Red Hawkfish

Cyprinocirrhites polyactus

(1 Reviews)

Red Hawkfish
Boasting a striking red body with white bands, the Red Hawkfish is a captivating addition to any saltwater aquarium. Its hardiness and unique perching behavior make it a fascinating and easy-to-care-for choice for enthusiasts.

Red Hawkfish

Cyprinocirrhites polyactus

(1 Reviews)

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Red Hawkfish Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific Ocean
Acclimation Time: 2+ hours
Reef Safe: Yes
Invert Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons
Max Size: 6 inches

The Red Hawkfish (Cyprinocirrhites polyactus), also known as the Swallowtail or Soaring Hawkfish, can be found among the reefs of Indonesia and the Indo-Pacific Ocean. They have a vibrant red body with darker splotches and occasional yellow coloration towards the caudal fin. They reach a maximum size of 6 inches, and given their predatory nature, should not be housed with significantly smaller fish or crustaceans. They do best if housed in peaceful reef tanks with plenty of live rock to hide among and perch on. They may be territorial towards other fish, so a tank of at least 40 gallons is recommended. Feed them a mixture of brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other meaty saltwater foods. 

Red Hawkfish (Cyprinocirrhites polyactus) - A Comprehensive Guide for Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiasts

Habitat of the Red Hawkfish:

The Red Hawkfish is typically found in rocky crevices and coral reefs at depths ranging from 10 to 150 feet. This species prefers areas with ample hiding spots and perches where it can survey its surroundings.

Reef Compatibility of the Red Hawkfish:

While the Red Hawkfish is generally considered reef-safe, caution is advised. It may display territorial behavior, especially as it matures, and could potentially view smaller tank mates as prey. Therefore, carefully selecting tank mates and providing suitable hiding spots are crucial for maintaining a harmonious aquarium environment.

Size and Lifespan of the Red Hawkfish:

Red Hawkfish typically grow to a size of 4 to 5 inches. They can live up to 5 to 7 years in captivity with proper care, making them a long-term addition to your marine aquarium.

Diet of the Red Hawkfish in Captivity:

These fish are carnivores, and their diet should include a variety of live or frozen foods such as small fish, shrimp, and marine invertebrates. A well-rounded diet meets their nutritional needs and promotes their overall health.

Aquaculture and Availability of the Red Hawkfish:

The Red Hawkfish are not widely aquacultured, making them predominantly available as wild-caught specimens. However, their popularity has led to their availability in the hobbyist market, and reputable suppliers like often stock healthy specimens.

Compatibility of the Red Hawkfish with Other Fish and Invertebrates:

Red Hawkfish can coexist with other peaceful fish species that are not overly territorial or aggressive. Suitable tank mates for the Red Hawkfish include Clownfish, Chromis, and Firefish. Exercise caution when introducing smaller fish or invertebrates, as the Red Hawkfish may exhibit predatory behavior.

Sexual Dimorphism of the Red Hawkfish:

Unlike some marine species, red hawkfish do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, making it challenging to determine their gender visually without specific breeding behaviors.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes in the Red Hawkfish:

Juvenile Red Hawkfish display a vibrant red coloration with intricate patterning. Their colors may intensify as they mature, and some individuals may develop a yellowish hue. Observing these color shifts can be a rewarding experience for aquarium enthusiasts.

Temperament of the Red Hawkfish:

Red Hawkfish are known for their bold and curious nature. They often perch on rocks or corals, observing their surroundings keenly. While they may demonstrate territorial behavior, their overall temperament is generally well-suited for community aquariums with suitable tank mates.

Tank Requirements of the Red Hawkfish:

  • Maintaining an appropriate environment for the Red Hawkfish is crucial for their well-being.
  • A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended, providing ample swimming space and territory.
  • The aquarium should have plenty of live rock structures, caves, and crevices for the Red Hawkfish to explore and establish territories.

Water Conditions for the Red Hawkfish:

  • pH: Maintain a stable pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
  • Salinity: Keep the salinity levels within the range of 1.020 to 1.025.
  • Water Temperature: Red Hawkfish thrive between 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Water Flow: Moderate to high water flow is ideal, simulating their natural reef habitat.

Common Names for the Red Hawkfish:

The Red Hawkfish are the Hawaiian Hawkfish, Redbar Hawkfish, or simply, Hawkfish.

Five Compatible Tank Mates for the Red Hawkfish:

Why Choose Red Hawkfish from

When acquiring a Red Hawkfish for your marine aquarium, sourcing from a reputable supplier like ensures the health and quality of your specimen. is known for its commitment to providing ethically sourced marine life, and its knowledgeable staff can assist you in creating the optimal environment for your Red Hawkfish.

The Red Hawkfish is a captivating addition to saltwater marine aquariums, bringing color, personality, and a touch of the ocean's allure to your home. By adhering to proper care guidelines and selecting suitable tank mates, enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty and charm of these fascinating fish for years to come.

Reviewed by: William Kornemann on Aug. 29, 2023

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