Yellow Back Goatfish


Fish Type: Goatfish


Scientific Name: Parupeneus barberinus


Species: Mullidae

Color: white, yellow, blue, green
Aggressiveness: Non-Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Max Size: 16"
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal
Relative Care: Expert
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria


The Yellow Back Goatfish, is also referred to as the Dash and Dot, Half and Half Goatfish, and Swarthy-headed Goatfish. Goatfish are relatively new to the hobby, but fast growing in popularity. If you’re looking for the unexpected, consider the Yellow Back Goatfish. These hardy characters introduce energetic activity to the aquarium bottom as they actively patrol the sand bed to satisfy their appetites, making them a unique addition to your aquarium.

An established 125 gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of swimming room and rockwork with a few hiding places is recommended. The bottom of the aquarium should have a moderate substrate layer so the Yellow Back Goatfish may use its barbels to sift through the substrate in search of food (invertebrates, small crustaceans, worms). Because the Yellow Back Goatfish eats invertebrates, the nitrogen load capacity of the sand will be reduced and it will be well-oxygenated due to the sifting. Goatfish prefer to be housed with less aggressive tank mates.

The diet should consist of fresh or frozen meaty preparations. Goatfish have a high metabolism and should be fed four to five times daily.