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FAQs about Life of the Tropical West Atlantic 1

Related Articles: A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Fishes of the Tropical West Atlantic

Related FAQs: Tropical West Atlantic 2

Longspine Squirrelfish

Acanthurus bahianus and chirurgus I recently found two un-identified tangs at my local supplier. As shown on your page, I have identified them as juvenile Acanthurus Bahianus & Acanthurus Chirurgus. <I concur... these species are what are pictured> They eat like horses and are well behaved, their color changes at the drop of a hat. They are presently in a 66 gallon reef with a Kole and a Powder Blue. I could of never imagined how colorful they became after settling in. It was an experiment and I'm curious to see just how well they will continue to adapt as they mature. <Many organisms are overlooked... due to being so "local"> Your initial comment about them on your site was right on the money for the Bahianus, the Chirurgus so far is about the same yet was quite timid at first. Now the Chirurgus has asserted himself and won't take any guff from anyone. <Good... now about the size of their system... needs to be much larger> The main reason I bought them was the fact I had never seen them offered over the years in any supplier and that you quoted the Chirurgus as "rarely offered in the trade". <Ha! And very abundant in... Florida, and points east and southward...> Worth noting is that the Chirurgus & Bahianus are quoted by many sources as being found together in mixed schools in the wild. <Not that common, but not rare> They stick together like glue much to the dislike of the Bahianus, yet even more amusing is the affinity that the Chirurgus has for my adult Powder Blue Tang. This Chirurgus has an extremely strong schooling instinct, it may be due partly to his small size and immaturity. All in all a good experience so far, find attached pics of the juvenile Chirurgus & Bahianus. As they grow maybe it'll convince the better half that we really do need that 180 gallon that I'm always talking about! <Yes! Bob Fenner> Van Vlaardingen St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
Atlantic Corals ID?!? Hi guys, I've been trying to ID these critters with no real success. Can you help me? Thanks a lot, Mike <easy one, bud... the first image is of the scleractinian known as Star or Starlet coral. Either a Stephanocoenia or Siderastrea species. They are extremely hardy! The second image is of an "Ivory Coral" (can't explain the name)... an Oculina species, though. Not at all easy to keep long term (more than a year) without almost daily feedings. Both are protected species of coral from the Atlantic/Caribbean. The starlets do commonly come in on live rock. The Oculina almost never does. Interesting possessions... please take VERY good care of them... it is rare to have them and it would be such a shame to lose them. That means a spacious tank with a proper mix of corals (avoid/resist soft corals, zoanthids and mushrooms) and no anemones. Best regards, Anthony>

Caribbean Biotype Thank you for such a great reference book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I have literally worn out the cover using it to help me as I learn the hobby with my 55gallon reef tank. <Glad to hear of its usefulness> After reading John Tullock's Natural Reef Aquariums I have decided to setup a Caribbean biotype for my next tank. I am in the planning stages for my new tank(125-150 gallon). I would like to have a French, Blue or Queen Angel. What would suitable tankmates be in keeping with a Caribbean biotype?  <All sorts. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm and the FAQs re these Angels> Would any sponges or gorgonians be possible given the nature of the angels?  <Yes, the Pseudopterygorgia spp. are my choice> Would Any plants other than grape Caulerpa work? Inverts other than snails? <Yes... but you need a larger tank.> I would like to make this more than just a fish with live rock tank. What could you suggest for a grouping of fish/inverts given this size tank if I did not include any large angels? <Please read through WetWebMedia.com re the various groups concerned> Your input is greatly appreciated. For what it's worth I will also be using Bob Smiths ecosystem mud filter. Thanx,
<A good choice. Bob Fenner>

fish IDs Bob, It was nice meeting you and your crew in Cozumel last month. I've visited the WetWebMedia website several times, and I've really enjoyed a lot of the pictures I've seen. I finally got around to scanning a few of the pictures I took, and I'm stumped by a few critters. If you have a chance, please take a look at the pictures accessible via the links below. Perhaps you can shed some light on them for me. http://ocean68.homestead.com/files/images/cozumel/cowry.jpg http://ocean68.homestead.com/files/images/cozumel/filefish.jpg http://ocean68.homestead.com/files/images/cozumel/greenfish.jpg I've looked around a bit, and I think that perhaps I have a Flamingo Tongue Cowry and a Whitespotted Filefish. Does that look right? How about the other guy? Is he a cowfish of some sort? It looks somewhat like the Honeycomb Cowfish shown on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/boxfishes.htm. <Correct on all three! How about coming out to San Diego from time to time and helping me identify what's on all these slides?!> Coming back to Mississippi after the last-minute holiday was tough. Somehow the charms of sitting in front of a computer in the library pale in comparison with remembrances of jumping off a boat into that beautiful blue water. Oh well . . . we play when we can I suppose. Hope you're doing well. Kevin <Come on out with us again... or at least plan, scheme, and dream along with us on going. Will add you to my diving friends email list and reference you to our ongoing dive adventure plans. Be seeing you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Corals for TWA "shallow water"? The artist formerly known as Antoine :-), > Jawfish which is taking a week vacation/hold at Petco. Some vacation >spot, huh? ) ><no comment for the press at this time... (the poor bastard)> Yep poor boy/girl. :-} > shallow. So I was thinking of getting shallower type corals. ><you must pick you coral based on the lighting you have available, my >friend... not the look/layout of the tank> Ok, I have 144 watts of PC light on a 40 breeder. <<I would call this moderate light (or slightly better)... you will have no trouble at all with most common soft corals in the trade>> >I had in mind some polyps and mushrooms. Any ideas here on nice types for my little display? ><Hmmm... most Zoantharians (polyps and mushrooms) are moderate to deep >naturally. If you have fluorescent lights only... then they may be fine anyways> I guess this must be true as I have never seen them snorkeling but have seen lots of SPS,  <<exactly>> and I don't plan to do them even if I had the lighting, which is mainly why I am not doing them-- if that makes any sense, which I'll admit it does not. :-) ><the Zoantharians are good choices overall. Hardy and colorful. Kindly, Anthony> <Ok, then I just go for what I like. I think some Zoantharians, Ricordea (which I might get free?), and hairy mushrooms. Sounds good for someone who doesn't want to spend all her life and $$ on corals, CA reactors, lighting, etc.--des <<agreed! enjoy these hardy denizens and you will not be a slave to water chemistry <wink> Anthony>> 

Corals for TWA "shallow water"? Hi Bob and gang, esp. whoever might answer this, <the artist formerly known as Antoine, here> I haven't bothered you guys for awhile so here goes: I have *finally* gotten Chromis in my main tank after their month quarantine (and waiting around forever for them). I have decided on mostly TWA fish (3 Chromis-- had to settle for green as NM it's hard to get stuff; Pearly headed Jawfish; bicolor blenny-- ok it's a kinder gentler red lip; and Argi angel. I finally got the Jawfish which is taking a week vacation/hold at Petco. Some vacation spot, huh? ) <no comment for the press at this time... (the poor bastard)> The tank has been up for a few months. I am thinking about my corals right now, not that I am quite ready for them. The question is this: the water looks shallow. This is because the sand bed is slanted and runs from 1" to 6". (This is for the Jawfish) I have 55 lbs of LR that is arranged so that most of it is on the shallow end of the sand. This really makes it look quite shallow. So I was thinking of getting shallower type corals.  <you must pick you coral based on the lighting you have available, my friend... not the look/layout of the tank> I had in mind some polyps and mushrooms. Any ideas here on nice types for my little display? <Hmmm... most Zoantharians (polyps and mushrooms) are moderate to deep naturally. If you have fluorescent lights only... then they may be fine anyways> (I will also be having a Cleaner shrimp and some snails.) Oh btw, I know I am taking a calculated risk on the argi, but I really like them! <agreed> Thanks, --des/Jane <the Zoantharians are good choices overall. Hardy and colorful. Kindly, Anthony>

Atlantic Blue Tang Hi guys! I must say that it is wonderful to see people who are so willing to help others as you guys do. I read the new FAQs daily, and have gained a wealth of information from the WWM site. I can't thank you enough for this service! <We all volunteer our time here in the sincere desire to help others, but getting thanked once in a while really helps invigorate us. Thank you!> I have a 60 gallon tank, with 80 pounds of live rock, and 100 pounds of sand (40 of which is live sand). I am almost done cycling, and am in the final selection process of fish. <Bravo! I want to take this opportunity to point out how incredibly smart it is to plan out all your fish before adding any. This avoids many conflicts between species.> My ultimate goal is to have a reef tank with the main focus being blue clams and soft corals <May not be a great choice as clams are filter feeders and many of the soft corals release strong toxins.> though I know that it will be some time before I am ready to try this. I am designing my tank with these long term goals in mind. I have decided that we want 2 Percula clowns, and a royal Gramma. I am looking for one additional fish to add. I was thinking a juvenile Atlantic Blue Tang (Acanthurus coeruleus) but am getting conflicting information. Some places say that they can reach 9 inches (WWM), or that they can reach 13 inches (some other sites). <Burgess's Atlas puts them at 23 cm which is about 9 inches.> The WWM info said they can be kept in a moderate sized tank - but other sites have said that they need a minimum of 100 gallon tanks. Is a 60 gallon tank considered a moderate sized tank, or would this be too small for this type of fish? <100 gallons should be in your future with this fish, but a juvenile could start out and be happy in a 60.> Also, I can't seem to find information on juveniles vs. adults - will they both acclimate well? <In general, juveniles adapt the best, but not babies. Somewhere in between. For this fish, 3-4 inches.> I would prefer to start with a juvenile, but don't want to harm the fish by getting too small of one. I have read the WWM info on Acanthurus species, and the FAQs. I have also searched the web for other info - but it seems to conflict (as everything in this hobby seems to!) If you could help point me in a general direction, I would appreciate it! I just want to make sure that we can provide a good home for this type of fish - or start looking for a different fish if necessary. Thanks! Kate <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

SW Atlantic reef fish biogeography (add link) www.srfloeter.cjb.net Dear Robert, Please see in attachment a recent paper about the SW Atlantic reef fish biogeography_PDF <Thank you for this. Many interesting points. Did not realize such a degree of endemism (about 18%) existed between the northwestern tropical Atlantic and Brazils coastal fish fauna> Also you could take a look at my homepage with other works available: www.srfloeter.cjb.net <Very nice. Do wish all researchers had such. Will add link to our tropical West Atlantic pages on WetWebMedia.com> Sergio R. Floeter Village, Ed. Degas, 204, Ilha do Boi Vitoria, ES - CEP 29052-730 Brasil E-mail: floeter.vix@terra.com.br www.srfloeter.cjb.net <Be chatting, hopefully meeting, diving together. Bob Fenner>

Endemics Dear Bob, take a look at some endemics! in attachment We could write an article for a good magazine with photos.... Sergio <Very nice. I encourage you to pen such a piece (Some Endemic Fishes of Brazil of Use to Aquarists, let's say). I will help you edit, send same to the U.S. and German publishers that will likely run your article/s for pay. Bob Fenner>

write an article ok, GOOD IDEA, I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME RIGHT NOW, BUT IN A FEW MONTHS I WILL SEND YOU SOME WORDS. THANKS ANYWAY, <I look forward to this time. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com> SERGIO

Florida/Gulf biotope FO Hey Bob- Brooke here from thereeftank.com. Just have a question about setting up a Florida fish-only tank. We have a spare 90g tank that we'd like to use to create an unusual and interesting display. We are considering using aquacultured Florida rock in hopes of recreating a more natural scene. Can you recommend a nice group of native Florida/Gulf/Western Atlantic fish for a community tank? <Yes... please read through this annotated version of a section of a recent book: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm for exactly this sort of input. Bob Fenner> Thanks! Brooke Hanna

Florida scuba Hello Mr. Fenner (or Jason, Steven, & Anthony...), <Bob this instant/ce> I'm considering taking a SCUBA course through my university that has its open water test off the Florida panhandle. Being a student of limited finances who probably won't get down that way again anytime soon, I wanted to know if this would be a worthwhile dive location, or should I shop around for a course with a better dive option? I've heard kind of conflicting reviews; some say that the visibility is poor, others say that there's enough to see to be worth the trip. Any input? <I say "go for it"... much to see... though, yes the "vis" is not that great... but still better than the great white north (eh!) in a quarry, or a sterile pool> Also, should I go for the Gulf dive, can you point me in a direction where I can find Florida's collection laws? I'm not interested in anything on a commercial scale, but I would like to bring back some live sand or a few small critters if it's legally possible. <Mmm, maybe> One final question...is there anywhere online where one can purchase personal SCUBA gear (i.e., fins, booties, mask)? Or, am I better off accepting the retail price? <All sorts of places... but there are some "walk in" places in Florida that are very reasonable... and the time, hassle saved by being there, trying sizes, options on... is worth something in the way of a premium> Great website, guys...thanks for all the help! Jason <Thank you for being part of it. Be chatting, diving my friend. Bob Fenner>

stocking order et al Hi Bob, I'm still planning out the large tank and wanted to get your advice on species and stocking order/levels. Just a reminder, it's a biotopic Floribbean setup, LR/LS from Tampa Bay saltwater (most likely a "package" deal). I'm aiming for a mostly peaceful, schooling fish setup so I can watch how they interact in groups with each other and with other species. planning on using a large sump/refugium, somewhere in the 60 - 100 gallon range (or is this unrealistic?), <No... not unrealistically large if this is what you mean> also plan on using an Ecosystem filter, either DIY in the refugium or one of their HOT units in addition to refugium (refugium will be home to unwelcome hitchhikers: green brittle stars, hairy crabs, mantis shrimp (those might get their own home though), etc. anybody in the "bad neighbor" category.) filtration would be ecosystem and skimmer/LR/DSB method. calcium reactor for ph and CA levels. lighting would be MH and w/PC actinics wave making would either be Seaswirls or surge device, depends on space/and my handiness at DIY stuff. I'm still planning on a 349g (decided the cost between 300g and 349g is pretty minimal). The big concern now is lighting, filtration, and space. I may be forced to downside my plan. Here's hoping it doesn't come to that. Here's what I'd like to put in: Cherub Angel, Centropyge argi, 3 (late addition to tank) Harlequin Bass, Serranus tigrinus (3-5 - leaning towards high end # of them) when to add? <Two specimens, last> Royal Gramma, Gramma loreto, (3-5 - leaning towards high end # of them) when to add? <Three maximum, middle> Black Cap Basslet, Gramma melacara (3-5 - leaning towards low end # of them) when to add? <Two maximum, towards last> Swiss guard Basslet, Liopropoma rubre (3-5 - leaning towards low end # of them) when to add? <Two, near middle> Flame Cardinal, Apogon pseudomaculatus (3-5, unsure as to #'s) " " "? <Three, middle> Green Chromis, Chromis viridis, (12+ (?) Out biotope, early addition And/or the Green Chromis: Blue Reef Chromis, Chromis cyaneus (#?, 12?), biotope Chromis, would this better than the green? <Mmm, about same... less schooling than viridis... near beginning> or would they make a good mix?,  <No to mixing. Would not school together> early addition (pls. correct me if I'm wrong) Atlantic Blue tang: Acanthus Coeruleus (1?) late addition  <Middle to later addition> (this one is a maybe, if anyone should "go" this would be my #1 choice) Percula Clown, Amphiprion percula (4 or 6) late addition, out biotope, bribe to wife ; ) No anemone planned for clowns Neon goby, Gobiosoma oceanops (4 - 10, not sure of #), early addition (?) <Two, middle> additional corals introduced: brain, open or closed (the wife really likes these) leather coral of some variety pulsing xenia gorgonians (would these be better than the previous choices?) <Not necessarily... study up, practice observing to pick out healthy specimens> (any ideas welcome) <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm> aquascaping: "seamount" style: as you're facing tank, large mound of rock, (including caves, archway, etc.) on left 1/3 of tank. open space middle 1/3(gorgonians or other coral), right 1/3 would be Thalassia (turtle grass)(sp?) <Not easily kept in the larger tank... consider for part of the sump> thoughts/opinions? (wish our scanner worked, I'd sketch it out and send you a picture) what cleaner shrimp would you recommend? <Native ones... to the TWA> if something out biotope is better, so be it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but coral banded would not make a good addition to this tank? <Not that bad... is found in the Atlantic as well as other principal seas...> Sorry to be a pest, thanks again for all your help and patience, Mike, aka PF <No worries. Bob Fenner> (depending on how the finances go I may be talking to you again about downswing the # and types of fish as well as the tank, up till last week we had 0 showings of our place from Aug. - Cot, last week we had 8(!)would have sold except HOA didn't do promised maintenance. I've sicced Mrs. PF on them, she's very unhappy. looks like we won't have to drop the price anymore either, here's hoping!) <Ah yes.>

Re: stocking order et al > re refugium > <No... not unrealistically large if this is what you mean> on the money, should have been clearer. > <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm> thanks for the link, I gave my niece my copy of the TFWG, since she's still in Denver, it's a little hard for me to borrow it back to use as a reference guide. > (turtle grass)(sp?) > <Not easily kept in the larger tank... consider for part of the sump> okay, I was thinking of using that as part of the overall habitat, would Caulerpa (sp. Mexican) be a better choice? <In this setting, yes> > if something out biotope is > better, so be it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but coral banded would not > make a good addition to this tank? > <Not that bad... is found in the Atlantic as well as other principal > seas...> I was more worried about them regarding the cleaner shrimp as lunch on the hoof <Will do so if very hungry... In a tank of this size, make-up, shouldn't be a problem> > Sorry to be a pest, thanks again for all your help and patience, > Mike, aka PF > <No worries. Bob Fenner>

Re: Daily Fish Email out WWM Hi Bob, thanks for the images. I always look forward to getting them. Have you been on a dive lately. I am going to Cancun in Nov and do some diving. :) <You lucky pug!> Hope all is well with you. <Yes... Was in the Bahamas and Key West for a couple of weeks... back last week... Am hoping to get out with friends to Taveuni (the Garden Isle) in Fiji in a couple of weeks... though plans haven't been firmed up enough to suit me. Bob F> Barry

Re: "Home made anemone", Bahamas trip Hi Bob > Glad of hearing you're back how was the trip? New species in the near > future? > <Not by me... well, maybe an assist credit> I see. Any interesting creature you have seen there? <There are a few species of Opistognathids (just to mention one family) that can be described...> > > Hola Bob, Edgar, from Mexico again :) > > <Como lo pasaste mi amigo?> > Not so well do you remember I was going to Davis and I was planning on to > buy > some bulbs, additives, perhaps corals and shrimps? Well, after all the > restrictions in the custom Im not sure whether I can bring them with me do > you have any idea about which aquarium related things can be transported by > plane these days? Live organisms? what a disaster :( > <What madness here totally... am concerned about the mental-emotional > well-being of people here, on the planet...> Mee too, I have a big mixing of feelings going around my head. Anyway, will try to contact the airline and ask them what can I transport. Did you collect something? did you have troubles transporting the specimens? <Just pix and memories> > SNIP > Ok, thanks for the info. Is there a way to contact Dr Fautin? I would really > like to know about her experiences with these "anemones" > <Hmm, think she works for the University of Kentucky... and I think has a > website on anemones/Clowns... Let's see: > http://www.ukans.edu/~entomol/faculty/fautin.html > Bob Fenner> Thanks, I'll take a look at her page ASAP <She can be contacted through the email address there... Bob Fenner> Nos vemos Edgar

Tropical west Atlantic Thank you for responding to my question about my Queen angels happiness. You suggested going to a more Tropical Western Atlantic setup. I having some trouble finding fish from this area. I have found that the Sergeant Major damsels live there. I've read that its hard to keep this damsel in shoals, is this true?  <Shoals? Yes hard to do so unless you have a very large aquarium... for all members of the genus (Abudefduf)... > I would greatly appreciate some more ideas on other fish from the western Atlantic.  <Have just come back from diving, filming there... have you perused the section on our site re this regions aquarium life?: http://wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm A section of my latest book...> My Queen is about 5" from head to tail and she grew 1" in a years time. If he/she continues to grow at the rate it will take 13 more years to reach her full growth, right?  <Umm, no... this fish is being stunted in your system... it will likely only grow about another inch total... within a year or two. Bob Fenner> Will she attain 18" in an aquarium?  <In a very large one (thousands of gallons), yes> Thanks, Tim

Any information about a Jack Knife fish Dear Mr. Fenner, I saw the most amazing fish today and I would like more information before I consider bringing it home. Can you tell me anything about Equetus lanceolatus.? I cannot seem to find any adequate info on it. <Hmm, the Croaker (family Sciaenidae) out of the tropical West Atlantic?.... See: http://wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm> Thank you, <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> Leslie

Spotted Drum Hi Again Bob. I recently bought a young spotted drum from my LFS. They said It should be fine in reef type setting as long as it was big enough. I have looked for info on the net but all I could fine was pictures and not much else. Do you have any advice on this species or if possible a web site that could help. Thanks again <Take a look on our sites coverage on "Fishwatcher's Guide to the tropical West Atlantic: http://wetwebmedia.com/twafwgv1.htm Under "Croakers, Family Sciaenidae"... this fish gets pretty large and will inhale crustaceans like shrimp and crabs... and fishes as it gets larger. Bob Fenner>

Snorkeling in the Keys and a Peppermint question Hi Bob, First I'll ask the Peppermint shrimp question. I think I am right but I'll let you settle it. I had (I think now) too many shrimp in my 40 gal ( remember me I am the one you are always saying will get a bigger tank-- thanks :-)).  <Ah, yes.> I had two Common Cleaners; then I saw a Fire shrimp for way under half price and got that. Then I got Aiptasia in my tank and got three peppermint. So I noticed the one of the Peppermints (I am pretty sure they are Peppermints, not camel or candy shrimp as the Aiptasia is gone) was enjoying snacking on shrimp! I noticed this was during molting, so we aren't talking about when they are standing around. <Indeed> The LFS said "No way, they were dead already". I think it's possible that they would take advantage of another shrimp in molting (these are big Peppermint --1 1/2 inches or so) also the timing would be awfully coincidental. What do you think?  <You are correct.> BTW, I am sticking with the one Peppermint and one Cleaner. Everybody seems happy with this. Except the LFS that didn't want to take it back, even for free. <Hmm...> (I have spent a LOT of money there.) BTW, I also read your FAQ on shrimp and it seemed to imply this could happen. <Yes> My second question: I am going to the Florida Keys for my vacation. I love Key West (except Duval street).  <Have been there... very interesting place, people... and am returning this October after a week of diving in the Bahamas...> Last year I went on a few boat trips and snorkel trips (I can't dive for medical reasons). For driving reasons I want to stay in the lower or middle keys. So far I am booked up for a boat trip in the backcountry in Sugar Loaf (with some snorkeling there); snorkeling in Looe Key; and a Dolphin watch (no they don't feed them and it's not billed as a swim with the dolphins thing) boat. I know it's not the best snorkeling in the world, but any ideas anyway? <Yes... do go out with whoever you can to Pennekamp... and even snorkel in the shoreline... much interesting material there... MUCH. And wear a long sleeve tee or more to keep off the sun, scratches, cold... Take a look around for Humann and DeLoach's books on the animal life there...> I have another question on the Sailfin which I'll ask later. He/she seems fine though. I've named it "Piggie" as this is how it eats! :-) <Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Thanks, --Jane "your friend in fish" to quote someone we know :-)

angelfish/es of the TWA Help Robert, My daughter has a report due on the Florida Angelfish. It has to be detailed. Where can we got o find the best information? Thanks Joni Joni Kazakos General Manager Reef Fanta Seas <Oh, my latest book has a section, and a good part of it is posted on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com (A Fishwatcher's Guide to... the Fishes of the Tropical West Atlantic)... along with a couple of features on the species... Queen, Gray and French... and some links there to the Centropyge angels of the area... The site, Marine Index has a search engine... Bob Fenner>

French angel and rock beauty invert safe? I have a 100 gal fish only tank w/ an large French angle 7in or so , a  rock beauty , a hawk fish , am would like to know if I could add some type of shrimp and  star fish  all my pets are from the western Atlantic , and I would really like to for my  shrimp and star fish to come from this area to complete my tank . another ?  is their any corals I could possibly keep w/ them I none that angels are not  reef safe but is possible for at least some kind of plant life . I've searched  all my books and can not find a start answer so any help would be greatly app. thank you  thank you, Greg <I might risk a couple of Lysmata shrimp of the area (L. wurdemanni, L. grabhami)... and/or Banded Coral (Stenopus hispidus) shrimp... even given the risk of them being eaten by your Hawkfish (I take it, this is the Caribbean species, Amblycirrhitus pinos? That doesn't get "THAT" big...) if you have plenty of small live rock spaces... And there are numerous tropical west Atlantic invertebrates to consider adding to spiff up your biotopic presentation... Look into the sea fans of the genus Pseudopterygorgia among others, many sponges, and more that are readily to sporadically available through the trade (FFExpress has some that come, go every week)...  My best suggestion is to acquire the three volume set by Ned DeLoach and Paul Humann, "Reef Fish/Creature/Coral Identification, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas"... and other works cited in a bibliography stored in a survey piece/book section I have stored on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com under the time "A Fishwatcher's Guide to: The Fishes of the Tropical West Atlantic"... Bob Fenner>

Thanks for such quick responses, and positive answers. I have been keeping  corals for awhile now, and would like to keep any corals that I can in with  my angel. Any other suggestions would be great. LPS, SPS, or soft, I am  able to take up the task. Again, thanks for writing back, and keep up the  great writing! -Donovan >> If I might be so bold as to make the suggestion, I myself would do a look/see at the corals, sea fans, et al. stinging-celled animals found in the same eco- geographic range as the Angel (Holacanthus ciliaris).... and set my sights on trying these... Maybe the genus Pseudopterygorgia would be a good place to start? Hardy gorgonians... readily available... Check out Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach's books about the marine life of the Tropical West Atlantic... and FFExpress' availability lists... Bob Fenner

Re: Royal Gramma/ Blue Chromis Bob, Just two quick follow ups- A) The fish I plan to stock in my 100 gallon tank are: 3 Royal Grammas, 7 Blue Chromis, 1 High Hat Reef Drum and one Jawfish. I plan to add these over time, but was not sure of the order of introduction. My thoughts are Drum, followed by Jawfish then Grammas and finally Chromis. But I really am not sure. Any recommendations? <I'd reverse the order... exactly> B) In the 5 foot tank our initial aquascaping took up almost the right 1/2 of the tank instead of 1/3. Is this still enough "sand zone" for the Chromis, or should I move my structure? I have a little room to move it, but would rather not... <Should be fine as you have it> Cycling our first tank has been hair raising! In some ways I wish I would have never known how high the Ammonia can go. I lost a little sleep, feeling like a new parent- the ammonia is on the way down and most everything is still alive on the rock so I am quite happy tonight. <Ah good... nothing to lose sleep over...> Thank you again for your continued support- It means a lot to us!!! Roy <And to me as well, Bob Fenner> > Bob, > My wife and I and at the important point of deciding the direction or our > reef tank. We are either going to create a Indo-Pacific reef, or a Gulf Reef. > We got some ideas from other authors, and we wanted to ask your advice. > We have a 100 gallon tank, 5 feet long, and will use a Lifereef Sump/ > protein skimmer. The plan in question would have 1/3 of the tank live rock > on one side of the tank, and about 2/3 open with live sand, both Gulf > Aquacultured from Sea Critters. The main question is- How compatible will > several Royal Gramma's be with a small school of Blue Chromis. You were > enthusiastic about both species in your new book from Wet Web, but I was not sure about compatibility. Beyond this, could we add a Drum, or would the > Chromis be too aggressive? > Thanks! Not many people in Madison WI are familiar with Gulf organisms- the  romance with the Pacific alive and well here! > Roy

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