Common name: Longfin Batfish, Longfin Platax, Round-faced Batfish, Teira batfish
Scientific name: Platax teira
Max size: 24 in / 60 cm
Temperature: 72-80ºF (22-27°C)
This is one of the hardiest batfish species available in the trade and Longfin batfish can be a good choice for all those who want to start keeping batfish but don't feel they have the expertise to keep more sensitive batfish species like the Dusky batfish.
The Longfin batfish makes a visually fantastic solitary fish in just about any aquarium. The bodies of adult fish are very high and look much like the body of a freshwater angelfish. Juveniles do not have as high bodies and are more similar to discus in their body shape. Juvenile Longfin batfish have three black vertical stripes on a silver colored body and yellow pelvic fins. The silver turns to white in adult specimens and the posterior black lines grow to make the entire back end of the fish black.
The Longfin batfish easily gets infected by ich, a susceptibility the species share with all the batfish species.
The Longfin batfish is a relatively friendly species that can be kept with other friendly fish species. Avoid keeping it with fin nippers and aggressive fish such as triggers. This species is often found in small groups in the wild and you can usually keep more than one specimen in the same tank provided that the aquarium is large enough. This fish can sometimes be aggressive towards other similar species.
The Longfin batfish is not reef safe. They eat small fish and invertebrates such as small shrimp but also anemones and corals. They can cause serious damage to the setup if kept in a reef setup.
This batfish species, the Longfin batfish, is native to the Indo Pacific Ocean. They can be found from the Red Sea and Africa's east coast to Papua New Guinea. The can be encountered as far south as Australia and as far north as the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. In the wild, they are often seen in groups around reefs and wrecks. At times, large schools gather which might or might not be associated to spawning. Juveniles often congregate under "Sargassum rafts" (floating plant matter). This species inhabit depths between 0-66 ft / 0-20 m.
Longfin Batfish care and aquarium setup
The Longfin or Tiera batfish grows very large and needs a large and high aquarium to do well in captivity. A 180 gallons / 700 L is to be considered an absolute minimum and a larger aquarium is better. Only use high aquariums to house this species as the Longfin batfish grows very tall. They are often twice their length in height.
Decorate the aquarium you plan to keep your Longfin batfish in so that there is a lot of free open area to swim in without any obstacles in the way. It is also good if there is one or two large overhangs where the fish can hide and seek shelter from the light when they want to. They prefer a well lit and well circulated aquarium. Don't use anemones and corals unless you don't mind your Longfin batfish eating on them. They prefer sand as bottom substrate.
The Longfin batfish should just like most other batfish never be kept in reef aquariums as they can cause a lot of damage. It is suitable for "fish only" and "fish with live rock" aquarium setups.
Ideal conditions for the Longfin batfish is pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025, and temperature 72-78ºF (22-26°C).
Feeding Longfin Batfish
The Longfin batfish is one of the easiest batfish species to feed. They prefer a meaty diet consisting of a variety of different foods such as chopped up shrimp, mussels, crab meat and scallops. It is good to complement the diet with vitamin enriched brine shrimp and shrimp mix or similar containing vegetables. They only seldom learn to accept pellets. It can be trained to take food from your fingers. The Longfin batfish should be fed at least 3 times a day.
Breeding Longfin Batfish
Virtually nothing is known about the reproduction of this species and Longfin batfish has as far as we know not been bred in aquariums. We have no information on how to sex this batfish species. At times, large schools of Longfin batfish gather in the ocean and this might or might not be associated to spawning.