Lionfish loves bubbles!

Ajphillips

New member
Just a random question, my juv volitans seems obsessed with swimming into the filter inlet in the bubbles, at first I was panicking thinking there was low oxygen levels in the tank but all other tank mates aren't at all bothered,

I was wondering if this was normal or if anyone had seen this before?? I'm currently weaning him off live food so he spends his days looking at the ocean squid I cut up an gave him waiting for it to move or swimming under the filter inlet!!!
 

Ajphillips

New member
Thought I would add

Current tank mates are

Valentini puffer
Golden wrass
Foxface rabbit fish

None seem stressed and the foxface is brilliant as an indicator of stress cos they lose they're colour like nothing else when upset!

Tank is 130g not running a sump at the mo just plain ol filtration!
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
Lionfishes, like all Scorpaeniformes, have a cuticle covering their bodies that is molted off periodically as they grow, but also as it gets "grungy" with whatever settles out of the water column and tries to take up residence.

To shed this "skin", they first have to loosen it, esp. around their head and mouths, so you'll often see them yawning and otherwise contorting their faces, gilling, etc. They also often sit directly in an area of flow and let the water pressure or bubbles do the work for them (our volitans liked to face one of the closed-loop returns and let it blast her in the face).

Once loosened, the fish will give a quick dart or two, and the cuticle will come off of the fish, appearing like a diaphanous, milky "ghost" floating in the water.

I'd say that your lionfish is getting ready to molt.
 

Ajphillips

New member
Lionfishes, like all Scorpaeniformes, have a cuticle covering their bodies that is molted off periodically as they grow, but also as it gets "grungy" with whatever settles out of the water column and tries to take up residence.

To shed this "skin", they first have to loosen it, esp. around their head and mouths, so you'll often see them yawning and otherwise contorting their faces, gilling, etc. They also often sit directly in an area of flow and let the water pressure or bubbles do the work for them (our volitans liked to face one of the closed-loop returns and let it blast her in the face).

Once loosened, the fish will give a quick dart or two, and the cuticle will come off of the fish, appearing like a diaphanous, milky "ghost" floating in the water.

I'd say that your lionfish is getting ready to molt.


Thanks for the reply Greg that seems to be exactly what he has been doing! I was getting a little concerned with his erratic behaviour! As you mentioned he is blasting himself under the pump, yawning and randomly shooting off across the tank as if he has spotted food..

Guess he is growing up fast!

Seems you know a bit about these, any ideas to get him off live? I've been using squid, dangling in front of him till he gets interested an goes into hunt mode but rather than taking it he just stalks it till it lands at the bottom of the tank.. Then he sits there waiting for it to move!
 

xrayjeeper83

New member
Lionfishes, like all Scorpaeniformes, have a cuticle covering their bodies that is molted off periodically as they grow, but also as it gets "grungy" with whatever settles out of the water column and tries to take up residence.

To shed this "skin", they first have to loosen it, esp. around their head and mouths, so you'll often see them yawning and otherwise contorting their faces, gilling, etc. They also often sit directly in an area of flow and let the water pressure or bubbles do the work for them (our volitans liked to face one of the closed-loop returns and let it blast her in the face).

Once loosened, the fish will give a quick dart or two, and the cuticle will come off of the fish, appearing like a diaphanous, milky "ghost" floating in the water.

I'd say that your lionfish is getting ready to molt.

And I always thought that was poop lol.

That explains why my lion is always laying on the rocks right in front of my power heads
 

Ajphillips

New member
Yep that was news to me too but I'm happy I know, he was really worrying me as he has only been in 3 weeks!
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
Altho we didn't actually catch the fish in the act of molting, in this video, you can see pieces of its cast-off cuticle in the water column:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoSyrkOQzPI

As far as knowing something about lionfishes, I suppose one might say that we have a bit of experience with venomous fishes (my wife and I own a site dedicated to preds, particularly lionfishes).

I dunno if you've seen these articles, but I think they'll help some. If nothing else, there are some nice photos in them:

Lions, and Turkeys, and Devils, Oh My! Lionfish in the Home Aquarium

Tools of the Trade: Equipment & Techniques to Convert your Fish onto Frozen

In the second article, do pay particular attention to the "stealth stick"...this is the absolute BEST tool for weaning/feeding preds. FWIW, salmon is a REALLY well-accepted food. Keep the food size about the size of the fish's eye, esp. at first.
 

Ajphillips

New member
Thanks once again I'll try methods posted there an see, I had an idea roughly around that but I assumed it wouldn't work with lions as they swallow prey while rather than biting an I didn't want him kebab'd on a skewer or swallowing line?!

Btw your dwarf fuzzy is a beast!!!! My lion hasn't left such a dramatic 'skin' it seems to be breaking of gradually or at least my tank seems to be filling up with particulates that I put this down to.....
 

Ajphillips

New member
I apologize for the many questions but how long does the process normally take?? My lions been doing all you mentioned for hours now
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
Thanks once again I'll try methods posted there an see, I had an idea roughly around that but I assumed it wouldn't work with lions as they swallow prey while rather than biting an I didn't want him kebab'd on a skewer or swallowing line?!

Btw your dwarf fuzzy is a beast!!!! My lion hasn't left such a dramatic 'skin' it seems to be breaking of gradually or at least my tank seems to be filling up with particulates that I put this down to.....

That was a volitans, and when it molted, the cuticle went everywhere. Your CUC will generally eat the cuticle altho you may see pieces of it stuck in the rockwork, macro, etc.

The fish honestly don't mind the line on the stealth stick, which is why we came up with it. At the time, we were weaning a lot of fishes, many of them juvies, and we found that many fishes will go "stick shy" if they grab a feeding stick, and once they go shy, it's REALLY hard to get them back on track.
 

Ajphillips

New member
That was a volitans?! I could have sworn that wat was a dwarf!! The rate mine is growing his wings are going to be 2ft wide at least, he is only about 2" long but has a wingspan of if I'd guess 8"
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
The fish was a good 12" long when the vid was taken...we had it since it was about the size of a pecan:

As a juvie in a 6 gal cube (use the thermometer for scale):

lionin5.jpg


As a 12"+ adult (BTW, this is the cover shot of Frank Marini's book Lionfishes and Other Scorpionfishes):

lionfishnewtank700.jpg
 

Ajphillips

New member
Oh wow he is beautiful!! He grew into his wings which is what confused me! As a Juv you really see his tell tell volitans traits!
 
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