Fish To Be Avoided II

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish' started by omard, Jul 8, 2007.

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  1. omard

    omard Gnarly Old Codfish

    Sep 28, 2003
    Silverdale, Washington
    (Repost with Permission)

    Fish to Be Avoided Part II
    (Part I)

    Venomous and/or Toxic Species:

    Stonefish (can be deadly)




    Coral Catfish (these also get up to a foot long and no longer school once larger)

    Bluering Octopus (can be deadly)


    Canary Blenny (venomous bites that can be painful but little else)

    Flower Urchins (can be deadly but rarely encountered in the aquarium trade)

    Black Longspine Sea Urchin (can inflict painful wounds, some debate exists whether or not they are really venomous)

    Cone Shells (rarely encountered in the aquarium trade, can be deadly)

    Stingrays (many have venom associated with the spike on the tail which they use in self defense, don't get stung in the chest and you should live to tell about it)

    Sea Snakes (I know of no one attempting to keep them in captivity, but included for good measure)

    Box Jellyfish (quite deadly but of no concern to aquarists)

    Hell's Fire Anemonen (while all anemones are capable of stinging, this is the one of the few to be concerned about, very painful stings)

    Hydroids (usually just cause skin irritation if anything)

    Fire Coral (see above)

    Zoanthids (some of these can contain Palytoxin which can be quite dangerous and make you very ill, they're quite frequently harmless but if you want to err on the side of caution rubber gloves are a good idea when handling them, as are goggles when fragging them)

    Extremely Aggressive Species:

    Undulated Triggerfish (the meanest auqarium fish available in all likelyhood)
    Queen Triggerfish (not quite as bad as the Undulated, but pretty close and they get very large)
    Clown Triggerfish (pretty similar in demeanor to the above two)
    Blueline Triggerfish (not so bad when young but a beast once it grows, perhaps the least aggressive of the four)

    Passer Angelfish (probably the meanest of all Angelfish, I've seen them take over tanks)

    Damselfish (they're not all bad, but ounce for ounce some of them are the meanest fish around, think twice about adding them as some of your first specimens)

    Maroon Clownfish (females get quite large and they can get quite mean and bully any tankmates that dare come close, they're also probably the least tolerant of other clown species)

    Sohal Tang (hardier than the Clown Tang but just about as mean, probably best to keep them as the lone Tang and if you must keep one in a community reef tank make it your last fish addition)

    Inverts To Be Avoided Or Better Left To Experts:

    Non-photosynyhetic Corals and Gorgonids [Sun polyps, Carnation, Devils Hand, Chili Coral, etc.] (if it's a soft coral and not green or brown in part and is very vividly colored odds are it's non-photosynthetic and requires more small particles of food than most aquarists are willing to provide, the only non photosynthetic stoney corals frequently seen are Tubastrea sp., regular feedings of meatier foots can lead to success with these)

    Christmas Tree Worms (filters feeders that rarely live long in home aquaria)

    Coco Worms (see above)

    Goniopora sp. (some strides have been made but still miserably low survival rates, stokesi is the most common and seems to be the least hardy in the genus)

    Feather Starfish (require huge amounts of flow and large amounts of tiny planktonic organisms)
    Basket Starfish
    Crown of Thorns Starfish (duh!)
    Linkia Starfish (disease issues and poor acclimation to aquarium life, problem feeders as well)

    Wild SPS Corals (small-polyped scleractinian) that are not frags (wild colonies can be particularly adapted to flow and light from their natural environment and often do poorly once in aquaria, see out hardy aquacultered specimens)

    Sea Apples (often slowly waste away in starve to death if not offered large amounts of food appropriate for filter feeders, also chances of toxins being released and possibly killing other organisms)

    Sea Pens (still offered in the aquarium trade but chances of survival are very poor with this filter feeder)

    Giant Xenia (this one rarely does well once established and like most other xenia does not ship well)

    Sea Slugs and Nudibranchs (very specialized feeders, a couple can be useful to elimate pests but it is very difficult to sustain a food source for even those, they're also very prone to damage by overflows and pumps)

    Flame Scallop (filter feeders that usually waste away in home aquaria, the same goes for other Scallops which are les frequently encountered in the trade)

    Anemones (most anemones should be placed in specialty tanks and also have very poor survival rates, beginners should not attempt Anemones without extensive research)
    Bright Yellow Anemones (dyed; and done most commonly with Sebae, but also seen less frequently with Long Tentacle and Carpet anemones)

    Harlequin/Clown Shrimp (must have live feeder starfish to survive)
    Camel/Mechanical shrimp (Not reef safe but often sold as as such)

    Elegance Coral (recent poor survival possibly due to a disease, other factors might relate to them coming from higher nutrient environments)

    Red Serpent Starfish (often disolve and waste away and can be very fragile)

    Pipe Organ Coral [Tubipora Musica] (often hacked off from a larger colony, recent survival seems better than in the past)

    Large Sponges (often hacked off from large colonies of their rock base, also exposed to air for too long which leads to their demose, bright orange and yellow colors are common)

    Special Notes:

    Clownfish [Amphiprion sp.] (various species often acclimate poorly to aquarium life and suffer greatly from collection stress, I've seen estimates that as little as five percent of those collected live to be in home aquaria, when possible buy tank raised specimens)

    Bangaii/Borneo Cardinals [Pterapogon kauderrni] (rather limited in range and rumors of an unsustainable population if the current rate of collection continues, there are also stories of poor survival after collection, buy tank raised when possible)

    Tangs (should have larger aquarium to provide them plenty of swimming room, no a tang is not suitable for your nano cube or 29 gallon tank, when small 3'-4' aquariums can be suitable for short periods of time, though bigger is recommended by many, just be sure you're planning an upgrade in the near future as they can grow fast)

    Angelfish (their compatibility with corals and clams is often brought up and debated, outside of Geniacanthus there really is no such thing as a "reef safe" Angelfish, before purchasing one consider how difficult one would be to catch out of your display tank after it decides your corals and favorite clam are delicious, they can be model citizens but there is always a risk associated in reef aquariums)

    Peter Eichler (Reef Central)

    (Part I)

    List of Good Beginner Fish
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
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  3. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

    Jan 9, 2006
    Nice article!
    I agree with all of the above except for the Diadema(black long-spined Urchin)! They are one of the best urchin species for a reef tank as they don't make a mess of your tank by plowing coral etc. over. And I did get stung(pricked) by one and it did nothing except for itch for awhile.
    Of course everyone is different and could have a different reaction from the next person...
    Good job!
  4. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

    Sep 24, 2008
    Southern CA
    My large female maroon clown is as nice as can be. She leaves the damsels in the tank alone, even when they get near her anemone. I recently introduced a small male into the tank and she has taken quite nicely to him and has even yielded her anemone for the little one to live in too. I know each fish has their own personality and I probably have that one nice one that represents the 1:1,000,000,000 of the maroons out there. :)
  5. Froc3

    Froc3 Fire Goby

    Sep 19, 2007
    Saskatoon, Sk
    I've got me one of those :) Love when you get lucky with a fish.
  6. reefer Bob

    reefer Bob Montipora Digitata

    Jan 19, 2009
    Largo, Fl
    I also have a orange spot black urchin, and he has never stung me. One of my friends that work at the fish store got stung by him when we were movig my tanks. haha.
  7. Catfish Charlie

    Catfish Charlie Astrea Snail

    Feb 2, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    Fish can be so totally opposite of what they should be! I have the vegetarian Niger Trigger, it will only eat dried algae sheets, and lettuce, spits mysis shrimp back out along with anything else thats meaty, once in a great will it will nibble a lump of Formula Two, it mows through Caulerpa though, loves it! Won't touch it, I need to get a video feed set up so I can catch the flame shrimp riding on the trigger, its funny to see.
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  9. Paddy

    Paddy Plankton

    Feb 25, 2009
    Definitely, my Mandarin is the easiest to keep fish I have, I assume because the food supply is there but regardless, not a hassle for me.
  10. tat2reefer

    tat2reefer Plankton

    Jul 22, 2009
    Marroon Clown

    I had a marroon clown in my old tank. Had it about 4 years and got to be about 4 inches long. It hosted a large frilly mushroom and became very aggressive/territorial... Not so much with other fish, but more with me! Any time I would get my hand in the tank it would always nip at me. One time it actually drew blood from my finger after biting....Made me a little more cautious when it swam near..haha! It was still my favorite!
  11. greebs

    greebs Flamingo Tongue

    Aug 28, 2009
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Very nice article, but I disagree about keeping lionfish. My russell's lionfish was very peaceful and I was able to pet it and handfeed it by week 2. Every other lionfish I have seen has been very peaceful unless it is crowded with many fish.
    And don't be too sure about the sea snake thing. There was just a 3 foot long sea snake in the local fish store for sale of about 200 dollars, it was bought within two weeks.
  12. oceanparadise1

    oceanparadise1 Fire Squid

    Aug 18, 2009

    Mine maroon pair is also very nice. I have 3 pairs of clowns in my 180 and they dont bother each other at all. THey all stay in there respected homes.