Fish to eat sea lettuce

aquatic engineer

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May 18, 2019
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Hi Everyone,

I'm fairly new to the saltwater side of the hobby and have a 125g mixed reef tank that has been up and running since January. I like to engineer things and geek out on equipment, so I spent 3 months designing everything before the build. That said, I've had really good luck so far with stable water parameters, and I've finally gotten a QT routine that works well. Here's my problem: I tried sea lettuce in the refugium section of my sump and it has taken over the DT (no other algae problems though). I have one purple tang who is scared of his own shadow, so his grazing is limited to the bottom third of the tank where he can zip out and back after grabbing a mouthful. My bicolor blenny doesn't really seem too interested in the ulva, though he goes after other algae if it crops up. No other fish are grazers in my tank so far. I'm at the frag stage with my corals and have mostly zoas and acans right now. I've heard good things about rabbitfish/foxface for algae control, but they may nip at LPS. I really want to add a hippo tang as I love those fish, but know that they seem to be harder to keep and may not help as much with algae.

What are your opinions with respect to the most effective fish to graze on ulva when it is growing on the rock in the top two thirds of the tank where the purple tang never goes? I've heard a hippo tang may not really be as effective at algae grazing, so that's why I'm thinking of rabbitfish, but I'm worried about the risk of them eating my coral. Which fish should I go for, or should I get both? Thanks for your input in advance!


walked the sand with the crustaceans
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Sep 14, 2017
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Near Seattle
Foxfaces are usually pretty good reef residents.
I've kept a few and have never seen them so much as look sideways at any coral.
I'd try one of them first.


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Dec 13, 2018
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Actually, mollusks and crustaceans are usually what eat a lot of that. Try an urchin or crabs, they should do a good job. Otherwise you can see if you can sell it by the handulf to your LFS for store credit or try a bristle tooth tang. I have had 2 fox face- never bothered coral.

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