Clown Surgeonfish / Tang
Clown  Tang

Clown Surgeonfish / Tang

Acanthurus lineatus

Clown Surgeonfish

Common name: Clown Surgeonfish, Lined Surgeonfish, Clown Tang, Lined Tang, Blue-lined Surgeonfish
Scientific name: Acanthurus lineatus
Max size: 15 in / 37.5 cm
pH: 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)

The Clown surgeonfish is a very striking surgeon. It grows large and is one of them most aggressive surgeonfish species. You will need a large aquarium if you want to house this fish. It is somewhat sensitive and can only be recommended to experienced aquarists, although it should be said that you don't have to be an expert to keep the Clown surgeonfish. Only buy specimens that look healthy and in good condition as specimens with impaired health can be hard to rear back to good health. Always ask to see Clown surgeonfish eat before you buy them.

The Clown surgeonfish is as most sensitive during the first few weeks in your tank. Once they have made themselves at home they will become more hardy and easier to care for. Allow them 3-4 hours to acclimatize before first releasing them into your aquarium tank. This species is just like all surgeons receptive to ich. The might also attract HLLE.

The Clown surgeonfish is only occasionally available in the trade. If you want one you should keep and eye on online fish stores as well as ask around in local pet stores. Price depends on the size of the fish but you should be able to find it from $40-50 and up in online stores.

The clown surgeonfish has a blue body. The upper half of the body is covered with black to dark blue and yellow stripes. The body color show between the lines. The pelvic fins are yellow/ orange. This fish can change its color very fast to suite its mood and will for example change color when it attacks other fish.

The Clown surgeonfish lives as a solitary fish or in small groups with one male and several females. As it isn't possible to sex juvenile specimens it is best to only keep one clown surgeonfish in your aquarium. This fish species can become very aggressive and even show aggressions towards and attack the aquarium keeper. It can be kept with other aggressive species but species with a similar body shape should be avoided.

The Clown surgeonfish is considered reef safe and will leave ornamental invertebrates alone. They might however pick at large polyp stony corals if they get too hungry. You can avoid this problem by feeding them properly. They do best when kept in reef aquariums.

The Clown surgeonfish originates from the Indo-Pacific Ocean. They are found from the African east coast to the Marquesas Islands.

The Clown surgeonfish is also known as Clown tang, Lined surgeonfish, Lined tang, and Blue-lined surgeonfish.

Clown Surgeonfish care and aquarium setup

Clown surgeonfish should be housed in large aquarium and it is not suitable to keep it in aquariums smaller than 150 gallons / 570 L. Using an aquarium of  at least 180 gallons / 680 L is even better. Like all surgeonfish they prefer an aquarium with a lot of open space to swim in and plenty of hiding places. Decorate the aquarium by creating a lot of caves and overhangs using live rock while remembering to leave a lot of open space for them to swim in as well. Clown surgeonfish is best kept in reef aquarium and does much better in reef aquariums than in fish only tanks. They prefer if the aquarium has a healthy growth of marine algae.

The Clown surgeonfish requires an aquarium with rapid water movement and well oxygenated water. They become very sensitive if they aren't provided with enough water movement. It is very important to keep water values stable.

Feeding Clown Surgeonfish

The Clown surgeonfish is an herbivore that should be fed regularly. It should be provided with a varied diet consisting of vegetable matter and some meaty food like mysis shrimp and brine shrimp. It is important to make sure that they get enough vegetables and spirulina. Suitable vegetable food include spirulina, zucchini, broccoli, leaf lettuce, and dried seaweed They are easier to feed and keep healthy if the aquarium has a healthy growth of algae. The Clown surgeonfish will then graze to find food between feedings. It should be fed at least 3-4 times a day.

Breeding Clown Surgeonfish (Tang)

The Clown surgeonfish is likely triggered to spawn by the moon and you would likely need to simulate the moon cycle to be able to breed this species. They are believed to spawn in open water just before or after the full moon. The eggs are deposited in open water where they are swept with the current until the fry make their way to the bottom. Sexing clown surgeonfish is hard but males grow larger. We have no further information on sexing or breeding the Clown surgeonfish.

Surgeonfish - Tang Articles:

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