Likely Reef Tank Suitable
Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable
Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, Marshall Islands, and Caroline Islands.
Size: 10 inches (25 cm)
Natural Environment: Inhabits coastal coral-rich lagoons and seaward reefs and usually found at depths between 3 - 100 feet (1 - 30 m) where it feeds mainly upon algae and some benthic invertebrates.
General Husbandry: Rarely seen in the trade, with a yellowish body, dorsal, anal and tail, with black on its head and white just below, and black on its chin.
Best maintained in well-established fish-only or reef aquariums with wide-open swimming areas, and preferably containing some algae growth.
Even though technically an omnivore, they are excellent herbivores and require a large amount of vegetable matter in their diet. In fact, they are one of the better hair alga consumers. Requires a varied diet made up of mostly vegetable matter, especially some Spirulina flake and some nori (dried seaweed/kelp). Should receive at least several feedings per day.
May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, live enriched adult brine shrimp should be offered several times daily. Also, live macroalgae, e.g., Caulerpa is good at enticing new inhabitants to feed. Over time, it may learn to also accept various frozen herbivore foods.
FYI: Keep in mind they have venomous dorsal and anal fins, similar to lionfish, and care must be taken in their handling.
Not totally safe with some soft corals, such as Xenia.
Easy to feed, quite active, none aggressive, and resistant to poor water quality.
One per tank unless a mated pair.
May chase other herbivores in the aquarium.
Experience Level: Intermediate
Coral Safe: With caution
Fish Safe: Yes
Invertebrate Safe: With caution
Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+
Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium
Tankmates: Peaceful to moderately aggressive
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (21 - 27°C)
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026
pH: 8.0 - 8.5