RSS Parapterois heterura, the most gorgeous of the scorpionfish

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 24 Aug 2012.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    The Blue-Fin/Black-Foot lionfish,*Parapterois heterura, is not a common fish in the trade. Bluefin lionfish hail from the Western Pacific and South African coast, therefore, they are not collected frequently. Parapterois heterura*also have a reputation for being delicate. While they are coming in with a little more frequency now, I still wish we saw them available more often. I got lucky once, and found one for sale mislabelled as a*Dendrochirus zebra*for $30. *He was eating mysis at the store, and I thought he’d be a good candidate to keep my dwarf fuzzy lion**company in an overfed 40-gallon soft coral tank.

    I knew about their fragility, but the one I kept must not have read the same books. Within a week, he was eating pellets. The dwarf fuzzy was probably a good role model. The tank was a bit of a mess, but the temperature stayed around 75 degrees fahrenheit (like all my tanks). I think the cooler reef temperature helped my success. I maintained the dwarf lion tank for about a year. Both fish always ate well, and seemed to get along. I received lots of emails asking me for secret tips on my success. But really, I kept things pretty basic.


    The great thing about Parapterois heterura*is that their behavior is as cool as their looks. Whenever I approached the tank, the bluefin lionfish would flare his blue neon fins in a circular dance on the sand bed. It was definitely a warning sign. They clearly swam less than other lions. Bluefins are like a mixture of sedentary scorpionfish and a hovering lionfish and for this reason, I don’t think they’d do well in a tank with lots of current.

    Unfortunately I lost the Bluefin lionfish to my own stupidity. The heavy feedings created an outbreak of flatworms. Late one night, I decided to dose some Flatworm Exit to clean the tank up. I had siphoned out as many flatworms as I could beforehand to reduce the toxins from a flatworm die-off. But my guess is I didn’t remove enough. The Bluefin lionfish was dead and Dwarf Fuzzy was barely hanging on. I moved the Dwarf Fuzzy over to another tank, and he recovered quickly. I guess the Parapterois heterura*are indeed more delicate, especially to stupidity. But he really wasn’t that much harder to keep than any other dwarf lion.

    As far as other suggestions for keeping one healthy?

    • Fatten them up quick, then move them to other foods.
    • Keep the temps in the low to mid 70′s with lots of O2.
    • Keep the flow low. These fish come from muddy lagoons.
    • *Have a fine sand bed for them to bury themselves .
    Hopefully we see them more often. They are simply amazing fish in person. *Apparently there is quite a size difference and appearance between males and females. *It is believed that the Male gets larger and more colorful. This dimorphism would make for one incredible species tank display.\

    Bluefin_Lionfish5.jpg A fantastic photo by PacificKlaus of the extreme differences between male and female Bluefin Lions.

    Bluefin_Lionfish3.jpg Bluefin_Lionfish2.jpg
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