Dwarf Zebra Lionfish


Dendrochirus zebra is known as the Zebra Lionfish or Dwarf Lionfish. It has red, white, and black vertical stripes along the body; large, fan-like pectoral fins; and tall, quill-like dorsal fins.

A 30 gallon or larger aquarium with numerous hiding places is suitable. It will hide while acclimating to its new environment. The top spines are venomous, causing reactions similar to a bee sting. To treat the sting, soak the affected area in hot water (100-110º F).

When first introduced into the aquarium, live saltwater feeder shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat. The Dwarf Lionfish diet consists of meaty foods such as live shrimp (including ornamental shrimp), live fish, and sometimes, crustacean flesh.

Quick Stats:
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Reef Compatible: With Caution
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4, dKH 8-12
Max. Size: 7"
Color Form: Black, Red, White
Venomous: Venomous
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Eastern Asia, South Asia
Family: Scorpaenidae

Note: This profile is currently incomplete. Description and/or images are temporarily taken from LiveAquaria and will be replaced shortly. If you are interested in writing a new description, please contact me at info@myfishtank.net. If you have any experience with this particular fish, please leave a comment below and share with us.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Manuel July 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Hello I have a dwarf zebra lion and I have had him a little over two weeds he is in a 45 gallon with about 27& live rock and a clown fish a jaw fish four damsels and a few hermit crabs. His diet is guppies and baby rosie reds! I came home to him floating upside down! What should I do I am very conserned about the well being of my fish I just tested my water and everything is fine!!! HELP ME PLEASE!!!

Avia May 5, 2009 at 9:32 am


im not a Lionfish owner, but im just searching on google for information about them, as i want to get one… but eariler while i was earching, google talked about when they look dead, dont worry, it might be because there so lazy. email me if this is a late time, or u want to get more info, as i can go back to what i read, and give u the message of what they do, if it is dead or not.

Joe C January 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I am relativily new to marine tanks but I have been keeping freshwater tanks for over 10 years. I have a 36gallon with 40lbs of live rock and a 29 with about 25lbs. In my 36 I have a dwarf zebra lion, 2 clowns and a leopard toby puffer. I have had the 36 for a few months and spend nearly all my time researching on my current livestock and on future prospects. One thing you mentioned that caught my attention was your choice of food for your lion. I have read that feeding the lionfish freshwater feeders can be bad for the fish and create some problems on its own. Guppies and rosies are high in fats and low in good quality highly unsaturated fats that the lion needs. I have been successful in feeding my lion frozen krill on the feeding stick you can find at your local fish store. It is also good to supplement the krill with vita chem or some sort or vitamin. But if the fish will not eat the frozen, which is a strong possiblity ghost shrimp may be your best alternative. I also recommend gut feeding the shrimp with a high quality marine flake food and even vita chem.

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