Aquarium Fish

Grunts & Sweetlips

posted: 05/15/12
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Grunts and Sweetlips belong to the Haemulidae family. Sweetlips are classified in the genus Plectorhinchus, and the Grunts that are available in the aquarium trade are classified in the genus Anisotremus. Grunts and Sweetlips are closely related to Snappers. Sweetlips get their name from their large, fleshy lips, and Grunts for their ability to grind their teeth together resulting in a grunting noise. Most Sweetlips are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, while Grunts are mainly found in the Atlantic. Both of these fish are most commonly associated with coral reefs or rocky areas. In an aquarium, Sweetlips and Grunts average six inches in size, but in the wild, the largest member of this family reaches over two feet in length.

Both Grunts and Sweetlips go through a drastic change in coloration and pattern from the juvenile to adult phases. Grunts are almost always found in large shoals, while depending on the age, Sweetlips are often seen in small groups or as solitary individuals. The diet of members of this family consists of worms, zooplankton, and small crustaceans. Most Grunts and Sweetlips adapt to the aquarium setting well, though special care is required for some species to start feeding. Small freshwater ghost shrimp work well to entice the fish in this family to start eating in an aquarium; from there, frozen foods which are specifically for marine fish can be offered. This family of fish requires a large tank with ample hiding places, and peaceful tank mates when young to adapt to life in an aquarium. No distinguishing characteristics differentiate males from females, and the breeding of these fish in an aquarium is extremely difficult.

They are generally compatible with: Dwarf Angelfish, Large Angelfish, Anglers & Frogfish, Anthias, Basslets, Batfish, Blennies, Boxfish, Butterflyfish, Cardinalfish, Clownfish, Eels, Filefish, Goatfish, Parrotfish, Pseudochromis, Puffers, Squirrelfish and Tangs & Surgeons.

Caution is required with: Damselfish, Gobies, Grunts & Sweetlips, Hawkfish, Hogfish, Lionfish & Scorpionfish, Triggerfish and Wrasse.

They are not compatible with: Groupers, Seahorses & Pipefish and Sharks & Rays.

- Harlequin Sweetlips

- Magpie Sweetlips

- Oriental Dogfish

- Silver-banded Sweetlips

- Twostriped Sweetlips

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