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Don't Damn the Torpedoes

There are some new torpedo tilefishes (Hoplolatilus spp.) coming into the hobby — here is how to care for them.

By Scott W. Michael |

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Deep reef habitats are home to some amazing organisms. In the last two decades, intrepid divers using mixed gases and rebreathers have gone beyond what is considered to be safe diving depths (at least for those using compressed air with scuba) in an attempt to see what lives in the blue waters of the deep reef and adjacent habitats. During these surveys, these diving ichthyologists have discovered, collected and described dozens of new reef fish species.

Fish in the genus Hoplolatilus (the torpedo tilefishes) prefer deep reef rubble slopes, and the numbers of these fish have increased in the hobby as a result of such diving explorations. In the last 12 years, three new species have been discovered, with the genus now containing a grand total of 13 described species (see the sidebar “Torpedo Tilefish Species”). While three new species may not seem like a lot, it is significant for the hobby, as these are medium-sized, colorful fishes that spend most of their time in the open.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the May 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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