Flame Hawkfish

Neocirrhitus armatus


(7 Reviews)

Flame Hawkfish

Flame Hawkfish

Neocirrhitus armatus


(7 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Invert Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Max Size: 4 inches
The Flame Hawkfish, Neocirrhitus armatus, is also popularly known as the Brilliant Red Hawkfish. It has beautiful bright red slender body with a black dorsal fin. As the Flame Hawkfish grows, the dorsal fin grows longer and also transforms its shape.
The Flame Hawkfish will often be found hidden among the branches of live corals and typically retreat itself deep in the same when frightened. The Flame Hawkfish should be kept in a tank  with plenty of space and rock work to perch on and hop around on, thus keeping live rocks are beneficial.
The Flame Hawkfish is hardy and can tolerate changes in the parameters, therefore makes a very good addition to any reef tank. It may become aggressive towards other smaller community fish and will likely attack any invertebrates such as smaller ornamental Shrimp. Caution is advised if adding to a tank with smaller, bottom dwelling species like Gobies and Blennies, as it spends most of its time near the bottom. But otherwise will act peaceful towards other peaceful reef fish.
It is suggested to provide the Flame Hawkfish with constant moving and well oxygenated water in the reef aquarium. It may lose its vibrant red color in the if not provided with proper nutrition as well. 


The Flame Hawkfish: A Captivating Addition to Marine Aquariums

The Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhitus armatus) is a captivating and fiery addition to marine aquariums. With its vibrant colors and unique appearance, this species of hawkfish can add a touch of dynamism and elegance to any reef environment. Let's explore the Flame Hawkfish's habitat, reef-safe nature, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture potential, compatibility, suitable tank mates, tank requirements, other common names, and compatible tank mates.

Habitat and Origin

The Flame Hawkfish is native to the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea and the western Pacific Ocean. In the wild, they are often found in rocky or coral-rich areas with ample hiding spots and perching locations.

Reef Safe and Behavior

While the Flame Hawkfish is generally considered reef safe, it has a carnivorous nature and may prey upon small shrimps, crabs, and small fish. It is essential to provide a well-fed and diverse diet to reduce the likelihood of it preying on tank mates.

Size, Lifespan, and Diet

The Flame Hawkfish can grow to be 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) in length. They can have a lifespan of several years with proper care in a well-maintained aquarium. The Flame Hawkfish is carnivorous, primarily feeding on small crustaceans and fish in the wild. In captivity, they accept a variety of meaty marine foods, such as frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped fish, and high-quality pellet or flake foods.

Aquaculture and Availability

The Flame Hawkfish is available in the aquarium trade, and captive-bred specimens are starting to emerge. While less prevalent than some other species, their successful aquaculture can contribute to their availability and sustainability in the hobby.

Compatibility and Tank Mates

The Flame Hawkfish can be territorial and aggressive towards similar-looking species. It is essential to carefully select compatible tank mates to maintain harmony in the aquarium.

Suitable Tank Mates:

  • Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica): Peaceful and visually striking, Firefish can coexist harmoniously with the Flame Hawkfish.
  • Fairy Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus spp.): Peaceful and colorful, fairy wrasses can add visual appeal and a sense of movement to the tank.
  • Anthias (e.g., Pseudanthias spp.): Peaceful anthias species can be suitable tank mates, especially in larger aquariums with ample swimming space.
  • Cardinalfish (e.g., Pterapogon kauderni): Peaceful cardinalfish can coexist with the Flame Hawkfish, creating a diverse and vibrant tank.
  • Tangs (e.g., Naso Tang): Certain tang species can coexist with the Flame Hawkfish in larger aquariums. However, avoid aggressive tangs that may harass the hawkfish.

Tank Requirements

The Flame Hawkfish thrives in a well-established aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding spots and perching. They prefer stable water conditions and moderate to high water flow. A sandy substrate is ideal, providing a natural environment for them to search for food and perch.

Other Common Names

In addition to the name "Flame Hawkfish" or "Neocirrhitus armatus," this species is also known as the "Red Hawkfish" or "Lined Hawkfish."

Get the Flame Hawkfish from Salt Water Fish

If you're interested in adding a Flame Hawkfish to your marine aquarium, consider sourcing one from reputable saltwater fish suppliers. With proper care and attention, the Flame Hawkfish can thrive and become a focal point of admiration in any marine aquarium.


Reviewed by: Alvin Barbes on Oct. 29, 2023


Reviewed by: Steve Morosin on Oct. 1, 2023

Ours looks just like the picture. He coexists with a Vilamingi Tang we call Big Boy who eats everything it can, a Yellow Tang, a Black & Yellow, 3 Clownfish and a couple of others we haven't figured out what they are yet along with 60 hermit crabs, starfish and coral and sponge. 'Flamer' as we call him, is everybody's favorite because he is so peculiar...darting, hiding, flirting, and he has no swim bladder so he is not buoyant...and his furious attempts to reach the surface for food from high on the perch of the coral is fun to watch. He is indeed resilient.


Reviewed by: James Brown on June 11, 2020

Love this guy. Beautiful red


Reviewed by: Tylan Hansen on Oct. 2, 2019

Fish came in healthy has great personality and seems friendly with all my fish


Reviewed by: Frank on Aug. 29, 2017


Reviewed by: Dp on Oct. 8, 2014


Reviewed by: Lee Strodthoff on Sept. 15, 2014

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