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FAQs about Scorpionfishes 1

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

FAQs on Scorpionfishes: Scorpaeniform Fishes 2, Scorpaeniform Fishes 3, Scorpaeniform Fishes 4,
FAQs on Scorpionfishes by Category: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Stocking/Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction

Pterois antennata in French Polynesia

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Scorpionfish eyes   2/25/14
Hello there,
I recently purchased an orange Scorpionfish. Getting him to eat was a bit of an adventure but with some tips on this website and from the lfs I've managed to get him eating a diet of Selco and garlic extreme dosed krill.
<Do expand this diet...>

I noticed the other day that his eyes were a bit less reflective than usual and getting cloudy. I know that some of these fish shed their outer cuticle so Im not sure if I have a problem or not? His left eye is the more predominant one with the right showing some cloudiness. I kept snakes for years and it looks an awful lot like he's "Shedding" to me. On the right
eye I can visibly see a portion of the cloudiness moving from side to side.
The left has a full raised "donut" on it and I m not seeing movement but you can see that the cloudiness itself is raised off of the eye. He constantly looks like he is in a state of molt anyway (his camouflage) so its difficult for me to tell if that's what is going on. Any help would me much appreciated!
Thank you!
<See WWM re eye issues of marine fishes...
Scroll down.
 Likely this clouding here is related to being recently moved... perhaps a net scratching the eyes:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Scorpionfish eyes   2/25/14
Thank you for the fast response! I am quite relieved! Now that you mention it, I moved him out of the quarantine tank only three days ago so I suspect your right.
Do you have any tips on diet? I have tried krill, squid, clam, silversides, Mysis, live Chromis, live drip acclimated mollies, and live ghost shrimp with him and the only things he will eat are the ghost shrimp and krill, he won't touch anything else, well… other than my hermit crabs, he does seem enjoy those. Any other foods I should be looking into?
<...? Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
scroll down...>
Here are a few pictures of him. My phone doesn't take the greatest pictures, I apologize. Is there any chance you could tell me the exact species?
<Not one I've seen>
My best guess is a Scorpaenopsis macrochir, or a Scorpaenodes brasiliensis. Typically his eyes are very reflective and for lack of a better word "blank;" there is no visible anything, they're almost like an insect's eyes.
<... badly clouded over... I do hope yours recovers. Bob Fenner>
Fish ID Morning Bob, <Toni> Thank you so much for identifying a 'stripey' for me last week. This site is amazing and you guys/girls are fantastic to spend your timing helping people such as myself!! Thanks so much. I was hoping you could help me again in identifying another fish for me that my friend has in her tank. I have attached a four different angle shots so you can get a good look at detail. I have searched your site and fish databases but can't find this one. I can find similar looking fishies, but thought an expert opinion would be better.  Thank you in advance and Merry Christmas to you all :) Toni <And to you and yours... is a Scorpaeniform almost certainly... perhaps a Waspfish (Tetrarogid)... or a Scorpaenid... Scorpaenodes insularis perhaps. At any length, doesn't get very large and is venomous... Bob Fenner>

Taenianotus triacanthus (Leaf Scorpionfish) - 12/22/03 Hi, <Hi Randy> I have been doing some research on this species (Taenianotus triacanthus) and if you can help me fill in some of the blanks that would be great. The one I have is 3". I have read that this fish eats small crustaceans and fish and rarely accepts anything but live food in captivity. <I don't have first hand experience with this fish, but my resources confirm this (perhaps you are also using "Reef Fishes v1"?> Live food is where I am getting stumped. Feeder goldfish are out of the question given the thiamin issue. <Freshwater feeder fish are poor choices for marine fish in general.  I am in total agreement that goldfish in particular are to be avoided.> I feed my frog fish damsels after being quarantined, but the leaf fish has a mouth that is too small for these little guys. I have been feeding the leaf fish feeder shrimp but I don't think this would provide enough nutrition for him. <Yowza!!  Now that's dedication!, and probably the most expensive feeding regime I could conceive of!.  The feeder shrimp you are getting are probably freshwater.  They could be enriched by putting Selco and the shrimp in a small volume of water or actually injecting the shrimp with Selcon.  In the long term, a marine alternative is probably best.> What other natural prey options would be appropriate for him and in what quantity? "They" say to feed him to satiation, but with this fish is there such a point? <You might consider seeking a source for live marine shrimp (not necessarily ornamental...  scientific or food suppliers maybe?)  Also, do try the many strategies for getting this fish to accept non-living foods:  Dangling the prey on a string, trying any food you can think of, and short term starvation.  I have also found that frozen Piscine Energetics brand Mysis are irresistible to all but the very most finicky feeders. Most predators will eat far more than they need at one time.  One good meal twice a week is plenty.> Also, I saw a small juvenile but would this one would need food more often - how much more and how often than the adult. <I would say that one small meal every other day would probably be fine.  Finding a small enough food that is acceptable (Mysis may work) would probably be the biggest challenge.> I hope this all made sense. Any help with giving this little guy the best environment possible would be great. <Kudos for going the extra mile and being committed to providing for this fish's needs.  I hope this advice is helpful, but it will come down to a lot of experimentation on your part to find a food and feeding technique that works.> Thanks for your help,  Randy <best of luck!  Adam>

Re: Lionfish color change, worry Thank you for getting back to me. I thought we were going to lose him that night because he was sitting on the bottom with his spines down after I e-mailed you. He however prevailed and was eating and swimming the next day. <Ah, good to hear. Typical> However I did notice that the little antennas that are by their eyes are missing on the both of them and he seemed to have a wound on his side. Do you think they got in a fight with each other? <Hmm, interesting. Have seen these "chewed" off... as well as missing from chemical/physical anomalies... Will you please check the water pH?> I can't imagine one of my other fish being brave enough to attack them. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated. Thank you Jennifer <Chat with you soon. Bob Fenner>

About adding a lionfish I've just bought a 120 gallon tank. Its huge its 6 feet long. I'm filtering it with a aqua clear 500 and a undergravel system ran by 2 aqua clear 802 powerheads. I have crush coral as a base. Almost two weeks ago I put 3 fish in my tank to start the biological cycle. I put 2 damsels and one 2 inch long maroon clown fish in my huge tank my 120. In two weeks I want to put a 6 or 8 inch long volitans lionfish in my tank. When I introduce my lionfish to the tank I plan on dumping a bottle of live bacteria in to the tank also. Is my tank set up too new yet to introduce a lionfish? Will it be okay in that big of a tank by itself? Does there have to be one dark spot in the tank for the lionfish to hide? Can the three little fish I bought cycle out my tank for me? Bob please respond soon thank you. <<Wowzah! You've certainly dived right into the hobby... A few things to mention here... I would look into beefing up your filtration, definitely add a protein skimmer (wait till you see the gunk the thing will produce), and add some live rock rather than a "live bacteria" in a bottle to make sure the system is cycling. Please read over the sections on Marine Set-up, Filtration, Cycling/Biological Filtration, and Lionfishes posted on our site for folks just like yourself: Home Page.  And, we'll be chatting. Bob Fenner>>
Re: about adding a lionfish
I checked out your site before its very cool. Bob please get to the point and answer my questions that I mailed to you. I promise I will use live rocks and put a protein skimmer on my tank. I will listen to every bit of advice that you give me. But first please my questions about introducing the volitans lionfish into my tank. I read your article on the lionfish. From reading the article I learned more about them. This isn't my first saltwater tank either I've had salt water fish for seven years and I understand how to take care of them. Please answer this question and it is ..... I've had my salt water tank set up for about 2 weeks with fish in it. In two more weeks I want to buy a volitans lionfish my question to you is would it be okay to introduce the lionfish into my new tank or is my tank not ready yet for a lionfish?  <Okay... it should be okay to add the Lionfish. They're actually pretty tough re nitrogenous poisoning... and actually used in place of Damsels in parts of the world to initially cycle systems... But, it would be better to use test kits and monitor the progress of establishing cycling in your system... I'm sure you understand this.> Will the three fish I mention I had cycle out my tank? Please answer my questions this time. Thank you very much Bob I really hope you can help me by answering my questions. Sincerely, Chris  <Of a certainty, yes, one or more of these fish will definitely bring about cycling in your system. Bob Fenner>
Re: about adding a lionfish
Thank you Bob very much. Oh one last thing I want to ask you and that is are there any precautions I should take when adding volitans lionfish in a new aquarium and does it require one part of the tank to be dark?  <Precautions? Well, watch your hands when in the tank... don't support the fish in a net for instance, with your hand underneath... And no to the one dark area... do need shelter, but this can be supplied by rock, decor. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish I bought a volitans lion yesterday and I was wondering if it is normal for it to kind of hang around really low to the bottom? Is he just stressed or sick ...or what? Thanks - Adam  <<No worries. To be expected. Bob Fenner>>

Lionfish in cycling period Thank you so much for your advice. Your website proved extremely useful. I have several new questions. The guy who I'm buying the aquarium says due to the height of his tank that he uses snails to clean it and recommends them. However I'm quite sure that lionfish could and would eat snails if given the chance. So should I have snails?  <I'd hold off and see how you feel in a couple of months... the algae that may grow will cause no harm to your Lionfishes. Otherwise, most snails are on the "last to be eaten" scale of their diets.> Also how much live rock would you recommend for a 55? And in your letter you never mentioned the eel.  <As many pounds as you deem esthetically pleasing. I would buy "a box" of about 45 pounds, cure it in place, and see how you feel about its looks> A snowflake moray is defiantly something I want to get after a while.  <This species should do fine with your Lionfishes... just don't let the tank get too crowded... about two large fish total is about all it will take.> My final question is about lionfish markings, baby lions don't have very elaborate stripes but the adults in your book do, so do they grow new markings? <They do change with age... Bob Fenner>

Lionfish in cycling period Dear Mr. Fenner, I will be purchasing my first salt tank in a week or two. I am buying a used 55 gallon tank, stand, hood, crushed coral, skimmer etc. and I'm not sure of the filtration method may have to buy new filter). I'm buying it from a guy who has kept all kinds of fish and only has time for one tank now. I bought and read the Conscientious Marine Aquarist and was very pleased with the book. I plan on starting with a volitans with some live rock. Long term plans are a snowflake moray eel and a antennata lion. My parents insist on using damsels during cycling but the cost of all the damsels is actually more expensive then the lion. And then I have a bunch of damsels to get rid of. My question is this if I am going to keep lionfish in my tank then why not start with a lion? So Lions or damsels?  <<Thank you for writing, and your obvious thinking and caring. And very good question re the possibility of "starting" or establishing nutrient cycling with the Lion instead of Damselfishes. I suspect your parents have a concern that you make the system ready with the Damsels rather than risk losing the Lionfishes. I assure you (and them) that Lionfishes actually can be used in place of the Damsels (both are broadly tolerant of higher than average ammonia, nitrite...), but want to propose an alternate plan. To place the live rock, allow it to (re)cure in your system, and once if (the live rock) initiates cycling (as evidenced by the occurrence of ammonia, nitrite, their leaving, some nitrate showing as well as apparent algae growth), THEN place one or both Lionfishes, and leave off with the Damsels (which would be eaten, or returned, or?). Will this plan work? Yes. Please take a look through the many articles, book sections, images and FAQ's posted on our site (yours will soon be too!): Home Page for much more. Bob Fenner>>

Tank setup for lionfish Bob, I've really enjoyed reading all of your comments and I thought that you would be the person to ask about a setup for lionfish. I am wanting to purchase several larger aquariums to hold several species of lionfish. Currently I have an Oceanic 58 with a Fu Man Chu and a Radiata. I know that the Radiata will outgrow the tank and I'd like to purchase other larger species as well (Volitans, etc.). I'm thinking that a medium sized tank (75-100 gallons) as well as one large tank (around 200 gallons) will support the kinds of lions that I am looking at purchasing (I'd like to purchase all when young and be able to keep them after they're full grown). <Sounds good so far> What kind of filtration would you recommend for these big waste producers? <Big, and vigorous water movement> I see that you're a big fan of the live rock/Caulerpa in a sump but with as much waste as the lions produce (and don't worry--I don't plan on feeding very often or feeding goldfish) would the amount of live rock that I would have to purchase be cost effective?  <It would help a great deal... but as you infer, much mechanical, biological and even chemical filtration is necessary as well> I plan on these being fish-only tanks holding solely lions. If you had to recommend a wet/dry what company makes a good product?  <There are many... but Clear for life and Tenecor's products I like for being sturdy> If you think that a sump with rock would be better where should I purchase it? <I'd make it... think about this... not too hard to do... any water holding container that's chemically inert would do as a sump... through-hull fittings...> Currently I have a Tidepool with Chemi-pure, PolyFilters, and a U.V sterilizer on the 58 and everything works well (close to non-detectable nitrates with the water changes). I'm wanting to add a protein skimmer for the 58 and for the other future setups. I'm leaning toward the needle skimmers (I've heard really good things about the DAS) or a spray system (like the AquaC). Which of these two types of skimmers do you recommend? <The needle wheels are the best present technology> Any particular brand better than the others? (The Euro-reef knock offs are fabulous for very large (200+ systems), the Turboflotor 1000 would be fine for the smaller set-ups> Any particular brands that you would steer clear of? <Many, too many to relate here> Finally, will there be any compatibility problems of putting lions of the same species together?  <Not really... just tough finding them (many of the smaller ones are reclusive) to make sure they're all getting something to eat...> I've had LFS tell me that they'll all get along well but I know for a fact that this is not always the case. The Fu Man is my favorite and I've had several through the years. However, I've noticed that if you put more than one in a tank they do tend to tear into one another. I don't believe that this is the case with the larger lions (I've never had more than one of the larger lions at any one time so I'm not positive about all species). Can I keep, for example, a group of Radiatas together? <A few of all species, with the proviso that the system(s) are big enough> Thanks for all of your help! Michael Krogman  <You're welcome. Bob Fenner  >

Sick Lion Thanks Bob. unfortunately the fish is not going to make it. Losing color, won't eat and very lethargic. already removed from main tank. fortunately all other specimens are doing quite well <<Rats! Well, do us all a favor, and wait till a/the "bitter end"... have seen these fishes pull through amazingly, after looking like "no hopesville". Bob Fenner>>

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

Trigger & Lion Hey Bob I Just recently bought a undulated trigger and it has bitten the crap out of my lion fish which is bigger than him. I returned the trigger and got a small Foxface. I was wondering if the lions fins will grow back and if so  how long will it take. Keep in mind that the long fins which float are gone and down to the bone....Thanks, Scott P.S. I also had a copper question...If I had a small case of Ich and used CopperSafe and then was told that copper safe doesn't work as well as some other coppers on the market and used another kind of copper would the copper level be to high if I did it after 24hours?...Thanks for your time.  <<Good questions: Well, if the lionfish's fins weren't bitten all the way back, they will grow back... maybe not as luxuriantly as before... the whole process will take months. The copper question, yes, the copper's are additive... The CopperSafe takes some time to "drop out of solution" so you have to be more than careful to avoid overdosing... and in any case, do get/use a copper test kit with any/all types of copper use... there is not that much of a safety range with this material... too little and it does no good, too much and you can easily poison your fishes... Get that test kit. Bob Fenner>>

Spinning Lionfish Hello Bob :) My boyfriend bought some lionfish via the web and when they came -- one of the bags was deflated and the lionfish that came out looked weak and started floating upside down when it settled under a rock. To make matters worse, overnight -- it got stuck in the powerhead. We think it suffered from a little gash to its stomach, but it hasn't been looking too well. It just floats around now and spins with the water current at the top -- it really doesn't respond to anything. Looking up close, it IS still breathing. Basically, we just need to know what you think? Is it paralyzed? Should we try to feed it? Finally, should we try to put it out of its misery -- SO SAD!!! :( If so, what should we do. Thanks so much, Gina <I see from your next email this specimen perished shortly after... I would have advised euthanizing it by refrigeration/freezing... Sorry to hear of your loss... please refer this information back to your supplier to aid them in designing better shipping practices. Bob Fenner>
Re: No more spinning...
Dear Bob, Sad news...after I wrote my first e-mail, we found out the poor lionfish had died. So sorry to bother you about this -- but we're now worried about the other lionfish -- we have tried to feed him with frozen food...but he doesn't want to eat it -- how do we feed it to him? Thanks again, GINA <Never a bother. Please see the "Lionfishes", and "Feeding Feeders" areas and FAQs posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf lionfish hello I have a new dwarf lion fish (zebra) that I just got Friday the 2nd of march. I am anxious for his survival because he is not acting normally, since I put him in the tank he was breathing hard and swimming weird. He can swim fine most of the time but sometimes he positions himself vertical and swims horizontal. is this him just trying to get a good perch on the wall or something? am I over reacting? well , please respond soon thanks Chris <Hmm, well... Lionfishes, including Dendrochirus/Dwarf species do "hang out" at all angles... so, this is "normal"... and the "hard breathing" is likely due to "being new" (leaking osmotically from netting, skin, mucus loss... Impairment of blood cell counts...) Would however increase aeration/circulation, hold off on feeding this specimen till it stabilizes/stops breathing hard... a few days to a week. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish trouble Hey Bob, I've run into some trouble with one of my new lionfish. It managed to get stuck in a power head some time during the night. I've moved it to the quarantine tank, it just floats at the top, upside down, with a visible rip just in front of its anal fin (if that's the right name). So, is it a goner, or is there something I can do for the little guy? Thanks for your help, David <Let's hope this one recovers... Lionfish species are known for being very tough and good healers. Yours may not feed for a while (many days), but don't give up hope. Bob Fenner>

Question about Lionfish I've had my dwarf lionfish for about a month and a half now. He's eating silversides, and guppies. Good appetite, and seems healthy. However, for the past two weeks, he's been acting odd. Every now and then, he goes to the bottom of the tank, where the crushed coral is, and turns himself on his left side, and drags himself in short jerks across the coral. Then, he does a quick burst, and returns to swimming around the tank. Now, I noticed two days ago, his left eye is hazed slightly.. it seems cloudy. Well, I put the two together, his left eye is cloudy, and he's dragging himself across the coral on his left side.. as if trying to "scratch" the eye or something. (I've checked Nitrites, Ammonia, PH) and everything is normal.. So my question basically, is, what's wrong with his eye? Is this a fungus? A sickness? A parasite? I'm confused, I've never seen this before.. Please help me Bob. Thanks <Hmm, don't know exactly where the "cause" and "effect" come in here... Do agree with you that the scratching caused the cloudy eye... but why is this fish sitting about? Do you have adequate aeration? Does the fish's breathing seemed labored? It may have swallowed something it shouldn't have... and hopefully this too will pass... but otherwise, I wouldn't do much than wait and see at this point...Bob Fenner>
Re: Question about Lionfish
Nope, he's not labored breathing whatsoever, and he's quite active. Swims around up and down, all around the tank. Doesn't appear to be stressed at all. Every now and then, he sits on either the coral in the tank, or the bottom. However I thought all lionfish do that occasionally? <You are correct... in the wild or captivity... perhaps nothing to worry about all the way around... maybe this fish just "went bump in the night"... Lionfishes and their relatives are very good at self-healing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question about Lionfish
Unfortunately, my dwarf lionfish was found dead today when I arrived home. Could his cloudy eye been signal for something worse? Last Friday, was the last time he ate, it was a silverside head. Then I added an angel fish into the tank on Saturday. And he seemed normal until about 2 days ago, when he stopped swimming around, and either sat at the bottom, or floated at the top. This morning he was alive, but didn't do much, he was on the bottom of the tank. When I found him dead today his mouth was completely open, like as wide as it could possibly go. Well, what do you think could of killed this animal? <Do you still have this specimen? I would "necropsy" it (cut it open, carefully... they are still venomous when dead... I suspect "gut blockage"... from? Silversides? A rock? Even a Hermit Crab?...> I was told the cloudy eye was "Popeye" but, couldn't kill him, and I also remember giving him a silverside head on Friday, could he perhaps of "choked"  <I think so too> on it all week until it ended his life? Perhaps you can help me Bob. Since I'm all out of ideas. <Sorry to hear of your loss my friend. My thoughts are with you. Bob Fenner>

Lion fish sting? Hello Robert, I have had a fish and live rock marine tank for two years without any problems since the first six months or so. I completed my weekly water change. About an hour had past when I noticed my Huma Huma trigger on its side with labored breathing and seeming actually paralyzed. All other fish were fine. eighteen hours later the trigger is doing better, now capable of movement but still laying still out of harms way, all else in the tank seems normal. This happened so suddenly and no other symptoms for the trigger or tank mates, could this be the result of my fuzzy dwarf lion? <Maybe... or something to do with the new water... do you pre-mix? Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm  and the FAQs beyond> If so can the trigger recover?  <Yes, likely so if it has lived up to this point... do take care not to "change much"... over-feed, alter water chemistry... for a few days> If not, what are some other possibilities? <Perhaps something/someone it ate... like a snail, rock... Hopefully "this too shall pass"... Maybe a temporary loss of dissolved oxygen, capacity for uptake...> thanks and good to know your out there, Mike Browne <Am glad to be here. Bob Fenner>

Lion Fish Bob, I hope you are doing well! Here is my question: I have 110 watts of compact lighting and 35 watts of actinic lighting is this too bright for a lionfish in my 75 gallon ??? I certainly hope not to cause him any eye sight problems.... Thank you in advance, Ryan <Shouldn't be a problem. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish and Lighting Concern I just bought a lionfish and read that they were very sensitive to long periods of light. <Mmm, not so much long but intense. Lionfishes can be blinded by too-bright lighting> How long is to long for the lionfish. I have my light set up on a timer its on for 4 - 5 in the morning and then shuts off about 1:00 and then I turn it back on at 5:00 and stays on till 10:00 or so at night Is this to much light. <Please read through the "Lionfish FAQs" posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionfaqs1.htm and beyond. Your lighting photoperiodicity is fine. Bob Fenner>

Lighting/Lions Bob, I have read your articles on salt water aquarium lighting and they have greatly helped. Have you heard of the Sylvania Aqua Star 10K reef light? <Not yet...> I have a 55 gal, tall, fish and invert only tank. I do have 1 anemone and he definitely likes to be in the lighter areas. My questions is I saw at the top of one of your articles a brief note regarding volitans lions. You said they do not like the bright light, and that it might harm them.  <Yes, many Lionfishes are blinded in captivity this way> Right now I have two 18" Coralife 10K lights. Is this even too bright for him? <Probably not. Not many lumens produced by these small lamps> He is a very impressive 7" long and my favorite fish, I do not want to cause ill effects to his health. Thanks, Julie <I wouldn't be concerned. Bob Fenner>

Just a few questions (re Lionfish repro.) Good afternoon, First, I would just like to say that your site is extremely informative, and greatly appreciated. <You're welcome my friend. I hope/trust our intent is obvious> I noticed that some of my questions were posted, however, I was hoping for specifics towards my personal query. I have at present a 20g tank, which at the moment due to my academic status will be the largest tank I'll have for a while, <Like the way you put this> and would like to either keep dwarf lions or valentini puffers. I would be interested in their breeding capabilities. <Hmm, you might be able to house two smallish Dendrochirus Lions... but not really the Sharpnose puffers... too nippy when crowded... and reproduction with either in such a setting is very unlikely.> I have a decent amount of experience in the hobby, and would like to try something new. I will continue to research, but due to your experience I was hoping for some guidance. thank you for any help you can give. <Hmm, as you'll find, Lionfishes (those that any such information is known about) get together to swim up and over backwards to shed their gametes in the upper water column (has been observed in captivity for Pterois...). The specimens were very large, old... the tanks very large (hundred to thousands of gallons). Canthigaster puffers shed their gametes, often associate in pairs... long planktonic periods for larval development... Maybe some Clownfishes, Blennies, Gobies in your twenty? Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Hi there, I just stumbled onto your FAQ's and I still need your expert advice. I have 2 devil lionfish and yesterday in the afternoon one of them grew very dark red in color and he is the same way today. I have only seen him do it once and that was short-lived. His breathing and movement are fine and he's still eating, prawn and krill, but his color is beautiful but at the same time alarming because this has never happened in the 6 months that I've had him. Please help. Even the pet store couldn't come up with anything other than maybe he was accidentally stung and his skin is inflamed. Thank you, Jennifer <Could be a few things here that either "made this fish happy", "or depressed/stressed"... But likely nothing to worry about. These color changes do "just happen" for whatever "good" and "bad" reasons. Not much to do re, and not to worry. Bob Fenner>

Lion shedding? Hey there Bob, I've got what appear to be two happy healthy lionfish, one about 4 inches head to tail and the other about 3. The larger one is growing rapidly on a diet of krill/prawns/silver sides, and occasionally seems to jet forward leaving behind what appears to be skin. Much like in a cartoon, where a character shape of dust is left behind after a hasty exit. Is this just normal growth, or some villainous water quality issue/nasty flesh eating parasite? I've not read of any explanation on the WWM pages, but as the fish seem healthy I'm not overly worried. Thanks for your continued help. David <Thanks for this question... Lions are easy "shedders" as your sharp eyes have observed... this is natural in fast growing, healthy individuals. No worries in your assumed well-filtered, adequately circulated system. Bob Fenner>

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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