waste a lot of energy swimming. The cleaner
shrimp would probably be okay, too.
I had a lionfish before and it
died from bloat. I have been
really careful with my second
one. I fed it a fish that was doomed (a
freshwater fish that was a cull), but I didn’t
realize how big it was. My lionfish looked
bloated, and it worried me. He has rounded
out okay, but was the difference because it
was its natural food?
The golden neon goby Gobiosoma sp. remains small even when full-grown, making it a good
candidate for a nano-reef setup.
First, I want to be sure that
you are keeping artificial
barnacles—not real ones—as
is the case with your virtual
coral and large oyster shell. Otherwise, my
answer would be quite different. Assuming
that, I would recommend that you start with
a goby. The idea here is to start small and
experience some success. A 3-gallon tank is
small even for a freshwater tank, and most
freshwater fish have a greater tolerance for
change than most marine fish. Neon gobies
are ideal because they stay small and don’t
have a high metabolic rate, since they don’t
A freshwater fish is not really
natural food for a lionfish,
but I know what you mean,
I think. Is a fish less likely
to cause bloat than artificial food, such as
pellets? From my experience, and that of other
aquarists, it doesn’t make any difference. That
may be surprising, but the main thing that
seems to cause bloat is feeding the lionfish
too frequently. They always act hungry, and
visitors always want to see them eat a live
fish. For those reasons it is easy to be lulled
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