Longfin Batfish (Platax teira)

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Longfin Batfish
Platax teira
Longfin Batfish (Platax teira)
Name Longfin Batfish
Name Lat. Platax teira
Family Batfishes
Family lat. Ephippidae
Order Surgeonfishes
Order lat. Acanthuriformes
Origin Indo-West Pacific
Habitat Lagoons, seaward reefs
Diet Omnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Group
Reef Compatible With caution
Care Level Difficult
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 60 cm
Temperature 24-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 1.700 l
US Units
Size 24"
Temperature 75-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 450 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of Platax teira is the Red Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the coast of East Africa to New Guinea and from the Ryukyu Islands (Japan) to Australia. They usually live in small groups in sheltered, deep bays and lagoons and on the outer reef.


They need a high, well structured aquarium with a lot of swimming space and a reef structure (hiding, resting and retreat possibilities) with living stones, which they can graze on (sponges, algae, small crustaceans) and which act like a biological filter as well as free sand areas

Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand of various grain sizes may be used as substrate. Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


They are permanent feeders, feeding on zooplankton, small crustaceans and algae, as well as coral polyps (glass roses). The feed change usually succeeds without problems. The food supply should consist of a commercially available frozen food mix enriched with vitamins or a combination of algae (e.g. spirulina, kelp), chopped shrimp, crab and mussel meat with live and frozen food such as mysis, krill, bosmids and artemia as well as live cyclops, which also serve to keep them busy. High-quality granulated or flake food is also well accepted.

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (3-5 times). Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

It is recommended to keep them in a group of 10 animals. In groups that are too small, intra-species aggression can occur. To avoid ranking fights, one group should be put into the aquarium at a time. Towards other fish they behave peacefully and should therefore be socialized only with calm and peaceful fish.

Sex dimorphism

There are no known external distinguishing characteristics.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


During their rapid growth, they change shape and color

As coral reef inhabitants, they should not be kept in a fish-only aquarium. If kept in groups, with sufficient activity (live stones, large reef surface) and frequent as well as varied feeding, they can be maintained in a coral tank without serious attacks on the corals.

If different species are kept together, make sure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER & DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; BAENSCH & PATZNER (1998): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 7, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

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