The Redfin Waspfish (Latin: Paracentropogon rubripinnis) is certainly one of the most unusual fish species to grace our fish tanks. Other known names are Redfin Velvetfish and Red Rooster Waspfish. The fish themselves are truly beautiful, boasting bright red/orange pectorals, and a white body mottled with grey, black, and red/brown markings.
There is always a black spot between the fifth and sixth dorsal spines, and a white spot above the lateral line below the black spot, which seems to be more pronounced in males.
The dorsal spines are incised, with those of the male being more deeply so, and longer than those of the female. The dorsal spines of the male are also more curved and backswept than the female's spines. Males are also much larger than females.
These fish are generally inactive and they are ambush nocturnal hunters so you will likely not see much of them in the day. All-in-all they are pretty relaxed around other tank mates and won't cause any problems once the pecking order has been established.
One other thing that is perhaps the most important is they are HIGHLY venomous and if you are stung you must hold the sting under extremely hot water and seek medical assistance immediately.
Size and General Requirements
They grow to around 4 inches (10cm) in length, with the females growing to around 3 inches (7.5cm) in length.
A mixed diet of frozen and live foods is the best for your Waspfish in order to maintain a balanced diet. Also, the live food element is great for stimulating them too, making feeding more enjoyable.
Habitat and Difficulty
They are easy to medium in terms of their difficulty level, so it would be OK for a beginner hobbyist who has done their research, although we would advise getting some experience under your belt first before taking on this challenge.
Their natural habitat consists of seagrass beds and rocky reefs, so trying to mimic those environments as best as possible is certainly recommended.
20 gallons (75 liters) is the perfect size tank for them to thrive in. You could opt for a larger tank, which is fine, but they tend to accommodate a small area within the tank and will typically linger around there.
To conclude these extremely unique and rare fish are well worth looking into getting, they are fairly peaceful and will brighten up almost any aquarium. The only thing you need to consider and watch out for is their venomous stinger as you will not want a trip to the hospital just after purchasing one!