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FAQs about Anglerfish, Frogfish Identification

Related Articles: Anglerfishes

Related FAQs:  Anglers 1, Anglers 2, Angler Behavior, Angler Compatibility, Angler Selection, Angler Systems, Angler Feeding, Angler Disease, Angler Reproduction,

Anglerfish; sys., gen. care        3/31/18
<Hi Ashley! Gabe here>
This is going to be a little long as I provide context. I've been keeping fish for years, mostly freshwater but had a saltwater tank in college with a snowflake eel. I've been researching angler/frogfish for years because they are one of my favorite fish and finally decided to get one.
<Ah, anglers can be great fun>
Set up the tank (37 gallon), bought my live rock, let it sit for a long time while I waited for the cycle, asked my LFS to order an angler.
<Tank might be a bit small. I would recommend at least a 55 gallon for the average angler, as they produce a lot of waste. For the smaller species (like Wartskin) this may suffice but I would go larger for most others>
They said they can't really request specific species and I figured it wouldn't matter too much as the care doesn't seem to vary a lot across species. It came in quickly, not long after I ordered it, but the store is an hour away so they held it for a few weeks for me but I didn't get to go look at it.
<Quite nice of them to hold on to it for you>
Well, I finally went to pick it up two weeks ago and lo and behold it is a Fowlerichthys ocellatus/Antennarius ocellatus - the Ocellated Frogfish, or *the largest species*.
<Yikes. These guys are like the Commerson's anglers. They get around 15 inches in the wild>
I'm 99% sure of the identification because of the spot pattern. I can't find anything about these fish except they come from
deeper water than most, and they get considerably larger.
<~15 inch max and yes, they hang around 100+ feet usually>
Right now it's about 4". It spent three weeks at the LFS before I got it and I've had it for two weeks now. Happily eating anything I put near its mouth, including live ghost shrimp, saltwater mollies, and frozen silversides. It's also the most active angler I've ever seen and spends quite a bit of time wandering around. I don't think the 37 is going to be the right tank in the long run.
<Definitely not for an Ocellatus>
To make a long story short: the anglerfish I got will get bigger than I expected! I feel bad for not knowing more about this species before bringing it home but am 100% committed to providing it everything it needs.
And I can't find any evidence of anyone keeping one except the New England Aquarium, who didn't answer my email!
<In the future, consider ordering fish online. I find that they are healthier and you will know the species in advance. Try LiveAquaria or BlueZooAquatics. Both are great>
The questions:
1. Tank size? Ocellateds are supposed to get up to 15". The 37 just doesn't have a big enough footprint for a fish that size. I'm wondering if a 40 breeder might work as it will have a big enough footprint... but that's a big fish in a small tank. I'll get a 75 if I have to, I just hate to go that big for a single fish if I can avoid it. What if I made two sections and got a second angler (hopefully smaller! Haha)?
<A larger tank will definitely be needed. Like I said, a 55 is what I normally suggest with an angler's bio-load. How big you go is up to you. If you were to put a divider in and add another angler, in a 75 for example, both sections would be 37.5 gallons, so you would be right back to where you started with an angler in a 37 gallon tank, only with some extra filtration>
2. Temperature? Any thoughts, since they're from deeper water than other
<Ocellatus are found in the Caribbean area/West Atlantic, so I would keep it at a tropical temperature. 76-80ยบ>
3. Diet? I'm currently primarily feeding frozen silver sides with the occasional ghost shrimp or molly. Haven't tried other frozen foods but I expect it will eat them.
<They are pigs, so you should not have to worry about eating. Feed a varied diet of fish, squid, etc.>
Thanks for any guidance you might have, and I'm attaching a photo of the little monster for your trouble.
<Bob, can you confirm this is Fowlerichthys ocellatus? Beautiful little specimen you have there, Ashley. Let us know if you have any more questions! See WetWeb re anglers as well. Cheers, Gabe Walsh>
<<To me, this looks more like a Commerson's/Giant... Does it have the (three) large ocelli/eye spots further back on each side? Can the supplier confirm whether it hails from the trop. W. Atlantic or the trop. Indo-Pacific? Bob Fenner>>

Re: Anglerfish     4/1/18
<To me, this looks more like a Commerson's/Giant... Does it have the (three) large ocelli/eye spots further back on each side? Can the supplier confirm whether it hails from the trop. W. Atlantic or the trop. Indo-Pacific? Bob Fenner>
Re: Anglerfish     4/1/18

Hello! The photo I sent doesn't show it but it does have the three very distinct eyespots. Sorry about the photo size, I know it's very large.
<... BobF>

Sort of new Frogfish species eh? -- 02/28/09 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7914121.stm

Anglerfish? -- 01/22/09 I am trying to confirm the attached photo is of a Sargassum anglerfish (Histrio histrio), <Is> so I can research how to care for it. How big do they get <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm> and will they eat frozen food. <Likely can be trained to...> It is currently in my 55Gal quarantine tank. Thanks for this great site. Glen <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Angler ID  3/26/08 Hi, I found this Angler/Frogfish online <... Note: others prop... not to post> and I wanted a professional opinion about it's species. The etailer does not list the scientific name, all it says is "Frogfish (Nicaragua)". <... on the Pacific...> The current size quoted is 1-3". I've been trying to find something similar on FishBase and in Reef Fishes v1. <Ahh! Good ref.s> The closest thing I've found is Antennarius sanguineus. I've had a 20 gallon (long) tank setup for months now in hopes of finding something suitable . Any ideas would be most appreciated! Ty <I do think this is A. sanquineus as well. http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=13451&genusname=Antennarius&speciesname=sanguineus My input re Antennariid husbandry is posted on WWM. Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Anonymous Angler I have been looking for a angler fish for a long time. <Amazing fishes, are they not? :) > I finally found this one but can't figure out what kind it is, Id like to know how big it will get etc.  I thought my other fish would be safe but my panther grouper was eaten by him on day one. <That's an angler for you!> I guess the angler will live a solitary life. Any information you could give me would be much appreciated. <It looks to me like an Antennarius pictus. See below for more information on these fascinating piscines: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfaqs.htm  Best of luck with your new acquisition. Mike G> 

Angler Hello Mr. Fenner, I work in a big corporate pet store, more specifically the fish section. The person in charge of ordering livestock has the nasty habit of ordering things because she doesn't know what they are and wants to see it, regardless of whether or not anyone can care for it at the store or for that matter anywhere else. <I understand> We recently got a fish under the name of "colored angler". It looks like a dwarf lion in basic main body shape. Its finnage is short and instead of swimming it more or less walks. Its colors are reddish white and orange marbled together with little white spikes coming off of it. I know this is not a lot to go on but any information as to what kind of fish it is and how to care for it would be much appreciated <This is very likely 'an' Anglerfish, Antennarius species... though as you state, it is hard to discern these cryptic fishes to species, especially as young. Thankfully they all have about the same aquarium husbandry... and much of this parallels the care of Lionfishes and their kin. Most all only accept live foods at first (training on to "wiggled" frozen/defrosted or dead meaty foods is possible. with a 'feeding stick'). Water quality requirements are not strict, but do take care as these fishes are messy. They don't feed that often (for small ones, a couple of guppies or a small feeder per week is fine) as they're very sedentary (as you know). Bob Fenner> Matt Cruzan

Frogfish Dear Crew:   Got a frogfish today and was wondering if you could tell me what kind he is?  Thanks for all you do.....   Janey <Nice pic. Do you see it here?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm Looks like an Antennarius pictus to me. Bob Fenner>

Re: Frogfish Mine doesn't look exactly like the ones on the link, but real close.  How big do the painted frogs get?  I've read differing material.....one said around 4 inches the other said around 9.  Thanks for your time, Bob:) Janey <Actually... just took a look on fishbase... and am/was (well, likely am still) confused re common name. Antennarius pictus (what they list as the Painted Frogfish) does top out at about 30 cm. (12 inches). Bob Fenner>
Re: Frogfish I hope he'll be okay in a 20gallon long aquarium:)  He's only about 3 inches right now, so will have to wait and see how much he grows.  Thanks for the info, Bob:) Janey <Is this the only animal there? These fishes can/do swallow others easily... grow quickly... Bob Fenner>

Unidentified Angler Greetings WWM Crew!  The picture attached is of a beautiful Anglerfish (approx 3-4")  I've had for a little over a month now.  Although I researched this species extensively prior to purchasing (using Scott Michael's Reef Fishes book, the WWM website, etc), I'm unsure of the exact type I have - is it a coin bearing, painted, wartskin?  Something else?  Hopefully, you can see him well enough in the photograph to help me out.  He's doing very well in his own 20 gallon tank (only a few snails for company).  I've been feeding him ghost shrimp (about half a dozen, 2-3 times per week), on which he seems to be doing well. Thanks! Aaron <Hey Aaron, sure looks like a painted angler to me, but it is hard to say, the link below has some tips on differentiating between different anglers. -Gage http://www.starfish.ch/frogfish/Genus.html#pictus >

Re: Itty Bitty Angler Greetings yet again, <Howdy> Last stocking question for awhile.  I want to thank Bob for such a quick response to my last question, and Bob - the parrotfish on my list was meant strictly as a joke. ;) <I understood/stand> I was at a LFS at lunchtime, and they had the ugliest little critter I've seen.  I love him.  They list it as a 'Red Anglerfish'.  It's bright red (almost red-orange), round little sucker, about the size of a ping-pong ball.  The LFS said he would not get bigger than a golf ball, <... am dubious re this last piece of information. Do they know the animal's scientific name? Most Anglers get quite a bit larger... and quickly! Depending on whose around to inhale> and that he had occupied the LFS tank for a couple of months.  I immediately tried to find any information I could about this fish, but to no avail.  I currently have a 30g FOWLR, with no fish inhabitants (just two peppermint shrimp, two Turbos and two Nassarius snails), and I am getting close to stocking my first charge.  If you know anything about this fish, could this be a choice that works? <Please take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm re the anglers> If I got a clown as I originally intended, I assume I would have to get a larger one  ;)  Sure, my wife will think it's ugly, but she'll get over it (she married me, didn't she?) <It will be eaten by this Angler if they're anywhere near the same size> I apologize for inundating you with stupid questions - I only try to ask questions that remain unanswered after other research, and, of course, because you've saved me a lot of grief and money to date.  Thank you again. <No worries. Bob Fenner>

Please help identify this angler hello! I just picked up a frogfish, and I'm not sure exactly what species it is.. I was wondering if you could take a look.  I'm guessing it's a Giant Frogfish... but I'm not certain. <I agree with your id. Looks like a Commerson's to me as well. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm> Thanks! Dave. Here Is a video I got of him floating around. http://members.rogers.com/plaskosd/angler2.avi <Neat> some pics (sorry this is the best I can do.) http://members.rogers.com/plaskosd/jabbaside1.jpg http://members.rogers.com/plaskosd/jabba.JPG His rod is short, about the same size as his second spine, and the lure is like a little white Pom Pom. thanks and I hope I've provided enough.! P.S. I love your site!
<Thanks. Bob Fenner>

Re: please help identify this angler hello again.. just to give you a look at some new pics I took, that are much better quality and might give you new light as to what species of angler this is.. I thank you again for your help! here is two more. http://members.rogers.com/plaskosd/profrog.JPG http://members.rogers.com/plaskosd/sidefrog.jpg thanks again! Dave <Still looks like a giant/Commerson's to me. Bob Fenner>

The Frogfishes Do Get Froggy and They Will JUMP! >Hello, >>Hello. >I have a 20-gallon (24' x 24' x 8') clam tank set up.  My only intended inhabitants are Tridacnid clams and a few SPS coral frags growing out or small SPS colonies.  There are several small pieces of live rock in there as well.  An opportunity to buy two gorgeous and seemingly healthy juvenile frogfish has fallen into my lap and I've been researching like crazy because I'm in love with the idea of putting one or hopefully both of them in this tank. >>One, not both. >I am prepared to meet their feeding needs and I think the tank would be perfect.  No one I know has any frogfish experience, so at this point it's all reading'¦ I was hoping one of you folks could give me your thoughts on this idea. >>It could certainly work quite well.  Know that you can NOT use copper in any way, shape, or form with frogfishes.  Also, if fresh from the wild, make CERTAIN they're eating--frozen foods if at all possible (from feeding stick).  If you've got the time and the determination, train them yourself to feed from a feeding stick. >Attached are pictures of the little guys (approx. 1.5' and 2' at this point).   >>OH MY GOD THEY'RE GORGEOUS!  I'd set up another tank just to have them both. >We aren't certain on the identification, but think the yellow one is a Warty and the red is A. pictus.  What do you think? >>Common nomenclature is very difficult to work with.  It would be helpful to know where they were collected, as this would narrow down the search considerably.  I suggest searching http://www.fishbase.org  In any event, you can count on them to follow some typical behavior patterns (as I'm sure you know): reluctance to swim about (great for a small system), a predisposition to want live food only (juvies can be much more easily trained to take frozen/non-live foods, though).  Do plan on more frequent water changes, even with the clams, and you may want to skim more aggressively.  Other than that, I think it's a great idea, could look really gorgeous.  Marina Thanks, Cheri

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