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Old 07-26-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
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Please review plan/give advice

Hello all, this is my first forray into salt water aquariums. My plan is to start up a predator tank. I am purchasing a 210 gal (72x24x29) with wet/dry sump and sealed lids. The substrate will be 120lbs of live sand and some live rock. The plan is to cycle the tank then add fish in the following order:
  1. Volitan Lion
  2. Puffer (havent decided on exact type, probably a PP)
  3. California ray, or a spotted ray if i can find one locally.
  4. Either a snowflake eel or a striped moray
  5. Some sort of colorfull fish to keep the wife happy, one too large for the others to eat when introduced, possibly a tang or a trigger.
I'm planning on 1-2 weeks in between adding livestock.

Any advice on how much live rock? I have been reading 1.5 lbs/gal, but I'm afraid that this will be too crowded for the ray to be able to swim around as it matures. I want to be able to provide the lion and the eel hiding places without taking away from the ray's swim area. Any advice or any problems found in my plans would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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I can't speak to the stocking since I haven't kept those fish, but did want to make a comment and follow along for my own knowledge as well. As far as the LR goes, you can always house it in your sump to avoid crowding the display. I'm sure someone will be along soon that can comment on the fish.

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Old 07-26-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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As far as the ray Most places suggest that they be kept by experts only. The care level is rated as difficult which means if they die you will not get your money back. IMO Rays are best left in the ocean but`that`s just my opinion. The others sound OK. I`ve had a snowflake eel and several tangs so I can speak on them but the puffer I have never had. Welcome to AA
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:16 PM   #4
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I've had a snowflake moray eel (named Malfoy) and it was a very cool fish. Just watch when cleaning, feeding, or moving rocks. I can tell you from experience that they have very sharp teeth and strong jaws. When I pulled my thumb out of the tank, he came with it.

I haven't had a Volitans but I did have an Antennata Lionfish (named Mufasa) which is much smaller. I was never stung by the spines, but I hear they hurt too. Get a strong pair of gloves for cleaning.

Had a picasso trigger (named Vincent) with them too which added some color. Took a while to get used to him grunting, but he was pretty cool too.

I also had a Yellow Tang (Alexis after my daughter), a Purple Tang (Ace), an Emperor Angel (Napolean), and a Flame Angel (Kamehameha) adding more color.

This was in my 150 gallon tank and they were very happy together for many years.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:38 PM   #5
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I agree with the ray. The puffer will probably chew on the Lion's fins so be aware of that. When selecting a fish that won't get eaten, make sure it is a lot larger than the Lion, you will be surprised at what they can fit/try to fit in their mouths. I would suggest a forktail blenny, they have a venomous bite and when swallowed, will nip the inside of the attacker's mouth causing it to be spit out. Plus, they are great mid water swimmers and really cool.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:14 AM   #6
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I agree with the ray. The puffer will probably chew on the Lion's fins so be aware of that. When selecting a fish that won't get eaten, make sure it is a lot larger than the Lion, you will be surprised at what they can fit/try to fit in their mouths. I would suggest a forktail blenny, they have a venomous bite and when swallowed, will nip the inside of the attacker's mouth causing it to be spit out. Plus, they are great mid water swimmers and really cool.

Will providing plenty of cover/hiding places minimize the chewing on the lion's fins?
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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Possibly, depending on the type of lion.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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I had a predator tank that had very similar stock. It had a large snowflake, a volitan, a porc puffer, and a large lunare wrasse. They all got along fine, even if there was some craziness at feeding time. You have a lot of big eaters in there, which equals big poopers! Make sure you invest in a really good skimmer which will be just as, if not more important then the sump. I tried to keep a ray once with no luck, nor do I know anyone that has kept one for any length of time.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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I knew someone that had a puffer with a eel and it ate it the best it could (bit holes in it stomach). I beleive it was a snowflake eel. So be real carful with what you stock with a puffer. They fight dirty.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:22 PM   #10
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I knew someone that had a puffer with a eel and it ate it the best it could (bit holes in it stomach). I beleive it was a snowflake eel. So be real carful with what you stock with a puffer. They fight dirty.
I have come to discover over years of doing this that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to what will fight, and what will not. There are for sure some suggestions, and some things not to try, but more often then not I have found fish that were the exception, rather then the rule. Just be prepared to separate them if things go bad, and make sure to take precautions and you should be ok. That is just my opinion FWIW
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