Facts

Latin name Upeneus japonicus
Common name Japanese goatfish
Family Mullidae - Upeneus
Origin Japan
Max length 16 cm (6.3")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 1200 l (317 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Experience, preparation and extra care required
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Docile

Food

Recommended
  • 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.

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.

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.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

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

Docile

This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

Family description (Mullidae)

Goatfish (Mullidae) have a very characteristic "beard" which they use when searching the sand for food. The aquarium should therefore have a large open area with both sand and coral gravel for example. 

These fish are not particularly well suited to aquaria as they often die after a few months due to malnutrition.
To succeed with these fish, one must feed them a varied diet 4-5 times a day, this in addition, to them finding their own food in the aquarium.

It can be difficult to fulfil their dietry needs, as they quickly consume the natural food in the tank and the amount of feeding places a large strain on the aquarium.
They require a large amount of food when young, but less when fully grown. 

Goatfish are considered predators, as they will eat small fish and crustaceans.

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. Mulling Over the Goatfishes, Family Mullidae, Part I - Wet Web Media - (English)
Bob Fenner. Mulling Over the Goatfishes, Family Mullidae, Part II - Wet Web Media - (English)
Bob Fenner. Mulling Over the Goatfishes, Family Mullidae, Part III - Wet Web Media - (English)
Bob Fenner. Goatfishes in Indonesia, Family Mullidae - Wet Web Media - (English)

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

Tags

docile shy, eats shrimp, eats bivalve clams mussels scallops, eats snails, eats fish, eats bristleworm polychaete fireworm
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