FAQs on Scats, Family Scatophagidae,
Related Articles: Scats, Scats and monos;
Old favourites and new species for the brackish
water aquarium by Neale Monks,
Related FAQs: Scats
1, Scats 2, Scat Identification, Scat Behavior, Scat
Selection, Scat Systems, Scat Feeding, Scat
Dragon Gobies and Green Scats; comp.
Hi Folks--wonderful site, great info. I've read many of the posts on
stocking brackish systems, but would like to ask a question
not-so-directly addressed: in a 120 brackish tank (SG about 1.010), how
would DGs go with green scats? DGs are slow and have special feeding
needs and can easily miss out, but with some patience and TLC how do you
think they would handle a scat? Regards, KAW
<They can be mixed, but get the Dragon Gobies settled and feeding first.
Once you see the Dragon Gobies actively feeding and putting on weight,
then you can add the Scats. Of course if the Scats are merely babies a
couple inches long, you might get away with mixing them with subadults
Dragon Gobies right from the start. Do also remember Dragon Gobies are
substrate sifters and to some degree algae eaters -- so they will
consume food from a sandy substrate much more effectively than Scats,
which are more 'nibblers' than anything else. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Dragon Gobies and Green Scats
Thanks bunches, Neale.
What is your professional opinion on... BR stkg.
Red scats and figure eight puffers together in a 65 gallon tank?
<Risky. Figure-8s aren't the nippiest fish, but eight of them
with one Scat… don't like them odds! I wouldn't keep more than one Scat
in a mere 65 gallons: they do get pretty big, pretty fast, and given
they're sometimes aggressive if kept in twos, you want space enough for
at least three, preferably more. Cheers, Neale.>
re: What is your professional opinion on...
Alright. I mean, my tank set up idea was a scat, an archer, two or three
monos and one or two figure eights. Hmm. Some rearranging is in order.
<Ah, I see. Well, you could try one or two Figure-8s and see what
But do keep them well fed, given them suitable crunchy foods to occupy
their little beaks, and be prepared to remove one or both if you start
seeing bite-marks on the other fish. Like most experienced fishkeepers,
I prefer to keep puffers on their own, but Figure-8s are normally fairly
inoffensive animals. Cheers, Neale.>
Another scat question! Comp., stkg. 7/21/13
I know, I'm insatiable.
I'm curious- right now I have a single red scat in a 65gal tank.
Would it be wise to get one more (or two more? Better odds in threes?)
scat and then some other species, or should he be a lone scat?
<Scats do well singly or else in odd numbered groups. Provided there
isn't anything aggressive or nippy, singletons settle down well, so
don't feel obliged to keep more than one, and in 65 gallons, I wouldn't.
Re: Another scat question! 7/21/13
As they get older they're getting moved to a 175g. Hmm...looks like a
new tank is in order.
<Ah, a good size for three Scats plus their companions. They do grow
fairly quickly, but slow down after a couple years (at which point
they're around 20 cm/8 inches). Cheers, Neale.>Re: New
Brackish Tank (Bob, any insight into Scat/Mono behaviour from your obs.
in the wild?) 8/2/13
Yet another hello!
Had a quick question concerning a, seemingly, odd behavior.
<I will respond here and place your query in Neale's in-box; he's out
My violet goby (the ninja hiding master) has slowly started to come out
during the day.
This evening I was taking in the opportunity to admire him as he was
hanging on the glass (top of the tank actually).
The Monos have been very curious about him (but lose interest quickly
upon approach). The silver scat on the other hand has decided to become
quite the fin nipper!
<Not atypical w/ Selenotoca>
I have not read anywhere they had this behavior. The scat has _never_
acted aggressive toward any of the Monos.
<They're faster; more aware>
The goby arrived with some tattered tail fins so, until now, I had
not thought anything out of the ordinary.
I will, obviously, continue to observe the behavior in the tank but was
wondering if you had encountered Scat/Goby aggression before?
<Yes; they're curious animal species; like to "examine" everything...
with their mouths, eyes>
Would there be steps I could take to reduce this?
<Really best to do as you state below... The other fishes here are too
likely to outcompete the Goby for foods as well>
I am looking at "alternative" housing, but options are thin.
(55g planted with rainbows, Plecs, and platys) and (65 goldfish / loach)
are not good candidates.
I do have a 35g, with the mollies. SG: 1.003 (cube-like tank
24wx18dx22t) which is an option, but very small for the goby.
<I might try moving the Scat here for a few weeks... see if this takes
some of the "vinegar" out of it>
29g "other" with some plants and platys but they could be moved if
Am I "jumping the gun" or did I get a foul-tempered scat? (or one that
is just curious as to what this wiggling thing is that looks like food?)
Oh, Scat is around 2 inch and goby is around 6 inch though I
don't feel size is ever a real issue (just talk to a puffer!).
<Mmm, well then; at this size, either one could go in with the mollies
for quite a while>
Other than this, life is well and the Monos are still voracious eaters!
Always hungry and never leave a scrap! Feeding them multiple small
Is it easy to overfeed them?
<Not really no; they swim off all categories in short order>
I read they require a good bit of food since they are quite active and
metabolism is higher at the temperature they are in.
-Douglas A. Dunn
<As continuous welcomes. Bob M. Fenner>
Adding fish to red scat tank? (RMF, feel free to comment re:
marine companions)<<I like your resp. as it is>>
Hello, I have been trying to find the solution to this inquiry for a
little while. Perhaps you can assist me. I recently acquired a beautiful
little red scat, about three or four inches right now, and I understand
that he can be territorial. Is there a special way to introduce
tankmates to him without him eating or harming them? I was considering
mollies and/or leopard puffers and/or figure eight puffers, since
they're all brackish to salt water creatures. I am getting my sixty
gallon tank delivered in a week- perhaps I should wait for that new tank
and add them all together? Thank you!
<Hello Tori. Scats are more boisterous than territorial, and definitely
more herbivorous than carnivorous. Certainly at the 3-4" size, the Scat
isn't likely to harm tankmates beyond stealing their food. Scats have
surprisingly small, even dainty mouths similar to their close relatives
the Butterflyfishes and aren't normally difficult to "cohabit" with
robust, fast-moving fish of similar size. Monos and Archers are classic
Scat companions, but you can also keep them alongside large Sailfin
Molly varieties, Colombian Shark Catfish, Violet/Dragon Gobies and Green
Chromides. All share much the same requirements in terms of space and
water chemistry. From SG 1.018 upwards you can mix them with hardy
marines, with things like Sergeant Majors and Batfish being very similar
in temperament and ecological niche. Now, you will probably spot that
I've left Puffers off the menu so far… that's because the brackish
puffers like Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon nigroviridis tend to be
much more territorial, even waspish than Scats, and while I have seen
them cohabit (e.g., in public aquaria containing thousands of gallons)
I'd be leery of trying this in 60 gallons. Some marine pufferfish, and
in particular the Dogface Puffer, Arothron hispidus, may be fairly
mellow, but their size requirements are substantial so you have to plan
around that. I have kept Arothron hispidus alongside the Silver Scat
(Selenotoca multifasciata) and not had the least trouble, but that was
in 200 gallons of space and admittedly only for a couple of years, so
not precisely a cast-iron guarantee that there'd never be any risk of
pufferfish aggression. I'm a big fan of Arothron hispidus -- it's
exceptionally hardy, perhaps even more so than the Tetraodon species
more widely sold -- and generally very well behaved, but pufferfish can
be unpredictable, especially in small tanks and/or when hungry. As for
little Tetraodon nigroviridis, the Figure-8 Puffer, it's a nice fish,
and generally well behaved, but there are two potential problems. If
your Scat is very small, it may be small enough for the Figure-8 to
treat as a buffet, this pufferfish species being one of the occasional
fin-nippers. Secondly, once the Scat gets bigger, it'll want more saline
conditions than the Figure-8, which really wants a planted tank with
just a taste of salinity, kind of like Bumblebee Gobies and Orange
Chromides. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Adding fish to red scat tank? (RMF, feel free to comment re: marine
Apologies, I didn't receive any text in that response.
<<Not sure I understand; the message looks fine below. In any event,
have a read of tonight's FAQs, and it'll be there.
FW Compatibility Dilemma...
Scats 4/4/06 Hi. I have looked all
over your site, Google, etc, and haven't found the answer to my
questions, so hopefully they won't be too redundant. I
have a 30 gallon Freshwater tank with 10 Corydoras catfish (5
Trilineatus, 2 Paleatus, & 3 Bronze Aeneas) and 3 Dwarf Gourami
(Colisa Lalia - 1 standard, 1 blue, and 1 sunset). In
addition I have 4 other tanks. One is a 5 gallon with a
spoiled rotten Betta (Splendens). <Heee!> A 20 gallon long
sectioned into 7 spaces, containing 4 Male Bettas, 1 female Betta (also
all Splendens), 1 Dwarf Gourami (Colisa Lalia neon blue), and 1 Honey
Dwarf Gourami (Colisa chuna). A 10 gallon sectioned into 3
spaces with, you guessed it, 3 male Bettas. Finally, a 5
gallon corner tank with 4-6 Guppies in it. Two of the
Guppies are in sick tanks right now, so 4 is definite. The
other two, if they recover, will go back in as well. They
were in the 30 gallon, but the Dwarf Gouramis kept taking chunks off of
their fins. They also seem to really need the aquarium salt,
which my Corys don't do well with. <Agreed to all> I had been
using 1 teaspoon/5 gallons, but it wasn't enough for the
Guppies. The Corys were okay with it, but I wasn't
willing to risk them on a higher dose. <You are wise here> The 30
is now salt-free, as are all the others, except the Guppy
tank. I consider the 5 gallon tanks full (stocking
capacity). I think 6 Guppies are max for the capacity of the
BioWheel in the corner 5. <Agreed> The Betta in the other 5
gallon will not take any tankmates. The last time I tried,
he sulked himself into a lovely case of Velvet. Long story
short, he lives alone now. The 20 long is full as
well. By water surface to air ratio I have space left, as
well as by the inch/gallon rule. However, with the extra
filtration and dividers taking up space, I'm not comfortable with
adding more fish into it. The 10 is also considered full by
both stocking ratios. All the tanks are cycled. I
maintain the Bettas only tanks at 76/77 degrees. The 20L and
30 are kept at 77/78 degrees. My numbers are Nitrites 0ppm
and Nitrates 0ppm (except the 5 gallon with the single Betta, which is
0 - 5ppm). All the tanks are at 8.0 for Ph (stable), GH is 3
max, and KH is 9-11. Ammonia is 0 in all but the 10 and 30
gallon tanks. The 10 and 30 sometimes get a .25ppm reading,
usually coinciding with my over feeding the little beggars (I'm
working on that). <Ah yes> Water changes are 25 percent weekly in
all but the 5 gallon tanks. The 5 gallons get 50 percent
changes weekly. If I get an ammonia reading, I do an extra
change and clean up the extra food. Okay, by now I'm
sure that you're wondering where-in lies the
questions. So here goes.....I wanted to get a couple fish to
replace the Guppies in the 30 gallon, so I now have 2 Scat in
quarantine. <Mmm, no... too aggressive, gets too large... needs
brackish to full marine conditions> I made the HUGE mistake of not
researching prior to buying, followed by the 'fish guy answered all
the trick questions, so lets trust him' MAJOR
screw-up. Since bringing the Scat home, I have discovered
that they are brackish fish, and I have no idea where to put them!
<Another tank... or... back to the shop?> I think they are
Scatophagus Multifasciatus. They are silver with black
vertical strips that run into/become spots on their
sides. They also have a bit of tannish color on the sides of
their heads above and around the gills. Their dorsal fins
are similar to the Dwarf Gouramis, in that they (the fins) lay down and
stand up depending on the situation. Their dorsal fins are
also black trimmed and pointed. There were no Latin
names on the tank they came from, just
"Scat". I'm praying I have the 5 inch fish and
not the 15-18 inch fish. Is there any way to tell for sure
what they are? <Mmm, are easily discerned... see WWM:
or fishbase.org> Is it true that they have venomous dorsal fins?
<Yes> If so, is it enough to kill a Guppy, etc? <Mmm, yes>
My husband wants me to put them with the Guppies
(...already a brackish tank, problem solved.....). Can I do
that? <No... too different temperaments> They're
less than 2 inches right now. They're smaller than my
littlest C. Lalia, but bigger than the C. Chuna. How fast do
they grow? <Slow if not fed well...> We're talking about
setting up a 55 gallon tank, but not for at least a
year. Can they be kept in a smaller tank that long?
<No... will suffer, likely die from renal problems...> Are they
even safe to have with our other fish? <See WWM re... yes, with
other brackish to marine animals of similar temperament...> My
quarantine/sick tanks are only 2 to 2.25 gallons each, so I need to
figure out what to do with them when their 2 weeks are
up. Returning them is not a possibility. They
were purchased out of town (mistake #3). I like them and
would like to keep them. They are quite personable already,
and it doesn't take me long to get attached. Any
thoughts, words of wisdom, suggestions, or ideas would be greatly
appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for any help you can
send my way! <Great family of fishes... good with Monos, Datnoides,
brackish to marine puffers, much more... all covered on... WWM. Bob
Aggressive scat problem 3/7/06 Hi, <Hi,
Pufferpunk here> I bought one green scat and put it in my
aquarium and he hung out at the top looking lonely (30 gallon,
hexagonal display tank). So I bought him a brother to keep
him company, a red scat 2X his size. He happily beat the
living daylights out of brother red. So I did some research
and found they are schooling fish and that what my scat did often
happens in groups of two. So I bought a third (smaller)
green scat. Now he mainly beats up on the big red
scat, but when the red one hides in the newly decorated garden of
algae, he beats up on the small one. Any ideas what to
do? I've been feeding him krill (supposedly the act of
tearing it apart will give him an outlet for his aggression) but still
no luck. I'm out of options. <As far as I know, scats
are not schooling fish, <<Mmm, are in the wild. RMF>> they
do not get lonely. Since an adult scat gets as large as a
dinner plate, I suggest a much larger tank. There is no room
for territories in your tank. They require at least 50g each
& marine conditions as adults. ~PP> Thanks, Judy