- This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 17 years, 3 months ago by Leslie.
November 7, 2006 at 1:16 pm #985cpbartakMember
I\’ve read a lot about various dwarf angelfish and butterflyfish species as of late. I know that neither butterflyfish nor dwarf angelfish are considered to typically be good SH tankmates. However, in looking through the various species, I\’ve considered the needs of SHs in their tankmates and I\’ve attempted to identify species that might meet these needs. Before engaging in this pursuit, I noted some past posts dealing with tangs. Someone mentioned keeping a purple tang with seahorses for awhile and it being aggressive. Purple tangs are typically viewed as aggressive so this behavior wouldn\’t be unexpected. However, in response, someone noted that another type of tang, the Yellow-Eyed Kole, has been kept peacefully with SHs, and its commonly noted that this species is one of the most peaceful/non-aggressive tangs. So, I felt that perhaps I could find dwarf angels and butterflyfish with similar peaceful dispositions at the trait level. That way I could hope to keep these species with SHs at a higher success rate than relying solely on the hope that I obtained a peaceful member of an otherwise aggressive species.
Two species caught my eye. The Golden dwarf angelfish (Centropyge aurantia) and the Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus). It is typically noted that the Golden angelfish is one of the most cryptic dwarf angelfish, and a very docile creature–they are rarely seen swimming out in the open. The Golden dwarf is a beautiful fish, and based on the information that I\’ve just noted, I wouldn\’t suspect that it would compete with SHs for food. Nor would I suspect that it would stress out SHs by harassing them, or as a side effect of active swimming behavior. The Copperband butterfly is considered to be quite peaceful for a butterflyfish as well. Furthermore, I don\’t think that it would be viewed as a food competitor (I do plan to target feed the ponies). I\’m less certain about the activity level of Copperbands, however. Does anyone think that they swim too actively, and that they would ultimately stress out ponies?
I\’m aware that both of these fish are regarded as delicate. From what I understand, the Golden angel isn\’t too bad once it has settled in–the concerns over its delicacy are mostly due to capture methods (i.e., the likelihood of cyanide use) and initally getting it to eat. Things that can be addressed in a quarantine tank. As far as the copperband goes, I would only consider one from Australia, as I know that these fish have a much higher survival record than those collected from other areas.
Above, I just wanted to summarize the various information I have accumulated on these species, and ask if you feel that pairing either of these fish with SHs would still be too big of a risk to take based on what is known about butterflies or angelfish in general, despite what I\’ve pointed out about the typical behavior of these specific species. Also, I wanted to see if you have other concerns relative to a potential Golden angel/Copperband w/ SH pairing that I have yet to consider. I know that its probably not the best idea to consider delving into unknown territory, and making pairings that haven\’t been tried-and-true as safe, but I assure you that I\’m trying to become as well-informed as possible in the endeavor and to create the best environment for my fishes as possible.November 7, 2006 at 7:44 pm #3019LeslieGuest
Well it certainly sounds like you did your homework which is commendable.
My first question would be what is the size of your tank?
My other question is why would you want a fish you may rarely see?
If you rarely see it you will not know if it is eating and assessing its health will be difficult. That is my first concern.
My other concern is related to both the fish you mentioned are considered delicate. Most fish get this label because they do not do well in captivity for a variety of reasons. It’s my personal opinion that these fish should be left in the ocean.
CCB are known to be difficult feeders.
I have experimented with many fish over the years and I can tell you from personal experience that the fish that are not on the list of recommended seahorse tankmates are not on that list for very good reasons.
I addressed my desire for a variety of fish by setting up additional tanks and that is what I usually recommend folks who want fish that are not seahorse safe do. There are a number of wonderful, fun and colorful fish that are seahorse safe, I would suggest you stick with any of those and stay away from the butterfly and dwarf angels.
LeslieNovember 8, 2006 at 1:00 pm #3021cpbartakGuest
Thank you very much for the quick reply, Leslie! I will certainly heed your advice in regards to this matter.
I’m going to give a detailed account of my system, as well as what I’d been thinking of keeping. Most of the information I have obtained regarding what I should purchase came from various message boards. Some of the information I found contradicted what other sites said, so if there is anything below that may be problematic, please let me know. I really want to be able to provide a nice home for my sea creatures, and learn all that I can before purchasing them!
I just began to cycle my tank on Monday, below are the specs. I don’t plan on adding anything other than what I currently have to it, other than my clean up crew once the tank has finished cycling, until early February.
I have a 55g w/ 65 lbs of Fiji Premium LR, 60 lbs Live Sand, Current USA Orbit 4 X 65 (260)W Dual Actinic-Daylight Light Fixture, Emperor 400 Power Filter, Remora Pro Skimmer w/ Mag Drive 3, & 3 small powerheads
Things that I plan to add once my tank is cycled and prior to adding SHs & other fish:
Cleanup Crew – 15 Trochus Snails, 11 Super Tongan Nassarius Snails, 22 Cerith Snails, 18 Scarlett Reef Hermit Crabs, and a Fire Shrimp
Corals – 1 yellow tree gorgonian, some zoanthid colony polyps, 1 xenia umbellata, clove polyps, ricordea mushrooms (florida & yuma), 1 bullseye mushroom, 1 colt coral, 1 chile coral, & a toadstool leather
Among the soft corals I mentioned above, would there be an adequate amount of hitching posts? I’d rather keep the tank natural and not add any synthetic corals.
I am considering experimenting w/ just a couple SPS corals as well. I remembered reading in other posts while perusing this Message Board that the sting won’t really affect larger SH species and that it may be okay to experiment with a couple in a tank. The SPSs that I have interest in keeping are: 1 Montipora Capricornis, 1 Pocillopora, and 1 Acropora. I’m not certain — will my lighting be too weak for these corals, even if I place them near the top of the tank? I will certainly refrain from purchasing any SPS corals if they won’t thrive in my set-up and/or if the ones I’ve chosen would be too agitating for my SHs.
I haven’t found many SH-safe tankmates that I would be overly enthusiastic about keeping. One exception that I love is the a Banggai Cardinalfish, due to its unusual shape and the lovely dots that it has covering its body and fins that look almost like sparkles. I was only planned on getting a single pair of captive-bred Reidi or Erectus, along with a couple of tankmates. I had planned on trying 2 SHs w/ the afforementioned Angel and Butterfly, as well as a Banggai Cardinalfish in the 55g.
I don’t care for any clownfish, basslets, wrasse or blennies. I like the Ventralis Anthias a lot, but they seem really delicate and need a bigger tank than I can provide. The few gobies/dartfish that I would be interested in keeping are somewhat scarce (Helfrichi’s firefish, Flaming prawn goby, Neon sailfin goby, Panda goby) with the notable exception to this scarcity being the Green Clown Goby. So, that doesn’t seem to leave me with much to choose from.
I guess it seems that I’m only interested in keeping extremely elaborately-colored fish and/or fish that are unusually-shaped with my SHs. Due to my picky-ness in regards to my search for suitable tankmates that I like, it seems that I’d probably be best getting more than the single pair of SHs (3 pairs?), and keeping only 1 or 2 small tankmates — being a Banggai Cardinal and maybe a Green Clown Goby. Besides SHs, and the Angel & Butterfly I mentioned, what I’ve been most enthusiastic about in my search and tank plan has been my coral selection.November 8, 2006 at 3:16 pm #3022LeslieGuest
Your tank aet up sounds fine. 55g is a nice size for seahorses.
I am not really sure about the lighting and the hard corals but I do not think it is enough light for them. I don’t keep them and do not advise keeping them with seahorses. I had a seahorse stung once, as a result her tail was paralyzed, she became difficult to feed and I eventually lost her. It’s just not worth it IMO.
Placing the corals high in the tank presents the problem associated with the horses hitching high in the tank. The risk of GBD is increased when horses hitch in the upper level of the tank.
Although experimenting out of the typical range can be fun and keeping unusual and colorful fish is very interesting IMO it is just not worth the risk. Fish that have been classified as difficult to keep or delicate are labeled as such for good reason and as I said before usually do not do well in captivity. Seahorses can be challenging enough without the addition of fish that are not considered ideal or are difficult to keep.
I hope you are planning on quarentining your wild caught tankmates. This is a must IMO. I always recommend adding the seahorses first and once they are eating well and established then adding your other fish.
I will warn you if you do have trouble with the Angel and Butterfly they will be difficult to remove and there is a good chance you will have to disturb your tank possible take it down to remove those fish should they present a problem. Something I have done on more than one occasion because early in my seahorse keeping days I got alot of poor advice and also felt the need to experiment and play on the edge. I no longer do it and do not recommend it as I said IMO just not worth it. This hobby is not nearly as enjoyable when things go wrong. It’s easier and more fun to get another tank. Also you should have a back up plan if the tankmates do not work out. Where will you put them? Can you return them to your LFS?
I prefer your plan for 3 pairs of seahorses with the Banggai Cardinalfish and Green Clown Goby. I find seahorses do best in groups as opposed to single pairs in terms of their feeding behaviors. I would go with the erectus. They are more hearty that reidi. As for tankmates you could actually get a pair of Gobies and Banggai Cardinals. http://www.inlanaquatics.com sells paired fish. I am sure these would be very interesting. They have many fish not listed on their stock list so an email inquiry may be prove beneficial. They may even be able to get you a Helfrichi’s firefish or one of your other choices. Scientific names would be helpful so they know exactly what you are looking for.
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