Is Quoyi Parrotfish Reef Safe? What Do They Eat?

Quoyi parrotfish are peaceful fish that are beautifully colorful. Their stunning shiny scales give off a rainbow of colors, making them a talking point of any hobbyist’s home tank. They are moderately easy to look after and require a minimum tank size of 180 gallons. 

This particular herbivore makes a fantastic addition to any tank, but when it comes to adding fish to a reef tank you should always take extra caution. You want to make sure that not only are you choosing a fish that you like, are able to look after, and have enough room to house, but also that your new addition will not cause havoc to your corals.

Corals can be extremely delicate, some more than others, and so it is worthwhile considering how your desired fish will interact with them in your tank. Here we will tell you everything that you need to know about introducing a quoyi parrotfish into a reef tank.

Are quoyi parrotfish reef safe?

Although the general rule of thumb is that parrotfish are not safe to have in a reef tank, there are a few exceptions. The most notable is the quoyi parrotfish which can be introduced into a reef tank with caution. 

Although the safest and easiest way to ensure that your quoyi parrotfish will cause any damage to your home reef tank is to have them from a very young age. This way they will be able to adapt to the environment inside your tank.

It is worth noting that when they are fully grown these fish require a very large tank and so you should take this into consideration before purchasing one.

Many hobbyists attest to the fact that these fish are notoriously difficult to keep with many of the fish dying around, or even before, the six-month mark. There are several things that you can do such as medication for internal parasites and other diseases but it is always best to keep an eye on them to spot any obvious problems. 

What do quoyi parrotfish eat?

One reason in favor of adding a quoyi parrotfish to your home aquarium is that their diet consists almost entirely of algae. They are herbivores and will happily eat any algae that they can scrape off of rocks, glass and corals. 

This means that although they will do a fantastic job of helping to keep your home reef tank clean, this method of feeding can cause damage to your corals. Because they use their sharp front teeth to scrape off the algae from the coral they are able to cause damage to the coral, especially to more delicate corals, over time. 

The constant scraping will eventually weaken your coral and cause harm to them. However, it can, conversely, also help to keep the coral healthy by removing the algae and keeping them clean. 

Quoyi parrotfish spend approximately 90% of their time feeding in this manner. In the wild, their feeding habits help to produce small coral parts typically found on the beaches in the South Pacific. However, in your home aquarium, these small parts of coral will simply sit at the bottom of your tank. 

What are parrotfish predators?

Out in the wild parrotfish are prey for larger creatures. They are the prey for two main predators: the lemon shark and the moray eel. These two creatures will hunt down parrotfish in the wild due to their stationary foraging nature. However, since these are the only two main threats for parrotfish, it means that your parrotfish will be perfectly safe in your tank at home.

Your parrotfish are highly unlikely to be bothered by any of the other fish and creatures in your tank, as long as they are not highly aggressive by nature.

What fish are reef safe?

If you are simply looking for a great new addition to your home reef tank, then it may be worth your while looking elsewhere. Whilst the quoyi parrotfish is a fantastic fish, both in nature and in appearance, it can be a rather difficult fish to maintain and look after at home, especially if your tank is on the smaller side.

So, here we have included a list of some of the best fish to add to a reef tank, which will not cause any harm to your corals. 

  • Yellow tang – this small fish will also remove any unwanted algae from your tank and provides a fantastic color addition to your reef.
  • Starry blenny – these little creatures also happily eat any algae in your tank and are full of personality!
  • Yellow assessor – an easy fish to look after that certainly brightens up your tank.
  • Firefish – a wonderfully bright purple fish
  • Neon blue goby – a very small fish although beautiful in color (blue)
  • Blue reef chromis – these fish prefer to be in schools rather than alone and are very active
  • Orchid dottyback – they remove any pests such as bristle worms and provide a wonderful purple addition to your aquarium
  • Clownfish – perhaps the most famous of all the fish listed here, clownfish are easy to take care of and are very fun to watch


Whether or not you want to add a quoyi parrotfish to your home reef tank depends entirely on you. If you have a tank that is large enough to provide enough space for the adults then you can consider getting parrotfish. However, if you have already curated your reef tank with very delicate and sensitive corals then you may want to reconsider.

Although quoyi parrotfish are ok to include in a reef tank they are not ideal. This is because they eat by scraping algae off of rocks and corals with their teeth. This can then cause damage to your corals, especially if they are particularly delicate.

Instead, it may be worth having a look at some other alternative fish to add to your tank. The alternatives can provide a pop of color as well as get rid of unwanted algae without damaging your corals.

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