Chocolate Surgeonfish (Acanthurus pyroferus)

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Chocolate Surgeonfish

Acanthurus pyroferus4537.jpg
Juvenile Chocolate Surgeonfish

Acanthurus pyroferus

284 Litres (75 US G.)

17.8-20.3cm (7-8 ")


8.1 - 8.4

22.2-25.6°C (72 -78 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Flake Foods
Other (See article)

8-10 years



Additional names

Chocolate Surgeonfish, Pacific Mimic Surgeon, Orange-Gilled Surgeonfish, Mimic Surgeonfish, Mimic Lemon Peel Tang

Additional scientific names

Hepatus pyroferus, Acanthurus armiger, Acanthurus celebicus


These fish are difficult to sex visually.


A typical oval-shaped Tang which is yellow when juvenile. It has blue highlights around the eyes and gill covers, mimicking the Lemonpeel Angelfish (Centropyge flavissimus). It can also mimic (Centropyge heraldi) and (Centropyge vrolikii) depending on the most common Dwarf Angelfish in the region. When mature, the body colour darkens towards tan with red highlights forming around the eyes and pectoral fins. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins take on the hues of green but remain tipped with the tan body colour.


Usually quite passive, but can fend for itself. Is somewhat territorial as an adult, and will not appreciate new additions to the aquarium.

Tank Compatibility[edit]

Gets along with most dissimilar species given adequate space. It is one of the more peaceful Surgeons, but caution should still be taken when housing it with laterally compressed fish such as Angels and Butterflies. It will not usually bother Sessile Invertebrates as long as proper nutrition is provided. However, an individual that starts eating Corals will likely never stop.

Environment Specifics[edit]

Prefers a spacious tank with plenty of Live Rock and algae growth and not overly aggressive tank mates. It is also important to note that while juveniles adapt well to captivity, adults are often very difficult to adapt to captive life.


External links[edit]