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Old 05-16-2005, 03:38 PM   #1
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Ready for my first fish?

My 75 gallon tank with 70 pounds lr.com live rock has been fully cycled for 3 weeks now. My readings are: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 ppm nitrate, pH 8.1, temperature 80, sg 1.024

Current residents:
Hitchhikers: 3-4 little crabs, several small feather dusters, 2 spiny purplish urchins, lots of bitsy worms in the sand, and half a dozen dreaded aiptasia.
Added by me: A dozen mixed red/blue legged hermits, 2 dozen or so mixed snails (nassarius, turbo, cerith), 2 emerald crabs, one serpent sea star, one awesome coral-banded shrimp.

I plan on keeping to FOWLR for the foreseeable future. I would like to make it a peaceful community tank of smaller fish. That being said, here is a list of the fish I like the best. I know they can't all go in!!

Sorry this is a little long, I'm getting very excited!

percula clown, hopefully a pair. False or true...either one better for any reason?
blennies....scooter? midas?
royal gramma
green chromis....maybe 3 or 4?
cleaner wrasse
firefish
dwarf angel of some kind....maybe a flame angel?
banggai cardinal
pyjama fish cardinal

Are there any can't-go-togethers here? Any recommendations for the most happy tank-mates? Other species which I didn't mention which might be better for some reason? Which should go in first, last, etc.? In other words I am hoping for lots of input, because the experts on happy aquaria are out there!
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:42 PM   #2
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Fish list looks OK although I dont know about the last 3 you would have to ask someone else.

You look like you are ready to put some fish in.

Put the least aggressive in there first and then the most aggressive last.
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:51 PM   #3
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....went through about 15 chormis before I decided to switch to a differnt fish. The Clown Fish Clarkii is what lived through it all, and is still alive today. Plus they look awesome!
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:53 PM   #4
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I havent successfully kept chromis either, maybe they are harder to keep?
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:02 PM   #5
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Everything I've read about chromis says they're easy to keep, but should be kept in shoals of 5 or more. Maybe they're not as easy as is said. Any others out there have trouble with them?
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:49 PM   #6
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I have 3 chromis and not a single one has passed. I got them all from the LFS and they've been healthy as horses (knocks on wood). I've heard about them being hit or miss and can't help but wonder if supplier is a factor since those who have bad luck generally have terminally bad luck and v.v. My chromis are swimmer fish in the top 1/3 of the tank. If you're going to go with the percs I would skip the chromis. You'll want 3 of these and by the time you get 3 of these 2 percs and 2 cardinals you'd be out of space for cool fish.

Cardinals like to be in pairs at least so whichever of those you choose get 2 of them. My PJ cardinals are "hover" fish in the top 1/3 of the tank.

I don't personally like percs (false or otherwise) but if you're going to get one I'd steer towards tank bred/raise clowns. My perc lived next to the baffle until he disappeared. No love loss there. It was really a stupid fish. Only ever came out when it was feeding time. They are also top 1/3 fish but they're swimmers rather than hoverers.

My Blenny is a Barnacle Blenny and he's great to play "where's waldo" with. He's always at the top of the rock somewhere. Ocassionally he'll sit on one of my Nori clips. Quite entertaining little guy with tons of personality and great movement.

The gramma, firefish and wrasse are all mid-tankers and hang in the rock work a lot (from what I understand of them).

Wait on the angel until you're sure you're not interested in a reef. They may not be compatible. Besides adding them later is better. Your tank will be better established. They're grazing fish and have special dietary needs (that can be met with prepared foods, but not likely going to thrive on your typical flake food).

I'd get the Cardinals first (very peaceful fish). Then I'd get the the pair of percs, then the gramma and the blenny. That line up doesn't really give you a "show piece" but will allow for the addition of a coral beauty or a flame angel when you're sure you don't want a reef (yes they may be reef safe, but that's a tough call, IMO) or a very small yellow tang if you do want a reef (great fish, perfet last addition).

Figure on about 20" of fish (calcualted with adult sizes) to put into your tank, knowing that once you get there that one more "fish that I *have* to have" will put you around 25" and you'll be well stocked there.
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:20 PM   #7
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Well, gee....I really love the looks of the chromis schooling, but the percs are a must, because we have a 12 year old, and the FIRST thing she said when I FIRST mentioned saltwater was......any guesses?......NEMO! I like the clowns, too, I must say. But if they won't work with the chromis and the cardinals, which I also love, then, wow this is hard!

If the cardinals go in first, do both go in at once? (what about the one fish at a time thing?) And if I should go with the chromis, should all 3 go in at once? This is going to cost a fortune in separate shipping costs! I'm going to have to order most fish online. I don't really have any LFS. The Petco has some saltwater fish but gives ZERO guarantee on them. Once they're in your tank you're on your own.
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:31 PM   #8
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They would "work" together, but they'd max out your tank without getting any cool or "show" fish. If that's ok with you then go for it! Your tank would be "top" heavy though as all of these fish prefer the top 1/3 space of the tank.

The two cardinals can go in together. They're not messy or demanding feeders (though getting one to eat might prove to be a challenge, from what I've read: watch them eat at your LFS and get one that's eating). I didn't have that experience though. All my fish have been great feeders.

If you do Chromis you can get one of them first. Add the next 2 next. The first one, ideally, would be the smallest, the next 2 being larger. The larger the chromis the more dominant it is (I have 3 of them in different sizes by pecking order).

If you're going to get them online you'll want to buy them together. You can QT them all together, keeping up with water changes, and then introduce them to the main one and then two. Otherwise add all 3 of them to the main and be prepared to change water if it gets away from you. You can feed these guys every 3 days if necessary to slow down the ammo build up so they're good for ramping up with.

Stay away from Petco! But really, most LFS don't guarentee the fish past their doorstep. The primary reason I buy from LiveAquaria. I don't care if the fish is eating when I get it. If it isn't healthy or doesn't start eating and dies within the 14d it's their dime. It behooves them to sell you really healthy fish that are eating well before they leave their care. More than I can say for the LFS.
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #9
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Well said, thank you! This decision is going to take me a lot longer than I thought! But the more input, the better. Patience is a virtue!!!
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:37 AM   #10
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Now that I'm thinking more about this, I remember reading that the cleaner wrasse will starve if he has no parasites to eat? Don't remember why I put him on my list. Would there be a better choice of something similar?
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