All about the Razor Fish or Striped Shrimpfish

In this article, we learn about the Razorfish, also known as the Striped Shrimpfish. It is a unique fish because of how it swims, eats, and looks in the tank. This fish is a distant relative of seahorses and pipefish. The body of a Razorfish is encased in transparent bony plates that protect it from predators in the wild, and this fish has a unique way of swimming in a vertical, upside-down position on the sand bed. 

Prices: Typically cost about $45.

Tank Size: 75 gallons or larger. Razorfish can eventually grow to 6 inches. So, if you have a school of razors in your tank, all Max size, you want plenty of room for them to roam.

Care Level: Expert. The tank needs to be a seasoned tank, preferably a reef/micro-algae tank. You want a live rock structure with many tall caves and crevices for them to explore and hide behind when frightened. It also gives them a lot of open room towards the top of the tank. 

This fish is more complicated to acclimate to a tank setting than others. Feeding these fish is a task since they only eat live food initially. Next, they need stable water parameters—finally, the tank mates. Treat them like seahorses. You want to pair them with laid-back fish that will allow them to eat during feeding.

Temperament: They are super sweet fish that dance around the tank with their funny vertical swim patterns. You'll not see any aggression come from these fishes.

Reef Compatibility: Yes, it's even recommended. In nature, they thrive in reefs, and setting up your tank environment like in the wild helps them so much with their acclimation in the tank. 

The amount of microalgae also helps with the amount of zooplankton that you have. 

Water Parameter

Temperature: 72-78

dKH: 8-12

pH: 8.1-8.4

Salinity: 1.020-1.025

With a fish like this, opt for drip acclimation. Whatever the usual time is for fish, double it for the Razorfish. Also, keep up with your other levels. Things like Ammonia, Nitrate, and Phosphate spiking can cause this fish to perish quickly. 


As juveniles, these fishes are very dark, almost entirely black. But as they become adults, they have a more gray-silver coloration. If you put them in a tank with lots of green and macroalgae, their colors will change to better camouflage themselves within that algae. 


They are a carnivore. On day one, you want live food, like the freshwater feeder shrimp. They'll bounce around the tank like crazy. There are also tiny live brine and Mysis shrimp. You can also train them to eat frozen food.


They come from the Indo-Pacific Ocean. A school of Striped shrimpfish helps them feel protected and safer. Although they are expert-level fish, they do add character to the tank. 

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