ocean nutrition

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Hawkfishes

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General Information

Hawkfishes come from a small family (with slightly over 30 species worldwide) and get their name from the way that they rest or “perch” atop corals or rocks on the reef. Hawkfishes are characterized by strong pectoral fins with thickened rays, the absence of a swim bladder, and cirri (small hair-like clumps) at the back of the nostrils and on the tips of one or more dorsal spines. They are bottom dwellers and do not swim around freely. Hawkfishes use coral for refuge and indigenous Hawaiians called them piikoa or “coral clinging”. Voracious carnivores, they prop up on their strongly developed pectoral fins and wait to attack unwary prey. They dash out quickly from their perches to seize zooplankton and small crustaceans like shrimps and crabs.

Aquarium Care & Feeding

Most Hawkfishes are not commonly kept in the aquarium. For the few species that are, however, provide meaty frozen foods and plenty of perching places in the aquarium. Hawkfishes available to the hobby are usually considered “reef safe’ and do not harm sedentary invertebrates such as tube worms, corals, etc. Once settled in a marine aquarium they often accept flake and pelleted diets.