"dwarf" species of lionfish

MJDuti

Member
My friend wants to go from Freshwater into SW. I'm going to try to help him with whatever I know cause he's turning into a fish nut like us, but has some learning ahead of him. He is set on getting a lionfish. I already mentioned the obvious, about size, diet, and being poisonous. He is fine with all that. I was wondering what smaller species are out there that he can look into in the mean time before he starts to set everything up.

I know there is the dwarf fuzzy, zebra, and antennata. Any others, or any recommendations on those species?
 

1971roadrunner

Member
HI MJ, your friend is going to really like the fish ! The three you mentioned are all great and easy to care for however IMO would steer clear of the FuManchu lions unless you want to feed live food. I've done some research on these and they are very hard to get on frozen and better left to an experienced fish keeper. IME with many dwarf lions over the years I've found it important to get them young and definitely eating at the LFS, no exceptions to this 'cause if they are not eating there is usually something very wrong. This rule of not eating goes for any predatory fish because they are the most aggressively feeding fish out there and feeding should be the last of the keepers worry. These lions spend a lot of their time hiding and will eat or destroy small inverts. I keep inverts (no shrimp!) with mine but larger ones that my guys pick up often but don't harm. I highly recommend dwarf lions for both beginners and experts alike-awesome/fun fish !
 
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MJDuti

Member
hmm, what inverts do you keep with yours?! Also, what are your thoughts on tank mates? I know it'll come up.

*these are also on my list too!
 

1971roadrunner

Member
As you know from my 180g predator tank the aggressive (there are semi-aggressive types that should be OK) species of Triggers are IME/research definitely not recommended. IMO would stay away from any of the very nasty predatory as well such as the big puffers etc...'cause they like to chew on the fins for fun. For inverts simply go with larger crabs, beefy stars that can't have their legs easily pulled off and some good sized snails all of which I keep in the 125g. I have three good sized decorator crabs there for example who get picked up by my lions and tossed around some but fine . Just use ones research/common sense to determine who can be eaten or not by these fish and not torn apart and keep the lion well fed then they should be fine with everyone. ttyl
 
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MJDuti

Member
what would you recommend for a tank size for one of these guys? ~50G+?
 
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MJDuti

Member
could you mix some of these species together fine? Obviously with a bigger tank. I was thinking just an idea for me down the road: a lionfish tank with a few small ones, or a small & large maybe, and also getting the snowflake eel I've always wanted.
 

1971roadrunner

Member
Lions and an eel would be fine. I want to restate something I posted above in that a puffer could be placed with lions though there is a chance for a problem but well worth trying. Aggressive triggers are a big NO! Lions don't bully other fish just swollow them if they can and are actually quite peaceful overall and it's common to keep them with eels. hope this helps and would really like to see you do a tank like this MJ !
 
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MJDuti

Member
lol, thanks, I would love to see myself do a tank like this as well. I was just thinking something different. Would be kind of cool to see a few lionfish (esp different ones) together...and then also get my eel fix and have him in and out of the live rock.

Since I'm a big puffer head now, I think I would just keep them separate. Are the species of Toby/ValentinI puffers different than other puffer species in any other way than how they look? I have not read many good reviews when it comes to mixing puffers and lions.
 

1971roadrunner

Member
I see aggressive puffers mixed with lions often though there have been problems reported though rare. The puffers like a ValentinI is peaceful as are the blue spotted ones (I had one) and never heard of anyone having any troubles at all with these. Eels are great but even though I have a 100% secure tight fitting hood my guy (and ones in the past) still get out quick when the top is off sometimes which is a real nuisance though 'kinda funny too - comes with keeping one!?!?
 

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