Sohal Surgeonfish – Profile | Care | Tank | Biology | Feeding

Sohal Surgeonfish

The sohal surgeonfish, scientific name Acanthurus sohal or sohal tang, is the Red Sea endemic that grows to 16 in (40 cm) within the wild. Also often known as Arabian Surgeonfish, Arabian Tang, Clown Surgeonfish, Clown Tang, Doctorfish, Lancetfish, Red Sea Clown, Red Sea Clown Surgeon, Red Sea Surgeonfish, Sohal Tang, Thorntail, Thorntail Fish, Zebra Surgeonfish, Zebra Tang. In this article, I am going to talk about Sohal Surgeonfish invasive species, attacks, etc.

Sohal Surgeonfish profile

Its placing blue and white horizontal stripes have made it what many think about the ‘poster fish’ for the Red Sea reef setting. It is a valued aquarium fish.

Like different tangs, the sohal tang is compressed laterally, making it extraordinarily maneuverable and quick alongside the reef. It has a horizontal, blade-like backbone alongside the bottom of its tail on either side, which folds into the fish, pointing anteriorly in the direction of the pinnacle.

During protection and aggression, tangs flick the backbone at different fish or intruders, inflicting bodily hurt. The surgeonfish are named for this scalpel-like backbone.

Its major food plan consists largely of vegetable matter, however often contains the flesh of different animals. Sohal tangs have been identified to nip at clam mantles and smooth large-polyp and small-polyp stony corals.

Its vary contains all reef environments within the Red Sea, to 90 ft or deeper. It is without doubt one of the most aggressive tangs, and mixed with its massive measurement for a tang, is a dominant fish alongside the Red Sea reef.

Sohal Surgeonfish Identification

Slightly compressed body form with well-defined lunate caudal fin. Pale gray in body coloration steadily turning whitish ventrally. Narrow blackish stripes on the head above the attention.

Orange patch beneath pectoral fins and across the sheath and socket of the caudal spine. Pelvic and median fins are blackish with blue define. Dorsal fin IX (30-31), anal fin III (28-29), pectoral fin (17).

Sohal Surgeonfish Distribution

Western Indian Ocean: the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf.

Sohal Surgeonfish Description

Although the massive measurement and aggressive temperament of the sohal tang limit its suitability for house aquaria, this fish in any other case has all of it. It is attractive, with an interesting character, and could be very hardy, not like most different tangs.

It is bound to be the dominant specimen in nearly every system, however, offered its tankmates are sturdy and have loads of hiding spots it doesn’t often harass them excessively.

Such will not be true with conspecifics or similar-looking Acanthurus, nonetheless, and the commonest end in these instances is the death of one of many fish. The considerably larger worth this animal instruction is properly valued it in case you have an acceptable setup for one.


Max size : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed;


A standard species present in seaward edges of reefs uncovered to surge. Aggressive and territorial. Feeds on varied sorts of algae, primarily Sargassum, and wonderful filamentous inexperienced algae. Caught with nets; traps and infrequently by trawls.

Preferred Water Chemistry

Tropical marine. Since it is a Red Sea endemic, it’s best to maintain the particular gravity excessive and secure—the goal for 1.025.


An uncharacteristically hardy tang. Usually thought-about reef safe.

Sohal Surgeonfish Tank Setup

This is a really massive and aggressive fish that have to be housed accordingly. The aquarium has to be big, with loads of large, open swimming house but in addition adequate dwell rock or different cowl, each for tankmates to get out of the way in which and to offer nighttime h


An omnivore, however many of the food plans must be algae-based. Description: Overall bluish-white with black horizontal stripes. The fins are darkish, and the scalpel-like peduncle backbone (which provides all surgeons or doctorfish their widespread name) is orange.

Sohal Surgeonfish Breeding

This species has not been bred in captivity, and the problem of sustaining more than one specimen in a tank will stay a significant stumbling block.

Sohal Surgeonfish

In the aquarium

This fish wants quite a lot of swimming houses and is a continuing grazer for marine macroalgae. Its innate dominant and aggressive nature suggests solely a single specimen must be saved in every aquarium. If wholesome, aquarium specimen ought to dwell as much as 10–15 years.

Sohal Surgeonfish Care

An aquarium measurement of more than 180 gallons (700 ℓ), with sturdy water motion and ample live rock structures, are most well-liked for this species, resulting from its fixed roaming nature. Due to its aggressive nature, this species must be added to the aquarium last.

The initial buy must be Freshwater Dipped and quarantine in a chosen Quarantine Tank (QT), with comparable/an identical water parameter.

It is recommended the Quarantine Tank water must be of decrease salinity as this may eradicate most ectoparasites on the body of the fish. When the specimen is absolutely quarantined, it then will be launched to the display aquarium.

Sohal Tang’s food plan ought to consist primarily of Algae or vegetable matter. It has been advised that “Sushi Nori” will be the main diet of this fish. Other than Algae, the food plan must be supplemented with a wide range of frozen Mysis shrimps or different comparable meals objects.

Other Recommended Reading

Sohal Surgeonfish Ecology

The most well-liked habitat of the Sohal surgeonfish is the outer fringe of reef flats which are uncovered to surge. The species graze on Sargassum and filamentous inexperienced algae. It is understood to be a really aggressive territorial species.

They are a relentless grazer which is able to scrape off marine algae within the aquarium. It is due to this fact really helpful that it’s fed a number of instances every day. Learn more about angler fish reproduction.

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