Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Panther Grouper, also known as the Polka-Dot Grouper, is an attractive fish from the Indo-Pacific. Juveniles have a white body with large black spots and adults will look similar, with these spots just reduced in size. The Panther grouper is a shy species when first introduced, but will become more confident overtime and nearly ignore every other fish in the aquarium so long as they cannot be eaten. Juvenile fish are typically offered, but it should be known that your cute grouper will grow into a behemoth. An adult Panther grouper can reach an impressive size of approximately 24″, making the addition of this species into the aquarium a commitment. The availability of Panther groupers have been somewhat infrequent in the aquarium trade as of recent years.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Panther groupers are ambush predators (e.g., carnivores). A diet consisting of various proteins such as brine shrimp, squid, mysis shrimp, and other mixed saltwater preparations will maintain optimal health, immune function and coloration. Suitable frozen food options will change as your Panther grouper grows. Some groupers have been known to be fussy about accepting prepared foods, and may need to be enticed with feeder ghost shrimp at the beginning in order to encourage such feeding behavior. We do not recommend feeding live fish at all, or relying on live foods as a diet long term because this is not good for the health of your grouper.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 gallon aquarium is ideal for a smaller Panther grouper, but the tank will likely have to be upgraded as it approaches its full adult size. A Panther grouper requires efficient filtration (e.g., canister filter, sump) and ample oxygen in the aquarium. Groupers appreciate some live rock in the aquarium, especially caves to hang underneath during the day, but as it gets larger, will appreciate unobstructed swimming space. Panther groupers rarely conflict with tank mates, and given their size potential, can be mixed with more aggressive fish species. Panther groupers will eat any fish or invertebrate that can fit in their mouth. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 1″ to 3″; Medium: 3″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 7″; XLarge: 7″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.