Acanthuridae Tangs

Native to the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, the tangs are less common in the Atlantic ocean. An upright spine on the caudal peduncle has earned them the alternative name of surgeonfish, as this spine resembles a scalpel. It plays a defensive role and can represent a danger for the aquarist. Despite their squat bodies, which seem to have been squashed sideways, they are good swimmers, and they live in groups in a natural setting. They feed on algae and small prey which fit into their mouths. These fish are active and require a tank of at least 300 liters, with only one tang, because in such a limited space they do not get along with each other. It is also advisable not to put any invertebrates into the aquarium. Tangs feed on brine shrimps or other live prey, but they also require a vegetable complement. The water must be well filtered and stirred, with fairly bright lighting, to favor the growth of algae.

The young are easier to acclimatize. Their reproduction, which, in their natural environment, seems to be connected with the lunar cycle, has never been observed in an aquarium.

Acanthurusachilles

A very delicate species to keep, the Achilles tang appreciates partial (but small) changes of water on a regular basis. It accepts vegetable foodstuffs and small animal prey. Size: 15-18 cm. •

Acanthurusachilles

A very delicate species to keep, the Achilles tang appreciates partial (but small) changes of water on a regular basis. It accepts vegetable foodstuffs and small animal prey. Size: 15-18 cm. •

•A canthurusjaponicus

The powder brown tang is a good swimmer. It keenly grazes the algae on the decor, but also accepts small prey. It is very delicate to keep in captivity. Size: 18 cm.

Acanthuruslineatus

This is a fairly easy species to keep in captivity, if it is supplied with vegetable foodstuffs. A good swimmer, the clown tang behaves extremely aggressively towards other tangs. Size: 18-20 cm. •

The powder blue tang appreciates hiding places and changes of water. Difficult to acclimatize, it can however accept commercial foodstuffs if they are predominantly vegetable. Size: 15 cm.

Acanthuruslineatus

This is a fairly easy species to keep in captivity, if it is supplied with vegetable foodstuffs. A good swimmer, the clown tang behaves extremely aggressively towards other tangs. Size: 18-20 cm. •

Clown Tang

Acanthurussohal

The sohal tang is one of the most beautiful of the Acanthurids. It can accept artificial vegetable food, but it prefers to feed on brine shrimps and ground mussels. Its territorial behavior sometimes makes it aggressive. Size: 25 cm.

Nasobrevirostris

Young longnose unicorn fish do not have a horn. A related species, N. unicornis, only has a hump on its forehead. These two species are vigorous swimmers and mainly feed on algae; the adults are more carnivorous than the young. Size: 25-30 cm. •

Acanthurussohal

The sohal tang is one of the most beautiful of the Acanthurids. It can accept artificial vegetable food, but it prefers to feed on brine shrimps and ground mussels. Its territorial behavior sometimes makes it aggressive. Size: 25 cm.

• Naso lituratus

The smooth-headed unicorn fish is a relatively easy species to keep. Although generally placid, they can become aggressive if they are upset. The adults in this species have fine extensions to the tips of the caudal fin, while the juveniles have white patches. Size: 25 cm.

Paracanthurus hepatus •

The blue coloring of the young turns gray on their belly and back once they reach adulthood. Somewhat unobtrusive, the hippo tang likes having hiding places. Size: 18 cm

• Zebra so ma flavescens

The anal and dorsal fins of the zebrasomas are more developed than those of other tangs. These timid species must be provided .vith shelters. The coloring of the yellow tang varies according to ts geographical origins. Size: 18 cm.

Zebrasoma veliferum

When the sailfin tang is in motion, this beautiful swimmer tucks its fins along its body, although it does open them to "impress" other members of the same species and to chase them off its territory (the yellow tang does the same). Size: 30 cm. •

MARINE FISH

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