95 Gallon Stocking - Advice Please

MrsHaggis

New member
Well I have run into a problem, I'm still cycling the brand new 95 gallon tank and realise that it's just too small!!!

But we will have to stick with it for a while since it took 4 months to build the stand and set it all up properly and unless we rob a bank there is no money for a bigger setup - yet!!

So stocking.

We have:

1 Percula Clownfish
1 SixLine Wrasse

We want:
1 Coral Beauty
1 Foxface Rabbitfish
1 Cleaner Shrimp
1 Sexy Shrimp


One year down the line we also want:
1 Mandarin Goby

The questions:
Are anthias really that difficult (I've read one thread tonight that says they require 155 Gallons min but I have read on other websites that 55 Gallon is fine)....Any comments here? I'd like 2 bicolor anthias if possible.

If Anthias aren't an option then we might like a green/blue chromis mix but apparently they don't do so well with seahorses......true?

Are seahorses really difficult to care for? I've read many different conflicting reports! I'd really like one as I think they are so beautiful and elegant.

It will be a mixed reef tank with softies and LPS and maybe in a years time when we know more some SPS.......

Any comments/questions/ideas/etc please feel free to comment.

We won't start stocking until after Christmas but I really want to get organised and order the fish in the right order; make sure my fish shop can get them, etc!

Cheers
Fiona
 

MrsHaggis

New member
We would really like to add another clown too. Now since we already have one it could be a bit hairy but if we put the new fish in the new tank at the same time as the current clown would it work??
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
Haha, you are all about my two favorite types of fish!! Anthias and seahorses (dont keep them together by the way).

If you are set on anthias, I recommend getting one. They are extremely heirarchal and without more bodies to spread the wealth of agression around, one of the two (or three or four, etc) becomes the weakest, stressed out, and dies leaving you with one anyway. They are wonderful fish and I am very passionate about them are really enjoyed keeping them, but I really really do not recommend shoals for most people. Since you said you read the other thread, I will not repeat here.

True that anthias and chromis do not do well with seahorses, SHs tend to be pretty 'chill' and are stressed out and out-competed by fast moving fish. Fish such as these tend to interrupt the SHs morning greeting rituals, mating displays, and general SH fun (like playing in ph outputs) by stressing the SHs such that they stay hitched in one spot vice moving around.

I do not personally think that seahorses are more 'difficult' to care for than other things, but there are differences in their care and they do require species specific knowledge to keep successfully. SHs can be prone to bacterial infections that spread like wildfire at reef temperatures (e.g. vibrio). For this reason I recommend a 74F as the upper limit for temperature (it slows infections to a rate they can be combatted), a full 'fishy medicine cabinet', and a ready HT. In addition, a true captive bred source should be located while you are inexperienced at SH keeping. Many of the inexpensive 'yellow seahorses' you can find online are not actually captive bred, but bred in pens open to the ocean and tend to have pathogens and the same issues with eating that wild caught specimens have. Finally, SHs are very social animals, and I cannot recommend having fewer than two.

With what you post as your long term tank goals (LPS, SPS and mixed reef), I do not think that SHs are a good fit. Every successful SH setup that I know of was set up with the idea that 'this is a seahorse tank' and if other livestock fits into that mold then it can be added, if not, it cannot.

I am more than happy to talk more about maintaining SHs, but please do not add them to the reef you currently have planned.
 

ScarletReef

New member
Congrats on the new tank, welcome to the addiction! A few things; you really should think hard before adding a seahorse, because anything other then a seahorse specific tank is going to be sub-optimal for their survival. They need to be kept below 74 degrees for one, and for another, they can easily be out competed for food and can get stung by many corals. That said, I think you should be fine with a pair or trio of Anthias, but you will need to feed them a few times a day, some people set up an auto-feeder with flake for once or twice, then feed frozen at night. If you add another clown, try and get the smallest one you can find as that will be your best bet for success, as yours may already be a female. Everything else seems fine to me. Hope that helps... Good luck!
 

Toly

New member
From what I know, a sixline wrasse will eat up all the pods before mandarin will even get a chance, so unless you have a refugium and target feed mandarin, it will starve to death.
 

thegrun

Team RC
The coral beauty is a 50/50 bet at best on being reef safe. They tend to develop a habit of nipping at corals, sometimes after several months of leaving them alone.

One of the main difficulties with Anthias is feeding them multiple times a day (which they require). If you set up an automatic feeder, you stand a decent chance of success. I think a 95 gallon tank would be on the outer fringe of being acceptable to keep them in. Not a beginner fish by a long shot.

You will be hard pressed to keep seahorses and most other fish and/or corals in the same tank. They require low flow; most corals need the opposite-high flow. Active fish (like your six line and clown) will stress the seahorses to death. They are best kept in a separate tank or in your refugium. I've seen some great refugiums set up as sea horse tanks visible to the main viewing area of the house.

Mandarins are difficult to keep supplied with pods for food. If your sump can produce them in abundance you could give it a try down the road, but a 95 gallon tank alone will not keep a Mandarin alive for long due to a lack of food.
Sorry, I seem to be shooting down most of what you wanted, keep looking, there are thousands of options!
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
You will be hard pressed to keep seahorses and most other fish and/or corals in the same tank. They require low flow; most corals need the opposite-high flow. Active fish (like your six line and clown) will stress the seahorses to death. They are best kept in a separate tank or in your refugium. I've seen some great refugiums set up as sea horse tanks visible to the main viewing area of the house.

I apologize, I have to disagree with this.

Seahorses are by no means the flow wimps that they have a reputation for being, just think about the ocean, seahorses are found in reefs in Hawaii and in many places where flow is higher than they are generally attributed to. That being said, they need areas where they can get out of high flow and into something a little lower (caves, lower in the tank, etc). I have heard MANY antecdotes from seahorse keepers where their SHs swim directly into power head outputs, get pushed accross the tank, swim back as fast as they can and do it again, and again, and again... I have one that does this every morning 5-10 times right after the light goes on, its like her coffee or something.

In addition SHs are voracious feeders and will quickly deplete any refugium of pods and small shrimp reducing the benefit of the fuge to the DT. True that a separate tank set up in this manner would be a good tank for a SH, but the separate tank would not be a refugium. Again, this is assuming that the temperature of the entire system is adequate for SHs.
 

thegrun

Team RC
Well...my daughter cares for the sea horses and dragons at Birch (Scripps La Jolla) Aquarium and she assures me they run their tanks at less than half the flow they keep most of their other tanks at. That said, I think we can both agree that the tank Mrs Haggins plans on keeping will not be an acceptable habitat for sea horses.
 

MrsHaggis

New member
Thanks so much guys for all the info and please don't worry about shooting down my ideas and wants that is why I am asking these questions weeks before the stocking begins so that I get it right from the start.

So no to the seahorses - I would have wanted at least 2 and from I have read from Chad my current setup just doesn't cut it!!

I was also a bit worried that my six-line wrasse would eat all the pods before the mandarin.....darn it!!

Anthias seem too complicated for me right now!!


So what I need is about a 55 gal tank where I can keep 2 or 3 seahorses and perhaps a mandarin (with a seperate refugium for pod breeding!!).......but let's keep talking about the 95 gal one first :O)


So

1 Clown with a second very small one added on the same day as the move to the big tank
1 SixLine
1 Foxface Rabbitfish

Would the flame angel be better to keep with coral; rather than the coral beauty (such an ironic name for a fish that nips coral....)

And any suggestions of other fish that would fit well?
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
;) true, we can agree there :) :beer:

Im sure that the comparison that you make is absolutely accurate as well, I was just trying to say they are not the flow wimps that they are generally called. Besides without quantifying with velocities and volumetric rates, what is low or high flow anyway?
 

thegrun

Team RC
A flame angel is similar to coral beauty; it is hit and miss with them. When I had a fish only tank years ago it was my favorite fish, beautiful to look at. I have a good friend who has had one in his mixed reef tank for about 9 months now, it is good with everything except his clams (he decided to get rid of the clams, he likes the flame angel more), but some will pick at coral. Purple fire fish are nice, although they can be shy, especially when first introduced to the tank. A cleaner (skunk) shrimp is fun to have in a tank. I like yellow tangs, your tank is just big enough to keep one (I suspect others will disagree).
 

ChadTheSpike

Reef Engineer
I also think that you could keep one tang, I like kole tangs myself. Blue reef chromis are good, or how about a fairy or flasher wrasse?
 

MrsHaggis

New member
I quite like the Kole Tang - how big will it grow?
I've seen some tank requirements for tangs that are 70 Gallons minimum but the fish grow to 15 inches; how can that be right?

I quite like the flasher wrasse - will he get along with my six-line wrasse?

I'm also having some questions/worries about the foxface rabbitfish - I've read that it is NOT coral safe (less so than the angels) and venimous; having second thoughts on that one.
 
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