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FAQs about Reef Livestock Selection 14

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Related FAQs: Reef Livestocking 1, Reef Livestocking 2, Reef Livestocking 3, Reef Livestocking 4, Reef Livestocking 5, Reef Livestocking 6, Reef Livestocking 7, Reef Livestocking 8, Reef Livestocking 9, Reef Livestocking 10, Reef Livestocking 11, Reef Livestocking 12, Reef Livestocking 13, Reef Livestocking 15, Reef Livestocking 16, & Marine Livestocking, More Stocking FAQs, FAQs 3FAQs 4, FAQs 5, FAQs 6, Marine Livestock SelectionAngelfish Selection, Reef Systems 1, Reef Systems 2, Reef Set-Up 1, Reef Set-Up 2, Reef Set-Up 3, Reef Set-Up 4, Reef Set-Up 5, Reef Set-Up 6, Reef Tanks, Reef LightingReef Lighting 2Reef Filtration,

Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1: Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums Book 3: Systems
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Stocking...... , Marine 2/13/11
Hello again all.
Well, my QT is ready to go, the bio-wheel has been "curing" in my display since December 26th; my tank is continuing to be rock steady and stable; lastly my wallet has a bit of headroom to bring some new friends into the tank.
A brief run down:
65g tank with 110lbs LR, and roughly 80 lbs sand/crushed coral (chunky base, fine top) making a 3-6" DSB (depending on flow patterns). Because of all this rock, there is actually only about 37g of water in the tank.
2, 3" clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 blue leg hermits and about 15 snails (mix of Astrea and turbo).
Red Sea Berlin skimmer, Eheim 2213 canister (filled with substrate pro, LR and about 250ml carbon) and >1000gph flow
Ammonia/Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0-10ppm, weekly 20% water changes.
<Sounds nice.>
So, my stocking question, which is now two-fold:
One, I'm thinking of adding two or three green damsels and lastly a yellow tang. Too much in the space?
<The green damsel I am assuming is Chromis viridis, and do best in larger groups, and may not get along with your clowns as they are closely related.
I personally think a 65G is too small for a tang, but others have gotten away with it.>
I had also played with the notion of a lawnmower blenny.......
<A nice fish.>
I had assumed I would add the damsels, then the blenny if he was cool, and lastly the Tang.
Reading about yellow tangs on WWM, though, there's a reference to them eating corals. Is this just in the case of underfeeding?
Or will they nip at them regardless?
<This is pretty uncommon for the tangs, they are generally fairly reef safe.>
I currently have two different frags of Zoas, and want to move into some softies, and maybe (one day) stonies. While I love yellow tangs, I definitely put a higher value on the corals.
<I think you have good chances of being ok here.>
So, advice?
<It seems like we often get queries about a small group of Chromis slowly turning into a solo specimen as they pick each other off, best bet would be to go with a larger group of 7 or so which you probably don't have space for. Check out here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chromcompfaqs.htm and see
what you think.>
Thanks as always; I hope you are all well,
<And to you.>

Stocking my 125 Tank 1/25/11
WWM Crew,
<Sam n' K>
Hello and thanks for all your help over the years with my tank and set-up!
You guys are really amazing!!
<Some days...>
I am looking for a fish recommendation for my tank. It may sound weird, but I really want another fish, but am not sure what I want. So I am turning to your expertise! First, let me give you a little background on my tank. I have a 125 gallon, 4 96w PC all with 10k bulbs, sump, EV-180 skimmer, Chaeto, lots of live rock (not sure of the actual weight amount), Rena XP-3, Koralia 2, Mad 9.5 for return, Little Giant 4 on a closed loop, and lastly a JBJ Arctica Chiller.
My stocking list is as follows...in order of stocking:
-Maroon Clown, received from a friend when I first started my tank
<Likely "el rey" of your system>
-Starry Blenny, received from the same friend at the same time as Maroon Clown
-some Green Polyps, received from the same friend at the same time as the Maroon Clown
-a Kenya Tree, received from the same friend at the same time as the Maroon Clown
-some hermit crabs, probably only 5 left (it's ok with me, the more I read about them, the less I like them)
-3 Nassarius snails (I absolutely love these guys!!)
-1 Rose BTA
<Hopefully off to one side w/ the Premnas>
-1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
-1 rock of Sun Coral
-some very small Trumpet Coral
-some Yellow Sponge throughout the tank, this just kind of appeared in my tank after receiving some live rock from a friend
-a dozen or so Mushrooms, throughout the tank...I received these from a friend
-a small patch of Cabbage Coral
-some Organ Pipe Coral
-2 very small Fire Shrimp
-what was sold to me as an Orange Linckia, but after further research I believe it to be an Echinaster luzonicus
<Also hopefully>
-Lamarck's Angel, a juvenile
-Coral Beauty
-Copperband Butterfly, he loves his PE Mysis Shrimp, but I cannot get him to eat any NLS Pellets...ugh
<Keep trying>
-3 more Rose BTAs!! Mine split the same day my friend gave me two more.
The good news is they are all clones coming from one my friend has, so they get along nicely :)
That is all of my livestock. I always thought I wasn't socked too heavily, but after writing all that down, I don't know. The truth be told, if I am over stocked or cramped, I don't want to add anymore. But if space and your expertise allows, I would like to add 1 maybe 2 more fish.
Let me take one moment to semi-describe the layout of my tank for you. On the left hand side of the tank, I have 2/3 of my live rock, at least 3 inches away from the glass on all sides. I also have all my Rose BTAs, the Green Polyps, the Cabbage Coral, and the Kenya Tree. I know the Kenya Tree is doomed as soon as it gets bigger or a Rose BTA finds it, but I don't care too much for it. The other side of the tank, separated by a few inches of substrate, I have approx 1/3 of my live rock, the Sun Coral, the Trumpet Coral, and the Organ Pipe. Again this side has at least 3 inches space between the rock and the glass.
Onto some of the fish possibilities. Here is a list of what I would potentially like, some kind of Hawk (but I fear for the lives of my shrimp),
a Yellow or Scopas Tang (I don't know why, but I haven't ever had success with Yellow Tangs),
<Get them feeding early on NLS>
a Midas Blenny (I am unsure he would get along with my Starry Blenny), a Flasher Wrasse or two, or any suggestions you might have!!
<Mmm, not a Flasher... not easily kept>
Thanks for your help and input!
<I think a Zebrasoma tang of the species you list or a xanthurum would be great... and maybe a Tang of the genus Ctenochaetus. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking my 125 Tank 1/25/11
Thanks for your quick response!
<Welcome Sam>
I am going to take your advice and get a Yellow Tang. I am going to hold out until Aqua Touch has some in.
<Ahh! Hello to Mike and co. there>
They are the best here in the valley and I go there first when I can!
<Very astute folks... amongst the best in the trade worldwide>
Thanks again!

110 tall, reef stocking question   1/17/11
Thanks in advance for your time. This site has been an invaluable tool.
I am working on the last of my fish selections for my 110 tall (48WX18DX28T) and I was hoping you could give suggestions based on your experiences. The current stock; 2 fire fish (sold as a pair but, NOT), 4 blue/green Chromis (maybe want a few more for better schooling), 4 clowns (2 false, 2 black), 1 cleaner shrimp
<I'll assume a Hippolytid sp., not a Stenopid>
and 10 various snails and 8 hermits. After the tank matures I will be going for a mostly LPS reef tank with some SPS and Polyps, still researching the coral so don't be too harsh on this one. I don't want to overstock the tank since that will only lead to nitrate trouble in the future. My rock is aquascaped in a diagonal sloped wall format with lots of hiding places. The rock is placed on the tank bottom and the sand depth varies from 4 to 6 inches. The rock is not bonded together. Thanks for your time helping me identify problems with my stocking plan. The plan would be to finish stocking the fish over a period of a few months.
* Desired (1 Sand Sifter Goby), (Is crop dusting that big of an issue?
<Can be w/ corals placed on the sand>
Should I have concerns with the fire fish and the gobies fighting for territory?
<There is enough room for both here>
I prefer an out in the open, intriguing fish.
I have 6K-10K GPH of (5 Koralias) flow with the wave maker. I don't know if that will help or make the dusting worse.
o Diamond Watchman Goby (Valenciennea puellaris)
o Sleeper Banded Goby (Amblygobius phalaena)
o Tiger Watchman Goby (Valenciennea wardii)
o Two Spot Goby (Signigobius biocellatus)
<Any of these would go/fit, but the last is quite touchy>
* Desired (1 Shrimp Goby), (Is the pistol shrimp worth the risk?
I see mixed opinions on the site, I am a big symbiotic fan)
<Depends on the species, individual, but again, there should be sufficient space here>
o Yellow Prawn Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus)
o Wheeler's Shrimp Goby (Amblyeleotris wheeleri)
o Pinkbar Goby (Amblyeleotris aurora)
o Orange Stripe Prawn Goby (Amblyeleotris randalli)
<Any of these... your choice>
* Desired Inverts, want all, (The star and the urchin seem to as if they would be more interesting than snails as cleaners but am I taking some excessive risk)
o Marble Sea Star (Fromia sp.), worried about rocks being moved, will I have to target feed?
<Mmm, not if the live rock is vigorous>
o Pincushion Urchin, Blue Tuxedo (Mespilia globulus), worried about rocks being moved
<Not likely to be moved>
o Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) (want (4) mostly for food production)
* Desired Tangs, My wish list is to have 2 from the Paracanthurus group,
<This is monotypic genus>
2 from Zebrasoma group
<Mmm... maybe one>
and 1 from the Ctenochaetus group but, I am worried about space and compatibility.
<You should be... See WWM Re>
For the Ctenochaetus group it is hard to tell which most attractive and suitable for my circumstances. My intention is after a few years "trade" the mature tangs to the LFS in on younger fish so space does not get too tight. I believe the Yellow is the one to be concerned about for aggressiveness; the wife wants the Yellow.
I am trying to keep her happy since she sets the fish allowance
<Good idea>
J. My favorites are the Regal, Sailfin and Blue.
<Mmm, there are a few Sailfins and three blues... >
o Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus binotatus)
o Kole Yellow Eye Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
o Bristletooth Tomini Tang (Ctenochaetus tominiensis)
o Spotted Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus truncatus)
<One of these>
o Yellow Belly Regal Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus var.)
o Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
<The above are the same species. One total>
o Sailfin Tang, Desjardini (Zebrasoma desjardini)
<Really gets too big...>
o Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
<For your wife>
o Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma veliferum)
o Purple Tang Zebrasoma xanthurum
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

stocking list... SW, FOWLRI    1/11/11
Hello Crew,
Happy New Year! It looks like my tank has finally cycled. I have a 75 gallon with 90 pounds of live rock and 4 inches of fine sand. I also currently have a clean up crew of 24 Nassarius snails, 10 Astreas, and
10 or so Ceriths. I am going to begin stocking this weekend or next and was hoping I could get your thoughts and suggestions on a few things.
I will list the four fish that I am pretty sure about in the order I was thinking of adding them. Each will spend 3-4 weeks in quarantine after the first fish are introduced. I have a few groups here. The first is the ones I am pretty sure about.
1. tank raised black ocellaris clown 1.5" to 2"
2. tank raised orange ocellaris clown .75" to 1" (Will add these first two at the same time).
<At the same time is best>
3. bullet goby(Amblygobius phalaena)
4. yellow tang(I am on the fence about this one because of all the differing opinions I have found about these fish in a 75 gallon)
<Can fit>
The second group are fish I like, but have my doubts about compatibility.
1. McCosker's flasher wrasse (don't want to keep a whole harem)
<Mmm, not easily kept...>
2. Melanurus wrasse (would eat any shrimp, hermits, or snails, correct?)
3. Pearlscale butterfly (can be hard to feed, may get bullied)
4. sunset or indigo Pseudochromis. (love the deep blue color, but they can be belligerent and could go be a problem for the cleanup crew)
<Not so much... esp. if captive produced (vs. wild-caught)>
The third group is fish either/or.
1. Skunk cleaner shrimp or pair of neon gobies
2. coral beauty or flame angel
<These should be fine>
Before you kill me for thinking about overstocking, the second and third groups are optional. I definitely want to lean toward understocking. I also am open to other suggestions. Does the stocking order seem ok?
Should any of the other possible selections go in before them(namely the flashers or the neon gobies). Thanks for all your help.
- Dave
<I'd skip the Paracheilinus and Halichoeres... Bob Fenner>
Re: stocking list
... SW, FOWLRI, move to reef    1/11/11
Thanks so much for the fast response. I thought I would shoot a quick revised list at you and see what you thought. I would be stocking these at a rate of about 1 every one or two months, except for the clowns and maybe the first two.
1.neon goby
<Better in twos if the system can accommodate... Yours can>
2. cleaner shrimp
(should this be one or the other? I know they add very little to a bioload, but I am worried about competition for fish cleaning duties)
<Not likely a problem to have both>
3 and 4. pair of ocellaris clowns.
5. bullet goby
6. yellow tang
7. sunset or indigo Pseudochromis
8. flame angel
I think this would be a pretty good group. It doesn't seem like it would be overstocked. If I did decide to still try the Pearlscale, would you recommend putting it in before the tang?
<Put the Tang in last>
Or should I just leave that off?
<The BF? I would>
Also would you recommend pairing the neon gobies.
They are great little fish. Thanks again for all of the work you and the rest of the crew does. I don't think I can really tell you how much your website is appreciated.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: stocking reef   1/11/11
Thanks so much for the reply! We were planning on the Tahitian butterfly fish (Chaetodon trichrous) because of claims that it was reef safe but had an affinity for Aiptasia.
<I have never heard/read this. IME, this species is not a hardy BF>
We would much prefer the Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga) you mentioned, but am concerned it would munch on the LPS and SPS as much as the Aiptasia. I have read your Aiptasia and Butterfly fish sections and I can not find any reports of this fish being kept in a reef tank with success. I know there is variation between individual fish of the same species, but how risky would it be to put a Threadfin in a reef?
<IMO not much... aren't "that hard" to catch back out...>
Of course, I realize that the continued growth of the Aiptasia is not doing the corals any good, either! We really do want our cake and eat it too, don't we?
<You are wise to make this observation>
"Ok fish, eat this anemone, but don't touch this coral!" If we did risk the reef and get the Threadfin, we could choose either 3 inches or 5 inches.
<The three>
I am assuming 5 inches would be better, but wanted to double check. The Yellow Tang can be feisty to new additions, so I assume larger is better.
<Not necessarily, no>
I have read conflicting reports about the "red legged hermit crabs" and their effectiveness against Aiptasia. You mention them in the Aiptasia section, but I have read in the questions and answers that maybe they are not terribly effective.
<I am of the latter camp>
The "Aiptasia eating Filefish" is indeed Acreichtys tomentosus and although this tiny fish has not made a dent in the proliferating Aiptasia, s/he has been a great addition to the tank and has proven to be quite entertaining.
<Ah yes>
The fish swims in the water column with the Vlamingii Tang and changes color every few hours from solid white to almost black to the typical mottled appearance. S/he reminds me of a Triggerfish because of his behavior and of course, dorsal fin/trigger.
<Are very closely related families>
Thanks again and enjoy your evening. Hope it's warmer than here...expecting another night of single digits and snow.
<Is in the upper 60's F currently, but will drop into the forties later. Cheers!, BobF>

Stocking Question 1/3/11
Hello again (three in one day!)
<Hello Chris>
So, I've been thinking about stocking the rest of my tank.
Tank is 65g with 110 lbs LR and about that much crushed coral/gravel and live sand.
Red Sea Berlin triple pass skimmer
Ammonia/Nitrites 0ppm
SG 1.024
pH 8.2
Nitrates 5-20ppm
Phosphates 0ppm
Ca 420ppm
KH 11*
weekly 20% water changes with RO/DI and Instant Oceans Reef crystals
Temp 82-83*F
Combo of Hydor Koralia and MaxiJet powerheads making over 1000g/hour flow
Eheim classic filled with Substrat pro and LR, also 2 cups Seachem Denitrate and 1 cup activated charcoal.
Currently there are 2 clowns, about 2" each, 2 cleaner shrimp, two Blue-Leg Hermit Crabs, 1 sand-sifting star, about 20 snails (turbo and Astrea) and two frags of Zoa polyps. I would like to move towards some
more corals, probably starting with a leather or two, but don't want to be limited. I had been thinking of adding a Sixline Wrasse and a Yellow Tang.
Though from what I've read here, there seems to be mixed reports on whether or not the wrasse will kill my shrimps and crabs. As there are examples of it happening (despite assurances of a few to the contrary), I'm going to pass on it. So I'm looking for something that might go well with the clowns and the tang. Any suggestions? I'm not looking for a wonder fish that looks like an emperor, is active like a clown, and hems pants. Something with some visual interest and at least some day-time activity is fine.
<I'd pass on the tang, tank a little smallish for this. Might want to consider a Flasher Wrasse.>
Thanks, as always!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Humu Trigger And Others! Reef stkg., fdg.    12/31/10
Good morning! Happy New Year! Greetings from Montana!
<And back at you from (today) sunny (though cool) San Diego, CA!>
Hope its warm where you are-it's --12 here right now and that does not count wind-chill. Oh we also got 12' of snow overnight! Glad fish are warm!
<Wish I was!>
I have a 110 gallon bowfront tank with the following inhabitants: 1-3-4' Humu Humu, 1- 2-3' Green File Fish (who has no taste for glass anemones),
2-Pajama Cardinals, 1-Tribal blenny, and 1-3-4' lawnmower blenny and 3- common starfish and a sand star ( I know, he came in the clean-up crew package and I do occasionally do see him when he climbs the tank wall don't know really why they would include one of these as these are really not suitable for a 110), a green BTA , Haitian Anemone, a cleaner shrimp (who belongs exclusively to the Humu), 4 peppermint shrimp (who do like the glass anemones), 2-pistol shrimp and various hermit crabs, snails etc. All they will eat with the exception of the Lawnmower Man is CLAMS and occasionally they will eat frozen whole shrimp...no two ways around it.
<Mmm, not a good strict diet. I'd train them onto Spectrum pellets: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm
This is fine as I buy them on the half shell frozen (all my pets are spoiled...you should see my calves who are destined for the table (can't beat Montana beef!). But I am concerned that the clam only diet is not varied enough.
<You should be: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm
They all will grudgingly eat shrimp (fish foods are an absolute no, no and I think they would starve if that is all I gave them) but the frenzy for the clams is unreal. Are they getting enough nutrition with just clams?
<No; and too much of other nutrient groups>
The Humu I suspect is supplementing his diet with my small snails which oh well! They are all getting along well and the Humu and File Fish appear to be good friends and they play all the time together. Actually everyone gets along well, although the Tribal Blenny does harass the Humu occasionally but I think it is more of a game. I don't see any aggressiveness there.
Several questions here: Is the clam diet sufficient for all?
<... not>
I realize the Tribal Blenny is supposed to eat algae, but he will only eat algae IF there are no clams for him. 2- The Humu can be a bit aggressive at feeding time and will at times guard all clams that are put in the tank. Can I use a net and spirit him in there to eat so all others can eat a bit more peacefully?
<Not a good plan long haul... Mix in a higher percentage of the Spectrum brand... highly palatable and complete nutritionally>
The Humu will eat until he looks like he is going to explode (then he goes to bed and takes a nap for about 45 minutes).
<Fishy food coma?>
Oh also, husband found a mated pair of clowns that he wants they are about 3-4 years old. Would this be an advisable pair to put in?
<Might upset the social dynamic here... the size and shape of your system is about "full up"... I'd have a back up plan just in case the clowns don't hold their own... perhaps if they can be isolated with the BTA... for a few days... they'll take to it, be afforded protection>
If he gets them he is NOT getting anything else till he gets a bigger tank.
They are coming out of a tank where they lived with a lionfish and several triggers (don't know what kind, but this was an aggressive tank) Can they fit in?
<I give you middling odds. Using egg-crate, other screening... as mentioned above, increases those odds in your favour>
Thanks for all your help/suggestions!
<Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner> 

Stocking list , opinions please? Reef, good prose  -- 12/20/10
Hi Crew,
Been an avid and appreciative reader of your site for a good 7 plus years now. Don't usually need to ask questions as there is so much info here, but If I can prevail upon you, I would like your second opinion on my stocking plan below.
First a bit of background , please let me know if this is too much or too little , I don't want to make you trawl through irrelevant details, or conversely, not give you enough.
<Will do>
I have recently (3 weeks ago) moved about 60KG of live rock, Halimeda crop, Blue Linckia, Trochus Snail, a grouchy, yet puppy-like 3.5-Inch Maroon Clown (Premnas Biaculeatus), a Sarcophyton (the Clowns home) and many Zoanthids from a 90 Litre tank and a 300 litre frag/experimental tank into one new 500 Litre display tank, the realisation of 3 years of painful waiting and planning! (no .. really!
I've had the tank sitting there for over three years staring at me!)
<Dang! If patience is indeed a virtue, I know where you're going!>
The tank is setup with 100L sump, large skimmer, refugium (with Aragonite DSB), and coral fragment chamber. all housed outside the house in an insulated cabinet and piped through the wall.
Water parameters are all within acceptable ranges (CMA definitions - great book by the way!) and the substrates were seeded with the old system substrates (in mesh netting)
Macro Hitchhikers include Eurythoe Fireworms (largest banished to refugium after spiking me),
Pistol Shrimp, an unidentified Corallimorph (maybe Rhodactis sp, will revisit later.), and some miniature ~5mm crystal orange crabs (problems?),
<Not if they stay small/ish>
The tank never really "Cycled" as such due to the large amount of Live rock and mature water transferred (~60%), the only thing new was the substrate (1.5 Inches of 1-2 mm Coral sand), and all nitrogenous metrics have remained stable (no NH4, no Nitrite, 10ppm Nitrate).
Various Fanworms (my goldmine canaries),
<Well put>
crabs, snails, Zoanthids and Mushroom all happy, healthy pod and worm population, Sarcophyton still sulking (beginning to worry me a little, will normally sulk if touched /moved , but usually only for a few days, not weeks. However I have also changed the lighting type....)
I am now looking at stocking (yes.. at last we get to the point). This has been downright painful! I've spent so many months researching (well.. years really..) what seems like a colossal list of Marine species that I CAN'T have, because they are either Coral Nippers, aggressive, unpredictable, poor survivors, don't eat, aren't available or are otherwise not conscientious choices. Even so the list I have comprised is not perfect at all, but more like a selection of the least risky mix I'm prepared to attempt (sometimes it seem like anything will have a go at anything under the right/wrong conditions).
I have already had some hard lessons in compatibility/Survivability, and have directed such B-grade disasters as "Edward Scissor Beak - Night of the Puffer", "The Blob" (or "A Starfish ate my Nudibranch... and everything else slower than it") , "Goni, Goni..... Gone" and my personal favourite "Cryptocaryon up the Kyber", or "Who needs Quarantine?"
<Heee heeee! You should write such movie scripts... you'd no doubt generate a rapt, though select audience>
I now have the 90 Litre set up as a quarantine tank (no Substrate, PVC caves) and will put all except the Paracanthurus through the WWM Guerilla acclimation and quarantine. As per Bob's recommendation on WWM the Palette will just be dipped, dumped , and prayed for (as will the Premnas).
<Do place the Maroon last here. Territorial>
This will be the first addition (to help it settle and minimise collateral damage if it infects the display) but I am having a hard time finding a crypt free, promising specimen to buy to date, in spite of their retail abundance
I have had my Maroon clown for 6.5 years now and he (along with the Sarcophyton) is basically the sole survivor of my "Learning exercise".
I feel I have killed enough marine organisms now, and would like to give my little ecosystem a fighting chance (no pun), and me a less guilt ridden sleep with better (conscientious?) choices made this time around. And so.....to whit:
Planned Additions:
1 X Yellow Tailed Blue Tang - Paracanthurus Hepatus -
1 X Yellow Tang - Zebrasoma Flavescens
1 X Coral Beauty - Centropyge Bispinosus
2-3 X Schooling Bannerfish - Heniochus diphreutes
<I'd limit the BFs to two specimens in this 500l volume>
Another 20KG of Live rock
1 X Torch Coral - Euphyllia Glabrescens
1 X Pulsing Xenia - Can you suggest a good species please? Maybe one less prone to hostile takeovers?
<The vast majority of Xeniids I've seen offered for sale are mis-identified to even genus. I would go for/with any "local" Heteroxenia sp. available... I.e. one that has been established, is being sold by the fragmenter nearby>
Possible Additions depending on how game(naive?) I'm feeling:
1.Volitans Lionfish - Pterois Volitans (~ 3 Inches) - Yes ... I know ...the Clown!
<Yes, and no; I'd leave out a Lion here. Gets too big and will swallow smaller animals>
Am banking on a supposed 8 year lifespan for an already 7 plus year old Clownfish
<The Premnas can live for twenty or more years>
paired with a very small Lion..could be a bad bet I know, but I thought maybe the height of the clown, with his size and temperament might make the difference. Have observed 4 inch clowns co-existing with 30 Inch
<Mmm, no>
Volitans previously (although I can't vouch for how that lasted long term)
Am thinking of adding this fish last at a small size with no motile inverts (unless you can suggest any that will avoid being "snorted") and buying the rest at 3-4 inches plus. Also can you confirm whether the Rhodactis (?) or Entacmaea pose much of a threat to a Volitans in this space.
<They do not>
I have heard/read that they have a reputation for bumbling into anemones, and suffer disproportionately
2. Zebra Moray - Gymnomuraena Zebra
<Again... too much biomass... Are you planning on yet another (nearer time)  upgrade? If not, I'd leave off w/ eels>
Actually, I'm doubtful about this animal: the rest of my family really want one, but have read that a.) they can be hard to feed b.) they may choose to hide pretty much perpetually c.) Houdini trained them personally in the art of escape d.) they are reported to exhibit some strange kind of stupidity with regard to Lionfish spines and possible aggression towards the same. Regarding this last... Do you think this is anecdotal or a pretty much accepted behaviour pattern?
<It is>
3. Bubble Tip Anemone - Entacmaea Quadricolor
Let me save you the trouble <Mmmmm.... sessile Cnidarians with Motile  Cnidarians .... Mmmmmm .....> .. grin.
Am thinking frequent observation, large tank, few corals, and at worst, sessile victim relocation programmes
<Too risky in my estimation; but up to you>
4. Some Stenopus or Lysmata shrimp (if I decide against the Moray and the Lion, that is)
<Okay... though your present Debelius may consume these, or the Boxer work others woe>
Unlikely, but possible Future additions:
Majestic Angel - Pomacanthus Navarchus - I LOVE this fish, but it's unpredictability around corals and size give me pause, I may one day after more research be brave/equipped enough to try this
<Too big>
Other questions:
Do you think the mix of the Zebrasoma and the Paracanthurus will make the water too Tangy?
I reasoned that with the very different colours and noticeably different body shape they (the Yellow really..) aren't that likely to view each other as competitors... mistake?
<I think you'll be fine here... considering both will be new, hopefully started at not-too-large size>
Can you see any problems with adding either a Gorgonian (red) or a Tridacna to this mix in the future? (with sufficient lighting)
<Should be fine>
Can you suggest any other additions in the same vein as the above with a better survivability/compatibility quotient?
<I'd look into "something" that will hang about, add interest in mid-upper water... Perhaps a school of Apogonids, Anthiines>
Does anything leap out and say "No! ......Stop you fool!"?
<Just the Pteroine>
Thanks for your time,
<Thank you for sharing your dream, experiences, speculative angst! Bob Fenner>

Before I buy.... 75 Gal Mixed Reef, First Livestock Selections 12/2/2010
Good evening. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!
<Hi Justin.>
I have a 75 gallon aquarium with a 20 gallon sump. I have 50lbs of cured live rock (covered in purple coraline algae), 3 scoops of sand and a gallon of old system water, all my from my friend's 6 six year established reef. I also have about another 30lbs of Marco rock as base rock. I have 2 Hamilton Aruba sun v2 48" t5 retrofit kits, a reef octopus nwb 110 skimmer and an Eheim compact 3000 return pump with a Vortech mp40w es powerhead.
<Sounds like a nice setup.>
The aquarium never went through much of a cycle. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate have remained at 0 for a month's worth of testing. I have lots of little critters, worms, pods and feather dusters all over the rock work that I have been feeding raw table shrimp. My spg is 1.026 and my pH remains a constant 8.0. I use instant ocean reef crystals.
<Tank may have cycled already with the established live rock.>
So there is the overview of my tank.
I would like to start adding corals and wanted your final approval before I go ahead and make the purchase.
Oh... This is my first time with saltwater. I've been taking my time and going over your site for while now.
<Being patient and going slow is the best way to do it.>
I would like to add a colt coral, green umbrella leather, Ricordeas, mushrooms, green star polyps and Xenia. Not all at once but over time. Does my system meet the Requirements for these species to thrive?
<Certainly. You will want to add some sort of carbon to the system for the colts and the leathers. They can be rather noxious>
I believe it does from what I've read and researched over Reef Central and your website. I am just double checking. I'm a bit nervous about starting since this is all new to me.
The fish I intend to keep are two Percula clowns, Kole tang, watchmen goby and pistol shrimp and maybe a dwarf angel but have read that they are hit or miss when it comes to being reef safe.
<As long as they are well fed, they generally aren't a problem.>
If you could kindly offer your opinion on my overall setup I would take it to heart and really appreciate it.
<Sounds like a well thought out system. Go slow, add fish and corals one at a time, and you will do well.>
I am also in the process of setting up a ten gallon refugium with lettuce algae as well.
<Excellent idea.>
<My Pleasure.>
Sent from my iPhone
<Sent from my Laptop.>
Re: Before I buy.... 75 Gal Mixed Reef, First Livestock Selections 12/3/2010

Thank you!
<My pleasure.>
I will go slow.
<Always the best in this hobby. Always remember Nothing good happens quickly.>
As far as a feeding regime for the corals. I know that most of the corals will get their food from the lighting, fish food and fish waste. I was wondering if I should be feeding anything else to the system for the corals
benefit? Like Cyclop-eeze or Dt's phytoplankton or clams eggs?
<One a week wouldn't hurt. Just don't overdo it.>
Thanks again

Reef tank stocking  11/26/10
<Hello Nate>
I am working on stocking for my 120 gallon reef tank. Haven't decided what corals to add yet, but I am starting with fish stocking. I have worked for a while to narrow down my list and here is what I have come up with:
Butterflyfish (yellow long-nose and Copperband)
<Mmm, one or the other>
marine comet
Lyretail Anthias
<How many?>
Longnose Hawkfish
dwarf angels (coral beauty, pygmy, flame angel, Pearlscale)--thinking about putting them all in QT and then either moving them to display all at once or smallest to largest
<Just one Centropyge species, individual total for this tank>
Bluechin trigger
achilles tang
<Mmm, not easily kept. I'd choose another tang species>
neon Dottyback. Thought about other Dottybacks, but couldn't seem to find any that would play well with dwarf angels. Is this one too aggressive.
Mostly I listed the fish in the order I plan on adding them.
Also thinking about a snowflake eel as well.
Thanks, love your site!
Nate terry
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fish Stocking List/Stocking Levels 11/5/10
Hello WWM,
<Hello Dave>
I'm going to apologize for my grammar to start off.
<Wish you would have capitalized proper nouns as in fish names, saves me time if I don't have to do it.>
Now that that is said, I was told by some people on cdmas.org to throw my list your way. I recently started with reef tanks back in April of this year. I run a 50g tank with mixed corals, 2 Ocellaris Clowns, Mandarin, Coral Beauty, and a Yellow Tang. I do know the grow out of the tang and am trying to avoid this on this next tank. At the beginning, I did not like gobies, blennies, etc. I have seen quite a few tanks from fellow people on my forums and they nearly all have had at least one. That being said, I am trying to fit a handful in the new tank. For the new tank, It will be a 75g predrilled tank,
<I believe a poor investment for 25 more gallons.>
40g sump, 15g refugium, Aqua C EV-180 skimmer, 100+ lbs dry rock, and I am not decided on the powerheads yet. The corals for the tank will be mainly mixed LPS, with some SPS and softies. For the stock list I would like: 2-3 Banggai Cardinals, 2 gsm clowns, Finger Dragonet, Red Sea Mimic Blenny, Bicolor Blenny, 2 Yellow Clown Gobies, an angel ( Bluespotted or bicolor ), and a tang (power <Powder> Brown).
<Tank much too small for a Powder Brown.>
I am aware of the cardinals pairing and possibly killing the third, and the clowns becoming territorial.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Fish Compatibility (and a little on environment-induced abhorrent behavior) -- 10/11/10
Dear Crew,
I am in the process of stocking a mature 75 gallons reef tank (about 90 pounds of live rocks and a couple of SPS and LPS corals, with room to grow), and after reading through pages of very useful information, I still have a few questions about fish compatibility.
<<Okay'¦ I am happy to proffer my opinion>>
I plan to have (in this stocking order):
- a trio of stripped Cardinals (Apogon margaritophorus).
- a Flame Angel or a Coral Beauty.
<<My vote is for the former--hardier/better adapted to captive care--and a very striking fish>>
- an Orchid or a Neon Dottyback (captive bred).
<<A conservative plan indeed--if you stick to it. But regarding the Cardinals'¦ With this stocking plan, I would go with a larger group (7). You have the space, and a larger grouping of these small social fish would feel more secure in this setting--and look nice to boot!>>
The local Big Al's store has both Dottybacks, and from what I have seen, the tank housing the Pseudochromis aldabraensis is by far more peaceful than the one housing P. fridmani, even though the later has a reputation of being less aggressive (both tanks were standard 55 gallons, with about a dozen of individuals in each). Do you think that the P. aldabraensis will be too boisterous for the peaceful Cardinals?
<<Either fish, if a 'tank raised' specimen, will probably be fine. I have kept P. fridmani with Pajama Cardinals with no incident--though in a much larger system than you have. The Pajama Cardinals also do not share the same 'body shape' as the Pseudochromis like your choice of Cardinalfish--which may or may not play a role here. But still is worth a try I think>>
How about the compatibility of the Dottybacks with the Centropyge Angels?
<<I think it likely the Dwarf Angel will be the aggressor here--though things 'should' settle down after a bit>>
Is there a risk of either of them going hyper-dominant and harassing the other?
<<I think there will be some brief back-and-forth to establish hierarchy, but with sufficient 'hidey holes' in the rock work it shouldn't get too bad for either, and will likely taper off to the occasional 'charge' now and again>>
If the fish population is reasonable, is the stocking order acceptable, or is it better to add the Angel and the Dottyback at the same time to give each and equal chance for establishing a territory?
<<If the Angel is significantly larger than the Dottyback I would add it last--else, I think it matters little>>
I recently had an unfortunate experience with a Brown Scopas Tang suddenly going in a killing frenzy, after 4 years of peaceful cohabitation with a Black-cap Gramma, and very well-behaved Coral Beauty and Flame Angel, so I'm trying to plane very carefully my next tank population to avoid this type of occurrence to happen, as much as humanly possible.
<<Mmm, indeed'¦ I have known of other Tang species doing the same. I think it goes back to the assertion from some of us here at WWM that just 'keeping/growing up' fishes in systems too small to begin with, aside from physiological issues, leads to abhorrent social behaviors among fishes that are considered 'compatible' in the hobby>>
Thank you for taking the time to help,
<<Quite welcome>>
and for maintaining this excellent website.
<<Quite the collaborative effort>>
<<Cheers'¦ EricR>>

Stocking a 375 Gallon Soft Coral Reef Tank/Stocking Level/Compatibility 9/20/10
Hi Crew,
<Hello Rick>
In the process of planning a 96x96x30
<Yowsah, James is jealous again.>
Soft Coral (noxious variety) Reef Tank (currently have a 90 gallon reef tank that I've been able to
learn/experience/make a few mistakes with/but most importantly enjoy).
My DREAM occupants of the proposed 375 gallon tank would include a Majestic Angelfish - Euxiphipops Navarchus and a Regal Angelfish - Pygoplites diacanthus ... but honestly (and after literally hundreds and hundreds of "hours of reading / research") I'm probably more confused (or afraid of attempting) now than 2 years ago when I started planning the bigger tank. My research simply tells me, "if" you look long enough, someone will give you the answer/info you are hoping for ... albeit not often correct or accurate. Here's my wish-list, in order of introduction into the tank ... please provide your wisdom in regards to my chances of success within a soft coral tank.
<I'll give you my input, see below.>
Greatly, greatly appreciated,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
20 Yellowtail Damselfishes - Chrysiptera parasema
<Good choice, one of the least aggressive Damselfish and a great splash of color.>
1 Coral Beauty Angel - Centropyge
bispinosus (could I house a harem of Coral Beauties - say 5?)
<They are usually found in small groups of 3-7 in the wild so in a 375 gallon tank with those dimensions, it should work out.
If you are looking for a fish that will always be in full view during the day, this is not the one to choose.
Have one myself and I'd say it is in and among the rock more than it is out and about in full view.>
1 Flame Angelfish - Centropyge loriculus
<If you choose to have 5 Coral Beauties, then I would omit this guy.
Problems likely to arise.
One of each would be a better way to go.>
2 Golden Butterflies - Chaetodon semilarvatus
<Caution here as these fish will feed on benthic invertebrates, Zoanthids, and some soft corals.>
1 Regal Angel (Red Sea) - Pygoplites diacanthus
<It's a dice roll with these fish. Most rarely live more than a month in captivity. With your size tank, the odds may be a little more in your favor, but still no guarantee. And if you decide to roll the dice, do
wait until your tank has aged at least 6 months. They are pricey, so the choice is yours to make.>
1 Majestic Angel - Pomacanthus Navarchus
<This fish is much easier to keep than the Regal but is prone to nip at stony and soft corals (sessile invertebrates)
and clam mantles. It generally will not harm small-polyped stony corals and somewhat noxious soft corals.>
5 Blue Hippo Tangs -Paracanthurus hepatus
<A good choice, very colorful indeed, but five may be a bit too much for your tank as they can grow up to
a foot in length, captive systems likely to 10 inches.>
1 Purple Tang - Zebrasoma xanthurum
<Another attractive species that should fit in well with the previous choices/selections.>

Wrasse compatibility and an update on hyposalinity treatment of Cryptocaryon irritans  9/12/10
Greetings to Bob and Crew at WWM,
I hope that things are going well with you and yours!
<Thank you>
It has been several months since I've written about my battle with a very entrenched C. irritans infection in my 225 gallon system. As you may remember, this all started November of 2009 and I have tried formalin, quinine, Chloroquine, and the last was hypo-salinity. My fishes have been kept in the main tank with salinity at 1.010 or 12 ppm for the past two and a half months. Hypo-salinity was my "last resort" as my fishes' Crypt infection was coming to a very severe level and I needed to give them relief FAST. It took almost three weeks for each and every spot to disappear, I believe (thinking back) it was because it took me a week to finally drop the salinity from 1.012 to 1.010. I've learned a lot from this experience and I've also gained a ton of patience. To anyone who thinks quarantining one's fish for six or eight weeks is long - just imagine fighting Crypt for ten plus months! And honestly speaking, I know my battle is not over yet! My plans are to continue hypo through October and start raising the salinity slowly over a week or two in November. I then will wait and monitor for another four weeks for recurrence and then after that, introduce my poor corals and start stocking again. Through all this, I consider myself fairly lucky that I didn't experience total wipe out, but I was saddened by every little life I lost. I still have my original Powder Blue tang, Kole tang, and Atlantic Blue tang - who grew from silver dollar size to a huge 6 inches in length and a bright yellow to a deep blue.
Current inhabitants beside the tangs are:
4 x Firefish gobies (Nemateleotris magnifica, a pair and two individuals)
1 x Randall's goby (Amblyeleotris randalli)
1 x some type of variant (white/grey/purple) yellow watchman goby
(Cyrptocentrus cinctus) Is mine a female?
<Likely so>
Pair of Amphiprion ocellaris
1 x Cleaner Wrasse (original from November 09)
11 x Emperor Angel (Pomacanthus imperator - grew from 2 to 4 inches in three months!)
2 x female red scooter blennies (Synchiropus stellatus)
1 x clown fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)
1 x Starry blenny (Salarias ramosus)
I'm looking to restock with the following and also have some associated questions regarding each:
First and most importantly: I will quarantine each fish or pair for eight weeks to observe for any signs of infection and also to make sure that each has acclimated to a multitude of foods which my (and my current fishes)
favorites are Ocean Nutrition Formula One/Two frozen and pellets, and New Life Spectrum pellets - I honestly believe that the health and longevity of our fishes' success ties in with their willingness and ability to accept these highly nutritious foods.
<We are in agreement>
Male Synchiropus stellatus
Pair of yellow head jaw fish (Opistognathus aurifrons) - Is there a difference between ones collected from Mexico versus Florida?
<Mmm, not really. Are about the same hardiness historically from wherever collected... and very few are currently aquacultured>
Pair of Yellow Watchman Gobies (Cyrptocentrus cinctus)
Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) - I've read that Pseudocheilinus
can be real bullies when mature, is that the normal tendency of things?  /> <Not this species as much as the "lined" ones. Not to worry>
If so, if I start with a smallish specimen and put him in last, would that help my chances of having a peaceful fish?
Orange spotted blenny (*Blenniella chrysospilos)*
Pair of Aurora Gobies (Amblyeleotris aurora)
Pair of Citron Gobies (Gobiodon citrinus) - would these be "too small" for my tank and be eaten by someone?
<Not if you have Acropora corals for them to occupy>/> Hybrid Angel - *Centropyge flavissima x C. vrolikii - *I would love to a Centropyge flavissima in addition to the hybrid and read that Lemonpeels are "less aggressive towards other Centropyges" but not sure what your thoughts are?
<... that your system is getting very/too crowded. Do you have plans for having another tank?>
Collection of Halichoeres wrasse (My favorite is the *Halichoeres melanurus, *but I also like, *Halichoeres leucurus, Halichoeres vrolikii, Halichoeres chrysus*) I would LOVE it if I could have one of each in my system, but if not, I'll be happy with just the Melanurus! Questions regarding this are: If I can keep multiples of this genus or do they not get along?
<... I'd stop stocking the 225>
Will these Halichoeres do well in quarantine or would you observe in LFS for a week to two, make sure its healthy and eating, then dip and place in display? I've read several different opinions on this genus and would love to know of yours!
<Is posted on WWM. One/singles are fine in captivity>/> Lastly, I'm planning on getting a pair of cleaner shrimp, and pistol shrimps for all my shrimp gobies! My tank will really be "popping"!
Thank you so much for all the support now, past, and I'm sure, future.br /> Your site is truly invaluable!
Jamie Barclay
<Welcome. BobF>& 

stocking, SW... a few tanks, many possibilities  8/27/10
Dear WWM crew,
I would like to thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and time.
All thanks to the Wet Web Crew, I have become a reasonably successful fish keeper. I am on my second year and have become quite addicted. Thanks again (I think).
<Heeee! Socios miseris habuisse dolorem dicit... Cicero et al, "Misery loves company">
Now for my situation, I'm really going to fry your brain. I have 3 salt water tanks set up. A 215 gal. , a 125 gal. , a 90 gal. Two 37 gal. refugiums, 100 gal. sump, 300lbs+ of live rock, a deep sand bed, also running 2 skimmers, all flowing through the same system. Everything has been running excellent for 2 years. My fish consist of :
Koran Angel 6"
Spot Fox Face 5"
Pink tail Trigger 5"
Pink Spotted Goby 3"
Lemon Peel Angel 4"
Lemon Damsel 2"
Tomato Clown 4"
Falco Hawkfish 3"
Picasso Trigger 3-4"
Diadem Dottyback 2-3"
Sail Fin tang 5"
Engineer Goby 6"
Kole Tang 4"
Kline Butterfly 3-4"
2 Clown Fish Ocellaris 2"
3 Green Chromis 1-2"
2 Long Spine Sea Urchins
2 Cleaner Fish <What sort/species?>
3 Serpent Stars
Half dozen or so Hermit crabs and snails
I have just come across a gentlemen breaking down his 300 gal. tank because he could no longer care for them. I purchased for a very reasonable price 125 lbs of beautiful live rock, his aqua c ev2000 skimmer, and all of his fish. I have his fish and rock in his water in three 55 gal. tanks. The fish are all eating well and doing fine. Here is my plan, I would like to keep as many of his fish as possible. I will remove all my live rock and fish and restock all tanks fresh, with a combination of his fish and my fish with as much rock as possible. Here's a list of the fish I purchased.
All are healthy and have been in his tank for at least 5 years.
Yellow Tang 5"
Hippo Tang 5-6"
Hawk Fish 4-5"
Green Mandarin 3"
Eibli Angel 3-4"
Heraldi Angel 4-5"
Flame Angel 4"
Gold Rabbit Fish 4-5"
Cuban Hog Fish 5-6"
3 Short spined Urchins
Not to complicate things more then they already are, I would like to possibly use either the 90 gal. or the 125 gal. for some easy corals. I would like to know your opinion on the best way to restock my tanks with as many fish as possible safely, stocking all 3 tanks to the maximum. I do heavy skimming and consistent water treatment. Thank you very much for your time, I hope I did not ruin your day. Thank you again,
<Mmm, well... your largest system (the 215) should house the Koran, the larger Rabbitfish, Trigger, Zebrasoma and Hogfish for sure... much else can be parsed to the other systems... There are techniques for more readily assuring who goes in first et al... but I suspect the current blending/mixing all at once of whoever is left will work out in degrees/kind with time. It would be great if you could have ended up with the 300 gallon system, and moved all, separated all according to the greater space. Bob Fenner>
Re: stocking, FO, reef...  8/29/10

Hello WWM ,
Thank you for your quick response and once again we all really appreciate your knowledge . I've come up with a stocking plan for my 3 tanks and would love your input.
215 gal. -
Koran Angel
Sailfin Tang
Pink Tail trigger
Cuban Hogfish
One Spot Rabbit
Green Mandarin
<Too likely bothered by the trigger and starved here>
Pink Spotted Goby
2- Clown Ocellaris
3- Green Chromis
<I'd "stop" here population and psychological mix-wise>
Hippo Tang
Heraldi Angel
Yellow Tang
125gal. -
Picasso Trigger
Kline Butterfly
Engineer goby
Lemon Peel Angel
Eibli Angel
Tomato Clown
Gold Rabbit
90gal. (possible reef tank)
Falco Hawkfish
Lemon Damsel
Diadem Dottyback
Kole Tang
Flame Angel
PJ Cardinal
2- Cleaner Shrimp
My plan is to remove all old fish and rock, restock all fish and all rock.
My question to you, in your professional opinion , is this stocking plan going to work or have I struck out completely?
<You're twixt first and second base>
My biggest concern is the 215 possible being over stocked. Should I consider moving the yellow Tang to the 125gal or take some fish out of the mix completely?
<See my comments above>
Thank you again for your help.
<Welcome. BobF>

Stocking, Equipment and Compatibility...125Gal Stocking and selection 8/16/2010
Hello To All The Crew...
My name is Ron,
<Mike here.>
You have always steered me in the right direction. That doesn't mean, I have always listened...
<Take comfort in the fact that you aren't the first and hardly likely to be the last.>
I need your advice on stocking, equipment and compatibility. I am breaking down and selling my 110 gallon tank. My new tank is a 125 gallon. My equipment is listed below.
Tank dimensions are 72"x 18"x 22"
Current USA Outer Orbit Fixture 48 inch, 2x150W 10K Metal Halide HQIs with
4X54W T5HOs, & 18 Lunar Lights
Rena XP3 (I know your crew is not a big fan of canister filters)
<I actually have 2 on my 150. I use them for chemical filtration and water movement only.>
AquaC Remora Pro Protein Skimmer with Mag 3 pump (Upgrading to the AquaMedic Turboflotor T1000 Multi SL with Aqua Medic Ocean Runner PH 2500)
Two Hydro Koralia Powerheads #4 and One Hydro Koralia Powerhead #3 Two Visi-Therm Deluxe Submersible Heaters 300W
100 lbs. of live rock
<All looks good there.>
The list below is my wish list for stocking. Some will be transfers from the 110 gallon tank.
Transfer List:
4" Purple Tang
4" Pacific Blue Tang (This one can go, if I can have the rest)
4" One Spot Foxface (This one can go, if I can have the rest)
3" Flame Angel
Wish List:
3" Volitans Lionfish <Will get much larger in time.>
4" Blue Angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis) <Same here, will get bossy in time.>
3" Blue Jaw Triggerfish <One of the 'calmer' triggers, but again, will get
bigger in time.>
<If it was me, I would pick one or two off of your wish list and lose one or two from the transfer list. Otherwise, you are going to be too crowded, both physically and psychologically.>
I also would like to have some corals, if possible? What kind could I have?
<You have adequate lighting for most corals, that said, Triggers and the larger angels are at best 'very cautiously' reef safe, and would stock accordingly.>
Thanks in advance for your advice...
<My pleasure.>

A Good Choice For My 95 Gallon Wave?/Stocking/Compatibility 8/12/10
Dear crew,
First let me say that your site is amazing!
<Thank you.>
I have been reading these posts for about five years and now need some guidance specific to my system. I have a 95 gallon wave tank that has been established for about five years. I have a 19 gallon sump, 260 watts of light, about 100 pounds of live rock and am working on a new protein skimmer (Aqua C EV 120). My water temperature stays at around 80 degrees and the salinity is 1.023. My question pertains to stocking. Living in the tank is 1- 3' Yellow Tang , 3- 2' blue green Chromis, 1- 3' yellow wrasse, a pair of mated true Perculas in their Bubble Tip Anemone and 1 cleaner shrimp. These fish have been living together for a couple years now, some closer to three years. I also have some softies- mushrooms, colts and some polyps. I've been asking all of the local dealers what they would suggest as far as additional fish and the answers are sometimes crazy (as crazy as Naso tang)'¦
<Is crazy.>
so I'm going to the source. What medium size fish or little school of fish will work beautifully with my existing system? I'm looking for hardy fish that will be happy in a 95 gallon system! What would you suggest?
<My first thought was a dwarf angel but then there are no guarantees that these fish would not sample your corals. Most folks have had luck (including myself) in this regard, but the choice is yours to make. My other thoughts would be 3 Yellow Tail Damsels which are rather peaceful and do add a splash of color. The colorful Dottybacks would be another fish to check out. There are many others, but I just don't have the time to compile a list. Check out some of the on-line fish etailers such as Drs. Foster Smith. They most always have compatibility ratings.>
Thanks so much for your time!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
I realize this sounds like a simple question, but I'm a little nervous about upsetting the current environment.
Re Wave?/Stocking/Compatibility 8/12/10 - 8/17/10
Thanks for your quick response...
<You're welcome.>
I have done some more research and have several fish I'm thinking about. Here are my tank specs and inhabitants again. I have a 95 gallon wave tank that has been established for about five years. I have a 19 gallon sump, 260 watts of light, about 100 pounds of live rock and am working on a new protein skimmer (Aqua C EV 120). My water temperature stays at around 80 degrees and the salinity is 1.023. Living in the tank is 1- 3' Yellow Tang , 3- 2' blue green Chromis, 1- 3' yellow wrasse, a pair of mated true Perculas in their Bubble Tip Anemone and 1 cleaner shrimp. These fish have been living together for a couple years now, some closer to three years. I also have some softies- mushrooms, colts and some polyps.
I'm thinking of a Bluehead Fairy Wrasse but am wondering if it will be peaceful with my yellow wrasse?
<Your Halichoeres chrysus is generally a peaceful fish as is the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse and compatibility issues
should be minimal.>
I'm also thinking of a saddleback butterfly but am concerned about my bubble tip anemone and softies. Do you think the clowns would protect the anemone?
<Why cause problems, but to answer your question, the Saddleback Butterflyfish generally feeds on SPS corals in the wild but is no guarantee
that it will not sample the tips of your BTA. And, this is not one of the easier Butterflyfish to keep.>
Lastly... if there is room... I would love to put another tang in the tank. I've been looking at the blue Caribbean tang,
<Will get too large for your system.>
the powder brown tang and the powder blue tang.
<Difficult to keep/acclimate, requires larger quarters.>
Which one of these tangs (if any) would be most suitable.
Thanks for all of your help, you guys are awesome!
<You're welcome, and do search our site first before writing as all this information is readily found. James (Salty Dog)>

How Many Fish?/Marine Stocking Levels    8/7/10
I have a 135 gal. reef tank. I have approx. 80 lbs live rock, sand. How many fish are recommended for this size tank? I know that it depends on the fish and their size, but please give my a ball park figure.

<Becky, there are many variables that can affect stocking levels. Surface area of tank, use of a sump and skimmer, quality of filtration, oxygen, etc. But to be on the safe side, one cubic inch of fish per 5 gallons of water would be my suggestion. May want to read this article. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i6/Reef%20Ramblings/ramblings.htm James (Salty Dog) Becky Ward

Stocking the reef v1.2 7/20/10
Hi there!
I am considering adding a Candy Basslet (L. carmabi) to my 90 gallon reef if I can get my hands on one. I am concerned that this fish may not be compatible with the Blue Assessor (A. macneilli) currently residing in the
reef. I also plan to add a Yellow Assessor (A. flavissimus) in the near future as I know several people who have kept the two Assessors together long-term with good results. I also hear the Yellow is less cryptic than
the Blue.
<This has been my experience, yes>
The reef is brightly lit SPS dominant which I understand is not ideal for the Candy Basslet, but being a hardy Basslet I assume it would get used to its surroundings. What do you think about adding a Candy Basslet to the mix? Other fish in reef:
ORA Sharknose Goby
2 Pearly Jawfish aka Yellow Head
2 True Percula Clowns
Blue Assessor
Yellow Assessor (soon to be added)
Thanks for your great advice in the past, and any future advice you may give me.
<I give you "okay" odds here... this is the "stock" ninety of four foot length? With enough/sufficient caves, spaces in your hard decor these fishes should be able to coexist with not too much disharmony. Bob Fenner>

Too Much Livestock for a 90g? -- 07/06/10
<<Hey Phil!>>
I have been stalking your sections on stockings for the past few hours. I had the feeling I might have went a bit overboard.
So, I wanted to know what you think of my Fish load.
I have a 90G + 40G sump/refugium loaded with macro. Over 120Lbs of live rocks, 5 inch DSB, a small plenum in the sump. Remora Skimmer and a small UV on one return line. Ok! Here we go...A few soft and LPS corals, 5 Hermits, 4 shrimps.1x SS Starfish,
<<The Sand-Sifting Star has done already, or will be decimating the biota in your DSB'¦greatly reducing its benefit>>
1x what I believe to be a Fromia milleporella (Small red Starfish with little black dots), 12 Snails, 3 feathers, 1x Foxface, 1x Blue Hippo,
<<Needs a much bigger tank than this'¦these large, robust, and a little bit 'twitchy' Tangs can suffer horribly from being raised in a 'too small' system'¦exhibiting both physical and sociological complaints in the long term>>
1x Engineer Goby, 1xYellow Nose Prawn Goby, 1xYellow Clown Goby, 3xChromis viridis, a couple of Clowns, and a Lawnmower Blenny. Oh and about 100000 small shrimps in the sump!
Should I start fishing for new homes?
<<In my opinion, yes'¦for both the Sand-Sifting Star and the Hippo Tang>>
Thanks again,
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

damsel addition?   7/6/10
Hello there folks - I think I know the answer to this but I'm going to ask anyway - I have a 65 gallon reef tank, with the following inhabitants: a Tomini Tang, a Purple Tang,
<These Surgeonfishes will need more room in time>
a Tailspot Blenny, a Copperband Butterfly, a Scooter dragonet, and four Azure damsels. All are healthy and getting along well. I would like to add a couple of Three stripe damsels.
<Mmm, no. I would not do this>
The ones in the store are about half the size of the Azure damsels I have.
Am I right that the Azure damsels would most likely attack the Three stripe damsels?
<There's "no room at the inn" here period>
Or, given the fact that the Three stripes are so small, is it possible the Azures wouldn't regard them as a threat? Or (as I have a feeling) am I best to skip this idea?
Of course, behavior is sometimes unpredictable, as with my Copperband.
Supposedly shy, right? Ha! He takes food from my finger, chases the other fish, even snatches food nearly from their mouths (which is why I started giving him food from my fingers). Still, I will appreciate your thoughts re the damsels... Thanks, Seth.
P.S. Thanks for your excellent website and great advice in the past!
<Welcome Seth. Do keep your eyes open (Craig's List, garage sales...) and save up for a larger system.
Bob Fenner>

Stocking List 6/25/10
Hi Crew.
<Hello Jordan>
I have a rather general question for you that I realize can have many factors affecting it and can be also very much an individual species/care giver choice as well. Just thought I would see if any glaring issues may seem obvious here or not.
Planning out my stocking list and am wondering if this would be suitable or not.
General specs first:
125g tank 72"l x 18"w x 22" deep
Aquatic Life 72" HID light canopy 3 x 150w HID, 4 x t5 actinics, 6 led moonlights
30g aprox. volume sump with DSB, skimmer, Chaeto, etc.
<Do ensure you have an abundant supply of micro fauna for the DSB.>
2 x Vortech MP20's mounted on left and right side, 1 Koralia 2 in middle on back wall down low
Poly Filter in baffle
Tank is about 5 months old now
Water Parameters
pH 8.2
SG 1.025
Temp 78-80 day/night
Nitrite/nitrate - 0, Phosphate- .05 or less, Ammon - 0, Alk- 4.0 mEq/L
I use Seachem's Aquavitro salt and do 15% change every 3 weeks right now
185lbs LR with several caves, nooks, walls.
Current occupants excluding Turbos, Nassarius snails, Cerith snails
2 x Scarlet Red Hermit
3 x Peppermint Shrimp
2 x cleaner shrimp
2 x Tonga Conch
7 x Blue Chromis - been in a month now
So my plans are to add slowly!! The following in this order I believe unless you may have a suggestion which I always consider above all others I talk too.
2 x Ocellaris clowns
1 x Yellow Longnose B/F
<This butterfly is generally safe with SPS Corals, but may pick at/eat LPS Corals.
Caution advised here.>
1 x Kole or Tomini Tang
<My experience is that the Tomini Tang is a little easier to keep than the Kole Tang. Have one
myself going on three years now.>
1 x Flame Angel
Mostly will be adding LPS and Coralimorpharians for now, spaced well apart.
Currently have 2 green Rhodactis.
Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys
<Sounds OK so far. James (Salty Dog)>

R4: Fish Compatibility Question Actually, and Conch Eggs Too? Plus Adding Detritivores (And Overcoming the Creepiness Factor) - 06/10/10
Hi Eric R!
<<Hiya Chris!>>
Chris K here again but this time just to follow up as I had promised with some great news!
Hi Eric R!! It's Chris K with some promised follow up. (Just to refresh you - I have a 90 gallon, with 20 gallon sump and refugium, 4 clowns (2 ocellaris and 2 black and white Percs), 1 yellow tang, 1 flame angel, 1 Sixline wrasse, 1 Firefish goby and 2 very small neon gobies (and a few small corals) I am the one who warbles on about finding a blue fish to fit in with my other aquatic friends.
<Ah yes'¦I do recall>>
Well I promised you follow up and I am true to my word.
<<Much appreciated>>
Great news! Shortly after our last conversation, I was able to get an indigo Dottyback and as you mentioned I was to keep a particularly close eye on my flame angel's reaction as well as the interaction between the Dottyback and the Sixline wrasse.
I considered removing the wrasse for a few days, and then returning him when the Dottyback settled in - but in my view my Sixline is particularly easygoing, and after studying the Dottyback before I put him in the tank - I noted that he was not as shy as I had imagined.
<<Mmm, nope'¦can be pugnacious actually'¦though the hybridizing/captive breeding has likely toned this down compared to wild caught specimens of this genus>>
I chose instead to purchase a new piece of live rock and move some other pieces around.
<<Smart move>>
Just as you indicated, once I added the indigo Dottyback the flame angel chased him around a little then lost interest after a few days.
<<Typical, yes>>
The wrasse minded his own business like he always does (some days I am not even sure he is aware that there are other fish in the aquarium with him). But the Dottyback made certain to keep the wrasse at a distance for close to two weeks.
<<Yup'¦'any' newcomer is generally at a disadvantage in the beginning, until they become familiar/comfortable with their new surroundings>>
There was no chasing around the tank or confining the wrasse to any one certain area (which I had experienced before with a "pair" of Firefish) - but there was a little charging if the wrasse came too close to the Dottyback anywhere in the aquarium. I am happy to report now that after nearly two months the Dottyback has claimed an empty cave at one end of the aquarium and at times will give a half hearted nudge to anyone who gets too close to the opening (but only if he is near the opening himself and even then it is usually not enough of a deterrent to stop the fish from passing by again on the way back.) Other than that all the fish seem to be able to swim about the tank from one end to another as they please. And in fact the Sixline and the Dottyback are able to swim in open areas of the aquarium ignoring each other completely. Which I believe is more than I could have hoped for!
<<Sounds like success to me!>>
I also purchased a small brittle star which I am happy to say I touched!
<<Wasn't so bad, eh?>>
Did you know that they are brittle? (big grin) and not at all as slimy or creepy as I had imagined. Brittle star...who knew??
He prefers to lock himself away in the lower grid of my corner overflow during the day (the clink) and come out and explore at night.
<<Typical behavior for these critters>>
I am actually quite fond of him - although I have noticed more and more empty Nassarius snail shells popping up lately.
<<Hmm, maybe just old age'¦but if you don't feed heavy enough as a routine, perhaps you could add a few shrimp pellets to the tank just before lights out. I once had a 'huge' bright-orange serpent star that would never show its body but rather would extends its arms some 7-8 inches from the rock and wave them about in search of the pellet food I dropped in the tank for it'¦now 'that' was in interesting sight>>
The tiger tail cucumber that I purchased (and also touched) was exactly what I expected and we seem to have a nice understanding - he hides in the sand and rocks... and I do not try to find him.
And I am proud to say that I was able to do all this with no adult beverages (although my husband had the margarita mix standing by!)
<<A good man!>>
Actually I would not have been able to accomplish any of it without the direction and support of the WetWeb crew!
<<Has been a pleasure>>
You make it possible for people (like myself) to go farther in this hobby then they could imagine.
<<The journey has only just begun! [grin]>>
One last question - what is the minimum light needed for a Rose bubble anemone?
<<Generally, the brighter the better'¦but do have a peruse here and amongst the associated links (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm)>>
I have 4 T5's on my 90 gallon.
<<Not enough, really'¦I would recommend at least double this (assuming 54w bulbs)'¦and more white than blue light>>
I had a rose for a few months - gorgeous - one morning I woke up and he was gone. Apparently he climbed over my corner overflow and was whisked into my plumbing.
By the time I found him he was goo stuck to the corner of my filter sock. I wonder if he was moving around looking for more light?
<<Quite possibly'¦though there may also have been issues with water quality/flow or pestering from another tank inhabitant'¦all of which could send it on 'walkabout'>>
Take care!
Chris K
<<And you too my friend'¦ Eric Russell>>

Reef Stocking List 5/28/10
Greetings Crew!
Thanks again for your wonderful wisdom! I greatly appreciate everything that you do for the aquatic community!
I just wanted to briefly run my stocking list by you for my 54 gallon corner reef which is looking great so far thanks to the website and your help. I've learned to be patient and have not added any fish yet, only corals and inverts so far to the 7 month old system. My proposed fish list in order of introduction is this: 2 Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Clown Goby,
<Mmm, Gobiodon really need to be placed with live corals... Acropora species esp. See WWM re>
1 Neon Goby, and 1 Bicolor Dottyback.
Please let me know if this mix will work long term.
<There may be troubles>
I will be quarantining all species (not at the same time) for a minimum of 2 weeks. I will be performing freshwater dips (pH adjusted with Seachem Reef Buffer) with Methylene Blue on all specimens minus the Clown Goby due
to its delicate nature.
Lastly, as in many corner tanks, the lid only covers about 80% of the tank's surface and I was considering building an acrylic/Plexiglas cutout to cover the remainder.
Do you feel that any of these fishes are "jumpers"?
<The Dotty mostly, though Clowns can clear a few inches>
I've had Dottybacks before that jumped out of a tiny tank opening and feel that the additional Plexiglas would be needed.
Thanks so much crew! You ARE appreciated!!!
<Do read re these species on WWM. Bob Fenner>

55 gallon reef set-up, stkg., lighting f's...  5/19/10
Hey Crew hope this find everyone well,
<I'm a bit blurry from IPA sampling ayer>
My wife and I have been keeping fish only saltwater aquariums for about 5 yrs, and now we are setting up our first reef. It's a standard 55 gallon 48" by 13" x 20". So far we've set the tank up with 60 lbs of sugar fine aragonite, and a Marineland T5 HO Deluxe Strip light that has 4 - 54watt bulbs. Two Marineland Daylight bulbs and two Actinic bulbs giving a total of 216 watts of light.
<I'd ditch/replace at least one of the actinics...>
The 60 lbs of sand seem to be giving in about 2.5 to 3 inches of sand bed.
We're planning to added between 50 and 70 lbs of live rock over the next month to form the back bone of the filtration along with a protein skimmer.
After the tank has cycled and been stable for at least a month we plan to start adding animals slowly at 2 to 4 week intervals.
The only fish we plan to add are 1 Clownfish, 1 Royal Gamma, and 1 Firefish.
<Mmm, do read on WWM re the Grammatid and separately Firefishes... these are often incompatible in such small systems... and Microdesmids really are social animals... depending on species, should be kept in twos or more...
not singly>
Coral wise we are wanting to keep a Colt Coral, Pulsing Xenia, Colony Polyp, Candy Cane Coral, Frogspawn Coral, Hammer Coral, Fox Coral, and a Brain Coral.
<Then I definitely would be reading re Actinic light, switching out... for more "white">
Plus a Derasa Clam,
<This animal may need more light in particular... perhaps a "spot" pendant can be arranged, shined down on it>
and some Cleaner shrimp.
Our questions: Are we heading in the right direction and will our stocking plan work? If not we're open to any and all suggestions.
<Do take the time, enjoy reading re the animals you list here... on WWM, elsewhere... Take good notes, and do write back if you have further questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>

Suggested stocking Order   5/13/10
Evening Crew
Thanks to everyone's advise at WWM my 155 gallon reef is coming along nice...Lots of co-pods
<... copepods>
swimming everywhere, everything is looking healthy I'm now looking to stock my tank I currently have a pair of clarki clownfish, a bi-color blenny, an Eibli pygmy angel and a powder blue tang currently in quarantine.
My plan is to move all of the above (except the powder blue) into my display tank within a week and keep the powder blue in the qt for another couple of weeks in hopes of eliminating the possibility of ich
Additional fish that I am looking to put in the tank are a purple tang, a couple of engineer gobies, a mandarin goby and probably a wrasse or two and maybe another pygmy angel down the road I'm trying to determine the best way to stock in an effort to avoid unnecessary stress on the animals and was looking for insight in this matter
Also any additional suggestions within this mix would be an added bonus
Thanks in advance for you assistance
<In this size, shape system, w/ what you list as current, desired, there is no real preference in stocking order. The PBT may go after most anything, particularly Acanthuroids... but not likely to a dangerous extent. Bob Fenner>

Tubastrea aurea... Rambling re SW stkg... reefs   4/14/10
I have 2 salt water reef tanks. I have one a 30 gal Nano tank with a yellow watchman goby, a purple fire fish, a peaceful serpent star-Ophiolepsis superba, Nassarius snails which I love, one or two turbo snails, green striped mushrooms, branching frogspawn, some polyps that grew from a live rock I had for 4 or 5 years first, pulsing xenia and a yellow polyp rock.
4 inch sand bed (had 6 inches but was 1/3 tank so removed some).
I would like to know if it would be safe to add sexy anemone shrimp (3 of these) and a feather duster.
<Mmm, not likely... too easily consumed here, no likely symbiont...>
I do a water change every 7-10 days and all the parameters are so far perfect. Because I have been feeding more I have been careful to keep up the water changes and noting for any nitrate increases. This tank has been up for 2 years. A Bak Pak protein skimmer as this is a oceanic biocube and I use the back empty (no balls for filters just a pump a kind of sump)
The first tank we had is a 75 gallon reef tank with about 75 pounds or more of live rock(had so much more but used some in the 30 gallon and some seems to crumble or dissolve away. Still have plenty. Sand is variable, in a wave so that the front center has 4 inch sand bed around the bases of the rocks less and to the back less.
I have a huge large cantaloupe sized open brain who is just happy as can be, and branching frogspawn that has really grown (given some to a friend who started a tank, and have some in the 30 gallon) I have some pulsating xenia.
And a blue mushroom. I just added a green striped mushroom rock.
I am trying to keep with the LPS as it seems they grow so wonderfully, at least the 2 I have in the tank.
I have just added fish, a midas blenny and 7 small green Chromis. 2 serpent stars (Ophiolepsis superba), 3 reef crabs who are also ancient and getting bigger, my Nassarius snails, a turbo or two. I would love to add to this tank a feather duster, a fire shrimp (just one) and 3 skunk cleaner shrimp.
I also have a pencil sea urchin who has lived there since we started up the tank--8 years ago.
I don't see any copepods in either tank. I do have bristle worm dusters in the sand. I could add live copepods or get some from my friend/
I would love to had a Tubastrea aurea--is it better to start with smaller size (3-4 in) or larger size(4-5in) as I have a choice.
I realize I have to feed each of the tubes but I have a great time feeding the fish and I am a night owl so I could feed at night each polyp by a turkey baster. Any other ideas,
is this a good choice to try to care for.
<Not generally hardy, no>
I have a sand bottom that has areas where the frogspawn lean over decreasing the light or a area of a cave with a outcrop overhang. I am understanding that they need less light.
<Actually very little... are not really photosynthetic>
I would love for any comments about the new my new additions to the tanks-shrimps and are they OK with the serpents I have. Feather dusters.
And the Tubastrea aurea. I hate to try things that will not last as it is such a waste of life. Which is why I have few items in the tank and relatively peaceful fish.
The fish are funny, the midas blenny about 4 inches long and the 7 small green Chromis all like to swim together the swim upstream in front of the powerhead sort of like finding their own treadmill. I appreciate everything that this crew has done for people like me. Thank you so much. What a beautiful site. Even more so with the new format.
I feed a variety--Cyclop-eeze (frozen) Mysis shrimp formula 1 and grow my own algae. I have compact fluorescent lighting with 2 bulbs 65 watt 10 K and 2 bulbs 65 watt actinic lighting. I have used a variety of salt and found that I like Tropic Marin salt the best. I also used Oceanic, Kent but still go back to Tropic Marin. I have a protein skimmer CPR bak pak on the 75 gal tank. I will add a third pump as it seems the critters love the water flow.
<The Shrimps and tubeworms should be fine here. Bob Fenner>

Tubastrea aurea... Rambling re SW stkg... reefs   4/14/10
I have 2 salt water reef tanks. I have one a 30 gal Nano tank with a yellow watchman goby, a purple fire fish, a peaceful serpent star-Ophiolepsis superba, Nassarius snails which I love, one or two turbo snails, green striped mushrooms, branching frogspawn, some polyps that grew from a live rock I had for 4 or 5 years first, pulsing xenia and a yellow polyp rock.
4 inch sand bed (had 6 inches but was 1/3 tank so removed some).
I would like to know if it would be safe to add sexy anemone shrimp (3 of these) and a feather duster.
<Mmm, not likely... too easily consumed here, no likely symbiont...>
I do a water change every 7-10 days and all the parameters are so far perfect. Because I have been feeding more I have been careful to keep up the water changes and noting for any nitrate increases. This tank has been up for 2 years. A Bak Pak protein skimmer as this is a oceanic biocube and I use the back empty (no balls for filters just a pump a kind of sump)
The first tank we had is a 75 gallon reef tank with about 75 pounds or more of live rock(had so much more but used some in the 30 gallon and some seems to crumble or dissolve away. Still have plenty. Sand is variable, in a wave so that the front center has 4 inch sand bed around the bases of the rocks less and to the back less.
I have a huge large cantaloupe sized open brain who is just happy as can be, and branching frogspawn that has really grown (given some to a friend who started a tank, and have some in the 30 gallon) I have some pulsating xenia.
And a blue mushroom. I just added a green striped mushroom rock.
I am trying to keep with the LPS as it seems they grow so wonderfully, at least the 2 I have in the tank.
I have just added fish, a midas blenny and 7 small green Chromis. 2 serpent stars (Ophiolepsis superba), 3 reef crabs who are also ancient and getting bigger, my Nassarius snails, a turbo or two. I would love to add to this tank a feather duster, a fire shrimp (just one) and 3 skunk cleaner shrimp.
I also have a pencil sea urchin who has lived there since we started up the tank--8 years ago.
I don't see any copepods in either tank. I do have bristle worm dusters in the sand. I could add live copepods or get some from my friend/
I would love to had a Tubastrea aurea--is it better to start with smaller size (3-4 in) or larger size(4-5in) as I have a choice.
I realize I have to feed each of the tubes but I have a great time feeding the fish and I am a night owl so I could feed at night each polyp by a turkey baster. Any other ideas,
is this a good choice to try to care for.
<Not generally hardy, no>
I have a sand bottom that has areas where the frogspawn lean over decreasing the light or a area of a cave with a outcrop overhang. I am understanding that they need less light.
<Actually very little... are not really photosynthetic>
I would love for any comments about the new my new additions to the tanks-shrimps and are they OK with the serpents I have. Feather dusters.
And the Tubastrea aurea. I hate to try things that will not last as it is such a waste of life. Which is why I have few items in the tank and relatively peaceful fish.
The fish are funny, the midas blenny about 4 inches long and the 7 small green Chromis all like to swim together the swim upstream in front of the powerhead sort of like finding their own treadmill. I appreciate everything that this crew has done for people like me. Thank you so much. What a beautiful site. Even more so with the new format.
I feed a variety--Cyclop-eeze (frozen) Mysis shrimp formula 1 and grow my own algae. I have compact fluorescent lighting with 2 bulbs 65 watt 10 K and 2 bulbs 65 watt actinic lighting. I have used a variety of salt and found that I like Tropic Marin salt the best. I also used Oceanic, Kent but still go back to Tropic Marin. I have a protein skimmer CPR bak pak on the 75 gal tank. I will add a third pump as it seems the critters love the water flow.
<The Shrimps and tubeworms should be fine here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tubastrea aurea, reef stkg., Lysmata amboinensis comp....    4/15/10
Thanks for the quick response.
I am a little confused, the 30 gal as described below--
I was wondering if I could put in 3 Sexy Anemone Shrimp and a tube worm fan into this tank.
You said they might be consumed but by what?
<The two fishes listed>
And, in the 75 gallon tank as described below-- for the 75 gallon tank with the 4 65 watt bulbs I can put the Tubastrea under a rock overhang so the light doesn't reach them. I would think then I would have to carefully feed them by turning off the protein skimmer and using a turkey baster with Cyclop-eeze (is what I thought to feed them) for each polyp a couple times a week.
Is this a good idea or would you recommend I finding a different LPS that might be easier to work with.
<I'd peruse WWM re>
I have been encouraged to stick with the LPS.
And, I wanted to also add to this tank 1 fire shrimp, 3 skunk cleaner shrimp and the tub worm fan.
I am sorry if I seemed to be rambling, I was hoping to give you a idea of my tanks and the inhabitants.
I would appreciate clarification.
And, I love they way your new site is set up. It is wonderful!!
<Thank you Sue. BobF>

Pink Tail Trigger.....Reef Safe?/Triggerfish Compatibility 4/10/10
Hey guys,
<Hello Jeromy>
I keep getting conflicting reports. Some say yes, others no. I have a 180g reef tank with a Yellow and Purple Tang, two Tomato Clowns, Green Chromis, Flame Hawk. Will a 6" pinktail be ok here?
<It will eat crustaceans and likely go after any small fish. A better choice would be the Blue Throat/Chin Triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus). They have a decent track record in reef tanks.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Reef aquarium fish stocking  4/1/10
Hi gang!
Your site is looking great as always.
*Current tank details at end.
I would like to add a couple of fish to my reef aquarium and would like some thoughts on it. I do not want to end up overstocking my tank and also compatibility is a concern. Right now I would like to add a goby and/or blenny. I was looking at the "Amblygobius decussates" goby (possibly as a pair) and an "Ecsenius stigmatura" or "Salarias
fasciatus" blenny. I'm thinking my tank can support at least 2 fish of these types (as they're small fairly peaceful fish) but I would appreciate your thoughts.
<Mmm, Salarias can be VERY territorial... some Ecsenius to a lesser degree... Amblygobius are quite passive>
Additionally, would you have any thoughts regarding adding a wrasse similar to "Halichoeres iridis" down the road?
<See WWM re... a very nice species for moderate aquarium/reef use>
I've read some FAQ where
Bob suggested there may be trouble between a wrasse and Premnas.
<Premnas can be trouble period. I would not crowd any fish, or even motile invertebrate w/ Maroons>
Side question:
Can you offer a direct comparison between the "Ecsenius stigmatura" and "Salarias fasciatus" blenny in terms of microalgae consumption?
<The latter is the huge winner by far>
From my reading, Salarias sounds like a bigger consumer, but I've read good things about Ecsenius too.
<Not so much, no>
I have a 72 gallon reef tank (running 5+ years). It holds approximately 100 lbs of live rock. It is open top and a bit more than 655 sq. in. of surface area. Salinity 1.025. Temp. 78.5 at night, 79-80 during the day.
Fish inhabitants include (one of each):
Centropyge bispinosus (Coral Beauty) -- Approx. 2.5"
Zebrasoma flavescens (Yellow Satin Tang) -- Approx. 4.5"
Amphiprion clarkii (Clark's Anemonefish) -- Approx. 3.0"
Premnas biaculeatus (Spine-checked Anemonefish) -- Approx. 3.2"
<This is the alpha fish... should always have an eye kept on it...>
The clowns and tang have been in the tank for roughly 2 years and their physical size hasn't changed in a while. I've had the angel for about 3 months now and expect it will grow a bit more.
The biaculeatus (maroon clown) is very territorial (although he spends most of his time cuddled inside my toadstool leather), yet only against the clarkii. The clarkii is very peaceful and cuddles with my elegance coral. The angel appears to get along with everyone for the moment. The tang use to chase the clarkii and then the angel when it was introduced. It stopped chasing either a week after introducing the angel.
<There will likely be more overt aggression in time here... These fishes really need more room. Bob Fenner>

Stocking ideas / suggestions  3/26/10
Hey crew
Hope all is good in your world
<Could be much better, but thank you for your concern, courtesy acknowledgement>
I am currently in the stocking mode for my 155 gallon (30 gallon sump/5 gallon fuge) reef with the following corals currently under my care.
Brain, hammer, frogspawn, coral elegance (eating well), 2 leathers, polyps, 2 Zoas, 1 clam, 1 Acan (placed way in the corner)
<I hope the Catalaphyllia and Euphyllias are well-spaced as well>
Fish currently include 1 bi color blenny
My planned stocking and please help me out here are a mated pair of clowns (Sebae or clarkii) 1 purple tang, 1 powder blue surgeon,
<Do take care w/ this... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm
and the Related FAQs linked files above... re Selection, Systems, and Disease particularly>
2 engineer gobies,
marine beta.... additional thoughts are a fairy wrasse
<Really need to be kept in a haremic setting... an alpha male, two or more females>
and a dwarf angel
My lighting consists of 3 MH and 2 VHO actinics, so I have an ample amount of algae growing everywhere
Can you advise your thoughts on the proposed animals above, as well any suggestions in regards to additional corals that could integrate into my above system
Thanks for your time
<Actually, what you seem to be asking, and much more related that you are likely currently unaware of that is pertinent and related is posted/archived on WWM. I suggest you make a list of all these species and avail yourself of the search tool (linked on the left shared border of every page), and read, make notes re Systems, Compatibility and Selection of all you have in mind. And we'll be chatting, Bob Fenner>
Re: stocking ideas / suggestions  3/26/10
Thanks Bob
<Welcome Chris>
Yes, those 2 are at opposite ends of the tank as well
I've been doing a ton of reading on your site...was just trying to fast path on the stocking question..
Will be talking to you
<And you! BobF>

Re: Nervous Newbie.. poor advice from LFS.. again... reef mis-stkg.  -- 03/18/10
Hi Simon,
<Hi Katie>
Thank you so much for your quick response.
<No problem at all>
Sadly you were right and the Anemone died this morning. <Yes>. We removed it from the tank last night so it did not taint the water. I feel really duped by our LFS.
<Mmmm, probably not 'duped' as such, as he/ she probably thinks they've done a good job. You and I know better though.>
I thought we could trust him and it got a beautiful animal killed. I feel sooooo responsible.
We love all our animals and treat them better than most people treat their children. So to be responsible for it's death is very upsetting.
<Yes....you are partly responsible here... but don't beat yourself up too much, you have learned from this experience which is important.. maybe a pointer for the future to 'read before you buy'...something that most do not do, but I feel sure that you will>
We are looking for a new LFS. (Know of any good ones in Northern Illinois?)
<Unfortunately I am on the other side of the Atlantic -- England in fact. I can point you to a good one in Bristol!>
I am very wary now of anyone, and am even more nervous now than before.
<Please read & write here, on WWM, and you will get some good direction>
We will be moving the Blue Tang shortly. For the moment we only have a four foot long tank as a backup.
<Much better, but still not big enough long term. Dory is not going to be able to 'just keep swimming' in a tank that is only a little bit wider than she is long!>
I'm hoping this is at least a little better than the tall tank.
<Is better for now, but a six foot minimum 'run' is what an open water swimming fish like this needs>
Thank you again.
<No problem>

Marine Stocking List, reef   3/13/10
First I'd like to take a moment and say thanks for everything you do for the hobby, I can only imagine how many people have benefited because of help received here. Hopefully I can keep this *brief*.
<Take your time>
Starting with the basics here's what I have, after much planning I bought all the pieces.
Oceanic 215 gallon Ultimate w/ dual 600 gph overflows
<Mmm, what diameter are these lines? I'd like at least 1.5", better 2">
3 x 250w Metal Halide / 4 x 96w PC Actinics for a total of 1,134w
Reefkeeper Lite Level 3
ADHI Refugium 60 gallon sump / refugium w/ 3 x 36w 50/50 PC fixture
2 x Finnex 500w heating elements
PanWorld Blueline 40PX-X 1270gph return pump
Lifereef SVS3-24 Protein Skimmer w/ Mag 9.5 pump
Vertex UF-20 w/ Eheim pump (for running carbon)
2 x Koralia 4 powerheads 1200 gph
Well I believe that describes my setup for the most part, I am hoping to keep SPS so a calcium reactor will be in my near future, any suggestions?
<Do look about, ask on the various hobbyist bbs re such gear input... I'm partial to the Knop line, only because it's what I was/am most familiar with, but there are a bunch more manufacturers/brands in recent years>
My question(s) are more about stocking than hardware because I already have everything I listed, I also have the liverock, and the sand.
After much thought and consideration on what fish I'd like to keep here's the list that I came up with:
Achilles Tang (Acanthurus achilles)
<A toughie... can be very prone to especially Protozoan complaints... I'd add this fish last... after it's been quarantined for at least a month>
Powder Brown Tang (Acanthurus japonica)
Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
8-10 Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
Blue-Spotted Jawfish (Opistognathus rosenblatti)
<A cool water species... I'd go with a more tropical Opistognathid in its stead>
Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus)
Pair Black Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris var.)
Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula)
4 Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata Amboinensis)
2 Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)
The only things I already have are the shrimp, powder brown tang and lawnmower blenny in my other tank, the rest have yet to be purchased and are definitely open to scrutiny. Besides keeping the above mentioned fish I'd also like to keep some clams as well as SPS corals.
Please do let me know if you see any problems with my list and if there's a better suited substitute in your mind.
<My input above. All else reads as suitable>
Once again I'd just like to say thanks for everything you do for the community!
<Welcome our friend. Bob Fenner> 

08/03/10 New 100 Gallon Reef Tank. various incl. Stocking.
<Hello Jeff>
I'll try to keep these questions short. I've read over your website and a multitude of others and I was just hoping to verify my information before I go ahead and start setting it all up.
<Ok, let's see what we can do>
I currently have a 38 Gallon tank with 40 lbs of live rock and play sand (definitely have to get rid of the play sand as I've had nothing but problems with it), 36� T5HO with 2X 39W
T5HO Daylight 12000K, 2X 39 W T5HO Actinic Blue, 3X LED Moonlights. My tank inhabitants are a Blue Hippo Tang (3 ½ inch),
<needs a six foot tank>
Copperband Butterfly (3 1/2inch),
<Also needs much more space than this>
small Coris Gaimard,
<grows to a foot long>
Sixline Wrasse, Royal Gramma, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish.
<lots of fishes here for a 38g tank. Vastly overstocked to the extreme>
Cleaner shrimp, peppermint shrimp, Emerald crab, Crimson Knobbed Starfish, Serpent Starfish, snails, hermit crabs etc. I also have a large leather Coral and a Pink Tip Anemone.
This weekend I purchased a 100 gallon aquarium and I'm in the process of getting it set up.
<MUCH better, but please be aware that this tank will not enable you to buy more animals here, especially fishes. Even 100 gallons is too small for what you have>
My plan is to use the 38 gallon as the new sump, which will contain my protein skimmer, heaters, a refugium and return pump.
I currently have a DSB in my 38 gallon and I was considering doing the same thing in the 100 gallon, about 4 inches deep.
There are so many back-and-forth views on the DSB I'm not sure which way to lean. Is it better to go with a remote DSB?
<In my opinion it is, yes, but as you say there are many others>
For the lighting I'm going to use the same 36� T5 attached in the hood and then I was thinking of adding 2 250W Metal Halide to compliment these lights.
Currently my protein skimmer is rated for 65 gallons, so I was considering getting a second one and running 2 protein skimmers or would it be better to get 1 big one?
<It depends on the quality of your present skimmer. If it is a good one, then keep it and buy another like you say -- that way you do have a bit of redundancy if something goes wrong with one(which always happens when you're on holiday!), but if it's not such a good quality skimmer then you can just upgrade to a larger one>
I've made 100 lbs of DIY live rock which has cured for the month
<Have you seeded this with 'real' live rock? If the rock you have made is just active with nitrifying bacteria then it is not really 'live' at all, just biologically active>
and the pH is stable so I want to add that to the aquarium with the sand and fill it 2/3 of the way full and then add the water from my display and all the live rock and inhabitants or would that be a bad idea.
<No, I would do it this way. Just shift it all right over>
Do I need to start over with this tank and let it cycle?
<No, in fact you could have done this the day the tank arrived. Just moved everything right over between the two tanks>
Sorry for all the questions, I just don't want to make a mistake with my fish.
<Mmm, you've already done that by crowding them so much in your present system'¦ an accident just waiting'¦>
Especially the Copperband which I know can be really sensitive <yes> and I'm lucky to have (have had him for about 2 months and he's eating great).
<That's good -- I am not a fan of this fish.. MUCH better the Forcipiger Flavissimus if you want a pest anemone eater, does the job and also stays alive..>
Also I have a Koralia 3 power head and 2 Koralia Nanos,
if I add 1 or 2 Koralia 4's would that be overkill?
<No, but if you have the money I would invest in a Vortech either MP40 or MP20>
I'm currently deciding whether to go this route or whether to set up a Closed Loop System.
<The Vortechs are superior to everything else>
Thanks in advance and I'll keep reading.
<Yes! This is the answer to life, the universe and everything.. not 42 but reading! Start here & related FAQ's: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm>

Re: 08/03/10 New 100 Gallon Reef Tank. various incl. Stocking.  3/9/10
<Hi Jeff>
Thanks for the response.
<No worries!>
I've come to realize I'm quite overstocked and this is what made me decide to upgrade.
<Ok... you are not alone here, the same thing happened to me a long time ago when the only one I had for advice was the LFS!>
My plan is to have the 100 gallon set up for 1-2 years while I work on building a larger (400 gallon) plywood tank.
<Wow! A fantastic project indeed, and so exciting to plan!>
Definitely trying to learn all I can before I even consider starting on that so I thought the 100 gallon would be a good upgrade for now.
Sorry the only question I still had was, that you answered that you thought that a remote DSB was a good idea.
<If you want a DSB then yes I think this can be the best way, but the thing is, by remoting it you usually do not get such a large one.. there are arguments for and against>
If I do this what depth would you recommend I keep in the display tank 1-2 inches?
<Just 1 inch is fine usually>
<No problem>

Tank Stocking
Stocking a larger reef tank. 3/2/2010

Hey there I have been reading the great advice you guys give out and thought I owed it to my livestock (current and potential) to ask for your help at the planning stage rather than leave it until I get into trouble.
<Hi Sean, welcome.>
I have a tank that is 3.3 m long by 0.6 metres deep and 0.5 metres wide. I estimate its volume at just under a gigalitre.
<I figured it to about 990 liters or 261 US gallons for those challenged by the metric system.>
20 cm at one end is separated by an overflow. Currently, I have a wet/dry trickle filter and protein skimmer in that space. In the long term I will install a sump, remove the wet/dry trickle filter and relocate the protein skimmer to the sump. I will also establish a refugium.
The display tank has a DSB averaging 4-5 inches deep throughout and I am gradually adding more live rock - currently only about 40kg in there.
The tank is lit by 6 x 54 watt 4ft T5 HO tubes, 4 x white and 2 x actinic.
I know this will need to be upgraded in order to keep corals especially SPS.
I have four Wavemakers: 2 x 12,000 lph and 2 x 3,000 lph. The stronger ones are at each end and the smaller ones providing counter/cross flow and turbulence at intervals down the length of the tank.
Current water parameters (which have been stable for about 2 months) are ph 8.4, ammonia between 0 and 0.25, nitrites 0, nitrates 0, phosphates between 0 and 0.25, calcium 500, carbonate hardness 12 degrees.
<The ammonia reading is troubling. Will need to add some more rock and or allow the tank more time to cycle.>
There are lots of pods of both kinds in the tank, and I have placed some large shells with coral skeleton fragments in the openings to give the pods a place to breed.
Current livestock:
Fish: 7 x green Chromis, a mated pair of maroon clownfish, a bicolour blenny
Corals: 7 various Zoanthid fragments, Duncan frag (3 polyps, two more forming), assorted brain coral, Candycane coral and Acans which came on the live rock, unknown single polyp on live rock.
Inverts: 5 peppermint shrimp, 3 Trochus snails, 1 cowry, about 40 random snails, 10 dwarf blue-legged hermit crabs, a couple of sundry hitchhiker crabs
Other: bubble tipped anemone (host to the maroon clownfish pair), lots of feather dusters, various rock anemones (no Aiptasia, I nuked them).
My questions are, whether you can give me an idea of how much stock I can keep in a tank of this size?
<You have a nice large tank. Ideally, you will want to select fish that stay smaller that 50cm, which is the width of your tank, so they have adequate space to turn around.>
Any suggestions you might have as to stock?
And finally, I would quite like to add a sohal tang as the last fish in the tank. However, there seems to be some conflicting advice. Some say it can be kept in a large aquarium (such as mine), while others say don't bother.
Any thoughts? And would it bother my current livestock?
<A Sohal will become the undisputed boss of the tank, but it should work well in this setting, as they rarely get much bigger than 30cm in captivity. With a Sohal, I would discourage adding any large angels or triggerfish. You should plan accordingly, focusing on smaller fish and add the Sohal last. I would recommend that for the time being, you add more rock and give the system more time to 'age' before adding any other fish. Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Asohal.htm >

Stocking advice... open ended for sure... Reef   3/1/10
Dear WWM. I'm in the process of setting up my first reef tank. I have a 210g reef ready AGA aquarium (72X24X29). I have the following equipment: A 75g sump with a Mag 18 for a return pump, the sump has a DSB of 6 inches with some Chaetomorpha in the same compartment, four Hydor power heads, two that deliver 1200gal/hour and two at 800gal/hour, Aqua C EV400 protein skimmer, AquaMedic 72inch (3X) 250watt MH with T5s light with 20K bulbs, more than 200lbs of live rock most in the display tank. some in the sump.
I'm looking for some advice on what to stock based on my current set-up, or a recommendation on a good book to help me out.
Thanks in advance
<? Dan, any idea of a theme, a central "must have" display animal, idea here?
The "Pocket Guides" on fishes, invertebrates by Microcosm/T.F.H. would be of use to you... and...
Please start by reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/MarLvSel.htm
and lastly: http://wetwebmedia.com/biotope.htm and here:
then here: http://wetwebmedia.com/stocking.htm
and the linked files above in the series...
Enjoy the process, take good notes, and we'll be chatting. Bob Fenner> 

Brand New Reef, Stocking Questions/Marine Set-up 2/22/10
Hello guys & gals
<Hello Chris, and please...all the double spacing is not necessary.>
The set up of my tank is fully complete and is currently going through the cycling process Tank is 155 gallons and has approximately 150 lb of live rock
Filtration is a sump with a built in refugium along with a monster skimmer
Calcium reactor is in place
Lighting consists of 2 VHO Actinic and 3 x 20,000K MH.
I have 3 crabs that came along for the ride and 2 baby star fish about the size of a dime
My question is in regards to stocking
I'm thinking to get an anemone first so that it can establish its location in the tank..once there, I'll start to load with corals (primarily softies to begin with)
<You run a risk of the anemone stinging corals and/or other sessile invertebrates should it decide to move.>
Fish will probably begin with a clown or a mated pair if I can find them and then go from there.
Clean up crew will be introduced as soon as I can find a local supplier...
Can you offer any suggestions regarding stocking order or am I on the right path.
<Future fish selected should be compatible with each other and timid fish should be introduced first. Do read/learn about desired fish as to compatibility, requirements/needs before buying.>
Let me know
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Brand New Reef, Stocking Questions/Marine Set-up 2/22/10
Thanks James
<You're welcome.>
The Reason for introducing the anemone first was so that it could establish it's location in the tank and then add the corals afterwards in an effort to reduce this possibility. I was told that once settled in a spot, they generally don't move.
<No guarantees here.>
Another question is in regards to powerheads. I am purchasing a Koralia 4 and a Koralia 8. From the FAQ it was stated to have them at opposite sides of the tank pointing in to each other. Question is, how important is a wave
maker in all this and can I get by without as they are pretty expensive...
<If you are referring to the Koralia Wavemaker, this unit was specifically designed for use with the 12 volt Koralia Pumps. I'm thinking you are getting the standard Koralia 115 volt pumps which are not designed for use with Wavemakers. I feel a wavemaker better simulates current on the reef rather than a laminar flow. Actually, a decent wavemaker can be had for about 38 bucks. The Aquarium Systems Wavemaker is the one I am referring to and the inexpensive MaxiJet pumps work best with this unit. I've been using one myself for about two years with no problems. See here.
Other current comes from my 2 returns in the corners.
Let me know
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Stocking 90 gal soon to be reef 2/19/10
I just wanted to say first off that your site is an amazing encyclopedia of knowledge and experience. Ok so I am in the process of finally getting to set my tank back up after a year and a half of waiting patiently. My question pertains to stocking levels and compatibility which I think should be fine but a second opinion is always good to have. System specifics are 90 gallon acrylic tank with 1.5 inch drain to a 30 gal. sump that houses a Vertex IN-180 and a Mag-9.5 with 1" PVC as the return. For in tank flow I have the Hydor 4-way wave-maker with 4 Koralia #3's, was going to get the #2's but figured if I upgrade these would be better since you can turn them down on the wave-maker.
<Good planning>
Lighting consists of 2-250w halides and 4-65w CF's. Currently the tank is still empty of water but has 55lbs of dry rock and 60lbs of CaribSea sugar-sized sand. I plan on adding another 40lbs or so of live rock to seed the dry rock but am unsure if I should add more sand or not.
<Up to you; I would, here and/or make a DSB of sorts in your sump>
It is right about one inch right now and don't want a nitrate factory down there.
<Au contraire>
Ok so the purposed stocking list for the tank is:
1-Kole yellow eye Tang (Ctenochaetus Strigosus)
2-True Percs (Amphiprion Percula)
5-7 Blue/green reef Chromis (Chromis Viridis) or
5-7 Blue reef Chromis (Chromis cyaneus) really like these!
1-Tail spot Blenny (Ecsenius Stigmatura)
1-Green mandarin (Synchiropus Splendidus) eventually after 12months maturity.
<These should all work together fine>
I know the tank can house more but not sure what will work well with the proposed (any inputs?).
<To just wait further, continue to explore sporadically...>
As far as corals go it will mostly be LPS but will probably add some Montipora species and maybe a Acro or two if all goes well. Any advice, inputs, or potential problems that you see with the proposed list would be great.
<Mmm, really, to keep reading, sorting through choices, possibilities as they become live to your conscience>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

stocking advice, yet again, 90 reef   2/18/10
Hello WWM Crew,
I am once again working on a stocking plan for my system (little details keep changing!) and I am seeking your advice.
My tank details are as follows: 90 gallon display tank; 40 gallon sump; 30 gallon refugium; Vertex IN-180
skimmer; closed loop with Mag 5 pump; Mag 9 return pump; 90-100 lbs live rock; 80 lbs sugar fine aragonite; 20 lbs miracle mud; Koralia 4 for circulation. There are also some assorted Zoanthids, a Duncanopsammia axifuga, Xenia, Green Star polyps, and Sinularia. Other current residents are a single Amblyeleotris randalli and two skunk
cleaner shrimp as well as Nassarius, Astrea, Cerith and Trochus species snails.
Water parameters in the system are pH 8.3, specific gravity at 1.026, temperature at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, ammonia, nitrate and nitrites are all not detectable
<No NO3? Your photosynthates need some>
and total alkalinity is 3 mEq/L. My rock structure contains numerous caves as well as a large overhang which casts some nice shaded areas along the bottom and leaves plenty of swimming room at all levels in the water column. The system is about one year old and my refugium hosts a respectable number of copepods. Unfortunately my setup does not allow for the refugium to gravity feed into the main tank, it drains into the sump and then is pumped back up to the main floor and display tank.
I'd like to add a couple Nemateleotris magnifica, perhaps a Gramma loreto
<I'd add one or the other... my choice? The Microdesmids>
and a group of another fish. I had, at first been considering a group of five Bartlett's Anthias but after doing more research, I have been wondering if I should consider a group of wrasses such as Paracheilinus carpenteri (What would be a good number? Three or perhaps more?)
or even single individuals from 2 to 3 separate wrasse species.
What would you suggest for the grouping of fish? Should I stick with the Bartlett's Anthias and if so, would I be able to add a single wrasse (species suggestions?)?
<Again, an either/or choice here>
Or would one of the wrasse groupings be better, and if so what would you suggest?
<Keep studying, thinking it over till you're sure what you want>
I think the Cirrhilabrus scottorum is a very beautiful fish, however it is rather expensive and I would like to establish tank mates that would encourage it to 'show off' and maintain its colouration.
As always, I look forward to your reply.
Best Regards,
<And you, Bob Fenner> 

Patch Reef Planning/Stocking/Marine Set-Up 2/7/10
Hey WWM crew!
<Hey Rachel>
I'm in year 4-5 (suffer from sometimers, can't always remember when I start things)
<Just wait until you get older and see what happens.>
of my planning for a saltwater tank. It's going to be a few more years yet before I can implement things, but was just wanting some input on my ideas to make sure I'm on the right track. Have been reading and researching so much I fear I'm suffering from information overload. Not a bad thing, but hard to keep it all straight some days. There are times I've begun to wonder if I haven't over thought this whole thing.
<The extra time researching/planning before diving in will be a plus for you.>
I'm planning some odd little version of a Pacific patch reef biotope (I started out planning a FOWLR), or at least as close as I can possibly get. Will be setup in a 40gal breeder, with a planned 50gal sump (run capacity of 34gal with how I have the baffles setup) and a separate 6gal PodFuge to reside on a shelf above and behind the main tank. More on this at the end of my ramblings here. I'm looking into LED lighting setups, and hopefully in another 4-5 years when I'm ready for setup they'll not cost an arm, leg and
other various body parts.
<I look forward to that as well.>
Basically looking for a few areas to save on power consumption, as with 10+ computers running in our house we already use quite a bit right now.
<Yikes! I'm developed quite a vocabulary using just one.>
Though, I might get the husband more involved with letting me do this if I add a reef computer to the mix (ha ha).
<Ah, a computer geek in the household, a valuable asset these days.>
My patch reef is going to be rather selective and probably minimal stocking compared to most. I don't want every coral imaginable, nor umpteen million fish, so I've narrowed down my wish list accordingly. I'm down to the "either or" part of livestock planning I guess. Here's my list:
1 Entacmaea quadricolor - haven't sold myself 100 percent just yet on adding
one of these. It's my one "impulse" item on the list.
<Corals or an anemone, both do not mix well, especially in small quarters.>
Very small selection (no more than 4 types I've picked out) of Palythoa, Zoanthus and Clavularia.
Some Chlorodesmis (Maiden's Hair) and Red Gracilaria in the main tank as well - maybe.
Looking for different colors/textures with what all I'm putting in the tank. Probably getting a little artsy here, but I can't help it.
Planning for future addition of Playgyra, <Platygyra> Favites, Dendorphylliidae, <Dendrophylliidae,
and some members of this group can be difficult to keep.>
Acanthastrea lordhoweensis frags
as well (just one of each and probably not all I have on my list).
Would love to add one T. squamosa or H. hippopus to the list, but I'm not sure on adding a clam to the mix with everything else and my planned LED lighting path. Know my coral selection is probably going to be okay, but still iffy on the clam.
<These species will require moderate to high light intensity.>
Other Inverts:
1 (or two?) Lysmata amboinensis (Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp)
10 Trochus sp. snails
5 Calcinus laevimanus (Dwarf Zebra Hermit - I like crabs, so must avoid the urge to have too many of them)
And now for fish:
1 pair Amphiprion perideraion (Pink Skunk) or Amphiprion sandarcinos < sandaracinos> (Orange Skunk) clowns
As far as I can tell from my research, these two are the least aggressive of the clownfish. One book I have even says Orange Skunks don't do well in the home aquarium without a host anemone and that they're timid and will be bullied by more boisterous tank mates.
<I would ensure plenty of shelter is provided for these clowns, yes, they are rather timid.>
Not quite sure I buy the whole "must have anemone" thing, but then I'm no expert either.
<This specie may very well do better with an anemone due to their timidness.>
3 Sphaeramia nematoptera (Spotted Cardinal)
<If you are going to have an anemone, do not mix non-immune species of fish with the anemone, they will be at risk.>
5 Apogon cyanosoma (Orange Lined Cardinal) - leaning more towards these guys
<I like these, a little smaller than the above cardinals, a better choice
for your system.>
1 Nemateleotris magnifica (Firefish Dartfish)
1 Ptereleotris zebra (Zebra Barred Dartfish) - though I have read these should be kept in small groups???
<Yes, they do better in groups.>
For a final fish, I'm stuck on one of the following four. No matter how much I read, I just can't seem to decide which one would be a better addition to the above stocking list.
Amblygobius rainfordi (Rainford's Goby)
<A beauty and another requiring an abundance of hiding places.>
Valenciennea wardii (Tiger Watchman Goby) - really like the look of these.
<Will fight with others of the same specie unless a mated pair. I would not recommend these fish for your system/tank size.>
Ecsenius stigmatura (Tailspot Blenny)
Ecsenius midas (Midas Blenny)
<Needs rocks to hide in, eats food out of the water column, so you need to feed it things that will slowly sink in the tank.
They need to be fed quite a bit otherwise they'll die of starvation.>
Not going to be too many fish is it? 1 pair clowns, 3-5 cardinals, 1 Dartfish and 1 goby or blenny.
<Much so if you planned on putting all of these fish in. I'd stick with four or five smaller fish
in this size tank. Make up the difference in coral with attractive easy to keep corals.>
I can skip the goby/blenny addition and just go with the others. Would rather have less "happy" fish than one too many.
Stocking order should probably be cardinals, Dartfish, clowns, goby/blenny?
<Sounds good.>
My setup/stocking plans are rather long term as well. If all goes according to plan, I'd be looking at 9-10 months minimum from initial start up to cycle and get a maintenance schedule setup. Then I'll start with the BTA if I get one, or the corals first if no anemone, then start adding fish slowly after a few months or the next summer unless I can get from LFS.
<Let your tank age at least three months before adding corals. >
Shipping livestock to Wyoming in the middle of winter seems crazy even to me - so plenty of time between livestock additions as we wait for winter to pass
<Good idea >.
Planning for 40-45 lbs live rock setup in little patch islands in the tank instead of one wall-o-rock. Extra rock in the fuge with Chaeto in the sump.
Probably go with a shallower sandbed of about two inches or so.
Sorry this has ended up so long - didn't mean to ramble on so much. One more thing before I forget though, just to make sure my crazy idea sounds ok.
I'm wanting to avoid powerheads in the main display - but I also don't want too many different pumps running. So I planned for a return loop in the style (sort of) of a closed loop - run off a Mag12 pump (or something similar/better? Pump choice still confuses me) placed in the sump. Going with a Glass-Holes overflow with 2 - 1.5" drains rated at 1500gph total - will this all be too much or not enough?
<A good flow rate for your system would be around 400-500 gph.>
Fuge will be fed either from the return line, or a second smaller pump in the sump. I want as little equipment in the main tank as I can possibly get away with. Just worried that my return loop won't give the tank enough flow with how I've designed it.
<I'd consider adding a Sea Swirl to your return line. Will give you flow to all areas of the tank and minimize flow related equipment in the tank.
See here.
Link to the image I attached in case it doesn't come through with the email.
Just a quick planning model I threw together.
<Nice to have a geek in the house, isn't it. Well done. I'm guessing it would take me a week of Sundays to accomplish that.>
Doesn't have all the plumbing done yet since I changed a few things, but enough to show the general idea.
Green box is my skimmer placeholder (wasn't going to model everything down to the smallest detail). There will also be a 20gal QT with a sponge filter
I can keep in the sump and just bring out when needed.
I had better stop before I end up with some multi-page essay here.
<Yes, my fingers are stiffening up:-)>
Sure I'll be back when I actually get to set this all up. More reading and research for me over the coming years though. May have to write up a guide on how to survive long term tank planning!
<All part of the hobby, enjoy.>
Thank you all so much!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Patch Reef Planning/Stocking/Marine Set-Up 2/8/10
Thank you James!
<You're welcome, and in future queries, always respond to the original thread so I can refresh my mind. I can be difficult to remember every queriors content.>
I have people telling me I'm too young to forget as much as I do, must be too much time spent zoning out in front of the computer (haha). Sorry for all my typos, I didn't double check as good as I thought with my slightly funky keyboard here. I press a letter but it doesn't always want to cooperate and my brain reads it and says it's okay. Doh!
<Is best to type out your query as a Word document where a spelling and grammar check
can be done. Then copy/paste to the email and send.>
Gives me some more thought on stocking - either an Orange Skunk/Anemone setup, or a polyp garden with Pink Skunks and other fish. As I said I'm more than happy to cut down on what fish and how many knowing a 40gal breeder doesn't leave one with a lot of room. Will need to see what all fish I can get in through my LFS (only have one, and it's a chain store). They have a pair of Orange Skunks in right now that I go drool over about once a week.
Poor little guys aren't selling, probably due to "Nemo" popularity (and not the James Mason Nemo unfortunately). A macro algae/anemone tank might look interesting, but then there were all those Zoanthids calling out to me (that list was harder to cull than my fish list).
Thanks be to the fish gods I have some time to think about things still.
My husband already thinks I'm crazy, what's a few more years muttering about fish and corals? Pretty sure though that I'm going to be cut off at one tank, only reason I'm so back and forth on stocking right now. Could very easily see myself with an office full of reef tanks eating Ramen for the rest of my life.
<Alternating/supplementing with Spam will create a much better culinary experience for you.>
If I do go the anemone route, what other families of fish should I research for another possible addition? Would this be an okay tank for one of the blennies? Or just stick to my clown pair and call it good with a few other inverts (shrimp, hermits, snails)?
<No blennies, but if I were determined to have a couple of other fish in an anemone/clown system, I'd likely go with the Yellowtail Damsel (Chrysiptera parasema)
Is one of the better mannered damselfish and will add some color to your tank. I would introduce the clownfish first in this scenario.>
I am planning to make sure my pod population is good and stable before introducing any fish to help supplement feedings since I'm at work all day.
<A good idea.>
Of course, this is probably one of those things that looks good on paper and who knows what will happen when I get my system up and running.
<Your refugium plan should provide a good stock of pods. Several etailers do sell pod cultures and is a good way to initially stock the refugium.>
On the Sea Swirls - would two placed at opposite sides of the tank be enough? Or do you think just one with a few other stationary outlets on my return loop work fine? Plumbing/flow is the one area I still confuse myself on a great deal. I know it's relatively simple, but I start getting into all the numbers, rates and such, and my brain just runs off to the hills.
<I believe one Sea Swirl would do the trick in your tank coupled to a MagDrive 950.
There will be a flow drop using the Sea Swirl and with this in mind, a Mag 950 should give you a good flow rate for your 40 gallon breeder.>
3D modeling is one of my other hobbies.
<Ah, so you are responsible for the graphics and not hubby.>
I've tried to sketch out diagrams on paper, but modeling is just easier for me - not to mention you can look at it from any angle quick and easy. Have been thinking about doing up various aquarium models and props to help people plan out systems as there is free downloadable software for rendering/viewing. If I ever get that up and running (one of those too many projects, not enough time things) I'll be sure to let you all know.
<Yes please, and a link to this software may also be useful to our readers.>
Kept it shorter this time, since I gave you a bit of a workout with the last email. I tend to ramble on occasion when my brain fills up.
<Detailed queries are generally more helpful in providing better answers/suggestions.>
Thank you again,
<You're welcome, and allow me to provide you with an index to our marine articles/FAQ's. I believe it will aid you in searching.
James (Salty Dog)>

SW Stocking: 2/4/2010
<Hi Gary.>
I am at the stage of just about stocking my tank and was wondering if you could help me with a question.
<Welcome to the hobby.>
My tank stats are below.
45 Gallon Tank
28lb Live Rock
20lb Live Sand
1850lh Protein Skimmer
6000lh Propeller powerhead
3000lh Propeller powerhead
T5 35 watt Marine tube
T5 35 watt Actinic tube
The question I have is this, this is my proposed tank stocking list.
I have put in some Clean Up Crew 5 x Turbo Snails, 3 x Hermit Crabs.
1 x Clown, A. Ocellaris or A. Percula
1 x Yellowtail Blue Damsel
1 x Royal gramma
1 x Watchman Goby
If possible 1 more fish if you could give me some pointers as to what.
<Something small and peaceful - Firefish or something along those lines.>
3 x Soft Corals from these listed, Discosoma, Sarcophyton, Ricordea, Zoanthids.
Now for my main question, Would you put in the Damsel first or the Clown or could I get away with putting them both in together so to distract them from bullying, I am going to purchase them as small as possible.
<If it was my tank, I would pick one or the other, as both can be rather territorial. If you really want to add them both, They would be the last fish added and I would add them together.>
Thanks in advance
<My Pleasure.>

Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1: Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums Book 3: Systems
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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