Groupers don’t get much airtime in our reef tanks, due to their large size and capacious mouths. But last week while visiting the Denver Downtown Aquarium we saw an incredibly colorful specimen of Epinephelus flavocaeruleus living in a reef display with other similarly large fish.
Epinephelus flavocaeruleus is also known as the Coral Cod or blue and yellow grouper, and small specimens sometimes make their way to the aquarium hobby. However due to their extremely large size and voracious appetite, the Coral Cod is challenging to keep even in a large fish aquarium.
Despite the challenges of keeping Epinephelus flavocaeruleus in an aquarium, seeing this large, 15 inch specimen was nearly breathtaking with its exquisite color and shape. The entire body of the Coral Cod is a bright deep blue and highlighted with incredibly bright yellow fins and a yellow upper lip; this fish looks like it was conceived for a coloring book.
This large, subadult blue and yellow grouper will eventually get over two feet long but for now this guy has plenty of room to swim and grow, and he’ll have the opportunity to move into multi-thousand gallon exhibits in the future. When you come to Denver for MACNA later this month, be sure to visit the Downtown Aquarium and lookout for this not-so-little gem, you can’t miss him.