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

spamvicious

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I have 38 gallon tank with two clowns, one sea urchin, one hermit and a nas snail and one fire shrimp. I also have loads of copepods that are taking over. I’d like a fish that isn’t tiny and could be eat some of the copepods. I can’t have any kind of goby as I had to rehome a watchman goby as it kept escaping.

I’ve got sand, live rock and some soft corals. I’ve been look at wrasse but can’t find anything that will fit in my tank that isn’t tiny.
 
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Slocke

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I have 38 gallon tank with two clowns, one sea urchin, one hermit and a nas snail and one fire shrimp. I also have loads of copepods that are taking over. I’d like a fish that isn’t tiny and could be eat some of the copepods. I can’t have any kind of goby as I had to rehome a watchman goby as it kept escaping.

I’ve got sand, live rock and some soft corals. I’ve been look at wrasse but can’t find anything that will fit in my tank that isn’t tiny.
Wrasse are high on energy and like more room. A pink streaked, sixline or any of the wetmorella (possum) wrasses will work for you.

Dragonets are the obvious one. All mandarins are beautiful but if you want a big fish than a scooter blenny.

Also if you want size then an engineer goby is a great spectacle that can live in a relatively small tank.
 

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I have a 40B with 2 ocellaris clowns and a carpenter wrasse at the moment.

I'm wanting to add a melanurus wrasse, longnose hawkfish, and a midas or starry blenny. Does this work or will there be a problem with compatibility or tank size? I've heard mixed things about melanurus in 40B tanks. Some say they work, others say borderline, others say not at all.
 
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Hi guys! I know that at times it can be difficult to know whether or not a fish is right for your tank. There are lots of things to consider when purchasing a new addition to your reef community: What size is the tank? What other fish are already in there? What inverts are in there? Is it a reef or fowlr? What about food availability? Is it a sensitive fish that needs special care requirements? Does it require particular water parameters? Is it aggressive? Is it a picky eater? Is it prone to disease?

These are all possible concerns that can come up in purchasing a new fish. REEF2REEF is here to help! Whether you're new to the hobby, or just unsure about a new addition, we'll be glad to help with advice and giving info about our new pet that will help it live many years in your tank. Of course, the tank is yours and so is the fish, so no one here will tell you what you can or CANNOT do with your own tank. We're just here to help by sharing our own knowledge and experience.

So let's get this thread going! If you're thinking about a new purchase and just not sure, post it up! :cool:
I’ve had my 90 gallon tank up and running since July. I’ve hired a professional to help who comes out every other week to check water quality ect. Have to admit I’m in love with this tank. I visited the store this week to pick up a coral beauty angle fish. I noticed a small flame hawk fish. He was adorable his goofy personality was immediately obvious. I currently have two cleaner shrimp, hermits, and an emerald crab all of which are bigger than he was.
Would it be a mistake to add him to the community? I’d be heart broken if he somehow ate my scarlet shrimp
 

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Slocke

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I have a 40B with 2 ocellaris clowns and a carpenter wrasse at the moment.

I'm wanting to add a melanurus wrasse, longnose hawkfish, and a midas or starry blenny. Does this work or will there be a problem with compatibility or tank size? I've heard mixed things about melanurus in 40B tanks. Some say they work, others say borderline, others say not at all.
It's a bit of a squeeze. The melanarus will want regular feedings or plenty of snacks in the tank and that may be an issue for it in a smaller tank. If you can feed it 3 or more times a day it may well work. They can be aggressive though I've never seen it. It would be more likely in smaller tank.

Other fish are good.
 

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I’ve had my 90 gallon tank up and running since July. I’ve hired a professional to help who comes out every other week to check water quality ect. Have to admit I’m in love with this tank. I visited the store this week to pick up a coral beauty angle fish. I noticed a small flame hawk fish. He was adorable his goofy personality was immediately obvious. I currently have two cleaner shrimp, hermits, and an emerald crab all of which are bigger than he was.
Would it be a mistake to add him to the community? I’d be heart broken if he somehow ate my scarlet shrimp
Its always a risk but one that's worked for me. My worry is future additions as hawkfish can get fairly aggressive and I would see it as a later addition personally. They can be awful bullies and worse to fish, especially gobies. You may want to bookmark this fish for a later time when most of your other fish have become established. More aggressive fish should always be added last; it allows for the shy fish to establish a territory and hiding spots.
 
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Tyler Flynn

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I'm looking for advice on a wrasse to add to my 60 gallon peaceful mixed reef. Wanting a wrasse that will eat pests (i have planaria flatworms and vermitid snails), and is peaceful.

I have looked at the possum wrasses, pink streaked wrasse, and yellow corris.

what others could you suggest for peaceful pest eaters in a smaller system?
 

Aunyua

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I’m planning to set up a 125 gallon reef tank with corals like xenia, mushrooms, euphyllia, zoanthids, etc.
ish:
•Tomini Tang
•Ocellaris Clownfish pair
•Bangaii Cardinal pair or group
•Firefish pair or group
•Diamond Goby or Watchman Goby
•Lawnmower or Starry Blenny
•Scopas Tang
•Two-spot Bristletooth Tang
•McCosker’s Flasher Wrasse
•Royal Gramma

Inverts: Cleaner Shrimp, Emerald Crab, BL Hermit Crabs, Trochus/Cerith/Astrea/Nassarius Snails
I plan to start the tank with some mollies and hermit crabs and then work up to the clownfish and firefish and add territorial fish like the tangs, angel, and gramma last. I also don’t want to add a diamond goby or lawnmower or starry blenny until the tank is more mature so they can graze. Please let me know if you wouldn’t recommend any of these for someone setting up their first saltwater tank. I’d also like tips on the best order to add each species and how many can I keep of each without any aggression?
 

Petcrazyson

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I’m planning to set up a 125 gallon reef tank with corals like xenia, mushrooms, euphyllia, zoanthids, etc.
ish:
•Tomini Tang
•Ocellaris Clownfish pair
•Bangaii Cardinal pair or group
•Firefish pair or group
•Diamond Goby or Watchman Goby
•Lawnmower or Starry Blenny
•Scopas Tang
•Two-spot Bristletooth Tang
•McCosker’s Flasher Wrasse
•Royal Gramma

Inverts: Cleaner Shrimp, Emerald Crab, BL Hermit Crabs, Trochus/Cerith/Astrea/Nassarius Snails
I plan to start the tank with some mollies and hermit crabs and then work up to the clownfish and firefish and add territorial fish like the tangs, angel, and gramma last. I also don’t want to add a diamond goby or lawnmower or starry blenny until the tank is more mature so they can graze. Please let me know if you wouldn’t recommend any of these for someone setting up their first saltwater tank. I’d also like tips on the best order to add each species and how many can I keep of each without any aggression?
First off I like your selection, happy you are wanting to get into reefing. Let me go in order and start with the corals.

You know those signs where it says WARNING! and BE CAREFUL!? Yea that’s what the Xenia coral really is. Ik it’s dazzling, but that coral can take over everything quite quickly. Tread with caution if you really want to keep that coral. Keep an eye out for the mushrooms and Zoas as they can also spread quite quickly, but that also depends on the mushroom. Euphyllia are a great starter LPS coral, just make sure you give it a calm flow (NOT LOW FLOW) and a good amount of lighting.
 
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wtdenk

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I recently set up the eshopps desktop 3.8 with my extra gulf rock I couldn't bring myself to get rid of or dry store. Right now there are just a few astreas and a baby trochus I added from my main display. I bought a Haloween Hermit for it as well that seems happy.

My question is if there are any fish I can ethically keep in such a small tank? I have a neon blue goby in my main display that only really hangs out around one section of rock. Feels like it would be fine in the 3.8, but I'm still hesitant. What options if any do I have?
 

Petcrazyson

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I’m planning to set up a 125 gallon reef tank with corals like xenia, mushrooms, euphyllia, zoanthids, etc.
ish:
•Tomini Tang
•Ocellaris Clownfish pair
•Bangaii Cardinal pair or group
•Firefish pair or group
•Diamond Goby or Watchman Goby
•Lawnmower or Starry Blenny
•Scopas Tang
•Two-spot Bristletooth Tang
•McCosker’s Flasher Wrasse
•Royal Gramma

Inverts: Cleaner Shrimp, Emerald Crab, BL Hermit Crabs, Trochus/Cerith/Astrea/Nassarius Snails
I plan to start the tank with some mollies and hermit crabs and then work up to the clownfish and firefish and add territorial fish like the tangs, angel, and gramma last. I also don’t want to add a diamond goby or lawnmower or starry blenny until the tank is more mature so they can graze. Please let me know if you wouldn’t recommend any of these for someone setting up their first saltwater tank. I’d also like tips on the best order to add each species and how many can I keep of each without any aggression?
That’s a good fish group, but theres a few snags. In that sized tank, two bristletooth tangs are not a good idea. Even though they may be fine at first their aggression towards each other will soon escalate, with WhiteTail most likely being the dominant one. I would suggest choosing between which one you like the most, either the WhiteTail, or the Tomini.

Cardinals are a good choice for beginners, but you may get tired of them. But a peaceful choice.

Make sure that you have a tight lid for the Firefish. They may be aggressive towards each other if kept in a small group, but it could also turn out well. They are a very timid and very docile so make sure to add them as one of the first fish. They don’t do well under stress so if you see a fish being aggressive towards it start thinking of a plan.

I‘d suggest a Diamond Watchman over a Yellow Watchman, but that’s just me. Make sure you get these fish only until your tank has been about 1 to 2 years old. I’m very happy you say you will only add the goby until the tank is mature. We can’t stress enough about how these fish NEED a mature tank, with a good mature sand bed. When the time comes to keep them make sure to add some food in the sand so they can eat from there as well. Now I’m not a fan of feeding Saltwater fish pellets but a healthy pellet supplement placed around under the sand bed can keep the goby healthy.

Lawnmower blennys can be a little aggressive over their “spot” in the tank, but are also a good character fish.

The Scopas is a slow growing Zebrazoma, but it will eventually grow out of the tank in a few years, but as long as he isn’t aggressive towards most of the fish, or starts bullying, he is a nice addition. Could I suggest looking for a Koi Scopas? Just more colorful looking.

I’m sure @ i cant think can help you more than I can with the fish and inverts. These are just some suggestions. Happy reefing!
 

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Finally got my tank upgrade done (75 gallon, 4' tank) and am thinking about adding a few fish before my existing crew get too settled and start getting territorial over their new digs. I've done quite a bit of research already as I always do, but would like some real-world advice on my wishlist. TIA!

Current fish:
Tomini tang (large and the tank boss)
Yellow tang (very small)
Bicolor blenny
Striped fang tooth blenny
Flame hawkfish
Diamond goby
Melanurus wrasse (male)
Pair of ocellaris clowns

CUC:
Blue tuxedo urchin
Strawberry conch
Fire shrimp
2 big turbo snails
Other assorted snails - nassarius, nerite, cerith

Considering:
Evansi, or maybe sunset anthias (1 male, 2 females) - want some upper column schooling fish and not into chromis or cardinals
Blue spotted jawfish
Orangeback wrasse
Lawnmower blenny
Yellowtail, or maybe springeri damsels (small group of 3 or 5) - added last, or possibly not at all because I worry about aggression with these guys

Not looking to add these all at once or even get all of them. Just my little wishlist of fish I'd like to have if it would work.
Questions: Should I get an automatic feeder if I get the anthias? I feed 2x per day. None of my fish will eat pellets though and I've never introduced flakes... so not sure how that would work.
My bicolor blenny can be territorial - should I even attempt the lawnmower blenny? Considering the lawnmower because my chunky bicolor is lazy about eating algae (he eats the tangs' nori). :rolleyes:
Are the damsels a terrible idea? I'd love to have some flash of blue in my tank.
Wrasse experts - any issue mixing the orangeback wrasse with my melanurus? He's very peaceful so far.
 
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Slocke

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I'm looking for advice on a wrasse to add to my 60 gallon peaceful mixed reef. Wanting a wrasse that will eat pests (i have planaria flatworms and vermitid snails), and is peaceful.

I have looked at the possum wrasses, pink streaked wrasse, and yellow corris.

what others could you suggest for peaceful pest eaters in a smaller system?
I'd suggest anything in the halichores genus. Melanarus been the most common. Just make sure what you choose its not one of the species that gets big. Less than 5" I'd say. The Iridis or radiant is my favorite appearance wise. They're the kings of pest eating.
 

Slocke

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I recently set up the eshopps desktop 3.8 with my extra gulf rock I couldn't bring myself to get rid of or dry store. Right now there are just a few astreas and a baby trochus I added from my main display. I bought a Haloween Hermit for it as well that seems happy.

My question is if there are any fish I can ethically keep in such a small tank? I have a neon blue goby in my main display that only really hangs out around one section of rock. Feels like it would be fine in the 3.8, but I'm still hesitant. What options if any do I have?
I'm sure there are some tiny gobies. I keep guppies in a salt tank and they seem to do well and breed so you could try those.
 

Slocke

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Finally got my tank upgrade done (75 gallon, 4' tank) and am thinking about adding a few fish before my existing crew get too settled and start getting territorial over their new digs. I've done quite a bit of research already as I always do, but would like some real-world advice on my wishlist. TIA!

Current fish:
Tomini tang (large and the tank boss)
Yellow tang (very small)
Bicolor blenny
Striped fang tooth blenny
Flame hawkfish
Diamond goby
Melanurus wrasse (male)
Pair of ocellaris clowns

CUC:
Blue tuxedo urchin
Strawberry conch
Fire shrimp
2 big turbo snails
Other assorted snails - nassarius, nerite, cerith

Considering:
Evansi, or maybe sunset anthias (1 male, 2 females) - want some upper column schooling fish and not into chromis or cardinals
Blue spotted jawfish
Orangeback wrasse
Lawnmower blenny
Yellowtail, or maybe springeri damsels (small group of 3 or 5) - added last, or possibly not at all because I worry about aggression with these guys

Not looking to add these all at once or even get all of them. Just my little wishlist of fish I'd like to have if it would work.
Questions: Should I get an automatic feeder if I get the anthias? I feed 2x per day. None of my fish will eat pellets though and I've never introduced flakes... so not sure how that would work.
My bicolor blenny can be territorial - should I even attempt the lawnmower blenny? Considering the lawnmower because my chunky bicolor is lazy about eating algae (he eats the tangs' nori). :rolleyes:
Are the damsels a terrible idea? I'd love to have some flash of blue in my tank.
Wrasse experts - any issue mixing the orangeback wrasse with my melanurus? He's very peaceful so far.
I currently have hawk post traumatic stress and don't think I'd trust one with any other fish but I think mine was a particular monster.

Anyways you have a lot of fish already but my thoughts:
  1. Anthias need as many feeding as possible, 2 won't cut it. I also hear they lose their color and don't school the way most people hope but is doable. Not sure your tanks big enough though.
  2. Jawfish require either a very deep sand bed or a pipe network in your sand. Also need cooler water (low to mid 70s). Not a good idea generally. There are other species who do better in warmer water though like the yellowheaded.
  3. Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis? Now that's a good idea. You want a top of the tank fish than a flasher or fairy wrasse is where to go. No issues with melanarus different niches.
  4. Too many blennies already. Consider a one spot foxface for algae.
  5. Why risk it? You're already pushing your stocking limit and aggression will be your biggest problem anyway.
Sorry to be a downer. Get a fairy wrasse like the orange back and maybe another of a compatible species.
 
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Sink_or_Swim

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I currently have hawk post traumatic stress and don't think I'd trust one with any other fish but I think mine was a particular monster.

Anyways you have a lot of fish already but my thoughts:
  1. Anthias need as many feeding as possible, 2 won't cut it. I also hear they lose their color and don't school the way most people hope but is doable. Not sure your tanks big enough though.
  2. Jawfish require either a very deep sand bed or a pipe network in your sand. Also need cooler water (low to mid 70s). Not a good idea generally. There are other species who do better in warmer water though like the yellowheaded.
  3. Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis? Now that's a good idea. You want a top of the tank fish than a flasher or fairy wrasse is where to go. No issues with melanarus different niches.
  4. Too many blennies already. Consider a one spot foxface for algae.
  5. Why risk it? You're already pushing your stocking limit and aggression will be your biggest problem anyway.
Sorry to be a downer. Get a fairy wrasse like the orange back and maybe another of a compatible species.
Thank you, I appreciate the feedback! You make some very good points. I think I'll definitely get the orangeback - I love the colors. Don't mind passing on the other fish. I do really want a small group of schooling or somewhat schooling fish though... I notice most people suggest trying Azure or Springeri as the least problematic. Seems like they'd just squabble a little amongst themselves, similar to chromis? Trying to avoid getting whittled down to one is why I was looking into anthias instead, with an auto feeder. Hmm.

That's too bad you had a negative hawkfish experience! It's so interesting to me how much saltwater fish seem to be individuals that can vary so much in demeanor. I got my hawk at the same time I got the baby yellow tang - only had one acclimation box so I tested out putting them in together... and no joke, they became buddies. The hawk never once bothered the tang. And so far since they've been in the tank with the other fish, he's been a model citizen. One of my favorite fish - he follows me around, always watching, lol. Also my most high maintenance fish though, because I kind of have to target feed him. He will only eat the bigger chunks of food and only if it moves in front of him, but not too far from him. I've created a spoiled brat of a fish I'm sure, lol. But at least he's friendly.
 

Slocke

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Thank you, I appreciate the feedback! You make some very good points. I think I'll definitely get the orangeback - I love the colors. Don't mind passing on the other fish. I do really want a small group of schooling or somewhat schooling fish though... I notice most people suggest trying Azure or Springeri as the least problematic. Seems like they'd just squabble a little amongst themselves, similar to chromis? Trying to avoid getting whittled down to one is why I was looking into anthias instead, with an auto feeder. Hmm.

That's too bad you had a negative hawkfish experience! It's so interesting to me how much saltwater fish seem to be individuals that can vary so much in demeanor. I got my hawk at the same time I got the baby yellow tang - only had one acclimation box so I tested out putting them in together... and no joke, they became buddies. The hawk never once bothered the tang. And so far since they've been in the tank with the other fish, he's been a model citizen. One of my favorite fish - he follows me around, always watching, lol. Also my most high maintenance fish though, because I kind of have to target feed him. He will only eat the bigger chunks of food and only if it moves in front of him, but not too far from him. I've created a spoiled brat of a fish I'm sure, lol. But at least he's friendly.
If you want a group of fish then maybe consider chalk bass? I just feel like nothing reasonable in this hobby actually schools. (someone a while back went so far as to try a group of golden trevally in a 200 hahaha).

Yeah had to tear down the tank after the Falco finally caught my orange spot goby which is lucky to be alive (if it does survive) and that's just the latest. It replaced a longnose that was the perfect fish so yeah, luck of the draw I suppose.
 
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If you want a group of fish then maybe consider chalk bass? I just feel like nothing reasonable in this hobby actually schools. (someone a while back went so far as to try a group of golden trevally in a 200 hahaha).

Yeah had to tear down the tank after the Falco finally caught my orange spot goby which is lucky to be alive (if it does survive) and that's just the latest. It replaced a longnose that was the perfect fish so yeah, luck of the draw I suppose.
I think you're right about the schooling. Anything that could go in my tank will more likely just loosely congregate, lol. Definitely need an insanely large tank for any real school of fish I suppose. Just looked up golden trevally - those look like something to go fishing for and eat, not keep in an aquarium, lol.

Poor goby! I hope it pulls through. I'd be so mad if I had to tear apart my tank to catch a rogue fish. When I was doing my tank transfer, the only fish I could catch without removing all the rocks were my clownfish. Not the brightest Crayolas in the box, lol. But knowing that is another reason I'm trying to be extra careful choosing any final fish to add.

Longnose hawkfish are so cool. I was debating between that and the flame hawk, but the bug-eyes won me over, lol. Someone unalived what I think was one of my nassarius snails the other day though... had to be either my hawk or the melanurus. I know neither are invert-safe, but my money's on the wrasse. I saw him eyeballing my conch today. If he eats Gary I'm not going to be very happy with him, ugh.
 

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