Fuzzy Dwarf Lion in a reef?


New member
Now that Ill be introducing a zebra moray to the 120, Ive been looking into other fish I could add that would give the appearance of being more "predatory" than they really are. Obviously the zebra will probably go after my emeralds, which is why I am tossing them into the refugium, but most likely he will leave the rest of the community alone. Ive become interested in the lions, specifically the fu manchu, but I thought the fuzzy dwarf lion would fit the bill just as well, while also being notably easier to acclimate to captivity and a cheaper too :thumbsup: . A little over 2 months ago I had a major velvet outbreak, and evicted the few survivors and placed them in quarantine, so they tank has been sitting fallow for that entire time and Im just now starting to put together a new stocking list. So far these are the fish I will be adding (after 30 days in quarantine :rolleyes:) -

- Yellow Longnose Butterfly
- Starcki Damsel
- Azure Damsel (velvet survivor #1)
- Zebra Moray Eel
- Cherub Angel
- Starry Blenny (possibly a pair)
- Bellus or Spotbreast Angel (depending on which I come across first)
- Midas Blenny (gotta find an ORANGE one lol )
- Tank Bred Spotted Mandarin
- Redstriped Cardinal (velvet survivor #2)
- Tank Bred Springeri Dottyback
- Male Blue Jaw Trigger
- Orchid Dottyback or pair of Royal Grammas
- Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimp "Voodoo" (already in the tank)

If its only a couple smaller guys you believe he would chew on, such as the cardinal or shrimp, I could move the them down into the 40g refugium with no issue, but I wouldn't think it worth it if hes just going to eat 3/4 of the community eventually (the mandarin, dottyback, basslets, dwarf angel etc.). So those of you that have kept a fuzzy dwarf lion or even a fu manchu, please chime in and let me know who would be safe, and who would be fish food. Also, considering the smaller maximum adult size (4") of the fu manchu, Im assuming he'd be a safer addition? Thanks! :wave:


New member
Fuzzy dwarfs are much easier to get to convert to frozen then the fu, fyi. Any shrimp in the tank will likely be eaten unless its a large one or well established pistol. Also, the angels may pick on the lions in the beginning. The trigger is a toss up as well as far as bullying the lion. Its not likely since its a Xanthichthys but really depends on the temperament.

I would post in the aggressive section. Also, lionfishlair has some really good info as far as keeping lions

SPS Tamer

New member
He ended up eating all my firefin and eventually at my blue jaw trigger that was about 2.5in. ...He was only 3.5in


Things With Stings R Us!
Lionfishes won't bother corals, or snail/hermit based CUC's.

Generally speaking, one should consider the shape of a lionfish's tankmates as well as their size. Altho not a 100% guarantee, fishes that are about 75% of the lionfish's size are pretty safe, unless they're an easily-swallowed shape (torpedo-shaped, worm-shaped, etc.), which would need to be larger.

Cleaner shrimp are generally hit-or-miss...the fact that yours is already established puts the odds slightly in your favor, tho.

I'd be concerned about the dottybacks and the blenny 100% of the time, unless you get a really small lionfish. It may be fine if it "grows up" with these fishes, but maybe not.

All of the others will be dependent upon the size differential between the lionfish and the others.

Triggers and lions are a very bad idea...

That's a generalization...while this is true "reef" or "lagoon" species triggers, the planktonic-feeding triggerfishes (Xanthicthys, Melicthys, sometimes Odonus) make good tankmates for lionfishes. In fact, we will likely be adding a bluejaw or redtail to our 210 "things with stings" setup in the future.