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FAQs about Marine Livestocking 10

Related Articles: Stocking, Collecting Marines, Marine Livestock Selection, Reef Livestock SelectionQuarantine, Acclimation, Acclimating InvertebratesMarine Life Use in Ornamental Aquatics

Related FAQs: Best Marine Livestocking FAQs 1, Best FAQs 2, Marine Livestocking FAQs 1, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, FAQs 5FAQs 6FAQs 7FAQs 8FAQs 9, FAQs 11, FAQs 12, FAQs 13, FAQs 14, FAQs 15, FAQs 16, FAQs 17, FAQs 18, FAQs 19, FAQs 20, FAQs 21, FAQ 22, FAQs 23, FAQs 24, FAQs 25, FAQs 26, FAQs 27, FAQs 28, FAQs 29, FAQs 30, FOWLR Livestocking, Small System Stocking, Reef LivestockingAngelfish Selection, Triggerfish Selection

Have enough food for filter feeders? 

Newbie Marine, Livestock and Maintenance    4/4/06 Good afternoon! <Good Night….I'm Sleepy, hehe.> I am working on setting up my first SW tank. <Congrats…> I put the water in it this week, and am testing out my equipment. I will be ordering my LR (70 lbs.) and LS next week. I am looking at setting up a peaceful/community tank with some soft corals. Here are my specs:    55 gallons tank with overflow (not drilled)    26 gallon sump, usual capacity will run about 13 gallons    I will be including a fuge in my sump.    In-Sump protein skimmer (Turboflotor 1000)    Overflow and 3 powerheads/wavemaker for water movement    Orbit 48' Compact Florescent 4x65W  (dual actinic/dual daylight with lunar lights)    I will be installing an auto-top off system and aerating my replacement water for a week before use. <Sounds pretty good but do keep an eye on that (I'm assuming) syphon overflow.>    I am also setting up a 10 gallon QT, and hope to start cycling this soon. <A bit small, be sure to monitor it closely as things can get out of hand quite quickly.>    I plan to quarantine new arrivals for 1 month. <Yes 30 days minimum.> I would like to be ready to order my first fish as soon as my QT is cycled, <…Not to mention the display.> but wondered what would be the best order to introduce them in. <Let's see………> We plan on (I say "we" because my kids picked out what they wanted and have already picked names for some of them!): <Cool.> 3 blue/green Chromis (Larry, Curly and Moe)   2 False Percula Clownfish (George and Gracie)   1 Firefish (magnifica) (Twitchy) 1 neon gold goby And maybe 1 blue dotted watchman goby. <All potentially good choices.> Through reading your site, I find that Clownfish can be rather territorial and that Firefish don't do well in quarantine alone. <Generally speaking……….> And the Chromis, although the most docile of the bunch, are still damsels. <Quite true.> Should I QT the Firefish and the gold goby together? <No, your QT is to small.> Should the Clownfish go in last? <Along with the Chromis.> And will the watchman and neon gobies get along? <In this size tank, they should…but again they are individuals.> Two other unrelated questions: for circulation, I will have my overflow (roughly 300 gph), and the powerheads, which alternate through the use of a wavemaker (one at a time). They are rated at 160 gph. Would it be better to have at least one of these going at all times and <I think you will be fine either way, just have them aimed at each other to create turbulent rather than linear flow.> having the other two alternate, or is it o.k. to alternate them like this? I know my tank should turn over between 5 and 10 times an hour. <I prefer more turnover for reef tanks, 20+ to be honest.> To cycle my 10 gal. QT, a friend let me put the sponge from my Whisper Power Filter in her aquarium. How long should it be in her tank before I can use it to cycle my tank? <A few weeks, though keep in mind if you need to medicate during quarantine you will likely kill any beneficial bacteria, which means you will have to compensate w/ H2O changes.> Thank you very much! I have found your site to be extremely helpful. <Thanks.> Pamela Trang <Adam Jackson.> Overstocked? Understocked? Just Right? - 03/31/06 Dear Crew - <<Hello Gerald>> I do not have access to good info, meaning a reliable/knowledgeable LFS, and could use the opinion of someone with more experience. <<I'll try to help.>> I inherited an established SW tank a little over a year ago. <<Mmm, nothing like being "thrust" in to the hobby eh?  Hopefully you've been researching/reading like a fiend!>> I had not kept any kind of fish before. <<Yikes!>> The tank at the time had (2) clowns, (1) pygmy basslet, and was using an Emperor 300 bio-wheel as sole filtration.  No live rock, just a piece of lava decor. <<I hope this has been remedied?>> This hobby has been very challenging and quite rewarding, and, as I've done a lot of research and reading <<(sigh of relief)>>, have made several changes, over time, to the tank. <<Excellent my friend...thank you for stepping up to the responsibility.>> My basic question is, I'm wondering if my tank is understocked,  overstocked, or just right? <<Hmm, ok...some more data please...>> Current set-up: 55 gal w/ 35 lbs live rock and 1 in. sand.  Canister filter (rated at 180 gph).  The filter trays contain two layers of floss, a bio-sponge, activated carbon, and ceramic rings. <<Serviced weekly?...at most, bi-weekly?>> AquaC skimmer w/ Mag 1200 pump. <<Good skimmer brand.>> Fish are two clowns, as mentioned above, the pygmy basslet, one dartfish.  Inverts include pipe organ coral, a small cluster of mushroom coral, a cluster of zooanthids, one fire shrimp, one coral banded shrimp, brittle star, five crabs, and three turbo snails.  Current water parameters:  SG 1.0235, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 15 ppm. <<Nitrates are a bit high (strive for 5ppm or less) for what appears to be a "reef" tank...look to the canister filter as the culprit.  I recommend you remove the floss/bio rings and use the canister for chemical filtration (carbon/Poly-Filter) only. About six weeks ago I added a second dartfish which I know now was a mistake. <<Not necessarily...would depend much on specie.>> The existing dartfish and the pygmy tormented him. <<I see>> I assumed him to be in hiding but eventually, of course, he died and I was unable to locate the body. <<Happens all the time...>> This caused a massive increase in nutrients and I'm slowly winning the battle vs. hair algae and BGA. <<Mmm, usually the demise/decomposition of a small fish such as this in a tank this size is little cause for concern...unless you were already "teetering on the edge".>>   I've added some macro-algae, increased circulation, and increased  water changes. <<All good methodologies.>> I plan to get a refugium in the near future. <<Excellent!>> Let me stress I have no plans to add additional livestock.  I'm  wondering, prior to adding the second dartfish, if my system was  overstocked to begin with. <<No, not overstocked...but possibly some husbandry issues (I keep thinking back to that canister filter).>> It's hard for me to believe the one death could've wreaked so much havoc, <<Am in agreement here.>> but then again, after this situation I read and re-read WWM and learned a great deal about the canister filter's shortcomings. <<Well there ya go!  But don't be mislead, canister filters are great filtration devices and of great utility to the hobby...when properly maintained/serviced.>> I do not believe I changed the filter media quickly enough. <<Indeed>> At any rate, if the tank has too much livestock, I do have a friend willing to take on surplus.  Any input??? <<I think you could add a couple more "small" fish without any problems (if you tend to that canister filter!).  Perhaps a couple Chromis or a Banggai Cardinal...these could likely deal with the basslet/dartfish.  But if you're happy with things as they are then by all means just maintain the Status Quo.>> Many thanks. And sorry for the lengthy email. <<No worries mate.>> Sincerely. Gerald <<Regards, EricR>>

Overstocked? Under stocked? Just Right? II - 04/02/06 Dear Eric, <<Hello Gerald>> Thanks for the input. <<Very welcome my friend.>> If I remove the bio-rings and bio-sponge from the canister, do you think the live rock alone + skimmer would be enough for biological   filtration? <<Bio-filtration is not a function of the skimmer, but your live rock/sand will be quite adequate with your current stocking density.>> Thanks again. <<Cheers, EricR>>

Stocking/Compatibility    3/27/06 Hi, <Hello> Much of the useful information I have found up till this point has come from your sight, and now I need some questions answered so I figured this would be the best place. Firstly let me start off by describing my setup. The display tank is a 20-gallon long that I am trying to get the top cut to fit the "u" tube of my overflow. I have a JEBO light with a 55w white and a 55w actinic PC light. I am aware that JEBO is not the best brand, but lighting in this tank is a secondary concern. Underneath this tank is my sump. It is a 20-gallon tall with almost 3 inches of mud and some Caulerpa. On this tank I am also running a single CPR bioball BakPak skimmer with a Rio 600. The only cover I have on this tank is a glass strip protecting the light that covers about a third of the sump. Should I get the glass to fit tightly on my top tank or should I try to get more ventilation? My concern is that I have read that most of the fish I plan to get are jumpers.  <I'd just make sure the gaps aren't large enough for a fish to get through.  The sump will take care of ventilation.>   I currently have a purple/green tube anemone, an electric blue hermit. The fish I plan on getting will hopefully be two green clown gobies, two yellow-headed Jawfish, and some goby/shrimp pairs. Probably a red or a Caribbean snapping shrimp with a high fin goby, and maybe two more pairs of similar size species, such as a white ray (if I can find one) and ???  <And???  Including your sump area, I wouldn't put more than five small fish in the tank.>  (Maybe you could give me a suggestion). The inverts I plan on getting will be the 3 earlier mentioned pistol shrimp, more hermits, maybe 20 dwarfs or a few more like the electric, 4 red fiddlers, <Forget these guys and do research on what you plan on getting.  Fiddlers require a mud flat type set-up.> two small decorators (they come from the Caribbean and have small purple spots on their claws), and maybe some various corals. I was thinking Ricordea, various mushrooms, green hammerheads, and purple xenia. Firstly, how is the stocking up till this point? Would this be pushing it? <It's the amount of fish we are concerned with.  You were pushing it at the beginning of the query. Corals aren't going to add much to the bioload.>  I was maybe even thinking of getting one more small fish in the future (royal Gramma, six lined wrasse, etc. .). Moreover, are there any compatibility issues? I know the tube anemone will be a problem and I will probably have to remove him before getting the fish, but I was hopping to get your opinion on how much of a problem he might be.  <Depends on the species.  Some are safe, others have a potent sting.> Will the Jawfish have a problem with the gobies, will the snapping shrimp have a problem with the other small invertebrates in the tank, especially the dwarf hermits, and I have read that Ricordea is semi aggressive, can it harm fish? <Shouldn't bother fish.  Again, depending on species, touching them can be toxic.> Also, will the green clown gobies form a pair?  <Ask Mother Nature.>  I have heard that they are protogynous hermaphrodites. <Not that I'm aware of.  Do search for answers to your questions on the Wet Web before sending.  Most, if not all are answered there.> Thanks in advance for any help.  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> cro.  

Facing Reality ... saltwater livestock mix - 03/25/2006 Hi Crew! <Adlai> Apart from my existing reef setup, I am planning to establish a fish focused tank (non-reef safe fish in a FOWLR with a few corals) and have been researching stocking options for my 92 gal corner which has a EuroReef Skimmer, Sump, several powerheads and a canister filter By reading the FAQs and Bob's book,  I have very reluctantly eliminated many of my original selections (Majestic Angel, Imperator Angel, Powder Blue tang Clown fish, Picasso Trigger, Volitans trigger etc). I am still in mourning! Given the size of my tank I have researched for fish that would have a maximum length of 7-8 inches and opted to go with peaceful - mildly aggressive tank. Please give me your opinion on the following a) Dwarf Lionfish b) Pink spot Puffer c) Blue Jaw Trigger (supposed to be peaceful) d) Auriga Butterfly e) Singapore Angel f) Yellow Eye Tang /Kole Tang. I realize that there could be possible conflict between the dwarf lionfish and the puffer but believe the type selected and order introduced could help. I also value hardiness because of my possible mess-ups (smile). Please comment  on the selections and possible order of entry. Any other recommendations would also be appreciated. Thanks <This mix could be made to work... I'd place the Trigger last if included... and start it small (less than five inches if possible). Bob Fenner>

Re: Facing Reality... SW Stkg. FAQs 10    3/27/06 Wow Bob! - Thank you for your extremely fast response. I am glad that you approve of my selections. I do have 3 follow-up questions a)  Can I put all these selections through the FW dip and Meth Blue acclimation process <Yes>      before putting them in my QT tank for 4 weeks. I will be buying online and I know certain  fish are pretty sensitive? <Yes> b) Would I be stretching the limit if I placed 2 fish at a time in the tank at intervals of 2 weeks apart or could I get by with 1 at a time at intervals of  1 week apart? <Could do two...> c) Finally given my selections and their maximum size (especially the relatively less aggressive puffer and the trigger) could I get by some sort of cleaning crew. I know , according to FAQs this most likely would not be recommended but I am wondering if my situation warrants an exception. Thanks again for all you do <Posted on WWM... I would not place snails, shrimp et al. with the puffer or trigger. Bob Fenner>

Fish Compatibility   3/20/06 Hello and thank you for taking the time to assist me.  <You're welcome.>  I currently have a 115 gallon (72Lx18Wx20H) with a 20 gallon fuge (lights 24/7 w/Chaeto & LR).  My livestock I currently have are the following: A 2" six-line wrasse, 2 clowns (3" together), 3" Yellow tang, and a 4" blue tang I also have some frogspawn, GSP, hammer coral, finger leather, bubble coral, xenia, and mushrooms.  My question is I would like to add one or two more fish.  I would possibly like to add: 1. Banana Wrasse, or 2. Sunset Wrasse, or 3. Dogface puffer, or 4.  Flame Angel. <Maybe another small wrasse but not the banana, for one.  They can reach lengths of up to one foot.  Wouldn't add the flame or puffer either as the tangs alone have a lot of growing to do and your tank will then be overstocked.  Do research fish before buying as to full grown size, needs/requirements.> I do not plan on keeping any other type of corals and I have considered a reef wrasse but I think my 6-Line would intimidate it.  I currently change 20% of my water every week as well as clean the skimmer every other day.  I would also be willing to replace the six-line with either the sunset or banana wrasse as an option.  Thank you very much for the great service you provide us, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Jose

Re:  Fish Compatibility  3/20/06 Hi and thanks for the quick response.  Based on your response, could I get a Halichoeres ornatissimus (xmas wrasse) and would it be a problem with my six line?  would any wrasse from the (sic) family  "Thalassoma"   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/ <Most Thalassoma wrasses exceed seven inches fully grown.  Compatibility, selection, etc all can be found on our web (sic) sight.  We just don't have time to spoon-feed/answer questions that have already been answered and posted on the Web Web.  Start here and read related FAQ's re your questions.    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/ Thanks again,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Jose

How Much Is Too Much? - 03/19/06 Hi there. <<Hello!>> I have a fairly new (about 2 1/2 months old) 29 gallon saltwater tank with 3 yellow-tailed damsels, 2 Nemo clownfish, and 1 royal Gramma. <<cool!>> I have my eye on a rusty angel and a six-line wrasse, but I wanted to check with you to see if that would over-crowd my tank or not.   <<I think you're already ""full up.">> How many fish can I safely house in a 29 gallon tank? <<Mmm, a very nebulous question.  Many things to consider...mature size, social disposition, natural habitat/range, nutritional requirements, etc., etc., etc...>> Please advise.  thanks!

Tang Casserole - 03/19/2006 Hello crew <Hi.> I want to put in a tank together a Naso Tang , a Yellow Tang, a Hippo Tang , a Purple Tang , a Powder Blue Tang and a Banded Shark. In how many gallons tank can they be kept? <For how long? Ultimately...many hundreds of gallons. Like 500 or more.> Thanks <Sure. - Josh>

The Right Mix?  - 03/12/2006 Hello and thank you in advance! <Hi, welcome>   In the last few months, I experienced a complete loss in my 75 gallon tank due to a 5 day weather related power loss. It was devastating, especially as I lost that rarest of the rare... a thriving ribbon eel (5 years in the tank) as well as a beautiful Radiata Lion.  I have recently (after recycling the tank) added a new mix of fish and invertebrates. My experience in the past has always been with larger predatory fish and no invertebrates (other than hermits), so I feel like a beginner in many ways.  All appears to be going quite well.. but I do have some questions.  My current mix: 50 lbs Live Rock 1 Common Hermit (getting ready to be removed due to size.. survivor from previous setup) 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp 1 Maroon Clown (2") 1 Yellow Tang (2") 1 Coral Beauty (2 1/2") 1 Royal Gramma (1.5") 1)  Have I "maxed out" the tank? <Mmm, some things might be added> 2) What is an acceptable level of nitrates in this tank? <The lower the better... my standard response is about 20 ppm, but some animals are mal-affected at this concentration... others can become "classically habituated" at much higher...> I use a trickle filter and with  weekly 10% water changes keep the nitrates hovering between 5 and 10 ppm, but am willing to step up water changes if I need to. 3) If in fact I have not "maxed out" the tank, I would like to add a Solon Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis), a neon goby and  a couple more cleaner or other type shrimp.  Would these additions work with my current mix?   <Likely so> 4)My roommate acquired the Maroon Clown without really asking me about compatibility, and I do worry about aggressiveness (especially toward the tang and angel) but no fireworks so far. <Might come later... particularly with new additions> Should I consider removing the clown given my mix or is there a chance that everything will work out? <Seems that you have considered so> Thank you so much! Frank <Bob Fenner> Fish Compatability   3/10/06 Hey Guys, <And gals...>                   Thanks for all the helpful info. All of you are much appreciated. Great site. I had a couple of questions and hope I don't take up too much of your time. <Me too... don't have much left!> I'm curious on your thoughts concerning my filtration system whether or not it is adequate. I have a 135 gallon tank with 120lbs of live rock and maybe 2 inches of live sand give or take. I've heard a wet/dry is preferred, but is it necessary. <Nope> What I have is an emperor 280. Unfortunately the 400 does not fit in the opening in the back of my aquarium. On the other side I have a dual CPR Bak Pak protein skimmer. Lastly, a turbo twist uv sterilizer with 18 watt bulb. Is this a sufficient system? <For?> As far as livestock right now just a percula, sailfin, and powder blue all of which are doing well. Tangs are getting along fine. Also a Sebae and bubble tip anemone 3 cleaner shrimp and a couple of neon gobies. My other question is, can I add a flame angel and a juvenile queen angel in a 135 gallon. Meaning will they get along? <Mmm, not the Queen likely> Considering that I add more fish that will be compatible with one another, what other fish might you recommend and how many more other than what I currently have. <Not to add more until you've thought this over a bit more> I guess what I'm trying to determine is a stocking related question. One more question, I would like a trigger, but realize not reef safe. I've read the niger trigger is a possibility, what's your thought?    <This is posted on WWM... please peruse the Compatibility FAQs files of these species, groups... and their Systems FAQs files as well... Bob Fenner>                                                                                                 Thanks crew,                                                                                                                    Royce

Marine Stocking - 3/10/2006 Hey guys. First off, I love your site. It's one of the most informative places I've been able to find thus far, and I truly appreciate what you are doing for us. <<You\re welcome! I love the site too.>> Now, to get to the point. I have a 20g SW tank, with a simple setup: heater (duh), simple filter do-hickey, <<?>>and the light that my LFS told me I would need (it's a neat color too!) I've cycled the tank for a few weeks, and have added roughly 20lbs. of live rock, and 20lbs. of live sand. I got the water tested, and everything looked fine <<What does that mean?>> so I added a maroon clown (1.5 inch), Florida pink tip anemone, and a fish (I believe that it is a Damsel of some sort) that I thought looked really neat (1.5 inches). <<Your tank is far too small for these inhabitants long-term, in regards to physical size and aggression.  What lights are you running on your tank?  Anemones are far from appropriate for beginners.>> My questions are these: 1.) Are the anemone and clown that I have chosen compatible? By which I mean, will the clown "live" in the anemone? <<Never a guarantee, but in your case, I would be returning these to the store anyway.>> And 2.) What kinds of things can I do to ensure that the tank will stay as pretty as it is now? <<Too broad a question.  Read on WWM, and Google nano systems.  You need to entirely re-think your stocking plan.>> As always, any other "random" suggestions would be MORE than welcome. Thank you very much for your help, Chuck. <<Glad to help. Lisa.>

Bubble Woes/Stocking Plan - 03/08/06 Hi everybody, <<Greetings>> Just after comments on my stocking strategy & hopefully some ideas on a little problem if I may. <<Alrighty>> Setup- New system, 24" cube 200litres (50ish USG) with closed loop (3000lph) - been running IO saltwater (from RO/DI source) for about 1 week now, Miracle mud sump 23"x10"x12" (to Ecosystem design) - just mud in so far, returning around 2000lph to main tank.  No LR in tank yet or substrate - aiming for 20ish Kg.s LR & 1/2" CaribSea Fiji-Pink sand. <<Sounds like a plan.>> I've read the bubbles FAQ, most of the plumbing FAQ & much much more on WWM - I spend a great deal of time here! <<Me too <grin>.>> Many thanks as always. <<Welcome, as always.>> I ran the tank with fresh water in for over a week with no problems at all, however since filling with RO/DI & subsequently adding Instant Ocean (mixed in tank) I've had nothing but micro air bubbles running all through the system, I suspect that there is some suspended debris whizzing round the system as well but it seems to be mostly micro bubbles. <<Ok>> Pump return plumbing is 25mm (correct for pump) with overflow plumbing at 50mm.  I understand from the FAQ's that the main suspect should be the return plumbing and pin-hole leaks in the glued joints & I have eliminated this as a cause by rigging up flex hose to bypass all hard plumbing, with no lessening of the bubble creation. <<Hmm, okay...I would next look to see if bubbles in the sump are making their way to/being picked up by the return pump.>> I suspect that it is the overflow plumbing (50mm) where it dumps into the end of the sump, pipe runs from in-tank Durso, through bulkhead fitting, 45deg bend & into y-piece to exit vertically into sump - slightly underwater. <<Is the termination-end in the sump vertical?  If so, you may want to consider adding a 45 degree fitting to the end of the pipe to help with air entrainment.>> The first chamber is filled with submerged bio ball type media <<This can work, but would rather see live rock utilized here for its buffering capacity/greater bio-diversity.>> - blue drum shapes which are quite open & I am getting loads of bubble generation here which flow through the sump to be pulverized by the pump & returned to main tank to complete that loop once more. <<Aha!>> I was hoping the cause of this was just new plumbing or settling in or something however we are a week on with salt in & no  reduction in micro bubbles (which look horrible with halide on!) I guess it's not going to fix itself now! <<Mmm, indeed not.  You will have to install some sort of bubble trap/baffle system.  A Google search on our site re should provide ideas.>> I intend to get some more conventionally shaped bio balls in the hopes these will trap some of the bubbles - do you think this will help? (I doubt it will cure the problem for sure!) <<I don't see this making a difference.  You need to contrive some method of slowing the bubbles as they travel through the sump to give them a chance to "escape."  This is usually easily done with a series of baffles which won't allow the bubbles to travel to the pump once they rise to the water's surface.>> Adding extra baffles is not an option here due to the size of the sump, <<Uh oh>> however at a push I could fit another 23 1/2" long, no more than 10" wide & tall as I like (within reason) sump to take the overflow from the main tank - this entire length could settle the bubbles from the overflow with baffles at the end before overflowing into the sump as is. <<Ah yes!  You could even employ the first vessel as your refugium and then devote your entire sump to holding your equipment, chemical media, etc..>> This is quite drastic, involves replumbing & would just about fill the cabinet so is very much a last resort. <<Mmm...but sounds like your only option since you can't modify the "existing" sump.  Either this or reduce the flow through the sump and see if that makes a difference.>> Any ideas for bubbles caused by overflows dumping into sump that don't involve more baffles or a second sump upstream? <<Not other than greatly reducing flow (thus turbulence) through the sump.>> I'm getting quite despondent & depressed here! - I'll also try to get a pic of setup to you shortly.  Couple of points here - The salt was mixed in tank (I'll do it externally next time!) & has left some fine particles (which have formed a hard coating on the tank base) and some larger white grains/lumps which bob about - could this be connected in any way? <<I don't think so, no.>> Have I changed the salt blend in some way to be more prone to bubbling? <<No>> Doubtful I know but clearly even if not connected to the bubbling issues I want to start with chemically balanced salt water - is there any risk to proceeding with this water in terms of future livestock problems? <<Not likely...have you performed any water tests?>> Will my LR be OK added while these bubbles pervade?  Currently it is sitting in a trash can with a powerhead & I want to get it into the tank ideally as soon as possible - it was bought on Sunday cured. <<It's probably a fine point, but I would leave the rock where it is until you resolve the micro-bubble issue.>> I have already caught a few very small crabs in this LR (Indonesian - about 18/19kg) should I try to bait any more out by laying on raised egg crate in the main tank (when bubbles/your advice permits) is this worth doing? <<Unless this is how you plan to install the rock, no, I wouldn't bother with this.>> Right, onto the stocking plan (which will certainly wait till the bubbles are fixed), <<And the tank has cycled/matured a bit hopefully!>> which will cheer me up thinking about!.  I plan to introduce slowly & quarantine in the following order - your comments/suggestions/warnings would be most welcome - <<Is my pleasure to provide.>> Cleanups for main tank - 15 or so Nassarius Snails, 5-ish Turbo's from existing tank, maybe a few Ceriths if I can find any. Would a crew for the mud sump be beneficial? <<Not if it involves macro-crustaceans (crabs/shrimp)...defeats the purpose of the refugium in my opinion.>> If so what critters/numbers would you advise? <<If anything, a detritivore kit from one of the e-tailers offering such...but is likely the mud will populate from the live rock just fine.>> 2 or 3 Banggai Cardinals, 3 Blue Green Chromis (is there a difference between blue, blue/green & green Chromis? I have seen all offered & want the most chilled I can get!), <<Yes, though Chromis viridis is often called/sold by all three of these common names.>> 2 black & white Clowns (in my existing tank currently) - these may end up going in first or possibly residing in the sump for a while due to logistics, 1 Orchid Dottyback, 1 Flame, Potters or Coral Beauty Angel (I guess you're gonna recommend the Flame?) <<Yuh huh>> That's probably it for the fish plan, still working on the coral list! <<That pretty much fills you up.  I would like to suggest that you skip the Dottyback...aside from your stocking density, I'm a bit worried about aggression in this size/stocked system.>> Should I stock corals or fish first or does it make little difference? <<Ideally...the tank would sit empty of both for 6-12 months, allowing the biota from the rock to develop.  Then...were it me...corals before fish.>> Hoping for a cure for the micro bubbles. <<I think you know what has to be done...>> Cheers, Chris <<Be chatting, EricR>>

Compatibility SW - 03/05/06 Hi,<Hello> I am new to the hobby and just found your site. <Good> We have a 180 gallon system that is about 2 months old.  Currently we have 2 firefish, 2 true percula clowns and 1 sixline wrasse.  We will be adding corals, as well as a bubble tip anemone for the clowns. <Do not recommend anemones with corals, trouble brewing.> My main question is on how to add the other fish.  We are interested in: painted fairy wrasse midas blenny royal Gramma possibly a dwarf angel or 2 2-3 tangs, possibly an orange-shoulder, Atlantic blue, and Chevron <Wouldn't be adding tangs till you get a little more experience/knowledge about the hobby.> a purple firefish sunrise Dottyback a Blackspot angel Bartlett Anthias <Does not do well alone, groups much better and another fish I'd stay away from for a while.> mandarin fish <Need plenty of live rock crawling with pods for these guys to have a chance.> We also have 3 emerald crabs, 2 porcelain crabs, 1 red serpent star, about 60 snails and about 50 scarlet hermit crabs. We are considering a blue chin trigger, we've read they may be reef safe, <No trigger is reef safe.> and we would like to add about 2 clams. <Do research clams before adding, know their requirements, lighting, etc.> I want to choose fish that will be compatible and am wondering what order to introduce them.  It is so hard to get consistent advice from the local fish stores.  Any help you could give would be appreciated. <I'd add the purple firefish first, and these also do better in groups of three or more.  Do put tangs on hold for awhile.  Do research any fish before buying, will save you headaches/money in the long run.> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Marine fish stocking Hi, <Hello there> I currently have a 55 gallon tank and have been considering upsizing to a 90 gallon.  Before I make that commitment I'd like to know what fish the extra size tank would get me. <okay...> I currently have (3) three stripe damsels, (2) clownfish, (1) flame angel, (1) hippo tang, (1) yellow tang, and (1) royal Gramma; for a total of nine fish.   Everything is stable for the last year except the size of the fish, they are thriving.   I also have a few hermit crabs and shrimp.       What would you recommend as compatible additions to a 90 gallon tank??.  The more colorful the better. <At the very least, you're honest> I plan to pretty much keep my current filter set up which is an external box filter, a protein skimmer, and a fluidized bed filter.  I would add some more live rock to the 50 lbs I have now.  I also have an extra power head for the live rock and I've used the rock to create lots of hiding spaces for the fish.  Any changes you suggest here? <To keep studying, looking for what might interest you... A larger system will be more stable, easier to maintain... and your livestock (present plus) happier, healthier... Bob Fenner> Thanks for the help! Gary

Compatibility Hi Bob: <James here, today>I'm not sure if I'm going about this exactly the right way as my girlfriend (lori) and I (randy) are somewhat new hobbyists in the saltwater tank arena.  I'm not sure what the requirements are for signing up to your correspondence page, I hope you can help shed some light on a few questions I'd like to ask you. I am currently experiencing a bit of a dilemma with I think what is called tank domination but let me give you some history first. I have a friend who owns a fish store who has recently set me up with a 72 gallon bow front Oceanic saltwater tank. I have purchased all the trimmings, heaters, power heads etc. My tank is just becoming cycled (3 months) and my water readings are normal. Up until just a few days ago, my inventory consisted of: a yellow tang, a tiger flamed angel, mini grouper,<Not something I would want with smaller fish present.> Pseudochromis (?not sure of exact name, yellow with pink stripe), small crab, sergeant major, 2 tomato clowns, a domino damsel and a blue devil damsel. <The domino, sergeant major and blue devil are fish that are not going to give you a peaceful tank.> Things have been going nicely, approximately 75 lbs of live rock just starting to grow moss and show color, lighting is 4 ft. deep blue, 4 ft. 50-50 blue, and a 4 ft. 20,000 watt white. <Wow, 20,000 watt lighting.  Your electric bill must be huge:)> The fish have been somewhat compatible for approximately 3 weeks, newest addition the domino. Recently I noticed the sergeant major was nipping at the tang's rear fin during his Nori feeding. The tomato clowns would occasionally chase one another but maintained separate ends of the tank. The tang and the angel seems to follow each other and almost swim side by side. All seemed well up until 48 hours ago when I noticed the Chromis dead. The following morning, my beloved angel, that evening the mini grouper, were dead. I consulted with my friend at the store who diagnosed the fish and found their fins nibbled and scars about their bodies. I immediately removed the tang and the Sgt. major back to the store only to find the following morning 2 dead clowns and the domino. My friend gave me a neon grouper with an antenna (?). Chasing the tang resulted in a 10 gallon water change and a complete reconfiguration of my live rock. That's OK, it gave me a chance to clean in areas I normally would not have been able to clean. I'm trying to achieve a tranquil tropical fish tank that we can enjoy. My friend seems very knowledgeable and helpful, however his store inventory seems to be contradictive to the type of compatible, colorful array of species I'm trying to achieve. Question 1: in your best opinion what has happened here? <Too many fish and incompatible fish for a 72 gallon tank.> Questions 2: I'm told that most tropical fish although are colorful, are dangerous to one another as per their natural environment - is this true or are there different species that get along better? <Compatibility, my friend.> Question 3: should I remove the damsel as well?  Question 4: my friend has offered to take me to the wholesaler to pick some more fish, but this hobby is becoming more expensive than I prefer. Can you suggest some beautiful species that get along? <There are several online dealers that have compatibility charts, Drs Foster & Smith for one.  Look through their online fish catalog.  When you find the fish you like, check the compatibility chart.  Also do a google search on the WWM, keyword "compatibility".>   I'd like to thank you for your time in reading this lengthy email and would like to continue our communications, do I just write you or do I need to sign up? Thank you once again. <Do as you just did.  Before writing, do a search on the WWM on the subject matter.  There is much info here along with FAQ's on the subject in question.  Also try to condense your question leaving out items that really don't pertain to the question, and, check spelling and grammar as these queries have to be edited before posting on the web.  James (Salty Dog)> Randy Canavarro SW Stocking...Sanity Check - 06/08/05 Hello, crew! <<Howdy!>> My fianc?and I are planning a ~100 gal FOWLR (would have ~100 lbs live sand, ~100 lbs live rock, Remora Pro skimmer, sufficient power heads, mechanical filtration, etc).  We have a thriving 55 gal. reef tank and are looking to do a fish-only. <<Lucky Bum>> I wanted to get your opinion on the following potential inhabitants in terms of compatibility and fit.  This would be in approximate order of addition to the tank: Zebra lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra) Yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) Paddlefin wrasse (Thalassoma lucasanum) Flame angelfish (Centropyge loricula) Yellow long-nosed B/F (Forcipiger flavissimus) or Copperband B/F (Chelmon rostratus) Is this a good match, in temperament and size? <<Mmm... iffy.  The lion will ingest any of these that are small enough to fit in its mouth and the yellow tang will likely not get along with either of the butterflies (similar coloring/body shape)...especially if introduced first.>> An issue with the lion -- I know that it's good to get fish when they are relatively small; <<Not a "hard and fast" rule...some species reportedly travel/acclimate better as sub-adults.  Though I think "small" is okay with the lion.>> not to load up the tank all at once; and that the lion will eat anything it can get its mouth around. <<Yep>> How do you introduce less-mature fish in the presence of a growing lion? <<Umm...if they are small enough for the lion to "get its mouth around"...you don't.>> I know the zebra doesn't get all that big (8 or so inches in captivity, right?) <<About right, yes.>>, but I wouldn't want a six-inch lion trying to make a meal out of a three-inch juvenile flame angel!  An expensive and unfortunate snack. <<Agreed!>> Just wanted to make sure I had everything planned out before having "unfortunate events"! <<Glad to see you planning ahead...so many don't.  Introduce the tang last, and make sure the lion is the smallest fish to start, and you "might" get away with this stocking plan.>> Thanks much, Dan <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Is my tank big enough 06/07/2005 Hi crew, firstly I must say I love the website and all the information given. Thanks to you I might have saved my two percula clowns from gill flukes using freshwater dips and copper treatment.   <Excellent!!> It took three full courses of copper and quite a few dips but no signs of flukes for 12 days now.  The flukes were from a goby I bought and using your website I have learnt so much recently and I now have a quarantine tank with the only surviving clown fish.   I have just bought a new system - 110 gallon using trickle filter and sump, skimmer and UV.   <Nice equipment!> It will be a fish only system and I was thinking of keeping 3 green Chromis, 2 percula clowns, 1 royal Gramma, 2 fire fish, 1 yellow headed jawfish, flame angel and a fox face. <All beautiful fish> Could I keep one other larger fish?  a lipstick tang, copperband or long nosed butterfly or am I overcrowding? <I think you would be ok.  the lipstick tang would be pretty big for that tank though.  Copperband and longnose should be ok but those are sometimes hard to keep.  They seem to fair better on Mysis shrimp so do provide that.  Also look at the Sailfin tang from the red sea.  Very nice fish. > Thanks, Dawn <Best of luck, EricS>

Hello from South Africa Hello my name is Alfred! i have been to your guys site a million times and can't get enough of it! It's absolutely fantastic! I keep seeing your name everywhere on the site and thought it would be great to meet you! Well not in person, it would be a little hard. You see I live in South Africa, I'm sure you have heard of it! <Ah, yes... as a matter of fact, our friend/roomie, Peter Caterrick is due for a few weeks visit back down to Swaziland next month...> I have two marine set-ups, they are quite small but they're mine and I'm proud of them! I've got a small reef aquarium and a fish only tank. The reef has a few corals, a green bubble tip anemone, some live rock, a pair of true percula clowns, a six line wrasse, a few gobies and some cleaner shrimps and snails. The fish only tank has a bit of live rock, a clown trigger, a black volitans lion fish and a snowflake moray eel. <You say these tanks are "small?"... These are some largish fishes...> I'm sure you get a lot of e-mails, so i won't bore you any more. If you have the time to reply that would be great! Any ways, kind regards, Alfred McDowell <Cheers, Bob Fenner, on the way out the door to Bonaire>

Tang Compatibility I have a 125 gallon tank with a 72" length. Would it be possible with the 3 or more rule to have a Purple Tang, Yellow Tang, Caribbean Blue Tang, and a Kole Tang all coexisting? Is this worth giving a try or out of the question.  <Lawrence, here is a link on tang compatibility. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangcompfaqs.htm. James (Salty Dog)

Stocking Order Howdy to the WWM Crew! <Scott F. tonight> Setting up a new tank and wanted your input if willing? 90 gal (to handle DSB) 4x110 Watt VHO w/ 2 10K, 1 6700K, 1 Actinic 4" Sandbed w/Southdown (seeded w/LR) 100 pd.s LR 1 Remora Pro w/prefilter (prefilter will have carbon & bio-balls) 2 or 3 Powerheads Planning on starting with a couple of clowns or damsels, turbo snails, cleaner shrimp, Maybe a goby to stir the sand, and possible a Choco-chip starfish (this ok?) What order would you add this mix and is it ok to do the sand and LR on the same day at start up? <After your temperature and salinity are stabilized, and the Southdown is settled a bit, I'd add the rock and start checking the chemical parameters for a week or so. After ammonia and nitrite return to zero, then you could add your snails and other "clean up crew" members. I'd add your more docile fish, like the goby, first, then go with the more aggressive guys, like the clownfish and damsels. Also, you probably don't want a "sand stirring" goby, because you want to leave the sand undisturbed for a while. Maybe another type of goby would be a better choice. In fact, I like gobies so much, that I have a few different ones in my tank! >Any input would really be appreciated as I am totally new to the marine scene although I have done a lot of self-education with more to come. <Sounds like you're doing great so far! Good luck!> Thank you so much!! ---Doomed <And thank you for stopping in!>

Overstocking? and Lionfish ID Dear Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I have been reading and reading and reading. I just discovered your site and really am learning quite a bit. I have two questions. The first is how do you calculate the number of fish you can keep in a tank. <There is no good hard and fast rule. The ones mentioned are inches of fish per so many gallons, but to me they are useless.> Mine is a 55 gallon bow front with a magnum 350. My pets are a 10" snowflake moray, 3" crown squirrelfish, 3" red emperor snapper, 6" lionfish, and my personal favorite, a 7-8" panther grouper. <Have you investigated the adult size of your fish? FYI, this is something that should be done prior to purchase.> Do I have to many fish? <Way too many!> My second question is about the lionfish. I am having trouble classifying him. I have included two pictures. He was sold to me as a dwarf Volitans species? But he doesn't look like any of the pictures I have seen. Any help would be appreciated. <He looks like Pterois russelli to me.> Thanks again, Bryan Flanigan <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Stocking question Hey Craig/WWM crew, <Hey Jun..> How you guys doing?  <Pretty darned good!> I'm here again for another question. It is almost time to introduce fish in my 90 g tank. It's been without fish for 4-5 weeks now (ick outbreak). I'm thinking of getting a Foxface Rabbitfish (good fish for algae control),  <Watch your corals...> Flame angel <Can be territorial and annoying, depends on individual> six lined wrasse (I heard this wrasse is pretty peaceful) <It's a Wrasse. can be pretty aggressive> red sea Sailfin tang, blue tang (both tangs will be introduce last and at the same time) <You can take the chance, may work, may not.> 2 false percula and 2 neon gobies. With all this fish, am I overstocking?  <You have several fish in the same niche...Foxface and two tangs. If you think of lightening load (never a bad idea) this would be a place to start. They are nice fish.....! But we only have so much room....> Are neon gobies hardy? and how big do they (gobies) get? <They are hardy for one to two years. They get about 1"-1.5". They are small and should be your first introduction so they figure out where to hide out. The Wrasse worries me here....> Thanks again. And before I forget, I also have mushrooms, polyps and leather corals in my tank.............Jun <Do look up each of your prospective additions and their individual requirements, temperaments, taste for corals, etc. at WetWebMedia.com Craig>

Compatibility Would a longnose butterfly or a flame angel bother a starfish? <No> In general do they require high light conditions? <No> Thanks <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Compatibility Questions... Bob, <Scott F. this evening!> I have a 55g reef and I am going to move up to a 125g. I presently have a Clown, Flame Hawk, Purple Tang, Brown Bar Goby, Lemon Peel Angel and a Lyre Tail Anthias. All are doing very well together. When I move them over to the larger tank, I would like to make some additions. I am going to list the additions I would like to make and if you would give me your opinion I would appreciate it. I know that mixing some of the same type of fish can cause problems if there is not enough space for them to be able to get along. Here are the Candidates: Blue Hippo, Desjardin Tang, and or Chevron Tang, Long Nose Hawk, Watchman and or Orange Diamond Goby, Blue spotted Jawfish, Lawn Mower and or Bi-Color Blenny, Mandarin Dragonet, Scott's and or Tri-Color Fairy Wrasse, Purple Fire Fish (2 )and Neon Gobies. I have seen quite a few people mix different Tangs and other fish and not have problems. Don't know if they are just lucky or if they got good advice. <A little of both, I'm sure!> I have a wide assortment of corals as well, SPS, LPS, Softies and a Maxima Clam. If you can find the time please make any recommendations for compatibility. Also, how many fish per gallon due you think is appropriate for the type of coral in the tank. <In the tang department, you will have better luck with the hippo, as adding another tang of the same genus (Zebrasoma) could be a recipe for trouble! I really like the Lawnmower Blenny for personality and utility. I suggest passing on the Mandarin in your setup, at least until the tank is well established with extensive amphipod population for foraging. I'd pass on the fire fish, because they can be timid feeders, and in an established community of aggressive feeding fish, may starve. Cleaner gobies are great for their utility, but you need to make sure that they get enough to eat. The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is a fine fish, but needs lots of hiding spaces for comfort. As far as your question about "number of fish per gallon", that is really not the best rule of thumb. You have to take into account the aggression, eating habits (and metabolism/waste production), adult size, and need for "psychological space" that your fishes have. For example, hippo tangs get quite large in nature, and need lots of space. The blennies tend to stick closer to rocks and cover, and may not have the same requirements. I think that you should limit the new additions to no more than 3 of the fish discussed above. Keep up the water quality with careful maintenance, and quarantine ALL new additions! Good Luck!>  Thank you for your time, Nick Shushkewitch <Thanks for stopping by, Nick!>

To Sump or Not To Sump Hello sir,  <Just Scott will do- Scott F. here tonight> I am in the planning stages of my first marine aquarium. It is not an endeavor I have undertaken lightly. I have been researching for the last couple of months-first the livestock I hope to provide a healthy home for, and then the tank size that would require. I am working my way through the filtration requirements. Here are my thoughts, any advice on filtration and if this is an appropriate stocking level would be immeasurably helpful. The one maddening part about this process is the number of ways to accomplish the same goal-without any of my own experience to draw on. I am hoping to set up a fish only with live-rock tank for large/aggressive species. The fish I hope to keep are as follows: 1 Volitans Lion-this is my one must have fish 1 Harlequin Tusk 1 Hippo Tang 1 angel, Majestic or Imperator 1 Naso Tang 1 Trigger-Blue Jaw or Clown-I know the clown could cause some aggression problems And possibly either a purple tang or sunset wrasse I have decided to go with a 72x24x24 180 gal and wanted to know if the above stocking list would be too much? <I'm afraid that it is too much for a 180 gal. You have a mix of some fish that are very large, very aggressive, and very messy feeders! The Volitans lion is your "must have" fish, so plan his tank mates around him. That means that everyone else needs to be compatible with this fish (BTW- the lion can reach 18"). Lions are fish that need large volumes of water and lots of oxygen, not to mention impeccable husbandry. I'm afraid the Clown Trigger is a "no-go"- too big, too mean; a bad companion for the Lion. The Blue Jaw is a better choice, but is also a pretty large fish. The Naso Tang is also a very large fish, requiring lots of room. The Hippo would be a better choice, IMO. As far as the Angel is concerned- the majestic is the smaller of the two, but can be a bit shy, albeit beautiful. The Emperor (my favorite fish!) also needs a very large tank, and can reach over 15" in length. Really needs a very large tank to live out a normal life span. Here is my thought: You HAVE put a lot of research into your inhabitants, which is good, but the fish that you are interested simply require enormous amounts of space, particularly when housed together. What about getting "smaller versions" of the fish you like, such as a dwarf lion fish , the hippo tang (which does get big, but usually is a manageable size), maybe a dwarf angelfish of some sort, a Coris wrasse (one of the smaller species), and maybe, just maybe- the Harlequin Tuskfish.?> I plan to use a shallow 2" aragonite sand bed for my substrate and appropriate amount of live rock. My filtration plans outside of the live rock were for a protein skimmer, canister filter for large debris and occasional chemical filtration, and a UV sterilizer. I was under the impression that I could plumb the skimmer, filter, and sterilizer in-line under the cabinet. People are now telling me I need a sump-do I for a tank this size, and why or why not given my intentions and planned filtration? <A sump is a convenient place to house the skimmer and other accessories. You could (and should still use mechanical filtration as well with the types of fish you are considering. A very good, well tuned skimmer is absolutely imperative. get the best one you can afford.> For lighting since I don't intend to keep corals I am considering 1 daylight and 1 actinic blue though I'm pretty much in the dark on this matter if you'll pardon the pun. <You may want a little more light-maybe PC's> Thanks for your generosity, sharing your vast experience with those of us looking to get our feet wet. Keith Mullins <Keith- Thank YOU for your passion and interest. Please don't think that I am trying to throw a wrench into your plan- it's just that, even though your tank is large, the specimens that you desire each have special requirements for very large volumes of water to do well. I really think the "downsized" version of your stocking plan will be better for your fishes (and your happiness as a hobbyist) in the long run. Your passion and desire to learn are awesome. Keep reading and learning- use the resources on wetwebmedia.com- you'll be fine!>

Re: To Sump or Not To Sump Scott, Thanks for your reply, my thought process in choosing the larger tang and angel species in addition to their beauty was in the interest of them being large enough to live with the lion-though I want to keep fish happy throughout their life span barring aggression issues forcing removal-rather than buying them thinking I'll just exchange it when it gets too big.  <And that's a very good line of thinking! Just take into account the eventual size of the fish...That's my "pet peeve, can't you tell? :) > I was most worried about the clown trigger nipping the lions fins-and saw some frighteningly aggressive ones at a LFS today so the clown is out.  <A wise move!> I don't like the dwarf lions but have considered the radiata to help with the potential size issue.  (The radiata is a great fish. Better choice, IMO!> The hippo and the tusk are probably the only other two fish I'd love to have, could I get away with a purple tang as well? I could go as large as 240 on the tank but from there size would be prohibitive. Any other species advice that could avoid becoming lion food would be great. <In the 240, you could probably mix a Zebrasoma tang and the hippo without too much problem. Just make sure that they are introduced at the same time> Maybe I'm not clear on exactly how a sump is set up or what it accomplishes-I will research it further tonight. Could I conceivably plumb the skimmer, canister filter, and UV sterilizer inline as I mentioned? <Certainly, but you'll find that a sump setup gives you good flexibility, and also adds to the overall water volume of the tank (never a bad thing, IMO! Do check the resources on set ups at wetwebmedia.com. There is a huge amount of information here on all sorts of setups. Keep contacting us with questions!> Thanks again for your input-Keith <Any time!>

Stocking for Predator Tank Follow Up So, would an Antennata Lionfish be a better choice over the Volitans? <Yes> I haven't seen any porcupine puffers smaller then the striped Burrfish (10 inches). Is there another smaller porcupine puffer that I'm unaware of? <No, they smallest in the trade get about a foot long. Perhaps a Toby/Sharpnose Puffer would make you happy. They are a much better fit for your size tank.> I really would like to have four fish in the tank if at all possible. Do you think this is possible, if so maybe a personal pick of yours for the fourth? <This is YOUR fish tank.> If not would the yellow tang, Humu trigger, and antennata lion be fine? <Likely so> Thanks for all the information and help. It really is good to see people who are so willing to devote their time to helping others. <You could get your four new fish (Yellow Tang, Huma-Huma, Antennata Lionfish, and Striped Burrfish) in there, but you will have to be willing to make up for it with increased water changes (25% weekly) and filtration.>  Sincerely, Matt <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Stocking List First I would like to thank you guys for your rapid response and the great job you do there. My 55 gallon tank has cycled finally would just like to run by my stocking list, 2 damsels which cycled the tank the rest will be added a month apart. <Return the Damsels. They won't get along with anything else.> 2 percula clowns 1 yellow tang 1 porcupine puffer and a couple of hermit crabs as a clean up crew until Mr. Puffer gets them.  Hopefully he won't but I know he will but they should aid in keeping his teeth worn and they're cheap. Is there a possibility of getting anemone in there?  <I wouldn't. They require perfect water, intense light and are toxic if they crash, which they all generally do in one year or less. Search on Anemones at WetWebMedia.com.> Instead of the hermit crabs is there anything else I could use as a clean up crew that would be safe?  <Snails> I have a wet dry filter I'm using.  Would that be sufficient instead of sacrificing the hermits? <The filter filters stuff out of the water, the clean-up crew cleans up the substrate. Your answer depends on your substrate and it's capacities or lack thereof. See WetWebMedia for the benefits of deep sand beds.> One more question if I could please, I just purchased a 150 gallon tank that will be up and running in 4 months.  Just want to see what you think of my setup:  fish only, wet/dry filter, 30 gallon sump, the nautilus protein skimmer up to 300 gallons, UV sterilizer and a 900 gallon gph pump, 350 watt heater. Does this look to you to be sufficient set up? If not any recommendations? <Depends on the fish you want to keep and their waste production, need for current, etc. You need to design the system to the stock to be kept. There is no one ideal. One thing, you will need about 250-350 watts of heater per 55-60 gallons. Craig>

Starting Over Hi <Hi there! Scott F. with you> I absolutely love your site and visit it at least a few times a week. I recently had an ich outbreak in my tank that killed my hippo tang :( The ich has been gone now for about 3 weeks. I'm going to wait another 2 before I add anything else. <Sorry to hear about the tang. You may not like my recommendation, but here goes...I think that you should remove the rest of the fish (sick or not) and put them in your quarantine tank (you do have one, right?) for about 3-4 weeks. Even though these fish show no signs of the disease, it is in your tank. Ich parasites need a host. If there are no hosts in the tank, most ich parasites will die. Also, by removing your remaining fish (which may very well be "carriers" of the disease), you have chance to observe them and treat hem without damaging the invert life in your main tank> I have a 90 gallon tank with 90 lbs of live rock. I use a wet-dry and a SeaClone 150 ( I need to upgrade this I know). <Hey, if it's pulling out dark yucky stuff twice a week or more, it will do for now> In light of my tang dying,  I was thinking about changing the live stock in my tank. Right now all that's in there is a few damsels, a tank raised clown, and a yellow tang. I was wandering if I removed them all except the yellow tang could I add a Volitans lionfish, a Huma trigger, and a striped burr fish??? Would this be too much for my system?? I know they are all messy eaters except the tang. <Yep- they are...And potentially very large. I'd probably choose between the trigger or the lion, and work your population around that fish. As far as the Burrfish- they're very cute, but once again, they get huge, and can really tax your filter system. Please reconsider your stocking list for this tank. To accommodate all of these guys (they all make great pets) for anything approaching a normal life span, you really need a much larger tank!> if they can all be added is there a certain order I should add them?? I do already have the yellow tang in the tank though......... If one does need to be excluded which would be best??? <I'm partial to the trigger, but they can get aggressive as they mature-tough call here. The lion is big- and eats slowly- the tang may be a source of annoyance...> I really love all 4 of these fish they seem to all be so different from one another and have personality which is exactly what I want to go for in my tank. <Yep, a classic dilemma. But you really have to consider the maximum size that these fishes attain, when considering them. You may want to try other, similar species that don't get quite as large. Check the wetwebmedia.com site for lots of descriptions of fishes that would fit the bill. Have fun, and good luck!>

Marine Stocking I have a 37 gal. tank with the following fish: cardinal pajama, green mandarin, pacific blue tang, coral beauty, orange spotted goby, Blueline angelfish, fire shrimp, and a cleaner shrimp. I also have live sand and rock. I am moving to a 75 gal. tank and I have always wanted to get a Sailfin tang, Desjardini. How fast do they grow ? I would get a small one. I wondered how long I could keep it if I didn't get other fish? Thanks. Cheryl <Hi Cheryl, The Tangs do best on lots of space, the two you mention may be alright but the Sailfins tend to be more territorial than the Pacific Blue. It's probably up to the individuals. Do keep in mind this Tang can reach 15" in the wild, and needs room. Of further concern is your Mandarin, that needs a minimum of 75 lbs of well established live rock to thrive. You can get more info on Sailfins at : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebrasom.htm and get more information on stocking and compatibility at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm Hope this gets you started, Craig>

Re: stocking and filtration question Wow, Sir Anthony, Such a fast response.  <heehee... WetWebMedia... where you get more than you pay for <G>> Was glad to find out that at least I'm headed in the right direction. Beginning to understand, that I need to face some fears and put on the plumbers hat. Fears mostly due to lack of knowledge, and don't want to find my tank emptied one weekend when I get back.  <very much understood and agreed... and will be easy to do. Do run your plumbing diagram by us when you are ready> If I can, let me run this past you so see if I at least understand the principle. For a 75 ga, you mentioned that I would need approx a 2" diameter hole, either one large one or possible several small...(I will have to check and figure my water flow rates to size accordingly)....  <exactly> the hole can either be placed about 3 inches down from the top  <hmmm... specifically you want a top hole as close top the surface as possible. The tank driller will let you know how high is possible. Its usually about 2-3" on center down from the top or can be placed in the bottom of the tank in some sort of baffled area in the corner of the tank.  A sealed overflow tower specifically (see some oceanic displays for a visual idea)> to prevent water from draining beyond this point if something wrong should array. (seems this way can be a maintenance issue). The (feed) from the tank should be pumped to the refugium (not sure what size), if higher than the tank, or gravity flow if the refugium is lower.  <correct> The refugium should be divided into three section and baffled (I understand this part).  <hmmm... this depends. If upstream, then no baffling needed. If downstream... then many people divide in three: first is a skimmer chamber, second is a refugium and third is the sump proper> and then either gravity flowed to tank, if higher, or pumped, if lower.  <I don't follow here> Gravity flow from the refugium back to the tank is recommended so the little micro organisms don't have to fight to survive the pump.  <correct... although impeller sheer ultimately is not that big of a deal> I guess the return in the refugium can be place several inches from the top to limit the possible amount of water that can be returned to the tank? <hmmm... nope... makes no difference. A drilled overflow hole/bullhead will drain the same amount of water from the tank regardless of where its drilled: it is the amount displaced by a running pump (1/2-1" of surface water usually)> If placed below the tank?? Does it all come down to sizing your pump to return the water as fast as it is gravity fed??? Is there some sort of check valve to keep both tanks honest?? Here lies the problem in my understanding... <wow... you are making it way too complicated, bud. You simply need to see one of these simple and effective systems up and running. Do seek a LFS or local hobbyist with such to peek at a running system. It will make most or all clear immediately> Just can't seem to be brave enough to just let the water go...and rely solely on a pump... <honestly... well designed systems are fool proof and as leak proof as a tank without a sump> lol...I've seen some diagrams online, which has the tanks side by side, the water is pumped to the refugium and the return is some sort of "u" siphon back to the tank.  <that is dangerous and a major leak waiting to happen. NEVER use U-tubes or U-tube siphon overflow boxes> This seem the easiest to construct since I would not need to build a platform to raise the refugium.  <Ha! I wouldn't fall asleep in a house with this sort of set up> Not quite sure how the siphon business works (Think a trip to That Fish Place in Lancaster viewing some works in progress is in order),  <Bada boom bada bing!> but I have some time to investigate, and want to do it right the first time. You mentioned "Reef Invertebrates" helps break it down a little. I guess a sump would work along the same principles....and if below the tank would be tied together somehow (saved for plumbing 102, at a later date) <really all a matter of gravity overflow through drilled holes with a simple and single pump powering all> As for the stocking, seems like the flame angle might be a bit of a problem. Saw one at a LFS, what a beautiful fish, but the only "gotta have fish" are the clown's and long nose (reason for the 75ga) . I chose both the long nose and flame because of their similarity in diets. Would a tang (blue) be a better selection to make this a happier community.  <nope... they are sensitive, Ich prone, grow too large (12") and are too aggressive> Trying to find a somewhat larger (mid-size) fish to compliment the long nose in the 75. (any thoughts??)  <many... Rabbitfish although mildly venomous (spines) are well behaved and excellent algae grazers> Didn't have much luck when I started the tank with a yellow tang (4 years ago), mostly diet issues and kind of swore off the species....(think I'm a bit more on the wiser side...at least for round two). Thanks again...for all you help, Dave k <Best regards, Anthony>

Stocking and filtration question Anthony, Missed your return phone call the other day regarding the new book, figured I'd post it just in case other's have the same question. Original phone conversation concluded that a check or money order is an acceptable form of payment {for the new WWM/RT book Reef Invertebrates], using the print and send form.  <correct> I'm guessing that we should make the check out to Reading Trees?  <correct again unless you would like to mail 32 one dollar bills in which case it will go into the "Save an Exotic Dancer" fund <G>> Looking forward to reading it.  <thanks kindly... we really are working hard to produce a unique and important reference series> Bob's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is a constant source of knowledge, which is almost daily referred, since I took a step backward and currently learning how to properly take care for my fish and tank. "Reef Invertebrates" should arrive about the time that the tank upgrade is planned.  <awesome!> As for the upgrade, if I can run my stocking and filtration plan passed you.  <pleased to share an opinion...> Currently, 30 ga tank, 2 ocellaris clowns, 1 ?" and 2",  <male and female (or soon to be) respectively by size. Big girl> 1 yellow damsel, 1", 2 feather dusters, 3 hermit's and two turbo snails. Filtration consists of under gravel, skimmer, bio-wheel (wheel removed), 20 lbs of LR.  New tank: 75 ga, upgrading to a remora pro skimmer, adding 50lbs of LR, Live sand, 4" DSB. <all excellent upgrades> Thinking refugium (might be added later).  <please do... the sooner the better. Unlit, rubble filled and fishless would be fine for generating killer zooplankton> Fluval 404 canister, LFS carries all Fluval accessories (think some recommend the Eheim canister).  <very reliable and well made> As for the canister filter? is it better than ?.say the bio wheel.  <I think so> I understand it has it's advantages by being hidden, ability to change media as required etc?.  <also more reliable design, time-tested, larger surface area for media (you can even double up the course foam blocks too in the second one)> Currently I use the bio wheel to add carbon filtration to the tank. Carbon is run occasionally? <nope... small amount of carbon at all times and changed frequently. Once weekly is better than a larger amount monthly. Helps with water clarity for live rock and corals.> to cleanse the water, but often I remove the carbon filter pad and just have water movement.  <understood... do consider adding a sump to the new tank, leaving the carbon out of the canisters (extra foam block instead) and lay small sack of carbon in the sump to work passively. Easy to replace too> Thinking about using my penguin 160 on the 75 and just running carbon all the time, to small? <nope... a fine alternative if you cannot do the sump> (Using the funds saved by not getting the Fluval towards the refugium). I understand both the canister and bio wheel may be a nitrate problem? <yes... but minor compared to a wet dry or fluidized bed filter. No worries here... water changes will take care of it> any worse over the other? Better way for carbon filtration? Power heads? Each corner for water movement.  <powerheads if you must... but a large external return pump from the sump would be much better. Else, there are some great options for moving water... Gemini water pumps, Reef Tecs, etc... many alternatives... Straight power heads suck> As for the fish, thinking about adding, 1 flame angel, 1 long nose butterfly, and 3 to 5 blue/green Chromis, 2 cleaner shrimps, and some addition inverts? the long nose and flame grow to about 5"?  <smaller indeed... especially the flame> and not sure how they would get along?  <some concern about aggression from the flame angel (can be tough)> The butterfly requires a dedicated 20 ga, not sure about the flame, will they have enough elbow room?  <indeed... the 20 is too small for the butterfly> Also, is a 75 large enough to house another pair of clowns?  <you'd be amazed how territorial some clowns can be... it may be a risk> Don't want to disrupt the happy couple that I have now, so if there is a chance of a fight, I'd rather not take it.  <if they were mine... I wouldn't add the second pair> Future plans consist of upgrading lights and slowly introducing coral. (once the 75 and refugium is established).  <excellent :)> About that time, will be looking to add "Coral Propagation" to the book collection. <with my sincere thanks too!> Looking to use the 30 as the QT for adding the fish to the 75. Think the site recommends a 1 month min for flame, long nose and possible the Chromis.  <agreed> Can they QT together or would it be best to add one at a time?  <always best one at a time... but any QT is better than none> Any particular order be better?  <indeed... Chromis, then butterfly and definitely save the flame for last> Again my fish, as well as myself, thank you and the crew at WWM for saving many a fish.  Thanks, Dave <quite welcome, my friend! Best regards Anthony>

Hi crew just a quick question. <Hi Clint> I have a 100 gal with 100lb of live rock plus a 30gal sump with 10gal of this being bio balls. Tank mates at the moment are 2 x Banggai cardinals and 2 x coral banded shrimp. I am hoping to add 2 more Banggai's and a Palette (hippo) tang. would this be classed as a light bio load and if so could i add a yellow tang or a dwarf angel (flame or coral beauty) ?? p.s. how many Banggai's is "too" many ?? as some ppl I talk to say that they fight. Thanks for the help since I started this hobby. Clint <Several more Cardinals would be a plus as they live and thrive in groups. The Hippo will require a bit more room than you have in your 100, the Yellow would be a good choice although he will get big too. Do quarantine any new fish, especially Zebrasoma Tangs before introducing them to your main. The dwarf Angels are beautiful but territorial, sometimes to a fault. My Flame Angel harasses his much bigger tankmates. With Cardinals that want to be reclusive during the day and active at night it might be a bit much if the Angel is bothering them during the day. I would say 6-8 cardinals, a Yellow Tang and perhaps another fish or two down the road the size and needs of the Angels would be a nice, fairly light load for 100 gallons. The Tang will use most of it for swimming space. Stay on the light side and enjoy yourself! Craig> 

stocking list + damsel id Hi. As always Muchos gracias for all of the help. You (collectively) continue to amaze me... I'm sure this is a chore at times, but what satisfaction you must get. <You are so right> The fact that most of your responses not only help the person who asked, but so many others, and then over and over again as people read the site. Super cool. <By design... thank goodness for the Net!> Two questions. 1. I need some help with a damsel id. I've attached two pics. It was sold as a "Scott's Damsel" by a very good store, who can't figure out the scientific name ;-) I've only found one reference to that name anywhere, from a site for an Indonesian collector which lists it as Chrysiptera medanensis. I'm guessing some kind of Chrysiptera or Pomacentrus (maybe caeruleus, but I don't think so). I have three and they are the most submissive in the tank. <It is P. caeruleus almost assuredly. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pomacentrus.htm or source it on fishbase.org> 2. I currently have the following fish in a 110g 60x24x18 tank with 150lbs LR and a 30g sump. Tank houses SPS, clams, typical assortment of small inverts. (1) Kole tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus) (1) Hippo tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) (4) Orange lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) (3) Scott's damsel? (1) Diadem Dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema) This is about as full as I would like, but am considering two final additions, and would like your advice. All of the current tankmates are getting along well. None have acted aggressively toward others. All of the Anthias are female, and I would like to add a male. The females have lived here for a month. Nobody seems to have selected herself as the leader. Would the introduction of a male at this point be recommended? <Should not be trouble...> I would also like to add one six-line wrasse to help the clams. I am concerned that the wrasse and the Dottyback might not get along. <Might not... but given sufficient rock cover... I give you good odds> The LR is organized such that there are many hiding places and lots of swimming space. The Dottyback pretty much just guards it spot with an occasional foray into the other end of the tank, but doesn't bother anyone. You advice is appreciated (more than you'll ever know). Regards, Michael
<Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Quick Picasso Trigger Question Thanks for the quick reply as always. Would I have the same fin nipping with a Canthigaster jactator, janthinoptera, or valentini puffer? <Possible> If so, what other suggestions would you have to go along with the small Volitans that are of the "meaty eating" variety that don't get too big, in regards to the edibility factor of tankmates. <Please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm for starters. Squirrelfish, Soldierfish, smaller Groupers or large Pseudochromis, or Eels are all possible.> My lion is promised to a friend with a 100 gallon, mine is 60 gallons, once it hits 6" or so. Thanks again, Chris <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Damsels, Stocking Question I was wondering if I could have 4 damsels in a 72 gallon aquarium with a Picasso trigger and 2 tangs. Deanne <Well, Deanne-it depends upon the size and species of the damsels, and-for that matter, the size of the tangs and trigger. Damsels can usually take care of themselves, but if you have a large trigger, they could potentially be meal items! Conversely, the damsels could harass young tangs and cause them undue stress. Check out this link: wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm for more information about compatibility and stocking of marine fish. Hope this helps! Scott F.>

My plan (Caribbean biotope stocking...) Hi Bob, Anthony, Steven Pro, <Plus, Jason and newly added Craig, Gage, and Scott.> I've been trying to get some ideas together on building a Caribbean biotopic setup divided into three show tanks with a common sump and refugium. Here's the plan so far: 100-125 gallon FOWLR (cultured LR) 1 Blue Tang Acanthurus coeruleus 1 Cuban Hogfish Bodianus pulchellus <This hogfish will grow to about one foot and would be inappropriate in all but the largest of aquariums (hundreds of gallons).> 1 Graysby Cephalopholis cruentata <Another guy over a foot and needing a larger tank.> 1 Harlequin Bass Serranus tigrinus 1 Golden Hamlet Hypoplectrus gummigutta 5 Yellowtail Reeffish Chromis enchrysurus 4 Neon Gobies Gobiosoma oceanops (tank raised) 1 Trumpetfish ? Aulostomus maculatus <Another large guy that is challenging, too.> Full grown this should be about 60" of fish. Basses and hogfish may not work well together. Thoughts? <See above. Since I knocked off several of your choices, let me add a few; Centropyge argi, Gramma loreto or melacara, Serranus tortugarum, and Lysmata wurdemanni.> 50-55 gallon invertebrate tank with LR. I have yet to figure out what corals, etc. are endemic to the Caribbean. Any ideas? <The hard corals are all protected, but plenty of Ricordea and other soft "corals".> 20 gallon high Seahorse tank with LR 6 Hippocampus erectus (Ocean Rider) <I would go with no more than 4 in this size tank.> DSB with Thalassia sp. 50-55 gallon Sump Miracle Mud Mangroves 20 gallon Refugium DSB Thalassia sp. Aiptasia sp. ? Gracilaria sp. Phyto/zoo-plankton culture I try to use tank-raised or culture specimens whenever possible. All sand: aragonite seeded with live sand. All three tanks will simultaneously pump water to the sump, pumped to the refugium, and pumped back to the respective tanks. The sump will be connected to a heavy-duty protein skimmer and a calcium reactor. The refugium will contain a passive carbon filter just prior to the water being pumped back to the show tanks. Metal halides will light the reef tank, while PC's will light the other two show tanks. 24 hour lighting to the refugium via PC's, and a pendant PC on the sump because of the mangroves. <I would prefer you keep the reef tank separate from the rest. I think nutrient could become a problem from the feeding of the fish tanks. You could still tie the other together. In that case, your refugium would benefit from Caulerpa to maximize nutrient export.> Plumbing will utilize float valves, check valves, and cutoffs for each tank (in and out) for emergencies. I'll probably put a doser on for top off. This is a pipe dream for now, but if I start with the FOWLR tank and add on from there, I may get it done in a few, maybe 5, more like ten years. I just want to start the whole project with a plan. What do you think? <See my notes above.> Thanks for your input, Mike <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

New reef tank <<Hi Steve,>> Hello, I have just changed my 55 gal wet/dry from a fish only tank to a reef tank with the intention of having a few fish (Purple Tang, etc.). I have live rock and live sand, an Aqua C Remora skimmer, 4 damsels, snails, a few crabs, and the tank has been running for 3 days. I have been told I can add corals and fish immediately, but others have told me I need to wait at least 2 weeks for the tank to cycle. I tested my nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia yesterday, and all were zero. On a side note, I am having a hard time keeping the temperature down. With the 2 96 wt powercompacts, the tank runs about 81-84 degrees. Is this higher temp ok? I am considering buying a new canopy with two fans and a chiller. What is advisable on both issues? Thank you. Steve. <<Please do be slow, deliberate and patient. My BEST advice is to wait and see what happens with your water and to see how the damsels do. Have you looked into stocking questions with your Damsels? Do check out the "stocking" pages of WWM paying special attention to your Damsels and the fish you wish to add. During this waiting period Be wary of ick, velvet, etc. although Damsels are a hardy lot. I would let the tank mature, there is still some hurdles to overcome.  I would highly advise fan cooled lighting, it is unlikely you will need a chiller except for the hottest climates without air conditioning. Replace the glass top (if present) with "egg crate" light diffuser (white light grid) from Home Depot and run a fan over the surface of the water to cool it. Take your time for maximum enjoyment, only bad stuff happens fast here! Craig>>

Eclipse to Nano Modifications, Additions <<Hi Michael>> Hello I was wondering what I would need to purchase to make an eclipse 12 system into a nano reef. If it is possible how many fish would I be able to put into the tank after putting the sand and live rock . <<I don't recommend nanos, especially with eclipse systems as they don't accommodate protein skimmers or the proper amount or intensity of light, and they are very difficult to stabilize both regarding water quality and heat build-up in the summer months. There is no hard and fast rule for stocking, this is dependent on the size and habits of the fish tank size, filtration, etc. I highly recommend a good book like "The Conscientious Aquarist" to help you set up a successful reef and prevent needless expense and suffering. Um, that would be for both you and the fish! A good book will save you much lost funds my friend, Craig>> 

Compatibility Questions Hello all and thanks for the great site! This is the first time I've posted a question, but I've already received a lot of great advice from your site. <<Great!!>> I have a couple of quick questions (I hope). <<Have at it!>> I have a refugium setup. Recently, I had to put the three green Mithrax crabs that were in my tank into the refugium because at least one of them had developed a taste for my soft corals. If I try to put some Caulerpa algae into the refugium, do you think that the crabs will eat it faster than it can grow? <<Very doubtful. Caulerpa is very fast growing in the proper conditions.>> I have a 75 gallon tank with a Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), a Scott's Velvet Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus scottorum), two False Percula Clowns (Amphiprion ocellaris), and a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis). I also have lots of live rock, three inches of live sand, a few corals, a bubble-tip anemone, and various other crustaceans. I was think about getting an Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani), but I wasn't sure whether it would hurt my shrimp. I've seen postings about other Pseudochromis that have eaten small shrimp, but I haven't seen anything specific about the Fridmani. What do you think? Thanks, Patrick Ahh, proceed with caution my friend. Pseudochromids eat small crustaceans in real life and I wouldn't imagine they would change this habit in captivity. Check out this link for your more info on your VERY territorial interest. Likely to have big problems with your Goby at least. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm Craig>>

Tankmates for puffer <<Hi Lisa, Sorry to hear of your > Due to some very bad advice from a local marine fish dealer, I am left with a 30 gallon tank with a small amount of live rock, a hermit crab and a Sharpnose puffer. We have had multiple losses, but finally have the tank stable with good water quality for 1 month. We were trying to find out what would be good hearty fish to add to the tank. A lot of the ones I researched seem to be incompatible with the hermit crab. My 3 year old loves the crab, so I can not get rid of him. I was wondering what would be good to add. The crab has already eaten a goby. I was thinking about small fish like a longnosed hawk, fantailed filefish or a Basslet. No sure how much danger the crab would be from small specimens. Any advice would be appreciated on hearty tankmates for the puffer. We have a protein skimmer and undergravel filtration. Thank you! <<Small specimens can grow to be big ones! Your puffer is probably the biggest obstruction to tank mates, best on his own. You can read more about Sharpnose puffers at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tobies.htm Follow the links at the top for info on puffers in general. The hermit makes it because he has protection. Have fun! Craig>>

Marine Livestocking Hi, I would like to know if I can keep these fish in my 7 foot/200 gallon tank. I have 175 pounds of liverock, a Euro-Reef CS8-2 skimmer and a trickle filter by oceanic in a 40 sump. These are the fish I would like 1 French angel 1 Goldflake or majestic 1 coral beauty 1 bird wrasse 1 banana wrasse 1 Naso tang 1 black spot puffer (which I have already) <I would leave out the French Angel. You can only safely house one large angel in this tank. I have a preference for not mixing Atlantic and Pacific fish in the same tank. Atlantic fish seem to be particularly hard struck by Ich when mixed with Pacific fish. I believe the parasite is slightly different depending on origin.> Thank you so much, Lynn <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Tank stocking Greetings, I have a 72 gallon tank with approximately 80 lbs of live rock, wet/dry filter, and skimmer that has cycled for about 2 1/2 months. I currently have 1 peppermint shrimp and 1 cleaner shrimp. I am considering the following fish: 3 green Chromis 1 common clown <I would go with a pair.> 1 neon goby 1 pajama cardinalfish <These would be more comfortable in a small group.> 1 flame angel 1 Klein's butterfly 1 royal Gramma 1 yellow tang 1 yellow tailed damsel (Chromis xanthurus) Do you see any potential problems with above fish? <If you follow my suggestions you are going to have too many fish. I would leave out the Neon Goby, Royal Gramma, and Yellowtail Damsel.> What would be the best order to introduce these fish? <From the top of your list to the bottom, once you leave out the above fishes.> On another note, I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank with a single sponge filter being fed with a Rena 300 air pump that was in my display's sump for 2 weeks. Would you recommend additional filtration in the quarantine? <No need, but I would keep the sponge filter in the display to keep it seeded with bacteria until you need it.> Also, the O2 level reads 5 ppm. Would you recommend a powerhead in a 10 gallon quarantine tank? <A good idea for aeration and circulation.> As always, thanks for your help, Jeff <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Stocking Saltwater Fish only aquarium Hey I have a 150 saltwater fish only aquarium. It has been up and running now for 10 months. Right now, its only inhabitants are a Foxface and a Horsham crab. I composed a list of my ideal future aquarium fish (see below). Please make any suggestions you feel necessary. 2 Black and White Heniochus 1 Cuban Hogfish 1 Purple Tang 1 Majestic Angel 5 Yellow Tail Damsels 1 Harlequin Tusk Wrasse <I would leave out the Cuban Hogfish. They get rather large and may not be safe with the Harlequin Tuskfish. All else looks ok.> Thank you for all your help. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Filtration. Hi folks, <<Hey Kevin! How goes the battle?>> Quickly, 55 gal fish only corner tank, uncrowded. Large simple submersible Fluval pointed through 30 lbs of liverock. Prizm skimmer (not the greatest but skimming ok). Could not stand the Fluval 304 (leaky, broken handles) and replaced with an Eheim 2215. Am concerned that this filter will not turn enough water per hour; much less than the Fluval. Am I ok?  <<yes, this is what I wrote to you yesterday. The Eheims have a lower flow and so you need to size them bigger if you are counting on using the return for part of your tank circulation.>> I want to keep a simple system for a year to give myself time to soak in the hobby. (Freshwater enthusiast for 4 years with great success, 2 months salt so far so good). I have 1 Niger Triggerfish, 1 Fiji puffer, 1 pr. mated clowns, and 2 small damsels left over from cycling but bothering no one. I will add a lion after quarantine is set up and possibly 2 goby type fish for the tank bottom. That's it for 1 year. Will my current filtration setup be adequate in this scenario? Thanks in advance, Kevin <<I would suggest re-assessing your stocking plans. This is just a 55! PLEASE go to this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm and follow the links at the top of the page as well. Here is a portion of what Bob wrote about lionfish which includes several of your stocking list....not good. The lion alone needs room to itself, open areas and caves, etc. and your damsels will become feeders...>> <<<<"Predator/Prey Relations: Lionfish from WWM Very easygoing with anything they can't inhale; but they do have very large, distensible mouths. Damsels, etc., and non-attached invertebrates are all so much aqua-popcorn, and should be anticipated to be ultimately sucked in. The typical 'wise-guys', triggers, puffers, large angels... you'll have to keep an eye on these so they don't hassle your lion(s)." >>>>  <<As far as your filtration I don't think you're in good shape there either. A lion alone could overwhelm your filtration and biocapacity. Less fish, more live rock and sand, more circulation, filter capacity/turnover. Try: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/filtration/marineFiltr.htm Please consider a good book (Bob's book would be a great choice) and maybe getting on WWF's chat board so you can research the proper choices to make your tank a success. Best of luck! Craig>> 

- Livestock Chances - Hi, my name is Chris I have just purchased a 35 gallon hexagon tank it has been cycling for about 3 weeks and I bought a Huma Picasso trigger, a coral banded shrimp, a spotted box puffer, a unicorn fish, a undulated trigger, and a red Volitans lion fish. The filter I have now is a  Penguin. Do any of my fish have a chance of dying? <Well, Chris, technically they all stand that chance. Realistically, the shrimp will be the first to go as they're common food items for a number of the fish that you list. Secondly, this tank and filtration is inadequate for the long term needs of these animals. If you want to keep any of these for any time, I'd select ONE and consider upgrading that tank within a year. If you want to keep them all, you're going to need 100g plus as well as more robust filtration to give these fish any real hope of survival. Cheers, J -- >

- Livestock Chances, Follow-up - I apologize I accidentally sent my email before I completed it. I  meant to say do any of my fish have the chance of dying after I add the baby  barracuda I have ordered. I know they can be a little aggressive and I don't  want them to hurt my other fish, Also do you think that the lion will try to eat  my emperor angel fish? he is still a baby too and the lion seems to be  suspiciously following him around the tank, as well as the trigger who has  pushed him around once or twice. Thanks for your help. -Chris <Chris, I do hope this is some type of joke. For starters, you said you have a 35g Hex which is in adequate for the fish you listed. Now you've added an emperor angel and a barracuda? Barracuda are not good pet fish, and short of having a 5,000+ gallon system will not live for long in captivity. That being said, in the meanwhile the chances are very good that these fish packed into such a small tank are going to either pollute themselves to death or start taking each other out over territory issues. Please reconsider what you've undertaken.

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