If you’ve never seen a batfish, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how they look.
And the cool thing is, they look totally different when they’re babies than they do as adults. In fact, some look completely different once they’re fully grown. While this doesn’t affect how you care for them, it’s important to know that they will change over time.
They also grow very quickly. If you take care of them properly, they’ll live for up to 12 years.
There are a few different types of Batfish. And they don’t really look anything like each other. But they do need to care for the same way. They eat pretty much the same things and require the same water quality.
They share the same habitat and need to be in larger tanks. They’re also saltwater fish, so they’re a bit different most fish people keep as pets.
What are Some of the Species of Batfish?
There are a lot of different types of Batfish you can choose from. It really depends on your preference. They all have big personalities and pretty much get along with all over fish. They’re very peaceful, sometimes to the point where they get bullied. Here are a few of the most common species of Batfish.
1. Firebird Fish
These fish are really cool to look at. They’re black with an orange or red outline. They’re fun to watch swim as well. They’re very smart and will actually take food from your hand. They look fragile but they really aren’t. They’re hardier than you would think.
2. Teira Batfish
These fish start out as brown when they’re a baby. They also have a very round face. When they swim around, they kind of look like a floating leaf. Once they grow up, they turn silver or gray color. They also have 3 bands that sweep across their body. One of these stripes cuts right through the eye.
3. Dusky Batfish
As you can imagine, these fish look like a dusty black color when they’re small. They have a crimson outline just like the Firebird fish. As they get older, they turn into a silver color with a short, yellowfin.
4. Cooper Batfish
These fish start out red or brown and have lots of black spots on them. They change colors as they get older and start to look yellow or silver. They do still have spots, just not as many as when they’re babies. They can grow up to be up to 20 inches long.
What do Batfish Eat?
Before you bring your batfish home from the pet store, you want to make sure you know what they eat. They don’t eat fish flakes like a lot of other fish. They can be hard to feed. It’s not that they don’t like to eat, but it’s not always easy to figure out what kind of food your Batfish likes.
Some of the more common things Batfish eat are:
- Algae and seaweed – They need to have this in their tank. It’s something they graze on before feedings.
- Saltwater feeder fish – When you first buy your Batfish, it’s okay to feed them feeder fish. You can get these at the pet store when you buy your fish and your tank.
- Shimp, Scallops, and Mussels
They eat 3 small meals a day. If you aren’t going to be home to feed them often, don’t get a Batfish. If you work a ton of hours and are never home, you might be better off with a goldfish.
You also don’t want to keep coral and reef in their tank. They tend to graze on these and that can be a problem. If they eat too much of this, they won’t eat their food.
What Kind of Tank Should You Get?
Batfish grow to be quite large so you have to buy a big tank. Your tank can’t be less than 200 gallons. And, it really should be at least 300 gallons. This gives your fish room to swim and grow. You can put as many Batfish in the tank as you want. Just keep in mind – they are very peaceful so you don’t want to put fish in there that are mean. They’ll end up bullying your Batfish and eat all their food.
Your tank needs to be a saltwater tank. There are also some tips for how to maintain your tank in order to keep your Batfish happy:
- Keep the temperature between 77-80 degrees
- Don’t use ammonia in your tank – it must be ammonia free
- Do not let nitrates build up in your tank
- Use UV sterilizers to kill any parasites
- Keep the pH level between 8.2 and 8.4
- Use a skimmer to keep the water clean and safe for your fish
One other thing – don’t put rocks in your tank. While Batfish are hardy, they can get hurt if they scrape along with sharp objects. This is especially important when they’re still growing.
If it were up to your Batfish, they would have all sorts of fish in the tank with them. They’re very outgoing and friendly. But they do get bullied by other, more aggressive fish. Once they’re fully grown, they can hold their own in a fight. But don’t test that theory.
Some of the fish your Batfish are safe with in the same tank are:
Regardless of how friendly the other fish are, you need to keep an eye on your Batfish. If you don’t watch to make sure they eat, you need to watch them eat. Otherwise, the other fish will steal their food. And, the poor Batfish will sit back and let it happen. They’re just too nice.
Now that you know how to take care of your Batfish, it’s time to go to the pet store and pick out your new friend.