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FAQs about the Hawkfish Compatibility

Related Articles: Hawkfishes, Hawkfishes of the Cook Islands

Related FAQs:  Hawkfishes 1Hawkfishes 2Hawkfish Identification, Hawkfish Selection, Hawkfish Behavior, Hawkfish Systems, Hawkfish, Feeding, Hawkfish Disease, Hawkfish Reproduction,

With other bottom dwelling, rock hanging species of the same or smaller size like Blennioids, Gobioids, Grammatids? Shrimps, Small Crabs, Hermits? Maybe not. Meals

Hawkfish-Diamond Goby Question     4/15/14
Hello, I have a 110 gallon tank and this past Saturday bought a pair of diamond gobys. I noticed that I didn't see them and began to worry, Then today I saw my Hawkfish harassing one of them in the corner of the tank.
<What they do... worse in smaller volumes; better in larger>

I'm really mad a myself for not thinking to take the hawk out when I tore my rocks out to catch a Niger Trigger. Do you think the hawk is doing it just because they are new or do you think it will always be after them.
<Can't tell...>
That will tell me if I need to tear the rocks out again to catch it. I tried hooking it but it didn't work.
<I'd give all a few days here. Bob Fenner>

Is it possible to keep two flame hawk fish together in a 125-gallon tank?     7/26/13
<Yes; they live communally on Pocillopora stands in the wild... Bob Fenner>
Re: Cirrhitid comp.

Thanks for the quick response. Your the man Bob!
<We are the petfish men Gary! B>

Fish Compatibility?    1/9/13
Hey Guys/Gals. How are you?
<Fine, thanks>
 I have a quick question. I have a 40 breeder with a 29 gallon sump. It is a reef, and has been up for 2 years. I was wondering the compatibility between a Blood Red Hawk And a Yellow Leaffish. I do realize the Hawk will eat shrimp and whatnot, but that is not really an issue for me. Can this be done?
<Mmm, yes; these two are fine temperament wise. The only real issue I see is trying to get food to the Leaf, past the Hawk>
 Any tips or advice that will help me either make a decision, or help with compatibility? Thanks for your time. Aaron.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quarantining Suggestions    9/10/12
Hello Crew,
First of all, thanks for your site -- I've been reading it for years and it's helped me tremendously in this hobby.
I don't have a real dilemma here today, but I really would like another's opinion, so here are all the juicy details:
After being out of the reef aquarium hobby for about 3 years, I'm getting back into it, and intend to "do it all right" this time around.
My custom 187gal tank (60x24x30) and sump will be ready in the next few days for me to pick up.  In the meantime, I've acquired all the necessary equipment in advance, and have already have a mated pair of Black Ice clownfish in quarantine.  I set up a small 10gal glass tank as a 'QT DT', with 20# of live sand, and some cured live rock about 3 weeks ago, and even put the nice LED lights over it.  I put the clowns in about 2 days after I set that up.  I have another 27gal rubber-tub, with 40# of live sand, acting as a sump for the 10gal to increase its volume.  They are connected with some 4gph dosing bumps I will use later.  I've added cultured bacteria almost daily and have never seen any ammonia, nitrite, or even nitrate at all yet, and have tested daily.  All is well with that.  Last week I added a refugium starter kit from IPSF, so the tub is full of algae.  Both also are now littered with tons of amphipods, worms, and various zooplankton that I added externally.  And a cleanup crew of snails, hermit crabs, etc. For the past 2 weeks, I've also been curing about 160# of Fiji Live rock in two 30gal rubber tubs (one with protein skimming, one without).  I've been doing about 20% water changes every other day in each.  Interestingly, the one with the protein skimmer shows a lot of nitrite still, the other tub has just a tiny bit still; both now are at 0 ammonia.
Tomorrow, 3 new fish from the Diver's Den are coming: a Fathead Sunburst Anthias, and a mated pair of Flame Hawkfish.  I've never seen a pair of those for sale, so just had to get it.  2 days ago, in preparation, I added 2 pieces of the 'low nitrite' mostly-cured rock that looked super clean to the 10gal QT tank, and another few small pieces into the 27gal tub.
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are still 0, and the crabs loved the new rocks.  Clownfish are happy as well.
So my question is: where do you suggest I add these two flames and the Anthias to?
<In the 27 gal. tub>
 Regardless of them being supposedly high quality 'Diver's Den' fish, I still want to quarantine them before I put them in the main DT, which won't be ready until probably this weekend.  I bet the clowns may not be happy with either 1 Anthias, or 2 flames, in their temporary 10gal home.
But I'm not sure if the Flames will get along with the Fathead in the 27gal tub, which is also filled with a lot of macroalgae.
<They should get along>
 I have plenty more plastic tubs I could setup, and truly keep them separate, but then I lose the benefit of this 37gal total volume 'preset up' which seems to be nice and ready to deal with a higher bioload.
I have no other plans right now for adding more fish to the 187gal once it's setup, besides these 5.  Maybe further down the line I would also want
a trio of Bartlett's, and even later a tang.
Sorry for the long email, but I know you guys love details.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantining Suggestions    9/10/12

Thanks, Bob!  I will put them in there and let them meet the clowns later.
One last question: should I remove any of the macroalgae from that tub?
It's full enough that you can't really see through to the bottom.
<I'd remove enough to make room for the fishes>
 I was also keeping a light on it 24/7, which completely stopped the pH swing (Now goes 7.92/night, 7.98/day, a bit low, but yeah new system), will that bother the flames and the Anthias?
Thanks again!  Mike
<I would turn on the lights only half day... likely the night time... leave off during the day. Only Caulerpaceans can "do" constant light reactions of photosynthesis. BobF>
Re: Quarantining Suggestions, Neocirrhites       9/23/12

Hello again Bob!
I separated the two flame hawks as you suggested for a few days, and it gave a chance for the more beaten up one to chill out a little bit and start to heal.
<Ah good>
  I finally got a large tank appropriate for them to go in, and after much visible improvement, I reintroduced them back together.
 They were immediately "happy" to see each other, both swimming up next to each other sideways and fluttering, gently poking each other with their mouths.  I've only ever seen my clowns do this -- is this a mating behavior?
<More informal, but yes>
Anyway, they aren't fighting anymore, and seem to follow one another around, often perching together just inches apart.  And now they are happily gobbling down the Mysis shrimp I'm feeding them.  Still refusing the pellets, but I mix them in with the Mysis.
Then last night -- oops -- I noticed a white spot with something hanging off of it on the healing flame.  It doesn't look like Ich or anything else I've seen before.  I did take a look around before emailing, but I am stumped.  Today it was gone.  I would love some help identifying if this is
something to worry about!
<Not really, no>
Water parameters:
pH 7.91
Temp 78.0
Salinity 1.024
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate undetectable
I got some very clear pictures this time around.
Rather than attaching large files, I have a bunch of different views on dropbox:
(This last one shows the white spot most clearly, along with the healing
Thank you so much!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantining Suggestions   9/13/12
Hi Bob and Crew,
So I got my fish yesterday.  They were a bit scared and in hiding at first, and so I kept them in the dark all day yesterday.  They are all feeding on PE Mysis (barely), but ignoring NLS pellets (both small size, and large).
<Keep trying, mixing in w/ the Mysis>
I just came back from work now and went to take a look, and the Flame Hawks don't look so good!  They are fighting pretty hard with each other.
<I had my suspicions re your "mated" pair statement earlier... I've collected Neocirrhites about... they're never really "paired"
permanently... always chasing about on the Pocillopora colonies they occupy>
 There are some fuzzy white patches on both of their scales now, and looks like some fin damage too!  I spent a good deal of time watching them, and while most of the time they just sit on a rock (or the heater) and watch, every few minutes one of the flames will come across and nip at the other, and then they trade places.
<I'd float one in a plastic colander to keep them separated>
 However this last time I guess it got pretty rough and they were swimming very fast across the tub and one of them did a back flip and jumped out of the water, then fell to the other side, still in the water.  Then back to sitting on a rock motionless.    I don't have a cover!
<Uhh, I'd put one on>
These were listed from the Diver's Den as a mated pair.  Why do you think they are fighting with each other so badly?
<What they do>
  Is it because there is not enough space?  There are 5 large pieces of live rock in there that I set up pretty nicely to make lots of hiding spots.  The Fathead Anthias kind of just watches, she was extremely shy the first day, but now she hangs out in the corner in the light.  When I come in, she darts into a rock, then comes back after a few seconds and stares at me, but just hangs out at the same spot.  I actually did see one of the Flames nip towards her two, but just one time and not real seriously (for now).  Please let me know what you suggest I do!
<See above>
There is always the 10gal with the 2 clowns in it or just separating them all into their own Rubbermaid tubs.  I've attached some photos of them.
Sorry for the bad quality, it was really hard to snap pics that would come out.
<Welcome. BobF>


Falco Hawkfish, 10/18/10
I sifted through all I could find about dwarf blue leg hermit crabs and Hawkfish living together in a 55 gallon.
<They will live together fine... until the Hawkfish gets hungry,>
All I found was the person who said their Hawkfish doesn't bother the crabs but focuses on the shrimp they had in tank.
I recently bought some hermit crabs with red legs very tiny (sorry cant recall the name) from my local petstore put them in the 55 and immediately the Hawkfish knew what they were watched them and pecked at their shells. So I put them in my soon to be 14 gallon Nano reef for now.
<Will not be able to house these long term with the Hawkfish, he will eventually consume them.>
If I order some blue legged will he do the same?
Can he actually get them out of the shell?
Is it stressful for the crabs to the point of killing them from stress?
<More likely killing them from attack/consumption.>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Thank you in advance,
Jerry Mitchem
<See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hawkfshcompfaqs.htm .>

Long Nosed Hawk question, shrimp comp.   2/16/10
At least generally speaking, is there a size of cleaner shrimp that is relatively safe from a long nosed hawk?
<Mmm, nope. In time all Oxycirrhites can and usually do take on any species, size of cleaner shrimp. Esp. when ecdysing>
I have two large shrimp and want to add a longnosed hawk. Thanks in advance.
Scott L. Bonder
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Spotted Hawkfish (in) compatibility with Christmas wrasse -- 09/08/09
Hello, I have a question dealing with compatibility issues of a spotted Hawkfish (3") and a Christmas wrasse (4").
I have a 55 gallon reef tank with:
60 lbs. live rock and 10 lbs. of live sand; SR41 CPR protein skimmer; Aquaclear 110 power filter; 3 powerheads; Corallife light with 2 10K bulbs and 2 actinic bulbs
5 Nassarius snails:
4 blue legged hermit crabs;
1 pencil urchin;
1 green sea cucumber;
1 flame angel;
1 Javanese damsel;
1 spotted Hawkfish;
1 Christmas wrasse;
1 sand-sifting goby;
1 Sailfin tang:
<Needs a larger world than this>
2 ocellaris clownfish;
I had recently purchased a Christmas wrasse,
<Halichoeres ornatissimus I'll assume... the most common Labrid by the name... there are two others>
which I had quarantined for one month and had no difficulty in feeding or behavior. I added the Christmas wrasse to my tank three days ago and have had problems since day one. On day 1 I could not find the wrasse after releasing it into my reef area at all.
<Not unusual behavior>
On day 2 the wrasse finally came out of hiding but would only lay on its side in the sand. When disturbed, it would swim perfectly normal (straight with no lean or difficulty) to whichever spot it wanted to occupy but
would immediately lay on its side again.
<Submissive gesturing... behavior... to...?>
On day 3 I expected the fish to be upside down and dead due to its odd behavior, but the fish was still lying on its side but swimming normally when disturbed. Today (day 3) I noticed that my Hawkfish was usually near the wrasse throughout the day which is odd for the Hawkfish because it always keeps to itself. I then witnessed three episodes where my Hawkfish "pounced" on top of the wrasse and then struck the wrasse in its side with its nose/mouth.
<Ah yes>
As of now, the wrasse is having labored breathing where its gill are visibly huffing and puffing and its tailfin appears to be slightly nipped at. I removed the wrasse from the tank and placed it in the quarantine tank.
The wrasse continues to lay on its side and have labored breathing. I hope that I was not too late in removing the wrasse. Is this normal behavior for a Hawkfish that was docile prior to meeting the wrasse (all of the fish in my tank have been docile until this episode)?
<Yes... Cirrhitids are very territorial... your four by one foot bottom space is only enough for it>
Is it possible for the wrasse to improve in its current condition?
<Yes, but...>
Is there anything that I can do to have both fishes in my 55 gallon tank?
<Highly unlikely>
Thank you for your time.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Emerald Crab Vs Hawk Fish -- 07/17/09
I am in need of a cleaner pack for my 1 year old RSM.
<What makes you so sure? Of what composition?>
I have a falco Hawkfish and a perc clown. Will an emerald crab, that comes in the pack, get eaten by the Hawkfish?
<Very likely so>
Or will the crab eat my clown?
<Only if the Mithraculus is much larger than the Cirrhitid>
I need to order the pack, but I don't want to send the crab on a suicide mission.
<See WWM re such cleaner upper assemblages. Bob Fenner>

Re: Emerald Crab Vs Hawk Fish -- 07/17/09
I heard somewhere that your supposed to replace your old cleaner pack every so often. That's why I was planning on getting it.
<Ahh, the moments dancing on the adventure of learning... nearing the edge of uncertainty. Keep reading. B>

Arc Eye Hawkfish Compatibility/Lack Of Information 5/1/09
I have a question about the compatibility of a small (2 inch) Arc Eye Hawkfish in my FOWLR tank. I currently have a Niger Trigger, Foxface Rabbitfish, Orange Toadfish, Polka Dot Grouper, and a damsel that is unable to be caught or eaten so far... My grouper is fairly large and I am certain that he would make a meal of my hawk but he hasn't even looked twice at the damsel. I'm also worried about the toadfish, who has well established territory but ventures out at night.
Does this spell disaster?? I'm still learning... which is why I need to move the hawk in the first place, it didn't take long for him to rule over my Tomato Clown and Strawberry Basslet.
<Why did you add these fish and then worry about compatibility. Not too many fish are going to be safe with the grouper and some of the fish you have in there now must have nine lives. The Arc Eye Hawkfish is relatively aggressive, but at his size he isn't going to push too many fish around. I would remove this fish to be on the safe side. You did not mention the size of your tank and size of your other fish, so it's difficult for me to offer any additional advice.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Arc Eye Hawkfish Compatibility/Lack Of Information 5/3/09
I am trying to find the grouper a new home...my husband loves our tanks but is known to hand me a bag and say surprise!... all with good intentions.
<Ah, one of those guys. My advice here is to take a mug shot (side and front view) of your husband to the LFS for posting, and inform them not to sell your husband any fish without contacting you.>
All my aggressive fish are about the size of my hand except the toadfish and damsel, and are currently in a 55 gal.
<Mmm, tank is a little smallish here for the size of your fish. Problems likely to occur down the road.>
Your advice is greatly appreciated...thanks!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Hawk attacked Chromis, 6/11/08 Hello Chris Again , <Hello> Well, "when it hits the fan ~ it hits the fan!! <Does often seem to go that way.> Chromis was placed in the main tank yesterday, so as to provide the QT for Lady Clown . Hawk attacked her, resulting in me placing her floating in a colander through the night for protection. Slowly released her today, and what do you know, hawk took a chunk from her side. I have her harbored in a tank within the main tank and just shut the lights to let it rest. Now two hours later, she is labored breathing, head down, tail up, and I forgot to mention, diminished eyesight. Again, I come running to you for advice. Don't forget, she is approximately 12 y/o, been through a tough 2 days, now with injuries-is she so stressed that it will kill her? Heart broken again! Donna <I would leave the lights off for a day or two, hopefully give the hawk a chance to get accustomed to her. A fish that can take the rigors of aquarium life that long is nothing if not resilient, it's probably just stunned a bit right now. If she does not improve or begins to worsen you could try to put her back in her old tank, hopefully the clown will be ok with this and give her a chance to recover.> <Chris>

Red Spotted Hawkfish, comp., reading    2/6/08 Hello Mr. Fenner! I've looked everywhere for these things. I've asked my LFS and a few other places but no one has the answer. So, I figured I'd ask you. Will a Red Spotted Hawkfish just eat shrimps or can he eat crabs too? What about a Coral Banded Shrimp? <All likely consumed in time... and posted on WWM> Also, could a Falco Hawk and a Red Spotted Hawk get along in a 45 gallon tank? Thanks and good day, Rob <Too likely not. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hawkfshcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above... RMF>

Hawkfish compatibility Hi all, I recently purchased a Coral Hawkfish for my 65gal reef tank, and was wondering about its compatibility with the rest of my tanks inhabitants after a little 'incident'. The Hawkfish is an extremely healthy fish, ate immediately after placing it in my aquarium and continues to have a ravenous appetite. Which leads to my problem, a few days ago, a smaller Chromis (1.5") disappeared from my tank, leaving no traces. My tanks parameters are fine, Nitrates at 2.5, ammonia, nitrite, phosphate at 0, calcium at 400ppm, ph 8.4, Alk 13.2dKH. The rest of the fish in my tank are much larger than that small Chromis, 1 4" blue hippo tang, 1 4" coral beauty, 1 3" Chromis, a 3" mandarin, and 2 2.5" Perculas. Should I worry about the Hawkfish making a snack out of any of my other fish? <Mmm, no... the only "snack-able" one is gone... I would be concerned with any shrimp/s... if you had/have them> He doesn't seem to be specifically targeting any of them, and I was told the Hawkfish should be compatible with my stock, but I worry about the Perculas and the slower mandarin, which might be easy prey. <Callionymid/oids are highly unpalatable> Also I have a nice population of small Nerites, Stomatellid and Astrea snails, will they all also become food for the hawk? <Mmm, no... unless they were very small, the Cirrhitid very hungry> I feed 2-3 times daily, (Mysis, pellet and seaweed) but the hawk always seems hungry regardless. Thanks, Dan <It's good to be, and have livestock that are... hungry. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Marine Compatibility, and Cichlid Feeding Questions 11/9/07 Good day, <And morrow> I have a few questions that unfortunately are not really related to each other. The first question is a compatibility question between two fish in my 55 gallon saltwater tank. The tank is approximately 3-4 months old and doing well, in large part due to this website. Thank you. I would like to add a Flame Hawk, as I like their personality and appearance, and heard they are relatively hardy specimens. The other fish I have I'm not worried about getting along with the Flame, but I do have a Starry Blenny (Salarias ramosus). That although is one of my favorite fish, I'm worried that because they both occupy the same general area of the tank, there will be territory issues. <Might be, yes> I realize my Starry Blenny is a pretty peaceful fish, however he/she does occasionally chase others in the tank (no damage/bites, and it's only for a brief second). Overall, it's a very peaceful and entertaining fish. My question is, do these 2 fish have a good chance of maintaining a peaceful existence in my 55 gallon tank? <I only give you even odds here. Likely you'll be able to see overt aggression before damage... but will have to act fast if so> On an unrelated note, I do have a separate tank that has a Tropheus duboisii, and there's not a whole lot listed about them. <Oh! Au contraire! There are reams written about the genus, species... even books> I have read a few articles, however nothing that I've read answers the following: I know they eat a vegetarian diet, and I've read that they can't digest a lot of proteins. I am feeding the cichlid a mix of veggie flakes, however the protein content listed is 37%... That seems high, however I'm not sure what else to feed.... I will continue to read to get suggestions, but will this diet actually hurt my fish? <Not likely, no> I will definitely look to other sources so there is a varied diet, but is a brand with 37% protein too high? <As stated, likely is fine... a good deal depends on the "type, source of protein" (the mix of amino acids) and how they're formulated in the food/s... You could always "make your own"...> Thanks again for all the help! Eric <Do try a wider search re this species... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Bob Fenner>

Flame Hawk and Royal Gramma Problems, comp.   11/6/07 Hi. I have had several problems in my 34 gallon saltwater tank. I had a royal Gramma, flame hawk, and six line wrasse in my tank for about six months without any problems. <These fishes need more room than this> I then made the big mistake of adding a yellow tail damsel. <Yikes!> At first everything was fine, but eventually, the damsel started to harass the Gramma to the point that the Gramma went into hiding and could not come out without being chased by the damsel. I then removed the damsel. <Good> Meanwhile, since the Gramma was in hiding from the damsel for an extended period , the hawk apparently got the idea that he now owns the entire tank. <He does> Since the removal of the damsel, whenever the Gramma tries to come out of hiding the Gramma gets chased by the hawk and forced back into hiding. Now the Gramma only comes out to eat. I know that the hawk and Gramma can get along fine since they did so for over six months until I made the mistake of introducing the damsel. Before the damsel the hawk and Gramma both freely moved about the tank without bothering each other. I have been living with the Gramma in hiding from the hawk now for about 2 weeks without abatement. <Well stated> I was thinking of catching the hawk and putting him in an isolation breeder box in the tank so as to allow the Gramma to come out of hiding and re-establish its territory. This way the hawk will be able to observe the Gramma move about the tank and hopefully get used to the Gramma again. Will this help? <Yes... a good, possible plan> Alternatively, I could just continue to wait things out and hope that this abates. All fish are eating well and look healthy so at least I do not have to worry about the harassment leading to starvation. But having my Gramma live in a cave 24/7 and only come out to eat b/c of the hawk chasing is obviously not an acceptable status quo. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. <Once these sorts of dynamics establish themselves, particularly in small/er volumes, they are very hard to unmake... but worth trying. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Follow Up On Flame Hawk and Royal Gramma Problems 11/08/07 Thank you so much for the reply. Well, I have successfully caught the hawk with a DIY 2 liter plastic coke bottle trap and confined the hawk to a breeders box. <Congrats!> I placed the breeders box on the opposite side of the display tank facing the cave home of the royal Gramma so that both fish can easily see each other. Immediately upon doing so, the Gramma came out and is starting to engage in its normal behavior of touring the tank. <Ah, good> My questions are as follow. How long should I leave the hawk confined in the breeders box? <A good week or two> Do I stand a better chance of success if I completely remove the hawk to a quarantine tank for a 1 week or so, or am I better off keeping the hawk confined in the display tank in the breeders box so as to allow the fish to get used to each other? Thank you for your assistance. <Best to leave, keep it where it is... for all's sake. Bob Fenner>

Hawkfish Vs. Dottyback  5/30/07 Hello again WWM Crew. Specifically to Scott, if available. <Scott here, Captain (Man...I wanted to say that!)> This is sort of a continuation of a previous question regarding the system described in my last communication (below). This aspect of the question involves the interaction between a Cirrhitichthys aprinus and a Pseudochromis fuscus in that system. <Sounds like an interesting mix> This weekend I added a 2.5" Spotted Hawkfish to my 55 gallon live rock system (75 lbs.). Inhabitants: a 3" One spot Rabbit, a 5-year old Tomato Clown, Azure Damsel and a Dusky Dottyback. Since all of these species can pretty much hold their own, I made the addition knowing that the Hawks likewise have that same reputation for defending themselves and displaying some innate aggressiveness, in particular the "Spotted" Hawk, especially as he gets older. <Agreed, mine became downright unsociable in his old age.> However, the problem is with the Dottyback, who after only a week in the tank himself (and getting along fine with all others) is harassing the Hawk. This activity was pretty intense on day 1 and may have lessened a bit by day 2. The Dottyback and the Hawk are about the same size. The Dottyback's aggressiveness is not constant, usually being maintained for about 5 - 10 seconds with frantic chasing. Then, the Hawk will find a perch at the top of the LR or on a powerhead where he will find peace for long periods of time, never entering the Dottyback's territory. The Hawk is eating as soon as food hits the water and is grazing on the LR. He will continue to grow and perhaps become more formidable or imposing but will he begin to assert himself soon or at least hold on until the Dottyback loses interest? <Good question. It's really hard to say. The P. fuscus is one of the more "assertive" Dottybacks, and can be downright merciless in its harassment of other fishes. In my experience, some Dottybacks tend to take an almost "human-like" dislike to another fish, constantly harassing it. Although the Hawkfish can be equally aggressive if necessary, it tends to keep more to its own business. In the end, it's really a matter of the individuals themselves...Fish will often not live up to our expectations, demonstrating behaviors that seem contrary to their "typical" mannerisms. Often, in more or less evenly matched conflicts such as yours, the situation may sort itself out, with things ultimately settling down as the fishes realize that they present no threat to each other. I'd simply give the situation time and be prepared to intervene if necessary, should one of the fishes be injured.> As always, I appreciate your thoughts and knowledge. Regards, from David A. Bell <A pleasure! Sorry that I couldn't be more specific, but these are rather unpredictable things! I hope that things sort themselves out! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Battling Hawks and Dottybacks: Follow-up. Dottyback Horror Story 6/9/07 Scott, Bob, or today's distinguished Crewperson, <Ya' got Scott F. back with you today!> I reported the friction between my Yellow Dottyback and the latest addition to my tank, a Falco's Hawkfish, a few days ago. Here's the not so pleasant conclusion of that situation: What had appeared to be lessening aggression from the Dottyback -- periodic chasing of the Hawk around the tank -- finally resulted in the Hawk's demise on the den carpet. <Yikes...Sorry to hear that.> The Dottyback chased him through a crevice in the top during the night, to be found as jerky on the floor the next morning'¦..Aaargh! What makes the situation ever so more frustrating is that I was going to put a trap in the tank and try to remove the Dottyback to another tank today. My LFS was even going to trade a female Cortez Rainbow Wrasse for the Pseudochromis. <Bummer...might have been a good exchange...> When I placed these two in the system, within a week of each other, I never dreamed this problem would occur. The Dottyback had no such disposition amongst his other mates -- a five year old Tomato Clown, a smaller Foxface Rabbit and an Azure Damsel. The Hawk being the same size as the Psuedo- seemed like a safe bet, especially considering a Hawks reputation as a tough fish. With it to do over again, I would definitely go a little large on my Hawk species, something larger than the Yellow Dottyback, Falco's being one of the smallest of the clan. David A. Bell <Sorry to hear of this unfortunate outcome, David. Sometimes, what seems like it should work out fine just doesn't...The fish don't always seem to comply with our behavioral expectations. Based on experience, one would have thought that this combination should work. As you mentioned, of course, the Hawkfish being the last addition to the system put it on the bottom of the social order. The Dottyback, a known territorial fish, seemed to take a particular dislike to the new comer. Sometimes there's just no way of knowing until the fish get together in the aquarium just what the outcome could be. Obviously, at this point you would be advised to remove the Dottyback if you plan on adding any more new fishes into this system. best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Hawkfish Compatibility 5/2/07 Hi everyone, <Hello Tyler> I've had a Flame Hawk in my 135 reef for almost five years now.  I decided to put a Longnose Hawk in the same tank a little over a year ago.  The two get along fine and are often seen sleeping in my large Monti cap together.  I would like to transfer my Arc Eye Hawk from my 55 reef to my 135 reef.  Is this too risky or is it worth a chance?  Would it be possible to have three hawks together? <The Arc Eyed Hawk is more aggressive than the two hawkfish you presently have, but being that the Arc Eye is the newcomer, I do not believe you will have any problems adding it, especially in lieu of your tank size.> <<RMF is not so sure>> Thanks. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re:  Hawkfish Compatibility  5/3/07 WOW, that was quick!  I forgot to add that the Arc-eye is smaller than the other hawks as well.  I didn't know if this made a difference. <Does help.> Thanks for the quick response! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Hawkfish, comp... Pseudochromis too   2/13/07 Good afternoon, I have a problem with a Pseudochromis splendens. <A very nice species of Dottyback... quite often available as aquacultured specimens...> I purchased him for my 150 gallon reef tank (90 gallon refugium, this tank is over 6 years old). My flame hawkfish took a sudden dislike to him and really tore him up (by his tail.) <Yikes... can happen... esp. in small/ish volumes> (I realize the hawkfish has this reputation but he has never bothered any other fish, including a small royal Gramma and blackcap Basslet ,for years). <Interesting... I, as you evidently would have guessed they'd get along then...> Anyway, the Pseudochromis went into my 24 gallon nano and was medicated and healed up and guess what? Once he was feeling better, he drove the little longfin fairy wrasse and wheeler goby (or bumble bee goby) into the overflow, because of course, it was his tank, now. <Ah, yes> So, I had to move him back into the 150 (my only other tank is a jawfish tank, and there is no way I am going to put him in there.) Of course the hawkfish went right for him, but this time he seems to be holding his own. <Good... if it were at all possible/practical, catching and holding out (in a floating trap, plastic colander...) the Hawk for a few days here would really "even them up" territoriality wise> At least he has no wounds or torn fins and seems to stay out of his way a little better. Is it safe--sounds like that movie, Marathon Man, doesn't it <Yikes... my teeth are starting to ache...> --is it safe to see how things will go, or should I call it a day and remove him? <I would default (am lazy) to the former> It has only been two days that the pseudo. has been back, but I am worried. The Dottyback comes out to eat but he is very cautious. The hawkfish is not chasing him constantly, and only tries to bite if he runs in to him but I think if he shows weakness, he will really attack him. Interestingly, the pseudo. is large, almost 4 inches, larger than the hawkfish. I read all your responses about the terrors of Dottybacks, <Some species (e.g. steenei) and individuals much more than others...> and  know this a mellow guy, relatively. <Yes, usually> I suspect this is one of those no real answer things. I suppose if he does adjust he could go after the Gramma and Basslet, but they have been there forever and it is a bigger tank with lots of rockwork and corals. I thought it was worth a try to get him, at least initially. Also, you should know that I feed very well and small water changes once a week, so I have a lot less aggression in the tank than others I have read about. Ah well, any guidance, advice would be most welcome, Thank you so much for your site. It's wonderful. -- Jeanne Brown <If pushed came to proverbial shove... I might just try the Dotty in with your Jaws... that or the "time out" trick stated above. Bob Fenner> Longnose Hawk compatible with a smaller Lion and Snowflake Moray?  - 12/07/06 I see a lot of people (based on your FAQs) keeping the longnosed hawkfish in more community type settings.  Haven't seen anyone in your FAQ's keeping a longnose hawkfish with a snowflake moray eel or a lionfish (other than a fu-man-chu).  Would a snowflake and a Antennata or Radiata Lion be suitable with a longnose hawkfish? <I'd trust the Echidna, but not a Lionfish of any size... too likely to be inhaled...> My tank is 200gallons filled with caves and bridges in my huge liverock island in the middle of my tank.  I basically have anywhere from 3 - 10 inches between rock and glass walls around the perimeter of the rockwork island.   Assuming that my snowflake remains a crustacean feeder... the lion being a docile slow moving feeder...? <Not docile... and surprisingly quick and stealthy when/where it wants/needs to be> Other additions may include one tang, an angel (likely a flame angel), an ornate wrasse, <Keep your eye on this Halichoeres sp. (?)... may bother the Lion> and a butterfly... maybe a Foxface.  I figure from what I've read... these list of critters just mentioned should be of no concern. Regards, Dave Brynlund <I'd be careful with anything swallow-able around Pteroines. Bob Fenner>

Re: Longnose Hawk compatible with a smaller Lion and Snowflake Moray?   12/8/06 Thanks Bob. <Welcome David> If I am looking at a Radiata or Antennata Lion... They get to a maximum of about 8 - 10", correct? <About this standard length in captivity, yes> If I get a young lion and a medium sized Hawkfish... Both should be around 4-5" ???? <Mmm, the Lionfish will likely be around this length minimally, the Hawkfish almost always smaller at sale>   Would/could a 10" lion swallow up a 4 or 5" Hawkfish... <Oh yes...> Aren't they quite long? <Lionfishes regularly ingest fishes (and non-fishes!) of considerable size... Shades of the old-saying/pitch, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing">   I guess obviously you're implying quite likely.  Would a Flamehawk be better? <Mmm, not in terms of relative potential for being consumed, no, not IMO/E> They are thicker and chubbier aren't they? <Heeeee! Are you (giving you my best Robert De Niro impression while doing a push-up here) talking to me? Yes, are, but still imminently-inhaleable> I put a deposit down on my snowflake moray.  This one's beautiful... Retailer has had him for 5 weeks.  Putting my fingers close to the tank, the eel comes to investigate, seems very alert, and healthy. <Good sign>   I saw him full length at about 13".  This will be my first addition to the 200gallon tank and because he is the first addition I am more or less quarantining him in my display.  All other additions will be quarantined in a hospital tank.  I'm wondering if it'd be worth it to add one or two blue-tailed damsels just to ensure my Moray isn't a fish eater? <Mmm, a good idea to add these, and/or other life period... principally to help "clean up" uneaten foods, "detritus"... and keep your interest...> Or do you think not necessary? <Not as a test for the Eel's compatibility, no> I'd rather a $6 damsel be eaten up vs. a $50 show fish.  Furthermore, given my tank volume... Am I ok introducing two fish at once initially? <Mmm... in terms of? I would at least dip/bath the new fishes...> Or should I stick to the eel with the next addition after about 3 to 4 weeks? <Up to you> Given my snowflake Moray, the radiata or antennata lion (only one of), tang, a smaller angel or flame angel... <A/the Lion may well eat the Centropyge in time as well...> Can you recommend a few others that would be a nice addition? <Posted on WWM...> You questioned my selection of wrasse (ornate wrasse) as a possible bully to the lion? <... what species is this? Halichoeres ornatissimus? The common name is applied to a few labrids...> But your FAQ and website almost imply that this wrasse would be a good community fish only specimen.  I'd like a colorful wrasse that doesn't get bigger than about 6-8"... Or at least out of the swallowable range from the lion. By reading your info... I'm definitely staying away from puffers and triggers. <You are wise here if you intend to keep Lions, Eels...>   A Marine Beta perhaps?  Foxface? <Both good choices>   What I'd really like is your opinion on another addition that maybe I wouldn't even think of... Something out there in left field so to speak.  I like colorful critters.  Would a lynchia star be ok? <Not a Linckia... believe/trust me here... take your time... You have plenty... Enjoy the (non-western ethic I know) process (not simply an end-point/product) view/experience here... Read, imagine, visit LFS's, chat with other hobbyists... Bob Fenner>

Tank Stocking Trade Offs...  - 10/22/06 Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. at your service tonight!> I've been reading through your website over the past 3-4 weeks while my first tank is curing/cycling and I must say my ideas what to put in to it have changed a lot. I have a 29g, 65watt compact light, with around 30 lb of live rock. I am thinking about putting in 1 Flame Angel, 2 Firefish, 1 Valentini Puffer, 1 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit, and 3 Margarita Snails, a Scarlet Shrimp and a Ricordea Mushroom coral.  Would this be to crowded? <I would definitely pass on the Puffer, particularly if you have any intention of keeping crustaceans or inverts. Even if they don't eat 'em outright, they can "sample" them and cause damage. Also, I would go with a smaller Centropyge if you're intent on keeping one in this sized tank. Perhaps a C. argi, which maxes out at around 2inches.> Could I add a yellow-tailed damsel? <You could, but it has the potential to be a behavioral problem in this sized tank. I'd opt for something more peaceful.> Or a Longnose Hawkfish? <I'd go for a Flame Hawk, but it's still a potential problem in this sized tank, particularly if you love your snails. I had one that literally enjoyed nailing snails in my tank...They would all disappear regularly. Think about some small, colorful and really cool Blennies and Gobies for interest!> Also would I have enough hermit and snails to clean up the algae or should I add a few more, because I am getting a lot of brown algae on almost all my rocks? <You can, but not if you're planning on the Hawkfish...I'd look into husbandry issues (stepped up water changes, aggressive protein skimming, and use of chemical filtration media) as a means to counter the algae as well. Snails help with the algae, but they do not eliminate the causes...> Thank you for your time. <Glad to be here. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Flame Hawkfish/Compatibility  - 08/15/06 Hi guys, <And gals.> Firstly - thanks for all the hard work and effort that you put into providing comparative-amateurs like myself learn about our favourite hobby! <You're welcome.> I might be breaking a rule here because the question I have to ask, has already been asked and answered a few (several) times before but the trouble is, there doesn't seem to be a consistent answer so please humour me! I am in the process of setting up another marine tank which will be a 20 gallon tank. I was planning on having a Flame/Scarlet Hawkfish as the only 'fish' in the tank and then a Fire Shrimp (should be slightly larger than the Hawkfish), plenty of snails and hermit crabs and a small orange Starfish. The books that I own all seem to advise that "the Hawkfish is reef safe but may eat smaller crustaceans"... Now I can fully understand it eating SMALL crustaceans such as 1" long Sexy Shrimp etc, but the jury seems to be out on whether a large Fire Shrimp and hermit crabs will be safe in there. <Large shrimp and hermit crabs should be OK with the Flame Hawk. Your 20 gallon tank is a little small for this fish.��I'd recommend at least a 30 gallon.> I guess the only sure answer is that NOT putting the Fire Shrimp, hermit crabs and snails in there will prevent the problem altogether, but I'm not sure what I'd use in their place as a cleanup crew or whether I'd be happy to trade all the fun and interest the hermits and shrimps provide, for the Hawkfish... What are your opinions��in terms of whether the shrimp and hermits would be safe in my tank (assuming the Hawk was well fed)? Should the Hawk be kept entirely separate from any other inverts? <If the Hawkfish cannot swallow it, it should be safe.> <<... RMF would not advise this mix... when the shrimp molts... or the Hawk just "feels like it", will likely kill, destroy any shrimp, particularly in such small quarters>> Thanks again for reading this - I really appreciate your help. <You're welcome, James (Salty Dog)> Andy Further on: Have to agree to a point, but I have had three or four Hawks in my marine experience, and cleaner shrimp were present with all.  I haven't seen any aggressive behavior toward the shrimp, but then again, I should have forewarned about personality differences that can occur in the fish.  Bob, I have to admit, you are SHARP, and do not miss a thing.  VERY admirable. Regards, James <Mmm, well... that's why we have more than one input! BobF> Flame Hawk fish Stocking/Compatibility    3/31/06 Hello wise ones, <Hello Alex>  I have a 55 gal reef tank with a Yellow Tang, Six Line Wrasse, 2 clown fish and a Royal Gramma! I would LOVE to put in a Flamer for my last fish in my tank. Do you guys think it would be to much fish for this size tank? And would these fish get along???  <How large is the tang and what type clownfish do you have?>  Thanx for your time  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Flamehawk Compatibility - 01/23/2006 Mornin' folks <And to you.> Would a flame hawkfish likely be a death sentence to my 2 peppermint shrimp? <If they are small it may be.> I have a 30 gallon reef that has been up and running nicely for 6 months.  It has 5 red-leg reef hermits and 2 peppermint shrimp (which have done a nice job on the occasional glass anemone)  I would like to add a flame hawk at this time, but hopefully not at the expense of my shrimp.  I also had hopes of adding a skunk cleaner and possibly a blood shrimp at some time.  Bad idea? <A Flamehawk I once had never bothered my coral banded or scarlet cleaner. If the peppermints are an inch or less I'd move them.> I do have the option of moving my peppermints to the 10g fuge if necessary. Thanks much, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> <<I would move them... they will otherwise be consumed. RMF>> G-Rak     

Longnose Hawkfish - 12/22/05 Hi! <<Hello!>> I have always loved the Longnose Hawkfish. <<Me too!>> My question is...will it terrorize any of the following specimens in my 75Gal reef tank. I have: 3 Toadstool leather corals 1 Large Colt Coral 30+ mushrooms 30+ Polyps 1 6-8" BTA and one small finger coral. I also have blue-leg hermits, scarlet hermits, Astrea, Cerith and Nassarius snails, a brittle star, 3 cleaner shrimp and 2 Peppermint shrimp.  I also have  about 150lbs of live rock. Is there anything in the tank I would have to be concerned about if I added this fish? <<The shrimp, and possibly the snails, are possible targets for this fish...though I have never witnessed this personally.  I have kept this fish with both in the past with no problems, but that is no guarantee for you.>> Thanks! Kate <<Regards EricR>>

Will He Eat It?  11/10/05 Will a Falco's hawkfish harm larger cleaner shrimp (about 2"long) or hermit crabs?  Michael Merig <Yes. Bob Fenner> 

Hawk/Centropyge compatibility, safeness of milk jugs 8/19/05 Hi, I have a couple of non-related questions please.  I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank currently with 1 large flame hawk and 2 false perculas. I purchased a coral beauty angel a couple of months ago and everything seemed fine until about a week ago.  I noticed its fins were ragged and it quit eating.  I had noticed the hawk chasing the angel several times while feeding.  The angel died yesterday.  Is it possible that if I bought another angel this might not happen again?  I know nothing is guaranteed. <Will very likely re-occur> Also, I keep my water to compensate for evaporation in plastic milk jugs.  Should I change out the jugs after a while.  I have read about water getting bacteria in it from plastics breaking down, but didn't know if there was anything to worry about with fish.  thanks for your help, James <Don't think there is any reason to change, toss these containers. Bob Fenner>

Hawkfish On the Prowl? 8/1/05 Currently we have a Blue Damsel, Yellow Tang, Domino, another type of reef fish which is relatively large, and a cleaner shrimp.  Will the Redbarred Hawkfish eat my cleaner shrimp? <There is a possibility...These guys do eat snails, small crabs, etc.> We have a bunch of hermit crabs, cucumbers, brittle star fish in our 40 gal tank.  Just introduced the hawk recently, would you advise to take him out? Thank you, Denise <Well, it's hard to be 100% certain about your cleaner shrimp being safe, so it's your call. Hawkfish make great pets, but they are a threat to small invertebrates and fishes that they can fit in their mouths. HTH. Regards, Scott F.> Reclusive Leopard Wrasse... I just purchased a leopard wrasse.  Everything seemed to be going well for the first hour or so then I noticed my red spotted hawkfish starting to get a little territorial and chase a little. <Unfortunately, this is not uncommon behavior for the Hawkfish...These guys share common niches, and there will be some initial squabbling. Is this after you quarantined the fish? Please do quarantine all new acquisitions in the future, for the health of your new and existing inhabitants...Quarantine is especially useful for finicky eaters like Leopard Wrasses, which are often malnourished from the rigors of capture and shipping. If nothing else, quarantine serves as a "hardening" period for them.> I proceeded to try to remove the Hawkfish for a short period until the wrasse could get acclimated but I could not catch the fish.  I returned a few hours later and have not seen the wrasse in about 8 hours.  I checked behind the tank and no luck.  I have a glass top that covers all but about an inch and a half of the back where the return exits the tank.  Any recommendations?  Do they have a tendency to bury for a period before getting acclimated enough to come out or do you think the hawkfish has driven it crazy? Thanks, Chris <Actually, Chris, these wrasses are known for literally burying themselves in the sand for extended periods of time while acclimating to a new situation. They are notoriously reclusive at first, but will "come around" over time, once they feel comfortable and are aware of no threats. Do keep an eye peeled. Again, because of the relatively delicate nature of these fish, quarantine really helps. Not everyone is successful with them. For more information, do read up on the WWM site about these fish. I also recall an excellent article about them in a past issue (like 2-3 years ago) of Advanced Aquarist online magazine that had some great insight into their care. If you can meet their special needs, these are wonderful, unique fishes! Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Purely Opinion... Hawkfish compatibility with shrimps I've read everything I can on the flame hawkfish. I know all about their tendencies and the odds of whether or not shrimp will likely become a meal. I'd like a very honest opinion so I know whether or not I should pursue this great fish. I'm currently planning a 375 gallon reef tank (mainly LPS, zoanthids, and mushrooms) 96x30x30. I'll have about 550 lbs of LR and a 4-5" live sand bed. Now, with about 5 skunk cleaners, 3 peppermint, 1 fire shrimp, and 1 coral banded (2 if I can find a mated pair), what are the odds that a flame hawk will play nice if I find one who initially shows no interest in shrimp (I know, personalities change with age)? <Mmm, 'bout fifty/fifty... the smallest shrimp first, especially ones molting... the CBS last> Taking into account that I make sure he gets enough to eat each day and that there are plenty of hiding places and that he would be removed if he misbehaved. Is this a case where I might see one or two shrimp disappear in his lifetime due to him wanting a snack? <Possibly...> Or would it be a matter of months before every one of them has been eaten? <Likely so, but not the Stenopus> I can replenish one or two shrimp, but I don't want to take up a futile pursuit. I just want to make a final decision for once. It's hard enough to hope for Centropyge angels to not decimate my LPS. I'm just wondering if I'm hoping for too much with the hawkfish. Thanks again for all your help! Nick <There is a good deal of individuality behavior in cirrhitids... start with a small specimen and I'll give you much better odds (ninety-ten) that it will leave your shrimps alone. Bob Fenner> 

Shrimp, The Tasty Hawkfish Treat (3/15/04) Hi,   I have a 40 gallon with a sixline wrasse, Firefish, and Randall's shrimp goby.  I also have a banded coral shrimp and would like to get a longnose hawkfish, but am a bit concerned, as I have the shrimp.  Since this shrimp is larger than most other species, would it be advisable to place a longnose hawkfish in with my shrimp?  Thanks!! A.  <You'd be surprised what this Hawkfish can swallow with that "little mouth." If it can't take it in one bite, it will break it up. It may take a year or even longer, but the Long-nosed Hawkfish will eventually eat the shrimp. I'd suggest you chose something else. Steve Allen.>

Hawkfish compatibility Bob, I have  92g corner bow. It has lots of live rock and a deep sand bed. I have a Comet, a pair of percula clowns, a sunrise dotty back, a cowfish, a lawnmower blenny, a fu Manchu lion, a blue/green Chromis and a yellow watchman goby in it. I would like to put the following hawkfish in it;  A Cyprinocirrhites polyactis and a Cirrhitops fasciatus. Do you see any problems here? I do not know if they are compatible. thanks, Tim <Mmm, might go together... the Cyprinocirrhites is more like a Damsel... up, off the bottom, swimming about almost continuously... rather than the usual sedentary, posturing cirrhitid. I give you 80% odds of no problems with these two. However, this tank is getting a bit crowded... The Lion may consume some of its smaller tankmates in time, there may be a chemical accident with the Cowfish... Bob Fenner>

Hawkfish Compatibility (5/8/04) Good Morning; <It was thanks!! Good evening to you...Leslie here.> Checked out your info on the web but still have a question. < Sure no problem> We have a 210 gal. one resident being a Falco's Hawkfish.  In your info you stated only one hawk to a tank.  Is this regardless tank size <Yes, afraid so> or can a larger tank have more than one hawk? < One Hawkfish per tank is recommended regardless of the tank size unless you are able to acquire a pair.> I was thinking of adding a Lyretail Hawk if size was a factor but wanted to check before buying the Lyretail.  I like to keep my livestock well and happy. < Me too!> There are enough things that happen by accident, no need to make a problem. Boy is that the truth.> Thanks for your advise and time. Ceil Wagaman < Sure, no problem, thanks for checking in first. Leslie>

Hawkfish and Yellow Tang Question Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank I'm trying to make into a reef tank. I also have a new 125 gallon tank that I want to do as a fish only tank. In my 55 I have a freckled hawkfish, and a yellow tang. The two have lived together for 5 or 6 months now and the hawk I've had for over a year. Within the last couple of weeks my yellow tang started losing some color and breathing heavily and you could see some veins of blood in his snout. He wasn't eating and I was told this was a water problem. Which was probably true because my LFS was out of salt for that period of time. I've since changed the water about 20% and then added Quick Cure for 3 days and did another partial water change. My tang seems to be looking a little better, but he now hides all the time and he never did that as much before. He never comes to the top to eat like my hawk does and I fear that he's not getting enough food. I have been adding some seaweed sheets to some rocks, but my hawk has been eating that too (as well as my snails)! Should I add the yellow tang to my 125 gallon tank to get him away from all of this? (I'm wanting to add a Volitans Lionfish, a Harlequin Tusk, probably a clown trigger and some other "bully" fish to the 125) so would it be a good idea to add this peaceful little yellow tang to that crowd?<No it would not be smart...I would leave the tang in the 55gal...and allow him time to become used to the aquarium setup again> And what about the hawkfish, would he survive in the 125 gallon tank (I really want to make the 55 a reef only, but I can keep the hawk in there if I have to, because I love my hawk he has great personality, I just think he might get bored in there alone in a reef tank). Thank You!<I would keep the hawk in the reef as long as you do not add any ornamental shrimp/crabs. Good luck, IanB>

Hawkfishes 5/3/04 Hi Guys, hope all is well <with hope for you in kind :) > I have a quick question that I would appreciate some advice on. I have a very cool Scarlet Hawkfish , who has been in my tank for nearly two years. Recently I have been thinking of getting a Long nose Hawkfish but not too sure on how well they would get on. <some chance of fighting at least> The guys in my LFS have said I should not have any problems, they know of many fish keepers who keep hawks together, the only problems they have is when you mix the same species. <not true... easily and often between other species, and simply other like feeding fishes that compete with them> Just would like your opinion before I go ahead and rely on their advice again. <as long as you run the fish through QT first, and have that tank for fall back on if it does not work (separation), then I say its a reasonable chance to take> The tank is 4ft with loads of LR and places for them explore together!! <the space is tiny compared to their territories in the wild... if there is going to be aggression, an eight foot long tank will not help> or separately as is more likely!. Any advice greatly appreciated as always!!, by the way how long before the next book?! <we are hoping to have it finished by years end... sooner rather than later <G>> Cheers  Rob
<ciao, Anthony>

Pairing a flame hawk I was thinking of adding another flame hawk to pair it up with the one I have. my current one doesn't eat my shrimps. the one I saw at the LFS passed every test I did to make sure he would work. these are the tests I did. 1) placed a ghost shrimp in, he didn't eat it. placed in pellet food, ate it. healthy looking also. <... may learn to eat shrimp...> 2) placed a smaller flame hawk in with him. no aggressive action towards it. 3) has a timid behavior, was together with a dog faced puffer and was kind of terrified being near him. this one seems to fit the same peaceful personality as the flame hawk I have now. I did the first test with the 1st flame hawk and that's how he is not eating my blood and cleaner shrimp. I added a neon goby, which was also risky because I was afraid my hawk would have him for lunch. but luckily, his friendly personality accepted him and let him clean him also. sweet!!! got lucky. this is definitely a risk to take trying to pair them, but this seems to be a good educated guess. everything seems to fit together. if this works out, this will be AWESOME!!!!! I will post a ton of pics for you folks to see if they pair up. If this doesn't work out, I'm going to have a hard time getting the 2nd one out. from what I've read, they can change sex to become a pair. need any comments on opinions on this. this is a guy on reef central that had success with pairing hawkfish. this is what I want to achieve. <Can be done... have seen this and other cirrhitid species in "pairs" in the wild, captivity. Bob Fenner>

OH NO! PLEASE TELL ME MY ANEMONE DID NOT EAT THIS $150 FISH! I just purchased an absolutely beautiful geometric pygmy Hawkfish. As you know, it is a rare fish and commands big bucks. I watched it laying under the rockwork yesterday after acclimation, and after a while it slowly started to move underneath all of the rocks. The next day (today), I didn't see it under any of the rocks. I fed the other fish hoping the smell might draw it's attention. It didn't show. Then, to my horror, my rose bulb anemone starting egesting something reddish/brown in color. It was kind of stringy, but had a leather look. Kind of what a fish looks like after you skin them to cook them. Problem is, I haven't fed my anemone in over a week. I was under the impression that Entacmaea quadricolor ate shrimp, and didn't care for fish. <Umm> Could it have eaten my Hawkfish that might have mistakenly jumped into the anemone? <Yes> Or are Hawkfish aware enough of an anemone to know to avoid it? <Not all species, individuals... Let's hope yours is still hiding somewhere... not consumed, jumped out... Bob Fenner> Thanks! Re: OH NO! PLEASE TELL ME MY ANEMONE DID NOT EAT THIS $150 FISH! I just have to ask one more thing I should have asked before: would the anemone egest fish skin, or consume the whole fish? <Will egest whatever is not edible... including skin, skeleton...> The book I read that mentioned bulb anemones liking krill over fish also mentioned that the only things egested are parts that are unusable, like chitin. I wouldn't even be worried if I hadn't seen the anemone egesting. Is it possible that it could have been something else, or would it have to have been a food item? I know I'm stretching here, but I just can't believe it. I just thought the fish would know to avoid the anemone, but I fear the worst. Man, I feel stupid... <Happens. Bob Fenner>

Injured Hawkfish (4/18/05) Dear Crew,  <Hi. Steve Allen with you tonight.> I came home today to find that my spotted hawkfish's tail and part of his top fin were eaten, and he is looking a little yellow at spots.  <So sorry to hear.>  He was living peacefully for several weeks in a tank with a coral beauty angel, 2 perculas, an orchid Dottyback (most likely suspect)  <bingo> and a Huma Huma trigger (second suspect). <Much less likely IMO> He couldn't swim, so I took him out and put him into a makeshift quarantine tank.  <Good. Make sure you have some heat & filtration.>  Is there anything I can do to help him live besides wait?  <Excellent water quality and excellent nutrition. You might want to try some Stress Coat Marine. If any suspicion of infection, treat with broad-spectrum antibiotic.>  In his condition, do you think he will survive this?  <Hard to say. Many fish have survived worse, and they can re-grow their fins. Try the above and hope--he may just be OK, but you'll just have to wait and see.>  What might be the cause of this sudden attack?  <I have to really doubt that the Huma Huma (Picasso) Trigger did this. Pseudochromids have been known to eviscerate fish larger than themselves. How big is your tank? Unless it's really big (100+ gallons), I'd suggest you consider capturing it and selling it back to the LFS (most will give you a fish credit of 1/2 of retail price of the returned fish.) How about a Royal Gramma instead? A great fish.>  Thanks, Mike  <You're welcome. I hope your hawk makes it. Let us know.> 

Hawkfish Succumbed (4/19/05) Hey Steve,  <Hello again> Thanks for the response, but the Hawkfish died last night. Mike  <So sorry to hear. Consider removing the Pseudochromis before adding other fish. I suspect you have a particularly aggressive one on you hands.>   

Long nosed Hawkfish I was doing a compatibility check on the fish I am doing with my reef tank,  One of my fave fish is the Longnosed hawk, but they are not compatible with  Inverts, is this true? I don't know what type of clean up crew I am wanting  yet, but if I just choose snails, and a lawnmower blenny, will this be ok  then to add the Hawk? or is it dealing with the Anemones, and mushrooms, and  feather dusters? if I cant add him its no biggy, but I really want one, so  any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks Tawny >> Thank you for writing. This is one of my favorite families (the Hawkfishes, Cirrhitidae) and species (Oxycirrhites typus)... and other than small crustaceans (shrimp, tiny crabs), they are "reef safe" in my opinion... and won't eat or bother your snails, Blenny, anemones, mushrooms...  Bob Fenner

Should I get rid of my Hawkfish?     I have a 110 gallon aquarium. I have a Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Kole Tang, Coral Beauty, 2 Banggai Cardinals, 2 Engineer Gobies, Mandarin, Maroon Clown, 3 Blue Gudgeon Gobies & a Hawk Fish. My Maroon Clown will not leave the area of a power head I have placed near the upper RH of my aquarium. Also I recently added 3 Blue Gudgeon Gobies and they will not come out from under the rocks. The Hawk fish can be quite persistent at chasing them. Would I be better off, just getting rid of the Hawk fish (Trade-in)? I was also told by my local fish store that there would be no problem between the two different types of Gobies. Yet, the Engineer Gobies continue to nip at & bully the Blue Gudgeon Gobies. Is there someway to convince them to not try to occupy the same end of the aquarium? Any recommendations would be appreciated. >> You say "recently"... is this a few days? If so, I'd wait and see if things settle down between the different goby species and also the Hawkfish... Usually they do, so unless you see actual bloodshed, I'd be patient. I have seen an almost near-riot at a marine club when the issue of whether Hawkfishes (family Cirrhitidae) were reef safe or not was brought up... in general, the smaller species are... except where small crustaceans are involved (crabs and shrimp they really like to eat).     At any length, I'd hold off and hope for the best. Bob Fenner

Hawk vs. hawk <Lorenzo Gonzalez, standing in for Bob-in-Asia> Question: Can a flame hawkfish and a longnose hawkfish tolerate each other? What about other hawks? Thanks! <It's possible in a relatively large system, but it'll be a bit of a balancing act, they'll set up territories, and occasionally-to-frequently harass each other. I'd say you need a 120 gallon or larger tank to pull it off long term, even then they may just kill each other anyway. -Lorenzo>

My angry little Hawkfish Hello Mr. Fenner! <Howdy> Today, I'm writing about my Cirrhitichthys falco (Dwarf Hawkfish). He's a wonderful little tank mate, that is much more active than others that I've seen. Unfortunately, he just cost me a bit of money. My hawkfish is about 1.5 inches in length, max. I put in a cleaner shrimp that was more than twice his size (I had read your site and made sure that I didn't introduce anything too small, that the hawkfish would eat). He IMMEDIATELY attacked the shrimp until it could get itself into the reef area of my tank (my mistake, I should have introduced the shrimp in a more docile fashion, placing him immediately into the security of the reef). However, the shrimp got away and did fine for about a week. He even molted successfully after 2 days in the tank. I had purchased him with a bicolor angelfish, and the two of them sort of "hung out" together, with the shrimp cleaning the angelfish. Once the shrimp found his "cleaning station", other fish started coming up as well. Surprisingly, the hawkfish even started coming up to be "cleaned" (or maybe to "case" the scene . . .). <Maybe both... but cirrhitids do use as well as consume such animals in the wild> Well, my bicolor angel died about 5 days later, and the hawkfish immediately started attacking the shrimp again. He would come along, overturn the shrimp and attack his belly. I tried to separate them, but it was too late. The shrimp died within a day. So, my question is, is this normal behavior for a dwarf hawkfish, even with shrimps larger than itself?  <Commonly, yes> Furthermore, are there any decorative crustaceans that I could introduce to my tank that would be safe with this little angry fish AND would be safe to my anemones and other fish?  <Crabs, real and false/Hermits...> I don't want to introduce any trouble, but I really enjoyed having that cleaner shrimp in the tank. As always, thank you for your wonderful advice! You've been a great help to me in my marine tank endeavors. <Glad to be here. Bob Fenner> Deborah H. Colella

Shrimps I would like to keep cleaner shrimps will they be eaten by a flame hawk , Thanks Bob, Ron from R.I. >> >> Too likely so... Bob Fenner

Re: Allen's/Andaman Damsel Dear Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the quick response. I have read all the FAQ's on your site about the Picasso & porcupine puffers and saw they are a popular combination. I noticed that many people who wrote you have them crowded in smaller systems with several other large fish which is why I thought my plan of just these 2 fish and a hawkfish that will pretty much just perch rather than swim around would work well in my 55g. <For a period of time> I'm planning to start both the trigger and puffer at the 2-1/2 size and am wondering how long until these 2 fish would be crowded? <Likely a year or more, psychologically then physiologically> I would have gotten a larger tank but wanted it in my room and this was the largest size that could fit well. <I understand> Thanks again, Roberto <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Fish compatibility I have a 90 gallon FOWLR with 125lbs. of live rock, and 100lbs of live sand. My filtration consists of the rock, sand, a Berlin Turbo hang on skimmer, UV sterilizer, AquaClear power filter, 4 270gph. powerheads, and a wet/dry filter (without bio balls). The fish that are currently in the tank are: a 4" Emperor Angel, a 4" Harlequin tusk,5" Green Bird wrasse,3" hippo tang, and a 3-4" Black Volitans Lion. I also have about 30 turbo snails, 2 burrowing stars, 1 Blue Linckia, and 1 General star. I wanted to add a couple more fish, the fish that I am thinking of are a blonde Naso tang, and either a flame or other Centropyge angel, and a flame hawk. Will the lion eat the angel, or the hawk? <If it's small enough to fit in its mouth, possibly> I wanted to also add a cleaner goby or two, will they get eaten?  <I give you fifty fifty odds... if recognized as "helpers" may be left alone... The Hawkfish is the best candidate as a predator here> The Tusk and the bird wrasse already ate a 2" algae blenny. I would like some kind of trigger, is there one that wont bother my stars or snails? Thanks! <Not really. Bob Fenner>

Long nosed hawkfish Hi, <greetings, my friend> In my last letter -- which you brilliantly answered (thank you) --  <thank you for being so easily impressed> I inquired about the possibility of keeping a long nosed hawkfish in my 25 gallon reef tank. I have continued to hear mixed reviews on this fish's compatibility with the reef tank. <almost all attributed to confusion between the characteristic behavior of most (blunt nosed) hawkfish, against this uncommon (long-nosed) member of the family> I hear that it is not a nuisance to corals, <agreed> but "might" eat some or all of my shrimp, <difficult for this narrow snout species, but likely for most other hawkfish> or at the very least annoy them. <possibly. especially when larger> So, I'm a bit confused. <oh, ya... try living in my Adult ADD(H) child's head... hehe> While it's obviously not a rare fish in stores, it's still one of my favorites <very unique.. a favorite of mine too> and given the right circumstances I would definitely purchase one.  <in my mind...no more of a risk than a dwarf angel would be to some coral... a calculated risk> So, suffice to say I'm on the fence with this one. I really appreciate your input and have begun looking into Firefishes as your last message suggested. I am very intrigued with these fish, too.  <excellent...beautiful, hardy and long-lived if given the passive, peaceful tank that they need... but not so with clowns, damsels, tangs and the like> Thanks! Ari Klein <Ciao, bub...Anthony>

New Fish Problems Hi Bob! <Steven Pro this afternoon.> Long time! Hope all is well! Recently, I purchased a new Flame Hawkfish. The problem is the other fish that are in the aquarium. There are 2 clownfish, and a Eiblii Angelfish that like to hang together a lot. Well, these guys are not letting the Hawkfish have any room around the live rocks at all, they chase him back up to the top where he sits on top of a pump all the time, pretty much out of sight. I'm not liking this at all, and I'm sure the Hawkfish likes it even less! How long would you think this would last? I have tried changing a few of the rocks around to try to confuse the bullies, but that didn't work. The new fish has been in the aquarium for almost a week. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Pat Marren <Without knowing how big your tank is or what kind of clownfish you have, it is hard to say. Moving the decorations around and buying more are good ideas. Usually these things work themselves out over a few weeks as long as the level of aggressiveness is similar and the tank large enough. Hawkfish like to "perch" up high anyway. -Steven Pro>

Are These Fish All Compatible? Hi...I had a question about the compatibility of the fish I already have in my saltwater aquarium and what I want to get. At the moment we have: 2 damselfish, a dwarf angel fish, a clownfish, a hermit crab, a shrimp and a cleaner wrasse. <If you don't already now, cleaner wrasses almost always do poorly in captivity. Most slowly starve to death and are dead in 6 months or less.> We are planning on getting a longnose hawkfish. <Should be ok. Hawkfish in general are known for harassing and eating crustaceans, but the longnose is usually ok.><<Bob F will take the Hawkfish eating the crustaceans 3 to 1>> We were also thinking about a harlequin tusk. <This one is a big bruiser and does not mix in well with the rest of these little guys.> Will that work with what we have now? Thanks, Fricia <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Fish compatibility question Hi, I'm wondering if I could add a longnose hawkfish to the following inhabitants of my 46 gallon reef: 1 pair false clowns female is about 3"; male about 1 1/2"), one pair Banggais (about 2"), and 2 scarlet cleaner shrimp about 3-4" each).  <so far compatible> I've heard and read different things about the habits and appetites of the longnose hawks, so I'd appreciate your input. Oh, I also have scarlet hermits, assorted snails, an emerald crab,  <hmmm... hawks are notorious for nipping harassing and sometimes regularly eating crustacea and mollusks like shrimp and snails. The longnose is one of the least offensive of the hawks though> soft corals and a bubble coral, open brain, and frogspawn. If it's not a good idea, any suggestions for a colorful, interesting fish that would be less shy than the Banggais who spend almost all their time behind the reef except when feeding?  <a very simple school of green. blue Chromis damsels can be quite striking or some deepwater Caribbean blue Chromis if the budget allows> I was thinking maybe royal Gramma, or 6-line wrasse, but I really like the longnoses. Thanks, as always, for your help! <the Gramma is nicely hardy and polite... but can be rather shy. Six-lines are great little fish but can be quite mean to passive tankmates like the clowns or cardinals. Best regards, Anthony>

Amblycirrhitus pinos  I have become quite intrigued by the unique appearance and personality I have observed in several species of hawkfish. I know some (or all) of them have a reputation for snacking on shrimp. <All, the big species, when large, on big shrimp...> I absolutely love flame hawks but I understand they eat everything. I was wondering if any of the smaller ones, specifically the red spotted hawkfish, would be suitable in a reef containing two large cleaner shrimp. Is there any reasonable chance of them cohabitating or is it just a matter of time before they become lunch? <Worth trying... would like to stipulate that one should have plenty of hiding spaces for when said shrimp, nee expensive meals, are molting. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Bret Packard

RE: Amblycirrhitus pinos Thanks for the response. If I decide to try it I'll let you know how things work out so you can let other people know. <Please do so... this is one of my fave families above and below water... Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hawkfish.htm Bob Fenner>

RE: Amblycirrhitus pinos I saw that. I always read everything I can find on wetwebmedia as well as my copy of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist and Scott Michael's book Marine Fishes. I've found certain bulletin boards helpful too but it's sure nice to have access to someone with your experience and willingness to share. <Indeed. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Flame hawk/Magnavore cleaning pads Crew, <David here> Have two quick/easy questions this morning. 1) I see on all the etailer livestock sites where the flame hawk is described as "reef safe", but also it says they will eat "small crustaceans".  Does that mean all my red-legged and blue legged hermit crabs will disappear if I get one? <That's exactly what it means! Oh...and feather dusters, shrimps, snails, etc.> 2) I keep my aquarium glass pretty clean using a cheap 10$ magnet a couple times a week. However at least once a month or a little more often I have to scrub very hard with an algae pad to remove the extremely stubborn green dots of algae. I am wondering about those expensive Magnavore etc. magnets that are upwards of 50$ or the Kent Proscraper blades.  Will they make maint, easier or is elbow grease the only real solution to that stubborn glass algae. <Elbow grease is the only thing that's ever works for me> thanks - Kevin <You're welcome! I have an acrylic tank...therefore no experience with these magnets. Although I'm absolutely positive one could find lots of differing opinions on this subject! David Dowless>

Hawkfish and His Lunch Dear Crew, Finally getting ready to really redo my 55G FOWLR semi-reef into a "full-blown" reef.  Projects over the last year included: add about 60 LBS LR; replace gravel w/ 4 inch DSB; replace wet/dry with 20L sump full of sand, LR and various macro algae, adding "reef critters" to name a few. The system has been up and running now for about 15 months with all these enhancements.  Have coralline algae all over the glass and everything now, which is pretty cool.  <sounds really nice>  The only tank inhabitant at the moment is a longnose hawk.  He's about 3.5 inches and eats like a champ --  Vitachem-soaked frozen squid/scallops, bloodworms, plankton, Formula A.  I had pearly jaws swan-dive onto the carpet (through a really small open space in the back) <they are jumpers for sure>  .. and just have not added anything else yet.  I'm working on a stocking plan (it has changed about 50 times).  Here's my question. I USED to have a bunch of snails (maybe 25+), but my population appears to have gone down recently -- I see  3 or 4.  Is the hawk eating them? <possibly>  How about my pod population?  <he is probably eating the micro-crustaceans but it should not have a significant effect on the population>  I have some Aiptasia (OK a bunch) and was debating about peppermint shrimp vs. the Aiptasia Nudis that Inland Aquatics sells, but not sure either will work with the hawk.  <the nudibranch might work... but the shrimp will be devoured by the hawk> I've read the hawk section in my (battered) CMA and also the hawk page here and FAQs.  I don't mind buying this stuff to establish  a healthy/diverse reef ,but I don't want it to end up as Mr. Longnose's lunch.  I also want to get more sand critters (like maybe Inland's detritivore kit which is snails, conchs,  baby brittle stars Gammarus and Mysis and assorted 'pods).  Should I move the hawk to other quarters before continuing down this road? Or is it "just time" to get more snails?  <the hawk will eat most of these inverts, if you want shrimp, etc... I would trade the hawk in to my LFS>  Some of the fish I'm thinking of are a mandarin (read the FAQs, have the pod tank ready to go for him and a LFS that only stocks FAT ones), <good>  scissortail gobies, and (maybe) a Copperband butterfly (the Aiptasia-- I know Marine Center gets smaller, health ones) or a small Kole for hair algae control.  BUT, if the hawk is going to decimate my pod population and my snails, maybe I will have to go a different route. <all these fish sound good except for the BF fish... they can and will eat some species of corals>   What is your best suggestion for my Aiptasia problem (read those FAQs too) given that he is in residence?  Think my stocking plan is unrealistic?  <I would just remove the Hawkfish and purchase some peppermint shrimp to deal with the Aiptasia. You could also put him in a QT aquarium while the shrimp are taking care of the Aiptasia> Thanks as always!  Rebecca  <good luck, IanB>

- Longnose Hawkfish and Shrimp - Good Day! <Hello to you.> Firstly, I'd like to thank you for such quick responses to me and everyone else whom depends on you and everyone else involved.  You guys are a blessing for us to be able to get in touch with.  Truly, we consider ourselves lucky.  Thank you. I would refrain from sending in question(s), because I'd rather read through everyone else's questions and problems to see if maybe I can find the answer here within the pages of the site, rather than use of your valuable time.  This time around, I haven't been able to find any readings that make me lean towards more of a well informed and wiser decision.     My livestock consists of-     1 Banggai Cardinal     2 Seahorses     1 Fridmani Pseudochromis     1 Yellow Clown Goby     4 Hawaiian Feather Dusters     3 Peppermint Shrimp     1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp     Numerous Nassarius, Cerith, Trochus Snails and numerous Hermits (scarlet reef, dwarf blue legged, dwarf zebra, dwarf red tipped) * 31 pounds of Fiji live rock and almost 28 pounds of live sand plus Caulerpa (30 gal tank) I'm amazed, even though I'm used to it by now... but how well the Banggai cardinal, fridmani Pseudochromis and yellow clown goby get along.  They truly seem to be "buddies"-and don't mind the presence of each other at all.  As a matter of fact they more often than not, hang out together in a little group.  I just got lucky I guess.  That's half the game on some gambles!  Choke it up to the hobby of fish keeping. I ordered a Longnose Hawkfish... I was guided in a direction where as my shrimp are quite a decent size, so he/she may wind up really ignoring them... but as with all livestock, nothing and nothing is predictable.  I cherish my shrimp and especially since I've had one pass away due it's not being able to finish its molting (as I've emailed you prior)    Granted there are no WILLs and WON'TS about keeping a Longnose Hawkfish with these tank inhabitants I already have stocked, but for the most part-with a sharp eye on his behavior and taking the time to see how he reacts to everyone else in the tank over a decent period of time... I was told he would quite possibly be fine in the system.  On the other hand, I've read here a few times that keeping the Longnose Hawkfish along with some of the livestock I have... is more of a risk than it is a chance for the longnose hawkfish to wind up being peaceful.  After reading what one of you or your partners wrote, I decided I loved my shrimp far too much to risk the chance of them being considered PREY.  I cancelled my order for the Longnose Hawkfish!  ((((sad sad sad face)))) Can you tell me one on one, why you would consider or wouldn't consider keeping the Longnose Hawkfish in your system if you had mine? <Mostly because all hawkfish are carnivorous predators. As you mentioned, there are variations and possibilities, but if you really value that shrimp I wouldn't do it. Mostly because things will likely be fine for a year and then one day... the hawkfish will decide it's time for a snack.> Lastly... I'd like to have at least one more fish... and it's a bit hard to find one that is going to be peaceful and compatible with close to every single inhabitant in the tank... but I think I've come across one... The Filamented Flasher Wrasse... Your opinion on keeping one of these with my described livestock as my last fish for the system????? <Well, you didn't mention the size of the tank...>  Or could you possibly think it's already way too overstocked, or close to be overstocked??? <Really depends on the size of the tank.> Of all fishes whom lend exotic visuals and more of a peaceful temperament... I narrowed it down to the Filamented Flasher Wrasse... maybe you will tell me otherwise. <Is a very pretty fish, but needs some room to be happy.> I can't wait to hear from you guys!!!!  Your time is always appreciated more than you can fathom.  Peace out. Rocko <Cheers, J -- >

Longnose Hawk Questions >Hi, >>Hello. >I just purchased a hawkfish.  He is now in quarantine.   >>Good words. >Will he want to eat my feather duster in my main tank?   >>No. >I was asked if I had shrimp in my tank when I purchased him, because they said he may eat them.   >>I've kept many longnose hawks, and have never had a problem with the different Lysmata species I've kept with them. >I do not have shrimp, but do have a duster.  Do you think he will bother it?  Thanks.  Debbie >>Nope, all will be well.  Marina

- Assasi Trigger or Harlequin Tusk? Hawkfish-venomous? - <No. RMF> First of all thanks for your time.  I have 2 quick questions. First I am having trouble deciding on getting either a Assasi Triggerfish or a Harlequin Tusk.  They are both on the higher side of the price range, but they are both beautiful creatures. In your opinion what is the better fish (personality, coloration, hardiness, easy feeding, social ability) for the money? <Depends on what else is going to live in the tank. The triggerfish will likely have more personality, is certainly smarter, but will grow large enough to consume many other occupants in the tank. The Tuskfish will top out at about a foot, perhaps a little less, but is a striking and interesting addition to any tank. Could still consume smaller fish in the tank, but it is less likely to become a terror.> Second, today I purchased my first hawkfish at my LFS. The owner told me that hawkfish are venomous. <Not to my knowledge.> This is the first time I have ever heard this. Is it true? <Don't think so, have heard this stated before, but have not seen any documentation. Hawkfish certainly don't behave like they are venomous.> Once again thanks for your time. <Cheers, J -- >

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