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Old 03-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
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Beginner saltwater predators?

I've got my hands full with my goldies as is, but I do enjoy thinking about what sorts of fish I might want in the future when I get more experienced.

Since I started aquaria several months ago, I have liked the idea of a saltwater tank hosting one or two predators and no more, since my dad owned some before and I liked them as a kid.

I don't know too much about predators, though. What do they require as far as water parameters and tank space go?

Dad said predators have their easy and difficult parts like all fish. However which species would be the most suitable for someone who has never owned them?

I was thinking of a lionfish or something. To be honest I don't know a lot about saltwater breeds
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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Well before you get any your gonna have to know alot It takes alot of work and research. For tanks as big as 125g I would say lionfish and triggers would be your best bet. Also, wrasse are pretty cool but the predatory kind will require 125+
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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I'm still new to saltwater as well, but I believe for lionfish you'll want 60+ gallons. They can get pretty massive, and you'll want to ensure they have room to swim around.
Triggers are cool too, same kind of story.

For saltwater you need to know (and buy) a good amount more than just freshwater setups. Keep researching and asking questions, and if you end up getting a lionfish post pics!!! I love those guys
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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For a full grown volitan lion fish you need a 125. They get 15 inches. A 60g can't hold a 15 inch fish that produces a ton of waste. Triggers also need 125 for the same reasons. Same for wrasse.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
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Wow, I didn't know my expectations were so far off. I always knew predators needed more room, since their waste is stronger, still I was really off. Perhaps I should put off a predator until I have more experience with saltwater...

To be honest, I prefer freshwater over saltwater. But, I do want a saltwater aquarium one day, with some sort of larger and cool fish. As I mentioned, my Dad had a few saltwater tanks when I was little (one peaceful, one with a single predator in it, and another mostly peaceful with a puffer), but almost all of his fish were teeny. Very pretty fish, and honestly I would be fine with a 'pretty' saltwater aquarium, but there's something to having a larger saltwater fish.

Any other options for larger saltwater fish that don't require up to 130g, and isn't necessarily a predator? It's not so much the cost I'm worried about, since I will be making more money soon, but rather a lack of space to keep such a big aquarium in the next few years (at least, more than 100g in one place).
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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You could get an angler
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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You could do a dwarf lion.... 30-55gl I've seen recommended for them
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
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The Fu Manchu lion is probably the smallest of the dwarf lions, only getting about 5 inches long. You might be able to manage one in a 30 gallon, though 40-50 would be better.
The biggest issue with predator tanks is that they produce large amounts of waste, but infrequently, whereas most fish produce a smaller amount, but constantly, meaning that the biological filter has a fairly constant level of food.
With a predator tank, the bio filter is underfed for days, then suddenly overfed. Keeping water quality stable is more challenging.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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You could go with a snowflake eel they only need about 75 gallons when fully grown
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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As ftmmws said you could definitely go with an angler. You could probably pull one off in a 30g.
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