Scientific Name: Acanthurus chirurgus
Reef Compatibility: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal
Max Size: 15”
Notes: The Doctorfish is readily identified by its brown stripes, but it can present itself in variable colorations. Mood can play a role in this but so can the substrate. Those from an area with a sandy bottom will be considerably lighter than those from a reef.
One of the hardier surgeonfish, the Doctorfish is a good choice for the home aquarium. It is easy to care for as long as it is provided with a good environment and its nutritional needs are met. The main concern for this fish is a large tank so it can feel comfortable. It can be kept in a fish only tank as long as there is plenty of swimming room and some rocks/ corals with nooks and crannies to hide in. It has a fair temperament and can get along with most fish, but can hold its own with those that are a bit more aggressive. It can also be kept with most genus' of surgeonfish, though it will be aggressive towards others of its own kind.
The Doctorfish is not too picky about foods once it gets settled, and like most surgeonfish this can be accomplished by initially offering a good macro algae. It is one of the Acanthurus species with a gizzard-like stomach, it scrapes algae in such a way that large chunks of calcareous materials are also ingested. As a good algae eater it can be be kept in a reef environment, but as it will also eat chunks of fish and mussel meat so it should not be kept with invertebrates.