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FAQs about Fishes and Invertebrates, aka FOWLR Marine System Livestocking 3

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Related FAQs: FOWLR Livestocking, FOWLR Livestocking 2, FOWLR Livestocking 4, & FOWLR 1, FOWLR 2, FOWLR 3, FOWLR Set-Ups, FOWLR Lighting, FOWLR Filtration, FOWLR Skimmers, FOWLR Maintenance, FOWLR Disease, LR Lighting, Fish-Only Marine Set-ups, Reef Systems, Coldwater Systems, Small Systems, Large Systems, Marine System Plumbing Biotopic presentations


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

The next addition, help... 3/21/08 Afternoon crew! <Hello Heather!> I've been extensively reading through WWM's FAQ and articles, but am still at a loss as to how to proceed in the stocking of my tank. <OK> Currently I have a 55 gallon "bow front", with about 35 lbs of live rock, an Eheim canister filter, Maxi-Jet powerhead for circulation, a Red Sea Prizm skimmer and CPR Bak Pak Skimmer, and crushed coral as my substrate. <Although the canister can be managed by frequent maintenance, do read regarding the substrate and nitrate accumulation, this is not the best choice.> I do biweekly water changes of 20%. <Good, more frequently would not hurt.> The inhabitants are a Yellow Tang, a Royal Gramma, two Ocellaris Clowns, two Skunk Cleaner shrimp, and three Peppermint shrimp. I was thinking of purchasing a Firefish Goby, but after reading up on them, decided my crowd may be too rough on them. My LFS had a fine Lunare Wrasse, but I haven't had much experience with Wrasses in general, so I decided to hold out. <I would stay away from that particular Wrasse. These get large a require quite some swimming space.> A Flame Angel was also one of my picks, but as stated before, I'm not sure how it'd fit in since I have such a diverse crowd. <The Flame angel will be fine in this tank, although your tank is too small for the Tang in the long run.> Any suggestions for next additions or "do's and dont's" would be greatly appreciated. <Do read and research any future additions to the tank as you have been doing.> Sincerely, Heather <Thank you for writing, I have included a few links for you below. Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/no3probfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sailfinsysfaqs.htm

Stocking Question, Marine,  FOWLR 125G 3/20/08 Hello Everyone at WWM! <Hello> I LOVE your site, it's informative and fun! <Thanks> Now here's my question, I am in the planning stage of a 125 GL tank w/ 40GL sump/fuge. I have some ideas about stocking, and have done my research, but I would just like to get some feedback to see if I missed anything. Here goes. It will be a mostly peaceful FOWLR set-up. I want some schooling fish, so I was thinking around 5 or 7 Blue Green Chromis. <Be aware that in captivity these fish don't really school, more of a loose group.> Are there other small schooling fish that would be better for this tank? <Not really, probably your best shot at getting schooling behavior.> I was also thinking of having another small group of either Schooling Bannerfish or Pacific Blue Tang (3 of them). <One of either in this sized tank, 3 would be too much in my opinion.> If this size tank is not suitable for these fish, sorry for my ignorance. <No problem.> I was also thinking of a having a Flame Angel, Sixline Wrasse, and a pair of Maroon Clown Fish. <The maroon clowns and the word peaceful generally do not go together.> I don't know if this is overstocked already so I'm hesitant to suggest anymore. <I think it is a nice stocking level.> I had originally considered having a predator tank with a Niger Trigger (horror stories have deterred me from choosing this fish), Lionfish, Large Wrasses, etc. but I want to leave my options pretty open regarding upgrading to a reef system in the future, so I decided to stick with smaller (mostly) reef safe fish. If you have any suggestions regarding stocking this tank or think there is a fish that would be beneficial to this system I would really appreciate your info! Thanks a million! -Art Perez <Sounds like a nice tank.> <Chris> Many Fish? in Good Size Tank Stocking For The Present-And The Future -- 03/18/08 Hello, <Hey there! Scott F. in today!> I have a 3 month running 125G (6ft long) thank with a 46gallon sump/refugium. My current livestock is as follows: 170lbs of aragonite, 60lbs of live rock, 1 small/medium Blue Tang, 1 4" Maroon Clownfish, 4 small Chromis, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Scooter Blenny, 2 Cardinal Fish, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, and about 8 small Blueleg Hermit Crabs. I was planning on adding perhaps another small Blue Tang and/or a small Yellow Tang in addition with another Purple Firefish and maybe a Pink Skunk Clownfish from my 28G QT tank. \ <I like the Firefish and the Clownfish, but I would hesitate on the addition of another Tang in this sized aquarium. They simply need enormous amounts of space for a long and happy life, and I think placing two into this aquarium is really pushing it. Admittedly, I'm very conservative, but I think this is a wise approach.> Will my tank/filtration be enough to support the livestock? Also, how long does it take for a Blue Tang and a Yellow Tang to reach full size from originally being 2" in size? I was thinking about adding these tangs and adding a 200-300G tank in the next 2-3years (begun saving already). Thank you so much. Frank <Well, Frank, I think it's possible that the fish will hit an uncomfortably large size within this period of time. I'm glad to hear that you are planning on larger quarters in the future, but I wouldn't plan my stocking around this aquarium until it's in your home filled with saltwater. Best to stock conservatively for the system that you have NOW, and then adjust your stocking down the line when you have the larger aquarium. It's better for you-and your fishes! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Overcoming the Overstocking Urge!   3/12/08 Hi, <Hey there! Scott F. in tonight!> Great Site! <Glad you enjoy it...We have some great people who do a fantastic service to fellow hobbyists worldwide!> I've had my Oceanic 175 gallon bow-front tank up for 10 months now. I have about 150 lbs. of LR and 100 lbs. of sand in the main tank also, a 55 gallon refugium with 6" DSB with Chaeto and 50 gallon sump. I ultimately want to stock it full of corals. I have 3 - 250 w metal halide installed but only using the center one. I have two Tunze Stream 6101 circulating the tank. I'm currently using a Corallife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel rated at 220 gal. Is this efficient or should I get something else? <If the skimmer is regularly producing skimmate, I would have no issues with it. If the skimmer is not producing, either tweak it until it does or replace it with a more efficient unit.> Also, I'm having trouble keeping the nitrate low around 40ppm, I feed Nori about 4 sheets, 3 times a week and feed about 3-4 cubes of frozen mysis once a day. <Continued good water management (including regular water changes, chemical filtration media, such as carbon, PolyFilter, etc) and careful feeding should do the trick. I assume that you utilize RO/DI water for source water.> My other parameters, Temp: 78-80, Ammonia: 0, Nitrite:0, Ph: 8.2, SG: 1.025, Ca: 380 I do about 32 gallon water change every three weeks with RO water. Right now my tanks has the following livestock: (2) 1" Percula Clowns (2) 2.5" Bartlett Anthias (3) 3" Yellow Tang, (1) 3.5" Orange Shoulder tang (1) 5" Sailfin Tang <That's a LOT of Tangs in almost any aquarium, especially a 175 gallon one! These fish eat heavily, produce copious amounts of metabolic waste, and need large amounts of physical space and water volume to live anything close to a natural life span. You will definitely need to find larger/other quarters for this collection, or you will continue to have rising nitrates and very unhappy fish!> (1) 3" Midas Blenny (2) 3" Diamond Goby (1) 4.5" Magnificent Foxface <Another nice fish, but gets quite large and my comments for the Tangs apply here, too.> (1) 3" Hawaiian Flame Wrasse (1) 2.5" Blue Hippo Tang <Stop it with the Tangs, man. You're KILLING me!> (1) 3" Rhomboid Wrasse (2) Cleaner Shrimps (1) Fire Shrimp I have a feeling I'm overstocked and feeding too much. <Ding! Ding Ding! We have a winner! Yes- you are WAAAY overstocked. All is not lost, however- I commend you on the first step to solving the issue- recognition that the aquarium is overstocked!> I want to get my parameter down so I can start stocking the tank with corals. <Good...Do rethink your stocking plan, and pare down (way down) your fish population. Keep in mind the large size that your Tangs will reach, and environment that they require to be healthy and happy. I would trade/return/find new homes for all of the Tangs and Foxface, with the exception of the Yellow Tangs. Although 3 of them in this sized aquarium is not ideal, it is a workable arrangement-in the short run.> Recently the coralline just started to grow on a few rocks. <Always a good sign.> Also another quick question in my fuge the Chaeto just sit there, I've read that it's better to have it roll up into a ball and spinning. I'm a little hesitant to throw a powerhead it might fall and kick up the sand and be to hectic for the pods to reproduce. Currently I have baffles setup and water just flows over the stop of the Chaeto. I've notices some detritus on top of the sandbed. Should I be alarmed? <The detritus is not in and of itself bad, but if allowed to accumulate, it could result in deteriorated water quality. Do siphon it regularly, and utilize some detritivorous animals (such as Starfish) to help "work" the accumulating detritus.> I think the Chaeto is growing really well, I pull about half a 5 gal bucket once every month. Yet my nitrates aren't at 0. Thanks. <Well, you will see a decline in your nitrate levels with continued good husbandry, and a SUBSTANTIALLY reduced bioload. Make some stocking concessions and adjustments, and I'm certain that things will trend in your favor! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: 55 gallon FOWLR, Stocking 3/6/08 I currently have 3 small damsels (yellow tail,3 stripe, blue). Although I am only using them to cycle my tank and don't plan on keeping them. <Not a very good way of going about this, better off just letting the LR cycle with a bit of fish food.> I really would like a couple interesting predator fish and don't want to overload. I also want to make sure the tank is properly established. Thank you so much. Kerry <Going to be tough to fit a pair of predatory fish in a 55 since they tend to be larger and often more active. Perhaps an ambush predatory like a angler, although it could get picked on by the puffer.> <Chris>

55 gallon FOWLR, Stocking 3/5/08 First let me begin by thanking you for this tremendous site! <Welcome from all of us.> I am new to saltwater and have had my 55 gallon corner tank set up for 4 months now. I am trying to plan a predator tank and want to know if this will work in my tank. I would like to have a Humu Humu trigger <A 55 is a bit small for this fish, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pictrigsysfaqs.htm .> and a Canthigaster epiliamprus fish( or a valentini puffer) in this tank. <The puffer would probably work fine here.> Will I have enough room for these fish? <As above, I would skip the trigger.> How long would you wait to add them to my tank. <What else is in the tank?> I want to be patient and do this the right way. There is so much to learn and it is very overwhelming! Thank you so much for your help. Kerry <Take it slow.> <Chris>

Stocking question, FOWLR, and Nudi comp.   2/29/08 Hi, <Chris> I'm planning my wish list for a 125g FOWLR tank that's been cycling with 90-100 lbs. live rock for about a month now, and I think I've narrowed it down to these 7: 1. Foxface 2. either a Tomato or Cinnamon clown 3. Arabian (aldabraensis) Pseudochromis 4. Flame angel 5. either a Desjardini or purple tang 6. Bluechin trigger 7. Lunare wrasse My questions would be: (a) Presuming I add one fish a month (more or less), and sufficient nooks/caves/bridges for the more passive fish to shelter, would all 7 ultimately be too much for a 125g? <Mmm, not too much, behaviorally or physiologically> If so, which would be best to omit? (b) Do you see any compatibility problems with this list? <Triggers are always a wild card, and the Thalassoma wrasse could "turn" mean... but likely no problems here> (c) In what order should they go for the best likelihood of success/no fighting? <The Dottyback and Siganid first, the Clown and trigger last> Everything I've read says the more peaceful ones first, which leads me to think Foxface/Desjardini, but I've also read that those 2 are better to put into a tank with established amount of algae. Right now there's coralline, macroalgae and sponges encrusting the rock, but not the filamentous stuff they'd probably graze on. If the choice was between the Desjardini or the Purple tang, which would be a better tankmate for the others on this list? <The Purple... the other gets too large...> .I read the purple tang is rougher, so maybe he'd hold his own better? <Should> On an unrelated question, a couple of Nudibranchs hitched on the live rock and one is laying eggs (a gelatinous looking trail with hundreds of little visible specks) on the top of the tank front glass, where the water flow is strong). I read that these guys are short lived in an aquarium, and when they die, they could poison the whole system, killing the other occupants. <Mmm, not so much here... this volume will dilute> Its such an amazing looking creature, but should I take it out before he runs out of food? <I wouldn't> It seems to be eating one particular sponge. What if these eggs all hatch and a bunch of them go down the overflow? <So be it> Ultimately, I'm concerned about the fish that I plan on putting in the tank. The articles I've read say that nudis taste bad and fish don't eat them. <Usually so> I'm a little suspicious of the opinions I get at the LFS, so your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Chris S. <I would enjoy them. Bob Fenner>

Enjoying success and a few questions FOWLR Livestock Selection and Nitrate 2/17/08 Bob, <Scott V. with you tonight.> I am finally on the other side of the process in getting my main tank situated after several years of learning and using the right techniques. I now have the livestock that I've wanted to put in there and it appears to be parasite free. <Great to hear!> Most recently I had a case of saltwater ich and after letting the tank run fallow for nearly six weeks I returned the livestock only to have them show signs of infection. I decided I would install a UV filter (Vecton, per your advice) and it seemed to alleviate the problem almost immediately. It has been about 3 or 4 weeks with no symptoms showing. And this with a powder blue tang (which I was rather apprehensive about even trying to keep). <And for good reason.> I feel my FOWLR is fully stocked with fish now and I am finally enjoying the fruits of lots of labor! <Sorry to say, but the labor never seems to end!> I tell you all this to say thank you to you and your helpful staff for all the information on your site and help with my questions. It is invaluable to a marine fish keeper. I would also like to seek some advice going forward. <Very welcome, we are all more than happy to help out.> Here is my tank that I've had running about 7 years now: 90 gal with plenty of live rock 2-3" aragonite substrate Eheim canister filter <Canisters are known to contribute to high nitrate, more on this below.> Remora skimmer Vecton 600 UV filter 1 submerged power head Livestock: lunar wrasse passer angel powder blue tang <Your tank is too small for the long term survival of this Tang or Angel.> arc eye hawk fish Toby-type puffer a few scarlet hermit crabs <Not for long with some of the fish on your list.> All the fish are healthy and eating well (including the PB tang who is thankfully an aggressive eater) and aside from a little bit of aggression towards each other, everyone one is happy. They all have enough attitude to rebuff one another. <And this will grow as they do.> With the addition of the angel and tang, I of course now have to feed more. <No doubt.> Nitrates are higher as a result, about 60 - 80ppm on average. I am doing water changes regularly. I'd like to know what can be done with this system to naturally keep nitrates down and clean up detritus and any uneaten food. <Increased circulation and the addition of a refugium will help the situation. You will still be doing many large water changes to keep up.> The scarlet hermits seem to fair well and I was thinking of adding a few more and trying a few snails. <Not with the Wrasse/Puffer.> Would adding a brittle star be advisable? (I know not the green one). I would like to add a little more beneficial life to the system for aesthetics and utility. <You could, but with little to no effect on the nitrate situation.> As for the substrate, I have always done regular vacuuming with the water changes and it just doesn't seem very "live", nothing visible anyway. It is the 1-2mm type aragonite. Is there anything more I can do there outside of replacing it all to sustain some life and benefit the system? I was thinking maybe if I don't vacuum as much or add a bag of live sand... <I would add more sand, to increase to 4'+ to aid with processing the nitrate. Your above statement is correct in that you will want to leave the sand be alone more than constantly vacuuming. A periodic surface agitation is all it should need at most, but I suspect your fish, the Wrasse in particular aids in that. The increased circulation will help keep the detritus from accumulating in the sandbed.> What else can I do to optimize the system and add a little more diversity? <Adding more sand, creating a true DSB and giving it time to colonize from your rock will increase the diversity immensely. The refugium will have the same and many other positive effects; it is highly recommended you consider its addition. Also, consider either removing the canister filter (it is not absolutely necessary with the live rock), or at the very least cleaning it frequently (at least weekly). The canister filters can easily and quickly become detritus traps and in turn nitrate producers.> Thanks, Tim <Welcome, you need to do some more research in regard to what is in your tank and what it takes to keep them alive and well. I have included some links of pertinent reading to start you out. Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffcareinfo.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/zonipectus.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanfltfaq3.htm

Re: Enjoying success and a few questions FOWLR Livestock Selection and Nitrate 2/18/08 Scott, Thanks for the reply and info. <Welcome my friend.> I am considering what you said as far as adding a refugium and more sand/aragonite. Being that I have and older system and not currently fitted for a sump or anything below the tank, the best I can come up with is a hang-on type refugium tank; the larger CPR AquaFuge possibly. It is 25.5"x 4.5"x 12" With a refugium that small on a 90g tank, would there be a noticeable difference, a true benefit to the system and make it worth the cost of adding it? <The macroalgae in a refugium even this small can have an appreciable impact on your nitrate level; you just may need to harvest its more often. For the price you may consider buying a siphon type overflow or two and making a sump/refugium out of an old tank, Rubbermaid bin, etc.> Just want to be sure of the benefits before I invest. <Many, listed in the article linked to in our previous correspondence, even in a small refugium.> From what I've read, to this refugium I would want to add: 5" of fine sand some live rock Chaetomorpha algae <Yes, but mostly the algae in your case for nutrient export.> Anything else, other flora or fauna to help improve water quality? <You could put a Nassarius snail in the refugium, otherwise to the main tank, most your cleanup crew type animals will likely eventually be eaten by some of the fish on your list.> Thanks again, Tim <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>
Re: Enjoying success and a few questions FOWLR Livestock Selection and Nitrate 2/21/08
Thanks, Scott. <Welcome Tim.> Proceeding further into this, I have another concern. I want to add more sand to create a DSB as you stated. I have been reading over the FAQs but haven't found the answer to my particular question. <OK>  I've read that adding the sand should be done slowly to preserve what's there now and also to prevent a spike. I am trying to decide if it would be ok to go ahead and add the sand all at once or at least more quickly since I feel there is little at risk. But you tell me... <Either method will work out fine here.> My reasoning is that my existing substrate has always been vacuumed in the past with every water change so I am thinking there is not much DSB type infauna living in the bed now, aside from bacteria. I don't think I would kill much off with a new layer of sand (by the way, I am going from about 2" of 1-2mm arag. to 4" of same). Also, this system is 7 yrs old with lots of live rock, so I'm not too concerned with a crash in the biological filter. At the same time I don't want to overcloud the water or throw any chemistry off either by adding so much at once. Are there other reasons for adding the new sand slowly that I may have overlooked? Can I do this all at once, over a few days, or longer? <I would just add this all at once, perhaps mix in with the old substrate.> On a side note, I am going to install the CPR refugium I mentioned before and I would like to grow Gracilaria since I have a tang. Is this alga as good a nitrate eater as Chaeto? <For nutrient export the Chaetomorpha will be superior, although the Gracilaria will have an impact.> Thanks again, Tim <Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Re: FOWLR planning - stocking question    02/19/2008 Hello again! <<Hello Rachel, Andrew again>> Andrew was very helpful with my last round of crazy questions earlier this week, and I have my planned tank all sorted out. <<Glad I could help>> And having been a relatively good little girl, I have decided to go ahead and reward myself with an upgrade from a 55gal system to the 75 gal tank I've been drooling over at the LFS. (I promise I won't bug you guys again for a while, honest) <<He he he...Bug us as much as you like>> Invertebrate selection planned for 5 "Halloween" hermits (I put that in quotes because the ones I found elsewhere don't even come close to matching the picture of Cilopagurus strigatus here on WWM and I've gone and confused myself), 10 jade hermits (of which I have not yet managed to find a scientific name for in days of searching) and 10 turbo/Astrea snails. <<Halloween hermit crab, or scientific name of Trizopagurus are a nice reef safe crab, however, as with any hermit, none can be 100% trusted. Jade hermits are one of hundreds of variants>> I also plan on one Nemateleotris magnifica and a pair of Amphiprion perideraion. <<No problem with the fish there, ensure a tight fitting lid is on the tank>> Understanding that A. perideraion has a tendency towards aggression (which hopefully won't affect the N. magnifica and other additions??? <<Usually aggressive to its own species, can be intimidated by other hardy boisterous fish in the tank>> Should I be overly worried here?) <<No, its fine>> I'm looking for one or two more fish that could go in this tank, but having gone through my books and WWM fish files, I can't seem to make up my mind at all as to what would work. I know no other damsels, and no big fish, and probably for a bit of diversity (and less infighting?) no other dartfish types, but I'm totally lost on other tank mates. <<There are some beautiful blennies, goby's, Cardinal fish to name a few. All these will add some lovely character to the system>> N. magnifica is planned as the first fish, with the clowns added last after everything else with plenty of time between introductions and proper quarantine so everything can adjust as needed. <<A superb plan there>> Thank you all very much! (I'd say I'd get back to my research, but my brain is so full of fish right now I don't know what's up or down or hiding in that cave in the corner). Rachel <<Thank you for your questions again Rachel, hope the above helps. A Nixon>>
Re: FOWLR planning - stocking question  -02/20/08
Hi again Andrew! <<Hello again Rachel>> Ok, I have my final plan of attack (as in, if I change my mind one more "bleeping" time, I get to sit in detention for a week). <<and I will take care of the key... he he he>> Flora and fauna lists as follows, as long as I'm not overstocking and mixing the wrong things: Fish (in order of introduction to DT): 1 Nemateleotris magnifica 2 Sphaeramia nematoptera 1 Atrosalarias fuscus 2 Amphiprion perideraion <<No problems with your stocking list, or order>> Inverts: 10 Calcinus laevimanus 5 Ciliopagurus strigatus 10 Trochus sp. (earlier confusion on hermits due to less accurate website, which has since been replaced in my list by a better one for livestock if I can't get things in locally, still working on that part) <<No problems on the inverts there either>> Greenery, and I'm all set on having to get proper iron and calcium levels for these (I just have to figure out which iron supplement is the best): <<A good quality salt will provide these for you, so you should not have to additional dose, basic param monitoring will tell you where your levels are, adjust as neccessary>> Penicillus sp. (am thinking 5-6 of these) Chlorodesmis sp. (around 3 of these, cause they'll certainly spread themselves around I'm sure) Udotea sp. (and maybe 3-4 of these) <<A nice list of fauna there, all I would suggest is to read plenty on their needs>> Also, should the plants be the first thing in after tank cycles? Or do the invert crew first, and then the plants before the first fish? (or is this one of those things that doesn't really matter as long as my levels are nice and stable?) <<I think personal preference does play a part here. However, putting the cleanup crew in first to allow them to deal with diatom blooms and any green algae's that have arisen is a good way forward...Plants and fish pretty much as and when after the cleanup>> I'm bound and determined to have my greens in the tank, as someone elsewhere told me "Don't bother, they just die after a month or so" <<They do die quite frequently, however, this is mainly attributed to lack of knowledge and understanding of their needs>> and after some research I'm betting they didn't take the time to give what was needed. (a mistake I'm trying not to make from the start, though I'm sure I'll end up with a few under my belt before this is all over). My lighting shouldn't be an issue (I hope), as the T5 fixture I have planned has 2 bulbs rated at 20,000K and 2 at 10,000K tropical daylight. (though that's probably overkill now that I stop and think about it) <<Sounds fine, what is the wattage of the lighting? out of interest?>> Since I plan to put the plants in the main DT with the live rock and livestock, do I need to worry much about having Chaeto or other plant substance in my refugium area? <<Yes, still use macro algae for good nutrient export in via the refugium>> My plan was to just have 4 inches of sand and some smaller live rock pieces to generate some extra algae for the A. fuscus and others to munch on, on a rotational schedule. <<Sounds fine>> But then I began to wonder if a copepod population might benefit my little FOWLR here? If so, I need to rework my sump/fuge slightly, but if it will make the fish and other critters happier, it's not a problem. In my research, it said that Chlorodesmis is a good medium for "growing" the little guys in, but would other things work just as well? (just asking cause it's a bit spendy to sit in a fuge where it won't be seen, and it's such a pretty little algae). <<Live rock rubble, sand and macro algae like Chaeto in the refugium will be fine to colonise with copepods. I would not by the marine fauna mentioned above and put in the refugium>> Well, I think that should about do it for this round. I'm planning on documenting my experiences through all of this on my website, so when I finally manage to get things going (sooner rather than later one hopes, but life is what happens when you make plans), I'll get you guys a link to hopefully share with other SW newcomers. <<Yes, that would be wonderfull too see. Thank you again for all your help! Rachel <<Thanks for all the questions Rachel, hope this helps. A Nixon>>
Re: FOWLR planning - stocking question 02/20/2008
<<Thanks for all the questions Rachel, hope this helps. A Nixon>> Thanks for answering all my questions, it has most certainly helped. I printed out some mini posters to put on my office wall of all the fish and inverts on my list yesterday and the husband came in for a look and went "You want ten of those?" (re the Calcinus laevimanus) You betcha I do! (hehe) Though trying to convince him that a 75gal saltwater tank can be fit in with the rest of the remodeling budget to improve the house is a whole other adventure. The T5 lights I've been looking at are by Aquamedic, and the 48 inch bulbs are 54w. (36inch are 39w, and 24inch 24w). Now to just figure out what I can afford and when. Though hopefully we'll get lucky watching all the yard sales this summer for aquariums, there's always a few that crop up here and there. Thanks again for all your help Andrew! Rachel <<All sounds superb Rachel. Good luck with your venture, am positive it will look stunning. A Nixon>>

Stocking a 70 bow front corner, FOWLR    02/07/2008 Morning crew.. <<G'morning. Andrew here>> Closing in on a 70gall bow front corner tank. Not an ideal marine shape I know, but I'm limited. Thinking of a very rough stocking plan for such a tank. Tank will have 1 overflow in the center.. a sump below would house a skimmer and UV sterilizer. It will be a FOWLER.. with a DSB and a lot of premium live rock. How much is a "lot" for this tank btw? <<A minimum of 70lbs of live rock. When referring to a lot, you also have to think about swim room. Seen it quite a few times when people have had, say a 70gal tank, and they have about 130lbs of live rock in there. All well and good, however, think of the amount of swim room left in the tank when all this rock is added. and the answer is....Not much>> So there are 2 fish that I love and was hoping would be the main attraction. A copperband butterfly and Australian Scotts Fairy wrasse. <<Chelmon rostratus (butterfly) is a nice fish...Some patience required with feeding these>> <<Cirrhilabrus scottorum (wrasse) is a superb addition. Very colourful, easy to tend to its needs. Keep a tight fitting top to the tank, they do like to jump and carpet surf>> Then a small school of blue green chromis, maybe 6-8. <<No problems, a larger school makes these far happier>> Then maybe a dwarf angel <<Fine in a FOWLR system>> or a pair of percula clowns? <<Again, fine>> <<You are pushing your limit a little if you went with all the above fish. Suggest maybe either dropping the school of chromis down to 5 and maybe leave out the flame angel>> I know the Copperband is very sensitive and plan on meeting it's water quality demands. That being said, am I over the limit here? Suggested omissions? <<Comments above>> The livestock would be in this tank for a while, likely 2 years before an upgrade would be in the cards. Thanks for your time. Rick <<Thanks for the questions. Hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Stocking and compatibility, Marine 2/7/08 Hi, <Hello> You guys were such a help to me a few weeks ago, and I hope you don't mind me asking you again for your guidance on stocking and compatibility with my 2 tanks. <Not at all.> I will just start by telling you the makeup of my current tanks and then ask you my questions: Tank #1: FOWLR, 125g, 6', @80 pounds LR, ProClear 175g sump, Remora Pro, Koralia #3/Penguin 350 for water movement, basic strip lighting. Fish: 1- Foxface 2.5" 2- Naso tang 3" (new addition) 3- Picasso trigger 2" (these first 3 fish are joined at the hip buddies) 4- Two YS Maroon clowns (1", 1-1/2") Tank #2: 55g reef, @30-40 pounds LR, Rena Filstar Xp3 canister filter, PH and Penguin 280 for water movement, Remora skimmer Inhabitants: 2 small b/g chromis Royal Gramma Yellow-tail Pacific Pygmy angel Coral-banded shrimp Sand-sifting starfish <Will probably starve in this tank in time, will get eaten in the other tank.> Several hermit crabs and snails 3 Xenia, mushrooms, and few polyps Future desired inhabitants include: Purple tang OR Majestic Angel OR Passer Angel 1 Flame angel 1 Midas blenny, 4" (on hold at LFS until this weekend) Neon gobies for cleaners 1-2 more goby of undecided type <Which tank to you intend to add these fish too?> Sorry for the long list. The advice I would like to ask is do you see any problems with compatibility of my list of future inhabitants to current ones (other than the 2 dwarf angels together, I know). <Yes, depending on which tank you plan to add the fish too.> My first thought was to put a purple tang in the current 55g setup as my display fish in there. <Too small of a tank for a tang.> My LFS says that would be okay but will the purple tang outgrow it? <Yes> I was also reconsidering the entire reef tank setup and thinking of turning the 125g FOWLR into the reef, gradually relocating the current 55g inhabitants to it, and removing the Picasso and putting him back in the 55g with a tankmate more compatible for his future expected temperament. <The 55 is too small for the trigger long term, or really even short term.> Any thoughts on this, as well as if the Picasso could grow comfortably in the 55? <It will not.> And do you think either of the above angels or purple tang would be too much fish with my Naso in a 125g? <They would probably be ok, but I would not mix the angels in the same tank.> I have to figure out this plan soon because after my Midas blenny I have on-hold goes through QT I want to put him in the tank he will permanently stay in. Everyone tells me that I wouldn't have to worry about any of this if I rehomed the Picasso, but I like him and am trying to make it work and still have my "wish list" fish. <Keep in mind he will eventually try to eat any fish he thinks he can fit into his mouth, stock accordingly.> Despite having read pretty much every section on your website about every fish listed above I still have all these questions. Thank you so much for helping me! Laure <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Stocking and compatibility, Marine 2/7/08 Thanks for your replies. <Welcome> I will also do some more research to try to keep that starfish from starving eventually, and maybe I can find some trigger-friendly corals to make the 125g more colorful. <Difficult to do on both parts unfortunately.> So I guess based on your replies I need to keep the tanks as they are as long as I want to keep the trigger and add one more tang or Angel to the 125g, and add any smaller fish to the 55g? <That's what I would do.> Just to clarify, would a Flame Angel or the 4" midas blenny be okay with the trigger since he is only about 2"? <Should be fine, both are probably too big to ever end up a trigger snack, the neon gobies may get eaten eventually.> And can you recommend any other mostly bottom dwelling fish that could do okay with the trigger in that big tank? <Many gobies or blennies that get over 3+ inches would probably be ok.> Thanks again for all the help you guys give us confused new marine aquarists! Laure <Welcome> <Chris>

Fish Compatibility, marine, FOWLR, untenable   2/1/08 Hi there! I've been working my way around your site and I've found some great info. It's great! There was one thing I couldn't find though (just because it was specific). I've made a list of fish I'd like to have in a marine set-up and I just want to know if their behavior/eating habits etc will be ok together. Razor Goby, Midas Blenny, 2 Scooter Blennies, Red Spotted Hawk, Dwarf Lion, <Will eat the smaller fishes listed here> Dragon Goby, <What species?> Yellow Tail Fang Blenny, Dragon Wrasse, <Too aggressive> Algae Blenny, Black False Percula Clownfish,? a Long-Spined (or Black) Urchin, and a Pencil Urchin. I would also possibly want a Flounder and a Neon Goby but I'm not entirely sure on either of them yet. I've researched these fish for months so I know the general requirements/behaviors of all of them. I just couldn't find a good list to see if they're all compatible. <Mmm, many of the gobies, blennies are agonistic toward each other unless placed in spacious settings with lots of cover> I'm not sure of the size of the aquarium yet. How big would you suggest? <The bigger the better> Thanks for your time. I love your site! Good day to you all, Rob <I encourage you to start again, perhaps with a biotopic theme... some slice of a given habitat, somewhere... and fill in your most desired organisms found there. What you list will not work. Bob Fenner>

Stocking... SW, FOWLR mistakes  -- 1/26/08 I have a 125 gallon 6 foot FOWLR tank. I have the following equipment Blueline 30x pump with dual Durso overflows. Hard Plumbed dual returns 1" CoralLife 220 skimmer. What issues am I going to have with the fish that I have in the future. Thanks in advance. 2" Juv imperator angel <Needs more room> 2.5" Picasso Trigger <May bite, kill other livestock> 5" Lunar wrasse <Ditto> 1" Clarki Clown 2" spotted puffer <What species?> 1 inch blue damsel <Social animal> Only issue I am having is Angel, have had for 2 weeks, has not eaten in 2 days. Mike <... Will too likely perish in this setting... Please... READ before purchasing life... Your answers re the Compatibility, Systems, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition of all these species is posted on WWM... Read there and soon. The mis-mix you have now will not work. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking... FOWLR mis mix 1/27/08
Green spotted puffer. <...> As to compatibility I feel that I have read until my eyes are bleary. <Not here> There is so much information to soak up and some of it is contradictory (Not specifically on your site, but on different aquatic sites). <Can't explain, account for others works> It seems that many people have combinations of aggressive fish and report no problems and then places say that some combinations can cause problems. It seems very hard to determine what to do and I definitely do not want to have issues in the long run. I also forgot about small sailfin tang, that is also in tank. Which fish need a new home in your opinion? Thanks Mike Callaghan <Keep reading. RMF>

Fish relocation process and compatibility 01/21/2008 Hi, <<Hello, Andrew here>> I recently discovered your website and can't stop reading. I'm learning so much. My question is regarding a new fish introduction and process for moving existing fish. Have just ordered your Marine Aquarist book but not yet received it. <<A fine book indeed and will provide you with many hours of reading pleasure>> My established saltwater setup (4 months) was a 55g with Remora skimmer, powerhead, water store H20 only, RenaXP3, Am0, nitrites 0, nitrates @12, with inhabitants of a 21/2" Foxface, 2 blue/green chromis, coral banded shrimp, various Turbos and snails, and several soft coral mushrooms I was given (sorry, no names, I am working on becoming more educated on inverts). A few weeks ago I got a great deal on an established 125g with refugium/sump, powerhead, Koralia, and Penguin 350. Used 50% of established water with aragonite sand and existing sump to cycle, along with about 75 lbs. live rock. Currently, LFS said my levels looked about ready to go at 0/0, less than 10 nitrate, pH 8. <<ok, sounds fine>> Now my question: The 125g came with 2 yellow-striped maroon clowns (1-1/2 and 2") and a 2" Picasso trigger. I introduced them to my 55g while the new tank was set up finished cycling (I know, I'm worried my CBS and snails are on borrowed time)<<Yes they are>>. I eventually want to add a tang to the mix. Have been talked away from a hippo (my favorite) and am leaning towards a Scopas or Kole. I have been researching on your site but cant find anything about compatibility with the Picasso. <<The Rhinecanthus aculeatus is one of the more less aggressive triggerfish to have. However, as with a lot of triggers, its a gamble to take when adding a potentially aggressive fish, with peaceful tank mates. Personally, I would go for it. Although tangs are classed as peaceful inhabitants, they can usually hold their own when faced with an aggressor>> Can you advise if either of the above tangs would work, or any other ideas? And my most immediate question is before I start adding my 55g inhabitants (clowns, trigger, Foxface only--adding Foxface first) to the 125g should I take advantage of the currently empty 125 to use as an initial quarantine period for a new tang (providing you think either tang would work) for 4 weeks or so and then slowly start moving above fish, or move my current fish over and then deal with the a new tang, but currently no separate quarantine tank set up. <<I would concentrate on the current fish, first and foremost, moving them to the new bigger tank to start with, then convert the 55 into a quarantine tank for any future inhabitants>> I am excited to get the 125 moving but it will set empty until I can get some of your expert advice. Thanks so much! Laure <<Thanks for the questions, A Nixon>> Hi everyone!!! <Greetings,>
Re: Fish relocation process and compatibility 01/22/2008
Hi, <<Hello, Andrew again, sorry for the delay in reply>> Thanks so much for your reply. <<Its my pleasure to help>> I will start moving my current fish over today. I hope I can bother you with one more question? <<For sure, ask as many as you like>> I was at my local saltwater fish store and they recommended to me an approximately 3" Naso tang that had been there for 2-3 weeks and was going great and feeding voraciously, in their opinion. Do you think this fish would do well in the setup I described below instead of a Kole tang? <<Yes, that fish would be fine, keep lid tight as they can jump well and are partial to carpet surfing. Naso lituratus are such a beautiful and delicate fish, elegant. Ensure that you see the fish eat over a couple of visits, and preferably eating different food each time.>> I have read every page on your site about the Nasos. The LPS tells me he should be fine in a 6" 125g for a long time, but I wonder about the size issue. Also, I keep going back to wondering whether a hippo tang would work as well, or would I have a constant battle with ich problems or other disease? <<The hippo would be fine also in my opinion. As with any tang purchase, Ich is always a potential problem no matter which you choose>> I have the Naso on hold until Wednesday morning so I could get your advice on this. Thanks again! Laure <<Thanks for the questions, A Nixon>>
Re: Fish relocation process and compatibility 01/23/2008
I just wanted to say thank, Andrew, for your advice. <<Its my pleasure to help and advise you Laure>> Even though 3 of the shop owners highly recommended the Naso for my tank, I feel better having gotten your "blessing." After relocating the clowns to the big tank I spent an hour visiting and observing the Naso tang at the store. I told them I would be back on Thursday to purchase him (very liberal hold policy) after relocating my Picasso tomorrow. I still have the yearnings for a hippo but have been told by numerous people that the Naso is a bit less of an "Ich-magnet" than the hippo. Is this correct, in your opinion? <<All tangs are very prone to Ich>> I know that once I get the Naso I will forever rule out acquiring a hippo, space-wise. But the Naso is truly a beautiful fish and this particular guy seems very personable. I apologize if I seem to be asking you to make a decision for me, I have a tendency to do that! <<Its ok..>> I am reading up on saltwater dips and am just wondering if I can buy the methylene blue at the LFS? <<I cant answer that one for you. Here in the UK, we cant buy in the LFS>> I am concerned that if I ask them about it that they could talk me out of the necessarily of doing a dip. Thanks for helping me through this decision process, as the last thing I want to do is to make a wrong decision and have to give up a "pet." Laure <<If they know their part about marine fish keeping and disease control, they wont talk you out of it. Good luck and enjoy it>> <<Thanks for the follow up. A Nixon>>

Re: Xenia shriveling, and FOWLR stkg.  1/17/08 Bob, xenias seem to be doing better since I moved the zoanthids. I do have another question. I've been researching obtaining another fish and want to make the best choice for my current inhabitants, whom I very fond of, and for the fish I purchase. Currently in my 55 gal I have a tank raised clown (he's the boss-2 years old), 1 firefish, 1 coral beauty, 1 royal Gramma, 1 chromis, 1 sleeper goby, 1 coral banded shrimp (4"), 1 Echinaster spinosa (sp?) starfish, 5 hermit crabs, 3 limpets and 2 conchs. I researched on WWM butterflyfish, which seem to be the most compatible, Hawkfish (could be problem with shrimp) and a yellow tang. Some of the research on yellow tangs said 55 gal is too small and some says it's ok. What is your opinion? <It's borderline...> I do not want an unhappy fish. Or do you think I've hit the bioload for this tank? Thank you again, Mr. Fenner! Jennifer <Jen... I do think you are "about there" re psychological limit with the fish species you list. Bob Fenner>

Marine Set Up/Fish Selection, FIWLR  1/13/08 Hello. <Hi> This is my fist time posting and I have been reading your site for almost 2 months. <Great.> I've gathered most of my information from your website and I think I have a good angle on my set up. This is what I have: 95 gal predrilled with overflow wave front, 90 pounds of rock and about 3 inches of live sand. With a Proclear 150 wet dry, I also incorporated a sump (20 gal) right past the wet dry to house my heater and protein skimmer (Corallife skimmer) could also be turned in to a refugium in the future. Return pump is Eheim 1262. I put a Millennium 2000 hang on for extra movement and chemical filtration. I was thinking of putting an Eheim canister in place of the Millennium for more filtration. <The Eheim would be more versatile for using chemical media such as Chemi-Pure and other high grade media.> The lighting is 48inch 2x65 power compact. I was also debating on using a Corallife 9 watt U.V. sterilizer if need be. I also have room to add and extra return pump if need be. I have 2 Hydor Koralia power heads for internal water circulation. My fish list is a Yellow Tang, Royal Gramma, Ocellaris Clown, Lawnmower Blenny, Sixline Wrasse, cleaner shrimp, 6 Nassarius Snails, 6 Scarlet Hermit Crabs. <Hopefully these are the Red Legged Hermit Crabs and not the Dardamus, the much larger specie of Hermit Crabs which are not reef safe.> If I have room I would like a Blue Jawed Trigger, <Are you talking about the Blue Throat Triggerfish, Xanthichthys auromarginatus?> is that possible. <I would not, doesn't fit in with the rest of your selected fish, they are semi-aggressive. As the Yellow Tang grows out, it will be too large for your tank.> I do not have any fish yet but the tank has been running for 2 months and is well cycled. <Great, and do read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Stocking/compatibility   1/1/08 Wow! Mr. Fenner himself. Kind of childish how excited my wife and I were that you wrote us back. (Hehe, you're quite the celebrity in our house) <Sheesh... no cable?> Well after your reply I'd like to ask some stocking/compatibility questions. I would like to add a couple more species of fish, but I'm almost full in my opinion (or am I already?) so I would like to choose them VERY wisely as they will be the last fish additions. So... Tank is 125g (6') Plenty of live rock w/ 55g sump/fuge and another 55-100 gallon sump in the very near future for extra water capacity. Running for 3 years. Current vertebrate inhabitants are as follows: 5" Paracanthurus hepatus (blue tang) 4" Zebrasoma flavescens (yellow tang) 4" Chelmon rostratus (Copperband butterfly) 3" Pseudocheilinus ocellatus (mystery wrasse) 2" Nemateleotris magnifica (Firefish) 2" Amphiprion percula (percula clownfish) 2" Salarias fasciatus (lawnmower blenny) 2" Valenciennea strigata (bluecheek goby) All very happy and peaceful. So peaceful in fact, our favorite aspect of the tank. Am I full or can I responsibly add a few more? here are the fish I'm considering, listed somewhat in order of desire. 1) Nemateleotris helfrichi (helfrichi Firefish) I LOVE this species, and advise on keeping them together is varied at best. Is there anyway he will get along with my incredibly docile magnifica? <Likely so in this size setting, yes> 2) wrasses Cirrhilabrus laboutei (labout's) and Halichoeres iridis (radiant) Can one or both of these guys co-exist with the mystery? <Yes> 3) Anthias Pseudanthias ventralis I've heard they are difficult, maybe some Bartlett's would be a better choice? How many if so 2? <Better to settle on one or the other... and keep in a small group... of five, seven... Make sure and get ones that are not too skinny> I have no intention of adding all these fish obviously, but I do love them all. Which ones (if any) do I have room/compatibility for in your opinion? Thank you so much in advance. Jayson and Jamie Dufresne <Welcome Jayson. BobF>

Question... FOWLR Over-stkg.    12/31/07 Hello and Happy New Year!! <Soon> I have a stocking question. I currently have a 120 gallon FOWLR with 100lbs of live rock. I have a 2 inch bed of live sand. I have a MegaFlo -- 4 sump with an s-125 EuroReef skimmer. My current stock is has follows. 5' Sohal tang, 5' Blueface angel, <Both these need much more room> 4' regal tang, 3' threadfin butterfly, 3' Pearlscale butterfly, 3' teardrop butterfly, 3' Lemonpeel angel, 3' Longnose Hawkfish, six line wrasse, maroon clown, royal Gramma, blackcap Basslet, Diamond Goby, barbershop goby, 3 Firefish gobies and 6 blue/green Chromis. And of course a cleaner crew which includes two cleaner shrimp. I do a 20 gallon water change weekly. I have had this current set up and stocking for about six months with no losses. I would like to add an Emperor angel to 'finish off' <No...> this tank but based on what I have read here I would suspect you would not recommend it. <Correct> Going forward I would like to go up to a 210 gallon system. <Would need another hundred gallons for what you list> How much time do I have with my current sizes until I would 'have to' go ahead and upgrade. In addition, if you have any input on any additional equipment you would do to this tank short of a refugium. Thanks FJ <Need to do this now. Crowding encompasses more than physiological tolerance... You're already over the top psychologically. Bob Fenner>

Stocking 140g FOWLR Hello! <Howdy> I always enjoy reading all the questions on your site, but now I've got my own for you. I'm in the process of stocking my mature (Cycled for 6 months) 140g tank. Dimensions are 48"x24"x28". I know that the length of the tank is unfortunate, but in the house that I live 4' was the biggest I could go, so I figured I'd just get the biggest 4' tank I could afford! <Good limit> The tank is a FOWLR, with minimal live rock, a small protein skimmer, large canister filter filled with live rock rubble, and 2 large internal filters. I would like to keep larger fish in the tank. I'd love to base the tank around a Threadfin Butterflyfish and if possible a Blue Tang. <Can be done> Do you have a suggestion of any other biggish fish (Triggers, lionfish, butterflies, tangs, large angels) that I could keep? How many? <Best to have you read re the families you list here... All is posted re their Systems, Compatibility... aspects of their care on WWM> Thanks for any help. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. Alexandra <Read on... the indices, search tool. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking 140g FOWLR  12/18/07
Thanks for such a quick reply! I really appreciate it. <Welcome> Since receiving your answer I have done some more reading and have come up with a possible stocking list. I'd really appreciate it if you could review it and perhaps give me some advice (or just tell me I'm on the right track - confirmation is always good!) As a reminder the tank is a 140g 48"x24"x28" FOWLR 1 Threadfin Butterfly 1 Raccoon Butterfly 1 Blue Tang 1 Picasso Trigger <May get too large psychologically here. Start small> 1 Valentini Puffer And, perhaps, 2 of the larger clownfish (Tomato, Clarkii, pink skunk) <Mmm, could go> The order I would put the fish in is puffer, butterflies, tang, trigger. Does this sound suitable? <Could work> It's so hard to find a definitive rule on stocking considering the many variables, so I really appreciate your help. Thanks again, Alexandra <There really are no such definitive rules here... Astute of you. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

120 FOWLR Stocking Order'¦(With An Eye On Going Reef?) -- 12/01/07 Hello! <<Greetings Pavlo!>> I am putting the finishing touches on my 120 FOWLR tank (to be a reef tank in about a year if all goes well). <<Neat!>> I am new to this and your work has been invaluable in getting me going in what I hope is the right direction. <<A collective effort'¦we're glad you find worth in our deeds>> Thank you for all your efforts! <<Quite welcome>> I have come up with a list of fish that I think will be compatible, but need help in making final choices and the order in which to stock them. <<Okay>> 1st the system. A 120 gal tank with a 35 gal sump/refugium. AquaC EV-180 skimmer, 130-150lb live rock (not purchased yet), 2 inch sand in display tank, 4 inches in refugium w/macro algae. I am stating off FOWLR with an eye on getting into corals in about a year after the tank matures and I'm confident in keeping my water quality high and stable. <<Very good'¦but do also keep this in mind when choosing your livestock. Why select non reef-compatible species only to have to 'fish them out' later on, eh?>> Now for the fish, I am hoping to have: 1 - Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula) or Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa), though I'd love to have both: <<I have done this/this is doable in this size system'¦though still not without risk. Simultaneous introduction is your best option re>> 1 - Chalk Basslet (Serranus tortugarum): <<A really neat little fish, though hails from a different ocean than your other chosen species (is an Atlantic species). I, along with fellow crewmember ScottF, am a bit of a 'biotope' snob and like to see fishes from at least the same ocean housed together, if not from the same niche/reef environment. This way poses much less risk for introducing pathogens/parasites one or the other may never have encountered before'¦and is just more 'natural' besides>> 2 - Pajama Cardinals (Sphaeramia nematoptera): 2 - Percula Clowns - mated pair (Amphiprion percula) Or 2 - Tomato Clowns (Amphiprion frenatus): <<The Percs will be less troublesome'¦in my opinion>> 1 - Longnose Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus): <<A very attractive deep-water species. Not a threat to your anticipated corals down the road'¦but may well make it difficult/impossible to house ornamental shrimps/smaller fishes>> 1 - Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavissimus): <<Still one of the best tang species for captive care'¦and an industry/hobby staple>> And either one of: Longnose Butterfly (Forcipiger flavissimus), Copperband Butterfly (Chelmon rostratus), Or Pearlscale Butterfly (Chaetodon xanthurus). <<Either of the first two will prove more 'reef-safe''¦though no guarantees>> Do you see any problems here with the mix, space (physical or emotional)? <<I think the stocking density is fine, and only the Maroon Clowns pose any real compatibility issue among the fishes, in my opinion. And I have already stated my concerns/thoughts re reef compatibilities>> I plan on getting some custodians - shrimp, snails, hermits for detritus cleanup and sand stirring; and as mentioned eventually corals. I know that butterflies aren't the most compatible with my future coral stock, <<Some less-so than others>> so I chose what I think are the more reef safe - if there is such a thing. <<Indeed'¦all a matter of perspective>> Please help with the stocking order. I'm most confused about that. <<Hmm'¦Basslet, Cardinals, Hawkfish, Clowns, Tang, Butterfly, Angel(s)'¦with the last three being interchangeable in order of introduction>> Thanks in advance for your help. Pavlo <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Less Fish- More Thought! (Rethinking Stocking Levels/Tradeoffs) -- 11/21/07 I am new to hobby <Welcome to what will hopefully become a lifetime addiction! Scott F. here today!> I have a 125 gallon tank with a 36 gallon sump with 60 pounds of live rock. and I currently have 8 fishes- male and female Bird Wrasse 5" and 3" , 1 Coral Beauty, 1 Marine Betta, 1 Harlequin Bass, and 1 5" Picasso Trigger, 2 Convict and a 4" Tomini Tang <Wow! That's a REALLY overcrowded aquarium, and it will only get worse as the fishes get larger. All the ambience of a studio apartment with 18 people living in it! We need to re-think the long-term stocking plan here! You have some fishes that get quite large, give off copious amounts of metabolic waste, and need large amounts of "physiological" space to live healthy, happy lives. In addition to the environmental challenges an overcrowded system creates, there will be aggression problems as the fishes further establish their territories. Stress will creep in and disease-even death, may be the result. I didn't mean to sound like the forbearer of doom, but I wanted to give you the dose of reality that you need to hear to become a successful long-term hobbyist. OK- time for a hug now...> Can I add a Koran Angelfish? Avril Edwards <You could, but you'll have all of the ingredients in place for a fine fish stew! Not a good idea! I would re-assess the fishes that you have, and do a little research about their long-term sizes/habits/needs. You'll probably find that several of these fishes would be far better off in separate, much larger aquariums. I'd find good homes for the larger fishes. Consider keeping the smaller fishes that you like, but in reduced numbers. For example, the Tomini Tang, the Marine Betta, and the Coral Beauty would make a fine start of a display with more reasonably-sized fishes. You could even add a few smaller fishes to that mix, such as Blennies, Gobies, or Grammas. Learn to think "small" when stocking. Far better to under stock than it is to push, or in this case, exceed the limits of your system's ability to handle the bioload. I think that with a review of your system's stocking, and a few decisions as to who stays and who goes, you'll develop a wonderful, thriving aquarium that you can be proud of. And you'll have happier, healthier livestock, too! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Fish Addition Order  11/4/07 Hello WWM Crew, <Hi Scott, Mich here.> I have a 50 gal FOWLR tank with 60 lbs live rock, 40 lbs live sand, and an Aqua C Remora Skimmer (love it). <Glad to hear... Was just chatting with Steve Prince this week... Amazing how successful they are with word of mouth advertising! But it is an excellent skimmer... Use one myself!> The tank finished cycling a week ago (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate = 0) and I added 4 scarlet legged hermits and 6 Trochus snails. <New tank.. Go slow...> Quarantine tank is ready to go and I'm at the point I'd like to add my fish but I'm not sure of the best order to minimize territorial aggression. <Glad to hear you have a QT.> My list: Cirrhilabrus or Paracheilinus wrasse - the tank has a closed top and I'm not set on any species yet but would love some recommendations. <Well, you should only keep one unfortunately. I love wrasses...and these are my favorite genera, though for me, Cirrhilabrus outshines Paracheilinus. On a budget? C. cyanopleura or C. lubbocki are lovely. Got a little more to spend? I love C. solorensis and C. scottorum.> Ocellaris Clownfish <Always cute.> Royal Gramma or Black Cap Basslet <Gramma loreto is typically better behaved, but can still be aggressive sometimes.> Dwarf Angel (C. loriculus or argi or acanthops) - will be added last and after 6 months to a year of aquarium setup. <I'm a sucker for C. loricula.> Is this a reasonable bioload? <Yes, I think so.> Any compatibility issues? <Always depends on the individual fish, but nothing glaring, though C. Argi can really be a bully.> I've read multiple articles that place wrasse anywhere from first to last <They are typically pretty adaptable.> and clown before Gramma or vice versa. <Yes, depends on the individual fish, ages, size, etc.> Thanks for your time. <Welcome! Happy to share!> Sincerely, <Cheers, Mich> Scott Giese

Stocking sequence, SW fishes   10/20/07 I have been perusing your website for a few months as I am in the process of cycling my 180 gal saltwater tank. It has approximately 100 lbs of live rock on another 50 lbs of base rock. 300 gal rated wet/dry with Euroreef 250 protein skimmer. My question is on stocking sequence. I would like to have a dogface puffer, snowflake moray, Picasso trigger, (not as aggressive as others?) <Rhinecanthus are generally not> I know that you guys say Volitans lions are not a good idea, but is there a possibility they could fit in the mix? <Mmm, a possibility exists that the Puffer, Trigger may bite the Eel, Lions...> Lunare wrasse, Harlequin Tuskfish and perhaps an angel or two for some dramatic color. <Do investigate by species...> Would this mix have a chance at success? I know I will have to add slowly and I wanted to know if there are any I should leave out and the best sequence to start stocking. <Please take a read on WWM re the Systems, Compatibility of the actual species you intend here... This mix could work, but the Tetraodontiform fishes you list are individualistic... might bite others. Bob Fenner>

Marine Stocking, FOWLR  10/19/07 I just wanted to run my stocking list by you if you don't mind. I have a 75 gallon tank, approximately 70# of live LR, about 60# of Aragonite Seaflor Reef Sand by CaribSea. I have a wet/dry sump, and a Aqua-C Remora Skimmer. I have two QT tanks, a 20 gallon and a 10 gallon. One will be used as a hospital tank, the other the holding tank. <Sounds nice.> My inhabitants are: 7 Turbo Snails 7 misc. Hermit Crabs 2 Peppermint Shrimp 1 Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel - in 20 gallon QT being treated with Coppersafe, for a very mild outbreak of Crypt. 1 TR False Percula - in 10 gallon holding tank. I am still wanting to add either a Coral Beauty or a Flame Angel, a Sixline Wrasse, perhaps a small school of Blue-Green Chromis (am aware that its not a sure thing that they will school together). <Yep> I would also like to have a Yellow Tang, but it is not necessary. I am trying to stick with a selection of fish that won't get over 4-6 inches to make sure that there is plenty of space and to cut down on the possible fin-nipping by the Angels. And I'm aware that the Tang would get around 8-9 inches, that's why its not a necessity. Do you think I would have any problems with this list? <I would probably skip the tang, the tank is sort of the bare minimum to house them in and with the angel it may be problematic. Otherwise it sounds like you have a nice mix of fish.> <Chris>

Stocking Advice...125g FOWLR -- 10/18/07 Hello crew and thanks for all the great advice. <<Always welcome>> Eric R. has been helping me with stocking advice so if you could steer my question in his direction that would be great <<I am here...>> if not here is what I have: 125g FOWLR with a 4" Assasi Trigger, 3" Flame Angel and the last fish in was a 4" White Cheek Tang. After researching the FAQs and a few other sources, I have decided to go with a Rabbitfish and wanted to know if the Scribbled Rabbitfish has any drawbacks versus other Rabbitfish. <<Not in my opinion...Siganus doliatus is an excellent choice>> From what I have read this species seems suited for the tank size, aggressive tank mates and is an excellent consumer of algae. <<Am in agreement... In fact, I have a pair in my 375g reef display (this is also a species of Siganid that will 'pair up' as adults)>> Any negative aspects, other than the venom, that I am missing? <<This fish 'will' require supplemental feedings of algae/vegetable matter along with whatever else you feed your fishes (hopefully Spectrum pelleted food is part of this repertoire). Mine 'love' 'green' Sea Veggies offered by Two Little Fishies...with an occasional (twice weekly, or so) soak in Selcon or Vita-Chem before feeding also proving beneficial>> Thanks again. <<Quite welcome. EricR>>

Re: Stocking Advice...125g FOWLR -- 10/19/07 Eric, thanks for taking the time to give me the great advice. <<Is truly my pleasure to assist>> I am in good shape on the feeding as I already use Spectrum, Sea Veggies and Selcon/Vita-Chem regularly based on what I have learned from WWM. <<Excellent!>> Thanks again. <<Always welcome. Eric Russell>>

FOWLR Stocking 10/2/07 Hi WWM crew, <Hello Dave> I have a stocking question but will first provide you with some background. <Always good to know this.> I have a 95 gal. (18 x 21 x 60) FOWLR tank with a wet-dry sump containing an Aqua-C EV-120 protein skimmer and no bio-balls. <Good choice in the skimmer.> The tank contains about 90 pounds of not-so-live rock (it was more alive at one time but now contains mostly assorted green micro-algae) with about a 1 inch sand bed. The rock arrangement has numerous nooks and crannies. I have the salinity set at 1.023 and the temp at 77 degrees F. The tank housed a small Clown Trigger for about a year that seemed healthy and then he suddenly quit eating and died. Not sure why. <Mmm, normally pretty hardy if conditions/feeding are good.> I had a heater and a power-head die about the same time and am not sure something wasn't introduced into the environment by those items at that time (electrical current, or in the case of the powerhead, a compound from a damaged impeller). Anyway, I have since done a couple of large water changes just in case and the tank has run fallow for the last few months. <OK> I have just begun to restock the tank and have added the following cleanup crew that are so far doing well: 4 Scarlet Reef Hermit crabs <Do cap proper nouns please, I see below there are a gazillion of them I will have to cap before posting.> 12 Cerith Snails 6 Nerite Snails 6 super Tongan Nassarius Snails 3 Zebra Turbo Snails 1 Fighting Conch <A good sand sifter but require a deeper sand bed than you have.> I made a deliberate decision to add these inverts with inspection and no quarantine, but do not plan to add any fish to the display tank for at least 30 days. At this same time I also purchased the following and these have been placed in a 20H QT where they will remain for a minimum of 30 days before being added to the 95 gal tank. They have each received a freshwater dip. It has been two weeks so far and all look healthy and are active and eating well at this time. 5 Pajama Cardinals (1.5 inches) 1 Hawaiian Yellow Tang (4 inches) <The QT tank (20H) is a little small/overcrowded for keeping the tang in it for 30 days.> I plan to add, or am considering adding, the following fish/inverts to the tank as well over time: 6 - 12 Banded Trochus Snails (definite) <I'd hold off adding any more snails, don't believe the needed food supply will exist for the 15 you have now let alone adding more. These guys can cover quite a bit of ground in one night.> (Also might increase populations of current invert species already in the tank but that will make that decision after watching the current inhabitants for awhile) 1 Gold Striped Maroon Clown (definite) <Think about the clown, is semi-aggressive, especially with having docile fish such as the Pajama Cardinals.> 1 Flame Angel (tentative) <Let your tank season for at least 3 or 4 months if you decide to go with the Flame Angel. They can be difficult to acclimate to prepared food so being able to graze off the live rock is beneficial during this period. Keep in mind they can pick at some inverts, depends on who you draw, mine is a perfect reef inhabitant...so far.> 1 "reef safe" Fairy Wrasse such as a Scotts (tentative). <These guys like to jump, so do incorporate a glass/acrylic top for your tank.> 1 Royal Gramma (tentative) I did see an email in http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ytangcompfaqs.htm that suggested the possibility of adding a Royal Gramma, a Flame Angel and a couple of other fish to a 75 gal tank that contained a yellow tang and a maroon clown, so I am hopeful that the options I listed would work. <What you have will work, but if it were me, I'd eliminate the Gold/Yellow Striped Clown from the list. Outside of it's aggressive nature, you will be overcrowding. The tang, in time, may need larger quarters.> Now the questions. Does this seem like a reasonable bioload for the 95 gal. tank once all the organisms are mature? <Yes, with good filtration/water flow.> I could leave out any or all of the "tentative" options. <If this (Gold Striped Clown) is a must, I'd leave out the Cardinals and opt for something else more compatible with the clown. The clown will be the first one at the dinner table and will fend off fish such as the Cardinals when it comes to getting the lion's share of the food.> Would all of these organisms be compatible with each other if introduced in the right order? <As stated/suggested.> Obviously, there are no guarantees <Bingo.> and the fish involved will have their own opinions on this issue. Searches of WWM seem to indicate that they all could coexist, but the clown, angel, tang, and even the Gramma seem to be at least somewhat territorially aggressive. <The Gramma is generally territorial toward members of it's own specie, others are usually left alone. The clown is going to be the most aggressive of your selections.> Again, I could leave out any or all of the "tentative" options. In what order would you introduce them? I already have the tang, but I could hold it back and introduce it to the main tank later on if needed, or segregate it for a time when introducing new fish. Should the tang, angel, and clown go in at the same time? <If you must do the clown, this would be the last one to introduce. I'd put the Pajama Cardinals in first, then it should not matter when the others are introduced, as long as the clown is last. Keep in mind that the clown could be a troublemaker with the other relatively peaceful fish on your list. Roll the dice, but snake eyes will probably come up.> Are there any other issues I should be concerned about with regard to the invertebrates? <Nothing outside of what I mentioned.> Thanks for you time and help and the great service you provide with this website. <You're welcome Dave. Do peruse our site on your selections...read/learn about them, don't rush into it. James (Salty Dog)> David

Re: FOWLR Stocking 10/5/07 Hi James, <Hello Dave> Thanks for the reply. Sorry about the caps and making more work for you. Hopefully, this email is better. <Thanks for the effort.> I've decided maybe the Gold Striped Maroon Clown isn't as definite as I thought, although I still really like them and want to keep one at some point. I don't plan now to mix the Pajama Cardinals and the Clownfish (better safe than sorry) and I am leaning toward keeping the Cardinals and a slightly more peaceful community. <My favorite type of environment.> One thought I had is to go with the list I sent earlier minus the Gold Striped Maroon Clown (one of the options you suggested). The other option I am considering is replacing both the Gold Striped Maroon Clown and the Flame Angel with a pair of Percula Clownfish, preferably tank bred and raised. <A good choice and relatively easy to care for, especially the tank bred/raised.> Regarding your comments on the inverts, I will hold off on any new organisms for the time being. However, there was actually a substantial amount of algae in the tank three weeks ago when I added the clean up crew, and although they seem to be keeping it under better control, there still seems to be plenty of untouched algae there in addition to new growth on the rock and glass. I also plan to add more sand to one end of the tank for the Tonga Fighting Conch, but I don't want a deep sand bed overall. <No, not anymore than three inches.> The comment you made about needing a deep sand bed, I have seen echoed elsewhere on the WWM site, but I haven't seen a reason given as to why a deep bed is necessary for this Conch. Can you or anyone else elaborate? <Do read here and linked files above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gastropo.htm> The first week, the Conch was pretty immobile on the sand bed and I was concerned about its health. However, the past week it has been actively crawling/feeding all over the rock and is seldom on or in the sand bed. That is what prompts me to ask the "why" question regarding the deep sand bed. I also noticed that most of the comments about Strombus species on the WWM site reference Alatus and Gigas, but not Gibberulus which is what I have. Are their needs the same? <Do read the link first Dave, should answer these questions. Do peruse the FAQ's in re this gastropod.> There doesn't seem to be much information out there on this particular species. Even when answering questions about the Tonga Fighting Conch, people seem to reference the Florida Fighting Conch, Strombus Alatus. One last thing, about the 20H QT tank, although I agree it is "maxed out" in terms of bioload and space for the fish that are there, it had an established biological filter in it courtesy of some Limia, and I am performing weekly 25% water changes. So far all is well and we are now only a week away from larger quarters so I am optimistically hopeful. <OK> In the mean time, the Tang and Cardinals do not seem particularly stressed and are all eating heartily with the Tang enjoying a regular ration of "Sea Veggies". <Sounds good, but a varied diet is most important toward health.> Again, thanks for your prompt reply and the great service you guys (and gals) provide. You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> David 55 FOWLR - advice on stocking, and more-- 09/17/07 Hello crew. I am new to this hobby, and I have spent countless hours on your site in the past six weeks. Thank you so much for this amazing resource. I am looking for some guidance tailored to my situation and preferences. My set-up: 55gallon 'tall' (if my math is right, actual capacity is around 63 gallons). No overflows, etc, no sump. Cycled with 25# cured LR and 20# live sand. Fluval 304 canister, Remora skimmer with MJ 1200, and two MJ 600's for circulation. 4x65watt compact fluorescent - 2 10,000K and 2 actinic. Livestock: Clean up crew is 3 turbo snails and 6 red leg hermit crabs. Peppermint shrimp (ate all 4 Aiptasia the first night!). Royal Gramma is my first fish. He was introduced to the display today after 20 uneventful days of QT. Now I am trying to develop a stocking plan and it is here I feel I need some help and reassurance. Here is a short list of fish I am interested in. If you could comment on their appropriateness, stocking order, and any alternatives, I would be grateful. Rabbitfish - scribbled or One spot <Mmm, not enough room here> Halichoeres Wrasse - Christmas or yellow <The ornatissimus or chrysus would go here> Hawkfish- longnose or threadfin <The latter> Flame angel <Really needs more room...> Filtration question- I run carbon in the Fluval. Should I use this all the time? or on some sort of schedule? <Posted... I'd use sporadically...> Anything to be gained by switching to Chemi-Pure? <Some... is mostly a high quality GAC product> Finally, I have a large AquaClear power filter (no media)- it came as part of this used setup. Should I hook it up for circulation? <Yes, I would> Should I convert it into a refugium as detailed on the site? <Mmm... if you'd like. Better to have a much larger volume...> That's all I've got right now. Thanks again for threat website. Stephen <Thank you for your kind words, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Stocking 55 Gallon New Set-Up, Livestock Selection Advice 9/7/07 Hello. <Hi> I'm starting my first marine aquarium, a 55 G tank with wet/dry and an in-sump protein skimmer. It is a FOWLR with about 40lbs of LR. I've read a lot of the articles on your site, but I'm still undecided about stocking options. What in your opinion are good choices for beginners given the tank dimensions. I am not opposed to a small amount of medium size fish or a higher quantity of small fish. What are various hardy species that eat of variety of foods in captivity, and would be compatible with each other. I hope you'll forgive such a basic question, but it sounds like many systems are doomed from the outset due to poor fish selection. Raul <There are so many possibilities it is impossible to give you any specific advice. My suggestion is to pick up Scott Michael's book, http://www.amazon.com/PocketExpert-Guide-Marine-Fishes-Essential/dp/1890087386/ref=pd_bbs_4/002-3780022-6208027?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189170553&sr=8-4 , it covers most common fish you will find.> <Chris>

Tank size + fish selection. Stocking a 54G Marine tank 9/5/07 Hi Guys, <Hello> I am currently running a FOWLR 54 G. corner aquarium 27X27X18. Filtration is Wet/Dry with protein skimmer. <No LR?> I haven't added any fish to the system yet but would like to add the following (over time): 1- Purple Tang, 1- Dwarf Lion, 1- Raccoon Butterfly (or other smaller butterfly), and a Marine Beta. I have read many articles on the website and these seem to be appropriate selections. <I would disagree here, the Lion may be ok here, but the others are definitely inappropriate in my opinion.> Am I making a mistake with any of the selections considering the set-up and relatively small tank size? Do you think a Pterois Antennata or Pterois Sphex could also be included? <Perhaps since the Lions are not real active they may work, however I would not stock any of these were it my tank. I recommend looking for smaller fish for this sized tank, especially if it is your first aquarium.> <Chris> Thanks, Mike

Adding Fish...Looking For Advice on Which Ones, FOWLR  -- 08/28/07 We have a 110-gallon tank with about 100-lbs. of live rock. Right now we have: a Bicolor Blenny, two Clownfish, a Yellow Watchman Goby, an Orange-Spotted Shrimp Goby, a Blue Tang, <<Whether Paracanthurus hepatus or Acanthurus coeruleus...this fish will need a larger environment>> a Starfish, and 4 Cleaner Shrimp. We have tried adding butterfly fish (a Raccoon - which we found dead, and a Pebbled which had to be taken back because it was attacking the star fish). The Tang doesn't seem to mind the Clownfish or the new Goby at all. <<No, I wouldn't think so...nor any of your other fishes listed>> We wanted to add another fish but didn't know what would get along with the Tang, Gobies, and Blenny. <<Mmm, actually...but for conspecifics/congeners...I think your Clownfish will be the 'most' problematic re any new additions. Even so, as for choices there can be many. If you were trying to mimic a selected biotope (best, in my opinion), you could research the fishes therein. At the least, I suggest you look around and see what appeals to 'you.' Once you find something, research the fish 'before' you make a purchase...you can even bounce your choices off me if you wish. Otherwise, based on what I see here...perhaps you might consider one of the hardier Dwarf Angel species... Centropyge loricula, the Flame Angel, gets my vote>> Thanks for your time. <<Happy to help. Whatever you decide upon, please research the animal thoroughly to determine its appropriateness for your system and your ability to provide for its long-term care. In conjunction with keyword searches of our site/the NET in general, Fishbase.org is a great resource for determining a fish's ultimate/mature size...along with other useful information>> D. Shea <<Regards, EricR>>

Marine Stocking Recommendation For A 125g FOWLR -- 10/11/07 Hello crew and thanks for all of the great advice. <<Greetings'¦and you're welcome from all of us>> I enjoy reading the frequently asked questions and learning something new every day. <<Me too! And to be honest'¦I've learned tons since joining the 'crew'>> Eric R. helped me with a stocking plan for a 125g FOWLR that I wanted to get some guidance for the addition of the final fish. <<I hope you were happy with the previous advice/opinion'¦cause ya got me (Eric) again!>> I currently have a Flame Angel (3"), Assasi Trigger (4") and a White Cheek (4"). <<Excellent! (What else did you expect me to say? [grin])>> I had planned to add a Tomini Tang, but was not able to obtain one in a reasonable time frame to add with the White Cheek, which was the last addition to the tank. <<Mmm, being of different genera, I suspect you could still add'¦a difference in size may help too>> I have been considering a Foxface, but I am not excited about having to be overly cautious every time I put my hands in the tank. <<Ah but this is an over exaggerated fear'¦is not like the fish will be lurking in waiting to "prick' you. I have kept these delightful and useful fishes for decades, and though I don't want to understate the need to be cautious, unless you somehow 'corner' the fish'¦I think the chance of an encounter is remote'¦my two pennies>> Also I don't want to get another carnivore, like the trigger and would rather have an herbivore or omnivore. Could you please provide a few recommendations for me to consider. Thanks again. <<Hmm, not herbivorous or even omnivorous but'¦ maybe a large and hardy Anthiinae species, like a trio of Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis)'¦or perhaps a wrasse from the genus Halichoeres, maybe H. chrysus or H. ornatissimus as hardy aquarium choices'¦or for an omnivorous species'¦perhaps a hardy butterfly like the Threadfin Butterfly (Chaetodon Auriga) or the Raccoon Butterfly (Chaetodon lunula). These are but a few possibilities here'¦lots to research/choose from. Let me know if I can assist further. EricR>>

Re: Marine Stocking Recommendation For A 125g FOWLR -- 11/12/07 Eric R., thanks for the fast advice on the stocking options. <<Was my pleasure>> I hadn't considered the Lyretail, but the trio will make the tank very interesting. <<Indeed, very neat fish'¦but then, I think 'all' fish are neat [grin]>> I have two more questions regarding these Anthiinae that would be helpful as I start to research this option as follows: (1) I am concerned that my QT tanks (I have two of them) which are 10g nano cubes will be too small for six weeks and based on my initial research I would need to keep all three together in one tank or can I split them up <<Best kept together'¦and will also state that with these Anthiines it is best to 'dip' and place in the display as they will fare poorly in a small quarantine system such as yours>> and (2) I assume I should purchase all three as females, assuming the alpha female turns to a male. <<You can purchase a 'super male' and a pair of females'¦or a trio of females and let the dominance hierarchy make the selection for you as you state. Is up to you>> Thanks again. <<Quite welcome. EricR>>

Small Marine Aquariums
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Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
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