The Orangespine Unicornfish is a rather sensitive species which may be hard to acclimate to aquarium life. Once established, however, it is a quite durable fish.
Belonging to the larger surgeonfish species and being a very active and vigorous swimmer it needs a huge tank with lot of place to roam around but also live rock and corals to provide some cover.
Juveniles grow rather slowly so you may be enticed to house them in a smaller tank, but for the sake of the fish's wellbeing a juvenile Naso literatus should not be kept in tanks with less than 445 gallons (2.000 l) and adults not in tanks with less than 2.200 gallons (10.000 l) .
Due to its peaceful and amicable nature the Naso literatus gets along well with most other marine fish. It, however, has been known to behave aggressive towards other surgeonfish species, especially other Naso tangs, so only one Naso tang should be housed in a tank. If you intend to keep different surgeonfish species together, you should not only have a huge tank with a volume of several thousands of gallons, but also introduce all species at the same time.
In the wild Naso literatus mainly feeds on leafy brown algae like Sargassum and Dictyota which as a rule are not available in our home tanks. When introducing a freshly imported Naso tang it may be helpful to have some dried brown algae at home, since not all individuals readily adopt to substitutional food. As continuous feeders, accustomed specimen should be fed a three times a day providing lots of algae (seaweed, Nori, spirulina) but also some vitamin-enriched frozen food.
Naso literatus is often mixed up with its close cousin, the Naso elegans. Both species may be distinguished by the colour of their dorsal fin, which is black for Naso literatus.
Acanthurus lituratus Forster, 1801
Aspisurus carolinarum Quoy & Gaimard, 1825
Callicanthus literatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Callicanthus lituratus (Forster, 1801)
Monoceros garretti Seale, 1901
Naso literatus (Forster, 1801) (misspelling)
Prionurus eoume Lesson, 1831
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopteri (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Acanthuroidei (Suborder) > Acanthuridae (Family) > Naso (Genus) > Naso lituratus (Species)