Likely Reef Tank Suitable
Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable
Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Eastern Africa and the Red Sea to the Philippines, Taiwan, Southern Japan, Palau, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and northern Australia.
Size: 7 inches (18 cm)
Natural Environment: Inhabits coral rich areas of lagoon reefs, fringing reefs and outer-reef faces and usually associated with soft corals at depths between 3 to about 40 feet (1 – 12 m) and feeds on algae, sea slugs, soft coral polyps (zoanthids), soft coral mucus, sea anemones, and benthic invertebrates.
General Husbandry: Rarely seen the trade, with the juvenile quite attractive having a whitish body capped in yellow and the tail lobes edged in yellow, while the adult is completely bluish black.
Juvenile can be quite feisty, but as it grows into adulthood, they become extremely aggressive and must be housed with very aggressive tankmates, e.g., dottybacks, large angelfishes and surgeonfishes, and triggerfishes.
As to diet, a meaty diet, e.g., live fortified brine shrimp and/or finely chopped various frozen or fresh meaty foods such as mysis, squid, fish flesh, shrimp, clam and plant material, e.g., flake foods, especially those containing Spirulina should be offered several times daily.
FYI: Cute when small, think twice before putting this species in your aquarium!
Easy to keep well fed, yet problematic as to tankmates
Experience Level: Intermediate
Coral Safe: With Caution
Invertebrate Safe: With caution
Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+
Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Temperature Range: 74 - 28°F (23 – 28°C)
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026
pH: 8.0 - 8.5