|Many Fish are good for the reef aquarium and these are just a few of my favorites |
What species of fish are considered 'reef safe'?
Marine fish are a beautiful addition to any reef tank and proper selection will ensure a harmonious system. Sometimes the most beautiful fish can have devastating effects on fragile reef tanks. Here at GARF we have conducted some research on this subject and have come up with a list of fascinating and helpful reef safe fish. We are collecting as many tank raised fish as possible this semester. We have just received our first shipment from C-Quest.
When first setting up a reef tank, hardy fish such as damoiselles should be purchased. Two inexpensive and common species are the Yellowtail Damoiselle (Neopomacentrus azysron) and the Blue Damoiselle (Chrysiptera cyanea). These fish are a bit aggressive among con specifics, but tend not to bother other fish.
The Red Sea Dottybacks (Pseudochromis) are another group of very colorful reef safe fish. C-Quest hatchery carries a wonderful variety of tank-raised dottybacks. Some of the species we have here at the foundation include the Springer's Dottyback (Pseudochromis springeri), the Sunrise (P. flavivertex), and the Orchid (P. fridmani). These mild mannered species are some of the most beautiful fish that can be purchased. Ask your local fish store to order these fine fish.
Another group of popular reef safe fish are the Tangs. One of the most impressive is the Desjardin's Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma desjardinii). Not only is this a beautiful specimen, but it also does a fantastic job eating hair algae. The Desjardin's Tang is usually quite expensive and hard to find, but is well worth the money and search. Some of the more accessible Tangs include the Blue Surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus) and the Yellow Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma falvescens). These two species are common at most aquarium shops.
Clownfish (Amphiprion) are a fun and easy to breed reef inhabitant. Most species of clownfish can now be captive bred and are very hardy. Some of the more popular species include Clark's Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii), the Tomato Clown (A. frenatus), and the False Skunk (A. perideraion). By providing a relatively stress-free and consistent environment, many reefers will be able to successfully raise and breed Amphiprion species.
Other reef compatible fish include the Sixstripe Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) and the Neon Goby (Gobiosoma oceanops). The Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) is a veracious Aiptasia eater and can be found in most of the tanks here at GARF. These are just a few of the species available to the reef keeper. A valuable reference for reef fish identification and compatibility is Dr. Burgess's Mini-Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes. This book contains over 1900 species with color photos and is highly recommended.
When purchasing marine fish there are some genera to be aware of. Most Hawkish do not cause a lot of problems, but one species, the Flaming Hawkish, may prey on hermit crabs and snails. All Parrot fish, Triggers, and most Angels and Butterfly fish should be avoided. They tend to eat hermit crabs and snails and some species can even damage corals. A good rule of thumb is to consult with your local dealer before making a purchase and do some of your own research as well.
Most of all - Have Fun!
It is exciting to find a species of fish that will help keep the reef aquariums free of the pest anemone Aiptaisia.
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Many of the rare corals are offered to our members for 2 years before they are put on sale. We will soon have an E-mail list that will list the rarest color forms of sps corals and soft corals such as Xenia and Mushrooms.
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1726 Merrill St.
Boise Idaho 83705