Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The Lyretail Hogfish is found throughout the Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea. A hardy species, the Lyretail hogfish has a very unique appearance. At the posterior end it is red-orange, while at the anterior end it is white with red polka dots. It also has a very pronounced white forked tail for which it gets the name ‘lyretail’. As juveniles, Lyretail hogfish are peaceful and should be kept with like tank mates. As this species matures however, it is best to keep it with more semi-aggressive tank mates. Lyretail hogfish are often observed blowing jets of water at the sand to uncover worms, snails and other small crustaceans. An adult Lyretail hogfish can reach a size of approximately 9″.
Diet Requirements: Lyretail hogfish are carnivores, actively hunting crustaceans (e.g., copepods, featherdusters) throughout the day. A diet consisting of various meaty preparations such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, mussels and other mixed frozen foods that contain algae, such as spirulina, will maintain optimal health and coloration. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements, as hogfish tend to have very high metabolisms. Multiple, small feedings per day rather than one large feeding can also help and in turn create more of a natural environment for a Lyretail hogfish as it would feed in the wild. Lyretail hogfish may also accept high quality flake or pellet foods.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 75 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small/juvenile Lyretail hogfish. The aquarium will need to be upgraded accordingly as it grows. A tight fitting lid is a must because this species has been known to jump out of aquariums. Lyretail hogfish should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium. They also require a variety of rock work and crevices to swim through and around while they hunt and for refuge. Such live rock arrangements can also help to make it feel secure and encourage more outgoing behavior after its introduced. This species can be in either a fish only with live rock set-up or a reef setting, but keep in mind that ornamental shrimps and other clean-up crew invertebrates could be at risk. Peppermint candycane hogfish will ignore corals entirely. Only one individual is recommended per aquarium. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 2″ to 2-3/4″; Medium: 3″ to 4″; Large: 4-1/4″ to 6″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.