Lionfish are relatively solitary fish beloved for their beautiful maroon or brown and white stripes. Depending on the species, they can grow to around 8-16 inches. While they can adapt to living alone, they can share a tank with other fish species. Lionfish require approximately 30-85 gallons of water, depending on their size.
If you want to buy a lionfish or already have one and want to add another fish, here are some of its best tank companions.
Blue Tang (Paracanthurus Hepatus)
Blue tangs, also known as hippo tangs, are vegetarian and peaceful fish that grow up to 12 inches. In addition to their beauty, they don’t require much care, only that you provide a balanced vegetative diet and sometimes include microalgae.
They are active swimmers and spend most of their time moving around, nibbling on the rocks in the tanks looking for food. Because they are used to the sea’s vastness, they require at least 125 gallons of water.
Unlike some other tang species, Blue Tang has a somewhat timid nature and usually hides when the lionfish comes to their territory.
Rock Beauty Angelfish (Holacanthus Tricolor)
These are omnivorous fish with a semi-aggressive temperament. They are primarily sponge-feeders and keep to themselves, mainly protecting their territory. They also have different dietary preferences from lionfish, reducing the chances of a confrontation.
They have a medium care level and require a tank with many rocks and crevices to hide. They grow to around eight to ten inches and need about 100 gallons of water.
Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon Auriga)
These coral-loving fish are herbivorous and have a peaceful temperament. They usually spend most of their time around corals and rocks looking for food, mostly ignoring any other fish in the tank.
They are easy to care for, but you need to add live rocks in the tank to give it more feeding opportunities. They grow to around eight or nine inches and require at least 75 gallons of water.
Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon Fasciatus)
These fish have glaring red eyes and bright blue teeth that might scare you from adding them into the tank with your lionfish. However, these predatory fish are peaceful and shy when there is enough space for them and other fish in the tank.
They require more care than other fish species but ensure you feed them things like shrimp, crabs, and snails. Growing to around 8-12 inches, they require at least 125 gallons of water.
While lionfish actively hunt prey, anglerfish are predatory fish that go about it differently. They are rock-dwellers that look for their prey among coral and rocks. They also have skin texture and changeable color that allows them to blend into their surrounding, making it hard for them to be prey to lionfish.
They reach between four and ten inches but ensure you choose a larger species to prevent the lionfish from hunting it. Anglerfish are generally peaceful, but ensure you have a big tank to give both species enough space.
When considering a companion for your lionfish, ensure you consider the tank size and water requirement for both of them. You should clean the tank often, keep the water temperature optimal, and constantly feed the fish to prevent aggressive behavior.