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Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

(Dendrochirus brachypterus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 7"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-80° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Scorpaenidae   • Species: Lionfish   • Aquarium Type: Predatory

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are attractive fish that are somewhat more cryptic looking than their other lionfish cousins; like all lionfish they have venomous dorsal spines that can deliver a painful sting capable of causing a severe reaction in humans. Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are also commonly called Shortfin Lionfish and they are generally found searching for food among the rocks and crevices throughout the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific.

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish have multiple fleshy and spiny protuberances along the face, head, and sides, which help with their natural camouflage and ability to blend in to their surroundings while hunting or avoiding danger (although most predators know that they can deliver severe pain and even death with their venomous spines).

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are usually peaceful and commonly remain indifferent towards their tank mates unless they are able to fit them into their large mouths, which they will try to do unless the tank mate(s) in question are at least over 50% of the size of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish. Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are becoming increasingly more popular among hobbyists and venomous fish keepers and are readily available via local and online retailers alike.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish in the home aquarium.

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, like their relatives, are generally a sedentary species, but they do require adequate, open space in their aquarium (which will greatly benefit their tank mates as well); they require an aquarium of at least 55 gallons and should be provided with a sand substrate and plenty of live rock structure that will offer them various positions for hunting and refuge. They should also be provided with quality biological and mechanical filtration and would benefit from the addition of a protein skimmer as they can be big eaters.

They are not considered to be reef safe as they will prey upon crustaceans (including ornamental shrimp) and some of the cleaning crew. Tank mates are generally easy to choose as long as they are not aggressive species that will pick at their fleshy protuberances and they must be large enough so that the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish will not turn them into a meal at some point. This species is ideal for a FOWLR system with similar sized tank mates that aren't overly aggressive (like triggers and some puffers).

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish.

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are carnivores that mainly feed on crustaceans and fish in the wild. In the aquarium they should be fed a variety of meaty food items (relative in size) such as live, frozen, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, krill, chopped fish, silver sides, crab meat, squid, and other meaty marine foods. They should be fed twice a day and only what they will consume within a few minutes.

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