Batfish

fast facts

About Batfish

Group:
Saltwater
Size:
Large
Temperament:
Non-aggressive
Aquarium Size:
Very large (200 gal+)
Swimming Region:
Middle
Fish Water Condition:
Suitable Tank Mates:
Boxfish, Clownfish, Damsels, Gobies, Hawkfish and Squirrelfish
Difficulty Of Care:
Weekly care
Batfish General description


Batfish are a family of marine fish, similar in appearance but unrelated to the angelfish. Juveniles are characterized by their distinctly bat-like side profile. They have a tall, laterally compressed body and two long anal and dorsal fins. However, as it matures it loses its distinct shape and its body becomes more elongated and square shaped. Adults are also less striking in color and their bodies take on a silvery grey coloration. Batfish are extremely intelligent and are a fascinating species of marine fish. When feeling threatened, they are known to lie down sideways on coral and rock to mimic flatworms. They are also a fairly delicate species of aquarium fish and should only be raised by experienced aquarists.


Batfish are a family of marine fish, similar in appearance but unrelated to the angelfish.


Origins


Batfish are native to the Indo-West Pacific Ocean.


Color


Batfish come in shades of tan, grey, brown and black.


Maintenance and care

Batfishes are an extremely fast growing species of fish that can reach over 15 inches in captivity. For this reason it is important that they are raised in extremely large aquariums of 200 gallons or more. Due to their tall shape, they should be housed in aquariums with sufficient depth. They also prefer tank setups with large open swimming spaces and a soft substrate. Batfishes also feed on coral and are unsuitable for reef aquarium setups.


Batfishes are an extremely peaceful species and make excellent tank mates for other peaceful species of marine fish. They should not be kept with more aggressive species of fish that can harass or kill them when they are still juveniles.


Feeding


Batfish are carnivores and should be fed on a meaty diet of shrimp, scallops, brine shrimp, mussels and crab meat.


Batfish are an extremely fast growing species of fish that can reach over 15 inches in captivity.


Breeding


Due to their extremely large adult size, breeding batfish is virtually impossible in the home aquarium. However, there are certain species that have been successfully bred in fish farms in Indonesia. These tank bred varieties are generally hardier than their wild-caught counterparts.


Aquarium varieties


Orbiculate Batfishes, Teira Batfishes, Pinnate Batfishes, Long Finned Batfishes, etc.


Photo credit: Richard Ling/Flickr; scian/Flickr

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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