Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Marine Livestocking 9

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

Related FAQs: Best Marine Livestocking FAQs 1, Best FAQs 2, Marine Livestocking FAQs 1, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, FAQs 5FAQs 6FAQs 7FAQs 8FAQs 10, FAQs 11, FAQs 12, FAQs 13, FAQs 14, FAQs 15, FAQs 16, FAQs 17, FAQs 18, FAQs 19, FAQs 20, FAQs 21, FAQ 22, FAQs 23, FAQs 24, FAQs 25, FAQs 26, FAQs 27, FAQs 28, FAQs 29, FAQs 30, FOWLR Livestocking, Small System Stocking, Reef LivestockingAngelfish Selection,

An overgrowing Didemnid tunicate, no extra charge.

Stocking Levels   3/3/06 Hello, <Hi there> I have a 150 Gallon FOWLR tank with a 75 gallon sump.  I have a skimmer that produces 2 cups of skimmate per week.  My current stock includes a 4 inch maculosus angel (very timid), <A showcase beauty though... will become more forthright with time> 2 pajama cardinals, 2 percula clowns, a 4 inch Soldierfish, 3 Heniochus diphreutes, and 1 Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura.  I am looking to add another fish to my tank.   Please let me know how any of the following would do. Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus Chaetodontoplus duboulayi Pomacanthus Paru <I'd leave off with adding any other large angel species... In fact, you'll need a system of double this size in time with the Mac.> Centropyge loricula a member of the Fusilier family Longnose Hawkfish Coris gaimard <... Mmm, of these, I'd go with the Hawk... most likely to get along... Or consider adding another Heni, or Velvet Wrasse females...> Thanks for your help, and if you have any other suggestions of possible fish please let me know. Jeff Tulson <Be thinking of that larger tank... where's it going to go? Bob Fenner>

55g reef with seahorses    3/2/06 Greetings from North Carolina to the WWM Crew!  I would like to say your website is a blessing to me, as I have just started a 55g reef tank.  I will cut to the chase.  I started with 2 seahorses, which I now know was a "no-no", but they are doing well and eating.  They were the whole reason for starting a saltwater tank.  Now I have fallen completely in love with my new hobby and have begun to add different fish.  I have had my tank set up for 7 weeks and I actually have not had any spikes in nitrates, nitrites, ammonia or pH.  I have a crushed coral base, appx. 35-40 lbs. of live rock, 1 chocolate chip starfish, 2 (mated pair, by accident) coral banded shrimp, 4 Mexican Turbo Snails, 1 blue damsel with a yellow tail, 1 Perculas Clown, 1 Pygmy Angel that seems to be on the very territorial side (unless I move everything around when adding fish), of course the 2 seahorses, 1 yellow clown goby, 1 twin spot goby, 1 orange spotted filefish, <... what species?> 3 feather dusters, 2 small anemones, <... not good to keep with Seahorses...> and 1 Banggai Cardinal.  Before you say it, I realize now the pet store wanted to really sell me the filefish and the twin spot goby because they are not eating in my tank. <I'll bet> The filefish is not eating at all (which you have so nicely told people in the past) and the Twin Spot Goby just takes the crushed coral in his mouth and moves it around, although he appears happy, I have not seen him eat.  The pet store said they were eating brine shrimp, I know now I should have witnessed it, but guess what...I didn't.    I wanted to know what other fish I could gradually add to my tank that will coexist with my friends?   <I urge extreme caution here... and study> I want to eventually get corals and I realize I should wait about 6 months to do so.  I have ordered a Coral Life Light to start with.  Any suggestions? <At least another tank... to move the Seahorses to> Oh yeah, I have started with a Penguin Bio Wheel for a 75 gallon and a power head.  What do you recommend adding to my filtration before the coral? <Yes> Do you like the canister filters? <For some purposes... posted on WWM> I do not wish to get rid of my seahorses; however, parting with the Pygmy Angel would not hurt my feelings if I could catch it, which I cannot, so I must keep it and get others to go with it.  I would like to get a Tang (any suggestion of type?) or some other really different or unusual species that are not common.  I am not sure when my tank will be at the maximum limit for fish and if this would also include corals and invertebrates.  Please give me your suggestions.       Thanks so much for your help.  Ann <Ann, I am very concerned with your future success... don't want you to have real troubles with incompatibility or disease... I encourage you to slow down to stop on acquiring more livestock period... To invest in and use a quarantine tank for new livestock... to study instead of buying more biota. You have been mostly "fortunate" up to now... How will you feel when (not if) the goby and filefish perish from starvation? Please do consider what you and I have written here. Bob Fenner>

50G stock list?  - 02/27/06 Hi Guys, <And gals> An easy one for you! What would your personal recommendation/choice of fish be for a 50G reef tank? Looking forward to maybe more than one opinion? Thanks David <... posted on WWM. Go, read there. Bob Fenner>

125 Gallon w/ Snowflake Eel, Lionfish, Scorpionfish   2/22/06 Hi Bob, <Desti> I am looking to set up at 125 Gallon FOWLR tank. The species I will be putting in it are Snowflake Moray OR a Zebra Moray, a Lionfish (either Volitans or Spotfin) likely two Leaf Scorpionfish and a Foxface Lo. I have two questions: would this size set up work with this selection of animals? <Should be mixable, yes> If so, what would you recommend as filtration to maintain the highest level of water purity? <Posted...> I currently have a Remora Pro hang on Skimmer on my 55 gallon reef+37 gallon  refugium, would having two remora pro's be a feasible method for the 125? <Yes... or a larger Aqua-C unit...> Any feedback or links to additional information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Sincerely, -Desti Pilon <Keep reading my friend... all archived on WWM. Bob Fenner> Challenging Stocking Choices   2/22/06 Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I am in the process of setting up a 175 gallon tank.  Is it possible to keep: 3 Achilles Tangs <Too tight a fit in a 175. These guys can reach almost 10", and need extremely high water quality and strong flow. I'd stick to one of these guys in anything less than a 300 gallon tank.> or 3 Moorish Idols <You've no doubt researched this fish, and are aware of the challenges associated with its care. It's really one of those fishes that are categorically difficult, if not impossible, for most hobbyists to keep successfully for extended periods of time. Experimentation is good, but simply not recommended for home aquarists with this fish, IMO. Best to leave the experimentation to professional aquarists and their facilities at public aquariums.> 6 Dispar Anthias <A challenging fish, but better suited for your system and experimentation than the Moorish Idol, IMO. 6 would be about the stocking limit for this tank, in my estimation.> 2 True Percula Clownfish <Easy fish if you get good stock. I'd only keep 3 or for Anthias if you want more fish, BTW.> 2 Swallowtail Angelfish <Depends on the species...Some are very difficult to keep, often suffering from collection traumas. I like G. bellus, myself...Keep them well fed. The aforementioned recommendation to limit your number of other fishes applies with these guys, too. They do require significant space.> I understand the difficulty of some of these fish, and have had success and done much research on the Moorish Idols.  Please advise on you opinion for this list. Scott. <Well, Scott- I certainly don't want to discourage you from experimentation. After all, that's what makes our hobby so interesting. I just don't like the idea of experimenting with the Moorish Idol, as purchasing these fishes encourages dealers to carry them. Since the success rate is sooo low for these guys, it sends the wrong message to the industry and encourages their collection. Do try with the Anthias or the Genicanthus angels. Hope this is of some assistance. Regards, Scott F.>

Marine Stocking Hello. I was wondering if I could, put a Spider Decorator Crab, in a tank with the following fish: 1Yellow Tang 1 Maroon clown fish 1 Blue damsel fish 1 Coral Beauty and 1 Skunk Tailed Cleaner Shrimp  If that is possible, will I need to purchase anything special to accommodate the new addition? <Mmm, no... assuming you have a reef set-up (live rock...)> Currently I only have plastic decorations in my tank. I would appreciate any help you can offer me. Thank you. Stephanie P.S. If this is still not acceptable, could you let me know what I need to fix. My e-mail only has spell check not grammar. <Looking good. Bob Fenner>

Help ! (The Incredible Overstocked Tank!) I have read a lot of you FAQ's and they are very helpful, but I have yet to come across one that helps my specific problem. I have a 29 gallon tank which will be set up for fish only with a Clown "percula", blue tang, yellow tang, blue streak cleaner wrasse, Picasso trigger, lyretail hogfish, purple starfish, hermit crabs and some clams.  <Whoa, that is a whole lotsa fish in a small tank. Do you have all of these fish in there already, or is that what you would like to keep? If these are the fish you would like to keep you are going to need a bigger tank.> Cycled live rock (45 lbs.), I had a horrible slick on the top of the water. Recently, I replaced the previous wet-dry filter (Penguin 330) for an ecosystem 40 (hang on), a sweep 228 powerhead (rotatable). After periodically maintenance my water is still cloudy but unfortunately I haven't seen any change and the problem persist. Can you please help me?  <How long has the tank been set up for? How long have you had the eco system running? The water should clear in time, the addition of a protein skimmer would also help. Have you had your water tested lately? Let us know and we will be able to get to the bottom of this.>  Thanks in advance for your help. <Thank you, Gage>

Re: Help (marine plumbing, stocking) Jason, <<Hi...>> If I can stock the tank and not worry about it now or in the future; my decision will be to leave it as is and not drain the tank to enlarge the 1/2" drain; as my fish have had enough stress as well as myself because this issue with this tank has literally kept me up at night trying to figure out what was wrong and why one tank was thriving and the other was not. My plans for this tank are to add a large Angel, Tusk Fish, and possibly a Trigger or a different Tang species.  <<Hmm... even though you've got a good number of gallons in there, I'm not sure the shape is ideal for these fish - better for the tusk and angel to have cruising room, unless you set it up with rock work in the center, so they can swim in circles.>>  I already have a Purple Tang and a beautiful Black Puffer.  <<In this same tank? I'd only do one but not both of those fish, or perhaps just the trigger.>>  I have measured GPH and have a little more than 10 times turn over rate since I added the 1800 PH inside the tank, however, the tank is now running at 80/81 temp.  <<No worries.>>  In your opinion, long term and fully stocked, will this current set up work or do you think at any time it will need the 1/2" drain enlarged to be able to accommodate a larger return pump?  <<Well... first off, I wouldn't 'fully stock' this tank. I would under stock just to give things room to grow and also for the system to have some resilience. If you under stock, I think your existing circulation arrangements will work just fine.>>  I just want to do what is right for my fish :-)  <<Don't we all - do them a favor, don't stock right up to the limit, stock lightly - it works out better in the long haul.>> Thanks Again, Nikki <<Cheers, J -- >>

180 fish ideas (mainly marine livestocking) Greetings all! <<JasonC here, greetings.>> Amazing site; you guys have given me decades worth of education in a few months. After being away from the hobby for five or six years, I dove right back in with a 55g I decided was going to be full of gorgeous corals. Well, I didn't do my research and you can imagine how I ended up. Now, a couple of months and lots of books/WWM FAQs later, I have a 180g Oceanic Reef Ready with Lifereef sump, skimmer and calcium reactor. I plan to put my CPR hang-on refugium on the back as well. Lighting is normal output fluorescents right now, but I plan to retrofit my four 96-watt CFs into the Oceanic cap soon. I have about 200 lbs of live rock and a 1/2" fine sand bed. I have a 30 gallon quarantine tank which I plan to use for each new fish for a month before introduction to the main tank in order to prevent diseases in the main system. Originally planned as a full reef tank with corals and intense lighting, I have decided to back off and make it FOWLR. I already have a Maroon Clown moved from a previous setup and 20 blue-legged hermits and 10 large Mexican snails. I'd like to keep several large fish successfully. Based on the research I've done on your site, I've picked out a few fish for my wish list and would like to know your opinion on compatibility. Relatively Hardy choices: Maroon Clown (from previous setup, already in tank) Queen Angel Yellow Tang Raccoon Butterfly Australian Harlequin Tusk Volitans Lion  <<I'd skip this one... lions get just too big and will most certainly eat the maroon clown.>> Clown or Picasso Trigger  <<As much as I like triggers, they just don't make good community fish. Most certainly, the clown trigger should be off the list - they just get to too mean. The Picasso trigger could work, but should probably be purchased small and added near to last.>> Dream tank, lots of risk! Maroon Clown Moorish Idol  <<Forget about this one - even the most experienced aquarists have had little to no luck with these. If you are enthralled by this fish, learn to dive and go see them where they live.>> Pinnatus Batfish  <<Also a non-winner. Likely to do poorly with your existing list, exclusive of the fact that they just don't do much better than Moorish Idols.>> Emperor Angel  <<One large angel per tank - your choice on which one.>> Raccoon Butterfly Sohal Tang Yellow Tang I realize I am probably heavy on fish in both setups.  <<Yes... consider under stocking... is a great way to get to enjoy the community for a long time.>>  Any compatibility problems in the first tank?  <<My comments are listed about - as a community with the exclusions I mention would work fine.>>  Would you completely eliminate any of the choices in the second tank?  <<Again, the comments are listed with the fish.>>  Given my setup and an attention to water quality, would you recommend me try going for the second choice?  <<Ahh ok, I see - it was one list or the other. Well... again your choice - with the comments I made, I think you can see that the first list is probably the most realistic. You could likely combine the two, keeping in mind that you'd really only be able to keep one butterfly and one angel in the system, not both. Other than that, I think it will work out, but some of those fish you listed get quite large so consider purchasing them small and start saving for an even larger tank.>> Thanks, Marc <<Cheers, J -- >>

Disease Advice and Fish Selection Hello Bob, Steve, and Anthony, <<Hello, I'm not any of them though... JasonC here.>> I wrote to you guys a few months ago and was surprised and delighted by the speed and helpfulness of your response, thank you once again for that. My original question was for advice on starting up a new 75 gallon reef tank (since I had outgrown my 29 gallon). Thank you very much for convincing me to use distilled water instead of treated tap to begin with. I have had no problem with ammonia, nitrite, nor nitrate since I have set it up. Using a fair amount of old and new live rock, live sand, and "cycled" hang on filter cartridges to provide a jump start on the cycling process, I don't believe my tank has actually gone through the process (at least not detectably anyway).  <<Not really a surprise, moving established items between tanks usually offsets the need for a 'cycle'.>>  I've tested it repeatedly and have had livestock in the tank for awhile now and never had a spike of anything, and nitrate is being kept under control by large amounts of grape and feather Caulerpa, Halimeda, and Gracilaria growing in there to provide cover and the look of reality, not to mention nutrient export and food for my fish.  <<Just make sure you so the 'export' part of that by harvesting out some of that algae from time to time.>>  The inhabitants now are: 2 - Firefish dartgobies (N. magnifica), 1 - Purple Firefish (N. decora), 1 - Yellow Watchman Goby (C. cinctus), 1 - Ocellaris Clown (A. ocellaris), 6 - Blue-Green Chromis (C. viridis), 1 - Sixline Wrasse (P. hexataenia), 1 - Cleaner Shrimp (L. amboinensis), 1 - Coral-Banded Shrimp (S. hispidus). I am trying to make a reasonably "full" tank of small species that will be happy in a large tank. I'm trying to steer away from rarer and hard to take care of species, but I keep finding myself pulled to the magnificent colors of some species. In time, I would like to try a Mandarin Dragonet (S. splendidus), but will wait until I have a very stable refugium/sump working (I'm setting up my old 29 gallon as I write this).  <<I'm not sure this tank would be large enough... typically these need 100g or more to insure they don't deplete their food supply.>>  I have also not had any luck within the past month with Potter's Angels (C. potteri). The pattern and color of this species is unbelievably gorgeous and I purchased one from my LFS a month ago on impulse.  <<Do try to resist those impulse buys, and definitely in the case of Potter's Angels.>>  He quickly took to browsing on the macro and microalgae in the tank, as well as Mysid shrimp and even flake on occasion. I thought everything was going great, when his color began to fade. he became listless and then started swimming erratically. He died a few days later. I have no idea what happened to him and tried again with a replacement from the LFS, but he died within a week. He began to show signs of what looked like Ich. I gave him a 3/4 fresh, 1/4 salt pH adjusted and temp. adjusted water bath for 2 minutes and he died within two hours of that treatment. I've decided that even though that particular species is incredible, it's not worth risking another individual's life.  <<I would agree... these fish are very difficult and often pass on for unexplained reasons. They really work in only the larger and very well established reef tanks.>>  I'm going to go with a Flame Angel (C. loricula) instead.  <<Much better choice.>>  The only problem now is that it appears the Ich has been passed to my Purple Firefish.  <<Ahh... you did not quarantine.>>  He appears healthy and active, but it's worrying me nonetheless. My cleaner shrimp is apparently "on vacation" and hasn't shown any interest in cleaning him. <<Usually, it works the other way around so that the Firefish needs to go to the cleaning station.>>  My LFS has been trying to order some cleaner gobies (G. oceanops) for me for the past three weeks, but they're never in stock from their suppliers.   <<Do quarantine these too...>>  I have some mushrooms (Discosoma), a gorgonian (Rump Ella sp. or Muricea sp.),. and a long-tentacled plate coral (Heliofungia actiniformis) in the tank as well, which makes me feel hesitant to lower the specific gravity too much.  <<You are right to be cautious with that, yes.>>  I also have too much rock-work in there to catch the lightning fast Dartfish to give him a bath. Any other possible routes of action that may help the little guy? <<You may find yourself draining the tank and putting the rock in a garbage can or something so that catching the fish becomes much easier. Treating the main system really isn't an option so you will have to net this fish sooner or later - if you do, I would not just give the bath but also quarantine it for a month or so before returning it to the main system.>>  I definitely would like to figure out some method of control before I plan on putting in the Flame Angel and a Red Sea Sailfin Tang (Z. desjardinii) to complete the fish livestock and start adding some soft corals and maybe some LPS.  <<I think you might have enough in there as it is [once you place the Flame Angel]... these fish get as big as a dinner plate, and it will soon outgrow your 75.>>  I hope I haven't written too much and bored you guys to death.  <<Not at all.>>  Thank you so much in advance for your help. Sincerely, Dan Chisenhall Senior Biology major working on options in Biotechnology and Ecology at Virginia Tech. <<Cheers, J -- >>

Marine livestocking I have been slowly accumulating fish after learning the hard way of the importance of quarantining. I'm about to add the last couple of fish to my FOWLR 80 gal tank. It now has about 85lbs of live rock, but I will add probably another 20lbs soon. I had a question about stocking. I have: 1 blue tang 2" 3 green Chromis 1.5" 1 percula clown 1.5" 1 pearl scale butterfly 3.5" 1 orange spotted goby 4" 1 yellow "coris" wrasse 3" 1 coral beauty 2" With a flame hawk 3", and a flame angel 3" in the quarantine tank. Is this an appropriate number of fish for this size tank? Thank you for your help, Rich. <Getting pretty full. I wouldn't add more beyond what you have, are adding. Bob Fenner>

Capacity/Compatibility Hi,  <<Hello, JasonC here...>> I have couple of questions, I have a 175 gallon FOWLR tank with a 47 gallon refugium. What would be the capacity in this tank, is there a general rule of thumb fish inches per gallon??)  <<There are some rules of thumb, but I really don't endorse any of them. They're all just too general.>>  I am planning on keeping a queen angel adding last), blue ring angel, Christmas wrasse, saddleback butterfly, and 2 barberfish if I can find them, and a hippo tang.  <<I would stop here... most of these fish, and the queen angel and hippo tang especially can grow to the size of a tennis racquet head which means they'll be bumping into each other. I think in time, the blue ring angel might get its head kicked in by the queen.>> Also maybe porcupine puffer or a blue-line trigger which I wanted to know if it loses it's coloration when reaches adulthood, looks like from the pictures on the website.  <<I wouldn't add either of these... your previous list will fill the tank. As for the color change in the blue line trigger, I think the lines stay, but the fish gets darker which makes the lines stand out less.>>  I know I am taking a risk with the two angels and may have to separate them. <<That's correct.>>  Is this too much. Also is it worth my while to invest in a UV sterilizer.  <<No... much better to invest in a couple of small tanks and run all your picks though a month of quarantine before you put them into the main display.>> Thanks for the advice, Gary Peterson <<Cheers, J -- >>

Stocking densities... (wrasse selection, and Centropyges, dipping, life) Bob, Thanks for the quick reply. I had a few follow-up and unrelated questions. In the smaller tank, I'm thinking of keeping a deresa clam. Which one of the three (Wrasses/dotty) would you recommend for parasitic snail and/or bristleworm control? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm and the FAQs linked beyond, the sections on Tridacnids...> In the larger tank, I was following the capacity outlines of M. Paletta in the new marine aquarium- 2" of fish /gallon of capacity.  <I think this may be way off... Mike may have offered the "rule of thumb" of 1/2" maximum per gallon...> Given that I should easily be able to keep a 12" angel and tankmates. Is it a territory issue or is Paletta wrong with what he is saying? <You are interpreting a generality beyond it's utility... think of two versus three dimensionality... a given length of organism needs more space than its inches subdivided into increments... e.g. 12 one inch fishes are metabolically less than one 12 inch individual...> Also, with a six foot long tank, would I be able to keep 2-3 centropyge angels?  <Likely so... of most species... they will interact, but given enough nooks, crannies, shouldn't cause any real damage to each other> I know they tend to fight, but I figured with that size tank, and enough rock work it should be O.K. I was thinking of a Hawaiian/Polynesian biotope with a flame and a potter's along with a Centropyge to be named later.  <Sounds like you've been doing your investigating> I would add native tangs, butterflies, a Picasso trigger, and a snowflake moray- any general problems with the design so far? <Not as far as I'm aware> Now for the unrelated questions- Can you recommend a good livestock source in the St. Louis area?  <Mmm, not familiar with the town, but do have a suggestion: post your question on the chatforum: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ under the "Internet/Local Fish Store" category> They all seem to contradict themselves, and I don't know who to believe.  <Only yourself> One of them told me that you cannot use protein skimmer with the miracle mud product. Any truth to this?  <No... no truth... as in "what has been done"... The owner of this company (Leng Sy) and I are friends and discuss this "to be or not to be" issue quite often... mud/muck systems can be run with skimmers... better to under skim, or run in a punctuated fashion (on/off a few hours per day) IMO/E> He also told me that he has never been able to carry out a successful fresh water dip, and that quarantining is a bad idea as you stress the fish out twice. <Some validity to these statements as exceptions... but, by and large, these techniques/practices are of tremendous utility. Put another way, the vast majority of cases, individuals benefit tremendously through their employ> So far, he's somewhat low on the credibility scale. However, another shop told me to always dip my live rock in fresh water to eliminate bristle worms, crabs, and other pests. I would think you would ruin the rock by doing this. As you can see, I'm in a bit of a quandary. <But you're thinking... very exciting. Do consider all these opinions and ours/mine... and look further at the base rationale, factual understanding to all's points in making up your own mind.> Thanks again, and the website is great! Chris <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Stocking 30 gallon tank Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this afternoon.> I want to thank you and the WWM crew for answering my questions so quickly! Hopefully you guys are rich from all you knowledge and hard work. <I have a lovely wife and beautiful little girl. I am happy enough.> I have a question about stocking my 30 gallon tank (small I know, but I live in an apartment) with a 10 gallon sump (with bio-balls). Currently I have: -Clarkii clown -green carpet anemone (bad I know, but the Clarkii looks so happy) <I would be remiss not to mention that clownfish are perfectly happy without an anemone. I know of no commercial breeding facility that houses their clownfish with anemones. Simply, fish that are unhappy (be that with water quality, food, or general housing) will not breed. Therefore, it is completely unnecessary to purchase an anemone for your clownfish. Frankly, with the proliferation of tank raised clownfish that have never seen an anemone before, it is becoming even less useful to attempt anemones. Knowing that anemones are not very prolific in the wild, that they tend to live for incredibly long life spans (some estimates over 100 years old), and that more than 90% of the anemones removed from the wild will die in less than one year, it is very hard to justify their removal for the ornamental trade.> -2 peppermint shrimp -30lbs live rock, 30lbs live sand I asked you before about a dwarf angel and you recommended possibly a Centropyge argi. I am afraid this fish will eat my shrimp <Not likely> or possibly soft corals down the road. <Always a concern with any Angelfish> Also there is a concern about the angel bulling my Clarkii. <My guess would be the other way around> Having the Clarkii for over 8 months now, I've grown attached and don't want him hurt in any way. Let me know if this isn't the case with an argi. I've been reading about Chromis viridis lately. Is a shoal of 3 a good fit for my system? <With what you currently house, that would be it.> How about a Sixline Wrasse or Watchman Goby? <Either, but no more than 4 fish total of this size.> Thanks again, Jeremy G. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Adding fish soon..... Hey guys! Thank you for your responses in the past. I have a 300 gallon tank with two fish in it currently (I know I'm pushing it with the fish load), a 4" Hepatus Tang and a Watchman Goby. <You will get no complaints out of me.> I have approximately 130 lbs live rock and a few corals. I would like to add these fish in this order: Naso Tang, Powder Blue Tang, 5 or so damsels, Percula Clown, Black Cap Basslet, and lastly a Yellow Tang. Do you think the Tangs in this size tank will be ok as some aren't recommended to be together? <These are generally not a good mix, but this is a rather large aquarium, so I think your odds are ok. The P. hepatus is the most docile one and good that it goes first. The worst are the Powder Blue and Yellow, but I would not change your order.> Will this group as a whole be ok and in this order? <They sound ok.> As always thank you for your time. -Dave Mart <My pleasure. -Steven Pro>

Stocking 30 gallon tank Hi WWM crew! I have some questions about stocking a 30 gallon saltwater tank with a 10 gallon sum. Currently I have: -Clarkii clown -green carpet anemone -2 peppermint shrimp -30lbs live rock Could you recommend a dwarf angel or tang for this setup?  <Maybe a Dwarf-Dwarf species like Centropyge argi... please read over the other members of this genus possibilities: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm But... this system already has a limit of life/safety margin IMO... the Carpet Anemone can be real trouble in such a small volume if "something" goes wrong (gear, weather, water quality...)> I've read conflicting information about the Flame Angel for a tank this size. I would also like to purchase a small yellow tang, but I don't know if this tank is large enough. <No to the Flame and there are no Tangs for this size system> If neither of these fish are adequate, could you recommend an actively swimming fish for this setup. <Many choices... but I would not add more to this system w/o trading out the anemone. Please read through the Selection areas of WWM. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time, Jeremy G.

Butterfly with mushrooms and star polyps Hi WetWebMedia [....dunno who :-)], I am considering changing my tank in a few ways, get a load of LR, and clean up crew type inverts (stars, shrimps, hermits and snails) and I would like to add some star polyps and mushrooms. The thing is, I'd also like to add a butterfly fish - not exactly sure, but either Chaetodon semilarvatus OR the yellow longnose. Do these fish eat these types of invert, generally? <Yes> Which would be the better choice? <The Semilarvatus is a slightly hardier choice.> Cheers, Matt <Have a nice night. -Steven Pro>

Re: Butterfly with mushrooms and star polyps Thanks Steven. Thought as much. Would the shrimps, hermits, stars be ok? <Yes> or are they likely to become grub too ? <Only for Triggers, Puffers, large Wrasses...> Cheers, Matt <Good day to you! -Steven Pro>

Stocking question Dear Crew, <cheers, dear> I know everyone says this, but it bears repeating: love the site, it is immensely helpful, I learn every day -- I'm one of the "dailies" junkies :) (in fact, I have similar bubbles to a guy whose answer was just posted and I now know what to do)! <delightful to hear! The design works <G>> Once again I am seeking your opinion re: potential stocking scenarios. I am SLOWLY building a 55g reef (also have a 20g long that acts as a refugium w LR and a DSB with red algae and turtle grass). 60 lbs LR (more on the way), assorted snails, 1 pearly jaw, 1 long nosed hawk are the current inhabitants. parameters: sg= 1.022 ammonia = 0 nitrite= 0 nitrate= 15 phosphate=0 Ph=8.3 I was trolling on one of the etailer's sites (love his rock and need some more as above) and noticed that he now offers captive bred clown pairs (immature juvies) AND green bubble tip anemone clones (in other words you buy the pair bonded w the anemone).  <very cool... nice product> Here are my questions: 1) are captive-spawned anemone clones like captive fishies (hardier, etc) or do the same admonitions apply here (I read the almost daily questions/problems and I've read CMA, Tullock, etc)? I'm thinking about a pair of a. nigripes (Maldives Rose Skunk) as the clowns (other choices are Red Sea two-banded, Coral Sea or Fire Red) <a would expect that they acclimate easier perhaps for the ease of shipping but indeed they are physiologically the same in need (food, light, etc)> 2) If I go this route, no corals would go in the tank (I totally buy into the "species tank" idea), BUT, could I add a clam (or 2) and then be done (with non-fishes)? <yes... agreed. Anything but other cnidarians (stinging corals or other anemones). Clams, tunicates, perhaps sponges and other non-stinging inverts are fair game> 3) I have a 5" DSB. Would 4X110 VHO be sufficient (I have to upgrade lighting, and this was recommended by one of my LFSs that specializes in reef)? <pretty good lighting although 2 175-watt 10K MH would be better for this purpose. If you go VHO, just be very strict about regular feeding to compensate> 4)I am also totally taken by the flasher and fairy wrasses.  <very beautiful> For the flashers: Paracheilinus filamentosus/flasher or carpenteri. For the fairy: c. jordani is my favorite, but I also like the Scott's, punctatus/Finespotted, and luteovittatus (sp?)/orange bar. Marine Center currently has pairs of the Scott's and jordani offered. Do I have enough room for a pair, or should I stick with one?  <a pair of Jordan's might work fine... perhaps not the Scott's though> According to Fishbase, they are all 3-6 inches max. Of the above list, is there one that stands out in terms of hardiness and adaptability in aquariums (I read the sections on the site and know Bob is a big fan of the jordani, which I probably like best as well )? <and I too like it much better for hardiness> 5) will the clowns and wrasse(s) work with my current fishes? These will be it in this area as well, once added. Who should go in first (guessing the wrasses)? <From the above listed fishes... seems peaceful. No preference on the order of addition> Thanks as always! Rebecca <best regards, Anthony>

Fish Tank Crisis! Hey Guys!  <whassssup?> It's Laura here sending a little L.A. sunshine your way (minus the smog of course).  <awesome... and I'll get a little bit of that personally soon. I'm presenting to the LA aquarium society October 11th. Be seeing you?> Thank you AGAIN to Anthony for a quick and thorough response to my last question.  <a pleasure as always> Hope Bob's hired someone to feed you your apple sauce while he's gone. ;-) <actually... I am still duct taped to the office chair answering e-mail but he put one of those beer hats with siphon tubing on me to stay hydrated since he had to put down the slingshot for applesauce feedings> This one's a big one.  <if I had a dollar for every time... er, never mind> Just to refresh it's a 55gal tank with live rock, hammer head coral, sun polyps, one plate anemone, another anemone (of which the name escapes me right now but it's not really relevant to my question), one Spotted Sweetlips, one Blue Velvet Damsel, two nudibranchs, one Coral Beauty, and what I think is called a Spiny Star Fish. We recently introduced a large number of new comers which the fish store assured us would be o.k. but I think it's thrown our happy home into a state of shock. We added: a male and female pair of Lyretail Anthias, one Marine Betta Assessor/Comet, and two Clown fishes (bred in captivity). O.k. so first and foremost the Sweetlips went through a short phase where he would pick on Clownfish,  <no worries... without daily live food (gut loaded guppies and ghost shrimp) the Sweetlips will die within months... Ughhh> then they were buddies (or confused) to the point that the clown fish seemed to like him almost as much as their beloved coral  <the clownfish doesn't want to get too close emotionally I suspect... he too knows the reality of Sweetlips in captivity> (which happens to be the Hammer Head, is this o.k.?).  <fairly bad for the hammer... tissue gets abraded and infected in time... takes many months in most cases though> Now Sweetlips is swimming at the very top of the tank into the "current" so that he never really swims around!! Also it seems that one of his fins has been shredded - not completely- but there has definitely been damage done. I have spent many hours fretting like a nervous mother over the last two days, staring wide eyed into the tank and haven't seen any one pick on him. He is still eating and it doesn't seem like anything else is wrong but this can't be right can it? What can I do? He was the only fish I had picked.  <in my book... this is one of the very few fishes that perhaps should not be imported. They are categorically a very difficult fish to keep alive, require daily live food to survive, die of a deficiency on regular aquarium foods even when they eat well and they will outgrow most any aquarium. Few people have a tank that can fairly house them even in the 2 year picture. Adult size is 3 to 4 feet long for most species. See here: http://www.fishbase.org/ComNames/CommonNameSearchList.cfm I will walk out of most stores that stock this fish if they do so knowingly> Now I read that the tank may have already been to small for him. Is this possible?  <understatement> He's not very large.  <even when small... it just isn't cool or responsible to keep such an animal needs an unbelievable amount of swimming room even when small. I know that you did not know this, dear, in advance. But it still makes me sad to see them sold to aquarists with small tanks. Almost all die in captivity within the first year if not mere months> Enough babble, sorry I got carried away. So Sweetlips is swimming at the top, Clowns are in the Hammer Head, and the Coral Beauty is chasing our Anthias... typical of them to be territorial I know but how long do we wait before stepping in to stop the madness?  <3 to 5 days before the pecking order is re-established usually. After that you may suspect long-term problems> We are equal opportunity aquarists but emotionally unstable fish is a scary thing.:-) Our Plate anemone recently had a run in with the Hammerhead  <yowsa... bad for the Plate> (bad idea I know - but didn't when we purchased them). After medicating her she seemed to improve but now tends to spend a lot of time all shriveled up. Do you know why?  <is it getting fed a few times weekly? Very fine meaty foods> She perks up sometimes and looks as healthy as a bore under an apple tree... as we used to say back home, fine as frog fuzz - is there something that makes her shrivel?  <yep... news of Pittsburgh Steeler losses> Is she still sick.  <perhaps a slow recovery indeed. Feeding will speed recovery> Please help me make sense of all this confusion. Thank you in advance!!! All the best. Laura <do be sure to feed those Anthias 2-3 times daily minimum. They are very demanding. Some would also say that your tank is too small for Anthiines. Avoid brine shrimp at all costs here.. but do seek frozen Gammarus and Mysid shrimp as well as Pacifica plankton and jars of Sweetwater Plankton. A apologize if I mentioned this before but I don't recall: have you had a good read of Bob's Conscientious Marine Aquarist? Your livestock selection and the advice given to you apparently (LFS) or impulse purchases have thrown up some scary flags: tank size/stocking levels, the nudibranchs, the Sweetlips, the sun coral, the Anthias and the possibly the spiny starfish. Many dubious choices. Most I would not recommend for an aquarist with less than a few years experience or a 200+ gallon aquarium. I'm thinking that if you don't have it... the book my be the next best purchase before more livestock, with all due respect. I hope to see you at the MASLAC meeting, my friend. With kind regards, Anthony>

Re: Fish Tank Crisis! Dearest Anthony/WWM Crew, If you will recall I inherited this tank and grew to love it as my own. Thank you for your frankness re. the inhabitants.  <my duty and pleasure... no need to mince words with a fish that grows to four feet in length <G> I appreciate your understanding in suit, my friend> Your answer to the last question was firm and straight forward enough that I was able to show it to my boyfriend and convince him to attempt to undue what we have done. Our fish store allows us to take back fish etc. for credit and as much as it scares me that we may be sending some of these creatures back only to be put into a similar environment it seems that is the best chance we can give them for survival right now.  <understood and agreed. In doing so that is at least one fish that won't be re-ordered/replaced by your purchase. Indeed... that is our best weapon as consumers... the mighty dollar. It will curb merchants from buying or at least re-ordering more inappropriate fishes> Our plan is to take back all "trouble makers" and start over with a strong and balanced living environment.  <awesome!> So now I come to you head bowed,  <no need... I'm a short fellow looking up :) > and humbled asking, yet again, for your unsurpassed knowledge to help me make the right decision now that I have some say in what happens. We are planning on taking my beloved Sweetlips back, the two Nudibranchs, the Hammer Head Coral, and the Coral Beauty. This would leave us with: a 55 gal. tank, one anemone which I think is actually a Giant Anemone (see page 344 of Mr. Fenner's book) and I was wondering if you think we should take her back as well?  <not really... many anemones can live very long lives when given specialized care. Some even breed in captivity. Its just tough to do in a smaller tank with other stinging animals like corals and other anemones. If you decide not to keep the anemone, know that the hammer is actually a hardy coral. A good choice as hard corals go. And the Coral beauty is also a great fish... can be long lived and is one of the best Dwarf angels. Now, the nudibranchs have to go under any circumstance sorry to say> We bought lighting that was supposed to be good for her but she has gone under our live rock overhang and hasn't come out for weeks.  <can you still feed her? The feeding 3-5 times weekly is as important or more so than the lighting> We have two clown fish, the marine beta, the two Anthias (which we will be sure to purchase the appropriate food for), a neon velvet damsel, the Sponge Brittle Star, a coral of which I can find no pics in the book but it looks like it has several trees or flowers for arms the "stems" are brown and the ends are white. hope that didn't completely confuse you.)  <nope... it actually reminds me of a Cladiella sp (AKA speckled leather... short and nappy like brown and white heads of cauliflower?)> We have another very small and not very attractive anemone, brown, with short "fingers", and a few feather duster worms, and the sun polyps. I think that covers it. So what is a good anemone for beginners to get with our clowns?  <Bubble Tip anemones, Long Tentacle anemones and sebae anemones are all good although avoid white or yellow ones (dyed or bleached an dying). Dark brown or green colors are best here. Do read through the FAQs and articles in our archives to help you pick the species best for you> Should we take back the star?  <not sure... would need to know the species to comment> Should we take back our anemone?  <the second anemone yes if keeping the first. One or the other>> I thank you for your help and patience through all of my mistakes.  <no worries at all... we are here to help you and all of our friends stay and succeed in this beautiful hobby.> It makes me so angry that our fish store would allow us to bring home all that we have.  <capitalism works in funny ways sometimes> I know it is not all their responsibility  <exactly... being an educated consumer is the best defense> but for example I asked them specifically if brine shrimp would be enough nutritionally for our Anthias and was told YES!  <DOH!... we should ask them to read the nutritional analysis aloud and then repeat that advice with a straight face...heehee. It is over 95% water and fish simply starve to death eating it. Amazing> It is a scary thought that the only people I can trust in this matter are on the other side of the country.  <for now maybe... until we get you acquainted in fellowship with other local aquarists and reputable stores> What do you think of MASLAC? Do you think it would help me if I joined them?  <Absolutely! Aquarium societies are perhaps the single best place to get information, support and fellowship from knowledgeable and unbiased folks. They have nothing to sell you and are spirited to help you enjoy the hobby as they do. Please visit and consider joining!> I read they have a mentor program. I don't know what I'd do without you.  <while we are always here to help, you can befriend local aquarists that can help you physically in a pinch with even more personal support. Weekends, holidays, sick fish that must be diagnosed in person etc. Really do look up a good local club> I've been trying as hard as I can since this became my responsibility and I know I've fallen short but please help me take advantage of this opportunity to start fresh. For ALL of your time and patience thank you thank you thank you I'm forever in debt to you. Laura <it is truly our pleasure to help. The best I can hope for is for you to succeed and share your wisdom and experience with others in kind. Anthony>

Pakistani Butterfly... and large Pacific Angel... in a 55!? I have a question about the Pakistani Butterfly. Could I keep more than one a 55 gallon with liverock? <It would be possible to keep a pair, but a 55 is a little too small for my (and their) comfort.> Also, what do you think about the set up I have in mind for my 55 gallon with a juvenile Blueface Angel, <A poor choice> Pakistani Butterfly, <One would be doable> Flame Angel, <Ok> and a small Naso Tang <A bad choice> would all these be ok in my fish tank or am I overcrowding them? <No and yes, respectively.> Could I put more fishes in <Once you leave out the large Angelfish and Naso, you will have plenty of room in your stocking plan for other fish.> and could you tell me a good book to read for angels and butterflies. <Look for "A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes" by Dr. Gerald Allen, Roger Steene and Mark Allen> Thank you for your help. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Fish Stocking Thanks for your frankness.  <and I appreciate your receptiveness my friend> I thought I did enough research to be able to put the Angel, Wrasse, Tang, plus a trigger and possibly a Lion in my 4' tank (90g). Looks like I'm asking for trouble.  <yes... even just the lion itself at 2" as an adult in a 4' tank is scary... let alone with 4 other fishes near or exceeding a foot in length. Many would say that it doesn't seem very different than keep a 2' dog in a four foot cage...heehee... except that many fish ironically have an even larger natural home range than a dog> It amazes me how many web sites and my LFS say these fish will take many years to get large and they will not reach their reef size in captivity.  <those would be the same vendors trying to sell you the five fish you presently own worth more than $500 versus just selling just one? Hmmm... do consider the source of such advice> Although I did just check one site that has the Clown at a maximum size of 10".....This is still VERY large.  <again... what are your sources. Do consider that Burgess' Marine Atlas cites the adult size at 50cm (20"!!!) and fishbase.org cites also cites them at 50cm (http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Balistoides &speciesname=conspicillum). These are reliable and authoritative sources. If you prefer the internet for information gathering, do make use of fishbase> On my 90 gallon I built the stand and canopy (looks professional) and tanks are cheap. Sooooo maybe a 6' long tank that is at least 24" wide .....mhhhhh. This would be about 180 gallons then sump (is this still too small?).  <with the lion you are now talking about well over 5' of fish in a 6' long tank (the trigger and lion both reach 18" in due time alone). Tank size is not your problem... fish load is, good sir. If you keep them they will likely live over 3 or even 5 years... but will not realize 10+ (some of your fishes have been kept well over 20 years in captivity in large aquariums and held singly)> What size tank would you recommend for the trigger?  <for the 5 year picture... the Trigger and Lion with perhaps an eel alone in a 300 gallon might be in the ballpark> This will take some clever negotiating on my part, that is... if I really want to stay married. Thanks Larry <so a saltwater pond in the basement next to your doghouse is out of the question? <G> Anthony>

Regal Angelfish Anthony, <cheers> My other half is nuts about the new tank, thanks for your input to make it possible. Now the dilemma, we have a hand feed Imperator that ready to change but since he love to eat corals ($$$$$) we are forced to find something to replace him with.  <unfortunate... a beauty> I have been reading up on Regals and it seems that of all the large angles they are least likely to eat all the replacement corals <I strongly disagree... even with Maldives orange throats or Red Sea races> ($$$$ this get expensive). I know that Red Sea specimens are the best but any new and improved foods or care recommendation. I've read Bobs take on them in CMA, please give me any updated information on these guys. <I seriously doubt that you will be happy with this fish... they are categorically quirky and challenging... with little guarantee of being reef safe. A beautiful fish... but not reef safe. Is your goal here to have a big angel or just a well behaved angel? Most of the Pomacanthids are a clear risk once any of them gets over 4-6". If your tank is at least 100gallons and/or 6' long, do consider Genicanthus species of Angels. Best of all worlds: med/lg, beautiful, peaceful, reef safe planktivores. Two disadvantages are shyness/ sensitivity (although no worse than the Regal) and need for large aquariums> Thanks,  Mark Johnson <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Regal Angelfish (marine stocking) Anthony (Mr. Speedy), <Have you been talking to Kara? I could not resist making a crack. Steven with the follow up.> Thanks for the input. Next question, Purple tang and Chevron in a 180? <It can be done. Add them both at the same time. QT as always.> Thanks, Mark <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

When Is A Fish Too Big For A Home Aquarium? <if it can be caught using a shoehorn... its too big> Hello gents, I hope all is well. I'm wrestling with a question that I know many other responsible fish keepers are. Many of us keep fish that according to various intelligent sources could grow to 15-20" in the wild.  <no dilemma in large aquaria> I think all of us agree that fish of a maximum length larger than this (excepting some of the smaller eels) are only for huge systems.  <agreed my friend> Now let's get back to the potential 15-20" fish such as the hobby's many common angels, triggers, puffers, tangs, lions, groupers, etc--- we read that they normally will "only" get to approx. 9-12" in most home tanks. Is this ok, or is this unnatural stunting that is harming and eventually killing the animal prematurely?  <to some small extent I believe so...yes> If instead through good husbandry the fish can reach its full size of 15-20", what is the smallest tank these fish can live contented lives in?  <content probably isn't the right word. I'd be content to live with a harem of beautiful women... but I'll be grateful to find just one that can put up with me <G> Fish that seem to live long and healthy lives in large public aquaria seem "content" to me even though their living space is a fraction of their wild range> I have a 180g, and while it is a "large" tank, I wonder if it will someday be a cruel prison for my (then-adult) clown trigger and golden puffer?  <OK for the 2-3 year picture... not so for the 5 year plan and cruel IMO after that if they live that long> When is enough space truly "enough"?  <There is no hard and fast rule... but there are studies that show that fish in public aquaria have significantly longer life spans (Mills 1985). I doubt that many are for having better aquarists. In fact, on the contrary for some awful places we have all seen. However, the large aquariums and large water changes are no doubt the foundation of the success> I read all the books, WWM, other web pages, and it frustrates me when one author says it is ok to keep a particular adult fish in a 100g, while another says it needs 135g and still another advises a minimum of 180g.  <indeed all are too small in the big picture and the opinions of what is tolerable are purely subjective> Plus the LFS tempt us with consistent displays of these animals.  <and crowded too> We all want to do what is right. I'm an attentive, ever-learning hobbyist who feels that I can keep my pets in as good an environment as possible given my space limitations, but are my good intentions enough?  <just asking the question and contemplating is admirable and encouraging> Do the adult fish described really need a lot more room to be healthy than the books generally state?  <I think so> Sorry for the nearly "what is life?" type-questioning here, but I really would like your heartfelt opinion's) on TRUE minimum tank sizes. Thanks as always for your helpful and intelligent feedback. Steve w/Predators <Steve... a 300 gallon aquarium sounds fine for these to beauties to me in the big picture. That would be on the low end of Public aquaria that have had these creatures for 10+ years in 300-500 gallon aquariums often times. Do consider a saltwater pond too. They can make dramatic displays and are inexpensive to build (we'll even have an island in the center with a sand bar and a baby mangrove tree growing on it... I can hear the Jimmy Buffet music now :) ) Anthony>

Re: When Is A Fish Too Big For A Home Aquarium? Thank you for the detailed answer Anthony. It helped. My gut has been thinking the same thing. As I was inferring, I would rather have well-cared for animals rather than (to the visitor) a "prettier" crowded and uncaring setup. Tough to do, as the temptation is always more, more, more...I will hang on to my 180g for the time being. I will strongly consider a larger tank--I would love one--but I'm going to have to get really creative to squeeze an 8-footer into one of my small and/or odd-shaped available areas. Let's assume I can't ever go bigger than a 180g. What then is the (in general, I realize...) max. size adult fish for the 180g-- 10-12 inches or???  <I'd say 2 large fish (closer to 8-10 hopefully) with or without an eel would be reasonable...but not three large mid-water fishes IMO. Kindly, Anthony>

Fish compatibility Dear WWM Crew, Well, as indicated, Sammy The Bull has been in QT for the past month, learning (begrudgingly!!) to munch on these stupid little Majanos. Yesterday, he was introduced to the main display. He was instantly attacked by my Purple Tang, Coral Beauty Angel, and to a lesser degree, My prize Percula. Out went the lights for the remainder of the day, and everyone took to their normal nighttime hangouts.  <a good move> When the lights came on this AM, the purple tang was back to harassing the new arrival. My question is, do you think the Tang will back off (he's been in this tank for almost 2 years),  <quite possibly not> or did I make a mistake by not relaying my fish population info while seeking help in getting rid of the majanos?  <not necessarily... some Raccoons are bullies themselves. They are assertive and large fishes> Please advise your thoughts on this new twist to my Anemonia problem. Oh yeah, my LFS says he uses Muriatic acid to inject these pests and it works wonders - just have to bring the ph back up. Any thoughts? <it is dubious to treat a symptom while ignoring the problem: excess food. Anemonia do not grow from thin air (or water) any more than a fish or coral does. Plain and simply... organics have to be controlled. Aggressive skimming (dual skimmers even), controlled feeding (never put pack juice from thawed frozen foods in .. always decant first), etc> Thanks again for all the help, Dave G> <If the Raccoon is being chased but not nipped... perhaps things will settle down in a day or two. If there are actually nips or torn fins... I suspect it will never work here. Is the raccoon the same size or larger? Adding a smaller specimen could be a problem. best regards, Anthony>

Fish in QT and adding polyps or mushrooms Bob: <<Actually, it's JasonC this morning...>> After fish spend 2 weeks in QT with no sign of disease and are eating well should I give them a fresh water dip for 5-10 minutes before placing them in the display tank. (Tangaroa goby and Eibl's dwarf angle) <<I would wait the full four weeks... many times in my own experience problems don't show up until the third or fourth week in quarantine.>>  The tank is FOWLR but want to look into adding some mushrooms and yellow polyps but want to find out about care for them first, food, lighting, and as much else as possible before buying any.  <<Good plan.>>  I have read a lot on FAQs about polyps and mushrooms but would like some more specific info on care like food, QT protocol and other requirements. <<Here are some good articles to start with: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm >> I have 135 gallon with about 200lbs live rock, a refuge with 80lbs sugar size sand, 15lbs rock, a small feather Caulerpa. I will say everything seems very healthy. Water seems very good, Ammonia 0 nitrites 0 nitrates 0, pH 8.3 - 8.5, alk. 11, calcium 380 , phosphates 0 or almost non detectable. The only thing I can tell about the Caulerpa is it doesn't seem to grow much, it dies back some them sends up several new shoots but not much. I this from having no nitrates in system?  <<And/or the zero phosphate, but could also be your lighting cycle.>>  If you could point me in the right direction to gather info on above questions about polyps and mushroom care I would appreciate it. You guys and girls are wonderful. Thanks for all the help, Pat <<Cheers, J -- >>

What else can I get. I have a 30 gallon aquarium with four fish; a tomato clownfish, a yellow-tailed blue damsel, a falco hawkfish, and a green Chromis (which I don't think is going to live much longer). The problem is that due to the aggression of the trio of terror, the first three fish, nothing else can survive in the tank. I really like dwarf angels especially Centropyge Argi but the local pet store owner said the clown would kill it. <Possible> I also like sixline wrasses. Would either of those work in my tank. <The sixline is fairly different.> Any other suggestions would be appreciated. <Several of the Pseudochromis would work instead.> Preferably not getting rid of any fish as I have grown to love my little demons. Mike P.S. The cover is falling off "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" because I read it so much. <My copy is starting to show some wear and tear, too. -Steven Pro>

Setting up a new marine tank Dear Bob <<Hello, I'm not Bob but I play one on TV... hope that's OK.>> My partner and I have recently purchased a 40 gallon tank to set up a marine/predatory Aquarium. We're so excited about our new venture, and yet a little nervous at the same time. We've done a vast amount of research to help us choose our fish and read your book, which is fantastic. In addition to this, we've perused your Wet Web Media site, particularly the Q&A section to gain a better understanding of this wonderful hobby. Before we purchase our fish, we hope very much that you will be able to answer our questions below: 1) We are thinking of introducing the following fish to our tank: Fuzzy Dwarf Lion Fish; Long Nosed Hawk Fish; Yellow Tang; Maroon Clown and possibly a File fish. Can you let me know if we have chosen wisely, and what order do you think we should introduce the fish to the tank? Or do you have any other recommendations?  <<I would suggest that you either forget about the tang or consider a larger tank. These fish really need swimming room, and a 40g just isn't really large enough. A larger tank would also help you maintain good water quality. As for stocking order... just don't add them all at once. Perhaps one a month, with one in quarantine.>> 2) We're also thinking of adding some live rock, hermit crabs and maybe a starfish. What do you think?  <<I'm all for live rock, it is my opinion that this item alone makes marine tanks much easier to maintain. I'd skip the hermit crabs and instead use Nassarius snails as detritivores. The seastar would be no problem.>> I look forward to hearing from you and thank you so much for your help. Laura Weston <<Cheers, J -- >>

RE: Setting up a new marine tank Dear Bob <<Hello - it's still JasonC doing the replying...>> This is brilliant and thank you so much for your speedy reply. I should have mentioned to you that the tank we're buying is 50 US gallons (40 UK). Can you let me know if this would make a difference to my 1st question (see below) I sent to you earlier today. <<Unfortunately, not enough of a difference... even 50usg is on the small side of comfortable for a tang.>> Kind regards, Laura Weston <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: compatibility Hi, how r u? <<I r fine...>> I just want to know if the fishes that I'm planning to add in my tank r compatible together and if the load is to big for what I have. I have a 60 gal tank, with a 20 gal sump. I have a only fish tank with not much algae cuz I keep it pretty much clean. I was wandering if I can have a Spotbanded Butterflyfish, with a Flame angel, a small Picasso triggerfish (I know that they r gonna get big but can they be fine for a while?),  <<How long is "a while" - and what do you do then? I'd say it depends on your feeding habits.>> a marine Betta, a small Volitans Lionfish and a domino Damselfish 1in. long. I've seen in a compatibility chart that they r not compatible with a Lionfish a trigger but in your book in a 55gal. OF tank u can see 3 damsels and a lion.  <<All of those tank pictures were staged specifically for the book, and not necessarily a long running system or example of compatibility. They are meant more as a guide/examples of fish-only systems, versus a fish and invert system, versus a reef-system. In the long term, the lionfish will likely eat the damsel or anything else that might fit in it's mouth. Likewise, these damsels not only get ugly when they get older, they also get incredibly mean.>>  If they can't go all together, which of them should not be added?  <<I would skip the lion and the trigger - the volitans especially as these are growing and eating machines. Can easily grow to the size of a tennis racquet head. You might consider one of the dwarf lions if you are set on this type of fish.>> Thx for the help again :P Charles <<Why for do you stick your tongue out at me? Cheers, J -->> Re: calcium / buffer question Thank you. Will a PolyFilter pull the calcium out or can I keep it in? <PolyFilters will not remove calcium... they are excellent chemical filtration media.> Also, will it bring the color back into my live rock? <adequate and consistent (this is important) levels of Calcium and Alkalinity will certainly fuel recovery of corallines. SeaChem's Reef calcium is a nice supplement to Kalkwasser for this purpose> I noticed that my yellow tang is acting strange. His tankmates include: Purple tang, hippo tang, Huma trigger, copperband butterfly, Volitans lionfish, snowflake eel, and 2 tomato clowns. <sounds like you have or need to have a big aquarium for these fishes as adults (200+ gallons?). Snowflake is 18-24" as adult, lion 12", trigger and three tangs a collective 30+inches...plus butterflies and clowns... a lot of bio-mass in the 3-5 year picture> I noticed he his swimming into everything, glass, corals, heater, other fish, etc. He is not eating and sometimes either lays on the bottom or floats on top of the water.  <not symptomatic of a specific disease but do remove to a quite QT tank ASAP> His tail fin is frayed and my purple tang is picking on him. Can fish sense when another one is weak or ill?  <yes indeed> His eyes are not cloudy, but it appears he is breathing heavy and faster then usual. Is he on his deathbed?  <cannot say for certain... does indeed sound bad. Still... keep and learn to use a proper QT> Can he be poisoned by the lionfish?  <unlikely... death by envenomation is quicker and stung fishes show erratic twitching behavior>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: