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FAQs about Reef Livestock Selection 15

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

A three-part stocking change up- and saving some Hermits lives?       1/21/16
A multi-faceted stocking question for you all today.
Its been three years of happy reefing since I contacted you guys last. Thank you so much for your incredible online resource. I appreciate WetWebMedia so much for all you do.
<Ahh; thank you for your kind, rewarding comments>
I have a 110 pseudo-reef tank (a few varieties of mushrooms and Zoas nothing else size 60"x22"x20") that is bare bottom. It is currently stocked with a Flame Angel, Mystery Wrasse, Single Ocellaris Clown Fish, and Longnose Hawkfish. Since it is bare bottom, I have a handful of Trochus snails (my preference) as my clean up crew but no other inverts. I'm thinking a few big changes I want to briefly run by you. First, I'm thinking about darning and adding sand for aesthetic purposes. If I do that I would love to add a bunch of hermit crabs.
<Am keen for the sand, negative on the Hermits>
I know Hawkfish can be hit and miss with the small hermits (but the Longnose apparently has a smaller mouth and therefore is not as dangerous on this front?- or this internet misinformation?).
<Mis-; Oxycirrhites will pick them out; eat them>
I am mostly interested in the larger scarlet, Halloween, electric blue variety. I have been unable to find if these critter are endangered in such an environment.
<See my (and others) opinions re Anomuran use; archived on WWM.
In addition to the sand and Hermits, I'm thinking of two new additions. I'm pondering a single yellowtail damsel. I've heard Damsels are… difficult fish, which is why I have always avoided them, but I think the rich blue color would be an awesome addition. I have also read the yellowtail is a social species and a single addition may amplify aggressiveness?
<The social Pomacentrids are best kept in small, odd-numbered groupings; stock 3, 5...>
The final addition I am considering is a Melanarus Wrasse (put that new sand bed to use!). I know they are prone to attacking cleanup crew but was hoping if you could shed some light on their behavior towards Trochus and the large hermits mentioned.
<It may well eat these in time>
I also have concerns with a Mystery Wrasse in the tank. Due to the cost and beauty I'll pick the Mystery every time!
Thanks in advance!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>Re: A three-part stocking change up- and saving some Hermits lives? Stkg. Reef, purp. tang.          1/24/16
Well unfortunately things have become infinitely more complicated…. My girlfriend (soon to be wife after I ask her to marry me this Valentines day- but SHHHH don't tell her!)
<Yikes; the Net....>
really wants a pair of skunk cleaner shrimp to name Jacques (thanks finding Nemo…) I'd like to accommodate her request because 1) I kind of love her and 2) if she turns me down valentines day, I could at least angrily retort "but I gave you cleaner shrimp!!!!" I digress. This means my long nose hawk and beloved mystery wrasse need to go… She makes a good case that because I'm draining the tank anyway to add sand, this is the time to do it. If she were any other women, I'd tell her "go fish".
This means I'll all have is the clown and flame angel-which in a tank my size is…lacking. I'm struggling to find colorful (especially deep blue and purple) fish that are shrimp safe- I'm never one to take risks with the animals in my tank- EVER. Orchid Dottybacks are out, Hawkfish are out, Wrasses- such as the six line/ four line and fairy variety are out. The only other fish I would like would be a purple tang (which I have never owned a tang because I feel all but the largest systems are too small) or a Helfrichi fire fish- which I don't want to be terrorized to death. Am I being overly cautious with the purple tang or would it be a nice fit for my tank?
<A Z. xanthurus is a very good choice for here...>
My future wife is already complicating my life, save my not-yet-marriage WetWebMedia, you're my only hope!
<Don't over-dramatize! BobF>

5ft marine bowfront stocking :)     11/1/15
Hello to any who read this at WetWebMedia! hope all is well!
<Ah yes; thank you>
Just have a quick question that I would like your opinion on if possible :)
Basically my stocking list as of now is;
Fish. Regal angelfish. Saddleback butterflyfish. Yellow tailed tamarin wrasse. Tailspot wrasse . Galaxy clarkii clownfish. Green mandarin.
<See WWM re... especially how you might feed this animal in this setting>
Firefish x2 . Regal damselfish. Cleaner wrasse.
<What species? Not easily kept; and some cause issues in a given setting>
Skeletor moray eel and various soft corals :)
The tank is a Juwel vision 450 bowfront tank (60"x16"x24") :) - 450 litres
Is the tank overstocked?
<Mmm; not if started with smallish specimens>
and also if not how many more fishes would be advised to add?
<? I would not add more... see how these fit in for a few to several
months. Bob Fenner>
Thanks! :)

stocking advice        9/4/15
Hi Crew!
<Hey Charles>
I've recently re-established my 75 gallon reef aquarium (now in-line with a rimless 30 gallon which will become a mangrove tank), and am planning my fish list now. My current stocking plan is as follows:
mandarin dragonet
Tailspot blenny
lyretail Anthias
<Better in a group>
pair of Banggai cardinals
<A trio would is preferable... that way not one is picked on...>
skunk cleaner and/or blood shrimp
I'm trying to decide how to round out my list. I am considering a pair of purple Firefish (or possibly a helfrichi), but am also considering one of three dwarf angels (coral beauty, flame, or Potter's) and a sailfin tang.
<All good choices; would mix here>
I'm concerned that the angel and tang may be too boisterous for the Firefish and/or the Tailspot blenny.
<A Yellow should be fine... the striped species get too big....>
I'm still developing the 30-gallon list - thinking along the lines of a few
gobies (Rainford, citron, neon, and/or a shrimp goby).
What are your thoughts regarding my list so far?
<Looks good>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

5' 100 g stocking     5/10/15
Dear Crew,
Thank you for my saltwater education. I have a 5 foot 100 gallon mixed reef with a 55 gallon refugium. It's been established for over 2 years and all is well. Current fish 3.5" Powder Brown Tang - Acanthurus japonicas, 2.5" Clownfish - Amphiprion ocellaris, 3" Green Mandarin - Synchiropus splendidus, 2" Strawberry Basslet - Pseudochromis porphyreus, 2" Neon Goby
- Gobiosoma oceanops, 4" Lyretail Anthias (male) - Pseudanthias squamipinnis, 3" Flame Angel - Centropyge loricula. Invertebrates are 2 cleaner shrimp - Lysmata amboinensis, 2 Peppermint Shrimp - Lysmata wurdemanni, 2 or 3 Emerald Crabs - Mithrax, 10-15 Astraea snails, few Cerith snails, few Nerite snails and 5 hermits. Corals are green star polyp,
mushrooms, Zoas, brain and some other polyps. I feel like I could add more fish but every time I start to research a new purchase it doesn't get along with someone in the tank. I'm also a little concerned about overstocking as this tank is problem free and I'd like to keep it that way. Thank you again for the education and your advice for my situation
Robert Burrus
<Well; for sure I'd add two, three female P squamipinnis here... to add motion, boost the color of the male... and I encourage you to look into a shoal of smaller schooling cardinals... My choice? See WWM. Bob Fenner>

One last fish?           4/17/15
Hi Bob and Crew,
I've got a 75 gallon reef with a 30 gallon sump, and am looking at adding one more fish, which would probably be my last. I'm looking for something flashy, but I find myself ruling out pretty much everything I've considered.
I'm hoping you might have a suggestion or two.
What I've got now ...
1 yellow tang
2 false Percs
1 orchid Dottyback (my most recent addition about 2 years ago)
1 6-lined wrasse
1 lawnmower blenny
Among inverts, I've got:
1 coral banded shrimp
hammer coral
torch coral
some Favia
some Zoas
1 serpent star
various snails and hermits
Here are some potential additions I've ruled out, to give you an idea of what I'm looking for.
1- Hippo Tang - Tank is not quite big enough as I understand, and yellow tang can be a jerk.
2- Kole Tang - Yellow tang again.
3- Humuhumu Trigger - Impossible due to dotty, shrimp and so much else.
Always loved these guys though.
4- Centropyge Angel - I'm especially partial to the flame angel. But my corals are doing well, and I'm looking to start adding some LPS frags. I'm sure they will look quite appetizing.
5- Longnose Hawk - Not so showy, but I think a fun fish. Zero faith in shrimp survivability and maybe Dottyback.
6- Dwarf Lion (Dendrochirus)- Another non-starter.
7- Anthias - So much conflicting info on these guys - space requirements, strong need for conspecifics, lack of hardiness.
8- School of Chromis - I do like the blue Chromis (Chromis cyaneus), but I've gotten the strong impression that I don't really have the size for a true "school" of just about anything.
So, do you have any thoughts/idea/suggestions?
<Of the above: # 2 is about my only pro choice... There are other groups to consider... Cirrhitids, Plesiopsids (small spp.), Grammatids; all sorts of Blennioids, Gobioids... >
Maybe you're answer is "nothing else", which is fine. That's kinda where I find myself in any event. On the other hand, maybe you can lead me towards that last fish!
Thanks in advance!
-Rich S.
<Meh; don't rush.... keep an open eye when reading, visiting fish stores... Bob Fenner>

Peaceful Community Marine fish + ?   Plus snail stkg. f'    4/13/15
I have quite the harmonious tank at present and was thinking of getting a small Yellow Tang to add (I understand they can get up to 8"). Listed below is my stocking. They are all small fish as you can see. However my tank is a bit unusual for a 90 gal. It's a DSA Pro 90 that is only 36.5" long. 36.5" x 24.5" x 25" (LxWxH). I understand YT needs swimming room. Will this suffice if not 4' across?

Here is my current stock.
1 Red Firefish
1 Purple Firefish
1- Royal Gramma
1 - Yasha Hasa Goby w/snapping shrimp
2 - Banggai Cardinalfish (paired up in my tank)
1 - Clown Fairy (solorensis) Wrasse
2 - Ocellaris Clowns (Got the male after the female. The male won't let the female in the RBTA. Weird?
<Not weird>
2 - Yellow Assessors
1 - Neon Blue Goby
1- Yellowheaded Pearly Jawfish
<Mmm; this fish may not be happy long-term w/ all the other bottom dwellers you're intending here>
1- Red Mandarin Dragonet
1 - RBTA
1- Red Linckia
<I'd skip>
1- Linckia multiflora
<This too; doesn't live often in captivity>

1 - Blood Red Fire Shrimp
1 - Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
1- Hard Tube Coco Worm
2- Feather Dusters
25 various Corals including LPS, Zoas, mushroom
<Study re these... need to be VERY carefully acclimated, started small, the Zoas placed last (toxic)>
Snails (est)
<NO! These numbers are CRAZY. Won't live and their deaths will pollute, possibly poison the system. SEE WWM RE>
75 - Dwarf Cerith
40 - Florida Cerith
25 - Nassarius Vibex
25 - Nerites
3 - Florida Fighting Conch

5 - Blue Leg Hermit Crab
8 - Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab
2 - Ringed Cowries
All fish have been in for 6 months to 1 year except the Mandarin which was added 3 months ago. The tank is just 13 months old old. Below is the equipment I'm running.
Sump - Marineland 29 gal custom 3 chamber
Return Pump - Sicce SYNCRA SILENT 5.0
Skimmer - Reef Octopus SRO2000INT
Powerhead - recently switched from EcoTech VorTech to Maxspect Gyre (wow)
Heaters - ViaAqua 200w Titanium (2 - 1 in sump, 1 in overflow)
DT Light - Coralife Maxspect Razor 160w, 16,000k LED suspended in canopy
Auto Top Off - Reefanatic Top Off Controller. 5 gal custom acrylic top off container
Fuge Light - Wavelength 6" LED
AquaFX Barracuda RODI unit
Eshopps Filter Sock holder
Reactors - Two Little Fishes (2, 1 for Carbon, 1 for Phosban and/or have
tried Purigen, Chemi-Pure in reactor)
120 lbs CaribSea Primo Reef Rock started from dry and cycled with 1 raw
<Okay.... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Peaceful Community Marine fish + ?       4/14/15
Hey Bob,
Thanks for the quick replay and comments. Not sure you understood that this is my CURRENT stock. Livestock listed has been in and established as noted.
<Ah yes; sorry for the mis-tense remarks... not quite awake (still)>
For example, the Jawfish has been in for 7 months. He moved a lot initially but has been in his current home under a nice base rock for a good 5+ months. The LM star has been in for 5 months and doesn't move too much. Usually hangs by the overflow or top of tank. So since he doesn't move much and I was wiping my glass down enough I got the 3" Red Linckia. He
moves around from glass to rocks pretty quick and is a nice little showy star. I have read Blue Linckia especially are hard to keep as with all sea stars.
<Ah yes>
The snail comment was a 180 from what I was recommended early on so I'm a bit confused by this (and scared! - "pollute & poison", OUCH!). The snails have been in for a year since just after the tank cycled. Do you think I should take some out and put in my QT and give some away?
<Yes I would>
They are not visibly dying off. In fact, they have laid eggs. Of course most eggs don't survive but a handful actually did (Nerites).
Regards to the original question if I can keep the YT or not, I'm guessing "should" mean it's OK for "most YT? Of course now I'm more interested in your snail thoughts cux pollute and poison is not what I'm going for here!
<Yes to the Yellow Tang likely mixing in here, and adding some added color and motion. BobF>
Re: Peaceful Community Marine fish + ?       4/14/15

Thank you much Bob. As a newbie I was tutored by a guru in the industry
<Ah, very good>
so I was spoiled and now mostly only value opinions/advice more so from veterans such as yourself.
<Well; am enjoying being labeled a vet.... vs. olde!>
Attached is a side shot and front shot of the 90 fyi.
<Thanks for sharing. BobF>

Re: Peaceful Community Marine fish + ?       4/14/15
Oh and BTW, it wasn't the cagey veteran who advised me on the snail quantity (in case you wondered how great a marine guru can he be advising on such snail qty). He actually did ask about those quantities but deferred to another industry vet who was the expert in that field and has had success for many years doing so. So that's what really confused me. The industry expert deferring to another industry expert. And now yet another industry expert disagreeing with it. I've been in this just long enough to see all sides and as I've done over the past 18 months since researching initially and through today, I try to come to a sensible decision (maybe one area was the snails that is of great debate apparently). Man, why couldn't this hobby have more plug n play answers? haha thanks again Bob.
<Ah yes; and as you might well understand; being here (on the Net) and trying to make "universal" statements is fraught with danger... the long and short of it (gastropod stocking) is that some (a minority by far) of folks "do have success" with unnaturally high numbers of various species. Many more have troubles. B>

stocking suggestions for 60g reef      10/31/14
I have a 60g that is 1ft wide x 2ft tall x 4ft long. Currently it houses two mono argenteus (im rehoming them in a few days because they outgrew the tank) and a mated pair of tank bred ocellaris clowns(2 ") i added last week. Also there is a coral band shrimp, emerald crab, brittle star, conch, snails and hermits. I just added a couple beginner coral (Zoas, mushroom) last week too. The tank was brackish and has been converted to
full marine for about a month and a half. There is about 40-50lbs live rock and live sand. I have a penguin 350 hob filter and a remora c hob skimmer. Fine sand bottom about 1-2" deep. Salinity is 1.025, nitrates
are 20, other parameters are where they should be.
I would like some stocking advice once I rehome my monos as to what would work well with the clowns. I want reef safe and hardy, peaceful species ideally.
<Search on WWM... Clownfish Compatibility FAQs>
Also, species that will "do a job in the tank" either sifting/cleaning sand, eating harmful pests, ect.
<... no such word>
would be preferable but not required.
<.... search on WWM for Sand Sifters, Clean Up Crews...>
I would like to leave enough room in the tank to add another small fish or two in the future if I choose to.
what I'm considering are
-2 or 3 engineer gobies (I know they get big but they seem like very cool fish to watch)
-1 reef safe wrasse (something you could suggest?) I like the melanurus and leopard looking ones more than flasher and fairy but if you think flasher /fairy is better option i like those too
-1 flame Hawkfish
-yellow watchman or other shrimp goby and pistol shrimp pair
-3 lemon Chromis or 3 Dartfish
Also is the moving of sand by engineer gobies beneficial or harmful for water quality? I've heard both
<More beneficial than harmful>
Would a sand sifting goby do much more to maintain water quality than engineer goby?
<Mmm; not really>
Could I keep a sand sifting goby or other type of goby with the engineer gobies?
<The last (Pholodichthys) get very large; ultimately too big for a four foot system>
I think engineer gobies would be more entertaining to own and would rather have them if I had to choose.
<Are really neat animals>
Would shrimp goby and pistol shrimp pair be compatible with engineer gobies or sand sifting goby?
<Mmm; neither really...>
Sorry for so much information and questions, I just want to do it right the first time. I am pretty new to saltwater tanks.
<Good to learn how to navigate WWM then>
Also if you have other suggestions of good fish I didn't think of I'm certainly open to suggestions.
Thanks so much for your time
<Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Question on peaceful tank compatibility; reef     10/12/14
Greetings! I'm at the stocking stages of my (approx) 75galon (3'x2'x20") tank. Running on biopellets, SeaGel for phosphate control, a 200galon rated skimmer, a refugium with Chaeto for added nutrient export and houses housing of pods. Tank will also have a tight fitting lid to prevent jumpers from floor hunting. Corals will be mostly Zoas, Acans, Blastomussas, hammer and torch, Duncans, other lps. The main highlights of
this tank will be all peaceful fishes. Tank already have 2 small Tangaroa gobies. Also, I already have a lined Dartfish in a QT feeding on ZoPlan already. A randalli and yellow assessor are in qt too. Other fishes on the way are blue eyed Cardinalfish (around5-7?-since I hear their bioload is small,)
<Will be fine at this number>
red ruby dragonet, pair of ventralis Anthias, helfrichi Firefish (1 or 2?) multiple flasher wrasses (1-2 female plus 2-3 different males?) and am currently wondering which blennies are the most peaceful?
<The choices are huge here>
I've read and experienced first hand how Ecsenius blennies (Tailspot and pictus) terrorize tankmates (both my assessors have torn fins coz of my Tailspot), what different extremely peaceful blennies are there?
<See WWM re; all but the Sabretooth group (Plagiotremi)>
the Panamanian barnacle blenny? others? thanks in advance for any tips and suggestions you may have!
<Read. Bob Fenner>

Re-stocking     2/24/14
After a bout of Marine Ick that killed several fish, I removed my remaining Blue/Green Chromis to a QT via a freshwater dip with Methylene Blue.  This left my tank fish free for 8 weeks to break the parasite cycle.  My main tank is a 500ltr reef with 100 ltr sump.  Remaining in my main tank were  1 x cleaner shrimp, 1 x fire shrimp, 1 x tuxedo urchin, half a dozen turbo snails and a couple of red legged hermit crabs.  I have just a few easy to keep coral frags.  With the eight weeks coming to an end, I have been researching how/what to re-stock with and have come up with the following in the order I intend to introduce them. Please could you let me have your thoughts on the selection and the order of introduction:  My original 7 x Blue/Green Chromis, 1 x Royal Gramma, 2 x Percula Clowns, 2 x Long Fin Bannerfish, 1 x Yellow Tang, 1 x Sailfin
<Zebrasoma... Which species? Two get too large; one is border-line...>

 or Regal Tang, 1 x Flame Angel, 2 x Neon Gobies - I plan to spread out the introduction over several months with each fish freshwater dipped with Methylene Blue and then at least 2 weeks in QT before going into the main tank.  Would all of the above be OK with a freshwater dip?  Many thanks for your help
<Yes; and should go together fine... I would place the Heniochus last. Bob Fenner>
Re: Re-stocking. Tang sel., rdg.      2/24/14

Many thanks for the prompt reply - I was thinking of the red <Sea?> sailfin tang but I see what you mean re size so would go for the Regal Tang instead or possibly a Convict Tang.
<Better choices>
  Would all three Tangs get along and have room or better to go with Yellow Sailfin plus either Regal of Convict.  Kind regards
<I'd leave out the... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm  scroll down. B>
Re: Re-stocking   2/25/14

Many thanks - have read through the links and conclude that two Tangs in a 500 ltr tank is not worth the risk of war so will go with 7 x Chromis viridis, 1 x Gramma loreto, 1 x Centropyge loriculus, 2 x Amphiprion percula, 1 x Zebrasoma flavescens, 2 x Gobiosoma oceanops and 2 x Heniochus acuminatus introduced in that order.  Just one final query, would 1 Pseudocheilinus hexataenia be OK with the above?  If I wanted to mix Chromis viridis and Chromis cyaneus would that cause any issues.  Thanks again for the guidance
<Ah yes... to all. Bob Fenner>

stocking question, Reef; more fishes       2/10/14
Dear Crew,
Hello, and thank you for all you do to help hobbyist become better at caring for our charges.  It is just wonderful.  I would like your opinion before I move forward with adding new life to my aquarium. I would like to add three more
fish.   The tank is a 180 gallon with remote sump of  mostly leather, LPS, mushroom, and a couple BTA, and about 250 lbs of LR, and around 2-4 inches of fine sand with rubble.  It has  been running for  around 8 years.   I would like to see more fish swimming and am considering  the following:
a Longnose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus)
Jawfish (Opistognathus randalli)
sailfin algae blenny ( Salarias fasciatus)
green wrasse( Halichoeres chloropterus)
or a yellow wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus)
If you do not think these would make good tank mates for my current fish I would appreciate any suggestions.
current residents are
Yellow Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus pavoninoides)
Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhitus armatus)
Kole yellow eye tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
Spawning pair of percula clownfish ( Amphiprion percula)
queen angelfish ( Holacanthus ciliaris)
yellowtail damselfish ( Chrysiptera parasema)
Thank you for your time, Victoria
<Welcome. All you list can get along w/ what you currently have... The Salarias will be a bit territorial, but there's enough room for it and the Cryptocentrus, Hawk... The Queen Angel in time may become overly territorial; but you will very likely see this developing. Bob Fenner>

Overstocking. 90 gal. reef; adding fishes     12/9/13
Hello WWM Crew,
    Thanks for so many years of great reading material. I get on this site and end up just going from one FAQ to another to another it's an endless source of information. My question that I have is about stocking a 90gal tank. I have read some FAQ's and the list of fishes they have in some tanks seem to be overstocked but whoever answers their question doesn't mention that they are overstocked. So before I overstock I would like to get an expert's opinion. First I'll give a rundown of what I have and then what I want to add. Here is a list of my equipment.
90gal tank running for 7 years.
CPR 102 overflow(I know I know) but I have had it for 7 years and never failed(yet).
About 80/90lbs live rock.
About 60/80lbs live oolite sand.
20gal sump with filter floss, Polyfilter and either Chemi Pure or Purigen I switch sometimes.
Tunze 9010 skimmer cup cleaned out every 2/3 days
CPR HOB fuge with Chaeto and about 4" live sand.
MAG 9 return pump.
Inside tank circulation 2xKoralia #4, 2xKoralia #1, 2xKoralia 450.
My water parameters are PH 8.2 (approx.), DKH 9, CA 380, SPG 1.026, Temp 79/80, ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate and phosphate read 0 but I have green algae growing on rocks so I assume it's eating the nitrate and phosphate.
All test kits are Salifert.
My maintenance routine is as follows.
Vacuum sand once a week, change out filter floss, Polyfilter once a week and rinse out Chemi Pure bags once a week. Do an 18gal water change once a week (new water heated and aerated 7days)with Tropic Marin salt.
My current livestock is a Percula who I've had for ten years, a Royal Gramma who also has been here for ten years and a Pajama Cardinal who has been here for 7 years. Plus I have various snails, Cleaner Shrimp and a Black Brittle Star which I've had for 7 years also. I have 2 small leathers, 1 open brain and many colonies of Pumping Xenia which look great all the time just pumping away. My last member is a Pink Tip Anemone(Condylactis) I know what you're going to say but I have had this for 10 years also and the Percula has lived in it for the full ten years.
 This Anemone has not move from his rock in the 7 years it's been in this tank.
  So that's pretty much my list. Here is what I would like to add. 1 small Yellow Tang, 1 small Flame Angel and 3 Bartlett's Anthias. Do you think this is possible with my current setup and husbandry. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I do think these fishes will fit in here; well w/ what you have. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

New 6ft marine tank upgrade, Reef, stkg.     10/31/13
Hello to who ever reads this at WetWebMedia! Hope all is well with you guys
Got a few questions regarding a system upgrade from a 4ft - 75 gal marine aquarium to a 6ft 150 gal.
Do you think this stocking list could work well?
Tank dimensions are: 72x18x24 inches
. Yellow tang
. Regal angelfish (red sea)
. Golden semilarvatus angelfish
. Kole tang
. Jewel pufferfish

. McCosker's flasher wrasse x3 (Male:Female:Female group)
. Osc clown x2
. Lemon damselfish
. Fiji yellow belly damsel
. Blue cheek goby

. Goldentail or banana moray eel (miliaris)
. Dwarf golden moray eel

. Skunk cleaner shrimp x4
. Blood red cleaner shrimp x2

. Sand sifting starfish x2
. Turbo snail x10
. Tube worm x3
<These should all go... with the following likelihood troubles. The Muraenids will consume the shrimps, the Puffer will likely nip the eels and goby>
. Brain coral
. Candy cane coral
. Green toadstool coral
. Button polyp
. Thick finger leather coral
. Colony polyps
. Green fluorescent mushroom
<And these, given they're introduced as "well-adjusted" specimens, small in size...>
Sump tank 50x18x17 inch

Deltec SC1350 skimmer
5ft T5 silver aqualumi aquarium lighting pendant
Just wondering if you guys think this set up could work and if not, what would you suggest?
<Sounds fine as presented... would add notes re converting part of the sump to a refugium, RDP macro-algal culture, DSB there>
Also what should I feed the regal angel for a staple diet to keep it healthy?
<Already posted, archived on WWM...>
Thank you and keep up the good work! :)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Are there any corals that can withstand 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 degrees Celsius?     5/24/13
I am from India. Here the problem is temperature and power cuts ( i am talking about 4 to 8 hrs).
<Ahh, do see last weeks Economist magazine... re your country... what might be done to improve so many people there's lots>
 You can run a fish only tank or even an anemone tank with the skimmer (but you can forget about the heavy wattage lights) in an inverter for so long. But there is no way you can run a chiller that long. So i was wondering are there beginner corals that can withstand this heat.
<None that I'm aware of... All cnidarians suffer heat stress in the high 80's F>
 Here they use diesel generators to power their chillers (which is viable for rich guys but at the price diesel is selling us moderate guys can't?). Since you have a very wide knowledge please reply?
<Mmm, I'd leave the lights off (and maybe the top of the aquarium!) during the day... only run them at night when it's cooler. Floating bags or containers of ice can help in short danger periods>>
P.s Temperature range 23 C to 45 C
<Yeeikes! Stay cool Ajeet. Bob Fenner>

Tank Stocking      4/29/13
I think I am ready to start stocking my 90gal reef tank!! I just have a few questions if that is ok?
 The display tank its 90gal with a 4" DSB along with roughly 100lbs of mixed dry/live rock which most of it should be cured by now. The sump/refugium is 30gal tank with 4" DSB and live rock/rubble in one of the chambers with a reef octopus nwb 110 skimmer and 2 heaters. The current inhabitants are 3 green Chromis and 1 lawnmower blenny that snuck in on a piece of live rock . For corals I have one of each of the following small frags: strawberry Blastomussa, green/purple Acan, frogspawn, 1 green hairy mushroom and a rock covered in some sort of Zoanthids that are not pretty or interesting.
I have read over most the FAQ's on WetWeb and this is what I figured out for fairly reef safe:
Nassarius Snails - 6-10
Sand Sifting Star - 1
Is it ok to have both the snails and the starfish to turn the sand over?
Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp - 1
6 Line Wrasse  - 1
Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish - 1
Coral Beauty or Flame angel - 1
I know its hit or miss with either of these and reef tanks or any dwarf angel for that matter, I would like your thoughts on these or avoid them all together.
<I'd leave out the Genicanthus here (space, temperament)... just go w/ one of the Centropyges>
I would also like to add a clown fish and an anemone in the future but I need to do more research on the care of anemones. Baby steps I say!
<A good credo>
 Any thoughts or suggestions would be very helpful and appreciated.
<You're doing fine here>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re thinking my stock list for my 230
To whom it may concern,
<Howdy Brent>
Thanks for taking the time to read my email!
My 230 gallon, softy with a few sps (Monti caps and Birdsnest) has been running for 2 months now with just 2 Percula clowns.
My question is regarding your thoughts on my proposed stock list.
I plan to add (after full 3 week qt for each) 5 Banggai cardinals, yellow watchman goby with shrimp, royal gramma, blue throat trigger, Kole tang, 3 Heniochus diphreutes and an emperor angel. Maybe a powder blue tang too but I think that is pushing the envelope....
<I'd wait on the Powder Blue till the tank has been up a good six months... and be studying re... "Crypt magnets">
Please comment on my stock list. If any changes need to made please advise.
Thanks again for all the help!
<These should all get along... the Henis may fight when large/r, the Angel may outgrow this system in a few years, might pick on some corals. Bob Fenner>

Fish Stocking    9/11/12
Thank you for your hard work and dedication, especially when it comes teaching novices like myself.  I've always heard there is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people, so here it goes ;).  I have a 6x2x2 mixed reef with plenty of LR (and swimming room) and DSB.  I picked the corals that are safe with the fish I wanted, not the other way around.  The tank has a 55 gallon sump with SRO-3000 skimmer, ozone and refugium. 
Parameters are as follows:
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = <5
PO4 = trace
pH = 8.2
My question is about the stocking of the fish.  I just listed out how many I have and I started to concern myself, granted all fish have been living peaceably for the last few months.  I have a 3" Purple tang, 3" Mimic Lemonpeel tang, 2" Flame angel, 3" Bicolor angel, 3.5" Majestic angel, 3.5" Copperband Butterfly, 2x Blue/Green Reef Chromis, 2x Orange Stripe Prawn gobies, 2x McCosker's Flasher wrasse (male/female pair), Orchid Dottyback, Percula clown, Diamond Watchman goby and a Scott's fairy wrasse (16 fish in all!).  All are happy, healthy and eating (even the Copperband!). Currently in a 50 gallon QT I have a 3" Sailfin tang and a 3.5" Sargassum trigger that I took off a friend's hand when he had tank issues.
<Mmm, the new Zebrasoma and the olde may tussle... and w/ time the Sailfin will become much larger>
  He no longer wants to be in the hobby and I'm not sure I want to keep these fish due to the amount I currently have.  What is your expert opinion on the current mix in the DT long-term and should I take any out now?
<As stated... you may have to sell one of the Tangs>
Next question is about the two in QT, would they be safe to add or should I sell them?
<Up to you to try or no>
 Thanks for your time!
<And you for your query. Bob Fenner>

Stocking livestock, reef     8/30/12
Hey everyone, I just have a quick question about stocking.  I am having a 135 gallon 36x36x24 tank built.  It is going to be a large Bio-cube as all of the filtration will be built in just like the Bio-cube.  I will have about 150 lbs. of live rock and about 80 pounds of live sand.  The tank will have some soft corals mostly leathers and mushrooms, and WWM recommended clean up crew.  The wish list for fish is a Foxface, a Midas Blenny, a pair of pearly Jawfish, a pair of clownfish, a mandarin goby, a neon goby, a wheelers goby, a royal gramma, 3 Firefish, a forktail blenny, and a barnacle blenny.  Would love to know your thoughts on this list of fish.  thanks.
<I might skip on the Gramma... too likely it might prove to be an aggressor here; particularly toward the Microdesmids. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking livestock, reef... using WWM   9/1/12

I would like to put an arrow crab in the tank as well, if you would recommend it.....
<Pls see WWM re Stenorhynchus. B>

Still new to reef tanks... op.      8/6/12
Hey crew. I'm still kinda new to the reef world. And have a few questions.
But first I will explain my set up. My tank is a 65 gallon tank 4 ft long 18 in deep 18 in tall. My lights 4 t5 39w 3 are 6500k 1 true blue 420 and 2 18000k t8 Vho they are 5 inches high off the water. I got a 100 gallon protein skimmer. Have a 2100 Rio pump set up as a external pump with a Scwd on it. 3 circulation pumps 2 rated for 55 gallon tank and other is a MaxiJet 600. Water is mostly good nitrate less then 10 ppm phosphate less then 5 ppm
<Hope you're missing a decimal point here. 5 ppm is high>
and everything else is good and checks out. Now my question is I have a few corals some Sps witch are doing good and growing some lps witch
all are good except my frogspawn and a Kenya tree witch don't seem to want to open a lot or very fully and polyps witch are good except for my gsp witch is my 3rd frag that don't seem to want to take again.
<... likely allelopathy twixt the Cnidarians here>
Tank is clean almost no algae or filth in it. I use filtered water and purified water that is rodi water like aquafina some times cause i do not have the money for rodi unit. what can i be doing wrong. Is my tank set up good or should I change something that will help. A huge thanks for the help.    Tony
<... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Blue Face Angel in a reef tank, comp.       8/6/12
Hi Friends,
Thanks for the whole lot of FAQs on the hobby !!
I have a not so quick question.
I had initially planned a SPS tank of 4’x4’x2’ but due to some design mistakes I had to rethink to make it Softy and some Zoanthid tank. I am in the middle of stocking the tank.
Some details regarding the tank
•       Circulation is by way of 2 EcoTech Vortech MP40W ES. Set in Async Mode.
<I'd leave these on continuously... in opposite corners, near the surface, spin the water in a gyre>
•       Lighting is using 4x Mazarra
•       Skimming is done using a Deltec TS 1060 inside the aquarium itself.
•       Filtration is by a Fluval G6 canister [will be no media. Just lots of Live Rock rubble as a substitute for a Pods refuge
<The discharge of this vertical, in the direction of the gyre>
•       Using 4x 11oz Chemipure Elite rotated every alternate month.
•       Around 100 Pounds live rock [Tonga branch type] in display and around 20 odd pounds in the canister.
•       4” DSB using CaribSea Fiji Pink fine aragonite.
•       Water change every month - 100liters.
Fish and Inverts
•       One yellow tail Anthias
<Social species... I'd add more>
•       Blue Tang
•       Yellow Tang x 3
•       Percula clown [pair]
•       Maroon clown [pair]
•       Blue Face Angel [I know this can be a turning point]
•       Skunk cleaner shrimp x 3
•       Peppermint shrimp x 2
•       Assorted 20 odd snails [mostly turbo]
•       Would a sea cucumber get torn off by the Angel?
<Might be; but if a small species, likely ignored>
Can I add the following without crowding?
1.      Psychedelic Mandarin [pair]
<Hard to keep fed here. See WWM re>
2.      Orchid Dottyback
3.      Royal Gamma
<2, 3 fight, but in this size, shape system likely fine>
4.      Some kind of Goby [please could you suggest any?]
<See the groups on WWM... Stocking/Selection FAQs>
5.      Wrasse - A pack of three?
6.      Any dither fish feasible?
<Ditto re the above 5, 6>
I need to decide quickly since I don't want the angel to become the big bossy and then add further fishes to upset the balance.
<It is the alpha animal here and will be>
•       Star Polyps
•       Small cluster of Zoanthid
•       Handful of Mushrooms including one giant mushroom of 4” diameter.
•       Pulsing Xenia
•       Toadstool Leather 6” diameter
•       Plate Coral
•       Unidentified coral similar to Moon coral but flat oriented instead of dome shaped.
•       Clam
•       Green Bubble tip Anemone [hosted by Maroon pair].
•       Montipora [flat table type structure] x 2
Any corals you would suggest that stand a good chance with the Blue Face Angel? Or is it just impossible?
<Just have to try, see... not most Acroporids>
I always wanted a Blue Face Angel and decided to take the risk with a 4"-5" specimen I saw at the LFS. It was quick to feed when I checked there and was alert and no body damage was seen as well. Since I know big Angels can pick on BTAs, I wanted some protection there and got 2 Maroon clowns [3"-4" and ~1.5"].
The bigger clown went straight for the BTA.  Initially the smaller Maroon Clown was not allowed even near the BTA but over last 2 days, he can be as close as 2"-4" nearby.
Does that mean I have a pair now?
<Likely so. Bob Fenner>

230 gallon stock list    7/18/12
How are you today?
<Hi Brent, Bobby Here>
I finally purchased my big tank! 230 gallons. Although I am sure that once I have had it for a few years I may want a bigger one! Since I am able to accommodate larger fish I just need to double check my stock list.  It is real easy to get greedy and think of my viewing pleasure and not the welfare of the aquatic inhabitants. I have poured through you FAQ's and ReefCentral.  I know that a lot of compatibility issues are all based on individual fish personalities and tank size. If you could kindly read through my fish list and give me your thoughts that would be greatly appreciated.
Here goes.....Mixed Reef (Mostly softies)Emperor angel (must have, show piece) x 1Naso Tang x 1
<The Naso Tang may ultimately be a concern.  Although  a 230g tank sounds big, this genus of Tangs get very large>
 Moorish Idol x 1Long Nose butterfly x 1Yellow Watchmen Goby and Shrimp x 1Sunburst Anthias x 1 Flame Hawkfish x 1Neon Goby x 2Percula Clownfish x 2Green Chromis x 5I would like a Blue Throat Trigger but I feel like this
addition would be pushing the limits.
<if you did away with the Naso, the Trigger might fit in much better>
Thanks for your time and have a good day. Brent
<You as well>

Fish compatibility, stkg... reef     6/23/12
I've got a few questions regarding tankmate compatibility - I've got a 5x2ft marine set-up that has been running for just over 6 months. I've decided to set it up as a reef tank and am thinking of sticking with smaller fishes. I have a Tunze skimmer, Eheim pumps and heaters, and a metal Halide light which set me back a fair bit! I've got a deep sandbed, lots of nice purple live rock and I've just recently started stocking fish. My current fish are 6 goldline cardinals (Apogon cyanosoma),
a pair of Ocellaris clowns, A flame angel and a Bicolor angel.
I added the angels in together and they are getting along just fine.
Currently no corals but I do have a tropical Abalone and two bubble-tip anemones that I saved from a friend who was planning to destroy them when her tank cracked. I was worried about the anemones but they seem to be doing quite well - both are eating regularly, have deep coloration and seem to have found places in the tank they like! I wanted to know if you had any suggestions for tankmates or fish that might be suitable for my tank. I like the look of Orchid Dottybacks and Fire Gobies, but am unsure if they are suitable or will get along.
<The former tank-bred, the Microdesmids should be fine here>
I am thinking of getting ornamental shrimp in the future, and if you had any suggestions for Gobies or 'cleaner fish' that will fit in they would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks, you have quite the splendid site,
<Best for you to search the compatibility for each group, species you have in mind... and to read survey articles such as:
and the linked files above... though the topic is small systems, what is recorded applies to small fishes, other livestock for larger systems. Bob Fenner>

Peaceful 125 stocking failure – 06/14/12
I recently completed stocking my 125 reef.  I decided to stay away from large fish and only go with small nano type fish.  I thought all of my fish were peaceful however my yellow assessor and orange Firefish have shredded tails.  The yellow assessor attacks the Firefish and my Trimma gobies go after the assessor.
<Wouldn't have guessed this last>
 The Trimma gobies and Firefish were added last week so I am not sure if this is normal pecking order aggression that will resolve or if this is going to be the norm in my tank.  Debating whether I should pull some of the fish out.  My stocking list is below.  What are your thoughts?
5 Trimma gobies
4 red spot cardinals
1 black line blenny
1 yellow assessor
1 orange Firefish
1 skunk clown
<These should be able to get along in a 125... Maybe add more "cover", like live rock. Bob Fenner>

Domino Compatibility/No Such Thing    5/23/12
Hello from the high desert of Nevada, even though you've heard it before I want to thank you for all the information on this site.
<You're welcome Scott.>
 It never fails that when I start looking for answers I always get side-tracked onto different subjects and the next thing I know a couple hours have passed.
<Easy to do.>
  My current tank in question is 72"L x 30"W x 24"H with a 60 gallon sump/refugium. The tank has a 48"weir containing 3ea 2" Durso overflows and 3 ea 1" returns running about 2400gph flow, about 200lbs live rock, 3 clownfish, 2 A. Ocellaris, 1 black and white A. Ocellaris; 3 yellowtail damsels, C. Parasema; 1 black and white chromi, C. Margaritafer; and the dreaded domino damsel, D. Trimaculatus; various mushrooms and polyps, a trumpet coral, hammer coral, frogspawn (the 2 ocellaris have made it their home), a couple different Lobophyllia, 2 T. Maxima clams and a bunch of hermits and snails. In the sump are 2 Coralife skimmers rated at 125 and 220 gallons. Tank params are Temp 78-80, Ph 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, KH 10, Phos 0, Calcium at 480. The tank has been up and running for about 3 months and everything was transferred from my 55 gallon about 2 months ago. All the test results have stayed the same since before the fish were added. Whew!
Ok, boring parts over.
  As I've come to learn the domino damsel is a bully.
<An understatement.  Is as nasty as a motorcycle gang in a California mountain bar.>

Unfortunately he's my wife's favorite, he literally follows her around the room. When she sits on the couch he stays right there where he can see and be seen. He only harasses the other fish enough to let them know he's the boss and at about 4" long he's also the biggest. My problem is that I want to add 1 or 2 more colorful and personable fish. My nearest LFS is about 4 hours away, most of these guys were purchased over the net or on that occasional visit to the store when all I thought I needed was a compatibility check. There was no warning about "demon" fish and since he's my wife's favorite I can't easily get rid of him.
  Thanks to your site I've ruled out a lot of the fish I wanted. So I'm hoping you can help me choose something that could fit in.
<I would not add any fish smaller than the damsel if you must keep it.  I'd likely try a Sailfin Tang at least five inches long, but then if it were me, the damsel would be going.  My dealer won't stock trimacs for that very reason....nasty.
 A reef tank rules out many fish that could cohabitate with the damsel.>
 I also have a Wartskin angler "Fred" A. maculatus, his pic is attached.
He's my favorite. I originally planned to put him in the big tank but after reading your site I decided not to. He is currently in a 14 gallon Bio-cube and been there for about 2 months. I plan to put him in the 55 after I use it as a QT for any last additions if you can recommend any.
  I would like a snowflake eel, and a yellow tang or a Harlequin Tusk but I read that the Tusk might go blind from too much light?
 I have 3 120w LED's that are very bright but I haven't been able to measure the PAR yet. If the tang is acceptable can there be more than one?
<Yes, if a different family, different shape/coloration.>
  Thanks again for any advise you can give. I wish I'd found your site a couple years ago, then I wouldn't have this problem.
<Is a problem.  James (Salty Dog)>

Chromis viridis, stkg.      4/22/12
Hello Bob,

<Good Evening Gene, Bobby here>
After the loss of my very large Naso, I've been considering a completely different route and would like your thoughts, please.
As a reminder, my tank is a 125g reef (6' feet) housing:
Yellow tang
6-line wrasse
Flame angel
Clown (1)
(everyone currently gets along just fine and most have been in the tank for over 2 years).
After researching surgeonfish options (all of which get so big as adults)
I'm about ready to move toward a smaller fish and have been considering an odd number of Blue/Green Chromis viridis -- perhaps 5 or 7 -- 3 if you feel I'm overdoing it.
<Although a great reef fish and the numbers you mention will be fine in general, the problem is that over time in the confines of an aquarium this species very rarely will tolerate a group of each other.  It will start with the group alienating the weakest fish and then killing it.  This will go on until only one survives.  I could guess to a number of reasons, but regardless, this is nearly always the result.  If you look at any mature tanks that have housed this species, you will almost always find just one, lone fish.  If you are looking for small fish that will school, consider any number of Cardinal fish.  Do the research first of course.>
Your thoughts, please, on this addition and number to add -- if you agree.
Re: Chromis viridis     4/22/12

Hello Bobby,
Thank you for the informative reply.  Interestingly, as I did my research not a single source provided the details you did.  That's why I like to run things by the WWM team.
<To that point, the info I provided is based off hobbyist experience in the day to day world.  Otherwise, that fish is a great tank candidate> 
It's a shame experiences like you shared with me are not readily available -- or am I just not consulting the right sources?
Thanks for the recommendation on the Cardinals -- they don't really fit my taste so I guess I may be back to finding a suitable surgeon fish.
<If  you are looking for a Tang that is suitable for that size tank, look at the Bristletooth types.  For Example, a Yellow Eye Kole tang. 
Any other recommendations you care to 'run up the flag pole' based on my current community?
<I pair or Trio of Fairy Wrasses might be a nice addition.  Here is a link to the Genus Cirrhilabrus.  Beautiful coloration, sexually dimorphic, and can be kept in a pair, or other combinations of 1 male and more females. 
Although in your size tank a pair is probably good.  Keep in mind, the tank would have to be covered as they can be jumpers, but amazing fish. 

Stocking options, sea/ brittle- star choices  3/21/12
<Hello Sandra>
First off, thank you for all the help I have received previously through questions and the overwhelming amount of information on your website.
<You're welcome.>
You guys rock! :D Now, on to my latest question. My husband and I are planning our first saltwater tank.
We already have many freshwater and two brackish setups.
<I enjoy viewing nicely planted freshwater  tanks.  They can be just as appealing as saltwater.>
So, in light of our addiction, the next step is salt. We are in the researching stage and taking it extremely slow. We have decided to get a Cinnamon Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus) and a Bubbletip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor). My question is, is there any starfish that is relatively hardy that could live with these two?
<With this being your first saltwater venture, I would not start with an anemone until you gain a little more experience and knowledge.  The hardiest Starfish would be the Brittle Starfish and also a very good scavenger.  James (Salty Dog)>Stocking options, sea/ brittle- star choices  3/22/12
Hey guys,
<And gals.>
so sorry for all the questions but I don't want my first foray into saltwater to crash and burn.
 I told my husband no anemone yet. We're also starting with a FOWLR system.
Just to verify, we can have a cinnamon clown without an anemone?
<Yes, they do quite well without an anemone.>
Also, we were debating these options: Magnificent Firefish,
<These are best kept with other docile fish and the Cinnamon Clown is not a member of that group.>
Canary Blenny, Scissortail Goby, Falco Hawkfish, Blue Knuckle Hermit Crab,
<These crabs if added in large numbers are great for algae control. 
Problem here is that once the algae is gone they will  move on to polyps, and other small animals and will also steal food from sessile invertebrates.>
and Chocolate Chip Starfish or Brittle Star.
<Go with a small Brittle Star and do not buy a Green Brittle Star of the genus Ophiarachna. These animals quickly grow into predatory fish eaters.>
We have a 55 gallon tank to use for this setup.  Obviously we can't have ALL these guys.  I would like to know your recommendations and possibly some species we haven't thought about?
<Mmm, best to browse etailer sites where most give basic information on the animals needs and then follow my suggestion below for more information.  I usually browse here.   http://www.liveaquaria.com/>
  We have a wonderful LFS that can order anything for us.
<Best to search these species and others you may be interested in.  Our site will provide you with the knowledge needed to properly care for them along with learning their needs, requirements, compatibility, and systems. 
If any questions remain unanswered, do write back.  Here is a link to our marine index.
Thanks again for your time and knowledge.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Wanting To Add More Fish?    3/12/12
Hi All-
This is my first time writing a question. Please be gentle(lol)...
I have 110 gallon reef/fish tank.  It has been up and running for 6 weeks.
All water levels/parameters are good, no problems. Fish and corals are doing excellent.
I keep salinity between 1.023-1.025.
I do a 15-20% water change per week.
I have a nice outbreak of coralline algae on rocks and glass already.
Tank specs:
Approx. 120lbs of LR
2 inch deep sand bed
<I'd add more... see WWM re>
Hamilton Belize Sun Lighting System, 2-400 watt(10,000k)M.H., with 2-54 watt (Royal Blue) T-5's
CPR Hang-On the back 5 gallon refugium(10,000k light, 36 watt) ...containing 2 inch deep sand bed containing crushed rubble and small pieces of LR on top of sand bed, Chaeto, tons of copepods, worms, etc..
Supplement with Seachem Reef Complete and Reef Calcium once per week
Sump (trickle), Little Giant Pump(unsure of gal/hour)
<Can look up by the model (on the pump) on line>
 ...pump provides good water flow, thru 3/4's of the tank,  also sump is housing 12 lbs of small pieces of LR instead of bio-balls
 ...using blue and white filter floss on top of Pura Filtration Pad.
 ...heater(temp. fluctuates between 77-80 degrees between night and day)
Feeding:  Once, sometimes twice a day... 
...using Formula One and Two( flake and frozen) , frozen brine shrimp, New Life Spectrum small pellet
1-Powder Blue Tang
<Mmm, keep your eye on... this tank is too "new" and small for this
Protozoan parasite-prone species>
1-Bartlett Anthias(male)
<Need females>
2-True Percula Clownfish
1- Rainford's Goby
1-Long-Fin Sleeper Goby
1-Coral Beauty
1-Crocea Clam
3-Cleaner Shrimp
1-Red Blood Shrimp
1-Peppermint Shrimp
2-Camel Back Shrimp
1-Emerald Crab
1-Pom Pom Crab
20-30 assorted snails
10-15- assorted Hermit crabs small
Waving Hand
Colt Coral
and possibly some SPS or LPS frags in the future
Here are my questions:
I was looking to add some more colorful fish(or even "cool" inverts) to my tank.
I am wondering, in your opinion, if I have enough room to do so?
If so, what kinds/types do you recommend?
<That you wait a couple months at this juncture; keep reading, investigating. Your system needs to "settle in">

I have a Remora hang on skimmer.  I am currently not using it.
<I would>
If I am going to use it. I "thought" I would wait a few months as to not skim-out any of the beneficial nutrients
since my tank start up is new?
Unfortunately, I am real tight on space. My tank is in a wall.  I can not hang the skimmer on the sides of my tank.
I would have to hang it down below, off of my sump(which is still in my way, but I will make do if necessary)
What are your thoughts?
<Can be done... see WWM re placement>
Do I need to use it? 
<Of use, benefit>
Given my current setup, do you see any changes or advice you might give?
<To take your time>
If any misspelled words, run-on sentences, grammar mistakes etc...I apologize.
<No worries>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Fw: Wanting To Add More Fish?    3/12/12

....forgot one fish
1-Fire Goby(Dart fish)
<Also a social species...>
Re: Wanting To Add More Fish? Reef
Hi Bob-
Thanks for answering my questions so quickly...
I am going to take your advice and take my time.
When time comes, I'm considering adding one or more of these fish:
Small Purple Tang and/or Small Yellow Tang to go along with a Powder Blue?
I know your suppose to add Tangs in three's, but the other two never made it alive via shipping.
Just the Powder Blue made it alive (go figure, right?).
Can I mix different types of Anthias's, as opposed to just adding females?
<Not the better choice>
Also, I have one Fire Dart Fish.  I would like to add a group.
...and/or a group of Purple Dart Fish.
I also like:
One Spot Fox Face
Banggai Cardinals
Royal Gramma
Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse
Masked Gobies
Purple(or some other colorful) Dottybacks
<... you need another, actually, likely a few more tanks. You're full up w/ the present one fish-wise>

I realize I can not put them all in my tank.
When time comes, would you mind telling me which ones would make a nice addition ?
<... keep reading. BobF>
Thanks so much...

Stocking new tank: all at once with small fish? 02/08/12
Hi, crew,
Oh, the hours I've spent reading this site. :)
<I've got about 10k into its production>
I'm setting up a 65-gallon reef tank (36x18x24 high). Equipment is a SeaClone 100, two Aqueon 950 powerheads, and a HOB filter for a 40-gallon tank (to disturb the surface and provide a place for some charcoal filter media if I need it). A small HOB refugium to be added later, maybe a gallon or so.
After the tank is cycled with live rock and I add snails and shrimp, and the tank has been stable for a few weeks, would it be reasonable to add 5 or 7 blue-green or blue Chromis and a pair of ocellaris, all 1" or less, at the same time? Or should I add just the Chromis and wait a month or so to add the clownfish?
<Could add all of these in one go>
After the tank is more mature, I'll add soft corals. Need to do research on this to prevent chemical warfare, but that's next year's project.
The only other fish I might add at a later date would be a royal gramma and a blenny. But not if that would be too many fish for my tank. I want to enjoy the fish, not torture them.
<Agree w/ you philosophy>
Your thoughts?
<Could add more here... otherwise this system will be too "empty" color and behavior wise to generate interest.>
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking new tank: all at once with small fish?

Wow, Bob, you're fast. :) Thanks so much.
<Welcome. BobF>

Down Sizing Stocking Questions  02/04/12
<<Hey Adam>>
I am downsizing from my 400 gallon reef and am running into some walls on stocking list answers.
<<Sorry to hear about the downsize.  I have a 500g system myself (375g display) and do understand the expense/time involved but I digress, lets see if I can help with your stocking issue>>
I am trying to incorporate most of my smaller peaceful fish while keeping my two Zebrasoma tangs
<<With the understanding that no Tang is truly peaceful IMO/E>>
in a large tub I will be using for a grow-out tank. (This can also house any fish who don't behave in the 120).
<<I see>>
I'm trying to stick with smaller peaceful reef fish this time around but have come up with limited information on the compatibility of some of the fish. Mainly the wrasse compatibility.
<<Can be quite variable among the different genera>>
The fish will be going into a 120 gallon tank, Bare Bottom, sps dominate.
1 - yellow wrasse
1 - mystery wrasse
2 - Banggai cardinals
2 - purple Firefish
2 - false percula clowns
3 - fairy or flasher wrasse (2f, 1m)
3 - lyretail Anthias (2f, 1m)
1 - long nose Hawkfish
1 - Tomini tang
1 - chalk bass
<<Im going to assume the Yellow Wrasse is Halichoeres chrysus this is a superb fish for captive reef keeping, and will generally get along with mostï any other fishes, but I fear the Pseudocheilinus wrasse (i.e. Mystery Wrasse, P. ocellatus) may be trouble here.  This genus of wrasse has always proven problematic in my experience even with non-wrasse species that are similar in shape/environmental preference.  As for the Fairy/Flasher wrasses, unless you set up this new system with them as the focus I think you will not be happy with the long-term expectation.  The Anthiines youve chosen (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) are the best pick for this tank among the species commonly offered, in my opinion.  They get large enough, and are pugnacious enough, to hold their own here though I would recommend four females to one male versus the two-to-one you have listed for reasons of spreading the harassments dealt out by the male and the dominant female. With only two females, the bottom of that pyramid is awfully heavy>>
All the above fish are existing except for the Anthias, flashers, clowns and yellow wrasse. I tried Bartlett's Anthias and Blue Flashers in my large reef and they ended up carpet surfing or disappearing. :(
I was hoping to try again in a more peaceful setting this time and with a canopy.
<<The Flashers will ping around within the canopy like pinballs if startled I speak from experience>>
Any insight would be great!!!
<<Consider my comments��a trio of Halichoeres spp. wrasse would be a better option than mixing the three wrasse genera you propose in my opinion and experience.  Cheers, EricR>>
R3: Down Sizing…Stocking Questions, reef – 09/04/12

<<Hey there Adam>>
As normal things change.
I have finally gotten the tank together and have the first batch of fish on the way. The tank ended up being 60" x 30" x 24" high, euro-braced, Starphire on 3 sides.
75 gallon sump, with fuge and skimmer areas.
2 MP60w's for water flow on opposite ends of the tank.
<<Ah, very nice… (you moneybags you…[grin])>>
Reef octopus SRO-3000I for a skimmer, ATI Power module 10x80w for lights. I couldn't go bare bottom, I ended up with a very shallow sand bed.
<<I too am not a fan of BB tanks>>
The tank has had water 'in it' since July 14, 2012.
<<The longer it goes without macro predators (e.g. – fishes!) the better>>
(The tank had a leak in the overflow I had to remove all the rock etc. to repair). All sat in stock tubs and trash cans with circulation during the time I was repairing the silicone. Brown diatom bloom is starting; I’ve had a few hermits in it for about 2 weeks and just added a frag of some frogspawn from another tank two days ago. Polyps are working themselves out today. So here comes the issue... the final stocking plan, again, has changed itself a bit but is below:
5 - Lyretail Anthias - Ordered
1 - Grey Headed Wrasse - Ordered
1 - Neon Wrasse - Ordered
1 - Yellow Wrasse – Ordered
<<I do hope your sand bed is deep enough and ‘fine’ enough for the Grey Headed (Halichoeres leucurus?) and Yellow (Halichoeres chrysus?) wrasses>>
2 - Undetermined Clownfish (most likely skunks)
1 - Chalk Bass
1 - Orange Spotted Blenny
1 - Harlequin Tusk
1 - Tomini Tang - In holding tank
1 - Yellow Tang - In holding tank
1 - Powder Blue Tang
1 - Niger or Sargassum Trigger
I ordered the Lyretails as they will be the first placed into the tank, without being QTed per recommendations.
The 3 additional wrasses may or may not go in at the same time, debating on QT. Depends on how they look when they come in. (I have ordered from a reputable online dealer, most of the LFS I do not trust with fish purchases, too many pathogens and distressed fish for my tastes.)
<<Is best to quarantine when warranted, no matter who the supplier. But I do believe the Halichoeres is one genus best added directly to the display…housing a suitable substrate>>
I plan to QT everything from this point forward. (I have not had such good luck with QT in the past. I've lost more fish in QT than I have when I just put them in the tank. This fact has always bothered me.)
<<Tis true it can sometimes prove detrimental. Always best to research re>>
The question comes into play with the stocking order of the Harlequin Tusk and the tangs. As stated above the Tomini and yellow tang are both here in a holding tank. I will be removing the skimmer from this system soon, as it belongs on the new system. I can either (A.) swap the skimmer back and forth for short periods of time until the tangs are moved (least favorite idea), or (B.) place the tangs in next in a few weeks once the wrasses and Anthias are settled. Which do you recommend?
<<My preference would be to place the Tusk first, before the Tangs. But that not being possible, I think the Yellow and Tomini Tangs are a low risk/better gamble versus the Powder Blue on this size system. Place the Tusk before the PB and Trigger and I give you good odds>>
The tusk and trigger are to be the center piece fish
<<The PB may have something to say about that...[grin]>>
... I know the trigger will be last, but what are your recommendations on the stocking order of the tangs vs. the tusk? This is my first go around with a tusk and I am not sure what to expect... or where he should be placed in the stocking order...
<<You have my thoughts re>>
<<Cheers my friend… Eric Russell>>
R4: Down Sizing…Stocking Questions, reef – 09/05/12

<<Hey Adam>>
I unfortunately tore down a 650+ gallon system to down size to this tank.
<<Ooh, too bad… I do love big home tanks. My own system is about 500g en toto (96x30x30 display, 75g sump, 55g refugium). I would have liked more space front-to-back, but my wife about had a fit when she saw the floor space I was robbing as it was. But I digress…>
So, that means a few things, the rock was in that system for 2+ years, then left dormant and covered in a tub and garbage cans for the past year, so it should be good and podded up.
<<Mmm…assuming it had water circulation…a food source…>>
Sand bed wise, it is now bare in some spots because of flow, other spots it is now 3-4 inches.
<<Do consider a Gyre type flow pattern>>
It was an average of 1.5 to 2 when put in before the flow monsters turned on.
<<Ah yes, the MP60s…wish I had a couple!>>
I kept a yellow wrasse in similar substrate depth in the 400 with coarse sand instead of the oolitic I am using now.
<<The wrasses will likely find the deeper spots if needed…where the sand “mounds up” against the rockwork>>
You think this will suffice?
In regards to the tangs and the tusk; I have always been told to try and put all tangs in simultaneously...
<<Where practical/possible, yes…but most folks don’t have the funds (or patience) to acquire, or facility to hold such “all at once.” Thus it becomes a matter of introducing the least aggressive species first>>
With that being said should I try to make provisions and put the tusk in first and all three tangs later?
<<Ideally, maybe…but what we discussed previously (Yellow and Tomini Tang, then Tusk, then PB) can also work I think>>
Or with the species listed am I better off to let the two tangs I have on hand now, settle in before adding the powder blue later?
<<Some variables to consider here, such as any size variations among the specimens in question, but best to add all at once when possible (is often not the case)…otherwise add the PB last, especially if it is close to same size or larger than the other two Tangs>>
As always thanks,
<<Always happy to share… EricR>>

Fish compatibility    1/30/12
Hi Crew   
    I have a 120 gal. 4x2x2' 40 gal. sump current stocking Flame Angel, Starry Blenny, Red Hawkfish, Watchman Goby, Green Mandarin, two Ocellaris Clownfish , two Royal Gramma, two Cleaner Shrimp and a Pistol Shrimp some Green Star Polyps, Green Mushrooms, Button Polyps and some Macro Algaes. I would like to make my final two additions to the tank I have read and got mixed opinions on my choices number one would be a Powder Brown and a Yellow Tang my LFS guy thinks this would be fine in my size tank (he is pretty good guy better then most in my opinion)
<These could go... will be occasional "jousting"... and would run through pH-adjusted freshwater dips/baths en-route to introduction>
but I have read different Live Aquaria recommends at least a 125gal. just for the Powder Brown. So number two choice the Yellow Tang and a Coral Beauty but the I'm guessing could be issues with the two Angels.
<Too likely so, yes>
Third choice just the Yellow Tang.  
Thanks for any  thoughts.                                                                           
<Again... Bob Fenner>

Hello Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Dai>
I would like your input on my stocking question. Currently I have a 210 gallon reef tank. As of now I have: PB, Palette Tang, Purple Tang, 4 tomato clowns, 4 domino damsels, 3 four stripe damsels,
<Do keep an eye on these eight Dascyllus... can become tremendous bullies w/ time, growth>
 6 yellow tail damsels, fox face, flame angel, pajama cardinal, blenny, 2 cleaner shrimps and fire shrimp. I would like to know if I still have room to add more and if so, what would you suggest something that is active and colorful? Thanks Dai Phan
<You could add more... there are many possibilities... Keep reading, talking w/ other hobbyists, the stores you frequent.
Bob Fenner>

LPS Compatible 12/13/11
Dear WWM,
<Hello Bryce>
   My tank is doing well due to your site. Thank you for providing and maintaining it.
<Mmm, didn't have much to do with maintaining it, but thank you just the same.>
 My fish look like they are doing well except for aggressiveness from the clown. The fish are 1 Percula Clown, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 Green Chromis, 2 Firefish Gobies, 1 Four-stripe damsel, 1 Jewel Blenny. First off, the clown likes to pick at everything and has claimed the entire tank for himself. I am slightly concerned for my Gobies and I was wondering if they could be divided or something for a while?
<Might be best just to remove/relocate the clownfish.>
 I was also wondering if I could get a 'show' fish. I love Dwarf Angels and Butterflies but I also love my LPS. I currently have a Bubble Coral and Frogspawn on the way. The tank is 55 gallons. I like Coral Beauty angels but you site clearly says that they can be demons instead when put with coral.
<Just depends on the personality of the dwarf angel.  I have had quite a few pygmy angels in my day and I have yet to have one that picked on corals, but no guarantees.  I may have been lucky.>
 I Know there is nothing that is totally reef safe but was wondering if there was anything I could get that was on the safer side of the spectrum? Would prefer not to spend more than about 75$ though.
<There are some Butterflyfish that are relatively safe with stony corals but not soft corals, but  your tank would be on the smallish side for housing any of these.  Best bet would be the Coral Beauty.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

112g reef stocking / lighting 11/23/11
Hi there!
<Hello Lisa>
Love the site and spent many an hour sifting through info found here. I greatly appreciate your time and knowledge.
<You're welcome.>
I recently upgraded my 65g reef to a 112g (kind of funky dimensions I hear, 68" long, 16" wide, 24" deep). I have a very shy but well behaved Niger trigger, a purple firefish, and a normal firefish. Also a coral banded shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp, 3 Nassarius snails, 10 reef snails, 10 hermit crabs of various colors, and 1 sally lightfoot crab. As for corals, I have a green star polyp rock, various mushrooms, and a bubble coral.
I would like to add 3 Maldives Anthias, a purple tang and green mandarin, a cleaner shrimp, an emerald crab, some various lps, Zoanthids and a maxima clam.
Like I said, 112g tank with a 30g Sump/ refugium combo with a few small pieces of lr, Chaeto, and Caulerpa, bubble magus nac-6a skimmer, cascade 150g canister filter, 2 1050 power heads, and a 48" 10k t5, actinic 2 bulb light.
N/N/A are 0, Alk is 8.4, temp is 80.
Will my setup be able to handle my fishy wish list? If no, who gets left out?
<The Triggerfish should go, does not belong with this and future group.>
The mandarin won't be added for about 6 months...just got my refugium going.
I know I need better lights. I was thinking 2 30" 250w / 4 t5 combos, since I can't find 68" fixtures and there's a 6" glass support in the top middle if <of> the tank anyway. Will this be enough light for the clam?
<The lighting would be enough but you would have three lower light areas (sides and middle) and will have to place your light loving invertebrates accordingly.
Have you considered having a custom wood canopy built? If so, three 175 watt halides would be better. You can then purchase DIY components and mount the fixtures to the canopy. Two cooling fans will also be required. Your other option would be to hang three 175 watt pendants above the tank. You may want to consider LED lighting. Expensive to start with, but will save plenty in utility cost and yearly lamp replacement. Two Orphek PR156W LED fixtures would be enough light for this system. They would have to be hung above the tank and hardware for this is included
with the fixtures. I reviewed this fixture and the review can be found here. Click on Winter, 2010.
The review was for the PR156. The PR156W is the same fixture but with wide angle optical lenses.>
Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Was algae contr., now chatting re reef stocking... NOT other subjects 11/22/11
Hi James,
<Hello Jim>
So as the stocking level goes I have a small adult blue faced Angel ( Who is about to be fish stew because he wont stop nipping at my coral), Emperor Angel, Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Royal Gramma, two clown fish, three Chromis, and a Long Nosed Hawkfish. I <have> several different types of soft corals, mushrooms, and a Bubble Coral. I know my Angels, and the Naso are going to out grow my tank. I am currently scouting for a 300 gallon dream tank. I have a Octopus skimmer also. I have one more question also. Is there any coral besides mushrooms that has colors and is easy that my angels will not bother? I also went and got some RO. water, and bought a algae that grows in your sump. My lfs guy said it will suck up all the nitrates and algae. I guess I am suppose to turn the light on in my sump every night for it to
survive. I don't do a lot of dealings with my local fish store. Every time I have bought something it always comes with a disease. I do have 55 gallon quarantine tank too!
<The angels and tangs do account for a good amount of waste in your system.
You did not mention water flow, you should have a total flow rate of at least 1800gph. This can help in reducing algae growth. There are many things you can do to reduce algae growth, more than I have the time to say but reading here and implementing will help control nuisance algae growth.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re UV Question... NOT  11/15/11- 11/21/11- 11/22/11

Hi James,
<Hello Jim>
Ya it seems the Algae problem is under control for now. As far as water flow goes I have two Rio power head 2500, behind my live rock. One is pointing down the other Is pointing across. I also have Hydor Koralia Magnum Pump 5. Pointing towards the top of my tank. I have Maxi-jet 3000 in my sump that is for my UV and its turned way down. I am not sure what size of pump is pushing the water out of my sump, but I it know it flows well. I had one more question. When I upgrade my tank to a 300 gallon, do you think a Blue Throat Trigger would be ok in my system. I read alot <no such word>
about them on wwm, but nobody's really talking reef safe the last few years.
<The Blue Throat Triggerfish is likely the best of all Triggerfish for a reef system but with caution. They likely will nip/attack delicate invertebrates such as Anemone Shrimp. They behave themselves quite well
with other fish and corals but may attack/harass smaller tankmates in smaller systems. Larger tanks seem to have a calming effect on this fish and become well behaved with smaller fish.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Compatibility [Animals and Environment] 11-16-2011
Hi guys I have been racking my brains trying to decide which fish to put in my new reef tank, its 260l
<<Aprox ~70 US gallons for those reading along.>>
with sump and refuge 120l live rock, 2dsb
<<2 what centimeters/inches?>>
I'm just wondering if this set up would work starting from first in the tank to last the first is an assortment of snails turbo, Astraea, Nassarius, Cerith, Nerite and Margarita the next would be peppermint shrimp
<<Though it's mostly anecdotal evidence, many home aquarists have reported Lysmata wurdemanni picking at certain sessile invertebrate life, including cnidarians (coral, anemones and other relatives) as well as bivalves such as Tridacnid clams.>>
followed by royal gramma then purple fire fish, lawnmower blenny, 3 skunk cleaners, Suntail goby + pistol shrimp, 2 common clown + anemone, fox face
<<Though many species in the family Siganidae are dubbed with this common name, most get up to 9', depending on the footprint of your aquarium, they may or may not be suitable to an aquarium of your size.>>
, flame angel + coral beauty,
<<I would not add two Centropyge sp. angels in a tank of this size, they are 'by sight' patrollers and would fight in this small a set-up, perhaps to the death...read more here;
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/ .>>
a cleaner wrasse,
<<Please reconsider purchasing this animal, see here;
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm  .>>
regal tang + yellow tang + powder blue tang.
<<In this tank I would hesitate to add a single surgeon, let alone 3 considering metabolism (swimming/feeding/waste habits) and territorial disputes amongst themselves as they compete for the same resources.>>
I would appreciate your input on this if something does go wrong I can remove to put into sump just wondering if there is any definite no nos.
thanks Leon
<<See the above comments and read the above links along with the FAQ's linked within them, thanks. - Adam J.>>

pH, stkg....    10/4/11
Hey guys and gals!! Hope you can answer a couple of questions for me. I am sorry they are all over the place but I wanted to send 1 email. First, I have a 150 reef with about 200 lbs of live rock and 75 lbs of live sand. I live in West Palm Beach Florida and have an endless supply of water and sand in my back yard. I have read on here a hundred times the sand from the beach is not so good but decided to give it a shot any way.
<Can work>
The tank is stocked with a Blue Jaw trigger (male), a pink tail trigger, a pearly jaw fish (looking for a second), a pair of ocellaris clownfish, a mandarin goby, a cleaner wrasse,
<The last two... you should read about on WWM>
a forktail blenny, a lawnmower blenny, some peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, and a mated pair of coral banded shrimp, about 30 snails,
<These last four... surprising the Balistids haven't consumed them>
a Sandsifting starfish, a 4 inch Halimeda plant, and a pink and green cucumber. The ALK of the tank is around 13 dKH. The tank parameters are: ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is .5,
<How is this kept so low?>
phosphate is 1ppm, and calcium is at 400. My questions begin with my PH. The PH never stays at 8.3 but rather stays around 7.8 to 8.0 I buffer the water just about every day with Seachem marine buffer and the PH goes to the 8.3 like it is supposed to only to drop over the next 24 hours back to the 7.8 -- 8.0 range.
Is this due to the sand?
<Might be>
If the sand is the issue is there a way to fix the issue without getting a new substrate?
<Keep vacuuming it for one... add more base rock>
Will mixing some aragonite in with my current substrate help?
<Should; yes>
My next question is about the coral banded shrimp. They have made a cave their home and defend it against any fish that comes close. They do not attack the fish but simply push them out of the cave. Is this normal or is it going to become an issue?
<Not likely in this size/volume>
Is there a sea slug or Nudibranch that is good or will be helpful or should I stay away from them all?
<The last. Bob Fenner>
Re: PH... Reef stkg. -- 10/05/11

The mandarin has tons of pods to chew on as we put 2000 of them in the tank when it only had the live rock. They are multiplying like crazy, I can actually see them all over the glass on a daily basis. The nitrate is kept low because of frequent water changes (probably too many water changes)
My trigger fish have actually never even looked at the shrimp as food but I do keep them well fed.
<Can "turn" very quickly>
I can keep the PH at a 7.8 or 8.0 level but did not think this was high enough for coral.
<Mmm, only some SPS really>
The fish do not seem to mind the current level of PH. The coral banded shrimp have eggs. Is this why they would seem more aggressive?
Thanks for the answers and the great job you guys do...looks like I will be staying away from sea slugs and Nudibranchs!
<A good idea. Cheers, BobF>

45 gallon reef tank. Stkg.    10/4/11
Excellent site! I've learned so much from reading your pages.
<Ah good>
I've recently set up a 45 gallon reef tank. The dimensions are a bit non standard 36 X 12 X 24 tall.
<Narrow and tall>
I have 50 lbs of "dead" Marco Rock in it and 60 lbs of live sand.
<I see this>
In the 10G sump I have 6 lbs of live rock and a baseball sized ball of Chaeto.
When the aquarium finished it's cycle, I added 3 small Yellow Tail Damsels and 12 blue legged hermit crabs.
I chose the Yellow Tail Damsels for the first fish because I know they are very hardy, and not "terribly" aggressive.
At least not when compared to most other Damsels.
<This is so>
I've also been told by several reef keepers that these Damsels should always be added in odd-numbers to help minimize aggression.
My question is, what should I consider for the rest of the population?
<What do you have in mind?>
I really like clown fish and was wondering which ones would work best in this tank?
<Tank bred/reared Ocellaris or Perculas>
Is the tank large enough that the Damsels and clowns would have enough room?
<Hopefully so>
Also possibly a Royal Gamma and some kind of goby or blenny? What other fish can/should I consider?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/SmSWStkF14.htm
and the linked files above in the series for background, input>
At some point I would like to add coral. Any suggestions?
<Also posted... please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM>
I have a 36" T5
fixture with 6 tubes, 3 actinic and 3 WavePoint SunWave bulbs.
Is this sufficient lighting for most coral?
<For many to most... depending on where they are placed in the water column. Bob Fenner>


Re: stocking a 110 gallon tank, reef   9/16/11
Hi Simon,
<Hi Laura>
Am now in the process of purchasing equipment for the 120 gallon new system.
I am wondering if there is any benefit to purchasing a UV sterilizer and Ozone generator combination unit such as the Ultralife Ultrazone Dual. I will certainly put an Ultralife 25 watt UV sterilizer on this tank, but again, am questioning spending a few more dollars for the addition of the ozone generator on this unit. What do you think?
<Mmm, do you know the benefits/ drawbacks of each? Too much to go into here, try reading about each on WWM>
I am wondering if the ozone would do little or nothing
<No.. will do far more than UV will... by greatly increasing RedOx.. Read re: on WWM, or better still read Bobs article on such in the UK magazine Ultramarine if you can>
or could end up harming the tank in some way.
<Can be deadly if overdosed>
Ozone frightens me a bit as I have heard of cases where people have wiped out there entire tanks by using it incorrectly. I read Bob Fenner's article on Ozone on WWM and he seems to find the use of ozone favorable in marine aquaria (unless I am misinterpreting the article written on the subject, which is entirely possible). I am sure with the right application it has its uses, but would my 120 gallon fall into this category?
<I personally prefer ozone to UV. I agree with Bob that used correctly ozone has more benefits than drawbacks. I suggest you hold off on buying either until you understand more. These are not essential first purchases, better to research/ buy/ spend good money on a good skimmer.>
Looking forward to your opinion on this matter.
<You have it>
Re: Fitting a 110 gallon tank   9/19/11

Hi Simon,
<Hi Laura>
Thanks so much for your advice on the ozone/uv for the new tank. I am reading all the information I can get my hands on in the site having to do with either piece of equipment, trying to educate myself before making any purchases.
Another subject came up and this has to do with a RBTA for the tank.
Originally, I thought it best not to have an anemone. However, I do love anemones and the RBTA is one I have been successful with in the past. In fact, I had an absolutely gorgeous RBTA in my 85 gallon that I had to remove just because it got so unbelievably large. It was about 10 inches in diameter and never split, and it took up 1/3 of the lower half of my tank. So much real estate for one animal, and, at that time, I wanted the space for other corals.
<One reason why these are best in a species-only set up>
But, the point of my story is that this RBTA went in my tank, planted her foot in a crevice, and never moved one inch in until I finally had to take her out due to her size. She just ate silversides once or
twice a week and grew and grew. It was about 3" when I originally got it and it remained gorgeous, healthy, and in one spot till the day I took it out. I did a great deal of research on your site prior to getting it, and spoke with Karen from Karen's Rose Anemones several times about her care, who was
unbelievably helpful.
Back to now. My tank manager <?> feels very confident that we can again successfully keep a RBTA in the new tank in terms of providing for all of its needs - flow, light, food, space, and water quality, provided we allow enough time for the tank to settle in and stabilize. Our only reservation is that now, we have a Vortech MP40 Wavemaker which will also go in the 120 gallon when we break my current 85 gallon down and set this new tank up.
The Wavemaker does have a foam sleeve on it, but it is still concerning when it comes to the RBTA.
I know there cannot be enough emphasis placed on the needless loss of these animals due to uncovered powerheads and overflow boxes, so I am trying to ensure its complete safety. How much of a threat
do you feel the Wavemaker presents here?
Do you have any tips for a smooth acclimation of the RBTA to my tank other than all the information I have read on the WWM site?
<All you should need can be found here on this subject>
I read in Bob Fenner's article about the advantage of building a bommie for the RBTA and we are quite willing to do this.
<Yes, to try to stop it moving around>
Any advice is appreciated, as is all help you have given me thus far. I know Bob Fenner recommends putting this animal in last in his article, and this would be our plan as well, especially since it will be months after set up until the tank is stabilized and ready to meet the demands of a RBTA.
<Mmm, I would never put an anemone in my system, unless it was the only Cnidarian there>
Re: Fitting a 110 gallon tank 9/19/11

Hi Simon,
Thank you for the advice. Will not put a RBTA in the tank, based on your recommendation. I defer to you on the subject and concede it is best not to mix this animal with other corals and livestock.
<Mmm, it is best to make your own decisions based on as much information/experience that you can find>
I was excited about the extra space in the new tank and thought it might work, but it is not worth the risk. Others seem to do it all the time, but that does not mean it is the wisest thing to do.
<I agree with this>

Advice/Help: Mature Tank Looking for Inhabitants, Reef Invert.s    9/11.5/11
Hi There WWMTeam,
It's been a long time since I've emailed but I think that means I've become a more confident hobbyist - (thanks mostly in part to your team's guidance over the years I'd bet.)
I'm in a transitional phase with my system. I'm currently running a 55 gallon marine system which is over 9 years old (5 in this current location), has approximately 65-70 pounds of Fiji live rock.
I'd had a green spotted puffer which Bob helped me transition from Brackish to Marine about 10 years ago due to the fish's size and my desire to go marine. He had a mostly docile personality - BUT had a history of being aggressive with smaller fish. I then inherited two unlikely fish after a friend had a tank split and asked me to take the fish in a pinch. I said I was worried but would do it under the circumstances. A juvenile yellow tang, and a spotted goby.
Surprisingly within a few days the three fish became fast friends with the tang and goby taking to maintaining my puffer. :)
<Ah good>
Unfortunately the Tang, and Goby passed away within weeks of each other after 2 or so years with me. I'd thought it would be the puffer who would go first. He lasted until earlier this year and due to the nature of the system I never wanted to add anything until the puffer was gone. So my Aiptasia population grew a bit, I got a repopulation of lots of red bristle worms (I blame the puffer, and his messy eating habits - he was about 5-6 inches long and had a healthy appetite)
<Mmm, now, who was feeding it?>
Following the death of my lovely puffer (He was approximately 8 years old) I decided that with my lifestyle changes (I now have more travel requirements and I'm an entrepreneur now with less time), and of course the exciting idea of freedom from a predator! :) that I'd start doing what I'd always dreamed of - having a tank of nothing but inverts. I'm a critter person. I love crabs, and shrimp, stars, - the workers. I like to watch things happening. So, to add to my ill populated system I added 3 turbo snails, 2 peppermint shrimp and a little brown brittle star that was with the shrimp who seemed to have hitchhiked his way into the tank. I had 2 red legged hermits as well who had been in the system with the puffer. I also called an old fish friend to come over to assess the system. We made some changes, we discovered some nitrate issues (again, we blamed the puffer) so we began a plan to stabilize the system before we added anything new.)
Where I'm at now, it's about 6 months later. The shrimps are gone (they died, not sure why) but the snails, the crabs and the brittle star are doing great. Unfortunately after the shrimp left, the Aiptasia returned. The bristle worms are still around. (Should I worry?)
<Not unnecessarily>
Otherwise the system's levels are back to normal.
I'm at a point now we're I'd like to get some recommendations on a) whether to replace the shrimp?
<Perhaps w/ other species... singular or plural... Look to the Hippolytidae>
b) are there inverts (I'm open to anything and everything) that are low maintenance in terms of care (I usually auto feed my system if it's got enough inhabitants) who won't kill each other? :)
<Peruse WWM re reef stocking>
I'm interested in urchins, crabs, scallops, stars, Featherdusters, low maintenance coral - anything that's neat and will add to the interest of the aquarium. I don't think I'm open to adding any fish - but if there's a goby or similar who could do well in a system like this, that would be great to know.
It's a strange email to write about not wanting fish - but I value the teams advice as I feel I've got a bit of a blank canvas situation.
Thanks so much in advance,
<Mmm, here: http://wetwebmedia.com/rflvstkgF13.htm
and the linked files in the series above. Bob Fenner>

stocking a 110 gallon tank   9/7/11
Dear WWM,
<Hello Laura>
You guys have been wonderful to me over the years, answering all of my questions in the most efficient and accurate way possible. I try not to make a major move in reef keeping without you!
<Thank you for your kind words>
I am finally changing my tank from a custom built in the wall 85 gallon (36"X18"X30") to a free standing 110 gallon (48"X18"X29") tank.
<Really? What will you do with the in-wall set up now?>
Many factors have led me to this decision. My 85 gallon has definitely been a true learning experience and, trust me, I have learned a lot!
<I am learning things most every day still in this hobby, it truly is amazing>
I have many, many beautiful corals and live rock to move to the new system, and my refugium and much of my equipment will be moved over as well. One thing I am guilty of with my 85 gallon is overfeeding, and overstocking my fish.
<Easily done>
This has led to numerous issues that make me strive now for sensible stocking in the new 110 gallon tank. I want the focus to be my corals and a thriving healthy reef. So, based on this information, I have come up with a stocking plan I would like to run by you. Here it is: A Yellow Tang, a pair of True Percula Clownfish, 1 Candy Basslet, and a Diamond Watchman Goby.
<These look like good choices to me. A light but healthy fish population will be beneficial for most corals also. This is a 'Shrimp Goby' have you considered buying w/ an Alpheid?
I am hoping the tang and goby will serve as "worker bees" to keep the new aquarium low on nuisance algae (Yellow Tang), and the sand constantly turned over (Goby). I want to be able to use my Spectrum Pellets as their core diet and NOT overfeed.
<You will have to wean the fishes onto these over time>
I want to keep it simple - a joy to look at, easy to maintain. No aggression, plenty of room for everyone.
<Sounds perfect!>
Please let me know what you think of my stocking plan, and if you see anything about it that could compromise my goals.
<Mmm, I don't know about your coral species, but to make things even more harmonious and easy to maintain, limiting yourself to just a couple of different genus/ types of corals (your favorites) will also make things a lot easier in the long run, and in my opinion better looking also>
I am open to any and all suggestions on your part. And, I thank you in advance.
<I think this is a good plan Laura>
Laura Garmizo
Re: stocking a 110 gallon tank   9/7/11

Hi Simon,
<Hello Laura>
Thanks so much for your feedback.
<No problem>
I do have plans for the wall where my current fish tank is built in...long story, involves a bit of drywall work, paint, artwork...should look pretty good when finished.
In terms of the pistol shrimp/goby pair, I love the idea. The only caveat I have heard with this shrimp is the noise level they can make when "snapping". One aquarium dealer described it like a gunshot that can wake you from a sound sleep!
<Mmm, it is not quite that bad.. and not all of the time either, just every now and again usually. Worth a try IMO as the pairing is really interesting, you could enquire if the shrimp could be brought back if you find it unbearable>
This does not fit into my "peaceful" goals on stocking, but is this person correct? Do these shrimps really make noise on this level?
I love symbiotic relationships in aquaria, and the other relationship I would have loved in the new tank is an anemone for the true Percula clownfish. I am afraid though, of several factors. Usually, mixing a reef tank full of corals and an anemone is risky at best.
<Agreed. Something I would not do>
There is also the other possibility the clowns would not host in it.
<You need to check the species of Anemone with your Clowns
And lastly, there is the unhappy anemone that walks and walks, possibly into an overflow box.
At any rate, would love your thoughts here, too. I did have a beautiful rose bubble tip anemone in my 85 gallon tank. She put her foot down in a lower corner of rockwork from the moment she went in. She never walked, she ate silversides pieces every few days, and was gorgeous. The ultimate problem was she grew to about 10 inches and demanded so much real estate I had to pull her out. I still miss her. She was STUNNING.
<IMO for the reasons you state, Anemones are best in species-only set ups, minimum 50 gallons for most species>
Thank you again for all the wonderful advice and encouragement.
<No problem Laura>
Re stocking a 110 gallon tank   9/7/11

Hi Simon,
<Hello again Laura!>
I do have one more question I forgot to ask you regarding my new tank and stocking plan.
<Fire ahead>
How long before you feel a juvenile (2.75"-3") yellow tang would outgrow this tank/setup/stocking plan? Reminder: tank is a standard 48"X18"X29" 110 gallon.
<A few years... this fish grows quite large, but is often kept in tanks in the 100 gallon range, and generally they are ok and do not seem to suffer too much for it. Given more space it will grow larger, which indicates it is stunted in this sized tank to some extent, but to how much? Not as much as other popular species for sure.>
<No problem at all>
Re: stocking a 110 gallon tank   9/10/11

Hi Simon,
<Hi Laura>
So glad to read this response about the Yellow Tang and the tank dimensions and size. I am very concerned about providing an ethical, healthy, comfortable home for the Yellow Tang for most/all of her life. You have made me feel better.
<That's marvelous news!>
Re stocking a 110 gallon tank   9/11/11

Hi Simon,
<Hello Laura>
I have some more good news. I have changed the 110 gallon 48"x18"x29" tank upgrade to the Aqueon MegaFlow 120 gallon 48"x24"x25" tank with stand and canopy.
I have the room for it, and think it is wise to go this route if space and budget allow, which they do. I think the Yellow Tang will be quite happy in there for a long, long time, and the stocking plan is really
perfect. This tank has more surface area and generates a lot of flow and I think it is going to be a very healthy set up for all.
<Yes, I agree>
So exciting. Thank you for all of your help.
<Good Luck Laura, Simon>
Re: stocking a 110 gallon tank   9/13/2011

Hi Simon,
More research...more questions on stocking my new 120 gallon tank.
This time my question is on the sand sifting goby I would like for the tank. I planned on a Diamond Watchman Goby to do the job, but just came across the Tiger Watchman Goby, which I think is a bit more attractive.
Are these equally good sand sifters?
<Should be.. have you read? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm>
The goby is really there to do a job (sift sand), but it would be nice to have the one I find most attractive. Any major differences between these guys? Seems like the Diamond gets a bit bigger, but other than that?
<Probably not, but please read>
Also, I have read that Tangs can really harass these guys. Do you find this to be true?
Again, stocking plan will be 1 Yellow Tang, 2 True Perculas, 1 Candy Basslet and this goby. Tank size is a 120 gallon, 48"24"x25".
Thanks Simon,
<No problem Laura>

Re: New tank stocking list    9/2/11
Hiya folks,
You know what they say, a good deed never goes unpunished! You have been so helpful with your past advise, I couldn't resist asking another couple of questions.
Firstly, Bob, I can't wait to read your article on the RSM 250. Now that I have had the tank for a month or so, I am starting to form my own opinions about it as well (admittedly infinitely less informed ones).
Some good, others, well not so much.
<Can't say fairer than that>
The tank is now fully cycled (Ammonia = 0, Nitrites = 0, Nitrates =10, SG 1.023, CA = 420, KH = 10). I have not measured other trace elements yet at this point but will as I commence stocking.
My question today is actually a follow-up from the chain below. I have been giving my stocking list a lot of thought and worked out some of the invert options as well. The one thing I am toying with is adding a shrimp/goby combination. I do have a 4 inch DSB already setup in the tank. I was thinking the watchman goby/pistol shrimp combo.
My concerns were as follows:
1) Will the shrimp/goby combo mean I cannot add the clown goby?
<Mmm, in this size/shape volume you should be able to have all>
Based on the clown goby behaviors I have observed (I have one in my other tank), they occupy different sections of a tank but thought I would check.
2) will the shrimp be a terror for a cleaner and fire shrimp in this size setup?
<Again... they generally recognize Alpheids and steer clear of them>
3) will this combination completely rule out the mandarin? The goby, I imagine, is a direct food source competitor
<Not so much actually, no. Most folks directly feed their Pistol/Snapping shrimp/s>
I would really appreciate your thoughts on the above. Based on your responses, I would like to run the final stocking list by you once again. We typically have to commit to an entire stocking order with the good stores here in order to get anything. Otherwise all one can find in the store are yellow tangs, Perculas and a host of the aggressive large fish (groupers, triggers, puffers, lions etc.). Even when placing the order, one often has to wait up to a year for the desired specimen so it is imperative that I get the stocking list and order of addition to the tank right.
<I see/understand>
Otherwise this could be an extremely empty cycled tank for a very very long time! As an example, I have been in the hobby for over 2 years now and have only seen royal grammas for the first time a few weeks ago.
<And you; Bob Fenner>
Re: New tank stocking list     9/2/11

Thanks Bob. Do appreciate it. A quick follow-up on point 3 below, I meant the goby as food competition not the shrimp. I notice that my orange spotted sand sifter is a pod feeder so assumed the watchman would be similar.
<Again, not likely too much competition twixt... Callionymids get more of their planktonic nutrition "above the substrate". Cheers, B>

Aquarium Setup/Marine Setup, & stkg.  8/5/11
<Hello Max>
I was wondering if this would be a good setup for a reef aquarium.
90 Gal. 48" x 18" x 24"
<Better to have more area than height.>
(2) 150 watt heater
(2) Aqueon Circulation Pump
(2) Stick on thermometer
Test Kit
Bulk Reef Supply75 gpd Ro/Di 5 stage standard system
Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting system
<I really do not believe this lighting is going to be intense enough to support some of your livestock in a 24" deep tank. Marineland now states on their site that this fixture produces a PAR level of 130 and Lux of 12,700 from a distance of 12 inches.
That is not enough light for most corals and clams especially when you consider that six HO, 39 watt, T5 lamps produce a light intensity (Lux) of 24,650 at approximately 20 inches. The Reef Capable fixture may be fine for polyps, mushrooms, and Ricordea in shallow tanks and leads me to believe that is where the term "Reef Capable" comes in. Just my personal opinion and not that of Wet Web Media.>
10 Gallon Quarantine tank with sponge filter
Marineland C-360 Multistage aquarium canister filter
Instant Ocean Salt
AquaC Remora Pro Protein Skimmer with Rio 1400 pump and Pre-Filter Eheim Wet and Dry Canister Filter 2229
<From an economic stand, I feel a sump would be much less expensive than both of those filters and offer much better air exchange and versatility. Sumps can be DIY'd from small aquariums so there is no real need to run out and buy a pre-made sump if budget is a concern.>
Live Rock and Sand
180 lbs Aquacultured Live Rock (Tampa Bay Saltwater)
90 lbs Live Sand (Tampa Bay Saltwater)
Clean Up Crew
(90) Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
(45) Astrea Snails
(4) Tiger Tail Sea Cucumbers
<The above will starve to death in a new system, and 90 crabs and 45 snails is a bit much even for an aged 90 gallon tank. I would not add any Cukes until this system has aged enough to provide a food supply for them, and then, only add one.>
(2) Serpent or Brittle Stars
(2) Peppermint Shrimp
Livestock - Coral
(2) Toadstool Leather Coral
(1) Button Polyp
(1) Mushroom Coral
(1) Tree Coral
(1) Cauliflower Colt Coral
(1) Yellow Fiji Leather Coral
(1) Green Zoanthid
(1) Yellow Colony Polyp
(1) Lavender Mushroom
(1) Bullseye Mushroom
<Do research lighting requirements for the above corals.>
Livestock - Inverts
(1) Longed Spine Sea Urchin
(1) Sponge
<In time, your live rock should provide sponge colonies if it is of good quality.>
(1) Giant Clam
<Not with your lighting selection.>
(2) Marble Sea Star
<Would not.>
(2) Feather Duster Worms
(1) Bubble Anemone
<Would not mix with other Cnidarians in that small a volume.>
Livestock - Fish
(4) Green Chromis
(1) Bicolor Blenny
(2) Royal Gramma
(1) Yellow Tang
(2) Ocellaris Clownfish
(2) Sleeper Banded Goby***
That's everything. Please let me know if anything is wrong, or it needs any additions.
<As stated above.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
*** I heard that they were good for the substrate, is that true?
<In the wild it feeds on a variety of tiny crustaceans in the substrate but isn't going to do much of anything else, and your substrate will not be teeming with tiny crustaceans for quite some time unless you seed it with such. The Brittle Starfish will do more in this regard.>

New tank stocking list   8/4/11
Hello team,
You have been most helpful with my past queries and, in particular, as I have gone about researching my new tank. I have finally settled on the Red Sea Max 250 which I plan to pick up this week.
<Ahhh, a very nice unit. JamesG has recently bought, set one up; and I've written a review of this Red Sea product>
I assume you are familiar with this tank but nevertheless, it is a 60 gallon all-in-one setup with reef spec (so they claim and more on my use of this later) lighting and filtration. Reading the site and Bob's book, I have decided to make a stocking plan prior to actually having the tank. I was hoping to run the same by you and get your thoughts.
So here goes - The tank will be a reef setup with primarily soft corals and LPS (based on the assumption that the company's claim on lighting needs to be taken with a pinch of salt). I plan to stock more feather dusters than coral. My show fish for the tank will be the flame angel.
Priority two will be the royal gramma. In addition to these two fish, I was planning on adding the follow - 1 percula (moved from my existing tank and therefore a "must have"), 1 green coral goby and 1 fairy wrasse. In addition to the above I am currently looking into a number of blennies to pick one for the tank. Have ruled out the bi-color blenny but rest of the research is ongoing. Any suggestions?
<These are posted on WWM>
I am, once again, avoiding the Mandarin because this tank does not have a true fuge.
<Okay... though could be added>
For the clean-up crew, I plan to add 2 fire shrimp and 3 blue-legged dwarf hermit crabs
Finally, I was thinking of adding a small school (3-4) green chromis.
Based on what I have read, the above seems to be a fairly heavily stocked tank. Would you agree/advise at toning it down?
<Mmm, no; I think what you've listed will work and look very nice>
Do you see any other concerns with the above stocking list?
<I do not>
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: New tank stocking list   8/4/11
Wow thanks for the super quick response. Is your article on WWM?
<Ahh, not as yet. It hasn't occurred in print in the US or elsewhere as yet; and I generally allow about six months to go by post analog publication before (if I remember...) to place on WWM>
I could not seem to find it. Could you possibly point me to it's location/publication? What can I say, I've learnt to research till my eyes hurt!
<Heeee! Don't strain!>
Reference your input on the Mandarin, assume you mean as a replacement for the blenny or could I do both?
<Better to have just one or the other... for space, food competition's sakes>
My concern was that since they will both be bottom/rock dwellers, I would want to run short on space and food for them.
<Ahh, yes>
Thanks ever so much. Your site and book are really helping me get things right. My first tank is truly flourishing even though it is a bit tightly stocked.
<And you, BobF>

Hello Again Crew! Reef stkg. Q's   8/1/11
I recently wrote and received information from Bob about Bluespot Jawfish.
Thanks again Bob!
<Welcome Bry>
Aforementioned the site is marvelous and I have recommended it to all I've encountered. Tank setup is as follows: 55 gallon; 48" L, 12" W, 18" H, 60lbs. LR, 25" hang on refugium (4 lbs. LR/rubble),
Chaeto, 2 Koralia evolution 1400 gph, Marineland 48" reef compatible LED's.
I have yet to add any fish or coral. The live rock I added however was top of the line cherry deco and Jakarta, simply covered in coraline algae, Shrooms, xenia, polyps and various hitchhikers. I use top of the line salt and Chicago tap to RO water. I know probably against your recommendation I used a friends well established reef to seed my refugium/tank with copepods and all sorts of good little creatures.
<Mmm, actually; this is a very good idea/practice>
Tank has been up and running for three months with no casualties of any species or algae. The pods are clearly visible throughout the tank and refugium. My parameters are extremely stable and I do a 18% water change every two weeks. Was hoping you could answer two questions. First my list of fish which I know HAS to be negotiable. Is it possible to have Bluespot Jawfish or pair (perhaps different Jawfish if unsuitable conditions),
<Not likely to live long or well in this size, shape system, in tropical temp. water>
Tailspot Blenny (Golden Midas), 2-4 Helfrich's Firefish and either a pair of Mystery or Scott's Fairy Wrasses?
<These others should be fine here>
And secondly with my lighting can I sustain the full spectrum of LPS, SPS, etc.?
<Mmm, the SPS if they're "set up high" on the rock. I might borrow (from club, LFS) a light/PAR meter to assure the areas in question have sufficiently intense illumination>
Thank you as always, Bryan Clifford, Chicago, IL
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: II Hello Again Crew!   8/1/11
Cheers, Bob! Although saddened about not being able to keep the beautiful Bluespot Jawfish in a tropical tank(more people need to know this!),
<Have posted my survey pc. re: http://wetwebmedia.com/BlueSptJawArt.htm
I understand that you simply CANNOT purchase fish/coral/inverts because you like their appearance or behaviors. The Bluespot Jawfish is widely distributed and I have a hard time imagining that all aquarists are well informed of its natural habitat.
<I agree>
Found in the Sea of Cortez, the Bluespot Jawfish makes its home in a subtropical setting, ranging mostly from 50°-60°c. Rarely the water will reach the low 70°'s.
<Say it again my brother!>
They also tend to have wide open sand, very little in the way of "live rock", where they create their burrows. Often these beauties will live less than a year in a normal reef setting. I challenge anyone to Honestly send in a picture of a BJ that they have had in captivity for longer then a year! I've yet to meet anyone, unfortunately. With this being said Bob, I was hoping you could recommend a few types of other Jaws I could research that are compatible with my list from previous inquiry?
<Oh, sure: http://wetwebmedia.com/jawfishe.htm
and the linked files above; particularly "Stocking/Selection FAQs">
As far as the "par reader" thank you I'm sure my LFS will have no problem with this.
<Ah good. Cheers, BobF>

75 gallon stock list 4/28/2011
Hello crew,
<<Good morning Edward.>>
I am preparing to stock my 75 gallon future reef tank. I was wondering if you could read over my stock list and setup to give me any precautions or advice before I even start to add water. My tank and gear is as follows.
75 gallon
1.5'' overflow
2 x 3/4'' returns
75 lbs of BRS Eco Saver dry rock (will be seeded with a quality piece of live rock)
<<Just as an aside, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going this route, but in doing so the longer you can go without adding fish the better in attempt to allow micro-fauna and other life to proliferate to measurable populations on the 'dead' rock. Just a tip.>>
1''-2'' of sand
35 gallon refugium (contains Chaetomorpha lit with a 6700k cfl and live rock rubble)
<<This will be very helpful re: the above.>>
Rio 12hf return pump ( I catch a lot of sneers for having a Rio return, so far mine is quiet and pumps an actual 740gph through my plumbing)
<<I have to admit my experiences with this brand haven't been the most wonderful, but you already are aware of the issue, so no further warning from me haha.>>
SWC extreme 160 cone skimmer
2x Koralia #3
2x Koralia #5 on Koralia Wavemaker
Reef Keeper lvl 3
2x 250w 15000k MH lights (will be switching to something closer to 10000k when these bulbs are aged)
1x 96w 10000k for sunset and dusk
GFO and reactor
The salt I use is Seachem reef salt.
I am going to be honest, although I do not want to overstock I do wish to have as many fish as I can keep without being detrimental to their health and happiness. As for my first stock list I have researched the following.
1x Exquisite Fairy Wrasse
<<Nothing wrong with this choice for your set up, just a note here that they are prone to jumping especially when introduced to a new environment.>>
1x Mimic Half Black (Acanthurus chronixis)
<<I will probably draw some groans from the 'galley' for this, but despite these being rather small in comparison to it's other cousins in the genus, having seen these fish in the wild they still demand a large amount of swimming, grazing room. I personally prefer not to put them in tanks less than 6ft, and in this specific case it's more about the behavior (metabolism, diet...) of the animal than it's actual potential size.>>
2x Neon Goby
<<These are readily available tank bred, get these if you can.>>
?x Spotted Cardinalfish ( I am unsure of how many, I was thinking 3)
<<Yes but quarantine, add at the same time. See our article here; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Cardinals2.htm  .>>
1x Ocellaris clownfish (was thinking a mated pair but I believe it would be a big risk in terms of them becoming territorial)
<<Not so much an issue with juveniles, but yes a mated, breeding pair can become territorial, especially in artificially confined spaces.>>
As for cleanup I have only done a little reading but so far Trochus snails and some form of less aggressive shrimp are the forerunners.
<<Remember the best clean up crew for a reef tank, is you the aquarists, through nutrient export...water changes, proper maintenance.>>
I will be adding SPS corals after the tank has fully matured. (year or so)
Sorry for the lengthy email it is just wonderful to get such great input from experts of the crew's caliber. I have written before and gotten advice for a freshwater tank that is thriving thanks to Neale.
<<I agree. He would/will be the first person I go to for a lot of matters.>>
This is my first reef tank and the various articles and faqs here have been invaluable.
<<Good, don't stop reading!>>
I sincerely appreciate all the advice you all give.
<<Thank you.>>
Thank you!
<<Adam J.>>
Re: 75 gallon mixed reef stocking choices  5/19/11

Hello Adam J.,
<<Welcome back Edward!>>
Thanks so much for your answer on my 75 gallon future reef stock list that I submitted on 4/28.
After reading I agree that pretty much any Acanthurus would be too large/active for my tank.
<<I'm glad you read behind me and came to the conclusion via your own research, that's really important to me (us).>>
I also have decided to get a group of blue green Chromis instead of cardinal fish. I also have decided against the Exquisite Fairy Wrasse. Due to the fact that I can not find or get anyone to order the Vanuatu variety. I much prefer their coloring over the Fiji.
The Ocellaris is a must due to my better half's fascination with Nemo (sigh).
<<No worries, I've been in similar situations...as have most adult aquarists/hobbyists haha.>>
I have also decided to keep my plan for 2 (tank bred) Neon Gobies.
<<A good choice.>>
I have also filled my tank and added about 1-2 inches of live sand. The price I paid for it was only slightly higher then dry sand. My tank is starting it's fish-less cycle (
as per WWM ) and I could not be more excited!
<<As I tell people, it might just be rocks and sand...but it's rocks and sand in a tank in your house.>>
Here is where my question finally comes in. I am at a loss to find a proper "show" fish that will be relatively large and happy in my 75 gallon. I am trying to stay away from troublesome species such as Centropyge or fish that have a tendency to eat/nip/harm corals or inverts. Perhaps you could point me towards a genus?
<<Since you decided to omit the Cirrhilabrus (Fairy) wrasse, you could look into the genus Pseudocheilinus (Lined) wrasses, which includes the five bar or mystery wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus), it's not cheap but it's relatively hardy and it's a personal favorite of mine. Also a much better choice than the surgeon you were looking at before is Siganus doliatus (the scribbled Rabbitfish), they rarely exceed 7-7.5' (~20cm) in aquaria and don't need nearly the space that an Acanthurus does, a hardy herbivore that again in my opinion looks great...both are on the list for my 120 build at the end of the summer.>>
Your input and time is hugely appreciated!
<<Good luck, keep me updated!>>
Thanks! Edward
<<Adam J.>>

Stocking List - 4/15/2011
Hi crew,
<Hello Kurt>
Thank you for having such a great site for those of us who are much less knowledgeable then myself.
<You're welcome.>
I am in process of cycling my new 55 gallon reef tank. It has only been set up for 1 week. It has a 15 gallon sump. Currently 4" DSB of sugar fine sand and will be adding one more inch later this week.
Approximately 60 lbs of live rock curing outside the system, the rock will be set up in the corners with an "island" in the middle of the tank for separation. Protein skimmer, ramora <Remora> pro. Two 10k T5, two antics <actinics>, 8 moonlight leds. Total circulation will be ~ 15-20x turnover per hour circulation.
I am upgrading from a 6 gallon Nano that I had inherited when a neighbour moved. Current inhabitants are; 1 Maroon Clown (yes I know a way too small system, it was this way when I received it), 1 scarlet reef hermit, 3 Blue Leg Hermits, 1 Emerald Crab, various colonies of Zoas, 1, 5 head Duncan (was 1 head when I got the tank), 1 small tree coral sp. Unknown, and various hitch hikers, including sponges, tube worms and mirco <micro> brittle stars.
I have had this system running successfully for over a year and a half thanks to the advice of your great site. I have religiously tested and re-tested parameters weekly. I have been able to maintain near perfect water quality with frequent water changes.
PH 8.3
Ammonia 0.0
phosphate 0.0
Phosphite ~.15 ppm. (Not sure if I have those right, I'm at work and don't have the list in front of me).
<Why are you testing for this? A phosphite is a salt of phosphorous acid much the same as phosphate.
The phosphate test is all that is needed.>
CA ~420
MG 1200
Salinity 1.024-1.025
Now my question for you. Once I have my 55gallon fully cycled I plan on adding my fish in this order. Please let me know if this is wise, 1 maybe 2 Pearly Jaw Fish.
<Now I see why you wanted a five inch sand bed but I would not place the Jawfish with a Maroon Clown. Being the Maroon Clownfish can be very boisterous, they are also aggressive feeders and likely the Jawfish will not get enough food.>
One flasher or fairy wrasse, species to be determined on your recommendation.
<I'd go with a fairy wrasse. Male Flasher Wrasses do not flash too much without a small harem of females present.>
I would like a hawk fish depending on if it would be compatible.
<Depends, Longnose Hawkfish or Flame Hawkfish.>
Was thinking about a trio of Anthias but I know this is out <Yes, tank a little smallish for these.>
and lastly my maroon clown. I know due to the known aggression of this species it would be best to be added last.
She is currently 2.5 - 3 inches and hosting a clump of hair algae.
I hope that this stocking order would work to allow the less aggressive fish to set up their own territory. If you have any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
<Consider a couple of Yellow Tail Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema). Nice color, inexpensive, hardy, and behave reasonably well.>
Thank you in advance for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Stocking List, reef, rdg.  - 4/15/2011- 4/16/2011

Mr. Salty Dog,
Thank you for the quick response.
<You're welcome.>
I apologize for the spelling errors. I use my phone for e-mails, have to love the auto correct. As for the tests I meant nitrate was at 0.0 and nitrite was at .15.
<Something is amiss here, nitrite should be at zero. Recheck and/or compare with another test kit.>
Would you recommend any blenny or goby for those set up?
<Not any, research/reading must be done to insure compatibility and requirements can be provided.>
Possible one of the many different Scooters? Would you just forego any of these species?
<Mmm, a Tail Spot or Bicolor Blenny would work well but there are many equally attractive blennies available that do not grow too large and are generally peaceful inhabitants. Problem here is that the Maroon Clown will be preventing you from getting some of the fish you are interested in due to it's aggressiveness and feeding behavior, may want to consider trading this fish in.>
Would the Long Nose Hawk Fish pose a problem to my crabs, more specifically the blue-legs?
<Possibly, along with small ornamental shrimp.>
Could a Dwarf Angel fit in the mix?
Sorry for so many more question but as one gets answered more arise.
<And many of your questions can be answered by searching our site. Search before writing.>
Thank you again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Stocking List - 4/15/2011- 4/16/2011- 4/17/2011
Mr. Salty Dog
Thank you again for all the information. I feel as if I have been on overload with reading to the point of my eyes going crossed and my brain in a frying pan.
I re-tested with a new kit and my 6 gallon Nano is at 0.0 nitrite and nitrate is at .10. My test kit was expired.
<Was thinking the same when I suggested this.>
I know my Nano is overstocked, hence the upgrade to the 55 gallon, and have fought battles, and won, with Cyano, Hair algae, and Aiptasia. The Nano is a challenge but have brought many hours of joy to my life, much to my wife's' chagrin. Greeting a fish tank first instead of your wife will do that.
<Ooooh, now you're treading on grounds no man should enter.>
I do love the personality of my Maroon Clown and don't want to trade her in.
<The wife or the clown?><<James...>>
I have had her since I was given my Nano. I have searched your site thoroughly and have found conflicting information about compatibility with my Maroon and that's why I finally sent an e-mail.
<You likely will find some conflicting information as there are variables that can change behavior/compatibility somewhat, and the size of the tank is once such variable.>
I think my last question for you would be the possibility of adding a Black Capped Basslet to the mix be wise? The Basslet seems to be able to join the mix from what I can infer from my reading.
<Should be a good fish for the mix but adding additional Basslets down the road is likely to cause territorial issues between the Black Capped and any new Basslets.>
At this point my stock list has settled on (unless you think otherwise);
2 or 3 Yellow tailed Damsels
1 Long-nosed or Flame Hawkfish
1 Fairy wrasse
<Most fairy wrasses require more tank room than you are providing as most can grow to 5".
The Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis) is one of the few Fairy Wrasses that will not exceed 3 1/2".
1 Black Capped Basslet
1 Maroon Clown
<A good choice compatibility wise but you will be pushing the stocking limits of your tank if not already.>
I am going to forgo the Blenny or Goby.
I apologise if this information is already on your site, I just can't seem to find it even with the search tool.
<Is how you enter the information you seek. Example....type in "fairy wrasse + compatibility". You will be directed to a web page where the first entry states "FAQs on wrasse compatibility", and the third entry down. "Cirrhilabrus. A few facts regarding this, the genus of Fairy or Velvet Wrasses....
Pretty easy wasn't it?>
Again thank you for everything. I just want to make sure that I am doing everything correctly and not putting undue stress on any of my livestock.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Adding a Butterflyfish... to a reef aq.   3/9/11
I was curious of your thoughts on Butterflyfish in a reef tank. In particular, the Triangle, Black & White, and the Semilarvatus Butterfly.
<These can be useful additions, I am not sure which species you mean by the first two, perhaps Hemitaurichthys and Heniochus, if so, then all three are known to be reasonably ok on the 'safeness' scale, depending on your particular definition of 'safe'. I am sure you are aware there are no guarantees.>
<No problem>
Tommy D.

Adding a Dwarf Angelfish???/Centropyge Compatibility 3/8/2011
<Hi Tommy>
I have read several informational shorts on various Dwarf Angel's, and most say "Reef Safe". Some say, with caution, I stay away from looking at those.
But I am very interested in the "Reef Safe" Angels. I have a 120 gal Reef Tank. With large live rock and caves, several corals I have purchased and some that came on the rock, like xenia and some polyps <polyps>. I also have a beautiful clam and a large Coco worm. Is there an Angel that's worth a try for my tank?
<Of the commonly kept Dwarf Angelfish, I know of none that I would label reef safe. In the wild they are known to feed on algae, zoobenthos, cnidarians, sponges, tunicates, and coral polyps, so there is a risk
present. On the positive side, I as well as other aquarists have kept many species of Dwarf Angelfish in reef tanks with no apparent damage to invertebrates, but the risk is always present. At present, I have a False Lemonpeel and a Coral Beauty who are very well behaved in my reef tank.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Tommy D.
Re Adding a Dwarf Angelfish???/Centropyge Compatibility 3/8/2011- 3/9/2011

Do you have the False Lemonpeel & the Coral Beauty together in the same tank?
<Yep, were added at the same time nearly four years ago.>
Also, I have a large Coco Worm & beautiful Clam. I know there's always a "chance" they will nip at them. What do you think?
<Covered that, there is always a risk. It's your call to make but, odds are the worm won't be harmed, odds are the clam will be nipped at.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Adding a Dwarf Angelfish???/Centropyge Compatibility 3/9/2011
<First, please do not start a new thread on the same subject. Always reply to the original thread.>
What is the difference between a Philippines Coral Beauty and a Vanuatu?
<The Vanuatu is actually a subspecies of Centropyge bispinosa.>
Also there is one that is cheaper in price than those two. Why is that?
<Likely more difficult to find, rarer. Bob, in your many diving experiences?
James (Salty Dog)><<Mmm, yes... the traffic in/out of Vanuatu is MUCH more restricted... i.e., there are more expenses incurred in shipping than the P.I.... and due to re-handling, there is more labour cost. About the same common-ness on reefs. RMF>>

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