Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Orange Shoulder Tang or Surgeonfish, also referred to as the Orangeband Surgeonfish, is native to the Indo-Pacific region. As a juvenile, the Orange shoulder tang has an overall yellow body with a faint “orange shoulder” marking. As an adult, the body color changes to an olivaceous color, with the posterior half of the fish much darker, and the “orange shoulder” marking becomes much more vibrant and pronounced with a dark blue-gray ring around it. With maturation, the tail will also become more lyre in shape. An adult Orange shoulder tang can reach a size of approximately 12″.
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. Vegetable based flake foods or frozen foods, that may also include spirulina algae, are excellent options. We also recommend offering dried seaweed on a rock or clip three times a week minimum. Orange shoulder tangs will consume various other protein-based frozen foods.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 125 gallon aquarium with 18+ inch width is ideal. Smaller specimens can be temporarily raised in smaller quarters (no less than 75 gallons) as long as it is upgraded accordingly. This tang enjoys a variety of rock work to graze on and crevices to take refuge, but also should be provided with open swimming space. Orange shoulder tangs are often sought after to add to a reef aquarium for their natural tendency to graze upon algae build up and because they are one of the least aggressive Acanthurus species. Typically, Orange shoulder tangs do not conflict with other tank-mates and aren’t overly territorial in nature. Only one Orange shoulder tang is recommended per aquarium. If you want to house various types of tangs together, including other Acanthurus species, it may be best to add them all at once, or closely together at the very least, for the best success. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Juvenile Small: 1″ to 1-3/4″; Medium: 1-3/4″ to 2-1/2″; Large: 2-1/2″ to 3″; Adult Small: 3-1/4″ to 4″; Medium: 4″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 6″; XLarge: 6″ to 7″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.