noob starting a 55g FOWLR tank. Got a tank mate question

SithLordRob

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I'm setting up a 55 gallon FOWLR tank. So far all there is, is the tank, heater, Fluval 306 and some water.. lol. A long way to go I know. Anyway. I have a few questions on future tank mates. I already know that I will be getting a dwarf zebra/lionfish. I have always wanted one and I'm setting the tank up specifically for my little buddy when I finally get him/her. I'm doing FOWLR as I mentioned with a deep (4") substrate. Now, I know the dwarf lion is a small fish 6-7" grown, so I need to find a few suitable tank mates. I really don't want large fish (space for the grown fish and bio-load). Any suggestions?? I would like to keep some maintenance inverts but I don't want them eaten either. Advice?? Long term after the tank is established for a while I want a green or red mandarin. Is this a good idea at all?? I know the lion is a night hunter and the mandarin is a day hunter.. If I provided the mandarin something like a cichlid <sp> cave for hiding and sleeping would it make a difference?? I'm just looking for ideas and help from the forum on this.
 

TayJay76

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Hello there,

I think that it's awsome that you're starting a fowlr setup, have you got some live rock?
The thing about lionfish is that they are aggressive and they are somewhat poisonous. The only fish that you could get away with are ones that are about as big as him, smaller fish will end up becoming snacks for him. Mandarins are very colorful, but they have been known to be difficult fish to feed since they only it creatures that reside in the live rock, plus he will end up becoming a snack for the lionfish as well.

As far as inverts go, I think that hermit crabs might not get picked on too much because on the shell. But I'm not a hundred percent sure. Others like Mike might have more advice or ideas for you as for as tank mates and or inverts for your friend.

Good luck
 
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SithLordRob

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The tank is still being set up right now. I'm doing a lot of preliminary research and stuff to make it a successful tank. I will be putting in a good substrate, probably 4" worth and 45-50lbs of live rock. I'm not going to use base rock (unless there is a benefit) and keep it all live. And from what I've read on mandarins, they are semi-aggressive and have a poisonous slime coat to make them a rather uneatable, yet colorful treat.

I was thinking hermit crabs and snails for invert cleaning crews, but I don't want to be "shelling" (get it??) out the money just to have a dwarf lion think they are snacks.
 

ryanr

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Please leave mandarins in the wild. They have an extremely poor record in captivity, due to their very specific diets (copepods), and end up dieing of starvation These animals are best left where they are naturally found, and where they have a suitable continual food source. [Definitely not a beginner fish]

Do you have the scientific name for the lionfish you are considering? This would help determine tank mates. Different Lionfish have different appetites.
 
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SithLordRob

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Dendrochirus zebra is the lionfish in question. I wasn't going to tackle handling a mandarin right off.. I was looking a year down the line to make sure my tank was properly "aged" so to speak. But I do appreciate the advice. I don't want to get a fish that I can't care for and have something terrible happen to it.
 

TayJay76

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Ya, like Ryan said, Mandarins are definitely one of those fish that really should be left in the ocean, regardless how colorful they are. I don't think that the dwarf lionfish would really try to mess with the snails or crabs, but I haven't kept one before, I'm just going off of wht I have read over the years. I'm sure Ryan would have better knowledge for you.

Again, good luck with the setup
 

ryanr

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Hey, thanks for the species name. I did some research, and it seems, just like most lionfish, they are predators and will eat anything they can fit in their mouth.

This includes shrimp and smaller fish. Interestingly, whilst they don't have a natural predator, one article suggested they can be harassed by larger angels, puffers and triggers. Not sure about the minimum tank size in this article though (265G )

And it seems, like most lionfish, you can expect to lose tank mates.
 
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SithLordRob

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I've done a lot of research on the little lion and every LFS and online resource I have found states he'll do just fine in a 55 gallon with live rock and good hiding places/caves. I've seen it as ridiculously high as 250 gallon. Pterois volitans and Pterois miles however, do get to be quite large for lions (half meter in length and probably 2-3 times that in dorsal width at full spread). Dendrochirus zebra only reaches a "recorded" max size of 9 inches, 7 to 8 being the common max size found in LFS, etc. I was thinking also about the shelled inverts for cleaner crews. Hermit crabs and snails, I would guess, should be safe with the little lion? I know they swallow their prey whole and I would think that the hard shell of hermits and snails would be rather unpleasant to try and digest.
 

TayJay76

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You would think, I suppose since he ins't dwarf since he can get to be about 7 or 8 inches. Usually the dwarfs stay around six inches max.
 

ryanr

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I don't think hermits and snails are on the Lion's menu, but certainly shrimp are.

I think you should be fine with your proposed inverts.
 

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