The WAIKIKI AQUARIUM - A Nice Respite From Beach Activities

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Exhibit is the Waikiki Aquariums first new exhibit in 6-years. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which includes the chain of 120+ islands and atolls that string some 1200 miles to the northwest of Niihau, is home to over 7,000 marine species, a quarter of which are found nowhere else on Earth. The 4,000 gallon display will feature many species of fish rarely seen outside of this protected area.

The Waikiki Aquarium...3rd oldest aquarium in the country.
The Honolulu Aquarium, as it was known when it opened in 1904, was a state-of-the-art facility with 35 tanks and 400 species in its collection and was proclaimed to have the finest collection of fishes in the world.

Waikiki Aquarium entrance.JPG

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Its tradition as a research facility began in 1912 with a donation from the C.M. Cooke Estate for a marine biology research laboratory. When its lease expired in 1919, the Cooke Estate ceded the Aquarium's property lease to the Territory of Hawaii and operations were turned over to the then newly formed University of Hawaii.

In 1949, the Territory Legislature funded construction of a new aquarium to the south of the original structure and in 1955, the Waikiki Aquarium opened. This is the building that I originally visited back in the 60's and which still stands today. The 1990's brought a focus on more naturalistic exhibits that focused on the marine life of Hawaii and the western Pacific, as well as significant renovation of the facilities, and in 2000 the Aquarium was designated a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center of the Coastal America partnership.

During this period they instituted the coral propagation program, for which the Aquarium is now world-renowned. The purpose of this program is to supply aquariums and researchers world-wide with live coral specimens while protecting coral in the wild. The ultimate goal of the program is to reach the point where they can re-introduce corals back into the wild to help propagate dying reefs.
The Waikiki Aquarium Houses Six Main Areas:

  • The Corals Are Alive: Hawaiian coral reefs are unique in that they are geologically young reefs and are the most geographically isolated reefs in the world.
  • The Galleries at the Aquarium: highlight the aquatic communities of the tropical Pacific and Hawaii.
  • The Edge of the Reef exhibit is a 7,500 gallon (28,400 liter) outdoor exhibit that recreates a typical Hawaiian shoreline.
  • The Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of the world's most endangered marine mammals.
  • The Ocean Aquaculture display focuses on the raising of a Hawaiian favorite, the "moi", aka Pacific Six Fingered Threadfin (Polydactylus sexfilis).
  • The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Exhibit

The Waikiki Aquarium also offers a number of educational and fun activities and events for the family. These range from night viewings of some of the nocturnal residents in the aquarium to exploring the nearby tidal pools. The seahorse exhibit takes viewers behind the scenes at Waikiki Aquarium to talk about the care and feeding of seahorses. Or, you might want to get involved with NOAA's Ocean Exploration Curriculum Workshop or the Marine Educators' Night at the Waikiki Aquarium for adults.

So, while the Waikiki Aquarium may not rival its larger counterparts on the mainland in size, it still warrants a visit if you have any interest in the local sea creatures and the many conservation efforts being led by this University of Hawaii operated facility. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in its world renown status!

And, its one of the most affordable attractions that is also walking distance from most Waikiki hotels. Admission for adults...$9; for locals (kama'ainas), seniors (65+), and active military...$6; youths (13-17) or those with a disability...$4; juniors (5-16)...$2; and children (4 and under)...FREE. Open 9:00 to 4:30 pm daily; closes early at 2:30 Thanksgiving Day; closed for the Honolulu Marathon and Christmas. Located at 2777 Kalakaua Ave., call for more information, (808) 923-9741.

Check the actual information on the website: http://www.waikikiaquarium.org/



Dragon Wrasses or Novaculichthys taeniourus are members of the family Labridae. This is a large and diverse family comprised of over 500 species in 60 genera. The name wrasse is derived from the Welsh word, gwrach, which means old woman or hag. Dragons have a rather extensive habitat. Populations exist in the Red Sea as well as both the Indian and Pacific Oceans; throughout all of Micronesia along the entire east coast of Africa to Lord Howe Island south of Australia. They can also be found from the Hawaiian Islands to the eastern Pacific; from the Gulf of California down to Panama.

Cropped from Image:Cleaning station konan.jpg....
Dragon Wrasse, Novaculichthys taeniourus is being cleaned (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dragons are a medium to large fish depending upon what species you keep as an aquarist. They can grow to a maximum adult length of 12 inches. Adults and juveniles not only look like two distinctly separate species, they look as if they originate from different planets. Adults have the elongated profile typical of a wrasse. Their heads are light grey with burgundy markings around their eyes. 

They have burgundy bodies covered with a grey spotting pattern. Their dorsal and anal fins are quite long and also display spotting. Fins are a combination of reddish brown, burgundy and a grayish green. The bases of their caudal fins are white with a brown and green fan-like appearance at the end.
Juveniles are extremely exotic creatures. They exhibit features more typical of a species of lion fish than that of a wrasse. Their heads are crowned with two long dorsal spines that have the appearance of alien antennae or a pair of old rabbit ears from the airwave era of television. 

Their fins consist of either individual spines or spines held together by a joining membrane. The assortment of spinal protrusion from their bodies contributes to their resemblance of a volitan. Primary colorations vary from peach, to burgundy, light blue or grey and can even be a radiant lime green. Regardless of primary coloration, they all have white zigzagged markings on their bodies outlined in black. Juveniles will often remain motionless, drifting back and forth in the current mimicking a piece of detached seaweed. When an unsuspecting passerby moves in for a quick nibble, they swallow it whole.

Dragons are sold under a variety of trade names by the aquarium industry, including; masked, Indian, or the olive-scribbled wrasse. Juveniles are frequently sold as reindeer wrasse because the elaborate dorsal spines on their heads resemble the antlers of a deer. In Japan they are known as Obi-tensumodoki.

Dragons are hardy fish with aggressive temperaments. They should only be housed with larger, similarly aggressive species. They are extremely territorial toward conspecifics and should only be kept as a solitary specimen. These are not reef compatible fish. In nature the adults are continually over turning rocks in the hope of revealing mussels, snails, urchins, starfish, and crustaceans to consume. They are, in fact, often referred to as "rockmover wrasse" because of their knack for interior decorating. In additions to rocks, they will not hesitate in rearranging your coral collection. They can prove quite destructive in a reefs tank. As is a common trait among wrasse, dragons will bury themselves in the sand to sleep. You will require 2-4 inches of sand as a substrate if you intend to raise this species. A minimum tank size of 150 gallons is recommended. These fish are jumpers and should only be housed in an aquarium with a tightly fitted hood for their own protection.

Dragons are quite voracious carnivores. This species more often dies from malnutrition than all other factors combines. Their immense appetites earned them a moderate to advance care level rating. Their diet can include brine or mysid shrimp and live worms in addition to whatever carnivore based food preparation you choose to use as a staple. They can be fed virtually any freshly chopped seafood with the exception of oily fish. Larges specimens can eat feeder shrimp and fish. This species has a very fast metabolism. They will starve to death quickly if underfed. Dragons should be fed a minimum of 2-3 times daily.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Saltwater fish and marine reef aquariums are fun and rewarding hobbies. Just thirty years ago the thought of successfully maintaining a home nano reef was almost unheard of. Less than a decade ago Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums were only found in large public aquarium facilities. Today raising Pet Moon Jellyfish is the hottest new trend in home aquarium ownership.


Saltwater Aquariums With No UV STERILIZER Equals Certain Troubles

I am shocked and surprised how often I come across marine aquariums (reef or fish only) that have no U.V. sterilizer filter. These aquarists are playing Russian roulette with their aquariums, running the risk of being vulnerable to a parasite outbreak.

A low pressure mercury vapor discharge tube fl...
A low pressure mercury vapor discharge tube floods the inside of a hood with shortwave UV light when not in use, sterilizing microbiological contaminants from irradiated surfaces.
(Photo credit: 

There are many different situations that can cause a disease and/or parasite outbreak in your marine aquarium. It could be adding new fish, or perhaps one of your fish changes sex and throws off the entire pecking order, or a fish dies or is removed and that throws off the pecking order; or say your chiller (if you have one) went on the fritz during a heat wave - and the list goes on.

And given that there are so many situations that could spark a disease or parasite outbreak, wouldn't you want to protect yourself (and your fish) against this likely possibility? Who wouldn't? And yet many aquarists don't have a U.V. sterilizer on their system. It's like rolling the dice and crossing your fingers, hoping you don't have a disease outbreak.

So, before I go any further, let me just say that - yes - you definitely need a U.V. sterilizer. That is, if you want your fish to live for years rather than months, and if you want to avoid even the possibility of a total system meltdown (scary scientific term). Yes, this is my opinion, but it is also backed up with over 11 years in keeping saltwater fish (primarily reef tanks) with only three disease outbreaks - and two of them were caused by human error. By disease outbreak, I mean multiple fish dying from parasite infestation. This is attributed to aggressive use of U.V. sterilizer filters. And don't forget, I'm not talking about just one tank. I run a high-end custom aquarium design, installation and maintenance business, where we service many customers with large saltwater aquariums.

So, yes, it's a bold statement. And it also happens to be true. See - I don't like problems or surprises when it comes to aquariums. Over the years of running my business, I have had to develop ways of preventing problems from even being able to happen on our customer's tanks; and then having designed the system to be prepared to accommodate the problem if it ever does happen. This is sort of our company philosophy to aquarium system design and it is a preventative approach designed to prevent problems - so that we put far less energy into reacting to and fixing problems. Any way - enough of that. Back to U.V. sterilization.

By now, you might be thinking "yeah right - I don't believe you". Well, I'm not saying that we've only seen parasites on some of our fish three times in 11 years. NOPE. We see low-levels of parasites on fish fairly often - but those fish are thriving and healthy and live long lives - typically for over five years, and are able to fight off the parasites. AND the parasites are not aloud to bloom to dangerous levels because the U.V. sterilizer kills the parasites when they are water born (verses dormant in the substrate) and looking for a host.

So, what is a U.V. sterilizer filter? The U.V. stands for ultraviolet sterilization. Basically, it contains a special light bulb which emits U.V. "C" light. U.V. "C" is the band of U.V. light that gives us sun burn. So, essentially, a U.V. sterilizer filter is "sun-burning-to-death" (scientific term) or sterilizing your aquarium water as it passes through the filter, and thus killing any water-born parasites. It runs 24/7 and is very cheap to operate and can PREVENT parasite outbreaks. What aquarist wouldn't want to be able to prevent a parasite outbreak? This is why having a U.V. is a no brainer MUST HAVE filter for your aquarium.

In addition, the U.V. filter will prevent bacteria blooms (caused by water-born bacteria - milky or cloudy water) and phytoplankton blooms (cause of green water). The result here is clear water. Of course, this doesn't remove the underlying cause of the bacteria bloom (excess organics and insufficient bio-filtration) which must still be dealt with.

Sizing is probably the most important factor when selecting your U.V. sterilizer for your aquarium. My general advice is to slightly oversize your U.V.. Most sizing charts are based on aquarium/system volume. The last thing you want is an undersized U.V., because then it is almost useless (i.e. it is too small to prevent disease outbreaks). Several parameters to consider are system/tank volume, water flow rate through the U.V. filter, and bio-load (how much life is in your tank). So again, when selecting your U.V. sterilizer, choose the next one up in size, as recommended on the sizing chart.

Example: If your aquarium is 100 gallons and the sizing chart recommends a 30watt UV for a 90g and a 40watt UV for a 120g, then go with the 40watt UV.

One of the primary criteria used in sizing a U.V. sterilizer is the water flow rate through the unit. See, if you send too much water (too high of a flow rate) through too small of a unit, then it won't be effective in killing the parasites. But for me (I'm lazy), that is too much work, calculating flow rates, etc., so what I do is take the manufacturers recommended sizing for my aquarium (gallons) and then choose the next larger size U.V.. This almost ensures that your U.V. will be effective in killing water-born parasites in your aquarium and preventing a disease outbreak. And nine times out of ten, if you do the calculations of water flow rate, UV kill rate, and total system volume, you will end up at the same size U.V. any way. One caviat here - this method is based on average bio-loading (average number of fish/invertebrates etc.) for any given tank volume. So if you are crazy aggressive with your stocking density of fish/corals/invertebrates/etc., then you may even want to choose a U.V. that is two sizes up.

Of course, U.V. is not the only effective way to sterilize against disease and parasites. Ozone is very effective if applied and monitored properly. But Ozone is far less forgiving than U.V., and while you cannot CAUSE any problems by over sizing a U.V. filter, you can cause BIG PROBLEMS by improperly applying and monitoring ozone. But more about ozone in future posts. For now, suffice it to say that U.V. is very safe and simple to apply to your aquarium filtration system, and there is no monitoring (unlike ozone).

You do need to ensure proper upkeep or maintenance of your U.V. sterilizer. Once a year, you must change the bulb and the O-ring and/or gasket, and clean off the quartz sleeve (housing the bulb). This may take 30 minutes to an hour to do, but is necessary because after a year of operation, the bulb has begun to lose its potency and the ozone gas produced by some U.V. bulbs will break down the O-ring and/or gaskets that seal off the quartz sleeve. And in some systems the quartz sleeve can accumulate mineral deposits that may reduce effectiveness of the U.V. bulb. A simple overnight vinegar bath and wipe-down with a sponge will do the trick.

Generally, I'm not big on having opinions. I like to be open-minded, and opinions tend to cut us off from being open to learning something new. But when something works as well and as consistently as this does, well, I feel strongly about it. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. I hope this is of help to you.



The peacock cichlid is growing in popularity as a pet. They are traced to Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. The fish are regarded as being amongst the most beautiful cichlids. And best of all they are some of the most peaceful of all the cichlid species.

They are best for large aquariums and are great for display due to their colors and a massive size. They are named after the peacock's colorful displays. The peacock cichlid has an elongated and a much higher back than other cichlids where their pelvic and the pectoral fins are a bit longer.

Aulonocara hansbaenschi RB2.jpg

The males grow to around 15 centimeters while females grow up to 4 centimeters. A dark indigo blue characterizes their colors from the lower jaw up to the rear part of the body. You will not need to breed the males and females of the peacock cichlid separately.

They breed very well and display a beautiful blend of colors. They are considered members of the free swimming Haplochromis group. In their natural habitat, they are known to form schools. While breeding them, it is advised that you have one or two males interact with a larger number of females. This will encourage breeding and you could have a whole school in no time.

The peacock cichlid is a mild aggression type of fish. Since the fish exhibit aggressive tendencies, you will need to build their aquarium with this in mind. They will increase in aggression when confined into these small tanks. Taking this in mind, you can be able to inhibit the aggression as well with extra water volume per fish.

You could also increase breeding. The tank should be around 100cm with capacity for up to 55 gallons of water. In the aquarium, you should set up rocks and provide crevices and cave like designs. Remember the fish's original habitat included crevices and caves.

The water needs to be alkaline in nature therefore; it is advised that you use coral sand substrate. Since the water may change rapidly, it is a good idea to have it changed as frequently as possible. A dirty fish tank is not only disturbing to the eye but also unsafe for fish. The aggression of the peacock cichlid is very minimal compared to most Lake Malawi counterparts.

However, they are good in defending their school and will form territories too. You should not place peacock cichlid with smaller fishes since they may look at them as food. They can be put into the same tank with like-sized fishes like cat fish. Mbunas should not be chosen as tank-mates for the peacock cichlid.

They tend to be far more aggressive. Peacock cichlids are omnivores. It is a simple task when it comes to feeding since they are not choosy. They can be fed from foods such as bloodworm, mosquito larvae and crustaceans. The water pH level should be a bit above 8 but not exceed 8.2. They need a relatively warm water temperature of between 26 and 29 degrees Celsius.



The green spotted puffer, Tetraodon nigroviridis, is indigenous to Africa and Asia. Their natural habitat ranges from Sri Lanka, throughout Indonesia and north to China and south to Africa. Despite the fact that this species is frequently kept in freshwater tanks and sold as a freshwater fish by many retailers, this is a brackish fish. They inhabit brackish costal estuaries, lagoons and river and stream openings. During the rainy season green spotted puffers frequently make their way into seasonal floodplains.

English: Tetraodon nigroviridis - The green pu...
Tetraodon nigroviridis - The green puffer fish   (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although this fish can survive in a strictly freshwater environment a salinity level of 1.005-08 for juveniles and 1.018-22 for adult puffers will insure optimum health and longevity. That said; green spotted puffers can be successfully drip acclimated to either freshwater or saltwater. Puffers are commonly kept by saltwater aquarists. As juveniles, puffers swim back and forth between fresh, salt and brackish water conditions. As the fish matures it will instinctively migrate to a saltwater environment. A puffer fish maintained in proper water conditions can frequently live in excess of ten years. A puffer raised in a freshwater environment will not reach its full growth potential nor have the vibrant coloration of a saltwater puffer.

Many novice aquarists make the mistake of adding a green spotted puffer to their community tank because they are so adorable. Their bulging eyes, rounded bellies and leopard spot patterns indeed make them a unique addition to a freshwater tank. Disney movies have undoubtedly led to the increased popularity of this fish among aquarium owners. Make no mistake; green spotted puffers are natural born killers. They do not make good community fish. This species is best delegated to a mono-species tank for both its brackish water needs and its predatory instinct. Although puffers are not shoaling fish they are tolerant of conspecifics. This makes them even more eligible for a mono-species tank.

Puffers have rock hard beaks and razor sharp teeth. In the wild their diet consists of other fish, crustaceans, mollusks and insects. These voracious carnivores can bite right through hard shell clams. It is nothing for them to take a hefty bite out of another fish in a community tanks setting. Juvenile puffers (especially when introduced to an established population) may seem docile perhaps even timid. But it is only a matter of time before their predatory nature takes over. If you choose to disregard this warning, be prepared to loose members of your community tank as your puffer matures and establishes its own territorial boundaries in its new surroundings. Extreme caution should be used in choosing a puffers tank mates. Larger, more aggressive species have a better chance of holding their own against these tenacious little buggers. Avoid mixing them with long finned species such as bettas and angelfish. Puffers are notorious fin nippers. If fish suddenly start dying or have segments of fin or body tissue missing you puffer is almost certainly the culprit. Puffers become far more aggressive as adults. They can reach up to six inches long when fully mature. Keep this in mind when deciding what other species to mix them with. The adorable little puffer in the fish store is just a baby.

In order to thrive, puffers need a high protein diet. While flake food is acceptable, additional protein supplements will help maintain a puffer's long-term health and color palette. Young puffer fish can be fed frozen or freeze-dried krill or plankton. Ghost shrimp, and small insects, worms and snails also make appropriate menu items. Snails are considered an essential part of a proper puffer's nutritional regiment. Mollusks and crustaceans are a large part of a puffer's dietary intake in the wild. A puffer's teeth will continue to grow even after it has reached full maturity. Their teeth can actually overgrow to the point of filling their entire mouth cavity. This can and will lead to eventual starvation. Dietary supplements of hard shelled mollusks will help keep a puffer's teeth trimmed. Adult puffers can be fed scallops, shrimp, whole mussels, clams, oysters, crayfish and even crab legs. Puffers are messy eaters. They generate a lot of waste both in expulsion and in uneaten food particles. Routine partial water changes are essential for optimum health.

The ideal water temperature for this species is 78-82 °F. An alkaline based pH of around 8 is considered perfect. Adding Aragonite or crushed coral to your substrate will help naturally establish stable alkaline parameters. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended. An abundance of tank décor to break the puffer's line of sight and help it to establish its own territorial boundaries is highly recommended. This will help diminish aggressive behavior. Puffers are accomplished jumpers. As juveniles they will jump from one coastal puddle to another in search of food. An aquarium with a tightly fitting tank top is essential for the fish's safety.

Green spotted puffers are not raised on fish farms. They are caught from the wild for the fish trade industry. Internal parasite infestation is common. Be sure to choose an active specimen with a well rounded belly, a colorful palette and clear rather than foggy eyes. Keeping your puffer in an isolation tank for a period of no less than one week is highly recommended. Food stuff soaked in Discomed by Aquatronics will eliminate internal parasite infestation.

The ability of a puffer fish to bloat its body is a survival mechanism against predation. A puffer's body can expand to over twice its normal size. This is accomplished by the fish rapidly inflating its stomach with water. Despite what you see in Disney movies you may never actually see your puffer fish puff. Puffers only inflate their stomachs when they are in high stress situations or in fear of being ingested by another predator. Green spotted puffers, like all puffer fish, are poisonous. Their skin and organs contain tetrodotoxin, a highly potent neurotoxin whose affects in small does can cause a euphoric state of mind. Puffer poisoning is responsible for the deaths for several daring Japanese sushi enthusiasts every year.

Green spotted puffers are not bred in captivity for commercial purposes. There are reports of them being successfully bred by home aquarists. We were unable to find any detailed information on the breeding of this species.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The hottest new trend in aquarium ownership is pet jellyfish. Jellyfish require a specially designed Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank to remain alive and healthy. Jellyfish aquariums are easier to maintain than a traditional saltwater tank. Pet Moon Jellyfish have become exceptionally popular in recent years with home aquarists both for their unparalleled elegance and ease of care. The market for moon jellies has increased to the point that two US based websites are now tank raising these exotic creatures to keep pace with the growing demand.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

English: Tetraodon nigroviridis - The green puffer fish Deutsch: Tetraodon nigroviridis - Der grüne Kugelfisch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PIRANHA FISH - Feeding Your Pet Piranhas

Contrary to common belief, piranhas do not only eat live food. In fact, they do not only eat meat. Piranhas are omnivores, which means that they can eat just about anything (meat as well as greens.) It is important to keep your piranha's diet varied. Piranhas can be taught to eat dead food. When feeding your piranha dead food, it might be best to splash it around a bit (to mimic live behavior) just long enough to grab your piranha's attention. When feeding your piranhas live food, it's extremely important to understand the risks involved. Many of these feeders are in poor health, and can carry diseases which may pass on to your piranhas. Make sure to quarantine any live feeders before feeding them to your piranhas.

English: Piranhas_Zagreb Zoo_Croatia
(Photo credit: 


shall feeders (minnows, pinkies, frogs, etc...)
Small insects

Piranhas are not particularly picky fish when it comes to food. They will eat just about anything edible that is dropped into the tank. If you have just purchased your piranhas and they are not eating, do not worry. It might take your piranhas awhile before they start eating. Piranhas take time before they get comfortable and acquainted to their new environment, so they might not eat much during the first few days or even weeks. There are a couple of things that you can do to help speed up this process. You can:


Piranhas do not like the light much. They come from murky waters so turning down the lights will help reduce their stress.

Doing this will help stimulate your piranha's appetite. Be careful not to over-do it though. 1-2 degrees should be fine.

Not doing so will leave your piranhas feeling exposed, and this will only prolong the settling down period.

The most important thing you can do is to give it time. Piranhas will not starve to death, so try feeding it a bit every once in awhile. After a certain period of time, your piranhas will get used to their new home and begin to feed normally.

Big Al's Aquarium Services, Ltd.


Tips on LIONFISH Care

Lionfish or volitans are venomous fish belonging to the family Scorpaenidae whose literal translation means scorpion fish. There are five genera and 16 individual species commonly referred to as lionfish. Their natural habitant is among the reefs and rocky crevices of the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea. This species is not native to warmer tropical regions of the world. Recently established populations are present in the Eastern Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Seas.

Lion Fish
Lion Fish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are becoming more and more common place off the Florida coastline. Scientists speculate that these species were first introduced when a public aquarium was destroyed in southern Florida by Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane in 1992. DNA analysis from captured fish supports this theory. All newly established populations originated from the same seven fish. The continued non-indigenous prorogation of this species has created concern among ecologists. It is yet to be determined what kind of human and environmental dangers these creatures will pose in their new breeding grounds.

The lionfish is inarguably one of the more exotic creatures you will ever see in a home aquarium. They are one of the most prized fish in the aquarium trade. There are 11 species from two distinct genera (Pterois and Dendrochris) readily available to home aquarists. The Dendriochirus lionfish's fins form a solid fan with individual fin rays held together by a connective membrane. Pterois lionfish have long flowing fin rays that are individually sheathed by the membrane.

The fins on a Pterois extend well past their tail. There is one species of lionfish, the Pterois sphex, which resides only in the waters off the shorelines of the Hawaiian Islands. Regardless of the species everything about these fish, from its regal fanned main to its cantankerous demeanor, says, "You don't want to mess with me." This fish is also marketed under the aquarium trade names turkey fish, dragon fish, scorpion and fire fish.

All lionfish have distinctive fins as well as fin and body striping. Color palettes and size are particular to species. Dwarf lion fish only reach an adult length of 5-6 inches and can be kept in an aquarium as small as 30 gallons. Other species can grow to in excess of 15 inches and will require a 75-100 gallon tank. These are among the most poisonous creatures found in the ocean and should only be kept by expert aquarists.

Lionfish are voracious predators. There are very few species in the wild that would even consider harassing one more or less attempting to eat it. Strangely enough, their venomous fins are not used for the purpose of predation. They rely on their natural camouflaging and split-second reflexes for hunting. Lionfish capture their prey by boxing it in with their large fins and then swallowing it whole. Their venom is used strictly as a means of defense. When threatened the lionfish will lunge at its opponent with its up to 18 needle-like dorsal spines erect and ready to neutralize the aggressor.

Due to its predatory and venomous nature lionfish are best suited for a mono-species or multiple lionfish species tank. You can keep more than one in an aquarium. You will want to take the fish's current and potential adult size into consideration. Lionfish have been known to prey on one another.

Lion fish are carnivorous. Smaller fish can be fed frozen carnivorous marine food products. They will also readily eat brine shrimp. Larger fish should be fed feeder shrimp or small fish. Although not generally marketed for consumption, lionfish are considered a culinary delicacy in some regions of the world.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Technological advancements in the aquarium industry continually redefine the concept of "home aquarium ownership." Just twenty years ago not even the biggest public aquarium was capable of keeping jellyfish alive in captivity. Now they make desktop Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. And why would you want a jellyfish tank? Perhaps you should check out what the translucent bodies of Pet Moon Jellyfish look like under LED lighting. Pet Jellyfish give a whole new meaning to the term exotic pets.

    Article Source: EzineArticles