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More FAQs about Lions & their Relatives 4

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

FAQs on Scorpionfishes: Scorpaeniform Fishes 1, Scorpaeniform Fishes 2, Scorpaeniform Fishes 3, Scorpaeniform Fishes 4,
FAQs on Scorpionfishes by Category: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Stocking/Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction

Dendrochirus barberi (Steindachner 1900), the Green (to the dive interest) or Hawaiian Lionfish.

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Lionfish Question.    2/29/16
Good Afternoon WWM Crew,
A bit of an odd question today. This is one that I have never gotten before and something that I had never considered before. I had a customer in my store today that wanted to know if the ends of the rays on the pectoral fins of a large volitans lionfish would right themselves over time?
<Can; if not bent too much, or broken period... if the latter, they are usually repaired w/ a permanent break>
We received this large lionfish from a customer and have had it in the store for a few weeks. The fish is in very good health and on the end of a couple of the rays of the pectoral fins have about a 90 degree bend as if they were broken and then healed over. Would that straighten or will those remain bent?
<Not re-bending; and am hesitant to mention this; but have known folks who cut the hard and soft fin spines of Pteroines (among other groups of fishes) in attempt to have them re-grow straight>
curious and I would be grateful for any insight that I could pass along to my customer on this as it will effect his decision on whether or not to take the fish.
Thank You,
<Again; if you handle these fishes, DO take care to not get poked... use thick gloves, a wet towel. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lionfish Question.    2/29/16

Hello Bob,
Thank you as always for the quick reply! That is what I figured. Was thinking that it could be cut to grow in straight, but that given they are so easy to get a hold of I would probably just bring in another one and make this one available. The bends are minor and I don't think that we would have an issue selling it. Don't want to have to do any cosmetic surgery!
<I would leave all as is... have seen very expensive koi and goldfish ruined.... BobF>

Two Interesting Video's for my fish friends (Lionfish, from Mr. Fish)       9/9/15
Many of us are concerned about the Lionfish invasion in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. In addition to teaching chefs that the meat of a lionfish is quite tasty, it is encouraging to see this.
Secondly I was not aware that lionfish were pack hunters, always seeing them in solitary conditions. This video show them in incredible numbers and what is being done to stem the invasion.

On NPR, "Sixth-Grader's Science Project Catches Ecologists' Attention"; re: Pterois volitans, minimum salinity>    7/27/14
> Hello Bob,
> An interesting piece of work from a 6th grader.
> http://www.npr.org/2014/07/20/333192387/sixth-graders-science-fair-finding-shocks-ecologists
<Ah yes>
> The follow-up article is worth reading, too. As NPR have pointed out in their addendum, some lab work had already been done in this direction.
> http://absci.fiu.edu/2014/07/just-because-people-keep-asking/ >
> What’s interesting to me is that it supports something I’d read 20+ years ago (in the now defunct Aquarist & Pondkeeper magazine) about Pterois and Dendrochirus spp being found in estuaries in South/Southeast Asia, but not seen much reported in the aquarium literature. I’ve mentioned this online a few times but without experimental work to back it up, have never described these fish as truly euryhaline.>
> Overall a reminder that motivated aquarists can (and do) provide useful raw data and observations (breeding behaviour, intraspecific communication to name but two) for the wider ichthyological, biological community. One of relatively few scientific fields where this is the case.>
> Cheers, Neale
<Does bear sharing. Cheers, BobF>

I.d please!!! Scorpaeniform, Scorpaenid... but not a Stone      11/29/13
Good Day!
I picked up this fellow from my Lfs , They said it was a stonefish <Mmm; no; but related; as you state below>
but I originally thought it was a scorpion of some type (that's why I bought it..though it doesn't bother me either way)
I have only come across one stonefish and I don't remember it looking like this .
Please let me know what you think it is.(and no..he's not living in that container I just put him in for pictures)
Thank you
<Take a look here:
Bob Fenner>

Re: I.d please!!!      11/29/13
Thank you for the speedy response!
I went over the link you put, but can't figure out which one it is as there are a few similar .
<Likely a small specimen of a Scorpaenopsis sp.>
I am wondering if there is any way of making a positive i.d. On which one it is so I know how big it will get ect.
<... no such word. Etc. is a contraction for et cetera res>
 or if you would happen to know which one it is?
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

fu man chu lion question; sys., comp. f's      6/8/13
Hello WWB,  I have a 240g 8 ft long mostly FO setup with 80 gallon sump.  DT is stocked with 280 lbs of live rock  with 2 yellow tangs, a large regal tang, cinnamon clown, flame angel, majestic angel, a few Chromis, pink spotted watchman goby, and a blue damsel.  I would like to add a small fu Manchu lion to the system.  I'm thinking about putting him in the 20 g inline sump refugium for the first few weeks so I can wean him to prepared food. 
<How will you find, feed this Lion when it's in the main tank?>
Does this sound like a good plan or would he fare poorly with the inhabitants in the DT when I transfer him?
<Too likely the latter. I wouldn't do this here>
 I'm okay with some of the Chromis becoming food I guess.  I'm hoping he just likes shrimp
<See WWM re>
 or prep. food.  Any other problems you might see?   Is my DT overstocked already?   Thanks.
<Not totally overstocked, but you'll have to be careful, given the tangs, lg. angel present. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish in Costa Rica   5/24/11
Hi Bob,
Have you spotted any Lionfish yet during your dives?
<I don't think Pteroines are here James... we're on the Pacific side. B>

Erratic Fish behavior, Scorpaeniform cascade event, losses   3/15/11
Hi there,
I'm relatively new to using WetWebMedia, so forgive me if I do not follow all of your guidelines. Anyways, here's my question--
I have a used 100 gallon tank, with a 180 gallon on the way. My current inhabitants include a dogface puffer(5-6 inches), niger trigger(5-6inches), Vlamingii tang(5inches)(I know it gets huge, it's still pretty small.), and 2 Chromis. My tank was overstocked when this happened, and I have lost many fish because of my ignorance to the most important rule of having a SW tank. My former sea goblin was the first one to exhibit these problems. The sea goblin suddenly swam very erratically, and since it was venomous, I was concerned for both my fish and myself. When it died, the symptoms moved to my prized Rhinopias. He died as well.
<Aye yi yi>
I might want to mention that my nitrates were super high 80ppm+, so I think that this caused the first die offs. The fish that start to act weird also stop eating. Then, it moved to my Mombasa lionfish, again, another venomous fish.
He was the only survivor, and is now @ my LFS. When the fish swim erratically, they bash into the glass, rocks, etc. After the lion, my blue throat started doing it, and he knocked himself out from bashing himself against the glass. We removed him, but he did not survive. The tank's nitrates became very good once most of the fish were gone 20ppm.
After a week or so, my fish began showing the same symptoms again. This time it was my niger, doing the same bashing, and stuff. Today, he jumped into my overflow and knocked down one of my heaviest rocks. This has me concerned, as this only happens to one fish at a time. I'm worrying that it'll move onto my puffer and tang, who are like my children (I'm only 14).
I was wondering if it had anything to do with a stray current, but I feel nothing when I stick my hand into the tank.
<Easy to test/measure w/ a simple multi-tester...>
Here are my parameters--
Ammonia- 0ppm
Nitrite- 0ppm
Nitrate- 20-40 ppm (fluctuating, I don't know why-- I think it's my test bottles)
Phosphate- 10ppm
<Yikes! Really? This is way too high>
Ph- 8.0
The dimensions of the tank are 45 x 25 x 20
<And this volume way too small for what you had>
So, can you tell me what's wrong or at least give me an idea? I'm ready to get out of the hobby-- there's a lot of money involved in this, and it's driving me and my folks crazy. Please help!
-Nick, Utica, NY.
<I suspect what you hint at... that metabolite accumulation (as indicated by high NO3) brought about a poisoning by one or more of your fishes... taking the rest w/ them. Less fish life, more room, increased filtration are what you need/ed. Bob Fenner>

Huge appreciations, Lionfish gen.  - 8/10/10
Hi Robert, thanks for your responses. I've tidied everything up, and attach a copy of the transcript as I'll send it below, as long as you have no issues with my tinkering. I've put together a basic bio, and will be using the 'headshot/goggles around chin' picture from your WWM link that you sent.
Robert M Fenner, author of The Conscientious Marine aquarist, has been a lifelong avid fishkeeper. A former instructor of Marine Science and Aquariology at the University of California, Robert is a prolific writer for the hobby, as well as a man with a continued passion for diving.
- Robert, with the spread of Lionfish to tropical regions around the globe, what do you think could be the outcome of such an invasion?
'Eventually population numbers will, and do drop with such errant introductions. Basically, predators 'learn' to consume the wanderers, and prey species 'learn' to evade them'
- Very little literature seems to exist about the captive breeding of Lionfish. Have you encountered any reputable claims?
'Yes. They're recounted in the scientific and popular literature, and a fellow WWM (WetWebMedia) Crewmember, friend of mine, Mike Dardaneau wrote of such directly.'
- Out of the Lionfish available, which would you advise as the most 'trouble free' for a first time Marine hobbyist?
'I'd say one of the Dendrochirus, most likely D. brachypterus.'
- Just how bad is the American invasion of Lionfish? Are there any impacts on indigenous stocks that have been noticed?
'The numbers and populations of Western Atlantic Pteroines and their distribution continue to expand. Some folks have claimed that some native fish species (such as the Royal Gramma -- Gramma loreto) have been extensively impacted. However, other folks know much more about this issue than I do.'
- What is the expected lifespan of a Pterois species?
'Likely around 10 -20 years, given propitious circumstances'
I appreciate this, and will no doubt be calling upon other WWM experts in future.
Very glad to help you Nathan. Cheers, BobF

Re: Lion Fish In The Caribbean  11/25/09
Hi Bob,
I was able to find the article FYI, but the gutted Lion Fish pic isn't present.
<Interesting that the Economist would have such genre... but is a very worthwhile 'zine (I've subscribed off and on for years), and I certainly do find the statements here interesting. Am glad to find the apparent eager
acceptance of Pterois as food items for westerners. BobF>

Lionfish, gen.   9/27/09
Hey crew how are you? My name is John and I am currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S Marines. I have a question, might be dumb but you guys seem to be the best place to get an informative (funny) honest answer.
when I get home I'm setting up a 125 Gal. fish only saltwater tank. the main thing I want in this is a lionfish ( Pterois Volitans. ) I have had them before but I was young and probably didn't give them the best setup possible. I was wondering if this is even a good sized tank for them, and what else would u recommend for this setup ( as far as filtration, skimmers, etc. ) one more thing would it be possible for two in this sized tank and/or which eels could potentially be tankmates if any. thank you so much in advance and a side note your site is great I've searched everywhere and your information seems to be the best and most consistent. thanks again and have a good one.
<All posted here John: http://wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Lion Fish... reading... lack of data    6/26/09
I need your help. My lion fish stopped eating about 2 weeks ago and now he hangs at the top of the tank and swims in circles. I did a water change 3 week ago and I do regular water changes every 4 weeks. I have checked the water chemistry and salt level in the tank and all are normal.
The rest of the fish are eating and acting normal. He has been on a diet of frozen food and dried krill. Any advise you can give me would be appreciated.
Thank you for your help.
Russ Dewes
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Id: Lionfish 5/13/09
Hi James
Where is the lionfish page on your site? Can you please send me the link?
<Sure, but all one has to do is Google our site.
Thanks so much for the fish ID.
<You're welcome.>
How do I tell differences with Lionfish?
<Read/learn on our site, pictures included in the above link. James (Salty Dog)>

Lionfish Questions 11/4/08 Good day kind sir J <Hello there Barry.> 2 questions to make it simple. <Okay.> Question 1. Pls ref to the images Lionfish1a.jpg and Lionfish1b.jpg. His name is Elvis. He seems to have a little bump right between those 2 pointy stubs on his nose, sorta like a zit we humans have. He's been acting fine and still hovers around like a policeman everyday. Perhaps it's a little clearer in lionfish1b.jpg that is a little reddish. My water conditions are fine with Nitrates hovering around the 5 - 10ppm range (more in the 5ppm), no nitrites or ammonia. He's not stressed and he's the king of the tank, 250 gallons and apart from a grouper and another lionfish (which I will ask about in the next question), there anything else in the tank except for 3 turbo snails and 1 cushion starfish. Could you say if the bump is a cause for worry? <Looks like a normal lionfish nose to me.> Question 2. Pls ref. to image Lionfish2. He's a new addition after a long and hard consideration. Very healthy after putting him into the tank and he does his batman thing hanging upside down and comes out for food. <How fun.> Problem is, I know he's a lionfish and gets along fine with Elvis but I can't seem to find precise information on its exact species. He seems to be a Volitans but he's really red with little white, and has long fins that makes me wonder if it's a radiate or antennata. <I would say Pterois volitans, neat color.> Can you advise? Barry? <Scott V.>

Lionfish Questions 11/4/08 Thanks Scott V. <Welcome.> And would Elvis (the 1st lion) also be a volitans? <Yep, quite the Turkeyfish!>

Blind Lion Fish 9/26/08 Hi Guys, This is Francis from Brunei Darussalam, a regular visitor of your website for the past couple of years, writing to you guys for the first time. <Well met Francis> Well, I have a six feet reef aquarium stable for the past couple of years, and a four feet with a single lion fish ( he is now more than 18 months old in my tank & around 10 inches in size), trained to eat frozen shrimp. <Good> The four feet has a simple blue & white T5 lighting arrangement. The lion was happy until two weeks back when he suddenly became blind . He is stressed since then ( colour deep red ). I still manage to feed him with feeder stick once in two days, but takes almost an hour to feed. I really pity him , can anything be done, I have no idea of disposing him. Rgds, Francis. <Mmm, the twin "causes" of most all Lionfish blindness are over overly bright lighting (with no caves, overhangs to get out of the light) and avitaminoses. Both are covered on WWM. You can peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm and the linked files in the series (above) or use the search tool... "Lionfish Blindness" here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm  Bob Fenner>
Re: Blind Lion Fish  - 09/28/08
Thanks for the tip Bob, The FAQs & articles provide information on the causes for lionfish blindness. Has there been any case of a blind lionfish regaining its eyesight ( too ambitious !!! ). <Yes my friend> I am sure he will perish if I let him go into the sea, <Please... never release life to novel habitats> the store will not take him back, so decided to keep him as long he can go even though there is no more fun. It has become more a responsibility than pleasure. I made some alterations to the live rock landscaping & reduced lighting. Thanks again. Rgds, Francis. <And even if blind, these fish/es can be trained to accept foods offered by tongs... Bob Fenner>

Re: Blind Lion Fish...Ribbon Eel 10/6/08
Bob & Crew, <Bob is out of net access, Scott V. with you.> Sad news Bob, my lion gradually stopped eating. I couldn't do anything.  Knew he was in his last days. Requested the LFS lady to keep him till he passes away. Couldn't bear to see him die in my home after 18 months.  Finally he died after one week in the LFS. <Sorry to hear this.> One more blunder again. Saw a blue ribbon eel ( almost 3 ft long) at the store which had arrived recently, fell in love & bought it immediately (emptied my wallet). Later checked your web site , worried now. <...> Made a nice home with PVC pipes & bends, he has settled down well in it.  But the fellow hasn't eaten for five days, I am trying all tricks & gimmicks, but no results.  When will I ever learn ? Don't know what to do. <I would return him if at all possible. Do check to see all livestock actually feeds before buying. Even then these eels are usually better left in the ocean!> Rgds, Francis. <Scott V.>

Red volitans lionfish... Env. troubles... induced 05/23/08 My husband is deployed and in middle east and we have a 100gal tank with lionfish, wrasse, angel fish, clowns, tangs, butterfly fish, live rock, condilastic anemones, and rose anemones. This tank is really his baby. It's an established tank for over 2 years. The lionfish is over 10 inches (named Triton) and is showing signs of ich. He's got cloudy eyes and some spots. Started after he added the rose anemone . I've changed water, tested for ph and nitrate problems, etc. I do not have a quarantine tank. I know I can treat for ich with meds but might kill the anemones, rock, and lionfish. Is there another way. Keep in mind, I'm really learning as I go. <All of us... the situation here is really one of troubles due to crowding... you need to remove the anemones... likely some of the fishes... or get/use a much larger system... Please read re the needs (systems) of the species listed here on WWM... add up the gallonage... you're vastly short. Bob Fenner>

Issue with Lion... Feeding et al...   4/26/08 Hello WWM Crew, Have an issue with a newly added a 6" Lion. I checked the site for more detail but looks like my issue is a bit more unique. I added a Lion that was quarantined for over 2 weeks from my LFS into my 125 FOWLR. At the store he was eating krill, no issues at all. <An incomplete diet> It's been 4 days since I've had him and no signs of an appetite. I have tried krill, krill soaked in Selcon, crab meat etc. <Not unusual for large lions to go on feeding strikes on being moved. Four days, a week is not a worry> Once I added him into my tank, he swam around for first day or so. Following day he showed signs of ich, so I gave him a freshwater bath. <Even more stressful> It worked great as the 'specs' are gone. <If in the system... will be back> He still does not care to eat, however. Now, I noticed him this morning, and while his coloration is fine - his back fin is beginning to show signs of rot. Can this be bacteria or fungus? <Stress> I'm tempted to dip him in a furan bath <Stop!> for a couple hours but wanted to get your perspective. Water quality checks out fine: Salinity 1.018 <Too low...> (for the ich breakout), <Won't work> Nitrite 0, Very low Ammonia, Nitrate 10, Temp 81 All my other fish, porc puffer, blue hippo, Humu trigger, green wolf eel, maroon clownfish have not missed a beat and eat like pigs. I'm confused at my current situation. It's been 4 days without any eating and zero signs of an appetite. Thanks for your time! Neil <Read (again): http://wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm  and the linked files above, and elsewhere on WWM re Cryptocaryon, Hyposalinity... You have self-induced troubles... Bob Fenner>
Re: Issue with Lion... Feeding et al... still not reading...    4/27/08
Thanks for your quick response. <Welcome> In terms of feeding, I'm going to begin feeding him live at first 'to get him in the mood' to eat. I will later move him towards krill. <... and wider than this> My issue is the other tankmates. I have a green wolf eel, porc puffer and Humu trigger that will grab any feeder I toss in. What's your advice to get the feeder to the lion? <... is posted... where you were referred to last time...> Should I pull him out into a bucket, let him relax then feed him on his own? Or should I toss in multiple feeders in hopes that one catches his fancy? Thanks for your help. <Read. B>

tank setup, Lions, sys. reading   1/26/08 Hello, I really enjoy lionfish and I want to set up a predator tank with a lionfish and maybe a few others. Since you guys and girls have more experience than I do with saltwater fish, I was just wondering your opinion on at least one maybe two good tankmates for a Pterois volitans. From what I have read, Lionfish don't move around very much in the daytime, so maybe a fish that was more active would make the tank seem livelier. I was think of a Dragon wrasse, or something of that nature. Also, what would be the min. gal required to keep the lionfish and tankmates and also the filtration recommended. <Posted...> I don't have a ton of money to spend and would like to get a tank setup the first time correctly, so that I don't have to spend more money fixing it later. The finally question would be how large of a tank would you recommend just for a lionfish singly. Thank you! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm  and the linked files above. Read on, take good notes... More to all this than you posit here. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish poison   10/30/06 Hi to all the crew! < Greetings, Emerson with you today. > I have a little concern about Lionfish stings. I actually tried to find out everywhere how dangerous is their poison, but the same answer shows up: their sting is very painful. What does that mean? < Lions are actually toxic and not poisonous. They are eaten all over the world. > No, I know what it means, but how dangerous is their sting? I have a Pterois volitans, he's still pretty small (3" or so) and I'm taking great care to avoid his spines while cleaning the tank, but an accident can always occur. The problem is that the closer poisoning center around is in the neighbor city in a children's hospital somewhere in that same city. I don't have any allergies, but I'm really concerned about the dangers of the sting. < You really wont know if you are allergic to a Lionfish sting until it happens. > Could it be deadly? < There have been deaths reported from Lionfish, but it is said to be extremely rare. > Or is it ONLY painful? Your help would be more than appreciated! < Most stings are very painful, and treated with hot water immersion to help with the pain.  Keep the poison control # handy in case you get stung. > Thanks!! < Most welcome, and have a great day. > Ivan

Volitans Lionfish in reef tank ... feeding   6/24/06 Hello Wet Web Crew, I just purchased a 4 inch Volitans lionfish for my reef tank. The only other fish in my 125 is a 5 inch Naso Tang, some shrimp (soon to be prey items for lionfish) <Maybe> and a 5" Protoreastor nodosus. I know I should watch him with my Xenia and Moon Polyps but it has been almost 2 years with no incidents, even my burgundy star is almost 2. I have kept Volitans in other tanks I have owned over the years, but never in a reef tank. I am finding it difficult to feed him the frozen prawn and silversides with all the liverock in the tank. I drop the food in front of the lion but the water flow from the powerheads forces the food to go in between the rockwork. <Make/use a "feeding stick"... attach the food to this and wiggle around in front of the Lion> I have to move rock around with my hands, retrieve to food then basically wave it around in front of him and make him follow my hand until he is up high enough in the tank to eat it. I can get away with doing this for a while, but as he grows I don't think it is a great idea when he grows to be a foot long. I am willing to gut load some damsels and introduce them live for a while. The Lionfish is in great shape, I fed 4 silversides the first night in my aquarium. Its been about a week and my 2 cleaner shrimp and coral banded shrimp are still around. Any thoughts on an easier way to feed this guy? thanks for all your advice. I enjoy reading through the articles on your site. See ya <Be chatting, reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Volitans Lionfish problem... not reading    5/24/06 Hello Crew, I have had a Volitans lion for sometime now and it has been eating frozen foods like a champ. Well last time I fed it was last week, Monday, and it has not been eating since that day. I feed my fish once a week. I feed the  lion mainly squid but sometimes I will throw in some gulf shrimp, krill,  and a silver side. The lion refuses to except frozen food from me now. How  long can it go without any foods? <Weeks> It has been 8 days now.  Is it best  to go back and try some ghost shrimp? What should I do, I hear people say just  starve it and soon it will eat but it's been more then a week! Please help I  trust you guys a lot. I appreciate your time. Thanks, Ben <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

What Kinds Of Fish Do Well With The Volitans Lionfish - 02/27/2006 I was just wondering what kinds of fish do well with Volitans Lionfish. I want a Clownfish, are those ok? Any other fish that you could recommend would be cool too. <Let's narrow this down some. Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm . Review the related links. - Josh>

Spastic Lionfish... lack of info.   2/1/06 Hi Bob, <Vicky> I just got a lionfish and we named him Spastic and for good reason. He's crazy he does  loops all day long and then he will float that the top of the tank for so long that I think he's dead. <... may be soon> But as soon as I try to fish him out he goes spastic and starts swimming back and forth and doing loops. He seems to be eating ok and other then the spastic behavior he looks good. We have some clown fish, damsels, and  an angel in the tank and they are all fine and do not show any of the behavior that Spastic does. Any advise? Vicky <... read on WWM re Pteroine systems, health... Bob Fenner>

Lionfish killing  12/29/05 Dear Sir,   We started a saltwater aquarium about 3 weeks and have 2 clown fish, yellow tang, choc chip starfish, and a lionfish.  The lionfish is 3 and half inches long and we've had him for 3 days. He is losing color and hasn't eaten today (he ate 2 goldfish the first day and 1 yesterday). <No goldfish>  We feed him goldfish he wont eat the Mysis shrimp. how do we get him off the goldfish an is there something wrong with him? <Rocky, please read here for starters.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels2.htm  James (Salty Dog)>

Lions, lions, more lions!  12/13/05 Thank you, <Welcome!>        I received your message the other day and I was happy with it, <Glad we can be helpful> but it arose just more questions. <That'll happen sometimes.> I wanted to know more about the venom how powerful and what to do when stung. <It hurts like CRAZY, swells up, turns red, and burns until you cry. If you have an allergic reaction you'll need to get to the hospital ASAP. In the meantime, you run the hottest water you can tolerate (without actually burning yourself!) over the effected area.> Also i found out the fish store I am getting my lion from has been feeding it just feeder goldfish (ACK). <That is very sad, and too common.> I have decided to get a new lion and I wanted to ask you guys what one you would recommend. <The dwarf species are all nice.> I would like a small cool looking one with some red in it so I can tell the fish store what to order. <Browse the lionfish pages and pictures online!> I think it would be great to have more than one lionfish in the tank. Can I have more than one lionfish in the tank? <When they are juveniles, yes. But that doesn't last long.> Would it be best to have 2 different types? <No. Just one, please.> Is a 100 gallon big enough for two? <No.> With more than one lion can I have other fish? <N/A> Will they both have the same diet? <Each other?> Would I want to put them in at the same time? <N/A> I also wanted to know will lionfish hurt corals or vice versa? <No, they couldn't care less about corals.> Should I put corals in soft or hard? <Your choice - depends on MANY other factors, least of all the lionfish.> I know it may seem like a lot of questions but these are some I need to know. Thanks again for all your help. <Our pleasure. Good luck! -Zo Your aquarist in need (one last question do you think it would be safe to get a rock fish?) <If you mean Stonefish, the answer is No, no, no, no, no. And... NO. But "Rock Fish" is a decidedly generic common name, and even refers to certain food fishes. And some are okay for aquarium use. -Zo>

Another One New to Salt  12/9/05 Hi, I'm relatively new to salt water tanks and I have been doing fresh water tanks for a few years now. I would like to go big with my salt water tank and create a 100 gallon.  <Sounds good>  I have been researching about fish and saltwater tanks and I have honestly almost gone crazy because there is so much to do.  When I was looking for fish I couldn't help but be taken aback by the beauty of the Pterois volitans or any lionfish at that. <Good aquarium specimens that can and will grow large. i would recommend a 180 gallon aquarium for them at their adult size of 12"> Some things I need to know are what fish that are predators will go well with lionfish. <Groupers, wrasses, etc you can have triggerfish but keep a close eye on them because they are nippers>  <<I strongly recommend against going with most Triggerfishes, if the P. volitans is the fish you're most interested in.  Marina>> I know that other scorpion fish will go good with them and that triggers, puffers and any fish they can't get in there mouths are good but I would like to know your opinion on what fish to can associate with Pterois lions. I have not started the 100 gallon yet but I will be starting soon any tips that would make it safe as possible to put the lionfish in the tank would be helpful.  One last thing when should I put the lionfish in after or before I get its future tank mates. <Before>  Thank you very much for your help in the matter and I hope to here some info about it. <Good luck, IanB>

Lion Tankmates, Adam J's Take (who forgot to put out the dog!  Oops, it was Ian..!)  12/9/05 Hi, <Hello Ryan.> I'm relatively new to salt water tanks and I have been doing fresh water tanks for a few years now. I would like to go big with my salt water tank and create a 100 gallon. <Sounds like fun.> I have been researching about fish and saltwater tanks and I have honestly almost gone crazy because there is so much to do. <Confusion in ornamental marine aquatics? Never!…well maybe a little.> When I was looking for fish I couldn't help but be taken aback by the beauty of the Pterois volitans or any lionfish at that. <Amazing looking critters...but don't get stung!> Some things I need to know are what fish that are predators will go well with lionfish. <Other ambush predators such a groupers, larger Hawkfish, anglers, and squirrelfish to name a few. I also like large Rabbitfish for tanks like this, not much of a predator but large enough to avoid being eaten and a good herbivore.> I know that other scorpion fish will go good with them and that triggers, puffers and any fish they cant get in there mouths are good but I would like to know your opinion on what fish to can associate with Pterois lions. <Actually triggers and puffers are some of the most common lion tank mates but they are also in my category of WORSE lion tankmates, while lion fish are predators they simply don't have the speed or armory to compete with triggers and puffers. This arrangement commonly concludes in the death of the lion but not before the trigger or puffer have picked off all of their fragile fins.> I have not started the 100 gallon yet but I will be starting soon any tips that would make it safe as possible to put the lionfish in the tank would be helpful. One last thing when should I put the lionfish in after or before I get its future tank mates. <Mmm…difficult to say without seeing a proposed stocking list, though in general lions are quite tolerant of fish they can't eat and fish that won't eat them. Another thing to consider with the lion is its diet…please make sure to purchase a lion that is accepting frozen fair such as krill, silversides and squid, live feeders are not an option….not long term anyway, they should only be used in emergencies or during weaning.> Thank you very much for your help in the matter and I hope to here some info about it. Thank you, <You are welcome.> Ryan O'Connell <Adam J.> (Your site has by far been the best online source I have found if you could recommend any good books on lionfish I would be very grateful.) <Mmm…I'm not familiar with any books specialized on Lions.. but there is a ton of info on them here at WWM and on the net in general, anybody out there know of any books, MH?>  <<Sorry, don't recollect any species-specific books that are "good" (though I'm sure they can be found, many books sold in aquarium shops are tripe and better cooked than read).  I would go to reefs.org or another similar BB and ask there.  Marina>>

Watch Out! There's a Lion fish behind you…avoiding those nasty stings  12/2/05 Hi! <Hello.> While my friend goes on vacation, I volunteered to take care of his marine tank. <He must trust you a lot.> In the tank is a Lionfish. He says that when he's cleaning he has to be really vigilant just in case it mistakes his hand for food. I'm kind of afraid. Can I use new rubber gloves when cleaning his tank?  <Yes but I still would not attempt to touch the fish, having never been stung by one I'm not sure how protective these gloves will be, of course they are better than nothing. However be sure they are not used as far as soap or other harmful materials….they need to be as sterile as possible.>  <<Not sterile, chemically inert is the issue here.  Regular "Playtex" gloves will not offer sufficient protection from a spine.  You need heavy-duty, try chemical gloves.  Marina>> Would that protect me? <When I clean a tank with lions I usually (carefully without touching them for your safety and theirs) herd them into the corner with some sort of utensil, (Kent scraper in my case). Some folks use barriers such as eggcrate or acrylic to keep the animal at bay. In general the animal will be much more afraid of you than you are of it and will keep a distance itself, also just be aware of where the fish is at all times don't get lazy or day dream. ;) > Thanks <Welcome, Adam J.> 

Volitans ate a suction cup - Take Extreme Caution When Handling! 10/18/05 Bob, I wanted to share a story with you and your readers. My 10" Volitans Lionfish, Leo, got himself into quite a predicament this morning, but luckily he survived it. Leo, you see eats EVERYTHING. He eats frozen cubes normally but this morning as I was cleaning the tank a blue suction cup came lose (about 1/2" diameter) from a tube. I saw it and shooed him away.  Before I could grab it he went in for seconds and ATE it. I was beside myself on the web trying to find a solution. All I could find is that they do not regurgitate and basically he would die. I refused to give up and planned to trap and catching with clean, new rubber kitchen gloves and pluck it out of his mouth (which was open) with long surgical tweezers.  The ending: as I was chasing him around the tank he expelled the item and I grabbed it this time quick before he could go for thirds. He seems no worse for the wear. The suction cup was kind of slimy though, as if he was trying to digest it. He had it in him for about an hour. Would my plan have worked? I was desperate to save him. Chrissi <Mmm, I am very cautious around pteroine fishes, having been "stung", poked a few times... the spines in question will go right through gloves... Am very glad yours chose to cough up the object. Bob Fenner> 

A year and a half on .. and we thank you... Lionfish, MikeD 7/16/05 I am not sure if you are still at WWM MikeD but my lion (who has since lost his/her horns) and is now at least 3" longer  and myself thank you and the rest of the WWM crew for your help along the way. He/she is now 12" long and a real part of the family. Whitebait, prawns and small squid every few days and he/she is very happy. Grant <Thank you for this update. Unfortunately MikeD is still on personal leave. Will post and hope he reads of your success. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish compatibility 6/29/05 Hi Great job on the web site. You guys rule the fish world! My question is I have a volition lion fish he is about 8" long in my tank. I would like to get him 1 tankmate. What fish are compatible with lions? <Uhh, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm and the linked files above. Particularly on compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish sick/dying??? Atrocious English, WWM Hi I need help I've been up all night looking on your web site an others on the WWW but couldn't find nothing that could help me. I have a Mombasa Lionfish that I bought 2 days ago. He/she is 1-2 inches long.  I am not sure what is wrong with him.  When i went to feed him before bed he was stuck to the filter. <Very bad> I got him off an he swam to the corner of the tank an rolled over on his side. Every time I get him right side up he flops over so i put him in a shallow container for right now so that he will stay right side up. [and it is working] He is breathing really slowly and his colors on the main part of the body are very very dull. I don't no but could he maybe be mal nourished? an if so how should i get him to eat? i have flash frozen mussels and silver sides. Greg <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Volitans Lionfish Hello, <Hi> Could you please help me with my lionfish? <Try to> Have a 120-gal FO tank with said lionfish (7") running for over a year without any problems. Last week I made the mistake of adding an auriga butterfly (2"). He started nipping on the lion a day later and I promptly removed him to a another tank. Problem is that the lionfish hasn't eaten in 4 days, he doesn't look skinny but he lies near the bottom most of the time with his spines drawn out. The spines have been out for the last four days. Is there anything that I could do? <I would start by changing 20% of the water.  Don't know your water change schedule, but 10% weekly is recommended.  If you've been feeding him goldfish I'd change to something else, guppies, mollies etc.  A 7" lion does generate a lot of waste.  You don't mention using a protein skimmer or a high grade of activated carbon.  Both of these will help tremendously in water quality which is what I believe the problem is.  How is the nitrate level?  Lionfish are best left to a specie tank only.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks a ton, keep up the good work!!! Adriel

Lionfish Hi all <Hello, Mike> Love the website. I just bought a Volitans lionfish his body is about 6" long and he is about 10" from fin to fin. I was curious of his age? how could I tell how old he is? also how much should he be eating? I will be feeding frozen krill and fresh shrimp. <Mike, if you can get him to eat frozen krill and shrimp, half the battle is won.  Most lions won't touch anything that doesn't move.  If it has been acclimated to eating frozen food, great!  As far as age, I'd guess two to three years. Growth is fairly rapid in their natural home.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks Mike<<NO! Trouble... w/ Thiaminase.... need other food. RMF>>

Scorpionfish ID 6/6/05 Hello, I have found a picture of a fish on the internet and after seeing it (the fish seem to be identical) in my local fish store I would like to know more, in the LFS it has been sold as a scorpion fish.  However the picture has been labeled as a Richardsonichthys leucogaster or white-faced wasp fish.  However after looking at other pictures of white faced wasp fish I believe that the picture has been misidentified/mislabeled.  I will attach the picture and I was hoping you could Identify it. <From what I could find, I agree that this ID is doubtful, although it is some kind of Scorpionfish.> It does display a pair of wrigglers that are not very apparent in the picture.  I would really like to know what kind of fish that it is.  I thought that perhaps it could possibly be a Parascorpaena aurita or a Bull rout (Notesthes robusta).  It is extremely similar to the picture involved but of a lighter mottled colour. If you can't identify it, are there certain characteristics that would clarify the species?  I can get further pictures if required.  Thank you very much for your assistance.  Rob.  <An exact ID would be difficult, but is probably not necessary.  This fish is an ambush gulping predator.  As a general rule, these fish require species tanks or tank mates that cannot be eaten, but are also fairly peaceful (a rare combo!)  The inactive habits of these fish make them uninteresting to most aquarists.  Many of the fishes in this group have venomous spines, and as such must be handled with great care.  If you do have an interest in keeping this fish, do read up on the general requirements for the group and provide accordingly.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>
Fish Identification Follow-up 05/07/2005
Hello, <SUP> primarily thank you for your quick response to last query that concern a Scorpionfish identification from a mislabeled picture and found in LFS.  I am not sure but I think I found the species by mistake, the species appears to be a Scorpionfish mimic/false Scorpionfish (Centrogenys vaigiens).  I just thought you might want to know.  As it took me ages to locate and identify. <Excellent.. Thanks for the info.. EricS>

- Dwarf Lion Growth Rate - Hi, Great site. A question that's I have searched, your archives, and all information I can find.  The question is, how long at the best guess, will it take a dwarf zebra lionfish, to grow from 1.75 inches to 4 inches.  <A couple of years.>  He is kept in a 40 gallon with 40 lbs live rock, a few mushrooms and a flower anemone. He is fed Mysis shrimp once daily now as he is still small. As he grows I'll feed silversides, krill, and chopped market shrimp about once daily or as needed. He eats very well, and I don't plan on feeding to much. The water is ph.8.3 , s.g 1.023, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, calcium 400, dKH 12, temp 78. Thank you for your reply in advance, and yes I know he can/will get 7 inches or more when full grown, just concerned how long until he's 4 inches.  <More than a year, but probably not less than two. Cheers, J -- > 

Lionfish update! Hey Mac: <Hey Brett, Happy Holidays to you.>Happy Holidays! I just got some holiday cheer in the form of a new lionfish. :) <YEEHAA! lol I do so love Lionfish.>  Considerably larger than the previous, yet still a juvenile. I have included several pictures for you to see.... Some of Big Daddy showing off by turning REALLY red, as well as Big Daddy hunting, where his mouth starts to turn green... <Great pictures!> Then some shots of the new lion, added today. You will also notice that I paid particular attention to request a "fat-ass" lionfish that readily eats. You can see that my Santa heeded my request! :) Nice... <Santa was very kind to you.> Anyway, you don't really see it in these photos because of the flash, but this new lion has beautiful purple markings! All along his fins it is maroon and then a neon purple color, just like the anemone that is in one of the photos. If you look hard enough, you can see it in the photos. I will try and get some better ones later, because it is beautiful. Do you think this color will remain as he grows older? <Yes yes yes if you can give him a mixed variety of foods and be sure and give him vitamins. That will keep him nice and healthy!.> (Please....just say yes.) Anyway, have a great holiday, and look forward to hearing from you soon! <Thanks so much for the update!!!!> Brett Chisholm

Lionfish Questions Thanks MikeD <You're welcome, Here again!> After a lot of looking and even more reading I have decided that the tank (5x2x2) is probably best suited for a single Volitans. I purchased him today!<OH oh! This is the beginning of a habit, you know?> A big fella ( All my other tanks have freshwater Bettas - so most things look big) approx 6-7 inches.<Compared to a FW Bettas, a P. volitans has to look huge!> I witnessed him feed in the shop ( a thawed whitebait - I think you call them silversides).<That's always a good thing to observe. Healthy lions will usually repeat their dining habits within minutes of being introduced> There is a lot of discussion regarding feeding frequency and I have come to the opinion that three to four times a week is considered the "norm".<This is a tricky question, and you do realize it's the suggested feeding pattern in captivity versus a "normal" feeding behavior in the wild, correct?> My question is how much? is one 2" whitebait enough for the fish?<Usually no. If you're going to feed on the alternate day schedule, it's best to feed your lion until it's got a rounded, well fed belly, and the actual amount fed will depend upon your particular fish. Each fish will have a slightly different growth rate, which has a definite bearing on the amount that you'll need to feed it. While P. volitans seem to prefer fish over the primarily shrimp diet of their close relatives, P. russelli, once they're feeding on frozen/dead foods IMO a diet heavy in shrimp will yield best results. The most commonly available SW feeders available in the average LFS at present are silversides, not a normal prey item and substantially higher in oils and fats than what they would eat in the wild, and can still result in fatty deposits in the organs, and the shrimp will offset this somewhat. Is this a reef tank with corals or a FOWLR tank? I ask as it has  direct bearing on tankmates and feeding habits as well.> Thanks for all your assistance so far.<Glad I could help> (btw .. great to see we hobbyists didn't loose your generosity and wisdom when you left the other forum)<It was just a matter of needing a little more personal freedom, much like the fish we try to keep!>

More Lionfish Questions Thanks for the help mike <You're very welcome. It's me, MikeD again> .. he ate today two whitebait and a piece of prawn ( I had some friends over later in the day so fed him a bit of it whilst preparing the "shrimp for the Barbie". <It's really hard not getting them to "show off a bit" for company, eh? Most lionfish owners understand this very well!!**grin**> I do want to replicate as much as I can their natural diet but these were king prawns ( big ones) so cut some flesh and dangled it in the flow of a powerhead.. it took approx 15 min and 3 pieces before he took it. <It gets easier as they become accustomed to you being the food source, and eventually it will snap up whatever you offer it> Are they more likely to take much smaller intact prawns ("shrimp") <Yes. Any size will do, with wild prawns being a natural part of their diet> or should I just buy frozen Mysis and give that a go .....<I'd suggest away from the Mysis as your lion will grow quickly and they'll simply be too small, with most going un-noticed and just fouling the tank. If your area uses bait prawns, that's often an excellent, inexpensive source of food> A great fish btw .. I m sure that he has me hooked already<I kind of thought that would happen. I've got one of your local mob up here in one of my tanks with a lionfish, a Stonefish...now THAT thing is huge and downright ugly!> Grant

Dwarf lion, zebra I think  Hi, I just bought a dwarf lion. He is about 2 to 3 in. I have a 55 gal tank with a lot of hiding places, MAYBE THAT'S WHY I CAN'T FIND HIM ANYWHERE! I checked on him all afternoon and he was hiding behind a rock but now I don't see him. I should tell you that I also have a Niger trigger that is about 4 in long and a percula clown (Nemo fish) 2 in. I was told there shouldn't be a problem in my size tank?<no there should not be any problems><<Wrong.... the Trigger will get too large... and is incompatible w/ the other two fishes. RMF>> Well what do you think? Also won't the lion poison the other fish if he bits them?<The lions bite is not venomous...it is his dorsal spines which are venomous> He is sooo cute I hope he is alright and is just hiding.<he's probably hiding> Could you tell me if dwarf lions are active or our they hiders?<mainly hiders> Well I guess that's all the questions I have for  now. I hope you can help. :-) Sincerely, Jill. P.S. I also have a lawn mower blenny and a med size hermit crab that is growing by leaps and bounds!!!!!!!<Good luck, IanB>

Dwarf Lionfish Hi, I wrote to you yesterday about stocking a tank and I said my tank is 20 gallons, but that is UK gallons so it's close to 30 gallons US. Do you think this is big enough for a dwarf lionfish and a few hermits to stir the sand?<It would probably be ok. But personally I would only keep these messy feeders in a minimum aquarium of 45gallons> Also, where should I position powerheads? I don't want to just constantly bombard one side of the tank with a heavy current.<I would just position them towards the other side of the aquarium.> Thanks.<good luck, IanB> Ari Marks

Lionfish Won't Stop Swimming >Well, I don't really know what to say, >>Just spit it out then, and start at the beginning, that's always best. >We just bought a Volitans lionfish and we put him in a 125 gallon tank. We put him in the tank at 6 pm and he has been swimming until 11 pm non-stop. >>He must really be enjoying himself. >I have heard the lionfish is relatively lazy for a salt water fish and they spend most of their time laying on rocks, is he going to exhaust him self? >>This is actually not always true.  I worked at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, and our Lionfishes in the species tank were CONSTANTLY on the move.  The dwarf lions held much truer to the reputation.  And no, he will not exhaust himself. >He is swimming an awful lot against a hard current in the water and we are worried that he will wear out!! >>Are there areas of the tank where the current isn't so strong?  If so, don't worry, but if you've created what I fondly call "The Toilet Bowl Effect", you need to diffuse the flow in some areas. >He is the only inhabitant that is currently in the tank, could you please tell us why he keeps swimming? Is he stressing too much or do they always do that? >>Doubtful, refer to above.   >Another question we had was is turbo start a good alternative because we used turbo start after 3 weeks of cycling because it was taking forever. Thanks for your help - David >>Well, David, I have never used any of these cycling boosters, and three weeks of cycling is just barely getting into it.  I believe you jumped the gun, but it's a done deal now, just keep testing and when you get a significant nitrate reading you'll know that you're on your way to culturing the necessary nitrifying bacterial colonies.  Add fish S L O W L Y, as there are only enough bacteria to process available wastes!  Marina

Dendrochirus biocellatus Good afternoon. I was recently at an LFS and saw a Spotfin lion and I was wondering if you could tell me how  hardy it is and how big it will get.<What you saw at your LFS is most likely a Dendrochirus biocellatus or Fu Manchu lionfish. It grows to about 5" and is very reclusive and likes hiding under rocks ledges, etc. I would keep it with similar sized fish...and not ones that can fit into its mouth!! or they will be consumed. Overall this is a pretty hardy fish if purchased in good condition (I have seen a lot of these guys perish at aquarium stores because they were shipped poorly) I would house this fish in at least a 75gallon aquarium with plenty of LR and good filtration... protein skimmer, wet/dry etc. Good luck with this fish. IanB>

Fu Manchu 07/27/03 Hello WWM crew.  <Hello, PF with you today> I am rather new to the marine hobby, and this site has helped me greatly. I'm not sure if you would recall, but I have written to you once before concerning a Valentini Filefish, Paraluteres prionurus, not eating, sadly he passed away not long after, but the advice given was greatly appreciated none the less. This time I am writing to ask about a Fu Manchu Lionfish. I have a 60g tank, with corals, plenty of live rock, and coral substrate. The lionfish is at my LFS and it roughly 3 inches in length. I was just writing to ask about compatibility and tank size. I have read up on the net, and would just like to gain another opinion before purchasing this fish. My main concern is whether or not it will have a nice little picnic with my smaller fish, mainly my 2 Starcki damsels Chrysiptera starcki, my 1 blue and gold damsel Pomacentrus coelestis, 1 Firefish goby Nemateleotris magnifica, and possibly even my 2 Banggai cardinals Pterapogon kauderni who are only rather young. Also I'm not sure if my tank size will be an issue, in your experience what's the average size they will grow to? Also are there any other foreseeable problems which might occur?. Thanks for the help. Greatly Appreciated, Cayne <Well Cayne, you certainly seem to pick challenging species. Of all the lion fish Dendrochirus biocellatus, the "Fu Manchu" lionfish, is one of the more difficult to keep. It could well be full grown, they only reach almost 4" in length. It would be a threat to any tankmate it could swallow, and don't underestimate the size of their mouth. Remember to, these fish produce a lot of pollutants because they are heavy eaters. These are more delicate than other lions, but they are also the smallest. Before acquiring one, you should let the rest of its tankmates grow. In all truth also, you should consider that the full grown occupants you have could be the limit of your tank size.>

Scorpion fish in a small home <Good evening, PF with you tonight> Thank you for all your help.  It is a great service you provide.  I am in the process of setting up a FOWLR species tank that will house several Leaffish or other small Scorpionfish and/or a Fu Manchu Lion.  I would prefer a Stonefish, but I know the 29 is too small for this fish long term.  I have successfully kept large Lion's and Groupers for over six years, so I understand the potential for sting.  Anyway, the tank is 29 gallons and I will use either an 18 gallon sump with a small refugium or a large spare wet/dry filter and a good protein skimmer. <Well first off, I'd say get a bigger tank, say a 40L. Even for such animals that are relatively inactive, the 29g will be awfully crowded. I'd feel even better with a 55> For these fish would the wet/dry or the sump/refugium be the better choice?  I am concerned about nitrate control (from past experience)  especially since it is such a small tank.  Would I be better off with a DSB of 4" of sugar fine sand in the main tank or something like Carib Sea, sea floor grade at a depth of 3-4" with a small DSB refugium in the sump?  Another thought would be to use less than an inch of substrate in the main tank with the in sump refugium?  Which would you recommend?  I plan to use about 45 lbs. of LR. <I'm always happy to recommend a refugium, and since you're skipping corals even Caulerpa (if you ever plan on putting any corals in there though, skip the Caulerpa and use Chaetomorpha). I assume you'll use the protein skimmer with either setup. In truth, I'd say use all 3, overkill can't hurt with these messy eaters. Remember though, that wet/dries need to be cleaned on a very regular basis. If you do decide on the 29, I'd say go with the 1" of substrate as it will make cleaning easier. If the 40L or the 55, go with a DSB. As I said above, a bigger tank would be #1 on my list, with maybe 10 or so more lbs. of LR, and a fair amount of long handled equipment so you don't end up a statistic. Have a good night, PF>

Lions in Reefs... I've been trying to determine everything that I would like to put in my 90 gallon tank before I even begin the cycling process.<good idea> I've received some mixed advise about lions and corals.<would not try lions in a 90 gal reef (maybe not a reef aquarium at all)> Would lions nip at mushroom and polyp corals? <I don't think I would be too concerned with them consuming corals, the BIG problem with this mix is that lions are heavy eaters and can make the aquariums water quality deteriorate very rapidly, and corals are not very tolerant of poor water quality>     Also there is lighting concerns. Thanks to your website, I would have never known). Would the lighting needed to keep these simple corals be to much for the lion?<yes, could be.. lions like subdued lighting> About 3-4 watts per gallon I believe is needed.     My last question, is the dwarf lion the smallest of the species, and would they probably make a meal out of some yellow head Jawfish.<he would be slurped up, if the lion could catch him> Provided that the lion is the last fish added to the tank.<again I would not try this mix, the lion will consume most small reef fish/shrimps, crabs, etc and they eat A LOT (messy too), IanB>

Help with Lionfish Please help my poor lionfish.  I've had had him for about six months and he has grown enormous and done very well.  We recently went on vacation for one week and had a friend care for the fish with our detailed  instructions.  The clown dish died while we were gone and the lionfish is very sick he has a film all over him and obviously can't breath.  We have called all the shops that we normally frequent and no one has been of any help.  I am an uneducated aquarium owner but I do love my fish please tell me what to do!!!!!!!!!!!! >>Ok, I'm not going to bother you with any other details, here's what the rule is when in doubt--DO A WATER CHANGE.  I'd not worry about vacuuming the substrate, I'd just remove about 50% of the water and replace with fresh (either seawater purchased at the LFS) and heated to temp, or mixed at home and aerated/circulated) for 24 hours ASAP, and plan to have another one the next day. >>In the meantime, you can provide me the following information: >>1: Size of the system >>2: Filtration >>3: Occupants, sizes, & how long at home. >>4: Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test readings (other pertinent depending may be needed depending on the type of system *Reef & Type vs. Fish Only/-With Live Rock (FOWLR)* for instance) >>This along with the other information you've provided really helps us help you.  I suspect the water's become polluted, probably because of overfeeding.  A water change will always help this.  Do that, then if he's still looking really bad, or need more help, let me know (just include my name in the response), I'll get back to you ASAP.  Best of luck!  Marina

Tryin' With Lions! I am in a little need of professional advice! <Well, I wouldn't call myself "professional", but I hope that I can help! Been "around the reef" a few times! Scott F. with you today!> I have kept Planted tanks for years, and the lighting was simple!  Reef lighting is so much more complex. <Well, there are sooo many options and theories out there; it is certainly a bit confusing!> I am a newcomer to the saltwater side, and this is my planned tank: 85 Gallon Hexagon Tank 4 tube 55 watt power compact Possibly a single Metal Halide A live rock tower with cliffs, overhangs, and caves will climb the back panel of the tank, epoxied for stability, and two 'arms' of live rock will curve out around the bottom towards the front of the tank, eventually tapering into the 5 inch live sand bed. <I like the way that sounds...Lots of decorative possibilities- and a highly "functional" design, too!> All species in tank will be Indo Pacific. <My favorite place...LOL> Filtration will be a Remora Pro Skimmer, and a Eheim 2229 wet/dry. I have a magnum 350 to add to this for mechanical filtration if needed. (but I hate how messy the filter is to start up.) <The Magnum is the "DC3" of canister filters...They have been around a long time, and seem to run forever. If you opt to use it for mechanical filtration, you need to clean/replace the filter pads and/or carbon on a regular basis, as accumulating organic materials trapped in the media can have a negative effect on water quality in the long run> I am planning on an initial stocking over 2 months (after cycling with LR and LS) <Love your patience! You will be rewarded for it...!> of Electric Blue Hermits, Trochus Snails, and a few other species of cleanup crew and what not, I am being specific in my invertebrate choices because I plan on the only two fish in the tank to be P. Radiata Lionfishes. <Beautiful fishes, but they do get pretty large (over a foot, in many cases), and can definitely mess up a tank if your husbandry is not up to par. Be sure to maintain excellent water conditions through frequent (2 times a week/5% of tank volume) water changes. Really keep an eye on the filter media and clean/replace frequently. Glad that these are the only fishes planned for this tank...At full size, more fish would be problematic> The ones my LFS gets in are usually about 2 inches long, so I suspect shrimp could last a while in there, and I have thought about getting one or two banded or arrow shrimps to take care of any possible fire worm tag-alongs on the live rock.  (will also do a late night mantis inspection before moving stock in. ) <Sounds like a good plan> Anyhow, provided I give the lionfish a place to shelter during the day, and the fact that the tank is deep (over 24 inches I think)  do you think the lighting will be a problem for the lionfish concerning blindness?  I want the fish to be happy in this setup as well, not to just survive it. <Great attitude! I think that the fish should be fine, as long as there are adequate places for them to retreat to should lighting be too bright for them. Keep a close eye on them and adjust as necessary. I think that the water quality is of even greater importance, so do your best to keep it as high as possible!> I plan on stocking the tank with indo-pacific soft and stony corals eventually, along with feather dusters, Christmas tree worms, brittle stars and perhaps a reef friendly starfish, and your odds and ends that either the lionfish won't want to put in their mouths, or are to big, unpleasant, so on and so forth... <Again- sounds fine...Just keep in mind that the lions are your "pivotal species" in this tank, so if the fishes don't like the brighter lighting, your corals may suffer if you have to back down...Sounds like all should be okay- but observe carefully nonetheless! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Thanks so much for your time and effort. Stephen M. Swinney
Tryin' With Lions (Pt. 2)
Scott thanks so much for your advice!  I agree water quality is of paramount importance, and I assure you I am dedicated to the best water quality I can attain! <It will make such a huge difference in these fishes' lives! Glad to hear that!> I have always wanted the lions, and I am into the corals because I like to create 'bio-topes' but if they have to suffer at the expense of the lions, then they get traded to a better home. Pure and simple, if I can't provide for it, it's gone. Stephen <Awesome attitude, Stephen! I know that you'll be successful with your plan because you're certainly doing everything possible to meet the needs of your favorite fishes! Something that we can all learn from! Best of luck! Let us know how it turns out! Regards, Scott F> Stephen M. Swinney

Trying' To House Some Lions! (lionfish Stocking Levels> Hi crew, <Hi! Scott F. your Crew Member tonight!> I have a new tank 6 x 2 x 2.5 ft. The tank will be used for lion fish only. How many  fully grown lion fish can this tank hold? <Well, depends largely on species...If you're talking about the bigger guys, like P. volitans- you probably wouldn't want to keep more than 3, IMO...On the other hand, if you're talking about the "dwarf" species, you may be able to keep a few more. Remember, Lionfishes are messy eaters and impart a lot of metabolic wastes into the water. Excellent filtration capacity and water quality is essential here!> I am planning to build a corner  overflow  with a 1" drain and ? " return. What size should I make the overflow box? <Frankly, I'd recommend a larger overflow; one that could accommodate at least 2 one inch standpipes. I'd rather have extra drain capacity, instead of two little> I am planning a sump of 3 x 1 x 1.5 ft.  Is this large enough?   <Seems about right to me> What size pump (gallons/litres per hour) should I use for the return?   I would prefer not to have any power heads in the tank.  Do you have a simple drawing of the piping? <I'd utilize a pump/circulation system that can turn over the entire tank volume at least 10 times per hour, more if you can do it. I like lots of turnover! Unfortunately, I do not have a diagram I can provide to you, but there are many in-depth discussions of plumbing schemes on the WWM site...Do a bit of searching, and you'll find some good information> Thank you in advance. Karun <And thank you for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>

Quick lionfish/ light question I have a 125 gallon tank FOWLR which is home to a 5.5 inch lionfish.  I have   two 36 inch pc lights.  One light is 192 watts.  The other  light I am only using one 96 watt actinic blue bulb.   Is this OK for the lionfish's eyes?    He swims all over the tank but I notice he likes to hang out on the  end with the 96 watt actinic blue bulb.  There are also a couple of tall plants on this end that he camps under so it is somewhat shaded?   Should I also make a cave on the end with lesser lighting or is he OK the way he is?     Thanks a lot.   Brian <I would provide a darkened area. Bob Fenner>

The Cowardly Lion? Hello, <Hi there- Scott F. with you today> I have a 90 gal tank for about a year with a 6 inch Volitans lion, a yellow tang, and some damsels. I had some Ich problems for awhile and I believe I have made adjustments to alleviate that problem. I added a Passer angel about 4 months ago, and he seemed to get along ok, except he would nip at the Volitans tail periodically, but it didn't seem to be a major problem. Then I added a Cuban hog, and he is, as you know, a very aggressive eater. <Yep...By the way- you may be pushing your tank's capacity here...The Passer alone will get quite large (like 10" plus), and the behaviors of all of the fishes may become very aggressive as they get larger in the relative confines of the tank> About 6 weeks ago the Volitans got very sick, maybe bacterial, the webbing on his side fins deteriorated, and he developed a patch on his body that turned white, and lost its color. I put him in a 10 gal hospital tank, and treated with Paragon II and Quick Cure as per my LFS. After the recommended dose I did a water change and his scales and fins have healed nicely, but he won't eat. I have tried his usual diet of frozen silversides and krill, and even added live guppies, but he wont touch any of it. He hasn't eaten in almost 5 weeks. <Not good> Q1: What can I do to get him to eat? <I'd start by executing almost daily water changes (like 5% of tank capacity) to help improve water quality in the hospital tank, and to utilize activated carbon and Poly Filter to help dilute any remaining medication. I'd also try administering some vitamins, such as Vita Chem, directly to the water, in the hope that he will drink and/or absorb some through his skin, and initiate the feeding process. Don't give up on him...> Q2: Could the passer angel and/or Cuban hog have intimidated him and stressed him into this, as my water quality is good? Gregory DePetro <I'd say that this is certainly an excellent possibility. This kind of problem often has its roots in a stress situation...I'd consider a larger tank (like 150 gallons plus) or trading some of these fishes with a friend who has larger quarters...You may notice substantial improvement in all of you fishes...Worth considering, IMO...Good luck Regards, Scott F>

Big Lionfishes - 2/15/03 Howdy, guy! <Cheers, Cathy!> Sometime ago I promised pictures of the biggest Lionfish I had ever seen. Well, the pictures came out, but it is hard to gauge the size of the fish. I "put together" some photos into one pic, but maybe you can tell the size. The upper right corner has a fish caught by flash, but next to some bricks that are 8" long. This is actually one of the smaller lionfish! <Wow!> These beauties are at the Dallas World Aquarium in Texas. Let me know if the pic comes through or not! -Cathy in Texas <>< <Magnificent! Thanks for sharing. It reminds me too about proper adult sizes and longevity with marines in adequately sized tanks. Pterois Lions can and should grow to about 18" long and are recorded to live well over 20 years in captivity. Dallas can grow 'em big :) Anthony>

The Lion And The Trigger Hi Bob: <Scott F. at the ready today> I have a nice 120 gal tank with 40 pounds of live Rock, I have 2 blue damsel fish 2" and my clown trigger 4" I recently bought a 3" Lion fish and they get along just fine. My question is should I be worried that the small lion fish stinging the trigger?? <Actually, I'm much more concerned about the trigger using the lionfish as his personal chew toy at some point! Do keep a close eye on these guys to make sure that no one gets hurt> Because they get along just fine but swim very close all the time, should I be worry about it???. <Again-keep observing them closely for signs of aggression, and be prepared to intervene if necessary> And the other question is that I know that lion fish take a few days to adapt to their new tank to start feeling at home, and start eating properly, but do you suggest some personal tips to get him to eat??? <I'd try tempting the lion with some frozen krill, strips of fresh clam, squid, etc. Lionfish should adapt to a "non-living" diet in a short time. It's not mandatory, or beneficial, for that matter, to feed them living fishes permanently> I only intend to keep these two fish, because I want them to enjoy of the space and grow with out any problems. <So glad to hear that, because these two fishes will need lots of room to be happy and live long, healthy lives> My final question is that one of the dorsal spines of the lion fish is bended (or broken), do they grow a new one or it will just fall, and will it be a problem for the fish??? <Generally, this should not be a problem for the fish, if he is otherwise in good health> Any suggestions will be appreciated ... and please give me some pointers of how to avoid any pre-problems between these two fish. I all ready read a lot of research, one of my personal favorites its http://reefkeeoing.com/issues/2002-11/fm/feature/ there is a lot of information about all lion species. ps. who its more likely to hurt the trigger hurting the clown trigger or the lion hurting the trigger???? <Well, once again- I'd be a bit more concerned over the trigger inflicting damage to the lionfish.. Keep providing excellent water conditions (regular water changes), quality food, and don't add any more fishes, and these guys should live long healthy lives in your tank. However, they will ultimately need to be moved to a larger aquarium (like 200 gallons or more) to be truly happy in the long run...Good luck! Regards, Scott F >

Fish shedding parts I & II  2/8/03 Piggy the lionfish is starting to change colors and act a little funny.  I read a couple of things about shedding and wondered if any of you had seen this and could describe it for me.  Like what parts do they shed and how often etc. <categorically shedding ("sloughing" is not normal or healthy for most fishes. It is a sign of extreme duress. Usually comprised of mucus, it is tripped by a virulent parasitic infection, or more often by severe changes in water quality (ammonia burn, acidosis from low pH, overmedication, etc)> Also we were looking at a DSB and I saw a reference somewhere on your site for mixing live sand with some kind of sand from Home Depot  to get the required amount.  Is this all right to do and if so could you tell me exactly what kind of sand to use.  I believe I read that on one of the FAQs that Anthony answered, but I'm not sure. <true... most aragonite sand it all the same. Just packaged and marketed differently. Home Depot sells "South Down" brand child's play sand that says on the bag "Caribbean beach sand". It also says not for aquarium use because they have a big contract with a notable aquarium sand distributor that charges a lot more fore the same stuff> Thanks for the help Bryan Flanigan ** Piggy the Lionfish Part II Hey guys and gals, Piggy the lion is looking much worse--much much worse. <have you tested all of your water chemistry? Please do. And then follow that wish a water change (as large as can be done safely)> He is currently laying against a rock, kind of on his side, his gills are working pretty hard.  He won't move when we open the cover (he usually comes right up to the top).  His overall color has kind of went from brown and cream to brown and pinkish brown. The color change has been gradual starting about a week ago.  There are no spots or anything unusual that I can see. <has there been an addition of a new fish, rock, plant or coral without quarantine recently? Perhaps a disease was introduced> I feed him frozen prawn and squid. He hasn't really eaten in about 3 days <no worries on the lack of food> I've rechecked all the water tests salinity 1.022, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates around 5, ph 8.2 just like it always is.  The temp is 80. Nothing I have read about shedding remotely resembles this. <do move this fish to a QT  tank then and treat with Formalin... never copper with scaleless fishes> I fear he will be bacon in the morning.  I know that's not funny Any suggestions would be appreciated <read through the archives here at WWM on disease and learn freshwater dip protocol... do that until you can get Formalin> Bryan Flanigan Piggy the Lionfish <best regards, Anthony>
Fish Shedding part III (dosing with Formalin) 2/8/03
Hi Anthony- I just mixed up 20 gallons of new water 5 hours ago for a new piece of live rock which is in it.  Can I put him in there or is that too soon after mixing.   <if it has been aerated and has turned clear, it is likely OK (albeit quick). Also, the temperature must be right on and not raised by using hot water (low dissolved O2). Still... all raw water however well-aged is never recommended. Too stressful. Steal some away for the tank and swap with aquarium water. Have no fear of a communicable pathogen... if its there, we know its coming in with the fish anyway. Plus... few cysts are in the water... their are on the body or on the substrate pending hatch. So... take some old water and mix it in please> There has only been one addition, a piece of rock with a couple of polyps and feathery things growing on it.   <likely not a huge risk unless it was bough from a tank that had fish in it recently (in which case it was no different than adding a sick fish without QT). Indeed, the rule of thumb for safety is that every thing wet (plant, algae, rock, fish, coral, sand, etc) gets QT for 4 weeks. Only then can you have piece of mind> It does have a large area that has become completely covered with a dark thick reddish black covering that is slowly spreading to cover the whole piece of rock.   <not related... simply a BGA> Also, my wife is a nurse and has access to 10% Formalin.  Is that it?   <we can use it. Standard fish solutions are actually 35-40%. With this concentration we dose 2-4 ml per 10 liters of saltwater in a bucket (heated) for 30 minutes. With your 10% solution, use 10ml per 10 l (say 3 gallons)> It would be the fastest place to get it. <go for it bub... do this dip daily for 3-5 days minimum. QT tank should be bare bottomed, unlit and gets daily water change from the bottom (siphoning parasites as if they are there)> Thanks for the help Bryan Flanigan <best regards, Anthony>
Fish Shedding - the end.
Hi Anthony- Well Piggy the Lionfish is dead <Alas... I am truly sorry to hear it my friend> The freshwater dip I fear came too late.   <indeed... and no worries on procedure- it is likely that the troubles were much bigger or advanced than the dip could have helped at that point> He was very unresponsive when I netted him.  Didn't struggle at all.  The temp and ph of the freshwater were right on.  He sank to the bottom, twitched slightly every 3-4 seconds about 10-12 times, then extended his fins and spines fully, his gills puffed out and he froze in that position.   <weakened beyond saving it sounds like> I examined him a little and he looks normal except for the color and he has a slight bulge in the anal region. <hmmm...> About a week ago he scooped up a lot of shells with his squid and I was never sure if he coughed them all out.  I did notice that he hung upside down a lot this last week.   <indeed consistent symptomatically with impaction> Any way he's dead now and I don't have the stomach to cut him apart to find out if a shell is in there. <understood and agreed. We know such risks exist an that it all we need to know. Still quite sorry to hear it> I want to thank you for your help.  It does make us feel better that we tried to help our pet even if it still died. I also really appreciate the fact that you got right back to me.  You all are the greatest  Long Live WWM Bryan Flanigan <it is our pleasure and purpose to help here. Wishing you happier times and knowing there will be. Kindly, Anthony>

Lion In Trouble? Hi guys. <Scott F. your guy tonight> I'm having a lionfish problem. Went through FAQ's and they helped me rule out some diseases lol! <Well, they did their job, then!> Red Vol. Lion, had 9 months, 5" long, 50gal tank (for now only of course) tank mates are several smart damsels who hide a lot and a 2.5" Niger Trigger. Water tests show: Ammonia 0 ph 8.2 temp 0 and salinity 1.027, can't find my dang nitrate and nitrite test kits. This tank has been running for about 6 months with no problems. Lion eating mostly silver sides and krill. Trying to get him onto better variety. <Always a good idea...but it's good to see that this fish is eating "marine" foods> Yesterday, I noticed him being more lethargic than usual, sitting on bottom and leaning to one side. He would then heave himself up and swim a bit only to go back down. Now he is just laying on right side in one spot. No visible injuries, parasites or fungus. Not breathing hard and color is still good. I know about shedding, although some people have been calling me nuts and say lions do not ever shed. <They do!> Anyway, this isn't his shedding behavior at all! As I am writing this he has made an attempt to swim about tank, it looks like he is very tired and has trouble staying up. I keep hoping he will suddenly start acting normal, but he just looks pitiful. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Have a wonderful day. <Well, general lethargy is usually a sign of impending disease, or poor water conditions. It's very important that you get those nitrate and nitrite test kits. The results will give you a good "yardstick", as to your water quality. Re-evaluate your husbandry techniques (water changes, protein skimming, etc.), and utilize chemical filtration media, such as activated carbon and Poly Filter. Perhaps there may be some dissolved organics in the water that are degrading it's quality. Be sure to ask yourself if there have been any dramatic shifts in water quality in recent days. Observe this fish extremely carefully for other signs of disease symptoms. Perhaps a prophylactic freshwater dip might help, if you suspect a parasitic infestation...Perhaps best to move this guy to a separate aquarium for this observation and treatment. Sorry I could not be more precise in recommending a course of action, but without seeing the fish, and any other symptoms, it's hard to tell from here. Just trust your judgment on this one...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Lionfish, ich Next question...He's now been set up for over a week and has ick spots on his fins. What is the best treatment for ick on lionfish? I always try to match treatment with fish to find the least stressful, I hope way of treating them. thanks Trisha <Please see our site, www.WetWebMedia.com re Lionfish Disease, ich, treatments for marine parasitic disease. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Question Dear Crew:   I'm thinking of adding a 5 inch Volitans Lion to my 58 gallon tank.  I realize I will need to upgrade to a larger tank in the future.  He would be the only fish in the tank.  I've got some corals and have one 250 watt 12K bulb for the lighting.  Would this blind the Lion?  Thanks for a quick answer:) <Too much of a chance yes... unless the fish had a good sized cave, overhang to get out of the light. Bob Fenner> Janey

Undecided:  Lionfish Hello.  Hope all is well. First and foremost, thanks for all the wonderful advice. I'm in the process of setting up my first marine aquarium. Setup is: 120gal tank/AMiracle sr250 Wet-Dry/JBJ Formosa 4x65 PC light/Aqua-Medic Turboflotor/100lbs Tampa Bay Saltwater live rock/2-3 inch live sand bed. Here's my problem. I've been reading so many different opinions when it comes to lionfish that I'm a little confused. I plan to keep about 5 or six medium sized fish along with 1 lionfish. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Pterois Volitans!!! It is probably the sole reason I've taken this expensive venture. Unfortunately, I've read that this fish can reach up to 16 inches. Is this true? <Mmm, well, ultimately... in the wild or in a very large system... over several years time. Likely the maximum length (total as in tip of mouth to end of tail) is more like half (8") in your size and most other aquarists systems> I ask because I've also taken a liking to the Pterois Radiata which I hear gets large but not as large as the Volitans. Could you tell me what's the max size that a Radiata will grow in a 120 gal tank? <About the same as the Volitans> Also, will I most definitely lose a very large coral banded shrimp with a full grow Lionfish? <A distinct possibility. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance. Demetrius

He Isn't Just Lion Around! (Lionfish Tank) Dear sir or Madam, I am planning on keeping an antennata lionfish in my 55 gallon reef system which will include the following inhabitants: 1 small Antennata Lionfish (the last to be added in the tank) 2 yellow tangs which will be added simultaneously <I'd stick with one in this sized tank> 1 pair of Large maroon clownfish or tomato clownfish 1 Blenny 2 Pajama Cardinalfish Inverts: 2 bubble anemones 1 Long Tentacle anemone 5 feather dusters several spotted mushroom corals 1 toadstool mushroom leather coral 1-2 star polyp 1 brittle star 20 snails 15 hermit crabs 3 flame red scallops (if easy to keep) several red Gracilaria algae for my tangs to feed on <<This will never work. RMF>> My lighting is 110 watt compact fluorescents. I am also going to have 45 lb of live rock. My filtration combines Eheim 2026 and Magnum 350 Pro System. Protein Skimmer is the Prizm Skimmer by red sea. <Make sure that the skimmer is yanking at least a couple of cups of dark, yucky skimmate weekly, okay. Very important in a tank with a heavy eater like this. Regular small water changes (like 5% twice a week) would be a great idea, too.> Is my filtration adequate? <The filtration seems okay for this sized system. Just be sure that you clean/change all of the mechanical filter media regularly to avoid accumulations of organics that can degrade the water quality.> Will my lionfish have problems with the lighting? <I think that the lighting is fine. Just make sure that the lion has a shady spot in the tank to retreat to periodically.> Is my lionfish compatible with these fish and invertebrates? <Well, I think that your smaller fishes, like the blenny and the cardinal, will become possible menu items for the lion when he gets a bit larger (more concern about the cardinal than the blenny). Also, two tangs and the lion in this tank is potentially too much fish load, both from a waste production standpoint and a size standpoint. The tangs can reach up to 7 inches, and the lion can easily hit 8 inches plus if well-fed. It may be necessary to move these guys to a larger tank down the line, so keep this in mind, okay?> Thank You for your help........ I am anxiously waiting for your answers. Michael <Just think of the "end-game" with the fishes that you are considering, and their long-term suitability in this set up. With proper planning, and good attention to husbandry, this tank can be an enjoyable set-up for both you and your fishes!>

Two Lionfish... and a partridge in a pear tree Merry Christmas <and the same to you my friend> I am in the process of cycling a 55 gal fish only tank. When the cycling is complete I would like to house two dwarf lion fish (Zebra and Fu Man Chu) and have them as the only inhabitants. Is a 55gal large enough for these two fish? Regards Paul Cole  <seems reasonable for many years... perhaps not when they are full grown... the Fu-Manchu gets around 8" and the zebra gets to 10" and the tank is only 13" wide (Outside Diameter). Still... 2 fish in this tank will be fine in the 3 year plan. A wide 75 or 90 gallon would really be sweet for the long haul. Best regards, Anthony>

A Good Retailer finding a better way Hello, I have a saltwater store and I am puzzled about the Volitans lionfish.  As you know, these species are generally hardy, if water conditions are right.   <agreed... although too many end up in small aquaria (under 100 gallons) for this species that gets 18-24" long> I have had at least four customers bring in water samples, because their lion is having all the same symptoms; first it starts with a little ick.  Then, it goes into the white powder look, with cloudy eyes.  The last thing before death is fin rot.  The water quality has tested out OK.  No ammonia, no nitrites, and 20 ppm nitrates.  We have tried putting them in the qt tank, but they have all died.   <what are the ages of these fishes? All within 1 month of import... 2 months? Were they imported from Indo? (or listed on a wholesale list without country of origin which means common Indo or Philippines)? Many of the drug catchers that moved out of the Philippines went to Indo... many of these lions are drug caught><<? Not needed... can be, are caught on the fly, sans anesthetics or poisons. RMF>> I was wondering if it had to do with the change in the weather, I was surprised that all the conditions were about the same in varying tank sizes from 28 gallon bow front tank to 75 gallon aquariums. <good heavens, man! A 28 gallon?!? Irresponsible in my opinion. As professionals in this industry we want to see our customers and hobby succeed. This will insure growth and our continued livelihood. It is our obligation to advise people despite their eager wishes. We need to set these people/creatures up in the best possible position for success. You know that most people that need or scrimp to get a 28 gallon marine tank will not own a 200 gallon display in 2 years... nor even 5 years. A few will ... most will not. As such, most of these lions will die prematurely... you really don't believe that a fish will "grow to it's tanks size" do you? And adult Volitans lionfish weighs pounds(!) and can get 24" long. This is bigger than that 28 gallon tank I assure you. Although not the initial problem here... I am very concerned about your long term view of the industry, the advice you give your customers (allowing impulse purchases), etc. Tell me it isn't so, my friend <G>? Seriously... if you want/need any help or advice on better wholesalers or industry business at large... just ask. Also... invest in trips to industry conferences to rub elbows with other shop owners like yourself and share secrets and advice for everyone's betterment in this business. Meet Bob or myself at one of these shows, belly up to the bar and lets talk. We want you succeed for our industry at large... for the hobby we love, the people with whom we want to share our passion, and for our own very livelihoods.> While I'm on the subject of lionfish; what do you recommend feeding them?   <train them quickly to eat thawed frozen meats of marine origin (plankton, krill, ungutted fish). Selcon soaked is ideal. Also occasional live crabs and crustaceans (live crayfish are very fine). Please never feed freshwater feeder fishes> I have heard that goldfish are hard on them.   <deficient in lipids/fatty acids and more. Lions will die prematurely on such a diet. living 2, 3 or even 5 years on feeders is still sad for a magnificent fish that can see 2 feet long and 20 + years in captivity> Thanks for your input.  Duane <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Lionfish Problems Hello, hope you can help, <Scott F. here- I'll give it a shot!> I have a medium size red Volitans lionfish.(4-5'')  Tank is 68 gallons- have emperor 280 BioWheel system w/ SeaClone protein skimmer and one powerhead (approx 250 gph). Tankmates include 2 moray eels (zebra and snowflake) and a blue line grouper, all appeared compatible. <I know that this is not the topic of your email- but please take note that this is a LOT of animals in a relatively small system. All become quite large, require high quality water, and a tremendous about of space. Do look in to purchasing larger quarters for your animals in the near future!> I just noticed today that the lionfish was swimming in peculiar fashion. He appeared bent at the point where the spine meets the head, the bend appeared to be a 25 to 35 degree angle. I attempted to feed the fish but it shied away. Fish did not appear completely listless but did rest on bottom then move around, rest again etc. Swimming motion irregular, as to what may be expected with the bend described. Fish at times appeared to be respiring rapidly but on later observations this did not continue and appeared to be respiring normally. All other residents acting and eating normal. PH, Alkalinity tested OK, temperature normal (78-82 degrees) Nitrates a bit high @ 40-50ppm but not unusual. What would cause this? Fish was eating well, blue line would outcompete him but he still got his share of food (frozen squid, shrimp) Body condition looks good other than bent position, no indication of parasite infection, fin rot, etc. Stomach, eyes appear normal. Did not feed the fish much more than 1x per week, but as I said, all fish ate well during feeding. Any ideas, or what may happen or better yet what I can do? Thanks again. W. Paul Parash <Lots of possibilities here. The rapid respiration is a possible symptom of Amyloodinium, or some type of toxic condition, ranging from ammonia poisoning to just about anything else. Another possibility is the "skin shedding" that these fishes periodically experience. This shedding of skin helps them get rid of possible parasites, etc, and maintain overall health. Shaking, "rocking", and other "symptoms" often occur during this process. In the absence of other visible symptoms, my recommendation is to carefully observe the fish, re-check your water parameters (particularly ammonia, nitrite, and specific gravity). Be prepared to adjust water conditions and take corrective actions as needed. If further symptoms are noted, use the FAQ's on wetwebmedia.com to verify possible disease. Good luck!>

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