Category: Aquarium Fish Other
The Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles), also known as the Red-tailed Surgeon, or Achilles Surgeonfish, it a member of the family Acanthuridae, order Perciformes (perch-like fish). the most beautiful fish in the surgeonfish family, is very dark brown to purple. It has an all black-dark chocolate body with a single orange tear-drop spot found near the caudal fin, it has bright highlights of white and orange around the dorsal and anal fins, and a white marking is also present on the gill covers. They are found only in Hawaiian waters where they live by them selves and in pairs or as part of a shoal.
When they are sold in the pet store they are expensive fish. Like most tangs, the Achilles tang fish can easily become infected to ich, marine velvet, lateral line erosion and hole in the head, so pay careful attention to the fish you're considering.
The Achilles tang fish is one of the more aggressive surgeonfishes. Aggression towards other large fish such as butterflyfish is not uncommon. If you have more than one Achilles Tang fish, introduce them all at once in the tank.
The Achilles tang reaches 9 inches in length so its not as big as a Sohal Tang but its still big enough that you need a large aquarium.
A marine aquarium no smaller than a 180 gallons is needed to house a Achilles Tang fish. They need a lot of swimming area so always aim for the largest tank you can afford to bye. Bigger is better.
They also need a spot to sleep at night, make sure there is an ample amount of liverock so there is appropriate shelters.
The juveniles of this fish have an orange marking by the tail in the shape of a streak instead of being teardrop in shape.
Many of Achilles Tang refuse all foods in captivity and simply starve to death. It is important that they are offered plenty of marine based seaweed and algae. This strengthen their immune system, slows down their aggression and improves their overall health. Offer dried seaweed tied to a rock, and feed at least 3 times per week. Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad and Ocean Nutrition are all very good products and can be very easy to use.
In the wild, surgeonfish eat primarily plant food. They are herbivores and have often been referred to as the "cows of the sea." They will eat krill, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp and whatever else you offer. Since they feed on abundant amounts of algae in the wild, we should see to it that a large percentage of the food we feed them is algae based.
Algae sheets like nori are a great algae to feed all herbivorous fish. Some people may find Julian Sprungs Sea Veggies will to expensive, but its very good stuff. They're also available as flakes, which is very convenient since there's not much work involved during feeding.