I'm still in the early planning phases before jumping into the saltwater world (been doing freshwater for 20+ years), but I had some questions that I haven't been able to find an answer to during my research... I was originally planning on one large 400 gallon-ish reef tank, but due to incompatibilities between some of the fish I would like to keep I've decided to aim to split that stock list between two 200ish gallon tanks, one reef community and one FOWLR
semi-aggressive tank. My questions are:
1. Would Maldives Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis, grows to 5" according to LiveAquaria) be compatible with a Snowflake eel and 2 docile triggers (a Melichthys indicus and a Humu Picasso)? I've read that snowflake eels are fine with anthias that are on the larger end, but I wasn't sure what counted as "larger". If it's too risky I can plan on them for the reef community instead.
2. Ideally I'd want the two tanks side by side, plumbed into one oversized sump and refugium. I've read that it's possible to do this with similar tank types, but would it be a bad idea when it's a reef and a FOWLR
on the same system? Especially with how sensitive reefs are to water parameters and how messy eels and triggers can be... I'm hoping that if the sump/refugium are large enough with a DSB
, live rock, and algae it should be enough to keep parameters pristine, but I wanted a sanity check from folks who know from experience
3. If I did do the reef and FOWLR
tanks plumbed into the same sump system, does that change how much/how often water changes should be done? It sounds like FOWLR
tanks need more frequent changes than reefs, so would I just stick to the FOWLR
water change schedule at that point? So that would be 10% the total system volume every week?
4. How do starfish, anemones, and corals fit when calculating stocking levels? I've heard cleaner crews aren't included in calculations, but I wasn't sure if these counted as cleaner crews or if they went against the livestock limit.