Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Jawfishes, Family Opistognathidae Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Jawfishes

Related FAQs:  Jawfishes 1, Jawfishes 2, Blue-Spotted Jawfish, Pearly Jawfish, & Jawfish Identification, Jawfish Behavior, Jawfish Compatibility, Jawfish Selection, Jawfish Systems, Jawfish Disease, Jawfish Reproduction,

Phyllidia arabica,  Ehrenberg 1831....

Blind Jawfish 4/14/2009
Hi All,
<Hello again Debbie,>
I wanted to share an experience I've had with my Jawfish going blind.
<Awe, poor little fish.>
On the morning of December 15, 2008 I was watching my Jawfish and noticed she was running into rocks and obstacles she normally would swim around. She didn't react to my presence backing into her hole as she usually did. And after running into several things she'd just give up and lay still. Her eyesight overnight went from seeing me across the room (I could wave my arm and she would duck into her hole) to not seeing my hand on the glass in front of her. I put food in the tank and she would get excited but couldn't
eat. It hit her in the face, on her body but she couldn't see it. I researched WetWebMedia and found someone else had written with the same issue: the simple suggestion was to try hand feeding the fish.
<There is a wealth of info here.>
So using plastic tubing and an ear bulb I made a long feeding tube, or sometimes used a pipette. She was eating but not getting any better. She began to get used to her disability and would swim around/over an obstacle until she had it mentally mapped out and moved around the tank as though she could see.
<Amazing how resilient life can be.>
She totally rearranged the sandbed moving mouthfuls of sand all day long.
It was fascinating to watch her.
<Much to learn here about life in general.>
During cleaning if I moved anything in the tank even a little where she would run into it, she would get confused, go into her hole and not come out for several hours. Then later she'd come back out and slowly approach the area she ran into and remap it. I had Selcon which I seldom used and decided to try it (about a month later, January I guess). I began soaking the food daily with it, sometimes adding a drop or two of Kent's Garlic Xtreme. Within a week I began to notice a very slight improvement in her.
<Happy to hear.>
It's been four months now and in the last couple weeks she's been able to see food I put in the tank and for the most part can swim up and get a good part of it though a lot still goes by unnoticed or the clownfish beats her to it. So I still hand feed her 3 times a day.
She now sees me when I approach the tank and backs into her hole. Ha, the thanks I get for babying her all this time - she hides from me.
<Heehe! Imagine that?>
The mated pair of clownfish never bothered her, even when she chose to sleep on the sand under them every night for over a month, which I thought to be very odd.... Or when they had eggs and she stayed within inches of their nest. Now with her eyesight somewhat improved she no longer seems interested in sleeping with the clownfish and has moved her hole a bit further away. Although I can't be certain it was the Selcon that brought back her eyesight, I soak the food daily with it anyway.
<Certainly won't hurt! I'm a big fan of Selcon.>
<Thank you for sharing Debbie. I'm happy this fish is in your care.

Weaning a genderless tunnel happy Jawfish. Fdg., sys., repro.    2/17/08 Hello all, I introduced a Bluespotted Jawfish (photo attached), nearly a week ago now. Unable to quarantine at home (a fifth tank might get me murdered by my better half), I had my buddy at the shop hold him for three long weeks. I had to remove an ornery (and quite large) Mithrax crab, but the Jawfish settled in quickly, building a network of caves within mere hours. I've been feeding frozen mysis, brine, and formula one using a pipette, which the fish takes to like a baby bottle. Now here in lies my first silly question: Am I going to cause the fish to develop a dependence on food coming directly to it? <Mmm, doubtful... I have observed and even collected this Opistognathid (at the tip of Baja)... and seen it in exhibits for years (mainly in home town San Diego's Birch Aquarium)... and it doesn't seem to lose its natural "hunting behavior"> Because, as it is, the Jawfish only gets to eat once per day, unless I were able to convince my girlfriend to spend the time each morning to nurse it on the pipette, or the Jawfish decides to join the rest of the group in swimming after food that's just dropped into the water. <Mmm, do think on the addition of a plankton generating refugium here... much to be gained> Secondly, I did search the site on sexing the Bluespots, with no definitive results. So, is there any good way to determine sex of these little guys (and girls)? <Not as far as I'm aware... until they actually spawn (males are mouthbrooders)> Finally, the wonderful mountains of sand. I was planning on adding a bit more sand; the middle to the back of the 125 gal. tank is 3-5 inches of mostly sugar-fine grade sand, the front...maybe an inch, and now due to some of the tunnel construction that has occurred I'm concerned that if the Jawfish removes too much sand from the foundation of a large rock bad things could happen. <All large solid objects need to originate on solid bottom... the bits on top neatly, stably placed atop this...> So, as I understand it, these guys like varying grades of sand. But, should I keep with the sugar-fine grade, or did NNR go out the window when the Jawfish started tunneling? <To a large extent, yes> I just want to make sure this fish is as happy as a fish can be inside a glass box. Any knowledge, insight, or criticism is greatly appreciated. <I would mix in some larger grade, even rubble of varying size... makes all tunnels more stable and is a hoot to see it all get moved about. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Jules (Portland, OR)

Jawfish Burrows... location, feeding, 10/30/07 <Hi Dave, Mich here.> Quick question concerning Yellowheaded Jawfish. <Oh! One of my favorite fish!> I just bought a pair (they have been in the same burrow -and will reburrow together- at the store for past 3 weeks) for my 90gallon reef tank. When first introduced they stayed close together for the first 24hrs and then created their own separate burrows at opposite ends of the tank at the back. <OK.> I'm not concerned about them not burrowing together at all, but am a little concerned about their location at the back. <Why?> Reading through your information, it is often suggested to use a baster feeder to expel small meaty foods near the burrow. <Yes.> At the back of the tank, it will be difficult to reach the critters as well as keep an eye on them. <Yes, but not impossible. Please make sure your tank is extremely well covered these adorable fish are notorious jumpers and will find the tiniest of spaces to make their escape to drier places.> My question to you, will the Jawfish relocate if they are not getting enough food? <Perhaps.> Will they leave the burrow for the front of the tank to grab food out of the water column and then dart back to their burrows? <I recently spent a little time observing Yellowheaded Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons) on the reefs in the Bahamas. These delightful little fish do leave their borrows, but generally don't stray too far from their homes. I think if there is an unobstructed passage to the front of the tank they may go there, otherwise, I'm not so sure. You may need to direct some of the food towards the back of the tank. > Dave <Good luck with these cuties! Mich>

Jawfish/Feeding  5/31/06 Hey guys. <Hello Sam>  I just got a new Jawfish, one of the "undescribed" ones you guys list. Black head, blue bands, etc. I put him in the tank, and he went off behind my rock, proceeding to dig his little cave and successfully knocked a piece of live rock over. No harm done. I see him floating over his burrow most of the day. My problem is feeding him.   He shares a tank with a Clark's clown that's about 3" long. The jaw has made his burrow in a really quite awkward part of the tank. Most   of the food I try to put down there gets eaten by the clown, partially due to the way I feed-just a piece of stiff tubing. I really think I need to get some more sophisticated feeding tools! A turkey baster, maybe? <Jawfish do not do well with aggressive eating fish in the tank such as your clown.> Anyhow, I can distract the clown with some flake food long enough to get food down there-I would have succeeded,   had I not got so excited and tipped some rock over (what a klutz, huh?).  So, what I think I need is some sinking food to get the food   down to Jaw Town USA while the clown is distracted. Do you guys know of any marine food like the "catfish wafers" and such for freshwater?   I also am pondering making some seafood "berries" (thank you, Conscientious Marine Aquarist!) and hoping those float. I read on WWM   that Jaws move house from time to time-do you think he'll take up house in a less secluded area of the tank sometime?  <All up to the Jawfishes liking.  I believe you are always going to have this problem with the clown being in there aggressively eating.  Using the turkey baster you mention should help with this.  As far as foods, too numerous to mention. Do some searching and do read Jawfish feeding FAQ's here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/jawfishfdgfaqs.htm> Thanks for the help, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Sam

Re:  Jawfish/Feeding   6/1/06 Well, my situation improved today. My jaw has moved to a much more open area of the tank. <Great> I found a turkey baster, and figured out if I distract the clown, I can get food down to the jaw. He didn't eat it,   but it was a small piece of scallop and it blended in with the gravel, so maybe I'll try a more conspicuous food item. <Do try mysis shrimp, Jawfish have a hard time refusing this. James (Salty Dog)>

Jawfish I got a Jawfish from the Marine Center about a week ago. I put him in quarantine. The Marine Center says that the fish was there for 3-4 weeks and was eating and in their own quarantine. I have a Tupperware container with some sand and various PVC pipes and he has mostly been hiding behind the container. There is no sign of illness, but he won't eat except for the live brine I offered him today. <What have you tried that he has refused? I would attempt frozen Mysis shrimp, bloodworms, and Sweetwater Zooplankton.> If it weren't so anthropomorphic I would say he looks sad or depressed. Any thoughts on the subject? <Try other foods.> Should I end the quarantine early? <I would not.> Perhaps in another week? --des/Jane <After two weeks total with no sign of disease, ok. -Steven Pro>

Yellow Headed Jawfish Feeding Problem Hello Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo, friend and fellow Pittsburgher in your service> I need your help with a slight problem I am having. I recently purchased a Yellow Headed Jawfish. To say the least it is a very interesting and entertaining species to watch.  <indeed! Quite comical> My problem may be a common one, but I am not sure. The Jawfish will not go far from it's burrow. When feeding all of the other fish eat 99% of the food before he has a chance at getting any.  <indeed a common problem... you were ill-advised to put this animal in an inappropriate tank of competitive fish> I read that they will not venture far from the burrow, so do you know of any way I can get frozen foods in front of him so he can eat, other than the typical food clip.  <your best bet really is a species specific tank or trading the fish back in. Short of hand-feeding, this poor fish will die prematurely. Even with hand-feeding... it is possible that it will simply be intimidated by the unnatural tankmates even without aggression from them, again, by their activity alone> I tried a turkey baster but it scared him into the hole and the food floated away and was consumed by the rest of the hungry crew. I have only had him a few days, and hopefully over time he will venture out further as he grows more comfortable in the tank.  <don't count on it... not a natural behavior and almost guaranteed not to happen with active tankmates> He will eat if food gets near him, so I am trying to assist him during his vittles time. Any suggestions or methods would be sincerely appreciated. <in a perfect world, without giving up the fish, you could set up a refugium in-line to house him. That will save you from buying a whole new filter system. Until then, make a one inch rigid lift tube slightly longer than the height of the tank (+6" say). Notch a half moon at the base and set that "open" end down by the Jawfish burrow. leave it there in the same place for days so that the Jawfish learns to ignore it. Food can be dropped down this tube and sucked/picked out of the bottom by the Jawfish> Thank You For Your Time, Jim Stawiarski Pittsburgh, Pa <Jim...have you heard of the Pittsburgh Marine Aquarium Society? A great club, meeting once monthly. Last month we had Eric Borneman speak, this month (this Saturday 23rd) we have reef lighting by Sanjay Joshi... Bob Fenner is coming up in a couple of months and is an annual speaker. Do check us out at www.pmas.org. Best of luck, Anthony Calfo>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: