Purple or Achilles Tang?


Reefing newb
I want to get another tang, and its between the Achilles and the Purple. Mainly because my LFS just got his best shipment of Achilles in, they eat like pigs, they are small, and have been there for 3 weeks. One of my main reasons for wanting this fish went back to when my family and I went to Hawaii on vacation. When we went snorkeling in a marine reserve, we saw some yellow tangs, niger triggers, but what really stuck out were these large fish. We just started calling it the Oriole fish, but later we found out it was the Achilles. Since then we've always kind of wanted one, but we've heard they we're expert. Should I get one?The other two tangs are both pacifists being a Naso and Blue Hippo. On the other hand... a bright Purple fish swimming around the aquarium would also be nice. They are both good pricing for their species, and are both healthy. My main concern for the Achilles would be the "expert".
Honestly you already have a Naso that can get reach 18" and a Hippo that can reach 12" in a tank that is small for them. I would recommend no more tangs for sure especially an Achilles which is a very difficult fish under the correct circumstances.
Can't say i've raised one myself but here is a couple of articles on it.

Achilles Surgeonfish / Tang

FreshMarine.com - Achilles Tang (Adult) - Acanthurus achilles - Red-tailed Surgeon - Buy Cheap Achilles Surgeonfish at Wholesale

Seems like part of the challenge is getting one that is good quality. The other aspect is that you need to provide top notch water chemistry. Certainly a rare specimen especially in regards to quality livestock because they don't ship well. But if you have a LFS that has good quality fish that is eating. I would say go for it if you are up to the challenge of providing the necessary husbandry for it. You certainly seem to have an connection to this fish and i think thats why we keep fish in the first place.
My water quality is good enough to sutain some very sensitive SPS species, plus I use very good salt. What is the issue with water quality? Is it ammonia levels, salt quality,etc.?
Again this is 2nd hand info. Ammonia and Nitrite even at minor levels. Also, you probably want to run some carbon if you have toxic corals (softies).

The other thing i would recommend is really set up a good quarantine environment before you buy the fish. You want to feed it the exact food the LFS has it eating. Whatever filter you run in your qt tank you want to prep it so that you have bacteria going already (e.g. I run a HOB filter in my qt so i soak the piece of foam in the filter in my refugium so i get bacteria growth on it).
Its nitrate and oxygenation. Any sort of contaminants in the water can cause issues. Mine was healthy for quite a while, I had a spike in phosphates and iron and he developed a crazy case of ich and I ended up losing him

Is your 135 a 4 foot tank? If so, then I would advised against an Achilles for sure. They need all the real estate they can get. I have never seen a fish that bombs around a tank like an Achilles. After having one I honestly think that they shouldn't even be in 6 foot tanks, I think 8 foot would be better

Plus, your current tangs will need to be re-homed, do you really want to get attached to another fish that you will have to re-home? Achilles are very sensitive to transport and capture, this is one of the reasons they are rated as 'expert only', so even if you get one and decide to re-home it, there is no guarentee that it would adapt to its new surroundings after a second move. It took me almost two months to get mine eating on a regular basis, its not for the faint of heart
Humu. im going to be biased here, i love the Achilles tang, it is in my top 3 favorites. i've had one once that i got to last three weeks, probably would still be here if i would have realized it had gill flukes:-( I am lucky enough to have a beautiful purple tang about 6" , without a mark on her. But i would get an Achilles againg without hesitation. From what i've read the most "expert" aspect of their care is water flow, since it's a tidal zone fish, these guys love ALOT of flow. I don't think your tank size is to small, personally. But is your tank a 6' tank, because if it is that would be better, they love love a raceway. their like powder blues, they want to fly back and forth at full speed! I'd say get the Achilles, one of the most beautiful fish i've ever seen.:D:mrgreen:
If you have the room and good parameters, I'd do the achillies just because i love them! They're so beautiful! I also love the white cheek tangs, they are gorgeous too
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