Mike Iannibelli, a fellow hobbyist from Long Island, New York, sent in the following remark:
Thought you might find this interesting. I recently tore down the 20g salt tank, having returned all the inhabitants back to the pet store except the garden eel--- I didn't want to part with this rare fellow. Nervously, I transferred him into the tank holding only a lionfish and a large goby. I was worried that the lion would consider him a meal, so I added a large piece of coral, and built up the sand behind it to give him a haven in which to construct his burrow. The next morning when I turned on the light, I found him in the middle of the tank, right next to the lion. I watched for a while, and was content in the fact that the lionfish apparently didn't consider him food. When I got home that evening, they were still in roughly the same position, and when I added the goldfish I had bought for food for the lion, the lion snagged a couple, then went back to assume his spot next to the garden eel. It seems to be a mutual attraction, for as a general rule, the eel will retreat deep into his cave whenever another fish comes close by. Don't know what to make of this, except to repeat that it is very interesting to me.
Photo and text by
Pterois volitans (Lionfish)