Moorish Idol Fish Facts
Moorish idol fish is one of the most sought-after and sought-after marine fish in the aquarium. The commonly called Moor idol, a coral fish of extraordinary color and majestic size. What this extensive habitat can offer you. And being its specialty the sponges and other invertebrates that found between the rocks and corals.
Despite its profusion, Moorish idol is incredibly complicated to maintain and its acclimatization to captivity poses many problems mainly in the alimentary aspect, being the most normal thing that it dies during this period of time. It is also very demanding with the water and its purity, reason why only its maintenance is advised to very experienced people. He is one of the characters in the Disney movie “Finding Nemo”.
Moorish idol fish is the only one within his family, distinguishing himself from his closest relatives. The fish Surgeon, by the presence of a very long filament in the dorsal fin and by the absence of poisonous caudal streaks. The little robust but very mobile fins, a mouth in the form of a beak with cutting teeth in the outermost areas and the aforementioned filament in the dorsal fin, which grows again. If cut for any reason. The older specimens present a slight gibbosity in the terminal area of the head and the highly developed dorsal filament; When they are young they very much remember the popular angelfish (or more commonly Scalars) freshwater.
The ventral fins have the typical triangular shape and are quite short, while the anal has a pyramid shape. The triangle flow and the pectorals have a slightly circular shape. Its stripe is really striking and consists of a yellowish-white background interrupted by three vertical black stripes. One covers the area from the beginning of the mouth to almost half of the body (ventral fins included), the second is somewhat earlier Of the caudal fin (covering half of the anal and the base of the dorsal) and the third occupies the entire caudal fin. The mouth is white and in the upper jaw have a triangular orange-yellow spot. They do not present any sexual dimorphism, they can measure up to 25 centimeters in an aquarium. If they manage to adapt to it, they reach over 10 years of life.
The maintenance of Moorish idol fish requires several things that must be fulfilled. If you want to survive in perfect condition for many years. First of all, we must bear in mind that it is an indefatigable swimmer who, in nature, travels through large areas of rock and coral to search for food. So the tank in which it is located must have a large size: At least Two meters in length and more than half a meter wide, being also the important depth so that it can fully unfold all its fins (any container of more than 50 cm depth).
Second, the natural feeding of this fish is based on microinvertebrates and sponges that live on rocks and reef corals. So it is essential to keep a good number of living stones and hard corals. That provide the necessary amounts of food during The adaptation phase. Likewise, it is very important that you have a good number of hiding places. Where you can get rid of it if you need it. And, lastly, in their natural habitat, the currents are rather weak, with very transparent waters and without any traces of organic pollution. Which means that the water must always be very clean, little moved and with the levels of Nitrite, Ammonia, and nitrates always at 0 ppm (although they tolerate levels of up to 20 ppm of nitrate without problems but only if they are perfectly acclimated).
The temperature should be maintained between 24 and 26 ºC, and the density between 1.020 and 1.024. The abrupt variations of the aquatic parameters must be avoided at all costs. The use of a protein skimmer is indispensable to treat the large amount of waste produced by constant feeding, as well as the installation of ozonizers and UV lamps to eliminate possible harmful parasites. Like his relatives the Surgeons, this fish is very sensitive to certain cutaneous diseases such as Oodinium and Cryptocarion. As well as tuberculosis and lateral line disease, problems that almost always end with the life of this extraordinary fish having.
The immune system by nature very debilitated added to the subsequent degeneration that means to have to adapt to a new environment. It is better to refrain from using medicines with copper since this fish does not tolerate it well.
One of the main causes of failure in the acclimatization of the Moro Idol is stress, which is particularly sensitive and in many cases produces such trauma that stops feeding until death. Introducing it first and keeping it with calm fish, as well as maintaining very stable water conditions. All the time are two factors that reduce stress and, consequently, the onset of diseases.
As I said before, the most important problem in maintaining the Moorish Idol is its food. In nature, the diet of this fish is composed, especially, sponges, and to a lesser extent small invertebrates such as crustaceans, gastropods and also abundant quantities of algae. In captivity, it is essential to feed it only with live prey such as Artemias during its first days to start eating. When eating this contribution without any problem you can start to administer frozen food. It is important to give them plant material at least three to four times a week. If there are no algae in the aquarium.
Although in its natural habitat it is a gregarious fish, in captivity it is necessary to keep to a single specimen per aquarium. You can only make some attempt in very large aquariums (more than 2000 liters). And always with very young fish, introducing them all at once in the tank. As for the rest of the species, this fish is very peaceful and rarely becomes aggressive with other fish. Unless they have the same shape and color (eg Heniochus Acuminatus).
It may be somewhat reluctant to newcomers if only to mark territory. Do not associate with fish too fast or nervous as they can stress and make it difficult to eat faster. Do you have to mix it with fish that are too curious to bite their long dorsal strand? Something that stresses them very much. You can only associate with slow and slow species (Mandarines, yellow tang, balloon fish, Seahorse, …). That do not prevent you from eating or doing your daily chores with peace of mind.
There is no evidence that it has been reproduced in captivity. If it is known, however, that they are oviparous and that they possibly spawn in a communal way near the surface of the sea. The eggs being washed away by the current. Surely the eggs hatch between the phytoplankton, from which the larvae feed. Until they descend to the bottom and begin the adult phase.