Once they start eating corals?

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Aug 4, 2011
I have had my 90 gallon tank for about a year now, and am starting to have trouble with a fish. I have a really beautiful Coral Beauty who was my first fish. About a week ago, we added this amazing tri-coloured Symphilia (brain coral). I came home Monday to see my Coral Beauty snacking on it, two big holes eaten. I brought it back to the LFS as I really didn't want it to become the most expensive meal in the history of reef tanks, and he is trying to nurse it back to health.

My question is, will my angel now start to eat corals? I never had a problem with her eating corals before, and she doesn't seem to be bothering any of the existing coral (although she likes to nip at my Toadstool, with no apparent adverse effects to it). Should I just get rid of her because I heard once they get a taste for corals, they will no longer be reef safe, or is there a chance that this was an isolated incident?
There is a chance it was an isolated incident..the angel could have just been snacking on it since you just added it to his/her tank..when's the last time you added anything new
We usually get something new about once a month or so, the last addition was a red open brain which was added about a month ago, and she never touched it, still not touching it.

Should I try adding another new thing that is cheaper and see if she goes for that just because it is new? I would love to get the Symphilia back, but probably not if the Coral Beauty is still in the tank. I think I might have to choose between the coral and the fish.
Its hard to say,,the angel is just doing what comes natural ..its instinct ..I was never able to keep anything with my angels(other than shrooms and rics),,tried dozens of things..I obviously chose to keep angels:)
Sometimes we have to decide fish over corals or corals over fish. I like them both but I have what I call my junk tank that anything and everything I don't really care if it gets eaten or not goes into I have a lemonpeel in there so if it starts eating it isn't going to upset me.
I agree with joy.. if the angel is gonna be in question then you wouldn't wanna risk any more expensive corals until its gone so either stick with corals you aren't to worried about gettin nibbled on or rehome the angel... Time to do some thinking
It is true. Of course I have a soft spot for this fish because she was my first, and she survived a wicked tank crash in the summer, so she's a trooper! Unfortunately, it is not within the budget to have a second tank, otherwise, I would keep them both! In the end, I think I will choose coral over fish in this case, since I can always get another fish, but might not be able to add any more corals with this fish in there. Hopefully the LFS will take her back, maybe even give me some money back for her.
I thought about doing this before I got rid of my nippers but I don't know how well it would have worked but joy should be able to give a good opinion on it.. since I also don't have the budget for a second tank I was gonna put a screen divider for 1/3 of my tank just for my high end corals so I could have more aggressive fish yet still keep some colorful coral..just a thought : )
On the plus side, this means I get to choose another fish. Any suggestions? I have a 90 gallon tank with the following fish: 2 ocelaris clowns, a midas blenny, a marine betta, a fairy wrasse, a purple firefish, a wachman goby and a yellow tang.
I was interested in a coral beauty but concerned about its reef safeness too. My LFS here in Korea said I'd only have to worry about brain corals. I wasn't into brain corals until I saw a gorgeous one today I almost bought. I got torches instead but might get that brain if it's still there next time.
i think your past your limit actually,,even after getting rid of the angel ...Not going to over scrutinize you ,but 2 of your fish now will out grow the 90 very soon and should also be replaced...
Which 2? I am assuming the Yellow Tang, although most of what I have read says that it should be fine in a 90 gallon as long as it is the only tang. which other one will get too big? If you are thinking the marine betta, they don't do much swimming, so as far as I have read, they can be in much smaller tanks than this one. Thanks for the input about the possibilty of having too many already. I really don't want to overstock or get anything that would outgrow, so every time I bought I fish, I have looked into whether they will be sustainable in this tank. Thought I was ok.
Those were the 2 i was talking about ,,and i'm glad you didn't take it the wrong way...If you were to keep the betta and tang i would not add anything else..Its one thing to consider swimming room but you also have to consider bio load
We have a kick *** sump with a huge skimmer. Our nitrates have always been 0. We are pretty meticulous water changers as well, and there is little aggression in the tank. I definitly will not add any kind of big fish, maybe just something a simillar size to the angel. Anyone else thing I am past my carrying capacity, or would it be ok. So far, the fish I have had together seem just fine, and my numbers are good. (The only tank crash we had was due to a pH drop in the city water, and many people in the city had a similar problem with their tanks. We are now on a buffer, and things are fine.)
I guess for me its just personal preference ..I like the more open and spacious look..Not saying your tank looks crowded (i don't know what it looks like),,but once the betta and tang start pushing 6-8 inches +, it might
Thought I would let you know that we ended up bringin the Coral Beauty back to the LFS yesterday. So the LFS is nursing the symphilia back to health, and it is not looking good, so we might be out $100 there. Also, if he can't resell our now non reef safe angel, we will not be getting any money back for her either. ****, I will not be getting another angelfish, that's for sure.
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