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FAQs on Genus Chaetodon Butterflyfishes, Compatibility 

Related Articles: Chaetodon Butterflyfishes

Related FAQs:  FAQs 1, FAQs 2, Chaetodon Identification, Chaetodon Behavior, Chaetodon Selection, Chaetodon Systems, Chaetodon Feeding, Chaetodon Disease, Chaetodon Reproduction, Butterflyfish Identification, Butterflyfish Foods/Feeding/NutritionButterflyfish Compatibility, Butterflyfish Behavior, Butterflyfish Systems, Butterflyfish Selection, Butterflyfish Disease, Butterflyfish Reproduction,

Chaetodons will get along with most everything that will get along with them. NOT basses like Anyperodon leucogrammicus

Butterflyfishes for Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Butterflyfish compatibility question      8/16/17
Hello Wetweb Media Crew! I hope this email finds you well. ��.
<Thank you Kathy; yes>
I am currently in the finishing stage of cycling my 560 gallon FOWLR tank. ( tank size : L 72", W 60", H 30")
I was wondering if I can put some golden semilarvatus and Tinkeri Butterflyfish together in this tank? In your opinion, would these 2 have a chance of co existing together?
<Yes; have high confidence (have collected both species... in the Red Sea and HI), that they will be fine together in a system of this size, type. I would MAKE SURE the system is completely cycled first>
And, given that the Tinkeri requires a lower water temperature , will the other fishes do okay with this?
<I'd shoot/aim for an intermediate temperature... the mid to upper 70's F will suit all; as will a "normal" spg/density of water; 1.025 or so at this temp.>
Future tankmates that I have in mind would be a red sea emperor angel or a scribbled angel and some tangs.
Thank you very much for taking time out to read my email. Your website has been a source of very useful information to me ever since I got into this hobby.
Sincerely yours,
<Please do report back regarding your ongoing stocking, observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Butterflyfish compatibility question       8/17/17

Thank you very much For your prompt reply Mr. Fenner. Will keep my fingers crossed that I will be able to find these 2 species of Butterflyfish. I just have a follow up question about the Tinkeri .... is this fish better kept as a single specimen or as a small group of like 3?
<Best as an individual. In the wild almost always found solitary>
�� ( assuming I have enough budget to buy 3. They are quite expensive! )
Again, thank you very much. ����
<The genus, subgenus Roa are all worthy (but expensive) Butterflies. BobF>
Re: Butterflyfish compatibility question       8/17/17

Thank you very much Mr. Fenner. Will update you.
<Ahh, I thank you Kathy. BobF>

True Falcula Butterflyfish and corals 12/16/12
<Ah, Kirk... thank you for moving this from FB>
I was reading BF CompFAQs thread and saw where James (SaltyDog) said the true Falcula butterfly are generally safe with LPS corals. ( a list of butterflies were listed).
<Yes; James' and I opinions are about the same here>
I  have a 375 gallon tank that has 3 hammers, 1 frogspawn, 1 elegance, 7 dinner size plate RBTAs, and 3 leathers..I wanted to know from you if LPS is the primary diet for the Falcula butterflies? my tank is mostly large angels but wanted to add either 1 or 3 of the falculas but was concerned it may go after the elegance...
<Mostly this species consumes zooplankton, smaller Polychaetes (both free and tubiculous), crustaceans... but have seen them picking at Cnidarians in the wild>
thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.
thank you
<I would trust them until I observe otherwise. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: True Falcula Butterflyfish and corals

thank you.
I will be having 5 large angels, 2 flame angels, show size blonde Naso tang.
how many falculas is appropriate to add here?
<I'd place three... a nice grouping>
 I have heard you should either add 1 or 3, unless you know they are a bonded pair,
<Welcome. BobF>

Butterflyfish (Klein's) and Coral Selection, comp.     10/9/12
To whichever person of great knowledge and experience I one day hope to have receives this,
<Mmm, okay!>
I have Mr. Fenner's book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist and refer to it all the time it is a great resource and recommend it to anyone browsing this site for information to pick it up .
<Mmm, me too>
 I have recently added a Chaetodon kleini Butterflyfish to my 180 gallon tank. I did so because I am a huge fan of Butterflyfish and also because I have an Aiptasia problem slowly creeping up. My tank is too deep for me to use any chemical means to efficiently fight this. So I thought what better way than a (possible) natural predator. I had some LPS which was a Candy Cane Coral, 2 birds nest sps, some starburst polyps, GSP, some mushrooms and a small leather of which I am unsure of the type (it was a hitchhiker) as the corals in my tank. I also have a blue regal tang, yellow tang, sailfin tang, 2 yellow tail damsels, 2 green Chromis, large snowflake eel, and a pincushion urchin. I dose vinegar with Kalkwasser if you need to know that.
My tank param.s are undetectable nitrates, nitrite and ammonia temp is 80-81 constant. I have read through your Butterflyfish and Aiptasia sections and found some knowledge there but I still would like an opinion if I may. I read LPS and leathers are probably out of the question when keeping Butterflyfish.
<Mmm, no; most Chaetodontids leave these groups of Cnidarians alone>
So I removed my candy care into my refugium, as well as my 2 small sps after he started picking at them. He has finally started picking at my Aiptasia (excitement goes here)! He is also eating new life spectrum and a high quality flake. After my Aiptasia problems subside  (if they do) I plan to keep the butterfly regardless. Are there some soft corals or any type of corals that you would suggest I can keep with him in the tank.
<I think you'll likely be fine... the BF will probably "imprint" on the other foods, leave the stinging-celled life be>
The starburst and gsp is doing fine and I don't think he has messed with the mushrooms yet. Any advice or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks a lot for all that your team does for the hobby and community.
<Glad to share Jeremy. Bob Fenner>

Klein's butterfly compatibility.    4/29/11
Hello Crew,
<Howsit Glenn?>
It's been awhile since I had a question for you guys. From everything I've read, the Klein's Butterfly appears to primarily be a that to soft corals and Aiptasia.
I've had them before and they are fairly easy to keep. And they wiped out my Aiptasia problem. I'm remaking my 90 gallon into an SPS tank. I currently have Green and Orange Cap and Purple Haze Montipora. And Acropora Bonsai and Efflorescens. In addition, I have a 3" Derasa and 4 - 5" GBTA.
Will the Klein's prey on any of these corals and inverts?
<Not likely, no>
I had one with the Green Monti, occasionally it would take a quick pick, but that was it. For all I know, we was grabbing a pod.
<And you, BobF>

Butterfly Fish Compatibility 8/30/10
Good evening,
<Hello Mike>
Do you think a Yellowhead B/F can be successfully introduced into a 125 with a Saddleback B/F? The other tank-mates are Latticed and Pearlscale B/F's. I realize the Yellowhead and Saddleback have similar appearances which could cause them to quarrel. Couldn't find the answer to this on your wonderful site so I thought I'd ask! Thank you for your time and
consideration and keep up the excellent work.
<I'd like to be certain of what you have before I answer. I'm sure there are a few Butterflyfish that may be called Yellow Head, so is your "Yellow Head" Butterflyfish a Chaetodon xanthocephalus?>
Best regards,
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Butterfly Fish Compatibility 8/30/10 - 8/31/10
It is indeed the Xanthocephalus, James! What do you think, should I give it a go? The Saddleback seems to have a mellow disposition in fact the Pearlscale was the one that chased the Latticed around for a day or so when first introduced.
<I'd leave this fish be, a poor choice for our captive systems....generally starves to death.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Australian CB in hiding, comp.   8/4/10
The RB
<Raccoon Butterflyfish for browsers>
killed the CB 2 days ago. The RB had bit the CB so much, that exposed flesh was showing. Should we stay away from all Butterflies as long as we have the same size tank AND the RB? Thanks so much.
<Mmm, well... 75 gallons is not much for most of the family, but there are some species that are generally suitable, not as agonistic. Read here:

Merten's Butterflyfish (Chaetodon mertensii), reef safe-ness  -- 4/12/10
Good morning Bob,
Re subject, Bob Goemans describes this fish as being reef safe, as natural foods are made up of mostly algae where
other sites state this fish is not reef safe, a coral eater.
I'd like to know your views on this fish before I publish a post on this specie. I'm inclined to state reef safe with caution.
<I agree w/ your rating. BobF>

Pakistan Butterflyfish (Chaetodon collare)  4/21/09
I have looked all over the web and cant get find a strait answer on this fish! My LFS has a very nice 2-2.5 inch ( Chaetodon collare ) in stock and I'm getting mixed answers from the owner and from the web on how reef safe they are.
<They are not. Wild fish eat coral polyps. If all else fails, visit Fishbase, thus, and see the sections on Diet and Food Items: http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=7803
While tolerably adaptable in aquaria, and among the better Butterflyfish in terms of home maintenance, there's no reason at all to expect them to forego their natural diet if you put out a nice buffet of coral polyps in the tank with them!>
i have a 6 foot long 18x18 tank with about 150 pounds of live rock. The tank is stocked mostly with polyps and mushrooms. the LFS owner told me that the fish would eat them all, then said it "might pick" at them, i think he was just trying to sell me a fish!
<Bob F. may argue this point, but I'd say that with one or two exceptions (genera such as Heniochus and Forcipiger) all the Chaetodontidae will, at best, be occasional polyp nibblers. Some feed on polyps rather than anything else, and such species are difficult to keep in captivity. Others view polyps as a tasty supplement to a more mixed diet. But either way, I'd not recommend any Chaetodon sp. for the reef tank.>
I've been looking around the WWW. and some web sites say Reef Compatible :
With Caution some say not at all, i want a non biased opinion ....thanks for your time
<Cheers, Neale.>

Chaetodon ephippium comp.  1/2/07 Howdy Crew and Happy New Year!! <Happy new year to you and yours as well! JustinN with you on this fine day.> We currently have a 90G display tank, 29 G QT, and a 10G algae/pod grower. <Ok, sounds good> We bought the display tank used with ~90# of LR. It was down for 3 hours before being restarted with 60G old water 30G new. It has a Coralife 220 skimmer 3G HOB 'fuge an Emperor 280 BW and PH's that turn the water 14x an hour. Amm and NI are 0 NA < 10ppm pH 8.0, Alk 4.25 meq/L, Ca 400ppm <Good> Current occupants are: 2 Sebaes,1 C. bispinosus, 1 "lawnmower" blenny, 3 cleaner shrimp,1 peppermint shrimp, 3 small Mithrax crabs,& 40 or so snails. The Sebaes and bispinosus just went in after a 4 week QT and Meth Blue dip, so we are looking for the next occupants of the QT. <Ok> I've read quite a few posts about Tangs bullying butterfly's if the Tangs were there first so... <Yes, the tang would be established and likely bully some... I'd add last> Would it be a good idea to get a pair of C. ephippiums before getting a Kole Tang? In Scott Michaels " Butterfly's and Angelfishes" he states they are okay with soft corals (none yet but we want some) and like to eat hair algae (got plenty, want less) plus they like amphipods, too. <*Pulls out the soapbox* Anemones and corals aren't really behaviorally compatible, can lead to detrimental effects to all tank inhabitants if and when the anemones decide to go on a walkabout. *Puts soapbox back away* My theory here is the same as with the tang above. If the corals are already established, there may be less chance of the butterflies going after them.> Thanks again for this site. It really is awesome. <Thank you for the kind words, Ed. Is certainly a labor of love. -JustinN> Ed
Re: Chaetodon ephippium
  1/4/07 <Hello again, Ed. JustinN here once again> We don't want any anemones, just some soft coral. <Ah, I took the "stocked Sebaes" to mean Sebae anemones... I now assume they're Sebae clownfish?> Given what you said about establishing the soft coral before adding the butterfly's would the Kole Tang be a better choice to add at this point? <Mmm, no, I'd continue to plan for the tang to be the final addition. I more meant to add and establish the corals now, then have the next aquatic addition after coral acclimation be the butterflies. If you're really itching to add some more fish, why not consider some of the many gobies available? Most of these will be very little impact on the tank's bioload, and can be quite interesting additions in their own right.> I'm in the process of building a new hood for the display. When finished it will have 6 54 watt T-5's with ice cap reflectors. Currently the lighting we have is only 96 watts of t-8 in the plastic hood that came with the tank. For that reason, I'm reluctant to start adding soft corals right now. <I feel you are wise to wait here. When your new T5 hood is in place, I would proceed ahead with the soft corals.> Thanks Ed <Anytime, Ed! -JustinN>

Fish stocking questions (Angels, Semilarvatus B/Fs) Hi! Your site is superb! I just wanted to ask about compatibility of some fish for my tank. Right now I have a 500 gallon reef and a 800 gallon fish only/angelfish tank. <Wowzah, nice, big tanks to work with> In my fish only right now I have the following (mostly adults): Annularis angel 6 in, Imperator 6 in, Asfur 6 in, 7 in Blueface, 5 in Queen, 6 in Goldflake, 4 in Scribbled, 5 in Conspiculatus, 5 in Griffis, 4 in Regal. They all get along pretty well with the occasional quarrel over food and sometimes nipping done by my Asfur but nothing to get in a huff over.  <Good, and this is about the pecking order I'd suspect> I was wondering if I could add a pair of Golden Butterflies or would they have problems with all those angels. The angels have been in the tank depending on the specimen about 2-8 years.  <A tough call... it would have been better if the butterflies could have started first... and there is a worry that they won't be able to get enough food around the Pomacanthids... if you were to try this it would be better if there were three specimens... I would more likely place these in the Reef system> It has reef quality lighting just in case I ever wanted to switch but that was before I got my 500 gallon. There is roughly 700-900 lbs of live rock using the spur and grove design. <Yow, a term used in coral biogeography...> The tank and its holdings were built on site and I use a type of Ecosystem filter with some other misc. items. All the fish get their fair share of food 2-3 times a day. Also for future reference, can more than a pair of Golden's go in one tank? <Yes... for very fortunate and/or wealthy individuals, several, as in many individuals can be kept in a tank... some huge exhibits I have seen have had dozens> I may have been seeing things but I visited a show tank last month and I thought I saw about 7 or 8 of them but I was a good 25 feet away so maybe not. Just wondering, thanks a lot! <Well, then we both must be "seeing things". Bob Fenner>

Stocking and thanks Hello Mr. Fenner, First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to address my questions as well as those of other hobbyists.  <You're welcome> I have a 100 gallon aquarium with 45 pounds of very high grade live rock (abundance of life). I have five Chromis which have been in the tank for three months. The live rock has been in the tank for four months. I am looking to add a few fish in the near future and would like your opinion on the choices I have in mind. In addition to the five Chromis, I would like to add two young Pakistani Butterfly fish (Chaetodon collare) and two Percula Clowns and that would be the total community. I read that clowns don't need to have an anemone present for their health/happiness--is this true?  <Yes, this is so> I welcome alternate suggestions. Again, thank you. Geoff Reynolds <These are good choices that should do fine in your system... I would go forward with your stocking plan. Bob Fenner>

Chaetodon semilarvatus in reef tanks? Hi! Mr. Fenner, I did read through your web site regarding semi-larvatus butterflies. I have also read through many other sources that warn not to put these fish in reef tanks. But I have also read quite a few sources stating they will do best in a large reef tank. <Yes, have seen the same statements... and seen this species in large and not so big systems around the planet.> I know from experience not to put a raccoon in one. What is your experience with the golden butterfly. The tank is over one thousand gallons. I want to put a trio in. Will they eat my corals? <Not likely to eat your corals if otherwise well fed... as a percent/scale of risk, low... though not lowest... some 20-30% possibility of some coral polyp foraging...> Thanks again for everything. I am slowly trying to build up a general idea of what fish I will put in the tank. Chaska. <Bob Fenner>

Klein's butterfly fish Hello Bob Didn't expect to be asking you another question so soon, but I just got finished reading your latest article in FAMA, so here goes. Are Klein's butterfly fish considered fairly reef-safe?  <IMO/E yes> I have never heard them mentioned with the reef-safe butterflies.  You mentioned that will eat Aiptasia anemones in reef systems. While I don't have a problem with the anemones, I can think of no other fish to make a captive coral system look more realistic than a REAL butterfly. It would be going into a fully loaded [with coral] 180 gal. reef. Do you think it would work?  <Yes, worth trying in this setting> By the way I really enjoy your articles & FAMA magazine. Keep up the good work, and thanks a million <Ah. Do read over the mass of Butterfly articles, FAQs accumulated here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm  and beyond. Bob Fenner> Joe

Klein's Butterfly Hello, <Hi there> I have a 230 gal. tank with 230 lb. of live rock, two pulsing Xenia, two clowns, one coral beauty, one algae blenny and a Klein's butterfly (all yellow except for face - 4 in. long). I would like to have a small school of Klein's butterfly fishes - 3 or 4.   The one that I have doesn't eat the Xenia.  Here are my questions. Will they swim in a school? <This is one of my favorite Butterflyfishes, and have observed, photographed it many times throughout its range... it is almost always encountered as individuals (though I have seen them in groups occasionally... teaming up to eat Damselfish eggs/nests in Sulawesi most recently)... unlike the bulk of Butterflyfishes that occur in pairs... and the few that aggregate on a regular basis. I don't know that the species would associate with others of its own kind in your setting>   Will they be peaceful towards each other?  Can I add one at a time and do they have to be adult size? <Good questions... you might try sending your query out to a wider audience, perhaps ReefCentral or reefs.org in the hopes that someone might have more experience with this BF>   At what age do they get the full yellow colour (lose the brown band)?  Are they all Xenia safe or am I just lucky with this one.  If a school would work what number would be best for my tank?  The only other fish I intend to add is a Royal Gramma. Thanks, Peter <Most lose the darker banding at about four inches total length. I would try adding whatever number you intend to ultimately have all at once. If it were me, a total of three in this system. Good luck, life. Bob Fenner>

Question on Roa Butterfly Compatibility I have two questions on butterflies of the family Roa. I just purchased a small mitratus that is about 1.5" to 2" long <This is a dangerously small specimen> and cute as a button. I've had him for about a week and a half, and I'm trying to get him to take prepared foods. He seems however to be disinterested while the hepatus tang and watanabei are having their feeding frenzy. He actually is quite content picking at the live rock, which he does all day long. I know he is getting food from it, but it never seems that he is picking at anything visible. He is in great health, and is not skittish, but rather wary. I fed live brine to start the hunger reaction which he ate, although oddly unenthusiastically. Any tips for food items to get it excited to eat? <Soaking most any live food available (even Artemia) in Selcon or such...> Next, being a lover of all things Roa, what are the chances of a small tinker getting along with the mitratus in a 125G reef system? It was a true coral reef until the mitratus came along and I couldn't resist, but oddly enough it hasn't bothered a single coral that I've noticed. Any compatibility concerns, especially considering the price tag of these fish? Thanks In Advance, Roa Lover <The members of this subgenus are for the most part compatible with each other as long as not crowded. Most live below where the cnidarians kept by hobbyists are to be found. Bob Fenner>

Semilarvatus Compatibility Question Hello WWM Crew! <Hey> Your web forums have been an invaluable source of information for my fiancé© and me.  <Glad we can help>  We are currently adding livestock to a 100 gal tank with a 2" sand bed and 100lbs of live rock. The tank has been up and running since January. I have a hang-on back CPR refugium with built in protein skimmer, along with an additional CPR Back-Pak. <Sounds like you have more than adequate filtration for this aquarium>  For circulation I have constructed an in tank, closed loop manifold out of pvc running off an AquaClear 110 Powerhead.  Currently in our tank: 2 False Percula Clown Fish, 1 Yellow tail Damsel, 1 Sunrise Damsel, 1 Bi-Color Blenny, and a cleaner shrimp. We also have a few hermit crabs and a turbo snail.  We LOVE the golden butterflies and want to add one but we have two worries:  1) Will he eat our shrimp and other inverts and 2) even singularly, will 100 gal be enough space for a fish that can reach 9-10"? We couldn't find anything in the forums that discussed their taste for shrimp, and I know that a pair of goldens needs 250-300 gal, but saw no info for solo specimens. <I have kept these beauties in my aquarium since I was 15 years old. They are hardy specimens provided there are no bullies and the water quality is kept up, they should not eat any shrimp....at one point I had 15 blood shrimp in my aquarium (during last hurricane season) and they never once picked on the shrimp>  Would you recommend the Pakistani or Pyramid Butterfly instead?  <No the golden is much nicer>  And if we added a Flame Angel later on are we maxing out our bio-load?  <A small flame angel should be fine later on...but after that I would just keep your current mix of fish>  We appreciate any advice and thanks again...<your welcome...also make sure you get a very healthy Semilarvatus. I go to the wholesalers once a week and have seen some pretty awful looking ones lately...be picky very picky :) IanB> 

Reef butterfly (Chaetodon sedentarius) for Aiptasia control, use period   2/14/06 Hello.  I unfortunately imported some Aiptasia into my system and it is spreading.  Grrrr! <Happens> I have had two sad experiences with Copperband butterflies.  They ate the Aiptasia but still starved to death, as neither would take any of the varied foods I offered. I hate to try one again. I was in a very good LFS here that has a great reputation.  One of the staff there who has not led me astray in the past recommended the Caribbean Reef Butterfly (sedentarius) as a voracious consumer of Aiptasia (he showed me this in the store, putting a rock covered in it in the holding tank with several of these fish in there. <Do eat them> Also claimed they leave corals alone if fed even reasonably well, <Variable... by individual... and changeable...> that they readily take frozen and even flake foods, that they get along with other fish and are among the heartiest of the butterflies. <I don't agree with this. Unfortunately it has been... Let me start again: It has been my unfortunate experience that all species of TWA, tropical West Atlantic chaetodonts do poorly in "hobbyist settings"> The only thing he didn't say was that the fish would also increase my salary by 40%. <Heeeee!> How reliable is this information?  For some reason I'm hesitant and can find next to nothing in Google on this fish. Thanks. Joel <See the works of Allen and Steene as well here... sedentarius does not historically do well in captivity. There are other means of Glass Anemone control... Please see WWM re... that I would utilize before this B/F. Bob Fenner>
Re: Reef butterfly (Chaetodon sedentarius)  - 2/15/2006
Thanks.  Is as I expected.  I've had no luck with the Caribbean Tangs either. <Ahh, thank you for this (unfortunate) data point. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Butterfly Chomping On Corals   8/21/06 Bob, <Scott F. with you today.> Quick question for you - I have a Chaetodon xanthurus in a 110 gallon with about 20 large SPS Staghorn colonies. He picks on them quite a few times per day - I imagine eating a coral polyp with every nibble. This causes several of the corals to withdraw their polyps (at least during the day when I can watch). <I can imagine the picking he/she is doing when you aren't watching! LOL.> Will SPS still grow under this condition - i.e. inability to extend their polyps? Will the butterfly eat the entire coral down to the skeleton typically? Best, Kris BerlinMethod.com <Well, Chris, in the closed system with its finite coral population and limited space, it's going to be a serious issue. Sure, the corals can continue to grow if some of them can extend their polyps, but it is not very likely. The constant picking will also cause some other possible problems for the corals, such as disease, and in the event of dead sections on the coral, nuisance algae growing over these sections. Typically, the Butterflies will pick at the coral itself, and maybe pull off some surrounding tissue in the process. Disease and/or secondary predators can complete the job started by the Butterfly. In the end, it's probably better to pull out the corals or the fish if you intend for them to thrive indefinitely. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Semilarvatus Butterfly... Reef Compatibility    8/7/06 I just wanted to ensure that this e-mail was received.  I sent it about a week ago and I would assume it's floating around somewhere trying to find somebody with a sufficient answer - but my email is flakey so I didn't know if it got lost in cyberspace and just wanted to double check. <Believe this was replied to.> Friends at WWM, <Scott> Just one brief question - does anybody have any idea what corals in particular might be threatened by Semilarvatus Butterflies?  I am considering a pair for my 1300g reef, but would like to know exactly what kind of risk I would be running.  The tank has around 1500lbs of rock, two refugiums, and they will be kept very well fed. <Some folks say with caution, others, not reef safe.  They do feed on sessile inverts in the wild which includes many of the ornamental varieties we keep.  If it were my call, I would not chance it. James (Salty Dog)> Scott
Re: Semilarvatus Butterfly...Reef Compatibility    8/7/06
James, Thanks for the reply - was lost in cyberspace apparently. I was more curious what type of sessile inverts in particular they delight in consuming. <Anything that can't get away.:)  In particular tube worms, small crustaceans, soft and hard corals, may nip at clam mantles, etc.> It's fine if nobody knows, at the very least, I will try them out in a couple of smaller reef tanks and see what they go for and what they don't. <May want to read here and related links above for more info.    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Scott

Milletseed butterfly   8/24/06 Hi < Howdy! > Had a question about adding one last fish to my 75 gal w/: prism skimmer magnum 350 50 pd.s live rock and base Seio 620 3 Hagen 270 gph pw's 1 yellow tang 1 clarkii clown 1 purple pseudo 1 bi color blenny 1 coral beauty dwarf angel various mushrooms and polyps ph 8.2 nitrates 20-40 nitrites 0 ammonia 0 I bought a millet seed/lemon butterfly that can get up to 5 inches. < This is not a wise choice for the average reef tank. > This fish is in my qt for 2 weeks now. < I love to read/hear about people practicing this. Brilliant! > Should I add it to my tank or take it back to the LFS, b/c my tank will be overstocked with it? < Regardless of the probability of already being somewhat well stocked before the addition of the butterfly, there is a more serious question at hand: Do you have strong enough feelings for the fish to look past his affinity for your corals? There are some fish I would gladly place in a tank of corals and let them eat to their heart's content. Is this that fish for you? Invariably the butterfly will pick on some of your corals, and for some inexplicable reason, it will choose your favorite Cnidarian to snack on first! So, I again ask, is your love for this fish greater than that of your coral? >   Also are my nitrates too high for this hardy butterfly fish. < The nitrates are not too high, but they do point to either an inadequacy in filtration or maintenance. Good luck in your decision making. RichardB > Thank you very much!!

Chaetodon ulietensis. A Butterfly With Gourmet Taste!  9/29/06 Hi, <Hi There! Scott F. here today!> I am trying to find out more info on the Chaetodon ulietensis.  I have heard that they devour Majano Anemones but would like to know if they will eat more than that if placed in a reef aquarium?   <Very likely, yes. Although they may favor a particular type of anemone, the likelihood of them picking on other similar items is too great to ignore, IMO.> Will they eat or pick at clams, SPS polyps, LPS polyps, mushrooms, etc.?  Thanks for any help you can give me.  Jeff <Unfortunately, these fishes have developed a sort of "high end cleanup crew" reputation, but the fact is they are Butterflyfishes, and certainly will munch on the gamut of typical reef inhabitants (soft corals, Zoanthids, hard corals, etc.). I would only keep this animal if you are prepared for the collateral damage that they can cause to your reef system. As aquarium fish, however, they are attractive, active, and relatively adaptable. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> Jeff Reed

Butterflyfishes for Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care
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