Species Name: Hoplolatilus starcki
Authority: Randall & Dooley, 1974
Common Name: Blueheaded Tilefish, Stark’s Tilefish
Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Bali, Indonesia, the Philippines to Timor, north to the Mariana Islands, south to Rowley Shoals and New Caledonia, and throughout Micronesia.
Size: 6 inches (15 cm)
Natural Environment: Inhabits rubble covered reef bottoms near steep outer reef slopes and is usually found in depths between 65 – 300 feet (20 – 90 m) and usually no more than 10 – 15 feet (3 – 5 m) above the bottom substrate where they burrow for protection and feed on zooplankton.
General Husbandry: Occasionally seen in the trade with this attractive species having a slender elongated body with a blunt bluish head, yellow body and tail. Juveniles are entirely blue.
Best maintained fish-only aquariums with subdued lighting, yet can also be maintained in reef aquariums, with both having low rocky crevices and caves to hide in when needing to do so. The aquarium should also have wide-open swimming areas and sandy areas to create burrows. A fast swimming fish that tends to dig under reef structures, live or inert.
If maintained with moderately aggressive tankmates, will remain in hiding during daylight hours and may not get its fair share of the food when its feeding time. If maintained with peaceful tankmates, will spend a good portion of its time in the aquarium open areas.
As to diet, products such as marine fish and crustacean flesh, clams, and other marine meaty foods should be enriched and finely chopped and fed several times daily.
FYI: Requires covered aquariums, as they are excellent jumpers!
May undermine structures in the aquarium.
Best first introduced into a dimly lit aquarium.
Will eat smaller fishes and ornamental crustaceans.
Experience Level: Intermediate
Coral Safe: Yes
Fish Safe: With caution
Invertebrate Safe: With caution
Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+
Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium
Minimum Tank Size: 50+ gallons
Temperature Range: 72 - 81°F (22 – 27°C)
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026
pH: 8.0 - 8.5
Photo Credit: John Randall
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