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FAQs about Fish-Only Marine System Stocking 3

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

Hi Bob,
I am new to the hobby. I have owned a fairly small aquarium that has run for about a year, but now I would like to set up a large fish-only aquarium. I am more interested in the movement and colour of the fish than corals to be honest. From what I have read I would like to use live rock, a protein skimmer and UV sterilizer, all housed in a sump underneath the main display. I want to do as much research as possible before I actually buy the tank and I have included a list of fish that I would like to keep:
1 x Miniata Grouper
1 x Volitans Lionfish
1 x French Angelfish
2 x Scribbled Angelfish- I have seen a few as pairs
5 x Yellow Tangs
1 x Sohal Tang
The tank size I was considering was 90' x 24' x 30' which I think would give me around 970 litres in volume. Do you have any suggestions for maybe some other fish that could be added? Or anything I should watch out for when operating an aquarium this large?
Thanks in advance
Dave Cookson

A: Hello Dave!
It is indeed gratifying to find that you are doing so much investigating, planning ahead of your actual purchase of gear and livestock. I am totally in agreement with your choice of locating the 'mechanicals' (Protein Skimmer, UV) down below in your sump, but I encourage you to place at least some of the live rock in your main display'¦ for food, filtration and ornamental use.
As to the proposed livestock though'¦ I do have some strong reservations re what you list. Specifically, the addition of two Scribbled Angels I would be careful re'¦ It is so, as you state, that two can be kept in one system (of good size), given that they already are familiar, and/or you start them off very small (5-10 cm.) overall'¦ Given my reservation, I might still try the two Scribbleds'¦ but if so, would leave out the large Atlantic Angel (the French)'¦ Both species of Angels can grow very large over time. Yellow Tangs do occur in schools, particularly in small to medium sizes we keep in aquariums (plate-sized adults tend to be more solitary), however, these Surgeons do tend to be too picky amongst themselves in groups in captivity, even in such large volumes are you intend. Hence, I urge you to limit their numbers here to three at most'¦ Perhaps adding/substituting a Purple Tang of the same genus for colour and interest.
Lastly, I urge caution with the choice of the Sohal'¦ this is a really 'alpha' 'ALPHA' fish that MUST be the dominant fish in any hobbyist-sized system in time. I would look to other Tang possibilities'¦ in the same genus (Acanthurus) or perhaps a Paracanthurus (Blue Tang).
I do like the stated 'shape' of your planned system'¦ but if there is space, want to encourage you to consider making the width a bit greater, even switching the height for the width if total volume, weight is a concern. More surface area as opposed to height will work in you and your livestock's favour, making aquascaping and maintenance far less a chore, I assure you.

Concerning the question re maintenance of large systems; you will happily find that bigger tanks are actually much less work, far more stable than smaller'¦ I do encourage the usual 'first set-up' testing of water quality here'¦ And for you to delve into adding maybe another tied-in sump for having a good-sized DSB, macro-algae culture with a reversed (to your main systems) light photoperiod arrangement. Otherwise, I am very sure you will find (and enjoy!) the same sorts of activities with your larger system as the smaller, just on a grander scale.

stocking, FO -- 10/11/10
Hi all
Well my quarantine tank is soon to be set up. I am going to cycle it with live rock and prepare for my next fish addition.
I have a stocking regime planned out but have several questions regarding compatibility. I have been reefing for a while but I always like to ask before I go ahead as I feel I can get a broader level of feedback.
My system is 130 gallon with a sump. 2 foot x 18 inches by 6 foot. I have worked out this will allow me about 25 inches of fish in total.
<Mmm, not one 25" fish...>
currently I have 2 red sea clowns and 1 Assasi trigger. total about 17 inches (assuming trigger grows to 9 inches).
As I am thinking of keeping inverts at some point ( know the trigger has to be watched) I would like the following fish as the tank matures
1 purple tang Zebrasoma xanthurum
1 flame angel and possibly some dither fish (damsels).
Is this the maximum amount of life for this size tank do you feel? I am considering an eight foot tank in a few years.
Cheers Jim
<I consider these very nice additions. BobF>

Marine Tank Fish Compatibility 10/6/10
Dear WWM Crew,
<Hello Kira>
I am setting up a 120 gallon marine fish tank.
<Oohh.. the planning stages.. I bet this list has changed a hundred times!>
I would like to put the following fish into this tank:
1. Powder Brown Tang (Acanthurus japonicus)
<The 'better' powder brown>
2. Humu Picasso Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)
3. Red Diana Hogfish (Bodianus diana)..
<Can be aggressive, very active>
4. Radiata Lionfish (Pterois radiata)
<A shy species.. will struggle to feed in this mix>
5. Spiny Box Puffer (Chilomycterus schoepfi)
<Mmm, not enough space for all these.. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diodontpuffers.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/burrfishcompfaqs.htm >
6. Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)
<I would not. A huge and rambunctious fish>
7. Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum)
<Definitely not>
8. Wolf Eel (Congrogadus subduscens)
<Possibly yes, but might get poked by the lion.. and is another aggressive feeder, very intelligent, and will steal the food that you are trying to feed to the Lion>
According to my research, these fish can all be in the same tank.
<Mmmm, in a tank hundreds of gallons, sans the Clown Trigger, maybe. But this Lion in particular will not get on here.>
When fully grown these fish will total 98 inches.
<Yes, with your tank at about 60? If you visualise this, then it looks kind of silly... Also, by this I assume you have been reading about 'inches of fish per gallon'? Not a useful measure by any means, as it does not take into account the mass of larger fish. A 12 inch fish might only be 12 x the length of a 1 inch fish, but it will be hundreds of times bigger in body mass>
I am looking for advice and opinions on these fish. Do I need to put certain ones in the tank first?
<The Radiata should be first for sure.. this fish does not feed well to begin with, and will struggle to eat at all with puffers and triggers galore. This is a gentle and shy Lion species, although in my opinion the most beautiful of all. I would only introduce other fishes once this fish is feeding well from a stick or tongs>
Are there any fish that simply will not work with the other fish on the list?
<Yes, the Balistids, the puffer & wrasses & the Congrogadus are too much for this, and most other Lionfishes. You need to decide which is more important to you. If it were me I would go for this Lion, as it is gorgeous, introduced first, the tang next and the Rhinecanthus last after the Lion is feeding well, and I would leave the rest in this volume. These three would make a beautiful group that should get on well. Either way, three-four of these med-large fish is about 'it' here>
Are any of them
notorious for anything in particular?
<Balistoides conspicillum is better kept by itself, it can be a total terror>
I would greatly appreciate any help and advice you can provide.
<No problem>
Thank you,

Re: stocking, FOs 9/7/2010
Dear WWM Crew,
Thank you for all your past, present, and future help. I have redone my stocking list over and over. This is what I have come up with. I promise you this is the last email on this subject. Please read over my list and tell me if you think this will work. It seems I'm having the most problem placing my Sail Fin Tang. I know my 125gal. is border line for this fish.
If you don't think this will work I will have to sell him.
<Eventually this fish may be too large, likely too "dominant" for this size/shape volume... but this may take a few years w/ careful feeding...>
Here is my new list :
Koran Angel 6"
Kline Butterfly 3-4"
Pink Tail Trigger 5"
Cuban Hogfish 5"
One Spot Rabbit 5"
Falco Hawk Fish 3"
Green Mandarin 3"
<Keep your eye/s on to make sure it's getting sufficient food>
2- Ocellaris Clown 2"
3- Green Chromis 2"
Hippo Tang 5-6"
Yellow Tang 5"
Picasso Trigger 3-4"
Sail Fin Tang 5-6"
Engineer Goby 6"
Lemon Peel Angel 4"
Eblii Angel 3-4"
Tomato Clown 4"
90gal. (Reef Safe)
Hawk Fish 3-4"
Lemon Damsel 2"
Diadem Dottyback 2-3"
Kole Tang 4"
PJ Cardinal 3"
Pink Spotted Goby 3"
Flame Angel 4"
2- Cleaner Shrimp
And I have one more fish that I can't seem to place. If you don't think there is a safe spot for him, I will get rid of him. (Heraldi Angel 4" )
<Could be tried in the largest tank...>
I did my best. Thank you once again for all your patience. I would definitely be lost without your website. You guys are the best.
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: fish <only SW> selection 7/20/10
<Big B>
Thanks for your insights. Ditching the Dascyllus may indeed be my best option.
Having this fish severely limits my stocking choices, since I don't believe very many fish exist that are so overtly aggressive. Plus I'm sure that keeping this fish definitely diminishes the odds of a new addition's survival, especially for the first few days or so. My Dascyllus instantly goes after any new addition, fearless and pugnacious, regardless of the size mismatch. Not a second goes by. First he (she?) inspects the new fish at close quarters for a few seconds, then goes right into the vertical swimming maneuvers.
I may have to concede that with only 2 fish my 55-gallon tank may be completely stocked. I would have to recommend from my experience that a 2-inch Dascyllus needs at least 40 gallons of his own space where no other
fish dare to enter. Ever heard of a 20 gallons per inch of fish rule? My Dascyllus thinks he owns the whole 55-gallon tank.
So I'm guessing from your recommendation to ditch the lil guy (girl?) that it's pretty hopeless to find a suitable tankmate for him. My Blue Damsel has been with him for about 19 months now, and is in very good health, but
I guess that the story may have been different if I had not also bought a Yellowtail Blue Damsel at the same time to bear most of the brunt of the harassment during the initial months. From what I've seen, most fish get used to each other over time, as evidenced by my Angels ignoring the Dascyllus's harassment after only a short time. But I also realize that any new addition is going to be harassed for the first few hours pretty steadily, and that's not good for their odds of survival.
So I'm going to have to think about other stocking alternatives, like what to get if I do ditch the Damsel(s), but you're really not making this very easy for me. I've read many related pages and thought a lot about this, but I still can't find what I think is a suitable tankmate for my Dascyllus. I wanted an addition and I'm ending up with a subtraction. I was hoping you would simply recommend a few fish, but I guess that's not your style. That's fine- I guess self-discovery is good.
<... there are many choices... Again... you should read>
Well, I thank you once again for your help. Your efforts make the hobby worthwhile and a lot less frustrating for many of us. I'll keep reading, learning, and thinking about this one for now. I'll let you know what I decide.
<Real good. BobF>

Re: fish selection, ref., reading on WWM 7/20/10
Thanks for your quick response. You guys do great work, and I really appreciate your advice.
So I'm thinking that maybe a Flame Angel would be a good fish to try.
<For a/the 55 gallon? Not really. Read here:
and the linked files above, particularly the System FAQs>
What are my odds with this fish? The fish that I have currently (one 3-stripe Damsel and one Blue Damsel) have left alone the other pygmy angels that I've added in the past (after instantly being very curious and trying very hard to bully the new fish for the first few hours, to no avail). So I'm thinking they would probably leave the Flame Angel alone after a few hours as well.
<Not likely>
Man, that 3-Stripe Damsel is a monster. Aggressive isn't the word.
Relentless is more like it. Severe attitude problems, psychosis maybe. I had a Yellow Tail Blue Damsel, and my 3-Stripe Damsel would incessantly (all day long, constantly, endlessly) harass the smaller fish until it finally gave up and died. What's worse is that the Blue Damsel would chase it, too. It had to hover all day in one small corner of the tank, near the surface. I was really surprised that it lived for over 3 months. Now the 3-Stripe occasionally chases the Blue Damsel (its only remaining tankmate), but not all that often. And I haven't seen any of the vertical swimming behavior (aggressive tail flashes) out of the 3-Stripe in well over 7 months (not at all, not since the Coral Beauty died). BTW, the Coral Beauty started to ignore that behavior after only a short while (less than an hour). So I think the 3-Stripe for the most part abandoned harassing the Coral Beauty only because she was ignoring it so well. It still tried occasionally, probably because it instinctively feels a need to harass something. But for the most part they would swim in close proximity with no problems, the Angel always grazing and never defensive, always aloof.
But then the Coral Beauty died suddenly for no apparent reason, after living with the Damsels for over 6 months.
So a while later I got a Keyhole Angel, and it was a very vibrant fish at the LFS. Then it died within two days of bringing it home. BTW, this fish was purchased for $15, about half the normal price. Do you think that maybe there was something wrong with it?
<... possibly>
It seemed incredibly energetic and healthy at the LFS. I could see nothing wrong with it after looking very carefully. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking I'm to blame for this fish's demise - ? Hmmm.
So I'm thinking that a small Flame Angel would be worth a try. These are normally aggressive enough to endure a couple of extra-cranky Damsels, right? What's your opinion?
<Read on... I would ditch the Dascyllus... trade it in>
Finally, if you think that this is a favorable selection, what else can I do to improve its odds of survival?
<... see WWM re>
How can I select the best specimen?
<This is also posted>
Quarantine for how long? Acclimate for how long? Extra swimming space or lots of algae and live rock to graze on? I guess you'll probably just tell me to read up on it. Ha. I intend to.
Thanks again for the feedback and all your efforts on my behalf.
<Please learn to/use the search tool, indices ahead of writing. What you ask re is archived on WWM. BobF>

Possible stocking option... 56 gal. "column"... Damsels, including Premnas crosses - 5/22/10
Hey there crew.
I've had a few questions answered by the kind folks there before but I'm unsure about something and frankly there isn't very much info because from what I understand either no one has done it, or no one had success with it.
Anyway, I have a standard 56 gallon column and so far I've fallen in love with a pair of maroon clownfish at my LFS. They are neon orange, frankly more orange than most Percula.
<These are very likely crosses... Marulas... See WWM re Premnas>
They are also tank raised, which makes me feel a little better about our oceans. As tank mates I'm considering
Neoglyphidodon nigroris mainly known as black and gold Chromis, as well as yellow tail blue
damsels. I'm not sure what kind of quantity I could have of these fish, which is one of my main questions.
<How "column" wise is this system? It may be the Clowns are about all that will go here fish-wise>
My wife also likes some of the smaller puffers, mainly the blue spotted and Valentini puffers,
<Mmm, no... too nippy for this shape, volume tank>
but I'm not sure if these fish are assertive enough to handle being in an environment with damsels and maroon clowns. As I said it seems one of the mysteries of saltwater aquarium keeping what can be done with damsels as the focal point of an aquarium.
<Need a larger world if keeping these... there are a few genera of Pomacentrids that are suitable for small volumes, of these a handful of species offered from time to time in the trade... again, gone over, archived on WWM>
Thank you very much in advance for your assistance and keep up the great work helping all of us who know so much less :)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Possible stocking option, FO, Damsels - 5/22/10
Hey Bob,
Thank you for the fast response.
The 56 column dimensions are 30 x 18 x 24. I am well aware that maroons get large and are truly on the mean side of the spectrum which is why I wanted to add something aggressive enough to go with them. I've had yellow tail
blue damsels previously without issue, although I did learn the lesson that a 5 gallon quarantine is not big enough for 2.
<Ah yes>
Either way, I feel the YTBD would be a nice contrast to the orange clowns, and then if there were room physically, psychologically, and territorially, etc, I'd like to find one more species of fish because I'd like to have more than 2 species if possible.
<Oh, there are many other choices... Hawkfishes, Pseudochromids, Blennioids of many sorts...>
There is a member of my local reefkeeping club who has told me that I either need to get all one species with damsels, or get all different species (i.e. 1 of each) and I wanted to get your opinion on which method is better.
<Actually, there are species, whole genera that such guidelines can be applied to. Most Chromis are shoaling and Abudefduf solitary for instance>
Lastly, being these are all reef safe, I was hoping to get some ideas of what kind of corals would be suitable for my current lighting.
The tank is 24" of water deep, I have a 175W MH bulb with a "spider" reflector, and the light sits 6 or so inches off the water. The only coral's I've had in the tank were mushrooms which did well as long as they weren't all the
way on the sand. My 20 gallon reef (2 percula clowns, 1 indigo Dottyback, 1 pink/blue spotted goby in there) has mostly SPS, so I would probably like to do mostly LPS if you think this is enough lighting for that?
<Yes... most all will do fine w/ PAR values near 100 or higher... this lighting set-up should produce more than this at the bottom>
Thank you guys again
<Again, welcome. BobF>

Panther Grouper system, FO stkg. 5/18/10
Hello Crew! I got a new 220 gallon system cycled and running smoothly with a 45 gallon trickle filter and a turbo twist UV sterilizer. I currently have two fish in here. They are a 3.5 inch volitans lion and a 3 inch emperor angel. I have noticed that my angel hides a lot and breathes quite heavily from time to time.
<... how "new" is this Pomacanthus? Did you "rest it" in quarantine, isolation ahead of placing it in the main/display system?>
But is bright colored and looks healthy with no visible signs of parasites. I have had him a little over a week now.
<Oh, it's very new>
I have a list of fish that I would like to stock in here with them, but want to run it by you guys first and get your opinion before I make any mistakes. I am wanting to stock a yellow long nose butterfly, a tank raised hippo tang, a blue throat or Picasso trigger, and a panther grouper.
<This last will get very large... faster than all else that will get bigger>
All within the 3 inch range. I would not add anymore than these six fish for about six months or so. Just to give the system more time to mature.
The only one that concerns me is the panther grouper. When I think grouper, I think,
eats everything and produces alot
<No such word>
of waste! My girlfriend loves them but I need to know if it can be housed in this tank long term and safely with other fish.
<Likely half to a full year you should have no problem/s>
I would like to pick your brain one more time if you don't mind. She would like to have a queen angel in there too if possible.
<Not good to mix w/ the Emperor, or alternatively, better to crowd with other Pomacanthids, marine fishes if so>
I didn't know if a Pomacanthus and holocanthus would coexist together in this size tank.
Thank you for all of your help,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer Compatability... overstocked FO 4/6/10
Hi Everyone! First off, if Anthony is reading this, it was great meeting you in Cincinnati last year. I am really enjoying your books! It's so nice to read fish books with humor.
I have a 180 gallon aquarium with a Bird Wrasse (Jerry), One Spot Foxface (Vixen), Snowflake Eel (Flotsam), Carpet Eel Blenny (Jetsam), Naso Tang (no name yet), Emperor Angel (no name yet),
<Will need more room in time>
Volitans Lionfish (no name yet), and Porcupine Puffer (too new for a name yet). Everyone gets along great! I am hoping to add one more fish. I'd like a stingray.
<A poor idea... not compatible, nor is there room here>
The other option I'm looking at is a Columbian/black fin shark.
<A social species... and again, this system is about "all full up">
I've heard puffers don't get along with sharks, but these are really catfish. I've seen these "sharks" at a local pet store adjusted for full saltwater.
<At "size", these are marine organisms. Read here:
and the linked files at the bottom>
This kind of raises red flags for me in a way, because they are really brackish fish, not saltwater. What do you think?
<That you should read>
pH - 8.2
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - between 0 and 0.25
Nitrate - 0
Salinity - 1.022
<Too low. Please see WWM re this as well>
I do 10% water changes every week.
Carrie Lynn DeWeese
<Bob Fenner>

Fish Compatibility/Marine Fish/Compatibility, 70 gal., FO 3/30/10
Hello friends ...
I'm planning to keep the following fish in an aquarium of 70 gallons:
-Longnose Butterfly
-Singapure <Singapore or Vermiculated Angelfish> angel
<This fish can be very difficult to acclimate. Do make sure you witness the fish eating before buying and has no caved in stomach.>
-Flame angel
-Starcki damsel
<Is one of the lesser aggressive damsels.>
The questions are as follows:
1) The tank has enough space?
<Borderline with the Longnose and Singapore.>
2) They are compatible?
<Yes, with the Flame Angel going in last.>
3) What would be the best sequence of introduction?
<The Singapore Angel should go in first, and ensure the Singapore is eating well and fattening up before introducing any other fish to the system.
Then introduce the Longnose, damsel, and Flame Angel.>
4) What is the greatest difficulty in keeping these animals together?
<As I mentioned, the Singapore Angel can be difficult to acclimate to prepared foods, and this
fish, along with the butterfly and Flame Angel have a better chance of acclimating when introduced to established systems (6-12 months) with plenty of quality live rock.>
Thanks for your help!
<You're welcome, and please search our site before writing, as answers to many of your questions can be found there. James (Salty Dog)>

Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking, and comp. f' -- 03/23/10
Hi all!
<<Howdy Chris!>>
I have been reading up on all the info you have on Watanabei Angels - So far I have learned that that my 90 gallon (with 20 gallon sump and refugium) would be the absolute minimum tank that I could keep one in,
<<Agreed'¦and then, not too heavily stocked>>
and that my yellow tang may be a bit territorial at first.
<<Indeed'¦likely some 'chasing about' of the new comer>>
I am very curious to know whether the yellow tang along with:
1 flame angel
4 clownfish
1 Sixline wrasse
1 Firefish goby
2 neon gobies
Would cause me to be overstocked?
<<Could work'¦though you're right on the edge of the envelope I think>>
Would any combination of the above fish just be too much for the Watanabei to handle in order for it to be happy?
<<Ah yes'¦ The Flame Angel may prove to be more problematic than the Yellow Tang'¦likely best to decide on one Angel over the other>>
Thanks so much,
Chris K.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Re: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 03/26/10
Hi Eric!
<<Hey Chris!>>
Thanks for the info --
<<Quite welcome>>
I thought the rule of thumb was to never keep more than one dwarf angel in the same tank - that is why I began looking at the larger (but not TOO large) angels.
<<It can be done (I/others have kept multiple species or pairs in the same system on more than one occasion) but much relies on the size and composition of the system, the experience of the hobbyist, and even the individualities of the fishes>>
But in reality - it seems best to stick with only one angel per tank period.
<<In this instance/system'¦yes, very likely so>>
I am so grateful that there is a place to ask these types of questions!
<<We are happy to be here. Cheers, EricR>>

R2: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 03/26/10
Boy! A girl just can't seem to get a break on adding a blue colored fish to her aquarium!
<<Ah yes'¦best considered in the early planning stages 'before' any stocking of the tank>>
But I will keep looking (and double checking with you guys) - one day I will find a compatible one!
<<Hmmm, perhaps a Blue Assessor would suit you'¦though that Sixline Wrasse may be an issue in this instance. But do check it out, research compatibility/suitability to your system'¦is a better choice than the Watanabei, in my opinion>>
Enjoy your day and thanks again for the response!!
<<And you too! EricR>>
R3: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 03/27/10
Actually just as an FYI - I thought I had it all planned out a long time ago.
My blue fish was going to be a yellow tail blue damsel which according to my LFS would be "no problem" as long as I added it last!
<<Mmm, I see'¦and you obviously learned 'otherwise'>>
So I have spent over two years trying to build my tank up slowly and patiently. However, within that time I discovered your website and learned that I was misinformed.
And extremely grateful I am too - because there is a lot of bad information out there from people who just want to sell you things
<<Unfortunately this is so'¦but there is also a wealth of knowledge available from other sources. The onus is upon the hobbyist to research differing sources and then use their own good judgment to make a decision>>
- and this website has helped me through and saved me from many an issue!
<<Redeeming to know>>
You guys are great and I know I can trust you.
<<Oh geez'¦pressure now [grin]>>
(So it's still "no" with the yellow tail blue huh.... ya I know.)
<<Indeed'¦though the problem is as much the size of your system as it is the fish, and the fact that you can't keep a large shoal of these to spread aggression among conspecifics (keeping a single individual in a small system only worsens things for the smaller non-conspecifics present). There is a tropical West Atlantic endemic Chromis species that is 'quite blue' and somewhat better mannered than the Yellowtail Blue Damsel you sought'¦but the same problem applies re the size of the system as these too still need to be kept in groups, and also get considerably larger than the somewhat small Chrysiptera species mentioned here. So, I guess the point of this wandering long-winded reply is'¦ Yes, keep searching [grin]. Cheers, Chris'¦ Eric Russell>>

R4: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 03/28/10
Yes the blue reef Chromis (?)
<<Indeed'¦Chromis cyanea>>
had my hopes up for a little while... Eric, I realize that this website is a wonderful tool and is not to be wasted on "idol chat."
<<No worries here Chris>>
If you are so inclined to indulge a frivolous question you may be able to assist me for the future and possibly maintain my sanity.
<<Happy to try'¦>>
Simply put - does a safe compatibility even exist in a 90 gallon that would allow me to have at least two clowns, a red (please say flame angel),
<<Yes'¦and an excellent choice among the Centropyge species in my opinion>>
Yellow (crossing my fingers for tang here),
<<The 90g is 'acceptable' for keeping Zebrasoma flavissimus>> <flavescens>
and beautiful blue fish?
<<Herein lies the rub... Not because there are no blue fishes available, but as you make mention, finding a 'compatible' solution is key. I do believe you also have a Sixline Wrasse and a Fire Goby in this system which also adds to the difficulty of finding a 'compatible' addition>>
Maybe that is the ultimate question that I need answered before I continue my search. Perhaps it was never a realistic option to begin with.
<<Not being able to 'keep everything I want' is the reality captive care'¦with one's options obviously limited by the size of their system>>
And now that I have for all intents and purposes painted myself into a corner could you advise me on what I should/could have done differently if I could enter the 'way back' machine, in order to obtain my embarrassingly rudimentary goal?
<<Mmm, well'¦ Much could be discussed here, but in a nutshell'¦ You seem to have had a definite idea of what you wanted re the color palette of fishes so, your first step should have been to research what was available to the hobby and then to research and determine their compatibility AND their suitability to your planned system type and size. In this case (as in many), the size of the system seems to be the most limiting factor. If the size of the system can't be adjusted (increased), then more often, concessions need be made re fish selection>>
Maybe an example of what could work?
<<If going to a larger system is an option (ideally, a 6-foot tank), doing so would make the addition of a few C. cyanea viable. If not, perhaps learning to be satisfied with what you have is your best route. But if you like, feel free to keep looking for other ideas/possibilities and then bring them to me for discussion>>
Thanks again for all your help!
<<I do wish I had a simpler and more satisfying answer for you. Always welcome'¦ EricR>>
R5: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 03/29/10
<<Hiya Chris>>
- would clowns, flame angel, yellow tang and three yellow tail blue damsels been compatible in my 90 gallon if that were all the fish I had?
<<Yes and no'¦. Though the Damsels would likely be little problem for the fishes you listed, it isn't likely they would tolerate 'each other' well. Most likely, sooner or later, the squabbling would end up with just the single dominant specimen left. There are always exceptions, but it's not a good gamble (I have seen the same happen in tanks twice the size of yours).
Keeping in mind of course that I do not plan to make any fish changes because it would not be worth it to me
- most of my fish, including the gobies came from my 46 gallon when I upgraded (recently - like 3 months ago - and is punishable by certain death if I attempt to upgrade again to a six footer anytime soon, or possibly anytime ever (smile)!
<<Mmm, okay'¦hubby doesn't 'share the passion,' eh>>
This all began because my son adopted 1 guppy from school 3 years ago. My husband rues the day! I have a beautiful flow right now and I can actually see the individual "personalities" of my fish. Really, who could ask for more?
<<Then perhaps it is best you should not risk the upset of this 'balance'>>
I would not risk that for anything, not even the color blue.
<<Ah'¦well then'¦>>
But could it have ever been that simple?
<<Likely, no'¦>>
As for me - it looks like I am going to slap on a blue background and call it a day!
In fact - I think I am going try to use blue Plexiglas and figure out a way to backlight it.
<<Should prove interesting>>
That ought to keep me out of your hair for a while.
<<No worries here my friend>>
Eric, you guys
<<And gals!>>
are awesome!
<<We thank you for the kind words>>
Best regards, Chris K
<<And to you in kind'¦ Eric Russell>>
R6: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 04/01/10

<<Hiya Chris>>
One more that I need to check out... Assessor macneilli?
<<Ah yes, the Blue Assessor (I believe I mentioned this fish in our first exchange)'¦can be pugnacious if pressed'¦it may well be able to 'hold its own' in your 90g with the Sixline and Flame Angel (these two fishes being the most likely of the lot to be trouble here, in my opinion). Is a beautiful fish'¦and a bit pricey too! It is a gamble still, but I think the odds are better than 50% in favor of this working out if your tank has plenty of escape routes and hiding places for the newcomer to utilize until things settle down. Or better yet'¦remove the Sixline and Flame Angel to temporary quarters for a few days while the assessor settles in, if possible. Cheers mate'¦ EricR>>
R7: Watanabei Angel...90g Stocking/Overstocking - 04/02/10

WOO HOO!!!!! I have so much rock and so many caves and hiding places!! Sorry I missed you mentioning this in our first exchange - sometimes I get too focused on one thing, eventually I catch up.
<<Ah'¦no worries my friend>>
Well this is something that I can perhaps begin to plan for in the future. Setting up temporary quarters etc...
Thanks again Eric
<<You are most welcome Chris>>
- I feel like I just won the lottery
<<I am pleased that you are pleased>>
- best to you all!!!!
<<And to you!>>
Chris K
<<If you are so inclined, somewhere down the road I would be interested to know how things go'¦ Eric Russell>>

Henis and Pufferfish, FO stkg., incl. Nasos, Tetraodonts 3/28/10
Hello! I have a 120 gallon fish only tank that has been up for a little over four years now. I currently have a 8-9 inch unicorn tang,
<Really needs more room than this>
12-13 inch stars and stripes puffer,
<This too>
and a 4-5 inch lawnmower blenny. Everyone gets a long famously and even when I had some Sailfin tangs everyone got along well. Unfortunately my Sailfin died at the whim of the intake for my filter
<Mmm, doubtful. Zebrasoma are powerful swimmers and very aware of their worlds>
and are no longer present. Today in my LFS I saw a pair of Henis that I would like to add.
<Mmm, no. You don't have room here. Psych- or physiologically>
I've read that they are timid and my puffer can be territorial, but is there a chance of this working if I do things slowly? Thanks P.S. They're the acuminatus variety.
<I'd be shopping around, or planning on building a larger system; even for just what you have now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Henis and Pufferfish, FO stkg.
Thank you for your advice! They are all going into a longer tank when I move away from home.
<I would wait till then to add other/more fishes>
Not sure yet how big but they are.
I guess the case with my Sailfins was unusual. I had a healthy mated pair
<Mmm, not pairs>
for several days then one got stuck in the intake and the other died about a month later. I assumed it was from heartbreak because it gradually ate less and less and then died.
<I suspect the env.... Low DO very likely a contributing factor. Acanthuroids need high dissolved oxygen... compared to the other fishes listed. BobF>

Burrfish in a Predatory Fish-Only tank 2/19/10
Hi Wet Web Media.
My Dad has a 125-gallon tank with a Coral Catshark, a Snowflake Moray Eel, and a Bass of some sort that we caught at Jones Beach.
<This tank is already overstocked. You will need more room as these fishes, particularly the Shark, get larger>
The tank is run on 2 box filters, 1 Sand-Shark internal power filter, 1 Cascade 300 internal power filter, 1 Fluval 104 canister filter, 1 Fluval 105 canister filter, and 1 Fluval 304 canister filter. A large amount of Cherrystone and Little Neck clams serve as biological protein skimmers.
<Not skimmers, no>
There is only 2-3lbs of Live Rock, as using live rock is something new to us. There is small hermit crab shell with 3 feather-duster worms of 3 different species, and Monti Cap, and a blue Zoanthid.
<Wow, you must be on top of water quality, maintenance>
Since the tank has very little action, we plan on buying a Striped Burrfish for the tank.
<I would not>
We've had multiple puffers of the family Tetraodontidae, and none of them have ever harmed the corals, but the
Striped Burrfish will be our first puffer from the Diodontidae family. I'm worried that it will have different habits-will it harm the corals?
<Possibly, yes; and chew/bite the two bottom dwelling fishes>
Even more concerned about-will it harm the feather-dusters? Oh and what is the best food for it?
The fish in the tank are fed with Silversides and occasionally marine flake food for the bass.
<It must be small currently>
I'm not worried about the eel-it hasn't touched another fish in 5 years. The shark has always eaten other fish, as he is nocturnal, but has launched at the bass even while the lights are on. Will the puffer get stressed easily and hurt itself by blowing up if the shark launches at it?
<Might well spell the end for both>
I have read somewhere that Burrfishes are nocturnal themselves, but I'm not sure. Please help me out.
<You've obviously done some reading here... I would be remiss to encourage this placement however small the present occupants are... Do you have plans for larger quarters? Bob Fenner>

15/02/10 Adding additional livestock, FO, 125 gal. 2/15/10
<Hi Danielle>
I have a 125 gallon tank. The livestock I currently have is as follows: (1) One Spot Foxface, (2) False Percula Clowns, (1) Flame Angel, (1) Purple Firefish & (1) Pearlscale Butterfly Fish.
I would like to add a Purple Tang, a Powder Blue Tang & (2) more False Percula Clowns. Will that be too much for my tank?
<Mmm, I would just add one of the tangs here -- will be plenty>
Will the Purple and Powder Blue Tangs get along?
<Not necessarily. The A. Leucosternon can be a terrorist, particularly with other algae eaters such as the Siganid & other Tangs. You are more likely to have success with just the Zebrasoma here. This is also a much hardier fish, coming out of the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. Try to get one from the Red Sea if you can>
I read on a different site that, with tangs, compatibility depends on the shape. Is it safe to follow that rule?
<No, this is not a rule. More like a vague generalisation that does nothing for the hobby, the fishes or their keepers>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<No problem Danielle!>

Stocking list, 150 gal., FO SW, esp. Muraenid Sel. -- 01/28/10
So, I am 13 years old, I have a 150 gallon aquarium that is done cycling and has this stocking list:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake moray eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus)
x1 Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)
<As long as the trigger and the puffer leave the Snowflake eel alone, and as long the fishes are large enough to avoid being eaten by each other, this should work.>
I would like to know if that eel is good for my list. Also are there any other good eels instead of the snowflake that is "easy to keep", small and hardy?
<I would not recommend too small eels below a foot, because of the trigger and the puffer. In the medium sized range there are -- aside the Snowflake eel -- the Barred moray (Echidna polyzona) and the Chainlink eel (Echidna catenata). A little more aggressive, but still an option for not too small tank mates, are the Goldentail eel (Gymnothorax miliaris) and the White-eyed moray (Gymnothorax griseus). A little larger, but compatible with even small fishes is the Zebra moray (Gymnomuraena zebra). Also see here for other moray eel species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm . >
Thanks ps: thanks for the quick response!
<Welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

Stocking list II -- 01/29/10
So my stocking list is this:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 blackspotted puffer
x1 Picasso triggerfish
I've decided I'll go with the snowflake. Now I was wondering if I could put in a V-tail grouper?
<Cephalopholis urodelus should be possible in terms of compatibility. However, your 150 gallon tank will become quite full. You'll need very good filtration and regular water changes to keep the water parameters in line as all these large fishes grow.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. Marco.>

Re stocking list 1/30/10
Alright I think I'll pass on the grouper for my 150 gallon and stay like this:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 blackspotted puffer
x1 Picasso triggerfish
and add them in that order.
<Sounds OK. If the moray eel is large, add it last. The other fishes should have an adequate size to prevent them from being eaten by the Echidna.
Also, have an eye on the puffer and the trigger with regard to the eel's dorsal fin. Cheers, Marco.>

stocking list... Learning to help yourself 2/6/10
Thanks for the response
I won't have the drumfish for my 150 gallon.
I was having a look around at my LFS and I saw a juv. French angelfish and my dad went bazzerk! he wanted it and so I asked around and other people said I had to take away something. My list again:
1 harlequin tusk
1 yellow tang
1 blackspotted puffer
1 Picasso triggerfish
I want to add a French angel. Were would I put in this list? I took out the eel, by the way.
Thanks, connor
<... Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/gray&fr.htmand the linked files above; and learn to/use the search tool/indices. Bob

stocking list -- 3/6/10
I have made a new stocking list:
1 harlequin tusk
1 yellow tang, 2 Kole tangs,
1 niger trigger
1 raccoon Butterflyfish
Is this a good list? Can the yellow tang and Kole tangs get along?
<... USE the site for these questions. BobF>

re: stocking list... more waste of bandwidth 3/8/2010
Thanks for the information Mike!
<Hi, no problem.>
Could I change the trigger (Melichthys Indicus)To another dwarf/regular lion?
<Keeping more than one lion is not recommended, unless your tank is huge (Hundreds of gallons) >
1 harlequin tusk(already have)
1 Russell's lionfish
1 purple tang
1 dwarf/regular lion?
1 freckled Hawkfish
My tank is 150 gallons.
Does the Melichthys Indicus have personality like the other triggers (Picasso, clown)?
They tend to be a bit less aggressive than the other triggers., but if you are referring to 'comical trigger tricks', yes, you won't miss out on that.>

Re FO stocking list, Choerodon fasciata sel. 2/1/2010
Thanks Marco
I plan to get my snowflake eel for my 150 gallon tank at around 10" in size or bigger but around that size.
<Sounds good.>
Another question, my local fish store (lfs) says that they can get harlequin Tuskfish from Vanuatu. Is this a good source?
<Generally, yes, since 2003. Depends a lot on the catchers and wholesalers, but the ones from Vanuatu seem OK.>
They don't get Australian ones, don't know why...
<More expensive?>
my stocking list:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 blackspotted puffer
x1 Picasso triggerfish
<Good luck. Marco.>
stocking list
Choerodon fasciatus - 02/01/10

I thank you for your advice
<You are welcome.>
my lfs don't get harlequin tusks from Australia because, ya, the harlequins are to expensive and he could sell something for a lower price that looked almost like the harlequin.
<Those are harlequin Tuskfishes, too. Just from a different country. Still the same species: Choerodon fasciatus. There's a Northern and a Southern population. The Southern ones appear to have a little more blue, but in the
Northern population you'll also find specimens with blue stripes next to the red stripes. And, the amount of blue increases with age in general.>
What do you mean "it depends a lot on the catchers and wholesalers"?
<In Australia catchers and wholesalers in general have a rather high standard, which means the fish you get are caught carefully (without poison) and treated properly. That's one reason why these fish are more expensive, the other one is that Australia has higher wages than many other countries we import our ornamental fishes from. Vanuatu in general also has a high standard, but somewhat lower wages. Some Indonesian catchers don't keep such a high standard, but if you have good catcher and wholesalers you can get equally healthy fishes.>
Last question, what coloration would the harlequin tusks from Vanuatu have?
<Comparable to other locations, especially from the Southern Pacific including Australia, with more blue. See here
http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=12722 and here
<Welcome. Marco.>

Marine Set Up/Stocking Level... FO 12/10/09
Hi Team.
I have only just recently started to develop an interest in marine fish and have had my first aquarium set up now for about a month (not including cycling time of course) and up until now I have only been gathering information from the owners of the aquarium shop I visit (assuming their expertise would be sufficient) But I keep reading a lot of information on the internet which is contradicting everything I've been told by the staff in this store. I will explain my problem and hope you will shed some light for me on this...
<Will try my best.>
My tank size is 40gallons (which I bought from their store as well) and I only keep two fish in it. The first fish I was recommended was a Volitans Lionfish (which was added after cycling the tank for two months) and after two weeks of adding the lionfish I went back to the store and they recommended a good fish mate would be a 'Sailfin Tang'. These are both seemingly juveniles (they are nowhere near the sizes I have now read they can reach) But it now seems from the information I have read online that my tank is majorly undersized (and after researching this site, it's what prompted me to write to you).
These fish seem to get on perfectly well for the two weeks I have currently had them together and I haven't noticed any acts of aggression towards each other at all, they mainly just keep to themselves and both eat different types of food (so there is no competition for it) The tang is very active and just laps the tank constantly (only shying away when I approach the tank a little too quickly), whereas the lionfish just hides in a cave and only comes out during feeding.
I am now worried that I will have to quickly upgrade my tanks size (which I am prepared to do as these fish are just amazing) and have read I will need at least a hundred gallon tank. The problem is I won't be able to afford a
tank this size for about four months and so was wondering if my current tank will sustain them for this period of time? (if I maintain it with regular water changes etc) Or should I just take the fish back for an exchange/refund? (which would be a bit embarrassing considering the staff told me it would be fine)
I suppose I deserve it for only researching from one source at first, but I don't want the fish to be affected by this as well.
Any advise on this situation would be great.
<Providing your filtration system (you did not mention) is up to par, you should be fine with keeping just these two fish until larger quarters becomes available.
Do ensure that your filtration system is capable of handling a larger tank or this will need to be upgraded also. Sensitive fish, such as your Sailfin Tang should not be introduced into systems with less than 6 months of operation/aging.>
Many Thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Marine Set Up/Stocking Level, FO 12/11/09
I'm relieved too hear that my current tank will sustain the fish for the next three/four months (thanks for letting me know) and I apologies for not explaining the filtration system I have installed (so I will do now for extra reassurance, hopefully)
The tank came with a internal filtration system already (but unfortunately I do not know the details of this) and I also was advised to buy a second external filtration system, which is called 'Eheim Ecco Pro 130'
I have taken a reading using the test strips today and it read...
Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 0
P.H: The colour seemed to indicate between 8.0 and 8.5
KH: 240
I also have two pieces of small live rock in the tank and perform 20% water changes every two weeks (as well as taking out excess dried shrimp daily that the lionfish fails to eat) I also feed the Sailfin Tang 'Marine Flakes' and intend to buy a form of marine algae for it as well.
With this new information, would you still say that I can maintain healthy living condition for the two fish? (if I continue following the same procedures I currently perform)
<I would add more live rock than what you have. Will aid in denitrification as well as giving the tang a sense of security in the form of retreats.>
Sorry for being a nuisance, but your expertise on this matter is greatly appreciated.
<No nuisance, is what we are here for. I will provide you a link to our marine index which will aid you in searching for information.
Again many thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Overstocking? 11/25/09
I really appreciate the time the WWM staff take to answer the questions out there, so I'll make this short:
I have a 125 gal (6' long) reef tank with a 80 gal sump that I feel I am done stocking, but I just want to make sure I am not overstocked, or perhaps could even add more, as well as the likelihood of future compatibility issues. I've gotten opinions from other saltwater friends, LFS(s), as well as my own experience and researching...I just want to make the final checkup because I trust your staff the most. I am not really worried about bioload, as my sump is big, my skimmer is excellent, and I never have water quality problems. I have:
1x Blue Throat Trigger (Male) - 5"
1x Purple Tang - 4"
1x Powder Blue Tang - 5"
1x Green Bird's Wrasse - 5"
1x Flame Angel - 3 1/2" to 4"
1x 6-line wrasse - 2"
2x B/W Occ Clowns - 1 1/2"
5x Blue Chromis - ~2"
1x Sand Sifter Goby - 3"
2x Banggai Cardinals - 1 1/2"
I plan on moving my Banggais and Clowns into my Seahorse Tank soon (55 gal), so my question probably has 2 parts to it: Are the fish fine now?
<I do think likely so>
and...Once I move the Banggais and Clowns, will I have room to add another fish (and if so, how big?). Thanks so much again.
<That's a bit more tricky. You may well have sufficient space physiologically... but not psychologically; particularly over time, with the present fishes developing a social dynamic here. Whatever is added must be aware, not weak at all or unfamiliar with captive foods/feeding (conditioned in quarantine)... and not occupy a niche the present fishes do... perhaps a Jawfish, another bottom dweller would be best here. Bob Fenner>

125 Gallon FO, stkg. -- 02/19/09
Hello Crew,
Thank you for all your efforts!!!
I presently have a Blue Angel and a Pakistani Butterfly in a 125 gallon long. I fear that having the two fish will result in the Angel bullying the butterfly.
<Mmm, might>
I was considering getting a tang or a shoal of Green Chromis to "finish" the tank. I plan on upgrading to a larger tank as I know the Blue Angel will out grow a 125. Any thoughts?
<I think both would go here... though the Angel may need larger quarters in time... But the Chromis will add much interest to your display, and both fish species will goodly serve as dither additions. Bob Fenner>

Some Help Needed With Stocking my 150-gallon, FO SW 02/13/09
Hello to all,
First off I'd like to say how highly informative this site is to me, and I've learned a lot about marine tank setups. I have some questions, though. I'm setting up my very first saltwater tank, which will be an LPS-dominated reef. The tank is 150 gallons, and measures 48" long, 24" wide, and 30" high. Here is my fish list so far:
5- Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
2-Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
1- Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani)
1-Coral Beauty Angel (Centropyge bispinosus)
1- Sixline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia)
1- Bicolor Blenny (Escenius bicolor)
<All these should be fine... a nice modest, reasonable list of fishes...>
I'm hoping to add a larger fish to this mix, and here are my candidates for consideration:
Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)or:
Pacific Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)or:
Foxface (Siganus vulpinus)
<These should all be fine too. The Foxface have a reputation for getting a bit testy... but it might be ok in a large tank with enough rockwork.>
What do you guys think? I'd definitely want what's best for my fish, and don't want to overcrowd. Which of these three would be best for my setup?
Or if none of these would do, I'll more than welcome suggestions for alternatives. Thank you so much in advance.
Old Bridge, NJ
Sara M.>

Wrasse compatibility? Untenable FO mix - 02/08/09 Hi, <Hello Garrett> I have a 125 gallon aquarium I'm getting ready to set up with a 40 gallon sump, skimmer and probably a 100 pounds of live rock with 3 inches of live sand. My question for you is; are a "Thalassoma lunare" Lunar Wrasse and a "Novaculichthys taeniourus" Dragon Wrasse compatible? <Likely so, yes> Some of the other fish I want to add are a "Balistoides conspicillum" Clown Trigger, <Umm, not this, no> "Pterois Volitans" Lionfish, "Calloplesiops Altivelis" Marine Betta, "Forcipiger Flavissimus" Yellow Longnose Butterfly" ,"Pomacanthus navarchus" Majestic Angel <Nor this here either.> and "Echidna Nebulosa" Snowflake Moray Eel. Other than the fact that I might be pushing the limits on my tank with so many fish, are there any possible issues you could see here? <Yep. Please see WWM (FAQs, articles) re the Systems, Compatibility of what you list... This mix won't go here> Any help with this would be awesome. Thanks. Garrett <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Overstocking Insanity 12/25/08 This is an ad I just copied off of craigslist... These are just the fish currently "for sale"... Sadly, there is even a Sailfin Tang in the photo... I guess he's keeping that one. I'm half-tempted to make an offer so I can save them and donate to my LFS. He wont even split them up? What the hell? Know anyone with a 1000g tank looking for a package deal? Or do you think North Hollywood Animal Police handles fish cruelty calls? And I thought I was overstocked. As Bob would likely say... "Yikes". Reply to: comm-967601341@craigslist.org [?]Date: 2008-12-22, 4:53PM PSTI have had my saltwater tank set up for more than a year and some of my fish have outgrown my tank and its time for them to move on to a bigger tank I have a 80g tank and here are the fish I have for sale. 1 bamboo shark, 1 Picasso trigger, 1 nigger trigger,1 snowflake eel, 1 Lunare wrasse, 1 star and stripped puffer and 2 volitans lions one black and one red . Ill be taking offer and the highest one take them all must be adopted together. All of my fish are 5-6" and shark is about 11" and the eel is about 16". <Oh buoy! Makes me wonder just how many gallons of water are actually here. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Small Predator Tank, stkg. 12/15/08 I am trying to plan my return to the marine aquarium world and I wanted to see if I am on the right track. A tank full of small aggressive fish sounds to me like a particularly interesting idea as I always liked Damsels, Groupers and Triggers. So I thought I would see your thoughts on the following stocking list, in the order I plan to stock them: 1 Blue Hamlet (Hypoplectrus gemma' max size 5") 1 Dwarf Lionfish(Probably Dendrochirus barberi max size 7") <Mmm, may swallow some of its tankmates...> 1 Hawkfish(probably Cyprinocirrhites polyactis max size 5") 1 Whitetail Trigger(Sufflamen albicaudatum max size 8.5") 1 Pseudochromis(probably Pseudochromis splendens max size 5") <A good choice in this family> 1 Large Damselfish(probably Dascyllus trimaculatus max size 5") <Can be a terror... even biting you!> First, are there any irreconcilable differences between any of these fish? <Mmm, none tremendously overt... given room, habitat...> I realize that with fish this aggressive there may be one fish that refuses any company whatsoever, but is there at least a reasonable probability of it working? <Yes... in the 125 I see you are proposing below> As far as I can tell they are all big enough to avoid being lunch for the Dwarf Lionfish provided I buy them while larger than three inches. The other issue I would worry about is the Trigger harassing the Lionfish or the Hamlet to death, but from what I read this is one of the triggers that is sometimes kept in reefs, which makes me suspect that interaction will be fine. <As Triggerfishes go the genus Sufflamen are rather mellow. Getting food to the Lion here should not be insurmountable> Then there is the issue of tank size. Does a 125 gallon seem reasonable for this? <Yes> When introduced this is about 20 inches of medium sized fish, when adults it is about 35 inches. <And these fishes won't get this large here, ever> That leaves 1 inch per 3.5 gallons as adults, to me that sounds reasonable since in my experience I rarely get everything in the tank at an adult size at the same time. Reaching a psychological limit seems more likely, but enough caves seems like it should handle that problem. <You exhibit wisdom, patience and intelligence here...> As for filtration I was thinking a large skimmer, a refugium with a deep sand bed, and if it proves necessary perhaps a wet-dry system. Thanks Jesse <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Identification help? And a whole lot more!, Shroom, and stkg.... FO SW, & coral lighting... 12/02/08 Hi crew again-- <Hello, Mich here.> For the purpose of trying to get as many questions asked/answered with one email, please bear with me! <No worries.> I am attaching a picture of what I believe may be a Ricordea mushroom, but I cannot tell. <Looks like a Ricordea yuma to me.> This mushroom hitchhiked in on a piece of live rock. It has "split" once. It does much better under actinic lighting and closer to the lighting than the other mushrooms I have in my tank. <Ricordea are often found in shallow waters.> I have also invested in the Pocket Expert Guide to Marine Fishes by Scott Michael and the 101 Best Saltwater Fishes by Scott Michael. I also purchased the Pocket Expert Guide to Marine Invertebrates by Dr. Ronald Shimek. My next purchase will be the Conscientious Marine Aquarist. <All four are excellent books! You are very wise to spend some money on educating yourself. These books are well worth the money and very useful tools. Congrats to you.> The first three books have helped me immensely on planning the rest of my current 75 gallon tank as well as my preparations to begin setup on a 55 gallon tank and a 30 gallon tank. My 75 gallon will be my reef tank and the 55 gallon will be an aggressive fish only tank. The 30 gallon will be a peaceful fish only tank. Can I ask your suggestions on my list of what I want to put in the 55 gallon? Also what to put in the 30 (below)? <Sure, though I will defer here to ScottF. as he is more knowledgeable in this subject area.> I would like to put in the 55 gallon: <Hi! Scott F. chiming in...> 1 Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon fasciatus) <Yikes! In a 55?> 1 Volitans Lionfish (Pterois volitans) <Oh my!> 1 Scimitar (Bursa) Triggerfish (Sufflamen bursa) <Please, no! You're killing me.> 1 eel (I am undecided on a type here) either a Whitemouth Moray (Gymnothorax meleagris) or a Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra) or possibly a Snowflake Moray (Echidna nebulosa) <OMG!!!!> 1 Pufferfish (again undecided) either a Blackspotted Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) or a Spiny Puffer (Diodon holocanthus) <Airway...I need an airway!> #1 is this too big of a bio-load for a 55 gallon? After reading about each of these, I think they should all do fine together, but wanted your suggestions first. <Um...in a word- YES! I didn't mean to sound too insensitive, but we need to revisit this stocking plan. Not one of these fishes is really even a viable choice for the short run in an aquarium of this size. In addition to reaching sizes that are way too large for this aquarium, these fishes are quite aggressive and incompatible, are messy eaters, and produce copious amounts of metabolic wastes. We need to look at some alternative fishes that will be better suited for this aquarium. Smaller, more peaceful choices would be a better approach. The Harlequin Tusk and the Triggers are simply out of the question for this aquarium. A Lionfish is a possibility, if you are willing to try a different species, such as the "Fu Manchu Lionfish", Dendrochirus biocellatus. This fish is almost as "sexy" as the full-sized guys, yet reaches a more manageable 4 inches or so. It can be a bit shy, but can easily be kept in a 55 gallon aquarium. Like all Lionfish, it is venomous, so do exercise caution when handling this fish. A moray Eel is really not a viable choice for this sized aquarium, either, but you could consider a smaller version, such as the "Golden Dwarf Moray", Gymnothorax melatremus, which is a tiny version of the full-sized species. It reaches a maximum size of about 6-8 inches, and is the diameter of a pen. However, don't let the small size of the fish fool you; these fishes can eat surprisingly large prey items! And, to top it off- they are amazing jumpers. If you do keep one, remember to keep the aquarium tightly covered. They can find the smallest opening and use it to go "carpet surfing"! Oh- and did I mention that they are pretty darned expensive, too! Nonetheless, I think that this would be the only Eel that I would even consider for this sized aquarium. In place of the Harlequin Tusk, consider a smaller wrasse species, such as a Halichoeres species, which generally top off in the 3"-4" range. Better long-term choices for a modest-sized aquarium.> #2 what order would you add them in? I think the trigger should probably be added last, but not sure. <I'd add the Lionfish first, and make sure that he's eating before another fish is added. Then I'd go for the GDM, and the wrasse would round out the stocking list.> Next tank I want to set up is a 30 gallon peaceful. The following are the inhabitants I want to put in: 1 Yellow Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) 1 Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) <Some controversy with this fish. Please see here: http://microcosmaqx.typepad.com/ret_talbot/2008/09/banggai-cardi-2.html http://en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com/wiki/Portal:Letters > 1 Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) 1 Cherub Angelfish (Centropyge argi) 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa) <Don't mix Centropyge angelfish in this sized aquarium. Choose one or the other. Personally, I'd pass on an angelfish in this sized system. However, if you must have one, the C. argi is the better choice. It can be a bit aggressive, so be careful and observe the system often.> 2 Yellow Clown Gobies (Gobiodon okinawae) For this group, I would add the Cherub last. <Absolutely.> Too big of a bio-load? <Oh yes, by far. You need to pare down the stocking list quite a bit. I'd consider keeping the Goby, Royal Gramma, and the C. argi. That would be it! Remember, a 30 gallon aquarium holds less than 30 gallons when you take into account the volume consumed by rock and sand. Smaller water volumes are a great challenge to maintain.> What order to add? <Goby, Gramma, Angelfish!> The fish only tanks will get live sand and some live rock, but that is it. <OK.> I will be putting a protein skimmer on the 55, but will it be necessary on the 30 gallon? <I would say yes. In my opinion, a protein skimmer is not an optional piece of equipment in a marine system. I simply would not run a marine system without one. This is my opinion, of course, but I would be remiss if I did not attempt to convince you to utilize protein skimming in your system, regardless of size.> Could I do more frequent water changes in 30 instead of skimming? <You could, but I still feel a skimmer is mandatory. There are skimmers available for almost any size of aquarium and budget, so do a little research and you'll find one that works for your system.> Okay now a quick question on my 75 gallon if I may. You guys have helped me out with other problems with that tank. Needless to say, I did what I assume many beginning aquarists do--I ran out and bought and bought and bought and did not research first. I have learned the hard way that is not the way to do it! <A terrible lesson, but at least you learned. And the fact that you are sharing your experience with others proves that you have progressed!> With the money wasted in now dead livestock, I could have purchased some really awesome high dollar fish! <Like a Golden Dwarf Moray!> Live and learn I guess! Okay on to the question.... I am planning on purchasing a metal halide/T-5 combo light for my 75 gallon. The following is what I am looking at: 2 X 250 Watt Metal Halide � 15k bulbs included 4 X 54 watt T5 HO Lights included- 4 actinic 03 bulbs 8 lunar moonlights included on fixture � 8 blue 1 watt LED's Unit has 3 Chords and 3 switches Is this sufficient lighting for all corals, etc? <It can be sufficient for a great many corals, and may actually be overkill for some species! It really boils down to what kinds of corals you intend to keep. Personally, I like the flexibility of the Halide/T5 combo, but you could actually get by with exclusively lighting the system with T5 bulbs. They are a remarkably powerful lighting source for a variety of corals. You also may not need 250 watt halides over this sized system. You could do pretty well with two 150 watt DE halides over this sized system, and realize the same flexibility and enjoy energy savings as well!> The other 2 tanks will have actinic lighting--no metal halides or anything "fancy". Any help would sure be appreciated! Thank you so much for being there for people! <You are very welcome! Scott F. signing out!>

New 55 Gallon FO Saltwater Tank, stkg. 11/18/08 Hey Crew, My fiancé and myself are new to the aquarium world and have been doing some research and planning before purchase. We have 2" of sand seeded with live sand that was used to cycle the tank. It's about 2.5 ft high, 4 ft wide and maybe a 1 ft deep. We want to setup the tank to center around a couple of butterflyfish that we'll acclimate at the same time, but will start with some smaller, hardier fish first. <Uh... don't get any fish you don't want "forever." So called "starter fish" are not such a good idea when it comes to marine tanks, unless these are the fish you plan to keep indefinitely.> Was thinking of 2 to 4 blue-green chromis, 2 hermit crabs, and a couple of snails for starters. <Hermits and snails are good for fish only tanks. You can start with 2 chromis, but again, only if there are fish you really do want.> My main question is what type of butterfly fish should I consider? I'd like the Raccoon, but I'm afraid my tank is a tad on the small side. <Your fear is warranted... the tank is probably too small for a Raccoon butterfly, or most any butterfly really. These fish are "roamers" and need as much room as you can give them. But you might be ok with one of the smaller species, maybe. Also, some don't do well with others of their own kind (do better solitary). To start, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm and follow the links to the different groups.> Would you have a good recommendation for butterflyfish that would work well in a tank this size? <I'm not going to say you couldn't keep any kind of butterfly in this tank, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who hasn't been keeping marine fish for a long time. I can understand their appeal and wanting to have a pair of fish. But If what you really want a "romantic" kind of display with a happy pairing of fish... there are better options... like clown fish. Please take your time, do your research. I'm sure you and your fiancé will find the perfect fish for you and your system. :-) > Jason Tindell <Best, Sara M.>

Re: New 55 Gallon FO Saltwater Tank 11/19/08 Yeah, cause Finding Nemo was a really romantic movie... <Mmm, well, while a great show... not the most accurate. Clown fish are actually very easy to pair because if you get two when they are small/young, one (the bigger one) will become female while the other male.> Jason Tindell <Best, Sara M.>

Re: New 55 Gallon FO Saltwater Tank 11/19/08 Sara, I sincerely apologize for that previous email being sent to your website. It was suppose to be sent to my fiancé and I was merely expressing my personal frustration. <Oops, no worries. I do apologize if I caused you to be frustrated. But there's a reason most people don't keep marine aquariums for long (unfortunately). I/we don't mean to turn people off to the hobby, but we do want to let them know what they're getting into.> I do appreciate your advice and time in answering my newbie questions. The blue-green chromis is a starter fish as in we are new to the marine aquarium world and it's a cheap, hearty fish that have a good chance to survive our mistakes and will likely get along well with any future choices so they would be there for the long haul. <Ah, good. I didn't mean to say you shouldn't try your hand with "starter fish" if it's a fish you like and plan to keep. I was referring more to when people use fish like damsels for such and then live to regret it or worse, take them out later and dispose of them. But yes, Chromis are good "starter" fish... and as long as you plan to keep them, they are a fine choice.> However, the B/Fs are what we really would like to have, and it may just take us a little longer and graduating to a larger tank before we introduce <Good idea.> them into our system as I certainly wouldn't want to cram them into a space too small for their needs. <Bless you> Jason Tindell <Good luck... it's an adventure for sure! Best, Sara M.>

120 stocking 11/15/08 Crew, <Joe> I have a question about stocking for my 120. I currently have a porcupine puffer, purple tang, Huma, and clown trigger. I was thinking about adding a coral hind to the tank but don't know if I really have the room. Do you think I have room for any more fish, much less that large of a fish? <I do not. You have too much for this tank already with the large, aggressive Clown.> Thanks, Joe <Welcome, Scott V.>

Stocking question... SW, gen... reading 8/18/08 Howdy Crew <Hi there> I am a junior high school science teacher and am in the process of setting up a 180 gallon saltwater tank in my classroom. It's been running 3 months and I'm in the process of filling it with livestock. I have about 50 lbs of live rock and another 80 of base rock that looks like its starting to be seeded. Oh, and I have a 3 inch bed of live sand. The water quality seems good with nitrates being the only substance that is creeping up a little--I still have bio-balls in the sump since I don't know if my live rock is cooking enough to remove them yet. <Mmm, very likely is> Anyway, I cycled the tank with 2 big Green Chromis. About 3 weeks ago, I added 2 young Percula Clowns (each with a cool double saddle misbar on the back), a lawnmower blenny, and 3 turbo snails . I also have a couple As far as I can tell, the only problem I'm having so far is a hair algae outbreak which let me to the snails and the blenny. I have a few aiptasia but injecting them with lemon juice has worked great so far. My goal for the tank is to create a system with a lot of diversity (with lots to explain to the kids) and I'd like to eventually have a Flame Angel as the centerpiece. Yesterday, I went to my LFS and didn't see any of the fish I really wanted other than a flame angel. ) I'm rather weary of wrasses and the two fish I'm considering from the store are a Sixline wrasse and a yellow wrasse. Here are my questions: 1) Would adding a group of small green chromis to the big 2 be a death sentence for the new ones? <Mmm, not too likely... in a system of this size, shape... they'll probably stay in separate groups> 2) What's your opinion on the wrasse duo, especially the yellow? <S/b fine as well. The Halichoeres chrysus is a fave... you'll see it out and about... the Pseudocheilinus will hide most all the time> I had wanted to add a Mandarin in a year or so, but I'm guessing the wrasses are going to knock the copepod population down too low for that to work. Also, I hear (read) they eat shrimp. <Mmm, only very small...> 3) In building a cleanup crew, will different types of crabs battle or will they claim a territory and be happy? <... I'd do a bit of reading re... skip on decapods> Also are there any shrimp that will work with the addition of the yellow wrasse? <Sure... Hippolytids esp.> I really need something that will clean up my sand. <Mmm, other animals for this> 4) Since I have the 2 clownfish are other clowns of the same (or different) species now off limits? <In a six foot long system, another pair of Amphiprion should be fine> 5) What are your thoughts on the following as future fish: Yellow Tang, Pajama cardinal(s), Schooling Bannerfish (can I do just 1?), <Yes> Royal Gramma, Clown goby, and the Flame angel. 6) Do you have any other opinions on what would be "cool" for me to put in the tank for a 7th grader to see? (I am new to all of this.) <Mmm, I'd ask them to research.> Thanks very much for your time and thanks for the great website. <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Stocking List; what size tank? 10/11/08 Good day Crew of WWM, <Eric> I have a quick question. Here's the list of fish I'm planning to buy, and I'm wondering, what is the smallest tank you would recommend? <Mmm... okay> 1. Yellow Tailed Blue Damsels/Green Chromis (3) 2. Flame Angel 3. Starry Blenny 4. Canthigaster Solandri <Mmm, a stock shape 55 or sixty minimum... bigger... better> I'll have an over-filtered tank with plenty of live rock, aeration, and an excellent skimmer, of course. Ideally, I would like to put them in a 46 gallon bowfront tank, <Mmm, not a good shape for the volume... too little space for all to get away from each other, you> if at all possible. Do you think this is too small? <Yes> Thanks as always! Eric <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish and Harlequin Tusk... incomp. 10/1/08 Hello, <Hi> I have a Dwarf Lionfish that is about 4" long living nicely with a Carpet Eel Blenny <(Congrogadus subducens)> (he was added a couple of weeks ago). I introduced a new Dwarf Lion to my tank three days ago and woke up this morning to find it dead. It had been harassed by the other Dwarf, but I was (stupidly?) hoping that they could sort out their differences. <Likely got poked> This same Dwarf harassed a Clown Trigger until it had to be removed to another tank. <I would too. NOT compatible> Oh, I have a 55 gallon tank with canister filter (Fluval 305) and CPR BakPak skimmer along with a bunch of live rock (sorry, don't know how many pounds). So, I really want to introduce another fish to live with these two, <You need to study...> at the same time add some color to the tank, but am feeling a little gun-shy regarding the aggression my lion has been showing towards fish. I really want a Harlequin Tusk, <This tank... is too small> but I'm happy to hear suggestions. <Oh, good> I just don't want unhappy fish and would like to keep my Dwarf Lion. Can you guys help me?? Thank you! <Can help you help yourself. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwflioncompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, and peruse WWM until you're better aware of your possibilities. Bob Fenner>

re: trigger and tank size... ridiculous FO lvstk. mix, joke? 10/1/08 I have a 120 gallon tank. In it i have a Picasso trigger and a Niger trigger. is this going to be enough room for them when they have grown to full size or should i be looking for a bigger tank now? <Likely would/will be fine> i also have a Volitans lion fish, dog face puffer, a fox-face rabbit fish, and 2 eels. thanks in advance. <... is this a joke? I do hope not. See WWM re the Systems, Compatibility of what species you have. This mix will NOT work. Bob Fenner>

Fish Tank Question, Marine Stocking 9/22/08 Hey WWM Crew, <Hello> I have a question regarding the following: I have a 46 gallon bow front aquarium that I am setting up for a saltwater tank. <I have had one of these for years.> I'm all good with that but a question has come across my mind for fish for in this aquarium. When placing fish into a 46 gallon bowfront is these fish that I would like to have fine together in this size tank. I would like to have, a pair of True Percula Clownfish, <Ok> a Raccoon Butterfly, <Gets too big.> a Coral Beauty Angelfish, <Needs a bit larger tank.> and a Koran Angelfish. <Also too big.> I believe that I have given enough area for the fish to be able to separate and enough spots to hide out, so I believe this number will be an okay amount. <I would disagree here, for comparison in mine I have a pair of clowns and a Gramma, plus a fairly large serpent star and I consider it fairly well stocked. The tank is smaller than you think, especially when rock, sand, and equipment is added in.> But if you don't think so please let me know. <See above.> And my second question that might already be answered in the first one is Will both a Koran angelfish and a Coral Beauty angelfish be able to go together, I know sometimes that 2 angels cant go together, but if I add them at same/similar times (please let me know if that is even necessary if fish are fine together) but will those to angels be fine together? <Not in this sized aquarium.> Thank you so much for your help Ryan <Welcome> <Chris>

Stocking list compatibility.. FO... 155 gal.s 8/30/08 Hello Crew! <Jeremy> After a very sudden and devastating bout with Amyloodinium that wiped out an entire tank in less than 24 hours and a very tough lesson learned about QT'ing for a FULL 4 weeks, and nothing less, I'm in the position of coming up with a new stocking list once my 6 week fallow period has passed. Having learned what I have over the last year, I'm going to change up my list of possible inhabitants a bit and wondered if someone would mind taking a brief look at it and tell me if there are any absolute compatibility no-no's. I have a year old 120gal mixed reef set-up with a 6" DSB, 100lbs. LR, 35gal sump with a built in refugium growing Chaeto/Copepods fed by dual MegaFlows and roughly 3400gph total tank flow rate. Some of the possibilities I'm considering include: Holocentrus Adscensionis (Squirrelfish) *or, not both* Neoniphon marianus (Longjaw Squirrelfish) <Both good choices in Holocentrids...> Pterois Volitans (Volitans Lionfish) <Mmm, will get to be about half the allowable biomass in this volume> Coris Gaimard (Gaimard Wrasse) Pterapogan kauderni (Banggai Cardinal) <Eaten by the Lion, maybe the Squirrel> Neocirrhites Armatus (Scarlet/Flame Hawkfish) <Ditto> Siganus Magnificus (Magnificent Rabbitfish) Zebrasoma Flavescens (Yellow Tang) Istiblennius Chrysospilos (Red/Orange Spotted Blenny) Synchiropus Picturatus (Psychedelic Mandarin) *POSSIBLY, undecided if I want to risk it* <Mmm, also eaten...> Chromis Viridis (Blue-Green Chromis) <Ditto> Linckia Laevigata (Linckia Starfish) <See WWM, not good species for aquarium care> Premnas Biaculeatus (Maroon Clownfish) *To be added last* Congrogadus Subduscens (Green Wolf Eel) *Unclear as to whether this is even a survivable/viable species to try* <Is actually pretty tough> Apologies for dual naming, I'm trying to get out of the habit of using common names but still need reminders. Obviously I'm not thinking of stocking all of these fish, but a handful out of the list. After searching and searching through the FAQ's, my head is spinning and I hoped that I might be able to take a little more direct approach by gleaning from one of you guys directly. Any input, suggestions, or substitutions would be greatly appreciated. BTW thank you Bob for your help with my pond a few weeks ago. After a few back to back water changes, my Koi with the mysterious black spots/growths cleared up and all inhabitants are apparently happy again! <Ah, good> Whatever was causing it seemed to be environmental after all. Humbly, Jeremy <Well... you have pretty much "2" systems to decide between... the one with the Squirrel and Lion (plus a few other of the larger choices listed) OR the one with the smaller fishes excluding them... Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking list compatibility.. 8/31/08 Thank you for the reply Bob. I kind of thought the Volitans might get to be a little large, but what about one of the smaller species like Dendrochirus biocellatus if some of the smaller selections were of mature size? <Mmm, no, I wouldn't> The only reason I ask is because I know my wife will want some of the smaller *pretty* fish, and I've wanted to try some type of Scorpionfish for a long time, so I'm trying to find a happy medium somewhere. <Two tanks> I can do without the squirrelfish if necessary as I didn't have my heart truly set on one to begin with. I'm assuming that the cardinals and the mandarin (my wife will be heartbroken) would still be no-no's, but what about the chromis and Hawkfish? <... not with the Lion... Please learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM. This information and much that you will find of use, interest is archived along side of it. Bob Fenner>

Some questions... leaping before... 08/28/08 Hi, I was hoping you'd be able to shed some light on some queries I have. <We'll see> 1. Can you help identify this fish in the attachment? It's a puffer for sure but which kind, I can't seem to determine. <Mmm... yes... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tetraodontpuffers.htm... A. hispidus> 2. It's about 4 days old in my tank so it's a new addition. Since I don't know what kinda fish it is, <? You bought something live, took it into your care, w/o even knowing...?> not too sure about its feeding habits. What does it eat and what frequency should I feed it. <... idiocy> 3. I have a 270 gallon tank. What should be the optimum flow per hour in order to facilitate the best filtration. <Ditto> 4. Again, consider the size of my tank, I have a medium sized Volitans lionfish, a small sucker remora, <... incompatible...> a small puffer, a small/medium spotted grouper, a small 6 line Soapfish, <toxic...> and the puffer I cannot identify. So a total of 6. How many more can I add and what kinda fishes would go well with the existing in this community? 5. Am thinking of adding a trigger. Which is the most docile and least aggressive one? Thanks for your help again. B <... Please... learn to use WWM, read some basic books... BEFORE removing life to your inexperienced care. Bob Fenner, disgusted>

Re: Some questions 08/28/08 Bob, appreciate your comments and perhaps, I should deep dive into why I am in this situation. I didn't want to bore you with a life history. <Please fill me in with what is pertinent> Fact is, this tank, I inherited from friends who left the country 2 days ago. Prior to them leaving, they made an addition to the tank that they thought I'd like it in case you were wondering why there was a new fish. I didn't buy it. <I see> Does this explain why I have no clue about saltwater tanks? <Oh yes> And in case you were going to say my friends should have sold them back to the fish shops, I think you'd appreciate that I am in China. We did try asking them if they'd take the fishes back but China has different dynamics. They'd do anything to sell you a fish but will never let you sell it back, unlike the US. Sad fact but true. <Thank you for this> The reason I am asking about adding additional fishes is just in case I get the hang of this saltwater thingy, I may start to get good at it and eventually turn it into a hobby. For now, I am just trying to keep these little fishes alive rather than to leave my friends with no options except to trash the entire tank. <Mmm... I would definitely "punt" here... Add no more, read/study what you can till you have a semblance of what can exist well-enough together, return, sell, give away the rest... Put together a stocking plan some time in future> I scurried the web to find a reliable source of help and info and chanced upon your site. I was hoping you could offer help in keeping these fishes alive. <What in particular do you seek?> You can remain disgusted and call me an idiot <Mmm, did not... I know you naught. I stated that the acts were idiocy... You appear to be a very competent writer of English... otherwise, you may look this word up> if you wish and I will try and find help elsewhere. I came to you because I could not turn to the local fish people coz i doubt they'd really care. It's only a business to them and they won't be offering any constructive advice since they only vested interest is making money out of me. All I was hoping for from you was a little compassion just like the compassion I gave to the inherited tank and fishes. <... I understand... and can and will gladly help you... but, where to start? There is MUCH to know, and you have, as the amended title (by me) stated "leapt..." into things, "w/o looking"... as you state here from all this being gifted to you. Do you have service companies that take care of fish tanks for folks there, in your region? I strongly suggest you avail yourself of their services NOW, until you feel more confident re taking all this on yourself. Saltwater aquarium keeping is not overly difficult, nor mysterious, but it takes a bit of knowledge... and gaining this will take a few months. We have tens of thousands of folks (unique ISPs) per day that use our resource... Do please become facile at using the search tool, indices... Most all of your immediate concerns are addressed, archived (I am the common progenitor of this site). Bob Fenner>

Fish Stocking Question for 90g Marine Tank -- 08/24/08 Hello WWM Crew, <<Greetings Clay>> I have a question regarding the stocking of my system. <<Okay>> Here is a brief description of my tank. I have a 90 gallon display tank with a 40 gallon sump and refugium. The tank contains 130 pounds of live rock. My skimmer is a SWC Xtreme NW-160. Other filtration includes active GAC and PhosBan. The system has been up and running for just over 11 months. I currently have a Royal Gramma, Ocellaris Clown, Orchid Dottyback, and a Sailfin Tang. <<Mmm'¦though I'm sure it doesn't seem like it, the 90 is too small for the Sailfin. If this fish were to reach its maximum 'wild' size it would hardly be able to turn around in this tank. And though it likely won't get that large in captivity, just growing up in this 'too small' system will probably have deleterious effect on its long-term health, along with spawning abhorrent/aggressive behavior as it matures>> The tank also contains a mix of various soft corals, Zoanthids, and mushrooms. I am considering adding 4 more fish and would like to hear your thoughts. <<Sure>> I would very much like to add a small angel such as a Flame or Coral Beauty. <<Choose the Flame for sure'¦ The Coral Beauty is an exquisite fish, and if a healthy and undamaged one can be obtained and acclimated (these can prove difficult) it can be quite hardy. But the Flame Angel has proven to be an exceptional aquarium specimen among Centropyge species, both hardy and easy to care for'¦and a real beauty itself to boot>> I would also like to get 3 Yellow-tail or Azure Damselfish. Does adding these fish seem to be a wise decision? <<This number of this size fishes is fine, though the Damsels are a bit of a gamble re getting along'¦perhaps a trio of Cardinal fishes'¦The Pajama or Longspine maybe>> If so, what order should these be added in? <<Between the Angel and the Damsels, I don't think it matters'¦if you go with Cardinals then place these before the Angel'¦though I think the established Dottyback is the real concern re any of these new additions>> Thanks for any suggestions or comments you can provide. Clay <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

Stocking a 90 Gallon Tank'¦Three Tangs Too Much? (Yes!) -- 08/07/08 Hi Bob and Crew, <<Hello Melissa'¦Eric here>> I have a question about stocking a 90 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump/refugium. <<Okay>> I have 150 lbs. of live rock and the tank has been set up for 9 months. <<Ah, a 'young' system then>> It will soon be a reef after I increase lighting. <<I see'¦then do keep this in mind re your stocking plan as ALL life will have an impact/be a burden to the system>> Recently I had an outbreak of ich. They are currently in the treatment tank and unfortunately I'm revising my stocking list because I lost some of the fish. I'm wondering if I'm overstocking the tank, although the LFS owner who usually gives good advice says I'm not. <<Is often a subjective observation (with many variables)...but if trouble keeps arising re then logic/reason must dictate>> I'm starting to question this because twice in the past 9 months I've gotten ich. <<While this may well be a stocking/overstocking issue, it may also be a problem with your husbandry (poor water quality, diet, etc.) or even the source of the livestock (poor collection/holding practices). All of which will cause stress and the associated depression of the fish's immune system>> Both times it happened when I was stocking close to the last fish. The first time I wasn't dipping or quarantining properly but learned my lesson and the second time around dipped and quarantined all new fish unless you stated here that it was best to just dip and place the particular fish. <<Very good>> This time when I was placing the last few fish my two tangs started to fight (they have never had any trouble for the past 7 months), one got sick and it started to spread. <<Mmm'¦this sudden fighting and subsequent illness may very well be put to a 'too full' environment>> Since I have switched over to saltwater two years ago I have only lost one fish after initial quarantine, <<Commendable>> except these times when I have reached capacity and had an ich outbreak. Other than this I've never had a disease, fish fighting, not eating, etc. <<Sounds as if perhaps you have been doing some good reading/researching beforehand>> Everyone has seemed happy and active and this has me wondering if this is more than a coincidence. <<Coincidence? No'¦ It is a certainty that 'something' you are doing or about your system is leading up to these outbreaks. The key is to use the clues available to discover and break the cycle of events that result in the complaint>> I'm sure it is somewhat stressful whenever a new fish is introduced <<Too all, most assuredly (remember being/receiving the new kid in school?)'¦ Not to mention being plucked out of their environment and tossed around by 'giants'>> but they have seemed to adjust fine until I'm close to full. <<A clue then>> Also, I haven't had any trouble keeping my levels at 0 with nitrates around 10-15 <<Another clue'¦>> with my weekly water changes and nothing else seemed to have changed before the outbreaks like temperature variations, pH change etc. This is the current stocking list; all fish except the powder brown were placed at the time of illness: Powder Brown Tang (A. japonicus) Percula Clown Yellow Tang Kole Tang Green Clown Goby Yellow Clown Goby Yellow-headed Jawfish Firefish Scooter Blenny Diamond Goby Bicolor Blenny Sixline Wrasse 5 Chromis 3 Lyretail Anthias (1 male, 2 female) Am I overstocking and if so are there specific issues? <<It is my opinion you 'are' overstocked. Aside from just the mass of the fish flesh packed in this tank, you have some species that really require larger quarters. This tank is 'marginal' for any tang species in my opinion, and certainly too small to house three. Aside from health issues, these fish can suffer social/behavioral problems from 'growing up' in a too small environment'¦as may be evidenced by the sudden fighting as the tank becomes more crowded>> I really like tangs but if 3 is too many I can cut down there. <<A 'single' specimen is best here'¦and any one of these three smallish species you have chosen would be fine in my opinion>> Also, I would prefer to just have a pair of anthias, but have been told 3 is best. <<This is the popular consensus'¦ But you can always give it a try'¦observing behavior of the remaining pair for a time and reintroducing the second female if things get too rough>> Like I said, I have lost some fish at this point and want to take this opportunity to revise the stocking list so I can prevent this in the future. I would like a tank that is full and active but with happy, healthy fish that live long lives. <<A tank full of fishes is a common desire'¦but this 'want' must be balanced with the particular environment. This involves not only choosing species that are compatible, but also choosing species that are 'suitable' to the limitations of the environment. While it could be other factors as well, the fighting among the tangs is suggestive of crowding (which may even be exacerbated by too much rock in the display limiting 'swimming' space). The moderately high Nitrate level, while deemed within acceptable limits for a FOWLR system (will need to be kept at <5ppm when you go 'Reef'), is also suggestive of a crowded/overburdened system. While the latter might be dealt with by adding a DSB, ancillary chemical filtration, and/or increasing the size of the refugium'¦the former can only be addressed with a larger system, or a rethinking of your stocking plan>> Thanks, Melissa <<I hope this proves helpful. EricR>>

Re: Stocking a 90 Gallon Tank'¦Three Tangs Too Much? (Yes!) -- 08/07/08 Hi Eric, <<Hey Melissa!>> Thanks for your help. <<A pleasure>> I have been wondering myself if 150 lbs of rock is too much. <<Mmm, yes'¦depends on the particulars of the rock'¦but does sound in excess to me. Perhaps you can remote some of this>> Since the tank is empty right now I took the chance to rearrange to allow more swimming room and better circulation but it still looks full! <<Ah well, can indeed be a difficult balance'¦to provide enough hiding places, adequate biological filtration, etc.>> I can move some of the rock into the refugium/sump area, how many pounds would you suggest keeping in the display? <<Hard to say, not knowing how dense/heavy this rock is. But try building a pair of 'bommies' from the rock, surrounded on all sides by substrate, and see what you have. Build the bommies as high as you can yet not so high as to be unstable (often easier said'¦). Try to incorporate plenty of nooks and crannies for hiding. I think you will find this to be more interesting than the ubiquitous 'rock wall' and the design typically allows more freedom of movement to the fishes'¦as well as enhanced water flow/circulation>> I will start working on cutting down the stocking list. <<For the best I feel. Most of the smaller fishes you listed will probably be fine, though I think you may eventually have an issue with the Sixline Wrasse and the Firefish as the former can be a real terror in confined spaces, and the latter is very easily harassed to the point of starvation>> I know there is no set in stone formula for how many fish/inches because of all of the variables but do you have some type of guideline for me to figure out when I've cut enough? <<Other than reading/researching/experience'¦I'm afraid not. But do feel free to bounce your ideas/selections off me if you wish. Before purchase of course [grin]>> For future reference (I just upgraded but already have visions of a bigger system) what size tank would you recommend for 2 or 3 tangs? <<Considering 'standard' available sizes'¦at least 6-feet in length and 125g in volume for a pair'¦bigger for a trio. And even then, species selection is still key (i.e. -- don't try to house a Naso and a Sailfin together in a 125g tank). This may sound extreme, but viewing these animals firsthand in their natural environment gives one a new perspective and sense of appreciation>> You said for my system a single tang would be best. <<This is my opinion, yes>> Is this because a 90 gallon is just too small for 2 tangs period or because of the large amount of other fish present? <<The former'¦the latter merely heightens the issue>> I'm just trying to clarify so I don't make these mistakes again in the future <<No worries my friend'¦understood>> and despite all of the research I've done here on stocking it seems like such a gray area. <<To a large degree this is so'¦it is up to you to gather the information (preferably from several sources) and then use your own good judgment to make a decision>> Thanks again, Melissa <<Always welcome. Eric Russell>>

R2: Stocking a 90 Gallon Tank'¦Three Tangs Too Much? (Yes!) -- 08/07/08 I'll try your suggestions and send a new stocking list when I get one done. <<Excellent>> I'm on the same page with you about the sixline. He was the only fish I didn't research before purchase and was terrible to new fish (and sometimes existing)! <<Indeed'¦ I have even seen this behavior demonstrated in tanks of hundreds of gallons in volume>> Unfortunately, I lost him with the ich and he won't be replaced. <<Perhaps a suitably sized Halichoeres species (e.g. -- H. chrysus or H. iridis)>> Thanks, Melissa <<Be chatting! EricR>>

R3: Stocking a 90 Gallon Tank'¦Three Tangs Too Much? (Yes!), gather, place FO f' -- 08/07/08 8/9/08 Hi again Eric, <<Hello Melissa>> I have revised the stocking list for my 90 gallon and wanted to get some feedback. <<Happy to do so>> If this is still too many I could substitute the 3 Lyretail Anthias for a Fairy Wrasse. <<Might be a good idea, considering the rather large size of these Anthiines>> Also, I was considering a Dragon Goby instead of the Diamond Goby and was wondering if they generally cause a problem in a reef tank by dropping sand on the coral. <<I think either one will cause you grief'¦ The Dragon Goby won't 'crop-dust' your corals like the Diamond Goby will, but as it matures/gets large (about 6' and very robust) it will vigorously excavate and at times create quite the 'dust cloud' as well as disturb your DSB's function (if you have one). Either one can also dislodge/topple live rock if not carefully anchored/settled on the bottom of the tank. Both are interesting and do a great job of stirring/keeping the substrate looking good, but I've come to think these fishes are more trouble than they're worth>> I'm looking into a 180 gallon to accommodate more tangs! <<Yay!>> Percula Clown Yellow Tang Diamond Goby or Dragon Goby <<If you must'¦I would go with the slightly smaller Diamond Goby for your system>> Yellow-headed Jawfish <<Requires some special considerations (best kept in a species-specific system). Do have a read here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/jawfishe.htm >> Bicolor Blenny Scooter Blenny 5-Blue Reef Chromis Fire Fish Yellow Clown Goby Green Clown Goby 3-Lyretail Anthias (2 female, 1 male) <<These are a superb aquarium species, but will do better in more space than your current 90g system>> Thanks, Melissa <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Re: Fish Selection, FO 8/9/08 Dear WWM, Ok I have changed my fish selection for my 90 gallon: 1) 3-5 Bartlett's Anthias 2) Chalk Basslet 3) Rainford's Goby 4) Divided Leopard Wrasse <Had to look this up: Macropharyngodon bipartitus bipartitus Not an easy fish to find in good condition, or keep in captivity> 5) Firefish <Social species... need to be kept in a group, pairs, depending on which...> Do you think this is a good selection, the only one I am worried about is the Divided Leopard Wrasse, but I have read they are very peaceful? <Are... just not very hardy, adaptable to aquarium settings. But can be kept> With the Anthias do you think I should do a combination of females and a male, or should I just do females? <I'd have a male for sure... or one of the group will turn into such...> Also, what order to you think I should add them into my tank, and how far apart should each addition be? Alex <The Labrid and Microdesmids last... a few weeks twixt the others, these last a few months after. Bob Fenner>

Eel, Trigger, Large Tang - Tank Size... FO stkg. f' 8/7/08 I have perused several posts in the FAQ's and I think my specific question has not been answered, but I think I may have an idea what the answer is: <Ok> I want to set up a tank for an eel (Zebra moray, probably), a trigger (Rhinecanthus rectangulus, probably), and one other fish, possibly a butterfly or a suitable tang (Convict?). <Acanthurus triostegus? The Manini? Am out in HI currently... this is a social species... not really happy, healthy kept individually. Maybe a Kole instead... see WWM re> My main question concerns the size of the tank. I have a 150 gallon that is four feet long, two feet wide, and 31 inches deep, which seems suitable in terms of volume, and offers some options for free swimming since I plan to arrange it so there is a continuous "track" around the outside so a fish could rapidly circle the tank continuously without running into any obstructions. In this way it is probably not typical of the tanks that your posts usually assume. <Agreed, and much better> You've told many people that no tank less than six feet long is acceptable for a trigger, <Mmm, not I... but def. the bigger the better> and usually then you reference the size, no smaller than 90 gals or so. To be certain about it, would you say that a four-foot long tank offering a nearly 10 foot perimeter for free swimming would be suitable, or would something like a six-foot 135 gallon be preferable just because of the linear distance along one side, even though it would not be practical to have a "raceway" around the whole tank and it would not be as deep? <Good point, and I think you should be fine here with the species in question> As for the other questions: Would a convict tang be likely to hold his/her own with a rectangulus (given that I know the individuals are unpredictable and things could always go south as the trigger grows)? Is there another tang that would do better (preferably one that is native to Hawaii as I'm sort of striving for a biotope if I can do it) <Yes... the Ctenochaetus mentioned... otherwise... not hard to search your choices> or would a saddleback or other type of butterfly be more likely? <Mmm, not an ephippium... see WWM re better/best BF's... there's an article or two> Will the trigger tend to control algae growth <? No> as well as a tang would, or do they just snack on algae? I was thinking that I needed someone to help with algae control since I won't likely be able to keep a significant population of cleaners. Thanks, Brad Churchill <Again, the Bristlemouth Tangs... Bob Fenner>

FO lvstkg., GIGO 8/6/08 Hi, I have a Lunar wrasse, Niger trigger, and a Foxface. I have had the wrasse and trigger for over 2 years, the Foxface I have had for a year. I want to get more fish. Could you suggest what would be compatible. I know whatever I buy should be same size or bigger than what I already have. I have a 97 gallon corner unit, with a lot of live rocks, I used to have snails, crabs, and shrimp. The wrasse used to pluck the snails off the glass till they disappeared. Please advise <Mmm, you may well have trouble with the Wrasse and Trigger, even the Siganid, with any new fish additions... as these animals are territorial, and this is really not much space... I would rather you take a read on WWM, reference books and ask in turn what your likely "odds" are with any given choice of additions here. Perhaps start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/folvstkgfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Fish Only Tank, 120 stkg., filtr. 7/23/08 Hey guys thanks for your time. I am looking to convert my 120 tall to a fo system. I would like to have a dogface puffer, niger trigger and a Humu. <Mmm, do make sure all are getting foods> No live sand or rock. <I would use LR...> I was wondering if this tank is big enough for all 3. <A bit crowded psychologically, but with proper set-up, maintenance, could be made to work> I currently have a Rena xp3, a magnum 350 deluxe with bio wheel and a penguin 330. Would this filtration be enough for what I hope to do. <Mmm, I would look into other types of filtration other than canister, outside power... and have more circulation. Likely otherwise you'll be constantly fighting the mal-affects of nutrient accumulation> Also, is it a must to have a skimmer? <I definitely would with this set-up, stocking> I have been told it is not but I will need to do more frequent water changes than if I did. <False economy... more expensive, less fun...> I have a 35 gallon reef with a rio nano skimmer but I'm sure it would do no good on this system. Thank you for your advice, it is greatly appreciated. <Mmm, do a bit of reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm the first Index... on FO set ups, the second Index on Filtration... Bob Fenner>

Stkg. FO 125 7/22/08 Hey guys, just a quick question, can a bird wrasse and a harlequin Tuskfish live together peacefully in a 125 gal? <Should, yes> There also is a porcupine puffer, antennata lionfish, powder blue surgeonfish <The most sensitive here> and possibly a Pinktail triggerfish? thanks!! <The lion is too likely to get picked on, starved out by the Puffer and Trigger... Bob Fenner>

80 gallon... FO stkg., induced troubles, now and later 7/11/08 I have a clown trigger, Huma Huma trigger each about an inch big. A clown fish (2 inches), a valentini puffer about 3 inches, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 Sailfin tang about (5 inches), and a dwarf lion about 2 inches in a 80 gallon tank. <Mmm, the Clown Trigger will too likely "go after" the Lion, the rest of the fishes, the Rhinecanthus last, here... w/o any notice... I would remove it soon> How long before I have to move out the triggers? <Maybe months, perhaps a year... but...> And can I add anymore fish to it? I was looking at a flame Hawkfish <I would remove the triggers first... The Lion will likely inhale the Hawk, Clown, damsel... Bob Fenner>

General and specific salt water questions... FO Stocking and the nature of, but not the, truth -- 07/10/08 Hi guys, This might be a drawn out explanation but I thought it best that you get the background and most information as possible. I thought I had been well educated from research and unfortunately trial and error in some cases on maintaining salt water tanks over the years and have gotten information from several local fish stores in my area so when I received collaborating information it seemed good and when I got conflicting information I tried to do some of my own research. <Quite a lead-in> But I have ventured into areas I have no experience in recently and came across your website and you guys seem to be the place to get the most abundant, accurate, and detailed information. so here goes. I have had salt water fish only tanks since 2001. started out with a 55 gallon long with a hang on back overflow and an AMiracle sump system, I also added a protein skimmer into the sump. had a few fish in that tank, small ones like a clown and small angel (Koran I believe, have to forgive its been awhile) and some blue damsels and chromis. I moved in 2003 and unfortunately during the move the frame around the tank was broken and I did not want to chance the tank giving out so I bought a 65 gallon to replace it. I am much happier with that overall size and space inside then the longer skinny 55. at the new place over the course of 3 1/2 years I had the clown some red leg hermit crabs, emerald crabs (although I seem to have trouble keeping the emeralds for more then a few months) the blue damsels and chromis( I believe only 2 each), tried a long nosed butterfly to no avail, after I lost one chromis and the butterfly probably 6 months apart, I ventured into more predatory fish. The tank still had the sump and protein skimmer, probably about 10 lbs of live rock, an equal size amount of lace rock <Some of this can be trouble chemically> however a lot lighter of course all for structure. <Eats bushes... then leaves?> and a crushed coral bottom. also a powerhead with rotating arm to provide addition water circulation. I bought a very small snowflake eel ( probably only 5 inches long and about as thin as a number 2 pencil) to go with the clown and 3 damsels left. the fish were fed a marine flake food mostly and about 1 - 2 times a week were given frozen mysis shrimp, live or frozen brine shrimp, or frozen Cyclopeeze. basically a variety of other frozen foods to supplement the flake food nutrition. the ell was fed ghost shrimp, frozen krill, squid pieces by hand and also small goldfish <...> that were kept and fed Cyclopeeze to help boost there nutrition for the eel. once the eel had gotten too large to be safely kept with the other fish ( unfortunately after the clown mysteriously disappeared) he was transferred into a 29 gallon tank with a Fluval 300 canister filter ( it can handle up to 75 gallons according to their information and was overkill for the 29 gallon tank but was bought with intentions to switch to the 65 gallon fish only tank) the snowflake thrived in his own tank and about a year and a half ago I added a very small Tessalata eel and a very small lion fish. <... you're joking? In a 29 gallon volume?> I just recently moved again unfortunately and donated the damsels left back to my fish store and only kept the Volitans lion which is now about 7 - 8 inches long and "mane" when he spreads it is about the same, the snowflake is 15 inches long and about the thickness of a fat highlighter, ( sorry about the crude size comparison but its easiest I think to picture). <A good one> the Tessalata is only about 10 to 12 inches and only about 1/2 to 2/3 the thickness of the snowflake. I have read through some of your responses to people questions and often tell people that their tank size is undersized for what the have as they grow. however they have what I think is more then adequate room to swim <Mmm, no> and I do have intentions of upgrading the size of their tank as they grow more. the lion is now on of the largest I have seen in person and never seen any for sale as large as mine so I am not sure how much larger he will get but I know the 2 eels will grow quite a bit over the next few years. I was recently graced with a banded shark egg however as a surprise gift from my girlfriend who just started a job at a different local fish store. according to the people she works with they told her it would be ok for 8 months or so in that size aquarium until we save the money to upgrade. <Mmm, no again> but to watch the "newborn" once he hatches around the lion depending on size ratios he might be seen as food for the lion. but he should be large enough once hatched to not be seen as food for the eels. I have intentions <The road to heck is paved with them> of upgrading to a 220 gallon tank she has at her store with internal overflows, and either a separate refugium and sump or one large combined unit underneath and transferring all 4 of those to that large tank once its needed. my biggest questions are am I doing this all wrong???? <A bit stultified, yes... instead of "intending" to do things... there is another POV... that is providing adequate circumstances in advance of eventualities... Sort of like planning for retirement financially if you will> do you think I will need a larger tank for all 4 of them? <Definitely> I love my lion and eels <Mmm, were there time, interest, I'd like to banter with you re def. of "love"... To me, loving something is looking out for its best interests, not what it can/will do for you. Is this what you have done here?> and cant wait for the shark to hatch. these more predatory animals to me are a lot more interesting of a fish tank to have then more standard marine fish. <Fishes> so I am willing to go get what is needed for them to be healthy and happy. <Oh!> space provided of course! I don't have room or money for 500+ gallon tank just yet! also any links or advice on a better diet or more correct diet for my lion and eels and future little guy would be greatly appreciated. <Already posted, archived, ready for you to read on WWM... look up the family accounts for what you have, intend to keep...> like I said I thought I was pretty well educated on caring for salt water fish but after reading a lot of post on your site I am afraid I am another very under educated aquarium hobbyist <I feel the same> Thanks for any and all help Dave <Glad to co-conspire with you. Bob Fenner>

Re: general and specific salt water questions... Stocking and the nature of, but not the, truth... More ludicrous stmt.s 7/11/08 Thanks for the quick response Bob. It seems that while my intentions might have been good they have taken too long to put into action. I will do some more research on the site for help with more proper feeding and all but had a couple quick questions. I have gotten and seen several differences in opinions and haven't come across an example quite like my situation. so i thought it best to try to get a more direct answer. At present i plan on keeping all 4. The 65 is the only tank set up at the moment with the lion and two eels, but i still do have the 29 that i can set back up again if needed. <Good> I would like to keep all of them in the same tank together if its possible, but you said that the 220 will not be large enough for those 4. <Oh! It will be for a few years. Likely the shark will perish, and the piscivorous Muraenid will eat the other tankmates in turn during this time> from what i have read the banded shark requires a min of 180 gallons. so what size would i need to get or build in order to comfortably house them all together. <... "they" really don't go together... again, please just read re these species... Your answers are posted on WWM. The Tesselata... gets huge, is a fish, other moray eater...> also the possible addition of a second lion and i have had interest in a small blue spotted stingray <... No...> ( i apologize for not knowing the name they are always listed as spotted stingray in the LFS) but i believe i have read in articles on your site that they stir up too much sand for the shark. is that correct? <... please, don't write... Read instead> so it might just come down to a second lionfish to go along with the one i presently have, the two eels, and soon to hatch shark. i also was wondering if i should oversize the filter setup for what size tank i should get given they produce a lot of waste or will one suited for the tank size be ok. one last question, i was pondering building a large tank for these guys instead of buying one and have found loads of info on the site and people referencing a how to section but i cant seem to find it. can you direct me on what to look for or search for? everything i seem to find is specific accounts or questions on what people are currently making. is there a general guide on what's needed and the do or don'ts? <Where you should be, have started in the first place: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm RMF>

Bicolor Blenny or Wrasse? 6/19/08 Morning crew! I have spent the last few hours going over all... well not all but most of the information on your site about blennies/wrasse. I am currently trying to figure out which fish <There are quite a few (hundreds) of Labrids...> to add next to my set-up. It will either be a blenny (most likely bi-color unless a wet web guru points me in another direction) or a Wrasse probably six line. I am leaning more towards the blenny since I am planning on adding a cleaner ship down the road. My tank currently is 50gallon breeder with a 2" sand bed and about 50lbs rock, also a 20gallon sump complete with a euro-reef 6-2+ modded skimmer, refugium and working on a DSB and Chaeto for the sump as well. Inverts: 2 small Turbos a serpent star and black sea cucumber. The fish load is as follows: smaller Kole tang around 3.5" pair of clowns about 2" a little chromis and an Anthias about 4" I realize I am just about at my fish stocking limit however I feel with such a massive skimmer on such a small system I think I can pull this off, plus whenever the daylights are on in the tank my fish are always! almost "schooling" together...never a foot apart from each other (maybe they all just love each other) No major problems with this other than the occasional chase...but no tail nipping or damaged fins. So now for the official questions! Would a bi-color fare well in this set-up? <Likely so... esp. if there's sufficient rock work/cover> Are they/is there a hardier type of blenny that would fit my set-up? <... an Ecsenius species is a good choice for such a small volume> I find blennies very very cool! I like how they swim and how they have camouflage patters to help them blend in. I realize the bi-color is a comb-tooth species of blenny, do you think the blenny and the Kole tang would go after each other due to algae territory? <Likely not> I keep the Kole very well fed with an algae clip and he's always picking at the glass (I read this is something else the bicolor would do). Would you recommend a different kind of blenny? Would adding a blenny/wrasse to the current set up pose a risk of overstock? <No, no> If so I could remove the Anthias or chromis to accommodate a new addition. I would like to her some expert opinion and advice on which fish to add next to my tank. <... too many choices> If I opted to not add a cleaner shrimp down the road would a six line be a better choice overall?... <No> I'm kind of at a crossroad here and need some help/advice. Thanks again for the amazing website and plethora of information on your site, it really has helped me out greatly. <Am glad you're enjoying, gaining from our efforts. Bob Fenner>

(no subject)- stocking? 6/13/08 What livestock would you recommend me putting in my 55 gallons tank? <Heeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Fresh, brackish... wha? Keep reading... BobF>

50 Gallons of fish in a 5-Gallon Pail - 6/13/08 I have a 55 gallon tank. Would I be able to put a small maroon clown, a baby Huma Huma, and a baby porcupine puffer in there? <Most certainly not. These fish would fight and be too crowded from the beginning, as they grew the problem would only become worse. Heavy feeding to sustain these fish would require tremendous water changes frequently. Also, please use punctuation and standard English syntax/grammar. It saves us time and effort, and do remember these will be archived for posterity on our website. Thanks much, Benjamin>

Compatibility, Large Tank, Large Angels, Butterflies, Stocking. - 6/7/08 *Bob or others, take a look, comment.* I know I am annoying you guys so much but I just want to have a perfect tank... <Don't we all? No annoyance to answer questions, it's what we're here for.> please see that will these fish live happily together in an 800 gallon tank with plenty of hiding places and food. <I envy your huge tank! Let's see about these fish...> 1 blue-ring angelfish 5-6 in 1 emperor angel 5-6in 1 majestic angel 5-6 in 1 Blueface angel 5-6 in 1 queen angel 6-7 in 1 Koran angel 7-8 inches 2 flame angels 3-4 in 4 regal tang 2-3 in 2 yellow tang 3-4in 2 purple tang 3-4 in 1 Desjardin sailfin tang 4-5 in 1 powder blue tang 3-4 inches 1 Dussumieri tang 5-6 inches 1 Naso tang 5-6 inches 3 falcula butterflyfish 3-4 in 2 golden butterflyfish 3-4 in 3 Bannerfish 3-4 inches 2 sandsifting gobies 3-4 in 1 magnificent rabbitfish 5-6 in 2 niger triggers 3-4 in 1 black trigger 5-6 in 1 male blue throat trigger 5-6 in 2 cleaner wrasse Now I know it seems a bit overstocking <It is, and more than a bit, in my opinion> but I know from sources that most fish don't reach their adult size in captivity no matter what size aquarium. <This might be because in an overstocked system they won't live long enough! Ignore this source...they are wrong. Furthermore, the greatest measure of stocking is not in inches of fish, but in psychological interactions. No matter how big a filter you have, fish will feel crowded...you're going to be dealing with stressed fish, and therefore lowered immune systems. Territorial doesn't begin to describe some of these fish, and they may fight or refuse to feed from the beginning> Also about the cleaner wrasse, there will be so many fish they can feed off of and will not have food problems. I have specifically ordered this aquarium for the angelfish because people say you need a big one to keep this many. <A very big one.> And also my petshop has around 8 large angelfish species in their display and they never had problems for 2 years. <Very short time compared to the lifespan of a marine angelfish.> My LFS is reliable and can specifically order a specimen for me. They will even keep it for 2-3 weeks after the payment to ensure that the customer receives a good specimen. I will design my tank to have many hiding places at the back 18 inches or so and leave the front with only some decoration so that the fish have both hiding and swimming places. <I would provide cover in the form of live rock structure through most of the tank- pillars and arches will provide cover and swimming space. 18" of rock wall at the back simply won't house all these territorial fish.> Please tell me your opinion on this... <I think you're probably shooting for more than is possible here, but you certainly have an opportunity for a very, very neat aquarium. I'm not experienced enough with large aquaria to say exactly what I might put in here, or if your plan is entirely unfeasible- I'll flag this so that another crew member can comment as well.> thank you
<Welcome. Benjamin>

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
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