Ctenochaetus flavicauda

Ctenochaetus flavicauda is the smallest in its genus. They are not offered very often in the aquarium trade. It is a somewhat difficult species to keep.

Ctenochaetus flavicauda

Ctenochaetus flavicauda is the smallest of the Ctenochaetus. They grow to a maximum length of around 16 centimeters.

This species has a juvenile dress. The young animals have a bright yellow color and have blue eyes. As soon as they grow up they get a red / brown color with orange dots on the head that change into horizontal stripes on the flank. The eye gets a yellow frame and the pectoral fins have some yellow. The tail turns white. Their mouth protrudes a little so that they can easily pull the algae between the corals. For this they use the comb-shaped teeth that are visible in the mouth.


This species inhabits the coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean at depths of 1 to 30 meters.


In the wild the diet of Ctenochaetus flavicauda consists mainly of algae. They will also eat frozen food in the aquarium. It is important that they also get enough vegetable food to keep them healthy. In addition, they will pick on the algae between the corals in the aquarium. They leave the corals completely alone and are therefore reefsafe.

Ctenochaetus flavicauda aquarium

The aquarium for Ctenochaetus flavicauda should be at least about 400 liters in size. Place them in an aquarium that has already matured and where some algae grow that they can feed on. They show some aggression towards other surgeonfish but usually leave other species alone. Shrimp are also safe for this surgeonfish.

The temperature of the aquarium can be between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius. Because this species is more difficult to keep healthy, we do not recommend them for beginners.



John de Lange

Copyright images

zsispeo – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0



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