White Tail Bristletooth Tang



White Tail Bristletooth Tang.

  • White Tail Bristletooth Tang
  • Ctenochaetus flavicauda
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Group Size: Alone or mixed tang group
  • Place of origin: Pacific Ocean
  • Coral Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter Safe: Generally yes
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White Tail Bristletooth Tangs, Ctenochaetus flavicauda, also go by the name Red Spotted Surgeonfish.

These Tangs are a type of ray finned fish that belong to the Acanthuridae family. This family also includes Sawtails and Unicornfish. The defining characteristic for the Acanthuridae family, is the presence of scalpels or spines on both sides of the caudal peduncle. These are used for defence and are usually brightly coloured to act as a deterrent. For White Tail Bristletooth Tangs, their weapons are not very visible.

White Tail Bristletooth Tangs also belong to the subfamily Acanthurinae. Which means these fish have one spine on each side. These spines are set into a groove and erected by curving the tail. In contrast, the other two subfamilies own fixed spines. Unicornfish, or Nasos, have one or more hooked spine, while Sawtails develop a series of spines with age. Sometimes up to seven. Sawtails are made up of the genus Prionurus only and not seen in trade.

White Tail Bristletooth Tang, Ctenochaetus flavicauda, Ecology.

These fish live on coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. Ctenochaetus flavicauda are found around the: Line, Society, Austral and Rapa Islands.

On the reef, White Tail Bristletooth Tangs graze on: algae, diatoms and detritus. As the name suggests, Bristletooth tangs have specialized teeth making them very effective at removing algae from surfaces. As a result, these fish are helpful for controlling algae growth. Left unchecked, algae could outcompete slower growing coral species for space and resources. Their help can be more pronounced in shallower areas that capture more light. Their ability makes them popular in marine aquariums. Feel free to give us a call if you are considering adding a Bristletooth tang to your clean up crew and have questions.

Red Spotted Surgeonfish In the Aquarium.

It is important to have plenty of nooks or crannies in order to imitate the natural environment. This will help your White Tail Bristletooth Tang establish its own territory. Aquaroche and Aquaroche shelves can be helpful for this. Hobbyists should also think about using a jump guard to stop any loses.

White Tail Bristletooth Tangs or Red Spotted Surgeonfish, do best when fed a varied diet. Here they are eating a good quality pellet and flake food, such as Jbl Maris. Our Tangs are also offered ocean nutrition seaweed, that can be secured to the side of the tank with clips.

They will happily eat enriched frozen: mysis shrimp and brine shrimp and krill, in the case of the larger fish. We enrich all our frozen food with seachem garlic guard and Atvitol vitamins. These are imperative for keeping fish healthy and increasing longevity. By providing the fish with the nutrition that is otherwise lost in frozen food, these additives support the tangs immune system and helps ward off white spot.

In addition, Tangs will also eat live foods, such as copepods and amphipods, that can be cultivated in attached refugium. Our Tangs are adapted to aquarium life before being offered for sale. So they are eating dry food and/or frozen food when they leave us.

Tangs can be kept alone or in groups. If considering the latter, feel free to give us a call to discuss further. Hobbyists can keep multiple tangs together, although we encourage you seek advice if you are unsure or have questions.


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