Old Wife Fish

(Enoplosus armatus)

Provide the Old Wife Fish a well established aquarium with plenty of rockwork, caves, cracks, crevices and ample swim room. Water placement depends on the fishs age. They thrive in freshwater environments but are quite tolerent of brackish and even saltwater areas. Old Wife Fish can be kept with other peaceful tank mates of similar size but can be quite territorial. They will also require moderate water flow to continue to thrive. Old Wife Fish are carnivorous provide a diet rich in meaty foods fed twice daily. They have been given their name due to the sound they make when caught. They grind their teeth making the sound like a grumbling wife. Care should be taken as they have venomous knife like spines on their dorsal fins. They generally live in schools but have been seen singly and in pairs. There are marked body shape differences between juveniles and adults.

Old Wife Fish are not often seen in the aquarium trade. Juvenile and adult Old Wife Fish will look slightlyly different. Juveniles tend to be more elongated with a spotted color pattern and white rimmed spot on its dorsal fin while adults are silver white to brown and six to eight black stripes. Old Wife Fish can grow to a little over 9".

We recommend a minimum aquarium size of 100 gallons or larger for this species.

Water conditions: Salinity 1.020 - 1.025, Temp (F) 72 - 78, pH 8.1 - 8.4, Alkalinity 8 - 12 dKH

  • Care: CareModerateModerate
  • Behavior: BehaviorSocialSocial BehaviorAgressiveAgressive
  • Diet: DietFrozen FoodFrozen Food DietHerbivoreHerbivore DietLive FoodLive Food
  • Habitat: HabitatReefReef HabitatPlantedPlanted
  • Light: LightMediumMedium