Convict TangFamily: Acanthuridae Acanthurus triostegusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Greg Rothschild
The hardiness and ease of maintenance make the Convict Surgeonfish a good addition to an aquarium for the budding marine enthusiast!
- Maintenance difficulty:
- Habitat: Natural geographic location:
- Social Behaviors:
- Sexual differences:
- Light: Recommended light levels:
- Length/Diameter of fish:
- Minimum Tank Length/Size:
- Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong
- Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom
The Convict Surgeonfish or Convict Tang is not as striking in coloration as many of the tangs you will see and so has not become as popular. However it has proven itself to be one of the easiest tangs to keep. It will quickly adapt to its environment and is quite hardy, a great fish for the beginner.
An adult Convict Tang can reach up to about 8 inches (20 cm). It is easily identified having a generally white body with six narrow black bars. The dorsal and caudal fin has a light yellowish-green cast.
For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Huge Convict Tang or Surgeonfish (Acanthurus triostegus) adults
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These Convict Tangs are full grown and temporarily housed here to show their detail.
The Convict Tang (Acanthurus triostegus), grows to 8" and needs a 125 gallon tank to be happy and healthy long term. The dark blotches between their stripes are due to these fish being frightened, and they are not typically visible once acclimated. All tangs are huge producers of waste and they do need larger tanks with good filtration to help keep the water quality up. Convict Tangs can be added in groups of 3 into the same tank, as long as it is done at the same time. They are peaceful and other tangs typically will pick on them. Feed "veggies" to help keep them healthy!
Convict Tang (Acanthurus triostegus)
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A large school of Convict Tangs in the wild!
This is a beautiful video showing the Convict Tang, Acanthurus triostegus, in their natural habitat in Oahu! It almost looks like marine zebras feeding on the "plains" of the ocean! They will grow to 8" and will need a tank that is 125 gallons (6 feet long), with good filtration and they are one of the tangs that can be kept in a small grouping if introduced at the same time into the tank! The yellow hue on the top of their bodies and freckled face would make anyone want one! Their "scalpel" is quite small compared to other tangs and they are typically picked on by larger and more aggressive tangs in captivity.
Social Behaviors: Found in gigantic schools of up to 1000 fish in lagoons with a hard bottom or along outer reefs. Other herbivorous fish may school with them!
Breeding/Reproduction: Probably will not be accomplished in captivity. See the description in the Breeding Marine Fish page.