|Latin name||Zebrasoma gemmatum|
|Common name||Spotted tang|
|Family||Acanthuridae - Zebrasoma|
|Origin||East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean|
|Max length||22 cm (8.7")|
As aquarium fish
Well established aquarium with algae
These fish should be kept in a well run aquarium where they can "graze" algae from rocks and stones.
If there are insufficient algae on the rocks, it is important to feed more frequently and supplement with algae rich food e.g. Spirulina.
This species demands a much higher price than similar species.
Even though these fish enjoy a diverse type of frozen foods, it is imperative that its primary food, is algae based, thus ensuring that the fish`s immune system remains healthy.
This can, for example, be plant based fish flakes, Nori seaweed or similar.
This species requires places to hide, especially when newly introduced into the aquarium.
Genus description (Zebrasoma)
One almost always sees this genus of Surgeonfish in a coral aquarium, since they are beautifully coloured, relatively easy to keep and useful.
The Zebrasoma genus is distinguished in that all the species have a larger or smaller, sail-like fin, which is folded out when threatened by other fish.
Z. xanthurum are the only fish in this genus which are decidedly aggresive, the others typically do not present problems, when the aquarium has space enough.
Some specimens of Z. flavescens can act aggressively towards other Zebrasoma tangs.
Family description (Acanthuridae)
Surgeonfish (Acanthuridae) live primarily of different types of algae, making it a popular choice for coral aquariums, as they help to keep the aquarium algae free.
Most Surgeonfish have a scalpel by the caudal fin, used to defend themselves. It can cause some deep lacerations, so pay attention if the fish start to fight and when handling the fish.
When in the aquarium, they will spend most of their time swimming around and nibbling the algae from the stones. Surgeonfish will rarely irritate corals or invertebrates. Large Palettes/Blue tangs can be an exception.
The Surgeonfish are not typically aggressive towards other types of fish. If more Surgeonfish are added to the aquarium, they will establish a hierarchy. It is best to add the most aggressive species last and to ensure that there are sufficient hiding places, as they prefer to have their own individual sleeping area.
If multiple aggressive species are added to the same aquarium, one runs the risk of one of them dying due to stress. One must therefore be cautious about adding multiple Acanthurus species or Zebrasoma xanthurum into the same aquarium. A combination of the different genera will normally get along well, although the more aggressive species can still be challenging.
References and further reading
Bob Fenner. The Sailfin Tangs, Surgeons, Doctorfishes, of the Genus Zebrasoma - Wet Web Media - (English)
James W. Fatherree. 2009. Aquarium Fish: Surgeonfishes, A.K.A. the Tangs - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. Surgeons, Tangs and Doctorfishes, Family Acanthuridae - Wet Web Media - (English)
2013. Kirurgfisk - Saltvandswiki - (Danish)
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).
|herbivore, algae eater, surgeon tang|