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FAQs about Batfishes

Related Articles: Batfishes, Anglerfishes,

Related FAQs:

Frogfish and batfish    5/24/12
I have a 2.5 inch Painted Frogfish and a similar sized Walking Batfish in a tank together, and although the LFS, and other sources, say they should be compatible, they have regular stand-offs (as far as I know ,all puffery, no actual contact).  Is this something I should worry about, or will they likely settle down?  They've been together only four days.
<I would separate these two post haste. Trouble. Bob Fenner>

Walking Batfish, fdg., gen.    9/9/09
Hello Crew,
<Hello Eric,>
After reading your FAQs, Googling and reading what limited info I could find I still have questions regarding my walking batfish. I'm afraid I do not know the exact species except that it is definitely not one of the
"pancake" or rostrum less varieties. Best guess is Ogcocephalus nasutus.
<Haven't seen one of these in the UK trade for very many years.
Ogcocephalus aren't the easiest of fish to keep, as I'm sure you know.>
Up till now I have been giving him vitamin soaked pieces of krill, silverside and clam from a feeding stick. (Took about 4 weeks to get him "trained.") From what I've read, in their natural habitat, snails make up
20-30% of their diet depending on the season and fish species (Reference:
http://thewalkingbatfish.com/Batfish_Feeding_Biology.html.) Should I add some snails to his tank? I'm concerned with what may happen if he swallows the shell since he tends to inhale his food like an angler or lionfish.
<I wouldn't bother. Your prime goal is variety, plus supplemental live foods such as copepods from the live rock in your aquarium, or from the refugium. Actually trying to re-create a natural diet in the aquarium will
be too difficult. By varying the diet as much as possible, you'll try to get around the shortcomings of any one particular type of food. Silversides are quite good in this regard, since they don't have any thiaminase in
them, but I believe smelt do, and these latter are sometimes sold as silversides, so be careful. The use of a vitamin supplement would be useful.>
The other question I have is how often should he be fed? Are they like anglers that only need food 2-3 times per week or should they be fed daily?
<The latter. These are more like Mandarinfish, and in fact your aim is to ensure it can feed at liberty, whether from live foods in the tank or the regular supply of meaty morsels you're offering.>
Now that he readily accepts food I've been feeding him daily to assist him in recovering from various ailments. (The little fellow has endured almost 4 weeks of antibiotics, 2 treatments of Prazipro and is now undergoing hyposalinity for Ich.) He typically accepts 3 or 4 chunks of food and then spits out or loses interest in any further offerings. Any suggestions or leads on additional information would be greatly appreciated. (I am familiar with on-line articles by Sarah Goodwin-Nguyen and Bronson Nagareda.)
Thank you for your time,
<Good luck with this very challenging fish. Back when I was a teenager, I convinced my dad to buy one for his reef tank. It lasted a few months if I recall, and lack of the right foods was very likely the cause of its
demise. Haven't seen them in the trade much, and to be honest, I don't recommend them except for the very patient and the very expert. Having weaned yours onto frozen foods, you've overcome the major hurdle, so well done! Cheers, Neale.>

Sick walking batfish 8-23-2009
Hello all,
<Mike here this evening>
Since you have gifted me useful information in the past I was hoping you would have some more to give.
<I'll try!>
I recently purchased an O. cubrifrons from an LFS. The fish was in sad shape. Normally I do not purchase sick fish (don't want to encourage poor store practices, etc.) however, these fish are rare where I live and I
wanted to try and save it as I might not see another for a year or 2.
<Online retailers are much preferred, if your LFS is not 'up to par' - don't encourage badly run LFS!>
The fish has an advanced case of "batfish rot," cloudy eyes and a large white spot on his side (LL a bacterial infection). He is currently in a quarantine tank and on his 3rd day with a Furan 2 treatment. I've been
using a double dose to equal the medication in Spectrogram which I have not been able to find. On the bright side I have been able to get him to eat frozen squid and silversides, but only 1 or 2 small pieces at a time.
<Eating is a good sign. Broad spectrum antibiotics, such as Saltwater Maracyn and Maracyn II combination should do the trick>
Now he appears to have Ich as well.
<See FAQs regarding>
Any recommendations would be appreciated.
<Be careful of the water quality in the QT tank, and read our FAQs regarding marine disease(s)>
Thank you for you consideration,
<Mike Maddox> 

Picture to share, Ogcocephalid  01/08/2008 We understand that we are very lucky to have these guys - we have a pair.? I got this macro close-up the other day of our polka-dotted batfish as he was looking for dinner! <Ahh... a pug only a mother and petfish type/s could love. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Walking Batfish/Care/Systems    4/15/06 I am considering acquiring a walking batfish.  Based on various pictures I've seen I believe it to be an Ogcocephalus nasutus.  <Mmm, the one I'm aware of is a corniger.><<a congener? RMF>> I wanted to know if this fish has any special requirements (food preferences, tank size, cohabitating species preferences, etc.) and how difficult it is to keep.  Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated.   <The biggest challenge will be enticing it to eat, as many will refuse food in a captive system.  In nature it feeds on crustaceans and polychaete worms.  Live feeder shrimp may be needed for enticement.  The fish is much like a frogfish where it has an antennae that it moves enticing its dinner to come closer, then at lightning speed devours the prey.  This fish can grow to 1' 3" so at least a 100-gallon tank with a sand substrate is recommended.  When this fish gets alarmed it will bury itself in the sand.  Dim lighting is also suggested.> Thank you,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Andrea Eckler   

- Longnose Walking Batfish?! - Hi. I'm an avid marine hobbyist. Just today I visited a marine fish store that usually carries rare and exotic species of marine fishes. There I saw, what they called a "longnose walking batfish", this is a very interesting looking fish. I have been trying to do some research on this fish to see if it would be a candidate for my 200gal reef aquarium. However hard I try I cannot find anything on this species. If you could please give me some info on what this species eats in the wild that could be replicated in the home aquarium, as well as it's ability to acclimate to the home aquarium, and if at all the lifespan of this species. Any info that you could share with me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and effort.  Steve <Can you get a picture? Find out where it's from, what your LFS guy knows about it, and just because I'm nosy, how much it is and we should be able to venture some sort of a guess as to what it is. -Kevin>

Re: Error on website (Ogcocephalids unknown) I really, really doubt that it's O. darwini because of its localized range (as the species name suggests, it's found close to Darwin's Galapagos islands, and it is my understanding that this is not a prime site for collection). <Mmm, as stated the site the specimen was seen, photographed is Scripps Institute's S. Birch Aquarium here in San Diego... but don't know> I've never seen O. darwini but I do have 2 (dried) specimens of O. radiatus at home, which is the most commonly collected species by far, and they look exactly like the photo on your site. Every walking bat I've seen or heard of imported has been Atlantic in origin; the Pacific ones are mostly the noseless "pancake" walking batfish, Halieutaea and Halieutichthys spp. But I'm no marine biologist, sir! I wrote an article back in '94 or '95 on them for TFH. There was a photo of O. radiatus in there, I'm pretty sure. I can't believe fishbase.org has not photos of O. radiatus... <The pix of nasutus and radiatus on Fishbase... have you seen them? Am going to agree with you after looking at Randall's and Humann's ref.s here and go w/ the Shortnose of the TWA id.> These species are not studied enough, which is an absolute shame. Thanks for all your hard work on the site! <And your input. The chance interaction with folks like yourself is a huge plus to our involvement here. Thank you, Bob Fenner> Michael Krechmer <Michael do you get out traveling, diving?>

Error on website The batfish photo you recently put up for Ogcocephalidae is definitely not Zalieutes elater. The Zalieutes species do not have the projecting "nose". It is either Ogcocephalus nasutus (I'm pretty sure) or O. parvus. <Will check, try to correct. Thank you Michael. Bob Fenner> -- Michael Krechmer #1 Walking batfish fan Too bad they are so difficult to keep

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