Jawfish Care Guides
Get off on the right foot with our care guides.
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Opistognathus aurifrons - Yellowhead Jawfish
3.9 in. (10.0 cm)
Minimum Aquarium Size
20 gal. (76 L)
Sand and rubble. Provide heterogeneous substrate, consisting of sand, rubble, and bits of shell, which facilitates burrow construction. Provide substrate bed of 4 inches (10 cm). It is also a good idea to put some flat pieces of live rock on the substrate. Jawfishes will often dig under rocks, using it as a roof for their burrow chamber. Provide plenty of open sand bottom.
Foods and Feeding
Feed meaty food at least twice a day.
Best housed with more passive fish species, especially if you are keeping them in a smaller tank. Interesting to keep in groups. It is best to add all the individuals at once. A good rule of thumb is approximately 2 to 2.5 square feet per individual. This species will chase smaller fishes away from its burrow, but rarely harm tankmates. Aggressive fishes (e.g., dottybacks, some of the pygmy angelfishes, larger sand perches, triggerfishes) may pester jawfishes. Many piscivores (e.g., eels, frogfishes, groupers) will eat these fish.
This is a burrow builder, digging by taking mouthfuls of substrate and spitting the debris at the burrow entrance. This species will often leap from open aquariums and has is an expert at finding small holes in the aquarium cover from which to leap.
Reef Aquarium Suitability