Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tang



Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tang

  • Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tang
  • Acanthurus xanthopterus
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Group Size: Alone or mixed tang group
  • Place of origin: East Pacific and Indo-pacific Ocean
  • Coral Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter Safe: Generally yes
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Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tangs, Acanthurus xanthopterus, also go by the name Yellowfin 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 Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tangs, their weapons are very prominent thanks to their bright colour.

Xanthopterus Yellowfin 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 are 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.

Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tang, Acanthurus xanthopterus, Ecology.

These fish appear in the East Pacific and Indo-pacific Ocean. They occur between: California, Japan, Australia, New Caledonia and East Africa. They also live around various islands such as: Hawaiian, French Polynesia and Galapagos.

Schools of Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tangs are found in a range of habitats. Juveniles prefer shallow inshore areas. On the other hand, adults like deeper waters, such as: reef slopes, bays or lagoons.

On the reef, Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tangs will graze on: filamentous algae, diatoms and detritus. Like many Tangs, these fish can be helpful for controlling algae growth. Left unchecked, algae could outcompete slower growing coral species for space and light. Their help can be more pronounced on shallower reefs that capture more sunlight.

Yellowfin 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 Xanthopterus Yellowfin 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.

Xanthopterus Yellowfin Tangs 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, Xanthopterus Yellowfin 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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