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FAQs about the Hawkfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Hawkfishes, Hawkfishes of the Cook Islands

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

Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish "Hunger strike in Quarantine Tank" -- 03/23/10
Hi WWM Crew,
I am hoping you will have some suggestions for getting this guy to eat better.? I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of...
Here is the situation:
I have a 29 gallon reef tank and purchased this guy a couple of weeks ago to go into my reef?
tank after quarantining him. He was purchased from my local LFS and was eating well...I observed this on several occasions prior to purchasing him. He was observed eating live brine and frozen Mysis. He appeared fat and
healthy. He had been there for 2 plus weeks before I purchased him. I have a small 10 gallon quarantine tank, with a Biowheel filter. The biowheel?is put into?my reef tanks sump in-between quarantine uses to culture bacteria. He is currently housed in this tank and was treated prior to admittence?to the quarantine tank?with a ph/temp adjusted methylene blue/freshwater bath.
<I would summarily have just placed this Cirrhitid in the main display... and would do so now>
Tank is bare bottomed, and has a few small pieces of pvc pipe for hiding placed?in the tank. Water parameters are ph 8.2, nitrates 0, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, water from my weekly reef tank water changes (25 % weekly from reef tank, making it a?50% water change to quarantine tank weekly)?is used to replace and change water in quarantine tank. No lights on the tank, ?just ambient light from room the tank is housed in,?water temp is 78 degrees.??
I have seen him eat on occasion...but he isn't eating enough and seems to be losing a little weight now...not quite as plump as he should be. I am feeding Rod's Frozen Food, and frozen?mysis shrimp, these are soaked in Selcon prior to feeding,?I?have also tried formula one, prime reef...even the pelleted food recommended on WWM pages, etc....he's interested in food and occasionally I'll see him grab a piece of food?shyly...but not enough to maintain him. I even got desperate and tried some live brine soaked it in Selcon and he will eat that...but I know this is not a valuable food source for the long term...any ideas on how to get him to eat more and better food??? He's been in there 2 weeks already and I do not want to admit him to the reef tank w/o him being as healthy as possible and eating well is of great concern...There is no evidence of disease...but could this be an unseen parasite problem..or stress??
<The latter>
Is there anything else I can try to reduce stress or encourage feeding...Thank you for your assistance!!!
<Move this fish... Bob Fenner>
Re: Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish "Hunger strike in Quarantine Tank" -- 03/23/10
Sorry I forgot? to inc this the SPG? Is 1.024
<... what's wrong with your formatting? Not to worry re the water density here. BobF>

Re: Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish "Hunger strike in Quarantine Tank" 3/23/10
Thank you for your quick reply. I will do so immediately!!
<Heeee! If not sooner!>
I thought about putting him in there right after the bath..but was trying to be careful since my reef tank hasn't had any Ick/parasite problems and hoping that will continue to be the case :)
Thanks again,
<Hawkfishes period are quite resistant to common protozoan problems... And are generally "very clean" on import. I fully suspect that yours has very little chance of being a carrier here... and much too much chance of suffering from delay in being permanently placed. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Geometric Pygmy Hawk Update (Hunger strike Is Over!!!) - 03/28/10
Just an update note to let you know the Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish is eating like a champ in my reef tank. He appears VERY HAPPY perching on everything!!! Last night as I fed the tank he even darted down to grab a
piece of Mysis right out of my percula clown's path as she was heading for same piece of food :) So he's doing quiet well... his color is GREAT and he has fattened up quickly!!
Thanks a bunch!!
<Thank you for your good news Kath. BobF>

Longnose Hawkfish Feeding   12/8/06 Hello, from Brooklyn. <Man! Wish I was there having pizza... but, wait, how warm is it presently? Maybe I'll stick with the CostCo brand here in not-so-sunny S. Cal.> I¹d like some advice on a Longnose Hawkfish I recently purchased. I¹m already smitten with the little guy, and want to be certain he¹s getting enough to eat. <Good> First, I make sure to feed my other (faster) fish their flakes ­ which he steadfastly ignores. Then, when they¹re done with their flakes, I drop some frozen brine shrimp into a little floating feeding station. He¹s getting the routine down and gulps down the shrimp with fervor; but I worry that my quick-to-eat-all Tang and Clown are getting too much of his brine shrimp. <And Artemia alone won't sustain this fish> He seems to get enough good bites in (he¹s no more than 2²); but then kind of acts hungry afterward. How do I know whether or not I¹m feeding him enough, without overfeeding his tankmates? Thanks in advance for any advice you¹ve got to give! Cheers, Rosi <Mmm, a couple of things... a good idea to train the more-eager eaters to feed on the opposite "side" of the tank... and secondly, you need to investigate other discrete (sizeable, whole) meaty food items (likely crustaceans) to proffer... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hawkfshfdgfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/longnosehawkfish.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Hawkfish Not Eating/Feeding More Variety - 07/16/06 Hi Crew, <<Helana>> I have a 30 gall. cube reef tank and purchased a long nose hawk 1 week ago, and am still waiting for him to eat. <<Not good, I hope it's finding something among your live rock>> I use green Formula One flakes and Cyclop-eeze which all my other fish love:  maroon clown, dragon goby, fire goby, royal Gramma. <<These are not suitable foods for the hawkfish...and really, not enough variety for the others.  The hawk needs some larger, meaty foods such as frozen Mysis, plankton, and glass worms.  New Life Spectrum pellets are also worth a try>> I'm afraid if the long nose continues not to eat, it will soon die. <<Indeed...try some frozen Mysis and glass worms ASAP>> I read your articles about feeding it Mysis shrimp, but my other fish WILL NOT eat it, and I was wondering what you would consider the best food for it, that perhaps my other fish would also enjoy?  Any suggestions? <<Mmm...I don't doubt your honesty, but I find it very odd the other fish won't eat the Mysis shrimp.  Regardless of this, it's not unusual to have a mix of fish that require/except different foods.  You MUST provide a "variety" of foods else some (the hawkfish) will suffer...and in this case, a wider variety for all.  No "one" food will serve in my opinion, though the Spectrum pellets (when accepted) rate very highly>> Thanks, Helana <<Happy to assist, EricR>>

Feeding Longnose Hawkfish  - 04/11/2006 One week ago, I obtained a small (2") longnose hawkfish.  Thus far, he will only eat Sweetwater Plankton, or live amphipods which I catch in my refugium.  He hunts in the tank all day long, catching animals so small that I cannot see them.  He will not take any flakes (Prime Reef) or pellets (New Life Spectrum), and I want to get him going on those.  I don't want to catch 'pods every day, and Sweetwater Plankton is difficult because the tank is located at my office & the refrigerator is far away.  Any suggestions on the pellets?  <The pellets are probably too large for the hawk.  I'd try some vitamin enriched frozen brine as a start, to wean him from the live food.  Once he accepts this, you can try some frozen Ocean Nutrition cubes, Formula 1.> Thank you,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Steve in Denver Longnose Hawkfish with a loss of appetite   1/18/06 We have a Longnosed Hawkfish that over the last 3 weeks doesn't seem to  eat. At first it used to come up and 'look' at the food but not eat  (it used to be the first one there), now it doesn't even move towards the food.  It has gradually got thinner and less and less active. <Bad signs> All the levels are good  with the exception of the specific gravity which was slightly low but has been   rectified. We are at a loss as to know what to do, any help would be  gratefully received Regards David & Sarah <Likely this is from cumulative stress... shows up weeks to months after capture, but could also be due to a large degree from internal parasite load... I would treat the fish once with Metronidazole/Flagyl, as covered on WWM. Bob Fenner> Hawkfish  12/04/05 Hi,  <Hello Craig> I just bought a flame hawkfish, it's about 2.5 inches long. During feeding, he snagged a 1/4 inch piece of shrimp from my anemone. The issue is that about 3 hours later the food looks stuck in his mouth, it's sticking out of his mouth a bit. He does not look distressed. Is this normal?  <Like us humans, sometimes fishes bite off more than they can chew:) Not to worry, the fish probably regurgitated it by now. Hopefully you are not feeding shrimp with the shells still on. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you, Craig Ellenwood 

Hawkfish, worm food hi guys, <Alan> When your section on Hawkfish said that they would eat worms, which worms are you referring to, and I recently bought a flame Hawkfish. <Mostly polychaetes (bristle, fire-worms...), but most any others that fit in their mouths> However, it doesn't care about the one hermit crab in the tank so that's pretty good.... Also, today I saw my orchid Dottyback with sliver like things on his mouth, could he of just demolished a bristle worm, <Yes> and is there anything encouraging a purple tangs to eat brine shrimp, and a flame hawk to eat quicker or does it just like to look things over. <... please read over re these fishes husbandry... on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> Hawkfishes and breeding Dottybacks Hi, < Hi there. > Are flame Hawkfishes tame fish and considered to be the best amongst its species?  < Best?  Well they are great fish and loved by many aquarists.  I think lots of Hawkfishes are wonderful tank fish, and flame hawks seem great. >  Are pellets a good source of food to keep its red colour?  < Maybe, but I think the general rule of varied diet is best.  I think Cyclop-eeze is probably good for color, but a mix is best for good health. >  Is there any method to encourage orchid Dottybacks to breed?  < Wow that is a switch in questions.  There are some tricks, but basically a pair of them in a 10 gal tank is it.  I think I'd search the web for some more info on this.  Also, I wouldn't recommend you try to breed them at this time.  That is a very time consuming and in depth project to tackle. >  I am planning to get a tank, as a reef aquarium would a 72 bowfront work better, or would a 110 gallon rectangle tank work better? ( I know the more room the better for a fish, but 110 gallons seems awfully huge.)  < The 110 is much better.  One reason is that most people have trouble getting lights to fit over a 72 gal bowfront.  The 110 gal gives you lots of lighting options and will be a much better tank. > <  Blundell  > Flame Hawkfish Hi, I was just curious if the flame Hawkfish consumes ( bristle worms, fire worms, and mantis shrimps)?  <No, but they are apt to go after other shrimps and crusties. James (Salty Dog)> 

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>

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>

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