Acanthurus nigricans, or Acanthurus glaucopareius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Other Common Names:
Gold-Rimmed Tang, Whitecheek Surgeonfish, Lesson's Surgeonfish.
The distribution of this species extends from tropical eastern Pacific westward to Hawaii, central Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, the Philippine Islands, and the islands of the East Indies.
The body of this fish is black, marked by bright yellow lines at the bases of the dorsal and anal fins widening out towards the base of the tail. There is a small white stripe around the mouth. The iris of the eye is pale yellow in color and there is a white area just below the eye, thus giving it the name Whitecheek Surgeonfish. Like most Surgeonfishes, the Goldrim has the sharp razor-like spur located where the body extends into the tail area. Its spur is a yellow or light white/yellow in color. Caution should be used when handling this fish.
Characteristics & Compatibility:
This is one species that is prone to contracting Ich (Whitespot Disease). It is highly sensitive to even minor levels of ammonia, as well as other poor water quality factors.
It is a very shy fish, but once acclimated to its surroundings it becomes very active. It is best kept singly. If you insist on having more than one of these fish they should only be kept in a very large tank with ample cover, and not be kept with other more aggressive Acanthurus species. In general this fish will get along with other unrelated fishes, but may be become aggressive towards other similar in appearance or food competing species.
Diet & Feeding:
The Goldrim Tang is a herbivore. It spends its day grazing on filamentous microalgae and small fleshy types of macroalgae. It needs a good diet high in plant and vegetable matter, but may occasionally nibble at some meaty fares. If an ample diet is not provided it may pick at large polyped stony corals, so it cannot be trusted as being completely reef safe.
Minimum Tank Size:
Reef Tank Suitable?:
Because of its sensitive nature and special care requirements we give the Goldrim Tang a *** Fish Care Rating Level
. It is wise to only purchase this fish if it is in excellent health. Lack of appetite, a frayed tail and fins are some of the first signs that the fish may have been exposed to "ammonia burn". When purchasing a Goldrim Tang, or any fish for that matter, insist that the seller demonstrate that the fish is eating.
To learn more about the overall characteristics, feeding habits and captive care of this Surgeonfish and others, refer to our Tang & Surgeonfish Family Profile