Reef Safe With Caution Fish (best and worst)

BRS

Do you keep "Reef Safe with Caution" fish?

  • YES (tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 300 61.7%
  • NO

    Votes: 171 35.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.1%

  • Total voters
    486

revhtree

Owner Administrator
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
43,704
Reaction score
68,806
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Recently we talked about "reef safe" angelfish but today I want to expand the conversation to all fish that are considered reef safe, but with caution. Thanks to @Gtinnel for the QOTD idea. So let's talk about these fish!

1. Do you keep "Reef Safe with Caution" fish? If so what fish and what's your experience with them been?

2. What would you say are some good fish to take a chance on and some that are a bad bet?


Cuban Hogfish image via @reefs4less
Screenshot 2021-09-30 at 14-48-18 Cuban Hogfish For Sale (Bodianus pulchellus) TOP Care facts ...png
 

blaxsun

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
3,354
Reaction score
2,957
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Saskatchewan
1. Yes. I have a pair of dwarf angelfish (coral beauty, midnight) and a quoy parrotfish. The coral beauty has never touched any of my corals (good fish!); the midnight ate all my acans (bad fish!) The parrotfish has actually been surprisingly good, but he's unintentionally fragged a few soft corals (zoas, mushroom) chewing on the ceramic frag plugs.

2. I think dwarf angels are a mixed bag of snakes and can be hit or miss. If you have more than one they also tend to mimic any behaviour they see in other angels, which means one nibbler has the potential to become two, etc. The parrotfish is a relatively safe bet if your frag plugs are placed securely and more or less covered. If there's more ceramic plug than coral it will probably end up being scraped. Parrotfish are also the mandarin equivalent of algae consumers, so they need a lot of rock work to keep themselves occupied.
 

Jeffcb

Tang Tang
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
4,078
Reaction score
18,310
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
San Antonio, Texas
I had a African Flameback. He was great with all types of coral until I introduced a Scolymia. I had to drain the tank completely to get him out. He is now in my FOWLR tank. I just added a Bi-Color Blenny. From what I read they can be a menace but this one is good so far.
 

jda

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
9,447
Reaction score
13,462
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boulder, CO
Many non reef safe fish are coral safe. If you take away inverts, many of those fish will not eat corals. If you can live without shrimp, some crabs and stupid snails (the smart ones can keep from being eaten), then many fish will do ok in tanks with coral.

Additionally, nearly all species have counterparts that are totally reef safe. The Xanthichus triggers are planktivores and totally reef safe (sargassum, crosshatch, bluethroat) and should not be compared to other kinds. Same with the Genicanthus angelfish which are the same way. Nearly everybody seems to get this with wrasses where the flasher and fairies are good and other types are nightmares, but it applies to other fish too.

For the photo - I have a cuban hog in my reef right now and it is fine with everything.
 

Gtinnel

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
3,483
Reaction score
4,694
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Charleston, WV
In the past I've kept a foxface without issue, but from asking other reefers like most "with caution" fish it just the luck of the draw.

I did keep a copperband butterfly for a short amount of time before it starved to death. Towards the end of its life it started eating my hammers and duncan corals. Although I can't say as I blame it since it wouldn't eat anything else.
 

JumpingFlea

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
140
Reaction score
77
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pacific Ocean
1. Do you keep "Reef Safe with Caution" fish? If so what fish and what's your experience with them been?
I keep a foxface and a copperband in my reef. Absolutely no problems, so far.
2. What would you say are some good fish to take a chance on and some that are a bad bet?
Foxfaces in my opinion are the best cautious fish to keep. They have great personality and get up to a good size. Also different choices of foxfaces. I’m not sure about bad bets except maybe large angels or some butterflies.
 

ImaFlippinDolphin

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
513
Reaction score
769
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Gainesville
I've rolled the dice on an emporer angel and moorish idol, and as expected they ate lps and nipped sps like crazy despite heavy feeding...so unfortunately I had to move them along. I do have a foxface which I've not had any issues with
 

Smite

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
1,927
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Garden Grove
I avoid them now for the most part.

I really loved the smaller angels like flame, coral beauty and cherubs but when I have one in the tank and something starts to happen with sps, I always get stuck wondering if it's them.

I'll say the best one would be the copperband butterfly. I've had pretty good success as far as not eating coral/sps while still eating aiptasia. Just so hard to get them to eat prepared foods.
 

brmreefer

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
622
Reaction score
927
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Milton, FL
I have a Zebra Moray Eel that has been for the most part a very model citizen in regards to other fish inhabitants. I've only witnessed our eel snatch a hermit crab that was walking by and partially crush it's shell, but with luck it survived the ordeal. Recommended with planning. :D

Another is our One Spot Foxface. I've only witnessed it mow down a large colony of pulsing xenias, guessing 6+ months ago. Since then, have had no issues. Was worried for a bit as to what the next coral it was looking to snack on, but nothing else has been targeted to date. Not sure I would get another after this one, but really on the fence on it. Maybe later on if upgraded to a larger system, then may lean towards getting another. :)
 

bnord

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
224
Reaction score
259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
athens Ga US
I have a One Spot Foxface and keep him well-fed.
have been interested to see fox face on the caution list, didn't know that before I added one and 1) never seen him touch a coral and 2) rarely seen him graze. So good news bad news....
 

bnord

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
224
Reaction score
259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
athens Ga US
Have a Coral Beauty (CB) and has been a model, have a blue Jaw trigger as the safest bet trigger, and has been model (though no more peppermint shrimp) and have a CB aptasia File and it has removed one ( and only one) variety of paly, leaving the zoas alone (hope he doesn't hear me). Interested to see folks add Fox Face to the list of risk, had not heard that before.
 
BRS

Speaking of your latest coral purchase...

  • It was a GREAT deal

    Votes: 57 41.3%
  • It was a good deal

    Votes: 38 27.5%
  • It was nether good nor bad

    Votes: 31 22.5%
  • It was a bad deal

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 2.2%
AVAST
Top