Clown Sweetlips

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides - Lacepède, 1801
Clown Sweetlips

Juveniles are extremely appealing, with big polka dots and a sinuous swimming motion, but are not especially good aquarium fish. Scott W. Michael


As endearing as any juvenile fish in the store, these charming little specimens should be avoided. First of all, they often refuse anything but live food and even then rarely eat with gusto. Secondly, those that survive will get very big and need an extra-large aquarium.

Family: Haemulidae

Other common name(s):

  • Harlequin Sweetlips

Native range:

Maximum length: 72 cm (28 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 757 L (200 gal)

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

General swimming level: Midwater to bottom.


Carnivore. May require live feeder shrimp or live black worms to elicit a feeding response. Offer meaty foods including mysid shrimp, enriched brine shrimp, reef plankton, other high quality rations for carnivores. Feed 2–3 times daily.

Aquarium Compatibility

Too large for most home aquariums. Juveniles can be harassed to death by aggressive tankmates.

In the reef aquarium, it will eat serpent stars, ornamental crustaceans, small snails, and polychaete worms.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM