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FAQs about Marine Livestocking 23

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

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I've only seen them live consistently on Pablo Tepoot's Spectrum foods. Bob

Please Help Me, I'm New (to Salt) Hi Mr. Fenner, first I just absolutely have to say that this website is the best 1#. I sought it from a good friend of mine who suggested it seeing that I was new to the hobby and he wanted to help me. <<Marina here for The Bobster.. good friend! (Yours and mine)>> The site again is great because it lists and helps you with many marine fishes for home aquariums. So I really wanted to seek your utmost experience with marine fish and thought that you may help me please. <<Yeah, we might.. j/k>> Okay so again as I mentioned I am very much new to the marine aquarist hobby, but I have already made some significant starts. I recently purchased a 125-gallon tank for my fish-only aquarium off EBay, bit expensive but well worth the cost reading that the bigger is better as they say in this business. <<Most do, yes.. but everything is relative. Let's work with what you've got here.>> And here is where you may help me Sir... <<Ma'am.>> ...after I have finished with the water chemistry and all the other important necessities I thought for my new tank what fish would you suggest to put in. <<Um.. you're brushing past the water chemistry bit rather quickly. I hope you've read our bit about marine cycling, yeah? Assuming you have, I hope you know that you can cycle fishless (using some raw shrimp/squid/similar but not fish).>> Oh! and also may the fish be beginner ones even for guys like me not to screw upon the first try. Thanks and please write back I look forward to it. <<Alright, first things first, let's say your system is up and running, you've got good filtration, you've got it cycled to handle the first few fishes. I want you to first have some live rock in there, it's just good stuff. I'd like to see around 1lb/gallon, but if you have to go with less that's fine. Be sure it's cured first, you can do this in the tank, but I prefer using trashcans (which you should have on hand for premixing your saltwater - always use aged at least 24 hours). If you were my customer, once we've got a stable system, live rock cured and in the display, I would probably stock your tank in the following manner (assuming YOU have set up a quarantine system, and have had the fish in your quarantine - NOT the shop's - for 30 days DISEASE FREE): *In order of introduction (quarantine for 30 days, introduce to display, then acquire next and quarantine): 5 Neon Gobies (Gobiosoma oceanops) 1 Foxface/Rabbitfish (Lo vulpinus, Lo magnifica) 1 Blackcap Gramma 1 Royal Gramma 1 Coris gaimard (a.k.a. clown wrasse) 1 Bicolor goatfish (Parupeneus barberinoides - I like this fish) Either... 1 Twinspot/Yellow hogfish (Bodianus bimaculatus) or 1 Cuban hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus) or 1 Spanish hogfish (Bodianus rufus) or 1 Lyretail hogfish (Bodianus anthioides) Now, at this point we're reaching saturation of the tank, biologically speaking. Time to make another choice. You can leave it as is, and I would expect all the fishes to do well, you'd be properly stocked at this point.  Or, you may want to substitute with slightly more aggressive fishes. You might want a clownfish, colorful, captive-bred/raised, generally relatively hardy, though NOT as hardy as the fishes I've listed above, nor as hardy as the following damsels. I will recommend... 1  A. ocellaris/percula only, for their relative peacefulness.  I am hesitant to have you introduce damsels, ESPECIALLY as first fish, really a mistake in my opinion. Chromis are actually more "tender" than most seem to realize (they're just cheap, not necessarily hardy), and Yellow-tail/Blue devils are mean, aggressive.  Even if introduced last to the tank, Chrysiptera cyanea/parasema WILL dominate the tank, may harass other fish. However, you may want some active blue in the tank, and I cannot recommend the Regal tang (Paracanthurus hepatus). However, they're about the best choice for meeting those "needs". So, for blue, I would introduce no more than three.. 3 blue/yellow-tail damsels, and I would only do this after EVERYONE else is well-situated. But, before you go about getting the stock, I want very much for you to go onto our site, and read up about these fishes, filtration, cycling, etc. Marina>>

Stocking Densities 7/28/04 Hi Crew<Hi Patrick, Mike D here>, I've read over and over again, "That fish will get too big for your aquarium".  Is there a resource somewhere that tells what the appropriate size tank is for species?  Something like: True Percula Clownfish - 40 gal Green Moray Eel - 5000 gal <Many sites and most quality books have this feature, but as always, it is only intended as suggestions, with the hobbyist's common sense being the final common denominator that makes it all work. "Marine Fishes" by Scott Michael is one, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner another. I would assume that tank dimensions are perhaps more important than tank capacity since there are nearly infinite dimension configurations that would hold any given amount in gallons<Exactly correct, also with consideration for decor (Clustered reef, open bottom, etc. taken into consideration per species as well>.  If you happen to own one of those fish that will outgrow your tank as I do, how/when do you determine it is time for a new home for the fish? <That one can be a bit tricky. One suggested rule of thumb is a minimum of 4X the fish length, which seems cramped to me, with my own criteria being is the fish stressed and starting to react adversely, likewise, how are the OTHER fish in the tank acting? If the rest are starting to be visibly cowed, it's probably already past time, with missing fish also another indicator that you're a tad too late!**grin** Thanks for the wonderful service y'all provide<Thank you very much...we try>. Best Regards, Patrick Species Selection 7/28/04 Howdy Crew, Hi Paul, MikeD here>, I have a 90G reef tank, about 20X turnover, two 250W halides and 2 VHOs, Aqua C protein skimmer.  Our house is being remodeled, so I have been living out of my house for the last few months now<Ouch, been there, done that. Very tough>.  I had an unfortunate incident and lost all my fish which had been with me for many years, DOH!  Needless to say, I am starting over<Ah, the picking up the pieces stage. Well done>. I have some fish choices that I would like your opinions on<The fish an inverts I can help with, while in OK'd D&D circles I was known as "Mike, the Coral Slayer!", so on that count, my hat  is off to you!>.  Of course, they need to be reef safe, so to speak (no picking on SPS corals).  Here is my list: 1 Candy Hog - Bodianus bimaculatus<A little known jewel, perfect!> 1 Diamond Watchman Goby - Valenciennea puellaris<Very nice, but may bury any low laying corals so use caution> multiple Anthias (Which would you suggest and how many)<There are several species that work very well, with the key to a colony being to add them all at once, with either one male and the rest females or all females and wait for one to turn. In a 90 I'd suggest 4> 1 Bicolor Blenny - Ecsenius bicolor<May be nice but have been known to be aggressive and a shrimp hazard> multiple purple firefish - Nemateleotris decora<A beautiful fish, but make sure the tank is covered. As with many bottom fish, when they can't go down their next choice is up> 1 Yellow Tang or Chevron Tang<I'd  probably suggest the Chevron, particularly if it's a small specimen. These tend to be less aggressive and are slow growers. As with all tangs, watch for ick and Quarantine first.> additionally if there is space, so cardinal fish.  How does this list look?  Any changes in fish, numbers, etc. <Your list looks well thought out and pretty much good to go, with room for some cardinals of your choice. Well done!>   As always, many thanks to you all <Thanks for thinking of us!>. Paul Newish to reef keeping: compatibility questions 7/26/04 I've been reading tons of FAQs on your site, it has been extremely helpful. <glad to hear it... do enjoy the journey always and all ways> I set up a 75 gal saltwater aquarium two months ago.  It has ~95 lbs live rock & 1 to 1 1/2 inches of live aragonite sand.  I use a Prizm Pro Deluxe (using Black Diamond Charcoal in the media filter) and two power heads. 1.  I put an arrow crab and scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp in a little over a month ago.  Both were growing, molting, etc.  But, yesterday when I got home from work the shrimps' head was gone and his carcass was in the grips of the arrow crab.  The body of the arrow crab from base to tip is about 2 inches now.  Is that normal for an arrow crab to attack a cleaner shrimp? <it is very common for arrow crabs to attack shrimp. The only thing unusual is that it waited one month, alas> 2.  At testing, salinity, nitrates, nitrites, & ammonia come out on the money.  The ph was fluctuate within acceptable limits.  This brownish-red stuff starts covering the sand a day after I do a water change.  I do ~10 gal of water every other week.  How can I get rid of this stuff? <it is just from a spike in nutrients... and I must admit I had my doubts on this systems principal nutrient export potential (excluding water changes) when I read you are running a Prism brand skimmer. These are categorically poor performers. If you are not getting near daily or at least several times weekly full cups of coffee-dark skimmate, then this is a contributing factor (inadequate nutrient export). I must admit, this is one of at least several brands of skimmer that I personally would not take for free. They do not seem to be reliable performers> 3.  Currently I have: * 1 Spotted Mandarin fish * 1 Arrow crab * 2 Emerald crabs * 4 electric blue hermit crabs (small) * 4 snails * 1 Sand sifting star * 1 Pink-tip Hawaiian anemone * 1 Flowerpot coral and * 1 Pulsing Xenia <yikes to the flower pot coral (near impossible to keep alive more than one year) and the anemone (has no place with corals... needs a species tank). Some concern too for the mandarin that only eats copepods and starves to death slowly in time without them (needing a huge and mature refugium)> I'd like to add: * 1 Blue Tang * 2 Clownfish * 1 Carpet Anemone * 1 Bi-color Pseudochromis * 1 Scarlet Skunk Shrimp (since the other was eaten) * 1 Yellowheaded Jawfish * 1 Blue Linckia Starfish * 1 Scarlet Hermit * 1 Electric Flame Scallop * 1 Clam * And maybe a slug or cucumber. Is this too much to put into a 75 gal tank?   <Hmmm... rather a matter of some inappropriate species, although there is also no prayer of the blue tang living a full and happy life in a 75 gall - they get huge. Do see their adult size on fishbase.org... yeowsa. The flame scallop needs to be crossed off the list (cannot be fed easily/at all in captivity)... and you can take the jawfish off too (needs very deep sand over 6" and a species tank). The carpet anemone is out too... needs a species tank, eats fishes, kills sessile corals and other invertebrates, and is generally a poor choice for captivity. They also need expensive reef lighting outfits> And will they all live happily together? <please do heed the advice to eliminate the suggested bad-boys above. And do keep reading, learning and loving :) > Can you please respond to me at my home e-mail? <as you wish, my friend> Have a Great Day! Stacy Collins <with hope for you in kind, Anthony> Stocking.....Cowfish, Clowns, Wrasse and Tang (5/8/04) Hello, <Hi!  Leslie here with you today> I'm starting up another 75 gallon tank (using the other ones for seahorses), < I adore seahorses!! They are such amazing creatures. I keep a few tanks of them myself :). > would this stocking be ok?: 3 Cowfish <They certainly are cute in the shops but most get pretty big so it would depend on the species you decide on.  The Lactoria fornasini the Thornback or Bluelined Cowfish is a smaller species, between 6 and 9 inches. I have never kept these fish but according to Scott Michael they adapt readily to aquarium life with other passive fish, are typically indifferent towards tankmates, can be kept more than one to a tank but adult males may not get along. Cowfish are known to exude toxic slime as other boxfish when stressed or die.  However,  this smaller species according to Scott Michael is apparently less apt to do so or the toxin is not as potent with poisonings very rarely reported. None the less be sure you have a good filtration system. If you have not already read this article I would recommend it http://www.wetwebmedia.com/boxfishes.htm and the FAQs along with a visit to the yahoo email group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CowfishPuffers_andMore/. 1 Six-line Wrasse < Great little fish and should be fine> 2 Percula Clownfish <  Love these  guys too. They are available captive bred and in pairs. No anemone what so ever for these guys with the Cowfish. Check http://www.inlandaquatics.com  for captive bred clowns.> 2 Banggai Cardinalfish <Care needs to be taken here as males will fight with each other. Pairs are lovely if you want 2. Here the link to an article that may help with sexing a pair http://www.reefs.org/library/talklog/f_marini_020799.html. They are available captive bred as well, which is always a plus in my opinion. and 1 tang (possibly black) 75 pounds of rock < The rest of these fish and the rock sound just fine> Thank you and just to let you know you have helped me greatly. Scott < Glad to hear that and the just to let you know your appreciation is very much appreciated. You are most Welcome!> Leslie

Order of Intro! What order should I introduce these fish to my 150 gallon FOWLR tank? Assuming I get 3-4" average size species. Niger trigger Sohal Tang<I would not add this as they get large and need a tank of at least a couple hundred gallons.> Queen Angel<This too will out grow your tank reaching sizes of almost 18 inches.> Pinkface (Red Ribbon) Wrasse<These guys are not usually not very hardy and I would leave him out too. Cody> Thank you

Movin on Up! I have finally received a 90 gallon to relieve my overstocked 50. (3 small triggers <Uhh ohh>and large moray) Have added 3" sand to the 90 - now in cycling  stage. Q: On the 50 right now I have a AquaClear '75 Pro' SUMP w/Skimmer, a Eheim 2224 large canister filter, 30+lbs of LR and 3" of LS. Will this transfer to the 90 alright or do you think I need more Bio. filtration? i.e.; bigger SUMP or running it all in addition w/ a penguin 300 that came w/ the new tank.<A bigger sump would be good along with more live rock.  I would not run the canisters as they need constant cleaning or else they end up a nutrient trap.  Add in more live rock would definitely be a good idea.> Thanks, as always. -J PS.. Compatibility question:  Clown Trigger, Picasso trigger, (both small -1.5') Blue Check Trigger (2-2.5') and Zebra Moray (18.5') co- habitation - any problems?<Yes!  I would definitely remove the clown trigger and you may need to move out one of the others.  The clown just gets to big as tends to get more and more aggressive with time.  Cody> No Formula to Apply >Hi again crew, >>Greetings, you have Marina today. >Well I got the nitrates down no problems now and the volitans is eating again.  Unfortunately I didn't realize how much waste this and the dogface produced. >>Indeed, a bit of research is quite necessary in many endeavors. >You said that the tank I have isn't big enough to support these four fish (volitans, dogface puffer, panther grouper and the Tassled filefish), the tank in question was 5ft(l) x 2ft(h) x 18"(w). >>Was?  You no longer have it?  Let me do my quick calculations here.. Length(60") x Width(24") x Height(18") = 25,920 divided by 231 (the number of cubic inches/gallon) = 112 gallons.  Using my nifty (and FREE) conversion program I d/l'd onto my Palm Pilot this gives you 424 liters, or 93.25 gallons (UK).   >How big would the tank have to be to support these fish? >>All these fish?  At least double that size.  Part of sorting these issues out includes: - Activity level.  The panther and the volitans won't be doing much swimming about, but the others, most definitely. - Food.  What is consumed, and in what amounts?  The panther and the volitans ought not be getting fed daily (every other is better), but being what they are - consummate carnivores - they tend to produce quite a lot of waste.  There are other fishes, tangs for instance, that produce COPIOUS amounts of waste as well, both for want of their feeding habits (constant), and their swimming habits (constant). - Body mass.  There's a great difference in the bioload demands of a very slender, narrow fish that sets on the rocks and nibbles all day and a full, round-bodied fish that swims about all day long.   - Ultimate adult size.  That grouper will be topping out easily over 24", a slab of meat indeed! >>As you can see, there are *so* many factors that go into determining stocking levels for a given system, or, if your heart's set on particular specimens, determining appropriate housing, that it's impossible to give any basic rule of thumb.   >As this is considered to be quite a large aquarium in UK. >>It may be large in the UK, but the fish don't really care *where* they're being housed, ya know what I mean? >And obviously having read the stocking pages I now understand it is 5gallons per cubic inch whereas over here the stocking levels that are commonly used are total number of gallons half it  = inches of fish in length allowed per tank. >>Err.. I cannot advocate using any rule of thumb in that manner when it comes to stocking.  So far there is no algorithm that can beat the human brain regarding this, and it is my opinion that your wards would do well in a system double the current size.  Barring that, you will eventually need to make some choices as to what fishes to leave in and which to remove.  The grouper eventually must go, a tank barely large enough to turn around in would be a cruelty (I'm sure you understand I don't mean to disparage you).  If you removed that one fish alone, you'd be better for stocking levels, as only the puffer is likely to come close to that size. >Thanx again crew.  Only wish I had found you earlier!!! Jim M >>You're welcome.  Be sure to spread the word!  Marina

Fish Choices... Ok I got a 90g Reef Tank with a Pacific Blue  (Paracanthurus hepatus), Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma veliferum), and a Cleaner Goby (Gobiosoma evelynae). I am trying to build an "ecosystem". What other fish would you recommend? I was thinking about a wrasse to keep the Bristle worms under control. What other and 2 maybe 3 other small fish what would you recommend? Please keep in mind I have shrimps and other invertebrates that I do not want eaten.     Thank you for your time A.J. <Well, A.J., I'd consider a few small, colorful fairy wrasses, such as the Cirrhilabrus species. Or, you  may be interested in a smaller Halichoeres wrasse or two. A Pseudochromis species might be a nice fish to have, too. Lot's of cool choices. Do read up on the WWM site for more choices.> P.S. I'm starting to think that fish should be left in the sea. Could you try to change that opinion?    <Well, I agree that there are many fishes that should be left in the sea, particularly those that become huge, have special dietary requirements that cannot be duplicated in captivity, or fishes that perform valuable "services" essential to the health of others (like the cleaner wrasses). However, there are literally thousands of fishes that do great in captivity, provided their needs are met. One of the main goals of WWM is to share with our fellow hobbyists the techniques to keep marine life in an ethical, responsible manner. Regards, Scott F>

My 1st s/w tank Hey, this is my 1st time setting up a salt water tank and I'm not to sure on...........anything really.  I've looked up on a few things on what would be best to start out with and so on but haven't really gotten the full story on many of the fish. could you explain a little on what to do w/the fish? For a starter fish I'm going to get 2-3 damsels to see how things run 1st off.<Very easy to care for> Secondary fish would be Tang's.<Not much of a beginner fish in my opinion> Then a few clown fish.<Also extremely easy to care for if healthy and properly handled specimens are purchased> If all goes well this far I'm going to add a few blennies/gobies.<I would go with a Neon Goby...very interesting. and great cleaner fish> Finally I'm going to add 1-2 small trigger/lion fish for a better look.<Nope...do not do this...they will eventually eat all of your smaller fish...> If you have any other ideas/pointers or anything i should change or just not do could you email me back? I really need the help. <I would just read about caring for clownfish, damselfish, and gobies....Eventually once you decide to get into the bigger and better fish. I would then try angelfish, tangs, maybe even some Cirrhilabrus wrasses etc. Good luck, IanB>

Compatibility Hello and thanks for the great site. <Thank you for the great compliments!> My wife has been questioning me about making an addition or two to our marine setup.  Some background: 40gal with 65w power compact lights, seaclone100 skimmer, 110biowheel, approx. 20lbs of liverock, two powerheads for current, 1 sebae (clarkii?) clown, 1 sixline wrasse, 2 Firefish (magnifica), assorted hermit crabs and snail, and 1 emerald crab.  We would like to add a strawberry Basslet, or a chalk Basslet.  I seem to recall reading somewhere that there may be quarrels with the wrasse.  Am I correct? <I would not add either of these as they may pick on the Firefish.  Especially the Basslet.  I would consider a fairy wrasse or maybe a bicolor blenny to name a few.  Cody> Thanks for your time. Eric

Compatibility and Stocking Hi all -<Howdy!> I have a 72G FOWLR (120lbs live rock - Florida) DSB. The tank is cycled, and I just started my QT tank yesterday.  Planning on getting first fish for the QT on Friday.  I have had the sponge filter in my sump for two weeks, is that long enough for use in my QT (a 10G)? <You should be ok.  Any other time you are not using the QT I would leave the sponge in your sump.> Also, on stocking (sorry if these get redundant from other emails).  Here is what I plan, and I need some guidance.  I wanted to start with: 2 Ocellaris Anemonefish and/or 2 Percula Anemonefish.  I though it may be an interesting having both.  I have read that the Ocellaris is rarely aggressive towards other Clowns, but the Percula (True) may be.  Can I keep four (2 and 2) together in the tank?  If not, the Ocellaris (tank bred) a better choice?<I would put in the TB ocellaris as  you are not taking anything from the wild and as you said they are usually less aggressive.  I would not put both types of clowns in there.> 2 Longfin Cardinalfish 1 Yellow Tang 1 Flame Angel Any other suggestions/replacements?<I would add the angel before the tang as the tang will be the most aggressive.> This is the order I was planning.  I also have SPG at 1.022.   Should this be raised slightly to 1.023 for these fish?<Natural sea water is ranges but a good average is 1.026 and that's where I like to keep my tanks, especially in my reef.  Cody.> Thanks for the help and suggestions Mike Nasty Nitrates, Nastier Illness! (Aftermath)   Hi Scott, Thank you for your advice, will certainly look into it. Unfortunately my powder brown died suddenly after a week in quarantine. <Sorry to hear that> It was doing ok although not eating. One moment it was swimming lively the next moment it just turn over and died. Very strange I find their characteristic, is it normal for such behaviour? <Well, once a fish is weakened by an illness, anything is possible, unfortunately> One more question with my tank size (4ft x2.5ft x2.5ft) is my tank too crowded? Can I add another fish to it and if so what kind? I love tangs but don't seem to have any luck keeping them alive except the purple tang. <And one tang is enough for this sized tank, anyways, IMO> By the way my tank has  Tomato Clown 4", Purple tang 3.5", Blue Lipped Angel 3.5", Flame Angel 2.5", 3 x Damsels 2", Anthias 3.5", 2 cleaner shrimp. Regards Richard <It's getting pretty close to "no vacancy", in my opinion. However, you may be able to add a couple of smaller fish, such as a Halichoeres species of wrasse or a Pseudochromis, and maybe a cool blenny. This would sort of round out your collection. After that, just enjoy what you've created! Regards, Scott F>

Four Is A Crowd! (Or Is It?) I was wondering if you think an Oceanic 92 gallon bowfront corner tank will be big enough for my Yellowtail Coris Wrasse, Blue Throat Trigger, Niger Trigger, and Blood Red Hawaiian Hawkfish? I have a wet/dry rated for 250 gallons (barely fits under), and a euro-reef es6-2+. I just want to know your opinion before I make this big purchase on this beautiful tank. Thank you - - Nathan M. <To be quite frank, Nathan- I'd eliminate one of the triggers-or both of them- for greater long-term success with this sized aquarium. They are potentially very large fish, and large producers of metabolic waste. I'd rather see medium-sized or smaller fishes enjoy the space that this tank affords...Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F> Combining Two Aquariums Greetings from another newbie to reef systems.  I recently acquired a 90 gallon configuration that was up and running for over 6 months.  The system came with a decent sump/filtering system (wheel type), 50-75 lbs of live rock and a little bit of sand.  The live stock included a Carpet anemone (open 6-8") with two Clownfish (1.25 and 1.75"), 2 Green crabs,1 brittle star, Foxface (3.5"), Yellow Eye Tang (3") and a Sailfin tang (3").  The lighting is two 48" bulbs but the power compact unit should be here on Monday.  I have already added a Berlin skimmer and two more 1200 power heads are on the way (this will give me a total of 3) I have already acquired additional livestock. 2 additional Serpent stars (small) 2 Brittle stars (small) 1 Blue Starfish 6 Peppermint Shrimp 1 Banded Coral Shrimp 4 Feather Dusters 20 Blue-Legged hermit crabs 100 small snails (ordered but not here) During this stock up period I fell into the deal of a lifetime but wanted to get a second opinion.  I have the opportunity to purchase a 75 gal tank (pictures attached) that has been up and running for 10 years. They have over 25 different types of corals that are doing great.  There is 100-150 lbs of additional live rock that is a good as what I currently have.  The system will come with a Marine Betta, Mandarin Goby, Yellow Tang, Yellow Eye Tang, Serpent Star and another Banded Coral shrimp. I only have room for one system.  I was already going to purchase an additional 80-100 lbs of rock and a bunch of corals.  If I go thru with the purchase, I can save myself nearly $1000 of what I had budgeted to spend.  How would you recommend combining the two systems into one? What livestock would you recommend keeping?  What livestock am I missing (more crabs or ??)?  Should I keep the VHO that comes with the 75 gal system and return the power compact unit? Any advice is greatly welcome. Thanks, Burt <Well, Burt, if it were me, I'd find really good homes for all of the fish that come with the new tank. You'd simply have too many fish in the 90 if you kept them all. Sure, the live rock and corals would be a good deal if you can accommodate them. Is there any way that you could connect the two systems together? A 75 gallon "refugium" attached to your 90 gal tank would be awesome! Just a thought, of course. In the end, obey the "laws" of common sense stocking (you'll be fine with inverts at this point), and hold off on the fish. In the end, you'll be better off! As far as lighting- if it's possible to combine both the VHO and PC's, that would be a good thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Stocking List Hi all! <Hi! Ryan with you> Could you check over my selection of possible candidates for my 46 gallon bowfront? <Be happy to> I've got my Remora skimmer, live rock/sand and a power compact strip lighting. The population I'm thinking of keeping is the following: 2 Percula clowns--(added last), 1 Scott's Fairy Wrasse,  1 Flame Angel, 1 Pink Spotted Goby, Perhaps 2 or 3 Banggai Cardinalfish, of 1 Yellow Tang. <Got to drop a few, I'm afraid.  Worst suited for your setup are the Yellow Tang and the Flame Angel.  The others sound appropriate> I'll also be adding some soft corals--mushrooms, Leathers. Plus of course my invert cleaning crew and some Feather Worms. I was hoping to have a Sea Fan in front of one of my power jets. So what do you think? <I think it sounds fun & challenging> Any suggestions on any fish that might be better, or any additions if there's room? <If you have your heart set on the Flame, you'll need to lose the clowns and the wrasse, and he'll eat your corals.  The tang is just too much fish for this size.  I really like small harems of Flasher Wrasse, and I have kept small groups of females with one male in this sized tank before.  They're just amazing inhabitants.  But, they're timid and would need a species-specific display to really do well.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanx much! :) Eileen

Stocking List Revisited <Ryan with you again> Thanx for the input, Ryan. I do want the clowns and assume that any other dwarf angel would be out? <Yes, only one dominant species in such a small enclosure> Can you suggest a nice "stand out" fish. <C. Argi is a good dwarf angel, and will leave corals alone in most applications.  I have a pair that spawn frequently, and do not harass any roommates.  How about a shrimp goby with a pistol shrimp?> I was thinking the Tang would be it but had a feeling it wouldn't be a good choice. Also would I be able to add anymore fish in your opinion? <No, I think you're about at capacity.  If you do add anything, it should be very small and not produce much waste.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanx again for your help. You all are great! Eileen :)

Stocking For Success! (Stocking Plan) Dear WWM crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member tonight!> Thanks for all your help in the past....  My 72 gal tank has been fallow (ich) since Jan 15th now -roughly 8 weeks. I have my 20G qt up and running for new fish. The tank currently houses 3 pairs of Lysmata shrimp and a hermit crab. Could you please review my stocking plan and correct it as you see fit!!?? I plan to get 2 or 3 animal at a time and qt them for 3 weeks before moving to the next batch. <Excellent procedure> Group1: two Banggai Cardinals and one Emerald Mithrax crab. I'd like the cardinals to feed on the copious amounts of shrimp larvae that hatch before the filters get to them. <Cool!> Group2: one Royal Gramma and one Yellow Clown Goby. I really want two gobies, but the last time I tried that, one of them lived in the skimmer intake box for two weeks before I had to return him. I was hoping he would change sex within two weeks, but it didn't seem like that happened. <Good choices again!> Group3: Either 6 micro stars or 6 sandbed clams as detritivores from Inland Aquatics. The shrimp aren't very good at this.... <These are useful animals. Personally, I'd get them in first, but there is nothing wrong with your pacing here> I've read that the goby and the cardinals are non-aggressive feeders. I'm a little concerned about the Gramma consuming all the food during the day, thus starving the goby. <Well, you'd be surprised. Royal Grammas are often kind of shy themselves. yes, they will become more bold in a tank with no rivals, but the other fish should be able to hold their own with the Gramma> I feed my shrimp after lights out and before the lights come on -12hr of lighting. I'm concerned about the cardinals consuming all the food before the shrimp get to it. <Just put it on target with a baster...Should be okay> Thank you for all your help! Narayan <Your plan sounds great, Narayan. I like your fish choices and your staggered stocking techniques. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

55 Gallon Stocking List <Ryan Bowen with you today> I have a 55 gal set up currently there is a 6 line wrasse, coral beauty, fire goby, 2 black percula clowns, mandarin blenny, scooter blenny, and an assortment of snails and hermit crabs.  I also have several pieces of coral mostly polyps, apiece of leather and some really nice macro algae as well as a live sand bed.  i just recently got rid of a Spanish hog fish so I could get the hermits.  However a local pet store has a Anampses meleagrides (yellow tail wrasse) that i absolutely love, he's been there for a couple weeks now and seems to be doing fine.  Knowing that wrasses love crustaceans and the fact that i want to keep mine around would it be a lot to ask of the yellow tail to keep the peace so to speak, he's pretty small only about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, or do you think i should find something a little more crustacean friendly, and if so do you have any suggestions? Thanks ken <Hi Ken.  You didn't mention you current filtration, but unless it's excellent I would advise you to not add anymore livestock.  7 fish is pretty well-stocked for a 55 gallon tank.  It sounds as if you're all full.  Ryan>

Marine Fish pet store in Virginia beach Dear WWM crew: Could you please recommend me to a Marine Fish retail store in the Virginia Beach area? <This is the sort of question best sent to a chatforum. Here's ours: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ See the category? Ask away... many folks from all over review this site a day. You are likely to get fast input. Bob Fenner> Thanks. Best, BC

General set up/stocking plans 3/9/04 J,  My system is using a protein skimmer, the Skilter 400 for up to 100 gallons, Florida crushed coral on the bottom about 1-11/2 inches and then another 1-11/2 inches of live sand, 48" 10,000K light bulb, 10 lbs of live rock, a 1 ft long air stone that is being used as well, buried in the sand, so there is plenty of oxygen, and a synthetic maroon coral tower.  That's all I have so far. <Hi Kelly, Adam here today.  A couple of comments...  most manufacturers estimates for Skimmer performance are over-rated, and probably none more than the Skilter.  The Skilter is probably realistic for about a 20 gallon tank at max.  Better choices for a 55 include the CPR BakPak and AquaC Remora.  A minimum of about 1/2-3/4 lb of live rock per gallon is recommended for adequate biological filtration.> I live in Colorado about 6000 ft up. Does altitude have anything to do with it?  The pet shop says these fish come from Denver so I am not sure. <What tropical ocean is in Denver?!?!<g>.  Seriously though, since you are at altitude your tank may be a bit more susceptible to low oxygen if the power ever goes out or a piece of equipment fails.  Members of your local aquarium society should be much more "in tune" with altitude issues.> Anyway, I didn't lose any fish. After I wrote to you I jammed home and they were all doing great. Eating, swimming and playing. I don't know what to make of it. Anyway, if you have any thoughts I would love to hear them. <I'm not sure what was goin on either, but am relieved that you didn't have any losses.> I plan on doing a lot more with the inhabitants. Can I expect this to happen again? I want to eventually put in some live coral, sponges, shrimp, crabs, more fish of the same species, and maybe a couple different ones, and anemones. <Since we don't know what happened, there is no way to predict if it will happen again.  As for your stocking plans..  Please take time to research!  Most sponges have no hope of survival in the home aquarium, and except for very unique circumstance, I generally recommend against keeping any crabs.  Corals and Anemones will require MUCH more light than you currently have.  Do look in to VHO florescent and metal halides if you wish to keep these animals.  Many popular fish will quickly out grow your 55, so do consider those that stay small as better choices.> I plan on doing this within the next 5-6 months. Gradually like all my books say. What do you think?  Kelly Norton <Kudos on being willing to be patient!  Time and reading are the best investments you can make in a marine aquarium.  Please do exploit the resources here at WWM!  Best Regards.  Adam>

Predator Tank (3/8/04) Hi <Greetings. Steve Allen tonight.> Thanks for this wonderful site! <It is an honor to be a small part of it.> I'm planning a predator type FOWLR and I have few questions. Please don't hesitate to suggest changes as this is all in my head at the moment, nothing has actually been purchased.   So the tank will be a 180 (6x2x2) <A good size for this purpose-exactly what I use for mine.> and will have a sump and lit refugium (hopefully for nutrient export) making a total system volume probably in excess of 250g. I'm planning about 150lbs of live rock and a DSB in the main tank. <All sounds good. Do invest up front in a quality skimmer. I love my Euro-Reef, which enjoys an excellent reputation.>   The following fish will be added one at a time at about 6 week intervals and with proper quarantine procedure. <That patience will pay off big time.> If possible, fish will be added as juveniles.   1) Pterois antennata   2) Pomacanthus imperator   3) Choerodon fasciata   4) Rhinecanthus aculeatus or assasi <I really like the former> <Nice choices. Should be OK together, though the Emperor gets rather large. It is also very expensive, and not exactly easy to keep. Lionfishes are beautiful, but can also be difficult to feed for some. Read more about these issues before buying.> So my questions are: Do you see any problems with the stocking list? <as above> What can I use for a clean up crew with this bunch of bruisers? <A good gravel vac and gloves (the trigger may bite>. Nothing can survive in there except perhaps some large Brittlestars (e.g. Ophiarachna incrassata)> I'd like to include a tang but I'm concerned about the bioload. Would a Zebrasoma be too much? <Should be OK, but nothing more.> Many thanks in advance for your advice. <A pleasure. I have a similar set-up myself with a 180 containing: Rhinecanthus aculeatus, a Coral Hawkfish, Yellow Tang, Snowflake Eel, and Flame Angel. They have been doing very well together for 7 months now. Be well. <And you as well.> Paul.

Nano Questions (3/7/04) First, your site rocks!  <Steve Allen here. I love it too. I've learned a lot both as a reader and as a crewmember.> Second, got a quick "reef" question for you.  I currently have an Eclipse 12 with roughly 15lbs of live rock, well established, with a 50/50 Actinic 13 watt light. <power compact?>  My pursuit is a "mini-reef" setup and my question is this: what (if any) kind of corals/anemones, etc could I use in my tank.  I currently have no fish in my tank (another part of the question) and wonder what I am capable of keeping.  Some say percula clowns, some say gobies, some say only one fish, some say several.  I have heard so many differing stories from different LFS's, I wanted to hear it straight from the pros! <Well, I'd say experienced amateur. As for LFS, you have to remember that they're in it to make money.>  Thanks for your help! <I hope this helps: First, I strongly recommend no anemone. Too hard to get the pristine water conditions you need. Also, not enough light. The low light and small size also limits what you can do with corals. Some more light would really help. Mushrooms should be OK. Perhaps a Fungia if you have a patch of bare sand. Zoanthids might work. As for fish, probably only one, perhaps two if small. If you have good filtration, you might be able to do a single Percula clown or Royal Gramma. A Firefish would be nice and you might be able to keep a shrimp goby with it. You could also go with a fish and a shrimp -- a Firefish and a fire shrimp, perhaps.>

Stock Exchange (Pt. 2) Thanks for the reply, <You're quite welcome!> Can you recommend some smaller fish? Thanks <Well, you could have quite an impressive 220 gallon system with some fishes like Fairy Wrasses (you could keep a "harem" of one male to several females), various gobies (including fishes like Firefish), Assessors (often overlooked, but really cool!), Halichoeres species wrasses, some of the hardier Anthias, Royal Grammas (you could keep a group of several for a spectacular display!), and many other possible choices. DO a review on the WWM site for lots of cool ideas...It's pretty fun to plan a community of small fishes like this. And, if you do it right, the results can be amazing! Have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Cramming 'em In (3/7/04) Hello, I was wondering if i would be able to mix a Kole tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus), blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), snowflake eel (Echidna nebulosa), a Volitans Lion (Pterois volitans), and a spiny box puffer (Chilomycterus schoepfi). My tank is a 75 gallon with a 10 gallon wet/dry, 40 lbs Fiji live rock, 30 lbs live sand, and a Turboflotor 1000 multi Protein skimmer. Would all of these be compatible, and would my tank be a good size for them? Great website, very informative. Thank You, Jonathan <Steve Allen here with the bad news Jonathan. The short answer is No. Your tank is too small for this combination. Minimum recommended for the Blue Tang is 120G. 80G for the Kole and the puffer. The Eel and the Lion ought to be OK, perhaps with the Kole or something else. Nothing nippy or fast, which will spook the Lion. Hope this helps.>

What Can One Cram Into 40 Gallons (3/8/04)   <First off, in the future, please capitalize the proper noun "I" and the first letters of your sentences. We post all of these messages on the site forever and want them to be as readable as possible. Our volunteer staff will have much more time to answer queries if they don't have to spend time correcting such things.> I have had a 40 gallon marine for sometime now, in it i have a goldentail moray about 16-17 inches, as well as a clown trigger around 4 inches. <This tank is way too small for these fish. Time to start saving for a bigger one. Did you know that the very active Trigger will attain 10"? You need a tank at least twice as big as the one you have.> They have been living together in peace, i have had no problems with them or the tank except for a slight case of ich which has been taken care of. <Fingers crossed for you here.> However I am dying to possible add one more fish. I realize, however, that it is a small tank and I would rather not stress out the two fish i have in there now. <Then don't add anything unless you are prepared to triple the size of your tank within a year.> I would like to know if it would be ok to add another fish and if so if you would have any suggestions in what species of fish to add, or if the tank would become over crowded. <A Centropyge angel might be OK if you plan to expand. Anything smaller will eventually be eaten by the Eel or the Trigger.> I appreciate your help thanks. -brad <Hope this helps. BTW, I consider this a response to the virtually identical e-mail you sent with  different title 10 minutes after this one. Please do not hesitate to mail again if you have additional questions. Steve Allen.>

Stocking Plan I have a 55 gallon newly cycled ( all measurements are within range) saltwater aquarium ( I have previous experience with marine systems and am starting a new one up after a 2 year hiatus) with about 30 lbs live rock (more to be added later),  Emperor 400 filter, Sea Clone 100 skimmer (seems to work fine even though it gets negative reviews) and 2 Maxijet 900 powerheads. I am going for a non-aggressive tank as my favorites are Clowns, Royal Grammas and Green Chromis. <All fine choices> I currently have 3 green Chromis from cycling as well as an Arrow crab (whom I might swap out as I have had a Chromis and hermit crab death by suspicious means) as well as a few snails and hermit crabs. My question is which fish to stock in what order and how many maximum? I realize the need to stock slowly and due to budget concerns this is the only method I can use. <No harm in that!> I want to get a Royal Gramma, an Ocellaris Clown, a goby or blenny and possibly an angel, such as a Coral Beauty or Flame Angel. Are these all compatible, and would a Valentini puffer or Picasso trigger wreak havoc in this set-up? <Absolutely. Avoid the Puffer or the Trigger. They are too large for this system, produce too much metabolic waste, and are way too aggressive to be included with this collection> Is this too many fish for a 55 gallon? <All of the fishes you mentioned, except for the two we just discussed, would be fine> P.S. Great website, very informative and very helpful to those of us who enjoy this hobby and want to do it right. Thanks, Jean <It's our pleasure to bring it to you, Jean. I think that you are on the right track to stocking a nice system. Finalize your plan, move slowly, and enjoy! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 75 gallon stocking Hello,<Howdy!> I have an 8 month old 75 gallon tank and was wondering if the following stocking would be ok. FISH: 1- Purple Tang 2- Percula Clownfish 1- Six-line Wrasse 1- Powder Blue Tang <I would skip the powder blue because they need lots of room, get big, and are ick magnets.> INVERTS: 5- Cleaner Shrimp 5- Blood Shrimp 1- White Sand Star 2- Sea Cucumbers 30- Trochus Snails 40- Blue Legged Hermit Crabs <I would choose between the two kinds of shrimp because in my experience they don't get along too well.> ROCK / SAND: 80 Pounds of Live Sand 55 Pounds of Live Rock MAINTENANCE: Daily:  Run air pump for 20 minutes, check temperature, check salinity, and feed. Weekly:  Check skimmer cup, check water levels (ammonia), add buffer, add one gallon of fresh water, and one gallon water change. Monthly:  25% water change, check equipment and other. <I would bump the weekly water change up to 7-10 gallons and then the monthly won't be necessary.> Will there be a problem with my stock list or is this ok.  If there is a problem what would you change.<See above!> Thanks from Canada.<Hey, I have lots of family in Canada and used to live there myself.  Cody> Akira. S. Tsuchiya.

- More Fish? - Hello brilliant aquarists! First off would like to thank everybody for helping me get my tank set up and solve the curious nitrite spike. Now I have a question regarding compatibility.  Currently my tank is stocked with a maroon clownfish (3"), yellow tang (5"), niger trigger (5") and a lion fish (6").  I am trying to figure out what to add next and I am debating between a Naso tang or a Picasso trigger.  I am leaning more towards the trigger simply because I love the pattern and their behavior, but will it be the fiend in fins with these tankmates? <Hmm... hard to say without knowing how large this tank is.> Thanks again! Siaty <Cheers, J -- >

Stock Exchange? (Stocking Plan) Hey, <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> I have a 220g FOWLR that I've been stocking slowly. Right now, I have a juvenile Maculosus Angel in quarantine, and he's been there about two months. The plan was to stock the Maculosus and a Flame Angel at the same time to reduce aggression, but I had an accident in quarantine, and the Flame Angel jumped out and died. <Yuck! Sorry to hear that...> My question is, if I go ahead and put my juvenile Maculosus in my tank, can I later quarantine another Flame Angel and mix the two without problems? <It's really hard to say. Fish, like people, are individuals. Some are easy going and sociable, and others will attack any newcomers placed in "their" tank. My best advice is to watch the Maculosus carefully, and see how his "personality" develops. If he seems to be territorial and aggressive, it's a safe bet that a Flame Angel would be  potential victim.> I could leave the Maculosus Angel in quarantine long enough so that I could add another Flame Angel at the same time,  but I hate to leave the Maculosus in quarantine for 3-4 months. <Agreed...Get him into his permanent home now> Is there  any way I can add it later? And, if so, any tips besides the norm (moving decor, lights out, feeding before, etc.)? <All of these are old standbys that can help a new fish have a chance in a system with an established angel> Also, here's my tentative stock list: Maculosus Angel, Flame Angel, Flame Hawk, Harlequin Tusk, Yellow Tang, Black Back Butterfly, Double Saddle Butterfly, Auriga Butterfly, school of 12 Chromis Is this ok, or should I drop one of the butterflies? Thanks, Brandon <Well, Brandon, I think that you have too many medium to large fishes in this plan, even for a 220. I'd consider nixing two of the butterflies from the list, and I'd consider a smaller wrasse. Even in a large tank, you have to realize that your fishes have the potential to reach large sizes (some of the Butterflies can hit 9 inches plus, along with the Tusk and the Maculosus). Take advantage of your tank's large size by stocking with smaller fishes, which can benefit from the room. That's my take on the stocking issue. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Alternatives to Marine Center - Do you guys have a recommendation for a premier seller of ultra quality marine fish, both rare and common? I have used Marine Center in the past, and while they have a great assortment, trying to get a return phone call or email is tremendously frustrating. Is there anyone else out there on their level? <Not that I am aware of... they have the niche for the rare stuff. They've actually picked the hardest thing to do... expensive fish are costly to procure and care for - if they lose one, they're out a good deal of money. Is why you won't find too many places that do this. Cheers, J -- > Vietnamese" Sixline Wrasse 3/3/2004 Dear Crew Member: I was at my LFS yesterday, and they have now added the prefix "Vietnamese" to their sixline wrasses.  I do not currently have a world atlas, so I would like to know if this counts as Indo-Pacific or what?  Either way, is this location considered ideal for this species, or can you think of any other reason why they would indicate it's location?  They do not mention it for their other fish.  Thanks, Rich <Hi Rich.  livestock sometimes carries the country of origin as a way to imply quality since some areas of collection have better reputations than others.  I don't know that Vietnam has a particularly good reputation, but livestock from Vietnam is a relative novelty in the trade (but becoming more common).   In most cases, by the time a fish gets to the retailer, there is no way to trace where it came from, and that is why it is uncommon for the country of origin to be listed.  Best Regards.  Adam>

- What Do You Think? - J- Thanks! I've got an opinion question for you. I really enjoy the 50 gallon aquarium I have, imperator angel, blennies, mandarin, clown fish, long horn cow, coral beauty, hippo tang, yellow tang and I can't remember his name but something with a big jaw.. invertebrates, etc. I call it my "nice" fish tank... <Hmm... this tank is too small for the occupants in the long term... you need to consider what you will be doing next.> I really like looking at the frogfish, wrasses and puffers BUT my tank is stocked and these species need at least 70g plus they are more aggressive. I was thinking of investing in another tank, 100g to house these types of aggressive fish. What do you think? <I think the fish you have now will need 100g soon... perhaps there are two of these tanks in your future.> Is there any steps I should know in advance before getting started (for example I learned that due to the finicky territorial nature of tangs, they should have been added last...) <None that I can think of.> I guess I am just addicted to the beauty of the fish and I love to watch everyone, invertebrates and all because it seems as if they do something new and interesting every day! I'm hooked (guess with fish that's a bad choice of words-smile). Thanks again! Heather <Cheers, J -- >

First fish Hi Guys I've had my tank for four months now and no fish! Can you believe how patient I have been?! <That's great that you waited four months. Most people, including myself, cannot wait more than a month to start adding livestock. In my opinion, patience is one of the keys to success.> What I have right now is a 44 gallon corner tank with around 80 lbs of LR and a 5-6 inch DSB...a cleanup crew, some small softies....I came across a local reefer who is selling off all of his livestock...One (actually 2) thing that caught my eye was a skunk clown and it's host Green BTA anemone...I believe I have enough light for the anemone...around 196 watts PC 50/50...one thing I am concerned with is adding fish after the skunk...will it be too hard to do this? <Not at all, provided you take proper precautions to prevent fish harassment.> some other fish I was planning on adding was a pajama cardinal, a pygmy dwarf angel, a royal Gramma, a pearly Jawfish...I was going to add the Jawfish first but I have yet to find a LFS that carries one locally...HELP! I really would like to have the skunk clown but do not want to jeopardize future tankmates...is there anything i can do??? <To start with, re-arranging your rockwork right before you add the new tankmate in can often help the fish be less harassed by new tankmates. It would be as if the fish were put into a new environment at the same time - each fish would have to establish their territory again. Adding new tankmates when the lighting is off is also another good idea to prevent further harassment. It's always good to add the least aggressive fish to the tank first. In this case, adding the Cardinal, Jawfish, Royal Gramma, and Dwarf Angel in that order would be best for the fish. Hope this helps, Graham.> Billpa

- Refugium Setup and Livestock Levels - If my boss saw how much time I've spent reading all the FAQ's I can lay my eyes on, I'm sure he'd toss my rear end!  On the other hand, just think how informed I've become, albeit at the expense of a good job. <Hard to convince me of the value of the trade off...> Oh well, priorities.  My questions:  65 gal tank, recently built and installed 20 gal refugium/sump (net about 15 gal) with almost 4" DSB thanks to you guys on this forum.  I read recently that you advise to have skimmer, refuge, then return section in that flow order, but mine is reversed.  I can't change it for several reasons--will this work o.k.? <Yes.> Also have some Caulerpa in the DSB section--will I have problems with this? <Not necessarily - you can light the Caulerpa 24/7 and that will help stop if from going sexual. Also care when harvesting to pull entire plants, and not parts of plants - all will help.> And lastly, I have med. Sailfin Tang, 1 green Chromis, 1 yellow tailed damsel, 1 small Ocellaris clown, 1 sm. scooter.  I want to add 2 more Chromis and another clown, perhaps a med. yellow tang.  Will that work, or am I pushing the envelope?? <You were good right up to the second tang - think you can add all you listed with the exception of the tang - your tank just isn't big enough for two.> Thanks, and I love your very informed site--a pleasure to read straight-forward answers, unambiguous and dead-on.  Thanks!........Barry <Cheers, J -- >

So Many Fishes, So Little Time? - A Delayed Response for Want of the Net! >Marina, thank you very much for your help. >>You're very welcome, my apologies for not being available sooner.  Have been out of town with no connectivity. >The information you gave me answered all my questions and I should be able to get the tank set up the way I want. >>Excellent, very glad to hear that. >I'm sorry about not providing the information about the size of the filters, but your 1/3rd rule is a good one. The canister is rated for 160 gallons and the bio-wheel is for 55 gallons. I actually only have 100 gallons of water in the tank after sand and decorations, so I think the two of them will be able to handle it. the skimmer is for 125 gallon tanks. >>Sounds as though you've allowed yourself some leeway, then. >As for the fish, I will get them all the smallest and let them grow together. I have decided on: Regal Tang Huma Trigger Snowflake Eel Stars and Stripes Puffer Harlequin Tusk I think they will all look great together and there should be plenty of room for them all. I'll get them all as small as I can and let them grow together and watch to make sure there are no problems. >>I agree, I think you should do well with this mix, especially starting them off together. >Thank you again for your help. >>Again, quite welcome.  Marina Hawkfish compatibility Bob, I have  92g corner bow. It has lots of live rock and a deep sand bed. I have a Comet, a pair of percula clowns, a sunrise dotty back, a cowfish, a lawnmower blenny, a fu Manchu lion, a blue/green Chromis and a yellow watchman goby in it. I would like to put the following hawkfish in it;  A Cyprinocirrhites polyactis and a Cirrhitops fasciatus. Do you see any problems here? I do not know if they are compatible. thanks, tim <Mmm, might go together... the Cyprinocirrhites is more like a Damsel... up, off the bottom, swimming about almost continuously... rather than the usual sedentary, posturing cirrhitid. I give you 80% odds of no problems with these two. However, this tank is getting a bit crowded... The Lion may consume some of its smaller tankmates in time, there may be a chemical accident with the Cowfish... Bob Fenner>

- Fish Wish List - Hi everyone, I wanted to run my fish list by you.  I am setting up a 150 gal tank with a 50 gal sump.  I am still in the planning stages at this time.  I have been researching this project for some time now.  I am new to the fish world.  I plan on having about 150 lbs of live rock in the system.  I also want to start with fish and then get into reef (as I get a handle on water quality and maintenance).   So, what about this list? 7-13 green Chromis 1 lawn mower blenny 2 neon gobies 2 pacific cleaner shrimp 2 yellow watchman gobies 2 pistol shrimp 2 clownfish (probably True Percula or Ocellaris) tank raised ? scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp 1 blue tang 1 yellow tang 1 purple tang (master of the tank) 1 flame angle Lots of snails and some scarlet reef hermits I was also interested in 1 Royal Gamma Basslet and several (6-12) Lyretail Anthias.  I don't know much about the Royal and I have heard that the Lyretails are difficult to keep. <Not especially - less touchy than some of their cousins.> I also think that this is probably too much for my tank. <Yes... probably... the mix of the yellow and purple tang could be trouble - similar body shape - cut the schools back a bit and you'll be fine.> I really like the schooling fish look so that is why I have so many Chromis and Anthias. <Keep in mind then that for whatever reason, many fish that school in the wild form only loose associations in captivity. Don't expect to see true schooling behavior in your system. Perhaps this will help trim your list down.> 1.  Please let me know if this list is practical or is it overloaded? <Not overloaded if you size down those schools - perhaps drop the yellow tang.> 2.  Are these fish practical for an eventual reef tank? <Yes... the flame angel could be trouble for a reef - 50/50 chance.> 3.  Anything that really won't get along with the rest of the list? <The yellow and purple tang probably won't.> 4.  Order of placement?  (i.e.. tangs?) <Least aggressive to most aggressive - most often small to large.> I plan on using a 20 gal quarantine tank. Well, I guess I have another question a well.  If I plan on having a refugium in the sump, will 10xs the tank water circulation be too much for a plankton producing refugium? <Probably... better to have the refugium outboard of the main sump, out of huge flow.> Also, there are so many different types of refugiums, I want to supplement my feeding of fishes and corals with natural live plankton.  Is there one type of refugium better than another?  (i.e. vegetable filters, animal filters and plankton generators.) <Not in my opinion - any form of refugium will provide benefit - each will favor certain forms of life over others, but don't think that will matter 'that much' in the long haul.> Thanks again for all your help and time.  I read WWW everyday and I think it is the best source of info out there.  You guys and gals are great.   Dan <Cheers, J -- >

- Livestock Choices - Hello, Stocking to me is one of the trickiest things about marine aquariums.  If the fishes don't flow (and the pumps) then there will be issues. <If you say so...> Anyways this is what I got: 75 gallon tank, will be 50 - 80 pounds of LR, 80 pounds of LS, 1 purple tang, 1 Kole tang, 2 percula clownfish (there the best), 1 six-line wrasse, and 1 Banggai cardinalfish.  Could I add 1 more species of tang or will this be a tight fit. <Will be a tight fit, even if you don't add a third tang - if I could I'd like to discourage you from adding even the second tang.> If I can what would be the best species?   Also the Banggai Cardinalfish id not temporary. Tanks a lot, George. <Cheers, J -- >

Survey says! Your response please 2/04 Hello Mr. Fenner, Ryan Bowen just dropped me quick note (see below) regarding a survey we are conducting. He suggested that you may be willing to post a note about the survey to encourage participation. <Will post> The survey is intended for saltwater aquarium hobbyists. We want to determine how production and marketing decisions (e.g., wild-caught vs. tank-bred; price; "arrive alive, stay alive" guarantees; "reef safe" assurances) affect purchasing decisions. If you are willing to post an invitation about the survey. The survey start page can be found at: http://agsurveys.org/hobby There is a formal invitation letter there with further details. The survey site will be open until Wednesday, February 25th at noon EST. The preliminary results will be presented next week at the Marine Ornamentals '04 conference in Honolulu. Thanks for your time, Sherry <No worries. Bob Fenner> *************************************************** Sherry Larkin, Assistant Professor Food and Resource Economics Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences PO Box 110240 University of Florida Gainesville, FL  32611-0240 (352)392-1845x431 slarkin@ufl.edu fax:(352)392-3646 *************************************************** Hello! My name is Ryan Bowen, I just took your survey.   I write for a company called wetwebmedia.com, we answer lots of questions regarding saltwater setups.   We have high traffic for such a site, and I believe that if you wrote Bob Fenner (Site owner, admin)(Crew@wetwebmedia.com) a quick email he'd be happy to post your survey.  We are all big fans of aquacultured and maricultured livestock, and recommend it daily.   Good luck, Ryan Bowen

Moving In...(Stocking Questions) Hello, you guys have been great answering questions so far, and I have a few more if you don't mind. <Ask away- that's what we're here for!> I have a new 125G fish only saltwater tank that I am cycling with domino and blue damsels. The damsels, mainly the domino's, have come down with Ick I think. They look "foggy" in areas on their scales with some white spots, aren't eating, and appear to have trouble breathing. I have lost two domino's in a short time (two days). <Well, it actually sounds like you might be describing the more serious Amyloodinium, or "Marine Velvet". This is a very lethal, highly contagious illness, and action must be taken quickly to keep it from spreading to all of your remaining fish> I have started treating it by increasing the temperature and dropping the salinity of the tank. I know that you can use copper based treatments to knock it out, but I'm hesitant to use them. The reasons for this are 1) I plan on getting a snowflake eel in the future and I've heard that they don't do well with copper treatments and 2) I've heard even if there is no eel in the tank now, if I treat with copper, then the copper can stick around in the substrate and cause problems for the eel later. Is this true? and if so, what can I do to treat the tank to cure the existing fish and to prevent future fish from getting ick when I introduce them to the tank later. I don't want to get the new fish and they get ick from my existing tank. <Well, the potential for copper to remain in your system is very real, and worth taking into consideration. The good news, is that a much better way to affect a cure of this disease is to remove all of the sick fishes to a separate aquarium (container) for observation and/or treatment. Copper is very effective for many fishes. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, test regularly to assure that you are maintaining a proper therapeutic dose, and you can beat this nasty problem! Meanwhile, let he main system run fallow, without fishes, for at least a month, preferably more, which will deprive the disease organisms their hosts (your fishes!), interrupting their life cycle. You need not (and should not, IMO) dose any medications into the main tank.> While I'm writing, I have some questions about the fish I plan on getting in the future. I plan on getting the following fish (one of each) once the tank is cycled: Snowflake Eel Star and Stripe Puffer Huma Trigger Regal Tang either a Harlequin Tusk or Cuban Hogfish <Well, that's an impressive array of fishes, but I think that you might need to rethink your plan a bit. It seems like this is a few too many rather aggressive, messy-eating-and heavy excreting fish! You may want to reconsider either the puffer or the eel, IMO> The filter system is an Eheim canister 2217 (rated 160 gallons), an Excalibur skimmer (rated 110 gallons) and a Penguin 330 Bio-Wheel (rated 55 gallons) that I'm using for aeration mainly. First off, will this be enough filtration for the fish I'm wanting to get once they get big, or will I need to get more later? <You'd have to be quite vigilant at maintenance, and really change/clean filter media frequently, but it could squeak by and do the job. I's place great emphasis on getting the most capable and efficient skimmer that you can afford. In a heavily stocked marine system (or in ANY marine system, IMO), a skimmer is an absolute necessity, as it forms the first line of defense for you in preserving water quality> I've had conflicting opinions on this. Some say it will be enough, but some say that I will need to get rid of the Penguin and get another canister filter. <Not a bad idea, if you are inclined to go with mechanical filtration> I am thinking of getting a quarantine tank and I could use the Penguin in it. But if I do this, will the two canisters and the skimmer provide enough aeration in the big tank? What do you suggest? <As above- if well maintained, and all-around good husbandry practices are observed> Also, I know that it probably isn't a good idea to just get all 5 of my fish and put them in the tank at once. If one of them has a disease, then I've just infected them all. So, what I'm thinking about doing is getting a quarantine tank and buying the fish one at a time. I'll buy one, quarantine them for a couple weeks, then move the fish to the main tank and buy the next fish. I know that this will take a while to get them all in the big tank, but it may be worth it. <Well, I commend you on embracing the quarantine process! it's definitely the way to go. I do recommend a 3 week period, just to be safe, however. And, staggering your introductions is very well advised...No sense rushing things!> In what order should I do this with the fish above? I know some of them are territorial and will pick on newcomers. <Well, I'd get the moray settled in first, and proceed with the more passive fishes. Do revisit your stocking plan, as mentioned previously> Also, how big of a quarantine tank should I have for the fish listed? I know they can get kinda big. <Depends on the size of the fishes when you purchase them. If you're talking about smaller specimens, a 20- 40 gallon tank would be great.> Thank you for your help in advance, Joe Wallace <My pleasure, Joe! Have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Trade-Offs In Tank Stocking... Scott, thanks for the answers. I have a couple comments/questions still if you don't mind. <Sure!> I'm going to treat the tank for Marine Velvet as well. After reading up on it, I do think that is what they have. I've lost 5 damsels to date. <Not uncommon with damsels. They seem to be abused at every stage of the import/sales/acclimation process!> As for the fish I want, I have heard that they are messy. But the two main ones that I want are the puffer and the eel. <Okay...> What if I left it at four fish (not get the tusk or hogfish) and just have: Snowflake Eel Puffer Huma Trigger Regal Tang <How about the Snowflake Eel, Puffer, and Humu?> Would that still be a messy combination or would that work? <Messy, but workable> I know that I'll have to pay attention to the waste still, but would it make it more manageable? Or would you still suggest getting rid of either the puffer or the eel? <Well, if you are mindful of maintenance and feeding practices, this group can be sustained for some time, until a larger tank is required> I would rather have a couple impressive fish than many, so could even drop the Tang out and just have three. <Now you're talking> Thank you again for the answers. <My pleasure! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Too Many Fish...Or Too Little Filtration? Howzit Scott, Archie here. <Hi Archie!> Is my bioload to much for 55 gal (250L)????????? by the way the bicolor died. do you think my biofiltration is sufficient and only that the bioload is too high? <Well, it sounds like the bioload is too great for this tank, regardless of filtration. I'd sell some of those fishes off. Your filtration seems okay, if the other husbandry issues are taken care of. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Aquarium Virgin (2/23/04) Hi!  <Greetings, Steve Allen Warming up in Orlando this weekend.>   I am a newcomer to the aquarium hobby. <Welcome to the hobby/obsession.> My husband just bought me a 120 gallon aquarium, I'm just starting to investigate the fish I'd like to add. <An excellent size to start with. Big is easier than small. Also, very smart to research first, buy later.> I'd like a fish only tank, with live rock, of course.  While in Hawaii in October I fell in love with the Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma Trilobatum) so this fish is top priority to have in my tank. <Pretty fish> Can you please tell me what other fish will get along with him? <You will need o pick carefully, because this is a large and very active fish. No nervous or skittish tankmates. Also, because it is a big glutton, producing a lot of waste, you will need to limit the number of other fish in the tank.>   I've gotten 4 different opinions from the local fish stores, they all vary. <Always the case. Also, remember that they want you to buy fish so they make money. We have nothing to sell here, nor do many others on the web.> Would there be any other wrasse that they would get along with? <I'd skip another wrasse in this tank. Too small. You're looking at 8-12 inches of size for this one.> I also like a wide variety of the angel family and the Tang/surgeonfish family, would they get along with any of these? <A Zebrasoma Tang should do well. Do consider a Snowflake Eel--a fascinating fish>   I am in love with Cushion Stars (5 point starfish) <Most stars have 5 points, so I am uncertain as to which specific one you are referring to.> as well, but I've been told the wrasse would eat it and it's impossible to find, can you tell me if these are true or false. <Both. The wrasse may indeed go after the star, but then again, maybe not. Most starfish (other than brittle/serpent stars) are hard to care for. Then again, I have several that are growing/thriving for many months. I'd strongly suggest you read the starfish chapter in Bob & Anthony's Reef Invertebrates book.> Is there a book or web site that tells which fish can be housed together peacefully? <Do have a look at Scott W. Michael's Marine Fishes or Bob's The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (better yet, both.)>  Thanks so much for your time! Amy <A pleasure. Hope this helps.>

Newbie wants to stock tank... 2/22/04 Thank you for your prompt response.  Isn't there another way to add the live rock. It is all very expensive and I thought I read I could add a little at a time to keep costs down (I did read that somewhere but I cannot remember where.  Cured of course?  Not true? <You can add rock as you go, but do be sure that it is very well cured.  Do not trust your retailer's word that it is cured, and certainly don't trust any rock that has been shipped directly to you, even if labeled as "pre cured".> I have only 43 lbs. so far and obviously that is not enough.  But WOWEE I hope the husband doesn't find all the receipts :) <It does get expensive!  Don't get sucked into the old rule of 1.5-2lb per gallon, though.  With good quality open structured rock, as little as 3/4-1 lb of rock per gal. is often plenty.  Visual appeal becomes the guiding factor after that.> Any kind of fish you think work well for 75 gallon tanks that I did not mention.  I don't want anything venomous or vicious.  

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