Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Squirrelfish & Soldierfish


Indo-Pacific, Tropical Western Atlantic

Tank Temperature




Specific Gravity



Carnivorous; zooplankton, small fish, invertebrates, and frozen foods, including krill and clams.


Nocturnal; tends to hide; swims in groups during the day; may be somewhat aggressive but generally peaceful in nature; dim lighting; provide rockwork, caves, and hiding places; tank should have a lid.


Coral safe; community safe with caution and with larger fish only; not invert safe; best kept in groups.

Species Overview

Squirrelfish and Soldierfish are brightly colored, usually red with pearly white, silver, black or yellow accents - but unlike most other reef fish, their color is not used to get them noticed. These fish, belonging to separate subfamilies of the family Holocentridae, use their red color to help them disappear in the dark depths and caves where they live and hunt. These fish are nocturnal, meaning they are active mostly at night, and many live in deeper waters than the sunlight can penetrate. The all have very large eyes, too, which helps them to see prey in their dark environment.

Squirrelfish spend most of their time during daylight hours hiding in rocks, caves, or other dim areas of the aquarium. They can be kept as individuals, but are more secure in groups, and should be kept that way if the tank is large enough. They will not bother corals, but will eat small fish, shrimp, and other invertebrates they come across. Feed them a variety of meaty foods and provide a space for them to hide, whether with live rock or ornaments with caves.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

Recommended Items

Frozen Aquarium Food
Salt Mix
Canister filters or Wet/Dry Filter
Live Rock
Saltwater Community Food