The Hawkfish is a quite a character – he will sit motionless at the top of a rock or coral with his eyes roving about until he spots some movement, then he will pounce and quickly swallow his prey! When kept in an aquarium, this hardy colorful fish readily recognizes his keeper and will always be “begging” for a meal. They are found among the coral reefs in tropical ocean waters around the world. Their natural diet consists of fish, zooplankton and small crustaceans. Most Hawkfish will grow to 3 to 5 inches but some species can reach a length of almost 2 feet. Several species sport cirri (hairlike growths) at the tips of their dorsal fin which makes them even more fascinating to observe.
Hawkfish are excellent subjects for both new and experienced hobbyists alike. They are not overly sensitive to water quality, they are generally peaceful and they accept all types of food. Their aquarium should be provided with rocky structures for the Hawkfish to perch on as well as to hide in.
They can be fed a variety of meaty foods such as shrimp, fish, clams, worms, etc. Hawkfish will fight with each other and should be kept one per tank. Although they will not bother most other species, they do have large mouths and should not be kept with fishes that are small enough for them to swallow.
Hawkfish are protogynous hermaphrodites, with the ability to change sex from female to male. It is hard to differentiate between the sexes and very difficult to breed them in captivity.
Hawkfish prey on shrimp, crabs, anemones and small fish. So caution is advice when introducing them in a reef aquarium. Hawkfish are aggressive and territorial. They should be mixed only with similar size species. It is best to keep only one per tank. If possible they should be the last fish on your list to be introduced in any tank community.
TankConditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
Compatibility: Foxface and rabbitfish, hogfish, parrotfish, pseudochromis, squirrelfish, puffers, tangs and surgeons, wrasse, live corals, live rock, sand.
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