Pinnatus Batfish

  • Captivating disc-shaped saltwater fish with unique behaviors.
  • Peaceful for large tanks (180+ gallons) but needs varied diet (meat & algae).
  • Expert-level care required due to specific water parameters and tank needs.
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SKU: 5023

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Pinnatus Batfish: A Captivating Yet Challenging Marine Addition

The Pinnatus Batfish, also known as the Orbicular Batfish or Plate Batfish (scientific name: Platax pinnatus), is a mesmerizing saltwater fish prized for its unique disc-shaped body and fascinating behaviors. However, keeping this exotic beauty requires a well-established and advanced aquarium setup.

Water Quality

  • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-26°C)
  • Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.025
  • Water Movement: Moderate to strong current

Tank Parameters

  • pH Level: 8.1-8.4
  • GH Level: 8-12 dKH
  • KH Level: Stable levels are crucial


The Pinnatus Batfish is surprisingly not entirely herbivorous as its close relatives. It’s best described as an omnivore with a preference for meaty foods. Offer a varied diet including:

  • High-quality frozen brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Marine algae
  • Spirulina flakes

Tank Mates

Due to their peaceful nature, Pinnatus Batfish can coexist with other peaceful fish in a large enough tank (minimum 180 gallons). However, avoid housing them with:

  • Aggressive fish
  • Smaller fish that can be seen as prey
  • Invertebrates like corals and clams (they will be nipped at)

Substrates and Tank Decorations

  • Substrate: Sandy substrate allows for natural burrowing behavior.
  • Decorations: Provide ample hiding places with live rock and caves.

Suitable Plants

While not necessary, some macroalgae species can be added for grazing and improved water quality.

Sexing and Breeding

Distinguishing male from female Pinnatus Batfish is nearly impossible visually. Breeding in captivity is very rare.

Maximum Size and Longevity

  • Maximum Size: Up to 18 inches (45 cm)
  • Longevity: 10+ years with proper care


Pinnatus Batfish are known for their interesting habits:

  • Juveniles: Often associate with floating objects for shelter.
  • Adults: Exhibit a dramatic body shape change compared to juveniles.
  • Swimming Style: Glide effortlessly with their wing-like pectoral fins.

Things to Consider Before Buying

  • Expert Level Care: Pinnatus Batfish require a mature, stable tank environment and experienced owners.
  • Diet: Providing a varied and meaty diet is crucial for their health.
  • Tank Size: They need a large tank (minimum 180 gallons) to accommodate their adult size and swimming space.

General Information

Pinnatus Batfish are native to the Indo-Pacific region, inhabiting coral reefs and rocky areas.

Fun Fact

The disc-shaped body of the Pinnatus Batfish allows it to maneuver through tight spaces and even wedge itself in crevices to avoid predators!


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Care Level


Potential of Hydrogen

pH Level Aquarium pH measures water acidity/alkalinity. 7 is neutral. Fish have pH preferences; maintain ideal levels for their health and stability.

8.1 – 8.4

General Hardness

GH Level GH (General Hardness) in aquariums measures minerals like calcium and magnesium. It affects fish health by showing water\'s mineral content.

8 – 12 dGH

Carbonate Hardness

KH Level KH (Carbonate Hardness) in an aquarium stabilizes pH. It acts like a shield, keeping the water conditions just right for fish.



Temperature Ideal temperature needed for fish

22°C – 26°C

How long will I live

Life Span

10+ Years

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