Jawfish are aptly named with their huge mouths that seem to take up their entire head. These unique little fish also have large eyes, elongated bodies and unusual lifestyles.
Jawfish spend most of their time in their burrows, which they dig in the sand using their powerful jaws. They rarely venture far from their holes and will quickly disappear into their underground homes if they sense the slightest bit of danger.
Jawfish are found near coral reefs throughout the world where they mainly feed on plankton and other tiny creatures. Most species usually grow to between 4 to 6 inches, though some types can grow to 18 inches.
Jawfish are generally hardy fish, easy to care for and do not require a large tank. They do require a minimum 3” deep substrate consisting of rubble and sand of various sizes so that they can dig their burrows. Also, a secure cover is necessary to prevent them from jumping out.
Jawfish should be fed a variety of fresh and prepared protein foods such as brine shrimp, krill, bloodworms, etc.
Most specimens are highly territorial and should not be kept together except in a large tank where each can establish his own space. Jawfish are not aggressive and can even be shy so only peaceful, slow swimming fish should be considered as tankmates.
Some species of Jawfish have been bred in captivity, though it is not easy. After mating takes place in the burrow the male will collect the eggs and hold them in his mouth until they hatch. After a week or so, he releases the fry which should be transferred to their own tank.
In their larval stage, the young Jawfish require very clean water and need to be fed rotifers until they are large enough to be fed baby brine shrimp.
TankConditions: 72-82°F; sg 1.021-1.023; dKH 8-12
Compatibility: Foxface and rabbitfish, pseudochromis, tangs and surgeons, live corals, invertebrates, live rock, sand.