Achilles Surgeonfish / Tang
Achilles Surgeonfish / Tang

Achilles Surgeonfish / Tang

Acanthurus achilles

Achilles Surgeonfish / Tang

Common name: Achilles Surgeonfish, Red-tailed Surgeon, Achilles tang
Scientific name: Acanthurus achilles
Max size: 10 in / 25 cm
pH: 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)

Achilles surgeonfish is a very beautiful and very sensitive species. It can only be recommend to expert marine fish keepers. This fish ships very poorly and is usually not covered by shipping guarantees. Specimens in pet stores are often weakened after being shipped. It is hard to rear a weakened fish back to health, especially if they have stopped eating, which is why many aquarists have had very short lived experiences with this species. Never buy an Achilles surgeonfish without seeing it eat first. They can be somewhat expensive.

Achilles surgeonfish is especially sensitive when first introduced a new aquarium. Once they have been properly familiarized with an aquarium and are eating well they will often become an easily kept fish. Achilles surgeonfish is very prone to being infected by marine ich.

Achilles surgeonfish is becoming increasingly rare in the trade due to its sensitive nature but is still readily available and you should be able to get one if you wan to by asking your local store to order one for you or by ordering one yourself over the Internet.

Achilles surgeonfish has a dark blue body. The head is rust colored on the top and there is a soft blue field below the gill covers. This fish has a yellow or orange field located near the tailfin peduncle. The fins have white roots that border to fields featuring the same yellow or orange color as the field near the tailfin peduncle. The tailfin has a large band of the same color running vertically across the tailfin.

Achilles surgeonfish can be quite aggressive towards other specimens of the same species and other tangs, especially if the aren't introduced at the same time. I don't recommend keeping more than one Achilles surgeonfish in the same aquarium even though it isn't impossible to do so. A failed attempt will usually leave you with only one living Achilles surgeonfish. Suitable companions include other similarly sized fishes from other species.

Achilles surgeonfish is considered reef safe but might pick at large polyp stony corals if not fed properly.

Achilles surgeonfish originates can be found throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Achilles surgeonfish is also known as the Achilles tang as well as Red tailed surgeonfish.

Achilles Surgeonfish care and aquarium setup:

Achilles surgeonfish grows quite large and will need and aquarium no smaller than 75 gallon / 300 L. It wants plenty of open water and plenty of places to hide. Decorate the aquarium with a lot of caves among live rock but leave open water as well. Achilles surgeonfish prefers an aquarium with a healthy population of algae that it can feed on and the aquariums should therefore be well lit. Feel free to use coral as a part of your decoration.

Rapid water movement and well oxygenated water is very important if you want to keep your Achilles surgeonfish healthy. They do not do well in placid aquariums.

Feeding Achilles Surgeonfish

Achilles surgeonfish can be picky and might not want to eat what you offer it. It is important that you get them to eat and feed them regularly as their health otherwise will deteriorate quickly. Achilles surgeonfish is an herbivore that in the wild mainly feeds on algae. It is very beneficial if your tank contains algae for your fish to graze on. Achilles surgeonfish should be provided with plenty of green food but will also accept mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and krill. Achilles surgeonfish should be fed very often, preferably 4-5 times a day. Make sure they get enough vegetables and spirulina.

Breeding Achilles Surgeonfish (Tang)

Achilles surgeonfish spawning is triggered by the moon cycle and you will likely need to mimic to moon cycle to trigger them to spawn in aquariums. The eggs are scattered in the pelagic and are carried by the current until the fry make their way back to the bottom of the sea. We have no further information on breeding or sexing Achilles surgeonfish.

Surgeonfish - Tang Articles:

Atlantic Blue Tang – Acanthurus coeruleus
Blue Hippo Tang – Paracanthurus hepatus
Chevron Tang – Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis
Clown Surgeonfish – Acanthurus lineatus
Convict Surgeonfish – Acanthurus triostegus
Desjardinii Tang – Zebrasoma desjardinii
Kole Tang – Ctenochaetus strigosus
Mimic Surgeonfish – Acanthurus pyroferus
Naso Tang – Naso lituratus
Orangeshoulder Surgeonfish – Acanthurus olivaceus
Powder Blue Tang – Acanthurus leucosternon
Powder Brown Tang – Acanthurus japonica
Purple Tang – Zebrasoma xanthurum
Sailfin Tang – Zebrasoma veliferum
Scopas Tang – Zebrasoma scopas
Whitecheek Surgeonfish – Acanthurus nigricans
Yellow Tang – Zebrasoma flavescens


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