Acanthurus achilles (Shaw, 1803)
Other Common Names:
9.4 inches (24 cm).
Characteristics and Compatibility:
One of the more demanding surgeonfish of the Acanthuridae Family
, the Achilles Tang requires much attention. It is highly susceptible to contracting ich, and can have problems with HLLE
. It can be aggressive towards other surgeonfishes, especially those of its own kind. Large adult specimens in particular fight terribly if not given lots of space to keep them apart. With the possible exception of providing are very large system with more than ample room to swim around and plenty of places to hide, this fish is best kept singly. Often hard to acclimate.
Diet and Feeding:
Primarily a herbivore that will graze on filamentous micro and some types of smaller fleshy macroalgae. Often a difficult fish to feed, it should be fed frozen and dried fares suitable for herbivores that contain marine algae and Spirulina (blue-green algae). Zucchini, broccoli, leaf lettuce, and nori (dried seaweed) can be offered to supplement its diet. Should be fed at least 3 times a day.
Requires lots of room to swim around, and plenty of places to hide. A constant grazer, this fish is best kept in a well established aquarium with a hardy growth of marine algae to graze on at its leisure.
Suggested Minimum Tank Size:
100 gallons (379 L).
Reef Tank Suitability:
Considered safe, but an individual may decide to pick at large polyped stony corals if not well fed.
The Achilles Tang is one of THE most challenging fish we have collected, shipped, and cared for. It is sensitive to ammonia poisoning, is an extremely difficult species to handle, and therefore should only be kept by an experienced aquarist.
It sounds silly, but this a fish that seems to break out with ich if you even look at it the wrong way. Can be a picky eater, and may not readily accept foods offered. For this reason, and because they seem to have gotten rare and hard to find, it is best to ask to see this fish eating before you buy one.