Common name: Redfin Batfish, Dusky batfish, Longfinned batfish, Pinnate batfish, Pinnate Platax, Red Faced Batfish
Scientific name: Platax orbicularis
Max size: 18 in / 45 cm
Temperature: 72-80ºF (22-27°C)
This is a truly stunning species that unfortunately is very sensitive and only can be recommended to experts with large tanks. The main reason for these fishes being sensitive is that the fish generally are in poor condition after transport and it can be hard to get them to eat. If you order this species online the stores usually don't make any guarantees about live arrival etc like they do for other species due to how poorly this fish handles shipping. There are confirmed reports of Dusky Batfish reaching a length of 18 inches / 45 cm, but there are also unverified reports by locals according to which they can grow to twice that size.
As most batfish species the Redfin (dusky) batfish changes the way it looks a lot during its lifetime. Juvenile specimens are pitch black with a bright yellow outline around its body and fins. As they grow older, the black gradually turns into brown and white and the orange fades away.
The Redfin or Dusky batfish is often aggressive towards other fish of the same species as well as towards fish of a similar size. It is however despite this often possible to keep more than one in the same tank if they grow up together. In the wild, adult specimens live alone but can sometimes be seen in big schools. It is possible that this is related to the spawning of this species. Redfin batfish are relatively timid and should not be kept with aggressive fish such as triggers or fin nippers such as angels. It is best kept alone, at least until it has regained its health after you got it. Redfin batfish are not reef safe and can cause considerable damage in a reef aquarium as they may eat invertebrates, small fish, anemones and corals.
This species is susceptible to ich.
The Redfin (Dusky) batfish is found in the western part of the Pacific Ocean from the Japanese Ryukyu Islands to Australia. There are no indications that this species would be present in the Indian Ocean. Inhabits depths between 0-66 ft / 0-20m. In the wild they are often found hiding under large overhangs on steep reef slopes. Juvenile specimens live in lagoons and among mangrove.
Redfin (dusky) Batfish care and aquarium setup
You will need a large aquarium if you want to successfully keep the Redfin (Dusky) batfish long-term. Do not keep it in aquariums smaller than 180 gallons / 700 L. The higher the aquarium the better, as fishes are higher than they are long. They can grow to a height of about 1 m / 3.3 ft.
The Redfin (Dusky) batfish prefers an aquarium with hiding places under overhangs where they can feel safe and a lot of open space to swim in. This is a timid fish and tit will become much stressed if suitable overhangs or caves are not created. They prefer sand as bottom substrate. he aquarium should be well circulated and well lit. Don't use anemones and corals unless you are ok with the batfish eating on them.
The Redfin batfish should never be kept in reef aquariums as they can cause a lot of damage. Suitable for "fish only" and "fish with live rock" aquarium setups.
Ideal conditions for the Dusky batfish is pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025, and temperature 72-78ºF (22-26°C). Make sure to keep the water quality stable and very, very high.
Feeding Redfin (Dusky) Batfish
This species is very hard to feed as it is a picky eater. The Redfin (Dusky) batfish is also very timid which makes it hard for them to get enough food if they have to compete with other fish for the food. In the wild they will eat corals, anemones, algae, jellyfish and zooplankton. In an aquarium you can give them finely chopped shrimp, squid, frozen mysid and live black worms as well as other suitably sized meaty food. Try to include vegetables in their diet. It is very important that you make sure that they get enough food. Redfin (Dusky) batfish should be fed 3-4 times a day.
Breeding Redfin (Dusky) Batfish
Nothing is know about the reproduction of this species and Eedfin (Dusky) batfish has as far as we know not been bred in aquariums. We have no information on sexing this species.