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FAQs about Scorpaeninines other than Rhinopias & Taenionotus (see: Genus Rhinopias, Taenionotus, )

Related Articles: Rock and Scorpionfishes, Keeping Lionfishes and their Scorpaeniform Kin by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner, Blowin' in the wind, the Leaf Scorpionfish, Taenionotus triacanthus, by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Genus Rhinopias, Taenionotus,

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

Scorpionfish eyes   2/25/14
Hello there,
I recently purchased an orange Scorpionfish. Getting him to eat was a bit of an adventure but with some tips on this website and from the lfs I've managed to get him eating a diet of Selco and garlic extreme dosed krill.
<Do expand this diet...>

I noticed the other day that his eyes were a bit less reflective than usual and getting cloudy. I know that some of these fish shed their outer cuticle so Im not sure if I have a problem or not? His left eye is the more predominant one with the right showing some cloudiness. I kept snakes for years and it looks an awful lot like he's "Shedding" to me. On the right
eye I can visibly see a portion of the cloudiness moving from side to side.
The left has a full raised "donut" on it and I m not seeing movement but you can see that the cloudiness itself is raised off of the eye. He constantly looks like he is in a state of molt anyway (his camouflage) so its difficult for me to tell if that's what is going on. Any help would me much appreciated!
Thank you!
<See WWM re eye issues of marine fishes...
Scroll down.
 Likely this clouding here is related to being recently moved... perhaps a net scratching the eyes:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Scorpionfish eyes   2/25/14
Thank you for the fast response! I am quite relieved! Now that you mention it, I moved him out of the quarantine tank only three days ago so I suspect your right.
Do you have any tips on diet? I have tried krill, squid, clam, silversides, Mysis, live Chromis, live drip acclimated mollies, and live ghost shrimp with him and the only things he will eat are the ghost shrimp and krill, he won't touch anything else, well… other than my hermit crabs, he does seem enjoy those. Any other foods I should be looking into?
<...? Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
scroll down...>
Here are a few pictures of him. My phone doesn't take the greatest pictures, I apologize. Is there any chance you could tell me the exact species?
<Not one I've seen>
My best guess is a Scorpaenopsis macrochir, or a Scorpaenodes brasiliensis. Typically his eyes are very reflective and for lack of a better word "blank;" there is no visible anything, they're almost like an insect's eyes.
<... badly clouded over... I do hope yours recovers. Bob Fenner>

Re: Scorpionfish eyes   3/9/14
He didn't, the right eye cleared up completely but the left got very very bad about 3 days ago. I tried putting KanaPlex in the water but I think I was too late and no one could tell me what to treat for. I found him this afternoon upside down gasping and going agonal. I put him out of his misery quickly thereafter. I'm told loosing <losing>fish like this is the norm <?; no>, if so, I'm not sure this hobby is for me after all. I have included a few pictures, hopefully they will be helpful to someone else and keep them from loosing a fish.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

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>

Fish ID please!    5/8/12
Hey folks,
Quickly wondering if you could tell me which species we are looking at here? Is it a Goby, a juvenile Scorpionfish...
<I think the latter; some member of the Scorpaeninae:
perhaps a Scorpaenodes sp.>
.or, something else entirely?
Many thanks, as always!
<Use the location of this shot/pic to help... search by family (perhaps genus) on Fishbase. org geographically. Bob Fenner>

Yellowspotted Scorpionfish, Scorpaenines f' gen.   11/19/08 Good Morning All, <Buenos tardes Marco> I would like to start out by thanking you all for great advice/feedback you have given over the years. Now to my question(s), and I will try to be as brief as possible. I was doing some research the other day and came across something called a Yellowspotted Scorpionfish (Sebastapistes cyanostigma). I have been looking all over for information on this guys, everything from fishbase.org to research experiments, and simply cannot find much about them. Occasionally I will come across a hobbyist who has one in their tank, and from what it seems like, has pretty good luck with it. Do you all know anything about these fish, and if so if anyone actually import/sell them? <I do not... Don't think I've ever seen this fish... in the wild or the trade. One of many "rockfishes" not used as far as I'm aware> Thanks again for all the help. Happy and safe holiday season to you. Mark <Reads as a cryptic, hidden species... that hides in/amongst Pocilloporid and Fire Coral... Bob Fenner>

Colt Coral Reproduction, and Scorpionfish sel.    2/11/08 Hi all, I have two quick questions for the you experts of marine knowledge, I have a large Colt Coral under a 250watt MH bulb that has been dropping branches like mad, probably 7 or 8 in the last 5 days, these small branches have begun attaching to rocks all around my tank, is this just normal healthy reproduction of this coral? <Mmm, not likely "normal"... Something is prompting... this is a species survival mechanism... in the face of adverse conditions...> Also the LFS recently got a beautiful 4" white devil Scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis diabolus), which I have had a lot of trouble finding information about. If you guys have any good info on these fish, like hardiness and size/temperament of them, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dan <What little I know re is posted on WWM... Is a beauty and sturdy aquarium species... and quite venomous! Also... a capacious maw inhaler of fishes, shrimps... Bob Fenner>

Leaf Scorpion Question (Compatibility)  1/30/08 I recently purchased a BEAUTIFUL Leaf Scorpion for my 50g soon to be predator reef. (Fully cycled 75g downgrade. Only other inhabitant is a small, very peaceful green spot puffer) <May be/come very nippy...> He's eating, active, and otherwise lovely. (Or she) My question is this... I already asked another LFS to special order me a pair of leaf fish. <Mmm... a "pair"? Taenionotus triacanthus I've seen a few times with more than one individual w/in arms reach of another, but these Scorpaeniform fishes are not social...> Will there be problems adding more once this guy gets acclimated? <Adding more what?> I'm not sure how they'd get along, not finding any good information regarding this. I was thinking of maybe just asking the LFS to order me one red leaf scorpion. <Mmm, and do change color... vis a vis their surroundings> Still worried once this new guy gets settled if he'll be bothered by a new "friend". What do you suggest? Thanks :) <As long as slow moving, non-aggressive. Have you read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/taenionotus.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

For Bob Fenner: Rainbow Scorpionfish 6/29/07 Hi, Bob. I wrote you a few days ago and mentioned that I had a "Rainbow Scorpionfish". You asked if I had a scientific name. I've done some research and it seems like it is indeed Scorpaenodes xyris, the "Rainbow Scorpionfish" according to fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3948 <Scorpaenodes xyris... neat, but cool to coldwater animal...> Distribution is very wide, from downright cold (near Tierra del Fuego and southern Alaska) to downright warm (throughout the Indo-Pacific). Tough little fish! Anyways, here's a picture of our guy. He appears to be a particularly colorful specimen. Regards,
<Thanks much for this follow-up. BobF>

Scorpionfish just how much room for one... Not toyfish  9/15/06 Could I get by with keeping a Scorpionfish by itself in a 10 gallon tank? <Not long or well likely> I was thinking I really like the way these fish look. I was thinking if this would work of making my 10 a small marine tank. Thank you kindly. <... Keep reading. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Stonefish Compatibility/Stocking  5/14/06 Dear crew: <<Rick>> I currently have a scorpion of about five inches in length as the sole occupant of a 38-gallon tank. He was sold to me as a "rusty scorpion", but I think he is most likely a Pacific spotted scorpion.   As I am sure you know, he is reclusive and largely sedentary.  The tank has a Rena canister filter, in conjunction with a hanging external skimmer, and a large Aquafuge external refugium.   "Shlomo" [I did not name him] appears happy and healthy, though he is admittedly not the most charismatic fish. I have an opportunity to acquire a verrucosa sp. stonefish, approximately four inches in length, and making them roommates.  I have a reasonable degree of confidence that they are not likely to consume one another, but I am concerned about bioload.  I feed very sparingly, mostly ghost shrimp, re-hydrated freeze-dried shrimp, raw crustacean flesh, and the occasional small live feeder fish or surplus damsel.  I typically wait until I see him venturing out from his cave and seeking food, and have never seen any leftover food. I am fully cognizant that both of these guys will grow, and I purchased the scorpion with the intention of moving him to a larger tank later this year.  My concern is whether I would be pushing my luck in the near term.  Your thoughts would be much appreciated. <<Rick, your tank is border line in size for keeping the scorpion fish.  Would not add anything else to this tank.  James (Salty Dog)>> Sincerely, Rick Walters

Diabolus' Dropping Like Flies   3/3/06 Dear Bob, <Garen> I'm about to lose my freakin' mind here. <Too late for me, save yourself!> I had a diabolus Scorpionfish die about 2 weeks ago due to something other than water quality and I believe that something to be Ich!  I know that those in the Scorpaenidae family are pretty resistant to this parasite but I've had a fuzzy dwarf and a diabolus die, and in the days leading up to their death they both had breathing troubles that got progressively worse. <I would even consider Amyloodinium here...> The diabolus, starting about 4 days before his demise, began perching on live rock near the surface (he never did this before) and would occasionally dart to the surface as if trying to get air.  Now my last remaining diabolus is having the same breathing troubles (1 breath per second!!!) and he just began perching on live rock (never did this before either), it seems as if he is having some balance issues (ever so slight) and is not eating at all like he used to.  I know that you aren't a big fan of UV sterilizers, but as a precautionary measure I installed a TurboTwist 9 watt sterilizer (can only help I guess). <... Can't hurt... and I've used, and sold hundreds over the years...> Can I treat with copper (Cupramine by SeaChem) and if so, what amount and for what duration? <Mmm, can... I would turn off the UV while this copper is present... and first, I'd get, use a dissolved oxygen meter, test kit... and/or try swiping, removing the surface part of the system water, adding aeration... DO may actually be the only problem here.> I don't think that dissolved oxygen is a problem because I have a SeaClone 100 and 150 (modified) and a Magnum 350 canister filter on the tank. <Even with these...> The tank is a 46 bow and has a Cheekspot Scorp (3 inches), a Maroon Clown (5 inches), a Diabolus Scorp (4 inches), and a Gulf Toadfish (5 inches). <Too much... even sedentary fish life for this size, volume system...>   BTW this is most definitely not their permanent home, but seems okay right now for their current sizes.  Water Parameters: pH-8.3 / Ammonia-0 / Nitrite-0 / Nitrate-20ppm. <The nitrates are even a bit problematical here... I'd endeavor to keep them under 10 ppm... hard to do... adding a refugium...?> Also, I am trying to find plans for a DIY ozone unit for the skimmers.  Are you aware of any links to such plans? <Mmm, maybe see Ozreef.org re> What company makes a good ozone unit available for purchase? <Sanders and Coralife are my faves... there are others: http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_uv_ultraviolet_sterilizers_ozonizers__index.asp?CartId=> Thank you for your help! Sincerely, Garen <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Diabolus' Dropping Like Flies   03/07/06 Dear Bob, <Garen> I hope I did this the right way in order for you to see that I am replying to a message sent from you? <Yes> You said that I should treat my diabolus Scorp for Amyloodinium and I looked at the FAQ's and as one would expect, there really isn't anyone who has done this before with Scorpionfish (probably because they aren't that popular of a fish). <Likely so>   Please correct me if I am wrong, I have come to the conclusion that I shouldn't use copper treatment and should instead go with formalin. <Dangerous, but yes, this is what I would use> I've never dealt with formalin before and really need guidance on how to use it on a small-scaled fish such as the Scorpionfish.  I picked up some "Quick Cure" by Aquarium Products and it contains malachite green and formalin.  It's my understanding that the malachite green is harmful to my little buddy here, but there weren't any products that contained solely formalin. <Yes... Kordon is about the best here for small volumes... may have to be mail-ordered... not available in all States (for instance, California... where it's "made"... sigh...>   Will this be okay to use?  What dosage should I administer? <I would utilize this as a transient bath... moving the animal into a slightly lower spg. water made from its present system plus freshwater, into all-new water (of course) in a new setting, leaving the Velvet to die off> Should I gradually drop the salinity to 1.017-1.018 like one does when treating for ich? <I would do this only in the transitory bath>   FYI I have the Scorpionfish in my hospital tank which probably has copper residue in the silicone from treating ich on a blue-throat trigger 2 weeks ago.  Will this cause any problems for the Scorp? <No> Also I am just using a bubble wand for circulation in the tank, (Scorp has lost equilibrium and a powerhead would send him flyin' around the tank) could this cause pH problems for me during the treatment period?  If so, how do I remedy that? <... You'll want to monitor pH and ammonia... daily... See the bottle re the formalin... stock solutions are 37%... there are some guidelines for its use posted on WWM... You want to do this few minute dip/bath with plenty of aeration present and with you in constant observation. You are in essence going to "burn" off the outside slime of the fish... and with it the encysted parasites. Bob Fenner> Thank you,

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>

Fish Identification and compatibility Hello, After being in LFS, I noticed a small predatory fish labeled as a Scorpionfish.  However, when searching for a like picture of the fish on the internet I could not find any similar pictures. <There are many, mostly Scorpaenid fishes sold by this name> I understand that when sold many fish are sold under a different name. I am in Australia and presume that it inhabits somewhere surrounding. It is approximately 2 inches in length, brown and mottled in colour and does display a pair of 'wrigglers' on the snout, as for behavior it spends most of it's time hidden in rocks and the combination of the large bullet shaped snout and mouth and the predominant large round pectoral fin advocates 'predator'. the posture of the fish is also unusual as it seems to sit or use its fins to prop itself, raising the front portion of its body above the ground. It is obviously juvenile. But my question is, would it be compatible at the present size with a cleaning shrimp being of about 1.5 inches? <A risk... it might well inhale this erstwhile cleaner, sooner or later> is there a rule when determining the ability to consume neighbouring invertebrates.  Thanks very Much. Rob <Mmm, anything "swallowable" should not be trusted with Scorpaenids in general. Please see the WWM coverage of this group re compatibility. Bob Fenner> 

Scorpaenids, death by handling Hi Mike! <Hi Bacm, MikeD here again> thanks for your speedy reply!<you're welcome> Yes I got both Horridas from the same place. This place I bought the Horridas from were actually a seafood place, selling the Horridas for food!!<Aha! You must be in Oz! OK, I'm jealous> The way I see them unload the fishes were terrible. They were just emptied out, like twenty in a basket straight into the selection tub!<Yep, that's the way it is in the food industry. In SE Asia, they take live snakeheads laying in seaweed and start cutting steaks from the back.> Some of them were already dead!<Those were the lucky ones. The death of yours was probably a result of the handling before you got them and there was not much would have helped.> Yes I've got five Diabolus. Four are kept in a separate tank and one orange variant one together with my Stonefishes.<The orange one isn't a variant...they change colors like a chameleon. Mine went from white, to deep purple, to all of the above and even started getting red spot from setting next to a red Scorpionfish.  put whatever color you want them to be in the tank and they'll change for you.  Takes several weeks, but it will happen. Now I AM jealous!**grin**>

Tankmates or expensive food?? Hi guys. <Good morning, JasonC here...> Thanks for providing such a valuable resource for us.  Your site has helped me out numerous times and I've only had my saltwater tank a little over two months.  Ok here are my questions: (tank is 45 gallon tall, 76 degrees, 30lbs live rock, 1" crushed coral substrate, great water condition-just had it tested, 1 4in leaf fish, devils-hand coral, and a few hermit crabs and Astraea snails) 1.  My leaf fish is very lazy, I feed him ghost shrimp and/or feeder guppies every 3 days, he only eats what shows up on his side of the tank- seems to be in great health though (had him for a month).  Is there anything marine I could feed him? I heard freshwater feeders aren't that great. <Just about anything that is meaty and of marine origin would do - shrimp, squid, clams/mussels - chopped up into bite-sized chunks.> 2.  I'm very interested in getting a Firefish goby (or 2) but from your site I gathered that they do best in pairs. Can my tank support 2 of them? <It could, but that would be about the practical limit.> And will the leaf fish try to eat them (he seems too lazy to actually chase something, and I'm hoping the Firefish will be too big anyway) <I would bet money that the fish that seems lazy would suddenly develop just enough energy to eat them. Do recall that part of their MO is to just chill in one spot, looking like debris, until the time is right to strike.> 3.  Can I add live sand to the tank this late? <Yes, although your live rock will liven the substrate you have already.> I've read that I need a deeper substrate bottom. <Nah... 1" is fine, and unless you want to up it to 4" or better, stick with what you've got. It will be easier to clean.> I figured live sand would be best. <Yours will be live soon enough.> Thanks again for all your help.  Its experts like you guys that keep us motivated. Cheers- Nick C. <Cheers, J -- >

Red scorpion fish Hi guys What can you tell me about a red scorpion fish is it safe for a reef tank I have a yellow tang a clown and a scooter blenny and a few soft corals it was given to me as a red blenny but a friend from the LFS said it was a red scorpion after he seen it I hope my fish and coral are safe and what can you tell me about its eating habits thanks for all the help <Need to know more than the common name here. There are many red/dish Scorpaeniform fish species... some that get very large. Please see WetWebMedia.com re the group. Bob Fenner>
Re: red scorpion fish
Hi guys   What can you tell me about a red scorpion fish is it safe for a reef tank I have a yellow tang a clown and a scooter blenny and a few soft corals it was given to me as a red blenny but a friend from the LFS said it was a red scorpion after he seen it I hope my fish and coral are safe and what can you tell me about its eating habits thanks for all the help <Need to know more than the common name here. There are many red/dish Scorpaeniform fish species... some that get very large. Please see WetWebMedia.com re the group. Bob Fenner> sorry it looks like Parascorpaena mossambica <Really? Neat! A rare genus to the trade. Most of the members of this genus and this species stay quite small (max. out at about 10 cm./4 in.)... and though "big eaters", only do so every few days... likely can be trained to take meaty food items (whole or cut) offered on the end of a "feeding stick". Bob Fenner> 

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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