New Dwarf Lionfish Help


I recently acquired a new dwarf lionfish after my old one of about a year and a half passed away. The new one is about 1/4 of the size of my old one (it’s about 1 1/2” inches.) He/she seems to be very healthy and skips along the rock work just fine. I am just worried about it getting food. I know they tend to be picky and i did not expect such a small specimen when i ordered it. Any advice for feeding it?

Other Inhabitants of the tank include:

Pair of Banggai Cardinalfish (large one is about 2” and the smaller about 1.5”)
Juvenile Snowflake Moray Eel (About 7”)
Green Matted Filefish (3”)
Copperband Butterfly (aggressive eater and eats mysis and black worms) (4”)

Lions are ambush predators from what I’ve read and am afraid that since it is so small, it will not be able to compete with the other fish for food, especially the Banggai’s and Copperband. All fish are currently in a 55gal tank and will be upgraded to a 75 very soon. She is the smallest fish in the tank.

Any help is appreciated!

thank you

That’s what I was thinking as well. She hangs upside-down in a small cave. Should I just shoot mysis into the cave with her ? She took an interest to mysis when feeding yesterday, she followed a piece around until a peppermint shrimp grabbed it.


Well-Known Member
Jumbo mysis is worth a shot. If not live ghost shrimp will get it feeding. Then slowly ween off to frozen prawns, krill, small sw fish. I can hand feed mine prawns. It started on live shrimp tho. 20160214_161346.jpg
It would not take to small mysis. I tried live ghost shrimp and it ate one (shrimp was about the size of it.) Feeding this fish is super difficult. Since she is so small she gets intimidated by any other creature in the tank thats larger than her (which is basically everything.) I have attached a photo of her. She is super tiny, the krill i have is larger than her. I don’t know what else she could even eat besides really small live ghost shrimp or brine shrimp. I know brine shrimp are not very nutritious, though.



Well-Known Member
They will eat anything they can fit in their mouth. Ghost shrimp can live in sw longer then u may think. There a brackish shrimp. Get a few maybe 6 small ones. Acclimate like u do fish and put um in. The lion will find them


Well-Known Member
After rereading your stock, get a dozen lol the eel and possibly cardinal will eat a few aswell
Put some more shrimp in for her today. No feeding response. Is this normal ? She ate a shrimp the size of her last night. Not sure if shes just full or not.
She is not taking to any more shrimp. They are all too large for her to eat i think. Should i try brine shrimp and then slowly mix PE Mysis in with it to get her to start accepting frozen? I honestly think live brine is the only live food she can take at the moment— all my other ghosts are too large.


Well-Known Member
Given that she just ate yest, i wouldn't worry. Lions don't need to eat daily. Maybe 3 -4 feeds a wk max
Right i’m just worried that she might not be interested in them bc theyre too large. Is she just not hungry from her large meal last night? Since she is so (so) small i was hoping i could wean her with brine now so by the time she is larger she can eat frozen krill and the sort.


Well-Known Member
You can try but most likely you'll have to stick w live until it gets acclimated to the tank. Mine was only slightly bigger then yours when i got it. The large meal yest will hold her over for awhile . Maybe try to feed again sat or sun.
Ok ! Thank you. Her being so small just kinda freaks me out. I didn’t know they were even sold at that size ! But she is so cute and am prepared to keep her happy and healthy. How quickly does yours grow ? I’m hoping she will get larger sooner rather than later.


Well-Known Member
The pic of mine is full grown. Once acclimated and feeding they grow fairly fast. Is your a fu man chu lion?
Also, I shouldn’t be worried about the snowflake eel attacking and eating the small lionfish, right? He has never bothered fish before but the lion being so small does concern me slightly. But then again, the eel doesn’t even bother my peppermint shrimp. Him being a pebble-toothed, crustacean eating eel doubled with the fact that the lionfish is venomous should deter him from having a snag at the lion, correct?


Staff member
Snowflakes generally don’t eat fish. Their natural diet is shrimp, crabs, etc. as long as he isn’t starving I wouldn’t worry.
Okay! He gets at least 3 whole krill a day. I like to keep him stuffed to keep any possibility of him snacking on his tankmates. Does that sound good for him?