Originally Posted by karenm
Getting ready to purchase a 75 gal
saltwater tank (will be my first fish tank). The tank will house coral, sea anemones, crustaceans, sea stars and compatible (I hope) fish. Would like some blennies and clown fish, but otherwise am open on the fish species. The tank will mostly likely have live rock up the sides (one side lower than the other) with a sandy bottom in the middle.
1. When I've looked up info on sea anemones, there is usually a caution that says it stings and may harm neighboring sessile animals. Are there certain corals or other animals I should avoid if I plan to have anemones? Or are there certain anemones I should stay away from?
2. I would like to get some blennies and eels. How thick should my sand substrate be? Should I avoid an undergravel filter? Are there any eels that won't eat the crustaceans and smaller fish?
3. I really love schooling fish in their natural environment, any suggestions on any small schooling fish I could get that will get along with the reef and crustaceans? I don't want the schooling fish to be the only species in the tank.
4. Is 75 gals too small for a Tang or two?
Congrats on the tank and enthusiasm in the hobby. Do your part and educate yourself through books, online articles, and docs
Almost all of what you want is possible, if planned correctly.
1. Anemones are double-edged swords. Heteractis crispa, Macrodactyla doreensis, or Entacmaea Quadricolor would be your best bet. They have the potential to travel up rockwork and situate themselves to the best conditions they deem necessary along with stinging neighboring corals. They are quite beautiful, but require quite a bit of care. I wouldn't recommend them for beginners. Future possibilities for you
2. If you plan on eels, don't plan on an anemone. Many eels get stung and succumb to infection/death from accidental interaction. Eels that can be recommended are Echidna nebulosa, Gymnomuraena zebra, Echidna catenata (atlantic), or G. melatremus (dwarf). Most eels will take down any small fish and/or crustaceans. The only choice you would have with blennies is G. melatremus, which is a dwarf, but pricey. There is always a debate on sandbed depth (research this), but I go with whatever looks aesthetically pleasing to me. Usually this entails at least 3-4". No need for UGF
. They can be used, but with filtration systems available today why bother? I recommend a sump and skimmer.
3. Schooling is a defensive behavior to confuse predators. Most fish will not school much in an aquarium where predator or aggressive fish aren't present. The usuals to go with are chromis, bar gobies, etc.
4. A tang or two would be fine depending on the sp.
As I said before, research ahead of time. You can always come up with a huge selection of fish/inverts and I'd be happy to help "dumb" them down to a reasonable list
Here's a good site for you, in case you haven't seen it: wetwebmedia.com