First reef tank, critique my stocking plan


  • Grossly Overstocked

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  • Slightly overstocked

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Jan 17, 2020
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I am in the process of building a red sea reefer 750xxl I got for a good deal on craiglist. (retrofit kit installed and extra care taken with leveling).

The tank is 6 ft wide and 160 gallons with a 40 gallon sump.

Attached is the stocking plan. I plan on running the tank fish only for quite a while and start adding coral during phase 4/5ish?

Planning on a sps dominant mixed reef.


1. Is trying for 2 clown pairs in a 6 ft tank too ambitious?
2. I understand the butterfly fish are moderately difficult to keep but I really enjoy both of them.
3. Am I as overstocked as I think I am? I am planning on running a filter roller, algae reactor, and protein skimmer. There will be 10%/week continual water changes.
4. I plan on 4-5 weeks between each phase. Is this too long/too short?

Thanks for any and all advice.

reef stock.PNG


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Mar 6, 2020
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Winnieland (AKA “People’s” Republic of China)
Phase 1: Not sure how well Firefish of different species get along, best to ask but I assume you’d be OK considering they tend to be peaceful. Not sure about 2 Royal Grammas either but I’m sure someone will know how to pair them.

Phase 2: All good.

Phase 3: One pair of Clownfish to be safe. People have kept more than a pair successfully but usually it take lots of experience and risk.

Phase 4: Good. Sometimes Chromis kill each other off but I hope this doesn’t happen to you.

Phase 5: Not sure how two Yellow Tangs will work together, so ask more experienced members. Purple Tang is also a Zebrasoma tang, your best bet is to add all of your Tangs together at the same time. Gem Tang is yet another Zebrasoma. To be honest, I’d do a Yellow Tang, choose between the Purple and the Gem Tang, and a Bristletooth Tang (genus Cthenochaetus). For a 4th or 5th large fish choose a fish that’s not a Tang. Genicanthus angelfish (you can even do a pair of a smaller species like Watanabei, Spotbreast, Bellus), a Foxface or a Marine Betta are what I’d recommend. Either way add them before any Tangs.

Phase 6: Good.

Phase 1- 4 fish

Phase 2- 3 fish

Phase 3- 2 fish (I seriously recommend sticking to just a pair of Clowns)

Phase 4- 9 fish

Phase 5- 4 fish (here’s where your larger fish will go, I assume)

Phase 6- 3 fish

For a total of 25 fish. I’d say your stocking level would be moderately heavy but since the majority of your fish are small and / or bottom dwellers, you should be fine. Just make sure to have the best filtration possible regardless.

P.S. You absolutely need to have a covered tank considering your interest in the Firefish, Royal Gramma, Blennies and Anthias.
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Complaining about the cost of aquarium equipment when you pay large sums of money for coral & fish..

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