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Grouper For The Aquarium

author
Carole Stephens
• Friday, 11 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Beautiful, charismatic, and robust, the groupers of the family Serranidae offer much to those with enough space to accommodate their basic needs. Easy to keep and full of personality, one is hard-pressed to name a more trouble-free, interesting, and rewarding group of fish for the larger home aquarium.

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(Source: www.goodfreephotos.com)

Contents

Here I want to focus on the subfamily Epinephrine, specifically on the smaller, aquarium -suitable representatives that are easily obtainable in the hobby. The subfamily includes some true monsters that are best left in the ocean, but there are also plenty of species that can be housed in a 200-gallon-plus aquarium, and some are even small enough to make do with slightly smaller accommodations.

As with all common names, this is purely arbitrary, and the hinds were at one time groupers in good standing. I’ll lump the hinds and groupers together here, as their care, general morphology, and behavior are more or less identical.

It’s very important that the aquarium is realistic when considering buying one of these specimens at his or her local fish store. Though they are stunning animals, they are often victims of classic impulse purchases by aquariums with accommodations that are far too small.

This is both to provide the needed swimming space and to make sure dissolved nutrients are kept at reasonable levels between water changes. While small individuals are often offered for sale, they can grow quickly, and you shouldn’t get one thinking you can get a bigger tank down the road.

As mentioned above, 200 gallons is a good minimum target if one is planning on keeping a grouper with a handful of other appropriate fish, but a few of the smaller species such as C. Formosa or E. Angus can live quite comfortably in a 120-gallon or larger community aquarium, whereas larger species such as the lyre tail grouper Various lout, the spotted coral grouper Plectropomus maculate, and the tomato hind Cephalopods sonnet all need accommodations of greater than 300 gallons. The aquarium should steer clear of narrow show tanks and look for aquariums with a front-to-back measurement of at least 24 inches for most species.

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(Source: nationalaquarium.wordpress.com)

Additionally, out of sight is out of mind with regard to territorial disputes, and plenty of rocks will mitigate aggressive interactions with tank mates. A small 3-inch coral hind or miniature grouper C. minima is easy to accommodate in a 40-gallon tank, but shortly down the road you’ll have a fish on your hands that has outgrown its quarters and then some.

At a single feeding, a fish this size can easily eat two 8-inch squids whole, and a proportional amount of waste is produced as a result. Every tank is different with regard to the bio load it can sustain, but it is likely that the husbandry practices employed to handle the waste loads of say a few dam selfish, a six line wrasse, and a flame angel will not suffice when dealing with a grouper or two and the companions that are likely to be kept with it.

How much and how will often depend on the bio load and the filtration being employed on the tank in question, and this can range as high as 50 percent every week! Groupers are resilient fish and thankfully handle shipping well, so most specimens are still in fine shape by the time they reach your local store.

When introducing a grouper into your display (after a six-week quarantine period, of course), it’s a good idea, if practical, to rearrange the decor in order to break up existing territories in the tank. A grouper is often very shy initially, frequently dashing into a cave or crevice, the keeper seeing only glimpses of it for a number of days.

Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, if the tank is at least in the 180-gallon range, it’s often possible to keep two or more groupers together, even those belonging to the same genus (note: not the same species!) This way the fish in question are again on equal footing, neither has an established territory, and both are somewhat disoriented at suddenly finding themselves in new surroundings.

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(Source: nationalaquarium.wordpress.com)

The established fish will invariably be irritated at the new arrival in his territory, and will hold the upper hand in the inevitable confrontation. This displaying, gaping, chasing, and ritualized combat starts out rather intensely by both individuals, and decreases in frequency and severity over a matter of hours.

While this might seem a straightforward consideration, these fish can surprise you in this regard, so err on the side of caution when picking tank mates. When selecting tank mates, keep the likely adult size in mind for all species that you’re considering, as well as the growth rates of all fish concerned.

An often-overlooked aspect by lazy keepers, variety in the diet is essential, and every effort should be made on the part of the aquarium to make sure the fish in his care receive a varied array of food offerings. It should be noted, however, that all predators, be they reptiles, birds, cats, or fish, need whole food items in order to obtain all the nutrients they require, not just meat.

Additionally, there are frozen preparations available that are already vitamin fortified, which make excellent food for these fish. If you have the space and want the most beautiful, hardy, long-lived, and interesting centerpiece fish around, don’t hesitate to give the groupers a look.

Hardy, long-lived, charismatic, and beautiful, a more rewarding marine tank inhabitant is hard to find! Most Groupers will grow well over 12 inches in captivity and need a large tank full of swimming room and hiding places to thrive.

grouper species catch goliath aquarium south
(Source: scaquarium.org)

Like all groupers, it will eat any fish that they can swallow whole and behave aggressively towards tank mates that intrude into its preferred hiding place. Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed.

And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely. May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: ModerateAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself Compatibility: with caution Approximate Purchase Size: Small 2” to 2-1/2 Medium 2-1/2" to 4" Large 4" to 6" Large 6" to 8" Small$199.99Medium$249.99Large$349.99XLarge$449.99Aquarium ConditionedBlue Spotted GrouperCephalopholis Argus YouTube Video of the Blue Spotted Grouper Description:The Blue Spot Grouper is a common favorite among aquariums with Fowler (Fish Only With Live Rock) aquariums.

Blue spotted Groupers are found living near coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific where they hunt for small fish or invertebrates to consume. The Blue Spot Groupers body is a mottled brown and tan color with six article white bands running from just behind the pectoral fins to the tail fin.

The white bands can appear anywhere from very prominent to almost completely faded depending on the aquarium environment and the fishes current disposition. Tank Recommendations: While this fish is considered easy to keep, it does require excellent water conditions in addition to a large aquarium to be properly housed.

Since Blue spotted Groupers eat large meaty items, they create a lot of waste products, therefore it is important to have a very strong biological filter setup to handle the load this and other large predator species put on a filter system. Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed.

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(Source: www.aquariumfiltersetup.com)

And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely. May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: ModerateAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself Compatibility: with cautionApproximate Purchase Size: Small 2” to 2-1/2 Medium 2-1/2" to 4" Large 4" to 6" Large 6" to 8" Small$49.99Medium$79.99Large$129.99XLarge$169.99Aquarium ConditionedBlue line GrouperCephalopholis formosaDescription: The Blue Line Grouper, also known as the Abenaki Grouper or Blue-lined Hind, is light red with multiple vertical blue lines.

As Blue Line Groupers eat large meals they end up producing a lot of waste products, which means they need excellent filtration (especially biological and mechanical) in order to keep the water quality high. Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed.

And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely. Most Groupers will grow well over 12 inches in captivity and need a large tank full of swimming room and hiding places to thrive.

In the wild, it can attain sizes up to 18", but tank specimens rarely exceed a foot in length. Like all groupers, it will eat any fish that they can swallow whole and behave aggressively towards tank mates that intrude into its preferred hiding place.

Tank Recommendations: Can be maintained in ‘large’ reef or fish-only aquariums with several caves and ledges. Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed.

grouper aquarium cephalopholis
(Source: www.dreamstime.com)

And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely. May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: ModerateAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself Compatibility: with caution Approximate Purchase Size: Small 2” to 2-1/2 Medium 2-1/2" to 4" Large 4" to 6" Large 6" to 8" Small$69.99Medium$89.99Large$129.99XLarge$189.99Aquarium ConditionedClown GrouperPogonoperca punctate YouTube Video of the Clown Grouper Description:The Clown Grouper, also known as the Spotted Soap fish, Snowflake Soap fish, or Lea flip Soap fish, is silverish-brown with white spotting over the entire body.

Clown groupers should be provided with plenty of both open swimming room and rock caves and tunnels. Tank Recommendations: Can be maintained in ‘large’ reef or fish-only aquariums with several caves and ledges.

Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed. And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely.

May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: ModerateAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself CompatibilityWith CautionApproximate Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2” to 2-1/2” Medium: 2-1/2" to 4" Large: 4" to 6" Large: 6" to 8"Small$129.99Medium$159.99Large$179.99XLarge$299.99Aquarium ConditionedPanther GrouperCromileptes actively Click to view YouTube Video Panther Grouper Description: A very popular grouper and saltwater aquarium fish, this is perhaps one of the easiest to care for of all available marine groupers. Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed.

And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely. May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: EasyAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself Compatibility:With CautionApproximate Purchase Size: Sm 1-1/2” to 2, Sm/Med 2" to 3", Med 3" to 4", Leg 4" to 5", XL 5" to 7", XXL 7" to 9" Small$29.99Small/Medium$39.99Medium$59.99Large$79.99XLarge$99.99XXLarge$179.99Aquarium Conditioned V-Tail GrouperCephalopholis rode Click to view YouTube Video Red V-Tail Grouper Description:Red V-Tail Grouper, Cephalopods models, comes from the Indo-Pacific and from the Hawaiian Islands.

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(Source: www.neaq.org)

With the potential to grow to nearly a foot in length, the Red V-Tail Grouper should be kept only in larger aquariums. Crustaceans, being part of its natural diet, will likely be eaten. Tank Recommendations: Can be maintained in ‘large’ reef or fish-only aquariums with several caves and ledges.

Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed. And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely.

May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: ModerateAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself Compatibility:With CautionApproximate Purchase Size: Small 2” to 2-1/2 Medium 2-1/2" to 4" Large 4" to 6" Large 6" to 8"Small$79.99 Medium $89.99 Large $129.99Large $199.99Aquarium Conditioned Cherry Lout GrouperVariola lout Click to view YouTube Video Cherry Lout Grouper Description:The Cherry Lout Grouper in the wild will reach lengths of over 24 inches therefore it requires a great deal of space to grow. Its coloration begins with a cherry red at the dorsal that fades into a pale yellow underneath.

Like all groupers, it will eat any fish that it can swallow whole and will behave aggressively towards tank mates that intrude into its preferred hiding place. Tank Recommendations: Can be maintained in ‘large’ reef or fish-only aquariums with several caves and ledges.

Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed. And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely.

argus wikipedia grouper cephalopholis spotted wiki
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

May be difficult to feed in the early days in the aquarium and if so, (if small live marine fish are not available) live glass/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs may be needed to sustain the fish. Level of Care: ModerateAcclimaton Time: 2+ yourself Compatibility:With CautionApproximate Purchase Size: Small 2” to 2-1/2 Medium 2-1/2" to 4" Large 4" to 6" Large 6" to 8"Small$69.99 Medium $79.99 Large $129.99XLarge $199.99Aquarium ConditionedPolleni GrouperCepholopholis pollen Click to view YouTube Video Pollen Grouper Description:The Pollen Grouper is a stunning and large grouper. Pollen Groupers reach a maximum adult size of around 17 inches and need to be kept in tanks that are at least 220 gallons.

For these reasons if you want to add a Pollen Grouper to your reef tank, you must proceed with caution. Pollen Groupers will thrive in larger fish only systems where they will add a huge dash of color to your tank.

Therefore, a meaty diet such as enriched chopped fresh fish or shrimp flesh, and/or frozen carnivore foods should be fed. And because these are not overly active fish, their metabolism is somewhat low, so feeding once every other day should suffice nicely.

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Sources
1 www.cms.gov - https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HomeHealthPPS/HH-PDGM
2 www.cms.gov - https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HomeHealthPPS/CaseMixGrouperSoftware
3 www.cgsmedicare.com - https://www.cgsmedicare.com/hhh/education/materials/pdgm.html
4 www2.deloitte.com - https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/regulatory/articles/modernize-medicare-home-health.html
5 www.bcbsil.com - https://www.bcbsil.com/provider/education/2019/2019_09_25.html
6 homehealthcarenews.com - https://homehealthcarenews.com/2019/05/home-health-audits-expected-to-spike-in-pdgm-aftermath/
7 www.findacode.com - https://www.findacode.com/tools/home-health-pdgm-calculator/
8 www.healthlifes.info - https://www.healthlifes.info/pdgm-coding-tool/