Editorial: November 2005
The pictures that accompany this editorial where taken two days ago, and I thought that some of you might be interested in an update about two controversial fish that I added to my reef tank: a clown trigger (Balistoides Conspicillum) and a saddled butterflyfish (Chaetodon Ulietensis. The other fish in the tank pictured here is the Acanthurus sohal, the boss of the tank. The clown trigger was added about two years ago when it was a juvenile, and the butterflyfish about 4 months ago, which was added to stop the dreaded Manjano sp anemone from taking over the tank.
Much to my surprise, the trigger has not bothered anything, vertebrates and invertebrates alike. It is important to note that it's in a 10-foot tank, and was about 2-inches in length when it was first put in the tank. (I would be very hesitant to introduce a mature clown trigger into an established reef tank.) It occasionally has a threatening standard off with my tuskfish and green wrasse, but this has never progressed beyond threats, which where usually initiated by the other two fish in question.
The saddled butterfly completely eliminated the Manjano sp. Anemones. The longer I'm in this hobby the more convinced I am that the natural approach is best when dealing with a problem, in this case the invasive Manjano sp. anemone. Again, and even more to my surprise, it has not bothered very much any of the sessile invertebrates in my reef tank. I sure you have noticed that I said "very much." There is one Acropora sp. that was given to me by Greg Schiemer that has unusually long polyps, which, ever since the introduction of the butterflyfish, it never extends during the time when the lights are on. There are many other stony corals, LPS and SPS, which it has not bothered. What is also interesting is that it eats flake food with gusto - maybe it thinks it's a surgeonfish. In any case, it may be true that I have an atypical butterflyfish. Therefore, do not construe this update as a recommendation for either of these fish; one can never tell what an individual fish will take a fancy to, and when.