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FAQs about Marine Livestocking 13

Related Articles: Stocking, Collecting Marines, Marine Livestock Selection, Reef Livestock SelectionQuarantine, Acclimation, Acclimating InvertebratesMarine Life Use in Ornamental Aquatics

Related FAQs: Best Marine Livestocking FAQs 1, Best FAQs 2, Marine Livestocking FAQs 1, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, FAQs 5FAQs 6FAQs 7FAQs 8FAQs 9, FAQs 10, FAQs 11, FAQs 12, FAQs 14, FAQs 15, FAQs 16, FAQs 17, FAQs 18, FAQs 19, FAQs 20, FAQs 21, FAQ 22, FAQs 23, FAQs 24, FAQs 25, FAQs 26, FAQs 27, FAQs 28, FAQs 29, FAQs 30, FOWLR Livestocking, Small System Stocking, Reef LivestockingAngelfish Selection, Triggerfish Selection

Adding Another Fish To The Mix I have a 92 gallon SW tank with the following: 20 gal sump Skimmer 105 lbs Live rock ~1/2" substrate mechanical filter on sump lunar (actinic) light Inverts: Many snails and hermit crabs 2 Cleaner Shrimp Feather Duster 2 Curlicue Anemones Fish: 1 Foxface 1 Flame hawk 1 Strawberry Pseudochromis 1 Banggai Cardinal 2 Ocellaris Clowns My question? Can I put any other fish in this set up and if so, what would you suggest?  I have some hair algae and was considering a Lawnmower Blenny (to take care of the algae) and a dwarf angel.  Any suggestions? Thanks! Patrice <Well, Patrice, I think that you'd be able to put in the Lawnmower Blenny with no troubles. In fact, you could probably also consider a couple of smaller species, such as a Halichoeres type. Lots to choose from-just check up on the WWM site for some more ideas! Have fun! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Fish Compatibility Questions Taking Stock (Pt. 2)  - 04/19/2006 Hey Scott (or other crew member if Scott isn't around), <Scott F. back again!> Thanks for the quick reply. <Glad to be of service> I've devised a new fish list since it isn't wise to put a Marine Betta in a 65 gallon. Here is my new list: Longnose Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus) Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) 2 x False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) Yellowtail Blue Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema) Sixline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) <I like the mix, myself, with the possible exception of the Banggai (a timid fish for this mix, IMO). A nice adjustment, though.> I have a few more questions about this new fist list. 1. Are these fish compatible with each other? Should be okay. There might be a bit of scrappiness with the Damsel, but otherwise a pretty good mix.> 2. Am I overstocking? <No, but I'd call it quits after you complete your stoking list.> 3.What are the chances of the Damsel and Wrasse becoming complete terrors to other fish? <In my personal experience, I've never had a Sixline become a problem. I cannot say the same for the Damsel- it could become a bit of a pain.> 4. Do you still advise against the Banggai? If so, what fish would you suggest? <Maybe a Royal Gramma...?> I've read through Scott W. Michael's Marine Fishes four times trying to get ideas! <An outstanding little book by one of the nicest and smartest guys in the hobby! Always a good reference! Keep referring to that book and others, as well as the WWM site, for more stocking ideas. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.> Stocking? Hi Crew, I need suggestions on what to put in my tank while it goes fishless for 6 weeks. I have some snails and mushrooms but would like something active that my grandchildren would find interesting to watch. <Well Sam, how about a Banded Coral Shrimp and a few hermit crabs? James (Salty Dog)> 

Stocking Levels I am once again turning to my favorite "security blanket" for advice. I have a 29gal mini reef. Here are the specifics: AMiracle skimmer, AquaClear 200 with PhosEx media, 2 65wt compact fluorescents (1 actinic, 1 10,000K), 18lbs live rock, 2 inch sand bed (mix of sugar fine and Aragalive).  pH 8.2, specific gravity 1.023, temp 78, NH4 0ppm, NO2 0ppm, NO3 40ppm (I know this is high), CA 450ppm and Phosphate 2ppm (this is high too).  Both the nitrate and phosphate levels were recently affected by a malfunctioning tap water purifier.....I have changed cylinders and did a 30% water change.  Inhabitants are: 2 percula clown juveniles, 2 green clown gobies and 1 convict blenny. Also 1 brittle star, 1 sand sifting star and a very small starfish that I assume came out of my live rock, 1 peppermint shrimp and a hand full of blue legged hermit crabs and a couple snails. Button polyps, green star mat and a toadstool leather coral are all that I have right now.  Now my questions: Is my bioload too large (would like to have a fairy wrasse or sixline)? <You are at your fish load limit right now>  Should I use carbon in my filter? Should I add more live rock? What other corals would make a good addition? Should I have more scavenger variety? Should I add a sump or refugium?  <Caryn, these are all basic questions/info that can be found on the Wet Web Media. Type in the keywords and search. James (Salty Dog)> Any other suggestions or changes? Thanks for your input once again. <You're welcome> 

- Livestock Selection - Hi all! <Hello, JasonC here...> Thanks in advance for whatever guidance you can offer.  Your website is so helpful.  I have a 120 gallon saltwater tank with current inhabitants:  a large Orbic batfish (about 6 inches of body height + 6 combined inches of dorsal and ventral fins) <I am sorry to hear this - these fish are absolutely inappropriate for marine aquaria although they are offered just about everywhere... they just grow too quickly and will certainly outgrow this system.>, a blue-band goby (2 inches long), a small/medium snowflake eel (10 inches long), a chocolate chip starfish and about 10-15 assorted snails.  I am thinking of adding a new fish (or a few) and would like advice on which to add.  My thoughts/likes lean toward any of the following:  any of the fairy or velvet wrasses, a pair of percula or maroon clowns, any of the Anthias, or a small school of green Chromis. <Any one of individual selections would work. If you are thinking about the clowns, do keep in mind the Maroon clowns rate a 10 on the aggressive scale [1-10].> If possible I would like to add any of these in pairs, harems or schools without overcrowding. <With the exception of the Chromis, your tank isn't large enough to support a harem/school.> Please give me advice on which of these (or others) that I can add...   Second, I have a small red starfish (Fromia milleporella) who seems very lethargic and inactive.  About a week ago, I removed him from my 55 gallon tank and put him in a quarantine tank because it appeared that he had either been bitten or had something wrong with him because the tips of 2 of his arms were missing.  In case it helps you assess whether or not he was being terrorized, his former tank mates included a maroon clownfish, a purple Pseudochromis, an x-mas wrasse, a 3-striped damsel, a green brittle star, a pink and green cucumber (Pentacta anceps), a pincushion urchin, a pencil urchin, a couple of peppermint shrimp, 10-15 assorted snails, and a small pesky mantis shrimp that I have not yet been able to catch. <Could have been the Christmas Wrasse taking a sample... could have been water quality - there are a number of reasons the seastar is losing limbs.> The starfish is now in a 20 gallon quarantine tank by himself and continues to be very inactive and is not eating well.  I try to feed him shrimp pellets and he doesn't seem interested.  One of my LFS owners specifically told me not to add antibiotics, that it would kill him faster and suggested that if I do anything, maybe I should cut off the tips of those arms to prevent any infection from spreading. <That might work.> I really wasn't satisfied with that advice and wonder if you can offer any other insight. <Not really... do test the water in this tank to make sure it is pristine.> Additionally, if I buy any new fish, can I safely put them in the quarantine tank with the red starfish? <Depends on what you buy - from the first stocking list, you'd probably be ok.> Looking forward to your reply and thanks again for the wonderful service you all do for the fish keeping community. <Cheers, J -- >

Increasing The Population! Hi Scott. <Hello again!> I've done what you told me to do except vacuuming out the blue green algae didn't work. But, here is one to try: Use a turkey baster- works great. <You heard it hear first, folks! Good idea!> I want to add life to my tank.  Gulp - here goes - I always get nervous when I do this. <Me too - the nervousness never seems to go away for me, too!> These are my choices: It's a 55 gal I've sent this on an old question so it tells you  already what is in my tank as far as lighting skimmer (I added working great) and two powerheads. I would like to add all or some to my tank but am letting you decide what is best. <I feel no pressure here...nada! LOL> I have two small carpets on my one rock (back side of it) and on same rock 2 sm. mushrooms, and a feather duster on the front side. Sure would love to break it up and relocate the carpets but my FS told me not to and just leave them as they are. <I agree- IMO, it's best to let the animals "decide" where they want to be...the less handling- the better, especially with touchy animals like anemones> The 1 carpet is about the size of a nickel and the other a quarter. It's a flat rock. I've got it perched on its bottom ledge so they all can grow. It came with a piece of live rock I bought and never saw them till I put them in the tank :>) <Hey! A bonus! What a deal! The only surprises I get on live rock are Aiptasia and mantis shrimp!> This is what I was thinking of adding:  (long list) blue mush rock, Ricordea mush, green mush (6-10 on the rock), L green Button polyp, l green star polyp, 1 anthelia, 1 emerald green crab,  pep shrimp 2 for them to multiply and feed the corals, 1 skunk cleaner & margarita snails. <Sounds like a nice mix of animals, if you have correct lighting and good locations for them. I love anthelia-one of my favorite corals!  They are hardy and easy to keep. They'll spread beautifully if provided the optimal conditions. The emerald crabs are cool- but I've seen them take a nibble on corals once in a while...your call here. I have 2 plain starfish (about 2 1/2 inches) that I bought last week, and they are doing fine. And my 12 Astrea snails which are growing like crazy but not cleaning like they used to. Guess they are full. They wiped the diatoms out of my tank in the beginning now they are loafing! LOL <Hard to find good help these days! Sounds like you're going to have a great mix of colorful, attractive animals. Have fun with this tank- you're certainly making nice livestock choices! Good luck! regards, Scott F>

New system for puffer lover (02/20/03) Hello to all. First of all, thanks again for all of your help. Your wisdom is invaluable! <Thank you for the kind words... Ananda here today...> I'm currently in the process of setting up my first marine tank. 120 gal FOWLR. I initially planned on keep about 8 small to med sized fish. That was until I recently fell in love with the two puffers I saw at the LFS. One of them was a Dogface and the other which is my absolute favorite was a Solomon (Black with small blue spots!). <I am still not sure which species this fish is. I think it may be Canthigaster jactator (aka Whitespotted Toby) or C. rostrata (aka Sharpnose puffer aka Atlantic Toby). Do check with your LFS to get a better idea of exactly which fish this is.> I am so intrigued with these two fish I have rearranged my entire plan. Being that these fish get to be so large, I'm going to downscale my live rock from 100lbs to about 50lbs. <A bad idea, in my opinion. Cutting your system's filtration capacity in half does not allow you to keep more fish!> I'm also going to cancel all of the small fish that I wanted. My new group is: 1: Solomon Puffer (black with small blue spots) 2: Dogface Puffer 3: Red Volitans Lion <If that Solomon puffer is the Whitespotted Toby, its fins are in danger of getting nipped.> 4: Bannerfish Butterfly (poor man's Moorish Idol) <Ditto.> 5: I would like to keep a Porcupine but I've read that they won't work with a Dog. <Dogs do tend to chase porcupines up trees, or at least until they get needles in their nose... oh, you mean the puffers! ;-) The porcupine puffer does get too big for this tank.> 6: Yellow Tang My setup will be: Wet/Dry filter/Aqua Medic Turboflotor/Mag 9.5 return pump/4 x 65w PC light/ 50lbs LR,2-3 inch live sand bed. <I would consider a different skimmer (search this site for "Turboflotor" comments) and a deeper sand bed, in addition to sticking with at least 100 lbs of live rock. The live rock and deeper sand bed would eliminate the need for the wet/dry filter.> Do you see anything wrong with my setup that I might have overlooked? <Wet/dry filters often become nitrate sources in marine tanks. This is less of an issue with a fish-only with live rock system, but the deeper sand bed and possibly a refugium would help keep the nitrates to acceptable levels.> Also, am I right in assuming that I should downscale the liverock if I'm going to keep these large fish. I figured that they would need more swim room and also my wet/dry should be enough bio-filtration. <Yes, they need more swimming room, but they need more filtration, too! Large fish eat a lot, and what goes in one end comes out the other end....> Please help. <I would consider waiting on the lionfish and butterfly until you can get another tank. With those two out of the tank, you might be able to include a few of the smaller fish you were considering in this tank. --Ananda> Demetrius

Re: Stocking a 55g Tank  2/19/03 Thanks for the quick answer.<No problem! BTW you have Phil again!> If I may, I have a few follow-up questions.<Shoot> Re: getting 1-2 of the Firefish, yellowtail blue damselfish, neon gobies, and royal grammas. I know that 2 males in the same tank will fight, but I guess that my question is will each of these fish be happier if they are in a "pair" or will they be happier if they are the only one of their type in the tank?<In this tank you should keep only one Firefish, if you keep more they will fight till the death.  I see no problem keeping two Yellow Tail Damsels, but it would be better if they are a mated pair!  I believe you should be able to keep two Neon Gobies in a 55 gallon tank w/o problems.  They may even become a mated-pair.  The eggs are great food for the fishes!  The Royal Gramma... one of my favorite smaller fish.  I've heard of people who have kept a few in larger tanks 100 gallon plus.  But I've seen first hand in a 125 gallon tank a Royal Gramma chase and kill the other one.  I'd stick w/ one.  You could keep a tang but only if you planned on upgrading to a tank 120 gallons or larger in the next 12-18 months, maybe less depends on how often you feed it and what is fed.  A better option is either the Blue or Yellow Tang.  Both need a 75-100 gallon tank at their max size.  So only get the tang if you can get a 100 gallon tank in the next year and a half or less!>   In other words, do they prefer to be in a pair, or do they only more likely to tolerate other fish if they happen to be of the other gender.<See above please> For example, I know that I haven't had them long, but my two clownfish really seem to adore each other.<Clownfish are one of the species that enjoy staying together, but they do fight every once and a while.  Don't we all?> Re: "A lot of snails," I guess I rushed that a little. I guess I should feed them a little extra until the tank gets going a little bit. But, how much more should I add? I don't want to put in more than they can eat and thus pollute the system. What do you think?<Try feeding small bits of Nori... aka "dried seaweed"  Not a lot.. just small amount near groups of snails.  Some of the snail will find some algae.> Re: the tang. I've seen a lot of stuff, including stuff on this site, that implies you can keep a tang in a tank this size.<Sure I can keep a small shark in this sized tank.  BUT only for a while.  It will outgrow this tank quickly just like the tang will.  Not to be rude, but a better idea might be to buy a pygmy angel instead.  e.g.. My favorite the Flame Angel.> Is it that I have picked a bad tang for a medium tank?<Ya, kinda.. it grows just too big for this tank.> Also, I thought that most of the general concerns about the powder blue were tied to poor collection. Does it make any difference that I would be getting mine from what seems to be a very good distributor?<Even if the President of the United States bought a Power Blue Tang and kept in in a 1000 gallon tank it would probably get in sometime in it's life.> (I was planning on going to Marine Scene in Herndon, Va. They are very careful with their fish sources, won't sell a fish until they have quarantined it for two weeks, etc. They charge a bit more, but I have yet to see a fish that doesn't look great in the half-dozen times I've been there recently.)<Sounds like a good fish store!!> Re: the protein skimmer. I've only had it for about 10 days, and I can already see why people don't rave about this product. It is loud and you have to adjust it often so it doesn't either (1) just not work or (2) make way too many bubbles. However, if I set it right, it seems to be working. Apart from the hassle, is it bad to use it?<Not bad just a waste of money.  It would be better to sell your skimmer on say E-bay and buy a good skimmer.  It will save you money in the long run and headaches over time> I hate to buy a new one while I still have so many other expenses in getting the tank started.<I know what ya mean.  On E-bay you could get between 50-75% of what you paid for it.  It's better than nothing.  But it really is your call!>  Also, I'm not sure what "PITA" stands for.<Let's just say.. Pain in the Rear...> Also, and I guess most importantly, how do I know how many fish I can keep in my tank? I have read the 1/2" per gallon guideline, but I know that fish have more than one diminutions. For example, I have heard that a school of Chromis (say 5) isn't a big addition to a tank, but full-sized, they could equal 18". Are there fish that I can keep where I get more fish for my inches, if you know what I mean?<I know what ya mean but really the only scale that I use is the 1/2 inch rule plus I have been known to understock tanks.  I'd rather have way too little than way too much.  Pygmy Angels have a lot of bang for their buck if you know what I mean. e.g.. Flame Angel, Coral Beauty, Bluespotted Angelfish.  Hope this helps and best wishes!!  Phil Thanks for your help.<No problem... anytime!> Melanie

55 Gallon Stocking Plan  2/19/03 Hi.<Hey there!  Phil here!> I've enjoyed looking through your Web site.<Please look but don't touch.. just kidding.. thanks!  I also enjoy looking at this site.  I few it may take years before I've read everything!> I am setting up a new 55 gal. saltwater tank (4' long), and wanted to know what you thought of my stocking plan. The tank has been up about a month, and I have 70 pounds of live rock and about 1-1/2" live sand/aragonite. I have an emperor 400 dry-wet filter and a red sea Prizm protein skimmer that says it is good up to 100 gallons.<*RED FLAG* Prizm Protein Skimmer's are a PITA!!!  Feel free to browse our large collection of skimmer FAQ's and see for yourself.  For a lightly-mildly stocked 55, you could use a Aqua-C.  IMO they are the best for tanks under 60 gallons.> A couple of days ago, I moved in a pair of young tank-raised false perc. clownfish, a skunk cleaner shrimp, 15 red-legged hermit crabs, 20 burgundy hermit crabs, 20 aquarium snails, 10 bumblebee snails, and a featherduster.<Wow, that's a lot of snails!  Please be aware that since the tank is newly setup many of those snail may die do no food which is algae etc.  I like to add my "cleaner crew" about 3-5 months after the tank has been setup.  This way there is enough food to go around and I don't waste money> I plan to add 1-2 fire goby Firefish,<Just one Firefish please.> 1-2 neon gobies,<You can have two, but they may fight for a cave to call home.  Remember to build lots of hiding places.>  1 powder blue tang,<*RED FLAG*  A Power Blue Tang requires a 100 gallon tank.  Plus it is an ich magnet.  They can be kept in larger tanks, but are very prone to contract ich.> 1-2 yellowtail blue damselfish,<One of these also please.> and 1-2 royal Gramma fairy Basslets.<In the "Marine Fishes" book it says that two adult can be kept in a tank larger than 55 gallons.  So you might want to try two, I won't suggest it.> Will also put in some easy-care mushrooms, other featherdusters, etc. I am also am toying with the idea of adding a mandarinfish for Christmas if the system looks like it can support one of the little fellows at that point.< A Mandarin requires a tank of at least 100 gallons to support it's a appetite for pods.  A 55 really isn't enough.> Thanks for your advise, <Not a problem, hope this helps and best wishes!  Phil> Melanie

Stocking an Unknown Size Tank.. 2/19/03 I have a acrylic tank and i plan on having reef and fish in my tank specifically a toadstool yellow and a bubble pearl coral I will also have a sebae anemone. My fish I will have are  Coral beauty angel, flame angel, true clown, maroon clown, sergeant major damsel, yellow damsel, 3 stripe damsel and a half black angel. I would also like to know if these fish are compatible with each other.<Well I know that these fish are not going to work in say a tank any less than 500 gallons.  The flame angel may eat soft corals.  You should never mix two species of clown in the same tank ever!  A Sgt. Major gets to be about 6 inches and becomes a real terror!  Please send me more info on your tank and it's lighting!  Thanks  Phil>

- What to Stock - Hi, <Hello, JasonC here at your service...> Hey the 40 gal is back!  (No, I didn't really go anywhere had a nasty case of Bryopsis which I finally won!!! YIKES and Yea! are in order. ) <Yay!> I read all the FAQs on anemones last night. And posted on WWF but I thought I'd try to ask my questions to the pros. Just when I thought I was going to do CB seahorses (have been on seahorse.org), I saw the ad for TR BTA anemones (I have had a bit of a problem getting these from the wild). You can get them paired with TR clowns, some nice color morphs as well. Anyway here are my choices. I think there are cons (and pros) to both. Specifics-- smaller tank or I go with the 40; 65 watts of PC light; Ecosystem 40; AquaC Remora. 1-2 prs of seahorse; Jawfish (already have); and maybe another small fish. This involves daily feeding (gotta have it). CB seahorses are pretty healthy and a bit longer lived than the WC. I think going out of town will be a bit complicated. <I thought I read you had started an aquarium club... does this not mean you could ask a fellow member to watch the tank for you?> I was going  do some 'shrooms and a couple other non-aggressive corals or polyps (not much in such a space). Some people say that giving mysids is polluting to the tank, hey I do that anyway. <Can be counteracted with small, frequent water changes.> Other possibility:  TR clown/anemone; sell back the Jawfish (I'd have to sell back a Royal Gramma the other way); blenny (bicolor or midas); RG; and a small angel (i.e Coral beauty, Flame, or Cherub). I think I could also keep some non-aggressive 'shroms, etc.?? <I think so too...> Is 144 Pc lighting enough (on the 40 breeder)?? <Yeah, I think so... these tanks aren't that tall.> Drawbacks: More heavy feeding perhaps. And the wandering anemone thing (powerheads, outtakes, etc.) and poisoning from dead anemones. <Those are all "yeah... but..." type situations that can be worked around with frequent, small water changes and/or having enough pre-made water around to affect a large change if the situation warranted.> BTW, it is a bit ironic as I have been a big purveyor of warnings to beginners not to keep anemones. Of course not sure I am still a beginner, it's 2 years and all. Advanced beginner? tadpole? Shark? Scallywag? <At the very least, safe to say you already know the advantages, disadvantages, and pitfalls.> My water perimeters lately are: Temp 80. SG 1.024. All ammon; nitrite; nitrite 0;  pH 8.3; alk 3.5 mg/l; CA 400. (of course I have a VERY light bioload). Any comments?? <Not really... it sounds to me like you have a good handle on the situation. Perhaps you just need to flip a coin.> I think both would have challenges but I think they are different ones. <Same, but different.> BTW. also any comments on how to pull water  around?? I am feeling the effects of middle age (or is this good weight training??). Someone suggested pulling water in a buckets on wheels. <Or perhaps a Radio Flyer.> Thanks guys (and gals), --des <Cheers, J -- >

More Fish, More Problems? Dear Crew" <Scott F. with you tonight> Today I notice that my other fish a regal tang is not very well. his eye is swollen, <If it's one eye, it's probably caused by an injury, and can be treated with common Epsom salt (in a separate tank)...> and having some spots. Some are big... I do not know what it is, he seems fine and eating, and I am still feeding them tetra medicated food, and some garlic soaked food. I think I will stick with the flakes treatment for 10 days and decide then.. is that a good way to go?? <Well, to be honest, if you're dealing with a parasitic disease, such as Cryptocaryon (ich)- it's really better to remove the fish to a separate aquarium for treatment with a copper sulphate preparation, administered according to the manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, you'd let the main tank run "fallow"-without fish, for about a month, which would essentially cause the parasite population to crash for lack of fish hosts (no medication should be used in the main tank!). This process essentially sucks (for want of a better term!) and is quite disruptive-but it really works the best of any method of treating ich that I have tried. You have to treat the fish AND attack the existing parasites that may be in the main aquarium (and if you are dealing with ich- the parasites ARE in there, even if the other inhabitants appear otherwise healthy...better safe than sorry.> Also, can tiger shrimp *(a kind of pistol shrimp) catch a small clown and consume it? <Certainly possible...> Because I just bought 8 true clowns. They are small, less than 1 inch. Today, when I woke up, 1 clown was at the overflow, dead and 2 of them are missing.. I cannot find them. Will the shrimp, clown trigger or  raccoon eat them?? <Well- various fishes will pick at dead fishes in aquariums, so you may not find any remains...Do monitor water quality to assure that nothing is degrading it...Hope that things start improving for you soon...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Starting Over Greetings again one & all. <Hi Heather, your stuck with Don again> OK, you DID sound a little harsh, but I forgive you.  I think! ;) <Oh, Pleeeese? One more chance?> Anyway, we HAVE been researching.  When I came up with a list of livestock, I was careful to choose hardier fish. <Agreed, you did.> I have several books I use, plus I research online as well.   <Good for you, this is the first (of many) steps to success, so many folks just buy with no concern for the livestock they are buying> There are 3 LFS in my area--one is a large chain.  I specifically asked (more than once) if the Tang would be ok in my tank.  I was told yes.   <I would not patronize that LFS anymore. Even though I don't know them, this answer leads me to believe they are simply concerned by the bottom line or very uninformed. A Yellow Tang needs at least a 4' tank and 90+ gallons> The tank was set up early November and yes, it has cycled.  We had our water levels checked several times at the LFS.  My husband said (he checks levels, not me)  that all of our levels Ammonia Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH were normal. <Is this 'normal' according to the same LFS that sold you the tang? ;) Ammonia, Nitrite should be 0. Nitrate could get up to 10-20 in Fish Only (FO), but 0 is best. pH should be 8.1-8.2 and steady over time. Temperature? Specific Gravity?> How much livestock are you saying is max?  I would LOVE help on restocking.   <Honestly, your initial list was not bad. I would lose the Tang (any tang, too big in time), the Blue Damsels (very aggressive and territorial over time), and any anemone (difficult to keep alive by even experienced aquarists, and clowns do not need them to thrive). I would keep 1 percula, 2 Banggai, 1 fire goby (Firefish, right). You might try a Chromis, but they are still damsels and may tangle with the others. Addition of some live rock (25-30#) would help with biofiltration and give the shy folks a place to feel safe. All of the new fish should be quarantined in a bare bottom tank for 4 weeks (minimum) before introduction. No more than 1 or two fish at a time to make sure you don't get a bioload spike on introduction. Weekly 3-4G water changes. Use this site www.wetwebmedia.com and click on Marine Aquarium Articles and read the links beyond.> I will read your link of course.  This was not something we entered into without thought, and we really want to learn. <Continue your research, learn from mistakes and you will enjoy many years of successful aquarium keeping. Don> Thanks so much yet again.  Heather <Oh, BTW, in the future, knowing values for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, temp, specific gravity, age of tank and all inhabitants, husbandry protocols will help us to help you. :)>

Tank Setup, Lighting and Long Nose Butterfly Hi, Your web site is extremely helpful.  I have a couple of questions regarding my new tank setup. I just setup a custom 275 gal (68"L x 31"W x 30"H) FOWLR tank about 3 month ago.  I have a sump with dual bio balls and an EuroReef CS12-1 skimmer. First of all, is this ok?  Do you think the skimmer is too big for the setup?  Do I need to remove the bio balls? <The skimmer is fine, this is one of those things where bigger is better. The bioballs will produce nitrates over time and are best removed over time as long as you have enough live rock and sand to handle biocapacity.> Also, I am not sure what to do about the lighting.  I might keep some corals in the future.  Do I need MH with PC?  My canopy is about 7" tall, can I get MH?  Should I get a retro fit system? <This purely depends on what type of corals you wish to keep and how much PC lighting you have. 30" is rather deep for VHO/PC, you may need MH and you may need to alter/aggressively ventilate your hood with MH.> I currently have the following fishes that I brought from Hawaii when I was there: 1. yellow tang 2. Naso tang 3. long nose butterfly 4. red flame angel 5. speckled butterfly 6. threadfin butterfly I also have 2 cleaner shrimps from before.  Everything is going well, all the fishes are very active and eating a lot.  A couple of weeks ago, I started feeding the fishes some frozen Mysis shrimps, clams, brine shrimps, etc.  Then one day I see the long nose and others ate my two cleaner shrimps.  Is this normal? <Apparently!> Is it because I started feeding them the Mysis shrimps that they develop the appetite to eat my cleaner shrimps?  What can I do now because I would like to have shrimps in my tank. <No, it's not from feeding Mysis. It was because the fish were hungry and could eat a shrimp. If your fish eat them, you can't keep them.> Again, thank you for you help. John Tong <Hope this helps!  Craig>

- Lions and Tuskfish and Rabbits, oh my! - Hello, <Greetings, JasonC here... Well, after finally abandoning my impulse to house a few Triggers in a 125 gallon (too destructive and with a DSB didn't feel like looking at a cloudy tank and rearranged rock), I decided to go with a Volitans to start off and have added a 4 inch Black Volitans to the tank thus far. <You are quarantining these fish, yes?> I'd love to add a Harlequin Tusk and some responses to a few FAQs on WWM seem to imply that this pairing would work. <Yes, it would.> However, would the Lion tend be left out at feeding time? <I don't think so.> Or would this pairing, in fact and as best as anyone could guess, work?  I am also looking at a Foxface Rabbitfish as a possible final addition to the mix. So would a Tusk. Lion, and Rabbitfish get along? <Given enough places to hide - get away from the fray, I think this mix would work fine.> As always, many, many, thanks! Michael    <Cheers, J -- >

Missing the point on adult fish sizes - 2/16/03 Oh, sorry but I forgot to say that I definitely won't be buying a foot long fish.  I would only buy one if they could get one in that's under 6" Also I can't order from the states, as we are in Canada Thanks again Lynn <Lynn... I fear that you are missing the whole point here. Getting a small fish (under 6") that has an adult size of 12" or more does not make it better. It will still either grow to 12" and be inappropriate for this tank... or it will stunt and die prematurely (more likely). We must be mindful of the adult sizes of the fish we keep... else its like putting a tiger cub in a closet and expecting it to stay kitten-size because of the size of its "cage". Please seek a hardy species with a smaller adult size. Best regards, Anthony>

Big fish, little tank Dear Don, <Hi> Thank you very much for the reply. What I have now done is moved the fish into a bigger tank 36inches length, 22 inches wide, 31 inches height. I have kept only the lionfish, the Picasso trigger  the majestic angel and the emperor angel. would this help. they are all small about 2.5 inches, only lionfish being 4 inches. I will be changing them in to a bigger tank like you said of 6 feet by 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet with 4 to 7 months of time. Thank you please let me know if this is ok. <Better for now, hope you can hold true to getting a larger tank though. If not, please get these fish to an appropriate home, Don>

Overstocking a 70 gallon tank - 2/14/03 Hello I'm back again! Thank you all very much for your help. <quite welcome!> Further we have been thinking about what fish we want to get so we can prepare and do research on them. Of course We will put the fish in only when the water has been thoroughly tested and stable. I was wondering if I gave you the list of fish we wanted eventually could you tell me in what order we should introduce them into the tank and if they can live together. Here we go: Clown or Picasso Trigger, Panther Grouper, porcupine puffer, Kole tang. <the species listed here are reasonably compatible although the tang is likely to get out competed if not mauled in the long term. The adult sized of these fishes are way to big for this tank even in the short term (1-3 years) though if you don't want them to stunt and die prematurely. The trigger, puffer and grouper combined have a cumulative adult size of well over 48" (see fishbase.org and WWM archives). These fishes will outgrow this tank soon or suffer for crowding. My advice for a happy family is to choose the Picasso, forget the grouper and enjoy all the rest with hope for a bigger tank in the 3-5 year picture> I will already have damsels or some sort of starter (hardy fish) in the tank from the beginning. thank you very much (again) Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

Compatibility - 2/12/03 Thank you for continuing to help in my stocking decisions... there's a lot to go through, and I'll confess, I'd be a little lost without your input... please be patient with me while I try to get the most out my first saltwater endeavor.  :) <actually, Jeremy... I fear that you are going to make things very difficult for yourself if you try to get "the most" out of your first endeavor, as you say. This is a common ambition that too often ends in overstocking, short-sightedness and failure> In my continuing research into fish and invert compatibility I spoke to someone who has a 350 gallon SPS tank, and in it he is housing (among others) 11 angels (8 different species), and 6 tangs (5 different species). <wow... tragic. Truly tragic to hear. I'm glad if his tank is surviving right now, but I dread to think how many people he has inspired to do the same irresponsible thing with more likely unsuccessful results.> Granted, I'm not hoping to come within shouting distance of his bioload in my 90 gallon, but he mentioned that he has very little problems with his angels and corals.   <for now... but why do such a risky and irresponsible thing when there are so many other beautiful and safe fishes. Not to mention issues with intra-species aggression and overstocking RE: their adult sizes. Just shameful> Specifically, his advice is that angels will only be really problematic with soft and LPS corals, and that the very occasional nip he gets from the angels does not seem to pose a threat to his SPS.   <Genicanthus are the only categorical reef safe creatures. They are planktivores. All others eat benthic fauna... some of that is corals... some is not. Depends on the species> What is your take on this? <I think this guy is something that rhymes with glass-hole> Did he just get lucky, <that too> or is he doomed in the long run with this scenario? <BINGO! You win a hairy kewpie doll! Many of the larger angel species begin life as cleaner fish, of all things, and eating mostly algae. As they mature (over 4-6") all best are off on cnidarians> Yet another person has a diverse selection of SPS, LPS, and soft corals... <this is how most people set up their tanks (1-3 year picture) and most people either move/upgrade their tank or fail in 3-5 years for it. We must plan for the full life of our fish and coral... not just what fits or works in the short term> and his 5 or so tangs seem to be compatible with this setup.  Again... your take? <why would you or anybody want to risk 2 or more angels or 2 or more tangs in a smaller tank when there are hundreds of other beautiful fish to choose from?> I think I have also read on your site that you do not advise mixing stony corals with soft corals... a little mixing is no biggie... but a hodge-podge mix is asking for trouble am I accurate here (something to do with strands coming out of hard corals at night)? <you will simply have better luck focusing on a more similar and compatible group rather than a mix> I prefer the LPS and SPS corals over softies (and I think I'm leaning this direction, maybe adding a clam as well) but I'm such a fan of angels that I'd love to house one at some time... <consider a dwarf angel instead then, bud... much safer (excluding bicolor, lemon peels and flamebacks)> if this just won't work, would I be safe with a few tangs and a clown (or perhaps a mated pair)?   <i cant think of a tang species that has a small enough adult size for three to live in a 48" long tank> I think my planed setup of 2 175 MH and two 40 watt fluorescents should be sufficient lighting for most LPS and SPS (just under 5 watts per gallon, 24" depth). <OK> hanks in advance for your insight, Jeremy Calgary, Canada <start with a lighter bio-load and hedge your bets for success. Learn to push the envelope later with experience if you must. Good luck. Anthony>

Packing them In Hello, <Hi Mustafa, Don with you tonight> I am a bit new to the hobby of keeping saltwater fishes, I have kept saltwater fishes before but that was 12 yrs ago. I am only 24 yrs old. I got a new tank 2months old size 30 inches length, 30inches height and 20 inches wide. I currently have a majestic angel 2.5 inches, lionfish 4 inches, Picasso trigger 2.5 inches, coral beauty, 2 inches, gold banded clown 1.5 inches, emperor angel 2.5inches JUV, fox face 2.5 to 3  inches. <WOW, this big load on such a small tank, even at the size they are now> The water conditions are good <"Good" is very subjective, actual numbers would help> and all are very peaceful and get along well. Would this be ok for lets say 1 or 2 months until I put all of them in a bigger tank(48  inches length, 30 inches height and 20 inches wide) <The Majestic will hit 12", the trigger 10", the Lion (is this a Volitans?) If so 15", Coral Beauty 4",  Emperor 15", Foxface 9", gold banded clown, 6". With the exception of the Coral Beauty and the clown, none of these fish belong in a 48" tank, let alone together. How about 96" or more?> Also i would like to know the emperor angel swims a bit weird but eats well and is also very active. Is this a common behavior of the fish. <Could be the individual, observe> My filtration is a Eheim 2213 , there is also a undergravel filter and also a wet/dry trickle filter and a AZoo protein skimmer. once I change in to a bigger tank I will be adding one more Eheim 2215 filter and also a trickle filter. I got a good amount of live rocks in my tank and a lot of hiding places. All he fish eat well. Would the tank of this size be ok for like 2 months. <No, get these fish to someone who can properly house them. Don> Please let me know as other wise I will change them in the bigger tank in 1 month as I WILL BE IN THE US SOON SO CAN DO IT AFTER THAT. Thanking you, Mustafa Kaiser

Stocking salt water and Future Plans Gage Hi, just confirming, 3 of the PJ Cardinals would be acceptable? <yup, this should be fine.> plus we read on your site that green mandarins need 150 gal tank with live rock and sand.  The refugium will take care of its needs instead? <exactly, the goal is for the system to provide enough food for them to survive.> Thank you for your help <My pleasure.> Bryan and Dana Flanigan

Stocking Up! How Do Crew? <I do fine, how are you? Scott F. with you today> My 50gal is still cycling but I've started a list of what I'd like to have in the tank. Once my list is finalized I can research them further for proper husbandry. I'm seeking your expertise of how these animals will fare together; <Sure> Cleanup Crew: 12 snails - types considered are Nassarius, Trochus/Cerith and Fighting Conch <all are nice to have, IMO...the Fighting Conch gets pretty good sized, and is fun to watch!> 06 hermits - Scarlet Red Reef <Sounds fine> Fish (one each): Six Line Wrasse Lawnmower Blenny Royal Gramma Yellow-Headed (Pearly) Jawfish Cherub (Pygmy) Angel Watchman Goby - Pistol Shrimp combo Cleaner Shrimp <This sounds like a nice combination of small fishes.. I'd consider holding off on the Lawnmower Blenny, though... A great fish, but it can get up to 4 inches, and could be a bit "chippy" with the other bottom dwellers at times. Also- I'd add the jawfish and the goby first, then work in the Gramma, the sixline, and finally, the angelfish...That angel can be a tough little guy, so add him last!> Tank has 75lbs of Fiji LR in it with a DSB.  My questions are; (a) Will the selected fish form a peaceful community? <should work fine, if added in the suggested order> (b) Too many fish? <You're right about at the maximum, IMO- hence my recommendation to exclude the Lawnmower Blenny> (c) Any particular stocking order of these fish? <as indicated> (d) Better selection for cleanup crew? <I like your choices> (e) Anything else that I may have missed? <Just have fun watching this cool little community that you're assembling! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Many Thanks. Scott

Stocking saltwater and Future Plans Hey to All, <Hey> Since our lionfish, Piggy, passed on we have decided to completely start over the whole process.  We have been investigating different fish that we like and have come up with a list.  We have a 55 gal corner bow with Magnum 350 canister, Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer and some Live Rock.  We would like to add the following: Deep sand Bed and more live rock Coral Beauty Angelfish (already have in another tank) 4" Purple Firefish 3.5" Ocellaris Clownfish (False Percula) 4" Pajama Cardinalfish (1,2,or 3 depending on your advice) 3" Crowned Pearlscale Butterflyfish 6" Longnose Hawkfish 5" Green Mandarinfish 2.5" <I would add a refugium for growing Chaetomorpha algae specifically for pod growth to feed the Mandarin.  Then add the Mandarin after 6 to 12 months after the refugium starts producing.> Our Plan is to remove the crushed shell substrate and let the tank go fallow for a month while the Live sand is curing.  This is in case the Lion died of some kind of parasite.  Then add the DSB and some more cured live rock.  Next comes the coral beauty as we already have it. That is the extent of our plan so far.  Our questions are: Will these exceed the tanks capacity? <Nope, sounds good.> Do you see any compatibility problems? <The angel or the butterfly could become aggressive, just keep an eye on them.> Is there any specific order you would introduce them in? <I'd add the butterfly last, well second to last if you are going to wait on the Mandarin> Thanks for all your help Bryan and Dana Flanigan (see I got my wife involved now) <awesome> more work for me ouch she just hit me <better you than me.  Ha.  Best Regards, Gage>

Stocking an Aquarium Thanks Gage, <G'day Frank, my pleasure.> What other fish do you think I can implement I mean that's only five fish in 220.  I know that these species do get large, I know my filter system is more than adequate. <That's the problem with large fish, they start out all small and cute, but give them a year or so and you've got over 4feet of fish.  That is why I cannot get my panther grouper :-( > Possibly another tang, I guess an angel is out of the question. <For the health of the fish I would not recommend it, if overcrowded their growth will stunt and they will die prematurely.> Also on a completely different subject I see a lot of abbreviations on the message boards and I am sure that they are very obvious what is FOWLR AND QT.  I know it's probably ridiculous that I don't know, What can I tell Ya. <It took me for ever to figure out what FOWLR meant.  FOWLR is short for fish only with live rock, and QT is short for quarantine or quarantine tank. Best Regards, Gage>

Dig This! I'm setting up a 300 gallon FOWLR tank and I had a question about substrate depth. I'm very interested in obtaining a Snowflake Eel, 5" Red Coris Wrasse, Dussumieri Tang,  5"  Twin Spot Clown Wrasse and some type of peaceful Trigger. You have always recommended not to have a deep substrate with such type of feeders. <That's partially correct, actually...It's not a good idea to have coarse deep substrates, as they tend to trap detritus and other organics, and the denitrification benefits found with finer. oolithic grade substrates may not be as great. I have seen quite a few "fish" tanks with deep sand beds run very successfully> Well as the wrasse grow, I don't think that a 1/2" substrate will be sufficient for these guys to burrow themselves in. <True> What is my option here? <Several...#1) Avoid using wrasses or other burrowing fishes, #2) Run a 1/" fine sand bed and the fish may have to hide in other areas, such as rockwork or sections of PVC pipe. #3)Run a 6"+ deep sand bed, with the bottom 3-4 inches covered by some nylon window screen. This is sort of like what is used in plenum systems, where the top layer of sand is "protected" in a similar manner. It works quite well, actually, and has the added benefit of keeping the denitrifying processes (that we work so hard to encourage) running without disruption from digging fishes. I've seen this done many times with great success> Also I was wondering if I could place a Dusky Jawfish (cool little guys) in a tank with these types of fish. This guy also requires deep substrate correct? <You can...they do need some course pieces of substrate to reinforce their "burrows", however...IN the end, I think if you try idea #3, you'll probably get the best long-term results...Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Fish choices for a 55 gallon marine tank Hi to all <Hello, Ananda here today after consulting with Phil...> Well it's the morning after Piggy the Lionfish's untimely demise and we are looking ahead to the next fish. <Sorry to hear about your loss.> Since the tank is empty we will be changing to a DSB and adding more live rock. <Good idea. The tank will probably need to cycle a while after adding the live rock, so it will be a while before you can add fish.> The problem is that we can't seem to find fish that we both like and that will fit in the tank.   <Isn't that always the case?> I like groupers, Angels, triggers, PJ cardinals and damsels (esp. damsels the interactions between the little guys are always amazing).  My wife likes wrasses like the bluebird and lunare, powder blue tangs, Anthias, clowns, Sweetlips and of course the lion.  She thinks the tank is a total waste if we can't have at least one large showcase kind of fish in it. (for her friends to wow over)  I just want something peaceful to watch while I sit and pick at my guitar.  (the Huma Huma trigger we had for a short while before finding your site drove me crazy with its incessant roaming) <Wow...very different tastes in fish, indeed...> Now you don't have to warn me about the potential sizes of the fish listed above (we have learned our lesson with some of them) as we will be going by the suggestions on your website for whether they can live out their life in a 55 gal. What I would like is a few suggestions on good fish that would fit and please my wife.  I have been looking at fish online for months and each one she seems to like won't fit without the proverbial shoehorn. <Well, since shoehorns don't do particularly well in tanks.... I chatted with Phil about this to get some additional ideas. Your limiting factor in this tank is how narrow it is from front to back. I don't like to keep fish that have difficulty turning around in their tank, so I would suggest staying with fish that are less than 7" long. With that in mind, and a trip through Scott Michael's "Marine Fishes" (which I recommend to *anyone* who wants marine fish!), we came up with some ideas. If you do get a lionfish, understand that it will put a pretty severe dent in your other fish choices. You need to consider that anything a lionfish can fit in its mouth is potentially lionfish lunch! That said, you could probably do a small "fuzzy dwarf lionfish" (Dendrochirus brachypterus), or a "zebra dwarf lionfish" (D. zebra), or a "deepwater/Mombassa lionfish" (Pterois mombassae). The lionfish should also be the last fish you add to the tank. Additional fish could include a flame angel or coral beauty (not both!) -- they are very colorful fish and should be too large for the lionfish to eat. You could also include one of the larger clownfish (or two, if you find a mated pair), such as a fire, tomato, cinnamon, clarkii, saddleback, or maroon clown (only one maroon clown if you go that route). If you forego the lionfish, you have a LOT more choices. You could do any of a number of fairy wrasses in the tank, plus any of the smaller clownfish, or Firefish, gobies...too many choices to get into here.> Thanks again Bryan Flanigan <Picking out fish is always fun! You're welcome. --Ananda>

- Schooling Fish - Hi Guys, <Hello, JasonC here...> Have a doubt...I have a 60 Gallon Marine FO tank...It had just been newly cycled. I will add 2 juv butterflies and a clarkii after 6 months. There will be 3 damsels to start with but I will return them if necessary. <Just keep in mind that most all damsels become bullies as they get comfortable in their surrounds, and with age.> The question is... I wanna have a schooling fish species added ....Could you recommend me any? <Not really, perhaps some of the Chromis, but typically in systems of this size, it's hard to recreate schooling behaviour.> I saw a bunch of them at a Public aquarium...they were lemon yellow in colour but don't know what they're called and could find an exact pic to match on WWM... <Yeah, public aquariums have the appropriate space for schools of fish.> Appreciate your response as Always God Bless You Lyndon Dubai UAE <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Goldflake Angel 2/6/03 Many Thanks for the reply on the Goldflake Angel Fish. <our great pleasure, my friend> If he stays right where he is, what other fish could I mix him with that would also look good and cause little by way of conflict. <many possibilities here. Our goal would be to select something likely smaller, innocuous and non-threatening to this angel's territorial instinct. Do seek more planktivorous fishes so the angel does not fear direct competition (on algae, and benthic inverts for food). The list of options would be pages long. Having seen and kept so many species... I'm now inclined toward oddballs and not necessarily colorful fishes. If you like, do browse the atlas' and our WWM archives and beyond... make a short list (say, a half to a dozen candidates) and pass it back to us if you'd care to hear an opinion on best bets.> Regards, Steve Tope <kindly, Anthony>

Specimen Compatibility Hello Mr. Fenner. <Hi Jessie, Craig here today.> First of all, thanks for having such an informative website available.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned about Marine life from your website.  I need your expertise regarding my wish list for my recently upgraded aquarium.   <Thank you so much for the compliments, the Crew works hard to help all marine life. I'll give it a shot...> I'm in the process of stocking a 240 gallon aquarium and I'm not sure if I can add all of the fish on my wish list and maintain a peaceful community.  The aquarium has been up and running for about 6 months and contains 200 lbs of live rock and an additional 60 lbs of base rock.  I have crushed coral as a substrate.  I currently have a 3" Powder Brown Tang, a 2.5" Purple Tang, 2" Tomato Clown, a 2" Blue Tang, 8 Cleaner Shrimp, 50 Blue Leg Hermit crabs, and a couple of anemones (bulb and a long tentacle).  The tangs get along pretty well for the most part, but every now and then the Purple guy seems to go into "bully" mode.   <Not unexpected with Tangs.> I want to add an Adult Imperator Angelfish, a Koran Angel, a Mandarin goby, a flame hawkfish, a Maroon clownfish, and two yellow tangs.  Is it possible to contain all of these in my tank and if so in what order would I have to introduce them to the tank?   <The Tangs are NOT going to get along. If you think the Purple Tang is wild now, add Yellows to his mix! NOT A GOOD IDEA, even with all this room. The Clownfishes may or may not get along depending on size of both fish/territory/anemones and who is driven to attach and defend anemones/territory. I would shy away from conspecifics. The Angels may be fine, but require older more mature systems as does the Mandarin for live rock foraging, esp. the Mandarin which needs a mature pod population. This size and amount of LR is great, but do wait until it is a bit older and more mature.> I have plenty of  caves / hiding places but most of what I've read suggests that all of the species with similar body shapes and feeding behavior will clash.  I've also thought about adding 6-8 damsels to serve as a distraction to the primary residents but not sure if this will help.  At this stage I'm not planning to have a reef tank but I would like to eventually keep a few corals.  I'm more concerned with fish at this point and just making sure they don't eat or kill my current animals.  Thanks again for your time and advice. <I would advise searching on any desired addition at WetWebMedia.com before any purchase, both for compatibility and for specific care and dietary requirements for each. You are correct in your caution with conspecifics/similar species. Also consider what fish on your list will be aggressive to or eat shrimp, crabs, corals, etc. There is much more at WetWebMedia.com marine stocking pages. Best to be prepared!  Have fun! Craig>

Re: stocking a aquarium Greetings Grave Yard Shift! I come in peace to ask a question in regards to order and compatibility. <sounds good> I am ever so slowly stocking a 220 gallon perfecto tank.  I have comprised a list of fish that I would like to house in this big aquarium. I currently have only one fish in the tank a 4" miniatus grouper.  all is fine he's eating and very active.  The tank is going on 14 weeks of cycling  150 lbs of Tonga live rock 200 lbs of oolitic sand and a 55 gallon refugium with two mangrove seedlings 4 jars of m2 and 80 lbs of crushed coral for buffering.  Aqua Clear Aquatics macro skimmer with Rio 2500 and little giant 4 on the return. Ok here goes: The grouper has been in 2 weeks I was going to wait a week before adding my next fish here is my proposed list: achilles tang, IO sail fin, banana wrasse, harlequin tusk, blue faced angel and a blue spotted lion fish. My thought process is add the lion fish next, then the achilles tang, sail fin, banana wrasse, blue faced angel and last but not lease the harlequin tusk. All species I would get hopefully around 4 inches so that they will acclimate better to their new home. I would really like to add a second angel fish but everything I have read says don't do it.  Your thoughts please Thanks in advance Frank <Hi Frank, sounds like a few too many fish that will be too large as adults.  You might consider leaving out the Tang and the lion.  The Tang is too sensitive and disease prone for this crowd, and the lion will have a hard time feeding in the large tank with the other faster feeders.  Add the angel next, then the Sailfin, and the wrasse last.  There is still a chance that the wrasse and the tusk will kill each other.  Best of Luck, and don't forget to QT new arrivals. -Gage>

- Stocking a 120 - <Greetings, JasonC here...> First and foremost, thanks a million for all of your wisdom and feedback. You guys are the best source of info regarding this hobby. I'm currently in the process of setting up my first SW aquarium.  It is 120gal tank, Wet/Dry filter, Turboflotor protein skimmer, JBJ Formosa 65 x 4 PC lighting, 100 lbs. of Tampa Bay Saltwater live rock, 3inch live sand bed, etc. I plan to keep the following fish,,,,,,,not necessarily in this order. 1 Bannerfish (Poor man's Moorish Idol) 1 Flame Angel 1 Radiata Lionfish <I would consider skipping this fish entirely, mostly because it will put the Centropyges and the shrimp at serious risk of being eaten.> 1 Coral Beauty Angel 2 Large Coral Banded shrimp. MAYBE a Hovercraft Cowfish (still undecided as to whether I want to take the risk). Lastly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the fish that I've recently discovered and I absolutely love. The Watanabei Angelfish Female (Genicanthus). Could you guys tell me a little about this fish. I've searched this site and others only to discover that not many people have this fish. Do you see any problem with adding this fish to the group I've listed? <Again, I would drop the lion and then this fish would be a beautiful addition.> Does this fish have any feeding requirements that may call for special attention? <Nothing out of the ordinary, just plankton-type, foods.> Any added info would be greatly appreciated. <I would suggest you read the FAQ page on the Genicanthus angels, some valuable information is there for your perusing: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/genicanthus/faqs.htm > Thanks, Demetrius <Cheers, J -- >

- Overstocking - Hello: <And hello to you, JasonC here...> I have a 20 gallon tank with about 25 pounds of live rock, a yellow tang, a flame angel, two false percula clowns, a sally lightfoot, numerous hermits and some snails. <Egad!> I also have a green star polyp which, up until yesterday, seemed to be thriving.  I noticed yesterday, however, that it had not opened all the way (only about half of it) when the light was on (65 watt Smartlight) and that a tip of it seems to have turned white.  My water is in excellent condition.  Do you have any ideas or suggestions? <Yes, please consider dropping a few of these fish back off at the store. This tank is grossly overstocked and while your water quality might seem excellent, I think the green polyp is trying to tell you something. This tank/system is much too small for the amount of stuff you have shoe-horned in there.> Thank you for you help. Scott <Cheers, J -- >

75G Livestock and QT questions Hello. I'd like to start by saying that your website is very very helpful and i appreciate all your help thus far. <Thank you, a lot of dedicated folk to get to this point>Quick background of tank: 75 gallon SW, 2 powerheads for movement, carbon-based filter, 40 lbs live rock, 60 bs crushed coral substrate. Parameters: salinity 1.022, pH 8.2, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates all 0, temp 79. Current inverts: 5 pep shrimps (damn powerhead took another one last night), 2 emerald crabs, about 20 hermits plus a LT anemone. <Is this a Long Tentacle Anemone? Gets to 20", I sure would not like to live in a house that I took up half of!!!> Fish: current true percula clown, coral beauty (currently in Qt)<good for you to use QT>. Question: i am trying to plan my livestock so not to overcrowd and get the exact fish i want. My next fish purchase will be a neon goby. How many neon gobies would be good for my tank, interested mainly in ich/parasite help?<one> I'm thinking 2, but can they be kept as pairs or should i go "odd"? I was thinking about adding a blue hippo tang, longnose hawkfish and a yellow tang in the upcoming months. Would that be too much? <yes> I would then have my clown 1.5 inches, coral beauty (1 inch), blue hippo, yellow tang, hawkfish, and at least 2 neon gobies. (all sizes would be small when added, yes i do realize they grow)<And your still gonna put them in the tank??? The yellow tang can be aggressive, the longnose hawkfish will be aggressive, the hippo hits 12" The coral beauty can be hazardous to inverts and corals> Another question: as i mentioned, my coral beauty is currently in my Qt for initially ich treatment. developed Popeye later, treated w/ MelaFix. seems to be fine for about the last week and a half and eating healthy (diet of anti-bacterial flakes, veggie flakes, brine shrimp and squid). he has been in my qt for almost 3 weeks, should i take him out soon or wait another week? if another week or so, should I add a neon goby to my qt tank now, to bond for one and to cut down on my empty tank time? i figured the 2 fish could spend about 2 weeks together in the Qt before placing them in my main tank (unless disease would present it ugly head). <how big is the QT? if it a 10, I would say one at a time. If a 40 then a couple at once should be OK. Give them plenty of cover (pvc pipe and fittings) Once a qt specimen has any kind of affliction, the qt period starts over and is a minimum of 4 wks> I live in Toledo, Ohio. Do you know of any LFS w/ a good rep within about a 2 hour driving distance. <Nope>Ever heard of the Tropicorium in Michigan. The place is pretty sweet. <Nope again, but when I visit my brother I'll try to check it out> Let me know. Thanks.... Mike - Toledo, Ohio Marine mis-stocking Hi: <Hi, Don here today> I just started with my salt water aquarium, it's a 75 Gallon (acrylic Uniquarium), I have for 6 weeks 9 damsels, and I put in 20pounds of live rock, and a fake coral. about 3 days ago I got a 3 1/2" clown trigger, and a 4" stripe puffer. <No quarantine? Asking for disaster> I was wondering If you can give me some advice on how many more fishes can I ad to the tank, and which species can I put In.    Another one of my favorites it's the lion fish (volitans), I want to ask you if it's safe to put it in the tank with the other fish.   (not including the damsels) <Wow, where to start. The trigger will get to 20", a volitans to 15". Don't recognize a stripe puffer?. And 9 damsels? I would not recommend a clown trigger or lion in this tank. I would highly recommend that you stop and decide what kind of tank you want to have. Then research the species and make sure you can provide it a healthy environment to live in. Much good info on this site to start with, Don>

Re: Your opinion please Bob! (Inputs, reasons for marine losses) Hi Bob, Just re-reading some of the posts again after a few month hiatus.  I have to say....love the website! <Ah, good> OK, on to my question.  What reason is it that many marine organisms (mostly thinking of just fish) do not live well in captivity?  I realize this is a question that has many variables (and more answers than you have time for, but just a quick general answer will do), but I am wondering why certain fishes are considered "not suitable"  for aquarists to keep.  Is it mostly due physiological reasons or is there just so much that we still don't know that prevents many species from being kept in captivity? <Good question. Hard to give/have much confidence limit as to how much the lack of historical success in captive husbandry is due to the two above categories. The number one influence is without a doubt collective trauma from the collection, handling, holding and shipping through the "chain of custody"... having caught many of the same species coming from place "A" where they just don't "make it" and had them from place "B" do quite well, having been, lived in "A" and seen what the animals go through... "It" (the nefarious affect) is mainly human-caused. Now, beyond what the organisms go through being collected, certainly there are physiological and psychological (hard... at least for me... to say which) sources of stress that are variable amongst marines. Put another way, no matter what degree of care is rendered these animals they just take a beating all the way around and rarely live in captivity as a consequence... Third in "sources of mortality" is likely your statement re our not knowing enough re the given species husbandry, particularly in the realm of foods and feeding. What do Rhinomuraena consume in the wild? At night? How often?> Thanks for your time Craig <And you. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Inhabitants Quick overview... 90 gallon tank 95lbs of live rock temp:  77of salinity:  1.023<I'd like to see this rise to 1.025> livesand bottom 2 Percula Clowns 1 Orange Spotted Prawn Goby 1 Fire Goby 1 Pearlscale Butterfly 1 Coral Banded Shrimp 1 Cleaner Shrimp 1 Pistol Shrimp 1 Red Emerald Crab 25+ blue legged hermits 20 snails I checked out a new aquarium this past weekend... I don't think the owner was too knowledgeable, or perhaps he just wanted to make the sale...  he told me everything in his store was a good community fish...  Yep, angels, triggers, wrasses, lionfish, puffers, etc...<Ouch.... if he has a good assortment go there, but first check on WWM for more info on the fish.>   I did like that he had quite an assortment of different livestock that BigAl's typically doesn't have.  I made a few purchases and just wanted a second opinion.  I knew enough to stay away from the cool looking Catalina Goby's... knowing in advance that they needed cooler temperatures... however, I couldn't resist a nice looking Yellow Watchman Goby.  My small Fire Goby and my Orange Spotted Prawn Goby (who is considerably larger) live in two little caves about two inches apart and seem to be fine with each other.  Given the size of my tank, I was thinking my Yellow Watchman Goby would be ok (he is in quarantine right now), what are your thoughts??   Secondly, do gobies need to be quarantined?<All fish need to be quarantined for at least 3 or 4 weeks.>  They don't have scales do they??  Still the 21 day rule???<See above>   Also, I found two black plastic tubes with the hole about 1.5" in diameter (lotsa room for him to fit through) and about 4" and 5" in length... will this be sufficient?<For the QT yeah.. it should be fine.>   The lil guy doesn't seem to eat over the last three days.  Just keep trying with little samples of a variety of food???<Yup... IMO I don't feed the fish the day I bring them home.  It always works for me.  A day or two later they eat like normal.> Next question(s)...  I bought a cool looking small Anemone Crab.  My Pistol Shrimp has had an appetite for Blue Legged Hermits in the past, think my Anemone Crab will be ok???<Hit or miss there... never know.  Sometimes nothing happens other times the shrimp will eat crabs.>  Would anything else bother him?<He should be ok for now.>  He's kinda tiny at the moment.   I also bought two female Red Fiddler Crabs.  At least I am taking this guy's word for it that they are female... no huge claw... in fact it appears as though they don't have any 'self defense' type claws.  Should these two gals be ok in my tank??  They are larger than my hermits but not as large as my Red Mithrax... should be ok with my Pistol Shrimp do you think?<I don't see a problem.>  I put the two fiddlers into my quarantine tank with my Yellow Watchman thinking that they would pick up any uneaten food.  In the past two days they have each picked a corner and buried themselves under some crushed coral.  One seems to be not moving... face down under the coral.  The other one has her eyes keeping watch but isn't really buried.  I know I shouldn't have crushed coral in my quarantine tank... and when I find a place to put it, I will take it out.  I keep my quarantine tank at the same temp and salinity as my main system.  Both are checked regularly for water quality. So... did I make some good purchases?<Right now it sounds ok.>  Or did I simply provide my Pistol Shrimp more expensive dinners?  I have a Royal Gramma on order at Big Al's... and once I have moved in 10 months I would like to add a Blue Tang. Do you have any fish favorites that you would add to my tank???<Good choice on the Royal Gramma.. one of my all time favorites!!> I don't want to have all gobies and I have heard that I shouldn't add anymore Butterflies if I already have one.<You heard right...>  Was thinking of a Hawkfish, but thought he might be a tad aggressive?<I agree>  Chromis perhaps?<Sure>  I like getting other people's opinions... got two favorites that you might like to add??<The Royal Gramma :)  I love the Orchid Dottyback and maybe a small pygmy angel?  Hope this helps!  Phil> Dave

Cycling Damsels, puffer behavior, I have a few damsels that I needed to complete the water cycle, now I got a Clown trigger, and a striped puffer (Arothron manilensis), the guy who sold them to me said just to put them in with the damsels, but I call 2 other stores and they all told me to get rid of the damsels, because they are very aggressive, and they will start picking fights with the new fish. What do you recommend I have seen them pick a few times on the puffer 3 1/2", and they also pick on the clown trigger, but the trigger 3 1/2" doesn't back down.    should I get rid of the damsels, or just wait to see if they start getting along????? <In your case I don't think there will be a problem. Very likely the trigger (and maybe the puffer if he hurries) will eat the damsels> My other question is the puffer always stays in the same place (the lateral side of the tank, and he just goes up and down all the time, I even got up yesterday at 3:00am and when I turn up the light all the fish where sleep except the puffer doing the exact same thing, and he also eats very little, I all ready did research but I could not found nothing on that kind behavior.   If you can give me some advice, I would appreciate  it. <These fish are highly variable in their behavior... especially when new to a system. I wouldn't be overly concerned here> My 3rd and final question is about the capacity of the tank if I have the Uniquarium 75 gal capacity with 20pounds of live rock, and 20 pounds of crush coral on the bottom, measurements of the thank are 4' long, high4; height and 15" deep. If I got rid of the damsels can I add a Lion Fish (Pterois volitans) and the 3 fish (clown trigger, the puffer, and the lion fish is or do you think its to much for the tank)???????? <Mmm, you're already overstocked with just the Clown Trigger. I would not add a Lionfish here for sure... it's too likely to get bitten/eaten, starved to death by the other fishes eating all the food. Do take a read through www.WetWebMedia.com re these fishes, their behavior, ultimate sizes. Bob Fenner. Vivemos in San Diego> reply me these questions, I am from Tijuana Mexico and I have to go to San Diego every time I need good information. Thank You!!!

Re: fish stocking question thanks for the help in the past, my tank is 220g FOWLR set-up, it is about 5 months old.  I currently have a tomato clown, percula clown, blue damsels, and a purple tang.  Last weekend I couldn't resist a beautiful yellow tang at my LFS, even though in reading on your site you don't recommend this. <Who doesn't? This is one of the best fish species for marine aquarium keeping... at least in the top ten of fish species kept> I thought maybe with the larger tank size and ample live rock they might be ok.  So far the purple tang has chased the yellow but no serious issues. <Oh... I see... Sorry, yes, similar-appearing tangs often do fight... But I give you good odds in your size system they will learn to either get along or ignore each other> The biggest challenge I've had is getting the yellow to eat.  I've tried frozen brine shrimp and Nori, but no luck, the purple eats both like mad.  Do you have any suggestions (the yellow looks extremely healthy, beautiful deep colour and a very full body).  If I was to add another tang could this decrease the chasing by the purple.  I was considering either a Naso or a regal (yellow tail blue tang).  After these would a queen angel work??  How about a puffer?? <All possibilities. Please read through our tang section, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm and on to the linked files (in blue, at top) on tang feeding, yellow tangs... Bob Fenner> thanks Joe

Captive seas Overseas Respected sir Anthony <cheers to a far away land, Monty :) > Well sir how was your trip to Asia did you enjoy it. <Not yet... the conference does not occur until May/June> Also i want to tell you that now i am not putting Cuban fish. <very wise choice> Can i add any other fish or invertebrate? My tank  is 30 gallon. <if you like the Caribbean species... do investigate a Hamlet. They stay nicely small> Will 200 watts of lighting is good for anemone (Bubbletip or sponge anemone). <seems reasonable on this sized tank, yes. Please select the Bubble Tip anemone... hardy> One thing i want to tell you that why don't you people start the marine course like MACO reef's how you solve the problem its really excellent. Waiting for your reply. Monty <thanks kindly for the suggestion! Best regards, Anthony>

Marine Fish compatibility Respected sir <cheers, Monty... Anthony Calfo here> Sorry sir for confusion. <no worries... the challenges of e-mail communication> The main problem was I don't want to keep that angler fish but the my younger brother like that fish. Now that problem is solved. Also i want to tell you that undergravel filter is already in a tank. I read your faq about the filtration in which you have said that you should not use undergravel filter. <its not a terrible problem to use it... in fact it can work well. There simply are better modern choices. Be sure to maintain the UG filter well (gravel siphoning regularly, etc) and you will be fine> About the livestock i want to add a pair of clown, yellow tail damsel or blue damsel, Cuban hogfish and cleaner shrimp. <you will need to take the Cuban hogfish away from that mix... they grow too large and will eat everything else in the tank you have listed!> Sir whatever advice you will suggest i will apply that only. As you are the best in this field. Waiting for your reply Monty <its good to hear from you again, Kind regards. Anthony>

Compatibility Respected sir Bob Well sir I got a pair of angler fish, in which one of the fish is not eating. These fishes are very hardy. Twice in weekly I feed them live guppy. My sand bed is 1 inch deep.  Can I add more sand as you told that 4 inch is the best. <Yes, slowly.> Also I got under gravel filter. <Not necessary> My problem is that I want to add a pair of clown, Cuban hogfish, yellow tail damsel or blue damsel and cleaner shrimp but because of these predator fish I can't add these fishes so please help me.  Your advice will be appreciated.  Waiting for your reply.  MONTY <I'm not sure what your question is here, Monty. If you have aggressive fish then you can't add some other types of fish. Perhaps research your selections at WetWebMedia.com?  Type your interests into the google search engine.  Craig>  

Adding To The Mix! Bob, <Scott F in today> First, kudos on the wetwebmedia site and the great service you provide. I have an established 300 gallon setup: wet/dry filter, large Aqua-C protein skimmer, ozonizer, several powerheads for circulation, VHO lighting with metal halides.  Currently I have the following: 12" horn shark (very peaceful); 7" Odonus niger trigger; 6" Sohal tang; 4" Maculosus angel (somewhat shy); 5" flagfin angel (bold and hardy). I have 150 - 200 lbs of live rock, a couple show pieces of skeletal coral (makes for good hiding); a large cleaner shrimp; and 100 blue leg hermit crabs and some snails to help with the cleaning.  I would like to add a few more fish, but am stumped due to compatibility concerns, and concerns for the survival of the crabs. <Well- that's a number of potentially very large fishes already...I know that you have a large tank, but think of the "end game" here with these fishes- their ultimate sizes and needs for space> Could you give me your thoughts on the following: 1)Is there too much risk involved in mixing in another angel, such as a 4-5" queen or personifer angel? <I really think so...There will be a high likelihood that your two angels will battle constantly. Remember, the Queen Angel can reach up to 15 inches, and needs a large "territory" to range over. The Maculosus can also reach a foot long...I see a potential problem doing this.> Any other suggestions? 2)Circumstances prevented me from putting the sohal in last.  He has not displayed aggression, but I am aware if their reputation. <Well, that's good...So far, so good. They can get a bit "chippy", even in a large tank.> Can I get away with adding, say a Naso, Dussumieri, or another tang or 2? Suggestions? <I'd be hesitant to add another tang with the Sohal already established in the system...it's asking for trouble, IMO> 3)I love wrasses, but reef-safe wrasses would be a bit small, I fear, for what I have, and most others would make a quick snack of the crabs.  If I can find one, perhaps an H. Marginatus would fit the bill. Any suggestions for wrasses? <Well, it might be worth a try to keep a few Halichoeres species wrasses...like H. chloropterus. They max out at about 6 or 7 inches. They might try to chow on some crabs...depends on the individual. 4)Finally, the niger is non-aggressive, but territorial.  Any thoughts or suggestions an adding a small trigger (Huma, assasi, or the like)? <Once again- Not to be a party-pooper-but I'd try not to keep another trigger in this system. The potential for trouble is just too great> I only expect to add another 3 fish, but would like to consider any of the above.  Your thoughts greatly valued and appreciated. Elliot Segel <Well, Elliot- you have some really impressive fishes in there already. Maybe you might want to try some "smaller" fishes, like a hawkfish or two. They are colorful, fun to watch, and don't get too large. Smaller fishes can work in this tank, as long as they can "take care" of themselves, as these fishes can. There are still more possible fishes for this tank. Do make use of the extensive resources on the wetwebmedia.com site for more ideas. Have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Adding To The Mix (Pt. 2) Scott, <At your service!> Thanks for your quick reply.  Your thoughts are pretty much in line with all the other info I've digested.  I will probably attempt 1 or 2 of the larger Halichoeres species and/or a Cirrhilabrus lineatus (they seem a bit larger and hardier than most of the reef-safe wrasses?). <Or even a trio of C. jordani (Hawaiian Flame Wrasse)-1 male and two females...they can reach about 4 inches and are gorgeous fishes!> One question regarding the hawkfish suggestion:  I like them, but always understood that they would make quick meals of my blue-leg hermit crabs. The WWM info seems to suggest a longnose hawkfish might be OK in this regard. Is this so? Elliot <Well, Elliot- my lack of caffeine on last night's late-night WWM session showed! I mean to suggest the Long-Nose... Good "pick up"! Thanks for noticing! They still might pick on your crabs, but a better choice than say, a Falco Hawkfish or Flame Hawk. I was also thinking of a few of the larger blennies, like the "Lawnmower Blenny", or even some of the Meiacanthus (fang blennies) species. Even though the fang blennies are about 3-4 inches max, they have some nasty little teeth (with venom) that make them a very distasteful snack for any of the big guys who care to "sample" them! And, they have really nice colors, are easy to feed, and swim in the open most of the time! Finally, how about a larger Pseudochromis species...Check the link for Marine Center on the WWM sponsors list to see what they have this week! Have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Marine Aquarium Stocking Plan Hi again. Thanks so much for the advice and the quick response. I have a couple random questions if I may. Pertaining to the stocking plan, in lieu of the yellow tang, how about a six line wrasse or one or more cardinal fish? <IMO Either are better choices than the tang. If you want the fish to stay healthy and be disease free, UNDERstock. It isn't worth it to see how much your tank will hold> Any other fish that would be compatible and stay small (damsels?). <Damsels would work beautifully. Choose one of the least aggressive types. Many damsels tend to get a little mean> I would also like to add a featherduster, an anemone, a star and a crab at some point. <Forget the anemone. Anemones are doomed to die in most hobbyists tanks unless you really make the effort to get the right lighting, etc. Even then it's a gamble. Featherdusters are pretty but tend to starve in hobbyists tanks. If you get a 'duster, feed it regularly and it should be fine. The crab will be fine unless you include a crab muncher on your fish list> Would you recommend snails for algae cleaning? <It will help if your problem isn't severe but they are not a necessity but the addition is appropriate and won't hurt anything> Second, as noted in my e-mail, I will be using the Ecosystem mud filtration system. <Good!> I have read your FAQ section on the subject, and am probably going to eventually add a protein skimmer as well, esp. if water quality is an issue. <Trust us on this one. Add that skimmer now...and yes I am familiar with the spiel from Ecosystem about not needing a skimmer. I would still want one > I have already planned water changes as well. Do you think a hang on the tank skimmer would be ok? <Absolutely. AquaC and others (check our advertisers and links) would be great. Avoid the Prizms and Seaclone. These are utterly detested by almost every aquarist that I have talked to> I could also put a skimmer under the tank next to the refugium, but am a little concerned about being able to redo the plumbing. <No worries. Get a good HOB skimmer and it won't need to be near the refugium> The tank is not yet set up, so I have time (a few days anyway) for some more planning. BTW, based on the advice of your books and this website, I have spent over 3 months planning this setup and am very glad I did. <Dude...you're smart. This planning will help alleviate most to all mechanical difficulties. Spend this much time and more researching your livestock before purchasing and I predict much success for you in the near and distant future. One last word of advice: patience, patience, patience> Thanks for your help, once again. <No problem! My pleasure. David Dowless>

Compatibility Respected sir Well sir I want to know that royal Gramma is compatible with clown and damsel. Also I want to know that which fishes are compatible with angler fish or frog fish. Waiting for your reply.  MONTY <Hi Monty, Try looking these fish up at WetWebMedia.com.  Just type the name of the fish you are interested in the google search engine!  Then click on the articles about the fish in question. These list the needs of each and their compatibility. Have fun!  Craig> 

Big Tank- Bigger Fish! Hey Crew <Scott F. your crewmember tonight!> I was just wondering if a Remora Pro made by Aqua C is enough for a 180 gal or should I go with something else? <Although this skimmer can be "souped up" with a more powerful pump, I'd say that you should look in to one of the Aqua C "EV" series (I'd go with the EV180). It will be a FOWLR it will have a 75 gal sump.  The inhabitants will be 2 Zebra Morays, 1 Powder Blue Tang, 1 Naso Tang, 1 Map Angel, 1 Dwarf Lion, and 1-2 other medium sized fish.  There will be approx. 150 pound of live rock in the system also.  If that wouldn't be enough could you recommend another skimmer that would.  Thank you! Your website is awesome and I have recommended it to many others! <With that stocking plan, you wont only need a larger skimmer- you're gonna need a much larger tank! Morays give off large amounts of metabolic waste, and require very high water quality, and lots of changes to keep up with their messy eating habits. The Powder Blue Tang is a beauty- but be sure to quarantine him and maintain consistent water quality. I would not go with the Naso Tang- they are cool fish-but they require HUGE amounts of space to be truly happy. The Map Angel can reach over a foot in length, and also needs huge amounts of space to live a long healthy life span. How about a larger Centropyge species, such as C. eibli, or C. flavissimus (can be challenging, though). They are much smaller, and will do a lot better in this sized tank, IMO. The Dwarf Lion can work, but they are slow feeders, and may need target feeding to avoid being "out-hustled" by the other fishes. I'm not trying to put a damper in your stocking plan, but I am trying to point out that you can have a similar variety of fishes if you make some substitutions with smaller "models". Even though a 150 is a large tank, when you have a fish that potentially ranges over an area the size of half a football field in nature, you need to consider the fish's "psychological comfort" as well as the physical needs for space and water quality. Do a bit more research, taking in to account the potential adult size of your favored fishes, and you'll approach things a bit differently. Your fishes will thank you for it, believe me! Good luck! Scott F>

Re: anemones Now I remember why I used to ask you so many questions Anthony.   Thanks again. <heehee... my pleasure ... that's what I'm taped to this desk chair for> So is there anything the power compact is good for on a 75 or is it simply a waste of $$$?   <not a waste at all... it is a very handsome light color... less expensive to buy in to and operate if you don't keep demanding corals and anemones and can also keep many/most zooxanthellate cnidarians that are truly sessile in the top 12" of the tank. Its a fine light system. Just not for anemones here as stated in last e-mail's)> I really want a nice small moray and I'm going to switch my crushed coral substrate which I've had for about 2 years to live sand. I'm doing that in phases as per the advice of your associate.   <agreed> I'm moving several fish out of the tank and keeping only my Emperor and my Maroon. Ok I know I know....I forgot to mention I had an Emperor in a 75.   <oh...> Well I knew what you guys would say!   <So you ask for help while deliberately withholding information. OK. Its your party. But the Emperor would have eaten the anemone most likely anyway. That lack of info-sharing would have come back to bite you. As for tank size... there's no problem here, bud... a 75 gallon is a fine QT tank for the 4 weeks it will take to screen this beautiful Emperor angel... this magnificent fish... that has an adult size of 16" (40cm) [almost the inside width of your tank BTW]. see fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=6504&genusname=Pomacanthus&speciesname=imperator > Here's the thing though, I've had him for over a year and he's the best fish I've had in my 15+ years of keeping fish (fresh up till 2 yrs ago).   <sounds like a good reason to stunt and kill him to me <G>> He's about 6in....spotless....and eats ANYTHING I give him out of my hand.   <and the 75 gallon isn't a crime for its size at present... but it is/would be inappropriate in the long run of course... and even in the short run with an eel that could/should reach 2 feet... and a clownfish that gets huge (maroons at 6-8"). Any other fish no mentioned in the soup here? Its no different than any other query you read here... these juvenile giants will never reach full mature lifespan or mature size for rationalizing their containment when small.> I will get a bigger tank but that is realistically 6-8 months away. So in the meantime I am moving just about everyone out of his way so he's not to crowded. Paddlefin Wrasse, big Sergeant Major, and a Picasso are finding new homes.   <more fishies. Glad to hear of the thinning out... very wise> I just wanted to make the tank nicer looking and that was why I was talking anemone/power compact.   <you will be pleased with the color of the lights. The anemone if not worth the trouble here though> Any hard corals?   <ahhh... no> What about a nice mix of interesting inverts?? <ahhh...no> Any suggestions? <yep <G>> I used to have cleaners until the Picasso ate them. <I'm quite certain that you need kicked in the jimmy> What about the Harlequin shrimp? <this message has gone from bizarre to disturbing. I'm not aware of any shrimp commonly called "Harlequin shrimp" other than Hymenocera species. And they are never mentioned in Lit. without the notation (their hallmark) that they only eat the tube feet of echinoderms> Do they kill other inverts? Couldn't find too much info on WWM about them.   <there's not much to say... they eat the tube feet of Echinoderms. That is not a prepared food that can be shaken from a can. See here if you like: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/shrimp.htm > Thanks. Rick <good luck... you're gonna need it, dude. Anthony>

Re: compatibility and a couple of other questions Hey, <Greetings, JasonC here...> The advice I've received here has really helped my young tank. Considering all the mistakes I made when I started (and the lousy LFS advice), you guys deserve a lot of credit for the shape that it's in now. Thanks! I have a 35 gallon tank with 30 lbs of live rock. I will also have a Remora Pro protein skimmer in the next week or so. Thanks to fellow WetWebMedia reader Jeff for suggesting an online store to buy from. So now, I'm starting to think about getting some fish. Right now, I have two damsels for cycling, but I'll be taking them back to the store before adding any more fish. I figure I should limit myself to three relatively small fish, so I'm currently thinking of a (tank-raised) Tomato clownfish, a long-nose hawkfish, and a neon blue goby. <Sounds like a good plan/mix.> First of all, can these get along? <Yes.> From what I've read it seems like it, but I want to be (fairly) sure that they can stand each other. If not, I might replace one of the choices with a flame angel or some kind of Dottyback. <Hmm... there's a couple of reasons why the latter choices are poorer than the first ones. One, the first mix is good - I'd bet money on that mix. Two, this tank is too small for an angelfish of any size, including pygmies. Three... Dottybacks can be very aggressive - very.> Next question, what order should I introduce them? I was thinking hawk, then goby, then clown. <Don't think it matters... this would be fine. But do take your time - you can quarantine each for a month or so and then add, so you'd actually have two in the house at the same time - but add one fish per month, will work out best.> Next question, I know that hawkfishes like to perch on rocks. Should I be getting a rock-like decoration for this or let him find a spot on the live rock or the aragonite bottom? <They will typically find their own, but you do want to consider some live rock for this tank. Is a good idea for many reasons.> Last question, my pH seems to sit around 8.0. I want to get this up before adding new fish. <Correct.> Is the easiest way to use one of the store-bought chemical additives? <Even easier to use baking soda.> I don't have a sump, so to gradually increase the pH, I would probably add something to the water with each water change (about 5 gallons every one to two weeks). <You could add a little to a cup-full of tank water and add it daily.> Any help is greatly appreciated, Derek <Cheers, J -- >

Re: stocking list Hello all and thanks for all the past help. <Anytime, James!> I've got a 135 gallon FO tank that's been up and running for almost 6 months.  Currently, the only inhabitants are 1 yellow-tail blue damsel, and 1 yellow tang. I'm trying to carefully plan my future additions to the tank, and I thought I'd get your opinions/recommendations.  My goal is to have a pleasant, peaceful tank (for the fish and for me!). I currently hope to add: 2 false percula clowns (is 2 an okay number?) 5 green Chromis (I'm hoping they'll form a small school) 1 Firefish (my only concern right now is that I have only about 3/8" crushed coral.  I may hold of on this fish until I get a more suitable tank for it) <First, please plan the quarantine of your new additions. Surf over to WetWebMedia.com to read about introducing the Firefish. The clowns will be alright if purchased together, perhaps as a pair. 135 will help space-wise. The Damsel is the only concern to me but tank size will help.> Assuming I went ahead with this plan, do you think my tank can handle this load well?  I'd like to keep the tank towards the lightly loaded end of the spectrum, I'm not sure if this is overkill.  I've got plenty of hiding places for these fish, so hopefully they will all get along.  My damsel is pretty mild mannered, especially since the tang has moved in (he hasn't figured out that the tang is a vegetarian!). <No problem with this load. The Damsel is fine because the only other fish is a Tang, dissimilar to Damsels, not true of the clowns...> I also welcome any suggestions or changes you may have. Thanks for all of your help! Jim

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