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FAQs about Marine Livestocking 20

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 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

Some fishes like the Dart Gobies must be kept with other very peaceful livestock.

New additions  9/21/05 Good evening. <And good evening to you as well, Adam J with you tonight.>   I'm looking for some suggestions on  additions to my FO 55g setup. I currently have a Heniochus Butterfly, Percula Clown, Flame Angel. and a Longnose Hawkfish. <I fear this tank is or will shortly become overcrowded, the Heniochus will definitely outgrow it, and you are on the borderline as far as confines for the Flame Angel.> I have been unable to keep a Royal Gramma alive pre or post institution of QT. <That's unfortunate these are generally hardy and entertaining specimens.> I have been eyeing a Red Coris Wrasse at the local fish store.  Is my tank big enough and is the 2 inches of crushed coral suitable? <As I mentioned above your aquarium is/will be overstocked shortly, so I cannot advise adding any more fish. Especially the red-coris (Coris gaimard) which has a tank busting potential of 15"+ and cannot be recommended to any aquarium less than 135 US gallons. (some aquarists even recommend 180)>   I would appreciate any hardy colorful fish suggestion you might have. <See above.>   As always, great web site! <Thank you, I will pass along the compliments to the appropriate parties. Adam J> On Line LFS  9/21/05 Dear Crew I recently discovered a site that sells marine fish.  I was thrilled to see that they do not charge shipping and have a 6 day guarantee.  The site is www.saltwaterfish.com.  I was wondering if you knew as to their reputation.  I don't want to take risks with a site if they are not a respectable business.  Do they ship their fish well?  Do they sell healthy fish?  If you know anything about the site, please let me know. <Michael, the best thing to do is ask the dealer for five recent references and contact a few of them.  I haven't heard anything about the place.  Maybe Mr. Fenner has and if so will inject a comment here.  James (Salty Dog)> most appreciated <As an addendum, I've heard several good things about them from people and on the popular reef message boards, but I have not used them personally.  They never have anything I want in stock!  M. Maddox> Saltwaterfish.com input  9/21/05 Dear Crew, I recently discovered a site that sells marine fish.  I was thrilled to see that they do not charge shipping and have a 6 day guarantee.  The site is www.saltwaterfish.com.  I was wondering if you knew as to their reputation.  I don't want to take risks with a site if they are not a respectable business.  Do they ship their fish well?  Do they sell healthy fish?  If you know anything about the site, please let me know. most appreciated Mike <Have mostly heard good things re them... but I would "cast your net" further than just my/our opinion/experience and write, use the search tools on the large/r BB's re this... Reefs.org, ReefCentral... Bob Fenner> Stocking suggestions?  9/21/05 Hiya, <Well Hiya to you too, Adam J with you today> I would like to say your site is amazing and very informative. <Wish I could take some of the credit for it, but I'll pass along your praises.> Which has lead me to email you asking your advice. <Ok, go for it.> I have a 130g SW tank with MH lighting, 120Base rock ( 150lbs sand ) and will be getting 80lbs of LR shortly. (CPR Hob refugium w/ skimmer, 4 Maxijet 1200 PHs) <Sounds good.> I plan on having corals down the road, and will wait awhile to add fish. I am leaning towards Anthias', <Anthias are schooling planktivores, and often have trouble adjusting to captive environments and prepared foods, I urge you to research this group of fish and gain some experience with others before trying the Anthias.> goby, and various others. I guess in essence, I was wondering what fish you would recommend for a fairly new aquarist in such a system. Thank you in advance for any advice you could offer. <Part of the fun of setting up an aquarium is having your own unique stocking list, and I would feel bad to take that fun away from you, so I would research some fish you like the look of and see if they will be compatible with your system. However since you did send this in I will give you a few of my "beginners" choices, the neon goby (Elacatinus oceanops),  bi-color blenny (Ecsenius bicolor), the six line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia), the fish listed, in my experience, have been extremely hardy when collected properly and offered proper nutrition. This is just the surface of many good choices, so I encourage you to "look around"> Chris Campbell <Adam J> Recommendations - 09/19/05 I have 2 percula clowns, mandarin dragonet<<uh oh>>, cleaner shrimp, and a bullet goby.  I wanted to add a sailfin tang but the more I think about it the more I realize he will outgrow my 55 gallon tank. <<Yikes!  Indeed...can reach 18 inches>> Do you know of any popular fish or any of your personal favorites I could add?  I want there to be as little aggression as possible. Also I have an eel tank so I know a lot about aggression...he bites anything and even ate a lionfish. <<Many possibilities, please do spend a little time surfing the net/researching potential candidates.  But on a personal note, my fave pick here would be Centropyge loricula, the Flame Angel...no more aggressive than those Percs you have there.  And I have to mention sadly enough that the mandarin will not likely live a year in your system...just too small to provide/sustain an adequate food supply I'm afraid.  Regards, EricR>>

Adding More Fish - 09/19/05 Hi everybody: <<Greetings>> I have a 90 gallon aquarium with 70 pounds of live rock. One Clownfish, one Orange-tailed Damsel, one Cleaner Goby, all about 2 to 3 inches.  Also I have a Kole Tang about four inches and last but not least about a 6 inch Purple Tang. <<Mmm...>> I was thinking about adding a Lemonpeel Angel and either five or six Chromis or a Foxface Rabbitfish but I was worried about the Rabbitfish since they are "kissing cousins" of the Tangs.  What would you recommend. <<Glad you ask... I'm sure you're probably quite attached to the Purple Tang, but it is only going to get bigger (can grow to 10"), and probably meaner as well.  The tank is really too small to allow it to live out its full life comfortably, so why not think about trading it to your LFS for store credit.  Once the Purple Tang is out, then I think the addition of the Lemonpeel Angel/Chromis combo OR the Foxface would be fine. Thanks, Dave <<Regards, EricR>>

Beginner Marine Fish 04/28/2005 Howdy y'all <Well hi there> I was a wondering for first beginner marine aquarists what marine fish would you recommend for all beginners such as myself?  <There are a wide range of options there.. You have come to the right place to find answers. Look at the FAQs on this site.. Also refer to books by Scott Michael.. Also one of the biggest concerns should be the over all big picture of the tank. Because not only do you want fish that are easier to keep, you also need fish that will get along. I never like to put a fish in just for a cycle then pull them out. I like to plan the tank with all inhabitants remaining.> And also what marine fish should rookies leave for expert aquarists?  < There are a wide range of fish that should be left to experts and by doing a search on this site and reading the material I listed above you will really start to recognize those animals. > Hey thanks (Dillin). < No problem Good Luck, and keep the questions coming! EricS>

Re: Our poor Clown Trigger Thank you so much Bob for returning my e-mail including answers! I hate it when the wife is right. <Happens... all the time> We did discuss trading in all the fish for smaller ones but...I really hate to let go of the ones we have. Now, I do have a question, if we do decide to keep the wrasse and only the wrasse, can you suggest a few fish that would get along with it? I will look into a larger system and will keep you all updated. Thanks again! Jeff <A list so long... I encourage you to read through WWM re... make a list, grade/scale them for yourself, keep looking at your sources. Bob Fenner> 

First Time SW Hi! I just discovered your site and I think you guys are great!<Thanks> I have started my first SW tank awhile ago, (it's a 46 gallon) and have a healthy longnosed hawk and common clown.<Those are both great fish for an aquarium of this size. good choice!> I just want to know how many fish it'll take until I reach max.<I would say about 2-3 Small fish (2-3" max)> bioload. I plan to get a shrimp of some sort and a yellow tang in the near future. <I would not bother with the yellow tang...they become bullies very quickly and will outgrow your aquarium. I would try an angelfish from the Genus Centropyge or Genicanthus, Good Luck IanB>

Three's A Crowd...A Serious Crowd! I currently have a 10 gal. reef setup with 2 blue Chromis, 1 Mandarin Goby, 1 engineer goby, and a maroon clown. I will be upgrading to a 29 gal. setup soon a I have been trying to decide what fish to add once the new system is setup. My LFS is suggesting to put in some tangs like three to four that are about an 1inch to 2inch in size. My long term goal is to eventually setup a 100 to 150gal. Can I keep yellow tang, Naso tang, and a blue tang in a 29gal. For probably about 2 years in this tank. If not what kind of fish would you recommend? <Frankly, I would not add any more fishes, even to a 29 gallon tank. You're already maxed out, IMO. If anything, the 29 gallon tank will offer some relief for these fishes. I don't want to sound condescending, but I have to ask you- would you like to spend 2 years of your life in a 14'X 18' room, surrounded by three of your closest friends and a few other people that are constantly antagonizing you? That's essentially what these fishes would be enduring if you did this. Please, please-I implore you- do NOT keep ANY tang in anything less than a 4 to 6 foot long aquarium! I know that your intentions are to upgrade to a larger tank in the future, but it simply is a bad idea. If for now other reason than the fact that these fish are copious feeders and metabolic waste producers. A 29 gallon tank with sand and rock probably holds about 15 gallons of water- far to little volume for even one tang, especially if kept with other fishes. There will be plenty of Naso Tangs, Yellow Tangs, and Blue Tangs available when you finally get that 150 gallon tank. And, with the skills you'll have acquired keeping your nano tanks, I'm sure that you'll do well with them! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Best of Both Worlds Bob, <sorry, MikeH> I want to have beautiful fish in motion, inspecting their environment, and with a lot of character in the 120 gallon aquarium I have ordered.  I plan on having 200 lbs. of live rock and live sand.  I love the butterflies but if I choose one or more, I cannot have shrimps <you could have some shrimp like cleaners> or corals. <I have also found that a lot of fish who eat coral, will not touch mushrooms. I had a semilarvatus butterfly in with mushrooms for almost a year and he never ate one. he did not die I sold him) Try a small piece and see if he eats it. Your LFS should have singles to sell.> I like the idea of having two or three Double Saddled Butterflyfish swimming around the tank - or instead - I could go with one Yellow Tang and a dwarf angel <you would be able to put a lot more fish in there besides a yellow tang and dwarf angel. Look at the Genicanthus angels too .100% reef safe and really neat. A school(12-15) of green Chromis looks awesome too. If you like the movement of coral and do not want to be limited on what corals you can add you will have to go with reef safe fish> and not be as limited in my selection of inverts. For someone who wants beautiful fish swimming all over the aquarium, which selection would you choose? <like I said you maybe able to get away with some corals in with fish.  Do you have a better recommendation? <take it slow with the coral and feed your fish well and you may be able to have the best of both worlds. MikeH> Thank you, Joseph Rouse

- Livestock Selection - Dear Crew, About 4 months ago we purchased some cultured live rock from the Florida Keys. We were planning to get fish shortly afterwards, but so much life has shown up on the live rock that we have just watched it. The life on the rock includes corals, anemones, crabs, tiny shrimp, snails and head shield snails, some kind of mussel-like things, feather duster worms, spaghetti worms, brittle stars, bristleworms, chitins, giant tunicates, many forms of macroalgae, and several assorted organisms that we are unable to identify. We are looking for a fish (preferably tank-raised) that would not do much damage to the life on the rocks. What fish would you suggest? <How about some neon gobies, Anthias, or royal grammas, or all of the above.> We have a 75 gallon tank with 110 pounds of this live rock and 40 pounds of fairly fine crushed aragonite. The tank is filtered by an AquaC remora pro and a Penguin BioWheel 330 and has three 400 gph powerheads for circulation. On the shelf, we also have a Red Sea Prizm Pro Deluxe skimmer, a Fluval 404, and a 40 pound bag of coarse aragonite. They could be put on/in the tank if necessary. Our 20g quarantine tank is well cycled. <All sounds good.> Thank you, Tyler    <Cheers, J -- >

New Tank in Honduras >Hi Bob and everybody (angels from fish haven!). >>Hello. >My name is Bernd Losert and I have a 110 gal FOWLR and invertebrate tank here in La Ceiba, Honduras, Central America. Bob Fenner helped me 2 years ago to set up the tank and lead me through the first rough months, for which I'm very grateful to him. I and everybody else here loves my tank. I'm the only one who has a marine tank in this town of 300,000. We have no petstore here to speak of. The next pet store that can order salt water fish for me is 2 1/2 hours car drive from here. And even then the order is often not what I wanted. Now the question. My neighbor has just inherited a 300 gal tank from his brother in the US. The tank was previously used as marine tank. It has all the trimmings: Trickle filter with sump, Metal Halide lamps, 2 canister filters, UV sterilizer, a 55 gal quarantine tank, protein skimmer, You name it, and he is presently hooking all up again. >>Ok. >He has little or no experience in fishkeeping, but wants a marine tank, after he has seen my tank. I will help him. He wants a FOWLR and invertebrates tank. We can get our own sand, base and live rock from the Bay Island Reef here. Now, here is his question. What fish to put in? The fish have to be 1.cheap (for a beginner!), 2.easily available and 3.very hardy. >>I can advise you regarding the third option, but regarding the first two I can't answer for you, in Honduras, very well. >Here is my suggestion. Start with 9 green Chromis, then 2 ocellaris clowns, 2-3 yellow tangs >>With the yellow tangs, either one, or three.  Be careful mixing these, as they can be quite aggressive amongst each other.  If adding separately, then make sure they are of significantly different size. >1 hippo tang, 2 Dottybacks >>Not sure if I would do that, try establishing at the same time, could be ok in a 300 gallon system, though. >3-4  purple Firefish, 1 fox face, 1 (or more?) Banggai Cardinals >>More Banggais!!  (I love those fish) >2-3 flame angels, also how many cleaner shrimp (amboinensis) can he accommodate in his tank? >>Easily, more than he can the angels.  Do be careful, again, mixing the angels.  I'd strongly suggest learning about how to sex the angels, then get male and female.  You can add many (six to twelve) cleaners, scarlet shrimp, and peppermint shrimps to a tank this large, easily six or so of each.  Otherwise, I think your stocking list is fine (and probably more suited to what's available in your location). >Any suggestions on how to stock the tank from Your side more then welcome. And thanks again for making sure that I still enjoy my tank and even bring a new member to our hobby. Saludos, Bernd >>Saludos!  Marina

New Tank in Honduras, Some Clarification.. >Hi, Marina or whoever is answering today. >>You get me again.  Hope you're doing well in the tropical climes. >Thanks for Your quick response, as always.   >>You're quite welcome, as always. >As for the fish, we don't have any saltwater fish available here, except for some tomato clowns at one store. We have to give them an order and then they order the fish in the US.  Takes about 1 month and longer. >>I see. >That's why I was referring to 1. cheap 2. easily available fish in the US. I wasn't very clear about that. Sorry. >>No worries, my friend.  I think you've nailed that call, though, as the animals you've chosen/suggested for your friend are ALL quite popular, almost always easily available, and as far as the clowns go, tank bred and raised are becoming the norm as well. >But Your personal preference for a tank like that would be more then welcome. As I said, we can try and order the fish from the US.  Also, which would You introduce first to the tank, the yellow tangs or the Banggais?  We want to do it little by little. Thanks again, Bernd >>Ok, I've c&p'd your original list of fishes here: 9 green Chromis 2 ocellaris clowns 2-3 yellow tangs 1 hippo tang 2 Dottybacks 3-4  purple Firefish 1 fox face 1 (or more?) Banggai Cardinals 2-3 flame angels >>Alright, first, I would substitute grammas or Basslets for the Dottybacks.  I've seen a HONKIN' huge black cap Basslet housed happily with a Royal Gramma, they were HUGE and nowhere nearly as aggressive as Dottybacks.  They can be introduced after the Firefish (most shy of your group), and after the Chromis.  Lots of folks like to introduce their damsels first, and with a fish as generally amicable as green Chromis, you can certainly do this, too.  Because you're going with A. ocellaris, I feel those can be among the first to be introduced as well.  Then, I'd let the Foxface establish before the tangs, either species.  Remember my warnings about the tangs, too.  You'll really have best luck with one or three, and if they're VERY small (less than 3"), then you ought to be able to introduce them together.  Otherwise, pay attention to size disparity.  Then the Hippo, and last, the angels.  I hope this helps with your decisions, know that many, MANY fairy wrasses are easily available, so if you wanted to consider something like that, or another wrasse like six-line wrasses, you can add those easily.  I'll encourage neon gobies, they're commonly available, stay quite small (you could add a group of 5-6 with no problem in a 300), and act as cleaners, too.  Marina   Need advice on my small 25gal tank I bought your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and now I feel like hitting my head because I only have a small 25 hex gallon aquarium. <Mmm, very typical... can your computer hard drives be too big? Your bank account too large? Is this starting to sound like some sort of email spam? Yes!> I really don't have any room in my house for a big tank and the small hex was attractive and I really wanted a saltwater tank. Right now, in my tank I have a live rock, live sand, 3 damsels and a yellow tang. I also have a CPR BakPak protein skimmer. My questions are; 1. Would I need an external canister filter? The store said I really wouldn't need it because of the size of my tank. <More filtration of some sort would be a big help... as a general rule, redundancy here really pays> 2. How much more livestock can I put? I am planning to add 2 more fishes and some corals. <Actually... I'd suggest you leave just one of the current damsels, or even remove them all... for more compatible fishes, other livestock. I'd like to introduce you to our online resource: www.WetWebMedia.com (Please take a look at the Marine Index... Indices... under Livestock, selection...> 3. Or should I just invest in a bigger tank? To me that is better but I don't know what I will do with my old tank. <At this point I'd "practice" with what you have... going forward you can use the smaller hexagon for a quarantine, treatment tank> Thank you for your time. Leo <Welcome to our fantastic hobby. Much to learn, enjoy, share. Bob Fenner> - Livestock Selection - Hi all, after a year and a half of planning, and yes, 3 weeks of cycling, my 125 gallon tank is up and running well. I have a 20 gallon fuge with sand bed and tons of algae- 4 genera- linked to a 25 gallon sump leading back to the main 125g tank. Soon, we will be introducing a yellow tang and a hippo tang- same size, at the same time to minimize fighting and I will remove one if it is unlivable. <I think it will work out.> I try to be as responsible as I can. I have added 2 Liters of plankton and my tank is very alive at night, it looks like a blizzard. <Neat.> We currently have 2 blue green Chromis- tried for 3 but one didn't make it- so with the tangs, these 2 Chromis, a 3 inch maroon clown and its' long term anemone of 3 years, I ask what good fish tank mates you suggest - after 2 more months of letting the plankton and copepods flourish, we may attempt a mandarin, again, I'd return it to the store if it was not doing well. <It wouldn't fare much better back at the store at that point... best to let the tank mature for a while longer... plenty of live rock.> My college would like to see diversity of body types, so no more damsels, but with a shallow- .5inch cc bed, burrowers are out too- ideas? <Lots - you should browse http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm - under the Livestock links.> Thanks, Mike <Cheers, J -- >

Species plan suggestions Hello Crew, <hi>     I'm still new to the hobby but have so far thoroughly enjoyed your site as well as Mr. Fenner's wonderful 'C.M.A.' volume. Have just started 'Reef Invertebrates' also on your advice.      To the point: In partial contradiction to most advice I've entered the hobby without a terribly firm or formal species plan. As an avid diver I love the reef ecosystem and generally plan to move in that direction with my system as my knowledge and experience permits. Currently its a 150 'reef-ready' with Berlin skimmer, wet/dry, 400w of CF ultra actinics and 'smart-lights' and a chiller. Plan to add a couple metal halides as need arises. About 75 lb. of Fiji LR is now home to about 10 Mexican grazers, some red-legged hermits, a couple emerald crabs and one beautiful L. amboinensis. Can't overlook the Atypical star that keeps about 1-2" of aragonite stirred up. I've also got one BTA (E. quadricolor) that I'm hoping my two ocellaris clowns will eventually take up with. A single Z. flavescens tops off the fish list. My newest acquisition is a beautiful hammer ridge coral that I still need to learn a lot more about.      Sorry, but there is a question buried here somewhere!     Can you assist me in suggestions for additional fish species? My general goal is a compatible and peaceful show tank that can gradually move toward full reef without undue backtracking. Currently I'd like to add one more (or a pair of) nice colorful 'show' or 'centerpiece' fish. Reef compatibility seems to be the obstacle. Started to buy a couple H. acuminatus but am concerned about the anemone. Many of the other most striking visual specimens (such as the angels) seem to be out of the question due to coral appetite. <go for any angel or pair of angel from the Genicanthus angels species. they are 100%reefsafe and are great fish. I like the bellus or watanabei (make sure you get healthy fish they are a deep water fish and must be acclimated right. Once acclimated this fish thrive. You will love them.> Advice of LFS has recently become suspect due to some bum steers. I would appreciate your comments or concerns about the current list of species, as well as any suggestions on possible species I should consider adding. Thanks very much for indulging the long background monologue. Again, your site is a real pleasure and a valuable resource. Please keep up the terrific work! Randy in Florida <Randy, Also pick up Scott Michael's A pocket expert guide to marine fishes. Great pictures and all the info you need about the fish. Good luck MikeH>

Stocking and selection I currently have a 72g Oceanic RR tank, and am curious as to the appropriate selection and number of fish that that can be stocked comfortably and kept healthy as well.  The tank will have 90 lbs of live rock, 5" fine DSB, a sump housing 2 heaters and an Aqua C Urchin Pro w/MAG pump, and 2 TUNZE powerheads (like the idea of the controller kit with it, but not sure if totally necessary to spend the money, is it?). <I think so gives good random current> The main question I have is regarding the fish I would like to keep. I would prefer to have smaller and more passive fish as opposed to having less/larger more aggressive types. How does this selection fit w/my equipment: 3 Green Chromis 1 Clown (Citrinus) Goby (book mentioned they would not be bothered b/c of slime, but might fare better in an exclusively passive tank?) <yes> 1 Fridmani Pseudochromis    1 Ocellaris Clown 1 Yellow Watchman Goby or Orange Stripe Prawn Goby (would like to see a pistol shrimp pair up) 1 Kole Yellow Eye or Yellow Tang (Hawaiian) Inverts 2 Scarlet cleaner shrimp 1 Tiger pistol shrimp Assorted snails Few hermits If this selection is compatible, is there anything else that I may be able to safely add to the tank to make things more lively? <your selection is fine. If you want to try a really cool fish that is not aggressive try an angel from the Genicanthus family 100% reef-safe angels> Or if not, anything I may be able to replace some of those choices with a better selection? I have also read 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist', which was a great help. Any other advice regarding my equipment is welcome as well. <no your equipment looks good. looks like you are headed for a reef. All you need is a good set of lights. Good luck MikeH> Thank you for your help, Brian Tank-raised marine livestock query Hi All, I have a 75 gallon reef tank in a Caribbean biotope.  Live sand and LR from TBS.  I have two tank raised Neon Gobies and a tank raised Royal Gramma.  I've been looking for one more fish to put in this tank. As I prefer tank raised fish, I'm at a lost as to which fishes may be compatible in this arrangement. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated, Mike <Mmm, well your current choices are limited to non-tropical West Atlantic species... a good number of the Clownfishes, Dottybacks, a couple of marine angels... There are some cultured invertebrates to consider, including the Caribbean Lysmata wurdemanni... Bob Fenner>

Red Collar Snails Hey Crew, <Howdy (My man!) Curtis> Went out today looking for some new snails to help combat some recent algae growth in my tank.  My LFS was all sold out of my usual (turbo and Astreas), but had a few Red Collar Snails (also found them named Red Foot Moon Snails... or Norrisia).  I've seen them there and at a few other places fairly often, and the employee told me they were pretty good at combating slimy algae, not to mention they look pretty cool to boot, so I picked up 3 of them to throw in the mix (55gal/60 lbs LR/ 15-20 Astreas/ 10 Turbos/ 20 Red Leg Hermits/ 20 Blue Leg Hermits/ 5 or so unidentified random snail stragglers). <Mmm...> Now that I'm home and admiring them, I've been trying to find some info on them.  Really have found very little so far... Seems they like cooler temperatures (below 74 degrees) which is not so good with my tank (78-80).  Not much discussion about them on the boards either... I found a few posts recommending against them, but not much else.  Do you all know what their deal is?  I'm guessing the beef on them is because they like the cooler temps, but I'm not quite sure, yet.  As I see them often, I've got to assume that people buy them... If you have any insight with regards to people having success with these... or lack there of, I'd love to hear.   <Thanks for bringing this up (the use of cool/coldwater organisms in tropical settings)... Ahem, Norrisia norrisii... is actually in the same family as many of the snails used for the purpose you state (Trochidae)... but is abidingly a cold to cool water (usually found in no more than 60 F.... NOT a tropical animal. I would not sell, would not use such in warm water. Bob Fenner> Regards, Curtis!

- Packing Them In - I just started my first saltwater tank 4 months ago.  I have: 2 Damsels (White Tail & Yellow Tail) 23 small blue-legged Hermit crabs 1 Peppermint Shrimp 1 Emerald Crab 1 Pygmy Angel 1 Royal Gramma 1 Purple Pseudochromis 1 Purple (actually Orange) Chromis Anthias [probably mislabeled] 1 Raccoon Butterfly I just purchased a small pink tip anemone, it was only $8.99 Canadian.  I swear the thing has doubled it's size since I put it in (24 hours ago)). I am a little worried for the safety of my fish.  They all seem to be avoiding it pretty well, which I guess is instinctive. The store (Big Al's) which I purchased the anemone from had Royal Grammas, Pseudochromis, Pygmy Angel, Emerald Crab and Peppermint Shrimp were all in the same store tank.  Is there any real danger from this kind of anemone? <Yes.> Brian PS: I forgot to mention.. It's a 30 Gallon (tall) tank I also have lots of live rock. The fish have been very healthy and have been there for 2 months. <Good grief - this tank is really too small for the amount of life you have packed in there. I'm guessing most of these fish are small, but they won't stay that way. You need to consider thinning out your herd or getting a larger tank if you want to insure your long-term success. Cheers, J -- >

Stocking question Hi, I have a 125 gal.. reef system which I would  like to have the following: 1 purple tang, 1 blue tang, a pair of Anthias, 1 six line wrasse, 1 flame angel, 1 bicolor angel, a midas blenny, a powder tang, a clown goby, 1 fox face tang, 1 yellow tang and maybe some gobies and blennies, what do you think of my mixture?<I think this is way to many fish for a 125 gallon aquarium. I would pick one tang, the fox face, the gobies (2 or3) and the Anthias and everything else I would just forget about...especially the Centropyge angelfish> please recommend on what you like and what you dislike.<I like to have a lot of fish in my aquarium, but this is WAY WAY too many fish for this aquarium size>  Can I have as many gobies as I want, say 5 or 6? <I would go with 2 or 3> thanks a lot for your time, you guys are the best<your welcome, IanB> AJ

New Additions... Dear WWM Crew, <Scott F. at your service today!> Thanks in advance.  We really value your opinion. <And we value your interest in the site! Thanks for stopping by!> We currently have a 65g with approx. 70 lbs. live rock, Coral Beauty, 2 damsels, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 arrow crab, 30 Astreas, 30 hermits.  We would like a maroon clown and/or a yellow tang.  Would both of these be pushing it? <I would hold off on the tang, myself. They need a whole lot of room, and I'd think that a larger tank would be a better it for this fish. You could add a smaller, yet interesting fish to round things out, like a small wrasse of the Halichoeres family, or maybe a Royal Gramma or Pseudochromis of some sort. As far as the Maroon Clown is concerned, it's a great fish, but can be a bit feisty at times. Probably will hold its own just fine against your damsels! Sounds like you have a nice setup, so stick with a couple of smaller fishes for your next addition, and things should be fine! Regards, Scott F.> If not, which would you suggest we introduce first? Thanks a bunch, Stan and Denise

- Livestock Selection - Hi there, I know you guys get lots of repeat questions so I am trying not to add more to the bunch. <Too late.> I have a 30 gallon saltwater tank. Right now we have three conc.s, 1 green Chromis, 1 choc. starfish and two coral cats. I plan on getting rid of the cats because I won't be able to upgrade to a 75 gallon tank right away and the cats need more room than I can provide. Can you tell me with the other occupants in mind what other fish may be added. <You have many choices, too many to list here. Please browse the Wet Web Media web site - we have oodles of articles on the various genus and species and their selection.> I have no plants just sand and crushed coral with some hiding places for the coral cats.  I have one power head attached to the protein skimmer and an emperor cling filter. I am sorry I can't give you more about it. I have been given all the saltwater stuff since my father in law got out of it so I am trying my best to become educated about saltwater fish and plants. <Then by all means, please get thee to the Wet Web Media website.> Any help would be great.  We have problems with the cling filter sometimes it doesn't want to run right even after we can it. <Not sure I follow...> Can you suggest a better filter. <The Emperor filters are pretty decent and about as 'good' as any other hang-on filter out there. I like the AquaClear line mostly because they are simple, but you might want to disassemble the filter and give the impeller a clean.> Please help if you can. Thanks a bunch. Amy <Cheers, J -- >

- Crown Fish Gift - Where can I purchase a crown fish? The kind of fish that came out in the animated movie, "Finding Nemo". <Uhh... that's a Clownfish - specifically a Percula clown.> My friend wants to own one and would like to purchase it as a gift. <I would strongly recommend that you not gift fish - if your friend truly wants one of these, please get them to educate themselves first about what it takes to keep saltwater fish. If they already have a tank, they should select these fish for themselves - you can cause a lot of trouble by gifting fish.> I was not lucky in finding a store where they sold crown fish! HELP ME! <These fish are very common in the trade and should be easy to find but I strongly suggest you give them a gift certificate instead.> Mabel <Cheers, J -- >

Stocking a 65 Dear WWM Crew, <Happy Turkey Day! Ryan with you> Thanks in advance.  We really value your opinion.  We currently have a 65g with approx. 70 lbs. live rock, Coral Beauty, 2 damsels, 1 coral banded, 1 arrow, 30 Astreas, 30 hermits.  We would like a maroon clown and/or a yellow tang.  Would both of these be pushing it?  If not, which would you suggest we introduce first? <While both of these selections are hardy, beautiful, and reef safe, I don't think they would be great inhabitants for you at this time.  A Zebrasoma Tang is large, feisty and a little cramped in a 65 gallon tank.  A Maroon Clown is very territorial, and could cause some problems.  I would suggest a smaller clown, preferably something tank bred.  An orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) would also fit in nicely.  Good luck with your stocking!> Thanks a bunch, <Welcome!> Stan and Denise

- Livestock Choices - Dear WWM Crew, Thanks in advance.  We really value your opinion.  We currently have a 65g with approx. 70 lbs. live rock, Coral Beauty, 2 damsels, 1 coral banded, 1 arrow, 30 Astreas, 30 hermits.  We would like a maroon clown and/or a yellow tang.  Would both of these be pushing it? <No, I don't think so - you might want to capture those two damsels out at some point - they tend to get territorial and belligerent as they become established in your tank. Would also clear up room for perhaps another choice.> If not, which would you suggest we introduce first? <I'd introduce the tang first.> Thanks a bunch, Stan and Denise <Cheers, J -- >

Going Deep (Deepwater Tank> Hi, I was notified of this great site by Marina, and thought you guys might be able to answer a question I've been having a tough time getting answered over at reefs.org. <Good people there, but it's nice that you stopped by WWM! Scott F. at your service today> OK, so I'm getting a 125 long aquarium.  It will be FOWLR, and I plan on lighting it very dimly and recreating an Indo-Pacific (possibly Hawaiian endemic) deep fore reef environment. <Sounds pretty cool>   The fish I want: A pair of angelfish (Genicanthus watanabei, bellus, or semifasciatus max size 5.9") <G. watanabei are great fishes, but they don't always acclimate well after capture. Same for G. bellus. I've kept both successfully. The G. lamarcki, though not as "sexy" as the other two (and a bit larger), is usually a more reliable, durable choice. However, places like Marine Center can get properly handled G. watanabei and G. bellus. They do need a lot of space, though.> A pair of Hawaiian Anthias (Pseudanthias hawaiiensis max size 2.1") <Very nice fishes> A pair or more of fairy wrasses (Cirrhilabrus scottorum, jordani, or luteovittatus max size 4.7-5.1") A pair of flasher wrasses (Paracheilinus sp. max size 3") <Pricey, but durable fishes>   Other fish I'm considering are: A single mandarin fish Various other small fish like orchid Dotty's, sixline wrasse, Firefish, gobies... <If you've got the bucks, a pair of N. Helfrich Firefish would be awesome>   Obviously, I'm very into pairs of fish.  BESIDES the husbandry difficulties of some of these fish, do you foresee any problems with stocking these fish together?  In particular, what are your experiences when combining several fish that occupy the same niche (planktivores) together like this?  Any other suggestions for good peaceful fish for my tank? <I think that you have a very compatible group of fishes here. The biggest issue is providing  enough space and high water quality. I've always preferred smaller angelfishes, with the Genicanthus species being the "upper limit" size-wise for me. You could consider some of the deeper-ranging, and equally spectacular Centropyge species, such as C. multicolor, C. aurantius, etc. Also, you might want to check out the "Peppermint Hogfish", a neat looking (and quite rare) fish that makes a spectacular display. If you're not a "Pacific Snob", like me- you could include the gorgeous Gramma melacara, too. I think a selection of smaller, less active fishes would make an intriguing display. A friend of mine created a display like this, and it is really great to look at. The longer you observe the tank, the more life you see...> Thanks in advance, Matt Wandell Nanos Forum Moderator, www.reefs.org <My pleasure, Matt. You have some neat ideas there I'm sure that you can create what will no doubt be a spectacular tank! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Livestock Selection - I am working on my 3rd saltwater aquarium and I was hoping you could help guide me with my choices of fish to add.  It is a 55 gallon tank and I have all of the filtration worked out already.  I plan on using no LR or LS in this setup.  I also plan on using only two 40 watt florescent bulbs. Probably a 03 and a 10,000K.  The reason I don't want LR or LS is because I don't plan on using any crabs, snails, or shrimp and want to leave the option of medications open. <Honestly, I think this plan is foolish - you can avoid the need for medication by simple quarantine. The live rock will provide natural filtration and nitrate reduction that is hard to duplicate. If I could convince you of anything, it would be to rethink this plan.> I do plan on putting rock, sand, and maybe faux corals in there.  I only want to add hardy fish to the tank.  I have a Flame Angel that I would like to put in there, (the last fish to add of course) but do you think he would be happy without LR? <Not in the long haul.> The only reason I want to move him is due to him picking on my Yellow Head Goby once in a while. I would really like to add an Auriga Butterflyfish.  I do plan on moving everything into a larger tank in a year or two.  I was also thinking about a Yellow Tang and maybe some Blue Green Chromis.  Do you think those fish would be ok together in a 55 gallon if they were not fully grown? <Yes but don't like their prospects without live rock.> Like I said, they would only be in there for a year or two before I move to something no less than a 75 gallon tank.  I guess the Butterfly is my #1 choice, so I will work around that.  I was also thinking about a wrasse if I don't put the Flame Angel in the 55.  Sorry if this is a little hard to read through!  Thanks for the help, you guys are the best! Steve PS  How does one end up answering questions for WWM? <You take the red pill. Cheers, J -- >

SW compatibility Hi, I have a yellow tang, 5 damsels, a Clark clown fish, a stars and stripes puffer and a cleaner wrasse could you tell me if a trigger would be compatible or not, I was thinking the bursa one oh and my tank is a 75gallon with LR <The S&S puffers grows to 20".  Triggers get fairly large also.  I think for a 75g tank one large centerpiece fish is enough.  Are you making sure your puffer is getting hard-shelled foods to eat.  they need that to keep their beaks trimmed--Pufferpunk>  

SW compatibility ok, I guess the trigger is not for me, I try to feed my puffer hard shelled food but he wont eat any, the only thing he will eat is pellets, I don't know what else to try, what works for you <I offer mine anything I can find in the fish dept of my grocery store (except fish).  Clam, oyster, mussel, crab legs, crayfish, scallops, shell-on shrimp, squid, etc.  I also feed them live crayfish, fiddler crabs, earthworms, krill & crickets.  Try them all!> and I saw my puffer blow up today for the first time and I have had him for about 2 months and this is the first time, do you know what could be causing it? <Some puffers puff out of stress & others just for practice.  If the water parameters are good, I wouldn't worry.> Thanks <Your welcome--Pufferpunk>

Time Travel - Set Your Phasers On BAGGED! >Hey there again, >>First time for me, mate.  ;) >Sorry for all the questions but I have another 1. >>Don't be sorry for the questions, but a bit of punctuation and spelling things out would be most helpful to us. >There is a fish store that has a huge selection of fish. It is about 35-40 minutes away.  Would it be ok to get a fish there and bring it back to my home or is it to far away were the fish can not live in the bag for to long? >>Just be sure they bag them with oxygen, and if it's cold, use a Styrofoam box or ice chest.  Think about it, these fish come from places halfway around the earth.  For some of them, transit time is better than 24 hours.  A few minutes in the bag of fresh water on the way to your home won't bother them much at all.  DO be sure they don't do anything chumpy like bag more than one fish together, though.  ;)  I hope you have a quarantine system set up for them!   >This would really help. Thanks... ? >>Who are you?  You're welcome, I'm glad it really helps..  I'm Marina

- Fish selection for a 33 - I have a 33 gal tank that I am presently converting from a freshwater tank in to a saltwater tank (fish only with 35#s live rock.) I have an oversized canister filter (Filstar XP-2, 300 GPH, suitable for 75gal tanks) <I'd suggest removing everything in it in favor of occasional carbon use and water circulation.> and a large powerhead. I am also going to order a good quality protein skimmer also. (Remora C or BakPak). <I think you mean the AquaC Remora, a hands down much better choice than the BakPak, you won't regret it! Make sure you get the maxi-jet 1200 upgrade and the skimmer/bubble diffuser box.> Now I am starting to think about what fish I should consider. What types of fish and quantity do you think my tank can handle? I would be happy to have 2ea larger 4-6" fish if possible. <Eeek! I would suggest picking up Scott Michael's pocket guide to marine fish, it's a really quick adult size and minimum tank size reference. I can't really think of anything 4"+ besides a big watchman goby that would fare well in such a small aquarium.> I really like triggers and tangs, but am starting to think I will have to stick to dwarf angels, damsels and clowns..... Maybe one trigger? <Most triggers will outgrow this tank in short order, all the other guys u suggested would be good choices! I'd stick w/ 3 or 4 of these small guys.> Also, I will be cycling my tank for a month or so with  a couple of small damsels and a clown fish that I have in my established 10 gal tank. Any of your advice will be appreciated. <I hope this helps!> PS - I just was in Maui and I checked out the Maui Ocean Center, HIGHLY recommended site to see. The amount of work it must take to maintain an aquarium of this size must be incredible. <Ahh, Maui, sigh... I cant wait for vacation time! I'll have to check that one out some time. -Kevin>

- What to Add... - Hi Crew! Quick question-I have a 3 year running, 300 gallon, 150 lb FOWLR, circulation like a trout stream, with kind of a cool (I think) mix- 5" Niger Trigger, 2 1/2" Maroon Clown, 6" Yellow Tang , 8" Panther Grouper, 4" Diadema Squirrelfish.   Presently no inverts save for the usual live sand/rock micro stowaways. With no more fish to add, I'm just looking for maybe one or two larger inverts to add a little 'reef' interest to the tank. For instance, would a green brittle or chocolate chip star be OK here or would the trigger have lunch? <Is a distinct possibility that the trigger would eat them - have noticed the tendency for many fish, including triggers to associate anything that comes in the top of the tank with dinner. You could probably sneak these in over night.> What other inverts might work with this population/system? <Hmm... I'm a big fan of Gorgonians - not much eats them, and the most common ones in the trade are photosynthetic, which means that beyond decent lighting, you wouldn't need to do much to keep the healthy.> Thanks, Zack <Cheers, J -- >

The Fish Is In The Mail...Or Is It? Gentleman, <Scott F. here today! Maybe not a "gentleman", but the title works for me!> I am increasingly finding it more and more difficult to obtain marine fish from my local pet store. The quality and selection are getting worse and worse. <It can be frustrating...Can your local store order you specimens that you're looking for from wholesalers?> My only recourse in the past has been to drive 100+  miles round trip to a quality store in the hopes they may have what I am looking for, and it is starting to try my patience. <That would try anyone's patience!> I have been thinking about purchasing online, but I have a feeling this could be a big mistake.  Purchasing a delicate marine animal. shipping it via Fed Ex, hopping it survives the journey with as little stress possible, and on top of it all hoping that the specimen does not have ich or any other disease...etc.  I have done some homework on-line looking into various sites such as www.marinedepotlive.com and www.liveaquaria.com.  They all seem to promise the world (of course) 5 and 10 day guarantees, only ship hand picked healthy and beautiful fish....etc.   Do you have any experience buying from an online etailer and would you recommend it??  If so, which company would you suggest I go through?  Are there any "consumer reports" type rankings of these businesses? <Well, you do bring up some interesting points, but the e-tailers that you mention out there have good reputations for providing quality specimens and good service, not to mention excellent shipping practices. It may take a bit of the fun out of the process of perusing fish stores for that one special fish, but it can bring you exactly what you want with minimum hassle. Yes, you will probably pay a bit more for this service, but the benefits do outweigh the downside, IMO. I'd throw out a post on the WWM Chat Forum to hear what your fellow hobbyists have to say about these companies. I think that you'll be happy with any of these companies...> Thanks for all your help John C Cape Cod <You're quite welcome, John. Have fun shopping on line! Regards, Scott F>

Live rock first or fish first? Hi ,       I am setting up a saltwater tank and I'm almost finished putting all the live rock in. Can you tell me if I can put in a fish before all my live rock is in.<you can but make sure to add the liverock slowly...around 5lbs at a time, you don't want your aquarium to cycle again> My tank is all done cycled I  just need some more live rock and fish. I am just adding 2 more pieces. Would this be ok. <yea you should be fine, good luck, IanB>     Thanks

Stocking a 90 reef 11/16/03 hello Anthony and all.   <cheers> I have a 90 reef , live rock about 125lbs. , all LPS corals and one clam, 2 cleaner shrimp, ruby red serpent star, and  one coral banded shrimp.  Fish include a Kole tang, Naso tang, royal Gramma, lawnmower blenny (my Kole tang chases him off when the he comes out too far, why?)  and finally a juvenile red coris wrasse 3"(who I will remove soon as I can, <arghhh... yes please. And the Naso too... these fishes have no place in a 90 gallon aquarium with regard for their adult sizes> I tried to put some lettuce nudibranchs in and he chewed them up so he will be going in my 38 gallon <yikes!!! please say it isn't so <G>. No really... a coris wrasse in a 38 gallon is not conscientious aquarium keeping, no matter how small this juvenile is. It may just stunt and die prematurely like so many others. Living 10+ years sounds much better to me than living a few in a small tank.> are there any other predators of this lettuce nudibranch that I have in my tank? <hard to say... the Lysmata shrimp might get icky... and the lawnmower may care to chase them off> I would really like a couple of them.)  Question is can I add a fox face (preferably Siganus magnificus) to this reef tank of mine??   <the tank is not long/large enough IMO> I have some nasty green algae that I want him to take care of, the tangs and blenny wont do it.  If this fish gets too big in a year or so I will put him in the 150 FOWLR I plan to set up.   <hmm... agreed. But we all enjoy big plans and dreams... many of these tanks don't pan out in time though. Best to only take charge of what you can be responsible for now> Would that be too many fish for this tank?   <if the Naso stays... you are essentially full to leave some room for the 2-3 year plan. A few small fishes would be fine though.. gobies, Chromis, etc> I don't really count the small blenny or royal Gramma cause they're so small.  The two big ones in my tank pretty much are the 2 tangs.  And if I do get one I have read on here that they should not be put in a QT, that they should only be dipped.   <I disagree... QT everything to be safe. Even if its without meds just to screen for disease> If only dipped then how would you go about that?? thanks a lot <much written in our archives about dips... please do a keyword search with the google search tool at the bottom of the home page and you will find many references to the subject. Anthony>

(Over)-stocking a 90 gallon aquarium 11/17/03 thanks for the fast reply Anthony, I do agree that the Naso tang will have to go in the 150 when I set it up.   <or sooner> I know probably a lot of people say they're going to set up more tanks, but I just cant see me resisting all the beautiful fish I'm missing out on, I mean I love the invert part of the hobby more than the fish, but I can't stand not being able to buy some of the awesome fish out there.   <please do re-read this last sentence you wrote... and consider the practical ramifications (stunting fish and watching them die prematurely = wasting money/lives) if not reckon what it means to actually be a conscientious marine aquarist> I have another question as to my euro-reef protein skimmer on my 90.  I've had it running for over a year, and I decided on the euro reef as from the wetweb site.   <a fine skimmer.... one of the very best IMO> I still don't know if I have it adjusted correct.  I don't know if you've seen these in action or have any experience with one or not, but I have the CS-2 model rated for a 120.  I see you talk a lot about getting a full cup of skimmate per day out of a skimmer, <on a well fed tank with a Naso and Coris wrasse to boot... yes.> the collection cup on the euro-reef is pretty large.  Would you expect close to a full cup a day from this skimmer??   <4 oz of coffee colored liquid per day would not be difficult if you are feeding daily> After I clean out the cup and dry it I place the top of the riser tube about in the middle of the union that screws onto the body.  That have the bubbles bursting about 2" from the top of the cup.  I only get about an 1/8 of the cup full per day , and at that its more like a tea green, <the air or water flow is too high, causing this wet foam... or (more likely) the quality of water being fed to it is diluted. I'm guessing this skimmer like most that don't perform as expected is simply sitting in the open sump (of varying water level due to evap flux) and is not instead sitting in a bucket or partition to catch raw overflowing water at a static water level (greatly enhances skimmer performance). The one thing that could be worse than this would be to have the skimmer in an open sump downstream after a wet/dry filter or some other mechanical prefilter (which robs and nitrifies organics before they can be exported by the skimmer). All of these aspects are covered in the FAQs on skimmers if any appeal to you> I have had it for a year and adjusted it in many ways also.  I notice that I have to take the cup off and clean it every 3 days or so for the foam to stay rising good.  I do rinse out the air line also with hot water.   <very good cleaning schedule> Does this sound right for this skimmer.  Also it goes crazy when I do water changes and I have to lower the riser tube for a day.  Please let me know you're insight, thanks <you definitely can get much more out of this skimmer... do review the above possibilities and tune/tweak yours. Best of luck, Anthony>

Re: stocking a 90 reef III 11/19/03 Anthony, let me correct what I was talking about when I was saying I couldn't resist getting all those beautiful fish.  I didn't mean for me to put them in my 90, I know myself that would be too crowded.   <whew... good to hear, my friend> I meant that all those beautiful fish out there is making me want to set up a FOWLR tank (150), to house a few of the larger fish that I would love to have.   <all good> I do not believe in just getting a fish to keep for a while and have it be miserable in a tank not suited for it.   <agreed... as was my concern with the coris species in the 38 gall... or even the coris and Naso in the 90. Big adult fishes at 12-18"> As far as the euro-reef skimmer goes I do have it in my sump, it a Berlin with no mechanical filtration.  I have a float switch that is used for evap water, I use Kalk in a 5 gal. bucket and this keeps the water level stable for the skimmer.   <all excellent> Would that cause the skimmer to act the way it does?   <nope... if anything the Kalk helps (saponification). It sounds like it is installed quite correct here> I noticed what you said about the air intake, should I try to put a valve on that line and tweak the air down a little??, thanks <indeed... it may simply be that you need finer control over the air or water. A gate valve on the outflow of water... or a quality needle valve on the intake of air to really fine tune the active foam level. Best of luck, Anthony>

Stocking a 90 reef IV - 11/20/03 Thanks for the quick reply Anthony.  On the note that you mentioned on a high quality needle valve, what kind (preferably brand) are you talking about, recommend?? <a brass needle valve will work fine. Just be sure it never gets submerged in saltwater> Also on a couple other notes I have a 2" six line wrasse in a QT tank for about 2 weeks now.  He is kind of shy, but hey does eat some small amount of food I try to feed him.  I have noticed some kind of white marking on his mouth, sort of the roughed-up look, abraded.  Does it sound like he's due for any medication??   <tough to say without a picture or better description. You can use medicated flake foods to play it safe if you like> On a different note I thought it would be cool to tell you about my Naso tang, he is so friendly and enjoys feeding time, he will eat out of my hand and even when I place algae on a clip onto the glass he's even let me pet him, really cool, kind of like when you see deep-sea divers go and feed the fish, hehe.  I did purchase some dry Nori from an Asian food mart, that is okay to use for food right??   <yes... plain Nori for human food consumption is safe and nutritious> thanks <best of luck. Anthony>

Mated Pairs from online sources Howdy, Do any of you know any on-line retailers who sale mated pairs of vert.s and inverts? Thanks, Steven <Likely Marine Center, Dr.s Foster & Smith and Marine Depot Live can select/get them for you. I would call them directly re the possibility. Bob Fenner>

Mated Pairs Howdy, <Hi there> Do any of you know any on-line retailers who sale mated pairs of vert.s and inverts? Thanks, Steven <Most all of them do... principally clownfish species, some shrimps... If it's something "important" you can even put in requests... that reach all the way back to collectors, breeders.  Which part of the world are you in? For ease of matching close-by suppliers. And what sorts of organisms are you looking for? Bob Fenner>

Re: Mated Pairs wow, thanks for the fast reply Bob. I am located in the southeast, US. I was kind of interested in a mated pair of Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus Hispidus) and a mated pair of Fire Fish (Nemateleotris Magnifica). I would actually like more of the latter, say around 4 or 5 but it may not be a good idea. I would think a truly mated pair would be allot safer. I have a 100g by the way. Again, thanks for the quick reply. Steven <Don't know about the Dartfishes (the way they're collected I don't think the pairs are kept separate), but the CBS are do-able. Have your supplier/LFS contact Quality Marine or Sea Dwelling Creatures in Los Angeles. Bob Fenner>

First Fish!!  (11-12-03) Hi,<Howdy, Cody here today.> I just got my tank and it is setup and everything. I am ready to put in my first fish but I don't no what to choose. I heard damsels are good but I don't want them in my tank because they can hurt my other fish when I put them in. Especially if the damsels get territorial and are introduced way earlier then the other fish like a percula. What should I do, get damsels, or go for a percula right off the bat. Please help me this is mind boggling.<How big of tank do have?  How long has it been setup for?  Also do you have any live rock?  I would say the clown would be ok as a first fish but it would be good if you could answer a few of my questions and I will be able to point you in the right direction.  Cody.>               Thanks

First Fish (11-15-03) Hey Cody, <Hey Jake!  Sorry for the delay.> Thanks for the reply my tank is a 26gal bowfront, I do have some live rock in my tank about 37 pounds. If you could please tell me the right fish to start my tank off without damsels that would be great thanks.<The clown should be a fine first fish.  There are also many cool gobies, wrasses, blennies... that would do great.  Cody> Jake

Good Beginner Fish for New Salts.. Not Old >Hi,       >>Hello. >I emailed a while ago but I have another question. >>This is allowed. >What in your mind would be the best starter fish except damsels? >>There are a few wrasses that I would put in the "tough" category, Coris gaimard, for instance.  Be careful of the really aggressive ones, though. >I really don't want a damsel in my tank because it can kill my more expensive sensitive fish.  I hope you can answer my question. >>Um.. I just did, but of course there are MANY variables to be considered, both when asking and when answering this question.  Mollies are another very good beginner saltwater fish, properly acclimated of course.  Marina

Urchin question, stocking too.... Hello! <hi> Once again I've come for advice on my tank....the first question is about a tuxedo urchin. I have a 55g tank that has been running for 3 years. Coralline algae covers the back glass, both ends, powerheads, intake tubes and about 75% of the LR (there is maybe 50 to 60 lbs of rock in the tank). Do you think that one tuxedo urchin will deplete the coralline? < no one will do fine you can place Nori in and they will feed on that > I would really like to have an urchin, but at the same time, I like the looks of the coralline algae too....will they also eat other algae? I also have on several of the rocks, an encrusting algae that looks like crushed velvet, a deep magenta color, that I would hate to lose too....(BTW, this is not slime algae, I have never been able to ID what exactly it is, but it is extremely slow growing and does not require much light, very low flow too Next is a stocking question. Same 55g tank, 50 to 60 lbs of rock, DSB....in this tank is a yellow tang (she is about 5 1/2 long, I've had her for almost 3 years and I don't think she will get any bigger), a ocellaris clown, a black Dartfish and an orange tailed damsel. There is also a pair of skunk cleaners, several large featherdusters, numerous small ones, some mushroom corals and two colonies of Porites. Is there any fish at all that I could possibly add that would be able to stand up to the damsel (my biggest worry) and would not eat any of the inverts? Bannerfish, another damsel, anything? Or am I (as I suspect) unable to add anything at this point??? <you could try a Genicanthus angel there are about a dozen kinds they are totally under rated you will love these fish make sure they are healthy and eating before purchase. Thanks Mike H> Thanks for your help!! Best regards, Sam

I have a stocking question for you guys...  As of right now I have a 55 with a goldentail moray, and a jewel moray (they get along so well..) and a miniata grouper (also has no problem with the eels) Now thing is I'm moving them over to a 180 with dual predrilled overflows in about a month, and I wanted your opinion on the list I wanted to get for it..  -Niger trigger  -blue throat trigger  -panther grouper  -red coris wrasse  -harlequin tusk wrasse  now following the 1" per gallon rule I still have about 50 more gallons left over (which I'm not going to fill) and I know these guys are messy so I'm hooking a wet/dry up to 240 on it along with a protein skimmer, U.V. sterilizer, 2 1/2 inch thick bed of live sand, and live rock. So do you see any problems with the idea of my future set up?  < no, sounds like you planned it out in that size tank they should get along fine do lots of water changes or put a huge skimmer one for waste>  Also is there a big need for RO water for a tank like this, or would conditioned tap be fine?  <conditioned tap will be fine thank for the question MikeH>

Groovy Groupings (Stocking Ideas) I was thinking 9-11 may be a bit too many for my 90 Gallon.... Especially if I want to add more fish later on.  I think I would like to consult Scott F on this if possible.  Beam me up Scotty, What do you say?  Thanks. <Scott here, Captain! I think that Mike's recommendation is okay, as far as the behavior of the Chromis is concerned. They do display interesting schooling behaviors when kept in large enough groups. My personal preference is for smaller numbers of small-sized fishes in a given system (even in larger tanks), and if you're obeying conservative stocking  and husbandry practice, you would be limited as far as the number of fishes that you could add after the Chromis in this sized tank. Other fishes that can live in groups (but do not necessarily display "schooling" behaviors) would be Cardinal Fishes ( a bit more sedate, but kind of cool), Assessors, Royal Grammas ( makes a very cool display if you configure the aquascape to accommodate their needs), and some Firefish (again, if the aquascape is done right). You could also keep various clownfish in groups, as well. As long as careful attention is paid to stocking levels and the compatibility of the animals, you could try a number of neat groupings in this sized tank. With a little research, good animal selection, careful maintenance, proper introduction, and a little luck, there are all sorts of interesting possibilities! Have fun checking out the possibilities, and let us know if you have any further questions! Regards, Scott F.>  

Averting Chemical Warfare! Hi Guys, <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> As always, I enjoy coming home from a long day of work and spending time at night relaxing and reviewing the FAQ's on your site - great reading. <Glad that you enjoy them! We have a blast lending a hand where we can!> I have a 75 Gallon tank which I have had up for about 5 - 6 months. It has cycled and all the water characteristics (PH, Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite etc look good. I have a lot of live rock in the tank built up in layers all the way to the top of my tank, with a lot of hiding places, and a small layer of sand/crushed coral still visible in the front of my tank - starting to give the effect of a pretty decent reef. <Cool! Sounds like fun!> Coralline is starting to show up now over and above what came on the live rock, which is exciting. <Yes, it is!> As far as fish are concerned, I have one small (~ 1 Percula Clown (~ 1"), 1 Gold Striped Maroon also < 1", 1 Skunk Clown, 1 Royal Gramma ~ 1.5", 1 very small Green Damsel, and finally, 1 Foxface Rabbitfish ~ 2"). They all seem to be doing o.k. I have a substantial cleaning crew - ~ 20 blue and red legged crabs (tiny guys), three emerald crabs, ~ 15 turbo snails and one serpent star. <Nice mix of animals!> Now my question -- I have a closed brain coral (Wellsophyllia) lying on the front sand bed, and two pink tip anemones at either ends of the sand bed too. There are a couple of feather dusters on the sandbed as well. All seem to be staying away from each other at this point, settled in their places of choice, and I haven't seen any big problems -- however, I have been reading on your web site about the problems of mixing corals and anemones. <Yep! The problem isn't always in the physical contact arena...It's as much about allelopathic "warfare" between the animals, with potentially dangerous chemical compounds being released by animals that are not generally found together...It may not be an "immediate" problem, of course. Often, animals will coexist together for some time, and at some point, deterioration will occur. Just something that you need to worry about for the long term> The skunk and the maroon clown seem to like the anemones and host in them frequently. I also have an elegance coral sitting out of the reach in the middle of the aquarium on live rock, and an umbrella coral (I think it's also called toadstool) on the other side of the tank, also well out of reach of where I have seen the anemones hang out. <An unnatural mix...and potentially problematic. But darned attractive, unfortunately! The large distance between these incompatible animals will help, but remember-it's all about the possible chemical interactions, which can be hastened by the flow in the tank> After reading your notes about mixing the anemones and corals, I am getting worried about the closed brain coral -- Should I move the brain to somewhere on top of live rock too -- away from the anemones? <I'd leave it in the sand, as keeping it on rock could cause potential damage to the animal as its tissues expand. If you are reluctant to remove the anemones, then you could perhaps run a stepped-up (i.e. more frequent) water change schedule, like 5% twice weekly, as well as very aggressive protein skimming, and liberal use of effective chemical filtration media, such as PolyFilter or Chemipure, and activated carbon, to help remove potentially dangerous chemical compounds before they become problematic in the tank.> Do the anemones climb over live rock too - Although I have not seen that behavior? <Many anemones are capable of "roaming" to wherever they feel the most comfortable, so it is possible.> I wanted to add one or two other corals too, and seem to have enough space to place the corals within the live rock away from each other, but want to make sure that the anemones will not be flying all around the tank (on live rock etc.) going after corals causing problems. I would really appreciate some advice on this issue. Thank You, as always for your guidance. <Well, I find that the mixing of corals and anemones is simply a potential problem, which is best avoided, if possible. The best solution is just not to keep them together! That said, I would caution against the mixing of various coral types (like LPS and soft corals) together, for the same reasons discussed above. I'd pick a category of corals (LPS, SPS, softies, etc) and stick with them. If you are going to add to the existing mix, I'd certainly start "specializing" at this point, and-perhaps, trading the animals from the categories that you're less interested in for ones that you are inclined to work with. Better for the animals- and better for you, in the long run! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Stocking order questions Sup Crew!<hey> I wrote you guys a while ago, about keeping a BTA in a 20-gallon tank. Thanks for the great advice! I ended up moving everything to a 46-gallon bowfront tank. Here's my current setup: 60 lbs live rock 4" DSB (DSB is soooo awesome) HOB Filter 196W PC Lighting (10,000K / Actinic) pair of Yellowstripe maroon clowns (2 1/2" and 2") 4" BTA scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp cleanup crew (misc snails and hermits) Salinity: 1.025 Nitrates / Nitrites / Ammonia: negligible Calcium / Alk: normal levels weekly 10% water changes First thing I'm getting is either a BakPak IIR or Remora skimmer.<ok> My main question, though, concerns stocking order. I'd like to get a Coral Beauty Angel, Orchid Dottyback, Shrimp Goby (with pistol shrimp), and some kind of dither fish.<I would definitely get the angel first so he can settle in.. then the goby and last the Dottyback> What order do you recommend I put these in? Also, what would be a good dither fish (or group of fish) for this tank?<I would get a few Chromis> I was thinking 3 Yellowtail Damsels or Green Chromis. Would that be too many fish?<If it were me, I wouldn't bother with the dither fish> Also, would you recommend a tuxedo urchin as a detritus scavenger?<I really don't care for urchins so I would not get one> What about a Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber for sand sifting?<I have heard that Tiger tail sea cucumbers do a good job> A little side note: getting the Yellowstripe maroon clowns to pair up was no joke! I had 2 smaller clowns in QT, and put one in with the larger one... The larger one killed the smaller one in less than 20 minutes!<WOW> The next day, I put the other smaller one in after rearranging the tank a little bit and they started their 'pairing up dance' almost immediately! Also, when I had my BTA in the 20 gallon tank, it had inflated like a balloon and looked very bad. After I put in the original maroon clown in, it was right as rain in less than a day!<nice> Thanks for all your great articles and advice!<Your welcome, IanB> Jarin Udom

Quick Question I have a quick Q. Tank: 85 Gall (just started cycling - brown algae).  This is not the true size, since I have lost approx: 3.5 " in height due to substrate Filtration: AquaClear 500 / with surface skimmer UGF (modified) driven by two Max-Jet 1200 Visijet Protein Skimmer (70 Gallon Tank is the recommendation...but budget restrictions this year) Bioload: Currently 10 yellowtail damsels (to cycle). "Turbo" Snail I would like to add: Live Rock (against the back of the tank...) w/ basic invertebrates...Featherdusters and Yellow Polyps and maybe one anemone Domino Damsels (maybe 2) Neon Goby (1-2) Please advise: 1) if ok to keep damsel's <yeah they are attractive hardy fish, some are very aggressive though.. best to keep and eye on them> 2) can I use "lace" (Lava) rock as the foundation of the "reef", and will the polyps eventually migrate onto this.<I would not use lava rock, just purchase base rock from your LFS.. ask them first to see where it came from.> 3) Any other basic "reef" friendly stock you would recommend. <Pseudochromis, wrasses (small) Cirrhilabrus sp. and Pseudocheilinus sp. my favorite is Pseudocheilinus ocellatus (mystery wrasse)> In advance Thanks, Jess Bansal<your welcome, IanB>

Is It Safe to Use Again? Plus Stocking Questions  >Hello guys,  >>Hello mate, Marina here.  >Great site. I stumbled here looking for information on DSB and all I can say is wow.  >>Really, that's honestly ALL you can say? <insert big grin here>  >Here is my question:  I intend to switch the inhabitants of 100gl fresh community tank with a newly setup 20gl FOWLR. (After a ~3 year period of remission my saltwater fever is back!) My first concern is that I used RID-ICH (formalin and malachite green) in the 100gl about a year ago, should I worry about this leaching out of the silicone in a concentration enough to negatively affect the live rock, shrimp, snails or starfish?  >>Hmm.. we don't like that schtuff 'round here.. but it is what it is. Here's what I would do: fill up the tank with freshwater, with a basic power filter running carbon and a PolyFilter. Change the water and rinse these filtration components several times over the course of a few weeks, I'd do this for at least 3 weeks because I'm prophylactically paranoid. The more carbon or chemical filtration, the better, along with those water changes.  >If the tank is safe to use here is my second question: I would like to create 2 "reef hills" (approx 30lbs of LR each) on opposite sides of the tank with open swimming area between for the fish. With 60lbs of live rock should I keep the bio-balls in my trickle filter or remove them and go with a 100 micron sock?  >>Um, you lost me here mate. How is it that bioballs and the sock are interchangeable? They each do different things; the bioballs being a substrate for the benthic nitrifying bacteria to attach to, the 100 micron sock is purely a mechanical filter. Lots of folks would tell you to go with the live rock only, but I won't in this case because 60lbs., in my opinion, won't be enough without other forms of biological filtration, skimming, and nitrogenous conversion (oxidation). So, in a nutball, keep the bioballs, be sure to use (and CLEAN religiously.. every week or two) a mechanical filter such as a pad or sponge to keep them as detritus-free as possible. If you're considering a refugium (and you might wish to), then you could nix the bioballs in favor of a deep sand bed and macroalgae to handle nutrient export. You'd need more live rock in that case, too, more on the order of 1lb./gallon to start with.  >Here is my intended bioload:  Current -  1 pygmy angel  1 candy hogfish  1 juvenile Yellowstripe maroon clown  1 serpent star  5 turbo snails  >would like to add -  4-5 green Chromis  1 juv Pomacanthus angel (prob. Koran or 6 bar)  1 lyretail Anthias  pair of false Percs  couple more snails and serpent star and a bc shrimp.  Either way I intend to add an efficient protein skimmer to the sump perhaps the Urchin pro from AquaC. Thanks in advance, Mike H.  >>Ok, great addition with the skimmer, AquaC makes good ones from what I read and general feedback. I would seriously reconsider adding so many Chromis and the Anthias. This is due to the ultimate adult sizes of the Maroon clown (which I would expect to harass the ocellaris clowns, so reconsider those as well), the hogfish, and the Pomacanthus. If your heart is set on so many damsels, then definitely leave out the Anthias and the ocellaris, or the angel. The inverts add a negligible bioload. You certainly could add, instead of the Anthias and ocellaris, fairy or flame wrasse (Cirrhilabrus spp.), neon gobies (which would act as cleaners and remain VERY small), or a Basslet, Gramma, or Pseudochromis (among the last additions). You haven't mentioned quarantine, so I will-30 days MINIMUM. Marina 

I Want More Fish.. Mother May I? >Hi, >>Hello. >I am a bit concerned as I was wondering if it would be ok to introduce another fish to my system, which currently has 1 Copperbanded butterfly 3 inch, 1 regal tang 2 inch, 1 ocellaris clown 1.5 inch and 1 Potter's angel fish 2 inch.  I originally had 2 clowns which I introduced on the 12th of September, but unfortunately one died after being sucked up the powerhead.  Then I introduced a regal tang on the 12th October which took the place of the other clown.  Then a Potter's angel fish on the 14th of October and a Copperbanded butterfly fish on the 31st of October. >>Oh my goodness, you're introducing WAY too many fish WAY too quickly, with not one mention of quarantine. >Will it be ok to introduce a cleaner wrasse about 1.5 inches into this tank as long as I do a 120 percent water change before I introduce it? >>NO!  You have yet to mention the SIZE of this system, let alone your water parameters, filtration, etc., etc., etc.  Even assuming ALL of that is in line, you would have to have an exceedingly large and well-stocked system to properly house (read: FEED) a cleaner wrasse.  Think THOUSANDS of gallons, with fully grown groupers, bass, tangs, triggers (we're talking many, many FEET of fish here).  The ONLY successful situations I've seen for cleaner wrasses were (all public aquaria here) in systems on the order of 50,000 gallons (yes, fifty thousand), stocked with many and sundry LARGE fishes.  I'm not going to get into the issues you're creating with your current stocking levels and methods, but I will beg and implore you to PLEASE research ALL animals before adding them.  And *then*, PLEASE quarantine, 30 days MINIMUM.  There is much to read on this site regarding basic quarantine procedures.  Marina

Stocking Question (No, not a Lady's) >Hello WWM Staff, >>Hello. >I asked a stocking question a few days ago and got a same day reply. >>Yes, unfortunately the person who answered you didn't sign their response, so I have no idea who it was! >Your site is absolutely wonderful and incredibly helpful. I have the same stocking question however let me ask it in a different way as I am still not completely clear. I have had a 29gal freshwater tank for 10 successful years but no marine. I will set up a 90AGA FOWLR with twin predrilled overflows, 135 lb LR, 1" aragonite bed and a 30gal sump with refugium and skimmer (no wet/dry).  Here is my wish list of fish, can you give me your best suggestion of the happy combination that will lead to a long-lived and compatible community? >>I'll try. >The following list is in the order of personal preference.  Which combination works best trying to follow my order of preference? I must have 2 semilarvatus One Purple Tang (Zebrasoma) One Maroon clown (you last told me not the best choice and I am ok with that) Could/should I have a shoal of fish like any Chromis or damsels? One Anthias, (lyretail, or sunburst, or?) I understand that these are a little hard to care for >>Yes, I'd leave it till you're much more well-seasoned (but not like meat). >One Clown Fairy Wrasse (your last suggestion was to keep a med sized wrasse). >What is your opinion of the best overall combination and choice? I also realize that there is no room for the entire list and that a shoal of Chromis would not be compatible with the Anthias etc. >>The Chromis wouldn't have any issues with the Anthias, other than competing for foods.  Damsels are going to be much more easily fed as well, for a "shoal", the Chromis will be best.  Don't make it any more than 3 fish, though, as a 90 gallon is going to be pushing it for the butterfly and tang (in terms of space and all).  If you MUST have the butterflies (blue cheek), then I strongly suggest you choose between that pair (I'm honestly not too sure a pair would work well here, if it were me, I'd go with one only), OR the tang with another open-swimming fish that doesn't get too large (6" or less).  If you go with one C. semilarvatus and the Purple tang, you'll be doing well.  The Fairy wrasse would be compatible.  You could also add neon gobies, a group of three or so would not add a great deal to your bioload, and they often act as cleaners for larger fishes.  The Maroon has aggression issues, but could work for you, place in tank DEAD LAST, though. >I will follow your suggestions.    >>Well, they're just suggestions. >May I write again? >>Of course you can! >Thanks again, Mike G >>Hope this has clarified for you.  Marina

-Fish selection- Yes, another fish selection inquiry, you know you guy's love them :-D. <Yay! Better safe than sorry!> Any-who current tank occupants and setup info..... 50 Gal. FOWLR, 4" DSB, Fluval 203 canister filter w/ Aquanetics UV sterilizer, CPR BakPak II, (2) 301 powerheads, (1) 201 powerhead, (1) 802 powerhead, all of them submerged in live rock for circulation, (1) H.O.T. Magnum. <Why so much mechanical filtration and the UV? You may want to consider removing some of that.> Current tank occupants are as follows, (1) tank raised percula clown, (1) flame angle, (1) blue dot puffer.  How many more fish could I get away with and what would be wise to go with......... I know what your thinking and don't say it, I don't want a Royal Gramma ;) too common. <Too common? Ok Mr.. percula clown owner!!!>  I'd like to get a tang in their but I don't think I have adequate space for one, any suggestions would be welcome. <Nah, the tang is a little much for this system. Some things that come to mind: A few green Chromis, pair of Firefish, pair of tank raised neon gobies (beautiful, fun, and functional!), solorensis fairy wrasse, pistol shrimp and shrimp goby pair, maybe a royal Gramma? :) Hope this gives you some ideas. -Kevin>  thanks Kevin

Stocking A Small System... To who may concern, <Scott F. here today!> My name is Carlos. I just started a 20 gallon reef tank. I have 30 lbs of live sand and one live Fiji rock!  How many lbs I don't know. I'm running a Penguin 330 bio wheel filter, and running a Berlin airlift protein skimmer. Is this good enough for my tank? <If you pay close attention to maintenance and husbandry, and don't overstock, then you should do fine with these systems. Be sure to regularly change/replace the filter media in the Penguin, to avoid having nutrients accumulate in the tank> Right now, I have 2 Condylactis anemones! <Great anemones (if there is such a thing) to start with, as long as bright lighting and high quality water conditions are maintained> Right now, I'm using a 65 watt actinic and a 65 watt 10,000k straight pin compact fluorescent lamp. Is this good enough light? <Well, I'd try to squeeze in a couple more lamps in there, if possible. Among other things, anemones require intense light to live long healthy lives> Another question that I have is what kind of fish can I add to my tank with these kind of anemones? Please respond. Carlos <Well, in your tank, small is beautiful. I'd suggest a fish or two like gobies, Pseudochromis, etc. Yes, in a small tank, the anemones do present a danger...Most fishes seem to have an innate sense that the anemone is trouble, and will avoid them- but accidents do happen. Something to consider. If you were thinking about Clownfishes, they will be fine in such a tank, but there is little likelihood of them associating with Condylactis anemones, as these anemones are not known to host Clownfishes in the wild. Have fun using the many resources on the WWM site for possible tankmate selections! Regards, Scott F>

Stocking a 45  11/5/03  Hi, firstly I would like to congratulate you on your fantastic site, my number 1 source for information.  <thanks kindly my friend>  I am hunting a copy of your book as we speak.  <many places to get it online. Seek them here if you care to have a signed copy:  https://secure.wetwebmedia.com/order_form.jsp>  I am a saltwater newbie, and would like to ask you your opinion on my planned fish, all relatively easy to care for. My tank is 45 US Gallons, (90cm by 38cm by 50cm) and I have a Fluval 404, Turboflotor Multi SL and a Tronic 200W heater, and am beginning the cycling process with 44lbs of live rock.  <all a very good start>  I have 50 watts of NO fluorescent, as I have no interest in corals or anemones.  I would like:  2x Percula Clown  1x Firefish  1x Royal Gramma  1x Flame Angel (After I have gained experience and my live rock has established itself. At least 6 months)  1x Lysmata amboinensis  1x Lysmata wurdemanni  <reasonable indeed... add the angel last as it will be the meanest>  From what I have read Starfish are very sensitive, so I'm leaving them at the store in the near and mid future.  <correct... your tank is not big enough t o support most stars... although a brittle or serpent would be fine>  Is this overstocked?  <nope>  Are the fish and shrimp compatible?  <yep>  Sorry for the barrage of questions, I just don't want to become the fishy grim reaper.  <no worries mate... all good>  Thanks for your help. Tom  <I wish you the very best of luck! Anthony>

Stocking a 55! (11-7-03)  Hello <Howdy, Cody here today.>WWM, I am considering adding another fish to my 55 gallon. Right now I have a 3" yellow tang, tomato clown, and 2 domino damsels. I really would like to add some type of lionfish I know most would outgrow my tank pretty quick but I am planning on upgrading in the next year or so. After reading about lions on your site I understand one probably wouldn't be the best idea. Could you give me some advice on what would be a good selection to complete my 55 until I can upgrade.<You could try one of the dwarf lions but depending on the size of the other fish they may become food. Other wise I would go for something like a Basslet or smaller wrasse. There are also the dwarf angels or dwarf puffers, such as the blue spot that could make a good addition. Cody>Thanks a lot- Grant  Stocking a 90! (11-7-03)  Hi crew.<Howdy, Cody here today.>  I'm in the stocking process now on my new tank and would like some input from you.   About my tank first:  Its a 90 Gallon with about 100 LBS of Live rock. 6" DSB, 30 Gal sump underneath.  about 750GPH return lines. and a 300GPH powerhead in the lower part of tank  close to the sand.  The hood has 2 CF 65W, one white light one blue light on each bulb.   I keep the SG at about 1.025, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and about 10 nitrate.  Bi weekly water changes of about 5 gallons.  The tank took about 6 weeks to cycle. I waited another two before adding the  first fish.  Which was about a 1.5" yellow tang. Ya, I know I started a little backwards, but I can re- quarantine if there is any aggression.  A month later I added two 1" ocellaris.  It's been almost another month so with all water parameters staying at zero and all the fish doing well.  I think I'm ready for a new addition.  I was thinking a small group of green Chromis.... 3 or 5? Are there any other small schooling fish that would go well in my tank.?<None that I can think of that would be appropriate for this size of tank.>   I also was looking at a neon goby or two at some point. Would both these types of fish do well with the tankmates I have? <They should be fine. They are awesome little fish that earn their keep through their cleaning services.>  Do you have any other suggestions for types of fish that could come later?  The last addition I would like would be some type of puffer. Are there any  that would be good for a 90 gallon tank for the next 5 years? <As far as a puffer goes there is the dwarf variety such as the blue spot that should do just fine. You can read more on them the WWM site. Cody>  Thanks for your time and input.  I read your FAQ's every day.  Bill  Stocking a 90 - Mike's Answer Hi crew.  I'm in the stocking process now on my new tank and would like some input from you. About my tank first: Its a 90 Gallon with about 100 LBS of Live rock. 6" DSB, 30 Gal sump underneath. about 750GPH return lines. and a 300GPH powerhead in the lower part of tank close to the sand. The hood has 2 CF 65W, one white light one blue light on each bulb. I keep the SG at about 1.025, 0amonia, 0nitrite. and about 10nitrate. Bi weekly water changes of about 5 gallons.  The tank took about 6 weeks to cycle. I waited another two before adding the first fish. Which was about a 1.5" yellow tang. Ya, I know I started a little backwards, but I can re quarantine if there is any aggression. A month later I added two 1" ocellaris. Its been almost another month so with all water parameters staying at zero and all the fish doing well I think I'm ready for a new addition. I was thinking a small group of green Chromis.... 3 or 5? Are there any other small schooling fish that would go well in my tank.?  <hi Bill Green Chromis is the way to go they are the only ones that I have found that really school and stay at a small size I would add more than 5 try around 9-11 they will stay together a lot more >  I also was looking at a neon goby or two at some point. Would both these types of fish do well with the tankmates I have?  <yes>  Do you have any other suggestions for types of fish that could come later?  < look threw books a great book to pick up for fish is Scott Michael MARINE FISHES>  The last addition I would like would be some type of puffer. Are there any that would be good for a 90 gallon tank for the next 5 years?  <Toby puffers stay small>  Thanks for your time and input.  I read your FAQ's every day. Bill  <thanks for the question Mike H> 

The Ubiquitous Stocking and Filtration Questions Dear Fish Gurus, <Hello! Ryan with you this afternoon> Been studying for almost 1 year (yes.. a long time for sure but it does seem that a twinge of insanity is almost a prerequisite to becoming a marine aquarist)<Ha!> and am nearly ready to take the marine plunge.  I have read A LOT and I will say that Bob's Book and your site are probably the best sources of this type of information available.  I have read all the top authors and looked at hundreds of web sites and yours is by far the most informative well maintained, readable, and useful. <So glad to hear that we've helped!  These FAQs are truly priceless, I refer to them daily as well.>   I will set up a FOWLR using nice equipment (as per your opinions - Iwaki, AquaC, Hamilton pc's, lots of factory drilled holes, 1" plumbing, quality LR etc). I have 10 years successful experience with cichlids in a 29 gal with under gravel. Bear with me for a moment as I ask you to take a leap of faith and assume that I will employ "conscientious" and careful husbandry. <Leap of faith assumed... ;)  > My question then is one of stocking and filtration. <Fire when ready> The 90 gal AGA with 2 predrilled overflows will have 120 lbs. LR and a 25 to 30 gal sump. I will stock with 2 Semilarvatus, 5 blue reef Chromis (Chromis cyanea) and a yellow striped maroon clown. Fully grown should be around 40" of fish and probably a few inches less. Can I use a sump/refugium with no wet/dry - no bioballs - (this is my inexperienced preference) to handle the filtration, or being a FO tank, am I better off adding an Amiracle wet/dry to the mix? <No, I like the idea.  Live rock is truly the best marine filter, and the only complete filter.  If you went with bio-balls, you'd constantly battle nitrates unless carefully monitored.  Fill up that tank and sump with live rock, get some good live sand to establish a healthy bed.> Second question is almost the same as above with a slight twist. I REALLY would like to add a purple tang (Zebrasoma) to the community as well. This brings the fully-grown population up to about 48" of fish (a little over your general guidelines for stocking maximum). Is this inconsiderate to the other fish, and if not, can I use the sump/refugium only or am I better off adding the wet/dry due to the increase in bioload? <90 gallons is pretty tight quarters for this fish once grown.  Remember, this fish can be as large as a dinner plate in the wild!  If you're really intent on getting this fish, he'd do much better being with fewer neighbors.> Lastly, since having the tang is good for algae control, (and again I love this fish) would the tank do better keeping the tang and eliminating either the clown or the 5 blue reef Chromis and if that is a yes, which would be a happier environment - without the clown, or without the Chromis? <My opinion: Eliminate both, add a more interesting tankmate.  Chromis is a true reef-fish, you don't have corals to protect here.  Maroon clowns can be territorial, and may be downright mean with time.  My choice for your tank?  A medium sized wrasse.> I thank you in advance and praise your collective efforts. Your site has become a cornerstone to the hobbyist's quest for informed opinion and I am sure your efforts have a positive and measurable effect on the marine life here on earth. <Now I'm just blushing!  Best of luck, Ryan> Mike Grossman If you wish to publish this letter you have carte blanc to edit as you deem appropriate.

- Gas Bubble Disease? Restocking after Tragedy - Howdy y'all! I recently lost a 5" Saddleback Butterfly, 3" Coral Beauty Angel, 4" Lyretail Anthias, and a 3" Firefish Goby. <I'm sorry to hear of your losses.> I moved about a month ago and went from a 55g that had been running for a year to a 125g. The move went rather well, and I managed to have the 125 running for a week prior and moved all the water from the 55g into the new tank along with LR and the inhabitants. All the critters were doing super UNTIL last week when  I started running a sump I created using an old 50g with acrylic dividers that created a sump and refugium area. From the start my tank was filled with micro-bubbles. I spent all that day attempting to correct the problem, and did to a certain degree I thought by the time the lights turned off. Low and behold the next day the bubbles were back with such a fury there was barely 6" of visibility in the tank. After another day of trying to correct the problem I succeeded, but I believe it was too late. Within 5 days I lost 4 fish with the Butterfly holding out the longest. All fish showed rapid gill movement, frayed fins and a slight bloating of their entire bodies. I am assuming this was GBD and not poisoning from something in the sump, as both my shrimp survived and molted a week later (it was due) and my Bar Goby also made it through and seems to be doing fine although a little shy lately. <For GBD you should also see actual bubbles that look as if stuck to the fish, these are actually gas bubbles under the skin.> I let all the PVC cure over 24 hours and rinsed it thoroughly...any ideas? <My guess is combined stress along with perhaps too much 'air' in the form of bubbles complicated things in the tank, in a way rarifying the water making it difficult to breath, but perhaps not the actual gas bubble disease.> While still in mourning I have begun to plan the restocking of the tank and would either a Passer Angel or Maculosus Angel as the centerpiece. I'm really at a loss for what other medium/small species I should be considering. <Many choices.> It's a 125g with Tunze skimmer, 75lbs of LR, 50g sump contains mechanical/chemical filtration and 25g fuge with 4" DSB and various algae. No wet/dry or other biological at this time. Was considering adding another 50lbs of LR or getting some type of wet/dry system within the next few months. What might you recommend? <Go for the live rock, skip the wet/dry.> Thank you very much for your time, you guys are such a tremendous help! E <Cheers, J -- >

Go Fish (Stocking A Tank) Hi Scott <Hello again!> How about this combination? If I go with the full-sized lion but bought small not big. I do know that it will get pretty big. <Yep, they do...!> How about combining it with a yellow tang preferably the same size and a dwarf angel, that's it. <I still fear for the dwarf angel in the long run....> Do you think that could work? I'd say my tank is around 300 litres. <I'd feel a lot better about the proposition if you were going with a dwarf lion species...> What about skipping the lion and going for a Koran angel as my centre piece. <A great fish, but I wouldn't start a potentially huge fish like the Koran in anything less than a 600 litre tank. Too many potentially large fish are purchased by hobbyists who have tanks that are inadequate to accommodate to keep the fish for its entire life span. Please don't be one of them- you're too good a hobbyist to do that! Lots of people buy these kinds of fish and place them in smaller tanks because they will get that big tank "someday". Unfortunately, "someday" doesn't happen, and the fish lives a miserable, short life in a tank that's too small...The "fish will grow to the size of the tank" theory forwarded by some hobbyists is a bunch of fish feces, if you ask me...Don't fall for that one either. Think of how it would feel to live the rest of your life in your living room, even if football was on TV year round, and you had an endless supply of chips and beer...Not good! Ok- rant over...LOL> Or maybe going with a dwarf Lion and a Koran could I still get the yellow tang and dwarf angel in there. <Final offer- Dwarf Lion, Dwarf Angel, and Yellow Tang...I'm a lousy negotiator, but I'm pretty good at stocking fish tanks..> That would obviously be my limit. Damsels are nice but I don't want a tank resembling a Malawi tank as that was my previous set up. <I hear ya! They can get a bit crazy..> One more question: When setting up my marine tank can I use normal tap water? <You mean, for source water and mixing salt water? If so, you can use regular tap water if it doesn't have excesses of metals, chemicals, nitrates, etc. . You may need to use some kind of pre-conditioning, like RO/DI, carbon filtration, etc. to make acceptable water...Check with your local fish store regarding water pre-treatment needed in your area> The tank is going to be cycled for a while once set up as I am gonna be adding my live rock rather slowly and only once I feel that I have enough live rock in there will I be considering fish. <Good to take things slow...The hobby is a lifetime passion- no sense in rushing things!> Thanks Again for your very valuable info. Regards, Ziad Limbada <Glad to be of help, Ziad! I'm sure that you'll do it right! good luck! Regards, Scott F>

A Fellow Fish Geek! To the Good Folks at WWM: <Scott F. your (good?) folk tonight!> Love the newest book so far (as well as the "old" CMA). <They write some good stuff, heh?> Here's my current situation: 55 gallon AGA (48x13x20), 13 months in operation 130W PC 42 lbs. LR (adding small amounts over time) 4" DSB (150 lbs. of Southdown Play Sand) AquaC Remora Pro Skimmer (a wee-bit loud for a living room) 2 opposing power heads 1-False Percula Clown - (Amphiprion ocellaris) 1-Orchid Dottyback - (Pseudochromis fridmani) 1-Fire Goby - (Nemateleotris magnifica) 1-Cherub Angel - (Centropyge argi) 1-Emerald Crab - (Mithrax sculptus) 2-Peppermint Shrimp - (Lysmata wurdemanni) X-snails and hermits (about a dozen total) 10%-weekly water changes (keep falling behind on 5%-2x) <Hey- the thought is there...good job!> In 29gal QT: 1-Twinspot or Yellow Candy Hogfish (Bodianus bimaculatus) Below are some desirable species.  I value your opinion about the possibilities: 1-Neon or Gold Neon goby - (Gobiosoma oceanops or G. randalli) 1-Sixline Wrasse - (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) 1-Flame Wrasse - (Cirrhilabrus jordani) My specific questions are as follows: 1. can I have it all? <Love, career, money, happiness? Hmm...As far as all of the guys on your fish wish list- not in my opinion. I like the mix of little colorful fishes you have chosen so far! And, for that matter, I like the fishes on the wish list, too! But you don't want to over do it in this tank...I'd stop with the neon goby or the sixline wrasse-one or the other- and enjoy the colorful and interesting mix that you'll have created> 2.Can I get a few gobies in hopes that they pair off and mate? <It has been done many times...Best to try them in a small, dedicated tank if breeding is your goal..> 3. If yes to #2, is it possible for surviving spawn in this tank, or do I need to do this in my QT when it is empty? <A dedicated tank and grow out system would do the trick. Look for some of the works of Martin Moe for lots of insight on the art and science of raising larval fishes...> 4. Can I get a Flame Wrasse pair? <Can you afford a larger tank?> 5. If yes to #4, have they been known to spawn in aquariums? <I am not aware of any successful spawnings in captivity- but it may have happened, and will, in all likelihood happen in the future> 6. If yes to #5, any "child" flame possibilities? <Set up a deducted tank and make the dream happen!> 7.Do generally all spawning fish need their own tank to make it to maturity? <It's much easier to meet te feeding and husbandry demands of larval fishes in a deducted system set up for their specific needs. In my opinion, it would be almost miraculous for a larval fish to make it to adulthood in a typical mixed display or reef tank> 8. And lastly (thanks for reading this far), I read something Bob wrote saying basically that the aquarium hobby sheds 90% of it's hobbyists inside of a year. Now that I am passed 13 months(!), does that put me in elite company ;)? <Just being a dedicated, compassionate, and enthusiastic fish geek puts you in a pretty elite (or weird, depending on who you hang with) group of people! Keep growing in your hobby and sharing with others, and I'm sure that one day you'll be giving a presentation at a MACNA on "Breeding And Rearing The Hawaiian Flame Wrasse"> Thanks for all you guys do, you truly can never know how far your help ripples!  Rich

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