View Full Version : help feeding lion fish

12/19/2008, 10:11 PM
i have a peacock lion fish that hasn't eaten in a week.. i got him from the pet store and they hadn't feed him yet because they just got him. i've tried squid, shrimp and krill.. i don't want to feed him live because i do have fish in the tank. what should i do? was using a skewer stick to try to feed him

Bill Cobb
12/19/2008, 10:32 PM
Tagging along. I can only get mine to eat live coastal shrimp from Sachs Aquaculture.

12/20/2008, 07:09 AM
you need to get it eathing even if you have to start with live. don't feed it live fish, try ghost shrimp.

is a peacock lion the same as a fu manchu? they are very difficult to wean to frozen.

you and Bill Cobb should take a look at this link, it will give you a lot of good information to start:


12/20/2008, 09:54 AM
usually peacock lions are one of the common name for P antennata- due to the coloreye spots on the fins.
Anyway i do recommend you try the method I outline in the article

12/20/2008, 11:15 AM
I had to start with live fish it stinks cause i did not want to go that route but had to just wouldn't eat. Live guppies and he had no problems. Right now im "Starving him for three days and going to try silver sides again" He so friendly though just wont eat frozen comes right up to the glass and follows my finger back and forth haha.

12/20/2008, 08:48 PM
IME small specimens are harder to acclimate to dead food than larger ones. The bigger fish seem a little smarter and associate you with food faster and are more likely to view the feeding stick as a source of food rather than a potential threat faster than the tiny ones. If your fish is very small I think it’s going to be difficult to get it to eat anything but live. My P. antennata was about 3 inches when I got him. At this size he was very shy and easily frightened. He was scared of any chopped seafood I offered but loved live shrimp. I offered them to him with the tail pinched in needle nose grabbers. Once he saw the shrimp flipping back and forth in the grabbers he quickly got used to coming right over and picking them off. Also by using the grabbers you can hold the shrimp close to him and away from the other fish. Sometimes I had to hold the grabbers in one hand and use a net in the other to keep the other fish away.:) It took me ~ 6 months of feeding live food, including common shore shrimp (Palaemonetes vulgaris) from Sachs aquaculture (www.aquaculturestore.com), and ~ 2 inches of growth before he became less skittish and stubborn and accepted pieces of chopped shrimp. Sachs ships directly to your door and the feeder shrimp are very easy to keep. I kept mine in a 2 gallon plastic tank with seawater, a layer or coral sand, and an air stone. I fed marine flake food every couple of days and did a water change every couple of weeks.

Obviously there are different techniques to use for your fish, but this is how I did it with mine in a tank full of other fish with quite a few aggressive feeders.

Here’s a picture of the grabbers I used for the feeder shrimp and what I currently use to feed chopped shrimp and squid.

12/21/2008, 06:59 AM
Mborn im going to try that do you need to have the shrimp tank heated?

12/21/2008, 12:16 PM
Yes, in cold weather you should use a heater to keep the water temperature in the 70’s.

12/21/2008, 04:21 PM
Hi, I also have a small antennata now (~2", not counting tail fin).
On the second day it ate ether frozen food, then went on strike.

What we did (3 of us: feeder, food supplier and water quality maintainer):
- fed live ghost shrimp (small) from the fish net (could be teaspoon, tweezers) - to make association that human with net brings the food, and lion accustoms to swim forward to eat.
- Few too large ghost shrimps were frozen. cut in half across, then head part - in halves between eyes. Eye and antennae should be present, without them lion didn't recognize this as a food. Place this in the net and - slightly shaking it - create illusion, that shrimp is alive. This worked in my case.
- Then tried to offer saltwater food, krill. It too big. Even quarter stuck in the lion's throat and it tried hard to swallow it, but eventually spit it out and didn't eat for 4 days at all.
This was the smallest krill from the flat. Bought krill in cubes, but this was the same size, only chopped.
- Today lion twice ate from the net PE Mysis shrimp. It is freshwater, but largest, protein rich and it is usually used for feeding seahorses.

Next we will try cut (between the eyes and close to the head) sand eels, they are the next smallest food available.

No reaction on soaking in garlic, BTW. Not much interest to reddish SFB Plankton (like mysis, only larger, and saltwater).


12/24/2008, 02:20 PM
Update to my last post: now antennata eats everything together with other fish: PE mysis, Plankton, pieces of krill even without eyes, even angel food. Swims between pieces of food and eats one after another, not just gulping them as mombassa and volitan did.
Love this fish!