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Old 07-03-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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What kind of fish should I get for my 55 gallon reef tank?

I've had my 55 gallon reef tank going for a few years and everything is doing well. The tank is filled with various soft corals, zoanthids, polyps and a bulb tip anemone. I also have two percula clowns and a purple dottyback. I would like to get one more fish that isn't the same body shape or color as the aforementioned fish. I would really love to get a Flame Angel or a Blue Tang, but I know I can't because the Flame might damage the corals and the Tang needs a bigger tank.

So with that in mind, does anyone have any suggestions as to what type of fish I should get? I would prefer a blue, red, or yellow fish, but my main priority is that the fish is reef safe, can be housed in a 55 gallon tank, and won't bully the other fish. Any thoughts appreciated...
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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I don't blame you for wanting either a Blue Tang or Flame Angel, but they are both bad choices for your tank as you mentioned. If I were you I would want 1-big fish in there and I would definitely get a Kole Tang. I have seen two types of this tang, one with the yellow around the eyes and a dark purpleish body with pinstripes. And the other birstletooth/kole tang is almost a pink color with small white poka-dots. I think either one of those would be fine in your 55gallon with only 3-othe small fish like you have. Check out the link below.

Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Kole Yellow Eye Tang
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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In my opinion, you have a pretty light bioload and lots of choices.
If you want something that will stay mid tank, how about cardinals? (PJ's are red, yellow, white and black)
Or how about one of the reef safe wrasses, a fairy wrasse perhaps? (lost of colors combos to choose from)
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input so far. You guys are giving me great ideas. A couple of questions though. I agree with ryshark that I want to get 1 big fish in the tank to go with the smaller fish. I would love a Kole Tang, but I thought they needed a larger tank. The link that you included states that they need a minimum of 70 gallons.

I also liked Fluff's suggestions, but that leads me to another question. I really like some of the reef safe wrasses, but the top of my tank is uncovered and I'm concerned that it would jump out. I was thinking about the Cardinal as well, but I wasn't sure if it would do well by itself. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #5
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I know folks keep tangs in smaller tanks but I feel a 55g is to small.
With the wrasses, jumping can be an issue. Adding some some egg crate to the top of the tank would help keep that from happening. As for the cardinals, I'd get two or three.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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55-gallons is 4' long right? That is just as long as a 75-gallon. Do you still have a lot of swimming room in there or is it mostly rock? I know it is pushing it but I believe Kole Tangs can handle the smallest tanks of all the tangs and I would go with a Kole Tang. I like to have a centerpiece fish in the tank, and think that would look nice with the 3-small fish.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
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Unfortunately my tank is only 3 feet long and there is a lot of live rock in there so I think a Kole might be out of the question. It's too bad because I'd love to have some type of tang as my centerpiece fish. I like some of the wrasses, but they are sort of the same body shape as the purple dottyback. Cardinals might be something to consider.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:28 PM   #8
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3 fish in a 55 isnt really that light. So many choices and seems like you are patiant. This site has rare fish . GL..

Buy Fish Online: Buy Tropical Fish, WYSIWYG corals, clams and inverts online at the Divers Den
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:10 AM   #9
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Ya 3-feet is kind of short, doesn't leave a whole lot of back and forth swimming room. Especially if you have a lot of rocks. According to this website you can have a yellow tang in a 50-gallon. But I dont' know if that is a good idea. My guess is that you need to maybe pick 2 more smaller fish and skip the one big one.
FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "Yellow Tang"
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:45 PM   #10
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I have been pondering this same question for my 3' long 46g tank for quite a while. The conclusion I have came up with is I should have got a much bigger tank!!!!!!
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