Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)

The Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus) is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific from the eastern African coast in the Indian Ocean between Kenya and Spdwama Bay in South Africa, all the way to the Andaman Sea.  In the Pacific it has been seen as far east as the Tuamotu Islands and Mangareva, and between southern Japan and New South Wales.

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang are a peaceful species that are usually encountered alone on the seaward coral reefs and deeper lagoons of their range feeding on detritus and single celled algae around corals and rock rubble at depths down to 200 feet.

Ctenochaetu binotatus feed on single celled algae such as the dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus by scooping up the film of detritus with its bristle like mouth.

The Two Spot Bristletooth Tang is one of the smallest tangs and is prized by tropical fish keeping enthusiasts for its disposition, personality, and beauty.

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)

Two Spot Bristletooth Tangs have a brown body color with blue eyes and pale spots along the head and chest. They have blue spots on their head, pale horizontal lines along the flanks, and two black spots at the base of the dorsal and anal fins that give them their common name. Adults develop a lunate caudal fin and display no distinguishing characteristics between males and females.

Like all tangs, Ctenochaetu binotatus have a sharp retractable spine on each side of the caudal peduncle that they use for defense.

The Two Spot Bristletooth Tang is best housed in a mature FOWLR or reef tank of at least 75 gallon capacity with a crushed coral or sandy substrate, substantial quantities of mature algae encrusted live rock arranged into crevices, caves, and overhangs for them to graze and hide among, plenty of free swimming space, and a moderate linear flow of water movement in at least one area of the tank.

The Two Spot Bristletooth Tang is considered reef safe and although they are aggressive towards other Tangs, they get along well with other peaceful tank mates like Clownfish, Green Chromis, Blennies, Royal Gramma, smaller Angelfish, Cardinalfish, etc.

They generally will not bother sessile invertebrates or corals in a reef tank, however they may nibble at stony corals if enough algae is not provided.

Like all tangs, Ctenochaetu binotatus are difficult to breed in an aquarium environment.

Like other members of the surgeonfish family, they are egg scatters that broadcast their spawn in groups. Visual sexing is next to impossible but if you plan to keep a breeding harem of Two Spot Bristletooth Tangs, you will need at least 6 to 10 juvenile individuals in an appropriately sized aquarium to develop and identify a breeding pair.

The Two Spot Bristletooth Tang is a herbivore that requires a steady diet of marine based algae and seaweed to remain healthy.   Although Tangs will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important that they are provided plenty of marine based seaweed and algae to strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression, and improve their overall health.

Spirulina flakes, seaweed, and dried nori tied to a rock or clipped on a veggie clip should be provided at least 3 times per week. Sea Veggies, Seaweed Salad and Ocean Nutrition are all ideal products that are convenient to use.

The Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus) is a common species that is frequently available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from brick and mortar fish shops and online from specialty fish shops, wholesalers, retailers, and trans shippers at the following approximate purchase sizes: Small 1.5-2.25″; Medium 2.25-3.25″; Large 3.25-4.25″.

Specimens are commonly collected from the Philippines, Africa, and Indonesia at prices from $ 99.99 for Medium Philippines specimens to $ 199.99 for the same size Indonesian collected specimen.

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)

Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetu binotatus)






Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
Aquarium Type: Reef or FOLR
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Maximum Size: 8″
Color Form: Blue, Tan
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef or FOWLR
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Africa, Phillipines, Africa
Family: Acanthuridae
Lifespan: 20+ years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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