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Volitan Lionfish

Volitan Lionfish


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Volitan Lionfish- Pterois Volitans

Care Level:  easy

Diet:  Carnivore

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Safe:  With caution

Minimum Tank Size:  150 gallons

When any aquarist talks about a Lionfish, it’s usually about the beautiful Volitan Lionfish.  It’s Red, Burgundy, White, Brown or Black stripes extend along the entire length of its body.  A truly magnificent creature, the Volitan Lionfish is the easiest of the Lionfish species to keep.  They are not finicky with water conditions and will tolerate less than stellar parameters to a certain extent.  The Volitan Lionfish is a true carnivore, basically eating appropriately sized fish and inverts in the wild.  In the home aquaria one must take note that although they are frequently sold as juveniles, they can grow to 15 inches.  With long flowing fins their “wingspan” can reach an impressive 18 inches.  They are generally peaceful, however they will eat smaller fish, fish roughly half of its body length and ornamental shrimp. Due to their size a minimum 150 gallon aquarium will be necessary as an adult.

The Volitan Lionfish is not reef safe due to its tendency to eat smaller tank mates.  They will however do fine in a reef tank with other large semi aggressive inhabitants such as any large Angelfish, Tangs, Wrasses, etc.  Live rock will be necessary for shelter purposes as well as acclimation.  Once the Lionfish gets comfortable you will see it more often prowling the aquarium for its next meal.  Like all Lionfish, the Volitan Lionfish can inflict a painful sting.  It often compares to a really bad and painful bee sting.  Lionfish venom can be broken down by heat.  If an unsuspecting aquarist should get stung, apply heat in the form of hot water for about 30 minutes, then seek medical attention.

Standard water parameters apply for this species;  temperature 74-78 degrees, SG 1.020-1.025, PH 8.1-8.4, dKH 8-12, nitrates <10ppm, nitrites and ammonia 0 ppm.  Other than monitoring and or adjusting tank mates due to size concerns, the Volitan Lionfish is often the centerpiece of the reef or FOWLR aquarium.  It’s mild disposition and ease of care make it a popular choice for beginners and experts alike.


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