A Fierce Predator

When the Lionfish shows its aggressive looks, its no bluff

by Mike McEwan

The Lionfish, also known as the Turkey, Dragon and Scorpion Fish, is famous for its stunning fins and spines. These spines are poisonous, and thus the fish must be handled with respect and care. The body is crossed vertically with dark brick red bands. The eye is hidden by the color pattern beneath a pair of hornlink growths. The first spines of the dorsal fin are patterned with light and dark markings.

Tank Setup

A fish of this size and predatory nature must be kept in a large aquarium. An adult fish requires a tank of 75 gallons or more in order to thrive. Several specimens may be kept together provided they are housed in a roomy aquarium with plenty of territorial space per fish. Keep the aquarium well lit.


It's no secret that Lionfish are voracious predators and thus need a constant supply of live foods. Chopped beefheart is readily accepted while favorite foods include live fish, fish meat, prawns and most all types of worms. When on the hunt, Lionfish will corner their prey using their large fins and then suck the victim down.

Water Chemistry

It is recommended to keep Lionfish in water with a salinity of 1.027 and a temperature between 75-79 degrees F.


Successful breeding of the species in captivity has not been reported.

Lionfish; Dragon Fish; Turkey Fish; Scorpionfish; Red Firefish

Sci Name:
Pterois volitans
Tropical Indo-Pacific
Max Size:
75-79 F.
Tank Size:
75 Gallons

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