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Saltwater & Marine Reef Fish Care & Breeding Guide

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Large Angelfish
emperor, angelfish, Imperator, Pomacanthus imperator, Imperial, saltwater aquarium fish
Emporer
Angelfish

french, angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, saltwater aquarium fish
French
Angelfish

Anglefish, saltwater aquarium fish
Koran
Angelfish
Euxiphipops navarchus, blue-girdled, majestic, angelfish, angel, saltwater aquarium fish
Majestic
Angelfish

queen, angelfish, Holacanthus ciliaris, angel, saltwater aquarium fish
Queen
Angelfish
regal, royal, angelfish, Pygoplites diacanthus, angel, saltwater aquarium fish
Regal (Royal) Angelfish
Dwarf Angelfish
saltwater aquarium fish,Centropyge acanthops, African, Flameback, Angelfish, dwarf, angel, angels, Pygmy, Cherubfish, orangeback
African
Flameback
Angelfish
saltwater aquarium fish, Bicolor, angelfish, angels, angel, Centropyge, Oriole
Bicolor
Angelfish
saltwater aquarium fish,Beauty, Coral, Angelfish, angel, angels, Twospined, dusky, Centropyge bispinosus
Coral Beauty
Angelfish
saltwater aquarium fish,Eibli, Angelfish, angel, angels, Centropyge
Eibli
Angelfish
Centropyge loricul, flame, angelfish, dwarf, angel, angels, saltwater aquarium fish
Flame
Angelfish
saltwater aquarium fish, Lemonpeel, Angelfish, angel, angels, Centropyge flavissima
Lemonpeel
Angelfish
Butterflyfish
saltwater aquarium fish, banded, mariposa, Chaetodon striatus, butterbum, butterflyfish
Banded
Butterflyfish
Blue spot, saltwater aquarium fish
Blue Spot
Butterflyfish
longfin, bannerfish, pennant, butterflyfish, coralfish, black, white, Heniochus, acuminatus, saltwater aquarium fish
Longfin
Butterflyfish
Hemitaurichthys polylepis, pyramid, pyramids,Yellow, Zoster, Butterfly, butterflyfish, saltwater aquarium fish
Pyramid
Butterflyfish
Threadfin Butterflyfish, Kapuhili, Auriga Butterflyfish, Cross-Stripe Butterflyfish, Chaetodon auriga, saltwater aquarium fish
Threadfin
Butterflyfish
longnose, butterflyfish, Forcipiger flavissimus, yellow, saltwater aquarium fish
Yellow
Longnose
Butterflyfish
Damselfish/Chromis
blue chromis, Chromis cyaneus, saltwater aquarium fish
Blue
Chromis
domino, saltwater aquarium fish
Domino
Chromis
Amblyglyphidodon aureu,golden, damselfish, yellow, lemon, lemonpeel, damsel, saltwater aquarium fish
Golden
Damselfish
blue, green, apple, chromis, damselfish, Chromis viridis, saltwater aquarium fish
Green
Chromis
Dascyllus aruanus, humbug, three stripe, damselfish, dascyllus, black, white, damsel, saltwater aquarium fish
Humbug
Damselfish
Blue, Velvet, neon, damselfish, Javanese, Blue-Streak Devil, Paraglyphidodon oxyodon, saltwater aquarium fish
Neon Velvet
Damselfish
Gobies
Stonogobiops nematodes, black-ray, shrimp, prawn goby, high-fin, goby, gobies, saltwater aquarium fish
Black-Ray
Goby
blue banded, blue-banded, gobie, catalina, Lythrypnus dalli, goby, saltwater aquarium fish
Blue Banded
Goby
cleaning, goby, gobies, neon, Elacatinus evelynae, Gobiosoma randalli, saltwater aquarium fish
Cleaning
Gobies
fire, gobies, goby, Nemateleotris, magnifica, dartfish, firefish, saltwater aquarium fish
Fire Goby
(Dartfish)
spotted, watchman, goby, gobies, Cryptocentrus cinctus, saltwater aquarium fish
Spotted
Watchman
two spot, goby, Signigobius biocellatus, twinsspot, signal, crabeye, saltwater aquarium fish
Two Spot
Goby
Tangs/Surgeonfish
atlantic, blue, tang, yellow, acanthurus coeruleus, Caribbean, surgeonfish, saltwater aquarium fish
Atlantic Blue
Tang

Acanthurus triostegus, convict, tang, tangs, surgeonfish, saltwater aquarium fish
Convict
Tang

Paracanthurus hepatus, pacific blue, regal, tang, tangs, surgeonfish, saltwater aquarium fish
Pacific or Regal
Blue Tang

surgeonfishes, surgeonfish, Acanthurus leucosternon, Powder, blue, tang, tangs, saltwater aquarium fish
Powder Blue
Tang

Unicorn, Naso, unicornfish, bluespine, spine, unicornis, tang, tangs, surgeonfish reef, saltwater aquarium fish
Uniorn Tang
yellow, tang, tangs, surgeonfish, tips, Zebrasoma flavescens, saltwater aquarium fish
Yellow Tang
Wrasses/Coris
bird wrasse, Gomphosus varius, Bird Fish, Birdfish, Blue Bird Wrasse, Blue-Green Bird Wrasse, Black Bird Wrasse, Brown Bird Wrasse, Green Bird Wrasse, Indian Ocean Bird Wrasse, Red Sea Bird Wrasse, saltwater aquarium fish
Bird Warasse
Bluehead, Wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatum, wrasses, saltwater aquarium fish
Bluehead
Warasse

Dragon, saltwater aquarium fish
Dragon Warasse
Harlequin, Tusk, Wrasse, wrasse, Lienardella fasciata, saltwater aquarium fish
Harlequin
Tush

gaimard, red, queen, yellow-tail, coris, wrasse, saltwater aquarium fish
Queen
Coris

six-line, wrasse, Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, saltwater aquarium fish
Six-Lined
Warasse


Check Out to Part 2 of Our Saltwater & Marine Reef Fish Guide

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Marine Reef Aquariums

Ironically, many of the saltwater species that live in and around coral reefs are not well suited for a marine reef aquarium. This is because the occupants commonly found in a marine reef aquarium are a natural food source. Some of these species would prove absolutely devastating to a reef tank. Others are rated “reef safe” with caution. These fish make suitable candidates for a marine reef tank if they are introduced to your aquarium as juveniles. The concept is to condition the fish to accept your food offerings for all their nutritional needs. A well fed fish may not even realize that it is surrounded by living organisms that it would instinctively eat in its natural habitat. Every saltwater fish’s marine reef suitability is addressed in our Saltwater & Marine Reef Fish Care and Breeding Guide. 

FOWLR Tanks

Saltwater species that are not suitable for a marine reef aquarium can still be perfect candidates for a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) tank. FOWLER tanks are a happy medium between a reef tank and a fish only aquarium. What exactly is live rock? Live rock is just what it sounds like. It is rock brought up from the ocean floor. These rocks are teaming with microscopic and minute organisms and make an excellent secondary food source for your saltwater fish in addition to helping establish a viable biosphere. Live rock can be purchased in two forms; cured and uncured. Cured rock is already prepared and can be immediately added to a saltwater tank. The purpose of curing live rock is to remove dead and decaying organisms that would send your aquarium’s ammonia and nitrite levels through the roof. I could go into a lengthy dissertation about the proper technique for curing live rock. But it would be more expedient to simply, CLICK HERE.  

  Captive Breeding Programs

With topics like green house effect and global warming capturing world headlines, the aquarium industry has increasingly turned to captive breeding programs to help in their efforts to fulfill the demand created by the growing fish hobby trade. Some species have shown a propensity toward breeding in captivity. Others have not.

Successful endeavors in commercial breeding campaigns are; clownfish, cardinalfish, gobies, damselfish, jawfish, dottybacks, jackknife fish and certain breeds of wrasses and dwarf anglefish.

Depending on your knowledge of saltwater fish, you may or may not notice a commonality in the species that are predisposed toward captive spawning.  They all share common one trait. They are Hermaphroditic. This would seem to indicate that hermaphrodites are the ideal candidates for tank breeding.

Depending on the particular species, hermaphroditic saltwater fish begin their life cycle as either male or female. Hermaphrodites are typically harem fish. Clown fish (Protandry hermaphrodites) are all born male. When the harem’s female perishes, a hormonal change is triggered in the most dominant male and he morphs into a female. Protogyny hermaphrodites such as wrasses come into life as females. The death of the harem’s dominant male perpetuates the transformation of the largest and most dominant female into a male. Either way, propagation of the species dictates that these species are capable of spawning.

Knowledgeable aquarists will introduce a future harem to an aquarium simultaneously as juveniles and let nature run its course. The fact that a hormonal change will inevitably occur in the most dominant of the harem as the fish reach breeding age, may act as catalyst for spawning.  While hermaphroditic genealogy falls short of guaranteeing that breeding will occur in any given species, it does seem to increase the likelihood.

It should be acknowledged that not all attempts at captive breeding have meant with success. The dismal failures of commercial breeding programs include; large angelfish, butterflyfish, groupers, tangs and triggerfish. Even though most saltwater fish do not seem predisposed to breeding in captivity, any information available on the spawning habits of the species featured in our Saltwater & Marine Reef Care and Breeding Guide is presented.

Breeding programs within the saltwater aquarium trade industry are a relatively new concept. While efforts continue among those candidates that have demonstrated a predisposition toward captive breeding, there is still a long way to go. Some freshwater species that normally do not exhibit an inclination toward breeding in captivity have been treated with hormones to help induce spawning. These same techniques may prove beneficial when applied to less cooperative saltwater species. If this approach proves successful, it will result in a slowdown of the depletion of populations in the wild. Impoverished island nations may find it economically feasible to switch from commercial fishing to commercial breeding to create sustainable populations for future export. 

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