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FAQs about Reef Livestock Selection 12

Related Articles: Reef Livestock Selection, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates,

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 14, Reef Livestocking 15, Reef Livestocking 16, & Marine Livestocking, More Stocking FAQs, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, FAQs 5, FAQs 6, Marine Livestock Selection, Angelfish 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 Lighting, Reef Lighting 2, Reef Filtration,

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

Upgrading to a reef... mainly stkg. 7/28/09
Hey Crew,
I am currently upgrading my 46G bowfront FOWLR to a reef. I have recently upgraded my lighting to a 4x39W Nova Extreme (2 actinic, 2 10K) fixture with individual reflectors. As for filtration I have a HOB Remora skimmer and an Emperor 400 powerfilter to run carbon. Is the power filter necessary?
<Is helpful>
or should I just remove it from the system?
<I'd keep using>
I have two Koralia #1 powerheads in the top corners of the tank aimed at a point in the center of the tank as well as a Seio prop pump rated at 320 gph behind the live rock (about 2-3 inches of space between rock and back glass) giving water movement to that area. I have a deep sand bed consisting of about 2 inches of crushed coral covered up with about inches
of oolitic sand. All of my readings are good
and I think I'm ready to start adding livestock to the tank. I plan on purchasing some snails, crabs, and a shrimp from my LFS soon followed up with some Zoas and mushroom corals. I was also wandering
<This is close to the mark>
whether this lighting would be adequate to house an anemone.
<... I would not>
If not do you have any suggestions on supplementing the lighting on a small budget?
<Nope... go with what you have here for this system for now>
If an anemone is just out of the question I understand that as well. Would this lighting be sufficient for stony corals?
<... some species...>
I figured LPS would do fine under this but would it be able to support any SPS?
<If the actinics were switched out, the specimens placed high, on rock, barely>
As far as fish go I plan on keeping 2 ocellaris clowns, a Kaudern's cardinal , a midas blenny, a bicolor angel,
<Not this>
and a blue green chromis or 2.
<Mmm... keep reading>
Thanks so much for your time and insight.
<We share! Bob Fenner>

Re: Tank questions... Reef Quarantining, Stocking, for how large a system? Oh, a 180... 7/28/09
Hi Bob,
I sent this a couple of weeks ago, to which you replied, but I have since lost the reply. I'm hoping that the original email will serve to jog your memory in regards to my situation. Since our exchange, I am sad to report that all the fish in QT have died, except for my male black ocellaris clown. Actually they died within days. Now I'm thinking perhaps it was Brook or Velvet, as I don't think crypto would kill that fast. Even fish that were not showing any signs of illness died. I'm thinking the cramped conditions in the hospital tank did them all in. Oddly, the yellow wrasse in the DT is still alive, healthy, and kicking. I was never able to catch him. My little male clown has survived daily FW formalin dips and daily water changes. He is eating well and appears active. I will probably not move him until September, so whatever is in the display tank can die down.
In the meantime, while I am bummed about losing fish I had for years, I am also excited to be planning a new stocking list. I wanted to run it by you, as well as get your input on quarantine. YES I learned my lesson, but I've also read that you do not recommend QT for Cirrhilabrus wrasses, and this time around, they will make up a good part of my stocking list. I plan to keep them in QT at least a week, I'd feel safer if that were longer, but don't want to needlessly kill any fish. If you recall, I believe it was an unquarantined, undipped Scott's fairy that caused the whole mess in the DT to begin with. I had performed FW dips on wrasses before, per your instructions on the WetWeb, and they did not seem to handle it well. Actually my solar wrasse died minutes after a formalin FW dip
<With vigorous aeration?>
while in the hospital tank, and he wasn't even in there for 2 minutes.
Please advise, I tried to look for a "list" of fish that do poorly in QT but was unable to find one. Here is my planned stocking list.
Yellow wrasse (H. chrysus) in display
Black ocellaris clown (in hospital tank)
Black ocellaris clown to pair with my small male (should this new one be bigger, smaller, same size? I've read varying opinions)
bicolor blenny (QT or not? Again, varying opinions here)
<Mostly I don't do so with Ecsenius spp>
Yasha goby pair
<Not to quarantine>
Pink margin fairy wrasse
Pylei fairy wrasse (similar in appearance to the pink margin, should I anticipate a problem?)
<See WWM re... sys. size, the genus>
solar wrasse
blue head fairy wrasse (C. cyanopleura)
Velvet wrasse
<... I would revisit this stocking list... Settle on just one species of Cirrhilabrus, at most two in this volume, shape display>
Christmas wrasse
flame angel
Squarespot anthias pair (1 male, 1 female)
neon goby
powder brown tang
Tomini tang
purple tang
The tangs for sure will be QT'd, but I need advice on the others. Also I'm not too sure about the Tomini tang. I wanted another Kole but he was really evil to my original bicolor blenny that caused him to starve to death, I don't want a repeat of the situation. He does not have to be added, if you feel that would be too much bioload. By the way....the coral eating crab has become a sheer terror with the lack of fish food/waste going in the tank. The other night, he stole one of my favorite clams. I have subsequently moved the remaining coral (luckily they were all small frags and clams attached to shells) to the sump, but there is limited light. How long can they last down there?
<Last? Remove the crab>
The crab is being sneaky and evading capture, though I'm still trying.
Darn decapods. Thanks for any help or insight you may be able to provide.
The site is an awesome resource for all aquarists, though it does require hours of searching and perusing. I applaud your efforts, as well as the rest of the crew's.
<Please keep reading it. BobF>

Re: Tank questions... reef stkg., reading re Velvet Wrasses -- 07/28/09
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the quick reply. So you think only 2 cirrhilabrus in a 180? It is 72 x 24 x 24. I thought I could keep a couple more in a tank that size.
I am willing to drop the Pylei and Velvet wrasses.
Yes the solar wrasse was in the dip with an airstone. Still don't understand what went wrong. Maybe the formalin was too toxic for him.
Thanks again for your help. I will keep reading.

Stocking Fish (Selection) -- 07/22/09
I have a question (perhaps two) about stocking my tank.
I currently have a 90 gal (48"Wx18"Dx24"H) tank with approx 30 gal sump/fuge, Red Sea Prizm
skimmer, Koralia 4 circulation pump, 1500gph rated overflow about 40lbs live sand in the display and another 10-15lbs live sand in the sump/fuge, 60lbs live rock, a colony of Duncans (about 25 heads),some mushroom anemones and some assorted Acans and Zoanthids with a 48" power compact fixture using two 50/50 daylight/actinic bulbs. There are also 5 percula clowns,
<<Mmm'¦ This many will likely become problematic in this volume'¦as they mature'¦pair-off>>
a Sixline wrasse, Fiji Coral Beauty, a single cleaner shrimp and cleanup crew made up of red leg, blue leg and scarlet hermits plus some Cerith, Astrea, margarita, Nassarius and bumble bee snails. I have been trying to decide on another attractive reef safe display fish for the tank and I have been avoiding the tangs and most of the angelfish at this point.
<<One of the smaller Tang species could work here. Something like Zebrasoma flavissimus, Ctenochaetus strigosus, or Acanthurus japonicus maybe. Placing a second Dwarf Angel here is more risky, but has been done>>
My Coral Beauty has been intimidating the clowns a little bit but not actually attacking them at this point. The Sixline has been quite happy and doesn't seem to bother anyone else. So the questions are:
1. Would a McCosker's wrasse be safe to add or would the Sixline or coral beauty harass it too much?
<<It is my opinion that there would be a high probability that the Sixline would 'kill' this fish'¦or any such similar newcomer. Pseudocheilinus hexataenia is far from being a docile/gentle species. And an established specimen most always takes exception to the introduction of other fishes of similar size/form/habitat>>
2. Is there another attractive, colourful fish you might suggest to add here?
<<There are likely many options available. Why don't you research a shortlist of what you might want to keep and then we can discuss it further>>
I was considering either adding another small school of smaller fish
<<Then perhaps a handful of Apogon leptacanthus (Longspine Cardinalfish)>>
(although I'm reaching my tank limits I think without adding a larger skimmer),
or a single specimen from a larger breed,
<<One of the Tangs suggested earlier>>
or a couple separate smaller species.
<<This too is a possibility>>
I love the colours on many of the angels and tangs but I'd rather not have to risk an angel picking at my corals and I don't really want to risk it with getting a tang and having to worry about it getting sick frequently.
<<If your husbandry/tank maintenance/water quality is up to snuff, the species I listed are quite hardy and aquarium suitable as Tangs go>>
I very briefly had a powder brown tang and it died after only 1 day in quarantine when I brought it home from the LFS (6 hours acclimation).
<<Acanthurus nigricans? This fish is often exceedingly delicate (capture/travels poorly) and difficult to keep'¦and certainly should not even be attempted by most hobbyists unless very experienced and able to provide the large volume (150g+) and high energy environment this fish needs. The Acanthurus species I listed (A. japonicus) is far superior re its survivability/suitability in the hobby>>
Suggestions are very welcome!
<<I've listed a few, but do have a look around and see what strikes your fancy and we can discuss>>
Thank you,
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Re: Stocking Fish (Selection) -- 07/22/09

Thanks for your reply Eric.
<<You're quite welcome Wayne>>
The behaviour of my clowns has changed since adding the Coral Beauty; I think it is mostly due to the bullying, but they will often move over to an upper corner in the aquarium and hide above the Koralia 4 or my magnet cleaner and sometimes they will suspend themselves vertically right where the glass panels meet in the corner. I think they are trying to hide out of the Coral Beauty's patrol path but I also have begun to wonder if there is too much water movement for them to rest?
<<The Coral Beauty likely is part of the problem'¦and the addition of more fish as you are attempting may help with this as a means to spread aggression. Too much direct flow from a powerhead can also be a problem, as you suggest>>
Anyhow, back to the original purpose of this reply:
I looked at the Tang and Cardinalfish species you suggested and I do like the Ctenochaetus strigosus, this is one I had considered before the Powder Brown. You also listed Zebrasoma flavissimus, did you mean Z. flavescens?
<<Yikes! Yes mate'¦ Thanks for catching this'¦sorry for the mix-up>>
I think it would be difficult for me to get the Acanthurus japonicus through my LFS and be sure that it was not A. nigricans so I would prefer to avoid this one.
<<Though these fishes share several common names, they are quite distinct in appearance from one another. Once you've seen both (easily viewed on our site), they are very easy to distinguish>>
The Apogon leptacanthus may be a good candidate but I would prefer something with a little more visual appeal.
<<Maybe not as flamboyant as some choices, but don't count out these little Cardinalfishes based on pics on the NET. The fish is surprisingly attractive 'in person' (and even more so in a group)'¦do see if you can eyeball one in the flesh somewhere>>
I have tried to look at some other options which are most likely to be available through my LFS but I seem to always run into the question of aggression or compatibility with the Coral Beauty or Six Line Wrasse,
<<Valid concerns'¦and reason enough to develop a 'completed' stocking plan before the first fish is introduced>>
not to mention the occasional fear for my wife's favourite cleaner shrimp!
<<Ah yes'¦another important consideration'¦don't want to peeve the wife>>
Are there any of the Anthias or gobies and dottybacks that would fit in well?
<<Hmm'¦ Pseudanthias bartlettorum (Bartlett's Anthias) is a small hardy species that could do well in a tank this size, but the Clownfish may prove to be a problem re. About any commonly available Goby species would probably be okay'¦assuming you have a suitable habitat (fine sand bed, etc.) for the species selected. A Dottyback is a possibility but still a risk with the Sixline'¦and one that could go either way depending on the species/specimen of Dottyback selected>>
I know there are some likely candidates among the gobies but I was also hoping to find a swimmer higher in the column to take some pressure off the clownfish.
<<Understood'¦ and a small grouping of Cardinalfishes might serve best as they would likely be ignored by the Sixline, the Clownfish shouldn't bother them too much, and their 'numbers' may prove sufficient distraction to the Coral Beauty>>
My tank parameters are currently:
- specific gravity 1.024
- nitrates - 0 ppm
- nitrites - 0 ppm
- NH4+ - 0.3 ppm
<<Should be 'zero'>>
- PO4- - 0ppm
- KH -- 200
<<Mmm, if my calculation is correct this gives you a dKH(Carbonate Hardness) in excess of 11'¦dangerously high in my estimation, if the Calcium reading below is accurate. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm>>
- Calcium - 450 mg/L
- pH 8.4
I have a small ball of Chaetomorpha in the sump/refugium which is on a reverse lighting cycle along with a black mithrax crab that I don't know what else to do with since he was attacking my hermits when I first got the live rock.
<<Perhaps a trade back to the LFS or with another hobbyist>>
The LFS didn't want him back.
I do seem to be experiencing a problem with red algae on the substrate of the display tank off to one side, I'm hoping to be able to slow its growth down by changing the circulation pattern in the tank. Would a lawnmower blenny be of some use here?
<<With the Cyanobacteria? No'¦ But start reading here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm>>
Thanks again for your thorough and considerate advice.
<<Always welcome>>
Best Regards,
<<Cheers mate'¦ Eric Russell>>
R2: Stocking Fish (Selection) -- 07/22/09

Just another note on the Powder Brown Tang I lost recently. The LFS has it listed as A. japonicus and then a separate listing for a Goldrim Tang as A. nigricans.
<<Unfortunately these very different fishes, re their aquarium suitability, share several common names used interchangeably between the two species like Powder Brown, Goldrim, and even Whitecheek Tang>>
So according to their info, the fish I purchased from them was in fact A. japonicus.
<<Then I think it likely the fish had been mishandled/damaged before you received it>>
<<Be chatting'¦ EricR>>
R3: Stocking Fish (Selection) -- 07/24/09

Hello again,
<<Hey Wayne'¦Eric here again>>
Well, I must acknowledge that I've made a typical mistake and one that I had set out not to make with my marine aquarium. I did not follow a good stocking plan, even though I had one started.
<<Don't beat yourself up too bad; in my experience few folks seem to 'get this' the first time around. I doubt there are many of us who haven't been down this road. The best of intentions are often 'waylaid' by impulse buys or just a lack of thorough research. Both of which, though discussed over and over after-the-fact, seem to most often be resolved/learned through 'experience'>>
That being said, I would like to try to remediate the problem before things get too far out of control and this is where I'm looking for some more help.
There are a few things I am pondering here:
If I were to find a good home for the Coral Beauty, would this help me to bring the system back to a reasonable "crossroads" in which I could make some better livestock choices?
<<That depends on what you want to add mate. The Sixline and the Clownfishes can be just as problematic re. You need to establish that stocking plan and then we can see what needs to stay or what needs to go. You also need to decide what if any of your current livestock you 'really' want to keep'¦and then stocking will need to be planned around this>>
Considering the size of my tank, perhaps I should try to create a biotope more appropriate to the clownfish and sixline wrasse (excluding any anemones for the near future).
<<One way to go'¦though I'm still concerned about the number of Clownfishes in this tank for the long term. A 'single pair' re would be my suggestion>>
I am open to suggestions on nearly any fish at this point. I do appreciate the appearance of many of the gobies, cardinalfishes and blennies. In our previous emails Eric expressed some concern over my KH and calcium levels
<<Indeed'¦ Keeping both at the high-end of their respective scales is risky'¦as explained in the article I pointed you to>>
(I find my Hagen Master Test Kit has several tests in it which are exceedingly hard to differentiate between levels on the colour charts).
<<Give the kits by Seachem (my fave for quality vs. cost) or Salifert a try>>
Should I consider migrating my tank to a deep sand bed and would this help me to establish and stabilize more appropriate parameters?
<<The addition of some fresh Aragonite material may well prove beneficial re stabilization and reduced need for supplementation>>
I am reluctant to "take the plunge" into the Kalkwasser addition or calcium reactor approaches due to cost and risk factors so I would like to try controlling these parameters in some other way.
<<Hmm'¦if you are not supplementing Calcium/Alkaline material now, then I suspect the accuracy of your test kits on those high readings previously noted. In many cases, hobbyists can easily maintain natural Bio-Mineral content through frequent water changes with a quality salt mix ('my' favorites are Tropic Marin and Seachem'¦which I use in combination of equal parts)>>
My sand bed is currently about 2-3 inches in depth and is made up of sugar sized aragonite.
<<Very good'¦but I would add another inch or so; if you can live with the look, for the increased denitrification benefit as well as the added Bio-Mineral content>>
Is there a reasonably quick way to reduce the bullying by my Coral Beauty towards the Clownfishes (besides removal of the Coral Beauty)?
<<Not without likely adding to your current stocking dilemma>>
I find Maiden's Hair/Turtle grass to be attractive in the displays that I've seen, but the LFS tried to talk me away from it when I asked about it. What would be the pros and cons to adding this to my display tank?
<<The pros are nutrient uptake, refuge/environment for increased bio-diversity, etc'¦cons will vary among species (read here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm). Success with Turtle Grass generally requires a specialized environment/setup designed specifically for it, but I think you could give the Maiden's Hair a go if you want>>
Once again I appreciate the thoughtful advice.
<<Always welcome'¦do work on detailing that stocking list a bit more and let's discuss further>>
There are too few sources readily available with sound advice on such specific situations. Most sources on the internet are highly coloured by personal opinion and few facts
<<Hee-hee! We do thank you for the kind words, but I must say, most of the (my) advice here 'is' highly opinionated'¦but one of our guiding principles is to provide that opinion based on logic, experience, and/or research (yes'¦we do often look up data to reference a reply), rather than on what's 'fad and stylish.' Even the facts can colored by one's opinion'¦the real onus is on you to research the data from multiple sources and then use your own good judgment to come to a decision>>
(not to mention oodles of spelling mistakes and poor grammar).
<<Ah yes'¦ Even though this is a free service'¦as Bob has often pointed out'¦proper grammar and spelling is the 'coin of the realm' at WWM>>
Best Regards,
<<Cheers mate'¦ Eric Russell>>
R4: Stocking Fish (Selection) -- 07/25/09

Hi Eric,
<<Hello Wayne>>
My stocking plan is going to have to be totally revisited it seems, so here we go:
Current livestock & changes
- I'd like to keep some of my Percula clowns, so perhaps by your suggestion I will try to leave behind my two favourites and remove the others to sell to the LFS (I added 5 based on the owner's suggestion *sad*).
<<I do think this to be best in the long term>>
- I would also like to keep the six line wrasse due to his personality and so far he has not chased anyone that came after him.
<<Okay'¦but be aware this wrasse will limit your ability to add other small fusiform fishes>>
- keep the cleaner shrimp
- will it be possible to keep the Coral Beauty?
<<Time will tell'¦ If/when other fishes are added, this may displace enough of its attention to give the Clownfish some peace>>
- blue leg, red leg and scarlet hermits (already in place)
- Nassarius, Astrea, Cerith, Margarita snails (already in place)
- Duncan's (I love this one!), Mushroom anemones, Colt coral, some Zoanthids and Acans although since they came from another aquarist's tank, I do not know their specific identities (already in place). I think that there is a single polyp which is an Aussie Blastomussa
<<Okay'¦ Some noxious and aggressive mixes'¦do be sure to provide ample separation as well as ancillary chemical filtration (carbon/Poly-Filter)>>
Potential livestock (Please note, I do not intend to put all of them in!)
- I would really like help here as I would prefer to make more suitable selections this time
- Kole tang, *Ctenochaetus strigosus*
<<A worthy choice>>
- Scooter Blenny (Red scooter if possible, *Synchiropus stellatus*)
<<A possibility'¦if you can find one taking prepared foods (e.g. -- frozen Mysis)>>
- Royal Gramma *Gramma loreto*
<<A great aquarium fish'¦if you can get it past the Sixline>>
- Yellow Watchman Goby *Cryptocentrus cinctus*
<<Another viable choice'¦considering the presence of the sugar-fine Aragonite substrate>>
- Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish *Genicanthus melanospilos*
<<Would prefer to see this left to a larger system>>
- I would like some suggestions on low to medium light requirement plants/macroalgae or corals to add to the look of the 'mini reef'.
<<Most of the Macroalgae species available can be kept under a variety of lighting options. But be aware some can be very invasive and nearly impossible to eradicate from the display once established (e.g. -- Caulerpa species). I suggest you see what is available/what you like and research the individual species. Do also read here and among the associated links at the top of the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm >>
As far as the Turtle Grass goes, I will take a look at the link you provided, but what sort of special care are we talking about here?
<<A mud flat biotope>>
I'm trying to avoid purchasing more expensive equipment though I may consider a calcium reactor if absolutely necessary.
<<A useful adjunct>>
Up until my previous email, I was supplementing with Reef Code A and B for calcium and alkalinity maintenance, but this was only for a period of about 4 days. I had been supplementing calcium using the liquid supplement from Seachem for about two weeks before that (I stopped with the Seachem calcium supplement when I started with the Reef Code A & B).
<<Presumably this supplementation was based on testing and a determined need for such. But given your stocking list, I suspect you can easily maintain bio-mineral availability through frequent partial water changes (will also help to keep ion levels within NSW parameters)>>
I use RO/DI water and Instant Ocean Reef Crystals when making fresh batches of water. I generally add a powder pH 8.2 buffer also to new water.
<<This may be the reason for the high Alkalinity reading. Maybe you can try a batch without this supplement, and test for its need>>
I perform a 10% water change weekly although I have had to do some plumbing repairs in the last few weeks which required removal of some water and I stirred up the detritus in the system quite a bit while doing this. I also use a Lee's Ultimate Gravel Vac to do my water changes, although I'm not all that impressed with it. It doesn't seem to pick up the detritus well at all. I also intend to purchase some Salifert or Seachem test kits for pH, calcium and KH at the minimum. Luckily I work in a lab and we have equipment for doing colorimetric analysis for NH4+ and NO3-, so I often confirm my test kit results at work.
Would you suggest that I purchase a Mg test kit too?
<<Indeed'¦ Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mgmarfaqs.htm >>
Up until last week, my mushroom anemones and colt coral appeared very happy and well extended, but over the last 5-6 days, the colt coral has withdrawn a bit and the entire body is darker in colour with a very dark purplish area around the "trunk". The LFS owner said that it may be molting and to give it some time.
<<Mmm, not sure what you LFS means by 'molting''¦they will shed slime/metabolites'¦but this is usually over only a day or two at most. I suspect Allelopathic issues>>
It has not improved greatly at this point and I am rather concerned. Also, most of my mushrooms have taken on a more wrinkled look and are not extending their caps as much as before.
<<I suggest some larger water changes and increased chemical filtration>>
Most of the mushrooms are a dark red/brown with the exception of a few green striped ones. What water parameters besides specific gravity and temperature should I be monitoring for them?
<<Aside from pH, Temperature, Salinity/Specific Gravity, the Nitrogen cycle (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate) and Bio-Mineral content/balance (Calcium, Alkalinity, Magnesium), there's little other 'necessary' testing/monitoring unless testing for a specific supplementation (e.g. -- Iodine/Iodide/Iodate). I suspect the issue here is poisoning/chemical warfare (Allelopathy). Do a search on our site re>>
I am not even sure of what sort of flow they all prefer.
<<Is posted'¦ Do searches on the different species/common names...and read this and the associated articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm >>
The only one that I've moved since they closed up is the colt coral.
Thanks again,
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Reef Safe Wrasse selection. 7/21/09
Hey guys,
Thanks in advance for the help. It's very much appreciated.
<Your very welcome.>
Just searching for some quick guidance here...
My original fish stocking list for my 75 gallon softy tank was (from first to last):
2x false Percs
1x yellow watchman
1x Sixline wrasse
1x Kole tang
1x orchid Dottyback
<Okay, within reason.>
But now I'm worried about the Sixline killing my inverts.
<It really depends on what inverts you have in your tank, and which ones you are worried about.>
I love most of the flasher wrasses (McCosker's in particular), but they're best kept in groups right?
Is there any smallish reef/invert safe wrasse that you would recommend in place of the Sixline (not something that would break the bank, mind you).
<Yes, do some reading on the Possum Wrasse, only gets to three inches, fairly invert safe as far as wrasses go. (Likely won't attack larger decorative shrimp, or snails.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome again.
Josh Solomon>
Re: Reef Safe Wrasse 7/21/09

Thanks for the quick reply, Josh.
<No problem, Carter.>
As far as inverts go, I'm going to try to stay away from crabs (unless you think that is unwise), but I would like to have a skunk cleaner shrimp and maybe some other decorative shrimps. In your opinion, how would the Sixline do with those?
<Not putting crabs into the aquarium if you don't want to is fine. No harm will come from that. There are no guarantees with wrasses and shrimp, but the Sixline will be a relatively safe choice.>
I had read that I should probably stay away from hermits and emeralds in this tank. I've had them in my FOWLR, but was under the impression that they might cause troubles with corals.
<They may be fine, they may not. But there is no telling what a crab will decide to eat when it is hungry.>
If you think crabs are a good idea, would the Sixline (or the possum for that matter) be trusted around them?
<Like I said there are not guarantees but both of these wrasses are relatively good choices around the inverts you mentioned.>
<Good luck.
Josh Solomon>

stocking,/goby pair... Reef stkg. issues 07/20/09
Hi,i've been reading on this website for a REALLY long time. First of all. I know I could not have been this successful w/o your website. So THANKS!! I'll try to be fast, I have a 29g tank with a 20g sump. Tank parameters ph 8.4 ca 400 nitrite 0 nitrate 5.0 amm 0 phos .5
KH 12 temp 79.Lighting is DIYhood with a14k 175 mh and 2 18 in T5s one Coralife 460 one 5500 daylight act lighting period 9 hours mh 2 hours before and after. Visijet skimmer, I have fine tuned Pair pink skunk clowns.Seabae .Introduced all at the same time. the clowns, are thriving. The sebae, was very Brite white when obtaind,with purple tips. After about a month now it is starting to get a blotchy tan color, and some of the tips have turned red.
<Good signs>
For the rest of my stocking. I have read about everything you have on the subject. And cant decide what would be best. I want a few shrimp and a goby of some kind. And maybe a hard coral of some kind, sun polyps, or acropora.And a good algae eater besides snails. Any suggestions would be helpful.
<All that you list could be made to work here>
Also i have a 75g in the works. It takes a lot of $$$ to do it right. One last thing I was given a flame scallop. have read a great deal about it everyone say's they don't live long, I feed it with the sebae small pieces of shrimp and muscles soaked in Kent chromamax. The sebae seems to love it, will this keep the flame faming!!
<Very unlikely, no. This Pen shell doesn't eat such>
Thank you So much.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Question... SW, reef, fish, stkg... 07/20/09
Hello folks, great site that always has an answer for me. Thanks!
I have a 125 reef tank with a 30 gallon fuge.
A while back I battled an ich outbreak that unfortunately claimed a few of my fish. I want to begin the process of restocking some fish that were lost in the outbreak. In the tank now I have a Longnose hawk, Tomini tang and yellow tang. These fish have been in the aquarium for about six months together. The hawk and yellow show signs of aggression at times and the Tomini is as docile as they come. I would like to add a Lamarck angel, blackcap Basslet, a Sixline wrasse and indigo Dottyback to this crew. DO you think these seven fish could coexist and be reef safe?
<The species mix itself is likely fine, but there will be some antagonistic behavior here for quite a while... That would be greatly alleviated if this tank were a bit larger... say a 180 or so. Bob Fenner>
I am also considering a Fangblenny. I thought since they are venomous, the hawk might leave it alone. Opinion?
Could you suggest another fish that would fit in with my hawk and yellow tang?
Thanks again
Re: Question 07/20/09

Would removing the Dottyback make a significant decrease in the antagonistic behavior? I also have considered finding a new home for the yellow tang and replacing with a Naso tang. Good idea or bad?
<The dropping of the Dottyback would help "a little" and subbing the Naso for the Zebrasoma would hurt>

Fish Compatibility 34G 7/18//09
<Good afternoon.>
I have recently moved cross country and had to dismantle my 90 gal reef tank. Due to space limitations I will not be able to set it back up for about a year, so I am now looking to build a 34 gal cube reef tank and would like to keep just two fish.
<I like the way you think.>
A Tailspot Blenny, and I would love to have an Orange (Neon) Dottyback, but I'm afraid it will kill my Tailspot.
<There is no way to know for sure, but the Dottyback will certainly be in charge if he allows the Blenny to live in his tank at all.>
If this combo doesn't work, I'm thinking of swapping the Dottyback for a Royal Gramma. What do you think?
<Ah I knew I liked you for a reason Chuck. I think the Gramma would be a much smarter choice, will likely leave the Tailspot alone.>
<Your welcome,
Josh Solomon>

Understocking A Reef Tank 7/13/09
Hi Bob/Salty/Which ever God this is,
<Hello Martin, you drew Salty. Mmm, Bob and other crew members are much nearer to God than I.><<Mmm, don't think so... RMF>>
I'm currently setting up a ~150 U.K gallon marine reef tank. Show tank is 48"(l)x30"(d)x24"(h) and sump is 36"x18"x18".
My question is - so many sites say how many disastrous things can occur when over stocking a marine reef tank, but little is said about understocking (if there is an article about it then I'm sorry, must have missed it!). I know that several of you guys/gals at WWM condone the understocking of tanks but can you under stock too much (or too little, hehe!). I am thinking of just placing two Amphiprion bicinctus in my
entire system. If live rock aids in the breakdown of metabolites is there a minimum concentration/amount of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate that must be produced in order to sustain the live rock?
<Nitrifying bacteria will adjust it's population to the waste load present.
When the load is increased, the population of bacteria increases.>
If so, how understocked IS understocked!?!?!
<Understocking is just having an animal load lower than the tank/system is capable of handling, nothing more. Healthy systems will include plenty of quality live rock, an efficient protein skimmer, good water circulation, and maintenance schedule.>
I was also thinking of putting a Choerodon fasciatus in there once the system was cycled and mature if nutrients still all equally zero. Failing this then a nice smallish show fish (any more ideas WWM?)
<The Two Banded Clownfish (Amphiprion bicinctus), also known as the Red Sea Anemonefish, originates from the reefs of the Red Sea, and is one of the liveliest of the clowns that brings both activity and character to aquarium. It is not one of the easier clowns to keep and does seem to do better with an anemone present. It is semi-aggressive towards other Clownfish, Damsels and passive tank mates, so it is best to introduce these fish last to your tank.
The Harlequin Tusk Fish is going to grow much too large for your aquarium (9+ inches), and I would not suggest adding this fish, but seek smaller compatible fish. The Harlequin Tusk is not safe with crabs, shrimp, etc, as the bright blue teeth/tusks are used for crunching invertebrates, which makes it an undesirable member in a reef tank.>
I look forward to your answer.
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>
Martin Gorton

Reef safe marine fish... Angels and Henis 7/2/09
Good day,
<And you>
I have a half moon angel and a vermiculated angel (both approximately 5 inches in size) and wish to stock my aquarium with Xenia, pincushion corals and feather dusters. I read that these fish are "reef safe, with caution" on other websites.
What does "with caution" mean in terms of
reef safe?
<Is a largely subjective evaluation of the likelihood that an animal, species is likely to consume, have troubles with other livestock>
Will this be a good idea to stock my aquarium with the corals mentioned, or will it just be an expensive meal for these fish?
<Too likely a possibility of the latter... IF this system is "too" small (a few hundred gallons), otherwise doesn't house a good deal of "live rock"... that these Angels could/would otherwise peruse.>
The other question I have is whether the Banner fish are reef safe.
<Heniochus spp. are toward that end of the spectrum generally>
I know that the Banner fish is related to butterflies and that butterflies are not reef safe,
<Mmm, too broad a statement... there are some notable species that are almost exclusively zooplanktivorous... Please... search, read on WWM ahead of writing us>
but could not find out whether the Banner fish would eat these corals.
<Ahh! Perhaps the information is insufficiently specific. Your missal will aid in making it more so>
Your site has been a great help to me in the past and I personally think that you are the best.
Willie Deysel
<And thou, Bob Fenner>

Stocking Level/Selection 6/30/09
Hey again crew,
<Hello Carter>
I've been window shopping for the inhabitants of my new 75 gallon "reef" (will be just softies and a few LPSs), and have come up with what I think is a good stocking list. I wanted to run it by you guys to see if you
thought the load was too much, and if these guys will be compatible.
Ocellaris Clown x2
Yellow Watchman Goby
Orchid Dottyback
Kole Tang
<Tank size is borderline for this tang, can grow to a little over 6" under captive conditions.>
Sixline Wrasse
Royal Gramma (maybe)
Would you consider adding more than that?
<No, but I'd add a few colorful inverts.>
I'm trying to go with fairly
hardy, easy to care for fish.
<The Kole Tang isn't an easy fish, likely on the moderate level.>
What order would you stock these in? (The clowns and the goby have to go in first since they're being transferred from my smaller tank).
<Those would be the fish I would add first with the gramma and tang being added last.>
Also, at which point, after cycling, would you start adding some zoos and mushrooms (assuming all water param.s are within acceptable limits)?
<I'd let the tank age about three months before adding these.>
Thanks so much for the help...you guys are the best.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Overstocked? 05/27/09
Hey guys/girls! Hope all is well. I thoroughly enjoy your website, I've been using the great wealth of information here for nearly 3 years now. I credit WetWebMedia for a large part of the success of my mixed reef. Anyway, on to my query. I have a 110 gallon 6 foot long tank. It is a mixed reef. My current fish list is a Blue Hippo Tang, Coral Beauty Angel, 2 blue/yellow Damsels, a pair of False Perculas, a Foxface Rabbitfish and a Christmas Tree Wrasse. All are doing well and most have been there for 2-3 years. The Foxface is the only one that hasn't been there for at least a year. I would like to add a Ward's Tiger Goby and my wife wants a Yellow Tang. I am thinking this would probably being pushing the bioload limit and was hoping to get your thoughts.
<Well, I don't know much about your system. At first blush, yes, it seems like this would be pushing it. If it were me, I might not risk adding both those fish, but maybe one or the other. However, if you really must have both fish, you could do things to increase your tank's filtration capacity.
1) you could add a substantial remote refugium (say, 55g or so), 2) you could do more skimming, more frequent water changes, 3) you could start using a lot (or a lot more) activated carbon (changed out 50% every month or so), 4) start using ozone, etc. If you're already doing all these things, then great. Whatever you do though, don't add both fish at once. Add one of them and see how your system reacts. This will help tell you if you can add a second.>
Thanks in advance for any advice you may offer.
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Hello again.
I have a 300lt reef aquarium that I am slowly stocking. Would having 6 green chromis, 2 fire fish, 2 maroon clowns,
<Be aware the maroons are very aggressive, very well may be problematic for the firefish and chromis.>
1 yellow tang, 1 regal tang ,
<The tank is too small for 2 tangs, and just too small at all for the Regal.>
1 flame angel or majestic angel and a mandarin fish be ok for stocking levels?
<The majestic would also need a larger tank, you are borderline at best for the mandarin.>
Also would having these in tank with corals and inverts be a problem or would it all be ok?. Thanks in advance Craig.
<The flame angel is known to sample corals, may become a problem.>

Stocking 180 gallon reef
Re: Fish and Invert Compatibility 4/29/09

Dear WWM Crew,
<Josh Solomon here.>
The system that I am setting up is a 180 gallon reef with 140 pounds of live rock and a 55 gallon sump, and plan to stock it with 2 ocellaris clownfish, 4 green chromis, 4 Bartlett's anthias,
<fine so far, keep in mind with the feedings anthias need they do cause a heavy bioload on the system.>
a mccoskeri flasher wrasse,
<do better as a harem, not as a lone fish>
a canary wrasse
<probably a fine fish for this tank, but I wouldn't recommend it in the same tank as the flasher wrasse, the canary wrasse is a bit of a loner.>
and a purple tang
<This is a reasonable tang choice for a tank this size, he will have room to grow and be happy.>
with Nassarius snails, a cleaner shrimp
<Wrasses will most certainly eat the cleaner shrimp, and possibly the snails too if they are feeling especially hungry at any point>
SPS and LPS corals.
Would this be a good mix if I add the tang last?
<The tang last would be a good idea. I would either do the canary or the mccoskeri, wrasse, but if I recommended the mccoskeri it is a social fish that needs a harem of females to be happy long term.>
Would the wrasses fight?
<It is possible, like I said above, I do not recommend that combination.>
Would the canary wrasse harm my snails?
I have considered putting just a sohal tang with the chromis, anthias and clownfish, then I had second thoughts about that because a sohal tang is a large, active fish that may need at least a 8 ft. tank, rather than a 6 ft. tank. But if a sohal was kept in a 6X2X2 180 gallon as the only tang, could it live a long, healthy life if it only grew to 8 inches or so?
<I think your better off staying with the singular purple tang. This is not enough space for a sohal tang.>
I have also thought about getting a Red Sea regal angelfish instead of the sohal tang. I have seen video on YouTube of regal angels kept in reef tanks with LPS corals and
clams and I was wondering if a regal can be kept with corals if it is well fed. Do you know certain corals that a regal would eat?
<They tend to prefer softer corals and LPS, although every fish had a different personality and no guarantees can be made. This fish also does not have the best track record in aquariums, in short I don't recommend it.>
<Good luck with you decisions, and don't forget quarantine.
Josh Solomon.>
Re: Fish and Invert Compatibility 4/30/09
Stocking 180 gallon reef

Could there be enough room for a yellow and a purple tang in a 180 gallon with the chromis, anthias, and clownfish (without the wrasses) if I add them last at the same time as 2" juveniles?
<That sounds fine to me, just make sure they do go in at the same time.>
Also, what do you think about a flame angel in a reef tank?
<The flame angel can make a wonderful addition, but he will likely be the most aggressive fish in your setup, so be sure to add him last. They have been known to nip on LPS, and you can pretty well say good by to feather dusters. A flame angel would not be a bad choice though, just be aware of his potential issues with coral.>
<Josh Solomon>
Re: Fish and Invert Compatibility..... -- 5/1/09

How about this for a 180 gallon: Purple Tang, Blue Regal Tang (if Regal is added first), 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, and 6 Bartlett's Anthias.
<It's certainly possible, but for the long term happiness of your animals I must suggest you reconsider the yellow tang instead of the regal tang. The regal tang is just a much larger fish.>
<Josh Solomon.>

Re: Stocking/compatibility (Angels, Damsels, and Moray... oh, my!) SW 120 gallon 4/27/2009
Thanks Mike!
<hi Juli, You're welcome.>
Apologies original post was so "wordy".
<No apologies necessary, more detail is better.>
Would you recommend removing aforementioned Sebae anemone and African red-knobbed sea star for trade-in to my LFS?
<If it was my tank, yes, I would return them>
Seems these two species alone have possibility to be incompatible, let alone being in a 120 gal tank with inadequate lighting and larger livestock like the Koran and moray.
<I agree.>

Stocking a 75 Gallon Aquarium 4/24/09
WWM Staff ~
I am new to the hobby (please be gentle) and have found your site very helpful; Thanks for the excellent resource! I have found out a lot of information about individual species and general compatibility, but I was hoping that you would be willing to give me advice on whether or not the species that I would like to add will be able to co-exist, and also if there is a certain order that they should be added (and anything else that you may see as a potential problem). I know you're not a "question and answer service for individuals," but I don't know where else I can go for unbiased and accurate information.
I have a 75 gallon Clarity Plus aquarium with an overflow and bio ball filtration system that is housed in a sump below the main display tank. I have four 96 watt lights, two white and two blue, with each consisting of two connected bulbs per socket (power compact maybe?).
<This does sound like power compacts>
It has been up and running with live sand and live rock for a little over four months now, and the water has been testing with Nitrates under 20 (it used to be close to zero, but my Diamond Goby "went missing" and caused a spike which has gradually been coming down with water changes), Nitrites 0, Alkalinity 180-300, pH 8.2, Temp 78, Specific Gravity 124.
<1.024? Natural levels are normally between 1.024 and 1.026>
The lights are usually on for about 6-8 hours a day during the week (some natural daylight comes in for a couple of hours), and at least 12 on the weekends. (I am going to get a timer to better control this.) There is a lot of coralline on the rocks, and some green algae growing.
<I think the timer is a good idea, it is something you can pick up at any local store, and will give your animals a better night and day cycle>
I have been told that I have an excellent set-up for a reef system (?), and was talked into adding a rock with mushrooms. I don't want to take on too much too fast; I want to make sure I am able to keep things alive since I already had one hard lesson learned.
<Glad you are taking it slowly. Continue researching each addition before you purchase it, this will save a lot of heartache later. Mushrooms are often great corals for beginners, I started with some myself. Your lights may be a limiting factor for corals depending on what spectrum of bulbs you have in them. Also you have not mentioned flow in the tank at all, which may be one of the most important aspects of keeping coral>
My fish were doing excellent until I left the frozen mysids out overnight by mistake, and my husband told me that it would still be okay. I should have known better, but I definitely know now after loosing them [a maroon clown (which everyone tells me I am better off without anyway), a diamond goby (I was over all the sandcastles too), and my beautiful butterflies].
<Lesson learned now, treat frozen fish food like your own, don't thaw and refreeze>
My current tank inhabitants seem to be doing very well:
1 True Percula Clown
(*Which I was told was wild, but hasn't quite taken to the BTA yet like my Maroon had -- however, it does seem to be guarded by the shrimp now! Would it be a good idea to add another Perc?)
<Adding another won't hurt, make sure it is on the small size and you have the possibility of ending up with a pair. Some clowns just take a long time or never do acclimate themselves to an anemone>
1 Bannerfish
<can become very large>
1 Red Pearlscale
<another large fish>
3 Cleaner Shrimp
1 Green BT Anemone
<Please do keep an eye on this anemone in a tank as new as yours, supplement the light by feeding him with meaty foods>
1 Mushroom Rock with 23 Small Mushrooms
I 'hope' to gradually add the following:
1 Blue Hippo Tang
<Way to large of a fish>
1 Yellow Tang
<This is about the minimum size tank I would recommend a yellow tang for, assuming it is the standard size 75 gallon tank.
Coral Beauty Angel
Flame Angel
1 Raccoon Butterfly (Is this not a good choice for the corals I would like?)
<I might consider one of the pygmy angels or butterfly, but read down for the possible issues with coral as well as the immense bio load of all these fish. But I urge you to reconsider and add only smaller fish>
1 Red Firefish Goby
1 Royal Gramma
1 Pearly Jawfish
<These three fish sound fine>
1 Blue Linckia Sea Star
<The blue Linckia is often doomed to death the moment it is collected, read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/linckiastars.htm >
Pulsating Xenia
Metallic Orange Zoanthid Colony
Blue Premium Ricordea Mushroom
<These three sound reasonable for your tank provided you do have adequate flow, these do not require high flow, but they all do need adequate water circulation around them>
The Questions...
For some reason I'm afraid you're going to tell me this is too much (?).
<So you are reading, you already knew the answer>
If so, I listed the fish in order of preference, so would you mind telling me which I should to do without (the Red Firefish, Royal Gramma, and Pearly Jawfish are my least favorite, but also the smallest)?
<once again your are right, both the Firefish, Gramma, and Jawfish are better choices than the angels and tangs. Keep in mind these three small fish are often jumpers, make sure you have some type of egg crate or netting to secure the top of the tank with.>
Also, do you see any potential compatibility issues with fish or problems with corals?
<Every fish has a different personality, but that being said the Pygmy Angels and Butterflyfish have been known to have a taste for coral. Additionally the Bubble Tip Anemone is motile and can sting corals if he is roaming around the tank.>
Any specific stocking order or placement at the same time to help increase my chances of success?
<Slowly, and do not forget quarantine, please leave out the larger fish additions, I imagine you already have a high bio load with the two large butterflyfish. There are stocking FAQ's available on the website for particular fish>
One last somewhat unrelated question'¦ Do you recommend placing live sand, live rock, copepods, etc. in the sump (Right now I only have the Mag-Drive, thermometer, and a bag of Phosban in there)? After doing some more research on your site, it was the first time I had heard of this, but it sounded like a good idea.
<From what I can tell your filtration seems to consist of only bio balls, personally I prefer live rock and live sand to bio balls but there are many ways of doing things. If you decide to replace your bio balls with live rock and live sand please do the removal of the bio balls slowly so as not to remove all bio filtration from your system at once.
Please do consider a quality protein skimmer for this system as you move into the world of corals and a heavily stocked tank>
I truly appreciate your time and assistance. It is hard to find information on the net that doesn't contradict from source to source, and your site hasn't steered me wrong yet!
<Well there are contradictions on this site as well, but only because there are so many ways of keeping a tank.>
Thanks so much,
<your very welcome>

Reef misstocking, UV pump sel. 4/19/09
Hello crew hope all is well. I have a 75 gallon tank with about 80 lbs. of live rock, and a 4 inch sandbed. I have a 30 gallon sump with a 13 watt Jebo U.V. sterilizer, A hang on filter on the sump with Chemi-pure and Purigen in it, A Jebo 180 protein skimmer and a cpr BakPak protein skimmer. Have a 48 inch light with 2 250 watt halides and 4 65 watt pc's.
Livestock includes 1 blue chin trigger, 4 blue green chromis, Banggai cardinal, convict tang,
<A strongly social species>
Perc. clown, flame angel, lawnmower blenny, a purple yellow Dottyback and a dussumieri tang (juvenile)
<Will be too large for this system>
I have a bubble, coral about 4 inches , a green open brain, frogspawn finger leather, toadstool leather, cabbage leather, bunch of xenia and zoos, and some cloves, a maze brain and a Fungia coral. O.k. Here's my problem, I got the dussumieri tang about a week ago
<... no quarantine>
and introduced him and the convict at the same time. They don't bother each other, but i did notice tonight he has white spots on the side of his body. All other fish seem fine and he still eats good and is very active. Im worried about pulling him out to treat him due to stressing him even more. Do you think I should wait a couple of days to see what he's going to do.
<Yes. I would>
I am feeding Nori sheets, mysis and emerald entree, with garlic Xtreme right now and some spectrum pellets all crushed and mixed together. All water param.s are fine and the other fish seem fine. do you think this will
pass or should i pull him.
<Not possible to tell... but I would not have put this Acanthurus species in this sized setting, with the tankmates you list>
Also what is the ideal powerhead size to hook to my U.V. (flow rate) so it will be most effective at killing ich, it runs 24-7 I have a maxi 400 on it right now and its in the last chamber of my sump, which also houses the pump to send the water back to the tank.
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm
see the sections on pump selection, UV use... Bob Fenner>
Thanks, Devin Haney

75 Gal Stkg, reef 3/16/2009
Hello everyone!
<Hi Bre>
I have a few questions... so I'll start by giving you as much info as I
<Much appreciated, thanks.>
75 gallon bow-front
80 lbs live rock
500W lighting (says the boyfriend.. so vague)... i just looked at it and it
says Actinic and 10000k. I'm sorry i don't know more..
Canister filter
wet/dry trickle filter
protein skimmer
300W heater
2 gravity boxes
Aqaclear70 powerhead - I'm not sure what else you need... phwew!
<Good enough for now, thanks.>
1 Condy anemone
<Unwise to mix two different species of anemones>
1 yellow Tang (medium, about 4")
3 blue/green Chromis (small)
1 red stripe Angel (dwarf angel? he's a few years old and about 3")
<Probably Centropyge eibli, yes, it is a dwarf>
1 domino Damsel (who has hosted with the Condy.. go figure)
<Will become very aggressive\territorial and about 6" long with time.>
3 Ocellaris clowns (tiny, but can't catch them to get them out!)
2 Percula clowns (the newest additions as of today.. hope they get along)
<Not for long...>
2 peppermint shrimp
<These eat anemones>
6 turbo snails
3 scarlet hermit crabs
1 Frogspawn coral
I think we're at our max inhabitants at this point...
<Well past the maximum actually>
I think we might be over the suggested capacity, although we have excellent filtration and make our own R/O water for changes and top-offs (we got that expensive contraption that takes over my sink on weekends lol).. Levels are where they should be, and everyone is healthy (we think) / happy (we think) / eating well / getting along :) success!
<Not for much longer I'm afraid.>
We'd like to add
a Green Mandarin
<Will starve\bullied in this environment>
a blue tang (Solomon)
<Not with the current stocking>
and a medium carpet anemone (we'd really like to have a clown host to something)...
<Will not do well in this environment.>
What are your thoughts about this?? We're probably pretty full right now, but all of our fish are pretty small. Those last 3 things are the last of what we'd like.. but I don't want to overcrowd.
<You are already way overcrowded.>
Also, sometimes I notice my fish (the tang, the angel and sometimes the clowns) twitching a bit. It doesn't happen often... I've caught it happen twice in the past 2 months. They swim around like normal, have a 'spasm' type of a thing for a second or two.. and then continue on like nothing happened. Is that alright? Maybe I'm just over protective, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask!
<No idea for this one I'm afraid.>
<Bre, you have too many large and or territorial fish in a rather small space. Your yellow Tang will get up to 8" with time. Domino Damsels are VERY territorial and aggressive. Clown fish are also territorial and aggressive. Peppermint shrimp are used for removing pest anemones from aquariums, I'm surprised they haven't been munching on the ones you already have. You are going to have to either get a significantly larger tank, or find a new home for some of these fish. They may get along now, but as they grow you will see behavioral\aggression issues.>
t been attacking the two you already have.
<Please do ready here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm  and here:

Moving, stocking and advice question 3/9/09 Dear Crew, <Christopher> It has been a few years since I have actually needed to seek your advice, typically posted Q&A's provided the answers. I have come to the point where I feel I need guidance. I recently upgraded from a used 130 43Lx30Hx23W tank to a standard 180 gallon 6ftx2ftx2ft system. <Ahh, much easier to work in... and the length is more attractive to me, and better for long-sprinting fishes movements> The tank has been up for almost two days, but there are two issues that I am concerned with. The first is my Ritteri Anemone. I have had this guy for over three years now and have moved him over the years to now three different tanks. I have upgraded three times since I got into the hobby back in 2004. The anemone is deflated and his mouth is open quite a bit, is this stress or am I in serious trouble? <Mmm... can only guess... but likely stress... that could lead to serious trouble...> The tentacles are beginning to take shape but the "body" is pretty flat. <Do keep an eye (and nose) on this animal> The second question is my blue tang. I rescued this guy over three years ago, he was in bad shape with little to no fins, HLLE and severe lack of color and weight. The fish was in great shape, but since the move has been pacing the glass and the fish's eyes look as though he is resting? <Quite likely reacting to its own reflection... check to see if there is some way to reduce outside light source/s that fall on the pane in which it is pacing... perhaps apply a dark piece of paper, plastic to one end of the tank to curtail internal reflection...> The other fish in the tank are fine and enjoying the space. <The Paracanthurus may be more territorial> My final question is advice, I hope that I have not bored you to death, but the following is my current stock list and I wanted to know where the end of the line is for me. Currently I have 5 Green Chromis, 1 Sixline Wrasse, 1 Porc Puffer, 2 Blue Tangs, 2 False Perc clowns w/ Ritteri, 1 Raccoon Butterfly, 1 Purple Tang and last my Black Blenny. My wish list would be a pair of Blue Jaw Triggers, my LFS has a pair and possibly 2 Yellow Tangs. With my tank am I in a position to add these fish or am I at the limit. I really appreciate your help and hope that you have a wonderful day. Thank you! Christopher <You are... or should be okay with these additions... metabolically and psychologically for this size, shape system. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Taking Stock (Aquarium Stocking Plan) 2/21/09 Hi WWM Crew, <Hello there! Scott F. in today!> Having outgrown my 300litre long term reef system (5 years running to date) I have now established my basement reef and am in the process of transferring some of the livestock over. My success to date has been in no small part due to the advice and guidance I have had from you, so heartfelt thanks from me. <Thanks so much for the kind words. We have a great group of fish people who take great pride in helping our fellow hobbyists!> I would like to fly my stocking list by you for your collective opinion, first I'll outline the basement system- <Please do> It is a 4 tank system comprising a 200 litre (53 US Gallon) (24x24x18" (LxWxH)) high level refugium fed from sump with Chaetomorpha, shallow sand bed & LR rubble, lit by 2x 30w compact energy saving bulbs at 6500k (equivalent to 2x 150w conventional bulb) and a power head for flow within the refugium. This gravity drains to the main display, a 608litre (158USG) tank (60x26x20") this tank has a shallow sand bed, 40kg live rock arranged in open structures (mounds) at each end of the tank, in tank circulation is taken care of by 3x 5000lph flow pumps and the return from the sump (details lower). <I like the sounds of this. Aquascape sounds pretty cool, too!> Lighting is 2x 150w Halide at 6500k with another 150w halide at 20,000k in the middle. This tank drains to the sump which holds around 290 litres (75USG) when all pumps are running, first chamber has drain lines (x4) from main tank, pump to remote DSB(1200lph) which drains back to this end of the sump (with baffle to bypass the skimmer for as much of the return water from DSB as possible) and Deltec APF600 skimmer, middle chamber has calcium reactor and banished crabs! Return chamber at the other end has fluidiser currently running Rowaphos & carbon, auto top off and return pump to refugium Blau Aquaristic (2000lph) and return pump to main display - Ocean Runner 3500lph feeding to a rotating nozzle at each end of the tank. The remote DSB is a 24x12x12 tank with around 6" sand depth and 5" of water over, this is unlit. A 60"x26" shallow frag tank will be added at a later date. This gives me a total system volume of around 1100 litres, system is mostly designed for SPS & LPS corals which is where the focus will be. <Sounds very well thought out, versatile, and plenty large for the aquarium it supports.> Right, that's the system in question described, hopefully enough info for you there. DSB and refugium both have Nassarius and Cerith snails <Good helpers in maintaining a healthy sand bed> So far in the main display I have some hard corals Montipora, Turbinaria candy cane etc), Nassarius, Trochus, Cerith and Tapestry Turbos (free hitch-hikers on the LR) and 3 cleaner shrimp (Lysmata). Fish so far are - 1 pair Neon Goby - Gobiosoma oceanops 1 pair Banggai Cardinal - Pterapogon kauderni 1 Sixline wrasse - Pseudocheilinus hexataenia The Banggai's and Gobies may possibly be rehomed to another system for breeding at a later date <Always a worthwhile endeavour!> My main priority is to keep this tank as peaceful as possible. Now, on to what I would like to add listed in my proposed order of introduction (please throw any comments in here, particularly about any tensions or behavioural problems I may face here, as I say I want to keep things a peaceful as possible) - all fish will be in the main display - 7 Green Chromis - Chromis viridis 3 or 5 Anthias of some sort <Depending on species, I'd lean towards the greater number (5). Just seems like these guys do better in slightly larger groups, in my experience.> 2x Schooling Bannerfish - Heniochus diphreutes <Make sure you get a positive ID on the species...If you make an error, you could be introducing a species that, although attractive, will definitely make a meal of your priced corals!> 1 Scopas tang - Zebrasoma scopas (when algae growth in tank allows - currently I have none, only a very little Cyano!) <I could say so much on how I think this fish is the "ugly duckling" of the Zebrasoma family, but I wont..heh heh. Seriously, it's nice to show the love to a fish that seems to get little respect!> 1 Coral beauty - Centropyge bispinosa <A great fish, IMO. Generally does not harm most inverts and corals. Do look at a number of specimens before making your decision. There are a surprisingly large number of color variations in this species. You can find really cool, unique specimen if you look hard enough!> 1 other wrasse of some sort (possible a fairy) <Hey...I have an idea: Instead of a neurotic, skittish Fairy Wrasse, why not consider a unique, colorful Halichoeres species. Most remain reasonably small, are attractive, easy to keep, and have wonderful personalities...Not that I have any prejudice against Fairy Wrasses (ok...I DO!).. However, you might enjoy something a little different!> Possibly 1 shrimp/goby combo <Always an interesting due. Now, keep in mind that you should establish this pair first, before the other fishes are added. This will give them a chance to establish peacefully. Also, some fishes (ok- the larger Halichoeres) may try to make a meal of small shrimp...Choose carefully.> I would also like either or both if possible - 1 Blackcap Basslet - Gramma melacara (or Swissguard - Liopropoma if I can source) 1 Orchid Dottyback - Pseudochromis fridmani (or Sunrise - P. flavivertex if I can source) <Both are wonderful fishes, in my opinion! If you are not absolutely fanatical about not mixing species from different oceans, go for the Blackcap Basslet. It's a great fish, with awesome colors and a fun personality. Again, it's one that may decide to go after your small shrimp if they are out in the open...Just a possibility> If I can find them I would like to consider a small group of Chalk Bass - Serranus tortugarum <Awesome fish!> How does the stocking order seem? <Really a nice collection of small, colorful and interesting fishes. Just think about the stocking caveats that I mentioned.> How about stocking density? <Seems okay to me for this sized aquarium.> Any comments on this choice? <Honestly, I really like your selections. Ok- the only ones that I don't like are Heniochus...I think that they are just not great fish. That's strictly my opinion, of course. Perhaps a couple of extra Anthias in place of the Heniochus? Hey- you asked my opinion, right? LOL> Who would I be best to leave out if any? Any thoughts for better alternatives? <Pass on the Heniochus and the Fairy Wrasses. I- in my VERY biased opinion, have spoken!!! Heh heh!> Many thanks as ever in anticipation. Cheers Chris <And the best to you Chris! Good luck with what sounds like the makings of a great display! Remember, these are just my opinions, and you may not agree, but I think that a few minor tweaks to your stocking plan would make this aquarium even more successful! Regards, Scott F.>

Stocking Queries for a New Reef System -- 02/19/09 Hi Everybody, <<Howdy Chris>> I sent this to you a couple of days ago but haven't had a response, nor has it been on the daily FAQs (I am an addicted reader of the Dailies!) <<Oops'¦sorry mate, don't know what happened but I don't see it pending either>> I'm guessing you did not receive this so apologies if you did & are working on a backlog! <<I don't see it anywhere>> Anyway I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the below. Cheers Chris <<Okey dokey, EricR>> ***************************************************************************** Hi WWM Crew, <<Greetings again Chris>> Having outgrown my 300litre long term reef system (5 years running to date) I have now established my basement reef and am in the process of transferring some of the livestock over. My success to date has been in no small part due to the advice and guidance I have had from you, so heartfelt thanks from me. <<Ahh! We are all happy to have been/be of assistance>> I would like to fly my stocking list by you for your collective opinions, <<Afraid this will just be 'my' opinions'¦>> first I'll outline the basement system- It is a 4 tank system comprising a 200 litre (53 US Gallon) (24x24x18" LxWxH) high level refugium fed from sump with Chaetomorpha, shallow sand bed & LR rubble, lit by 2x 30w compact energy saving bulbs at 6500k (equivalent to 2x 150w conventional bulb) and a power head for flow within the refugium. This gravity drains to the main display, a 608litre (158USG) tank (60x26x20") this tank has a shallow sand bed, 40kg live rock arranged in open structures (mounds) at each end of the tank, in tank circulation is taken care of by 3x 5000lph flow pumps and the return from the sump (details lower). Lighting is 2x 150w Halide at 6500k with another 150w halide at 20,000k in the middle. This tank drains to the sump which holds around 290 litres (75USG) when all pumps are running, first chamber has drain lines (x4) from main tank, pump to remote DSB (1200lph) which drains back to this end of the sump (with baffle to bypass the skimmer for as much of the return water from DSB as possible) and Deltec APF600 skimmer, middle chamber has calcium reactor and banished crabs! return chamber at the other end has fluidizer currently running RowaPhos & carbon, auto top off and return pump to refugium Blau Aquaristic (2000lph) and return pump to main display - Ocean Runner 3500lph feeding to a rotating nozzle at each end of the tank. The remote DSB is a 24x12x12 tank with around 6" sand depth and 5" of water over, this is unlit. A 60"x26" shallow frag tank will be added at a later date. <<Very nice'¦looks like you have put a lot of thought in to this system>> This gives me a total system volume of around 1100 litres, system is mostly designed for SPS & LPS corals which is where the focus will be. <<Okay>> Right, that's the system in question described, hopefully enough info for you there. <<I think so>> DSB and refugium both have Nassarius and Cerith snails. <<Ah! Both of my favorites!>> So far in the main display I have some hard corals Montipora, Turbinaria, candy cane etc, Nassarius, trochus, Cerith and tapestry Turbos (free hitch-hikers on the LR) and 3 cleaner shrimp (Lysmata). Fish so far are - 1 pair Neon Goby - Gobiosoma oceanops 1 pair Banggai Cardinal - Pterapogon kauderni 1 Sixline wrasse - Pseudocheilinus hexataenia The Banggai's and Gobies may possibly be re-homed to another system for breeding at a later date. My main priority is to keep this tank as peaceful as possible. <<Mmm, then in my opinion you should consider omitting the Sixline. Pseudocheilinus species can be real terrors toward similarly shaped/sized fishes>> Now, on to what I would like to add listed in my proposed order of introduction (please throw any comments in here, particularly about any tensions or behavioural problems I may face here, as I say I want to keep things a peaceful as possible) <<No worries mate>> - all fish will be in the main display - 7 Green Chromis - Chromis viridis 3 or 5 Anthias of some sort <<I suggest Pseudanthias squamipinnis here'¦. This is one of the larger and more belligerent Anthiine species'¦both traits that will benefit them with this mix of other fishes. They also generally take very well to prepared foods>> 2x Schooling Bannerfish - Heniochus diphreutes 1 Scopas tang - Zebrasoma scopas (when algae growth in tank allows - currently I have none, only a very little Cyano!) 1 Coral beauty - Centropyge bispinosa 1 other wrasse of some sort (possible a fairy) <<Not likely to survive with an established Pseudocheilinus already present>> Possibly 1 shrimp/goby combo I would also like either or both if possible - 1 Blackcap Basslet - Gramma melacara (or Swissguard - Liopropoma if I can source) 1 Orchid Dottyback - Pseudochromis fridmani (or Sunrise - P. flavivertex if I can source) <<I think considering the size of the display that you should only choose one or the other of these last two>> If I can find them I would like to consider a small group of Chalk Bass - Serranus tortugarum <<Wonderful and peaceful little fishes'¦but again I must warn re the Sixline Wrasse>> How does the stocking order seem? <<I would add the Serranus and Anthiine species first (first and second introductions), followed by the Fairy Wrasse'¦otherwise the others look fine>> How about stocking density? <<Most are small fishes'¦should be fine. But I would consider this about maximized>> Any comments on this choice? <<You have them>> Who would I be best to leave out if any? <<The Sixline Wrasse and the Orchid Dottyback'¦both are less than 'peaceful' and omitting them will increase your chances with several of your other selections, in my humble opinion>> Any thoughts for better alternatives? <<Not really'¦you've got a pretty good list of fishes here>> Many thanks as ever in anticipation. Cheers, Chris <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

A couple quick questions... Mis-mix of "reef" life... -- 02/19/09 Hi Guys! <... and gals> I, first off, would like to say thanks for the wealth of knowledge found on the site! I've been in the hobby for a few years now and find myself on here all the time! <We share this last> I have a 90 gal. tank and usually do bi-weekly 10 gal. water changes. It's stocked with about 100lbs of fine sand and approx. 100lbs of live rock. My lighting unit has two 250HQI Metal Halides and four 54w actinics along with 14 1w blue moon lights. Fluval 405 canister filter plus three powerheads equaling 740gph combined. I don't have a refugium as of yet... still need to save up the funds for all the plumbing and such. <Good> Livestock consists of 5 green chromis, 3 assorted damsels, a mandarin goby, a green clown goby, a Foxface, 2 maroon clowns, a gold headed sleeper goby, a lawnmower blenny, an arrow crab, <Watch this last... predaceous> a coral banded shrimp, a purple lobster, a large sea hare, <I see this... can be problematical as well> a sand sifting star, a LTA, and a handful of snails and hermits. I also have red mushrooms, Kenya trees, green button polyps, 2 orange caps and a worm rock. <Mmm, can be difficulties mixing Anemones with other Cnidarian groups...> Ok, onto the questions.. I was wondering if it's common for corals to "come back to life"? I have, er had rather, a brown Acropora with neon blue tips which was growing very well and rather quickly I might add. Well a while back I found myself in a ridiculous ongoing battle with some algae. It started with red slime so I treated for that, <With? Not a chemical Algicide I hope/trust> and then after that was under control, it was green hair algae. No matter how often I tried cleaning the algae off of the Acro, it was relentless in covering it. So with that said, my Acro died, I'm guessing from not getting the light it needed or food for that matter. I've recently been able to get the algae under control and can actually see my rocks again!! <Keep saving, planning for that refugium...> The other day though, I noticed that a few branches on my Acro are a very bright neon green and if I look close enough it looks like some tiny brown polyps are sticking out. Is this normal? And can I expect it to turn back to the original color? <Yes, happens> My other question is more just out of curiosity, I just added the LTA a week or so ago. I've noticed that neither of my clowns bother with it during the daytime. At night though, my male will hang out in it until shortly after the lights come back on. Then it will go back to his normal hangout which is right next to a small mystery anemone. It hitched a ride into my tank quite a long time ago and I just let it be. Oddly enough though, the female doesn't hang out near either anemone, nor does it usually hang out with my male. I guess I find this odd because I've never really seen a pair of clowns that don't stay together very often. Just wondering if you had any insight...? <Sure.... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd2.htm the lower tray... Clownfishes, Behavior...> Thanks a lot in advance! Betillo P.S. The pics in order are... 1. The way my blue tipped Acro used to look 2. the Acro's green arms now, and if you'll look to the left of the sea hare, you'll see my "mystery" anemone 3. my LTA 4. a shot of my male maroon in the LTA after the lights had been out for a few hours(I just turned on the actinics for a moment to get a quick shot) <You have some real possible troubles coming Betillo... I strongly encourage your assiduous use of the search tool/indices on WWM, reaction to avoiding them. Seek out the terms I've listed above... and read. Bob Fenner>


90 Gallon Reef Stocking Advice 2/6/09 Afternoon! <Hello Jessy here> I'd like a second opinion on my stocking levels of a 90 gallon reef aquarium. I currently have sloping substrate from less than an inch to 4 inches across the long end of my tank. I have about 120lbs of liverock, about 25lbs of which reside in my 30gallon sump. I keep my aquarium at a consistent 1.024/1.025 salinity and have not been able to record any traces of nitrate, nitrite, or ammonia over the past two years. Since introducing my corals have never seen any signs of Cyano and I grow Chaeto in my sump. <Sounds like utopia :)> My critters include: 2 False Percula Clowns 1 Yellow-headed Jawfish 1 Kole Tang 1 fairy wrasse 1 yellow-tailed blue damsel 1 peppermint shrimp 1 tuxedo urchin 1 Hawaiian feather duster a few scarlet hermits 1 unidentified larger black mithrax type crab potentially a mantis or pistol shrimp (I already caught one mantis from a shipment of liverock over a year ago) hammer corals, some zoo's, mushrooms, and a donut coral (?) Since I've had stellar water quality and my tank seems bare at times, I'm thinking that I can likely add one or two more specimens. The current residents have been happy together for well over a year. There is a beautiful Potters Angel at a reputable supplier here... he's had him for about two weeks now. I do have the 4 ft long tank with plenty of cover in the corals/rockwork but read that the Potters should be in a 100gallon+ system. I'm pushing about 110gallons through my reef system with about 80 gallons in my actual tank (water level reduced to accommodate a Tunze Wavebox). <I wouldn't advise you do the Potters angel. They hide in the rocks a lot and are prone to nipping at your corals. Not to mention the hard to keep rating they get across the board.> Do you feel I am currently stocked to healthy capacity? <I think if you keep up with your waste export and water changes you can afford another small fish> Do you feel a Potter's Angel or any other Centropyge would be suitable that would leave my corals alone? If not an angel, any other peaceful recommendations? I'm familiar with most species but always value your own opinions on character and beauty of your favorite fish. <Angels of any kind are always a risk for corals. I have a cherub angel and it doesn't touch a thing, but I've found many people didn't have my luck. There are LOTS of fish you can do in your 90 gallon tank. I can't rightly tell you which is the best color/temperament mix for your tastes, but some of my favorite fish are wrasses. I notice you have one, but yellow Coris wrasses, solorensis wrasses, and the like are some of my favorites. I also LOVE gobies. Trimma gobies, Eviota gobies, Rainfordi, hectors...they are some of my favorite and so tiny you can afford to put more than one in. Trimma and Eviota gobies tend to stay out in the open so you could enjoy a nice little trio. Hope that helps, Jessy> Dave

Reef Safe Butterfly Fish? 2/4/09 Hello WetWebMedia. <Hi Kai> I am considering adding a butterflyfish for my reef tank. My tank contains ONLY LPS and soft corals. In terms of reef-safe butterflies, I have boiled down my choices to a Copperband, a Long Nosed Butterflyfish and a Semilarvatus butterfly <I'd cross this one off from your list. Can be difficult to acclimate and likely the least reef friendly.> I have had experience with a Copperband before. Survived for 2 months until a power outage killed it. It was eating everything including pellets too...what a rare find. <Absolutely!> Anyway, my question is, how reef-safe are they? Some people say 50% some say 70%, but they all give different statistics... I know it is hard to give an exact value as every fish is different. However, which out of the 3 do you think is the best choice? <My choice would be the Long Nose, but no butterfly fish can be completely trusted in a reef tank, it is the chance one must take if a butterfly fish is desired in a reef system.> I have read somewhere before that you can tell what the fishes eat by the shape of their mouths? In this case, the Copperband and the Longnose both have....long mouths....probably for reaching into crevices for worms and other inverts? <Yep, the will destroy any sessile worm population you might have.> The semilarvatus butterfly has a short stubby mouth for coral polyps? I am quite uncertain and I do not know if the material that I have read is true or false. I would really appreciate the help you have to offer :) I really don't mind any of the 3 choices haha. Except maybe the semilarvatus....it has the potential to outgrow my tank. <All your choices need more room than you are providing. I would not recommend putting any butterfly fish in your tank. Chances for success are best when kept in large systems. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm> My tank is only 3X2X2 feet. Best regards- <Cheers, and now we have a groupie following. Mmm, might be better than a roadie. James (Salty Dog)> Kai, your number 1 groupie

Re: Marks appearing on fish... reef? fish sel. f'? 1/25/09 Hi Bob, sorry to bother you again, just got a quick one regarding the C. hawaiiensis you suggested. These are real beauty's, I've just enquired about them at a local LFS, they go for around £100 over here for a small specimen!! <Wowzah~!> With this hefty price tag in mind do you think one of these could live happily in my tank? <I do> They seem to grow pretty big and I have no plans to upgrade any time soon. Cheers, Nick <This species is about "par" for the genus (Ctenochaetus) in terms of growth rate... is typically very hardy... Please read my article here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chevytang.htm Bob Fenner>

Reef Safe Schooling Fish 01/18/09 Hi all, been awhile since I wrote. My question of the day: I would like to get some schooling fish. I need reef safe and have ruled out Anthias because of their size, also understanding they constantly fight for pecking order within their group. Seems a poor choice unless I could house a huge school. Another I've ruled out is the Blue Chromis. Again, it's their size. I understand I could start with tiny ones, but know they will end up bigger than I want. I was told a Firefish -shown as a Goby on some sights and in the Dart fish family on others - would be a good choice but in my research it looks like they prefer to pair off so that tells me they would fight until they are down to 2 or less if there is no potential to make a pair. <Hmm, I don't know why you might assume this, but it is not so in my experience/understanding. They are quite peaceful fish. They do like to pair, or form groups of 3. I don't think it's common for them to fight when there are more than 3. They might form separate groups, but I've never heard of these separate groups not getting along in an appropriately sized tank.> But the Firefish is the size I was thinking would work best. I hope to add a Butterfly at some point in the future. <How do you not have room for Anthias, but have room for a Butterfly? How big do you want this school of fish to be?> Advice needed: Should I give up on the idea of having school of something or are their plenty out there for home aquariums but not noted as such? I need peaceful reef safe and of course I know you need to know information about my community. Here's my information Tank: 180 gallon FOWLR . Fish: Foxface, Percula Clown, Coral Beauty, Six Line Wrasse, Diamond Goby, Yellowtail Damsel. Other Critters: Red Fire Shrimp, Arrow Crab, 1 lg. Blue leg Hermit, 25 dwarf Blue leg hermits, 3 Emerald crabs, 25 scarlet hermit crabs, 1 Sally Lightfoot Corals: Mushroom corals. Note: We plan to explore Button Polyps or Zoo's that will handle low light but not until we replace our wet/dry system with a closed loop filter system. Our existing sump has too many baffles so we're in the process of ordering a new sump for the skimmer as always! ...one thing leads to another, huh? In closing, may I share with anyone reading this post to heed the advice this site gives, especially their warnings. Take the limitations of your home aquarium serious. No matter what kind of water box you're keeping, understand it's best to select specimens with highly proven track records for tank life <indeed> and leave it to Captain Kirk or marine biologists to go where no man has gone before! <And/or the very experienced/responsible/intelligent aquarists.> Thanks in advance for your help, <Best to keep reading/researching/pondering. You seem to be aware of your choices here. :-)> Debi aka fiskybizniz <Best, Sara M.>
Re: Reef Safe Schooling Fish 01/19/09
As always, thanks for a prompt reply....and your reply is interesting. It was left unstated if I have discovered all my possibilities? As for the Firefish, one of your sponsors (name intentionally deleted) advised a group of 5 or more would be a good choice. <This is usually the case with any schooling fish, yes. The problem is that Firefish don't truly "school" that often in aquariums. I'm sorry I didn't take the time to explain this earlier.> Bio's I could find about the Firefish else remain unstated and/or do not confirm enough particulars about schooling and staying in a school. <You're asking for concrete answers when there are only uncertain ones available. There are so many variables to consider with the individual fish and the system you might be putting them into. No one can tell you what's going to happen with absolute certainty. There is also a problem with the understood definition of "schooling." With true schooling, the fish move together, react together, etc. Firefish don't so much "school" as they do congregate.> Does anyone there at Webmedia know if Firefish 1) school as long as they don't have a mate? <They will likely school/congregate in any event. Once they have a mate, the pair might stick more closely together... but I doubt they would entirely alienate themselves from the group, if they wouldn't otherwise.> 2) School until they hook up with a mate and then split from the group? <They might. Again, they're not great "schoolers." It's more as if they tend to congregate at times.> 3) Or stay with a pack no matter? <They're not going to stay in the pack all the time no matter what. Mate or no mate, the group is likely to disband occasionally/frequently.> 4) Fight with each other till they have a pair and if no chance of a pair, fight till there is only one? <They will "fight" occasionally (more like chase each other). And if they're going to fight, they're going to fight/chase each other for any number of reasons... might have nothing to do with being able to pair or not.> Only information I have been able to find was their desire to pair and split and/or fight with others of their own kind. What does that mean? <It means they don't really school so much as they congregate.> You leave me a little confused about Anthias? Are you saying I could house a school of them in my size tank? <You have a 180g tank, correct? In such a size tank, I think you could have 4 Bartlett's Anthias (a good, hardy schooling fish).> As for my Butterfly idea, I hear ya. Some can grow quite large and/or be very needy for lots of territory. I would love a Saddleback but I have not conducted my research to find out if it's a good fit or another one for Captain Kirk. <Not a fish for the newbie, but not quite impossible either. I'd definitely put off acquiring one.> Speaking of CK, did I oops on my comment about marine biology? I did not mean to imply those in our hobby need a degree to aspire. <No worries, I didn't take it that way.> It was a comment to support the depth of the hobby. I hope I didn't offend anyone. <I don't think you did... don't see why anyone would take offense. I wasn't offended. :-) Cheers, Sara M.>

Re: Stocking my 75 reef 1/17/09 Hello again, <Brian> After some reading, I'm still left with a couple more questions. In one of the posts, It appeared that the advice given was to add clowns last or later because of their aggressiveness. Did I read that right? <Mmm, not really... tank-bred/reared Clownfish can be added most any time> While on the topic of clowns. A LFS (Inland Aquatics) <Ah yes. MorganL is a friend... have been there in Terre Haute, IN> sells very small juvenile percula's. My kids love them (they are very cute) but I wonder what the drawbacks will be to buying such small specimens. <As long as they're not inhaled... no problem. Due to their warning color and behavior, many fishes leave them alone at any size> Also, I loved my Heniochus butterfly from my last tank. Would it be possible to have the 2 clowns, 1 blenny, 1 goby, 3-5 chromis, 1 angel (taking suggestions) and 3 Heniochus butterfly's without overloading the system? <Mmm, not in a 75 gallon tank, no> I've heard/read that the Heniochus do better in groups of 3, is that true? <If there's sufficient room, yes> I've also heard/read that the Heniochus is usually safe in a reef, is that true? <Is high on such a scale> My last Heniochus didn't touch my coral, so my fingers are crossed. Again, I have a 75g, Eshopps mud sump with Fiji mud, live rock and Biohome with lots of macro algae, Tunze skimmer and the tank flows at just over 10 times per hour. <I'd stick with one or two "Heni's" here, and no angel. Bob Fenner>

Expanding from FOWLR to Reef ~ 01/10/08 Hello crew! <<Howdy Karen!>> Thanks for such a wonderful site. <<On behalf of the Crew, you're quite welcome>> You have saved me from many disasters. <<Truly good to know>> I began a 30 gallon FOWLR on 1/1/08 and expanded to a 46 bowfront 11/08. <<Hehe'¦ And so it begins'¦>> It currently has about 60 lbs. of cultured live rock and 80 lbs. of live sand. It has the following livestock, most of which has been with me from the beginning. I know I need to re-home some before starting to stock the reef (and too many damsels), which is hard to do because they have all grown on me. Suggestions on who to re-home would be great. <<Okey-dokey>> No fuge or sump due to lack of space, <<Bummer>> Bak-Pak2 skimmer/filter with two additional powerheads. Little livestock loss during first year, with one outbreak of ich due to poor care, before I found this site. <<I see>> 1 green Mandarin (6 months, fat and sassy and eating frozen mysis. Also supplemented monthly with a bottle of Tiggerpods) <<I'm glad to see the Mandarin is eating prepared foods'¦ And is likely the only reason it has survived in a system of this size>> 1 green File fish <<Hmm'¦ This might be Monacanthus hispidus or maybe Acreichthys tomentosus, but either way, the Filefish will have to go/should not be included in a reef tank>> 1 blue tail Damsel 2 Bluefin Damsels (larger one is becoming dominate over others in tank) 2 blue Damsels 2 Tomato Clowns 1 Chocolate Starfish <<As in Chocolate Chip Starfish? This too, I would not place in a reef tank>> 1 red Serpent Starfish 1 Sally Lightfoot Crab <<Many hobbyists have them, but I am not a fan of crabs (except maybe for some of the *Acro* crabs) in reef tanks'¦ Most all (including hermits) are too opportunistic for my liking. But the choice is yours>> 1 Pencil Urchin 1 small green Urchin 1 small brown Urchin (hitchhiker) <<The Urchins are also a problem in my opinion/experience. Keep them for the reef tank if you like them'¦ But keep a close watch and be ready to relocate if (when) they turn on your corals>> 4 Turbo Snails 8 small Hermit Crabs Thanks for your suggestions. Karen <<Happy to share'¦ Good luck with the new system. EricR>>

Stocking Suitability, reef Hi Bob/Crew Building a new tank due to various inadequacies in the existing 120gal bowfront. Have been dreaming of this from a long time and want top do it right the first time. Hence, this might get to be a long mail :) Can this stocking (given below) be done SUCESSFULLY for a long term? Tank specs 5x2x2 feet 5"DSB 18" water column 160 pounds LR arranged into a single structure of one big solitary boulder (3.5'Lx1.5'Wx1'H). This structure would contain 2 caves. One big cave (2'Lx1'Wx1'H) and 1 medium cave to serve as a cleaning station. Corals Only leather corals (species display) maybe 10 individuals approx and one big artificial Acropora colony for the chromis. Is it safely possible to add 1 Zoanthid colony (maybe mixed color) and 1 moon coral ??????? <Please see WWM re Zoanthids... Selection, Compatibility, Systems> these 2 guys have been with me for the past 1 year and I'd hate to give them away :( Invertebrates 3 to 4 cleaner shrimp A few starfish (including an existing 1+ year old blue Linckia). <Congrats!> A few feather dusters. Fish 15 green chromis (main focus of the tank) 5 Banggai cardinals 1 regal tang 3 canary wrasse Filtration would be 5' DSB in tank 3' RDSB not illuminated(below tank) AquaC EV 180 running of a quiet one 3000 The skimmer will be put in the right hand side corner of the display tank inside the overflow chamber. Overflow chamber would be 6" in the side of tank. Do you see any problems with this? <Mmm, no> Lighting Two 150w MH 14000k One 10000k 36w CFL Circulation Single Vortech and one Chinese brand 5000 LPH propeller pump (a Koralia clone) Three 1" overflows in the side and one return pump of 3K LPH. Return chamber is 12"x24"x20" Misci 6"x24"x20" water top off chamber to run off a toilet flush ball. 6"x24"x20" saltwater mixing chamber so the salt water can be mixed for a week before adding. Both of these will also act as emergency overflows from the sump in case of the return pump failing or a power outage (over and above the inverter and battery backup). <Good planning> What do you think? Will this be maintainable? <Should be> Will the Banggai cardinals try to host my toadstool leather thinking it is an anemone? <Possibly> Do you see any problems? <Not with what you state, no> Cheers Ranjith <Bob Fenner>

Fish Recommendation for a reef, grounding probe maint., Clown comp. 12/5/08 Dear Crew, You've helped me very much, both through the information you post and the emails you have answered. I was hoping you could help me out with these questions as well. I'm looking to add one more fish ( I might add a second S. nematodes and/or a pair of Green Clown gobies but am undecided ) to my tank and am looking for recommendations. The tank is a 65 gallon+ 20 gallon sump with about 50 lbs ( dry weight ) of live rock and another 20 lbs in the sump, a 6" sandbed, and too much Bryopsis ( skimmer was out of commission for a while and have been relying on water changes as often as time permits but now its repaired). The skimmer is an Octopus Recirculating NW-150 skimmer and lights are 2x175w MH and The criteria are: 1.) Reef safe 2.) Small enough to live comfortably in my tank without overwhelming it ( I hate seeing 12" fish in a 20" tank with no room to swim and act naturally ) 3.) Vibrant and colorful - I'm hoping to make it a centerpiece fish for the tank 4.) Peaceful 5.) Relatively hardy 6.) If it eats Bryopsis or red Planaria, that's a big plus <Mmm, not much that fits this bill...> 7.) Prefer something that's $50 or less. I'm leaning towards a dwarf angel ( Coral Beauty, Eibli or Flame ) but am wary of taking the chance. I've also been considering a Leopard Wrasse (getting mixed reviews ) or a fairy wrasse ( though I wasn't sure if a lone male would maintain its coloring, but am not sure my tank can handle a pair) <Some species would do so likely> The current inhabitants are: 2 True Perculas 2 Purple Firefish gobies 1 Pink Spotted Shrimp Goby - Cryptocentrus leptocephalus 3 PJ Cardinals 1 High Fin Red Banded Goby ( I've seen different common names ) - Stonogobiops nematodes 1 Diadema urchin 1 Bulls-eye Pistol Shrimp 2 Peppermint Shrimp 2 Cleaner Shrimp Orange Mantle conch Assorted snails, hermits, etc 1 Condy anemone ( my one impulse buy and probably getting rid of it ) Corals are a mixture but only a few <http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/autolink.php?id=4&forumid=46&script=sho wthread> SPS and I don't plan on adding more. <I would pass on a Centropyge Angel here... unless one of the "dwarf dwarves" will satisfy you. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwfdwfangels.htm The gobies listed would be good choices, though not really "center pieces" unless a person were to seek them out, know they're there most of the time. I am inclined to encourage your further considering a Cirrhilabrus species here... Active, colorful... interesting behaviorally... and w/in your stated budget... though neither a flatworm nor Bryopsis consumer.> <And Neale has responded to your FW queries... In future, please isolate/send your questions one topic/subject at a time. Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Stocking For a 75 Gallon Tank, reef 12/4/08 Crew, <Zach> I have a 75 gallon reef with LPSs, Zoas and mushrooms. As of now my tank is barely stocked with a pair of Ocellaris Clowns and a Royal Gramma. I know I definitely want to add a Copperband Butterfly, and I am stuck between two options to finish. <Although Copperbands are known to be relatively safe with corals, you still take the risk in adding one. Any tubeworms present will definitely be goners. Do read here before making your decision. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmon.htm> I was thinking a school of about 5 Pajama Cardinals or a male female pair of Pink Square <Squareback> Anthias (Pseudanthias pleurotaenia). Would either option be viable? Could I even add both or would that be pushing it?? <The Pink Squareback Anthias requires a larger tank than what you have, a 125 would be more accommodating. They are also semi-aggressive. I'd be sticking with the PJ's. James (Salty Dog)> Zach

Reef/ sump plumbing and Stocking question 12/2/08 Hello all, <Hello Randy.> I have a few plumbing and stocking questions. First the plumbing questions. I am setting up a 72 bow reef with a 30 gallon (36") custom sump below. The sump will contain a twin sump inlet assembly with 1-300 micron bag, 1 -ASM G3 skimmer, 4 over/under baffles and then a 10x12x13 return pump area. I will be drilling the tank and adding www.glass-holes.com's in tank overflow kit. With the sump there should be aprox 90 gallons of water(80 with rock added-guessing??). I will be adding a 3/4"SCWD on the return for varied output flow. And there will be a Hydro Koralia #3 in tank powerhead. Is the Mag return w/SCWD and 1 Koralia going to be enough flow? Should I add a second Koralia #3? <I would, you will not have too much through the return with the Mag and the SCWD combined. You will have a more balanced flow with the extra powerhead.> I know there is no such thing as too much flow (within reason). <The application of the flow is just as important. Random, not laminar.> With this said, should I go with 2- 1" lines into my sump or 2- 1.5" lines into the sump? <Definitely the 1.5" lines, you do not want to restrict the overflow drains.> If I go with the 2 1.5" lines and the 3/4 "Y" setup on the SCWD which MAG pump do you recommend? The MAG7.5 or 9.5?? <The larger will still leave you redundancy in the overflow once head and plumbing are accounted for. I would go for the 9.5.> I would like to get it matched as close as possible. I have heard that using a partially closed valve on the return side (or any side) can cause potential blockage over time as debris accumulates. <If you are referring to the overflow, do not restrict at all! As for the pump, you can restrict the output if need be, you will not need to here.> If I use the 2- 1.5" feeds, should I step up to 1" returns from the MAG to the SCWD(I believe that both devices have 3/4" male NPT fittings), and then 3/4" from the SCWD to the tank. <Little to nothing to gain over the ¾" for the run it will have.> I am thinking about drilling the returns and using bulkheads, what is your thoughts on this? Any issues, advise? <You can IF you have sufficient transit volume in the sump, the amount of water that will drain or siphon into the sump when the return pump is off. Otherwise, just plumbing it over the top to a length of LocLine allows you to place the return just below the water's surface, minimizing this volume.> Also, is the ASM G3 skimmer to big for only the 80 gallons of water? <No, a fine size for this system.> Will it over skim? <I'm not a believer within reason.> Should I put it on a time, for how long? I had it on my 120 and loved it for skimmate collection. <Just let it run and collect nasties.> Now for the stocking. Can you tell me the best tang for a disease free reef tank? I am leaning toward either a purple or a yellow eye/Kole?? Do you think that these fish will work together? <I would stick with just the Ctenochaetus strigosus in this size tank.> I know I'm at max. Currently have-1 yellow watchman, 1 Ocelers. clown, 2 yellow tail damsels---Would like to add, a ick resistant tang, 1 midas blenny (will he work with the watchman?), <Chances are good they will clash.> 2 neon gobies, 1 royal gramma, 1 flasher or fairy wrasse, 1 six line wrasse, <Be aware these can be bullies and put any shrimp in your tank at risk.> and possibly a pair of Banggai cardinal fish. Do you have a preferred flasher or fairy wrasse that is recommended for price, availability, and beauty? <Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis in my book. Do be sure to cover the tank for any of these wrasses, they are jumpers.> Thanks for your time and devotion to our hobby, Randy <Welcome and thank you, Scott V.>

Stocking Level for new 75 Gallon 11/30/08 Hi WWM Crew: <Matt> I love your site! You helped me tremendously with my Nano, which has now been running successfully for about two years. I just bought a 75 gallon (to be reef) aquarium. It is four feet long, two feet wide, 15" tall. I would appreciate your feedback on my proposed fish stocking. Here's my thinking for stocking in order of planned introduction. I've spent hours going through your stocking FAQs, but couldn't resisting asking about my own plans. Two Purple Firefish. Midas Blenny Mystery or Four Line Wrasse Pair of "Picasso" Clowns <Oooh, expensivo> Coral Beauty or Flame Angel (are either of these less aggressive / more "reef" friendly?) <About the same... some folks would give more points to the former> I'm tempted to add a Kole or Yellow Tang to this list, but think it might be "too much fish, too much of a crowd." What's your advice on this? <Would be fine here. My choice would be the Ctenochaetus> Thanks so much in advance, Matt <Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking Level for new 75 Gallon 11/30/08
Thanks!! I will go with the Coral Beauty and the Ctenochaetus (which I now know is another name for the genus to which Kole Tang belongs :) ). Matt <Ah, good. BobF>

Humbled by the Aquarium... Premnas Anemone sel., Lion, et al. for... a reef 11/28/08 Dear Sir / Madam, <Hello there Carl> Like most, I wanted to open by voicing my appreciation for the invaluable information that you provide. I would also like to say that, in the short time I have been keeping a marine tank, I have been thoroughly humbled by the beauty, gracefulness and splendour that the hobby has provided. I must warn you, I also suffer from verbal maximus..... <Heeee, you're in good company here> I currently have a 4foot, by 2 foot by 2 foot aquarium (With 2 2 2 sump). I have a pair of Maroon clowns, the male being a third of the size of the female. The tank has been running for about 6 months with plenty of live rock and regular water changes. A few soft corals here and there too. I added a purple tang (magnificent creature) last month and all has been going swimmingly (Pun thoroughly intended). It has all been a joy to behold. Anyway, i'm waffling, I wondered if there were any, anemone that might be suitable? <Mmm, there are a few species... of not-naturally associated Actinarians... but/and my fave choice is... and the Bubble Tip, Entacmaea quadricolor... would be best... a specimen of good size, captive-produced if available.. to start with, to "take on" the initial abuse of your Premnas (they can be very hard on their symbionts)> Having read up a fair bit, it seems the carpets may well consume any fish I add in the future. So I do not wish to add this species. Would any other be suitable for the clowns? That would not sting / eat or do anything particularly disturbing to future / current inhabitants? <I agree re eschewing carpet species... there are others, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm all/any could/might sting future inhabitants, perhaps cause significant negative interaction with your existing and future Cnidarians> Also, I am currently reading plenty on the lionfish. I would like to add a lionfish radiata. <Mmm... I would not... particularly should you add an anemone here... for one, it will very likely consume at least your male Clown... for two, in this small volume, squarish shaped system, it will very likely "run into" the anemone in time> Although seemingly hard to come by. I appreciate that the little clown may well be a snack, so may rehome. What are your thoughts on a lionfish in with a purple tang? <These are fine together... unless the Tang is quite small, the lion large... but otherwise won't pick on each other> I would also, in the coming months like to include a Flame Angel (again a slight risk with the corals). Compatible? Will the angel nip at the lion? <Fine enough with the corals likely... more likely to nip the Lion though> Many thanks and warmest regards from the UK. Carl. <And to you from getting-sunnier S. Ca. Bob Fenner>

Please Review Proposed Stocking List 11/25/08 Hi crew, <Richard> Thanks for the comments and encouragement from Scott V. on the proposed design for flow rates and how I achieve them in my tank. As a reminder my wife and I are building a new home and will be putting what is actually a 280 gallon, 72 x 30 x 30 reef tank as a divider between the foyer and the great room. In the basement below will sit a 100-150 gallon sump/refugium with a minimal size (depending on skimmer needs) skimmer section, a 50 gallon central sump section and the rest dedicated to a refugium containing a DSB, live rock and macroalgae. Overflow from tank will be split between the skimmer section and refugium with a ball valve allowing me to control flow through the 'fuge. <Sounds like a great project> My next design task has been to determine a stocking list. This has been done with the help of my kids (who each had their own preferences as to which fish should be in the tank), books and a lot of reading. We picked the fish we liked, aiming for a range of colours and functionality within the tank. My aim is for a relatively peaceful community tank so if the experts on this site could cast their eyes over the following list and let me know the answers to these questions: 1. Do I have too many fish? I feel volume wise I have enough water to cope with the load but is 25 fish in this size space going to look too crowded? <Not too many, no> 2. Is the Flame Angel going to cause trouble? <No> How about the 3 different varieties of Wrasse? <These will do fine in this size setting... though I might either add female/s here... to generate interest, boost color...> Or the Tangs (though I plan to add them together)? <Also fine... though the Powder Blue can be challenging to find/make "clean" in terms of initial health, parasite load...> 3. What about when inverts and corals are added? I'm assuming they add to the bioload, do I have the capacity to add them with this extensive stocking list? <Can be placed once the system is stable... a month or more... and can be added with what you list fish-wise... No outright corallivores> 4. Any other comments you would make? <Mmm, none that "jump out"> Fish Max. Length Total Length Temperament Diet Quantity Orchid Dottyback 3.0 3.0 Somewhat aggressive when defending territory. Provide hiding places Primarily Carnivorous 1 Royal Gramma 3.0 3.0 Aggressive towards other Grammas. Provide Hiding Places Primarily Carnivorous. 1 Banggai Cardinalfish 3.0 6.0 Aggression between non-mated pairs. Primarily Carnivorous 2 Flame Angelfish 4.0 4.0 May nip at LPS corals, Zoanthids and tridacnid clams Omnivorous 1 Ocellaris Anemonefish 3.5 7.0 Will fight other clown species. Omnivorous 2 Blue Green Chromis 3.5 21.0 No Issues Omnivorous 6 Scott's Fairy Wrasse 4.0 4.0 No Issues Primarily Carnivorous. 1 Lamarck's Angelfish 9.0 9.0 No Issues Omnivorous, plankton eater 1 Solar Fairy Wrasse 5.0 5.0 No Issues Carnivorous 1 Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse 3.0 9.0 No Issues Carnivorous 3 Neon Goby 2.0 4.0 Territorial towards other Gobies Carnivorous 2 Sleeper Banded Goby 6.0 6.0 Territorial towards other Sleeper Banded Gobies Omnivorous 1 Yellow Tang 8.0 16.0 Territorial towards other Tangs. Add all Tangs together Herbivorous 2 Powder Blue Tang 9.0 9.0 Territorial towards other Tangs. Add all Tangs together Herbivorous 1 Thanks in advance for your answers Richard Cullen <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

240 Reef Stocking Question 11/17/08 Hello Crew, <<Hiya Michele>> Just taking advantage of your generous help AGAIN with a stocking question. <<Okey-dokey>> Thanks as always! <<You betcha!>> The tank stats are 240 gallon reef display, 600 gallons in system with sump, fuge, frag tank etc., 200 pounds live rock in display with more in sump. Rock is arranged to allow lots of open water column for swimming. Livestock includes mixed LPS and SPS, typical cleanup crew, cleaner and peppermint shrimp, Naso tang, Two-barred rabbitfish, Yellow tang, Sargassum triggerfish, mated pair of Mandarin dragonets, pair of Clarkii clownfish, and 4 McCosker's wrasses (3 females and 1 male). Tank is very peaceful except for the Clarkii clowns which are going to be replaced with a pair of tank raised Ocellaris clowns currently in QT as soon as we figure out how to catch the Clarkiis! <<Mmm, should prove challenging indeed>> All inhabitants have been together for several years except the wrasses which were added a month or so ago. So the question, we would like to add a Copperband butterfly because we have been fighting aiptasia and we like the fish. <<Don't get your hopes up too much re this fish and Aiptasia control as many will simply ignore them after a few weeks/months in captivity if they took to eating them at all. A much better solution for Aiptasia control in my opinion is the excellent product from Red Sea called Aiptasia-X. Believe me, this stuff is easy to apply (compared to direct injection like that required with most any other chemical application) and it works very well. Its still no panacea re Aiptasia control, and it takes a bit of time and effort still to be rid of these pests but this is the best stuff for this to come along in a long time, in my opinion>> Would we be overstocked with this fish? <<Should be fine'¦ But successfully acclimating these fish to captivity can be difficult though a large and mature system such as yours is of great benefit re>> I think we are okay water quality wise, but I worry about stress with too many "big" fish. <<I don't see any problem here>> We know it's a hard keeper and if you give us the okay, we will look for a specimen already eating and of course QT it. <<Very good'¦ But if the fish goes on a hunger strike or otherwise begins to decline in the QT, I would move it to the display straight away>> Second stocking question...the Clarkii clowns will switch places with the Ocellaris clowns and move to the current QT tank. It's a 100 gallon tank with about 75 pounds live rock and some mushrooms and zoos. I know, not the standard QT, but it is not in line with our main system and has been very convenient to use for observation of new fish. <<Okay>> We are planning on stocking this tank soon and wanted your opinion. Would we be overstocked with the Clarkii pair, a Harlequin Tuskfish, and one other fish for algae control (probably flame angel or Zebrasoma tang species)? <<Not at all'¦ Though ideally, the Tuskfish (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/choerodon/faciata.htm) would be added before the Clowns as they will otherwise certainly establish dominance and behave aggressively towards this peaceful wrasse, making its acclimation difficult>> Thanks as always for your opinion! Michele <<Happy to share. EricR>>
Re: 240 Reef Stocking Question - 11/19/08
EricR, <<Michele>> Thanks for the advice on stocking and Aiptasia control. <<Hope it proves helpful>> We have used Aiptasia-X with limited success. <<Hmm'¦ Really? All my observations of/experiences with this product have proven to be nothing short of fantastic, by comparison. I do truly think it outperforms anything else currently available>> Perhaps we just need to be more persistent with it and hit them daily instead of every week or so. <<Ah! Yes! The little buggers can/will multiply faster than you can keep up at that rate. Daily strafing runs are best in the beginning'¦ Once it appears you have won (don't be fooled, you haven't), weekly observations/treatments will keep them under control>> Thanks for the advice on the Tusk, no matter what fish we go with in the 100, we will stick the clowns in the fuge and then add them last to the tank because they have certainly become the terrors. <<Very good>> Can I bug you for one more suggestion? <<Certainly>> When we added the McCosker's to the 240 about a month ago, they all dove for the rock work and hid several days as expected. <<Okay>> Since then they have all come out of hiding and seem to have lost any fear or shyness. <<This is my experience with these neat little fishes as well>> They stay out even when the big fish swim by and all are eating. <<Yes'¦ And will continue as long as they aren't actively picked upon>> The problem is when they came out of hiding, the three females were on one side of the tank and the male was on the other side. <<This is likely a young male that is not yet at the harem building stage>> Even though it's been a month, they have not seemed to found each other yet. <<I assure you they have found/are quite aware of one another >> The male has ventured about halfway across the tank and has surely seen the females, but he just stays on his side of the tank. <<This will probably change/the group will probably come together with time; unless the dominant female of the three changes to a male in the interim. But there's really nothing for you to do but wait and see what happens>> About a week ago, one of the females found the one uncovered hole and made her way to the overflow. Disaster was stopped by mesh placed for such an occasion, so she was easily removed and we placed her with the male. Now we have 2 on each side of the tank. <<Ahh'¦>> Should we panic yet? <<About'¦? It is what it is'¦ I would simply let things �play out�>> Will one of the two females that are together change to a male if the group doesn't get together soon? <<Is a possibility'¦ It is also possible that if this starts to happen the current male will take notice and try to put a stop to it by asserting himself more and bringing the entire group together. But again, all you can really do is watch and see>> Will the one female have too much harassment from the male with no other females to spread out the aggression? <<This too is a possibility. If you do end up with two males and they somehow decide to coexist, then the addition of more females (added to each end/each males territory in turn) may become necessary>> Is a month still early and surely they will find each other in time? <<This is probable I think. It may even be that they all �come together� now at night without your knowledge>> We can't figure out a way to get one pair to move to the other side of the tank since catching them would surely be harder than catching the Clarkii clowns will be! <<I wouldn't even try>> They all schooled together nicely in the 100 gallon QT despite being the only fish, so we thought they would surely stay together in a tank with larger, potentially intimidating fish. <<These fish have relatively small territories (by comparison with most of the fishes we keep). I wouldn't have thought it likely in a 6-foot tank, but perhaps you will end up with two harems here>> Anyhoo, there are probably no answers here other than wait and see, <<Ah yes'¦>> but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. <<You have mine>> Thanks as always for an awesome site that I spend WAY too much time reading! Michele <<Hmm'¦ Sir Francis Bacon is noted as saying'¦ �Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted but to weigh and consider�'¦ There's plenty of contradiction, too much taken for granted, and everything to be weighed and considered, in this wonderful hobby of ours. So, keep on reading my friend! Cheers, Eric Russell>>

75 Reef Stocking/Reading 11/1/08 Bob, <Scott V. with you today.> I have written to you a couple of times about my stocking plans for my 75. I have almost completed them. As of now my specs are: 100 lbs LR, 75 lbs LS, 3 refugiums - 2 with gracilaria, one with chaeto. Phosban w/Phosban media, and Coralife 125 super skimmer. My inverts are 15 turbo snails, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 Mythrax and one 10" tiger tail cucumber. <Do see WWM re the latter two, there is some risk with these.> Fish are: 2 Heniochus diphreutes, one royal gramma, 2 Ocellaris clowns, 1 mandarin dragonet. Corals are Zoanthids, acans, candycanes, and a few Kenya trees. My future corals will be similar (zoas, lps, shrooms). I was looking to add one more fish to the 75, and was thinking about a kole tang, which is why I have so much gracilaria. I was wondering though if I could add a copperband bfly. <You could.> I know they are picky eaters and individuals will have their own agendas in terms of coral picking or submission, but will the cband get along with 2 Heniochus diphreutes? <Hmmm, too crowded for all in a 75 gal.> Do copperbands usually pick at the corals I have? <Can, but not typical. All posted on WWM.> Zach
<Scott V.>

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