Lionfish

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Lionfish are also known as the common lionfish, the turkey fish, the butterfly cod fish and the red fire fish. There are a few varieties of the Lionfish (antennata, fu manchu, radiata and russell's) with two primary types. The common (Pterois) and the dwarf (Dendrochirus). The common lionfish variety can grow to 12 inches (30 cm) or larger whereas the dwarf varieties usually only grow to half that size.
Take note that the spines on this fish are venomous and if you get pricked it may be fairly painful and you should probably seek medical attention. Be very careful when handling them (with a net) and while performing tank maintenance.
They are very efficient at polluting the water in your tank, so it is probably wise to give them no more than 1 small feeding per day. They require a good filtration system and highly oxygenated water. This means that you may need to have airstones in your tank in addition to the powerheads for water movement.
Dwarf Lionfish varieties could probably be kept in 30 gallon (114 liters) tanks or larger whereas the common lionfish should be kept in a 55 gallon (208 liters) or larger given their potential adult size.

Avoid putting them in a community tank with fish small enough to fit in their mouths. Otherwise, they will quickly rid your tank of the smaller fish. They will also go after some invertebrates so they are probably not a good choice for reef tanks.

Lionfish Profile Facts and Care Information

Scientific Name : Pterois volitans

Common Names : Turkey fish, Fire Fish, Butterfly Cod, Peacock and Scorpion Fish

Care Level : Easy to moderate, needs a good aquarium filter to keep wastes at a minimum.

Life span : 10 - 12 years, possibly longer

Size : The common variety can get to be 12 inches (30 cm) or larger. Dwarf varieties usually get to be about 6 inches (15 cm)

pH : 8.1 - 8.4

Temperature : 74°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Red Sea and the Pacific Ocean

Temperament / Behavior : They are not usually overtly aggressive and can make decent tank mates with fish of the same or larger size. They are hard wired to go after smaller fish and invertebrates such as shrimps. They should be kept in a semi-aggressive tank and should probably be left out of the community tank.

Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : The only reported successes have been in a few public aquariums.

Tank Size : 30 gallon minimum for the dwarf varieties, 55 gallon for the common (pterois).

Compatible Tank Mates : Avoid keeping them in an aquarium with smaller fish which they may view as a snack.

Reef Tank Compatible? : Not a good choice because of the pristine water conditions required in a reef aquarium setup. They can introduce large amounts of waste and they are predators that will go after and eat smaller fish and possibly saltwater invertebrates.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Fish Food : Primarily a carnivore and prefers live foods. Try to get them on frozen or fresh foods quickly.

Tank Region : Middle to bottom

Gender : Difficult to determine

Similar Species : Lionfish - Radiata Lionfish

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