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Blue-Lined Snapper
(Lutjanus kasmira)

blue-lined snapper blue-striped, Lutjanus kasmira

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The blue-lined snapper Lutjanus kasmira is a species within the family Lutjanidae. They are endemic to coral reef systems of the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific. Blue-lined snapper colonies can be found as far south as Australia. There are also established populations off the shorelines of the Hawaiian Islands though they are not native to that geographical location. They were originally introduced to the islands in the 1950s for sport fishing and as an additional food source. The commercialization aspect of this species was a dismal failure because of its low market price. The population itself flourished in their new environment. Concerns have since been expressed about the long-term ecological effect of introducing an entirely new species into an established eco-system.

The blue-lined snapper is every bit as exotic as the region of the world it comes from. It has a slightly rounded body with a pointed triangular head giving it the general shape op a teardrop. The most prominent feature of this fish is the four sky blue racing stripes stretching horizontally across its yellow body, hence the name blue-lined snapper. This fish is also referred to as a blue-striped snapper or a blue-lined perch.

The blue-lined snapper is a schooling fish. In nature they hover around coral reef formations in groups by the thousands. This is a larger species that can reach up to 16 inches in length. They are an active species and require plenty of open space to swim in. Because they are schooling fish it is recommend that a minimum of six be added to an aquarium. They should introduce them to their new surroundings as a group. These snappers do not react well to newcomers once they have established a sense of community. If you plan on keeping blue-lined snappers your aquarium should be 100 gallons at the very least.

These fish are known to have problems transitioning into a life of captivity. Their colors often fade after they are removed from their native habitats. They are prone to diseases in the smaller confines of an aquarium. Getting them to feed in their new surroundings also presents a challenge. The combination of all the conditions and requirements outlined in the last two paragraphs explains the unlikelihood that you will see them in anything other than a commercial aquarium. However if they successfully acclimate to their new habitat you can expect them to live in excess of 25 years of age.

This is a carnivorous species. In the wild they feed primarily on small crustaceans. In captivity you can expect them to turn their nose up at common fish food formulated for marine carnivores. Feeding them live brine shrimp or finally chopped fresh food from your grocer such as crab or shrimp may persuade them to start feeding. If you can get them to eat you will greatly increase the chance that they will successfully acclimate to aquarium life.

Although they are not commonly found in home aquariums, they can be found in abundance in the fish markets of many countries around the world. They are in fact the primary catch of Hawaiian hand-line fisheries despite their low market prices.

Environmental Parameters


pH Level Specific Gravity
72-78  °F 8.1-8-4 1.020-1.025

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