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Old 05-22-2006, 11:28 AM   #1
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Parrotfish questions

I picked up a princess parrotfish a couple weeks ago. Beautiful fish, great coloring. I called home to have the missus get online and do a quick check before the purchase. Seemed like an okay fish.

This is the smaller of the parrots, not the larger (much larger) bi-color. They get up to 13", he's about 6 or 7 inches now.

The reference (not the Michael whoever book everybody swears by) I used in the store explained that they could be a little challenging to feed, but otherwise acceptable in a FOWLR, or a mini-reef without soft corals (I have no corals and probably won't for a few years). Well, turns out they have a reputation for being very difficult to feed, and they need tons of LR to graze one.

He's doing well - scraping diatoms off the glass, scraping algae build-up off LR (including the nice purple and pink growth). Its amazing to see and understand the process of how they convert coral to sand - not to be gross, but he "poops" sand. It just sprays out of him, settles onto the bottom, and there ya go - new live sand

He has been going after some pellet food I got for my clowns (they won't touch it), after it settles to the bottom, and occasionally he nibbles on mysis (a few bites with each feeding).

He seems happy, active, and is getting along well, except he did bite the tip off one of my serpent star's arms - I think he thought it was a worm coming out from a rock.

Anyone have any experience with other foods for these guys? I know they like scraping on established LR, and I think I've got enough for him (around 50 pounds), but I'd like to supplement his diet as much as possible.

I also want to sustain or speed up the coralline growth on my LR, now that something is eating it off. I've got the Kent mini-reef starter set, with calcium, iodine, and the molybdenum. Going to get a calcium test kit, thinking about trying "Purple-Up".

Any experiences with a princess parrotfish would be great.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:48 PM   #2
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Moved to FOWLR Forum for better responses.

Nori is a great food for satisfying the herbivore in your fish. Here is a link about Nori and where you can find it. I've never kept a parrotfish before, but all grazers typically need alot of algae in their diet. Nori is a good way to go.

http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/foo...a/aa110902.htm
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:00 PM   #3
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I had kept dried seaweed (not Nori) regularly in there for my tang (who's off in QT right now), I didn't notice the princess trying it before, but I'll try again.
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Old 06-23-2006, 01:48 AM   #4
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I had a Princess Parrotfish that I lost in QT. Never made it into my main but I loved it. I lost some other fish in QT at the same time so I can't say the Princess was particularly a problem. Maybe I'll try again someday.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:29 AM   #5
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Mines still doing great, one month later.

Him (her?) and my yellow tang hang out together all day, like some wierd mismatched twins. He does act a little confined sometimes, but not typically.

They have to have LR to feed on, lots of it, and most QT tanks won't have any, or enough to sustain them. So, I decided not to QT mine after reading about him when I got home (it was a bit of an impulse buy). It took him one day before he was scraping the surface off of my LR - he's got one big piece down to all white.

He's gotten used to eating about any other food I put in there - flakes, mysis, even squid, algae wafers, sinking pellets, anything. But, he still grazes on the rock daily.

Every time I see a new bit of coralline growing on the LR, unless its in a nook or cranny, he'll eat it.

I only have about 50 pounds of rock, but its a bunch of smaller sized (5-8 pound) pieces, so there's a lot of surface area for him to graze on.

Honestly, I'm shocked after doing the research on this fish that the "chain" pet store even had one of these - I don't think it could have survived long there in the store, where there's no algae, no LR, just plain sand.

I almost feel like I did it a favor buying it, but that probably just sends a message to the store that they should get more...
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Old 06-23-2006, 02:45 PM   #6
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Parrot fish do not have a great record in tanks. I had one that I could not get to eat but it looks like yours is doing OK. Keep up the great work.
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