Striped Bristletooth Surgeonfish

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Ctenochaetus striatus, commonly known as the Bristletooth Tang, Striped Bristletooth, or Striated Surgeonfish, is a species of marine fish belonging to the Acanthuridae family. Here's a detailed description of this fascinating species:
  • The Bristletooth Tang has an elongated, laterally compressed body with a characteristic oval shape.
  • It typically grows to about 5 to 7 inches (12 to 18 centimetres) in length, although sizes can vary depending on age and habitat conditions.
  • The Bristletooth Tang's body coloration is primarily grayish-brown or olive-green, with distinctive horizontal stripes running along the length of its body.
  • It features a prominent black stripe that extends from the eye to the base of the tail, dividing the body into upper and lower sections.
  • The fins are usually transparent or translucent, with no significant coloration.
  • One of the most notable features of the Bristletooth Tang is the presence of small bristle-like teeth in its mouth, which it uses to graze on algae and other plant matter.

  • The body coloration of the Bristletooth Tang is typically subdued, consisting of shades of gray, brown, and green.
  • Horizontal stripes, ranging from light to dark, adorn the body, giving it a striped or striated appearance.
  • The black stripe running from the eye to the base of the tail contrasts with the lighter background colour, enhancing the fish's visual appeal.

Habitat and Distribution:
  • Bristletooth Tangs are native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the western Pacific Ocean.
  • They inhabit coral reefs, rocky shores, and lagoons, preferring areas with abundant algae growth and access to shelter.
  • Bristletooth Tangs are typically found in small groups or aggregations in the wild, although solitary individuals are also typical.

  • Bristletooth Tangs are generally peaceful and friendly fish, making them suitable for community aquariums with other non-aggressive species.
  • They are naturally herbivorous, feeding primarily on algae and other plant matter in their natural habitat.
  • These fish may display territorial behaviour, especially towards conspecifics or similar species, although aggression is typically mild and can be managed in a well-designed aquarium setup.

Care and Feeding:
  • Bristletooth Tangs are relatively hardy and adaptable, making them suitable for beginner to intermediate aquarists.
  • They require a tank with plenty of live rock or other structures for grazing and hiding and an open swimming space to accommodate their active nature.
  • Feeding is relatively easy, as they readily accept a varied diet of algae-based foods, supplemented with occasional offerings of meaty foods such as brine shrimp or mysis shrimp.

In summary, the Bristletooth Tang is a fascinating and attractive species that can bring beauty and functionality to marine aquariums. Its distinctive coloration, characteristic stripes, and herbivorous nature make it popular among hobbyists looking to create vibrant and dynamic underwater environments.
  • Care level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Family: Acanthuridae
  • Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons 
  • Size: Medium: 2" to 3"


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