Fish are often categorized as being either reef safe or non-reef safe. This ambiguous terminology would leave one to believe that it is centered on a fish being coral friendly or not, but instead it usually refers to a fish’s taste and/or abilities to eat small invertebrates, namely shrimp and crabs. To make the situation even more confusing, the terms are not always accurate to the fish they are used to describe. Many herbivorous fish, such as tangs, are labeled as reef safe probably 100% of the time. Generally speaking, they don’t bother corals or invertebrates. But every once in a while, we’ll hear stories about a particular tang eating all of the zoanthids in the aquarium. Other times, we’ll hear about reef safe fish nipping at clam mantles or developing a taste for some other form of reef life. The take home message for this tip is to both understand the ambiguity of these terms and keep in mind that they aren’t universally applicable to all fish within a given species.