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Thinking of keeping ‘Dory’ in a home aquarium?

6 August 2019 by Matt Smith

Regal Tang

The release of the film ‘Finding Nemo’ saw a rise in the popularity of ‘Dory’, the forgetful but lovable Blue Regal Tang. Here, Robert Woods from Fishkeeping World advises that keeping such a beautiful fish in a home aquarium can be challenging, noting the key considerations to their successful care.

About the Blue Regal Tang
Also known as the Blue Hippo Tang, the Royal Blue Tang, the Regal Tang and the Palette Surgeonfish, the Blue Tang is a very popular fish in the aquarium industry, rising to fame after  the release of the films Finding Nemo and its sequel Finding Dory. It is a brilliant blue colour with black markings stretching from its tail to its eyes and sunshine yellow pectoral and caudal fins. You can expect one of these fish to cost in between 15 to 70 pounds, depending on whether you buy a juvenile or an adult specimen.  They reach up to 12 inches and as open swimmers like to swim around freely. To ensure they start feeding properly and don’t become stressed they need to be acclimatized to tank life very slowly. Blue Tangs are also susceptible to parasites so you’ll need to quarantine them before adding them to your main tank.

Blue Regal Tang Tank Conditions
These fish need a tank which is at least 100 gallons, or ideally 200, meaning that they are only suited to more experienced aquarists. This fish loves open water and hiding spots, so some live rock scattered around the sides and back of the tank is also required.

The required water conditions are:
• pH : 8.1 – 8.4
• Temperature : 75°F – 82°F (25°C – 28°C)
• Specific Gravity : 1.020 – 1.025
• Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 – 12°

Blue Regal Tang Tank Mates
Whilst not overly aggressive, the Blue Regal Tang will be hostile towards other blue tangs so you should either only keep one, or keep a group in a large tank and introduce them all at the same time. They might fight each other to establish territories, so if you’re keeping a group of them together you’ll need a large enough tank for them to establish their own territories. Blue Tangs will get on with most other species of fish; one of the most popular fish to keep this species with is no other than Nemo himself – the clownfish.

Feeding Your Blue Regal Tang
Acclimating the Blue Regal Tang can be tricky as they are more used to grazing than the regular feeds which most aquarists provide for their fish. As grazers they will eat a variety of food once used to tank conditions.  They fare much better in well-established reef tanks with a range of plankton and algae for them to feed on. They eat a lot of algae in the wild, so providing them with algae wafers is a good idea. You can also feed them a mixture of live, frozen and flake foods.

Bear in mind that even though it might be tempting to keep your very own Dory in a home aquarium, you need to give this some serious consideration: these fish are very difficult to care for, and should only be looked after by the experienced or expert aquarist. If you want to show your appreciation to their natural beauty without the commitment of keeping one, take a trip to World Museum to see their group of vibrant and beautiful Tangs.

 

Finding Dory… at World Museum’s aquarium!

1 August 2016 by Lisa

Blue fish with a yellow tail - 'Finding Dory' blog

A Regal Tang

If you’ve watched ‘Finding Dory’ at the weekend, then you might want to read on and find out more about the beautiful blue Regal Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) – which is the real life fish she’s based on! We asked aquarist Alyster Chapman from our Aquarium, to tell us more about these stunning fish and why it’s important to keep them in the wild: Read more…

Tad, the yellow longnose butterflyfish

13 November 2014 by Alyster

Yellow-Longnose-Butterflyfish

Longnose butterflyfish. Image by Nick Hobgood via Wikimedia Commons.

‘Tad’, the longnose butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus) has a pretty small part in ‘Finding Nemo’. But these fish are stunning and interesting, and since we keep them in the aquarium at World Museum, it would be a shame not to mention them due to Tad being a bit-part.

The most striking feature of Yellow Longnose butterflyfish are their long noses. Read more…

Jacques, the Pacific cleaner shrimp

29 October 2014 by Alyster

Pacific cleaner shrimp

Pacific cleaner shrimp

We have many of the fish from ‘Finding Nemo’ at the Aquarium, but the non-fish we have from the film is the Pacific cleaner shrimp (‘Lysmata amboinensis’), which is the character  Jacques. I love invertebrates and this shrimp is in my top ten!  Read more…

‘Deb’ the humbug damsel

29 September 2014 by Alyster

A humbug damsel.

A humbug damsel.

‘Deb’ from ‘Finding Nemo’ is most like our species of fish the humbug damsels (Dascyllus aruanus).   Read more…

‘Bubbles’ the yellow tang

2 September 2014 by Alyster

A yellow tang.

A yellow tang.

‘Bubbles’ – from the film ‘Finding Nemo’ – is a yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) who is obsessed with the bubbles that come out of a treasure chest in his tank.   Read more…

Gill – a very handsome fish

23 May 2014 by Alyster

A black, white and yellow fish

Moorish Idol fish. Image courtesy of Brocken Inaglory on Wikimedia.

The Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus) is a very handsome fish in my opinion. They elegantly glide through the water with their elongated dorsal fin trailing behind them. It’s believed this extended fin is to show off to potential partners about how attractive they are. If they have a short dorsal fin, which does happen as it lures some species of fish to nip at it, the fish will be seen as weaker than those with super long trailing fins, who were able to avoid being nibbled.  Read more…

Fascinating fact: fish have good memories!

8 April 2014 by Alyster

Blue fish with a yellow tail

A Regal Tang

The Regal Tang (Paracanthurus Hepatus) is a stunning fish and arguably the best character in the wildy popular film, ‘Finding Nemo’. This probably explains why the sequel called ‘Finding Dory’ will be focused on her.

Dory in the film has short term memory loss, perhaps a nod to the urban legend that fish only have three second memories. I’m often asked if this is true. It’s not! I’m not sure where this has come from, it’s a bit of a myth. Read more…

A day in the life of the Aquarium

24 March 2014 by Alyster

Alyster, one of our aquarists, getting ready to feed the sharks.

Alyster getting ready to feed the sharks.

Hello, I’m Alyster, an aquarist at World Museum. Today I’m going to tell you a bit about a ‘typical’ day working in the Aquarium – although each day can be very different from the last! I’m not the only aquarist who works at the museum. Myself and Ben (who has a starring role in the video below) take care of the majority of the husbandry, with help from our boss Paul, who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and is happy to relay his 15+ years of experience as an aquarist.  Read more…

Meet our clownfish (aka Nemo!)

18 March 2014 by Alyster

'Clownfish' (or Nemo!)

‘Amphiprion percula’, commonly known as a ‘Clownfish’ (or Nemo!) Image courtesy of Haplochromis via Wikimedia commons.

Hi, I’m Alyster and I’m an aquarist at the Aquarium at World Museum. Over the next few months I’m going to introduce you to some of the fish in our Aquarium. I’ll be picking out the characters from the film ‘Finding Nemo’ and telling you more about the real fish behind the animation!

I’m going to start with the characters Nemo, Marlin and Coral, who are all clownfish.

It’s safe to say our clownfish are one of the most popular fish in our aquarium, and often draw the most attention. Children and adults a like will point with glee and exclaim “NEMO!” It’s no surprise given the massive success of the film and the iconic look the clownfish has. Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.