Why Is My Yellow Tang Turning White?

A yellow tang is a saltwater fish that can be found in marine or reef aquariums. These brightly colored fish are often kept by aquarium enthusiasts because they are relatively hardy and tolerant to various tank conditions.

Yellow tangs can grow up to 20 inches in length, with a life span of 10-15 years. While most yellow tangs stay yellow, there are certain situations in the home aquarium where the yellow color will disappear from their scales, leaving them white or slightly brown.

Yellow tangs are some of the most common fish in aquariums because they are hardy, easy to care for, and don’t require a lot of space. However, sometimes Yellow tangs turn pale which is either due to stress or not eating enough “green food”.

When this happens, it is important to feed them algae or seaweed that can be purchased at your local pet store. Mine prefer the green algae in garlic that I buy in bulk at Costco.

Why does my yellow tang look pale?

Possible causes for a yellow tang to look pale are poor water quality, poor diet, or parasitic infection.


Parasites that affect yellow tangs include “Acanthocephala” and “Oodinium”. The fish may have been exposed to these parasites by swimming in dirty water or eating infected food.

If you have been adding any new foods to your fish’s diet, try removing them as a potential source of the problem.

Inadequate light

Another possible cause could be an inadequate amount of light being provided to the tank. Yellow tangs need about 10 hours per day of direct sunlight to thrive properly.

Low oxygen levels

Low oxygen levels can lead to stress on the fish. This will make it more likely they will become sick. It is important for all aquarium inhabitants to receive adequate amounts of oxygen at all times. You should check the level of dissolved oxygen regularly using a test kit from your local pet store.

Green food

The last possibility for the yellow tang to look pale is poor diet. If you feed them green foods, such as lettuce, algae, seaweed, or spinach leaves, this may not only affect their appearance but also their health and well-being.

Why does my yellow tang have a white stripe?

Hobbyists often think that when their yellow tang turns white they are no longer happy in their tank or the fish is sick.

However, this is not always the case. There are several possible reasons why your yellow tang may have changed colors or have a white stripe. For example, when a “normal” looking yellow tang becomes a lighter shade of yellow it may be due to stress from a change in water parameters, a new hiding area for them to explore, or even a diet change.

If you keep seeing white stripes or changes in color for a few days then there could be an issue with the health of your fish. It’s important to note that if you see any signs of illness such as lethargy, lack of appetite, loss of balance, etc., contact your local aquarium store immediately so that proper treatment can begin before things get worse.

How do you fatten up a yellow tang?

A yellow tang is a saltwater fish that lives in the ocean. The best way to fatten up this type of fish is to feed it lots of healthy, fatty foods that are found in the ocean. These include shrimp and squid and “green” food like algae and seaweed. You should also make sure that they have access to plenty of fresh water at all times.

what do yellow tangs like to eat?

  • Green Seaweed Sheets: Yellow Tangs love eating green seaweeds because these types of plants contain high levels of protein. They will even eat dried kelp if given the chance.
  • Dried Mysis Shrimp: This is another great thing for your yellow tang to eat since it contains about 20% more fat than other seafood. It’s a good idea to keep some around as an emergency snack or treat for them. If you want to give them something else besides shrimp, try feeding them with frozen krill which has been proven to be one of their favorite treats.
  • Ocean Nutrition Formula One: The Ocean Nutrition formula 1 is made from natural ingredients that are safe and healthy for fish. It also comes in different flavors so you can choose what flavor suits best for your tank. You should feed this food at least once every day but twice would not hurt either.


In conclusion, the most common reasons for a yellow tang’s appearance to change to white is due to poor water quality, poor diet, or parasitic infection. To prevent these problems from happening, be sure to properly maintain the clarity and cleanliness of your aquarium.

Feed your fish with the proper diet and avoid overstocking. If you notice that your fish’s color has changed or that their behavior changes at all, then it is best to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.