Stocking A Tank

Chris Osborne

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Hey all, I'm setting up a new 150 gallon reef tank. 4×2×3 L,W,H. Any ideas/suggestions on stock list? I would like to have a pair of ocelaris clowns, but other than that I'm open to anything community. Thanks!
 

stella1979

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Congrats on a new build!

I wish I could be more help on these stocking threads, but my experience is with nano tanks, so I'm really not great with this stuff.

If I had a big tank, I'd definitely want to stock a couple different sand-dwelling gobies, a blenny or two to hang out in and on the rocks, and if substrate were a few inches deep, I'd definitely want a yellow-headed or blue-spot jawfish. I had a jawfish once upon a time, and I love their antics.

Beyond that, you want your more open water swimmers, and this is where I would need to do more research. These would all be on my research list though.

Reef safe Wrasses (There are so many beauties, and a cleaner wrasse would be pretty cool too.)
Butterflyfish (love the Sunset Butterfly)
Hogfish
Marine Bettas
small Tangs (Like the Kole Tang or 2 Spot.)
I would love a Moorish Idol... but these are not easy to care for.

Not all of these are exactly peaceful, but larger and or open water marine species rarely are. Still, following a good stocking plan where you introduce more timid species well before more aggressive ones should bring success. After all, clownfish are damsels, and known to be pretty temperamental themselves.
 
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Chris Osborne

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Thanks for the reply! I wish I could do a moorish idol too, but maybe I can do a different type of tang or angel.
 

stella1979

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Oh goodness... those angels though. So many pretties!! I didn't mention them because you have to be really careful with putting an angel in a reef tank. Most are well-known coral nippers. Still, plenty of folks can't help but try a Flame or Coral Beauty, and some have success with these smaller species. Coral Beauties... droool. I would love one, captive bred please.
 

Jesterrace

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stella1979 said:
Oh goodness... those angels though. So many pretties!! I didn't mention them because you have to be really careful with putting an angel in a reef tank. Most are well-known coral nippers. Still, plenty of folks can't help but try a Flame or Coral Beauty, and some have success with these smaller species. Coral Beauties... droool. I would love one, captive bred please.
I have a coral beauty (although not captive bred) and it is a very pretty fish. I can't speak for other types of corals but thus far it has left my Euphyllia (ie Frogspawn and Hammer Coral) Alone and seems to be content to graze on algae in the tank. IMHO it does help to have a well established tank with algae growing all around. I have also had experience with a Flame Angel and it was an aggressive butthead and a coral nipper to boot. The only "reef safe" angels are the members of the Genicanthus species (ie Swallowtail, Bellus, Lamarck's, Watanabei) but they generally require a 6 foot long tank to be happy long term.

I managed to luck out and find a Yellow Tang and a Coral Beauty swimming in the same holding tank at my LFS and got to watch them interact and they pretty much left each other alone. As such I snagged both of them and added them together and they have been great. The Yellow Tang is also another one that would work for a 4 foot long tank long term. Reef safe wrasses are great choices as they will add lots of color and activity to your tank with a minimum of risk to aggression (as long as you stick with the generally peaceful varieties) and corals. I would say that I would not add a cleaner wrasse as many of them do not last in captivity since they try to subsist primarily on cleaning and don't readily adapt to food (that and they tend to harass the heck out of the other fish trying to chase them around to feed off of them).


 

Jesterrace

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Oh and as for wrasses, I might be biased but the Melanurus is my personal favorite. They don't look like much as juvies but as they mature they get quite attractive and are stunning. Like clownfish they are also capable of switching gender to suit their purpose, although if kept single they generally become male. The only downside is that they can periodically pick off inverts (ie snails, hermit crabs and smaller ornamental shrimp). The thing I like about mine is that it doesn't pick fights but it's not afraid to stick up for itself against an aggressive fish. My coral beauty and tang attempted to assert some dominance on the first day and my wrasse gave as good as he got from both of them. They left him alone after that and actually kind of like having him around now. *EDIT* Here is a vid of a juvie and a male together so you can see the contrast:

 
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Chris Osborne

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Thanks! I do like how it looks! If I have a bunch of blue legs running around will it eventually eat them all?
 
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