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FAQs about Rhinopias

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
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Help with Rhinopias Frondosa, hlth. 10/16/09
I bought my Rhinopias about 4 months ago. He had developed a cloudy eye while in the store's care but I took him anyway (I know - dumb mistake).
<Actually... this genus' members are generally very tough... and if the eye clouding was one-sided... likely from a mechanical/trauma event, likely to heal>
They felt he had just had a difficult shed. The eye got better, although there was still a little bit after he shed, now it has gotten worse again. He is eating frozen food anywhere from 1 fish every other day to every three days. He is mostly on silverside stuffed with pellets. He is in a 65g tank
<... Mmm, how big is this specimen? Is there other livestock present? This is not enough room if it's anywhere near adult size... unless you have fab water quality, filtration, maintenance practice>
that is part of a system of about 365g. Water param.s have fluctuated mostly around CA, Alk and Mg -- they were low but now are 390, 9, and 1100 respectively.
<These are fine>
Nitrates are zero, phosphates zero.
<How are these rendered to non-existent? This may be an/the issue here>
Ph is 8.3 and pretty steady but my system needs upgrading so do not know how stable it has been. Temp is also controlled 77 to 79 degrees -- by an RKE. I religiously do weekly water changes and I use Tropic Marin regular.
<All very good as well>
He has no tank mates except for a big sea hare,
<Oh! What species is this? Some Aplysiids employed by hobbyists, sold by dealers are inappropriate... coldwater animals, some capable of toxifying even a large system. See WWM re>
some blue legs and a bunch of creepy slugs.
<Again, what are these species-wise?>
The tank has mushrooms, a toadstool -- all softies. He has not eaten for five days. Breathing looks a little bit labored to me. Eye is currently cloudy.
<Sherri... I'd be moving this specimen, pronto. To another established body of water if possible. If impractical, I'd move it at least to less of a "slug-ville"... and using GAC, Polyfilter...>
I put a live feeder fish in and he is ignoring it completely. I can see no evidence of flukes around the eyes or gills using a magnifying glass. He is relatively inactive. I am worried. I have some Herbtana being over-nighted to me and will isolate the tank from the system. What would you suggest?
<Move it, now... And do take care in this regard... Though sedentary, Rhinopias are "Mail-Cheeked Fishes" (Scorpaeniforms) and ARE venomous>
I really love this fishy and need immediate help. TIA
Sherri Malouf
<Do please keep me/us updated. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with Rhinopias frondosa 10/16/09
HI Bob --
The system is well filtered actually. I have a MRC Reeflo Skimmer, RDSB, refugium, and I have a BRS carbon/GFO reactor -- all are part of the system. I change the carbon weekly and have 1 ounce per 50 g and the GFO I change every 4 to 6 weeks and use about 6 ounces. I would assume that only measurable phosphates are zero as I do grow algae!
<Likely so>
Recently I have noticed that the algae growing on the glass is green and difficult to remove. Please expand on your statement that this could be the problem.
<Could be, just speculating... some class of biological compound... from the Seahare, other Prosobranchs...>
I don't know what the slugs are as I did not add them in. I don't even know how to search for them --
<... see WWM re...>
they are pretty bland looking --
whitish grey -- no shell. They seem harmless to me mostly coming out at night to feed on the algae on the glass. I was surprised one night to come down and find the front glass covered with a lot of them. The sea hare I believe is one of the appropriate ones -- I think it is a Dolabella auricularia or the Blunt End. I got him from a fellow reefer.
<I would be checking this>
I really do not have another established tank that I can put him in -- the water/system he is in is actually the best quality I have. I can move the sea hare to another tank. I can also start removing the slugs at night. I have a 180 DT as part of the system and it is full of LPS, SPS, fish, inverts -- and everyone is healthy. I have a QT running but it has fish in their second week of hypo. I do have a flat worm infestation but do not want to use exit. I have been siphoning and tried a velvet Nudibranch in the 180g but he disappeared.
I set this tank up for him -- he is about 6 to 7 inches from nose to tip of tail. I used existing rock that was established and cured and I added the Carib sea live sand. It was then added into the larger system which has been up and running for about 10 months. Even that system was all existing rock with the exception of some homemade rock that cured for 5 months before being added. I did use new sand -- Southdown.
Could he have some sort of bacterial infection?
<Not likely... and less so that it is primary>
Would that affect
one eye?
<Highly unlikely, no>
That is why I was thinking of using the Herbtana.
<Not a fan of such remedies>
He also did just molt and it took him a while to get it all off. He did poop this morning so his digestion system is working!
<Oh, that's a good sign. Might have swallowed something disagreeable... like a Hermit Crab>>
It seems that your suggestion to move him was based on the lack of information about filtration -- do you still think he should be moved with the additional information I provided?
<I would hold off... unless this fish is very thin... Can go w/o feeding for several weeks. BobF>

Re: Help with Rhinopias frondosa 10/17/09
The sea hare has only been in the tank for about 2 weeks and will be passed on soon as he has almost completed his job in the tank. The issue with the rhino far and away preceded his entry into the system.
<I see this... A. dactylomela...>
The rhino seems to have perked up a bit today. Still not eating though. I am wondering if he did eat something funky and then had a rough shed. His eye looks clearer today. Here's a picture of him with the hare ... is he a blunt end hare?
<Mmm, not to me. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/seaslugsopisthobranchs.htm>
I will wait and watch him. Seems as if doing nothing at the moment is the way to go. I did not know they could go several weeks without eating. As you can see -- he is not skinny. Thanks for your input.
<I wouldn't over-react here. BobF>

Re: Help with Rhinopias frondosa 10/17/09
Dear Bob --
<Sherri... "why don't you come out...">
I have decided you are on to something with the slugs and the sea hare. I think maybe the slugs were causing some toxicity but adding the sea hare in has made a toxic stew. The feeder fish almost died after 48 hours in the tank and the rhino is sitting in a spot where he gets fresh water. Duh! So I am going to give the sea hare away
(with a warning), I am temporarily moving the rhino to another tank
in the system, and I am going to harvest slugs every night until their population is eradicated.
<Good moves>
Then, and only then, will I move the rhino back to the tank. Thank you Bob...I will let you know the outcome. PS I know he is venomous and will use my Acclimator, my big gloves and be very careful!
<Thank you! BF>

Re: Help with Rhinopias Frondosa 01/18/09
You are singing to me Bob!!! (-;
<"If I were a fish man, la la la la lah lah lah la la!">
BTW -- he is definitely not a. dactylomela. He does not have any lines or coloring. He is all brown and funky looking and his butt is totally flat. I have looked at a bunch more pictures and I am 99% sure he is a Blunt End. They are harmless aren't they? Could it just be the slugs? Or the combo? Or something else completely?
<Any of the above>
So the sea hare is gone which seemed to agitate the rhino. I decided not to remove the rhino from the tank -- he started acting like he has for the last few months although he has yet to eat Here's a crazy question ... do you think he is lonely?
<Mmm, no>
I know we are hesitant to give these types of attributes to a fish -- but these guys seem very intelligent. His reaction to the sea hare being removed (it was not anywhere near him, he was just gently plucked out of the top of the tank, the rhino was completely undisturbed physically be his removal)
yet the rhino started jumping around. Coincidence maybe?
<I think so>
But could he be lonely as he has no tank mates in his glass prison? silly question maybe but ....
<Some sort of stimulation is likely a good idea... Might be eaten... BobF>

Re: Help with Rhinopias frondosa 10/19/09
Okay -- I know -- it sounds crazy but we don't know about their mating rituals right?
<I suspect they're similar to other Scorpaeniforms... which are pretty well-documented>
They could have some kind of pattern of behavior, eat a lot of food, shed, reproduce and then eat. If the reproduce part doesn't happen ... Okay -- I give up. I will let you know if he finally eats. Do others experience them going for this long without eating?
<Happens; yes. RMF>

Re: Help with Rhinopias frondosa 1/7/10
Sadly I wanted to let you know that the Rhino died in my care after only 3.5 months. I don't think I will try one again.
<Ahh! A shame. Thank you for this follow-up Sherri. Will accrue with y/our prev. corr. BobF>

Rhinopias frondosa? 8/29/2009
Hi Crew
<G'eve Melanie>
I went to my LFS (one man band) today and he had a beautiful yellow Rhinopias frondosa in. He has had the fish for about a week and it is eating live food (shrimp).
<This genus' species are gorgeous species all around... quite aquarium-hardy, and VERY interesting behaviorally>
Fortunately he is very ethical and he will be keeping it for the next few weeks in quarantine to make sure there are no problems and to get it weaned onto frozen foods. I have reserved the fish pending my research and assuming I go ahead, he will keep it until it is weaned onto frozen.
I have been doing some research, but there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of information out there on the Rhinopias in captivity.
<Only in recent years have these Scorpaeniforms been "very" imported into western markets>
What I have
found makes me think this is a relatively rare find.
I currently have a 72" x 28" x 28" sumped tank (approximately 200 gallons excluding sump). I have 180lbs of live rock in the main tank with a 1" sand bed and live rock rubble in the sump with Chaeto, lit 24x7. Skimmer is a Deltec TS 1060.
Current fish stock includes:
5 x Yellow Tangs
Pair of Common Clowns
Midas Blenny
Flame Hawkfish
Mimic Filefish
Cleaner Wrasse
Pterois Antennata (4")
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish (Dendrochirus Brachypterus - 5" - though you might like attached picture)
<Thank you for this. The smaller fishes you list may be inhaled by the Rhinopias>
It is a reef tank stocked primarily with LPS (Euphyllia, Catalaphyllia, Goniopora, Duncanopsammia), I also have a BTA which the clownfish host. I have had the Dwarf Lionfish for 6 months and the Antennata for 2 months, which was my last addition to the tank. Both the Lionfish are eating frozen food, have settled well and so far shown no inclination to make a snack of my 2 cleaner shrimp or the smaller fish. I am very aware that as the Lionfish grow, my smaller fish and cleaner shrimp may one day become an expensive snack.
<Yes; likely so>
I do a 10% water change once every 2 weeks and water parameters are consistently at:
Nitrite & Ammonia - 0
Nitrate - 10
Phosphate - 0.03
Magnesium - 1380
Calcium - 400
dKH - 9
pH - 8.0/8.2
SG - 1.026
<All good values>
To the questions ...
Would I be pushing the stocking limits of the tank if I get the Rhinopias (I suspect I might already be with what I have)?
<Mmm, no>
Are there likely to be any compatibility issues with the Rhinopias and Lionfish?
<Not really... all should recognize each other, leave space twixt>
Thanks very much for any help.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rhinopias ? 8/30/2009
Thanks very much for the quick reply Bob. I'll take this as a green light and all being well, in about a months time I'll be the proud owner of a beautiful Rhinopias. I'll send a photo if it works out - he really is a
stunning specimen.
<Thank you Melanie. BobF>
Rhinopias frondosa - 06/26/07 Hi Bob I met you in Toronto at your MAST presentation, which I enjoyed immensely btw! I was the one who had just gotten a pink Weedy Scorpionfish. <Ah, yes> He is doing very well by the way, he is filling out and getting better colour. You were right on as far as tank size goes for him and we are upgrading his tank from a 30G to a 90G (48X24X18H). <Good> Not too many people know anything about these guys and that is why I am writing to you. <Gorgeous, intelligent... and VERY friendly animals!> I already have a green brittle star and a couple hermit crabs in with him. Is there anything suitable I could add with the Scorpion in the new 90G. I do keep my fish well fed with whatever they need so he won't be starved by any means. I saw a very large hermit crab with orange hairy legs, would that be suitable? <Mmm, no... too likely to pinch the proverbial heck out of your Rhinopias... Better to have some larger than mouth size, nice fish with it... Perhaps a Grammistes or Siganid or... Zebrasoma or...> Also, while at your seminar I got yours and Anthony's Reef Invert book and I enjoyed it immensely. I think that was one of the, if not THE best reef book that I have read, and I have a fairly large library. I look forward to future books in this series!!!! <Me too!> Thanks for any help you are able to offer, Gary Brown <Many peaceful, outgoing, good-looking fish choices to consider... Have you visited WetWebMedia.com re? Bob Fenner>

Awesome find of the day by MikeD Hey Bob; I just made a post in the "big fish" marine section. Would you believe I walked into a local LFS and there's a tank marked "Striated Angler $79.99" My blood pressure went straight through the roof, so I enquired if that was indeed the correct fish and price, and was told that yes, all of the information was correct. You guessed it...a BIG yellow Rhinopias frondosa, a full 5" long! This is one of those rare moments where it hurts not having a knowledgeable friend nearby to share it with, so, by means of the internet, you lucked out! Smile, Mike D. <As the line goes in one of those "Ahhnold" films when he asks for the laser sighted plasma rifle: "Just what you see". Bob F>

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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