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Heniochus acuminatus

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

Heniochus diphreutes; HI      1/29/14
Hello Bob & Crew!
Hope that things are well with you!
Just wanted to run a question by you since I know that you're quite familiar with Hawaii. I've contacted Kevin at Pacific Island Aquatics and he says that he is able to get Heniochus diphreutes quite easily which I've long been searching for my reef tank. In regards to species identification comparisons to H. acuminatus, he says that it doesn't matter due to the fact that only H. diphreutes inhabits the islands.
He says that it is impossible to find H. acuminatus there. I was not aware of this and wanted to see if you agree or not.
Thanks so much!
Joe W.
<Tis so: http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Heniochus-diphreutes.html
Bob Fenner> 

Heniochus acuminatus with Ich 6/23/06 Hi WWM crew!! <Hi> I have an Heniochus acuminatus that show symptoms of ick. <Uh oh> It has white spots, that look like salt. It doesn't have that much but it still concerns me. <It should> It is still eating well. It doesn't breathe rapidly. All the other fish are healthy. <All other fish are infected with Ich, just not symptomatic.> I don't want to treat the main tank, because I have some invertebrate. <Almost always a bad idea.> I am not able to set up a hospital tank, I don't have the space for it, since I live in an apartment. <Really need one, doesn’t need to be always set up, can be taken down when not in use.  Without a QT/hospital tank expect to continue to have problems with communicable diseases.> Yesterday, I have give it a freshwater bath( specific gravity: 1.008) with blue methylene for 10 minutes. <Provides temporary relief, not a cure.> But, today, it still shows symptoms of ICK. <Most likely will continue until the ich life cycle is broken.> What should I do to treat my fish? <If you are unable/unwilling to get a hospital/QT tank and remove and treat all fish and allow the tank to run follow there is not much you can do.  Provide good quality water and food and hope the fish's immune system and fight off the ich.> I have bought a Formaldehyde - green malachite solution to use it in a bath, but I am not sure if it is a good idea and how much should I use and for how long. <Toxic stuff, I'm not a big fan of it.  Baths will help temporarily, but when the fish is returned to the tank they will be reinfected.> Could I use copper in a bath that would last for a long time? <Not effective.> If yes, how much should I use and for how long? Any other treatment I could try? <Not that wouldn't nuke the tank.  Medications are not specific enough to kill the ich and not destroy the live rock and biofiltration.>    Thank you very very much!!! I hope my fish will be fine, I really like it!! <Hope so.> Steve T. <Chris>

Heniochus acuminatus with Ich Part II 6/30/06 Hi Chris, <Hi> As per your advice, I am actually looking to setup a hospital tank for my fish, to help to get ride of the ick problem... I have 2 clown fish, 2 green Chromis, 1 neon goby, 1 six line wrasse and the Heniochus. What size of hospital should I go with? <Good to hear, at least a 20 for all those fish.  If easier you could go with a couple of smaller tanks and split up the livestock.> Today the Heniochus have stopped to eat... :( <Uh-oh> What is my best bet with it? Should I give it a freshwater bath until I set-up the hospital tank? Any other ideas? <A bath may help, make sure its ph adjusted and the right temperature.  Try adding either Selcon or garlic to the food.  Both seem to stimulate the feeding response.  If it goes too long try some live brine shrimp.> Thank you very much... Steve <Good luck and remember to QT any new additions to avoid these problems in the future.> <Chris>

Heniochus in the Reef, and QT Clarification  - 04/19/06 Dear WWM Crew: <Hi Sam.> I really appreciate what you do to promote the hobby and to keep the world happy and healthy! <You are welcome and thank you for the compliments my friend.> I have been a good WWM user for months now, <Awesome!> totally self-sufficient and amazed by how many times you've had just the right answers ready and waiting.   <Great.> Through all of my research I put together a nice 75 gallon reef with fuge, sump, all that good stuff. <Sounds fun.> The tank is very stable with coral, live sand, live rock, cleanup crew--even a Borneman anemone that hitchhiked on a frag. <Cool.> Now I'm finally permitting myself to begin thinking about fish.   <I admire your patience.> A local reefer told me very matter of factly that the ultimate fish to get would be a Heniochus diphreutes (pennant banner butterflyfish).   <Well they aren’t my favorite by any means, but they are attractive and a much better alternative to those interested in Moorish Idols.> I have to agree that this is a spectacularly beautiful fish, but I hear mixed reviews as to whether they'd be reef safe (personality driven?) <My experience is that they are quite safe with most stony corals (SPS) but can pick at easier (meatier) targets such as Zoanthus. But I have seen them exist happily and problem reef in many a reef tanks, but I still think they are a slight risk.> and whether one would be happy in a 75.   <Well that would be the BARE minimum in my opinion for one of these specimens.> What's the verdict on this from your perspective? <See above.> Second, as a truly conscientious aquarist, I am going to setup a QT. <I’m very glad to hear this.> Assuming I can have a Heniochus diphreutes, what is the minimum size you recommend for a QT?  Would a 20 gallon work for this?   <Yes depending on the size of the specimen in question.> And how does one cycle the QT with an HOB filter to prepare for the fish? Should I run it first in my sump for a few weeks?  If you plopped it in there, I assume the ammonia would quickly spike.  You've never sufficiently answered how one gets a QT ready for a new occupant. Please enlighten me! <Please read this article by past-crew member Steven Pro, it isn’t found on WWM but I like it A LOT!: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php .> Again, thanks for all the hard work and the brilliant answers! <Quite welcome, anytime.> Sam <Adam J.>

H. acuminatus, sel. dis.    4/14/06 Hi Bob, <Joseph> I have a quick question on my 2 newly acquired H. acuminatus which I bought 2 weeks ago. I picked them up from my LFS as soon as they were delivered from a wholesaler. <Mmm, generally better to leave most all marines at a dealers a week or more... with deposit if you "must have them"...> They are about 3 inches in size and both looked healthy. They have been in quarantine since then and during that time I have noticed that one of them absolutely loves every food I give it: brine shrimp with Spirulina, sea veggies, flakes, tiny pieces of shrimp and squid, and Nori seaweed. This one has maintained a healthy weight. The other fish, however, will only eat the Nori seaweed and spits out everything else. I would like it to start eating some fleshy foods. I have noticed that this fish has slightly lost a bit of weight. Other than this both fish look healthy and very happy. My question is whether I should be concerned about this fish's eating habits ahead of it's release into the display tank next week? <Ummm, a tough one... w/o seeing the actual specimen. But I would very likely risk moving this/these "Heni's" in the hopes of furthering the ones appetite... and not worry re the small risk in disease transmission here> By the way, this is the first time I have used a quarantine tank and I now appreciate the benefits it gives to us in not only preventing disease, but allowing us to observe the new animals in a much more tightly controlled environment. <Ah, bingo!> It makes it so much easier to acclimate the fish to the water chemistry and especially to new foods, which would be a lot trickier in the display tank (i.e. size, competitors etc.). Thanks for the informative articles on this topic! Thanks in advance, Joe <Welcome Joe. Bob Fenner>

Heniochus Stocking Question - 03/31/06 Hi! <<Hello!>> A little over a month ago, I emailed you concerning adding 2 Heniochus Butterfly fish to a 72 gallon tank.  You said that it would be possible, depending on what else was going in.  The fish that I am referring to grow to b/w 9 and 10 inches <<Hmm...H. acuminatus then?>> <Won't grow this large here... RMF> and they are the only things that I planned on adding.  Now, I was thinking about transferring a Rainford goby from another tank into the 72 gallon as well.  I did not want him to be harassed by the strawberry Pseudochromis that I was thinking about adding (to my 46 gallon). Would that be okay, considering the fact that it hovers near the live rock most of the time?   <<Should be fine, yes.  Regards EricR>>

Heniochus acuminatus health    3/2/06 Hi Bob, <James with you today.> Just a quick question regarding H. acuminatus. I am expecting to buy two 3" - 4" size specimens within the next week. Is a freshwater dip with a commercial dip mix a safe option for these fish? How long should this dip last? <I wouldn't do a freshwater dip unless I have a valid reason to do so.  Quarantining is your best option.  Plenty of info on this on the Wet Web.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance,<You're welcome.> Joe
Re: Heniochus acuminatus   3/3/06
Thanks James. <You're welcome.> However I am curious as to why there is an acceptance among the marine hobbyist community of dips/baths as a necessary step in quarantining, when you have suggested that it need only be done when there is a reason for it... By this do you mean visible signs of parasite infection? <Yes...I don't take cold medication as a precaution.  Why stress the fish out if it isn't necessary.  My opinion.> In furtherance of my question yesterday on H. Acuminatus, my quarantine tank is only 10gallons. Since these fish require a large amount of space, will the 2-3 weeks in quarantine be more stressful for them and outweigh the benefits of the actual quarantine? <I'd suggest a larger QT.  Putting the fish in the main display without QT just risks possible disease outbreak to the other fish.> Thanks, <Your welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Joe

Heniochus Butterfly...Worms In My Live Rock - 02/18/06 Good afternoon! <<Hello...evening here>> I read on your site that Heniochus Butterfly fish require 15 to 20 gallons (minimum) per copy.  Does this mean that I can add 2 to a 72 gallon tank? <<Possibly...depending on what else is in/going in to the tank.  There are about a dozen different species of Heniochus but the two most commonly available are H. acuminatus and H. diphreutes...I assume you refer to one of these? >> Also, I purchased some live rock from a dealer on the internet, the owner said that he was sending fully cured rock but there were worms in it (or at least they resembled worms). <<Very normal, desirable even.>> I managed to pull most of them out except one. <<Why?>> I put the live rock in the tank.  The rock has been in there approx. 2 weeks.  Do you think I should look for the rock and try to get the worm out again? <<Nope>> I am a little afraid that this will affect my tank in the long run. <<Doubtful...wouldn't worry about it.  Regards EricR>>

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> Nick

Heniochus diphreutes feeding   1/13/06 Hello <Hello Nita>  Thanks to your help several years ago I now have 2 thriving 'reefs'<Good to hear.> - a small (54 gallon) at home - breathtakingly beautiful (while my outdoor landscaping has gone to h---!) and a less-beautiful but still lovely 100 G at work.  Few problems / losses / issues  until now. and this one is small but important to me!  Sorry to trouble you over a few grams of fish. Based on this recommendation from your web site < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/heniochu.htm> "They are superbly adaptable aquarium specimens which acclimate quickly, thrive under a variety of conditions, are not quarrelsome & readily accept all foods." I purchased a very small (1") Heniochus diphreutes.  Beautiful, charming delightful little creature (who will go into the large tank I keep at work as it matures).  It is in quarantine and eats great. if I feed Mysis.  Otherwise it eats NOTHING.  It can stay in QT for a while but nothing that I have done will get it to eat anything else.  This can't be healthy and I hate feeding frozen every day - such a mess.  Any advice or suggestions?  The LFS will take it back but I would love to keep it. just not eating Mysis-only! <Boy that is small.  Didn't mention how long you've had it.  I'd soak the Mysis in a vitamin supplement before feeding to help this guy grow.  I would introduce other foods along with the Mysis being careful not to overfeed.  Might want to try some Cyclop-eeze in the pump bottle.  Most fish find this hard to refuse.  Once he starts eating a variety of other frozen foods it will more than likely be tempted to try dry foods.  Wouldn't take it back quite yet...patience my friend, they are not goldfish.  James (Salty Dog)> Best regards, N. Irby

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!

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 islandic 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>>

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>>

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 zooanthids. This will have to be trial and error on your part...or get rid of the fish.>> Thanks <<Regards, EricR>>

Heniochus systems 9/21/05 Hey Bob how's it going? <Ooh, he summons the master and gets the rookie, Adam J here with you tonight.> I was wondering how many Heniochus acuminatus (since they're not as demanding as a lot of marine fish) I can put in a 65g FOWLR? <Unfortunately I cannot recommend any Heniochus Acuminatus, these fish get large (10” long and over 12” tall) and need LOTS of swimming room, I cannot recommend less than a US 100 gallon tank minimum for one specimen let alone a school.>   There's is plenty of space with the live rock being pushed close to the back of the tank and the Heniochus will be the only species in the tank. <Unfortunately the confines are still too small.>   My mom really likes them and that's all she wants to have.  She would prefer a school of them of two or more.  Will they school in a 65g? <See above.>   Thanks. Sincerely, Jay <Adam J.> If not, what about Heniochus diphreutes, since their maximum size is smaller than the acuminatus? <Honestly, I am still of the opinion that this species and its genus in general are inappropriate specimens for your set up.> <Adam J.>
Re: Heniochus  9/21/05
Thanks Adam, but I think I'd like to get Bob's feedback on this.  On several pieces of literature it states that Heniochus needs 15 to 20 gal per copy.  Also says minimum tank size requirement is 50gal.  Lastly, it states on an FAQ that a person with a 70gal tank can have a maximum of two Heniochus, so am assuming it'd be the same rule for a 65g or at least one.  I'd like Bob to reply to my original email if possible. Thanks, Jay <Mmm, bigger would be better, but a small H. acuminatus could be fitted into a fifty. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Heniochus
 9/22/05 Ok, what's the max size on Diphreutes? <Up to about 7 or 8 inches in length and at least that tall, Adam J.>
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-

Cotton like growth / Is this fungus? Howzit Guys: <Fine> I really enjoy your site and I refer to it as my living marine encyclopedia. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and all your support. <Welcome> I have a 5" Heniochus that has developed a white fuzzy cotton like translucent growth about 1/32" round on one of her fins. All the rest of my fish are doing well (flame angel, yellow tang & 2 clowns) in a 100 gallon tank with live rock, 40 gallon sump w/ refugium & Chaeto, 4" sand base and protein skimmer which has been running almost 1 year. I would like to say it is a fungus because that's what it looks like, but understand that fungus on live fish is not that common or am I mistaken? <Mmm, may be a fungus... but sounds like a case of Lymphocystis...> She eats primarily thawed brine shrimp and will not take other food stuffs, <Not good nutrition... but a good clue> is very active and has nice colorations. I am worried about not providing all the nutrients to sustain her good health that may also contribute to this condition because brine shrimp has little nutritional value. <Bingo> I tested my water parameters and the ammonia, nitrate & nitrite are all in check. The salinity is about 1.020, water temp @ 74 degrees and the PH 8.3. She is the newest addition to my tank prior to a 2 week quarantine and a 10 minute freshwater dip with Methylene blue. Please help me identify the problem so I'm sure I know what I dealing with, suggest a cure and provide me with some alternative foods that my Heni may take a liking to. I have tried a mash of thawed scallops, vitamin flakes, Nori, garlic, vitamins mixed with the thawed brine to no success. Mahalo and Aloha, Les <Please see the pix and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/viraldislymph.htm on to the Related FAQs linked above... Bob Fenner>

Help with Wimple, pop-eye/exophthalmia Hi Crew, <Eric>         Thanks for you help in the past I've had great advice from you. My setup is a Juwel Trigon 350 with Live Rock, Polyps and the following tankmates: Atlantic Anemone Bubble Anemone Bamboo Crab Hermit Crabs (Various) Turbo Snails 2 x Cleaner Shrimp Golden Cleaner Wrasse <Am wondering what species this is> 2 x Tank bred Clowns Regal Tang Yellow Tang Wimple Fish The problem I'm having is with my Wimple, which I just put into my tank a week ago from my quarantine tank along with my regal tang. They both had white spot and were cured after a long stay in the quarantine tank. After two days I spotted a couple of white spots on the Wimple and decided to give it a fresh water dip, which helped and hasn't had a spot since. I've noticed now that his eye has swollen up and not sure what it is. <One sided? Likely resultant from a physical trauma... a bump, net whack...> I've tried to take a picture of both eyes, which I've uploaded to http://www.jooste.f2s.com/Gill.html <Good pix... left eye exophthalmia> I've tested the water and found everything to be fine other than my Nitrates at 20ppm, which I'm battling to get down, and it looks like a hint of Nitrite (testing with Salifert, which results in a very light pink). I've been dosing the tank with Amquel+, to try and get the Nitrates down, and I also use Kent ZOE, Kent Iodine, and sometimes the Kent ZooPlex. If you could please help me find out what is wrong with my Wimple and how can help him get his eye back to normal. Thank you in Advance Eric <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Heniochus diphreutes maybe in Trouble - Urgent - Please advise Hello WWM Crew - Need some advice. I purchased a 5" Heniochus diphreutes about 3 days ago, which is in my 40 G quarantine tank. My quarantine tank is cycled and I don't usually use copper in it unless I really need to. The water parameters are: Ammonia 0, pH 8.3, Nitrites 0, Nitrates ~ 10, Temp 80. I do about a 5 - 10% water change in the quarantine directly from my 300 Gal reef which has very stable water conditions. o.k. -- Now the problem - The butterfly is eating very well and I feed it vitamin enriched Mysid shrimp fairly frequently in small quantities. It also seems to be swimming around the quarantine, somewhat curious and looking for food all over. However, over the past three days, I have started to see a small white growth/sore on one of the sides of the fish. It started out looking like a small wound, but it is starting to show some white foam like growth on it. The fish does seem to shiver every now and then. I was originally planning on using Melafix to see if I could disinfect the wound, but now I am not so sure that this is not a parasite. <I would not use this tea mixture> I have attached a picture of the fish, and have marked the wound/parasite as well. Could you please help me identify what this may be? Should I start copper sulphate? Or move ahead with my plans for a MelaFix treatment. <Likely either an "owee" from capture, transport... or an expression of stress...> I look forward to your advice. Thank You as always.  -Azim <If it were me, my fish, system, I would subtend the quarantine procedure in this case... dip/bath the Heniochus... place it in your main system... where there are hopefully biological cleaners... This is "worth the risk" (small) of actual biological disease transmission. Bob Fenner>


Banner Fish Not "banner" Reef Citizen  Hi gang, We have a 55 gal. w/80 lbs live rock. Currently there are 3 perc. clowns, a blue damsel, a lemon peel angel, hi-fin goby & pistol shrimp, a blood shrimp and sea star. We would like to add a pair of Long Fin Banner fish. There are mixed reviews on required gallons for these fish and we want to make sure that 1. we won't have too many fish, and 2. they won't become too large for our tank. Any suggestions???  <The Heniochus can attain a length of up to 10" in it's hometown. Most are sold from 2 1/2 to 3". A 50 would be all right for a while but as they grow they will need larger quarters. I might point out to you that if you have nice rock with fan worms, other nice stuff, then this fish isn't for you. They will pick at rocks looking for goodies and are not considered reef safe. James (Salty Dog)> 

Heniochus paper Dear Bob, <Greetings Dieter> how are things going? You are still in Hawaii? <No, unfortunately back on the mainland... Southern California... Oh, San Diego, you've been here> I'm translating one of your articles for "das Aquarium". The article is entitled "Bannerfish Butterflies, The Genus Heniochus. I would like to deal with this topic in more detail for our readers, add some more information about the aquarium keeping especially with invertebrates, some new literature as well as some more pictures. Authors of the resulting article would be Robert Fenner and Dieter Brockmann (or vice versa as you prefer) Would that be ok with you. <Ahh, an honor my friend> Best wishes to your wife from a cold and snowy Germany Dieter <And I think it is bad here because I have to put on a long-sleeve tee shirt! Danke shoen. Bob Fenner> Dr. Dieter Brockmann Gartenweg 3 89079 Ulm Germany Phone: 0049-731-9408990 Fax: 0049-731-9408992 Email: dieter.brockmann@medizin.uni-ulm.de www.riff-aquaristik.com

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>

Heniochus diphreutes Greetings! <Salutem dicit> I have a quick question for you; I'm planning a new system, a 75gallon AGA tank.  I would very much like to keep a small school of Heniochus diphreutes.  Would this be appropriate in a tank of this size?  How many would be feasible, if any? <Actually a 75 gallon is a bit small for any more than about two of these fish at adult size, and they are almost always collected/available as mediums plus. Two will do though and allow you to have maybe one more fish species of about the same size. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time! John
Re: Heniochus diphreutes
Thanks for the quick response! <Welcome> 2 would not make too much of an interesting display.  What other schooling fish could you recommend; ideally id like to have 7 or so.  Chromis are always popular, and I hear that some cardinals school as well. <Some species do... not all. The Chromis or other damsels are good choices, as are a few of the hardier, available Fancy Basses ("Anthias")...>   Also, other tank inhabitants include a pearly Jawfish and two false clowns. Thanks for your time! John <Glad to share John. Do give a read over the marine livestock selection FAQs archived on www.WetWebMedia.com for much more input re your possibilities here. Bob Fenner>

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>

- Bannerfish Flying at Half-Staff - I have a long fin butterfly or Bannerfish as some people call them and his long extended dorsal fin seems to be getting limp. Just the top inch or so. What can cause this? <Well, this part of the dorsal fin is really like any other - there is a ray of cartilaginous material, sometimes bone that gives the fin its rigidity. In your fish's case, there is a break at that point - not all that uncommon in capture/handling. Will heal in time provided a lack of aggression from other fish and calm/quite for the Bannerfish... will take months, but will heal.> Also my new Ocellaris clownfish likes to lay on his side. He is new to the tank (2 days). I acclimated him along with all the others, but he is the only one laying on his side and not moving from the corner of the tank. Any suggestions. <Is this a constant? Does the fish ever get about swimming? If not, things do not fare well for this fish - as you might guess, would be a highly vulnerable position to take in the wild, and this fish may have just given up.> My other clownfish, also Ocellaris did this too and they died! <Yes... would be what I would expect, sorry to say.> The pet store tested my water as well as I did before I put them in and it was in perfect parameters. What else can it be? <Could be compromised livestock - perhaps something you are doing in acclimation. Please tell more about this tank - size, age, etc.> Confused in Colorado Kelly <Cheers, J -- >

Heniochus chrysostomus Hello, <Hi there> I have question concerning the genus Heniochus, specifically Heniochus chrysostomus. In reading the information on the site about Heniochus under the behavior section, it said they are found in pairs to shoals of hundreds and should not be kept solitarily. <H. chrysostomus is almost always found in pairs... H. acuminatus and H. diphreutes (which I saw today diving off of Hawai'i) are the species that mainly occur in shoals> In dealers stores for freshwater tetras, they say to have at least 3-6, but in actuality, you should have many more I believe. <I agree with you> What would be the lowest number of chrysostomus that would sufficiently promote a comfortable environment for them. The tank size would be 750 gallons. <Very nice. A couple, as in just two will be fine> Thank you for time and knowledge!! Corey <And you for your caring. Bob Fenner>

Heniochus identification Hi Crew,     This one's been on the chat forum for a week with no takers, so I thought I'd see if y'all (southern, non genderized version of 'you guys') could help.     I'm 3 months new to the hobby and trying to build toward a reef tank by learning the basics with a few fish that won't have to be gotten rid of as I add more invert's over time.     LFS has some nice Bannerfish that they've labeled as  'Heniochus butterflies', which they obviously are. Sixty-four dollar question is are they H. diphreutes or H. acuminatus. My readings have convinced me to avoid acuminatus (Longfin), and likewise that diphreutes (schooling Bannerfish) should be more 'reef-safe'. <Mmm, six of one... Mostly the trade sees H. acuminatus... though diphreutes does come to us via Hawai'i occasionally...> I've read what I can find on differential ID between the two and am aware of the points made by Scott Michael. Unfortunately without both species to compare simultaneously I just can't be sure which species these fish really are. Any suggestions? <Side by side these two are unmistakable... but not having both, hard to discern by description. H. diphreutes really has a "little mouth" is my best discriminating factor... though the banding color differences are noted on WWM>     Thanks in advance for your consideration and for all the fantastic support "y'all" provide the hobby. Your website and books have already provided tremendous assistance even in my short time in the hobby. Keep up the great work! Florida Boy <Glad to find we've been of service. Bob Fenner>

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 ?br><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 zooanthids 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

La Freak! (Heniochus going nuts in QT) Hello crew, <Hi Scott F. here> I just purchased a Black and White Heniochus.  I got it home and floated the bag in my QT.  As I was trying to get him acclimated with the QT water, he started thrashing about and ramming himself into the side of the bag. He was literally freaking out.  I thought it best to go a head and put him into the QT right then.  When he went into the QT he headed straight to the bare glass floor.  He has been in the tank for about 20 minutes now and all he does is try to get at his reflection.  He rams himself into the floor and then swims on his side against the floor of the QT.  He's not trying to scratch, he's just swimming dragging his mouth on the floor mostly, trying desperately to get to his reflection.  What should I do? <Here is what I would do. I would keep the tank dark, and try to put dark construction paper or cardboard on three sides.  What you are trying to do is keep the reflection to a minimum and keep the fish calm.> Should I go ahead and put him into the main tank where there's substrate and probably won't do this, or should I just leave him and hope that he calms down. <No, do not cut the quarantine period short.  It could result in potential serious consequences for the rest of the fishes in terms of potential illnesses, etc.  Not worth it!> He's obviously breathing very rapidly.  I hope he won't go into to shock and die or something.  Please if you can, get back to me with some insight. <Well Vince, hopefully this well help him calm down.  Do monitor water chemistry in the QT to make sure you are not dealing with elevated ammonia or nitrite levels.  Conduct small frequent water changes to keep water quality high in the QT tank and observe the fish carefully.  Good luck. Regards Scott F.> Vince
La Freak... Part II.
Thank You Scott for getting back to me so quickly.  When I got up this morning, he was still at it.  He is sweeping side to side in sort of a figure eight pattern along the bottom.  He did the same thing all night.  I put some OSI Spirulina Flakes in to see if he would eat, but of course, nothing.  He avoided going near the food.  I will try your suggestions.  Do you think it's OK to start raising the SG of the QT?  The LFS keeps theirs at .019, my main tank is .024, or would this cause more stress to the poor guy? <Let's try this.  Slowly increase the SG to match your display tank parameters (over a period of several days.)  Continue to monitor water quality in the QT.  Try giving a variety of frozen foods, perhaps, Mysis, "formula" foods, etc., and see if this brings him around.  Hopefully this will do the trick.  If you are still experience problems, let me know.  Regards, Scott F.>
La Freak (Freaking Heniochus- Pt. 3)
Have already done a 20% water change with water from the main tank.  Do you think if I went back and bought the other Heni that was with him at the LF she would calm down? They swam around together and didn't fight, from what I could tell.  I do have room for two.  I just won't get the Tomato Clown pair I was wanting. <Well, if the behavior has not changed, and if the system you are running can accommodate the new fish, it's worth a shot...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Bannerfish with Velvet I am writing with another follow up to my Bannerfish trouble. The last time I wrote I had purchased a Bannerfish for my main tank and placed him in quarantine when he developed white spots and a cloudy eye and would shake like crazy while stating in one spot of the tank.  We thought it was marine velvet so we did 10 minutes freshwater dips and put CopperSafe in the quarantine tank.  We freshwater dipped the fish for ten consecutive days and left him in the 20 gallon quarantine tank with CopperSafe for over three weeks.  A few days into the above treatment his eye cleared up but he kept making the shivering motion in the water.  I sent an e-mail to The Crew and someone said his was more than likely due to the irritation from the copper and not the parasite that was probably gone by this point. <Agreed>   I thought he was better but left him in the CopperSafe for a total of 25 days to kill any parasites in the resting stage.  Well about a week into the above mention quarantine, I realized the growths I was seeing on the fishes fins were Cauliflower disease and then I read through the archives about this in your web site and found this is not uncommon for different types of Butterfly fish.  I also read many articles where Bob described it as an environmental disease and he stated the water conditions must be improved for the fish to be able to fight this virus. <Yes, this is so>    In a few archives Bob even recommended placing the fish back into the main tank for stability. <Yes> This is the route I chose as the water conditions in my 55 gallon sparsely populated tank with live rock were much better than the 20 gallon bare bottom quarantine tank with no live rock or carbon due to the copper necessary for treatment.  I thought I was in the clear as the CopperSafe would have wiped out the Velvet over the three weeks of treatment and the move of the fish to a copper free tank would stop the irritation to the fishes skin and stop him from shivering.  Well to my surprise, I added the Bannerfish to my main tank and six days later, he shivers worst than ever and has a cloudy eye again. My main tank had been stable for a long time now and the three fish living there have been very healthy.   As of now, they seem to not have caught anything from this mysterious Bannerfish but do you think I should move the Bannerfish back to quarantine or allow him to beat the cauliflower in the main tank? <I would leave it in the main tank... which is too small for this species. Do you have a much larger system you can move it to?>   Does the shivering and the cloudy eye mean he has another form of problem other than cauliflower? <No... all tied together with environment> Please tell me what to do as I thought I was going to be able to sit back and enjoy my new fish finally but now only sit around and worry!. Thanks, Amy <No sense worrying. Re-direct your energies, concerns to positive action. Bob Fenner>

Heniochus Are Happening! Can you keep two black and white Heniochus that are not a pair in the same tank? Are these fish hardy? I am not experienced with these type of fish so I don't know much about them. Thank you! <Heniochus are better kept in odd numbered lots (3,5,etc.). They do tend to form a "social hierarchy" in a captive system, so two may be a problem, with one individual dominating the other. These are quite hardy in captivity, and feed readily on a variety of foods. They do need a lot of space to swim, however, as they can reach almost 8 inches in length. Do check the wetwebmedia.com site for more information on this species. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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>

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 -- >>

Heniochus using Foxface for scratchpad? Hi Doctor, I have had these two fish since they were quite small, and they have been two of my most peaceful fish. Now the Heniochus acuminatus is about 5" and the Foxface close to full grown, and all the suddenly the Heni can't leave the Foxface alone. He continues to scratch on only one side of the Foxface without damage to either fish. The Foxface doesn't seem to mind, but occasionally he will raise his dorsal fin. My Heni doesn't scratch against anything else, or show any irritation on his skin. What gives? Thanks, Steve Tilotta <no logical explanation that I know of short of a captive induced anomaly/behavior. Although strange... it sounds like no harm has come of it. I wouldn't be surprised if changing the rockscape or adding/removing a fish doesn't stop the behavior. Kind regards, Anthony>
Re: Heniochus using Foxface for scratchpad?
As usual you are correct.  <good to hear :)> 2 days later and my Heni has gone on to other things.  <like what... dry humping a gorgonian? Heehee...> Thank you, Steve <no...thank you for the fun query <G>. Anthony>

Hopefully help my Heni? Hi, Sorry about the subject line...I couldn't resist. :-) <no... pleased to proffer a possible pedagogy> <alliteration can actually be awesome :)> One of my two Heniochus singularius has begun to develop white spots on the outside ends of his tail fin & side fins (sorry...don't know the proper names).  <no worries... caudal and pectoral respectively> I looked through the 'Disease' section and the best I could guess was lymph. I don't have a digital camera or I'd send you a picture. The spots do look rather thick in a few places. I don't remember seeing them yesterday, but I was gone for most of the day & night. He's been feeding fine (and is particularly fond of Nori!). <yes... Lymphocystis is common on angels and butterflies. And if the spots you see are larger than a grain of salt and/or dissimilar in size then not a parasite. Lymph is a viral infection... not fatal or curable> Would you please affirm/disaffirm my tentative ID of problem? <as per above... looks lumpy and like cauliflower small scale> Also...what steps should I take to resolve? I do have a cleaner shrimp in the tank already... <helpful> should I just watch & wait?  <yes... and be prepared to scrape off with a razor if they grow to bother the fish> I'm a little concerned as I'll be taking a weeklong trip 8 days from now. I do have a friend coming by daily who also has a saltwater tank. <no worries... its not fatal> Thanks for your counsel & time. John PS--a photo ID section added to your 'Disease' section would be GREATLY beneficial, allowing us to see & compare diseases side by side! <yes... agreed... all in due time. We are hard working, overachieving and overextended friends here. Unpaid keeps the dream alive and very different from government work :) Anthony>

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

Heniochus acuminatus Hi, I purchased a Heniochus acuminatus two weeks ago and he is doing fine except he won't eat anything other than brine shrimp. I need to be able to feed him some flake or other dry food since I travel some and usually leave a feeder with my fish while I'm gone. Is there any way to wean him on the flake food? <We first need to wean him onto something other than brine shrimp, as they are nutritionally useless. Try feeding both the brine shrimp with Mysis shrimp or plankton. Then as he gets less finicky, try some dry foods.> Thanks, Rich Aylward <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Heniochus woes Hi Bob: I really enjoy your site and admire your knowledge. <Ah, good and thank you> Two quick questions: About two weeks ago, I bought three small Heniochus acuminatus. The tips of their long fins (dorsal fins?) <yes> have become limp. Do you know what the cause might be? <Most likely "just" from the move... and will return to more upright orientation. Perhaps nutrition, water quality effects... > Also, I have a 46-gallon tank. In it, I have the three fish mentioned above, plus a Comet grouper, two clownfish, 5 snails and some live rock. I'd like to add one or two more fishes if that isn't too many. Do you have suggestions of what others will be compatible with the group I already have? Thanks so much. Vickie J. in Vienna Va. <Um, this is already a bit much for such a size, shape tank... Your "henis" will be crowded (if not so already), with growth. I would add no more fish livestock to this system. Thank  you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Heniochus Butterfly Greetings, Bob! I've searched your site but can find no answer to my question. I bought a Heniochus Butterfly the other day, and the skin at the top of his long top fin seems to have separated from the bone (about 1/8th of an inch). Is there anything I should do for him? He's eating and otherwise okay, but it looks uncomfortable to me. What happens if the top fin of a H. butterfly breaks? Does it regenerate? <Good question, and a common occurrence. Especially Heniochus acuminatus and larger H. diphreutes have tendencies to have their trailing dorsal fins tear like this during capture, handling and shipping from the wild... some collectors, transhippers even purposely cut the dorsal to prevent further damage... and yes it will, does grow back... Just try to keep the system optimized, stable and the fish feeding...> Also, can I add an Atlantic blue tang to my 75 gallon fish only aquarium which already houses a yellow tang and a purple tang? <Likely yes. But wait a good month from now plus... to allow the new social dynamic to sort itself out, the Heni to cure> Thank you very much! I appreciate your guidance. Yours, Sherri Lindsey <A pleasure. Bob Fenner>

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>

Heni, Porc, Oodinium: We have a porcupine puffer & 2 H. acuminatus amongst our 15 fish in our 95-G tank. The puffer developed Oodinium, which we treated & appeared to have eradicated. I understand that Henis are cleaners when they are young. I have observed the Henis nipping at the puffer's sensitive skin & fins, which irritates the puffer. Is it possible that the Henis' harassment of the puffer caused the disease? If so, I am concerned hat the disease may reappear. Will the Henis leave the puffer alone asthey grow? Thanks for your insight. >> Good observation on your part. Yes, many Butterflyfishes are facultative (they don't have to) cleaners of other fishes as juveniles, including the species of the genus Heniochus. I doubt that the cleaning behavior actually caused the Puffers outbreak... and it is more than able to reject the Heni's attentions. And yes to the last question. These Butterflies will leave off with much of their cleaning behavior as they grow more... stopping at 3-4 inches in length. Bob Fenner

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"

Nipped Banggai > Bob: > About a month ago, I E-mailed you about someone in our tank nipping at both > of our Banggai cardinals' tails. Our eleven inhabitants in our 95-gallon are > as follows: > 1 Banggai cardinal > 1 porcupine puffer > 1 blue hippo tang > 1 yellow-eyed Kole tang > 1 squirrelfish > 1 clown > 1 female lyretail Anthias > 1 Christmas wrasse > 1 flame hawk > 1 Foxface Rabbitfish > 1 coral beauty angel > You suspected that the puffer was getting nippy during the night, and that we start feeding him a steady diet of krill. I must commend you on your > suggestion...the puffer literally does somersaults when he sees the krill coming, and seems to be less aggressive toward his tankmates! > I would like to add either one or a pair of Heniochus acuminatus. I would appreciate your recommendation as to go for one or two. > Thanks,  Mitch >> Ah, good news... glad to hear your puffer is literally in the pink... it will be changing to this hue soon. Re the Bannerfish (took their picture just today out on Molokini), I really do like this species, and it would be nice to have a couple... but your tank is getting a little tight on space... and a single one would probably be best. Bob "Sherlock" Fenner

Butterflyfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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