Your information resource for keeping frogfish and more.

Frogfish Survival Guide

This page is meant to summarize the basic information you need to keep your frogfish alive. Anyone who is really interested in keeping frogfish should read the 'Frogfish Files' thread at Reef Central. I have a link to this thread in the right column. There is a lot more detailed information on that thread.

Recommended species

This is a list of commonly kept frogfish by the aquarium hobbyists. Frank Schneidewind (Coral Magazine) recommends only the smaller species should be kept and claims that H. histrio and A. commerson are completely unsuitable for the aquarium because of their larger size.

Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus)
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Clown (Warty) Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus)
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Longlure Frogfish (Antennarius multiocellatus)
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Spotfin Frogfish (Antennarius nummifer)
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Striated Frogfish (Antennarius striatus)
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Hispid Frogfish (Antennarius hispidus)
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Sargassumfish (Histrio histrio)
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Giant Frogfish (Antennarius commerson)
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Selecting a frogfish

Signs of healthy lophiiform fishes:

When selecting a frogfish, choose one that shows the following characteristics:

  • Bright in appearance and behavior
  • Clear, aware, shifting eyes that follow stimuli
  • Slow deliberate respiration
  • Stalking or angling for prey introduced into the aquarium
  • Evades net, hand, or stick

  • Signs of unhealthy lophiiform fishes:

    Avoid buying a fish that keeps a gill closed while pumping the other, or is completely inactive.


    Your frogfish should be permitted to settle in at the local fish store for a week or more.


    To catch your frogfish, use a plastic bag or specimen container, not a net. Move slowly so as to not over stress the frogfish. Do not ever expose your frogfish to air, it is hazardous to a frogfish's health if it sucks air into it's stomach.

    Feeding schedule

    One to two feedings per week.

    Treating disease

    Use hypo-salinity treatment – water with a specific gravity of 1.010 to 1.011 grams per milliliter.

    Recommended foods

    When feeding your frogfish, always assure that food is no larger than 30% of the fish’s body size. It is best to feed your frogfish a variety of foods. Professor Ellen Thaler claims that frogfish will eventually stop eating and die of starvation if they are not frequently fed live food.

    Live Food

    Feeders should be kept for at least two weeks before feeding them to your frogfish. Shrimp and small bony fish of marine origin are favored, but enriched guppies or mollies that have been acclimated to saltwater are a good alternative. Ellen Thaler kept two wartskin frogfish alive on mainly “saltwater” guppies for over tree years.

  • Saltwater guppies
  • Saltwater mollies
  • Saltwater white shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp
  • For information on raising live food for your frogfish, see my article here.

    Frozen Food

    Thawed food should be rinsed in tap water before feeding it to your frogfish.

  • Silversides
  • Mysis Shrimp
  • Krill

  • Sensitivities - things to avoid

  • Overfeeding
  • Feeding prey that is larger than 30% of the fish’s body size
  • Exposure to air
  • Capture with a net
  • Water stabilizing additives
  • Drugs
  • Contaminated water
  • Stress

  • Recommended aquarium co-inhabitants- compatible corals, invertebrates, fish

    It is generally recommended that frogfish are best kept in a species tank (where they are the only species of fish), but here are other possible co-inhabitants that will be good tank mates.

  • Plenty of Live rock to hide in
  • Corals
  • Frogfish of similar size and of the same species, but there is a possibility of territoriality, intolerance, over-stress, and cannibalism.
  • Snails
  • Hermit crabs
  • Starfish
  • Macro-algae
  • Nudibranches

  • Recommended aquarium properties- filtration, lighting, flow, etc

  • Natural filtration - Live rock, Live sand
  • Protein skimmer
  • No greater than 10-20x water flow
  • In the wild, frogfishes prefer rocks, corals, or sponges, where they choose an elevated spot to perch on and wait for potential prey.

    Any lighting will due, as long as it enough for the type of coral in your aquarium.


    Male and female pair up when the female’s abdomen becomes swollen with hydrated eggs. Male stays near the female until she is ready to release the egg raft. When the egg raft is release the male releases sperm and fertilizes the eggs externally. Generally the male and female separate temporarily for a period of days or weeks after spawning occurs. Many pairs stay together for the whole spawning season.

    Color Changing

    Provide interesting textured/colored corals to encourage your frogfish to change color.


      Professor Ellen Thaler : Saltwater guppies as Live Food : Coral Magazine
      Professor Ellen Thaler : Notable experiences with Frogfishes and Thoughts on their Care in the Aquarium : Coral Magazine
      Frank Schneidewind : Frogfishes – the family Antennariidae : Coral Magazine
      Scott W. Michael : Frogfish Behavior Notes from the field : Coral Magazine
      Scott W. Michael : Frogfish Reproduction :
      Anthony Calfo : Antennarians – Frogfish : Reef Hobbyist Online Magazine
      Frogfishes of the World
      Reef Fishes Volume 1
      Reef Central – Frogfish files thread