Aquarium Fish

Oriental Helmut Gurnard

posted: 05/15/12
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Oriental Helmut Gurnard
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Oriental Helmut Gurnard is also known as the Flying Gurnard. It is a light-brown color with orange to dark-brown spots. The pectoral fins can be flared out into an impressive display of fan-like wings, with spines extending beyond the flesh at the tips. The tips of the wings are tinged with a blue.

A 180 gallon or larger aquarium with a large unobstructed swimming area and a sandy bottom without much rockwork will provide a suitable environment. Aggressive tank mates should be avoided as well as bottom dwellers.

The diet of the Oriental Helmut Gurnard consists of small bottom-dwelling fish, black worms, shrimp (mysid or brine), and other meaty foods.

There are almost 15,000 species of marine fish. The appearance, nutritional requirements, environmental needs, reproduction, compatibility with other marine creatures, and survival adaptations of these different species vary remarkably. To successfully maintain an aquarium, the aquarist needs to understand all of these aspects of a fish before considering adding the fish to the tank. Understanding these characteristics of a fish before acquiring it, and knowing from where it was obtained, is necessary to provide the conditions in which the fish can thrive.

Fish Facts

Name: Oriental Helmut Gurnard (Dactyloptena orientalis)

Family: Dactylopteridae

Range: Indian Ocean

Size: Up to 14 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Sandy bottom; Minimum coral or rock, plants

Reef Compatible: No

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: 180 gallon

Light: High

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: Bottom

Care Level: Moderate

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