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Red Reef Lobster

(Enoplometopus occidentalis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 6"
• Diet: Omnivore   • Aquarium Level: Substrate & Rocks   • Minimum Tank Size: 12 gallons
 • Reef Compatible: Yes   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Supplements: Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Trace Elements   • Coloration: Red, Pink, Orange
• Origin: Hawaiian Islands • Family: Nephropidae   • Species: Lobsters

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Red Reef Lobster native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Hawaiian Reef Lobster is a very entertaining invertebrate species, whether excavating the substrate or grabbing foodstuffs, this species is always looking to entertain. Unlike many lobster species, the Hawaiian Reef Lobster is peaceful and is suitable for many reef and community fish aquariums. The Hawaiian Reef Lobster will also perform all the cleaning duties that you would expect, constantly scouring the substrate looking for any food that may have gotten by the other tank inhabitants.

When not cleaning the tank bottom, this species will be busy excavating tunnels and caves in the substrate in order to make itself a safe place to call home. Overall a very entertaining species that is very compatible with many fish and invert species.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Red Reef Lobster in the home aquarium.

An ideal environment for the Hawaiian Reef Lobster should have a thick substrate bed for burrowing (ideally sand or fine crushed coral), and rocks for hiding, as well as live rock on which to hunt. the Reef Lobster will spend much of it's time digging in the substrate to create a cave that will provide it a secure hiding place and a place to hold out after a fresh moulting while it waits for its new exoskeleton to harden.

The cave is often designed so that the lobster can be seen during the day, but it usually will spend most of the daylight hours hiding from the light. This behavior will often change as the Lobster becomes more and more comfortable in the aquarium environment and will often venture out more and more during lights on hours, especially if enticed with a meal. The Reef Lobster is quite peaceful, and will ignore sleeping fish within the aquarium; however, it may harm very small fish or invertebrates.

All Reef Lobsters are very territorial and aggressive towards each other, so only one specimen, or a mated pair should be kept per aquarium. Like most invertebrates, the Reef Lobster is sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications. Be sure not to keep this or other similar inverts with Triggerfish or similar predators, or they will quickly become a meal for a hungry predator.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Red Reef Lobster.

The Hawaiian Reef Lobster is a true scavenger and most of its diet will consist of food it scavenges, but supplementing with iodine-rich foods will help ensure proper moulting. This species is not at all particular, but will gladly except and meaty foods that are offered to it. It is also very common for this species to become tame, when fed with reqularity (use caution not to overfeed).

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