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Old 08-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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Starting a semi-aggresive tank

Ok, so I used to have a peaceful 29 gallon tank. Unfortunantly though, I sold it because I needed money. After about a year however, I really miss it. So I will be starting a new 55 gallon tank.

I have always loved the look of dwarf lions, unfortunantly I never had one, due to the peaceful nature of my other aquarium. But now that I am starting from scratch, I will be getting one. What other tank mates can I put with him? I know it is limited being that the tank is 55 gallons.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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You could house a couple of dwarf lions and make the rest of the inhabitants a bit more out of the ordinary.

As of other fish, choices are extremely limited and in a 55 gallon, limited all the more, but things like sea urchins, snails, larger hermit crabs, cucumbers, starfish and even simple coral can make an interesting tank...provided you don't decide on a puffer or a trigger. Neither really being suitable for a 55 anyway except perhaps for needle nose puffers. If you do decide on a puffer, careful with introduction. they should pretty much go in at the same time...both juvenile to have the better chance of avoiding unwanted predation or aggression. The puffer should always be noticeably bigger than the lions mouth.

Dwarfs especially do much better in natural reef settings...live rock and live sand. Deep sand beds can be beneficial for nitrate control provided there are enough organisms living in the sand to maintain the bed. Good water flow and oxygenation is very important for bulky fish. They utilize much more oxygen than the average fish.

Try to get a specimen that eats thawed frozen foods. You can always treat them to live ghost shrimp from time to time, but stay away from live fish as feeders. When these lions get sick...they go down quickly and are very hard to medicate without making them more sick. Frozen squid, prawn, silversides, and beef heart are eagerly taken once trained. Keep diet varied.

Use live rock to cycle the tank, then use a few damsels (no more than 5) to settle the cycle before adding the lions. Lions should go into a QT for two weeks...bare tank with a non porous object for hiding. Use a simple sponge filter...rince daily. Use a half dose of a mild antiseptic. Avoid copper treatments.

I would personally do a freshwater dip for three minutes (maxiumum time is five minutes)to ward off any external parasites. Some people are touchy about the practice, but I find it works well and worth the stress, especially with fish that are copper sensitive such as lions. If you decide to do a FW dip, make sure the pH and temperature matches between the hospital tank and the freshwater dip to lessen shock. Run an air hose in the dip.

Take your time and cycle. Read and ask questions...even if you think it's silly. These fish may be tough in looks, but touchy to water quality.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:08 PM   #3
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Nice post. My thoughts are though that I do not see any need for the damsels and instead of a freshwater dip, I would just leave the lion in quarantine for a month....
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:48 PM   #4
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The only problem with avoiding the FW dip and extending QT time is if the lion does have parasites and you don't see them, they'll just spread without your knowledge of them until one day there's a cloudy eye or the fish becomes lethargic and stops eating, etc. Lions are very difficult to treat and meds often kill them more than help them and on top of that, cleaner wrasses and cleaner shrimp are just awaiting meals for lions. In this case I recommend the dips in comparison to what can happen.

Something else to consider...

Because of the growing practice of aquaculture, there are parasites being introduced in areas of the oceans they don't belong and having a devastating affect on the marine fish trade. Some are invisible to the naked eye and are resistant to medications including copper, but turn opaque in freshwater, fall off the fish and die. It's really the only way to kill them without killing your fish. External parasites are a pain to deal with as it is, let alone ones that flourishes on the fish and eats them alive going virtually undetected until it's too late.

Damsels can be good for the lion tank given the fact they do eat solid poop and make good cleaners for what the lions leave behind. If the damsels are in there first, and a juvy lion put in to grow up with them, less likely they'll become lunch and co exist as maintenance workers for the tank.
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:39 PM   #5
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what about a larger maroon clown? kole tang? butterfly?

thanks
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:42 AM   #6
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I would forget a tang in a 55 (Koles are a nice choice, but get big as with most other tangs). Adult sizes would force you to either upgrade to a larger tank or get rid of the tang. Butterfly fish can be done, but be careful. They are very sensitive and need coral protein to eat if they are going to thrive in captivity. The hardier of the butterflies and not so demanding are the raccoons, but can grow to large sizes. They will do OK with a limited amount of coral protein and so will Copperbands, but still need special food suppliments like feeding them angel and butterfly formula foods that have sponge in the ingredients. Copperbands would be more suitable to a 55, but that is pushing the limit. There are other exceptional species. Stick with smaller ones. Definitely do some homework on their adult sizes and ease of care. Very few butterflies do Ok in captivity. Some people have actually resorted to buying live coral once in a while for these fish to eat, so they remain healthy.

I could see a larger maroon doing fine and perhaps your best choice of what you had mentioned. A pair would be nice, especially if you can find a couple already paired. Saves the hassles of pairing to someone else...lol. Pairing clowns can be an aggressive ordeal. The females should always be introduced to the males rather than male to female. Keep that in mind if you ever wish to try it out yourself.

Again, live rock is a good medium that will help supply supplimental elements and food for the fish.

BTW...spydrworks will no longer be posting on this site. That was my little cousin trying to play me...long story...I'll spare you the details. Just wanted to let you know being he did respond to your post.

Another animal you can consider for your tank with the lion are eels, like the snowflake eel. They're a smaller species that do great in picking up the chunkier left overs the lions miss. Though if you plan a clown too, make sure the clown goes in first, but is not fool proof. Most new fish have a certain respect for territory holders that seems to help with avoiding unwanted predation, but eels are not fish and can become quite predatious even if something is in the tank prior to them. Lions are obviously avoided as chow. And JFYI to add to the puffer limitations my cousin posted...lions are one of very few fish that can eat a puffer and get away with it.

One eel that would defintely be safe with fish is the zebra eel. They eat shell fish like crab, shrimp, lobsters, etc. rather than fish.

HTH
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:08 PM   #7
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Although many species of Butterflyfish prove challenging in their care, there are some relatively good candidates for home aquaria. Unfortunately, pairing such beauties with the likes of dwarf lionfish in a 55g is not advised due to lack of swimming space, similar niche incompatibility, conspecific intoleration, and low toleration of organic buildup. I won't go into specific species, but there are many Butterflyfish available to hobbyists that feed off a variety of prepared foods and do not require sponge and coral proteins to attain optimal health/size.

A single Maroon Clown would be a reasonable selection even though they attain formidable size and aggressiveness. At most it makes your future fish list rather...interesting. A pair of Maroons would would be "iffy" because of accelerated territorial and mating aggression towards tankmates. Other possible tankmates could include medium-sized wrasse species such as Halichoeres or a large hawkfish such as Paracirrhites arcatus. Some maintain Centropyge, but is rather risky on both accounts. All in all, specie specific would be your best bet.

It would be wise to choose the smaller species of Dendrochirus if you wish to have other fish.
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:55 AM   #8
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More possible candidates for the dwarf lion...

The gnard is a bottom dwelling fish...colored much like the lions...it reminds me of a cross between a little lion and a dragonette.

Banana fish are pretty neat. Big and fast enough to live with a dwarf lion, yet small enough to live well in a 55. Pretty lavendar and yellow horizontal stripping on them. Very hardy and makes a nice active addition. They do OK with maroon clowns too

Come to think of it, a dwarf lion, a maroon clown, a gnard and a bananfish would make an interesting tank...lol...and all should do just fine together in a 55. Some starfish, an urchin or two...gee I miss my tanks...

There are other fish out there that can live with them. Great rule of thumb is to avoid things that are obvious snack size and anything overly aggressive, such as triggers, with the exception of the blue jaw trigger. You may be able to deal with one provided it is the last fish introduced.

Hawkfish I agree with definitely and have personality too. Great fish.

Just to note...I highly doubt a butterfly deprived of coral protein will ever live longer, stronger and healthier than one that is given the opportunity to feed on its natural food.
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCTFish
Just to note...I highly doubt a butterfly deprived of coral protein will ever live longer, stronger and healthier than one that is given the opportunity to feed on its natural food.
This is a rather unfair assessment due to the fact that the aquarium industry is not able to replicate the vast richness in food concentrations available in their natural environments; however, not all Butterflyfish feed exclusively on polyps/anemones and even the ones that do can be supplemented with proper vitamins and a miriad of home-based food mixes. All Genus' have species that may not fare well in captivity and the same holds true for Butterflyfish, but at least there are quite a few to choose from in each: Chaetodon, Forcipiger, and Heniochus.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:50 PM   #10
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I have never heard of a gnard. Also, google soesnt help. Is that a nickname?

What about a dwarf angel?
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