Aquarium Fish

Anglers & Frogfish

posted: 05/15/12
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Frogfish are commonly referred to as Anglers, and belong to the Antennariidae family. The majority of the fish available in the aquarium trade belong to the Antennarius genus. The closest relatives of these fish are the Toadfish. Anglers are found throughout the world in temperate and tropical waters, and are most commonly found on coral reefs, or around rocky formations. Frogfish can be distinguished from other bottom dwelling fish by their modified pelvic or bottom fins which look like legs, and are used to walk about the reef in search of a suitable spot to "fish" for a meal. The average size of most of these fish in an aquarium is around three inches in length, and the largest species can reach over 13 inches in the wild.

Most of these unusual fish camouflage themselves to resemble a shelter area such as a rock, sponge, or other sessile invertebrates and algae in order to attract prey. The fish are equipped with an appendage located on the first dorsal (top) spine. This elongated fleshy spine is adorned with a tip that resembles a worm or small fish. The Frogfish can move this spine quickly when prey is in sight. This movement resembles that of a fishing pole equipped with line and bait, thus the name Anglers.

Frogfish use their unusual color patterns as a form of defense, blending in well with their surroundings. Another characteristic that is unique to most Frogfish is the ability to change colors to match their surroundings. These fish have the ability to gulp water or air and increase their girth quickly to avoid being eaten by a predator.

The diet of Frogfish includes fish (including smaller Frogfish) and crustaceans. These fish adapt well to life in an aquarium, and are relatively hardy tank inhabitants. Their ideal tank surroundings include plenty of rockwork or coral decorations to provide adequate hiding places. Male Frogfish are usually smaller than their female counterparts, but no color forms or visible characteristics are present to distinguish males from females. Frogfish can be bred in an aquarium, but rearing of the offspring is difficult.

They are generally compatible with: Large Angelfish, Anglers & Frogfish, Anthias, Batfish, Boxfish, Butterflyfish, Filefish, Grunts & Sweetlips, Hogfish, Lionfish & Scorpionfish, Squirrelfish and Tangs & Surgeons.

Caution is required with: Dwarf Angelfish, Clownfish, Damselfish, Goatfish, Groupers, Hawkfish, Parrotfish, Puffers and Wrasse.

They are not compatible with: Basslets, Blennies, Cardinalfish, Eels, Gobies, Pseudochromis, Seahorses & Pipefish, Sharks & Rays and Triggerfish.

- Sargassum Fish

- Wartskin Frogfish

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