4 Main Reasons Why Yellow Tangs Are Expensive

An expensive yellow tang

Yellow tangs are one of the most popular saltwater fish in the world. They’re most admired for their striking colors and shapes.

But their rising popularity has also made them more expensive than ever before. So, why are they so expensive?

Yellow Tangs’ Pricing

Yellow tangs are expensive as their demand exceeds the supply. Other reasons for their high prices are the Hawaii ban on catching wild yellow tangs, breeding difficulty, and increased transportation costs. Though expensive, aquarists still purchase them from local fish stores, private sellers, and online sources.

There are many reasons why these fish fetch high amounts. Some of the prominent reasons are listed below.

4 Reasons Why Yellow Tangs Are Expensive

1. Demand Exceeds Supply

Yellow tangs are available in the aquarium trade but are not easy to find. The demand for these fish far outstrips their availability.

It’s the availability of the fish that determines the price. As yellow tangs are rare, their demand exceeds the supply.

This directly impacts the price, making these fish far more expensive.

Also, it’s widely speculated that some aquatic shops and breeders are intentionally going out of stock.

They wait for the supply and demand to settle and sell the yellow tangs when the prices soar to get maximum profit.

2. Hawaii Fish Collection Ban

Hawaii’s ban on collecting yellow tangs from the wild is yet another reason for a significant rise in the price of these fish.

Before the ban in 2019, yellow tangs were available at a much lower price, below $100.

However, following the ban, there has been a steep rise in the prices of yellow tangs.

Since aquarists can’t catch these ornamental fish from the wild following the ban, they have started to look for other sources.

3. Breeding Difficulty

As the chances of acquiring wild-caught yellow tangs have diminished, many aquaculture specialists have started to breed them in captivity.

However, breeding yellow tangs is difficult and time-consuming.

They take longer than most other saltwater fish in the planktonic larvae stage.

The rearing process is also labor-intensive.

Besides, these fish need extensive care until they reach the young stage because they’re most vulnerable during the initial period.

The first few days after hatching, they need constant attention. This makes breeding yellow tangs even more challenging.

Breeding yellow tangs is also expensive as you need adequate space and specialized supplies like suitable larvae rearing tanks, a nutritious diet, and refined lighting.

All these factors add up to the final cost of these fish.

4. High Transportation Cost

As supplies of wild-caught yellow tang varieties dwindle, these fish are being increasingly purchased from overseas suppliers.

This has resulted in an increase in the cost of these fish as transportation cost adds up.

Shipping charges can vary depending on the mode of transport and the distance between the supplier and the buyer.

For example, the transportation cost will be higher if the containers are shipped by air freight.

Also, transporting live fish over long distances increases the risk of disease transmission.

Hence, adequate care must be taken while transporting these fish which again increases the cost.

Alright! Now that you know the reasons for the high price of yellow tangs, let’s take a look at the average price of these popular fish.

Average Price of Yellow Tangs

Yellow tang

Yellow tangs were initially available at a fairly affordable price below $100.

However, now the prices of these fish have risen exorbitantly due to the increase in demand and scarcity of stock.

The average price of a yellow tang ranges between $200 to $500. It also depends on the size of the fish.

A young yellow tang will cost less than a mature tang.

Other factors that affect their price considerably are the shipping cost and availability.

Where Can You Purchase Yellow Tangs?

If you wish to set up a yellow tang aquarium, you can look out for these fish at the following places.

1. Local Pet Stores

Local pet stores are your best bet to purchase yellow tangs.

You may visit your nearest pet store and check for the availability of yellow tangs.

If they’re available, it’s a good idea to buy one from there as it can save you time and transportation costs.

You will also get an opportunity to see how well-cared these fish are and choose the ones that suit your requirement.

Given the shortage of yellow tangs in the market, there is also the possibility that you may have to visit a few stores or look out for other options.

2. Private Sellers

Purchasing yellow tangs from private sellers is another good option.

You can approach someone who has fallen out of the fishkeeping hobby and wants to sell their stock.

This is a great way to find yellow tangs as you have a lot of scope for negotiation.

If you have good bargaining skills, you can end up paying lower than the market price.

However, certain risks are also involved when you purchase fish from private sellers.

You can’t get a refund or replacement if something happens to your yellow tangs, even within a few minutes or hours after purchase.

There are also fewer consumer rights regulations around purchasing from private sellers than from a shop or organization.

3. Online Aquatic Sources

Online aquatic sources are best suited for those who don’t live close to any pet shops or have the time to visit local fish stores.

The internet is full of marketplaces where you can find yellow tangs at affordable rates.

You can check the online reviews and testimonials to pick up a creditable online seller.

You can even consult fellow aquarists for viable sources.

While purchasing from online sources, you must be careful about the fish’s health and ensure that the seller ships the fish on time.

The most important thing is to make sure that the fish is healthy and disease free.

Another downside of purchasing yellow tangs from online sources is that you will need to pay for the shipping costs, which can increase the overall cost.