Reef Safe Fishes
Many fishes are very colorful and could become a wonderful additions to your aquarium.
With fishes only aquariums, the only prohibition to include certain fishes if they can be
compatible with one another.
Corals and fishes aquarium is another matter entirely.
There are many fishes that can be considered "Reef Safe".
Some of them are:
Anthias family - Yellow Anthias, Purple Queen Anthias, etc
Clowns family - Percula Clown, Black Percula, Clarkii Clown, Skunk Orange Clown, etc
Damsels family - Yellow Tail Demoiselle, Azure Damsel, etc
Gobies family - Yellow Watchman Goby, Gold Sleeper Goby, Pretty Prawn Goby, etc
Lions family - Volitans Lionfish, Radiata Lion, etc
Tangs family - Yellow Tang, Purple Tang, Sailfin Tang, Blue Tang, etc
Wrasses family - Six Line Wrasse, Yellow Coris, Red Coris, Green Leaf Wrasse, etc
Fishes that should be avoided on corals and fishes tanks are in this family below:
Parrot fishes, Trigger fishes, most Angel fishes and most Butterfly fishes.
These fishes likes to nibble or eat on corals, hermit crabs, snails and invertebrates.
Check with your local store specialists for details prior to purchasing any type of fishes.
Transportation by Air
The industry perspective: Wholesale and retail marketing aspects of the Hong Kong Live Reef Food Fish Trade by Patrick Chan
Live tropical fish have been transported by air since the beginning
of trade. Generally speaking, fish are the most difficult item to transport
by air. But with good practices their survival rate is very good if the
total transportation time is within 24 hours.
Decline in water quality is the biggest problem—declining oxygen content,
carbon-dioxide build-up, detrimental changes in pH, detrimental changes
in temperature, and build-up of fish wastes. The loss of the protective
layer of mucus on fish can also be a problem.
Every minute counts when packing live tropical fish for air transport.
An experienced operator knows how much time his packing team needs to
pack a box, and plans so that the team will start packing with just enough
time for them to finish their task. Ideally the packing centre should
be no more than a 30-minute drive from the airport. Running costs can
be reduced if seawater can be directly pumped to the packing centre. This
also cuts down the cost of water holding facilities, which are essential
for any packing centre. An immediate water supply is needed for when the
water in the holding tanks suddenly turns bad.
Fish should not be fed for at least 24 hours before they are packed—to
avoid vomiting of undigested food which will pollute the water. Live reef
fish can be given a Vietnam Freshwater bath for 2–3 minutes when they
are first delivered to the centre. The Vietnam Freshwater tends to cause
the fish to vomit undigested food and it also kills various external parasites.
The temperature of the holding water should be in the range of 21–23°C.
Since reef fish typically live in water ranging in temperature from about
24 to 30°C, gradual reduction in temperature will render the fish less
active and less stressed. The water in the holding pools should be well
circulated and must go through a bio-filter to neutralise ammonia. Injecting
air using an air compressor and diffuser can raise oxygen content.
The water temperature should be lowered another 2–3°C prior to packing.
The chilling process should be slow and completed within four hours. Packing
water should be the same temperature as that in the holding tank. Anaesthetic
is used if the fish are packed in polyethylene bags. In addition to cooling,
it is a double measure to ensure that the fish will not become too active
when the water temperature rises during transport. Anaesthetic use is
commonly used in Southeast Asia.
To pack live fish in polyethylene bags and expanded polystyrene boxes
requires a skilful working team. The water is cooled as described above.
Two to three kg of water are used per one half kg of fish, depending on
the type of fish and length of flight time. The box is passed on to a
second worker who is responsible for the injection of pure oxygen into
the bag; the bag is then secured with an elastic band. The box is then
passed on to the final worker who checks the packing, adds coolant, and
seals the polystyrene box with sealing tape. An experienced working team
can process one box per 15 minute.
Treating Marine Ich
Unless you know what you are doing, you can use this copper treatment.
Otherwise, please consult an expert for Marine Ich to treat the ich.
Treating Marine Ich by Bob Goemans and Lance Ichinotsubo from Freshwater
and Marine Aquarium, March 2008 edition.
Marine ich is a parasites that are ubiquitous and almost
always present either on existing fish in number not radically affecting
them, or in aquarium organic debris awaiting a "window of opportunity"
to increase their numbers. Once these parasites reach the swimming stage,
it can be transmitted from tanks to tanks by anything passing between
those tanks, including infected net or wet hands.
Marine ich is usually caused by stress,
such as poor water quality, poor nutrition, radical temperature fluctuation,
hostile tankmates, etc. often results in a lowered resistance. This permits
parasites already existing in the aquarium to find a beleaguered host
that is no longer capable of warding them off or controlling their numbers.
In these conditions parasites often reproduce quickly enough to achieve
population levels of epidemic proportions.
- affects primarily the skin, fins, eyes and gill tissue of fish
- resulting in rapid breathing and flashing (rubbing against aquarium
- often create opening in the slime coat and epithelium (skin), which
allow more dangerous pathogens like bacteria entry
Cryptocaryon Irritants is probably the most common disease encountered
by marine fish enthusiasts. These ciliates bore under the fish's skin
causing a buildup of skin and slime.
It often result in whitish appearance, giving it a familiar name of White
Its life cycle can extend upward of 28 days or more and undergoes 3 stages:
1. The trophont stage
- period when the parasite are imbeded in the fish's skin also known as
the feeding stage.
2. The tomont stage
- period when the parasites have fallen off the host and have encysted
to reproduce also known as the dividing stage
3. The tomite stage
- period when the cyst breaks open and tomites are released in swarms
as the newly hatched parasites is either under the skin of the fish or
encysted during the first two stages.
It is only during this final swarming stage that medications such
as Copper or Formalin can actually kill the parasite.
In fish-only tanks hyposalinity (i.e. water with a specific gravity of
1.010 to 1.013) should be established as first aid if at all possible.
Combined with hyposalinity, an ionic copper sulfate solution utilized
at a concentration of 0.18 to 0.20 ppm for 28 days, so as to encompass
the entire life cycle of the parasite, is quite effective.
It has been reported that copper sulfate and either formalin, malachite
green or both has shown more effectiveness than copper sulfate alone.
Freshwater bath will also be recommended. (personal note)
Another method that will ensure safe and clean system water is to used
UV Method. For each 1000 gallons of saltwater, the recommended wattage
would be at 500 watts. Please follow the requirement for water flow that
passes through the system to ensure that the UV kills all the bacteria
/ unwanted parasites in the water.
Bulb replacement also necessary at regular interval or according to the
manufacturer specification to ensure that the lights' effectiveness still
This method works really well because you can put all the fishes, corals,
invertebrates and etc on the system without worrying that the copper water
will kill the livestocks.
I personally recommended this method.