Aulostomus chinensis
Aulostomus chinensis
Aulostomus chinensis
Aulostomus chinensis


Latin name Aulostomus chinensis
Common name Chinese trumpetfish
Family Aulostomidae - Aulostomus
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 80 cm (31.5")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 1500 l (396 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable for special aquariums
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species


  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Other invertebrates
  • Fish

Jumps out of open aquaria

This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.

Threat towards crustaceans

This species poses a threat towards shrimps and crabs etc., which are relatively small.

Can be a threat to small fish

This spicies might be a threat to smaller fishes.

Demand a very large aquarium when fully grown

This species needs a very large aquarium when fully grown.

Exactly how big the aquarium should be is hard to say, but the size of this species is such, that it cannot normally be kept in a home aquarium.

Live food

There is a greater chance of success with this species if one can supply a living feed to allow it to adapt to the tank.

Thrive best on their own

These fish flourish better without other members of the same species in the aquarium.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

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


This species often has a fun and interesting personality.

Initially shy

This species can be very shy when first introduced into a new aquarium.

More aggressive fish can be introduced after this species has acclimatized.

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

Family description (Aulostomidae)

Trumpetfish (Aulostomidae) are very amusing fish for the aquarium, but they do require a very large swimming area of 1000+ liters without pillars or similar obstructions, whilst still having places to hide.  

Trumpetfish are predatory fish, that will mostly go after small fish, but crustaceans are also part of their diet.
Trumpetfish have a fun personality, and will become attached to the aquarist over time. 

They must have live food to begin with, small guppies for example, and can then slowly be introduced to small pieces of frozen fish and crustaceans. 

One should avoid having larger predatory fish and aggressive Damsels and Wrasses as well as Triggerfish and Pufferfish when keeping Trumpetfish.
Small ones can be kept together, but they do not often get along when becoming larger. 

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2001. Reef Fishes volume 1 - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
2009. Reef Central - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (08/2014).


live food, docile shy, eats shrimp, eats crab, eats fish, predatory
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Just a moment...