What is rabbit fish

Siganus sp. - rabbit fish - fox face

(Describes the genus formerly known as Lo, today generally known as the fox face.)

Siganus vulpinus - Yellow fox face
Siganus unimaculatus - dotted fox face
Siganus magnificus - Andamen fox face
Siganus uspi - Brown-yellow fox face


Available as offspring: No

Difficulty level: 4
See explanations below

Main food:
This fish is mainly plant-based (herbivorous). Algae are suitable (growth algae, caulerpa, nori, wakame, dry food with a high proportion of algae

Supplement / additional feed:
Vegetables or fruit can occasionally be offered as additional / supplementary feed and to keep the animals busy, although they do not correspond to the natural feed. These include, for example, lettuce, dandelion, cucumber, carrot, but also banana.

Gender differences: no clear known

Suitable for community pools: Yes

Inner-species attitude:

  • Individual keeping: recommended
  • Pair keeping: only possible to a limited extent (see special features)
  • Group housing: not possible

Habitat: Frequent swimmers, connected to the reef

Aquarium design: Loose reef structure with plenty of swimming space, live rock, algae growth.


  • Fox faces live in pairs in nature, but putting them together is very difficult and should be reserved for experts.
  • They are often recommended as so-called "problem solver animals" to free pools of excessive algae growth and naturally algae are also the main food of these animals.
  • However, as is so often the case when you buy an animal for a specific "task", they don't always do what they are supposed to. The reasons for this are as varied as they are speculative; in many cases they eat the unwanted species of algae, but in just as many cases they do not. That is why we would basically not recommend buying fox faces or other animals just for a specific purpose, as these animals, if they do not meet the expectations placed in them, are often given back and this is unnecessary stress for the animal.
  • Rabbit fish can get used to animal food (e.g. frozen food), but their organism is actually not prepared for protein-rich food and the animals can therefore quickly become fat. Since foxes also need a lot of food (algae are poor in nutrients) and that throughout the day, it is important to ensure that they are fed frequently or that there is sufficient algae growth. Furthermore, they like to eat sand for better digestion and sometimes "slurp" the biofilm (scum) from the surface of the water, which looks like they are gasping for air. Another hint: The amount that is eaten is of course also digested and that always means additional water pollution.
  • Both the back and the underside of Siganus sp. are provided with poisonous spikes, so the fox face is a very defensive fish. The stings can be compared to wasp stings, not fatal to humans, but very painful. It is all the more surprising how fearful some specimens can be. A little too hectic in or in front of the aquarium and the animal can fall into real panic attacks and swims through the tank as fast as an arrow to find a safe hiding place. Therefore we ask for caution, because such a panic can end with jumping out of the pool or with serious injuries from the pool decoration.
  • Rabbit fish are close relatives of the doctor fish, but they do not always understand each other. Animals with the same color in particular can clash, such as Siganus vulpinus and Zebrasoma flavescens (both yellow). With a view to the doctor's scalpels and the poisonous spines of the fox faces, one should choose the stocking very carefully.
  • For camouflage, fox faces change their color to a mottled gray-brown. Especially in the rest phases they put on your "pajamas" and are almost undetectable, even if they are outside the reef.

Classification of difficulty level:
1 = easy to keep for coral tanks
2 = conditionally suitable for coral tanks
3 = only for fish aquariums, or strong predators
4 = only for advanced users
5 = only after detailed consultation, very difficult to keep
6 = Artaquarium, special expertise