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Old 04-05-2006, 05:53 PM   #1
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Miniature fish that are awesome?

I know the title sounds lame, but...

I recently acquired a 38 gallon tank, and am contemplating turning it into a saltwater setup. Now, I'm sure I'm like most people are; what appeals to me about saltwater is the beautiful/interesting fish that live in marine environments. I fall in love with all the tangs, triggerfishes, puffers, tassled file fish, etc. that I see at the store, but in general they all need massive tanks that are out of my budget/ability right now. The smaller saltwater fish don't grab my attention as much (clowns, damsels etc.) - they're just not that "different". (Although I do thoroughly enjoy blue spotted jawfish, as they look like little humans )

So I'm wondering, are there any small versions of really "cool" saltwater fish that could live in a 38 gallon? From what I understand, a dwarf Lion could fit the bill, but all tangs, puffers and triggers would not even be close to small enough.


Any input is appreciated,
Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:23 PM   #2
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A blue tang would be fine, just order him a small size, if you still have in 3-4 years you can ship him off to my tank and i'll take care of him!
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:28 PM   #3
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In my 37G I have

1 Coral Beauty-pretty cool looking reef safe angle fish
1 Purple Dottyback-great pink/purple color
1 yellowtail Damsel

There are also bicolor dottybacks. Half yellow and half purple.

You probably could keep 1 dwarf lionfish in a 37gal.

There is a great website called fantastreef. It has a great section that shows all the fish you can keep in various sizes of tank and their descriptions and care requirements.

HTH

John
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:43 PM   #4
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Personally I would stay away from all Tangs especially a Blue Hippo or PBT as they do require a lot of swimming room and even as juvenials a 38g just really is not big enough.

Here is a link to a number of fish that would be appropriate for that size tank:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/s...fm?pCatId=2124

In addition you could even look at a dwarf angel with caution if you are considering live coral:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/scateg.cfm?pCatId=16

I would recommend no more than 3-4 comaptible fish though depending on what ones you choose.

Also take a look at the wide range of inverts that are availble for a SW setup:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/categ.cfm?pcatid=497

IMO, inverts are as much fun as the fish and you would be surprised how many you can have. A 38g can easily accomodate 20+ hermits and snails as well as a 1-3 shrimp and a startfish or two.

Of course the key to success in SW is to take your time. Once you get the cycle going plan on at least 4-6 weeks before you add your first fish. Then you can slowly increase your stocking list after that. Ideally you should let you tank mature 6+ months (3 months min for hardier species) before you add any corals or other complex inverts.

Do your reading and take your time. If you describe what kind of setup you are planning people can better give advice(i.e. FO, FOWLR, Reef). Then let us know what type of equipment you are thinking about such as filtration, skimmer, lights etc.

Most of all have fun while you learn. SW cannot be rushed into, but if you take your time it can provide years of enjoyment. When the budget and space allow you will be ready to upgrade to that large set-up.

Good Luck,
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:29 PM   #5
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There are some puffers that would do ok, a saddleback/valentini would do fine I think.

This is the link to the database that John mentioned:
http://www.fantasyreef.com/database/...=getdb&db_id=7
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:45 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity have you considered keeping African cichlids? They are fairly easy to maintain and a 38 could hold about 4-6.

As far as interesting small fish I like the Yellowhead Jawfish, Striped Lubbock's Wrasse, & all of the “reef safe” Gobies
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tecwzrd
Out of curiosity have you considered keeping African cichlids? They are fairly easy to maintain and a 38 could hold about 4-6.
Hmmm, I did not even know that African cichlids were SW fish. Wow, you learn something new everyday.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:01 PM   #8
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You have lots of options. My first SW was a 38gal as well. It realy depends on what type of tank you want...community, aggressive? you can have a lot of color with some smaller fish in a 38. Firefish, dwarf angels, roayal gramma, wrasses, clowns, etc.
Quote:
A blue tang would be fine
Sorry, not a good recommendation at all. A 38gal is just too small for any tang to be happy.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:12 PM   #9
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I have to agree that the tang is a bad choice. And somebody forgot to tell my ole coral beauty that he was reef safe before he took out two of my corals. I hate it when they forget to tell them that.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:50 AM   #10
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And somebody forgot to tell my ole coral beauty that he was reef safe before he took out two of my corals. I hate it when they forget to tell them that.
Yeah, yeah, I have heard the stories about coral beauts nipping at corals...but mine has been nothing but an angel....haha get it...angel..I crack myself up

Anyways, people also say dottybacks and damsels are crazy aggressize, but all three swim together quite nicely. Freaks of nature I guess......
John
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60gal reef in progress
75lbs Live Rock
40lbs Live Rock
AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer
Marineland penguin HOB Filter
4x65w PCF

FISH
1 - Percula, 1 - Blue-Yellowtail Damsel, 3 - Green reef Chromis

Inverts
Rose Annenome; Anchor Coral
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