200 gallon tank stocking

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Marsh980

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Hi,

I'm currently looking and waiting on a quote for a D-D 200 gallon reef tank/cabinet and working through what i would like to add into it. This will be my first venture into saltwater after having tropical for many years.

It will be a reef tank with beginner hardy corals so no SPS just LPS fish and invertebrates

I'm looking to have the below types of fish but just need some guidance on what you think would work best and what to avoid in your experience. I went for a larger tank because i wanted tangs plus have a varied range of inhabitants. However, no puffer fish much to my sons disappointment (they just can't be trusted haha). I'm also trying to consider top and bottom half fish plus fish that perch on rocks.

1x pair of Ocellaris clown fish (a must for my wife and son). I have been told that maybe i could have two pairs (possibly Black Ice) if there was plenty of territories. I will be looking to get one or two bubble tip anemones.

2x dwarf angels - possibly Flame, Coral Beauty or Lemonpeel

1x Copperband Butterfly - I've been told these are pretty difficult to keep, must be already feeding on prepared food before buying but can still have a high mortality rate - would the Yellow Pyramid be better?

A number of wrasses for example Peacock, Canary, Flashers, Fairys - not a Melanurus as have heard they can be a bully - I'm not looking for all these wrasses just examples of some i like. What would be a great combination and number to safely home

A number of Blennys, for example Midas, Orange Spotted, Starry, Tail Spot, Jawfish - anymore that are great and would work well in the tank and community. Again I'm not looking for all these Blennys just examples of some i like.

1x Blue Throat Trigger - the only reef safe (with caution) trigger and really would like to have one as i think they're amazing

A number of Gobys for example species that will have a symbiotic relationship with shrimps for example Randalls and pistol shrimp, Watchman species, Diamond

1x Flame Hawkfish and 1x Longnose Hawkfish - in your experience are they invertebrate safe if well fed or are these a straight no or at my own risk

1x Spotted Mandarin or Red Ruby Dragonet

3x Yellow Tangs - i want more than 1 and know they should not be housed in pairs
1x Purple
1x Lipstick/Naso
1x Blue Regal/Hippo tang - a must for my son and wife

I would love a Kole Yellow eye but think this could be too many tangs even if added as juveniles together. This is the reason why i wanted a 2m tank 200 gallon tank

Schooling fish

Green Chromis
Purple Firefish or other firefish and dartfish

I really dislike the cardinals - i know they are brilliant peaceful schooling fish, i just can't have them.
No Damsels have been told they're bullies - is this true?

1x One Spot Foxface
1x Royal Gramma

Invertebrates - to clean and eat a varied of pests and algae etc

2x Cleaner Shrimps
1x Fire Shrimp
1x Candy Pistol
1 or 2x Peppermint Shrimps

CUC - to clean and eat a varied of pests and algae etc

Conch Snails
Blue Legged Hermits
Trochus Snails both banded and tiger
Cerith - are their eggs really that much of a problem?
Astrea - i'm on the fence as they can't flip themselves upright which must be a pain.
Nassarius
1x Tuxedo or Pin cushion urchin - to be added after 8-12 months
1x Serpent or Fromia starfish - to be added after 6 months - I've been told the Linkia species often die off
Emerald and Porcelain crabs

No sea hares, cucumbers, nudibranchs, lobsters or arrow crabs

What do you guys think - numbers are yet to be fully finalised.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated

Cheers
 

BadisBadis

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I will start off with saying a few things, yes damsels are jerks LOL. Firefish are amazing and peaceful, very shy and not as schooling as the chromis.

I've kept all species of hawks with many shrimps, fire, banded, cleaner, and they did fine when well fed. Shrimps are pretty good at hiding and keeping to themselves. BUT with larger hawks it's always a risk with cleaners and fire shrimps. But personally in a large tank your probably fine. Long nose hawks usually wont bother shrimps at all.

Copper bands are pretty difficult. Could almost never get them to eat and even if they did, the people I've known to have them they didnt last too long. But it's worth looking into
 
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Marsh980

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Hi BadisBadis, thanks for the reply. Wonderful to hear about the Hawks because i find them very interesting and want to add all differing sizes, shapes, colours and personalities. I'm conscious that I try and get a range of top, bottom, sand and rock swimmers/perchers

I thought that about the Copperbands so will remove them off my list. I'm new to the saltwater hobby so maybe re-consider when i have many years of experience under my belt.
 

saltwater60

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I had a cooperbanded butterfly for years. Did great it was one of my favorite fish. He’s eat anything I threw at him.

I’d avoid the trigger as it will Likely eat your clean up crew.
I skip the fox face as they can be coral nippers as well as the dwarf angels you have on your list. Only one I’d go with is a swallow tail angel fish.
Damsels are aggressive but in a tank that size they should be fine and have plenty of space.
 
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Cheers Saltwater60 - i'll update my fish list with your advice and experience
 

saltwater60

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Marsh980 said:
Cheers Saltwater60 - i'll update my fish list with your advice and experience
In a tank that size anything with reef caution I’d avoid. It’s super hard to catch and remove critters from reef tanks.
 
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Cheers, so to confirm that would be the dwarf angels (bar the one recommended), the trigger fish and the foxface. Its a shame because those 4 fish are partly the reason why I chose 200 gallon tank. However, its also my choice to have a reef and not a FOWLR so need to ensure all inhabitants are peaceful.
 

saltwater60

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You won’t be sorry you did the 200 gallon tank. With that said if you’re dead set on those fish a well stocked 200 gallon tank with a lot of corals will likely have time to heal between nipping of corals.
I’m just cautious because I had a rabbit fish eat $300 worth of zoa frags on me in short order. Then I had to tare apart my entire reef to remove him. $300 loss and 8 hours later man was I ticked off.
There are plenty of cool fish to choose from if you play it on the safe side. Also the trigger if you really want get it but just know it might munch on some of your CUC.
Also you will have show fish that are tangs so you should still have plenty of good sized fish to enjoy.
 
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Marsh980

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i bet you were ticked off and I've not even experienced any of the hobby yet. Still waiting on my quote from my local LFS for a custom built D-D reef tank. I was told yesterday that they could build a 2.2m tank for the same price as 2m. Go on then, twist my arm :)

I would love those fish and may have to learn the hard way, i'm sure many hobbyists have done the same, but i just want to research, research, research before buying anything. I also really need to get the order of buying these fish, corals, CUC and invertebrates spot on to reduce the chance of fighting and nipping etc.

If i was to get the 3 Butterfly, 1 Purple, 1 Regal and 1 Naso tangs, would you recommend buying them all together and add to the tank together, maybe as juveniles and monitor the Ammonia/nitrate levels very closely.

Would you add the blue throat trigger last once everything has established, maybe 12 months after the tank has cycled and all inhabitants have been added?
 

saltwater60

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Marsh980 said:
i bet you were ticked off and I've not even experienced any of the hobby yet. Still waiting on my quote from my local LFS for a custom built D-D reef tank. I was told yesterday that they could build a 2.2m tank for the same price as 2m. Go on then, twist my arm :)

I would love those fish and may have to learn the hard way, i'm sure many hobbyists have done the same, but i just want to research, research, research before buying anything. I also really need to get the order of buying these fish, corals, CUC and invertebrates spot on to reduce the chance of fighting and nipping etc.

If i was to get the 3 Butterfly, 1 Purple, 1 Regal and 1 Naso tangs, would you recommend buying them all together and add to the tank together, maybe as juveniles and monitor the Ammonia/nitrate levels very closely.

Would you add the blue throat trigger last once everything has established, maybe 12 months after the tank has cycled and all inhabitants have been added?
I think that makes sense in order of fish. Remember it will be a big tank. I’d also add plenty of live rock before adding the fish to ensure they can stake a claim to an area if need be.
Also I don’t think you’ll have water quality issues in a 200 gallon tank if you get tour bacteria going on your live rock. I’m assuming you’ll have a skimmer too?

Also the 2.0 meter and 2.2 meter tank for the same price makes sense. The pane of glass is probably 2.2 meters and they were going to cut off and discard the 0.2 meters in the end anyway.
The bigger the better. I wanted two 40 gallon tanks and I ended up with a 75 gallon tanks because each 50 gallon tank was $3.00 more. I’d have spent double on just the tanks alone.
 
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Marsh980

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I will be adding plenty of live dry rock to ensure plenty of caves, arches, islands (islands for fast growing corals like GSP), plus a 1.5 - 2” deep live sand bed for the sand sifters. Also want some of the islands (single rocks) to stick out from the sand like sand glaciers haha. Hope that makes sense.

I was looking to complete weekly 75 gallon water changes once the tank has cycled and using dr TIM’s one and only live nitrifying bacteria to give it a kick start.

I will be using a skimmer.

That decision makes sense to me, you could always buy another 40 gallon tank lol
 

saltwater60

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Sounds good and makes sense to me.
 
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thank you for your help. Just a quick update. I ordered my system today, turned out it was a 220 gallon (1000 litres as I‘m British). Just need to be patient now as it‘ll take 5 weeks to build. Just hope I selected the right equipment haha
 

saltwater60

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Marsh980 said:
thank you for your help. Just a quick update. I ordered my system today, turned out it was a 220 gallon (1000 litres as I‘m British). Just need to be patient now as it‘ll take 5 weeks to build. Just hope I selected the right equipment haha
5 weeks gives you just enough time to start buying the equipment.
 

Rcslade124

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I'd love a marine betta. I'm only doing a 40 gallon so I cannot.
 

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200g would be tangs maybe 2 pair of clowns. School of Cardinals. Goby shrimp combo. Cuc. Maybe a wrasse and dottyback. But idk if all are reef safe but marine betta is lol
 
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saltwater60 said:
5 weeks gives you just enough time to start buying the equipment.
I've already bought the equipment, my LFS is holding it all back ready for the tank to arrive
 
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Rcslade124 said:
I'd love a marine betta. I'm only doing a 40 gallon so I cannot.
My wife and I went to my local LFS at the weekend to discuss the quote and set up of my new tank and she fell in love with a marine betta so that will be added to the tank. She also said she wouldn't be buying it.... typical haha
 
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Rcslade124 said:
200g would be tangs maybe 2 pair of clowns. School of Cardinals. Goby shrimp combo. Cuc. Maybe a wrasse and dottyback. But idk if all are reef safe but marine betta is lol
Cheers, my LFS said i could have approx 30 fish in the 220 gallon tank spread across top half, bottom half, sand dwellers and rock perchers. So spread across Clowns, Dwarf Angels, Wrasses, Blennys, Trigger, Goby, Hawkfish, Mandarins, Tangs, Firefish, and a few miscellaneous. I'm going to play it by ear after adding my inhabitants very slowly over 12-18 months.

The owner has 28 years of experience and crossed out approx 40% of the fish on my list including the regal tang because he said they're great when smaller but are a nightmare when large. I told him i wanted a peaceful tank so he automatically crossed off Flame Angel, Damsels, Melanurus Wrasse, Longnose Hawkfish, both Powder brown and tangs, orchid dottyback to name just a few.

I understand people will of course argue that some of the fish above are fine in a reef set up and theirs are absolutely peaceful.

I was told to NOT get an anemone if i'm looking to start a large reef tank with plenty of corals, he said they were fine in a small tank but they can be a problem with their movement, stinging corals, getting blitzed in powerheads etc. I was aware of all this before adding to my list and have seen plenty of tanks who have them but are they that problematic? Do they become an issue if they grow large and start mitosis (splitting).
 

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I am glad you have an experienced person helping you out!

To add to the excess of information you have been getting, here is what I have learned:
- One Combtooth type fish per tank otherwise they will fight a lot, even in a tank as large as yours. I had a lawnmower blenny and a yellow eye Kole tang in a 150 gallon, and the Kole tang chased that blenny mercilously. In the end, the Kole tang won. Mixing combtooth blennies is also a bad idea.
- Lemonpeel angels are vicious, avoid unless you are setting up an aggressive tank.
- The wrasses will out compete the mandarin or scooter blenny for micro fauna. These guys can be very hard to be kept feed... Honestly I would pass.
- If this is your first Saltwater venture, only do one clownfish pair. Even in a large tank, it is very likely there will be fights between the pairs with potential injuries. It is just no fun watching your fish duke it out, and in a tank that large, you are very unlikely to be able to catch them if you have to remove.

Good luck!
 
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