Chapter Ten 235

Saltwater Aquarium Fish ChartExquisite Wrasse

Masked Butterfiyfish iChaetodon semilarvatush elegant, relatively easy to feed, and an excellent aquarium candidate.

Rabbitfishes (Siganidae) Puffers (Tetraodontidae) Wrasses (Labridae)

Scorpionflshes and rabbitfishes all bear venomous spines that can cause a painful, and possibly dangerous, sting if carelessly handled. Several species of scorpionflshes or li-onfishes are available commercially. These differ only in size and color patterns, and all require the same care. Feed them every two or three days with frozen or live marine fishes and other seafoods (e.g., lancefish, shrimps). Foods derived from the ocean are of utmost importance in the diet of lionfishes, which will not live out their normal lifespan if fed exclusively on freshwater fish, such as live goldfish. Dwarf lion-fish (genus Dendrochirus) rarely exceed 6 inches in length and feed mostly on crustaceans and other mobile invertebrates that they hunt at night, preferring to spend the day sleeping, often upside-down under a ledge. Members of the genus Pterois, such as the commonly available P volitans, eventually reach a length of 18 inches or more by feeding largely on other fishes. Small Pterois specimens grow quickly and can live for ten years or more in captivity. Because of

Exquisite Butterfiyfish iChaetodon austriacus): beautiful, but an obligate coral eater, likely to die in the home aquarium.

their venomous nature, careful consideration should be given to inclusion of these species in the home aquarium, despite their hardiness.

Similarly, one must consider the special needs of certain groups of fishes and make sure that these needs can be met. A classic example of a popular group with exacting requirements is the seahorse family. Pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) must have great care devoted to them in the aquarium, owing to their specialized feeding requirements. Seahorses require live foods, and finding a continuous source of the appropriate food may be difficult. Brine shrimp and amphipods are two possible choices. Some dealers stock live adult brine shrimp, but few have amphipods available. To culture these live foods at home requires considerable space.

Fishes Compatible with Reel Aquariums

Taking into account the above warnings, we can now examine the fish species that are best suited to home aquariums. Listed below are the families of fishes

236 Natural Reef Aquariums

CAPTlVE-PROPflGATED SPECIMENS

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

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