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Which would be better for a reef tank having primarily easy, soft corals (mushrooms, polyps)? Also, I realize my tank is relatively small (56 gal) for either...are they both about the same size in eventual growth and need for swimming space?
 

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i dont know much. but i know i've read enough threads that say the moorish idol is very hard to keep in a tank...

jenm will have some info about this. as i'm sure others will too. if i recall, jen had mentioned anther fish that is easier to keep, and looks similar to the morrish idol.

good luck!
 

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Definatly the Heniochus, there are a couple similar species, one being reef safe, the other traditional one being hard on corals. Search the fish archives, I know I have saved posts regarding the bannerfish.
Moorish Idols are obligate sps feeders if memory serves, whatever they eat is hard to provide and the vast amjority waste away and die.
They should not be sold, and please don't fall into the "rescue" line of thinking trap. If you buy it it's just perpetuating the trade.
There are a lot of fish and corals that we don't know enough about or cant provide for that die, virtually always and should be on a import ban list.
Unfortunatly CITES and other regulating agencies are more intersted in native populations than the outcome of allowing plentiful, but doomed animals be imported.
We as hobbiests have a moral obligation to research and acertain that we can provide for the animals we adopt. As long as someone will buy , the LFS wont tell their distributor, No more, who inturn wont tell the importer and on up the chain.
I applaud you for asking about the 2 fish before plunking down your $$$$$
 

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Well,although I agree with Doug sentiment on this fish in general, I don't think the problem is generally that of coral consumptioin, but nutrition is definitely a problem. They just don't generally make in in captive situations.

Moorish Idol
 

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babyblue1977 said:
Actually, the H. acuminatus, the Pennant Coralfish, is a polyp consumer and is NOT REEF SAFE, but the closely related H. diphreutes , the False Moorish Idol (Schooling Bannerfish) is a schooling planktonic feeder and is reef safe. Also there is the Red Sea Bannerfish H. intermedius, also reef-safe, a drifting plankton feeder. As always, these are still butterflyfishes, ans as always, may not have read the books... :rolleyes:

Check the info on Fishbase.org for the specific references, were it not so late I would expand on this, posting the links, got to go to bed now...

hth

Link for Heniochus acuminatus

Link for H. diphreutes

Link for H. intermedius

hth
 

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that is what I posted the first is not reef safe the second is.
 

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On a recent jaunt up north I got to visit the Lake Tapps Marine Research Center ;) I must say that the reeef safe ones look close enuff that theres no need to get a Moorish Idol. Mike has a herd of them in his large tank, they are really kewl to watch running around like a reef posse :D
 

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Can they be in a tank (w/ other friendly fish of course) alone or is it better to have other fish of the same species w/ them, just wonderring?
 

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They should do well alone, in a group they can take a lot of space, Mikes are prolly 6" sized and when moving in a group they prolly take up a 2 foot (cubed) area when "flying in formation.
Not a problem there as they have 16 feet of tank to cruise, 2 or 3 might be OK in a 6' tank, 8' would be better, but personally I wouldn't try a group in a 4' tank
 

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how about one in a 6' foot tank with well lets say 10 damsells, 4 clowns and a hippo tang + 4 cleaner shrimp (150 gallons)
 

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i know these are primarily zooplankton eaters, but they eat primarily out of the water column or do they scour the rocks and sand also for food. just wondering what group of fish one would be competing with.

G~
 
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