What is THE most difficult creature we can keep in our reef tanks?

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Amit Singh

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When I was new to the hobby, I was led to believe by my LFS that I could easily get them to eat frozen food. It never ate and unfortunately perished. That's when I discovered that they are notorious for only eating live foods and very rarely eating prepared.
Absolutely fish (NJ) does ask about tank and tank mates and wont sell fish a tank is not right for ...
 
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kevgib67

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Not quite reaching the hardest to keep list though .
I believe this goes with maintaining acceptable water chemistry .
clownfish once we’re used as a sacrificial ammonia source which a large percentage of them were hardy enough to live through such toxic conditions .
I believe part of the blame should be on the lfs providing false information suggesting using fish to cycle a brand new system ( that was more likely setup and stocked in very little time .
Race home add water and drop in fish with no other information or education how to properly care for such animals .

mandarins : again one of the most attractive fish available and from a new persons perspective is desired by many .
sadly setting up a system and dropping it in will only lead to starvation .
now that they are captive bred it might be a lot easier than it was 20 years ago to get one offered foods and not only copepods .

would it be wrong for a lfs to tell someone new that this fish can’t be sold to them at this time ?

the way society is now . I can only assume if someone was told no they can’t buy it . It would be a lawsuit
I have a really great lfs locally. Owners have been in business for decades. After being out of the hobby for 10 years I set up a new tank. I always loved diamond watchman gobies and three months after setting up my tank I went to my lfs to purchase one and was told my sand was not established enough to meet it’s nutritional needs and to come back in two months. I currently have a fat and happy diamond watchman goby due to their advice.
 
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Wasabiroot

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Putting in a vote for Dendronepthea and other pacific soft corals in the related families. Their nutritional requirements demand a specialized setup long term. Not impossible, just challenging.
 

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When I was new to the hobby, I was led to believe by my LFS that I could easily get them to eat frozen food. It never ate and unfortunately perished. That's when I discovered that they are notorious for only eating live foods and very rarely eating prepared.
A lot of that comes down to the interpretation that "getting them to eat frozen food" only requires throwing frozen food in the tank and hoping the mandarin outcompetes the twelve other fish, which is never the case. I think a more accurate expectation that should be given by the live fish store is: "If you want a mandarin in the first year of having the tank up, this needs to be your only fish and you need to dedicate your time to ensuring it eats something every ten seconds. You can try to sneakily pipet frozen brine & mysis, but be prepared to buy lots of copepods by the bottle in case your fish is particularly stubborn." I think that right there is a reasonable expectation and would deter lots of people. As for clownfish, LFS tell customers to start with them. Unfortunately, these customers tend to come from owning freshwater tanks and don't understand that our cycling is different from freshwater.
 
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SaJon

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Fish, corals, and invert, sponges, anemones… they are all included.

In your opinion, what animal is the most difficult to keep in the reefing hobby?
For me it was approx 22 years ago (not to give out my age by any means lol) but I had an Angler and I was told I could keep a Porcupine Puffer in with him. Well shortly after adding him to the Angler, my son who was alot younger then asked me, "Momma , did you get a new fish?" I replied no why? He said come look. I kid you not, that Angler tried to eat my Porcupine and the Porcupine inturn puffed up while halfway in his mouth. My son thought we had a new fish in that tank. Lol So for me I'd say the hardest fish in my experience was the Angler. He was cool, but hard to keep. Never had another one since thats for sure. ;)
 

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For me it was approx 22 years ago (not to give out my age by any means lol) but I had an Angler and I was told I could keep a Porcupine Puffer in with him. Well shortly after adding him to the Angler, my son who was alot younger then asked me, "Momma , did you get a new fish?" I replied no why? He said come look. I kid you not, that Angler tried to eat my Porcupine and the Porcupine inturn puffed up while halfway in his mouth. My son thought we had a new fish in that tank. Lol So for me I'd say the hardest fish in my experience was the Angler. He was cool, but hard to keep. Never had another one since thats for sure. ;)
Anglers/Frogs aren't impossible to keep, but they need very specific setups to thrive and not have stuff like that happen
 
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i cant think

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definitely the much larger angels such as French, Greys ect… This isn’t due to difficulty with feeding, i fact it’s the total opposite and these guys feed on everything.
It’s the trap they hold, they tend to lure you in because of the stunning colours they hold as both juvenile and adults. But they just get huge and need tanks many people cannot accommodate for.
I also say this for the larger tanks such as Naso unicornis, Zebrasoma veliferum/desjardini, Acanthurus sohal ect…
 
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Bucs20fan

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seems to be peppermint shrimp lol i see more posts about peppermint shrimp than anything else. So i think this is the number one difficulty reefers run into
Yep only place for peppermints is in a trigger fish tank.

I'm not biased against them or anything...
 

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Can I say the correct answer would be great white shark? Other than jaws 3 there has never been one successfully kept in an enclosure or confined space.

while some animals pose more logistical dilemmas like size, the blue whale, I think with a 0% success rate the great white takes the cake
 

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Can I say the correct answer would be great white shark? Other than jaws 3 there has never been one successfully kept in an enclosure or confined space.

while some animals pose more logistical dilemmas like size, the blue whale, I think with a 0% success rate the great white takes the cake
0% success rate over time that is, I believe the longest was 6 months and the shark was released. Why they keep attempting is beyond me.
 
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Barnacles for sure. Would be amazing to have living barnacles in our ecosystems, but alas they always perish.
It's crazy that after reading this I just found a barnacle on a piece of my live rock I never noticed before haha...no idea how it's doing though of course since I just now noticed it
 
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