Spanish Hogfish
Spanish Hogfish

Spanish Hogfish

Bodianus rufus

Spanish Hogfish

Common name: Spanish hogfish
Scientific name: Bodianus rufus
Max size: 16 in / 45 cm
pH: 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)

The Spanish hogfish is a large stunning fish. It has a slender yellow body with a purple field covering the upper half of the front end. Despite its name, the Spanish hogfish inhabits the western parts of the Atlantic and is not found in Spanish waters.

In the wild, the Spanish hogfish live on reefs where they serve as cleaners but these fish cannot be recommended for reef aquariums as they are like to eat all types of invertebrates. Some aquarists keep the Spanish hogfish in reef tanks without any problems at all, but these are exceptions from the rule. The safest choice is to house the fish in marine tanks with only fish and live rock.

The Spanish hogfish can dig while foraging for food (which is why they are called hogfish) and it is important that live rock formations are well built so they cannot collapse as a result of the foraging. Spanish hogfish sometimes bury their head in the sand when they are frightened.

The Spanish hogfish has as far as we know not been bred in aquariums and all fish in the trade are wild caught specimens. This species are not suitable for beginners, primarily due to its size as an adult. It is rather hardy and easy to care for and suitable for those who have kept a few saltwater species and want to try something harder but don't want anything too sensitive. The price of Spanish hogfish varies depending on size but you should be able to find one for around 40-50$ (2008).

Spanish hogfish care and aquarium setup:

The Spanish hogfish grows quite large (16 in / 45 cm, seldom over 14 in / 40 cm) and therefore needs a large aquarium with plenty of swimming room.  An adult specimen should not be kept in an aquarium smaller than 150 gallon / 550 L but a much large aquarium is to be preferred. Juvenile specimens can be kept in smaller aquariums but you should never buy a Spanish hogfish if you don't have an aquarium large enough to house it as an adult.

Decorate the aquarium with a lot of open areas for them to swim in as well as a lot of rock and caves where they can rest. They prefer an aquarium with a lot of live rock but can be kept in a "fish only" aquarium as well. Corals can be used in the decoration but the hogfish might damage them. 

The water should be clear and well filtered. The temperature is best kept at 72-78ºF (22-26°C) and the pH-value at 8.1-8.4. The salinity should be kept between 1.020 and 1.025.

They are semi-aggressive and can bully smaller docile fish. Best kept with other large semi-aggressive fish. Adult fish should never be kept with nails, worms, mussels, small fish, shrimp or squid as they will eat them.

Feeding Spanish hogfish

Spanish hogfish are easy to feed and will willingly accept most foods you give them. They are carnivores and can often be trained to accept marine flake food. They should be fed a protein rich varied diet. A combination of flakes, frozen food, and fresh sea food is a good diet.

Breeding Spanish hogfish

Spanish hogfish have not been bred in aquariums. Breeding it would likely require very large aquariums as they are group spawners in the wild, which mean that you would need an aquarium large enough to keep a group of adult Spanish hogfish if you want to try to breed them.

Wrasse Articles:

Bird Wrasse – Gomphosus varius
Dragon Wrasse  - Novaculichthys taeniourus
Harliquin Tuskfish – Coerodon fasciatus
Hogfish - Information about Hogfish
Neon Wrasse – Halichoeres melanurus
Ornate Wrasse – Halichoeres ornatissimus
Queen Coris – Coris frerei
Radient Wrasse – Halichoeres iridis
Striated Wrasse – Pseudocheilinus evanidus
Yellow Coris – Halichoeres chrysus

Line Wrasses:
Fourline Wrasse – Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia
Sixline Wrasse – Pseudocheilinus hexataenia
Eightline Wrasse – Pseudocheilinus octotaenia

Fairy Wrasses:
Exquisite Fairy Wrasse – Cirrhilabrus exquisitus
Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse – Cirrhilabrus lubbocki
Scott's Fairy Wrasse – Cirrhilabrus scottorum
Solar Fairy Wrasse – Cirrhilabrus solorensis

Flasher Wrasses:
Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse – Paracheilinus carpenteri
Dot-and-Dash Flasher Wrasse – Paracheilinus lineopunctatus
Filamented Flasher Wrasse – Paracheilinus filamentosus
McCosker's Flasher Wrasse – Paracheilinus mccoskeri


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