Question Making The Jump To Sw, What Do I Actually Need

Jesterrace

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Okay, just be aware that acrylic tanks will be more of a pain in the butt to clean as you cannot use a regular algae scraper on them (which is a factor as YOU WILL get hard crusted Coraline Algae in your tank as it matures). Also check it really well for scratches since Acrylic Tanks are very prone to this. Other than that it should be good if you are building the stand.
 

Jesterrace

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Snails and crabs should still perform their functions but you will need to clean the glass manually regardless at some point as the tank matures (they can't eat coraline algae), also FYI YOU CANNOT USE A MAGFLOAT or similar magnetic scrubber on an acrylic tank without scratching it all up. This is what I am talking about:

 
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nikm128

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I figured that wouldn't work either, I also saw this blue damsel(?) at the store yesterday. Do you think I could get one?
image.jpeg
 

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You could, but it would be ill advised. Butthead fish that are mean to even bigger fish. They are jokingly known as Blue Devil Damsels for obvious reasons. General rule is steer clear of Damsels and Dottybacks (barring a captive bred orchid dottyback).
 

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So if I want lots of color, but less of an attitude I should probably stick to wrasses and halichoeres?
Halichoeres are a type of Wrasse, but yes if you have at least a 4 foot long tank there are a decent range of the smaller peaceful wrasses that you can go with. Among my favorites:















Be aware though that the Halichoeres might pick off snails, hermit crabs and smaller shrimp (they do leave corals and big shrimp alone though). The trade off is that they are excellent at pest control in the tank (ie Fireworms, Bristleworm control, pyramallid snails) so that is the trade off and they are full of personality. They will be highly visible and colorful as well and add lots of activity to the tank. I would recommend a Leopard Wrasse as they are gorgeous and could work well in your tank BUT they are very delicate shippers and have high mortality rates, so you have to be very picky and literally select the right fish. For that reason I don't recommend them for newbies.

Here is my Juvie Melanurus (aka Hoeven's Wrasse), it is currently transitioning from it's dull and drab juvie color scheme to colorful adult:


Another interesting fact about Wrasses is that they can switch genders and in captivity they generally will default to the male color scheme at some point, particularly if they become the dominant wrasse in your tank.
 

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This is probably a bit far fetched due to feeding issues, but would a mandarin fish work?
The problems with Madarinfish are manifold:

1) By nature they are picky copepod eaters and you need about 75lbs of rockwork PER MANDARINFISH to support their needs and it takes about 6 months to a year for the pod population to be self sustaining

2) If the Mandarinfish DOES ADAPT to frozen or Pellet Foods, it needs to be fed a MINIMUM of 3-4 times per day. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone who works a full time job or goes to school. Mandarinfish have very short digestive tracts and need to feed nearly constantly during the day

3) Mandarinfish are very akin to an underwater hummingbird trapped in slow motion. They take multiple steps to target and lock onto food and any other fish will easily swim in and gobble it up. I had a Green Mandarin for a few months and I would attempt to target feed it with a turkey baster, I would shut off filtration and power heads and drop the frozen food a few inches from it and other fish would still beat it to the food most of the time. There is some info out there on how to create a Mandarinfish feeding station of sorts in order to help deal with this problem, but I am not sure on the details

4) Certain types of Wrasses will compete with it for pods. Anything a Mandarin can eat/will eat will be on another fish's menu as well.

I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it takes a lot of planning and forethought to literally build your tank around the Mandarinfish. I am considering giving another Mandarinfish a go now that I have a 90 gallon tank and a healthy pod population building up in my sump. Still want a few more months though to ensure that there are enough of them to sustain one.
 
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nikm128

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No one would be home enough to feed them that often. It'll problem have to be something I do once I'm more independent.
This is probably too general of a question, but what has a nice blue body that could go in the tank without many issues?
 

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The Melanurus Wrasse. Here is what a male looks like (not a fan of the live aquaria picture as it doesn't do it justice):


If that's not good enough, you could try a Springer's Damsel as they tend to be better behaved than other Damsels, but they are still a Damsel nontheless.



Or a Blue Chromis might work, but disregard what they say about schooling and just get one:
 

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Sorry if I missed this, but why would damsels be bad if he got exclusively just damsels and things they don’t or can’t fight with?

I am using 4 and 2 chromis to start my tank now...... I do admit the 2 dominos seem like bullies, but they all seem to be doing fine.

Do these fish only start killing each other after they are grown? I don’t plan on keeping mine more than a couple of months, but could they not be options for him?

The yellow tail blue damsel is beautiful under the lights. The pattern on it is awesome.
 

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Damsels are bad because it will make it nearly impossible for him to add other fish (they will attack them). For someone with a 4 foot long tank it's really a waste for just a few damsels. Certain Damsels will also attack each other when they get more established. Damsels are great if you just want a smaller frag tank with a couple of cheap fish to add color, but they are terrible if you want a decent sized community tank with other fish. As for the Chromis and Damsels to "start your tank" I hope you aren't talking about a fish in cycle. Has your tank already been cycled?
 

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Damsels are bad because it will make it nearly impossible for him to add other fish (they will attack them). For someone with a 4 foot long tank it's really a waste for just a few damsels. Certain Damsels will also attack each other when they get more established. Damsels are great if you just want a smaller frag tank with a couple of cheap fish to add color, but they are terrible if you want a decent sized community tank with other fish. As for the Chromis and Damsels to "start your tank" I hope you aren't talking about a fish in cycle. Has your tank already been cycled?
Tank was cycled..... even picked up another rock. Basically these are my “Canaries in the coal mine” At least that’s what I told the kids. These are just filler fish while I ensure all my levels stay stable. So far everything has been testing great. These will ultimately be given to the local shop.
 
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Jesterrace

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Damsels. I know they are cheap and they can be jerks but they do have their purposes. They are good fish for folks who have coral frag tanks and just looking for a cheap fish to help with algae removal and add color and motion to the frag tank. My LFS keeps a few of them in their frag tanks and they have been there for years. They have a blue damsel that they haven't fed in YEARS becuase it gets enough food from algae, and other things in the tank and keeps the corals from getting gunk build up. So in short damsels are terrible community tank mates but good for species specific or frag tanks. Exactly the same recommendation I make for 6 line wrasses. I agree though that they are good fish for testing a newly cycled tank, provided you can catch them when you want them gone.
 
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nikm128

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Happened to stumble across this neat video on youtube and if possible I would like to try and recreate it to some extent. Can you tell me what type of Goby it is though? It's not mentioned, and I also see similar videos with different types of Goby, does it not matter what type?
 
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