Native to the Western Pacific Ocean including the Great Barrier Reef. This popular fish has a rabbit-like snout which is used to graze algae. The adult has tightly spaced alternating blue and yellow markings that run vertical along the body. The back end and tail are yellow. The eyes are masked by a black stripe that runs from the top of the head, under the chin, and up to the top again on the other side. There is also a black stripe behind the gill plate. The dorsal spines are venomous and are used for protection against predators by erecting the spines and then stinging the offender. When they were juveniles, the coloration was a simple mottled brown and white. This fish is also known as a Pencil-streaked, a Barred and a Two Barred Rabbitfish, and a Barred Spinefoot.
Size: sm. 2"-3"; med. 3"-4 1/2"; lg. 5"-6 1/2"; can get up to 7" (11" in the wild)
No. in Tank: One or one mated pair
Tank: min. 100 gallons
Food: (Herbivore) Needs feed vegetable matter frequently each day. Items include Spirulina, algae, herbivore preparations and dried algae sheets.
Adaptation: This fish is anxious when first introduced into an aquarium. To help, it is best to have algae in the tank plus several hiding places and open room to swim. Additionally, place the aquarium in a low-traffic area as a lot of outside activity will exacerbate the nervousness and prolong the acclimation process.
Compatibility: Ideal for a reef system as long as it is well fed. If not, it will eat soft corals and LPS plus nip on hard corals. Invertebrates are generally ignored. Tank-mates should be aggressive and/or large with a healthy respect for the venomous dorsals.
**VENOMOUS DORSAL SPINES
A sting can cause severe pain. If allergic, severe reactions may occur. If stung, soak the area in soapy water (helps clean out bacteria), and seek medical attention promptly.