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FAQs about Marine Livestocking 26

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Macropharyngodon choati. A nice male in an aquarium photographed by Hiroyuki Tanaka.

Open ended question/s... re SW Hello, I have a quick question. I have recently upgraded to a 75 gallon tank from a 29, the 29 will become a sump, I don't want to do another reef tank, I would like to keep some "larger fish", the LFS keeps trying to get me to mix triggers and lions, which probably is a bad idea, was wondering if you all had any recommendations for making a nice 75 saltwater tank.  Thanks for your time Eric <... read, on WWM re... Bob Fenner> 

Beginner Fish for Dave/Luigi/Steve Hey it's me Steve here again thanks for your helpful responses in our last conversation, I just recently searched through LiveAquaria.com excellent website by the way anyhow I found a section stated beginner fish I thought I would name them: Bicolor blenny, Kaudern's cardinal, Midas blenny, spotted Cardinalfish, blue/green Chromis, snowflake Eel, yellowtail damsel, bicolor Pseudochromis, zebra barred Dartfish, clown goby green, clown goby citrinus, court jester goby, firefish, purple stripe Pseudochromis, neon gold goby, neon blue goby, orange spotted goby, longnose Hawkfish, scissortail Dartfish, sleeper banded goby, sleeper gold head goby, diamond watchman goby, pink spotted watchman goby, yellow watchman goby, bursa triggerfish, Humu Picasso triggerfish, volitans lionfish, raccoon Butterflyfish, blue tang, sixline wrasse, yellow tang, coral angel beauty, Foxface lo, ocellaris clown, percula clown and fridmani Pseudochromis these fish were all said to be easy in this section is there any actually truth to that? I thought I would like to hear back from the professionals thanks Steve out.  <Steve, here is a link on FAQ's compiled by the Wet Web on beginner fish. Read on. http://www.google.com/custom?q=beginner+fish&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com  <James (Salty Dog)> <<He already did hear back, but as "Luigi".. or was it "Dave"?>>

Fish/Compatibility I have posted this elsewhere.  I am trying to get as much info as I possibly can.  I hope you can shed some light on my agonizing choices for fish. I am not really planning for any corals, I am not really interested in going reef. I currently have some mushrooms that is it. But if I get a cheap frag of an easier coral maybe a candy cane or xenia, I might give it a shot. Depending on lighting requirements of course. I do plan to see about getting a used set up in the future. But here is a list of fish that I plan on looking in to for my tank. By the way the tank is 90 gallon, and is 10 months old, and only has 1 firefish. (2)clowns (false perc) Copperband butterfly (my wife's choice)<Not one of the easiest butterflies> Threadfin butterfly (my choice) We'll see who wins!! Tang (purple, yellow, or blue) If I go with yellow, I would like a blue fish, or purple. (suggestions please)<Orchid Dottyback> Flame Angel A bottom dweller.   Looking at Bi-color Blenny I did have a lawnmower (He hid a lot, and he passed shortly after the "hair algae pulling, rock falling, sand storm incident" I think he was stressed from it) What else could I consider. for a bottom fish that will not hide all the time. <I suggest a google search on the Wet Web, keywords blennies and gobies> I want to see about getting the clowns next weekend, and maybe another fish, along with some inverts (crabs, snails, etc.)  Which order should  go in? Also what fish on my list, or suggested fish should I go with next? <I'd put the more timid fish in first.  Clowns first, then butterfly and tang last.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks <You're welcome> Compatibility Good evening.<Good morning> I'm thinking about new fish for my 55g FO (Bak- Pak, Eheim, 18w UV) Currently inhabited by a Flame angel, Royal Gramma, and a percula clown.  I'm interested in a tang and butterfly and understand that in the marine aquarium world a 55g is not very big (kicking myself for not going larger).  Would a Kole or Powder brown tang be reasonable.<A 55 is a little small for tangs.>  How about a Raccoon or small Heniochus (had to return a larger specimen for disciplinary reasons).<I'd go with the Heniochus.>  Any advice or other fish recommendations would be greatly appreciated.<Your choice, go with smaller fish for your size tank.>  As always, no better advice than WWM on the web or any LFS that I have encountered.<Thank you, James (Salty Dog)>

Aggressive Marines, who will Stand Up?   WWM Crew, <Bob> Due to some aggression issues I find myself with, perhaps, room for one more fish in my tank. It appears as if my Blue Face Angel and my Lunare Wrasse took a strong disliking to my Red Barred Hawk and did him in (so to speak). Obviously, my tank is on the aggressive side. It is a 180 FO, without live rock. 20 gallon wet/dry, PC UV sanitizer, Aqua C EV protein skimmer and a Mag 12 for circulation, It's been running for 2 years. All decorations are artificial and consist mostly of Living Colors Artificial reef and corals. Zero ammonia and nitrites, 20 ppm Nitrates, pH of 8.2, 80F temp. I do 35 gallon water changes with water from a 5 stage RO every 2 weeks. They get fed a variety of Mysis, silver sides, frozen krill and Nori once a day. The fish load is a 4" Blue Faced Angel and Lunare Wrasse, a 2.5" Huma Huma Trigger, a 3.5" Maroon Clown, a 4" Stars and Stripes Puffer, a 9" Golden Tail Moray and 13" Comet Moray. My LFS's are of no help because they will sell me anything I am stupid enough to buy. <Mmm, seems to be their role> I've done quite a bit of searching through the FAQ's and articles looking for an aggressive fish that would be compatible. The Sohal would probably be just plain mean or way too an aggressive feeder. The Naso's just get too big. I think the 2 Sailfins get too big as well. <Actually, the fishes you list will out-grow your present tank...> The Powder Blue is ich-prone and needs live rock. I had a bad experience with a Blue Lined Grouper (sucker thought the whole tank was his and picked on everyone). A larger hawk might work but my wife wants more movement in the tank. How about a Spiny Box Puffer? Or is one puffer enough? <I would not put a boxfish in your system... too likely to be starved by more aggressive feeders> These are but a few of the fish I have researched. I am more than willing to rearrange the decor to "stir things up" and mess up existing territories but have run out of ideas as to the next fish. Any advise? Ideas? <I would just let time go by... perhaps pick up another species... of tang... if/when one catches your eye... otherwise, your present livestock assortment, like Microsoft Corp., will grow to assimilate all available resources... Bob Fenner> As always, thanks for this help and the tons of help you provide without even knowing it. <Hee! I do know it> Bob 

One Last Fish? WWM Crew, Due to some aggression issues I find myself with, perhaps, room for one more fish in my tank. It appears as if my Blue Face Angel and my Lunare Wrasse took a strong disliking to my Red Barred Hawk and did him in (so to speak). Obviously, my tank is on the aggressive side. It is a 180 FO, without live rock. 20 gallon wet/dry, PC UV sanitizer, Aqua C EV protein skimmer and a Mag 12 for circulation, It's been running for 2 years. All decorations are artificial and consist mostly of Living Colors Artificial reef and corals. Zero ammonia and nitrites, 20 ppm Nitrates, ph of 8.2, 80F temp. I do 35 gallon water changes with water from a 5 stage RO every 2 weeks. They get fed a variety of Mysis, silver sides, frozen krill and Nori once a day. The fish load is a 4" Blue Faced Angel and Lunare Wrasse, a 2.5" Huma Huma Trigger, a 3.5" Maroon Clown, a 4" Stars and Stripes Puffer, a 9" Golden Tail Moray and 13" Comet Moray. My LFS's are of no help because they will sell me anything I am stupid enough to buy. I've done quite a bit of searching through the FAQ's and articles looking for an aggressive fish that would be compatible. The Sohal would probably be just plain mean or way too an aggressive feeder. The Naso's just get too big. I think the 2 Sailfins get too big as well. The Powder Blue is ich-prone and needs live rock. I had a bad experience with a Blue Lined Grouper (sucker thought the whole tank was his and picked on everyone). A larger hawk might work but my wife wants more movement in the tank. How about a Spiny Box Puffer? Or is one puffer enough? These are but a few of the fish I have researched. I am more than willing to rearrange the decor to "stir things up" and mess up existing territories but have run out of ideas as to the next fish. Any advise? Ideas? As always, thanks for this help and the tons of help you provide without even knowing it. Bob  >Hello Bob, Let me start of by saying that I don't think you've given the genus Cephalopholis a fair shake. What you witnessed with your Blue line grouper is by no means the norm. I've kept hinds of that genus in tanks similar to yours many times without any problems. Having said that, there are MANY options open to you right now. A Naso tang will actually do just fine. Although in theory it get's too large for your tank, if you purchase a nice 4 or 5 inch individual, it will be years before you have an issue, if ever. Size in the wild and max size in your tank are often two different things. A trio of Yellow tangs is another option. You might also want to consider a Harlequin tusk fish. Or how about a Niger trigger? A bit of a dicey proposition considering the presence of the Huma Huma, but as long as he's a bit bigger you should be fine. Foxface Rabbitfish? Green bird wrasse? Dragon Wrasse? I could list fish for days. It comes down to your taste. The puffer should work too. I think I'd go with the Naso if I were you. I kept one in a 135 years ago for a good 3 years, and he ate well and grew from 4 inches to maybe 8 inches in that time. Please let me know if you have any more specific questions. Be aware that your Huma Huma trigger is going to be a VERY slow grower, maybe an inch a year. Good luck! Jim<

Bioluminescent Creatures For Reef Tanks (10/7/04) Hi there. <Hi. Steve Allen here.> Great site! it sure has helped me selecting fish for my reef aquarium. <Myself included. AN honor to play a small part.>  I've read the post for pinecone fish and flashlight fish, but they seem to be better for public aquaria and other expert aquarist. <True.> Is there any bioluminescent animal you would recommend for a reef aquarium? <There really aren't many, because most are, of course, deepwater animals. There are some bioluminescent brittlestars available at www.inlandaquatics.com. I haven't seen them myself, but I am a big fan of brittlestars in general, and they are easy to keep.> Thanks in advance, Robertino <You're welcome. Hope this helps.> Stocking Questions Hail to the Crew: Hey, I just wanted to bounce my stocking list off of you folks for my 55 gal.  I have about 50 lbs of LR, and I am setting up a 40 gal refugium with more LR to come.  Here goes: I HAVE THESE: 1-False Percula Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris) 1-Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) 1-Fire Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) 1-Cherub Angel (Centropyge argi) The above fish have gotten along very well over the last year. I WANT THESE: 1-Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus) 1-Twinspot Hogfish (Bodianus bimaculatus) 1-Sixline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) 1-Yellow Devilfish (Assessor flavissimus) Please do not hesitate telling whatever you need to. My research has shown that these fish will max out between 2" and 4".  I have read that, individually, these are not overly aggressive fish. However, I understand that cramping livestock changes the "rules".  As far my LFS goes, they normally carry my "want these" list at 2" or less. I think that it may be too many for my 55, but I am not sure because of the additional refugium volume.  IYO, what size tank would I need for these fish to live out their lives, should I choose to have them all? Thanks, Rich >>>Hello Rich, For starters, C. argi is one of the most aggressive little fish out there. A GREAT fish, one of my favorites - but scrappy. They should always be added last. If yours is behaving in a calm fashion, you're lucky, or he's just acclimated to his current tank mates. Adding anything else in a tank that size is a risk usually with this fish, especially something smaller. Sixline wrasses are fairly aggressive themselves, and often victimize smaller, calmer fishes. Your orchid Dottyback may be in danger here. In fact, I have a sixline wrasse that will not let my orchid Dottyback out of the hole he hides in, and the orchid Dottyback was added first. Lawnmower blennies are notorious for starving in captivity. Yellow assessors don't ship well, so hardiness is a problem with these sometimes. Really, I would leave the tank alone, especially since it's currently stable. If you start messing with things, you might regret it. If anything, add the hog fish. :) For all those fish, I'd say a 90 gallon or so. Even then, a fish or two might be harassed to the point where it has to be removed. Regards Jim<<<

Stocking Question Follow-up Jim: Thanks for your analysis of my situation.  I guess my research concluding that all my fish were "not overly aggressive" was a bit incorrect.  My C. argi has behaved like a docile fish, and it appears to have the full yellow-faced adult coloration as pictured on your Centropyge page.  For historical purposes, here is the order of my introductions and their time in my care so far: False Percula Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris) [88 weeks] Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) [78 weeks] Fire Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) [69 weeks] Cherub Angel (Centropyge argi) [63 weeks] Does the time factor solidify your first inclination for me to leave things be, or is it simply "if it ain't broke..."?   I thought the P. fridmani was a fish that could "hold it's own".  You have the purple one with the black stripe through it's eyes, right?  I am not doubting your specimen ID, I am just double checking.  I will heed your advice, and I will either not add anything more or go with the B. bimaculatus (love that fish!).  I will try to resist.  Hey, within the next  two years I will be upgrading to either a 72x18x22(125gal) or 72x24x24(180) [96x24x24-240 is just a dream, but what a dream!].  Unlike some, I will NOT be filling my larger tank with big or aggressive fish. We will talk about many more colorful small fish then!  By the way, welcome!  You are a relatively new responder, yes?  I like you're your style.   Thanks again, Rich >>>Hey Rich, Thanks for the compliment, and yes, I'm one of the newer folk around here. :) Although we've just "signed" several new people, so I'm not the new guy anymore. Yes, I'm absolutely sure we're talking about the same fish - P. fridmani. They are not very aggressive usually, and can easily be victimized by much more pugnacious fish. Regards Jim<<< Reef Stocking - tank limitations 10/5/04 I love the website, tons of info. I have a 90g 3'x2'x2' tank, 25g fuge above and 20g sump below. There is about 170 pounds of LR, 90 or so of LS. Tank has been up for about 5 mo. and fug about 8 mo. Water is good except 5-10 nitrates. <no worries here... a little bit of nitrates are good for most corals> I have 2 clowns, 2 Chromis, 2 Lyretail Anthias and a lawnmower blenny. The clowns love their BTA which has become a SOB. He has turned brownish and won't stop moving and gets under rock work. What can I do except get rid of him? <anemones really do not belong in mixed reef tanks as you are discovering. It is unnatural to keep them in a reef display (they do not occur in/among high concentrations of corals on the reef proper)... and they are impractical. Anemones truly need species/biotope tanks IMO> I have a torch, hammer and fox doing great. Fox looks a little brownish. Why? <they turn brown from excess light. This is a deep water coral> I use a 400w 14K Hamilton bulb. The male Anthias keeps beating up female about six weeks now. Should I get another female to give her a break. <the tank is too small for a shoal of Anthias, my friend. But yes... more females in a larger tank might do the trick> My main goal is to get a mandarin. I bought 1000 copepods, 100 Mysis and I have tons of amphipods. <they only eat copepods mate... do focus on buying, culturing them> I'm also trying to raise copepods in separate tank. Do you have any good links to do this? <Florida aqua farms have a lot of good information and supplies for plankton culture. Reed Mariculture over on the West Coast too> How much longer should I wait for Mandarin? <depends on how productive the refugium is or how willing you are to buy copepods. As soon as you have a stable source> The local fish store has a Watanabei for only 40. He looks good and about 5" or so and fat. Should I even be looking at this fish? <Genicanthus angels are fabulously peaceful, but require very large/long aquaria. Your 90 is not even close my friend. Thinking 180 gall/6 feet long minimum> Really hard to find stories on this fish and little info. I guess not to many people have one. <many sad stories here as they are too passive and need such large tanks. They usually dwindle and die in average home aquaria. They can fare very well with a peaceful, large tank though> I wanted to get a tang but the tang police busted me. <good <G>> I was also think of a wrasse but not if the mandarin competes for food. <very wise... agreed> Any help would be great <it sounds like you are aware of your needs and limitations, my friend. Kudos to you. Best of luck, Anthony> Billy

Stocking Questions 10/5/04 Good morning, I've been reading a lot of FAQs on your site, it has been extremely helpful. Thank you for your continued help in this never ending endeavor. <very welcome... good to hear from you> I just have a few questions in regards to stocking. Here is a description of my tank setup. 75 gallon Oceanic Coralife Lunar Aqualight (two 65 watt 10,000K and two 65 watt True Actinic 03) 3012 Ecosystem AquaC Urchin skimmer 1/2" to 3/4" sand bed 40 lbs of Marshall rock 40 lbs of Kaelini Tonga Panworld/Blueline 100PX @790gph 3 Maxijet 1200's aimed at return pump. The following is a list of the fish/inverts I would like to get over time.  Each of them will go through 4-5 weeks of quarantine. I am also planning on adding some Zoanthids over time.  I am wondering if this is a suitable list and if the order I am adding is acceptable.  Also will any of these fish/inverts become aggressive towards any of the others? I will be adding the fish/inverts at least 5 weeks apart from each other. <all sounds very good so far> 1. 3 Mexican Turbo Snails, 3 Peppermint Shrimp, What others would you recommend for the clean up crew? <Ophiuroid serpent type stars (excluding the green brittle star) are very fine and hardy scavengers. Do consider> 2. 2 False Percula Clowns - Aquacultured 3. Fridmani - Aquacultured 4. Rose Bulb Anemone (or ??? for clowns) <yes... if any anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor is best> 5. Diamond Goby? <not needed for the sand, but a reasonably hardy choice. The blue spotted yellow watchman's are even hardier and quite handsome> 6. Flame Angle Would you recommend any other fish?  If so any suggestions? <many possibilities, but do stick with those with small adult sizes as you have thus far. Some shoaling cardinals would be nice... scissortail or bar gobies (also schooling) many species here, do look into the microdesmids and see our article in the first issue of conscientious aquarist online e-zine for more]> Sorry for all the questions, just want to create the best environment I can. Thank you kindly for your time and response. Mark <it sounds like you are well-prepared my friend. No worries, your patience and research will pay off! Anthony>

Fish Selection for Reef Tank Enjoy your site, appreciate your advice, would love your help. Tank Specs:  DIY 110 gallon nominal acrylic tank (48x18x30), 6-7” DSB oolithic aragonite, ~100lbs. Live rock, primarily Fiji, DIY 25 gallon acrylic sump, AquaC-180, DIY calc reactor, lighting 4 – 110 watt VHO tubes, return pump Iwaki 30 RXLT, MaxiJet 1200 for added circ. Current Inhabitants:  Pink xenia, Florida Ricordea, yellow polyps, green button polyps, colt coral, frog spawn, dwarf cup corals, stripped mushrooms, brown mushrooms, various sponges, Porites, foraminiferans, tunicates, turkey wing oyster, trumpet coral, few turbo snails, few hermit crabs, lots of various macro algae, and a brownish-green Florida cucumber. I received much of the live rock and all of the inhabitants from a person getting out of the hobby a modest price. ($250.00) The tank has been without fish for a few months now, it seems stable, water parameters are good, and my pod population seems ample (the little guys are found everywhere even during midday in the lighting schedule.)  Macro algae is growing well, and coral seem okay….although some of the stripped mushrooms seem to be shrinking in size. 5 questions follow: 1. What do you think of the following potential stocking list? (Where two alternatives are provided please indicate your preference and why)             a.  Ctenochaetus strigosus (yellow eye Kole tang) OR Zebrasoma scopas (scopas tang) b.  Neocirrhitus armatus (flame hawkfish)             c.  Single/pair of Amphiprion frenatus (tomato clownfish) OR single/pair of a. melanopus (red-black clownfish) [figured the frog spawn would serve as home]             d.  Pair of Nemateleotris Magnifica (fire goby) OR pair of Nemateleotris Decora (purple firefish)             e.  3 Chromis Viridis (green Chromis)             f.  3 Lysmata Amboinensis (skunk cleaner shrimp) Note: was also considering Amblyeleotris randalli (Randall's prawn goby) with Alpheus djeddensus or aa. Bellulus, but after reading I am concerned that even If I was able to find a symbiotic pair, the pistol might be too much for the cleaner shrimp and/or firefish.  Not to mention the Flamehawk. 2. In what order should each be added? 3. Is additional circulation warranted with my current (pun intended) and future stocking plans? (I like the idea of those Tunze streams) 4. Any suggestions as far as additions, deletions, changes, concerns, improvements, etc? 5. Finally, the answer to this last question is not necessary, but I am curious.  What are your (individual-the collective) thoughts of Controlled Plenum Wasting (CPW) as opposed to DSB? See the link below for an in depth discussion, but again only if you have the time. http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=289910&perpage=25&p agenumber=1 < http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=289910&perpage=25& pagenumber=1> Please let Anthony know that I took his advice as outlined in Coral Propagation on the tank construction (40 inch horizontal overflow) and live rock setup (pvc supported cliff structure) and am quite pleased with the results thus far. Much thanks, Mike >>>Hey Mike, Your stocking list sounds fine. I'll leave the options up to you, as they make little difference given the choices you've laid out. The tomato and melanopus clowns have identical personality issues for instance. :) I would definitely add the firefish first, the tang second, the clowns, then the hawkfish. Also, don't count on the clowns hosting in the frogspawn. While it happens sometimes, you can't plan on it. Also, it irritates some Euphyllia. As far as circulation, you may be just fine. Euphyllia don't like tons of current anyway. If you have any dead areas, or start to have diatom problems, a bit more circulation may be in order. Tunze products are a huge waste of money in my opinion. They work, they just charge too much for them. It's a pump... There is plenty written on DSB vs. Plenums, and I suggest you do a further search and arrive at your own conclusions on the matter. I don't honestly have time investigate that link you sent at the moment. I've been part of DSB discussions on that site as well as others. I've read plenty by now, believe me. At the end of the day, it's still up in the air. As for myself, my next tank will have a shallow sand bed. I'm done with DSB's, either with a plenum or without. Cheers Jim<<< Can you export a marine fish @Japan?   Can you export a marine fish to Japan?  Narita Airport If it is ok unit Please inform of price list and stock list and charges price and aviation expense etc. Can he understand Japanese? If it understands easy to connect.  Takada <Please contact Amy at www.MarineDepot.com. Bob Fenner>

- Setting up a 120 Reef - Greetings Crew I'm in the process of setting up a 120 gal tank and have a series of related stocking questions.  Hardware should be something along the lines of: Overflow split into two 29 gal tanks.  One will be a refugium with a DSB, LR and macroalgae (suggestions here? Preferably something non-floating). <Many choices, all reviewed on Wet Web Media.> The second tank will hold an Aqua-C EV180 with ozone, then through carbon into a chamber with two heaters and then into a collection area.  The refugium will return to this collection area and then be shot back into the display tank via an Iwaki MD30RLXT (Thinking about hooking up a SCWD into the return and directing it to two nozzles. thoughts?). <Sounds good to me.> Additional current in the display via Tunze Turbelle and closed loop or manifold.  Lighting will be two 250w MH, either 10K, 12K or 20K.haven't decided yet. I'm looking at mostly softies at this point, but want the flexibility to go in other directions later in life without completely re-tooling the tank. My limiting factor fish-wise is a Mandarin (S. splendens).  Along with that little guy, I'd like to keep a dwarf flame angel, a white cheeked tang, a pair of clowns (ocellaris or perc) and some other small something-or-other.  Several folks have suggested cardinals, but I have a strong preference against those particular critters.  I'd like to be able to keep a triad or so of firefish, but wonder if they might out-compete the mandarin. <Is possible.> My hope would be that there'd be enough food to sustain both given the size of the display, the refugium (to be seeded with pods and the like), and about 6 months of critter growing time before any swimming fish are introduced. <Good plan.> Now the questions: 1) Think the group of firefish is feasible? <Is feasible, but as you mentioned will be competition for food for the Mandarin.> If not, do you have any non-cardinal suggestions? <Well... if color is not a huge issue, why not go for some fish that aren't exactly pretty but very fun to watch, Barnacle Blennies.> 2) If the firefish would work, are the various species of firefish compatible together in this size space? <They often pair up... would get two of one species, and if I were in your situation I'd get the ones your wife likes.> (My wife likes the purples ones, I prefer the white/orange ones) 3) Given this list of fish, in what order would you stock? <If you manage to wait the full six months, and have a good quantity of live rock, you should be able to stock this list in any order with one proviso... you should wait as long as possible for the Mandarin, the longer the better.> Thanks in advance for your guidance.  The above plan owes quite a bit to the trust of dedicated folks associated with your site. Sam Anacortes, Washington <Cheers, J -- >

Well Thought Out Stocking Plan Good evening, I've been reading a lot of FAQs on your site, it has been extremely helpful. Thank you for your continued help in this never ending endeavor. I just have a few questions in regards to stocking. Here is a description of my tank setup. 75 gallon Oceanic Coralife Lunar Aqualight (two 65 watt 10,000K and two 65 watt True Actinic 03) 3012 Ecosystem AquaC Urchin skimmer 1/2" to 3/4" sand bed 40 lbs of Marshall rock 40 lbs of Kaelini Tonga Panworld/Blueline 100PX @790gph 3 Maxijet 1200's aimed at return pump. The following is a list of the fish/inverts I would like to get over time.  Each of them will go through 4-5 weeks of quarantine. I am also planning on adding some Zoanthids over time.  I am wondering if this is a suitable list and if the order I am adding is acceptable.  Also will any of these fish/inverts become aggressive towards any of the others? I will be adding the fish/inverts at least 5 weeks apart from each other. 1. 3 Mexican Turbo Snails, 3 Peppermint Shrimp, What others would you recommend for the clean up crew??? 2. 2 False Percula Clowns - Aquacultured 3. Fridmani - Aquacultured 4. Rose Bulb Anemone (or ??? for clowns) 5. Diamond Goby ??? 6. Flame Angle Would you recommend any other fish?  If so any suggestions? Sorry for all the questions, just want to create the best environment I can. Thank you kindly for your time and response. Mark >>>Greetings Mark, First let me congratulate you on an intelligent, and well thought out plan for your tank. Good on ya! Your plan of action sounds just fine. About the Fridmani, a GREAT aquarium fish! In fact, you might consider getting a pair. I had one in a 7 gallon nano on my desk at work for over a year. Every day this guy from maintenance would come by and say "how's my little Holmes doing?" So I named him Holmes, and now he resides in a 150. :) Anyway, they are hardy, colorfast and relatively personable compared to their cousins. The flame angel is a possibility, but make sure you quarantine it for the full period you mentioned, and add it last. In a tank that size, I'd rather see an argi or acanthops, but a flame should do fine. In all the time I've been doing this, I've never bothered with the gobies, so I can't be of much help there. I'm not sure if your aqua cultured ocellaris will take to the E. quad (bubble tip), but give it a try. On that note, your lighting is a little lacking for keeping anemones in my opinion. I'd feel more confident in your setup of you were running more wattage. I have 6 bubbletips under 250w double ended metal halides. 150 watt double ended bulbs would work, as would 250 watts under a single ended setup. If you stick with PC's, I'd up the number of bulbs. Other possibilities/alternates for fish are: sixline wrasse, mystery wrasse, candy Basslet, royal Gramma, trio of Chromis damsels (underrated, a great fish), the list goes on. As far as the number of fish, I think 6 or so small fish is plenty for a tank that size. If you opt for a sixline, add it last after the flame angel, and make sure it's smaller than the fridmani. Good luck Jim<<< - Fish Choices for a 30 Gallon Tank - Hi, I have a 30 gallon tank with 30 lbs. of live rock and about 15 lbs. of base rock. It has no fish in it as of yet, and has been running 4 weeks. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are at 0. I was planning on adding a flame or Falco hawkfish, followed by a Pseudochromis fridmani, and then a cherub angelfish. I am wondering whether these tank-mates will be too aggressive for a 30 gallon tank. <Hmm... well, it sounds like a good mix, quite frankly although in 30 gallons of water there's not a lot of room to get away from anyone. You may need to keep an eye on the Pseudochromis... he might get a little aggressive as time goes on but given the amount of rock you have, I think things will go ok. Just don't extend the list beyond this.> Thank you for you're insight; great site. <Cheers, J -- >

FOWLR Follies To the most excellent crew at WetWebMedia: <howdy> I'm currently considering converting my 65 gallon reef tank into a FOWLR tank. I'd like a combination something like this: Picasso trigger small Scorpionfish wrasse butterfly fish I have a 3" sailfin tang as a remnant of the old system. I know this guy will eventually outgrow the tank. <true... and quite possibly be a severe bully before then as it continues to grow/mature> I'd like a butterfly that would munch heartily on the Anemonia sp. and Aiptasia that plagues my tank. <a lunula/raccoon ranks high here... hardy and utilitarian> The tank has a large sump underneath filled with live rock with an AquaC skimmer. I also have a large green anemone which I'd like to keep, even though I understand the butterfly might enjoy it as a snack. <nibbling, yes> Are there butterflies that would ignore the large anemone and chomp on the small ones? <most do... to the extent that you need to lacerate the larger Aiptasia for them to get eaten by predatory BFs> Also, what species of wrasse or Scorpionfish would you recommend for this system? <many fine wrasse species.. but a Christmas wrasses (Hawaiian) would be a good medium sized and colorful/hardy choice IMO. For scorpionfishes... it will be tough here. You need a smaller (dwarf) species that will not outgrow this tank as a volitans would... but the dwarf varieties are not ideal feeders in active community tanks. I frankly would leave the scorpion out of this tank> Thank you for any feedback. -Ian Berger <best regards, Anthony>

Stocking and Feeding a New  Marine Tank (9-28-04) I recently purchased and set up a 75 gal SW tank. It has 80 plus pounds of live rock (Fiji and Haiti). For the filtration system I have an Eco 60. The tank is going to be a fish only tank, and I was curious how many fish I can put in it. <That really depends on the fish. Have a look at this article Live a Marine Aquarium http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm > Currently I have a small under 3'' puffer and 2 snails in the tank. <Most of the Puffers get pretty large and require greater than a 75g. I would recommend you read this article All My Puffers, Tobies, Box, Porcupine, Cowfishes http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm > I want to add a lionfish and a couple of triggers. Could you suggest the best type of triggers to add to the tank. <Triggers are a one per tank fish unless you have a very large system. Also I was wondering if it is OK to feed the SW fish freshwater feeders such as guppies. <No, marine fish need marine protein. I only feed live, if the fish refuses frozen or fresh. This article should help you get off to the right start feeding your new marine critters..... Nutrition; Foods & Feeding for Marine Aquariums: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm Thanks for your help. <You are most welcome. Best of luck with your new tank! Leslie>

More Inverts In The Mix! To you all I say Hi <And a "good evening" from here! Scott F. with you> What a great surprise I had this morning when I stumbled onto your site by accident, I'm sorry but as an Englishman some of your descriptions on things like brand names and remedies are somewhat strange but nonetheless I have enjoyed my visit and will continue to probe your pages with excitement. <Glad to hear that. Fortunately, with the internet, brands that were once found only in the States or Europe are found more readily all the time!> Well enough praise and on to my question! I have a 260ltr glass Juwel aquarium with built in filter, an Eheim External filter, protein skimmer (Prism). Livestock consists of the following             1x Maroon Clown (5cm)             1x Raccoon Butterfly (6cm)             1x Emperor Angel (6cm)             1x Flame Angel (5cm)             1x Yellow Tang (5cm)             1x Yellow face Goby (8Cm)             2x Torpedo Blennies (5cm) each             1x Midas Blenny (4cm) Inverts consist of             1x Blue Starfish             1x Cleaner Shrimp             2x Dancing Shrimps             1x Brittlestar             12x Turbo Snails             3x White Clawed Hermits             1x large Orange Sponge I would like to add at least another two starfish and half a dozen blue legged hermits to my tank, would this be possible? <I would think that they would be fine, as long the Starfish are of the detritivorous variety, and as there is enough food present to support the population.> Keep up the good work Steve Whale <Our pleasure, Steve! Thanks for stopping by at WWM! Regards, Scott F.> Starting a tank Follow-Up Ryan, <Adam> Thanks for the quick reply. I was doing some follow up research on my tang choice and also realized my tank is too small for this fish. I'll have to save that one for when I get my 300G. <A perfect tank for tangs> What is your opinion of the bristle tooth tangs? <Great with algae, not as attractive> I'm now thinking that a Chevron tang would be a good addition to my tank, but WWM says "hobbyists have not had "much luck" historically in keeping these tangs species alive". I was thinking that if I waited 6 -12 months to purchase my Chevron through Marine Center, to ensure it was captured correctly, I should have a good specimen and plenty of food growing in my tank for this fish to graze on. Any advice for this fish would be appreciated. <Lots of live algae, and make him the first tang added.> Thanks for the Clown Goby recommendation. Sounds like an interesting fish, it's definitely a consideration. I've always liked the personality of Hawkfish but didn't think they were right for this tank, but it sounds like a clown Goby behaves similarly. Do I need to have some corals in my tank for them to be happy or will the live rock work the same. <all the same> Do you think it would be possible to have two of these fish and possibly have them spawn. <Good question. Possible, but unlikely.  Almost impossible to rear fry with mechanical filtration> So my tank would consist of the following fish introduced to the tank in this order Filamented Wrasse 2 Clown Gobies if + reply Long nosed butterfly after 6months Flame Angel a month after butterfly Chevron Tang around 8 months again if + reply One last question do you think I should remove the wet/dry media and for the filter and use the space for more live rock. <Yes, remove media and jam a lot of rock in there.  Otherwise, I think you're all set.  Make sure to add a nice little clean-up crew as well!  Ryan> Thanks for all the help Adam Skimmer questions I have a 35 gallon hexagon tank.  I have approximately 30 lbs of live rock. I have an emperor filter, that hangs on back of the tank (no room for a skimmer, yet).  I have had this tank for over a year, lots of ups and downs.  I do 5 gallon water changes every two weeks.  I have  two starfish, a choc. chip and thorny star who have survived throughout.  I also have an unknown snail, which may be a Stomatella variata, climbing around in there.  I have a two feather dusters.  I also have a Bicolor Dottyback that is doing well, and a ocellaris clownfish.  The clownfish has Popeye in one eye, he has had it for several months.  I put it in a QT tank a few months ago, and treated it with both Epsom salts, and later Maracyn.  Nothing seem to help, so I decided to put in back in the main tank, since I had little to loose.  He seems to be blind in one eye, but is eating regularly, and the Dottyback is not bothering him, he has been this way for a few months. <Sometimes its irreversible depending on what caused it initially.> My questions are.  Should I get a skimmer and try to get my husband to modify the top of the tank to fit it, by cutting it carefully with a special tool (any suggestions would be appreciated).  I was thinking of purchasing the AquaC Remora, which uses little space. <Aqua C's are very well thought of, but couldn't you get a hang on the tank version and hang it on the side of the tank?> Or would a smaller Emperor, along with the new remora due the job as well, in this way I would not have to cut the top. <That's a possibility as well, the skimmer, along with your live rock will serve as the filtration. Perhaps an additional powerhead for circulation.> I was also told that perhaps putting Purigen in the filter, would do the job, without the use of a skimmer. <Don't get me wrong I like Purigen but I hate to use chemicals to get rid of problems without figuring out where the problem is.>  Is this true Another question, once I get this all straightened out, and things are going well, I would like to get some new fish. <Makes sense and very wise to wait.>  I am not sure what fish I could add, that my other fish will tolerate. <No clown fish nor Dottybacks for sure.> I have had a lot of bullying in the past.  And at his point I am not picky, anything will do, as long as they get long (worse than sibling rivalry with my kids). <Maybe a small wrasse? something like a six line?>  Or should I start all over.  I could return my Dottyback, and put the clown in the QT tank, and restock.  I would like to have only 3-4 fish in my tank. <There are some lovely gobies that might work well with what you have, although depending on how aggressive your Dottyback is that could be a problem.> What types would you suggest that would do well in a small 35 hex.  I would not even mind having three of the same types of fish.  Any suggestions? <Honestly I would probably start over BUT before you do, decide on the types of fish you want to keep. Get a stocking Plan and follow it. Good luck, Debbie from MacL> Any help you can offer would be appreciated Thanks a bunch, Debbie Fish additions Hello <Hey Steve, MacL here with you today.> Hope this question finds everyone at WetWeb media well. <I have a cold and not happy about it lol.> I am upgrading from a 58g reef tank to a 200g acrylic  reef tank (about 10 feet long). Will have plenty of live rock/sand, 70 gallon sump, 40 gallon refugium, and plenty of circulation (and a large protein skimmer), etc.. The transplants from the smaller tank are a pair of very peaceful yellow striped maroons, a Lemonpeel angel, a coral beauty, yellow watchman goby/pistol shrimp, orchid Pseudochromis, a few LPS, a Few SPS (lighting will be four 250w  HQI pendants), a few mushrooms, and a bubble tip anemone that just keeps on splitting. <Sound wonderful and you'll love the bigger tank.> What is your thoughts on these possible additions and perhaps the order in which they should be added? 4-5 blue "hippo" tangs a Copperband butterfly and then either a Achilles or Naso tang <Nasos get very large and you might need to be careful for the watchman goby if he's a small one. Achilles need almost perfect water conditions and a lot of oxygenation. I personally believe most people can keep most things if they are willing to do the work necessary to keep them.> and/or a blue girdled angel or regal angel. <The blue girdled and regal will eat some corals, you'll need to research carefully to determine what would be suitable coral wise with them. Also both tend to be delicate although the regal is by far the most delicate of the two.> Depending on what works above would any wrasses be appropriate in this scheme such as six-line? <I enjoy the six line wrasses, and have had good success with them.> Any input would be appreciated. As always , thanks for your time and expertise. <Hope that helps Steve, MacL> Steve Blue throat triggers I was wondering If a male and female blue throat trigger would pair up if that were not that way to begin with? <There is a good chance they would IMO> I'm betting on that they wouldn't but I'd like to know. Also what would be a good larger angel for a 125 gallon tank? Would a Euxiphipops Navarchus or a Pomacanthus annularis work? <Please see www.WetWebMedia.com re angel selection. The subgenus Euxiphipops are not recommended, the annularis is a good hardy choice, GIVEN you have a large-enough system> What would be good tank mates for triggers? I'm sorry for writing so much it's just there's' so many paths too take and I'm trying to decide which one <Please see WWM re selection. Bob Fenner>

Stocking List, Pacific Choices The Crew <Hello, Ryan with you> I'm looking for a check on my probable list of livestock. I have a 65g w/ wet/dry filter, off brand protein skimmer (possible upgrade), I'm purchasing approx. 80lbs of live rock. Not sure on depth of sand needed. I'm also considering purchasing a canister type filter for additional filtering. (Eheim or Fluval) Do you think this is a good idea or is it overkill.  <Yes, combined with high circulation, sounds good.  Keep an eye on nitrates if you're using wet/dry media in the filter.> My stocking list is Desjardini Tang <Highly inappropriate for this size tank> Long nosed Butterfly Flame Angel or Coral Beauty Filamented Wrasse And a goby that I'm hoping you could recommend. I'm looking for a sand sifting goby possibly Sleeper Gold Head or Yellow watchman. <Yellow Watchman sounds like the right choice...Maybe a clown goby?> If you think more fish can be added would it be possible to put some Banggai Cardinal in with this mix. <Possible, but stock slowly and watch for signs of high nutrient levels.> I'm looking to get only fish that are considered hardy. <Add the butterfly and Angel in about 6 months to ensure success> If you think anything needs to be changed with any fish choices could you please pass on your recommendations. Thanks <A Tang is just too much fish in a 65...Adulthood will be cramped.  I think the Flame Angel is a good choice, and will go well with the butterfly you've selected.  The wrasse will be a jumper, so make sure that you have a tight fitting lid.  Good luck, Ryan> Adam

New setup - Fish choices Hi guys, As a new starter, your site has been invaluable in pointing me in the right direction.  2'x2'x2' Display Tank (Internal water volume roughly 44 US Gallons) 2'x1'x1' Sump Tank (Internal water volume roughly 8.5 US Gallons) Deltec APF600 Skimmer 600 gallons/hours pump pumping back to display tank (approximately 265 gallons with head) 2 * 265 gallons/hour pumps circulating water within the display tank Currently the sump just houses the skimmer and return pump, but there is space for a smaller refugium.<excellent>  There is approximately 66lbs of live rock and an average substrate depth of 3 inches. I've kept tropical freshwater fish before, but as this is my 1st time with marine, I'm looking to start with a fish/invert and then gradually introduce corals when I'm happy that the tank has matured and stable, and that I have the necessary experience. All things going well, I would hope to get a 6'x2'x2' in the future (when I get a decent offer for the wife!).<lol...180's are nice" So that's the setup......now the questions (after the tank has cycled): Would you recommend any additions to the filtration ?<I think you are fine> Would the following be ok: 5 Blue Chromis, Pistol Shrimp & suitable Goby, 2 Percula Clowns & cleaner shrimp (also the normal clean crew of hermits, snails etc) ?<Yes they all will be fine> Many thanks for the great source of information and puns! James Knight <good luck with your new aquarium and livestock, IanB> Stocking a 55 gal Thanks so much for the response Blundell.  I'm glad to see that I am going down the right path with my plans.  I do have a couple of other questions now that the basics are confirmed. 1. My 55 freshwater setup currently has a wooden canopy that covers the hoods and lights and hides the Emperor 400.  There is about 4" to 5" clearance between this canopy and the top of the tank.  Is there any PC lighting that will fit in this space or should I plan to re-work this somehow to allow for better cooling of the lights? << No problem.  Most light systems will fit that.  Especially a 55 gal tank because that is such a common size. >> 2. I am planning to cycle the tank with live rock as long as it takes (6 - 8 weeks).  And make sure that I can keep all levels optimum before adding anything.  I am sure my wife will wonder about this long delay but I will just have to tell her that it is best for the animals we want to keep. When I had attempted a saltwater tank a few years ago, I had a huge diatom bloom that never really went away and my attempt ended in disaster with the loss of all fish.  I realize now that I got in way over my head with little knowledge of really how to do this and trusted too much in LFS advice. Should I expect to have a diatom bloom (brown algae) everywhere again but that it should go away soon, or will my plan of heavy skimming be able to stop this from happening? << It'll happen.  Maybe two weeks into the tank, and last for two weeks. >> 3. After everything is running well, it looks like you are suggesting that I add the corals right away.  Is there any particular order that I should do this with what I have planned?  Mushrooms first, than Leathers, than Starburst Polyps, etc.? << That is a great way to go. >> I am still debating on even trying the Anemone.  I have heard that they are more difficult and not even necessary for clowns. Maybe I'll try after a year or so of success with the other corals. << Yeah try that later, and make sure you have plenty of light first. >> 4. As for fish and inverts.  I see that you said my list looks good but that I will have to wait several months.  Are there any fish or inverts I could add with the corals? << Inverts yes, like peppermint shrimp or cleaner shrimp or urchins and seastars. >> and which fish should I start with?  << Green Chromis >>  Most aggressive first or least aggressive? << Oh, least aggressive first for sure. >>  Also, I really don't want to push my bioload too high, will all of these fish (planning on about 6 with either a flame hawkfish or the Coral Beauty) and assorted crabs, snails, and stars be a high load for a 55 with 70 ponds of live rock and a 30 gal sump with small refugium? << Should be about right. >> Thank you again for your assistance.  I am very much still in the planning stages so this is all tentative and subject to change but I am trying to lay the ground work for a system I can enjoy for the long term.  I will probably have more questions once I am closer to actually realizing my dream. << That's why we're here. >> Jeff Smith <<  Blundell  >>

Creating a Sustainable System Hello, <Hi there! Scott F.> I just ordered Reef Invertebrates and thanks in advance for all your help. <We're glad to be of service!> I have a 75 gallon acrylic tank that is 20 in. tall and has been running for 4 months. I currently have all the fish I want and I think it's time to start adding corals, an anemone, and a clam. First, is my tank mature enough to add invertebrates at this time (I have 60 pounds of live rock and a refugium with macro algae with excellent water parameters for the last 3 months)? <If water parameters are stable, and the tank otherwise looks healthy, you can certainly begin stocking with appropriate invertebrates> Secondly, the lighting I have is a 4X65 watt (2 10,000K and 2 Actinic) PC strip 2 inches above my aquarium and the light has to pass through the acrylic top on the tank. I would like to add a rose bubble tip anemone, a T. crocea clam, a few soft corals, and something like an open brain coral, but I have a couple of tank inhabitants that raise concern based on your forums: 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, and a 3 in. Passer Angelfish. <Definite potential for problems with these guys...Not guaranteed trouble, of course, but potentially problematic. I'm more concerned about the lighting for anemones, and your plan to combine stinging cnidarians with corals- an unnatural mix, with potential for compatibility problems...Do re-think the stocking plan a bit> Will my lighting be sufficient for my wish list of invertebrates? <Your lights will work for soft corals, the Brain Coral, and possibly the clam, if it's placed very high up. However, my personal opinion is that PC lighting, although very efficient and powerful- is not really intense enough for long term maintenance of anemones. I'd highly recommend metal halides if you intend to keep anemones. Light intensity is THAT important in their husbandry> Do my shrimp and angelfish pose a serious risk to the invertebrates I have listed? <I'm more concerned about the angelfish> Finally, do you have any specific recommendations for invertebrates, and will I need to remove any of my current tank inhabitants? Cheers to the WWM Crew! Regards, Greg <Well, Greg, with the exception of very noxious soft corals, like Cladiella, Sarcophyton, Sinularia, Zoanthids, and the like- just about any coral and sessile invertebrate is a potential snack for the Angel. If you are inclined to keep the angel, think in terms of the species listed. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> Stocking a 150 (9/13/04) Hello, love the site and informative articles but I had a stocking question I was hoping you could answer for me. I have a 150 gallon fish only aquarium with about 25 pounds of live rock. <Get more.> I have a wet-dry filter and a power head currently running. Here is the dilemma: I have a 3.5 inch harlequin Tuskfish, a 5 inch Naso tang ,  a tomato clown and five damsels. I would really like to add a flame angel as the newest member of the family. I would be willing to give up my Naso because he will get too big for the tank to handle eventually but I would like to replace him with either a regal tang or an emperor angel. <The Tuskfish is borderline too. The Naso definitely should go--needs at least 240 long-term.> I know both the regal and emperor get big too but they are two of my favorite types of fish. <The Regal (not the Emperor) should be OK, but do bear in mind that they are ich magnets. Quarantine 4 full weeks before adding to display. I'd say that this plus the Flame maxes out your tank. BTW, Flames require a lot of live rock with lots of life. You will need to wait several months to add one. The Emperor is a poor choice due to issues of size, feeding problems and lack of hardiness in captivity.> I really need your input because I don't know if I can trust the information I get from the local fish store. <Might want to look around for another then.> I plan to buy more live rock and add a skimmer before I trade the Naso. <Good idea> I am also curious as to what the best protein skimmer would be for my aquarium. <You need a good one. Most people have had very good results with any of several excellent brands, including EuroReef, AquaC & Precision Marine.> Thank you for your time. <Hope this helps. Steve Allen.>

Room to Grow (9/19/04) Ok Steve, here is what I have done. Tell me if I have improved or went down hill. I eliminated the Niger Trigger, the Bursa Trigger, the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, changed my skimmer to a Berlin, and set up a regimen to do water changes at 5 gallons a week, and frequent glass and sand cleaning (twice a week) So, here are the measurements of my fish left: Naso Tang--5 inches Zebra Eel--24 inches Chainlink Eel--18 inches Red Volitans--7 inches Black Volitans--7 inches Bamboo Shark--6 inches Based on this, I am ok for at least a couple of years? Dan... <Well, this is certainly an improved situation. Keep and eye on the skimmer in terms of getting good skimmate, and adjust as needed. The shark and the Naso will indeed need bigger quarters down the road. I'd guess the Naso should be OK for a couple of years. Hard to say on the shark, as they do grow fast. Probably OK, as long as you resist the temptation to add anything else. Steve Allen.>

It's Getting Crowded in There (9/12/04) I apologize for what I'm sure is a redundant question but I need another opinion. <OK. Steve Allen here to take a stab.> I will start with the setup. 55gal 36"x18"x20" w/ 3-5" DSB aprox. 75lbs LR 25gal refugium w/ 3-5 DSB Berlin PS powered w/ mag12 (these skimmers will work w/ a large pump 3-5oz daily) 380 watts VHO light 60 watts NO Aprox. 800gph flow ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate  0-10ppm PH 8.2-8.4 Calc 400-450 via Kalk. & B-ionic Alk 10-12dkh via B-ionic & Reefbuilder <All sounds good.> Now for livestock. 1 large green Sinularia 2 small yellow torch 1 small frogspawn 1 large yellow scroll 2 small Candycane frags 1 med bubble 1 4" T. squamosa A butt load of xenia that I thin monthly and trade to LFS to support this hobby 1 3" yellow tang 1 3" convict tang <Both of these Tangs need an absolute minimum tank size of 75G even without another Tang. Very likely to fight eventually. I've seen what they can do with those little scalpels on their tails that give them the name of "surgeonfish."> 1 2" copper band butterfly <This delicate, finicky fish may survive in there with the Tangs gone, but also is recommended for at least a 75G tank.> 1 1.5" mandarin <Very good chance it will starve to death in anything under 100G and not established for at least a year before adding. The refugium is a great tool that could save it, but those voracious Tangs may not leave anything for it.> 1 1" Clarkii <One of the more aggressive clowns, but ought to be OK.> 1 3" watchman goby <Nice fish--mine is paired with a burrowing shrimp.> 1 1" fire goby <This bashful fish may go into permanent hiding as those Tangs grow to dominate the tank.> This system has been running for 10 months now and all corals have been growing well. I saved the convict from a local pet superstore, it was being kept in 5gal bucket as it was sent to them on accident and they did not have saltwater tanks. <Kind of you, but it definitely needs a bigger home soon.> All of the fish get along fine <for now> and so far water quality has been easily maintained w/ 10gal weekly water changes. <Even this good regimen may fail you as the fish grow. Tanks produce a lot of waste.> I know that long term the tangs need a tank 3X this size. <Yes> I have a 180gal tank but fear it will be a year or so before it will be up. <If it is not longer than this, you may be OK as long as you keep up the great maintenance regimen and if the Tangs don't start fighting.>  OK the long awaited question... If I manage to keep the water quality up and fish tempers down do you see any immediate problems? <Not right away, but they loom in the foreseeable future.> Or should I get rid of the tangs or any other fish now? <If you could get rid of one Tang, that would be a good idea. OTOH, if you don't go to any movies or buy any CDs or alcohol or wedding presents, etc for the next several months, you might be able to afford to get that 180 up and running in less than a year. ;) > Thanks for all your valued advice and patience, Aaron <You're welcome. Good luck.> What Fishes Can I Have? (9/12/04) Dear Wet Web Media, <Steve Allen tonight.> I have a 75 gallon saltwater aquarium with 81 lbs.  of live rock. Attached to it are two Rio 600 pumps, a Marineland Magnum 350  canister filter, two 200 watt heaters, and a Eco-Aqualizer X-75. <I'd love to see any scientifically valid evidence that this device works. The alleged mechanism of action makes no sense.> All the water perimeters are where they should be. <Zero ammonia & nitrite, not much nitrate??> I wanted to know if I could keep an Emperor  Angel <tank needs to be at least twice as big for this one> an Auriga Butterfly <OK--nice & hardy fish, as butterflies go>, a Harlequin Tusk <same as angel--needs a much bigger tank>, and a Picasso Triggerfish in it. <For a couple of years, until it outgrows the tank.> I  thought that if the fish got to big, I could give them to a public aquarium. <What makes you think that they'll take them? Also, you may have to tear everything out of the tank to catch them--been there, done that--no thanks. Far kinder and smarter to buy only fish that can comfortably live out their lives in the tank you have.> Can  I keep any of these fish? <The Butterfly, along with some of the many wonderful, hardy, beautiful fishes that would be appropriate for this size tank. Check out Scott Michael's "Marine Fishes."> Thank you for your help. <You're welcome.> Sincerely, Nick Muzyka Aggressive fish compatibility Do you see any potential problems with a Large Yellow Tang, Medium Emperor Angel, Medium Radiata Lion, Picasso Trigger, Blue Dot Puffer, Masked Puffer, and a medium clown trigger in a live rock filled 162 Gallon tank. 48x30x28. << Yes, a lot of bioload. Man those are big waste producing fish. No problems in terms of compatibility, but I'd be careful in terms of filtration. >> I have a few clams that might be lunch meat to the clown trigger, but that's a risk I'm willing to take for this mix, if possible. I have 2 sumps with 2 protein skimmers (CY294) and a Large Refugium filled with a ton of wonderful black slime algae, that seems to absorb nitrates and phosphates well?!?!?! << Never heard anyone say they had wonderful black slime algae. I'm assuming it is Cyano and if so most people are looking to get rid of it. >> Thanks as always, you guys blow the roof of the mother reefs! << I'd add those fish to that system very slowly. It will take a tank several months to develop the filtration to handle all of them. >> << Blundell >>

- Stocking a 55 - Howdy guys ... love your website!  I've been researching some very  peaceful fish and came up with the following possible tenants for my 55  gallon.  Wanted to see what you thought about housing them together  before I started ...  2 false clownfish, 1 CBS, 1 yellow-headed  jawfish, 1 firefish, 1 pajama cardinalfish and 1 royal Gramma  Basslet.   My water parameters are exquisite, with 75  pounds of live rock, 6 inches of live sand and a small herd of  copepods. :) <Sounds like a good list, but the jawfish may be a little put out by the available room in this tank. Would consider dropping this fish, perhaps in favor of something like a neon goby. Cheers, J -- > Re: what who next Hello I  have a reef tank emerging <"emerging"... you mean like a "turtle-head" in Fat B. in the Austin Powers movie series?> and I would like some advice as to what I should add next. I have a 110 gal 100 lbs of live rock, tank with 6 tank bred clown fish, 1 yellow tang, Chromis 2 cleaner shrimp hermit crabs and emerald crabs, 1 sea slug. <some concern about the sea slug... very few survive in captivity long term> I would like to add gobies can I keep several gobies together. <hmmm... they can be territorial and aggressive to each other> I was thinking of shrimp gobies like The Orange Stripe Prawn Goby or The Hi Fin Red Banded Goby  what is the type of shrimp that they work  with? <they are best bought together at the same time when you can find them... many will not easily repair in captivity> I can not find burrowing shrimp is there another name and can they live with peppermint shrimp? <no idea without a scientific name to go on> is the Pistol Shrimp the one I am looking for? <perhaps... many species... multi oceans> I would like to add an anemone what is the best way to acclimate an  which anemone is the best to star with in hope the clowns will inhabit it?   <please do not add an anemone to a mixed community tank. Species tanks only... do read more about how and why in our archives at wetwebmedia.com... do read the many many pages and links we have for you here> what should come first any suggestions of what will do well in this situation? <an Entacmaea quadricolor is your best choice and to be added first some weeks or months before you get the clowns or introduce them> Thank You -A <best of luck, Anthony>

Stocking a 45 gal hello fellow WWM crew << Blundell here. >> I have a 45 gallon marine tank going on 3 months now. I have about 20-30 pounds of base rock, getting a lot of algae now. Coral life lighting, sea clone 100 skimmer (works alright), and coral life lighting and Ebo Jager heater. no sump at the moment, I plan on upgrading skimmer to EuroReef maybe or aqua c. Livestock includes 2 turbo snails 4 blue leg hermit crabs, 1 porcelain crab, 1 coral beauty, 1 Percula clown, 3 blue Chromis (sorry for spelling). I plan to get more live rock but how many for instance 1" fish could I have without being in danger? << Well I would stay with what you have for now.  Especially being a 3 month old tank.  What you have sounds fine, but I think you can add a couple more fish (each being 2-3 inches) in a few months or a year. >> what's difference with sump/skimmer upgrades/ more rock? << More rock is always good. Otherwise look at different skimmers on different tanks, and see what looks good to you. >> thanks <<  Blundell  >> One More Fish...? Hi Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> I have a 10 gallon SW setup for a year, 1-2 inches sand, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 nitrates. Two Pajama Cardinals, 1 Clown Goby and a Sixline Wrasse, snails and hermits and a Peppermint shrimp for the past 6 months. <A nice mix...I would stop fish additions at that, however...> I just tried to add a Royal Gramma (to replace a rainfordi that was starving) but the wrasse did a job on him. <Unusual for a Sixline to be so aggressive, but in a small tank, with space at a premium, it is not unheard of> Is there any way to add a fish to this setup? There is no rockwork to change to make the wrasse think he is in a new place just a plastic 'cliffs&cave' on one side where they all hang out after the lights go out.. <Well, short of rearranging the "cliffs & cave" setup, it's just a matter of adding the fish at a inconspicuous time. As mentioned above, I'd really refrain form adding any more fish to this tank. It works fine with the current population, and you really don't want to overtax this system's filtration capabilities. The best solution would be...you guessed it: A larger tank! That's my best recommendation, unfortunately...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Adding new fish to 75g FOWLR 8/31/04 Hey Crew!, I'm looking to get a new fish for my 75 gallon FOWLR tank with 70 lbs of Live Rock. The current tank occupants are a Cinnamon Clownfish and a Coral Beauty Angelfish, both have been living happily in my tank for 4 months. There are a few fish that I like, but don't know much about except there maximum size in captivity. I know I can't keep all of these fish, but here's the list: Wimplefish aka Poor Man's Moorish Idol, 6" Dwarf Lionfish (Dendrochirus brachypterus), 4" Sergeant Major Damselfish (Abudefduf saxatilis), 2" Bicolor Blenny, 3" Flame Hawk fish, 2" Long-nosed Hawk fish, 3" Royal Gramma, 3" Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus), 2" Six-Line Wrasse, 3" Black Pyramid Butterfly fish (Hemitaurichthys zoster), 4" Here's my questions: 1) Will any of the listed fish be compatible with my Cinnamon Clownfish and Coral Beauty Angelfish, if so which ones? <A Flame or long nosed Hawk may be harassed by your clown, the dwarf lion may eat your clown, and the butterfly or Wimplefish may not get along with the coral beauty.> 2) Will any of the listed fish not be compatible with Dwarf Hermit Crabs which I plan to get, if so which ones? <Long nosed hawk will prey on hermits.> 3) Do any of the listed fish need a lot of open swim space like Tangs do because I don't have a lot since I have Fiji Live Rock, if so which ones? <The Wimplefish and butterfly will quickly outgrow your tank.> 4) Which of the listed fish should I avoid because they are finicky or hard to feed eaters? Thank you, Greg <I don't have any experience with the particular butterfly you mention, but even the best species can be a bit finicky and should have plenty of room.  Cleaner wrasses should not be collected or kept in captivity.  Most starve, and before they do can actually damage your other fish by "over-cleaning".  Out of the list you provided, the Blenny, Royal Gramma and Six-line wrasse are your best choices.  Best Regards.  Adam>

New tank stocking 8/31/04 Hi I have a 29 gallon tank with emperor 280 filter and a powerhead that doubles as a sponge filter.  I have approx. 25-30 lbs. of live rock and 6 or so small hermit crabs.  Scarlet reef and blue legs.  It has a domino damsel 1" (I know to be extremely territorial, yellow tang 2.5" and a maroon clown 2.5'.  All get along great. (I think the tang and clown have been keeping the damsel in line.)  I had an anemone which died, I am very sorry I didn't do research b/c I later found I had bought a "bleached" one.  The maroon also stole krill from the anemone.  I am wondering if I could add any other fish as I know I'm probably pushing it.   <the bioload has some room indeed... but the tang and damsel are quite aggressive and may not allow company> If need be I'll get rid of the damsel to make room.  What fish would you recommend.  I was thinking about gobies or blennies, possibly a royal Gramma.   <some great choices indeed... especially the Gramma> Please try to be specific with options.   <my friend... you need to simply browse through databases (like our WWM archives) and good books like Scott Michaels pocket guide to Marine Fishes for inspiration. There are many possibilities and this needs to be a personal choice that pleases you in your hobby practice> Another question.  I read you advised someone to make a microalgae section in their tank.  I think that would be good for my tang as I know that will eat that. (Currently his staple food is those dried seaweed sheets, although sometimes he steals brine shrimp from my other fish)  How would I go about making a microalgae section like the one suggested?   <do a keyword search for "refugiums"> Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again for the awesome website you guys keep.  A great help it is. Fellow fish enthusiast, Aaron.   <best regards, Anthony>

Stocking Question - Large Marine Fishes 8/31/04 Greetings, All your answers are great- what good advice you all have given me via FAQ's and a couple emailed answers which has contributed to healthy anemones, living fish, and living coral.   <thanks kindly :) > So, my husband's been good about my hobby and frequent maintenance.  I have two 100 gallon tanks for hard coral, and one soft coral and 3 BTA tank.  I have been fanatical about including fish that won't eat/harm my many coral/featherdusters.  So the few fish I have in the two 100 gallon tanks are 2 pink bar gobies, 1 mandarin dragonette, 1 coral beauty in one tank and 2 maroon clowns in another.  My husband likes fish but we rarely see the ones I have except for the clowns.  He is losing inspiration for my ability to stare at the various sedentary coral to make sure of things like all polyps are opening properly etc.  He wants a fish only tank with easy care large visible fish.  My current tanks are plumbed together with a sump with 2 skimmers and refugium- 250 gallons or so of total water volume.  He wants to get a medium sized 150-180 gallon with some live rock and is that plumbed into the rest of the set up so it'd have 400-430 gallons between the different tanks.  I wanted to run possible fishie occupants by you as I'm getting a zillion different opinions on stocking from LFS, research etc and want to figure this out while we're still planning, as whatever we get we're stuck with. I do not want a tank that is painful to look at- i.e. too many fish that look too large and too crowded.  I do not want to remove anything later due to size/known incompatibility.  I'm thinking maybe 3-4 larger or mid-size fish and an eel.  The puffer is rather drab color, so I'd like the other fish to be bright. Must hopefully have: 1 porcupine puffer which is a favorite fish 1 zebra or dragon or similar sized moray (or would the puffer bother it too much?) <puffers are toothy, nippy and unpredictable at times. A porcupine puffer also gets quite large as an adult... see the figures on fishbase.org> Very much like to have a trigger: 1 trigger Picasso or other trigger? <Picassos are handsome, relatively well-behaved and a good choice. Even better would be Niger Odonus... more peaceful, albeit more shy> Like to Have (One or Two of these with at least one angel preferred): Moon, Christmas, or Surge Wrasse <the Christmas wrasse is an excellent choice for medium-sized well-behaved tankmates> Sohal Tang <not a prayer of the Sohal... too large and too aggressive. Hardy though for larger aquaria> A larger angel like: Asfur Angel Passer Angel Koran Angel French Angel Emperor Angel or other pretty bright angel or other recommendations if it'd be ok with above. <all fop he above angels with the exception of the Koran are large and very aggressive. Do consider instead an annularis. Still large, but extremely hardy and disease resistant, long lived and relatively well-behaved> Many Thanks! Flo <best regards, Anthony> Populating A New Tank I have bought a used 135 gallon tank quite a while ago. It has a couple of chips on the inside but other than that its in good shape. It was a fraction of the cost of a new one. I filled it up on my deck and let it sit for a week on newspaper. There have been no leaks or any signs of them... does this mean it will be ok now, or do I still need to be careful? <Well, you always need to be careful with any tank that has been sitting empty for an extended period of time. Keep a close eye on the chips in the glass to make sure that they are not worsening. Should be okay if it hasn't leaked by now- but there are simply no guarantees.> Also what are a few hardy fish for a tank of this size... I was thinking a Harlequin Tusk, a Scopas Tang, a Threadfin Butterfly and maybe a Miniata Grouper. <Quite a mix!> I'm thinking that this fish might be too big for my tank if it is so can you direct me towards another hardy fish. Maybe a larger angel? <Well, you asked, so I'll give you my two cents worth. I think that the grouper is not a good choice for this sized aquarium. I'd leave that fish for a much larger tank (like 240-500 gallons or more!). As far as the tang and the butterfly are concerned, they are both fine fishes if selected carefully, acclimated properly, and quarantined before placing in the display. The Harlequin Tusk can go either way, with some specimens behaving well, and others becoming absolute terrors in community tanks. Your call here...I'd pass, myself, in favor of a smaller wrasse. I would also pass on a larger angel in favor of a Centropyge species, or maybe a smaller Chaetodontoplus or Genicanthus species. Larger Pomacanthus angels require vast amounts of space, and range over huge areas in the wild, so I personally don't feel that they are appropriate for any but the largest home aquariums (I mean hundreds or thousands of gallons- at least 8-10 feet or more long). Use the WWM resources to help learn about an choose one of the smaller, more appropriate angels for your tank.> Thanks a lot. <Hope I was of assistance! Good luck with your selections! Regards, Scott F>

Packin' 'Em In (8/22/04) Good  evening crew- <Steve Allen with you tonight.> I currently have a 72 gal FOWLR tank with 46 lbs live rock and 80 lbs live sand. The tank has been up and running for over 1 yr. Current inhabitants of display tank for the past 5 wks are: -1 Percula Clown (small) - added to tank appx. 8 weeks ago -1 Yellow Tang (small) - added to tank appx. 3 weeks ago <will get plenty big> -1 Yellow Watchman Goby (small) - added to tank appx. 3 weeks ago -3 Green Chromis (small) - added to tank appx. 3 weeks ago -1 Algae Blenny (currently in QT tank; has been there for appx. 5 wks; ready to be moved into the display tank) <Is there algae for him to eat? They often starve in pristine tanks.> -1 Cleaner Shrimp (medium) -1 Fire Shrimp (medium) -various crabs and snails <Your tank is close to being too full> I would like to add (after a 4 wk QT period): 1 Dot Dash Butterfly (Chaetodon punctatofasciatus) 1 Pakistani Butterfly (Chaetodon collare) or 1 Pearlscale Butterfly (Chaetodon xanthurus) 1 Flame Angel 1 Bartlett's Anthias or 1 Bicolor Anthias 1 Pearly Jawfish <Sorry, this is way too many fish unless you will be getting a much bigger tank within a year.> What are thoughts on compatibility of the above, particularly: I) Watchman goby vs. algae blenny vs. pearly jawfish <A bad combo. Assuming you mean a Lawnmower Blenny, these get aggressive. Jawfish should be the fist fish in the tank--they are very shy and easily spooked. I would not add one to your set-up.> ii) Dot Dash Butterfly vs. Pakistani or Pearlscale Butterfly <Personally, I'd skip the Butterflies altogether. Pakistanis are notoriously difficult to keep alive. Pearlscale aren't all that much better. Dot-dashes are rather shy and might be intimidated by the Tang and the Flame.> iii) Flame Angel vs. Bartlett or Bicolor Anthias <Anthias can be tough as well. Do study them more. I have 3 Bartlett's that are doing very well. The Bicolors are also beautiful, and a bit bigger. They both eat frequently and do better with lots of swimming space above the rocks (with places to hide in the rocks) and with a refugiums constantly supplying live food. They will not do well if fed only once per day. The Flame Angel can be aggressive, but usually to conspecifics and will probably be fine if added last.> iv) Yellow Tang vs. all new additions. <Always a potential for problems, more likely with the Butterflies than any others. Another Tang would be a definite no-no.>   Also, what do you recommend for sand sifting/stirring? I have considered both a yellow goat fish and sand sifting star but based on numerous comments on the WWM site, neither of these are good choices. i.e.,  the goatfish may eat my cleaner/blood shrimp and the sand star will eat all the beneficial organisms in my live sand. <The goatfish would be an especially bad choice. I'm a big fan of Nassarius snails and smaller serpent stars. A burrowing shrimp for your Yellow Watchman would also move a lot of sand, but if you have aggressive crabs, it could get killed.> Thanks and keep up the good work. <My pleasure. As a bottom line recommendation, I'd suggest no Butterflyfish and no Jawfish. Maybe a single Bartlett's Anthias, and finish with the Flame Angel. If you must have a Butterflyfish, better choices might be a Bannerfish, Long-nosed, Lemon, or Auriga.> Ade. <Hope this helps.> Fish selection 15 Aug 2004     Hi this is Jonathan <Hi Jonathan, MacL here with you this fine night.> Haven't talked to you guys for a while. I have just about upgraded my 46gal to my 125gal tank. <WOOHOO congratulations.> The tank has been cycling for a about a week. <Be sure and take it slow with such a big tank, do your cycle right you won't regret it.> I had a few question's on fish. I am moving all the fish from the 46gal to the 125gal tank. Those fish are (1)firefish goby(1)glass goby (2)percula clownfish one female one male, And one Blue damsel about 2". The new fish that I have been looking at are a Gold ring Bristletooth Tang, <Nice choice> blue spotted Jawfish, comet (marine Betta)<Might eat your gobies when it gets large>, Leopard wrasse <Might pick at the blue spot jaw, I'd use caution>, Fourline wrasse or eight line wrasse, I had a question on the fish could I keep both wrasses in the tank and would the fourline or eight line wrasse be better with the leopard wrasse and the other fish. <I might consider just having one of the wrasses.> I also like the comet (very pretty) I was wondering if it could be okay to put into the tank because of there shy nature, <Yes but they can eat small fish and might be a problem although I must say I like them very much.> and do sleeper Gobies pray organisms such bristle or flatworms. <They are more likely to eat copepods.> One last question could a arrow crab be okay with my selection of fish. <I've seen arrows attack small gobies.> Thanks so much.!!!!   What can I keep in my 25 gal? Thank you for your quick response.  I went back to the store yesterday and my water is all cleared up.  I am planning on waiting for fish until I get the new lighting.   Knowing that our tank is 23-25 gallons and I might add (later)  another LTA.   But I want to get the tank more stabilized.   If you could help me decide the order of things I would greatly appreciate it.   First I need help deciding what retro kit to use for my tank.  I have an Eclipse and apparently the company our local aquarium dealer was going to get no longer makes them.  So I was looking at the Current USA retro kits.   But I didn't know which light to go with.  I would prefer to have Anemone's rather than the coral. << In general I would say anemones need more light, or at least as much light, as corals. >>   Ok. so after I get the new lights I was going to let the Live Rock stabilize.   Then start back up with a P. Clownfish wait 2 weeks then get a "Dory" << Hmmm, I wouldn't do that.  Hippo/Regal tangs are not hardy fish, especially in small tanks. >>, Then wait a few weeks and maybe get a yellow Tang.  I was told they should be last.  How many fish should I put in the tank, << Well it depends on how big the fish are.  But with a clown and a yellow tang, I think you could still add one medium fish or two more little fish.  But patience is key, don't rush that. >>  and are there any other fish you would recommend. << Oh yes, any blenny or goby or even small wrasse. >>  Then maybe I would like to add the LTA.  I would also like to add a Zebra Eel. << I wouldn't do this.  I'd wait a good long while and get much experience first.  Plus, I'd leave those fish for tanks at least 100 gals. >> Our local guy said that the zebra eel will not bother the fish and that they eat crabs. << They do eat inverts, which is why most people avoid them.  But I think you are pretty safe regarding fish. >> Is this True? Thanks again for all your help and encouragement. << Good luck, take it slow. >> Keith and Lora <<  Blundell  >>

Mixing Tangs and Triggers Hello<Hello back, MikeD here> What are your thoughts on putting two Tangs, one Regal and the other Sailfin, in the same 150 gallon tank?<Often two tangs is a bad idea, although Hippos  seem to tolerate other species and even more surprising BE tolerated by other species than is common for the family in general, keeping in mind that Acanthurus and Zebrasoma don't seem to realize the genus Naso as being related and vice versa.> The sailfin is big and Regal would be small.<this could be a problem as some Sailfins become VERY aggressive. I'd think the other way around would be safer.> I also already have a little Humu Humu and a 8" Black Hawaiian Trigger (You mean the Black durgeon, correct? This may work out as long as you have plenty of LR for cover, IMO a wise idea in any aggressive combination.  Even professional boxers need a corner to go to between rounds.> in the tank as well. Thank you for your advice.<As in all questions of this nature, keep in mind that the reply is biased in favor of what has or hasn't worked for me, followed by knowledge of similar combinations by others.> Brendgol Majewski

Stocking 180 FOWLR <Hello, MikeD here> hello all out there.  The time has arrived and I finally got my 180 reef ready acrylic tank.<Congrats,  as sometimes bigger IS better!>  I plan to use it for a predator tank.<OK>  After talking to many people and researching about how to set it up I find I still am unclear on what should be the right way to go.<That's probably because there are several "right ways", with the key being what works best for what we intend and what we are willing to invest, both in money and effort.>  I know what I would like but don't know for sure if it will work.  Let me tell you what I would like to do and maybe you guys can correct me if I'm not doing the best thing for the tank.  Here we go.<OK>  First I would like to put in a deep sand bed(5"-6" of Southdown fine sand).<I'd suggest the fine grade aragonite myself. Although it's a preference, the buffering capabilities should make you glad you considered this not too far down the road.>   I would like to rely on live rock, a great protein skimmer and the deep sand bed for filtration.  How's is so far??<I peeked ahead. I'd be afraid to try this myself, considering the eventual size of the fish you show a liking for.>   Would I still need a wet/dry with these fish:<I'd say yes, if not a wet/dry, at least a good sump and possibly an algae scrubber.>  Well let me tell you what fish I would like to have and will probably add in this order:  1.) Lion fish<I'm assuming you mean a P. volitans>, 2.) Naso Tang, 3.) Yellow Dogface Puffer, 4). Fox Face, 5.) Moray or Snowflake Eel, 6.) Picasso Trigger, and  7.) Emperor Angelfish.  That's would be awesome if I can do all these.  If I had to give up two of them though I guess it would be the eel and the Foxface.   I would like to know if the live rock, protein skimmer, and live sand would be enough for all these fish?<Again, I'd say not by itself> and also if these fish would be compatible?<The two biggest glitches would be the trigger/lionfish combination (triggers often eventually turn on lions as they mature) and the Emperor angel (because of the potential large size which MIGHT be a problem, particularly if it turns aggressive.>As far as lighting goes for the live rock I will probably be using a Hello Light 72" 4 x 96W Compact Fluorescent Retrofit Kit (2-96w 10k and 2-96w 03 actinic.<OK, this brings up a point. You say the lighting is specifically for the LR? Is this in the main tank proper or a sump? My suggestion would be both.>  Thanx for steering me right.<You're welcome, but keep in mind that these responses are definitely biased and reflective of what has worked for me and what hasn't in both smaller and larger tanks.>   Setting up a 8x2x2 Tank Hi Crew, <Hi, Dan, Mike D. here> How's everybody doing?<Any better would be illegal!> Hope everything is well, One quick one. I bought a 8x2x2 glass complete setup with overflow, wet & dry, and UV. Used to be freshwater so I am converting to butterfly tank (My Dream Tank!)<This I can understand!> . I lived in a townhouse which 1st level is the garage and the 2nd level is the living area (Concrete flooring). I called one Aquarium maintenance guy to bring the tank upstairs and he said it wouldn't fit on the stairwell.<THAT can be a problem, as these are HEAVY!> Unless, I hire a forklift try to bring it thru the window.<They also have hydraulic loaders...you might check at your nearest local airport. These are commonly used for loading medium sized prop aircraft and might be reasonably rented on a one time basis. Just a thought.>   I don't know what to do : (  The wife suggested to setup in the garage put a couch and make it a fish room. Which is not a bad idea, But......... I Don't Know!!! Too much hassle when feeding time.  Any suggestions????<If you buy a small bar type refrigerator for foods, it might have some merit, along with another TV, of course.> Please review my stocking plan:              130 kg Live rock & Crush Corals  (4 Fluorescents)              2 Coral Banded Shrimp              4 Purple fire fish                2 Black Ocellaris              1 Blackback Butterfly   (1 yr)              1 Pakistani Butterfly              1 Yellow Longnose Butterfly              1 Double Saddle Butterfly              1 Chevron Butterfly or Golden Butterfly (Red sea)              1 Chaetodon punctatofasciatus              1 Flame Angel    (1 yr)              1 Lawnmower Blenny (1yr)              1 Purple Tang or Blue Tang (Not sure) I don't know if I'm overstocking here that's why I'm not sure if the Tang would be ok.<Sounds good to me. Remember to let the tank cycle thoroughly and then add the fish 1 or 2 at a time, as the biofiltration adjusts to the load the tank is carrying.> Thank you for your time, and wish you guys all the best!!!!!<Likewise. My 300 was a red letter day bar none, so enjoy!> Regards, Dan Questions about stocking a nano? Hi Crew! << Blundell here. >> You guys really do an awesome service. Many questions as have been in freshwater for years, and now --- the dreaded nano reef! 16 gal. bowfront 96 w. 50/50 CF 3" above surface 19 lbs. live Fiji pink 7.5 lbs. live Tonga Emperor 280 with BioWheel still in glass strip to prevent Emperor splash! open of front and back of strip 100w. titanium heater=78 deg F. consistent Next item will be skimmer.  I've been thinking remora w/Rio800. Or, ditch the Emperor (too much splash!) and go with BakPak? If remora, remove BioWheel? << I like emperors, and I like Biowheels. >> Is it too much sand or too little? << Three or four inches of sand is perfect. >> How much LR and how quickly. << As much as you can afford, and I put it all in at once. >> I was thinking another 7-8 lbs. in about a week.  7-8 more two weeks after that. Too much light? << You can't have too much light. >> Currently I have the glass strip which I would like to remove but want to protect the light.  Maybe I could remove it if I get rid of the Emperor. << I like glass.  Simply for cleaning.  It is much easier to clean than a bulb.  But I don't really have strong preferences here. >> Should I use the light during cycling? << Yep. >> What kind of corals and critters and when.  Cleaning crew in 4-6 weeks, then some fish (1-3) or corals? << Corals first.  With a cleaning crew maybe.  But don't put fish in yet.  I'd let the tank go a while first. >> Thanks soooo much? ss <<  Blundell  >>

Stocking a 72 gal. Hi Crew - I sent the message below a while back and have not yet heard back, so I assume you may not have received the earlier e-mail. << I'm unsure why you didn't receive a reply.  Sorry about that, I'll do my best to answer your questions here. Blundell. >> Hope to hear back soon. Thanks, Ade Hi Crew, << Blundell this morning. >> Thanks for your help with my previous questions.  Please provide your feedback on the following stocking plan for my 72 gal fish only tank w/ live rock (appx, 46 lbs) and live sand (appx 80 lbs). Your comments on (I) choice of livestock, (ii) quantity, (ii) order of introduction, and (iii) timing would be appreciated. Current inhabitants of display tank for the past 5 wks are: -1 Percula Clown (small) -1 Yellow Tang (small) -1 Yellow Watchman Goby (small) -4 Green Chromis (small) -1 Algae Blenny (currently in QT tank; has been there for appx. 5 wks; ready to be moved into the display tank) -2 Cleaner Shrimp -1 Fire Shrimp -various crabs and snails << All sounds good. >> I would like to purchase the following within the next week ((note: I always QT for 4-5 wks before adding new livestock to the display tank): -1 Royal Gramma << Add this fish last, and after the tank has been up for several months. >> -1 Convict Tang or 1 Hippo Tang << I have a real love for convict tangs.  And they are much hardier than hippo tangs, so I would definitely go with a convict. >> -1 Sand Sifting Star Fish << I don't think these are good tank inhabitants.  If you do decide to get one, then I would definitely wait a year before adding it. >> -1 Yellow Belly Blue Damsel (Pomacentrus auriventris)  - I understand this is one of the more peaceful Damsels.  Will it harass the Chromis or other inhabitants? << Probably, but that is okay.  Just part of being a fish.  It won't (shouldn't) be enough to be life threatening to the fish. >> would you suggest an alternative Damsel if this one is not suitable. << Just about any Anemonefish is a good choice of a peaceful damsel. >> -1 Butterflyfish - either: Dot Dash Butterflyfish (Chaetodon punctatofasciatus) or Pearlscale Butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus) or Pakistan Butterflyfish (Chaetodon collare) - Your feedback on pros/cons of each of these butterflies would be very helpful. << Well, I would say that these fish need lots of live rock.  Also, I'd wait several months before adding one.  The Pearlscale is probably the most hardy of the three, and I would probably recommend him for a beginner/new tank.  Again live rock is the key for butterflies.  Oh yes, and if you can get a butterfly from Hawaii then I would buy one (regardless of what species it is).  They just do much better because of collecting and handling methods. >> Final purchase after 6-8 wks -1 Bartlett Anthias -1 Flame Angel -1 Green Mandarin << Not bad in my opinion.  I'd probably not get a mandarin since you have a small tank and the other fish you have listed are dependent upon the live rock.  Also, take a pick on the mandarin or the sand sifting star... don't get both. Thanks again for your help. << Good luck. Ade <<ALAS, to have a fish I reason for corals larger and of The make invertebrates upon decided or choice: had chance.  I remote even toughest the but all high WAY nitrates keep simply they fish, like because was maintain trying quit rub. there's it fish! durable VERY are These well. as he'd sure I'm Oh, from size you this 3? 2? exceed don't that species themselves limit reefs 90 with people Most time. short in levels safe below far decline parameters water not difficult makes 7? by produced waste amount tank. reef gal. large too years, 3 about maximum reached Foxface Lo currently range. any away staying suggest I'd think there, tang yellow already since James,>> New Fish 8/16/04 In my 29 gallon tank, I have a long tentacle anemone, pink tip anemone, 2 percula clownfish, a cleaner shrimp and some snails and blue legged hermit crabs. I'm looking for a new fish to add to my tank, one that is peaceful and wont bother anyone. Do you know of any that you could recommend to me that would do well in my size tank? I want everyone to live nice and happy in there with no troubles. <Firefish are prone to jumping, but would do well otherwise, I would normally recommend blennies or gobies, but slow moving "cruising" fishes would be at risk to be eaten by your anemone.> Another question is that my cleaner shrimp sheds its outer skin regularly, but after every time it does that, it seems to then always have eggs attached to its bottom half. is this normal and will I ever get any baby shrimp out of this? <It is normal, and it is very difficult to rear shrimp larvae.  It is possible, but beyond the interest of most hobbyists.> I also have baby snails in my tank now, about 2 or 3 of them. Is there any specific things I should be doing for them? <Nothing special. They should grow up if they don't get lost another way.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Stocking questions HI, Frank here again.<Hi Frank, it's me, MikeD> Just a quick stocking question for my 25 gal tank (20gal actual water dimensions are 30x12x12 inches high,<Aha! someone who takes LR displacement into account. Well done!> I also have a good skimmer for a small sized tank if that relates to stocking.  Right now I have a tank raised perc. clown 1.5 inches, a 6-line wrasse almost 2 inches and a bicolor blenny about 3 inches.  Taking into consideration various rules of thumb in stocking, good husbandry practices, and various food niches in my tank, what is your opinion on getting a smaller tank-raised perc. clown in an attempt to pair it with the one I have.<You realize of course that the answer you want is VERY obvious!**grin** While I understand your desire, a single fish will be MUCH easier to deal with, and the odds of yours accepting another in its established territory are very slim, leaving the new one with nowhere near enough running room to stay alive.>  The only real concern is bio-load (hopefully no problems with good monitoring, water changes, etc) and territory.<Here's where I see the problem>  In terms of competition I think food won't be a problem because eating habits are pretty diverse.  Will the  mated pair take over my tank<yes> or can they all live in peace<uuuuh....no> ( I understand if there were to be eggs then the pair would be more aggressive or defensive)?<Not a little a LOT!>  Would the pair just take up a portion of my tank or more, it has lots of rock caves and hiding spots.  In the future I would like to have a mated pair of perculas right away in another same sized tank<Now THAT is more realistic, with the best odds for success being if both young clowns are added at the same time> , what other small fish would you recommend I add to the pair if possible.<Honestly, none. Have you considered invertebrates instead of fish? Brittle stars, arrow crabs, and many others would be much more likely to be tolerated, keep the bioload stress low and still add considerable interest to the tank as well>>  What is a reasonable sized tank for a mated pair + community of one or two more fish?<IMO, a 55 gal at the very least. While Clownfish aren't as insistent as other damsels in regard to huge territories, and Percs being smaller and milder than many, they still are quite insistent about defending territory, and that includes an imaginary dome that goes Up as well as across>  Sorry for all of the questions<Never be sorry for the questions. The people  who are the most difficult to work with are those with none!> but the more I read the more I want to know.<Yes, it IS very much like an addiction isn't it?>  Your website is the one I turn to all the time.<Thanks. We try as best we can>  All the other crap on the net always leads me here and then I can't stop reading<Understood. I've been doing this for over 40 years and am STILL reading!>...thanks,<You're very welcome> Frank.   

Marine Puffers.... again (8-14-04) Hi again, <Hello> Sorry for all the questions. < No worries, that is what we are here for> How big do the dog faced puffers get in captivity? Depends on which species, but generally about 10 to 12 inches. > Would they leave small fish alone? Perhaps.....but most likely not. They are predators.....most will tell you eventually they will snack on them. >    Would a valentini puffer be better with smaller fish? Yes better ....they can however be fin nippers, so avoid slow moving fish with long fins.> The tank size is a 70 gallon. <Nice size> Could I keep 2 Valentini's in a 70 gallon? No you will probably not be able to keep 2 together  unless you come across a male/female pair, as they may fight conspecific males. > Thanks for all the info and sorry if I bothered you! <Your most welcome and it was bother at all, Leslie>

Livestock Issues? Hi Crew, <Hi! Ryan Bowen with you> Thanks for your help with my previous questions.  Please provide your feedback on the following stocking plan for my 72 gal fish only tank w/ live rock (appx, 46 lbs) and live sand (appx 80 lbs). Your comments on (I) choice of livestock, (ii) quantity, (ii) order of introduction, and (iii) timing would be appreciated. Current inhabitants of display tank for the past 5 wks are: -1 Percula Clown (small) -1 Yellow Tang (small) -1 Yellow Watchman Goby (small) -4 Green Chromis (small) -1 Algae Blenny (currently in QT tank; has been there for appx. 5 wks; ready to be moved into the display tank) -2 Cleaner Shrimp -1 Fire Shrimp -various crabs and snails <All sound appropriate.> I would like to purchase the following within the next week ((note: I always QT for 4-5 wks before adding new livestock to the display tank): -1 Royal Gramma <Good, hardy.  Add to your liking> -1 Convict Tang or 1 Hippo Tang <Add never.  Too small a tank for more than one tang.> -1 Sand Sifting Star Fish -1 Yellow Belly Blue Damsel (Pomacentrus auriventris)  - I understand this is one of the more peaceful Damsels.  Will it harass the Chromis or other inhabitants? Could you suggest an alternative Damsel if this one is not suitable. <How about none?  Damselfish are aggressive and nasty by nature.> -1 Butterflyfish - either: Dot Dash Butterflyfish (Chaetodon punctatofasciatus) or Pearlscale Butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus) or Pakistan Butterflyfish (Chaetodon collare) - Your feedback on pros/cons of each of these butterflies would be very helpful. <I'd add a butterfly in 6 to 12 months, and only then the hardiest of butterflies.  I think the Bannerfish would be the best species from this genus for you, and you tankmates.> Final purchase after 6-8 wks -1 Bartlett Anthias -1 Flame Angel -1 Green Mandarin <This is 75 gallons, right?  You do realize that you're looking into 15 fish?  None of these final three are good choices for this tank, unless they're all that are going in the tank.  Sorry, too many fish, too little water. Good luck, Ryan> Thanks again for your help. Ade

Tang or Flame Angel (8/13/04) Hey crew I haven't bugged you guys for a while, what's shaking? <Hi Justaguy.....Justagal Leslie here for the crew today.> My tank is a 48" long 55 gal with 65 lbs of live rock and a 4" DSB. Eventually I will be adding a few simple corals (i.e. Shrooms, xenia). Anyhow I was wondering if I can get your opinion on a stocking plan. Presently I have a royal Gramma, percula clown and a Copperband butterfly. <Hmmmmm a bit small for that Butterfly. You chose one of the more difficult Butterflyfish. This fish frequently does not do well in  captivity and are often difficult to get to feed on aquarium foods.> I will be adding two cleaner shrimp. <A good addition for parasite control> I was thinking of adding a yellow tang or a flame angel. Both would be too much, correct?   <Well more than both being to much the Yellow Tang is a pretty active fish and would appreciate more room with a 75g being minimum. > Which do you think would compliment my setup best? The Flame Angel for without a doubt.> Thanks so much! Justaguy.. <Your most welcome....Leslie>

Mixing live rock locales? 8/14/04 Dear Mr. Fenner and Crew, <cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> Could one stock a tank with live rock collected from two areas (such as rock from Florida mixed with rock from Fiji) with no ill effect or would the mixing of species that arrive on/in the rock be a very bad idea? <not a bad idea at all... there are advantages and disadvantages. We go into great detail on this subject in our latest book "Reef Invertebrates" (Calfo and Fenner 2003). The gist of it however is that mixing rock initially improves biodiversity, but can also be a bit of stress to invertebrates in particular that suffer from succession of unnatural, aggressive or more competitive foreign species. Frankly, if you are doing a common garden reef (assorted) mix tank, I see no problem at all... mix and enjoy if you like> Thanks for the great help you all provide and here's to your continued success. Troy <to you in kind my friend, Anthony>

Nemo Fever Claims Another Victim Hi Guys, <Hello! Ryan Bowen in your aid today> I have a single blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) in my mini reef for three months already.  The Finding Nemo thing.  I read a lot about this creature both on screen and out.  A lot of articles said that this is sensitive to diseases as compare to other marines. <And poorly suited for a miniature reef.> So, it has received five star accommodations since it was introduced to my minireef.  But, besides all those pamperings, I noticed lately that its tail shows somehow a symptom of fin rot. (Maybe this marine needs six star accommodation!) <Yes, I'd check dissolved oxygen, and plan for a bigger, more spacious home for him.  Prepare a quarantine tank, and treat him with Melafix.> I have a plan in mind but not sure this would work.  As they say, better ask the expert.  Would a Methylene blue dip work on fin rot? <Melafix will be much healthier, and work well.> Any other suggestion on how I would treat this “Dory” marine of mine? <Yes, plan for the future..."Dory" needs a tank of 150 gallons or more in adulthood.  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks!   Joebel

Lighting and stocking a tank? Hello WWMCrew, << Blundell this fine morning. >> Thank you for the info on the name FOWLR, how so simple, I hope this one is the same. I now have six 4ft fluoros for my 500lt tank -4x10000k super day lights, and 2x actinic, I can run the actinics on a separate timer. What I need to know is what time period I should run the two set ups at. I do like to have the actinics on at night till I go to bed, because it looks nice. Do the actinics need to be on all day or should they come on before the super day lights, then come on again after the super day lights have finished. << I would run the actinics all day long.  Run them for about 14 hours, and your daylights for more like 12 hours or so. >> Is this enough light now for my tank or should I place another two more super day lights. << Well if it is a FOWLR, then this sounds fine.  I love light, and I don't think you can ever have enough. >> I have still got the algae blues but I will send a separate e-mail about this. TANK SET-UP   a.. 500lt Tank - 4 holes drilled into back at water level line - runs down to W/D shower head   b.. 1x 2 Sponge power head filter in tank for pushing water   c.. 1x Foam fractionation skimmer   d.. 1x Canister filter - Via Aqua 750 Professional - 3 baskets: Matrix           Running off W/D sump                                                                  a.. 1x Wet & Dry filter 75cm x 45cm x 45cm Green filter material - ? full of Bio-balls                 14cm water level in sump   a.. 1x Jun pump 12,000 L/ph   b.. 2x Heaters.. Tank substrate - crushed white coral 2mm   d.. 6x 4ft Fluoros - 4x Super Day -2x Actinic Blue LIVE STOCK   a.. 1x Mandarin Dragonet  << Careful here, they do much better in well established reef tanks. >>   b.. 2x Tomato Clown Fish (1 male, 1 female)   c.. 1x Banded Boxing Shrimp (female)   d.. 1x Abalone   e.. 1x Medusa worm   f.. 1x Host Anemone   g.. 20x Actinodiscus/Discosoma   h.. 3x Ricordeidae   I.. 5x Warty Corallimorphs   j.. 3x Folded Elephant Ears   k.. 12x Colonial Anemone   l.. 30x Yellow/Green Encrusting Sea Anemones   m.. 1x Violet Sea Urchin   n.. 3x Sea Squirts   o.. 4x Xenia - Encrusting Corals   p.. 1x Goniopora - Planulata << This may be a poor specimen to choose. >>   q.. 1x Large Plate Coral   r.. 1x Small Plate Coral   s.. 20x Finger - Torch Corals   t.. 3x Star - Pineapple Corals   u.. 2x Common Sponges   v.. 8x Tree Soft Corals   w.. 3x Branching Hydroids   x.. 2x Grape Caulerpa   y.. 1x Free Living Bristleworm   z.. Colony of Sea Mats   aa.. A meadow of Xenia type blue single flowers   ab.. 10kg Premium Live rock covered in Coralline Algae << Well you listed a lot of cnidaria in there.  I would say that in this case, I would consider upgrading your lights.  Try looking through the readings on this site about lights for a tank that size.  I say "when in doubt, add more light".  It may really help out. >> Thank You Chris <<  Blundell  >>

Stocking Opinions Hello there my helpful friends, <Hello back, James, Mike D here> I have a 1500 litre tank with a Niger Trigger, Regal, Purple & Yellow Tangs, Blue ringed Angel and a Queen Coris Wrasse.  They are all around 4 inches. I want to add over the next year a Coris argula wrasse< besides getting huge, have you ever seen photos of adults? they end up remarkably drab with huge teeth>, Black backed B\F, Chevron B\F, 3 x wimple fish and a Picasso Trigger.  Can you see any problems with this mix and is there any order in which you would add them.<The biggest problem I see is the wrasses, with the Aygula growing to 4 feet!  At this size, A) it's too  large for even your tank, and B) it would almost certainly kill the queen if not removed in time. While your young tangs are apparently giving each other enough space for now, as they mature the two wrasses will SEEK combat> I have enough Live Rock to build a house and have no corals.  If you think 2000 litres is to small for this mix as adults, don't worry as I will buy a bigger tank when and if that happens. I did want a Clown Trigger but after reading how aggressive they can become overnight as adults and wipe out your whole tank I'll give it a miss. You recommend the Picasso as being more peaceful and still having lot's of character.<The Picasso ought to work out just fine. Although much smaller than the Niger, they are also often a bit more aggressive as well, which ought to balance out> Many Thanks,<You're very welcome> James.

More Stocking Queries Dear Mike, <Hi James, it's me, MikeD again> wow!  That was a quick response.<It comes from not having a "real life">  OK, I will give the aygula a miss.  Any other wrasses that would work with the Queen?<My suggestion would be any of the Hogfish, a Harlequin Tuskfish or a Dragon Wrasse, with most of the other more normal wrasses all in the high risk of war category>  As for the Triggers, are there any more that would work out with my Niger?<Combining triggers is likewise tricky, with even the Niger known to get VERY aggressive as they grow you are aware that these can reach 1 1/2 FEET, right?) And B\Fs, what are your 2 favourites?<This is a family that I've admired but honestly, rarely kept. Other species you might consider that are nice, hardy and colorful are the Heniochus, the Rabbitfish and one of the Naso Tangs (the genus Naso rarely fights with the other genus, being a "back woods relative)>  I very much value your opinion Mike as you have given me lot's of help in the past.<Well thank you very much. You will post pics of your tank, right?> Kindest Regards, James.

Fish in 30 gallon tank 3 Aug. 2004 Hey there,<Hi there Chris, MacL here with you today, its nice to meet you> My name is Chris and I'm 16. I did research on having a marine tank, But you can never do enough right? ;). <Very smart and very true.>  Well I have a 30 gal that I started off with.....I have 2 False perculas, 2 yellowtail damsels, and 1 3-stripe damsel...all under 1". <Sounds like an interesting mix although in my experience the three stripes get mean and not so attractive as they grow.> I also just recently started to add some coral, and they're thriving!.. <Be careful with the corals because many do require special lighting. Sounds like you are doing good because you are researching.> I have a 20 gal quarantine tank as well. <Wonderful> Well that's not really why I'm writing. I am starting a 135 or 150 gal fish only tank. I would like to know if my choices are compatible and the amount is right. Like most people I put too much on my list, even though I know I have to many I put more in so they're would be a more varied opportunity, at the end there wont be this many I know, I just want to know which will work and which wont: <Let me comment on them each individually and as a group.> 3 yellowtail Damsels 3" <Damsels tend to get a bit aggressive but with a more aggressive tank these should do fine. Also keeping them in odd numbers seems to help.> 3 3-stiped damsels 3" <I would look up the adult coloration on these guys and see if you still want them> 10 Blue/green Chromis 10" <Odd numbers work best and the other types of damsels might beat them up, they are much less aggressive fish, although 9 of them (odd number) with no other damsels might make for nice dither fish.> 1 yellow tang 3" <Nice fish but should do well> 1 Purple tang 3" <Once again nice fish, should do well but you might have some compatibility problems with the yellow tang, they are in the same family and might fight. You can sometimes help this by adding them at the same time and at the same size.> 1 Blonde Naso Tang 8" <These fish get extremely large as adults and it might be something that outgrows your tank as it gets larger. I don't mean to discourage you from this fish just to make you aware. They are one of my all time favorites> 1 Raccoon butterfly 5" <Lovely fish and one of my all time favorites> 1 Threadfin Butterfly 5" <Nice fish but you might have problems with the other butterflies, sometimes they will school and sometimes they will fight.> 1 copperband butterfly 5" <Nice fish but sometimes can be a bit delicate and prone to parasites, mandatory quarantine> 1 Humu Humu Trigger 4" <One of my favorite triggers but they can do some damage to your decorations, they like to move things around> 1 King (Passer) Angel 8" <Fantastic fish but man can these guys be mean mean mean.> 1 Snowflake eel 10" <I like eels and snowflakes are among the best but they have to have a closed off tank or they can and will jump.> The sizes are not for when ill buy them but they're size after having them for about a year the total is 66" an that allows about 1" for 2 gal <There is no rule of thumb just remember they all need moving and growing room and their own territories.> These will probably be put in over and extended amount of time, like a year. I know these are too many...which would be best to be left out? or substitute? <I think you might want to look closely at the butterflies and possibly eliminate one or some of them. Also most of the damsels. Good luck MacL> Kind Regards, Christo

Marine stocking plan check Hey crew I haven't bugged you guys for a while, what's shaking? <Hello, Justaguy.> My tank is a 48" long 55 gal with 65 lbs of live rock and a 4" DSB. Eventually I will be adding a few simple corals (i.e. shrooms, xenia). Anyhow I was wondering if I can get your opinion on a stocking plan. Presently I have a royal Gramma, Percula clown and a copperband butterfly. I will be adding two cleaner shrimp. I was thinking of adding a yellow tang or a flame angel. Both would be too much, correct? <I would say you would be at your top limit with both of the fish. I find it best to always "understock" the tank when keeping live coral.> Which do you think would compliment my setup best? <A yellow tang would do fine in a tank of 48" long or greater. However, you may have some problems with the flame angel. Flame Angelfish will often develop the taste for polyps, namely zoanthids and xenia. If you plan to grow xenia,  add the angel with caution. Some flame angelfish will nip at the polyps of corals while some won't. If it's a risk you're willing to take, then go for it. Personally, I would purchase the tang unless you're willing to risk your xenia with the angelfish. Both should make excellent residents, provided they're kept under healthy conditions.> Thanks so much! Justaguy.. <Take Care, Graham.> Saltwater stocking list August 3, 2004 I have had many freshwater tanks in the past and have had great success. <Congratulations> I have recently purchased a 120 gal acrylic tank that was set up for saltwater for 5+ years. The owner lost all the fish in a freak power outage when his backup didn't work either. He was too distraught to continue the hobby. <Shame but understandable and good for you obviously.>  I bought the tank from him and transferred %90 of the water. The live rock was o.k. and has started to regain it's original purple color. Water has tested great since the beginning and has never been a problem. I have added a bunch of creatures to the tank over the last six months. I am getting to the point where I'm not sure if I'm overdoing it. Here is a list of the inhabitants. 55 blue leg hermits, 4 Mithrax crabs, 1 arrow crab, 1 scarlet hermit, 2 porcelain anemone crabs, 1 pencil urchin, 2 chocolate chip stars, 1 green brittle serpent star, <Could be a huge problem as he grows, they can be big predators> 1 black brittle serpent star, 1 banded serpent star, 1 olive snail, 2 Mexican turbo snails, 4 Astraea snails, 1 Atlantic anemone, 1 rock anemone, 1 clownfish, 1 yellow tang, 1 yellow striped Sweetlips, 1 electric blue damsel, 1 chocolate chip damsel, 1 purple Pseudochromis and last lt 1 cleaner shrimp. Any suggestions on helpful creatures of anything I should have would be appreciated. I used to use 3/4" of fish per gallon with freshwater, does that apply to salt. <There is no exact rule of thumb with saltwater, you have to keep in mind that the fish grow pretty large.>  Do the bottom feeders and cleanup crew figure in to the equation also? <You have to keep them in mind when you put in fish.> I would hate to overdo it because everything seems to be going wonderfully so far but I would not mind a few more fish. <I think you could add a few more fish if you are careful. What I would look for is fish that serve a purpose. For instance algae eaters if you have extra algae. Also to make sure you have fish that swim and live on different levels of the tank, top, bottom and middle.  Good luck with this, MacL> -Compatibility issues- Love the site- and you've helped me in the past with FW questions, but now... I have a stable (6 month) 38g marine system with about 20# LR, LS base, a few frags of GSP, various small mushrooms, a couple of zoanthid frags and a few other things that are showing up on the LR.  Only other inhabitants are a blue-legged hermit and a couple of turbo grazers- and their few hundred babies that keep showing up.  I currently have a Biowheel 330 for the filtration.  Salinity is right around 1.0123-1.0126. <Lets hope you mean 1.023-1026> All other parameters are fine.  I’m not planning to upgrade the SW system until I have my FW systems redone (currently upgrading to a 125g); at that point I’ll go a bit larger and invest in better filtration and a skimmer. <Excellent> I currently have one small Chrysiptera parasema (yellowtail damsel) and would like to add just a couple more small-sized fish.  I like the damsel-it's friendly (at least to me), <Ha-ha, well you don't have to live in the glass box with it! These guys can be hit or miss with compatibility.> so I really don't want to get rid of it.  I’ve checked for compatibility and get differing opinions.  I’m interested in adding a flame hawkfish and/or a blenny or two.  I’ve also debated about just adding a couple more yellowtail damsels (I’ve been told that an odd number will be fine in a small system).  Do you think these would get along- or do I leave the little guy/girl alone for now? <I think it will be fine, just make sure that you can separate the new fish in the event that the YT goes postal. I see no problem whatsoever with adding a hawk. -Kevin> Thanks! Shel -Online or LFS: Livestock- Hi Y'all, I searched the site for opinions/experiences on fish purchasing. I am in the process of stocking a new 200 gal FOWLR and adding to a 90 gal reef. I keep my eye on the available types of fish available online but I'm very wary of purchasing that way. I have previously gotten all my fish from the LFS. In particular I have been checking Live Aquaria. They have some of the most varieties of wrasses available I have seen. They also have a 14 day guarantee. I always quarantine my additions, sometimes fatally, but I was interested  on your opinion. On line with every variety available or LFS with the run of the mill?? <That would be up to you. By shopping locally, you have the ability to watch the fish eat, inspect for disease, listlessness, shakes, etc. and enjoy a much quicker and less stressful transit home. In your case, it may benefit you to shop online if the fish you want simply aren't available locally or if you have an LFS of poor quality. Before ordering, I would suggest having a chat with your LFS, since I find it hard to believe that they cannot get most of these fish for you. Good luck! -Kevin>

Stocking a 240 gal. 8/2/04 Hi. Right now I have a 70 gal SW tank with LR and LS with a Arothron reticularis puffer, 4 yellow tail damsels, a yellow Hawaiian tang, a clown Percula, and a black and white banded Percula. I realize that my puff will need a bigger tank as he matures to full size but I plan to upgrade now to a 240 gallon. When I upgrade to the 240 gallon, I also plan to add a Cubicus boxfish, flame hawkfish, a Pakistan Butterflyfish, a Bicolor Foxface , a Imperator Angelfish, a Fridmani Pseudochromis - Tank Bred , a Powder Blue Tang (which would be the fish I add last), and a clown trigger. Can you please let me know what you think of my choices compatibility wise and tank wise.  << I think compatibility is fine. What I would be concerned with is making sure you  have enough rock to support the habitats of those fish.  I would think that many of those fish will require hiding spaces. I would also be careful with how long it takes you to stalk that set up.   I would guess for that many fish, it could take a couple years before you acquire everything.   Take it slow and easy. >> Thanks <<  Blundell  >>

Inappropriate animals for aquarists/tanks 8/2/04 We have a new tank.  The water tested ready for fish.  I put in a clown fish, long ten.  sea anemone that has purple dots on the end of each "finger", a flounder,  and some new rocks that had great life on them (one that actually had a sea anemone on it).   <alas, you have been given some seriously bad advice and also most take some of the responsibility  for not being an educated consumer. The anemone is wholly inappropriate for any new tank and in fact  needs coral reef quality lighting. Few people are actually willing to spend several hundred dollars to keep  one common anemone alive. Worse, the flounder is almost certainly doomed to die (soon) in this tank...  the aquarium is too small by a measure of over 100 gallons... also lacks a mature (over 1 year old) deep sand bed  as a food source/supplement... and furthermore is not known to survive on captive foods if it  even eats them in captivity for very long. My very strong advice to you is to not buy any more livestock  and instead make a better investment in some good books like Mike Paletta "New Marine Aquarium"  for basics and Bob Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" for animals/husbandry info.  This will save you much grief and money while saving many creatures lives, I assure you> The tank is only 23 gallons, and does not have live coral in it.   <with the anemone now in it, it cannot either. Contrary to what many merchants/aquarists want to believe...  few anemones and corals live well together... and fewer still are natural. Do take the time to read more  about anemones in our archives here at wetwebmedia.com> The clown fish, rock and flounder look fine, but the anemone looks really bad.  In less then 24 hours, it flopped over and half of the "fingers" have really shriveled up.   <likely not dead so soon... just needs more water flow (this tank should have 500-600 gph)  and better lighting (minimum of 100 watts) to keep this anemone> It is barely responding.  I thought I would try to feed it a piece of shrimp, but it didn't eat it.   <feeding large chunks of food may also harm/kill it in time... only feed finely minced meats of marine origin  or tiny whole foods like mysids or Pacifica plankton> The only thing I can think of is insufficient lighting.  One of my bulbs is out, and I shut the lights off last night.   Should the lights stay on all night?   <10-12 hours by day should be enough of the bulbs are new. All fluorescents over anemones or corals  need to be changed every 6-10 months too> Is my anemone going to die? <in this tank, perhaps yes... do trade the anemone and the flounder back to a store> Thanks for the help. Keith Duncan <best of luck, Anthony> Stocking at 125 FOWLR tank. Hi!  << Blundell here. >> I am trying to get some information about stocking/aquascaping a 125g. FOWLR tank.  We are still setting up, researching, etc. - don't want to have to solve problems later - and need some advice on what to put together.  The tank has a little giant in-line pump which turns the tank 9x-10x an hour, a 40 gal. sump, a Turboflotor 1000 multi protein skimmer in its own 10 gal. tub (fed by its own overflow directly from the tank).  We will have around 150# of live rock and about a 2"-3" sand bed (live sand recommended?).  Right now we are still fine-tuning the plumbing, so we decided to also zone in on what kind of fish to add.  We have a 2" Juv. clown trigger doing fine in a 40 gal. set up right now, and he will be the 'star' of the 125 gal when it is up and running.  In trying to decide who would make a good tankmate, as opposed to dinner, (keeping in mind that bioload for aggressive, meat-eating fish will limit # in a 125 gal.) for 'Spike'.  I am going to throw out some of what I hope are possibilities (from most to least desired) and see how it goes. :)  Sohal tang, Dragon Moray, Harlequin Tuskfish... I'm afraid the trigger and the moray alone might overpower the system. << If you don't fall victim to the "I need to feed my fish" syndrome you should be fine.  Too often hobbyists with aggressive fish tanks over-feed those systems and that is where they have problems.  Otherwise, this sounds okay. >>  Also - I have been looking over the FAQ's about aquascaping and should I be able to have the moray, I am concerned about the stability of the live rock (since triggers love to re-arrange). << Yes that is a concern. >> I would hate to lose such interesting (and expensive) creatures due to lack of foresight. << I would recommend using a long drill bit and drilling holes through all of your live rock.  Then you can make live rock shish ka bobs by skewering them with acrylic rods.  It allows for a lot design abilities, and also prevents (or at least helps prevent) rocks from falling. >> Another question - I have read in a couple of places about the great Fiji live rock from Walt Smith International - any clue as to how to find a retailer in my area? << Wow, I thought every store sold Walt Smith rock.  I would just ask any LFS to get his rock for you.  It is great stuff.  If none of them do so, well then I guess I would order online. >> Most seem to deal only in Tonga branch and Caribbean... Last question (I promise) - I have a 55 gal. I can also set up - one of the good LFS in my area has a lacy scorpionfish (Rhinopias aphanes?) that is absolutely beautiful (sm. - only about 1 1/2 - 2 in.)!  I have read that although rare they tend to be moderately easy to keep.  Should I call and have them hold it?  I have heard that Rhinopias normally don't last long in the shop (bought quickly) and once gone are rarely seen again... << I would put it on hold.  I would want to wait a couple weeks before buying one, and I'd make sure it is eating before I purchased it. >> Thanks for all of your wonderful help and information!  I really enjoy reading the experiences of others and I have learned so much! Lisa <<  Blundell  >>

- Fish List, Take Two - Hello, I just finished the final fish list for my 135 gallon FOWLR tank. Here's the 7 fish we decided on. 2 hippo tangs 1 harlequin tusk 1 Scopas tang 2 Bannerfish butterflies 1 Auriga butterfly Does this list work? <Well... I have my doubts about two Hippo tangs. While you may see them as groups in the store, often once they're given some space to move about in, they tend to claim it as their own and like most tangs will resent the presence of any competition for food, especially from a fish that looks just like them.> Is this too many fish? <This is about the limit, I think. Would be perfect if you dropped down to one Hippo tang.> Can I have a couple more or am I at my breaking point? <I'd hold off here... give them room to grow/roam.> thanks a lot Tristan
<Cheers, J -- >

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