Animal-World > Marine - Saltwater Fish > Surgeonfish > Orangespot Surgeonfish

Orangespot Surgeonfish

Orange Shoulder Tang ~ Orangeband Surgeonfish ~ Orange-epaulette Surgeonfish

Family: Acanthuridae Picture of an Orangespot Surgeonfish or Orange Shoulder Tang - Acanthurus olivaceusAcanthurus olivaceusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Greg Rothschild
Latest Reader Comment - See More
I have a beautiful tang! It skims bubbles off the surface and passes them through his gills. He is kept and has been kept with a sailfin tang in my 135 gal for two... (more)  BARRY GALLIVAN

   The Orangespot Surgeonfish is fairly hardy, has a very interesting color pattern, but is not always as available as some of the other commonly kept tangs.

   The Orangespot Surgeonfish is also known as the Orange Shoulder Tang, Orangeband Surgeonfish, and Orange-epaulette Surgeonfish. Each of these names point to the distinct and interesting feature that makes this species stand out, the bright orange horizontal band with a broad blue edge on its side.

   Not only is this fish quickly recognized by its orange spot or band, but it also goes through a fascinating color change as it matures. As a juvenile is solid yellow with just the slightest hint of blue edging the anal and dorsal fins. The adult looks quite different. The front half of a mature specimen is a light gray and the back half is a dark gray-blue, and its caudal fin becomes lyre shaped. In each case it still retains its shoulder marking, but the orange spot does becomes more brilliant with age.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Acanthurus olivaceus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Acanthuridae
  • Genus: Acanthurus
  • Species: olivaceus
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Habitat: Natural geographic location:

   Orange-epaulette Surgeonfish, Orange Shoulder Tang or Orangeband Surgeonfish are found in the Indo-Pacific from the eastern Indian Ocean to Japan, Hawaii, and the Marquesas Islands at depths of 4 to 45 meters.

Maintenance difficulty:

   The Orangespot Surgeonfish is moderately easy to keep once it becomes acclimated.

Maintenance:

   It is important that you feed Tangs a good variety of live, frozen, and prepared formula foods with emphasis in vegetable and spirulina. Best to feed small amounts several times a day.

Foods:

   Mainly found grazing on diatoms (brown algae), detritus, and filamentous algae.

Social Behaviors:

   Can get territorial especially if another tang is added to a tank with an already established tang.

Sexual differences:

   Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:

   No special requirements.

Breeding/Reproduction:

   Probably will not be accomplished in captivity. See the description in the Breeding Marine Fish page.

Temperature:

   No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 75 and 79 degrees.

Length/Diameter of fish:

   Orange-epaulette Surgeonfish, Orange Shoulder Tang or Orangeband Surgeonfish adults can grow to 25 cm (10 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:

   A minimum 100 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong

   No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom

   Swims all over the aquarium. Picture of an Orangespot Surgeonfish or Orange Shoulder Tang - Acanthurus olivaceus

Availability:

   This fish is occasionally available at retailers and is fairly inexpensive. They are priced about $30.00 USD and up.

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Lastest Animal Stories on Orangespot Surgeonfish

BARRY GALLIVAN - 2006-01-29
I have a beautiful tang! It skims bubbles off the surface and passes them through his gills. He is kept and has been kept with a sailfin tang in my 135 gal for two years now. He is my favorite fish!

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-22
    I bet he's a great fish to keep. I haven't kept this particular Tang, but surgeonfish in general are some of my very favorites. I have a Bristletooth Tomini Tang (Ctenochaetus tominiensis) and he's awesome:)
Reply
pat - 2009-12-14
The Orange Shoulder is a great addition to a fish only or reef tank. This is my second one (sold a previous one when I moved and couldnt take along my 120 gallon)and both have had the same great personality traits. They are inquisitive and intellegent; will eat from your hand and actually recognize you. I've had guests at the house and the tang was apprehensive in coming out from his rock work because he didn't 'recognize' the new face in his world. They will stay in or circle the end of the tank that you may be sitting at (surely waiting for some little 'treat' from you). I haven't found them to be aggressive to any other fish or tang for that matter, even though e is the biggest in the tank (approximately 6"). He will ocassionally 'spread his fins' as he passes others at times, but hasn't used his tail agressively with any other inhabitants. As a previous post mentioned, they will eat anything! If its in the water, they'll eat it. My tang actually over-indulges at times .. as I've seen him actually regurgitate algae after gorging himself on it! Very hardy, very personable .. an excellent choice for your tank!

Reply
Urey W. Patrick - 2004-02-24
I have kept one of these orange-shoulder tangs for the past four years. I think it is probably one of the hardiest tangs I have ever kept - the fish eats greedily - flakes, brine shrimp, blood worms, pressed alga sheets, silver sides - whatever is in the water. It is a very easy keeper - very docile temperament. I have never seen this fish aggressive against others, or hostile to new additions to the tank - unlike my yellow tang who is very territorial. I would recommend acquiring a juvenile, and then you have the pleasure of watching it metamorphose into the adult coloration.

The fish will utilize the entire tank - constantly swimming and exploring. I have not seen mine graze - they seem to feed just on what I put in the water, plus the pressed alga held in a clip. They prefer green over brown or red. I have had one in a 75 gallon, moved to a90 gallon, and now have a young one in my 130 gallon. This is a great fish to add to your tank - and reef safe, in my experience.

Reply
Juan - 2008-10-13
I currently have an orange shoulder and a powder blue and asside from the initial introduction they get along just fine. The my orange shoulder is a very confident docile fish.

Reply
stuart - 2008-07-24
I wonder if you would be able to keep an orange spot together with a powder blue.

Reply

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