Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Sweetlips and Grunts


Indo-Pacific, Atlantic

Tank Temperature




Specific Gravity



Carnivorous; variety of meaty foods including small fish, clams, scallops, and crustaceans, like shrimp.


Some are sand-sifters, can be destructive to corals due to large size and sand-sifting behavior (may knock over corals); relatively timid and peaceful, but can be semi-aggressive; provide plenty of open swimming space; adequate filtration.


Community and coral safe with caution; not invert safe. Can be kept with larger fish, generally should not be kept with smaller fish or with invertebrates like crab and shrimp.

Species Overview

Grunts and Sweetlips are interesting choices for a home aquarium, but are not fish that should be kept by beginners. Sweetlips are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, while Grunts are mainly found in the Atlantic. Both Grunts and Sweetlips go through a drastic changes in coloration and pattern from the juvenile to adult phases.

Grunts are almost always found in large shoals, and depending on the age, Sweetlips are often seen in small groups or as solitary individuals. Most Grunts and Sweetlips are nocturnal. During the day, they can usually be found hiding within the rockwork or at the bottom of an aquarium. At night, they come out to hunt for food.

In an aquarium, Sweetlips and Grunts average 6 inches in size, but some species can grow to enormous lengths- as long as 4 feet! Most Grunts and Sweetlips adapt to the aquarium setting well, but special care is required for some species to start feeding. Small ghost shrimp work well to entice the fish in this family to start eating in an aquarium. It is suggested that you try to wean them onto frozen food. They are relatively hardy, but are considered difficult to maintain. We suggest that only expert aquarists attempt to keep them.

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
Protein Skimmers
Saltwater Community Food