Expert Only

Achilles Tang

Acanthurus achilles

(0 Reviews)

Achilles Tang

Expert Only

Achilles Tang

Acanthurus achilles

(0 Reviews)

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Care Facts

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With a striking black body along with red and white accents, the Achilles Tang makes a beautiful addition to any saltwater tank. It is considered a nervous swimmer since it frequently moves back and forth. It is necessary to provide the Achilles Tang with ample space in order to make it thrive. The Achilles Tang prefers turbulent water flow and a large open water column. it is best to keep only one Achilles Tang per tank, as they tend to bully their own species. The Achilles Tang is beneficial in picking off hair algae, and keeps the aquarium free from any algae or green mess.   

Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles): A Practical Care Guide

The Achilles Tang, scientifically known as Acanthurus achilles, is a striking marine species that can be an impressive addition to your saltwater marine aquarium. This straightforward guide will provide essential information on caring for this captivating fish, covering its habitat, compatibility, diet, care requirements, and more.

Habitat of the Achilles Tang

Achilles Tangs are native to the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, where they inhabit coral-rich reefs and rocky outcroppings. They are typically found at depths ranging from 3 to 98 feet (1 to 30 meters), often foraging for algae and small invertebrates among coral formations and rocky structures.

Reef Compatibility of the Achilles Tang

This species is generally considered reef-safe. Achilles Tangs primarily feed on algae, making them an excellent choice for reef aquariums as they can help control algae growth. However, like all tangs, they may occasionally nip at certain corals, particularly if their dietary needs are not adequately met.

Size and Lifespan of the Achilles Tang

Achilles Tangs typically reach about 7 to 10 inches (18 to 25 cm) when fully grown. With proper care, they can have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years in captivity, offering years of enjoyment for dedicated aquarists.

Diet in Captivity of the Achilles Tang

In their natural habitat, Achilles Tangs feed on various algae, detritus, and small invertebrates. In captivity, they should have a diet miming their natural grazing behavior. This includes high-quality marine algae sheets, seaweed, and a mix of marine pellets and frozen foods like brine shrimp and mysis shrimp.

Aquaculture and Availability of the Achilles Tang

While Achilles Tangs are not commonly available through aquaculture, is dedicated to providing hobbyists with responsibly sourced fish, ensuring that each Achilles Tang is healthy, acclimated, and ready to thrive in your aquarium.

Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates of the Achilles Tang

Achilles Tangs are generally considered peaceful but may become territorial, especially when introduced to an established community aquarium. When selecting tankmates, choose species that can coexist peacefully and are not overly territorial.

Sexual Dimorphism of the Achilles Tang

Sexual dimorphism in Achilles Tangs is minimal, and distinguishing between males and females based on visual characteristics can be challenging.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes of the Achilles Tang

Juvenile Achilles Tangs have a striking appearance with a bright orange body and a distinctive black vertical bar on their posterior. As they mature into adults, their coloration transforms into a vibrant blue body with an orange patch around the gill plate, strikingly beautiful and unique.

Temperament of the Achilles Tang

Achilles Tangs are known for their generally peaceful character. However, they may become territorial when introduced into an aquarium with limited space or when they feel their territory is threatened.

Tank Requirements of the Achilles Tang

To provide the best care for your Achilles Tang, you should maintain a tank with a minimum size of 180 gallons (680 liters). This allows them ample swimming space and helps reduce territorial conflicts. Water conditions should mimic their natural habitat, with a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4, a salinity level of 1.020-1.025, a stable temperature between 74-78°F (23-26°C), and moderate water flow to simulate ocean currents.

Common Names of the Achilles Tang

The Achilles Tang is also known by various names, including Achilles Surgeonfish and Red-tailed Surgeonfish.

Compatible Tank Mates of the Achilles Tang

Here are five specific species that can make suitable tank mates for your Achilles Tang:

Why Choose the Achilles Tang from

When you acquire an Achilles Tang from, you invest in a visually striking addition to your saltwater marine aquarium. is committed to responsibly sourced fish, ensuring that each Achilles Tang is healthy, acclimated, and ready to thrive in your aquarium. With their dedication to quality and a wealth of resources, makes it easy to enjoy the unique beauty of these tangs in your home aquarium.

The Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles) is captivating and peaceful in saltwater marine aquariums. Their striking coloration and unique patterns make them a fascinating choice for experienced aquarists looking to add a touch of the wild to their collection. By adhering to their specific requirements and providing a suitable environment, aquarists can witness the Achilles Tang's presence in their aquatic habitat.

Expert Only: Items designated as expert only require special care such as a species specific environment, special diet or care, and an expert level, experienced aquarist. Not for beginners. Expert Only items qualify for our live arrival guarantee only, and are exempt from our extended 8 day guarantee.

Big and beautiful ! Looks amazing ! Well worth the wait.

Reviewed by: Darren Letner on March 27, 2024

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