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FAQs about Dwarf Lionfishes 2

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, & by Species: Fu Man Chu Lions (D. biocellatus), Fuzzy Lions (D. brachypterus), Green Lions (D. barberi), Hawaiian Lions (Pterois sphex), Zebra Lions (D. zebra), & Dwarf Lion Identification, Dwarf Lion Behavior, Dwarf Lion Compatibility, Dwarf Lion 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,

Is it something I ate?

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

Dwarf zebra lionfish; beh., fdg.        8/18/15
Hello, your site has been great for a lot of information on dwarf lionfish.
I just recently got a dwarf zebra (4 days ago) and he is a small guy (about 1.5-2inches) eating ghost shrimp no problem.
<Mmm; careful not to overfeed... one every 2-3 days max.>

One odd thing about him is he doesn't hide whatsoever, he is constantly at the top of the tank swimming against the flow. From what I read this is the total opposite from a lionfish. He isn't gasping for air, he may be breathing a tad fast, but I assume it's most likely because he's new and swimming against the current. This goes one lights on and lights off. I
have seen him hiding the first day and that's it. The rest of the time he is in the same spot of the tank up front on the top. Peaceful tankmates no of them have come close to harassing him. 55 gallon corner tank with a blue spot puffer, Midas Benny, and six spot goby. Is this anything to be concerned about?
<Mmm; no... this fish may well have lost some respiratory capacity (hemolysis from the trials of shipping), or just enjoy the current>
He is gorgeous and definitely don't want to lose him. Thank you.
Tank parameters:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5-10
Ph: 8
<I'd just be patient. Bob Fenner>
Re: Dwarf zebra lionfish        8/20/15

Thank you so much for the reply! I tried feeding him today (2 days since I last fed him) and he won't eat.
<Mmm; try other foods>
He looks pretty weak and being tossed around by the current. My wife and I noticed something on his fins that looks like a fungus of some sort, nothing I have seen before nor can I find on the Internet as to what it might be. It has a greenish color and it is on his pectoral fins right where it connects to his main body.
<This is natural>
Breathing is heavier than previously mention. What can I do?
<Read; here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
Scroll down to Dwarf Lions; Feeding FAQs, Diseases. BobF>
Re: Dwarf zebra lionfish        8/21/15

Correction, from a closer look it's more of a light brown color. It just look greenish in the shadow
<Same resp.>

Dwarf lionfish food? Reading on WWM? Plus Ophiuroid comp.
Hey guys, first off great site. My name is Dave, and I have a 120 gallon tank with a 60 gallon sump/fuge. It's a mixed reef (sps, lps and softies).
As for fish, I have a pair of Ocellaris clownfish, bi-color blenny, starry blenny, coral beauty angel fish, some green Chromis, a couple pj  cardinals, an engineer goby, a mimic lemon peel tang and a dwarf lionfish.
<The Lion can/will inhale many of these other fishes in time>
I realize some of his tank mates can potentially be food for him but its been well over a year
<Oh! Maybe not>
and aside from him eating the peppermint shrimp I haven't had any issues yet, he even lets the cleaner shrimp clean him. I've had the dwarf lionfish since he was less then 2 inches and now he's fully grown.
It took about 8 months to finally get him to eat frozen food. Here's my question, I've been feeding him frozen table shrimp that I thaw in some Selcon. I know that it's important to provide more of a variety, but what are some other good choices? I recently bought a back of mixed frozen seafood from trader joes that has shrimp, squid and scallops.
<Ah good>
I haven't given him any squid or scallops because I was unsure whether or not those were okay to feed him.
<They are... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwflionfdgfaqs.htm
He won't eat frozen mysis shrimp, I think it's because they're to small so he doesn't even bother with them. I feed him smaller meals every other night rather then bigger meals less often. There are times when he's hanging out under his overhang and I'll notice his color kind of fades,
<Natural behavior; not to worry>
but it instantly brightens back up the second he moves. Other then that he seems to be in good health. He's pretty impatient, he comes up to the surface and spits water at me when it's feeding time.
<Great>
I appreciate any info you guys give me and thank you for taking the time to read my question.
<The reading>
Oh and another quick question. Which sea star is more aggressive a serpent or a brittle?
<Depends on the species... and like newts and salamanders; all serpent stars are Brittlestars, but not vice versa>
Which one is more likely to make a meal out of its tank mates? I'll look on one website or forum and its says the serpent sea star is the aggressive one then another site or forum says no the brittle sea star is the aggressive one. I have a pretty big brittle about 11"-12" that hasn't done anything yet I was just wondering if it could be an issue.
<Again; the species... need to determine first. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Fuzzy... Lionfish... still not reading
Dear WWM Crew, I went ahead and took over my friends dwarf fuzzy and I am looking for a suitable tank(36 gal) mate. I have been looking at Dwarf angels
<Mmm, no... the smaller species would be inhaled and the larger Centropyge need more room>
or maybe another colorful fish as I would like to keep some corals (LPSs). I am looking to go as small as possible to help the tank keep a smaller bioload as the Dwarf Fuzzy is insanely messy. So any suggestions would be appreciated as I am straying away from inverts (eaten, or my tank cannot handle the role of feeding starfish). But I also want to have a colorful setup.... to match my digi... so being a dwarf fuzzy would a damsel bully it? What about a six line wrasse? Banggai? I really appreciate your help as I spend as much time as I can reading your wonderful site. I truly love this site! I am just at a loss for determining a suitable tank mate due to my lack of diversified marine experience. Regardless, thanks again for your help and uber-informative site.
<Keep reading it. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lion Fish  11/05/08 I've read just about everything on your site about Lion Fish but I'm still baffled. I don't know much about the aquarium, it is my husbands hobby not mine. He recently purchased a Dwarf Lion <size?> because he knew I was fascinated by the Lion fish. We've had the fish for about a month and we never see him eat. Pat (my husband) feeds his fish <It would be useful to know what the other inhabitants are, how large the system is.> frozen food and sometimes he gets live shrimp <What type?>. We have never seen the Lion eat but he seems to be thriving, there doesn't appear to be anything missing in the tank. Obviously we can't be sure about all the little crabs <Do you have that many?> and snails <Not likely to be eaten.> don't know how many are in there at this point. Do you have any idea what he is surviving on? <May eat some of the live shrimp at night if they are of adequate size and have not been eaten by other inhabitants. May also slowly starve to death. You should try observing, feeding him at night with nothing but a small flashlight to clarify that. Unless he is feeding on frozen food it should not be kept with faster predators which might eat the live food intended for him. River or Ghost shrimp are an adequate choice, disease free Black mollies or Guppies (no Goldfish or Minnows) may work if other options fail. You should try to train the lionfish to take frozen food from a feeding stick or very long tweezers (don't put your hands in there) in the long run. Please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels2.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwarflionfaqs.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflionfdgfaqs.htm for further information.> In addition he seems to have set up home at night resting in the pulsing Xenia. One day we looked in the tank and the Xenia looked like it was not doing well but it was fine a few hour earlier then I noticed that the Lion was sitting in the branches. Later when he swam away the Xenia started coming back now I've noticed that the Lion seems to like it there at night. Is the Xenia going to suffer from this intrusion and if so do you have any suggestions? <Not a big problem and not much you can do about his choice, except trying to offer a better shelter.> We also have 2 clowns that have taken up residence in the Colt coral, is this healthy? <The same as above replacing the word "shelter" by "host anemone". Generally it's no problem for larger corals, smaller specimens might suffer, though.> Thanks in advance for any advise you can give. Sandi. <Welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

Please Help! Dwarf Lion rdg.   1/16/08 Hello there and thank you for your time. I have a fuzzy dwarf lionfish approx. 4 inches in length. I recently moved him from a 30 gallon tank to a 72 gallon tank.? His other occupants are a Niger Trigger, <Incompatible... likely harassing> 3 Clowns, <May eat> a few hermit crabs and about 50 lbs of liverock. I noticed today that he is perched on a piece of liverock (he does this often) with a clear almost milky film around him. <Pteroines, Scorpaenids do shed... mucus... but...> He is still rich in color and all the other occupants seem to be doing fine. I don't know if this is relevant but the day before I moved him, he did not eat. <Not generally a worry> I usually feed him ghost shrimp and he eats about 5-7 in a matter of minutes. My water temp is at 80, the PH is 8.2, Nitrates are at 0 and so is the ammonia. Please, any thoughts? <Not from what's presented here... either than the Odonus needs to be elsewhere. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwfliondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Victoria

Dwarf Lion, dis., sys., fdg.    4/6/06 I got my dwarf lion about 2 weeks ago and he looked good when I bought him, but now he is a little pale and his eyes are clouded. I left the lights off for a couple of days after I put him in so he wouldn't freak out, now I turn the lights on for short periods during the day. I wanted him to eat frozen food but he doesn't want it so I gave him some ghost shrimp and some guppies and he ate them right up! He shares the tank with 3 damsel fish that are about 1.5'. He also hides most of the time, I would really like to see him swim around more. Any suggestions? <Read: Scroll down to Scorpaeniforms... Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish - They're Not Just Small  11/15/05 Hey Bob, <Jay> Let me thank you again for all your top notch help. <Welcome> Here's my problem, I purchased a dwarf lionfish on Wednesday and the LFS recommended using frozen shrimp for feeding. By Sunday I couldn't convince the lionfish to eat the shrimp (tried dropping it in front of the power head to fly around and look live as well as dangle it on a feeding stick in front of it) so I went and bought small feeding fish which it ate up quickly.  My first question is how can I convert my fish mainly to the frozen shrimp rather than live (except for the occasional mix it up since I know feeding one food is not good)? Also how often should I feed it? <Posted... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflionfdgfaqs.htm and the general Lion Feeding FAQs file> My second question is what can I put in my tank to sift the sand. I get this white cottony substance build up on the sand bed (usually over old food at the bottom). I figure if the sand is moved a bit that substance won't grow. I don't feel I overfeed, however the fish I worry the fish I have in there don't get enough to eat. I have a yellow tang, flame angel, royal Gramma and the dwarf lion. I use pellets that fall pretty quick that the angel and tang eat (but usually not off the sand) and the gamma that only eats flakes (not off the sand either). Any help is appreciated, look forward to your advice thanks again. Jay <Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Please, learn to/use the indices, search tool. Bob Fenner> 

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 they'll suck'em up brah. RMF>> DOA Lionfish 7/22/05 Hi,    <Hey, Mike G with you today.> we  have  been having  very bad luck with our  dwarf  lion fish  being  shipped to us.   we have  a  online fish store GODSCREATIONSUNDERTHESEA.COM     the strange  thing is   lately    I have  ordered lion fish from 3 different  suppliers  wholesalers/   each time  the lion fish arrives dead?   dwarf lions  are  suppose to be hardy   what do you think the problem could be  . the  heat? <Are you sure they've arrived dead? Often, a fish will look dead upon arrival, only to "revive" once acclimated to their new home. In my experience, smaller lions are notorious for this. Did you acclimate the supposed corpses? If so, and they arrived dead, I really cannot help you unless you provide more information. Best of luck with your problem, Mike G.>

Re: DOA Lionfish 7/26/05 yes they were dead  and  one  I received the other day we put him in the water in our  tank, he  was upside down and never recovered. defiantly dead. <Interesting.> I thought  maybe they were delicate shippers? <Actually, no.> or  two much heat    or  temp change . where  can I find  a list of  all wholesalers    ? <Doubtful. There is no real compiled list of all wholesalers on the planet.> lol I have tried to get  a dwarf  lion fish 3 times  for  a customers  each time  it is DOA or  shortly after   being put n the tank/ . <I am beginning to suspect your water over the quality of then fish you are receiving.> on one  order I bought  3 at one time   and all three died  one   made it a little longer  but it look like there was something wrong  with his eyes. pop eye maybe  or something . were thinking  about  direct  importing ourselves . <Perhaps. What are you parameters? Mike G>

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

Lionfish taxonomy Dear crew: I have perused everything on this site that I can find, and Dr. Marini's articles on reefkeeper.com, and I remain baffled, hoping you can shed some light.  I'm trying to identify a fish by species, and having difficulty. I am sorry that I can't forward digital pictures, and am hoping that a gross physical description might be a purposeful place to start. <Not likely> A local fish store has a variant of dwarf lion that seems not to fit with what I can find in descriptions of species.  When asked, employees could only report that it had been taken in trade, and had been in the store for some time.  Anecdotally, one of them thought it might have originally come from Florida, though that could just as easily have been the locus of the collector/aquarist. When queried about the species, they generalized it to be a fuzzy dwarf. <There are many scorpaenoid fishes called "dwarf lions", not all are Pteroines...> The critter in question most generally seems to be brachypterus, but not quite.  The pectoral fins have the characteristic shape reminiscent of the sail on a Chinese junk, and are webbed almost to the end of the spines. Body shape [about 4"], coloration, and fin profile are generally consistent, but there are a few significant departures.  It lacks the "moustache" protuberances at the corners of the mouth, and has no noticeable "horns" above the eyes.  There are bumps of tissue along the lateral line, again consistent with brachypterus, but most noticeably there are no "flags" of tissue at the ends of the dorsal spines as both of my Fuzzies have.  Finally, while every fuzzy I have seen has blue eyes, the eyes of this fish have a bright orange outer circle, with a center that is a deep green/black [like a Tahitian black pearl]. My best guess is that it's actually a barberi.  Can you suggest any definitive characteristics that I can look for to identify it more definitively?  Am I overlooking the obvious, and can you tell me what I should have figured out on my own?   <Mmm, you might peruse the linked references for these species, genera on fishbase.org or make a trip to a large college library for a computer searched bibliography... There is variation in the Brachypterus mentioned... color and appendages-wise... Bob Fenner> Looking forward to your suggestions, Rick Walters

Dwarf (Lionfish) Done Did Himself Dear crew, This evening I noticed that my dwarf zebra has a tear or puncture in the membrane of one of his fins. There are actually two tears or perforations, one about 1/8" in diameter, the other about 1/16", joined by a thin strip of tissue. He swims fine, is not sheltering or guarding, and is currently feeding. First, is this nothing to worry about?  <<Nope, I'd just watch him, continue feeding properly, might add some Selcon to food if not already. Have Spectrogram on hand at all times.>> Second, if it is a cause for concern, should I do something prophylactic to prevent infection?  <<That would best be the supplement, Selcon.>> Or will it likely heal on its own without my doing anything? [I Googled, and found only a section on wound management that pertained to lions wounding us, rather than assisting a wounded lion.] <<Stuff like this happens to all fishes all the time. Given proper conditions, it should heal just fine. But, even if the tissue *doesn't* grow back, it will do no harm to the fish.>> Thanks, as always, Rick Walters <<Quite welcome. Marina>> 

- Dwarf Lion Questions - I have fuzzy dwarf lionfish who shows no interest in any food except Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and ghost shrimp. <Ghost shrimp and Mysis shrimp are fine - nothing to worry about here.>  I have tried krill, goldfish, saltwater guppies and Tubifex worms but has shown no interest in them.  <Would keep up with the krill but would not offer "feeder" fish - these will affect the long term survivability of your lionfish. As for the Tubifex worms - these are not marine in origin and I've seen very few marine fish, let alone lionfish that will eat them.>  Well do you recommend all my levels are all where they should be.  <Think you're doing fine - you might want to offer the krill on the end of a feeding stick - waggle in front of its face... but the Mysis and ghost shrimp are certainly suitable foods.> My fuzzy also turns a creamy color every once in a while, is this rare or a problem? <This is neither rare nor a problem. Cheers, J -- > 

When a Lionfish Does What a Lionfish Does.. >Hello all. >>Hello one. >I've Googled, and found no answer. >>At least you made the effort. >Yesterday I brought home a beautiful little fuzzy dwarf lion, who is the first occupant of my 75 gallon tank [along with 40 pounds of very crusty live rock].  >>Of all the things that should or should not be crusty, rock that is live, and bread. >After recovering from the stress of the trip, he adjusted well, and even took a ghost shrimp for an evening snack. After lights out, he cruised the tank for several hours, getting to know the neighborhood. >>Alright. >Since this morning, though, he has spent the entire day perched on one of my heaters. I have not been able to find any information relating stress or transition to a need for additional warmth. I checked the temperature of the tank, and it's 76.8 F in the center of the tank, as well as at the front wall [measured 6" under the surface]. I have read that lions tolerate temperatures between 72 and 78 well, so I think I'm in the ballpark. Should I just chalk this up to WTTFJD [weird things that fish just do]? >>Oh, no, not at all. This isn't weird in the least, either. This *is* what Lionfishes, especially dwarf lions, do. Simple as that. Marina

When a Lionfish Does What a Lionfish Does - II >Marina, >>Hello Rick. >Thanks for your reassurance. I have learned some hard lessons with smaller tanks [harder for the fish than for me, I suppose]. I want so much for this tank to succeed that I might be overly fretful, and apt to turn molehills into mountains. After some further introspection, I suppose I was the same way with the first of my children. >>Better to be safe, yeah? >I came home tonight from a concert to find said little fuzzy guy cruising energetically, displaying for his reflection. I enjoyed having a nightcap and watching him being so active out in the open, illuminated by the moonlight LED's with the room otherwise dark. I'm thinking that such moments are the real reason we go to such effort to do this. >>For those who get into the hobby in the first place, absolutely. For those who are "bitten", it can go far beyond that. >Thanks again, Rick Walters >>You're most welcome, and I'm glad you can now enjoy your new fish. Marina 

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

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here


by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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