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Naso vlamingii Big-nose Unicorn, Big-nose Unicornfish, Scribbled Unicornfish, Vlaming's Unicornfish , Bignose unicornfish


Naso vlamingii 
Big-nose Unicorn, Big-nose Unicornfish, Scribbled Unicornfish, Vlaming's Unicornfish , Bignose Unicornfish 
Surgeonfishes & Tangs 
Family tree:
Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Acanthuridae (Family) > Naso (Genus) > vlamingii (Species) 
Initial determination:
(Valenciennes, ), 1835 
(the) Maldives, Abrolhos Archipelago, American Samoa, Australia, Bora Bora, Caroline Island, Christmas Islands, Comores, Cook Islands, Corea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Galapagos Islands, Guam, Hawaii, India, Indian Ocean, Indo Pacific, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marquesas Islands, Marschall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moluccas, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Queensland (Australia), Réunion , Samoa, South-Africa, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tansania, Tasman Sea, the Andaman Sea, The Chagos Archipelago (the Chagos Islands), the Cocos Islands / Keeling Islands, the Seychelles, Timor, Tonga, Tuamoto Islands, Vietnam, Wake Atoll, Western Indian Ocean, Western Pacific Ocean 
Sea depth:
1 - 50 Meter 
19.69" - 21.65" (50cm - 55cm) 
75.2 °F - 82.4 °F (24°C - 28°C) 
Algae, Banana, Brine Shrimps, Dandelion, Flakes, Frozen Food (large sort), Krill, Mysis, Nori-Algae, Salad 
2199.78 gal (~ 10000L) 
Only for advanced aquarists 
Not available as offspring 
Toxic hazard unknown 
Not evaluated 
Red List:
Not evaluated (NE) 
Related species at
Catalog of Life:
Last edit:
2019-06-26 18:34:21 


(Valenciennes, 1835)

The Bignose Unicornfish is somewhat sensitive when first introduced in a tank, but once it has acclimatized, it is one of the hardiest Naso species.

In its juvenile stages it is often confused with the Naso lopezi due to their similar looks. The forehead of the adult Naso vlamingii forms a bulbous rounded protrusion giving the fish its common name of Bignose Unicornfish.
As all other Naso species it is able to quickly and dramatically change its colour depending on mood or environment. When swimming in the open ocean they are a more moderate slate bluish colour, whereas when approaching the reef they will become darker and when they visit a cleaning station they will become lighter, probably to make it easier for the cleaner wrasses to find parasites. During courtship the male seems to flash with brilliant metallic blue lines and spots.

Bignose Unicornfish reach 23, 6 inches (60cm) as adults. Due to their large size and their preference for swimming in the open water Bignose unicornfish should be housed only in very very large tanks to ensure their well-being. Very often small juveniles are bought and housed in smaller tanks with the idea of buying a larger tank later. Surgeonfish, however, are fast growing, following the studies of Choat and Axe (1996) they obtain 80 % of their growth in the first 15 % of their life. Furthermore the majority of the Surgeonfish species have a life span of 30 to 40 years. Adult Naso vlamingii can reach 23.6 inch (60 cm) and may live for 40 years or more. If we apply the results of Choat ‘s and Axe’s research this means a juvenile Naso vlamingii would achieve 18.9 inch (48 cm) in its first 6 years. This may help to image how fast a juvenile will outgrow a tank of less than several hundred gallons (500 gallons at least for juveniles, 2,222 gallons for adults). A too small environment, however, has been shown to result in stunted growth and possibly behavioural problems.

In the wild Bignose unicornfish change their feeding pattern when they grow up. Juveniles are herbivores, picking off algae from rocks, semi-adults are omnivores and adults are primarily carnivores, hunting for zooplankton in the water column.

Naseus vlamingii Valenciennes, 1835
Naso valmingi (Valenciennes, 1835)
Naso vlamigii (Valenciennes, 1835)
Naso vlamingi (Valenciennes, 1835)

Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Acanthuridae (Family) > Naso (Genus) > Naso vlamingii (Species)




Husbandry know-how of owners

siegi am 01.08.11#4
nun ist er umgezogen. Er hatte eine Länge von ca. 25 cm und war für meinen Gusto zu groß. Er schwimmt in einer 6000ltr. Pfütze und ist guter Dinge. Er war überhaupt nicht aggressiv aber einfach zu groß, schade. Ich werde mit keinen mehr zulegen, da ich keinen Platz mehr wüßte wo ich ihn bei Platzmangel deponieren könnte, leider.Er war bei mir und ist beim Bekannten ein Hingucker. Wahrlich ein Prachtfisch, aber leider zu groß für mein 1800ltr. Becken.
siegi am 12.04.09#3
Habe in München endlich ein sehr kleines Exemplar erhalten.( 5cm) War etwas schwierig einzugewöhnen, aber ist jetzt gut integriert. Er setzt sich auch bei den großen durch. Frißt sehr viel Grünfutter. (Löwenzahn und Bärlauch, sowie Norialgen) Er ist mit seinen großen Augen einfach ein Hingucker. Wenn er für mein Becken zu groß wird, ich hoffe nicht zu schnell, habe ich schon für ihn einen Platz in einem 6000 ltr. Becken reserviert
mbb am 15.09.07#2
ich halte jetzt seit 1,5 jahren einen vlamingii und einen brevirostris in einem 4x1,25x85 becken. dort sind sie extrem gewachsen, liegen jetzt mit ca 40cm im kg- bereich und fressen ungefähr soviel wie der gesamte restliche beckenbesatz zusammen.

obiger eintrag hat mich zum kauf verleitet, aber leider muß ich mich wohl bald von ihnen trennen. sie werden für das becken einfach zu groß!
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