Arrowhead Soapfish

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Belonoperca chabanaudi - Fowler & Bean, 1930
Arrowhead Soapfish

This is a voracious predator that captures its prey with incredible speed. Scott W. Michael


This beguiling fish but predatory species is not for every reef, and it will spend more time in the open in a dimly lit tank. Authentic aquascaping will help; provide it with an arch, overhang, or cave in which it can hover as it does in the wild. Otherwise it will spend much of its time resting on its pelvic fins behind aquarium decor.

Family: Serranidae

Other common name(s):

  • Chabanaud's Soapfish

Native range:

Maximum length: 15 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 152 L (40 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)


Meaty foods, including frozen seafood. May require live, gut-packed ghost shrimp to initiate a feeding response. It slowly approaches its prey by undulating its median fins and then, with incredible speed, swoops down to capture its quarry.

Aquarium Compatibility

It rarely displays interspecific aggression. This species is a voracious predator that will eat any fish or shrimp that will fit into its mouth. Only one should be kept per tank, but it can be kept with related forms (i.e., other soapfishes, groupers).

Special Care

The tank should have a cover because this species is likely to launch itself out of an open aquarium if it is startled or harassed.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM