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FAQs about Reef Livestock Selection 16

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Related FAQs: Reef Livestocking 1, Reef Livestocking 2, Reef Livestocking 3, Reef Livestocking 4, Reef Livestocking 5, Reef Livestocking 6, Reef Livestocking 7, Reef Livestocking 8, Reef Livestocking 9, Reef Livestocking 10, Reef Livestocking 11, Reef Livestocking 12, Reef Livestocking 13, Reef Livestocking 14, Reef Livestocking 15, & 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,


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

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Question: C. Argi with P. Fridmani - order to add?       2/6/18
Hello My Wet Web Media Friends,
<Hey Forrest>
I down-sized to this little 50 gallon (36"x18"x20") tank (too overwhelmed to set up my 120 after moving). I put my corals in it over a month ago, but still have no fish in it. It is a mixed reef of SPS, LPS, mushrooms, and Palys/Zoanthids.
I am mostly okay with the little tank size (for now), except that I can only fit half of my liverock in it, and even more importantly, I can't keep my favorite sunshine fish (yellow tang) in it. This means I need some kind of little fish that eats algae. I decided I should get a cherub angel to do the job. I have had these angels (one at a time) a couple of times many years ago, and I found them entertaining, pretty, and "reef safe".
<I agree>
Both times, even though I loved the angels, I ended up getting rid of them because I wanted to have some fish which were not able to deal with the typical flamboyant and intrusive antics of the very narcissistic cherub
angelfish (they didn't chase or try to nip other fish, but liked to put on a big show; they taunted and provoked anger from a nesting clownfish pair, and they intimidated Dartfish into hiding and starving).
Getting the cherub angel means tossing out my original plan to get a pair of purple Firefish. The first cherub angel I had, had an orchid Dottyback tankmate in a 65g (36"x18" footprint like this 50g, just taller).
Dottyback and the angel didn't seem to interact at all, and the Dottyback was out in the open quite a bit (for a fish that people say is sometimes a hider). I had (and have) a lot of liverock with a lot of dart holes, so perhaps that made the Dottyback feel more confident, being able to have a hole to dart in regardless of where in the tank it wandered.
The problem is, I have looked a lot on various forums for a couple of days, and discovered what seems to be an even split between people who saw no problems, people who saw angel aggression toward Dottyback, and people who saw Dottyback aggression toward angel (the last situation makes me wonder if people mis-identified the Dottyback species, because I have seen mis-labeling of more aggressive species as orchid Dottyback, at 2
different LFS and at a chain pet store). Along with that confusion, is the fact that some say to put the angel in first, and others say to put the Dottyback in first.
<I'm on the positive side here>
I am pretty much decided on just getting the cherub angel, the orchid Dottyback, and some currently unknown species of little yellow fish (I will take suggestions, but no yellow gobies).
<Tropical West Atlantic Gobiosoma/Elacatinus and/or Coryphopterus are my choices>
I would greatly appreciate your insight and advice on the order I should follow in adding these fish.
Thanks so much for your help!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question: C. Argi with P. Fridmani - order to add?       2/6/18

Thanks, Bob. Can you clarify the "I'm positive here" statement? Does it mean Dottyback first?
<Yes to these two getting along together. I don't think the order or introduction is very important.
Bob Fenner>

90 Gallon Stocking        1/2/18
Hello Bob and Crew,
Do you see any issues with the following fish in a 90 gallon zoa garden with a 20 gallon refugium? The only existing fish is a Yellow Watchman Goby. I have an aptasia infestation, so I'd like to add a Copperband
Butterflyfish. I realize a 90 gallon is on the small size, and I plan to move the Copperband Butterflyfish to my 180 gallon if/when she outgrows the 90.
The other fish I'm considering are: Pink-Streaked Wrasse, Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus), Royal Gramma, and either a Bicolor Blenny or a Tailspot Blenny.
<Good choices>
I've read through the FAQ's, but I'm confused because my fish list contains similarly-shaped fish which I've gathered could be a problem.
<Mmm; considering the tank size, shape, and likelihood of many nooks and crannies, I think these will/can all fit here>
If all these fish work together, would you consider this a fully stocked tank, or could I place a Coral Beauty in the tank as well? I appreciate your site and your input! Casey
<The Centropyge would fit as well. Bob Fenner>

Stocking question; SW,  mixed reef      11/18/17
Hello Crew!
First I want to thank everyone there for all the advice you have given me over the last five years. Just made a small donation to the site and encourage everyone else to do so also!
<Ahh, I thank you>
I have a 180 that has been running for about five years now. I have fish, inverts and some LPS corals in the display. I recently lost my red headed solar fairy wrasse when he literally forced the glass top open by jumping
into it, got stuck between the lid and the rim, jumped again freeing himself and landing on top of the glass cover. I immediately got him back in but he died about 5 days later, probably from injuries during the ordeal.
<Ugh! So/too common w/ Cirrhilabrus>
The fish left in the tank are an 8 inch female Naso Tang, a 3 inch Flame Angel, a 4 inch Melanurus Wrasse, a 4 inch Magnificent Foxface, a 3 inch Cleaner Wrasse and a tank raised Clown Fish.
I would like to add a replacement fish but I think I am limited with the Tang and Angel in the tank. I was thinking of a Blue Hippo Tang, that would probably not be welcome, two Heniochus Butterfly fish, that might be bullied, or maybe a few blue Dartfish or Anthias. Would any of these work or should I just leave the community alone?
<I think any of the choices would work here. My fave pick is the Blue/Hippo, but I'm also partial to the idea of a nice grouping of a sturdy/sturdier Anthias in addition! If you're going the Heniochus route, I'd get two of the less-schooling species, or three of the more (H. acuminatus, H. diphreutes); please read here:
Bob Fenner>

Species tank; fish stkg. ideas for a 50 gal. reef      9/24/17
Hello all, I'm writing for a suggestion if you don't mind. I have a 36Lx18Wx10H shallow reef, with sump included comes to about 50 gallons, I'm looking to add a single fish to the tank for activity. I want something active and of course pretty but active is more important. If a single fish is too tough to narrow down a pair or trio of the same species could also work. Thanks. - John
<Gosh; so many choices, possibilities. For me, maybe a single Ctenochaetus species Tang; both active, attractive and functional as an algae picker. A singleton wrasse would do well here... one of the mid-size, less-digging
species. Perhaps a Cirrhilabrus or Halichoeres species. You could have a small school of Cardinalfishes... not super active, but out and about most of the time. See WWM Re here. Bob Fenner>

Information about stocking our reef aquarium      3/5/17
Hello - Not sure how fast you typically respond. Just thought I'd forward again. Thanks for your time.
<Glad you've re-sent; I never saw come through here>
Hello - This is my first time writing, however I have been reading information on your site for many months and appreciate all of the information that is available. My husband Damon and I are relatively new to this hobby (not quite a year yet). We would like your opinions about the stocking of our tank and that is the reason for reaching out to you. I apologize for the length of this but it seems that more information is better for you and considering you are not familiar with our setup. This is the information about our system:
Started: April 2016
Size: 280 gallons - acrylic - 6' wide; 30" deep' 30" tall (custom made)
100 gallon sump with refugium
240 lbs CaribSea Arag-Alive Reef Sand (about 2-3")
320 lbs live rock in two formations with large space between and space all around each formation
We use Red Sea Coral Pro salt.
The tank is visible from both long sides (built in the wall between rooms).
(3) EcoTech Marine Radion XR30w Pro LED
(2) EcoTech Marine Vortech MP60WES Quiet Drive Pump EcoTech Marine Vectra Water Pump
Simplicity 800 DC Skimmer
Ideal H2O Classic Series 200 GPD RO/DI Water Filtration System (top-off tank to sump)
(2) JBJ True Temp Titanium Heating System 500W with controllers
(2) EcoTech Battery Backup
Aqua UV 57 Watt 2 inch UV Sterilizer
Skimz Calcium Reactor with Milwaukee MC122 pH Controller
APEX Next Generation controller
SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI - 180 GPD (in garage for 100 gallons each of RO and SW)
2 Generators (for DT and QT/Frag tank) just in case!
Water Parameters:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate - 0 to trace
<Know that corals and kin you list are chemo-autotrophs. REQUIRE SOME NO3 and HPO4; else no growth, color, health>
Calcium - 410 to 440
Alkalinity - 8 to 8.6dkh
Magnesium - 1280 to 1320
Ph - 8
Specific Gravity - 1.025
Test weekly
Add reef color and fuel supplements on a regular schedule.
For Our Fish QT Tank we have:
28 Gallon Nano Cube with LEDs; 2 wave makers; and filter (carbon/media/sponge)
The tank is bare bottom with PVC only inside
JBJ True Temp Titanium Heating System 150W with controller For frags and coral QT we have:
JBJ 20-Gallon Rimless Frag 20 gallon Tank
JBJ Orion LT-120 LED Light Fixture 24", 120W
Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater 75W
Includes live rock and sand
Our current livestock includes:
Inverts and Corals:
Approx. 12 hermit crabs
Red stripe/Red banded Trochus snails (they spawn so have many of different sizes)
2 Sand sifting starfish
4 Tiger sand sifting conch
1 Florida fighting conch
<Conchs can become bulldozers; keep your eye on them>
2 feather dusters
1 Pincushion urchin
1 Red tuxedo urchin
2 Skunk shrimp
2 Blood red fire shrimp
3 Bubble tip anemones
8 small Zoanthid colonies
2 Frogspawn
3 Hammers
1 Torch
1 Short tentacle torch
5 Candy cane
2 Bubble - green and silver
2 Elegance - green and a purple tip
1 Duncan
5 various Chalice
13 various Acroporas
8 various Montiporas
Long Polyp Turbinaria
4 various Stylophora
1 Sympodium
9 various Acan brain
2 Wellsophyllia
1 Scolymia
1 Green polyp leather
1 Sinularia
2 variety Mushroom
Most of the SPS and LPS corals are small. Several LPS have been in the tank the longest and are larger. We are not planning on adding anymore corals or inverts (except if replacing from a death). Now it's just time to watch
them grow!
We do supplement the corals with food (frozen varieties such as coral gumbo and plankton). We give our inverts krill on occasion and obviously they eat what the fish eat as well.
4 Pajama Cardinalfish
Added next:
1 Banggai Cardinalfish
2 Firefish
Added next:
1 Chromis Viridis (5 died in QT from Uronema - the survivor was in QT for 8 weeks plus tank transfer)
Currently in QT - to be added in March:
1 Scissortail Dartfish (2 died upon arrival) I got these specifically because they are a different species than the Firefish and therefore should get along OK
<Yes; agreed>
1 McCosker Flasher Wrasse (wanted 2 females as well but couldn't get them)
<Can and should be added; later/when you can secure them.>
We feed the fish a variety of frozen foods such as mysis, mega marine, brine, etc. None of the fish like flake or pellets it seems.
The following fish are what I'm interesting in adding and the order in which they would be introduced. I would get smaller fish of the large varieties and only QT 2 or 3 at a time. I have done a lot of research on how peaceful they are, size requirements, being reef safe, dietary needs, etc. Our goals are:
1. Peaceful tank where everyone gets along for the most part
2. Is not overstocked
3. Reef safe
4. Everyone has room to grow and do their thing!
5. Don't cause unnecessary deaths because of territory issues or conspecific problems
1 - Linespot or Filamented Flasher Wrasse OR Exquisite Fairy Wrasse OR Lineatus Fairy Wrasse (my understanding is having a 2nd wrasse would be good, however I cannot seem to get any females so I'm thinking 1 other male)
1 - Orange Stripe Prawn Goby
1 - Tail Spot Blenny
1 - Gold Assessor Basslet
1 - Royal Gramma Basslet
Third (if I can get them or later if not available but before any Tangs):
2 Schooling Bannerfish (Heniochus diphreutes)
1 pair Yellow Pyramid Butterflyfish (male/female) OR pair Bellus Angelfish (male/female)
3 Ignitus Anthias OR 3 Fathead Sunburst Anthias
1 (or 2?) Ocellaris Clownfish
1 Kole Tang (small)
1 Yellow Tang or Convict Tang (small)
This would be 25 fish when all done.
1. What is your opinion about a 2nd male wrasse being added assuming the McCosker will have been in the DT for 8 weeks or so before it is added?
<Should be fine in this size/shape system>
2. Could I add a couple more scissortail Dartfish since the original 3
only 1 made it? Would that be a problem adding since I already have the one?
<Could be added; s/b no problem>
3. Do you feel 25 (or a few more if I got more scissortail) fish with
all of the other livestock is appropriate for our size DT?
<What you list should do well together. The Henis may quarrel with each other>
4. What are your opinions about a single clownfish vs. 2 to avoid some of their territorial issues or do you feel two would be OK with them being added almost at the end?
<Better to have two all the way around>
5. Do you feel like anything on my list would not be appropriate to meet the goals or have any issues that I might not be aware of?
<Other than the BFs as mentioned, all should learn to get along. Some of  the smaller species would fight territorially if the system were smaller>
6. If I cannot get these fish in this order how problematic would it be to add them in a different order as long as we keep the clownfish and tangs near the end?
7. Do you have any other fish you think would be particularly nice and fit with this group or replace any?
<Way too many. Some schooling Cardinals would be nice... >
I thank you very much for your help and all of the advice I have read on a large variety of topics.
<This is obvious. Nice gear and a good assortment: Knowledge gained by much study and deliberation>
Holly Tindall
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Information about stocking our reef aquarium       3/6/17

I thank you so much for your quick reply! Please see a couple follow up questions below:
1. What are your suggestions for having some Nitrate and Phosphates? What levels of each are appropriate for our system? Will they naturally go up when the fish load goes up over the next year?
<I'd be less than fastidious re what is being processed here; less chemical filtrants, perhaps the addition of more meaty foods. Yes to aging, more biomass>
2. On the Henis - I zeroed in on this particular schooling Bannerfish as my reading indicated they are peaceful and also reef safe where other Bannerfish are not. Would it be better to get just one?
<Yes; in terms of them not bickering, fighting amongst themselves>
Or would you stick with the pyramid butterfly fish pair and no Bannerfish?
<Hemitaurichthys would be a better choice in terms of getting along together>
3. Would a pair of Pyramid BF and a pair of Bellus Angelfish do OK together?
4. Is it best to have Pyramid BF and Bellus Angelfish in male/female pairs or do they do OK singly?
<Can't sex BFs, the Genicanthus, yes, better in pairs or one male harems>
4. What do you think would be a good variety of schooling Cardinal Fish that would do well with our others? We have the 4 PJ and the 1 Banggai (I just got one as I understand once they grow up they are not schoolers and don't get along great)
<See WWM re Cardinals; I'd stick with what you have w/ the species mentioned>
5. Of the two Anthias I listed do you prefer one or the other as being more peaceful, difficult, attractive, interesting etc?
<Fatheads are very individualistic (not a schooling species); hide under rocks, in caves... The ignitus? I'd choose another species; Pseudanthias squamipinnis is about the hardiest, mid-size available>
6 . I would love to hear 1 or 2 other variety of fish you feel would be great if I can't get what is on my list that meet our goals.
<Take your time here... I'd go w/ what you have planned for now>
Thanks again for your time. It is much appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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