Achilles tang - Facts On The Stunning Achilles Tang
Scientific Name : Acanthurus Achilles
Origin : Hawaii
DIfficulty : Hard
Minimum Size Tank : 100+ gallons
Temperament : Aggressive
Temperature : 72 - 82°F
Reef Safe : yes
Maximum Size : 9 inches
Diet : Herbivore
The Achilles Tang is one of the most beautiful fish in the surgeonfish family. It is my favorite tang alongside the equally stunning Sohal Tang. It has an all black/dark chocolate body with a single orange tear-drop on its spine while its tail is white, black and orange.
the Achilles Surgeonfish the Red-Tailed Surgeonfish. They found only in Hawaiian waters where they live singly, in pairs or as part of a shoal.
They are not commonly available as they're usually sold out when they hit the markets.
Prices start within the upper $100 range while adults can cost anywhere from $200 to $400 for very large specimens. Extra large showcase quality individuals can fetch more than $400. An expensive fish to be sure.
Like most tangs,
the Achilles tang is susceptible to ich, hole in the head and lateral line erosion so pay careful attention to the
specimen you're considering. Do not buy any specimens that exhibit
scratching, a sure sign of ich or marine velvet. Unfortunately despite all precautions, this fish commonly perishes in the home aquaria. They are not as hardy as other surgeonfish species and there is difficulty in getting them to accept prepared foods.
The Achilles Tang is one of the few tangs that have interbreed with another species within the genus. A rare hybrid, the Achilles X Goldrim tang commands a very high price when they are available.
2 Juvenile Achilles Tangs
The Achilles tang is one of the more aggressive surgeonfishes. Aggression towards other large fish such as butterflyfish can be common. Smaller species like clownfish, dottybacks and gobies are generally left alone.
Sharing their domain with other tangs doesn't sit well with the achilles tang. And they show they displeasure by regularly harassing them. There's always an exception to this behavior though.
Do not keep more than one Achilles Tang in the same marine aquarium. Members of the same species will continually attack each other in all but the biggest aquariums.
If you must keep more than one Achilles Tang, introduce them all at once.
A group of 3 Achilles Tangs in a 180 gallon tank.
The Achilles tang reaches 9 inches in length so its not as big as a Sohal Tang but its still big enough to warrant a large aquarium.
A marine aquarium no smaller than a 100 gallons is needed to house a AchillesTang.
They require a lot of swimming space so always aim for the largest tank you can afford. Bigger is better.
They also require a spot to sleep at night, ensure there is an ample amount of liverock to provide appropriate shelters.
A pair of Achilles Tangs in the wild.
In the overview i listed this fish as hard. Simply because it is really difficult to them on prepared foods at home. Many specimens refuse all foods and simply starve to death in captivity. With that in mind, we move on to some great foods to try on this beautiful tang.
The Achilles tang is completely reef safe, making them fine additions to the reef aquarium.
Despite the fact that they're primarily herbivores in the wild, they are open to just about anything offered once acclimated. They will eat brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill and whatever else you offer.
Since they feed on copious 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.Prices vary greatly depending on the brand. Some people may find Julian Sprungs Sea Veggies to cost a little too much. Its good stuff though. They're also available as flakes, which is very convenient since there's very little work involved during feeding.
Thankfully there are many other brands that produce nori primarily for human consumption. Some are cheap while the really high quality sheets can be very expensive.
You will need a clip of some sort to secure the nori sheet. You could DIY a clip yourself and spend a couple of bucks on a commercial type. Some people fold the sheets before clipping while others just clip it as is. Once the nori is secured, stick the clip to the side of the tank, sit back, and enjoy the show.
Ocean Nutrition produces another good quality food, Formula Two. Along with mixed seafood, vitamins and whatnot, there is an extra amount of algae added to the mix. Available in three forms, pellet, flake or frozen cube.
While Formula Two is a good flake, it surpassed by Sea Veggie mixed flakes by Two Little Fishies. A great all-rounder with a good balance of ingredients, New Life Spectrum comes highly recommended as well.
Do not feed your tangs lettuce of any kind (romaine or iceberg). Pet stores that are trying to save a few bucks normally feed their tangs lettuce. Nutritionally, lettuce offers very little and should not have a place in this hobby.
Published in 2002, this book remains the authority on tangs and surgeonfish around the world. Covers all 80 species.
More by this Author
Purple Tang Care Guide - The Purple Tang is another popular fish among hobbyist. Its body shape is very similar to the yellow tang with the two of them differing only in color.
Also known as the Hippo Tang and Regal Tang. Learn how to care for these beautiful fish.
A guide to caring for the yellow tang, one of the most popular fish for hobbyists.