The spotted drum, Equetus punctatus, is one of our all-time favorite reef fish and it’s just a puzzle as to why this fish isn’t way more popular. In Japan a decent spotted drum can fetch upwards of $300 or more but they are extremely affordable, especially here in the U.S. since this fish comes from Florida.
Spotted drums are hardy, colorful, chill and they have a unique shape and color pattern which is hard to mistake with anything else. Like other Equetus drums the spotted drum has a juvenile appearance which is absolutely breathtaking but unlike the jack knife or the hihat, the spotted drum grows into a beautiful adult too. Check out this FlickR search for spotted drum to see what we mean.
What should make this fish even more popular is that it is equally well suited for fish or reef aquarium systems. In a fish tank the spotted drum can hold it’s own with some moderately aggressive tankmates and it’s an eager feeder that’ll never be last one to come for the dinner bell.
In a reef tank the spotted drum will be one of the larger inhabitants, and it may make a meal out of some of the crustaceans but other than scaring the smaller fish, it can be just as “reef safe” as some of the larger Holacanthus or Chaetodontoplus reef dwellers. The spotted drum specimen in the video above was filmed at the Florida Aquarium and needless to say, we spent our sweet time enjoying it’s graceful swimming around the tank. We hope you do too.