Care Level: Advanced
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Achilles Tang is native to coral reefs and surge zones in the western Pacific, including the Hawaiian Islands, and the central Pacific. An iconic reef fish, the Achilles tang has a dark brown to purple and black body, with a white mark on each gill plate and orange on the caudal, dorsal and anal fins. As a juvenile, these colors may be more muted. Additionally, the signature orange teardrop shape near the caudal (tail) fin starts as an orange streak in juveniles and develops as it matures into an adult. While sought after for its beauty, an Achilles tang is considered “advanced” unlike many other tangs (see Care Requirements below). Because of this, only the expert aquarist should consider an Achilles tang. An adult Achilles tang can reach a size of approximately 9″. Note: Achilles tangs are known to be very susceptible to ich and other skin parasites. All of our Achilles tangs are quarantined and treated accordingly for 28 days to prevent ich and ensure you’re receiving a healthy, eating specimen.
Diet Requirements: In the wild tangs are primarily herbivorous. A diet largely consisting of algae-based foods is absolutely necessary to maintain optimal health, coloration, immune function, and reduce aggression. If not, tangs often develop head and lateral line erosion from such deficiencies. High quality vegetable based flake foods or frozen foods that include spirulina algae are excellent options. We also recommend offering dried seaweed on a rock or clip three times a week minimum. Achilles tangs will consume various other protein-based frozen foods.
Care Requirements: An extremely established, minimum 200 gallon aquarium with 18+ inch width is ideal for small/juvenile specimens. An adult Achilles tang will require a much larger aquarium. Achilles tangs are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. Given their natural habitat of living in surge zones, an Achilles tang requires more generous and turbulent water flow in the aquarium. An Achilles tang will appreciate some rock work and crevices to swim through and graze algae off of, but prefers a lot of open and unobstructed swimming space. Like many other acanthurids, the Achilles tang will make a great addition into a reef aquarium because of their natural tendency to control algae build up. An Achilles tang would thrive best in an aquarium that has been set up for a minimum of 8 months to a year in order to provide such a healthy abundance of natural algae growth, which is one key component to the success of keeping this fish. Typically, an Achilles tang will not conflict with other tank mates but will act aggressively toward other Acanthurus species and even tangs from other genera. Therefore, exercise caution when mixing an Achilles tang with other surgeonfish. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Juvenile Medium: 3″ to 4″; Large: 4-1/4″ or larger; Adult Medium: 4″ to 5″; Large: 5-1/4″ to 6″; XLarge: 6-1/4″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.