Panther Grouper Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
Panther Groupers are a well known species of Grouper that have been available to marine aquarists for decades. Their unique coloration and pattern made the Panther Grouper an immediate hit with marine aquarists, but it has been their ability to adapt well to aquarium life which has maintained their populartiy for so many years. Panther Groups are relatively slow swimmers that prefer to cruis about the reef looking for possible meals and patroling their territory. Due to their large size and relatively high bio-load, the Panther Grouper requires a large aquarium with excellent biological, chemical and mechanical filtration.
Panther Groupers are large predatory fish that need to be housed in large aquariums (300 gallons or more) with other large aggressive/semi-aggressive fish species with strong filtration. Panther Groupers typically reach lengths of about 20" and consume large meaty foodstuffs, which means that they put a large load on the mechanical and biological filtration systems. It is very important to provide a high level of filtration including the use of a protein skimmer, bio tower or similar biological filter and frequent partial water changes to keep nitrate levels low. Being a large aggressive species, Panther Groupers should be housed with other large fish species that have similar temperments. It is important that groupers not be added to an aquarium with an already established grouper living in it. Groupers will claim the entire aquarium as their territory (unless the aquarium is extremely large) and will aggressively attack other groupers or similar speices if they are added to the aquarium. In order to keep multiple groupers within the same aquarium, it is best to add them at the same time while stile juveniles. For aquariums that already have a resident grouper and the aquarist wishes to add another grouper specimen, the first group should be removed and placed into quarantine, aquarium aquascape should be changed considerably, then add the new grouper specimen, with the original grouper then being added back to the aquarium a couple of days later. While this is not a guarantee for success, it will greatly enhance the odds of the two groupers finding a balance of territory and coexisting peacefully.
Panther Groupers should be fed meaty marine foods including marine fish pieces, squid, clams, shrimp, prawns, silversides, large krill or similar marine meaty preparations. It is important to only feed them raw marine foods as precooked marine foods from the grocery store contain preservatives that are harmful to the fish. There are a variety of frozen meaty foods available including silversides, clams, krill and squid; as well as, freeze-dried and pellet foods made especially for larger marine carnivores. Goldfish or other freshwater feeder fish are not a good food choice as they lack the nutrients that the Panther Grouper needs to maintain a healthy immune system.