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FAQs about Rabbitfish Compatibility

Related Articles: Rabbitfishes

Related FAQs:  Siganids 1,   Siganids 2, Rabbitfish Identification, Rabbitfish Behavior, Rabbitfish Selection, Rabbitfish Systems, Rabbitfish Feeding, Rabbitfish Disease, Rabbitfish Reproduction,

Siganids do eat many types of macroalgae, but rarely nibble any invertebrate of size. A Merulinid... Green Hydnophora in S. Sulawesi.

Re: Dictyota Algae - Rabbitfish       4/18/19
Wanted to let you know I ended up getting a Gold Spotted Rabbitfish instead. It's been in QT and I have been feeding this fish the Dictyota from my display.
Literally devours it in seconds. I am a bit concerned though about the potential to eat coral. From my research and readings it seems like this specific fish tends to be a Zoanthid eater. Any experience around leather corals, clams, etc?
<Not usually a problem; problematical>
Is this fish really more prone to eating coral then some of the other rabbits?
<Not as far as I'm aware; no. Siganids aren't "coral" eaters period; they may nip; but rarely do much damage.>
<W. B>

Majestic Angel   7/27/14
I hope you can advise me before I lose my Majestic Angel. I have him over 5 years and he was doing very well until I introduced a new tank mate to the aquarium (100 gal- no other inhabitants)
<Mmm; this is too small a volume for a Majestic>

I selected a bicolor fox face and the two had some adjustment problems but after 4 months I thought they were getting along. Recently I noticed my angel was off his food . I thought he was being picky and was not overly concerned until he stopped eating entirely. The only symptoms I can see are rapid breathing.
<... got poked maybe>

Today, in desperation, I purchase live brine shrimp and he went for it! Immediately after he dashed about the tank and hid in the corner. This made me think he might have gill problems.
After doing much research on your web site I found an article on gill flukes with Prazi Pro as a treatment. Do you think this might be his problem?
<Unlikely... Siganids don't share much worm parasite fauna w/ Pomacanthids... again; a possibility though>
I do not want to medicate for the wrong reason. I also read a great article from Bob Fenner that introducing new inhabitants to an established tank might cause problems.
<Ah yes>
I regret buying the fox face as I had no trouble before then. (The Majestic’s only other tank mate was a Dwarf Lion. I had him 6 years before he died. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks
<Well; the simple first choice (serendipity) is the first route I'd go: Remove the Rabbitfish. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine puffer is ...poisoned? Another Siganid incident, incomp.     3/16/14
I have a porcupine puffer and a Foxface Rabbitfish in a 110 gallon.
They both were doing great until last night. I heard a commotion of some sort in the corner of the tank.
By the time I got over there, whatever was going on was over, but my porcupine was puffed and sitting on the bottom of the tank. He is much paler than normal and now lays on his side on the bottom.
Did the Rabbitfish poison him? How can I fix it?
<Maybe... I'd separate these two of course... but really, just time going by, good care will see if the Diodontid recovers or no. Bob Fenner>
Please and thank you!

sudden loss of Naso; Siganid comp.?      3/6/14
I have a 90 gallon tank FOWLER, tank running for 2 1/2 years. I am in the process of restocking tank after an entire Ich loss 10 months ago.
Current fish: small snowflake eel (I have had for 3 years), marbled wrasse 2 inches in tank x 5 weeks, Naso tang (2 1/2 inches in tank x 4 weeks, Orange spot Rabbitfish 2 1/2 inches in tank x 4 weeks, Parameters: SG - 1.025 (matches my other reef tank), pH 8.2, Nitrates - 15-20, Phos - 0.0, 3 inch sand bed, live rock
Fish have been all healthy, eating and pigs. I went to feed one night and the Naso was down - no obvious disease - ate well the day before. And was out swimming just an hour before. He was breathing slow. I put him in front of the powerhead with a little improvement but I think just stressed from me handling him, then placed him in a container in front of a pump for aeration and protection during the night. He was dead the next day. He did hang out always with the Rabbit. I am quite suspicious the Rabbit incidentally Envenomized him.
<Me too>

Any other causes of sudden death even within an hour to consider?
<Mmm, "something" (what?) internal... damage from collection perhaps>

 This occurred a week ago. Rest of fish still healthy, happy and eating.
Only other inhabitant is a small hermit crab.
Next question is do I keep the Rabbit?
<Up to you. See WWM re Naso (lituratus); need more than a 4 foot run, length system... six plus>
 I have 3 fish to add in to this tank. Maroon and 2 angles from my other tank. I have been waiting for the new fish above to acclimate and prove health before I adding my existing fish. I have had these fish for a long time so know they are healthy. I am concerned the Rabbit could do the same to the others.
<Not if they're aware... do place them during light hours (or leave the lights on overnight)>
Thanks for any help insight you can provide.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: sudden loss of Naso... Siganid comp.       3/6/14

Thanks. Yes, The Naso was to end up in my 125 6ft tank after proving health.
What are your thoughts about the Rabbit in my 125? It is a mixed reef with leathers, mushrooms, polyps and LPS.
Other inhabitants - female blue jaw - 3 inches, niger trigger 1 1/2 inch, sunset fairy wrasse male & female, 1 green Chromis, 1 Bar Goby, 1 yellow tang 2 inch, 1 mimic tang - 3 inch, coral banded shrimp x 1, hermit crabs, snails, sand sifting cucumber x 1.
<About the same... I'd go ahead w/ its placement there. BobF>

Trigger stung?     4/12/13
Hi Guys,
First a little about the tank although I'm pretty sure it  has nothing to do with the situation. We have a 330 gallon tank with a 200 gallon sump.
There is currently 2 Blue jaw triggers, a Goldflake Angel, Chevron tang, a mystery wrasse, 4 black ice snowflakes (We've had all these fish for a year to 3 years depending on the fish). We also have added a sailfin, yellow tang and about 10 lyretails in the past couple of months. The 330 gallon part of the tank is about 3 months old and was cycled with water and rock from the 200 gallon sump that had been running for about 9 months prior and this is where the older fish lived. (Before that we had a 90g).
Today we added a Magnificent Foxface that is about 7 inches long at around 8pm. At this time my male trigger (6 inches) was swimming fine and everything appeared normal. By 10 pm the trigger had wedged himself into a small cluster of rocks, not really hidden and not his normal hiding place as he has a little cave in a big cluster of rocks. At first I thought maybe he was afraid of the Foxface
<Mmm, no>
 but I knew something was wrong when he didn't come to eat. (They are such gluttons.) We thought maybe he was stuck as he looked very stressed, color a little yellow and breathing fast but still very aware. My boyfriend tried to nudge him out of the rock
<Mmm, leave this fish be. It will come out when it is ready>
 and he started to make a violent loud clicking sound and swam a little further into the rock. When the Foxface swam into the area he seemed very agitated and tried
to wedge himself in even more. His tummy looks a little bloated and yellow to me. I could be wrong. Is it possible he was stung by the Foxface? If so is he going to die?
<Could easily have been stuck by the Siganid... or one of many other potentials in the system... Bristleworms, Alpheids...>
Any help would be appreciated. All other fish are normal.
<Not likely to perish. I urge just patience here.>
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish Reef/Coral Safe? Sys., comp.    4/1/13
<Hey Lar>
I have been considering adding a Rabbitfish to my 65g reef;
<Mmm, small... for a full-size specimen of any Siganid species>
 most likely either a Foxface Lo (Siganus vulpinus) or a One Spot Foxface (Siganus unimaculatus).  However, I am concerned about the controversy about whether or not there reef safe.
<Not a worry... the family is way to the right of "safe-ness" here>
  I've been reading posts from about as many as have not had issues with them eating corals as from those who have experience their Rabbitfish eating corals.
<Not likely unless starved>
Current tankmates:  two ocellaris clowns; Kole tang;
<Umm, stop. You already have an Acanthuroid here
. That/this is "two strikes" against the idea of adding a Rabbitfish: your system is too small, and these two fishes aren't likely to get along>
tribal blenny; Sixline wrasse; spotted pj cardinal fish; two neon cleaner goby (Elacatinus oceanops); one skunk cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis).  Plus: Nassarius snails, Ceriths, serpent star, and sand sifting star.
Can you help clear up the controversy?
Thanks and best regards,
<Yes; I definitely would not add this fish here. Wait till you have a bigger volume. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help! Rabbitfish in dire way!!    3/4/13
Hi again!
This is a happy update! :)  We just introduced a 6" maroon clownfish
<Wow, that's a big female>
to the tank (from a friend's tank where she's been for 1 1/2 years getting big and fat - she really is 6" too, didn't believe it until we got her in with our fish and she's the second largest in the tank now)
and the trigger barely even bothered with being a pest.
<Ah no. Premnas are tough... the Rabbit is now not likely the alpha animal>
 It helps that she's nearly as big and bulky as he is and doesn't seem to be fazed by his mild attempts at shooing her away from his cave.  So, looks like I can stop eyeing colanders every time I go to the store!  Her behavior in her old tank was only aggressive when other fish approached her anemone so hopefully she will continue in that vein and not become the terror that the trigger almost was.  So far, so good!
<Thank you for this update. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Siganids    11/16/12
So I know it says not to mix Foxface together but what about if it's two of a totally different color? A magnificent and a standard yellow?
<I wouldn't do this. See WWM re Siganid compatibility, stocking/selection.

Rabbitfish stings - 10/04/12
Hey guys!  My scribbled Rabbitfish is a social butterfly with the other fish in my 125g tank.  The rest of the inhabitants are 2 false Perc clowns,
1 melanurus wrasse, 1 aurora goby, and 1 blackcap Basslet (he obviously doesn't hang out with the goby so much).  There are also corals, shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. in the tank, which he ignores. He's fat and happy and is generally one of the prettiest specimens of the species that I've seen.
He's always first in line when food goes into the tank (he eats mostly formula 2 flakes, along with Mysis, spectrum pellets, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, prime reef flakes, and the occasional Nori sheet).  His fondness for his tank mates and his voracious feeding habits have me wondering:  What is the likelihood of an accidental sting to me or, more importantly, to one of the other inhabitants of the tank?
<Mmm, in this size, shaped tank, given the tankmates you list... not much... I'd say single digit possibility>
 I'm always very aware of his presence when I place my hands in the tank, and make sure to position myself away from him when it's feeding time.  However, the other fish will brush up against him on a quite regular basis, and they're the ones I'm mostly worried about.  Should I stop worrying about the possibility of an accidental sting?
<Worry? No>
 Could he even sting one of them
<Mmm, yes; low probability>
 Even if he could, I don't guess there's anything I could do about it.  I suppose I'm asking about the likelihood of an accidental sting and not the possibility of one.
As always, thanks very much for your help and input!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Rabbitfish stings - 10/04/12

You were quick today, Mr. Fenner.  Thanks so much for the input!
<Welcome Carter. B>

Siganus doliatus, comp.    12/27/11
Hi WWM Crew. Today I saw a healthy looking Siganus doliatus at my LFS. It is around 5" in length and is eating greedily. I currently have a 5ft x 2 ft x 2ft FOWLR set up containing a 3" Picasso trigger and a 5" harlequin tusk. The tank's been running for over two years and has some common types of algae. My main concern with adding a Rabbitfish is how the trigger will react.
<Should be fine... most fishes recognize Siganids as being trouble to bother... spiny, venomous. I give you good odds here>
 Any advice on my proposed purchase?
<The usual, turn the lights off, be there to observe...>
Great website, by the way!
<Bob Fenner>

Foxface Rabbitfish vs. Falco Hawkfish. 11/7/10
Help WWM Crew! I introduced my Foxface (2.5")
into my 56 gallon
<Too small for a Siganid>
reef tank after a 3 week stay in my 10 gallon isolation tank. All seemed great for the first 24 hours, until I witnessed my Falco Hawkfish (2") torpedo the Foxface from the top of the reef. No damage and the Foxface didn't seem phased, in fact he kept eating. The Hawkfish has only been in my main tank since October 13th. I've had such a hard time with fish compatibility (my beloved Sixline Wrasse & Strawberry Pseudochromis had to be returned to the fish store).
<These fishes are not compatibly kept unless in a very large system>
I was told by my local fish store everything would be fine since the Rabbitfish was larger then the Hawk.
<... not so>
My 56 gallon tank has been running since Dec 2010 and is stocked with the following: 1 Tomato Clown Fish, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby, 2 Turbo Snails, 1 Red legged hermit crab, 5 Blue legged hermit crabs, 2 Cleaner Shrimp (that I now fear will be the Hawks next snack after reading other posts on WWM), 1 Falco Hawkfish and 1 (very cute) Foxface Rabbitfish. Do I need to "fish" out the Hawkfish and put him in a time-out (isolation) for a couple of weeks?
<Better to remove, best to place all in a much larger world... twice the volume plus>
Or will this torpedo behavior wear off in a week?
<Not likely>
Please help, I hate to see my little fish bullied! Jennifer
<What/which will you choose? Bob Fenner>

Re: Foxface Rabbitfish vs. Falco Hawkfish 11/16/10

Hi Bob,
Tank update!
I fished out my cute little Hawkfish, he now lives in my friends 125 gallon tank. He is doing great!!
On the downside, my Stealth heater malfunctioned Friday. Tank got to 86 degrees!! I lost both of my Cleaner Shrimp as a result.
My Foxface fish has a black spot on him towards his tail. I guess he is considered a "LO" Foxface Rabbitfish.
<Mmm, yes>
I was thinking about adding a Coral Beauty to my fish community. I currently have a Foxface, Tomato Clown and Yellow Watchman Goby. Would this fish be a happy addition to my reef tank?
<Likely so, yes>
I would also like to get two more cleaner shrimp if compatible with the Coral Beauty.
<Should be as well>
Thanks in advance for your advice!
<I truncate names lest folks not want to be identified in future. Cheers! BobF>

Foxface Injury??!! 04/03/10
I'm hoping to get some help with this, as soon as possible.
I just noticed that my Foxface was hovering, in the bottom, front corner of my tank. Upon further inspection, I find 3 serious looking wounds on it's side. In order to get photos, I fed Red Marine Algae, and it eats just as pig like as always.
<Mmm, what else is in this system... Likely another Acanthuroid...>
Tank mates include:
Pair of B/W Ocellaris
Red Headed Solon Fairy Wrasse
Atlantic Blue Tang (Introduced on 3/24/10)
Tomini Tang (Has been with the Foxface for months)
<One of these last two have been "Tangling" w/ your Siganid>
The tank is a 200 Gallon Deep Dimension 48"X36(front to back)X27"Deep (Full Reef)
I can only assume that this damage was inflicted by one of the Tangs.
<Likely so>
In observing the tank, I've never seen any aggressiveness between either Tang and the Foxface.
<Is transient...>
The day I introduced the Atlantic Blue Tang, there was some serious aggressiveness between it and the Tomini Tang. However, that lasted about an hour or so. I haven't witnessed any aggression between any of the fish since.
<There was a tiff...>
I feed dried Red Algae, dried Green Algae and live Ulva, that grows in my refugium. I feed the herbivores 3-4 times daily. They also get Rod's Food Herbivore Diet, every other day, along with the Algae feedings. When I
feed, all 3 eat, together, and show no aggression towards one another.
Once in awhile, when eating, I will see the Foxface extend it's dorsal spines, towards other fish, but very seldom.
<An aggressive, territorial display>
Here's pics. In the first picture, there appears to be a small wound under the left eye, as well, though I don't see this injury by eye, when inspecting the fish. Please excuse dirty glass. Any suggestions on how to treat this fish?
<Mmm, can't get these to open. I'd be moving the Rabbitfish. No treatment necessary or advised. Bob Fenner>
Re: Foxface Injury??!!
Thank you so much for your help! You've confirmed what I've been thinking.
The pictures were links to my Flickr site. Just in case, here are a couple pictures, attached, instead.
<Ah yes... Tang punctures... have seen this often, even had these on my hands... BobF>

Foxface and emperor angelfish, incomp.  2/2/2010
I housed together for 1 day a 7 inch magnif. Foxface and 6 inch plus orange tail emperor angelfish. well I believe the Foxface stung him because the next day the angel was swollen, distressed swimming, though she still has an appetite and maintains full color. I housed them in a 48x24x20 tank, it's a fish unit that has 4 of the same dimensions back to back. they were the only fish in there. I did notice that she was harassing the Foxface and do recall her nipping her top fin earlier that day, but she was fine when I left here yesterday. I lightly massaged her stomach and reduced the swelling considerably but she still has trouble swimming. what do you think? have you seen this before? many thanks..Phil
<Many times. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/rbtfshcompfaqs.htm
Not much to do... other than separate them of course, hope for the best and be patient. Bob Fenner>

Re: Foxface and emperor angelfish 2/3/10
the angel recovered and is now acting normal...thanks..Phil
<Ahh, thank you for this good news Phil. BobF>

Foxface seems stressed 01/17/10
135 gallon w/ "Calfo" overflow box
20 gallon refugium
20 gallon sump
Octopus skimmer
Mag 9.5 return pump
2 distinct rock areas with lots of hiding places
lots of open swimming room
1 yellow tang 5"
1 flame angel 3"
1 ocellaris clownfish 3"
4 yellow tail damsel 1.5 - 2"
I introduced a 4" Foxface Rabbitfish about 2 weeks ago. The fish hadn't been at the pet store as long as I would have liked, but it's behavior seemed fine and it was eating. Knowing them to be generally hardy I went ahead and purchased the fish. There was some Tang/Foxface interaction, mostly the yellow tang attempting to intimidate the Foxface, no noteworthy pursuit of the Foxface by the Tang. The Foxface had no qualms about pushing the Tang aside at the algae clip, so I felt everything was likely ok. When I purchased the Foxface it had a dark 'splotchy' band from it's black dot to it's face. Having kept this species before I realized this was just a stress response and nothing to worry about.
<Yes and yes generally>
However, the dark band has not gone away. In fact, it has never gone away which in my experience with the species is unusual. It looks more like color change as opposed to bruising or physical damage. The Tang and the Foxface still have minor altercations, but I'm not convinced it is sufficient to be causing a problem. I haven't done an actual water test, but I keep lots of LPS and soft coral which all seem in perfect health, additionally the other fish are showing no signs of stress or problems. Any other thoughts on what would cause the Foxface to constantly have this dark band?
<It is stressed, likely by the Zebrasoma's presence, actions... only time can/will tell whether they "settle in together"... Placing other fish  livestock may help to disperse some of this aggression>
The Foxface does seem to go to the cleaner shrimps 'station' more frequently than the others, so perhaps some type of parasite?
<Or not>
Thank you for your time and I'm looking forward to what you think.
<If there is no apparent damage, from spines, tangs... and both fishes are feeding, I'd wait this situation out. If it escalates, catching, holding the Yellow Tang in a plastic floating colander for a few days may solve this issue, at least temporarily. Bob Fenner>

Z. flavescens (Yellow Tang)vs. S. vulpinus (the Rabbitfish) 1/9/2010
<<Greetings Laurie>>
I need some informational help please,
<<Lets see what I can do>>
I have a fox face rabbit fish and just introduced a yellow tang, the rabbit fish continues to harass to mouth the Tang and chases him around the tank, yet the Tank does not venture far. Will the rabbit fish kill the Tang or what is happening?
<<I dont see a mention of tank size here, or the size of the animals but its pretty obvious the S. Vulpinus (the Rabbitfish) sees the Z. Flavescens (Yellow Tang) as an intruder. While I cant make the absolute claim that your tank is physically over crowded I can indeed say it is psychologically over crowded. The yellow tang may not be killed by direct attacks, but it will certainly be more susceptible to stress, disease and malnutrition, all of which could eventually cause great harm and/or death. These fish inhabit the same niche in the water column and in close quarters will continue to compete. I suggest you remove one of them. In the future please include your tank size and specifications as they help us provide a more accurate specification. Thank you and Good luck, Adam Jackson.>>

New Tank (Siganid Cohabitation) 12/02/09
Hi to all.
<<Greetings Matt>>
Let me begin by thanking the crew for the help last year with replacing one of my tanks that had cracked, everything went smooth.
<<Excellent we are pleased to have assisted>>
Only lost one fish it was the Ruby Head Fairy Wrasse. He seemed to just go into shock.
<<Mmm, happens>>
Since that time I have upgraded my other tank to the new style Oceanic 156 gal with dual overflows (24" wide x 60" long x 22" high) that I had the drains drilled for 1-1/2" drain lines, and the return lines I replaced the ¾" lines with 1" lines.
<<Ah, very good indeed!>>
The sump is a DIY (16" wide x 48" long x 16" high), that has a center return, with the refugium and skimmer sections on the ends and the return section in the center. I pull raw water from one drain line into the refugium and skimmer sections. The other drain line flows only into the skimmer section. I run dual Blueline 30HD-X external pumps rated at 1100 GPH each. The only drawback that I have is I should have gone with bigger pumps.
<<What a difference a 1.5 drain makes over a 1 drain, eh? And as you have learned always best to go with pumps that are slightly bigger than what you think you will need. Any excess flow can be easily tempered with a gate-valve plumbed after the pump. And the extra power/flow later be tapped as the system matures and the plumbing lines build up with mulm/bio-film>>
My lighting consist of the three 250 watt MH, with the two end ones running Phoenix 14 K Bulbs and the center one running XM 10K Bulb, no Actinic bulbs are used.
My Skimmer is a Precision Marine Redline (RL 200) rated for 200 gallons. I have two Vortech MP 40 with the new wireless Wave drivers, along with four Hydor Koralia # 3 located at the bottom of the tank just above the substrate. Two at each end and the other two located in the center of the tank.
<<Some nice flow indeed>>
My question pertains to the compatibility of two Rabbitfish, one being a Two Barred (Siganus virgatus) which I have had for a few years now and the other being a Bicolor (Lo uspi) that I would like to purchase.
<<Nice fishes I have kept both though not together>>
Do you think these two fish would get along in the setup that I have described above?
Matt Underwood
<<Probably not, Im afraid. While Siganids are generally quite peaceful tank inhabitants, like so many of the fishes we keep, things change for the worse once more members of the same genus are introduced. My own experience with keeping a pair of Siganids (S. virgatus and S. doliatus) in the same tank bears this out. Even though both fishes were introduced together and all were well fed, the S. virgatus unceasingly harassed the S. doliatus and this in a tank more than 300g in volume. There are always the exceptions, but I feel odds are the matchup you plan will not be a success in the long term. Cheers Eric Russell>>

Sailfin Tang Compatibility -- 11/16/2009
I appreciate all your help and answers -- I have just one more - maybe two or three :)
<Hehe, not a problem! Fire away!>
I have a Foxface Rabbit Fish and it is black yellow and white - well this weekend I went to our local pet shop and saw a Sailfin Tang - OH MY GOSH was he/she beautiful - I got so excited I bought him... not even thinking about him being the same color as the Foxface.
<Mmm, and similar body shape>
Is this going to cause a problem?
<Very likely -- a 100 gallon is not a lot of room in the realm that these fish both herald from.. It can be done, but is entirely based on the temperament of the individual fish.>
I thought I read somewhere that Tangs of the same color or fish of the same color should not be kept with tangs. They have been ok - I just don't want to come home to fish bones!
<More likely to come home to ripped fins/flesh, or a duel in progress.. Keep an eye out, and be prepared to take action if necessary!>
Thanks for all your help!
Cecilia Lester
Paris Texas
<Glad to provide it, Cecilia! -JustinN in San Antonio>

Acanthuroid comp., beh.  08/04/09
I have a powder brown tang along with the Foxface that inhabit my 75 gallon. Are the two compatible?
<About half the time>
I put them together thinking they were. Also, my tang keeps on scratching on the sand surface and hasn't shown any ich outbreak. Why is he doing this?
<Most fish (species, individuals) do scratch a bit, Surgeonfishes more than most. BobF>

Magnificent Rabbitfish? Comp.  7/15/2009
Hi guys,
Recently I e-mailed you about mystery wrasse, now unfortunately it's to late to buy this little guy (stunning fish by the way). So my another question is about Magnificent Rabbitfish.
My tank is 100gal (5ft long) reef with great skimmer (Euro Reef RS-180) and about 120lbs of LR. Mainly LPSs (hummer, Favia, frogspawn) and Zoas plus 3 plate Montiporas.
My livestock:
-4inch purple tang,
-1.5inch bellus angel
-2.5inch flame angel
-2inch Firefish
-tiny cleaner goby
-2inch green canary blenny
-2,5 inch blue sided wrasse
And I would like to add 3 inch long Magnificent Rabbitfish (Siganus magnifica).
I am a little bit worried about my purple tang, especially that he would be like an 1inch bigger. Also what about my corals? Some says Rabbitfish may pick on it. Is there any solution?
<If this proves a problem, remove/separate it... Another tank?>
Like more feedings, or certain types of corals he won't touch?
<Likely not to eat Scleractinians>
What do you guys think? That would be my last addition.
<I do think this fish will fit here. There may be periodic tussling with the Zebrasoma, but likely nothing too physical. Bob Fenner>

Foxface Damage to Gramma? 01/23/09 Hi guys! <<Hey Jo!>> I know you are really busy and I only email you if I can't find anything on the web but this time I really could do with some advice. <<Im happy to try to help>> It's an established reef tank, 2 years old, with most of the rock, corals and fish moved from our first tank so some fish have been with us for over 5 years. <<Neat>> We've had our beautiful royal gramma for about a year now. <<A splendid little fish and great aquarium specimens>> He's always been a bit secretive and likes to hide and come out when the MH goes off and just the actinics are on but always comes out for food. <<Typical>> Got a Foxface 2-3 weeks ago and he settled in very well but decided to sleep near the Gramma's cave. We've seen the gramma half come out of his hole, opening its mouth at the Foxface but have never seen them fight. <<Doesn't like the Foxface so close, eh?>> We also added a small boxing shrimp who also decided to live in the same place - it's underneath a large plating Montipora. <<A popular block in the neighborhood>> Last week I noticed my gramma wasn't coming out to feed. In fact he wasn't coming out at all but hiding in his cave or in an empty barnacle. Today he looks almost dead - very still in the barnacle and kind of gasping/breathing fast. <<Mmm>> There is no white spot/velvet on him but there is a single red/purple spot on his yellow tail? Could he have been stung by the Foxface <<Maybe>> and if so, is he likely to survive? <<From what you describe it doesn't sound promising whatever the cause>> He looked as he was dying so we took him out in the barnacle full of water, <<As in simply lifted the barnacle and the Gramma didn't move/stayed within? A very bad sign>> placed in container of tank water and had a look but then put him back in the sump. I don't want to risk the rest of the fish catching whatever he's got couldn't put him to sleep so please help! <<First off, if indeed this fish has an illness/infection, placing it in your sump does not isolate it from the rest of the system but I think this is likely a moot point. I have no way of knowing what ails this fish it could anything from a venomous sting as you inquired, or internal parasites which you can do nothing about now, or even just old age. But if you cant bring yourself to euthanize it, leaving it in your sump until it either recovers or expires should be fine>> Many many thanks for your time and hope to hear from you soon. Jo <<Nothing really for you to do at this point Jo but watch and wait Im afraid Ill keep my fingers crossed that this fish recovers. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Foxface Damage to Gramma? 01/24/09 Hi EricR, <<Hello Jo>> Many thanks for your quick reply! <<Sorry it wasn't better news>> Yes, I didn't think that placing him in the sump it would prevent the other fish catching it but wanted to keep him away from crabs, etc as seeing livestock being picked on while still alive and suffering breaks my heart... <<Ah, okay>> Sadly, he was dead this morning. <<Sorry to hear>> Still not sure what it was, possibly a sting from the Foxface as the red dot was still on his body when we took him out, apart from that, nothing unusual, maybe a bit swollen? <<Can only speculate but if so, it is a probability the Gramma accidentally impaled itself rather than it being an overt action on the part of the Foxface and shouldn't keep you from obtaining another of these wonderful little fish>> Was going to frag that Monti but as you said, it has proven to be very popular place in the tank so I guess I'll leave it alone for now... Thanks again for your time and help! Jo <<Cheers mate. EricR>>

Did my Sailfin get my Foxface?  Appears so    Dear Bob and crew, <Misty> I have an ailing Foxface that is a fairly recent addition to my tank. I also have a small Sailfin that has shown no obvious aggression to the Foxface (no chasing or bullying). <... not always so obvious... and punctuated... Psychological more than physical> They are about the same size. However, last night, the Foxface took to a corner and was breathing rapidly. <Bad signs> I was sure he'd be dead by this morning, but wanted to give him a chance. Now, here is why I suspect some Sailfin damage. Last night, while trying to figure out what had happened to the Foxface, I noticed that the area around the Sailfins "tang" was a much lighter color - almost purple instead of the usual black (it's back to black today). Today, the Foxface is still hanging on. Still breathing rapidly, was in a corner, now hiding in a cave. But before he went in the cave, he was swimming a bit (not well) and I noticed about three marks on one of his sides that looked a bit like injuries - they had that suspicious "tang" damage look. <Uh huh> So, if the case is that the Sailfin did hurt him, is he pretty much a goner, or can he fight through the toxins from the Sailfin? <Does hurt... I can personally attest... but not always deadly... not by  far> I've had a yellow tang "off" several fish in the past and the one attack I witnessed resulted in the very quick death of a Copperband. <Ah yes> Any other ideas? This fish had been held at my LFS, healthy and eating, nearly QT'd, for two weeks before I bought him. I observed him on several occasions before purchasing him. He had been eating at the LFS and in my tank before this illness and didn't hide at all. Cheers, Misty <Needs to be separated... ASAP. Bob Fenner>

Rabbit fish inquiry, comp., sel.  11/23/08 Hi, I am going to purchase an algae grazer for my fish only system in the near future. The system is comprised of a 300 gallon display, 67 gallon Fug', and 42 gallon sump. The inhabitants include a 10" map puffer, 4" porcupine puffer, 3" Dragon wrasse, 3" tusk, 3" emp. angel, 2" damsel. Everyone gets along great. I would like to add one of the less well known rabbit fishes to the "mix". My concern is that the puffers, who are very curious as well as sometimes oblivious will find a way to sting themselves. <Mmm, well... this is a good-sized system... and most all western Pacific, I.O. fishes recognize Siganids as being "dangerous"... I give you good odds here...> I have scoured your listings, but have come up short as to whether another animal that is stung will face certain death or not. <Could> So to some it up, will my other fish have some sort of inherited instinct and will keep their distance, and if not, if they do happen to run into this fish is it certain death? <Not certain... but at least painful... as I can testify from having been jabbed on occasion> thanks, Marc <I encourage you to look into one of my faves, Siganus stellatus... not a great beauty as the family goes, but a hardy, adaptable algae consuming species. Bob Fenner>

Stocking Question, Siganids...   10/14/08 Hello Crew, <Casey> I am looking to add "one last fish." I am interested in purchasing a small Scribbled Rabbitfish.? After quarantine, I want to add him to my 55 gallon <Mmm, really not a large enough world for any Siganid> with a 15 gallon sump and 40 pounds of live rock.? He would be with a 5" Longnosed Hawk, Kaudern's Cardinalfish, and Lawnmower Blenny (currently in quarantine). <And the Salarias and it may well fight...> ? When the Rabbitfish reaches 4" or 5" (or otherwise seems ready to move to larger quarters), I would like to move him to my 180 gallon tank. <Oh! Good to know that you have a ready, larger system to relocate...> My 180 gallon tank has 120 pounds of live rock, a DSB, and 30 gallon sump/refugium.? I have a couple of cleaner shrimp and some "easy" corals.? It has been running well for a year (The contents (except for the sand) were moved from ?the?55 gallon that had been running for at least 2 years).? The current fish in the 180 gallon tank include:??4" Hippo Tang, 5" One Spot Foxface, <Oh... may not get along with this> 4" Flame Angel, pair of Ocellaris Clowns, 5" Pink Spotted Goby, and Green Mandarin.? Currently, they all get along well (no frayed fins).? Would the plan to add the Scribbled Rabbitfish to the 55 then later to the 180 work? <Possibly> I have searched WWM and the closest query was in regards to mixing a One-spot Foxface Rabbit and a Magnificent Rabbitfish in a 180 gallon tank.? Bob said, "Mmm, let's see... a couple of general statements. I have seen mixed species of Siganids "passing" each other in the wild many times... Some of the schooling species occasionally blended together in good numbers... Have never come upon open aggression w/in the family on the reef either... I don't think you will have trouble here... but if you do, you will see this happening... fins erect, bodies at an angle... them obviously avoiding each other..."? I'm inclined to think it might be okay based on the quote from Bob, but there are other accounts saying not to mix Rabbitfish. <Yes... this does "sound" like me> If a Scribbled Rabbitfish is a bad idea, what about a Pakistani Butterfly? <Mmm, really a social species... only good to great kept in large systems in small groups> I have read that they fare better in pairs or groups.? <!? You are correct> What is your opinion about this?? I do not want to add two more fish to the 180.? <Myself... I would pass> Or perhaps something smaller like a 6 Lined Wrasse or something that kind of darts in and out of the rocks would be a better addition? <Ahh! I do think this would/will be better... perhaps another species of the same genus...> Or maybe I should just be happy with my peacefully stocked tank as it is?? I don't want to have an overstocked tank that requires larger water changes. <Up to you...> Thanks for your help.? I love this site! Casey <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Foxface, Yellow Tang question   8/29/08 Would it be possible to put two yellow tangs and two Foxface lo's in a 240 gallon tank? <Very likely so. Bob Fenner>

Rabbit fish vs. Condy 06/02/08 Hello WWM Crew, <Salutations!> I am writing to you because I have some concerns about a certain rabbit fish of mine, a Scribbled Rabbit fish. I am combining a couple of tanks of mine and I have some questions. When I placed my rabbit fish in the new tank (reef) everything seemed fine for a couple of days. <Because I'm a stickler for this sort of thing, I'd be interrupting you in conversation here and asking "What is 'new'?" I'll assume you mean a cycled and established new tank, though, and move forward.> Before I go any further I need to tell you about the corals that I have in this new tank. Green tongue, Branching Frogspawn, Branching Hammer, Green Long Tentacle plate coral, Silver Xenia, Kenya Trees, two very small leathers, Candy canes, and some assorted mushrooms. As I said, everything seemed fine for a couple of days, until I woke up yesterday to find my Green Long Tentacle Plate coral had been munched on. Now I was aware, that a Rabbit fish may nip at LPS corals, but to eat as much of it as he did ( about 1/2 of it ) was to say the least disappointing, not to mention horrific. <Always awful to see one of our animals harmed. You'd be surprised how much damage 'nipping' can do, as these corals are largely two thin walls of epithelial tissue...a bag of snot, in layman's terms.> This rabbit fish is a fairly new member to my aquarium, and my question is, are any of the afore mentioned corals safe? Will my plate coral die? (it still has his mouth, barely). <As for safety, it's hard to say. If you can confirm it was this fish that did the damage, chances are he'll nibble on other things from time to time. Your plate coral may or may not perish- but do hold on to the skeleton. Google 'acanthocauli' to learn why.> One last question, I have a very healthy Condy anemone that I want to transfer to the new tank as well, will the rabbit fish attack and consume the anemone? or should I just get rid of the fish? (I know that was two questions). <I would not put this anemone into the aquarium. Anemones, while enticing, are best saved for species tanks- they are masters of allelopathy, putting out free-floating stinging cells and noxious compounds. A Condylactis also has long arms- a 400 pound gorilla of the aquarium world, so to speak. It could do as much or more damage to your precious corals as the Foxface, and do it overnight. I would use your best judgment in regards to removing the fish; if this is going to be repeated behavior you ultimately will need to.> Any advice would be appreciated. <Happy to help.> Regards, Steve Harris <Benjamin>

Foxface Spines = Danger for Tank Inhabitants? - 05/31/08 Morning, <Late aft. a day later here> I recently set up a 90g soon to be reef aquarium and am in the process of stocking it with fish. <Fishes if more than one species> This is my second saltwater tank, the first being a 20g that ran successfully for about a year (tore down due to cross country move). Anyway, I had a peculiar death of a Percula Clownfish last night and would like your opinion. The tank is a standard 90g (48" x 18" x 24") with ~60 lbs of live rock and a 2" sand bed. The live rock was fairly cured from the LFS, but to be certain I cured it in a Rubbermaid tub for a couple weeks while I worked on the hardware side of the 90. Once the tank was filled and the sandstorm abated, I transferred the live rock to the display hoping that any remaining die off would help bolster the bio filter and colonize the sand etc. By this point I had scrubbed the rock pretty good, so I wasn't worried about any detritus on the sand. Four days later (testing daily) I still had 0 readings for ammonia, nitrite, and a tiny amount of nitrate. Ok, so most likely the rock was pretty much cured and had some bacteria already colonized on it. I wanted to make sure the tank was fully cycled before adding any livestock. The 5th day still showed 0 ammonia/nitrite. I then put 6 raw shrimp in some pantyhose and tossed it in the sump. I left the shrimp in the water for 2 days when the ammonia finally hit ~1ppm. I took out the shrimp and waited for the bacteria to grow/process the ammonia. The tank sat undisturbed for 4 days, and when I returned from vacation, ammonia/nitrite were at 0 (nitrate at 5-10). Time to add some fish. <Mmmm> The first additions to the tank were two Percula Clownfish. I had a pair of these in my past 20g tank and they were nothing but healthy model citizens. I waited 24 hrs to allow a bit of acclimation time/bio filter catch up and then added a Foxface (Fiji) and a Kole Eye Tang. Perhaps I could have waited longer between additions, but the processing of the 6 dead shrimp so quickly along with the volume of the system that I didn't think two 1.5" Clownfish would have a large effect on the bioload. Now to the problem. Last night I was feeding the fish for a second time. I put some Nori on a clip as well as added some brine shrimp w/ garlic. All the fish were swimmy swimmy and eating readily (notably both clownfish). I left the room to dispose of the leftover fish food and returned 5 minutes later to find a clownfish swimming a little strange. It wasn't that bad, I thought it might have been playing in the currents. Within 5 minutes the swimming got much more spastic/seizure like. A few minutes later it was at a point where the fish was bouncing off the glass/sand. Another few minutes past and it was lying on its side on the sand at which point I removed him to a bucket with tank water. 5-10 minutes later it was dead. I tested the water parameters 3 times showing 0 ammonia/nitrite. I thought oh no I rushed stocking now all the other fish are going to get poisoned soon enough, but every thing else is fine. I didn't think ammonia poisoning could happen that quickly, especially since the fish ate just a few minutes prior to his demise (I was doubting the test kit's results). <And all would be effected> The only explanation I could come up with was that maybe the clown brushed into the fox's spines. <Not uncommon> I tried searching the web/WetWebMedia and found little evidence of this being a problem. Any ideas what could cause such a quick demise? <I agree with your prev. assessment. A Siganid spine...> As far as other setup information, I'm running a EuroReef CS100 skimmer, 40g sump, 2x 150mh light fixture, Koralia 3/Mag 9.5 return pump for flow. The only thing in the tank was the Foxface, 2 Percula Clownfish, and a Kole Eye Tang. Thanks. <I would replace the Clown, feed the Rabbitfish separately. Bob Fenner>

Aggressive Foxface Lo... FO mix jammed into too small a volume    2/11/08 I have searched all over and cannot find any info on this. <This?> I have a 75 gallon fish only tank. Contents are 1 Volitans Lion, 1 Stars & Stripes Puffer, <Needs more room> 1 Snowflake Eel, 1 Maroon Clown, 1 Foxface. All of which are 3-4" in size and I will be upgrading to a much larger tank very soon. <Ah, good> When I got the Philbert, the Foxface, he immediately became best friends with the clown and follows the clown everywhere. I have had the Foxface for about 4 months and he has always been very docile and calm. Now the clown has also been docile, he has now started guard a certain cave. ( This is very funny to me. He seems consumed with this cave and guarding it.) <Natural behavior> Since this started the Foxface has started to become mean to my other fish (not the clown, though, he loves the clown). He will not let the eel come out of any hole or crevice. He lays his body over the hole the eel sticks his head out and then he tries to stick him with his venomous spines. This started about a week ago and the eel just ignores him and goes about his business, usually moving to another area of the tank or just burying himself under the rocks. But now, he is going after my puffer. This is stressing out the puffer because he cant really get away <The system is too small... for this mix of fishes> and find peace because the Foxface will follow him anywhere and rub up against him and the puffer just curls up and lays down on the bottom somewhere and waits till he gives up. I am worried that the Foxface could possibly poison my eel or puffer. Please help if you can. <Only you can help... either move some fish/es or get another adequate sized system... this one is too puny for this assortment behaviorally. Bob Fenner>

Family/Congener Compatibility: Rabbits, Wrasses & Surgeons 10/27/07 Hello Crew-person! A preliminary "thanks!" for giving this one some thought. <Howdy, and just as timely welcome> I am currently in the process of putting together a 180 gal. FOWLR w/DSB, refugium, and all the usual hardware. I've maintained marine systems for about 8 years now and have kept most of the following species at one time or another but want to further investigate their family/congener compatibility in a larger system: <I see> First, I have never mixed Rabbit species and have heard that doing so could promote mild warfare. I currently have a 6-inch One-spot Foxface Rabbit (Siganus Lo unimaculatus) that will be bumped up to the 180 and want to introduce a Magnificent Rabbitfish (Siganus magnificus) concurrently. Is this possible given the tank size? Should the S. magnificus be of different size? Thoughts? <Mmm, let's see... a couple of general statements. I have seen mixed species of Siganids "passing" each other in the wild many times... Some of the schooling species occasionally blended together in good numbers... Have never come upon open aggression w/in the family on the reef either... I don't think you will have trouble here... but if you do, you will see this happening... fins erect, bodies at an angle... them obviously avoiding each other...> Next, I'm a nut for the Labroides. <Mmm, from below... not the genus of Cleaners, but the family of wrasses... Labrids> Once again, given the somewhat larger confines, could I house 3 Wrasse species, each from a different genus? I have in mind an Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus), a male/female pair of the Cortez Rainbow Wrasse (Thalassoma lucasanum), and a Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus) - (they will probably spend the first few hours trying to figure out why they've never seen anything that looked like that before!!). <These also should be fine together> Finally, the next subject family is the Acanthurids, specifically the Powder-brown Tang (Acanthurus japonicus) and the Chevron Tang (Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis). I would not anticipate any problems here.... suggestions? <No worries> Thanks again, my friends. David A. Bell <Hello David! Bob Fenner>

Mixing Siganids with other fishes 08/27/07 Dear Wet Web Media Just a quick question. I am interested in knowing if a Foxface could present the same problem a lionfish would do to a frogfish with venom, or is it fairly unlikely for the frog to get stung. Best Regards Ben <If there's a bunch of room, not much of a chance of envenomation here. BobF>

Re: Passer Angel compatibility 8/10/07 Well sad day... The Passer has since died and the culprit from what I can tell is the Foxface Lo. He loved following the Passer around and every now and then the Passer would turn and give him what I call, "the get off me stance." They had been together for nearly two weeks and I came home to find the passer dead on the sand with a swelled area on his side. His color was still good and he was eating a variety of foods two to three times daily so I do not think it was diet or environment. I tested the water regularly and Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates were at 0, salinity of 1.024, Ph 8.4, and temp at 79 degrees. Am I missing something or would I be ok with taking the Foxface back and trying again with another Passer in the near future? Thanks in advance. James in TN >>>Passers are as tough as nails, with good water parameters you shouldn't have any trouble. Just keep in mind their eventual size and VERY aggressive nature. He'll end up alone eventually in anything smaller than a 150 gallon tank. Jim<<<

Foxface stung a Sweetlips... reading  - 7/20/07 Hi I Have a Foxface x 4 days now with a clown Sweetlips, everything was ok but today afternoon I saw the clown swimming vertical & behaving weird. Like seizures & stayed on the bottom of tank until died./ <What are these forward slashes for?> When took him off the tank saw 3 patches on his lateral size like blood/ I think the Foxface poisoned him/ <Maybe> But I couldn't found info if this could happen/ As I know this fish is not aggressive w other fishes/ <Actually... Siganids can/do defend themselves, are territorial to a degree... and know that they possess sharp, toxin-equipped spines for sure> Even my Yellow tank <tang> if been mean to him he stay calm w/o any sign of aggression. So I do not know if Foxface is responsible for this death. Waiting to hear from you soon . Frances <How large is this system? In what order were the fishes introduced? Have you read on WWM re the "Systems", "Behavior", "Compatibility" of all species? Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish And Shrimp - 02/15/07 Hey crew, <<Hey Ian>> I have a quick question for you. <<Ok>> I was originally told by my LFS that Rabbitfish such as Siganus doliatus (Barred Spinefoot) and Siganus virgatus (Two Barred Rabbitfish) would make a meal out of ornamental shrimp, snails, and hermit crabs. <<Mmm, is possible I suppose...but not in my experience with this genus>> Reading on your site and seeing comments from others, is this a correct assumption? <<Is not a large concern in my opinion>> I know each fish has its own personality, but is it a typical trait for these fish to eat shrimp such as Scarlet Skunk Cleaner and Blood Red Fireshrimp or small crustaceans in general? <<Not typical, no...in my opinion.  I've kept several Siganus species over the years, and while they will consume frozen mysids/plankton with gusto, I've never seen (or heard of) one attacking ornamental shrimp, crabs, snails, etc.>> Thanks for your quick insight! Ian <<Happy to share.  EricR>>

Foxface Compatibility - 1/22/07 <Hey Eddie, JustinN with you today> I have a Foxface in a 90 gallon FO tank. I wanted to buy a raccoon butterfly or Longnose. <Ok> I looked at compatibility guides and it says they can be kept together. I feel unsure about this because of their similar colorations. I would appreciate any input if you have had any experience with keeping them together. I don't want to purchase a mistake. I don't know if they would tolerate each other. Thank you very much, Eddie V.                                            <I think all would be fine here, Eddie. Pick a hardy, good looking specimen, and give it a proper quarantine, and either should be ok. Have a read here for some info on both species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/forcipig.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/raccoon.htm and use these as starting base in making your decision. Good luck! -JustinN> Re: Foxface Rabbitfish seems darker than at pet shop...  - 09/14/06 I figured it out; I had a juvenile Koran Angel that had to go; now it's just him and two False Perc's. He's nice and bright today! <Ahh! Thank you for this update. BobF> Chaotic Clownfish... stung by a Siganid? Crowded for sure  8/17/06 I have a maroon clownfish that has been in my tank for the last two years.   He has always been very peaceful and healthy.  Yesterday I was cleaning some algae off the glass in the tank and he nearly jumped out.  Startled, when I looked back into the tank he was swimming wildly in all directions, upside down, sideways, summersaults... as though he had completely lost control of his body.  He was scratching himself up on the live rock and the other fish started to get aggressive towards him because he was swimming so erratically.   I quarantined him to a corner of the tank so he wouldn't hurt himself, but over the past day and a half his condition has not improved and he continues to swim sideways, upside down, and in circles.  I have tried to feed him but he doesn't even notice the food, and now his color is starting to lighten.   The only thing that I can think of is that when I was cleaning the tank the fish became agitated and he was somehow stuck with venom by the Foxface that is also in the tank. <Yikes... this would do it...> (The 40 gallon tank has a fox face, <This tank is too small for a Siganid> the maroon clown, a coral beauty, <And/or too small for a regular sized species of Centropyge> a blue damsel fish, and a coral banded shrimp.  All the fish are about 3 inches.  There have been no new additions to the tank in six months.)  Please let me know if you have any ideas on what could be wrong with him or what could be done. Joe Tremblay <Mmm, I like your speculation if the other fishes don't appear affected... If all had spun out, I would guess that something to do with the algae/scrubbing set off a physical/chemical reaction. At any length, you/they need a system at least twice this volume/size. Bob Fenner>

I think one of the tankmates is chewing the tail on my Foxface   8/3/06 Hello everyone. <James> The Foxface has parts of its tail removed. I don't have pictures though I can get some tonight. I never see any of the other fish bothering the Foxface but I can not think of what else would be taking out pieces the tail. I think they look like bites or nips and I suspect the flame angel <Could be> except they get along rather well. None of the other fish have this issue in the tank: Royal Gramma, Flame Angel, Firefish, Christmas Wrasse. There are two cleaner shrimp and the smaller one cleans most the fish... they won't let the larger cleaner do this. I have several colonies of Frogspawn, some mushrooms, sponges and zoos growing from the LR. My QT tank is a mess from BGA (every tank that has been in this same spot has this issue) right now so even if I could catch the Foxface I don't think I want to put her in there until I get that straightened out. Do you have any ideas on ways I can isolate who might be the culprit? <Mmm, an all-plastic partition (some are made commercially)... a plastic "jar with all-plastic lid with holes melted or drilled in sides, bottom for circulation... and my fave, a plastic colander floating at the surface...> Perhaps I am wrong entirely and this is some form of fin rot? <Mmm, doubtful... could be resultant from over-zealous cleaner shrimp attentions... but likely the Centropyge> The tail appears more chewed than anything else at least to me. I know the Foxface is generally a very tough and disease resistant fish. Any and all thoughts here would be appreciated as she is my favorite and I would hate to risk losing her. Incidentally, the Foxface is the largest fish in the tank. It was in perfect condition before the powder blue tang was introduced (stress even from 2 months ago?) but they were separated and I found an LFS to take the PBT back on consignment. Thank you, James Zimmer <More and closer observation will reveal what is going on, who is chewing whom. Bob Fenner>

Foxface Rabbitfish... sexing, comp.  5/31/06 I have two Foxface Rabbitfish. I was wondering how to tell if you have a male or female. <Mmm, not able to discern this family of fishes sex externally>   I has the black dot and the other has one but it is very faint. <Not a sexual difference, but geographic...>   You wouldn't know it has one unless you look for it.  If I have the male and female how would you introduce them being they are in different tanks. <Better to keep these separated unless the tank is huge (hundreds of gallons). Bob Fenner> RABBIT FISH VS TRIGGER TWINS, ROUND ONE TO TRIGGERS Re: Rabbitfish is failing III  - 5/7/2006 <Hi I, luckily for you, noticed that you sent us 4 separate emails each with different info regarding this one subject. This can be quite confusing as we (the crew) all pick from one email box and this could have gotten split-up causing a lot of confusion. Also you aren't the one sending us queriesso it got mixed up with everyone else's two, I just by chance caught on that this was a series of emails and, again, luckily for you I have condensed them into one. please try to the best of your ability to put all of the pertinent information into one query. and if possible keep it to the point and short unlike my explanation. Thanks Adam J.> I have a Foxface Rabbitfish that has been in great health for 1.5 years in a stable tank that is suddenly failing.  I found it in a holding pattern at the top of the tank today, and would not eat when fed. <Thats not good.> In a desperate move and lacking for ideas, I moved it to my second tank (just picked it up in a large container -- didn't fight at all) where it promptly sank to the bottom and is languishing there an hour later.   Reading through your posts I am not getting any clues to what could have caused this <He sounds either stressed or spooked what are water param.s? What are tankmates?> but I will follow with the pertinent details in case I have missed something.  But the first and immediate question is, in case anyone is on duty tonight, <That would be on the graveyard.> what does one do with a sick fish when the  second tank does not seem to help? <I think your jumping to conclusions..this problem or situation is relatively young less than 24 hours in the making would not consider your move failing quite yet.> It is so sad to just watch...I am  fairly new at this (only two years) but have not lost a fish in over a year so have no clue what to do in such situations.  Part II follows. <See my first statement> The tank the Rabbitfish has been in for nearly two years is 110 gallons, reef tank, live rock, actinic blue lights and 3 halide white lights, refugium, protein skimmer, very stable.  Nothing has been added or taken out in months except as noted below.  All parameters were perfect two weeks ago except nitrates which were not zero (sorry, I forget the value but will run a test again here shortly). SPG is 1.025.   I have developed a red algae problem over the past month or so that I have not been able to address yet, <Sounds like water param.s. are not perfect, you have some underlying nutrient issues, nitrates for sure and likely phosphates as well..though I doubt that is what's affecting the Rabbitfish> which is the only change of note in the tank. Fish include maroon clownfish, four Chromis, yellow tang,  rainbow  wrasse, cleaner shrimp, Banggai, and a niger triggerfish that was accidentally introduced when I transferred some live rock from the second non-reef-safe tank maybe two months ago.  From your previous advice my only guess is that the triggerfish might have been bothering the Rabbitfish without my knowing it, <Possibly I wouldn't count him out, the tang as he and the Rabbitfish are close in appearance is another culprit.> as I did have a scooter dragonet that disappeared shortly after the triggerfish was introduced.   <Mmmm..> Other tenants include a carpet anemone, a rose anemone, a couple of brown-orange anemones I don't know the name of, <Not a wise mix at all..> a blue clam, and something that may be a hammerhead coral (light green).   Sorry  not to be more specific; just trying to get you some basic information for the moment. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide to this relative newbie.   <I would keep the Rabbitfish in QT offering food, keeping water quality pristine and just observing for the moment being, give him at least a few days to chill, dont move him anymore.> I Googled "Foxface Rabbitfish die" and your site was the first link that came up. <WWM has a way of doing that heheh> I was amazed to find so much detailed information on the subject; you guys obviously know what you are doing, and you are great to share it. <Thanks.> Just checked on the Rabbitfish again in the second tank I moved him to.   The second tank is in the process of being broken down and has only a Mexican wrasse and a Humu along with the live rock. <This Rabbitfish should preferably be alone, do you have a QT? But mmm, if he shows no sign of disease at present and no interaction problems with tankmates I would rather you not move him again.> When I walked in the Rabbitfish was skimming with its nose along the top of the tank, definitely an improvement. <When you say skimming the surface with his nose, do you mean he is tilted up like struggling to gain balance? This is not good.> Then I saw the Humu take a jab at it, not an improvement.   <Ok, I retract the above statement, move him into QT if you have one.> He sank to the bottom again and is laying against the rocks, looking like he is panting. <He is stressed.> I now see a little bite out of his tail that may or may not have been there in the former tank.  Ugh, is all this about having a niger in the big tank and harassing all the others?   The niger and Humu coexist very well. <Triggers are nasty fish plain and simple.> I should add, no white spots, no mucous, just the usual brown mottling I see at night.  Maybe a little more emaciated looking than usual. <Move him to a QT tank for recuperation and get rid of the triggers, Adam J.>

Goldflake Angel Dead in a Day, Apolemichthys in gen. sel.   4/18/06 Greetings to the WWM Crew.  I have been a long-time fan/reader.  I am stumped by the sudden death of a Goldflake Angel 1 day after I placed him in my 260 gallon system.  Let me first give you the background. <Best> In January of this year I set up a new 260 gallon aquarium:  1-1/2 inch sand bed; 150 - 200 lbs. of live rock from 2 of my other tanks.  From my start-up time through present, parameters have consistently tested at <3 ppm nitrates, 1.24 specific gravity, 8.1-8.2 ph.  Livestock for the past 6 weeks have included 3 lyretail Anthias (I male, 2 females), 1 Foxface (Siganus vulpinis), 1 leather coral, 1 torch coral, some mushrooms and cleaner crew critters.  All 4 of the above fish are in the 2-1/2 - 3 Inch range.  All of the above inhabitants have been doing quite well in all respects.  Two weeks ago I added an orange-spotted goby (v. puellaris); he has been a great sand-sifter and has also done very well.  This Thursday I added a cleaner shrimp, which has seemed to thrive, albeit he does not clean the fish as much as they seem to want. In my 12 years in the hobby I have always wanted to obtain a Goldflake Angel, and I splurged and ordered one online from a reputable dealer.  The dealer told me they had the fish for a month and that it was doing well. The Goldflake arrived this past Friday morning looking well, and after a 2-hour acclimation process I placed him in my tank.  (I long ago gave up the practice of keeping a quarantine tank for new arrivals, coming to the conclusion, rightfully or otherwise, that there is less stress to the new fish placing it directly in my main tank as opposed to a quarantine tank regimen.) <A gamble... but a better one to skip for some species, purposes> The Goldflake from the start seemed fine, exploring his new environment without any signs of stress, distress, or bother from his new tankmates.  He barely ate at that evening's feeding, but that is not unusual for a new arrival.  Saturday morning (yesterday) the Goldflake again just picked a little at feeding time (a gumbo of Mysis, brine, plankton and blood worms) and seemed to hide more than the first day, but otherwise he seemed fine: no signs of distress, etc.  I spent all afternoon doing spring cleaning/yard work, and when I returned to the tank at 6:00 p.m., the Goldflake was dead at the bottom of my tank.  He had several, wide bright red bands up and down each of his sides --- appears to be internal bleeding --- but no external signs of injury or damage.  I placed him in my freezer and plan on calling the dealer Monday.  I don't know that their guarantee will apply, but I am concerned nonetheless before trying to add other new fish. <In these cases, you want to call immediately... leave a message, e-mail... within 24 hours... a pic if possible...> I have checked and re-checked all my parameters --- even checked the test kits I am using (Marine enterprises and Tetra), and all check out as posted above.  All the other tank inhabitants are still in excellent health. So I am stumped as to what could possibly have caused this fish's quick demise.  Any insights  you can share will be tremendously appreciated. Thank you. <Only can guess here, but will tell you I've been out with collectors of this species... They broke up an inordinate amount of Acroporid coral to extract... very stressful to all (including me)... And this species, genus does often "just die mysteriously", particularly just after being moved. May have been some sort of internal "time bomb" here... Perhaps the Siganid poked it but good? At any length, nothing "jumps out" here in the way of definitive or probable cause. Sorry for the loss. Bob Fenner> Elliot Re: Goldflake Angel Dead in a Day  - 04/19/06 Thanks for your reply.  Through the process of elimination, the only thing I could come up with myself is the possibility, as you mention, that the Foxface may have "poked it but good".  There is a large, sheltered cave-like area under much of the rock where some of the fish retreat at night. <And likely stay put> Perhaps the Foxface was claiming territory.  Question: I realize the venomous quality of the Foxface, but could a poke from it actually do in the Goldflake like this (internal bleeding and all)? <Yes, assuredly> If so I may want to move the Foxface from this tank (to another) before attempting to add any new fish. Elliot <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn Coral and a  Fish fight... Euphyllia beh. and PB Tang sys. Hello Everyone. <James> I saw something strange in the tank this morning and I will do my best to describe it on the frogspawn colony. First off, only one outcrop did this and the others on the branch did not. It seemed to balloon at the bottom (where attached) with the polyps retracted. This I have not seen before as normally they just retract polyps if they are touched or at night. This branch all were getting morning sunlight though not direct bright light. I never have seen this before and can only describe it as ballooning at the bottom. Do you have any idea what this behavior is? Spawning maybe??? =) <Perhaps> Part two comes with some surprise from me. I introduced my powder blue tang to the main tank last night and it was not well received by the Foxface?!? <Mmm, not unusual... the two families are closely related... use similar niches...> Now, okay, they are both surgeon fish but they are not the same species, as with Zebrasomas for instance; so if I mixed a yellow and purple tang together I should certainly expect trouble. The Foxface has been a very peaceful and easy going fish and has got along very well with everything in the tank thus far. I thought more of it as the big (bigger now and compared to the others anyway) yellow coward. It was strange, this fish swam over and immediately started at the powder blue with its spines and they went at each other for a little while before I shut the lights completely (I just couldn't catch the P.B.T. around all the live rock to remove it). This morning they are on opposite sides of the tank and I switched the lights off rather than have the lights come on with the timers so I can see how they interact when I get back home. I figured I would have had to move the Firefish to the 24 gallon and planned on it (just too passive). I thought the royal Gramma and flame angel would both adapt and thus far seem to. Work issues and travel kept me from this introduction sooner so the qt period for the PBT was about 3.5 weeks rather than the 2.5 I wanted.   <Longer is better here> I still have the 55 gallon tank in addition to the 24 gallon (was just used for QT for the PBT) plus the main tank 75 MegaFlow with a 20 gallon RDP sump/refugium. I really do not want to put either fish in the 24gallon as it is way to small long term. Both fish are marked from their little tiff. Size wise the Foxface is larger by about an inch. <Good. Better> Had the aggression started from the PBT I would not be as surprised. I did not think Foxy had this in her. I do not like seeing her mottled and unhappy in the corner of the tank. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Re-setup of the 55 gallon tank won't be impossible just difficult and more expensive as I will need a new filter, light and protein skimmer... I moved these to the 75 setup in place of the 55 though I kept that tank and stand. Wow, surprises... Thank you. James Zimmer <I would just wait this out at this point. Likely they will "learn to get along"... Acanthurus leucosternon needs more space than a 75... Bob Fenner>

Re: Frogspawn Coral and a  Fish fight ... Siganid comp.    4/14/06 Thank you Bob. <Welcome> I agree completely about space and the 75 setup is really the next step towards a much larger system (the wife has to sign off on this too you know... this I could swing). In plans now is at least 180 gallon system and I really 'prefer' to go as large as 300 gallons (it will be space dependent when we get our house). <"First things first..."> At the moment I am saving for lighting and other infrastructure. The 75g with the 20g sump/RDP was both a reasonable financial compromise and a stepping stone to get used to plumbing and other issues before I get a much bigger system. Not to mention, I also salvaged some of the items I already have without incurring hideous expenses upfront as they fit this new setup; my Coralife PC wasn't going on a longer tank. As for the fish (knocking on wood here) they are still standoffish but are somewhat getting along. Feeding time went well and though they postured they were pretty well behaved. The shock really came from the behavior of the Foxface... I never saw that side of her before. I sometimes hand feed and can darn near pet her... though for the obvious reasons won't! ; ) <... Acanthurids and close-reef Siganids don't cohabitate in small spaces...> Oh, moving one of the frogspawn colonies (with Aiptasia) to the 24 gallon was a good experiment. The peppermint shrimp worked his magic and the 'free anemones' are gone. Moving affected rock this way also has been replenishing the pod populations in the main system and gives a constant supply of algae feeding rocks... cool! Sure beats the Ca(OH)2 slurry and pipette for removing the Aiptasia. James <Oh yes. Bob Fenner>

Clarification re Siganids, comp.    4/14/06 Bob. Regarding your response, I don't think I understand 'close-reef' in regard to Siganids. Does this imply they are simply reef dwelling fish and not more free-ocean swimming? <Yes... sorry for the apparent confusion. Some "Spinefoots"/Rabbitfishes are more open-ocean, tend to be schooling species... trend to being "easier going" than Lo vulpinus...> However, separation down the line seems inevitable... <Yes... this tank is too small...> assuming, of course, I am fortunate enough to see the Acanthurus leucosternon thrive over time (I do hope so). I had preferred the hepatus tangs for a multitude of reasons but I have not seen many truly good specimens for quite some time now and again this powder blue was/is gorgeous. James   <Live and learn... hopefully. Bob Fenner> Re: Siganid comp.  - 04/14/2006 Lol. Yes, live and learn... I hate doing it at the expense of living things though. <Yes> There really is so much to learn. There are many relationships to be cognizant of; while we make our little slices of the deep vast sea. <Or just the shallow coastal bits> Not to mention there are particular issues of species that are not always well known. I can't imagine where I would be now (probably frustrated and done with it) had I not the resource of your great website and frequent input to my never ending questions. I do wish there were more truly great sources out this way but I have not found them yet. LFS people mean well and have some knowledge. Again, it can be deceiving to see fish that should not be paired held together in tanks at stores. There were Lo vulpinis and Hepatus with the Acanthurus leucosternon. <Maybe temporarily, crowded... Bob Fenner> At the LFS---"Are you sure these fish really go together?" Response: "Oh yeah, and these ones are getting along quite well..." It is the visuals that cause problems: Chili corals in small tanks with less than adequate water flow and improperly oriented. These things make problems for newcomers and are worse yet for those of us that don't enjoy hours of reading as they lead to bad assumptions and declining to ask questions because the people at the store must know how to do it right... Again, I am sure I would be at a complete loss without your insight, books and website. James Foxface Question   - 03/26/2006 Bob & Crew, <BJ> Quick question.  I am almost ready to put my 4 Foxface (Siganus Lo vulpinus) into my display tank (135 G) and have read in the Rabbitfish FAQs that they shouldn't be netted. <Mmm, well... what else is there? The Siganids should not be touched by bare hands either... very sharp fin spines... and toxic... I would use two "soft" nets of size... and perhaps a friend using one of them... to push the fish with one into the other (not a specimen container or bag in this case) and gingerly lift the fish (into the air) to move> Now is this due to their venomous spines, or for fear of hurting the fish? <The latter likely> I am fairly confident that I can net him without getting stuck. <Good> Let me know.  He is going to be joining an Achilles Tang, Social Fairy Wrasse, Convict Blenny, Mandarin Dragonet, Blue Spotted Watchman Goby, and a neon goby (if I can fish him out of the sump- the little guy went for a ride).  I dont think there should be any compatibility issues.  And yes, I know they love lots of greens!  Thanks in advance. <Sounds good. Bob Fenner, HI> BJ Wincott Niagara Falls, ON

Rabbit Fish Dear Sir, I do have a Foxface for about a month and I like it very much. So last Sat I got another Foxface and a Rabbit Fish. <All in the same tank? Hope it is a very large one> This morning, I found that the new Foxface that I got lately was casing by the old one. So I took a basket to separate it. I will re-introduce it after a few days. What do you think??? <Not likely to get along. Some Rabbitfishes are more social... Please read over this part of our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm and the associated FAQs file. I would trade in/return the new Foxface. Bob Fenner> Foxface vs. Maroon After 2 months of harmony, my maroon clown decided that he didn't like the new Foxface tank mate (I know not surprising considering maroon behavior and his residence in the tank the past 3-4 years).  They are both small (about 2.5" or so). The clown will try to bite the Foxface where it can. However, the Foxface (sometimes almost without concern) turns his body and sticks his spikes up for protection rather than leave the scene, but no visible "sting" has ever been given. The clown will just bite several times right on those top spikes and nothing happens but an annoyed Foxface. It will often stress the Foxface a bit (as evidenced by change in color), but no damage done as of yet. Is there need for concern at this behavior (as in separate them for fear of damage to either one) or will it pass as the Foxface outgrows the clown? I almost wish the little fox would give the clown a little sting to teach it a lesson - but doesn't seem to want to. Is there a reason the fox won't sting? Is it too young yet? Is it just being patient? Thanks for the time. < You may want to move the clown to another tank for 3-4 weeks then return him and see what happens.  If nothing changes between the two you will probably have to choose 1 or the other.  As far as the stinging goes he is just being patient. Cody>

Foxface stalker - 2/11/03 Hello: Sorry to bother you again. <No....no problem at all. Thanks for coming here. Paul at your service> But your site is so much more reliable than other sources. <Nice of you to say. I find a great many sites very reliable and friendly, but glad you're with us> I have a 58 gallon tank with the beginnings of a reef setup.  Currently, I have about 65 pounds of live rock, a green star polyp, another polyp, <Mmmm....curious...> assorted snails and hermit crabs and a largish Sally Lightfoot.  I had been reading about Foxfaces and consistently read that they were not really suitable for reef aquariums. <Well, see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm It is for very good reason that you should keep a close eye on the Siganus (Lo) vulpinus. Known to eat invertebrates, as they are indiscriminate feeders (sometimes accidental and sometimes not) Depends on the fish personality, but in the wild.......well....>  Every person at my local shop, which is generally well educated on the topics, said that the Foxface was reef safe, <did they tell you that you could buy the patch of reef where they caught this Foxface for a dollar? They are trying to sell you a fish.> so I obtained one. <Ah, there is the rub. You wanted one and got one. Cool. Quarantined I hope?> He is now spending a good portion of his time "stalking" the Sally Lightfoot.<Uh oh> Is it anything to be concerned about and is he truly reef safe? <I wouldn't chance him in my reef tank. It has been done though, I am sure. I would check the forums and see if you can't gain a consensus.> Also, I have a Chevron Tang, 2 Ocellaris Clowns and a Royal Gramma in the tank.  Do they all seem to be compatible with the Foxface? <Due to the venomous spines of the Foxface Rabbitfish and readiness to use them, most predators give Rabbitfishes wide berth; alternatively, they are typically casual toward other fishes... with one exception; members of their own kind. As always exceptions do crop up. Keep an eye on 'em.> Thank you again for your advice. <My pleasure, Scott. I hope I was of some help. In an ideal world, you would have sought out advice and done some research prior to buying a fish that could potentially wreak havoc on one's tank. In any event, we (I) do appreciate your time in seeking advice in your current situation. Please do look through the various FAQs and check out the forums here and abroad for more info. Don't mean to be hard on you, but knowing is half the battle. You are one step of many in the right direction and I applaud you for that. Good luck and check in occasionally. Let us know what kinds of behavior your fish is exhibiting. Keep a good log. May be of great help to others. Never know, you might end up here helping out others as well. Peace my friend.> Scott 

Killer Rabbit? (1/13/04) Hi crew. <Steve Allen today.> wrote you last week concerning putting a Rabbitfish and Scott's fairy wrasse <How big?> in a 15 gal QT together.  you had concerns about water quality. I put them together anyway. <OK> I think they had "words" together.  the wrasse appeared happy and healthy, but I think got too close to the rabbit.  now I have a wrasse in the freezer awaiting autopsy when I send it back to MarineDepotLive.  did the rabbit kill the wrasse (keep reading...)? <I did, and I doubt it--see below> I know they should've gotten along together, but....this Rabbitfish is about 2-3 inches. <Smallish--will grow to 9" or so.> it won't eat the algae I feed it (the previous Rabbitfish I had couldn't resist this stuff, although it did eat sparingly in QT).  this fish will eat prime reef, which has nothing herbaceous in it.  my previous Rabbitfish used to grab any food, and then spit it out if it was krill/brine/anything not green <Mine eats whatever I give it. So does my "herbivorous" Yellow Tang.>(it was about 6 inches). <How long had you had these fish before this death occurred. Not unusual for a fish in QT to not eat as you would expect.> is it possible for a Rabbitfish (especially one this small) to be a carnivore? <Well, "fill-in-the-blank-iovore" is a relative term. Many fishes are actually more omnivorous. They'll eat pretty much whatever passes by when they're in the mood. Some are really picky. Others not so at all. I strongly doubt that you Rabbitfish actually attacked the Wrasse. They are generally gentle by nature because most fish are smart enough to steer clear of their venomous spines. (You should too.) When threatened, they erect their fins to deploy these spines, but tend to be passive rather than aggressively attacking. Perhaps your Wrasse did get a sting, but more likely culprits are capture/shipping stress, pre-existing disease, or water quality problem in your QT. Whenever a fish dies, it's good to test all of the important parameters.> thanks in advance <You're welcome. Sorry for your loss.> -- rob Foxface in the Henhouse? (1/5/2004) Hi, <Howdy. Steve Allen here.> I've ordered a Fox Face Tang <I am guessing you mean a Foxface Rabbitfish, aka Siganus (Lo) vulpinus. It is a relative of Surgeonfishes, but not a Tang.> and it will arrive tomorrow. The description states that this fish is an herbivore and reef-safe. The same description then goes on to say that the diet can include frozen Mysid shrimp (Herbivore?). <Few herbivorous fish are 100% so.>My big concern is that I have smaller shrimps (Peppermint, Camel Back) and I'm afraid this vegetarian may not be so. Can you let me know ASAP if my concerns are valid or is this addition going to be safe. If need be I can put it in another tank as I have several but would like it in the larger reef tank I have (The one that has the Shrimp) <I would not worry too much. It will likely be fairly small to start. A Foxface will not eat animals that it cannot swallow whole. Mysis are tiny & will generally be taken if offered. Eating of Camel Back and Peppermint Shrimp is unlikely. Foxfaces will sometimes nip at corals when older, but this is unlikely to be a problem if it's fed plenty of algae. It should graze on most macroalgae in your tank, but probably not hair algae. They love live Gracilaria. I grow it in my sump for my yellow tang and my One-Spot Foxface (Siganus [Lo] unimaculatus) It will also likely take Formula Two and Sea Veggies.> Thanks Much, Don Tope <Hope this helps.>

Reef safe Rabbitfishes <Hi James> I know that no Rabbitfish can be considered 100% reef safe, but many fish can't and make excellent reef fish. What is your experience with Rabbitfish in a reef tank? I have a skunk cleaner shrimp that I don't want to become a quick snack. Also there is an assortment of soft corals and Featherdusters. <Rabbitfishes are generally known as either from the reef or from the seagrasses.  Most of them feed primarily on weeds and algae grazed from the ocean.  I've had very positive experiences with Foxface Rabbitfish in a reef aquarium, as have several of my friends.  I think its important to remember that individual fish have different personalities.  And as a point of caution remember that the top spines on all Rabbitfish are poisonous and if you are spiked it will hurt badly.>

Lions & Foxes (5/14/04) Hello! <Hi. Steve Allen here.> I've searched your site but can't find the answer to my two questions so I hope you can help me with them...I have just purchased about a 4 inch black Volitans Lionfish yesterday and I currently have it in my 10 gallon quarantine tank but I'm afraid that the smallness of this tank is going to stress out my Lionfish. It seems to be ok but I just don't know if I should have just put him straight into my long 90 gallon display tank....I'm trying to do the right thing by putting him in quarantine for 2 weeks but I would like to know if I may be doing more harm than good. <Quarantine should be 4 weeks. Lionfish are not very active fish, and a 4" one should be fine in a 10G for that period if you keep the water conditions pristine. The time can be well spent training it to eat frozen foods.> My question about my Foxface is that I have noticed in the last few days 2 black dots on the body of the fish. They start out dark black and round (about the size of a grain of salt) and about a day or two later they seem to get a washed out and sort of blotchy appearance to them and they get a little bigger and take on a slightly irregular shape and begin to fade out but I can still see them. It is not a blotch mark like when they get stressed or at nighttime (those are much, much larger). Is this something I should be concerned about? I was thinking maybe it was black spot disease but if it's only one spot that slowly seems to fade should I worry about it or should I just leave it be? <I'd keep a close eye on it and if it gets more, this would be my first concern. Check WWM & elsewhere for pix.> Thank you soooooo much.....you guys are the BEST!!! <Glad to be of service.> 

Foxface Rabbitfish with x-large Feather Dusters? 4/27/04 Hi!  Quick question for you as I respect your opinions and advice and after searching both your site and the internet for this answer, I have come up with completely conflicting advice. Some say the Foxface Rabbitfish is 100% reef safe (although the shape of its snout is exactly that of my Valentini puffer who devoured tiny ones instantly - he is in a whole different tank  Others say "watch out"!!!!  I don't have a reef tank, only 2 x-large (4-5") Feather Dusters. <No herbivorous fish can be considered 100% reef safe (or Featherduster safe).  It is very very unlikely that they will eat the feather dusters, but it is possible that they will occasionally sample them as part of their routine grazing.> The Foxface (yellow but no black spot on body) is about 5 " and he is in a 90 gallon long (52") tank with a 5 " dwarf zebra lionfish and a 5 " black Volitans lionfish. Everyone is getting along fine and I've removed my feather dusters until I can get a solid answer but would sure like to put them back in my main tank! <I would say that you are probably safe to return the feather dusters.  I would just watch carefully for evidence that the Foxface is picking on them (unlikely, IMO).> Any ideas on this one or will I just have to try it and see what happens?!!! Any help would be greatly appreciated....  Thanks so much.......Lana. <There is no way to be sure without trying it.  Your worst case scenario is that the fish pick on the dusters and you will have to remove one or the other.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Rabbitfish in a 90 reef? <Hi! MikeD here> I've been researching your site about the many Rabbitfish available but most of the questions are centered around Foxfaces.<They are among the most common and colorful, plus were often the ONLY Rabbitfish commonly available, being the reason there seems to be a preponderance of Q&A's about them> I have a 90 gallon reef that is inhabited by mostly small fish such as Chromis. The only fish I have with any potential size is my yellow tang. I have been looking at a masked Spinefoot or Siganus puellus.<A sweet fish, far less aggressive than a normal/common Foxface> Your site suggests that these fish grow slowly. If one is acquired at around 3 inches what it be a bad choice?<This only allows one of those "Uuuuuuuh, maybe?" answers. This species can grow to 12", and "slowly" is a relative term. I'd fully expect this fish to reach 9"-10" in about 3-4 years, if you've progressed to the point of not losing everything in 6 months or so, and it's my "gut hunch" that you'll reach a point where foods and fish waste make water parameters unsuitable for a true reef tank. I acquired the nickname "Mike the Coral Slayer" based on a lack of willpower strong enough to keep fish this size out of reef tanks and now keep only FOWLR tanks because of it> James
Rabbitfish in a 90 reef (continued)
Hi, Mike D here again> So in response to the last email I received Mike, are you suggesting that I shy away from that choice of Rabbitfish and stick with the Foxface. I am past the 6 month time line so if a healthy specimen is received, I'm pretty confident that he will make it. I don't want to jeopardize any corals though.

Magnificent Foxface Hi Guys, <Hi, MikeD here> I have a question regarding my Magnificent Foxface (Siganus Magnifica). He is such a beautiful fish and I got him for $55 from my LFS. (partly from a discount he gave me 'cause we're friends, partly from no one wanting him for some reason) He has been in my 120 for about 3 days.<Can I ask how large this fish is, as sometimes it has a significant bearing.> At the store, he was active and not shy at all, but when I put him in the tank, he hid behind the rock all night.<Normal> I suspected everything was fine and that he was just scared. The next day he came out a little and today he was out to eat. He's doing fine but I was wondering if he would eventually come out and swim more once he gets used to the tank.<Probably, but that depends on several things> Right now he uses his spines to hold himself in place behind various rocks. When my LFS took him out of his tank he had to triple bag him because he kept poking the bags.<You ARE aware that these fish have venomous spines about as potent as those of a Lionfish, correct?> LOL, it was apparent he liked where he was. Also, I was wondering why they change color. It seems like he is trying to camouflage with the rock. He does it when frightened. This is normal and isn't unhealthy right?<Foxfaces normally camouflage themselves for two reasons, 1) out of fear or stress, and 2) at night, with eh blotchy night-time sleeping pattern VERY normal> He is a very beautiful fish and I consider myself lucky to have him, as no one else seems to care about any of the Foxfaces, even though they are reef-safe and hardy. Why is that?<In my experience, Foxfaces tend to exhibit what I call the "target fish syndrome" more than many other families, meaning that if they are the largest fish in the tank they KNOW that would make them the most obvious, thus preferred target for attack by a predator, in other words meaning they are high on the intelligence scale. This behavior will often decrease if kept with other fish of the same or larger size, EXCEPT for other Foxfaces! Some Rabbitfish will tolerate others of their own kind or relatives, while the Foxface end of the family (Lo, vulpinus, Fiji) tend to be aggressive toward the rest and often need to be the ONLY member of the genus kept in a tank lest an all out war erupt. As to reasons for the apparent lack of popularity, the venom, of course, is often a deterrent, along with the larger size (up to 8" or 9" which is considerable in a 120 gal. tank if it's a typical reef system). As to his shyness in your tank, you didn't mention the size of the tank he was in and with how many and what size tankmates, nor what else you have in your tank.  If he's the only fish in there, the shyness is likely to be long term, and if the tank is in a high traffic area, even more so.  There IS an upside to this as well though....being more intelligent, if you're willing to make "friends" with him, eventually he'll develop almost as much personality as some of the puffers and triggers and become a truly "Magnificent" showpiece, but you'll literally need to earn his trust. these guys, by the way, have an insatiable appetite for veggies, even compared to other vegetarian species (I have a 7" Lo Foxface that can devour a full half pound of Caulerpa in an hour or less, and no, I don't know where he puts it either!**grin**)  Mine is maintained in a 300 gal. FOWLR tank with larger predators and large tangs and is ANYTHING but shy, with him being a problem and harassing a Vlamingi tang that's 3" longer for several months.  I acquired him when small and he was house with several other Foxfaces and Rabbitfish, but as he got larger they had to be removed to save their lives, with his attacks constant and ongoing.> Thanks, you guys are awesome, Jake

Magnificent Foxface (continued) Hello Again<Hi back! Mike D again>, In response to your first question, yes I am aware that the Foxfaces are a venomous group, but your hands stay out of the tank, so I don't mind :). I realize that his poking the bag was a defense to try and "sting?" it so that he would be let free, I just thought I'd mention it because my LFS said he's never had to triple bag a fish before<LOL! I've had to triple bag MANY fish, particularly those with sharp spines....it's REALLY impressive when you have to triple bag a fish because it BITES through two or three thickness of bags!>, I commented you must have never had a Foxface before then<Wrong. I started out with 5 in a 125 gal. tank and gradually had to remove them due to aggression among themselves.>. I suspected the very same thing of his camouflage patterns, as when I approach he sticks his head out from a rock, turns color with the rock, and doesn't move. very intriguing, and I'm sure he'll warm up to me.<good luck. I commented on their "biggest/Only fish syndrome" and suspect that in 6 months he'll be doing just what he's doing now.> As for their veggie consumption, I read about him in "Marine Fishes" long before I got him and knew that he would be needing a lot of this matter. I feed him quite a bit of Spirulina (it says to feed them that in the book) he eats well and I'm not worried about him staying healthy.<they need a varied diet and JUST Spirulina won't suffice. Caulerpa, romaine lettuce, spinach and FD algae sheets will help and these kids eat a LOT of veggies, as well as a fair amount of protein based foods> I'm shocked however to hear that you say they can be aggressive, as they seem harmless to me, but I guess that's an unfair statement when he's the only fish in there<The aggression displayed by the Foxfaces is generally aimed at their own kind and near relatives, although, as I found out the hard way, MAY be directed at other fish that they consider competitors as well. As to "seeming" harmless, drop a lettuce leaf in the tank....the mouth and teeth may be small, but they are VERY effective, particularly when the attacks are constant and non-stop. The Foxface I have was attacking a vlamingi tang a full 2" larger than it is (about 6"-7"). It's a 120 gallon tank, five feet long with 180 pounds of LR.<I gave  mine away to my neighbor after placing it in my own 125 gal. tank as "punishment" top see if it would lessen the aggression....I BOTH tanks, it stayed hidden in the LR and refused to come out except to eat occasionally, even though there were several other smaller fish in both> Anyways, now that you say he can become aggressive if the biggest fish in there, I am a little worried. He is 5-6 inches long, and I was thinking of putting a medium sized tang in there, (one of the Acanthurus members, don't know yet) Would he too get along?<Quite possibly. In my 300 gal tank the Foxface was a terror towards the Vlamingi tang (genus Naso) and yet completely ignored an Acanthurus tang that was placed in there at the same time> Rabbitfish and tangs are "cousins" but not closely related enough too fight to the death, I would think.<THIS  is where the rub occurs...it's not important what YOU think, but rather what your individual Foxface and Tang think. Each fish is an individual with its own specific personality and the books can only give a general suggested guideline on what MOST members of a given species are likely to do. Fish, however, don't read the books and have no problem embarrassing authors on a regular basis. Keep in mind that out of 10 fish, for example, 7-8 are likely to act as expected, but one will probably be much more aggressive than the norm and yet another may be extremely submissive and shy.  It's been my experience that this applies to pretty much any animal species that I've ever kept, and there have been many. I currently have a 300 gal tank, 2-125 gal tanks, a 100 and a 25 gal hex> Let me know what you think, Jake P.S.- I apologize for being so long winded tonight.<Me too, only it's not just tonight. No apology needed and good luck>

Magnificent Foxface Mike, <Hi again, I'm baaaaack> Now I am a bit confused.<A soul mate!> Does the Foxface not like to be the biggest in the tank usually no> or does it like to be because if the vlamingi was bigger, wouldn't he feel less threatened according to your biggest fish thing. By the way, he has already started to trust me more. (He loves his food and recognizes me as "The Food Source")<You could be lucky and have gotten a more outgoing specimen. Like any animal they come in timid, average and aggressive depending upon the individual fish> I want to get some of that "tang heaven" (both the Gracilaria and the Ulva) for my tang when I get one. Do you think that the Foxface will devour this stuff at the same rate as tangs?<Nope....MUCH faster. These guys REALLY like their veggies and you may have a tough time getting any to a tang.> Thanks for your time.<NO problemo. Time I have plenty off!**grin**> Jake

Eeyouch! Got Myself Stuck by my Foxface! >My Foxface got sucked into one of my powerheads and I inadvertently reacted, my try to get him off and got stung. >>Something's wrong with your fish if it actually got stuck to the powerhead. >It is like a really bad bee sting I have run it under hot water... Can this thing kill me? >>Not unless you're already allergic to bug stings. I have always had my kids pee on the stings (yes, and it works), also, meat tenderizer can help with stings of jellyfishes/nematocysts.  Most important here: clean the wound, then use a good antiseptic, and a good antibiotic ointment (Neosporin or similar). If you experience signs of infection (redness, swelling), I strongly suggest you go see a doctor and tell him/her that you were stuck by this fish. If a bit of the spine stays in the wound, it will (it WILL) hurt a lot. The biggest concern here is secondary infection, and we don't want to have to amputate. I'm not going to post your signature, because it's like riding a horse - do it long enough, and you ARE going to get nailed. Doesn't make you dumb. Marina P.S. Maybe you should go ahead and make sure your affairs are sorted out. 

Got Myself Stuck by my Foxface! It Worked..! >OH God thank you for your quick response!!! >>You're very welcome, you had the good sense to get nailed while I was working on queries, my friend. >I have been sitting here hitting send and receive over and over waiting and hoping that you guys would reply.. >>I honestly don't know if anyone else would have had you pee on your finger... <giggle> >I have read everything on your site but have never asked anything, what a whopper for the first one... >>You ain't kiddin'!  >You have no Idea how nice it is to pee on your finger and feel the pain go away.  hahahahahaahahahahaa... >>My fiancé and I got a good laugh at that one.. don't know if he's ever been nailed thusly, but I sure have!  >I can not tell my wife that I did this but thank you so much. >>Jamie, you are MOST welcome. Do follow the other instructions re: preventing secondary infection. Even though urine straight from the bladder is sterile, I don't think it will actually sterilize/disinfect. >Could I make a donation to something in your name? >>Why, of course! Go to the bottom of the WWM page, and you'll see the Amazon.com banner for making donations to WWM. I owe Bob a great deal, and this is his brainchild. The more support the better for all, yeah? >Jamie >>Take care, and keep this one in mind when thinking of stories to tell the grandchildren. Marina 

Tang and Rabbitfish fighting I have a 90 gal Reef Tank with powerful filtration, excellent water quality and few fish. < Without seeing your tank I bet it could use more filtration and more water movement. > The list of my livestock are as follows (in order of purchase): true percula clown pair, midas blenny, three green clown gobies, green mandarin pair, yellow mimic tang, and my newest purchase magnificent Rabbitfish. All fish are under four inches in length and my tank has been running for about a year with few (if any) problems. My biggest problem is an aggressive Mimic Tang that is very mean to my new Rabbitfish. < Natural to see during the first few days. > I have only had the rabbit for one day. I am concerned that the mimic might not "chill out" because of what I have read involving arcanthius (sp?) targeting similar fishes and not letting up until they are dead. < It is a risk you take, but with a large tank (and hopefully lots of algae) the fish will learn that they don't need to fight and that there is plenty of room. > I did not predict this to be a problem because of the poison spines of the rabbit, I thought the Tang wouldn't want to mess with that. If I have to remove one of the fish, that would be an "all night" project. (probably have to take the tank apart....corals and rock structure look great, don't want to do that.) < That would just cause more stress.  Try turning the lights off for a day or two and adding more algae. > What do you think? Is it likely this tang will accept this new rabbit? < Yes, I think in 4 days in a tank that size things will work out. > Or is this going to be a major problem? My tang has shown aggression to other tank mates, but nothing like this. Usually he just chases them away for a second, and then things go back to normal....    It's only been one day, but the Tang seems VERY determined to prove the point that he doesn't want the rabbit in there. I have had the Tang for about six months...I normally don't buy fish often. Usually coral. So, that's why there's a big gap between purchases. < A good practice. > Any suggestions? < Give it time, and food. > Thanks for any helpful Info you might provide. <  Blundell  >

Goldspotted Spinefoot in a 120? 8/12/05 Hello Bob, <Petro... the same root as "Peter?"> A store in my area has just received a Goldspotted Spinefoot (Siganus punctatus). <A beautiful animal> It is the first time I have seen this fish and find it extremely attractive! My current setup is a 120 gal fish and invertebrate with liverock tank. (no corals for the moment) My Current occupants: 3'' Yellow Tang 3.5'' Lineatus Wrasse 2'' Helfrichi Firefish 2'' False Percula Clown 3'' Whipfin Fairy Wrasse And various invertebrates The Goldspotted Spinefoot is ~ 3'' and seems rather healthy. I was wondering if my tank would be an adequate home for him, considering I have read they can grow to 16 inches in the wild. <Will go with the fishes you list above... some sparring with the Yellow Tang initially... likely no damage, will diminish with time) Will eventually (a few years) outgrow this size system> Hope you can get back to me sometime soon : ) Regards, Petro Kostelidis <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish compatibility  11/19/05 Hi Crew, <Hello there> Quick question. Looking at adding a fish. I currently have 5 fish in a 250 gallon FOWLR and I would like to add an Orange Spotted Rabbitfish (Siganus guttatus). I currently have a Fiji Bicolor Rabbitfish (Lo uspi) that is very healthy, peaceful, and happy. I noticed the Orange Spotted is not called a Foxface and looks quite different without the long snout and "beard" so I am hoping they are different enough to get along. <In this size system, likely so> In one area it said that other "Foxface" together may fight, however since the Orange Spotted is a Rabbitfish but not a Foxface am I okay?  <Actually, all Siganids could be incompatible... with each other> I had large Butterfly (Saddleback) on order, however the fish was unavailable when it was time to ship, so I started looking again and really like the Orange Spotted Rabbitfish, but would only add him if I have a better than average chance of making it work. I know there are no guarantees and every specimen is different, but I like to at least play the odds. Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. Steven <Should be fine. Bob Fenner> 

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