News / Species Spotlight / Species Spotlight - Royal Species (01/26/17)

Species Spotlight - Royal Species

Species Spotlight - Royal Species
The Royal Dottyback is quite often mistaken for the similarly shaped and colored Royal Gramma. The confusion is understandable as there are very few obvious cues to set these two animals apart. Both of them are on the aggressive side of the behavior scale, some report one or the other being less aggressive, but the difference is nominal. Due to this aggression we recommend that the Royal Dottyback be housed singly, or with other fish that similar temperaments. They prefer an environment that has a great deal of live rock to hide in, however, the live rock can bring out their aggression because they become territorial of their hidden dwelling. They are rumored to be predators of bristleworms, and also possibly cleaner shrimp. Providing a well varied diet of meaty foods will enhance the health of the Dottyback, while also deterring them from unduly harassing other fish or consuming desirable invertebrates.
The Emerald Crab would make a valuable addition to any aquarium because they will take care of bubble algae problems as well as clean up the live rock. They are reef safe and very easy to take care of, which makes them ideal for beginners. They are very hardy and can with stand harsh conditions, like larger temperature changes or parameters out of their optimal range. The Emerald crab typically stays hidden during the day in small crevices in the rocks and then comes out at night to feed. Their diet consists mostly of organic debris, but still should be supplemented. Provide a meaty diet a couple times a week to help this crab thrive.
Yellow Assessor is very hardy additions to just about any aquarium. Often called the Golden Basslet, they will stay very small with a max size of just over 3 inches. These diminutive fish are planktivores in the wild, so they are used to eating foods suspended in the water column. This means they are both easy to feed and highly unlikely to bother sessile invertebrates, which makes them ideal for reef aquariums. They can be aggressive and territorial, so it best to keep only one in the aquarium. Feed these fish small meaty foods like saltwater mysis a couple times a day. They will be eagerly taking more processed foods fairly quickly.
The Emperor Shrimp is a stunning little shrimp that would make a great addition to your cleanup crew. This shrimp will help keep your tanks substrate clean. Their care isnt overly difficult, but their tank mate requirement does not make these ideal for beginner hobbyists. Oddly enough, these little guys make symbiotic relationships with sea cucumbers and nudibranchs. The shrimp lives on the surface of their host, which offers him protection from predators and an extra source of food. The relationship benefits the host by how the shrimp consumes any parasites on its skin. Due to this mutually beneficial relationship, the Emperor Shrimp will do best when housed with a nudibranch or cucumber. This shrimp are carnivorous scavengers, but be sure to supplement their diet with thawed, marine based, meaty foods.
The Royal Gramma is a great starter fish to recommend to the beginner hobbyist. They are brightly colored, easy to care for and readily take prepared foods, which make them very appealing. Since this fish has a very small adult size they are a great addition to nano and reef aquariums. This fish is known to find a hole in the live rock and make a home out of it. Then they will defend their territory with tenacity. The Royal Gramma is usually peaceful towards their tank mates, but can become aggressive towards others of the same species or later additions to the aquarium. For continued health provide a varied diet of frozen meaty foods and marine pellets.
A unique damsel to display in your store that is also easy to keep is the Jewel Damsel! Its body has vivid blue spots that will stand out against any other damsel in the aquarium. This aggressive fish adapts quickly to a new aquarium setting and is very hardy, which makes it the ideal option for any hobbyist. Provide ample amount of decorations and live rock to allow this fish to hide and swim thru. The Jewel Damsels diet should consist of vitamin enriched meaty foods and flake/pellet foods for marine fish. Be careful with which tank mates you provide with this damsel because they are known to be territorial and aggressive even against other Jewels. So it will be best to house one per aquarium.
The Top Crown Snail will be a great resource for cleaning the glass of algae. It is very adept at keeping your aquarium clean. In fact, this small snail prefers to feed on nuisance hair algae, as well as cyanobacteria and diatoms. The Top Crown Snail will do best in a well-established aquarium with ample hiding places and sufficient room to roam. Keep an eye on these little guys because they have a difficult time righting themselves if they fall or get knocked upside down. Like other invertebrates, they are sensitive to high nitrate levels and will not tolerate copper-based medications. If sufficient food levels are not present, supplement the diet with vegetable-based tablet foods or dried seaweeds.
You have a customer looking for a fish fit for royalty? Look no farther than the Queen Angelfish. They earned their name from their adult phase marking that resembles a crown. This angelfish is known to be very shy initially, so be sure to provide plenty of hiding places to help them feel at home. The live rock will aide in hiding and will act as a food source for grazing. After this initial shyness, Queens can be quite territorial, so take care to ensure that they are placed in aquariums with like minded tank mates. These are considered larger species of angelfish at full adulthood, though they grow slowly. Still, they may need a larger aquarium at grow out. They are not considered reef safe because this angel is known to nip on corals and clam mantles. Provide a varied diet of marine algae, marine sponges and frozen meaty foods multiple times a day.