How to take care of Foxface fish?

We will talk about foxface fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat, types,lifespan,tank set-up, water parameters and healthcare, etc.Everything you need to know about foxface fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog 

  • Key specifications of foxface fish
  • Why is foxface fish care important?
  • How many foxface fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of foxface fish
  • Types of foxface fish
  • Different strains or colors of foxface fish
  • General and physical attributes of foxface fish
  • Foxface fish lifespan
  • Foxface fish tank set-up
  • Foxface fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Foxface fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Foxface fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

How to take care of Foxface fish?

Daily care tips for foxface fish

  • Tank water should be kept clean all the time.
  • They are great algae eaters,so make sure you are providing algae or algae based food everyday.
  • They should be fed twice a day regularly.
  • Always defrost frozen food before feeding them.
  • Don’t hand feed them.
  • Use gloves while cleaning the tank to avoid their poisonous spines.
  • They can’t survive in dirty water,so water should be monitored everyday.
  • Check filters everyday.

Bi-weekly care tips for foxface fish

  • 10-25 % water changes should be done monthly.
  • Partial water changes should be done weekly.
  • Use water testing kits every week to measure the levels of ammonia and other tank pollutants.This will maintain the pristine water conditions.
  • Tank decors and plants should be washed every week to avoid infections.
  • Quarantine new tank mates for 15 days before adding to the main tank to avoid various infections.

Key specifications of foxface fish

Scientific name Siganus vulpinus
Marine Ray-finned saltwater fishIndian and Pacific oceanLagoons and reefs.
Lifespan5-7 years
Body size
Body shape
ColorSpecial trait
Sexual dimorphism
8-9 inchesUnusual body shape(elongated snout and concave head) Yellow brown body and dark chestVenomous spine and can change their color when required.Hermaphrodite (gender differentiations is bit difficult)
Another namesFoxface rabbitfishFoxface spine footBlack-face rabbitfishCommon foxface fish
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardnessSpecific gravity75F-82F8.1-8.48-12 dkh1.020-1.025
TemperamentBeginner/ experienced Peaceful and ConfidentExperienced hobbyists
Care levelModerate
Tank size and set-up
Tank type (Prefered)
75-125 gallons6 foot long tankCommunity reef tank (established)
Preferred plantsSaltwater plants
CompatibilityMostly aggressive ones 
Number of foxface fish species found 3 (differ in colors)
BreedingEasy to moderatePelagic spawnersMuch is not known about their breeding process in captivity.

Why is foxface fish care important?

Foxface rabbitfish are very beautiful,colorful, the center of dominance and a great addition to your aquarium.They are known for their vivid colouration.

There is a lot of care required while handling them because of their venomous spines which can hurt the handlers by their painful stings.

How many foxface fish should you start with as a newcomer?

It is best to keep a male and a female foxface fish in one tank as they make a long lasting bond until one pair dies.They live in schools when they are juveniles and pair offs when matures.

Foxface fish take time to acclimatize to a new environment,so don’t get worried if they change their color or don’t interact much initially. This is normal behavior and there is nothing to worry about.

Habitat of foxface fish

In the wild the foxface fish is usually found in shallow lagoons in the tropical waters of the western pacific and indian oceans.

Foxface fish mostly spend time in the dim-light areas of the ocean by moving between the coral reefs in search of food.They are great swimmers and enjoy swimming in those areas.

Types of foxface fish

They differ only in their colouration:

  • Magnificent foxface fish- Siganus magnificus
  • Bicoloured foxface fish- Siganus uspi  
  • One spot foxface fish- Siganus unimaculatus

Different strains or colors of foxface fish

Foxfaces’ beautiful color highlights their unique beauty.They can change their color when fearful and even during their sleep.This unique trait helps them to escape from their enemies.

  • Black
  • White
  • Yellow 

General and physical attributes of foxface fish

  • Foxfaces are 8-9 inches in length,except one spot fox face (7-8 inches when fully grown)
  • Solid yellow color body and white and black face with the snout.
  • Their elongated snout makes them look similar to foxes and that’s how they got this name foxface fish.
  • Small mouth which resembles hare with dark and large eyes.
  • Wet and slimy scale skin type.
  • Foxface fish has a spiky dorsal and anal fin which are venmous.
  • They are called as stress de-escalator for other fish in the tank, as they keep the other tank mates comfortable in their presence without harassing them.

Foxface fish lifespan

Foxface can live between 5-7 years in a salubrious environment.They survive well in clean water.Dirty water is not at all good for their health. 

Foxface fish tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size for foxface fish

  • They are big fish and a 75-125 gallon and 6 foot long tank is a must for foxfaces.
  • Foxface fish need bigger aquariums because they grow very rapidly up to 12 inches in a very short time.
  • It is advised to keep one spot foxface fish in 70 gallons or even bigger tanks.
  • Foxface fish need bigger space to swim around and hide in the tank.
  • Foxface fish spend most of their time in the bottom and the middle of the tank.
  • Don’t keep them in overcrowded tanks.

Light intensity for foxface fish

  • Foxface fish prefer dim lighting in the tank.
  • Bright light may stress them.
  • Standard aquarium lighting is preferred.

Substrate/Decorations for foxface fish

  • Foxface fish come from reef areas,so they prefer reef settings in their aquarium.
  • Rock and coral substrate would be perfect for them to replicate their natural habitat.
  • This kind of substrate would recruit macroalgae on their surfaces and will get eaten up by the foxface fish.
  • You can add live rocks in their aquarium for grazing between meals.
  • Caves and tunnels can also be included in the tank to provide good hiding space to them when they get stressed.
  • Sharp and edgy stuff should not be used for decorations in the tank, it can hurt the fish and other tank-mates

Water parameters for foxface fish

  • Slow water movement in the tank is important exactly like their natural habitat.
  • Ensure that water quality is stable at all times because good quality water is very important for the health and survival of foxface fish in aquariums.
  • Foxface fish are quite sensitive to dirty water and dirty water can lead to various diseases.Therefore water must be kept clean at all times. 
  • 10-25 % water changes should be done monthly.
  • Maintain the Salinity levels between 1.020-1.025
  • Strong filter systems are not recommended,since Foxfaces come from slow water movement areas.
  • You can use a canister filter or a hang-on-back filter to remove biological waste from their tank.

Temperature for foxface fish

  • Foxface fish are from tropical areas so mimic the same temperature conditions for their growth in the tank.
  • Optimum temperature- 75F-82F

Tank plants for foxface fish

Add tank plants which are reef safe and easy to maintain in foxface fish aquariums.

  • Pickleweed
  • Saltgrass
  • Glasswort

Tank mates for foxface fish

Foxface fish can be kept with large and aggressive fish in their tanks.Make sure you are keeping more aggressive fish than foxface fish in their tanks, because they have spines to protect themselves from any kind of fish near them.

Compatible tank mates:

  • Small fish
  • Cleaner Shrimps
  • Lagoon triggerfish
  • Redtoothed triggerfish
  • Clownfish
  • Dogface pufferfish
  • Blue ribbon fish
  • Six line wrasse
  • Mandarin dragonet

Tank mates to avoid:

  • Zoa’s
  • Paly’s
  • Large polyp corals

Foxface fish diet and feeding requirements

Foxface fish are fast eaters and easy to feed.They are herbivorous and feed on plant based diets mainly.They are known to eat different types of algae.

  • Great Algae eaters (sheets or flakes) and eat bubble algae and hair algae.
  • Dried seaweed
  • Corals (LPS corals)
  • Fresh vegetables from your kitchen-lettuce,spinach,broccoli and zucchini.
  • Foxfaces can be trained to eat live,frozen food,pellets and flakes.

Foxface fish healthcare and health conditions

  • Scrapes infection-A skin infection,which can be treated by some medications by consulting your vet.
  • Bacterial infections-Fin rot,water changes recommended to regain the decaying fins.
  • Parasitic infections-Marine ich,water changes recommended
  • Blotchy colouration-Foxface can change their color to mottled brown under stress.Always check water,light and oxygen in their tanks to avoid such stressful situations.


Foxface Rabbitfish is a very beautiful brightly coloured marine fish that can really make an elegant addition to your aquarium.They are shy, hardy, bold,confident and peaceful fish.

They are often referred to as nuisance algae terminators as they clean their own tanks by eating them.

They have poisonous spines on their body for self-defense from predators and aggressive tank mates so avoid touching their spines while cleaning and feeding time.

Bigger tanks are recommended to keep these bold beauties and recommended for experienced hobbyists.

It must be noted that the foxface rabbitfish has venomous spines on their fins that can hurt the handlers.

So be careful while handling them and in case you get stung by those venomous spines seek immediate medical help.

Frequently asked questions on Foxface fish care

Do foxface fish eat corals?

Yes, foxface fish eat soft corals like mushrooms and zoas.

How to know if your foxface fish is not well?

Foxface fish will lose their color,unusual swimming patterns,start losing weight,cloudy eyes and labored breathing indicates poor health conditions.