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Butterflyfish compatibility question
<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.
<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
Butterflyfish (Klein's) and Coral Selection, comp.
Klein's butterfly compatibility.
Butterfly Fish Compatibility 8/30/10
Re: Australian CB in hiding, comp.
Merten's Butterflyfish (Chaetodon mertensii), reef
safe-ness -- 4/12/10
Pakistan Butterflyfish (Chaetodon collare)
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.
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
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
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