Surgeonfish (Acanthuridae) live primarily of different types of algae, making it a popular choice for coral aquariums, as they help to keep the aquarium algae free.
Most Surgeonfish have a scalpel by the caudal fin, used to defend themselves. It can cause some deep lacerations, so pay attention if the fish start to fight and when handling the fish.
When in the aquarium, they will spend most of their time swimming around and nibbling the algae from the stones. Surgeonfish will rarely irritate corals or invertebrates. Large Palettes/Blue tangs can be an exception.
The Surgeonfish are not typically aggressive towards other types of fish. If more Surgeonfish are added to the aquarium, they will establish a hierarchy. It is best to add the most aggressive species last and to ensure that there are sufficient hiding places, as they prefer to have their own individual sleeping area.
If multiple aggressive species are added to the same aquarium, one runs the risk of one of them dying due to stress. One must therefore be cautious about adding multiple Acanthurus species or Zebrasoma xanthurum into the same aquarium. A combination of the different genera will normally get along well, although the more aggressive species can still be challenging.
These fish should be kept in a well run aquarium where they can "graze" algae from rocks and stones.
If there are insufficient algae on the rocks, it is important to feed more frequently and supplement with algae rich food e.g. Spirulina.
This species can eat large amounts of algae (relative to their size) from rocks, like green hair algae and filamentous algae.
As it doesn’t eat every algae type, in case of a specific algae plague, find out more precise information.
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