Oxycirrhites typus – Longnose Hawkfish

Oxycirrhites typus – Longnose Hawkfish is intelligent and has a nice character. They are peaceful towards other species.


Oxycirrhites typus – Longnose Hawkfish

Oxycirrhites typus is found in the Indo Pacific, Pacific Ocean and Red Sea. Off the coast from East Africa to South Japan, Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, where it is found in shallow water, although fish are found at depths of several hundred feet. It is a typical fish that likes to hunt from ambush. Their common name is Longnose Hawkfish.


This fish used to be very expensive and also difficult to obtain, but that has changed and it is now easy and relatively cheap to obtain. Good news, but that is why this fish is often purchased as a small fish for an aquarium that is too small, where it does not really belong.

The aquarium

It is a species that feels at home with large reefs and large fish and belongs in a spacious aquarium where they can live peacefully. The aquarium should be equipped with good pumps that can simulate the moderate to strong current. The aquarium water should be of high quality and rich in oxygen. The Longnose Hawkfish does not tolerate polluted water, especially a too high nitrate and nitrite content can be disastrous for him. The water must be about 24 ° C with a specific gravity of 1.022.

These fish can grow up to 11 centimetres long, although in an aquarium they often do not exceed 5 centimetres. They have a peaceful character towards their fellow residents, although they can sometimes be aggressive towards their conspecifics. They get along best with species that are much larger.

They can be kept as a single, a pair or really a large school depending on the size of the aquarium.

Oxycirrhites typus - Longnose Hawkfish
Oxycirrhites typus – Longnose Hawkfish


Many Hawkfish live in a harem. The Longnose Hawkfish, however, lives in pairs. The gender difference is not really visible. In adult males, one can see a little more black in the anal fin. Young fish are identical to the adults except for the size. They are all born as males. When pairing, the largest and the most dominant male will become a female, unlike many marine fish where it is exactly the other way around.

Reefsafe and diet

They are considered not reef safe but that is because they have shrimp on their menu. They have relatively large jaws and sharp teeth which are ideal for catching crustaceans. So they should not be combined with crustaceans if you want to keep Longnose Hawkfish. Even cleaner shrimp can fall prey to Oxycirrhites typus. But the good news is that they are excellent for removing unwanted hermit crabs and pollen worms from the tank. But also powerful cnidarians such as Catalaphyllia corals or sea anemones can be seen as a meal.

Also keep in mind that other cnidarians can become irritated by the “sinking” behaviour of the Longnose Hawkfish, which can cause polyps to close. Hence, it is important to go for a larger aquarium with carefully chosen corals. Among the Hawkfish, the Longnose Hawkfish with its relatively small mouth is best suited for a reef aquarium.

Bad swimmer

They are bad swimmers and therefore almost always lie quietly on the bottom, on the coral or on rocks. The reason is that they don’t have a swim bladder, so this fish will always “sink” to the bottom. Even the eggs they lay sink straight to the bottom.


Oxycirrhites typus is a fish that has few problems with diseases such as ich. Once it is acclimated to the aquarium, it is a hardy fish that can be enjoyed for a long time. They are intelligent and have a real character of their own. He can even be frisky at times. So if you have room for a colourful, comical acrobat in your peaceful marine aquarium and don’t have any crustaceans to keep, a Longnose Hawkfish is a real asset. It is certainly a fish that catches your attention.



Margie van der Heijden – Ons Natuurgenot Gouda

Copyright images

John de Lange
Margie van der Heijden – Ons Natuurgenot Gouda

Additional information




Common names


Social Behaviour

, ,



, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Length minimum in cm

Length maximum in cm

Temperature minimum

Temperature maximum

Salinity minimum

Salinity maximum


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Oxycirrhites typus – Longnose Hawkfish”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *