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Old 08-19-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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new 55-gal stocking

Hi everyone, newbie here Seeking advice on how to stock my 55-gal tank. Right now I have 3 damsels that the LFS sold me to get started (I had live sand and the bottled bacteria so my ammonia never got too high for them, they didn't suffer). Two are dominos and one is a yellowtail. I heard the yellowtails are not as aggressive and this one doesn't seem to be that bad so I thought about keeping him and taking the dominos back since they are bullies. Here are some fish I like that I think would be good but I know I have to eliminate a few choices to not be overstocked, maybe you can tell me if any are less desirable to help me eliminate.

yellowtail damsel
Kaudern's cardinal (probably 2)
Clarki clownfish
flame hawkfish
firefish or bicolor dottyback
coral beauty angel
foxface rabbitfish
six line wrasse

I'd also like about 5 snails and 5 hermitcrabs and a featherduster someday (when to add these guys?)

Please give me your opinions on compatibility and the correct order to add them. I have a 20-gal QT I will be using for each addition for 4-6 weeks. How many do you think I should add at once? I heard only one at a time, but I also heard 2-3 if they are small fish.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
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How long has your tank been running? I wouldnt add more than say two fish at a time and space it out over a week or two at least.

I'd have to say though that list is quite large. I'm counting 12 fish. I don't think I will have 12 fiash in total in my 125g when ii'm done stocking. LOL

Do you plan on corals ever? I believe the coral beauty is a nipper. Also the wrasse is a jumper too.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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It's been running almost 4 weeks. I know that 12 fish is too much - like I said, I just want help eliminating a few choices from the ones I'm thinking about. I figured I'd need to eliminate 3 or 4.

I don't plan on corals anytime soon but I would like to have a small cleanup crew. I read from one person that the flame hawkfish may eat snails, anyone had experience with that one?

How long do you usually quarantine? I have heard 4 weeks, 6 weeks, depends on the fish, etc. Also what is your opinion on treating with copper or hyposalinity for everyone regardless of them looking healthy?

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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I just started qt'ing after losing 6 fish in a 72 hour period after I added a sick tang. :-( I plan on 2 weeks for now, some would say thats not enough but it's a good start.

Not sure about the hawkfish though, never kept one or researched them.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:48 PM   #5
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I have heard a bunch of contrasting stories about hawkfish. Some people say they are very nice and peaceful, while others have claimed to see them massacre the CUC. I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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CUC = Clean Up Crew = hermit crabs, shrimp, and snails, FYI.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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Actually, I JUST asked at my lfs theother day. I totally forgot. he said he wouldnt recommend it with a reef tank. Not sure if it nips corals or the inverts but he said no.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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Carey, I would tend to agree, you would think 2 weeks is enough to see if a fish is sick. Yes I also heard tangs tend to have ich so I'm going to steer clear of them, plus my tank may be a little small when they get bigger.

Greenturtle, thanks for the input, I think I will eliminate the hawkfish for now as I do want a cleanup crew. Is it okay to add the cleanup crew as soon as I have algae? I am working on reducing my nitrate level, do you think anything under 20ppm is okay for them? When I started the tank I used tap water on the advice of my LFS guy, then when I started testing afterward I found out it had 60-80ppm! Thats with API test kit, Tetra shows slightly less. Anyway, still doing PWC to try to get 0 nitrate, I'm about 40 now.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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I would wait on the CUC since inverts need more stable conditions. But once the tank is stable and fully cycled i would get a few trochus and cerith snails. Probably around 5 each.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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yeah, I woudl get the nitrates down and get stable before adding any livestock, even cuc. Are you using ro/di water now?
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