Lion Fish (Pterois volitans)

Quick Facts :: Volitan Lionfish
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Maximum Size: 15″
Minimum Tank Size: 15 Gallons
Reef Compatible: Yes
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Scorpaenidae
Species: Lionfish
Aquarium Type: Predatory

Volitan-LionfishVolitan Lionfish are an impressive species that are the hardiest and currently the most popular lionfish in the hobby; like all lionfish they have venomous spines (anal, dorsal, and pectoral fins) that can deliver a painful sting capable of causing a severe reaction in humans. Volitan Lionfish, also commonly referred to as “Turkeyfish”, are endemic to the Indo-Pacific and can be found searching for crustaceans and small fish among the tropical, coral reefs. In addition to their venomous spines, Volitan Lionfish have multiple fleshy tabs and spiny protuberances along the face and head; these appendages serve to assist with camouflage among various marine algae and other similar structures along the reef (similar to the natural camouflage of their scorpionfish cousins). Volitan Lionfish are generally peaceful towards other tank mates, but as adults they will frequently eat tank mates that are shorter by 50% or less. As a highly popular species, the Volitan Lionfish is usually readily available within the hobby.

As juveniles, Volitan Lionfish are a very active species, but they will become increasingly more sedentary as they mature; however, they require adequate swimming space as well as enough room for their long fins and should be kept in an aquarium that measures at least 18″ wide which is no less than 90 gallons. They should also be provided with plenty of live rock, forming multiple caves and crevices where they can hide and relax at various angles. Although they are a hardy species that can tolerate less than perfect water quality, the use of a protein skimmer is highly recommended as well as high quality biological and mechanical filtration due to the large biological load this species can have on a system. Although Volitan Lionfish are “reef safe” as they will not harm corals, the cleaning crew (crabs) and ornamental shrimp aren’t safe within the same aquarium and may quickly turn out to be food items. Tank mate options are flexible as long as species housed are at least over half the length of the lionfish as an adult.

For more info see Aquarium Domain