Need help deciding on whether or not a fish is right for your tank? Post here and we'll help!

Slocke

Not Inactive Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
611
Reaction score
917
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Atlanta
Trying to hone livestock choices for a beginner tank. While I've found all sorts of tools and charts for beginner fishes, compatibility, etc.; I've come up empty-handed for habitat. Basically, I'm looking for a list/chart/image of fishes that like to hangout in or near the sand bed or bottom; ones that like to hide in the rocks or corals; and the free-swimmers that like to surf the waves. When choosing our beginner fish, we want to make sure our selections are distributed throughout the tank. Can anyone point me to anything like this?

Bonus points for a link to any articles or posts about the tank inhabitants with the most personality, preferably in a good way! :winking-face:

TAI,
Mel
Gobies1
Dragonets1
Hawkfish2
Jawfish2
Basslets3
Firefish/darters3
Blennies3
Dottyback3
Wrasse4
Clown4
Angels4
Chromis4
Butterfly4
Cardinals4
Chromis4
Damsel4
Filefish4
Foxface4
Squirell4
Anthias5
Puffers5
(my pretty color gradient didn't copy over :crying-face:)

1-Sticks to the sandbed
2-Sticks to near the sandbed or rocks
3-Within the rocks and sometimes free swimming
4-Free swimming and amongst rocks and corals
5-Top of the tank
 

Kiboshed

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
227
Reaction score
181
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
82637
As for personality I find wrasse, bennies, and hawks are the funnest while cardinals and squirrels do the least.
To be fair to the fish, Cardinals and Squirrels are nocturnal and become much more active at night. During the day when we are watching our reef most of the time... Yeah they aren't doing much lol
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

i cant think

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
9,051
Reaction score
9,772
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
Gobies1
Dragonets1
Hawkfish2
Jawfish2
Basslets3
Firefish/darters3
Blennies3
Dottyback3
Wrasse4
Clown4
Angels4
Chromis4
Butterfly4
Cardinals4
Chromis4
Damsel4
Filefish4
Foxface4
Squirell4
Anthias5
Puffers5
(my pretty color gradient didn't copy over :crying-face:)

1-Sticks to the sandbed
2-Sticks to near the sandbed or rocks
3-Within the rocks and sometimes free swimming
4-Free swimming and amongst rocks and corals
5-Top of the tank
Actually, I would swap the wrasses from a 4 to a 5, these guys really prefer their activity.
I would also put dragonets at a 2 as they don’t stay on the sandbed, only one species I know of will do this (Synchiropus sycorax), the rest will be all over the rockscape and sandbed.
 

Slocke

Not Inactive Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
611
Reaction score
917
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Atlanta
Actually, I would swap the wrasses from a 4 to a 5, these guys really prefer their activity.
I would also put dragonets at a 2 as they don’t stay on the sandbed, only one species I know of will do this (Synchiropus sycorax), the rest will be all over the rockscape and sandbed.
Wrasses are hard as it seems to me that halichores prefer near the sand while Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus are at the top of tanks (at least in my tanks). But definitely right about dragonets.
 

Slocke

Not Inactive Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
611
Reaction score
917
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Atlanta
Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 2.52.02 PM.png

*Depends on type of wrasse

1-Sticks to the sandbed
2-Sticks to near the sandbed or rocks
3-Within the rocks and sometimes free swimming
4-Free swimming and amongst rocks and corals
5-Top of the tank
 

i cant think

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
9,051
Reaction score
9,772
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 2.52.02 PM.png

*Depends on type of wrasse

1-Sticks to the sandbed
2-Sticks to near the sandbed or rocks
3-Within the rocks and sometimes free swimming
4-Free swimming and amongst rocks and corals
5-Top of the tank
That seems more so correct, totally agree with it depending on the genus of wrasse from what I’ve seen and kept here’s what I’ve discovered:

The ones that enjoy staying close to the sandbed;
- Halichoeres
- Holygymnos

The ones that enjoy free swimming close to the Rocks and Sandbed;
- Pseudocheilinus
- Pseudocheilinops
- Wetmorella
- Macropharyngodon
- Pseudojuloides
- Anampses
- Pteragogus
- Xenojulis
- Terelabrus
- Labroides
- Bodianus

The ones that enjoy free swimming/open water:
- Xyrichtys
- Stethojulis
- Cirrhilabrus
- Paracheilinus
- Thalassoma
- Novaculichthys
- Hemigymnis
- Gomphosus
- Cheilinus
- Coris
- Cheilio
- Choerodon
- Diproctacanthus

The ones that enjoy sticking near coral;
- Pseudodax
- Larabicus
- Labropsis


Hope this helps people wondering what would be best for activity in certain areas :))
I believe the three genera that stay close to coral is due to them being corallivores. I also didn’t include Scaridae as these are larger species that aren’t kept very often to my knowledge. This is due to their size as well as their diet of Coral (To get hold of the symbiotic algae, Zooxanthellae as well as other microorganisms in or on the coral skeleton).
 

MPCReefer

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
202
Reaction score
122
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Florida
Hello everyone. Looking to replace my Exquisite Wrasse who decided to jump out last weekend, and a Diamond Goby that I lost a few months ago. Tank is an 80 gal display about 18 months old now, with current fish list:

Melanaurus
Yellow Corris
Foxface
Bellus Angel
Royal Gramma
Tomini Tang
Flame Hawkfish

Thinking about adding a couple of Springeri Damsels for a pop of blue to the tank. Any thoughts on whether 1 is better than 2, or if 2 would be too much for the tank given the other inhabitants? TIA
 

JohnA26

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
45
Reaction score
44
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Charlotte, NC
I've got a year old reef tank 72 gallon, 1 flame tang, 1 coral Beaty, 1 clown, 4 pj cardinal, 1 yellow Coris wrasse, 1 young female mandarin, all sorts of clean up crew. I had a 6 line, but he became very aggressive so I got rid of him. We like the wrasse action and want more red in the tank. I have been thinking about a calmer wrasse, flasher or fairy, so it comes down to Carpenter or McCosker's.

Two questions:
1-Can this tank handle another pod eater?
2-What is the difference between McCosker's and Carpenter?
 
First Choice Sale

i cant think

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
9,051
Reaction score
9,772
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
I've got a year old reef tank 72 gallon, 1 flame tang, 1 coral Beaty, 1 clown, 4 pj cardinal, 1 yellow Coris wrasse, 1 young female mandarin, all sorts of clean up crew. I had a 6 line, but he became very aggressive so I got rid of him. We like the wrasse action and want more red in the tank. I have been thinking about a calmer wrasse, flasher or fairy, so it comes down to Carpenter or McCosker's.

Two questions:
1-Can this tank handle another pod eater?
2-What is the difference between McCosker's and Carpenter?
1-
Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus species are planktonic feeders and do not feed on pods. What I will warn you now is Paracheilinus are not calm wrasses, these guys love to swim and when they do they can be much more hyper than the wrasse you have now (And possibly even more so than the tang depending on the specimen).
2-
The biggest difference between males is how many elongated filaments they have. Paracheilinus carpenteri has I believe 9 to 10. Whereas Paracheilinus mccoskeri has 1 elongated filament. Another difference is in the colour of their anal fin, I believe mccoskeri has a more vibrant yellow in the anal fin.
 

Dizzle26

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
40
Reaction score
87
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
I'm assuming this is your first tank? In that case I would do:
pair of clowns
royal gramma
lawnmower blenny/yellow watchman goby/firefish goby/clown goby <--- pick 1
pinkstreak or possum wrasse (Or 6-line but in a 20 gallon it's likely going to be a menace so I wouldn't recommend it)
Springer's damsel

The above list gives a good mix of colour, activity, and utility, with the wrasse and damsel being both active colourful fish as well as pest-eaters. 5 fish may be pushing it though, so I would skip the Springer's damsel unless the nutrient export is good enough to accomodate it.

Goby-wise I'd suggest the lawnmower blenny instead since it's a good algae eater. A starry blenny also works.

So based on the quoted post I think I've narrowed my fish choices down to the following:
Clownfish pair
Royal gramma
Purple firefish
Springers Damsel


Any one see any issues with my choices? Should I change anything? What CUC do you folks suggest?

I have a 20g Fusion tank. Looking to make it an LPS/softie tank.
 

i cant think

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
9,051
Reaction score
9,772
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
So based on the quoted post I think I've narrowed my fish choices down to the following:
Clownfish pair
Royal gramma
Purple firefish
Springers Damsel


Any one see any issues with my choices? Should I change anything? What CUC do you folks suggest?

I have a 20g Fusion tank. Looking to make it an LPS/softie tank.
Don’t do the fire fish, these are skittish as it is and with aggressive tank mates in a small tank it will remain even more so skittish.
As for 20g… 4 aggressive fish is pushing the limits IMHO. The clowns and the damsels being closely related most likely will not do well in a small tank together.
 

MPCReefer

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
202
Reaction score
122
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Florida
Hello everyone. Looking to replace my Exquisite Wrasse who decided to jump out last weekend, and a Diamond Goby that I lost a few months ago. Tank is an 80 gal display about 18 months old now, with current fish list:

Melanaurus
Yellow Corris
Foxface
Bellus Angel
Royal Gramma
Tomini Tang
Flame Hawkfish

Thinking about adding a couple of Springeri Damsels for a pop of blue to the tank. Any thoughts on whether 1 is better than 2, or if 2 would be too much for the tank given the other inhabitants? TIA
Anyone with thoughts on a pair vs just one Springeri Damsel?
 

Dizzle26

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
40
Reaction score
87
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
Don’t do the fire fish, these are skittish as it is and with aggressive tank mates in a small tank it will remain even more so skittish.
As for 20g… 4 aggressive fish is pushing the limits IMHO. The clowns and the damsels being closely related most likely will not do well in a small tank together.

So maybe a blenny instead of the firefish? Should I then just leave out the damsel or replace it with something else?
 
Zoanthids.com

Petcrazyson

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
337
Reaction score
316
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Clermont
So I have a 90 gallon 4 foot tank and I am looking to add some “character” fish. I have 2 species in mind. A Jawfish, Yasha Goby pair, and Dracula goby/Pistol shrimp pair. Now I have some questions, and 1 big question: Will they get along?! Im thinking on having a big pvc cave with a rock “door” for the jawfish on the left side of the tank, the Yasha goby pair on the back middle/right side of the tank, and the goby/pistol shrimp pair on the front right of the tank. If this does work I’m planning on adding the Jawfish first, then yasha, then goby/pistol. I’m worried the jawfish will be aggressive towards the yasha, even though they will be on opposite sides of the tank. Will the Jawfish attack the goby/pistol shrimp pair if they decide to explore away from their designated cave? I’ve heard horror stories where both parties will attack and kill each other if they do something the other doesn’t like, especially since the jawfish’s cave is going to be quite big I don’t want the shrimp and goby to go in there thinking it’s big enough for them, and not knowing there is a jawfish in there. Will the goby/shrimp pair attack the Yasha pair? I want to have designated caves for them but I know I can’t stop them from moving homes. Will the fact that the goby/pistol shrimp and the Yasha goby pair have natural rock/sand caves lower the need to change homes? I also have an angelfish in there and I’m a little worried about how it will interact with the shrimp if he sees him just far out enough from the shrimp‘s cave. If tried other shrimp before, and they never last 24 hours. Could he eat him? Will the shrimp cause an injury to the angelfish if it tries to protect himself? Anyone have experience with some of my questoons? All comments appreciated.
 
Zoanthids.com

Slocke

Not Inactive Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
611
Reaction score
917
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Atlanta
So I have a 90 gallon 4 foot tank and I am looking to add some “character” fish. I have 2 species in mind. A Jawfish, Yasha Goby pair, and Dracula goby/Pistol shrimp pair. Now I have some questions, and 1 big question: Will they get along?! Im thinking on having a big pvc cave with a rock “door” for the jawfish on the left side of the tank, the Yasha goby pair on the back middle/right side of the tank, and the goby/pistol shrimp pair on the front right of the tank. If this does work I’m planning on adding the Jawfish first, then yasha, then goby/pistol. I’m worried the jawfish will be aggressive towards the yasha, even though they will be on opposite sides of the tank. Will the Jawfish attack the goby/pistol shrimp pair if they decide to explore away from their designated cave? I’ve heard horror stories where both parties will attack and kill each other if they do something the other doesn’t like, especially since the jawfish’s cave is going to be quite big I don’t want the shrimp and goby to go in there thinking it’s big enough for them, and not knowing there is a jawfish in there. Will the goby/shrimp pair attack the Yasha pair? I want to have designated caves for them but I know I can’t stop them from moving homes. Will the fact that the goby/pistol shrimp and the Yasha goby pair have natural rock/sand caves lower the need to change homes? I also have an angelfish in there and I’m a little worried about how it will interact with the shrimp if he sees him just far out enough from the shrimp‘s cave. If tried other shrimp before, and they never last 24 hours. Could he eat him? Will the shrimp cause an injury to the angelfish if it tries to protect himself? Anyone have experience with some of my questoons? All comments appreciated.
I’d suggest the opposite order maybe. Pistol shrimp goby pairs are often quite shy and I think it may be best to let them establish a home. Adding multiple burrowing/bottom of tank species is always a risk. Your tank is fairly big and may have enough space for all of them but maybe not. Jawfish are known to bully gobies.
The angelfish lives in a completely different niche so I doubt there will be any conflict. What species of angelfish? I’ve never seen angelfish eat shrimp but that’s just me and I’ve never heard of pistol shrimp injuring fish.
Also jawfish often require a cooler tank they live off the western coast of the US where the waters are cooler. I’m considering getting a blue spot jawfish and Catalina gobies (the most magnificent of gobies) in a tank with a chiller. I’d research the best temperature range for all your fish and see if you can find something that works for all your fish.
 
Last edited:

Petcrazyson

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
337
Reaction score
316
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Clermont
I’d suggest the opposite order maybe. Pistol shrimp goby pairs are often quite shy and I think it may be best to let them establish a home. Adding multiple burrowing/bottom of tank species is always a risk. Your tank is fairly big and may have enough space for all of them but maybe not. Jawfish are known to bully gobies.
The angelfish lives in a completely different niche so I doubt there will be any conflict. What species of angelfish? I’ve never seen angelfish eat shrimp but that’s just me and I’ve never heard of pistol shrimp injuring fish.
Also jawfish often require a cooler tank they live off the western coast of the US where the waters are cooler. I’m considering getting a blue spot jawfish and Catalina gobies (the most magnificent of gobies) in a tank with a chiller. I’d research the best temperature range for all your fish and see if you can find something that works for all your fish.
Thx. I really appreciate your answer. Would you suggest that, since it is better for the goby/shrimp pair to be put in first, add the pvc cave after them and only when I get the Jawfish? I really don’t want the big cave to go towards the shrimp and the goby, (sorry little guys). Will the fact that each of the 3 caves will be fairly distanced? The Jawfish cave I’m planning would be over 3’ away from the Yashas, and the Yashas would be about 20” from the shrimp/goby, and the Jawfish over 2’ away from the goby/shrimp. The angelfish I have is a mix between a Phantom and a Black Velvet. He’s about 5” rn. I’m just skeptical since he really likes to eat shrimp. Angels quite commonly eat shrimp and other crustaceans, at least the ones I have seen and know of. I’ve seen in person a pistol shrimp injuring a small fish, and worry the shrimp might shock the angel and start poking at him. As for the temp I have researched and been told different Jawfish like differing temps. The two option I’m looking at are Yellow head and Blue Dot. Yellow-head likes warmer waters and Blue Dots like cooler waters. My tank paramaters ie temperature is suited for Sps and is at 78 rn. In warmer months the temp may go up a degree and in colder months go down a degree, but nothing drastic. Would you think this is too warm for Blue Dots? Some people say definitely too warm while others say their Blue Dots’ like the warmer water. Will the fact that the Jawfish’s burrow will be deep in the sand (about 6”) lower the temp a little more to the fish’s liking?
 

How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 86 30.1%
  • Frag rack

    Votes: 145 50.7%
  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 84 29.4%
  • Sump Divider

    Votes: 59 20.6%
  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 42 14.7%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 74 25.9%
Atlantik Icon  reef aquarium LED Bar
Top