Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Naso lituratus
Naso Tang, Naso Surgeonfish, Lipstick Unicornfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

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Naso_lituratus_2.jpg (32kb)
Photo Credit: Fabricio Justiniano

Name: Naso lituratus
Size BehaviorReef
Origin: Indo-Pacific Oceans
50 cm Peaceful Low Risk


These Herbivores (vegetarians) are quite safe to keep in a tank with most inverts, and are good fish for reef tanks with corals. They show little interest in them, so you can keep shrimp and hermit crabs with little concern. The Naso lituratus, also called the Naso Tang, or Lipstick Tang is a hardy animal, and not as prone to "ich" as most of the other members of this species. They must be able to graze on brown/red algae, or they will die. With one of the best personalities of all saltwater fish, we used to hand feed our Naso strips of Seaweed Select. Every time we passed by the aquarium he would always come to the front of the glass to greet us. Before rushing out to buy one, make sure that you have a large enough tank as the Naso Tang can grow to a whopping 40 cm or more. Although slow growing, this animal can live for 15 years or more.

Contributed by Connie Hannon

I have had two large Nasos in my 850 liter tank for over 2 years. They seem to really get along. I would have some type of plant in your tank if you are trying to keep these. I feed them that, along with brine shrimp. They are expensive, but also very amazing fish.

Contributed by Eric

This fish should only be kept in a large aquarium because of it's adult size. They love brown algae and will usually not eat on green algae very much if at all. There is a "blonde" version from Hawaii that has a yellow dorsal fin instead of black that is also very desirable.

Contributed by Ben

This is a very interesting fish! I have had some problems with it nibbling at feather dusters, but besides that it has not been causing any trouble. Mine often eats the green algae off the filter rather than the brown algae.

Contributed by a visitor

You don't have to have continous algae for them to survive. They can be raised to greedily accept other foods. I have a naso of about 14 cm long and she eats everything. I feed her algae only once a week.

Contributed by Preston Bridgewater

I have had my blonde naso for about 1 month now, and he is the most comical fish that I own. He already eats right out of my hand. He does not feed too much on algae sheets, but loves AquaDyne spirulina flakes. He is housed in a 470 liter reef tank with a Regal tang, a Lamarks angel and a Maroon clown. I think he will always be my favorite though!

Contributed by Kevin Fansler

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