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FAQs about Dwarf Lionfish Compatibility

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 Selection, 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,

Anything non-sessile tankmate smaller than mouth size is potential prey.

Anthiines, Damsels, Shrimps... Yummy!
With piscivorous Moray species? No sir, not something likely, not something likely....
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

Quick question about Aiptasia problem. Lions eating Berghia?    7/30/14
Hello, I've been in a huge search for days for the cure of my infestation of Aiptasia. I have had the tank for over 8 years, but these for about a year of that. Been keeping them under control, but would like a constant non chemical approach and I am starting to add corals to my tank so I want to get rid of them so they don't harm anything new. I read that the Berghia Nudibranch eats them, and I am very interested in getting them. Which stems my question. I have a dwarf lionfish. It is on frozen/ freeze dried foods, and I have snails and crabs in my tank that it doesn't bother at all. But I don't want to get these little guys to just have them be food.
<Doubtful... Nudibranchs, most sea slugs are unpalatable... one mechanism for avoiding predation is to taste bad>
The lionfish is the reason I haven't tried peppermint shrimp for the problem, even though I read those aren't a guaranteed solution. Would you happen to know the answer to this question? I appreciate any help :)
Jessie (Dayton Ohio)
<Bob Fenner, St. Thomas, USVI>
Re: Quick question about Aiptasia problem   7/31/14

thank you very much!
<Welcome. BobF>

Fuzzy Dwarf Lion Fish, incomp.   8/1/12
Hello!
<Lexie>
We currently have a 75 gallon saltwater aquarium. Our water levels are:
Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
<How is the NO3 rendered thus?>
Phosphates: .25
Temperature: 80
We currently have a 5 inch fuzzy dwarf lion fish (girl) and a snowflake eel. They have been together for about 3 months. We finally were able to find a second fuzzy dwarf lion fish, She is around 2 inches.
<Might be inhaled by the larger>

After being in quarantine for 4 weeks we moved her into our 75 gallon. Our LFS recommended placing the small one in a Rubbermaid tub with holes around the rim and placing it in the tank so our current lion fish would get used to her.
<A good idea; better by far to separate permanently... until there's only an inch or so difference in overall length twixt the two>
We did this for 30 minutes with no aggression from our first lion fish.
After releasing her into the tank our eel tried to nip at her. But has since left her alone. Our large one has been stocking
<stalking>
the baby and then charging at her. Is this normal behavior?
<Not abnormal>

Should we remove the baby and place her back in quarantine or to the LFS?
Right now they are on opposite sides of the aquarium.
Thank you!
<Re-read what I've written above. Bob Fenner>

Fuzzy dwarf lion comp. w/ small Damsels     7/3/12
Hello there, Gabi here
I will soon be setting up a 45 gallon tank for (hopefully) a leaf fish and a fuzzy dwarf lion fish. It will have a 20 gallon sump with a skimmer. I also wanted to add 1-2 more active fish to the tank and was considering either 2 Banggai cardinal fish, 1 Longnose Hawkfish, or 1-2 blue reef Chromis.
<The Damsels will be inhaled in time by the Lion>
 My fist choice would probably be the Chromis but I was unsure about their ease for the predators to inhale them (I am pretty sure the Chromis wouldn't bother the preds) or whether I could have more thank one together.
I would appreciate any input on setting up this tank from you guy/gals!
Thanks for reading!
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Fuzzy dwarf lion

Thank you for your quick reply! I guess it was wishful thinking on the Chromis, even if they were full grown. Any of the other fish I mentioned sound okay? or another type  of fish that would do well?
<See WWM re the species you have in mind and comp. of dwarf lions:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflioncompfaqs.htm
B>

Lionfish compatibility   1/30/11
Hello,
<Hello Cleidy>
Before I get to my question I would like to thank you for all of the wonderful information found on your site.
<Thanks!>
I am a frequent visitor <Me too> and would be lost without it.
Ok...now the question. Would a Tang pick on my Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish?
<Shouldn't, no>
Mainly a Zebrasoma or a Ctenochaetus? I currently have a 4 inch Indigo Hamlet, the Lion, and a 6 inch Rock Beauty (we feed the Rock Beauty angel food with sponge but he really loves Spectrum pellets).
<Great>
All get along great and have been together for about 1 year in a 180 gallon tank. Plenty of live rock. I got rid of our Pink Tail about a month ago because I saw him bite the lions tail. You don't pick on my lionfish, so off to the LFS went the Trigger. Was also thinking of adding a Flame Hawk (they look like little cartoon characters). Thank you so much for your time.
<In my experience these fishes (Tangs & Lions) completely ignore each other, and should make excellent tankmates>
Daneen
<Simon>

Question: Housing GSP with Dwarf Lionfish 10/5/10
Hello WWM!
<Hello Kasey,>
I have a young (one inch) green spotted puffer in a temporary ten gallon setup that I'm using to acclimate him to saltwater,
<I'd tend to keep juveniles in brackish water for a while, and not move them to marine conditions until they're about half-grown.>
and I'm interested in also keeping a dwarf lionfish but I'm living in an apartment now and don't have the space or the funds for three 30+ gallon tanks (I already have one 30 gallon planted). I read an article on this site by Damien Wagaman about the importance of keeping puffers individually, though the green spotted puffer was listed as a possible exception and I've been searching the internet up and down for information on whether a GSP can be safely housed with a dwarf lionfish.
<Actually, GSPs are rather variable in temperament and generally do best kept alone or with their own kind. There are other puffer species I'd look at if I wanted to keep them with tankmates. South American Puffers for example are nippy but not aggressive, so can't work with fast moving barbs and tetras.>
What little bit I have found is highly contradictory. Some report success and some say to avoid it like the plague.
<Indeed. Lionfish generally tend to get nipped by puffers, so this isn't a combination I'd recommend.>
When I plugged the search terms into your Google search bar the only reference I found to keeping the two together did not relate specifically to their actual compatibility, and so it was never mentioned whether this match was a good one. So can they be housed together or should I give up on the lionfish?
<I'd give up.>
If this combination is an appropriate one, what tank size would you advise for both to be comfortable? So far I've held off on buying the GSP's permanent tank because I haven't finished researching the possibilities for tank setup. Therefore, I'm in a good position to accommodate them both if they can in fact live together.
Thank you very much,
-Kasey
<GSPs do much better kept with "punchy" Damselfish such as Humbugs and Dominos. These Pomacentrid give as good as they get, and provided they're given space -- 55 gallons or more -- and plenty of live rock for cover, the Humbug and the GSP should come to some sort of arrangement without too much blood being spilt on either side. Cheers, Neale.>

I am planning to start a salt water aquarium   8/10/10
Jim, am sending your note over to WWM... much easier to place, refer you from there. BobF
Dear Mr. Fenner
My name is James and I live in Texas I have been reading your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist and I have a few ideas for my aquarium that I plan on starting. I would have a rock cave made from live rock with
Christmas tree worms in the cave with blue Chromis, a short fin lion fish,
<Mmm, Dendrochirus Lions can/will eat small fishes like Chromis, Clownfish, Mandarins... maybe even hermit crabs!>
maroon clown fish a red mandarinfish and some hermit crabs to clean in a 125gal aquarium if that is a suitable mix of fish inverts and space although now I just have a 50gal fresh water aquarium with African Cichlids I have always wanted a salt water aquarium because I grew up with a 10gal in the house. no doubt I will have many more questions later but I have one now. Why should the Moorish idol be avoided?
<Please read here re:
http://wetwebmedia.com/AcanthuroidPIX/MoorishIdolPIX/ZanclusSelF.htm
and the linked files re Zanclids above. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish, Feeding, Compatability 19.01.09
Hey Guys, <Hi Jake> I recently purchased a Dwarf Lionfish upon arriving back from Iraq and setting up my aquariums again. Within this tank I made it a predator tank and was really looking forward to it but now I am getting worried. I have one of those all in one new Red Sea Max tanks <the largest of which are about 60 gallons, although you don't indicate which one you have> and have a maroon clown, chainlink eel, and this lionfish in it <Mmm, a tight fit, and I would not recommend keeping a Moray and a Lion together in such a small setting. Too much risk of the Moray getting stung in here>. Upon getting it the store where I purchased it told me that I should feed it live ghost shrimp till I can get him eating off a feeding stick etc <Yes, but the store should have been willing to do this for you. Never buy a fish unless it feeds in the shop, the foods that you yourself will be feeding it, especially Lionfish. Only the Volitans in my experience is a good initial feeder>. So I have been doing so until about a week ago. I came home from the base that night and he would not eat a thing. I normally feed every two days about 3-4 ghost shrimp <And he normally eats these ok? This is not too bad then, because a healthy fish can go some time without food, and Lions are fine with one meal every 3 days or so. Have you looked here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflionfdgfaqs.htm>. Well he didn't want to eat anything, absolutely nothing. Instead all he wanted to do was stay perched and just chill <typical behaviour>. Well about two days ago I also noticed that his eye were starting to swell up <Just the one? Probably an injury> and etc <?> and then another buddy told me that he was sick (cloudy eye) or something...<easily rectified with good attention to water quality. No need to treat with anything in 99% of cases, but a little Epsom salt will do no harm here. Can you provide a picture?> I wanted to know why he would get this and if this is true as to what he has...<just posted, if one eye most likely is an injury, if both then water quality is your most likely culprit> I was told to look for worms around his eyes or etc.. like flat worms.. never see anything..<always good to observe for such things anyway, but not a common or/ the likely issue> I don't want him to die cause he's become a family pet and even has a place in my upcoming wedding...<Yes'¦these fishes are very personable -- I have a Pterois Radiata about whom I feel the same way!> I just want to fix him... as for my water I always keep the SAL around 1.023 <would raise this a couple notches>--- temp around 76-78 and everything else within normal param..<? This means nothing> and do two water changes every month... Please help guys... I want to make this guy right! <Ok, here is what I think could be your issue/s: These fishes do not feed well initially when surrounded by aggressive feeders. They should be isolated and trained to feed until they are confident and will take food from tongs or a stick every time before being introduced to rambunctious tankmates. This is best done in a QT tank, or in the display using a 'cage' of some kind to separate it from the other fish if you have the space. You have a moray (a very aggressive feeder) and a maroon clown (an aggressive fish) in with this lion, and you are going to find it tough going getting it to feed properly in this setting. You need to review your stocking because these fishes are incompatible, will pollute your tank which could easily already be the cause of the cloudy eye, alternatively the fishes you have in with the lion have made it nervous, causing it to injure itself on a rock, or the maroon has attacked the Lion. Either way, it's tankmates and their compatibility are a/the main issue here and will continue to be>. Respectfully <Sincerely!>, Jake <Simon>

Re: Dwarf Lionfish, Feeding, Compatability   1/20/10
Simon, <Hello Jake> Thanks so much and it's great to know that there is just more than one person I can go to and get advice on these fish! <No problem> As for Strike (Dwarf Lion)
I took him out of my 66 gallon today and put him in an isolation tank (16 gallons) and will hopefully be able to add him back in with the others once my 180 finishes cycling! <Mmm, are you going to try to get him to feed in the 16? Be very careful with the ammonia levels in this size QT, this fish is already suffering from poor water quality>. Like I said I just got back and am setting my
tanks back up in my house! As for the feeding stick I have been working
with the little guy as much as I can <every day until he takes something I would> and my fiancé helps when she can too..
This ultimately was her fish!! LOL! Then she saw it eat live prey and turned him over to me! But for him to be a pet I consider him much more..
He's pretty much the center piece in our tank outside of the eel! As for the Moray he really doesn't go near the fish but more so stays inside the rock these days <Believe me, the fish tank is a different place at night and Morays are naturally nocturnal> unless I am hand feeding him but lately since I have been doing the feeding stick with the Lionfish I stick feed the Eel too! <Indeed, and this will unsettle the lion, these fishes are easily spooked>. As for the other times he knows that Strike is in the tank but really pays him no attention. <No, aggression between the fishes is not the issue. The danger here is that the Moray, being a naturally clumsy fish, will brush past the Lion at night, thus stinging himself. In a small tank this is quite likely to happen. Add to this the aggressive feeding nature of the Moray makes these two fishes incompatible in this setting>. As for the Maroon Clown too he is more terrified of the lionfish than anything. Clown just stays over near his side of the tank and goes
after the pellets and food when I feed him <Ok>. All three seemed of been really
getting along <As noted, aggression here is not the issue. Compatibility is, which you would know had you researched this. Much is written on WWM re.>. As for the eyes of him yes they were both and I am attaching pics! <Yes, it looks to me that the fish you have is a Pterois Mombasae (Devil Lionfish) and not a dwarf at all, but one of the smaller 'real' Pterois lions (6 -- 8 inches max). I have kept these myself, and they are prone to deteriorating water conditions with cloudy eyes being common. See here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-11/fm/feature/. You need to improve the environment here, larger water changes and more often. You need a very efficient protein skimmer. What are your water tests for Nitrate, Nitrite & Ammonia?>. As for my water, I pay Aquarius to service my tanks bi monthly <I implore you to do this yourself -- it is cheaper, it is your tank, you should know what it needs, you will learn far more by doing it yourself> and I top off when needed and do water changes when needed too! <These, however, are 'needed' more often> Since removing him from the tank he has sat perched in an upright position and just seems to be relaxing <typical>. I was thinking about medicating the tank if needed but wanted to see what you recommended <No meds, just improved conditions and maybe some Epsom salt. See WWM re. > Ultimately I want to put him in with my Chainlink, the Maroon, and my two Cortez stingrays <? Oh dear, these are cool water species and thus not compatible with your other fishes http://www.wetwebmedia.com/batoidcompfaqs.htm>. I have a 180 gallon tank with a levitated rock work and complete sandy bottom for the rays. <This tank is not big enough for one Ray yet along two, plus the Eel, and the Lion! Please research what you are doing and review. There is only one long-term outcome here -- disaster>. Not one piece of rock touches the bottom but I wanted to see what your thought were on this too <posted>. Please let me know what you think I should do <You need to make this decision yourself, I can only tell you that your fishes are not compatible for a few reasons, and also that you will continue to have major water quality issues, that you are already dealing with here and now. I highly recommend you remove some of these fishes from your 'wish list' and become a little more realistic>. I will be paying close attention to him over the next few days <This will be probably be a few weeks not days, and test that ammonia daily. Have new water mixed, heated and ready at all times> and pray that he corrects himself! <Indeed, get this fish eating and keep those nutrients down> Respectfully, <Simon> 

Fuzzy dwarf tank mates, not Rhinecanthus  1/9/10
Hi Guys,
<Claude>
You have a great, informative website.
I have not been able to find the response to some tank mate compatibilities on your site what I mean is
I have a 110 gallon tank (fish only with 100 lbs of live rock) that has -1 fuzzy dwarf lion fish about 3 inches
-1 metallic fox face about 4 inches
-2 chocolate starfish
I was looking to add a Picasso trigger as well... however I have read that when other individuals have inquired on this, their tanks are a lot smaller then mine, which could result in the trigger hurting the fuzzy dwarf lionfish.
<And too likely the Starfish>
So I was wondering if this would work out with my tank size?
<It's not a "good gamble" in my estimation. Too likely the Rhinecanthus will chew the Lion... make it hard to feed it (by eating all foods itself).
I'd be looking for more suitable tankmates. Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/dwflioncompfaqs.htm>
my tank has been established for 1 yr.
Also, I am planning for my 125 gallon fish only tank with about 110 lbs of live rock. I already have
- 1 yellow tang about 3 inches
- 1 unicorn tang about 5 inches
<Mmm, which species of Naso? See WWM re... most all species, specimens get too big for this size, shaped system>
Would a Sohal tang fit in here without over stocking my tank?
<Mmm, maybe... as THE alpha fish. I would place last, and acquire a small specimen to start with. See WWM re this Acanthurus>
I am also looking at the below , unsure if they could go in either the 125 gallon or the 140,
-clown trigger fish
<... See WWM...>
-filefish
-Koran angelfish
<For quite a time... a few years if started small>
any information would be appreciated , and in what order should the fish be introduced.
Cheers
Claude
<Please learn to/use the search tool and indices on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish/Boxfish Compatibility -- 03/07/09 Hello Crew, <Kevin> First off, love the site is a huge help. <Ah, good> Currently in the process of establishing a new tank. It is a 4x2x2 and will contain two ribbon eels and two dwarf fuzzy lionfish. <Mmm... Kev... Ribbon eels are very hard to keep... and Lions are too likely to spine/sting them...> I have spent a lot of time preparing myself and my tank for these two especially the eels. I have noticed that on the compatibility chart on LiveAquaria.com *linked from a previous FAQ* (www.liveaquaria.com/general/compatibility_chart.cfm) that the boxfish is compatible with eels and lions. <Mmm, somewhat... but not really... Like all "puffers", too likely to sample/bite both groups of fishes> I suppose my question is simply, how can this tiny little fish <Which species? Some Ostraciids get feet long> be compatible when everything I have read tells me the lion will eat whatever will fit in its mouth, which would be easily be the boxfish? Thanks in advance Kevin <I'd re-think this entire stocking plan... It won't work. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dwarf Lionfish and Harlequin Tusk... -- 10/02/08 Hi again, <Jen> So, I have spent hours upon hours reading your sight (what would I do without you guys!) <Mmm, more Southpark? Futurama? Walks with the dog?> since I set up my tank 8 months ago and am still feeling like I have huge quantities to learn. I mentioned that my larger lion had killed by smaller lion, and that it was peacefully coexisting with the Congrogadus subduscens, but I still have a question about introducing a Harlequin Tusk to the duo. <Already answered... ayer> You mentioned that the tank is too small, which I understand, but I have been looking for a new and larger tank...maybe 150 gallons? When I upgrade, are these fish still considered incompatible? <Could be... I give good odds> Especially considering the aggressive nature of the Lion? <Is slow moving...> Or was the death of the smaller lion just a random occurrence? <Could be> The bigger lion was definitely charging it before it died. I guess what I am asking is are there any fish that can survive an aggressive Lion like mine?? <If they're aware, fast enough, there's room...> Thanks again for your advice, Jenny <Welcome. BobF>

Lionfish... comp.  - 6/23/08 6/25/08 Hello! <Hello!> I am hopefully soon getting a Lionfish and I was wondering about the types of fish and things that I can have in the tank. <Check out this great 2-part article by messieurs Calfo and Fenner: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i2/lionfish/keeping_lionfishes.htm > I know that I have to get rid of the small fish I currently have in the tank. I also have boxing crabs, hermit crabs, a starfish and a decorator crab. I do not care if the Lionfish eats the hermit crabs. <The lionfish would- a lion will most likely suck them down shell and all, and this would not be good for the fish> The boxing crabs hide in little cracks in my live rock so I think/hope they'd be safe. Do I need to get rid of the decorator crab? I want to keep the starfish if possible - its about medium to large size. <As long as you provide the lion with other, quality foods predation on these should be limited> I have a Tennent tang as well - do you think if I got a Lionfish that having both of those together would be too much for a 60 gallon tank? <Ahh....yes. I hate to be the harbinger of piscine doom, but a lionfish in a 60gal just won't work long term. Keep in mind that this fish can get longer than your aquarium is deep- the poor thing couldn't turn around!> The tang is about 5" long. Thank you for your help!! <No problem. Sorry to bring bad news- or give you an excuse to buy a 200gal...perspective, eh? Benjamin>

Re: Lionfish, Dwarf, comp.  - 6/23/08 Good Afternoon, <Hello again!> Referring to the email discussion below - would I be able to get a Dwarf Lionfish (as I am assuming that you were speaking of the Volitans Lionfish)? Would the Tennant Tang be ok with a Dwarf Lionfish? <The dwarf lion I think you could squeak by with, but others might argue. I would, however, avoid putting a tang in this size aquarium, as they need a lot of straight swimming space to thrive.> I also have boxing crabs, hermit crabs, a starfish and a decorator crab, would these be safe with a Dwarf Lionfish? <Aside from normal concerns about a lion trying to eat things larger than its capacity for swallowing/passing, yes.> Thank you for your time ;) <No problem. Benjamin>

Prospective 75g Set up... Lion comp.  -- 03/07/08 Hi WWM Crew, <Chris> I am looking at purchasing a 75 gallon tank that I want to set up as a FOWLR tank. The tank that I am going to buy is already completely set up and running with water, LR and all the equipment (protein skimmer, penguin BioWheel, etc.) The guy is moving away and I am just going to take everything over. I already have a couple of 8 gallon BioCubes so I am not totally new to saltwater, but I haven't had them long either, but now I am hooked. <Join the club!> My question is, I would like to get some lionfish in there, how viable is maybe doing the tank with 1 Fuzzy dwarf, 1 Fu Manchu dwarf, and 1 zebra dwarf? <Could be done> Will they fight with each other? Second, is there a good clean-up crew that will survive these fish? <You> Other possible plans include 1 Russell's Lion and some other colorful active fish (any suggestions?). <For you to read> Can I do a Russell's Lion with a dwarf lion and maybe like one other active fish? <Really gets too big for a 75...> Any other suggestions on what other fish would be good in there, compatibility-wise? 75 gal. seems big to me, but I know it is not when talking SW. Still in the planning stages and wanted to get some input. Thanks! Chris <Keep reading... Maybe start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm About the fifth tray down... Lionfishes, compatibility... Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lion Gut Blockage  11/28/2007 Hello there! Just one very quick question here... Is there anything we can do to help w/ a gut blockage? <Possibly> Our dwarf lion has not eaten for almost 2 weeks now and we just purchased some live food (ghost shrimp and rosy reds) <These last... a very poor idea> but he has absolutely no interest in any food we put in front of him. So I'm suspecting from what I've read on here that it is some form of gut blockage that is preventing him from eating. <Possibly> Is this going to be a waiting game to see if he snaps out of it? Or is there some kind of medication that could help? Thanks so much for all your help throughout the years! -Molly <The best thing to do is wait... if the animal has swallowed something large/ish that is not-digestible (shell from a hermit or snail, rock...) even this may not pass... Some folks try Epsom salt... in a dedicated treatment system... such use is mentioned in a few places on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf lionfish... comp.    10/22/07 Dear wet web media <Heya Ben!> I have a 220 litre tank and am wondering whether it is possible to mix two dwarf fuzzy lionfish with a fu Manchu. <Absolutely!!!> Best Regards Ben <Take care and good luck -- Brian Griffin>

Dwarf lion and orange tube anemone. Comp. Qs    8/19/07 I have a couple of questions for you guys. I have a dwarf lionfish that was recently purchased and is only about 2 inches in length. <Small!> I also have a fairly large skunk cleaner shrimp <Will be inhaled in time> and I was wondering what his chances of survival were with the dwarf lionfish given that the lionfish is adequately fed. Let me add that the aquarium in question is a 75 gallon with large amount of live rock offering many caves and hiding places. Also, what chance do my crabs and snails have with the dwarf lionfish. <Mmm, could also be meals...but less likely> On a related note, if the snails and crabs were gone, would serpent stars be sufficient to keep the tank clean or are there other organisms that can replace the crabs and snails that are not at risk from the dwarf lionfish? <Mmm possibly... see WWM re marine scavengers> Regarding the orange tube anemone, your site states that they will consume fish, but then goes on to say that feeding a tube anemone meaty foods can be lethal as they are filter feeders and I find in unlikely that both of these statements can be true. I have on what I consider good authority that the orange tube anemone is a filter feeder and poses no threat to fish, but I always like to check your site as well since I like to have more than one point of view before coming to any conclusions and I have always found your site very informative and helpful. So if you could clarify your opinion regarding the orange tube anemone as to whether or not it will consume fish I would be greatly appreciative. <Mmm, is this a Cerianthid? Not recommended for a few other reasons... have seen these Antipatharians consume large animals... Perhaps more of a defensive mechanism than predation, but... the result the same for the hapless dead. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Question, Dwarf Lions  6/10/07 Bob and Crew, <Mike> Thank you for your prompt informative feedback. Just wanted you to know your time was not wasted. I've started slowly increasing salinity and am off to pick up powerhead to add to system, after which I'll research growing whatever "macroalgae" is. <Mmm... really? Are purposeful forms of "larger than microscopic" thallophytes/algae that folks use...> A starving Mandarin was not part of my plan so I will remove this fish from my stocking list. Unfortunate, very interesting fish, but thank you for saving both of us from that inevitability. <Am glad> Re: the Dwarf Lion. One could certainly ask "what part of fits in his mouth did you not understand"? Are we talking about "whole" in his mouth as in a tiny Mandarin or Hermit Crab, or is anything smaller than the Lion itself at risk, as in the young Clowns and/or Shrimp? <Good question... and posted as well... It is very surprising to folks just how large an item these fishes (Pteroines) can inhale... if it can fit into the opening... it will likely be sucked up in time> Forgive me for seemingly asking the same question twice, but scratching the Dwarf Lion as well from my plan will be a disappointment second only to explaining to my son what happened to "Shrimpy and Nemo". I'm sure you can understand. If the answer is that a Lion must be the smallest in the tank, then the equation is rather simple, however unfortunate, and I will move on. I realize there are no guarantees, but I'm just trying to understand the risks so I may be able to make an informed decision. Thank you again for your time and help. It is very much appreciated. Mike <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm Scroll down to the tray on Lions... And do become familiar with the indices, search tool... much that is "related", needed to be familiar with is strategically arranged in the few hundred thousand FAQs archived. BobF>

Re: Stocking Question 6/10/07 Bob and Crew, Just a thank you note. No reply required. Questions answered and I'm moving on. How nice. That was a very informative link you sent me. I have since scratched the Dwarf Lion as well from my list. I am enjoying my new tank too much to risk it. I will stick a picture of a Lion on my background instead (joke). <Heeee!> Back to the selection drawing board. Thanks again. Mike <Enjoy the journey/adventure. BobF>

Undulated moray eel and dwarf lion? '¦No -- 05/07/07 Hi, I have an undulated moray eel. And  wanted to know, if dwarf zebra lionfish would get along with the moray. <There are several cases of lionfish having killed small moray eels and there are several cases of moray eels having killed lionfish. The undulated moray eel is rather on the piscivorous side. I would not try putting them together. Cheers, Marco.>

Dwarf Lion/Anthias Compatibility   4/22/07 Hello there.  Thank you, in advance for your help.  I have just spent hours reviewing the information on your site and have learned quite a bit.  I've also spent a fair amount of time over the last few weeks learning about the saltwater aquarium and how to choose compatible tankmates. <Good> To provide a little background, I have been running freshwater tanks for approximately two years, including a 55-gallon African cichlid tank which I have had for the past year and a half or so. Now, here is my question.  I currently have a 46-gallon bowfront saltwater tank.  I currently have one Squareback Anthias (3.5") and five various Damsels. <Yikes.... crowded already psychologically> I have a small amount of live rock in the tank and will be adding more shortly.  I am interested in getting a dwarf lionfish.  If he outgrows the tank, I will start a larger tank (actually, I will move the stuff in the current to the larger tank and then re-start the smaller one), so that should not be an issue.  The question should be obvious -- will the lionfish eat the Anthias? <Possibly, yes...> I have read varying answers on this topic, but have not found anything decisive on your site.  I plan to get a smallish (2-3") dwarf lion, which I hope would be small enough to give the Anthias time to grow. <Pseudanthias pleurotaenia/Anthiines period grow quite slowly... Dendrochirus et al. Pteroines... not so with much feeding...> Also, I would love to hear some suggestions on other compatible tankmates given this setup. Thank you, in advance, for your help! -Marty <Yikes... the list of possibilities is vast... Best for you to continue your quest by reading... checking your potentials with others, generating (ultimately) your own opinions. Bob Fenner>

Dendrochirus and Amphiprion Mixing  -- 4/9/07 Hi crew. <Hello.> Love the site, its very helpful. <Thank you.> My question today is whether a Fu Manchu Lionfish would be compatible with 2 True Percula Clownfish w/ Bubble Tip Anemone. <Even though the Fu Manchu is considered a dwarf species, it can still attain roughly 5' in length, and is more than capable of swallowing fish nearly half this size. The clowns would be at to much risk for comfort in my opinion, especially in a tank of this size.> My tank set up is a 40 Gallon, Aqua C Remora Skimmer, Marineland Penguin 200 Power Filter w/ Bio Wheel, a powerhead and 300w metal halides with 35 lbs. <Lots of light, a shallow water bio-tope?> of live rock, 20 lbs. of live sand, assorted corals, and a crocea clam. I know FML's grow quite small for lionfish and my clownfish are getting up there. I also heard that lionfish can get blinded by too much light and I have my metal halides on twelve hours a day, is that going to effect the lionfish. <I wouldn't go as far as to say it will blind the animal but it will cause it to be much more reclusive, I would prefer less light w/ this creature.> Thanks for the help. <Of course, Adam J.>

Lionfish in a reef...   3/21/07 I plan on adding a Dwarf Fuzzy Lion to my 75 gallon reef. <Better be careful with small fish then.> The reef has 260 watts of light. <Have kept Dendrochirus under this much light before'¦  They don't do well with it.  They also are not too keen on the high current that this tank will need.> I am adding SPS, and mushroom corals and maybe some polyps. <Allelopathy city.  Please do research these creatures before purchase.  This will be a highly incompatible mix.> I am going to add 1 Yellow Tang + Regal Tang, and 1 Copperband Butterfly. <Your tank is too small for this.  The yellow tang can go into a tank this size, but something larger, say 90 gallons would be better.  The Regal Tang will get WAY too big for this tank.  Need a 135 or better for this fish.  The Copperband Butterfly will likely sample the polyps on the SPS that you mention.  Have you researched any of these fish at all?> My only question is what kind of cleaners could I add that would be safe with the lion. <Maybe snails.> I know shrimps will be eaten.   <Yep.> Are crabs and snails ok?   What about a starfish?   <Snails should be ok.  As far as crabs go, you will likely find half of it later down the road'¦  The half with claws and eyes.  The Dendrochirus might decide to sample the Starfish arms too.> I have a remora skimmer, an Eheim canister and 2 Emperor 7000 hang ons. Would an anemone be safe with a pair of mated Perculas? <With what you have mentioned most likely not.  Anemones should not be kept with other corals/things that they can move around and sting.  These are motile invertebrates, and make no mistake, they WILL move.  It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.  Please do revise/research your livestock list before purchasing any of these magnificent animals.  You are likely going to experience a lot of deaths later down the road if you continue with the plan that you have outlined here.  Brandon.>

Re: Lion sel., comp.    3/4/07 Hello Crew: Thank you very much for all the help you have given me over the last year.  I inquired about Lion selection and have decided that a dwarf is the way to go.  I originally was going to move my reef into my empty 55 gallon and use my 75 gallon as the Lion tank.  Thanks to your help I have decided that would be WAY to <too> much work and not worth the stress to my current fish. <You are wise here>   So I will be setting up my 55 gallon to display a dwarf lion.  I will have 60 Lbs of live rock and crushed coral substrate.  It will have very low lighting and flow will be achieved with 2 Maxi Jet 1200's.  I was thinking of adding an Arc eye Hawk as well.  Is there any other suggestions you might have for a good tank mate taking into account my size limitations with the 55.  I really appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thank you, <Mmm... likely you will want something that moves more than the other two fish selections... and it has to be bigger than the Lion can swallow... Many choices still... Do give the WWM site a scan... or two. Bob Fenner>

Opinions on Compatibility of Dwarf Fuzzy Lion and QT Question   1/30/07 Greetings Crew, I have a 55g reef setup with a 20g refugium and Aqua-C Ev-240 Skimmer and a 46g QT with a small skimmer.  The 55g has 3 cleaner shrimp, 1 Pair of Black Perculas, 1 Sixline Wrasse, & 1 Fairy Wrasse.  My Quarantine Tank is currently housing a Yellow Tang and Flame Angel in for almost 2 weeks and I am receiving a 1.5" Dwarf Fuzzy Lion tomorrow. <Mmm, this Dendrochirus can/will inhale your shrimp, and/or clowns in time if placed with them> My first question is one that I have read varying responses too from NO WAY to will work if...  I was wondering if I can keep the Dwarf Fuzzy Lion with the cleaner shrimp and small fish currently all 2-3"? <Can, temporarily... as stated, the Lion will likely ingest them in time> I have read that if the cleaner shrimp have established their role that they won't be eaten.  However I have two skunk cleaners who are always pregnant and 1 scarlet cleaner who tends not to clean, will the lack of cleaning lead to his demise? <Mmm, good question... I do believe there may be something to this. See my article, further notes in the FAQs re the genus Labroides> Also can a 4" fish fit into a 6-7" Dwarf Lion Mouth? <Oh yes> I am planning on turning my qt into another permanent tank so if the Dwarf Lion will not be compatible in the reef I will turn him into the centerpiece of the 46g. My second question is about disease treatment in my qt.  I treated the flame and yellow tang for black spot a few days after receiving them with a freshwater dip with a small amount(2 drop per g) of formalin (37%) which worked well to get rid of the black spot.  However 3 days ago the flame had 1 white spot on his tail... I didn't want to jump the gun... <Good> but,  I have this qt because of an earlier ich problem so I also wanted to catch it early. <Mmm, just one spot? Not likely Crypt>   So 2 days ago I set up another freshwater dip with a higher concentration of formalin (8 drops per g) and vacuumed the qt tank.  Today the single white spot is still there and the tang is showing no sign of ich... which doesn't seem possible if this actually is ich... <Agreed> I am not going to treat the QT for ich yet. Any ideas of what this possibly is? <"An owee"...> Could it be maybe damage from the tangs tail or collateral damage from the formalin dip? <Yes, perceptive> By the way the QT temp is 78F. Thanks for all your help. You guys have been a great help to me. -- Manny Vargas <Thank you for sharing, writing so well. Bob Fenner>

Keeping Dwarf Lion Question   12/28/06 Hi there, <Howdy!> My name is Joe, and my 36 gallon saltwater aquarium has finished its  cycling process, and has sat for a week. I would like to keep a Dwarf Lion, but doing internet research hasn't given me all much needed info, or complete info for that. So I have a few questions 1. Will the dwarf lion work in a FOWLR tank? 30pounds of Live Rock <Mmm, a FOWLR tank is fine for these fishes... but your tank volume/size is border-line too small...> 2. I understand he eats most clean-up crews, but are there any I can add to the tank? Maybe conches, snails, starfish, etc. If I cannot add any, do you have  a suggestion to keep the tank cleaner of algae and such, other than my own maintenance? <Best for you to be the clean-up crew... not to place anything that might be swallowed...> 3. Do you have a suggestion for a good tank mate, maybe a fish that will possibly help control algae, if no clean up crew members can be added? <Not for this sized system really... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marscavart.htm and the linked files above> Tank Info Bak Pak 2r up to 60 gallons - Protein Skimmer and Bio filter 620 SEIO powerhead 200 watt heater 3 inches of sand, play sand on bottom, Arag sand on top Soon to add 30pounds of live rock, some fake. Temp- 80 degrees Salinity - 1.022-1.023 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 10 (going to do water change before adding any fish or  rock) Thanks <And here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrochirus.htm and the linked files at top... You have a good start going... and appear to be receptive, intelligent... A little study, prudence... and you will do fine. Bob Fenner> Dwarf Lionfish compatibility with other dwarf Lionfishes.    12/1/06 Hi < Greetings! > I had just a quick question about whether numbers of the same type or one of each variety of dwarf lionfish were compatible. < Lionfish generally tolerate each other well regardless of being of the same or differing species. > Thanks! < Most welcome, Emerson > Danni

Lionfish/shrimp compatibility 10/11/2006 Thanks in advance as you folks have been very diligent in answering my questions. <<You're welcome in advance!>> I've looked through FAQ's on the dwarf lionfish and now realize that if I get one, my peppermint shrimp is probably in trouble. <<Yes, if by trouble you mean eaten.>> The dwarf zebra lionfish at the LFS is aprox.  2" what I wanted to know is what about my 2" blood shrimp and my cleaner shrimp? I do not want to lose them.  All the FAQ's mention the cleaner as a possibility but none mention blood shrimp I do know from your site it depends on the individual lionfish but how likely is it? <<Lionfish eat shrimp, period.  The question comes into play weather or not they will leave a known 'cleaner' alone, which both of the aforementioned shrimp are.  In my experience, they will be consumed in time.  Now, if you're starting with a very small lion, and large shrimp, the relationship may be established, but don't bet on it.  If your shrimp are a real prize to you, I wouldn't risk it, but if their loss is less than tragic for you, you can try.>> Paul <<Good luck my friend. Lisa.>>

Bi-color angel vs. flame angel  - 09/01/06 Hello Crew, <Hey, Mike G with you today.> Thank you so much for your help in the past.  You are truly an asset to the aquarium community.  I have spent many hours reading your comments and learning a whole bunch. I ran into a bad situation with a 5 inch bicolor angel.  He fit into the community tank wonderfully for a couple of months and then started to pick on the 5 inch dwarf lionfish to no end.  The active lionfish responded by hiding to the corner of the tank and looking sad.   <Angels have been known to be aggressive, but I have yet to hear of one that actually bullied a lion. Sounds like you've got a particularly nasty fellow.> Although I love them all, I must say that the dwarf lion is like a puppy to me. To calm down the situation, the only thing I can think of was to take the bicolor angel to my LFS that belongs to a national pet retail chain before I go on vacation in order to put him in a kind of fish jail.   <Eek! This is what we call "foreshadowing"> Although the store's policy and their overall setup are less then ideal, I get to know the caretaker of the fish department over time.  Even though I don't really trust the store, I came to know that he is a true fish lover. When I return from vacation to pick up my bi-color angel from the LFS, I was told that an inexperienced associate have mistakenly sold my fish as a very large Damsel though a series of errors.   I was also told that there is not a possibility for them to get it back from whomever they have sold it to.   Needless to say, I was very disappointed, but I do appreciate their honesty. <Ouch! I would be disappointed, as well.>   At the same time, I realized that he was actually doing me a favor by holding it for me against their policy.  I was promised that a replacement will be ordered, only that they won't know for sure when they'll have it in stock.  Although the bicolor angel is not a rare fish, it is hard to find one that would live by eating like a pig as the one I�ve lost.  Meanwhile, I have purchased a flame angle to fills the empty space.  I really needed a red fish in the tank. After about a month, the replacement finally arrived at the store.  The only thing is that it is about the size of an average retail damsel in contrast to the large angel that I used to have.  He told me that they�ll try to get another one that matches in size to the one I've lost if I am welling to wait. Here is my question: I now have a 3 inch flame angel in the tank.  Would a small bicolor fits or rather a larger one would have a better chance in this case? <I'm going to have to say neither. Unless your aquarium is exceptional and your flame angel a pacifist, I wouldn't chance it. Dwarf Angels are notoriously combative with one another, and I don't see any good coming out of such a mix, most especially when one (the flame angel) has a clear advantage in his size. As far as your store credit goes, see if you can put it towards some equipment you need, additives you're running low on, or more compatible livestock. This way, everyone wins.> Thank you for all your help. <You're welcome. Good luck! Mike G> -Hoshing

Night Abductions... Sick red African Star, also dwarf lionfish   Scotter's go   7/27/06 Hello Bob, <Scott F. in for Bob tonight> I love your book and your wonderful website.  You guys are keeping my fish alive! <Well, YOU are doing the hard part- we're just along for the ride!> Here are a few questions for you'¦ <Okay..> I have a two months old (relatively new) 55G reef setup and green and brown algae are starting to form.  So I ran out and got a sea star to clean the tank.  It turned out to be an (Protoreastor lincki) African or Horned Sea Star, which I don't know if it is reef safe. <Not really, IMO.. They can eat all sorts of sessile inverts.> I guess I may not have gone though the acclimation procedures long enough (30 min) when I put him in the tank.  A few minutes after it went in, clear, slimy strings start to floats around it.  The body goes from being totally smooth to slight sandpapery in texture.  Although he changes shaped a little bit, he hasn't moved since I  put him in the tank last night.  I also tested the water in the bag after the fact, and it is at SG .018 and my tank water is at .023.  Is it too drastic of a change for him?  Although it is not moving, I can still see some wiggling tube feet coming out at the bottom of the star.  Is he going  to make it? <Potentially problematic...The environmental change may have been too drastic. This could be a response to extreme stress by the animal. Keeping environmental parameters stable is the best you can do right now.> My existing serpent star is doing great!  Which sea star is right for cleaning algae in a reef tank? <I'd rely on snails for that job, myself.> Secondly, I have a 5' dwarf Fuzzy Lionfish (my sea puppy) which I just love. <Very endearing fish!> He is well fed (he eats anything I put in front of him) and doing very well except for a slightly clouded eye on one side.  He never hides, always out in the open (day and night) playing power head surfing by zooming across  the tank.  Here is the problem; some of my other fish (over half its size) are disappearing one after another overnight.  Two Maroon Clowns and three Damsels, along with a 3' Royal Gramma.  There is no evidence that they ever get sick and died and turned into hermit crab's lunch.  Yet, I can't be sure (and refuse to believe) that my cute little Lionfish could have eaten all these good sized fish.  I have found nothing on the floor.  Power head and filters are free of fish filets.  Are we looking at a possible case of UFO fish abductions? <Before you call out Moulder and Skulley, I'd think that it is possible for this Lionfish to do some chomping on fishes that are a good percentage of his own size! You might also be looking at a Mantis Shrimp, crab, or other predatory live rock hitchhiker that comes out at night. Perhaps checking out the tank in the middle of the night could yield some evidence.> Thanks for your help! -Hosh <The truth is out there, Hosh...Keep searching! Regards, Scott F.>

Sick red African Star, also dwarf lionfish tankmate meals   RMF's go   7/27/06 Hello Bob, <Hosh> I love your book and your wonderful website.  You guys are keeping my fish alive! <Actually you are... am glad we can/help you> Here are a few questions for you'¦ I have a two months old (relatively new) 55G reef setup and green and brown algae are starting to form.  So I ran out and got a sea star to clean the tank.   <Mmm... Asteroids are not really "algae eaters"> It turned out to be an (Protoreastor lincki) African or Horned Sea Star, which I don't know if it is reef safe.   <... Is not... and inappropriate for this sized system> I guess I may not have gone though the acclimation procedures long enough (30 min) when I put him in the tank.  A few minutes after it went in, clear, slimy strings start to floats around it.  The body goes from being totally smooth to slight sandpapery in texture.  Although he changes shaped a little bit, he hasn't moved since I put him in the tank last night. <Echinoderms don't "like" chemical, physical changes in their world>   I also tested the water in the bag after the fact, and it is at SG .018 and my tank water is at .023. <Yeeikes>   Is it too drastic of a change for him? <Oh, yes> Although it is not moving, I can still see some wiggling tube feet coming out at the bottom of the star.  Is he going to make it?   <Doubtful for long here> My existing serpent star is doing great!  Which sea star is right for cleaning algae in a reef tank? <None> Secondly, I have a 5' dwarf fuzzy lionfish (my sea puppy) which I just love.   He is well fed (he eats anything I put in front of him) and doing very well except for a slightly clouded eye on one side.  He never hides, always out in the open (day and night) playing power head surfing by zooming across the tank.  Here is the problem; some of my other fish (over half its size) are disappearing one after another overnight. <Inhaled likely by this Lion> Two maroon clowns and three damsels, along with a 3' royal Gramma.  There is no evident that they ever get sick and died and turned into hermit crabs lunch.  Yet, I can't be sure (and refuse to believe) that my cute little lionfish could have eaten all these good sized fish. <Did do so most likely> I have found nothing on the floor.  Power head and filters are free of fish filets.  Are we looking at a possible case of UFO fish abductions? <Heeee! Just bigger, faster tankmates. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help! -Hosh Lionfish vs. brittle star  7/18/06 Hi there just a quick one would a zebra lion fish eat/attack a brittle star fish. Many thanks for all your help J.C. <Highly unlikely a Lion would try to ingest a Ophiuroid... not palatable... Bob Fenner>

New Marine Tank, Set-Up and Livestock ... Dwarf Lion comp.... AdamJ's go   7/6/06 Hi there, WWM crew, <Hey there Jeremy.> I've been a long time reader of the site, definitely one of, if not the best sites around, in my opinion...but on to the pressing issues. <Of course'¦'¦.of course.> I have a 55 gallon system set up, currently housing a single 1-1/2" Dendrochirus brachypterus, and a few hunks (about 7 or 8 pounds) of live rock, though I'm planning on adding more later on. <Be sure to cure and quarantine the rock in a separate receptacle since there is established livestock within the tank.> The substrate is a combination of 50 pounds of 'dead' sugar-fine sand, 20 pounds of Nature's Ocean live sand, and about a pound of sand from a friend's established reef. As far as filtration, I have both a Magnum 350 and a Fluval 404 canister filter, as well as a Coralife Super Skimmer rated for 65 gallons. <Not a fan at all of canisters'¦'¦especially on Marine Aquaria.> My questions are, 1. Is this sufficient filtration for this size system? <I would say that barring the protein skimmer'¦it is the wrong type (inappropriate filtration).> I've read that sumps and the like are better as far as nitrates are concerned, <Sump is a just a fancy term from a down-current receptacle that is used to hide away equipment. Well if you cram it sense with bio-media that traps detritus it can be just as bad as a canister, that said if configured correctly, i.e., large protein skimmer, and macro-algae refugia (things that aid in nutrient control) sumps can be quite useful, not to mention the added water volume'¦there is much posted on WWM on ways of setting them up.> but I don't think I have the room under the tank, due to the stand I have; a sump for me would have to be right around 11" wide or so. <There are a few glass tanks that fit this configuration, not to mention custom/DIY acrylic jobs.> 2. I've heard that adding live rock to an established system can make it cycle again...should I worry about this a whole lot? <If it uncured yes a lot, and even if it is cured I recommend quarantining in a separate tank for a minimum of 30 days, you don't have to use another tank, a trash can or Rubbermaid container would do just as fine.> 3. Can I add another dwarf? Possibly a D. zebra? My LFS told me they don't fare as well as D. brachypterus, so I'm slightly wary of them. <Not to mention the size'¦these dwarfs are around 7-8' full-grown, I prefer tanks of 75 gallons+ for adults.> 4. Would you happen to know of a few interesting tankmates? I'd like something active and outgoing, like a tang or an angel, but I'm not sure what will be compatible with the dwarf lion(s). <The lion will limit you, not only being predatory but with it's adult size.  Other ambush predators such as larger Hawkfish would work well. Most fish that I recommend for novices are either to small (because of the lion) or too large for your system.> Hardiness would definitely be a plus, this being my first venture into marine aquariums. Thanks, <Anytime.> Jeremy in CA <Adam also in SoCal.>

Few questions on D. brachypterus. Bob's try   7/6/06 Hi there, WWM crew, <Jeremy> I've been a long time reader of the site, definitely one of, if not the best sites around, in my opinion...but on to the pressing issues. <Okay!> I have a 55 gallon system set up, currently housing a single 1-1/2" Dendrochirus brachypterus, and a few hunks (about 7 or 8 pounds) of live rock, though I'm planning on adding more later on. The substrate is a combination of 50 pounds of 'dead' sugar-fine sand, 20 pounds of Nature's Ocean live sand, and about a pound of sand from a friend's established reef. As far as filtration, I have both a Magnum 350 and a Fluval 404 canister filter, as well as a Coralife Super Skimmer rated for 65 gallons. <Sounds good...> My questions are, 1. Is this sufficient filtration for this size system? <Mmm, for what you have thus far, yes. I'd be considering switching out the canister in the long/er run for something easier to maintain, with more capacity...> I've read that sumps and the like are better as far as nitrates are concerned, but I don't think I have the room under the tank, due to the stand I have; a sump for me would have to be right around 11" wide or so. <Could be done still...> 2. I've heard that adding live rock to an established system can make it cycle again... should I worry about this a whole lot? <Mmm, "thoughts w/o action are worthless"... I wouldn't worry, but I would plan, store all new LR in quarantine, to prevent such large/r recycling events> 3. Can I add another dwarf? Possibly a D. zebra? My LFS told me they don't fare as well as D. brachypterus, so I'm slightly wary of them. <Could add> 4. Would you happen to know of a few interesting tankmates? I'd like something active and outgoing, like a tang or an angel, <Mmm... perhaps one of the smaller Tang species... see WWM re "Selection" subFAQs files on the Family, Genera, species listed...), not a pomacanthid. The ones that would be small enough for this size tank would be eaten, the larger ones would pick on the Lion/s, die from psychological stress in too short a time> but I'm not sure what will be compatible with the dwarf lion(s). Hardiness would definitely be a plus, this being my first venture into marine aquariums. Thanks, Jeremy in CA <Keep reading, dreaming, compiling notes... you'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Few questions on D. brachypterus   7/8/06 Hey again, <Howdy> Thanks for such a prompt response, from both Adam and Mr. Fenner. I probably will go the sump/refugium route (I've already drafted plans for one), most likely with Chaetomorpha as a nutrient export, as Caulerpa is illegal here in California, from what I'm told. <Yes... and sounds good> I did have a few further questions about additional livestock... I read up on the Longnose Butterflies, genus Forcipiger, and was wondering if one of either F. flavissimus or F. longirostris would be suitable for my system, with or without the additional dwarf. <Mmm, well, could use more space, but would likely go starting with a "medium sized" specimen initially (body length 3, 3 1/2")> Also, considering that there's not much the lion(s) won't eat, are there any interesting invertebrates that would do well in the system? <Mmm, most anything larger than mouth size that will in turn leave them alone... some examples posted on WWM... both Lion and Dwarf Lion Compatibility FAQs files> Thanks again, Jeremy (btw...that's NorCal, Adam ;) <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

- Dwarf lion and domino damsel? 6/25/06 - Dear Crew, Many thanks for the great help you provide to eager novice hobbyists like myself. Over the past year a friend and I have set up a 26 gal. mini-reef, which is now humming along beautifully thanks in large part to the info. on your website. Just a few weeks ago I set up a new 35 gallon aquarium. Aside from water, the only things in the aquarium at the moment are a few rocks, a 2-3" bed of fine-grade aragonite, and a Threespot Dascyllus. Eventually I'd like to keep a dwarf lionfish. My question is, will the damsel have to go when the lionfish comes in?
<Probably, but it's also possible the damsel will avoid the lionfish.>
 I've looked through the FAQs trying to find an answer to this question, but there seem to be several (e.g. yes, the lion will eat it; no, as long as the damsel is too big to fit in the lion's mouth; yes, the damsel will harass the lion). <Doubt the lion would eat it, damsel will likely be too wily.>
 I wonder if I could try to pin you down on this one?
<Not any more than to give you a 50/50 chance with things slightly in favor of the damsel.> Cheers and thanks again, Kevin <Cheers, J -- >

Puffer stung by Lion? Happens   6/11/06 Good Morning Crew! Two days ago my daughter was watching the tank and told me, "Mom, the Lionfish just collided with the Puffer and I think it got stung." <Yikes...> and I thought nothing of it. I came home yesterday and this is what my Puffer looked like (see attached)! <I see it, but can't move, place... is a write-protected .pdf...>   It is a 100 gallon tank with a  Queen Angel, <This species needs more room...> the Puffer and a Dwarf lion, <Not compatible... as you now know> all small juveniles about 3 inches. There is also a 1-2 inch mantis shrimp in the tank from the live rock.  Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrates about 15-20. It has been established about a year. Could it be that the Lion stung the puffer or maybe it had an encounter with the mantis? <Could be either>   Is there anything I should do for the puffer?   I thought about Epsom salts, but there doesn't appear to be any swelling.  He is acting normal (other than avoiding showing me the wounded side) and eating like a pig as always!  Thanks guys (and girls!) <The Epsom might be about the best idea... but at this point I would just hold off. The Lionfish should not be housed with the puffer. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish/Compatibility  - 5/11/06 Hi guys! <Hello Ashley> I have a 46 gallon bowfront SW tank and would like to add a Dwarf Lionfish but I feel like my LFS is telling me what I want to hear and not necessarily what's best for my tank so I wanted to run it by you first.  I have a Bak Pak bio filter, 2 Penguin powerheads (170 gallons each), two 96 watt PC lamps, about 55 lbs of live rock, 1 coral beauty, 1 clownfish, 1 Firefish, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 BTA, 1 sand sifting star fish, and 1 hermit crab (hitchhiker on LR).  Can I add a dwarf lionfish or will it be too much?  I am very good about doing weekly water changes every time I test it everything reads in the "ideal" or "safe" category.  In the future I would like to add some corals <<Would not mix corals with anemones.>> but I've heard things agreeing and disagreeing that Lionfish are messy so they aren't a good match with corals since they degrade the water quality.  Is this true? <<They can produce much waste which can increase nitrate levels and nitrate levels should be kept under 20ppm in a reef type system.>>
 Also, if you think it's ok to add one which would you advise, I was thinking about a Zebra Lionfish.
<<I wouldn't, especially with the Firefish present, which may become dinner for the Lionfish.>>
 One final thing...are my lights too bright for a Lionfish?  
<<Should be fine.>> Thanks & have a good night! <<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>> -Ashley

Mixing, matching Dwarf Lions 12/16/05 Hi Ryan here again, I have been debating now and have decided to get a fuzzy lion. I would just like to know for future tanks is it best to mix two different lions or one type ex. (fuzzy with Fu Man Chu versus 2 Fuzzies?) <Mmm, do mix pretty well, but ones of the same species do appear to associate more closely (in the wild)> I would also like to know what other Scorpionfish you would recommend to go in the tank because I have now chosen to put only them in. I am still reading all the info on WWM and am still only about a quarter the way through. <Takes a good long while> I would also like to know the best way to keep the tank clean I have a 100 gallon and 2 Millennium 3000 filters and a skimmer on the way, but any other items that would keep it as safe as possible for my little guy would be wonderful. Fish friend in need,               Ryan <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish, mixing  12/17/05 Hi, Ryan here again,
<Hello Ryan> I have been debating now and have decided to get a fuzzy lion. I would just like to know for future tanks is it best to mix two different lions or one type ex. (fuzzy with Fu Man Chu versus 2 Fuzzies?) I would also like to know what other Scorpionfish you would recommend to go in the tank because I have now chosen to put only them in.  I would also like to know the best way to keep the tank clean I have a 100 gallon and 2 millennium 3000 filters and a skimmer on the way, what other items would I need keep it as safe as possible for my little guy? <Ryan, provided they have plenty of swimming room, lionfish are not aggressive toward each other so I don't believe you would encounter any problems in mixing provided the fuzzy isn't bite size.  In your 100 gallon tank you could put three of the Pterois specie in but that would be the max as they can grow 8 to 9 inches.  There are several different Pterois so one of each would make a nice display.  The smaller lions tend to hang around the bottom whereas the larger (Pterois) lionfish tend to favor the mid level of the tank and always cruising.  Lionfish are generous waste producers so a very efficient mechanical filter is a must.  I'm not so sure two Millenniums is going to do the trick especially if you are going to use the BioGrid plates in them as your biological filter.  I would be thinking more along the lines of a sump with biological filtration media installed.  Filter pads must be changed/cleaned on a weekly basis.  Activated carbon is also recommended along with weekly 10% water changes. I'm going to post a link here that you should read.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm  James (Salty Dog)>

A Lion for my Clowns  9/13/05 Hi there,
<Hello> I have a mature 40 gallon tank, the only inhabitants being 2 percula clowns, 3" + 2". Is any dwarf lionfish safe for these both in terms of being eaten and being stressed out.
<Any lionfish, even the dwarf will produce too much waste in your size tank.  Personally, I wouldn't trust a dwarf with clowns.  A Dottyback and/or wrasse would color up your tank nicely.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks
Dan

Dwarf lionfish questions 7/28/05 I have a well-established 46 gallon tank.  Currently I have 2 Percula Clowns, 1 Chocolate Chip starfish and a Coral Banded Shrimp (approx. 2 inches long).
< Sounds like a barren tank, and mostly a FOWLR. >
 I am interested in getting a Dwarf Lionfish but am concerned about its compatibility.
< Well I think you should be okay.  I've seen a few of them in tanks with coral banded shrimp and clownfish.  I don't think I would buy the biggest dwarf lion and keep it with baby clownfish, but in general I think this sounds fine. >
 How large does a Dwarf Lionfish grow to be and would it  harm or eat any of my current fish?
< Grow to about 5 inches, and if well fed with a variety of frozen foods it should be worry free. >
 Thanks Mark <  Blundell  > <<Sooner or later he'll suck'em up brah. RMF>>
FAQ daily question that was asked 8/7/05 Minimum tank size for a dwarf lionfish 8/6/05 I bought a 24 Gal Nano Cube that I was going to have for Saltwater. The only thing I want in there is a fuzzy dwarf lion fish.
< That is a very small tank.  But if you plan to have one and only one fish, you may be okay. >
 I have been getting mixed opinions on if the tank is to small and I've decided to ask the experts!
< Well that is a tough call.  Personally I wouldn't do it, but I think it can easily be done. >
 Would this size tank be fine for him/her? I lied. I also want a yellowhead Jawfish. Would they be fine together?
< Fine together, and probably okay in that size tank.  Too bad you already made the purchase, as a 55 gal would be much better. > This was posted on the FAQ, in my limited understanding, wouldn't' a Jawfish either stay in its burrow in this tank or be food for the lion.   <Yes> I'm just picturing that small a tank, that as soon as Jawfish pokes its head out, it would be gone. Plus if you make a sandbed adequately deep enough for that jaw, you wouldn't have enough room for the lion to swim about? <Hee! We are in agreement... totally. Bob Fenner> Blundell is far more knowledgeable than I, but thought this response odd. <I as well>
Re: FAQ daily question that was asked  08/08/2005 You both may certainly be correct.  I wouldn't think a dwarf lion would take out a Jawfish.  But I guess it may.   <Will... definitely, in time. Dang Pteroines should be called "suck-em-ups" commonly> Although I do agree that this size tank is just way too small.  The fish may live and grow, but that just can't be a happy life for them. Blundell <Mmm, okay. BobF>

The lion and the shrimp. I have a Chu man fu lion and I'm thinking of a dwarf lion. The Chu man fu is not interested in the coral banded or the cleaner shrimp yet, he is about 2.5 to 3" long. Will he or a dwarf lion eat my shrimp. The shrimp are a couple of years old and are larger than my lion. Thanks, Dan <<Yep, both a Fu Man Chu, and any Dwarf (probably genus Dendrochirus) Lion will eventually suck up your Shrimp. Probably at night. Bob Fenner>>

FU MAN CHU Hey boys, Been a few weeks, but I can't stay away for too long. Quick question: Would a Fu Man Chu lion eat my cleaner and coral banded shrimp?  <Yes... as fast as an Enron/Anderson employee can shred documents> I'm thinking of almost emptying my tank except for my Emperor (75gall). He's getting quite rowdy.  <they are funny that way <smile>> I figured a Fu Man Chu would be a nice small, hardy, tankmate that he would probably leave alone.  <actually... there is a problem here Houston. Big rowdy angels are notorious for picking sores on stingrays, lionfish and other benthic dwellers in close confines. I wouldn't bet on this match up. Might work... might not. Even if it does... there may be some difficulty with the lionfish not being fast enough to compete with the angel for food> However I don't want to lose the cleaning benefit of the shrimp.  <leave the shrimp...send the lion packing> It's so fun to see that angel lying on it's side in ecstasy as he's being cleaned.  <like the 'ole Q-tip in the ear...hehe, Ahhhhhh> The cleaner actually goes inside the gills. Thoughts? <yes... the Pittsburgh Steelers will still be serious contenders for the Super bowl this year despite off season losses of key personnel> Thanks guys. Rick <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

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  >>

Two Lionfish... and a partridge in a pear tree Merry Christmas <and the same to you my friend> I am in the process of cycling a 55 gal fish only tank. When the cycling is complete I would like to house two dwarf lion fish (Zebra and Fu Man Chu) and have them as the only inhabitants. Is a 55gal large enough for these two fish? Regards Paul Cole  <seems reasonable for many years... perhaps not when they are full grown... the Fu-Manchu gets around 8" and the zebra gets to 10" and the tank is only 13" wide (Outside Diameter). Still... 2 fish in this tank will be fine in the 3 year plan. A wide 75 or 90 gallon would really be sweet for the long haul. Best regards, Anthony>

Lionfish Compatibility Dear sir, <Hi, MikeD here> Don't mean to intrude, but I found you to be a knowledgeable person regarding sea-aquariums, so... Perhaps you can indeed give me some good advice...
<We'll sure try> In the near future, I'm planning on installing a decent size marine aquarium, in the area of 625-700 liters (about 150-180 gallons, I think)<This is a beautiful sized tank>. Probably, I'll try to install it as a indo-pacific imitation   habitat (any advice on that?)<I'm not sure what you're referring to. Perhaps the single most important question is whether you wish to concentrate primarily on fish or corals, which quite a large difference. If you're speaking of residents, that's often fine, but not a requirement, with many fish from the same region living in different mini-ecosystems so they never encounter each other in the wild> I'd like to include a (dwarf) lionfish species, but my daughter also really want me to introduce a 'Nemo' clown-fish. Would this work?<With the dwarf lionfish, particularly, often quite well.> I first though of the Volitans species, but since they grow way to large, they certainly will take the clowns for food, I think<You think correctly!**grin** Large lions require particular fiends, although some mixes, such as Lionfish/Triggerfish are very commonly fatal>... Will the smaller dwarfs try the same?<Not unless starving. The vast majority of the diet of wild dwarf lionfish is comprised of small shrimp and crabs, very easily duplicated in a home tank.> tnx for your opinion ;) (and I'll be reading up your site, in the meanwhile ;)) <Thank you and enjoy> regards, David Ceulemans Dendrochirus biocellatus (Fu Man Chu Lion) Hi Bob <MikeD here instead...can you deal with the disappointment?> I hope you don't mind me emailing you direct. I am looking for further information on the Fu Man Chu Lion fish.<OK> I am setting up a 48" x 24" x 24" reef aquarium, used to keep a lionfish about 15-years ago. Seen a Fu Man Chu in a local marine shop, and quite fell in love with it.<They ARE sweet!> So to get to the point, I would love to keep it in a reef system, could you suggest suitable companions for a reef tank in terms of fish.<Sure...anything that won't fit into its mouth> Also would he consume hermit crabs<No, the shells are too hard to swallow>, snails<ditto> and cleaner shrimps?<With gusto, as shrimp are their main diet. This is  as close to a Scorpionfish as you'll find in the Lionfish group. Negatives are 1) they hide in the LR a lot, 2) tend to be very aggressive w/each other, and 3) often are very difficult to wean over to frozen/prepared foods. Positives are 1) they are beautiful, 2) totally non-destructive towards anything not considered food, 3)actually quite hardy as long as sufficient foods can be found, and 4) often do well in fairly small containers as they don't swim much and usually move by "crawling".  Any help at all?> Regards Neil

Dendrochirus Biocellatus (Fu Man Chu Lion) Thank you for the info MikeD, <Back again and you're very welcome> Guess my problem is I love clownfish also, maybe I should think along the lines of two tanks, one to house the lionfish and one to house everything that will fit in its mouth.<What did I miss here? I don't see a problem with a pair of Clownfish (preferably a larger species) in a 4 foot aquarium with a Fu Manchu or even a Dwarf Fuzzy. There should be enough room to avoid territory conflicts and if you're willing to make sure that a ready supply of live ghost shrimp is on hand, it could work nicely. Keep in mind that Fu Man Chu is among the smallest of the Lionfish> Back to the drawing board! Regards Neil

Creating a Compatible Community (Stocking Question) 'Sup WWM crew! <Hey! Scott F. with ya' today!> I'm just coming back from deployment and I want to set up a 40 gallon aquarium. I'd really like to get a Fu Manchu lionfish, but I would like to have at least one other fish in the aquarium if possible. So far I've considered a Valentini puffer, a small Snowflake Eel, or a Centropyge angel (Coral Beauty or Pygmy maybe). <I would not even think about the Puffer or the Eel in this sized tank, so the Centropyge looks pretty good!> I have a BakPak IIR from my last aquarium, and I'd be buying a good hang-on filter. I know it would be a bit crowded, but I'd be picking up smaller sized fish, since I plan on buying a much larger (150 gal or more) aquarium in the next 6 months. <I'd avoid assembling this mix of fishes until a larger tank is up and running. Even then, mixing a Puffer and the Lion could be a potential problem.> Anyway, I was wondering what you folks think about this setup... Does it sound good? Or are there any other tankmates that would work? Or am I crazy!!! Thanks, Jarin <You're certainly not crazy, Jarin! But I would consider smaller tankmates in this sized setup. Or, better yet- why not just keep the Lionfish on his own for a while, then move him into your larger tank, followed by the other proposed tankmates. This will help this shy fish become more comfortable...The best way to go, IMO! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Dwarf Lionfish Questions Right now I have Volitans lionfish in my 150 gallon tank...any problem if its a male Volitans and a male dwarf? <Not usually. The dwarf Fuzzy lionfish (Dendrochirus brachypterus) is the only one that I'm aware of in which two males will consistently fight, with sex often being difficult to determine in the P. Volitans.> Also Let me know what you recommend for a dwarf. A short fin? A Fu Man Chu? etc.....tell me which one you find the best for home aquaria. <In my experience, the Fuzzy Dwarf listed above is both the easiest to maintain and the hardiest, with the Fu Manchu often being among the hardest to convert over to non-living foods as well as being completely intolerant of others of its own kind. The P. russellii is, in my opinion, the easiest of all the lions to keep and somewhat smaller than the P. Volitans at about 12" when mature yet still mixing well with its larger and smaller relatives.  You may want to consider one or two of the more traditional medium Scorpionfish as well, as they are also compatible, often quite colorful and remaining on the bottom, thus not competing for the same tank areas.....I have a False Stonefish (S. diabola), a New Guinea Scorpion (S. papuanensis) and a Barbfish (S. brasiliensis) all housed with lions and doing famously.  It never ceases to amaze me that some of these decidedly predatory species are among the least territorial in the hobby with some actually appearing to form actual "friendships", seeking each other out for company. For added variety, the morays of the genus Echidna and Zebra morays also frequently fit in with no disputes of any kind.  A Lionfish/Moray tank ALWAYS gets amazement and attention, yet is surprisingly easy.> Thanks Derik

Lionfish Tankmates Hi Bob; <Hi...you've MikeD here> I have a 40 gallon tank with about 30 lbs of live rock and a 2 inch dwarf lionfish.  What would make good tankmates? What species of fish?<Species that are slower moving and not territorial usually works best, such as a marine Betta, a smaller Scorpionfish, Waspfish or a Hamlet. Small species will be considered food, so something in the 3"-5" range is your best choice.>. What species of inverts?<Almost any invertebrate will be fine except small shrimp (including cleaners) and crabs, which are the foods of choice. Dwarf lobsters, sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, etc. all work well.>  Unfortunately, I will not be able to upgrade to a larger tank for at least two more years so this is a limiting factor.  Also, I am having problems with green and brown algae in the tank.  The snails that I have fall off the rock into the sand and die when they cannot right themselves (and I am not there to put them back on the rock).<This is quite common, with Astrea snails being less prone to this .>  Should I buy more snails (what species), or add to the roughly 15 dwarf and scarlet hermit crabs that currently inhabit the tank?  Or are there other algae controllers that could live in my small tank and coexist with my lion?<Algae control in a marine tank is often problematic as there are relatively few herbivorous crustaceans. Larger emerald crabs that are too large to be eaten might help somewhat, with shorter periods with the light on often helping as well.>  Thank you. Rob

Dwarf Fuzzy Lionfish Compatibility Hi, I'm Nick and I'm twelve and my dad and I have a 55 gallon salt water tank and we were thinking of adding a dwarf fuzzy lionfish. We currently have a tomato clown w/a rose anemone, a yellow tang, a scooter blenny, a lawnmower blenny (approx. 5" long), 7 or so turbo snails, 2 black neon gobies, 2 Firefish gobies, a feather duster, an arc-eyed Hawkfish, a Dottyback, a red flame scallop, 5 tiny blue leg hermit crabs, green hair algae, and about 20 lbs. of live rock, all happy and doing fine. We're planning to add another 35 lbs. of live rock before we get the lionfish. Is this a good setup to get the lion? We have many hiding places for the fish, so they won't (hopefully!) get eaten. <You say that everything is happy and doing fine. Adding a lion to the mix would almost surely change that. They are not community fishes, and will consume smaller fishes as well as invertebrates that will fit in their gape. To compound things, Lions have specialized feeding habits. All in all, I would not recommend your purchasing a Dwarf Fuzzy Lionfish for inclusion in your marine reef aquarium, Mike G.> 

Lionfish Sting Hi Everyone! Thanks for taking the time to help me out.  I have a 65 gal salt tank with a yellow bar angelfish (juvenile), a maroon clown, a fuzzy dwarf lionfish, and a yellow longnosed butterfly fish. Everything was fine until yesterday morning when I noticed that the butterfly was acting funny, he seemed to just be swimming around with the current of the tank. My husband noticed two wounds on his underside like he was poked. We are guessing that he ran into the lionfish. My lionfish is very active and friendly. Since yesterday the lion has been sitting on some live rock on the back of the tank not moving. This is very strange behavior. So I jumped on your site and tried to research lion stings to other fish. What I got out of it is that usually the fish will die within 30 minutes of the sting... if they live past that, there is a chance they will pull through. This morning the butterfly was wedged between some live rock, my husband let him free and now he is on his side on the bottom of the tank. He is still alive and moves around a little. I don't know how to help him, I am thinking I should just leave him alone. He has lived over a day now. He has not gotten worse but hasn't gotten better either. What would you do?  <Heidi, it is possible that this could happen but unlikely. Has the butterfly been eating good, and what foods do you feed it? Does the angel show aggressive signs? Angels do have a very sharp spike just below their gill plate which is also used as defense. It's also possible that the angel could have done this. James (Salty Dog)>

Dwarf Lionfish Companions? Hello all. <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> I'd like to start by saying you run a great site. <Thank you for the kind words! We're thrilled to be here for you!> I've been doing a lot of research on keeping dwarf lionfish, and have decided to keep a Dwarf Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra) in a 29 gallon aquarium. I will use a 20 gallon sump with the aquarium. I was wondering...will a larger species of Damselfish (I am looking specifically at the Blue-Banded Sergeant Major, Abudefduf oxyodon) do all-right with my Lionfish in this tank? I understand I will be unable to keep small damsels, as they will be eaten, and that some larger species have aggressive tendencies. Will this damsel pester my lion to no end? <Well, to be quite honest, I'd be very hesitant to recommend keeping this damsel with the Lion. Almost all Abudefduf Damselfish are rather nasty, and there is a very real possibility that the damsel can harass the Lionfish excessively.> If this is not a good choice, what other tank mate might do okay with my Lion? <I'd consider a Halichoeres species wrasse, which should be able to hold its own and not harass the Lionfish. Other, small laterally-compressed fishes will work, too. Do a little research on the WWM site for some possible candidates!> Thank you so much for the help. Keep up the good work-you help more people than you can imagine. Go with God.  Jeff <>< <Glad to be of service, Jeff! Regards, Scott F.>

Dwarf Lion and the "oopsie" factor. Dear Sirs,   I bought a 3" dwarf lionfish.  Will it eat a 3" royal Gramma, 3' Sailfin tang, 4' red Coris and 3" clowns?  People at fish store said no, it'll grow up with them and everything will be fine.  I ran into your website and I'm saying to myself oopsies.   Sincerely, Renee >>>Hello Renee, Yes, no, no, and yes. The royal Gramma and clowns don't have all that much more growing to do. Oopsie sounds about right. :) You need consider how "tall" the fish is, which makes a big difference. A 3" royal Gramma is much easier to swallow than a 3" tang. Keep in mind the eventual size of the lion vs. these other fish as well. Stick with larger fish, as even the smaller lion species attain a decent size - certainly large enough to ingest some of those fish you mentioned. Cheers Jim<<< Dwarf Lionfish, compatibility, aquarist danger Hi <Hello Karen> I tried to search your site for the answer but could not find either.  Hope you do not mind I have 2 questions.<No problem> 1.  Would a dwarf lionfish be compatible with a Banggai cardinal & coral beauty.<The Banggai cardinal might be a snack for the lion depending on it's size.>  I also have chocolate chip starfish, orange star, black sea urchin.  Various snails and hermit crabs.  Torch coral, green star polyps, cabbage leather, button polyps and a few candy canes. 2.  My hands are in my tank a lot.  I am very worried about them being venomous, would I be protected if I were to wear latex gloves  say up to the elbow when in the tank?<The sting is not lethal unless you also have a strong reaction to bee stings, none the less do avoid the dorsal fin. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks Karen Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish Hello! Great website, very insightful!, Well here is my question. I have a 46 bow front (this is not my first tank), with 50# LR with plenty of caves and such, testing 0's on nitrates, nitrites and ammonia, 8.2 PH and 1.023 salinity. I have a brain coral, doing well, some polyps and a mushroom rock all healthy. The only fish in the tank are a leftover yellow tail damsel (doing fine) and a 3" Flame Angel. I added a Fuzzy Dwarf (approx. 3"), (my favorite fish) anyway last night all was well. This morning the Flame was dead. It had a large white swollen spot on the side of its head. It seems the Lion and the Flame had a disagreement and the Lion won. Does that sound like a lion sting? <Maybe... but the angel loss could just as well as be unrelated> The Flame was healthy and eating well. Any info would be appreciated. Also what would you suggest as another tank mate for the lion? Rob <Something bigger than its mouth, but not too likely to pick on it. Bob Fenner>

- Dwarf Lionfish - Hi there, Firstly I would like to say how great your website is, it's very helpful. I have a quick question for you. I have just bought a dwarf lionfish and I was wondering if it will eat any of my other fish? I have a pair of clowns, a goby, a psychedelic mandarin, a yellow tang, a small damsel and 4 green Chromis. I also have turbo snails, hermit crabs a cleaner shrimp and a pink lobster. Will any of these eventually become expensive fish food? <It's possible, yes... although most likely with the smaller fish.> Also my lionfish doesn't seem to be eating, the shop where I got him said that they do take about a week to start eating because they don't like to be disturbed but it's now been in the tank for over two weeks. What do you recommend feeding him, I have tried frozen and live brine shrimp, ghost shrimp and a small guppy. <Suggest any seafood item - shrimp, krill, scallops, clams, white fish, but not live feeders. Put the selection on a feeding stick and dangle close to the fish. I'd also try this just after lights-out... these fish prefer darker spaces and would do well if you could provide it a cave or similar structure to call its home.> Thank you for your time and keep up the good work Allie <Cheers, J -- > Lionfish tank mates I haven't had a chance to thank you for the advice.  I went with this:  1 fuzzy, 2 percula clowns, 1 pink watchman goby and a black leopard wrasse.  There are also 2 starfish a corral banded clown (thought it would be a snack but, it's been in there since May).  I haven't been able to find a corral beauty locally.  I am thinking of adding either a porcelain crab or green emerald. << Coral Beauties are very popular, you shouldn't have to look far for one.  Porcelain and emerald crabs should be fine.  Emerald are probably a better choice in this situation. >> <<  Blundell  >> Lionfish, Marine livestocking I haven't had a chance to thank you for the advice.  I went with this:  1 fuzzy, 2 percula clowns, 1 pink watchman goby and a black leopard wrasse.  There are also 2 starfish a coral banded clown (thought it would be a snack but, it's been in there since May).  I haven't been able to find a coral beauty locally.  I am thinking of adding either a porcelain crab or green emerald. <Hello, No problem.  I think your combination of fish looks good as long as the tank is big enough.  MikeB.>

Compatibility Hi, <Hi Alex, MacL here with you today.> I was wondering if I could house a Zebra Moray and Dwarf Fuzzy Lionfish together in a 100 gal comfortably for their whole lives? <I know people who have done it, but their tank was larger than yours. I would think the secret would be to keep the Moray fed.> Thank you! -Alex

Lionfish Hi, Do fuzzy dwarf lions and Volitans lions get along good? Thanks Ben >>>Sure, just make sure the fuzzy lion has some size to begin with. You don't want him getting swallowed by the Volitans - they grow FAST. Cheers Jim<<<

Small tank for small lions in a small group Hi Bob, I have recently been very interested in Lionfish. Having considered the possibilities (pro's and con's) I have decided against adding one to my main display tank. However I am still very interested in the idea of having a lionfish, so I have been discussing the idea with a fellow hobbyist over the internet, who has some 10 yrs+ experience with various lionfish species. <Good to hear of your searching, striving...> I put forward the idea of a smaller tank, 36"x18"x18", housing a group of dwarf lions, and he thought it a good idea. Something like a pair of fuzzy dwarf lions, and a pair of dwarf zebra lions (D. Zebra, D. Brachypterus)..... or maybe stick to a single species and get four.... or maybe 3 fuzzy dwarfs and a dwarf zebra. What do you think ??? I see you recommend 15 to 20 gals per adult dwarf lion ("I recommend a good 30 to 40 gallons per adult Pterois, and half that for other species" ~ The Conscientious Marine Aquarist). So I figure, 60 gals ...... 4 dwarf lions .... they will be the sole inhabitants of the tank......or am I misinterpreting you i.e. you could be referring to this volume per fish in a standard tank. <No, this is about right... maximum fish load...> If this idea is feasible, I would be very keen to go ahead with it. In terms of filtration ......... I had considered a less traditional approach ...... something a bit like the Leng Sy EcoSystem thing.....except varied. <Me too... I add more mechanical filtration, a skimmer, more circulation...> I had considered a sump beneath the tank, 24hr lighting and loads of Caulerpa, and if necessary another filter such as a canister or a fluidized bed or maybe a gallon of bioballs in the overflow to deal with the heavy feedings ..... although I would limit this to three moderate feeds a week. Also, since there would be no herbivores in the tank, I thought perhaps I would grow Caulerpa in the display tank as well as the sump ..... perhaps doing away with the need for a "filter" ...... what would your opinion be. <Sounds good> As a sort of clean up crew, I had considered some large hermits .... I shells bigger than a golf ball ..... to deal with any waste. <Yes, and some algae... and big enough to not get inhaled by the Lions... they have large mouths and can/do eat/inhale such things> Planned decor would be a simple single large overhanging cave like structure, that would be assembled and secured before them going in. Thanks for reading. Regards, Matt PS. You might think "why is he asking me, when there is a guy with 10 yrs+ advising him......." .... well I figure safe than sorry, and get a second opinion :-) <And a third, fourth... enough till you feel comfortable. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish I would like to purchase a dwarf lion fish and I am gathering information. <A necessary part of the process> Thank goodness your site has this feature, my LFS knows nothing. I set up what was intended to be a reef tank about 5 months ago. 30gal, no skimmer for the sake of filter feeders, 1 marine glow, 1 power glow, some live rock, 2 bubble tip anemones, 2 maroon clowns, 2 yellow tail damsels. <Yeeikes!> Well I've decided the reef isn't for me and would like to change over to lion fish. My husband wants to leave the live rock in the tank, and the clowns. I'm very leery of over crowding this tank, as I said its only 30gals. <Yes> I've got plenty of info on feeding, disease, etc. but still not sure if its a good idea for me to put even a dwarf lion in a 30gal. <It's pressing it... and the Lionfish may well inhale your Clowns...> In about 1-2yrs I will be moving salt up to a 55gal, due to that hubby wants to get a violation.  <Likely a Volitans Lion> I think that's a bad idea, what if it grows faster than expected lol?  <I would not place a Lionfish of any species in this tank... really it's too small, crowded just with the Clowns for such an animal to be placed> Anyway, in your expert experience what is my best option for putting a lion in my 30gal? Dwarf or small larger species that I can move to bigger tank later? Thanks. <I would look into other species... fish and non-fish that are/stay smaller, pollute less... until you get your larger system. Too easy otherwise to have problems. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lion Bob, I am sorry if it seems like I am harassing you I am just after info. I have found that the breed of dwarf lion I am wanting to purchase is Dendrochirus zebra (if it makes a difference). From what info you have given me in your last e-mail I am questioning whether or not to add the three spot damsels. I was going to add 5 or 6 because from what I have observed they are quite small and I think they look quite neat in larger groups and I figured that if they were in a larger group they might take out all there aggression on each other, am I right on this or wrong? From what you tell me they sound like they like to be quite the trouble makers. If they are to aggressive what other breeds of damsels do you think would be better and would do ok with the breed of lion I have mentioned? I also like the 3 and 4 striped damsels. I also had a question on another fish I currently have in my tank (actually he is the only fish, I am starting a new marine aquarium and it has been going great and is ready for fish). The fish was sold to me as a "worm goby", this sounded stupid to me so I looked up info on gobies and found that it was a "neon goby" the blue striped one, not the yellow. Is there any info on this fish you could give me?  What it eats? If it is good in a community or is it aggressive? All I know about it is that it looks very healthy and it has been enjoying burrowing under the rocks and corals.  It will spend all day bringing rocks in and out of its hole it has made (is this normal?)  Thanks, John Moyer  << The Three and Four Stripe Dascyllus or Humbugs would be much better choices... the Domino, singly or in groups is a real terror at times... Really. Ounce for ounce they're amazingly bold... if they weighed in at a pound or more I wouldn't go diving with them.... They've drawn blood from biting me in service accounts... Okay, point made I wager. The D. zebra is a great animal. It should do fine with more peaceable damselfishes... but do be sure they're large enough... for a small fish, Dwarf Lions have cavernous maws. There is such fishes called Worm Gobies... and there are many species in the Genus Gobiosoma (neon gobies) that are blue-striped... What you most likely have is a Gobiosoma oceanops... it is not aggressive, is a cleaner organism out of the tropical west Atlantic (originally, but yours is likely tank bred/reared)... But they're generally not prodigious diggers... preferring to "perch" on hard substrates. Bob Fenner>>

Compatibility Hi there, I read over your Scorpionfish and Waspfish FAQs and websites and had a few further questions.  I am setting up a new tank and was just wondering your impressions of compatibility with a Leaffish ( Taenionotus triacanthus) or a Waspfish ( Ablabys taenionotus) of the following (not necessarily all together in the same tank--just trying to find out for each individual species):   Valentini Puffer ( Canthigaster valentini) Flame Angel ( Centropyge loricula) Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish ( Dendrochirus brachypterus) Long-nosed Butterflyfish ( Forcipiger flavissimus) Long-nosed Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus) Are the toxins in the Leaffish and Waspfish closer to the lionfish or the stonefish in strength (I don't mind venomous animals but I don't want anything that can kill me -- just in case)? <As venomous as Scorpaeninae/Lions is what I've read> Also, what is the best way to train fish for frozen or prepared foods over live foods? <Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm and the FAQs linked beyond> Thanks for all your help, Erik Jorvig <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish compatibility Can you help me with this simple question? <I'll try>        I have been reading through a lot of information about Dwarf Lionfish, However none of the info I have read through seems to suggest any compatibility problems there may be with Dwarf Lions (is the compatibility the some as the larger species?) <Yes... basically that they will inhale fishes, sometimes crustaceans that can fit in their quite-large mouths, and reciprocally that one needs to avoid animals that may well bother/pick on them like triggers, larger puffers, big angels...>        I have a 50 gallon all fish marine tank and I was wondering if a Dwarf Lionfish would come to blows with the two common clown fish already in the tank. Could you please inform me of the compatibility between the two Clowns and the Dwarf Lion fish in a tank of this size. <There is a possibility that the clowns might bother the lion. I give you better than even odds they'd get along though, better if the tank is sixty or more gallons. The only "sure way" is to try adding the lion and observing carefully. Bob Fenner>

- Dwarf Lionfish - Hi there, Firstly I would like to say how great your website is, it's very helpful. I have a quick question for you. I have just bought a dwarf lionfish and I was wondering if it will eat any of my other fish? I have a pair of clowns, a goby, a psychedelic mandarin, a yellow tang, a small damsel and 4 green Chromis. I also have turbo snails, hermit crabs a cleaner shrimp and a pink lobster. Will any of these eventually become expensive fish food? <It's possible, yes... although most likely with the smaller fish.> Also my lionfish doesn't seem to be eating, the shop where I got him said that they do take about a week to start eating because they don't like to be disturbed but it's now been in the tank for over two weeks. What do you recommend feeding him, I have tried frozen and live brine shrimp, ghost shrimp and a small guppy. <Suggest any seafood item - shrimp, krill, scallops, clams, white fish, but not live feeders. Put the selection on a feeding stick and dangle close to the fish. I'd also try this just after lights-out... these fish prefer darker spaces and would do well if you could provide it a cave or similar structure to call its home.> Thank you for your time and keep up the good work Allie
<Cheers, J -- >

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

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