Big Beautiful Batfish
In the article you will find some basic information on Big Beautiful Batfish.
A Gorgeous Saltwater Fish for the Large Marine Aqaurium
Most people have heard of Batman, but have you ever heard of batfish? A batfish is a saltwater fish that can easily be the centerpiece of a marine aquarium. Unlike Batman, batfishes are quite personable—almost pet like, and they are remarkably clever (even without a sidekick). While batfish are certainly not beginner fish, there are a few that are appropriate for the intermediate aquarist looking for an unusual and engaging animal.
Batfish come from the Family Ephippidae, which is made up of the Spadefishes, batfishes and scats. Members of this family are indigenous to the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, and they live in both saltwater and (very occasionally) brackish water. They are characterized by an anal fin with 3 spines and a very deep body that is compressed laterally. Of the eight genera within the family, the genus Platax is the most common in the aquarium trade, and two species from that genus will be discussed here.
Neither fish is considered reef-compatible, and both grow very quickly. The largest obstacles to success with batfishes are insufficient equipment and the inability to meet the animal’s dietary needs. Both species discussed here are commonly available for between $25 and $70 depending on size and origin.
Orbic Batfish (Platax orbicularis)
The Orbic Batfish, also called the Orbiculate Batfish or the Round Batfish, is a tropical reef fish that is occasionally found in brackish water. Adults can reach up to 20+ inches in length, requiring an aquarium of at least 150 gallons with plenty of swimming room. They are indigenous to the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Tuamoto Islands. They have also been observed off the coast of Florida. In the wild, they inhabit shallow protected coastal waters, but can also be found in water as deep as 100 feet. Juveniles frequent mangrove root biotopes in estuaries and inshore lagoons, while adults are found in open water and on seaward reefs.
Orbic Batfish seen in the hobby are commonly collected from throughout the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea. They are considered a hardy, peaceful aquarium fish suitable for the intermediate aquarist with the proper equipment. These fish need a large, deep tank without a lot of obstructions, and it may require live food (e.g. feeder shrimp) during the process of weaning it onto a captive diet. An omnivore in nature, in time, the Orbic Batfish should readily accept a varied diet including meaty marine flesh and prepared herbivorous foods. This fish will appreciate multiple daily feedings.
Teira Batfish (Platax teira)
The Teira Batfish, also called the Longfin Batfish, the Longfin Platax or the Round-faced Batfish, is an impressive fish growing to nearly 30 inches in length and necessitating a tank of at least 175 gallons. Like the Orbic Batfish (described above), the Teira Batfish needs lots of swimming room. A native of the Indo-Pacific, this tropical marine fish can be found in sheltered bays, open water and deep offshore ocean. The Teira Batfish is a common sight around shipwrecks, where it may travel in a small shoal. Juvenile Teira Batfish can be found on shallow protected inner reefs or in shoals with floating debris.
The Teira Batfish is probably the easiest batfish to keep in a home aquarium (provided it is large enough). They are known to be remarkably personable fishes capable of identifying the proverbial hand that feeds it. It requires the same diet as the Orbic Batfish.