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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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Freckled Angler
1 like Anglers
(Antennarius coccineus) Easy Peaceful 5" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific Antennariidae Anglers Reef Compatible The Freckled Angler (Antennarius coccineus) is one of the smaller species of Anglerfish, who typically grow to about 5 inches in length. They are found widely distributed across the eastern Pacific, western Pacific and Indo Pacific oceans, where they are found living in a variety of environments ranging from seaward facing reefs to shallow lagoons and tidal pools. They do vary greatly in color, which includes white, yellow, tan, orange, red, brown and black coloration. There ability to change colors combined with varied and scattered spots allows the Freckled Angler to blend in with a wide variety of rocky and coral reef areas. Blending into their environment is crucial both for ambushing unsuspecting prey, but also in order to avoid detection by other larger predatory fish species. Freckled Anglers are peaceful with tank mates that will not fit into their large mouths and can coexist peacefully with select heterospecifics. They can be kept with all types of corals and sessile invertebrates, but will consume small reef fishes and ornamental shrimp. Freckled Anglers can be kept in a variety of aquarium environments ranging from nano cubes to reef aquarium setups. They should be provided with plenty of live rock, coral or fake coral decorations in order to provide them with areas to perch and blend into their environment. They prefer a sand substrate and require plenty of live rock for hunting and shelter (they also appreciate coral rubble that they can blend into and setup an ambush). Anglers can have quite a biological impact for their size and their home should be provided with efficient biological and mechanical filtration along with the use of a protein skimmer. Freckled Anglers are a reef safe species that will not harm corals, but they may sometimes eat small shrimp and will definitely dine on small fish; for this reason, most hobbyists tend to keep them in a FOWLR environment. They normally coexist well with other species, but should not be housed with puffers or triggers as they will soon be missing their fishing gear (esca and illicium). Any tank mates that will fit into their large mouths can potentially become dinner and should be avoided. Freckled Anglers are predatory, ambush hunting, carnivores that mainly eat small fish and shrimp in the wild. In the aquarium they should be fed live (possibly gut-loaded), small fish, brine shrimp, and ghost shrimp. They can also be conditioned to accept frozen and other prepared or vitamin-enriched meaty foods from a feeding stick (wiggled around near them) such as krill, silver sides, chopped crustacean flesh, chopped fresh fish, chopped mussels, chopped scallops, and chopped clams.
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Barred Hamlet
1 like Hamlets
(Hypoplectrus puella) Moderate Semi-aggressive 5" 55 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas Serranidae Hamlets Reef Compatible The Barred Hamlet (Hypoplectrus puella) is native to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, where it is found inhabiting rocky reefs. They are more active in the evening, using their large eyes to spot prey in the dimly lit night waters. During the day they spend much of their time in deep rocky caves and crevices resting and looking for small crustaceans and invertebrates to prey on. They adapt well to aquarium life, and will also become used to the bright aquarium lighting given time. It is important to provide them with plenty of caves and large crevices in which they can retreat from the bright aquarium lights. Hamlets are somewhat unique in that they possess both male and female reproductive organs. They are also known for breeding in larger aquarium systems and in commercial breeding facilities. Their brilliant white and yellow base coloration combined with brown bars and blue highlights, medium size and semi-aggressive temperament make the Barred Hamlet an excellent aquarium species. They can generally be thought of as mini groupers or sea bass, with a somewhat overall less aggressive nature due to their smaller size. at about 5 inches in length as an adult, Barred Hamlet are the smallest species of Hamlet commonly collected for the aquarium hobby. Barred Hamlets are not quite as widely distributed as some of the other Hamlet species found within the aquarium hobby; therefore, they are not as commonly collected for the aquarium hobby. They do show up in fish stores from time to time, and can usually be ordered online from fish wholesalers and distributors. Barred Hamlets do well in the home aquarium if provided some basic aquarium and water parameters. They should be housed in an aquarium that is close to 55 gallons or larger in order to provide them with enough swimming room and with enough water volume to accommodate the bio-load they produce. In the wild Barred Hamlet establish themselves in a particular area of the reef where they will live their entire life assuming conditions permit. They should be provided with both areas of open swimming space and live rock formations that include plenty of caves and crevices. They will establish an area of the aquarium as their territory and will protect this area from similar sized fish species and other Hamlet specimens. Barred Hamlets should be kept one to an aquarium in most situations, with groups being suitable in large aquariums (200 gallons or more) being large enough to create enough territory to house multiple specimens. Well fed Barred Hamlets should not show too much aggression towards small fish species or cleaning crew invertebrates, but it is possible that they may try to eat very small fish and small crabs / shrimp. Barred Hamlet are one of the more peaceful species of Hamlet, and are the best choice for keeping a Hamlet in a traditional community aquarium setup. Their moderate size and carnivorous diet puts a fair amount of bio-load on the aquarium, thus the aquarium should have excellent mechanical and biological filtration. An addition of a well planted refugium will also help with nitrate removal and lessen the amount of water changes required to maintain lower nitrate levels and overall water quality. In the wild Barred Hamlet feed on shrimps, small crabs, small crustaceans and the occasional small fish. They are a carnivorous species that should be fed a variety of meaty foods. Barred Hamlet should be fed 2 to 3 times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes. Good food choices include: high quality commercial pellets, frozen carnivore formulas, mysis shrimp, clams, squid, frozen marine feeder fish (silver sides), live glass shrimp and other similar marine based meaty items. Overall Hamlets are not picky eaters, but they should be fed a high quality and diverse diet as proper nutrition ensures that the fish maintain a healthy immune system. Lastly, proper nutrition effects the coloration of the fish, with healthy well fed specimens exhibiting brighter and more brilliant coloration.
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Longspine Cardinalfish
(Zoramia leptacantha) Easy Peaceful 3" 20 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.022-1.025 Carnivore Indonesia Apogonidae Cardinalfish Reef Compatible The Longspine Cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacanthus) is a shoaling fish species that is found living in large groups of individuals in the wild. In the wild they stay very close to the coral reefs in their native Indonesian waters, where they rely on the reef for both food and protection from larger fish. It is important that hobbyists keep Longspine Cardinalfish in groups of at least 4 or more individuals (10 plus being ideal) in order for them to feel comfortable and do well long term in the aquarium environment. Shoaling species depend on living in groups of individuals in order to feel comfortable and to maintain a social group that they need in order to live natural lives. Hobbyists keeping a single specimen or pair of Longspine Cardinalfish will find that they will be reclusive, reluctant feeders and will do poorly overall. However, when kept in a social group the Longspine Cardinalfish will spend its time out swimming in the open waters and will readily feed on a variety of meaty food items. Once acclimated to aquarium life, groups of Longspine Cardinalfish are considered to be quite hardy and long lived. Longspine Cardinalfish are ideal fish for both reef aquariums and peaceful community aquariums. While not the most colorful fish individually, a group of Longspine Cardinalfish swimming tightly together with flashes of blue and yellow is an impressive site. Despite needing to be housed in groups, Longspine Cardinalfish do not put out a high bio-load which makes them ideal for many reef aquarium environments. They are peaceful in nature and can get along with a wide variety of other peaceful community fish species. Longspine Cardinalfish will not bother corals, sessile invertebrates or crustaceans, but they may prey on extremely small shrimps. Longspine Cardinalfish do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock or reef aquariums with plenty of rock and corals, both of which will give them a place to retreat to when threatened. Proper aquarium decor will give the Longspine Cardinalfish the confidence to swim out in the open knowing that they can retreat to safety if necessary. Longspine Cardinalfish are carnivorous micro predators that feed on small crustaceans in their native coral reef habitats. However, they will quickly adjust to aquarium life and will readily feed on a variety of meaty based commercial foods including: flake, micro pellet, frozen and freeze-dried marine based meaty foods. Larger specimens may prey on extremely small gobies or very small shrimp.
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Blind Shark
1 like Sharks
(Brachaelurus waddi) Expert Aggressive 38" 360 gallons 65-75° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Australia Brachaeluridae Sharks Predatory Blind Sharks (Brachaelurus waddi) originate from Australia, where they range from Queensland to southern New South Wales. They live in shallow coastal waters ranging from just a few feet in depth down to about 250 feet. They are commonly found during the nighttime hours in shallow high-energy surge zones, where they move about the rocky underwater terrain in search of small invertebrates and bony fish to feed on. Despite their common name, Blind Sharks can actually see equally well as any other shark species. Their common name came from its habit of closing its eyes when taken out of the water. Blind Sharks make their way into the aquarium hobby from time to time since they are fairly well suited for larger home aquariums between 360 and 1000 gallons in size. Most captive raised Blind Shark specimens only reach about 3 feet in length, which along with being a benthic or bottom-dwelling Shark species make them better suited for aquarium life than open water shark species. They do make it into the hobby are often marketed under a wide variety of common names that include: Blind Shark, Aussie Blind Shark, Australian Blind Shark, Brown Carpet Shark, Grey Carpet Shark and other similar variants. There are some general aspects of shark husbandry that all hobbyists looking to keep sharks in their home aquarium should be aware of. All sharks even those available within the aquarium hobby are large in terms of home aquarium sizes. Therefore it is important that all sharks are housed in large aquariums that have a foot print that is wide and long, which will give the shark room to swim and accommodate a larger water volume. A good rule of thumb for a minimum shark aquarium is for the aquarium to be at least 1 to 2 times as wide as the shark is long and 2 to 4 times as long, with larger always being better. Secondly, sharks require plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water and are sensitive to low oxygen environments. Plenty of water volume, moderate water currents and strong mechanical and biological filtration is very important in order to support the bio load that a large bodied fish like a shark places on an aquarium filtration system. A sand or mixed sand rubble substrate is important for benthic shark species that spend a lot of time laying on the substrate so that they do not scratch or agitate their underside which can lead to open wounds and disease. Lastly, the aquarium should be well covered and all equipment like heaters and skimmers should be outside the main aquarium in a sump or other external setup to eliminate any excess electrical currents in the water, which will stress the sharks being housed in the display tank. In addition to the common requirements of smaller reef sharks being housed in the home aquarium, Australian Blind Sharks need very high levels of dissolved oxygen and strong water movement. They will also do best when presented with multiple large rocky caves and rock overhangs in which they can seek refuge and explore. Australian Blind Sharks will also appreciate vegetation like sea grass or other hardy marine plants. Hobbyists should strive to design the aquarium decor to provide both large rocky caves, crevices and other shaded areas, along with plenty of open area where the shark can swim freely and turn around easily. Wild Blind Sharks feed on a wide range of small invertebrates and small bony fishes that they come across in the rocky coastal caves in crevices that they frequent each night while looking for food. Despite being a nocturnal species in the wild, Blind Sharks adapt remarkably well to aquarium life and will generally accept food within a day or so of being added to the aquarium. Most hobbyists do not experience any issues with feeding this species even while the bright aquarium lights are on. Blind Sharks should be fed a variety of marine based meaty foods like clams, squid, shrimp, fish, crabs, mollusks, prawns or other similar raw foods. It is best to feed a varied diet in order to insure that the shark receives a variety of vitamins and minerals in order to maintain a strong immune system.
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Pajama Cardinalfish
(Sphaeramia nematoptera) Easy Peaceful 3" 30 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Fiji, Coral Sea Apogonidae Cardinalfish Reef Compatible The Pajama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera) is a schooling species found living near coral reefs throughout the Coral Sea, Fiji and large areas of the western Indo-Pacific. Pajama Cardinalfish or as they are also known as Spotted Cardinalfish, have been a popular fish species with reef and community aquarium hobbyists for a long time. Being a smaller fish species and native schooling species in the wild, it is best to keep this species in social groups of 5 or more individuals. Keeping the Pajama Cardinal in a schooling group will allow them to feel much more secure and comfortable within the aquarium environment; as well as, allowing them to exhibit their natural social hierarchy. A group of will establish a strict hierarchy with a dominant male specimen leading the group. In addition to allowing the Pajama Cardinalfish to live as they would in nature, a group of these fish is an impressive site as they slowing swim about the reef in a tight group, which helps to accentuate their coloration and pattern. Pajama Cardinalfish are best suited for reef aquariums with plenty of live rock and smaller peaceful fish species. However, they will also do well in FOLWR or community aquariums provided that their tank mates have a more peaceful disposition and there is a reasonable amount of live rock or coral decorations to provide them with a suitable habitat. Pajama Cardinalfish should not be housed with larger more aggressive fish species, as they are slow moving and can easily fall prey to or be harassed by larger aggressive species. Tank mates to avoid keeping Pajama Cardinals with include: eels, sharks, groupers, triggers, hamlets, lionfish and other species of similar size and temperament. Despite being nocturnal in the wild, Pajama Cardinalfish adapt well to aquarium life and will be active during daylight or lights on hours. It is highly recommended that hobbyists keep this species in a school of 5 or more individuals in order to allow them their natural social hierarchy, which will greatly increase their chances of thriving in the home aquarium environment. Despite groups of Pajama Cardinalfish following a strict hierarchy, they do not use aggression to establish the dominant member of the group and instead utilize more of an internal election process within the group. This is markedly different from most other schooling species, where the dominant male uses aggression to establish himself within the group. Pajama Cardinalfish are carnivorous micro predators that feed on small crustaceans in their native coral reef habitats. However, they will quickly adjust to aquarium life and will readily feed on a variety of meaty based commercial foods including: flake, micro pellet, frozen and freeze-dried marine based meaty foods. Being a naturally nocturnal species, hobbyists may have to acclimate them to feeding during the day time. This is best achieved by feeding them first thing in the morning before the bright aquarium lights are turned on. Lastly being a slow swimming species, the Pajama Cardinalfish will have a difficult time competing for food with many species of fish that feed aggressively. Hobbyists should keep feeding concerns in mind when choosing suitable tank mates for the Pajama Cardinalfish or when adding this species to an existing aquarium.
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Catalina Goby
1 like Gobies
(Lythrypnus dalli) Moderate Peaceful 2" 10 gallons 60-70° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Eastern Pacific, California, Mexico Gobiidae Gobies Reef Compatible The Catalina Goby (Lythrypnus dalli) is without a doubt a very attractive and exotic looking species. Their bright orange-red body and electric blue vertical stripes makes them truly glow under the bright aquarium lighting. However, unlike most brightly colored tropical reef species, the Catalina Goby is a cold water species that requires aquarium temperatures much lower than that of typical coral reef fish species. While most fish species commonly found in the aquarium hobby require water temperatures in the 76° to 82° range, the Catalina Goby requires much lower temperatures in the 58° to 70° range. Due to their specific water temperature requirements and small adult size of only 2 inches, the Catalina Goby is most often housed in nano aquariums designed to replicate their natural cold water habitat. Catalina Goby are found living in shallow rocky coastal waters ranging from California in the north to the Gulf of California off the Mexican coast. They are most often found in rocky coastal areas, where they utilize the fields of boulders for both protection and for hunting grounds. Catalina Goby work their way through the rocky caves and crevices looking for small crustaceans and other similarly sized marine organisms on which to prey. They also utilize the rocky caves and tight crevices in order to hide from other larger fish species that would see them as a food item. They require an aquarium environment that will provide them with the highly oxygenated and cool water conditions of their native territory, along with plenty of rocky caves and crevices to explore. While territorial towards its own kind, Catalina Gobies will co-exist with most other fish species including other small similarly sized and shaped species. They can even be kept in small groups of their own kind in aquarium large enough to provide ample territory for specimen, generally an aquarium 40 gallons or more. Single specimens can do well in both nano and pico aquariums, ranging from 5 to 30 gallons in size. Tank mates should include other cold water fish species that are not large enough to see the Catalina Goby as food. Catalina Goby coexist well with both temperate water corals and invertebrates, like Anemones, Feather Dusters and shrimp. While the Catalina Goby can tolerate warmer water temperatures upwards of 74° for short periods of time, they will not thrive in these conditions and will be much more susceptible to disease and an overall shorter lifespan. Their ability to change their sex is one of the more interesting aspects of the Catalina Gobys reproductive behavior. While each Catalina Goby has the reproductive tissues of both genders, they can only display one sexual orientation at any given time. If a Catalina Goby finds itself unsuccessful as one gender, it can switch to the other. Behavioral males are generally larger and have a longer dorsal fin with black tips on the longest dorsal fin rays. When they are ready to breed, a behavioral male chooses a cave in which to care for his brood. He then lures the female inside, where she will attach her eggs to the walls of the cave. He will care for the eggs there until they hatch. The Catalina Goby is a typical Goby in regards to feeding, eating all types of small crustaceans, plankton and small invertebrate species like amphipods and copepods. They are very hardy eaters that will quickly adapt to both aquarium life and commercial fish foods. They do best with meaty preparations like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, flake and vitamin-enriched frozen foods designed for marine carnivores.
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Webers Chromis
1 like Chromis
(Chromis weberi) Easy Peaceful 6" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Southern Pacific, Fiji Pomacentridae Chromis Reef Compatible Webers Chromis (Chromis weberi) are widely distributed throughout the southern Pacific ocean, where they are found living in near-shore reefs, shallow channels and seaward facing reefs. Webers Chromis have a deeply forked-tail, uniform olive to gray colored body with dark edged scales, a dark bar behind each eye, dark pectoral joints, and dark tail-tips. Because of their exceptional hardiness, Webers Chromis make a great choice for beginners as well as the more advanced marine hobbyists. Webers Chromis are an active and peaceful species that prefer the mid to top levels of the aquarium; with their constant motion as a school, they will surely add plenty of activity to any reef or FOWLR system. Although not quite as common as many of their Chromis relatives, they are usually available online and can also be found at local retailers from time to time. Webers Chromis should be provided with a home of at least 30 gallons of water volume and a mixture of open swimming space and live rock and coral formations. Plenty of live rock is important for overall health of tank inhabitants and water quality, but the Webers Chromis will spend most of their time interacting with each other while swimming around in the open as a group; they will utilize live rock for emergency shelter and during the night, but mainly rely on each other for security. They are very peaceful with other fish species, but will sometimes argue amongst themselves. Despite occasional quarrels Webers Chromis prefer to live in schools of fish, with the more the merrier being the general rule. They can be housed with a wide variety of tank mates as long as they are not highly aggressive or larger predators that will see them as prey. In their natural habitat Webers Chromis are diurnal omnivores; coming out of their shelters at dawn to feed on planktonic surface life, then heading back to their rock cave and crevice shelters at dusk. In the home aquarium, they are very easy to feed and will readily accept a wide variety of live foods, commercial flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods along with vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped krill, and blood worms. They will also accept other prepared meaty marine foods in addition to their natural craving for amphipods, copepods, and other planktonic treats. Feed 1 to 3 times per day.
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Golden-spot Hogfish
1 like Hogfish
(Bodianus perditio) Moderate Semi-aggressive 26" 450 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Western Pacific Labridae Hogfish Fish Only Golden-spot Hogfish (Bodianus perditio) are widely distributed throughout the tropical oceans of the southern hemisphere. They can be found living around coral reefs and rocky outcrops from the eastern coast of Africa to the western coast of North & South America and most areas in between. Despite their large size of close to 30 inches long in the wild and about 26 inches in the aquarium environment, Golden-spot Hogfish stay close to the reef throughout their lives. They generally inhabit shallow reefs and lagoons as juveniles and as they grow move out to deeper reefs and rocky outcrops as adults. Golden-spot Hogfish stay close to the reef as their primary source of food is the benthic clams and mollusks found growing on the rocks throughout the reef. Coral reefs also give Golden-spot Hogfish cover from large open water predator fish who would see the Hogfish as a prey item. Golden-spot Hogfish are only suitable long term for hobbyists with very large aquariums that are supported by a strong filtration system. Large bodied fish like the Golden-spot Hogfish need a significant amount of space to swim about and due to their size put a heavy biological load on aquarium filtration systems. Being that the Golden-spot Hogfish feeds primarily on crustaceans and sessile invertebrates, they are not suitable for reef aquariums or mixed fish aquariums with invertebrate clean up crews and such. Golden-spot Hogfish are mostly found in larger fish only aquarium setups like tanks housing reef sharks or large aquariums found in restaurants, hotels and other larger aquarium installations. Beyond a large aquarium, hobbyists seeking to keep Golden-spot Hogfish will need to employ a powerful filtration system that has excellent mechanical and biological capabilities. Large bead filters or large sump based wet/dry systems combined with a very large protein skimmer will be required to maintain proper water quality. Once hobbyists begin keeping larger reef fish species like Hogfish, Groupers, Sharks, Rays, etc. it is generally recommended that they move away from filtration products designed for smaller ornamental aquariums and look more toward products designed for aquaculture. Filters, skimmers, sumps and tanks designed for the aquaculture industry have the capacity and flow rates needed to handle larger reef fish even when they reach their max size as adults. Suitable tank mates for Golden-spot Hogfish should mainly be limited to larger community reef fish and semi-aggressive reef predator fish like groupers and reef shark species. Golden-spot Hogfish spend most of their time in the wild solo, but do pair up during breeding. Given enough room they will tolerate others of their own kind, but in smaller environments they will become territorial towards others that they see as competition for food. Wild Golden-spot Hogfish feed primarily on crustaceans and benthic invertebrates such as mollusks and clams. Aquarium specimens will consume a wide variety of marine based meaty foods ranging from commercial pellets and frozen foods to homemade preparations. Being such a large fish, hobbyists will most likely find that it is more economical to feed them a homemade diet consisting of clams, mollusks, squid, chopped fish, shrimp, cockles and other similar marine based meaty items. Ideally they should be fed smaller meals multiple times per day, as this more closely resembles how they would feed in the wild. Monitor the overall girth of the fish to make sure that they are receiving enough food and adjust feeding frequency accordingly. It is also recommended to vary their food items to ensure that they are receiving a balanced diet of minerals and vitamins that they require to maintain a healthy immune system.
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Redbarred Hawkfish
2 likes Hawkfish
(Cirrhitops fasciatus) Easy Semi-aggressive 5" 30 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Japan, Hawaii, Western Pacific Cirrhitidae Hawkfish Reef Compatible Redbarred Hawkfish are micro-predators that move about the reef hunting for small crustaceans and fish to prey on. Since they only reach a maximum size of about 5 inches they are not able to prey on fish 2 inches in length or larger. This makes them suitable tank mates for most adult specimens of commonly kept aquarium fish species. They should not be housed with small Gobies, Dartfish or young Chromis, Clownfish, Damselfish, etc; however, adult Clownfish, Chromis, etc. will be fine. Redbarred Hawkfish can eat a wide variety of marine invertebrates and crustaceans, which makes them only partially suitable for reef aquariums. The bright red coloration and interesting swimming style have made the Redbarred Hawkfish a popular aquarium species for some time. They are generally available to hobbyists both in local fish stores and online; however, they are sold under a variety of common names including: Redbarred Hawkfish, Banded Hawkfish, Blood Red Hawkfish and Fasciatus Hawkfish. Despite their common name, Redbarred Hawkfish can vary in coloration from bright red and white to a dark blue or almost black body with red fins. They do they to better blend into their environment, which helps them ambush small prey items moving about the reef and helps protect them from becoming dinner to larger reef predators like Groupers or reef Sharks. Hobbyists will want to house their Redbarred Hawkfish with plenty of live rock in order to bring out their best coloration. Plenty of live rock will also give the Redbarred Hawk many places to perch and move about on. One of the more interesting features of Hawkfish in generally is watching them move about the reef in their half swimming and half crawling style, as they look for the best places on the reef to ambush prey. The Redbarred Hawkfish is a very hardy specimen for aquarium life, that will do well in a 30 gallon or larger aquarium. Despite its relative small size, it is a predatory species and will eat small fish and crustaceans, thus should not be kept with species like small Gobies, Firefishes, small Wrasses etc. In smaller aquariums the Redbarred Hawkfish can be very aggressive towards smaller fish species and fish with a very peaceful disposition. However, in a larger aquarium (90 gallons and up) the Redbarred Hawkfish can be kept very easily with a variety of semi-aggressive community fish species and larger invertebrates and crustaceans. It is important to provide plenty of live rock & rock work to allow plenty of rocky ledges for the Redbarred Hawkfish to perch on, and caves and crevices for it to retreat to when threatened or sleeping. Generally the Redbarred Hawkfish should not be kept with other Hawkfish species as they are very territorial, except for large aquariums with plenty of rock work capable of creating enough territory for multiple specimens. Redbarred Hawkfish are carnivores that in the wild will dwell near the bottom of the reef or on a rocky outcrop looking to prey on small invertebrates and zooplankton. In the aquarium environment they should be provided a diet consisting of a variety of marine based meaty foods including: frozen and flaked meaty preparations, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp or home made foods consisting of chopped mussels, prawns, clams or shrimp. They will also forage for small crustaceans and various species of pods that are generally present in well established aquariums containing plenty of live rock.
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Gary Wayne
Secretive Wrasse
1 like Wrasse
(Pseudocheilinus evanidus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 3" 24 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Hawaii, Indonesia Labridae Wrasse Reef Compatible Secretive Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus evanidus) are becoming more common within the aquarium trade due to their brilliant scarlet red coloration and ability to thrive in the aquarium environment. Like many Wrasse species, the Secretive Wrasse is sold under a variety of common names including Secretive Wrasse, Scarlet Pin Stripe Wrasse, Striated Wrasse and Evanidus Wrasse. Their natural Indo-Pacific habitat ranges from Indonesia to Hawaii, where they are found mostly in and around coral reefs. Secretive Wrasse are incredibly adept at maneuvering in and out of even the smallest caves and crevices in the rock work, where they hunt for a wide variety of small organisms ranging from copepods to small worms. In fact many hobbyists keep Secretive Wrasse just for their ability to rid the aquarium of a variety of common pests that can take over a reef aquarium if not kept in check. Secretive Wrasse are a good fit for a variety of aquarium setups ranging from FOWLR to reef tanks. They are also a very hardy species that will readily adapt to aquarium life and typical aquarium foods. The Secretive Wrasse is well suited for any community FOWLR or reef aquarium setup containing other peaceful to semi-aggressive reef fish species. They are also peaceful towards most all ornamental invertebrates including shrimp, snails and crabs. However, they will prey on many of the nuisance snails and smaller bristle worms. Overall the Secretive Wrasse is very comparable to the Six & Eight Line Wrasse in terms of aquarium personality and ability to rid the aquarium of common pest species. It is their propensity for eating bristle worms that has made them a sought after species for may aquarists who are trying to keep bristle worm populations in check. While generally a peaceful species, Secretive Wrasse will show aggression towards others of their own kind (unless a mated pair) and other similarly sized and shaped fish species. They are much more likely to show aggression towards others if the aquarium does not have enough live rock to provide them a suitable territory and hunting ground. It is best to keep this species with plenty of live rock and horizontal swimming room, so that they can patrol a suitable territory. Larger aquariums (125 gallons or more) with plenty of live rock will generally be able to support multiple smaller Wrasse species without issue. Secretive Wrasse also benefits from the presence of a refugium, as a strong population of copepods, amphipods and other micro faunae will provide them an excellent food source and curb aggression. Like most Wrasse, the Secretive Wrasse is quite capable of defending itself against larger more boisterous species as its speed and maneuverability make it a difficult species to pick on or bully. Secretive Wrasse are very active feeders that will generally spend the majority of the day cruising up and down the reef looking for food items on which to feed. In an aquarium with a sufficient population of micro faunae, the Secretive Wrasse will need only supplemental feedings of various meaty foods. Their overall diet should consist of a variety of meaty items including: vitamin enriched meaty frozen preparations, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp or flake or pellet foods formulated for carnivores. Hobbyists will find that the Secretive Wrasse will readily consume the same foodstuffs that most all Indo-Pacific reef fish species will accept.
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