Foxface

Species NameSiganus vulpinus
Common NameFoxface Rabbitfish
Care LevelModerate
Lifespan5-8 years
Adult SizeUp to 9 inches (23 cm)
DietHerbivore
Minimum Tank Size70 gallons
Temperature72°F – 78°F (22°C – 25.5°C)
Water ConditionspH 8.1-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025, dKH 8-12

About the Foxface – Species Summary

The Foxface Rabbitfish, scientifically termed Siganus vulpinus, is a vibrant, uniquely shaped tropical fish that is a favored addition to many marine aquariums. Native to the Western Pacific, the Foxface can often be spotted around coral reefs, lagoons, and outer reef slopes. Their distinct appearance, marked by a rabbit-like face (which lends them the name) and bold, contrasting coloration, makes them a spectacular centerpiece for marine aquarists.

The Foxface’s natural habitat is characterized by its warm, clear waters, and abundant marine plant life. This fish’s herbivorous nature and its inclination towards marine algae make it not only a vibrant showcase species but also an effective algae controller in captive setups.

Foxface Lifespan

The Foxface Rabbitfish has an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years in captivity when maintained under optimal conditions. Their life expectancy can vary based on factors such as diet, tank conditions, and overall care. While some individuals might live longer, providing them with a stable environment and proper nutrition can ensure they live healthily throughout their expected lifespan.

Appearance

The Foxface Rabbitfish boasts a high, laterally compressed body with a vivid yellow hue and striking black markings, particularly around the head and upper body. Its “rabbit-like” face is characterized by a prolonged snout, which aids in grazing algae from tight crevices in its natural habitat. Furthermore, a unique feature of the Foxface is its venomous dorsal spines. When threatened, these spines become erect as a defense mechanism against potential predators.

Average Size

Upon reaching maturity, the Foxface Rabbitfish typically measures up to 9 inches (23 cm) in length. While they are relatively moderate in size, their bold coloration ensures they remain a standout species in larger community tanks.

Foxface Care

Tank Size

For a single Foxface, a minimum tank size of 70 gallons is recommended. This provides them ample room to swim, forage, and exhibit natural behaviors. If considering multiple tank mates or another Foxface, it’s crucial to increase the tank size accordingly.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Model the tank environment based on the Foxface’s natural habitat. Incorporate plenty of live rock, as this not only mimics their reef-based ecosystem but also fosters the growth of algae, which the Foxface feeds on. Ensure there are open swimming areas while also providing adequate hiding spots using rocks and caves. A sandy substrate works best for this species.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate to high lighting conditions are ideal, especially if the tank houses live corals or plants. Adequate lighting also promotes the growth of marine algae, which benefits the Foxface’s diet.

PH

Maintain a pH level within the range of 8.1 to 8.4. Regular monitoring and adjustments, if necessary, can help ensure a stable pH level conducive for the Foxface.

Temperature

A consistent temperature between 72°F and 78°F (22°C to 25.5°C) should be maintained. Investing in a reliable aquarium heater and a thermometer can help achieve and maintain this desired temperature range.

Water Parameters

A salinity level between 1.020 and 1.025 and dKH levels between 8-12 are ideal for the Foxface Rabbitfish. Regular water testing and changes are crucial in maintaining these parameters and ensuring low levels of nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia.

Disease Potential

Foxfaces are relatively hardy, but like all marine fish, they are susceptible to parasitic infections, bacterial diseases, and marine ich. Quarantine new additions and observe your Foxface for changes in behavior or appearance. Quick diagnosis and treatment can help mitigate these issues.

Food & Diet

Primarily herbivores, Foxfaces have a penchant for marine algae. In captivity, a mix of marine algae, spirulina, seaweed sheets, and high-quality herbivore pellets should be part of their daily diet. Occasional vegetable matter such as zucchini, lettuce, or peas can also be provided. This varied diet ensures they receive all necessary nutrients.

Behavior and Temperament

Foxfaces are generally peaceful and can be somewhat shy when first introduced to a new environment. With time, they become more active and can often be seen grazing on algae or exploring the tank. However, they might display territorial behavior if housed with similar species.

Tank Mates

Compatible with a variety of marine species, Foxfaces do well with non-aggressive fish such as clownfish, tangs, wrasses, and blennies. However, owing to their venomous spines, housing them with aggressive species that might provoke them is not recommended.

Breeding

Breeding Foxface Rabbitfish in captivity is challenging. In the wild, they release their eggs and sperm into open water, where fertilization occurs. Replicating these conditions in a home aquarium setting can be tricky. Dedicated marine breeders might attempt this feat by simulating natural environmental changes, but success rates remain low.

Foxface FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)