Stocking the Reef pro 1500 (5ft, 138 gallon system)


Hallo forum!

I'm forward planning for my first big (comparatively) reef tank and would love some input

I'm getting the DD Reef pro 1500 which is 5 foot long, 117 gallons tank volume and 138 gallons system volume

I'm not sure what return pump I'll be getting, but it'll probably be 5000 LpH. Likewise, I'm not sure what skimmer I'll be getting yet.

I'll be lighting it with two or three Noopsyche K7 pros (95W)

It'll be mixed reef, mostly Lps, some softies and I might branch out and try a few Sps, but it'll be a mostly Lps tank

Experience-wise this will be my third tank, but the first time I'll have a system this big - I've previously had a 2.6 gal pico reef and a 26 gallon reef. I also have experience with freshwater fish, but my biggest tanks there were a 45 and 47 gallon

I've been doing some research on fish stocking and I'm finding it much more difficult than stocking the freshwater. I don't know roughly how many fish are considered for these type of tanks, or really what kinds can go together.

I'm currently looking at:

- 1 yellow tang
- 1 half black dwarf angelfish
- 3 (?) banggai cardinals
- 3 to 5 chromis, blue and/or blue-green
- a clownfish pair; I'd like a 'nemo' and a black and white, but I'm interested in the tomato clownfish too

Invert wise I like

- skunk shrimp
- trochus snails
- blue or red leg hermits
- nassarius snails
- orange lipped conch
- blue tuxedo urchin
- brittle starfish

That's all I'd like for certain, although I'm not sure re: the chromis

I've also been looking at:

- Squaretail Bristletooth Tang
- Kole Tang
- pajama Cardinals
- Blue Sapphire Damsel
- Randall's Assessor Basslet
- Orange Back Fairy Wrasse
- Six Line Wrasse
- Bluestreal Cleaner Wrasse
- Orange Stripe prawn Goby with pistol shrimp

I'd also like a Green Mandarin and/or a Ruby Red dragonet once I've got a good copepod population going (6+ months down the line)

I'd appreciate any and all input on stocking, where there might be problems with compatability, if coral or inverts would be in danger. I'm also open to suggestions

I'd eventually like to try a clam in there as well; that was much easier to research

Thank you for your time!


Congrats on the new tank.

As for the stock list it looks good for the most part but I would definitely raise some caution with the following:

1) Half Black Dwarf Angel. While it's true that all Dwarf Angels are a gamble the Half Black tend to be higher risk than say a Coral Beauty, Flame or Potter's. Not saying you can't get a good one that won't devour your corals, just saying the odds aren't as great as some of the other Dwarf Angels. The Clam will also be a definite risk with Dwarf Angels.

2) 6 line Wrasse. I would avoid. They consistently score at or near the top of the list for fish that people regret having in their tanks and yes even folks with 200-300 gallon tanks have had problems with them as they mature and they are one of the worst fish to try and trap/catch. Adding to this is the fact you are looking at an Orange backed Fairy Wrasse and that 6 lines are even worse with other Wrasses and I would just say it's not a good fit for your tank. On the flipside though the Orange Back Fairy Wrasse is generally a good community fish and wonderful addition and there are plenty of other peaceful wrasses that would work with it (ie Halichoeres Wrasses such as the Yellow Wrasse, Red Lined Wrasse, Christmas Wrasse).

3) Blue Sapphire Damsel aka Springer's Damsel. Although one of the best choices in terms of a Damselfish they can still be jerks, so just be prepared.

4) Avoid the Cleaner Wrasses as they often don't do well in captivity or adapt to other types of food. Even worse since they don't get enough to eat they often pester other fish frequently for cleaning which in turn stresses out the other fish. As mentioned above as long as you have a sand bed I would look at one of the Peaceful variety Halichoeres Wrasses. In addition to looking great, being active and good community tank mates they also provide pest removal services for corals.

5) I would definitely do another Tang in there if you are dead set on the Yellow. They need something to keep their attitude in check or they tend to bully. Squaretail Bristletooth or Kole Tang would be great choices.

6) Tuxedo Urchins are wonderful (I have one in my 90 gallon) but make sure your corals are well glued down or they will run off with them. They are also very prone to making hats out of Zoanthids not matter what you do so just be aware of that. Definitely much better than other Urchins though, the rest are completely destructive bulldozers that get huge. Got to see that first hand when I had a Long Spined Urchin.
Upvote 0



Thank you so much for your reply, and going through the list so carefully

1) I like the Flame Angel, but even with months to go I'd prioritise the clam, so I'll avoid the Dwarf Angels for now. If I suck at clam keeping I might revisit them though.

1 b) Could I replace the Half Black with a Black Bar Chromis? I really like the more subdued relatively monochromatic colours. And I would have to avoid any other chromis in the tank, is that correct? Or does tank size make a difference? I've read that they can be little d...evils.

2) I can absolutely avoid the 6 line, and keep the Orange-Backed. Thank you for giving me options that can go with it, I'm excited to do some Wrasse-Research, lol

3) I was thinking about swapping the Damsel out for a Blue Chromis, but I've read that they can be delicate and don't survive shipping very well. Also the aforementioned Black Bar Chromis. I might take a chance on the damsel - something to think about for sure.

4) Shall do! I'm gonna be on those Halichoeres like jam on toast

5) That's actually awesome news, I was really torn between the three tangs. I think I'm leaning on the side of the Kole.

6) I freaking love them! I'll glue everything down, but honestly I'm not going to be TOO upset if they take one for a ride - I'm not planning on any really expensive zoas. I've seen some people 3-D printing little cowboy hats and such for them, very cute. The long spines freak me out, I'm sorry you had a bulldozing experience!

My revised list is as follows:

1 Yellow Tang
1 Kole Tang/Squaretail Bristletooth
3 (?) Bangaii Cardinals (I love these guys)
2 clownfish of different flavours
1 Orange Back Fairy Wrasse
1 Orange prawn goby w/shrimp?
1 Green Mandarin/Ruby Red Dragonet at some point

In terms of musing:

I like the Axilspot Hogfish but preliminary research doesn't show much about them. I know they eat 'small crustaceans' would this include the Skunk Cleaners?

What did you think of the Randall's Assessor Basslet? I originally wanted a purple tang for the colour, and after crossing them off the list I thought Randall's might be a good similar coloured alternative

Otherwise, I was looking at the Black Cap Basslet? I know they can be aggressive though. I like the Royal Gramma for my nano reef tank, but would be just as happy with a Royal Gramma in the big reef

I was also thinking about a Bicolour Blenny or Tail Spot Blenny, but I'm not stuck on either of them because I'll be getting one for the nano in any case.

Maybe a Blue Dot Jawfish (would this fight with an Orange prawn goby?)

I like the Vrolik's Wrasse, Richmond's Wrasse, Dusky Wrasse and the Christmas Wrasse - how many wrasses is too many wrasses, I can be ruthless picking out one I really want from this list

I also like the Ruby Red Fairy Wrasse, but as this is not a Halichoeres would this cause problems with the Orange Back?

How many fish is too many fish for a 138/5ft? And when we say the volume of the tank (eg, 180 gallons, 2000 gallons, etc) are people only talking about the display tank volume or the system volume?

Hey, I wanted to say thank you again for taking the time to comment in the first place and for reading through my list of n00b questions; I know there are a lot and you've already more than helped me, so please don't feel pressured to comment again!
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked

Random Great Thread!

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom