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Old 03-07-2005, 11:51 PM   #1
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How to Choose????

I am just about to finish my cycling of a new RR 120 Gallon tank with LR.

I have thought and rethought 100 times which way to go as far as filling the tank.....

Do I go small colorful fish with a potential later to turn it more reef-like with Anthias, Mandarin, Clowns, etc? or do I go the bigger more aggressive route with Lions, Angels, Triggers, Puffers, etc?

How did everyone decide? I change my mind 5 times a days! Any suggestions on how best to stock (other than checking compatability of course).
Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:57 PM   #2
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I am having the same problem decided what to put in my 55g. I had my mind SET on a dwarf lionfish, a picasso triggerfish and an eel until recently when I learned there would be no shrimp, starfish, crabs, snails etc. I have decided to go for the community fish after all, but since you have a larger tank you could handle the bioload better that I could have... so you're back to square one.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:04 AM   #3
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For one thing, the mandarin fish need a well established tank...think of them a year up the road. I have done all the options that you mention. I loved my lionfish, and the eels, but unfortunately, one drawback is that if you do not OVERSTOCK your tank, your tank may appear rather boring with only a fish or two if you go the predator route. Even though your 120 seems large to you, when you start adding high bioload producing fish, you reach your limit quickly. As a perfect example, I have a tank just a tad smaller than yours that contains 4 eels. It appears to be an empty tank full of rock. If you want to see alot of fish, my suggestion is to go with a general community tank full of peaceful fish.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:11 AM   #4
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I agree with Hara. I would go peaceful. I think the large fish are beautiful but, it limits you alot bioload wise as well as later on down the road should you want to do reef. And, there are tons of small peaceful fish to choose from. You'd never be bored.
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:48 AM   #5
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Another benefit to having a peacefull community tank is that there is alot of movement to pull the eye. The more colorful activity (hopefully not frantic activity) the easier it will draw the attention of any less fishy folk in your house, then they won't mind the tank and it's time (not to mention money) consuming efforts.
Did this with my FW and the hubby will spend an hour watching them instead of "Who's Line Is It?". This allows me to spend more money or to talk freely about getting a BIG tank.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:57 AM   #6
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The reef with the variety of reef-safe life - crabs, snails, shrimp, starfish, will be so much easier on your bio-load as Hara mentioned. Lighter bio-load means less work IMO and more time to enjoy your tank instead of it working and worrying the heck out of you.

My two cents.
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:02 AM   #7
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Do you ever plan on starting a reef with corals and such? If so, choose fish that are considered reef safe. This should help narrow things downa bit.
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:26 AM   #8
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ALWAYS START WITH THE TIMID ONES FIRST!!!

If the aggressive fish set up territory, then I pity the timid "new fish" on the block.
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SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:01 PM   #9
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My suggestion is that you assume you are eventually going to build a reef. When I started I was not going to do a reef tank... well now I am all about the reef. It is way too cool! There is always some new surprise in the tank!

Now take all the other folks advice of the reef safe fish and have fun!!!
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
There is always some new surprise in the tank!
Boy is this ever a true statement. I can't ID 1/2 of the stuff that I see in my tank, which has only been up and running with LR for less than a week.

Yesterday I saw a small cluster of tube worms for the first time. Small definitely standing tall. I sat watching it for so long I missed the news show I had turned on on TV. (The tank was probably better news than CNN, anyway)
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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