Supplement to Beginning to Advanced Marine Fish"
Aquarium USA magazine, 2012, Vol. 18. Fish for Beginning Hobbyists
Scott W. Michael |
Morays (Muraenidae). Many durable species, but most will eat fish and crustacean tankmates. Also prone to slithering out of holes in the aquarium top. Some can bite and cause serious injuries to the aquarist.
Groupers (Serranidae). Many hardy forms, but larger species can be predatory, and many can get large (some enormous), so plan accordingly.
Dottybacks (Pseudochromidae). Very hardy but also aggressive. Larger species can be deadly to small fish and crustacean tankmates.
Assessors and comets (Plesiopidae). These fish are almost bulletproof. They are cryptic (especially comets) and will need good hiding places.
Grammas (Grammatidae). Durable but prone to some color loss in captivity.
Hawkfishes (Cirrhitidae). All are durable, but some of the larger species are predatory. Most can be aggressive, especially in confines of smaller tank.
Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae). Many species are hardy. Will require good hiding places, and some are very cryptic.
Damsels (Pomacentridae). Many hardy species (some of the Chromis species are less durable), but many can become very territorial and pick on smaller neighbors. This group, of course, includes all the anemonefishes, many of which do well (especially tank-raised individuals).
Certain wrasses (Labridae: Bodianus, Gomphosus, Halichoeres, Novaculichthys and Thalassoma). Most of these are larger and more aggressive toward other fish, so select tankmates accordingly and do more research about the particular species you want to keep. Halichoeres and Novaculichthys need a sandbed to bury in. Some are prone to jumping out of aquarium.
Gobies (Gobiidae). A very large and diverse group, but most available to hobbyists are easy to keep. Most are also peace-loving and non-predatory toward fish and ornamental invertebrates. Some are prone to jumping out of aquarium.
Dartfishes (Ptereleotridae). Suitable for beginners (Nemateleotris firefish), but some (mainlyPtereleotrisspp.) require patience and peaceful environments.
Sandperches (Pinguipedidae). Very durable. Large individuals may eat small fish and crustaceans. Will jump out of open aquariums.
Rabbitfishes (Siganidae). Many grow large and need some room to move. Need a lot of greens in their diets.
Surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae, genus Zebrasoma). Some members of this family will do well for the neophyte, but all need plenty of swimming space and a diet replete with vegetation.
Triggerfishes (Balistidae). Durable but juveniles require frequent feeding (meaty foods three or four times a day). Some species can be pugnacious in captivity, and many eat a wide range of invertebrates.
Fish for Intermediate Hobbyists
Captive-raised seahorses (Syngnathidae). Special food requirements. Care must be taken when selecting tankmates, and there are some microhabitat preferences (e.g., limited water movement, decor that they can wrap their prehensile tails around).
Scorpionfishes (Scorpaenidae). Many species require live food to initiate feeding. These fishes are venomous and can cause severe injury and, on rare occasions, death.
Anthias (Serranidae). Beautiful fish often kept in groups. They require optimal water conditions with good water flow and frequent feeding of various meaty items. There are some species that are suitable for more experienced hobbyists only.
Jawfishes (Opistognathidae). Need a deep sandbed with initial acclimation crucial period. These fishes are prone to leaping from open aquariums.
Jacks (Carangidae). Many will readily feed and acclimate to captive life, but large size and active lifestyles make them unsuitable for beginners. Also many highly predatory and some are more prone to disease.
Angelfishes (Pomacanthidae). There are many angelfishes that will do well in aquarium with some algae or live rock present. Most of the pygmy angelfishes (Centropyge spp.) are especially well-suited to aquarium life. There are many angelfishes in other genera (e.g., Holacanthus,Pomacanthus) that get quite large and need plenty of living space. Some with specialized diets are difficult to keep.
Certain butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae). More polyphagous species that have been handled carefully by collectors and exporters often acclimate to optimal aquarium conditions. Will require varied diet.
Certain wrasses (Labridae, Cirrhilabrus, Hemigymnus, Paracheilinus and Wetmorella). These wrasses do not always ship well and may take some time to acclimate to captive living. Smaller Cirrhilabrus tend to do better than larger representatives. Research the species carefully before you buy. Wetmorella tend to do well in peaceful surroundings.
Blennies (Blenniidae). Some of these fish will do well with for the beginner with a reef aquarium (e.g., bicolor blenny, Ecsenius bicolor), but if algae is not present, these fish often starve to death. The lyretail blenny (Meiacanthus spp.) feeds on microinvertebrates and will do well if fed frequently (always do best in a reef aquarium).
Surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae, genus Acanthurus) Some members of this family will do well for the neophyte, but all need plenty of swimming space and a diet replete with vegetation. Many are prone to skin parasites and various health problems.
Batfish/Spadefishes (Ephippidae). Large fishes that require plenty of living space in a very big aquarium. Require frequent feeding that includes plant material. May eat ornamental invertebrates. They are prone to skin infections.
Filefishes (Monacanthidae). Varied diet is essential. They do best in tank with peaceful tankmates (at least for initial acclimation). Species in genus Oxymonacanthus have specialized diets and often starve in captivity (for advanced fishkeepers only).
Fish for the Advanced Hobbyists
Ribbon eels (Muraenidae, gemis Rhinomuraena). Difficult to feed and prone to leaping from any small hole in the aquarium top.
Frogfishes (Antennariidae). Eating machines that will consume fish that are their own length! Susceptible to parasites and sometimes picked on by fish that feed off the substrate (they nip at the frogfish). They do best in an aquarium on their own. Most require live food, at least initially.
Pipefishes (Syngnathidae). Feed on microcrustaceans, reluctant to accept non-live foods. Have a difficult time competing with more aggressive fish tankmates. Best to keep on their own.
Tilefishes (Malacanthidae). Prone to damage from deepwater collection (swim bladder issues). Often reluctant to feed, and prone to jumping from open aquariums or damaging themselves by propelling themselves against aquarium top.
Coral-feeding butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae). Very specialized diet that is difficult to replicate. Many of these fishes will only ingest coral or coral mucus.
More finicky angelfishes (Pomacanthidae). Some sponge-feeding fishes will not shift to aquarium foods (e.g., flagfin angelfish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus). Their health will fail if their nutritional requirements are not met. Some also do poorly (e.g., purple mask angelfish, Paracentropyge venusta) because they are not handled with care in the areas where they are usually collected.
Certain wrasses (Labridae, genera Anampses, Labroides, Labropsis, Macropharyngodon, Pseudojuloides and Stethojulis). These fishes have specialized diets or simply have difficulty getting enough to eat in captivity or suffer greatly during shipping.
Dragonets (Callionymidae). These fishes are difficult to feed unless housed in an aquarium with lots of live microinvertebrates to feed on. Often only ingest live microcrustaceans or are slow to take introduced aquarium foods (which often are eaten by more aggressive feeders).
Boxfishes (Ostraciidae). Can release a toxin that can kill all fish in the tank, including the boxfish itself. May present feeding challenges.
Puffers (Tetraodontidae). Larger Arothron species may have difficult with teeth and will require intervention (as discussed in article). The smaller Canthigaster species are OK for intermediate aquarist, although make sure they get a varied diet (including plant material) that includes some shelled food to help wear teeth down. Dangerous to ornamental invertebrates.
Give us your opinion on
Supplement to Beginning to Advanced Marine Fish"