Most Interesting Fish To Watch (not just prettiest) for smaller (45 gallon) tanks

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by tablesalt, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. tablesalt

    tablesalt Member Build Thread Contributor

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    All,

    Which fish suitable for smaller tanks (45 gallon) are the most fun to watch?

    Setting up a 45 gallon tank (Max E 170) this week that I will be stocking with fish in March (going to cycle this thing the right way). I have always been more interested in keeping fish that are interesting to watch, not just pretty to look at. I'm planning on doing LPS, softies, and having a large clean up crew (they are fun to watch). To be honest, the inverts are the most interesting thing to me (I love hermits!). I'm getting back into the hobby after a 10 year absence and there are quite a few fish new to me available to me now.

    I'm thinking 4 0r 5 smaller fish (added over months) and am looking at easier fish to keep. I'm thinking a 6 line Wrasse, a Royal Gramma (or Neon Dottyback), a yellow watchman goby, and maybe one or two other small fish.

    Other than the obvious answer of clownfish (don't have much personality IMO), what would you recommend (added responsibly over time).

    Also, any suggestions for alternatives similar to the 6 line wrasse?
     

  2. andrewkw

    andrewkw Active Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Since you like inverts I would say shrimp goby pairs are your best bet. Personally I like Yasha Goby and pistol shrimp but there are various combos you can do for various prices.
     
  3. becks

    becks Well-Known Member

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    I like my royal gramma, a yellow watchman goby with a pistol shrimp would be interesting to watch.

    I think clowns are interesting to watch, especially clarkii/tomato clowns who very quickly will be hosted in nem and will feed it etc
     
    JoshH and spiraling like this.
  4. jd371

    jd371 Well-Known Member

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    I love my Tailspot. I think he likes to play hide and seek. I'll lose sight of him and most of the time he's right in front of me.
    [​IMG]
    He also likes to play chicken with the PH.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. MMacro

    MMacro Active Member

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    A great alternative for a six line wrasse is Pseudocheilinops ataenia. I absolutely love mine. Very interesting to watch and they will also eat pods and some flatworms like sixlines. Pictures of them online do not do them justice.
     
  6. ChiCity

    ChiCity Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    Barnacle Blenny... They’re dorky characters
    354BA915-FDF6-40B3-93DC-87D7128686A9.jpeg
     
  7. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Active Member R2R Supporter

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    I find my Royal Gramma to be like a stalking cat, likes to hide then pounce.
    Moves in quick bursts and sudden stops.
     
  8. MRRBW

    MRRBW Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    blennies of most varieties will bring lots of personality to your tank. Love my midas blenny
     
  9. Tallison

    Tallison Active Member

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    I love my Midas Blenny. He's pretty interactive and darts in and out of his caves
     
  10. Yuki Rihwa

    Yuki Rihwa Well-Known Member

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    I would pass the Royal Gamma because it will hide in the rock works for the most part.
    My choice would be:
    Cardinal Banggai (a group of 4)
    Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp pair (or a group of Fire Shrimp)
    Starry Blenny
    Sixline Wrasse (this one will be the last addition to your tank)
    Anything added after the Sixline is a hit or a miss due to each Sixline personality.
     
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  11. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Blenny or goby hands down.
     
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  12. Xandernfs

    Xandernfs Member

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    I will second (or third the midas blenny), I had a tailspot and it was pretty fun to watch too. My midas like to play hide and seek with me.....the only issue is, at the moment, it always hides in the same spot!
     
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  13. becks

    becks Well-Known Member

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    My royal gramma is out all the time,
     
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  14. Yuki Rihwa

    Yuki Rihwa Well-Known Member

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    I have Royal more than 4 months, it's only out in the open water at feeding time, other than that it's stay near rock work, near where its favorite hole lol
     
  15. fishybizzness

    fishybizzness Active Member

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    I love the way my gobies hop around like grasshoppers when I add some live mycid shrimp!! From rock to rock and then on the glass! Coolest thing ever!!
     
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  16. OREGONIC

    OREGONIC Active Member

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    I have same tank, my favorite is leopard wrasse and the wife’s favorite is yellow clown goby.
     
  17. Zack Klabunde

    Zack Klabunde The LPS Guy R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    My 5 pink skunk Clownfish are the highlights. They love playing amongst the tentacles of the Anemones. Can’t beat it IMO. Lots of personality not just with each other but me as well.

    A close second is my target Mandarin. She is an absolute beauty. Currently in search for a male to join. I love the way she just floats above the rocks.

    Now with all this said, I woldnt dare add either of these to a new tank. So a Canary blenny would be my recommendation. VERY personable. Always first to my hand when it’s in the tank, first to the top of the tank to say hello when feeding and always cruising the water column and rock work. The coolest part is he can freeze mid swim.

    -Zack, who has lots of persable fish
     
  18. crabs_mcjones

    crabs_mcjones I'm shiny! R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have a 40 breeder with a pair of clowns and a 6 line wrasse (obvious answer as you said above lol) I also have a scooter blenny, and I absolutely love watching him scoot scoot along the bottom of the tank. And they're very pretty under the blue lights. And he eats frozen brine shrimp like crazy :)
     
  19. DeniseAndy

    DeniseAndy Valuable Member

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    love blennies and goby/shrimp pairings. I personally love clowns with their anemones, but the nem would obviously be a later add.
     
  20. Old Glory

    Old Glory Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I love my Flame Hawk. Not sure if it will work in a 45. He roams all over the tank very active.
     
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