Acanthurus achilles

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: 10" (25cm)
Tank: 72 inches
Position in tank: Mostly Middle
PH: 8.2 to 8.5
Specific Gravity : 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 22-26°C


Common Name:

Achilles tang



Perhaps one off the most sort after Tangs for the Reef aquarium. Achilles Tang is becoming increasingly rare in the trade due to its sensitive nature but is still readily available and you should be able to get one if you wan to by asking your local store to order one for you.



Can be found throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean.



Achilles surgeonfish has a dark blue body. The head is rust colored on the top and there is a soft blue field below the gill covers. This fish has a yellow or orange field located near the tailfin peduncle. The fins have white roots that border to fields featuring the same yellow or orange color as the field near the tailfin peduncle. The tailfin has a large band of the same color running vertically across the tailfin.



Achilles surgeonfish grows quite large and will need and aquarium no smaller than 75 gallon / 300 L. It wants plenty of open water and plenty of places to hide. Decorate the aquarium with a lot of caves among live rock but leave open water as well. Achilles surgeonfish prefers an aquarium with a healthy population of algae that it can feed on and the aquariums should therefore be well lit. Feel free to use coral as a part of your decoration.

Rapid water movement and well oxygenated water is very important if you want to keep your Achilles surgeonfish healthy. They do not do well in placid aquariums.


Achilles surgeonfish can be picky and might not want to eat what you offer it. It is important that you get them to eat and feed them regularly as their health otherwise will deteriorate quickly. Achilles surgeonfish is an herbivore that in the wild mainly feeds on algae. It is very beneficial if your tank contains algae for your fish to graze on. Achilles surgeonfish should be provided with plenty of green food but will also accept mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and krill. Achilles surgeonfish should be fed very often, preferably 4-5 times a day. Make sure they get enough vegetables and spirulina.



Achilles surgeonfish spawning is triggered by the moon cycle and you will likely need to mimic to moon cycle to trigger them to spawn in aquariums. The eggs are scattered in the pelagic and are carried by the current until the fry make their way back to the bottom of the sea. We have no further information on breeding or sexing Achilles surgeonfish.