Finding Nemo’s Dory (5 Reasons to Avoid Them As Pets)

Since her first appearance in Finding Nemo, Dory has become an icon. 

Not only for me but also for almost everyone born as Generation Z and Millennials.

During this movie, she was amongst the fishes that helped Marlin find Nemo.  

Everyone knows Marlin and Nemo are clownfishes, but what do you know about Dory?

  • What Kind of Fish is Dory? OR
  • Can you keep them in your home aquarium as a pet? OR
  • Where do they live?

Don’t worry; I’m about to clear all your doubts.

What Kinda Fish is Dory?

Dory Fish is a royal blue tang.

There are many types of bluefish in the ocean, so don’t worry if you mistake her for any other fish.

7 Lucky Fish Feng Shui/Vaastu Recommends

Guppy vs. Betta: Fish Tank Requirements

For example, you can look at the Atlantic blue tang or the powder blue surgeonfish.

There are many names used for royal blue tangs. Some include palette surgeonfish, hippo surgeonfish, flagtail surgeonfish, etc.

Fun Fact: Royal blue tang’s scientific name is paracanthurus hepatus.

They prefer clear waters near coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but they can also be found on the coasts of Papua New Guinea.

They are larger than clownfish, but they are still small compared to other fishes in the ocean.

Sadly, they are poisonous, which means that eating them is unwise.

What does a Dory fish look like?

The regal blue tang fish is easily identifiable by its body shape, oval, and tail, yellow and shaped like a flag.

These fish have yellow pectoral fins just like the rest of their bodies.

A narrow band of dark blue that curves back toward the tail can be seen on the dorsal fin of mature individuals.

The name of this fish comes from the way it looks, somewhat like a numeral with six digits.

The ADW reports that mature regal blue tangs can have various colors.

In the movie “Finding Dory,” the baby blue tang had yellowtail and appeared blue overall, but in real life, juvenile blue tangs have a brilliant yellow body with blue dots around their eyes and light blue tips on their fins.

The color of their bodies changes to blue as they grow older.

Where Can You Discover Finding Nemo’s Dory?

As per National Geographic, blue tangs feed on algae near coral reefs.

Algae buildup is linked to a decline in reef health, which might destabilize the food chain.

Wild blue tangs live on coral reefs in the Pacific or the Indian Ocean.

The fish have been discovered in Australia, India, Thailand, Japan, Guam, American Samoa, Kenya, and South Africa.

‘Dory Fish’ as Pets?

Finding Nemo movie release boosted clownfish pet sales.

Some folks returned and flushed the fish when they realized they weren’t as in the movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Cartoon Network made turtles famous. However, most were ignored.

Blue Tang breeding has never been profitable.

Fishing with cyanide causes some fish to the surface, making them easier to catch. But, as a conservationist, I know poisoning the ocean is terrible.

Blue Tang can easily pollute your fish tank, destroy coral reefs, and kill its tank mates using cyanide.

Cyanide kills half of all living things in its path.

Blue Tang has never had a commercially practical breeding colony.

You can even inject cyanide into the water to entice fish to the surface for more accessible collection. Of course, conservationists that don’t want to pollute the oceans oppose this.

After the occurrence, pollution, coral reef damage, and fish deaths may ensue.

Cyanide kills half of all living things in its path.

Everyone in your household who’s curious about Dory’s species and if she’d make a lovely pet should know she’s best left alone.

7 Lucky Fish Feng Shui/Vaastu Recommends

12 Creative Ways to Clean Your Home Aquarium

Why Royal Blue Tang is the Perfect Choice for Character Dory?

Finding Nemo's Dory
Finding Nemo’s Dory

Because the Royal Blue Tang had no distinct personality, the producers decided to cast it in the role of Dory from Finding Nemo.

This is reminiscent of Dory’s inability to retain short-term memory.

Free-spiritedness is another facet of personality shared by real-life royal blue tangs and fictional characters like Dory.

Both the fictional character Dory and her real-life counterparts have an issue with their names, as the Royal Blue Tang is sometimes mistaken for other fish species.

They can only be obtained through hunting in their natural habitat; they are never produced in captivity.

They would rather be helpful in the environment, particularly in exerting a positive influence over the state of affairs.

Key Things to Know About Royal Blue Tang


The coral reef’s life cycle would be incomplete without the existence of Royal Blue Tang.

Coral reefs are protected from suffocation because of their ability to devour excess algae.

Despite covering less than 1% of Earth’s surface, coral reefs harbor and feed a quarter of all ocean creatures.


Regal blue tangs form breeding groups and gather if they want to reproduce.

External fertilization occurs when females release their embryos, while men release semen into the water above the coral.

According to the ADW, each hatching cycle results in the expulsion of approximately 40,000 eggs.

After reproducing, the “parents” leave their young to their own devices, with little concern for them.

According to the MASNA, fertilized eggs are discarded and in the plankton “soup.”

As soon as the fertilized eggs hatch, they spend their first 26 hours of life in the soup before changing into juveniles.

To complete the transformation, they settle into corals substrate.

According to the ADW, size is used to gauge maturation rather than chronological age.

Generally speaking, males are considered adults at 11 cm (4.3 inches) in length and females at 13 cm (5 inches). 

As long as they are in the open, regal blue tangs can survive for over 30 years.


Fish like this tend to live in pairs or small groups because they are friendly creatures. They frequently organize themselves into groups of ten to twelve people.

They aren’t the only blue tangs out there, either.

In their groups, they have fin and tangs of various types.

A “play dead” strategy employed by some blue-tangs is to lie down on their side and remain motionless until the predator passes by.

Males frequently engage in “sword fights” with their caudal spines, and physical aggression.

As a result, more dominant males enjoy a broader fertile environment.

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get Dory as your Pet

Finding Nemo's Dory
Finding Nemo’s Dory


Price ranges for blue tangs range from $60 to $250, depending on their availability and size.

For some, the pricing isn’t out of reach just yet.

Then comes the bit that’s going to cost you a lot of money.

The recommended amount of space for keeping blue tangs is 250 gallons.

You should expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 on average for such a large tank as well as the equipment that will be housed inside of it.

125 Gallon Aquarium: My #3 Picks in 2022

55 Gallon Fish Tank: My #10 Best Picks [2022]

Brings Disease 

Raising blue tangs is expensive, so you’d hope they’d be sturdy and hearty fish.

However, did you know that they are particularly susceptible to ich? ‘

Numerous studies that have been published online indicate that these fish are extremely susceptible to Cryptocaryon irritans.

Note: Aquarius can be decimated in a single outbreak by this highly contagious parasite.

Marine ich almost always jumps into blue tangs’ tanks when you transfer them to a new tank, no matter how copper, UV, or other treatments you use.

Requires Excessive Feeding

It’s no secret that blue tangs are opportunistic eaters. At the very least, you should feed them three times a day. ‘ Even a light dusting of fish particles isn’t enough. Carnivorous instincts are high in these fish. As a result, they should be fed meaty meals regularly.

In addition, your tank’s plankton and algae will not be able to satisfy their voracious appetite and constant need to eat.

If you’re able to prioritize being at home all day to create gourmet meals for your Dory, I’d consider yourself quite fortunate.

5 Nutritious Foods You Should Feed Baby Tetras

Challenging to Care

Blue tangs should be housed in habitats that closely resemble their natural surroundings.

Coral reef tanks are the best place to store them and on the other hand, they aren’t for everyone.

It’s no secret that maintaining a coral reef tank is difficult, especially for novice aquarium keepers.

The factors are incredibly difficult to manipulate and mimic in a controlled environment.

It will take at least 6 months before your sensitive tang fish can live in the aquarium.

Blue Tangs May Sting You

The razor-sharp spines at the base of the tails of blue tangs are used constantly in the wild to injure one other.

Because of their sharp spines, these fish were once categorized as surgeonfish.

Getting your hand grazed by one of these thorns while cleaning the tank is a very real possibility.

The blue tang’s deadly sting can also inflict harm on other fish in the aquarium, which goes without saying.

So, always stay alert when handling them.

They May Be Illegal 

Blue tangs are notoriously difficult to breed commercially (Just like any tropical fish would).

As a result, it’s possible that your fish was unlawfully harvested from the wild.

The coral reef ecosystem and the native population are threatened by their disappearance at an alarming rate.

And here I wonder – Why do these things need to be collected, to begin with?

A method of fishing involves injecting or spraying cyanide directly at fish. 

The intention is to enable harvesting easier if some of them rise to the surface.

But remember, Fish that have been poisoned by cyanide will eventually die from organ failure. This cannot be avoided.

Even if you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a tank for your blue tang, it may suddenly die on you without explanation.

12 Most Expensive Fish to Keep in Your Home Aquarium

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dory Fish Poisonous?

It is common to use cyanide to catch blue tangs and other saltwater aquarium fish in their natural habitats.

As it turns out, all of these blue tangs get caught in the wild and marketed to the public in stores as “Dories.”

Is Dory a Freshwater Fish?


Final Words: Is It Suitable for your Home Aquarium?

Paracanthurus hepatus is the fish that inspired Dory’s character in Finding Nemo. 

Additionally, the Paracanthurus hepatus is also referred to as hippo tang, palette surgeonfish, and royal blue tang. 

There are over 70 species of surgeonfish with deadly spines along with their tails. 

The thought of keeping this fish in your home aquarium does sound great. 

However, for the reasons listed in this post, you should avoid royal blue tangs as your pets.