Siganus spinus

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Facts
Latin name Siganus spinus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Local name Little spinefoot
Family Siganidae - Siganus
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 28 cm (11")
As aquarium fish
Minimum volume 600 cm (158 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable for most aquarium
Reef safe Often reef safe
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species
Feed
Recommended Microalgea (Eg. spirulina)
Macroalgea (Eg. seaweed / nori)
Mostly Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
Maybee Soft coral
Large polyp stone coral (LPS)
Beware of
Venomous

This species is venomous, but it´s toxin is rarely dangerous to humans. It can however cause considerable pain.

In case of poisoning it is vital to have as much information as possible regarding the species/poison. Have telephone numbers for the poison hotline close to the aquarium.

Since different people can have different reactions to poisons, take precautions necessary to ensure personal safety and that of the surroundings.
This poison can be dangerous if suffering from allergies.

Keep in mind
Reef safe, when well fed

This species can be found nibbling soft coral and LPS if there is insufficient food available.

Well established aquarium with algae

These fish should be kept in a well run aquarium where they can "graze" algae from rocks and stones.

If there are insufficient algae on the rocks, it is important to feed more frequently and supplement with algae rich food e.g. Spirulina. 

Lives in a pair

This species can live as a pair (male and female).

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

This species revels in swimming and requires an aquarium with ample space.

Changes colour when frightened

This species changes colour when afraid.

Typically, they become pale or brownish.

Effective algae-eaters

This species can eat large amounts of algae (relative to their size) from rocks, like green hair algae and filamentous algae.

As it doesn’t eat every algae type, in case of a specific algae plague, find out more precise information.

Algae Eaters

Even though these fish enjoy a diverse type of frozen foods, it is imperative that its primary food, is algae based, thus ensuring that the fish`s immune system remains healthy.

This can, for example, be plant based fish flakes, Nori seaweed or similar.

Descriptions and further reading
Family description (Siganidae)

Rabbit fish (siganidae) are known for being effective algae eaters.
These fish are often used to fight bubble algae, which can otherwise be hard to remove.

It can be challenging to keep them well fed, if there is not sufficient algae in the aquarium.

They all have toxic spines on their backs, therefore be cautious, although they will mostly swim away and hide, when your hands are in the aquarium. If these fish feel threatened they will hide next to a rock and change colour and pattern. They can appear "ill", but this is their natural camouflage

These fish are not suitable for small aquaria, as they can end up swimming around in the same circle all day long.

FishBase
Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Indo-West Pacific: Known from India to French Polynesia; north to Japan; south to New Caledonia. Replaced by <i>Siganus luridus</i> in the west Indian Ocean (Ref. 37816).
English common names Scribbled spinefoot
Scribbled rabbitfish
Spiny rabbitfish
Little spinefoot
Danish common names Lille kaninfisk
References and further reading

About references

James W. Fatherree. 2013. Aquarium Fish: Fishes of the Genus Siganus: The Rabbitfishes - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Jeff Kurtz. 2007. A Warren of Righteous Rabbitfishes - Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine - (English)
Bob Fenner. The Fishes We Call Rabbits, Family Siganidae - Wet Web Media - (English)