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Old 02-09-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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Reef safe: "Cautious"? and other Reef questions.

What does Reef Safe: Cautious mean? I have a Lionfish and hope to one day convert my FOWLR into a Reef Tank. Is it safe? What's the caution. He seems to like meat, not vegatable matter and although carnivorous is not really aggressive. What do you think? What are some easier starter corals for when the time comes? I know, people have very strong feelings about either 1. Making this decision early or 2. waiting for the tank to become established. Got some great responses on my lighting questions. Priced some out online. Think I will go w a AquaticLife T5HO 4X64 w 4 Lunar LEDs and a timer for my 48X18X28 90 gallon tank. Are there any relatively easier anemones? Bubbletip?
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
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Basically a Reef Tank also includes any smaller fish and inverts and a Lionfish will eat anything that will fit in it's mouth and trust me they have really big mouths...lol.

An easy anemone is a Condy Anemone or Purple-Tip, they have lower lighting needs and are hardier. A few easy corals would be basic mushrooms to begin with.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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They will also eat any snails, shrimp, crabs etc that are in a typical reef tank. I'm not sure if they would eat the coral or not. If you want a true reef tank, I would say get rid of the lionfish. Eventually you will be happy, because corals/reef tanks are so much more fun than a fowlr.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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Cautious means that sometimes the fish is not reef safe, for example, the angel fish would like nip on the corals and destroy it. It's not all fishes that categorized into that will nip, but there's bigger chance it will. So when the fishes are listed as cautious, you might rather not have that fish in it. FYI, my friend's angel fish didn't nip until when it was 4 years old, so eventually it would, just dunno when it will happen when it's listed as cautious. I hope this explains a bit. Easier starter corals like mr86 said, those basic mushrooms are very hardy, also you can check at liveaquaria.com and put easy keeping maintenance as one of importance, it will show the results.

Condy anemone or Purple tip is easier to maintain, but the clowns don't normally host this type of anemone, so if you intend for the clowns to host, don't get the condy anemone, get the bubble tip ones.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:25 PM   #5
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Think I will go w a AquaticLife T5HO 4X64 w 4 Lunar LEDs and a timer for my 48X18X28 90 gallon tank.
That is very minimal lighting considering the depth of a 90. You will be limited to lower light demanding corals and I would say no clown hosting anemone as they all require much more lighting. You would be OK with a condy anemone, as was mentioned.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Although it is quite natural for lionfish to feed on smaller fish and crustaceans (shrimp, crabs, etc.), it is unlikely the larger variety will readily consume invertebrates such as snails, hermit crabs, sea stars, brittle stars, or coral.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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How do you determine where to put corals or anemones within the tank? I assume they will not move from where you place them. Is this correct? I have a CUC consisting of mostly snails and hermits and the lionfish doesn't bother them. Do I need shrimp or crabs for a Reef tank?
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:12 AM   #8
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The cautious with a lionfish is not only that it will eat anything that fits in it's mouth, but also the amount of waste this fish with produce as it gets older.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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How do you determine where to put corals or anemones within the tank? I assume they will not move from where you place them. Is this correct
Anemones and mushrooms will move. Branching corals will add more branches and grow higher, and other corals will spread from their boundaries. Where you place them depends on what type of environment the coral wants. Some want low light and low flow, others high light and higher flow, and others may want low light and high flow. It all just depends on the coral.

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I have a CUC consisting of mostly snails and hermits and the lionfish doesn't bother them. Do I need shrimp or crabs for a Reef tank?
Nope. Only thing you need for a reef is coral. But I think most reef setups use at least snails to keep algae under control.

When I see the "reef safe with caution" tag on something, to me it's just a big flag to do more research than normal and that in the end it may just come down to a roll of the dice. That tag can mean a bunch of different things as many have already noted. Sometimes it's that they *may* nip on corals, others time its because they *may* make a meal of things normally used for cleaners, and others it's because they're just plain poop machines and make a mess of your water quick. And of course, not every individual fish will show the same behavior.
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