180 Gallon Tank Stocking 180 gallon FOWLR - does this selection sound feasible?

GuppieLuv

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We have a 180 gallon aquarium we have been trying to decide between fresh and saltwater. If we do saltwater we plan to do FOWLR and maybe in the future turning into reef if possible with the selected marine life. I’m aware that some of the fish below are not reef compatible. The tank is 18” wide, probably about 24” tall, and very long. I can get exact measurements if needed.

We are trying to go for a yellow/orange/blue/purple/neutral toned scheme. Of course not every fish is strictly that color scheme, but before when I was putting fish together based on just if I liked them or not it looked funny. So we are trying to get a color scheme that will look nice. But fish absolutely do not have to fit into that scheme; we just want it to flow.

This is our first saltwater tank (and first tank larger than 20 gallons) so we want to start with easier fish. That is also why we are skipping on the reef tank for now.

* (fish we are NOT set on)
** (fish we like but can reconsider)
*** (fish we absolutely want if at all possible)

2 clownfish of the same variety*** (gladiator, picasso, snowflake, or black ice snowflake?)
1 sailfin tang*** (zebrasoma veliferum)
1 yellow tang** (zebrasoma flavescens)
1 hippo tang** (paracanthurus hepatus)
1 (or 2 if pairs are best) pearlscale butterfly** (chaetodon xanthurus)
1(+?) royal gramma basslet** (gramma loreto)
1 red firefish goby (nemateleotris magnifica)
1 yellow watchman goby** (cryptocentrus cinctus)
1 citron goby* (gobiodon citrinus)
~12 (or what’s a good number?) blue-green chromis* (chromis viridis)
~12 (or what’s a good number?) Banggai cardinalfish* (pterapogon kauderni)
1 angelfish** (king angelfish, keyhole pygmy angelfish, indian yellowtail angelfish, blue-girdled angelfish? Suggestions?)
1 humpback turretfish* (Tetrosomus gibbosus)
1 striped burrfish** (chilomycterus schoepfii)
Bristletail filefish*


It sounds like gobies are ok if each is a different genius. If I need to choose between gobies I have listed let me know. If there are more gobies I can consider adding please let me know as I really like gobies.

I’d love a shoal or two and am open to suggestions to consider versus what I already have.

My understanding is that tangs do not get along well with tangs in the same genus, but it sounds like the sailfin, yellow, and hippo tangs have gotten well together in the past ( ). However, I have heard the hippo tang is highly susceptible to ick and for this reason we may need to either wait to get the hippo or forgo the fish all together.

I would love multiple royal gramma basslets but I get conflicting information on if multiples can be kept. It sounds like if you do want multiples to add them at the same time. I will probably only do one royal gramma basslet and avoid fish of similar colors unless anyone thinks a beginner can do more than one.
- says most aquarist avoid more than 1, but if you want to try 2 have at least 50 gallons
. - most experts recommend to only keep one, but if you get a pair make sure it’s a male/female pair with plenty of hiding spots
- multiple aquarist successful keeping multiple by adding small ones all at once
- if you do it, get juvenile fish, but not everyone has success

Is this a reasonable amount of fish? Too many? Have I balanced top/middle/bottom dwellers? Do I need more of a clean up crew? Any vertebrates or invertebrates I should consider or reconsider? I suppose if I get invertebrates it isn't technically a FOWLR? Can I get inverts such as chocolate chip starfish or urchins if it isn't a reef tank?

Based on the kinds of fish I have listed this is what I have so far as tank requirements:
Temperature: 75-78 F
pH range: 8.1-8.4
Not reef safe because of following fishes: pearlscale butterfly, humpback turretfish, striped burrfish, and bristletail filefish (with caution)
Not invertebrate safe because of the following fishes: pearlscale butterfly (with caution), humpback turretfish, striped burrfish, and bristletail filefish (with caution)

I will reconsider the humpback turretfish, striped burrfish, and bristletail filefish to make the tank reef and invert safe. I am reluctant to not get the pearlscale butterfly, but will still entertain the idea.

Edit: Doing more research it appears this tank would be overstocked. I got rid of some of the fish and still need to look at deciding what else goes.
 

kanzekatores

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I don’t know the answer to all of your questions, but I do know you don’t need so many of the chromis and cardinalfish. You Should keep maybe 8 cardinals but be careful I’ve heard they can be aggressive. You could maybe keep 12 of the blue chromis, I don’t know about them. Just consider that saltwater fish don’t really school like freshwater ones. Shoal is a better word for it. They don’t stay so closely together. They like being in groups but won’t exactly school.

Most tangs are aggressive to each other so be aware of that and see if those can coexist. I myself would leave it at the yellow tang.

You were a bit overstocked. Some of the species on there I haven’t heard of. You don’t have to exclude all of the species you crossed out, eyeballing it maybe half of them crossed out you could keep. But you’d have to look into compatibility. Check out Liveaquaria.com
 
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GuppieLuv

GuppieLuv

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kanzekatores said:
I don’t know the answer to all of your questions, but I do know you don’t need so many of the chromis and cardinalfish. You Should keep maybe 8 cardinals but be careful I’ve heard they can be aggressive. You could maybe keep 12 of the blue chromis, I don’t know about them. Just consider that saltwater fish don’t really school like freshwater ones. Shoal is a better word for it. They don’t stay so closely together. They like being in groups but won’t exactly school.

Most tangs are aggressive to each other so be aware of that and see if those can coexist. I myself would leave it at the yellow tang.

You were a bit overstocked. Some of the species on there I haven’t heard of. You don’t have to exclude all of the species you crossed out, eyeballing it maybe half of them crossed out you could keep. But you’d have to look into compatibility. Check out Liveaquaria.com
Thank you for explaining that the saltwater schoaling fish won't stick together like the freshwater fish I'm used to. That's good to know.

The sailfin tang is probably my favorite fish. Is there a reason you recommend having only the yellow? Is the size more appropriate than the sailfin for my tank since the smallest part of my tank is only 18"? Or is it because sailfin tend to be aggressive?

Okay, I'll consider keeping the citron goby since my husband and I both really like that. I may skip the cardinals since only I like them as my husband is indifferent.

Thank you for the comparability suggestion!
 

kanzekatores

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The reason I recommended the yellow tang is because as far as tangs go, they're pretty common and easy, and everyone seems to like them because of their vibrant color. But you could do a Sailfin Tang instead if that's what you prefer, it would work just as well as the yellow. I'm sure you could keep the two of them with caution just be ready for maybe some aggression.
 

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