Red Coat Squirrellfish
Red Coat Squirrellfish

Red Coat Squirrellfish

Sargocentron rubrum

Red Coat Squirrellfish

Common name: Redcoat Squirrelfish, Redcoat Squirrel Fish, Red Squirrelfish, Red Soldierfish
Scientific name: Sargocentron rubrum
Max size: 14 in / 35 cm
pH: 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)

This species is easily collected and transported due to its hardiness which means that it is available relatively cheap in the trade. The Redcoat squirrelfish, sometimes called Red soldierfish, is not one of the most commonly kept marine fish in aquariums but is not to be considered rare either. Your local fish store might not have this species in stock, but they can likely order it for you if you want it.

The Redcoat squirrelfish has a red to copper colored base with white horizontal lines across the body that runs from the gill covers to the tail fin of the fish. The Redcoat squirrelfish also has a couple of horizontal white lines on the gill covers and a single white line beneath the mouths. White stripes are also present on their fins. This species can often have a nacre-ish shine to it. As all squirrelfish they have big eyes and a big mouth.

The Redcoat squirrelfish is hardy and can accept less than ideal conditions. (Always strive to give them perfect conditions.) It is very suitable for beginners that have kept marine aquarium for some time but it is not a suitable first fish. Redcoat squirrelfish are not reef safe and they will eat all invertebrates and fish that are small enough to be considered food. It is relatively friendly and can be kept with other not too aggressive fish species that are too large to eat. They usually leave corals and anemones alone.

The Redcoat squirrelfish originates in the Indo Pacific. They can be found from the Red Sea to New Caledonia. Their northern distribution border is of the coast of Japan and the southern limit the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. They live on depths from 0-275 ft / 0-84m. They can be found both in pairs and in groups.

The Redcoat squirrelfish is just like other squirrelfish species a nocturnal fish that hunts during the night and will hide in a shaded place during the day.

Redcoat squirrelfish care and aquarium setup:

The Redcoat squirrelfish grows to be about a foot (30 cm) in length and if you want to keep this large species you will need an aquarium no smaller than 100 gallon / 400L. The aquarium should be decorated with lots of open areas as well as caves and overhangs where the fish can hide during the day. It is important that these caves and over hangs create shaded places for the fish to spend their days. Feel free to use whatever marine friendly bottom substrate you see fit. This species is as earlier mentioned nocturnal and that means that you might get to see more of it if you keep your aquarium darker than you normally would a marine tank. They should not be kept in reef aquariums but are suitable for "fish only" and "fish with live rock" aquariums. A well circulated tank is to be preferred. Keep the water quality high and stable.

Ideal conditions for the Redcoat squirrelfish is pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025, and temperature 72-78ºF (22-26°C).

Feeding Redcoat Squirrel fish

The Redcoat squirrelfish is just like all other squirrelfish predatory. In the wild they hunt during the night. They feed mainly on crabs and shrimp but they also to a lesser degree eat small fish. In the aquarium they can sometimes but not always be trained to accept pellets. They should be feed a varied high protein diet. Their diet can be based around chopped up sea food that is complemented with frozen food such as mysis shrimp and brine shrimp as well as live food. Should be fed 2-3 times a day. Prefers if you feed them during the night time but most fish can learn to accept food during the day.

Breeding Redcoat Squirrelfish

The Redcoat squirrelfish (soldierfish) has, as far as we know, not been bred in aquaria. In the wild they lay their eggs in open water and the eggs and larvae are carried by the current of the sea until the fry makes their way back to the bottom. Adult specimens often live their lives in pairs and a suitable pair is likely important if you want to breed this species. It is possible that they, since they release their eggs and milt into the open water, need a high aquarium to breed as they might want to dart upwards in the water column to spawn. However since so little is know about the spawning behavior of the Redcoat squirrelfish, or any other squirrelfish for that matter, it is hard to deduce what is needed to trigger these fish to spawn. 

Squirellfish Articles:

Crown Squirellfish – Sargocentron diadema
Hawaiian Squirrellfish – Sargocentron xantherythrum


Privacy policy
Search AC

AC Tropical Fish