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Pixy Hawkfish

(Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Cirrhitidae   • Species: Hawkfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Pixy Hawkfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Pixy Hawkfish, is also referred to within the aquarium hobby as the Coral Hawkfish or Spotted Hawkfish, but it should not be confused with Cirrhitichthys aprinus, also called the Spotted Hawkfish. The Pixy Hawkfish is one of several Hawkfishes sold as Spotted Hawkfishes within the marine aquarium trade. The Pixy Hawkfish is a very hardy semi-aggressive fish, that does well in most community fish aquariums and many aggressive fish aquariums.

They are collected from a variety of locations including: Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to South Africa and east to the Marquesas Islands, north to the Mariana Islands, south to New Caledonia. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Colombia and the Galapagos Islands. Its hardy, bold disposition, along with its attractive coloration, personality and swimming or perching habits have made this a popular aquarium species with many marine aquarists.

The Pixy Hawkfish has a white body that fades to light-blue near the tail fin, with large large red spots along the entire body. The fins are clear with red spots similar to those found on the body, but not as large. Like other Hawkfish, the Pixy uses its pectoral fins almost like arms using them to perch on rocks and coral outcrops. Its eyes are mounted on the top center of its head, which is typical of predatory species, so that they can better identify prey items.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Pixy Hawkfish in the home aquarium.

The Pixy Hawkfish is a very hardy specimen for aquarium life, that will do well in a 30 gallon or larger aquarium. Despite its small size, it is a predatory species and will eat small fish and crustaceans, thus should not be kept with species like small Gobies, Firefish, small wrasses etc. In smaller aquariums the Pixy Hawkfish can be very aggressive towards smaller fish species and fish with a very peaceful disposition. However, in a larger aquarium (90 gallons and up) the Pixy Hawkfish can be kept very easily with a variety of semi-aggressive community fish species and larger invertebrates and crustaceans.

It is important to provide plenty of live rock & rock work to allow plenty of places of rock ledges for this species to perch on, and caves and crevices for it to retreat to when threatened or sleeping. Generally the Pixy Hawkfish should not be kept with other Hawkfish species as they are very territorial, except for large aquariums with plenty of rock work capable of creating enough territory for multiple specimens.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Pixy Hawkfish.

Pixy Hawkfish are a carnivorous species that in the wild will dwell near the bottom of the reef or on a rocky outcrop looking to prey on small invertebrates and zooplankton. In the aquarium environment, this species should be provided a diet consisting of a variety of marine meaty foods including: frozen and flaked meaty preparations along with live feeder shrimp (mysis, brine, etc.).

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