Is there a such thing as too much coral/anemones in a tank?

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mistergray

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Outside of not having enough space, can too many corals and anemones be a problem for a tank? I’m not sure how much waste corals/anemones expel, if any at all. Any other issues I should keep in mind? Every time I see a new coral or anemone I like I want it. Lol! Guess I’m wondering if my tank has a limit on corals/anemones like we do with fish (…general rule is to stock no more than ½ an inch of fully grown fish per gallon of water in your aquarium).

Is there a general rule for nems and coral as well?
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Outside of not having enough space, can too many corals and anemones be a problem for a tank? I’m not sure how much waste corals/anemones expel, if any at all. Any other issues I should keep in mind? Every time I see a new coral or anemone I like I want it. Lol! Guess I’m wondering if my tank has a limit on corals/anemones like we do with fish (…general rule is to stock no more than ½ an inch of fully grown fish per gallon of water in your aquarium).

Is there a general rule for nems and coral as well?
My general rule for corals is to simply leave enough physical space between colonies so as they grow, there won't be any aggression. If you are keeping soft corals, then chemical compounds in the water become an issue.

I actually wanted to comment on your "inches of fish per gallon". I've done a lot of work on that topic, and it actually doesn't hold true. Length is a linear measurement, but fish space is a volume question. For example, you can put 20 1" neon tetras is a 10 gallon tank, but you can't put 1 20" cichlid in the same tank (even though their lengths are the same). If you want to go down that rabbit hole, here is an article I posted on that:



Jay
 

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Too many of anything can always be a problem. But with corals (I'll include anemones in that) the space is for health of organism and not limiting population due nutrient removal concerns. No thumb rule (there really isn't for fish either but I get what you meant by that). Corals need room enough to prevent shadowing others as they grow, room enough to make sure aggressive corals aren't damaging price pieces and compatibility with other corals in tank (some softies can irritate SPS for example). The toxins can be managed by GAC. Most corals don't need to be fed and if they are it's much less than fish.
 

Timfish

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In addition to Jay Hemdal's post, it depends on the species in question. I've had a couple systems over the years where it appeared the sinularia were inhibiting other corals and reducing them helped the system overall look fuller and brighter. Some corals also have weaker immune systems and they may be very particular about their tankmates. (Strawberry Shortcake acros being one example.)

Corals however, I would not consider to be a bioload on the filtration. Being photo or mixotrophs with their uptake of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus they should be considered biofilters. And unlike algae exudates, corals release labile DOC that promote autotrophic microbial processes which are preferable to the heterotrophic processes promoted by algae. I would consider corals essential to filtration based on what I've seen and read over the years.
 
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My general rule for corals is to simply leave enough physical space between colonies so as they grow, there won't be any aggression. If you are keeping soft corals, then chemical compounds in the water become an issue.

I actually wanted to comment on your "inches of fish per gallon". I've done a lot of work on that topic, and it actually doesn't hold true. Length is a linear measurement, but fish space is a volume question. For example, you can put 20 1" neon tetras is a 10 gallon tank, but you can't put 1 20" cichlid in the same tank (even though their lengths are the same). If you want to go down that rabbit hole, here is an article I posted on that:



Jay
That makes great sense! I’m probably going to use your article for justification to stock more fish. Muhahahahahaaaa!!!!!
 
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mistergray

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Too many of anything can always be a problem. But with corals (I'll include anemones in that) the space is for health of organism and not limiting population due nutrient removal concerns. No thumb rule (there really isn't for fish either but I get what you meant by that). Corals need room enough to prevent shadowing others as they grow, room enough to make sure aggressive corals aren't damaging price pieces and compatibility with other corals in tank (some softies can irritate SPS for example). The toxins can be managed by GAC. Most corals don't need to be fed and if they are it's much less than fish.
Good info. What’s GAC?
 

tehmadreefer

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Outside of not having enough space, can too many corals and anemones be a problem for a tank? I’m not sure how much waste corals/anemones expel, if any at all. Any other issues I should keep in mind? Every time I see a new coral or anemone I like I want it. Lol! Guess I’m wondering if my tank has a limit on corals/anemones like we do with fish (…general rule is to stock no more than ½ an inch of fully grown fish per gallon of water in your aquarium).

Is there a general rule for nems and coral as well?
lol of course there is. Besides space, a good way to nuke a tank is mass coral warfare.
 

blasterman

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Since I keep small tanks and grow them out big i have noticed problems where a single dominant coral type makes life hard for others.

For instance, having a heavy zoa garden with competitive and larger zoas makes it hard to introduce SPS. Having a lot of montipora seems to stunt acropora. Likely because there is some underlying bio warfare going on.

One benefit ive seen with having a lot of montipora is they chew through phosphate like my grandpa went through PBR. I can top off my monti tanks with my nasty city tap water and it doesn't phase it. That same water will cause countless algae blooms and chaos in a younger tank without as much SPS.
 
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mistergray

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Since I keep small tanks and grow them out big i have noticed problems where a single dominant coral type makes life hard for others.

For instance, having a heavy zoa garden with competitive and larger zoas makes it hard to introduce SPS. Having a lot of montipora seems to stunt acropora. Likely because there is some underlying bio warfare going on.

One benefit ive seen with having a lot of montipora is they chew through phosphate like my grandpa went through PBR. I can top off my monti tanks with my nasty city tap water and it doesn't phase it. That same water will cause countless algae blooms and chaos in a younger tank without as much SPS.
I see that you’re deep in the game. I’ve got a lot to learn. All good info to ponder.
 
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