Hovercraft Cowfish


Hovercraft Cowfish or Humpback Turretfish

  • Hovercraft Cowfish
  • Tetrosomus gibbosus
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Group Size: Alone
  • Place of origin: Indo-West Pacific
  • Coral Safe: Possible with caution
  • Critter Safe: Generally no

Hovercraft Cowfish, Tetrosomus gibbosus, also go by thee name Humpback Turretfish. These are fascinating fish. Partly due to their peculiar shape. They are full of personality and are perfect for someone after something different in their marine tank. 

Hovercraft Cowfish belong to the Ostraciidae family. Which comes from the Greek word “ostrakon” meaning “shell”. Members of this family have square shaped bodies. This is thanks to their rigid carapace which grants them protection from predators. Their tough armour consists of sutured bony plates or scutes. It also encases most of their body, only leaving gaps for the: eyes, mouth, fins, gills ect.

Hovercraft Cowfish, Tetrosomus gibbosus, Ecology.

These fish occur in the Indo-West Pacific, around: East Africa, Japan, Australia and Indonesia.

Hovercraft Cowfish prefer relatively sheltered areas but do have a range. They will live in coastal areas close to seagrass beds, up to offshore muddy, deep water habitats. Here they will graze on algae or hunt for invertebrates, such as sponge, polychaete worms and crustaceans.

Humpback Turretfish the Aquarium.

It is important to have plenty of nooks or crannies where your Hovercraft Cowfish can explore and feel at home. Keepers may want to invest in a jump guard to prevent accidents. Young fish are not the strongest of swimmers so be mindful the flow rate isn’t too high.

Hovercraft Cowfish are omnivores so do best when fed a varied diet. They will accept frozen Mysis shrimp and frozen brine shrimp. We enrich all our frozen food with seachem garlic guard and Atvitol vitamins. These are great for keeping fish healthy by providing them with the nutrition otherwise lost in frozen food. In doing so, these additives support their immune system and increase longevity.

These fish can also go for masstick that can be rubbed onto the rockwork or tank sides. In addition, they will graze on marine algae that can be stuck to the side of the tank with clips. Over time, Hovercraft Cowfish will eat a high quality flake food. They will also accept live foods, such as copepods and amphipods, that can be cultivated in attached refugium.

We adapt all our Hovercraft Cowfish to aquarium life before they leave us. We focus on their health. Most will also be eating frozen food before leaving us.


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