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Three Marine Tankbusters

The showstopping snapper, fusilier and grunt families can be kept in large home aquariums.

By Scott W. Michael |

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While many of us don’t have room in our aquariums for what have been dubbed as “tankbusters,” there are more aquarists these days that are setting up voluminous tanks that are suitable for larger, more active fish species. There are three families that contain larger species that do well in captivity: the snappers, fusiliers and the grunts. FW Tankbusters>>

Snappers (Lutjanidae)
The snappers are important food fish in tropical areas all over the world. They exhibit two principal feeding modes: the first (and largest) group feeds on benthic invertebrates and fish, while members of the second group are plankton- feeders. Those from the first group (this includes all three species covered in the accounts to follow) feed on invertebrates, such as cephalopods, worms, shrimp, crabs, snails, clams and heart urchins. Adult members of the second group prey on larger zooplankton. The zooplankton-feeding snappers include members of the genus Macolor, which are occasionally offered to aquarists. At least some species exhibit ontogenetic changes in their diet, where they feed heavily on zooplankton as young fish and switch to larger, benthic prey as they get larger.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the December 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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