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FAQs about Dwarf Lionfish Selection

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

Related FAQs: Dwarf Lionfishes, Dwarf Lions 2, & by Species: Fu Man Chu Lions (D. biocellatus), Fuzzy Lions (D. brachypterus), Green Lions (D. barberi), Hawaiian Lions (Pterois sphex), Zebra Lions (D. zebra), & Dwarf Lion Identification, Dwarf Lion Behavior, Dwarf Lion Compatibility, Dwarf Lion Systems, Dwarf Lion Feeding, Dwarf Lion Disease, Dwarf Lion Reproduction, Lions 1, Lions 2, Lions 3Lions 4Lionfish Selection, Lionfish Compatibility, Lionfish Behavior, Lionfish Feeding, Lionfish Disease,

Must be kept with fishes (and some motile invertebrates!) that are too large to inhale. Halichoeres hortulanus (Lacepede 1801), the Checkerboard Wrasse

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Dwarf Lions... reef stocking/sel.    11/2/11
What is your take on dwarf lion fish and reef tanks? A good fit or caution?
Also, how big do they generally get?
<Are fine given there are no small fishes, crustaceans to inhale, and that there are not too many overly-aggressive tankmates that will make getting food to them a pain. Size is species dependent mostly. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility, Dwarf Lion and peaceful Morays   8/18/11
Hi guys long time reader first time writer. Thanks in advance for any help.
I have a 210 gallon saltwater tank mostly fowlr possible plans for reef in the future. My fish include: Dragon Goby, Moorish Idol, Hippo Tang, Pixie Hawkfish, Yellow Tang, Cowfish, Percula Clown, Maroon Clown, Flame Angel, Coral Beauty Angel. At the moment my tank is peaceful and everyone gets along. I am thinking of adding a Dwarf Zebra Lionfish, and either a Zebra Moray Eel or a Chain Eel.
<Mmm, will assume the last is Echidna catenata. The last two fish you list will have to be hand-fed... Will not be able to compete for food w/ your present fish stock>
From my reading crabs are goners and possibly my Coral Banded Shrimp.
<Likely so>
Will these additions keep my tank fairly peaceful and are my Emerald Crabs goners also.
Thanks for any help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility   8/18/11
I apologize one last question. Out of the two eels which do you think would be the safest/ most compatible or maybe even better candidate for this setup?
Thanks again
<More likely the Chainlink. BobF>
Re: Compatibility, Dwarf Lion and peaceful Morays    8/31/11

We have decided to go with both a zebra eel and a golden dwarf eel and wanted to see if you thought this was appropriate. Thanks again for all your help.
<I give you good odds... that the Lion will leave this Moray species alone and that you won't have much trouble feeding the Eel. Bob Fenner>

Adding A Lionfish To My Existing Tank, now w/ clowns  5/30/2010
I am so wanting a Lionfish but am confusing myself everyday. I wanted a Volitans but think he will out grow the tank quick
I have 2 Ocellaris Clowns (male about 2cm),
<And eat these>
Scopes Tang ,Bursa Trigger ,Fox Face ,Purple Spotted Puffer
<? What is this?>
and a Huma Trigger.
I'm concerned that the Lionfish will attack the male clown or am I worrying about nothing ?
<You're not worrying about nothing>
I've looked at the Dwarf Zebra Lionfish but every time I've seen them in the LFS they are sitting on the bottom of the tank doing nothing while all the Volitans are swimming around gracefully or is this common with the Dwarf Lionfish
<... very common... Most small Pteroines are lethargic... larger ones a good deal of the time>
I'm worried about the Clownfish and Lionfish if did they get on ?
<The Lion/s will inhale the Amphiprionines>
Also can you see any other problems with this combination of these fish ?
I know the Trigger might have a go at the Lionfish but he is only 4cm in size and has never harassed any other fish.
My tank is a 85 Gallon
<A poor combo. Bob Fenner>

Help where to buy a lionfish in Hawaii   5/24/07 Hi, I live in Hawaii. And wanted to know if you guys know where I could get a Hawaiian lionfish (Pterois sphex) I really want one. And since I live Hawaii I cant a lionfish that is not native to Hawaii.   Thank you   <Really? Please contact Randy Fernley at Coral Fish Hawaii if you're on O'ahu, or Bill Stockley at Stockley's Aquarium if on Kona. Their numbers are in the Yellow Page phone directories. Bob Fenner>

Help where to buy a lionfish in Hawaii  - 05/26/07 Hi, I have few more questions to ask. I live on Kauai (the island next to Oahu, Honolulu) and my LFS is too busy to get a Hawaiian lion fish. It is a small store and he only opens for a couple of hours because he has another job. He is nice and helpful but is too busy. I was planning on flying to Oahu to go buy a lionfish from one of these fish stores would it be able to handle the trip back to Kauai? <Yes, certainly. Tell the store clerk you need to have the fish packed in a larger doubled bag (with a liner if they have), extra oxygen... and take it as a carry-on item> Also how long would it survive in the fish store bag? <A day or so> The flight is 20-30 minutes. I already did this once but it was with a Hawaiian dragon eel that I got for a real good deal and is still surviving. <Beautiful animals> If a lionfish can survive the trip my LFS guy said when he lived in Oahu couple people wanted it and he got it for them but ended up dying 3 days later, so how could I pick a real healthy lionfish? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm Scroll down to the Tray on Lionfishes... Selection... Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish 7/22/05 I was wondering if any of the dwarf lions are easier to acclimate and keep than others and which one(s) are easier to convert to frozen food. I recently added a dwarf zebra to my 65 gallon tank, he never ate anything and died after 5 days, If I attempt another I would like to know if any other dwarf is easier than the zebra?
<Brad, most lionfish are difficult to convert to frozen food.  You have to start them out eating live foods to get back in shape so to speak, then occasionally try frozen foods.  No guarantee they will acclimate.  I don't believe one type of lion is easier to convert to frozen food.  Personally, I think the Volitans would be the easiest of the lions, but they are not dwarfs of course. Thanks, Brad
<James (Salty Dog)>

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.>

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>

Dwarf Lionfish Questions HI guys!!! Hi back, MikeD here> My LFS owner says that he doesn't buy dwarf lions anymore cause he never ever had luck with them, but I really want one, maybe a short fin .Please tell me if you see any problems with dwarf lions and which one do you recommend the most as for hardiness and adaptability.<The dwarf lions are fairly easy to maintain as long as you keep up the water quality and supply them with a good diet.  The one factor that many don't take into account is that two males will fight, often to the death, even in a fairly large tank.  As long as you start out with a healthy specimen, you'll have best results if the tank is lightly stocked with slower, less aggressive species that are too big to be looked at as food and plenty of LR or suitable hiding places for them to seek shelter.  Most need live food in the beginning, with ghost shrimp usually the best available......feeding the shrimp high quality marine foods will increase food value until you can get them switched over to frozen foods, such as shrimp and crab. It's best to avoid freshwater fish as feeders, as it will lead to eventual vitamin deficiencies and health problems.> Thanks again Derik

Quick questions on lions hi!<Howdy, Cody here today!> thanks for the info on the lions. iv got a couple questions though, as I'm about to get my lion! (hopefully pretty soon :D) I'm debating between a dwarf fuzzy or a dwarf zebra.  which one of the 2 will swim around more ? out in the open ?<Neither will be very active and would probably be out about the same amount of time.>  iv only got a 40G tank. & wanted to know what other fish would u suggest that I could have with the lion ?   iv read up in the lionfish compatibility FAQs, but still don't know what would be best ?  it would be Great if u could name some possibilities.  (my tank kind of limits me to what I can add in with a lion)   would a Tomatoe clown or any clown of any sort be ok ? what about a hawk fish ?<The clown and hawk should be ok as long as they can't fit in the lions mouth!  For a hawk I would suggest either the long nose or the arc eye.  You might also try a dwarf puffer such as the blue spot for a tank mate.  Cody> thanks Heaps !! Shaun

Lionfish Hello Robert. could you please advise me if it is possible to keep a lionfish, (dwarf, or antennata) in my existing tank. The tank is 50 gallons with a collection of soft corals, fish are 1coral beauty 3-4inch 2regal tangs 4 inch 1pyjama cardinal 3 inch.<I would not keep a lionfish with these fish, especially in such a small aquarium. I would be worried that the lion would try to "hunt" the other small inhabitants which probably would fit in its mouth>    Do I need feeder fish before I wean it to frozen foods, any help and hints would be greatly appreciated. <Don't purchase a lionfish for this aquarium, good luck IanB> thanks Paul Fitzpatrick

Fu Man Chu Lion Hi WWM Team. I would like to say I love your web site and I use it a lot. I have a question about Fu Man Chu Lionfish. I have a 55g reef tank with 1 blue mandarin, yellow tang, yellow fin fairy wrasse, dwarf Hawkfish, lawnmower blenny, 2 percula clowns, Chiseltooth wrasse, and a coral banded shrimp. I have about 65lbs of live rock and some assorted corals. I have wanted a fu man Chu lion for a long time now and I am at the point where I am adding the last fish, which I have always planned to be a fu man Chu. But my question is about my beloved coral banded shrimp (Gary). Will the lion eat him? << It is possible. >> I have asked many people at many different stores and they say if I keep the lion well feed he would not show any interest in my shrimp and or the shrimp is too big for the fu man Chu. << I feel the same way.  I don't think of Fu Man Chu Lions going after coral banded shrimp.  He may, but if your shrimp is big enough, I wouldn't think it to be a problem. >> And if there is anything else I should be aware of with my setup or anything else. But before I buy one I would like your opinion. << Mandarin, clowns, blenny.... not the typical tank mates for a lionfish.  Most people have small reef fish, or larger predator fish.  Interesting to see your mix. >> Please let me in on your input. Thank You Very Much. << You also mentioned keeping the lion well fed.  I just want to make sure you know that well fed doesn't mean constantly fed.  It also doesn't mean over fed.  Make sure you stay away from goldfish or guppies or things like that.  Instead use krill, Mysis, and the like. >> Louis <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Lionfish in a 40 gal hello I was wondering if you can mix the lionfish: 1. very small Volitans lionfish 2. small fuzzy dwarf lionfish 3. dwarf zebra lionfish all together in a 40 gallon for about a year until I decide to transfer them to my 180. << No.  I wouldn't put more than one lion in a 40 gal.  I would wait until after your 180 is up and running for a while then add them.  Otherwise I think you are just making a mistake and setting yourself up for failure. >> regards     chase <<  Blundell  >>

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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