How do you determine appropriate size requirements for a fish and his tank?

Discussion in 'Soggy Tees' started by soggytees, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. soggytees

    soggytees Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor

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    In keeping reef/FOWLR tanks responsibly, one of our tasks is to be sure that the animals in our care are provided with an adequate habitat to live in. The "tang police" have a bad rap, but that really is their goal (usually...I think anyway...).

    tang police1.jpg

    I mean, let's face it, the ocean is huge, so even public aquariums with their tanks of multiple thousands of gallons pale in comparison to the natural habitat these animals are taken from. Still, it doesn't make sense to say that no tank is big enough (after all, our other pets do fine...and their natural habitat is equally large). So, there has to be a reasonable way to make a determination about size requirements, right?

    However, there are a lot of different ideas on this and a lot of places to go for info. Some people use "rules" or principles to determine the "correct size" for their fish/tank ratios (the inch/gallon rule comes to mind...but I hope we've abandoned that one by now...). Others use websites or charts that they trust are based on data collected by the "experts." These reefers recognize that they themselves have not done the research (nor could they) personally, so they're relying on those they assume have done it for them.

    ...and the cool thing is that apparently these methods are working because we see healthy (dare I say "happy") fish in reef tanks living for years under the care of their owners.

    brad.png
    Man I love following Brad's reef! All of the inhabitants are thriving (including some difficult to keep fish that many of us would hesitate to try).

    So, here's the question for discussion.

    What have you found to be a good way to determine appropriate size requirements for different types of fish. What is your go to source (or do you have one)? What would you recommend to a new reefer who is just getting started and trying to decide how to determine what they can put in their tank? If the answer is "do your research" where do you suggest they start? What has worked for you?
     
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  2. soggytees

    soggytees Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor

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    No one? Tough crowd! ;)
     
  3. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor

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    I read about the fish and how they live in nature. I read ichthyology journals and also aquarium keeping books and articles. Also read 20 different forums around the world to keep on the latest ideas. I have kept tang's in 55 gallon tanks for years. Way before any thought of tang police when a 55 gallon was a big tank.
     
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  4. chaoha

    chaoha Well-Known Member

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    I've used live aquaria.com they give tank size and feeding requirements
     
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  5. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    This is what I tend to do as well. I know they aren't the final authority and that fish CAN thrive outside of their recommendations, but I do find it's a great place to start, and it's where I usually recommend folks new to the hobby check.
     
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  6. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I also use liveaquaria as a starting point for size and care requirements, especially when i'm at the LFS looking at a really cool fish I've never seen before. I'll come to R2R for more information on the species I want to keep, then I make a decision based on advice from LA, R2R and my own knowledge of my tank and filtration.
     
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