Batfish for Saltwater Aquarium | Pinnatus Batfish | Marine Batfish |
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Batfish

Saltwater Aquarium Batfish such as the Pinnatus Batfish are a marine fish that can easily be the centerpiece of a marine aquarium. Batfish are quite personable-almost pet like, and they are remarkably clever. While certainly not for the beginner, there are a few that are appropriate for the intermediate aquarist looking for an unusual and engaging animal. Saltwater Batfish come from the Family Ephippidae, which is made up of the Spade, the Bats and Scats. Members of this family are indigenous to the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific sea, and they are found in both saltwater and (very occasionally) brackish water. They are characterized by an anal fin with 3 spines and a very deep body that is compressed laterally. Not considered reef-compatible, the largest obstacles to success is the inability to meet their dietary needs. For a long time it was thought that Batfish mostly have a carnivorous diet, feeding on plankton and invertebrates, however a recent discovery found that Batfish like the Pinnatus Batfish are impressive algae eaters.

Pinnatus Batfish
Platax pinnatus
Picture of Pinnatus Batfish


Identification: P. pinnatus are very peaceful, easy-going fish. While they will squabble with their own, they do very well with other peaceful species. Some good tankmates include, but are not limited to, all species of tangs and aquarium-suitable butterflyfish. With care, most angels are acceptable, too. Since young and juvenile batfish have fins that make irresistible targets for fin nippers like damsels, puffers, and triggers, these fish should be avoided as tankmates. Also known as the Dusky Batfish or the Longfin Batfish. The Pinnatus Batfish are usally found in shallow protected coastal waters. A very delicate fish, water quality must be perfect. They are a great community fish, but must be kept with non aggressive fish. Pinnatus batfish are native to the western tropics of the Pacific Ocean. They can be found from the Ryukyu Islands to Australia. They tend to be most common in Australia where they inhabit the waters off central Western Australia. They commonly spend much of their time cruising mangroves and inner, sheltered reefs in search of caves and ledges in which to seek shelter and food. In the wild they feed on mostly algae, but also crustaceans, various corals, anemones, jellyfish, and an assortment of zooplankton.

Tank Recommendations: Pinnatus need a fairly large tank. While a Juvenile a 30 gallon will suffice, but once growing larger, a tank of at least 125 gallons with lots of open space to swim in is recommended. They are more suitable for a FOLWR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium. The ideal aquarium should provide ample open swimming space as well as visual barriers, caves, and overhangs, but not so many that the ability to swim freely is impeded.

Food and diet: All species of Platax are omnivorous, meaning they consume both animal proteins and plant matter. This diet should be replicated as accurately as possible in captivity. The acclimation/quarantine period is key to establishing the new fish's diet. Initially, it may be necessary to offer live food. If this is the case, depending on the size of the batfish, either live brine, mysid, or ghost shrimp should do the job. Regardless of which one is offered, they should all be gut-loaded and enriched with a vitamin supplement. As they adapt to feeding in the aquarium, prepared foods can gradually be offered to them. Being omnivorous, it is important to vary their diet. Pinnatus batfish absolutely relish shrimp, krill, crab, squid, bloodworms, and live and frozen brine and mysid shrimp, but their recently discovered need for algae cannot be neglected. For the home aquarium macroalgae is the best, such as fresh Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa racemosa, C. prolifera, and C. Mexicana, as these are commonly grown in many refugiums.

Level of Care: Advanced or Expert Aquarist Only
Not Guaranteed Beyond Live Arrival


Acclimaton Time: 4+ hours

Reef Compatibility : Not reef safe, more suitable for a FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 2" to 3"; Medium: 3" to 4"; Large: 4" to 6"; XLarge: 6" to 8"


Small $89.99 Medium $99.99
Large$139.99 XLarge$169.99

Captive Bred Pinattus Batfish
Platax pinnatus
Picture of Captive Bred Pinattus Batfish


Identification: A surprising and welcome new addition into the hobby are Captive Bred Pinnatus Batfish. Like mandarins, they are another of the beautiful species known to have low survival rates when taken from the wild, and these tank raised beauties will allow experienced hobbyists to add a beautiful new tank mate to their aquarium. Currently they are eating Brine Shrimp, Mysis Shrimp and eating macro algae off of the bottom of the tank. The fish feed very slowly. Just getting a tank-raised Pinattus Batfish won't overcome ALL the hurdles these fish have in captivity. Do Not keep them in with any "nippy" fish, the Pinnatus just seem unable to get out of the way of other fish, and their fins do not grow back as quickly as other batfish. We recommend always keeping juveniles in a tank by themselves. When they become sub-adults, you can house them with a variety of not nippy other fish. Did you know that the Pinnatus batfish mimics a large toxic flatworm? In fact, if you spook a juvenile Pinnatus, they often drop prostrate to the floor of the tank and lay there - just like a flatworm. Note: Although tank raised, Pinattus Bat juveniles still require specialized care. We recommend always keeping juveniles in a tank by themselves.

Tank Recommendations: Pinnatus need a fairly large tank. While a Juvenile a 30 gallon will suffice, but once growing larger, a tank of at least 125 gallons with lots of open space to swim in is recommended. They are more suitable for a FOLWR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium. The ideal aquarium should provide ample open swimming space as well as visual barriers, caves, and overhangs, but not so many that the ability to swim freely is impeded.

Food and diet: All species of Platax are omnivorous, meaning they consume both animal proteins and plant matter. This diet should be replicated as accurately as possible in captivity. The acclimation/quarantine period is key to establishing the new fish's diet. Initially, it may be necessary to offer live food. If this is the case, depending on the size of the batfish, either live brine, mysid, or ghost shrimp should do the job. Regardless of which one is offered, they should all be gut-loaded and enriched with a vitamin supplement. As they adapt to feeding in the aquarium, prepared foods can gradually be offered to them. Being omnivorous, it is important to vary their diet. Pinnatus batfish absolutely relish shrimp, krill, crab, squid, bloodworms, and live and frozen brine and mysid shrimp, but their recently discovered need for algae cannot be neglected. For the home aquarium macroalgae is the best, such as fresh Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa racemosa, C. prolifera, and C. Mexicana, as these are commonly grown in many refugiums.

Level of Care: Advanced or Expert Aquarist Only
Not Guaranteed Beyond Live Arrival


Acclimaton Time: 4+ hours

Reef Compatibility : Not reef safe, more suitable for a FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 2" to 4"; Medium: 4" to 6"

Small $149.99 Medium $169.99




Aquarium Conditioned
Orbiculate Batfish
Platax orbicularis
Picture of Orbiculate Batfish


Identification: The Orbiculate batfish is a nice fish for anyone who has a tank large enough to house them. This species changes appearance a lot during its lifetime and an adult specimen looks nothing like a juvenile one. Both coloration and body shape changes. Adult specimens have a very high profile reminding much of the body shape of freshwater angelfish and a yellow and brown body. Juvenile specimens have a much lower body more similar to that of a discus fish (a little more squared). The juvenile Orbiculate batfish has a silvery body with three black lines running vertically across it. They are not reef safe as they will eat some coral and invertebrates as well as anemones. The Orbiculate batfish is a friendly species and can be kept with most species. Don't keep with very aggressive fish like triggers.

TankRecommendations: 30 Gallon while small but once getting large tank of at least 100 gallons with lots of open space to swim in is recommended.. They are more suitable for a FOLWR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium. The ideal aquarium should provide ample open swimming space as well as visual barriers, caves, and overhangs, but not so many that the ability to swim freely is impeded.

Food and diet: Orbiculate Batfish are omnivorous, meaning they consume both animal proteins and plant matter. This diet should be replicated as accurately as possible in captivity. The acclimation/quarantine period is key to establishing the new fish's diet. Initially, it may be necessary to offer live food. If this is the case, depending on the size of the batfish, either live brine, mysid, or ghost shrimp should do the job. Regardless of which one is offered, they should all be gut-loaded and enriched with a vitamin supplement. As they adapt to feeding in the aquarium, prepared foods can gradually be offered to them. Being omnivorous, it is important to vary their diet. Pinnatus batfish absolutely relish shrimp, krill, crab, squid, bloodworms, and live and frozen brine and mysid shrimp, but their recently discovered need for algae cannot be neglected. For the home aquarium macroalgae is the best, such as fresh Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa racemosa, C. prolifera, and C. Mexicana, as these are commonly grown in many refugiums.

Level of Care: Moderate

Acclimaton Time: 3+ hours

Reef Compatibility :Not reef safe, more suitable for a FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 2"; Medium: 2" to 3"; Large: 3" to 4-1/2"




Small$39.99 Medium $49.99 Large $59.99








Aquarium Conditioned
Teira Batfish
Platax teira
Picture of Teira Batfish
Identification: Teira Batfish, also nicknamed Longfin Batfish and Round-faced Batfish, are an extremely peaceful and social marine species that will form schools with others of their kind. Juvenile Teira Batfish have relatively long anal and dorsal fins that will become much shorter as the fish matures and fills out to its adult shape. Teira Batfish are mild mannered and will coexist peacefully with their tank mates, but should not be housed with overly aggressive species that may bully them as juveniles.Teira Batfish are a very mild mannered fish that will do well with a wide variety of tank mates, but they are not considered to be reef safe (they will sessile invertebrates, e.g.; anemones and coral species) and should be housed within a FOWLR environment.

TankRecommendations: Although Teira Batfish are usually quite small when initially purchased, they will quickly outgrow a small aquarium. Teira Batfish require an adequate amount of open swimming space and should be provided with nothing less than a 240 gallon aquarium. They should also be provided with a sandy to crushed-coral substrate and plenty of live rock for shelter and overall system health. As they grow to a large size of 24 inches they will need strong, efficient biological and mechanical filtration with the addition of a quality protein skimmer in order to handle their large biological load on the system and ensure pristine water conditions.

Food and diet: Teira Batfish are omnivorous, meaning they consume both animal proteins and plant matter. This diet should be replicated as accurately as possible in captivity. The acclimation/quarantine period is key to establishing the new fish's diet. Initially, it may be necessary to offer live food. If this is the case, depending on the size of the batfish, either live brine, mysid, or ghost shrimp should do the job. Regardless of which one is offered, they should all be gut-loaded and enriched with a vitamin supplement. As they adapt to feeding in the aquarium, prepared foods can gradually be offered to them. Being omnivorous, it is important to vary their diet. Pinnatus batfish absolutely relish shrimp, krill, crab, squid, bloodworms, and live and frozen brine and mysid shrimp, but their recently discovered need for algae cannot be neglected. For the home aquarium macroalgae is the best, such as fresh Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa racemosa, C. prolifera, and C. Mexicana, as these are commonly grown in many refugiums.

Level of Care: Moderate

Acclimaton Time: 3+ hours

Reef Compatibility : Not reef safe, more suitable for a FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 2"; Medium: 2" to 3"; Large: 3" to 4-1/2"
Small$44.99 Medium $59.99 Large $79.99



Captive Bred Zebra Batfish
Platax batavianus


Picture of Captive Bred Zebra Batfish

Identification: :The Zebra Batfish, Platax batavianus, also known as the Humpback Batfish has striking black and white vertical stripes running down its large bowed fins and through its body. Juveniles have a beautiful zebra like pattern on their body with all their fins elongated. In the wild juveniles are found in shallows protected areas, in sea grass beds, or close to sessile bethnic organisms (sponges, corals, and crinoids). Adults live solitary or in small schools on inshore reefs or wrecks. The Zebra Batfish is a peaceful fish and should be housed with docile tank mates. More than one can be kept together successfully in large home aquariums. Be cautious when choosing tank partners for the Zebra Batfish. Not reef safe, they sometimes pick on sessile inverts and fleshy corals and will get picked on by aggressive predatory fish.

TankRecommendations: Although Zebra Batfish are usually quite small when initially purchased, they will quickly outgrow a small aquarium. Zebra Batfish require an adequate amount of open swimming space and should be provided with nothing less than a 240 gallon aquarium. They should also be provided with a sandy to crushed-coral substrate and plenty of live rock for shelter and overall system health. As they grow to a large size of 20 inches they will need strong, efficient biological and mechanical filtration with the addition of a quality protein skimmer in order to handle their large biological load on the system and ensure pristine water conditions.

Food and diet: Zebra Batfish are omnivorous, meaning they consume both animal proteins and plant matter. This diet should be replicated as accurately as possible in captivity. The acclimation/quarantine period is key to establishing the new fish's diet. Initially, it may be necessary to offer live food. If this is the case, depending on the size of the batfish, either live brine, mysid, or ghost shrimp should do the job. Regardless of which one is offered, they should all be gut-loaded and enriched with a vitamin supplement. As they adapt to feeding in the aquarium, prepared foods can gradually be offered to them. Being omnivorous, it is important to vary their diet. Pinnatus batfish absolutely relish shrimp, krill, crab, squid, bloodworms, and live and frozen brine and mysid shrimp, but their recently discovered need for algae cannot be neglected. For the home aquarium macroalgae is the best, such as fresh Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa racemosa, C. prolifera, and C. Mexicana, as these are commonly grown in many refugiums.

Level of Care: Moderate

Acclimaton Time: 3+ hours

Reef Compatibility :Not reef safe, more suitable for a FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) aquarium.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small 3/4" to 1-1/4" Medium 1-1/4" to 2" Large 2" to 2-3/4" Extra Large 2-3/4" to 3-3/4"

Small$129.99 Medium $149.99 Large $179.99



Copyright 2018 Aquarium Creations Online
Photos are representative of each species. All marine life will be unique and variations should be expected, color and sizes may vary.
*Guarantee Restriction: All of our livestock are guaranteed. However for one or more of these species, they may be marked with a guarantee restriction. If it does, it means the specific animal may not handle stress from environmental conditions well. These stresses can include poor water quality, harassment from tank mates or confined aquarium conditions. When stressed, these species can lose the ability to ward off infection and disease. Other species may be listed as Restricted because they have such specialized feeding requirements that is difficult recreate in a aquarium and may succumb to malnutrition.