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

Uncle99

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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?
Unless you get captive bred mandarins which take frozen but are so, so tiny, I found good success at keeping wild caught long term but allowing only this exclusive pod eater and year old rock.

Then it simply sustains itself with no work at all.

I have not feed mine in 3 years now.
 
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NickNH

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Unless you get captive bred mandarins which take frozen but are so, so tiny, I found good success at keeping wild caught long term but allowing only this exclusive pod eater and year old rock.

Then it simply sustains itself with no work at all.

I have not feed mine in 3 years now.
I was planning on adding a few bottles of copepods and some food before any fish to give them a head start.
 
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NickNH

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I think that’s a good plan if you’re going wild caught.
I anticipate not having a choice to go captive bred, so I am doing my research and planning well before the tank or any fish ever comes home so I can provide the best care I reasonably can
 

Uncle99

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I anticipate not having a choice to go captive bred, so I am doing my research and planning well before the tank or any fish ever comes home so I can provide the best care I reasonably can

The fish is the easiest IMO, resilient and a true hunter.
If there’s food, hard to go wrong.
Good luck%,
 
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NickNH

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Alright guys with your help and running some things by the old owner of a reef aquarium shop that used to be in the town near me I have the final list of compatible inhabitants
Fish:
2 ocellaris clowns(1 black 1 orange)
2 pink skunks(will work as long as they are captive breed)
2 cardinalfish
1 azure damsel
1 coral beauty angel
1 diamond goby
1 yellow watchman goby
1 of each of the following wrasses( bluesteak cleaner, yellowing, mcoskers, blue flasher, pintail, carpenter's, exquisite fairy, and lubbock fairy)
1 midas blenny
2 Aiptasia eating filefish
1 tang from each genus( flamefin, hippo, powder blue, naso, and purple)
1 mandarin dragonet
2 ruby dragonets
1 royal gramma
1 blackcap basslet
1 swiss guard basslet
1 elegant firefish

Invertebrates:
Hammer coral
Candy Zoa coral
2 bubbletip anemones
2 rock flower anemones
3 blue legged hermit crabs
3 peppermint shrimp
1 tuxedo urchin
1 rainbow urchin

Terrain: mixed sand and fine gravel with live rock.
Thank you again for everything, I will be back(probably in nine months) when I have everything and it is together. This ment a lot to me because it is not only a hobby but provides a change of scenery for my father because he is disabled.
 

Reef By Steele

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Alright guys with your help and running some things by the old owner of a reef aquarium shop that used to be in the town near me I have the final list of compatible inhabitants
Fish:
2 ocellaris clowns(1 black 1 orange)
2 pink skunks(will work as long as they are captive breed)
2 cardinalfish
1 azure damsel
1 coral beauty angel
1 diamond goby
1 yellow watchman goby
1 of each of the following wrasses( bluesteak cleaner, yellowing, mcoskers, blue flasher, pintail, carpenter's, exquisite fairy, and lubbock fairy)
1 midas blenny
2 Aiptasia eating filefish
1 tang from each genus( flamefin, hippo, powder blue, naso, and purple)
1 mandarin dragonet
2 ruby dragonets
1 royal gramma
1 blackcap basslet
1 swiss guard basslet
1 elegant firefish

Invertebrates:
Hammer coral
Candy Zoa coral
2 bubbletip anemones
2 rock flower anemones
3 blue legged hermit crabs
3 peppermint shrimp
1 tuxedo urchin
1 rainbow urchin

Terrain: mixed sand and fine gravel with live rock.
Thank you again for everything, I will be back(probably in nine months) when I have everything and it is together. This ment a lot to me because it is not only a hobby but provides a change of scenery for my father because he is disabled.
Looks like a pretty good list. I would definitely go for the 200 gallon over the 150 with 30 fish that’s probably pretty close to what I have in my 210. Similar I have 5 tang, 2 rabbits and the rest are pretty small.

Do a little deeper dive on the Ruby red dragonets. I do know you don’t want two males, so make sure your source gets you different sex. What I don’t remember know is if it is better to have 2 females and a male or if just a pair is ok so the male doesn’t harass the female to death.
 
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NickNH

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Looks like a pretty good list. I would definitely go for the 200 gallon over the 150 with 30 fish that’s probably pretty close to what I have in my 210. Similar I have 5 tang, 2 rabbits and the rest are pretty small.

Do a little deeper dive on the Ruby red dragonets. I do know you don’t want two males, so make sure your source gets you different sex. What I don’t remember know is if it is better to have 2 females and a male or if just a pair is ok so the male doesn’t harass the female to death.
They have to be a male and a female, which is fine because the males have longer fins that are patterned so it is easy to sex them. The tank has a raw volume of 200, but due to displacement from the rocks and such it will probably be closer to 180-190, and a circulating volume of about 280 with all the plumbing factored in.
 

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They have to be a male and a female, which is fine because the males have longer fins that are patterned so it is easy to sex them. The tank has a raw volume of 200, but due to displacement from the rocks and such it will probably be closer to 180-190, and a circulating volume of about 280 with all the plumbing factored in.
That’s good. Earlier you said 150-200. Just didn’t want you getting too many in a 150. Yes the Ruby red male has a spike just like the mandarins. I did a lot of reading before buying ours. I just can’t remember if with a single pair the male will harass (bug, bother, put the moves on) the female so much as to exhaust her. I know this can be true with some fish, similar to a cardinal fish male possibly starving to death from holding the eggs in its mouth and having one cycle after another with no real rest period.
 
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NickNH

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Question, I thought about Invertebrates like shrimp, urchins, and crabs because it seems everyone has them. Are they actually necessary? Since things like dusky wrasse and pufferfish were in my initial consideration but are incompatible with those, but I would have other things that eat algae like the tangs, could I drop them in favor of a dusky wrasse and a blue spot puffer?
 

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I do not know about the Dusky Wrasse, but I did move a melanarus wrasse as I was afraid it was causing problems with peppermint shrimp. He and a blue spot puffer are now in a 75 gallon with a Sally Lightfoots crab. I didn't have issues with the blue spot puffer with fire shrimp, but did move them when I added the melanarus.

couple of issues with no inverts for algae clean up, is that algae eating fish don't eliminate it and it constantly comes back. Reefcleaners.org recommended I could try pin cushion urchin in my fowler with full size puffer, sunset wrasse. Another recommendation was dwarf cerinths as they are so small may no be worth it for the fish but that is debatable. Also adding pods in significant numbers to get them estab;ished can really fight/eliminate nuisance algae.
 

Uncle99

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Question, I thought about Invertebrates like shrimp, urchins, and crabs because it seems everyone has them. Are they actually necessary? Since things like dusky wrasse and pufferfish were in my initial consideration but are incompatible with those, but I would have other things that eat algae like the tangs, could I drop them in favor of a dusky wrasse and a blue spot puffer?
I have none, they are not required, especially the urchin.
Found them trouble over time.
Snails fine.
 

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