Fish compatibility for a large reef tank(about 150-200 gallons)

NickNH

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I was looking into building a reef tank, my mother grew up with one but doesn't remember much so I was asking here. I was planning on stocking the following
2 black ocellaris clowns
2 pink skunk clowns(this is the main concern, I know people here have kept multiple pairs of different clownfish species but I am unsure if it will actually work.)
1 azure damselfish
1 lubbock fairy wrasse
1 royal gramma
1 mandarin dragon fish
1 elegant firefish
1 tail spot wrasse
1 dusky wrasse
1 newton's wrasse
1 swiss guard basslet
1 blackcap basslet
2 kaudern's cardinalfish
1 ruby dragonet
1 Hawaiian cleaner wrasse
1 coral beauty angelfish
2 scarlet cleaner shrimp
Some corals
3 rock flower anemones

I should have room because they are all small and most of them hide, and the Tank I have picked out has very strong filtration, most of these will be fine at the same water parameters and are fairly hearty.
Is there any obvious incompatibility that I overlooked? I tried to limit aggressive fish to one of a species and with very different looks to avoid fights.
 

jsker

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Good questions :)
 
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NickNH

NickNH

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Any more than a pair of clowns is very risky.
The mandarin and ruby are exclusive pod eaters and will quickly starve in a new tank. Do them down the road.
I was planning on supplementing plankton like copepods for them to eat because I was aware of the diet, would they eat plankton I add to the substrate or does it need to be "wild" so to speak?
 

Lavey29

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I was planning on supplementing plankton like copepods for them to eat because I was aware of the diet, would they eat plankton I add to the substrate or does it need to be "wild" so to speak?
They need a mature tank preferably at least a year old. They eat pods, 1000s of them daily. They can be trained to eat other prepared food but it takes time and they will still need pods as the primary food source. New tanks can not sustain these fish.
 
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NickNH

NickNH

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They need a mature tank preferably at least a year old. They eat pods, 1000s of them daily. They can be trained to eat other prepared food but it takes time and they will still need pods as the primary food source. New tanks can not sustain these fish.
OK, it was worth a shot. Thanks.
 

Lavey29

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OK, it was worth a shot. Thanks.
Biota sells tank bred mandarins that will eat pellets but again these probably still need a reasonably mature tank too to provide a good environment. They can be on your fish list and with a large tank you will eventually be able to sustain one easily. Just make it one of your last fish.
 

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Would only have one pair of clowns. The dragonet as stated needs lots of pods, so wait for it to mature! The Azure damsel will be a butthole, it should go last. Mine was a terror until it messed around with my female maroon clownfish and found out why you dont mess with maroons lol. As for wrasse @Slocke and @i cant think Are good people to ask
 
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NickNH

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Would only have one pair of clowns. The dragonet as stated needs lots of pods, so wait for it to mature! The Azure damsel will be a butthole, it should go last. Mine was a terror until it messed around with my female maroon clownfish and found out why you dont mess with maroons lol. As for wrasse @Slocke and @i cant think Are good people to ask
I don't have much concern with the wrasses, but thanks for pointing me towards someone if I have issues. The Azure Damsel will definitely be one of the later additions since I knew they were a bit territorial.
 

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OK, it was worth a shot. Thanks.
A lot of people stand by have to be mature tanks. I have a green (psychedelic) mandarin in a 210 that I started in my 110 within the first two months. I did dose pods fairly regularly. At the time I did not culture my own, now I have a business selling pods. This is not a sales pitch, but stocking your tank during or right after cycle with a large amount of pods and dosing live phytoplankton can help you minimize or eliminate the ugly phase.Starting with true ocean live rock can really boost your cycle as well. I started mine with old dead rock as my LFS had gotten a bunch of the old Tonga rock and I bought it all and started from scratch with Caribsea “live” sand.

If you regularly dose pods at the beginning there is no reason you cannot have dragonets/mandarins early. But you either need to purchase regularly until you see they are established or culture your own. I would recommend Apocyclops as a single culture if going that route as they start out as sand rock crawlers and mature into free swimmers. For purchasing, get a good blend as different pods may colonize faster in one tank over another. Our blended pods have Tigriopus, Tisbe and Apocyclops, Tisbe and Apos are especially good for mandarins as they stay smaller and dwell in the rocks. You will see a mandarin hover over the rocks like a fairy pecking here and there. They are not picking at algae but targeting pods.

Best of luck with your new tank. Welcome to the reef. R2R is loaded with nice, helpful people and I love this forum.
 
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NickNH

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Dusky wrasse will likely eat your shrimp.
I was thinking that was a possibility, but at the end of the day there are other cleaners so it wouldn't be a big loss to exclude the shrimp.
 
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NickNH

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Dusky wrasse will likely eat your shrimp.
I was thinking that was a possibility, but at the end of the day there are other cleaners so it wouldn't be a big loss to exclude the shrimp
A lot of people stand by have to be mature tanks. I have a green (psychedelic) mandarin in a 210 that I started in my 110 within the first two months. I did dose pods fairly regularly. At the time I did not culture my own, now I have a business selling pods. This is not a sales pitch, but stocking your tank during or right after cycle with a large amount of pods and dosing live phytoplankton can help you minimize or eliminate the ugly phase.Starting with true ocean live rock can really boost your cycle as well. I started mine with old dead rock as my LFS had gotten a bunch of the old Tonga rock and I bought it all and started from scratch with Caribsea “live” sand.

If you regularly dose pods at the beginning there is no reason you cannot have dragonets/mandarins early. But you either need to purchase regularly until you see they are established or culture your own. I would recommend Apocyclops as a single culture if going that route as they start out as sand rock crawlers and mature into free swimmers. For purchasing, get a good blend as different pods may colonize faster in one tank over another. Our blended pods have Tigriopus, Tisbe and Apocyclops, Tisbe and Apos are especially good for mandarins as they stay smaller and dwell in the rocks. You will see a mandarin hover over the rocks like a fairy pecking here and there. They are not picking at algae but targeting pods.

Best of luck with your new tank. Welcome to the reef. R2R is loaded with nice, helpful people and I love this forum.
Thanks, I was going to start with a couple inches of sand and 10 nice sized pieces of live rock for the corals and anemones to anchor to and to give hiding spots for the smaller fish. I was also planning on seeding the bed layer with plankton like you suggested, but it seems people don't like that idea for some reason.
 

Lavey29

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A lot of people stand by have to be mature tanks. I have a green (psychedelic) mandarin in a 210 that I started in my 110 within the first two months. I did dose pods fairly regularly. At the time I did not culture my own, now I have a business selling pods. This is not a sales pitch, but stocking your tank during or right after cycle with a large amount of pods and dosing live phytoplankton can help you minimize or eliminate the ugly phase.Starting with true ocean live rock can really boost your cycle as well. I started mine with old dead rock as my LFS had gotten a bunch of the old Tonga rock and I bought it all and started from scratch with Caribsea “live” sand.

If you regularly dose pods at the beginning there is no reason you cannot have dragonets/mandarins early. But you either need to purchase regularly until you see they are established or culture your own. I would recommend Apocyclops as a single culture if going that route as they start out as sand rock crawlers and mature into free swimmers. For purchasing, get a good blend as different pods may colonize faster in one tank over another. Our blended pods have Tigriopus, Tisbe and Apocyclops, Tisbe and Apos are especially good for mandarins as they stay smaller and dwell in the rocks. You will see a mandarin hover over the rocks like a fairy pecking here and there. They are not picking at algae but targeting pods.

Best of luck with your new tank. Welcome to the reef. R2R is loaded with nice, helpful people and I love this forum.
True if you start the tank with real live wet ocean rock you Jumpstart biodiversity and microfauna so the tank matures quicker and allows for a fish like a mandarin. Most novice rerfers aren't going to be spending 30 bucks a week for a jar of pods and more often then not we see threads here with dying mandarins. I do think large tanks offer more positive advantages though. I've had mine almost 2 years now. He eats frozen but still greatly prefers pods so I still add a jar weekly even in a 3 year old very established system.
 
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NickNH

NickNH

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True if you start the tank with real live wet ocean rock you Jumpstart biodiversity and microfauna so the tank matures quicker and allows for a fish like a mandarin. Most novice rerfers aren't going to be spending 30 bucks a week for a jar of pods and more often then not we see threads here with dying mandarins. I do think large tanks offer more positive advantages though. I've had mine almost 2 years now. He eats frozen but still greatly prefers pods so I still add a jar weekly even in a 3 year old very established system.
If I am dumping 700 dollars into a tank, 200 into live rock, and 400 into a strong filter, 120 dollars extra a month for a few months is not a big jump to me, but maybe I am crazy
 

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Awesome list. Start culturing pods to keep the Wrasse happy. I plan to do wrasses in my 40g office tank. Consider some utilitarian fish such as a file fish for the amenones and to pick the rocks and sand clean of food as well as a small tang. A white tail ($150) or gem ($400) would be perfect! I recently got a White Tail. It's absolutely stunning!
 

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They need a mature tank preferably at least a year old. They eat pods, 1000s of them daily. They can be trained to eat other prepared food but it takes time and they will still need pods as the primary food source. New tanks can not sustain these fish.
They can if you dose them. My 6 week old tank is full of them. I dose 2ml/gal phyto a day.
 

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Would only have one pair of clowns. The dragonet as stated needs lots of pods, so wait for it to mature! The Azure damsel will be a butthole, it should go last. Mine was a terror until it messed around with my female maroon clownfish and found out why you dont mess with maroons lol. As for wrasse @Slocke and @i cant think Are good people to ask
I got a Maroon and she's a bully for sure. She's gotten huge! I'd like to get her a mate eventually. Will any Maroon be compatible? When I got her, only "lightning" clowns were advertised. Now there are some with gold dots, gold rings around the eye, and tomatoes. I know longer see the lightning kind. She had a mate but he didn't make it.
20231204_154616.jpg


To save a little time, I asked the same question in the Wrasse thread and this is the answers i received:

Planning on adding with new tank when ready:
H. cosmetus
"Adorned Wrasse"
Brunneus Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus brunneus
P. cyaneus “Blue Flasher”

These are the long shot wrasse, these will be added 1 by 1 in the acclimation box later on 9+ months:
C. exquisitus
“Exquisite Fairy”
C. isosceles “Pintail Fairy
P. filamentosus “Filamented Flasher”
H. biocellatus "Red-Lined Wrasse"
C. rubrimarginatus “Pink Margin Fairy”
 
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Reef By Steele

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If I am dumping 700 dollars into a tank, 200 into live rock, and 400 into a strong filter, 120 dollars extra a month for a few months is not a big jump to me, but maybe I am crazy
No, that would be a great investment for the life of your tank. I e written some threads and have some others on my website. I started in feeding in the 80’s and didn’t know what a pod was until I found amphipods like crazy in my system, but I started with true ocean rock.

Now with the internet and my favorite website (R2R lol) when I got back into the hobby in 2021 I learned more in 6 months than I ever did from reading every copy of every aquarium mag back then.

And you are looking at things right. Too many new reefers spend everything they can afford on the tank and equipment, then start buying fish and corals. Investing in the biome will save you $$ over time.
 

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