Foxface Rabbitfish: Species Spotlight
Best Pest Algae Grazer for Beginners
By: Anna Mariano
The Foxface Rabbitfish, from the family Siganidae, is a truly versatile fish for marine “fish only” and reef tanks! Foxfaces originate from the Indian and Pacific oceans, there are four different species or color variations of this fish.
Siganus unimaculatus / One Spot Foxface
This fish is typically found in lagoons and reefs in tropical areas, picking at seaweed that grows near corals. Essentially, when housing this fish keep the tank at 78⁰F with a pH between 8.1-8.4. Foxfaces can be found at various sizes for purchase, but they can fully grow to be about eight to ten inches. A 75-gallon aquarium or bigger would be best to house this fish. Adding more than one of this fish to a tank may result in territorial behavior, so it is best to keep only one in an aquarium. This fish can be a little timid at first when introduced to a new tank, hiding behind your rock scape, or displaying a blotchy stress pattern. However, once they become more acclimated to the tank, they will display beautiful yellow colors as they start to pick at pest algae around the tank. Seaweed is a very important part of their diet, and it is important to also provide dried seaweed sheets multiple times a week.
Siganus uspi / Bicolor Foxface
Foxfaces will also readily accept pellet and frozen foods, such as PE Mysis or Spirulina Brine. With any marine fish it is important to feed multiple times a day with a varied diet.
It is also important to be cautious and keep your hands away from this fish as they do have venomous dorsal spines. This does add to their versatility as most other species will not mess with these rabbitfish. Foxfaces can be homed with semi-aggressive fish in a “fish only tank” such as triggers, groupers, puffers, lionfish, and larger angels. They are also compatible with peaceful reef fish like gobies, anthias, tangs, cardinals, wrasses, and mandarins. Foxfaces are hardy and compatible with almost all fish, making them a great fish for beginners who want to try a larger aquarium. They are also great to keep in a reef aquaria as Foxfaces can be added to supplement a “clean-up crew” as they will pick at pesky hair algae or Bryopsis.
Foxfaces would make a great addition to any larger aquarium for their compatibility, hardiness, and utilization in cleaning a tank of hair algae. They are awesome fishes that are useful for any saltwater aquarist!