7-02-2021, 20:30
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Acanthurus achilles

Acanthurus achilles in the wild inhabits the western Pacific Ocean, near the Hawaiian archipelago. The fish can also be found along the reefs surrounding the Mariana Islands and Wake, Marcus Islands. They usually swim among coral reefs in an area called the surge zone; this is the area where waves crash on the reefs, creating currents and oxygenating the water.

Acanthurus achilles is a beautiful surgeon fish that requires a lot of attention and care. In fact, it is kept only by professional aquarists, who have extensive experience in the care of marine aquariums.

Acanthurus achilles

Achilles has a dark brown or purple colouration with bright orange and white areas around the fins and gills. At the root of the tail plumage there is a bright orange blob-shaped spot (this mark in young fish is striped, but changes shape as they mature). Sexual differences are not pronounced. The maximum size of the fish reaches 24 cm.

Immediately after purchase, Acanthurus achilles may be a bit skittish. The fish should be quarantined for a few weeks to ensure they are well-nourished and adapt to life in an aquarium before they are placed in the main tank. Once adapted to the aquarium, they become hardy, active and very attractive fish. The fish swim in all water levels.

Fish require an aquarium with a capacity of 180 liters per 1 specimen. Acanthurus achilles can be aggressive towards other surgeons, especially towards their own kind. Adults, in particular, will fight strongly if there is insufficient living space in the aquarium. Therefore, single housing of these fish will be best if increasing the aquarium volume is problematic. However, the Achilles can also be kept together with other small fish in a common tank. In that case, you must find a compromise between the rather strong water current required for the Achilles and a moderate current for the smaller fish.

The Acanthurus achilles needs plenty of room to swim and plenty of places to hide. This fish, which feeds constantly, is best kept in a well organised aquarium with hardy seaweed. In the wild, Achilles prefer strongly oxygenated waters in areas around reefs with many holes and caves to swim into in case of danger.

Acanthurus achilles

Water parameters: 22-26° C, pH 8.1-8.4. Requires filtration and strong aeration of water. Need to create a fairly strong current of water in the aquarium, using a pump. Fish are very sensitive to high concentrations of ammonia in the water.

Acanthurus achilles are herbivorous fish. They can be very picky about food. The fish prefer microalgae and macroalgae, but they can also be fed frozen, dried seaweed and spirulina. They can also eat vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini and dried seaweed. Achilles should be fed three times a day.


Acanthurus achilles do not breed under aquarium conditions. In natural conditions, they spawn in groups. Females hatch a "cloud" of eggs, and the male swims through it and fertilizes the eggs. Later, the fertilized eggs float to the surface of the water. The hatching larvae feed on surface plankton. The hardened fry swim to the reefs where they live out the rest of their lives.

Acanthurus achilles

The Achilles surgeon reefs can live up to 7 years under aquarium conditions.

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