Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Pearly Jawfish, also referred to as the Yellowhead or Yellowhead Pearly Jawfish, is a spectacular fish endemic to the Caribbean. Jawfish are among some of the most animated, poking their heads out or hovering just above their burrow observing what’s around them. The Pearly jawfish has a light blue-green to white colored body and a yellow head. Because this is a burrowing fish, coarse substrates should be avoided. Additionally, the Pearly jawfish requires a sand bed that is at least several inches deep in order to construct its burrow that provides it with security and protection. Unlike some of the other jawfish species, Pearly jawfish can be kept in groups provided that the aquarium is large enough to house all individuals and that they are all added at the same time. An adult Pearly jawfish can reach a size of approximately 4″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Pearly jawfish are carnivores. A diet largely consisting of high quality frozen preparations is necessary to maintain optimal health, coloration, and immune function. Such foods can include, but are not limited to, brine shrimp, calanus, mysis shrimp and other carnivore mixes. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements. Multiple, small feedings per day rather than one large feeding will also create more of a natural environment for a Pearly jawfish as it would feed in the wild. Pearly jawfish may accept high quality flake and sinking pellet foods. Live foods, such as brine shrimp, are an engaging treat from time to time.
Care Requirements: A well established, minimum 30 gallon aquarium is ideal for a single, or pair of, Pearly jawfish. Provide more space for a larger group. A tight fitting lid is absolutely necessary because jawfish are known to be frightened easily and this can result in them jumping out of an aquarium. Pearly jawfish are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. A variety of rock work is appreciated in order to feel secure, but such arrangements need to be foundationally solid given their burrowing nature. Jawfish require a fine to moderately-sized substrate, that is at least 3″ deep, in order to create their burrow. Do not house Pearly jawfish with overly aggressive and pugnacious tank-mates; jawfish can be quite shy upon introduction and such an environment will only make it more reluctant to explore. Compatibility with other jawfish species is uncertain and best avoided. The Pearly jawfish is an overall docile species, but may show territoriality toward tank-mates (i.e., opening its mouth widely) that encroach on its burrow. A Pearly jawfish will feel most at home in a reef aquarium setting, as they pose no threat to corals. Small shrimp may be at risk. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 1″ to 2″; Medium: 2″ to 3″; Large: 3″ to 4″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.