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Old 05-17-2006, 10:43 PM   #1
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Dwarf Lion in a reef?

Everything I have read says with caution. I am aware of the obvious caution...."if it will fit in its mouth it will eat it". I have never owned a lion due to the fact that I have always had smaller fish and did not think they were reef safe.

LFS did not think they would bother any invert other than small shrimp.I am looking for a new fish to replace my lost tangs.

Anyone have one in a reef with success?

LFS just received some juvenal spotted dwarfs in (2-3")and I have one on hold until I can do a bit more research. From what I have found this species can get 6-8". LFS thinks that could take 2-3 years. I know oscars are cute as juvenals, but do not stay that way long, what about lions, how fast do the grow?

I think all my fish would be safe to start out. Chromis is about 2.5-3" and could be at risk down the road. Clowns are both 3"+ and growing. The cleaner shrimp I have is huge.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 05-17-2006, 10:59 PM   #2
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I had a dwarf lion, but not in a reef. I see no reason why you couldn't keep one in your reef if the tank mates are of appropriate size. I can tell you though my lions grew very fast and I'm talking months, not years. Also, mine when he was 3" ate a 2" damsel so your chromis, clowns and shrimp will definitely be at risk as it grows. They can eat fish up to the same size as themselves. You'd be amazed. They are beautiful fish though, as long as you know what your getting yourself into.
Oh, the other reason people don't suggest them for a reef is the bioload. They are messy and water quality may become an issue. But, I've seen people keep volitans in reefs. I believe Hara had one in hers so it can be done. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 05-18-2006, 12:34 AM   #3
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Fluff,

Thanks for the response, some good points to consider. Not real concerned about the bio load as this would only be the 6th fish and I do not plan to add anymore as I want to keep the load down. I have kept as many as 10 fish previously.

I would not want to put my clowns at risk and would need to keep an eye on the situation if they truly grow that fast. My male clown is probably twice the size of the lion and the female is even bigger. I am hoping to grow my maroons out by keeping the fish load a bit lower than in the past. I recently saw some maroons that were 6"+.

What about other inverts, do they bother snails, hermits, emeralds etc. ? Does keeping them well feed alter behavior at all?

Looked them up in a book at LFS and these most closely resembled a spotted dwarf, but I cannot find anything on line for a spotted dwarf.

If I do decide to try it I am assuming QT is advisable, or are they similar to a mandarin in that regard?

TIA,
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:10 AM   #4
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They won't bother snails. Crabs and hermits may be ok. Starfish are another cleaner animal you can keep with them. Feeding them well may help but it's possible to overfed and actually do more harm than good where lions are concerned. I don't know if you have Bob Fenners book The Consciencensous Marine Aquarist or not but he has some good lionfish info in there concerning diet. I've never heard of a spotted dwarf but it sounds interesting.
QT is always advisable. Lions have the ability to shed to remove parasites and other irritants but that doesn't mean they can't carry parasites in with them and better safe than sorry.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:33 AM   #5
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Thanks, I do have the book and will go back and look. QT is up and running as I plan to add something, just not decided. The dwarf may be an interesting option. They just came into the LFS today, so probably will not do anything before the weekend.

They are so small, I cannot imagine them growing so quick. I think the book we looked in was the small pocket guide "Marine fishes". They have a balck spot in the center of each pectoral fin otherwise look similar to a red zebra.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:26 AM   #6
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I have never heard of a spotted dwarf loinfish, is it this:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=227

this is my fav one:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=225

They have a beautiful one at my LFS, that has purple stripes, which I hane't seen...
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:40 AM   #7
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No, neither of those, they look like a dwarf zebra with a single black spot on each pectoral fin. I have not been able to find them on the web, but the pic in the book looked almost exact.

They were smaller than any lions I have ever seen at an LFS (I know they will not stay that way).

I think this is the book we looked in if someone has a copy:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...&link_code=as1

Edit:

roka64,

You may be right on the second one, that pic just does not look right.

Here is a different pic:

http://www.scuba-equipment-usa.com/marine/AUG04/Spotfin_Lionfish(Pterois_antennata).html

I think the common name is a spotfin lion.

(link is not working right, need to copy entire link and put in address)
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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One lion that you may consider is the Fu Manchu lion. They are the smallest of all lions and they are also one of the coolest looking ones IMO. Here is what they look like if you're not familiar with them. The only problem is that people have a hard time getting them to eat. Maybe if you could get your LFS to order you one in and see if it eats then it might work out for you. I tried ordering one in for months with no luck. Hopefully you'll have better luck!

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=231
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:11 AM   #9
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My LFS has two of those and three Volitans....Very beautiful.....I want one soooo bad...sigh...
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Old 05-19-2006, 04:54 PM   #10
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Lionfish, are without a doubt the least aggressive fish I have ever kept, as long as they cant fit a tank mate in their mouths.

I honestly beleive neon tetras are more aggressive.
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