Moorish Idol

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The infamous Moorish Idol. Here we present one of the most difficult species of fish to keep and raise in captivity. Moorish Idol popularity increased with the release of the kid's movie "Finding Nemo" but as most hobbyists soon found out, the Moorish Idol is very tough to acclimate and keep. Long term survivability of this species in home aquariums is rare.
The Moorish Idol is colored with white, yellow and black vertical body markings. They are frequently found schooling along the reef and provided that you have a large enough tank, you may be able to keep multiples in your saltwater aquarium.
The Moorish Idol is a very finicky eater and to make matters worse, their protruding mouths are sometimes damaged during collection and transport. Another good reason to use the quarantine tank when you first get them is to get them eating without any competition. In the ocean they graze on marine algea and sponges. Having copious amounts of live rock in your tank will provide grazing opportunities in between meals. Try to give them a varied diet of live or frozen marine fish foods.
Moorish Idols can come down with most saltwater fish diseases especially if you're having difficulty getting them to eat. Therefore, use of a quarantine tank with this fish is a must. Keep your Moorish Idol in quarantine for at least a few weeks, but at least as long as it takes for them to start eating.

They are true beauties though and if you consider yourself an expert in marine aquarium keeping you may want to try this elegant and delicate fish. Don't cut any corners with your Moorish Idol and be sure to take your time while acclimating them to your tank. Give them optimal water conditions and please, don't even think about adding them to anything but an established tank after the recommended quarantine period. For most hobbyists, the Moorish Idol is one fish that is best left on the reef for now.

Moorish Idol Profile Facts and Care Information

Scientific Name : Zanclus cornutus

Common Names : Moorish Idol

Care Level : Very Difficult

Size : Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

Moorish Idol Life span : Unknown, usually short lived in captivity due to acclimation issues and nutritional problems

pH : 8.1 - 8.4

Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific, Hawaii

Temperament / Behavior : Generally, Moorish Idols are peaceful and can be kept in multiples in large enough systems.

Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : Very difficult to keep, let alone breed in captivity.

Tank Size : 100 gallon (379 liters) minimum

Compatible Tank Mates : Use caution when selecting tank mates. Avoid keeping them with overly aggressive species. May keep a small school of multiples in larger tanks. May not be a good choice for reef tanks because they may pick at sps corals.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Fish Food : This is the most difficult aspect of keeping this fish. They are omnivorous and they eat marine algae and sponges in the ocean. Try to give them a variety of live marine foods. Having plenty of live rock for them to graze on may help.

Tank Region : All over

Gender : Difficult to determine the differences between males and females.

Similar Species : Tangs and Surgeon Fish - Blue Tang, Clown Tang, Convict Tang, Kole Tang, Lavender Tang, Naso Tang, Orange Shoulder Tang, Pacific Sailfin Tang, Powder Blue Tang, Purple Tang, Red Sea Sailfin Tang, Tomini Tang, Unicorn Tang, Yellow Tang

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