Species group: Tangs and Surgeonfish
Other common names: Gold-Rimmed Tang; Powder Brown Surgeonfish; White Cheek Tang; Japan Surgeonfish; White-faced Surgeonfish; White-nose Surgeonfish
Scientific name: Acanthurus japonicus
The Powder Brown Tang is a handsome member of the Surgeonfish family, and is native to the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is a shoaling fish (schooling fish which swim in the same direction) and lives amongst reefs at depths of 5 - 15 meters. Acanthurus japonicus is often confused with Acanthurus nigricans. The two can be distinguished by the amount of white on the face. Acanthurus japonicus has a large patch that extends down to the mouth while Acanthurus nigricans has a small white patch under the eye.
The Gold-Rimmed Tang has a disk-shaped compressed body. A feature common to all members of the Tang family is the presence of a sharp spine on each side of the caudal peduncle that is used to defend or dominate. The yellowish spine in the Gold-Rimmed Tang is usually folded down into a yellowish groove. The body is grayish and sometimes blackish with a white patch under the eye and a narrow white band nearly encircling the mouth. The black dorsal, anal, and ventral fins are edged with a striking blue color. A yellow stripe is present along the body and just below and above the dorsal and anal fins.
The Powder Brown Tang is an aggressive Surgeonfish that does not get along well other members of the same genus and even other similar-looking fish. Initially, the Powder Brown Tangmay be shy and difficult to adapt to new conditions. It is quite territorial; introducing a new Surgeonfish into a tank with an existing Gold-Rimmed Tang can provoke aggressive behavior. A large tank may reduce this problem to some extent.
The Gold-Rimmed Tang makes a good aquarium pet since it is relatively small compared to other Tangs. However, they are difficult to maintain. The size of the tank required to house this fish is of at least 125 gallons capacity. A lot of water movement in some parts of the tank is necessary for Tangs such as the Gold-Rimmed Tang. A reef aquarium with a lot of corals is suitable since they do not harm the corals. A lot of rockwork and corals provides the necessary place for of hiding and sleeping.