|Silver moony, (M. argenteus)|
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
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Monodactylus argentus, a perciform fish in the Monodactylidae family, is usually found in the Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa, north to the Yaeyama Islands, south to New Caledonia and Australia. Monodactylus argenteus has many common names including silver moony', silver moonfish, fingerfish, diamond moonfish, and Malayan angel. It is commonly called fingerfish because its genus Monodactylus means "one finger". It is also sometime called "Sea Angel" in the pet shops.It has a silver body in a triangular shape. The big eyes are crossed by a dark ray. Its fins are silver with yellow reflection. Both, yellow and dark colouring, are fading with age. It is also confused, though rarely, with Monodactylus sebae, but easily distinguished by its other black ray that crosses where its tail starts, darker color and less yellow coloration.
In the aquarium
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One of the most commonly kept in brackish water aquaria. It is a shoaling fish that needs to be in groups of three and can grow up to 12 inches, but more commonly 8 inches in aquaria. The biggest requirement for this fish is that as a juvenile it resides in mild brackish water, but travels downstream to ocean, which means as it grows, it needs to be acclimated to increasing specific gravity or salinity. To mimic this in the home aquarium, it should be started at 3-4 tablespoons of marine salt per gallon of water for juveniles. An extra tablespoon would then be added monthly during water changes, the salt should always be dissolved completely in a separate container. It should be continued until about a cup of marine salt per gallon is being added, which is the normal marine salinity. To be more accurate, a swing handle or a floating hydrometer should be used to accurately measure the specific gravity, that needs to be raised by 0.002 every month, starting from 1.008 for juveniles to 1.023-1.024 for adults. It may be kept with other marine fish in an FOWLR marine aquarium, provided it is large enough.
Feeding is not much of an issue because they will eat anything once they are acclimated. They will eat flake food, pellet food, bloodworms, tubifex, brine shrimp, spirulina, etc. They also need much vegetable matter, so feed them lettuce, spinach, whatever leafy greens are on hand.
Tankmates are not much of a worry, as long as they are peaceful such as archerfish, Scatophagidae, mollies, halfbeaks, etc. They prefer to be in schools and will normally chase each other to establish a pecking order.
There have not been any reports about spawning in aquaria, and sexual differences are unknown.
- "Monodactylus argenteus", fishbase.org. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
- Riehl, R. and Baensch, H.A. Mergus Aquarien Atlas, p. 804 (2002) 14. edt.
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