Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish Anglerfish
  • Information
  • Care & Feeding
  • Cautions

While commonly referred to as Frogfish, Anglers can reach an average length size of three inches in captivity. Anglers adapt well to life in captivity, and are relatively hardy.

The fish available to the aquarium trade are very different from the deepwater Anglers featured in Disney's "Finding Nemo" that use a bright light to lure their prey. The Frogfish and Anglerfish for aquariums are found around reefs and rockwork where they blend in to ambush their prey. Like their deepwater counterparts, they do use a lure to attract prey but their lure looks more like a pom-pom or worm, depending on the species.

These fish are often difficult to identify down to an exact species because of their very high variation in colors and patterns. They can also often change color and pattern to better blend in with their surroundings. With a few distinctive exceptions, most are extremely variable and may be different than the example pictured here. Many anglers and frogfish are identified by the shape of their esca (the "lure") and their illicium (the "fishing rod" part that holds up the lure).

Anglers and Frogfish are ambush predators and can eat almost anything small enough to fit into their (very large) mouths. This can include other fish as well as inverts like crabs, shrimp and others. Use caution when choosing tankmates. These fish are not very active and can be kept in a fairly small tank (depending on species) and can be kept alone as a "species-only" showcase.

They will typically eat almost any meaty foods offered but may only accept live items at first. Though they should be weaned onto frozen at some point, live ghost shrimp, mollies, guppies and similar items can be used at first. Eventually, they can be trained to accept frozen clam, squid, shrimp, krill and similar items. It is not unusual for these fish to fast the first few days to even weeks once introduced to a new environment or after a particularly large feeding.

Choosing tank mates for an anglerfish is a tricky business because it can prey on fish up to twice its size, and because it can also be injured by larger more aggressive fish. There are plenty of reports of anglerfish that have lost their illicium after being housed with puffers and triggers. For this reason, most aquarists prefer to keep anglerfish alone or in species aquariums.

Anglerfish are not active swimmers and spend most of their time lounging at the bottom of the aquarium. They are reef safe and also prefer aquariums with plenty of rock and coral cover which they can blend in with. They also produce a significant amount of waste, so filtration is an important consideration in their aquariums.

 
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