Convict Tang
Convict Tang

Convict Tang

Acanthurus triostegus

Convict  Tang

Common name: Convict tang, Convict tang
Scientific name: Acanthurus triostegus
Max size: 10 in / 25 cm (usually smaller)
pH: 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)

The Convict tang, or Convict surgeonfish as it is also called, is a schooling surgeonfish. In the wild they can be found in schools of thousands of fish. They can be kept in schools in aquariums as well as long as all specimens are introduced to the aquarium at the same time.  The Convict tang is one of the smallest for aquarium best suited surgeonfish species.

The convict tang has a white body with black vertical stripes.  The dorsal fin has a yellow edge.

The convict tang is relatively easy to keep and care for and is a good first surgeonfish. It is relatively common in the trade and you should be able to find it in local stores. It can however not be recommended to marine beginners as it does best in reef aquariums and is sensitive to poor water quality and rapid changes in water values.

Surgeonfish can be hard to rear back to health if they become malnourished. You should therefore only buy convict tang that you have seen eating, or chose a reputable online dealer known for high quality fish if you order online.

The Convict tang is suitable for community reef aquariums. They can be kept with most other not too aggressive species but should not be housed with tangs or surgeonfish species unless it is a large aquarium. It is not advisable to combine Convict tang with puffers or triggers. This species is more shy than mot other surgeons.

The convict tang is considered reef safe but can nip at large polyp stony corals if it gets too hungry. This shouldn't be a problem if you keep your convict tang well fed. It will not harm ornamental invertebrates such as ornamental shrimp.

Convict tangis prone to attract marine ich.

The mimic surgeonfish is found throughout the Indo-Pacific, expect for the waters around the Arabian Peninsula. The geographical range of this species stretches all the way from eastern Africa to the lower Gulf of California and western coast of Central America, including the islands of Revillagigedo, Cocos, Clipperton, and Galapagos.

Convict tang care and aquarium setup

The Convict tang is a relatively small surgeonfish that can be kept in smaller aquariums. Some sources and stores recommend that you keep this species in an aquarium no smaller than 50 gallon / 200 L but we recommend an aquarium no smaller than 75 gallon / 285 L to keep this fish. You will need an even larger aquarium if you want to keep a group of them.

Like all surgeonfish the Convict tang likes an aquarium with plenty of open water and numerous hiding places. To that end you should decorated your aquarium using live rock to create plenty of caves and overhangs while at the same time leaving a lot of open water.  Convict tang do better in a reef aquarium than in fish only aquariums. They should if possible be kept in aquariums with a healthy algae growth.

The Convict tang is like all surgeonfish sensitive to rapid changes of water values.

Feeding Convict Tang

The Convict tang is an herbivore fish that feeds on benthic algae in the wild. Benthic algae are algae that grow on the bottom of the sea. The Convict tang plays important roles in the ecosystem as it helps preventing corals from getting overgrown with algae. Convict tang should be feed mainly vegetable matter in the aquarium, but a little meaty food in their diet is good as that provides them with precious proteins. Never feed them to much meaty food as their bodies weren't developed to handle protein rich food. Meaty food once every two days is enough. Suitable vegetable food includes spirulina, zucchini, broccoli, leaf lettuce, and dried seaweed. Suitable meaty food includes fine chopped sea food, mysis shrimp and brine shrimp. Feed your convict tang at least 3 times a day.

It is beneficial if the aquarium has prolific marine algae growth for the fish to graze on in between meals.

Breeding Convict Tang

The Convict tang is a group spawner that spawns in open water at the edge of reefs. They have spawned in aquariums but it is very hard to raise the fry. This is due to the fact that the Convict tang fry remains in their planktonic stage for several months. The fry will during this stage have to be subjected to sufficient water movement while at the same time being protected from aquarium filters. No one has as far as we know successfully raised convict tang fry from spawnings in captivity. We have no further information on breeding or sexing Convict tang.

Surgeonfish - Tang Articles:

Achilles Surgeonfish – Acanthurus achilles
Atlantic Blue Tang – Acanthurus coeruleus
Blue Hippo Tang – Paracanthurus hepatus
Chevron Tang – Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis
Clown Surgeonfish – Acanthurus lineatus
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


Privacy policy
Search AC

AC Tropical Fish