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Old 03-09-2013, 02:22 AM   #1
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Soft coral and butterfly fish tank.

So I just had a thought and if it has potential I may try it some day, I would like some input from all of you with more experience.

First of all I know butterflies aren't reef safe. My thought is that if coral is a natural food source of butterfly fish then would it be possible to have a tank full of fast growing softies and butterfly fish. I am thinking like some GSP some Xenia and Kenya trees as well as others. Would these be a good food source of food for the fish or would this idea flop?

Any info would be great. Butterfly fish are gorgeous but I don't think I could bring myself to put one in a tank where it would slowly wither away.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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They don't Just eat any soft corals. Depending on which species you want, they eat different corals, but mostly they will eat anemones, zoas, plays, polyps, pick at SPS and pick at LPS. If your plan would be to keep them alive on corals, they will eat them faster than they can reproduce in a home aqaurium. I say it's not a good idea.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:36 AM   #3
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Wow you must be super rich! + do you really want to watch that? a struggling coral trying to make it thru the day...


you could get a Copperband Butterflyfish they may pick on anemones, feather dusters, some soft corals, some large-polyped stony corals, and zoanthids. This fish also works great to control the pesty aptasia
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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I'm not experienced but I think I can say this is not a good idea. If it were feasible in any way, don't you think it would have been successfully done before? I've never heard of it and I'd bet if we all searched the net we'd find that it hasn't been done.. Although I could be wrong.
Besides, in the ocean, if butterfly fish were as abundant as say Damsels, or Anthias, we'd have no reefs left. Nature keeps this balance, we can't. Butterfly fish roam huge stretches of reef in small numbers and don't hit the same coral probably sometimes twice in 1 month, giving it time to recoup and grow until the next time. To do this in a home aquarium would be impossible. The corals and such would be constantly stressed.
My 2 Cents. Sry for the long post.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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Yeah I want sure if it would be the best idea, I guess one of my questions would be if I fed them as well would they use the softies to supplement their diet to keep them healthier than they would be in a fowlr setup.

I want thinking of just throwing tons of expensive coral in there just the $5 frags of things that people always say are taking over their tank and let them take over.

Also, I wasn't planning this anytime soon, just wondering if this was something to look into for a tank eventually. I guess the idea would be a reef where the fish are the showcase not the coral, since I already have one of those.
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