News / Species Spotlight / Species Spotlight - Clearfin Squirrelfish (Neoniphon argenteus) (12/15/16)

Species Spotlight - Clearfin Squirrelfish (Neoniphon argenteus)

Species Spotlight - Clearfin Squirrelfish (Neoniphon argenteus)
There is a strong case to be made that the Clearfin Squirrelfish (Neoniphon argenteus) is one of the most underrated aquarium fishes around. This stately species has a sleek, streamlined appearance and a bright silvery body that absolutely shines under bright aquarium lighting. The red edges of the tail and the numerous pinstripes running along the body add to its visual appeal, as does the comically large eye of this nocturnal species.

Squirrelfishes (as well as the closely related soldierfishes) are one of the heartiest groups of fishes for the marine aquarium, as these robust creatures are highly resistant to just about every common ailment that might befall a lesser fish. If they have one downside, its that they tend to grow a bit too large to be practical for many aquariums, but N.argenteus is an exception, being one of the smallest members of the family, with most specimens maxing out at little more than six inches. This makes them ideal for any moderately sized fish-only tank, and, for those with larger systems, they can be kept in groups to create a fantastic schooling display.

As an active and speedy fish, squirrelfishes are right at home with aggressive tankmates, though its still wise to avoid housing them with anything that might be capable of swallowing them whole. On the other hand, N. argenteus is small enough that it can be safely housed in a more peaceful community environment, provided that it isnt mixed with anything too small and slow-moving.

Its also possible to mix the Clearfin Squirrelfish into a reef aquarium, so long as there are no small invertebrates that could be on the menu, but there is little need to worry when it comes to corals, as this fish will have zero interest. While their wild diet is mostly comprised of shrimp, nearly anything offered will be eaten with gusto. With its mix of beauty, vigor, and peaceable disposition, its hard to argue that N. argenteus isnt a fantastic species for the home aquarium.