main tank, so that the Mata Tang has a continual supply of natural foodstuffs to graze upon. Take care when handling, as the caudal spines can inflict very painful wounds. A period of quarantine can be a valuable procedure for the acclimatisation of all livestock, and it is of particular importance for the Mata Tang which can be fairly susceptible to developing marine whitespot. This can be difficult to treat in the reef aquarium. Ideally the fish should be quarantined and carefully observed in a separate aquarium for at least a fortnight before being introduced into your main display tank. May also be seen on sale as the Blue Lined Tang or Elongate Tang.

    GST Included |

    Our Return Policy

    The Small Print

    If a product arrives damaged, or is incorrect to what was ordered, the customer can contact us for a replacement provided the following conditions:

    Proof of Purchase
    Product has its original packaging 
    Product is unused
    We are contacted within 24 hours of product delivered/picked up
    Shipping costs are non-refundable.

    DOAS, or Dead on Arrival

    Here at Aquaculture Laboratories we provide our customers with the best quality livestock possible by using a ttm method and monitoring our live stock arrivals before selling.

    We monitor our fish throughout the quarantine facility and check them individually before selling to ensure our customers are happy with their purchase.

    For shipping customers, we will replace any fish or coral that are dead on arrival, provided there are photos and we are contacted within 6 hours of the livestock arriving. Photos must be of the coral or fish before bag is opened, and also after bag is opened. Photos must be sent via email to:

    For local customers: should any fish die or become sick, we request to be contacted within 24 hours of purchase and are provided with.

     A water sample to check parameters
    A photo of the dead fish
    Photo and details for your tank including size and tankmates
    Acclimatisation method used
    Shipping costs are non-refundable.

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