Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The Falco Hawkfish, also known as the Spotted Hawk, may be one of the most ubiquitous hawkfish in the hobby with a large distribution across the Indo-Pacific. Falco hawks have a striking pattern of spots and two large saddle-like markings on its back. In the wild, this makes them nearly invisible on the reefs it calls home. How you ask? The reason being is that the color red, having the longest wavelength, is absorbed by water first. This leaves the hawkfish appearing mostly white, which blends in seemlessly with the environment even in plain sight. The latter common name, Spotted Hawk, can be problematic because there are a few hawkfish species people refer to as such. The Falco hawk should not be confused with the Pixy Hawk (C. oxycephalus) which has only a pattern of red spots across its body. Hawkfish are extremely personable and fun to watch as they “hop” and perch around the aquarium. This behavior is due to their lack of a swim bladder that would otherwise enable them to continually swim in the water column like many of their tank-mates. The Falco hawk is very hardy and one of the least aggressive hawkfish, making them a great choice for beginners! Still, the Falco hawk should not be kept with very small and timid fish that could be subject to bullying. An adult Falco hawkfish can reach a size of approximately 2-3/4″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Falco hawkfish are carnivores. A diet consisting of various protein-based dried foods and frozen preparations such as brine shrimp, squid, and mysis shrimp will maintain optimal health and coloration.
Care Requirements: A minimum 55 gallon aquarium with a tight lid is ideal, as some hawkfish have been known to jump. Hawkfish enjoy a variety of rock work and crevices to take refuge and perch on. The Falco hawk is a little unusual, however, in that it prefers to perch in low areas of the aquarium, or on the substrate, rather than the rocks. Keeping a single hawkfish species per aquarium is an absolute; the Falco hawkfish is likely intolerable of other hawkfish species. Additionally, hawkfish can sometimes harass other fish that behave similarily (i.e., other fish that lack swim bladders such as blennies). The Falco hawkfish is to be added into a reef aquarium “with caution” because certain small invertebrates (e.g., shrimp, crabs) will likely become prey. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/4″ or less; Medium: 1-1/2″ to 2″; Large 2-1/4″ to 3″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.