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FAQs about Anglerfishes, Frogfishes 2

Related Articles: Anglerfishes

Related FAQs:  Anglers 1, Angler ID, Angler Behavior, Angler Compatibility, Angler Selection, Angler Systems, Angler Feeding, Angler Disease, Angler Reproduction,

Anglerfish; sys., gen. care        3/31/18
<Hi Ashley! Gabe here>
This is going to be a little long as I provide context. I've been keeping fish for years, mostly freshwater but had a saltwater tank in college with a snowflake eel. I've been researching angler/frogfish for years because they are one of my favorite fish and finally decided to get one.
<Ah, anglers can be great fun>
Set up the tank (37 gallon), bought my live rock, let it sit for a long time while I waited for the cycle, asked my LFS to order an angler.
<Tank might be a bit small. I would recommend at least a 55 gallon for the average angler, as they produce a lot of waste. For the smaller species (like Wartskin) this may suffice but I would go larger for most others>
They said they can't really request specific species and I figured it wouldn't matter too much as the care doesn't seem to vary a lot across species. It came in quickly, not long after I ordered it, but the store is an hour away so they held it for a few weeks for me but I didn't get to go look at it.
<Quite nice of them to hold on to it for you>
Well, I finally went to pick it up two weeks ago and lo and behold it is a Fowlerichthys ocellatus/Antennarius ocellatus - the Ocellated Frogfish, or *the largest species*.
<Yikes. These guys are like the Commerson's anglers. They get around 15 inches in the wild>
I'm 99% sure of the identification because of the spot pattern. I can't find anything about these fish except they come from
deeper water than most, and they get considerably larger.
<~15 inch max and yes, they hang around 100+ feet usually>
Right now it's about 4". It spent three weeks at the LFS before I got it and I've had it for two weeks now. Happily eating anything I put near its mouth, including live ghost shrimp, saltwater mollies, and frozen silversides. It's also the most active angler I've ever seen and spends quite a bit of time wandering around. I don't think the 37 is going to be the right tank in the long run.
<Definitely not for an Ocellatus>
To make a long story short: the anglerfish I got will get bigger than I expected! I feel bad for not knowing more about this species before bringing it home but am 100% committed to providing it everything it needs.
And I can't find any evidence of anyone keeping one except the New England Aquarium, who didn't answer my email!
<In the future, consider ordering fish online. I find that they are healthier and you will know the species in advance. Try LiveAquaria or BlueZooAquatics. Both are great>
The questions:
1. Tank size? Ocellateds are supposed to get up to 15". The 37 just doesn't have a big enough footprint for a fish that size. I'm wondering if a 40 breeder might work as it will have a big enough footprint... but that's a big fish in a small tank. I'll get a 75 if I have to, I just hate to go that big for a single fish if I can avoid it. What if I made two sections and got a second angler (hopefully smaller! Haha)?
<A larger tank will definitely be needed. Like I said, a 55 is what I normally suggest with an angler's bio-load. How big you go is up to you. If you were to put a divider in and add another angler, in a 75 for example, both sections would be 37.5 gallons, so you would be right back to where you started with an angler in a 37 gallon tank, only with some extra filtration>
2. Temperature? Any thoughts, since they're from deeper water than other
<Ocellatus are found in the Caribbean area/West Atlantic, so I would keep it at a tropical temperature. 76-80º>
3. Diet? I'm currently primarily feeding frozen silver sides with the occasional ghost shrimp or molly. Haven't tried other frozen foods but I expect it will eat them.
<They are pigs, so you should not have to worry about eating. Feed a varied diet of fish, squid, etc.>
Thanks for any guidance you might have, and I'm attaching a photo of the little monster for your trouble.
<Bob, can you confirm this is Fowlerichthys ocellatus? Beautiful little specimen you have there, Ashley. Let us know if you have any more questions! See WetWeb re anglers as well. Cheers, Gabe Walsh>
<<To me, this looks more like a Commerson's/Giant... Does it have the (three) large ocelli/eye spots further back on each side? Can the supplier confirm whether it hails from the trop. W. Atlantic or the trop. Indo-Pacific? Bob Fenner>>

Brackish frogfish? 4/10/1
I have an aquarium (30" x 25" x 18" -- footprint size 30 x 18) that holds about 58 gallons.
I'm starting to research possible inhabitants. Is there a brackish frogfish that would be appropriate for it? All I'm finding are in the realm of 12" except a few around 9" that appear to be fully marine??
<As far as I'm aware, all Antennariids are marine, none brackish long term.
Am asking Neale Monks here for his more informed input. Bob Fenner>
Brackish frogfish? /Neale
I have an aquarium (30" x 25" x 18" -- footprint size 30 x 18) that holds about 58 gallons.
I'm starting to research possible inhabitants. Is there a brackish frogfish that would be appropriate for it? All I'm finding are in the realm of 12" except a few around 9" that appear to be fully marine??
<<Hello Meghan. There *is* a brackish water Antennariidae, specifically Antennarius biocellatus, though it isn't widely traded. Fishbase describes an adult length of 14 cm, or about 6 inches in old money.
On the other hand, there are several brackish water Waspfish, Toadfish and other stealth predators that are traded and might fit the bill nicely.
These include:
Neovespicula depressifrons, a very active grouper-like Waspfish; Notesthes robusta, a relatively inactive stonefish-like predator; Batrachomoeus trispinosus, one of several brackish water frogfish imported periodically.
There's also a sleeper goby, Butis butis, that occupies a similar niche and has been very widely traded at times under the 'Crazy Fish' name, which relates to its tendency to lurk at odd angles, even upside down, almost
anywhere in the tank.
If any of these are of interest, write back for more. Cheers, Neale.>>

frog fish; feeding... Rdg.       6/6/14
I got a warty skin clown frogfish/ angler.. what is the best food to feed him and how often? I've been feeding him one live adult molly fish 2xs a week.. had him about a 1.5 weeks (its 3.5- 4 inches long)
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above.>
this is the second frog fish I have had. the first one died after 3 weeks the water tested great after his death. he died 2 hours after adding Zoas
<Toxic... to fishes, you>
( it was 1.5 inches big and was eating baby guppies) I wonder if it ate a Zoa that was floating in the tank there were some that had fallen off the rock…. or if it just died and it was a coincidence that I added Zoas 2 hours before…
<.... Read re Zoanthid Compatibility as well. Bob Fenner>

Wartskin Frogfish/Angler Care  5/19/12
    My name is Shamus and I've been interested in getting one or two Wartskin frogfish in a 20-30 gallon tank.
 I've searched on Google but there isn't too much about their exact care and how to keep them successfully.
<... stop here: read on WWM re Antennariids. Bob Fenner>

You all seem to know a lot about them and I would really appreciate it if you could explain their care so i don't spend the money (they cost quite a bit) and have it die. I am also new to saltwater and was thinking of getting these (and maybe a larger fish tank), so ca you include what I would need to do to make a healthy, running tank before and while I have them and also maybe some corals. If I do decide to get these (I am also considering a dwarf seahorse tank or Jelly fish tank; they are all so unique and cool) I would definitely talk with my LFS, too.
Thank you so much, especially if you can actually answer all that I need!
Re: Wartskin Frogfish/Angler Care  5/19/12

The WWM website is really helpful and has a lot of information. I just have a few questions (sorry).
One, how much and how often (depending on the size of the Wartskin frogfish) should it be fed.
<Read more here-- http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm >
Also, I am new to saltwater aquariums and would a 20 gallon be too hard to maintain good water quality?
<I don't believe so.  Maintenance and equipment are going to be important factors.>
I would also try putting in LR and LS, live corals, and maybe some invertebrates (cleaner snails and urchin or sea star maybe)
<Brittle or Serpent are the only stars I would consider putting in this size tank.>
Thank you so much for putting up with me and can you please answer my questions? :)
Re: Wartskin Frogfish/Angler Care  5/19/12

thanks for replying so quickly
<Welcome. B>
Re: Wartskin Frogfish/Angler Care      5/20/12

Sounds good and I am really sorry if I'm getting annoying but...
<Not annoying, but wasting y/our time... Learn to search WWM re such simple questions. The link where you found to write us. B>
What inverts or fish would you recommend for a tank this size besides the two stars?
Thanks again and I'll try and leave you alone after this :D

New Longlure Frogfish/Frogfish Fdg/Systems 9/24/09
I purchased a five inch frogfish two days ago, I witnessed him eating a couple ghost shrimp the day before I purchased him. I originally picked him to get rid of the damsels I used to cycle my tank, there too quick for a net. I originally planned on keeping the damsels but they starved the flounder to death by eating all the food before it got to the bottom for the flounder, I fear this will happen to other fish too. I also have a baby volition <volitans> lionfish in the tank 3-4" body without fins. Also a small Valentini Puffer, all fish seem to be doing fine including the frogfish, he seems to swim a lot more then I expected. he has used his lure once or twice that I have seen, but never really shows interest in the damsels. My question to you is he has not eaten yet and I am starting to get worried, he shows a little interest in the ghost shrimp but then another fish just comes along and takes the shrimp right in front of him.
<Mmm, double jeopardy here. You bought the frogfish to get rid of the damsels and your other inhabitants will starve the frogfish. Doesn't make much sense to me.>
I also tried wiggling dead silver sides on a stick like I feed my Chain Link Eel, also in the tank.
My water parameters are all perfect, do you have any suggestions on getting him to eat, other foods I should try, or is it too early to worry? Also I have a type 5 Hydor power head in the 75 gallon tank he resides in, I also noticed when he swims he gets stuck to it but easily just jumps off, is that another area of concern?
<Yes, you will need to cover the intake with a sponge made for this purpose or devise something of your own accord. Frogfish should be kept, and do best solitarily, as in a specie tank. Will starve kept in tanks with aggressive eaters such as you have. Do read FAQ's here on frogfish feeding. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm
Researching before buying will save you much grief.>
Sorry for all the questions, and thank you in advance. I think its a great thing what you guys do to help out fellow hobbyists. Thanks again <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: new Longlure frogfish, fdg.   9/25/09

About a half hour after writing to you I tried the frozen silver side again and it worked, can you tell me how much silversides I should feed him? He seemed to just keep wanting more but I stopped at two today. I have read
about people killing there frogfish due to over feeding. also should I offer other marine chopped food like squid, crab meat etc...
<Do look at the fish's overall body conformity... It should not look "plump", nor concave... Likely every other day offering of "some" food (type and volume) is sufficient. Better that it be hungry than stuffed.
Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner> 

Frogfish, fdg., reading   6/8/09
Hello WWM - what are my options to feed a Frogfish? Liveaquaria is currently out of feeder shrimp and I can't find them on any other web site (no local fish store). I am not sure what else can be feed to him
- can you help me out please?
Thanks !
<Shore. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Angler, hlth, no data of use, reading   1/4/09 i have a Sargassum angler. we have had him for about 2 months now in a 75 gallon tank. today i noticed him turning in circled head pointed down. his eyes have turned white. there are no noticeable spots or anything else that seems to be wrong. what should i do? <Read... here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglerdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. We need information if we're to help you... See what sorts others have supplied... The system, set-up, history, maintenance, water quality tests, foods/feeding, tankmates... Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Commerson's Frogfish or similar 5/1/08 Dear WWM, <Hail and well met.> Hi. I am Diego a first grader. I am from Los Angeles. In my class I am doing research on Commerson's frogfish. Can you answer any of these questions? <Yes, I can answer all of them. But can you?> Hi. I am Diego's mom. If you don't know these answers for Commerson's Frogfish, but you know the answers for similar fish, would you please let us know about those fish? Thank you in advance.. <Hello Diego's mom. I'm a science teacher some of the time, and when I set tasks just like these, I expect a bit more from my students than that they simply e-mail someone the found via Google. So, while I can easily answer these questions, I'm not going to tell you any of the answers. But I *will* tell you where to find the answers yourself.> How big can it get? <First find the Latin (or "scientific") name of Commerson's Frogfish. Then do a search at Fishbase for that species. From there, you will find a page that gives maximum scientifically recorded size for the species.> How long can it live? <Again, Fishbase may help. The age of fish species (other than widely kept fish farming or aquarium species) is often vague. Rather, we have a better idea of a species "doubling time", a value that essentially describes how long it takes for a fish to double in size. Though this isn't accurate by any means, if you keep halving the maximum size until you get a length of around 5-10 mm, you should have something like the lifespan of a fish.> How does it move? <Look at pictures of the fish. Observe especially the relative shapes of its paired fins compared with its unpaired fins. Also consider how streamlined or not the fish may be. Does it look like a fast swimmer? Does it move about in a specific habitat?> What does it eat? <Fishbase will definitely help here, but failing that, click on the Fishbase page for its "Family" (that's the name ending in -idae). That should give you some more clues to its diet.> How does it breathe or get air? <Only some fish breathe air. Most get their oxygen straight from the water. The air-breathing fish are almost all freshwater fish. Is your fish a freshwater fish? That will tell you if it breathes air. As for regular fish breathing, i.e., taking oxygen from the water, any book on fish or even animal biology will tell you that.> Which oceans does it live in? <Again, Fishbase is your friend. If Fishbase isn't your cup of tea, take your son to the Public Library. Go ask the Librarian for some books on Fish and the fish faunas of the place that Commerson's Frogfish live. Let your son do the legwork -- there's absolutely no point to education if all you do is grab the answers off the Internet. I'm saying this as a teacher and someone who feels strongly about education. Get your son off the computer and into a library. Books are where the information is presented best and most reliably to young minds. Sincerely, Neale.> <<Well done Neale! RMF>>
Re: Commerson's Frogfish or similar 5/2/08
Dear Neale, <Hello Lara,> Thank you so much for the information. <Happy to help!> Using the computer is new and fun for Diego, so we did a quick internet search for the Commerson's Frogfish. It turned out to be a bit harder than we had thought to come up with information that a 6 year-old can process. <Ah, for a 6 year old, this does sound a rather ambitious project! I wouldn't personally set something like this for my Year 7 girls, which are around 11 years old. You may well want to ask the teacher whether this is something he/she has tailored specifically to you child's class, or something he/she has simply picked out of a pack of resources without any further though. It goes without saying that tasks set for children should be scaled to their age, ability, and access to resources.> His children's encyclopedia here at home also was no help. We will look into Fishbase, and of course we'll be going to the library. This is his first-ever "science report", and it consists of answering in one sentence each, 8 or 10 very simple questions. If only he had chosen the orca! <I suspect that you will find Fishbase a real mine of information. It's very good, and though designed for scientists, the layout is simple and intuitive.> Again, thank you very much for pointing us in the right direction. --Lara <Good luck with your research. Cheers, Neale.>

Interesting New (Frog) Fish Article - 04/06/08 Hello everyone, <<Hi, Karina!>> Thought I'd pass this along. Have a great day! http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,346289,00.html <<Ah, yes...saw something about this on the TV as well...interesting. Thank you for this! EricR>>

Angler info -11/18/07 Hello, <Dale> I recently purchased a tiny, and I mean TINY Frogfish from a LFS. Looking at pictures on the web I really thought it was a baby Commerson at first. The more I research though, the more I'm thinking it's actually of the Antennatus group. Its lure is very hard to see considering the little guy is no more than 1.5 inches long. I just went to the LFS I purchased him from earlier, and they had 2 more that had the same physical build as mine, but were funkier colors. <And these change...> Looking at Antennatus pics on the web, one of them looked identical to the Tuberculated Frogfish. Where on the web do you suggest I look to find more information about pygmy frogs? <Mmm... nowhere there that I know... the scientific lit. has a bunch to offer though... Look for the name Ted Pietsch... Frogfishes of the World... the references there> I checked Fishbase, and it's pretty limited and the picture is not very clear. I found a frogfish forum "Grimreefers" but it's not a very active board. Any help pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. <And the hobby works of pet-fish writers... particularly Scott Michael... you can find through a computer search bibliography at a large (college) library with a Zoo. dept. See WWM re such searches if you're unfamiliar or get a reference librarian to "show you the ropes".> If it is in fact a pygmy frogfish (noticed some of them only get between 2-3 inches) I am considering adding it into a community reef with considerably larger peaceful fish despite the general advice to keep Anglers in species only tanks. I'm only considering this because none of the fish are the type to harass each other or pick at "rocks" and none of them will fit inside his mouth. He usually only eats 1 or 2 small feeder shrimp or tiny fish every few days so his appetite is pretty limited (I have gotten him to eat thawed krill and silversides but rarely). Makes sense to me, but I will be happy to read whatever your opinion is on this particular scenario. I want to do what's best for the little guy, but I don't want him to have to live in the critter keeper forever. I'm keeping him in a plastic critter keeper for now so I don't lose him in the rockwork of my 75-gallon reef. Dale Tyler <Good technique... just make sure it's getting fed... Antennariiform/Lophiiform fishes are much easier to discern as species when larger. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Frogfishes / anglerfishes... Sel., beh., hlth. gen.  -11/18/07 Hi people - <Rachel> I was reading over your Q&A page for frogfishes (aka anglerfishes, but this common name is usually reserved for the entire order, Lophiiformes). <Ahh! Yes> I think your website is wonderful and a joy to read. If I may, I would just like to comment a little on the Q&A for frogfishes. <Please do> The inside of the mouth of a frogfish is quite varied; it can be the normal pale color you might expect, or the tissue could be differently colored and look like algae (many times black and white!) - all part of the fish's camouflage <And lure strategy> (can't have that prey item scared away at the gaping mouth of the frogfish, since they rarely close it all the way in order to keep water circulating over their gills). Lumpy frogfish - consider that A. maculatus (the clown or Wartskin frogfish) is, well, many times warty. So if your readers have purchased A. maculatus and are perplexed by its cancerous tumors filled with skin parasites, please assure them that this is perfectly natural. Another side note being that most frogfishes have a small bump on their lower lip right smack dab in the center. This shouldn't be abnormally huge (such as the size of a pea), but it is noticeable. It can also get pink and inflamed if they're constantly hitting up against the glass of the aquarium. <Well-stated> Air bubbles beneath the surface - this does seem to be a problem, albeit rare, in most frogfishes. I would venture to say that it is more common in the pygmy frogfishes (Antennatus - note that this is different from the genus Antennarius :) ) often collected from Hawaii. Hearing about gas bubbles problems in fishes that have been well-established in their tanks makes me wonder if they're more prone to the 'gas bubble disease' as it is called in sea horses. Most are rather shallow (<90m), but they aren't built to go up and down in the water column, and their natural habitat is hidden within the benthic fauna (exception being H. histrio...perhaps this is the reason why H. histrio does exceptionally well in the aquarium comparatively). <Interesting speculation. I agree> Air bladders - most genera in Antennariidae have air bladders, but some do not. The ones people are usually concerned with in the aquarium hobby do have them. <Although diminished in relative size> Swallowing water/air - I know it happens, but that fish has got to under quite a bit of stress/sick/dying. I've pulled frogfishes out of the water, clipped a tiny bit of one of their fins (DNA), and put them back in without ever having a frogfish do this to me. Hardy fish - for up to a year, generally (depending on the species...certainly not Antennatus, which is lucky to make it past 30 days). Many people can't get them past this point and there appears to be no apparent reason why currently. They are not known to be Ich prone (except Antennatus), but if the tank or tankmates are infected you can probably bet it'll become infected as well. Frogfish 'yawn' from time to time - nobody knows why. <I do think this is very much "stress related"... see them "yawn" more the closer and longer they're approached underwater> When purchasing a frogfish - if your readers get anything from this message - avoid Antennatus at all costs. It's probably the cutest little one of all the frogfishes, but it has major issues with longevity in captivity, if it even makes it that far. Unfortunately, I've never seen a frogfish labeled as anything but Antennarius, since it's the most common, so if you're going to purchase one try to identify it at least to genus. Antennarius and Lophiocharon are pretty much the only genera you're going to find in the U.S. that are suitable for aquariums. Cheers <Thank you very much for this valuable input. Will post/share. Bob Fenner>

Lophiocharon trisignatus... Frogfish, specific to general care  11/9/07 Good Evening WWM Crew, <Josh> I have used your website to find the answers to many of my questions before but this is the first time I have been able to find an answer to my question within your great website or on any other website that I could think of. <Mmm, okay> I picked up a frogfish last weekend, believing it to be a Painted Frogfish. I posted up pictures of it on two websites to confirm my identification but told to be wrong it is in fact a Tail Spotted Frogfish (Lophiocharon trisignatus). <Here on Fishbase: http://fishbase.mnhn.fr/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=10330> I have spent the last four days doing searches on all websites and my small collection of Reef Related books and all I have come up with is some basic information from fishbase.org, a brief mention of it in Reef Fishes Vol. 1, and other basic stuff from some other websites. Do you know of any books and/or websites that I may be able to find some more extensive information about this particular species or at least the same family so I can better take care for my Frogfish. TIA, Josh <Not about the particular species, no. A computer search bibliography (at a college with a bio./zoo. dept.) might help here. Re such searches here: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Otherwise the general husbandry of all Antennariiform, Lophiiform fishes is about the same... even Histrio... Bob Fenner>

Wartskin Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) Care Questions   2/20/07 I think I've just fallen in love with warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus)! <Hee!  Easy to do in my opinion!>   I have a 2'6" 96 L (25 gallons) tank that I am considering turning into a nano reef, would this be feasible for one of these fish? <Yes, this fish stays relatively small, at 4 inches and isn't exactly a big swimmer!  Twenty-gallon tank would be the smallest recommended.   More info here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm  > Obviously he would be the only fish in there but do you think he would eat an urchin? <I don't know if he would eat it, but I would be afraid he might be injured by it, so I'm not sure these two would make good tank mates.> Also, what do you think would be better, a refugium, a skimmer or both? <Both!!!> Thank you so much in advance <You're welcome!  -Mich> Will

Angler Fish I currently have three FW tanks (all single-species and sparsely populated)   I'm planning to venture into FOWLR... I have a 29 gal tank that I want to keep one solitary angler fish in--the LFS labeled him "painted" he gets to approx 12". My questions-- Is the tank large enough? <If it is small now, you can get away with it for the time being, but a 60 or 70 gallon would  be my choice for the full grown with it being the only fish.> Do I need a skimmer for this rather inactive fish? <The inactivity has nothing to do with it, it is the waste that it produces.  You could use a product like Chemi Pure in your filter that would work quite well as they have scavenging resins that can remove waste that carbons will not.> What could I offer as food instead of feeder goldfish, since they may cause digestive problems?  I want him to be happy and healthy! <I've had one quite some time ago and I had a 10 gallon tank with four or five female mollies with one male.  I'd feed the babies frozen newly hatched brine shrimp which got them growing rather fast.  This is what I used for food.  Read here for more info. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm Thanks for your time. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Laurie B.

Anonymous Angler I have been looking for a angler fish for a long time. <Amazing fishes, are they not? :) > I finally found this one but can't figure out what kind it is, Id like to know how big it will get etc.  I thought my other fish would be safe but my panther grouper was eaten by him on day one. <That's an angler for you!> I guess the angler will live a solitary life. Any information you could give me would be much appreciated. <It looks to me like an Antennarius pictus. See below for more information on these fascinating piscines: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfaqs.htm  Best of luck with your new acquisition. Mike G> 

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