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Redbarred Hawkfish

(Cirrhitops fasciatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Japan, Hawaii, Western Pacific
• Family: Cirrhitidae   • Species: Hawkfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

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

Redbarred Hawkfish are micro-predators that move about the reef hunting for small crustaceans and fish to prey on. Since they only reach a maximum size of about 5 inches they are not able to prey on fish 2 inches in length or larger. This makes them suitable tank mates for most adult specimens of commonly kept aquarium fish species.

They should not be housed with small Gobies, Dartfish or young Chromis, Clownfish, Damselfish, etc; however, adult Clownfish, Chromis, etc. will be fine. Redbarred Hawkfish can eat a wide variety of marine invertebrates and crustaceans, which makes them only partially suitable for reef aquariums.

The bright red coloration and interesting swimming style have made the Redbarred Hawkfish a popular aquarium species for some time. They are generally available to hobbyists both in local fish stores and online; however, they are sold under a variety of common names including: Redbarred Hawkfish, Banded Hawkfish, Blood Red Hawkfish and Fasciatus Hawkfish.

Despite their common name, Redbarred Hawkfish can vary in coloration from bright red and white to a dark blue or almost black body with red fins. They do they to better blend into their environment, which helps them ambush small prey items moving about the reef and helps protect them from becoming dinner to larger reef predators like Groupers or reef Sharks.

Hobbyists will want to house their Redbarred Hawkfish with plenty of live rock in order to bring out their best coloration. Plenty of live rock will also give the Redbarred Hawk many places to perch and move about on.

One of the more interesting features of Hawkfish in generally is watching them move about the reef in their half swimming and half crawling style, as they look for the best places on the reef to ambush prey.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Redbarred Hawkfish in the home aquarium.

The Redbarred Hawkfish is a very hardy specimen for aquarium life, that will do well in a 30 gallon or larger aquarium. Despite its relative small size, it is a predatory species and will eat small fish and crustaceans, thus should not be kept with species like small Gobies, Firefishes, small Wrasses etc.

In smaller aquariums the Redbarred 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 Redbarred 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 rocky ledges for the Redbarred Hawkfish to perch on, and caves and crevices for it to retreat to when threatened or sleeping.

Generally the Redbarred 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 Redbarred Hawkfish.

Redbarred Hawkfish are carnivores 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 they should be provided a diet consisting of a variety of marine based meaty foods including: frozen and flaked meaty preparations, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp or home made foods consisting of chopped mussels, prawns, clams or shrimp.

They will also forage for small crustaceans and various species of pods that are generally present in well established aquariums containing plenty of live rock.

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