Aquarium Fish

Mimic Eibli Tang

Mimic Eibli Tang juveniles look like the Eibli Angelfish (Centropyge eibli). This is a form of Batesian mimicry which is a survival mechanism. It is thought that the dwarf angelfish is less appetizing to would be predators and the Mimic Eibli Tang has evolved to mimic this look to help avoid predation. It is an amazing occurrence in nature, nonetheless.

The Mimic Eibli Tang gets to about 10 inches when fully grown and needs at least a 120 gallon (454 liters) aquarium with lots of open swimming space. Keep the tank highly oxygenated with lots of turbulent water flows. They are often found in lagoons and near seaward reefs at various depths of 6 to 85 feet (2 to 26 meters). As they mature, they lose the juvenile markings and start to turn a more drab light brown or gray with darker gray fins. Juveniles are definitely more attractive looking and fetch higher price tags than adults.

They need to be fed primarily algae or nori (dried seaweed) along with a high quality pellet food. You can supplement their diet with defrosted foods like Rod's Herbivore Blend or similar. As with all fish purchases, make sure they are eating at the store before bringing them home. Sometimes specimens that are too small (less than 2 inches) are hard to get eating. Make sure they show an aggressive feeding response when food hits the water at the store. This will help ensure that you bring home a healthy fish to place in your quarantine tank for a few weeks before introduction into your display tank.

Avoid keeping them with other tangs, especially conspecifics. If you do plan on keeping them with multiple tang species try to introduce them all at once. They should do well with most other fish species. Some LPS coral keepers have reported seeing them nip at polyps so use caution if you have a reef tank setup. You can buy them locally or online for anywhere from $40 to $60 or so.


Mimic Eibli Tang

Acanthurus tristis - Mimic Eibli Tang Picture of Mimic Eibli Tang

Mimic Eibli Tang Video

Mimic Eibli Tang Care

Scientific Name : Acanthurus tristis

Common Names : Mimic Eibli Tang, Blackcheek surgeonfish, Indian Mimic Surgeonfish, Yellowspot Surgeonfish

Care Level : Moderate

Life span : 7 years or longer

Size : 10 inches (25 cm)

Water Parameters : pH 8 - 8.4 | Temperature 78°F - 82°F (26°C - 28°C) | Specific Gravity 1.022 - 1.026

Origin / Habitat : Found in shallow lagoons and seaward reefs in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives and southern Indoesian Islands and near Bali at depths of 2 to 26 meters (6 to 85 feet)

Temperament / Behavior : Avoid keeping them with conspecifics.

Breeding : Group spawners, open water egg scatterers

Aquarium Size : 120 gallon (454 liters) minimum

Mimic Eibli Tang Tank Mates : Generally peaceful but may bicker with other tangs over territory around feeding time and more so as they get bigger.

Reef Tank Compatible? : This tang is reef tank compatible with caution. There are some reports from hobbyists that they may nip at LPS corals.

Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease Quarantine and a slow drip acclimation are recommended.

Diet / Foods : The Mimic Eibli Tang is an herbivore so be sure that you have lots of live rock for them to feed on throughout the day. Offer them dried nori or seaweed daily for best results.

Tank Region : All over the aquarium

Gender : Unable to determine by external characteristics

Forum : Tang Forum

Author : Mike FishLore

References :

"Acanthurus tristis". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2005.
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.

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