Biggest fish mistakes? Come clean and list your epic fails!

Mono

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What were your biggest fish mistakes?

I've had a few.

I'm sure this is not uncommon, but my biggest mistakes were the result of me not correctly understanding the size of the fish and their potential for aggression.

To an extent this is because like many reefers I came over from the freshwater world of lakes, ponds, streams and rivers which adapts much more readily to aquarium life.

I mean, it's easy to put together a community freshwater tank and there are lots of small fish to choose from. You stay away from the cichlids and your mostly good to go.

In the saltwater world, things are much different mate.

The ocean, she big. And the fish in it mean business.

I would say the only epic fail I've avoided was buying a juvenile pilot fish.

Now, really why those are for sale I really don't know.

For every 1 that make it into an appropriately sized tank, 1,000 must land in a tide pool.

I recently saw one for sale in Petco. Probably ended up in someone's 55g.

What were my biggest mistakes?

I have a 125g 6' display

1. blue throat trigger. He started small but man did he grow. And towards the end he started displaying captive behavior - just furiously swimming repetitive loops in the aquarium. I found it really uncomfortable to watch and I am sure he felt the same way. I dropped him off at the LFS. I miss the way he used to bite my finger.
2. blue tang. Same as the trigger. He was fine as a kid but man as he grew he became a terror in the tank. When dinner time came he would race around like a sailor who had just spotted a mermaid and send water splashing everywhere. Between him and the trigger I had to wipe down my lights almost daily. He went with me and blue throat on the same trip to the LFS.
3. harlequin tusk. Beautiful fish. Where else are you going to find a pet with blue teeth? Of course, individual fish do vary in temperament but he was a killer. He would lazily cruse along the rock work until something caught his attention and it was all over. After having a fine breakfast, lunch and dinner I quarantined him and re-homed him with a FOWLRer
4. red coris wrasse. Once again, I picked him up as a juvenile and he was fine. But as he grew he just became a super pain in the tail fin. He would turn over every rock and coral with his nose looking for food. I would turn it right side up and I would come home and it would be upside down. And as he got bigger he began turning over some pretty big rocks and corals. It was impressive. He was clearly becoming a big fish in a small pond. He cost me way more in downed coral than any other fish I've ever had. I was happy to see him go! And while I'm on the subject, the same goes for pencil and pin cushion urchins. They are fine when they are small but as they grow they will rearrange the deck chairs.
5. powder blue tang. I've had mixed experiences. One I had in my office tank was an angel fish. Pretty much got along with everyone - I mean as much as a tang can get along with anyone. So, I figured I'd try another one at home. Such a regal looking fish. But man, this guy was the Mr. Hyde to my office tank Dr. Jekyll. He would just go after everyone all day long. Fish really do have individual personalities and behave differently in different environments. Sometimes, you just pays your money and you takes your chances.

So, I'd say I've learned my lesson now.

I've downsized my ambitions, no more mobydicks, and learned to be much more cautious about who gets in the clubhouse.

Unfortunately, I guess I had to learn it all myself.

I wouldn't have believed any of you guys even if you had warned me - which you probably did.

But maybe a newbie reading this will be a bit smarter than me and make better choices.

I hope so.
 
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TriggerFinger

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Thank you for your fish warnings! Your post made me laugh! My mistake was not taking back a tiny hippo tang when my boyfriend brought it home after he believed the ole “it won’t outgrow its tank” bit. Now my daughter has named it and well that’s that.
 

WVNed

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My biggest fail was harboring a serial killer
 
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Mono

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Thank you for your fish warnings! Your post made me laugh! My mistake was not taking back a tiny hippo tang when my boyfriend brought it home after he believed the ole “it won’t outgrow its tank” bit. Now my daughter has named it and well that’s that.
Well, I don't know what size tank you have but keep her well fed and start planning for college options (I mean the hippo) when she graduates high school.
 

zalick

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Adding a neon dottyback. I have always thought they were pretty fish. I asked the LFS owner if it was safe to add to my tank, knowing they were terrors, but convincing myself his answer would trump my knowledge.

That little guy attacked everyone in the tank. And he was a major pain to trap and get out of a 300g tank with tons of live rock. But I managed to get him out and return to the LFS. Told the owner how terrible it was and he feigned suprise.
 

Alchameth

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@zalick that's a bummer, I guess I've had good luck with mine. Didn't like my black cap Basslet, but leaves everything else alone and is buddy buddy with my 2 clowns.

My biggest blunder had to be putting my Flametail Blenny into QT with copper, but the time I realized it was the copper and not ich doing him in it was too late... ;Blackeye
 

jeffchapok

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Dosed H2O2 to combat GHA. It apparently irritated a condylactis which began spewing toxins into the water, which killed about half my corals and nems.

Months later after everything had been replaced or recovered, on the off chance that it wasn't due to the H2O2, I repeated it. To be fair, I did reduce the dose. Same result.

I'm not allowed to handle H2O2 any more.
 

Crashnt24

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When I got my new Blue Spot Jawfish, I dropped him down the garbage disposal...

I was pouring water out of the bag to get it ready for acclimation and he jumped out. Went right down the drain into the disposal. I freaked out and stuck my hand down there trying to grab him as he was flopping about. Ended up catching him and just threw him in the tank. No acclimation or anything.

He ended up perfectly fine and is still alive to this day
 
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Mono

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Adding a neon dottyback. I have always thought they were pretty fish. I asked the LFS owner if it was safe to add to my tank, knowing they were terrors, but convincing myself his answer would trump my knowledge.

That little guy attacked everyone in the tank. And he was a major pain to trap and get out of a 300g tank with tons of live rock. But I managed to get him out and return to the LFS. Told the owner how terrible it was and he feigned suprise.
That's amazing that you were able to catch him!
 

xxkenny90xx

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Man, porcupine puffer... Definitely a love hate thing. Love the fish, hate that it had to taste anything new added to the tank. I literally had to pop it on the nose to keep it from eating my dragonette when I added it.

We still visit him at his new home to this day!
 
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ron garnett

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I hadn't been in the hobby that long but, I was in it long enough to raise a blue face angel from juvenile size to about 5 inches. A really beautiful fish. I also had a 4 inch french angel and a couple of wrasses. I was keeping all of the fish in a 55 gal tank. They were doing fine and were very happy and so was I, that is, until I came back from a Florida trip with a 30 lb box of live, uncured rock. I put the entire box of rocks in my 55 gal tank and went happily to bed. The next morning I hastily went into the family room to see how my live rock was doing (If there were any interesting things sprouting, etc.) Instead, what I found was the horrible sight of all of my fish floating upside down. Although that happened many years ago, it still haunts me to this day. I was in a state of deep depression for weeks.
 

AllanPritchard

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Listening to my LFS advice thinking he was helping me start out in the hobby. I went in for two clowns and he convinced me to get a Blue Tang as well. Now its quite big and a terror. I can't get anyone to rehome him and the LFS guy just laughed at me as he didn't want a big Tang back to sell. I still have him and can't really get any other fish as he just bullies them :(
 

Alchameth

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Listening to my LFS advice thinking he was helping me start out in the hobby. I went in for two clowns and he convinced me to get a Blue Tang as well. Now its quite big and a terror. I can't get anyone to rehome him and the LFS guy just laughed at me as he didn't want a big Tang back to sell. I still have him and can't really get any other fish as he just bullies them :(
WoW, you're not in AZ are you?!?! need to know what shops to avoid.... that's Petco level advice right there!!!
 

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