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Striped Squirrelfish

(Sargocentron xantherythrum)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 7"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Holocentridae   • Species: Squirrelfish   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Striped Squirrelfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Striped Squirrelfish are named for obvious reasons as they are a vividly beautiful, nocturnal species with a bright red coloration and multiple, white, horizontal stripes (which start after the operculum) across their bodies. They are also known as Hawaiian Squirrelfish and naturally inhabit a wide range of tropical, coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Striped Squirrelfish are a peaceful fish that is known to get along well with conspecifics and actually prefers to live in groups (although not necessary as they can be perfectly happy if kept singly), provided they have large enough tank where they can each have their own favorite hiding spots.

Being a nocturnal species they will initially hide throughout the day and will come out at night to find food, although once acclimated and established in their aquarium, they will become more bold and will often be seen during daylight hours. Due to their manners and color form, Striped Squirrelfish are popular within the marine hobby and are readily available from local and online retailers.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Striped Squirrelfish in the home aquarium.

Striped Squirrelfish require an aquarium of at least 55 gallons as they prefer plenty of open space to swim around. They should be provided with a sand to crushed-coral substrate in addition to plenty of live rock for refuge. Although they are a hardy species, they prefer an established aquarium with stable conditions as well as quality, biological and mechanical filtration; the use of a protein skimmer is always additionally recommended.

As a nocturnal species they prefer lower lighting or at least enough shelter where they can comfortably stay within a dim area if desired. They will coexist peacefully with many different tank mates and enjoy the company of their own species (multiple species require an aquarium of at least 90 gallons), however, they should not be housed with overly aggressive fish that may continuously harass them. Striped Squirrelfish are ideally suited for a peaceful FOWLR system as they will naturally consume crustaceans, polychaetes, and echinoderms (starfish).

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Striped Squirrelfish.

Striped Squirrelfish are carnivores that feed upon crustaceans as the main food source within their natural habitat. In an aquarium environment, they should be fed a variety of meaty food items such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, prepared, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, krill, chopped squid, crab meat, chopped clams, and other meaty marine foods. Feed twice per day.

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