Are Foxface Rabbitfish Reef Safe?


The Foxface Rabbitfish are an amazing saltwater fish and if you have a large enough tank, you should consider adding one to your collection.

are foxface rabbitfish reef safe?

A common question asked about these fish is are Foxface Rabbitfish reef safe?

The answer is yes they are.

For the most part, the Foxface will not bother any of your corals in the tank. There is a possibility of them nipping at some LPS and soft corals if they are not well fed.

Keeping these fish on a healthy diet and well-fed will most likely prevent them from bothering your corals.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but I have been keeping Foxface Rabbitfish for many years and have never had a problem with them bothering any of my corals.

Let’s look at some more important information about keeping these fish in your saltwater tank.




The Foxface rabbitfish are considered to be easy to keep and should be housed in a larger tank of 125 gallons or more. They can grow to be 8″ or more so they need plenty of swimming space. They have a very colorful body which is mostly yellow and brown. They have a black chest and striped face which givers them that fox-like appearance.

These fish are generally peaceful and won’t bother other tankmates. They can be kept with certain tangs like the Hippo tang, Vlamingi Naso tang, and many others. Smaller fish like Clownfish and Blue-green Chromis are safe with them as well.


Types of Rabbitfish


There are over 25 different species of Rabbitfish that known. The most common one kept in saltwater tanks being the Foxface. Others include:

  • One-Spot Foxface
  • Blotched
  • Blue-Spotted Spinefoot
  • Gold-Spotted
  • Bi-colored
  • Two-Spined
  • Magnificent
  • Masked
  • Decorated

Of course there are many others but these are some of the commonly seen Rabbitfish.


purple tang care


Are Foxface Rabbitfish Venomous?


One unique feature that the Foxface has is the venomous dorsal fins spines. Most predators and other fish in the tank will tend to leave them alone because of their spines.

As mentioned, these fish are generally peaceful and won’t bother other tankmates. But you do need to be very careful if your hands are in the tank or when transporting and moving this fish.

It is possible that they could sting you, and although I have never been stung, everything I read about it proves that it’s not a good experience.

If you get stung by their venomous spines, not only does it hurt, but it can leave you with swelling, rash, and other health concerns that require medical attention. Some people have said it’s like getting a nasty sting from a bee.

Full disclaimer – I am not a health expert by any means. If you plan to keep a Foxface Rabbitfish or any fish, make sure to do your research ahead of time.

I am always very cautious with my hand in the tank for any reason, but extra careful around the Foxface. I can usually hand feed my Foxface and never has it showed any signs of aggression or attempted to sting. Perhaps I’m just lucky!


foxface rabbitfish spines



Foxface Rabbitfish Diet


The Foxface is considered to be a herbivore and requires a diet of mainly algae and vegetables. They love to eat dried seaweed sheets, frozen foods, saltwater fish flake and pellet foods containing algae. They should be fed a few small meals per day and ensure they are not hungry to avoid having them nip at corals.


Foxface Rabbitfish facts


foxface rabbitfish pair


  • It can give you a powerful sting from its sharp dorsal fins.
  • They have the ability to turn color when threatened and also at night when sleeping.
  • Can grow to over 8″
  • They have 7 spines which are the most for any bony fish.
  • Found in lagoons and reefs up to 30 feet.
  • Located widely throughout the Western Pacific.
  • A Foxface will pair up with another Foxface and be paired for life.
  • Foxface are active algae eaters and will pick constantly at algae throughout your tank.
  • They can live up to 12 years.