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FAQs about Lionfish Compatibility 1

Related Articles: Lionfish & Their RelativesKeeping Lionfishes and their Scorpaeniform Kin Part 1, Part 2, by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner, Dwarf Lionfishes,

Related FAQs: Lionfish Compatibility 2, Lionfish Compatibility 3, Lionfish Compatibility 4, & Lionfishes & their Relatives, Lions 2, Lions 3Lions 4Dwarf Lionfishes, Lionfish Selection, Lionfish Behavior, Lionfish Feeding

Mouth size? Food item.

With Puffers, large Angels, Triggers? With Morays? With other large predatory fishes? With smaller than mouth-size fishes; e.g. Clowns, Damsels? Cleaner organisms?
Other fishes?
With Anemones, LPS?
With Sharks?
Generally a poor idea... they eat all the food... may nip, eat the Lion/s. Perhaps not. Too likely to get poked and def. not w/ large piscivorous species. Usually no. Get bullied, can't compete for food. Yumster! As food items... Likely inhaled eventually May poke, sting... if crowded, or inexperienced/unfamiliar May wander into, get stung...
May poke them, be bitten, eaten by them
Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Re: Swollen Snowflake Eel  12/05/2007 Hi Marco! <Hello Andrew and Laura.> We can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer our question. We hope you won't mind if we attach a brief rider: <No problem at all.> As if things weren't bad enough, we experienced a 5 hour power outage here in Chicago, during winter. Fortunately the display tank only lost about 2.5 degrees in that time. <No problem here for your FOWLR.> Afterwards. Gumboot came out. His swelling was even more pronounced, and he seems quite apathetic. He lay dead center, in the front of the tank. His respiration was normal, <Gills are not affected.> but he was limp and not inclined to hide. <This looks really bad.> We've removed him to a 10 gallon QT, so we might better see what is happening with him. <Understandable choice seeing the pictures. Offer him some cave to feel more comfortable and keep the water quality pristine.> He remains sluggish. We've attached some pictures here <I see one, had no idea the swelling was that large.> , in hopes that you might be able to help us more. Do you have any sense of what might be going on here? We're ready to dose with antibiotics or iodide supplements, but we're not sure which way (if either) to go. <Look for a wound from a lionfish sting and check if the lionfish has intact stinger ends. What we see here is probably an accumulation of fluids. If there is no wound I?#8364;™d suspect an internal bacterial infection hard to diagnose exactly/treat accordingly without a veterinarian. You can try an antibiotic for gram negative bacteria like Maracyn Two, but, although some eels swollen like your moray survive, many die. It is impossible to know without tests which antibiotics actually work, due to the apparent use of loads of antibiotics at many collectors and wholesalers.> Thanks again. We know you're busy, and we appreciate your help more than we can say. Andrew & Laura in Chicago. <Sorry I have no better news. Keep us updated, I still hope Gumball survives. Marco in Heidelberg.>

Japanese Dragon eel and Volitans lionfish  11/24/2007 Dear WWM crew, <Bill.> Love your website, it's the best website in this hobby for this hobby. <I'm glad you like the site.> I have a 120 gallon tank with about 100 lbs of live rock and a 30 gallon sump with a ETS skimmer. The lonely inhabitant is a 30" Japanese Dragon eel and since he is always at the bottom of the tank (only comes up when hungry), I think the tank could use another fish so I was thinking about adding a V. lionfish but I'm afraid that it could sting the eel since the eel might get the wrong idea and try to eat it or would he? <Dragon eels (Enchelycore pardalis) can be a real pain for tank mates due to their long teeth, enormous power and fish eating tendencies. Fish large enough to be safe on the other hand may be a threat to the eel. The lionfish is both, a possible threat to the eel and possible prey. I would not risk losing this rare and expensive moray by adding a lion.> Do eels know to stay away from Lionfish? <In the confined space of an aquarium this may not always be possible. Since the eel was in the tank first, it may well interpret the addition of a lion (and most other fish) as feeding. Can work if your eel is exceptionally peaceful, but the risk is too high in my opinion.> So if too risky to put in a Lionfish, what other fish would you suggest? <Mmm have many eels together with other eels of the same size without major problems, but eels will stay at the bottom, too, and dragon eels are not among the eels seen sharing their caves in the wild robust groupers work well with many eels, too, but they need a lot of swimming space and I do not think a 120 gallon system could support a half a metre grouper Tiny fish like some gobies work quite well with large eels. To be honest I would not try another fish in this tank.> I don't want to deal with Angelfishes or Puffers. <I'm sure the dragon would love dealing with them pricey food and if the puffer puffs possibly a dead moray.> I really love the Sohal tang and the Harlequin tusk but they would have to be huge since the eel can eat filet of fish (6" long x 2" height) which is pretty big, huh? <Oh yes, and they can take out chunks of larger fishes by forming their body into knot.> Thanks for your time, Bill. <Sorry if it is not what you wanted to hear, but personally I would not try tank mates. Rather enjoy the dragon in his own tank. Much more relaxing. Take care, Marco.>

Re: Japanese Dragon eel and Volitans lionfish -11/27/2007 Dear Marco, <Bill.> Thanks for your quick response. <No problem.> I actually forgot to mention that the eel is going to be transferred to the 120 gallon tank so, if that's the case, would I be able to put the Lionfish in 1st and then the eel?? Do you still think it might not be worth the risk to the eel? <Chances are better when you add the Lionfish first. Anyway, I personally would not risk the life of this pricey and wild caught Moray eel. It is possible they will live together peacefully, but the probability is rather small. Chances are good the Eel will kill or eat the Lionfish at some point. Worst case scenario is the Eel is stung to death while killing the Lionfish.> Thanks, Bill. <Welcome. Marco.>

Lionfish: Tank size and compatibility (again)   8/22/07 Hello folks, <David> I know that this is a commonly asked question on this site, but the answers from the various WWM staff have left me confused. I have a 125g tank (72"x18"x21") that I would like to have a Pterois volitans, a Pterois antennata and a Siganus magnificus. I'm in the process of building a sump from a 30g long tank that will house an MRC MR-1 skimmer and a refugium (plan on having 5" DSB, Chaetomorpha for nutrient removal and a Ulva or red macroalgae for feeding to the Rabbitfish). Two Mag 7 pumps for the returns and two Koralia 2 (perhaps Koralia 3s after some other advice) for water flow. I'm aiming at having a 2" DSB in the DT and about 120# of LR. So. Doable without having to eventually upgrade the size of the tank when the fish reach full growth (relatively speaking, I realize that as long as a fish is living it is growing)? <Mmm, yes> Is there a more-than-slight risk of the volitans eating the magnificus once adult size is reached? <No... should be large enough, spiny-enough to get by> Is there room for any other residents? <Not much fish-wise...> I'd like to include a larger snail (tiger cowry or conch) <Cowry? I'd go with the Conch> as a large form of cleaning crew. I'm trying to keep a theme to the tank (venomous - I'm a toxicologist), so there aren't a lot of other types of fish that I'm really considering. <Though there are many other families...> I don't like the general appearance of squirrelfish, and anything else is either small enough that it will become lionfish food or blend in with the aquascaping. Thank you in advance. David Kelman <And at full size, the three will be about all this volume can handle psycho- and physio-logically. Bob Fenner>

Lion, Bass incomp.   8/2/07 Hi.. curious to see if a new addition; Leopard Grouper can be causing stress for the Lion Fish in the tank at my job. <Yes, and yes> I am very concerned; as I am their caretaker. We have 2 Lions Fish, Squirrel Fish, small Angel (forgot what type), snowflake eel. <In a tank of a couple hundred gallons I hope/trust> I have not noticed the Lions bothering or getting bothered by the Leopard Grouper; however since his introduction.. The Lion's are docile, staying in an upright position near the rocks/filter. They are also changing to a much darker burnt orange color; is this caused by stress? <Yes> Is there anything that can be done to alleviate the stress? <Remove the Bass> Usually when I come in the morning. they are happy to see me; they have not looked at me or anyone else for that matter in days. The tank is over 200 gallons with no over crowding. please help, I am so worried about them. Thank Nicole <This Serranid should be removed, pronto. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lionfish, bass incomp.   08/02/07
Thanks so much, I am going to see about removal of the Grouper now; the eel does not particularly like him either; has been trying to bite the grouper each time he swims past him I appreciate the advice. <A pleasure to help you take good care of your aquatic charges. Bob Fenner>

Unhappy Volitans... soc. env.   6/30/07 Hello Crew! <Ali, Darren> Firstly may we say what a fab site you have - very interesting & informative. It is our first stop when in doubt of anything aquatic! We have as yet been unable to find an explanation for our Volitan's problem though, so hence the query: Bought the lionfish about a month ago, and he took a few days to settle in but soon came round. At the same time bought a porcupine puffer, trigger, grouper and leopard filefish - all small/young enough to settle together but big enough not to eat each other! <Still... high stress... and likely problems down the line here with this mix... the Puffer and Trigger may well work the Lion woe... and good luck to it and the Filefish getting food...> The only other inhabitants were 2 hermit crabs, <These too will disappear> and all were introduced into the tank on the same afternoon, <Too much too soon my friend> having come from the same shop and some had been sharing tanks there. We lost trigger recently - think it was scared to death by grouper as he had been harassing it. <Yes...> Last week or so we have not seen Lionfish eat - he has previously had defrosted silversides, krill & Mysis with the odd piece of squid, although not brave enough yet to feed from us directly, but we have witnessed him picking up pieces. He seemed to be acting a little strangely in that he was resting on the coral-sand, and making himself a shallow 'hole' by fanning the sand away with his fins. <A bad sign> Now though, his once prominently dark stripes have become patchy. <This too... stress markings...> In the past couple of days, he has developed a small luminescent lime-green patch on one side just in front of the fin, and his proud display of healthy looking 'fans' have drooped completely. In general, quite listless, breathing seems slightly more rapid and this morning he had 'wedged' himself under the edge of a piece of live rock. Checked parameters, salinity etc - all within recommended ranges. We have tried water changes with RO and done all we can think of in respect of water quality without adding any extra chemicals/treatments. Understand hair algae should not affect him, <Au contraire... this life can mal-affect all... and/or the conditions that pre-dispose its proliferation> but put half dozen turbo's in to help reduce that anyway. LFS have limited range of frozen foods available, so will try to get something online - any recommendations/additives we should be on the lookout for? <Moving this fish... to another system really. Ghost shrimp (live) would be best then to entice it to feed> Can you give us an indication of what might be wrong & what we can do for the poor little guy? Would hate to lose him for obvious reasons. Hope you can help Thanks - Ali & Darren <Could be a few things amiss... but the most glaring trouble is the placement with the other life here. Unless this tank is a few hundred gallons... I'd be moving the Lion, stat! Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer stung by lionfish! 6/28/07 Hey there, <Hi Jeff, MacL here with you tonight.> I have been using your website to research and learn for many years now and it appears I can't find any information on my current problem. I have a porcupine puffer who would be about 5 inches, and he shares the tank with a 6 inch Picasso trigger and a 5 inch Volitans lionfish and a yellow head moray eel.. All tankmates seem to get a long most of the time with the odd argument between the puffer and the trigger, (he has never puffed up though as a result)<You know I have had my puffer for five years and haven't seen him puff up once.> however about a week ago during feeding time (which is awe inspiring to watch them all eat) <Lord I bet, I can just imagine> the lionfish had not yet engulfed his whole fish when the porcupine puffer decided it was time to get some of that fish from his mouth. Now as he swam toward the lion the puffer ever so lightly swam down onto the dorsal spines of the lion and quickly dashed in the other direction. After about half an hour the puffer had a small ring of blood in his left eye and it eventually went away and now that one eye is cloudy. <Definitely sounds like they had a close encounter. I've seen animals recover from being stung but having personally been stung it hurts like you wouldn't believe.> He seems still relatively happy and he still has a fine appetite however he has become far more docile than he used to be. Of course he comes out a little more at night but he used to follow us around the room and now doesn't come out as often. <I'm sure he's both wary of the lionfish and wary of his tankmates since he does have an injury and possibly cannot see as well as normal. While I do not advocate medicating unless its necessary I would definitely keep an eye on his eye to make sure its clearing up on its own quickly. I personally recommend adding something like Selcon with vitamin C to assist in the cure but if the eye doesn't appear to be healing on its own you might need to consider adding an antibiotic. I wouldn't add it unless he appears to be having problems healing because it does mess with the tanks bacteria on occasion as well. > I guess that it is cloudy eye due to the stress of being stung by the lion but just wanted to double check there is nothing I should do, as we would be devastated to lose our cute little ET impersonator!!! <To me its sounds more like he was stung in his eye because you saw the ring of blood in his eye. Usually there is a mark where they get stung. Keeping your tank healthy is the best thing you can do for your fish as you very well know. If he doesn't show signs of improvement in two or three days I would look into antibiotics for assistance. Your tank sounds lovely and amusing. Good luck, MacL> Any advice would be appreciated.. Regards

Dead Sohal  06/08/07 Hi Crew <Wayne> Well, I'm sad to say that my Sohal died the other day. It was so fast and sudden, that I'm concerned about the health its tankmates. I've attached a pic. I'm hoping you can help diagnose what killed my Sohal. <Does look like something beat it...> Tuesday morning he was behaving and eating normally... by noon he had this big swollen "welt" on his left side. The welt looked like the surface of a Qtip, it was white, and was the size of a tic-tac. There were small "fibers" sticking out, and I could see his stripes underneath. I don't think it was a wound from a scuffle with other fish, as there appeared to be no missing flesh. The whole time he was breathing heavily, and just stayed in 1 spot from noon all the way until 7am Wed morning. In the morning I noticed the welt was now on his right side also. Couldn't do much then, I had to hit the road for work. I received a phone call from my wife at 10am saying the fish was dead. He was QT'd for 8weeks. He had an issue with Ich, treated with copper and was placed in the tank after 3 weeks of Ich free symptoms. I didn't wait the entire 6 weeks, because I was concerned about his prolonged stay in the inconsistent conditions of the QT he was in. It was a gamble that several people suggested was the right thing to do. <Yes... I would have done the same> He went about 4 weeks in our display before he died on Wed. Everything seemed great while he was in the display. He was being fed Angel formula, Formula 2, Nori and Mysis Shrimp. all were soaked in Kent Zoe prior to feeding. I'm good about water quality. I do 30 gal water changes every week with RODI water that's properly prepared. Nitrates/nitrites/ammonia are 0, PH 8.3, Spg, 1.026, temp 80 +/- .5. There was little aggression in the tank which is a 210, with 250lbs of LR. He went from fine to dead in less than 24 hrs. Do you have any ideas what killed my fish? After reading your article on disease, I'm thinking some kind of Fungal infection? <Nah... such virulent fungal infections are extremely rare... the circumstances would wipe out the other fish life> Should I be hospitalizing all my fish (9" Volitans Lion, <This is likely "it"... the fish was/got "poked"...> 1" Yellowtail Damsel, 4" Emperor Angel, and 5" Harlequin Tusk). So far, all other fish look normal. Thanks for your help. Wayne <Again... appears to be resultant from a severe physical trauma... I strongly suspect a run-in with the Lion. Bob Fenner>

Large Angel Question, Compatibility; Fish Only Marine, large messy fish  5/31/07 Hey crew, <Hi Joe.> Kudos on all the great info (as always). <Thanks.> I've recently stumbled onto a piece of info on the web that concerns me and I want to bounce it off you for a sanity check since there is so much MIS-information on the web. <No problem.> My question revolves around stocking and compatibility. <Okay.> First I'll give you my tank set-up. 240g (96x24x24) w/ over 300lbs of LR, Aqua C EV-240 skimmer w/ Mag 12 pump, Dart return pump 10+ cycles per hr, Amiracle 400 dual Wet-Dry Filter, Retro PC lights, lunars, etc. <Sounds adequate.> Current stock list: 8" Volitans Lion, 6-7" Miniatus Grouper, 25+" Snowflake Moray Planned/Proposed List: Yellow Tang, Queen Angel, Harlequin Tusk Wrasse, and possibly a Naso or Sohal Tang (If I remove the Grouper, depends on his behavior) <Well if you decide on going with the Sohal, you likely won't want to add any other surgeons.> My questions are these. <Okay.> 1. I read on another site that the Queen Angel should NOT be house with a Lion or Grouper. This was the only time I had ever heard that and I was told on another forum that the Angel would pick at the Lion. <Is a possibility, large angels are quite territorial and despite their obvious defenses lions are much more prone to being on the losing end of a fight than most people will admit. SO I wouldn't say there is a guarantee the angel will go after the lion but it is a risk to consider as well.> This is a SHOCKER as I currently have the 6" Yellow Tang & 6" Queen in my 75g QT tank. Can you confirm any of this info? <See above ^^ .> 2. How does that stocking list look to you? <You've got large and messy fish, some that are potentially aggressive/territorial. Close attention must be paid to water quality and behavior/health.> The only one that concerns me is my Miniatus (even though he is just gorgeous). Should I be concerned? <I would say cautious, and watching for signs of "foul play."> I thought I would test the grouper with the yellow tang before I risk my Queen. Like a pawn in chess you know...risk the tang and protect the queen. <Let me know how it goes.> Anyway, thanks for the feedback. <Anytime.> Joe <Adam J.>

Problems Feeding My Lionfish (Puffer/Lionfish Incompatibility)  05/08/07 Dear Bob, <<Hello Jason...Eric here this A.M.>> I recently acquires a Lionfish and a Porcupine Puffer. <<Neat fishes...though not really compatible>> My problem comes in at feeding time. <<Indeed>> The Puffer eats everything I put into the tank so the Lionfish doesn't have a chance to eat. <<Just one of several reasons these two species do not do well together in typical home displays>> Any suggestions as to how I can distract the Puffer from taking everything away from the Lionfish?  At one point the Lionfish was ready to suck in a prawn  and the Puffer practically took it out of the Lionfish mouth.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Best regards, Jason <<Obviously, the best solution is to have these fishes in separate systems.  Failing that, you can try fabricating/inserting some type of divider (a piece of acrylic sheet) at feeding times to corral the Puffer away from the Lionfish to give the latter time enough to feed.  Do also keep an eye on these two, especially for signs of fin damage on the Lionfish as sooner or later the Puffer will likely begin to chew on its tankmate..  Regards, EricR>>

Lionfish problems!!! HELP  3/19/07 Hi, I have had a Lionfish for the last 6 months, who was doing wonderfully well. In the last week, it refuses to eat, and has been swimming from side to side in the tank for hours, like he had never done before. <Unusual behavior> I've tried hand-feeding it silver fish, krill, and raw shrimps. He just doesn't eat. My tank is a 92 gallon, and my lionfish is about 6 inches long. I have 3 tangs and one panther grouper. <Mmmm> It is a reef tank. Is it possible that he is outgrowing the tank? <More likely the tankmates> Or is it the beginning of a parasite or any disease? <Not likely> Please help, I love this fish! Thanks, Gary <The behavior is indicative of "something" bothering this specimen... that is obviously not bothering your other fish livestock... Likely the presence of the Chromileptis/Panther is "it"... If this were my Lion, I'd move it to another system to see if this "cures" the non-feeding and pacing behavior... and if you don't have such means, I'd trade in either it or the Bass. Bob Fenner>

Tank mates, SW... Triggers and Lions NOT tog.    03/09/07 Hello all! <<Hi Brent.>> I have to say that I have never come across such knowledgeable and caring people when it comes to providing a home for such wondrous creatures of the sea. <<Ah, thank you. I'm glad to help.>> I have been reading through all the information on the sight religiously.  I came across an article that stated one could keep a clown trigger and a Volitans lionfish together if the tank was not over crowded and provide lots of hiding places. <<I do not personally think this is a great idea.>> This summer I plan on getting 96x24x24 (240g long) aquarium.  The clown trigger is a must have for myself.  I was also planning on getting an emperor angelfish and a snowflake eel.  Once I read the article about the clown trigger and the Volitans lionfish living together, I though I might get a Volitans lionfish fish for the aquarium. My question is, before I make a mistake, can I house all these fish in the aquarium? <<I would skip the lion.>> Furthermore, is the trigger going to kill the Volitans? <<Clowns can be very aggressive; the lion's spines are certainly at risk.>> The clown trigger would be the last fish introduced to the tank. <<Wise.>> If the tank mates I have chosen for the clown trigger are not advised, what could be some possible alternative suggestions?  I really would like an eel to go with the trigger as well as a large angel.  I just don't want to over crowd the aquarium. <<I think you?#8364;™ll be fine here.  Provide broken lines of sight, and be prepared for aggression, but skip the lion.  There are dwarf lions that don?#8364;™t require mammoth tanks, if you have your heart set on one.>> Thanks for all your hard work and dedication! Brent <<Glad to help! Lisa.>>

Doing What Come Naturally?.Lion Eating Hermits 1/16/07 I have a really big problem, <I'm all ears> in my tank of about 450 litres, I have a Pterois volitans that have eat an hermit crab. <Sounds like natural behavior for the lion.> I am very worried , he seams to be ok (to days later) The hermits are from Brazil, very small ones, I have more or less 20 hermits crabs in my tank and about 20 snails too. Can my scorpion digest it? <If he was large enough to swallow it whole, he should be able to digest it just fine.  In fact he will continue to eat the rest of the hermits and snails.> will he die for eating it? <Not likely.> Please tell me what do you think it will happen. <I think your lion will continue to practice this natural behavior on smaller tank denizens.> The Pterois is about 15 centimeters long and 43 years of age. <I'm guessing that age is a typo or was lost in translation somewhere> Thank you very much from ARGENTINA (SOUTH AMERICA) ALEJANDRO <Adam J. from SoCal.> Re: Lion eating hermits Thanks a lot, I was not sure if he could digest the hermit, you were right, the age of my lion is 4 years, <That's what I figured....> I usually feed him with shrimps, fish meat, and beef heart. <Leave out the beef heart...terrestrial food isn't that great for him.> I did not know that it was usual food (snails and hermits), <Lions are ambush predators, if it fits into their mouth it's fair game.> so next time I will not collect that poor bugs from the sea, at least I can say that it will be good for her diet. <Somewhat, variety is the key IMO.> I brought them thinking of a cleaning team. <Understood.> Here in Argentina all kind of stuff from overseas is extremely expensive, and our economy is not the best. <Sorry to here that.> In my tank I only have the lion and a Zebrasoma velifera , with a wet dry , and a canister filter and to more pumps. Thank you very much again and I should congratulate you for you job Alejandra <Live long and prosper (name the character, lol)....Adam J.>

Re: Sohal tang aggressive?  1/2/07 Thanks for the prompt response Rick. <Thank Graham for pestering Rick, Rick for the info ;) Graham with you exclusively today.> My Damsel is 1" and was the first marine fish my wife and I bought 1.5 years ago.  He's a warrior!  The Lionfish gave up hunting him a long time ago. <Sounds about right for a Chromis xanthurum.> I had intended to add a 3" Sohal, so you and I are on the same page except for one thing.  I intended the Sohal to be the next, but not last addition to the tank.   <Can be done... but you save stress and returns to the LFS when adding an aggressive fish to your system last.> I'd also like to get an Angelfish (not sure what kind. I'd like to get a larger specimen), and a Porcupine Puffer. <You're right to add them before the Acanthurus sohal.> So... to revise my question, would a Sohal Tang be a good, last addition to my tank if I had... Volitans Lionfish 9" Harlequin Tuskfish 5" Yellowtail Damsel 1" Porcupine Puffer ?" Angelfish ?"(any suggestions?) <Honestly, I think your specimen list would be fine, though I keep thinking of all the Volitans I've seen bullied by other fish in the past. But if yours eats live food, then maybe he has the Moxie he needs. As for the angel suggestions, try a Pomacanthus paru (Cortez) or Pomacanthus conspectus (French) as these are hardy, active and feisty individuals. Just know that tangs and angels sometime decide they are too similar to be nice to each other. You may want to consider adding the angel and tang at the same time to avoid territorial disputes.> Do you think this bioload would be too high?  I have a 40 gal refugium as well as the EV240, I fill a Phosban reactor full of Carbon, and do 20 gal water changes weekly with RODI water. <Nope, looks good to me.> Thanks for the warning on the poisonous spines.  You are exactly right, not a whole lot is written about this topic. Happy New Year! <And you.> Wayne <Graham>
Re: Sohal tang aggressive?
 1/2/07 Thanks Graham! <Of course! Just happy to help.> I understand your concern for the Volitans.  If the new fish I introduced were smaller than my lionfish, would that deter them from bullying him in the future? ...even if they get bigger than the lionfish in the future? <I did not mean to cloud your mind on the subject of your lion. No, he is not generally going to get beat up. But, they do tend to take the path of least resistance in an overly aggressive setup. I don't think this will be the case, and you have the right idea about starting the fish small so they remember him as bigger. Besides, a tang has little to gain from dancing with a Lionfish. Groupers and other medium to large aggressive were on my mind. I did not know that Lionfish have a history of being bullied.  Always thought they were tough, but passive fish. <True, see above. (I left the retail store I worked in one night to return the next morning to a 300gal tank strewn with Lion spines and guts that had been painstakingly spread about by a 6" Balistapus Undulatus. Poor buggers.)> Wayne <P.S. one thing I forgot to mention, is that the small list of angels I mentioned is obviously not the end-all. Just a quick list I came up with based on a little looking at some various online databases and my memory of their reactions in a retail or service setting. Generally, angels that are hardy, are usually tough, too.> Re: Longnose Hawk compatible with a smaller Lion and Snowflake Moray?   12/8/06 Thanks Bob. <Welcome David> If I am looking at a Radiata or Antennata Lion... They get to a maximum of about 8 - 10", correct? <About this standard length in captivity, yes> If I get a young lion and a medium sized Hawkfish... Both should be around 4-5" ???? <Mmm, the Lionfish will likely be around this length minimally, the Hawkfish almost always smaller at sale>   Would/could a 10" lion swallow up a 4 or 5" Hawkfish... <Oh yes...> Aren't they quite long? <Lionfishes regularly ingest fishes (and non-fishes!) of considerable size... Shades of the old-saying/pitch, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing">   I guess obviously you're implying quite likely.  Would a Flamehawk be better? <Mmm, not in terms of relative potential for being consumed, no, not IMO/E> They are thicker and chubbier aren't they? <Heeeee! Are you (giving you my best Robert De Niro impression while doing a push-up here) talking to me? Yes, are, but still imminently-inhaleable> I put a deposit down on my snowflake moray.  This one's beautiful... Retailer has had him for 5 weeks.  Putting my fingers close to the tank, the eel comes to investigate, seems very alert, and healthy. <Good sign>   I saw him full length at about 13".  This will be my first addition to the 200gallon tank and because he is the first addition I am more or less quarantining him in my display.  All other additions will be quarantined in a hospital tank.  I'm wondering if it'd be worth it to add one or two blue-tailed damsels just to ensure my Moray isn't a fish eater? <Mmm, a good idea to add these, and/or other life period... principally to help "clean up" uneaten foods, "detritus"... and keep your interest...> Or do you think not necessary? <Not as a test for the Eel's compatibility, no> I'd rather a $6 damsel be eaten up vs. a $50 show fish.  Furthermore, given my tank volume... Am I ok introducing two fish at once initially? <Mmm... in terms of? I would at least dip/bath the new fishes...> Or should I stick to the eel with the next addition after about 3 to 4 weeks? <Up to you> Given my snowflake Moray, the radiata or antennata lion (only one of), tang, a smaller angel or flame angel... <A/the Lion may well eat the Centropyge in time as well...> Can you recommend a few others that would be a nice addition? <Posted on WWM...> You questioned my selection of wrasse (ornate wrasse) as a possible bully to the lion? <... what species is this? Halichoeres ornatissimus? The common name is applied to a few Labrids...> But your FAQ and website almost imply that this wrasse would be a good community fish only specimen.  I'd like a colorful wrasse that doesn't get bigger than about 6-8"... Or at least out of the swallowable range from the lion. By reading your info... I'm definitely staying away from puffers and triggers. <You are wise here if you intend to keep Lions, Eels...>   A Marine Beta perhaps?  Foxface? <Both good choices>   What I'd really like is your opinion on another addition that maybe I wouldn't even think of... Something out there in left field so to speak.  I like colorful critters.  Would a lynchia star be ok? <Not a Linckia... believe/trust me here... take your time... You have plenty... Enjoy the (non-western ethic I know) process (not simply an end-point/product) view/experience here... Read, imagine, visit LFS's, chat with other hobbyists... Bob Fenner>

Re: Mixing in a Moray - 11/02/06 Hi Bob, <<Eric here, stepping in for Bob who as you might be aware, is out diving the globe with "off-again on-again" net connectivity>> Thanks for the reply.  Was also wondering if a 210 would be too small for a Tesselata or could he live comfortably in it even when he reaches full size? <<Would be fine for a while, but these eels can exceed 10 feet in length (becoming very aggressive in the process)...it would warrant more than a six-foot tank at maturity, in my opinion>> Also how do you find puffers (dogface in particular) get along with lions?  Some people say they do great and others say the puffers just chew all their spines off and beat them up.  I know puffers like to pick at things but in general do they get along together with lions? <<Not a good mix.  I see many instances where hobbyists are having problems with lionfish, and lo and behold, there's a puffer in the tank>> Thanks again for any info you can help me with. <<Pleased to share.  Eric Russell>>

Lionfish in a Reef - 09/16/06 I have a question in regards to adding a lion to a reef tank. <<Okay>> I know I don't have to worry about the lion messing with corals but how about my clean-up crews? <<Is some danger of this>> This is a 90 gallon reef by the way with about 120lbs of live rock.  I know shrimp will be inhaled, but how about hermits and starfish. <<Not usually bothered>> Also, about their behavior.  I have been told that Dwarf lions are not as active swimmers as say a Volitans.  Is this true or false? James S. Smith <<None of the lionfish species are what I would call particularly "active".  All are generally slow-moving "stalkers" that tend to prefer calmer and less brightly-lit portions of the reef.  The Volitans lionfish will usually remain "suspended" in the water column, while the Dwarf species is often found "at rest" against the rockwork, usually in a vertical head-down posture...in my experience.  Eric Russell>>

Lions and Marine Bettas 7/1/06 Hi there just a quick question.  Would a marine Betta be O.K. with a zebra lionfish in a 30 gallon tank. Many thanks. <No, both get too large for this tank.> <Chris>

New to the hobby . . . a little advice ... MacL's Back!!! Hey To all of you at WWM! <Hi there, MacL here after a long hiatus.> The hobby of fish keeping has just recently became a very serious interest of mine, I housed a few 10 gallon tanks for years but just recently increased my tank sizes... alot. <Beware it can become seriously addicting.> I am still living at my parents house, because I just graduated from high school, so my room has became the show room for my two aquariums. I have a 46 gallon bowfront FW tank and a 55 gallon SW tank. <Very nice.> I have a picture attached to give you a better idea on the situation. <Unfortunately the picture didn't make it to me. Sorry!> The floor seems to be holding these two aquariums fine. I searched on your FAQ's on aquarium stands and floor support and found that the type of iron stand supporting my 55 gallon should have a piece of plywood under it!!! <The plywood spreads the weight and basically, for lack of a better word, cushions it. It also provides bracing so the legs don't bend and fail on you. Always a good idea to prevent a problem.>  I would drain my tank and get right on that but I plan on taking the 46 and 55 out of my room and just keeping a 125 gallon aquarium with a nice level wood stand. My parents seem concerned with this (which is understandable) but it is only 25 gallons more of weight. <It is indeed just a little bit more weight but it does have a little to do with weight disbursement. What you also need to remember is that water weighs 8 lbs per gallon so when you figure 125 gallon you have around 1000lbs of weight. Most people do not have the support beams in their house to hold that and need to do some additional bracing unless they use a load bearing wall.> I do not see this being a problem as long as the weight is equally distributed. I am hoping you guys can help me out because the only reason for upgrading to a 125 is from all of the useful information I found regarding proper tank sizes for fish. <Absolutely the way to go, the larger the tank, absolutely the better for many, many reasons.> My local fish store which does strictly saltwater fish convinced me that a baby striped pufferfish (around 3 inches) and a large lionfish (around 7 inches) would do just fine together in a 55 gallon tank! <EEEEEKKKKKK.> I don't want my poor animals growth to get stunted from such a small tank. My striped Pufferfish has been very stressed since I introduced the lionfish. <Not surprising, have you seen the size of the Lionfishes mouth? Reminds me of some people I know digging in at the local buffet.> The lionfish seems territorial but has never attacked my little friend. All my puffer fish does now is lay on the bottom hiding in openings of live rock except for when food is dropped in at nights. I honestly think that the only reason for this is that fact that the tank is to small and extremely over crowded. I searched and found the striped puffer fish can reach 15 to 20 inches, is this in captivity or in the wild? Again the big question I have really concerns my floor supporting the weight of a 125 gallon. With a sturdy stand and foam or ply-wood underneath I hope it would not be a concern, if so could you please point me in the right direction of what to do for it to work. <Are you on the first floor or the second floor? That makes a huge difference!> The house is probably a little over 25 years old. My Local Fish store said a tank of 180 gallons would be fine in my room because the weight would even out to be around a pound to each square inch... I trust your advice much more than theirs especially after they sold me those animals knowing I had such a small tank. <I have to say that it really depends on the location in your house. Where you plan to put the tank. If it won't work in the location you planned perhaps some negotiations with your parents. Do you have a basement?> I learned my mistake and do all my research on WWM now, thanks a lot guys. Also in the past I have emailed to you, I found a few of my messages answered but had trouble searching and finding the rest of them, I think this is because I was new to the site and didn't know where to find them. I am pretty sure I have it figured out now though, do I click on the "today's FAQ's page?" I figure I do although I didn't see a special section for the Saltwater FAQ's. Just Fresh and Brackish. <Look under Marine.> Also to give you a better idea on the setup of my room for the support of a 125 I took a picture which includes the 46 gallon bow front (left side) and the 55 gallon Saltwater (right side). Both are on the same wall. And a picture of my very large lionfish as well if you had any interest in seeing it! I picked him up pretty much full grown for only 30 dollars.. The guys at the LFS enjoy my company there and sell me fish extremely cheap. <That's a good thing and a bad thing when they sell you a fish that doesn't work for the size of your tank. Obviously though you are on the right track.> Again thanks for taking the time to read through this email and answer my questions! Do you guys get paid to do this ? I hope so!  <Nope no payment. Good luck. MacL> -Peter

125 Gallon Aquarium - Proper Fish Selection   5/23/06 Hello everyone.  I have a question about the proper selection of fish for a 125 gallon tank (4'x2'x3') with 100 lbs of live rock, wet/dry and a Vecton 15watt UV, no crustaceans, no coral.  My dream list of inhabitants would be a P. Volitans Lionfish, Emperor Angel, and a Powder Blue Tang.   <The angel will grow too large for this size, shaped system> The more I read, the more I'm finding that my tank is probably not big enough, especially for the Emperor.  The only fish that is a must-have is the Lionfish.  Can you give any suggestions as to other fish that would be compatible? <... there are many. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lioncompfaqs.htm for guidelines, suggestions> Possibly a Huma Huma Trigger (might nip at the Lion?), a dog-face puffer or a long-nose butterfly? <Perhaps the last... puffers and triggers are too likely to chew the lion. Bob Fenner>   Thanks for all the help! Ryan Mullinax Thanks Bob!  I just want to say that I have gotten so much insight from WWM and I feel much more confident with keeping marine aquaria now. <Ahh! Glad that you have found our efforts useful. BobF>

Puffer and red Volitans   03/07/06 Hello, I have spent many countless days/nights searching through your site, and I believe now it is unavoidable* (at least I think it is) but to ask you the ?  is there anyway I can keep my porcupine puffer with a Volitans lionfish.  <Not a good idea. Have seen done (successfully and not) many times... but two real problems. One that the Puffer might bite (but good) the Lion, and more commonly that the Lion will have great difficulties feeding with the Puffer there...> I personally did not choose the combination but my wife who went to a certain (very educated I must say, educated as most common Betta owners) LFS name specific PetCo, <"It's the people, not the store name"> no need discriminate etc., but anyhow I have a Volitans with a porcupine and I am wondering if there is any way that I can make them coexist, I understand its the porcupines nature to nip at long fins, so I am looking for a way to sell the Volitans, or provide a comfortable (safe) environment for both of them.  The tank that the Volitans and the porcupine are in is a 75 gallon <Will ultimately be too small for either> with a divider in the center (estimated 37.5 gallons each) far to small for each of them individually. In other words what actions can I take to give them a happy environment? <Really? Two larger tanks... see what we've both written above> (in addition I have tried to sell the Volitans but there is not a high demand in my area) any help/suggestions appreciated Ryan <Classifieds, Craigslist... signs up at the local fish stores, a call to local marine clubs. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish help ... Centropyge comp.  - 3/1/2006 Hello Bob <Wayne> I read until my eyes dried out trying to find the answer to my Lionfish question. <Google on WWM, the cached view...> So forgive me if I'm asking a repeat question.  I have a 120 Gal, that I upgraded to from a 55gal, with about 50-60# of live rock, Volitans Lionfish, Snowflake eel, Coral Beauty, 2 Yellowtail Damsels.  I also have 2 Condy Anemones, Devils Hand Leather, Cauliflower Leather.  I'm using a Berlin Skimmer, Orbit 4x96w 10K/Actinic lighting (switched from a Coralife 4x65), a 40 gal refugium with a mag18 pump.  I have a small powerhead that I use to keep circulation going behind the rocks.  So far I've only tested for Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia, and PH, which are a 0,0,0,8.2 respectively. <All sounds good thus far> I just added the Berlin (5days ago), and was using a Skilter prior. <Heeee! Some difference now!>   I've had this tank running now for about 7 weeks (upgraded from a 55gal which I had for 1 year).  We've had the Lionfish now for about 7 months. Here's my question/concern.. My Lionfish has recently (past 2 weeks, since we introduced the Coral Beauty) started to be extremely active.  This is just the opposite of what I'm used to.   <Yes... Centropyges can "pick" at Pteroines mercilessly...> He usually hangs out in some "caves" I made for him, and was relatively inactive during the day.  Ever since I got the Coral Beauty, the lionfish no longer goes to the bottom half of the tank and is constantly facing the glass and swimming against the current.  He is eating well (I feed him a combination of frozen shrimp, scallops, and flounder every other day), and his black stripes are now slightly brown.  I noticed one of his eyes looks slightly "cloudy". <Good observation> It's so subtle that I'm questioning whether or not I'm just being paranoid.  Paranoid or not, he is definitely more active than I've ever seen him.  Today, I restructured the "seascape" and made more caves hoping that he'll get back to normal. Should I be concerned about this energetic behavior from my Lionfish, or am I being paranoid.  He has never been this active before. Thanks again for all your help! Wayne <Only time can tell whether the Dwarf Angel is directly pestering your Lion... If so they will have to be separated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lionfish help **Time sensitive feedback. Please!!!   3/3/06
Hey Bob! <Wayne> Thanks for the feedback... <Welcome> I have to say... I stare at our tank probably more than I should, and I've never seen the Coral Beauty and the Lionfish act aggressively toward each other. <I see> So I'm thinking that an Ich outbreak is starting in my tank...and thus the reason form my Lionfishes "hyperactive" behavior. <Maybe> The Lionfish's' condition hasn't changed and my wife noticed this morning that the Coral Beauty has some white spots on it.  Again, it's kind of subtle... we at first thought they were just air bubbles, but after most of the day, the spots remained on the fish.  You see... I got bit by the bug when I got the 120gal, and only now have I discovered that QT'ing newly bought fish is a necessity.  Needless to say, the Coral Beauty was not QT'd. My tail is between my legs, and I've learned my lesson. <Good> So...We've decided to start a hospital tank.  We figured that it was better safe than sorry.  I've never seen Ich before, so after reading all the symptoms, white spots, cloudy eyes, sporadic behavior... we figured we fit the bill, and that it was a good idea to start a Hospital tank.   <There are some pix on WWM, elsewhere on the Net... I'd look> Here's what I plan to do or have already done.  Please tell me if I'm doing something wrong.  This strategy has mostly been sourced from WWM...I've never done this before so here goes... I took our old 55gal, and mixed salt water with distilled water (I don't have enough water pressure for an RO/DI unit). <I would use the "old water" for the initial move here... no reason not to> The manufacturer confirmed no copper in the distilling process, and no copper present in test results. My main tank is usually around 1.023.  I'm going to mix the hosp tank to 1.021.  I hope this isn't too low. <For these fishes? No... but I would not move them to more than 0.001, a thousandth change in a day...>   I'll let the water mix for a good 24 hours. <Do this for the needed change-out water... not the initial. Make this with the current system water with some freshwater added to lower the initial spg about a thousandth down...> A 280gph powerhead will be inserted, a 300w heater to match the main tank @ 78 degrees, and a Skilter with no carbon, just the foam filter inserted (I also disabled the "skimmer" part of the Skilter).  I don't plan to use any lighting, just regular day light.  I have a Coralife 4x65 10K/Act light just sitting in the garage that I could use. I plan to add some CopperSafe by Mardel...how much?? I'll wait until I see the directions from the bottle. <... Very important to hammer this message home... USE a test kit... NOT a blind measure of so much per supposed gallons...> When all is mixed, and at least 24 hrs have passed from the time I salt-mixed the hospital tank, I plan to take ALL my fish out (regardless of their symptoms or lack of), and freshwater dip them 3-5 min each.  I can't find any Methylene Blue to mix in the dip, I hope this isn't too big of a deal!   <Shouldn't be if they're not "too" debilitated... do pH adjust...> So I will use just distilled water. <Dechloraminated tap is fine, better... and do aerate this...> As sad as it is to say, I can't afford to pay $29 to overnight a bottle of the stuff to my home.  I've spent all my disposable cash on the main tank.  From there they will go into the hospital tank for 6weeks.  I'll do 10% water changes and siphons every week for 6 weeks, as well as my main tank. After the 6 weeks, do I just drop all the livestock back in the main? <Likely so> Is there a way to check the main tank to see if the Ich is gone?   <Not practically> The livestock that will go in the hospital tank are... Volitans Lion 7", Coral Beauty, 2 Yellowtail Damsels, and a Snowflake eel 8" <The damsels will likely be inhaled... do add some large PVC fittings, pipe for hiding> This is where I get cheesy! I have a plastic "Castle", a "Bridge" and a fake plant that I'd like to put in the hosp tank.  I figured since the Lionfish and the Eel like to hide that this might be a good idea.   <Okay> It sure would be great to hear from you by 3:00pm ET tomorrow!   Please advise if I'm missing anything.   You guys/gals are great!  Keep up the great work!  Thanks a ton! Wayne <When in doubt, anxious, do read over the archived materials on Marine Parasitic Disease... this will take a while... Bob Fenner>

FOWLR mates for lion  - 02/16/2006 Guys I'm setting up my new tank (150 reef) and want to keep my 55 as a FOWLR. Wanted to get a lion with a couple mates. I made a nice cave for him. Always wanted one. I've read the compatibility charts and Mr. Fenner's book says most mates become aqua popcorn. I was thinking something that wouldn't harass like a butterfly trio (Black &White/Dot Dash/Pakistani,) all "good butterflies. <Good choices> I really want to focus on 1-3 mates that won't hassle him. I also want to be the only one in the house that enjoys $50 dinners not my fish.  What inverts can I have? Are hermits even popcorn? Thanks Jeff <Sessile (bottom, slow to non-moving) types... like echinoderms (hardy ones... covered on WWM), larger hermits (small may be inhaled) will work out. I take it you've read re Lion Compatibility on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/lioncompfaqs.htm Many choices... as you say though... not animals that will pick on the Lion, nor be sucked up by it. Bob Fenner> Fish compatibility... lions, triggers, puffers  12/21/05 Hi, <Hello there>       I looked over puffer/lion fish FAQs are could only find that porcupine puffers (Diodon holocanthus) are not recommend with long finned lion fish because of fin nipping habits.  Does this mean that a dwarf fuzzy lion or fu Manchu lion fish have a better chance of compatibility? <Mmm, no... not really. More to do here with the sedentary nature of Scorpaeniform fishes period. In general they're easy pickings> especially since these particular lion fish have fins closer to body, and are more likely to stay close to bottom of tank and rock work plus are nocturnal hunters compared to the porcupine puffer which stays in middle area between surface and bottom most of the time.  Do these fish have a better rate of compatibility together if they are fed on regular schedules, and adequately enough to sustain contentedness even  though these fish are known to gorge? one more question, what are the chances of compatibility of a Picasso triggerfish and dwarf lions?   <About the same. Not good> According to WWM it is not recommended because trigger will become more aggressive with time, but I just want to know the possibilities.  I trying to stock a 110 gallon fish only tank and want to know my options, I know filtration is an issue with these larger fish, but I am prepared.   <Chances... I'd say about 50:50, diminishing with age, time, size. Bob Fenner> thank you for your time and help! Much appreciated!                         Chris What I Want and What I Get - Lionfish with Tang and Trigger 11/30/05 Hi! <<Hi!>> I would like to get a lionfish for my aquarium, would it be able to live with a tang and triggerfish? <<Without knowing ANYTHING else about your setup, I can tell you that the trigger will be a problem with Lionfishes.  They are known to bite off the ends of their spines (ostensibly to eat the now de-venomed fish). Please, also, go to our homepage, enter your search terms (lionfish compatible trigger tang), then when you get the results hit the 'cached' link to see your results with the search terms highlighted. In short, I would not recommend it without knowing MUCH more, and even then may not. Marina>>  

Lionfish tankmates 11/16/05 Hi I have a large lionfish that in the past has caused a stingray to die from a wound. The clumsy stingray bumped into the lion and died a few days later. Anyway, I have a valuable tesselata eel in one of my other tanks and would like to move it to the lion tank. I always see people keeping lions with other predatory fish but I just wanted to make sure that the same thing would not happen to the tesselata. Do most fish instinctively know to stay away? Dinesh Patolia  <There is always a risk, but unless you have an especially belligerent or aggressive lion, the eel should be able to stay away. Your stingray was at much greater risk because it is a much larger target and can't maneuver very well. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Lions tryin', Lion Compatibility  10/19/05 MacL- (Or, any of you kind folks at WWM.... but Mac knows my story well.... ) <Mmm, just saw this...MacL not checking her in-box?> Mac- Sorry I have not been updating you on the lions. My two attempts at adding another lion fish to the tank failed, and I have not tried it again. It has been a pretty lonely tank for Big Daddy for the last several months. I tend to get very discouraged when the animals pass on, and I do not want to keep on risking it. Moreover, I really do not want to expose Big Daddy to any stress from having not-so-healthy new tankmates, so I try and not add anything. I had lost the man who was taking care of my tank because his business went under, and it has been a real loss. He used to personally order the fish from his suppliers and quarantine and treat them for several weeks before adding them to my tank. I have NEVER had such luck with purchasing stock from a LFS. Kind of disappointing. I did however, take on one tank mate for Big Daddy. Unfortunately, it is a maroon clown, something I swore never to have after my previous clowns turned out to be S.O.B.'s. But, my friend had to take down his system and had no where to put his last remaining fish, so I agreed to take him. He is large and really beautiful. He has acclimated to my system wonderfully, and so far, hasn't been an ass. In any event, I also knew that I would be having a move coming up, and I did not want to add anything to the tank before this move. SO... here comes the problem.... I had the move, about 8 weeks ago. The tank held up wonderfully, and I really think was looking so much better after the move. After about 5 weeks, I felt it was safe to try and add a few things. I added two yellow tangs because I have a (sometimes too) healthy growth of Caulerpa. The tangs were a great addition. The clown got an anemone in the process and has kept himself busy with that. He doesn't bother the tangs, I suppose, because they are such a drastically different body type. Big Daddy seems to enjoy the company as his coloring is better and he seems to be more active and not hiding in the back. So we live in Houston and were (ever so) slightly affected by the Hurricane in the sense that we have had rolling blackouts for several days. Thankfully, our house and property where saved and we only had 60 mile an hour winds here, but as I said, we lost power many times with the last being two days ago. I had an aerator that was powered via a car battery on standby, but the power was never really off for longer than 2-3 hours. I never used it. I THOUGHT that 2-3 hours would not be detrimental, but could it have been being that it probably happened 8 times over a week? <Sounds like all was/is okay> I had to go to Canada for work over the weekend and my mother was taking care of the tank. She is very educated on SW fish and what not. She had to go out of town herself on Sunday, so no one saw it Sunday or Monday until now. Big Daddy looks bad.... The tank had run out of water in the sump enough to get air bubbles flowing pretty heavily in the main aquarium. I have no idea how long it had been doing this, but let's assume over 24 hours. Big Daddy was huddled in the bottom corner covered in air bubbles. I immediately added water to the tank, and everyone else in the system looks fine. All the corals are doing well, too. Big daddy, however, is still very pale and has white spots again. His eyes have slightly fogged and I notice several white spots on them, a s well. Sadly, his tail fin has a slit in the middle of it but is still connected at beginning and end, looking like a skinny donut hole. In all these comments, can you notice anything that would be the direct cause of this, or could he just be stressed out? <Likely just the latter> No one else in the tank has any symptoms, though... I have run out of supplies and will head to the store tomorrow if possible with work so that I can do a water change tomorrow night, but it might not be until Wed. morning that I can do this. I tried to feed him, but he was not hungry. My mother said the last time he ate was Thursday. He usually eats every 2 days when he is feeling normal. I will try and feed him again tomorrow. Since writing this e-mail, he has begun moving around the tank more, and looks to be acting normal at least, but he does not look good. Hopefully, since he has proven so strong before, he can push through this as well. Is there anything else I should be doing to try and help him along? <Mmm, not that "pops out" in my mind> I will do the water change. I will try and get him to eat. Do you have any feelings on Kick-Ich? I have used it before, but I never really thought it worked.... <Is a farce... please Google WWM re> If he is worse in the morning, I will send a picture.... I apologize for such a novel-length e-mail, but I like to include all the recent history to see if something sticks out to you as a problem..... Thanks for your time! Brett <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Triggerfish and Lionfish Compatibility 09/19/05 Hello! <<Hello Ben, Ted here>> I have a 125gal aquarium. I love lions and I will definitely be getting a Volitans lion. Here's my question, I would love to try a trigger fish, is there a triggerfish that could live with a lion? I was thinking about getting a Picasso (sp?) <<Picasso>> triggerfish. <<I would not recommend putting a Picasso triggerfish in with a lionfish. Please see these search results from WWM ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lioncompfaqs.htm). After looking at these FAQs, please do other searches on WWM such as "Lionfish and Triggerfish".>> Here's my line up for my 125gal: -Volitans lionfish -Goldentail moray -Picasso triggerfish -Lunare wrasse Thanks, Ben <<You're welcome and good luck - Ted>>

Dyin' For A Lion! (Lionfish Suitability) 6/31/05 Hi Crew, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> You guys do great, hard work and it's appreciated by all who can read. <Glad you enjoy it! We're proud to bring the site to you each and every day!> I've been reading your site for the past week, which means I've probably read about 1% of the total information and all of my questions have already been answered in the remaining 99%, so I'll understand if you point me back to http://www.wetwebmedia.com. I have a 20 gallon FO marine tank cycling with two Damsels.  I realize now, thanks to you guys, that this is unnecessary and that live rock is a better situation, but the fish are strong and eating voraciously (I'm also feeding them once a day an amount they eat in about a minute to keep waste down).  It's been running for two weeks, I finally got my test kit and for the last three days the results have been: Ammonia - .25 Nitrite      - .1 Nitrate     - 20 In this size tank the water changes faster, how often to you recommend testing? <I'd try three times weekly during cycling; twice weekly thereafter.> I've been to seven LFSs in Phoenix and they've been either lame or overpriced, any recommendations for either LFSs or a reputable online retailer? <Unfortunately, I am not familiar wit any stores in the Phoenix area, but you might want to contact a local aquarium club, or consider posting in the WWM Chat Forum to see if any local hobbyists can refer you to a good shop near you!> Besides the bio balls in my tank I'm using carbon 24/7, is this acceptable in a FO tank?  (This is the one where you might direct me to http://www.wetwebmedia.com) <I would recommend further reading. However, I am a big fan of continuous use of activated carbon. Along with regular water changes, careful feeding, and aggressive protein skimming, carbon is a great ally in maintaining high water quality.> My dream is to get a lion fish, either a Dwarf Zebra or Fuzzy.  I know this is pushing it for my size tank, but I'll be getting a 60g in 7 months.  If I get a 1" to 1 1/2" lion fish how long do I have until he grows up to be too big? <Not too long, really. This tank is potentially too small simply because of the amount of metabolic waste even a small Lionfish can give off. They are heavy feeders. Better to start the fish in the 60 gal, IMO> Thank you guys.  I also had one idea that would help people like me. How about a section that lists certain types of compatible fish? It could be listed by the main fish that people want, like Lionfish and then you list three of the most compatible fish.  It would be a lot of work, but I would find it very useful. Thanks again, JP <That's a neat idea, JP! Unfortunately, it's hard to be 100% certain about ANY fish being compatible. I have seen some charts like this in various online magazines, like "Reef Keeping". Also, Scott Michael, in his books, does a great job at discussing compatibility of various fishes. Check out these and other resources on the Web. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Moray stung by a Lionfish... Hello. I purchased a 2 foot Chainlink Moray Eel and he was very healthy when I introduced him into the tank. A few days ago my Lionfish stung him twice. <Yikes... not compatible...> He has survived and is doing ok considering what happened. He had open wounds so I dosed him with medication. <... ?... for?> He seems to be doing better but now he is losing the skin on his underbelly where he was stung. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your time. <Keep the system optimized and stable... and the fish well-fed... Bob Fenner> 

Lion Fish, Not Lyin' Fish.. Hello, and thank you for providing this service to us all, definitely well appreciated!  <You're welcome>  I am just starting in this hobby and have absolutely fell in love with lionfish. My issue is my girlfriend likes the pretty, colorful additions to the tank. ( Dottyback, blue velvet damsel, small yellow tang, purple Pseudochromis, and my buddy, a 8" snowflake eel, then there's the clean up crew: turbo snails, emerald crab, blue hermits, peppermint shrimp, pencil urchin, brittle star. And the others: Condy anemone 2", misc. small frags of pieces of coral) The equipment is as follows: 50Gal wide 30"x18" Oceanic tank, Fluval 304 canister filter, 2" of live sand, slowly adding live rock piece by piece, up to about 25 pounds now. I have been trying to do my homework on this but am finding conflicting information. I am very carefully considering buying a Pterois antennata. The information I have found says that they get to be about 7-8 inches and that they eat shrimp and crabs I can live with this. With the smaller size of this lionfish breed, if that info is accurate, please let me know. Would my other members of the tank live in fear of being eaten? Would the lion actually eat them or is the information of eating shrimp and crabs accurate?  <Robert, your tank is overstocked right now. Adding a lionfish will create waste problems leading to nuisance algae. The yellow tang really needs a minimum of 75 gallons. It is small now, but will grow. This goes for the eel also. FYI, do a Google search on the Wet Web, type in keyword "lionfish". Here you will find info you need on this fish. James (Salty Dog)>

Not Lyin' About the Lionfish OK so I'm already over stocked, I already have plans to add a protein skimmer (could you recommend one than is not HOT or in sump, a canister type one that will allow me to keep the top of the tank sealed for the eel?)... <I know of no canister type protein skimmers.>  ... will make the adjustments to the tank conditions, that really wasn't my question. Although any advice from a voice of experience is appreciated. Will this breed particularly, eat the others in the tank? <A lionfish will eat anything it can get in its mouth. I have seen them eat good size goldfish although that is not the recommended menu.>  The yellow tang is all but bought, if you ask the girlfriend she already has one in mind, (kinda like me and my lionfish), but I can talk her out of it. Will the lion torment and eat the other fish or will it be content to eat the shrimp, crab meat, and other goodies I provide? <There is much you don't know about lionfish. From the factory, so to speak, they won't touch anything that isn't alive. It takes time and patience to acclimate one to eat frozen type foods etc.>  I have scoured your pages, as well as most any other page I can find, for info on the spotted lionfish and have come up with very varying responses. It'll eat crustaceans, it'll eat anything, they get 1.5' long they get 7" long, about the only thing they can all agree on it the spots on the fins at maturity and the lack of a membrane to the ends of the fins. Thanks again.  <Obviously you are going to get the lion one way or another, that's your choosing. The eel alone will grow quite fast and if you have no plans for a larger tank, you will encounter all sorts of problems. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)> 

Lionfish compatibility 3/11/05 Hello, I would like to know if a Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish would eat a Firefish. <almost certainly> If he would could you tell me what small fish that the lionfish would not eat? <generally those that it cannot swallow whole. Be safe and only keep tankmates as long as the lionfish> Thank you very much. Please write back soon. Jason <best regards, Anthony> 

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<<< Tank Compatibility Questions I have a 6 inch clown trigger, a 7 inch Picasso trigger, a porcupine puffer, green wrasse, Miniatus grouper and 12 other fish in a 350 gallon tank. <The other twelve we'll assume all are compatible, similar in temperament> I love puffer and would like to add a 6 inch stars and stripes and I love lions and was going to add a 6 inch Volitans lion.  I also would like to add a second fox face lo. The first lion (antennata) lasted 12 hours.   Any chance that the lion can hold it's own?  How about the second fox face or second puffer?? <The puffer would likely be fine... as long as you can get it (I'd train it while in quarantine) to accept food from a "feeding stick" (to assure it's getting fed), and the Lo/Siganus should also be able to be added... but Lionfishes in with triggers are a bad match... too likely to get eaten by them if not starved by competition. I would get/use another system for your Lions. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Cara

Cloudy eyed lionfish I have recently noticed that my lionfish has some cloudiness in its eyes and has been occasionally sitting on the ground.  My main concern is the cloudiness...but when he sits on the ground he will have his fins down, that is until the Picasso trigger swims anywhere near him.  I have looked through other FAQ's but haven't seen anything that answers this question.  Do you have any suggestions or recommendations? <The root cause of this condition is almost invariably water quality related... do check your pH, alkalinity, and in any case, do a good-sized water change (like 25%)... And look into either getting another system, or trading one of these animals... triggers and lions are not compatible in most all settings. Bob Fenner>

Ongoing Lionfishes trial ends Mac- <Hi Brett, so sorry to hear your sad news. : {> Unfortunately....Baby Daddy passed on this morning. :( I suppose I will have to be a little bit more selective when I get ready to add Baby Daddy 2 to the tank. <Well I think you were trying to be selective and I can't imagine a greater tank than to be with someone like you that truly cares.> Is an antennata an appropriate choice for a tank mate for my Volitans? I definitely wanted a different species...and I think antennata are some of the most beautiful... <I do as well and I have seen them work successfully. I can't know what your guy died from but honestly I don't think he was right from day one. > As you can see from the pictures I sent you, after several days, Big Daddy was fine with Baby Daddy. <I think Big Daddy is GORGEOUS.> I think if I started with a lion that was slightly larger than the original antennata, I will have much better luck. <I think you'd feel more comfortable.> The LFS TOLD me that he was already eating frozen freeze dried food, but I suppose next time I will ask to see a feeding the day before I bring him home to make sure they are eating. <VERY SMART!!! Its not that they try to mislead you, just that to them one bite might be eating where you'd like to see a fish that eats like a pig.> Since I don't have the ability to quarantine, I think I really have to get a lion that at least is familiar with frozen foods. <Definitely get one that is eating heartily because you just don't know how long he has gone without foods.> Any suggestions on what I should be looking for in a new tank mate for Big Daddy would be helpful.... I am going to start the search in a week or so. Thanks for all of your help. Baby Daddy's passing was not due to a lack of care or concern, and I appreciate all of your help. <I wish I could have been of more help.  Just look for one that is eating well and that "looks healthy".  I know that seems vague but if he's washed out looking at all that doesn't bode well.> I'll be talking to you soon...<Please keep me updated Brett.  MacL> Brett 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

Aggressive Fish Tank Questions Hi, <Hi, MikeD here> When my 200 gallon tank gets fixed I am planning on starting an aggressive fish tank.<That's a good sized tank for your plan.> I have a wet dry filter and a skimmer and a large Rio powerhead. Here's what I plan on having Volitans Lionfish Harlequin Tusk Clown Trigger Niger Trigger Koran Angel Puffer (maybe) Would this be too crowded? <Initially, no, but as the fish grow, yes.> Are these fish all compatible?<In my opinion, no. I usually strongly suggest only Crosshatch, Bluechin or Sargassum triggerfish in tanks to contain Lionfish or other slow ambush predators.> Should I get a Puffer instead of the Clown Trigger? <I would strongly recommend this course of action. While small clown Triggers are often quite delicate, once they begin to grow and mature most end up killing EVERYTHING in the tank with them eventually. The brilliant and beautiful coloration of a Clown Triggerfish is an excellent example of "warning coloration" advising other creatures to beware.  While the Niger Trigger is often far less aggressive, they too can change overnight and can grow to 19" and the poison fins of a lionfish are no defense at all against an irate trigger.> Also what order should I get them in?<With the other fish that you've listed, order is relatively unimportant except for the Angel, which should be added last if it has any size to it. This has an added advantage in that many Angels do poorly in newly set up tanks, with one year often being the magic number, at least in my own experience.> Any other info you could give me would be appreciated.<My only other suggestions would be to utilize natural foods cut to appropriate size for all but the Angel, as this will cut down on oils and particles that often lead to cloudiness and bacterial blooms.  While may "formulas" and cubes appear logical, they often create more problems than they solve.> Thanks, Adam Siders

Lionfish Compatibility <Hi, MikeD here> I have a five foot long, one hundred gallon, fish-only tank.  It is home to a six inch Volitans Lion and an eight inch Snowflake Eel.  These two have gotten  along fine except occasionally at feeding time when all hell has broken loose.<Using a feeding stick or a long pair of tongs will prevent this if you "target feed" the eel in the LR.>   I recently added a three and a half inch Red Sea Angel which has adapted to my aquarium very well.  My only concern is that the Lionfish has made several unsuccessful attempts to make the Angel lunch.<I strongly suspect that he's merely attempting to drive it away from him, rather than making it "lunch".>  Just prior to adding the Angel I fed the Lion an ample amount indicated by his bloated stomach, yet once the Angel was in he went right after him.  Now I understand the Lion has a rather large mouth but after much discussion with my local fish guy we both concluded that the tall body would likely prevent the Angel from becoming an expensive snack.  Now either we are mistaken or the Lion is just not too fond of his new roommate and imposing his dominance.  Any thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.<I suspect that you are correct in your assumptions, although territoriality is likely not the primary reason Many juvenile angels have body shapes similar to damselfish, notorious fin-nippers that are high on the Lion's list of fish to be kept at a distance.  In addition, some angels serve as cleaners while young, which would tend to re-enforce the lionfish's keeping it at fin's length out of self preservation.> Chocolate Chips and Lionfishes Hi all!!! <Hi, MikeD here> I believe, sadly, that my Chocolate Chip Starfish is dying. He seems to be melting away (one limb gone and seems to be spreading). The arm was white 2 days ago, I found him "stuck" to my powerhead and removed him.<It's being stuck is due to it's weakened condition as a normal chocolate chip starfish has plenty of strength to walk away, even one that was injured.> I checked your great site and learned that the white might possibly be caused by stress. He also looked quite shriveled that day, but became very active once removed from the powerhead...I assumed that stress was the cause.<Stress may have been a contributing factor, but it sounds like your animal may be the victim of an active infection that I've seen before in sea stars.  While it's unknown as to whether it's a bacterial or viral infection, it seems to be almost universally fatal and highly contagious to other sea stars as well. The one consolation is that it seems to affect the sea stars only, having no effect upon sea urchins, sea cucumbers or any of the other echinoderms.> The next day, I saw that my fuzzy dwarf lionfish was "aggressively" checking him out.<Any interest by the lionfish was purely in looking to see if there were any small sea creatures actively attacking the infection site, such as small shrimp or isopods which would have been greedily gobbled up.> Are they able to peacefully cohabitate as I was told that they were? <Without question, yes they are.> Alas, my poor Chocolate Chip now looks as if he were dipped in milk, will he eventually die or is there something I can do? He is still active and eating...Please help!!<This is one of those situations where I truly believe that there is nothing that you can do, with the exception of removing the animal in hopes of preventing the spread to other sea stars that you might have.  If you have none, I strongly suggest that you wait a month or two before introducing another, one of the things that makes me suspect a bacteria, virus or even parasitic protozoa that needs sea stars to survive and dies off without their presence..... I've never had a spontaneous reoccurrence of the "disease" once it's run its course and killed all the sea stars in an aquarium. In all instances where I've had this occur, it was shortly after the introduction of a new sea star....it may be possible to bring it in with an introduction of another animal, such as a fish or coral that was kept in an open system at the LFS that contained sea stars, a reason why even invertebrates should be kept in isolation as a preventive measure, but this is pure speculation as, again, any instances I've seen were with the purchase of an infected animal.> Carol

- Lionfish & Cleaner Shrimp and Other Questions - Hi guys, I'm wondering will a lionfish eat a cleaner shrimp or a cleaner wrasse? <Think it might leave the cleaner shrimp alone, but hard to predict. Would need to keep it well fed. As for the cleaner wrasse, I don't really endorse their use in captivity... these fish should be left in the ocean.> Also could a Asfur and a Annularis angel live together in a 5ft x 18" x 24"? <They could for a short while, but really not a tank large enough for these angels even individually.> Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

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

Russell's Lion and Tang? Will a fully grow Russell's Lion eat a fully grown Yellow Tang? <MikeD here. Not unless it's cut up into very small pieces. I can't visualize a P. russelli even trying if it was starving to death>

Lionfish and Porcupine Puffer In One Tank <MikeD here again> Better yet, could I put a Russell's Lion and a Porcupine puffer in the 90 together and call it good?<They'd be fine for a while, but again, both get large and produce copious amounts of waste> or would the puffer snack on the Lion's fins?<I've not seen nor heard of compatibility issues between these two fish, and have kept them together in larger tanks, but suspect that in a 90, eventually you'll have water quality issues and a very good chance of the porcupine puffer eventually accidentally envenomizing itself. They're good natured but clumsy and in my estimation it's an accident waiting to happen even if it doesn't outgrow the tank.> Thanks again for all the help!!<Good Luck>

A couple of lion questions Firstly thank you for a great site <You're very welcome, MikeD .. I have learned a lot from the articles and FAQS.<anyone in the hobby is always learning, no matter how long you stick with it> I have been using WetWebMedia since setting up my tank and I am happy to say the day for fish is finally here! My am is zero, nitrites zero and nitrates 5ppm. The tank is a 5x2x2  I think that is roughly 130g<149.6 actually> Question1 I have seen a lot of tanks with a mixture of lions. Is it ok to mix species like volitans and fu Manchu? Big size difference don't want the little fella to end up as lunch!<Wise thinking. While many species of lionfish and Scorpionfish can be kept together, in less than a year a P. volitans would be large enough to eat it and may well try if it gets hungry enough> Would it be safer to keep to the zebras and Radiatas as companions. I was thinking 1 volitans, 1 zebra and 1 fu Manchu.
<Even the Zebra is risky with a P. volitans unless you buy a really large specimen initially, as the volitans growth rate is so much faster than either of the other. You might try a P. russelli instead of a P. volitans, as they look very similar. The Russell's lionfish is often sold AS P. volitans, with the only difference being the tail (caudal) fin.  On a Russell's the tail will be clear with no spots, while the volitans will always have a pepper-spotted tail.  The Russell's stays smaller (average 10 inches in a home tank) and has a preference for shrimp over fish yet looks VERY similar, even as an adult.> Question 2 I know that shrimps are out but what about other inverts like anemones and mushrooms?<no problem here at all, with the exception of small crabs being on the menu as well as shrimp except hermits). Lionfish and Scorpionfish usually won't bother any sea stars, cucumbers, urchins, snails or corals, and I've even had some luck with large arrow crabs acting as cleaners for them.> Thanks for any help you can offer
<You're welcome, I hope this helps> Grant

Fu Man Chu Lion Hi WWM Team. I would like to say I love your web site and I use it a lot. I have a question about Fu Man Chu Lionfish. I have a 55g reef tank with 1 blue mandarin, yellow tang, yellow fin fairy wrasse, dwarf Hawkfish, lawnmower blenny, 2 percula clowns, Chistletooth wrasse, and a coral banded shrimp. I have about 65lbs of live rock and some assorted corals. I have wanted a fu man chu lion for a long time now and I am at the point where I am adding the last fish, which I have always planned to be a fu man chu. But my question is about my beloved coral banded shrimp (Gary). Will the lion eat him? << It is possible. >> I have asked many people at many different stores and they say if I keep the lion well feed he would not show any interest in my shrimp and or the shrimp is too big for the fu man chu. << I feel the same way.  I don't think of Fu Man Chu Lions going after coral banded shrimp.  He may, but if your shrimp is big enough, I wouldn't think it to be a problem. >> And if there is anything else I should be aware of with my setup or anything else. But before I buy one I would like your opinion. << Mandarin, clowns, blenny.... not the typical tank mates for a lionfish.  Most people have small reef fish, or larger predator fish.  Interesting to see your mix. >> Please let me in on your input. Thank You Very Much. << You also mentioned keeping the lion well fed.  I just want to make sure you know that well fed doesn't mean constantly fed.  It also doesn't mean over fed.  Make sure you stay away from goldfish or guppies or things like that.  Instead use krill, Mysis, and the like. >> Louis <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Flame Angel and Lion  Hello,<Howdy!> Would I be able to mix a Volitans lion that is currently 2-3 inches, with a dwarf flame angel? Would there be any possibility of the angel being eaten, I have heard that they are smart and know to avoid lions, but I wasn't really sure. I was not able to find anything in Bob's book about this. <I would not attempt this because although the angel is smart and fast the lion will probably get him eventually.>Thank You

Clown and lion I have a 2 to three inch or maybe bigger tomato clown and I am getting a devil lion will the devil lion eat the tomato clown? I also have 2 damsels will a regular lion eat my tomato clown? <Please supply more information. I'll make my reply short and sweet: The Lion will eat almost anything that can fit in its mouth. You make the call on this one. Take Care, Graham.>

Peaceful Coexistence? (Lionfish Compatibility) Hi All, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> First of all I have to tell you that you have a great web site. It must take a lot of work to organize and keep it running efficiently. <We have a very dedicated group of good people here who make it all happen!> I never had a reason to contact you myself as I always found what I needed through your website until this time. Here is my problem. I have a 400 gallon marine tank with one lionfish. Never had any problems and I have to say that we got used to each other so much that it/he panics if I don't stand next to the aquarium and talks to it/him. <Really? And they say that dog people are a strange group...LOL> Two days ago, I put another lionfish in the aquarium and the first lionfish didn't seem very happy with the new neighbours. I really thought they were going to be best of friends, but instead, as soon as the lionfish was in the water it went on the attack mode. Now it had retired into the darkness of some caves without eating anything. <Well, a certain amount of hassling the newcomer is to be expected when adding another lionfish into a system where one is already well established> Do you actually think that the lionfish got jealous and is showing some anger to me? Will he accept the fact that he cannot have a 400 gallon aquarium by himself and be okay ? <I think that you simply need to give the established fish a bit more time to "accept" the newcomer. In time, they should find some degree of peaceful coexistence. However, if things don't settle down, or the new guy seems to be on the decline, do take action immediately> Thanks and kind regards Richard <Well, hopefully things will work out and these two brutes will be getting a long like a couple of beer-drinking buddies...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Lions, Triggers and Clowns <Hello, Ryan Bowen with you today> I searched your website to make sure I didn't miss an answer...<Thank You!> I just got a medium-sized Volitans Lion and would like to put him in my 58g tank with: 2 black and white Perculas, a Chromis that has been with me through thick and thin, and a 2inch Humu. I read that both Humu and lion should hold their own, but my concern lies in them. Will the lion eat the Humu if he can catch him? <Likely no, but there is always a chance> Is that normal? Will the Humu break spines on the lion? <Yes, he will nip away at the long appendages, and the breaks in his skin will become infected in time.  Not a good combo in such small quarters.> Should I just return the lion to the store for credit? <Or the rest of your fish.  You've done the responsible thing.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanks for any help! Ian

Tube anemone and lion hi! <Howdy!> I recently got a tube anemone & was wondering if I could still get a lion, Or would the tube anemone grab & eat it ?  assuming its a small juv lion, also, is there any chance of the lion stinging the anemone?<I would say go for it, they should be fine together. Cody> thanks <<RMF is not quite so sure>>

Dwarf Question for a Small Lion.. >I was wondering if you could tell me if a dwarf lion fish about 2 to 3 inches in size and a snowflake moray eel about 16 inches long would be ok to keep together.  Thanks, John >>No.   >>(Even a larger lion could become a meal for the moray, they have been known to bite off the spines, then eat the fish).  Marina

Quick questions on lions hi!<Howdy, Cody here today!> thanks for the info on the lions. iv got a couple questions though, as I'm about to get my lion! (hopefully pretty soon :D) I'm debating between a dwarf fuzzy or a dwarf zebra.  which one of the 2 will swim around more ? out in the open ?<Neither will be very active and would probably be out about the same amount of time.>  iv only got a 40G tank. & wanted to know what other fish would u suggest that I could have with the lion ?   iv read up in the lionfish compatibility FAQs, but still don't know what would be best ?  it would be Great if u could name some possibilities.  (my tank kinda limits me to what I can add in with a lion)   would a Tomatoe clown or any clown of any sort be ok ? what about a hawk fish ?<The clown and hawk should be ok as long as they can't fit in the lions mouth!  For a hawk I would suggest either the long nose or the arc eye.  You might also try a dwarf puffer such as the blue spot for a tank mate.  Cody> thanks Heaps !! Shaun

Lionfish Hello Robert. could you please advise me if it is possible to keep a lionfish, (dwarf, or antennata) in my existing tank. The tank is 50 gallons with a collection of soft corals, fish are 1coral beauty 3-4inch 2regal  tangs 4 inch 1pyjama cardinal 3 inch.
<I would not keep a lionfish with these fish, especially in such a small aquarium. I would be worried that the lion would try to "hunt" the other small inhabitants which probably would fit in its mouth>    Do I need feeder fish before I wean it to frozen foods, any help and hints would be greatly appreciated. <Don't purchase a lionfish for this aquarium, good luck IanB> thanks Paul Fitzpatrick

Lionfish Tankmates Or Entrees? Hi again Scott <Hey there!> My Tank is around 70 gallons- maybe a bit more. My initial plan was to keep a lion fish preferably volitans, but now I am thinking that I might get bored with just one fish. <It is quite possible!> I am now thinking of maybe going for a few smaller fishes like a few damsels or something. <They can make for an interesting, colorful tank- kinda like a freshwater Mbuna tank...lots of action> Can you maybe help me , I still would like to go with the Lion but I ain't sure what else I can combine with it. <Well, if you go for one of the "dwarf" species, your choices are greater...Lots of other small to medium sized fishes, like various wrasses, dwarf angels, etc that will not harass the lion, and will not become part of his menu...Worth a look or two or three on the WWM site...> I am aware that if I go with the Lion I ain't gonna be able to put more than +/-two more fish in my tank, right? <Depending on size, that sounds about right...It sounds like you are still determined to go with a "full-sized" model, right? I'm still a bit hesitant to recommend other fishes to go with a full-sized lion in this sized aquarium...> Please help me with a few good combinations, I know the choices are very wide but please give me your personal suggestions. <Well, as indicated above, with a dwarf lion, your companion choices are much greater...You will not be as limited, IMO...Enjoy the research available on the WWM site. I like the idea of wrasses and perhaps a Centropyge angelfish with a dwarf lion...> Thanks Again. Regards, Ziad Limbada <Always a pleasure, Ziad! Have fun! Scott F>

Compatibility. lions and horses. is a NO NO hi, I have a 90 gal. fw rocks only tank. may I mixed two lion fishes with seahorses since both are slow on their swimming habits? <number one...the lions will probably eat the seahorses. and number two...lions get very large, your small 90 gallon aquarium will only accommodate them for a short period of time> please explain, since they-re all I want in the tank<well I suggest you invest in two aquariums because this mix will definitely not work> thanks
<IanB> AJ

-Lions in a reef- Hi Bob, <Kevin here today> Your site is great, very interesting and informative. I have a 180 gallon tank (I?#8364;™m in Australia?#8364;? not sure how many US gallons that is) with a built in filter system, 300 watt power head, heater, 15 pounds of living rock and some coral (no fish as yet)?#8364;? I really want a Volitans lionfish and I?#8364;™m sure my setup should be fine for one?#8364;? <Keep in mind that Volitans will get large and produce a lot of waste, something that is not wanted in a reef aquarium. Make sure the tank has an adequately sized protein skimmer before adding one.> my question as what else could I put in there? I really wanted a gold spot moray eel as well, would this be feasible? <Well, I suppose you could, but then you'd have two large waste producing predators in the tank. These guys would do much better in a separate tank for aggressive. Good luck! -Kevin> Regards, Andrew Ickeringill

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>

Lionfish Tank! Dear Crew: <Hi there! Scott F. here today> I just recently set up a 75 gallon FOWLR tank for a Volitans Lionfish.  The tank is cycled and the Lion is in his new home:)  What would be a good tankmate or two for him. Wouldn't want to see him get picked on.......TIA Jane   <Well Jane- you have a limited amount of choices here, really. The lionfish is quite predatory, and this behavior is magnified in a smaller tank. I'd recommend fishes that are capable of eluding the lionfish, while at the same time, not picking on it! This would seem to indicate that you should stick to fishes that swim in mid water, and have body shapes that make it tougher for the lionfish to devour! Good examples of this would be fishes like tangs, certain blennies (like the "fang" blennies, which can fend for themselves despite their smaller sizes), and even some of the medium size wrasses. Do some careful selecting, and you'll enjoy an interesting tank setup! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Possible tankmates for Lionfish Thanks for the guidance in selecting a couple of tankmates:)  I don't want anyone to be eaten or my lion to be picked on.....would a Foxface Rabbitfish work? <If the specimen were more than mouth size, the system large enough to support all, sure. Bob Fenner> I know they are very hardy and I think they are in the Tang family. I'm going to check out the fang blenny too:) Jane

The Cowardly Lion? Hello, <Hi there- Scott F. with you today> I have a 90 gal tank for about a year with a 6 inch Volitans lion, a yellow tang, and some damsels. I had some Ich problems for awhile and I believe I have made adjustments to alleviate that problem. I added a Passer angel about 4 months ago, and he seemed to get along ok, except he would nip at the Volitans tail periodically, but it didn't seem to be a major problem. Then I added a Cuban hog, and he is, as you know, a very aggressive eater. <Yep...By the way- you may be pushing your tank's capacity here...The Passer alone will get quite large (like 10" plus), and the behaviors of all of the fishes may become very aggressive as they get larger in the relative confines of the tank> About 6 weeks ago the Volitans got very sick, maybe bacterial, the webbing on his side fins deteriorated, and he developed a patch on his body that turned white, and lost its color. I put him in a 10 gal hospital tank, and treated with Paragon II and Quick Cure as per my LFS. After the recommended dose I did a water change and his scales and fins have healed nicely, but he won't eat. I have tried his usual diet of frozen silversides and krill, and even added live guppies, but he wont touch any of it. He hasn't eaten in almost 5 weeks. <Not good> Q1: What can I do to get him to eat? <I'd start by executing almost daily water changes (like 5% of tank capacity) to help improve water quality in the hospital tank, and to utilize activated carbon and Poly Filter to help dilute any remaining medication. I'd also try administering some vitamins, such as Vita Chem, directly to the water, in the hope that he will drink and/or absorb some through his skin, and initiate the feeding process. Don't give up on him...> Q2: Could the passer angel and/or Cuban hog have intimidated him and stressed him into this, as my water quality is good? Gregory DePetro <I'd say that this is certainly an excellent possibility. This kind of problem often has its roots in a stress situation...I'd consider a larger tank (like 150 gallons plus) or trading some of these fishes with a friend who has larger quarters...You may notice substantial improvement in all of you fishes...Worth considering, IMO...Good luck Regards, Scott F>

- Lionfish Compatibility - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Hello, Just wondering if you could help us out, Like to purchase a lion fish. Need to know if it would get along with cleaner wrasse, yellow tang and grouper (pantherfish). <Likely there would be a contest to see who would eat whom first - the panther grouper grows quite large, and either it or the lionfish would quickly eat a cleaner wrasse and eventually the tang.> O I almost forgot, would it eat coral. <No.> I am not think it would because the type of fish it is. <Your hunch is correct.> Please reply. Thanks Rob!!! <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Lionfish Tankmates Thanks, David, for a quick reply:)   The 75 gallon doesn't have a sump, so I will check in to the Fluval or Eheim.  I have a quarantine tank and have had great results using it with my 58 gallon reef.  The lighting on the 75 is low.... the standard normal florescent.  If I added live rock would it grow out anything for a tang or even produce coralline algae? <Low lighting will likely promote corallines particularly in the 2 watt per gallon range...but algae would be more difficult at that level. Some tangs will eat Sawblade Caulerpa others won't but Sawblade will grow and spread in very low lighting. I used to keep it in a QT with no lighting and it grew to the point of covering the tank! IMO At 3 watts or less other types of algae would be a little iffy, but if you place the algae high in the tank you will have a good chance. This or any algae culture will need to be growing like wildfire before the tang is added otherwise the tang will destroy the culture. You might consider trying Gracilaria> Can you please give me a few tankmate suggestions for my Lion?  My reading suggested planktonic triggers as "safe" with lions......it is so hard to get reliable info.......any suggestions will be much appreciated! <Triggers can be safe. I've have had a combination like this that worked for years. Although the lion did eat a few of my fish; including two Dartfish and a huge lawnmower blenny! The only thing that you need to worry about is fishes the lion can eat (any smaller fish like Dartfish, Chromis, damsels etc.), and mean fishes that will harass the lion ...which is why some people don't like triggers. Otherwise, just about any fish will work. If you choose to add a smaller fish and you notice the lion taking a special interest in the fish (watching it closely)...look out!> Janey <You're welcome! David Dowless>

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>

Firefish and Lionfish... Oh, My! <Roger... Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob is away> Good evening Rob, to start I must tell you how impressed I am with the website, I've gotten lots of info from your site and it did stop me from getting a mandarin goby (thank goodness), and I work in a pet store so I share the info I find with customers who ask about certain species I have read up on here (salt water). Although we don't sell salt water fish but the store in town that does is always closed Sundays and so sometimes there customers ask us in desperation. Any how, I bought a beautiful 3" lion fish, I know it's not a dwarf but it doesn't look completely like any on your web site (I'm assuming due to it being a juvenile. But I digress, I have a pair of fire fish whom I have had for at least six months and they live under some slates of marble that are just wide enough for them, originally as protection from my coral banded shrimp who I'll now trade in for a prickly leather jacket (according to my research it should be a good tank mate for my lion). Any way, I've become rather attached to my fire fish and would like to know if you think that their cautious nature will be enough or if I should exchange them so that they have a better chance of survival. <under no circumstance could the Firefish survive in this tank... they are sure to be eaten. And with all due respect... the very nature of the question indicates your relatively new participation in the hobby. Kudos to you for taking the time to gather information first. Indeed, we must take the time to learn everyday. To the point... without deference to Bob out of posterity... I strongly suggest you buy and read The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. It is loaded with the very information you seek. Easily one of the best references on marine aquariology that you will find. And keep learning! Anthony>

Lemon gumdrops for a Lionfish I had a citron goby a couple years back and he had a great personality. I really enjoyed his behavior - it was fun to see him "flutter" and suction cup against the glass.  <great fish indeed... charming> I had him for almost 2 years before he passed from what I believe to be natural causes. He ate anything offered too. Anyways, one of my LFS just got a shipment of 10-12 clown gobies (slightly under an inch). They are bright yellow and judging from your site they are of the species Gobiodon okinawae. I have a 10 gallon with only a clown that I thought might suit one very well.  <agreed> However, I am also interested in purchasing a couple for my 55 g. My question lies in the fact that I have a small 3" Volitans.  <"Houston... we have a problem."> Would the "body slime" keep them from being eaten as mentioned in your site,  <heehee....> or would it be wishful thinking?  <ahhh...yes. Wishful thinking... like cologne with "pheromones" in it. Ha!> The only other inhabitant in the tank with the lion is a gold strip maroon clown. On a separate note, what is best to feed? My first citron ate mostly flakes and brine.  <I'm amazed that your last goby lasted even a year with any significant amount of brine in its diet. Brine is completely barren food. Hollow. Instead... feed Gammarus, Mysids and Pacifica plankton> THANKS FOR THE TIME, CHRIS <best regards, Anthony>

Quick Picasso Trigger Question I have a quick question. I have a small (3") Volitans Lionfish. I want to purchase a small Picasso. Will there be a problem with the Trigger nipping at the Lion's fins. <Yes, likely.> I know the long flowing fins can be attractive. Thanks for the time, Chris <Have a nice weekend! -Steven Pro>

Compatibility, Lion and Grouper Any thoughts regarding a small panther grouper (3 in.) and small lionfish (3 in.) inhabiting a 29 gallon tank together. I know they will both grow and am prepared to deal with that; however, curious as to your thoughts on how these two predators will cohabitate. Thanks. <for a short time they will co-habitate (less than 8 months). The grouper ultimately feeds too fast and aggressively and will outcompete the lion... not to mention drastically outgrow it. My advice would be to simply keep one (the lion) and enjoy it easily for more than a year in that tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Compatibility Any thoughts re a small panther grouper (3 in.) and small lionfish (3 in.) inhabiting a 29 gallon tank together. I know they will both grow and am prepared to deal with that; however, curious as to your thoughts on how these two predators will cohabitate. Thanks. <Have seen these species kept together... often the bass will "steal" all the food intended for the Lion... and both/either get too big for a twenty nine gallon system. Need an eighty gallon plus just for these two fishes. Bob Fenner>

Cleaners (and Lions, Oh my!) Hi Are there any biological cleaners that will not be eaten by a lionfish? the lionfish is about 5 inches long. Everything I see in my LFS are too small and will surely gobbled up before they hit the water. Thanks <Always a gamble... but ofttimes if you can get the Cleaner/s into the system (as in initially hiding in the decor), Lionfishes et al. predatory fishes will recognize them as allies and leave them alone... Bob Fenner> 

Lionfish/porcupine puffer compatibility Hello Do you happen to know if my porcupine puffer (about 6 inches long) would pick on a lionfish? <Yes... a very real, and frightening possibility. Puffers can tease, nibble Lionfishes mercilessly> The volition type. NOT a dwarf lion. One of my LFS said the puffer absolutely would constantly pick on a lion, darting back and forth and nipping on his fins. Another LFS (just as reputable, if not a little more knowledgeable), said the two would be fine together. All of my resources (book wise) say nothing about keeping the two together, but most everything says lions are fairly docile, as are porcupine puffers. <The operative term here should be "can". They can get along or not...> And if it helps any -- the tank is 75g's and is fully cycled. It houses a 2' 3" peppered moray eel and a 6 inch porcupine puffer. I do 30% water changes every two weeks or so, and the ammonia and nitrite are zero, always. I'm very diligent about cleaning. :) Another question, if you have time -- I lucked into my moray eel, and am having a lot of trouble finding any info on them. I did find one page with a few small paragraphs about him, but otherwise...no one seems to have heard of my eel. He's commonly called a "peppered moray," but the scientific name is "Siderea picta." He's got beautiful coloration, all white with tiny black speckles all over his body and light blue circles around his eyes. Very bold...not shy at all. <Mmm, a very nice species... the name has been changed, to Gymnothorax pictus... you can find some info., pix on www.FishBase.org on this Muraenid... and in Scott Michael's fab v.1 Reef Fishes book... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Bryce

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>>

Lions & Inverts Bob, Sorry, I forgot a question. On the FFExpress compatibility chart it says lions are compatible with invertebrates (spelled wrong, I know), is this right pertaining to the breed of lion mentioned)? Because all of the other sources I have been to say that lions enjoy munching on small fish, SHRIMP, and CRABS. I am confused. Can you shed some light.  Thank you, John << Hmm, well Lionfishes (subfamily Pteroinae, family Scorpaenidae) "are compatible with all invertebrates large enough for them not to swallow" is how I would have stated it... They will indeed swallow crabs, shrimps, even hermits... if they think they're edible and can fit them in their mouth. Bob "the incandescent one" Fenner>> Damsels & Lions Bob, I love damsels and lionfish both and I want to find some way of having them together. I was wanting to know, I know the larger breeds of lionfish will eat damsels in a bite, but what about a dwarf lion. Can a dwarf lion be placed with damsels or will the fish still make sushi out of the damsels? Thanks, John Moyer << As you say... "all is relative" when it comes to size of damsels and lionfish mouths... The latter are deceptively large! And there are even Damsels that are so feisty (and big) that they can bedevil a Lion!  Some happy mediums do exist... See out nicer, larger Damsel species that are big enough to start with, and you can have something other than the dwarf species (there are several) of Lions...  In fact, there is a genus of damselfishes that I really think ought to be a much bigger part of the marine aquarium trade, Amblyglyphidodon (a mouthful, I know). I recently wrote and sent in an article to the hobby magazine FAMA with a bunch of images of the three best species (IMO of course)... and have the piece and three pix posted at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com if you'd like to have an idea of the sorts of damsels (there are over 350 species... presently) I'm talking about. These ones are beautiful stay out and about (instead of hiding), eat most any foods, but not coral polyps... Bob Fenner>>

Buying a Lion I was thinking of getting a volitans lionfish. Would this be an alright fish for a 80 gal tank. And would it be safe with hermit crabs, snails, and shrimp? What other kind of fish would you suggest I put in with him? Thanks  <<Probably okay with your invertebrates... might eat the shrimp if not enough cover for them to hide in. Most anything big enough to not fit in the Lion's mouth, and reciprocally not too mean to nip at the Lion will do (no triggers, big puffers)...  Bob Fenner, who suggests you read over the survey pieces on marine livestock stored on the site: Home Page>>

Anemone crab/lion fish question Currently I don't have either species in my tank as I'm waiting for my new  tank to settle out the nitrogen cycle (I estimate another week until  nitrates are around 0). Anyways, I have a 55 gal and I am going to throw in an anemone or two. Clowns are neat but I think that an anemone crab would be pretty unique. knowing that anemone crabs are usually smaller and that lion fish will eat smaller inverts I was wondering it the anemone would be a good defense for the crab (assuming the crab wont leave the safety of the anemone). Lemme know, Jon Trowbridge  <<A tough situation... can only give you about 50% chance that your Lionfish would not someday suck up the Anemone Crab...Bob Fenner>>

About the lion fish Do you think a two inch long maroon clown fish will survive in a tank with either a 6 or 8 inch long volitans lionfish? Remember my tank is 120 gallons and 6 foot long. Do you think the lionfish will try to eat my damsel or will they do just fine and not get bothered at all by the lionfish? Sincerely, Chris <<It will/would be definitely inhaled/eaten. Bob Fenner>>

Fish How can I protect my clown fish from getting eaten by my lionfish? <<Large clown, small lion. Bob Fenner>>

Lion Fish  Bob,  I have a 120 gallon marine fish tank. My current stock is as follows:  1 adult imperator angel  1 4 inch powder blue tang  3 yellow tangs  1 4 inch Naso tang  1 flame angel  1 arch Hawkfish  1 blue damsel  2 lemon peel damsels  1 tomato clown  1 blue streak cleaner wrasse  I just added a 3 inch "nose to tail" black Lion Fish. Most of the fish seem to large, at this point, to be eaten, besides maybe the cleaner rasse. Since I added the lion last, do I need to worry about any fish being eaten and if so, which fish? I have become attached to all my fish and this could mean the difference of whether I keep the Lion. I have only lost one fish in the year that I have had it up and running and I don't plan to start now with a poor choice. Thank you for your help, Doug  <Not the Cleaner... it is likely recognized as a "friend"... but they (Labroides) rarely live in captivity in any case... see the rundown on these posted on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com. The Damsels will be inhaled at some point and very possibly the Clown... but the rest should be fine. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Lion Fish
Thank you for your help. One more question...what about the flame angel? Does it have a fighting chance against the lion? Again, thank you, Doug <Of a certainty yes... this is a smart fish that well knows what a Lionfish is all about... and quick to avoid being ingested. I give it good chances of cohabiting successfully. Bob Fenner>

The Lion's Den... Hello again and your web site has been invaluable the past few days, <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight> I have a 55 gallon bow front with a magnum 350. My pets are a 10" snowflake moray, 3" crown squirrelfish, 3" red emperor snapper, 6" lionfish, and my personal favorite, a 7-8" panther grouper. Yes, I know it is crowded! Yes, I Know it will get worse! <Good- because you spared me having to tell you that! :) > We got in this situation because we had to have the lion (Pterois russelli) because he is just beautiful. <Yes- a lovely fish> However, he is a hungry beast and ate all 7 damsels within weeks. So I decided to buy larger fish that he can not get in his mouth.  <Well, there is a certain logic to that, but...> This worked to some degree, but some fish (Huma Huma Trigger and angelfish) would eat the webbing between the lion's spines. <Not a good thing> Now my question is Can you suggest any fish that would go good with this lion. Preferably 2 or three tank mates. You have to understand, My wife absolutely refuses to have a tank with only 2 fish. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Bryan Flanigan <Well, Brian, I certainly understand your wife's feelings, but you really have to look at the situation from an objective standpoint. Conventional aquatic wisdom (and conscientious, responsible husbandry) dictates that an adult Pterois lionfish needs at least 40 gallons or more to just be comfortable. Just about any fish that you'd be able to squeeze into the remaining "available" space would be a snack for this fish. Also, these fish require very powerful filtration to deal with the large amounts of waste products that they produce. Water quality is a serious issue! This does not even take into account the psychological and physiological "toll" that life in such limited quarters will take on the animal. Imagine you or I being condemned to life in a bedroom. Not good. When this fish hits full size (and he will), his 10 inch size will necessitate a very large, well-filtered tank. If you really love this fish (and I believe that you do), you must do the responsible thing and keep him alone in this tank, and then move him on up to substantially larger digs (with tankmates) in the very near future. I simply cannot recommend housing him with any tankmates at this point in the 55g. I think that your wife will understand this (and maybe consent to the larger tank?). Please research your future purchases through the resources on the wetwebmedia.com site. Keep reading and learning, and you'll make well-informed, responsible decisions in the future. Good luck!>

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
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