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Tangs & Surgeonfish

Tangs & Surgeonfish

Tangs & Surgeon-fish are extremely popular reef fish.

Both beautiful and reef safe, these types of fish can catch out unsuspecting newbies to reef keeping if they are not aware of the demands of the particular species they wish to keep.

Size and territoriality can become issues as these fish are generally herbivorous grazers which can grow very large in some cases, and will maintain their territories from other competing grazers, including other tangs as well as damsels. A sharp scalpel protrudes from the caudal peduncle (near the back fin of the fish), from which these acanthurid fish earn their common names. This scalpel is used for defense and can damage other competing fishes significantly if fighting occurs.

Our rule of thumb is to consider the mouth shape of your favourite tangs and surgeon-fish. If they are similar shape, they probably eat similar types of food and algae and are therefore less likely to get on together. They may see each other as a threat to the available supplies within their territory.

If you are unsure about whether your fish will get on then always ask us before making your purchase so that we can help guide you in the right direction. Always remember that your fish are individual animals though, and what might work for someone else, wont necessarily translate the same results in your tank. If ever in doubt, leave them out.