55 Gallon Reef Stocking

Selksin

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I got a used 55 gallon tank on a really good deal that I intended to use as a growout tank for a juvenile flowerhorn, but now I'm thinking to turn it into my first reef tank. I know the standard 55 gallon is long and narrow, which is not ideal for aquascaping a reef. I'm working on the plumbing as of now with a 20 gallon sump. I'll be starting out with dry rock and maybe live sand, and hope to add a few beginner corals, and I'll try to get the appropriate lighting. I'll start with 2 or 3 frags and try to work from there. I wanted more experienced reefers' opinions on my fish stocking.

I know I want for sure:
Ocellaris clown pair
Cleaner shrimp

Thinking about:
Flame angel or coral beauty (However may not be reef safe)
Green Chromis
Blue Damsels (Probably one of my favorite looking fish but I've heard they're too aggressive)
Bangai Cardinals
Fairy wrasse
Royal gramma

-I don't like blennys and gobies much. I hope to have an active, colorful tank with little aggression, and I want a system that can run with weekly water changes. What other fish can go with this set up, and what combination of the fish I've listed would work? Please give me tips and advice on the setup and if running a 55 gallon reef is a good idea to begin with. Thanks
 

DutchAquarium

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Since this is your first aquarium, i would highly recommend slashing your 55 gallon stock list to accomodate 22 gallons of fish. This gives you a larger buffer and is easier for a beginning saltwater. Keep in mind ocellaris can be a bit aggressive since they are part of the damsel fish family. Especially a pair of fish. The too dwarf angels might nip corals and i would put them on hold right now. You could get away with a blue damsel if you provided enough rock, they don't need to be aggresive, but it's hit or miss with them. Fairy wrasse might be a bit expensive for a first time, look at six lines. You might want a slightly more established system though with them since they do like to pick copeopods. Your gramma can be aggressive also sometimes, just watch him. as for corals, I would start with polyps. jasmines and yellows are easy to take care of, just don't let them get out of hand. Even birds nest a sps isn't that hard if you give it good lighting and flow.
 

Jesterrace

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Selksin said:
I got a used 55 gallon tank on a really good deal that I intended to use as a growout tank for a juvenile flowerhorn, but now I'm thinking to turn it into my first reef tank. I know the standard 55 gallon is long and narrow, which is not ideal for aquascaping a reef. I'm working on the plumbing as of now with a 20 gallon sump. I'll be starting out with dry rock and maybe live sand, and hope to add a few beginner corals, and I'll try to get the appropriate lighting. I'll start with 2 or 3 frags and try to work from there. I wanted more experienced reefers' opinions on my fish stocking.

I know I want for sure:
Ocellaris clown pair
Cleaner shrimp

Thinking about:
Flame angel or coral beauty (However may not be reef safe)
Green Chromis
Blue Damsels (Probably one of my favorite looking fish but I've heard they're too aggressive)
Bangai Cardinals
Fairy wrasse
Royal gramma

-I don't like blennys and gobies much. I hope to have an active, colorful tank with little aggression, and I want a system that can run with weekly water changes. What other fish can go with this set up, and what combination of the fish I've listed would work? Please give me tips and advice on the setup and if running a 55 gallon reef is a good idea to begin with. Thanks
You may not like gobies much but a Diamond Watchman Goby is indispensable if you plan on having a sand based substrate, that stuff will turn nasty very quickly with out a DWG to aerate it for you. My live sand has virtually no brown on it as it is always working on it. As for the stock list:

Flame Angel, less likely to coral nip but more likely to be an aggressive butthead (I had to remove one from a previous tank), Coral Beauty can be aggressive, but is generally more mild than the Flame Angel and is one that many have had success with. I will find this out first hand in the next few weeks, as I currently have one in an acclimation box in my tank.
They are a bit more likely to nip at coral though, so keep an eye on it.
Damsels? Just do yourself a favor and skip them. Same with Chromis, they pick each other off at some point. The Fairy Wrasse will need to be small to be happy, the Flasher Wrasses are actually a better fit for your tank. What people fail to realize is that what they lack in length they make up with in girth and level of activity. They are some fat fish when they are healthy and need lots of room to swim around.
 
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