Achilles Surgeonfish (Acanthurus achilles)

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Achilles Surgeonfish

Acanthurus achilles1.jpg
Achilles Surgeonfish

Acanthurus achilles

681 Litres (180 US G.)

17.8-20.3cm (7-8 ")


8.0 - 8.4

22.2-25.6°C (72 -78 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Other (See article)

3-5 years



Additional names

Achilles Tang, Red-Tailed Surgeonfish, Redspot Surgeonfish

Additional scientific names

Acanthurus achillas, Acanthurus aterrimus, Hepatus achilles, Hepatus aterrimus, Teuthis achilles, Teuthis aterrimus


Western Pacific: Oceanic Islands of Oceania to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn islands. Also known from Wake, Marcus, and Mariana islands. Eastern Central Pacific: southern tip of Baja California, Mexico and other offshore islands.


Very difficult to visually sex this fish.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Territorial to others of it's own species or other Tangs or Surgeonfish. Reef compatible otherwise and peaceful towards other fish and invertebrates.


Primarily grazes on algae, provide a healthy established reef system and supplement with foods such as spirulina. May accept small meaty foods like mysid shrimp.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Difficult to keep in captivity. Prefers very large tanks with lots of swimming space. If it's environment and food is not perfect, it can be susceptible to diseases such as Ich. In the wild it lives in the surge zone of the reef, therefore will appreciate a strong wave maker in captivity. Needs a salinity of around 1.020.


A territorial fish towards other Tangs or fish that resemble Tangs in body shape, peaceful towards other fish.


Striking orange on black markings. Typical oval Tang body shape, black base colour with white edging to fins and gills, orange tail and a tear drop shaped orange marking at the base of the tail. These markings will show true when the fish is mature, and may differ in juveniles.



External links[edit]