Expert Only

Pinnatus Batfish

Platax pinnatus


(2 Reviews)

Pinnatus Batfish

Expert Only

Pinnatus Batfish

Platax pinnatus


(2 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Size: 1.5-2.5 inches
Care Level: Expert
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Indo Pacific
Acclimation Time: 3+ Hours
Reef Safe: No
Coral Safe: No
Invertebrate Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 150+ Gallons
The Pinnatus Batfish, Platax pinnatus, will display a dramatic change in appearance while in different stages of life. As a juvenile it displays a dark brown/black colored body outlined in vivid orange while as an adult the dark black color begins to fade. They are hardy fish that are very peaceful and can be kept singly, or in larger tanks as a pair, or a small school and should also be kept with other larger peaceful fish.

They are not reef safe however since they will consume smaller fish, invertebrates, corals and anemones present in the tank. Diet should include a variety of live feeder marine fish and feeder shrimp and frozen chopped meaty preparations like crab, krill, squid, and shrimp 2-3 times daily.


Pinnatus Batfish (Platax pinnatus): An Informative Overview for Saltwater Marine Aquariums

Habitat of the Pinnatus Batfish

Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, the Pinnatus Batfish is commonly found in coral reefs and lagoons. It prefers shallow areas with moderate water flow, often associating with structures such as coral heads and submerged debris.

Is the Pinnatus BatfishReef Safe?

It's crucial to note that the Pinnatus Batfish is not considered reef-safe due to its potentially destructive behavior. It may nip at and consume soft and stony corals and other invertebrates.

How Big Does the Pinnatus Batfish Get?

With a size that can reach up to 16 inches (40 cm) in length, the Pinnatus Batfish is a substantial species that requires a spacious aquarium.

How Long Does the Pinnatus Batfish Get?

Under proper care, Pinnatus Batfish can live for approximately 8 to 10 years, making them a long-term commitment in the marine aquarium.

Diet of the Pinnatus Batfish in Captivity

Pinnatus Batfish are omnivorous, requiring a varied diet that includes high-quality marine flakes, pellets, and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and chopped seafood.

Aquaculture Availability of the Pinnatus Batfish

Currently, aquacultured Pinnatus Batfish is limited in the hobbyist market. This species is more commonly captured from the wild. Choose a responsible supplier like Saltwaterfish.com.

Coloration Changes as the Pinnatus Batfish Ages

Pinnatus Batfish undergo dramatic color changes as they mature. Juveniles display vibrant white, black, and yellow patterns, while adults transition to a more subdued appearance with a predominantly black body and trailing fin extensions.

Compatibility of the Pinnatus Batfish

Pinnatus Batfish are best kept as the sole specimen in an aquarium due to their territorial behavior. They are not usually compatible with other batfish or similarly shaped fish.

The Personality of the Pinnatus Batfish

While young Pinnatus Batfish exhibit social behavior, adults become territorial and aggressive towards their own kind and similar species. It's essential to provide them with ample space and a well-established territory.

Suitable Tank Mates for the Pinnatus Batfish

Due to their territorial nature, keeping Pinnatus Batfish as the sole focal point in the aquarium is recommended. Avoid introducing other fish or invertebrates that might provoke aggression.

Tank Requirements for the Pinnatus Batfish

Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of 180 gallons or more is essential to accommodate the Pinnatus Batfish's size and territorial needs.

Aquascaping: Provide open spaces for swimming and hiding spots among live rock and coral structures.

Water Conditions for the Pinnatus Batfish

  • pH: Maintain the pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
  • Salinity: Keep the salinity within the range of 1.023 to 1.025.
  • Water Temperature: The recommended temperature range is 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C).
  • Water Flow: A moderate water flow is preferable, simulating their natural environment.

Other Common Names for the Pinnatus Batfish

The Pinnatus Batfish might also be known as the Dusky Batfish or Red-faced Batfish.

Why Choose Pinnatus Batfish from Saltwaterfish.com

When selecting Pinnatus Batfish from Saltwaterfish.com, you choose an intriguing and visually striking addition to your saltwater marine aquarium. Our commitment to sourcing healthy and responsibly collected specimens ensures you receive vibrant and well-adapted fish for your aquatic environment. With our extensive experience and dedication to marine life, Saltwaterfish.com is a reliable source for aquarists seeking unique and captivating marine species.

The Pinnatus Batfish's distinct attributes and remarkable coloration changes make it a captivating choice for experienced marine aquarists. By adhering to their specific care requirements and providing an environment that caters to their territorial behavior, you can create a fascinating and engaging aquatic focal point within your aquarium.


Expert Only: Items designated as expert only require special care such as a species specific environment, special diet or care, and an expert level, experienced aquarist. Not for beginners. Expert Only items qualify for our live arrival guarantee only, and are exempt from our extended 8 day guarantee.

This is the one fish I have wanted since I was a kid. Saltwater fish went above and beyond to help me get a gorgeous healthy fish. It's growing great, from 1" to over 4" in a few months. eating great and has the best personality. Always ready to eat


Reviewed by: Tami on March 25, 2020

I really picked a nice fish from saltwaterfish store. It ate reef mix food on day one. Now the batfish wiggles to the front of the tank when it sees me come thru the door. Feed it 2 times a day a reef mix It is slow moving so don't have excessive current flow. YouTube has a few videos of this strange critter Does not pick at coral And does not bother other fish


Reviewed by: Critter Dundee on Sept. 4, 2016

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