Dwarf Zebra Lion - doing some research


Premium Member
My wife and I are considering converting our 29G freshwater tank into a saltwater tank to house the dwarf lionfish we saw at the LFS. But before we do, I just want to know a little more about these guys. I read the article in Reefkeeping about lionfish, so I know about feeding, nutrition, proper environment, etc. But I just wanted some opinions before going ahead with it.

1. Is a 29G enough for the dwarf zebra lionfish? I've seen 30G minimum size. But is this really enough?

2. Do I need a skimmer for this tank? Or would a normal filter work just fine? (Assuming weekly/bi-weekly waterchanges and so on. I have an AquaClear 70 on there right now.)

3. Is there anything special to know about this lionfish?

Thanks for any help! :) I appreciate it.


goby girl
1) I had a fuzzy dwarf in a tank that size. He looked SO big, it was a bit crowded. I'd go out and find a 40 breeder for him, they aren't that expensive.

2) yes, they are pooping MACHINES!!!

3) keep the list of what to do in case of a sting taped/stapled to the wall above the tank.
they eat crustaceans, not fish-try to feed out things along those lines from the grocer.
mine died from nematodes-QT, watch for signs of health. It was a quick, 2 day death-he looked fine, then stopped eating, then was tattered looking, then dead.


Premium Member
Thanks for the advice, Swanwillow. I was a bit concerned that a 29 might be a little on the small side, even for a dwarf lion. The reason I chose that size is because we already have it and have been debating tearing that tank down anyway. No sense in buying a new tank if you already have one that'll work, right?

As for the skimmer, I was afraid of that... I don't feel like shelling out for another skimmer. My reef cost enough the way it is. :p

And for the list of things to do if I were to get stung, I was definitely planning on having that nearby. Sort of like MSDS stations for the workplace, that thing would be plastered up next to that tank.

And for feeding, I love what the Reefkeeping article mentioned: gulf shrimp with the shell, lobster tail, crab meat, squid, octopus. That thing would eat better than we would! :lol:


goby girl
well, now that I told you what you SHOULD do...

mine was in a 29, HOB filter, about 60+ lbs LR, and heavy water changes...

If it were me, and the tank was coming down anyway ;)

(shhhh, at least this isn't the newcomers section-so, yup, I'd do it)


New member
We have a Fuzzy Dwarf in a 30 gal, and it does seem a bit small but it's not too bad. We aren't running a skimmer. We have a large Aquaclear that I turned into a HOB refugium, and we are running a smaller HOB as a mechanical filter. I do a 20 percent water change every 2 wks and everything has been staying just fine. About the feeding.... Our gets most of the stuff on that list you mentioned, he won't even look at mysis anymore!:p He's a bit spoiled but we love him. My Hubby named him "Rodney Dangerfish" :lol:


Premium Member
LOL! Nice... :)

Yeah, I figured as long as I did water changes often enough that things would be fine. I just need to be diligent, really. They're definitely more "messy" than most fish.