With a large number of people who initially got involved in the fish keeping hobby with the first surge a couple of years now progressing onto keeping marine tanks, we have noticed more and more people asking about keeping tang in their tanks.
The various species of tang have always been popular options with marine tank keepers and due to its bright yellow colors, the yellow tang has been one of the more commonly kept tang for many years now.
We have noticed a number of people asking about keeping a yellow tang in a 55 gallon aquarium over the last couple of months and many of the discussions on social media are often inaccurate.
Due to this, we wanted to publish our own article going over if you should be keeping a yellow tang in a 55 gallon aquarium or not.
Can A Yellow Tang Live In A 55 Gallon Tank?
A yellow tang can live in a 55 gallon tank and depending on the size of the yellow tang, it can thrive in some specific situations.
Although the topic is controversial on social media with most people either being for or against keeping a yellow tang in a 55 gallon tank but the truth is that it actually depends.
The Case For!
The vast majority of 55 gallon aquarium setups should easily be able to house a yellow tang without issue until the tang is around six inches in length.
After that, the fish really should be moved into a larger aquarium, ideally a 100 gallon tank if possible.
We know that there are some people out there who have kept a fully grown yellow tang in a 55 gallon aquarium for its full life but just because the fish survives does not mean that it is actually happy.
The Case Against!
A 55 gallon aquarium is usually too small for a fully grown, adult yellow tang so many people with years of experience in the fish keeping hobby don’t see the point in using a 55 gallon tank for a yellow tang.
In all honesty, we agree with this, at least to some extent.
We don’t see any reason to temporarily set up a 55 gallon aquarium for your yellow tang to live in when you know that you should be moving it on to a larger tank when it gets larger anyway.
That said, if you run multiple aquariums and you already have a 55 gallon tank set up with suitable tank mates for a yellow tang then you are able to keep your yellow tang in it until it is larger and then move it onto your larger aquarium tank.
There are some situations where this may actually be the best way to keep your yellow tang but these are rare and for the most part, we would usually just recommend that you add your fish to your main tank that it will live in as an adult as early as possible.
When To Upgrade The Tank!
A yellow tang that is over six inches long should be in a tank that is over 55 gallons if possible.
We know that some people may not be able to keep their fish in these larger tanks but we would respond by saying you shouldn’t be getting fish that you don’t have suitable tanks for.
If for whatever reason you have to move your adult yellow tang out of a 100 gallon tank into a 55 gallon tank for a temporary reason, say, to clean your 100 gallon tank then this is fine.
For the most part though, a yellow tang over six inches in length really does need to be in a larger tank if possible.