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Jack Knife-Equetus lanceolatus

Jack Knife-Equetus lanceolatus

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The jack-knifefish is a small fish, typically between 6 and 9 inches, that can occasionally be found on coral reefs in the middle western Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas. They are known for their unique shape that sets them apart easily form other fish.

Category Fish
Care Moderate
Diet Carnivore
Maximum Size 10 Inches
Origin Florida
Minimum Tank Size
120 Gallons
Water Condition 72-78 F, dkh 8-12, PH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Water Flow Medium
Light Medium
Reef Compatible With Caution
Compatibility See Chart


The Jack Knife requires a peaceful community in a 120-gallon or larger aquarium with a sandy bottom, and abundant amounts of live rock for both hiding places, and a supplemental food source. If incorporating more than one into the aquarium, be sure to add them at the same time to reduce the chances of aggression. It tends to hide during the acclimation process to the new aquarium until it feels secure. This species may consume crustaceans and other invertebrates in the reef aquariums. 

Regular meals consisting of a variety of live items such as black worms and brine shrimp and prepared meaty items should bring it out of hiding. The Jackknife fish will comb the sandy bottom looking for worms, crustaceans, and small fish if it is hungry.