Most beneficial fish for a reef tank

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EagleEye121

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Most people hate diamond gobies for various reasons, but they only move sand on the bottom, not pick it up and dump it, and no one ever complains about pearly white sand lol.
I had a pistol shrimp / watchman goby combo in my last tank that were awesome to watch but I did get frustrated having to constantly blow sand off my zoas.
It’s a give and take just like everything else in this hobby lol
 

Bucs20fan

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I had a pistol shrimp / watchman goby combo in my last tank that were awesome to watch but I did get frustrated having to constantly blow sand off my zoas.
It’s a give and take just like everything else in this hobby lol
Amen to that. I still currently have a yasha goby and tiger pistol. I never see them as they have decided to live in an area of my tank that I cannot see. Only see the goby at food time. So might as well have been a waste of a combo. But the diamonds....oh boy do I get to see them. They never leave each other. I have to blow sand off of some of my zoas, but they tolerate it pretty well. No where near as bad as when I had a yellow headed goby, those things grab sand and purposely swim up and drop it. Its like a blizzard.
 

LPS Bum

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I am setting up a 48" 80 gallon mostly SPS tank, and I'm wondering what everyone thinks is the most beneficial fish to add to the tank and why. By beneficial, I mean that the fish eats nuisance algae and or pests. Coming from a 300 gallon SPS with an almost unlimited selection of fish, the 80 gallon SPS is a lot more limited to what I can put in there and keep happy. The 300 met size requirements for most reef fish that are readily available in the hobby, the 80 does not. So what are everyone's favorite beneficial fish that will thrive in a 48" 80 gallon mostly SPS mixed reef?
I have a Powder Brown Tang that is an algae eating machine. Super healthy and fed along (reasonably) well with a Hippo and Purple Tang. Mine do great in a 75 gal but are moving to a Red Sea Reefer 525 soon.
 

Joe.D

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I have a 73 gallon display and recently added a Whitetail Bristletooth Tang - a bit on the pricey side, but a beautiful fish! Thought about a Tomini, but the Whitetail looks so much cooler IMO. Kole Tang looks similar - just no white tail.

He’s an algae eating machine - not just the rocks, even picks up sand and spits it out to eat algae there.

Someone above mentioned they don’t see their goby/pistol shrimp pair much. I have a yellow watchman goby and pistol shrimp - when I clean the sand while doing a water change it sometimes covers up the openings to their caves. I’m always amazed that within a short time, they’ve reopened their holes and they’re back at it again, moving sand all over their side of the tank.
 

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Charles Zinn

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Yes, I had a few other tangs in the tank, one being about a 12" vlamingi tang that I raised from about 2" and a 10" blue tang raised from barely 2". I fed Nori along with a bunch of other veggies. The Fox and blonde would eat, then just randomly die. They looked perfect when they died, just dead. Tried it twice with both, then gave up. I don't like killing things.
Are you feeding enough times a day. Frozen nysis shop and nori
 
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1. Bristle tooth tang
2. Sixline wrasse
3. Diamond goby (if sand on bottom)
4. One Spot Foxface
+1, this is exactly what I have in my 75…plus a pair of clowns, an Anthias, and a forktail blenny. FF and tang peck at algae all day, and I assume the wrasse is always hunting critters, since I never see any. Anthias is just a jerk.
 
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TWYOUNG

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Everyone is suggesting a one spot Foxface. I'm in the process of stocking a 150 gal display with utilitarian reef fish and purchased a Foxface Rabbitfish. Did I get the wrong thing or are they the same or very similar. My list thus far includes the Foxface, Tailspot and Lawnmower Blenny, Aptasia Eating Filefish and Sixline Wrasse. I'd like to add a Bristletooth and possibly a Yellow Tang prior to my Powder Blue which is in another tank and will go in last.Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

uhhhhhwot

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Six line is another one that I'm on the fence with. I've had multiple in the past with no issues, but I keep reading that they are mean. I'll probably get one any way and give it a try. Worst case, I catch it and bring it back if he turns into a jerk. The fish/coral store is 5 minutes from my house and a friend owns it.
I can confirm that my sixline is a straight demon. He killed a cleaner shrimp that I loved . RIP. But I keep him just for the pest removal value. I guess the decision comes down to how much you value the pest eating abilities. That's just my experience though, you may get one that is very nice. All fish are different.
 
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landlubber

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I can confirm that my sixline is a straight demon. He killed a cleaner shrimp that I loved . RIP. But I keep him just for the pest removal value. I guess the decision comes down to how much you value the pest eating abilities. That's just my experience though, you may get one that is very nice. All fish are different.
I completely agree. there's a zero percent chance i'm putting any potentially ill-tempered wrasses in any of my future tanks after seeing where things can go.
my previous system held a mystery wrasse that killed any new introduced fish and decimated a large maxima clam despite being well fed.
 

blazn

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Is a sixline wrasse that much better at pest control than a leopard or yellow coris wrasse? I've always read posts indicating that sixlines tend to be overly aggressive and can be a pain to deal with, so I've never had one. I've had a yellow coris in my tanks for years and they're always 'on the hunt' and never cause any issues at all. I currently have a leopard who takes it to even another level, again not causing any issues with any other tank members, but an incredible hunter. My exquisite wrasse also appears to be a decent hunter, but not on the level of the other two. I have a radiant wrasse on order, which from what I've read should be similar to the leopard in hunting skill and attitude. So, with so many other available 'hunter' wrasse options that actually get along with their tank mates, why is the sixline so popular?
 

landlubber

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Is a sixline wrasse that much better at pest control than a leopard or yellow coris wrasse? I've always read posts indicating that sixlines tend to be overly aggressive and can be a pain to deal with, so I've never had one. I've had a yellow coris in my tanks for years and they're always 'on the hunt' and never cause any issues at all. I currently have a leopard who takes it to even another level, again not causing any issues with any other tank members, but an incredible hunter. My exquisite wrasse also appears to be a decent hunter, but not on the level of the other two. I have a radiant wrasse on order, which from what I've read should be similar to the leopard in hunting skill and attitude. So, with so many other available 'hunter' wrasse options that actually get along with their tank mates, why is the sixline so popular?
To me it's their diet variability. Bristleworms, Flatworms and about anything else that crawls you can think of is on the diet.
Six-lines are also very attractive fish that stay small and can be happy in smaller systems than the average wrasse. The downside is that 50% of them habitually wake up on the wrong side of the bed lol.
 
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