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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Help with Fish Identification: Possible Freshwater Blenny -- 5/24/09
<Hello, Silvara>
Found a 1 inch long light grey fish with darker grey spots and black eyes in the feeder goldfish tank at my work. It looks a lot like the saltwater blennies we carry, even moves like them and has the same mouth shape. But this is definitely a freshwater fish.
<There are freshwater Blennies and similar-looking Gobies as well. Unfortunately, without detailed photos, the best I can do is supply some links in hopes that you'll be able to make the ID on your own. The following link is to Neale's terrific Blenny article here at WWM that includes information regarding how to distinguish Gobies from Blennies: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/blenniods.htm . Next stop is Fishbase: http://www.fishbase.org/search.php . This is a wonderful site for identifying fish though any number of means. For example, below is the photo page for the family Blenniidae. Unfortunately, unless you know where the fish came from, there's no way to narrow the list to just freshwater. You should still, though, be able to go through the thumbnails fairly quickly: http://www.fishbase.org/identification/specieslist.cfm?famcode=392&areacode=&spines=&fins=&c_code= >
The body is a light grey similar to a minnow in color (but not shiny), with dark grey spots. Any help identifying this fish would be greatly appreciated, not sure what to feed it and I don't want it to starve.
<See diet information at Neale's article.>
Sorry the pictures aren't very good at all, the fish is so tiny and the colors didn't really show up well either. The 2nd picture is of it standing on its tail trying to figure out what the camera is.
<Heeee! Maybe he's just trying to say "Get me out of here!".>
<Take care, LynnZ>

Re: Help with Fish Identification: Possible Freshwater Blenny, Nope Sculpin -- 5/25/09
<Hello, Silvara>
Just wanted to say thank you to LynnZ for the help!
<You're very welcome!>
I found out it's a Prickly Sculpin,
..so will be giving it to a friend who has a pond (she built it, not releasing it randomly).
<Sounds good. Thanks for the follow-up!>
<Take care, LynnZ>

Grunt Sculpin  12/3/08 Mr. Fenner, <Hannah> I recently traveled to a zoo with a group of fellow honors students. We were told to find something there to give a presentation on. Out of all living creatures at that zoo I was captivated by the grunt sculpin (Rhamphocottus richardsoni). I decided that although I didn't even know that such a thing existed, I HAD to write and give a presentation about it! I know very little about the sculpin except that it is (I believe) in the family Cottidae. <This is so> I stumbled across WetWebMedia.com in my search for more information and was relieved to find someone who knew what they were talking about (the employees at the zoo were not helpful). I wondering if you have any information and/or links to information about the Grunt Sculpin. If you are able to provide information about them, would you permit me to site you and the information in my presentation/paper. Thank you for your time, Hannah S. <Mmm... likely some old standards like Miller and Lea bulletin 157 and Sam Hinton's classical works on intertidal life will have a bit as well... But, 't'were it me, I'd use your enthusiasm as a springboard here to learn how to search the literature period. Easy to do, esp. with the help of a friendly reference librarian... at a local college library (with a life science section). Please take a read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm and the linked files above. Oh, and do write back if you sense a desire for a bit more input. Bob Fenner>

Re: Freshwater stonefish Hi Bob <Hello there> Thanks for getting back to me. I have been to your site before and our stonefish seems to be quite different from a toadfish. I asked the supplier and he said they aren't toadfish, or Bullroats, and their proper name is a freshwater stonefish. They come from West Africa. <Ah, a clue. Mmm, placed the common name "freshwater stonefish" in fishbase.org, nothing... and in the country listing (western Sahara, no designator for western Africa)... with no eastern Scorpaeniforms other than a couple of triglids (the Order Scorpaeniformes includes the marine Stonefishes, the triglids are Sea Robins)... as far as I'm aware there are no freshwater "Stonefishes" at all... but as Shakespeare wrote, "what's in a name"? Someone could have just "made it up" (happens all the time). I would go back to your supplier and ask them in turn to pull out their invoice, contact who sent the specimen to them and have them help identify this fish to species (or at least family). I suspect it is either a batrachoidid (toadfish) or cottid (sculpin) both of which have freshwater (and brackish, often sold as fresh) members.> I know the basic water quality conditions that they need, I just wanted extra information on the species. <Glad to find that you want such information.> Thank you for your time and help, Regards, Kerri <Good luck in your search. Perhaps you can send a pic along? Bob Fenner>

Re: Cottus Do you have a copy of "Breeding Cottus bairdi" by D.H. Lewis? <Unfortunately no. Bob Fenner>

How would a lion fish and an Oscar do together hello,          I have been doing some research on lion fish freshwater i would like to know if the lionfish would get along with a  Oscar ..I was wondering if you could tell me anyway possible how to care for one i have a 55g fw aquarium. I always wanted one when i was little so if you can please email me back                                                   thank you for your time                                                                           Christopher <Hard to make this combination work due to Oscar's much more aggressive feeding. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sculpinfaqs.htm I encourage you to keep these fishes in separate systems. Bob Fenner>

Re: freshwater lionfish I bought this fish from a petstore but they seemed to know nothing about it. They said that they just got it in and that it is a rare fish for sale. They advised that it would probably eat frozen or pellets. I have had the fish for 3 days and have seen it eat nothing. I put guppies and a dozen ghost shrimp in the tank but it hasn't shown interest either. What do they eat? <Ah my friend, you have much more to learn than what they eat. Do you think this is a freshwater fish? Did you do any research before purchasing this animal? NO?  Shame on you! Here, try this to start with from WWM..."And as regards the 'Freshwater Lionfish' sold in the trade; these are actually Sculpins, family Cottidae, related not too distantly to scorpaenids (in the same Order). For the record, besides not being Lionfishes, they are not venomous, or freshwater. There are some sort-of brackish water Scorpaeniform fishes, like the Bullroats, that do make forays into freshwater, but they are not permanent residents." Try: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cottidae.htm  and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sculpinfaqs.htm  There is much to learn and do. What size tank do you have. Filtration protein skimmer? This is not a freshwater fish....he needs marine salt, water testing, hydrometer, etc.  Follow the links and FAQs above. Good luck! Craig>

Freshwater Lion Fish Hi I just recently bought a fresh water Lion Fish Nobody can tell me how to care for him or what to feed him I cant seem to find out anything about the fish all I find is about salt water Lion Fish mine has been staying at the top of the tank in some plants that float and he doesn't move I keep checking to make sure he isn't dead and he barks at me and move a little but he doesn't eat I did put some guppies in the tank today but he hasn't eaten them either and I would like some information on this type of fish before he dies from not eating. Thanks for your help. Michelle <Actually, this species is a brackish water Sculpin... Please see here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sculpinfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Fish identification Mr. Fenner: I am a member of the Aqualink web forum, and I was referred to you by one of its members. I am attempting to I.D. a fish I photographed recently at San Francisco's "Aquarium of the Bay" on Pier 39. The following link is to an online posting of the image: http://publish.hometown.aol.com/chenchef/myhomepage/sf%20aq.jpg <This is a Grunt Sculpin, Rhamphocottus richardsoni. On fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=4139&genusname= Rhamphocottus&speciesname=richardsoni> The fish in question is in the fourth photograph (second picture from bottom). There are two fish in the image. I have already identified the one in the upper right corner as a Sarcastic Fringehead. The fish in the foreground that looks like a cross between a clownfish and a hermit crab is what no one at Aqualink can figure out. The only clue I can give you is that it was displayed in an area of the aquarium which showcased fish life from the coastal Pacific area of northern California. I admit to being stumped here. Would you have any idea what this thing is? If you wish to view the entire Aqualink posting, you can do so at: http://www.aqualinkwebforum.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=008875  Regards,
John Hollenbeck
<Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Where can I find a freshwater lionfish?  <Mmm, these are actually Sculpins, members of the family Cottidae. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cottidae.htm> and are they poisonous? <Neither that nor venomous> and are they aggressive towards other fish? <Mmm, no... but will/do swallow smaller ones as food> how big of a tank do they need? <A few to several tens of gallons> what do they eat? just tell me everything you know about this fish including where to buy them because they are not at my local pet store or fish store. so please HELP!! please write back ASAP, ASAP, ASAP <Please read where sent to above and place the common and scientific names in your search engines with equal haste. Calm yourself young friend. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish (Fresh Water), reading WWM Bob, Is a fresh water lionfish poisonous? The pet store I bought it from had no clue. Both the pet store and I have done extensive research, and we can't find anything on them. Input http://wetwebmedia.com/ insert freshwater lionfish in the search tool on the bottom of the page. Bob Fenner> Thanks,

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

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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