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Fish Species at


Jawfish - Aaron Norman

Other Jawfishs»

Scientific Name:Opistognathus aurifrons
Family:Opistognathidae (Jawfishes)
Size:3½ inches
Temperature:74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Origin:Western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean

Jawfish Species Profile

The jawfish (also called the “pearly” jawfish), is one of the most interesting and easy-to-keep fish available. This little fish is quite comical looking, always standing on its tail, bobbing up and down and eager to either dash out for a morsel of food or quickly back into the safety of its burrow.

The jawfish is most comfortable if it can dig into the gravel/pebble/stone base of its tank to make a burrow, a task at which this fish is magnificently adept. For the substrate of the tank, use around 4 inches of sand and reef rubble of varying sizes. The jawfish will burrow into this material, so pieces of rock or corals should be well secured to the bottom of the tank. Otherwise, the jawfish may topple them over. It’s also a good idea to keep the tank tightly covered, especially until this fish finishes burrowing and feels secure, as it can jump out of a very small opening.

Feeding the jawfish is very easy, as it will eat any form of finely chopped meaty food or any of the frozen prepared diets for carnivores. Given that this fish hovers in the water column, looking for food, the jawfish is best fed very small amounts a number of times each day. The jawfish will often spawn in an aquarium, with the male mouthbrooding the babies. Feeding the larvae is very difficult or even impossible in a tank with other fish.

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