The Bicolor Parrotfish, Cetoscarus bicolor, also known as the Irobudai or Two-Color Parrotfish, features a silvery white body, with an orange mask over the face, and notes of orange on the dorsal and anal fins for their juvenile coloration. As adults, their color will change to a blue or green, with highlights of pinks on the edge of their scales. Parrotfish are most closely related to the Wrasse, as they share many characteristics, as well as similar biology and body shape.
The Bicolor Parrotfish can reach up to 30" in length and requires a tank no less than 300 gallons as a fully grown adult. As a juvenile a tank of 60-100 gallons will be OK, but only temporarily. It is also best to keep in mind that too small of an environment can stunt their growth and they can develop 'behavior issues'. Parrotfish are also known for building mucus cocoons to protect themselves while they sleep at night, so providing plenty of live rock with naturally forming algae and live Coral is essential to help the Parrotfish adapt. Though keeping the Parrotfish with Coral can be tricky, as they do tend to chew on Corals and scrape their teeth on live rocks if not properly fed. They will not attack the Coral itself, but they can damage Corals in their search for food. Pristine water conditions are ideal, as well as a powerful filtration system and a vigorous water flow with well oxygenated water.
Being extremely peaceful in nature, the Bicolor Parrotfish should only be house with other peaceful, reef safe tank mates. In nature, they use their specialized beak like teeth to scrape the algae off of dead Coral skeletons, and at times they will do this to living Corals as well. They attain the algae by biting off a sizeable piece of the calcareous skeleton and processing any present algae by means of its digestive system. Once digested, the excreted waste from this material becomes new sand in the system. Unfortunately the Parrotfish cannot determine whether a Coral is living or dead, and will scrape at it all the same. Therefor extreme caution is advised if you have many soft or more expensive Coral in the tank.
Getting the Bicolor Parrotfish to eat can be difficult at first, we suggest offering Seaweed clipped to a rock or the glass, to simulate a natural eating environment, calcareous Coral skeletons can also be offered. They will accept an omnivorous diet consisting of algae based foods, Spirulina and Nori, as well as vitamin enriched Brine and Mysis Shrimp, feeding in small amounts 3 times daily. Adults should be offered shell-on Prawns, Cockle-in-shell, Mussels, Clams and Krill. Ultimately they are voracious algae eaters, so you will see them grazing most of the time. The Bicolor Parrotfish will thrive in a temperature range of 75 - 82°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4
Note: Caring for this fish can be difficult, therefor we recommend for only the expert aquarists.