The Rabbitfishes that we will focus on in this article are found in the family Siganidae in the order Perciformes. The fishes in the order Chimaeriformes are also known as rabbitfishes, but this article is not about them.
The rabbitfishes of the family Siganidae are called rabbitfishes since their mouth look a bit like the nose and mouth of a rabbit. Rabbitfishes have large dark eyes and well-developed dorsal and anal fin spines. The spines are venomous so you have to be careful when handling a rabbitfish. The largest rabbit fishes can be up to 40 cm (almost 16 inches) in length. All species of rabbitfish are pelagic spawners.
There are currently 25 described species of rabbitfish and some of them have been successfully kept in marine aquariums. The colourful ones are also the most popular ones in the aquarium trade. The rabbitfish is known for its peaceful temperament. Some form schools while others prefer a more solitary life among the corals. It is important to research the preferences of your particular species before your purchase rabbitfish for your aquarium.
Rabbitfish are found in saltwater and brackish water. They inhabit shallow lagoons in the Indo-Pacific and in the eastern parts of the Mediterranean. They are day active and rests during the dark hours. Just like a rabbit, the rabbit fish is an herbivore creature. Instead of carrots, it feeds on benthic algae. It is important to provide your rabbitfish with a varied diet in the aquarium, e.g. algae based foods combined with various fresh vegetables. Natural algae growth is a big plus since it allows the rabbitfish to carry out its natural behaviour.
These are a few examples of rabbitfish species that has been successfully kept by aquarists:
Bicolor Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus uspi)
Coral Rabbitfish (Siganus corallinus)
Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus vulpinus)
Magnificent Rabbitfish (Siganus magnifica)
Onespot Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus unimaculatus)
Virgate Rabbitfish (Siganus virgatus)