"expert only" and "beginner" fish/corals


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everyone list a fish and a coral/invert that most of us should leave in the sea. And one fish and a coral/invert that almost anyone can keep.
I'll start:
Expert only: sea pen, blue ribbon eel
Beginner: shrooms, pajama cardinal


coral= carnation,
invert= harlequin shrimp, fromia and linkia stars
fish=mandarin ( not expert, just very established tank

heart & sole

Invert: all octopus (IMO should never be in home aquariums)


coral= elegance coral (LPS) captive grown only should be tried
invert=clown shrimp, only in larger tanks that have a nice stock of little stars
coral= most acros, needs a established aquarium to survive with little flux in water quality
invert=sea apple, not hard to keep but when they die they die hard and reek havack
to the easy things
CLOWN FISH all breeds that you normally see in pet stores and all should own one hehe
toad stools, sorry i had to guys i love them, they will take a beating and keep on growing
watermellon shrooms (the stripped ones) keep them isolated ill just say that haha


Beginner fish: Royal Gramma, Bicolor or Flametail Blenny, Percula Clown, Blue/green chromis
Beginner inverts: Cleaner shrimp
Should never be in home aquariums: jellyfish, parrotfish, sharks (IMO), stonefish, octopus.
Expert Only: Achilles Tang, Lookdown, Batfish, Filefish, Cowfish


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Expert only list
gonipora (i'm lumping them all together just to save time even though the reds are easier to keep)
elegance coral
any non-photosynthetic gorgonian, 6-8 month life expectancy for most people
moorish idols, only fit for the Largest tanks and most expirienced keepers, in general its a leave it in the wild type of fish.
any groupers, size alone makes it for experts only (how many begginers can actually house a 4' fish?)
coral catfish, specific dietary needs and venemous
any scorpion fish, just because the wild populations levels are unknown, though not a difficult fish to keep, I dont think we can afford to lose ANY to begginner mistakes, experts make enough mistakes.
cuttle fish
of course there are many more


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While I think saying "all octopuses" is a bit out there, I agree that no beginner should attempt to keep them and all rare species should be avoided. Most of the common octopus species are quite hardy if proper husbandry is practiced which would require lots of reading and gathering information from educated sources. Anyone who can successfully maintain a reef tank can successfully maintain an octopus, given the tank is escape proof. It's not so much a matter of what an aquarist buys, but WHICH aquarist buys it. There are projects underway to establish truly captive-bred octopus species, one of which was successfully achieved by a 17 year old kid.
Blue Rings, Mimics, Wonderpus, and Zebra's should be left in the ocean.


what kind of specialized diet do coral cats need?
I had some for about a year and a half until I had a tank crash
They ate fine swam, in a school, and sifted through the sand all the time.


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Originally Posted by porkchop48
what kind of specialized diet do coral cats need?
I had some for about a year and a half until I had a tank crash
They ate fine swam, in a school, and sifted through the sand all the time.
juveniles school, once they reach adulthood they seldom school and reach about 12" (quite large for most tanks) and rely on the foods found in your sand bed, so the special dietary needs would be plenty of foraging space, and ample food supply. housing a school for most begginners isnt feasable as few of us start with 300G wide footprint established tanks with plenty of foraging, (obviously they can be successfully kept in smaller tanks) IMO they should only be attempted by more expirienced keepers with long established tanks.


Ok I was just checking. I only have a 92 gal corner but they were doing very well any time food was added to the tank they came out and ate.
It is my fault they died with the crash I had.
Thank you for the response


Expert Only Fish- Powder Blue Tang,Achillies Tang,
Expert Corals-Birdsnest,Elegance,Flower pot corals or Goniopora's.
Expert Inverts- Short Tentacles Anemone -(Stichodactyla gigantea)
Hardy Beginner Fish,Wrasses,Clownfish,Foxface,Royal Gramma..etc...