Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Ctenochaetus strigosus
Kole Tang, Yelloweye Surgeonfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

Photos & Comments

koletang1.jpg (13kb)
Photo Credit: Karla Steves

Name: Ctenochaetus striatus
Origin: Indo-Pacific Ocean, South Africa

Size Behavior Reef
18 cm Loner Safe


A very active fish, constantly picks off of the rock and glass. At feeding time a very bold eater, eats most food pellets, dried nori, brine shrimp/vitamins. Peaceful towards tank mates except the lawnmower blenny, my Kole gets very aggressive towards him. Seems like one of the hardier tangs and with its smaller size I would say it's a good beginner tang.

Contributed by Karla Steves

If you have an algae problem then this is your fish. All tangs feed on algae, this we know. But this fish has cleared up my algae problem in a matter of weeks. It's relatively cheap to boot. If you have algae problems look no further than right here.

Contributed by Greg Horn

Absolutely one of my favorite tangs. Most photos don't do their coloration justice as they are much prettier in person. Very active, though a little bit shy for a tang. He grooms my live rock constantly and is fun to watch. Great beginner tang or for the smaller (180 liter or less) tank.

Contributed by james Shewmake

Kole tangs are beautiful fish. Wonderful for any hair algae. This is one of the smaller tangs of the family. I plan on keeping him with a hippo tang. These species have numerous reports of being kept together peacefully, but I cannot guarantee if they will get along. Mine doesn't seem to like the nori I give him as much as I thought he would.

Contributed by a visitor

A very beautiful, and fairly hardy tang, although they can be very shy at times. Mine had always spent more time hiding in my live rock, than actually swimming in the open.

Contributed by Joseph Zobel

I just got one of these guys a few days ago. I chose him because he was active, eating, and looked very healthy. He was very shy when I first put him in. He kept on swimming out from a cave and then back in. He did that for about two hours. When he adjusted, he was swimming around like crazy. I've noticed that he is very bossy. He is very territorial and doesn't let any of my established fish go near his cave. He also seems to have scared off my Purple Firefish. He doesn't let them out of their cave and when they do come out he sends them back in. Although all of this is an issue, I must say he is doing an excellent job of eating algae in the tank. Hopefully everyone in the tank will work something out because I would very much like to see my lovely Firefish again.

Contributed by Mike

Yellow eye is a great fish. Will clean your rocks and walls off algae in no time. I've had mine for 6 months now. Shy at first, it kept on hiding behind the rocks and eventually came out. It took me a month before my Kole started eating. Kept on feeding it mysis, flakes, Formula II and Nori. Still does not touch flakes. Great fish to have as a janitor for the aquarium.

Contributed by Jay McKoskey

I have had my Kole Tang for over a year. It lives with a three year old Yellow Tang and some cardinal fish. It is a little aggressive towards new fish, as a six line wrasse and a Pseudocromis took some time to adapt to its bullying. Grazes on live rock constantly, but does not like dried red algae or nori as much as my yellow tang. It really likes enriched brine shirimp and frozen squid. A very active fish, always darting in and out of caves in the reef structure. Reef safe, never touched any corals, feather dusters, clams or shrimp in its tank.

Contributed by Rik Anderson

Got some experience to share for this page? No registration necessary to contribute! Your privacy is respected: your e-mail is published only if you wish so. All submissions are reviewed before addition. Write based on your personal experiences, with no abbreviations, no chat lingo, and using proper punctuation and capitalization. Ready? Then send your comments!

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L