News / Company News / Announcing Aquacultured Tiger Batfish (07/03/14)

Announcing Aquacultured Tiger Batfish

Quality Marine is proud to announce the arrival of our very first Aquacultured Tiger Batfish, and indeed, the first of them as an aquacultured specimen in the United States, and perhaps the Americas. There is a limited number of these available.

Tiger Batfish (Platax batavianus) like the rest of the "Batfish" go by several common names; Humpback, Humphead, Batavia, Spadefish are but a few. This is partially because all the fish in this family (Ephippidae for those interested) change appearances dramatically throughout the course of their lives.

The Tiger Batfish gets its name from its juvenile coloration (seen here) in which it sports strongly demarcated tiger striping, although since the stripes are black and white with no hint of orange, so maybe "Zebra Batfish" would be more appropriate. Sadly, this isn't one of the common names. Yet. This striping works as camouflage for the juveniles as they are often found hiding among crinoid (feather) stars.

Platax genus fish are well known for their inquisitive nature, making them very desirable aquarium inhabitants, especially in their juvenile stages. As adults, they maintain this curious disposition, but get quite large with a maximum size just over 2 feet. While they are unlikely to get this large in captivity, they will still require a very large aquarium for grow out.

These fish are sensitive to acclimation but generally do quite well in captivity after this. Feed these a couple times a day, but do it in small amounts (more food = faster growth), and make sure you give them varied diet. They are already taking a meaty mix and some pellet foods here at Quality Marine. Multiples can be added to aquariums and should do quite well together. Avoid housing these with overly aggressive tankmates and known fin nippers. Because these have a varied diet in the wild, and an proclivity for tasting things just to see if they are edible, we do not recommend placing them in reef aquariums.

This curious fish, or a few of them, will make a stunning display in your store, or your customers tanks. Take the time to acclimate them well and choose an appropriate aquarium for this spectacular specimen and it will pay dividends in the long run. For those of you looking for a fish that no one has (but you can still afford), this is your opportunity, even wild specimens aren't seen in the hobby very much, and aquacultured ones have never been here before!

References:
www.fishbase.org/Platax-batavianus
Scott W. Michael, Marine Fishes, 1st ed. (T.F.H. Publications Inc, New Jersey, 2001).
Rudie H Kuiter & Helmut Debelius, World Atlas of Marine Fishes, 1st ed. (IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv 2006)
Gerald R. Allen & Mark V. ERdmann, Reef Fishes of the East Indies vIII, 1st ed. (Tropical Reef Research & Conservation International Indonesia, Bali, Indonesia, 2012).
In House Resources: Adam Mangino, Eli Fleishauer