I think somehting wrong with my lionfish

Palting

New member
I've had a Russels lionfish for a few months now. He had been aggressively eating well, growing well. He eats about 3 silversides via a feeding stick 3X a week, belly gets big with each meal.

Last few days he has shown no interest at all in food. He used to hang out close to the surface to be fed every time I come close to the tank, but now he just hangs out by the rocks. He lays semi-vertical with the head down on the rocks and overflow, but that's his usual pose when he is resting ever since I've had him. He moves away from the silversides on a feeding stick when I bring it close to him. I even got a live goldfish yesterday to see what he would do. He flared out his fins once when the goldfish came close, then ignored it. He still swims about albeit somewhat lazily, looks healthy, no sores, lesions, nor injuries that I can see. The other tank occupants (bluethroat, angel, damsels) are doing well and eating like pigs.

I have no clue what's going on. It has been about 4 days since he last ate. Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

welsher7

Member
How big is the lion now? Sounds like pretty normal behavior for a lion. You can probably move to feeding every 3 or 4 days or so. Every now and then lions will not eat for awhile it is normal. I wouldn't be worried until it was over a week. And like jarrod13 said it could be starting to shed.
 

Palting

New member
Thanks for the responses.

His eyes are clear. He looks perfectly healthy, just won't eat. I'll take a photo later when I get home.

He is about 8" or so now. I hope you're right, Dan.
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
Another possibility might be that the lion is bored with its food...I've seen them refuse the same food after awhile, but when offered something interesting, they resume eating. This is another reason we recommend mixing up their diet.

Do keep an eye on it tho.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
Another possibility might be that the lion is bored with its food...I've seen them refuse the same food after awhile, but when offered something interesting, they resume eating. This is another reason we recommend mixing up their diet.

Do keep an eye on it tho.

+1 Raw shrimp, scallop, sw fish flesh, squid, etc. All from the grocery store. Lions can really scare you; their food-breaks can last a lot longer than expected.
 

Palting

New member
Alright then, Ill pass by the seafood section of the grocery store on the way home, and I'll try to not panic too much. I'll probably get some ribeye as well, and grill it. The ribeye is for me, don't wan't it said that the fish eat better than me!!
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
No kidding...our fish eat very well!

Try some salmon...I can't think of any of our fish that won't eat it.
 

rayn

New member
Salmon is a wonderful cheap food. All mine take it except a couple stubborn ones that aren't weaned.
 

Palting

New member
I think he's on the way out, guys. Brought the clam and salmon home, only to find the lion swimming weird. He's swimming tilted to one side or the other, occasionally going upside down. Funny thing is, he looks strong, swimming strong even upside down. I'm at a loss. What the heck????
 

rayn

New member
Does he by chance look fed? Any way he could have sucked air? What was the last thing added and how long ago?
 

Palting

New member
Last time he ate, he came right up to the surface to gulp the silverside. I'm sure he got air, too. His belly is currently not bloated like it normally would look after eating, but neither is it flat nor dented. Last thing added was a Blueface Angel, and it's still timid, hiding behind rocks and coming out only to feed. Not aggressive at all, the angel gives the other fish, even the damsels, wide berth.
 

rayn

New member
Maybe shut the lights down for a bit and give him a time out period. Did the swimming change any? Anything you can think of to distress him could help. No corals in this tank, right? Just wondering for a future possible prazi dose or something else if something flares up.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
Last time he ate, he came right up to the surface to gulp the silverside. I'm sure he got air, too. His belly is currently not bloated like it normally would look after eating, but neither is it flat nor dented. Last thing added was a Blueface Angel, and it's still timid, hiding behind rocks and coming out only to feed. Not aggressive at all, the angel gives the other fish, even the damsels, wide berth.

Was the Blueface (great fish) quarantined? Any chance he brought any parasites along?
 

griseum

New member
Ive seen this in other large fish. If you have a QT/Hospital tank or if its a FO or FOWLRt try some Prazi, as noted by rayn up above.

Ive had a fish, and a Coral Catshark, that were exhibiting similar symptoms, and i believe 99.9% that it was Intestinal Worms. The dosing of Prazi was so effective that i saw relief, in the case of the shark, in about than 15 minutes.

Im by far no expert in lionfish. But its worth a shot. A good Prazi bath for everybody is a good Prophylactic anyway IMO. Especially if any LR, LS, Fish or Macro has been added to the system without being quarantined, as noted. Im guessing by the addition of an Angel that this is likely a FO, albeit some try to keep them in Reefs. Maybe not a Blueface in a reef though, dont think ive seen that, could be though.

One other thing, I see you have a Xanthichthys Genus trigger in there. I know that I trust my Melichthys indicus trigger in with my Sharks and Rays, and I might even give him a chance with some inverts. And i believe the Melichthys and Xanthichthys to be the most reef-safe, invert-safe, and pick-at-other-slower-fish-safe as well. But i do know there are critics out there that would say a Lion and a Trigger is a big no-no. Any chance there was something going on between those two? I know you said there was no injury or wounds visible. IDK. just a possibility.
 

Palting

New member
I'll be darned. The lionfish ate! He may be sideways and upside down, but he ate a piece of salmon. Snapped at it so hard, scared both the angel and the trigger they ran to their dens.

The trigger and the lion have co-existed well. I feed them at opposite sides of the tank, and they swam together with no quarrels. The angel waits for the pellets to get to the substrate, and the substrate is the angels territory. It all seemed to be a happy community, even two damsels are alive and well in there.

I'll try prazi if this doesn't straighten out over the weekend. I'll likely dose the whole tank.
 

rayn

New member
Very cool! Now just keep a mixed diet and all will hopefully be well. A piece of each or multiple will work. Don't be scared to add some other into it.
 
Top