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Splendid Dottyback
(Pseudochromis splendens) Easy Semi-aggressive 4" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Australia Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis / Dottybacks Reef Compatible The Splendid Dottyback (Pseudochromis splendens) is found throughout the Western Indo-Pacific to Australia, where it lives in shallow reefs, reef slopes and outer reef areas. They move about the rocks and corals of the reef feeding on all manner of small worms, pods and micro-inverts that they find living in rocky crevices and within the sand. They are an efficient carnivore that makes an excellent addition to all manner of reef aquariums and FOWLR aquariums with plenty of live rock. Wild caught specimens will often vary in color depending on the food source they were feeding on in the area where they were collected. Specimens fed a high quality diet with balanced vitamins will generally exhibit the more sought after brighter coloration, while specimens who are fed a lower quality diet exhibit a more faded coloration. Splendid Dottyback psuedochromis are also known for being one of the larger species of psuedochromis commonly available within the hobby, as they can reach 4 inches in length. Their larger size coupled with the typical aggressive and territorial nature of psuedochromis makes them aggressive for their size. Due to their somewhat aggressive nature, the Splendid Dottyback should be the only psuedochromis or similarly shaped species in smaller aquariums in order to avoid territorial battles. Large aquariums with plenty of live rock can support multiple psuedochromis specimens or a mixture of psuedochromis and other similarly shaped species. Overall the Splendid Dottyback is a very hardy species that makes a good addition to both reef and FOWLR aquariums. The Splendid Dottyback is at home in aquariums ranging from smaller 30 gallon aquariums all the way up to large reef aquariums. Like most other psuedochromis species they are very territorial towards other psuedochromis and similarly sized and shaped fish species. However, they get along very well with a wide variety of community fish species and are not easily bullied by semi-aggressive species like larger wrasse, parrotfish, hawkfish, angelfish, etc. Splendid Dottybacks will not bother corals, invertebrates or sessile invertebrates which makes them well suited for larger reef aquariums. The exception to this is that they will readily consume bristleworms and small shrimp species like anemone shrimp. However, they are quite aggressive for their size, so they are not well suited for reef aquariums with extremely delicate fish species. They do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock caves and crevices and at least around 30 gallons or so of water volume. They have an aggressive personality for their size, which means that they are not well suited for very small nano aquariums or shy tank mates. Splendid Dottyback psuedochromis need a balanced diet containing a variety of marine based meaty foods. Foods high in vitamins like carotene and vitamin A are required for them to truly thrive and exhibit their brightest coloration. Foods like krill and chopped raw table shrimp are good sources for these vitamins as the plant matter and plankton that these species feed on is high in carotene and vitamin A. A well balanced diet made up of mostly meaty based foods with a small amount of plant matter or algae is best suited to provide all the vitamins and minerals the Splendid Dottyback requires in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Ideally they should be feed two to three times per day an amount that they will consume within five to ten minutes. Good food options include: krill, chopped raw table shrimp, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, chopped raw mussel, chopped raw squid, chopped raw clam, marine algae and marine sponge. High quality commercial flake and freeze-dried foods designed for marine carnivores are also an excellent food source for this species, and often make up the staple portion of their diet when kept in captivity.
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Atlantic Blue Tang
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(Acanthurus coeruleus) Easy Peaceful 10" 150 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Caribbean Sea, Western Atlantic Ocean Acanthuridae Tangs / Surgeonfish Reef Compatible Atlantic Blue Tangs are found in coastal waters and shallow reefs throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea from Florida down to Bonaire and Aruba. They live amongst the coral reefs and inshore reef slopes found near the coasts of southern Florida, Mexico, Central American and the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacoa). Juveniles have a bright yellow colored body with a brilliant blue coloration on the tips of the caudal and anal fins. During their transition phase from their juvenile coloration to their adult coloration, they very from a mixed yellow and light blue to a more uniform light blue coloration with darker blue striping. As an adult, the Atlantic Blue Tang takes on a deep blue color with light blue striping on their body and finnage. They are prolific algae grazers who graze on algae almost continuously throughout the day. They will feed on algae growing on the reefs in which they inhabit and algae growing on large fish and sea turtles. In eating the algae off the bodies and shells of larger fish and turtles, the Atlantic Blue Tangs serves as a cleaner species for larger predators. The Atlantic Blue Tang is a very active swimmer, as they spend most of their time cruising long stretches of the reef in search of algae on which to graze. They will form sizable groups of individuals who school together as they search for algae and macro-algae marine plants on which to feed. In the wild Atlantic Blue Tangs live in large groups or schools of fish who move about the reef and reef slopes foraging on algae, macro-algae plants and cleaning algae from larger open water fish and sea turtles. Despite being a schooling fish, their eventual size combined with the average marine aquarium size, means that the average hobbyist will not be able to keep a school of these fish. Atlantic Blue Tangs will settle in nicely with other Tang species commonly found within the aquarium hobby if given plenty of open swimming room and plenty of algae to graze on. Unlike many of the Tang species reef hobbyists often keep, the Atlantic Blue Tang will not be happy in smaller reef aquariums or cube aquariums. They need significant room to swim with a 6 foot long aquarium being a good starting point. Ideally this species should be kept in something closer to a 180 gallon aquarium or larger. However, if given adequate swimming space and plenty of marine based algae and plant matter, they will happily share their aquarium both with other Tang species and other reef fish ranging from Chromis to Large Angelfish. As with most Tangs it is better to either keep a single Tang of each body shape or to keep 6 more Tangs so that no single fish tries to claim the entire aquarium as their territory. The Atlantic Blue Tang will also appreciate plenty of variable or laminar water flow, which will help simulate the shallow reefs and reefs slopes that they commonly inhabit in the wild. Wavemakers or modern powerheads with flow controllers are excellent methods to provide laminar water flow within the aquarium. As a herbivore, the Atlantic Blue Tangs diet should consist mostly of marine based algae and plant matter. While they will also consume some meaty foods, the majority of their diet should consist of algae, seaweed and commercial foods designed for marine herbivores. A diet consisting of too little marine algae and plant matter will weaken their immune system due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in their diet. Improper diets will also lead to increased aggression, poor coloration and increased risk of disease. Atlantic Blue Tangs should be provided plenty of grazing opportunities, which can be achieved by having plenty of live rock being present in the aquarium or via the addition of algae or plant matter introduced into the aquarium via a veggie clip or similar fashion. In addition to grazing on marine algae, they should be offered prepared herbivore foods 2 to 3 times per day. Atlantic Blue Tangs are more prolific grazers than the average Tang; therefore, they are only recommended for larger well established aquariums where there are plenty of algae grazing opportunities.
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Bicolor Foxface
(Siganus uspi) Easy Peaceful 10" 125 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Fiji, Western Pacific Siganidae Foxface-Rabbit Reef Compatible The Bicolor Foxface (Siganus uspi) has been a popular fish species amongst large reef aquarium hobbyists for a long time. Their coloration, unique shape and propensity for consuming large amounts of algae and other marine vegetation make them both an attractive and beneficial addition to the reef aquarium. In the wild they are found on the edges of coral reefs and rocky reef slopes that dot the western Pacific ocean. While generally considered a reef safe species, they may nibble on some soft & LPS corals if not sufficiently fed. Despite their relatively large size, they are active and graceful swimmers that do well swimming about crowded reef aquariums. Bicolor Foxface truly revel in swimming and algae grazing, thus really do require an aquarium with plenty of open swimming area and plenty of rocks on which to graze for algae. This species should only be added to well establish large reef or FOWLR aquariums that provide for plenty of algae grazing opportunities. If added to a newer aquarium or one with minimal rocky reef scape, the Bicolor Foxface should be provided frequent supplemental feedings of algae rich food and provided dried seaweed or green leafy vegetables like green leaf lettuce. Their larger size allows them to be kept with many of the less aggressive predatory fish species, while their graceful swimming and algae consumption make them suitable for reef and mixed reef aquariums as well. Keeping the Bicolored Foxface in the home aquarium is relatively straight forward and not too difficult. Their primary need is for an adequately sized aquarium of at least 6 feet in length and 125 gallons or more in volume. Bicolored Foxface are very active swimmers who need significant space to swim within the aquarium. Plenty of live rock within the aquarium is ideal as this will provide the Bicolored Foxface both with places to hide when threatened and with additional algae grazing feeding opportunities. The relatively large size of this species combined with their peaceful demeanor make them well suited to be housed with a wide variety of other fish species. They are generally too large for larger semi-aggressive fish to bother and due to their peaceful nature they will not bother smaller fish species. If insufficient food is available, the Bicolor Foxface may nibble on some soft corals and LPS; however, in general they can be kept with pretty much any coral, invertebrate or crustacean species found within the typical reef or FOWLR aquarium. Hobbyists of any experience level should have no problems keeping this species provided their aquarium is large enough, they maintain reasonable water parameters and feed plant and algae based foods. The Bicolor Foxface is a herbivore that require mainly plant and alge based foods in their diet. While they may consume some meaty foods, their diet should have a substantially higher proportion of plant matter, seaweed and algae in their diet compared to meaty food items. In the wild they will eat large quantities of marine plants like Caulerpa and other similar macro-algae. In the aquarium environment they are most often fed marine seaweed and frozen preparations designed for herbivores. They will also consume some meaty foods like mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and flake or frozen preparations designed for omnivores and herbivores. In addition to regular direct feedings, the Bicolored Foxface should be provided with grazing opportunities via a vegetable clip containing seaweed, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce or via algae growth on live rock. The Bicolor Foxface like all Rabbitfishes, has venomous spines on their dorsal, pectoral and anal fins. While not fatal to humans, their sting can be extremely painful. Most injuries to hobbyists occur when they attempt to handle the Rabbitfish without wearing gloves. Hobbyists should use plastic collection containers while wearing gloves if they need to catch or move Rabbitfish.
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Multicolor Angelfish
(Centropyge multicolor) Moderate Semi-aggressive 4" 40 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Omnivore Marshall Islands Pomacanthidae Angels (Dwarf) Reef Compatible Multicolor Angelfish are found fairly infrequently within the aquarium hobby, where they are sold under a variety of common names including: Multicolor Angelfish, Pastel Pygmy Angelfish or Many-colored Angelfish. In nature they are found living in and around deeper reef slopes, ranging from areas of rocky rubble all the way to areas of dense coral growth. They are found singularly for short periods of time as maturing juveniles, but will quickly form harems of 3 to 8 individuals with a single dominant male and female. Despite being an omnivore, the Multicolor Angelfish consumes much more algae and plant material than it does meaty foods in its diet within it natural habitat. They will quickly adjust to commercial aquarium foods of all types, but for best overall health and to maintain a strong immune system, hobbyists should feed them a diet high in marine algae and seaweed. The Multicolor Angelfish tends to be more secretive and delicate to keep in captivity than many of the more commonly found dwarf Angelfish aquarium species like the Coral Beauty or the Lemonpeel Angelfish. While the Multicolor Angelfish can do quite well within the aquarium environment, they are much more likely to survive and thrive when provided with plenty of live rock and hiding places. When first introducing this species to the aquarium it is important to take time and acclimate them slowly, both to adjust to the water chemistry and to provide them with dimmed lighting for 30 minutes to an hour after being introduced into the aquarium. They do best in tanks with calm, peaceful tank mates and should only be kept with other dwarf Angelfish in longer, larger aquariums like a 125 gallon or larger tank. Multicolor Angels are not suitable for aquariums with more aggressive tank mates like large Angelfish, aggressive Damselfish species or any predatory fish like Triggers or Groupers. They do best in peaceful fish aquariums or reef aquariums where they won't be bothered by tank mates and will have plenty of caves, crevices and other structures to explore, forage for algae and retreat to when threatened. Unlike some dwarf Angelfish species, Multicolor Angelfish do well in many reef environments as they are not known to bother most corals and invertebrates. However, some specimens have been known to nip at some stony corals and clam mantles, but overall they tend to be on the less destructive side of the dwarf Angelfish scale when it comes to corals and sessile inverts. Being an omnivore, the Multicolor Angelfish should be fed a varied diet of both vegetable based and meaty food in order to provide the vitamins, minerals and nutrients required for good health and a strong immune system. It is best to feed a mix of commercial meaty and vegetable based foods, or foods designed for marine omnivores. Multicolor Angels will readily accept flake, freeze-dried or frozen commercial marine fish foods; as well as, fresh or frozen meaty foods made from quality marine based meaty items like shrimp, squid or mussels. Additionally, they should be provided with plenty of marine based vegetable matter either via commercial foods like dried seaweed or marine algae flakes or through algae grazing opportunities from the presence of plenty of live rock within the aquarium. This species will actively graze on marine algae growing on rock work or the aquarium glass.
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Masked Rabbitfish
(Siganus puellus) Easy Peaceful 10" 150 gallons 74-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Herbivore Indian Ocean, Australia, South China Sea Siganidae Foxface-Rabbitfish Reef Compatible The Masked Rabbitfish (Siganus puellus) is found in it its native habitat living in shallow, coral-rich lagoons and seaward facing reefs of the Indo-West Pacific region, generally at depths of 10 to 100 feet. While they are found primarily in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, they can be found in the South China Sea to the Gilbert Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia, and Tonga. Juvenile specimens form large schools, often mixing with other Rabbitfish and Tangs, where they patrol the open reef flats and in lagoons, especially in areas dominated by Acropora corals. However, as an adult they will form isolated pairs and move to deeper waters, typically along seaward facing reef slopes and drop-offs at reef edges. Their body is yellow-orange coloration with dorsal grading from a pale blue to white, with the body being covered with wavy blue lines that are vertical to the anterior and horizontal to the posterior. The eyes are masked by a prominent blackish stripe that extends from the bottom of the mouth to the top of the head, with gives them their common "Masked Rabbitfish" name. As this black stripe passes through the eye it becomes spotted with black dots over top a blue background. This species is sold under a variety of names within the aquarium hobby including: the Masked Rabbitfish, Decorated Rabbitfish, and Masked Spinefoot. Unlike some of the other Rabbitfish commonly sold in the hobby who do well in aquariums as small as 75 gallons, the Masked Rabbitfish is more of an open water species who will need a an aquarium of 150 gallons or more as an adult in order to thrive. When keeping the Masked Rabbitfish within the aquarium environment hobbyists will want to focus on providing plenty of live rock for grazing, ample swimming space and compatible tank mates. Similar to open water Tang species, the Masked Rabbitfish moves up and down large areas of seaward facing reef slopes in the wild grazing on algae over a large territory. They need a large enough aquarium to adequately simulate a scaled down version of their life in nature within an aquarium environment. Ideally hobbyists will want to keep them in an 8 foot long tank like a 240 gallon or larger; however, a 6 foot tank like a 180 or 150 gallon is sufficient on the low end. This is not the species to keep in smaller 4 reef tank as an adult, as with time they will become more and more aggressive towards tank mates and any polyp or stony corals that are present. Despite picking on corals when kept in aquariums that are too small and confining or when under fed, the Masked Rabbitfish is very much a reef compatible fish when properly fed and housed. It is quite flexible in regards to tank mates, with the only exception being other Rabbitfish or a group of their own kind. They do best when kept in a pair in larger reef aquariums. When kept in a suitably sized aquarium, this species will not bother smaller tank mates, and are large enough as an adult to handle being kept with larger aggressive community fish like large Angelfish or even predatory fish like Groupers or Triggerfish. Predators are aware of the venomous dorsal spines of their and will tend to leave them alone. Lastly, it should be said again that this species can eat large amounts of algae from rocks, like green hair algae and filamentous algae. Thus they need to be kept in tanks that provide plenty of grazing opportunities or provided supplemental feedings of dried algae or seaweed. It should also be noted that do not eat every type of algae, so those with nuisance algae problems will need to verify that the Masked Rabbitfish will eat the specific type of algae that is taking over the tank if purchased for the sole purpose of clearing up a algae plague. Masked Rabbitfish are a herbivore species who consume large amounts of marine algae, seaweed and some marine plants. They will do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock to provide them with algae grazing opportunities, in addition to a herbivore based commercial foods diet. Hobbyists will want to provide them a quality flake or frozen food designed for marine herbivores, along with plenty of dried algae or seaweed. In the wild they will eat large quantities of marine plants like Caulerpa and other similar macro-algae, thus they cannot be kept in aquariums containing most marine plant species. This species is sought after by many reef aquarium hobbyists as they are adept keeping the reef free of excess algae growth. However, if they are not able to satisfy their appetite with commercial herbivore foods and supplemental algae grazing, they will often nip at polyp and stony corals. If you witness this species nipping at corals it is best to provide them with additional dried seaweed or algae, which should curb any aggression towards corals. The Masked Rabbitfish like all Rabbitfishes has venomous spines on their dorsal, pectoral and anal fins. While not fatal to humans, their sting can be extremely painful. Most injuries to hobbyists occur when they attempt to handle the Rabbitfish without wearing gloves. Hobbyists should use plastic collection containers while wearing gloves if they need to catch or move Rabbitfish.
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Zebra Bullhead Shark
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(Heterodontus zebra) Expert Semi-aggressive 48" 1000 gallons 60-72° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Western Pacific, Japan, Australia Heterodontidae Sharks Fish Only The Zebra Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus zebra) is a member of the Heterodontidae family of bottom dwelling sharks, which is found living in deeper waters of the Western Pacific from Japan in the north to Australia in the south. While Zebra Bullhead Sharks can tolerate a range of temperatures between 58°F to 79°F, they prefer water temperatures between 60°F - 72°F. They are a very attractive species of Horn Shark that have distinctive black vertical bands or stripes over a tan or cream colored body. They are both slow swimming and slow growing, which combined with their ability to acclimate well to aquarium life, have made them commonly available within the aquarium hobby. While they have many desirable traits for aquarium life, Zebra Bullhead Sharks do require a very large aquarium as they reach adult sizes up to 4 feet in length. The Zebra Bullhead Shark is a good beginner shark for experienced marine aquarium hobbyists looking to begin keeping sharks species, provided they have a very large (1000 gallon or more) aquarium. Like most shark species available within the aquarium hobby the Zebra Bullhead Shark can be housed in aquariums as small as 100 gallons while a juvenile, but must be moved to larger aquariums as it matures and increases in size. Adult Zebra Bullhead Sharks reach sizes upwards of 4 feet in length and will require a tank of at least 10x5x3 feet in size and totaling roughly 1000 gallons. Being a temperate water species, Zebra Bullhead Sharks prefer cooler water temperatures ranging from 60°F to 72°F; however, they can live in warmer more tropical water conditions with water temperatures in the mid 70s. Zebra Bullhead Sharks kept at warmer water temperatures will have a more active metabolism, thus will consume more food and grow more quickly. In fact Zebra Bullhead Sharks kept in temperatures about 75°F have been known to grow upwards of twice as fast as specimens kept in water conditions closer to 60°F. Bottom dwelling shark species like the Zebra Bullhead Shark do best with a soft sandy substrate that will not irritate their abdomens and provides them with a more natural habitat. Like other sharks species, the Zebra Bullhead Shark requires high levels of dissolved oxygen, clean well filtered water and no stray electrical currents in the tank. Keeping heaters, skimmers, circulation pumps and other equipment in a sump will help to eliminate electrical currents in the display tank. Lastly, the Zebra Bullhead Shark has a very peaceful disposition for a predator species, and can be successfully kept with a wide range of medium sized peaceful to semi-aggressive fish species. In their natural habitat Zebra Bullhead Sharks feed on bottom dwelling invertebrates and crustaceans with the occasional small bony fish. Zebra Bullhead Sharks are nocturnal hunters that move about the ocean bottom looking for urchins, mollusks and other similar prey buried in the sand or moving about the rocks. The Zebra Bullhead Sharks mouth and teeth are well designed for grabbing hard shelled prey and breaking through their outer shell in order to access the soft flesh inside. Zebra Bullhead Sharks that are new to the aquarium environment can be enticed to eat by feeding them with the aquarium lights dimmed or by offering live saltwater feeder shrimps or fresh meaty marine items like squid or mussels. Once acclimated they will readily accept a variety of meaty marine foods like shrimp, mussel, squid, clams, silver sides and other similar fare. Begin by feeding 4 to 5 times per week while keeping an eye on the sharks overall body girth. Adjust feeding accordingly so that the sharks body maintains a healthy round proportion, without the belly bulging out.
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Whitespotted Bamboo Shark
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(Chiloscyllium plagiosum) Expert Semi-aggressive 38" 350 gallons 72-79°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Hemiscyllidae Sharks Fish Only Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) or Marbled Bamboo Sharks are found throughout the Indo-Pacific ocean, where they are generally found living on coral reefs and shallow lagoons. Like other Carpet or Bamboo shark species, the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark uses its slender body to get inside rocky crevices and holes in the reef to hunt for inverts, crustaceans and small fish species. They also use the reef and/or rocky formations along the lagoon bottom to protect them from other larger shark species. Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks are commonly found within the aquarium hobby due to their relative small size and ease of care. Adult specimens generally reach about 30 to 36 inches in the aquarium environment, which means they can be housed in aquariums as small as 450 to 500 gallons as an adult. The Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks slender body and natural reef habitat also make them better suited for aquarium life as they can maneuver in tight areas and shallow water. Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks require excellent water conditions, no stray electrical currents in the water, a soft sandy or mixed sand/rubble substrate, open room to swim and as large of tank as possible. Unlike some other shark species commonly seen within the hobby like the Nurse Shark, Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks are small enough as an adult to be properly housed in larger aquariums ranging from 350 to 500 gallons depending on shape. It is important to maintain excellent water conditions when keeping Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, thus aquariums housing this species should have excellent biological filtration, large efficient protein skimmer and a large sump to help augment water volume. All shark aquariums should be securely covered in order to prevent sharks from jumping out and should be designed with maximum length and width in mind to create the largest possible aquarium footprint providing for maximum swimming area. Tropical sharks like the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark also required very high levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, thus there should be plenty of water surface agitation, additional power heads or air stones to provide as much dissolved oxygen as possible. Bottom dwelling shark species like the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark should generally not be kept with fish species that tend to pick at the reef or at bottom dwelling inverts. Examples of poor tank mates for Bamboo Sharks include: Large Angelfish, Triggerfish, Puffers, or Groupers larger than the shark. Good tank mates include: other similarly sized shark species, Stingrays, Tangs, smaller Groupers, Grunts, Hamlets and other similar species. Bottom dwelling Carpet Sharks like the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark are well known invertebrate and crustacean predators, thus they should not be kept with crabs, shrimp, snails, starfish, etc unless they are intended as food. Whitespotted Bamboo Shark in the wild spend much of their time foraging amongst tropical reefs and within shallow lagoons looking for a variety of invertebrates like shrimp, small crabs & clams on which to feed, along with crustaceans and small fish. In the aquarium environment Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks will quickly adjust to eating prepared meaty foods including: fresh or frozen silver sides, squid, clams, shrimp, clam, mussel and pieces of fish flesh. It is best to feed them a variety of marine based meaty foods in order to provide them with a complete nutritional diet, which will help them maintain a strong immune system. Juvenile specimens should be fed 3 to 4 times per week, while keeping an eye on both their growth in length and girth. Adjust feeding accordingly so that the shark grows at a reasonable pace while maintaining a body girth that is not too skinny or overly plump. If well fed they tend to leave most other fish tank mates alone, but they are likely to attempt to consume invertebrates or crustaceans while they hunt during the night.
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Garibaldi Damselfish
(Hypsypops rubicunda) Moderate Aggressive 14" 180 gallons dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025, 64-74° F Omnivore Eastern Pacific coast of California and Mexico Pomacentridae Damselfish Fish Only The Garibaldi Damselfish is a cool water or subtropical fish species found off the Western coast of southern California down to the Mexican state of Baja California and Guadalupe Island. They are typically found living near rocky reef slopes, rocky sea-bottoms and in kelp forests in the more northern part of their range. The Garibaldi Damsel is the official marine state fish of California and is protected in all Californian coastal waters. It is quite common in the range from Santa Catalina Island down to La Jolla Cove (San Diego). Unlike the Damselfish species that are most commonly available within the marine hobby, the Garibaldi Damselfish grows to over a foot in length and can live upwards of 25 years, which is more common to large Angelfish than Damselfish. A proper aquarium environment for the Garibaldi Damselfish should first and foremost provide plenty of open swimming room, including at least 6 feet in length on the long side of the aquarium. Secondly, the aqua scape should contain plenty of rocky formations that have both caves and crevices in order to provide territory and mimic the fishes natural habitat. The water temperature should be around 68°F to 70°F for optimal conditions and should not exceed 75°F. Garibaldi are also used to water that is highly saturated with dissolved oxygen, thus the hobbyists should utilize both wet/dry filtration and powerheads or wave makers to ensure that the was has high amounts of dissolved oxygen. The simple fact with Garibaldi Damselfish is that they grow large, are aggressive and are very territorial towards others of their own kind or similarly shaped and sized other fish species. In the wild they will claim a territory that provides plenty of rocky caves and crevices in which they can hunt for food and also seek protection from larger predatory fish. They will look for a similar type of area within the aquarium and will defend their chosen territory vigorously. Aquariums that are too small in size or footprint will cause problems as the Garibaldi Damselfish is likely to see the entire aquarium as their own. As they can live upwards of 25 years in the wild, they take protecting their home territory very seriously since they plan on being there for a long time. Hobbyists need to provide them with a large aquarium containing both open swimming areas and plenty of rocky aquascaping so that they can maintain a suitable territory and tolerate other tank mates. Tank mates must be carefully considered as well, since they will need to be large enough and tough enough to be able to coexist with the Garibaldi Damselfish. Lastly, with a wild diet that consists mainly of crustaceans and invertebrates, the Garibaldi Damselfish is only suitable for large FOWLR aquariums as they will make a meal out of crabs, shrimp, snails or other similar invertebrate species. In nature the Garibaldi Angelfish feeds primarily on small invertebrates that it catches in rocky crevices and on the rocky sea bed. In the marine aquarium environment it is best to feed them a variety of marine based meaty foods including: krill, shrimp, squid, clams, etc. A mix of fresh, frozen and quality dried foods will provide an economical and balanced nutritional diet. It is best to feed them twice a day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes. Hobbyists should always be keeping an eye on the overall girth and appearance of their fish and adjust feeding schedule accordingly.
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Whitetip Reef Shark
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(Triaenodon obesus) Expert Aggressive 70" 2400 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indian Ocean, Red Sea, South Pacific, Eastern Pacific Carcharhinidae Sharks Predatory Whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) are found in clear shallow waters surrounding coral reefs ranging from the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, South Pacific and all the way to portions of the Eastern Pacific near Panama and Costa Rico. Their wide distribution is a testament to their success and adaptability in nature, which has allowed them to fluorish and spread throughout the southern hemisphere. Although there have been reports of Whitetip reef sharks in depths upwards of 300 meters (1,000 feet), they are most commonly found in shallow waters between 10 to 50 meters in depth. Rarely coming near the waters surface, Whitetip reef sharks are capable of lying motionless on the sea bottom or reef ledge for long periods of time. During daylight hours, Whitetip reef sharks form groups of individual in caves and rocky crevices, where they rest in preparations for the nights hunting. During the nighttime hours they will patrol the reef and nearby reef flats hunting for small bony fish and a variety of invertebrates on which to feed. Unlike open water shark species, the Whitetip reef shark will many months or even years at a time in a relatively small home range provided there is adequate food and little pressure from larger predators. Like most marine shark species, the Whitetip reef shark is only suitable for advanced marine aquarium hobbyists with very large aquariums and advanced filtration systems. However, they are more aquarium friendly than some of the other reef sharks available within the aquarium hobby, like the Blacktip reef shark or Nurse shark. Unlike the Blacktip reef shark, the Whitetip can lay motionless for long periods of time by pumping water through its gills and unlike the Nurse shark stays relatively small and thin bodied. Whitetip reef sharks will most often grow to about 5 feet in length in the aquarium environment, and will maintain a relatively slender body. Where as the Blacktip reef shark requires a very large swimming area (15 foot diameter or more) to support its constant movement and burst/glide swimming motion, while the Nurse shark requires a huge aquarium (8000 plus gallons) to support its upwards of 14 feet in length, the Whitetip reef shark can do well in larger aquariums of around 2000 gallons. Despite being better suited for aquarium life than most sharks species, there are still from serious considerations any hobbyist thinking of keeping a Whitetip reef shark needs to think about. Despite being small and slender for a shark, they still reach a sizable 5 feet in length and produce a large amount of biological waste compared to typical marine aquarium species like Tangs, Angels, Triggers, Groupers, etc. Also while a relatively small and slender shark species, they are still huge compared to the average aquarium fish and require a very large aquarium 12 feet or more in length, 8 to 10 feet in width and 4 to 5 feet in depth. First and fore most the Whitetip reef shark requires a very large aquarium with a large footprint and a reasonable height of at least 3-4 feet depth. Secondly, they will need strong waterflow, high levels of dissolved oxygen and a robust filtration system that can turn over the aquarium at least 6 times or more per hour and handle the high biological load that a larger fish like a Whitetip reef shark can put on a filtration system. The aquarium should be designed with the size, strength and unique requirements of marine sharks in mind. All equipment like heaters, drain tubes, etc. should be kept outside of the main display tank and instead heaters should be in the sump and drains and returns flush mounted in the aquarium. The top of the aquarium should be tightly covered and well secured to keep curious and sometimes rauchous sharks from accidentally jumping out of the aquarium. The substrate should consist of sand or a sand / crushed coral mix in order to not irritate the underside of the shark while at rest and to facilitate their natural hunting methods which include turning up the substrate looking for invertebrates. Rock work and aquascaping should take into account the size the shark and their need for plenty of swimming area, while still providing large caves or crevices in which they can seek shelter when needed. Lastly tank mates shoud include a mix of larger fish species that will not be consumed as food by the sharks, but not so aggressive or large themselves that they would either pick on or see the Whitetip as food. Good choices of tank mates include: larger grouper, grunts, Large Angelfish and large open water Tangs. Poor choices include: ultra aggressive Triggerfish (Titan Triger, ect.) Octopus, much larger shark species (Bull Shark, Lemon Shark, etc.) and much larger grouper species (Bumblebee, etc.). Whitetip reef sharks are specialists at preying on a variety of bottom dwelling prey like crabs, lobsters, octopus and other bottom dwelling inverts. They are also adept at feeding on bony fish species ranging from Damselfishes all they way to larger species like Triggers, Tangs and Angelfish. They are very active nighttime feeders who can easily get into reef caves, crevices and into the substrate to suck out and consume any manner of fish or invertebrate. Hobbyists should feed them a variety of meaty marine items including: squid, chopped fish, mussels, clams, shrimp or other similar marine based meaty items. They should be fed 2 to 3 times per week and the hobbyist will need to monitor their overall health and girth to determine the right amount of food to feed at each feeding. It is best to feed them an amount they will consume with 10 minutes or less and pare down the amount fed based on visual inspection of their girth and overall wellness. Feeding a wide variety of meaty marine based foods and soaking the foods in a vitamin rich supplement designed for marine sharks will help ensure that they receive all the nutrients and minerals that they need in order to maintain a healthy immune system.
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Yellowbanded Sweetlips
1 like Grunts
(Plectorhinchus lineatus) Expert Peaceful 30" 480 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Fiji, Indonesia, Maldives, Vanuatu, Western Pacific Haemulidae Grunts Fish Only Yellowbanded Sweetlips (Plectorhinchus lineatus) are found throughout the barrier reefs and island reef slopes of the Western Pacific. Adults are typically found near coral slopes and seaward facing reefs, where they swim just above the reef looking for prey items and avoiding larger open water predators. Juvenile Yellowbanded Sweetlips live amongst the smaller reef fish species that make their home within the corals and plant life that comprise the coral reef. In nature adult Yellowbanded Sweetlips attain sizes upwards of 3 feet in length; however, aquarium specimens more often grow to between 28 to 30 inches in length. Yellowbanded Sweetlips are available within the aquarium hobby fairly often and are commonly seen in large commercial aquariums like those in hotels or restaurants. They are sold under a wide variety of common names which include: Oriental Sweetlips, Oblique-banded Sweetlips, Diagonol-banded Sweetlips, Goldmans Sweetlips, Lined Blubber-lips and Lined Sweetlips. Due to their large size they will need a large aquarium of somewhere around 400 to 500 gallons. An aquarium with a footprint of 8 x 4 feet or larger is preferable, as the Yellowbanded Sweetlips will grow to over 2 feet in length even within the aquarium environment. Like other large carnivore fish species, Sweetlips consume a lot of food and produce an equal amount of waste. Strong biological and mechanical filtration is critical, as are monthly partial water changes in order to keep down dissolved organics. While Yellowbanded Sweetlips are a peaceful species, there large size makes them destructive to corals and sessile invertebrates. They will also consume a wide variety of invertebrate species including worms, starfish, snails and many types of ornamental shrimp. Yellowbanded Sweetlips are best suited for large FOWLR aquariums or as a schooling species in very large aquariums housing sharks, rays or other large aggressive species. The large size of the Yellowbanded Sweetlips will keep predators like sharks, groupers or triggerfish from bother them In the wild their diet consists mostly of small crustaceans, starfish, snails and other similar prey items. Aquarium specimens should be fed a diet based of marine pellet, frozen foods and freeze-dried preparations designed for marine carnivores. When first introduced to the aquarium the Yellowbanded Sweetlips may have to be enticed to eat by providing them saltwater feeder shrimp or other similar live foods. However, they should quickly adjust to prepared meaty foods in multiple forms. Feed daily once or twice a day, and adjust feeding frequency based on their growth rate and overall girth.
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