Powder Blue Tang Lifespan | How Long Do They Live?

This stunning and very unique saltwater aquarium fish is a much sort after species for any saltwater aquarium enthusiast. However, these fish do command a high price so we are often asked: “How long do Powder Blue Tangs live, and what is the Powder Blue Tang lifespan?

How long do Powder Blue Tangs Live? When handled properly aquarium-based Powder Blue Tangs are remarkably long-lived fish and actually outlive their ocean-dwelling counterparts. These Tangs are expected to achieve a minimum lifespan of 5 years, but many will live in excess of 10 years if the conditions are right, and the fish is well acclimatized to its environment. 

Longevity is important as Powder Blue Tangs are expensive fish, costing well over $150 for a single specimen. If you are purchasing this kind of saltwater aquarium fish, it is well worth investing in the right conditions to ensure it remains long-lived. 

Powder Blue Tangs may not fare so well in the hands of a novice aquarist and are prone to disease and poor appetite which can greatly shorten their lifespan. They are best owned by aquarists with a good amount of reef experience. 

powder blue tang

Here are some tips which should help you get your Powder Blue Tang to a ripe old age.

  1. Choose the right fish.  If you are on the market for a Powder Blue Tang, do not part with cash until you have observed the fish on multiple occasions. A Powder Blue Tang that does not do well, despite experienced care may not have been healthy to start with. Spend time observing your prospective Tang’s behavior, swimming, and feeding. Look for a fish that is active, disease-free and a good eater of a variety of foods. 
  2. Keep stress at bay. Powder Blue Tangs do not handle stress well. Transferring this fish, competition in the tank and a change in water chemistry can cause your PTB to have behavioral problems, develop Ich or other disease or stop eating. Consistency is key and a stable environment will help your fish stay on top of growth and fight off disease.
  3. Feed well. Feeding is critical to the wellbeing of your Powder Blue Tang. They can become aggressive and territorial if they do not have adequate availability of algae to graze on. Stressors also can cause them to quit eating. Keep a close eye on their intake and try to establish them on more than one type of food. Read all about the Powder Blue Tang diet here.
  4. Vigilance for disease. These surgeonfish can be very vulnerable to disease and parasitic infections like Ich or malnourishment will sap energy and diminish growth. If you see any signs of disease on your PBT, such as white spots, plaques or lesions it is prudent to immediately quarantine the fish so that appropriate treatment can be started. 
  5. Boost quality of life. Some owners keep their Powder Blue Tang in a cramped tank which diminishes its opportunity to swim freely. Swimming length is more important for these fish than hiding places or other interests. If you are expecting to grow a fully mature Powder Blue Tang, your tank volume should be at least 100 gallons, more if you have included other large fish. Powder Blues will also need plenty of water movement, reminiscent of the tropical tides of their reef habitats. Replicating their natural environment will improve the powder blue tang lifespan dramatically.

The powder blue tang lifespan can be influenced and improved by diet, tank size and water conditions. All the key factors for keeping any saltwater fish happy in a home aquarium.

Suitable tankmates and a peaceful aquarium will not only help your tang thrive but also calm their aggression down and make them a great addition to any aquarium including reef aquariums. See how aggressive powder blur tangs are here!

powder blue tang

Conclusion: Powder Blue Tang Lifespan

As you can see 5-10 Years for the lifespan of a saltwater fish in a home aquarium as about the average and for a fish this expensive is a good length of time.

In the wild, they are conflicts of interest in their lifespan. First, you’d think that they would live longer and in many areas of the ocean they do. However, in some areas of the ocean, we have seen huge dramatic declines in the natural coral reefs where these fish live and their lifespan through lack of diet and changing environment can mean these fish live a longer life in captivity. Which is rare these days!

Carl Broadbent
Latest posts by Carl Broadbent (see all)