Lion Fish

April 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Lion Fish

Volitan Lionfish

Lionfish are disease resistant tank inhabitants and are suitable for intermediate saltwater aquarists. Lionfish are extremely beautiful with its graceful fins, colorations and cautious movements. Their intricate red and white stripe patterns are eye catching. Their different colored strips serve them as camouflage against the aquarium background. The colors are white, pink, red, orange and black.

Lionfish have venomous spines that enable them to deliver painful stings to an aquarist who is not careful. If you get stung, immerse the area in hot water to ease the pain, denature the poison and then call an ambulance. You should get a tetanus injection because the sting can become life threatening. Being very careful, you can keep a Lionfish even if you are beginner as long as you are also conscious of their diet.

You should feed them a variety of fresh and meaty foods which include krill, shrimp, clams, marine fish etc. A constant supply of live foods is required for them because they are voracious predators. A varied diet can keep them satisfied and healthy. Keep them in a large tank decorated with lots of rocks with caves. They usually hide during the day and if they are reluctant to eat, feed them by switching off the lights. They tend to recognize their owners. In the aquarium, you can feed them two or three times a week based on the temperature of the aquarium.  At a lower temperature, you can feed them fewer times.

An efficient filtration system is required for Lionfish aquariums and you have to change the water frequently to eliminate the waste produced by the large amounts of food consumed. The best temperature for the water in the aquarium is 72-78ºF, with a pH level of 8.1-8.4. To avoid injuries to their delicate skins, use a soft substrate.

Lionfish  will grow up to a size 10-15 inches adding the tail portion. Smaller species can reach of 6 inches. Lionfish are aggressive and they do not tolerate their own species. Keeping two Lionfish in the same tank can cause deadly results. There are different varieties of Lionfish such as Black, Devil, Antennata, Dwarf Zebra, Dwarf Fuzzy and Russell’s Lionfish. There are 22 species of Lionfish, but the Volitan Lionfish is the most popular.

Lionfish swallow their prey whole. Their tank mates should be big to avoid being swallowed. If the tank mates are large, the Lionfish will ignore them. You can keep them with Angelfish and Butterfly fish. The lifespan of  a Lionfish is of about 15 years in the wild.