The yellow tang is rapidly becoming one of the more commonly kept species of tang within the fish keeping hobby and the prices of the fish have also been reducing in recent years helping to increase the number of people keeping a yellow tang in their tank too.
Yellow tang can be a little finicky to care for and we commonly see people reaching out to ask various questions about caring for the yellow tang in their tank.
One thing that we have noticed people asking recently is about their yellow tang losing color so we wanted to publish this article going over the more common problems that can cause your yellow tank to start losing color.
Why Your Yellow Tang Is Losing Color!
Here is a short list of the more common reasons that your yellow tang may be losing color to give you an idea of the potential problems:-
- Stress And Anxiety!
- Poor Nutrition!
- Unsuitable Water Parameters!
- A Small Tank!
- Water Flow Problems!
- A Dirty Tank!
- A Lack Of Oxygen!
- Tank Mates Stressing The Fish!
Some tanks may end up having more than one of these problems at the same time so try to factor in multiple potential problems in your aquarium that may be causing your yellow tang to lose color.
We will now be taking a more in-depth look at these potential problems to try and help you work out what the problem could be.
Stress And Anxiety!
One of the more common reasons that your yellow tang may be losing color is down to stress and anxiety within the fish.
Yellow tang are prone to stress due to their small size and because they are such an active swimmer too so you need to take care when choosing tank mates for a yellow tang and make sure that they are not going to bully or harass the yellow tang in any way.
Your aquarium should also have plenty of hiding places and cover for the yellow tang to swim into and feel safe so that they do not become stressed out by their surroundings.
If you believe that your yellow tang is starting to lose color due to stress then you need to take action to try and reduce the stress levels in the aquarium as much as possible.
Yellow tang are very active fish which means that they will require a lot of food to maintain their energy levels, if the yellow tang is not receiving enough food then this can lead to them starting to lose color.
A good quality marine flake or pellet should form the basis of the diet for a yellow tang with regular additions of frozen mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and other meaty foods too.
You should also try to offer your yellow tang a variety of different foods to make sure that they are receiving all of the nutrients that they require to stay healthy, if you are only feeding your yellow tang one type of food then they may not be getting everything that they need.
Some yellow tang may refuse to eat in some situations but our article on why your yellow tang is not eating should be able to help you.
Yellow tang are very susceptible to parasites and if your yellow tang has parasites then this can lead to them losing color.
There are a few different types of parasites that can infect a yellow tang but the most common one is called Cryptocaryon irritans which is also known as marine white spot disease.
If you believe that your yellow tang has parasites then you should take a sample of water from your aquarium to your local fish store or vet for testing, they will be able to confirm if there are any parasites present and prescribe the correct treatment.
Ich can give your yellow tang a pale, white look, almost as if it is starting to lose its color but our article going over dealing with ich in a yellow tang should be able to help.
Unsuitable Water Parameters!
Yellow tang are very sensitive to changes in water parameters and even small changes can have a big effect on their health, if the water parameters in your aquarium are not suitable then this can lead to your yellow tang losing color.
The main water parameters that you need to keep an eye on are the temperature, pH and ammonia levels, if any of these values are outside of the ideal range for a yellow tang then this can cause problems.
You should use a reliable test kit to regularly check the water parameters in your aquarium and take action to correct any values that are not within the ideal range, our article on testing saltwater aquarium water covers this topic in more detail.
A Small Tank!
One of the most common problems that people have with their yellow tang is keeping them in a tank that is too small, yellow tang can grow to around 10 inches in length so they will need a fairly large aquarium to be happy and healthy.
If you are keeping your yellow tang in a tank that is too small then this can lead to them losing color as they become stressed out, if you have a yellow tang in a tank that is too small then you should consider upgrading to a larger tank as soon as possible.
A Dirty Tank!
Another problem that can cause your yellow tang to lose color is a dirty tank, if the water in your aquarium is not clean then this can lead to your yellow tang becoming stressed out and starting to lose color.
You should perform a water change of at least 25% every week and clean the filter media to remove any build up of toxins, our article on how to clean a saltwater aquarium covers this topic in more detail.
A Lack of Oxygen!
Yellow tang need a good level of dissolved oxygen in the water to breathe, if the level of dissolved oxygen in the water drops too low then this can lead to your yellow tang losing color.
There are a few different things that can cause the level of dissolved oxygen in the water to drop too low, the most common one is overfeeding which can lead to a build up of toxins in the water.
You should perform regular water changes and clean the filter media to remove any build up of toxins, you should also avoid overfeeding your yellow tang.
Water Flow Problems!
Yellow tang need a good level of water flow in their aquarium to be happy and healthy, if the water flow in your aquarium is too low then this can lead to your yellow tang losing color.
There are a few different things that can cause the water flow in an aquarium to drop too low, the most common one is using too much live rock in the aquarium which can block the flow of water.
You should avoid using too much live rock in your aquarium and make sure that there is a good level of water flow, our article on how to increase the water flow in an aquarium covers this topic in more detail.
Tank Mates Stressing The Fish!
Yellow tang are very territorial and can be quite aggressive towards other fish, if you have a yellow tang that is constantly being harassed by its tank mates then this can lead to it losing color.
You should try to keep your yellow tang with peaceful fish that are not too much smaller or larger than it, our article on the best tank mates for a yellow tang covers this topic in more detail.