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Spanish Hogfish

(Bodianus rufus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 10"
• Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Caribbean
• Family: Labridae   • Species: Hogfish   • Aquarium Type: Predatory

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Spanish Hogfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Spanish Hogfish are found along coral reefs throughout the Caribbean, where they inhabit relatively shallow water reefs looking for crustacean, invertebrate or small fish prey. They are a fairly large species of reef fish that typically reach upwards of 10" in length and have relatively stout build. As juveniles the Spanish Hogfish exhibits a peaceful demeanor towards other fish species and will even clean parasites from larger fish.

However, as they mature Spanish Hogfish become quite aggressive towards smaller fish species and will actively bully fish species that are smaller than themselves. They are prized within the aquarium community by aquarists who prefer to keep FOWLR aquariums containing larger fish species.

The Spanish Hogfish does well with other large fish species like triggers, groupers, etc. and it renowned for their resistance to disease and overall strong constitution. They have attractive coloration and are strong active swimmers that do well in larger aquariums with other large fish tank mates. Spanish Hogfish should not be kept in a reef aquarium or with smaller less aggressive fish species, invertebrate or crustaceans as they will be seen as food items.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Spanish Hogfish in the home aquarium.

Spanish Hogfish are a very hardy tropical reef fish species that will do well in larger aquariums with strong filtration and good water movement. In the wild this species patrols the top and edges of shallow coral reefs, thus it is well adapted to strong water currents. Spanish Hogfish are strong swimmers that will appreciate adequate room in the aquarium in which to swim along with small to moderate amounts of live rock or similar aquarium decor along with medium to strong water currents.

Adult specimens are aggressive and are only suitable for non-reef aquariums that contain other large aggressive fish species. Spanish Hogfish should not be kept with crustaceans, invertebrates or small fish unless they are intended as food items.

They make a great community species in larger predatory aquariums where their active swimming style, bright coloration and strong aggressive personality make them an ideal tank mate for other fish species of similar dispositions. They require strong mechanical, biological and chemical filtration to cope with the large amounts of waste produced by larger fish species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Spanish Hogfish.

The diet of the Spanish Hogfish varies quite a bit between a juvenile and adult specimen. Juvenile Spanish Hogfish eat a variety of small meaty foods including parasites off of other larger fish species, meaty flake, frozen or freeze-dried foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill or similar marine meaty fare.

Adult Spanish Hogfish are much more aggressive and will consume a large variety of meaty foods including live invertebrates and fish. Mature specimens will readily consume snails, shrimp, worms, mussels, smaller fish species and a wide range of crustaceans and sessile invertebrates.

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