Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Achilles Tang, Acanthurus achilles
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Achilles Tang
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Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles)
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Quick Stats

Care Level Expert Only
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Color Form Purple, Tan
Diet Herbivore
Reef Compatible Yes
Water Conditions 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size 8½"
Origin Hawaii
Family Acanthuridae
Minimum Tank Size 180 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
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The Achilles Tang, also known as the Red-tailed Surgeon, or Achilles Surgeonfish, is very dark brown to purple. It has bright highlights of white and orange around the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. A white marking is also present on the gill covers and a striking orange teardrop is found near the caudal fin. The juveniles of this species have an orange marking by the tail in the shape of a streak instead of being teardrop in shape.

A 180 gallon aquarium or larger is necessary to provide plenty of swimming room,and these fishes require strong water flow as they are normally found in surge zones. It is aggressive towards other Tangs and Surgeonfish, but peaceful with other fish.

Although Tangs will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important that they are offered plenty of marine based seaweed and algae. This will strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression and improve their overall health. Offer dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip, at least 3 times per week along with their regular feeding schedule. Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad and Ocean Nutrition are all ideal products and are very easy to use.

Approximate Purchase Size: Juvenile Small: 1-3/4" to 2-1/4"; Medium: 2-1/4" to 2-3/4"; Juvenile/Young Adult, Large: 2-3/4" to 3-1/2"; Adult Small: 1-1/2" to 2-1/2"; Small/Medium: 2-1/2" to 3"; Medium: 3" to 4"; Medium/Large: 4" to 5"; Large: 5" to 6"; XLarge: 6" to 7-1/2"

Customer Testimonials

Doug Klippel Jacksonville , FL

The Achilles Tang is a high-energy, dramatic fish that demands superior water conditions and plenty of swimming room to remain healthy. It can be prone to ich, particularly if water parameters are not adhered to. I have kept this fish successfully with other surgeons and tangs (naso, purple, and regal) with the Achilles Tang being introduced last.
Bernardo Valdez San Antonio , TX
After losing my first Achilles that was purchased at the lfs, I looked at LiveAquaria as an oppurtunity to receive a healthy specimen. This is one of the most beautiful tangs. It is very active and demands lots of swimming room. It is a voracious algae eater!
1-2 of 2 testimonials

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