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FAQs about Anglerfish, Frogfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 

Related Articles: Anglerfishes

Related FAQs:  Anglers 1, Anglers 2, Angler ID, Angler Behavior, Angler Compatibility, Angler Selection, Angler Systems, Angler Disease, Angler Reproduction,

Always eager eaters of live/moving foods.

Frogfish Floating     6/25/13
Hi crew. So about a month ago I picked up a 2.5" A. pictus, He is in a 34g FOWLR with a surprisingly docile Toby puffer and cryptic dwarf moray. So a
little over two weeks ago, after he took his first frozen silverside (1/2 of one),
<A clue here>

he wasn't looking too good. He kept on pacing the surface of the water and refused to eat. This was right before I went on vacation. I had my LFS manager watch over him at the shop until I got back. When I got back, he was all fine and eating again. He got two gut loaded ghost shrimp, and five or so days later got two more, and then one more the next day.
<... too much>
Well yesterday, about 3 days after his last feeding, he started to float.

I finally managed to get him upside under a ledge so he wasn't crashing into walls. I woke up this morning and found him acting completely normal and not floating. He was like this until about 30 min ago. I fed the puffer (he was acting normal then), come back 5 minutes later, and see him rising from the rocks. Again, I got him under a ledge. I suspected overfeeding again, but it seemed strange that he would be floating for a day, normal for a day, and then all of a sudden start to float again. Any ideas? Thanks.
<Yes; this fish is being over-fed, the food being converted to gas inside it. Anglers will eat and eat when food presents itself... Not good for them though... And results in too-fast growth and shorter life spans... feed just a bit (something in the size range of the eye of the fish) twice a week maximum. Bob Fenner>

Feeding salt water mollies to A. pictus Frogfish.    2/6/13
Hi, I must say your site has the most information I've found on the web.
Now to my question. I have been breeding sw mollies for over a year now, in preparation for my A. pictus.  I haven't been able to find a definitive answer to weather or not they are a suitable long term feeder.
<They/Mollienesia can be>
  Just got my A. pictus today (from LiveAquaria), other than having flotation issues and labored breathing he seems fine.
<To be expected if just moved/acquired>
He has been in the tank 3 hours and he is still holding onto the same plastic plant as when he was placed into the tank. There are currently 10 or so sw mollies in the tank with him (20 gallon long).
<I'd hold off feeding for a few days... remove the mollies if easy to do>
I moved the majority of the breeding stock into my 60 gallon tank. I live 4 hours from the nearest fish store so I do everything over the net.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Relation between frogfish diet and long term survival     8/13/12
Hi WWM crew,
First off, thanks for the fantastic resource and your dedication towards the aquatic hobby. I have a few questions that I would like to ask, seeing as the frogfish pages hasn't had many queries recently. Is there any knowledge as to the longevity of Antennarius, based on the frogfish files thread, it seems that there were no specimens who survived beyond three years.
<Am aware of some very long term success in public institutions... 15-20 years>
This brings me to my new question; to what extent did the usage of acclimated, and quarantined mollies, guppies, various shrimp, and their corresponding Thiaminase jeopardize frogfish survival rates?
<Got me>
I have also noted that in the same thread, several frogfish keepers cited that shrimp were attracted to the lures of A. pictus and maculatus, as opposed to fish. If shrimp were a main cause for demise in captive frogfish, how do we make sense of this evidence and its relevance to a good captive diet?
<Again, I don't know. On the several occasions that I've seen Antennariids feeding in the wild, these have always been fishes that were ingested>
Did read about a using low thiamine seafoods, but how would this be in line with frog fishes penchant for seemingly preferring shrimp?
Thanks for your time; hope I haven't asked an overly repetitive question.
<You may have a thesis topic in mind here. Bob Fenner>

Frogfish over one year old can't eat. Thiaminase, avitaminosis/es issue?    12/6/10
Hey guys,
<And "gals" Ivan>
I have been looking all over the internet and can't find anything to help me with my situation. Everything I have ever found on frogfish not eating is in regards to a newly added fish that won't eat. We have actually had ours for over a year now and he has been eating since day one. However out of the blue he seems to be having trouble eating.
<Not an uncommon event. Frogfishes do go on feeding strikes at times>
We used to feed him on frozen krill and silversides
<Need more than this... too fatty>
and he would strike at them without any enticement whatsoever. Now when we try to feed him he will strike half heartedly at the food but not actually open his mouth. Basically he just lunges at it. After making that attempt he won't even try again. I used to be able to drop large pellets in front of him which he would snap up with no hesitation. However it's the same as with the frozen food now. He just starts to strike but doesn't actually open his mouth. I can't find anything anywhere online regarding anyone else having this problem. I've found some people talking about a fungus that can grow around their mouths and looks like white balls growing on the fish. He doesn't have anything like that. I've even used my telephoto zoom lens to look more closely. He still looks very healthy and moves around fine but it's been a few weeks now and I'm afraid he's going to starve himself. I see him hunting in the rocks but I doubt there is anything in the rocks for him to actually eat.
<Try some live Palaemonetes/Grass-Glass Shrimp... can be purchased at most LFSs>
Does anyone have any insight into this or has anyone heard of this happening before?
<Oh yes... nutritional deficiency, toxicity... syndrome>
He's in an 80 gallon reef tank with two clowns, a mono, and a tomini.
<Very surprised this fish hasn't eaten at least the Clowns>
They have all been in the tank together for over a year and the other fish tend to ignore him and vice versa.
Water temp = 77 ­ 78
Nitrates = 0
Nitrites = normal
Ammonia = 0
pH = 8.3
Healthy coral
Please help as we are probably running out of time.
Ivan N.
<Try the shrimp, and going forward, expand the menu. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Frogfish and frozen foods -- 3/14/10
I finally got my 4" Painted Frogfish to take frozen food instead of feeders (Mollies and Goldfish). I understand frozen shrimp are not good to use on a regular basis because of a vitamin B1 deficiency.
<Correct. The same for crustacean meats generally. Fine as part of the diet, but should be in the minority.>
How about calamari heads?
<Squid varies; some species contain thiaminase, some don't. You'll need the Latin name of the squid being sold in your grocery store, and then use that to compare against thiaminase content as published in the scientific literature. As a general case, treat ALL fish and seafood as thiaminase-rich unless you know for sure otherwise.>
<Lots of thiaminase.>
Small sardines?
<Contain thiaminase.>
And crab meat?
<Yep, contains thiaminase.>
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
<Do read Marco's excellent piece, here:
For my predators, I find tilapia fillet the best cheap, thiaminase-free
fish meat, and then supplement with squid, mussel, etc as treats.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Frogfish and frozen foods   3/17/10
Thanks a lot for all your advice. Really appreciate it.
<My pleasure. Good luck with your fish. Cheers, Neale.>  

Anglers, fdg.  -- 12/15/09
Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. I'm a big fan of the site and have found a TON of useful information on it.
<Glad you're enjoying the site.>
After spending a couple months researching anglers I decided to buy two four inch painted anglers for my 50 gallon FOWLR.
<Antennarius pictus, I take it?>
They are currently housed with a few Chromis that I suspect will become dinner at some point in the no so distant future.
Other than the Chromis and a clean up crew consisting of snails and crabs the tank is all theirs. They seem to only eat live food which is more than fine (it's fun to watch); however, I'd like to start buying saltwater feeder shrimp in bulk in order to take advantage of discounted prices.
<Not an option. Shrimp are rich in thiaminase, and because of this, are to be used as a minority portion of their meal only, even gut-loaded. If you feed just shrimp, your fish will get sick from a vitamin B1 deficiency. Do
read Marco's excellent piece on thiaminase elsewhere on this site.>
My only concern is if I buy say 150 feeder shrimp and put them in the tank all at once will the anglers feed non stop and eat themselves to death or are they smart enough to only eat when they need to?
<No, you can't add them all at once. For one thing, most will die from heat exhaustion, assuming these are coldwater shrimp. So you'll have mountains of dead shrimps messing up water quality. Those that survive will be eating, using up oxygen, and excreting ammonia, further worsening water quality. Add only such live foods as will be consumed at any one meal. No more. Don't add any more until the first batch are eaten, and even then, allow a few days since Antennarius pictus don't need daily feeding. As you are hopefully away, the only safe feeders for marine fish are (herbivorous) brackish water livebearers and killifish. There aren't any other practical options. Do research this aspect prior to purchase. Goldfish and minnows are widely known to be dangerous in terms of parasites and completely unsuitable in terms of their thiaminase and fat content, so you can't use them at all. Since Antennarius can be trained to take dead foods, and skilled aquarists do this all the time, that's the way forward. Besides being cheaper, it's also safer, because you can select safe, thiaminase-free foods (such as tilapia fillet) and use those as required.>
I don't have a spare tank that I can use to store the shrimp and would prefer to not buy one if I don't need to (though I would if necessary).
<Not worth doing anyway. Shrimp should be used as an occasional treat, and once weaned onto dead foods, you'll find that approach safer, better, cheaper, easier.>
Thanks again for your time.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Questions on Antennatus tuberosus... sys., fdg.   12/23/08 Happy Holidays WWM Team! <And to you and yours Art> Please allow me to first say thank you for all you do for us, sharing your knowledge to the head scratchers all over the world. <Heee, am one myself> I now come with my curiosity on my frogfish (Antennatus tuberosus). I've had this fella for 3 months now, originally in a 55 gallon with 3 inches sand and 50-ish lbs of live rock, with a Domino Damsel about 2.5X his size and a Scooter Blenny. The first two months he ate his worth of feeder shrimp, 3 or so per week. The past month I moved him over to his very own 8 gallon nano reef with 2.5 inches of sand and 10-ish lbs of live rock. If it makes a difference, coral includes 5 half-dollar sized mushrooms and a frag of pagoda. There's also Chaeto the size of a fist to help with water quality. I feed using tweezers. It seems it only eats about 2 (lately only one) shrimp per week now, and on split feedings (1 at middle of the week, 1 at the end). Is this common? Could the nano be the culprit? Should I even be worried? <Mmm... I'm always leery of potential problems with small volumes... they can/do change chemically, physically... and hence biologically much too quickly at times... and though not at all fast moving, Anglers do produce goodly amounts of waste... How big is this individual? It is likely "small enough", as the species tops out at 9 cm.: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=11150> I acknowledge that this species is not commonly found in the trade. Consequently, there aren't too many care sheets for the Antennatus species online as well. I've even checked Fishbase and even frogfish.ch, but not to much avail. If there's any special requirements for the Antennatus that I could use, I'd greatly appreciate the help. Thank you in advance :-) Warmest Wishes, Art F. <Mmm, I have never seen this fish offered in the trade... I think it should be fine in the small tank, but maybe the Cnidarians are mal-affecting it some way... If in doubt, I would move it back to the 55, even a refugium tied into a larger system. Using willingness to take food for Frogfishes is a good indicator of health IMO/E. Bob Fenner>

Re: Angler Feeding 11/7/08 Hey Scott, got another question for you concerning my angler fish, he's about an inch and a half long and decently active-fishing around the tank and what not. I put smaller fish in the tank, a couple of damsels for him to feed on, and I feed all occupants ghost shrimp as a live food source over frozen twice a week. I've had him for over 2 weeks and to my knowledge he hasn't eaten once. <Was the end of each shrimp accounted for? Have you ever seen this fish eat? Is a good idea before purchase.> How often should he eat, and should I supply another type of live food source for him-guppies maybe? <These should be eating every few days, but it is not unheard of for a hunger strike to last weeks. Considering all the change in your tank as of late it is not surprising. Try different foods, check http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm. Do keep in mind any frozen foods will need to be presented as live, with some wiggle to it! Scott V.>

Re: Angler Feeding 11/7/08 Thanks for the info., I never asked the pet store if he ate-that would have been a good call, I'll know next time! <Always a good question, better to see it yourself!> Since asking the question, one of the damsels has gone missing and the Angler appears to be bigger in size-I hope this is a sign of him feeding. <Sounds like it.> I do keep a varied diet for my fish, and don't mind feeding him damsels and Chromis verses dead on a pole. His coloring and active nature seems to fit well in my tank. I'll keep you posted! <Please do.> Thanks again, Ole. <Happy to have helped. Scott V.>

Frogfish Not Eating -- 9/29/07 <Hello, Brenda here> I have this frogfish and it is very sick. I noticed it today and would like to know what is wrong with it. The frog fish is 2.5 inches and has been living in a 15 gallon tank for 1 month. <This is an extremely small tank for this fish. Is this your quarantine tank? A 15g tank is likely very stressful on this fish.> It recently stopped eating and its skin has started to turn crusty and black. <Is a common problem for these fish.> Every time I feed him he just starts coughing it out. He also has been acting weird like swimming around a lot which is weird because he never does that. I know he is not trying to camouflage, he has never turned black. I am not able to identify what kind of frogfish it is because the place where I bought it said it was assorted. I feed it krill and I just changed the water yesterday. <Have you tested your water parameters? Try feeding live saltwater feeder shrimp. More information on these fish can be found here: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=76&N=0 and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfdgfaqs.htm Brenda>

Sargassum Fish  4/14/07 First off, I would like to say you all do a great service to the fish lovers everywhere. Keep up the good work. <Am trying> I just got quick question about my new Sargassum fish. I was feeding my Panther grouper 16"L some goldfish of a snack. <Not a good idea... see WWM re Feeding Feeders... http://wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm and the linked files above> I through <threw> in about 5 in and my angler ate 2 of them. He's 4" long and is eating silver sides very well. He was right up against the glass and I saw a breathing hole under each of his pectoral fins. I never saw them before. Do they use them all the time or just when there full? <Mmm, more when they're full...> Thanks Matt Owens <Neat animals... Bob Fenner>

Frogfish/Snowflake Eel  1/2/07 Greetings to the WWM crew! <Hi Gretchen, Pufferpunk here.> I've a small problem, I think I've fallen in love with a frog fish! <Certainly can't blame you on that one!  I'm crazy about these weird, wonderfully camouflaged, lumbering, creatures myself.>   I saw 2 at my LFS a few days ago and have been searching the Wet Web site as well as the web in general, for information since. (Thanks for all the information on the species on your site!)  What I'm curious about is if I could keep one in with my snowflake eel, and if so which would be the "best" suited for such a pairing? The eel (Ichi) currently is in a 125 gal tank with plenty of rock and tubes for him to hide in. He's about 18 inches long, shares his tank with a few hermit crabs and snails and seems to be very docile almost shy. He used to share his tank with a burrfish and they got along fine! (Burrfish died of parasites over a year ago. We were heartbroken, and this is the first thing I've seen that I might like to add into the tank.) <I think this is the best tank mate for a frogfish.  Their teeth are flat, like a person's (for eating crustaceans), not sharp (for tearing into flesh), like other morays.  Been doing a lot of research myself, since I bought a Wartfin frogfish last week, with my X-mas $$$.  I really wanted to get a snowflake eel & a Fu Manchu lionfish but after researching the FAQs at WWM, I saw several Qs where it ended badly, with the frogfish getting stung by the lion.  I certainly don't want that to happen to my little guy!> One of the things I keep seeing is that frogfish are difficult to get adjusted to non-live foods. Ichi gets fed frozen/thawed/soaked in vitamins krill, squid, shrimp, clams and the occasional live crab or ghost shrimp. Is a frogfish likely to get picky about the mix of live and non-live food? (I recall reading something about that happening on another site.) <Exactly my problem now.  I have had the frogfish for a week.  I've been bouncing foods off a thread & hooked it on the tank, so it moves with the current & she won't bite.  I do see her "fishing" upside down in the live rock & I know there are live creatures in there to keep her fed but eventually, that will run out.  I am getting concerned & will probably get some ghost shrimp & gut-load them with foods & feed them to her for some sustenance.  I hear they are supposed to have voracious appetites & hope she takes "dead" foods soon.> I'm trying to find out as much as I can first, and know better than to hurry into any kind of purchase! <You may want to ask to see it eat at the store, to be sure it eats dead foods.  I took their word for it when I asked, because she had supposedly been fed that day.> Thanks, in advance for any information/suggestions you may have! Happy New Year! <Happy New Year to you too & good luck with your frogfish!  ~PP> Gretchen

Trouble Feeding Frogfish  11/18/06 I purchased my first frogfish about a week ago. The LFS where I purchased him had been feeding the frogfish feeder guppies and ghost shrimp. I know that an all freshwater diet can lead to gut blockage, <Can...> so as a welcome home present, I added two damsels. Unfortunately, they've seen him move around and won't go anywhere near him. <Smart fish> He'll get up and swim around the tank occasionally, but has no luck catching them. He was previously in a 6 or 8g nanocube, so perhaps there's just too much room or live rock for the damsels to escape to. <Maybe> I tried using ghost shrimp and guppies but he shows no interest. The shrimp even crawl over him. I tried wiggling a guppy near his face, even then he didn't bite. I know they're not suppose to be fed frequently anyway, but I assume he's hungry since he has stuck out his lure a few times. <Not necessarily indicative of a great hunger though> Should I be concerned that he still hasn't ate? Do you have any suggestions on how to feed him? <Mmm, you state it's only been a week or so... I would not be overly concerned here... Even a quite small Antennariid specimen can/will go w/o feeding for weeks. Keep on trying and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Feeding a Sargassum Frogfish - 11/12/06 Hey, <<Hey!>> I have a 5-gallon eclipse nano that has been established for about a year, it has about 18w of power compacts that I retrofitted into the hood.  Up until now it has been empty aside from live rock and coral.  I had been waiting to find a fish that I thought was interesting enough to keep in a species tank. <<Mmm, must be honest with you...I am not a fan of these tiny tanks, especially where "marines" are concerned>> After a chance encounter with a frogfish in a LFS I started to do some more research and I found that with proper husbandry some people have had success keeping them in small tanks like my own. <<But what does "some people" entail?  1 in 50?  3 in 100? ...doesn't bode well for the frogfish, eh?  Sedentary species or not, this fish is deserving of larger quarters...as much for the increased stability a larger system would afford as anything else>> That being said, I recently bought a 3-inch Sargassum frogfish from the LFS that I have had for about 2-weeks now and he seems to be flourishing. <<...?>> I was wondering how much and often I should feed him. <<For best health/longevity, infrequent small feedings seem to be best>> I have been feeding "Snuggles" every other day one live guppy and a ghost shrimp, however I have heard of some people feeding up to a half dozen shrimp a couple times a week. <<Best to stay away from "freshwater" food items...you may want to try to train this fish to feed from a "feeding stick" and vary the diet with marine fish flesh, squid, etc., but do resist the urge to "overfeed">> I have heard that overfeeding can lead to rapid growth (not to mention water quality problems), <<Indeed...Bob says it can double its size in a week (another reason to provide this fish with a larger tank!)>> and with my setup that is not what I want, my 30-gallon is not nearly "angler-proof" and I would hate to have to shift fish around. <<Hmm...maybe just get a 40-gallon (or larger) home for the angler>> What would you suggest as a "middle-ground" solution to my feeding issues? <<As already stated...small feedings a couple/several days apart'¦adjust as the fish grows>> Thanks for your help! Erik Henderson <<Happy to share my opinion.  Eric Russell>>

Feeding Warty Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) Hello Crew, <You have Leslie here this evening.> I work at a small LFS and have the opportunity to purchase a medium (2 inch) Antennarius maculatus (warty frogfish). <How exciting!!> It will arrive tomorrow and I've already got a tank (cycled of course) set up just for him. I've been interested in these for a long time and researched these fish for the last few months because I've always been fascinated with them and wanted one for myself. I've come upon a question which I believe will help many and I also believe you may be able to help me with this. What should I feed? A simple question with a seemingly simple answer...live foods (until I can train to frozen of course). But, I've heard of people successfully keeping them on fresh water fish and saltwater fish. I've also heard downsides to both. 1. FW fish can carry pathogens that can harm SW fish. 2. SW fish can also carry diseases easily spread to other SW fish. What would be the biggest cause of concern? <Both are a cause of concern.> What do you (or would you) feed to such a fish? <Healthy live or frozen defrosted marine fish.> Which type of food has the greater risk? <FW fish that have not been appropriately quarantined. Please see the following article.. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm.> Our "feeder" fish are most definitely healthy because I do two 50% water changes per week and feed high quality food to all of our fish (I do this because I've seen regular "feeder" tanks and they absolutely disgust me). <That is wonderful. Good water quality and nutrition are 2 steps in the right direction. However your marine fish requires marine fish for proper nutrition.> Should I feed "feeder" mollies, guppies, or gold fish? Or, should I stick with damsels, Chromis, etc.? <Damsels and Chromis that have been quarantined 4 weeks are the preferred choice until you can train to frozen food.> Any other tips on keeping these would be greatly appreciated! <Have a look at the following article and associated FAQs'¦ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm> Thank you for your time, Brandon <You're most welcome. Best of luck with your new wet pet, Leslie>

Anglers... feeding mostly  4/29/06 Bob (or other WWMedianaut), thanks for the site. I want to know whether/when I should worry about my angler eating...I was thinking   about six days(?)... First, the facts... I have a frogfish, A. multiocellatus I believe. I bought him two days   ago...eats dead food, I saw him hand fed shrimp at the store with no hesitation. Store said he had been eating every day. He is about 4   inches. He now lives in my 20 long... with two shrimp a small clown (I know they will get eaten). <Yes> He has not eaten since I bought him, instead he has been stalking my clown. My clown is too smart (for now) to swim   near him. Cutie Pie (the angler) won't eat food dangled in front him with a stick or hand. I am worried he is passing up the dead stuff so   he won't give away his position to the clown...and that he will do this until he starves. <Mmm...> How long should I wait before I get worried about him starving? <Depends on this fish's "index of fitness"... How "chubby" it started... but another week or two> Is two days too soon to worry? <Mmm, yes and no... that is, worrying won't change the future, but if you're concerned...> I don't want him to die, I'd rather take him back to the store (they said they would take him back). Thanks Bob! Rod <I would move either the angler or its present tankmates. Bob Fenner>

Angler feeding, behavior   2/1/06 Hi, I have some questions about anglers. I've had a small angler (Antennarius pictus, as best I can tell) in a species-only for about 5 months now. He's been doing well, really enjoys eating ghost shrimp and guppies (he initially took silversides on a feeding stick but seems to have wised up and gotten picky again). That's actually the first question. I know it's generally recommended that one not use freshwater feeder organisms for SW fish, but in my research I've read that guppies are ok. Is there anything better to feed an angler? <Mmm, clean marine fishes... live or frozen/defrosted, wiggled...> Next, the real issue I'm wondering about. When I bought him, he was jet black with little white warty lumps (friends even thought it was ick but it wasn't). In the ensuing time, he's changed completely. He's now mottled light brown with small eyespot-like designs. <Yep... do change to match local conditions... camouflage...> His behavior hasn't changed at all, he's still spry, reactive and hungry and readily deploys his pole. I'm wondering, is this a typical change or is it something to be concerned about? <The former> I don't know the extent or purpose of anglers' camo ability. Now, his environment consists of white LS, a few small bits of LR, and two fake perches: a small green Turbinaria-like thing and a little brown rocky outcropping that he sits behind. Any causes for concern? Any other related info you might recommend for his care? I definitely love tackling the unusual fish, but want to give him as much TLC as possible...hideous toad though he may be. Best, Alex <Great aquarium fishes... Bob Fenner>

Angler and "Feeder" fish I need some help!  Two weeks ago I purchased a colored angler (bright red, about 6 inches long) from the local pet store.  Everything was going great.  He was eating at least two feederfish per day.  Yesterday when I got home, he was laying on his side, gasping and his color had faded.  Shortly there after he passed.  I took samples of my water to the pet store and they said that everything was ok.  I have a 120 gal tank with a 55 gal ecosystem for filtration and a UV sterilizer.  The other fish, small Longhorn Cow, small Lionfish, Stars and Stripes Puffer, Yellow Tang, Algae Blenny, small Banded Cat Shark, in my tank are doing fine and show no signs that anything is wrong. This is the second time I have purchased an angler with disastrous results.  What do think could be the problem? Jim <Almost undoubtedly the "feeder fish". Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm not nutritious, and dangerous in composition and in terms of physical blockage. Bob Fenner>

-Getting a frogfish to eat- Greeting! I recently purchased an orange angler fish I identified as Antennarius pictus, he's about 3" in length and has a 20gal tank to himself. He is very active and constantly entertaining, but I have a few questions regarding feeding. He will only take live food at this time, comet feeders and barely takes live mysids. <You should always make sure that these (and any other fish for that matter) are eating dead marine foods before you buy them. Always see it personally, don't take any of that "eh, bob fed them yesterday and it ate great!" BS. :) > I know that comet feeders are horrible for him and prolonged feeding will cause him gut blockage and I have heard liver damage as well. I have tried using a tool to attach small dead silversides but he is wise to my game, he doesn't mind the rod but he can (I imagine) smell the prepared food and backs away from it. So I end up with a few questions. Since live mysids are only seasonal here and expensive, is there a better live feeder I can feed, such as guppies, mollies, or convicts? <Not really, besides say green Chromis> Or should I quit feeding freshwater fish to him entirely. <He must eat something, but doesn't need to eat constantly. Just a few times per week is enough, all the while wiggling and dangling frozen thawed krill, silversides, prawn, etc in front of his face. You could also try putting a dead feeder on the rod to make the connection for him!> Feeding him damsels will put me in the poor house so that's not a viable option either. And if I starve him long enough (I feel bad about this) will he be more opt to take prepared food from a rod device? <Eh, that's questionable> I tried not feeding him for 3 days and then trying attached food and even made it wiggle but he was not interested. <You really need to have the chow do the "look at me, I'm alive! no really, I am!" jig right in front of his face.> I really want to keep this fish healthy and happy, so any advice would really help me out. <Keep on trying! Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks. Julian Harkema
Salem Oregon

Frogfish Question I just purchased a Commerson's Frogfish this afternoon that I call "Bubba."  Bubba is about 5 1/2 inches long right now and will eventually top out around 11 1/2 inches.  How fast do they grow? <With feeding (as much as daily...) a bunch! As in right before your eyes... an inch every few months... no joke> When will he be full grown? <Define "full". To the maximum stated... two, three to several years... I strongly suggest very infrequent, small feedings to keep this animal manageable and long-lived> Months, years?  He's currently in a 29 gallon but will be moved into my 75 gallon reef (as the only fish) when he outgrows the 29......... <It's already past this tank size... Would move it quick> Just wondered when that might be.  Is it true that you can keep two Commerson's of the same size together without the worry of cannibalism? <Mmm, not really... frogfishes are only found "in association" with others of their own or other kind by accident or if they're a "spawning pair"... best to keep solitarily> Thanks for the help:)  Janey <Thanks for asking. Bob Fenner>

Struggling with Frogfishes 2/17/05 I've been keeping frogfish unsuccessfully for past year. I've kept from warty to giant frogfish but all died after a few weeks. <Hmmm... do understand and apply proper quarantine procedure first... 4 weeks in QT on are bottom and with medicated feed if needed. Preventative med.s as well> In the 1st few weeks, they are fine, feeding on damsels or gobies. After about 3-4 weeks, <do consider a non marine fish prey instead to reduce the risk of commuting disease. Palaemonetes ghost shrimp gut-loaded may be better feeder "fishes"> I noticed rapid breathing and a few experienced cloudy eyes, and stop eating. <could be water quality or disease... general symptoms> In 1 case, my black angler was fine the night before but died the next morning without any cloudy eye symptom. Currently, I have a giant angler which is 9 inches. I bought him 2 weeks ago. Last week, he ate 2 damsels. This week, it did not eat and did not even extend its lure when the damsels swam past him. The tank it lives in is 4 ft and the water is kept at 24 degrees with a chiller. The water is checked every week and nitrate level is very low.  Please help me. How long can it stay without food? <many weeks> Is there any cure if I notice it's rapid breathing? < do read the archives about parasites and gill disease... you may need to medicate here... also QT your feeder fishes for a minimum of 4 weeks before feeding as prey to insure they are clean/disease free so to speak> Thanks Serene
<best regards! Anthony>

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