• Maximum fish size: 20 cm (7.9″)
  • Temperature tolerance range: 22°C – 28°C
  • Minimum aquarium volume: ~ 500L [132 gal]
  • Advancement level: easy
  • Nutrition: algae, plant foods, frozen foods (artemia, krill, others)
  • Aggression: aggressive towards other Acanthuridae, especially Zebrasomas
  • Reef safety: safe
  • Occurrence: Western Indian Ocean (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion)


Also referred to as the Mauritian tang, gem tang or spotted tang. Belongs to the Acanthuridae family, Zebrasoma (surgeonfish) genus. Zebrasoma gemmatum is more resistant to water conditions compared to other fish from the same family. If there are more Acanthuridae in the aquarium, they will establish a hierarchy. It’s worth letting in the fish in order from the least to the most aggressive. Zebrasomas are quite aggressive. They can fight each other when in a shared space, but keeping multiple surgeonfish in one tank is still doable.

They spend most of their time picking algae from rocks. So if we don’t have algae on the rocks, then the animal should be provided with an algae clip, which they’ll nibble on.

About the author

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Marek Protasewicz

Reefkeeping has been my passion for over 10 years now. I love learning. The hobby has taught me many valuable lessons, patience being the best example.
Combining work and passion is my path. I run Crazy Coral, a marine aquarium shop, for a number of years. Building this business from the scratch I learnt from my own mistakes at a heavy cost.
Later I managed a project aimed at development of methods for quick growth of Corals in non-natural conditions. The project was carried out by Get Sales, Poland.
Presently, I am responsible for distribution strategy at Reef Factory, of which I am a
co-founder. The company produces smart devices for marine aquaristics.
The last projects I have been involved in are Social Reef and ReefPedia.

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