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Reef Safe Parrot Fish?


TheClark
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I have a Quoyi parrotfish that I've had for a year. They are torpedo shaped fish that are active swimmers and need large tanks. Mine is a big eater and is constantly chomping around on rocks for algae. It resides in a softy only reef, so I can't speak to how reef safe it may be, but I have seen them in reef tanks before. They wear down their ever-growing beaks on rock as they eat algae and I've seen some in aquariums where their beaks were very overgrown due to lack of grazing and accepting processed foods instead. I've also seen their coloration become very dull in aquariums. Mine will chomp on the glass for algae as well and I would take caution in putting one in an acrylic tank. I also keep another species of parrotfish that's certainly not reef safe, and plan to keep multiple species of parrots. They're a very misunderstood fish and there's some really poor information on them in regards to their captive care. 

 

I don't believe Jeff has ever had one in a display tank at the shop. They would require a larger tank than his current DT. You'd be surprised at how large they are and their fat cigar shape (think XL Harlequin Tusk that swims like a bullet). I don't believe Quoyi's or Princess Parrotfish will touch corals unless they're unhealthy; and in that case, they'd be trying to scrape algae off of them and taking some of the coral skeleton with it. The Scarus genus of parrotfish are said to be more reef safe and I've seen Quoyi's and Princess parrotfish live in reef tanks with no problems. I'll try to post some photos of my setup at some point and will definitely include some photos of my parrots. They have great personalities and are a favorite of both mine and my wife's.

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I have a Quoyi parrotfish that I've had for a year. They are torpedo shaped fish that are active swimmers and need large tanks. Mine is a big eater and is constantly chomping around on rocks for algae. It resides in a softy only reef, so I can't speak to how reef safe it may be, but I have seen them in reef tanks before. They wear down their ever-growing beaks on rock as they eat algae and I've seen some in aquariums where their beaks were very overgrown due to lack of grazing and accepting processed foods instead. I've also seen their coloration become very dull in aquariums. Mine will chomp on the glass for algae as well and I would take caution in putting one in an acrylic tank. I also keep another species of parrotfish that's certainly not reef safe, and plan to keep multiple species of parrots. They're a very misunderstood fish and there's some really poor information on them in regards to their captive care. 

 

I don't believe Jeff has ever had one in a display tank at the shop. They would require a larger tank than his current DT. You'd be surprised at how large they are and their fat cigar shape (think XL Harlequin Tusk that swims like a bullet). I don't believe Quoyi's or Princess Parrotfish will touch corals unless they're unhealthy; and in that case, they'd be trying to scrape algae off of them and taking some of the coral skeleton with it. The Scarus genus of parrotfish are said to be more reef safe and I've seen Quoyi's and Princess parrotfish live in reef tanks with no problems. I'll try to post some photos of my setup at some point and will definitely include some photos of my parrots. They have great personalities and are a favorite of both mine and my wife's.

 

Great information, thanks!

 

Beautiful fish

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Uh no. The reason the Parrot has that beak is to eat coral. Unless  I am mistaken, which in this case I would find quite unlikely. But then again, I am not a marine biologist so anything is possible

 

Why do SPS corals have tentacles when they are primarily photosynthetic? Natural selection can favor new uses for an organism's structures in new environments. Sure, most species of Parrotfish do use their beaks to eat coral, but there are a handful of species that do not.

Edited by Lexinverts
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The beaks on parrotfish are for scraping algae off of rocks and coral. If you've ever watched them in the wild, it can be very aggressive chomps that take chunks out of whatever it's grazing on. They also have pharyngeal teeth at the back of their throat that grinds up rock and coral skeletons into sand, which they excrete. They do not have stomachs, which allows them to digest the calcium carbonate without it reacting with stomach acid, which would cause fizzing. Their digestive system is then able to process the nutritious algae, or whatever else they are eating, and excrete the calcium carbonate in the form of sand. 

 

Back to the original post; yes, Quoyi Parrotfish can be kept in reef tanks. Like angelfish and others, they are reef safe with caution. I'm sure some individuals will be fine, while others may cause problems. I've yet to hear a disaster story from a Quoyi in a reef and I'd be confident in putting mine in a full sps reef. I've tried mine with softies, LPS and dead sps coral skeletons and it hasn't bother anything. For further proof that these can exist in a reef, here's a video of the famous Pieter 6 meter tank. Note how large the Quoyi is and how much swimming room it needs.

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It should probably also be noted that he has multiple other fish in there that aren't considered "reef safe" and that term may vary based on individual opinion. There's no denying that he's got an amazing tank and some huge colonies though.

 

Also figured I'd share a photo posted on Reef Central of a Quoyi that has lost some color brilliance in captivity. 

16916945269_8431bf1505_c.jpg

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The beaks on parrotfish are for scraping algae off of rocks and coral. If you've ever watched them in the wild, it can be very aggressive chomps that take chunks out of whatever it's grazing on. They also have pharyngeal teeth at the back of their throat that grinds up rock and coral skeletons into sand, which they excrete. They do not have stomachs, which allows them to digest the calcium carbonate without it reacting with stomach acid, which would cause fizzing. Their digestive system is then able to process the nutritious algae, or whatever else they are eating, and excrete the calcium carbonate in the form of sand. 

 

Back to the original post; yes, Quoyi Parrotfish can be kept in reef tanks. Like angelfish and others, they are reef safe with caution. I'm sure some individuals will be fine, while others may cause problems. I've yet to hear a disaster story from a Quoyi in a reef and I'd be confident in putting mine in a full sps reef. I've tried mine with softies, LPS and dead sps coral skeletons and it hasn't bother anything. For further proof that these can exist in a reef, here's a video of the famous Pieter 6 meter tank. Note how large the Quoyi is and how much swimming room it needs.

 

 

Wowsers!  So much to take in there.  First off, just when you think your tank is big enough... tank envy sets in...  wow wow wow

 

Second, man he is doing a number on the (hopefully) glass tank, that does not look acyrlic safe, glad you mentioned it.

 

Third, this is awesome, i have learned quite a bit.

 

This video is now bookmarked as a favorite tank too.

 

Thanks Dragon, awesome info and videos...

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Sweet, although I would also have concerns with SPS.  Look at those bone cutters it calls a beck.  Its saying "trust me with your Oregon tort" :innocent:

 

That is the first thing that came to my mind......look at the chompers on that thing.....

 

Fish with teeth are never any good for a reef tank....

Edited by spectra
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Ahhhhhh, this is my dream fish!  Stylaster & gumby are probably sick of hearing me blab about it, because it takes up half the conversation every time we're together; it's one of the biggest reasons I absolutely must have a large tank someday! Jeremy, if you get one of these, you'd better be prepared for me to come visit him! Like, a lot!  :wub:

 

They pop up on Diver's Den from time to time, but you have to be hella quick to get one. Some of the other scarus parrots show up there, as well, but none are as spectacular as the quoyi. A couple of people on RC have been lucky enough to get them mislabeled as princess parrots or just sold as generic parrotfish, for much less than the DD price (about $250-300 is what I've seen); I think one person got theirs for $35.

 

I recognize the faded one shown as belonging to a guy named Peter (SDGuy). This was the fish's original colors (a photo saved on my computer for drooling sessions):

 

3%20quoyi%20parrot.jpg

 

 

He has it in a fowlr with a lot of butterflies and a few other fish. I don't think he has any wrasses in that tank, but I wonder if the parrot's colors would be more likely to stay vivid if he did. 

 

This is a great thread to read through if you're considering one:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2293760

 

But seriously, GET ONE. Get one and invite me to its birthday parties. I'll buy it a Christmas gift. Please get one!!  :agree:

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Ahah!  You are quoyi stalker!  :)

 

Hey good read, I am going to go through that thread in more detail as these guys are fascinating.

I have no intention on getting one, but it is tempting as the fish is beautiful and always smiling if you look close, what is not to love?  :)

 

Imagining that beak chomping on the new envision tank is enough to take a pass, but what a beauty!

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Yeah, I'm a little nuts. There's a folder on my computer with my stocking plan for a giant fowlr I may never have... but I've researched the hell out of all the fish on the list!  :laugh:  Reading up on fish is fun, at least. 

 

Never let your FOWLR dreams die, never know what could happen :fingerscrossed: .  Knowing you it would be an amazing tank for sure. 

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