Care Level: Advanced
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The FW Lionfish, or Toadfish, is found in brackish water mangroves and estuaries of Australia. The descriptor, FW (freshwater), is often only used to distinguish them from true saltwater or marine lionfish, Pterois, in which this fish has no relation to. Additionally, FW lionfish are not venomous. The FW lionfish is truly an oddball, and is best left to the aquarist willing to provide it with the specific brackish environment that it needs (see Care below). An ambush predator, the FW lionfish is relatively inactive most of the day as its mode of camouflage is to appear stone-like waiting for unsuspecting prey to pass by. An adult FW lionfish can reach a size of approximately 12.” Note: Given the specialized care of FW lionfish and their limited compatibility with livestock, we order these on a very limited basis.
Diet Requirements: FW lionfish are carnivores and almost always need to be offered live food as a precursor to frozen foods. Some specimens may be reluctant to accept frozen foods altogether. We recommend giving live ghost shrimp a high quality flake food before feeding them to a FW lionfish so that they have greater nutritional value. Use a pair of tongs to hold the prey in front of the FW lionfish so that it begins to associate the tongs with feeding. Other live foods that can gain interest include earthworms. Once your lionfish is interested in frozen foods, appropriate options will vary depending on the size of the individual. Examples include pieces of shimp, krill, and chopped fish to maintain optimal health and coloration. Because FW lionfish are actually quite sedentary, they can be fed more infrequently than most fish. Check the body mass of your FW lionfish and feed accordingly, which may be every few days. Note: While we strive to offer FW lionfish that are eating frozen foods, or a combination of frozen foods and live foods, it is not uncommon for them to revert back to only accepting live foods, or ignoring food altogether, for a period of time due to the stress of a new environment.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 20 to 30 gallon aquarium is ideal for a “species only” tank for a FW lionfish. Despite its large adult size, the sedentary lifestyle of this fish makes it acceptable to maintain in this aquarium size. A FW lionfish should not be added into a biologically immature aquarium, as it is sensitive to nitrite and ammonia. Ensure to remove uneaten live foods, as these can soil water parameters quicker. Most brackish tanks are kept at a salinity between 1.005 and 1.012. Unlike aquarium salt for freshwater, brackish tanks use marine salt. The achieve this salinity, we recommend mixing 1/8 cup of marine salt per one gallon of water. To err on the side of caution, you can use less and check the salinity level by using a hydrometer or refractometer. FW lionfish are relatively indifferent to aquarium décor, but a marine sand or substrate is ideal in addition to some rocks that can create a cave or two for it to hang in during the day. While a FW lionfish will not bother live aquatic plants, the salt concentration will harm them. If brackish or marine Mangroves (Rhizophora spp.) are available, these would make an excellent addition into the aquarium. Only one FW lionfish should be kept per aquarium, and this species truly does best alone given its predatory nature and specific care. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.008-1.012.
Purchase Size: Small: 2-1/2” to 3-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.