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Fish Stocking Advice

Discussion in 'General (Hobby Related)' started by Philby, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    Alright guys (and girls) - my display should have water in it this weekend - and my QT is just waiting for my first livestock purchase! I'm looking for some advice on order to add and if my 10 gallon QT will be OK for all.
    Here's my first thoughts at a fish list and stocking order (for a 70 gallon display, 3ft long, so no Tangs...barebottom so no sand dwellers) each item on the list would be QT'd together (if there's more than 1). I'm going to have mostly SPS for coral (some zoas/rics/LPS too) and probably a clam or 2, so if anything jumps out as not compatible with the other fish on the list or SPS/Clams let me know.
     - Pair of Clowns
     - Lawnmower (sailfin) blenny
     - 3-5 chromis or anthias
     - mandarin
     - maybe a firefish or goby
    Clowns - I think I'm gonna just get a pair of regular 'ol orange Ocs or Percs. I promise this is completely unrelated to the Nemo effect, but orange is my favorite color and so I'll probably have lots of it in my tank. Eventually I'd like to set up another tank (20-40 gallons) with a pair of clowns and a nem, so then I'll get something a little more exotic when it comes to clowns.
    Lawnmower Blenny - This is a personality choice as they're a pretty dull looking fish. I've heard they may nip at SPS/Clams - anyone have any thoughts on that? Also I'm going for mostly SPS, so hopefully I won't have a bunch of cyano or hair algae (hah!) will that cause any problems or are they fine eating prepared food?
    3-5 chromis or anthias - I know the chromis are easy to keep and a cool schooling fish - but LOTS of people have them, and I'm not a huge fan of the color. Anthias on the other hand are harder to keep, but the colors are stunning. Plus many of them have some purple/pink - and so hopefully my GF will take some interest if I've got some colors she likes in the tank. I know that some anthias require much larger tanks than mine (125+), but according to liveaquaria there are many that require 50+ gallons, anyone care to confirm/refute their tank requirements and thoughts with the rest of my fish list? I know to get 1 male and the rest female of the anthias to spread out his aggression.
    Mandarin - I will only add this once my tank is 6+ months old and if I have PLENTY of pods. I plan on having some extra LR in my sump, as well as building a rock pile in the display in a corner somewhere to encourage pod growth. I also know many people like having wrasses in their tanks, and I can't have both in a tank this size so the Mandarin wins for now.
    goby or firefish - If everyone thinks this is well within my tanks "limit" I will probably also add something like a clown goby or helfrichi firefish perhaps before/after/with the mandarin.
    Well time for you guys to give me your thoughts. Am I thinking too many fish? Am I WAY under my stocking limits? Any immediate compatibility/environment concerns jump out at anyone?
    Thanks for your opinions!
     
  2. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    It looks like you've done your research!  The fishes you're looking at are pretty peaceful by nature.  I have kept all of them in my tanks one time or another, just not all together at once.  However, I do believe they will all get along fine.
     
    If you decide to get anthias, Lyretails and Bartletts are a good choice.  I've had good luck with them and they're both very hardy.  Mine will eat flake, pellet and frozen foods.  In fact, I think they're pigs!  I only feed mine once a day and by looking at them, you wouldn't be able to tell if I didn't.  I know there are some misconceptions out there like they are hard to keep or you have to feed 2-3X daily.  I'm sure that may be the case with some but not with the ones I've experienced.
     
  3. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper GIRS Member Sponsor

    La Porte City Iowa
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    I am a huge anthias lover myself. I dont know why but chromis seem to dissappear 1 by 1 over time. I am glad you are waity on the mandarin. I didnt realize you couldnt house mandarin's wrasses together though. They are my fav fish. I like the firefish but are very shy so you dont see them very much.

    I dont like the lawnmower either other then for algae control
     
  4. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    Sone - thanks for the good news on the Anthias (and I was thinking one of the 2 varieties you named) - I'm glad they'll be a little easier to keep then I've read. And I've been planning for 2 years now - so I'm glad it's apparent I've done my research! I think when the Anthias are in QT I'll start feeding them a couple times a day, then back off to once a day and hopefully I'll have the same experience you do.
    xroads (craig I think?) - another vote for the anthias - since I was leaning towards them anyway, looks like I'll get them instead of the chromis. Also just wanted to be clear that you CAN keep mandarins and wrasses together, but you have to have LOTS of pods because wrasses (from what I've read) will eat the pods faster than the mandarin will so unless you have a bunch the mandarin will starve. I'm not planning on having a ton of LR, and I've only got a 70 gallon tank, so I don't think I'll have enough pods to sustain both...thus my choice of the mandarin. And I agree the lawnmower is pretty dull looking - but the couple that I've seen in people's tanks have been so entertaining (following you around the tank, always perched near the front) which is why I've been thinking I want one - perhaps all blennies are like this and I could get another one that has better coloration and same demeanor? any suggestions?
     
  5. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    Between the Lyretails and Bartlett's, I like the Bartlett's a little bit more. Although you might like the colors on the Lyretails better since they are a little darker in red/orange. Afterall, orange is your favorite color! And please don't tell me that's why you like the Broncos! /site/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/_default/emoticons/smile.gif
     
  6. tibbs2

    tibbs2 Inactive User

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    Chromis aren't that great. I have 3. They don't school like I thought they would when I bougt them. I'd rather get the anthias. I assume you'd get 3 females? From what I've read you can only  have one male, and if you don't have enough females to disperse his the males attention, then the male will stress out the females. If you eventually want the clownfish to host in an anenome, I wouldn't buy ocellaris or perculas. I think having the clowns host in a BTA makes them much more interesting.
    If you bought clarkii, maroon or I think, tomato clowns, they would host in a bubble tip anenome.
    Lawnmowers aren't colorful but they add personality to the tank. I had a mated pair of target mandarins. They were really nice, at night they would do a spiraling dance together after the lights went out. Then I lost one when I was a vacation and the other one I lost a few months ago. I had them both for over a year. The only thing I can think of is I removed a bit of rock from the tank and maybe that depleted their food source. I would make sure you have a LOT of rock in your tank if you get a mandarin.
     
  7. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    What's a thread without pictures? /site/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/_default/emoticons/smile.gif
    Here's the Bartlett's in my new tank.  The colors are much more vibrant now than when I first got them.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the Lyretails in my old tank.
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    Sone - thanks for the pics! and I do like the coloring of the Bartlett's a little more. As far as my favorite color being orange - I've always been a fan of brighter colors - and I'm from TN so I'm a huge UT fan - and you can't get much more orange than that. I am a Broncos fan, but that's because I lived in CO (Boulder) for a year, and it's hard not to be a fan of their teams when you live there - Denver is a great sports town! The fact that they also have orange as one of their colors is just a bonus. But my GF does like teams just because they're orange, or maybe because they have a tiger nicname, or maybe both!?! (she likes the bengals and cheers for Auburn if they're on and not playing UT) I don't mind because she watches sports as much or more than most guys I know - so she can cheer for whoever she wants as long as I get to watch sports whenever it's on!!

    tibbs - did you read my post?? J/K - yes I know the anthias need 1 male and many females to spread the aggression - so I'll get 1 male and 2-4 females. And I'm not planning on have a nem in this tank (don't want it to destroy SPS!) so I'm not worried about these clowns hosting. I will eventually have a tank that's specifically for clowns/anem and if I go BTA i'll probably get tomato clowns, but I'd really like a pair of orange or pink skunk clowns and a heteractis magnifica - unfortunately the H magnifica (ritteri) are much harder to keep than BTAs...so we'll see how my reefing skills are before I decide which nem to keep. And yes I will make sure I have sufficient PODS for a mandarin before I get one, if I don't I won't get one. Cool that you had a pair that were "mating" (the spiral dance you described) sorry you lost them...
     
  9. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

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    The only thing I would like to add is that I have both a six line and a mandarin in my 90 gallon.  My six line eats regular food and probably does eat pods but I only see him being a pig at feeding time like the others.  I love my mandarin, they are such awesomely colored fish that it's almost unreal to study the coloration.  I have the red and blue type, btw.  My mandarin is so mellow it's not funny.  It's almost like he's oblivious to any aggression from other fish so they learned to just ignore him long ago, and he really couldn't care less about any of them either.  My tankmates are all pretty mellow and I'm glad.  It's really hard to see bullying in a box of water.
     
  10. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    Robyn - in a 90 gallon with lots of LR (probably 100+ lbs?) I agree that a wrasse and a mandarin could coexist with no food threat to the mandarin (does yours eat prepared foods?). In my situation I have a 70 gallon display, and I'll probably only have about 50 lbs of LR, which I've read is just below most people's suggested amount of LR to sustain a mandarin's necessary pod population (which is typically about 60+ lbs) which is why I'm being careful about providing enough food for a mandarin.
     
  11. tibbs2

    tibbs2 Inactive User

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    I sort of scanned through it. Maybe Sone or some of the other anthia keepers can verify this, but I think they recommend to have around 5 or 6 females for the male so that the aggression from the male is spread out more amongst them and reduces the stress for each female.
    Posted By Philby on 11/15/2007 12:31 PM
    Sone - thanks for the pics! and I do like the coloring of the Bartlett's a little more. As far as my favorite color being orange - I've always been a fan of brighter colors - and I'm from TN so I'm a huge UT fan - and you can't get much more orange than that. I am a Broncos fan, but that's because I lived in CO (Boulder) for a year, and it's hard not to be a fan of their teams when you live there - Denver is a great sports town! The fact that they also have orange as one of their colors is just a bonus. But my GF does like teams just because they're orange, or maybe because they have a tiger nicname, or maybe both!?! (she likes the bengals and cheers for Auburn if they're on and not playing UT) I don't mind because she watches sports as much or more than most guys I know - so she can cheer for whoever she wants as long as I get to watch sports whenever it's on!!

    tibbs - did you read my post?? J/K - yes I know the anthias need 1 male and many females to spread the aggression - so I'll get 1 male and 2-4 females. And I'm not planning on have a nem in this tank (don't want it to destroy SPS!) so I'm not worried about these clowns hosting. I will eventually have a tank that's specifically for clowns/anem and if I go BTA i'll probably get tomato clowns, but I'd really like a pair of orange or pink skunk clowns and a heteractis magnifica - unfortunately the H magnifica (ritteri) are much harder to keep than BTAs...so we'll see how my reefing skills are before I decide which nem to keep. And yes I will make sure I have sufficient PODS for a mandarin before I get one, if I don't I won't get one. Cool that you had a pair that were "mating" (the spiral dance you described) sorry you lost them...
     
  12. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

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    I think Phil, that after your tank is mature and you visably see a nice pod population you could probably be thinking about a Mandarin.  I waited at least 6 months and have worried since that my mandy had enough to eat but I think I'm ok.  I really like my six line, but if I had to pick, I'd certainly go for the Mandarin.  They are really cool fish.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    tibbs - thanks for the info - I had thought that 2 females would be enough - but looks like I should probably do some more research on them to be sure - although i'm certainly not opposed to 5 or 6 anthias in my tank! especially if they school! I was looking on liveaquaria and they have a couple bartlett trios (1 male + 2 females) in their divers den, and although that site typically has very good info on fish, I know better than to only trust a retailer. I also some some Ventralis Anthias on liveaquaria which are quite colorful - but they're rated difficult to keep compared to easy for the bartlett's - so perhaps I'll wait until another tank and I have more experience for those...maybe when I set up a FOWLR someday! A bunch of Angels and Anthias would make a pretty cool FOWLR!

    Robyn - you're mandarin is beautiful and that's a good pic of it (him?)! One of the (many) reasons I was excited about being able to go bigger when my 40B broke after drilling was the ability to keep a mandarin!
     
  14. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    Posted By tibbs2 on 11/15/2007 1:22 PM
    I sort of scanned through it. Maybe Sone or some of the other anthia keepers can verify this, but I think they recommend to have around 5 or 6 females for the male so that the aggression from the male is spread out more amongst them and reduces the stress for each female.
    I don't think there's a magic ratio to achieve.  The combination of fish along with the size of the tank and the amount of live rock/hiding spaces can all become factors.  If these are non-factors, the ratio of male to females could be closer, IMO.
     
  15. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    Thanks Sone - I think I'm gonna go with 3 (eventually) because I'm reading lots of recommendations that as the number of Anthias increases the size of the tank should as well - so I think 3 will be OK in my 70, but if I were to get 5 or 6 I think I would need a 120 or larger.
     
  16. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    I have 4 in my tank now. They all get along well with their tankmates. From time to time, they can get snappy with each other but there's no visible damage to any of them. They must be all talk and no action. /site/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/_default/emoticons/biggrin.gif
     
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    I wish I could remember the girls name I got my RBTA from her , she does tank maintance and is om here now and then,
    I picked up some ricordia from her and she had a mandarin it ate flake food, I expressed my surprise over that and I was told that some do and will, and she said she would never buy one that did not eat flake food.
    I wish she was on here more, and could comment on it.

     
  18. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

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    I've heard that some do too but mine never has.  A few weeks back I saw mine eat a mysis and I was sooo excited.  And the next thing I knew, he spit it out. 
    Melev's reef has a neat Mandarin feeding station that's worth checking out.
     
  19. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    Yeah robyn - i've seen that - but I'm not banking on a mandarin I get eating prepared foods...unless I get one from a LFS, which I probably won't, there will be no way for me to check before purchasing.

    Any one else have any thoughts on my stocking list?
     
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Looks fairly good. If you don't like the looks of the lawnmower blenny try a red-lipped blenny or one of the others with that same body style. Red-lippeds, at least in my experience (I've only had 1) have all the personality but look a bit nicer.

    I have doubts about keeping a mandarin healthy in your tank. They're slow, methodical eaters, and wrasses aren't the only other fish that compete for their food. Even if you found one that ate prepared foods (Rachael had two that ate mysis and spawned regularly) I think your tank will have too much flow for a mandarin to be able to utilize it. Having seen them eat frozen foods, I can tell you that the food has to be fairly still and right in front of them. They don't bolt after bits of food like other fish will.

    Now I'm not saying you won't be able to keep one, I'm just saying that it would be good to be aware that if the fat mandarin you pick up gradually becomes skinny, and they almost always fade over fairly lengthy periods of time, that it may need a bigger home.
     

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