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Thread: Lion Fish by Skurvey Dog

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    Assistant Moderator Skurvey Dog's Avatar
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    And some final shots of my most favorite animal that dwells in my tank. Yes it's Vandamere. I can not tell you how fascinating and enjoyable I find him. He is a beautiful work of art in himself. I have found no other fish by half, that is more graceful and mesmorizing, causing me to become enchanted and stare at him for hours on end. Caring for him is a labor of love and I find myself to be so fortunate to be able to be a caretaker and good steward for such an awesome creature. And I also suppose, the element of danger is a draw for a salty dog such as myself. I have first hand experienced an excruating encounter with an Atlantic stingray, and have an ugly scar and nerve damage in my left hand to remind me to stay alert and be very cautious at all times. I am of a mind that the same genetic make up of marine toxins could be comparable. The sting ray incident was a very traumatic event to say in the least and I well remember it, so I have stowed away 2 oxycodone tablets in case of emergency. I pray I never have to use them. Recovery from the sting ray toxins took a full 6 days and another 2 weeks for the puncture wound to heal.



    Notice the beautiful, ornamental spines in the above picture. They are boney appendages, hollowed out like a needle, which is capable of delivering a highly toxic poison. On other fish, this ridge of fins is stationary, and can only be raised up and down like a sail, but on a lion fish, they are quite mobile. Theses fins are attached by muscles and cartledge on the fish's spine. These spines have a two-fold purpose. They allow the fish to maintain good balance in current
    and can be flared out and used as a very effective weapon for self defense. In the defense mode, the Lion fish will take a verticle, head down mode, exposing those swords of death, giving the threat it's warning signal that you are in his circle of comfort. If the threat does not heed this warning, the fish will take aggressive action, striking foreward and out, piercing the flesh of the attacker. All it takes is one prick, and the end is near.



    Notice the delicate, ornamental tissue on the Lion's fins. The coloring and markings only intensify the beautiful pattern on it's torso. Not only are the "Fairy Wings" fascinating to watch as they sway with the currents, they are a vital tool for the fish to hunt for live food. When the Lion has found it's prey, he will use his wings like a cowboy herding cattle. He spreads them out and manuvers his victim into a position for him to strike. The fins also cause his prey to watch his fins and not focus on the Lion's mouth, which is fast as lightening. All of this is done very slowly, patiently, waiting for the right set up. I find it fascinating as strategy is a major factor being played out here, unlike other fish species relying on sheer speed of the chase to feed.



    Every part of the animal is delicate and highly detailed. This animal requires good water quality, live foods, and a care taker who pays attention to detail. He should be treated with respect and gently coaxed, moving at his own will and never agitated. Lion fish are known to have jaw difficulties and should never be given food sources larger than 45 percent of their jaw diameter. We do not want to take a chance of injury as they are aggresive eaters and their jaw actions plays a role in their swallowing and properly seating the food in their stomachs for digestion.

    The Lion Fish is a highly inteligent species and is a very curious fish, always surveying his surroundings and inspecting. Below is a picture of Vandamere in his usual posture, checking out a possible food source!



    Lions are a wonderful reef safe fish, but will not tolerate anything in his comfort zone. Because he grows rather large, I would not recommend a tank smaller than 90g. Of course this is my own personal opinion, others may feel differently. The only reason I feel he can be happily kept in a tank this small is his lack of swimming. He is content to hover and slowly move around in the tank. I originally had a Coral Beauty with him, but that didn't last very long as I feel he died as a result of the 12" circle rule. Anything that will fit in his mouth is good as gone. I have chosen to house no other fish with him. He is gentle, relaxed in his environment and I will not alter that. For those that have a FO set up. The Puffer fish make an excellent companion for the Lion, as well as Eels.
    Last edited by lReef lKeeper; 08-23-2008 at 06:59 PM.


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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    thanks Lori for the presentation of the lion fish
    Ray or Raymond
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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    Thank you Lori. That was very well presented. Long live Vandamere!
    Amphibious

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    Curious Reefer TidePool Daydreamer's Avatar
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    I too hope you never have to use the pills! I have been stung by a lionfish, and i would have to say that your sting ray incident was far more traumatic. From what i have read, the actual results of a sting from a lionfish vary from person to person, however all feel alot of pain. my hand swelled up like a balloon, and it felt like someone had lit my hand on fire. If for some reason dear Vandamare does ever inflict this on you, dip your hand in water as hot as you can stand (120-130* F is optimal), for as long as you can stand it. I chose not to go see a doctor, and i would advise against that, i just didnt have insurance at the time. So i pumped myself full of Benadryll and anti-inflamitory medications (a few vicodens didn't hurt either) and i went to bed. when i woke up i repeated the medication process and laid around and watched TV all day. By the next day my hand was still stiff, but for the most part back to normal! However there are several cases where someone has gone into anaphyllactic (or however you spell it) schock. That would deffinitley not be a good thing! So stay safe in your tank Lori, I love reading your posts!!!
    -]Casey[- "The day i stop learning, is the day i die."

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    Assistant Moderator Skurvey Dog's Avatar
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    Thank you guys! I feel for anyone who comes into any kind of contact with marine toxins, whether it be jelly fish, rays, lion fish and any other creature. And you are definately correct when you say people have various degrees of tolerance to the venom. I was popped by a string ray out of my own stupidity and being careless. I grabbed the ray's tail with a cloth instead of some grips like I normally do to put him back in the water. (Was inshore fishing) Immediately I realized what I'd done. That puncture wound freely bled and it acts on the same basis as a mosquito bite. Hubby immediately grabbed a bottle of water and began to squeeze my hand in an effort to flush some of the toxins. It was an instant agonizing, excrutiating pain and started traveling up my arm to my elbow. And it definately had the liquid fire sensation you mentioned. After five minutes I felt very cold and my skin felt clammy to the touch, but my eyebrows and whatnot were sweating profusely. (It was about 98 degrees that day.) Everyone was very concerned as my face was drained of color. I don't know if that was caused by the intense pain or what. Needless to say it took 30 minutes to get back to shore. (A record speed) I lost control of myself several times demanding someone cut my d@mn arm off. Thank my lucky stars that the ER took me right in as I could not control myself in the waiting room as It was impossible to sit still and be dignified. And yes, water hot as you can stand it will congeal the toxins like an egg white and keep it from spreading. That and a mega dose of morphine to help me regain some composure. I am so embarrassed to say the least and I have a very high tolerance for pain. Or thought I did until that event. That makes child birth look like a scratch and I've had 3 children. I laid face down on my waterbed (is low to the floor) with my hand in a tub of hot water for 6 days. And it too was 5 times it's normal size and snow white. (Dennis the Menace squicky clean.) The part that concerned me was, all of the flesh surrounding the wound turned black and rotted out. All of that tissue was dead and looked like someone took an apple corer to my hand. It's healed over nicely and left a scar, but I have permanent nerve damage running across the bottom of my hand all the way to the tip of my pinky finger. Needless to say it took a full year for me to overcome my fear of handling rays again and even sharks. Knowing in the back of my mind being offshore and having a crisis or medical emergency can make one be very cautious. I really feel for you Tide. There is really nothing they can do but contain the spread with hot water, control the pain with medication and monitor you for any reactions. You did some really quick thinking there. I wish I had been informed as well as you at the time. Thank you for sharing.


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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    wow lori that had to suck i mean i would of probly fainted I remeber when i cut myself with a big hunting knife and almost fainted that mistake left me with a scar to and in the scar mark i cant realy feel myself touching it its probly not as bad of a scar as yours but it still brings back the pain thanks for sharing your story ill becarefull the next time i go rayfishins.
    Ray or Raymond
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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    Gee Lori, that must have been scary for you and every one with you.
    Carmie


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    Expert Reefer Jace's Avatar
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    I know 100% i would of fainted I faint when i get needles from shots.. Lol im a cry baby and a momas boy Your one tough girl Lori ...
    -Jace

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    Master Reefer bbl_nk's Avatar
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    Lori, awesome post, incredibly scary story and so glad you are OK! I think these fish are awesome and fascinating and for now, left to incredible caregivers like you! Maybe as my experience grows, I'd venture into Lionfish.

    A+++ job!

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    Assistant Moderator Skurvey Dog's Avatar
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     I'll becarefull the next time i go ray fishing.
    Please do. Always wear some type of shoe and a pair of grips for handling. You don't want to hurt him and he doesn't want to hurt you. It's their main defense against sharks that feed on them.


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    Insightful Reefer Mr. Tang's Avatar
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    For some reason I thought they were not reef safe fish.. Maybe they eat your shrimp????
    "Hello my name is Mr. Tang and I'm a Reefoholic!"

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    Assistant Moderator Skurvey Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tang View Post
    For some reason I thought they were not reef safe fish.. Maybe they eat your shrimp????
    Reef safe as in won't mess with any corals, crabs, snails, serpent sea stars. Shrimp and any other fish that will fit into his mouth is definately on his hit list. Housing fish with him needs to come from regions that are known to support the Lion fish, so they know what he is and respect him. Sorry if my word "usage" could be interpreted differently. My apologies.


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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    Please do. Always wear some type of shoe and a pair of grips for handling. You don't want to hurt him and he doesn't want to hurt you. It's their main defense against sharks that feed on them.
    I normaly do wear steel toed shoes and I actualy save them in an ice chest to eat the type of ray I fish for is bat rays very fun to catch and very good to eat they taist like scallops kind of.
    Ray or Raymond
    There is no elevator to success in marine tanks. You have to take the stairs.


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