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FAQs on Banner Butterflyfishes Compatibility

Related Articles: Heniochus Butterflyfishes

Related FAQs: Banner Butterflyfishes, Heniochus Identification, Heniochus Behavior, Heniochus Selection, Heniochus Systems, Heniochus Feeding, Heniochus Disease, Heniochus Reproduction, Chaetodonts: Butterflyfish Identification, Butterflyfish Behavior, Butterflyfish Compatibility, Butterflyfish Selection, Butterflyfish Systems, Butterflyfish Foods/Feeding/NutritionButterflyfish Disease, Butterflyfish Reproduction,

Heni's are fine with other peaceful fishes. 

Butterflyfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Heniochus chrysostomus 2 or 3?        5/17/17
Hi Crew,
Thank you for considering my question. In your information concerning the Heniochus butterflies, it was suggested they are most comfortable in a pair or more.
<Yes; depends on species... most as pairs>
I would prefer to get two, but would three be better?
<Of this species; two>
Specifically, if one were to die, there would be a large gap of time before it could be replaced with regard to procurement and quarantine. Would this time of solidarity for the surviving Heniochus be detrimental after having
had a partner or would it adjust until I can get another? I am interested in the Heniochus chrysostomus species specifically.
<All but H. acuminatus and H. diphreutes are best housed as duos/pairs in hobbyist sized systems. And these two in larger numbers only in huge tanks>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

butterfly fish compatibility         5/16/15
Hi I was doing research but I couldn't find anything on this, I have true Falcula Butterflyfish, is it compatible with banner fish(Heniochus ) or will they fight?
<Mmm; in a 180....  though they can be definitely picky, likely 2, 3 H. acuminatus would go with the Falcula>
I was thinking of buying 2 or 3 banner fish and eventually placing them with the true facula in a 180 gallon fish tank.
thanks for your advice!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Banded shark being picked on.. by Henis, Naso     3/5/14
Hello WetWebMedia,
I recently purchased a ~15" banded shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum).  After quarantining it for a month, I put her into a 1500 gallon fish only display.  I did my research previously and made sure that the tank would be able to handle this shark and that the tank mates are suitable.  I avoided stocking angels, triggers, puffers etc. and went with some tangs and butterflies instead.  The shark eats enriched squid, shrimp, and fish very well.  The problem is that the shark hides in a piece of PVC pipe because it is being harassed by the 2 Heniochus
<Aye; these can be very "picky"... It may seem strange, but having another one; to make a trio, will very likely lessen their harassment. Instead, small odd numbers of such fishes tend to chase each other about instead. I would try adding another rather than removing the two and/or the shark>
 and the 10" unicorn tang.
<This is odd... Hopefully the Tang will learn to leave the shark alone>
 If the shark swims across the aquarium, these three fish will be closely in tow.  I've even seen the Heniochus pick at the sides of the shark and the tang bite at her tail. 
Is there anything that you could think of that could be done to leave the shark alone?
<The added Heni (of the same species); time going by... perhaps the addition of some dither fish like a school of Anthias, some Cirrhilabrus...>
 The fish get fed 3x a day and I try to keep Nori on a clip at all times. 
I'm afraid either the shark or the fish will have to be removed and would like to avoid this if you have any ideas. 
<Don't give up quite yet. Bob Fenner>

Fish ID Question     5/23/13
I love your website.
I have what I thought was a Heniochus diphreutes in my tank,
<Mmm; yes>
I had initially believed it would be reef safe.
<Not always...>

He is very peaceful when it comes to his fellow fish in the tank, but he is nipping a lot when it comes to corals (there is damage).  The corals he favors are Palys, candy cane, and Duncan.  He is very well fed, so I don't believe his nipping is out of frantic hunger. I have attached a picture for your input (please let me know if the picture is a good enough quality).  Is he a H. diphreutes or is he a H. acuminatus?
<Appears to be the former... little mouth, rounded "breast"...>
 I am having a lot of trouble distinguishing between the two.
<See WWM, other places re... easy to distinguish seen side by side>
It may be time for this guy to find a new fish only home, which is a shame because he is truly awesome to watch.
Thank you
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Butterfly Fishes In A Five Foot Tank – 02/14/13
Hello guys,
<<Hey Steve>>
I have a really quick question and won’t take up too much of your time hopefully.
I have a five foot long 187 gallon tank (60" x 24" x 30"). I want to put 2 Heniochus butterfly fish into my tank and was wondering if I could also add either 2 yellow pyramid butterfly fish, a latticed butterfly fish, or a golden butterfly fish, with the 2 Heni's? I can’t seem to get a definitive tank size on most of them. I'm also not too sure about the compatibility but since there are all different species I can’t imagine any quarrels between them but then again I could be wrong. I would appreciate any help you could give me.
<<There’s no guarantee these fishes will get along, but if you can add them all at once I think the Heniochus with either the Latticed Butterfly (Chaetodon sp.), or a “pair” of Golden Butterflies (Semilarvatus sp.), or a “pair” of Yellow Pyramid Butterflies (Hemitaurichthys sp.) could do fine in this tank. Adding more than four of these fishes total is pushing it a bit for this tank, in my humble opinion. Cheers, EricR>>
Re: Butterfly Fishes In A Five Foot Tank – 02/19/13

Thanks for the reply Eric,
<<Quite welcome Steve…and my apologies for this late response>>
The Heniochus are the fish I really want to put in. I actually didn't think I could put a pair of golden butterfly fish in as well, they're a favourite of mine so that's a bonus, but I'm thinking of putting a yellow tang and a fox face rabbit fish in the tank as well as the 3 or 4 butterfly fish. Would this be ok or would I have to rethink my stocking list?
<<I think one or the other (Tang or Rabbit Fish) here...at least for now…see how the system handles the bio-load>>
Sorry for all the questions Eric, but I appreciate your help.
<<No worries mate…happy to share… EricR>>
R2:  Butterfly Fishes In A Five Foot Tank – 02/20/13

Thanks again Eric,
<<Always welcome Steve>>
No worries on the late reply mate you've been very helpful and I’ll take your advice.
<<Ah good>>
I got a magnificent fox face yesterday it's the first I've seen one here in Ireland so I snapped him up.
<<A “magnificent” fish <grin>…and likely the better choice versus the Yellow Tang re control of nuisance alga>>
So I’ll wait at least a month then I’ll add the butterfly fish and I’ll take things from there.
Thanks again Eric,
<<Good luck with the fishes!  EricR>>

Heniochus acuminatus Aggressive Towards Mate    7/15/12
I have searched quite a bit without finding a specific enough answer on this subject. In my 70 gallon tank that is established and stocked with pods, I have two of the subject fish that are seemingly at odds. Actually the one is now almost constantly chasing and nipping at the underside of the other.
<Does happen; more often and worse in too-small settings>

There are notable differences between the two fish. One has a longer, pointier snout/mouth and a less round breast underneath. After reviewing pics of Heniochus diphreutes I began to wonder if I possibly have one of each. I ordered these at the same time from a reputable online dealer in the US- Liveaquaria. This behavior started only when food was introduced into the tank, but now persists throughout the day and night.
<Need to be separated; likely permanently>
I removed the aggressor and put in QT for two days while I rearranged rockwork, and created two separate caves with escapes on both sides.
Almost the entire time that the aggressor was in QT, the Heniochus in the display hid in rockwork. I assumed it was out of fear after a drawn out capture of the aggressor. However, when I re-introduced the aggressor, the hiding Heniochus came out to greet immediately! They seemed cordial for a bit, but within an hour were back to chasing.
There is no aggression towards any other fishes in the tank which include 8 Banggai cardinals and a helfrich's Dartfish. (I realize that once my Banggai's sexually mature and a pair arises I will likely have to remove the others and have a plan in place with shop locally.)
<Ah good>
  The aggressor also picks off my scarlet reef hermits though, and is a more active rock grazer it seems.
I was thinking this could be mating behavior, but after researching that, it seems that no info, or observation of this has been documented. I doubt that I would suddenly be witnessing this in captivity. I want to avoid injury or disease from stress and attacks. To this point, both fish look good, but I have witnessed a bite that shed a few scales from the other fish. The last note about the aggressor is that a short time after being introduced in the tank, I noticed that the tip of its banner fin was chopped off somehow (likely a powerhead in the new surroundings that it got too close to). I do add Boyd's vitamins to water and food periodically,
and it has since grown back nicely without consequence. I do not know if this would matter in the scheme of things here, but  i wanted to share.
Please let me know what you think could be happening here.
<Typical intra-species aggression for this species... separate. Bob Fenner>
Re: Heniochus acuminatus Aggressive Towards Mate, and "reef safe" Labrid sel.      7/17/12

As follow up to my inquiry, I wanted to let you know that I have removed both fish from my display and have put them into good hands. Actually into a friend's 125 who will be monitoring them amongst the other tankmates there. The final destination will likely be a 210 gallon display for one of his clients.
I truly appreciate your input and advice here. I will begin vetting a new pair of a different species for a good show pair in the reef setup. Do you have any suggestions for reef "safer" wrasses?
<Mmm, well, even small ones will eat small shrimp, molluscs and worms...
but the genera Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus are faves>
My friend has a pair (sold as a pair from wholesaler) of Halichoeres ornatissimus. Would these be a possibility?
<One of the Christmas wrasses... and a key species I've been out w/ collectors for in Hawai'i... A good choice w/ the same predation proviso.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Henis terrorizing a Tetraodontid    11/21/11
I Have 3 Heni Butterflies in a 400 gallon tank nipping the fins off of a Huge "floating Head" Stars and stripes puffer. I think they may be cleaning him to death. Have you heard of this before?
<Mmm, yes... or driving away a potential predator>
DO you have any suggestions?
<Yes; they have to be separated. The sooner the better>
I have treated for Flat worms and Bacteria and the fish still pick???
Helpless in Detroit...
<No use treating. Move out one or the other. Bob Fenner>

Butterflyfish/Heniochus/Compatibility 6/13/2011
<Hello Tom>
I recently acquired a beautiful Heniochus Butterfly. It is a small to med. specimen. I have several other fish in a 120 gal tank.
The Sailfin Tang is considerably larger than the Butterfly, and will not stop pestering it. It makes attempts to bite and ram <slash> with it's tale.
I have not seen this with any of the others that I have added. What can you recommend?
<As long as the Heniochus is allowed to feed, and the skirmishes are not too violent, I'd leave be for a few days and see if things calm down.
If not, you will likely have to remove the Heniochus. Another thing you may try is to rearrange the rockwork near the tang's hideaway which can reduce territorial issues.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Overly aggressive Bannerfish 5/12/2011
Hello Wet Web Crew,
A month ago I picked up a Heniochus acuminatus to place in my 120 gallon FOWLR tank. The tank has about 100 lbs of live rock, 5" - 6" DSB, and a 30 gallon sump. It is also home to a 4" pearly Jawfish, a 3" pajama cardinal, a 1.5" ocellaris clown, a 4.5" melanurus wrasse, a 3.5" Dartfish,
<Mmm, the Clown would be better w/ a companion, the Microdesmid in a small grouping, the Jaw w/ some other/s to interact w/>
and a 2" flame angel. About a week ago I transferred the butterfly out of QT and into the display where he immediately started picking off the rocks and happily swimming around and through the rock work paying no attention to any of the other inhabitants.
Flash forward to about 36 hours ago. The lights came on in the tank and I noticed he was (for lack of a better description) slapping the wrasse and cardinal with his tail. Toward the end of the day I also noticed that he was doing the same with the clown and angel. This morning it seems like he's on everyone's back ushering them somewhere else with a tail slap or a fairly gentle looking head butt.
<Good description>
After reading through WWM I'm pretty certain that this isn't typical Bannerfish behavior.
<Usually not, but... does happen occasionally>
I'm kind of wondering what I should consider.
<Either removing this fish (temporarily or not) or adding another individual or two... this species and its congener, A. diphreutes, are decidedly shoaling/schooling animals>
After reading the FAQs and articles I'm considering the idea (which I've been considering since the original purchase) of getting him a friend to occupy his time with.
<Ah good>
Does this seem like a good plan? Should I consider removing? I quite like this fish when he's not bullying the tank...
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Overly aggressive Bannerfish    5/12/11

Dear Mr. Fenner,
<Mr. T>
Thank you for your quick reply. I thought it might be interesting to note that, after spending this morning watching the tank, the Bannerfish seems to be looking for someone to school with as opposed to simply being aggressive as the bumping and nudging goes away when another fish swims along with him for a time. Once they part ways the Bannerfish will swim to the first fish nearby and begin nudging and bumping again. It's been quite fascinating to watch. I'll be taking a drive to pick up another Heniochus this evening. I assume that you see no issues with adding this fish after a quarantine (I ask because I see a lot of recommendations to add all at the same time.)
I will also take your suggestion for adding some of the other "companions" you've suggested over time. Having started about 8 years ago with a 40 gallon tank, my initial thought with the larger space was that I should be very conservative with stocking levels and over time that morphed into being too conservative to meet the social needs of the fish.
<I do agree w/ this philosophy/point of view>
I'd like to thank you again for your help and your perspective.
<Certainly welcome! BobF>

Longfin Bannerfish For Beginner?/Heniochus /Systems/Compatibility 5/2/2011
My first aquarium, a 65 gallon Red Sea Max 250 that is two months past completion of cycling, now has 4 happy fish in it: a mated pair of Ocellaris Clownfish, and a possibly mated pair of Banggai Cardinalfish.
<Sounds good.>
They are all happy, healthy, and getting along well. Water quality is flawless, with even nitrate at zero. So I am now looking to add another fish, or ideally a pair (I like seeing pairs swimming around together). So I've spent the last two weeks studying books, online sites like this, and online fish stores, in my quest for a variety that is interesting to look at, outgoing (as opposed to spending its life hiding in a cave), and safe for a beginner like me.
I found my choice in "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"... Heniochus Acuminatus. It got good health and personality recommendations there, with tank requirement of 15-20 gallons per fish. Perfect.
To be sure, I checked my two favorite online fish stores. Both listed it as "easy care" and one said minimum tank size 30 gallons, the other 20 gallons. Great.
But then I checked other books and things fell apart. In "The Marine Aquarium Problem Solver" the author Nick Dakin said of Acuminatus, "Not for beginners but relatively easy for the fishkeeper with some experience." In "The New Marine Aquarium" the author Michael Paletta says of recommended species , "In my experience, none of the Butterflyfishes should be considered a good beginners fish." Unfortunately, neither of these authors said WHY this fish is not for beginners!
<Likely because beginner systems are "new", that is not aged and the hobbyist has not attained enough knowledge to have some degree of success with these fish. Heniochus species, as well as all Butterflyfish, do not do well in newer systems but prefer aged systems with plenty of developed live rock. This specie is not a difficult fish to keep in an established system providing it's needs are met.>
So... I don't want to kill an innocent fish because of my lack of experience, but this fish really caught my fancy. What do you think? Can I safely complete my stock with one of these. Or, ideally, a pair?
<Sure, but hold off until you get some age on the system, 5-6 months. With continued reading/learning, you will also have acquired more knowledge during this time.>
Thanks for any advice!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
And of course, if you feel inclined to suggest an alternative that would be interesting, outgoing, and easy care, I'll listen. One thing that none of the books or online fish stores cover to my liking is personality. I think that's the sort of advice best obtained from experienced people.
<Yes, but you are seeking information, not personality.><<Mmm, referring to the livestock? B>>

Heniochus/Compatibility 1/7/11
Hello. I just want to ask if the species Heniochus singularius is "reef safe".
<I would not chance, known to pick/eat corals.>
I know that that most butterfly fishes are not considered reef safe. In the Heniochus group I find that the Heniochus diphreutes is accepted as "reef safe",
<Be forewarned that H. intermedius (Red Sea) which looks similar to H. diphreutes is not reef safe.>
as where the Heniochus acuminatus is "not at all safe".
I have a 75 gallon tank with several types of Zoos. and some LPS. I've searched for over an hour on Google, and can't find much regarding the Heniochus singularius specifically.
<Have you looked at Fish Base?
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5591. And I assume you have read our Heniochus information. If not, go here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/heniochu.htm >
Is it known as "reef safe" of one of the "not at all" species. And what would be full grown captivity size?
<In the wild, up to 10 inches, likely much less in captive conditions.>
The specimen I have found is "fat", has excellent color, and is eating well. Any help would be appreciated.
<Would be risky adding this specimen with corals.>
Thank you. :)
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Nippy Heniochus Butterfly, mis-stocked, celibitaire  9/27/09
<Hi there>
Thank you for all the advice available on your web site. I spend hours reading there before I make any major tank change, addition or face any problem. The current question is a behavior question. I have a 120 Gal Fish only tank with the following inhabitants ( in order of placement in the tank): 1.5 inch Wheeler Goby, 2 inch Firefish, 1.5 inch Clown Goby, 4 inch Pearlscale Butterfly, 3.5 inch Midas Blenny, 3 inch Raffles Butterfly, Two 3 inch Pakistani Butterfly, 3.5 inch Heniochus Butterfly, 2.5 inch Coral Beauty and 2.5 inch Tiger Goby.
The Heniochus, who was bold, but submissive to the Pearlscale, and competitive for food, but cooperative with the other butterflies, was in the tank about 1-2 months when one of the Pakistani became ill, stopped eating and became sluggish. The Heniochus began to peck at the Pakistani again and again until the Pakistani. began floating upside down.
The Ill Pukani was removed from the tank, which resulted in the Heniochus chasing persistently after the other Pakistani and the Raffles butterflies trying to peck at them, causing major disruption and potential for injury to all the inhabitants. Turing off the lights did nothing to stop the behavior either. In the chaos, it may have been chasing some of the others, but it was hard to tell as the chasing was making all fish dart about dangerously. Well, The Heniochus was captured, and removed from the 120 Tank to the only other option I had, a 30 Gal BioCube in which were a 4 inch Algae Blenny, a 2 inch Firefish and various snails and hermit crabs. When placed in the BioCube, the Heniochus started chasing and pecking at the Blenny again and again, The behavior was lessened by placement of a blanket over a dark tank, but persisted for several days, with no physical injury, just torment to the blenny. It has been about two weeks since the incident, and the Heniochus only randomly looks at the Blenny with a look like it might want to peck, but has not that I have seen of late. I know Heniochus act as cleaner fish when young, but I did not see any external parasites on the ill Pakistani or any other fish, and due to a very strict quarantine procedure I do not believe there are any external parasites on any of the fish. Have you experienced this type of pecking/chasing behavior in Heniochus Butterfly before?
In that the BioCube is too small for the Heniochus long term, Is it too risky replacing the Heniochus back into the main tank (which now only has one healthy Pakistani). If the Heniochus begins the behavior again after reintroduction to the main tank, any suggestions other than removal and finding a new home?
Thanks much,
<This genus either lives in pairs or groups (likely yours is a shoaling species, H. acuminatus e.g. is the most popular Heni sold)... Don't do well always solitarily. Yours needs to be in a larger system with members of its own species. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/heniselfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Bannerfish Coral Compatibility 7/23/09
Dearest Crew,
<Hello Jill>
Thanks so much for all of your expertise and most of all, patience! It amazes me how cool and calm many of you are when dealing with inquiries that have been made hundreds if not thousands of time! That would quite frankly, drive me insane!
<Is why my fridge is well stocked with beer.> <<Heeee! And mine almost always empty! RMF>>
My question today is regarding my 5 foot long acrylic 75 gallon reef. I am slowly stocking with corals and fish and would like to add two Heniochus diphreutes. My only current fish is a Yellowheaded Jawfish. This system will be very lightly stocked with fish. I know that Henis have the potential to nip at certain corals. My research has led me to understand that Zoanthids, open brains, clams, and tubeworms may be particularly tempting to these fish. Do you know of any other coral/invert species that may be particularly tasty to these fish and that I should avoid? I have several Montiporas, Porites, as well a some Euphyllias so far that (I hope) will be of no interest to the Bannerfish.
<You have researched well. The H. diphreutes is generally reef safe, but it can be difficult to distinguish H. diphreutes from the closely related Heniochus acuminatus which has a more prominent snout and longer anal fin, and is not reef safe. Although the H. diphreutes is often titled reef safe, quite often they will pick at Zoanthids and Featherduster worms. It is the risk you will have to take if you wish to keep this fish. If I were to incorporate a butterfly fish in a reef tank, the H. diphreutes would be my choice.>
Thanks crew!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Heniochus diphreutes'¦Reef Compatibility -- 06/15/09
This is just a quick question.
(I love your site btw.)
<<Thanks 'is a collective effort>>
I have decided if I am going to venture to put a Butterflyfish in my reef aquarium (which is mostly softies and some LPS - 150 gallons) it will be the schooling Bannerfish (Heniochus diphreutes).
<<This is worth a try...though in my experience even this commonly titled 'reef safe' fish will often pick at Zoanthids and Featherduster worms, to varying degrees>>
However, I have two feather dusters (one coco and one Hawaiian duster),
3 serpent stars, and a blue tuxedo urchin. Would it be advisable to add the butterfly in with these?
<<It is not an absolute 'but I do think the worms would be in danger>>
I have heard different things about the echinoderm and worm compatibility.
<<Differences among systems and fish'¦ And there is no way to predict how yours will react>>
I know that it is ultimately up to the individual fish,
<<To a large degree, yes 'but keeping fishes well fed can also help to deter them from picking at your other organisms. Just don't misconstrue this to mean it works every time/with every species>>
but generally what would you say?
<<I do like fishes'¦ There is a gamble for sure (like when I added a pair of Flame Angels to my mostly Acropora species reef system 'which in this instance, worked out fine), it is really up to you to weigh the risks and decide if you are willing to take the chance>>
Also, how many would you put in a 150 gallon tank? The tank-mates would be a small shoal of
Anthias, a hippo tang, a Foxface, and possibly a bellus angelfish in the future.
<<Hmm'¦ The Hippo Tang complicates things in my opinion. These are big robust fish; and a bit twitchy/nervous to boot, that really require even more room than you have. I'm hesitant to suggest adding more to what you have listed here'¦but'¦remove the Tang and I think a trio of H. diphreutes may be a possibility>>
Thanks for your input!
<<Happy to share. EricR>>

Naso tang compatibility with Wimple fish   8/20/08 Good afternoon crew! I have conflicting answers from 2 different sources on my question. I am asking for your help. What you suggest, I will use as my final answer. I read your answers to others all the time, and the advice given is just great. I have a 300gal. saltwater fish only tank. 8 ft. long, 36"h x 24" w. I currently have: 1 Long Nosed Hawkfish 1 Pearlscale butterfly 1 Raccoon butterfly 1 Naso tang 7 Yellowtail damsels about a dozen hermit crabs 275 lbs. of live rock They all get along great. I would like 2 Wimple fish for my last two additions. My LFS said the compatibility with the Naso would be great. I recently went on vacation, ran into a local shop, asked their advice on that issue, they said the Naso would not like the Wimples. The book I have on saltwater fish keeping does not specify compatibility with other species, only that tangs of similar size and shape should not be mixed. What do you think? April. <I give you very good odds that the Heniochus will get along fine with what you list in this size, shape system. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility/Bannerfish 1/18/08 Hello Crew, <Hi Mike> Thank you all for the tremendous service you provide. <You're welcome.> I've been successfully keeping a happy family of marine fish for 3 years now, largely in part to the wisdom you provide here. I have a stocking/compatibility question. My tank is 250g, fish-only, and has been established for 3 years. The water is treated through wet-dry filtration, a UV sterilizer and a protein skimmer. I do 15% water changes once a week, religiously. Ph is 8.3 to 8.4, salinity 1.020-1.021, nitrates between 10 and 40, KH from 10-12. I recently had a phosphate issue, but phosphates are below 1.0 again after replacing the crushed coral bed and half the BioBale in the wet-dry over a period of a few weeks. I do experience slow growing algae, usually brown/red on the rock and also some greener hair-type algae, but keep it under control with the weekly water changes and cleanings. The fish currently in the tank are a Porcupine Puffer, Dogface Puffer, male and female Bird Wrasse, Squirrelfish, Sailfin Sang, and a Blue-jaw Trigger. All are near adult size, except the trigger. I am considering adding a small school of Bannerfish. I've read that a pair will do fine, that 3 is better, and that 4 is still better. I expect the sailfin will initially be annoyed, but should calm down to get along with the Bannerfish. I don't expect the other fish to bother much with the Bannerfish. (Should I?) My concern is overstocking and bio load. Do you think adding a school of 3 (4?) Bannerfish is appropriate here? (My first choice was to add a Volitans lionfish, but your website convinced me that the chances are high that the puffer or wrasse will pick at it.) Thanks as always for your valuable advice. <I wouldn't, Mike. You've got a few rough housers in there and the Bannerfish are pretty timid, may be some problems here with the Bannerfish getting enough to eat and/or picked on. James (Salty Dog)> Mike

Heniochus; the Lysmata hunter?   4/2/07 Hello, <Hi.> I had a question about the Heniochus Blank and White Butterflyfish. <Go on...> I haven't found any information about this fish that would lead me to believe that it will eat various types of shrimp. <What type of shrimp? Some shrimp are very, very small...pelagic plankton type....others are shall we say considerably larger.> I currently have 1 skunk cleaner shrimp and 5 peppermint shrimp in my 75g tank. <So we're referring to Lysmata then?  Well Heniochus (and there are more than one species in this genus) are in large part quite "flighty" fish, they lack the weapons to be predatory...feeding on mostly pelagic plankton (though some act as cleaners to larger fish as juveniles). It is unlikely that a well-fed Heniochus, in captivity or the wild would attempt to hunt down a healthy Lysmata shrimp...and even if it did attempt it, it would be unlikely to be successful.  If a Lysmata is on the blows of death or already dead though, a Heniochus (or most other fish for that matter) would not be above feeding on the carcass.> I have a few corals, mostly just some xenia and a bubble coral.  Would this fish eat any of the shrimp in my tank? <No the corals/sessile invertebrates are at more of a risk than the shrimp, though keeping Heniochus in reef displays seems to have grown more popular and successful at that; Adam J.>
Response: Heniochus; the Lysmata hunter?  4/5/07
Alright, thanks for all of the help. <No problem.> I was wondering  because someone told me there's ate the shrimp in their tank. <I'm not saying it isn't *possible* as I would never say anything of that nature regarding the marine aquaria hobby. *BUT* this is highly unlikely and uncommon.> The Heniochus I was referring to is also known as the "Poor Man's Moor"  or something like that, just so you know. <Heniochus acuminatus likely.> <<Mmm, at least two species in this genus are called "Poor Man's Moorish Idols"... in reference to their similarity in appearance to Zanclus canescens. RMF>> Thanks for all of the help though! <No trouble, Adam J.>

 Heniochus Butterfly.. Reef Safe? 2/13/07 Hi gang, <Hi Chuck> From my copy of 'Conscientious Aquarist' I know the general rule that a Heniochus Butterfly isn't reef safe. Here's my specific question: I have a 60 gallon tank connected to a larger reef system which is home to a pair of true Percs and a mandarin goby. The only coral in the tank is a pair of admittedly oversized 'Rasta' softies. . . one of which hosts the clown. [Sorry for the non-scientific terminology, but that's what it was labeled when I bought it]. What is the chance of a Heniochus deciding that he/she needs to nip these? <A good chance.> My LFS only gets juvenile Heniochus maybe once a year, and currently has a trio of small ones. . . One of which I'd like to add to my tank if it's not a recipe for disaster. <That chance will be yours to take.  Any tubeworms, etc will be picked at for sure, the coral being nipped will depend on the eating personality of the individual fish.  Myself, a chance I would not take. James (Salty Dog)> Chuck

Heniochus acuminatus approp. tank size   12/17/06 Hello again Mich, <Tom, my friend, hello to you.> Well, as much as I would LOVE to start a giant tank, like you said, it is quite hard on the pocketbook. <Yep!  I hear you!> A little too hard for my liking. <I understand!> Well today's question is about Heniochus acuminatus. <Alrighty then.> On your site it says that this type of butterfly needs a minimum tank size of 15 or 20 gallons. <Hmmm, I read this also.  Seems kind of small> Is this really true? Or did they mean to say 150 or 200 gallon tanks? <This was my initial thought also.  I have seen references of this fish reaching lengths of nearly 10 inches.> If they can really live in a 15 or 20G do you think I would be able to keep a group (2-3) in a 90G tank? <According to what RMF has previously posted, yes in theory this should be OK.  RMF, this is correct?> <<Yes. RMF>> I read that they live in groups in the sea but do you think that they would get along in an aquarium? <Yes, in theory.> Thanks for your time. <You are quite welcome.> Please do tell me if I am taking up too much of your time. I'm guessing you don't get paid so I don't want to take advantage of you. <I have very much enjoyed our exchanges, the pleasure is mine!  I look forward to more.> I hope you had a great weekend. <And you also!  -Mich> Tom

Inquiry on Fish Compatibility Hello- Yesterday I added a small Black and White Heniochus (Alias: Wimplefish, Poor Man's Moorish Idol) to my 55 gallon fish-only tank. My tank is now fully stocked and it is not being readily "accepted into the tribe". The main bully is my large Sailfin Tang, I realize that they look similar, but my Sailfin Tang had never displayed any amount of aggression the whole time I have owned him. It has only been a day so it is probably still too soon to establish any kind of permanent problems, but is there anything I can do to get them to cooperate with each other? Thanks, Dillon >> Hmm, not too much... Maybe leave a light on outside the tank overnight for a few days... to allow all to see each other and avoid injury (running into rock, the tank's sides...)... This is about "it". Bob Fenner, who hopes they will all "settle in"

Heniochus Butterflies. I was considering putting Butterflyfish in my 240g reef. My LFS has a pair of common Henis for sale. I have read these are a planktivore. Do you think these are very likely to devour all of my worms and corals.  <Possibly some of the worms if they're small, but the genus Heniochus rarely consume coral polyps... more interested in floating crustaceans et al.> Also what are the best butterflies for a reef environment that are also easily sustained.  <Thanks for asking, have rated most all species, and posted the rating system on our site: Home Page , please take a long read there...> I noticed FFExpress has a nice Acropora samoenis coral for sale. Can I keep this under VHO lighting and have the coral stay green? <Yes, if your water quality is good, and you can place this colony near the surface (in a stable, well circulated area, it should do fine.> Thanks Everett >> <You're welcome, Bob Fenner>

Banner Fish in Reef System? Bob, I was in my LFS yesterday and saw a beautiful black and white banner fish. It is about 4' in size and looks very health. I like to bring it home however currently I have several corals in my tank. Is the banner fish reef safe? I have read several articles regarding this fish and the suggestions are somewhat different from one to another. Just like to have you expertly. Thanks and always appreciate your help. <Most Heniochus Butterflies as species, individuals are "reef-safe"... unless very hungry, in too small a system. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/heniochu.htm  and the associated FAQs. Bob Fenner> Wayne

Fish questions this time Hello and good evening guys and girls, <<And hello to you...>> This evening I have a question regarding my little fishies :) <<Ok.>> I just got a Heniochus diphreutes and have a few questions, my scopas tang is chasing him around and he is picking at my feather dusters and on the brittle star as well. I was assured in the shop that he is reef safe, but am beginning to think otherwise. <<Well, did the shop reassure the fish that it is reef-safe? I mean... the fish obviously has its own plans. Did you quarantine this fish by any chance? It's a great opportunity to get them used to other foods before release into the main system.>> Also my tomato clown has discovered a piece of live rock that he likes. This rock is sitting on some crushed coral substrate, he is methodically clearing a hollow in the substrate around this rock and dropping them in another area of the tank. Any theories?? <<House cleaning/organization - that would be my theory.>> Last but not least, I was feeding the bubble coral and he ate his Mysis shrimp, later after the lights were off I was watching and the cleaner shrimp swarmed over him and pulled the Mysis out of his mouth. I had also previously fed the cleaner shrimp a piece of krill earlier. <<Was there a question there? You might try something a little finer for the bubble coral so that it's not so slow to uptake, and so easy to steal by the shrimp.>> Ok keeping it short this evening, thanks again for answering my second question this week. Cheers. Julian Hunt <<And cheers to you. J -- >>

Cleaner shrimp, polyps, Heniochus Hello again, I recently added a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata grabhami, I think) to my 75 gal. Setup which includes some yellow polyps and green button polyps. I've seen the shrimp "sampling" the polyps several times, causing them to close up. Do you think this causing harm to the polyps? <The shrimp is probably bugging them more than anything else, I doubt they are in any danger.> On a similar note, I'm interested in Heniochus Bannerfish. I've read that H. diphreutes is reef safe, but H. acuminatus is not. Do you agree? <yes> Would a pair of H. diphreutes be suitable for a 75 gal. that is otherwise lightly-loaded? Thank very much, and thanks for maintaining such a valuable site. John H. <Thank you for the kind words, and I promise, the site is only going to get better. A pair of the H. diphreutes would be much better suited than the H. acuminatus. You can find more information on Butterflyfishes at the link below. Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm>
Re: butterfly with mushrooms and star polyps
Steven, One last question, what about the wimple fish/banner fish/Heniochus? Would they eat star polyps and mushrooms? <It depends on species.> I was under the impression these fish are planktivores? <H. diphreutes is, H. acuminatus is not.> If so, can 2 fish be kept easily? Or is 3 a lot better? <I have seen both, but it depends on species, size of tank, mated pair or not.> Cheers, Matt <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro>

Heniochus Reef Safe? - 8/23/03 Hi... I just want to ask if a Heniochus diphreutes B/F eats corals? or what coral is compatible with Heni's? thanks <most butterflies and close kin are a calculated risk with sessile invertebrates... do read more in our archives at wetwebmedia.com about better species. For likely "safer" corals, you will want to look almost exclusively at soft corals, and then at the noxious/toxic ones like gorgonians and Zoanthids in particular. Best regards, Anthony>

Heniochus Butterflies Hi Guys- First of all, I want to say GREAT job on the book.  I received my autographed copy a couple of weeks ago.  It was well worth the wait.   <Thank you for your kind words> Second, I am in the process of trying to obtain a couple of Heniochus Diphreutes.  My LFS has a couple of beautiful 2 1/2" Heniochus' that arrived last week that are in quarantine.  Unfortunately, the LFS cannot be sure whether the fish are H. Diphreutes or H. acuminatus.  Since I plan to introduce these fish into my reef tank, it is important that I get the H. Diphreutes.  Can you recommend a way to differentiate between the two fish? <Mmm, easier to do with both species in front of you. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/heniochu.htm where both are presented... with the most common differences noted (size of mouth and "chest" area> Also, how important is it for H. Diphreutes to be in a "school".  They are going into a lightly stocked 135G tank (2 ocellaris, yellow tang, royal Gramma, C. solorensis), but I imagine more than one butterfly will eat up the living space pretty rapidly. <They do show best kept in a couple... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Bret Packard

Bannerfish and Corals 5/26/04 Hi Crew, Hope you had a pleasant weekend! <Thanks! You too.> Have recently purchased Bannerfish; were labeled and sold as Heni. acuminatus but are actually diphreutes. My mushrooms have been safe so far should I say!!! The LFS says mushrooms are not bothered by diphreutes as well as leather coral. After looking through your FAQ on Bannerfish I still have a question. What if any polyps or other corals are not eaten by diphreutes. I was particularly interested in Zoanthus polyps group or could you suggest some other hardy corals safe with diphreutes. <Most if not all corals should be safe with most specimens of H. Diphreutes.> Could you also recommend an informative book on anemones? <Yes! "Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones: A Guide for Aquarists and Divers" by Fautin and Allen. It is a bit out of date and not super complete, but remains the best aquarium reference on this specific topic.> Thanks once again for your much appreciated help and expertise and look forward to your reply. Regards Ceil Wagaman <Glad to help! Adam>

Asfur Angel Stocking Concern Dear Mike D.: Thanks for your response.<Back again, and you're welcome>  The pygmy angelfish I'm referring to is the cherub angelfish, and I introduced him at the same time as the Flameback with both of equal size.  This method usually works well in larger tanks, and the two of them are truly best buddies in this tank.<Since they've settled in so well, they may end up being far closer than you ever dreamed.  Keep an eye peeled for spawning activity>  My question is in regards to the Heniochus.  I've never kept one in the past.  Would you recommend a single specimen, or a small shoal of say four members?<Although they usually do fine alone, there are some real advantages with a shoal, particularly with the Schooling Bannerfish (Heniochus diphreutes)>  Would a Bannerfish be able to hold its ground against an angel such as this one?<At full size, very little can hold it's own against a large Asfur, and again, here's where a small shoal might work well. It's difficult to do much damage to one fish if they all look alike, the old "dither" principle>  And, within the Heniochus group is there one particular type that stands out regarding durability, etc.?<I suppose you'd think you were being set up if I told you that the diphreutes was both the most common and the hardiest, eh?>  Finally, the larger gobies you are referring to I'll assume are types like the brown barred goby and so forth.  Aren't most of these sand sifters?<Many are, but the gobies that are large enough to handle regular aquarium fare usually do quite well. I have a spawning trio (species unknown) in my 100 gal. tank at the moment that all shoot to the top and "stick to the glass", waiting for food when I approach, thus being among the best fed fish in the tank>  I guess I'm concerned that they'll not be able to find adequate amounts of food in the substrate since I already have two white sand stars in this tank.  Is this a valid concern?<Possibly, but here my concern would be more for the sea stars than for the gobies.  My sand sifting stars showed me that they could climb the glass for food as well, and now are individually spot fed on small pieces of meaty food and are up to almost 5" across each and still growing.>  Thanks again!<You're welcome and best of luck> Sam Mancini  

Compatibility of Black & White Heniochus? Are the following completely compatible together? << Nothing is completely compatible, but we can generalize here. >> Heniochus Black & White Butterflyfish (Heniochus  acuminatus) Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber (Holothuria sp.) Red Sea Star (Fromia milleporella) Squamosa Clam (Tridacna squamosa) Blue Tuxedo Pincushion Urchin (Mespilia globulus) << Yes, I would say these items are fine in a reef tank together. >> Second question: Are there ANY corals that the Heniochus Butterflyfish (Heniochus acuminatus) is compatible with? << Certainly.  They are known to pick at Zoanthids and small polyps, but I've seen many Heniochus in reef tanks living fine with large soft colt corals and mushroom anemone rocks.  Every fish has its own personality, but these fish are commonly seen in reef tanks. >> <<  Blundell  >>

Adding Heniochus Butterflyfish Hello WetWebMedia crew. I'd like to start by giving all of you a big thank you for spending your time to help those of us who need it. Until now I have always found the answers  to my questions in your FAQ files. <There are lifetimes of development and sharing to go> Last November I added three two inch Heniochus Butterflyfish to my 125 gallon FOWLR tank and one died about three weeks later. I would like add another one but everything I've read says that they should all be added at the same time. Is there some way to add another and have them all get along? Would it help if I rearranged the live rock and made sure the fish were all the same size or should I just keep the two I have? Thanks Eric <The Butterflyfishes of this genus, particularly the most common acuminatus, secondarily diphreutes, are actually quite "mixable" and you should have little difficulty adding to their number. For looks sake, one/s of about the same size should be sought. Bob Fenner>

The Never Ending Heniochus Query  9/24/05 Hey Bob.   <He's agreed to let me answer this one...again.> How big do Heniochus diphreutes get compared to acuminatus? <Well I have answered this one in the previous query but you can always check for yourself in the WWM FAQ's.> I know  both of these fishes max. size in wild, but what about in captivity?   <On average slightly smaller, however I feel it necessary to mention that as responsible aquarists we should always plan for the largest potential size of any given animal.> And if I  keep two Diphreutes together in a 70g tank will they school? <Most fish who are 'schoolers' (when in captivity) just tend to hang out rather than follow each other in all but the largest of systems.>   Is it more likely for this fish to school than Acuminatus? <About the same in my experience.>   My tank is ready and am looking forward to stocking it after almost a year!! <My friend I know I may have come across slightly frustrated but this is your 4th query this week on the same subject, I have answered twice and Bob has answered once. It appears you are fishing for an answer that suits you and not necessarily the truth. In my opinion both of these animals will outgrow your given time due to their swimming behavior.  Bob on the other hand said its 'possible' for you to keep one but not a school. Take both answers and come to a solution.  Should you have any other questions feel free to reply. If this has anyway damaged your view of our free service, I apologize. For reference your previous queries are now posted in the Heniochus FAQ's near the top.> Thanks Bob Jeff <Wishing you and your new tank well, Adam J.>

Bannerfish and Yellow Tang  9/8/05 Hello, I just added a Bannerfish (AKA poor man's Moorish Idol, Wimplefish, etc.) and two Fiji Blue Devils to a fairly new 75 gallon tank. The only fish I had so far were a Yellow Tang and a Maroon Clownfish. Almost as soon as the Bannerfish was added the Yellow Tang started to attack him with his tail spine/scalpel. I removed the tang and put him in the quarantine tank to give the Bannerfish time to get used to the display tank and start eating. I also rearranged the rocks where the Tang likes to hide so when I put him back in he will have to reestablish his territory. Are these fish not compatible or will things calm down a bit later on? Thanks, <Normal behavior for the tang, things will calm down, and a good move in rearranging rock.  Do read up on Bannerfish on the WWM for more info on your purchase.  James (Salty Dog)> -Adam-

Catching Heniochus diphreutes? - 11/27/05 Hello again, <<Hello Dave>> I did catch two of my three diphreutes (with a bottle trap) that were picking on my Pacific Rose Trachyphyllia. There is absolutely no way to catch the last one with a net in my tank (many, many hiding places) and at least for right now this last fish seems completely uninterested in the food in the bottle trap. <<I would cease all efforts for a few days, give the fish a chance to calm down, and then try the trap again.>> For the other two I placed 1 Marine-Two pellet, some frozen Mysid shrimps, some Cyclop-eeze. Might you suggest any other thoughts, tips, food suggestions to get this last Bannerfish out of my tank? <<The foods seem fine (might try some live brine shrimp), and the trap is probably your best bet...but this fish is "riled up/wise to you now" and needs to be left alone for a couple/three days, maybe longer, before resuming.>> Thanks again so much, Dave Harvey <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Catching Heniochus diphreutes Eric Russell's Way - It Really Works!  - 11/30/05
Hey there, <<Hey Dave!>> Yes, just waiting two days did the trick, just for superstitions' sake, I made a new trap out of a perfectly clear 2 liter plastic bottle and used fishing line instead of string (believe it or not, I'm sure the last Heniochus looked at that white string and just didn't like the looks of it.). <<Ah yes...agreed.>> At any rate I didn't have the bottle in the tank 10 min. before the fish swam right in it. Thanks! <<Glad to hear all ended well.>> Now it just so happens the store where I originally got the 3 Bannerfishes (took them back for full credit) sold a large (375g.) tank and they need a home for a beautiful Vlamingi?? <<Vlamingii...as in Naso vlamingii...Bignose Unicornfish...>> Tang. They are willing to give it to me, but I'm a little leery about how it will do with the Naso lituratus I already have. <<Mmm...>> I have not looked up the fish yet, but was interested in your opinion, if you have the time. <<Compatibility issues aside, the Naso vlamingii is a LARGE fish, growing to nearly 30" in the wild...even a 300 gallon tank will become "small" in time, and yours is hardly "empty" now. I think you would do better to get the Anthias as previously considered...this is my opinion.>> Thanks again Dave Harvey, <<Regards, EricR>> BTW, the Trachyphyllia already looks much, much better without the clowns, and the Banners. <<Excellent! Makes a difference when you're not being battered/consumed alive <G>. EricR>>
    Re: Catching Heniochus diphreutes? II - 12/01/05
Hello again! <<Hi Dave!>> Yeah, although it is a beautiful fish, and I would even possibly consider giving up the Naso tang, to be able to have the Vlamingii, it is obvious to me that it is just too big (or soon will be) for my tank. Thanks again Dave Harvey <<Best for all in the end my friend. EricR>>

H. Diphreutes And Trachyphyllia (Yum-Yum) - 11/26/05 Dear WWM staff, <<Howdy>> I read and read and have become very, very friendly with all staff at LFS (My son even works there now).  But the more I discuss, and the more I read, the more I realize how much I don't know and how many different approaches may be successful... or not. <<You "are" learning then.>> At any rate: I have over the past year set up a 300G tank (96"X30"X24"), 90G sump; actually 50 G sump connected to 40 G cryptic refugium with about a dozen or so different non-photosynthetic sponges. <<Neat!>> Have just slowly started adding livestock over the past couple months.  Livestock: 1 Naso Tang about 7", 1 Harlequin Tusk about 4", 1 Banggai Cardinal about 5", 1 Magnificent Rabbit about 6", 3 Bannerfish (Diphreutes) about 3.5", 1 Chevron Tang (Strigosus?) about 3"  <<Mmm, probably Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis...look here: Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis. >>, 1 Blue spotted Jawfish about 3",  1 Lawnmower Blenny about 4", 1 Male Filamented Flasher Wrasse about 3", 1 very small Hectori Goby, ...just got rid of a pair of  beautiful Ocellaris today, 2 Queen Conchs (very small still), 12 large Turbo snails, about 12 smallish Trochus snails, 2 Peppermint Shrimp (although I think the Tusk may have gotten them by now). <<Now or later...>> Corals: all still small with the exception of a fairly large   Plerogyra sinuosa.: a few Ricordea-both Yuma and Florida, Euphylliids-one medium large Torch, one medium Ancora, various mushrooms, one  medium Sinularia (cabbage), one very small long-tentacle Sarcophyton, one very small Pocillopora, one very small Montipora digitata, a  medium Trumpet with 7 polyps, one very small Blastomussa merleti, a relatively large but still localized colony of Xenia <<for now>>, one small Blue Sponge, one colony medium-large Star Polyps, a very small Entacmaea quadricolor that I resuscitated after all it's tentacles were rubbed off by an extremely obnoxious black Ocellaris (since removed), 3 rock anemones (one has divided twice), one medium-large Condylactis (Haitian purple tip). <<Ugh...you were doing pretty good till you got to the anemones.  These motile animals have no place in a tank with sessile invertebrates.  You have a nice collection of aggressive corals which can be trouble enough...if those anemones decide to go "walkabout" it's going to be very ugly for all.  Even if they stay put, the chemical/biological warfare being waged will eventually lead to the detriment of everything.>> Water chemistry has been great, nothing out of the ordinary, recommended ranges (by you guys, Fossa et al, Paletta, etc.). Lighting: four 96w VHOs, One 400w 12,000K MH, two 250w HQIs Flow: return pump about 1200gph, one Tunze 6200 Stream, one Tunze   WaveBox, about 260# of live rock, over 3 areas from left to right as you face the tank 1. a slope from the left side and top gradually widening to about 1.5 feet at substrate level. 2. a central island bommie about a foot in diameter and to height   of about 1.5 feet roughly in the middle of the tank, but perhaps just slightly rightward. 3. a multiple cave system from the right side of the tank meandering leftward almost to the central bommie. <<What's a "bommie"?  Marina>> <<<Marina, a "bommie" is basically a pile of rock, surrounded by substrate, not touching other rockwork.  -SCF>>> <<Sounds very nice...good to hear someone "not" building the usual rock "wall".>> The sand bed is sugar fine and about 6 to 8" deep, this was seeded   with about 30 pounds of live sand from my 35g. <<Does the trick nicely, but may I suggest getting a cup or three from fellow aquarists/LFS to increase the bio-diversity.>> I have a fairly large area towards the right side of coarser aragonite and rubble for the Jawfish. <<Ah yes...needs bits to bolster the walls of the burrow.>> Now, sorry to be so long winded, but I thought perhaps if you know   how the tank is the question will make sense and allow a more   thorough answer. <<Indeed it does.>> I thank you heartily in advance:  I have had a gorgeous Pacific Rose Trachyphyllia for a year. The above mentioned black clown kept rubbing at it and it remained closed until I got rid of the clown.  Then it pretty much flourished with great color, feeding response, and expansion in a 35g.  I transferred it into the 300g about 2 months ago and thought it looked fine; when expanded its diameter was about 4-6".  I got the 3 H. diphreutes <<uh-oh>> on 10/28.  I have read that though they are generally better in a reef than H. acuminatus, they will pick on a sick or dying coral. <<Mmm, no...not limited to "sick or dying".>> Up until a week ago they did not bother the Trachyphyllia, then they started picking at it. <<Not atypical...>> I have to admit I couldn't really tell whether they were just   aggressively going after mucous output, or actual tissue, but with the combination of the two Ocellaris (I got rid of them yesterday)   rubbing at the brain, it just closed down completely, very small, no tissue expansion, no feeding response. <<And will remain this way until its demise, in the presence of the Bannerfish.>> I removed the Trachyphyllia to my 12g hospital/quarantine tank. <<Smart move>> I couldn't believe my eyes the next day, the Trachyphyllia was gigantic, a diameter easily 8-10" and the tissue so inflated that some of it was actually floating off the substrate. <<Hee!  Helps when you're (the Trachyphyllia) not being eaten alive!>>   Ate Cyclop-eeze, oyster eggs, live rotifers very well and even a   couple small krill. <<Do keep the pieces very small (minced).>> After a week of just phenomenal expansion, and color, I thought since the clowns were gone now I would try to re-introduce the brain back into the 300g. <<Uh-oh...again (dinner bell ringing in the background)...>> I acclimated it (as I do everything) over 1.5 hours with continuous drip, then gently placed it back in the same spot it had previously occupied...the Bannerfish immediately started picking at it, the brain closed down, but not completely and the tissue was not so constricted that is wasn't still "mushy". <<Still...not a good "condition" for the brain.>> Then I noticed that the Bannerfish trio was not actually picking tissue but gulping mucous. <<Will still likely lead to the brain's demise.>> I watched closely for the better part of 2 hours, and I don't think they picked off any tissue, but the brain still stayed closed. <<Yup>> Should I just give back the diphreutes? <<If you want to keep the brain, yes.>> Should I see how things go? <<I think we all know how things will "go"...>> The brain is so magnificent when fully expanded and I have become so attached to it, that I would gladly evict the Heniochus (if I can  catch them) before ever giving up the Trachyphyllia. <<There's your answer.>> Thanks again for reading all of this.  Any comments, criticisms,  suggestions, general thoughts about the tank would be greatly  appreciated. <<Already stated>> p.s. After reading Fossa and Nilsson's "Reef Secrets" I am greatly  intrigued by the idea of a large number of Lyretail Anthias in the  tank (they suggest 60 in a 190g tank) I was thinking more along the   lines of perhaps 2 to 3 dozen. Thoughts?? <<A good choice as far as Anthiinae go (I have some of these in my 375g reef), if you get rid of the three Heniochus, I think 8-10 would make a nice addition...must consider the other large fishes already in the display.>> Thanks again so much, Dave Harvey <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: H. Diphreutes And Trachyphyllia (Yum-Yum) - 11/27/05
Thanks so much for your reply. <<Very welcome>> Yes it is a Ctenochaetus strigosus (Kole Tang, not Chevron, sorry.). <<Ah, ok>> Have taken your advice, and have removed 2 of the Heniochus, have not been able to catch the third yet. <<Can be an "adventure", to say the least.>> Have not seen the E. quadricolor move at all and have had him over a year. <<Lucky so far.>> Yes the Condy has moved, but just up and down along the same plane. <<Lucky again. <G> >> At the LFS they have a huge (HUGE!!) E. quadricolor in a pretty well stocked (with both LPS, SPS, and softies) 220g with 2 A. clarkii that occupy the Bubbletip. Even so, I take it your experiences have not been good with anemones in a reef. Would like to hear more about this if you're willing. <<Happy to Dave... I'm not telling you it can't be done, there certainly will be/are exceptions, but for the majority of hobbyists, mixing motile anemones with sessile invertebrates leads to tragedy, though sometimes it takes a while (even years) to manifest. And often so, the ultimate loser in all this is the anemone. Some have suggested these animals may be immortal...only succumbing to predation, disease, starvation, etc.. Considering this, how many folks do you know that have been able to keep an anemone for ten years? five years? <<Like spitting in the ocean when one considers the natural lifespan of many of these animals.  MH>> Anemones require excellent water quality/tank conditions, and fending off constant attack in a closed system does not fall in to this category. Even all this aside, do consider that when I answer queries I have no idea of your knowledge/experience/dedication to the hobby. It's my task to try to steer you, and those who read this, in a direction that is likely to succeed. And in my opinion, keeping anemones in a reef tank is not a formula for long-term success. I don't expect you/anyone to blindly take my advice...it is my wish to inspire you/others to think before acting, to do your own research, and to make informed decisions.>> Thanks so much, Dave Harvey <<Welcome my friend, EricR>>

Soft Corals With A Heniochus chrysostomus - 11/05/05 Crew, <<Hello>> I recently bought a Heniochus chrysostomus, and found out the hard way that it dines on some types of coral. <<Yes, as do all in this genus...even Heniochus diphreutes, which is considered moderately reef-safe by some.>> I have only recently converted my tank to a reef tank and only had two corals, a finger leather that I bought to start with, and a small Galaxea coral that was a freebie on a piece of live rock I bought. <<Love those freebies!>> It was still a small coral, but I had dubbed it "the little coral that could" as it was starting to spread and thrive in my tank. But in less than a week of being picked at by the Heniochus, it was gone. <<bummer>> Very sad. However, the Heni leaves the leather alone, as I have read on your site is often the case. <<Yes, though really still a "crap-shoot" as to what they will bother.>> What I'm wondering is what other types of soft corals might I have luck with as I add to my tank that would coexist with the Heniochus? <<Impossible to say really. You can try adding specimens and watching them closely for predation, but my best advice is to remove the Heniochus if you really want to keep a reef tank.>> My wife really likes the corals that "flow" in the current. <<Mine too!>> Prior to adding the Heni, I was planning on adding a pulsing xenia and daisy polyp (not sure of the proper name). <<Mmm...could be Pachyclavularia or Alveopora maybe?>> Any chance for either of these two? <<Likely these will become fish food...>> Others that would work and "go with the flow"? <<Nothing I'm certain of, I've seen these fish even eat noxious Zoanthids. This will have to be trial and error on your part...or get rid of the fish.>> Thanks <<Regards, EricR>>

Heniochus singularius  12/21/05 Hello and Happy Holidays!.  Today you posted my question titled "Heniochus Singularius", (dated 12/21), but failed to add any response.  I appreciate that its a busy time, and I'm sure you guys are cranking out as much as possible.  Hopefully. you can revisit my question.  I do get the sense from last night's research that any small polyp-type corals will be fish food, but I am mainly concerned for the Ricordea, the large clams/oysters attached to the rock, as well as the hermits and snails.  Will the H. singularius also eat pods, putting my Mandarin at risk.  The ultimate size of this fish also concerns me in a 75 gallon. Thank You! <Sorry re. This entire genus is largely zooplanktivorous. I don't think you'll have problems with it ingesting Cnidarian polyps nor outcompeting your Mandarin if there's room for both. Bob Fenner> While at my LFS today, I came upon a Heniochus that looked slightly different than the type commonly seen in most stores.  I was sure I had stumbled upon a Heniochus Diphreutes, which I learned on this web site would be a better choice for a reef.  Once I got the fish home and compared it to pics on this site, as well as several others on the web, I realized that I had actually purchased a Heniochus Singularius.  My current set-up is a 75 gallon with live sand and 60 lbs of live rock.  The only corals are some Ricordea as well as some polyps that came on the rock.  The rock also has several attached oysters/clams.  I also have many blue-legged hermits and several different types of algae eating snails.  As for fish, I have a maroon clown, a velvet damsel, royal Gramma and a Mandarin.  The tank has been running for 9 months and is very healthy.  How safe will this new fish be with my current set-up.  I could easily remove the Ricordea, and was not planning on adding additional corals.  I would like to keep a good population of hermits and snails, and am curious how the bivalves will fare.  You had responded to an earlier e-mail that a Heniochus would probably not do much damage to the live rock, but am curious to know if H. Singularius changes the equation.   Thank You!

Heniochus intermedius    1/19/06 Hey crew and specifically to whoever's answering questions tonight. <James this AM> I'm planning a 10' long tank and was looking at the Heniochus intermedius. I know opinions on whether or not Heni's are reef safe are not are varied even on the WWM staff (I know Mr. Fenner usually states them as reef-safe barring individual personalities), but this is usually stated about Diphreutes or about the genus in general. My question is how does the Intermedius fare on the reef-safe scale? Is it generally safe like Diphreutes or not traditionally so as with the Acuminatus? Any help you can give would be great. <As with all Heniochus/butterflies the Red Sea Banner Fish possess individual personalities and while one may not bother anything, another may wipe out your worm population.  The mouth is designed for poking in crevices and retrieving worms and such.> Also, if considered reef-safe for the most part, would I still be looking at losing all of my fan worms if I were to have 5 in a 10' long tank? <The chance you will have to take my friend, no guarantees.  James (Salty Dog)> <<If hungry, Banner Butterflyfishes will definitely consume tubiculous Polychaete worms. RMF>> Thanks. <You're welcome>

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