Of all the many different species and groups of marine fish we have written about in the last ten years, it’s a shame we haven’t spotlighted the bandfish, until now. These fish are rarely seen in the aquarium hobby, probably because they don’t come from the typical reef habitat that we try to recreate.
Instead bandfish come from coastal zones with lots of sand and silt where they are not shy of divers getting all up in their grill for photos. Ecologically and behaviorally, it’s easy to think of bandfish as the lovechild of jawfish and garden eels, although it is far removed from being related to either of those fish groups.
Their elongated bodies are a tapering teardrop shape with a dorsal and anal fin that is continuous all the way to the tail, giving these fish an almost eel-like appearance. With their large eyes and subtle attractive colors, bandfish’s unique undulating motion is hypnotic to watch.
from my friend's shop
Posted by Franco Yeung on Monday, June 19, 2017
Due to their unique habitat preference there’s not even a real supply of bandfish in the aquarium world, but a recent species specific tank shared in the Tidalarium group shows off these fish as nature intended. In this setting the Acanthocepola limbata definitely look like Lonchopisthus swordtail jawfish but with a much more peaceful disposition.
Seeing them like this definitely clears up why these fish wouldn’t be suitable for a high energy reef aquarium but in a tank tailored for them, these bandfish make very neat aquarium inhabitants.