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Sargassum Anglerfish

(Histrio histrio)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 6"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Sargasso Sea, Atlantic Ocean
• Family: Antennariidae   • Species: Anglers   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Sargassum Anglerfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Sargassum Anglerfish, also commonly referred to as Sargassum Frogfish, are a popular predatory species that come in an assortment of colors from different shades of brown, to tan, yellow, red, orange, and black. Sargassum Anglerfish can be found living around the reefs and drifting among the floating masses of Sargassum algae (rafts) in the Sargasso Sea of the North Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum Anglerfish are an amazing species with the perfect combination of color, markings, and chameleonlike morphing abilities which allow them to blend into their surroundings "as" the Sargassum algae clumps they mainly hide among; they are also sometimes mistaken for live rock or a part of the reef as they are quite sedentary and can blend in so well.

If provoked, Sargassum Anglerfish also have the ability to inflate themselves with air like a puffer for defense, escape, and intimidation purposes alike. In addition to their endemic distribution, Sargassum Anglerfish are also named for their fishing skills as they wiggle their modified spine (illicium) and "fish" with their lure-like appendage (esca) at its tip; which in conjunction are used to attract small fish and other unsuspecting prey. Sargassum Anglerfish are generally peaceful towards larger tank mates that will not fit into their large mouths, but they have been known to eat fish of a similar size on occasion. Sargassum Anglerfish are reasonably priced, but are not always available within the hobby; special ordering locally may be an option if one is not readily available through an online retailer.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Sargassum Anglerfish in the home aquarium.

Sargassum Anglerfish require an aquarium of at least 55 gallons with a fine to standard sand substrate and plenty of live rock for hunting and shelter (they also appreciate coral rubble that they can blend with to setup an "ambush"). Do to the large biological impact they can have on their environment, efficient biological and mechanical filtration in conjunction with a protein skimmer is recommended for favorable water quality. They are reef safe in regards to coral species, but they will eat smaller fish and snack on shrimp and other crustaceans; for this reason, they are generally kept in a FOWLR environment. Sargassum Anglerfish can coexist peacefully with other, larger tank mates, but should not be housed with puffers or triggers as they will soon be missing their "fishing gear" (esca and illicium). Any tank mates that will fit into their large mouths should be avoided, even similar sized heterospecifics.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Sargassum Anglerfish.

Sargassum Anglerfish are carnivores that mainly eat smaller fish and crustaceans in their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be fed live (possibly "gut-loaded") fish, brine shrimp, and ghost shrimp. They can also be conditioned to accept frozen and other prepared or vitamin-enriched meaty foods from a feeding stick (wiggled around near them) such as krill, mysis shrimp, silver sides, chopped crustacean flesh, blood worms, chopped fresh fish, chopped mussels, chopped scallops, and chopped clams. Sargassum Anglerfish are fairly sedentary and only need to be fed once every 4-6 days.

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