Atlantic Midshipman

(Porichthys plectrodon)

Toadfish should be added to well established aquariums with plenty of open swim area. Plenty of rock work should be provided for hiding along with a sandy bottom. Toadfish are not reef safe and may eat small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates. A diet of enriched meaty foods and live shrimp should be provided. Toadfish are slow swimmers and require low water flow. They are capable of making a foghorn like sound to attact females during mating season. They are ambush predators camouflaging themselves while hunting. Toadfish do have venomous spines care should be taken when placing hands in the aquarium.

Atlantic Midshipmen are also known as Spotted Handfish. Atlantic Midshipmen are not commonly seen in the aquarium trade due to their nocturnal habits and specialized needs. They are not recommended for beginners as they require a specific habitat and diet to thrive. They are usually brown or gray in color with a mottled pattern, which helps them blend in with their surroundings. They have large, light-colored eyes and a distinctive, flattened head. They may also exhibit bioluminescence, producing a blue-green light that they use for communication and possibly to attract prey. Atlantic Midshipmen can grow up to 10 inches in length, but are typically smaller in captivity.

We recommend a minimum aquarium size of 150 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 CareDifficultDifficult
  • Behavior: BehaviorAgressiveAgressive
  • Diet: DietLive FoodLive Food
  • Habitat: HabitatReefReef
  • Light: LightLowLow