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Meet the surgeons

Aquarium Pets

I get to interact with a lot of different fish species and in the process I have learnt to see life through this silent window. For example the surgeon fish belongs to a family of fishes known as Acanthuridae. However the term surgeon fish is because they have an erectable razor sharp spine that they use for their defense.


Do not be fooled to think they are dangerous in anyway, in fact they are very graceful and have a tendency to live together in droves while in the ocean. The same can not be said in an aquarium situation, the surgeon fish are quite territorial and in most cases the stronger fish will pick on the weak fish.

A good aquarist will know for instance the need to separate them. I know this will come as a relief to many first time aquarists, the different species of the surgeon fish will live together in harmony as opposed to keeping the same species in one tank. It is only the Hepatus that lives harmoniously with its fellow species.


Working for an export station fish firm (Kenya Marine Center) has made me realize just how easy it is to keep this fish as they eat just about anything. They adapt easily to new environments and in some cases they can surface to be petted by their owners/feeders.

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