Reef safe butterfly fish

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fish' started by reefhusker, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. reefhusker

    reefhusker New Member

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    Is there a reef "safer" butterfly fish that people have had good success with? Preferably something easier to care for as well!
     
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  2. nanoreefsrcool

    nanoreefsrcool New Member

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    Zoster butterfly,easy to care for and considered mostly reef safe.
     
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  3. WVUReefer

    WVUReefer New Member

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    I had a copperband for a very long time(loved mysis and brine), it never bothered any corals, but at some point it broke and turned loose on my anemones and clams...
     
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  4. michael_cb_125

    michael_cb_125 New Member

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    Look at any of the butterflies in the "tinkeri-complex". These are all butterflies hailing from deeper waters and are very hardy as far as butterflies go. I have kept several of them and they are extremely personable fish.

    Here are the species in this genus:

    Chaetodon burgess:
    [​IMG]

    Chaetodon tinkeri:
    [​IMG]

    Chaetodon declivis:
    [​IMG]

    Chaetodon mitratus:
    [​IMG]
    Chaetodon flavocoronatus:
    [​IMG]

    Chaetodon tinkeri x Chaetodon burgessi:
    [​IMG]

    All of these fish have very similar body shape. They are typically found in very deep water along the reef slope. All of the specimens that I have kept have eaten almost immediately and adapted very quickly to tank life.

    These are considered to be some of the best butterflies for the reef tank. Like all butterflyfish they do pose some risk to large polyp stony corals, but if kept well fed, they generally do not do much harm. All the specimens that I have kept have never touched any corals.

    ~Michael
     
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  5. Nowellsy SNR

    Nowellsy SNR New Member

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    There all nice fish!
     
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  6. michael_cb_125

    michael_cb_125 New Member

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    Another genus of fairly easy to care for butterflies is Prognathodes. This family includes some of my absolute favorite butterflies. These fish hail from deep water and the majority are found in the Atlantic. The common name for the genus is longnose butterflies, and they are great choices for a reef tank. Again, I have kept several of these fish and they have never bothered any corals.

    P. aya:
    [​IMG]

    P. guyanensis:
    [​IMG]

    P. marcellae:
    [​IMG]

    P. brasiliensis:
    [​IMG]

    P. aculeatus:
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. michael_cb_125

    michael_cb_125 New Member

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    P. basabei:
    [​IMG]

    This is a fish endemic to Hawaii, and one that I an in the process of obtaining. ;)

    ~Michael
     
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  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Excellent information Michael :)

    I would like for anyone who is considering these exquisite fish to realize that the majority of them fair better long-term if they are feed several times a day through-out the day.

    Wouldn't you tend to agree Michael? :dunno:
     
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  9. michael_cb_125

    michael_cb_125 New Member

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    Absolutely Al.

    All of these fish need multiple feedings per day. I feed my fish (angels and butterflies) between five and ten times per day. Most butterflies have very high metabolisms and do require a lot of food. The best way I can describe it is, these fish are like the hummingbirds of the reef.

    Also, if kept well fed, these fish are much less likely to pick at corals. Another overlooked aspect is keeping these fish "entertained". If these fish are kept with other butterflies or angels they seem to pick less at corals.

    ~Michael
     
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  10. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    That's the main reason why I don't delve into the bff or angels yet. I want one SO bad (even worse after last month's meeting and seeing your pics too) but I'm not a daily feeder let alone a "several times a day" feeder. Since I can't give them what I know they need I can't put one in my tank... dang nabbit!

    Thanks for chiming in bro!!!
     
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  11. michael_cb_125

    michael_cb_125 New Member

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    C'mon Al, you know you need one.

    Once you get a butterfly or angel you will not mind feeding a lot. I LOVE feeding my fish, it is when I bond with them and all of my fish know me as the bringer of yummy goodness. :)

    But in all seriousness, these fish do require several feedings per day.
    If you like any of them let me know and I can go over the requirements of each species. :)

    ~Michael
     
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  12. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Oh you know I want one.. BAD! But I leave the house around 7am and may not be home again until 12 hours later... Mon - Fri. That makes it very hard to feed several times unless I do it like every 45 mins from 7pm - Midnight :LOL:
     
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  13. reefhusker

    reefhusker New Member

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    Michael - You've answered a number of my threads I've posted here regarding my desireable fish list. I am looking for an easy to care for, and reef safe or semi-reef safe display fish. You have talked my out of tangs and i'm ok with that. Next you pointed me to angels and they're ok but nothing struck me. Then recently I saw somebody with the same tank as me get a copperband bff which made me think about getting one of them. I am interested, however the feeding thing would potentially be a bump in the road. I recently just lost a BSJF so my confidence is a bit low, but from what the wonderful people on RS say it probably wasn't my fault and could have been related to the passing of a sea hare just a day earlier. All I have right now is a pair of B & W TB clowns and they're doing great. Here is my current wish list: (order to be added to tank TBD) foxface, midas blenny, firefish, flame angel or coral beauty and maybe another BSJF. Thanks Michael
    I have a 65 gallon tank!
     
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