Pictured in this week’s AquaNerd POTW is a large flame hawkfish, seen here perching on a piece of rock with an attached chalice coral. These fish are known invertebrate predators, but their unique personality and perching behavior really attract reef keepers to keep them. Fortunately, large shrimp will probably no be bothered too much, though they will draw quite a bit of interest from the hawkfish if they’re kept together. Any shrimp added to the tank after the hawkfish has established itself will be likely be eaten or terrorized. The hawkfish may even go after smaller fish depending on how well it is fed. Fat and happy fish are far less likely to hunt for prey or even become aggressive with tankmates, so it’s wise to keep your fish fed.
The flame hawk is probably one of the larger and more aggressive of the hawkfish. Despite this, their vibrant red color with sharply contrasting black marks really make these fish attractive to aquarium keepers. The price for this particular species usually hovers around $50-60, depending on the fish store of course, and they’re actually pretty hardy fish. They will readily take prepared foods, and prefer to be fed large, meaty items.