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FAQs about Reef Livestock Selection 5

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Related FAQs: Reef Livestocking 1, Reef Livestocking 2, Reef Livestocking 3, Reef Livestocking 4, Reef Livestocking 6, Reef Livestocking 7, Reef Livestocking 8, Reef Livestocking 9, Reef Livestocking 10,   Reef Livestocking 11, Reef Livestocking 12, Reef Livestocking 14, Reef Livestocking 15, Reef Livestocking 16, & Marine Livestocking, More Stocking FAQs, FAQs 3FAQs 4, FAQs 5, FAQs 6, Marine Livestock SelectionAngelfish Selection, Reef Systems 1, Reef Systems 2, Reef Set-Up 1, Reef Set-Up 2, Reef Set-Up 3, Reef Set-Up 4, Reef Set-Up 5, Reef Set-Up 6, Reef Tanks, Reef LightingReef Lighting 2Reef Filtration,

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

Stocking list/quarantine   9/4/06 Hello Crew, I am switching from a FOWLR to a soft coral tank. (Had a puffer go crazy and kill everything in the tank including a 9 year-old eel -   <Yikes!> puffer went to LFS, although I wanted revenge.) <A "western" concept. No sense> The tank has been fishless for about 5 months letting it build worms, pods, ect., <No such word... "etc.", is a contraction for et cetera res... Latin for "and other things"...> and letting me build and cure some base rock. <Good> Tank 220g 6'Lx2'Wx 30'D, 29g refugium (red Gracilaria on reverse daylight), 40g sump (~20g actual volume), ~140 lbs live rock (had for years), ~100 lbs homemade rock ~5' DSB  seeded with stuff from IPSF,   <Ah, good old GeraldH> 2x400 watt MH and 2x40 watt actinics, ~800 gph through sump, ~1800 gph closed loop manifold, AMS G3 skimmer, chiller, phosphorus reactor that either has Rowaphos or carbon, temp. 78-80, ph 8.0-8.2, NH3- 0. NO2-0, NO3-0, CA-430, KH-8.6, PO4-0 10g quarantine with water from main tank and sponge filter I have in the sump now. Here is my planned fish stocking list to go with various soft corals, mushrooms, polyps, and in the future a Crocea clam. I would like, and respect, your input. In order of planned introduction: Bullet Goby: Amblyeleotris semicinctus (or 2, or other sand shifter?) Scribbled Rabbitfish:  Siganus doliatus 1 Yellow Eye Kole Tang: Ctenochaetus strigosus 1 Lyretail Anthias: Pseudanthias squamipinnis 1 male 3 females Sixline Wrasse: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia 1 Purple Tang: Zebrasoma xanthurum 1 I planned on going through a minimum of 4-week quarantine for everything, but in reading it sounds more like 2 weeks for the goby/ies and just a dip for the rabbit and the Anthias, is this so? <Yes> If I need to cut back on the fish the six-line would be first to go, and the yellow eye would be next unless there are other compatibility issues I have not read about. Thank you fro the wonderful site, Bill <Sounds like a very nice set-up, and stocking plan. I would place the Zebrasoma last. Bob Fenner>

Stocking sequence advice   8/24/06 Hello, <Howdy> Thank you for your wonderful service.  Your website is great!  I'm in need of some stocking advice. I have a 75G tank with about 100 lbs. of LR that was started in early May. There is a 20 gallon refugium and a constantly running protein skimmer. Water quality has been consistently good.  Currently there are 5 Chromis Viridis, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Blood Shrimp, 2 Turbo Snails & some blue legged hermit crabs.  Some algae, both desirable and nuisance, have cropped up.  Ultimately, I would like to add the following fish: Lawnmower Blenny Watchman Goby Clownfish (Ocellaris or Clarkii) Mandarinfish Flame Angel Tang (Purple or Yellow) Wrasse (Fairy- Cirrhilabrus ??? or Sixline) 4 Cardinals ( PJ or Banggai) My initial research has indicated that these fish should be compatible & reef safe. <Mmm, agreed> Any advice on stocking sequence, compatibility and this quantity of for this size tank would be greatly appreciated. <The tang and Angel last is about it... a pair of clowns... the Ocellaris likely to be much easier going..., one of each of the gobies... The Fairy wrasses over the Lined...>   Also, I am a firm believer in a QT, but how do you quarantine a fish that needs a thriving ecosystem for sustenance (e.g., algae or microorganism)?  Thanks so much! Ellen <Mmm, either shorter, and/or with plenty of cured live rock... Bob Fenner>

Reef stocking order   8/24/06 Hi Bob, <Gary> How are you today? <Okay thus far> I have been stocking my tank with fish. <Fishes if more than one species> I have a 115ish gal tank with mostly SPS some clams and a few LPS corals. The tank measures 72"X18"X20" with about 140lbs of live rock and 3"sandbed. I have been trying to get a pair of blue jaw tile fish, I found these guys are rather hard to find, at least at this time. <Yes... a specialty "catch"> So I resorted to online vendors in an effort to obtain them. Well, with each order I added a couple other fish I wanted in order to make it worth paying the shipping cost. Well with each order, there have been a few, the tilefish were either left out, and back ordered or mislabeled (received wrong fish). <Best to send along scientific names> Anyway to avoid a long story I finally got the fish I was looking for. However, in the process I obtained all the fish I wanted, for awhile. Currently I have a pair of percula clowns (Amphiprion ocellaris), hector's goby (Amblyeleotris hectori), Rainford's goby (Amblygobius rainfordi) and a yellow watchman (Gobiodon okinawae) in the tank. I have the following in various quarantine tanks; yellow clown goby (Gobiodon okinawae) <Keep your eye on this little so and so... eat Acroporid polyps> neon goby (Elacatinus oceanops) purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora) royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) orange back fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis) banded goby (Amblygobius phalaena) 2-bluejaw tilefish (Hoplolatilus starcki) regal tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) canary blenny (Meiacanthus oualanensis) Note: These are small size fish, respectively. The banded goby and wrasse are QT'd in a 20 gallon reef that has been setup for over 5years. The others are in temporary setups with bare bottoms and a few pieces of live rock. All will be in QT for at least 45 days, some 4+ months. I have a few questions concerning the order I should add these and a couple questions on compatibility. I am planning on adding 2-3 fish at a time about a month apart. The plan is to add the purple Firefish, clown goby and neon goby. Next will be the 2 tilefish and the wrasse. Followed by the Gramma and regal tang. Lastly, the canary blenny and the banded goby. My biggest worry is with the banded goby. How will he get along with the watchman, Firefish, Rainford and hector gobies? <Mmm, should be okay here. Enough room...> Another worry is how will the Gramma get along with the Firefish, Rainford and hector gobies. <Only way to tell is to try and see> I tried to get fish that are, for the most part, peaceful. I like the hector and Rainford gobies. They are always hanging out together swimming all over. With this group of fish, do you think they will disappear? <Mmm, less visible likely> I don't see any other issues with compatibility or territorial issues do you? <Not overtly> I think that is about it, unless you see something that I have missed or just did not know about. Any fish you would leave out of this list. If I was to leave out the banded goby do you have any suggestions on a sand sifter or two that would fit in with the rest of these guys? <The phalaena will be enough here> Late, much later, I am thinking of adding a tank raised orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani). I know these guys are unlike most Dottybacks. I was just wondering what is you take on them? <I would not place a Dottyback with the other similar eco-type species you list here. Too likely to be agonistic troubles> Thanks in advance, Gary. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Small Tank Stocking Density/Compatibility  8/23/06 Hi Crew! <<Hey Danny!>> It's been a while since I have written so please forgive me if I forget any protocols. <<Ha!>> I have a 45 gallon with about 30 lbs. of very porous Tonga live rock...various caves, nooks, and crannies (very picky about the live rock I get).  There is about 4 to 5 inches of a mixture of sand and aragonite bedding.  I do biweekly water changes of just about 10-20% of the water--2 power heads at opposite sides and different levels, an emperor bio-wheel power filter, and a venturi style skimmer collects about a half a cup of skim a day).  Water quality: salinity 1.022, Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates <20ppm, pH 8. <<Might want to try to boost the pH "just a tad">> My invertebrates consist of 1 fire shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermints, 3 Turbos, 4 Nassarius, and a handful of blue-legged hermit crabs.  No corals yet.  My question is for the following:  For my fish, I have 4 Ocellaris (2 black, 2 orange [1-1 1/2"]), 1 exquisite wrasse (2 1/2"), 1 sixline wrasse (1"), 1 lawnmower blenny(2"), and 1 royal gramma(1 1/2").  Everybody gets along really well, you could say everybody basically ignores each other; however, do you think that I should boot somebody out (back to the LFS of course)? <<Mainly for reasons of compatibility/risks to future additions, I would seriously consider giving the six-line wrasse a ride back to the store>> Perhaps the lawnmower blenny? <<I consider "any" blenny to be a "risk" to a reef tank, but not all specimens prove to be so.  Just keep an eye on the blenny once you start to add corals>> I know not everybody is completely full grown in size, so I am concerned that I may be either to my max or overstocked, when I would rather be understocked for the health of the fish. <<Mmm, no...not overstocked...everything you list will remain relatively small (<6").  Remove the six-line from this mix and all should be fine>> I truly appreciate your time and the information you share...thank you! <<Is a pleasure to assist>> Danny Tampa, FL <<Regards, EricR...Columbia, SC>>

Re: Small Tank Stocking Density/Compatibility - 08/24/06 Hi Eric! <<Hey Danny!>> Thank you for the reply! <<Quite welcome>> I was just about ready to net out my poor lawnmower blenny--he does a great job getting algae off the rocks and glass. <<Indeed...may want to keep him around...>> I see your point with the six-line, he usually goes about his own business, but if anybody stands still for too long he starts hovering around them--hasn't chased anybody yet. <<Maybe all will be fine...but I have seen these wrasse harass, maim, and kill similar sized fishes.  Do keep a close eye on it, especially as it becomes more established in this small volume of water>> I'm quite fond of him, so if you think my tank is ok with my 8 fish; I'll just observe how things go. <<Sounds fine, just resist the urge to add more <grin> >> If I see that he will be a problem, I will quickly take your advice and plop him back in the LFS. <<Will be fun to catch!>> Have a great week! <<And you as well>> Sincerely, Danny Tampa, FL <<Regards, EricR>>

Single Reef Safe Fish with Some Personality for a 55g   8/14/06 Hello!!! <Hi there!> I have a 55 gallon which I guess you could call a reef tank. The current residents are 2 Blue Chromis, Xenia, Shrooms, Green Star Polyps, and a Flower Pot Coral, a Conch, one Peppermint Shrimp, and a Coral Banded Shrimp, snails here and there and a couple micro hermit crabs. I also have bunches of Caulerpa growing on the LR. The tank is filtered by a Penguin BIO-Wheel 350 Power Filter and a The Cyclone BakPak 2 Bio-Filter. The tank has been up since December and is doing great. The only bad thing that has happened was the a power outage that ended up killing all the fish that I used to have. <Oh my gosh, so sorry to hear that.> Here is my question: I am looking for a fish that has a lot of personality. A fish that could live with the current residents, that I have in a 55 gallon for life. I plan to get rid of the Chromis because they keep picking at the shrimp. I thought at first a Bursa Trigger would be nice but, my tank is too small and it will kill everything. Then I thought maybe a pufferfish will do but no, my tank is too small yet again and the shrimp and crabs will be a snack. <Nice to hear you did some research prior to purchasing either of those fish. Good job!> I'm just looking to keep this tank a one fish only tank. School is starting in September, so that means a big hole in my wallet. So I'm looking for that one single fish that acts like a dog. Hope you can help me! <Well I certainly will try. Puffers are of course the closest of the wet pets to puppies that I know of. However, with those being ruled out there are some other fish with personality and spunk that might interest you. Here are the options that immediately come to mind'¦.. Blennies, Gobies, Hawkfish or Jawfish all have quite a bit of personality and IMO can be very entertaining. I find them all most enjoyable. Depending on how your tank is set up the Jawfish may or may not be appropriate. They have specific habitat requirements, which you can read about in an article called Lets Jaw About Jawfish http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-03/hcs3/index.php. As well as here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/jawfishe.htm If your tank is suitable or you are willing to make the adaptations the Bluespotted Jawfish (Opistognathus rosenblatti) is my all time favorite. A Blenny, Goby or Hawkfish could go into your tank as is. There are several to choose from. My all time favorite Blenny is a dolphin blue colored Blenny the LFS refers to as a Tidepool Blenny. Unfortunately there are many Blennies that live in tidepools and I was never able to ID the fish. I did however see tons of them in the tidepools when I was on Molokai. You can read more about Blennies in general here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blennioids.htm. I would recommend any of the following'¦ the Lawnmower (Salarias fasciatus) the Red Speckled (Cirripectes variolosus) the Red Lipped (Ophioblennius atlanticus) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trublennies.htm the Midas Blenny (Ecsenius midas) or the Tail Spot Blenny (Ecsenius stigmatura) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ecseniusblennies1.htm You can read about Hawkfish here http ://www.wetwebmedia.com/hawkfish.htm and here http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/hcs3/index.php I like the Flame Hawk (Neocirrhites armatus) And Gobies here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobioidmars.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobies.htm Next time you are at your LFS park yourself in front of any of the tanks with any of these fish and just watch for a bit. I promise one will capture your heart. HTH, Leslie P.S. In the future please do spell/grammar/caps check your query prior to sending. It is time consuming for us to do so and it takes away from the time we have which could be better utilized answering additional queries.>

Overstocking question  - 08/07/06 Hi there, <Hello Jeanne> I am a little anxious about writing to you despite reading your forum for at least the past year or so. You may not consider this question worth answering but I am very impressed with all the work you do, and how graciously and tirelessly you provide the answers to so many questions. <All questions are answered regardless of importance.> I have read many, many parts of your website until the wee hours of the morning but I am still a little confused on this issue. One sees all sorts of rules for stocking a tank, but I realize there is no such thing as a set guideline because of the varying needs, habits and ultimate size and temperament of the fish. However, here goes: I have kept marine aquariums for the past twenty years, but about six years ago went to a reef tank and about 4.5 years ago went to metal halides, more elaborate corals, clams etc. I have two tanks, a 150 gallon and a 24 gallon nano cube (for Jawfish and gobies.) It appears from all my reading that my 150g tank must be incredibly overcrowded, and yet all seems very happy and healthy. I have had my purple tang for over 10 years now, and my pair of Perculas (and an ever-growing sebae anemone) and my Betta (comet) <This guy loves small fish and shrimp.> and Hawkfish for about 5 years, and the green mandarin for 4 years. In addition to the above I have: 5 lyretail Anthias (1 male, 4 female) 5 green Chromis 7 pajama Cardinalfish 3 chalk bass 1 orange-back bass ( Serranus annularis ) <These guys do not fit into your biotope.  They are found at depths in excess of 100 feet.  Correction if I'm wrong here, Bob.> 2 Pakistan Butterflyfish <Not good candidates for a reef tank.> Royal Gramma Black-capped Basslet Six-line wrasse (he is sort of  aggressive and I would like to get rid of him but I would never be able to catch him without tearing the tank apart) Golden angelfish Centropyge aurantius A goby and accompanying pistol shrimp-- Cryptocentrus leptocephalus Midas blenny Pink-tail trigger Melichthys vidua <Another fish that does not belong in a reef tank or fit in with the group you have.> I have had all of the above at least one year with the exception of the 2 Butterflyfish ( I recently lost a Copperband I had for quite awhile and I ordered one and they sent me two of the collare) and the trigger--my husband really wanted one and this one is supposed to be the best in terms of peacefulness and reef compatibility although I suspect he has taken out some snails--I have had him 3 months. <No peaceful triggers or reef safe triggers.> I have 2 cleaner shrimp and a coral banded and a small purple lobster I see about once a week. <I am truly surprised that these were not on the trigger or Betta's dinner table. Must be part cat.> Also some emerald crabs I see at night. Is it possible that because of the weekly 5% water changes, the careful feeding and the elaborate filter system (sorry, this part of the hobby is my husband's area but we have a large wet/dry with bioballs, and a section that I am planning to make into a refugium, à UV, good water current--I do not have the technical terminology down here, I really apologize--I can give you more info but this e-mail is already so long) that I am able to overcome the crowding or is it something that will someday cause havoc in the tank? Is it completely ridiculous? I have asked my LFS owner (good friend for 20 years) about it but he says my tank is in great shape (he always compliments my feeding) --he seems more interested in the corals anyway and I don't think --even though I tell him-- that he understands I have 36 fish in there! (I inherited a few of the above when a friend moved and took down his tank, but I can't blame the above on that. ) I realize that I am looking to be reassured here and it is perhaps a waste of your valuable time. <Absolutely not!> What should I start getting rid of? I know the Chromis have a high metabolism and eat like pigs, but what else? (No doubt the ones I am most fond of.) I know this is really too long but any guidance you can provide would be very helpful. <Jeanne, for starters I would remove the Marine Betta and the triggerfish, both high waste producers and party crashers.  A rule of thumb I like to use is five gallons of water for every one cubic (not length) inch of fish.  This will keep you on the safe side.  In relative terms you could have 30 fish, one cubic inch in size.  Each of your Chromis would not equal one cubic inch. Hate to use this as an example, but imagine mushing up each individual fish and guesstimate how many one inch cubic (square) boxes it would take to put the remains of the fish into.  Your tank is definitely overstocked, especially with the sizes some of your fish will attain.  Example, Betta 8", triggerfish 1' 2"> Thank you. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Jeanne

Getting Back In The Game After Fish Losses   8/4/06 Hi crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight!> I have two questions. <I'll try to provide the answers!> 1. The other day, my newly purchased Yellow Fin Fairy Wrasse died in my QT after only 2 weeks. I do not know why he died, I'm speculating either Marine Velvet or Ich, as the day before he died he was just covered in white spots although these "spots" could have been sand as he sleeps in the sand (I have just a little sand in my QT). I also have a few pieces of live base rock in the QT. My question is, I have disposed of the dead fish and now I have to "sterilize" the tank for my next fish purchase. I know that bleach is used by some people but I really don't like the idea of bleach fearing that some residue may linger and kill new fish. Is it possible for me to clean the tank, the aqua clear filter and soak the live rock in Methylene Blue to "sterilize" the tank for the next new fish? Even though I do not know for sure I am acting as if the whole tank and the live rock is contaminated with ICH. <I think that you are correct in utilizing some sort of sterilization process with this tank. Bleach may not be a bad idea, if you take the care to rinse the tank very well and use chlorine remover in the water after refilling it. I would personally ditch the sand and the live rock, for that matter. It would be tough to effectively and confidently rid the rock and sand of possible protozoa, particularly with a virulent disease like Amyloodinium (Marine Velvet).> 2. I'm a little discouraged about fish selection as I've enjoyed my tank-raised Clownfish for over 2 years, and my last 3 fish purchases have been relatively short lived. I had a Bicolor Blenny that died in the main tank after 11 months from lateral line erosion (stopped eating) and then I placed a Yellow Watchman Goby in the main tank after a month in QT and he mysteriously disappeared! (I speculated he died from stress and hermit crabs ate him) and now my Fairy Wrasse died in my QT after only 2 weeks. <Sorry to hear about these losses. HLLE is really thought to be an environmental/diet issue, and not typically fatal in all cases. Could be some other issue in addition to the HLLE that did the blenny in.> I'm glad that the deaths were either from non-contagious diseases or the fish died in QT but now I am fearful of making bad fish choices! <Valid points, for sure! You've proven the value of quarantine right there!> It would be great if all fish were as hearty as my tank raised clownfish but do you recommend a good, hearty fish for my next purchase that has demonstrated a strong track record in aquariums? Is there a heartier wrasse I should have purchased? Thanks, Signed gun shy aquarist! <Well, Gun Shy- I like wrasses from the genus Halichoeres, such as the H. chrysus, aka the "Canary Wrasse". I also like some of the Pseudochromids, although they can be tough customers. Other good choices would be the Royal Gramma (G. loreto), or perhaps a Hawkfish of some sort...Lots of hardy fishes out there to choose from. Do a little searching on the WWM site, and I know that you'll find some good information! Do your homework, but get back in the game. You'll be fine, with your continued good procedures. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Stocking Question   8/3/06 Hi All, <Hello Mike> I really appreciate all the help you provide; my fish appreciate it as well. <Thank you.> I would like to get your opinion on a stocking plan for a new 400 gallon aquarium I'm setting up. It is being designed as a fore-reef biotype. I'm using limited live rock placed in small piles on the bottom leaving lots of room for the coral to grow and the fish to swim. I will supplement the live rock with a DSB in the refugium. Combined circulation through the sump/refugium, closed-loop, and a surge device will generate a turnover of about 40x per hour. <Wowsie.> To start, I will be moving over a Pacific Blue Tang, a Foxface Rabbitfish, and 2 Percula Clownfish. I've had these fish for a few years, and they are doing great. I'd like to add 10 lyretail or Bartlett's' Anthias, <Why did you cap Bartlett and not the names of the other fish.  Do use caps where necessary, saves us from doing it for you.> 2 more Pacific Blue Tangs, another Foxface, a Masked Banner Fish, <The Banner Fish will nip at sessile invertebrates including corals.> and a black durgon. <What is a Black Durgon?> What do you think about this combination? <The Anthias, although a daytime schooler, do appreciate several hiding places. If limited live rock is used, this may not be available to them.  James (Salty Dog)> I eager <eagerly> await your advice! Regards, Michael

A Missing Link? AMDA list vis a vis Reef Sel. art.   7/28/06 Hi Crew! <Greg> In your article on "Organism Selection for the Saltwater Aquarist, or How to Go About Planning & Picking Out Marine Livestock With a Heavy Emphasis on Reef Systems" you offer a very useful link on species that usually do well in shipment and have a high survival rate, and ones who don't. However, the link does not function any more. Since this link is fairly important for live stock selection, I wonder if any of you knows its new address. Here is an exact citation of the spot where it appears: "Mortuus Est: One outright contraindicated behavior to avoid in livestock selection is death itself; some species, for whatever unknown reasons, don't generally live through the rigors of collection, holding and shipping. Both a "clean" list of desirable species and a "dirty" list of those to avoid run very long; an ongoing compilation is available on the net at www.exec.com/~jkos/amda" <Ah, yes... unfortunately this useful information is no longer offered by the American Marine Life Dealers Association... Bob Fenner>

Another Reef Tank for a Bluechin Trigger - 07/27/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello Jeff>> I have a question about the stocking of my system. <<Okay>> I would like to add a pair of Bluechin Triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus). <<Wonderful fish!  I introduced a pair to my reef tank a couple years ago...sadly I've since lost the female, but the male is doing great>> But I am not sure if they will put me over the bio-load that my tank can handle. My current system configuration is as follows: -450 Gallon Reef Ready Custom 96" x 36" x 30" display tank. -Euro-Reef CS 8-3+RC Skimmer and a Deltec APF600 Skimmer -63 gallon sump, 55 gallon Refugium and 39 gallon rock Refugium -2 Tunze 6000 Streams & 2 Tunze 6100 Streams -Lighting: 3 250 watt MH HQI and 4 39 watt actinic T5's -145Lbs Tonga Rock, 84Lbs Base Rock, 16Lbs Tonga Branch Rock, 60Lbs Indo Rock, and 60Lbs of Marshall Island rock -420Lb Bioactive Live Aragonite Reef Sand Current Bio-load in tank: -Various Soft Corals, LPS, Zoo's, mushrooms and Clams. -Also various crabs, snails and shrimp. -8 Zebra Dartfish (Ptereleotris zebra) -9 Blue-Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) -1 Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) -1 Scooter Dragonet (Synchiropus ocellatus) -1 Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma veliferum) -1 Mimic Tang (Acanthurus pyroferus) -1 Comet (Calloplesiops altivelis) -3 Ochre-striped Cardinalfish (Apogon compressus) -1 Pajama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera) -1 Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) -1 Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) -2 Percula Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) -1 Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus) -1 Twinspot Hogfish (Bodianus bimaculatus) -1 Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani) <<Hmmm...but for the Sailfin which will get quite large, and the Comet which will be of moderate size (Mimic and Copperband to a lesser degree), most everything else is fairly small.  Considering the size of this system, the (2) quality skimmers, the presence of a large sump and refugium, and plentiful though not "overdone" live rock...I would be tempted to add the triggers>> Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide. <<Try to get Hawaiian specimens if you can.  And make sure you acquire both the male and the female at the same time (in the same shipment even) to lessen the possibility of conspecific aggression.  When feeding, small portions of meaty foods (Mysis, plankton, glass worms...all with a twice-weekly soak in Selcon) fed a couple to several times a day are best.  Mine even enjoys New Life Spectrum pellets...which do a fabulous job of soaking up Selcon/vitamin supplements.  Oh yeah, a cave/crevice (one for each) in which to hide/watch you move about will be greatly appreciated by the triggers>> Jeff <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Stocking/Mis-Stocking a New 180 - 07/14/06 OK, I have spent the last 9 months planning and building my new 180 and I am close to being open for business. <<Exciting...isn't it!?>> I have read CMA by Bob and Bob & Calfo's book Reef Invertebrates. <<Excellent>> Lighting, filtration, water movement, calcium reactor, controllers, and proper size fuge is all set and ready to go. <<Cool!>> I put together my lights so I can stock slowly and work my way up. <<...?>> I have had a 55 small fish FOWLR for 4 years and I feel I really took my time and can care for my fish correctly and added enough toys to enjoy it more than work on it.  It is a standard 180 and the question I have is the 3 most intriguing things in this hobby to me are the tangs, clams and eels.  I plan to keep 4 tangs from different genus <<plural for "genus" is "genera">> (purple, regal, orange shoulder & Naso). <<Too much already my friend, I would keep this to the first two listed.  The orange-shoulder tang will get big and mean...the Naso will just get too big>> I also want a snowflake eel, and a Volitans <<lion>> and Imperator Angel. <<Mmm, choose the angel carefully (read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm)...and you have other problems.  You are proposing a very unnatural mix for a small confined space.  As shy, low light, slow feeding animals, the eel and the lionfish will suffer with this mix of fishes.  Research your animals completely (environment, habitat, behavior, aggression, compatibility, feeding, et al) and choose animals from similar niches.  Doing so will be much easier on the fishes (and you!) and will greatly improve your chances for success>> My questions are with the eel I don't plan on keeping shrimps, snails, small sand-shifting gobies or crabs since they would be snacks so would my sand stay nice with adequate filtration, flow and weekly water changes and with snails in the fuge will my algae not be a nuisance without a cleanup crew in the main tank? <<Depends on your definition of "nice".  But in my opinion, with adequate maintenance/husbandry, your sand will be just fine>> I am thinking I am OK but would like reassurance before planning. <<I have doubts about your livestock selections...as stated>> My next question I have searched and searched WWM and this is probably a stupid one but can clams and eels be kept together? <<Usually, yes>> Also I am not big into corals but like a few and would like to add color but I am afraid the Imperator will harm. <<Indeed>> I would like just maybe a couple zoos and polyps from soft family and a Plerogyra sinuosa bubble and red Goniopora from LPS and some Monti plates from the SPS community. <<The Goniopora is a poor selection...dismal survival record>> Maybe 5-7 corals total spread far apart so they can grow. <<This is/will become a reef tank...all the more reason to be very selective with your fish choices...and more reason to avoid large, messy-feeding predators>> Are these Imperator snacks generally? <<Some are very probable, yes (Zoanthids, polyps,, bubble coral)...and more so as the angel matures>> Last Question I promise. <<No worries mate, I/we are here to help>> With these 6 fish and eel, am I at my limit or can I add maybe a school of 3 Anthias (Lyretail) and would a large sand goby like a yellow watchman end up a snack for the eel? <<Consider my comments re stocking and we'll go from there.  But so far, the Anthias and the goby are your best choices from what you propose...in my humble opinion>> OK that was 2 I know but I am done. You guys (and gals!>> are great. Thanks <<Always happy to assist.  Regards, Eric Russell>>

Marine lighting, lvstk. sel.    7/13/06 Hello WWM Crew, I hope the day finds you happy and healthy. <Thank you my/our friend. And to you, indeed this planet as well> I had a quick question (or maybe a couple of questions, really) regarding lighting. I'm in the process of setting up my first marine aquarium after many years of freshwater and pond experience. We have selected a 120 gal Perfecto tank (48"x24"x24" to the best of my recollection, I'm currently at work). The lighting I've selected consists of 2 175W HQI lights, 2 96W PC bulbs, and several moonlight LEDs. The tank is set up, full of water and running, I'm just waiting on the lights and a couple of other items to arrive. I thought now would be a good time to start putting in some serious research on what I'm going to stock my tank with. In looking around at retailers (online, catalogs and LFSs) I find that most corals light requirements are simply listed as low, moderate or high. While I understand it would be impossible for them to be more specific, as each tank is different, what I need to know is, what is my tank considered? <Mmm, depending on what depth, where oriented in terms of below or to the side of the MHs... all three actually> Also, the lights are coming with actinic tubes in the PC spaces, do you think it would be wise to swap them out for full spectrum tubes, and maybe buy a separate NO or HO fixture to add some actinic light back in? <Yes to the former, likely no to the latter> Thanks for the wealth of information you guys make available to hobbyists, both neophyte and experienced alike, it's a wonderful resource. Take care, and have a wonderful day Pearson Hurst <Again, thank you... Do take a "read about" concerning light, lighting... and the photo-strength/intensity, adaptation/range of most photosynthetic life offered/available. Best to do as you are... investigating these needs... and just importantly, compatibility of such life. All cnidarians are to degrees intolerant of others... best to start with small/er species, colonies of the less toxic/allelopathogenic species... with lower light requirements. Bob Fenner>

Choosing some good SW fish?    7/13/06 I just wanted to say thanks for all the help I have received and we receive as long as I am in the hobby, this sight is a god send... <Mmm, your sight may be... this site is a Crew send> Well my set up is a 55gal SW with about 3 ½ " LS bed probably 50 or so lbs L.R.  I have 2 maroon yellow stripe clowns One is 3" other one is 1 ½" and a medium yellow tang.   I just fished out all the assrt.  Damsels I had from start up. About a yr ago... I would eventually like to put anemones or corals in the tanks... <You've read on WWM re the Compatibility, Selection, Systems for these?> I am about to get a watchmen goby because I have a tiger pistol shrimp I put in a while back hoping to pair it up with a goby...  my question is what other fish would go good in this tank? <Mmm, quite a few possibilities... mainly dependent of the Maroons disposition and the small size of this system> I am torn between so many!!! Are dwarf angels dangerous for this tank? Like a flame or coral beauty?   <No, not dangerous. The tank is just too small for them> Will Dwarf angels pick at anemones? <Some specimens do... more so if crowded, hungry> What exactly makes a take a reef tank? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefsysi.htm and the linked files above> I have a run of the mill cleaner crew Also 4 emerald  8 Nassarius snails 2 turbo snails a sand sifting star and 10-12 dwarf hermits and a few scarlet hermits.  What would be a good choice?     <For you to keep reading. See WWM re Marine, Reef Livestock Selection... Bob Fenner>

Stocking Plans for New Marine Tank   7/11/06 I have a new marine tank set up. In summary the display tank has 250 liters of water in after displacement, 10 cm of 1 2 mm crushed marble sand bed, a 100 litre sump (3000 litre hour overflow), 3 litres sintered glass beads, Merlin Fluidized Bed Filter, cured concrete rock sculptures (no live rock in New Zealand), and RATZ sulfur granules canister connected to a IKS dosing pump at a slow flow rate (only added two days ago), and Tunze Turbelle circulation pump 6000 litres and hour, Deltec MC 600 protein skimmer. (My example of Redundant Technology instead of Live Rock Biology). Time will tell if it works. <Wow, nice high-tech approach set-up...> The tank has been cycled with 6 dead frozen shrimp, ammonia = 0, nitrites = 0, nitrates = 2 ppm. With this low level of nitrates, the system may not have ramped up to large bioload, nitrites only spiked to 0.5 ppm). pH = 8.3 <I think 'tis likely about done as much as is going... time to start with some stocking...> I wanted to start stocking this with some fish, and there limited choices again in New Zealand. What are currently available are assorted damsel fishes, and a maroon clown fish, all reasonably hardy, and quarrelsome.   <Heee, yes> I have a quarantine tank 30 cm x 30 cm x 60 cm (about 50 liters) with a Whisper Quiet hang on pump just for circulation (could add a polypad here), and I plan on putting a half liter bag of sintered glass beads from the sump into this tank for the biology. Water changes would be sourced from the display tank, and new salt water added back to the display. <Sounds good> It would be tempting to get three fish at once, but is it the wise thing to do? The quarantine tank is small with limited biology reserve, and this is to house three territorially aggressive fish. Also if one fish is infected, they all get infected. <If damsels, a good idea to somehow keep them separated. As you state, behavioral problems otherwise> Would you advise a more cautious stocking plan of just getting one fish at a time, and adding fish to the display tank on a monthly basis, about the time each fish needs in quarantine to ease the biology and territory challenges of a small tank (they can sort themselves out in a larger tank later that has lots of hiding places). <If you have the patience for this... the one fish per month plan is best/better> I would not consider having more than 5 fish of these types in total in this set up, so that there is an option of corals later on. All the Best... Mike Lomb <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Looking to Round Out the Neighborhood. Reef lvstg.   7/8/06 Good evening, <And to you> Looking for your input on my last tank inhabitants.  I've never kept the later specific species.  Kept numerous types of butterflies & wrasse, just not the pyramid and six line.  I've never kept an Anthias before.  Trying to gradually move over to a reef tank at some point - post Imperator (going on year 11 at this point).  No rush, but the inevitable will take place at some point.  No aggression from any of the fish other than the Imperator.  That's only directed occasionally at feeding towards the tang, but it's more bark (literally) than bite.  The others are all but ignored by her.  180G (72x24x24) with 220 lbs live rock with numerous hiding spots, 55G refugium, 30G sump & around 15x turnover. Current: 7" Imperator Angel 4" Regal Blue Tang 2" Flame Angel 2" Royal Gramma 2" Lawnmower Blenny Mated Pair of True Black Percs (2" & 1") Cleaner Shrimp Large Urchin Assorted hermits & snails Prospective: 2" Yellow Pyramid Butterfly <A beautiful species> 2"-3" Dispar Anthias <Get in a group, make sure they're not "skinny", that they are feeding> 2"-3" Six Line Wrasse <Can be a "pistol"... esp. w/ your hermits, snails...> I appreciate your advice. Thanks, John

Zebra Moray -  to Reef or Not to Reef that is the Question   6/27/06 Hi, my name is Ed and I have been very interested in saltwater aquariums for about 5 years, I am 19 and trying to put together my dream aquarium. <How exciting!! Hi Ed, nice to make your acquaintance, Leslie here with you this evening.> I am in the process and well on my way I have a 100 gallon acrylic tank reef ready with a very large 3' sump and a red sea Berlin protein skimmer, and about 560 watts of light including 2 metal halide lights. Everything is coming along great and I am still cycling. I am writing because I have always wanted an eel and now that I have a large enough system to support one I need help. I have done a lot of research <very commendable> and like you the Zebra Moray is my favorite. <They are one of my favorites as well> I would really really love to keep one of the beautiful specimens, and am seeking your advice. I am planning on doing a reef tank I am trying to balance the coral and fish. I have spoken with many people that claim the Zebra Moray to be 'reef safe' and have even have a lot of success keeping cleaner shrimp with their eels. What is your take on this? <Well it depends. Most of the literature reports these guys will eat ornamental crustaceans. IME are fish have typical behaviors that can be attributed to most in the species but they individuals as well, with individual differences, which would explain why your contacts have reported success keeping ornamental shrimp with their Zebra Morays, when the literature reports the opposite. When I was new to keeping Puffers a very seasoned Puffer keeping friend saw a photo of my tank. A medium sized crab was visible in the photo.  I was very strongly advised to remove the crab, that it would never survive the Puffer. Well that crab is still alive, years later. He has been in the company of several Puffers and has never had any harm come to him.> I am not concerned with it eating fish as there will be not much else in the system but I want to know if you think I will be able to maintain a reef system with this eel? If not are there any other eels you recommend or is no way to maintain a reef system with an eel? <I personally have not kept an eel in a reef, but have read quite a bit. You will find varying opinions on this even from the 'experts' in the field. One of my favorite articles on these eels reports they can indeed be kept in a reef system if care is taken to build sturdy rock structures, as they are big muscular eels. It sounds like you have already read Bob's article, if not, you can find it here'¦ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm In addition I would recommend you have a look at Frank Marini's article A Serpent For Your Reef Tank:'¨ A Look at Fish-Safe Eels http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-12/fm/index.php I found it very helpful before I purchased my first Zebra Moray aka Stretch, who I still have.> Thank you for you time and knowledge. <Your most welcome and best of luck with your newest project, Leslie>
Zebra Moray -  to Reef or Not to Reef that is the Question #2   6/28/06
Do you think that a zebra moray will go after some of the more useful inverts like hermit crabs or snails? Some inverts IMO are necessary for maintaining a strong reef. Will the eel be a problem or do you think it is possible? <Well, here are a couple of quotes from Frank Marini's article 'A Serpent For Your Reef Tank: A Look at Fish-Safe Eels' 'The primary foods of zebra morays are crabs, shrimp, and occasionally snails and urchins. Zebra morays employ a unique hunting style for finding food: they intentionally bump the prey item to first see if it moves, and second to taste the prey item, to determine its food worthiness. Small prey items are usually swallowed whole, while larger food items like crabs, are held down by their body coils as the claws and legs are broken off and eaten. A zebra moray's jaws will easily crack crab claws, and in the home aquarium, one can hear the equivalent of a nutcracker sounding off when a crab claw is cracked. They will eventually eat all of the ornamental crustaceans in their tank.' My Zebra Eel has never touched anything live, including the live crabs I tried to tempt him with when he went on his hunger strike just after I brought him home from the LFS or the medium sized crab he has been living with for over 2 years. He was however a resident of the LFS for over a year before he came to live with me. He was already well established on frozen seafood from a feeding stick and very well fed, so perhaps had no reason to go after live food anymore. I guess you need to decide if you are willing to possibly risk losing some if not all of your clean up crew. > Thanks <Hope this helps, Leslie>

Re:  Stocking  - 06/17/2006 So my question is: remove fish obviously.....what else needs to change for a successful reef? <A safe rule of thumb is one cubic inch of fish per five gallons. Successful reefs are maintained by people who read/learn and research beforehand, animals they plan on keeping.  A good book helps along with the enormous information available on this site.  Do read and learn, and follow advice from seasoned reefkeepers.  A good place to start is here.  Do read related links above also. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineSetUp.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Blue cheeked Trigger Fish in a Reef Tank?  6/5/06 Hello Crew, <<Hello Bob>> I'd just like to get your opinion of Blue Cheeked Trigger fish, (Xanthichthys auromarginatus ), in reef tanks. <<Absolutely worthwhile...if you have the space>> I have heard much recently of the suitability of these fish to reef set ups due to their planktonic diet, but they are trigger fish after all and those shrimps look so tasty! <<Ha!...indeed.  There's always the possibility of trouble, but I've kept this species in my reef for more than a year now without incident (I have shrimp and snails but no hermits), and would heartily recommend you give them a try.  I think the biggest danger would be if you tried to introduce more shrimp after the trigger is in the tank...would have to be introduced very carefully, not just "dropped" in to the tank>> My set up is 340 litre. <<Mmm, marginal...should be "OK" for a time, but would like to see it in a larger system for the long term>> Stock includes leather and mushroom corals.  1 cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis).  Red- and blue-legged hermits.  Turbo snails. Fish list; 2 x Amphiprion ocellaris 1 x Ecsenius midas 2 x Pomacentrus alleni 1 x Neocirrhites armatus 1 x Centropyge bicolor 1 x Pseudocheilinus hexataenia 1 x Gramma loreto 1 x Ctenochaetus strigosus Thank you for your time and expertise! Bob Mehen <<A pleasure to assist, Eric Russell>>

Developing A Successful Stocking Plan   6/1/06 Hi guys, <Hey there! Scott F. your guy tonight!> You've been a big help to me so far, but now I have a totally new system and  would like to get your input. I bought a used, but very nice, 60-gallon rectangular aquarium with a 20-gallon sump and a large skimmer (don't know the brand). The parameters are temp 79, pH 8.2, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 30  ppm nitrate. I added a large clump of Chaetomorpha to the sump and light it with an 18-watt PC (do you think the algae will help the nitrates come down?). <Utilizing algae for nutrient export is a good strategy. However, be sure to actually "harvest" the stuff once in a while. By physically removing the Chaetomorpha from the system, you are permanently exporting nutrients from the aquarium> I also added 10 Margarita Snails and two Hermit Crabs. The tank came with about 50 lbs. of live rock, 1-inch live sand, 3 fishes, a Brittle Star, and a Sea Cucumber. The fishes are an Ocellaris Clown, a Royal Gramma, and a Yellow Damsel. All three are about 2 inches. The Damsel and clown get along great, and the Gramma hides in the rockwork most of the time. <With the Damsel in the tank, this is not surprising!> I like the current inhabitants but would like to add several more and worry about Compatibility issues and stocking order. Mainly I worry that the damsel will grow to be aggressive towards any peaceful tankmates I add from now on. <A very valid concern. Resident Damsel fishes have the unfortunate, but well-deserved reputation for not rolling out the welcome mat for new introductions! You'll need to add fishes that can take care of themselves.> I'd like to add a Fairy Wrasse, a Rainford's Goby, and a Flame Angel, in this order, over the next couple months. What do you think? Should I return the Damsel first, or just monitor the situation? <I hate to "offload" a fish, but if the presence of this fish is a potential problem, and if you can find the Damsel a good home, I'd definitely do it. The potential new inhabitants look good, but I would be a bit wary of the Rainford's Goby. This fish relies almost exclusively on small crustaceans that it hunts naturally in the aquarium's substrate. Unless your system is very well established, and has a lot of good infaunal life, I'd hesitate adding this fish, which can easily waste away and starve in a system that doesn't fit its requirements, both nutritionally and environmentally. Better to keep a more adaptable fish, like a Halichoeres species Wrasse, which has similar habits, but is much more adaptable and tougher.> Would it be possible to add a Neon Goby at this point, or would its small size make it the subject of aggression? <Entirely possible...I'd pass, myself.> Also, when I decide to upgrade the lighting from ~50 watts to 220 watts, will it cause any problems to do the switch right away? Thanks again, Scott <Well, Scott, there could be a potential issue for any inverts that you might have, as they will need time to adapt to the higher lighting intensity. Fishes will have an easier time than inverts, but you'll still need to acclimate them gradually (shorter photoperiod, utilization of screens to help diffuse the light, etc.). See some of the articles here on WWM under the Lighting FAQs regarding acclimation for more information. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Compatibility With Inverts...Selection   5/27/06 Hi guys, <Hi Sam> This is Sam from India. <James from Michigan.> Now I have all what a reef tank needs! All water parameter are constant and perfect. I have good coralline algae growth, few stony polyp corals growing on some live rocks, a Sea Fan doing great, few Sponges! Few Porcelain Crabs, Hermits, Nitrite <Did you mean Nerite?> snails and a Pistol Shrimp which landed up with the rocks. But it has not yet been a problem, do you think its fine in the tank or should be trapped and chucked out? <Should be fine as long as no smaller shrimp are in the tank.> And now in fishes I have a pair of Allard's Clown fish, a Goby and a Yellow-Tail Damsel. I have three rocks fully loaded with mix colors of feather dusters, the problem is that this damsel keeps on nibbling them. In the morning I saw him again eating the poor worms and I felt like killing the damsel in the tank, as to catch him is virtually impossible! What do you suggest? <Well, your tank is probably too small to spear him, so your only alternative is either to trap him in a fish trap baited with food or dismantle the tank if that doesn't work.> Should the damsel go out? <What kind of damsel is this?  Normally don't bother dusters.> Earlier he even dragged a amazingly beautiful feather star around and ate most of him and was killed! <The damsel must go!> So he seems to be the villain! Now after having a marine tank for a while, I am in for a reef tank with lots of inverts. So now I want to stock my tank, how should I go about? First of all I would be happy if you could suggest some small invert safe fishes that want bother my inverts at all! Can you give in some links or suggestion for a good reef community living in harmony! <Sam, we don't have the time to do research for you.  You can Google our site, search for fish that may interest you and read on. You can also go to www.drsfostersmith.com.  They list whether the fish in question is reef compatible or not.> Pls give names of a good reef animals. In my tank I would like to have (pls suggest names ) few small friendly fishes: Shrimps: few Zoanthids or mushrooms: some hardy Corals combination.: Just thinking of re-stocking my tank, so let me have the best of life forms which later I don't need to remove and feel sorry for purchasing it! I think its two much work for you, hope u don't mind! Thanks a lot, waiting for your reply. <Sam, do the leg work on this.  I'm sorry but we just do not have that much time to spend on one query.  It's the holiday weekend here and our staff is even slimmer.> Cheers Sam <Happy hunting.  James (Salty Dog)>

Pls suggest a good reef community! Pls read   5/27/06 Hi guys, This is Sam from India. Now I have all what a reef tank needs! All water parameter are constant and perfect. I have good coralline algae growth, few stony polyp corals growing on some live rocks, a Sea Fan doing great, few Sponges! Few Porcelain Crabs, Hermits, Nitrite snails and a Pistol Shrimp which landed up with the rocks. But it has not yet been a problem, do u think its fine in the tank or should be trapped and chucked out? <Only time can/will tell. I'd leave it for now> And now in fishes I have a pair of Allard's Clown fish, a Goby and a Yellow-Tail Damsel. I have three rocks fully loaded with mix colors of feather dusters, the problem is that this damsel keeps on nibbling them. <What they sometimes do> In the morning I saw him again eating the poor worms and I felt like killing the damsel in the tank, as to catch him is virtually impossible! What do u suggest? Should the damsel go out? <Up to you...> Earlier he even dragged a amazingly beautiful feather star around and ate most of him and was killed! So he seems to be the villain! Now after having a marine tank for a while, I am in for a reef tank with lots of inverts. So now I want to stock my tank, how should I go about? <Read... on WWM re> First of all I would be happy if you could suggest some small invert safe fishes that want bother my inverts at all! <Posted...> Can u give in some links or suggestion for a good reef community living in harmony! Pls give names of a good reef animals. In my tank I would like to have (pls suggest names ) few small friendly fishes: Shrimps: few Zoanthids or mushrooms: some hardy Corals combination.: Just thinking of re-stocking my tank, so let me have the best of life forms which later I don't need to remove and feel sorry for purchasing it! I think its two much work for u, hope u don't mind! Thanks a lot, waiting for your reply. Cheers Sam <Read on Sam: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm starting at the Index heading: "About Livestock" Bob Fenner>

Stocking a 55 - 05/25/06 Hey it's me again, with another question. YAY! <<Hello Jeff>> Ok here it is. Would it be fine to have 2 tank-bred Ocellaris clownfish, 1 royal Gramma, 1 tank-bred flame angelfish, and 1 bicolor Foxface in a 55 gallon aquarium (which order do you insist that I introduce them in, even if you don't agree just tell me what order would be good). <<Should be fine, yes.  My opinion on order of introduction would be - Gramma, Foxface, angelfish, clowns>> I once wanted to have a yellow tang but those can get up to 8 inches but the bicolor Foxface only gets up to 7 inches (that's what LiveAquaria.com told me). <<About right for a captive specimen, yes>> The invertebrates I want to have included 2 scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 20 Nassarius snails, 2 feather dusters, and 1 bubble tip anemone.  Don't worry; I'll have 50 pounds of Fiji live rock, 1.5 inch sand bed, 260 watt power compact light, a 200 watt heater, 3 power heads (each 270gph) (would that blow the fish away?<<no>>), a 400gph bio-wheel, and a Aqua C Remora with Maxi Jet 1200 pump (85gph). <<Please do have a read here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm) and among the related links on keeping anemones>> Is this too much of a bio load for my aquarium? <<I don't think so...but I'd be cautious about adding any more>> All fish, when bought, will be 1 inch or larger in size. <<I would get a Foxface that is a bit larger than this>> Of course I'll upgrade when the bicolor Foxface gets too big and I'll QT every fish for 6 weeks. <<Excellent>> Other than that, is my plan for success? <<Read up/research everything well (especially the anemone) and you should be fine>> Thanks, Jeff R. <<Regards, EricR>>

Yet another question!  - 05/22/2006 Hey it's me again, with another question. YAY! Ok here it is. Would it be fine to have 2 tank-bred ocellaris clownfish, 1 royal Gramma, 1 tank-bred flame angelfish, and 1 bicolor Foxface. I once wanted to have a yellow tang but those can get up to 8 inches but the bicolor Foxface only gets up to 7 inches. The invertebrates I want to have include 2 scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 20 Nassarius snails, 2 feather dusters, and 1 bubble tip anemone. Don't worry, I'll have 50 pounds of Fiji live rock, 1.5 inch sand bed, 260 watt power compact light, a 200 watt heater, 3 power heads (each 270gph), a 400gph bio-wheel, and a Aqua C Remora with Maxi Jet 1200 pump (85gph). Is this too much of a bio load for my aquarium? All fish, when bought, will be 1 inch or larger in size. Of course I'll upgrade when the bicolor Foxface gets too big. Other than that, is my plan for success? <<No tank size is listed. Lisa.>>

65 Gallon Fish List Help! - 5/19/2006 Hey random crew member, <<I'm not random, I'm Lisa!>> I've had the hardest time picking a fish list for my 65 gallon. Here are my tank specifics: 65 gallon Glass (36" x 18" x 24") 36" 2x96W Coralife Aqualight CF hood, 1x Actinic and 1x 10,000K Remora Pro Protein Skimmer w/ Mag 3 3x MaxiJet 1200 power heads 100 lbs of live rock <<Sounds good so far.>> Here is my fish list: 2 x False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) <<Great choice.  Do go for captive bred.>> 1 x Bartlett's Anthias (Pseudanthias bartlettorum) <<Poor choice.>> 1 x Bicolor Blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) 1 x Banggai Cardinal Fish (Pterapogon kaudneri) <<I would go for 3 captive bred specimens.>> 1 x Fridmani Pseudochromis (Pseudochromis Fridmani) <<Can be very nasty.>> A few questions... 1. Will these fish get along? Will the Fridmani fight with the Anthias and Blenny? <<It may fight with everything, most notably the clowns as they get larger.>> 2. Am I overstocking? Am I under stocking? Am I just right? <<I think you're bang on.>> 3. Is it true that a tank with an Anthias needs a refugium for pods? I remember reading this in an article. <<They can be difficult to feed.  I would omit.>> 4. Will the other fish out compete the Banggai? <<Careful feeding will suffice.  Feed both ends of the tank.>> My tank will have soft corals and shrimps for inverts. Thanks in advance, Greg <<Glad to help. Lisa.>> \

Reef re-livestocking plan input sought  - 5/8/2006 Mr. Fenner,  My name is Tim Gordy.  I have a 150 gal. tank with a Eco-systems filter.  I have 250 lbs of live rock.  I have the rock  set up in  "U" fashion with a lot of caves and nooks to hide in.  After 10 years of a healthy Reef set up we did some home remodeling and I lost the entire tank so I am starting over.  The only thing that didn't die was a mated pair of maroon clown fish.  I am going to try to have a peaceful reef with some schooling fish.  I am going to put in 10 Blue Chromis, 6 Pajama Cardinals, and I was wondering about Lyretail Anthias.  I was thinking of 1 Male and 3 Females.  What is your opinion.  I will be adding coral over the next couple of years.  Right now it is fish only.  Thank you for your help and opinion.  TIM <This species mix should work... Do ensure the Anthias are eating before purchase... Bob Fenner>

Big Fish, (Comparatively) Small Tank - 05/07/2006 Hi Bob, <Justin with you today> I am interested in a Blue ring angel fish for my 75G reef tank. <Mmm not really a big enough tank.> Current Residents are a Blue Hippo, Foxface, 2 Percula Clowns, and 1 Six line wrasse. <Definitely not a big enough tank.  Please look into a bigger tank for that hippo tang as well.>  They all get along fine and my tank is mostly soft corals with some LPS.  I am concerned that he may not get along with the current residents. My real question is will he be overloading my tank and will he eat my coral? And how hardy are they to be exact? <Please do NOT add another big fish to this system, wait until you have a 180+ gallon tank to support the 15-17 inches these fish get, and do look into a bigger tank or re-home the hippo tang, as they get 12+ inches themselves and need quite a bit of swimming room.> <Justin (Jager)>

-Mixed Garden reef stocking part 2-   5/9/06 Hey Wet Web Media, <Marc> Thank you for your fast reply to my last question. I just wanted to clear up one thing up. I am only new to the hobby and still learning. I understand after doing a search on allelopathy that this is the release of toxins into the tank that can affect the other corals. <Correct> I have the following list of corals in my tank and would like to know which will be OK to keep with SPS corals (maybe the LPS corals are OK?) and which I will have to remove to another tank or maybe swap for some frags. Toadstool Leather Coral  <remove> Green Mushrooms Soft Finger Coral <remove> Frogspawn Goniopora <may be outcompeted for food, and prefers low flow tanks, is not really suited for high flow SPS tanks.> Hammer Coral Elegance <Very toxic, keep all corals away from this one, give it its own side and or another tank.> Heliofungia Tubastrea Torch Coral Various Zoanthids <possible issues with overgrowth here, keep trimmed> Pipe organ coral Clam - unsure what type SPS - Acropora I guess x 2 Cup coral - I think they call them daisy corals hear (RHS mid) I hope I got this reasonably right. I have attached a photo of my tank (my photographic skills are worse than my reefing skills) to give you a better idea. Thanks very much for your time. Cheers marc <Each of these corals may be ok or not depending on where you place the SPS corals, do read on WWM re coral health and aggression, many questions and answers on this subject.> <Justin (Jager)>  

Upgrade   4/30/06     Hello Crew, <Aaron>     I have been thinking about upgrading my FOWLR to a reef aquarium for some time now, but I want to know what I need in order to do so.  I have had my aquarium for about a year now with only one fish death.  I bought the aquarium when it was already started, the fish that died was already old when I bought the aquarium, and a blamed its age over the care.  Other than that all of my fish are healthy.  They seem to get along well, and I would like to try my hand at a reef setup.     I currently have a 50 gallon bow-front aquarium with 50lbs of live rock and a three inch crushed coral sand bed.  I have an Excalibur skimmer, an Emperor 400 filter, 2 powerheads, a heater, and 40 watts of fluorescent lighting.  I know I need to upgrade the lighting, and I am planning on having a total of 305 watts.     I would like to house a yellow stripe maroon clown, an algae blenny, a pair of Kaudern's Cardinalfish, a Heniochus Butterflyfish, and a flame angel.  As for inverts, I would like a Featherduster cluster, a blood red fire shrimp, a sand sifting star, a fancy tiger-striped serpent star, yellow Fiji leather coral, <Not easily kept> starburst polyp coral, hammer coral, Alveopora coral, trumpet coral, and an anemone <I would not mix this here> that will host my maroon clown (suggestions).  I am not going to put all of these inverts in at once. I will probably introduce the shrimp, and stars first and give them a few weeks to adjust.   Then I will introduce one coral every month, until I have the ones that I want.  Then, after I am ready, I will introduce the anemone.     What supplies will I need to take care of these animals? What other equipment do I need, and what can I do without?  I am on a budget, and I don't want to waste money on stuff I don't need.     Thanks a lot for reading my letter, and giving me some advice.  I love your site, and read up on inverts, reefs, and fish when ever I get the chance.                         Thanks again,                   Aaron <Your answers are archived on WWM... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm Bob Fenner>

Urchin and Reef Compatibility'¦'¦and Adam J Be Quiet and Get to the Point!!  - 4/24/2006 Just a quick Q, <Lies and Blasphemy'¦'¦just kidding.> What's the consensus on urchins in live rock or reef tanks? <Consensus? Reef Aquaria? My friend, especially after attending WMC'¦.I don't think the word consensus belongs with the any type of aquaria. Not only are their varying opinions among aquarists'¦including the experts, but there are many variables period.  My reef tank may not be your reef tank, and what I mean by that is what type of animals do you keep, wish to keep (What is important to you?) Furthermore there is varying behavior and diet amongst species.  Mike Paletta expressed a heavy recommendation for urchins in his pitch at WMC while I know many their reputable aquarists who would by no means utilize them. Personally I keep a small diadema urchin in my tank, thus far, (I repeat)'¦thus far no problems with any predation on sessile invertebrates, however he is quite clumsy and knock things over at times'¦'¦'¦and he may have to 'GO' for this reason eventually, at the moment he still intrigues me in his own right.> I put a few black Caribbean ones in, and they are great at scouring any algae, should I be worried about anything else ? <In my experience they are fine, and I presume they are small for you to say a 'few', just keep an eye on them as they age'¦.sorry for the ranting'¦been a He!! Of a weekend -- in a good way though.>   Thanks, Steve. <Anytime, Edward - .......I mean Adam Jackson.>

Refugium plumbing question, reef stkg.  4/18/06 Hi Crew- <Ed> I'm a bit confused about the best way to plumb a refugium, sump and closed circuit return loop. <Lots posted re on WWM... and lots to consider... many "variations" on themes...> I'm planning on setting up a 90 G Oceanic Systems "Tech Series" Tank with two return overflows and two MegaFlow accessory kits.  The system will be   designed to ultimately house SPS, LPS, Clams, Mandarin dragonets and  Wrasses. <Not altogether compatible as you're likely aware> To ensure that all are well fed I would like to run a RDP  vegetable refugium with Chaetomorpha macroalgae and a 4" DSB so that I can grow  pods. Reef Invertebrates, Calfo/Fenner has an illustration  for a Downstream Refugium on Page 53.  If I understand correctly  the refugium should have a water flow of 5 to 10 times tank turnover.  This  would be significantly lower than the 14 time turnover I had planned for the  Calfo designed Closed Loop illustrated on the WetWeb site. How can I marry these two seemingly contrary requirements? <Two separate pumps, sets of plumbing... Bob Fenner> Many thanks, Ed
Re: Refugium, closed manifold recirc. plumbing question, reef stkg.  - 04/19/06
Dear Bob: <Ed> Thanks for your personal reply.  Perhaps I should have been more  specific in my selection of livestock.  It was my understanding that SPS,  Clams and a limited number of well chosen LPS corals could be housed together  and that Mandarin dragonets and Rainbow/Flasher/Fairy  wrasses were  compatible. Am I wrong? <Mmm, somewhat right and wrong... there are always induced problems with the mix of any/all Cnidarian species. Some much more grievous than others, and steps that can/have to be taken to alleviate these iatrogenic difficulties. Many LPS (an entirely arbitrary designation btw for many purposes), will consume dragonets... some can/will sting Tridacnids...> I've been reading everything I could on WetWeb and other sources on  fuges but can't seem to find a scheme for plumbing these two separately. <Mmm, take them "one at a time"... entirely separate pumps, plumbing for each... You don't want to tie them together> I  don't expect you to do my work for me but if you are aware of a schematic for  such a system I would appreciate being directed to it. Complex plumbing issues are beyond my present level of  expertise. As always I greatly appreciate your work. Best regards, Ed <Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Take your time, record good notes... read the files as they appear of interest, from the top, front to the bottom, right... down and across... The indices have been arranged by me in this order with purpose. Bob Fenner>

Stocking with a Crow-Bar Again -- At Least He Asked First  - 04/19/06 Hi Crew, <Hi there.> I recently setup a 75g tank about 3 months ago and have a couple livestocking questions. My current inhabitants so far are: Lawnmower Blenny Sleeper Gold Head Goby 5 Astrea Snails 90 Cerith Snails <A bit too many, I would cut that in half almost. 1per 2 to 5 gallons should do you just fine.> Cleaner Shrimp 1 Hawaiian Feather Duster 2 frags of Xenia <Other than the above comment, sounds fine.> I'm trying to get a future livestocking plan together to complete the tank. What is your opinion on these fishes being added to a mostly soft coral reef tank? 5-7 Blue-green Chromis 1pr. Ocellaris Clowns 1 Kole Tang <Sounds good.> and maybe just maybe 2 Long-fin Bannerfish if room permits <It does not.> Would this be overstocked? <With the Heniochus yes, the tang would have to be the only 'large fish' in a tank of this volume.> what order would you add them? <Chromis, Clowns, Tang.> In case you need to know my equipment is: 75lbs. Live rock w/ 1" sand bed AquaC ev-120 skimmer w/ Mag 5 (per your crew's recommendation) <A good skimmer.> 15g sump with Mag 9.5 return 10g refugium with Chaetomorpha only 2 150Hqi MH with 2 54w T-5 Actinics <sounds great good luck and remember to quarantine, Adam J.>

Reef tank setup ...?  - 04/16/06 Hi, my name is Chris <Hi, my name is Jodie, and I am adding your capital letters and punctuation for you.> I am setting up my first salt water system.  I am planning a setup with approx. 100 lbs of live rock and about ten fish and a few anemones in a 55 gallon tank. <Whoa, whoa.  What kind of fish?  You could get away with ten smaller fish, but certainly not ten tangs, or ten triggers, etc.  Details, details.  The words "a few anemones" also bothers me.  These can be difficult creatures to care for, and should not be taken lightly.  Please read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and the extensive FAQ/articles therein.> I have an Emperor 400 BioWheel filter.  Could you please advise me of a good protein skimmer to use?  I was thinking of a CPR backpack? <I've heard good things about the BakPak, though I've never used one.  AquaC makes good equipment as well.  I'd take a look at the Remora if you need a hang-on skimmer.> Thank you very much in advance, <You're welcome.  Best wishes to you and your fishes!  Jodie> Chris K. Millsboro DE.  

Stocking question/ sick fish (Chromis)    4/14/06 Hello WWM crew, before I begin let me say that the service you provide for us hobbyists is greatly appreciated, you do a great job so please keep up the good work. <Am trying...> Currently I have a 100 gallon long aquarium with built in skimmer box, a 20 gallon refugium harvesting Chaetomorpha, and a 30 gallon sump containing a Euroreef skimmer CS135.  I have roughly 150lbs of live rock, and maybe 80lbs of aragonite sand.  In terms of lighting I have 2 13K 250 watt PFO halide pendants, 260 watts of compact fluorescent supplemental lighting, and 2 moonlights. System has been running for 14 months and water quality is good (salinity <1.024>,ammonium 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <undetectable>, phosphate <undetectable>, alkalinity <2.9meq/l>, calcium<350ppm>, temp is kept between 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit.  I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Test Kits for everything.  My fishy friends include a 4" hippo tang, 3" Kole tang, 2 false Perculas, a sixline wrasse, and 3 Chromis damselfish.  In terms of invertebrates I have a 5" Tridacnid clam, a Brittlestar,  a gorgeous BTA ( I know...bad....but I'm determined and resourceful), and frogspawn and hammerhead corals which grow and split continuously.  I change 15 gallons of water weekly, and feed a mix of Mysis, krill, blood worms, and Spirulina.  I have a couple of questions and will enumerate them for simplicity. <Good, and sounds good... except for the mis-mix of cnidarians thus far> 1.)  In terms of stocking, Have I overdone it? <Just not done it right... I would likely remove either the Scleractinians or the BTA> Right now I don't notice any aggressive behavior among the fish.  I was interested in adding a flame angel, would this be a bad move? <Should be okay here with the mix, crowding> 2.)  One of  my Chromis is refusing food and seems to either hang around the filter box or end of the tank.  I don't see any signs of external parasites or disease and the other fish don't seem to be harassing it.  I have owned him for almost a year now and am quite attached.  I was planning on just moving it to my 10gal QT tank and  hoping for the best.  Is this okay, is there any kind of medication I should attempt? <I would not medicate this animal, nor likely move it. Try "other" foods. It may "just" be "old"... Bob Fenner>>

Stocking question... reef Hi Crew,  <Hi Tom> I have 30 gallon with lots of live rock, skimmer, Bio-Wheel filter without the wheel, 3 powerheads, two 50-watt heaters.  It's been set up for 6-12 months, depending on when you start counting. I have a Fireshrimp, Yellow Clown Goby, Sarcophyton, and a few cleanup hermits.  They have all been in the tank for 6-7 months and seem to be doing well.  I had a Firefish too, but it disappeared about a month ago, after about 4 months in the tank.  For a couple weeks prior to its disappearance, I had noticed it was not out as often during the day and not eating very well.  I don't know if it was not well, was preyed upon by some live rock hitchhiker, or was hurt by Aiptasia  <Possibly.> (of which I have too many - am trying to reduce nutrients and am considering Peppermint Shrimp).  Any thoughts on this disappearance? About a month ago, I got a Royal Gramma to complete this tank, and it is now almost ready to come out of quarantine.  But I also now want to replace the Firefish, this time with a Purple Firefish, now available at my LFS. My main question is: will I have a problem introducing the Purple Firefish a month from now, after its quarantine, if I already have a Royal Gramma in the display? <Tom, Firefish do much better in groups, one generally becomes very timid and nervous.  I'd find a different fish to put in as the Gramma will more than likely harass it after being introduced. Consider a Dottyback.> I would like to get another fish into the display soon, but not if I will later regret it. I could instead set up a second quarantine and postpone the Royal Gramma introduction until the new Purple Firefish is through quarantine and settled into the display.  Or I could even quarantine the Firefish for a month, then introduce these fish in quarantine to see if they get along, before putting either into the display.  <Introducing in a quarantine tank presents a whole different ball game.  Generally, hiding places, caves, etc are not present in quarantine tanks and therefore the fish have nothing to protect, one reason why there is very little aggression in dealer's tanks.  Survival is at the top of their list in this regard.> Thanks for your advice,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Tom

Reef Stocking/Filtration - 04/08/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I have a few questions and would appreciate any suggestions you can offer. <<Alrighty>> I currently have a 55 gal. reef tank that has been up and running for over 6 months now.  I have only 2 fish, a yellow tail damsel and a Firefish with plans for more peaceful fish in the future.  I have a 1-inch aragonite bed, 80lbs. of LR, 1 Crocea clam, 1 feather duster, a colt coral, mushrooms, brown colonial polyps, green star polyps, and a pipe organ coral colony, plus a number of snails and hermits. I bought all of the corals as frags and all are growing and appear to be extremely healthy. <<Ok>> I know that you aren't supposed to mix hard and soft corals but I have them all spread far apart (at least 12' each). <<Very good...but do employ some carbon/Poly-Filter to help with the chemical aggression.>> My first question would be, what is your opinion of my mix. Do you think it is likely that everyone will be able to live happily in this set up? <<With proper husbandry/setup/attention to water changes you will likely be fine.>> If not, what would you recommend changing or taking out? <<The clam is probably most at risk here...but with adequate lighting/placement, good chemical filtration, and frequent water changes you can make this mix work.>> For filtration I have LR, a protein skimmer, 3 powerheads, and an emperor 400 hang on power filter which I clean and change carbon on once every week or two (I don't know if this filter is a good idea or not for a reef tank, I've gotten mixed reactions). <<The filter will serve fine with your maintenance schedule...though a small canister filter (cleaned just as often) would be more efficient/effective.>> I also do biweekly water changes of about 10% and all of my levels seem to be well within the parameters. After a lot of research, I still have questions on filtration. Is my tank poorly set up in this dept.? <<Poorly?...no>> I have been thinking of setting up a refugium but am still a little hesitant. <<Don't be...can be of great benefit.>> Do you think that it is absolutely necessary to have one of these or at least some sort of sump? <<Not absolute...but again, very helpful.>> What do you recommend? <<If you have the capacity...both...else you can 'make do' without.>> Finally, I was thinking about getting a frogspawn because I want to get a clown or two and I know that some will host this coral. Given my current set up is this a terrible idea?  If so do you know of any corals that would blend well with mine that a clown might also host? <<The clowns don't need a "host," but you can try the frogspawn if you wish.>> Thank you so much for any suggestions and advice you can offer. Nick <<Quite welcome Nick.  Regards, EricR>>

Re: Follow up : advice for the choice of a sand sifting species... RE: Shrimp goby+pistol shrimp questions  4/7/06 Thanks for the answer Mr. Fenner. I decided to play safe as usual and drop the idea of the shrimp goby with (or without) a shrimp. I have to stick to my motto "peaceful Indo-Pacific set-up". <Love those mantras> But I am still looking for an interesting small peaceful fish species to play with the sand. I have been interested successively by engineer goby (grows too large, predatory with small fish and crustaceans, messes up the DSB...), Jawfish (threat to shrimps and notorious jumper), shrimp goby+pistol shrimp (again DSB problems + possible threat...), two-spot goby (ideal but very low survival rate it seems) and the list of options grows thin. Plus I have a fat mandarin (6 months already :) that I want to keep fat. Could you advice me on some good species? <Fathead/Starburst Anthias perhaps? My fave small damsel: http://wetwebmedia.com/c_talboti.htm, many easygoing tank-bred Dottys...> I'll continue reading/searching but would really like to know your personal favorites for that kind of set up? <There are many...> So keywords would be: small (not much more than 3") and peaceful, not too prone to jump, and not bringing complete chaos to the DSB. Again my system is 90gal + 25gal fuge, 5" sugar fine DSB, 140lbs Fiji LR... and an open top. Thanks again! Dominique <Keep reading Dom... you'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

A Sound Plan ... reef stkg, sys. 4/5/06 Hi Crew!!!! okay, I have been researching, researching & researching...after all that, I have decided to just go ahead and make the plunge w/ a 125g tank (55g refugium) to house a green target mandarin....(I figure this project will take me abut a year and a half, if all goes well) I have come up w/ a list of fish/inverts that I think will do well as community and would like any thoughts anyone might have Yellow target goby Scott's fairy wrasse pair Bartlett's Anthias pair... (Will these be too competitive for food w/ the mandarin?) Lawnmower blenny purple Firefish mated pair percula clown pair blue-spotted Rabbitfish a toadstool or two for the clownfish xenia and some small polyps cleaner shrimp feather dusters also, what should the depth of the sandbed be?.....can I use silica and seed with live?.....and then seed the entire tank w/ copepods? I know that seagrass needs about a 6 in sandbed....could it be kept in this type of environment?....and would it be beneficial to overall health of the occupants? is there anything I have missed that should be added? any input is greatly appreciated....is this too many fish?....any competing fish in my list?....too aggressive?...thank you all ahead of time!:-)......take care, Wendy.....ps, great site, thanks for sharing <Hi Wendy, Ryan with you today.  Quite a plan you're concocting!  If you're interested in creating an environment that's targeted around a Mandarin Goby, you truly want to eliminate as many pod-hunters as possible.  The Blenny, the Rabbitfish and the Clowns are all great choices- but as you guessed, the others may out-compete, or worse yet, prevent a sustainable pod population from forming if introduced too early.  Long term, you may be able to add these as your refugium matures.   Sandbed depth is up for grabs.  There are conflicting ideas as to the use of them...In my opinion, either go with 6 inches or nothing!  You're welcome to use an artificial sandbed and seed it...But remember that it will take much longer to mature.  Check craigslist for people breaking down reefs- Maybe you can find a steal.   I think you're on the right track!  Good luck, Ryan>

Compatibility   3/25/06 Hi, I have a few stocking and compatibility questions. I guess I will start with a description of my setup because it relates with my question. I have a 20 gallon (long) tank with a 20 gallon mud sump running a CPR BakPak skimmer. I already have an electric blue hermit and a purple/green tube anemone. I would also like to get two green clown gobies, about 20 more small hermits, two 1" decorator crabs, 4 red fiddlers, <Forget these, not suitable for the typical marine aquarium.> and some pistol shrimp/goby pairs. The gobies will be 2" or under (white rays, high fins, etc.). Could I get three pairs of goby and shrimp and have room for another small fish (royal Gramma, six line wrasse, etc.) down the road. <Tow goby/shrimp combos and another small fish is what I would aim for.> Also if I got a pair of yellow (pearl) Jawfish would it be going too far? <Yep> This brings me to my questions on compatibility. Will the Jawfish quarrel with the prawn gobies? <Shouldn't, but you cannot have that many fish in a 20.> Will the pistol shrimp kill my hermits and decorators? <May, if they are very small.> And will the earlier mentioned tube anemone be a problem for any or all of my tanks inhabitants? <Depends on the species.  Some have a powerful sting while others would be safe.> I am especially concerned about the tube anemone catching the clown gobies. Thanks in advanced for any help, and sorry for the long email, cro. <Do search the Wet Web before sending a query, answers can be found for your questions there.  James (Salty Dog)>

Reef Tank/Stocking  - 03/22/06 Hello, Your site is great!!! <Thank you.>  I have a 125 gallon reef tank. After a long battle with Crypto I decided to remove all fish for 8 weeks.  I ended up giving them to a friend after treatment. Now I have the daunting task of restocking my reef. I added some corals and inverts during the 8 week period.  Now I am having trouble finding suitable additions for my tank. Here is a list of what I have. 1 leather coral 1 torch coral 1 hammer coral 3 groups of Xenia Various Mushrooms (blue, striped, and metallic) 1 coral banded shrimp 2 peppermint shrimp 1 Burgundy star 1 Sebae anemone 1 Protoreastor nodosus (I know not reef safe but it is about 5 inches across and well fed, it has never touched my corals) <Rolling the dice with this guy.  Other sessile inverts will be at risk.> many hermit crabs and snails about 200 lbs of liverock What can you recommend? These corals have been in this reef for 18 months or so, I don't want to risk any of my present livestock...thanks <If you are referring to fish, most on-line stores such as DrsFosterSmith.com will indicate which fish are reef safe or not.  Just a matter of searching out.  James (Salty Dog)>

Adding Live Rock - 3/17/2006 Hey Guys, <<I'm a girl :)>> The last few months I've been converting my 135 FO to a 135 Reef setup. <<Very exciting.>> I have been in the hobby for about 14 years but have had to do a lot of learning/ catch-up the last few months. You guys have answered a lot of questions and give me some good advice "thanks". <<You're welcome.>> Currently I have about 65 Lbs. of Live Rock, 200 Lbs. (3 1/2") of Live Sand, lots of inverts, Clown, Sohal Tang, Fiji Damsel. Large wet/ dry, good skimmer, UV. I recently purchased 45 Lbs. of additional Walt Smith LR from Reefer Madness. It is good looking rock, but a few pieces look pretty raw. I really went over it good with a pair of needle nose and a brush. I am curing it now; when it is cured and ready to be put in my tank should I put all in at once or put a couple of pieces a week? <<Some would say that if it is fully cured, add it all in, but I like to play it safer, adding only ~10 lbs/week.>> Also, I am curing it as outlined on your site with the exception of a skimmer (I only have one on the display-too hard to move). Since I do not have a skimmer for the curing process; should I just be extra vigilant of the water changes?  Any advice for curing LR without skimmer? <<Just keep up with the water changes, vacuuming any decaying material off the bottom of the curing tub as you go.>> Thanks, Kent <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Refugium Algae/Stocking Questions - 03/13/06 Hello to all at WWM. <<Hey there Scot!>> I have a 46 gallon bow front tank (51 gallons total water with the skimmer, fuge and canister filter added) with 45 pounds live rock, four inches sand, HOB Aquafuge refugium with four inches sand plus live rock, three power heads for water flow and a canister filter that will aid in water flow and a place to add carbon (all of the sponge and floss filters have been removed from the canister). <<Ok>> Question number one: I would like to grow and harvest algae to feed the tank inhabitants, so at what point should I add algae to my fuge and what type would you suggest? <<Any time...sooner the better.  My preference for refugium macro algae is Chaetomorpha, though Gracilaria is also a good choice and likely more palatable to your tank inhabitants.>> Question two: Adding fishes and inverts.  Everything will be quarantined that enters my display tank three weeks minimum. <<Great!>> Looks like my tank will come to life very slowly. <<This is NOT a bad thing <grin>.>> I plan on adding snails and hermit crabs when algae begin to develop in the display.  Here is a want list of intended life for my display:  Two clowns, two cardinals, yellow tang, frogspawn coral, red mushrooms, torch coral. <<I'm "with ya" on everything but the tang...is my opinion this tank is too small.>> Which order should these be introduced into the display? <<Hmm...corals, cardinals, clown fish.>> Should I eliminate something from this list or add something else? <<How 'bout eliminating the tang and replacing with a pygmy angel (Centropyge loricula)?>> Also I will do five gallon water changes once a week.  Thanks for the help and suggestions. Scot <<My pleasure, EricR>>

Refugium Algae/Stocking Questions II - 03/16/06 Thanks EricR for the reply and advice. <<A pleasure>> I did some research on the Gracilaria you suggested and it is on the way. <<Super!>> Also I like your idea of replacing the tang with the angel. <<Ah, excellent to hear!>> I assume (this is where I get in trouble) that the angel needs to be introduced very last. <<This is fine...probably a "toss-up" between the angel and the clown fish.>> Thanks so much for your time. Scot <<You're very welcome, EricR>>

Sunset Wrasse compatibility  - 03/12/2006 Hi and thank you for providing us newbies with a wealth of information. My question is I have a 130 gallon tank (72x18wx20h) and I currently have the following fish: 1 4" - Blue Tang 1- 3" yellow tang 1- 2" Six Line Wrasse 1- 2" Lawnmower Blenny 1- 2" Royal Gramma 2 - 1.5" (each) clownfish. My question is I would like to keep some Euphyllia (frogspawn, Hammers) in my tank along with maybe a bubble coral, open brain and an Anemone. <... I would skip on the last> I would also like to get a SUNSET WRASSE.  I just think they are very beautiful wrasses, but I know they are not known to be reef safe.  Given the type of corals I am planning on keeping.  Is this wrasse a candidate for my tank.  My schedule for maintenance is: Weekly 10% water change Euroreef CS6 skimmer, 10 gallon refugium 90lbs of Live Rock. Again, thank you for your time and assistance. Jose <The rest all seems fine. Bob Fenner>

Stocking questions  - 03/11/2006 Greetings,   I've been utilizing your website for years and make no "aquatic decisions" before doing my research--thank you for providing an amazing amount of information!    <Welcome>   My latest (and greatest) setup is a 125 AGA will-be mixed reef, 150lbs LR with a LifeReef skimmer rated at 250gal. Currently running for two months- Ammonia, Nitrate/ites = 0 SG= 1.025 (I use Tropic Marin Pro-reef), ~2inch LS. Aside from the rock and sand, the only occupants are an assortment of snails.    My first question: I'm planning on transferring an established 20gal tank into the 125. In it there is a pair of mated Perculas ("my babies") who have been living in there for over 2 years. The tank has been strictly there's, with no other animals besides snails and crabs (and corals, of course). I was wondering if I should add them to the new tank first? <Yes, I would> I'm nervous that having other fish around in a new tank will totally freak them out.    <Better for them to become established first, yes>   Also, I'm looking for advice on my "want list".  Aside from the percula pair, I'm planning on  adding a Foxface and Hippo tang.  Will these guys all get along in a 6ft tank? <Yes, very likely so> Would adding a few Chromis be pushing it?    <Nope. Should be fine as well... add a bit of color, motion to the upper water column>   Thank you so much!   Michelle   <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

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