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FAQs about the Hawkfishes

Related Articles: Hawkfishes, Longnose Hawkfish, Hawkfishes of the Cook Islands

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

Paracirrhites forsteri, a light colored juvenile in the Red Sea.

- Hawkfish Out of Sorts - I have a 58 gallon reef tank that has been up and running for about 10 months.  My BakPak 2R protein skimmer really started to smell bad and cleaning it only seemed to work for a couple of days, at most. <Perhaps something you are feeding??> My water was perfect in every way with no ammonia, no nitrites and a nitrate reading of about 1 or 2.  I decided to switch to an AquaC remora hang on skimmer and, at the same time, decided to replace 3 of the 4 powerheads I had in the tank.  Everything seemed to go well.  The next evening, however, I noticed that my long-nose hawkfish was breathing very fast, just sitting on a rock he never sits on and not eating.  I also noticed that there was an area in the corner near him that had the sand blown away.  I must have had some reflection current, however, since the powerhead that was opposite that area was actually raised from its previous level.  I do not notice any spots on the hawkfish or any other external signs of any trouble.  Could changing the current have caused this problem? <Not directly, but perhaps the change in routine, your hands in the tank and whatnot... this would be a source of stress.> I am perplexed and any assistance would be appreciated. <Give things a couple more days... chances are good that things will return to normal.> The fish has been extremely active and hardy up until this occurred. Thank you. Scott <Cheers, J -- >

- Assasi Trigger or Harlequin Tusk? Hawkfish-venomous? - 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 -- >

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

Longnose Hawk (10-3-03) Hi,<Howdy, Cody here today.> How long should a tank be kept running, before any fish are introduced. Bearing in mind that this set up is (Marine).  And could you give me any advice regarding the longnosed hawkfish.  <The time before it is safe to add fish all depends on numerous factors which can be researched at our site:  www.wetwebmedia.com.  There is also tons of info on the hawk there also.  Cody.> Regards Aaron.

- 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 -- >

Flame Hawkfish... I am interested in purchasing a flame Hawkfish. I see it is primarily a bottom dweller. I do not have a top on my 90 gal tank. Will this fish jump out? Thanks <This fish could possibly jump out of the aquarium... it is better to be safe than sorry so please purchase a top for your aquarium before you get this or any fish (fish are jumpers!!), Good luck with this interesting specimen, IanB>

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>

- Mystery Spot - Hello, <Good morning, JasonC here...> I have had Snarky, a Long Nose Hawk, for approximately one and half years. Tonight I noticed, for the first time, this black spot on gill next to his eye.  I netted him, and he let me attempt removing the spot, but it would not come loose, as if there was nothing clinging to his body.  I can not tell if it is Turbellarian, or if he had developed a beauty mark, that I just happened to notice after all this time. I have attached a good picture of the spot I am referring to for your examine, and I can magnify this picture, and resend it if you need a closer view of it.  I would appreciate if you could let me know what your assessment is ASAP, so I can begin treatment if required. <I think this is most likely something similar to a bruise.> I am also scheduled to leave on vacation this Friday. It always seems that stuff like this happens before I go on vacation. <Ain't that the truth.> Anyway, my tank is very healthy, and I don't suspect this to be an illness, since Snarky isn't exhibiting any loss of appetite, scratching, or listlessness, it's just that it seems like an unnatural marking amongst his red and white pattern.  What do you think? <I think it will be fine - will go away in time.> Thank you for having such an informative site/resource for an aquarist to improve their fish friends' health and well being. Sincerely, Joel <Cheers, J -- >

- Single Black Spot - Hello, I think I missed your assessment.   Should I be concerned or not? <It's my opinion that the spot is just a bruise. No cause for concern.> Thank you, Joel <Cheers, J -- >

Long nosed hawkfish temp requirements Hello I have a 70 gallon fish - only  temperate marine aquarium.  I live in England and the tank stays at 70 -72 ' F . I have a couple of native Blennies and 2 small native wrasse.   I  have recently added a 2" Picasso trigger which seems to have adjusted to the cooler water without any ill effects. (just as the guys at LFS said).   <Picasso Triggerfish are very adaptive to semitropical water temperatures, as their natural environment ranges south to the South African coast.> However,  they could not tell me if the Long nosed Hawkfish would be happy at the lower temp, just that it is a very hardy fish. <Although restricted to tropical areas, i.e.: the Indo-Pacific Ocean/Red Sea (with a lower temperature limit of 75 degrees F), with careful acclimation and a feeding regime mindful of the animal's slower metabolism in the cooler water, it should be fine, as long as the temperature remains in the 70's F> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Matt <Best, Chris>

- Another Follow-up on Freshwater Dips - Would you consider Longnose hawkfish a fish? <Of course - it's certainly not a bird or a horse.> The ich seems never affected it. <They are just durable and disease resistant.> Would you recommend a cleaner wrasse for the tank since it feeds on external parasites? <No. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm >  I bought one last weekend because I had seen them servicing the fishes, hoping this one would perform the same function.  Yet this new wrasse never approached/touched the fishes w/ ich. <Is probably getting used to the new environment.> Is that strange? <Not really.> I wonder if the ich on the fishes scared the wrasse away. <I doubt it. Cheers, J>

Disease ID Hello Crew, I have an Arc Eye Hawk (Ivan's his name) that 2 times over the last 6 to 8 weeks has had small, white nodules (for lack of a better description) on the front spines of his dorsal fin.  They look a lot like small pieces of Styrofoam (and having recently battled Ick it looks nothing like it).  The first time, they went away on their own, leading me to believe that something (some debris) got stuck on him.  He got them a second time and as of yet they have not gone away (after about 7 days).  He is otherwise active and eating really well.  Do you think he has some funky disease and if so what is the treatment?  All other fish in this tank (a 180g FO) are healthy and eating well.  Any insight that you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Bob Jones <Hey Bob, it is hard to say with out a picture, does it look fuzzy? Check out the disease sections at the link below, see if any of that sounds familiar http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm If he is infected with something, the first step would be to get him into a quarantine tank for further observation and identification of the disease.  Feel free to send a pic if you can.  Best Regards, Gage>

Stocky Hawkfish Are Stocky Hawkfish able to close their eyes? <only during Michael Bolton videos... thanks for asking>

Hawkfish Hello, I have a 72 gallon saltwater tank with a porcupine puffer and a maroon clown. These were the only fish because of an outbreak of ich. I bought a 20 gallon QT tank (unfortunately after the outbreak instead of before) and left the 72 empty except for live rock and sand for six weeks. I then put the puffer & clown back in the 72, everything seemed to be fine to this point. We then bought a red Coris wrasse and a red flame hawk and put them in the QT tank for 2 weeks. <A little short, I prefer a full four weeks just to be sure.> They seemed to be doing fine with no signs of disease. I added them to the 72 tank and on the 27th the next day the hawkfish was dead. I did notice his color seemed pale when we first put in the larger tank and he literally dropped to the bottom instead of swimming, but his color seemed to come back soon after and he was perching on rocks soon thereafter. The wrasse is doing fine, but I'm in the dark what happened to the hawkfish. We were told they were very hardy. I do need to mention that the water checked out fine in both tanks before we bought the 2 new fish and the temperature and salinity are identical. The 72 tank is about 6 months old. Any ideas? Should I do different in the future, maybe treat any new fish with copper just to be sure? <Because of the fast nature and lack of symptoms we can probably rule out a disease as the cause of death. I would instead double check the water quality in the 72 (perhaps at a LFS with their test kits) and also look into your acclimation procedures when you released the hawkfish. -Steven Pro>

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>

Starving Hawkfish Robert,            Since you helped me heal my Blue Rings lip (the golden puffer bit a bottom chunk off by accident when going after the same piece of food about a year ago). I thought you might be of service again... I have a long nose hawk about 3" long who USED to eat like a stud!! Well, the eating has stopped for about 2 weeks; I put some appetite stimulant in the tank (Cravex Plus by Aquatronics) every other day last week to no avail (but the marine Betta is eating me out of house and home!!) he swims after the food, live, flake, freeze-dried, etc. <What live foods have you tried? I would seek out someone who has/sells amphipods, mysids and try these live or not... with some of the Cravex or similar (I would rather use Selcon) soaked into it a good five minutes before offering> but continually misses his strikes at it, he's starting to get real skinny on me (not good). I don't think he's blind? <Doubtful> his eyes still look gin clear. If you or your staff help me it (once again) would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!     Thanks, Gary     p.s. The Blue Ring looks like new <Good to hear of the Angels recovery. Do try soaking the crustaceans. Bob Fenner>

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>

Fish Roe Hiya Bob, <Hello there, Steven Pro here.> I took your advice on the bicolor blenny. Got him two days ago... luv him...named him 'Lenny'. Anyways I have a couple more questions. While I was there I couldn't resist a spotted hawkfish with all this cool looking cirri on his fins. Named him Mike ;) The little dude doesn't seem to like any food I offer though (frozen krill, frozen Mysis shrimp, sinking pellets, flakes, notta one). <I would recommend asking what he was eating at the store and feed him that. Otherwise, your offered foods sound good, what I would have offered.> He's very active though...he and "Lenny" seem to be buds. Any suggestions? I stumbled across this link today. http://www.reefcentral.com/vbulletin/archive/1/2002/05/4/83544 About feeding fish roe. Have you heard of/tried this? <Yes, both.> Any comments? <It was ok. I feed any I have leftover from making Sushi to the fish.> I was thinking of trying it. <It is worth a shot.> What kind of world do we live in when I get a ham sandwich and my fish get caviar? Cheers, Melinda <Have a nice weekend. -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>

Flame Hawk Breathing Fast? I have a recently acquired flame hawk in quarantine. He appears to be breathing heavily, though I'm not certain what the breath rate they are. Do they normally breath fast? It's currently breathing like twice a second. Is this normal? Jim <No, sounds pretty fast. More than likely, could be the beginning of Amyloodinium. You can get additional info on the treatment at WWM. Less likely gill flukes, also on WWM. -Steven Pro>

Flame Hawkfish Behavior Gentlemen: I have had a flame hawkfish in my 125G FOWLR for about 1 year. He is a great fish with a lot of personality. I recently noticed that he is having difficulty swimming to the surface to get food. Typically he is one of the first fish to feed. My water parameters are as follows: pH 8.2 - 8.2 ammonia nil nitrite trace nitrate 50 (wet/dry with protein skimmer) I realize that hawks do not have a swim bladder and cannot remain buoyant for extended periods of time. Even as frozen food sinks to the floor, he is not showing any interest. However, he continues to show a desire to feed on krill. He waits until the krill gets close to the floor and then gathers it up. I would think that this is an encouraging sign. <agreed> His breathing seems to be more rapid than normal, and his usual brilliant red color is somewhat faded. I would appreciate any insight that you can provide in my efforts to save this fish. Thanks, Mitch <ahhh... the pale color simply evidences stress that you already know exists. Unfortunately the "why" cannot be explained by general symptoms of rapid gilling and swimming behavior. The best bet would be preventative medicine in a quarantine tank. Formalin or Quick Cure combined with abroad spectrum antibiotic may be in order unless you see more specific symptoms. Best regards, 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>

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>

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>

Thanks for the great info. (Hawkfish choices) Hello Bob, Just happened to come across your article on Reefs.org I was looking for Hawkfish info. Longnose and Flame to be exact I did a search and your article came up. great summary) <Thank you> I was wanted to get a Longnose or a Flame this weekend I read conflicting info all over some say the Flame does not do well some say very hardy. <I'm of the "more hardy" opinion> I've seen a couple different Flames one was quite an aggressive feeder and another Flame seemed a bit shy hiding under a rock. <Both traits of most individuals of this species> The Flame is my 1st choice but as I said no reliable info on it. The Longnose seemed in better spirits and I would rather a more spirited fish than one who is better looking but too shy. What's your opinion on these 2 fish? <The Flame is a far more consistent species in the trade... Oxycirrhites typus can be great to bunk... highly variable. Both are tough animals when started initially healthy> Can both be housed together in a 30 GAL? <Hmm, no... the Longnose especially needs larger quarters... like twice this size> I have a pair of common Clowns and a blue fin Damsel at the moment. There are 5 stores that specialize in marine fish within 3 miles of each other and 3 more stores within 5miles of each other here in Miami. <Wow, you're lucky> In your article you mentioned Miami is there a distribution site here? <Yes, a principal one in the U.S.> My next ? is how do I decide which shop to buy from? Healthy looking fish. Do I ask where the fish come from? Will I ten have a clue if the fish was poisoned? <A worthy question... Do ask the origin of collection... and try to avoid the Philippines and Indonesia... these fishes are collected elsewhere and are better from... Hawai'i, Marshalls, Christmas for the Longnose, Cooks, Fiji, Micronesia, Guam et al. for the Flame...> I would definitely buy from the Mom /Pop store if all the other essentials are there: products price and healthy fish practices and friendly knowledgeable help. <Don't be overly concerned about price... How much are specimens that will likely die soon worth?> I was looking on the net for books on the marine fish subject and came across "THE CONSCIENTIOUS MARINE AQUARIST" from reading the editorial review and the peoples review it's exactly what I've been looking for. <Oh, I know the author> Only one problem on this particular website it says your book has not yet been published it will be in 3/01 well it seems we are 4 months due <Hmm, really? It is about... can be ordered from the publisher: http://www.microcosm-books.com/> I'm referring to the hardcover edition, your paperback is fine. So they say for me to preorder and when available I will be notified. Do you know if the Hardcover is available as yet or is it that they are behind in updating their system? <It is available> The description lists the Hardcover contains less pages than the previous edition, are some things deleted, what new has been added? <What? I have the latest edition... and paperback... 430 pages each... only the cover is different I believe> What are the differences between the 2, should I just get the paperback version if the newer one doesn't become available soon? <The only common complaint about the softbound I recall is that it "falls apart" from use... Bob Fenner> Thanks Kam

Re: Thanks for the great info. (Hawkfishes) HI Bob Thanks for the response, I'll inquire about where the Flame and the Longnose came from before buying. <Ah, good> I had a Dwarf Lionfish for 2weeks before it died this week it ate Ok and even up to the day before it died. I noticed starting about a week ago it was breathing heavy gills moving rapidly and continuously opened I thought maybe this was a trait. <Hmm, not a good one> Come to find out the supplier I bought him from gets his stock from the P.I. and Indo. well there is my lesson. Should I give up on this D. Lion are they hard to take care of? <A hardy species usually. Take care not to overfeed> Or did I just have bad luck this time? <Likely> My water was fine no Amm. nitrite, I've had my tank up for 5weeks now. Is it established enough to take a chance with a $50 Flamehawk? <I would wait another three weeks or so> The damsel I have I just took out I noticed 1 of its Eye has gotten bigger than the other. will this disease spread to my other fish? <Depends on the cause... please read over the "Environmental Disease" areas on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com). Bob Fenner> Thanks Kam

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

Hawkfish illness 5 days ago we did a 12 gallon water change on our 55 gallon tank (we do these weekly). In the tank currently are 2 domino damsels and a falco hawkfish. We also have converted to power compacts (4 55's) and have finally been leaving all four lights on (rather than just for a few hours for the adjustment period) One day later (after the water change) the hawkfish was hiding out in our live rock which was strange for him. But, he was still eating and looked fine so I thought he was okay. He is not eating now and acts almost dead, but still breathing. He looks at the food as it is offered, and notices it, seems interested but does nothing. His fins are not clamped, his breathing is normal and his color is good. He does look skinnier though. Also, it seems like he is not "with us." Plus, he never comes out from under the rocks (he is usually all over the place) I did another water change as we had used a buffer for the replacement water last time. I am thinking he got poisoned by supplements. Here is my problem...I would like to quarantine him, however my quarantine tank is occupied by a Sailfin tang I purchased about a week ago, (before this all happened). Should I place my hawk in there anyway? Should I just let the hawk hang out in the main tank and 'hope' this all blows over? Could this be related to the lights at all? (Too bright?) Would quarantine help if he has been poisoned? (or something). He just acts brain dead, and usually he is such a character-coming up to the tank to let us feed him when he sees us, etc. So this is very upsetting. BTW all my testing levels were normal. Thank you in advance--Carolyn -just when I thought I was getting this all down... >> Hmm... something is awry with your Hawkfish... it might have something to do with the supplement (maybe he got a strong dose, ate some?), but not the lighting as a factor..... And I would just leave it in the main tank and hope for the best... Not worth the trauma to all (including you) trying to catch it... possibly upsetting the Sailfin Tang... versus what might be gained. Bob Fenner

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.

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