Fish that are NOT reef safe...

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Profesional Idiot
Apr 20, 2008
Too Far from the Ocean
i just had to take back my bicolour angelfish because it rather enjoyed terrorizing me by eating my new zoos and my star polyps. i could pretty much say with my experience of angels(Dwarf) it is hit and miss and it only depends on the individual. i had two flame angels, one of which picked at corals, a bicolour who loved to eat corals and a coralbeauty that didnt touch them once!


Aspiring Self Proclaimed Expert
Dec 31, 2008
I had a camel shrimp that used to terrorize my corals(tearing them to shreds I lost lost 3 frags) I was at home off work for the weekend and I caught it in action, but the one I had prior to that and put in a friends tank never touched them and still dosn't.. I took mine back and didn't bother with another... but keep an eye on it if you do get one :)

Fish Magician

Professional, but not yet an expert
Jan 22, 2012
Upstate NY
Real Name
One of the few generalities I can draw from this hobby is that all fish are "semi" reef-safe. Basically up to what you can tolerate in your tank. My leopard wrasse has a habit of knocking some small frags over, but it's a shallow enough tank, I can easily right them. Each fish has it's own temperament. My maroon clown has been a joy! :) (But I do work for my lfs, so I get to observe individuals pretty well...)

Some fish that often observe desirable etiquette.
Nearly any dragonet
Shrimp gobies, especially if you have a pistol shrimp!
Clown gobies
Small dartfish
Small wrasses; nearly all fairy wrasses, 6 lines, x-mas tree, and many types of leopard wrasses, as long as well fed will leave well enough alone...
Docile clowns, Percula are quite popular with the parent of young children demographic. Thanks, Pixar!
Kole and hippo tangs make excellent grazers, but I wouldn't suggest them in any tank less than six feet long, with strong current. Less is like keeping a big terrier locked up in a studio apartment.
Lamarck's angel is the only angel I've heard of considered "reef-safe".
Most basslets


AC Members
May 22, 2012
Depends on the reef, sometimes. Gobies will thrown sand and irritate your corals, so I shelved mine higher on the rocks and solved the problem. Clown gobies are funny, they use the coral as camoflauge. I had one who would leave an imprint on my flowerpot coral any time he hid in it. It didn't seem to hurt the coral in my tank.

Most angels, some wrasse, butterflies.

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