Exercise Caution

An important subset of fish families are those that will not bother corals, anemones, and other cnidari-ans, but may feed on mollusks, worms, shrimps, other crustaceans, and/or smaller fishes, if the food item is small enough for the fish to swallow. A member of any of these families is not to be trusted with any active organism that will fit into its mouth. Therefore, although the following families are generally hardy in captivity, exercise caution in choosing specimens from them for your reef microhabitat: Squirrelfishes and Soldierfishes (Holocentridae) Groupers and Basses (Serranidae)* Dottybacks (Pseudochromidae)* Hawkfishes (Cirrhitidae)* Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae)* (*Includes members that may grow too large or that may be too aggressive for a typical mixed-community reef aquarium.)

Many fishes in the following families will feed on invertebrates or upon other fishes, and their incorporation into the aquarium display will make the task of creating a "complete" ecosystem more difficult. Certain ones, notably triggerfishes, may be very aggressive toward tankmates and even tank decorations. Many species in these families also grow rather large:

Lionfishes and Scorpionfishes (Scorpaenidae) Angelfishes (Pomacanthidae) Butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) Triggerfishes (Balistidae)

Shrimp With TriggerfishPennant Bannerfish

Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus): a sometimes finicky eater, but a favorite of many advanced reef keepers.

Pennant Bannerfish (Heniochus diphreutes): an ideal schooling butterflyfish for reef aquariums, hardy and mild-mannered

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