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The pinnate (or pinnatus) batfish astounds all who behold it. A delicate beauty when young, it grows to become a robust silvery hulk. These cultured individuals are considerably hardier than wild stock but nevertheless require a very large, fish-only tank.

This charismatic species is well-known to aquarists but has been only seldom kept in the past; this has been for several reasons. The most important of these reasons is its prohibitive size. Few hobbyists maintain systems large enough to accommodate this beast. As it attains sizes of a foot and a half in length (and is quite active as an adult), the pinnate batfish requires a tank size of at least 200 gallons.

Given their better ability to adapt to captivity, these pinnate batfish are great candidates for a peaceful fish-only system (they are not reef-safe). Given the very high likelihood that they survive to adulthood, it is imperative that they are provided with a very large, open living space.

Aquacultured pinnate batfish offer a truly huge advantage over wild-caught specimens. For example, when bred and raised under captive conditions, they adjust much more easily to aquarium life. They also are less likely to carry disease. Better still, aquacultured specimens can better tolerate shipping stress. By purchasing aquacultured fish you support the aquaculture of marine organisms and help to make our hobby more sustainable!

We guarantee that every pinnate batfish clown we sell will be Alive On Arrival and in good health. Should it arrive in any other state, we will either replace it free of charge (including shipping) or issue store credit if the total livestock loss is less than $40. For more information, please also visit our 100% Alive On Arrival Guarantee page.

Red lipped batfish are typically found at depths of about 30 to 60 feet, but can be found in deeper waters up to 400 feet. They prefer to hang out in sandy or rocky bottoms that help them blend into the sea floor.

All this said, public aquariums sometimes house attractive groups of these fishes as adults. With increasing pressure to source their display animals from captive propagation, there is a reason to perhaps occasionally aquaculture batfishes, although they remain suitable primarily for institutional-scale aquariums.

The batfish family is perhaps among the most unusual-looking fish in the world. With their round or arrow-shaped heads and short, narrow bodies, they hardly look like fish at all, but rather some kind of bizarre primordial animal from hundreds of millions of years ago. But in fact, they are a type of modern anglerfish, which have a lure on the head to attract prey. These fish should not be confused with the pinnatus batfish from the genus Platax, which is not related to the anglerfish at all. It belongs to an entirely separate order instead.

The scientific name of the batfish family is Ogcocephalidae. This may be derived from the combination of two Greek words: ogkos, which means hooked or curved, and kephalos, which means head. There are currently 60 species recognized within this family. Some examples include the red-lipped batfish, the longnose seabat, and the starry handfish.

The batfish is found in tropical or temperate oceans all over the planet. They can live at any depth of the sea, from shallow coasts and river estuaries to the deep ocean. The maximum recorded depth was some 13,000 feet below the surface. Since little is actually known about these fish, the IUCN Red List has not really evaluated their conservation status, but they are thought to be widespread. However, because many of them live among coral reefs (including the red-lipped batfish), climate change and coral bleaching could pose a problem in the future.

The diet of the batfish consists of crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, and smaller fish. Unlike other types of anglerfish, their lure does not glow. Instead, it secretes a chemical into the water that attracts potential prey.

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