group of soldierfish

Soldierfish (Myripristis murdjan) are nocturnal reef fish. They have very large eyes, presumably because this helps them to see in very dim light. They belong to the family Holocentridae.

There are several species of soldierfish. The different species vary in size, but their care and habits are similar to one another.

They are from the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific.

Soldierfish reach an adult size of between 8-12 inches or 20-30 cm depending on the species. You'll need a large aquarium to house them in. They are best kept in species tanks and they do best in groups. If you keep them in a reef tank they may eat the inhabitants. You should keep them in an aquarium that contains lots of live rock and also caves for hiding places. They generally don't thrive in captivity without caves to hide in. They don't like light and so you need to keep the lights dim.

In the wild they feed on small crustaceans and zooplankton and sometimes small fish. In captivity they will eat mysid shrimps, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and frozen meaty foods that have been thawed, as well as chopped up seafood. Soldierfish feed at night while the lights are out and hide most of the day.

They are not sexually dimorphic and so distinguishing males from females is difficult. Spawning in captivity has not been successful.

They can usually be purchased for about $15-25 each.