Scarus niger
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Scarus niger - Forsskål, 1775
Common name Dusky parrotfish
Family Scaridae - Scarus
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 40.0 cm (15.7")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 2000 l (528 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Not reef safe
Aggressiveness Peaceful

Food

Maybee
  • Large polyp stone coral (LPS)
  • Small polyp stone coral (SPS)
Recommended
  • Microalgea (Eg. spirulina)
  • Macroalgea (Eg. seaweed / nori)

Demand a very large aquarium when fully grown

This species needs a very large aquarium when fully grown.

Exactly how big the aquarium should be is hard to say, but the size of this species is such, that it cannot normally be kept in a home aquarium.

Heavy load

This species eats a great deal and demands an aquarium that can tolerate such a heavy load.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

This species revels in swimming and requires an aquarium with ample space.

Hermaphroditic

This species can change gender from female to male.

When a male is needed, a female changes sex and takes on the role.

Personality

This species often has a fun and interesting personality.

Effective algae-eaters

This species can eat large amounts of algae (relative to their size) from rocks, like green hair algae and filamentous algae.

As it doesn’t eat every algae type, in case of a specific algae plague, find out more precise information.

A pair, or one male with several females

This species functions best as a pair (one male, one female), or one male with several females.

Family description (Scaridae)

Parrotfish (Scaridae) are effective algae eaters for the reef, but some species will also live off rock corals.
Many of these fish will grow too big for most domestic aquaria, although there are some exceptions.

Parrotfish will generally eat a lot and often, which must be taken into account.
It is an advantage to have lots of algae in the aquarium which they can graze on. 

These fish will sleep in a mucus cocoon between stones. 

The species most often seen in tanks is Scarus quoyi, which is suitable for coral aquaria. It does have a large appetite, so the aquarium must have good filtration. 

FishBase

Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Sodwana Bay, South Africa (Ref. 5490) and east to the Society Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Shark Bay, Western Australia and the southern Great Barrier Reef.
English common names Swarthy parrotfish, Dusky parrotfish, Black parrotfish
Danish common names Mørk papegøjefisk
French common names Kakatoi brisant

References and further reading

About references

Bob Fenner. Parrotfishes, Family Scaridae - Wet Web Media - (English)
Scott W. Michael. 2009. Wrasses and Parrotfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 5) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Joshua Wiegert. Parrotfish: Good or Bad for the Hobby? - Tropical Fish Hobbyist - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

hermaphroditic, algae eater, shoal group, pair couple, parrot
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