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More FAQs about Lionfish & Kin Behavior

Related Articles: Lionfish & Their RelativesKeeping Lionfishes and their Scorpaeniform Kin Part 1, Part 2, by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner, Dwarf Lionfishes,

Related FAQs: Lions 1, Lions 2, Lions 4Dwarf Lionfishes, Lionfish Selection, Lionfish Compatibility, Lionfish Behavior, Lionfish Feeding, Lionfish Disease,

Dwarf Lions and CBS "hanging" in N. Sulawesi.

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Lionfish seem to dance ! 5/16/12
Hi Bob,
<Hi Andy, Jordan with you today>
   It's been awhile since I have asked you and your  crew a question about my lionfish. I am here again to ask you about their  behavior. Their names are Ben and Jerry, Ben is about 8" in length and Jerry are  6" in length.
Measured from tip of nose to end of tail. My tank is 110 gal.  filtered by a wet dry and a Coralife 125 protein skimmer. My water  parameters are 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, 30 ppm nitrates, ph is at 8.2  measured by a pinpoint monitor, and salinity<Specific gravity> is 1.023 measured by a Sybon  refractometer. Their diets consist of live ghost shrimps which are fed a  Spirulina flake enhanced food, and Hikari silversides, which they stopped eating  about a week ago, hence the live ghost shrimp. They seem to do a dance together.  They twirl and, for lack of a better term snuggle each other. They stay at the  top of the tank then split off their dance and Ben, floats in front of the  power head while Jerry remains at the top of the tank.
<I believe one of your lions is in need of a name change as it sounds as if they are attempting to mate. When mating the male will darken greatly in color and the female (multiple females in the wild) turns a much paler hue.
Mating ritual: The male will skirt alongside the female on the sandbed, looking upward while propped up on its ventral fins. The male will eventually swim to the surface, followed by the female and they will come together at the surface. This process is repeated numerous times. I believe a much much larger tank is required for them to be successful which is why I stated "attempting to mate". Interesting nonetheless.>
Ben still has a injured  jaw and has trouble opening and then swallowing the food at times.
<?!?!This is an issue of concern.>
I don't understand their behavior so I am asking a more knowledgeable person than  myself. Did you ever see something like this?
<Never in a home aquarium.>
 There is a Koran sub-adult, a  med. Blue Tang, a Sailfin Tang and a Coral Beauty Angel in residence with  them.
<Koran and both Tangs both require a larger tank and the Dwarf Angel may be dinner depending on your species of Lionfish.>
Thank you for your time and knowledge.
<Quite welcome, Jordan>
Andy G
Re: Lionfish seem to dance! 5/16/12

Thank you Jordan for your reply. This is interesting and I'm trying to get  a 500 gal. tank into my house but, I have a problem, my wife ! I have to find a  place to put her first !
<A common problem which I don't think there is a solution. Best of luck.
Thanks again .
Andy G

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish Twitching    6/21/11
Hello, I have been looking on the web but cannot find an answer. My tank is a 40G breeder with: Nitrates: 0ppm, Nitrites: 0ppm, Ammonia: <.25ppm,
<Any present might be the source of the twitching>
PH: 8.0, SG: 1.025, and Temp: 77-78F. The tank cycled on week 1 (bought everything from an established tank with <15mins for die-off) and it's now on week 7. It has a small True Perc. Clownfish (~1.5"),
<Might well be inhaled by the Lion>
a large CuC (50+
hermits, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, Emerald Crab,
<And these crustaceans>
and a Large Brittle Star), and my Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish (female, ~1.5").
<Oh! Small>
I have no skimmer hooked up yet, but I will be moving the tank either today or tomorrow and it will be hooked up to a 30G sump/fuge and a Precision Marine Bullet2 skimmer using a Mag18 pump. I have an XP3 canister filter and a 500GPH power head. I've had the lion for 5 days now. She ate a Ghost Shrimp I put in there as a 'just-in-case' snack, and she ate it literally 2 minutes of being put in (used drip acclimation for 2.5-3 hrs) and luckily she ate some frozen Mysis I put in there. Each day she gets more and more adventurous, coming out to greet me, but she still doesn't openly swim,
<Mmm, really don't do this... sit on the bottom most all the time...>
which I'm not concerned about because she is still acclimating to her surroundings. Anyway, now to the question: Recently I've noticed she is getting dark red with brown fins during the day (as opposed to a brighter, cherry red with yellowish fins) and seems to 'twitch' her front 2 dorsal spines. They also seem to move as one instead of individually. Is that a problem?
<Not likely, no>
Or is she just stressed while still getting used to everything? I'm really concerned about her twitching as it also seems to go against the 'wave' motion of the rest of her spines. Thanks for the help.
<I'd just be patient here. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Question: beh., fdg.   3/22/11
First of all, I would like to thank you n advance!
I have a lion fish that seems to be turning more reddish in color. He has always seemed to be more of a opal/grey sort of color.
Should I be concerned?
<Mmm, no, not necessarily. Often such colour changes are due to issues/influences of diet; not portent/s of disease>
The diet is mostly fresh raw shrimp, everyday or every other day, and occasionally live feeders.
<Mmm, both poor choices... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaq2.htm
and the linked files...>
I have had him/her for about three years.
In a 110 gal tank with six other fish. The lion is king'¦"Winning"!
<Pterois charliesheenii?>
Eyes are completely clear.
<Bob Fenner>

Lionfish and anemone bond? 11/7/10
Hi guys! Love the site, so much information and you've saved me from making so many mistakes, so thank you! We recently acquired a Condy anemone in our 60gal tank. In it we also have a clarkii clown and a lionfish
<The latter will likely eventually consume the former here>
and of course our tank janitors.
The clown wasn't supposed to make it, he was our very first fish and usually they die. But he did and he's a thriving little beast! We had problems with the lionfish eating but got him to end a week long hunger strike with some ghost shrimp so I'm glad we found success there. The clownfish is taking a little but hardly any interest in the anemone but the lionfish is a different matter. He wants to perch beside it for hours and even brushes up against it occasionally. Is this okay? Is this normal?
<Likely fine, not unusual>
I've looked everywhere and saw nothing like it! I thought the clownfish would be the one to bond with the anemone, not the lionfish! Why is this and What can we do?
<Nature and nada>
Thanks Lacey
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Lion fish cannot swim... Fdg.  -- 03/23/10
<Hi there>
Thank you for your awesome service.
I have a lion fish that is not able to swim. I have had him for two years and this started more than a month ago. First he sat on the bottom and did not eat. I thought it was an eating issue, but then I realized it was that he could not swim. Now I drop food right in front of him and every other day he will eat if he cat catch it before it hits the bottom, but clearly something is wrong. His fins look fine, but he just scuttles along the bottom moving 6 inches at the most and he cannot rise up or swim. None of the other fish bother him, but if he does not get his food they do. His tank mates are a maroon clown, a Naso tang, a Sailfin tang, a bicolor angel, a lunar wrasse and a snowflake eel. It is a 180 gallon tank so they are not crowded, the water tests perfectly, there is good oxygen and salt and everyone else is fine. This tank has been running for more than ten years. It is a live rock system with a sump that contains a filter sock. I run a protein skimmer and two heaters. I rotate three units of Chemipure and one unit of Polyfilter and do large water changes (50 gallons) once a month.
<... Mmm>
I can probably keep him alive and eating but I would like to heal him.
Any clue as to what could be amiss? It looks like a balance/swimming problem but I cannot find anything written about this in lionfish.
Thank you.
<... These feeding strikes are more rule than exception w/ Pteroines in captivity... Usually traceable to either poor long-term feeding practices (avitaminoses, blockages from "feeder" use, other limited diet...), water quality issues, sometimes, though less frequently psychological issues. As you only list summat substantively re the last, I'll refer you to reading:
and the linked file above in the series. Pay particular attention to what others relate re nutrition/feeding/food choices. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish color and strange splashing behavior   7/10/09
Hi there!
I've been reading through your site, and it's definitely informative! I have a Volitans Lionfish, basically at 10"-13" in size, 90g, by itself right now. It's usually very dark brown/red in color, but recently has gotten a lot lighter (looks like a more standard colored / striped lionfish). But it's eating fine, swimming well, basically exhibiting 'healthy' behavior. It also now has a strange of behavior of splashing water outside the right side of the tank while I'm usually at work, to the point where I need to leave a towel right by the tank at all times, and need to constantly clean the outside portion where the salt has dried outside.
Do you know if this behavior has to do with hunger?
<More attention than hunger>
And as they age / get bigger, can they lose their color?
<Yes, but more of a mood thing... do change depending on how they "feel">
I am going to do another water change this weekend (I'm due for one), and see if this changes anything. Usually change about 15-20%, maybe this time a bit more. Stats are great, ph at 8.4, salinity 1.025, alkalinity 300
(says ideal on test), 0 nitrite almost 0 nitrate, 0 ammonia... would stress have to do with it?
<Mmm, yes; possibly>
<If you can find a suitable "roommate", that won't bug the lion, otherwise be inhaled, this mal-behavior would likely cease. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Discoloration - 7/6/09
I have had a volitans Lionfish for little over a year now, he has been fine but now his body is a pale white. He still eats mysis shrimp and bloodworms that I give him but he is just really dull looking. Any ideas why? Thanks -Jason
<This could be a number of things, Jason. What size aquarium and cohabitants does this animal have? Diet? Water parameters? I'd strongly recommend you try stopping by our forum at bb.wetwebmedia.com and exchanging information with the learned folk there. Until we know more, all I can do is hope this fish is in no imminent danger.> <Benjamin>

Lionfish requirements  6/14/09
Hello WWM Crew,
I am curious about my lionfish's behavior after a tank change.
<A Lionfish? As in Pterois volitans?>
After I filter the gravel then refill the tank Richard (the lion) tends to yawn a lot.
<Gravel? Is this a freshwater aquarium or a saltwater one? And when you say "tank change" how much water do you change? Saltwater fish don't like dramatic changes in water chemistry, so it's recommended not to change more than 20-25% of the water at any one time. If you change too much,
differences in salinity or water chemistry could well stress your fish.>
Richard is quite large about 11" in length he has two tank mates, a snowflake eel, aptly named Snowflake, and another lionfish, Little Richard.
Snowflake is approximately 30" long and Little Richard is about 5". The yawning behavior is only observed in Richard, Little Richard seems undisturbed. In addition to the yawning, Richard will bob his eyes above the surface and stay there for some time.
<That isn't at all normal; very few fish habitually stick their heads above the waterline.>
He does this during feeding times so I don't know if he is looking for a treat or if he is agitated by the debris stirred up in the cleaning process.
<How are you cleaning this tank? You really shouldn't be putting too much sediment in the water with a quick stir of the substrate. If you are, and there's a lot of mess in the substrate, that's a clear sign your aquarium doesn't have enough water circulation and mechanical filtration. For a marine aquarium, you need a filter rated at 10 x the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. So for your fish, the minimum suitable tank size of 75 gallons would need a filter rated at 750 gallons per hour.>
Also, I am needing insight on lighting. I have recently added plants to the tank so I have been turning the lights on for about 6 hours a day.
<Plants? In a marine aquarium? Are we talking about algae? The decorative varieties tend to need very strong lighting; a hood or lamp unit designed for corals should work well. Light duration will need to be about 10-12 hours per day.>
Richard is too large to go into the cave or behind the rock propped for added shelter. He seems fine but I'm wondering if this may be problematic for his emotional state?
<Lionfish aren't especially nervous fish, but it's a good idea to arrange the live rock or tufa rock such that there are some suitable caves for them to rest in.>
I am very appreciative for any insight. I have had Richard and Snowflake for 3 years, maybe longer, and still trying to learn.
<Cheers, Neale.>

About my Saltwater Lion Fish 4/24/09
I have attached some photos to show you his/hers change!
<Great, hello Megan!>
We have had out lion fish for a good 4 or 5 months!
<I take it the fish is doing well in general then.>
At first he would hide under his cave and we would take the tongs to feed him to make sure he ate!
<Good that you got him to eat.>
He is eating very well and growing like crazy!
We have him in a 90 gallon tank!
<Wow, better than a 55!>
All of our water tests that we do each week comes back just fine!
<I will take your word for it.>
We take a sample of our water to the fish store we have been working with!
<Sounds like nice people.>
We only have 2 other fish with him .... A trigger and a lunar wrasse ....They get along...all though he does chase after the wrasse!
<What trigger? The trigger may end up chasing/nipping the lion.>
LOL <Yep!> ..Ok I have been looking online like crazy for about a week trying to find the answer to m question and I came upon your website so I'm hoping you can give us some insight!!!
<I believe so.>
Our question is .....When we had gotten the lion fish he was a pretty tannish pink and white fish!
Now his body is a very dark brown color .....Why is he darker?
<A change to darker is not uncommon with these fish, not something to worry about on its own.>
The only thing with him is he likes to stay hidden in his cave and he comes out when the lights are off!
<Also typical with many lions, especially with aggressive tankmates.>
We are at a loss!
<No worries, it is not uncommon.>
Just wonder if he is sick or its normal for them to get a dark body!!!
I have sent pictures , before and after pictures so you could see what I'm trying to explain!
<I see them.>
I hope its nothing major with him because he is by far our favoritest fish we have ....!!!!!
<They are awesome fish.>
Thank you for all your help and I hope we haven't been a bother to you !
<Welcome, enjoy the fish!!!!! Scott V.!>

<<Two different photographers here?! -Sara M.>>

Jumping Lionfish? Cat Lands Lionfish 1/31/09 Hey Guys, I know people usually write to the site looking for advice, but I need more of a detective. I *used* to have a Dwarf Lionfish who unfortunately passed away last week. The fish tank he was in is in the living room, and I found his body in my bedroom. I also have 2 cats, which obviously helped him get all the way down the hallway into the bedroom. The thing im trying to figure out is if the lionfish jumped out of the tank, which has a cover and only has openings for the filter/heater cords, or if the cats fished him out? Both seem unlikely to me; however the openings would be big enough for him to jump through or a cats paw to fit in. I read through your website before I even bought the lionfish but didn't see anything about them getting airborne. The only other occupants in his 55 gallon tank are a Clarkii Clownfish and a Blue Damsel, and neither bothered him. I'm completely puzzled about what happened, and am wondering if I should take the same precautions for housing an eel to make my tank escape proof if I ever get another Lionfish. <I'd be checking the cat's paws for wetness as I'm quite sure he is the culprit. Did he have that Chessie Cat look? As for the eel, yes, your tank will need to be escape proof.> Thanks again for letting me pick your brains, and I appreciate any help/advice you can offer. <You're welcome, and thanks for the job you are doing for us. James (Salty Dog)> Cameron Muse

Head down Lionfish  9/5/08 Hello to everybody at WWM, Firstly I would like to congratulate you from across the pond. This site is absolutely amazing, thank you. <Certainly welcome John> My question is that my wife recently bought me a Pterois mombasae or Mombasa Lionfish to go into my lionfish tank. I currently have a Fu Manchu and a Fuzzy in there, which I have already weaned from live to frozen and flake food. <Ah, good> All 3 'dwarfs' seem to be getting along fine in a 100g tank with 20g filtration and a Turboflotor Multi 1000 skimmer, I have live rock and live sand in this tank and all water parameters are fine and the tank is established, <Do "keep an eye" on nitrate accumulation here... a very useful, simple tool/window into sliding water quality> and a few bits of Xenia which seems to have blossomed out of the rock. <Is fine> Lighting is done by tubes rather than halides to due the Lionfish preferring a more subdued light setup. <Excellent. Well-noted> My problem is that the new Mombasa just stays nose down in the tank, anywhere in the tank, not even near the rocks sometimes, just hangs nose down in the water column. Is this correct behaviour for a Mombasa?. <Mmm, can be... in the wild... for a while... but should "straighten out", level most of the time...> I am used to seeing my other lions perching nose down on a rock or hanging upside down under a rock so that isn't a worry. Can you please put me out of my misery with an explanation as to why this fish maybe behaving this way. Again, many thanks from across the pond in United Kingdom. John <All Pteroines exhibit about the same spatial orientation... often assume odd postures in the wild... likely a function of resisting periods of high water movement amongst structure... Again, in weeks this specimen should appear more and more frequently "belly down". Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Lion Fish Behavior…Nothing to Worry About 3-23-08 Dear Mr. Bob Fenner <<Hello, Akila…this is Adam J filling in for Bob F today.>> I have an 80G tank with a Volitans lionfish which is about 5"-6" long that has been in the tank for about a week now. <<Okay, you do know the potential size of this animal I surmise?>> I returned my smaller fish to the LFS before adding him so now he is the only fish in the tank along with a bubble tip anemone, snails, 3 large tubeworms. <<The quarters appear adequate at least for the time being, but certainly not permanently.>> I have a large canister filter <<What are you running inside of it? Most just end up being detritus traps in marine aquaria…causing nutrient issues…..to say the least I am NOT fond of them.>> , 2 powerheads, skimmer, UV sterilizer with 4 Philips Compact florescent 6500K lights which adds up to 500W & 5000lum. I have attached a photo of my tank. My problem is that my lion fish sits all day on the sand bed in the open space. <<Pteroinae fish are not active swimmers; they are "perchers" or ambush predators. Also you have a specimen that is very new to his/her surroundings. >> He is not active at all. <<Eating is an action, arguably the most important.>> I know that they are not active because I had a lionfish before in my other tank but this fish does not seem to do anything at all. <<A quote from earlier; "Also you have a specimen that is very new to his/her surroundings." I would not worry just quite yet.>> It only swims when I feed it (he eats well -2 shrimps every other day) other than that sits around quietly. I have some shade in the right corner of my tank but he seems to prefer the open space and sits all day long. Is it because I have too much lighting? <<Generally lions do prefer subdued lighting.>> I have checked all parameters and they seem okay. Do you think after I add 1 or 2 fish like clowns or tangs the behavior will change? <<Well clowns would be lunch, barring aggression, I do not see how new additions would affect behavior. At this point I think you might be stressing out a tad, relax and let him adjust to his new surroundings.>> Let me know what you think. <<I have.>> Thanks in advance, <<Anytime.>>
<<Adam J.>>

Lionfish acting strange... poor environment, nutrition    3/17/08 Hi, great website! I have had my lionfish for about six weeks now. I am new to lionfish. He is currently about 5 1/2 inches long and was about 4 inches when I bought him. He was quick to adjust to the frozen silver sides and that is what he eats. A small piece every other day. <... needs more than this> Anyhow, as he has grown he is changing. He has started to get white spots mostly on his (pelvic?) fins. It is not ich. The spots are the same shape and size as the black ones all over his body and are not topical but part of his body. Is this a normal part of growth or change? <The former> He has a couple small holes in his webbing on one side but after reading about that on the site that doesn't really concern me. <Good> What does concern me is he has been swimming strange. He is often in the vertical position and bumps his mouth into the live sand bottom. Now and again he does flips or somersault very slowly almost like he's not in control but then goes back to normal. <Mmm... how bright is your lighting? I do hope/trust this fish has some dark area/s, caves to get out of the light... Otherwise, nutrient/vitamin deficiency can be at root here> I'm also worried that he may be going blind. <Yes... see above> His eyes are not cloudy but do look different than before in the pupil. Instead of being straight black there appears to be a bluish/greenish swirl in both pupils. Kind of like the inside of a marble. When I went to feed him tonight he did not respond to the food. This behavior is out of the ordinary for me so I wanted to see what may be going on as I don't want to lose him. My water temperature is 78F, salinity is 1.021 <I'd raise... see WWM re> and all levels are good. He is the only fish in 55gal tank <Needs more room than this...> (I'm getting a bigger one before he gets too big) and it has a emperor 400 and a aqua c remora on it. I use Hagen Power-Glo lights on that tank. Let me know what you think please. Thanks a bunch. Mike R. <Read on! WWM re: Lion nutrition, systems... Bob Fenner>

Red Volitans Lionfish, beh.  02/25/2008 Hello, how are you? <<Good day, fine thank you. Andrew here today>> I have been reading for the last two days on the Red Volitans Lionfish and I am pretty up to speed on them, but what I am unable to find are, are they social fish...I know that they will eat anything small then them, that they are semi-aggressive, but some sources say that they are good community fish when housed with fish equal to their size then other sources say that they keep just lionfish together. <<This species of lion is a sociable fish, yes>> This is rather confusing as no one can seem to agree. I have had mine for a short time...it hangs out in the live rock mostly but every once in a while it will make its way over to the other side of the tank, hang out for a minute just to see what is going on then back to his perch on the live rock. I am just curious. Thanks <<The behaviour of your lion sounds about right and its common for it act in this manner. More reading can be found here by reviewing the linked articles and FAQ's http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm>> Jessica <<Thanks for the questions Jessica, hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

Lionfish behavior, poor English, using WWM  - 06/11/07 Hi, I have a Volitans lionfish (3") and when the lionfish was first purchased (2 weeks ago). I've <I've> been feeding the lionfish minnows <An exceedingly poor idea. You're killing this fish.> for the past week (i know its not healthy), but I'm <I'm> getting ready to try and train it to eat non-living food. at <At> first, it was fairly active and would swim from side to side every so often; but for the past couple days I've noticed that the lionfish would just sit on the bottom of the tank pretty much all day and its dorsal fins would just droop back, which have usually been erect. i know lionfish aren't exactly the most active fish, but is it typical behavior for a lionfish to have its dorsal fins droop back and just sit at the bottom of the tank all day or is this indicative of sickness? any info would help, thanks <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm Scroll down to the tray on Lionfishes. Bob Fenner>

Mombasa Lionfish Behavior  5/17/07 Hello Crew: I just wanted to ask a quick question regarding the behavior of my Mombasa Lionfish (that was mis identified at the LFS as a Dwarf Zebra for $15.99). <...?>   He is in a 75 gallon with a dwarf fuzzy lionfish, and a Lawn Mower Blenny. <This may be inhaled...>   The tank info is as follows: SG 1.025, temp 78, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, Amm 0. The tank has two Maxi jet 1200's in the corners and one Maxi Jet 900 across the back.  I also have a 130 W PC light.  My problem is that I think he is to <too> active. Between 4:00 PM and about 8:00 AM he paces  on one side of the tank, <Is what larger Pteroines do... hunt for food around crepuscular times...> he almost appears to be looking at himself. <Another possibility> He looks great and eats excellent. The back and forth swimming is slow and not erratic or anything.  I just am worried that something is wrong as I know this is not what you would call "normal" Lionfish behavior.  Any input from the crew would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Craig <Perhaps you might try attaching a piece of paper to one end of the aquarium to reduce internal light reflection. Please also read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Lionbehfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

New Lion beh.  - 4/28/07 Dear Wet Web Media,   I just purchased an Antennata Lion fish. When I got home, I fresh water dipped him and then placed him in my QT. He ate at the store and he appears very alert. However, is it common for them to perch in one spot of the aquarium for a while and if so is this just because they need time to acclimate to there new tank. Mine is staying hugged to the sponge filter. I believe he is doing this because he feels secure there. Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thank You Jeff <Pteroines are generally sedentary... particularly when newly introduced... See WWM re Lion Beh. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Lion beh., fdg. Dear WetWeb Media,    Thank you for answering my last question. I would like to know what I should do with my lionfish and his problem with not wanting to eat know. I have had him only 2 1/2 days in my QT, but he ate at the store.. How should I go about trying to get him to eat. Would live ghost shrimp be the possible answer. Please write me back as soon as you can. Thank you Jeff! <Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF> Lionfish beh.   1/30/07 Good evening <And to you> My husband had bought a lionfish a couple months ago.  We've had him in a 75 gallon tank.  I tested the waters and everything is great.  One morning I noticed that his face is neon green.  It's really strange. <Good observation... This is a natural color...> The only fish that was in the tank was a snapper my husband caught for bait fish and well never left the tank.  I on the other hand have my own tank set up.  So I decided to put the lionfish in my tank, and all I have in there is a yellow tang.  I did acclimate the fish but what can cause his face to turn green? Thank you Jake and Pamela Dougherty <Foods, predisposition. Not to worry. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Funky Lionfish behaviour   12/6/06 Hi everyone, <Anthony>     You were kind enough to help me out a couple of months ago with a Blue-cheek Trigger problem, so I figured I'd pick your brains a little more.  I've looked through Google and your Lionfish section for something resembling this, but have found nothing.  I have a (I believe) 10" Volitans in a 180 gallon tank with a few friends that have been around for a long time.  Nothing has changed in the tank prior to this behaviour starting.  What the Lion is doing is swimming around with his head above the water surface. <Not good...> Eyes, mouth...   it's as if he thinks he's a crocodile or something.  He's bumping into things, and is going into his second eek of being on a hunger strike.  I did read something about a lack of aeration for other behavioural issues, <Yes... best first guess> and was wondering if him having his mouth above the surface is a means for him getting air? <This is a/the theory>    Someone told me that it's a bad idea to connect the air-intakes to the powerheads.  Can you confirm that? <Not an issue... very small bubbles are problematical, not ones larger than say 1 mm in diameter>    I have 4 powerheads being controlled by a Wavemaker Pro in the tank, with plenty of live rock, excellent filtration and decent water conditions: 78 degrees, 1.025 SG, 8.2 pH, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 ppm nitrates.  I tried dropping some ghost shrimp in the tank to get him to eat, but got no response.  His color & body look good.  He's just acting like a freak.    :) Thanks, Anthony <There are other probable causes for the observed behavior... next in line might be that this fish has "swallowed something"... like gravel, a hermit crab... and is suffering duress consequently... I would try adding a dose of Epsom Salt (see WWM re) and keep offering foods that this fish is known to accept... daily. Bob Fenner> Lionfish Problems - 3/21/2006 Good day! <<Hi Josie!>> Today is day 10 of my Volitans Lionfish eating strike!!! We got him from "a guy" about 2 1/2 months ago.  I have a 50 gallon FO tank with 1 Volitans Lionfish, 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Maroon Clown, 1 Limbaughi Chromis, 2 Turbo Snails, 2 Small Hermit Crabs, 1 Brittle Star, 1 Sandsifting Star, and 1 (illusive) Ghost Crab. <<Your tank is far too small for all those fish.  The tang and Lion need larger quarters, and the maroon clown will wreak havoc on that tank in no time.>> The water parameters right now are SG - 1.022, Temp 79 - 80, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, pH 8.3, Nitrates - 40 (yes, that is high and we are doing approximately 15% water change every other day to bring that down). <<Likely a cause of the feeding strike.>> The parameters of the tank prior to the Lionfish going on food strike were the same as they are now except the Nitrates were 0.  The Nitrates have shot up over the last 2 - 3 days and we have gotten them down to 40 with the water changes. <<Wow, so they were very high.  Get those levels down, and you may see a return in appetite.>> Anyway, he was on a diet of Freeze Dried Krill and now will not eat it.  We tried raw shrimp soaked in garlic, raw scallops soaked in garlic, raw shrimp no garlic, raw scallops no garlic, and even tried the feeder fish just to trigger a feeding response.  He will hunt it on the feeder stick but will not open his mouth to eat. <<An all-krill diet is linked to lock-jaw.  Do Google this on WWM.>> The LFS said to force feed him.  Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not too keen on force feeding a fish as I seriously doubt that this will make him WANT to eat. <<Can help at times actually.  I would look into other methods/solutions first if you are wary.>> We do have a protein skimmer and have turned it up to try to knock out the Nitrates but it is a slow process. <<Water changes are what you need to do, along with acquiring a larger tank.>> I'm at a loss at this point on trying to get the fish to feed! <<I think the causes are quite clear.>> He has no external signs of anything wrong.  Normal coloring, normal swimming, he hangs out a lot with his head hanging down and this tail up, but this, from what I have seen, is normal for a Lionfish. <<Not necessarily.>> This is my first saltwater tank and have been learning and reading along the way.  The only reason we have the snails, stars, and crabs is as a clean up crew.  We were having an issue with Red Algae and the snails have almost knocked that out entirely. <<It is best to solve the source of such problems, as opposed to adding a Band-Aid-solution.>> Do you have any suggestions that I might be able to do to help this poor fish? <<Larger tank, reduced nitrates, possible iodine supplementation to help with lock-jaw (Google on WWM).>> I didn't intend on keeping him in the first place, he came with the tank, as we had purchased it from a guy in the local area.  We estimate that the Lionfish is about 3 - 5 years old.  No one would take him so we decided to care for him. Thanks a million!!! Josie <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Lionfish Disease 1-30-2006 Dear WWM Crew, <Tim> I have a 200 gal. Lionfish Tank, good water quality, good hiding spots, 4 96w power compacts, and a fairly limited diet (primarily smelt, but I have recently integrated shrimp and Vitamins to the diet).  A couple of weeks ago I had one begin to swim in circles and lose orientation. <You've read on WWM re?> He also had a swollen upper and lower jaw.  He was removed to a separate system for observation.  Two days later a second one repeated this behavior and the swollen mouth,  and was removed as well.  The other three seem fine, although one is not eating well as of lately.  The original Lionfish died recently and I did a necropsy on him.  I found no evidence of disease on skin scrapes, a scrape off of the mouth, or gill clips.  Is it possible they were both stung by another Lionfish, or could this be some kind of Parasite affecting the nervous system?  I appreciate your help, Thanks,   Tim <Not likely either... but some sort of environmental complaint... almost assuredly. See WWM re Lionfish Systems... Disease. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Info Needed - 01/12/2006 Hey, <Ok.> My little Spike is great and happy and has been, but I just wanted to know he has been resting upside down in the corner by the filter tale up in the air. Just wanted to know if that was safe Thanks. <Generally not a concern (if still eating well, otherwise healthy). They do sit around most of the time. May be unable to find a hiding place it likes. Did this tank already finish the cycle you asked about earlier? - Josh> Red Volitans coloration/behavior  - 01/12/2006 Hello. <Hi there> I have had a red Volitans Lionfish for about 2 months now.  It is about 6" from head to tail.  It is in my 120 gallon aquarium with a Yellow Tang, Niger Trigger, Harlequin Wrasse, and a couple other small fish.  I have about 190 lbs. of live rock and some corals as well.  All fish and corals appear to be thriving except my Lionfish which has been for the past 2-3 weeks been very reclusive, sitting in a corner on the substrate, or under a cave in the rockwork.  Not coming out for feeding time like he did regularly when I first got him. <What do you feed this fish?> Also, he has taken on a very dark black coloration that covers all but about the last one-third of his body on the tail end. <Not good...> That part looks right how the color should be.  I have also noticed a couple of times that one of his spine needles had been "used" as the needle was exposed.  I have seen this before and know that this will repair itself. But maybe when that happens it makes them go into defense-mode and just go sit for awhile until they feel better. I'm just lost for ideas.  I've fed him (in the past), jumbo freeze dried shrimp, fresh/frozen shrimp, and he even ate flake food.  Not sure what's gotten into him. Thanks in advance for your help. Jason <Might be "nothing"... Might have been harassed... by the Trigger... or could be that this fish has swallowed something... like a rock, gravel... hopefully this will pass. Bob Fenner>

Basic Help Part2 10/13/05 Thanks so much for your reassurance. It is really helpful for the starting novice to not get too in a hurry to have the "perfect" home ocean.  <Patience and good basic husbandry are the real keys to success. No one around here will ever encourage anyone to rush!> One question I was looking for an answer on was what seems to be a shedding of slime from what I think is coming from the black volitans....is this normal? He is active and eating.  <This could range from a minor irritation to a serious infection. If the fish appears to be otherwise healthy and continues to eat, I would not worry too much... it should go away. If you see any other signs of infection, injury or ill-health, please write us back with detailed descriptions and pictures if possible.> Also you were correct on not having ammonia after all, the test kits were probably just off...since my ammonia is still steady at 0 on 2 of the three kits. You guys are great. Thanks. Steven <Glad to help. FWIW, buying test kits with expiration dates and from dealers who you know sell a lot of them helps a lot with getting fresh, accurate kits. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Lionfish on food strike 7/12/05 Thanks for all the great help you provide.  I am continuing to try to solve a problem with a lionfish that has almost stopped eating.  This lionfish was the first fish in my 250g tank and ate frozen silversides and krill from the start - I would drop the food in front of the lionfish with plastic tongs and he would snap it up.  That went on for a few months at least.  Now, it is difficult to get the lionfish to take any food. <Happens> The last addition to the tank (only 7 total fish) was a porcupine puffer, who is much smaller than the lionfish but typically eager when feeding time comes. <Yes> The lionfish is clearly agitated by the puffer and poses whenever the puffer swims too close too quickly.  The lionfish started to be difficult to feed about the time the puffer came into the tank. <Mmm, coincidence?> I feed the fish one time daily at night, and the lionfish is definitely still interested in food.  But, now when I put silversides or krill in front of him, he just looks at it and watches it drop to the bottom (I distract or isolate the puffer to make sure the lionfish gets a chance at the food).  I am going to try live ghost shrimp to see if that will kick start the lionfish feeding.  If that doesn't work, I plan on trying some live feeders, though I hope not to reach that point because I don't want to get the lionfish reliant on live fish and I don't want to kill the fish that would be its food.  Do you have any suggestions as to how to get this lionfish feeding again, and maybe what the cause of the problem is?  Thanks very much. MCW <You likely will have to separate the Lion, Puffer... You can read re their compatibility, feeding... on WWM. Bob Fenner> Yawning and Shaking Head of Volitans Lion Hello Bob <Wendy> I have had my Volitans Lionfish for over a year.  He has been great - no problems whatsoever unless you count him killing two other lions earlier last year!  He eats like a pig - he used to get feeder guppies, then feeder Danios, then a mixture of krill, lobster, and shrimp.  On occasion, I would give him frozen beef heart which he adores. <But hard to digest...> Today I tried feeding him that and he wouldn't take it.  I thought that maybe he was going through a phase as he seems to do - he quit eating the krill last winter.   <Does happen> Anyway, I tried some feeder guppies and he went for them right away but then realigned his jaw instantly - something I have never seen him do before.  I know that these fish will do this on occasion because of their feeding requirements of sucking in prey, but he almost is purposely not eating because maybe his mouth hurts?   <Possibly> I am also wondering if he has a piece of bone from one of his Danios stuck?  He also tends to get constipated a lot, however, I try to give him as much veggies as he will permit!   Here are the parameters of his tank - ammonia - 0 nitrite - 0 nitrate - 0 pH - 8.2 salinity - 1.022 temperature - 76 42 gallon hex he is in this tank alone with no one else in there - even no snails. Please help me help him - he's my baby! Thanks! Suzanne <Am hopeful this fish will self-cure... Yawning is often a sign of stress in Pteroines... see it often when photographing them in the wild. Bob Fenner>

Re: Yawning and Shaking Head of Volitans Lion, and Emperor Angel color Dear Bob, <Wendy> First of all, thank you for the advice on my lion - he is doing so much better!!!  Maybe he was just going through a phase - sometimes I think I'm dealing with a two year old!!!  LOL  Anyway, I wanted to thank you for that. <Welcome and great to hear of your Lion's recovery> However, now I have what I think is a problem with my Imperator Angel (Pomacanthus imperator).  He's not a juvenile and didn't buy him as such. The fish store said that he was caught as an adult. <Mmm, hopefully as a youngster with adult coloration... adapt to captivity much better> He had beautiful color when I got him and now it is really fading quick.  It started off as small watch colorless patches - it's not Lymphocystis where the patches are more clumpy - this is definitely a color loss on his part.  I've been feeding him plenty of algae (processed sheets), Spirulina, brine shrimp, omega 3 brine shrimp, angel and butterfly mixes, marine cuisine, and color enhanced flake foods.  I don't think he's sick because his appetite is HUGE!!!  Plus, he's been eating the slime algae that keeps assimilating on the sides of the glass like crazy - could that be it? <Mmm, maybe> He's in with three scissortail damsels - and they are only 1.5 inches - he's about four inches!  All of his water parameters are fine - the salinity is 1.022, temp is 76, nitrate is zero, nitrite is zero, and ammonia is zero. Also his pH is 8.2. <I would definitely raise your specific gravity up to about near seawater strength (1.025)... and soak the non-dry foods in Selcon or equivalent... adding "mud" to your sump filtration, more live rock... might improve water quality, the fish's health, appearance as well> Please help - I don't want to lose him if he is sick!!! Thanks! Suzanne <The Angel may be simply "stressed"... there is room for this fish, places for it to hide out of your sight I hope/trust. Bob Fenner> YAWN.. Lionfish  Just a quick question. My lionfish seems to be yawning, and by yawning I mean his mouth opens wide and he extends all his fins. This action lasts about 20 seconds and the lionfish will do this several times a day. Do you know why he is doing this and should I be concerned? Thanks for your suggestions.  <Nothing to worry about, just normal for lionfish to do this. James (Salty Dog)> 

When a Lionfish Does What a Lionfish Does.. >Hello all. >>Hello one. >I've Googled, and found no answer. >>At least you made the effort. >Yesterday I brought home a beautiful little fuzzy dwarf lion, who is the first occupant of my 75 gallon tank [along with 40 pounds of very crusty live rock].  >>Of all the things that should or should not be crusty, rock that is live, and bread. >After recovering from the stress of the trip, he adjusted well, and even took a ghost shrimp for an evening snack. After lights out, he cruised the tank for several hours, getting to know the neighborhood. >>Alright. >Since this morning, though, he has spent the entire day perched on one of my heaters. I have not been able to find any information relating stress or transition to a need for additional warmth. I checked the temperature of the tank, and it's 76.8 F in the center of the tank, as well as at the front wall [measured 6" under the surface]. I have read that lions tolerate temperatures between 72 and 78 well, so I think I'm in the ballpark. Should I just chalk this up to WTTFJD [weird things that fish just do]? >>Oh, no, not at all. This isn't weird in the least, either. This *is* what Lionfishes, especially dwarf lions, do. Simple as that. Marina

When a Lionfish Does What a Lionfish Does - II >Marina, >>Hello Rick. >Thanks for your reassurance. I have learned some hard lessons with smaller tanks [harder for the fish than for me, I suppose]. I want so much for this tank to succeed that I might be overly fretful, and apt to turn molehills into mountains. After some further introspection, I suppose I was the same way with the first of my children. >>Better to be safe, yeah? >I came home tonight from a concert to find said little fuzzy guy cruising energetically, displaying for his reflection. I enjoyed having a nightcap and watching him being so active out in the open, illuminated by the moonlight LED's with the room otherwise dark. I'm thinking that such moments are the real reason we go to such effort to do this. >>For those who get into the hobby in the first place, absolutely. For those who are "bitten", it can go far beyond that. >Thanks again, Rick Walters >>You're most welcome, and I'm glad you can now enjoy your new fish. Marina 

Sick Lionfish??? Hi, I bought a lionfish and he has been in my tank for about 2 weeks now.  Since day one he will just sit in the corner moving from one side to the other rarely and never doing anything unless I feed him. <This is... about all they do... especially when new, not quite settled in> I haven't fed him for the past 4 days because I am trying to get him to take frozen/dried krill. He comes up and swims around sometimes at night for about 5 min.s. and then that's it, even that is rare. My friend has two and they are usually swimming around floating here and there and look very active compared to mine. I know that lion fish naturally don't do much, but mine might as well be dead, he does absolutely nothing. What is wrong with him and what can I do? Thanks. <Your system might need added aeration... filtration... I hope it's large enough... Please read through our Lionfish materials: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm  and the linked files above... Otherwise... time going by... Bob Fenner> 

- Lionfish Behavior - Thank you for your answers on the website.  Starting over again after our January ice storm when I lost everything in my tank, having lost power for over a week.  Very sad situation for me.  <Would be for anyone.> However, this new beginning has offered an opportunity to place/try NEW critters in my tank I have had no previous experience with. These new additions would not have been compatible choices with the other things in my tank, prior to the ice storm mess.  <Consider a generator.> For example, after my tank recycled again post "ice storm," I added a lionfish. The fish eats well and has been in the tank for a month. He/she is quite the "gulper."  I enjoy this new creature but have this question: How does the lionfish "sting/stun other fish?" I watched today as I tried adding one live small goldfish to the tank for him to eat as a trial, just to vary things. The fish tended to sort of "drag" its fins over the body of the goldfish to stun it. <If could encourage you in any way, it would be to stop feeding your lionfish live feeders. The feeders can introduce disease, and more importantly can/will lead to gut impaction and the foreshortened life of your lionfish. Please try as soon as possible to start offering other [dead] meaty seafoods - krill, squid, shrimp, etc.> I thought there would be some poking or inserting of the lionfish' barbs into a fish to stun or kill it.  <The spines are a defense mechanism, not an offensive one. Lionfish most often use the element of disguise, surprise, and that massive mouth to catch their prey. The venomous spines are to keep it from being eaten.>  Is it kind of like a jellyfish, where just coming in contact with the lionfish' fins do the poisoning?  <No.>  Wonder about this as it might pertain to any other fishes I might add to my newly "upgraded" tank.  <No worries... any purposefully kept fish would have to be impaled on one of those spines to be envenomed.> Right now the only other fish in the 55 gallon tank is a blue damsel. They both do fine at this point. Epilogue: The lionfish certainly went for the goldfish...waited patiently for it, followed it around the tank and continued to drag its fins over the goldfish, but I eventually pulled the goldfish out of the tank after 25 minutes of watching. The goldfish died. Not sure if it was the saltwater, or the lionfish poison??  <The saltwater. Cheers, J -- > 

- Save My Lionfish - I got on your site and read many articles but couldn't find one that matched my situation. Please forgive me if I missed something.  I have a 200 gallon "fish only" tank. I have a 4 year old, 8" lion fish. He has always eaten very well. I feed every other day and he eats both silver sides and shrimp.  About 2 weeks ago he quit eating. His color then began to fade, but coloring returned to normal in a couple of days. After not eating for about a week, he began to float in the tank. He floats upside down and hides himself in the coral or in a corner. His breathing is also very slow.  <Slow breathing is better than fast.>  Other than that, he's great! (just kidding) I also have a very large porcupine puffer in the tank (about 13" and probably 3-5 pounds). The puffer is very annoying and swims over the top of the lion all the time.  <They do this... will run over anyone to get attention/food.> (FYI there are 2 eels, a miniatus (forgive the spelling), a squirrel fish & a small box fish also living in the tank). Didn't know if maybe the stress from the puffer caused his demise.  <I doubt it... generally speaking lionfish are pretty tough customers and not likely to succumb to the wiles of a pesky puffer.> Any thoughts on what might have caused this to happen or what I can do to fix it?  <Difficult to say... these fish do go on hunger strikes, and it sounds like you've been providing good foodstuffs which would not lead to a gut impaction. I am working on an anecdotal theory that most saltwater pet fish don't have enough circulation in their lives and as a result don't get enough exercise. I don't have "proof" of this yet, but a diet of silversides - which are quite fatty - without lots of swimming could leave your fish with some issues. I'd try bumping up the circulation a bit for starters.>  I put a PolyFilter in the tank as well as carbon.  <If you run the PolyFilter before the carbon, has it revealed any colors that might offer a clue?>  I thought he was going to make a comeback (he looked a little better - maybe wishful thinking), but he is still floating upside down.  <The floating upside down may just be a phase. In the wild it is not uncommon to see these fish upside down in a cave so it doesn't concern me that much... If it were floating upside down and just drifting about the tank at the whim of the current, that would be a something different; a cause for intervention.>  I am afraid to do a water change because I don't want to stress him even further.  <Well... a water change may be just what he needs. Make certain the parameters are closely matched to your existing water and go for it. Water quality should be a paramount concern.>  Please help - when they get that big it's like loosing a pet!  <Understood.>  Thanks in advance! Kim <Cheers, J -- >

Volitans/Snowflake Interaction Hi there...<Hi! Ryan with you today.> I have a 8-10" snowflake eel that is housed with a 5" volitans lion. They don't seem to bother each other, except I have noticed them interacting strangely on a couple occasions. Every so often, the lion will pull up in front of the eel, and lower its dorsal spines allowing the eel to lay on top of it (for lack of better words). then after 30 seconds or so, they will each go there own way. Both are very healthy. I was wondering if this was normal behavior, or if you'd heard of it. <Interesting...Can't say that I have.  You may be seeing two predators "working" through their issues about sharing hunting grounds.  Will post for others to read, share.> thanks, Bryan

Color changing lionfish Hello, Thanks for an amazing site, need a little help with my newest pet a lionfish.  It appears to change color from red, orange, and brown to much darker colors.  It also has two white dots right behind it's front fins.  He has been eating really well taking all that is made available to him.  thanks in advance. mike <Hi Mike, MikeB here.  A lionfish will change colors when stressed.  Check your water quality and make sure all the parameters are in place.  If the white dots grow it might be a sickness called Lymphocystis.  It then has to be treated.  But, test your water first.  Thanks MikeB.>

Odd Lionfish Behavior Hello WWM Crew. Love the web site.<Thanks> I have a 180 gallon tank with a 9in. black Volitans Lionfish. When I first got him, about a week ago, he was doing great. But about three days later he started always hiding behind rocks or floating vertical with his head down in the  back corner of the tank. He is still eating well but I never get to see him since he is always hiding. He is the only fish in the tank so far. All the parameters are fine. Is this something to worry about? <Not generally.>How do I get him to go back to how he was in the beginning. Thank You Very Much Louis <Hello Louis, your lionfish is comfortable the way he is.  They will act strangely when they cant get a hiding place that they feel comfortable in.  I recommend adding more decorations and moving the ones in the tank around.  But, be careful they are venomous and will sting you.  As long as the fish is eating then you should not worry.  MikeB>

Adding a new lionfish Hey Mac- <Hey Brett, so great to hear from you again!> So I finally got Big Daddy (my adult volitans lionfish) a buddy.... Baby Daddy (I know...) <LOVE IT!!!> This is a really juvenile Antennata lionfish. <I love antennata's but they are a species that in my experience are very shy and need major adjustment time.> I have a couple of questions, though because I want to make sure I get him accustomed to his new home appropriately. Unfortunately, I do not have the space in my apartment, so a quarantine tank is not an option, so he went directly into the tank *With appropriate acclimation procedures. He was visible for the entire first day hiding in a covering. The second day, he remained hidden behind the rocks, and he completely Disappeared today. I went short of removing the rocks to look for him, because I was convinced Big Daddy ate him. (BTW, I think that would be really physically impossible for him to do). <Sadly I have seen lionfish eat things that there was no way they could swallow. Seen them choke to death doing it as well. One of my most unusual memories is pulling a panther grouper out of a Lionfishes mouth because he was stuck in it. Not a fond memory lol.>  I found him tonight when the lights when off. I tried feeding him with the lights off, but he is really scared of my coming to the tank... <They really are a very shy creature. Absolutely gorgeous though. To my mind, if he is hiding only during the day he really is avoiding the new "scenery" and not Big Daddy. The good news about this is that he should come around.> Without being able to be close to the tank and watch, I have NO idea if he is eating this late-night snack I have put in. Since he won't come out in the day, I can't be certain he is making the switch to frozen foods... (Which, I am now soaking in vitamins and providing a nice variety.) <You might need to provide him with some live foods while he makes the adjustment over to the frozen. In my experience though, Lionfish will learn from other lions about potential food sources, i.e. the frozen foods.> What should I do to make sure he can eat? Keep trying? Feed at night like I am? Should I try some live food? A few ghost shrimp until he gets used to me? If use ghost shrimp...how long will they stay alive in the marine tank? Is it a matter of minutes, hours or days? (This matters as to when I put them in, of course.) <In my experience the ghost shrimp will live a couple of hours in a saltwater tank. I think you could safely put them in when you see him come out at night.> I hadn't found too much information on the site about feeding a juvenile that remains completely hidden during anything but almost complete darkness...Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. <Sometimes you can fool the fish with a red light. Meaning you can see them when the red light is on but they think its total darkness. This might give you a better handle on how he is doing. And maybe allow you to make sure he doesn't have any marks on him. And for what its worth don't panic yet, these guys as you know can go a long time without eating. Although, like you, I really hate to see them not eat.> Thanks, Mac....your suggestions are always right on target! Have a great week.... <Gosh Brett, thank you, that's very kind of you to say. Please if he hasn't eaten in a week let me know so we can brain storm and get some ideas going on how to get him more settled. Mac>

Radiata lionfish Hi; <Hi, MikeD here> I have a pet Radiata lion that I absolutely adore....I have had him for 3 months now and everything was going smooth till we got hit by the hurricane (I live in Florida<ditto>) well throughout the power outage I kept the tank going by a generator...so his living environment would be stable....however he now isn't as "active" as he was.... he used to swim around the tank especially around feeding time..... but now he just mopes around....the stats of his tank haven't changed...so I don't believe that he is stressed because of that (sal 1.24, nitrites 20 nitrates 0, ammonia 0)<I'm hoping this is a typo with your nitrates and nitrites reversed...if not, it's a miracle he's alive and you need to get those nitrites down ASAP!! It's been my experience that Lions are even sensitive to higher nitrAtes as well> now the one thing that wasn't stable during the outage was his feeding habits....do you think that going a few days without shrimp could have done this?<Not likely>  or maybe the fact that I used to feed him ghost shrimp and after the hurricane the only thing the fish store had available was peppermint shrimp....perhaps he prefers the peppermint shrimp now?<This is actually possible, as the Peppermint shrimp are marine while the Ghost shrimp in most stores are freshwater, occasionally brackish> should I keep feeding him that? Are they good for him?<Definitely very good for him...if possible, try to gradually get him eating frozen/thawed marine shrimp (human table variety is excellent, although if you're near either coast, live bait shrimp make an IDEAL primary food if you can get the smaller ones...I use bait shop shrimp, fish and squid as my basic diet for ALL my ambush predators, along with small feeders easily caught along coastal waters> also how long can he go without eating? <That's dependent upon his condition, with more robust specimens lasting much better than a thin one, but after a week I'd be very concerned.  Are his eyes noticeably cloudy? I ask this also because of your stated readings, and water changes and/possibly a hydrogen peroxide dip would be indicated if they are> thanks for your help

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
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