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FAQs about Marine Livestocking 30

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Look... before you leap... or purchase livestock

Stocking rate  9/19/05 I have a 90 gallon new reef tank that is about 5 weeks past the completion of the cycle, and I recently added a Scopas tang and a Kole tang (10 days apart, after nitrites were zero after adding the first). <Careful about two tangs in such a small aquarium (from a tang perspective)>   At the very end of the cycle, I transferred the corals and three small fish from my 30 gal reef into the 90.  The first tang came three weeks later. My buddies in my user group are telling me that I am going "faster than a NASCAR driver" in stocking my tank, and that I should wait two months before adding anything else.  I monitor my water parameters meticulously, and ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all 0.  I have an ASM skimmer and UV, PhosBan reactor and a cleanup crew of about 30 mixed snails and scarlet hermits.  Lighting is 2 250W MH, and my corals include about 100 Zoa polyps, a bubble coral, some clove polyps, and a few small Monti frags.  I wanted to add a sand-agitating fish to help keep the sand bed from crusting up. I test regularly for Ca, pH, , and alk, and use B-Ionic to make sure all are in the middle of the recommended range. While of course I realize it's good to proceed slowly, am I really going at NASCAR speeds here?  If water parameters are as I indicated above, what purpose does the added wait serve in adding another fish and a few more SPS frags? <Biologically the tank can handle it, but as far as species diversity, quickly stocking a tank is a bad thing.  There is definitely something to be said for letting a tank run fishless and 'coral-less' for 3-6 months as far as biodiversity goes.  Most Americans don't like to wait this long, though.  I let my reef tank go without fish and coral for 4 months, and was astounded by the invertebrate diversity.  To answer your question though, you should be ok to add a fish every week or so> John <Michael Maddox> Stocking Level Hi Crew!  <Hello Mark> I'm currently recovering from an ich outbreak. <Learn something new everyday. Didn't think humans could get the disease.>  The only surviving fish was a Percula clown. I have a 55g FO setup. My plan over time is to restock with a Flame angel, Longnose Hawkfish, Sixline Wrasse, Heniochus butterfly, Royal Gramma, and Yellow eye tang. What order would you recommend getting the fish? Also how many fish can be acclimated in a 10g QT at one time? As always, thanks for the outstanding advise and web site!  <Mark, I would replace the tang with something else. The 55 is a little too small for him. Two fish in a 10QT would be my max. Stocking order, IMO, would be, in this order, Heniochus, Hawkfish, wrasse and last, the Gramma. James (Salty Dog)> 

Stocking a 40 (400?) Hello all, Sometimes I just don't know when to leave well enough alone.  I have the following fish in my 400 gallon reef: 1 Foxface (Siganus vulpinis) 1 Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula) 3 Banggai Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) 1 Mandarin Goby (Synchiropus splendidus) 1 Diadem Dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema) I would like to add some additional fish but suspect I am getting to my limit.  I have in mind: 1 Yellowhead Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons) 5-7 Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) 1 Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) I am interested in the jawfish for something that will stir the sand a little and I think their behavior is interesting to watch.  The Chromis I think will give a lot more motion and visual interest to the tank.  The only reason I am considering the wrasse is as insurance for my crocea clam and in case I decide to add additional clams.   Do you think I can get away with adding any/all of these fish (over time).  If only some, which do you think are most appropriate.  How many of the Chromis would you add? As always, thanks for your help and for your great site! >>>Greetings, I'm a bit confused here. If you had a 400 gallon it should be extremely obvious that you're nowhere near your limit as far as fish stocking goes. This leads me to believe you meant to say 40 gallon? If this is the case, you are overstocked in the *extreme* for a tank that size already. If it's really a 400 gallon, you have room for everything mentioned and then some. Also, a sixline wrasse doesn't serve as any sort of insurance for your clam - they don't all eat pyramid snails or even pods to any great extent. The best insurance is to quarantine your animals, and inspect them carefully when purchasing. Cheers Jim<<<

Stocking Level Hiya,  <Hiya?> First off, best site I've found, great job! <Thank you> I still have a problem after reading six books and going all through your website and others. I have a 29 gal tank and intend to get 30lb of live rock, a SeaClone protein skimmer with a 1200 jet pump, Aragamax sand and an air pump with airstone + 20% water change every two weeks. What I need to know is will this be enough circulation, filtration, aeration and room for the following fish;  Ocellaris Clown, Kaudern's Cardinal, Yellow Tail Damsel, Royal Gramma, 2x Dwarf Blue Hermits, Blue Starfish. Please help me as I can't seem to find a specific answer anywhere. Thank you so much for your time.  <Jenny, your total water flow should be around 300gph. On your fish selection....the cardinals are really best kept in groups of three or more.<Tank is too small...RMF> I also would add more hermits than you have listed for a cleanup crew, 15 at least. I would replace the Gramma with a Dottyback, still has nice color but a little smaller (stocking level). All in all, I would keep no more than four or five SMALL in this tank. I have a 29 mini reef and stocked it with two perculas, lawnmower blenny (great algae eater)<Tank is too small for this species as well. RMF>, yellow watchman goby and a orchid Dottyback. James (Salty Dog)> 

-The Fishcapades- Hello, <Hi> My friends and I were going to start up a 75 gallon tank. It is our first marine tank and we wanted to have 4 large-ish fish as well as live rock.  <Ok>  At the moment we were thinking about a lionfish, dog face puffer, yellow tang, and a Niger trigger. Trouble is, I know that the puffer won't get along with the lionfish.  <My friend that is the least of your worries here. Each of the fish you have listed need at least the 75 gallon for themselves before too long, and each will fight for territory as well as pollute the tank with very high levels of waste.>  Even worse, is my two friends are adamant about the puffer, saying (much to my annoyance) "it's so ugly it's great."  <Well I do not know about ugly, but I like them for their odd appearance as well. I am so attached to them, I have kept them for over ten years.>  I, on the other hand, am adamant about a lionfish.  <Very beautiful, however they are not easy fish to care for either. They get quite large most of them and eat and put out tons of waste as well.>  Also, I was wondering what types of lions could we keep in that size tank. I was looking at the bar tailed lion. Thanks! <Unfortunately I was unable to tell what lion you meant by that name. I Googled it and checked fishbase.org to no avail. However, the only lion you can keep in that tank for its lifetime is the Fu Manchu lionfish. This fish is not really a good fish for beginners as it can be very finicky and hard to feed. If you want to keep a puffer or a lionfish I would recommend getting a 120 or 180 gallon tank. Those sizes allow you to keep the puffer and the lion if you wish to full sizes. Along those lines the best lion for a beginner is a Volitans Lionfish, a quite striking fish and fairly easy to care for. As for a puffer, try the Arothron species, as they are easier to care for. If you want to keep them together, I strongly caution you to find a puffer who is very calm and not aggressive. Each puffer has a different personality and some are fine with a lionfish. Good luck with this.> <Justin (Jager)> 

Picking Out fish, yes its Kim again! Maddox gets Cheeky - Girl, you GOTTA Slow Down! Hey guys, I have put off writing for a few days but I just cant help myself!! <I know, I have that effect on most women> I found an orange back bass and before I purchase one I needed more info. I am not able to find a lot about this fish. I know they stay small so I wanted to find out if they could handle being introduced to a 125 with a yellowbar angel and flame angel? [both under 3 inches] I also have the arc eye hawk fish , f. perc. clown, red head fairy wrasse, raccoon butterfly. The 2 I worry about is the angels, especially the yellowbar who is making sure the rest know he is king of the tank! Could I get two orangeback bass? [these would be the last fish] Are they peaceful, aggressive? And are they hardy? Also a question about my Hawkfish. He had been itchy with a couple of white spots here and there that would come and go.. since I got him he has a flesh color, now that I have treated him with quick cure he is now more reddish in color, he looks awesome. why the change? I hope he stays this way. <I need the scientific name of your fish, or at least a different common name - Google and fishbase didn't yield anything of use. If it only attains a few inches as you said, it should be fine, as your angels are tough> Well you should be happy, shortest letter I have ever wrote! <I prefer long, steamy letters actually...um, I mean nothing> Thanks Kim <Sorry I wasn't much help - more info is needed :) M. Maddox> <Kim, again, we kindly ask that you use proper capitalization!>

Oh, We're Picking out Your Fishes for You! Kim's Hotline? Hello M.Maddox, <mmmm> It's 5:00 am here, I just got your e-mail. I didn't realize you were a 24 hour hotline! <Well you know us 21 yr olds...> The name of the fish is Serranus annularis. The angels are being pretty good right now, I had them separated in two separate qt as they were both new and I wanted to add them together. The Mac. has chased off the flame some which amazes me, because from my experience with flames, they are pretty ruthless especially w/ new fish. This is my first large angel, and I see the Mac. will rule the tank. By the way, I have read different opinions, how big will this Maculosus likely get ? I had originally read around 8 or 9 inches. But after I got him of course I read a foot. I really wanted a large angel and I got this one because I thought he would stay a little smaller. I think 9 inches is the biggest I should get for this size tank. If he will reach a foot, how long will it take? I wanted to add either too small or bigger fish for the last fish. Is it possible to add one more sizable fish, such as a tang [that will get 8 to 10 inches] to my 125 long or will it be to crowded in the long run? <This is a Basslet, and according to fishbase will achieve a maximum of 9 centimeters...this guy's not going to get too big for your tank :)> I love tangs, in your opinion, what would be a good tang to add to my mix? thanks for your help as always, <I have a soft spot for the Clown Tang, Naso lituratus, though they get pretty big, I love their coloration. I also like the Achilles tang, Acanthurus achilles. Personal preference, really>  This was a little longer, but I can't help you with the steamy at 5:00 am. <Ah well it was worth a try - and why are you awake at 5am? I had several perfectly good reasons, I swear... ;)> Kim <M. Maddox>  Compatibility Hi, Thank you for answering my question! I would like to set up a marine aquarium of approximately 100 - 150 gallons.  I would like to have the following but am unsure of the compatibility: one T. Crocea or Maxima (Giant clam) one Snowflake Moray Eel one Arrow crab one Blue lobster (or other type if recommended) one Lionfish - any specific type? one Starfish I am open to suggestions several Shrimp I am open to suggestions I am open to any suggestions/changes you recommend. Will the Eel try to eat anyone The lobster is an eating machine... can I expect it to eventually eat the clam, shrimp, crab, eel, or starfish?  Who might eat the clam? With the lobster and crab, will I be able to have any corals or plants or will those be a problem? Will the lionfish eat the shrimp, arrow crab, or eel?  Thanks for your help! Eric  <Eric, I will attach a link for you to do some research on the animals you wish to keep. This will answer most if not all of your questions. http://www.google.com/custom?q=compatibility&sa=Google+Search&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com James (Salty Dog)> 

Compatibility Thank you Bob for the response.  <You're welcome, Bob is gone for a while, James here>  When I was speaking of the dragonets and the gobies, you said it needed more space than the refugium. If I put them together in the display tank, which is a FOWLR, will they be too much competition for each other for the pods, <Yes>  ... even with the refugium? Also, my Dottyback, has in the past day or two come out and is fine with the trigger, so that not a problem anymore.  I have three new questions for you that I haven't found answers for. I used to have a flame angel, but became very sick and died. I would like to get another pygmy angel (flame or Lemonpeel) will these be compatible with the trigger? <Should be OK>  I read on your site I can't have both angels in the same tank, so could you let me know which, if any, will be compatible for my tank, and if they both are compatible, what have your experiences been with these fish, because I have heard people say that the flame is more hardy and easier to keep than the Lemonpeel, and I have heard the opposite, so I don't know which is right. <The flame is easier to keep than the Lemonpeel> Also, I have read on you site that people with snails have had problems that the snails have reproduced and now they have many more snails then when they started. I would like to get a cleanup crew for my tank, but I don't want a lot of snails being born. How can I eliminate this issue? <It's nothing to worry about. I've been in this hobby 30 years and I have yet to see a baby snail in any of my tanks.>  [Go with a] different species maybe? Thank you for your responses, they are always appreciated. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Compatibility Follow-up <Hello> I have learned a lot these last few years since I started the hobby, however all I know about salt water systems has not been from experience. <Ok start researching here on WWM you will know tons in no time.>  In other words I'm starting two saltwater tanks with only freshwater experience. <Surprisingly there aren't a lot more to know unless you get into corals and photosynthetic creatures. all the steps are similar just different ranges and tolerances.>  I really know that planning ahead is a must and I feel that I have provided the right set up for these tanks but I'm not sure about stocking. I'm doing a 40 gal. reef and a 60 gallon ... "other" tank. My questions are about the "other" tank. Here are a few inhabitants that I had considered. A small stingray... <No, needs a 240 gallon at least to swim for room to move>  ...two different eels <One would work, two is pushing it.>  ... a trigger <Too small a tank>  ... a grouper <Same> ... a lion fish <Only the small lions, a Fu Manchu and a dwarf would work in that tank. the others all need a 120 to 180.> a lobster or crab of some type... <Yes> ... a porcupine puffer. <Nope, they need that 120-180 too they get 18"= and are very messy. I know I have one > I suppose I would take suggestions if you have any cool ideas for some intriguing livestock that I may not know about. I realize that this is likely to much for 60 gallons but I expect that not all of these would be compatible and therefore I would not be introduced. I was also wondering about what order I should introduce these critters. Thanks for the great site. It's among the best and is comparable with very few. Joshua Mansinon <Well Josh, I would look into wrasses, dwarf angels, and many other smaller fish would do great. even smaller saltwater in adult fish like Green Spotted Puffers would be great for the tank. please research on WWM and Fishbase.org to find sizes and tank recommendations on your fish. As for adding fish into the tank the least aggressive to the most aggressive is how it should be done.> <Justin (Jager)> 

Stocking a Hexagon Tank? Hello WW Crew... < Hi, Blundell here tonight. > A few years ago I moved into a Manhattan apartment that was too small for my 75gall saltwater setup.. this was devastating!! Anyway, recently I've been thinking of getting a 55-75gall hex tank.  This I would have space for, assuming I can fit the filter/skimmer/sterilizer all underneath in the cabinet.  < That is difficult to do. >  I know that these hex tanks are not ideal for marine setups...wider is better. However I was wondering if it was do-able and basically by how much would I have to trim down my fish load compared to a comparable rectangular tank??  < I would stock it like a 30 gal tank, just to be safe. It may be more difficult to set up, but these tanks can certainly look beautiful. >  Clearly it rules out tangs, angels, etc., I know this. I know you guys hate making stock lists for people but a few suggestions would be really appreciated!!  < Anemonefishes and anemones if you have the lights. I'd also think nearly all gobies and blennies would be ideal. >  I was thinking of making a center tower to live rock that would go all the way to the top. This would be fish only to.. ... Thanks so much guys!!!  < If fish only, maybe a species or habitat tank. Something like a live rock tower and a frogfish. Personally I would still rather see gobies and shrimp and things like that. > Rick < Blundell > 

Mixing and Matching! (Stocking Plan) I am fairly new to saltwater aquariums and have had my 55 gal tank (FOWLR [60 lbs. of live rock]) up and running for about 3 months now (1 month problem free). <Cool!> I have done a lot of reading and had settled on what I hope is a good stocking plan. I have one Yellow Tang doing great. I originally planned on adding 5 Blue-Green Chromis, 2 False Perculas, 1 Coral Beauty Angel, and 1 Longnose Hawkfish. Is this plan too much? <Although you chose a nice combination of fishes, I think that this might be a bit too much for a 55 in the long run. I'd eliminate the Coral Beauty and the Hawkfish, for sure, as the CB needs a bit more "range" to work with than this tank can afford, and the Hawkfish could become overly aggressive in this sized tank. The Perculas don't require as much room, and will generally stick to one or two areas in the tank, and the Chromis will (hopefully) school in the upper reaches of the tank.> The second part to my question is where my plan has been tinkered with. Well, it started when I took my wife to the LFS with me to pick up the Chromis I was going to add next and things changed. They did not have any Chromis in and I was going to wait or just add the clowns instead, but my wife was really drawn to the 4-stripe damsels. I did not really want damsels because I have read about their aggressiveness. <A well-deserved reputation> You know it, I gave in and purchased 3 FOR HER!! I am quarantining them right now and have started to think my decision over. Can I just replace the 5 Chromis from my original plan with the damsels or will their aggressiveness ruin the harmony of the tank? <You certainly can do that, but monitor the fish carefully for aggression.> I just want a tank with a variance in color and shape among the fish. Do I have the right idea as far as my plan or is neither the original or the new a possibility?  <I think that you should keep the Tang and Hawkfish if you are thinking of the Damsels...A better, more rough-and-tumble mix, IMO> Sorry about the whole back-story, but thanks for listening. Justin <My pleasure, Justin. Hope you enjoy the tank! Regards, Scott F.> 

Questions on Stocking a 75 Gallon Marine Aquarium Hello, <Hey, Mike G here> Would it be ok to have a Longnose Butterflyfish, Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, Longnose Hawkfish, Flame Angle, and a Maroon Clownfish with A chocolate chip Starfish and a Longspine Urchin in a 75 gallon tank? <If by ok you mean in your fishes' best interests, then sorry, but no. Butterflyfish are difficult to feed, the longnose being one of the harder butterflies in that regard. Dwarf Fuzzy Lionfishes require a tank of their own in most cases, as they have special needs to be accounted for. The stocking scheme you have listed above seems to be a bit on the "heavy" side, in regard to stocking. I see no problem in the combination of the Hawkfish, Angel, and Clown, though. Please see the following links for more information on the species you have inquired about: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/forcipig.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrochirus.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hawkfish.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maroonclnart.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chocchipstars.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/urchins.htm  Hope this helps, Mike G.>

Stocking my 75 gal Hi <Hello> My hovercraft cowfish and silver belly pufferfish died four weeks ago from severe ick, thought it was under control then, boom, in a day both were covered and died shortly after. <Likely just "cycled off"... and what were you using to "treat it?"> They were both real characters, the cowfish would shoot water at me when I went to feed them. The other inhabitants of my tank are 1 Sailfin tang, 1 chalk goby, 2 percula clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp, and a few hardy corals. I was just wondering if you could suggest another fish I could get with some real character, I was thinking maybe a Picasso trigger fish. Some people say they're reef safe, others don't. Or maybe a puffer of some kind or a long horned cow fish (he might go for my corals)? Any suggestions? Thanks for taking time to read this Andy <... How big is this tank? What sort of filtration? Please check your spelling, punctuation when you send us email. Bob Fenner>

Stocking/Moving/Medicating - Kim Strikes Again! Hi everyone, I have a few questions, I will try to make this as short as possible! First, I am cycling a 125 gal. with live rock, live sand, Marineland BioSpira [ no fish decide I don't want to stress out any damsels or Chromis and I don't want parasites in my new tank] I got about 100 lbs of mostly marshal island rock which is all I will get, I want to leave ample swimming room. my [55 had 85 lbs in it, seemed to crowded] anyway, as far as fish, right now I have: 1 false perc. clown 1 small arc eye hawkfish a 4 inch redheaded fairy wrasse a marine Betta [ he will not be going in the 125, I guess I don't need to mention him] in qt I have a small raccoon butterflyfish and a small yellow bar angelfish. I just ordered these guys from dr. foster and smiths live aquaria [ very pleased so far, beautiful fish, r. butterfly ate on arrival!] first question, this yellow bar angel, I had done a lot of reading prior to purchasing her but what I am confused about is how big she will get. I had read in your website about 9 inches in captivity but I saw other places that she will reach a foot. I wanted to stay around 8 or 9 inches as my limit for 1 or 2 fish. I have spoken to rep. at our local zoo who will take the angel for there aquarium exhibit if she gets to be too big for mine . I really hope she stays under 9.  Second, I recently lost my favorite fish, a flame angel due to ich and the fact that when I dipped the fish I forgot to add the tap water cond. all fish pulled through but her [ she was also the only fish to have external signs, the others just flashed occasionally] I have been pretty upset about this, my 55 gal. is not the same without her playing peek-a-boo with me. the point in me getting the raccoon and other angel so soon was that, since the flame always got so aggressive with new fish, I wanted to add the raccoon[ a peaceful fish] and the angel[ to prevent trouble] at the same time as the flame to the 125. Now I have no flame. but I was in a LFS yesterday getting sponge based food for the angel, I don't go to this one as often, too far, anyway they had a beautiful display of fish for sale, the owner had flown to L.A.. and hand picked these fish, <He must be doing OK to fly and pick his own fish.>  all beautiful and healthy looking and there in the last tank was this adorable little flame angel! [ don't worry, I didn't buy her, I didn't think I should put it in the 29 gal. qt with the other angel] BUT, if I can get this store to hold it for a couple of weeks would it be okay to add it in with the other angel [ the yellow bar is maybe 2 or 3 inches] to the 125 gallon tank?  <I think it would be OK.>  next, are you still awake?] <zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz>  I have been dosing the 55 with SeaChem's Paraguard to help with the ich. It has an formaldehyde/ malachite green/ fish protective polymers combo. I am dosing once at around 2 or 3 in the morning [ I read that they tend to reemerge in the wee hours of the morn.] and once during the day. so far so good, the rest of the fish have stayed white spot free but I do not want ich in the 125 so should I medicate them, 1 or 2 fish at a time in a 20 gal. with copper or quick cure before moving them?  <You never want to medicate a fish unless you have to.>  Next [I am sorry, I said I would keep this short. but I have sooooo many questions] my 125 is about 10 steps across the room from the 55. I want to make the transfer as stress free as possible any suggestions on getting them from 1 tank to another?  <I would just net them and transfer, making sure ph, temp, salinity is the same.>  Can I put them all in at once or should I space it out, and if so how many days between fish?  < In a tank your size you should be able to put them in all at once.>  the order I thought to place them if I need to space them out is butterfly, wrasse and /or clown, hawkfish then angel. is this order ok?  <Thinking, maybe you should put the butterfly in first, then add the rest two days later.> and lastly [finally!] <Yay>  on stocking, I would like to get either a square spot or lyretail Anthias. Are these fish too difficult? <I'd lay off of these for a while until you gain a little more experience.>  This is a repeat question, but I wanted to double-check. Could I add either a few more small F. perc. clowns or a couple of wrasses of a different genus to the current clown and wrasse without all hell breaking loose? <Let's slow down a little. Lets see what is going to happen when this transition is done. Concentrate on that right now.> [ my current clown, who I have had for a year beat up her mate so bad after I moved them from a 20 gallon, where they were perfectly happy together, in the 55. I had to finally move then euthanize him he stopped eating [ went to the food but it was like he was blind and couldn't find it] he would either lay on the bottom or swim in constant frantic circles and up an down. I think all the blows to the head caused brain damage] would this meanie of a clown attack some smaller and new clowns if I had a group of them? I do realize their will be some aggression but I don't want to have to euthanize another victim of hers!  <Adding more than one is better.>  One more question then I promise I am done! Would a purple tang be ok with the butterfly and angel, or would that be too many large fish down the road?  <Probably not if this is a six foot tank, but hold off on this also.> I would of course purchase one about 3 inches but I am thinking long term. okay.... I think that's it! I appreciate your time and I value your opinion and help !  Thanks, Kim  <You're welcome, Kim. Kim, my turn to ask you a favor. Would you please capitalize all your "i's"? I think I did about 25 of them. We do have to edit as we read since most of these posts go into the Wet Web Media FAQ's.:):):) James (Salty Dog)> <Marina also kindly requests that, along with proper capitalization, you please use punctuation, brackets and parentheses properly (spacing), as correcting all of these emails you're sending takes a great deal of time.>

Stocking/Moving/Medicating - Kim's Workin' on it! Sorry about the i's I didn't realize. I was just planning my tank. I wont be getting anymore fish for a couple of months, I don't have enough qt tanks! thanks for the stocking advice. Kim <You're welcome, Kim. I'm not upset about the "i's", just makes the job easier and allows more time to answer queries. Good luck with the 125. James (Salty Dog)>

Adding clowns with a clown Hi everyone! I was thinking of some small fish to stock my new 125 after it is cycled. Right now I have 1 female false perc. clown. [ I do have other fish] she was originally housed in a 20 gallon with another f.p.c. that I purchased at the same time. I got a 55 gallon and moved them in it as soon as the water cleared [ at the time I knew nothing about cycling or I would have waited].  They were both frightened at first but after a day started to fight ferociously , after the fighting the female would attack the other anytime it came near or at feedings she would keep him pinned to the ground [kinda sounds like me and my husband he he] she rammed him in his head so many times he began to just lay on the bottom . If he was swimming he swam erratically , fast and in circle patterns. I set up a ten gallon and removed him but he never recovered, I eventually euthanized him. Now for my stocking question that is now going to sound really stupid! I want some other smaller fish to put in my 125.  I am planning a purple tang [ added last of course] and a raccoon butterfly and possible a yellowbar angelfish [size?]. <small>  Right now I have a redheaded fairy wrasse [ going in first] a small arc eye hawkfish and marine Betta [ selling him, he is too slow to get the live food with the hawk and wrasse in the tank]. Like I said I would like to add 2 or 3 small fish also I had considered the candy hogfish but I really love clowns..... sooooo IF I added a few small ones in with my current one what are the chances of a repeat beating? I don't want another murder on my hand so if you don't think it is a good idea I will think of another. While I am asking if clowns wont work could I add another smaller wrasse or two of another genus? I am pushing my luck here aren't I? Thanks for your help. Kim  <Kim, I think you are pushing you're luck right now with the marine Betta being in there with small fish. I would add two clowns and I believe the pecking order will subside, or go with a smaller wrasse or two, the choice is yours. James (Salty Dog)>

S/W Stocking Question Hi crew,  <Hello> I am researching into a possible setup I want to create and would love your opinion. I want a 180 gallon tank, live rock, filter type is undecided as of this date, definitely a protein skimmer, the type of fish I would like are 1 porcupine puffer, 1 Humu Picasso trigger, 1 Bursa trigger and possible a bluefin dwarf angel (Centropyge multispinis), would this be overstocked and will the fish be compatible if added at a young age? Thanks for the help!  <Sounds OK to me, but I wouldn't add the angel until the tank has been up and running at least three months. Keep in mind that this particular angel is not one of the easier ones to keep. They are prone to picking at sessile invertebrates, so if you're thinking about corals etc down the road, the addition of this fish should be thought out. James (Salty Dog)>

Aggressive fish Hi guys, <Chris> Looking for an idea. <Got lots of those> I currently have a 110 gal FO tank, current inhabitants are 24" Snowflake Eel, 6" dog- face puffer, and 7" Volitans Lion.  I had an clown trigger, but unfortunately he went fins up.  I am looking for an aggressive tankmate and pretty well want as mean as I can get, without him killing his tank mates. <Mmm, tough to do... with the animals you have... already established...> I was thinking of a blue- lined trigger. Preferably I would like a shark, but have been told that my tank is far too small to house one <It is> Can you give me any ideas ?  Let me know. Thanks Chris Bourgeois <A more peaceful species of trigger as you mention should work... or maybe a more rough and tumble mid-sized wrasse... would add a bit of color and kinetic action here. A rock-mover or a bird... or... Bob Fenner> 

Fish size and compatibility I recently added a 90g tank (48"x18"x24"). I'm thinking of looking at stocking the tank with some of the aggressive fish that I have avoided in my reef tanks (mostly for their tendency to snack on other non-fish members of the community). I have always loved triggers and wrasses, so that will be my primary concern. My initial and preliminary thoughts with regard to a stocking list would be as follows: Picasso Trigger Lunare Wrasse or a Paddlefin Wrasse To these I would like to add 1 or 2 of the following: Tang of some variety (suggestions?) Angel, presumably a pygmy Clown The clown I would only want to do if it would be likely that he would be able to defend an anemone from the others who might otherwise nip. <A tough choice... if you're going to try this... do place the anemone first, then the clown... and some weeks later the rest of the fishes> I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions regarding the fish above. Also, I'm curious if you think a Pseudochromis porphyreus might work with these fish. <I think so... though smaller, they're smart, and feisty> He is smaller by a goodly margin of course, but I'll be darned if he isn't the meanest little son of a gun and I've read in various places of smaller fish working out if they are sufficiently mean spirited. Ben <Sounds like you've been studying... and your plan is sound. Bob Fenner> 

Stock suggestions for a 220g reef Hi guys, After starting this hobby with a tank I had lying around (50g). I have decided to upgrade, as whenever I go to my LFS I see lots I just can't have! I have recently purchased a 220g ( L72" x W24'' x H30") which I hope to have up and running in about a month.  My current 50g houses: Pair ocellaris clowns Lawnmower blenny Purple firefish 2 x cleaner shrimp 2 x sexy shrimp 2 x peppermint shrimp Porcelain crab Soft corals + feather dusters Snails + hermits The main reason for the upgrade is I [have] a fascination with tangs, and I also want to try some SPS corals.  What do you guys think of adding the following to my existing stock? I would like to stress that they must be compatible with what I have already, especially with the shrimps, as these are a priority: Regal tang Lipstick tang Pajama tang Yellow tang 2 more purple firefish 2 scooter blennies 2 mandarin's bicolor blenny Royal Gramma 2 yellow clown gobies 2 green clown gobies (Gobiodon rivulatus) Coral beauty Pajama wrasse <Do you mean a Cardinal here?> Cleaner wrasse <I'd skip this... won't likely live> Dragon wrasse <Will eat your shrimps> Various more shrimp, 'reef safe' crabs and snails. <Too vague... there are exceedingly few reef safe crabs> Hmmmm sounds a lot of fish when listed! A few questions, is there anything you wouldn't add and why? <You can look these up on WWM> Will the three dwarf wrasse's get along as they are very different shapes/sizes?  Same as above for the tangs? <See WWM> Are there enough larger fish to split the cleaner wrasse's attention, or will it stress them?  Are the clown gobies a little small for the tankmates (they would only be put in after there associated coral)?  Any particular order? Any substitutions, or interesting additions?  Will this many fish cause problems getting enough nutrients to keep the corals happy? (I am undecided what species, still reading!) Thanks a lot for reading guys, I am open to criticism and suggestions, I am aware that I have a lot of questions, but any little input will be appreciated and thanks for providing the site, its an invaluable source. Mark <Keep reading. Bob Fenner> 

Saltwater Mixing o' the Species I have a 75 gallon tank with 2 Aqua Clear power filters, a protein skimmer for a 180 gallon , and 2 inches of Florida crushed coral. I have 2 damsels that are cycling the tank right now, which is a domino damsel and a blue damsel. <Is that all I get? Not a hello? No "how're you doing?" No "can I get you a Frappaccino?" C'mon I'm not living in New York here> I would like to get a cinnamon clown fish, a Yellow long nose butterfly fish, a Sailfin tang, and a Flame hawkfish. I would like to know if they're all compatible with the damsels because I truly love my 2 damsels but I want other fish with them. Would these fish be ok together? If not could you write what fish would be fine with the damsels? <Everything sounds fine, but you may want to educate yourself on the care of butterflyfish before purchasing, as they can be finicky. Also, these emails are archived, so please use correct spelling, capitalization, spacing, and grammar when emailing us> Thank you <At least you said thanks...Maddox> Saltie Setup Advice First, I most say your site has the most real info I have ever seen. I wish I had found it a year ago. I have a 90g 3x2x2 reef tank. <Interesting shape> There are 2 Chromis, 2 clowns, 2 lyretail Anthias, 1 coral beauty and green mandarin. Both of the Chromis were about the same size but after a year one has gotten bigger while the other really hasn't. <Typical... they influence one another thus> Both of them get lightly chased by everybody and the bigger one chases the smaller one from time to time. The smaller one is starting to hide and even the bigger one sometimes. Would adding another Chromis help this? <Perhaps... it may be "too late" in terms of social dynamics here...> The male lyretail, beauty and female clown are standing off on who runs the tank. So far, I would have to say the male lyretail is winning but the beauty surprises me sometimes. Nobody gets hurt, except maybe pride. Would adding another fish like a Basslet, filefish or wrasse be wise? <Again... only can try> I'm thinking a court jester, six line or possum would either compete with mandarin or be too peaceful for this tank. <These should do fine... are reclusive, out of the way> A royal Gramma, black cap or MacNeill's could work. One strange thing, nobody ever messes with the mandarin. <They "taste bad"> The beauty ate a bunch of zoo's that I brought home but not all. The LFS was saying it mite be better to get larger zoo's and he would be less likely to eat them. I would like to setup a FOWLR tank so I could house some of the fish I really like. I'm thinking 6' long maybe 5'. I would like to get a large angel. Queen, Maculosus or imperator. From my reading on your website a tank-raised Mac would be the best. <They are fabulous> Just how mean do the other two get? <Should be "the boss"... can be feisty, but as long as there's room enough, they're in charge... no problems typically> I really would like to get a Sohal tang. Can I setup a tank around one of these? <The Mac would be best here> Please go into detail. My next choice would be a Naso tang. There are some tangs on the market that I see no info on like tennenti, Thompson's scissortail, palani, vlamingii or lavender tang. Hardy? size? will it fit? <Posted on WWM> Other tank mates, red Coris wrasse, golden and/or blackback, dot- dash butterfly, pink tail and/or blue jaw, Huma Huma, Niger trigger. Maybe a dogface puffer. Is there a mellow puffer? Would you put the lyretail's in with this bunch? Coral beauty? How about another smaller angel like swallowtail? Of the and/or's who can we mix? Would I be able to keep shrooms? Sorry about all the ?'s but I really want to know more about this hobby it is so rewarding. Billy <Please use the search tool on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/index.html re these fishes' compatibility, size, livestock selection. Bob Fenner>

Re: Indian yellow tailed angelfish Thanks for your advice. <Sure, no problem.>  I did some more reading and I now am more confused, I also really like the Red Sea purple tang...how are they on that ich magnet scale?  <I would say that they are pretty resistant to ich under the right conditions.> The LFS I shop at will trade in fish if they are not working, or years later if they get to big for the tank. So, I guess that leaves me a little leeway as far as choices. How about the purple or Kole tang and a butterfly fish? neither get a foot long. I think I will stick to maybe 2 fish under 8 inches and no more. What would be a good butterfly for my size tank? Thanks a bunch for your help. Kim <Kim, for the size tank that you mentioned previously (125g) all three of those fish you mentioned can go in the tank. I must say that generally butterflyfish can be difficult to keep long term because they have a specialized diet. (corals and such) The two tangs will get along as long as they are introduced at the same time or the Kole first. The purple can be aggressive once it is in the tank for a while. Good Luck MikeB.>

Taking Stock (Stocking Questions) Hi everyone, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I was just thinking of fish for my new 125 gal. Right now I have: 1 Flame Angel 1 Percula Clown 1 Arc Eye Hawkfish 1 Fourline Wrasse.  I would like to add either a Blackback Butterfly or Raccoon Butterfly and possibly an Indian Yellowtail angel. I have read that these angels are aggressive but I like that they are under a foot long. I don't want a bully in my tank though [the Flame is bully enough!]. If not this angel is there another hardy angel suitable for 125 tank? <In a 125, our choices are somewhat limited. Another Centropyge would be a real challenge. The A. xanthurus (Yellowtail) is relatively peaceful, in my experience, but things can change fast in a tank with an established angel. The fact that this is a different genus helps, but it's no guarantee. I'm frankly a bit leery about adding another angelfish to this sized system.> If you think angels are too big what is your opinion on the Yellow-Eyed Kole Tang? I love these fish, but the guy at the LFS where I bought my tank says to steer clear of tangs [he knows of my battles with my yellow tang, who will be happy to be moved from the 29 he is in to the old 55]. He suggested the Sailfin Tang if I really wanted one. <Wow- two of my favorite tangs. I question the LFS advice to add a Sailfin (which can reach 18" plus in size!) over the Kole (a more modest 5" fish). Yes, like all tangs, they can be susceptible to Ich if stressed, the Kole probably more so than the Sailfin, but I'd go with the Kole anyways. Assuming you can provide a stable environment, quarantine the fish upon acquisition, and are providing the right foods, you can be successful with this fish.> I don't really want an ich magnet but I really love tangs! Your opinion is, as always, greatly appreciated. Thanks, Kim <Well, Kim- I'd be inclined to obtain the Kole, if you are capable of keeping the environmental parameters to his liking. Other thoughts would be some of the more interesting Pseudochromids or some smaller Halichoeres species wrasses, which are colorful, tough, and really interesting. They have great personalities, too - and stay relatively small! Good characteristics for a well stocked system such as yours. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Captive Life Span, Follow-up - Thanks for the quick answer, glad to know I'm not a terrible marine tank keeper, by no means a great one.  <The road is long... journey barely started.>  I have had many a pitfalls along the way and still not more to come I'm sure ( which you of course no yourself). I'm sure I could ask questions upon questions. I know that some don't live long naturally. I was curious mostly about all tangs (blue, yellow, Naso in particular) but good to know that they can live up to 10 or more years some fish. I will use your suggestions of finding more answers on the web but it would be nice if someone could put out a list somewhere a general guideline for all types of marine fish. Just so we can say we have something to say yeah! I must be doing the right things. <I think so... just keep doing what you are doing. Cheers, J -- >

Marine Stocking Plan Hi! I want to start by thanking you for a wonderful website, magazine, and books. I am very happy with the help I have received looking at your site. I am a relative newbie to saltwater tanks. I currently have: 80g FOWLR (50 lbs) 2" sand bed Tidepool 2 Biowheel Filter Aqua C protein skimmer 2 tank bred Ocellaris Clownfish 1 Royal Gramma 3 Peppermint Shrimp Assorted Turbo Snails and Red Legged Crabs I am planning on adding: 1 Yellow Tang 1 Coral Beauty (My LFS said they have not had luck with the Flame Angels) 3 Neon Gobies 1 Diamond or Yellowhead Goby Does this sound reasonable to you? <Very nice choice, but I would go with a Dottyback instead of the Gramma. Royal Grammas can be a little nasty at times.>  Can I add any more fish  <No, I wouldn't>  (I have no room for a larger tank)? If so, do you have any easy to care for suggestions. <Most any of the gobies and blennies are easy to care for.> I have received differing advice from LFSs in my area, and from books. I do not want to buy more fish until I have a complete stocking plan. I appreciate any help you can give me. My fish and tank are currently doing great. <Sharon, when you decide on a fish you might want, do a search on the WWW and gather info about compatibility, environment preferred, etc. This will help you with making the right choice. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you <You're welcome> 

Fu Manchu Lion Fish - Overstock Follow-up Hi Justin, <Hello again> Wow, I am so embarrassed, we were told that our tank was a perfect size to  include these fish in. Although, our triggers are babies, we never knew that we  should not have so many fish in the tank.  <Unfortunately most LFS do not think long term but more of profits and moving livestock.> They have more than enough room to  swim and hide without bumping into anything but I understand what you mean about the waste and such.  <Yes, but whenever buying a fish try to get its adult size so you know whether you can keep it.> We had a plan of getting a larger tank when the shark grew a little more, I now realize we are going to have to do it sooner than we thought. <Also the cat shark will be picked on by the puffers and the trigger perhaps. Also the triggers may go for the lion's spines, so I would definitely keep a close eye on that.>  Thank you for your prompt response and advice, no one ever told us that these fish would overstock our tank. The most upsetting part is that we purchase all of our fish at the same place. Thanks Heather and Overstocked Gang <It is ok, at least you are responsible enough to do the right things and to be honest in not knowing. definitely make sure with that cat shark that it is on a non-coarse substrate or it will get its under belly skin scraped off and get infected. If you do the water change with a gravel vacuum have some bio-Spira or another bacterial colony product to cycle a tank incase you disrupt the cycle. but please move quick as the tank is crashing or will very soon regardless of fish size, they still make tons of waste.> <Good Luck> <Justin (Jager)>

Tank Mate for Eel Hi there, <Hello> Good day to you. I've a 55g FOWLR tank that's been running fine for 3 months now. I've a 12" zebra moray, 2" porcupine puffer and a medium sized red hermit crab. <That puffer will get quite large and need a much larger tank.> All are doing fine though the eel tried to eat the hermit at first. I got the hermit a large round hard shell which he moved into and the eel can't get to it now.  <That is normal, both the eels and the puffer eat crabs, snails and other inverts normally in the wild.> The porcupine puffer is eating well but is always at the bottom in a corner. It doesn't swim around at all. Why's that?  <well they are wild caught and they are ambush predators mostly in that they hide and wait for food to come to them.> Anyway, I'd like to get one more colorful and active fish for the tank. I understand that it may be overstocked so I'm willing to trade the shy puffer away. What fish would you suggest? Thanks in advance for your advice. Desmond <A wrasse like the 6 line would work as well as damsels and or a clownfish, a hawkfish or a dwarf angel is also a good candidate. As for the puffer it will get very large, but to help it swim around more you can try rearranging the rock in the tank to be move a series of caves and overhangs, they like to hunt and search through areas so that might entice it to swim around more, though they are nocturnal fish so late evening is when they swim around the most. Justin (Jager)> 

Sick fish/LFS: From " Sick Fish in Treatment, Part 5 "  Sorry me again. I forgot to tell you I also got a better filter and a protein skimmer for my tang, a Berlin air protein skimmer, but its something. I spent more $$ to get a nice Berlin for my main display. My CPR BakPak is not filling up as much and I know I have more waste than that. I forgot another disturbing observation. Recently I have noticed a lot more visibly ill fish at 3 different stores I frequent, some with sores others with white patches itching. I had not noticed so much of this before. I don't know if I am maybe paying more attention or what. I even brought it to their attention, one store did remove a fish that I pointed out that was turning around and upside down and then laying on the bottom. I don't think displaying fish in such condition is good for sales and I don't see why they put fish with obvious skin infections on display. If the person buying has eyes they can tell something is wrong but if new to this hobby maybe a little naive. Another store had a full tank of damsels one of them dying and the others biting at him, the poor guy had chunks taken out of him. He removed it when I pointed it out. I am starting to feel like the fish police! I don't care what they think, I can't stand to see things like that. If I had the funds to set up my own store I would do things different. I would have another area set up in case I received sick fish so that they could be treated. Why risk infecting other fish. and how could anyone with a conscious sell them in this condition? I guess its all about the $$$$.  Thanks for being here to let me voice my frustrations.. have a great day, Kim  <Kim, what you describe is not uncommon among LFSs. The best thing you can do is not shop at those particular shops until the owner corrects problems you have noticed. In my 30+ years in the hobby, I have only visited two stores that actually quarantine new arrivals. The extra cost and time involved in quarantining just takes away from the net profit and most LFSs just aren't willing do it. James (Salty Dog)> 

-Mixing Fish with inverts and corals.. Expensive snacks?- Greetings and Salutations WWM, <Hello, Justin at your service> Bob, I have a 72 gallon tank with a butterfly fish (threadfin), Trigger Picasso and a Lionfish (Spotfin). I would like to add some cleaner shrimps and perhaps some crabs or snails. Is this possible? Can you suggest something? Also can we add some coral in there without the inhabitants destroying them? Thanks Sincerely, Chris J. Gallant  <Well the Picasso triggers are known as all triggers for sampling inverts and generally seeing them as a good snack, as the trigger's teeth are strong enough to break thin shells and break into the inverts' soft flesh. I have only been successful with hermit crabs as their shells are too hard to get into. It depends on its personality but the lion may also eye them as a snack as well though that's less likely. As for corals I would say that it is dicey because the threadfin butterfly has been known to pick on and eat some corals and anemones. If you really want to try I would buy some frags of the corals you want and put them into a q/t tank with the butterfly and watch them over a week or so. This ensures that it will not pollute your main tank if it is torn apart and that you don't waste a lot of money on an expensive snack. Hope this helps. Justin (Jager)>

Establishing my live stock plan... Hello Mr. Fenner, I wrote to you recently with questions regarding DSB and refugium. The appliance person comes next week to drill the overflow and install the sump and I am now reaching the final step before starting to cycle my tank (90 gal, 4" sugar fine DSB, 100 lbs LR, Chaeto). Now I have been reading about live stocking and would very much like to have your impressions and recommendations regarding my "plan". We are going to try to avoid sand-sifting animals and favor sand-stirrers instead (with the notable exception of the mandarin...). So here is what I am leaning to: These four fishes: 1 Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) 1 Ocellaris Clownfish - Tank Bred (Amphiprion ocellaris) 1 Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica) 1 Yellow Tang - Hawaii (Zebrasoma flavescens) Plus two among these, most probably the two firsts (green goby and damsel): Three Spot Domino Damselfish (Dascyllus trimaculatus) <Mmm, I would skip the Dascyllus... gets too big... too feisty here> Clown Goby, Green (Gobiodon atrangulatus) Spotted Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera) Kaudern's Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) Jawfish, Yellowhead (Opistognathus aurifrons) Red Head Goby (Gobiosoma puncticulatus) -Are the gobiidae or any fish in my list sand-sifting animals (apart from the mandarin)? <Mmm, the Jawfish will dig, sift some> A selection of the following hermits. Maybe simply one of each, or according to your recommendations: Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab (Clibanarius sp.) Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab (Paguristes cadenati) Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab (Clibanarius tricolor) Electric Blue Hermit Crab (Calcinus elegans) Staghorn Hermit Crab (Manucomplanus varians) -What is your position on hermits in a reef system with DSB. Mr. Shimek is "against" the use of hermits. <I am of the same opinion here as RonS> Which species do you recommend and in what numbers? <Few... you have listed some of the better/best...> -I don't want the cleaning crew to deplete the plankton/micro-fauna resources... Are the species of hermits I mentioned sand-sifting animals? <No> Crabs: 1 or 2 Porcelain Crab (Petrolisthes sp.) 1 Strawberry Crab (Liomera sp.) <Mmm, am curious as to these crab selections... Do you intend to stock an anemone for the Porcelains?> Shrimps (possibly one of each): 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) 1 Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) 1 White Spot Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) Stars: 1 Marble Sea Star (Fromia sp.) or 1 Red Sea Star (Fromia milleporella) or both? <Good choices... you could have both> -Any other species you would recommend? Again, I don't want them to deplete micro-fauna. Are they contra-indicated? <Best to start with some to all that you list... not all at once... and add a few more as the months go by> A selection of all/some of these snails: Cerith, Abalone, Nassarius, Super Tongan Nassarius, Nerite, and Banded Trochus. Plus 2-3 Harlequin Bubble Sea Slug (Haminoea cymbalum) <Mmm, I am also not a big fan of snails... you can have some of all of these if you'd like... Better to develop a routine that limits excess nutrients, a strategy for their removal/concentration in photosynthates... chemical filtration, stripping... rather than getting too/very involved in purposeful "cleaner uppers"> -Here I would really like to know what species you recommend and in what approximate amount, please. And: 1 Electric Flame Scallop (Lima sp.) <Am sure you've seen my opinion re this species... I wish it were not offered in the trade> 1 Crocea Clam, Super Colored (Tridacna crocea) 1 Feather Duster 1 Bulb Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor), tank bred. And last but not least: a combination of corals (soft and stony). -Should I add one/some brittle star? They all seem to get large (10" and more) and I don't like them to much, but seems useful sand-stirrers. Is there a small species? <Many> Are they (again, sorry...) sifting? <Some are> -Is the Ocellaris Clownfish (I'll look for a small young one) very likely to become symbiotic with this species of anemone (I do know that other Clownfishes are better suited)? <Look for tank-bred of any> -I Will get the Dascyllus trimaculatus as small as possible and remove it if it starts to cause trouble. You think he is likely to pose a problem? <Yes... I would exclude this fish... you'll thank me later...> -What do you think of my bio-load? Would it be considered light, medium, or heavy bio-load (for fishes in their adult size, it brings us to about 24")? <About right> -My impression is that it's wiser to leave the refugium with micro-fauna only. Should I place some scavengers/cleaning-crew in the fuge (30-40gal,  <No to the scavengers here> ...Gracilaria red, Thalassia, 5" DSB fine Arag., rubble LR)? When should I introduce the cleaning crew? Can I do it immediately when the nitrate falls to 0? <Better to wait a week or two after this> I want bristle/fire worms in my tank as they are quite useful, but I don't want to see them too much... :) <You won't> Will the mandarin control their population so that they are not crowding the tank or is it not something he eats? <Only small individuals, species> Maybe shouldn't be a concern anyway? <Not much... unless they are large enough to eat your other livestock! Not likely> Thanks for your always invaluable advices! Regards, Dominique <Your plan shows much investigation, forethought... you should do fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Establishing my live stock plan... Hi Mr. Fenner! Thanks for your help! <Welcome> I didn't see what you wrote about the flame scallop on WWM, but I did look at it after I received your reply. So I am definitively removing the flame scallop and the Dascyllus trimaculatus from my list. <Good> I appreciate these advices. It's interesting how some dealers make it sound much more simple  http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1525  I'm also giving up the jawfish as it won't be completely satisfied anyway with a 4" DSB (and I don't want deeper for aesthetic reasons). Regarding the hermits, I will limit to three specimens (among these two smallest species: Dwarf Red Tip Hermit and Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit). <Okay> Now about the pair of Porcelain Crabs (Petrolisthes sp.), I didn't intend to keep an extra anemone for them. I am aware that keeping an anemone in a peaceful coral reef system is not without risks and planned to limit it to a single Entacmaea quadricolor (as per a previous advice you gave me :) to match with a clownfish. I thought this species of crab didn't need an anemone. At least that's what I understood from what I read on Foster and Smith http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1963  <Mmm, a bunch to say... the genus Petrolisthes is generally not utilized in the trade, but often they are mis-labeled Neopetrolisthes (see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/galatheids.htm ). If you take a look on the Net re Petrolisthes... you will see this is a large, diverse genus of Porcellanids... My real point/intent is to encourage you to contact Drs.F&S and verify the species they are handling... > Couldn't find the species in Baensch. Also don't want them to fight with the clownfish for the anemone. Will continue investigations about all that (but if you have some hints...). <Please follow-up... look in B. V.1 under Neopetrolisthes> What are the risks involved with a generous use of "cleaner uppers"? My first guess would be that a heavy cleaning crew will ironically mean some more "pollution" because of the heavier bio-load, or is it something else? <Mainly that these animals aren't simply "cleaner uppers", but "eater uppers"... if there are too many of them, they will consume a good deal of things you might want to keep... including each other> Lastly, can you name a couple of your favorite smaller/est most useful non-sifting brittle stars (may want to add one or two of these)? <Oh, look through Baensch Marine Inverts V. 3... though it is difficult to actually order Ophiuroids by species in most cases. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Establishing my live stock plan... Hi Mr. Fenner, <Evening> I wrote to Foster and Smith regarding our "Petrolisthes", but they only answered part of my question: "Porcelain crabs have been reported to select other corals to host instead of an anemone. I have seen several porcelain crabs host in frogspawn, and hammer." That's it. I think the one they offer might in fact be the Neopetrolisthes alobatus (Baensch, vol. I, p.621). At least they look very similar. Anyway. <Almost certainly this will be a Neopetrolisthes species... and yes, they do reside in/with other cnidarian hosts than anemones> I have a few more questions here (I sincerely hope I'm not starting to be annoying... I decided to follow your advices and get 100lbs of LR from Fiji exclusively. After reading you on WWM I tough I would order LR from FFExpress, but they won't do it. Do you know of a good place to buy Fiji LR from and that ships to Canada (Montreal)? <Actually... I don't... but likely would not be hard to find out... by querying folks or looking through the archives of the popular BB's like ReefCentral, Reefs.org... the string: "buying live rock in Canada" in Google brings up some> -I'll have a 40 gal lighted fuge with macro-algae for my 90 gal display. I understand phytoplankton will be produced in this system. Will I have to feed phytoplankton on top of that to sustain the microfauna in my system? <Possibly> -As per your previous answer, I decided to drop much of the "snail thing". I will get a little bunch of the small (and supposedly strictly herbivores) Nerites IF algae are getting out of control and the yellow tang can't manage to clean. However, wouldn't you recommend to add about half a dozen of the tiny Nassarius (Shimek is very positive about that species in systems with DSB)? <Again, am not a big fan... these are industrious sub-substrate burrowers... but are they necessary? Of use?> -Trapezius (coral) crabs are difficult to find in the trade, aren't they? <Have never seen them except special order> Same for the Pom Pom boxing crab (such a fascinating creature!). <These are sold from time to time> Can we say these are quite reef safe? Do you know of good places to get them? Although, being in Canada... A million thanks! Dominique <I would ask about on the BB's. Bob Fenner> 

- Overstocked? Most Certainly, Follow-up - Thank you for the good advice. Two quick questions: 1) What size tank would be adequate for this livestock load, now and in the future when the fish approach adult size?  <As large as you can afford... a 240 would be nice.> 2) Considering that I can't afford both jewelry and a new aquarium, how do I talk my wife into a new tank?  <Hmm... I don't have a wife and am not a marriage counselor so I don't think I'm qualified to answer this question. Perhaps tell her the fish are the jewels of the ocean.> Seriously, thanks very much.  <My pleasure.> Mark <Cheers, J -- >

- Livestock and Live Rock Questions - Hi Was hoping you could help me out with some hopefully small questions. I currently have two fish stocked in my 55 gallon tank (FOWLR) - with sump. 1 Harlequin Tusk 1 Bicolor Angel The Harlequin is getting too big for the tank and so I am going to take him out next weekend. I would like to stock the tank with some more fish and the requirements are that they are: 1. Peaceful 2. Somewhat Disease Resistant 3. Small 4. Get along with the bicolor angel 5. Not too expensive Could you recommend any fish that fit the above criteria? <Would suggest you spend some time reading through WetWebMedia as the list of suggestions is long and varied. Livestock is well covered there.> I would like to research them obviously on your site before I go out and purchase anything.. So your recommendations would be of great help. <Do the research first... confirm your suspicions/options second.> I have had bad luck with Clown Fish and whitespot in the past - are there some which are more resilient to this disease then others? <Good quarantine practice will help you.> I will be getting Chromis's because I have found these easy to look after in the past. If I want to rescape my rock work, what's the best way to do this?  I am planning on doing it the following way: 1. Take 10% of water out of tank into buckets 2. Take all or most of rocks out of tank and put into buckets (with the water in them) so that I can catch the harlequin 3. Trade Harlequin in Store. 4. Reform rock work 5. Add water change 6. Introduce new fish <Sounds fine to me.> My biggest fear is freaking out the bicolor angel.. is it safe to do any of this (particularly step 4) with him still in the tank? <You're going to freak it out anyway... catching the harlequin tusk and all... you could catch the angel first and put it aside in a bucket while you complete the work... wouldn't leave it in there too long, but really, it will be over soon enough and the angel will likely be fine.> I don't think I could catch the harlequin without taking the rocks out. <I doubt it... I have to take out my rock to catch mine.> Your help is appreciated. Regards Simon <Cheers, J -- >

SW fish selection Hi James.<Hello Paul> Thanks so much for the input.<You're welcome> I do have one more question while I'm at it. I've read all your site posts on clown triggers. This new tank will have several types of tangs, 2 moray eels, a harlequin tusk, an Australian lunare, miniatus grouper, and a couple of puffers.<I wouldn't put two puffers together, it will be just a matter of time before one will attack the other.> I would love to add a clown trigger to the mix but am quite nervous. I will have my 125 ready however with nothing in it. Should I just buy the clown when I'm ready and keep him alone in the  125 as a pet, or maybe put the miniatus in with him?.<I would make sure the clown trigger is a decent size or the miniatus might recognize him as food. If you can get a larger clown, then yes, I would be these two in the 125.  I really don't like to see triggers mixed with most anything as they are aggressive.>I have had the miniatus since he was a baby and he's about 7 inches atm, and extremely aggressive. I've had to quarantine him on several occasions for being overly mean.  Again I appreciate your advice in advance. <Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Paul

Help picking a couple more fish... Hello WWM Crew! <Jason> Sorry to bug you guys, but I've spent a fair amount of time perusing the various FAQs, and haven't come up with an answer to my specific question (nor did I think I would because it's really too specific to my exact situation). I currently have the following setup: 2 - Percula Clownfish 1 - Cleaner Shrimp 1 - Banded Coral Shrimp 1 - Brittle Star Fish 1 - Sand Star Fish 1 - Yellow Cucumber 1 - Sally Lightfoot Crab Assortment of snails and hermit crabs 45 lbs. of Live Rock Approximately 1" of Aragonite A "few" soft corals (I'm not good with the coral names, but I believe their common names are bubble coral, finger leather coral, some green striped mushrooms, and one that looks like a brown Venus flytrap) Remora protein skimmer (foam fractionator) w/Maxi-Jet 1200 Current Orbit compact fluorescent lighting unit with dual white (10000K White / 6700K White) and dual actinic (7100K Blue / Actinic 03) bulbs Penguin Emperor 280 power filter WITHOUT Bio-Wheel for mechanical filtration Maxi-Jet 1200 powerhead for additional water circulation Anyway, the fish and inverts all seem to be doing very well, and the growth of the coral since I've added the protein skimmer and new lighting (about 3 months ago) is UNBELIEVABLE!  So, for that I am quite thankful. But, as you can see, my current fish / bio load is pretty small, <Actually, Jas... how big is this tank?> and I would like to add 1 to 2 more fish.  That said, I do NOT want to overload the tank, nor do I want to be cruel to a fish by not giving it a worthy home. So, I have generally been looking at fish that grow to no more than 3" in length.  Unfortunately, it seems that most of these fish are of the same build (i.e. long and slender), and I would like to add a fish that is a bit more visible (i.e. tall).  Though the tank is mature (it is approximately 1 year old), I still consider myself a beginner, and only want to get fish that will generally be slightly on the easier side to care for. I had THOUGHT that I had narrowed my choices down to a pygmy angelfish or a tang, but I've since decided that tangs simply grow too large for this tank. Though I do plan on moving to a larger tank in the relatively near future (next 12 - 18 months), the plans are not definitive enough yet that I cannot say that the fish would not outgrow their surroundings. <Good point> So, that leaves me with just the pygmy angelfish.  But, all I've read in the pygmy angelfish section is how they'll pick at corals at even some inverts (I already knew they were somewhat more finicky with respect to their diet). So, now I'm questioning whether or not I should even be considering an angelfish at all.  FYI, I had narrowed down my choices to either the African Pygmy Angelfish (Flameback / Centropyge acanthops), or the Cherub Angelfish (Centropyge argi). <Both excellent choices... and not likely to "pick" to a large extent> The basic criteria are: 1. Something that gets along with everybody else in the tank 2. Something that won't destroy my corals 3. Something that is easy to take care of 4. Something that you can see (is visibly different from my 2 orange fish and red / brown rock, and doesn't hide all the time) Obviously, there's not going to be any right or wrong answer here, but I'm sure you guys with your vast years of experience can at least make a few suggestions that I can go and research.  And again, I would like to add TWO more fish, so if you can make a couple of suggestions (and the order in which I should add them to the tank), this would be most appreciated (as long as the fish meets the above criteria and is under $100, I don't care if it is $10 or $99). Thanks for maintaining a great website and for writing some great books. I'm looking forward to the suggestions. Sincerely, Jason Oldfield <Do take a look at the Grammas and Dottybacks (Pseudochromids)... as well as some of the easier going damsels and Anthiines that live individually... Bob Fenner>

Re: Help picking a couple more fish... Bob, <Jas> DOH!  I can't believe I forgot to tell you how big the tank is!  I know I had it in the message at one point, but I must have cut my only reference to it in my edits.  Anyway, it's a 29 gallon tank.  I don't think this changes any of your suggestions, so I will indeed look at the Grammas and Dottybacks. <Ahh, wondered if my vision or reading comprehension was going... this IS a small system... and you may well have some negative interaction with the clowns... Be ready to move them into a floating colander (spag. strainer) for a few days if so. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your suggestions! Sincerely, Jason Oldfield

Choosing Fishes For The Long Run Hey Scott, <Hello again!> The blenny I am referring to is the Meiacanthus nigrolineatus. In the same family as the one you were referring to so hopefully the same behavior. <A nice fish! I would venture to say that the behavior is similar throughout this family. While it is irresponsible for me to generalize, I am not aware of any excessively aggressive species within this genus, and I have maintained quite a few.> I am glad to hear these fish aren't jaws! <Me, too!> Another question: I came across some article on another site yesterday about post traumatic shipping disorder [or something like that] it stated that 75% of Flame Angels die in the first six weeks, is this right? <I think it is largely dependant upon where the fish were collected from (for example- Flames from the Philippines have a reputation for lower odds of survival...Perhaps chemicals from collection are playing a big role in this?), how they are shipped, acclimated, and handled along the chain of custody from reef to LFS. In years past, this was considered a rather touchy fish, largely due to the collection source. However, if you are getting the fish from a reliable source (like Christmas Island or the Marshall Islands), and they are collected free of chemicals and properly handled/shipped, you should expect great success with the fish> I had read that they are hardy fish. I am sure there are Flames (as with any fish) that don't survive shipping trauma but 75%? <Losses can be heavy, but 75% seems way to high for a sustainable industry. Responsible collection and handling practices vastly improve survival rates of all fish in the hobby.> I hope this is not true, I have never red this anywhere else or I probably would have steered clear of this fish. Almost makes me want to stop this hobby all together, the enjoyment of these beautiful fish just doesn't seem worth the hell they are put through. [excuse the language] THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY! <There is. Captive propagation of these and other fishes is definitely the future. In the mean time, of course, there are many reliable, ethical, and responsible collectors and transhippers out there, so as hobbyists, we can "vote with our pocketbooks" and choose not to do business with stores who offer fish with such poor survival rates. The message will be felt at the wholesale and collector level in time!> I feel better now , had to get that off my chest [ lol] anyway have you heard this about the Flames? Thanks; Paige <As above- it really is important to choose a reputable dealer and support them. With enough hobbyist feedback, we can help make things better for our animals and our hobby! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

- Adding One More - Hi everyone, love your website! I was thinking on adding one or two more fish to my 55 gallon tank. Right now I have 1 flame angel (aggressive with new fish) 1 false percula clown 1sixline wrasse 1 royal Gramma 2 cleaner shrimp The LFS has had a flame hawkfish for about a month. I love these fish, heard they are fairly parasite resistant but I also read they will eat small shrimp.  <They "can", they don't always...>  Does cleaner shrimp fall into that category?  <Yes, hawkfish have been known to eat cleaner shrimp.>  I would really like to have an arc-eyed hawkfish but I heard they are mean. would the flame hawkfish be okay with the also red angel?  <Sure.>  What are the chances of it eating my shrimp?  <If you keep it well fed, then the cleaner shrimp may be there for a long while.>  Also this flame is not as deep red as some pictures I have seen, do their colors vary?  <Sometimes, and mostly with mood... would likely color back up once settled in your tank.>  If you don't think that is a good choice what about a twinspot (yellow) hogfish and a tiger queen (loris) Anthias.  <The twinspot would be a nice fish, they stay small... the Anthias would also be a nice addition.>  I read you need to add in order of aggression and I have that flame angel. what are your thoughts?  <There will be a bit of chasing around in the first couple of days no matter who you add, but any one of three would be a good choice.>  Thanks Paige <Cheers, J -- >  - Aggressive Fish Selection - Hi, I currently have a lion, French angel, and a Niger trigger in a 200 gal. tank. I was wondering what other aggressive fish I could have in with them because I had to take my puffer back because he was stressed because of my stupidity of not being informed that they aren't aggressive like people make them out to be. I was considering a Emperor Angel, a Clown Trigger, a Harlequin Tusk, or a Lightning Wrasse. Which if any of these could I keep and what other fish could I get?  <I don't recommend a second angel... your tank just isn't big enough. Either of the wrasses would be a good choice. There are other options... a grouper perhaps. I encourage you to peruse the WetWebMedia web site as the choices are vast and they are well documented there.> Thanks, Adam S. <Cheers, J -- > 

Stocking order Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 Hi! I am currently restarting my 45 gal tank (+12 gal internal sump). My only fish, an ocellaris clown, is temporarily placed in a 10 gal. It has not seen any other fish for quite a while now. I plan to buy another clown, a Salarias blenny and (later) a royal Gramma.  The clowns in the LFS are quite small (1-1 1/2"), which seems good since my old clown probably has become a female. The Salarias are about 3", and with my extensive algae production I think I have some time to getting it used to additional food.  In what order do you think I should add the fishes to prevent aggression between the two clowns and the clowns and the blenny?  <The blenny shouldn't offer any problems. As you said, I would put the clown and the blenny in first, then a week later add the other clown and so on.>  Any other tips? I think it is wise to give the small clown the advantage of feeling at home before I add the old one. <Yes> What would be the wise stocking limit for the 45 gal tank (currently 60 pounds of live rock)? Any suggestions for a fifth fish (I plan to have soft corals, buttons and mushrooms)?  <Dottybacks are colorful and not very aggressive. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you for your help!  Best regards, Anders

- Time to Stop? - Hi Bob, I wrote to you about a week or so ago concerning some trouble I had cycling my Quarantine tank and that got resolved. Now I have another question I'd like your advice on. At present my 75 gallon tank has 2 Klein Butterflies, 1 Royal Gramma, 1 Clown, and 1 female Blue-sided Fairy Wrasse. I also have an emerald crab, about 60 hermit crabs and about 20 snails (mostly Astrea and some Turbos). Today I purchased a very healthy looking Flame Angel, put him in my quarantine tank and he's eating. When the quarantine period is over and I put him in my main tank, do you think that should be my limit? <In a practical sense yes... it's not wise to push things like this right to the limit, and rather give everyone room to grow and live within the bounds of what the system can handle.> I don't find those "rule of thumb" guidelines very helpful - they all seem to suggest that you can have a lot of fish in a relatively small space and I know that's wrong!  <You are quite correct.>  I don't want to be one of those people that have to "add one more fish" to their tank and then end up with lots of problems. Right now my tank looks fabulous, the inhabitants are healthy, happy and look terrific and I want it to stay that way!  <Amen to that... try not to add anything else after this fish and you should be fine.> I'd appreciate any advice you could provide. Thanks, Toni <Cheers, J -- >

Stocking too early... Hi, we recently started a 55 gal. saltwater fish tank. We have had it up and running for about 6 weeks now. The tank's salinity (salt) is good.  <Good?> We have tested the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, they were way high... <High?> ...so we have done a 25% change and waited a couple of days then did another 25% change.  The ammonia is down to .25, the nitrate is 10, and the nitrite is 5.0. <Yeeikes... this water is way toxic to livestock> The problem we are having is that everything from the fake plants to the fake coral rock, and the powerhead we have is getting brownish black on them. The discoloration seems only to be on the top of every thing. We have cut back on feeding the fish... <... you have fish in this water?> ...to only morning and night. We have a clownfish, yellowfin damsel, blue damsel, and three stripe damsel. It almost looks like the stuff is getting burnt spots on it. Is this due to the high readings that we are getting and should we keep doing 25% water changes? What could be causing the brownish spotting? Thank you in advance for you help. Lisa <Much to say... First, please do NOT feed your livestock ANYTHING until your ammonia AND nitrite are zero, zip, nada... DO read re cycling marine systems: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm and the Related materials (linked above, in blue) until you understand what is going on here. Do read re algae and their control: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm  and the Related...  You need to establish biological cycling in your system... and NOT further poison your livestock... Bob Fenner>

Fish suggestions Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 23:07:52 +0000 (GMT) Hi, I have a 4 ft tank and it looks really empty with just a hovercraft cowfish, 2 clown fish and a knobby star.  I was wondering if you could suggest some fish that would go well with them. <Andy, first off, you really don't want the cowfish in a community tank. They are very capable of giving off toxins and create havoc in your tank.>  I keep looking at a fish I like and finding it would grow to big or eat or harass the others. I'm interested in the citron goby (but I've read it's hard to feed)... <Yes, this goby can be difficult unless you provide very small meaty (live) food. Some aquarists have had luck transferring over to freeze dried foods. I believe they associate with the Acropora coral in the wild and may even down a few of those polyps.>  ... and maybe a tang or a butterfly fish but these look difficult to keep... <You sound like you may be relatively new to the hobby. I would stay away from any tang or butterfly for awhile.>  ... and I keep reading and being told conflicting info ( you guys obviously know what you're talking about hence the reason I'm emailing you), I don't want to do something stupid and cause stress to the new or old livestock I've got. At some point I would like to add coral but that's another can of worms from what I've been told. I don't want huge fish just ones that will look pretty and get along with the others.  <Andy, I would see if I could trade the cowfish in for something else. Blennies and other gobies do get along well with the fish you have now. Small wrasses would be a good choice also since many of them are very colorful. Keep in mind that wrasses to like sand beds as most burrow for the night and aren't very comfortable if they can't. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

Stocking levels Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 06:14:42 +0000 Hello all. First, thank you for providing such a comprehensive and professional resource for this community. <You're welcome> Cheers!  Next, the tank specs: DAS H39 60 USG [sic]... <I'm assuming this is a 60 gallon tank?>  75# live rock, ~4" DSB, ~450 gph turbulent flow, ample pc lighting,<What do you consider ample lighting?> integrated PS and mechanical filter. All chemical parameters are great with minimal to no variances. (6 months running sans problems) My livestock currently includes: 1 five-inch jeweled blenny (Salarias fasciatus), 1 two-inch cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), ~10 Nassarius snails, 2 Mexican turbo snails, 1 fighting conch (Strombus alatus) and a green open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi). Questions: Q1. In addition to a few more corals and a sebae anemone with a percula clown. <No, no, no. Very, very few perculas will inhabit a sebae anemone. They prefer, in this order, the Ritteri, Saddle and Bubble anemones, the Bubble being the easier of the three to keep.>  I would like to add a Flame Angel and a Copperband Butterfly. Are the angel and butterfly compatible?  <Yes>  Is this an adequate tank volume?  <Yes, if it is a 60 gallon>  Does this system plan (my end goal) make sense and proport [sic] longevity and growth? <It sounds like a very adequate system. I would forget about the Copperband, it will more than likely pick at your brain coral along with any other corals or tubeworms you may add in the future.> Q2. I would like to add a closed-loop 500 gph external pump to increase system-wide current. The return to the main will flow through a SCWD (surge device) and flow alternately to left and right. Is this a good idea for this system?  <Yes, surge systems are close to natural waves.> Thanks for the help and warmest wishes for the future. <You're welcome and good luck my friend. James (Salty Dog)>

Sri Lanka Pseudochromis 1/26/05 Cannot find any info on your site about this fish. I believe it's also sometimes called a vampire Dottyback, and I think the scientific name is Pseudochromis dilectus. LFS has a beautiful specimen, orange in front with tiny dots tapering to gray color in back, kind of like a Wall Street Journal picture (if you can understand that). Anyway, I want to know if this is a hardy or aggressive fish.  <Mmm... is this the fish?  On Google and on fishbase.org.  This is a very hardy, and incredibly aggressive fish... Do make sure if you go ahead with this purchase to make sure and buy tank bred specimens> Obviously hardiness is important as I have lost many fish before and I'm really tired of that.  Compatibility is important. Most of my fish losses have been due to murder by another fish (piscicide?). My current occupants (125 FOWLR with 130 pounds of live rock): Juvenile blue angel (3") Yellow tang (3") Foxface (4") Purple firefish Sixline wrasse Chalk bass Royal Gramma Green Chromis Ladder glider goby <Your tank is already "too full of fishes..."> What can you tell me about the Sri Lanka Dotty? Will it survive and get along with everyone here? Also, will an eibli, flame, and/or coral beauty angel work in this tank? <... I would not add any more fish livestock to this 125. Bob Fenner> I'm concerned about them living with each other and/or the blue angel. Basically, I'm asking if one or more dwarf (Centropyge) angels are compatible with a large (Holocanthus) angel. Thanks for your help! 

Re: Sri Lanka Pseudochromis 1/26/05 My tank is already too full of fishes? <Yes, psychologically now, physiologically soon> Six of the nine fish are very small and will stay that way. The three others (blue angel, yellow tang, and Foxface) are what I would call medium sized. Even when fully grown (years from now--if they live that long), these three fish will add up to less than 30 inches. The other six fish (again, if they live that long) will be under 10 inches total. I have 125 gallons plus about 15 more in the sump, lots of live rock, and a good skimmer (AquaC EV-120). This is overstocked? <IMO, yes... you could add a few hardy, compatible invertebrates, but adding more fishes I do not recommend. Not worth the added stress, induced losses in my estimation. Bob Fenner> 

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