I will finally have enough money within the next few months to upgrade from my college student planted aquarium back to the saltwater world. I have a fair amount of experience with this and have kept a few fish for quite some time such as a Maroon Clownfish for about five years, a Cardinal fish for around six years and a Chain Link Morey Eel for about five years before the Tessalata eel he was kept with bit through a power cord and finished off the two of them. I have had my share of failures too, but I am at least not completely inexperienced.
My next tank will be a species tank for one rather impressive fish and I am trying to work out I will need to make this happen--while avoiding walking into any traps. The fish I am considering from what I am most likely to try, to least likely are: Undulated Triggerfish
, Colored Angler Fish
, Longhorn Cowfish
, Clown Trigger
, Black Ribbon Eel
First, should I completely cross off the batfish, and black ribbon eel from this list? I hear they are particularly difficult to keep and I am a bit unsure if that means it is nearly hopeless, or is something that a reasonably experienced and dedicated keeper can expect to keep alive if he keeps them alone in the tank?
Am I correct in assuming that the main difficulty in keeping the Cowfish, and Soapfish is that they are simply best off alone? I haven't decided if these two fish would be closer in difficulty to the ribbon eel, or the triggerfish in this setting.
For the tank, I do not wish to upgrade when as the fish grows. Are the following tank sizes about right for an adult specimen? or is it necessary to consider a bigger tank, or reasonable to consider a smaller tank for any of them?
Undulated Triggerfish, 100 gallons.
Angler Fish, 40 gallons.
Longhorn Cowfish, 150 gallons.
Clown Trigger 200 gallons.
Batfish 100 gallons.
Soapfish 125 gallons.
Black Ribbon Eel 60 gallons.
For filtration I was thinking of using a large skimmer along with at least a pound of live rock per gallon of water, although since I will likely have one juvenile fish in a large tank for quite some time I will probably start with mostly porous base rock. Do a Canister filter, Wet Dry Filter, Biowheel, or Refugium with a Deep Sand Bed make any sense for this sort of system? Since it is likely to be lightly stocked I was hoping to avoid them but if they are necessary, or dramatically reduce the necessary maintence for the system I would consider any of them.