Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus)
- Care Level: Moderate
- Temperament: Semi-aggressive
- Diet: Carnivore
- Reef Safe: No
- Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
- Max Size: Up to 4 inches
- Water Parameters: Temperature 72-78°F, pH 8.1-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025
Comprehensive Guide: Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus)
The Flame Hawkfish, also known as the Brilliant Hawkfish, is found in the Western Pacific Ocean, specifically in areas such as Fiji, Tonga, and the Great Barrier Reef. It inhabits coral reefs and rocky areas, usually residing in caves or crevices.
The Flame Hawkfish is not considered reef safe, as it may eat small shrimp, crabs, and other small invertebrates commonly found in reef tanks. It has a natural predatory instinct, which makes it unsuitable for reef aquariums with delicate or small organisms.
Adult Flame Hawkfish can grow up to 4 inches in length, making them relatively small fish for a saltwater aquarium.
Flame Hawkfish are known to be semi-aggressive. They may exhibit territorial behavior and may not get along well with other hawkfish or similar-looking species. However, their aggression is generally mild compared to other saltwater fish.
There is no significant sexual dimorphism in Flame Hawkfish, making it difficult to differentiate between males and females visually.
The average lifespan of Flame Hawkfish in captivity is around 5 to 8 years, given proper care and suitable tank conditions.
Diet in Aquariums
Flame Hawkfish are carnivorous and primarily feed on small crustaceans and fish in the wild. In aquariums, their diet can be supplemented with high-quality frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and small fish. It is important to offer a varied diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
Providing ample hiding places with live rock and caves is essential when aquascaping for Flame Hawkfish. They prefer a well-structured environment with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and establish their territory.
Captive Bred Availability
Currently, Flame Hawkfish are not commonly available as captive-bred specimens. Most Flame Hawkfish found in the aquarium trade are wild-caught. However, efforts are being made to breed them in captivity to reduce the impact on wild populations and provide a sustainable alternative in the future.
Compatibility with Other Fish, Invertebrates, or Corals
Flame Hawkfish can be kept with other moderately aggressive fish species that are not too similar in appearance, size, or behavior. Avoid keeping them with smaller or more passive tankmates to prevent aggression or predation. Suitable tankmates for Flame Hawkfish include:
- Clownfish: They are compatible due to their different body shape and behavior.
- Gobies: Gobies are generally peaceful and occupy different areas of the tank.
- Wrasses: Some wrasses can coexist with Flame Hawkfish if introduced together.
- Damsels: Hardy and semi-aggressive, they can withstand the Flame Hawkfish’s presence.
- Anthias: Certain species of Anthias can work well as tankmates.
Other Common Names
The Flame Hawkfish is also commonly known as the Brilliant Hawkfish or Flame Hawk.
When considering purchasing a Flame Hawkfish or any other saltwater fish, it is important to buy from a reputable source like Reefs4Less.com. Reefs4Less.com offers a wide selection of healthy, captive-bred and sustainably sourced marine fish and invertebrates. They prioritize the well-being of the animals and provide detailed information on proper care and tank requirements.
Popular Questions about Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus)
1. Are Flame Hawkfish suitable for beginners?
Flame Hawkfish are not recommended for beginners due to their specific care requirements and semi-aggressive nature. It’s best to gain some experience with saltwater aquariums before considering this species.
2. Can Flame Hawkfish be kept in a reef tank?
No, Flame Hawkfish are not considered reef safe as they may prey on small invertebrates commonly found in reef tanks. They are better suited for fish-only or FOWLR (Fish Only with Live Rock) setups.
3. How often should Flame Hawkfish be fed?
Flame Hawkfish should be fed small amounts of food multiple times a day. Offering a varied diet of frozen or live foods 2-3 times a day is recommended to ensure they receive proper nutrition.
4. Can Flame Hawkfish be kept as a solitary fish?
Yes, Flame Hawkfish can be kept as solitary fish, as they are naturally territorial. However, proper tank size and environment should be provided to accommodate their needs.
5. Are Flame Hawkfish prone to any specific diseases?
Flame Hawkfish are generally hardy and not particularly prone to specific diseases. However, like all saltwater fish, they can be susceptible to common marine fish illnesses such as ich or marine velvet. Maintaining proper water quality and quarantine procedures can help prevent these diseases.