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Home > Marine Fish > Miscellaneous Fish > Moorish Idol EXPERT ONLY
Moorish Idol EXPERT ONLY (Zanclus cornutus)
Moorish Idol EXPERT ONLY
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Moorish Idol EXPERT ONLY (Zanclus cornutus)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!
Additional locales and sizes may be available!
 Arrive Alive
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Quick Stats

Care Level Expert Only
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Black, White, Yellow
Diet Omnivore
Reef Compatible With Caution
Water Conditions 78-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.021-1.023
Max. Size 7"
Origin Fiji
Family Zanclidae
Minimum Tank Size 125 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information
Care Level Expert Only
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Black, White, Yellow
Diet Omnivore
Reef Compatible With Caution
Water Conditions 78-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.021-1.023
Max. Size 7"
Origin Fiji
Family Zanclidae
Minimum Tank Size 125 gallons
Compatibility View Chart
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information

Overview

The Moorish Idol is also commonly known in Hawaii as "Kihikihi" which means "curves," "corners," or "zigzags," and refers to its shape and color pattern. It is the only member of the family Zanclidae, and a very close relative of the Tangs or Surgeonfish. One of the most widespread fish, it can be found throughout the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and all of the tropical Pacific. Wild specimens can attain a length of 7 inches, but 4 inches is more likely in the aquarium.

The Moorish Idol tends to be very peaceful. Due to its size, schooling nature, and need for swimming space, it requires a large aquarium of at least 125 gallons. As its beauty is most evident while swimming, giving it adequate room is well rewarded. It is compatible with most fish and larger invertebrates, but should not be kept with any polyps or corals, which it will eat. Small invertebrates may be threatened as well.

The Moorish Idol is a very difficult fish to feed. Live rock with large amounts of algae and sponges on which it can feed will help it acclimate. Then offer a varied diet of finely chopped meaty items, mysis shrimp, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, Spirulina, and algae. It should be fed several times a day.

Perhaps the most graceful of all marine fish, for many hobbyists, it is also one of the most difficult fish to keep because it is so difficult to feed. For all but the most expert hobbyist, it is better admired in the ocean or in a public aquarium rather than in a home tank.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 3" to 3-1/2"; Medium: 3-1/2" to 4-1/2"; Large: 4-1/2" to 5-1/2"

Please note: We guarantee that ALL aquaria species we offer will arrive alive and in good condition. However, because of the increased level of care required for this particular species, it has been designated as "Expert Only." This species is recommended only for the expert aquarist, zoo, or research institution. “Expert Only” aquatic life is exempt from our extended guarantee after their arrival.

Customer Testimonials

Jonathon Seamon Orlando , FL
One of the most beautiful and graceful fish available to aquarists; however it is also one of the most frustrating! Unless you're lucky enough to find one already feeding (as I did), this species is probably best left in the wild. If you must try one, use New Life Spectrum Marine Fish Formula. My Moorish Idol loves it (it got him through acclimation) and I've heard of four other Idols that have greedily adopted it as their food of choice. Once acclimated, these guys are bold, and spend most of their time in the front of the tank. They are also reef safe and rarely aggressive (though mine occasionally picks on my Percula Clown at feedings). You should have at least a 100-gallon tank with lots of swimming space!
Alan Gordon Woodbridge , VA
I simply love this fish. I have 2 of them with Radiata Lions(they all get along too). What I did to get them to feed was I purchased 5lbs. of clams, froze them, took out 2 at first, when they were only 2" to 3", defrosted and broke them open and dropped them in the tank.They went to town on them. They even ate the tissue that connected the 2 shells together. Month after month they just got bigger and bigger. I highly recommend this fish for people with decked out systems and do what is required. Remember this is a valuable life.
Robert P Brookpark , OH
My two Moorish Idols arrived from Liveaquaria today and they are beautiful and already eating New Live Spectrum pellets. I have been a marine aquarist for more than 16 years and the last time I had a Moorish Idol was about 10 years ago. They are both together in my 29 gl. quarantine with liverocks, yes with live rocks! Because I freshwater dip if ick ever occurs, I don’t recommend copper. I also believe that if you drip acclimate for about two hours then there is much better survival. They will be in quarantine for about two weeks and if everything is well then will be transfer to my 120 gl. tank with a rock beauty angel and purple tang. Thank you Liveaquaria.
Dennis Stone Enid , OK
I got a medium (maldives) . very healthy and active. was picking at rocks within minutes. was picking at flakes on day 1 . within 2 days was eating various prepared frozen foods and tears up algea sheets like there is nothing in the world better to eat. NOT shy at all. Very pleased
1-4 of 4 testimonials

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