Longnose Hawkfish

A Longnose Hawkfish of the family Cirrhitidae is easy to recognize because of the very elongated nose that looks similar to needle-nose pliers. This fish has 10 spines on the dorsal fin and both hard and soft dorsal rays with “cirri” at the tips. “Cirri” are very thin appendages that resemble tufts of hair. These fish are also easy to see with a white body and red stripes that run both horizontal and vertical. They have large jaws and sharp teeth that they might use to attack invertebrate or smaller fish. They live deep down in the ocean at about 100 feet, some travel all the way down to 300 feet. These fish do not have a swim bladder which means that they tend to settle near the bottom of an aquarium.

Scientific NameOxycirrhites typus
Common Name(s)Longnose hawkfish
OriginIndo-Pacific and Eastern Pacific
Temperature Range72-78°F
Water ParametersdKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Adult SizeUp to 4in (5in in the wild)
DietCarnivores – Crustaceans, shrimp, small fish
Longnose Hawkfish 

Longnose Hawkfish Facts

  • They like to sit on coral reefs, especially black coral and gorgonians.
  • They like to jump (place egg carton or canopy over top to keep them in and still let light in)
  • All Hawkfish begin as a female, and then they can actually change into a male which is more dominant, slightly brighter and a little larger.

Species Overview

One Longnose Hawkfish requires at the very minimum 25 gallons of water. If you want to add more fish, it really needs to be 50 gallons. Otherwise, these fish are adaptable and a standard aquarium works fine.  The Longnose Hawkfish is a little territorial and might chase after other fish a little bit, but won’t bother fish that are the same size or larger than themselves. Introduce the Hawkfish to the tank last in order to reduce aggressiveness. Only keep one male in the same tank, and make sure you don’t have any coral that can sting, but they really like to perch on things. If you put any crustaceans or small fish in the tank, they will get eaten. It can be difficult to get Hawkfish to eat dry food so you are better off with fresh or frozen seafood like krill, roe, or brine shrimp. Don’t be dissuaded by a Longnose Hawkfishes aggression because these are still great fish to have; they are entertaining to watch and see, they are extremely hardy, they are very easy to take care of, and they are the only Hawkfish species that can be bred in an aquarium.

Fish Laboratory

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