Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus)

Care Level: Moderate - Difficult
Behavior:  Peaceful
Reef Compatible: With Caution
Max. Size: Up to 7"
Diet: Omnivore

Moorish Idol (Zanclus Cornutus)


The Moorish Idol, otherwise known as the Kihikihi (a word for curved) in Hawaiian, are patterned with bold black and white barred stripes and are accented with a yellow marking that fades into their elongated dorsal filament and the base of their caudal fins. On the base of their snouts, they are marked with a yellow patch below the eyes.


It is best to house the Moorish Idol in a 125 gallon tank or larger with plenty of live rock, room for hiding, and place to swim. These fish can grow to 7 inches so a large tank is necessary. The Moorish Idol is rather peaceful and can be tank mates with most peaceful fish. They can be kept in reef aquariums but with caution. In the wild, Moorish Idols feed on polyps, corals, and small invertebrates.



The diet of the Moorish Idol should include: algae, sponges, chopped meat such as crustacean flesh, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and spirulina. These fish can be difficult to feed, so a pro fish hobbyist would be the best match for this breed of fish.

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BluReef Aquarium

2198 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11234

United States

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Brooklyn, NY