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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Yellow Foxface

By Patrick Donston

Store Owner, Absolutely Fish

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Foxface FishMy favorite marine fish to stock in the shop is the yellow foxface (L. vulpinus). Mind you, it's not my favorite fish, but it's a great fish to have on hand for any shop (big or small) carrying marine livestock. Here's why.

  1. It's a beautifully colored fish. The body is mainly "lemon" yellow with a white head and black bands over the eyes. A long snout gives it the common name -- foxface. It has more of an exotic appearance than the common yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens). Although your marine customers may be geared toward certain species, choices should be available to offset these purchases.
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  2. By most aquarist's standards, they are heartier than the yellow tang. They tend to do better and live longer in most "home" situations. We find they do very well in our systems. They rarely get sick or die, thus requiring less maintenance during the holding time.
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  3. You can house them together or singularly with most marine fish. As with yellow tangs, you can put numerous specimens in the same tank. Yellow tangs tend to get skinny and fight as their numbers decrease with sales. Unlike tangs, this rarely occurs with foxfaces. They hold their color and girth--staying vibrant throughout the batch.
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  4. You can keep them with just about anything. They can go in reefs, with little fish, big fish or venomous fish. I have heard stories of them bothering SPS coral, but for the most part, they are sold for reef aquariums. They usually get along with other tangs, angels, triggers, groupers, gobies, clowns, dragonettes, lions and butterfly fishes. 
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  5. They are herbivorous by nature and easy to feed all prepared frozen and dry foods. 

I love stocking foxfaces and other rabbit fishes (Siganidae) because I can put them in just about any display. They have great color, fill in nicely and rarely get sick. They're compatible specimens for just about any home aquarium, making them an easier suggestion for your staff to sell. They're easy to feed and take less maintenance than other laterally compressed marine fishes.

The only downside I know of is the fact they are venomous. The third spine can inflict a painful wound if punctured into the skin. Something you definitely want your staff to know and communicate to a potential owner.

So … stock Foxfaces. They'll fill in your systems nicely with little problems and make great companions for most marine hobbyists.

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