The Indian sail-fin surgeonfish can be found in lagoons and on the coral reef at depths of up to 30 metres.
As a juvenile, this fish prefers shallow water in sheltered areas, where it always swims close to the corals between which it hides at the slightest warning.
It feeds on algae and associated organisms. During the day, groups of 50 to 100 individuals can be observed roaming their feeding area. The feeding area is in competition with other herbivores, including surgeonfish of other species.