Need help stocking a durable 4 foot 105 gallon Soft Coral build.

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Zionas

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So after even more thinking and really getting into the details with the LFS I’ll be buying from, I have settled with a 4 foot, 48”x24”x22” tank. I was aiming for a 24” for the height but my LFS that makes custom tanks thinks it’s a bit too tall. I’ve crossed off Tangs, Rabbitfish, Butterflies, and I think I’ll give Damsels / Chromis a pass for now. My tank will only have some soft corals and live rock, easy to keep species like Mushrooms, Fingers, Toadstools, and Kenya Trees. For the fish, I have decided on a maximum of six fish for at least a year.

I contacted my LFS today and they said they can hold my fish for 3-4 weeks after I place the order, at a premium. They said it would be a lot more expensive, but I will be going for it. Their method is to observe, to make sure it’s eating, and only medicate if necessary. I would like your comments and concerns, but I have chosen what I believe to be a fairly durable group of fish that can last quite a while.

It looks like I’ll be having this system for at least 6-7 years, and you know what? How sweet it would be to have these fish be there to witness my personal milestones such as getting married and having kids. :) That’s why I’ve also selected for longevity.

After much contemplation, here’s what I have decided for my fish stocking list:


Scenario 1-
x2 Ocellaris Clownfish / Black and White (if I can find them)-Captive bred

x1 Royal Gramma

x1 Flame Angel (they say it’s from Hawaii, but I’m not counting on it lol, but they told me that all of these are processed through Hawaii, they think Flames are easy but Western sites seem to have very mixed opinions)

x1 Flame / Falco / Coral Hawkfish (I can’t resist one of these guys)

x1 Marine Betta (these guys get to 8”, can they really grow to maximum size and be healthy in my system?)



Scenario 2:
x2 Ocellaris / Black Ocellaris Clowns

x2 Flame Angels (mated pair, LFS says they’ll try looking for me)

x1 Royal Gramma

x1 Flame / Falco / Coral Hawkfish



Scenario 3:
x2 Ocellaris / Black Ocellaris Clowns

x1 RG / Yellow Assessor

x1 Yellow Assessor

x1 Marine Betta

x1 Flame / Falco / Coral Hawkfish



Scenario 4:
x2 Ocellaris / Black Ocellaris Clowns

x1 Royal Gramma

x1 YWG+ Tiger Pistol Shrimp / one of the smaller Halichoeres wrasses

x1 Marine Betta

x1 Flame / Falco / Coral Hawkfish



I don’t know much about inverts.

I’d really love to finalize my stocking list (I will be starting my tank in a month, hopefully) and I would welcome comments and concerns.

Here are some of my own concerns:

1. If I go with a Marine Betta (love it!), I’ll be certain to get one from Indonesia. Indonesian caught fish make me wary, my LFS estimates 90% of them have been caught using cyanide. They’ve told me it’s hard to get these to start feeding. These get up to 8”, will they really be happy in a system of my size?

2. To avoid the Betta showing predator tendencies towards my smaller fish, maybe I should consider a pair of clowns from the Tomato complex instead to keep the Betta in check?

3. Have I chosen any particularly difficult or sensitive species? If so, which alternatives would you suggest?


4. My LFS says they can get me live foods such as brine, mysis, ghost shrimp and maybe blackworms. They have, however, warned me against feeding live foods too often as they’ll pollute the water. Is that true?


5. I very much intend for all my fish to eat a combo of dried, frozen, and live foods (the latter parts I learned from Paul B though I won’t be able to replicate it 100%). What foods should I get them started on? Live, frozen, or dried? Is it possible, to a degree, to turn most species / all of these species I’ve listed into omnivores?



6. Would a 2” sand bed be enough for a Halichoeres wrasse?


7. What are some of the ways in which tanks most commonly crash? And how can I avoid them?


8. My LFS says if I ever move house, they can hold all my fish and corals for me temporarily. Would all that moving back and forth cause lots of stress to my livestock? Would any of these species be especially prone to dying during such moves?



9. Can anyone give a general hardiness / diseases resistant ranking of these species I’ve chosen? :)

10. What is your opinion of glass screen tops? I insisted on a screen too despite my LFS owner saying that most people hereby opt not to get them. Better to treat all of them as jumpers. :)


Thanks!
 
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45ZoaGarden

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2” is deep enough. I personally would go with 2x O. Clownfish, a few wrasses, a diamond goby, royal gramma (even though they can be a bit skiddish), , and a bleny (because every tank needs some personality! ;)). All these fish are pretty hardy ime. The hardy.
 

45ZoaGarden

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It’s never a bad idea to feed live food every once in awhile. I’m actually going to be setting up a brine culture system in my garage. I have a picky eater (leopard wrasse) that’s not too enthused about frozen mysis.
 

45ZoaGarden

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I’ve never seen these fish being very active. However I’m sure they are very territorial. I wouldn’t get that fish in such a small tank. I’d love to have tangs but it’s just not ideal in my 45g cube.
If I get one of the Comets it’ll be in the 6-8cm range. What I’m equally worried about is whether they’ll feel stressed out in my tank since it’s only 4’ long and 105 gallons. Are they a species that need lots of swimming space?
 

45ZoaGarden

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Yes. Nori strips are great for herbivores! I feed NLS pellets, frozen mysis, and brine, and whole frozen krill to larger fish and anemones.
Cool. I’m also planning to feed some dried plankton and seaweed strips, shrimp eggs too. Would chopped seafood from the supermarket and vegetables (but pesticides are my concern) be safe to feed?
 
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