Facts

Latin name Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus - (Cuvier, 1830)
Common name Lemonfish
Family Haemulidae - Plectorhinchus
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, New Zealand, Central/West Pacific
Max length 60.0 cm (23.6")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 2000 l (528 gal)
Hardiness Unknown
Suitable for aquarium Unknown
Reef safe Unknown
Aggressiveness Unknown

Food

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

Poses a threat towards small fish and invertebrates

This species can be a threat towards small fish, shrimps, small bivalves, worms, snails and the like.

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.

Insufficient information

There is little available knowledge of this species, so there can be important information missing on this page.

Grows fast

This species grows very quickly if fed well.

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. 

Heavy load

This species eats a great deal and demands an aquarium that can tolerate such a heavy load.

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.

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.

Hiding places

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

Family description (Haemulidae)

Fish within in the Grunt family do not often appear in private aquaria, but can be kept in a very large tank under proper conditions. They are predatory fish and mostly live off benthic crustaceans, worms and fish.

There can be a big difference in appearance when the fish is young and fully grown.

This family can divided into two groups: Plectorhinchinae (Sweetlips) and Haemulinae (Grunts).
Aquarists normally find Sweetlips to be the best looking, but they can be difficult to feed and it can be problematic giving them food containing enough nutrition. Grunts are more hardy and quicker to start feeding in aquaria.
It can be a good idea to have live food, Mysis or small live freshwater shrimp, in case these fish don't begin to feed.

One should not acquire these fish with the intention of selling them on when they get bigger. This is, not only because they grow quickly if fed correctly, but also because they are difficult to sell on to domestic buyers.

Sweetlips include the genera of Diagramma and Plectorhinchus.
Grunts include the genera of Anisotremus and Haemulon.

FishBase

Aquarium trade Rarely
Distribution Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea south to Transkei, South Africa and east to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south to western Australia and New South Wales (Ref. 9710).
English common names Lemon sweetlips, Lemonfish, Gold-spotted sweetlips, Goldspotted sweetlips, Netted sweetlips
French common names Gaterin citron

References and further reading

About references

Bob Fenner. The Grunts Called Sweetlips, Family Haemulidae, Subfamily Plectorhynchinae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Scott W. Michael. 2004. Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 3) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Bob Fenner. Indonesian Grunts & Sweetlips, Family Haemulidae - Wet Web Media - (English)
WWM Crew. FAQs on Grunts, Sweetlips, Family Haemulidae - Wet Web Media - (English)

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

Tags

live food, eats shrimp, eats bivalve clams mussels scallops, eats snails, eats fish, eats bristleworm polychaete fireworm
Just a moment...
Just a moment...