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Old 03-18-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
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Reef safe fish??

I have been analyzing this for some time. What i have found is a large percentage of Saltwater fish are not REEF SAFE or at least the larger active fish seem to be not REEF SAFE. Angels/Puffers/EELS etc..... and even crabs are not truly reef safe. I am debating what can and can not be put in a tank with corals. Here is what fish(not invertabrates)_ I know can be put in a tank with corals
if you all could add to the list It would be greatly appreciated.


Clownfish, Tangs, Bangaii Cardinal,Gobies, Blennies, Damsels,
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:18 AM   #2
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You are making an error in thinking that reef safe and coral safe are the same thing. They are not. Most eels can be kept in a coral tank with no problems. They are considered not "reef" safe due to the fact they will eat invertebrates and some will eat fish. Many fish are completely safe around corals but are not on the reef safe list due to the same fact.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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And to tag onto Hara's comment, if you follow the link in her signature you can find a great fish database that allows you to search by attributes like "reef safe", "tank size", etc.

Viewing categories in Marine Fish Database

Click on the "Search..." link in the upper right corner. Think you have to be logged in for it to happen.

Also... the online catalogs like at liveaquaria.com have good info also.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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Lisa brings up a good point. You are talking coral safe right? If you are then ones I would suggest you dont fool with are angels and butterfly fish. I know many people out there have them in their tanks. I had two in mine for 4 yrs before they went munching. They almost wrecked my tank. I know that several people will say I`m wrong but IMO and esp. IME they dont belong in a coral tank. But that`s just me. I`ve taken the NO angels pledge.LOL
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:08 PM   #5
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yeah I guess I meant Coral Safe and not Reef Safe. What I was trying to get after is what fish will not attack corals or invertabrates. I just always considered a reef tank to have corals and invertabrates in it. Sorry .

The FantasyReef Database is very helpfull. Looks like I can add DartFish and anthias to the list of Coral/Invertabrate safe. I was surprised to see a lot of the photo's are from frequent members of this forum.

The Green Mandarin appears to be Coral/Invertabrate safe and its a carnivore!! that only needs a 30g min tank. I didn't realize I could have that colorfull of a fish in my tank, Just need a large source of copeods looks like Ill have to study that some more.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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"Reef Safe" is a marketing term that should be taken very lightly, much like "inch per gallon" and "watts per gallon." If you want to be technical, every living organism feeds from the reef in one way or another, which would make "reef safe" non-existent. IMO, to differentiate "reef safe" and "coral safe" is a bit redundant considering "reef safe" has always been referenced towards corals and these terms, in general, tend to make a mess of fish classifications. More reliable systems exist: Main diet vs. Secondary diet vs. Misc. % (per Genus and/or Specie)
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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My caveat on puttin a mandarin in a 30 is that you must either see it eating frozen or other than live food before buying it, or you must have a 50 gallon or larger refugium to grow the pod population, or you must spend a small fortune on buying live pods for it to eat. BTW, the database photo is of my mandarin.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
My caveat on puttin a mandarin in a 30 is that you must either see it eating frozen or other than live food before buying it, or you must have a 50 gallon or larger refugium to grow the pod population, or you must spend a small fortune on buying live pods for it to eat. BTW, the database photo is of my mandarin.
Cool fish is it still thriving in your tank?? I like the idea of that fish because it is interesting and colorfull not everybody has one. I would like one in my 46g bow with 15g refugium, but I am thinking the pod population would be minimal. Where do you purchase live pods?? And when you say small fortune I wonder how much? And do you just dump them in the tank and how often?? Am I setting myself up for failure with the idea or possibly could I make it work.,

On a side note with this post I was hoping to get some feedback on what fish are safe for corals/invertabrates other than what I posted, The options for fish in a reef tank seem real limited. And the fact that I don't have a large tank doesn't help things either. Eventually I will probably end up doing a 150g aggressive saltwater tank to satisfy my need for more impressive fish. For now I will just aim for impressive corals./ What other options besides what I posted do I have for stocking a 46g reef tank with fish.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:34 AM   #9
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I agree with above, the term "reef safe" is a misnomer, by technical point, corals aren't "reef safe". Zoa's can wage chemical warfare, some corals are aggressive and can be so invasive as to overrun (this means kill) others to the point of extinction from our little box of ocean.

In the same token, I understand why we use the term, it is a generalization that most people understand, even tho it is not accurate.

Asking for personal experience is a bit of a problem. There are so many variances in our tanks, food source etc.. Not to mention the general differences in the fish's attitude that are attributed to bad attitudes.

Your best answer is to assess each fish, their primary and secondary food sources, can you provide them with enough? is their food source something you want to keep? (small crustaceans, corals etc.) Also, what is their overall temperament?
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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... and stay away from fish that are known coral munchers. I have a coral beauty angel in my tank. It was the third fish added to my tank. So far it has not touched any corals. That may change someday, and it will be a sad day to have to say goodbye to that fish.

The mandarin is still in my tank. I seeded my tank with 3 different detrivore kits and a few pounds of ls from another tank. I have a pod pile (lr rubble, broken shells, etc.) in a corner of my tank where the pods can breed. I also have macro algae in my sump where they breed, and I have 185 pounds of LR where they live and breed. I keep thinking I need to add more. This past weekend I took a piece of rock that has a leather and had some xenia growing on it out of the tank to prune the xenia off the rock. At least a dozen little pods jumped onto my hand or into the towel I placed the rock on while I was working on it. This was a small piece of rubble too, so my tank is maintaining a good population.

I also bought some tigger pods in the past. They go for around $20.00 for a bottle of 500. That's probably a day or two of food for a mandarin.
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