Pentapodus emeryii


Latin name Pentapodus emeryii - (Richardson, 1843)
Common name Double whiptail
Family Nemipteridae - Pentapodus
Origin Australia, Indonesia
Max length 35.0 cm (13.8")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 1000 l (264 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species


  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • 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.

Searches through sand for food

This species searches through the sand for food, which can make the water cloudy and shakes up detritus.

In an aquarium their natural food source in the sand is quickly exhausted.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

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 a varied diet

This species must be fed with an appropriately varied diet.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

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

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 (Nemipteridae)

The Threadfin Bream (Nemipteridae) is an often overlooked fish by aquarists, they are both attractive and interesting to keep in an aquarium, as long as one can provide them with an appropriate environment.
The substrate colour can influence their appearance. They are by far the most attractive with a dark substrate.

These fish like to eat food from the bottom and until they get used to eating in the water column, it is vital to be certain they obtain enough food from the start.
As they grow larger, they can become a threat to small crustaceans and small fish.


Aquarium trade Rarely
Distribution Western Pacific: Philippines, Indonesia, and northwestern Australia.
English common names Whip-tailed threadfin-bream, Double whiptail, Blue whiptail, Purple threadfin bream

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2004. Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 3) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Bob Fenner. They Could be Pet-Fish, Threadfin or Sea Breams Family Nemipteridae - Wet Web Media - (English)
Bob Fenner. FAQs on the Threadfin or Sea Breams, Family Nemipteridae - Wet Web Media - (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
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