The Pinnate batfish is a large and impressive fish with huge fins. As a juvenile the fins are much larger than its body and it is taller than it is long. It is deep velvety black and completely outlined in an intense fiery red-orange, granting it the common name red-rimmed batfish. In nature it lives on the reefs and as an immature fish would normally be at risk from predation, however its coloration mimics a toxic flatworm which other fish would definitely not want to eat. If the young Pinnate batfish feels threatened it may lay down against the rocks or glass, furthering its disguise.
As it matures it gradually grows into its fins. A vertical silver band develops on the fish's body and gradually expands to cover the entire fish. Darker ashy stripes pass over the fish's eye, shoulder and rear body. Lemony yellow appears on the pectoral and rear fins and tail. Males and females are visually identical.
Batfish are large and elegant fish with very high fins, therefore they should only be housed in large, deep aquaria to give them enough room to swim comfortably. The Longfin batfish can grow to be up to 20 inches long and we recommend an aquarium of at least 220 gallons and 30 inches deep. It is prone to being nipped on by other fish, so aggressive tank mates should be avoided at all costs.
Batfish are omnivores which may nip on many types of corals, anemones, feather dusters and sponges. They feel most secure when there is plenty of live rock to hide in, as well as open space for swimming. Caves should be large enough that the batfish's fins don't touch the rocks or bottom of the aquarium. Diet should include plenty of high quality meaty items, marine algae, Spirulina, half shell clams, krill and Mysis shrimp. Size of food morsels should gradually increase as the fish grows. Juveniles should be fed at least three times a day, and adults at least once a day.
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