Longnose hawkfish

The Longnose hawkfish – also known as the Longnose Hawk, Hawaiian Hawkfish, and Pilikoa – is a visually stunning fish species that can make a great addition to a marine aquarium. In this article, we will cover all you need to know about this beautiful fish, including its size and appearance, region, behavior, diet, and how to keep them at home.


The Longnose hawkfish can grow up to 10 cm (4 inches) in length, with females being slightly smaller than males. They have a unique appearance, with a pointed snout that gives them their distinctive long nose. Their bodies are slender and elongated, with bold red and white stripes running along their sides. They also have large eyes and a large mouth that they use to capture their prey.


The Longnose hawkfish is native to the tropical waters of the Indo- Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea, including the waters around Hawaii, Japan, and Indonesia all the way from the coast of East-Africa to Japan and the Great barrier reef of Australia. They are typically found in coral reefs and rocky areas, where they can hide among the rocks and coral.


The Longnose hawkfish is a relatively peaceful fish that can be kept with other non-aggressive fish. However, they can be territorial and may attack smaller fish or invertebrates that they see as potential prey. The hawkfish does not have a swim bladder and is known to perch on rocks and corals, waiting for its prey to swim by, which is how it earned its name as “hawkfish.” The hawkfish hunts with an ambush technique. They are excellent at swimming fast for short distances, striking like a cheetah. It is not particularly a reef safe fish because it likes to eat small shrimp and other crustaceans and even cleaner shrimp are not safe. They can also chew away at some corals and anemones. All in all, Longnose Hawkfish can be very fun to watch in the aquarium!


In the wild, the Longnose hawkfish feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and invertebrates. In captivity, they can be fed a varied diet of frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, krill, and small pieces of fish. They can also be fed high-quality pellets or flakes, although live foods should make up the majority of their diet. They are difficult in getting to accept dry food though.

Keeping Blackbelly dwarfgoby at home

To keep a Longnose hawkfish in your home aquarium, you will need a tank that is at least 113 liters (30 gallons) in size. They prefer a temperature range of 23-28 °C (73-82 °F). The pH should be between 8.1-8.4. They require pristine clean water, they do not do well with high nitrate levels. In a reef tank keep them in a large size tank so any damage to corals has minimal impact.

Longnose hawkfish prefer a tank with plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, corals, or artificial structures. They are also known to perch on top of rocks or corals, so providing some taller structures in the tank is recommended. They are hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, but they require good water quality and regular maintenance and as mentioned before they do not do well when exposed to elevated nitrate levels for longer periods of time.

In terms of tankmates, Longnose hawkfish can be kept with other non-aggressive fish that are similar in size. However, they should not be kept with smaller fish or invertebrates that they may see as potential prey. It’s also important to note that Longnose hawkfish can be territorial, so providing plenty of hiding places in the tank can help prevent aggression.

The Longnose hawkfish is a beautiful and unique fish that can make a great addition to a marine aquarium. With their striking appearance and interesting hawking behavior, they are a popular choice for hobbyists. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can successfully keep a Longnose hawkfish in your home aquarium and enjoy their beauty for years to come.

Scientific nameOxycirrhites Typus
Type of aquariumSaltwater aquarium
SizeUp to 10 cm / 4 inches in length
RegionIndo-Pacific region, including the waters of the Philippines, Fiji, and Hawaii
Ideal tank sizeMinimum 114 liters / 30 gallons
Ideal water temperature23 – 28 °C / 73 – 82 °F
pH8.1 – 8.4
DietCarnivorous, primarily feeding on small crustaceans and other small marine animals. Can be fed a variety of foods, including frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and krill. Recommended to supplement its diet with high-quality pellets or flakes.
ReproductionLittle is known about the reproduction of Longnose hawkfish in captivity, but in the wild, they lay their eggs on rocks and other hard surfaces. The longnose hawkfish lives in pairs. Adult males have more black in the anal fin. They are all born as females. When they start to mate, the largest and most dominant female will become a male.
Life spanLongnose Hawkfish live 5-7 years in nature and with proper care and attention aquarium owners can expect their hawkfish to reach the same age as in the wild.
SchoolingNot a schooling fish and should be kept alone or with other non-aggressive fish. They are thought to be monogamous and form a pair for life.


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