My Achilles tang finally arrived and is currently in the quarantine tank. This one came from liveaquaria and, as most of their livestock, seems to be in great shape. He’s about 5 inches, which makes him still a juvenile.
One of the main challenges with these species is to get them to eat regular tank food. Much like other tangs, these are algae grazers. Unlike other tangs, they are usually exclusively algae grazers and refuse to eat anything else. Generally speaking, I have two options with him. Either get him to eat frozen food or supply enough algae for him to grow.
Frozen food is much easier to get, as well as to administer. And so, this is where I started yesterday. So far, he is completely ignoring mysis shrimp, but seems to eat brine shrimp.
This is somewhat curious for two reasons. First, he does eat frozen, which is probably because this is what they fed him at liveaquaria. On the other hand, however, brine shrimp has a lot less nutritional value. So if this pattern continues, I would have to feed much more brine then mysis in the display tank. But this is at least a start.
Brine shrimp (Artemia)
My other option is to provide enough algae. Most tangs are herbivores and so algae is suppose to be their main diet. But because of the ultra low nutrient requirements of a coral reef tank, I would not be able to grow enough algae in the tank. There would simply not be enough nitrates in the water to feed algae growth at a rate, sufficient to feed several large size tangs.
My Achilles does eat dry nori. Here it’s attached to a small piece of rock at the bottom of the quarantine tank.
I am currently reading on the Red Macro Algae (Gracilaria Parvispora) which is suppose to be native to Hawaii and indo-pacific ocean – Achilles tangs’ natural habitat. It has been reported numerous times that most captive tangs, and especially Achilles tangs, do best when fed mostly on Gracilaria. Perhaps, I will end up ordering a small sample, and if it goes really well, I will just set up a small feeder tank, or even a bucket, and grow enough weed to feed my tangs. But this would be the subject for an entirely different post…
Red Macro Algae (Gracilaria Sp.)