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Miniatus Grouper
(Cephalopholis miniata)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: 16"
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Serranidae
Species: Groupers
Aquarium Type: Fish Only
Species Information
The Miniatus Grouper, also commonly referred to as the Coral Grouper, is a hardy and vividly colorful species endemic to the coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Miniatus Groupers are one of the most colorful, if not the most colorful of the groupers in the hobby and are easily identifiable from their intense base coloration of bright red to orange (juveniles tend to have a tan to yellowish hue, which they will grow out of), dappled with hundreds of electric blue to blue-green spots. Miniatus Groupers are predators equipped with large mouths and many small, sharp teeth, which are mainly used to prevent escape as they swallow their prey whole while crushing bones and exoskeletons with the powerful, pharyngeal teeth that line their throats.
Miniatus Groupers are an aggressive and highly territorial species that should be added to an aquarium as the last inhabitant, once their other tank mates have had a change to become established. The beautiful, Miniatus Grouper is easy to keep and has become a very popular species within the hobby; they are readily available and can be found through online and local retailers alike.
Aquarium Care
Miniatus Groupers require an aquarium of no less than 180 gallons and they must be provided with plenty of live rock structure (keeping their large, mature size in mind) that will provide them with multiple hiding places as well as areas of territory. They are known diggers and may cause structural chaos and disaster if the aquascaping in the system is not carefully planned and carried out; live rock should be secure and "twisted" back and forth to the bottom of the tank when initially placed. As large predators and big eaters, their aquarium setup will need to be equipped with a quality protein skimmer in addition to strong biological and mechanical filtration.
They should also have plenty of water movement and unobstructed areas where they can freely swim around. Miniatus Groupers are known to be quite territorial and aggressive (especially with conspecifics), they should be housed singly and added as the last inhabitant of the aquarium (if housed with tank mates); tank mates should be large enough as not to become food and should be a species that will not tolerate bullying or become overly stressed if occasionally chased off. Although they will generally ignore coral species, they are not recommended for a reef environment as they will ravenously dine on small fish and motile invertebrates. They are ideally suited for a large FOWLR environment, housed with similar sized tank mates.
Feeding & Nutrition
Miniatus Groupers are carnivores that feed on small fish and motile invertebrates within their natural habitat. In the aquarium, they should be supplied a wide variety of meaty food items such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp (as juveniles), mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, bloodworms, blackworms, krill, silver sides (possibly treated with selcon), chopped squid, fresh crustacean flesh, chopped fish (also live), chopped clams, and other meaty marine foods. They may also accept carnivore/omnivore pellets and similar prepared foods (e.g.; Formula One RDF and Special Formula VHP). Their feeding frequency should be 3-5 times a week.
Additional Photos