Acanthurids are also competitors and can be quite pugnacious as well. One of the greatest hurdles (if not the greatest) in keeping Moorish idols is feeding them. They look a little out of place here, especially as we are used to seeing them in tropical aquarium tanks. The Moorish idol is a beautiful fish that tempts many aquarists to try keeping it in home aquariums, but as the author demonstrates, it’s still an impossible task. The Moorish Idol is a very difficult fish to feed. Here we present one of the most difficult species of fish to keep and raise in captivity. In Tahiti they practically live on a lime green sticky sponge. Guppies will have fry about once every 28 days, give or take a few. Wait several days after the Moorish idols have arrived before evaluating them for purchase. A larger aquarium, preferably twice as large, is a better minimum target volume. Then offer a varied diet of finely chopped meaty items, mysid shrimp, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, Spirulina, and algae. From what I have experienced, there are easily twice as many specimens that are doomed before they even leave a fish store as there are fish that reach those stores in a healthy condition. Aquarium Size : 100 gallon (379 liters) minimum. house them in an appropriate aquarium system. Live rock with large amounts of algae and sponges on which it can feed will help it acclimate. Other Factors 1. Substitutes for their reported natural sponge diet always seem to eventually fail in most cases. This is often perpetuated on forums I suspect in part because people see videos or photos of them schooling in the wild. For one thing, he mentions that the fish are found mostly in pairs in the wild–and therefore recommends that aquarists interested in keeping these fish also attempt to keep them in pairs. Published July 31, 2019Author: Mike - FishLore AdminSocial Media: The infamous Moorish Idol. Once again, the evidence indicates that simply acquiring this species is virtually a guarantee of failure. After reading this article, perhaps some readers who may have otherwise failed at keeping this species will now succeed. Some fin damage is usually inevitable, especially to the dorsal streamer, and it is usually not problematic. Getting a specimen into an appropriate setting as soon as possible seems to go a long way toward long-term success. To be blunt, the hobby as a whole continues to remain completely clueless as to how to properly capture, transport, and house this gorgeous species in a way that ensures even a moderately acceptable chance of survival. In its natural habitat it is usually found in groups of 2-3 and so if you have one, it is probably best to get another. Tepoot: This new tank has had the fish for about 20 months [at the time of our interview]. Their popularity increased with the release of the kid's movie "Finding Nemo" but as most hobbyists soon found out, this fish is very tough to acclimate and keep. This article was over two years in the writing; I was gathering data and constantly researching anecdotal reports from hundreds of individual Moorish-idol keepers. Length of Moorish Idol: The size of these species is about 9 inches in length. This is not necessarily true. Dead spots within the aquarium can lead to detritus accumulation in small areas where any detritivorous organisms cannot keep up. It is my sincerest hope that you will not. Then offer a varied diet of finely chopped meaty items, mysis shrimp, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, Spirulina, and algae. However, there will always be experienced aquarists willing to accept the challenge, and others who insist upon keeping the Moorish idol, regardless of warnings. The smaller the individual, the younger it is, and hence the greater chance you will have success with it. They are in fact known in the aquarium industry as "The poorman's Moorish Idol." I've had Tiki for one year now & he is fat and happy. Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12° If it is even possible, the specimens still all need to be suitable. “Your straw-man is a non-living, non-breathing fictitious corporate Entity that has the same name as you except in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. When I discussed this article initially with TFH editors and other aquarists, it became painfully evident that, to some extent, it does encourage some measure of irresponsibility to offer information about Moorish idol care. ... it will be an attempt at assuring a success in MI captivity care. Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk, © FishLore.com - providing tropical fish tank and aquarium information for freshwater fish and saltwater fish keepers.About FishLore | Whether or not these are always male/female pairs seems unclear, but some indications point to this as being the case. The Moorish Idol, Zanclus Cornutus, The Moorish Idol stands out in contrasting bands of black, white and yellow, and an elegant filamentous dorsal, that if damaged, can grow back quite quickly and easily. The Moorish Idol is a very difficult fish to feed. True success stories with this species are few and far between, but those with positive experiences are usually more than willing to talk about them. I thought about it for quite some time and came to the conclusion that, although Moorish idols were a risk, if I waited for stability to be achieved, I was one of very few people who did have the tools necessary for success. The Moorish Idol, Zanclus Cornutus, The Moorish Idol stands out in contrasting bands of black, white and yellow, and an elegant filamentous dorsal, that if damaged, can grow back quite quickly and easily. Moorish idols are notoriously difficult to maintain in captivity. Fins of Moorish Idol: These species have dorsal fins that are long and white. Knowledgeable aquarists will look at the above recommendations and immediately intuit that nothing less than a well-established and well-maintained large aquarium will suit a Moorish idol. There is, nevertheless, an observed advantage in having plenty of mature live rock for the fish to pick over: the food items it finds can, in part, make up for deficiencies in the captive diet. Others are buying live sponges from their local fish store and offering those with equal success. It’s a simple setup. Interestingly, those aquarists reporting the greatest success with Moorish idols offer living sponge—whether temperate or tropical—at least as a small portion of the diet. Moorish Idol Common Name: Zanclidae Family: 78.0 - 80.0 F 25.6 - 26.7 C Temperature: dKN 8.00 - 12.00 Alkalinity: 8.10 - 8.40 pH Range: sg 1.021 - 1.023 Specific Gravity: 125 gallons 570 litres Minimum Tank Size: Expert only Care Level: Peaceful Temperament: Caution Reef Compatible: n/a Lighting: n/a Placement: n/a Waterflow: Based on the amount of abuse this second fish initially took, I would not recommend introducing a second Moorish idol into a tank. A tank of 150 gallons is recommended, although you can try a 100-gallon tank. It cannot be overstated that one of the most important factors in keeping Moorish idols successfully is the size of the aquarium in which they are housed. Character and suggestions regarding care This fish is peaceful. With this very delicate species, even a minute deviation from such recommendations can tip the scales even more in favor of failure. The total flow rate should not be less than 20 times the tank volume per hour. The most recent article I can find is Bob Fenner advising keeping moorish idols as a pair. These can tempt even the most finicky or hesitant eaters. Some aquarists prefer to keep substitute species that look very similar to the Moorish idol. The most recent article I can find is Bob Fenner advising keeping moorish idols as a pair. All trademarks are either the property of Central Garden & Pet Company, its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliated and/or related companies or the property of their respective owners. Most adult specimens do not adjust well to life in captivity and can often ignore the foods offered. Based on the experience of the mere handful of aquarists who have kept specimens alive for more than a few months, chances are that any who try to keep Moorish idols will fail—even if the procedures herein are properly carried out. The recommendations from acknowledged experts all follow the same thoughts: the Moorish idol is better off left in the ocean. Every year a few solitary Moorish Idols turn up in Sydney. The Moorish idol, with orange on the jaw and a black tail, is usually found near the seafloor and reef. The banner butterflyfish, with a white jaw and yellow tail, is found higher in the water column, feeding on plankton. A barely acceptable minimum would be a tank approaching 200 gallons in volume—the absolute minimum for … Conditions in quarantine should match the intended long-term aquarium as closely as possible. A minimum of a 100 gallon tank is recommended for this species. Although the pair of Moorish idols I obtained ate well and seemed to be doing okay, an unexpected temperature spike to almost 90°F (something almost all reef fish can easily withstand), followed by a nitrite spike about a week after their initial acquisition, rapidly did them in. Co-founder / singer / keyboardist for the pop / alternative rock band Moorish Idol. I introduced a single specimen in early 2006, and after it showed signs of thriving I added another individual some weeks later. It’s ultimately a trust that is brought into existence with your signature. Breeding : Very difficult to keep, let alone breed in captivity. I feed them two teaspoons of pellets per feeding, once in the AM, once in the PM. Have different colors of nori; purple or green, on hand and feed both, your idol is a picky fish and may only eat one and not the other. Moorish idols suffer from the reputation of being hard to care for. The fish is often confused, being mistaken for Moorish Idol because of their close resemblance in terms of appearance but unlike the latter; Heniochus is much easier to take care of and they thrive naturally under artificial saltwater tank environment, acclimatizing to wide range of conditions. They are in fact known in the aquarium industry as "The poorman's Moorish Idol." The Moorish Idol. Moorish Idol. Make no mistake, this article is not intended to be a guide as to how to obtain and keep Moorish idols successfully. These fish should never be placed into a new tank, with “new” meaning any aquarium that has not been completely stable for at least a year (not simply set up for a year or more). Then offer a varied diet of finely chopped meaty items, mysid shrimp, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, Spirulina, and algae. A selection of underwater backgrounds including coral reefs, sunken shipwrecks, and the lost city of Atlantis Live streaming bubbles. and Galaxea spp., seem to be perfectly safe from predation by Moorish idols. Besides nutrient levels having a negative effect on some forms of reefkeeping, high bacteria concentration has also been reported to be detrimental to some fishes—mostly to those that are cartilaginous, but also to Moorish idols. The maintenance of Moorish idol fish requires several things that must be fulfilled. But my initial experience with them had me discouraged. The Heartbreakers | Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. They will start stretching toward the light if there's an insufficient amount. If you decide to try keeping a Moorish idol, please ask yourself seriously if those numbers are acceptable. Tell me about the care of this current shoal of Moorish Idols. The body of moorish idols is circular in shape and very narrow in width. Gender : Difficult to determine the differences between males and females. And here we conclude, exactly where we began, just like the wrap-up scene in a crime drama, with a pile of bodies. Never purchase a Moorish idol that is not already feeding. It should be fed several times a day. Fins will also rip and tear, regardless of display tank size or other species housed within it. Fins of Moorish Idol: These species have dorsal fins that are long and white. There is no real evidence to indicate that macroalgae are a viable nutritional substitute for sponge. Pioneering efforts in this hobby, however, are risky, and there is a very fine line between taking necessary risks and irresponsibility. I feed New Life Spectrum pellet foods. Moorish Idol Habitat and Care. Moorish idols should be provided with plenty of unobstructed swimming space, as well as ample reef-like hiding places to take refuge when feeling threatened. This table details how long the various fish I had been keeping tabs on survived in hobbyist aquariums: Three hundred eighty-two bodies and not one single living individual made it through the time it took me to finish this article, the last having been reported dead as this article was going to press. They are also considerably less expensive. Top Care Facts For The Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus) Care Level: Expert Temperament: Peaceful Diet: Omnivore Origin: Hawaii Minimum Tank Size: 125+ It eats sponges, tunicates and other benthic invertebrates in the wild, which explains why aquarists have an impossible time getting them to eat in captivity. Some have reported great success with pellet foods developed for finicky feeders, even offering such foods in dishes to maintain concentration for the Moorish idols. One thing is almost always true: if a Moorish idol stops feeding, it probably will never feed again. Idols will grow to approximately 9 inches in length. It should. Because some sponges may contain toxins, and some collected close to shore may contain harmful pollutants, this may not be an advisable solution, but it does seem to be working for a number of people. Realistic 3D tropical fish including, the Yellow Tang, Moorish Idol, Majestic Angel, Clown Fish, Blue Tang, Copperband Butterflyfish and more! A barely acceptable minimum would be a tank approaching 200 gallons in volume—the absolute minimum for keeping post-larval juveniles. Virtually all aquarists reporting Zanclus longevities of more than a few months are keeping their aquariums steady and as close to natural-sea-water parameters as possible. Care Level : Easy. Contributed by Steven Alo I have kept my Moorish Idol for a year and a half. Moorish Idols are one of those quintessential iconic reef fish – they are so popular that the more common and easier to keep Heniochus are sometimes called the ‘Poor Man’s Moorish Idol. They are omnivorous and they eat marine algae and sponges in the ocean. What is usually described is a fish that feeds fairly well on a particular diet (usually herbivore based), regains some weight, keeps that weight on for a fairly long period of time, then starts to slowly waste away. But I, like many before me, have had my hopes dashed by Zanclus cornutus. Motile invertebrates are generally not a problem with Moorish idols. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individual Moorish idols are removed from the reefs each season, but it’s doubtful that more than a handful of specimens will survive in captivity for more than a few months, with most succumbing in transit or in hobbyist tanks within a few days or weeks. It has a protruding tube like nose which puckers up at the end. Bob presents some helpful advice on keeping the fish. The aquarist cannot test the stability of the system by allowing it to run fallow of fish for a year or more. Give them optimal water conditions and please, don't even think about adding them to anything but an established tank after the recommended quarantine period. For the struggling idol try fresh mussels, live blackworms, red nori, and live brine. Tank Parameters. Diet / Foods : This is the most difficult aspect of keeping this fish. Shop Calico Critters - Seaside Treasure Set online at Macys.com. I'm hoping someone has had experience with adding a "mate" for my moorish idol, Tiki. That was the beginning. We give the Moorish Idol a Care Rating Level. keep them with compatible tankmates. PERIOD! First of all, we must bear in mind that it is an indefatigable swimmer who, in nature, travels through large areas of rock and coral to search for food. the upside down catfish will be the syno. It is found on a limited basis in Mexican waters of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Live rock with large amounts of algae and sponges on which it can feed will help it acclimate. It cannot be overstated that one of the most important factors in keeping Moorish idols successfully is the size of the aquarium in which they are housed. Mashing gelatin-based frozen foods into rocks or clam shells is another trick that sometimes works. Procuring substitute foods that contain at least some sponge matter is only a small portion of the problem, however. Washed-out coloration is a common occurrence if the store keeps the specific gravity of the display tank a bit on the low side, or if they maintain treatment levels of medications, especially copper. See the full article on TFH Digital http://www.tfhdigital.com/tfh/200801/#pg113. Successfully keeping a Moorish idol requires planning, everything from before the fish is purchased on up to its captive environment must be accounted for. Moorish idols are not wallflowers at all; they can hold their own against most other species, including (as I’ve seen evidence of) already established, belligerent acanthurids. 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